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RECOLLECTIONS OF A REBEL REEFER:
Electronic Edition.

James Morris Morgan, 1845-1928


Funding from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition
supported the electronic publication of this title.


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First edition, 1999
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1999.

        © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Call number E596.m84 1917 (Davis Library, UNC-CH)



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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

LC Subject Headings:



Cover


Frontispiece


Title Page


RECOLLECTIONS OF A
REBEL REEFER

BY

JAMES MORRIS MORGAN

With Illustrations

BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
THE RIVERSIDE PRESS CAMBRIDGE
1917


Page verso

COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY JAMES MORRIS MORGAN
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Published April 1917


TO
MY BELOVED WIFE
FRANCES F. MORGAN
BUT FOR WHOSE DEVOTION AND TENDER NURSING OF ME
THROUGH WEARY YEARS OF ILL HEALTH THESE
"RECOLLECTIONS"
WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN WRITTEN


Page vii

PREFACE

        SAID a writer in Blackwood's Magazine many years ago: "None but kings and egoists are fit to indite the record of their lives. The king knows himself to be the first of his world, and what to the king is knowledge is to the egoist a confident belief. Pride, then, personal and overwhelming, is essential to the perfect autobiography; and if the pride be simple enough, we may perhaps dispense with the other great quality--self-knowledge. For though it obscure reality, pride can create a phantom at once improving and consistent. Nequidquam sapit qui sibi non sapit, wrote Cicero."

        The following account of some of my experiences in life will have at least the merit of simplicity, and, the story being about myself, I ask indulgence for its unavoidable egotism.

        It has been said that "adventures come only to him who seeks them," but I am doubtful of the correctness of this adage, for I can truthfully say that I had as little to do with the shaping of my course in life as has an empty bottle thrown overboard in mid-ocean. I spent the most important years of a boy's life, those between fifteen and nineteen, so far as education and the formation of character are concerned, tied to a sword and in the midst of a most cruel war, and when peace came I was wafted hither and thither, the sport of the fickle winds of varying fortune; and, having "sailed 'neath alien skies and trod the desert path," naturally I imagine that I have met with some adventures out of the usual run of the average schoolboy's experiences, and if I have written some of them down, it has been with the laudable desire of amusing other people rather than personal vanity or desire for notoriety.

        Its novelty is another excuse for this volume. The shelves of libraries are filled with "Recollections," "Reminiscences,"


Page viii

and "Services Afloat," written by admirals, but who ever before saw the memoirs of a "Reefer," unless it was those of "Mr. Midshipman Easy," and he, being a mythical person, of course did not write them himself. I make no apology for its many faults and shortcomings, for were it told in a scholarly manner and in the rounded periods and faultless language of a Macaulay, it would not be the story of a midshipman who had few opportunities of acquiring an education, and neglected the few which came in his way, as the story will make apparent to the dullest landlubber.

        If I have omitted to mention one or two affairs of honor in which I took part, either as principal or second, I trust that my not doing so will not be regarded as evidence that I have any doubt as to the correctness of my attitude on those occasions. I do not mention them because I have passed the threescore years and ten and do not wish to offend the sensibilities of the living, or to reawaken old feuds in a State where one of my daughters and my grandchildren live.

        If I mention an unfortunate shooting affair which occurred in Columbia, South Carolina, it is because the bloody tragedy became a matter of record in the courts. Other personal encounters are recounted because they had an amusing side to them.

J. M. M.


Page ix

CONTENTS


Page xxi

ILLUSTRATIONS


Page 1

CHAPTER I

Childhood--"Billy Bowlegs"--The Choctaws--Blowing up and burning of the steamboat Princess--Charloe and Kattish--Throwing the lasso--Buck-jumpers.

        BORN in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1845,--the youngest of nine children, my parents indulged me as only the youngest of a large family or an only child is spoiled, and they were very ably assisted by my elder brothers and sisters. My old black nurse, Katish, played no unimportant rôle in the coddling process.

        According to the family legends I commenced my adventures at an early age. When I could barely toddle I strayed away from the house and was found stranded in a gutter and brought home in a most sorry plight. In this day, when it is considered the proper thing to boast of one's lowly beginnings, that story ought at least to have secured me a seat in the halls of Congress, but it didn't. Another thriller told me of the adventures of my babyhood was that once, when I was playing near a pond at Pascagoula, a huge alligator was seen slowly creeping toward me when my French governess rushed to the rescue and bravely bore me out of danger. She was ever afterwards regarded as a heroine.

        When I was five years of age, my father, Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan, with his family returned to Baton Rouge, where he had lived prior to his having been appointed Collector of the Port of New Orleans. Baton Rouge at that time was a pretty little town of some three thousand inhabitants.


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It is situated on the first high ground as one ascends the river from the Gulf of Mexico. The bluff is at least thirty feet high and before I commenced my travels I thought that it must be the tallest hill in the world.

        At that time there was a United States Arsenal and quite a large garrison there, mostly composed of heroes who had two or three years before that time conquered Mexico. I loved the soldiers, and one of the officers, Lieutenant Drum, afterwards adjutant-general of the United States Army for many years, loved my eldest sister, so we got on famously together.

        General Zachary Taylor had a cottage in the garrison grounds and his famous old war-horse "Whitey" had the freedom of the beautiful grassy lawns, and the greatest delight of my life was to be placed on the gentle old charger's back, without saddle or bridle, and sit there while "Old Whitey" grazed, not paying as much attention to me as he would have bestowed upon a fly. From that time until I was fourteen my life was principally spent on horseback. I mean by horseback, the backs of those savage little ponies we called "mustangs" which existed in herds in a wild state in that part of the country in those days. They belonged to the man who could first lasso and put his brand upon them. These ponies were past-masters in the art of bucking, and from their backs I have probably hit the ground in a greater variety of ways than any other man now living, but as my steeds had never been put through a course of the haut école before I mounted them, my horsemanship should not be judged by the number of croppers I have come in my time.

        There are certain events in a child's life which make an impression that time itself cannot efface. One of these is so vivid that, after a lapse of sixty-five years, I can shut my eyes and again see a crowd of men and women standing on the river-bank wildly gesticulating and vowing that they would be revenged upon a band of Seminole Indians


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who were being transported from Florida to the Indian Territory. Their chief, the fatuously cruel "Billy Bowlegs," was with them, and so violent were the people on shore in their threats that the captain of the steamboat did not dare to approach the shore. He was wise, as many in that excitable crowd, myself among the number, had had relatives cruelly tortured and murdered by these same Indians in the Seminole War. My uncle, Bedford Morgan, was one of their victims, having been scalped and his body so horribly mutilated that it was only recognized by the fact that his faithful dog stood guard over it.

        In those days there were still Indians in Louisiana. A band of "Choctaws" lived on the Amite River, a few miles back of Baton Rouge, who used to bring into the town, for sale or barter, their bead- and basket-work and blow-guns made out of cane poles. The arrows of these blow-guns were made of split cane with a tuft of thistle at one end and we boys delighted in the ownership of these long and apparently harmless weapons. I say apparently harmless, but in the hands of an Indian they were very deadly to birds and squirrels. The Indians were wonderful shots with them and at twenty or thirty paces could hit a small silver five-cent piece; always provided they were promised the coin if they hit it.

        I have a vivid recollection of a tragedy which happened in those days which often troubles the dreams of my old age. I was an eye-witness of the blowing-up and destruction by fire of the Princess, the finest steamboat on the Mississippi in those days. The night before the disaster my father and mother had kissed me good-bye and gone on board of an old dismantled steamboat, which answered the purposes of a wharf, to await the arrival of the Princess, as they intended to take passage on her for New Orleans. Early the next morning I went down to the river to find out if they had yet left. The Princess had just drawn out into the stream, and as I stood watching her as


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she glided down-the river a great column of white smoke suddenly went up from her and she burst into flames. She was loaded with cotton. As though by magic the inhabitants of the town gathered at the riverside and in the crowd I spied my brother-in-law, Charles La Noue, in a buggy. He called to me; I jumped in alongside of him and we dashed down the river road in the direction of the burning boat. The road was rough and the horse was fast. The high levee on our right shut out the view of the river, so we could only see the great column of smoke. On our left were the endless fields of sugar cane, with an occasional glimpse of a planter's house set in a grove of pecan trees.

        At last, in a great state of excitement, we arrived at the plantation of Mr. Conrad. "Brother Charlie" jumped out of the vehicle and ran toward the house while I made the horse fast to a tree. I then mounted the levee from where I could see floating cotton bales with people on them; men in skiffs, from both sides of the river, were rescuing the poor terror-stricken creatures and bringing them ashore. From the levee I rushed into the park in front of Mr. Conrad's residence and there saw a sight which can never be effaced from my memory. Mr. Conrad had had sheets laid on the ground amidst the trees and barrels of flour were broken open and the contents poured over the sheets. As fast as the burned and scalded people were pulled out of the river they were seized by the slaves and, while screaming and shrieking with pain and fright, they were forcibly thrown down on the sheets and rolled in the flour. The clothes had been burned off of many of them. Some, in their agony, could not lie still, and, with the white sheets wrapped round them, looking like ghosts, they danced a weird hornpipe while filling the air with their screams. Terrified by the awful and uncanny scene, I hid behind a huge tree so that I should not see it, but no tree could prevent me from hearing those awful cries and curses which echo in my ears even now.


Page 5

        Suddenly, to my horror, one of the white specters, wrapped in a sheet, his disfigured face plastered over with flour, staggered toward my hiding-place, and before I could run away from the hideous object it extended its arms toward me and quietly said, "Don't be afraid, Jimmie. It is me, Mr. Cheatham. I am dying--hold my hand!" And he sank upon the turf beside me. Although dreadfully frightened, I managed between sobs to ask the question uppermost in my mind: "Can you tell me where I can find my father and mother?" The ghostlike man only replied with a cry which seemed to wrench his soul from his body. He shivered for an instant, and then lay still. A slave passing by pointed to the body and casually remarked, "He done dead."

        A Creole negro woman then came running toward me; she was stout and almost out of breath, but was still able to shout out to me in her native patois: "Mo cherche pour toi partout; M'sieur La Noue dit que to vinit toute suite!" When I found "Brother Charlie," he was ministering to the maimed, but found time to tell me that my parents had taken another boat which had stopped at Baton Rouge in the night and thereby had saved their lives. I returned at once to my home, where I was comforted in the strong arms of Katish, my old black nurse.

        Katish was a character whose fame was known far and wide through the little town. She was a strapping big woman who weighed over two hundred pounds, but as active as a young girl. She had been my mother's maid before my mother was married and afterwards had nursed and bossed all of her children. I being the youngest was, of course, her special pet. She ran the establishment to suit my father's and mother's comfort and convenience and ruled the children and the slaves to suit herself; but we all loved her, and no other hand could soothe a fevered child's pillow as could the black hand of Katish. When we were ill she never seemed to sleep, but sat by our bedsides until


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we were well. The nastiest medicine (and there were nasty medicines in those days) lost much of its terrors when administered by Katish.

        Charloe, Katish's husband, was a dried-up, weazened little man of a shiny black complexion; he always insisted that his stature had been stunted when he was a jockey by the horse-trainers putting him on too light a diet and burying him up to his neck in the manure-box for too long a time when it was necessary to reduce his weight sufficiently to ride two-year-old colts. He had been a celebrated jockey in his day when he rode for his then owner, Mr. Duplantier, a planter who amused himself with a race-horse stable. Charloe was my hero, he was a perfect black "Admirable Crichton." It is true that he could neither read nor write, nor did he know a note of music, but many a so-called educated white man envied him his accomplishments. He spoke French, Spanish, and English fluently, and played the violin like a virtuoso. His elegant manners were above criticism. He made beautiful rings and bangles out of tortoise-shell with only his pocket-knife, a round stick, and a pot of hot water for his tools. He was also an adept at making fancy ropes for bridle reins and girths out of horsehair.

        In 1846 Charloe went to Mexico with Dr. Harney, an army surgeon, and brother of General Harney, and remained there until the army came home. Of course if he had wanted his freedom he could have remained in that country where some of the highest aristocrats have a touch of the tar brush in their veins.

        Charloe was very much of a gentleman of leisure. He paid his master a certain sum of money every month and spent his time riding around the country. He was the veterinarian of the town and was very successful in curing horses of all sorts of disease, and probably knew too much about spavined horses and how to fix them up so they would be attractive to the innocent and ignorant would-be


Page 7

purchaser. Besides this he made lots of money training horses for gentlemen and also devoted much of his leisure to catching and breaking wild horses which he sold for good money after he had handled them for a short time and put some style into their gaits. He was a wonder with the lasso and rarely if ever missed catching a horse, and in this sport he was most ably assisted by his horse "Ben," who knew almost as much as Charloe did about the business.

        The slaves had a means of communicating with distant plantations which was always a mystery to their owners. During the Civil War my mother and three of my sisters were refugees in a little Mississippi village, and were with-out money and in danger of starvation, as they could not communicate with my elder brother in New Orleans or with friends in Baton Rouge. But hostile armies and picket lines were not obstacles of much importance to Katish when she wanted to get word to Charloe of the condition of the family--Charloe being in Baton Rouge, within the Union lines, and more than a hundred miles away. Charloe immediately mounted his horse and with-out much difficulty managed to pass through both the Federal and Confederate lines and carried to my mother quite a large sum of real money which he gave to her, and which greatly relieved the distress of the family, especially as my sister, Mrs. La Noue, had a family of little children who were crying for bread. It must be remembered that Charloe was of course a freedman as long as he remained within the Union lines, but knew that he again became a slave when he entered the territory held by the Confederates.

        Until I was thirteen years of age I was the constant companion of Charloe. When I was a baby, mounted on his horse, he would carry me around with him, and I do not remember the time when I first rode a horse by myself. My father was a lawyer with a very large practice, and a


Page 8

very busy man; and my mother was in very delicate health. I was a pupil, or supposed to be one, at Professor Magruder's Academy, the best school in Baton Rouge; but I only attended when it suited my convenience, such as rainy days, or when some interesting game was going on at the school, or when Charloe was not going after the wild horses. Since those days I have hunted the wily fox with the "Pytchley" in England, and with Alfred and Burnett Rhett and Frank Trenholm and Colonel Tom Taylor in South Carolina, but in my opinion fox-hunting is tame sport in comparison with the chase after wild horses.

        Under Charloe's tuition I learned to throw the lasso, and if it was an easy chance he always allowed me to throw first; but I had no fear of the result, for if I missed I knew that I would hear the swish of Charloe's rope which with deadly accuracy would land its loop over the head of the poor terrified beast which had never before felt the power of man. I remember vividly once, when we had turned a herd of horses from a swamp for which they were headed, how they dashed into a canebrake, the cane poles being from ten to fifteen feet high and almost as close together as the fingers on one's hand. The wild horses smashed their way through and we followed closely at their heels holding the nooses of our lassos in one hand and our reins in the other while our heads were busily engaged in dodging the muscadine vines which hung in festoons from the great trees which grew among the canes. Suddenly we came crashing into an old clearing. Charloe was just ahead of me and this was his opportunity. Instantly his lasso commenced to describe graceful circles over his head, and having selected his victim the loop shot out of his hand and straight as an arrow sailed away. The loop expanded and like a hawk ready to strike, it hovered for an instant over the frightened animal's head. It was impossible for the poor creature to dodge it, and it settled around his neck.


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Now came "Ben's" part in the performance, and he knew as much about the game as his rider did. He was going at breakneck speed, but the instant the noose left Charloe's hand, stiff-legged, he planted both front feet in the soft ground and as soon as he had stopped his momentum he reared up and swung himself around. Ben knew that the end of that lasso was made fast to the pommel of his saddle and unless he took the strain down his spinal column he would be jerked onto his nose. As it was, it was the other horse that turned a summersault as the rope checked his wild career, and before he could regain his feet Charloe was on the ground and had deftly tied them. He was then quickly blindfolded and a bridle without bit, but with a tight-fitting halter to keep him from biting, it was called a "bosal"--and prevented the animal from opening his jaws,--was fitted to him. Then his feet were untied and he was made to stand up, still blindfolded. My saddle was then cinched with a hair girth onto him, and I mounted. Charloe then suddenly jerked the cloth from the pony's eyes and the fun commenced. The animal was dazed for a moment and then he reached his head around and tried to bite my foot. Finding it impossible to do so, he lowered his head until it was between his forelegs, at the same time arching his back, and leaped straight up into the air landing on the ground stiff-legged, and followed this performance up with a series of bucks both forward, backward, and sideways, until I though he never would have done. I had to stay there until he gave up, for if once he had got rid of me he would have become a confirmed bucker and would have tried to get rid of his rider in that way ever afterwards. These mustang ponies had innately every conceivable horse vice such as bucking, biting, pawing, and kicking, besides being endowed with a good memory. When the pony was exhausted he gave up, and I, also weary, was glad to dismount. When the ordeal was over, Charloe simply said, "Bien, très bien." "Praise from


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Sir Hubert was praise indeed," and I felt immensely pleased at Charloe's approval of my horsemanship. Scenes like this constituted my school of equitation, so it was not extraordinary that years afterwards I succeeded in astonishing the Bedouins in Egypt with some of my feats.


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CHAPTER II

Unlucky in love--The home of a Louisiana aristocrat--Hospitality and lengthy visits--The sugar-house--Appointed a midshipman--The only Southern man who could not whip ten Yankees--Religious mania--Fortress Monroe--Mexican pulque.

        I HAD other pleasures besides chasing wild horses. I used to delight in going to beautiful Lynwood, the plantation of General Carter in the parish of East Feliciana, and some twenty miles from Baton Rouge. Howell Carter, one of the general's sons, was near my own age and we were great friends, and Howell had a beautiful sister whom I adored: the fact that she was a young lady in society made no difference to me. She acknowledged that I was her sweetheart and it was heaven for me to stand by the piano while she sang for me; and besides, my favorite brother, Gibbes, some ten years my senior, approved of my choice and complimented my good taste. One day Gibbes and Lydia Carter got married and it took me a long time to recover from the effects of their treachery. Gibbes was the last man I would have suspected of being my rival.

        I also used to spend a great deal of time at the Hope Estate Plantation, about four miles below Baton Rouge. Colonel Philip Hicky, its owner, was the most elegant and the grandest old gentleman I ever knew. He was a man of great wealth and unbounded hospitality. He was tall, slim, and straight, and his manner was most courtly. His welcome to a guest, whether self-invited or not, made the recipient feel very much at home as well as good all over. He was a patriarch of the olden time and lived with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren around him. The old plantation house seemed to be made of india rubber. There was always room for a few more. I have sat at his table when with his family and guests more than thirty


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people sat down to dinner and this was not an unusual occasion, but a thing that happened nearly every day, as his home was convenient to the town and all of his acquaintances knew they would receive a warm welcome if they took a ride and dropped in to dinner. I knew a lady who paid a visit to Hope Estate which lasted for more than fifteen years, and of a gentleman who paid a call one morning when he was a very young man and never left until his hair was white and the old colonel had been dead for some years.

        One of my father's brothers and one of my mother's brothers had married daughters of Colonel Hicky, and their children and the other grandchildren ranged in years from young gentlemen and ladies old enough to go into society, to boys and girls of my own age. There was a herd of horses which roamed about the great pasture and every child had his mount--the young ladies and gentlemen of the family disdained mustang ponies and possessed highly bred Kentucky saddlers. The great event of the year at Hope Estate was when the sugar-making season arrived. Then all was life and bustle: the fires were lighted and the open kettles of cane juice began to boil while the slaves feeding cane to the carrier which carried it to the great iron rollers would burst into song. The sugar-house was some distance from the residence and when night came the young people and their guests would mount their horses and proceed there to eat colon (taffy) and drink vin de cane (sugar-cane juice) into which some of the older people would put a little spirits if they felt so disposed. With the glare of the furnaces and of the torches around the carrier, it was a pretty picture and of course the young people danced--they always did in the South in those days when two or three boys and girls got together. Toward midnight a start for home was in order. We boys always got off ahead of the older people. The narrow road lay between fields of tall waving and rustling cane calculated in


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the night to make highly imaginative young people feel creepy. As we approached a certain bridge over a small draining canal, every boy knew what was coming and sat closer to his saddle as he took a fresh and stronger grip with his knees. As the leader's horse's feet touched the bridge his rider would give a whoop and cry, "Runaway nigger!" and in would go the spurs and there would be a wild race for the house, each boy pretending to be frightened to death, although we all knew that such a thing as a "runaway nigger" had never been seen in that part of the country. Slaves there were treated like human beings, and the threat to sell one would tame the most refractory negro on the place.

        Some of the sugar planters in the neighborhood of Baton Rouge were mean enough to object to the town boys devasting their sugar-cane fields. It certainly was marvelous to see how many stalks of cane a small boy could devour. There was a Mr. Hall who owned a large plantation which commenced at the town limits, and on the line he planted early and told the boys that that particular sugar-cane was for them, but such is the contrariness of boys that we never touched it, preferring to raid the fields of planters who promised to do all kinds of things to us if they caught us on their grounds.

        It was amidst such scenes as I have tried to describe that my life was spent until I arrived at the age of fourteen, when one day Mr. Edouard Bouligny, a member of Congress, offered me an appointment as a midshipman. I naturally became wild with excitement, for as I had never seen blue water, I longed for a life on the ocean wave. The only unpleasant prospect was that it was impressed upon me that I would have to attend school regularly and study hard to prepare myself for the examination for admission into the United States Naval Academy. Besides my backwardness in my school work another difficulty which was suggested was my size, as I was small for my age; but it


Page 14

turned out that in those days smallness of stature was not taken in to consideration if a boy could stand the examinations. So I turned over a new leaf and attended school and studied conscientiously until one day a difference of opinion arose between Mr. Parsons, a six-foot Yankee teacher, and myself. I felt a sudden desire to lick him, an to want and to have, with me, in those days were synonymous terms, so I sailed in with the intention of gratifying my longing. Gee! What that Yankee school-teacher did not do to me is not worth relating. Fortunately for my self-respect I had not then heard the expression which, became so popular in the South a year or two later,--"One Southern man can whip ten Yankees,"--but I decided that Magruder's Academy was no place for a gentleman and an officer, in futuro, so I severed my connection with it on the spot.

        My elder brother, Judge Morgan, then took a hand in the game and came to Baton Rouge from New Orleans and carried me off to a school managed by a Mr. McNair, and situated in a forest of gigantic yellow pine trees, the nearest inhabited place being the little village of Amite, about sixty miles from New Orleans. One would imagine that this was the ideal place for undisturbed study, but it was not. It was the most melancholy place I was ever in, especially when night came. The sighing and moaning of the big pine trees when the wind blew, and the deathly stillness, only broken by the sad notes of the whippoorwills, when it was calm, were enough to have given any one the creeps--especially a boy who had never before been away from home.

        Everything at the school went on like clockwork, and the hundred or more boys seemed contented until one day a very popular boy returned from his home, where he had been to attend a funeral, and where he had also "got religion" (of the virulent Mississippi type) at a camp-meeting. He at once proceeded to inaugurate prayer meetings. There


Page 15

was a huge pine tree a little way from the schoolhouse and the ground at its base was thickly carpeted by pine needles. They were convenient, clean, and soft, and one could kneel upon them with comfort. At first only two or three boys, religiously inclined, joined him; but soon the number increased so rapidly that other trees had to be requisitioned, and then rivalry commenced as to which of the little congregations could exhibit the best prayer-maker. Finally, with one exception (myself), every boy in the school was taken with religious mania which spread amongst the assistant teachers. Mr. McNair at first tried to moderate the enthusiasm, but soon fell a victim to the contagion. Every boy wanted to lead in prayer and quarrels soon arose as to who could offer up the most eloquent one. Study hours and recitations were alike forgotten--even the meals were postponed until some boy could finish telling the good Lord his woes. In the morning we would assemble in the schoolroom at the usual hour and of course the routine of the day would commence by Mr. McNair reading a chapter of the Bible and offering up a prayer; then, instead of proceeding with the lessons, one boy after another would rise in his place and recount his religious experience. There was a remarkable resemblance in these experiences which consisted chiefly in the boys telling their audience what fearful sinners their parents and elder brothers and sisters were, and how pure, perfect, and holy they themselves had become since, single-handed, they had come off victorious in a fierce conflict with the Devil, captured glory, and become one of the elect. This sort of thing went on all day and far into the night. Of course it could not go on forever, and the news soon spread far and wide that McNair's whole school had gone crazy.

        Parents came from every direction. The storm was about to burst and break up the school. I was the first to be struck by the lightning. I was sitting at my desk listening to one of the very best of the young exhorters, who was eloquently


Page 16

describing the imaginary crimes of which his fond mother was guilty, and unfolding his plan of campaign by which he hoped to save her from the claws of the Devil and reform her at the same time, when a hand the size of a small ham seized me by the back of the neck and awoke me from my trance. I jumped to my feet and squirmed around to find myself in front of the gigantic form of my brother, Judge Philip Hicky Morgan, his handsome face purple with rage. "You come with me, sir!" he fairly bellowed, and I never got out of any place so quickly before that I can remember of.

        Accompanied by Judge Morgan's wife and her little children, I was put on board of a steamship at New Orleans bound for New York and from there sent to Rutland, Vermont, where it was proposed to put me at school, but with vivid memories of the thrashing Mr. Parsons had given me I did not intend to take any more chances with a Yankee school-teacher, so I flatly refused to go. In despair, my sister-in-law sent me to my eldest sister, the wife of Lieutenant Drum, he being then the adjutant at Fortress Monroe.

        The gayety of "Old Point Comfort" and the dancing morn, noon, and night at the hotel, combined with the brilliant uniforms of the officers and the military drills and parades, suited my taste exactly, and I thought I had at last found the life I wanted to live. But Lieutenant Drum had different views. He put me through an examination and found me woefully wanting, and without so much as consulting me, he determined that I should not fail at Annapolis. He elected himself chief school-teacher, bought the necessary books, and insisted that I should spend a certain number of hours every day at my studies while he superintended them. One day it was hot and uncomfortable, and a contrary problem would not come out right and I was cross. Lieutenant Drum was a stubborn man and insisted that I should keep at it. I lost my temper and


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threw the book at him and for my pains got an awfully good thrashing. Think of it! The war had not yet commenced and here within a year I had twice been thoroughly licked by two Yankees. Thank Heaven, I had not as yet met the other eight that were to make up the ten I was shortly afterwards expected to whip.

        While I was at Fortress Monroe the sloop-of-war Plymouth, the Annapolis practice ship, arrived with the mid-shipmen on board. They had just returned from their annual cruise and I went fairly wild about them, especially as some of them condescended to notice me after they learned that I had prospects of becoming one of their number. I almost felt grateful to Lieutenant Drum for that thrashing which had had a remarkable effect in developing my genius for mathematics.

        Shortly after the Plymouth left, the steam sloop-of-war Brooklyn, commanded by Commander, afterwards Admiral, David G. Farragut, arrived. She was just about to start on what was known as the "Cheriqui Expedition" for the purpose of finding a new route for a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. The army officers in the Fort entertained the officers of the ship and the officers of the Brooklyn returned the compliment by giving a reception on board. My sister insisted on my accompanying her, but I did not want to go. The midshipmen on the Plymouth had told me a lot about naval commanders and lieutenants, and I already regarded them as the natural enemies of midshipmen. However, I was told that Commander Farragut had his son Loyal, a boy of about my own age, on board, and I was finally persuaded to go. My sister introduced me to Commander Farragut and the great man, when he was told that I had an appointment to Annapolis, unbent somewhat and asked me what I intended to bring my sister when I returned from my first cruise. Now, as ill luck would have it, my sister greatly admired lapis-lazuli stones and I blurted out, "I am going to bring her a


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set of lapsus linguæ, sir!" There was a roar of laughter amidst which I made my escape. I knew I had made a bad break, but what it was exactly I did not understand. All the same I felt awfully mortified. Years afterwards I had the honor of meeting the great admiral and to my astonishment and confusion he asked me if I had ever procured that set of lapsus linguæ for my sister.

        While at Fortress Munroe I saw an interesting test of a piece of ordnance, the "Sawyer" gun, the first rifled cannon invented in the United States. The gun was mounted outside of the Fort on the beach. The officers had little confidence in it and every precaution was taken to avoid accidents. Lieutenant Drum and I stood by a shed some fifty yards away. The gun was fired and exploded--one half of the breech going up into the air; coming down it struck the weatherboarding just over our heads and fortunately glanced inside instead of outside the shed where we were standing.

        The Honorable Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, who was Secretary of the Interior in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet, came to Old Point one day and Colonel Dimmick, who was in command, called on him at the Hygeia Hotel. Mr. Thompson was not in. Mr. Thompson returned the visit, when, unfortunately, the colonel was out driving. Neither man had ever seen the other. Colonel Dimmick then sent his adjutant to tender a review to the Secretary for the next morning. The secretary was so late in appearing on the parade-ground that the colonel, losing patience, detailed an officer to meet Mr. Thompson when he should arrive, saying that as soon as Mr. Thompson was in position, he, the colonel, would lead the regiment past.

        The Fourth Artillery, which garrisoned the Fort, possessed a drum major of whom they were very proud. He was nearly seven feet tall, and with his great bearskin bonnet he looked like one of the giants one reads about in fairy tales, and his strut and the deftness with which he


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twirled his gilt baton were inimitable. The dignified commanding officer was rather small in stature and not at all an imposing figure in comparison with his drum major. As Mr. Thompson took up his position, the band commenced to play and the regiment moved like clockwork behind it. Arriving in front of the secretary the drum major sent his baton into the air, and catching it as it descended he made it whirl several times and suddenly landed it under his left arm, his fight hand simultaneously, like that of a mechanical man, going to his forehead in salute. Mr. Thompson lifted his hat and then fairly swept the ground with it. After the band came little Colonel Dimmick, who with graceful precision saluted with his sword, but by that time the secretary had recovered his equilibrium from his low bow to the drum major and with his arms folded across his swelled chest gazed indifferently at the commanding officer and took no further notice of him. After the review he was introduced to the colonel, and remarked, "I always thought the captain walked at the head of his troops!"

        There was in the Fourth Artillery a number of officers who were veterans of the Mexican War. One of them had but one arm. It seems that in those days they did not retire an officer on account of the loss of an arm if he was capable of attending to his duties. One evening a dreadful contretemps happened. It was at the wedding festivities of the colonel's daughter. The wedding ceremony was over and the guests thronged into the banquet hall, when Lieutenant Drum produced three bottles of Mexican pulque. The bottles were carefully corked and sealed, and the lieutenant had himself filled them and brought them home after the evacuation of Mexico some thirteen years previously. The younger officers were told that only Mexican veterans could appreciate pulque, and therefore they were not to be permitted to taste of the nectar, as there was so little of it. Three of the veterans procured three corkscrews


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and simultaneously pulled the corks. Suddenly people began to sniff as though they had smelt something. They had--there was a sauve qui peut from the supper-room and the remainder of the function had to be carried on in the grounds outside the house. Mr. Drum and his brother veterans had forgotten that pulque could only be drunk when fresh from the plant and that in a few hours after it was gathered it became putrid. Any one who has ever passed down a street in the City of Mexico, where pulque shops exist, and smelt the foul odors that burden the air can sympathize with the merry-makers at the wedding.


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CHAPTER III

Annapolis--"Old Ironsides"--The habit of command--Show remarkable leniency toward the midshipman's hereditary enemies, the commandant and lieutenants--The "brood of the Constitution"--"Bill Pip," our first hero--Other heroes--Skating on thin ice--The bilged--Secession.

        IN September, 1860, I went to Annapolis and presented myself before the Board of Examiners for admittance. The dignity and solemnity of the officers who, arrayed in their uniforms with their swords beside them, sat at a long table, caused me to have a slight attack of stage fright; but the ordeal was soon over and I was allowed to go out in the fresh air in utter ignorance as to whether I had passed successfully or not. My mind, however, was soon relieved by Lieutenant Scott, who passing by said to me, "Youngster, you are all right."

        The historical frigate Constitution ("Old Ironsides") had recently been fitted out as a schoolship and lay at anchor in the Severn River. I was directed to go on board of her and found on her deck a number of other boys as green as myself. Things went very easily at first, as we had nothing to do besides loafing about the decks and wondering at the strangeness of our surroundings. We had no wants, unless it was a longing for the cute little jackets with the brass buttons and the beautiful gold anchors on the lapels of the turned down collars. The captain and the lieutenants were just too sweet for anything, answering our fool questions as though their one object in life was to please us. But we were ungrateful and took much more interest in the boatswain's mates; and the old gray-haired sailors who kept the ship clean and spun yarns. The sailors first initiated us in the mysteries of getting our hammocks ready and how to swing them on the berth deck, and also how to lash them up in the morning when we "turned out" preparatory to


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stowing them snugly in the hammock nettings. Everything was going on pleasantly until one day, to our great delight, our uniforms arrived; they were so pretty that it seemed a pity they should make such a difference in our happy lives, but such was the fact. We had no sooner got into our regulation togs than a great change in the demeanor of everybody else seemed to take place. Those affable and chummy lieutenants who an hour before had treated us almost as equals, even condescending to joke with us, now stood on their dignity, and if they spoke at all it was to give an order or a reproof. The old sailors gravely saluted us as they passed, but they would not stop for a little conversation. I wondered what we had done to deserve such treatment, but I was not long in finding out. With the uniform I had come under naval discipline; and it was extraordinary how those soft-spoken lieutenants licked us into shape. I, who had never obeyed anybody, within less than a week would jump as though I was shot when one of them would give me an order. The routine of the ship had commenced in earnest--reveille, dress (and woe betide him who had lost a button or whose shoestring was not properly tied), lash the hammocks, carry them up to the spar deck and stow them neatly in the nettings; breakfast; recitation; drill at the great guns; recitation; infantry drill; recitation; cutlass exercise; recitation; dinner; recitation; boat drill, or loosing, reefing, or furling sail. After supper were the study hours until nine o'clock, and then, after slinging our hammocks, discipline was suspended and we were allowed half an hour to skylark and have a little rough house--which would always be interrupted, as taps sounded, by the hoarse voice of the master-at-arms bellowing, "Silence, fore and aft, gentlemen!"

        My young sisters at home were constantly, at this time, writing me letters filled with good advice and begging me to control my temper and to be kind to those nice navy officers, samples of whom they had met only at cotillions, and little


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did they dream how those so gentle and elegant gentlemen could on occasion roar like bulls of Bashan and scare a midshipman out of seven years' growth. They also implored me not to get frisky and try to lasso the commandant of midshipmen. To those who knew the late Rear Admiral C. R. P. Rodgers, that embodiment of dignity and elegance, I need not say that I followed my sisters' advice.

        The drill I most enjoyed was when we were exercised aloft making and furling sail. The masts of the old frigate were very tall, and when the officer of the deck through his speaking-trumpet would give the order, "All hands make sail!" we would rush to our stations and stand close to the rails anxious and impatient as young race-horses at the starting barrier. At the order, "Aloft, t'gallant and royal yardmen!" "Aloft, topmen!" "Aloft, lower yardmen!" we would spring into the shrouds, and hardly touching the ratlines with our twinkling feet, a perfect stream of midshipmen would dash up to the highest yards decreasing in numbers on the shrouds as they reached their stations. Then they would step on to the foot ropes and crowd as closely as possible to the mast until the order was given to "lay out and loose!" when they would go out on the yardarms and cast off the gaskets. Then would come the orders in rapid succession, "Let fall!" "Sheet home!" "Lay in!" "Lay down from aloft!"--when as though by magic the bare poles would be hidden by her snow-white canvas from her trucks to her deck, and the midshipmen, helter-skelter, would come jumping from ratline to ratline until they reached the deck, while some of the more venturesome would leap to a backstay and slide down with fearful velocity.

        They were a gay and reckless set of boys, but the "Brood of the Constitution" will be remembered as long as history is written. It is true that at that time we only had one hero amongst us, that we knew of,--but others developed later. Our hero at the time was a red-headed, freckle-faced,


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loose-jointed, slabsided, tail, and lanky youth from the muleiest regions of Missouri. He first appeared on the deck of the Constitution dressed in coarse and baggy clothes set off by a huge green cravat tied in a monstrous bow-knot. He gazed around the deck in a supercilious sort of way, walked over to a hatchway, and leaned against a windsail that was ventilating the berth deck, with the result that he almost instantaneously found himself three decks below where he thought he was. We thought he had been killed, but his long arms, which he had thrown around the wind sail, saved him, as he had only slid the distance rather rapidly. Coming on deck he informed us that he had "slid down three stories." He introduced himself by saying that his name was William Pipkin, but that they always called him "Bill Pip" at home for short, and that he would be just as well pleased if we called him that, as he was more accustomed to it. Needless to say, we accommodated him. He took a plug of tobacco out of his pocket, cut off a big hunk which he placed in his mouth, and then generously offered the exquisite and elegant officer of the deck, Lieutenant Robert Wainwright Scott, a chew, which was declined with a savage glare that would have caused heart failure in any of the rest of us, but which did not faze "Bill Pip." Shortly after he had got into a uniform some ladies, among them the wives of some of the officers, visited the ship and remained aboard rather late. It was getting dark when they made a move to go ashore, and one of them expressed herself as being a little nervous about the long walk after reaching the shore. The gallant Lieutenant Upshur, who was the executive officer of the ship, said that he was sure any one of a number of midshipmen who were standing near would be delighted to accompany them, and unfortunately, for him, he called "Bill Pip," who was the tallest of the lot, and said, "Mr. Pipkin, I am sure you will be glad to escort these ladies." To the lieutenant's horror and amazement, the lanky boy replied, "I am very sorry,


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Mr. Upshur, but the last thing my mother said to me when I left home was, 'Bill Pip, you keep away from the women!'"

        But who can foretell what a boy will turn out to be? "Bill Pip" resigned at the outbreak of the Civil War and went South. He did not like the navy and refused an appointment in that of the Confederacy. He enlisted in the army as a private, but the navy still pursued him. He was one of a number of artillerymen detailed to fill the complement of the Arkansas's crew and was in that vessel when she ran through the ironclad fleet above Vicksburg and the wooden sloops-of-war of Admiral Farragut's fleet below that city. "Bill Pip" by his own gallantry and merits rose to the rank of full colonel in the army, and after the war went into business, amassed a fortune, and died a millionaire!

        Although we were unaware of the fact at the time there were other heroes on that historical deck where Bainbridge, Hull, and Charles Stewart, to say nothing of "Bill Pip," had won fame, and when the two big hawsers were stretched from the forecastle to the sacred quarter deck, which we looked upon as holy ground, and the boatswain and his mates took charge of the class to teach us how to tie sailor knots, the old white-headed captain of the maintop, if he had looked down upon those two lines of midshipmen who with short lengths of rope yarn and ratline were being taught the difference between a square knot and a "granny," would have seen, among others who afterwards won fame, fifteen boys who were to become rear admirals--Charles E. Clark, who brought the Oregon around the continent at the outbreak of the Spanish War; Francis A. Cook, who was to command Commodore Schley's flagship, the Brooklyn; Robley D. Evans ("Fighting Bob"), who was to command the Iowa; and Harry Taylor, of the Indiana. These were the heaviest ships of Admiral Sampson's fleet when they destroyed the Spanish squadron at Santiago. He would also have seen standing there Gridley, who was to command


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Admiral Dewey's flagship, the Olympia; Frank Wildes, of the Baltimore, and jolly Joe Coghlan, of the Raleigh, the three biggest ships of our fleet when they won the victory at Manila. He could also have seen Sigsbee, who commanded the unfortunate Maine when she was destroyed in the harbor of Havana; Colby M. Chester, who was to command a small squadron which was to make it possible for our army to take possession of Porto Rico; Crowninshield, who was to be chief of the Bureau of Navigation during the Spanish War; and Dick Leary, who fired the last shot in that campaign. Nearly all of the Northern boys were to serve during the latter part of the Civil War and participate in the assaults on Fort Fisher and Fort Morgan.

        Among the Southerners O. A. Brown was to serve on the Confederate cruiser Shenandoah, the ship that went on destroying whalers for months after the war was over in blissful ignorance of the fact that the Southern Confederacy had ceased to exist. George Bryan, who was to be in the C.S. cruiser Florida; Berrien who was to be in the C.S.S. Chickamauga; and Long, who was to be both in the Merrimac in her fights in Hampton Roads and in the Albemarle when she fought a flotilla of gunboats in Albemarle Sound; Handsome Wyndham Mayo, who after brilliant service in the Confederacy behaved with such conspicuous bravery and showed so much ability when a passenger steamer which he commanded after the war was burned in Chesapeake Bay. And then there were also Gardner and Goodwyn, who were promoted for gallantry to lieutenancies when they took part in a small boat expedition which boarded and carried the U.S. gunboats Resolute and Satellite in the Rappahanock River. Besides these there were many others who gallantly served in the gunboats and naval batteries of the Confederacy. The "Brood of the Constitution" surely contained a lot of good fighting material.

        Lieutenant Commanding George W. Rodgers was the captain of the Constitution. He was the idol of the midshipmen.


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He was afterwards killed at an assault on Fort Sumter when in command of the U.S. monitor Katskill. He was a strict disciplinarian with very gentle manners; all the same, the most refractory midshipman did not care to be haled before him on any charge whatsoever. On Saturday nights we frequently had dances which we called "hops"--on board the frigate, and many of the belles of Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington used to attend them just as they do in this day and generation. The berth deck would be decorated with flags and the Academy band furnished the music.

        Occasionally we had a little excitement on board of "Old Ironsides." One day "Fighting Bob" Evans, not known by that sobriquet in those days, gave us a thriller. Two boys, one big and the other small, had an altercation. Bob had nothing to do with it, but con amore proposed to the big boy that he would help the little one lick him. The little boy like a goose said that he did not want anybody to help him, that he would cut his antagonist with a knife if he was touched. An officer passing by heard the remark, and thinking that it was Evans who made it, promptly put him under arrest and marched him to the captain's cabin, and preferred the charge against him. Under the midshipmen's code poor Bob could not squeal on his comrade.

        Captain Rodgers arose from his seat. His wrath was majestic--"And so, sir!" he said to Evans, "you propose to raise a mutiny on board of my ship. I will let you know, sir, that a midshipman has hung to a yardarm for mutiny before this, and you dare try to raise one and I will hang you!" And turning to the officer said, "Confine him below." To one ignorant of the annals of the service this hanging business would have sounded like an empty threat, but it must be remembered that the hanging of Midshipman Spencer, son of the Secretary of War, on board of the brig Summers was at that time an affair of comparatively recent date, and worse than that the captain of the Summers,


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Alexander Slidell McKensie, was a "Rodgers," and Bob did not know but what the hanging of midshipmen ran in the blood.

        The wardroom of the old frigate was away down below the water line and the after staterooms were as dark as Erebus. Bob was confined in the darkest of them. He stood it for about twenty minutes and then requested that he should be allowed to write a letter. Permission being granted, he was taken into the light, and pen, ink, and paper furnished him, and this, according to the story which filtered down to us midshipmen, was the letter he wrote to his uncle, a lawyer in Washington:--

MY DEAR UNCLE: -

        I have committed mutiny and they are going to hang me. If you want to see me again come quickly to your affectionate nephew,

        

ROBLEY D. EVANS.

        Poor little Bob, he was only fourteen years of age and of very small stature for his years.

        The winter of 1860-61 was a very cold one to me. I had once seen a snow flurry at home, but I had never before seen a large body of water like the Severn River frozen over. The Northern boys were delighted and at once begged permission to go skating. Seeing them gracefully skimming over the ice like so many swallows was fascinating to me, and I could not resist the desire to join them; so procuring a pair of skates, with many doubts I too went upon the ice. We had gone ashore and walked some distance up the river to a place the higher authorities thought safe, and the master-at-arms patroled the river-bank to afford assistance in case of need. I had proceeded only a short distance from the shore when suddenly both feet went skyward and the back of my head hit the hard ice and the force of my fall let me crash through it. The depth of the water was over my head and I was weighted with a heavy regulation overcoat,


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but I could swim and dive almost as well as the average alligator of my native bayous. I came up under solid ice and then went down again and was fortunate enough to find the hole I had come through. I tried to climb up on the ice, but it would break as fast as I put my weight on it. Slowly but surely I thus broke my way toward the shore and soon found myself in water that barely reached up to my armpits. Seeing me standing on hard bottom the master-at-arms suddenly determined to do the great life-saving act and came crashing through the ice and seized me by the arm. I was escorted to the ship in disgrace and reprimanded by the officer in charge for having gone on the ice without informing any one that I did not know how to skate. The master-at-arms, who had seen my life-and-death struggle from the river-bank and who had done nothing to help me until I was safely standing on the bottom, and there was no further danger in coming to my assistance than getting the legs of his trousers damp, was showered with compliments and congratulated as a life-saver by the higher officers (who had not seen the incident), much to the amusement of the midshipmen who had been on the ice, many of whom had really risked their lives in their endeavors to get near me.

        In February the time for our first dreaded examination arrived and there was intense excitement in our little floating world. Some forty-odd of our class "bilged," which in midshipman parlance means that they were found deficient in their studies, the result of which was that they received polite letters from the Secretary of the Navy informing them that if they would send him their resignations he would be pleased to accept them at once. These acceptances arrived promptly, and through some misunderstanding were handed to the unfortunate boys before arrangements for their departure had been completed, and of course there ensued a most extraordinary state of affairs. Here were some forty-odd young civilians suddenly freed


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from the yoke of naval discipline and detained on board a man-of-war where every movement was regulated by orders. Naturally it was not long before pandemonium broke loose. As long as the "bilged" saw the officers around, the training they had received in the last few months kept them in order; but when night came and two bells (nine o'clock) were struck and the hammocks were slung, the usual rough play on the berth deck became almost a riot.

        To separate the goats from the sheep the "bilged" were directed to sling their hammocks as far forward as possible instead of on their customary hooks. When taps sounded and the gruff voice of the master-at-arms bellowed his usual warning of "Gentlemen! Silence, fore and aft!" the almost sacred order was received with derisive shouts of laughter from forward. The petty officer repeated the order, which we all well knew emanated from higher authority. There was an ominous silence as the master-at-arms retired up the hatchway. Then suddenly, by some ingenious device of the "goats" at the order, "Let fall!" a whole row of hammocks occupied by "sheep" came down with a crash, emptying their contents, midshipmen, blankets, and mattresses, in indescribable confusion on to the deck. Man is so near akin to monkeys that, as Rochefoucauld said, "We even take a certain amount of pleasure in the very misfortunes of our friends"; and all the boys who had escaped the disaster burst into roars of laughter which were quickly hushed by the arrival of a lieutenant on the scene. The hammocks were reslung and for a few minutes after the officer's disappearance from the scene there was silence again. We were just dozing off when the sound of a giggle coming from forward made us sit up and take notice. The order to keep silence was again given and received with laughter. This brought Lieutenant, now Admiral, John H. Upshur, the executive officer, on the scene. He ordered silence again and a "goat" answered him with a "tee-hee." The lieutenant walked a little way further forward, stooping


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as he went to avoid the hammocks overhead, and repeated his command. which was received with a chorus of "ha-ha's." When the young demons had enticed him as far forward as they wanted him, they commenced to roll thirty-two-pound round shot down that inclined deck. The lieutenant manfully stood his ground for a moment, but the improvised ten-pin balls came faster than he could skip over them and he had to take refuge on the hatchway steps. "Beat to quarters!" he fairly roared, and to the accompaniment of the "long roll" of the drums we jumped into our clothes and tumbled up on deck, where we took our stations at the guns; but not for long, for we were marched down to the main deck and there made to toe a seam and stand at "attention." Such was the habit of discipline that the "goats," forgetting that they were free, accompanied us.

        The suave and elegant lieutenant in charge ordered a wardroom boy to bring him a table, a chair. a newspaper, and a hot cup of coffee, and made himself comfortable. After what seemed to me an interminable time the deadly silence was broken by the officer saying that if the gentlemen who had made the disturbance would step forward he would gladly let the rest of us "turn in." He just said that for form's sake, as no one knew better than he did that the traditions of the Naval Academy did not allow a midshipman to "squeal" under any circumstances--and the hours dragged along. At last, becoming desperate, some of the fighting men of the class asked permission to leave the ranks, which was granted, as the lieutenant had been a midshipman himself and knew what was coming as well as the boys did. These fellows went to the guilty parties and intimated to them that there would be some black eyes to carry home if they did not confess and let the rest of us have some rest. The hint acted like a charm, and one after another of the newly made civilians stepped forward. It was then so nearly time for reveille that it was hardly worth


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while for us to go to sleep again, but we had the satisfaction of seeing a very seedy-looking set of civilians go over the side the next morning as they bade farewell forever to a naval career.

        Occasionally we were taken ashore for infantry drill with the battalion composed of the "oldsters" who lived in the old Academy buildings. The Professor of Infantry Tactics was Major Lockwood, a gallant officer who afterwards became a brigadier-general in the Union Army. Major Lockwood unfortunately stammered and once the battalion got facetious with him. He had instructed them that they must never make a motion to obey an order until they heard the last sound of the command. He was in front of the battalion holding the hilt of his sword in his right hand and the end of the blade in his left. He gave the order to march all right, and then he gave the order to charge while he was walking backward intending to halt them when they got near him, but a fit of stammering came over him and he could only say "Ha-Ha-Ha-!" and before he could finish the word the midshipmen had run over him and also over the sea-wall and into the water, guns, uniforms, and all. Of course for the moment there was a great deal of hilarity, but unfortunately those intelligent navy officers know an antidote for every prank a midshipman can conceive.

        By the end of 1860 a dark cloud had settled over our spirits and we no longer spent our few moments of leisure in skylarking, but instead discussed the burning question of secession. We did not know anything about its merits, but conceived the idea that each State was to compose a separate nation. Harry Taylor, afterwards rear admiral, who was from the District of Columbia, said that he was going with New York because that State had more commerce than any other one, and necessarily would have the biggest navy. He was promptly called down by being informed that no one would be allowed to join any State except the one he was born in,--and he was further humiliated


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by a much-traveled boy who asserted that he had been in Washington and that the District of Columbia had only one little steamboat out of which to make a navy and that one ran between Washington and Acquia Creek and that she was rotten. Personally, I was insulted by being informed that Louisiana had been purchased by the money of the other States just as a man buys a farm, and that therefore she had no right to secede. This was said in retort after I had made the boast that by rights many of the States belonged to Louisiana. So the wrangle went on day after day until the news came that South Carolina had in reality seceded and the boys from that State promptly resigned and went home. Then followed the news of the firing on Fort Sumter. The rest of the lads from the South resigned as rapidly as they could get permission from home to do so--I among the rest.

        I passed over the side of the old Constitution and out of the United States Navy with a big lump in my throat which I vainly endeavored to swallow, for I had many very dear friends among the Northern boys--in fact, affectionate friendships, some interrupted by death, but a few others which have lasted for more than half a century. To my surprise my captain, George Rodgers, accompanied me ashore and to the railway station, telling me, as I walked beside him, that the trouble would end in a few weeks and that I had made a great mistake, but that even then it was not too late if I would ask to withdraw my resignation.

        As we passed through the old gate opening into the town, the gate which I was not to pass through again until my head was white, fifty years afterwards, and as we walked along the street, Captain Rodgers kindly took my hand in his, and then for the first time I realized that I was no longer in the navy, but only a common and very unhappy little boy. But the Confederacy was calling me and I marched firmly on. That call seemed much louder at Annapolis than it did after I reached my native land.


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CHAPTER IV

Out of the United States Navy--Complete disguise--Captain Maynadier, U.S.A.--Passing through the Union and Confederate lines--Senator Wigfall and President Andrew Johnson--Montgomery, Alabama--President Jefferson Davis and Judah P. Benjamin--Tender services and sword to the Confederacy--Declined with thanks--The "Marseillaise."

        AT that time I was very small for my age (fifteen)--so small, in fact, that I was dubbed "Little" Morgan, which nickname has stuck to me to this day despite my five feet nine and a quarter inches in height and over two hundred pounds weight. With as much dignity as my size at the time would permit of my assuming, I took my seat in the car and started for Washington. Then I commenced to size up the situation. I had only twelve dollars, all the pay that was due me when I resigned, and there was a thousand miles for me to travel to reach my home; but what worried me most was the fear that the authorities would arrest me if they knew that I proposed to offer my services to the Southern Confederacy. I had no civilian "togs," but I had taken the gold anchors off my collar, on which they had left dark imprints, and put blue velvet covers, fastened by elastics, over the brass buttons of my jacket. There were only nine buttons on a side, so of course they were not conspicuous. This, with the glazed cover of my cap to hide the silver anchor which adorned its front, constituted my disguise, which I felt sure would be sufficient to enable me to slip through the enemy's capital without recognition. I was just beginning to feel comfortable when a motherly-looking old lady in the opposite seat disturbed my equanimity by asking me in a loud voice if I was "one of those little Naval Academy boys who were going South?" That woman surely had the making of a Sherlock Holmes in her.

        I had not an idea as to what I would have to do to reach home after I arrived in Washington, so, to throw the minions


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of Abraham Lincoln further off my trail I went straight to the house of Captain Henry Maynadier, U.S.A., an ardent Union man who had married one of my first cousins. I told him that I wanted to get home and had no money, and then, washing my hands of all responsibility, left the rest for him to do. He did it. He obtained a permit for himself and me to pass through the lines, and, hiring a hack, we started on our adventure.

        The Union pickets held the Long Bridge; half a mile below on the Alexandria Road were posted the Confederate sentries. Of course, with the permit we had no difficulty in crossing the bridge, but before we had proceeded very far on the road a man with a gun jumped out of the bushes and ordered us to halt. The fellow was an Irishman who had formerly done chores at Captain Maynadier's house in Washington, and of course he instantly recognized him, at the same time crying out gleefully, "Begorra! we'll whip those dirty nigger-loving Yanks now that you are coming with us!"

        The captain said a few pleasant words and told him that I was going South and asked him to see that I did not miss my way to Alexandria where I was to catch the train. He also told me to jump out quickly and ordered the driver to turn around. I had hardly reached the ground when the driver put whip to his horses and the astounded picket, recovering from his astonishment, raised his gun. I begged him not to shoot, assuring him that Captain Maynadier was coming South later. He did--with Sherman! This adventure occurred in the latter part of April. In November of the same year Captain Maynadier and I were shooting at each other at Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River.

        Arriving at the railway station in Alexandria, I found a great crowd wildly cheering ex-Senator Wigfail, who was a volunteer aide on General Beauregard's staff, and who had received the sword of Major Anderson when Fort


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Sumter surrendered. Wigfall stood on the rear platform of a car, bowing his appreciation of the enthusiasm. I found an unoccupied seat on the train and was making myself comfortable when a big, broad-shouldered, stumpy man waddled up to where I sat and said, "Sonny, as you are so small and I am so large, I think we will make a good fit for this narrow seat"; and without further ado he seated himself beside me, first asking me to move so he could have the place by the window.

        The train started amid wild cheers for Wigfall, the hero of the hour, and at every station where we stopped crowds were gathered demanding a speech from the great man. The stout fellow with the short legs who was seated beside me apparently took no interest in the proceedings, and seemed engrossed by his own thoughts. It was sometime after dark when we arrived at Lynchburg, Virginia, where the largest crowd we had yet seen was waiting for the train. Many of the men bore torches, but they were not cheering for Wigfall; they seemed to be in an ugly humor about something. Suddenly there were cries of "Hang the traitor!" "Here is a rope!" "Bring him out!" as the maddened mob fairly swirled about the car.

        A man burst through the door and rushed up the aisle to where I was seated and, leaning over me, said to my neighbor: "Are you Andy Johnson?"

        "I am Mr. Johnson!" replied the stout gentleman.

        "Well," said the stranger, "I want to pull your nose!" and he made a grab for Mr. Johnson's face.

        The latter brushed the man's hand aside, at the same time jumping to his feet.

        There followed a scuffle for a few seconds, and poor little me, being between the combatants, got much the worst of it: I was most unpleasantly jostled.

        The crime for which they wanted to lynch Mr. Johnson was the fact that he was reported to be on his way to Tennessee for the purpose of preventing that State from seceding.


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Mr. Wigfall came up to Mr. Johnson and asked him to go out on the platform with him. Wigfall at once addressed the mob and urged them to give Mr. Johnson a hearing, which they did. The latter commenced his speech by saying, "I am a Union man!" and he talked to them until the train moved off, holding their attention as though they were spellbound. His last words were, "I am a Union man!"--and the last cry we heard from the crowd was, "Hang him!"

        Relating the foregoing incident to Mr. George A. Trenholm, then Secretary of the Confederate Treasury, I expressed the opinion that it was one of the greatest exhibitions of courage I had ever witnessed, but Mr. Trenholm cast a damper on my enthusiasm by saying, "My son, I have known Mr. Johnson since we were young men. He rode into prominence on the shoulders of just such a mob as you saw at Lynchburg, and no man knows how to handle such a crowd better than Mr. Johnson. Had he weakened they probably would have hung him." It was the same Andrew Johnson, afterwards President of the United States, who granted Mr. Trenholm amnesty and a pardon in 1866.

        Continuing my journey I at last arrived at Montgomery, Alabama, then capital of the Confederate States. My fears that the war would be over before I got there were somewhat allayed--for I had been told positively that it would not last six weeks before the South would finish it victoriously. I found the new capital in a ferment of excitement, nobody seemed to know exactly what it was about, but it was the fashion to be excited. From every house containing a piano the soul-stirring strains of the "Marseillaise" floated out of the open windows. At the hotel where I stopped champagne flowed like water. The big parlor was crowded with men dressed in uniforms designed to please the wearer, so they looked like a gathering for a fancy-dress ball. On the chairs and window sills were bottles of wine and glasses,


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while at the piano sat a burly German who, of course, crashed out the everlasting "Marseillaise" while his enthusiastic audience sang it. A more ridiculous sight than a lot of native-born Americans, not understanding a word of French, beating their breasts as they howled what they flattered themselves were the words of the song, it was never before my bad fortune to witness. But there was really good reason for all the excitement: had not twelve millions of people all gone crazy on the same day?

        I put my head out of a window so that I could get a little fresh air. There was a moment's halt in the music while some one made a war speech. The tired and sweating German musician took advantage of the respite to get a little air also, and as he stood beside me I heard him mutter: "Dom the Marseillaise!"

        The morning after my arrival I went to the capitol to offer my services, and the sword I intended to buy, to the Government. There were numbers of employees rushing about the building in a great state of excitement, but with nothing to do. None of them could tell me where I could find the Secretary of the Navy. At last I ran across an intelligent official who informed me that "there warn't no such person." It appeared to be the custom of the attachés, when in doubt, to refer the stranger to Mr. Judah P. Benjamin, the "Pooh Bah" of the Confederate Government, then Secretary of State. He informed me that there was not as yet any Confederate Navy, and further humiliated me by calling me "Sonny." However, he was very kind and took me into the private office of President Jefferson Davis. Talk about "the blow that killed father"--it was nothing in comparison to the jolt I then and there received. Mr. Davis was kindness personified and told me to go home and tell my parents that as soon as the Government established a naval school I should have one of the first appointments. I left the presence of the great man crestfallen and convinced that the Confederacy was doomed. I had


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come to fight, not to go to school. Had I not just left the greatest naval school in the world to avoid getting an education? And here the best they could offer me was a place in some makeshift academy that was to be erected in the the future. I felt that I had been deceived and badly treated, and I mentally comforted myself with the assurance that I knew more about drill and tactics than the whole mob of civilian generals and colonels who thronged the capitol's corridors. But Mr. Davis did not know this.

        I was a full-blown pessimist by the time I reached my hotel where I was greeted by the sounds of the everlasting "Enfants de la patrie" being hiccupped as usual in the parlor; and for the rest of the day I iterated and reiterated the German's prayer, "Dom the Marseillaise!"

        The only way to get from Montgomery to Mobile was by steamboat; and all the boats had been seized by the Government for the transportation of troops. After much urging the captain of one of the transports, as a favor, allowed me to pay for my passage to Mobile on condition that I would sleep on the deck, if I could find a place, and supply my own provisions. The boat would start when he received orders, but he did not know when that would be. A two days' wait followed, during which I stayed on the boat so as to be sure that I would not be left and consequently lose the price of my passage. That was important, as my finances were running low. Confederate money had not yet made its appearance and gold was already being hoarded. I had already lost quite a sum in exchanging one State's money for another, as even the paper money issued in one county did not pass at par in the next (if accepted at all), but everybody was jubilant over the fact that the Confederate Congress had appropriated fifteen millions of dollars to carry the war on to a successful termination.

        Finally, after endless delay, a swarm of volunteers took possession of the boat and we were off. The transport carried no guns, but she was armed with an instrument of torture,


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called a "calliope," or steam piano, and as she backed out into the river it broke loose, shrieking an imitation of the "Marseillaise," which, with few intermissions, was kept up during the two days and nights it took us to reach Mobile. When the calliope did stop, it was very soothing to hear the negro deck-hands break into song with their tuneful melodies.

        The volunteers were composed of fresh, youthful-looking men, and almost every one of them was accompanied by a "body-servant," as negro valets were called in the South. They were also accompanied by a great number of baskets of champagne and boxes of brandy. Few aristocrats in those days ever drank whiskey, which was supposed to be a vulgar tipple. They also had huge hampers containing roasted turkeys, chickens, hams, and all sorts of good things with which they were very generous. Every private also had from one to three trunks containing his necessary wardrobe. I saw some of these same young men in the muddy trenches in front of Richmond in 1865, when they were clothed, partially, in rags and were gnawing on ears of hard corn, and would have gladly exchanged half a dozen negroes or a couple of hundred acres of land for a square meal or a decent bed to sleep on.


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CHAPTER V

Arrive in New Orleans--Brother Harry killed next morning in a duel--Home-coming in Baton Rouge.

        AT Mobile I had to take another boat for New Orleans which, passing through the Mississippi Sound and Lake Ponchartrain, at last landed me in a country where I felt at home. I never realized before how sweetly the Creole accent sounded. I was met by my brother Harry, who had recently returned from Europe where he had been for the purpose of taking a post-graduate course in his medical studies. Harry was in high spirits because he had received an appointment as an assistant surgeon in the Confederate Army. He told me all the family news and how my brother Gibbes was a lieutenant in the Seventh Louisiana Regiment and had just left for Virginia, and that my brother George was a lieutenant in the First Louisiana and had gone to Pensacola, Florida. It appeared to me that the Confederacy wanted the whole family with the exception of myself.

        Arriving at my brother Judge Morgan's house I was so glad to see the family that for the time being I forgot about the ingratitude the Southern Confederacy had shown me. That evening there was a dinner party at the house and among the guests were Mr. Bouligny, recently member of Congress, and probably the most famous duelist in the State; also Mr. Hériat, editor of "The Bee," the newspaper that never apologized. Mr. Hériat was its fighting editor. Judge Morgan was the only Union man at his table, and as the conversation naturally turned upon the war he was the target for all the shafts of wit and humor. One of the guests described a ludicrous sight he had witnessed that morning when a youth, well known to my brother, while doing sentry duty in front of a public park, had ordered the gigantic judge to halt as he was on his way to hold court,


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and how the judge had brushed sentry and gun aside and almost frightened the poor boy out of his wits by saying, "I have a great mind to send you to jail for a month!"

        The judge related his experiences at a mass meeting held the night before at the Clay statue on Canal Street. He was one of the speakers and the crowd knew his sentiments and had made their preparations. He told them that if they would fight the abolitionists within the Union he would fight with them, but warned them that if they fired a shot at the Stars and Stripes in less than five years their slaves would be their political masters. This opinion was indeed prophetic, but just then a straw man about fifteen feet long with a placard, on which was written in great letters, "P. H. Morgan--Traitor," pinned to it was set on fire and hoisted on a telegraph pole.

        When bedtime came, Harry, who had always made a pet of me, said that I must sleep with him, and the judge told him to go to bed and get some rest, as he wished to speak with me privately. When Harry had gone my elder brother told me I must be very careful and not disturb Harry in the night, as he had to get up very early; in fact he was going to fight a duel shortly after daylight. I instantly made up my mind that I was going to see that duel, and I never doubted for a moment but what my gallant brother would come off victor.

        I was awakened before day by a noise and Harry's jumping out of bed and hastily dressing. I too hurried on my clothes and followed him downstairs. There was a carriage waiting in front of the house in which were seated Messrs. Bouligny and Hériat. It was still very dark, and as Harry entered the carriage I climbed upon the box and took my seat alongside of the driver. We proceeded to the Oaks, a favorite place for duels, and when I was discovered Mr. Bouligny told me that under the "code" no blood relative was allowed to be within two hundred yards of the combatants, so I was sent off to stand some distance away.


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        Mr. James Sparks was my brother's antagonist. One of his seconds was William Howell, a brother of Mrs. Jefferson Davis. The weapons--which my brother chose--were double-barrel shotguns loaded with ball, and the distance at which they fought was twenty paces. They were placed in position and Mr. Bouligny gave the word. Both guns, it seemed to me, went off simultaneously and Mr. Sparks staggered. All four seconds ran to him, and I fairly flew to see what had happened. My brother Harry during this time was standing and had not taken down his gun from his shoulder. Mr. Sparks's head had been grazed and when I had satisfied myself that he was not hurt I turned to look at my brother who to my horror was lying on his back with his gun across his breast. I said, "Mr. Bouligny, look at Harry!" The surgeon was already kneeling by him. The bullet had struck a bone in his right arm and glancing had entered his body passing through his lungs and penetrating to his left side.

        One of Mr. Sparks's younger brothers was a classmate of mine at the Naval Academy and served gallantly in the Confederate Navy afterwards. Mr. James Sparks, who killed my brother, served through the long four years, and after the war was over he was found dead near poor Harry's grave.

        The next day Judge Morgan and I took dear Harry's remains to Baton Rouge. The steamboat left New Orleans late in the afternoon, and all that night we sat by the coffin which was placed on the lower deck. Each of us was wrapped in his own sad thoughts, so the long weary hours before we arrived at Baton Rouge seemed endless. Not that either of us was anxious to hasten our arrival, for we knew only too well that we had a sad ordeal to go through when we met our dear father, who would be bent with sorrow, and a mother whose heart would be broken. God help me--This was to be the home-coming to which I had looked forward with such delight.


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CHAPTER VI

Volunteers--Lonely--Captain Booth, late U.S.A., finds use for me--Pensacola--"Give them a little more grape, Captain Bragg."

        I FOUND little change in the appearance of Baton Rouge except that the once peaceful streets of the pretty little town now resounded with the tramp of soldiers who were gathering at the garrison there from all parts of the State. Having nothing to do I frequented the garrison where were assembled many of my old schoolmates. The military ideas of these soldiers were very crude--very few, if any, of them knew the manual of arms and they insisted on calling their colonels and captains, "Billy," "Tommy," and "John." As for the uniforms (?) they would have put to shame an opéra-bouffe army. I remember particularly the "Delta Rifles" of Baton Rouge whose dress was much admired by the ladies, but which greatly tickled my risibles. It was composed of some green gauze-like-looking fabric, the tunic of which, like the sleeves, was trimmed with long fringe which reached below their knees, and these men expected to go to Virginia and possibly spend a winter amidst its snows.

        The soldiers at that time elected their own officers, and many men of ability declined commissions, so that popular comrades who were not financially well fixed could enjoy the emoluments appertaining to the ranks of captains and lieutenants. But the Southern soldier was no fool, and it was not very long before he discovered that the "Billy" and "Tommy" captains were not the kind of men they wished to entrust their well-being and lives to.

        The volunteers were in great dread that the war would be over before they had a chance to get into it. All was bustle and excitement around me, and I alone seemed to have


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nothing to do. My favorite pony was in the stable, but I had lost all pleasure in riding him--even Charloe no longer chased wild horses. Cousinard, the club-footed town constable, had killed my bull terrier while I was at Annapolis, so I had no sympathetic companion to keep me company. The boys I had formerly played with seemed to have disappeared as though by magic. A cavalry regiment appeared on the scene and among the privates I saw my old playmate and dear friend, Howell Carter, mounted on a fine big horse with a sabre as long as himself tied to him. Howell was only about a year older than I, but he was big for his age. The authorities seemed to draw the line only at little runts like myself. Every one was either going to the war or had gone. I seemed to be the only one for whom there was no place. I was very disconsolate, until one day Captain Booth, an old regular army officer who commanded the arsenal, asked my father to lend me to him, as he wanted me immediately for very important service. My father expressed surprise that one so young should be selected for any mission of importance, but Captain Booth reminded him that I had had an Annapolis training and it was absolutely necessary for him to have some one who knew how to implicitly obey orders without asking any questions. My father consenting, I was told to put a change of clothes into a carpet-sack and go down to the wharf boat within an hour and there await further orders. Captain Booth soon joined me. An army wagon made its appearance on the river-bank and four soldiers lifted from it a large and very heavy trunk which they brought aboard the wharf boat. Captain Booth then took me aside and told me what the trunk contained and handed me written instructions and an order addressed to all army officers and civilian officials to facilitate and expedite my journey in every possible manner. The order was signed by the hero of my childish imagination, General Bragg, of "Give them a little more grape, Captain Bragg," fame. Captain Booth and the soldiers remained with me till a


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steamboat bound for New Orleans arrived, when the soldiers put the trunk on board, and Captain Booth, wishing me Godspeed, away I went feeling very important.

        Arriving at New Orleans, I had my trunk put upon a truck, and as my orders were not to part company with it under any circumstances, I sat on it and directed the driver to proceed to Judge Morgan's house on Camp Street. I had one of the many rough rides of my life over the cobble stones with which the streets of the city of that day were paved. A negro butler opened the door of the house for me and informed me that the family were away, but that my brother was in town and of course would sleep there. With the assistance of the butler, the two truckmen, and myself, we managed to carry the trunk into the hall on the lower floor, and I made an arrangement with the men to come for it at six o'clock in the morning to carry it to the station of the little railway, some five or six miles long, which connected the city with Lake Ponchartrain at the point where the boat for Mobile lay. Feeling safe I then went upstairs and went to bed.

        I awoke early in the morning just as the truckmen arrived in front of the house and one can imagine my horror and distress when I found that my precious trunk had disappeared in the night. I was a ruined man, and felt certain that my career was blasted forevermore.

        The house was a big one with a wide hall running through its centre, and my brother's bedroom was on the lower floor and opened into the hall. I was standing there dazed when he suddenly made his appearance and commenced to scold me for my carelessness. To my amazement he told me that he knew perfectly well what the trunk contained, adding that he had a little more care for my reputation than I seemed to possess, and that he had performed the marvelous feat of dragging that trunk into his bedroom and had actually pushed it under his tall fourposter when he came home late in the night, as otherwise burglars might have carried it


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away. Others possibly knew as well as he did what its contents were. I was astonished by his remarks, but as I had orders not to discuss the contents of the trunk with any one I kept silence.

        Greatly relieved in my mind I started for Mobile, and on arrival there showed General Bragg's order to the quarter-master officer, who had my trunk carried to another boat which took me to Blakely, across the bay, where I was to take the stage-coach for Pensacola. At Blakely my serious troubles began. The stage agent swore that under no circumstances should so heavy a trunk be placed in the boot of the old-fashioned stage-coach. He would allow me to take passage on the crowded stage, but as for the trunk, "Nix!" There was a company of infantry stationed at Blakely, and I showed General Bragg's order to the captain; and on his threat to seize the stage and have one of his men take charge of it, I was allowed to proceed, for about ten miles, to a place where we changed mules. There the stage-driver said the trunk was fairly killing his team and he would not haul it another mile; it could come on sometime in the dim future by wagon. My protests were in vain, as several of the passengers volunteered to assist him in dumping it on the ground. Fairly desperate, I showed them the order of the commanding officer of the district and made them quite an oration, telling them that the contents of the trunk were of the greatest importance to General Bragg, who had been telegraphed that I would arrive on that stage, but that I would not accompany them without my baggage; and I wound up by asserting that if I was not on that stage when it arrived in Pensacola General Bragg would hang the last one of them for treason.

        My imposing-looking official document and the fear of a military court martial was too much for the nerves of the passengers, but did not raze the stage-driver. But when the passengers refused to continue the journey unless the trunk went also, he relented. He took his revenge, however,


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by making us walk most of the forty weary miles, because the road was so sandy.

        Arriving at Pensacola, the passengers were very glad that they had insisted on the driver bringing my trunk, for there waiting for me was Colonel, afterwards General, Boggs, chief of staff, and several other officers, and a detail of soldiers with an army wagon, and they fairly overwhelmed me with compliments. The colonel said that General Bragg wanted to see me, and we went at once to Fort Barrancus where his headquarters were. The general told me he never was so glad to see anybody before, and that I was to remain at his quarters as his guest until I returned to Baton Rouge. The next day the Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Pickens.

        After the Civil War was over, Judge Morgan, who, as I have before said, was a Union man, was amusing his guests one day at dinner by recounting the many acts of folly of which he considered the defunct Confederacy guilty, and as an illustration pointed at me and said, "Do you see how young that boy looks now? Well, you can well imagine how he looked at the age of fifteen when I tell you that he was small for his age. The Southern troops stationed at Pensacola early in the war became dissatisfied at not receiving any pay. The newspapers were full of stories about their being mutinous on account of the Government's neglect, when the authorities, becoming frightened, to pacify the men secretly sent that child with a trunk full of silver dollars to be distributed among them, and the mere baby carelessly left it in the hall of my house where any one might have carried it off; but fortunately, for him, he had a big brother who almost pulled his arms out of their sockets to draw it to a place of safety under his own bed. And a worse frightened boy than he was when he could not find his trunk load of money you would rarely see."

        There was great laughter at my expense, and when it had somewhat subsided, I asked my brother if he knew what


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he had slept over that night? "Silver, of course." he replied. "Well," I said, "that memorable night you slept over about three hundred pounds of powder contained in primers and fuses, and there were also in the trunk two live shells that Captain Booth wanted Colonel Boggs to try in a particular gun at Pensacola. They were good shells, too, for I saw both of them explode in Fort Pickens."

        "Great Heavens!" exclaimed the judge; "and I examined the fastenings with a lighted candle to see if they were secure before I went to bed!"

        When I arrived at Pensacola with the trunk, General Bragg had only three primers to a gun and that was the reason he and his staff were so glad to see me.

        When I returned to New Orleans I was informed that two steamers were being fitted out for the newly organized Confederate Navy and I crossed the river to see them where they lay at Algiers. I found several old friends who had been first classmen at Annapolis on board of them. One of these ships was a fruiterer called the Habana, and the other was a former Mexican pirate, called the Marquis de la Habana. The Habana became the famous Sumter and the other's name was changed to McRae. The latter vessel had already had quite an exciting career. A few months previously, in company with a consort, she had appeared off Vera Cruz. She refused to show her colors and the U.S. sloop-of-war Saratoga undertook to make her do so. She belonged to General Miramon, who was heading a Mexican revolution. She and her consort opened fire. but were soon reduced to submission by the American ship, but not before some twenty-odd men had been killed or wounded. A prize crew was put on board of her and Lieutenant R. T. Chapman was ordered to take her to New Orleans and turn her over to the United States marshal and make the charge against her of" Belonging to an unrecognized revolutionary government and being a pirate on the high seas." Lieutenant


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Chapman, a few months after he had made this charge, found himself on board of the Sumter, under Captain Semmes, which vessel belonged to an unrecognized revolutionary government and was branded as "a pirate on the high seas" by the United States Government.


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CHAPTER VII

The sloop-of-war McRae arrives at Baton Rouge--Receives warrant as a midshipman and ordered to the McRae--Fail to get through the blockade--Attack on Federal fleet at the Head of the Passes--Heroes until a newspaper "Mahan" discovered that we ought to have towed the whole Federal fleet up to New Orleans in triumph.

        THE summer dragged its slow length into July. My brothers Gibbes and George were by this time in Virginia, one in Blanchard's brigade and the other with General "Dick" Taylor's brigade, also in "Stonewall" Jackson's division. Everybody, with the exception of the loud-mouthed orators, seemed to have gone to the war. The spellbinders now had only aged men and cripples for audiences, but they could always invoke a feeble cheer by dramatically exclaiming, "One Southern man can whip ten Northerners." This bold statement did not arouse any enthusiasm in my breast, as I doubted its correctness. I had already tackled two Yanks with rather worse than indifferent success. I had eight more coming to me for my share, and as I knew a lot of little fellows from New England, with whom I had skylarked at Annapolis, without showing myself possessed of may marked physical superiority over them individually, I felt justified in my doubts about being able to manhandle the eight combined.

        At last there came a great excitement for the town, and the inhabitants, many of whom had never seen an ocean-going steamship, rushed to the riverside and there beheld the bark-rigged Confederate States sloop-of-war McRae, of seven guns, which had come up the river to receive her ammunition from the arsenal. She was a beautiful sight as she lay at anchor in the stream with her tall, graceful masts and her yards squared in man-of-war fashion, looking so trim and neat.

        I went aboard as soon as possible to see the midshipmen,


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of course, and was most heartily welcomed. As soon as the captain and lieutenants learned that I had been at Annapolis, they too were very kind to me, agreeing with me that it was a shame I was not in the service. Before the week was ended I went on board again, and reported to Captain Thomas B. Huger for duty. How that delightful moment was brought about is best told by a letter from my father to my elder brother which was given to me by one of my nieces fifty years afterwards:

BATON Rouge, LA., July 17, 1861.

MY DEAR SON:--

        The mail has arrived without bringing any letter from Virginia or from you. This has disappointed me much, as Charles La Noue tells me he saw in the "True Delta" of Sunday, a letter advertised for you coming from the First Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers. I presume it must have escaped your attention.

        It is now nearly a month since I have heard from George and I am becoming anxious.

        On yesterday Jimmie's warrant as midshipman arrived, at which he is highly delighted, especially as Captain Huger on yesterday, before the arrival of the mail, requested me to telegraph the Department that there was room for him on the McRae and that he desired to have him. The little scamp seems to take the fancy of all the officers he falls in with; those on the McRae seem to be very clever, and the midshipmen are all acquaintances of his . . . .

        

Ever yours,

THOMAS GIBBES MORGAN.

HON. P. H. MORGAN,
NEW ORLEANS, LA.

        When that telegram arrived ordering me to report to Captain Huger for duty on the McRae, my joy knew no bounds, and rushing to my room it took me about ten seconds to remove those velvet covers from the brass buttons on my jacket, and in less than three minutes more I was in that uniform and had torn off the glazed cover of my cap and displayed my silver anchor. In those days all the naval officers wore the blue uniforms of the United States Navy which they had brought South with them, and they


Illustration


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kicked like steers when they were afterwards compelled to don the gray, contemptuously demanding to know, "Who had ever seen a gray sailor, no matter what nationality he served?"

        I was in mortal dread that the McRae would sail before I could get to her (she in fact only lay there for ten days longer), but it took me only about ten minutes to get to the river where I commenced frantically to signal for a boat. I must have been kept waiting for fifteen minutes: to me it seemed an eternity.

        Reporting, I was assigned to my watch and station, and in less than an hour was sent ashore, on duty, in charge of the first cutter, and how my small heart swelled with pride and how my fellow townsmen's eyes opened with amazement as they heard "little Jimmie Morgan" giving orders to the sailors and their ever ready, "Aye, aye, sir!" in reply.

        Having got our ammunition on board, at last we started for New Orleans to fill up with coal, and then steamed for the mouths of the river, or rather to the "Head of the Passes," to await an opportunity to run the blockade. Captain Semmes with the Sumter had succeeded in doing it--why should not we? But it was not to be. The passes were much better guarded than when the Sumter escaped. Several times we got ready to attempt the feat at night, but on each occasion the pilots raised objections, saying that the McRae drew too much water for them to take the responsibility, or that they were not pilots for the bar of the pass selected. Strange to say, most, if not all, the pilots, were Northern men. So we spent weeks laying at the Head of the Passes, or between there and Forts Jackson and St. Philip, waiting our chance until our coal supply was exhausted and then we returned to New Orleans to refill our bunkers.

        The "Crescent City" was gay in those days, as the people had not yet realized what a serious thing war was, or what it was to live in a captured city, an experience that was


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to be theirs before many months had passed. There were balls and dinners ashore, and the ship was constantly filled with visitors.

        In the olden times little midshipmen were punished by being "mastheaded," which consisted in the youngster having to climb up to the cap of the foretopmast and stand there with barely space enough for his two little feet, and he had to hold on to the stays to keep from falling. Unfortunately I was frequently detected in some deviltry, and as a consequence, passed much of my leisure time aloft. I am doubtful if I ever quite forgave our gallant second lieutenant, Mr. Eggleston, for saying to me on one occasion, after I had presented the first lieutenant's compliments and requested him to masthead me, "Well, sir, you surely ought to know the way up there by this time!"--I always suspected that he meant to be sarcastic.

        Captain Huger was a very handsome man; he was also a widower, his late wife having been a sister of General Meade, U.S.A., of Gettysburg fame. The captain was at the time of which I write engaged to one of the most beautiful girls in New Orleans, so it was not strange that when lying off the city he always found it convenient to anchor the McRae in front of Jackson Square because the Pontalba buildings faced the park, and in one of them, near the old Cathedral of St. Louis, his sweetheart dwelt. I knew all about the courtship because I carried so many notes from the captain, and the young lady made such a pet of me.

        When the month of October arrived, it brought with it some excitement. Three towboats and a river tug each armed with a smooth-bore thirty-two pounder had been added to the Confederate fleet on the Mississippi. There was also a tugboat, called the Enoch Train, belonging to private parties, who had covered her over with a wooden turtleback over which they had placed railway iron "T" rails, dovetailed, for an armor. The patriotic owners wanted


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to make a contract with the Confederate Government (for a huge sum) for every Federal vessel they would sink.

        The United States fleet, consisting of the steam sloop-of-war Richmond of twenty-six nine-inch guns, the Preble and Vincennes, sailing sloops-of-war of twenty-two guns each, and the Waterwitch, a steamer carrying five guns one of which was a rifle, had taken possession of the Head of the Passes of the Mississippi and put an end to any possible blockade-running.

        Commodore Hollins had now assumed command of the naval defenses of the Mississippi River. He was no longer young, having been a midshipman on the U.S. frigate President when she was captured by a British fleet in the War of 1812. He was also the man who had (in the U.S. sloop-of-war Cyane) bombarded Greytown in Nicaragua. He now determined to attempt to drive the United States fleet out of the river: and to do this he decided to seize the ram, now called the Manassas, which was anchored in the stream. To a polite request that she should be turned over to us came the reply that we "did not have men enough to take her." The McRae was ranged up alongside of her and a boat was lowered. Lieutenant Warley ordered me to accompany him. On arriving alongside of the ram we found her crew lined up on the turtleback, swearing that they would kill the first man who attempted to board her. There was a ladder reaching to the water from the top of her armor to the water line. Lieutenant Warley, pistol in hand, ordered me to keep the men in the boat until he gave the order for them to join him. Running up the ladder, his face set in grim determination, he caused a sudden panic among the heroic (?) crew of longshoremen who incontinently took to their heels and like so many prairie dogs disappeared down their hole of a hatchway with Mr. Warley after them. He drove them back on deck and then drove them ashore, some of them jumping overboard and swimming for it. With the addition of two fire rafts our fleet was


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now complete and we proceeded to the forts, where we anchored awaiting an opportunity to attack the enemy. This chance arrived on the night of the 12th of October, when we weighed anchor and proceeded down the river, the Manassas, under the command of Warley, leading, followed by the fire rafts in tow of tugs, the McRae, the Ivy, the Tuscarora, the Calhoun, and the Jackson. The Calhoun, a towboat, with a walking-beam engine, was considered too vulnerable in her boilers and machinery, so she was ordered to keep out of it. The Jackson, a high-pressure paddlewheel towboat of great power, made so much noise from her escape pipes that she could be heard ten miles away, so she was ordered to stay as far behind as possible. It must have been about three o'clock in the morning when we saw a rocket go up which was the signal agreed upon that the Manassas had rammed something. Instantly the heavy broadsides of the United States ships blazed forth as they shot holes through the darkness, or, as we hoped, through one another. Our fire rafts also burst into flame and were floating down upon them. It was a magnificent spectacle to those of us who were a mile away.

        When daylight came, all firing ceased, and to our amazement we saw the Federal fleet fleeing down the Southwest Pass, and the Manassas (which we had never expected to see again), lying a helpless wreck in the marsh, against which she had drifted. She had rammed the Richmond and torn off of that vessel's bow a couple of planks, but as the Richmond had a coaling schooner alongside, the speed of the ram had been checked by the hawser of the collier which was made fast to the bow of the warship. The cable had slipped over the bow of the Manassas and mowed off her little smokestacks even with the turtleback, rendering her helpless. The Richmond had frantically worked her broadside, but the ram lay so low in the water that all the projectiles passed over her. This was fortunate, as the dense


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smoke which filled the Manassas had forced her crew to take refuge on her deck. The little ram was too light for the work, and too weak in power. She had been a good tug, but the weight of her armor had completely deadened her speed, and while she did very well going downstream she could not make more than one or two knots an hour against the current.

        "It is a poor cock that won't chase a fleeing rooster." Emboldened by the sight of the retreating enemy we gave chase. On arriving at the mouth of the river the Preble and Waterwitch passed over the shallow bar safely, but the big Richmond and the Vincennes grounded, the latter with her stern pointing upstream. The Richmond when she struck the bottom was swung around by the current and presented her formidable broadside to us. Outside, in the Gulf, about three miles away, was the fifty-gun sailing frigate Santee under a cloud of canvas, sailing back and forth like a caged lion, unable to get into the fray on account of her great draft, but she made as glorious a picture as ever delighted the eye of a sailor.

        We opened fire with our nine-inch pivot gun on the Richmond, but from a very respectful distance, as otherwise we might have spoiled her pretty paint. She replied at first with single guns, and afterwards with broadsides, many of the projectiles passing over us. The Waterwitch from outside used a rifled gun, but her shots also, fortunately for us, went high.

        The towboat Ivy, commanded by Lieutenant Fry (the man who was some years later captured in the blockade-runner Virginius and so cruelly put to death by the Spaniards at Santiago, Cuba), made a dash for the helpless Vincennes, and, taking up a position under her stem, commenced to throw thirty-two-pound shells, from her one little smooth-bore gun, into the sloop-of-war's cabin windows. Suddenly, to our amazement, we witnessed a sight the like of which was never before seen in the United States Navy.


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The boats of the Vincennes were lowered and her crew, after putting a fuse to her magazine, abandoned her, and took refuge on the Richmond!

        The shots from the Richmond, in her efforts to protect the Vincennes's boats, almost drowned the little Ivy with spray and she was recalled.

        A most extraordinary thing had occurred on the abandoned ship. Her cartridges were in red flannel bags, as was the custom at that time, and they were packed in metal cylinders about the size of barrels. One of these had been emptied and the fuse end was placed at its bottom and the powder cartridges replaced. The fuse led out of the magazine and up the hatchway on to the upper deck for some distance. It burned its way along the deck and down into the magazine, up the side of the cylinder, and down through the spaces between the cartridges to the bottom without exploding a cartridge!

        Commodore Hollins, knowing that the Richmond, alone, could whip the Gulf of Mexico full of such vessels as he commanded, if she could only get at them, withdrew from action and proceeded up the river, taking possession of three schooners on the way which the Federal fleet had left behind them in their hurry to get away.

        Arriving at the forts we anchored and I was sent up to New Orleans as a bearer of dispatches. The news of the fight had preceded me, and we found a great crowd on the levee when the steamboat made her landing. For the only time in my life I experienced the delights of having myself made into a hero. When it became known to the crowd that I had been in the fight, they cheered and seemed wild with excitement, but unfortunately for our glory the enthusiasm wore off when a "newspaper admiral" came out in an editorial denouncing Commodore Hollins, stating that his conduct was most reprehensible in that he had not brought to the city, as prizes, the whole Federal fleet. I suppose the frigate Santee, which drew so much water it would have required a


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rather large truck to have carried her over the bar, ought to have been brought also!

        I had the permission of my captain to visit my home in Baton Rouge after mailing the commodore's dispatches, and when I arrived there I found my father dying. I went into his room and he made a sign that he wanted to speak to me. Bending over him I placed my ear close to his mouth and he whispered, "Good-night; God bless you, my son." Those were his last words.


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CHAPTER VIII

The McRae made flagship of the Mississippi flotilla--Commodore Hollins Appointed aide-de-camp to the commodore--Island No. 10--New Madrid--The Swamp Fox of Missouri--Masked batteries--Wanted to challenge a major--U.S. ironclads pass Island No. 10--Stung--New Madrid and Island No. 10 evacuated--"Savez" Read administers a lesson in discipline to the volunteers--Gunboats pretty badly cut up by shore batteries--Go back to New Orleans--Fort Jackson under heavy bombardment from Porter's mortar fleet--Commodore Hollins relieved from his command-- Farragut passes the forts--Death of Captain Huger and sinking of the McRae.

        HERE is a coronach for Confederate soldiers evidently written by an "unreconstructed rebel." It appears on a headstone in the Methodist Cemetery, St. Louis:

                        Here lize a stranger braiv,
                        Who died while fightin' the Suthern Confederacy to save
                        Piece to his dust.
                        Braive Suthern friend
                        From iland 10
                        You reached a Glory us end.
                        We plase these flowrs above the stranger's hed,
                        In honer of the shiverlus ded.
                        Sweet spirit rest in Heven
                        Ther'l be know Yankis there.

        When I returned to the McRae, I found great changes had occurred during my two weeks' absence. All idea of running the blockade and going to sea as a cruiser had been abandoned, and judging from my later experience in a "commerce destroyer" it was well that the intention had been abandoned, for with her limited coal capacity, and her want of speed owing to the small power and uncertain humor of her gear engines, it is doubtful if she would have lasted a month in that business.

        I now found her much changed in outward appearance. The tall and graceful spars, with the exception of the lower masts, had disappeared. With the exception of Captain


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Huger, Sailing Master Read ("Savez"), and Midshipman Blanc, all of the line officers, whom I loved so dearly, were detached. Lieutenant Warley was to command permanently the Manassas; Lieutenant Eggleston and Midshipman Marmaduke were to join the Merrimac at Norfolk; Lieutenant Dunnington was to command the gunboat Ponchartrain; Midshipman Sardine Graham Stone was to go to the cruiser Florida; and Midshipman Comstock was to go to the gunboat Selma, on board of which he was cut in two by a shell at the battle of Mobile Bay; and I was appointed aide-de-camp to Commodore Hollins, whose flagship the McRae was to be.

        Three fiver steamboats had been converted into men-of-war by having their luxurious cabins removed and their boilers protected by iron rails. They each carried four guns three forward and one aft and there had also been built (from designs by a locomotive roundhouse architect, I suppose) the most wonderful contraption that ever was seen afloat, called the Livingston. She carried six guns, three forward and three abaft the paddleboxes, and she was almost circular in shape. She was so slow that her crew facetiously complained that when she was going downstream at full speed they could not sleep on account of the noise made by the drift logs catching up with her and bumping against her stern. These boats, with the Ivy and the tug Tuscarora, constituted our fleet.

        Information reached us that a number of real ironclads which the Federal Government was building at St. Louis and on the Ohio River were completed and were about to come down the river.

        The Confederates hastily fortified Island Number 10, a few miles above New Madrid, Missouri, and at the latter place had built two forts (Bankhead and Thompson). Our fleet was ordered to make all haste up the river to assist them in preventing the Federal fleet from coming down.

        On the way up the river our first disaster happened, when


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on a dark and foggy night we rammed the plantation of Mr. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. For this heroic performance, it is needless to say, none of us were promoted, and we lay ingloriously stuck in the mud until we were pulled off by a towboat. Disaster number two came when we were passing Helena, Arkansas, the Tuscarora caught fire and was destroyed.

        Day after day, with our insufficient power and great draft, we struggled against the mighty current of the Mississippi, occasionally bumping into a mud bank and lying helpless there until we were pulled off. At the cities of Vicksburg and Memphis we received ovations. The dear people were very enthusiastic, and knowing nothing about naval warfare, they felt sure we could whip the combined fleets of the universe.

        When we finally arrived at Island Number 10, we found a lively bombardment going on. It was, however, decided that we should drop down to New Madrid to assist in the defense of that city.

        The winter of 1861-62 was a very cold and bleak one in that part of the country, and for several weeks the monotony of our lives was broken only by the sound of the distant booming of the guns at Island Number 10.

        The McRae had been laid alongside the river-bank at the head of the main street of the town and the muzzles of her guns were just above the levee, thus giving us the whole State of Missouri for a breastwork.

        Everything seemed to be very peaceful until one day a solitary horseman made his appearance galloping at full speed. He stopped when he arrived opposite the McRae, and shouted from the shore that he wanted to see Commodore Hollins. The commodore, who was standing on the deck, asked him what he wanted, and the excited cavalier shouted back: "I am General Jeff Thompson, the swamp fox of Missouri. There are a hundred thousand Yankees after me and they have captured one of my guns, and if you


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don't get out of this pretty quick they will be on board of your old steamboat in less than fifteen minutes!" Just then another man, apparently riding in a sulky, between the shafts of which was hitched a moth-eaten mule, appeared on the scene. On closer inspection it was discovered that he was sitting astride of a small brass cannon which was mounted on a pair of buggy wheels. This piece of ordnance was scarcely three feet long. The general gazed on it admiringly, and for our information said: "That is a one-pounder--I invented it myself. The Yanks have got its mate, and if you don't get out of this they will hammer you to pieces with it." By this time there was great commotion in the two forts seeing which General Jeff Thompson, nodding his head at the commodore, said, "So long!" and galloped away. That was the last we saw of him in that campaign.

        As the gallant "swamp fox" disappeared in the distance, the gun's crew of his one-gun battery resignedly observed, "I can't keep up with Jeff"; and brought down his thong on the mule's bony back, and the poor beast leisurely walked away.

        Above New Madrid a bayou emptied itself into the river. It meandered through a swamp for miles into the interior and was supposed to be impassable by troops, but General Pope and his thirty thousand men had accomplished the feat and taken New Madrid in the rear. His army was marching boldly up to our lines, and had they kept on they would have taken the place at once; but when the McRae's big nine-inch Dahlgren gun opened on them at long range, they stopped and proceeded to lay siege to it. It was evidently intended that they would take the place by regular approaches and the dirt commenced to fly while the artillery kept up a desultory fire.

        The Confederate forts were situated at each end of the town and the flotilla of gunboats lay between them. Unfortunately the McRae's battery was the only one mounted at a sufficient height above the river-bank to fire over it


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while at the same time using it for a breastwork; the other boats had to lie out in the stream where they were very much exposed to the enemy's fire.

        Some three thousand raw recruits formed the garrisons and manned the trenches which connected the forts. The forts had been built with regard to commanding the river and were very weak on the land side.

        Day by day the Union troops drew nearer and the firing increased in fury. Commodore Hollins sent me frequently with communications to General Bankhead, who commanded our land forces. One day, when the firing was particularly furious, I was sent with one of these missives and found General Bankhead on the firing line. Shells were bursting frequently in unpleasant proximity to where he was standing with his field-glasses pressed to his eyes. Just behind him stood several officers. I saluted the General and handed him the envelope. He told me to wait until he could send back an answer. As I joined the group of officers I distinctly heard a major say, "What a damned shame to send a child into a place like this!" The other officers must have noticed that my dignity was offended, for they spoke very kindly, but I could not get over the insult--it stuck in my gorge. I was so mad I could hardly speak. Returning to the ship I at once consulted my friend, the first lieutenant, who was now Mr. Read ("Savez"), on the propriety of sending the major a challenge, but "Savez" soothed my wounded feelings by telling me that "the commodore would not approve of such action and anyhow I need not mind what the major said, as he was nothing but a damned soldier, and a volunteer at that, and of course did not know any better."

        The enemy got to the river-bank below us and a new danger menaced us. They prevented our transports from coming up the stream. The levees were breastworks ready-made, and day after day our gunboats had to go down to clear them out. We would be drifting down the apparently


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peaceful river, when suddenly a row of tall cottonwood saplings would make us a graceful bow and fall into the stream as a dozen or more field pieces poured a galling broadside into us. Of course, with our heavy guns we would soon chase them away, but only to have them reappear a mile above or below in a little while, and then the same thing had to be gone through again. Later they brought up some heavy guns and then we had some really good tussles with them.

        Our troops were forced back until they were under cover of the forts, leaving the space between, which was the abandoned town, to be protected by the guns of the McRae. I was standing by the commodore on the poop deck watching the firing when we saw a light battery enter the other end of the main street. Our nine-inch gun was trained on them, and when it was fired the shell struck the head of the column and burst in about the middle of the company. To see horses, men, and guns cavorting in the air was a most appalling sight. Flushed with success the officer in charge of the gun reloaded and tried another shot, when the gun exploded, the muzzle falling between the ship's side and the river-bank, while one half of the great breech fell on the deck beside its carriage. The other half went away up into the air and coming down struck the rail between the commodore and myself and cut the side of the ship, fortunately glancing out instead of inside. The commodore coolly remarked, "Youngster, you came near getting your toes mashed!"

        We had a rough little steam launch, about twenty-five feet in length, which acted as a tender to the McRae, and as our gunboats were makeshift ones, they were not provided either with signals or any place to fly them from. I used this launch to convey to them the flag officer's orders. The commodore suspected that the enemy were fortifying the point above us which, if done, would have cut us off from communication with Island Number 10 which was


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making a heroic defense and preventing the Union ironclads from coming down and annihilating our little mosquito fleet. So he sent me on a reconnaissance, cautioning me to be careful and not approach too close to the point until I was satisfied there was no battery there.

        The launch had no deck and consequently her little boiler and engine were all exposed to the weather. Her crew consisted of a fireman from the McRae and a sailor to steer her. I proceeded to the point keeping well out in the stream, but saw nothing suspicious. Being of a curious turn of mind I wanted to see what was around the river bend, so kept on. As we turned the point my helmsman exclaimed, "The Tom Benton!" The Tom Benton was the largest Union ironclad on the river and all ironclads were "Tom Bentons" to us. Sure enough, across the next bend we saw a column of black smoke, evidently issuing from the funnel of a steamer and we turned tail and rail for the McRae with all speed possible. As we passed the point, which I had previously satisfied myself was absolutely harmless, the small cottonwood trees fell into the river and a battery opened on us, one of the shells exploding as it struck the water, drenching us. But our noble craft kept on her way, the engineer by this time having tied down the safety-valve. Arriving within hailing distance of the flagship, I sang out "Tom Benton coming down, sir!" Commodore Hollins being on deck shouted back, "Come aboard, sir"!--My chief engineer gasped out, "For God's sake, don't stop, sir; she will blow up!" We ran around the McRae while the officer of the deck, and it seemed to me everybody else, was shouting, "Come aboard!" The safety-valve by this time had been unlashed and she was blowing off steam, while the whirling engine was also using up as much of the surplus as possible as around and around we went, while the commodore was stamping on the deck and fairly frothing at the mouth. At last--it seemed to me an age--the engineer pronounced it safe to stop, and


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we went alongside the flagship. As I stepped on to the quarter deck, Commodore Hollins demanded to know why I had disobeyed his instructions and gone around the point. Hesitatingly I answered, "I thought, sir--" But I got no farther, as the commodore interrupted me with "You thought, sir! You dared to think, sir! I will have you understand I am the only man in this fleet who is allowed to think!" I was so badly scared that probably that awful interview with the commodore was the reason I was never afterwards so thoughtless.

        The Federal ironclad, not knowing our weakness, after she had run by the Island Number 10 batteries in the night, was quietly waiting at her anchors for her consorts to do likewise before attacking us.

        The houses of New Madrid interfered with our fire. They were just as their owners had left them when they fled in such haste that they had not time to move their furniture or belongings, and it had up to this time seemed a pity to destroy them, but now they had been riddled by shells and were very much in the way. The commodore sent for me one night and ordered me to take a detail of men and go ashore and set fire to the town. I begged him not to send me and told him the history of the place, and how in 1787 the King of Spain had given my great-grand-father, Colonel George Morgan, formerly of the Revolutionary Army, a grant of land comprising, according to Gayarré, in his history of Louisiana, some seventeen millions of acres, and how my ancestor had founded the city of New Madrid on it, and that it would be dreadful for me to have to destroy it. The old commodore simply remarked that it would be a singular coincidence and that it was all the more appropriate that I should destroy my ancestor's town.

        I went ashore with a number of men all provided with matches and fat-pine torches. The wind was blowing toward the river and we sneaked along in the darkness until


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we arrived at the last houses in the suburbs. I then remembered that in my frequent visits to the army headquarters I had noticed a barn that was filled with straw situated some two hundred yards beyond the last house in an open field. I knew that the enemy's pickets were very near and did not like to send one of my men to set it on fire, so I gave them instructions to wait until I myself touched it off or the pickets commenced to shoot and then to set fire to everything within reach as rapidly as possible. I knew little of the effects of lights and shadows. I made my way out to the barn all right and found the straw bulging out of a window well within my reach. I struck a match and applied it to the straw with the result that a mass of flame instantly leaped many feet above the roof, and the minié bullets commenced to sing like so many big mosquitoes around my ears. I fled toward my comrades. I don't think I ever ran so fast in my life as I did on that occasion. I was fairly flying when I felt a sting in the upper part of my left arm, and I also distinctly remembered that I exclaimed, "Thank God, it is not in one of my legs!" The only effect of the shot was to increase my speed, if that was possible: the bullet had only grazed my arm. A line of houses were in flames by the time I rejoined my men. The wind fanned the flames and the light exposed us to the fire of the enemy, but we succeeded in reaching the ship without the loss of a man. I had undone the work of my ancestor, and I was not particularly proud of the job.

        A few days after this adventure things at New Madrid came to a head. We were cut off from Island Number 10 by the ironclad, and the batteries below cut us off from communication with the lower river. We commanded only the little stretch along which our gunboats lay. Our soldiers were completely demoralized and it was decided to evacuate New Madrid. At midnight the gunboats were brought alongside the bank, gangplanks were put out, and we had not long to wait before the terrified troops, every man for


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himself, rushed aboard the smaller gunboats in the greatest disorder. They at once rushed to the side farthest from the enemy, and in doing so almost capsized the topheavy and cranky little Ivy.

        But it was a different thing with the McRae, where they found a sentry at the gangway who ordered them to halt. They raged and swore and openly threatened to rush the sentry, but at that moment the gentle "Savez" Read appeared on the scene and told the men that if they came on board it would have to be in an orderly manner as soldiers, and not as a mob. At this the men commenced to threaten him, but he only asked them where their officers were, and was told that they did not care a rap where they were, but that they were coming aboard. By this time Read had gone ashore and was standing amongst them. He quietly asked them to be silent for a moment, and then inquired who was their head man. A big fellow, with much profanity said he "had as much to say as any other man." Instantly Read's sabre flashed out of its scabbard and came down on the heart of the mutineer, felling him to the ground, as in a thunderous voice the usually mild "Savez" roared, "Fall in!"--and the mob ranged themselves in line like so many lambs and were marched quietly across the gangplank and on to the ship.

        We carried the frightened creatures across the river to the Tennessee side and put them ashore at Point Pleasant, some two or three miles below New Madrid, and near Tiptonville. That was the last we saw of them.

        The garrison of Island Number 10 also escaped, but some five hundred of them were afterwards captured. I mention this fact because these men composed the ten thousand prisoners General Pope telegraphed Washington that he had taken in his great victory. All the Northern newspapers published this dispatch at the time and made such a hero of Pope that he was shortly afterwards placed in command of the Army of the Potomac, with what result history records.


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My brother-in-law, the late Brigadier-General R. C. Drum, who was adjutant-general of the United States Army for many years, told me that he had frequently seen that dispatch in the archives of his office, but some years after he was retired, General Pope denied that such a paper existed and dared the newspaper reporters to produce it. They were allowed to search the archives, but it was not to be found.

        We lay for several days at anchor near Tiptonville, expecting every moment that the Federal ironclads would come down and attack us, but they did not put in an appearance before we left. Nevertheless, we received a very unpleasant surprise one morning while we were at breakfast when the cottonwood trees on the opposite side of the river suddenly tumbled down and a long line of guns opened fire on us. We got up our anchors as quickly as possible and went into action, with the result that our flotilla suffered considerably. The first disaster happened when a shell burst in the pantry of the Livingston and smashed all of Commander Pinckney's beautiful chinaware of which he was very proud. The General Polk then received several shells in her hull on the water line and was run ashore to keep her from sinking, and the other boats were cut up considerably, but running close in to the masked batteries the grape and canister from our big guns caused the enemy to limber up and disappear. Commodore Hollins said "the campaign had taught him one thing and that was that gunboats were not fitted for chasing cavalry."

        It was at Tiptonville that Commodore Hollins received a message from the senior naval officer at New Orleans begging him to bring his gunboats as quickly as possible, as it was certain that Admiral Farragut would soon try to dash by Forts Jackson and St. Philip. No one knew the danger better than the old commodore did. Ordering his flagship to follow, he went on board of the fast Ivy accompanied by his small aide, and we started at full speed for New Orleans.


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        At Fort Pillow we stopped so that the commodore could send a telegram to the Secretary of the Navy asking him to order all the gunboats to follow him. I also carried a communication to General Villapigue, the commander of Fort Pillow, telling him of the fall of Island Number 10 and New Madrid, and advising him to prepare for an attack by the enemy's ironclads. We also stopped at Baton Rouge, where I took ashore more telegrams for the Navy Department at Richmond, for the capital had been removed to that city by this time. The authorities at Richmond, like swivel-chair naval strategists all over the world, differed entirely with the naval officers as to what was best to be done with the gunboats and never sent them any instructions at all.

        Arriving at New Orleans, Commodore Hollins made his headquarters at the old St. Charles Hotel, and I was immediately sent down to the forts with a communication for General Duncan, who was in command, in which the commodore asked the general where he would like the gun-boats placed for the coming fight and suggesting the head of the reach above the forts as the most effective position for them to take up.

        I found on my arrival that Fort Jackson was undergoing a most terrific bombardment from Commander Porter's mortar fleet which was hidden behind the trees around the bend below. The air was full of shells and the fort was full of smoke from their explosions.

        Accompanying Commander Kennon, captain of the Governor Moore, we crossed the bridge over the moat which was the only means of access to the old-fashioned brick fortress. As we walked a shell fell into the moat and gave us a dirty shower bath, at the same time disturbing several large alligators who lashed the water furiously with their tails. Entering through the sallyport we saw no one but a solitary sentry, as the whole garrison was gathered in the casemates to protect them from the mortar fire. The fort was filled


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with débris. However, we had a very pleasant dinner with General Duncan, after which I returned to New Orleans. I found the commodore busy with the preparations of the Louisiana, a most marvelous craft shaped like a huge square box. From her midship section aft she divided into two hulls and between them were placed two paddlewheels, one large and one small, the smaller one being placed in front of the big ones, so as to insure the latter's working in a mill-race when both were turning at the same time. On her sides were iron rails for an armor. At her trial trip it was found that it was with difficulty she kept up with the current when going downstream, and when pointed upstream she was carried down at the rate of two or three knots an hour. Towed back to the wharf, two engines from little tugs were placed aboard, one in each of her sterns. This increased power was not perceptible, and as she would not steer, she was towed down the river and moored to the bank where she served as an additional fort.

        The other ironclad was a magnificent vessel. She had real plates for her armor and they were of great thickness. She had great power, having triple screws, and her battery was to consist of eighteen of the heaviest guns. Had she been completed in time, she would have been like a bull in a china shop among Admiral Farragut's light wooden sloops-of-war. But the great admiral knew as much about her as we did and had no intention of postponing his attack until she was finished.

        Our gunboats from up the river had not arrived,--they never did,--but instead were run into the various tributaries of the lower Mississippi and destroyed by their own crews. I cannot say that they would have stopped Admiral Farragut's fleet, but their eighteen guns would have made it more interesting for him when he passed the forts.

        All was work and hurry preparing for the great fight when one morning I went into the commodore's room and found the old gentleman seated by his work-table holding a telegram


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in one hand while his head was bowed in evident distress. When he became aware of my presence he raised his head and proffering the telegram said, "Read this." If the message had been sent to a cabin boy it would have been sufficiently curt to have wounded his feelings. It read: "Report in Richmond in person and give an account of your conduct"--signed, "S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy." On arriving at Richmond a court of inquiry on his conduct was held, and as New Orleans had fallen, of course he was acquitted.

        Admiral Farragut's victory is a matter of history. The McRae was in the thick of the fight. Her sides were riddled and the heavy projectiles knocked her guns off the carriages and rolled them along the deck crunching the dead and wounded. Her deck was a perfect shambles. Captain Huger was struck in the groin by a grapeshot and afterwards his temple was laid open by a canister bullet. When taken below he pleaded with Mr. Read, saying, "Mr. Read, don't surrender my little ship. I have always promised myself that I would fight her until she was under the water!" And right gallantly did "Savez" Read keep his word to his stricken captain, for when day broke the McRae was the only thing afloat with the Confederate flag flying. Admiral Farragut, with his flagship the Hartford, was by this time at the Quarantine Station, about four miles above the forts. Read sent the only boat he had that would float over to the Hartford to tell Admiral Farragut the condition of his vessel and the difficulty he was having to keep her afloat--that he did not have a gun left on a carriage, and no one to care for his dying captain or the many other wounded. Admiral Farragut asked why he did not haul his flag down and was told of the promise to the captain. Admiral Farragut then sent word to Read to bring the McRae alongside the Hartford, and then gave him permission to proceed to New Orleans, saying that he would tell him there what disposition he would make of the ship. When she arrived at


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New Orleans the McRae was leaking like a sieve; the exhausted remnant of the crew refused to continue at the pumps, and as the last wounded men were taken out of the ship--down she went.

        Admiral Dewey, the admiral of the United States Navy, was a shipmate of Read's on board of the frigate Powhatan when the war broke out, and at the battle of New Orleans was the executive officer of the frigate Mississippi which was afterwards sunk at Port Hudson. The admiral told me that Read had not acted fairly about the sinking of the McRae and escaping himself, as he had cut the sea-pipes to hasten her foundering. But the McRae did not go down with her flag flying, for just as her spanker gaff was about to disappear beneath the muddy waters of the Mississippi, a boat from one of the Federal men-of-war (already arrived opposite the city) dashed up to the sinking ship and removed the flag from its proud position at the peak.

        Commodore Hollins I saw once again after the war was over--it was at Charleston, South Carolina in 1867. This fine old gentleman and able seaman, who had commanded fleets in the United States Navy as well as in the Confederacy, and who had been the honored guest of royalty, was then in command of a miserable little coaster trading between Baltimore and Charleston. He died a few years afterwards while holding the position of "crier" of a minor court in Baltimore. A like fate was the lot of many of the officers who resigned from the old navy to serve the Confederacy.


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CHAPTER IX

Farragut's fleet at New Orleans--Mob threatens to kill his officers who demand the surrender of the city--Farragut threatens to destroy the city if a hair of their heads is hurt--Pierre Soulé's hypnotic forefinger saves the critical situation--I take to the swamp--The "Irreconcilable Home Guard"--Reach General Lovell's camp at Amite--Reach Norfolk in time for the evacuation--Richmond--The battle between the U.S. Ironclads Galena, Monitor, and Naugatuck and Drewry's Bluff batteries--Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks)--Seven Days' Battle.

        ADMIRAL FARRAGUT'S fleet was anchored in line in front of New Orleans. He sent Captain Bailey and his flag lieutenant on shore to demand the surrender of the city. The mayor received them at the Mint, a public building situated on Esplanade Street, near the river. I saw a great crowd gather in front of the place of meeting and heard the threats made that they were going to kill the Federal officers when they came out. The mob little knew that the sailors of the fleet were standing with lanyards in hand and that the great guns were trained on the city as well as on themselves. They were also ignorant of the fact that Admiral Farragut had sworn, if a hair on the heads of his officers was hurt, he would not leave two stones on top of each other in the city of New Orleans.

        The mob, which was composed of men who had funked going to the front, seemed determined to bring destruction on themselves as well as on the innocent women and children of the place. How to get the Federal officers out of the building after the meeting and thus avoid disaster was the question which agitated the city officials when Mr. Soulé, formerly a United States Senator, and also United States Minister to Spain, came to their rescue. He was the possessor of wonderful eloquence and a hypnotic forefinger. He told the mayor that he believed he could hold the attention of the mob while the naval officers were passed out of a back door. He appeared on the portico and was received


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with cheers. He raised his arm and that magic forefinger commenced to tremble and there was instant silence. I thought the finger would never stop trembling, but it was evident that as long as it did so it fascinated the attention of the crowd. I don't remember what he said, but I do recollect that he commenced his speech with the words, "Sons of Louisiana," when at last he broke the silence with his wonderful and sonorous voice, which had a strong French accent. Long before he had finished talking the United States officers were safely back on board of the Hartford. New Orleans never paid her debt to Mr. Soulé. It is appalling to think of the havoc a few hundred bushels of grapeshot scattered amongst that mob would have wrought, to say nothing of the destruction of the old city.

        Leaving the Mint, Mr. Soulé proceeded to the telegraph office and wired the provost marshal at Vicksburg to arrest the Tift brothers, the contractors who had built the formidable ironclad Mississippi, charging them with treason for having destroyed that vessel and ordering them to be confined in prison. This order was carried out, although at the time Mr. Soulé occupied no office either civil or military under the Confederacy, and despite the fact that Captain St. Clair was on board of the same steamboat with the Tifts when it arrived at Vicksburg and assured the provost marshal that the Mississippi had been burned by his, St. Clair's, orders when he found it impossible to tow her up the river on account of her size, as he wished to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy.

        I had neither ambition nor desire to take a trip North or to spend an indefinite time in a Northern prison, so with all speed I hied me unto the country behind the city, where I found a train waiting on a siding, and with neither money nor ticket and without invitation I boarded it without the least idea of where I was going--and I did not care much so long as my destination was outside of the limits of the city where I was born.


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        I found the train crowded with a lot of prosperous and ponderous old gentlemen who were members of the "Home Guard," clothed in every conceivable garb, except that of a soldier--each one of them being hampered by a musket which he did not know how to handle. They were all swearing by a multitudinous variety of strange gods that death was preferable to existence under the detested Yankee's rule. At the first stop at Manchac Pass it was noticed that their numbers perceptibly decreased, and after passing the second station there was plenty of room in the coaches and some people had even a whole seat to themselves. We arrived at Amite, where I had once been at school, and we detrained. General Lovell, who commanded the troops, had determined to make this place his headquarters and already there was quite a large camp there. The remnant of the "Home Guard" stood the rigors of camp life for a day or two, and then, deciding that the duty of a home guard was to guard his home, silently and singly, without consulting their superiors, they sneaked off to count how many railroad ties there were between Amite and their home comforts. It was afterwards said that the wretched condition of Napoleon's soldiers on the retreat from Moscow was not a circumstance to the plight in which these fat old gentlemen arrived at their comfortable mansions in New Orleans, convinced that the killing of Yankees was work fitted only for butchers.

        We spent several days at Amite waiting for transportation farther north. I say "we," because on the train I had met Commander Pegram and a number of naval officers who were to have been attached to the ill-fated Mississippi. Among these officers was gallant Clarence Cary, who was to become my lifelong friend, and Frank Dawson, who was eventually to become my brother-in-law. These officers had recently made a sensational dash through the blockade in the Nashville, and they were now on their way to Norfolk for further orders. A waif myself, I decided to join their party.


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        The trains in the Confederacy were not allowed to run faster than ten miles an hour, and the particular train on which we traveled to Virginia broke down every few miles, so I doubt if we even averaged that slow speed. There were so many soldiers on the train that it was difficult to get refreshments at the various little stations, and on this journey I had my first experience in going hungry for more than twenty-four hours at a time, but as I was ill and suffering from old-fashioned chills and fever, which I had contracted on the lower Mississippi, I don't remember that I missed the food greatly.

        Arriving at Norfolk I parted with my compagnons de voyage and went on board of the Merrimac on which I knew two of my old shipmates on the McRae were serving--Lieutenant Eggleston and Midshipman Marmaduke. It was only recently that the Merrimac had been engaged in her great fights in Hampton Roads. I gazed with admiration on the shot-holes in her armor and felt sure that she could whip anything afloat, and I believe her officers and crew thought so too. I little dreamed that before many hours she was to be ingloriously destroyed by her own crew on account of her drawing too much water to go up the James River.

        Mr. Eggleston advised me to go at once and report to Captain Sidney Smith Lee, the elder brother of General Robert E. Lee, who was in command of the naval station, and ask him for orders. As I passed through the streets on my way I saw many batteries of artillery and regiments of infantry hurrying in one direction and accompanied by trains of wagons. When I came into the presence of Captain Lee, before I had a chance to say a word he demanded to know what I was doing there. When I told him that I was a fugitive from New Orleans, his whole manner changed and he said, "You appear to be ill, sir." I replied, "Chills and fever, sir." And the next moment he said, "You must leave here at once; this place is being evacuated!" I asked


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him where I should go, and he replied, "Any place so that you get out of here." And then turning to a clerk he told him to make out an order for transportation for me to Richmond.

        On my way to and at the station, I saw many queer sights. There were orderly commands marching out of the place and disorganized mobs of men in uniform who were free from all restraint and discipline. At one place a gang of men were trying to put a heavy piece of artillery on a light spring wagon drawn by one horse! I don't think they succeeded in doing it, but I did not wait to see the result of their labors. At the station there was a crowd of civilians, and piles of household goods; also many pretty and jolly girls who seemed to regard the matter as a picnic devised to amuse them. Government mules were being driven by in droves scattering the crowd in every direction. There were crates containing pigs and chickens blocking the way, and everything seemed to be in inconceivable confusion--infantrymen with arms, and infants in arms, jostling each other. One poor old stout woman carrying her baby was anxiously searching for her baggage and only found somebody else's lost four-year-old boy who clung to her skirts with such a grip that she could not shake him off. Everybody was in a hurry to get to some place, but few seemed to know what the name of the place was.

        After a most uncomfortable journey I arrived in Richmond. I had noticed in Norfolk that people looked at me askance, if not with real enmity expressed in their glances in my direction, but that was nothing in comparison to the gruff way I was treated in Richmond if I dared ask a stranger to direct me on my way. It did not take me long to find out the cause--it was my blue uniform with the United States naval buttons. The gray uniform for naval officers had not reached New Orleans before its fall, but the blue was an unusual sight in Richmond except when it was worn by a Union soldier who was a prisoner. I was told that but for


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my youth and small stature I might have been roughly handled. However, I soon got rid of the hated blue, as I had a little money due me and had the good fortune to meet Paymaster Semple, a son-in-law of ex-President Tyler, with whom I had been shipmates for a time on board of the McRae. He advanced me on my pay and I was soon arrayed in gray like the rest.

        I was a very lonely little boy in Richmond for a few days. Louisiana was farther away in those days than it is in these of fast express trains, and somehow I was made to feel as though I was a foreigner. I suppose that was on account of our accent being different from that of other Southerners. It was only a few years ago in Washington when I was introduced to a Southern lady, my only recommendation being that I was a Confederate veteran, that she looked at me doubtfully and said, "Mr. Morgan, I can't believe that you are a Southerner; you neither look nor talk like any Southerner I ever met before." I replied, "Madam, I can assure you that had I been born any farther south than I was, I would have had to come into this world either as a pompino or a soft-shell crab, for the hard ground stops where I was born in the southern part of Louisiana!"

        When I received my orders they were to the naval battery at Drewry's Bluff, seven miles below Richmond on the James River a place of great natural strength. Pits were dug, wooden platforms were built at the bottom of them, and the guns were mounted on navy carriages with all their blocks and tackle such as were used on board of the men-of-war of that day. It was manned by sailors principally from the gallant crew of the Merrimac. The river had been barricaded by sinking in the channel the ocean-going steamship Jamestown and several steamboats besides crates made of logs and filled with stone, leaving only a narrow passage-way for our own boats. It was while there that I witnessed a most magnificent exhibition of coolness and nerve--Commander John Rodgers, U.S.N., had been ordered to


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test the new ironclad under his command to find out whether she was shot-proof or not. Her name was the Galena.

        It was about eight o'clock on the morning of the 16th of May, 1862, that we saw a squadron consisting of the Galena, the original Monitor (the one that fought the Merrimac), the ironclad Naugatuck, and two wooden gunboats coming up the river, and our drums beat to quarters while we rushed to our stations at the guns. Neither Commander Farrand, who commanded at Drewry's Bluff, nor Commander Rodgers, who commanded the Federal squadron, seemed in any hurry to open fire, so we in the battery waited patiently at our silent guns while the Galena came up to within four hundred yards of us accompanied by the Monitor, the rest of the squadron remaining below the bend seeking its protection from our plunging fire. The Monitor also dropped below, as her flat decks made her particularly vulnerable. The Galena quietly and peacefully, as though no enemy was within miles of her, let go her anchor. She then got out a hawser which sailors call a "spring," and made it fast to her anchor chain. Paying out her cable she swung across the stream, which brought her broadside to bear on us. Down the river-bank, hidden by the bushes, were two or three thousand Confederate infantrymen.

        Commander Rodgers was most leisurely in his movements. At last he fired a shot to get our range; there were no range-finders in those days, and it could only be found by experiment. That gun was the signal for the fun to commence. It was not necessary for us to find the range, as from our great height we had only to fire down on him; our guns were depressed to such an extent that we had to put grommets of rope over our round projectiles to keep them from rolling out of the muzzles. The shot from the Galena was our signal to open fire, and for three hours we were at it hammer and tongs. The Galena was perforated twenty-two times without counting the shots which struck her without going through her armor. The riflemen on the


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river-bank fairly rained bullets at her portholes, one of which became jammed, and when a sailor put his arm outside in an attempt to free it, the limb fell into the river amputated by musket balls. The wooden gunboats around the bend also suffered the loss of several men. Although we were supposed to be safe in our covered gun pits perched so high on the bluff, all had not been cakes and ale with us. Several men had been killed and wounded; among them my classmate at Annapolis, Midshipman Carroll, of Maryland, had been literally cut in two by a shell.

        When Commander Rodgers had satisfied himself that the Galena was not shot-proof, he weighed his anchor as deliberately as though he was about to leave a friendly port, and dropped slowly and in a most dignified way down the river. He had lost many men in killed and wounded. Commander Rodgers, in his report to the Secretary of the Navy, says: "The result of our experiment with the Galena I enclose. We demonstrated that she is not shot-proof; balls came through and many men were killed with fragments of her own iron . . . . The Galena should be repaired before sending her to sea."

        Sailors are a generous lot and admire gallantry whether shown by friend or foe, and the men in the gun pits at Drewry's Bluff gave hearty cheers for the Galena as she drew out of action.

        Historians seem to be ignorant concerning the importance of this fight. At the time there was nothing between Richmond and the Federal squadron but the guns of Drewry's Bluff. A passage had purposely been left through the obstructions in the river for our own boats and it was sufficiently wide and deep for the Federal vessels to have passed through. McClellan's army was within a few miles of the capital, and if Commander Rodgers's squadron had not been stopped by the naval battery there was nothing else to prevent them from going on to Richmond.


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        General Joe Johnston's army was now at Richmond, and I obtained a short leave to go to the city to see my brother George who was a captain and acting quartermaster in Blanchard's Louisiana brigade. I accompanied him to the front and found many friends among the Louisiana boys. There was with the brigade a light battery, in which there were many young men from Baton Rouge, and one day, while a number of us were sitting at the foot of a large tree, in fancied security, and watching a captive balloon belonging to the enemy, bullets began to rattle against the trunk of the tree, and we got away from there as quickly as possible. Horses were rapidly hitched to the caissons, the guns were limbered up, and the battery dashed off to another part of the field. The picket firing by that time had increased until it had become a constant rattle sounding somewhat like the roll of hundreds of snare drums.

        Blanchard's brigade was in Huger's division on the extreme right of our army. I made my way to the camp of the First Louisiana, which I found under arms. Their part in the battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, as the Federals called it, had begun. The regiment advanced and I followed on behind until suddenly I saw an officer riding up to where General Blanchard and his staff were seated on their horses. Before he reached them his horse suddenly reared and in that instant I recognized my brother. The horse fell dead, and when I came up I found he was lying on one of George's legs and that George could not extricate himself. It was a big undertaking for me, but I managed to move the fore shoulder of that horse far enough to free my brother. He was quite severely hurt and had to be removed to the rear. That was all I saw of the battle of Seven Pines. Could I have seen what was going on on the other side, I should have beheld my dear cousin, Colonel A. S. M. Morgan, being borne off the field--shot through both hips, while gallantly leading his regiment, the Second Pennsylvania.

        I accompanied my brother to Richmond where he was


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carried to the most fashionable hostelry in the city, the old Spotswood Hotel, and I remained there for several days with him. The doors of the bedrooms on the corridors were mostly kept open and it seemed to me that a game of poker was going on in every room. The lobby of the hotel was crowded with officers, most of whom carried an arm in a sling. The cause of this was the wearing of the flaring gold chevrons on their sleeves to indicate their rank. They made beautiful targets for the sharpshooters; but not for long, as later in the war even generals wore only three small stars on their coat-collars.

        Passing through the lobby one morning I met an old acquaintance, a Louisiana Zouave, dressed in red Turkish trousers with a short blue jacket elaborately trimmed with yellow braid--of course he too had an arm in a sling. He stopped me and asked if I had seen the "zoozoo" fight-- he was very enthusiastic and very excitable. "Oh!" said he, in broken English, "You ought to see ze zoozoo fight. Colonel Copin he draw his long sabre and say, 'Charge!' We charge and we charge right on top ze Yankee breast-work; Yankee drop down and say 'quatta!' 'quatta!' I say, 'No quatta fer Bootla [Butler]: I stick he wid de bayonette!'" Those Acadians imagined that they were only engaged in a holy crusade against the tyrant of New Orleans.

        My brother George thought that a little trip to the hills would benefit my health, and as he had heard that "Stonewall" Jackson's division was at Gordonsville, he furnished me with the means to go there where I would be with my brother Gibbes, then a captain in the Seventh Louisiana Regiment. I found him flushed with victory, having just returned from the marvelous Shenandoah Valley campaign in which Jackson had fought so many battles in so few weeks, and he seemed very proud to belong to Jackson's "foot cavalry." To my great delight I found my brother's young and beautiful wife with him. It was no uncommon


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thing at that time for the wives of officers to follow their husbands so as to be near the battle-fields. Unfortunately for me, my pleasure at being with my favorite brother and his wife was of short duration, as in a few hours after my arrival in Gordonsville, Jackson's "foot cavalry" moved on, and I returned to Richmond.

        On my arrival in Richmond I saw several thousand Union prisoners, guarded by Confederates, seated on the ground, resting themselves. Few if any of them could speak English and the most accomplished linguists among them could only say, "I fights mit Sigel."

        At Drewry's Bluff we lived in tents and were very comfortable. Parties composed of ladies and gentlemen would frequently visit the Bluff and they made it quite gay; besides, by this time, quite a large number of midshipmen were stationed there and they made it lively for their superior officers as well as for themselves. I had while there an interesting experience in steering the boat from which Commander Matthew F. Maury buoyed the places in the river where he afterwards had placed what were probably the first floating mines used in war. We called them "spar torpedoes" as the mines were attached to an anchored and floating spar.

        I shall never forget a very unpleasant hour in connection with these mines. Colonel Page, a former officer of the navy, who looked to be about seven feet high, wanted to go from Drewry's Bluff to Chapin's Bluff, a fortification that he commanded, on the opposite side of the river and about a mile below. I was ordered to take charge of the boat that was to take him to his post because it was supposed I knew where the mines were. It was a dark night, but we got on all right for some distance. Suddenly the side of the boat grated against something and the boat slightly careened. Colonel Page, whose sobriquet in the navy was "Ramrod" on account of his erect bearing, and who was well known in the service as a very strict disciplinarian,


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exclaimed, "What is that?--I thought you knew where the torpedoes were." "Yes, sir," I replied, "that is one of them." There was silence in the boat until we reached the little wharf at Chapin's Bluff, and when Colonel Page disembarked he expressed his opinion of me and my professional accomplishments in language which left nothing for the imagination to work on. Had the boat been a little heavier we should all have gone to heaven by the most direct route.

        "Stonewall" Jackson's army came down from the Valley and joined General Lee. I went over to the camp of the Seventh Louisiana to see my brother Gibbes, and while I did not participate in any of the battles of the "Seven Days," I saw some of the fighting. One day McClellan sent an ammunition train, with a fuse attached to it, down the railroad tracks--of course it was running "wild." Jackson's division, thinking that it carried reinforcements, rushed for the railroad intending to fire into it as it passed, but while they were some distance away the train exploded destroying many windows in Richmond, several miles away. For two or three days after the explosion a negro boy who waited on my brother and the officers of his company was not to be found. This boy had always bragged that in action he was to the front, and continually boasted about the number of Yankees he had killed. When he finally turned up and was asked the meaning of his long absence, he replied: "Mass' Gibbes, I stood their shot and shell and bullets, but when it came to shootin' a whole train of cars at one poor nigger I tell you de truf, sah, I done lit out right dar and den!"

        At this time I had been detached from Drewry's Bluff and was on board of the gunboat Beaufort, a small river tug about forty feet long and carrying one small gun on her forecastle; her complement consisted of two officers and eight men she was crowded. This little boat had covered


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herself all over with glory when the Merrimac sank the frigates Congress and Cumberland. The Beaufort was then commanded by Lieutenant William H. Parker, and it was to the Beaufort that the Congress surrendered. She was now commanded by Lieutenant Sharp, who had many other duties to attend to at the ordnance works and elsewhere, so that he was very little on board his ship(?).

        We were lying alongside the river-bank at Rockett's (the lower end of Richmond) one day, when my brother Gibbes made me a visit. We were cozily chatting about home when a quartermaster poked his head in at the little cabin door and, saluting, said, "Jurgenson has come aboard, sir." I replied, "Very good, quartermaster." The man then said, "Jurgenson is drunk and noisy, sir." I said, "Tell Jurgenson to turn into his bunk and keep quiet." There was an awful din going on forward and the quartermaster came back and reported that the man would not keep quiet. "All right," I said, "tell the master-at-arms to put him in double irons and gag and buck him unless he stops his racket." The quartermaster saluted and again withdrew. Gibbes looked at me with amazement and asked me if it was possible that a little boy like myself had authority to order such severe punishment. I told him that I was not a little boy on that boat, but for the moment I was her commanding officer. He then expressed doubts as to whether the master-at-arms would obey the order and wanted me to go outside with him and see. I declined, on the ground that it might look as though I doubted if my orders would be carried out, and Gibbes went forward to see for himself. He came back shortly shaking his head and said that he must return to his command, as he wanted to tell the boys what he had seen that day. I tried to make him understand that I had not indulged in any cruelty on my own part, but that in the navy every misdemeanor had its punishment set forth in the Regulations and that I was liable to punishment myself if I did not carry out the orders. I told him that Jurgenson


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was an old man-of-warsman and knew as well if not better than I what was going to happen if he did not obey the order to keep silence and behave himself. I could not make Gibbes believe that I was very fond of old Jurgenson; that he was one of the best men in the ship, and that he would have lost all respect for me if I had not carried out the discipline of the service; that I was going to have the gag taken out of his mouth as soon as he stopped yelling. It was all of no avail, my gallant volunteer brother left, still shaking his head and repeating, "I must go back and tell my boys what I have seen this day." That was the last time I ever saw my brother.


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CHAPTER X

Charleston--Commodore Ingraham--C. S. Ironclad Chicora--The looting of my home in Baton Rouge--George Hollins dies of yellow fever--The Honorable George A. Trenholm--Naval officers "never unbutton their coats"--Ordered abroad.

        WITH all my State pride, I must acknowledge that the article of chills and fever handed to me on the James River was superior to the brand on the lower Mississippi, and, complicated by chronic dysentery, so sapped my strength that the doctor ordered me to show myself at the Navy Department and ask for orders to some other station. Commodore French Forrest was chief of the Bureau of "Orders and Detail," and I really thought he had some sympathy for my condition when he looked me over. He asked me where I would like to be ordered to, and I quickly said that I would be delighted if I was sent to the naval battery at Port Hudson. The commodore then asked if I had relatives near there, and on my assuring him that my mother and sisters were refugees and were staying at the plantation of General Carter, only a few miles distant, he turned to a clerk and said, "Make out an order for Midshipman Morgan to report to Commodore Ingraham at Charleston, South Carolina. I don't believe in having young officers tied to their mothers' apron strings."--And so to Charleston I went.

        Commodore Ingraham, to whom I reported, was the man who some years previously, when in command of the little sloop-of-war St. Louis in the port of Smyrna, had bluffed an Austrian frigate and compelled her to surrender Martin Koszta, a naturalized American citizen, whom they held as a prisoner. This act made Ingraham the idol of the people at that time; if repeated in this day (1916), it would cost an officer his commission. Commodore Ingraham also


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commanded the Confederate gunboats when they drove the Federal blockading fleet away from Charleston.

        I was assigned to the Chicora, a little ironclad that was being built between two wharves which served as a navy yard. She was not nearly completed, so I was forced to hunt for quarters on shore. Being directed to a miserable boarding-house which was fourth-rate, and consequently supposed to be cheap, I found that the cheapest board to be had was at the rate of forty-five dollars a month, so I did not see exactly how I could manage it, as my shore pay was only forty. However, the generous hotel proprietor, when the situation was explained, consented to let me stay for that sum on condition that I would make up the other five dollars if my friends at home sent me any money. The man was certainly taking a long chance for that extra five dollars. Where were my friends, and where was my home? My mother and sisters were refugees; and as for home--the following extract from Mrs. McHattan-Ripley's book "From Flag to Flag" will give some idea of its condition. Mrs. McHattan lived on a plantation about three miles below Baton Rouge and after the battle visited the town. She says:--

        At last I descended and walked the dusty, littered, shadeless streets from square to square. Seeing the front door of the late Judge Morgan's house thrown wide open, and knowing that his widow and daughters, after asking protection for their property of the commanding general, had left before the battle, I entered. No words can tell the scene that those deserted rooms presented. The grand portraits, heirlooms of that aristocratic family,--men of the Revolutionary period, high-bred dames of a long-past generation, in short bodices, puffed sleeves, towering head-dresses, and quaint golden chains, ancestors long since dead, not only valuable as likenesses that could not be duplicated, but acknowledged works of art,--these portraits hung from the walls, slashed by swords clear across from side to side, stabbed and mutilated in every brutal way! The contents of store-closets had been poured over the floors; molasses and vinegar and everything that defaces and stains had been smeared over the walls and furniture.


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Upstairs, armoires with mirror-doors had been smashed in with heavy axes or hammers, and the dainty dresses of the young ladies torn and crushed with studied, painstaking malignity, while china, toilet articles, and bits of glass that ornamented the rooms were thrown upon the beds and broken and ground into a mass of fragments. Desks were wrenched open, and the contents scattered, not only through the house; but out upon the streets, to be wafted in all directions; parts of their private letters as well as letters from the desks of other violated homes, and family records torn from numberless Bibles, were found on the sidewalks of the town, and even on the public roads beyond town limits.

        Lieutenant Warley, with whom I had served on the McRae, was the only living human being I knew in Charelston, and the great difference in our rank, as well as age, precluded the possibility of my making a companion of him; so, a lonely boy, I roamed the streets of the quaint old city. Evidently the war as yet had had no effect on the style kept up by the old blue-bloods, for I was amazed to see handsome equipages, with coachmen in livery on the box, driving through the town. Little did their owners dream that before very long those same fine horses would be hauling artillery and commissary wagons, and those proud liveried servants would be at work with pick and spade throwing up breastworks! To my great delight, George Hollins, a son of my dearly loved old commodore, a boy of about my own age with whom I had been shipmate on the Mississippi River, arrived in town, and the boarding-house man consented to allow him to share my little room at the same rate charged me. George had been in Charleston only a few days when yellow fever became epidemic. It was the latter part of August and the heat was something fearful. I had no fear of the fever, as I had been accustomed to its frequent visits to my old home, but with Hollins, a native of Baltimore, it was different.

        One afternoon he came into our room and complained of


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a headache and a pain in his back. The symptoms were familiar to me, so I persuaded him to go to bed and covered him with the dirty rag of a blanket. I then went quickly downstairs and asked the wife of the proprietor to let me have some hot water for a footbath and also to give me a little mustard. The woman was shocked at my presumption, but consented to give me the hot water; at parting with the mustard she demurred. As I was about to leave her kitchen she demanded to know what I wanted with hot water, and when I told her that my friend had the yellow fever, there was a scene in which she accused me of trying to ruin the reputation of the house and threatened me with dire punishment from her husband.

        I made Hollins put his feet in the hot water and then I went to a near-by druggist, telling him the situation, and asking him if he would credit me for the mustard, explaining that neither Hollins nor myself had any money. The kindly apothecary gave me the mustard and told me I could have any medicines needed, and also advised me to go at once and see Dr. Lebby, who, he was sure, would attend to the case without charge. The doctor came and did all that was possible. Poor George grew rapidly worse; he seemed to cling to me as his only friend, and could not bear to have me leave him for an instant. We slept that night huddled up together in the narrow bed.

        The next morning a strange negro man, very well dressed, and carrying a bunch of flowers in one hand and a bundle in the other, entered the room and proceeded to make himself very much at home. When asked what his business was, he said he was a yellow-fever nurse. I told him that we had no money and could not pay a nurse, at which he burst into a broad grin and said that he did not want any money; that he belonged to Mr. Trenholm who had sent him there. Throughout the day all sorts of delicacies continued to arrive, and to every inquiry as to whom they came from, the reply was, "Mr. Trenholm."

        


Illustration


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        The second night of his illness George was taken with the black vomit, which, as I held him in my arms, saturated my clothes. A shiver passed through his frame and without a word he passed away. Leaving my friend's body in charge of the nurse I went in search of Lieutenant Warley, and he told me not to worry about his funeral, as Mr. Trenholm would make all the arrangements. This Mr. Trenholm, unknown to me, seemed to be my providence, as well as being all-powerful. George Hollins was buried in the beautiful Magnolia Cemetery and immediately after the funeral Mr. Warley told me that I was not to go back to the boarding-house, but was for the present to share his room at the Mills House, a fashionable hotel.

        A few days after the funeral I was walking down Broad Street with Mr. Warley and we saw coming toward us a tall and very handsome man with silvery hair. Mr. Warley told me that he was Mr. Trenholm, and that I must thank him for all his kindness to my friend. Mr. Trenholm said that he was only sorry that he could not have done more for the poor boy, and, turning to the lieutenant, said: "Warley, can't you let this young gentleman come and stay at my house? There are some young people there, and we will try and make it pleasant for him."

        I thanked Mr. Trenholm and told him that I had recently been sleeping in the same bed with my friend, who had died of the most virulent form of yellow fever, and of course I could not go into anybody's house for some time to come; but the generous gentleman assured me that his family had no fears of the fever and insisted on my accepting his kind invitation. However, I did not think it right to go, and did not accept at that time; a day or two afterwards, however, I again met him with Mr. Warley, and he said, "Warley, I am sorry this young gentleman won't accept my invitation: we would try to make it pleasant for him." Mr. Warley turned to me, saying, "Youngster, you pack your bag and go up to Mr. Trenholm's house."


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        That settled it and I went, arriving at the great mansion shortly before the dinner hour. I did not, however, take a bag with me. If I had owned one, I would not have had anything to put in it.

        I will not attempt to describe Mr. Trenholm's beautiful home. For more than half a century now it has been pointed out to tourists as one of the show places of Charleston, and it has long since passed into the hands of strangers. I must confess that as I opened the iron gate and walked through the well-kept grounds to the front door I was a little awed by the imposing building, with its great columns supporting the portico. I could not but feel some misgivings as to the reception I would get, stranger as I was, from the family whom I had never met. Still, I did not dare run away, and so I timidly rang the bell. A slave, much better dressed than myself, and with the manners of a Chesterfield, appeared and showed me into the parlors; it was all very grand, but very lonely, as there was no one there to receive me. I took a seat and made myself comfortable; it had been a long time since I had sat on a luxurious sofa. In a few minutes two young ladies entered the room. Of course I had never seen either of them before, but the idea instantly flashed through my mind that I was going to marry the taller of the two, who advanced toward me and introduced herself as "Miss Trenholm."

        Soon there arrived a Frenchman, a Colonel Le Mat, the inventor of the "grapeshot revolver," a horrible contraption, the cylinder of which revolved around a section of a gun barrel. The cylinder contained ten bullets, and the grapeshot barrel was loaded with buckshot which, when fired, would almost tear the arm off a man with its recoil. Le Mat's English vocabulary was limited, and his only subject of conversation was his invention, so he used me to explain to the young ladies how the infernal machine worked. Now that sounds all very easy, but one must remember that Le Mat was a highly imaginative Gaul and insisted on


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posing me to illustrate his lecture. This was embarrassing especially as he considered it polite to begin all over again as each new guest entered the room. At last relief came when Mr. Trenholm came in with a beautiful lady, well past middle age, leaning on his arm; and I was introduced to my hostess, whose kind face and gentle manner put me at my ease at once.

        Oh, but it was a good dinner I sat down to that day! After all these years the taste of the good things lingers in my memory and I can almost smell the "aurora," as Boatswain Miller used to call the aroma, of the wonderful old madeira. It was in the month of September and the weather was intensely hot; I had my heavy cloth uniform coat buttoned closely, and only the rim of my celluloid collar showed above. Dinner over, we assembled in the drawing-room where we were enjoying music, when suddenly I found myself in a most embarrassing position. Dear, kind Mrs. Trenholm was the cause of it. Despite my protestations that naval officers were never allowed to open their uniform coats, she insisted, as it was so warm, that I should unbutton mine and be comfortable. Unbutton that coat! Never! I would have died first. I had no shirt under that coat; I did not own one.

        When bedtime arrived, Mr. Trenholm escorted me to a handsomely furnished room. What a sleep I had that night between those snow-white sheets, and what a surprise there was in the morning when I opened my eyes and saw a man-servant putting studs and cuff-buttons in a clean white shirt. On a chair there lay a newly pressed suit of civilian togs. I assured the man that he had made a mistake, but he told me he had orders from his mistress and that all those things and the contents of a trunk he had brought into the room were for me, adding that they had belonged to his young "Mass' Alfred," a boy of about my own age, whose health had broken down in the army and who had been sent abroad. I wanted the servant to leave the room so I


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could rise. I was too modest to get out of bed in his presence and too diffident to ask him to leave; but at last reflected that everybody must know that I had no shirt, so I jumped up and tumbled into a bath, and when the "body-servant" had arrayed me in those fine clothes I hardly knew myself.

        After breakfast two horses were brought to the front of the house, one, with a lady's saddle was called "Gypsy" and was one of the most beautiful Arabs I ever saw (and I have seen many); the other, a grand chestnut, called "Jonce Hooper," one of the most famous race-horses on the Southern turf when the war commenced. He had been bought by Colonel William Trenholm, my host's eldest son, for a charger, but Colonel Trenholm soon found that the pampered racer was too delicate for rough field work in time of war. Miss Trenholm and I mounted these superb animals and that morning and many mornings afterwards we went for long rides. In the afternoons I would accompany the young ladies in a landau drawn by a superb pair of bays with two men on the box. Just at that time the life of a Confederate midshipman did not seem to be one of great hardship to me; but my life of ease and luxury was fast drawing to an end.

        In the evenings the family and their friends used to sit on the big porch where tea, cakes, and ice cream were served, and the gentlemen could smoke if they felt so inclined. One day the distinguished Commodore Matthew F. Maury, who was on his way to Europe to fit out Confederate cruisers, dined at the house, and after dinner, with Mr. Trenholm, had joined the gay party on the piazza. Mr. Trenholm was the head of the firm of Fraser, Trenholm & Co., of Liverpool and Charleston, financial agents of the Confederate Government. Suddenly Mr. Trenholm came over to where I was laughing and talking with a group of young people, and asked me if I would like to go abroad and join a cruiser. I told him that nothing would delight


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me more, but that those details were for officers who had distinguished themselves, or who had influence, and that as I had not done the one thing and did not possess the other requisite, I could stand no possible chance of being ordered to go. Mr. Trenholm said that was not the question; he wanted to know if I really wished to go. On being assured that I would give anything to have the chance, he returned to Commodore Maury and resumed his conversation about the peculiarities of the "Gulf Stream."

        Imagine my surprise the next morning when, after returning from riding, I was handed a telegram, the contents of which read: "Report to Commodore M. F. Maury for duty abroad. Mr. Trenholm will arrange for your passage"; signed, "S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy." It fairly took my breath away!


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CHAPTER XI

Run through the U.S. blockading fleet--Out of our reckoning--Bermuda--Blockade-runners throw money into the street--Commodore Wilkes's famous ship San Jacinto gives us a scare--Halifax--Sail for England in company with some of Her Majesty's Life Guardsmen.

        MR. TRENHOLM owned many blockade-runners--one of them, the little light-draft steamer Herald, was lying in Charleston Harbor loaded with cotton and all ready to make an attempt to run through the blockading fleet. Commodore Maury, accompanied by his little son, a boy of twelve years of age, and myself, whom he had designated as his aide-de-camp for the voyage, went on board after bidding good-bye to our kind friends. About ten o'clock at night we got under way and steamed slowly down the harbor, headed for the sea. The moon was about half full, but heavy clouds coming in from the ocean obscured it. We passed between the great lowering forts of Moultrie and Sumter and were soon on the bar, when suddenly there was a rift in the clouds, through which the moon shone brightly, and there, right ahead of us, we plainly saw a big sloop-of-war!

        There was no use trying to hide. She also had seen us, and the order, "Hard-a-starboard!" which rang out on our boat was nearly drowned by the roar of the warship's great guns. The friendly clouds closed again and obscured the moon, and we rushed back to the protecting guns of the forts without having had our paint scratched. Two or three more days were passed delightfully in Charleston; then there came a drizzling rain and on the night of the 9th of October, 1862, we made another attempt to get through the blockade. All lights were out except the one in the covered binnacle protecting the compass. Not a word was spoken save by the pilot, who gave his orders to the man


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at the wheel in whispers. Captain Coxetter, who commanded the Herald, had previously commanded the privateer Jeff Davis, and had no desire to be taken prisoner, as he had been proclaimed by the Federal Government to be a pirate and he was doubtful about the treatment he would receive if he fell into the enemy's hands. He was convinced that the great danger in running the blockade was in his own engine-room, so he seated himself on the ladder leading down to it and politely informed the engineer that if the engine stopped before he was clear of the fleet, he, the engineer, would be a dead man. As Coxetter held in his hand a Colt's revolver, this sounded like no idle threat. Presently I heard the whispered word passed along the deck that we were on the bar. This information was immediately followed by a series of bumps as the little ship rose on the seas, which were quite high, and then plunging downward, hit the bottom, causing her to ring like an old tin pan. However, we safely bumped our way across the shallows, and, plunging and tossing in the gale, this little cockleshell, whose rail was scarcely five feet above the sea level, bucked her way toward Bermuda. She was about as much under the water as she was on top of it for most of the voyage.

        Bermuda is only six hundred miles from Charleston; a fast ship could do the distance easily in forty-eight hours, but the Herald was slow: six or seven knots was her ordinary speed in good weather and eight when she was pushed. She had tumbled about in the sea so much that she had put one of her engines out of commission and it had to be disconnected. We were thus compelled to limp along with one, which of course greatly reduced her speed. On the fifth day the weather moderated and we sighted two schooners. To our surprise Captain Coxetter headed for them and, hailing one, asked for their latitude and longitude. The schooner gave the information, adding that she navigated with a "blue pigeon" (a deep-sea lead), which of


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course was very reassuring. We limped away and went on groping for Bermuda. Captain Coxetter had spent his life in the coasting trade between Charleston and the Florida ports, and even when he commanded for a few months the privateer Jeff Davis he had never been far away from the land. Such was the jealousy, however, of merchant sailors toward officers of the navy that, with one of the most celebrated navigators in the world on board his ship, he had not as yet confided to anybody the fact that he was lost.

        On the sixth day, however, he told Commodore Maury that something terrible must have happened, as he had sailed his ship directly over the spot where the Bermuda Islands ought to be! Commodore Maury told him that he could do nothing for him before ten o'clock that night and advised him to slow down. At ten o'clock the great scientist and geographer went on deck and took observations, at times lying flat on his back, sextant in hand, as he made measurements of the stars. When he had finished his calculations he gave the captain a course and told him that by steering it at a certain speed he would sight the light at Port Hamilton by two o'clock in the morning. No one turned into his bunk that night except the commodore and his little son; the rest of us were too anxious. Four bells struck and no light was in sight. Five minutes more passed and still not a sign of it; then grumbling commenced, and the passengers generally agreed with the man who expressed the opinion that there was too much d--d science on board and that we should all be on our way to Fort Lafayette in New York Harbor as soon as day broke. At ten minutes past two the masthead lookout sang out, "Light ho!"--and the learned old commodore's reputation as a navigator was saved.

        We ran around the islands and entered the picturesque harbor of St. George shortly after daylight. There were eight or ten other blockade-runners lying in the harbor, and their captains and mates lived at the same little white-washed


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washed hotel where the commodore and I stopped, which gave us an opportunity of seeing something of their manner of life when on shore. Their business was risky and the penalty of being caught was severe; they were a reckless lot, and believed in eating, drinking, and being merry, for fear that they would die on the morrow and might miss something. Their orgies reminded me of the stories of the way the pirates in the West Indies spent their time when in their secret havens. The men who commanded many of these blockade-runners had probably never before in their lives received more than fifty to seventy-five dollars a month for their services; now they received ten thousand dollars in gold for a round trip, besides being allowed cargo space to take into the Confederacy, for their own account, goods which could be sold at a fabulous price, and also to bring out a limited number of bales of cotton worth a dollar a pound. In Bermuda these men seemed to suffer from a chronic thirst which could only be assuaged by champagne, and one of their amusements was to sit in the windows with bags of shillings and throw handfuls of the coins to a crowd of loafing negroes in the street to see them scramble. It is a singular fact that five years after the war not one of these men had a dollar to bless himself with. Another singular fact was that it was nor always the speedier craft that were the most successful. The Kate (named after Mrs. William Trenholm) ran through the blockading fleets sixty times and she could not steam faster than seven or eight knots. That was the record; next to her came the Herald, or the Antonica as she was afterwards called.

        Commodore Maury was a deeply religious man. He had been lame for many years of his life, but no one ever heard him complain. He had been many years in the navy, but had scarcely ever put his foot on board of a ship without being seasick, and through it all he never allowed it to interfere with his duty. He was the only man I ever saw who could be seasick and amiable at the same time; while suffering


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from nausea he could actually joke! I remember once entering his stateroom where he was seated with a Bible on his lap and a basin alongside of him. I told him that there was a ship in sight, and between paroxysms he said, "Sometimes we see a ship, and sometimes ship a sea!"

        Not knowing of his world-wide celebrity, I was surprised to see the deference paid him by foreigners. We had no sooner settled ourselves at the hotel than the governor sent an aide to tell Lieutenant Maury that he would be pleased to receive him in his private capacity at the Government House. In Europe the commodore was only known as "the great Lieutenant Maury"; they entirely ignored any promotions which might have come to him. The commandant of Fort St. George also called on him, but took pains to explain that it was the great scientist to whom he was paying homage, and not the Confederate naval officer. As the commodore's aide I came in for a little of the reflected glory and had the pleasure of accompanying him to a dinner given in his honor on board of H.M.S. Immortality at Port Hamilton. She was a beautiful frigate and her officers were very kind to me.

        We remained in Bermuda for more than two weeks waiting for the Royal Mail Steamer from St. Thomas, on which we were to take passage for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Simultaneously with her arrival the U.S. sloops-of-war San Jacinto and Mohican put in an appearance, but did not enter the harbor, cruising instead just outside the three-mile limit and in the track the British ship Delta would have to follow. Instantly the rumor spread that they were going to take Commodore Maury out of the ship as soon as she got outside, color being lent to this rumor by the fact that it was the San Jacinto which had only a year before taken the Confederate Commissioners, Mason and Slidell, out of the Royal Mail steamship Trent--and I must say that we felt quite uneasy.

        On the day of our departure a Mr. Bourne, a gentleman


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of whom I had never heard before, asked me to accompany him to his office and there counted out a hundred gold sovereigns, sealed them in a canvas bag, and asked me to sign a receipt for them. I assured him that there must be some mistake, but he insisted that I was the right party and that it was Mr. Trenholm's orders that he should give the money to me. Having had free meals and lodging on the blockade-runner, it was the first intimation I had that money would be necessary on so long a journey as the one I was about to undertake.

        We sailed out of the harbor, and the two American warships, as soon as we got outside, followed us. As we rounded the headland we saw the Immortality and the British sloop-of-war Desperate coming from Port Hamilton under a full head of steam and we expected every moment to witness a naval fight; the American ships, however, seemed satisfied with having given us a scare, while the British followed us until we lost sight of them in the night.

        The governor of the colony of Nova Scotia, the general commanding the troops, and the admiral of the fleet, all treated "Lieutenant" Maury, as they insisted on calling him, with the most distinguished consideration, inviting him to dinners and receptions, etc., to which, as his aide, I had to accompany the great man. I particularly enjoyed the visit to Admiral Milne's flagship, the Nile, of seventy-two guns carried on three decks. The old wooden line-of-battle ship with her lofty spars was a splendid sight, and the like of her will never be seen again. What interested me most on board was the eighteen or twenty midshipmen in her complement, many of them younger and smaller than myself. They all made much of me and frankly envied me on account of my having been in battle and having run the blockade.

        The officers of the garrison were also very kind to me and told me a story about their commander, General O'Dougherty, which I have never forgotten. It was about


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a visit the chief of the O'Dougherty clan paid to the general. Not finding him at home, he left his card on which was simply engraved, "The O'Dougherty." The general returned the visit and wrote on a blank card, "The other O'Dougherty."

        After a few pleasant days spent in Halifax the Cunard steamer Arabia, plying between Boston and Liverpool, came into port and we took passage on her for Liverpool. The Americans on board resented our presence and of course had nothing to do with us, but a number of young officers of the Scots Fusilier Guards, who were returning home for the fox hunting, were very friendly. They had been hurriedly sent to Canada when war seemed imminent on account of the Trent affair. It was the first time a regiment of the Guards had been out of England since Waterloo, and they were very glad to be returning to their beloved "Merry" England. Among these young officers was the Earl of Dunmore, who, a few months before, wishing to see something of the war between the States, had obtained a leave of absence, passed through the Federal lines and gone to Richmond and thence to Charleston. He had traveled incog. under his family name of Murray.

        At Charleston he had been entertained by Mr. Trenholm, and that gave us something to talk about. Dunmore was of a very venturesome disposition and instead of returning North on his pass, he decided to enjoy the sensation of running the blockade. The boat he took passage on successfully eluded the Federal fleet off Charleston, but she was captured by an outside cruiser the very next day. The prisoners were of course searched, and around the body of "Mr. Murray," under his shirt, was found wrapped a Confederate flag--the flag of the C.S.S. Nashville, which had been presented to him by Captain Pegram. Despite his protestations that he was a Britisher traveling for pleasure, he was confined, as "Mr. Murray," in Fort Lafayette. The British Minister, Lord Lyons, soon heard of his predicament


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and requested the authorities in Washington to order his release, representing him as being the Earl of Dunmore, a lieutenant in Her Majesty's Life Guards. But the commandant of Fort Lafayette denied that he had any such prisoner and it required quite a correspondence to persuade him that a man by the name of Murray could at the same time be Lord Dunmore.

        Another of the Guardsmen was Captain Richard Cooper, who, at the relief of Lucknow, was the first man through the breach in the wall, on which occasion he received a fearful wound across his forehead from a scimitar in the hands of a Sepoy, which had left a vivid red scar. Several of the young Guardsmen had never yet flirted with death; they envied Captain Cooper and would gladly have been the possessors of his ugly scarlet blemish.

        The Arabia was a paddlewheel full-rigged ship. She appeared to us to be enormous in size, though, as a matter of fact, she was not one tenth as large as the modern Cunard liner. She did not even have a smoking-room, the lovers of the weed, when they wished to indulge in a whiff, having to seek the shelter of the lee side of the smokestack in all sorts of weather. A part of this pleasant voyage was very smooth, but when we struck the "roaring forties" the big ship tumbled about considerably and my commodore was as seasick and amiable as usual.


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CHAPTER XII

Liverpool--London--Visit "Hill Morton," near Rugby--Ordered to the C.S.S, Alexandra--Snubbed--Ordered to Paris--Ordered to London--Birthday properly celebrated--Damn the Marquis of Westminster and lose my only friend--Meet several Mr. Grigsons.

        WE arrived in Liverpool safely, and as soon as we could go ashore I accompanied Commodore Maury to No. 10 Rumford Place, the offices of Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., the financial agents of the Confederacy. There had been no Mr. Fraser in the firm for many years prior to this time, and Mr. Prioleau, a junior partner, was in charge of the Liverpool branch. But it was not to see him that our visit was made. The commodore wanted to see Captain Bullock, C.S.N., who had recently fitted out the Alabama and who was busy superintending the building of other ships intended for Confederate cruisers. Captain Bullock was very kind to me, particularly after I had told him that I knew Mrs. Bullock when she was Miss Harriet Cross and lived in Baton Rouge.

        Before the commodore finished his interview a clerk came into Captain Bullock's office and asked if I was Mr. Morgan; he said Mr. Prioleau wanted to see me. Mr. Prioleau was very affable and gave me two letters of introduction, one to a fashionable London tailor and the other to the firm of Dent, the celebrated chronometer makers of that day. He said it was by Mr. Trenholm's orders and that the letters contained instructions as to what those people would give me.

        The commodore and I stopped overnight at the old Adelphi Hotel. I was by this time accustomed to commodores and I had met a live lord, but the head waiter, the most pompous and dignified human being I had ever encountered, filled my little soul with awe whenever he condescended to come near me. I was hungry, but felt diffident


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about asking such an important personage to allow me to have anything to eat. I soon found, however, that he was not as dangerous as he looked and that on occasion he could slightly unbend, and as for knowing things, why he knew a great deal better than I did what I wanted for my dinner.

        When we reached London I found that a house in Sackville Street had already been engaged for the commodore, who kindly invited me to be his guest. As I have before said, Commodore Maury was much more appreciated in Europe than he was in his native land. All day long there would be in front of the house a string of carriages with coronets on their doors, while their owners were paying their respects to the great "Lieutenant" Maury. The Emperor of Russia sent him an offer of the rank of admiral, with a salary of thirty thousand dollars a year attached to the rank, if he would enter His Majesty's service, and to build him an observatory and a palatial residence in any part of Russia which he should select. Commodore Maury thanked him and told him that it would be impossible to accept his very flattering offer, as he, the commodore, had devoted his life and abilities to the cause of the South.

        Having nothing else to do, I hired a cab and presented first my letter of introduction to Dent, the watchmaker, where the polite manager placed before me a whole trayful of gold watches and another of watch chains, and begged me to take my choice. I was a little dazed, but managed to carry off with me a beautiful timepiece. Next I went to the tailor, who measured me in every conceivable way and then assured me, with many bows, that he would expedite my order and keep me waiting as short a time as possible. When that order arrived in Sackville Street I was surprised, indeed. At most I had expected a new sack coat, but here was a great box containing a full-dress suit, a morning or business suit, an afternoon frock coat, a smoking-jacket--and Heaven only knows what else.

        I had not been in London more than a week when my


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friends the Guardsmen put in an appearance and invited me to visit their various homes. The commodore selected the invitation of Captain Cooper as the first one for me to accept, as he was the oldest officer, and I went to his place called "Hill Morton." near Rugby. I found gathered there Lord Dunmore, Lieutenant the Honorable Charles White, and Lieutenant Ram, of Ramsgate, who had been my fellow passengers on the Arabia. That visit is among the most pleasant recollections of my long life. Captain Cooper took me to see Rugby School where I insisted on seeing the exact spot on which "Tom Brown" had fought his memorable fight. "Tom Brown" was a real personage to me in those days, and although the request might have puzzled the Head Master, it was easy for those young Guardsmen to take me to the place and make me thrill with their vivid description of the contest. I afterwards found out that they were all Eton boys and did not know any more about Rugby than I did.

        On the days when we did not hunt I was taken on a round of calls on the county families. I never before knew that there were so many lords and ladies in the world, and to my great satisfaction all the aristocrats I met seemed to sympathize with the South in her fight for the right of secession. In the smoking-rooms after dinner I was made to recount the stories of the battles I had been in, and they flattered me so that I began almost to believe that I was something of a hero.

        Like all pleasant things my visits to my Guardsmen friends came to an end and I returned to London, where I received orders to proceed to Liverpool and report to Lieutenant J. R. Hamilton, C.S.N., for duty on the Alexandra. This was only a nom de guerre given her in the hope of hoodwinking the British Government as to the real purposes for which she was being built; but no matter how blind the British might be, Mr. Charles Francis Adams, the American Minister, to use a vulgar expression, was "on to


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her," and knew as well as we did what she was intended for. Only her keel and ribs were in place when I first saw her and I do not think the builders were in any hurry to complete her, but rather devoted their energies to the construction of an iron blockade-runner called the Phantom which was now being built in the same yard.

        It was now the middle of winter. The days were shorter than I ever believed days could be--it was not light before ten in the morning, and dark again by half-past two in the afternoon with the exception of foggy days, and then there was no daylight at all. How I repented ever having abused that bright, burning Louisiana sun. What I would not have given for a few hours of its presence.

        My life in Liverpool that winter was a very lonely one, as I was the only Confederate midshipman, at the time, in Europe. I only knew two families in the city--that of Captain Huger's sister, Mrs. Calder, who was very kind to me on account of my having served in the McRae under her heroic brother, and the family of Mr. Blacklock, a retired merchant of Charleston, South Carolina. Captain Bullock and Lieutenant Hamilton lived out of town, as did Mr. Prioleau who resided in a baronial mansion called "Allerton Hall." some miles out. Having naturally, midshipman-like, squandered all the money Mr. Trenholm had so kindly instructed his agent in Bermuda to give me, I was now again dependent on my pay of forty dollars a month and was compelled, for reasons of economy, to live in a little dingy house in a back street, called Upper Newington, a couple of blocks away from the Adelphi Hotel. Unaccustomed as I was to cold weather, the constant storms and the snow added to the cheerlessness of the situation. The only break in the monotony of my existence came on the days I attended a nautical school, where I was taught navigation, and my fencing and boxing classes. I thought there was going to be a rift in the clouds when Mr. Prioleau invited me to Allerton Hall for Christmas, but there was a fly in


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the ointment despite the magnificence of the place with its hothouses supplying abundance of flowers and tropical fruits in December. I don't know whether to lay the blame of my trouble on my age or on a young lady, but the facts were these: A young girl. a stepdaughter of a Confederate general who commanded for some time at Charleston, was at school in England and was spending the holidays with the Prioleaus. There was a large number of guests at dinner on Christmas Day, and Mrs. Prioleau designated me to escort the young lady into the banquet hall. Now the young lady was just my own age, sixteen, when girls most hate boys and look down upon them with supreme contempt, and this young lady thought it beneath her dignity to be seated by a boy--and she took no particular pains to hide her displeasure. On my side I naturally felt hurt, for was I not an officer of the navy and a veteran? At all events, I did not enjoy my dinner,--and I ought to have been happy, for Mr. Prioleau had handed me that morning fifty pounds sterling, saying it was a present from my kind friend Mr. Trenholm who wished me a merry Christmas. The first use I made of my wealth was to ask and obtain permission to visit Paris, but even Paris, despite its beauty and objects of interest, is a dull place for a boy of sixteen with no acquaintances and not knowing what to do with himself, so I returned to my dismal life in Liverpool.

        In February, 1863, I received an order detaching me from the uncompleted Alexandra, and ordering me to proceed to Paris and await orders. After a couple of weeks' sojourn in what was to other people the gayest city in the world, I received an order to go to London and await orders at the Westminster Palace Hotel.

        I arrived in London on the morning of the 10th of March. It was my birthday, and I must say this for the Britishers, it was the only occasion in my life that I ever saw the day properly celebrated. There were royal processions in the streets during the day, and the city was gay with bunting,


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while at night the city was illuminated. Such crowds as there were in the streets I could never have imagined before. It was said that despite the fact that the throng was most amiable, forty people were crushed to death by its mere pressure in the narrow streets. I should add incidentally that the Prince of Wales, afterwards His Majesty King Edward the Seventh, and the Princess Alexandra of Denmark were married that day.

        Never before had I been so lonely as I was in that great city. The old, dignified, and taciturn waiter who served my meals was the only human being who took any notice of me. He, after a time, appeared to be sorry for me and gave me a table by a window looking out on the street; occasionally he would vouchsafe me a word, for which I was truly grateful; but I was ignorant of the fact that he was a friend of the Marquis of Westminster, and I made a bad break which cost me his friendship. The trouble occurred in this way. I came to breakfast one morning feeling cross and unhappy. I was gazing out of the window when a pedestrian, whose clothes did not look any too fresh, passed by on the sidewalk. My friend the waiter called my attention to the man and in an awed whisper said, "The Marquis of Westminster!" I sulkily remarked, "Oh, damn the Marquis of Westminster!" The waiter flushed and angrily retorted, "But ye can't, ye know; he owns all this part of Lunnon!" After that our relations were too strained to allow of any further social intercourse. But as I was under orders not to make any promiscuous acquaintances, probably it was just as well that he snubbed me when I attempted to resume friendly chats with him. We Confederates in Europe were very secretive and mysterious. The higher officers traveled incog., and all that sort of thing. It was interesting to me in after years to read Mr. Charles Francis Adams's letters to his Government, from which I learned that he not only knew our names, but probably had a diagram of every plank and bolt that was being put into our ships.


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        On the 4th of April, 1863, I received an order to go to a house in Little St. James's Street and inquire for a "Mr. Grigson," who would give me further instructions. When I found the house the door was opened by a pleasant-faced, middle-aged woman who seemed much amused when I asked for "Mr. Grigson." She replied, laughing, "You will find them in there," pointing to a door. From her language I inferred that the mysterious Mr. Grigson was not so singular a man after all; evidently there must be more than one of him. Entering the room indicated I found myself in the presence of Lieutenants Chapman and Evans, who had been on the Sumter when she was fitted out in New Orleans two years previously, and Mr. Ingraham, a son of the commodore, who had been a first classman when I was at Annapolis. These gentlemen were also laughing and told me that I had given them a scare, as they were afraid I might be a detective. I asked which one of them might be Mr. Grigson, as I had business of importance to transact with that gentleman? Mr. Chapman answered that they were all Grigsons, but he thought he was a good enough Grigson for my purposes. He handed me an order to report to Commander William L. Maury, and when I asked where I should find that officer, he told me that if I would stay close to him, Chapman, I would surely meet the gentleman very shortly. I was then told to return to the hotel, get my belongings, and return to Little St. James's Street.


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CHAPTER XIII

White Haven--The active tug Alar--Meet the Japan, which turns out to be the Confederate cruiser Georgia--Ushant Island--Break neutrality laws, and away to sea--Hoist Confederate flag, but don't use it much--Capture our first prize, the clipper ship Dictator--Treatment of prisoners--Cape Verde Islands--Narrow escape from U.S.S. Mohican--Crew of Dictator ship with us--Chasing ships.

        RETURNING to Little St. James's Street I found that Passed Midshipman Walker had joined the party, and about half-past nine that evening we all proceeded to a railway station where we took a train for White Haven, a little seaport about an hour's ride from London. There we went to a small inn, where we met Commander Maury, Dr. Wheeden, and Paymaster Curtis, and were soon joined by others--all strangers to me. We waited at the inn for about a couple of hours; there was little, if any, conversation, as we were all too anxious and were all thinking about the same thing. In those two hours it was to be decided whether our expedition was to be a success or a failure. If Mr. Adams, the American Minister, was going to get in his fine work and balk us, now was his last opportunity.

        A little after midnight, two by two, we sauntered down to the quay, where we found at least a hundred people gathered near a little sea-going tug called the Alar. It was blowing a gale and a heavy sea was rolling in, which caused the little boat to bump herself viciously against the stone dock, so that but for her ample fenders she must have stove her side in. We hurried on board and Mr. Chapman, taking up a position by the pilot house, said to the crowd on the dock, "Now, men, you know what we want of you; all who want to go with us jump aboard!" About sixty responded to the invitation. The lines were cast off and the Alar shot out of the slip as a man on shore proposed three


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cheers for the Alabama, which were lustily responded to by our fellow passengers.

        As we cleared the end of the docks the little Alar poked her nose into a huge sea and tried to stand erect on her stern, but not being able to accomplish that feat, she fell down into the trough and the next wave passed over her, drenching to the skin every man aboard. She next tried to hold her stern in the air while she stood on her nose, and when the foaming sea reached her pilot house she rolled over on her side as though she was tired and wanted to take a nap; but she was disturbed by another comber picking her up and slamming her down on the other side with such force as to make every rib in her tiny body quiver. There were no secrets in that contracted space. The men aboard were supposed to be the crew of our cruiser, when we found her, and the cargo of the tug consisted of our guns, shipped as hardware in boxes, and our ammunition. We were all huddled up together, and plainly heard the engineer tell the captain that one more sea like the last one which came aboard would put out the fires. For more than three days and nights, cold and wet, with no place to sleep and little to eat, we stumbled and tumbled down the English Channel. When the gale abated at last, we saw on the horizon a trim-looking little brig-rigged steamer idly rolling on the swell of the sea, apparently waiting for something, and we steered for her. She proved to be the British(?) steamer Japan; her papers said that she was bound from Glasgow to Nagasaki, with an assorted cargo, but we doubted their accuracy.

        Commodore Matthew F. Maury, who had bought and fitted out this ship, just completed at Dunbarton on the Clyde, had outwitted the British Government, but not Mr. Adams, who had warned the authorities of her character. How the British Government could have been held responsible for her escape without stopping their whole commerce is beyond my understanding. The vessel had not


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the slightest resemblance to a man-of-war; she nominally belonged to a private party, and there was not an ounce of contraband in her cargo, which consisted of provisions, coal, and empty boxes. Her captain himself did not know for what purpose she was intended. His orders were to proceed to a certain latitude and longitude near the island of Ushant on the French coast, where a tug would meet him and give him further instructions from his owner.

        When we had approached close enough to the Japan to hail, Captain Maury asked her captain to send a boat, as he had a communication for him. Captain Maury then went aboard the brig and what passed between him and her skipper of course I had no means of knowing, but soon the Japan passed us a hawser, as there was some slight trouble with the Alar's engines which needed immediate attention. We were taken in tow, and no sooner did the Japan start ahead than accident number one occurred. The hawser became entangled in the Japan's screw, jamming it. It took several hours to cut it loose, and when this was finally accomplished, we proceeded to Ushant, going around it in search of smooth waters so that we could transfer our guns from the tug to the cruiser that was to be. We dropped anchor after dark in a little cove and commenced operations, despite the angry protests of the French coastguards from the shore. Judging from their language they must have been furious as well as helpless.

        The men we had brought from White Haven worked most energetically, and by midnight we had our two twenty-four-pounders and the two little ten-pounder Whitworth guns on board, as well as the ammunition and the traverses; but unfortunately the sea was rising all the time and the little tug alongside was pitching and rolling so much that it was too dangerous to attempt to get the biggest gun, a thirty-two-pounder Blakeley rifle, out of her.

        So we got under way again and proceeded to the mainland, not many miles from Brest, a great naval station where we


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knew a French fleet was assembled. Working like beavers and protected by a headland there, we finally succeeded in shifting the Blakeley gun. We then stood out to sea, where, after we had got safely beyond the three-mile limit, we stopped. Captain Maury called all hands to the mast and read his orders, hoisted the Confederate flag and his pennant, and declared the Confederate States cruiser Georgia to be in commission.

        His remarks were received with three lusty cheers. He then asked the men who were going with us to step forward and enlist for three years or the war, but alas, a sea-lawyer had been at work, and not a man came forward. The spokesman demanded higher wages on account of the dangers of the service, and when told that the Georgia was a man-of-war and the pay was fixed by law, they, to a man, went over the side and boarded the tug. To our surprise nine men of the crew of the late merchantman Japan now stepped forward and said they would like to go with us, and of course they were accepted at once. With these men as a nucleus for a crew, we cast off the Alar's line and never saw or heard of her or the men on board of her again, and never wanted to. We afterwards learned that our presence at Ushant and on the coast of France had been signaled to Brest and that a fast frigate had been sent in all haste to capture us for our breach of French neutrality; but we never saw her.

        It was the 9th of April, 1863, when this little friendless ship of only about five hundred and fifty tons started on her long and hazardous cruise. She was as absolutely unfitted for the work as any vessel could conceivably be: she lay very low in the water and was very long for her beam; her engines were gear engines, that is, a large wheel fitted with lignum-vitæ cogs turned the iron cogs on the shaft, and frequently the wooden cogs would break. When they did it was worse than if a shrapnel shell had burst in the engine room, as they flew in every direction, endangering


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the lives of every one within reach. Her sail power was insufficient, and, owing to her length, it was impossible to put her about under canvas. She was slow under either sail or steam, or both together. Such was the little craft in which we got slowly under way, bound we knew not where. Ushant Island bearing east southeast, distant four and a half miles.

        The morning of the 10th of April dawned fair, with light breezes and a comparatively smooth sea, and officers and men set to work fastening to the deck iron traverses for our pivot gun. Then came a most difficult job, short-handed as we were, that of mounting the guns on their carriages; and to add to our troubles the sea commenced to rise. With all the most intricate and ingenious tackles our seamanlike first lieutenant could devise, it was an awful strain upon us, as the heavy gun swung back and forth with the roll of the ship. However, by almost superhuman exertions we succeeded in getting the guns into their places on the carriages; then we felt very man-of-warrish indeed.

        Day after day, with a pleasant breeze, we steered a course somewhat west of south; meeting but few ships, and those we saw displayed neutral colors when we showed them the British or American ensign. During the whole cruise we saw our Confederate flag only when we were in the act of making a capture or when we were in port. Usually we showed strange sails the Stars and Stripes. On April 25, there being several sail in sight, we got up steam and made chase after them. The merchantmen we approached one after the other showed us neutral colors until we were becoming disheartened, when suddenly, about 4 P.M., we descried on the horizon a big full-rigged ship with long skysail poles,--the sure sign of the Yankee. She appeared unwilling to take any chances with us and cracked on more sail while we pursued her under steam. A little after five o'clock, we hauled down the British colors, hoisted the


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Confederate flag, and sent a shot bounding over the water just ahead of her, which, in the language of the sea, was an order to heave to. In less time than it takes to tell, the main yard of the doomed ship swung around and her sails on the main and mizzen masts were thrown aback as the American flag was broken out and fluttered from her peak. We immediately lowered a boat and our second lieutenant, Mr. Evans, accompanied by myself, rowed over to the prize which proved to be the splendid ship Dictator of between three and four thousand tons, from New York bound to Hongkong with a cargo of coal. She carried no passengers.

        After looking over the ship's papers, we made her crew lower their own boats and forced the captain, his three mates, and the crew of twenty-seven men to get into them with their personal belongings. We then ordered them to pull for the Georgia, which they did with no enthusiasm whatever. On arriving alongside the cruiser they were allowed to come over the side one at a time, and were then hurried below and placed in irons. It was not considered advisable to give them time enough to see how weak our force was. The captain was invited by our commander to share the cabin with him, and the first mate was confined in my room, but neither of them had any restraint put on him except that neither was allowed to go forward of the mainmast, or to hold any communication with the men. On board the Dictator we found a fine assortment of provisions and sent several boat loads to our own ship. This was necessary as we had now to feed the prize's crew as well as our own.

        The Georgia lay near the Dictator all night, and in the morning we attempted to replenish our coal bunkers from her, but the rising sea made this impossible; and after coming very near swamping our small boats, we gave it up. It seemed hard that we should have to go without the fuel so precious to us while several thousand tons of the very best were within a few cables' lengths of our vessel.


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However, it might as well have been in the mines of Pennsylvania whence it came for all the good it was to us.

        The Georgia made signal to burn the prize, and Lieutenant Evans asked me if I would like to try my hand at setting her on fire. There were a large number of broken provision boxes lying about the deck which I gathered and, placing them against her rail, I lighted a match and applied it. The kindling wood burned beautifully, but when its flames expired there was not a sign of fire on the side of the ship. I was surprised and puzzled, and turned to seek an explanation from my superior officer, who was standing near by fairly convulsed with laughter. He told me not to mind; he would show me how it was done. (He had had previous experience in the gentle art when lieutenant with Captain Semmes on the Sumter.) I followed him into the cabin where he pulled out several drawers from under the captain's berth, and, filling them with old newspapers, he applied a match. The effect was almost instantaneous. Flames leaped up and caught the chintz curtains of the berth and the bedclothes, at the same time setting fire to the light woodwork. The sight fascinated me and I stood watching it as though I was dazed, when suddenly I heard the lieutenant's voice call excitedly: "Run, youngster, run, or we will be cut off from the door!" We rushed out, followed by a dense smoke and leaping flames, reaching the gangway just ahead of them, and hastily went over the side and down the ladder into our boat which was waiting for us. By the time we reached the Georgia, the prize was one seething mass of flames from her hold to her trucks. It was a strange and weird sight to see the flames leaping up her tarred rigging, while dense volumes of smoke, lighted up by fire from the mass of coal below, rolled up through her hatches.

        The Dictator, exclusive of her cargo, was valued at eighty-six thousand dollars. By decree of the Confederate Government we were to receive one half of the value of


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every ship destroyed, and the full amount of the bonds given by vessels carrying neutral cargo. Under the law regulating the distribution of prize money the total amount was divided into twentieths of which the commanding officer got two and the steerage officers got the same, the rest being shared by the wardroom officers and the crew. I being the only midshipman, or steerage officer, on board of the Georgia for most of the cruise, the amount of prize money (still due me) which I should have received would have almost equaled the share of the captain.

        When we parted company with the burning Dictator we had hardly got well under way when the always exciting "Sail ho!" was heard coming from the masthead look-out followed by the officer of the deck's query, "Where away?" and the answer, "Two points off the port bow, sir!" Away we dashed in chase, only to be disappointed again and again when the chase showed neutral colors. If we had any cause to suspect that they were not what their colors represented them to be we boarded them and examined their papers. Strange sail were plentiful, but no American craft among them. One day we chased a paddle-wheel bark-rigged steamer; it seemed rather strange that we should overhaul her so rapidly, but when we got near to her we discovered that her engines were disconnected and that her paddles were being turned by her momentum through the water. We had the British flag proudly flying at our peak, and suddenly we made another discovery; she was a man-of-war! Suddenly she broke out her ensign and there we saw the British Union Jack! The way that British flag came down from our peak and was replaced by the Confederate flag looked like legerdemain. The Englishman then dipped his colors to us--a courtesy that we very much appreciated and which we returned with great satisfaction, as it was the first salute of any kind we had received.

        On the 29th of April, at about three bells in the forenoon


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watch, we found ourselves near the island of San Antonio, one of the Cape Verdes. With all sail set we bowled along before a stiff northeast trade wind which soon brought us in between San Antonio and the island of St. Vincent, where the high land on either beam acted as a funnel for the trade wind which now increased to a gale. We shot by a promontory and there before our eyes we saw the town and harbor of Porto Grande, and there also we saw lying peacefully at her anchor a sloop-of-war, with the Stars and Stripes fluttering from her peak! Instantly everybody on our ship was in a state of excitement and commotion. The officer of the deck gave the order "Hard-a-port!" quickly followed in rapid succession through his speaking-trumpet by "Main clew garnets and buntlines!"--"Haul taut!"--"Up courses!"--"T'gallant and topsail halyards!"--"Let go!"--"Haul down!"--"Clew up!"--"All hands furl sail!"--and officers and men rushed aloft and, working like Trojans, soon had her under bare poles. Four bells were rung for full speed ahead, and the little ship gallantly breasted the high sea in the face of the half-gale of wind; but neither patent log nor the old-fashioned chip-and-line could be persuaded to show more than four knots speed.

        Captain Maury was evidently very anxious and sent for the English chief engineer and asked him if that was the best he could do. The chief said he thought it was. Captain Maury then told him that if the American man-of-war was the Mohican, as he thought she was, he had served on board of her and she could make seven knots an hour easily against that sea and wind--and significantly added, "You know that being caught means hanging with us according to Mr. Lincoln's proclamation!"

        The chief disappeared below and in a few minutes our improvement in speed was remarkable. We were gratified as well as surprised when we found that we were not being pursued. We afterwards learned that the sloop-of-war, not expecting a visit from us at such an unconventional


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hour, had let her steam go down and could not get under way until she got it up again. We ran around the island and, finding a cove, anchored near the shore, sending a lieutenant ashore to climb the promontory, from which lofty point of vantage, with the aid of his marine glasses, he plainly saw our would-be captor steaming out to sea in the opposite direction from our snug hiding-place. If she had sighted us it is easy to imagine what would have happened, as she carried ten guns--all of which were much heavier than our biggest piece of ordnance--and the little Georgia had more than twice as many prisoners on board of her as she had crew. In fact, our crew would not have been sufficient in numbers to handle and serve our forward pivot gun.

        When night came we weighed anchor and put to sea and the next morning were busily engaged chasing and examining ships. Sometimes we would "bring to" an American, then be disappointed because he had changed his flag, and his papers as a neutral would be all correct. Most neutral vessels feared us, and as soon as they suspected our character would attempt to escape, thus causing us much unnecessary burning of coal. Few of them appeared to be friendly to us, and when asked for news seemed delighted when they had the courage to tell us some rigmarole about great disasters to the Confederate armies which they invented for the occasion. Some few gave us newspapers and kindly told us the truth as to what had happened before they left port in the world from which we were excluded.

        It was a fortunate thing for us that we had not been able to land our prisoners in the Cape Verde islands, as we had intended to do. We had treated these unfortunates kindly; they received the same rations our own men did, and one half of them were released from their irons and allowed to roam around the deck in the daytime. They must have become attached to us, for first one man and then another asked to be permitted to talk to our first lieutenant, and


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when this was granted, would request to be allowed to ship aboard. To our surprise the second and third mate and the twenty-seven seamen joined us and afterward proved to be among the very best men we had.

        The captain of the Dictator had shared Captain Maury's cabin and seemed a very nice man, but the first mate was of a very different type. He was quartered in my state-room, while I had to sleep in a hammock slung out in the steerage. He took his meals with me and was allowed to take his exercise on the poop deck. Of course neither he nor the captain was subjected to the inconvenience of having irons put on them; but Mr. Snow, the first mate, repaid our consideration by writing the story of his capture and "inhuman" treatment by the "pirates" on board the Georgia. He placed this romance in a bottle which he corked tightly and sealed with sealing-wax which he borrowed from me; then he threw it out of the air-port in hope that it would drift ashore. It did. Years after the war was over it was picked up on the coast of Norway, and its lying contents were published to the world.


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CHAPTER XIV

The Doldrums--Water-spouts--Bahia--Meet the Alabama--Changing of the Confederate flag--Corsairos--Brazilian ball--Midshipman Anderson makes a pillow out of Captain Semmes--U.S.S. Niagara and Mohican on our trail--"Does he want his pretty paint spoiled?"--Refused permission to depart after 4 A.M.--Brazilian battery fires one shot as we pass out.

        CHASING ships without making any captures was getting to be a little monotonous. Some of the vessels we halted had captains who were cross and ugly about being detained while we examined their papers, while others seemed to enjoy the adventure of being held up by a "pirate" and showed our boarding officers every hospitality in the way of wines, liquors, and cigars. We passed close to a man-of-war and showed her our true colors, which attention she reciprocated by running up the British flag and dipping it to us. Every time this occurred we would congratulate ourselves, insisting that the mere courtesy constituted a recognition of the Confederate States.

        Exactly where we were, the captain and the navigator alone knew. The old sailors told me that we were in the "doldrums"--as they call that portion of the Atlantic Ocean which lies in the equatorial belt extending from about ten degrees north of the Equator to the same distance south of it: this they knew by the baffling winds, squalls from every point of the compass, and "Irishmen's hurricanes," as they call dead calms. Another unfailing sign to them was the numerous great waterspouts whirling around in every direction. To see one of these spouts in process of formation is indeed a wonderful sight--first the whirlwind on the surface of the sea and the eddying of a cloud above, then the formation of the column of water twisting and swaying like the body of some huge serpent it rises out of the sea, the loud, roaring sound and the great commotion of the water around it until it has ascended


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to a great height, and then the most extraordinary part of all, when the cloud above sends down a similar column of whirling water and the two, with unerring accuracy, join and complete the awe-inspiring funnel. On one occasion one of these spouts was making so straight for us that we fired one of the guns to burst it, for had it come aboard the little Georgia it would have instantly swamped her.

        One night--in the morning watch, just before daylight--an old sailor said to me, "We are near land, sir." I asked him how he knew and he told me to feel how wet the deck was with dew; and although the sea was smooth, the stars shining brightly, and the ship becalmed, I found the deck as wet as though water had been poured over it. The old "shellback" then informed me that dew never extended more than thirty miles from land. This was news to me, but I found that the Jack Tar was right.

        In the middle of the night of May13-14, we entered the great Bay of Todos os Santos, or All Saints' Bay, and dropped anchor in front of the Brazilian city of Bahia, a picturesque place situated on a high bluff overlooking the bay. There were many vessels anchored near us, and the practiced eyes of our senior lieutenants pronounced two of them to be men-of-war; but of course their nationality could not be made out in the darkness. We had good reason, had we known, for feeling anxious about them, for it was in this same harbor, a few months after our visit, that the Confederate cruiser Florida was lying, as her commander thought, in peaceful security. So much at ease was he that he had given half his crew liberty, which they were enjoying on shore when the U.S.S. Wachusett, disregarding Brazilian neutrality, in the middle of the night, rammed, boarded, and captured her, carrying her to Hampton Roads where she was sunk to avoid having to give her up on the demand of Brazil that she be returned to Bahia.

        There was little sleep on the Georgia the night of our arrival. Day broke and we found ourselves very near the


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two men-of-war. What was their nationality? It seemed an age before the hour for colors arrived, but when it did, to our great delight, the most rakish-looking of the two warships broke out the Stars and Bars! "It is the Alabama!" we gasped, and commenced to dance with delight. The officers hugged one another, each embracing a man of his own rank, except the captain and myself. Like the commander, I was the only one of my rank aboard, so I hugged myself.

        The Confederate Government had changed its flag since we had left home, and the Stars and Bars had given way to the white field with a St. Andrew's cross which we fondly believed represented the Southern Cross. The Alabama had not yet heard of the change, and we furnished the anomalous and embarrassing spectacle of two warships belonging to the same Government and flying flags which bore no resemblance to each other! Fortunately the new flag was not a difficult one to make, and the Alabama's sailors soon had the new colors proudly fluttering from her peak.

        Captain Semmes, of the Alabama, being the ranking officer, our captain quickly got into his gig and went on board the famous ship to pay his respects. The other man-of-war proved to be a Portuguese sloop, very small, and carrying sixteen little popguns.

        As soon as we arrived in neutral waters our prisoners, the captain and the first mate of the Dictator, were told that they were free and were sent ashore in the first boat. The American Consul demanded that the rest of the crew of the burnt ship should be delivered up to him, and, rather than have trouble with the Brazilian Government we told the men they could go ashore. This they did, and some of the rascals went to the American Consul and told him a tale of woe and got everything possible out of him. With the prisoners landed from the Alabama they had a royal time ashore for several days; but, strange to say, when we got to sea there they all were on our decks! They had


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smuggled themselves aboard the Georgia with the connivance of our crew and had remained hidden until we were outside of Brazilian jurisdiction.

        The Alabama had recently fought and sunk the U.S.S. Hatteras off Galveston, and as soon as possible I went on board the pride of the Confederate Navy to see the midshipmen. There were four of them--Irving Bulloch, an uncle of Theodore Roosevelt; Eugene Maffitt, son of that captain of the Florida, who, while ill with the yellow fever, ran her through the blockading fleet off Mobile in broad daylight taking their broadsides as he passed and finally anchoring his much-cut-up ship under the protecting guns of Fort Morgan. There was also William St. Clair, and my dear friend Edward M. Anderson, who is still living (1916). The holes in the Alabama's side and the scars on her deck where the shot from the Hatteras had ripped them were still fresh, and I heard the story of the battle at first hand. Of course the midshipmen's account of the fight was the one which interested me most. When one has heard their story, one wonders why Captain Homer Blake, of the Hatteras, never received more credit for his gallant fight. He fought his ship until the muzzles of his guns were almost on a level with the sea and she was about to disappear beneath the waves forever.

        Captain Semmes was a fine Spanish scholar, but did not speak Portuguese, the national language of Brazil. As I could speak French fluently he borrowed me from Captain Maury to carry communications to the governor of Bahia, who, like most educated South Americans, spoke French perfectly. The American Consul protested against our being allowed to replenish our coal bunkers from the British bark Castor which lay near us. To-day (1916) the meeting of colliers and warships at appointed rendezvous is supposed to be an invention of the Germans; but colliers followed, or were supposed to be where the Alabama and Georgia would need them. I am sorry to say that they were


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rarely on time, but as they were sailing vessels there was some excuse for them. The Castor was under contract to deliver us the coal and the coal was our property, paid for by the Confederate agent in England; on the protest of the United States Consul, however, the governor refused to allow us to coal from her. We then made a "sale" of part of the cargo to a native merchant, had it put ashore, and then "bought" it from him. Of course the native was well paid for his trouble, and the probability is that the officials got their rake-off from the transaction.

        Brazil was a slave-owning country at that time, but the natives seemed to fear and avoid us, and as we would pass through the streets we could hear the negro nurses threaten crying children that they would be carried off by the "corsairos" if they were not good. An English engineer who was building a railroad into the interior was the only person in Bahia who showed us any attention or hospitality. He invited the officers of the Alabama and Georgia to go on an excursion on his unfinished railroad. The country through which it passed was rich and beautiful, and at the end of the finished line our officers were regaled with all sorts of good things to eat and drink. On returning to Bahia he invited us to a dance to be given at his residence that night, and naturally as many of the officers as could be spared from duty accepted. The ball was quite a swell affair; all the British colony were there, of course, and many Brazilian ladies; they came from curiosity, but nothing could induce them to risk dancing with the "corsairos." This, of course, made us youngsters imagine that we looked rather formidable.

        Shortly after midnight we said good-night to our host and hostess and such of the guests as were not afraid to speak to us, and proceeded to the quay where Captain Semmes's gig was waiting for him. The cutters from the Alabama and Georgia, which were to take the officers to their respective ships, had not yet come for us, and we


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thought we saw before us a long wait; but Captain Semmes very kindly invited us to crowd into his gig, saying that after she put him aboard of the Alabama she would take those of us belonging to the Georgia to our ship. On our way to the Alabama, Midshipman Anderson, the captain's personal aide, who had had a rather strenuous day of it, fell asleep. He was seated alongside of his commanding officer and his head fell on the captain's shoulder, Lieutenant Armstrong, who was seated opposite him, was about to reach over and awaken Anderson, but Captain Semmes by a gesture stopped him, saying, "Let the boy sleep; he is tired out." Had Anderson been awake he would rather have dropped his head in the ship's furnace than on Captain Semmes's shoulder, for the captain was not a man with whom any one would care to take liberties. As it was, however, Ned had the honor of being the only man who ever made a pillow out of "old Beeswax" as Semmes was called behind his back.

        Captain Semmes was an austere and formal man, and, with the exception of Dr. Galt, the surgeon, and Mr. Kell, his first lieutenant, he rarely held any intercourse with his officers except officially. He waxed the ends of his mustache (which the sailors called his "st'unsail booms") and he would pace his quarter-deck, alone, twisting and retwisting those long ends. He reminded one of Byron's description of the captain of a man-of-war in "Childe Harold":--

                        "Look on that part which sacred doth remain
                        For the lone chieftain, who majestic stalks,
                        Silent and feared by all--not oft he talks
                        With aught beneath him, if he would preserve
                        That strict restraint, which, broken, ever balks
                        Conquest and fame . . . . "

        Captain Semmes was a past-master in the art of dealing with Latin-Americans. When the Alabama entered the port of Bahia, the governor sent an aide, attired in mufti, to demand that Captain Semmes show his commission. Captain


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captain Semmes fixed his steely eyes on the visitor, and then quietly demanded that the gentleman first show his own, and his authority for making the demand. Naturally the aide-de-camp had not had the forethought to provide himself with either, so he took his departure. As he left the cabin, Captain Semmes kindly suggested that if the gentleman wished to be treated courteously on his next visit, it would be advisable to wear his uniform. Of course the aide shortly came back, properly costumed, and with his commission in his pocket, and also a courteous request that Captain Semmes would call at the palace and show his commission to the governor in person. No man knew better than Captain Semmes that he who attempts to enter into a bowing contest with a Latin-American is lost.

        Shortly before we left Bahia a coasting steamer entered port, bringing the news that the United States ships Niagara and Mohican were either at Pernambuco, a short run to the north, or else on their way south, in search of us. Whether this information had any influence on our movements or not, of course a midshipman could not be expected to know; but all the same we got ready to depart. The Niagara carried twelve eleven-inch pivot guns, which enabled her to fight them all on either side. She was designed by Steers on the lines of the famed yacht America, of which also he was the designer; and the Niagara, although a steamer, had shown marvelous speed under sail. She had accompanied the British fleet across the Atlantic when the first Atlantic cable had been laid, and it was of her that Admiral Milne spoke when he wrote to the British Admiralty from on board his seventy-two-gun line-of-battle ship that he was in company with a sloop-of-war which carried only twelve guns, but could outrun his line-of-battle ship and whip her when caught. Consequently there was no doubt on the part of any of us that the Niagara could clear the South Atlantic Ocean of Alabamas and Georgias.

        When this news concerning the Niagara and her consort


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reached the port we had not finished coaling, and the natives, who had seemed so anxious to be rid of our presence, now appeared to seek for excuses to delay our departure. Having transferred some five hundred pounds of powder from the Georgia to the Alabama, as the latter ship had used up some of her very short supply in her fight with the Hatteras, in the forenoon of May 22 Captain Semmes sent me with a verbal message to the governor informing him that he would sail at half-past four that afternoon. While I was standing respectfully before the governor awaiting his answer, the captain of the little white Portuguese sloop was striding up and down the room with a fierce expression on his face. Finally the governor told me to tell Captain Semmes that the Alabama would not be permitted to depart at that hour, as the port regulations did not allow vessels to depart after four o'clock; and the Portuguese captain said to the governor, in French (evidently for my benefit), that if the governor wanted the "corsairs" stopped, he would stop them for him! When I repeated this remark to Captain Semmes, he only smiled and said, "Does he want his pretty white paint spoiled?"

        Captain Semmes then sent me back to the governor with a message to the effect that the port regulation applied only to merchant vessels and that the Alabama and Georgia were men-of-war. At 4 P.M. the Alabama fired a gun as a signal to one of her boats to come aboard and at once commenced to weight anchor. We could see from our deck a company of soldiers trotting at the double-quick down to an obsolete water battery, where the old-fashioned rust-eaten cannon were mostly mounted in an extraordinary fashion, their muzzles resting on the parapet and their breeches supported on logs of wood. On board the Portuguese corvette there also seemed to be great excitement, as they beat to quarters with such a racket that every man aboard seemed to be giving orders or directions to some one else. At exactly half-past four the Alabama hoisted her


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boat, weighed anchor, and slowly got under way; then, turning around, and hoisting her flag at the main, she steered for the Portuguese. She passed so close to that vessel that I thought for a moment their yards would crash together, but the Portuguese allowed her to pass by without molestation. It was none of her business anyhow!

        When we followed the Alabama out, we passed very close to the water battery where the men were standing at their guns, but not a shot was fired until we were at least a mile and a half away, when we saw a puff of smoke and immediately afterwards a shot skipped over the placid waters of the bay, falling half a mile short of us. We wondered how many men in the fort had been killed, for it was a brave and reckless act to fire one of those guns. We did not reply, as we did not know how soon it might be necessary for us again to enter a Brazilian port.

        As we passed out of the Bay of Todos os Santos it was wrapped in the golden splendors of the most gorgeous sunset it has ever been my good fortune to behold.


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CHAPTER XV

"Tempest in a teapot"--Capture clipper ship George Griswold of New York--Burn bark Good Hope of Boston--Funeral at sea--Bark Seaver goes to assistance of the Good Hope and is captured--Transfer prisoners to the Seaver.

        WE followed in the track of the Alabama down the Brazilian coast. The weather overhead was fine, but suddenly a terrific tempest broke loose out of our mess teapot, a piece of crockery which had been bought by the joint funds of Passed Midshipman Walker and myself. Mr. Walker had been promoted to the dignity of a quarter-deck watch recently. Unfortunately I was the only line officer he ranked, and he never allowed me to forget the fact. My position on board reminded me of the story of the old sailor who, in spinning a yarn, had told how every man in the navy ranked some one else, but, catching sight of the "powder-monkey," he added: "Except you, Jacky!" whereupon Jacky retorted, "Yes, I does; I rank Dennis," Dennis being the name of the pig who enjoyed the enviable position of mascot and pet of the whole ship's crew.

        The cause of the hurricane bursting out of the teapot was my ordering the steerage steward to make me some chocolate, which he served in the teapot. The passed midshipman, passing through the steerage, smelled the odor, very peremptorily demanded to know by whose orders chocolate had been put into that teapot, and, on being informed that I was the culprit, he told me that he would attend to my case as soon as he came off watch. It was the first dogwatch that he was keeping--I was impatient for it to be over. I went at last out on the deck and walked up and down under the waist boats so that I should be on hand when it was over. At last eight bells sounded, and after being relieved from the deck the passed midshipman came


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down from the poop and was about to proceed to his quarters when I stopped him and told him that I had stood all intended to stand. Then I struck him. We fought all over the deck and the men ran aft making a circle around us, urging us on. The officer of the deck came to part us, but the men crowded so that he could not get to us. He then ran into the wardroom, returning accompanied by all the officers, who, with their side arms, drove the men forward and proceeded to separate the combatants. The first lieutenant then marched us into the presence of the captain, who placed us both under close arrest, but not for long; the ship was too short of officers, and while Walker's confinement gave the watch officers extra duty, as the only midshipman on board I had a great deal of unpleasant work which some officer had to attend to during my incarceration, such as boat duty, acting as master's mate of the berth deck, and superintending the issuing of the grog ration, besides my regular watch on the forecastle. So kind influence was used in our behalf,--of course, disinterested,-- and our captain, who was a most good-hearted and amiable gentleman, let us off and restored us to duty after a week's confinement and a lecture.

        We were beginning to think that the Alabama had cleared up all the Yankee merchantmen in that part of the ocean, when one day we spied a ship with the unmistakable long skysail poles and brought her to. She proved to be the American ship Prince of Wales, but as she had a neutral cargo aboard we had to bond her. These bonds were given by the master in the name of his owners and stipulated that a consideration of our not burning his vessel, they would be paid six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the United States and the Confederate States Governments.

        On June 8, at daylight, we found ourselves off the entrance to the harbor of Rio de Janeiro and in plain sight of the famous landmark called the Sugar Loaf. We also saw


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a splendid big clipper ship making her way toward the port. Putting on a full head of steam and setting all sail that would draw, we started in chase of her. The stranger evidently had no doubt as to our character for she immediately set all of her kites and studding sails and made all possible haste for her haven of refuge, which lay within the charmed marine league from the shore. Some thought that she had made it, but Mr. Ingraham, our youthful navigator, announced that in his opinion she was a few inches outside of it. There was no time to be lost, so we cast loose our guns and after a few shots brought her to. The prize proved to be the clipper ship George Griswold of New York, manned by a negro crew with the exception of her captain and mates. There was great rejoicing on the Georgia over this capture, as the Griswold was the ship which had carried a cargo of flour and wheat, a gift from the people of the United States, to the starving factory operatives of Lancashire, whose means of earning a livelihood had been interfered with by our war. Some of the bread made from this cargo had been distributed at Birkenhead, opposite Liverpool, by a distinguished committee at the head of which was the celebrated preacher Henry Ward Beecher, who from a stand, on which had been placed a model of the Alabama, made a speech strongly denouncing the South in general, and the Alabama in particular. At the conclusion of his oration the loaves of bread were tossed to the crowd, who, instead of eating it, used it to pelt the unoffending effigy of the Alabama. It did not look as though they were so very hungry; but there can be no doubt that this gift of bread-stuff changed the sympathies of the working classes of England and converted them into ardent adherents to the cause of the North.

        The captain of the Griswold had no trouble in proving that she carried a neutral cargo, so we had reluctantly to bond her for her own value of one hundred thousand dollars and let her go. In the mean while, the booming of our guns


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had evidently been heard in Rio, as Brazilian men-of-war and battleships of other nationalities began to send great columns of black smoke out of their funnels in their haste to get up steam. We thought it advisable to leave the locality, and drew out to sea. Soon we saw the warships coming after us and they followed us all day; shortly after dark, however, we put out our lights,--"dowsed our glims," as the sailors say,--and had the satisfaction of seeing the pursuers "pass in the night."

        On June 13, after a long chase, we captured a very fast clipper bark called the Good Hope of Boston, bound for Cape Town, whose crew asserted that they had escaped from the Alabama the day before and insisted that if the wind had held we could not have caught them. The Good Hope's cargo was composed of "Yankee notions" as her mate called it, consisting of every imaginable thing from a portable country villa to a cough lozenge, and including carriages, pianos, parlor organs, sewing machines, furniture, dry goods, etc. On boarding her we were informed that her captain--Gordon by name--had died on the voyage and that his son, a youth of eighteen, who was a member of the crew, had objected so strenuously to his father being buried at sea that in deference to his wishes the carpenter had made a rough, oblong box and partly filled it with brine from the beef casks, and the ship's steward had slashed the body in every conceivable way with a carving-knife and into these gaping wounds had stuck slices of ship's pickles, the better to preserve it. The body had then been put into the briny, improvised coffin and the cover tightly nailed down.

        It was late in the afternoon when we made the capture and Lieutenant Evans went on board as prize master. We had expected to lay by the Good Hope all night with the object of taking provisions out of her in the morning, but Lieutenant Smith, who had the mid-watch on the Georgia, allowed the prize to drift out of sight and when daylight


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came she was not to be seen. Naturally we were very anxious, as Mr. Evans had only five of our men with him and the Good Hope's crew numbered over twenty. Shortly after sunrise we were greatly relieved again to catch sight of her and soon we were near enough to commence transferring her provisions to our own ship. When we had got all we wanted, Captain Maury ordered the coffin containing the dead captain to be brought aboard the Georgia. This was no easy thing to do in a small boat with the sea running quite high, but the feat was accomplished and it was safely hoisted out of the boat by means of a "whip" sent down from our main yard, and reverently placed on two carpenter's "horses" which awaited it just in front of the entrance to the cabin, where it was covered with the Stars and Stripes, the flag the dead man had sailed under, and which we were told he loved so well in life. Several of our heaviest projectiles were made fast to the foot of the coffin and when all was ready the ship's bell was tolled for divine service, the prisoners were relieved of their irons (the dead captain's son had never had them put on him), and all hands were summoned to bury the dead. The prisoners and our crew mingled together as they gathered around the coffin, at the head of which stood Captain Maury, prayer book in hand, with the son of the dead man standing beside him, while our officers reverently took their places behind. Captain Maury then read the beautiful ritual of the Episcopal Church for the burial of the dead at sea.

        I was in charge of the deck while the service was going on. It was a bright sunny Sunday morning, a fresh breeze blowing, and from the burning prize, which had been set on fire when our last boat left her, a great column of smoke, hundreds of feet in height, soared toward the sky. Just over our main truck, all through the service, two white sea birds (the superstitious sailors called them "angel" birds) circled round and round. The solemnity of the occasion was somewhat marred when suddenly the lookout on the


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foretopmast sang out: "Sail ho!" Not wishing further to disturb the impressive ceremony by asking the usual question of "Where away?" I tiptoed forward and went aloft to see for myself, and beheld a strange craft rising on the horizon very rapidly. She appeared to be coming directly for us; she was close-hauled and it was impossible to tell whether or not a smokestack was hidden by her foresail, especially as United States crusiers used anthracite coal and made little or no smoke.

        As the stranger approached, I noticed the unusual whiteness of her sails a sure sign of a man-of-war; next I noticed a long pennant flying gayly from the top of her main skysail pole another sure sign; and as she came still nearer she broke out the Stars and Stripes! I waited no longer, but scampered down from aloft, and softly stealing up behind Captain Maury, who was still reading from his prayer book, said in a whisper--"American man-of-war bearing down on us rapidly!" Never a muscle did he move, nor was there the slightest change in his solemn voice until he had finished, and the prisoners had lifted the coffin and committed the body to the care of the deep blue sea. Then he ordered me to beat to quarters and cast loose the guns.

        By the time this was done it was discovered that the stranger was not a man-of-war, but an innocent merchant-man. What could be her object thus to court her doom when she must have seen the burning Good Hope only a few cables' lengths from us? Nearer and nearer she came, while our gunners, lanyards in hand, kept their pieces trained on her. When within about a hundred and fifty yards of us she was suddenly thrown up into the wind, her main sail thrown aback, and, as she hove to, she lowered a whaleboat and her captain came over to the Georgia.

        We lowered a Jacob's ladder over the side, and the captain of the bark, jumping out of his boat, ran up it like the true sailor he was. As he leaped on to our deck he exclaimed, "This is dreadful! Can I be of any assistance?--How did


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it happen?" Captain Maury stepped forward and told him the Good Hope had been burned by his orders. The man for a moment looked aghast, and then an expression of indignation passed over his features as he asked," Are you a pirate?" Captain Maury replied, "That is what your people call me." He then took the skipper into his cabin and heard his story.

        He had sailed from the United States before the war had begun and had made the long voyage around Cape Horn into the Pacific, where he had wandered about until he had got as far north as the Bering Sea. On his return he had stopped at one of the South Sea islands, overhauled and painted his ship and whitewashed his sails, and had then hoisted a homeward-bound pennant. He was well on his way when, that morning, he had seen a dense column of smoke which he felt sure could come only from some unfortunate ship that had caught fire in the middle of the South Atlantic, and had at once left his course to go to her assistance. The first lieutenant of the Georgia went on board of the bark, whose name was the J. W. Seaver and searched her, finding many old newspapers, but none of later date than October, 1860. Although her cargo was American, Captain Maury let him go, saying that he would stand a court martial before he would burn the ship of a man who had come on an errand of mercy to help fellow seamen in distress. We put our prisoners, as many as wanted to go, on board of the Seaver; we also put sufficient of the provisions we had taken from the Good Hope to last them for the voyage. There were not many of them, as most of the crew expressed a desire to ship with us, and they proved to be among the best men we had.


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CHAPTER XVI

Barren island of Trinidad--The natural monument--Surf five hundred feet high--Battle in the air between frigate bird and sailor lad--Capture of splendid ship Constitution loaded with coal and missionaries--Georgia, by mistake, fires into the Constitution--Capture of ship City of Bath--Despoiled of $16,000 of our hard-earned wealth by trick of skipper's wife--Learn of the death of "Stonewall Jackson"--The Cape of Good Hope.

        On June 18, 1863, we sighted the barren island of Trinidad situated in the middle of the South Atlantic about twenty degrees south of the Equator. The island is some six miles in circumference, and its precipitous sides rise out of the ocean to a height of about eight hundred feet. A few hundred feet from the island, and towering several hundred feet above it, a natural monument about two hundred and fifty feet in circumference at the base, and perfectly round, rears its head skyward. It is a natural beacon, and very useful to navigators who wish to sight it after coming around the Horn, to see if their chronometers are correct before shaping their courses for Europe or North America. One of the most magnificent spectacles in the world can be seen here when a storm is raging. The huge waves, with the sweep of the whole Atlantic, strike this rock with their full force, bursting into spray that ascends four or five hundred feet before it comes tumbling down like a waterfall.

        The island and the monument form a little cove where we anchored in deep water, although very near the land. We were so well hid that, although we had a good view of the ocean from our masthead, passing vessels would not be aware of our presence until they saw a shot skipping across their bows and heard the booming of a gun. From daylight until dark a cloud of sea-birds could be seen whirling round the top of the monument, where we supposed they had their nests. Great numbers of them also seemed to resent the presence of the ship and took no pains to conceal their feelings,


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flying very close to us while screaming their protest. One day a sixteen-year-old lad by the name of Cox was on the lookout on the foretopgallant yard when he was savagely attacked by a huge frigate or man-of-war bird. The ship was rolling slightly, and, to maintain his footing, the lad had to hold on to a backstay with one hand while with the other he defended himself with his jack-knife. Suddenly the bird got a hold with both beak and claws on the boy's clothes and was furiously beating him with his great, powerful wings. It looked for a moment as though the combatants would both fall from that lofty height, when a fortunate jab of Cox's knife disabled a wing and down came the leathered fighter to the deck, where he stood off the whole crew for some little time before they succeeded in killing him.

        One day several of our officers in a small boat rowed around the island, but we could find only one spot where a landing could be made just opposite to where our ship lay. After great effort a few of us climbed to the top. There were signs that at some previous time men had lived there, probably some shipwrecked crew: but the only signs of animal life we saw were one or two wild hogs. How did they come there? Years after our visit to Trinidad an adventurous German baron, who had married an American heiress, went in his private yacht to Trinidad, and, taking possession, declared himself king. On his return to civilization he advertised for subjects to people his new kingdom. This attracted attention, and Great Britain, under the impression that the island might be of use as a coaling-station, at once claimed it. Brazil at once contested this claim, and the dispute that followed was finally settled in her favor.

        We had lain at Trinidad for several days when one morning our lookout reported a sail on the horizon. Our fires were banked and it took but little time to get up steam, slip our cable, and start in pursuit. We did not want to waste coal, so we fired a blank cartridge as a signal for the


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stranger to heave to, but it had the effect only of making him crack on more sail. Getting nearer to him, we tried the effect of a solid shot across his bows, with no better result. We then sent one so close to him that his nerve failed, and he hove to. The stranger proved to be the Constitution, a big, full-rigged ship, hailing from New York and bound from Philadelphia to Shanghai, with a cargo of coal and missionaries. She was forty-eight days out and carried a crew of twenty-six men. Half a dozen of us were put on board the prize, and, as there were several other sail in sight, the Georgia went off in chase, leaving us to work the big Constitution to the island where we expected our cruiser to rejoin us. The wind was very light and we made but slow progress. In the mean while the Georgia had disappeared below the horizon and we began to feel lonesome. For safety's sake we placed one half of the crew in irons and put them down below; the other half we kept on deck, making them work the ship for us until night came and then confined them all on the lower deck.

        The Georgia had not returned by dark, and neither had we succeeded in making the island, so we stood "off and on" all through the night. The next morning was fair and dear, but still there was no sign of our ship.

        The only restriction put upon the missionaries and passengers was that they were not allowed to communicate with the crew or go forward of the mainmast. The captain was confined in his cabin and the mates in their staterooms, but not in irons. Night had again fallen and the time for the extinguishing of all lights had arrived, when we noticed that there was a great deal of whispering going on in the staterooms. An order for silence was given to which very little attention was paid. A boatswain's mate came aft and reported that the prisoners forward seemed to be very uneasy and none of them were asleep. They were cautioned that if they did not keep quiet the hatches would be covered (which would have made it very uncomfortable


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for them), and by way of extra precaution an armed sentry stood at the hatchway with orders to shoot any man who showed his head above the combings.

        The night was very dark, and the rising sea caused the ship to roll more than ever. Toward midnight a large vase became loosened from its fastenings and fell to the deck with a crash; then pandemonium broke loose. The women, screaming that the pirates were going to murder them, rushed out of their rooms in their night-clothes and prostrated themselves on the deck, begging for mercy. Just then--to add to the terrors of the situation--the cries of the women were drowned by the boom of a cannon and the shrieking of a rifle-shell as it passed over us. I rushed on deck and through the speaking-trumpet shouted to our unseen foe: "Ship ahoy! Don't fire, we surrender!"--A hail came out of the darkness, asking what ship we were. I was going to answer that it was the United States ship Constitution, a prize to the Georgia, but as the words "United States" came out of my mouth there was some more banging of the great guns. Things were too serious for further conversation, so hastily ordering a boat lowered I rowed over to the strange craft and found her to be the Georgia!

        It seemed that after leaving us she chased first one vessel and then another until she had got a long way from us; then, as frequently happened, the wooden cogs of her engine had broken and injured several people, and it had taken some time to make repairs. As soon as possible she had returned in search of us and was nearing the anchorage in the darkness when the officer of the deck thought he heard cheers which sounded as if they were being given by a man-of-war's crew about to go into action. He also said that when he asked what ship it was, he was sure the answer he heard was: "The United States sloop-of-war Niagara." There was so much talk about the Niagara on board of the Georgia that she evidently had taken possession of his


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imagination. I have often wondered if those poor women on the Constitution ever realized the fact that they had given us a greater scare than we had them.

        Several days were spent in coaling the Georgia from the Constitution,--a weary job, as our boats were small; then the passengers and crew of the prize were transferred to the Georgia, and our officers had to give up their staterooms to the ladies. They themselves slept in cots and hammocks crowded together and swung in the space between the rooms. We treated the women with the most respectful consideration, but nothing we could say or do seemed to allay their apprehensions. They were so very miserable that we felt sorry for them and prayed for a prize on board of which we could put them.

        On June 27 we chased and boarded a neutral ship which gave us the sad news of the death of "Stonewall" Jackson, and in that lonely part of the ocean we paid his memory a last tribute of respect by lowering our flag to half mast. After a few more days of great discomfort we captured the American ship City of Bath, and hastily made preparations to transfer our unhappy guests to her. We sent boatload after boatload of provisions, which we had taken out of the Constitution, to her, and exacted from her captain a promise that he would take our unwilling and unwelcome guests to an American port.

        When the time came to transfer the women to the City of Bath the sea was so high that it would have been dangerous for them to have attempted to climb down the ladder to get into the boats. Both ships were hove to out on the open sea and were rolling heavily, so we rigged a "whip" on the main yardarm and, placing the poor, frightened creatures in a boatswain's chair, first hoisted them up and over the rail and then lowered them into the waiting boat.

        We afterwards learned that the captain of the City of Bath had not kept the promise which had saved his ship from destruction, but had taken the unfortunate passengers


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and such of the crew who had not enlisted on the Georgia to Pernambuco, the nearest port, and left them stranded there while he went on to Boston with the provisions. The wife of the captain of the Constitution could not have suffered from want, as a few months afterwards we saw in a newspaper an interview in which she gave a very uncomplimentary account of her experiences with the pirates, but consoled herself by saying that she had saved from their clutches sixteen thousand dollars in gold of the ship's money by sewing the coins into her petticoats and safely left the corsair with her treasure. When we read this we felt that we had been robbed! Before leaving Trinidad we slipped the Constitution's cable, set her on fire, and turned her adrift; we then made a target of her and exercised our men at the guns--and mighty poor range-finders and gun-pointers they proved themselves to be.

        On July 9 we overhauled a magnificent ship with towering masts and auxiliary steam power--the Kent from London bound to Australia. After perfunctorily looking at the ship's papers the captain offered me a glass of sherry, and when I went on the deck the passengers crowded around me, eagerly asking if my ship was the famous Alabama. Of course I told them yes, and answered a thousand other questions. One of the passengers made particular inquiries about my age, and when I was about to get into our boat he presented me with a brown paper bag full of most delicious cakes, a luxury I had not tasted for many a long day. I met this gentleman again twenty-odd years after the cake incident.

        I lived the simple life on board the Georgia at this time owing to the fact that we had not entered a port where anything could be bought for so long a time. I only had my ship's ration of salt horse and hard tack to eat, but it must have been a healthful regimen as I had grown wonderfully in height and strength--and my sobriquet of "Little Morgan" had become a misnomer.


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        On the 15th of August we sighted Table Mountain at the entrance of Table Bay. Behind the mountain is the city of Cape Town, the capital of Cape Colony. We chased vessels right under the shadow of lofty Table Mountain with its flat top, and still kept well outside of the sacred marine league. Over the mountain, when the wind is from a particular direction, there hangs a white cloud formed by mist ascending which is called the "Tablecloth." Looking down on Table Mountain is the Lion, a much higher eminence, the crest of which from certain points at sea looks like a lion couchant. The whole coast scenery is very grand as viewed from the ocean.

        The next morning we found ourselves very close to that awesome and forbidding-looking promontory called the Cape of Good Hope,--why so called is as mysterious as the ugly, ragged, and jutting rock itself looks to be. No wonder that the ancient Portuguese mariners believed that the demons who dwelt there dragged their ships back in the night and so prevented them from doubling the ugly headland. As we passed it under steam the sea was angrily lashing its base and the black rock was ugly enough to fill any one with dread even though he had never heard any of the blood-curdling legends connected with it.


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CHAPTER XVII

Simon's Town--The Alabama had just sailed from the port--Two of the Georgia's engineers, the boatswain, gunner, and several seamen get "cold feet" and leave us--Our first lieutenant, Mr. Chapman, ordered to Europe--Visit the city of Cape Town--Skippers of burned ships not friendly and disposed to start a rough-house--H.M. troopship Himalaya--"Dixie"--Exciting experience with Malay fishermen--Albatross and Cape pigeons--Meet the tea fleet--Also the U.S.S. Vanderbilt--Myriads of fish follow the Georgia making the ocean at night appear to be in flames.

        Passing into False Bay, which lies behind the Cape of Good Hope, on August 16 we dropped our anchor in front of Simon's Town, situated on Simon's Bay, a small indentation of the land on the great False Bay. We had no sooner let go our anchor than a British official boarded us and ordered us to to put to sea at the expiration of twenty-four hours. But we knew many a trick to get around international law, and showed him that our engine was broken down, omitting to add that the disaster had occurred just before we came to anchor. It was a habit of that engine to break down just as we entered port if we wanted to remain over the legal twenty-four hours. Besides, we wanted to caulk our decks which leaked badly, as the oakum, in the bad weather to which we had been subjected, had worked loose; besides we had been constantly at sea for four months in tropical waters and the iron bottom of the Georgia was covered with a growth of sea-grass from eight to twelve inches long which impeded her speed more than one half. The British authorities ordered their own officials to hold a survey on her and report on the absolutely necessary repairs.

        The first news of interest to us was that the Alabama had sailed from Simon's Town a few hours before our arrival It seemed that she had got into hot water with the authorities by capturing the bark Conrad too close to the line of the ubiquitous marine league, had changed her name to


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Tuscaloosa, and converted her into a Confederate cruiser. This news that the Alabama had got herself disliked by the Colonial Government brought on an attack of "cold feet" which so seriously affected two of our engineers, the boatswain, and the gunner, all Englishmen whom we had brought from London with us, that they pleaded with the captain for their discharges. This he granted, although the loss of the engineers was a serious matter. Several of the British sailors who had joined us at Ushant Island, sailor-like, discharged themselves and left behind the pay due them. With three or four exceptions our ship's company was now composed entirely of Americans. But a much greater loss to us than these men was the detachment of our first lieutenant, Mr. Chapman. He had become dissatisfied with his position of executive officer of a little brig, knowing as he did that many men far beneath him in rank were in command of gunboats in the Confederacy and that others were aspiring to command the cruisers which were being fitted out in England and in France. Captain Maury sympathized with his ambition and allowed him to return to England--and a bad day it was, too, for the Georgia when he left, for he was a man of iron nerve, a strict disciplinarian with a kind heart, and absolutely just.

        Having been cooped up in very restricted quarters for more than four months, I longed once more to throw my leg over a horse and get a little congenial exercise. Having obtained leave, I mounted a livery-stable steed and started for a twenty-mile ride to Cape Town. The journey across country was a very uninteresting one. I only met one Dutch boy, who either could not or would not talk English, and a Kaffir negro with whom I did not care to fraternize on account of his color. But I did see what interested me greatly--geraniums in profusion growing wild and called weeds, and "everlasting" flowers, which when plucked may be laid away in a drawer for months and when


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taken out and placed in water will regain their freshness in a very little while.

        At the hotel where I stopped in Cape Town I found that eight or ten captains and mates of ships recently destroyed by the Alabama were guests. I was in uniform, and being in neutral territory I had no idea that they would attempt to molest me. But I was mistaken. I passed them in the lobby and on the piazzas without their taking any notice of me, but when I entered the dining-room where they were already seated, and where there were many other people, they arose en masse and swore worse than did the "army in Flanders," damning pirates in general and myself in particular. They were advancing on me in a most threatening manner when the proprietor of the place rushed into the room and commanded the peace. He begged me to go with him into his private dining-room, but I protested that it was the disturbers of the peace who should be made to leave. I was finally persuaded to accompany my host and at his private table found much more congenial society in the company of his charming wife, two lovely daughters, and two grown sons, especially as they told me that their sympathies were all with the South. They also gave me a glass of the sweet Constancia wine for which the colony is famous. The only thing that marred the pleasure of the meal happened at the end when my host unfortunately asked me what I would have done if the Yankee skippers had assaulted me. I naïvely answered that I was perfectly able to take care of myself, as I had a Colt's revolver strapped to me and very handy. I shall never forget the look of horror that passed over the faces of those English people. I could not understand it--coming as I did from a country where almost every man carried a weapon, and where it was considered the proper thing to resent an assault with a shot.

        When I returned to my ship I found the caulkers still at work and the din they made interfered with our comfort


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for many a day. I also found that Her Majesty's troopship Himalaya had come into port with a regiment of Highlanders on board bound for India. One day, while returning from shore in one of our cutters, I steered her very close to the troopship. The band was playing on the quarter-deck, and as we approached the band struck up "Dixie," and I stood up in the boat and took off my cap. The Himalaya's crew and the soldiers raised a cheer which was quickly suppressed, and I afterwards heard that the bandmaster and the officers who had instigated him to play "Dixie" had been reprimanded. We afterwards met some of these officers on shore and they invited us to dine with them on their ship. The dinner was a very picturesque affair the gay uniforms of the officers with their gold lace and the beautiful toilets of their wives and daughters: the scene was not one to be easily forgotten. The Highland pipers playing their bagpipes marched three times around the table and a more awful screeching noise than they made it had never before been my misfortune to hear. A Scotch officer greatly embarrassed me by asking if I did not think it delightful music. When the table was cleared of all the good things, the colonel arose and said, "Gentlemen, will you fill your glasses?" This having been done, he again arose and solemnly proposed the toast which consisted of only two words, "The Queen!" The glasses were emptied, and the function was at an end.

        The weather around the Cape of Good Hope is notoriously treacherous. One afternoon I asked permission to go on shore and it was granted me on my solemn promise that I would be back in time to keep the mid-watch. I had a most enjoyable time until about ten o'clock when I had to leave my companions so as to catch the Georgia's boat. I was disappointed to find that no boat had come for me, and that it was blowing "great guns." I wanted to keep my promise, but none of the native watermen would undertake to put me aboard, saying that the sea was too high.


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At last a man told me that some little distance up the beach there was a hut occupied by some Malay fishermen and that they would risk anything for money. I went to the shanty and had some little difficulty in routing them out of their slumbers. After a great deal of bargaining five of them agreed to go with me for two pounds, which I truthfully told them was all I had. At Sireoh's Town when the wind is from the southwest the huge rollers of the South Atlantic have a clean sweep into the open roadstead which answers for a harbor. The huge Himalaya could be plainly seen in the moonlight tugging at her anchors while rolling heavily, and the little Georgia was wallowing and plunging bows under and the spray in sheets passing over her. The curlers coming high on the beach did not look inviting, but it had to be done. Before embarking the Malays insisted that in the presence of the witnesses gathered around the boat I should agree to take all the responsibility and steer the boat. The boat was high on the beach and was resting on wooden rollers. She was taken to the water's edge and we got into her--the Malays got out their oars, and their numerous friends seized hold of the gunwales and dragged us out until she was afloat, and then they let us go. It was an awful effort to get through the surf, but the feat was finally accomplished. Outside of the breakers the seas were still higher and we took a great deal of water into the boat which compelled two of the men to take in their oars and go to bailing. The water gained on us, and it began to look very dubious as to whether we would reach the ship or not. But by almost superhuman exertions the Malays succeeded and only just in time, for as a line was thrown from the Georgia the boat sank under us. The smart Malay at the bow oar the moment he caught the line had instantly taken a turn around the forward thwart and made it fast. The Georgia quickly sent down a "whip" from the main yard and we were safely hoisted on board. The officer who would have had to walk the mid-watch if I had


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failed to return seemed disposed to regard me somewhat in the light of a hero. The others said I was an idiot, and the captain gave me a good scolding for what he termed my foolhardiness. Somehow or other I never could make a success of that hero business.

        We had received information that H.B.M. cruiser Narcissus was coming from Table Bay to investigate our long stay in a British port and to see that we did not longer infringe upon the rules set forth in Her Majesty's neutrality proclamation, so like the sensible dog which "got up and walked out when he saw preparations being made to kick him," we bade good-bye to Simon's Town. As we were leaving who should come into port but the Narcissus, and that policeman of the seas not only did not attempt to arrest us, but dipped her colors to us as her enthusiastic crew manned the rigging and gave us three lusty cheers--needless to say that we returned the compliment with interest.

        Passing out of False Bay into the South Atlantic we steered a southeasterly course, followed by many graceful albatross and thousands of Cape pigeons, a pretty little speckled sea-bird strongly resembling in size and appearance its domestic namesake.

        The sailors threw out a line with a hook baited with a small piece of fat pork which was almost instantly gobbled by a huge albatross measuring almost twelve feet from tip to tip. The poor bird was hauled aboard, the hook unfastened from its bill, and it was turned loose on the deck when it became fearfully seasick, causing much amusement for the men. It is a singular fact that all sea-birds, despite the fact that they will alight on the water and ride over the highest waves without discomfort, become ill the moment they touch a ship's deck. Besides his size, our albatross was remarkable for a brass bracelet he wore on one of his legs on which was engraved, "Condor 1854." His appetite had evidently got him into trouble on a previous occasion.


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        The morning after we lost sight of the Cape of Good Hope we saw on the horizon a large number of sail. We knew at once that they were the quarry we were looking for. The wind was very light and fortunately they were coming toward us, for the Georgia's chasing days were over. The mass of long sea-grass on her hull had reduced her boasted speed of nine knots an hour under steam to less than five.

        As the fleet of Indiamen loaded with silks and tea from the Orient approached us, we picked out those ships which we suspected might be American and ran up alongside of them, sending an officer on board to examine their papers without putting them to the inconvenience of having to heave to, as we knew how anxious they all were to get to the northward of the Cape before bad weather came on again. We went from ship to ship, but had no luck, as all we boarded were either neutral vessels or else American ships which had changed their nationality and had neutral cargoes aboard. We had changed our course and accompanied them until the evening of the next day when we found ourselves under the shadow of Table Mountain. The sun was setting when suddenly we saw a great paddle-wheel steamer, her double walking-beam engines making her nationality unmistakable. She was headed for Table Bay, her course taking her across our bow and she soon was only about five miles away.

        Captain Maury ordered all hands to assemble at the mast and said to them, "Men, that steamer is the Vanderbilt; she can outrun us and she can whip us after she catches us. I am going to lay you alongside of her and you had far better follow me aboard her and die like men fighting for your lives than to tamely allow yourselves to be hung from her yardarms. Go to quarters!"

        We held our course and the Vanderbilt kept on without taking any notice of us and entered Table Bay into which she had hardly poked her nose before we captured the


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American ship John Watt in plain view of the lights of the city of Cape Town which by this time were beginning to twinkle in the distance. I fear that we were perilously near that sacred limit called the "marine league" within which captures were unlawful, but we saw no fence demarking private property and gave ourselves the benefit of the doubt.

        The Vanderbilt carried twelve eleven-inch guns and she had come thousands of miles to capture the Alabama. She lay for some time at Cape Town and if her captain did not know where the Alabama was at that time, he must have been the only man in Cape Colony who was unaware of the fact that the Confederate cruiser was only a few miles away to the southward.

        We had not proceeded very far when we discovered that innumerable fish, albecore and bonito, seemed to be following the ship, many of them swimming so close to her sides that they almost touched her. As we were under sail alone and going very slowly, there was nothing to disturb them except the occasional throwing of a grange (a three-pronged harpoon) by the men. The fish were so close together that it was impossible to miss and we had quantities of fresh fish for all hands for ten or twelve days before they left us. The nights were dark and we witnessed a singular phenomenon caused by these myriads of fish rushing through the phosphorescent water, causing the ocean to be streaked, as though by flames, from horizon to horizon.

        In the daytime great schools of small fish could be seen flapping on the surface in mortal fright and giving one the idea of a huge silver salver as their shiny sides contrasted with the ocean's blue and shimmered in the sunlight. They had cause to be alarmed, as from under them hundreds of albecore would pop up, leaping fifteen or twenty feet in the air, each one of them having a victim in his mouth. Flying fish in efforts to escape were sailing in every direction through the air.


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        It was useless for us to chase any vessels so long as we were in the southeast trades, as they would run away from us in the fresh breeze, but when we neared the Equator and got into the doldrums, that region of calms and squalls, waterspouts, and rains which fell in sheets instead of drops, we had no trouble in running up to any sailing vessel that we selected to examine. One moment a squall would strike them and they would be rushing through the water like ocean greyhounds and the next minute they would be becalmed with their sails idly flapping against their masts. One minute we would be scorched by the tropical sun and the next we would be drenched by a cloudburst. Our rubber raincoats were useless, as nothing but the yellow oilskins of the sailors could shed that torrent of water.


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CHAPTER XVIII

The prize Bold Hunter, abandoned and on fire, runs down and seriously damages the Georgia--Mirage at night--Peak of Teneriffe--Santa Cruz--Battle with a Frenchman--Rescue French brig Diligente--Captain Maury ill--Sailors get at the spirit-room--Mutiny.

        On, October 9, 1863, in a light breeze and after a lively chase we brought to, with our guns, the splendid American full-rigged ship Bold Hunter, of Boston, from Dundee, bound to Calcutta with a heavy cargo of coal. We hove to to leeward of her and brought her captain and crew over to our ship, where as usual the crew were placed in irons and below decks. Being short of coal and provisions we proceeded to supply our wants from the prize. This was easy so far as the provisions were concerned, but when it came to carrying the coal from one ship to the other in our small boats, in something of a seaway, that was another matter. After half a dozen trips one of our boats came very near being swamped, and the wind and sea rapidly rising, we gave it up as a bad job. This was about two bells (1 P.M.) in the afternoon watch. We signaled our prize master to set fire to the Bold Hunter and also to come aboard the Georgia at once, which he did.

        We had hardly finished hoisting our boats to the davits when a great cloud of smoke burst from the hatches of the Bold Hunter coming from the thousands of tons of burning coal in her hold. The wind had by this time increased to a gale and the sea was running very high. As before mentioned, the wind was very light when we captured the ship and she had hove to with all sail set, even to her royals. The flames leaped from her deck to her tarry rigging and raced up the shrouds and backstays and burned away her braces--her yards swung around, her sails filled, and the floating inferno, like a mad bull, bore down on us at full


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speed, rushing through the water as though she was bent on having her revenge. To avoid a collision, the order was given on the Georgia to go ahead at full speed. The gong in the engine room sounded, the engine turned the screw, and the screw began to churn the water under our stern The engine made two or three revolutions--then there was a crash--followed by yells as the engineers and oilers rushed on to the deck accompanied by a shower of lignum-vitae cogs and broken glass from the engine-room windows. The order to make sail was instantly given, but before the gaskets which confined the furled sails to the yardarms could be cast off, the burning ship was upon us. She had come for us with such directness that one could easily have imagined that she was being steered by some demon who had come out of the inferno which was raging in her hold. We stood with bated breath awaiting the catastrophe which seemingly was about to overtake us. The Bold Hunter was rated at over three thousand tons and had inside her a burning cargo of coal of even greater weight--the Georgia was scarcely one sixth her size. Onward rushed the blazing ship, presenting an awesome spectacle with the flames leaping about her sails and rigging while a huge mass of black smoke rolled out of her hatches. High above our heads her long, flying jibboom passed over our poop deck as she rose on a great wave and came down on our port quarter, her cutwater cleaving through the Georgia's fragile plates as cleanly as though they had been made out of cheese. The force of the impact pushed the Georgia ahead and for a moment we congratulated ourselves that we had escaped from the fiery demon whose breath was scorching us. But the Bold Hunter was not yet satisfied with the injuries she had inflicted. Recovering from the recoil, she again gathered way and struck us near the place she had previously damaged, but fortunately this was a glancing blow which had the effect only of wrenching off our port quarter davits and reducing the boat which was slung to them to kindling wood. Not yet satisfied, the


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apparently infuriated inanimate object made a third attempt to destroy the Georgia, this time, fortunately, missing her mark and passing a few yards to leeward of us. Her sails having burned, she soon lost headway and helplessly lay wallowing in the trough of the sea while the fire ate through her sides, and her tall masts, one after the other, fell with a great splash into the sea. Before she went down surrounded by a cloud of steam we had a good view through the great holes burned in her sides of the fire raging inside her. I imagine it was a very realistic imitation of what hell looks like when the forced drafts are turned on in honor of the arrival of a distinguished sinner.

        The Georgia needed a port, and needed one sorely, to repair her injuries, as she was leaking badly despite the work of the carpenter's gang in stopping up the hole made by the Bold Hunter's stem. We were making all possible speed for some place--I did not know where--when on the night of October 13-14 we were the victims of a most singular false alarm. The night was starlit and the sea was smooth--the only air stirring being that made by the slow progress of the steamer. I was keeping the mid-watch on the forecastle. Four bells (2 A.M.) had just struck, when the stillness of the night was broken by a frightened yell from the lookout--"Land ho!" Instantly the officer of the deck asked, "Where away?" and the lookout answered, "Dead ahead, sir!"--and added in what was a frightened wail, "For God's sake, stop her, sir!" By this time the officer of the deck had seen the cause of alarm and had signaled the engineer to stop and then to go astern at full speed.

        A sailor, although asleep, instantly knows if anything has gone wrong on his ship. A sail taken aback--or the engines stopping,--yes, even the cessation of the regular tramp of the officer as he walks his watch, will awaken Jack instantly. In this instance the watch below were out of their bunks and hammocks in a jiffy and scampered up the hatchway to find out what had happened. One look was


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enough--there, not a ship's length ahead, was land which towered up into the darkness. It looked as though it would be impossible to stop our headway before we should be dashed to pieces on it. Captain Maury and all his officers were gathered on the poop deck. It was the only time I ever saw the captain show any excitability. He rather peremptorily demanded an explanation from the navigator, who insisted that his calculations were right and that the nearest land to us was the Canary Islands, distant more than one hundred miles. The captain pointed to the land, a cable's length or less away, an unanswerable argument. The navigator could only shake his head doubtfully and reiterate that despite all appearances being against him he was sure his work was correct. The captain went into his room and together they went over the calculations, but no error could be discovered. Then the captain came forward and looked long and intently at the obstacle which barred our further progress, apparently. Suddenly I was surprised to hear him laugh in his usual gentle way, and then I almost jumped out of my boots as I heard him give the order to go ahead at full speed. As he passed me on his way back to his cabin he simply said, "Mirage!" I afterwards heard him say that it was the only time in his life that he had ever seen a mirage at night. Through the rest of my watch it seemed to me that the next revolution of the engine must necessarily plunge our flying jibboom into those phantom rocks. The mirage faded away before daylight, and that morning at a distance of a hundred and ten miles we plainly saw the Peak of Teneriffe towering above the clouds.

        The morning after our mirage scare we dropped our anchor in front of the picturesque little town of Santa Cruz which nestles at the foot of the gigantic peak. The little fort which guards the harbor looked comical with its little popguns pointing seaward, but this fort will always live in history, for it was a projectile from one of its toy guns which removed the great Admiral Lord Nelson's arm.


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        The vicinity of the Canary Islands is a favorite hunting-ground for American whalers, and United States men-of-war were constantly on guard to protect them; one had just left Santa Cruz the day before we arrived. Had she remained twenty-four hours longer it would have been the end of the Georgia's cruise.

        We put our prisoners on shore, and as the authorities were as anxious to get rid of us as we were to get out of that neighborhood, our absolutely necessary repairs were hurried. During our short stay a native merchant who had supplied us with some necessities invited me to take lunch at his pretty villa in the suburbs and there I first saw a gazelle, a gentle, affectionate little creature who followed the mistress of the establishment all over the house and through the gardens--I also learned for the first time that canary birds in the Canary Islands are green instead of yellow like the birds of commerce which are bred in cages.

        After a two days' stay at Santa Cruz we got under way and on the 20th of October we had a rather amusing adventure with a bellicose Frenchman. The wind was so light that the sailing ships in sight had barely steerage way. Under steam we bore down on a bark which showed French colors, but looked like an American. As we ranged alongside of him my captain ordered me to hail him in French and I did so by bawling out through the speaking trumpet (called in these days a megaphone): "Mettez votre grand voile au mat!"--which is French for "Heave to!"--to which the excitable Gaul replied: "Je suis français, et je ne m'arrete pas pour un canaille de corsair!"--which is French for "I am a Frenchman, and I don't stop for a low-bred pirate!" We lowered a boat and I was ordered to go aboard the rude fellow's ship and tell him that he must show his papers. But when I got alongside of him I found a nice reception awaiting me. The furious Frenchman was standing in the gangway of his ship frantically waving a rusty old sword, while two men stood behind him armed with


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muskets and the rest of his crew were brandishing hand and marlinspikes, ugly weapons in the hands of sailors. Neither my boat's crew nor myself were armed, as we only intended to make a friendly visit, and I had no authority to use force in boarding him, so I returned to the Georgia for further orders. Captain Maury was provoked at the fellow's stubbornness and ordered us to cast loose our guns. We first fired a blank cartridge which produced no effect. We then fired a solid shot across his bow, with no better result. The Georgia was being turned around all this time so that the little Whirworth guns on the poop deck (stern chasers) could be fired, but the order was given to fire before they could clear the Frenchman and a projectile went screaming over his forecastle. I never before saw a mainyard swing so quickly, and the bark was hove to as though by magic. I got into our boat again, this time accompanied by Lieutenant Evans and an armed crew. As we passed under the stern of the bark we saw that her name was La Patrie. At the gangway we were received by the captain, unarmed this time, and I assured him that we only wanted to see his papers, and explained to him that any American ship could have a Frenchman on deck to forbid our coming aboard; hence the necessity of our seeing the proof of nationality for ourselves, and that as a man-of-war we intended to exert that right. To our surprise the Frenchman replied that he refused to let us see his ship's papers unless we used force! The lieutenant told me to ask him what kind of force he wished to have used, and whether the presence of an armed boat's crew was not sufficient, and getting angry he told me to ask the Frenchman if he wanted to be knocked down as evidence that force was being used. The captain replied that he only wanted one of us to touch his coat-sleeve with a single finger, and taking my hand in one of his with the other he took hold of my first finger and gently pressing it against the sleeve of a sailor who was beside me, showed us how he wanted it done. The lieutenant obliged him. He then


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showed the way into his cabin, and as Mr. Evans and I entered the room, with a graceful bow he said, "Ici nous sommes des messieurs" ("Here we are gentlemen"); and not only showed his papers, which were absolutely correct, but also opened a bottle of champagne for us. We thought that we had parted on the most friendly terms, but some days afterwards the Frenchman met and boarded a French steamer and sent a report of the outrage (?), as he termed it, to his Government, which would have caused us a great deal of trouble if it had not been for a good piece of luck which befell us in falling in with the French brig Diligente, which had been knocked over by a squall and was lying on her beam ends, out of food, and helpless, while every wave washed over her and her exhausted crew. Her cargo had shifted and her wearied men had been unable to right her. We sent a number of our crew on board who soon replaced the cargo in its proper place and we spontaneously burst into a hearty cheer as she regained an upright position. Her captain was very grateful, especially for the provisions we gave him, and he gave us several bottles of eau-de-vie de Danzig with gold dust floating in it. This was the only thing in the brig which was not saturated with salt water. The Diligente hailed from Cherbourg, France, and her captain gave us a letter to his owners telling them of his misfortune and speaking in very complimentary terms of the assistance we had given him, and begged us to mail it from the first port we entered.

        A few days after we had rescued the Frenchman we experienced quite a little uneasiness on our own account. A smoke was seen on the horizon and shortly afterwards a steamer appeared coming straight for us. We soon decided that she was a merchantman, but that proved nothing, as the United States Government had converted so many merchant steamers into men-of-war. Owing to our foul bottom the stranger gained rapidly on us. We went to our guns and waited to see what was going to happen. On coming


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abeam she proved to be the Portuguese steamer Braganza, who wanted a comparison of longitude, as something had gone wrong with her chronometer. We were very glad that that was all she wanted, for things were not going well on board of the Georgia.

        Captain Maury had been ill ever since we had left the Cape of Good Hope. While there he had received letters from home telling him that, owing to the maneuvers of the Northern and Southern armies, his wife and children had become refugees, and he did not know what had become of them. He became very melancholy and rarely appeared on deck. Dr. Wheeden spent most of his time in the cabin with him. The discipline of the ship also missed the iron hand of Lieutenant Chapman. Lieutenant Evans, who had succeeded Chapman as executive officer, was a most charming and accomplished gentleman, but he was not a strict disciplinarian. Things had gone from bad to worse than bad, until one day some of the stokers discovered that a coal bunker was only separated from the spirit-room, where their grog rations were stored, by a thin bulkhead; this they bored through. They must have known the location of a particular barrel of whiskey, for they bored through the head of that also, and inserting a piece of lead pipe into the hole they got all the liquor they (temporarily) wanted. This they distributed among the crew and soon there was a battle royal going on on the berth deck which the master-at-arms was unable to stop. The first lieutenant went below and his presence had the effect of causing a pause in the turmoil. He persuaded the ringleaders to go on deck and appear at the mainmast, which was the court-house on the old-time men-of-war. Several of the men were sentenced to be placed in irons and confined in the "brig" (ship's jail) on a diet of bread and water. But the biggest bully in the ship swore that the master-at-arms was not man enough to put him in irons. The latter official was the chief policeman of the ship; he was undoubtedly a scientific boxer and boasted that


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he had once been a prize-fighter, but if that was so he must have had a yellow streak in him, for it was evident that the men had cowed him and that he did not dare make a move. Here was a pretty kettle of fish!--the authority of the executive officer defied to his face. Instantly appreciating the danger of such a state of affairs on such a ship as the Georgia, I suddenly leaped upon the man and bore him to the deck, where, in a jiffy, the master-at-arms placed the bracelets on his wrists. The other mutineers, quietly extending their arms in sign of submission, were placed in irons, and confined below. The discipline of the ship needed as much repairing as the vessel did herself. It was time the Georgia sought a civilized port for more reasons than one.


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CHAPTER XIX

Cherbourg--Letters from home tell of the deaths of my two brothers, captains in Stonewall Jackson's corps--French fleet arrives to keep us in order--Great storm and loss of flagship's launch and crew--Impressive military pageant at funeral--Captain Maury relieved from the command of the Georgia.--The C.S.S. Rappahannock--Kearsarge and Tuscarora waiting for us outside.

        WE slowly dragged our heavy grass crop along and entered the English Channel where we knew Federal cruisers were on the watch, but we were fortunate enough not to be seen by them, and in the middle of the night of October 28-29, 1863, we quietly stole into the harbor of Cherbourg, France, and dropped anchor.

        We had been at sea for eight long months, and with the exception of our captain, not an officer on board had heard from home. The news of our arrival at Cherbourg, however, quickly spread and the U.S.S. Kearsarge quickly appeared cruising up and down beyond the three-mile limit. But more welcome than the sight of our would-be captor was a package of letters which had run through the blockade and had been forwarded to us by the Confederate agents, Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., of Liverpool; There was great rejoicing for all save me--I received two saddening missives: one informed me of the death of my brother George, a captain in the First Louisiana Infantry, in "Stonewall" Jackson's division; and when I opened the other it told me of the death of my brother Thomas Gibbes, a captain of the Seventh Louisiana, also with "Stonewall."

        Gibbes had been badly wounded at Antietam, and before his wound was well healed had rejoined his regiment, with the survivors of which he had been captured at Kelly's Ford while covering the retreat of General Lee's army. He was taken to Johnson's Island, where he died a prisoner, leaving a charming young wife and two little


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baby boys to fight their own way in those troublous times.

        The morning after our arrival I was sent ashore to deliver to the owners of the brig Diligente the letter of her captain. The owners published it, and it was well for us they did, for already the French authorities had demanded an explanation of our treatment of the bark Patrie. It evened things up, and the people of Cherbourg, while not at all gushing over us, treated us with courtesy.

        We had not been at Cherbourg twenty-four hours when the French ironclad fleet, headed by the flagship Couronne, the vessel that afterwards umpired the fight between the Alabama and the Kearsarge, entered the port, and the next day a fleet of old-time three-deckers, line-of-battle ships, also anchored near us. These, with the hundreds of guns mounted in the forts and on the breakwater which formed the artificial harbor, were certainly enough to keep even the formidable (?) Georgia in order.

C.S. CRUISER GEORGIA,
CHERBOURG, FRANCE,
December 5, 1863.

MY DEAR MOTHER: --

        I hope that you don't think your prodigal has forgotten you. I have written to you from every port, but directed my letters to Clinton, Louisiana, via the blockade, and would have continued to do so had it not been for a letter I received here from Lily [my sister Mrs. La Noue] dated from Macon, Georgia, telling me that you had returned to New Orleans and were within the Federal lines.

        We have been in the drydock and the bottom of our ship is clean once more, but she does look so ridiculously small alongside of these French ironclads and the great wooden line-of-battle ships. There are about twenty of them in all.

        There has been a great storm here. Night before last one of the line-of-battle ships, carrying eighty-four guns, dragged her anchors and only brought up when she was within twenty yards of our little cockleshell of a ship. I assure you we spent several hours on the anxious bench while expecting every moment to be


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crushed by the Leviathan. The storm raged all the next day, the battleships, as well as our little craft, pitching bows under into every sea. Many of the fishing boats were wrecked on the coast and the breakwater supposed to protect this harbor, which it don't, at least in weather like this. Many tried to make the harbor, but were pitilessly thrown on the rocks and ground into splinters among the boulders on the beach. One little fishing craft made such a noble struggle--she weathered the end of the breakwater, but despite her heroic efforts it was evident that she must be wrecked on the beach before reaching smooth water or shelter. Anticipating trouble, the French flagship, the ironclad Couronne, had a launch towing astern with twenty men and a sub-lieutenant in it. The Couronne cast her off, and the young officer made a gallant attempt to rescue the fisherman, but it was a hopeless errand. We stood in silence on our deck and watched the pitiful struggle against the elements, while our own ship was dragging her anchors at which she was savagely tugging as she plunged bows under at every dive and the huge seas would sweep over our deck. At last the fishing smack struck the bottom and was almost instantly lifted by a great wave which carried her amongst the boulders smashing her to pieces.

        Seeing that he could be of no assistance the officer in the launch attempted to put her about--but she also was doomed. One moment she was in the trough of the sea and the next instant the crest of a great wave swept over her. Wave after wave followed in rapid succession, turning her over and rolling her up the beach as though she were a barrel, until she struck the boulders where she was literally torn to pieces. It was heartrending to watch those who had not been killed, or too badly crippled by the first shock, struggling to save themselves. As the surf would recede, they would stagger to their feet only to be knocked down by the next wave and thrown violently against the jagged rocks, and even after they were dead the pitiless sea continued to maim the helpless bodies by picking them up and slamming them down upon the stones.

        When the storm abated, the remains of the dead were recovered and taken to the navy yard where they were prepared for burial. The funeral, the next day, was one of the most impressive sights I ever witnessed. Ten thousand soldiers stood at "Present arms!" on either side of the road leading to the cemetery as the procession passed between them. First came a large number of priests followed by a military band playing the Dead March. Then came


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the twenty-one caissons bearing the bodies, each drawn by six horses, the coffins being covered by the much loved "tri-couleur." These were followed by a number of admirals and naval officers according to rank. These in turn were followed by six thousand sailors from the fleet.

        Captain Maury was invited to attend the ceremony, and took me with him as his aide. We were given a place in the procession next after the admirals.

        Arriving at the cemetery, we stopped in front of a great trench where all of those gallant fellows were to be interred in one grave, except the young officer who had commanded the launch--he had a separate grave. His was the last coffin to be buried, and just as it was about to be lowered an aide-de-camp of the Emperor dashed up on horseback, and saluting Admiral La Rose, the ranking officer present, he presented him with an order from the Emperor and also a small package. Admiral La Rose read the order aloud. It commanded that the accompanying cross of the Legion of Honor should be pinned on the dead officer's breast. The lid of the coffin was unscrewed, and in death the young fellow was decorated with the bit of metal he had doubtless so much coveted in life. The coffin was then lowered into the grave and the earth covered these martyrs to duty.

        The officers and men then withdrew to some little distance from the newly made graves and stood watching a most thrilling spectacle as battery after battery of horse artillery dashed up to the edge of the graves, wheeled, unlimbered, fired a salvo, limbered up again and disappeared at the gallop.

        You may say what you please about Napoleonic tyranny (?), but it must be a great government for a soldier or sailor to die under. It may have been all a coup de théâtre, but it looked splendid and sent a thrill through me.

        I can form no idea as to what our future movements will be. If I knew I would not tell you, as there is no knowing into whose hands this letter may fall, so I can only ask you to continue writing me in care of Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., 10 Rumford Place, Liverpool, England. They will know where we are going, even if we do not.

        The Kearsarge is off the port waiting for us. She can wait. When the little Georgia's bottom is cleaned, we will slip by her in the night.

        The last cartoon in the French comic papers, making fun of the American war, represents two newly made graves alongside of


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each other. On the headstone of one is written "Nord," and on the other "Sud." A dilapidated old slouch hat with a rooster's feather in it rests on each grave, and underneath is written-- "Finis de la guerre dans l'Amerique."

        And now I must say good-bye, my dearest mother. With love and kisses for you and my dear sisters, I am

Lovingly your son,


JAMES MORRIS MORGAN.

        Captain Maury was summoned to Paris to explain about our little fracas with the Patrie, and I accompanied him as interpreter. Commodore Barron, C.S.N., and some twenty-odd other Confederate naval officers were in Paris by this time, the juniors waiting for ships that were building. At Captain Maury's own request, on account of his health, Commodore Barron relieved him from the command of the Georgia and ordered him to return to the Confederacy--I went back to my ship alone.

        Every officer on the Georgia who could get leave got it, and Lieutenant Ingraham and I had to keep watch and watch, that is, four hours on and four off--sounds easy, but is rather trying on a growing boy. There was no competition among the higher officers for the honor of commanding the Georgia, so the post was conferred on Lieutenant Evans. As for the juniors in Paris, they showed no wild desire to serve on the little ship, either. Two lieutenants who had a strong pull with the commodore came to us, but managed to secure their detachments after being on board only a couple of days.

        The monotony of my existence was broken by my being granted a week's leave of absence, which I utilized by going to Paris, and from there to Calais to visit some midshipmen who were on board of the C.S.S. Rappahannock, with whom I spent a morning before continuing my journey to Liverpool. The Rappahannock is worthy of being mentioned, if only on account of the unusual way in which she escaped from the Thames to become a Confederate cruiser.


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She was a condemned little British sloop-of-war and had been sold at auction and bought by a Confederate agent. The British Government knew all about the transaction and was perfectly willing that the Confederates should spend all the money they wanted to on her, but had no intention whatever of allowing her to escape to sea. English engineers, riggers, carpenters, joiners, and painters were busily at work on her as she lay at the dock, when one day Lieutenant W. P. A. Campbell, C.S.N., attired in civilian clothes, appeared on board of her armed with authority from the supposed owner to make a thorough inspection. It also conveniently happened that the engineers had up steam and were testing the engines which they were slowly turning over. Mr. Campbell amiably expressed satisfaction with everything except the steering gear, and insisted that the only way of testing that was to take the vessel out into the stream and turn her around two or three times. This was amiably agreed to and the lines securing her to the dock were cast off. Mr. Campbell headed her down the river, and listening to no protests, hoisted the Confederate flag when he was beyond the marine league, and with his unwilling crew of artisans steered for Calais, which neutral port he entered claiming to be a Confederate States man-of-war. Of course the incident brought protests from the American Minister in London and in Paris and stirred up quite an international row.

        When I saw the Rappahannock at Calais, the French were allowing us to spend all the money we wanted to in fitting her for sea, but I do not believe they had the vaguest idea of ever letting her escape again.

        Continuing my journey to Liverpool, I spent two or three delightful days visiting Mr. Prioleau at Allerton Hall, where I met an old friend from New Orleans, Mr. C. W. Miltenberger, and Alfred Trenholm (whose clothes had worn while in Charleston). These young gentlemen, on account of failing health, had been discharged


Illustration


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from the Confederate Army and were recuperating in Europe.

        My leave expired, and I returned to the monotony of my existence on board of the Georgia. It seemed that we never should get to sea again. Drills, watches, and meals--meals, watches, and drills. I don't think the French cared how long we remained so long as we spent money liberally on imaginary repairs (?).

        At last Lieutenant Kirby King and Sydney Smith Lee, the latter a younger brother of General Fitzhugh Lee, were ordered to us, and that put an end to the discomfort of keeping watch and watch, much to my delight. I suppose that our weariness of remaining in an uninteresting port was only equaled by that of the crews of the Kearsarge and the Tuscarora who were tumbling about in the chop seas of the Channel waiting impatiently for us to come out. They would take turns in coming in close enough to the breakwater every day or two to see if we were still there in the harbor, until I think we should have felt neglected if they had failed to take an interest in us and ceased their visits.


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CHAPTER XX

Leave Cherbourg--Storm off Cape Trafalgar--Coast of Morocco-- Anchor in the open sea near the Great Desert--Caravans--Moors bring fish--Ancient Moor swims to the ship--We return visits and are kicked into the sea--We bombard the troglodytes--Give up hope that the Rappahannock will meet us--Weigh anchor and have a narrow escape from shipwreck and falling into the hands of the Moors.

        ONE dark night in the middle of February, 1864, we weighed our anchor as quietly as possible, got under way, and slipped out of the western entrance to the harbor without seeing anything of either the Kearsarge or her consort, and with a clean bottom raced down the Channel and soon found ourselves on the broad Atlantic. We saw many ships, but molested none. Strange conduct for the Georgia, at which we wondered. But none knew, save our commander, whither we were bound, or what was our mission. Day after day we raced at full speed under steam.

        Off Cape Trafalgar one night we ran into a fearful storm, the most terrific in my seafaring experience. We put the ship's head into the wind and barely kept steerage-way on her. The high seas dashed over the ship in such volumes of water that to keep from being washed overboard, Lieutenant King, the quartermaster, and I lashed ourselves in the rigging ten feet above the deck. At one time the wind was so furious that it blew the tops off the enormous waves and the sea became one mass of seething foam in which the little Georgia floundered and wallowed until we had but little hopes that she would live through it. But with daylight fortunately, for us, both sea and wind went down, and by eight o'clock in the morning the officers were able to come out of the wardroom and we were relieved. The door leading into the officers' quarters as well as the hatches had been battened down to keep the water out, and no one could get in or out while


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the storm raged. Mr. King and I, as well as the starboard watch, had been on deck since eight o'clock the previous evening, and more exhausted men than we were could hardly be imagined.

        The first land we sighted was the coast of Morocco. We passed down the coast in plain sight of the minarets of the ancient city of Mogador. When we reached a place where a range of barren-looking mountains ended at the sea and the great Sahara Desert extended into the unknown to the east and south, we dropped our anchor in the open ocean about a mile or more from the shore and about forty miles south of Mogador. We could see no signs of vegetable or other life on the desolate-looking land, with the exception of some bushes at the foot of the mountains. Day after day we lay there lazily rolling on the swell of the sea, the monotony only being broken occasionally by watching camel caravans to or from Mogador come along the beach and wind their way around the mountains, disappearing in the apparently limitless and glaring desert waste.

        When the sirocco came in our direction from across the burning desert, it carried with it fine particles of sand which got into our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, causing much discomfort, and added to this was the almost intolerable heat thrown off in the night by the thin iron sides of the ship, which made sleep almost impossible.

        Early one morning we were surprised by seeing an open rowboat near us with five or six Moors in it. They came alongside the ship and offered us some fresh fish which we gratefully accepted, giving in exchange some old hoop iron, two old rusty razors, and two or three dilapidated old sheets out of which turbans could be fashioned. These were much prized, and when they left us the last we saw of them as they proceeded parallel with the beach instead of pulling for the shore, they were evidently wrangling as to which of them should have the turban material.


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        With the exception of the fishermen we had seen no evidence of there being inhabitants living on the shore near us, although we had been at anchor for more than three weeks, until about four o'clock one afternoon a round object, looking somewhat like a white sponge, was seen floating on the sea about half a mile off and between the ship and the shore. The waves were some four or five feet high, and as the strange object bobbed up and down on them it was soon discovered that it was coming toward us, and as it came nearer we discovered that it was the head of an old man. Finally he reached our vessel and we lowered a Jacob's ladder over the taffrail for him. With great effort he dragged himself up it and fell exhausted on the deck. Dr. Wheeden revived him with a drink of brandy and would have repeated the dose, but the old Mohammedan--true to his religion now that he had recovered his senses-- pointed a bony finger heavenward, shook his hoary head, and muttered the holy name of Allah! When the old man was sufficiently rested, as he was clothed by only a ragged piece of sacking which was wrapped around his loins, we gave him some Christian raiment and a lot of old trash, for which he seemed very grateful, and then we put him in one of our boats which I was ordered to take charge of, and put him on shore. Nearing the beach the water became so shoal that the boat grounded when more than twenty yards away from it, but the old man stepped over the side and waded ashore with his newly acquired treasures held high above his head. I saw no other human being in sight and left him to find his way home alone.

        Several of us, seeing that the few natives we had met were apparently disposed to be friendly, asked permission to go ashore to stretch our legs with a little exercise. The captain granted our request, at the same time instructing us to go unarmed as evidence of our friendly intentions if by chance we met any of the inhabitants. We got into a


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boat, and like little boys going on a holiday laughed and joked with glee until the boat grounded, and the sailors, with the exception of two boat-keepers, stepped into the water, and we mounted on their backs and rode ashore, dry shod, in great style.

        It was delightful to feel the solid ground, or sand as it happened to be, under our feet once more, and we began at once to run and skylark up and down the beach. At the foot of the cliffs, some forty yards from the water, there was a growth of dwarf bushes. Suddenly--I never did know how it happened--we were separated and surrounded by hundreds of Moors armed with spears and old-fashioned guns of extraordinary length whose barrels were banded with silver at intervals of a foot or two apart. The Moors were shaking their guns and brandishing their spears while yelling like fiends, and all the time a seemingly endless stream of the black demons poured out from the bushes. I tried to see what had become of my companions, but could only discern a surging, struggling mass of Moors in every direction. One gigantic fellow seized me from behind and whirled me around until I faced the sea, and while others struck me with their hands, my particular giant preferred to use his feet, and he kicked me until I was almost up to my neck in the water. From my sensations I should judge that the sole of that Moor's foot without further roughening would have served very well for a blacksmith's rasp. Our unarmed boat-keepers gamely waited for us, and when I climbed into the boat I found my companions, who had been similarly treated, already there--safe but very wet, and looking very foolish.

        When we returned to the Georgia we were disposed to treat our experiences at the hands of the Moors as a good joke, but our young captain could not be induced to regard the matter in that light. In fact he was very indignant and ordered the drummer to beat to quarters without giving us time to take off our dripping clothes. The guns were cast


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loose and the order to fire given. The guns roared and the screeching shells sped away to burst over the heads of the astounded Moors, who stood not upon the order of their going, but disappeared, not however so mysteriously as they had appeared on the scene. The puzzle was solved: they seemed to run right into the side of the cliff. Evidently they were troglodytes and the caves were their homes. Whether or not our shells had hurt any of them we never knew.

        Three weeks and more had passed and we were getting very wearied. Our mission was now no longer a secret. We were waiting for the Rappahannock for the purpose of giving her our battery, ammunition, and a part of our crew--she was supposed to bring her own officers.

        The evening after our little fracas with the moody Moors, the hour at which the discipline of the ship was usually suspended and when the men, after their day's work, gathered on the forecastle and sang their sailor songs, while the officers, having dined, were seated around the waist guns enjoying their cigars and engaged in conversation or dreamily listening to the words of a favorite sailor ditty, the refrain of which was, "Eight bells began to go: I love to hear them ring, my dear, and so do you, I know"--at this hour, the most pleasant of the twenty-four, when even a lonesome midshipman could butt into the conversation without fear of being snubbed--the lonely captain, it seemed, also craved the society of his fellow men, and he joined the group around the gun where we were speculating on the causes which might have delayed the Rappahannock. I was the only person on board who had ever seen her, and I expressed the opinion that she had never left port, and that anyhow I believed the little Georgia, bad as she was, was the better ship of the two--that the Rappahannock was a bluff-bowed old water-bruiser that did not have any speed under steam, and that my friends, the midshipmen, on board of her had told me she was "hogged" (strained) by lying on


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the uneven bottom at low tide. I wound up my remarks by saying that unless the French Government had changed its attitude toward the Confederacy, there was little chance of the Rappahannock ever joining us, as when I had seen her in the slip at Calais two big chain cables were stretched from pier to pier, one in front of her bow and the other behind her stern, and that they were made fast around stone posts, and on each post sat a gendarme to see that they were not meddled with. The captain said he would give her just forty-eight hours more to put in an appearance, and if by that time she failed to materialize he would go and look for her.

        We did not wait the forty-eight hours of grace we had given the dilatory Rappahannock, as something exciting happened which changed our plans. A little before sundown the following day the wind came out from the southwest and blew a gale. The Georgia began to pitch bows under with every sea that struck her, and then to drag her anchor. We paid out more cable, but still she dragged. We let go our other anchor, but the force of the wind increasing, we continued our promenade toward the rocky shore on which by this time the Moors, having become aware of the straits we were in, had assembled in hundreds to give us a warm reception in return for the compliments our guns had hurled at them the day before.

        Our fires were banked while we lay at anchor, and the stokers appreciating the imminent danger were working like mad to get up steam. We were now within some two hundred yards of the shore, and an ugly black rock some thirty feet away poked out its head between the angry-looking waves as they swept over it. The Moors, like so many demons, were dancing with delight on the shore while yelling curses at us. No matter how ignorant one is of a savage language, there is no need for an interpreter when the natives are swearing at a fellow. Night was fast closing in on us when at last the engineer reported that there was


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steam enough to start the engines. The order was given to go ahead and the engine was started. Slowly at first, but with increasing velocity it relieved the strain on our cables, when, just as we had begun to have hopes that we were saved, there was a crash in the engine room and we knew that the wooden cogs had broken again! For two hours the engineers worked to repair the damage, and fortunately during this time the anchors held so well that the ship's progress toward destruction was very little, if any. It was a long and anxious two hours, and above the roar of the wind we could hear the yells of triumph emanating from the throats of those black devils waiting for the catastrophe which was to put us in their power, to say nothing of the loot they expected to get out of the wreck of the ship. At last the engine began to revolve again--at first very slowly, and we anxiously followed each revolution in mortal dread that it would break down again, but as it increased in power and took the strain off of our anchors we commenced to breathe freely again. Then came the welcome order to weigh the port anchor, and after an interval the other was also catheaded; but the progress we made away from the shore was woefully slow in the teeth of that gale. When day at last came we were clear of the danger and well out at sea with a clear appreciation of Jack's sympathy in a storm for "the poor people ashore in danger of having their heads broken by falling tiles from the roofs." It was a most narrow and fortunate escape for us slaveholders, as had we not been drowned in the surf, we most assuredly should have been either murdered on the shore, or, worse still, sold into slavery in accordance with the custom of the Moors in disposing of their prisoners. Even if our fate had ever become known to the outside world, there was no nation on earth that would have lifted a voice for our release, save the helpless and unrecognized "Confederate States" which were already doomed for extinction.

        I have always called this episode "the Confederacy's only


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Foreign War." unless that unfortunate affair with the Patrie could be called a hostile event.

        After a stormy voyage we arrived off the mouth of the Garonne River, up which stream we steamed and dropped anchor in front of the city of Bordeaux.


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CHAPTER XXI

Bordeaux--U.S.S. Niagara and Sacramento wait outside for us--Two fine sloops-of-war intended for the Confederacy lay near, but beyond our reach--Escape from the United States men-of-war--Liverpool--A hero at last--Georgia put out of commission--Georgia captured by U.S.S. Niagra--Last of the Georgia--Men-of-war, privateers, and pirates.

        No sooner was it known that we had arrived at Bordeaux than we were informed that the Georgia must leave at the expiration of twenty-four hours--but what we did not know about dodging neutrality proclamations was not worth learning. So on one pretext or another we made ourselves comfortable and prepared for an extended visit to our unwilling hosts. The Niagara and the Sacramento, two formidable men-of-war, were waiting for us at the mouth of the river.

        Day after day we gazed on two beautiful new and freshly painted sloops-of-war intended to carry ten guns each. They lay in the stream only about half a mile from us, and the sight was tantalizing, for they belonged to us and had been paid for with our money, and there they were, so very near, but far beyond our reach, and there we were cooped up in a little floating iron pot without speed enough to escape from an enemy or strength sufficient to fight one. With boilers and engines away above the water line it would have taken an expert marksman to hit the Georgia any place except in the magazines, boilers, or machinery. The French had allowed us to build these formidable ships knowing what they were intended for. They had taken our money, and now that they were finished, the Government suddenly became very punctilious about its neutrality.

        An order had come through the blockade that the Georgia, on account of her deficiencies in speed and fighting ability, should be put out of commission, and we thought we were going to part with the little ship in Bordeaux, but


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we were mistaken. It was written that we should take one more chance in her. We knew that two United States men-of-war were lying off the mouth of the Garonne and that either of them, if they caught sight of us, would have us at their mercy, and we were somewhat surprised when the order reached us to proceed to Liverpool before dismantling the ship. We got under way very quietly and proceeded down the river to a point just out of sight of its mouth and there waited for night to shield us from our enemies. It was very dark when we passed out of the Garonne and crept by the big ship--which apparently did not even suspect our proximity. We crossed the Bay of Biscay without further adventure and entered St. George's Channel where it was very foggy. A pilot boat approached us and asked if we wanted a pilot. We told him "yes" and at the same time hoisted the Confederate flag. When the pilot, who had not yet left his boat, saw the colors, he rudely remarked that he "would be damned if he would pilot any damned pirate!"--and going about, he disappeared in the fog while expressing the very humane hope that we would pile up on the rocks. Despite his kind wishes, however, we safely entered the Mersey and dropped anchor off Birkenhead, opposite Liverpool, about three o'clock in the afternoon. The anchor had barely time to reach the bottom when the captain sent for me and said he was going to allow me to go ashore at once, as I had friends in Liverpool, but stipulated that I should wear my uniform. We had heard that feeling toward us had changed and English sympathy, especially among the lower classes, was now very much in favor of the North. If that was so I did not see any exhibition of it--I have always suspected that my captain used me as a trial horse to ascertain what sort of a reception awaited us. If that was his object, he ought to have felt highly gratified with his experiment, for I went alone to a theatre that night, and as soon as my gray uniform was noticed a whisper went through the audience that the Alabama had arrived in the


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port. Someone proposed three cheers for the Alabama, and they were given with a will. The manager of the theatre elbowed his way to where I was sitting and asked me to accompany him. I thought he was going to put me out, but instead of that he escorted me to a box and kindly took a seat by me. Every time the curtain went down, the audience cheered, not the actors, but the Alabama--and every time they cheered the manager would insist that I should stand up and bow my acknowledgments of the compliment. After the show was over, perfect strangers introduced themselves and begged for the honor of my company at supper, but the manager, who had taken complete possession of me by this time, declined all invitations for me, and carried me off in triumph to sup with some of the leading actors and actresses of his company, who made much of me. If I was not a hero I was at least conspicuous on this occasion, and what does a hero go heroing for if it is not to be flattered by such receptions as this one was?

        On the 10th of May, 1864, the little Georgia was warped into the Birkenhead dock. All hands were summoned to the quarter-deck for the last time. Our captain read his orders to put the ship out of commission. At the word of command, the Confederate flag, proudly flying at the peak, the Union Jack on the bowsprit, and the commander's pennant at the masthead, all came fluttering down together--and the cruise of the Georgia had passed into history. She was a poor miserable little tin kettle of a craft, but I loved her. I too was poor, and nothing much to brag of, and despite the fact that my life, as the youngest of her officers, and the only one of my grade, had been very lonely, still she had been the only home I had known for thirteen months and had borne me safely through many dangers and over thirty-three thousand miles of water. We bade good-bye to our shipmates--many of us never to meet again, and now (1916) I believe myself to be the only survivor of the officers of the lucky little cruiser.


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        The Georgia was dismantled and sold to an Englishman by the name of Jones, who, in good faith, fitted her out as a merchantman and entered into a contract with the Portuguese Government to carry the mails between Lisbon and the Cape Verde Islands. When she arrived off the mouth of the Tagus intending to take on board the Lisbon mails, she was captured by the U.S.S. Niagara, her old pursuer, and sent to the United States as a prize. Her owner never again saw his ship or his money.

        Once again I saw the Georgia--in 1866. On this occasion she was lying at a wharf in Charleston Harbor being loaded with cotton. I don't believe she had been painted since I left her in Liverpool and she looked like any other dirty old tramp steamer. I asked her mate if the wooden cogs ever gave him any trouble, and he replied, "Only when she gets us in a tight place in bad weather, or we are trying to avoid a collision." In 1867 the Georgia was wrecked on the rocky coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence where her iron bones slowly rusted away.

        The damage done to the North by these little cruisers should not be estimated simply by the number of ships they captured, for it should be remembered that for every ship burned hundreds took shelter under neutral flags never to return to the American mercantile marine. No country ever erected so many monuments to its soldiers as can be seen in the Southern States, and yet there is not a single memorial to the Confederate Navy. If the object of war is to inflict damage on the enemy, how stands the account between the army and navy of the South? Twice the Southern armies invaded the territory of the North, and on each occasion were hurled back across the Potomac before they had had time to spy out the richness of their foe's land. It is true that they fought valiantly and killed many brave Northerners and more German mercenaries, but the loss of these men did not affect the conquerors in the least as they swept through the fair Southern land with


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fire and sword. But the Confederate Navy struck the North such a vital blow, by destroying their mercantile marine, that although half a century has elapsed since the scenes I have tried to describe took place, the United States has not yet, and will not for many years to come, recover her former lucrative carrying trade on the high seas.

        The Southern naval officer has never been able to understand why his compatriots always refer to the Alabama and her consorts as "privateers." Why privateers? A privateer is a vessel belonging to private parties, as its name implies. She is provided with a "letter of marque" authorizing her to prey on ships belonging to an enemy, and also to protect her against being treated as a pirate. A privateersman is a fellow with all the instincts of a pirate, but without the courage to hoist the "Jolly Roger."

        A man-of-war is a national ship, a sort of floating fortress, belonging to a government. Her officers hold commissions under that government, and her crew are shipped regularly in exactly the same way soldiers are mustered into the army on land. Her officers take prizes or burn ships only in obedience to orders which they are sworn to obey and not for the object of enriching themselves.

        In the North the Confederate cruisers are always spoken of as damnpirates, as though it was one word. Why? These ships were regularly commissioned by a de facto government to whom they belonged, and were officered by men who, with rare exceptions, were the product of the United States Naval Academy. The crews were regularly enlisted men. As a man-of-warsman is simply a soldier who fights on the water, how came it that I was a pirate on the Georgia and became a regular Confederate naval officer when attached to a naval battery on shore? Was it because of the boat and the water? If so, did the armies of Lee and Johnston become pirates and deserve the hangman's noose every time they crossed a river on a pontoon bridge or waded a


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creek? Why should a man who cannot restrain patriotic cheers whenever he hears a band play "Marching through Georgia," yell with rage and indignation when the destruction wrought by the Southern cruisers is mentioned? Is the use of the torch in war so much more reprehensible on the water than it is on land?

        Some day, it is to be hoped, an unbiased history will be written which will give full credit to the Confederate Navy, not only for the gallant manner in which it bore itself in action, but also for the wonderful resourcefulness displayed by its officers, who, when the "bonnie blue flag was hoisted on high," found that their navy consisted of one burned frigate, and what was left of her was sunk alongside of the navy-yard dock at Norfolk. This wreck they, by original designs of their own, converted into the formidable ironclad ram Virginia. The only thing about her that never would stick was her name, as the people, North and South, never would call her by any other name than the Merrimac. History, when truly written, will also tell how those Southern naval officers went with their men into the forests with axes and cut down trees and hewed out timbers with which they built gunboats, and how these same men went through the country gathering old rails and scrap-iron with which they armored those boats and called them ironclads; and above all, how they fought these make-shift men-of-war after they built them. It will also tell how the C.S.S. Manassas, an old tugboat, was converted into an ironclad ram and was the first craft of that character used in war to ram an enemy. It will also tell how the Confederates were the first to use the torpedo boat, the submarine boat, and floating and stationary mines in actual war, and how they built and nearly finished the ironclad Mississippi at New Orleans, certainly the first warship with three screws ever built in America.

        After Norfolk was evacuated, the South had no navy yard. The Albemarle and Arkansas, ironclads, were built


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in cornfields, and other formidable ironclads were built between wharves at Charleston and elsewhere. For artillery they had only obsolete guns that had been left at the Norfolk navy yard at the commencement of the war. Lieutenant Brook, C.S.N., made a gun which was regarded by both sides as the most formidable weapon in use at that time. It was the irony of fate that the United States Government, which had branded the Confederate cruisers as "pirates on the high seas," should have built among the first ships of its new navy (after the war) two "commerce destroyers," the Columbia and the Minneapolis, ships of great speed and cruising radius, and with little or no fighting power.


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CHAPTER XXII

Paris--Alabama sunk by Kearsarge--Havre--Southampton--Ordered to return to the Confederacy--Halifax--Sail for Bermuda and passengers mistake us for pirates--St. George's, Bermuda--Take passage in the blockade-runner Lillian--Chased by U.S.S. Shenandoah and have narrow escape running through blockading fleet off Wilmington.

        WHILE dawdling in Paris in the month of June, 1864, waiting for ships that were never to materialize, at least for our purposes, we were startled one day by the news that the Alabama had arrived in the port of Cherbourg, and that the U.S. sloop-of-war Kearsarge was waiting outside for her. We knew at once that there was going to be a fight, and so confident were we that the Alabama would win that among ourselves we decided that the Kearsarge must not be crippled too severely, but that the Alabama with her superior speed was to run alongside of her antagonist and carry her by boarding, and then turn her into a Confederate cruiser. So confident were we that we selected the officers for the new addition to our navy. But we had not taken into account the fact that the Alabama had not been in a drydock in more than two years and that her copper hung to her bottom in elbows, which greatly retarded her speed. Well, the fight came off and the Kearsarge, which was not a fast ship, proved that she could run two knots to the Alabama's one, in her then condition. She took up her own position at a distance which suited her and the world knows the result.

        As soon as the unpalatable news of the result of the battle reached Paris, we were ordered to get out of the city at once and to scatter. I went to Havre, where I received orders to proceed to Southampton, and report to Commander Kell, the former executive officer of the Alabama, who would give me further instructions.

        At Southampton I found, among other officers who had


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been saved from a watery grave by the English yacht Deerhound when the Alabama went down, Becket Howell, a brother of Mrs. Jefferson Davis, who was a lieutenant of marines, and Midshipmen Anderson and Maffitt, and I spent several days with them wandering around the curious old English town, the observed of all the observers, who seemed to take great delight in calling attention to the "pirates."

        With Commander Kell I went from Southampton to Liverpool, where we were joined by several other officers who were going to make the attempt to run the blockade. Among them was Lieutenant R. T. Chapman, who had been executive officer of the Georgia when she was first placed in commission. Mr. Chapman was now entrusted with a special mission to take the great seal of the Confederate States, which had recently been completed in London, to Richmond. Lieutenant Evans, who had been the last commander of the Georgia, Lieutenant Campbell, who had taken the Rappahannock out of the Thames, Lieutenants Ingraham and King, and Passed Midshipman Walker were also in the party.

        We took passage in the Cunarder Africa plying between Liverpool and Boston, stopping at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on her way. Naturally it was more conducive to the health and longevity of our party to get off at Halifax. The voyage was a rough one, and the old paddlewheel tub was crowded with Yanks who scowled at us in a very unfriendly way.

        As we entered the harbor of Halifax, Commander Kell said that, as I had been there before and knew the town, I must jump ashore the instant the ship touched the dock and run to the hotel and engage rooms for the party. It was twilight when I reached the hostelry, and there was standing behind the counter a man in a dress suit reading a letter. I asked him whether or not we could get accommodations, but he took no notice of me. I am afraid I repeated my inquiry in rather a peremptory manner, for he turned and


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left the office, saying as he departed, "Young man, I am not a waiter in this establishment!" At that moment the clerk arrived with a horrified expression on his face and told me that I had made a dreadful mistake, that the gentleman was Mr. Cyrus W. Field (who had laid the first Atlantic cable) and that he was waiting for his carriage to go to the Government House where Lord Mulgrave, the governor-general, was giving a dinner in his honor that evening!

        After a couple of days' stay in Halifax we took passage on a small British steamer called the Alpha which plied on the line between Halifax, Bermuda, and St. Thomas, West Indies. She was crowded with passengers, but they were not disposed to be friendly with us. Doubtless they had become prejudiced by reading about "pirates" in yellow-back novels. We kept entirely to ourselves.

        In the early mornings we would gather on the little poop deck and pass away the time until the gong sounded for breakfast, when we would fall in behind Commander Kell, according to rank, and in Indian file walk into the saloon and take our seats. Commander Kell was a most commanding figure, being six feet three or four inches in height. When he sailed from New Orleans in the Sumter three years previously, he had determined to let his beard grow until he saw his wife again. It now reached to his waist and flowed over his breast like a waterfall--it was very red. He allowed only his intimates to see it, however, as he kept it plaited and stuck down his shirt collar. Ordinarily his beard looked to be about three inches long with the ends all turned in under his chin. One morning we were seated as usual on the poop when Commander Kell produced from the inner recesses of his shirt front the wonderful beard and proceeded to comb it out. Before he had finished the intricate operation the gong sounded, and with his habitual consideration for others, he said that he would not keep us from our breakfasts while he put up his extraordinary hirsute adornment, and he led the way to the saloon with his


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great red beard flowing over his manly chest. As he entered the door the passengers were all seated at the breakfast tables, and to our great consternation some idiot screamed out, "The pirates are going to take us!" Then followed a scene I shall never forget. Men dove under the tables and the women fell on their knees and begged for mercy. As for us--we were simply scared into speechlessness. It was Commander Kell's beard that had caused the fright--the passengers jumping to the conclusion that there were other pirates secreted on the ship, and that the time to take her and make them walk the plank had arrived. The captain of the Alpha rushed aft to find out what had happened, and even he did not recognize Commander Kell at first. Of course there was a hearty laugh when the mystery of the beard was explained, and we were all much better friends for the rest of the voyage.

        At St. George, Bermuda, our party was divided and took passage on several of the blockade-runners then lying in the harbor. Lieutenants Campbell, Ingraham, King, and myself (the midshipman) went on board the Lillian commanded by as big a braggart and blowhard as ever commanded a ship.

        It was in the month of July, 1864, and by this time the blockade of the Southern coast was so complete that to get into a Southern port it was necessary to elude the United States war-vessels three separate times on each trip. Around the Bermuda Islands cruisers hovered to catch their prey when the blockade-runner was only a few miles from the neutral port, either coming or going. About fifty miles off the Southern coast other cruisers awaited them, and of course the channels leading into the Southern harbors were closely guarded. We passed out of the narrow and tortuous channel, which connects the harbor of St. George and the sea, in daylight, and then lingered near the shore until night shrouded our movements when we started at full speed for Wilmington, North Carolina, and soon ran


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into some very foul weather. The Lillian was a very small paddlewheel steamer whose deck was not more than three or four feet above the water line, and she drew only between seven and eight feet of water. In heavy seas she labored so that she spent about as much time under the water as she did on top of it--reminding one of the sailor's commentary on the verse of the Bible about "Those who go down to the sea in ships see the wonders of the Lord": "That may be true about full-rigged ships," said the sailor: "but I can tell the fellow who wrote it that them as go to sea in barks, brigs, schooners, or other small craft, they see hell!"

        We floundered across the Gulf Stream, and on the afternoon of the night we expected to make our dash through the blockading fleet, and while we were still distant some fifty miles from the Cape Fear River, a big, bark-rigged, steam sloop-of-war, which we afterwards learned was the U.S.S. Shenandoah, caught sight of us and gave chase.

        The captain, when in his cups, would swear by all the gods of the sea that the little Lillian could run seventeen knots an hour, but we were to witness the phenomenon of a heavy man-of-war, that could not make more than nine or ten knots at most, gain rapidly on us, as our fool captain persisted in steering a course which permitted of the warship carrying all of her immense spread of sail. Our captain went below and stowed several big drinks of brandy under his vest, and then, coming on deck, in a spirit of braggadocio, hoisted the Confederate flag. Mr. Campbell ordered us to go below and put on our uniforms and side arms, as we wished to be captured, if captured we had to be, as officers of the Confederate Navy.

        Returning to the quarter-deck we awaited developments. The warship still steadily gained. Within an hour from the time she sighted us she fired a shot. We naval officers knew that she was only trying to get the range, as we saw the projectile fall short several hundred yards from us, but our captain thought that was the best she could do, and with


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his habitual swagger he mounted to the little bridge which reached from one little paddlebox to the other, and from that point of vantage he looked down on us and in the most dramatic manner said, "I want you naval officers to know that I am captain of her as long as a plank will float!" Just then the Shenandoah, having got the range, sent a screaming rifled projectile through both paddleboxes, the shot passing only a foot or two under the bridge on which the captain was standing. With a yell of dismay he threw up his hands and came scampering down the ladder, screaming, "Haul that flag down. I will not have any more lives sacrificed!" Nothing besides the paddleboxes had as yet been touched unless we except the captain's yellow streak. Lieutenant Campbell walked to the taffrail, a distance of some ten feet from where he had been standing, and took up a position alongside the little flagstaff from which the Confederate colors were fluttering. Laying his hand on the flag halyards he quietly said: "Captain, if you want to give up this boat, turn her over to me. I will not allow you to surrender her. These officers are branded as pirates, and according to President Lincoln's proclamation may be hung if captured." Just then the man-of-war yawed and let fly her whole broadside, cutting the Lillian up considerably. The captain looked dazed for a moment, but was brought out of his mental stupor by a shot from a rifled gun which grazed the top of one of the boilers letting the steam out with a roar. The engine-room force rushed on deck and gathered around us. The captain bolted for the booby hatch leading down into the cabin, stopping only long enough to say: "I told the agent in Bermuda how it would be if he forced me to take a lot of pirates on board. If you are going to take my ship away from me, take her!"--and disappeared below. Mr. Campbell, as cool as though nothing extraordinary was taking place, turned to us and said, "Kill the first man who touches those flag halyards."

        The chief engineer, a game little fellow, informed Mr.


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Campbell that the boilers could be disconnected from each other, a precaution against just such an accident as had happened, and that the boat, with the immense pressure of steam she was carrying, would run until the steam from the injured boiler cooled off sufficiently to allow the stokers to return to their duties. He added that he had been a prisoner once in Fort Lafayette and had no desire to return there. The crew gallantly cheered his remarks.

        All this time the Shenandoah was yawing first to starboard and then to port, apparently so certain that she had us that she was amusing her crew at target practice. Mr. Campbell went into the pilot house and took command of the Lillian. The first order he gave changed our course so that the man-of-war had to take in her sails, and after that we appeared to be holding our own in the contest of speed. Shots continued to fly over and around us, occasionally one striking the frail sides causing the splinters to fly as it passed through. The shells were bursting and their fragments whistling all around us. We were dripping wet from the spray thrown up by projectiles which hit the water alongside. In the midst of it all Mr. Campbell ordered me to go down into the cabin and report to him what the captain was doing. I reported: "Captain in his berth dead drunk with an empty bottle of brandy beside him."

        All this time Lieutenant Campbell was edging the Lillian in toward the land which we sighted between sundown and dark, and how we did pray that night would come soon. With our light draft we continued the "edging-in" maneuvre until the heavy man-of-war, drawing some eighteen or twenty feet of water, had to change her course for fear of striking the bottom. She hauled to the southward with the object of heading us off from Wilmington, from which port we were far to the northward by this time. We had to change our course to the southward, giving the broadside of the Shenandoah a fine target as


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we steamed in parallel lines down the coast, the Lillian being so close into the beach that she was rolling on the curlers of the outer line of surf. Night at last came to our relief,--or at least we thought it did,--when to our amazement two columns of flame about thirty feet high shot up out of our little smokestacks! This gave the warship a fine target to exercise her crew in night practice, of which she at once took advantage. Our engineer explained that to get more steam he had caused half a dozen bottles of turpentine to be thrown into the furnaces. The beacon soon expended its energy, however, and without further molestation we continued on our way to Wilmington.

        We had hopes of reaching the bar before daylight, and thus elude the vigilance of the blockading fleet, but luck and the speed of the Lillian were against us. Day broke when we were still a couple of miles away and the fleet at once saw us and opened fire. We had no choice but to go on, as the last few shovelfuls of coal on board were then being tossed into the furnaces. Fortunately none of the shots touched our remaining boiler or machinery. There was one small gunboat right in our path, inside of the bar, and very close to Fort Fisher. The people in the fort and on the gunboat must have been asleep. Lieutenant Campbell ordered the man at the wheel to steer for her, saying that she was so near the fort that she would not dare fire, as Fort Fisher would blow her out of the water if she did. He was right--for when she saw us coming she slipped her cable and scampered off without firing a shot, and a few minutes afterwards we dropped our anchor in safety under the sheltering guns of the famous fortress.

        The rattling of the chain cable, when the anchor was dropped, had awakened our captain from his drunken sleep, and he shortly appeared on deck looking very sheepish, but the arrival of several officers from the fort soon caused him to resume his swaggering air. Resuming his


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rôle as captain he received them at the gangway, and the first one who stepped on to the deck seized his hand and exclaimed, "Well done, captain! that was the most daring dash through the blockade we have yet witnessed!" The captain modestly replied, "Oh, it is nothing; we have to take some chances in our business, you know!" And Lieutenant Campbell, standing a few feet away, never said a word.

        The captain invited the army officers (but none of us) into his cabin and opened champagne. Champagne at six o'clock in the morning had no terrors for a Confederate soldier. This same captain, after the damages to the Lillian had been repaired at Wilmington, loaded her with cotton, and started out again. He stopped and surrendered her when the first shot was fired and before any damage had been done. From a blockade-runner the Lillian was converted into a United States blockader.

        As the Lillian was being made fast to the wharf at Wilmington, two men on the wharf became involved in a difficulty and, according to the custom of the country, drew their revolvers and began to shoot. One of them fell and floundered around on the planks like a chicken with its neck half wrung. Lieutenant Campbell patriotically exclaimed, "My own, my native land! Now I am sure that I am home again!"

        In his report to the Navy Department concerning the chase of the Lillian, Captain Ridgely, U.S.N., commanding the Shenandoah, says:

SIR: -

        At 4 P.M. made another blockade-runner in latitude 36.34. N., Longitude 76.33. W., steering to the northward and westward. We made chase and overhauled her quite fast. She only escaped by darkness and running into shoal water. We fired 140 shots at her, and I think some of them took effect. He was a bold blockade-runner and flew the rebel flag as long as we could see him . . . . 1
1 See Rebellion Records, vol. 10.


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        Abstract of log of U.S.S. Shenandoah:--

        Saturday, July 30th, 1864--At 3.45 P.M. sighted a steamer burning black smoke to the eastward; made all sail in chase. At 4.30 P.M. made stranger out to be a double smokestack, sidewheel steamer, apparently a blockade-runner, standing to the northward and westward. At 5.45, he showed rebel colors. Called the first division and powder division to quarters and began to fire at her with the 30 and 150 pounder rifled Parrott. At 6 P.M. beat to quarters and fired all the divisions. At 7 P.M. took in foretopgallantsail and foresail. At 7.30 took in foretopsail.

        During the chase fired 70 rounds from 30 pounder Parrott, 53 rounds from 150 pounder Parrott, 18 rounds from XI inch guns, and one round from 24 pounder howitzer . . . . . 1

        After his capture the captain of the Lillian in answer to the questions of the examining officer gave the following version of the chase:--

        My name is Daniel Martin, a native of Liverpool, England. Was three weeks at Wilmington repairing boiler injured in chase. The Confederate colors were hoisted by some of the passengers . . . . . 2
1 See Naval War Records.

2 See Naval War Records.


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CHAPTER XXIII

Shells dropping in the grass-grown streets of Charleston, South Carolina--Mr. Trenholm is Secretary of the Confederate Treasury--Columbia--Mr. Trenholm's beautiful villa--Go to Richmond and ask the millionaire Secretary for the hand of his daughter--Mrs. Trenholm calls on Mrs. (?) Stephens.

        AT Wilmington I went to a wretched little cottage which sheltered several naval officers who were stationed in the town. I thought our condition in the Confederacy was bad enough when I had left its shores two years before, but these officers had literally nothing in the way of clothing besides their shabby uniforms, threadbare and patched. I felt ashamed of my new uniform, made by a fashionable London tailor, and my well-laundered white shirt, so I moved my trunk into the centre of the room and insisted on a divide of its contents. I had just come from a land of plenty and I had come in an empty ship, and these brave fellows were suffering for the simplest necessities. The foreign owners of blockade-runners no longer brought clothing or provisions into the stricken country, as they had found it more profitable to bring only a little gold with which they could buy all the depreciated Confederate currency they wanted to buy cotton with. Only the boats engaged in the risky business which belonged to the Confederate Government, and those belonging to Fraser, Trenholm & Co. and one or two other Southerners, ever brought cargoes into the blockaded ports any more. The foreigner wanted cotton, and if he could get that for his gold the sufferings of our people did not interest him. I never could understand why President Davis never issued a proclamation forbidding an empty blockade-runner entering our ports.

        I had been only a few hours in Wilmington when I received the usual order in such cases, to proceed to my home, notify the Secretary of the Navy as to my address,


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and to there await orders. I had no home so I determined to go to Charleston and notify the Secretary from there. Arriving in Charleston I stepped on to the platform and boldly asked for a cab. My modest request was greeted with laughter by the few loafers who were there assembled. If the negro cabmen had not gone to the front, their horses had. Knowing my way, however, I left my baggage at the station and started on the long walk to Mr. Trenholm's office which was located on one of the wharves. I soon found myself in the deserted part of the city where the shells were falling. I passed through King Street to Wentworth and followed the latter street to Meeting. Ruin was on every side of me: the grass in the street was above my knees; not a human being was to be seen. I turned into the battered public market to take advantage of the shade afforded by the roofs of its dilapidated sheds and because no grass was growing under them--not even a turkey buzzard disputed my right of way, as they were in the habit of doing before and after the war, in that particular locality. My surroundings were not cheerful and my gloomy thoughts were not dispelled by the bursting of a shell from the historic "Swamp Angel" and the whirring of its fragments which passed unpleasantly close to me.

        Arriving at the wharves, to my surprise I found a battery erected within a few feet of the entrance to what once had been Mr. Trenholm's counting-house. As I approached, a sentry appeared suddenly from out of the ground and peremptorily ordered me to halt. I naïvely told him I wanted to see Mr. Trenholm, which information seemed to arouse his suspicions, and he called for the corporal of the guard, who informed me that he had never heard of Mr. Trenholm. But as I had some official documents in my pocket I very soon convinced him that I was harmless and he allowed me to retire. I passed up East Bay Street to Broad and saw the old City Hall (used as a post-office). It was riddled by shells. It was from the porch of this building


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that Washington had addressed the people of Charleston when he visited that city. At the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets I passed by the old colonial church "St. Michael's," the rear wall of which had been smashed in and great holes were to be seen in the standing walls, which had been and were still being bombarded. About every ten minutes a shell was bursting some place in the neighborhood. I passed on through the burned district, going uptown, and again found myself in the inhabited portion of the city. Many Charlestonians who had taken refuge in the upper part of the city, so as to be out of range of the shells, when the bombardment first began, returned to their residences near the battery when longer-range guns began to disturb them uptown, and in comparative comfort let the enemy shoot over their heads. In war times one can get accustomed to anything. At last I met a civilian who was very civil and gave me the information I wanted. He told me that Mr. Trenholm was no longer in Charleston, but was now Secretary of the Confederate Treasury and had gone to Richmond; but that he could show me where I would find his brother-in-law and partner, Mr. Theodore Wagner, and that the business office was in a residence on Rutledge Avenue. When I found Mr. Wagner he was very kind to me, but he seemed to be in an awful hurry, and hustled me into a buggy, saying it was the only vehicle of the kind in the city. I asked where we were going, and after we started he told me we were going to the railway station as fast as possible, as I barely had time to catch the train; that Mr. Trenholm had instructed him to send me at once to his home in the suburbs of Columbia, if I got through the blockade safely.

        I had brought a trunk with me that Midshipman Anderson had asked me to forward to his family in Savannah, and Mr. Wagner kindly attended to the matter for me. I was afterwards informed that when Anderson's family received it, and an accompanying letter, they had been mourning


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for him for some weeks. It happened that in the fight with the Kearsarge a man on the deck of the Alabama was cut completely in two by a shell, and the upper half of his body was hurled through the air striking Anderson on the head. Some of the crew of the Alabama, who were saved by either the Kearsarge or the French pilot boat, had reported that Midshipman Anderson had had his head blown off, and this story reached the Confederacy before I did.

        It took me fifteen hours to reach Columbia, as trains in the Confederacy were not allowed to run faster than ten miles an hour and rarely attempted a disobedience of the law where the speed limit was concerned, and their interminable waits on the sidings were enough to try the patience of a saint, to say nothing of that of a midshipman.

        Arriving at Columbia I was met at the station by Colonel Trenholm, his beautiful young wife, and his sister, the young lady I had two years previously presumptuously made up my mind to marry. Colonel Trenholm apologized for not alighting to meet me when the train arrived, giving as an excuse the fact that he could not walk, as he had been shot through the hips in one of the battles near Richmond. I was invited to get into the handsomely appointed landau (the Government had not seized Mr. Trenholm's horses, I suppose because he was a member of the Cabinet), and we drove to a beautiful villa, situated a short distance outside of the city limits, where I was most hospitably welcomed by the rest of the family.

        "De Greffin" was the name of the villa, and besides a most lovable and happy family it contained many paintings and objects of art. In front of the house was a garden some half-acre in extent enclosed by a handsome balustrade, and at each corner was a vine-clad summer house. Flowers were blooming in profusion in the garden and on a succession of terraces which reached down to a little stream. As Mr. Trenholm was one of the largest owners of blockade-runners, of course the house was provided with every luxury


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and a most lavish hospitality was dispensed. A continual stream of guests constantly came and went, and the young people gathered there in flocks. Of course we danced,--Southerners in that day always danced when two or three were gathered together,--if only three, one would play the piano and the other two would dance. When we tired of dancing there were always the terraces and the moonlight, and the grand old trees under which we could stroll or sit and rest. There were saddle horses to ride in the mornings and carriages to take us driving in the afternoons, and the numerous servants who wanted to wait on us were in one another's way. After a blissful week of this life I decided that I had to go to Richmond. But one other person knew the nature of the business which called me there, but the incidents attending my mission were so characteristic of the manner in which a midshipman of that day would act in a serious matter that I must tell the story.

        It took three or four days to go from Columbia to Richmond, the exact time not being important so far as the railway officials were concerned. Mr. Trenholm was staying at the house of some friends while waiting until his own house should be prepared for the reception of his family. I arrived in Richmond after dark and went at once to the address which had been given me. I had grown nine inches since I had last seen Mr. Trenholm, and I feared he would not recognize me. Arriving at the house I found several ladies and gentlemen seated on the piazza. I asked for Mr. Trenholm, and a tail, stately gentleman arose and came forward to greet me. I said that I was afraid he did not remember me, but he assured me in his hearty manner that he recollected me perfectly, and asked me to be seated. I thanked him and told him that I wanted to speak with him very particularly in private, and he showed the way into the drawing-room (where we were alone) and then he asked what he could do for me. I promptly replied that I had come to ask his consent to my marriage with his daughter, Miss


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Helen. Mr. Trenholm seemed startled, and exclaimed, "My dear young gentleman, I have not the slightest idea who you are!" When I told him my name, he said that it was difficult for him to realize that I was "Little" Morgan, as I had grown so much. An amused expression passed over his countenance, which embarrassed me, for I was in deadly earnest and did not see anything funny in the interview then. It had never occurred to me that others would have smiled at the idea of a penniless little rebel "reefer" asking the Secretary of the Treasury, the man who owned steamships, railroads, hotels, city houses, cotton presses, wharves, plantations, and thousands of slaves, for the hand of his daughter! Mr. Trenholm was a most kindly and sympathetic gentleman, and seeing my embarrassment, at once proceeded to treat my proposition seriously. He first asked me if I did not think his daughter and myself both very young to enter into such a serious engagement; but I nipped that objection in the bud by saying that I might be killed before the end of the war, and asking him where I would be then. He frankly admitted that he did not know. With a twinkle in his eye he asked me what the pay of a midshipman was. I told him that just at that time it was forty dollars a month, but that as soon as I received my orders to a ship it would be forty-five (Confederate money was then at a discount of a hundred for one). After a pause he told me that his daughter's choice would be his. I think he was going to say something else, but I jumped to my feet and interrupted him by saying, "Good-bye." He asked where I was going, and I told him I had just time to catch the train for Columbia, and dashed out of the house.

        When I arrived at "De Greffin" with my good news, I was welcomed and ever afterwards treated as one of the family. But my stay in that delightful atmosphere was of short duration, as a few days after my arrival I escorted Mrs. Trenholm and her daughters to Richmond, where they were to make their home for an indefinite period.


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        On arriving in Richmond, of course, it was incumbent on Mrs. Trenholm to call on the wife of the President and the ladies of the Cabinet, and one of her calls afforded us intense amusement. Mrs. Trenholm had not met any of these ladies previously and knew nothing of the domestic affairs of the members of the social circle of which she was now to be a member. After calling on Mrs. Davis she thought it proper to call at the residence of the Vice-President, the Honorable Alexander Stephens. She rang the bell and the door was opened by Mr. Stephens's old negro body-servant, who had been with his master for many years and who accompanied him everywhere. Mrs. Trenholm asked the old darky if Mrs. Stephens was at home, and the old fellow's eyes fairly bulged out of his head. "Mam," he said, "Mr. Stephens ain't married. My God! did you ever see him?" Needless to add that Mr. Stephens was far from being a handsome man--he was very diminutive in size and it seemed marvelous that so frail a little body could bear the weight of so gigantic an intellect. Besides, he had always been an invalid and looked like an animated corpse.


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CHAPTER XXIV

"Pride goeth before a fall"--Humiliated and sent to school--A realistic war college--Call a commander "My man," and order him forward--Assault on Fort Harrison--General Lee appears on the battle-field--Repulsed--I prove to be something of a sprinter.

        "PRIDE goeth before a fall." I fear that the dignity of being an engaged man caused my chest to enlarge disproportionately to my rank. I received my orders, and instead of being sent to an ironclad I was ordered to report on board of the schoolship Patrick Henry to be examined for promotion. Most of my classmates had been nominally taken out of active service and put to school while I was at sea, and they were now passed midshipmen. I had not opened a schoolbook since I had left Annapolis, and the result was that I failed to pass. But I was given another chance and had to begin school again. Although I did not know it, if there was one thing that I needed more than anything else, it was a little schooling.

        The Patrick Henry was a small sidewheel seagoing steamer with a walking-beam engine and a brigantine rig. She had formerly belonged to the "Old Dominion" line running between New York and Norfolk. She had been converted into a man-of-war by having ten guns put on board of her and she had played quite a conspicuous part in the naval battles in Hampton Roads. She had now become the most realistic war college that ever existed. She was anchored in front of Drewry's Bluff, Richmond's principal defense on the James River, which is situated seven miles below the city. The reason for her being located there was that the "school" was expected to sink itself in the channel between the obstructions in case the enemy's ironclads tried to force a passage by the land batteries. One always associates a collegiate institution with peace and quiet, but this naval college was located in the midst of the booming guns. Below


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Drewry's Bluff, on the south side of the river, were the naval land batteries of Wood, Brooke, Semmes, and Howlett, and on the other side of the river were the Federal batteries of Bohler, Signal Hill, Crow's Nest, and the Dutch Gap batteries; and when they all broke loose together the din they made was not conducive to that peaceful repose so prized by all students.

        There were about sixty young midshipmen on the Patrick Henry, varying in age from fourteen to seventeen. Their jackets were made out of very coarse gray cloth and the food they had to eat was, at first, revolting to me. The menu offered little variety. If it was not a tiny lump of fat pork, it was a shaving of fresh meat as tough as the hide which had once covered it, with a piece of hardtack and a tin cup of hot water colored by chicory or grains of burned corn, ground up, and brevetted coffee. But no one kicked about the food, as it was as good if not better than that the poor soldiers in the trenches received. The James River furnished a capital article of chills and fever not malaria, but the good old-fashioned kind with the shivers which made the teeth chatter and burning fever to follow. On an average about one half of the midshipmen went through this disagreeable experience every other day. No one was allowed to go on the sick-list on account of chills and fever; one was, however, allowed to lie down on the bare deck while the chill was on, but had to return to duty as soon as the paroxysm was over.

Lieutenant William H. Parker, who had been a professor of seamanship at Annapolis, was the superintendent of this extraordinary naval academy, and he was assisted by two or three navy lieutenants and a like number of civilian professors. There were on the hurricane deck and between the paddleboxes two little recitation rooms, and on top of these rooms were posted signalmen who from daylight to dark wigwagged to, and received messages from, the batteries. The scenes in the recitation rooms were frequently exciting


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and interesting. The guns on shore roared and the shells burst, and the professor would placidly give out the problem to the youngster at the blackboard, to be interrupted by the report of some gun which his practiced ear told him was a newcomer in the fray. He would begin by saying: "If x--y-- One moment, Mr. Blank. Would you kindly step outside and find out for me which battery it is that has opened with that Brooke gun?" The information obtained the recitation would be resumed, only to be again interrupted by a message from the captain that a certain battery was short of officers and a couple of midshipmen were wanted. It was useless to call for volunteers, as every midshipman clamored for permission to go: so these details were given as rewards. It was from among these midshipmen that the men came who steered the boats when the gunboat Underwriter was boarded and captured in the night, and it was in the fight that Midshipman Palmer Saunders had his head cloven to his shoulders by a cutlass in the hand of a big sailor. Saunders was only seventeen years of age. It was in that same boarding expedition that Dan Lee, another midshipman from the Patrick Henry, called out to his would-be rescuer, when a sailor had him down and was trying to kill him, not to shoot, as the man on top of him was so thin! Lee and Saunders were of the same age. This Patrick Henry may have been a unique institution of learning, but the "Confederate States Naval Academy" turned out men who afterwards became United States Senators, members of Congress, judges, successful bankers, and successful business men as well as sailors.

        The Patrick Henry, besides being a naval academy and stopgap for the river obstructions, also served as a receiving ship. Steamboats under flags of truce, carrying Northern prisoners to Harrison's Landing for exchange, had to stop alongside of her to get permits to continue their trips, and returning frequently discharged their human freight


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of Confederate prisoners on board the school ship while they went again down the river for more. One day, while I was assisting the officer of the deck in receiving these poor, forlorn fellows, I was trying to hurry them forward so that they would not block the gangway; this was necessary, as with few exceptions they were so glad to be once more under their beloved Confederate flag that those who did not succeed in embracing the officer of the deck at least wanted to swap congratulations with the gray-coated mid-shipman. I was continually interrupting them by begging them not to block the gangway, but to pass forward, and that I would attend to their wants as soon as the rest could come aboard, etc. Suddenly the shabbiest, the raggedest, and most unkempt of the lot, with his matted hair reaching to his shoulders and looking as though it had never known the caress of a comb, shambled across the gang-plank, in a rather peremptory manner demanded the name of my captain. I replied with the usual advice, "Go forward, my man: go forward!"--when to my amazement the human wreck drew himself up and rather sternly said, "Little Morgan, I will apply for you as soon as I get a command and I will then show you, sir, who goes forward!" The man was Commander Beverly Kennon, who had rammed and sunk the U.S. sloop-of-war Varuna when Farragut passed the forts below New Orleans. I thought I should faint when I became aware of his identity. Here was I, a poor devil of a midshipman, ordering forward a man who ranked me so far that I would hardly be able to see where he passed along! It was not fair. Kennon was last seen by his compatriots in the fight at the forts standing on the paddlebox of his ship while the Hartford, Brooklyn, and the frigate Mississippi, with their tremendous broadsides, were shooing him ashore, when suddenly they blew him up, set fire to him, and sunk him almost simultaneously. By all the rules of the game he was a dead man, and had no right to come back and scare a


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poor innocent midshipman out of several years' growth. Several years afterwards Kennon served in the Egyptian Army where he was a full colonel and I was again his junior. He seemed to take a delight in telling his brother officers how, as he described it, he had once been "ordered forward by a d--d midshipman!"

        From the Patrick Henry we could see the constant movement of troops, both Union and Confederate, on the north side of the river, where they frequently clashed in skirmishes; but this sort of thing was so common that to break the monotony two of the midshipmen got permission to go ashore, and improved the time by fighting a duel with muskets.

        One morning we saw our soldiers hastily constructing a pontoon bridge on the river a short distance above where we were anchored. We soon learned that the cause of their activity was that General Grant's troops had surprised and captured Fort Harrison during the night, and that Fort Harrison was the key to our advanced line of defenses on the north side of the stream. The bridge was no sooner completed than Hoke's North Carolina division were rushed across it. These were the best-dressed and best-cared-for troops in the Confederate Army, as the State, with commendable paternalism, owned its steamers and had gone into the blockade-running business on its own account.

        Believing that the object of the sudden movement was to retake the fort, Midshipmen Carter, Hale, Wright, and myself asked and received permission to go ashore and see at close range the coming fight. Following the troops we saw them form their line of battle in front of the fort and its outlying breastworks, while the shells of the enemy were bursting over their heads as well as in front, behind, and among them. Soon we heard the rumble of the wheels of gun carriages and caissons, as our light batteries came, at the gallop, from the rear and dashed through the spaces


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between our brigades and regiments, and wheeling and unlimbering a short distance from our front, they opened a rapid fire. There was no wind stirring, and soon the enemy's position, as well as that of our light batteries, was obscured from view by the dense smoke. Then their firing ceased, and so did that of the enemy's heavy guns. All at once our artillery was seen to burst through the bank of smoke and rapidly come back to us, dashing through our infantry line again, wheeling and unlimbering just in their rear: this manoeuvre was followed by complete stillness, the most trying time in the life of a soldier, that two or three minutes, which seem unending, while waiting for the order to charge.

        The infantry moved forward, at the double-quick, under cover of the smoke which lay close to the ground in the heavy atmosphere. Nothing could be heard save the tramp of hurrying feet. Fort Harrison maintained an ominous silence. As our men neared the fortifications suddenly from twenty thousand throats burst forth the famous rebel yell which fairly rent the air. When within about a hundred yards from the coveted works there arose a long line of blue-coated soldiers, seemingly from out of the ground, who poured a deadly volley into the oncoming ranks of the North Carolinians and at the same time the heavy guns of the fort sprinkled them with shrapnel, grape, and canister. The fight was fast and furious for a time, and then we saw some slightly wounded men going to the rear; these were followed by the more seriously injured, each accompanied and assisted by two or three unhurt men, who, moved by compassion (?) assisted them. We then knew what was coming, and soon saw the whole line fall back, but not in any great disorder. We had been repulsed, but the enemy was not following us.

        When we reached the line, from which we had started to make our unsuccessful assault, the troops re-formed and waited. Suddenly from the left of the line we heard cheering


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and wondered what it was for. It was not the rebel yell, which once heard could never be mistaken for any other sound; the sound we now heard was evidently a burst of enthusiasm, which was taken up by regiment after regiment until the whole line was adding to its volume. It was not long before we discovered the cause of the manifestation--for there, with his silvery head uncovered, hat in hand, was seen riding down the line--General Robert E. Lee. He was a picture of dignity as, mounted on his famous gray Charger "Traveler," he spoke seriously to his unsuccessful troops. As he passed in front of where we were standing, we could plainly hear what he was saying--he was telling the men how important Fort Harrison was to our line of defense, and that he was sure they could take it if they would make another earnest effort. Their answer was given in deafening cheers.

        Again they went forward to the assault, and again were they repulsed, this time with worse slaughter than had been their lot on the first attempt. The second retreat was much more disorderly than the first, but again they reformed and waited--and again General Lee rode down the line.

        I had always thought General Lee was a very cold and unemotional man, but he showed lots of feeling and excitement on that occasion; even the staid and stately "Traveler" caught the spirit of his master, and was prancing and cavorting while the general was imploring his men to make one more effort to take the position for him.

        Again they went forward and again they came back-- this time in great disorder. In fact, it was a sprinting match on a big scale. I had heard a great deal about the marvelous marching powers of the Confederate infantryman, and I was only a poor "webfoot," temporarily off his element, but I do not recall having seen any infantrymen pass me on the way to our second line of defense.

        When the troops re-formed, General Lee again rode


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down the line trying to comfort his men by telling them they had done all that men could do, and that anyhow the place was not of as much importance as he had first thought it was. This talk cheered them men, and they, although worn out with fatigue, replied by cheering their beloved general.

        After the battle a surgeon pressed me into service and made me hold a soldier's shattered leg while he amputated it. I would have preferred to be shot myself. Medicines were scarce in the South and that particular surgeon had neither choloroform nor ether in his medical kit.

        Disgusted, tired, and weary, I returned to my school and my studies.


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CHAPTER XXV

I finally become a passed midshipman--Battery Semmes--The Dutch Gap Canal--Mortar pits and rifle pits--The lookout tower--Trading with the enemy--Pickett's famous division charges a rabbit--A shell from a monitor destroys my log hut--Good marksmanship--An unexploded shell--General Lee inspects battery--Costly result of order to "give him a shot in fifteen minutes"--Demonstration against City Point--Confederate iron-clads badly hammered--"Savez" Read cuts boom across the river--A thunderous night.

        SHORTLY after the fall of Fort Harrison I passed my examination for promotion and arrived at the dignity of being a passed midshipman. I was immediately ordered to the naval battery called Semmes, situated on a narrow tongue of land formed by the river. It was the most advanced of our defenses on the river, and was the nearest of any of our batteries to the Dutch Gap canal which was then being dug by General B. F. Butler.

        Our seven heavy guns, rifled and smooth-bore, were mounted in pits dug on the brow of a gently sloping hill-- the battery was only thirty feet above the river. Between each of the guns was a bomb-proof which protected our ammunition. The guns were mounted on naval carriages so that our sailors could handle their accustomed blocks and tackles.

        On the opposite side of the river, and forming a semicircle around the peninsula on which Semmes was located, were the heavy Union batteries called Bohler's, Signal Hill, Crow's Nest, the Dutch Gap batteries, and the Howlett House batteries, and when they all opened fire at once they made a perfect inferno out of Battery Semmes. It surely was a hot spot.

        Some six hundred yards in front of Battery Semmes, on the land side, we had four little Cohorn mortars in a pit, and with these we tossed shells constantly into the canal to interfere with its construction. General Butler put


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a number of Confederate prisoners to work in his canal, and very thoughtfully sent us word that we were only killing our own men with our mortar shells. About the same time that we received this considerate message, Jeff Phelps, a midshipman who had been one of the "Brood of the Constitution," and who was one of the prisoners compelled to dig in the canal, in some way managed to get a note to us telling us that we "were doing fine" and to "keep it up." We only kept some eight or ten men at a time in the mortar pit and between the pit and our battery were a number of rifle pits. When the mortars aggravated General Butler too much, he would send a force across the river to charge the mortars. Seeing them coming, our men would hastily beat a retreat, and like prairie dogs tumbling into their holes, they would disappear. The Union soldiers would, of course, capture the mortars and spike them, but when we thought that as many of them as the pit could hold were well in it, we would cut loose with the heavy guns of the big battery behind us which were trained on it. Then the Federal soldiers would hasten back to the river, and before they could get across, our men, who were provided with bows and drills, would have new vent holes bored and would be again tossing shells as though nothing had happened to interfere with their day's work. Why General Butler's men never carried off the mortars with them we could never understand--two strong men could have lifted any one of them, they were so small and light.

        General Butler had built a lofty lookout tower out of timber. It was very open work, and on the top of it he placed a telescope. I met a member of his staff after the war who told me that they could see every movement we made, and that on one occasion he had distinctly seen a man in our battery cut off a chew of tobacco and put it into his mouth.

        There was a mystery as to the way in which privates


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would come to a tacit agreement with the enemy about not doing any sniping on certain parts on the line. I knew of one stretch of breastworks where our men could expose themselves with perfect impunity up to a spot on which stood an empty barrel, and on the other side of that barrel, if a man showed an old hat on the end of a ramrod, it was instantly perforated with bullets.

        The Union soldiers craved tobacco of which the Southerners had an abundance and the "grayback" longed for coffee or sugar. At some points on the line trading in these commodities went on briskly without the knowledge of the officers. Their dealings were strictly honorable. A man, say from the Southern side, would creep outside the works, and when he reached a certain stump he would place a couple of large plugs of tobacco on it and then return to his companions. After a time he would again creep to the stump to find that his tobacco was gone, but in its place was a small quantity of the longed-for coffee and sugar. We always carried one or two long plugs of tobacco in our inside breast pockets, as it was a common belief that if a man was captured and had tobacco it would insure him good treatment.

        One foggy night I was on duty and had visited our outposts. While returning to the battery on a path close to the riverside, I distinctly heard oars slapping the water--the rowlocks were evidently muffled. Although I could not see the boat I felt that it must be very near the shore, and I hailed it with a "Boat ahoy! Keep farther out in the stream!" The answer came back: "We don't do any picket firing on this line." I told the spokesman that I knew that, but we didn't want him to bunk with us, and hardly were the words out of my mouth when the bow of the boat was rammed into the mud at my feet. I felt sure my time had come, and hastily jerked my pistol our of the holster intending to fire so as to give the alarm, when I heard a voice say, "For the love of Mike, Johnny, give me a chew


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of tobacco." The tone was so pleading and earnest that I could not resist it and handed the fellow my plug. In return he gave me a canteen full of whiskey. We entered into conversation, and I discovered that he was an old classmate of mine at Annapolis who had "bilged" and was now a master's mate in charge of a picket boat whose duty was to give warning if our ironclads descended the river. I warned him about the folly of his act, and he shoved out into the stream and disappeared forever out of my life. When I produced my canteen before my messmates they fairly went wild with joy, but nothing ever could induce me to tell how I had come into possession of the liquor.

        Muskrats or rabbits, when caught, which was rarely, were a welcome addition to our menu. Pickett's division supported our battery and was encamped about half a mile from us. One day we thought that those thousands of men had gone crazy--there was the wildest commotion among them. Men rushed to and fro in the wildest confusion, falling over one another in every direction--it looked like a free fight. We sent over to find out the cause of the riot and were informed that one poor little "cotton-tail bunny" had jumped out of a bush in the centre of the camp and that some ten thousand men had given chase in hopes of having him for supper.

        The winter of 1864-65 was an intensely cold one. Snow from three to six inches in depth lay constantly on the ground keeping the trenches wet and muddy, and the consequent discomfort was great. Lieutenant Bradford, our commander, and Lieutenant Hilary Cenas and the surgeon had two log huts to live in. Becoming envious I got several of the men to assist me in building a cabin for myself, with the chinks all stuffed with mud and with a beautiful mud chimney of which I was very proud. I had had it located in a little gulch behind the battery and it did look so comfortable, but alas, work had gone on very rapidly in the construction of the canal despite our continual mortar fire, and


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on the afternoon of the day on which my house was finished a monitor fired several eleven-inch shells through the canal, and with the whole State of Virginia to select from, one of these projectiles could find no other place to explode in but my little cabin, which it scattered to the four winds.

        Some days there would be a lull in the artillery fire, and we could walk about exposing ourselves to the enemy's fire with perfect impunity, and on other days the most trifling movement on our part, such as the moving of an empty water barrel, or a few men chasing a frightened and bewildered "cotton-tail" would bring upon us a storm of projectiles from the enemy's guns. Constant practice had made the artillery firing very effective, so much so that it was not an uncommon thing for us to have one or more of our guns knocked off their carriages. Lieutenant Cenas seemed to have a tacit understanding with the gunner of a rifled piece in the Crow's Nest Battery whose marksmanship he admired very much. Cenas would go outside of the works and place an empty barrel or tobacco box on top of a stump, and then, stepping to one side, he would wave his arms as a signal to his favorite gun-pointer on the other side, and immediately we would see a puff of smoke and the projectile would always tear up the ground very close to the stump and frequently both stump and barrel would be knocked into smithereens.

        One afternoon a monitor fired a shell through the canal which landed a few yards in front of our battery. A sailor, in pure dare-deviltry, went outside to pick it up. Just as he got to it I saw a thread of smoke arising from the fuse, and I yelled to him to jump back--but too late. The sailor gave it a push with his foot and it bounded into the air taking off the man's leg; the shell then landed in one of our gun pits and exploded killing and wounding several men. It must have been spinning with great rapidity on its axis and only needed the touch of the sailor's foot to start it again on its mission of destruction.


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        We flew no flag, as it was useless to hoist one; the enemy would shoot it away as fast we would put it up. A wonderfully accurate gun was a light field piece, a Parrott gun, which would come out from behind the Bohler Battery, take up a position in the bushes, and shoot at any man bringing water from a near-by spring, and he was frequently successful in hitting him. One day General Lee was inspecting the line and stopped for a few moments at our battery. He ordered us to drive this fellow away, and then looking at his watch added, "Give him a shot in fifteen minutes." Then the general on his gray horse rode away. At the expiration of the fifteen minutes we let go our seven heavy guns into the bushes where we supposed the fellow to be with the result that he limbered up and hastily took refuge behind his works, and from fifty to seventy-five guns in the batteries which enfiladed Semmes cut loose into us and kept it up for three days and nights, dismounting three of our guns, killing and wounding a number of our men.

        We could shoot just as well at night as we could in the daytime, as from constant practice we had the ranges of all of the enemy's batteries, and had marked the trunnions of our guns for range and the traverses for direction. Such firing was accurate, as was proved on several occasions by our discovering at daylight that we had dismounted some of the guns of our antagonists.

        In the latter part of January, 1865, our supply of ammunition was running short, and as a consequence we were ordered to be sparing with it, so we would only fire a gun when the enemy's fire would slacken up a bit to let them know that we were still there. This seemed to encourage our opponents and they hammered us all day with their big guns, and all through the nights they dropped mortar shells among us. These shells, with their burning fuses, resembled meteors flying through the air; they made an awful screeching noise as they tore the atmosphere apart when coming down before we heard the thud of their striking the ground


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and the terrific explosion which would follow, and then would come the whistling of the fragments as they scattered in every direction. We were so accustomed to these sounds that we did not allow them to interfere with our slumbers, as wrapped in our one blanket we slept in the bomb-proofs or magazines.

        The end of the Southern Confederacy was near at hand, although we at the front little realized the fact. The authorities in Richmond determined to make a daring attempt to capture or destroy General Grant's base of supplies at City Point on the James. Late on the afternoon of January 23, 1865, we received notice to be ready, as our three ironclads, the Virginia Number 2, the Richmond, and the Fredericksburg, would come down that night, run the gantlet of the Federal batteries, and try to force their way through the boom the enemy had placed across the river (at Howlett's) in anticipation of just such an attempt. I happened to be officer of the day. The night was very dark, and suddenly I heard a sentry challenge something in the river. I ran down to the edge of the water and arrived there just in time to see a rowboat stick her nose into the mud at my very feet, and was much surprised to see my old shipmate, "Savez" Read, step ashore. He was in a jolly mood, as he told me that our ironclads would follow him in a couple of hours, and that he was going ahead to cut the boom so that they could pass on and destroy City Point. "And now, youngster," he said, "you fellows make those guns of yours hum when the 'Yanks' open, and mind that you don't shoot too low, for I will be down there in the middle of the river." And then he put his hand affectionately on my shoulder and added: "Jimmie, it's going to be a great night; I only wish you could go with me: a sailor has no business on shore, anyway;" And laughing he stepped back into his boat and shoved out into the stream.

        The enemy must have had some information as to our plans, for Read had not proceeded very far before the bank


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of the river looked as though it was infested by innumerable fireflies as the sharpshooters rained bullets on his boat which was proceeding with muffled oars. They completely riddled it, but Read kept on while bailing the water out of her, and strange to say he reached the boom and successfully cut it.

        About two hours after Read left, our so-called ironclads noiselessly glided by the battery. The stillness was unbroken for so long a time that we began to congratulate ourselves that they had safely got by the enemy's batteries without being discovered. But our exultation was premature--they did get by the Bohler and Signal Hill batteries unobserved, but unfortunately the furnaces of the leading boat were stirred, and a flame shot out of her smokestack which instantly brought upon her a shower of shot and shell, and instantly the big guns on both sides were in an uproar. My! but that was a thunderous night; the very ground quivered under the constant explosions.

        The next morning we learned that our demonstration against City Point had resulted in a most mortifying failure. The smallest of our ironclads, the Fredericksburg, passed safely through the obstructions, but the Virginia, which steered very badly, ran aground and blocked the passage to the Richmond. The wooden gunboat Drewry also missed the channel and ran ashore. The Fredericksburg was recalled and the big monitor Onondaga with her immense guns arrived on the scene shortly after daylight. With one shot she smashed in the Virginia's forward shield. The Virginia got afloat again and presented her broadside, which was also perforated as though it was made of paper. She then brought her after gun into action and a shot from the monitor also smashed her after shield. They all returned that night under a rain of projectiles from the shore batteries similar to that they had been exposed to the night before, and on that occasion our ironclads, on which we had based such high hopes, fired their last hostile shot. The end was near.


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CHAPTER XXVI

The Confederate "White House"--President Davis gives an impromptu lecture on bridle bits--Letter of Mrs. Jefferson Davis denying truth of anecdote relating to President Buchanan, Mrs. Joseph E, Johnston, and herself--The Southern soldiers and girls dance, flirt, and marry, oblivious of the signs that the "débâcle" draws near.

        NOTWITHSTANDING the hardships we were all necessarily subjected to at the front, my life at that time was not devoid of pleasures. Frequently I was allowed to go to Richmond where I had friends and where I was made welcome. Among these dear friends were President and Mrs. Jefferson Davis. I have mentioned that one of my brothers had married a cousin of Mrs. Davis's, and her youngest brother, Midshipman Jefferson Davis Howell, was one of my most intimate friends, so I was made to feel very much at home at the Confederate "White House." I remember being there one day with my fiancée sitting on a sofa in a parlor adjoining the room Mr. Davis used as his private office, when unexpectedly the door between the two rooms opened and the President entered. He apologized for intruding on us, saying that he expected to find Mrs. Davis there. In one hand he held a steel bridle bit and in the other a piece of chamois leather with which he was polishing it. He at once proceeded to tell us about the merits of that particular bit, and becoming interested in the subject he went on to give us quite a lecture on bridle bits, their uses and abuses; he told us how the cruel Mexican bit, with which a brutal man can break the jaw of a horse, had come down from the ancients and had been imported into Morocco by the Arabs and into Spain by the Moors, and by the Spanish into Mexico and South America. He was familiar also with the modern bits and was quite eloquent over his account of how Chifney, a famous English jockey, had invented the most merciful of all curb bits. He told us a lot more about bridle bits which


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I cannot remember, and as he told it it made the simple subject much more interesting than I could ever have imagined it could be made.

        Mrs. Davis was highly gifted intellectually, and in her home was an affectionate wife and mother; her devotion to her husband and children was beautiful to see. In society she was bright and witty, and on occasion could blight with sarcasm any one who had the misfortune to displease her, and when she did turn loose her tongue in that vein, society in Richmond was usually kept in a state of hysterical laughter for weeks afterwards.

        There were many stories concerning Mrs. Davis's enmity toward Mrs. General Joseph E. Johnston, but they were without any foundation in fact. Mrs. Davis often spoke to me about her affection for Mrs. Johnston and how intimate they had been in Washington prior to the war. One of the stories, which is still current at this day, was that when Mrs. Davis went to bid President Buchanan good-bye, she told him that she could forgive everything except his having turned Mrs. Joe Johnston's head by making her husband a brigadier-general. This story was revamped and published in many papers years afterwards. I sent Mrs. Davis a clipping containing the story, and this is the letter she wrote me in acknowledging its receipt. The letter, with some others which she was kind enough to write me, are now in the Congressional Library:--

"THE ROCKINGHAM," NARRAGANSETT PIER, R.I.
August 19, 1898.

MY DEAR JIMMIE:--

        I should have answered your two kind letters and offered thanks for them and also for the good likeness of my beloved brother, but I have been so utterly wretched I could not do so. My Winnie has now been critically ill for twenty-eight days, and is still quite ill and suffering so that I can think of nothing else. Our physician seems not to fear the outcome of her illness, but she is dreadfully reduced and very patient in her pain.

        The anecdote of Mr. Buchanan and me is nonsense. Nothing


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of the kind or the least like it ever happened. I was unaffectedly fond of him and went to bid him an affectionate farewell.

        My brother's likeness is such a comfort to me. I enjoy looking at his boyish face more than I can express. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind thought of me.

        I am more than glad that you did not go to Cuba, since the war has been so short and decisive--you could only have lost your health, and could not have added much to your reputation by any notable achievement.

        I hope that Mrs. Morgan continues well.

        I do not know how long we shall be here, perhaps until the last of October before we return home.

Believe me cordially your friend,

V. JEFFERSON DAVIS.

        At the house of Mr. Trenholm I was always received as one of the family. The beautiful house, which had been built originally by an English gentleman of wealth and artistic tastes, was the centre of a certain amount of gayety, and frequented, especially on Saturday evenings, by many distinguished people, among them of course many foreigners, who visited Richmond for the excitement of the experience. Mr. Trenholm, the Secretary of the Treasury, was a man of great wealth and probably the largest owner of blockade-runners, and consequently almost every luxury in the way of food was most hospitably placed before his guests.

        Where two or three young Southerners were gathered together there was sure to be singing and dancing. It is true that there were not many handsome toilets to be seen at these receptions, but the young girls were so pretty no one took the trouble to look at their dresses of a style fashionable before the war. The foreigners, of course, appeared in the orthodox dress coats and white ties, but we poor fellows who belonged at the front shamelessly joined the gay throng in our rags and tatters. My uniform, which had once been gray, had turned a green yellowish brown owing to its exposure to the elements and the mud in the


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trenches. I had had the misfortune to have one of my coat tails burned off while sleeping too close to a camp-fire; one of my trousers legs had raveled out to halfway up the calf of my leg, and the lower part of the other trousers leg was very ragged; I wore a boot on one foot and a shoe on the other--the boot on the bare leg. This Falstaffian costume was set off with a sword, and if there is anything that will make a ragged man look more ridiculous than another it is the wearing of a sword. But the girls in their four-year-old dresses did not mind our appearance, and it would have been a cold day when a man in civilian togs, no matter how well dressed, could have persuaded one of those Southern girls to dance with him when a man from the front wanted a turn.

        Mr. Trenholm, as I have said before, was most hospitably inclined and was the possessor of some of the finest and oldest Madeira wine in the country; naturally his invitations to dinner were rarely declined. I used to meet at his table the most distinguished generals of our army and the members of the Cabinet. These gentlemen for the most part were taciturn and serious, but Mr. Judah P. Benjamin, the Secretary of State, and Mr. Trenholm were both gifted conversationalists and very witty, and they always enlivened the banquets with anecdotes. Mr. Pierre Soulé, of Louisiana, was also a frequent guest; he was a most interesting talker. It was Mr. Soulé, who when United States Minister to Spain, after the duel between his son and the Duke of Alba, brother-in-law of the French Emperor, shot and crippled for life the Marquis de Turgot, the French Ambassador to Spain.

        Despite the sad state of affairs, both in the Capital and in the country, there were balls and parties, and "marrying and giving in marriage" going on in Richmond. Mr. McFarland, a wealthy banker, was to give a ball and social Richmond was all agog over the prospect. To attend this ball it was necessary for me to have a new uniform. With


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any amount of Confederate money at my disposal, the modern man might ask why I did not go to a tailor and order one, but that was not the way we did things in those days. In the first place, there were no stores and had there been there would not have been anything in them for sale. I had to search the town before I found a man who possessed a few yards of gray cloth and willing to part with it for several hundred dollars in Confederate money. I finally found such a man, and also bought from him a pair of boots made out of thick, half-tanned cowskin for which I paid three hundred dollars. I looked so nice in my new togs that I was immediately asked by an army surgeon to be one of the groomsmen at his wedding, and I also attended the wedding of the beautiful Miss Hetty Cary, to General John Pegram which had so sad an ending a few days afterwards when General Pegram was killed.

        While the young people were laughing, dancing, and being killed, the black clouds of adversity were gathering over our beloved Confederacy. Bitter dissension had resulted from the removal of General Johnston from the command of the Western army--a step which President Davis took in response to popular clamor for a change. This demand did not come from Johnston's soldiers, but from the populace, who cried out that if Johnston continued his strategy, the Western army would soon be in the Gulf of Mexico: they wanted an aggressive man put in command, and Mr. Davis gave them General Hood. He was aggressive enough, Heaven knows! After Hood's bloody victory at Franklin, in which some seventeen Southern generals fell, Mr. Davis was heard to observe that "one more such victory and there would not be any Western army left." After the disastrous defeat at Nashville the very men who had clamored to have General Johnston superseded, clamored against Mr. Davis for having removed him.

        The Confederate Congress was at open war with President


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Davis and missed no opportunity to thwart his policies. They refused point-blank to adopt any of his suggestions for the relief of the pitiable condition of the country, and in rejecting the financial schemes submitted by Mr. Trenholm, the Senate Finance Committee frankly told that gentleman that under no circumstances could they adopt his suggestions, as it would imply their sanction of a measure emanating from Mr. David's administration! Mr. Trenholm told them that when they had treated Mr. Memminger, his predecessor in the Treasury Department, in the same way, Mr. Memminger had consulted him as a friend as to the course he should pursue, and that he, Mr. Trenholm, had advised him to resign. Now that he himself was placed in a similar position it was necessary that he should do likewise. The Senate Committee protested that such a course would not do at all, as they had a financial proposition of their own which they wanted him to father on account of the popular belief in his ability as a financier. Mr. Trenholm, no less frank than they were, informed them, after glancing over their bill, that he had a reputation among business men to maintain, and that if he put his name and gave his approval to such a measure, financiers would laugh at him. He then went to Mr. Davis and tendered his resignation. Mr. Davis told him that it was his duty to remain in the Cabinet; that he, Mr. Davis, recognized that with a Congress at open war with the administration nothing could be done to relieve the Treasury. He declared he needed Mr. Trenholm's dear head and advice, and begged him to stand by him in his hour of need.

        As an example of the demoralization of the Confederate Government at this time, I remember going into the Senate Chamber one day while that august body was in session. Heavy firing was going on at the front which could not only be plainly heard inside the building, but made the windows rattle when particularly heavy guns were


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discharged. To this ominous obligato the lawmakers were earnestly debating the question as to how many daily newspapers should be placed on the desk of each Senator every morning. While these petty quarrels were going on, the destiny of a whole people was being ruthlessly decided in blood and suffering; we men in the trenches fought, shivered, and starved outside the city, and danced and made merry whenever we were allowed to come within its limits, little dreaming that the end was so near.

        The Southern soldier was a very determined fellow, and at the same time reckless and light-hearted; one moment he would be in deep distress over the loss of some dear comrade and the next he would be shouting with laughter over some senseless joke perpetrated by one of his companions. I went one day to a tobacco warehouse, then used as a hospital, to see my friend Captain F. W. Dawson, who was very seriously wounded. The ladies of Richmond were very kind to the wounded and out of their scanty means they managed to make dainties which they would carry to the hospitals and distribute themselves. The day was hot and I found my friend lying on a cot near the open front door, so weak that he could not speak above a whisper, and after greeting him and speaking some words of cheer I saw that he was anxious to tell me something. I leaned over him to hear what he had to say, and the poor fellow whispered in my ear, "Jimmie, for God's sake, make them move my cot to the back of the building."

        I assured him that he had been placed in the choicest spot in the hospital, where he could get any little air that might be stirring; but he still insisted that he wanted to be moved, giving as a reason that every lady who entered the place washed his face and fed him with jelly. The result was that his face felt sore and he was stuffed so full of jelly that he was most uncomfortable, as he was so weak he could not defend himself, and the procession of women would not listen to his protests. Shaking with


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laughter, I delivered his request to the head surgeon, who pinned a notice on Dawson's sheet to the effect that "This man must only be washed and fed by the regular nurses." Dawson was a gallant soldier and served on the staffs J. E. B. Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee, and Longstreet. He recovered from his wounds and in 1873 married my sister Sarah.


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CHAPTER XXVII

Ordered to accompany Mrs. Davis and party south--No Pullman cars in those days--President Davis bids his family good-bye--Insolent deserters insult Mrs. Davis at Charlotte, North Carolina--A Hebrew gentleman gives her shelter--Midshipmen guarding the Confederacy's gold escort her to Abbeville, South Carolina--President Davis and his Cabinet at Abbeville.

        THE spring of 1865 was fast approaching and we expected soon to see great changes. One army or the other would surely attack; they could not stand still indefinitely. One morning things became very lively at Battery Semmes. A rifled gun in my division exploded and an eight-inch smooth-bore was dismounted by a well-directed shot from Signal Hill. About noon my commander sent for me and, to my amazement, ordered me to go up to Richmond and report in person to the Secretary of the Navy, adding that I had better take my belongings with me. I at once began to think of all my sins of commission and omission. What could a Secretary of the Navy want to see a passed midshipman for unless it was to give him a reprimand? Arriving in Richmond, I made my way to the Navy Department at once, and, to my surprise, I was shown into the Secretary's sanctum without delay. Mr. Mallory, instead of receiving me with a frown, was smiling, and if I had not been a midshipman I should really have thought he was glad to see me. To my surprise he told me that I was to accompany Mrs. Jefferson Davis south, and added, with a merry twinkle in his eyes, that the daughters of the Secretary of the Treasury were to be of the party. I hurried to Mr. Trenholm's house with the news, but no one there seemed at all surprised. I then went to the President's mansion, which was only a block away, and had a few words with Mrs. Davis, who seemed to take it as a matter of course that I was to go south with her. There was not the slightest appearance of excitement or preparation


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for a long journey about the Confederate executive mansion, and no one would ever have dreamed that a flight from a doomed city was about to take place.

        Returning to Mr. Trenholm's house, I dined with the family and we laughed and talked; but none of us spoke of the coming journey. In fact we young people were in blissful ignorance concerning the momentous events about to take place. After all, there was nothing extraordinary about Mrs. Davis's going south, for the President had frequently expressed a desire to have his family go to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they would be out of the turmoil and excitement of their surroundings in Richmond. So far as I was personally concerned, I took it for granted that I should return to the front after I had fulfilled my mission of accompanying the party to their destination.

        It was then the Friday preceding the fall of Richmond, and about eight o'clock in the evening we received the expected word that it was time for us to start for the station. A few minutes after we arrived there we were joined by Mrs. Davis, her sister, and the children, escorted by Colonel Burton N. Harrison, the President's private secretary. The party arrived at the station in an overloaded carriage, Mrs. Davis being the fortunate possessor of about the only pair of carriage horses in Richmond. These animals had made some lucky escapes from being requisitioned for the army, as, owing to the necessities of the family, they had once been sold and had been bought by two or three gentlemen and presented again to Mrs. Davis, only to be seized shortly afterwards by a provost guard on the street while Mrs. Davis was seated in the vehicle. President Davis would not lift a finger to save them, saying that other people's horses had been pressed for service in the army, and he did not see any reason why his wife's should not be taken in the same way. But again influential friends persuaded the quartermaster to send them back,


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and their last service to their mistress was to start her on that memorable and eventful journey.

        There were no Pullman sleeping-coaches in those days, and it was with great difficulty that an old creaky passenger car, long a stranger to paint and varnish, had been secured for the wife of the chief magistrate of a nation of some fifteen or twenty millions of people. We at once entered the car and seated ourselves on the lumpy seats which were covered with dingy and threadbare brownish red plush, very suggestive of the vermin with which it afterwards proved to be infested. The sleepy little children were laid on the seats and made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, but they had hardly closed their eyes before President Davis entered the car. He spoke to us all pleasantly and cheerfully, then took a seat beside his wife and entered into conversation with her. They talked earnestly until the signal for our departure was sounded, but in those days the trains were not run by schedule. You started when the train moved and you arrived when you got to your destination; that was all anybody knew about it. Mr. Davis rose from his seat at the sound of the bell and went from one to the other of his children kissing them good-bye; then he bade farewell to his sister-in-law, Miss Maggie Howell, and affectionately embraced his wife. Passing the seats where sat the Misses Trenholm and myself, he gave us all a friendly handshake and wished us bon voyage. He then stepped on to the platform closely followed by Colonel Harrison. The signal to start was one of many false alarms, and the President and his secretary walked up and down on the platform outside, while engaged in what appeared to us onlookers very serious conversation.

        It was ten o'clock before our wheezy and feeble locomotive gave a screech and a jerk which started us on our journey. Colonel Harrison precipitately left his chief and jumped on board the moving train while the President


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waved a second farewell to his loved ones. We proceeded at a snail's pace for about twelve miles when suddenly we came to a standstill. Our ramshackle locomotive had balked; no amount of persuasion on the part of the engineer could induce it to haul us over a slight up-grade, and we remained where we were for the rest of the night. It was the afternoon of the next day when we arrived at Burkesville Junction, where Colonel Harrison received the news of the battle between Generals Pickett and Sheridan and telegraphed the information at once to President Davis.

        We did not reach Charlotte until Tuesday; a journey which to-day requires only six or seven hours, had taken us four days to accomplish! There was a delay of two or three hours at Charlotte and, while waiting, Colonel Harrison used the time to go into the city in search of shelter for Mrs. Davis and her helpless family. The inhabitants, however, did not rush forward to offer this lady in distress hospitality as they might have done a year or two before misfortune had overtaken her. They seemed to take it for granted that the end of the Confederacy was at hand, although the news of the fall of Richmond did not reach them until two days after our arrival. Mrs. Davis would have been in a sad plight if it had not been for the courage and chivalric courtesy of a Jewish gentleman, a Mr. Weil, who hospitably invited her to stay at his home until she could make other arrangements. May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless him wherever he is!

        The news of Mrs. Davis's arrival in Charlotte quickly spread through the city, which by that time was thronged with stragglers and deserters--conscripts--the very scum of the army, and a mob of these wretches gathered round the car in which she sat. The wretches reviled her in most shocking language. Colonel Harrison, who had returned from his quest for lodgings, and I closed the open windows of the car so that the ladies could not hear what was being


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said. We two men were helpless to protect them from the epithets of a crowd of some seventy-five or a hundred blackguards, but we stationed ourselves at the only door which was not locked, determined that they should not enter the car. Colonel Harrison was unarmed, and I had only my sword, and a regulation revolver in the holster hanging from my belt. Several of the most daring of the brutes climbed up the steps, but when Colonel Harrison firmly told them that he would not permit them to enter that car the cowards slunk away. When the disturbance had quieted down Mrs. Davis, her sister, and her children left the train, and with the daughters of Mr. Trenholm I continued on to Abbeville, South Carolina, where the Trenholms had previously engaged a pleasant house. It took us two more days to reach Abbeville, and it was not until our arrival there that we learned of the fall of Richmond and that President Davis and his Cabinet were at Danville, Virginia.

        Mrs. Davis remained for a few days in Charlotte, and then it was reported that General Sherman's army was headed that way. It was necessary for her to seek some haven of safety. She was indeed in a forlorn position, as nobody wished to shelter her for fear that the Union troops would destroy their homes if they did. Every road through the country was infested by deserters who would have given her scant consideration if they had wanted anything she possessed, and the only human being she could look to for protection was Colonel Harrison, who would have stood small chance of defending her against the bands of undisciplined shirkers who were traversing the country and who never hesitated to take what they wanted from the weak and helpless. Just as things looked most hopeless to this unhappy lady, the midshipmen from the schoolship Patrick Henry, under the command of Lieutenant William H. Parker, arrived in Charlotte. When Richmond was ordered to be evacuated the authorities almost forgot the midshipmen,


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and it was only at the last moment that Lieutenant Parker received the order to blow up the "school" and make the best of his way to Charlotte, North Carolina. The midshipmen were landed on the river-bank and as they trudged toward Richmond they were saluted by the explosions of the magazines not only of their own ship, but also of those of the Confederate ironclads and wooden gunboats. When they arrived at the railway station at Manchester, across the river from Richmond, they found not only that the soldiers had left, but also that no arrangements had been made for their transportation. Here a piece of good luck came their way. The Treasury officials, with some five hundred thousand dollars in gold and silver coin (all that the Confederacy possessed) packed in kegs, were standing helplessly on the platform alongside of a train on which they hoped to get away, while a drunken mob was fast gathering around them. Hundreds of barrels of whiskey had been stove in and their contents had filled the gutters in Richmond, and this crowd of swine, after filling themselves with the fiery liquor out of the ditches, became very brave, and determined to divide the assets of the Confederacy among themselves. The Treasury officials rather doubtfully asked Lieutenant Parker if he could protect the treasure, and when the little midshipmen were formed the mob commenced to jeer the children. But something happened!--and before those ruffians realized it, they were all on the outside. Those midshipmen were regulars, and the mob instantly appreciated the fact that the guns and bayonets in the hands of those youngsters were going to be used at the word of command, and the scoundrels were not so drunk that they did not appreciate the fact that "discretion was the better part of valor," and they fled.

        The Treasury men were so impressed by the easy way in which the midshipmen had handled the situation that they begged Lieutenant Parker to accompany the specie with his command; the money was loaded on the train and the


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midshipmen piled in after it, and thus it was that they arrived at Charlotte.

        The little command only had a short breathing spell at Charlotte, as the enemy were fast approaching and there was little time for them left in which to make a "get away." Lieutenant Parker persuaded Mrs. Davis to trust herself to the protection of the midshipmen, and they again started on their sad and painful journey. The railways by this time were completely disorganized and they could only proceed as far as Chester, South Carolina, in the cars. There Lieutenant Parker commandeered some wagons which he loaded with the gold and Mrs. Davis and her family. They then started over the rough country roads for Abbeville, South Carolina.

        What a distressing spectacle this train of three or four wagons, hauled by broken-down and leg-weary mules, must have presented, and what must have been the apprehensions of that stately and serene woman, the wife of the President of a nation of Anglo-Saxons, as she sat, surrounded by her helpless children, on one of these primitive vehicles while the half-starved animals slowly dragged her over the weary miles. A platoon of the middies marched in front of the singular procession, acting as an advance guard. Another detachment followed the wagons, serving as a rear guard, and on either side of the train marched the rest of the youngsters. And not far away, on either flank and in their rear, hovered deserters waiting either for an opportunity or the necessary courage to pounce upon the, to them, untold wealth which those wagons contained.

        When night fell on the first day of their march, they stopped at a country roadside church which at least afforded shelter from the elements. Mrs. Davis, her sister, and the children slept on the bare floor, and Lieutenant Parker, as commanding officer, rested in the pulpit. The midshipmen who were not on guard duty lay down under the trees outside, in company with the mules.


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        While Mrs. Davis and her escort of ragged boys were slowly plodding on their way, things began to happen in the beautiful village of Abbeville, where every residence was surrounded by a garden and which impressed one as a more fitting setting for a May-day festival than for the scene of the disruption of a government. First, Senator Wigfall, the man who had received the surrender of Major Anderson's sword at Fort Sumter, arrived. He was the most malignant and unrelenting of all President Davis's political enemies. Before making Texas his home he had been a resident of Abbeville, and he at once went to the house of Mr. Armisted Burt, an old friend, to ask for hospitality. Now it so happened that Mr. Burt had found means to send a message to Mr. Davis asking him, if he passed through Abbeville, to make his, Mr. Burt's house, his home. In less than forty-eight hours after Mr. Wigfall's arrival, who should appear at the house but Mr. Davis! Mr. Burt was placed in a most embarrassing position for a few moments, but Mr. Wigfall relieved the tension of the situation by hastily taking his departure out of one door as Mr. Davis entered the other.

        The next distinguished persons to arrive were President Davis's Cabinet, in an ambulance, with the exception of Mr. Trenholm, and the Secretary of War, General Breckinridge, who preferred to ride on horseback. He made a great impression on me with his superb figure mounted on a large and fat charger, a rare sight in those days. The Cabinet camped in and around their ambulance which had stopped in the suburbs. I visited their camp and was somewhat surprised to see among these serious and care-worn-looking gentlemen the beaming smile on the round face of the rotund Secretary of State, Mr. Judah P. Benjamin. He was the picture of amiability and contentment. Mr. Trenholm, who had been taken seriously ill on the journey from Danville, had been left at a house on the road. Mr. Trenholm afterwards told me that Mr. Benjamin, up to the time he had


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left them, had been the life of the party with his wonderful fund of anecdote which continuously rippled from his mouth during the daytime, and when the shades of evening fell, and a more serious mood came over him, he would hold his small but distinguished audience spellbound by repeating poetry from the apparently exhaustless storehouse of his memory. Mr. Trenholm also told me that he felt certain that Mr. Benjamin had at the time secreted in his valise (which was a sort of Aladdin's lamp from which he could instantly produce anything that was needed) a complete disguise with which he intended to make his escape from his pursuers--and such indeed proved to be the fact. Throughout this whole trying journey Mr. Benjamin smoked most fragrant Havana cigars, much to the astonishment of his companions who wondered where he could have obtained such an unlimited supply of such a rare luxury.

        Then Mrs. Davis arrived with her ragged and mud-stained escort, most of whom by this time were walking on their "uppers," or the bare soles of their poor bruised feet. On arriving at Mr. Burt's house she expressed to her host a fear that his home would be destroyed by the Union troops when they learned that she had been sheltered there. The grand old Southern aristocrat made her a profound bow and replied, "Madam, I know of no better use my house could be put to than to be burned for such a cause."

        One of Mrs. Davis's children was quite ill, and it was sent over to the Trenholms' house where it could be made more comfortable, as Mr. Burt's home was crowded with guests.

        The midshipmen pushed on to Augusta, Georgia, some eighty miles away, seeking for a safe place to deposit the treasure, and on their arrival were told to get out of there as quickly as possible, as Sherman's men were expected at any moment; so back they trudged to Abbeville where the Secretary of the Navy ordered them to be disbanded. These boys, averaging between fourteen and eighteen years of age, some of them nearly a thousand miles from their homes, the


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railroads destroyed, and the country filled with lawless men, were turned loose to shift for themselves. The money was turned over to the care of the soldiers. They took such care of it that unto this day never a dollar of it has been traced! The lie that was circulated about Mr. Davis having got any of it was afterwards disproved by the poverty in which he and his wife lived and died.

        While Mr. Davis was at Abbeville a very unpleasant incident took place which those who were present and afterwards wrote accounts of his flight from Richmond have avoided mentioning, I suppose because it was not to the credit of some of the Confederate soldiers. In the mountains of North and South Carolina near the Tennessee line there were bands of bandits who called themselves "guerrillas." A false report reached Mr. Davis to the effect that these brigands, learning that a large amount of gold was being taken through the country protected only by a few little boys, had made a sudden descent from their mountain fastnesses and were rapidly approaching Abbeville. On receiving this report Mr. Davis mounted his horse and rode out to a camp where some of the soldiers were bivouacked. The soldiers were drawn up to receive him and he made them a short address--very short. He told them of the report about the guerrillas, and also told them that both General Sherman and General Johnston attacked this band wherever they found them on account of the many atrocities they had been guilty of against both Union men and Confederates, and wound up his talk by asking the men if they would go out with him to attack those robbers and murderers. As he paused for a reply, a private pushed his horse to the front and said: "Our lives are just as precious to us as yours is to you. The war is over and we are going home!" And without the slightest semblance of order the gang--I can call them nothing else--dispersed, leaving those few gallant and loyal fellows who accompanied Mr. Davis until he was captured.


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CHAPTER XXVIII

President Davis departs from Abbeville--I carry a communication to General Fry at Augusta, Georgia--United States troops occupy Abbeville--We bury the silver chests--Paroled at Washington, Georgia--Accompany Mr. Trenholm to Columbia, where he buys a home--Mr. Wagner, of Fraser, Trenholm & Co., pays to avoid arrest in Charleston, and Mr. Trenholm is arrested in Columbia--Placed in the common jail--Mrs. King hides the gold under the Federal commander's nose--General Gillmore, U.S.A., treats Mr. Trenholm magnanimously.

        BEFORE Mr. Davis left Abbeville I begged him to allow me to accompany him, but he told me that it would be impossible, as I had no horse, and that it was not in his power to procure me one. He spoke to me in the most fatherly way, saying that as soon as things quieted down somewhat I must make my way to the trans-Mississippi, where we still had an army and two or three small gun-boats on the Red River, and in the mean time he would give me a letter to General Fry, commanding at Augusta, asking him to attach me temporarily to his staff. He also gave me an official communication for General Fry and instructed me to try and get transportation by some wagon going in that direction.

        I watched Mr. Davis as he mounted his horse, bade him good-bye, and stood looking after him as he took the road which led to Washington, Georgia. That was the last time I ever saw him.

        Hearing of a farmer who had an old broken-kneed, spavined white horse hid in the swamp, I soon made a deal with him by which I became the owner of the equine frame and he the possessor of several thousand dollars in Confederate money which he believed some day in the vague future would have a value. I then went to Augusta, and when I gave General Fry the document Mr. Davis had entrusted me with (the contents of which I never learned) I believe I delivered the last official communication President


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Davis ever sent to a general of the Confederate Army.

        In Augusta I remained only two or three days. Every one realized that the end of the Confederacy had come so far as they were concerned, and people were flying from the city not knowing where they were going--only anxious to escape from the place they were in.

        General Fry advised me to return to Abbeville, as I had friends there, and being of no possible use where I was, I accepted his kindly counsel and returned.

        The soldiers who had accompanied Mr. Davis had not surrendered at Appomattox, but now there was a stream of paroled men, and men who had deserted before the end came in Virginia, passing through the once peaceful town. While these men committed no outrages when they went into a private house to ask for food or shelter, they adopted a threatening attitude which was very offensive. Fortunately a younger brother of Mrs. William L. Trenholm, a lieutenant in the South Carolina regulars, arrived, and while we could not prevent the crowds of hungry men from swarming over the lower floors of the house, where although not invited, they made themselves very much at home, we could and did keep them from invading the upper portion of the home where the ladies secluded themselves.

        When the danger from our own men had passed, owing to their hurried exit from the town, we had immediately to prepare for another. Sherman's men were very near and were fast approaching, and the inhabitants were in mortal terror of the lawless crew known as "Sherman's bummers," who rode on the flanks of his army, accounts of whose fiendish outrages were on every tongue.

        While we noticed no change in the demeanor of the slaves, still we had no means of knowing what their attitude would be when the Union troops entered the place, and this uncertainty caused us some anxiety.

        In the house were two large and very heavy chests of


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silver which Lieutenant Macbeth (Mrs. W. L. Trenholm's brother) and I determined to attempt to save by burying it. We were afraid to take any of the negroes into our confidence, so we determined to do the work ourselves. We waited until midnight when every one on the premises was supposed to be asleep, and then, carrying our spades, we stealthily stole into the garden and proceeded to dig two large graves. The night was well suited for our work, as there was a moon but it was somewhat obscured by clouds. When we had finished our task we entered the house and by great exertion managed to carry out the chests and bury them. As soon as they were covered with earth, it was evident, even in the dark, that the newly upturned ground would betray us. There was nothing left to do but to dig up the entire garden if our hiding-place was not to attract the attention of the first passer-by, and this we at once proceeded to do. It was no light job, as the garden must have comprised nearly an eighth of an acre, and daylight came while the task was still uncompleted. I suddenly looked up from my work and there, to my consternation, I saw "Nat," Mrs. Trenholm's butler, the slave whose loyalty to the family we had grave doubts about, leaning against the fence, on the top of which his arms were resting while he calmly watched what we were doing. I asked him how long he had been there, and he frankly replied: "I'se been here ever since you gentlemen started work." I then asked him why he had not offered to help us, and he said it was because he thought we did not want any one to know what we were doing. Naturally it was too late to make any other disposition of the silver, and we felt sure that it would be lost. That morning the advance guard of the Federals entered the village. Two or three soldiers came to the house and I saw "Nat" (standing over the very spot where the silver was buried) talking to them. Of course we expected a demand would be made for spades, but, be it said to "Nat's" honor, he never betrayed us.


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A few years after this incident occurred, I met "Nat" in Columbia. He was then a member of the legislature and one of our lawmakers! The Union soldiers did not molest us in any way, and much to our astonishment who should drive up to the house but "Daddy" Peter, Mr. Trenholm's old negro coachman, with the landau and its handsome pair of bays. "Daddy" Peter, on the approach of Sherman's army to Columbia, had fled to the swamp with his cherished horses and hidden them until the danger of their being seized had passed. Mr. and Mrs. George Trenholm next arrived, Mr. Trenholm being still quite ill. Nobody seemed disposed to molest him, although the Federal authorities knew of his presence in the town.

        Major Julian Mitchel unexpectedly arrived at the house and informed us that all Confederate officers who had not been paroled were being arrested and treated with a great deal of harshness. As there was no officer of the United States Army authorized to parole us nearer than Washington, Georgia, forty miles away, Colonel Trenholm, Major Mitchel, and myself got into Mr. Trenholm's carriage at daylight the next morning and drove to Washington, Georgia, where we were most affably received by Captain Lott Abraham, U.S.A., who took our paroles and gave us each, for our own protection, a certificate that we had been paroled.

        In the evening Major Mitchel went to call on friends who resided in the town, and Colonel Trenholm and I paid a visit at the house of Judge Andrews, one of the most prominent residents of the place, and a consistent Union man, although his whole family were ardent "rebs." One of the judge's daughters, Miss Eliza Frances Andrews, kept a diary in those days which was afterwards published in 1911 under the title of "Wartime Journal of a Georgia Girl"; and in it she makes the following mention of our visit:--


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        May 16, 1865--Two delightful visitors after tea, Colonel Trenholm (son of the Secretary of the Treasury) and Mr. Morgan, of the navy, who is to marry his sister.

        The news this evening is that we have all got to take the oath of allegiance before getting married. This horrid law aroused much talk in our rebellious circle, and the gentlemen laughed very much when Cora said, "Talk about dying for your country, but what is that to being an old maid for it?"

        The chief thought of our men is how to embroil the United States either in foreign or internal commotions, so that we can rebel again. They all say that if the Yankees had given us any sort of tolerable terms they would submit quietly, though unwillingly, to the inevitable; but if they carry out the abominable programme of which flying rumors reach us, extermination itself will be better than submission. Garnett says that if it comes to the worst, he can turn bushwhacker: and we all came to the conclusion that if this kind of peace continues, bushwhacking will be the most respectable occupation a man can engage in. Mr. Morgan said, with a lugubrious smile, that his "most ambitious hope now is to get himself hanged as quickly as possible."

        Possibly, if Miss Andrews had ever read President Lincoln's proclamation ordering all persons who had engaged preying on American commerce, when captured, to be treated as pirates,1 she would not have thought that remark so amusing. It was fortunate for me that none of the Federal officers in the neighborhood knew that I had been engaged in that business. As it was, when the amnesty proclamation was issued, I found myself excepted under three separate headings, namely: Having been at the

        1 . . . And I hereby proclaim and declare that if any person, under the pretended authority of the said States, or under any other pretense, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such person shall be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.

        In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

        Done at the city of Washington this 19th day of April, A. D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

        

[L.S.] ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.



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United States Military or Naval Academy--being worth more than twenty thousand dollars--and having preyed on American commerce.

        In Abbeville provisions were very scarce, and the farmers who did have a few vegetables and chickens, of course would not part with them for worthless Confederate money. Probably the only gold in the place was in Mr. Trenholm's house, and there was not a coin in the lot of less value than a twenty-dollar gold-piece, and of course nobody could change such a sum as that. But fortunately the family owned stock in the Graniteville Mills, which manufactory declared dividends in cotton cloth. Mr. Alexander Macbeth and I would take a bolt of this cloth and put it into the carriage and drive into the country away off the usual routes of travel, stopping at farmhouses, where we had no difficulty in exchanging a few yards of it for anything in the way of edibles the farmers possessed. Mr. Macbeth afterwards married Miss Eliza, one of Mr. Trenholm's daughters.

        The United States army officers stationed at Abbeville showed no disposition to molest Mr. Trenholm, and their ignoring of his presence there lulled us into a false feeling of security concerning the Government's intentions concerning him, from which we were later to have a rude awakening.

        The house in Abbeville was small for such a large family, and with the idea of giving young Mrs. Trenholm and her little children more room, Mr. Trenholm decided to go to Columbia to see if he could not get a more commodious house. Mr. Trenholm's beautiful villa in the suburbs had been destroyed when Columbia was burned, but there were still left in the city a few residences forming a sort of fringe around the outskirts of the once beautiful little city.

        With two portmanteaus, one of which contained a large sum of gold, Mr. Trenholm and I entered his carriage soon after dark and started on the long drive to Columbia.


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We were compelled to go by carriage, as the railroads had been destroyed, the fat-pine cross-ties burned to heat the rails, and the red-hot rails wrapped around the trees growing near the track. We used to call these iron rails "Sherman's neckties," and the solemn-looking chimneys standing guard over the former sites of once happy homes were called by the natives "Sherman's monuments."

        Arriving at Columbia we were hospitably entertained by Mr. William Ford De Saussure, who was then living in the residence formerly occupied by the president of the South Carolina College and which stands to this day on the college campus. Mr. De Saussure's home had shared the fate of most of the houses of the city during the conflagration.

        It was found impossible to rent a house, but Mr. Trenholm was fortunate enough to find a gentleman who was anxious to sell his home, a large and comfortable one, for gold, as he wished to leave the State. The people had not as yet become accustomed to the greenback currency of their conquerors and looked askance at it. The house was bought, and the family moved to Columbia where they lived for some weeks in peace and comfort until an unfortunate episode occurred in Charleston.

        Mr. Theodore Wagner, who was one of Mr. Trenholm's partners, and whose first wife was a sister of Mr. Trenholm, was a most generous man who wore his purse on his sleeve at the service of any who cared to use it. He was also a highly nervous and timid man. Learning of the reputation he had for wealth and timidity, the provost marshal of Charleston sent one of his employees with a message to the effect that he was going to arrest Mr. Wagner on the charge of treason, and the agent confidentially informed the unhappy gentleman that he, the agent, had great influence with the provost marshal and that for a trifling sum of ten thousand dollars judiciously used he thought he could save Mr. Wagner from the ignominy and discomfort incidental to a long sojourn in a dirty jail, as well as an expensive trial


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for treason, a crime the punishment for which was death. Badly frightened, Mr. Wagner hurriedly produced the money, and was left in peace.

        Laughing in their sleeves, the officials decided that if a junior member of the firm of Fraser, Trenholm & Co. could be so easily separated from such a large sum of money, untold wealth might be obtained from the head of the house, especially as that head had been a member of Jefferson Davis's Cabinet. So one sad day the colonel in command at Columbia sent for Mr. Trenholm and told the old gentleman that he regretted to say that he had received orders from the commanding officer at Charleston to arrest him and send him forthwith to that city. The colonel was very courteous and told Mr. Trenholm that if he would give his word to report to the commanding general in Charleston without delay, he (the colonel) would not place him under restraint or send him there under guard. Mr. Trenholm thanked him for his consideration and of course gladly gave the required promise.

        That night Mr. Trenholm and I, carrying two portmanteaus, in one of which he had placed a very large sum in twenty-dollar gold-pieces, entered his carriage and we drove to Orangeburg, about forty miles away where we could take a train, as the railway between Orangeburg and Charleston had not been destroyed. When we arrived at the station in Charleston we were shocked at seeing a company of negro soldiers drawn up on the platform waiting for Mr. Trenholm. As the train came to a stop the white captain of the colored company boarded the car and walking brusquely up to the old white-haired gentleman demanded to know if his name was Trenholm. On being answered in the affirmative, he ordered Mr. Trenholm to come with him. I followed Mr. Trenholm closely, and when we stepped on to the platform the officer demanded to know who I was, and Mr. Trenholm assured him I was only a young friend of his who had accompanied him on the journey from Columbia; but


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the satrap was taking no chances, and as the soldiers closed in around us, he ordered me to "fall in," telling me I could explain at the jail. This was indeed a shock, as I had thought that of course a man of Mr. Trenholm's position would first be taken before the commanding general. It was a long and rough march over the rough cobblestones on some streets and through the mud of those which were not paved. There were negro soldiers in front of us and on either side, and behind us. One would have imagined that we were two desperate criminals from the way all possible escape was guarded against. Arriving at the jail I of course followed, or attempted to follow, Mr. Trenholm through the door, as I took it for granted I was expected to do, but a gruff voice called out, "Stop that man!" and instantly a brutal negro soldier reversed his musket and with the butt struck me a fearful blow in the pit of my stomach. I staggered across the sidewalk and sat down on the curb where in my agony I vomited blood. Had I been an injured dog less notice could not have been taken of me than was shown by the negro soldiers. After sitting with my feet in the gutter for some time, with a great effort, I stood up, and as no one objected I staggered away from the accursed place. I had been warned not to go near Mr. Wagner's house for fear of complications; it was therefore necessary for me to find a place where I could stay, and after a long and weary walk I saw a sign in a window in Calhoun Street announcing "Rooms for Rent." I engaged a room on condition that I would produce my baggage before I occupied it, and having Mr. Trenholm's checks and keys for his baggage, after a short rest I started out again to walk to the station to get the two heavy portmanteaus. There were no cabs in the place, so I hired a man with a wheelbarrow, and placing the portmanteaus on it I trudged alongside until they were unloaded at my new place of abode. I did not know the people who lived in the house and I was afraid to leave the room while all that gold was in one of the frail pieces of luggage.


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I felt sick and weary and had no appetite, so I was well content to go supperless to bed.

        The next morning I had to take chances and go out, for two reasons, first, because it was necessary for me to get some information as to how I could manage to see Mr. Trenholm, and secondly, on account of the fact that the people of the house declined to furnish me with meals. I started out with the intention of trying to find some officer of the regular army, as I felt assured that when I told such a one that I only wanted to talk to Mr. Trenholm about private family affairs he would assist me. But I was even more fortunate than I had dared to hope, I ran into the arms of a naval ensign who had been a classmate and captain of my gun's crew on the old frigate Constitution when I was a midshipman at Annapolis! He was a big fellow by the name of Dichman and he was then on the admiral's staff. As he threw his arms around me he exclaimed, "Well, Little Morgan, I have caught you at last! What can I do for you?" I told him of my trouble and how necessary it was for me to see my friend, who was in the jail, and he said he thought he could manage it for me, and he did.

        When I entered the jail with my permit I found Mr. Trenholm confined in a felon's cell which had only lately been vacated by a convicted murderer who had been released when the general jail delivery took place on the fall of Charleston. The only thing Mr. Trenholm had to sleep on was the dirty straw this wretch had left behind him.

        While I was in the cell the door was left open and the sentry paced up and down in the corridor. Mr. Trenholm found occasion to whisper to me quickly that he wanted me to find Mrs. Henry King and ask her to take charge of the gold and keep it safely for him. Mr. Trenholm was the trustee of Mrs. King's small estate; he had been a friend of her father, Mr. James L. Pettigrew, a lawyer of national reputation, and a famous wit. Mr. Pettigrew had been a consistent Union man. He had died during the war, and


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among his friends, when living, he had numbered Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and when Charleston was captured Mr. Lincoln had instructed the military and naval authorities in the city to afford Mr. Pettigrew's family every protection and to show them every attention.

        Mrs. King was a young and beautiful widow; also an authoress of some local renown; but she was more famed for her powers of witty repartee than she was for either her beauty, which was great, or her literary efforts. It was of this lady that the story was told about the novelist Thackeray. When he visited America, and was presented to her, he boorishly said, "I am glad to meet you Mrs. King, for I have heard that you are the fastest lady received in society in Charleston"; and Mrs. King replied, "I also heard that you were a gentleman--we have both been misinformed!"

        It was nearly nine o'clock at night when I found Mrs. King's house and sent in my name, as I had no card. The servant left the front door open and I could plainly see in the brightly lighted parlor a number of army and navy officers in their blue uniforms. Suddenly there appeared in the hall a vision of loveliness in a white muslin dress who asked in a soft and musical voice what my business was. I told her, in almost a whisper, that I had come from Mr. Trenholm with a request, and she hastily put her forefinger to her pretty lips and made a sign to follow her. She led me to the end of the hall, and there I whispered to her what Mr. Trenholm wanted her to do, and she told me at once to go and get the gold and bring it to her. She seemed somewhat surprised when I told her it was heavy and that as it would not be safe for any one to walk through the streets at that hour with a valise, as there were no policemen and outrages were occurring every night, I would have to bring it in my pockets and make several trips before I could deliver it all into her keeping.

        In about half an hour I returned to the house and the manservant who received me, chuckling with laughter for


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some reason, showed me the way to the back door where I waited for a moment while Mrs. King excused herself to her guests before coming to meet me. She led the way upstairs to her bedroom, and directing me to help her we pulled off the coverings of a bed that was dainty enough to be the resting-place of a fairy. We then rolled back the upper mattress and I began to unload the yellow double eagles. The breast and tail pockets of my coat were filled with the handsome coins, as also were my vest pockets, my trousers and hip-pockets, and while I was thus engaged the beautiful lady, standing on the opposite side of the bed, was engaged in spreading them over the lower mattress. We then replaced the upper mattress, and I could not help but laugh when I realized the extraordinary situation in which I found myself, assisting a strange lady in the making-up of her bed! Mrs. King was laughing, too, but for a different reason. Her cause of merriment was so good that she could not keep it to herself. Everybody knew that Mr. Wagner had paid ten thousand dollars to keep from being arrested when nobody had any intention of arresting him, and Mrs. King's joke was that the provost marshal, who had scared Mr. Wagner out of the money, and the commanding general, were both present among her guests downstairs.

        It was late when I finished my last trip and had assisted Mrs. King in secreting the last coin, and her other guests had long since taken their departure. Mrs. King informed me that she had utilized one of my temporary absences by cajoling the commanding officer into giving her a permit to visit Mr. Trenholm in the jail, and she appeared there early the next morning.

        The day after Mr. Trenholm was incarcerated, the commanding general sent a carriage to the jail, and Mr. Trenholm, accompanied this time by a white officer, was placed in it and driven to headquarters. The general received him in his private office, and at first was very courteous, but changed his attitude before the interview closed. Mr.


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Trenholm told me that the first thing the general said to him was, "Mr. Trenholm, I suppose that you know you were arrested by my orders and that I am the only man who can release you." Mr. Trenholm said that he replied, "I am very sorry to hear you say that." And on being asked by the general why he was sorry, Mr. Trenholm told him that it was because he now realized that it would be useless for him to hope to be set free, for he said to the general, "If you had any intention to free me without the payment of money, you would never have had me arrested, and as I regard it as disgraceful to offer a bribe as to accept one, I do not propose to part with a cent for the purpose of obtaining my freedom!" The general touched a bell, the door was opened, an orderly saluted, and the general commanded that the guard appear, and Mr. Trenholm was returned to the jail--but not in a carriage. A corporal's guard of negro soldiers marched him there.

        My permit to visit Mr. Trenholm still held good and I went to the jail every day and several times saw Mrs. King there--the gay and debonnaire Mrs. King, sitting on the dirty straw softly crying while the courtly old prisoner tried to comfort her. One would have imagined that it was the woman who was held in durance vile instead of her tall and stately trustee with his handsome face and white hair. I was not allowed to take anything into the jail for my friend, but Mrs. King was "a duchess who could do as she chooses," and took him many little comforts.

        After Mr. Trenholm had been in jail for several days I was informed that he was to be sent to Hilton Head on Port Royal, where there was a large garrison stationed at the time. One of my naval officer friends kindly interested himself and got me a permit to go to Hilton Head on the same boat that was to take Mr. Trenholm there. I did not trust myself to go to the jail on the day of his departure, but went on board of the boat and waited for him there. When he appeared he was as usual surrounded by his negro


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guard. This was an intentional humiliation, as there were large numbers of white soldiers in Charleston, and in addition to the negroes a company of whites was stationed at the jail. When the boat started, Mr. Trenholm was allowed to sit on a bench on the upper deck and I was permitted to take a seat beside him, and the moment I did so a negro soldier seated himself on the other side of him.

        Arriving at Hilton Head we waited on the boat for some little time while an officer went ashore, probably to find out what disposition was to be made of his prisoner, for as soon as he returned he ordered Mr. Trenholm to be brought ashore, and then accompanied by the guard we marched to a neat-looking cottage occupied by General Gillmore as his headquarters. As we halted in front of the cottage a splendid, soldierly-looking man, came out, and extending both hands to Mr. Trenholm, exclaimed, "My dear sir, I am distressed to see you in this position. What can have brought you here?" Mr. Trenholm explained and added that he regretted very much that their very pleasant acquaintance of some years past, when General Gillmore had been stationed at Charleston, should be renewed under, to him, such humiliating circumstances. General Gillmore ordered the guard dismissed and invited the prisoner into his house where he offered us refreshments.

        As near as I can remember, General Gillmore said to Mr. Trenholm: "I can see no reason for your arrest at this time. You could not escape even if you wanted to. You had better go back to your home. The boat you came on returns within the hour. You had better, however, give me your written parole that you will come back whenever I send for you." In less than an hour we were on our way home, free men, and without a guard!

        General Gillmore's courtesy and consideration for an ante-bellum friend cost him dear. The general in command at Charleston resented his action in freeing Mr. Trenholm, and reported the matter to Washington, with the result


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that General Gillmore was relieved of the command at Hilton Head, and the sequel of his kind action was hardly less serious for Mr. Trenholm, as he had hardly got home before an order came from Washington to rearrest him and imprison him in Fort Pulaski below Savannah, Georgia.


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CHAPTER XXIX

Mr. Trenholm and others of Mr. Davis's Cabinet imprisoned in Fort Pulaski--I make a hurried trip to New Orleans to engage counsel--I get married--Study (?) law--General Daniel E. Sickles orders Mr. Trenholm's home returned to him--I become a widower--Yellow fever saves me from being on board of the fated Evening Star.

        I WAS not allowed to accompany Mr. Trenholm to Fort Pulaski. The after effects of his release were no less unfortunate for the other members of President Davis's Cabinet than they were for himself. They were all, with the exception of Mr. Benjamin and General Breckinridge, who had made good their escape, at once arrested and sent to Fort Pulaski. A rumor spread amongst us that they were to be tried on the charge of high treason, and Mr. Trenholm's family thought it advisable that I should make an effort to see him and find out his wishes as to retaining counsel to defend him at the trial which we all believed to be imminent. My only hope of getting a permit to visit the fort lay in the persuasive powers of Mrs. King, who said, of course, she could obtain one for me, and she did. When I entered the casemate where these elderly and distinguished men were confined, it was a sad sight, indeed. Their only apparent comforts were the cots on which they sat in the daytime and slept at night. The tide ebbed and flowed under the floor of their apartment, and through the spaces between the planks I could see the water at high tide and the muddy bottom at low, and the stench from the mud was most unpleasant.

        I consulted with Mr. Trenholm, and he directed me to go to New York as quickly as possible and retain the services of Mr. William M. Evarts, one of the most distinguished lawyers of that time, and then to proceed to New Orleans and engage my elder brother, Judge P. H. Morgan (who was a Union man), for the same purpose.


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        The railroads throughout the South had been so torn up by the Union armies that to go from Charleston to New Orleans it was necessary first to go by sea to New York and then either take a steamer for New Orleans, or else go by rail to St. Louis, Missouri, and there take a river steamboat and go down the Mississippi, a long and tedious trip, and a most uninteresting one, for of all the great rivers in the world the scenery of the lower Mississippi is probably the most monotonous.

        Arriving at New Orleans, I found my mother and two unmarried sisters at my brother's house. These latter had suffered much from privation and want in the Confederacy, and were now suffering more mentally on account of the attitude of their former friends, who, despite the fact that two of our brothers had given their lives to the Southern cause, and that I had served "from the crack of the first gun to the end of the war," shunned them as though they were unclean because they had taken refuge from starvation in the house of a brother who was a Union man. A notable exception, however, was the devoted friendship shown them by the Misses Ada and Marie Pierce, who were, not only in my opinion, but in that of the public generally, the two most beautiful girls that New Orleans could boast of. I suppose that this generation cannot understand such a state of feeling, and really it was for the most part indulged in by people whose male relatives had funked going into the Confederate Army and whose women-folks had suffered no inconvenience and had lost nothing. Their extreme patriotism did not extend that far.

        I remained only a few days in New Orleans and returned to New York on the same ship which had brought me there a week previously. I was accompanied by my brother and my sister Sarah. Leaving Judge Morgan in New York, my sister and I continued on our journey to Columbia, South Carolina, where we found the Trenholm family still in the greatest distress on account of Mr. Trenholm's


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imprisonment in Fort Pulaski and the uncertainty as to what his fate was to be. I overheard a "truly loyal man" say that "if the United States Government did not hang Jeff Davis's Cabinet soon, the chills and fever would shake the life out of them before a rope could be placed around their necks." When this kindly gentleman was asked how the prisoners spent their time, he replied, "By watching the 'fiddler' crabs through the chinks of the floor as they crawled over the mud and slime when the tide was out, and twiddling their thumbs when it was in."

        There was a very influential party in the North which clamored for the hanging of Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet and a carpetbag United States district attorney even went so far as to issue a warrant for the arrest of General Lee, but General Grant here stepped in and caused the warrant to be quashed. Mr. Trenholm's lawyers could do nothing for him, as President Johnson declined to discuss his case with them, but the Reverend A. Toomer Porter, rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, which Mr. Trenholm attended when at home in Charleston, went to Washington and persuaded the President to grant him a pardon. One of Mr. Trenholm's lawyers, a Mr. Campbell, of Charleston, sued Mr. Trenholm for a fee for his services in obtaining the pardon, and although the President of the United States stated that he had refused to discuss the matter with Mr. Campbell, the jury gave a verdict in the latter's favor for fifty thousand dollars. There were some queer juries in the South in those unsettled times, and one of the jurymen in this case was heard to say that Mr. Trenholm was a rich man and it served him right, as it was a good thing to put some of the thousands of dollars he had made in blockade-running into circulation. Mr. Trenholm was pardoned in September, 1865, and I was married in October, and at once went to New Orleans via New York and St. Louis.

        Not appreciating the handicap of my defective education


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and the fact that the life I had led since I was fifteen years of age was not conducive to preparing me for any of the learned professions, I decided to enter Judge Morgan's office, matriculate at the University of Louisiana, and study law. My cousin H. Gibbes Morgan was a student in the office, and I was very fond of him, and that made the prospect all the more pleasing. But try as I would I could not concentrate my mind on those dry law books or attentively listen to the lectures which were given by distinguished civil-law lawyers; and besides, New Orleans was very gay at that time, as there was plenty of Northern money there, and planters could still borrow on mortgages at ten and twelve per cent. The city was under military government, and it was only later when the Reconstruction policy turned the State over to the carpetbaggers and negroes that the natives began to feel the real pinch of poverty. I must confess that dinners at Victor's and Moreau's, in the city, and at old Jules Coché's restaurant on the Lake Ponchartrain shore, appealed to me more than did the Code Civil, Justinian, or Blackstone. Then, too, I had a fast trotting horse whose health and speed required a great deal of exercise on the shell road extending from the city to the lake--needless to say the horse got it. But oh, those dreary hours spent in that office while Gibbes Morgan worked, and my brother in the back room wrote briefs. I would sit in a sort of stupor blankly gazing at a law book while I whistled the air of a popular song of the day called "Beautiful Dreamer out on the Sea," which scandalized the serious judge and almost drove him frantic. My brother had been elevated to the bench when he was only twenty-six and he regarded the study of the law as a serious proposition not to be whistled down the wind. In that law class there was a young man by the name of Edward D. White, who afterwards became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and that was as near as I ever came to a great lawyer.


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        While I was in New Orleans General Daniel E. Sickles, U.S.A., was placed in command of the Department of South Carolina with headquarters in Charleston. Mr. Trenholm having some business with him one day, General Sickles told him that he had much admired his beautiful home on Rutledge Avenue, and asked Mr. Trenholm why he did not live in it, and seemed very much surprised when Mr. Trenholm told him that it had been seized when Charleston was captured and had been used ever since for a negro school. General Sickles said he would very soon fix that matter, and summoning an officer he ordered him at once to turn the negroes out of Mr. Trenholm's house and turn the property over to him. The people of Charleston took great offense at General Sickles driving a coach and four, as in their poverty they resented this show of affluence, but they lived to see the day when they regretted General Sickles's removal from the command, as his successor made life for them very unpleasant.

        When I returned with my wife to Charleston in the spring of 1866 we found Mr. Trenholm and his family comfortably established in their beautiful home, and all went well until the month of September, when a little girl was born; and ten days afterwards my wife died of the fever which was then prevalent in Charleston, and I was left a widower and not yet twenty-one years of age.

        I wrote to New York and engaged passage in the ship Evening Star for New Orleans and proceeded to New York myself by the next steamer. Arriving in New York I went directly to that paradise of Southerners, the old New York Hotel on Broadway. I went to my room and at once was taken very ill. I must have had the seeds of yellow fever in my system and the change to a cooler climate must have developed the disease. I must have been unconscious or out of my head for some thirty-six hours when, fortunately for me, Dr. John T. Metcalf, an eminent physician, called at the hotel, and glancing over the register saw my name


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and sent up his card. The bellboy returned and said that there was some one in the room moaning, but that he would not open the door. Dr. Metcalf was an intimate friend of Judge Morgan, and he insisted that the door should be forced. Seeing my condition at a glance, he had me wrapped in blankets and carried to his waiting carriage and took me to his home, then on Fourteenth Street, where he nursed me back to life. While I was ill at his house the ill-fated Evening Star left for New Orleans with several hundred passengers on board, including three or four theatrical troupes, and she went down off Tybee Island on the coast of Georgia and only two men and one woman in a small open boat were saved.

        When I had sufficiently recovered, I took passage for New Orleans in the steamer Merrimac and found among my fellow passengers the family of Mr. John Watt, who were taking with them to New Orleans Miss Ada Pierce, a very dear friend of my sisters. My meeting with Mr. Watt was somewhat embarrassing, as less than three years before, when in the cruiser Georgia, I had captured off Cape Town the fine sailing ship John Watt, named for him and in which he was largely interested.


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CHAPTER XXX

Try cotton-planting with the usual sailor's success--Better success following the hounds--Charles Astor Bristed; "Man is a gregarious animal"--Drayton Hall--Discovery of the phosphate rocks--Visit Philadelphia--Go on the New York Yacht Club cruise--General McClellan--General W. S. Hancock views the yacht race.

        ARRIVING in New Orleans I tried to resume the study of the law, but met with rather worse than indifferent success. A proposition from two gentlemen who had married cousins of mine, that I should furnish the money and join with them in planting the old "Hope Estate" plantation, where so many happy days of my boyhood had been passed, appealed to me strongly. There are few naval officers who do not imagine that if they only had a small farm they could make their fortunes, and I was no exception to the rule; and yet it is a strange fact that most sailors commenced life as farm boys. There is an old story in the navy about a sailor on the "lookout" during a storm, who, being lashed to the forestay to keep him from being washed overboard, when a big sea swept over him was heard to exclaim, in the stillness of the midwatch, after a mountain of water had passed over his head, "And to think, by gum, I sold a farm to go to sea!"

        Well, on the rich sugar land our cotton plants grew beautifully. I looked over the immense field one afternoon and the cotton blooms, red, white, yellow, and blue, gave it the appearance of a garden of flowers. I gazed on that same field the next morning, and as far as the eye could reach there was nothing to be seen but leafless and bare bushes. The army worm had got in his fine work of destruction overnight.

        I returned to Charleston and made my home with my young brother-in-law, Frank Trenholm, who at the age of sixteen had been an aide on the staff of General Beauregard. He afterwards served on the staff of General D. H. Hill,


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and also as aide-de-camp to General States Rights Gist who, when shot at the battle of Franklin, died in his arms. I believe seventeen Confederate generals were killed in that bloody fight.

        Colonel Alfred Rhett had a pack of hounds--he was no less famous as a sportsman than he was as a duelist. He and his brother, Major Burnett Rhett, were tireless fox-hunters and often the colonel and Frank Trenholm would join their packs so as to have a fuller cry, and many a glorious run we had behind them. In those days one could get up a fox any time within four miles of the city, and we frequently jumped up a deer within six or seven miles from the Town Hall. The men were superb horsemen and many a marvelous feat of horsemanship I saw performed during those hunts.

        It would be difficult for this generation to understand the mental attitude of the people of South Carolina when under military government and afterwards while under the horrible orgy of crime called the "carpetbag government." Atlanta, Norfolk, and Savannah had welcomed Northern capitalists and they were prospering by leaps and bounds, but Charleston would have nothing to do with those whom they called "Northern vandals," and the consequence was that Charleston remained dead. All weapons had (supposedly) been taken away from the people, save one, and that one the Charlestonian knew how to use with most extraordinary effect. It was the right to ostracize the stranger, and the native who gave him countenance. One instance of the deadly effect of the use of this social weapon made an impression on me. It was that of the case of Mr. Charles Astor Bristed, a grandson of the first John Jacob Astor. Mr. Bristed was a man of great wealth, and of literary tastes; he was refined to the tips of his fingers, and of course in New York moved in the most select of the inner circle of society. He was in bad health and had been advised to seek the mild winter climate of Charleston. He brought with him letters of introduction to several prominent people


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in Charleston, among them Mr. Trenholm. On his arrival he was delighted with the air and the quaint beauty of the place and at once bought a pretty home on the "South Battery" facing the Ashley River. He confided to Mr. Trenholm that he had large sums of money lying idle in New York banks and made inquiry as to what rates of interest could be had for it in Charleston. He was amazed when Mr. Trenholm told him that he could place it on absolutely safe security for ten or twelve per cent, but that Heaven only knew what rate he could get for it if he felt disposed to take any chances. He asked Mr. Trenholm to place the amount (according to my recollection it was some two or three hundred thousand dollars) for him. After several months' sojourn he one day went into Mr. Trenholm's counting-house and asked him to sell out his securities and his residence, and when Mr. Trenholm expressed surprise, Mr. Bristed told him that "man was a gregarious animal and it was necessary to his happiness that he should hold communication with other human beings." He personally thanked Mr. Trenholm for the courtesy he had shown him, adding, "You and young Morgan are the only two gentlemen who have darkened my door in all the months I have been here"--and Mr. Bristed and his money left Charleston, to be seen there no more.

        In those days the family connection unto the fortieth remove was considered a sacred relation and that was the reason some of the Southern clans were so powerful--nous avons changé tout cela. My grandfather's sister, Anne Morgan, had married Mr. Thomas Stanyarn Gibbes, of South Carolina, and one of her granddaughters, Miss Augusta Gibbes, of New York, had married the second John Jacob Astor, and that was sufficient reason, besides Mr. Bristed's agreeable personality, for me to show him what little attention was within my power.

        In connection with the Charlestonian's repugnance to being brought into contact with Northern people, it should


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be remembered how cruelly they had suffered and that their hardships were far from being over, and that they were a proud people who were willing to endure poverty in silence, but they did not care to have strangers see the many shifts they were forced to resort to in the privacy of their homes, while they carried their heads so high and presented such a bold front before the rest of the world.

        We rarely know what is best for us in this world, and the helpless people chafed under martial law and called their soldier rulers "military satraps"; but these men did not pillage the State as did that robber crew who came into power when the so-called civil government was established under the Reconstruction laws which so nearly caused the destruction of the Commonwealth. Besides, the regular soldiery made the evilly disposed negroes behave themselves. The blacks had not generally as yet fully realized their changed estate and as a people behaved fairly well until the carpetbagger arrived.

        Early vegetables for the Northern market as a means of recouping Southern fortunes was becoming a burning question, and I espoused the cause enthusiastically, and selected one of Mr. Trenholm's plantations on the Ashley River; about ten miles above Charleston, for the scene of my operations. I made a crop of potatoes all right, and shipped them to New York, and what I got for them was a bill from the middleman for expenses incurred in having them carried to the dump. But there were plenty of deer, foxes, wild cats, wild turkeys, and quail in the neighborhood and I had plenty of sport. My ménage at Vaucluse (the name of the plantation) was not a very luxurious one. I fitted up a two-room shanty, one room serving me as bedroom, sitting-room, and dining-room, and the other as a kitchen. I had an old negro woman to cook for me and a rascally boy named Philip to wait on me.

        There had once been stately colonial mansions on these plantations along the banks of the Ashley River, many of


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them built with brick brought from England, but only Drayton Hall remained standing at the time I was there. When Charleston fell, gunboats came up the river and wantonly knocked down one after the other of these splendid residences. When the Drayton family heard the cannon they were at dinner and rushed out of the house, thinking that it would soon be tumbling on their heads. None of them returned to it for six months or more. When the gunboat stopped in front of Drayton Hall, the old negro butler, a man whose first name was Jack, and who had always been a slave of the Draytons, got into a log canoe and paddled out to the warship and implored the captain not to destroy Admiral Drayton's house; and the officer, not wishing to get into trouble with an admiral, spared it. Jack knew as much about the Drayton genealogy as did any member of the family; and he knew perfectly well that Admiral Drayton, although belonging to the same family, did not own a brick in the building. This Admiral Drayton was with the United States fleet at the battle of Port Royal where his brother General Drayton commanded the Southern forts.

        Although at Drayton Hall and the neighboring plantations there were hundreds of negroes, and not a single white man nearer than Charleston, when the Drayton family returned after an absence of several months they found their silver and other property untouched. The dishes and plates with the viands and vegetables on them, now thoroughly dried, stood where they had been left when the family fled from what they regarded as a doomed building.

        It was while I was at Drayton Hall that Professor Francis Holmes, a geologist, and a brother of Mrs. George A. Trenholm, showed Dr. Pratt, a chemist, a deposit of phosphate rock on his plantation, about three miles below Drayton Hall. Dr. Pratt already knew the value of the material, having made an analysis of a sample picked up at some other place. It was due to this discovery that I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Mr. George T.


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Lewis, Mr. Samuel Grant, Mr. Fisher, and several other gentlemen from Philadelphia who came to Drayton Hall, as it was the only decent habitation in that part of the country. It did not take these gentlemen long to look over the field and buy up thousands of acres.

        When I visited Philadelphia afterwards these gentlemen and their families showed me the greatest hospitality. A number of them had beautiful country places at Torresdale on the Delaware River, and many were the happy days I spent there.

        Mr. Charles Macallister, Jr., invited me to accompany him on the cruise of the New York Yacht Squadron. His yacht, the Scud, was the smallest schooner in the fleet and in dimensions a veritable toy boat. Her crew consisted of a sailing master and two men before the mast. Macallister usually took her to New York via the canal, but on a dare, Macallister and I took her down the river, through Delaware Bay, and passing Cape May put boldly out into the Atlantic and headed for New York. The Scud had a centreboard and an open cockpit, and she was not very weatherly even for so small a boat. Off Barnegat Light there came on a moderate gale of wind and the cockpit was the cause of our very nearly foundering, as occasionally a sea would come over and fill it, almost waterlogging the little craft and rendering it necessary for us to spend all of one night bailing it out with buckets. But we reached port all right and spent several pleasant days in New York before joining the squadron.

        While at New York Mr. Macallister met General George B. McClellan, an intimate friend of his father, and invited him to go for a sail up the Sound. I found the general to be a most affable companion, and when he learned that I had been a witness of the battles of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks) and of the Seven Days, he seemed to take an interest in me. Mr. Macallister told him about a cartoon I had seen in a Richmond paper in 1862 representing the general at Harrison's


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Landing, embracing a sailor, and saying, "Jack, a gunboat is a glorious institution--there ought to be one in every family!" The general laughed most heartily over this story. We brought the general safely back to New York, and the next day sailed for Glencove on the Sound, where we joined the yacht squadron. There were some twenty-five or thirty yachts anchored there and the only steamer in the fleet was the flagship. What a difference from to-day (1916) when hundreds of yachts assemble on these occasions and the majority of them are steamers or power boats!

        At Newport there were the usual yacht races, and General Winfield S. Hancock, U.S.A., consented to accept Mr. Macallister's invitation to go out on the Scud to witness the finish of the principal contest of the big yachts to Block Island and back, but only on the condition that the Scud was to carry the least possible amount of sail. For a little while I thought the general was timorous on the water, but when we saw the Dauntless, Phantom, Vesta, Fleetwind, and the other big schooners of that day coming back, and gaining on us, as we steered for port, the general became very enthusiastic and insisted that we should set every stitch of canvas there was on the boat rather than be passed.


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CHAPTER XXXI

Receive a commission as captain in the Egyptian Army--Hurried trip to Egypt with nineteen other ex-Union and Confederate officers--Alexandria--Call an Oriental bluff--Cause small panic in hotel by opening windows during the "kempsine "--In uniform--Presented to the Khedive--American officers in Khedive's army--Letters of President Davis and General R. E. Lee.

        IN 1869, General W. T. Sherman, U.S.A., visited Egypt, and the then Khedive, Ismail Pasha, gave him a most cordial reception, making him many handsome presents, among them diamonds of such value for his daughter that it puzzled the poor general for some years to raise the necessary amount which a grateful government demanded for the custom-house dues charged upon them. The Khedive took General Sherman into his confidence and told him of some of his troubles. He complained of the necessity his French officers were under to consult the Imperial Government at Paris before they could obey his orders. He asked General Sherman if it would be possible for him to get American officers who had so recently (at that time) been engaged in actual war. The result of the conference was that it was decided to ship the French officers home and send for twenty Americans, ten from the Northern army, and ten Southerners. I was fortunate enough to be offered one of the commissions.

        It was the common rumor at that time that the Khedive intended to attempt to throw off the yoke of his nominal master, the Sultan of Turkey, to whom he had to pay a heavy tribute. Naturally we American officers were anxious to get to Egypt before the anticipated fray began, so we hurried on board of an Inman Line steamer, the City of Washington. For those days the liner was a very fine and large ship of nearly four thousand tons. She was full ship rigged and very fast. It took us only twelve days to make the passage to Liverpool, in which city we spent three hours


Illustration


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waiting for a train for London. In London we lingered for an hour before starting for Paris. In Paris we stayed four hours and then took a train for Brindisi, Italy. We crossed Mont Cenis on a railroad built with three lines of rails, the centre rail being cogged, and a cog wheel on our engine fitted into the cogs and thus pulled us up the steep inclines. (My great-uncle, Dr. John Morgan, has left an account in his journal of how he crossed the same mountain in 1763 on muleback for part of the way and was carried in a sedan chair the rest.) We stopped in Brindisi for only five hours while waiting for the Austrian mail steamer from Trieste bound for Alexandria, Egypt, where we arrived seventeen days from the time we left New York.

        In Alexandria we were surprised to find no preparations for war. Nobody was talking about war, or thinking about it either, and I must confess our advent did not arouse any enthusiasm that I could detect. The first good advice given us was to discard instantly our hats and replace them with the tarboosh, or red fez, before we sat down at a meal, as it was as much an offense to uncover the head in the presence of a Moslem as it would be to sit at table with one's hat on in a company of Christians.

        No one had received us at Alexandria, and we were at a loss to know whom we were expected to report to, or where we were to go. The day after our arrival, however, we received a summons to appear before one of the many "All Beys" who throng the land of the true believer, and of course we at once jumped to the conclusion that he must be a very high official of the greatest importance. We were conducted to his house and shown into a tiny garden where we were left standing while the great man put us through the favorite stunt of "heel-cooling," in which species of mild torture the Mexican himself cannot surpass the Oriental--in fact the Mexican learned it from the Spaniard, who was taught by the Moor, who in turn acquired it from the Arab. We were kept standing there until one of the


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party became so weary, that, supposing none of the servants could understand English, he exclaimed that he "would be something or othered if he would stand for another minute"; almost instantly the supposed great man appeared among us as though by magic. He was haughty and seemed displeased. Having sufficiently impressed us with his superiority, he magnanimously ordered chairs, coffee, and chibouks, and waved his hand in a manner we understood to mean that we were to be seated. He opened the pour-parler by telling us that we might as well understand in the beginning that there were too many of us, and that those whom he decided to retain would have to agree to a reduction of one or two grades, as the grades we had "assumed" were preposterous. The conversation was carried on in French, and pointing to me he demanded to know how old I was. On being told that I was twenty-four, and on being informed that I aspired to hold a commission as captain of heavy artillery, he could contain himself no longer and gave way to laughter. He asked what pay I expected to receive and was shocked to hear that my contract called for the same pay and emoluments as those received by the same grade in the United States Army, and when told what they were he almost burst with indignation, saying that no colonel in the Egyptian Army received such an enormous sum for his services. I also was beginning to feel "peeved," and drawing myself up said in English to my companions that I was going to take the first train to Cairo for the purpose of finding out who was responsible for the practical joke which had brought me seven thousand miles from home to be insulted, and when I found the man, I was either going to get satisfaction, or that I was going to horsewhip him publicly! I know that this sort of talk would be considered awfully bad form in these days (1916), but I lived in another century--autres jours, autres moeurs.

        One is never safe in supposing that an Oriental does not understand a foreign language. It is a common trick of


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theirs to pretend not to be able to speak any but their own lingo. The bey changed his attitude instantly, and told General Stone that he hoped the general understood that what he, the bey, had said was merely tentative, and an expression only of his own opinion, and that he hoped the matter would go no further, etc. He then informed us that he would send a man to show us to the railway station where we would be provided with transportation to Cairo.

        When we left the garden I feared that General Stone was going to give me a reprimand, but instead, as the gates closed behind us, he burst out laughing and said, "Morgan, that was about as pretty a call-down of a bluff as it ever was my good fortune to witness." We afterwards discovered that "Ali Bey" was a subordinate official of the railway department, and had simply been "ordered to furnish us with transportation, and to show us every attention"; and that he spoke English as well as any of us, and had I not called the bluff he would have tormented us for an hour longer.

        It was about nine o'clock at night when we reached Cairo and we at once went to the Hotel Oriental located on the Ezbekiah, the great public square. We were all tired and asked to be shown our rooms at once.

        The Egyptians keep their houses closed in the daytime to keep out the heat in the same manner that people of Northern climes keep out the cold, but in the evening the doors and windows are opened until daylight when the cool air of the night is confined in the house. This is the rule except when the "kempsine," called so because it blows for fifty days, is in season. This wind is a species of sirocco which comes from the desert laden with fine particles of hot sand which gets into the eyes, nostrils, and throat, causing great discomfort. The kempsine was blowing when we arrived, but we knew nothing of it. In the middle of the night I awoke with a parched throat and would have given anything for a little ice water, but ice was a rare luxury at that


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time in Egypt, and not furnished by the hotels: their water was cooled by evaporation in clay "monkeys." I felt that I must at least have a breath of fresh air, so I got up and went into the hall where I discovered to my great amazement that the windows were all not only closed, but also had weather strips more completely to keep out the air. A brilliant idea struck me that this condition accounted for the suffocating atmosphere in the building and I proceeded to open every window I could find,--and then, proud of my work, returned to my room. In about fifteen minutes there was an uproar in the house. Men were excitedly calling down maledictions on the head of the person who had opened the windows. I understood plainly the feelings of the man who exclaimed, "God damn!"--also the fellow who hissed, "Sacré nom d'un petit bonhomme"; "Sabre de bois"; "Pistolet de paille"; "Bâton parasol"--which, to a man who understood the languages, meant the same thing. But it is always the unknown that is most dreaded, and it was enough to make one's blood curdle to hear the guttural anathemas of the Arabs, Albanians, Armenians, Greeks, Syrians, Turks, Russians, Italians, and representatives of a few other nationalities who patronized that hostelry. Their oaths, I imagine, were something terrible. I never confessed to being the culprit--it was useless, as I had already heard the opinions of the British and French, and I could not speak the other languages, so it would have been unfair to confide my secret to only two nationalities.

        The next morning, early, a tailor arrived with orders to take our measures for uniforms as the "Effendina" ("lord of lords") wished us to be in uniform when presented, and he did not wish to be kept waiting--and he was not. It was not conducive to long life for a subject to keep Ismail Pasha waiting.

        The undress uniform was single-breasted and had nine black buttons down the front, an exact reproduction of the coat of a Presbyterian parson. The full dress was as gorgeous


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as the undress was simple. A blue coat with gold epaulettes, gold chevrons on the arms, indicating the rank, gold aiguillettes, and gold sword belt. The trousers were of the reddest red imaginable, with a gold stripe running down the legs at least two inches wide. The saddle-cloths were embroidered with gold flowers. Of course on our heads we wore the red tarboosh with its long black tassel. When I rode down the street I looked so much like a streak of lightning that one would have been justified in listening for thunder after I had passed by, and that, too, in a country where it never, or hardly ever, rained in those days.

        The day for our presentation to His Highness arrived and in full regalia we appeared at the Abdeen Palace where we were drawn up in line, in front of the absolute despot. Ismail Pasha, the Khedive, was a very short man and very rotund; he had a swarthy countenance as well as a very severe expression; his eyes were piercing and not at all kindly, yet his manner was most courteous. He stood at one end of the grand reception room, surrounded by his Cabinet and courtiers. One at a time, according to rank, we were escorted by two officials to within a few feet of His Highness, where the officials as well as ourselves stopped and made the salaam, in which we had been drilled for some days. It consisted in bending the right knee and making a gesture as though we were picking up dirt with the right hand and touching our hearts, lips, and foreheads with it. This salaam had been modified for the officers so that it made a very graceful military salute. The Khedive returned each salute with a similar but very much abbreviated one. He spoke but a few kindly words to each one of us, and told us that at some future time he would make occasion to talk with us more fully. The Khedive, followed by the assembled company, then led the way into another splendid apartment where iced sherbet, coffee, and cigarettes were served, and after the function was over we entered our carriages and returned to the hotel. For several days we roamed about the


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ancient city seeing the sights, being warned to keep away from the mosques until we became better acquainted with the people or were accompanied by a native who could tell them that we were under the special protection of the Effendina. Cairo had not yet become the stamping-ground of tourists. Foreigners were curiosities, and the true believer's hatred for the accursed Giaour, or "Christian dog," was something that he was very proud of. A fanatic was liable to make trouble at any moment. Talking about Cairo reminds me that in those days I never met an Arab, outside of the educated class, who had ever heard of such a city; they call it "Ef Masr."

        The American officers in the Egyptian Army while I was there were Major-General Thaddeus P. Mott; Brigadier-Generals Charles P. Stone, W. W. Loring, and Sibley; Colonels Reynolds, Rhett, Jenifer, Frank Reynolds, Purdy, Vanderbilt Allen, Kennon, Ward, and Dunlap; Lieutenant-Colonel Long; Majors Campbell, Mason, and Hunt; Captain Paris, and one or two others. After I had been some time in the Egyptian Army, Mr. Trenholm forwarded me the following letters, the originals of which are now in the Confederate Museum in Richmond:--

MEMPHIS, TENN., 27th April, 1870.

J. M. MORGAN.
MY DEAR SIR: --

        Since fortune decrees that you should seek in foreign service a field for the exercise of your military talents, I am glad to know that you have chosen the service of the Viceroy of Egypt. The enlightened policy which has guided his administration, as it did that of his illustrious father, renders his the most attractive service which a foreigner could find. Your naval education and experience in actual war will, I hope, secure you an early opportunity to make manifest the capacity of which your youth gave promise, and to secure for you a name worthy of those from whom you are descended.

        With best wishes for your welfare and happiness,

        

I am very truly yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.


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SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, 18th April, 1870.

        Mr. J. M. Morgan was an officer in the Confederate service during the late war and served both on land and sea. So far as my knowledge extends, he performed the duty assigned him satisfactorily and deported himself in every respect as a gentleman.

        

R. E. LEE.


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CHAPTER XXXII

The Egyptian Army--Eunuchs important beings--Polyglots--Anecdote (from court gossip) about the two Schnieders--Adventuresses--The permanent secretary--The bounding horse Napoleon--Didn't cut His Highness--Napoleon gets me in and out of trouble about being too fresh with a Princess, a flower, and a dainty lace handkerchief--The Khedive orders a wedding to amuse the Empress Eugénie--Divorce--Harems (pronounced hareems).

        THE Egyptian Army consisted of some sixty thousand men. The forts were in a dilapidated condition and mostly manned only by caretakers, so I was glad to find that my first duty was to be on the personal staff of the Khedive. The staff was very large, and besides the military officers there were six equerries in most gorgeous uniforms. I had absolutely nothing to do and spent most of my leisure in listening to court gossip, sub rosa, of course. What astounded me most amid my new surroundings was to find that the eunuchs, whom I had always thought of as contemptible creatures, were in reality beings of great importance, and that some of them enjoyed the confidence of the ruler even in state affairs, and that they were all treated with the greatest deference by the highest officials. I was warned on no account to offend one of them, as they had it in their power to do harm to any one, no matter what his rank might be, to whom they took a dislike.

        In the evenings after the heat of the day, we Americans would sit at little tables on the sidewalk in front of the "circles," or clubs, of which there were several located on the Ezbekiah, and pass the time drinking cooling drinks and talking. We soon made many acquaintances and were astounded to find amongst them so many men who could converse in half a dozen or more languages; the Armenians and Russians especially had this gift, and many were the amusing stories and scandals these polyglots related to us about court life.


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        There were very few European or American ladies in Cairo at the time, and the Armenian, Syrian, and Greek women lived very much the same secluded life as did the native females, and like them never went abroad unless veiled. This they did for their own protection against insult, as no Moslem could understand a woman with her face uncovered could be respectable.

        The Khedive maintained at his own expense, a magnificent Italian opera house which he had built for the presentation of Verdi's "Aïda," which was composed for him. He also had an opéra-bouffe company, and a French comedy troupe, a hippodrome, and circus. For female society, with a few exceptions, we were dependent upon the ladies on the other side of the footlights. The Khedive was very fond of the company of the stars of the theatres, and, in whispers, a very amusing piece of gossip was told about one of his experiences with a Madame d'Albert, prima donna of the opéra-bouffe. Madame d'Albert was beautiful and sang like a bird, but like most beauties she was capricious, and when in one of those moods had not the slightest respect for either royalty or stage managers. On one occasion the Khedive and his courtiers were seated in the boxes when in the middle of the opera something displeased the "song bird" and she refused to sing any more, so the curtain had to be rung down. His Highness was furious and sent for the manager of his theatres, a French doctor, who had become Burguerre Bey, and swore by the beard of the Prophet that he would no longer submit to D'Albert's whims, and ordered Burguerre to telegraph the Rothschilds, who were his financial agents in Paris, to send on at once Mademoiselle Schnieder, the most famous opéra-bouffe prima donna in Paris. Now it happened that at that time the Khedive wanted a loan, and the Rothschilds were negotiating for it through Baron Schnieder, a very old man, a banker, and the president of the Imperial Senate. Burguerre Bey, never taking into account the possibility of there being two Schnieders,


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sent his telegram, which read, "Envoyez Schnieder coûte qui coûte"; and the Rothschilds, not being theatrical impresarios, took it for granted that the message related to the loan, and against his protests, hurried the old banker Schnieder off to Egypt. When he arrived at Alexandria a harem carriage, escorted by a couple of royal eunuchs, was waiting for him on the dock. He was hurriedly taken to the railway station where a special train with one of the royal coaches was waiting. He was whirled up to Cairo, placed in another carriage and driven to a palace in the suburbs, where he was received by more eunuchs and told that he was immediately to take a bath. The old gentleman objected, but they told him it was the Effendina's orders. After he was well boiled in the Turkish bath he was laid on a couch in the recuperating room, and while there, probably thinking of the comforts of home, who should appear, in dressing-gown and slippers, but the Khedive himself! Seeing the old human derelict, the lord of lords threw up his hands in amazement and exclaimed, "In the name of the Prophet, what are you doing here?" and old Schnieder replied, "God only knows!" Explanations followed. Old Baron Schnieder secured the loan on his own terms, and shortly afterwards the Khedive secured his song bird, and all ended happily.

        The Khedive was an admirer of European women, and also lavish with his money. If he dropped his handkerchief to one of them, and she picked it up, her fortune was made. This became known in Europe, and before I left there many were the beautiful adventuresses who came to Cairo seeking their fortunes.

        There was a little Italian by the name of Barro. He was merely an adventurer, and a penniless one at that. He went to Cairo and after looking over the situation disappeared for a time. When he returned he was accompanied by a wife, the most marvelously beautiful woman my eyes ever beheld. Shortly after his return Barro was appointed private


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secretary to the Khedive and was made a bey. He lodged in magnificent apartments and set up a carriage.

        In the British departments of the Government there is always an official who does not lose his job when there is a change of political parties in power--he is called the "permanent secretary." The Khedive had many flames, but Madame Barro seemed to occupy a position among them similar to that of the British permanent secretary.

        Concerning my own adventure, it is necessary to explain that from my boyhood I had been an expert trick rider and some of my feats caused even the Bedouins to take notice. They rode with such short stirrups that it would have been impossible for them to accomplish the same stunts.

        When the Empress Eugénie was the guest of the Khedive on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal, among many other beautiful gifts he presented her with a bay Arab stallion. Now this color is unusual, as most Arab horses are gray. The Empress was so encumbered with presents that she left many of them in Egypt, and among them the bay horse. From that time the horse was called "Napoleon." The Khedive next presented him to General Loring, who was an old cavalry officer and a fine horseman, but General Loring had left an arm on the battle-field at the storming of the Belen Gate when the City of Mexico was captured by the American troops. The horse was a plunger; he seemed to be on springs, and could bound into the air and keep up his bounds like a bouncing ball for a hundred yards or more without cessation, and at every leap take all four feet clear of the ground to a height of four or more feet. It is necessary to humor the mouth of a plunger, and General Loring could only shorten his reins by carrying them to his teeth, which Napoleon came near jerking out the only time the general ever mounted him. So Napoleon was passed on to me. I liked the bounding and could send him up into the air whenever I pleased by simply pressing him with my knees.


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        One afternoon I was riding Napoleon beneath the gigantic fig trees which line the sides of the beautiful Shubra drive when I noticed quite a commotion among the throng of people in carriages, on horseback, and on foot, who were taking their recreation after the heat of the day was over. The carriages and horsemen, as well as those on foot, stopped and stood facing the road. Then I heard the saïs yelling their familiar cries of "Owa! Owa! Riglek! Eminak! Shumalak!" etc., which in English would mean "Clear the way! Keep to the right! Keep to the left! Look out for your face! For here comes the lord of lords, your master!" etc. The fellahs, or peasants, fell on their knees and placed their foreheads on the ground. The better classes went through the motions of picking up dirt and touching their hearts, lips, and foreheads. I apparently took no notice of who was coming behind me and kept on my way unconcernedly. As the dozen or more saïs, staff in hand, and the great white sleeves of their costumes fluttering like wings behind them, passed me with the speed of frightened deer, they furiously called down maledictions on my head. Then, at the gallop, came a troop of cavalry of the Life Guards, whose commanding officer seemed to fear that I intended to cut His Highness and cautioned me as he went by. Next came the royal equipage with four horses guided by postilions, and on either side of the carriage rode an equerry. Men told me afterwards that they had held their breath in awe for the instant, as they wondered what would happen to the man who apparently intended to cut the Effendina in public.

        But I did not keep my audience long in suspense. As the leaders of the royal landau passed me I sent Napoleon into the air and coming down landed him front face, still as a statue, at the same time making my military salute. The Khedive half turned in his seat and leaning over the side of his carriage clapped his hands in applause, and shortly afterwards sent an equerry back to tell me to come


Illustration


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along-side his carriage, where he complimented me on my horsemanship.

        One of the Khedive's sons, little Prince Ibrahim, a boy of about twelve years of age, took great delight in seeing Napoleon leap, and when driving with his governor, an old English general, as a treat would be allowed to send for me to come alongside his carriage where he could better see the "bouncing" horse, as he called my charger.

        On one occasion the bounding horse came near getting me into very serious trouble. I was riding on the famous Shubra promenade when a gorgeous carriage, in which were seated two ladies with very thin white veils covering their faces, approached. I was new to the country and did not recognize the signs of a royal equipage or know that custom required that I should turn my back, or at least look in some other direction; so, ignoring the etiquette of the court, I not only looked at the houris, but also pressed Napoleon with my knees and sent him up into the air. The ladies not only smiled, but also looked out of the window at the back of the carriage and one of them threw out a flower. My horse was at the gallop and throwing myself out of my saddle I picked it up without breaking his stride or parting company with him. The lady evidently liked the circus performance, for she kept on throwing flowers. Her carriage was accompanied by two splendidly mounted eunuchs and two more of these creatures were seated on the box. The mounted guard was well ahead, so they did not for a time see what was going on, but when we arrived at the railway crossing there was a jam and I put my horse right alongside the carriage. The lady reached out and placed in my hand a bouquet with a dainty handkerchief wrapped around the stem. Then the trouble commenced. The eunuchs began to snarl and yell. The two horsemen dismounted and tried to get at me through the crowd. One was waving a scimitar and the other a courbash (a whip made out of rhinoceros hide) with which they could bring blood at every blow. I


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stood the fellow in front of me off by making Napoleon rear up, but the creature with the scimitar was fast approaching through the tangled mass of vehicles from behind. Seeing an opening I sent my horse through it and at the railway bars which were down. We skimmed over the first one, but as we bounded across the railway I heard the express coming and, urging the game animal on, we leaped the second bar; and as we went over I wondered if Napoleon had saved his tail. Going on at full speed I turned into a very narrow street with the object of losing my pursuers, but there was an obstacle in the way, an old white-bearded Arab seated on a diminutive donkey, standing right across my path; but it was no time for hesitation, so I sent my horse at the jump, lifting him on the bit and striking the spurs deeply into his sides at the same time. The agile creature rose into the air like a bird, and as I passed over the Arab's head I heard him give a groan and exclaim, "Inch Allah!" ("It pleases God.")

        Arriving at my quarters, which I shared with Count Sala, one of the Khedive's equerries and a rich Armenian gentleman, I showed them my trophy, and to my amazement they both advised me to go to the American Consulate while yet I had time. Mr. Ekezler offered me money to take me out of the city, which I indignantly declined, telling them that I had done no harm. They both hastily left the house, and in a few minutes Nubar Pasha, the Prime Minister, called on me and told me that "he had heard of my escapade and so had His Highness and he wanted that handkerchief." The flimsy piece of lace was lying on the table and I picked it up knowing by that time that he wanted it for evidence. I lit a match and set it on fire, almost instantly destroying every vestige of it. The Minister was in a rage and told me that I would hear more of the matter, and then left. That night when I went to my restaurant no one, Christian or Mussulman, would recognize me or hold any intercourse with me whatever,


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and afterwards, when I visited the clubs, they became emptied as though by magic.

        The trouble was caused by the fact that the handkerchief had embroidered on it a crown and the initials "P F" and was the property of one of the princesses. This lady was not unknown to fame on account of some of her escapades. She had the reputation of being somewhat of a "Marguerite of Burgundy," in that her lovers suddenly disappeared and were never heard of again. I heard that the Khedive was furious when he heard the story, but there was a Countess de Lex, wife of the Russian Consul-General, who had great influence at court, and she undertook to plead my cause and persuaded the Khedive that I was a mere foolish boy and had meant no harm, and so the adventure ended. I had never seen the Princess before, and certainly never saw her afterwards.1

        The Khedive Ismail carried things with a high hand, as he, by the laws of the land, was entitled to do. When the French Empress visited Egypt, she was of course shown one of the harems, and womanlike of course expressed a desire to see an Egyptian wedding. A little thing like that was easy to arrange by a man who by simply clapping his hands could remove from this mundane sphere any one of his eight or ten millions of subjects. When the desire was expressed by the Empress to see a wedding, the handsomest of His Highness's native equerries happened to be standing near. He was a perfect picture in his superb uniform. The Khedive turned to him and told him to go and prepare himself to be married on the following day. Ibrahim replied with the usual "To hear is to obey."

        Now this preparation to be married must have been quite an ordeal, as besides the baths there were a certain number of visits to be paid to mosques and many prayers to be said. The Khedive politely asked the Empress to
1 For an account of this adventure see "My Life on Four Continents," by Col. Charles Chaillé-Long, formerly of the Egyptian Army.--J. M. M.


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choose the bride, and it was said that she showed great taste in selecting a beautiful Circassian girl. This poor child must have suffered dreadfully while they arrayed her in her wedding garments and then covered her from head to foot in a gaudy, heavy, gold-embroidered wrap. Not even her eyes nor the tips of her little feet could be seen, and in this guise with the drums and shrill reed instruments, which screeched in awful discord, and the "fantasia" (men pretending to fight with spears and swords) preceding her, from early morning to sundown she had to promenade the streets under the scorching sun with no relief from any source except the fans waved by the hands of two shapeless bundles of clothes, said to have contained girl friends of the bride inside them. This weary function lasted until the sun went down, and the ceremony was completed by her arrival at the house of the groom into which she was followed by her female relatives or friends. Even then she had another ordeal to go through--the lifting of her veil, which is done by the groom; and once he has seen her face, she is married. But the bridegroom does not get his wife yet, as she is then taken back to her former home where she stays for a week before she returns to live for good and all with her lord and master.

        Divorce is easy. All that a husband has to say to his wife is, "Thou art divorced," when he gets into a tantrum, and the wife of his bosom has to return to her parents. However, he can take her back again, if he wants to, unless he has said to her, "Thou art thrice divorced!"--in which case she must marry some one else and get a divorce from number two, before she can remarry her former master. This is easily managed by the rich, who free a slave, have him marry the divorced woman, and then quietly have the slave bowstrung. All of which is very simple.

        The power of the Khedive went far beyond entertaining an empress by making two people, who had never seen each other before, get married. An official of the palace could


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go into the field of a fellah, and by simply saying, "In the name of the Effendina," make him stop work in his own field and go into that of His Highness, or into any one else's, for that matter, and labor without reward. His officials could in the same way commandeer any vehicle, horse, ox, ass. They could go to the riverside and compel any dahabeah (the Nile boat) to interrupt its voyage, discharge its cargo, and perform any service which the representative of his master ordered him to do; and this silently and without protest. This custom was of course much abused by officials without the knowledge of the Khedive. The rights of foreign governments, however, were very scrupulously respected, and any Egyptian subject who could get any sort of employment by a consulate was deemed fortunate, as neither he nor his property was interfered with; and these protections were eagerly sought after by the rices, or owners of dahabeahs. It was said that the price of American flags fell suddenly, and they fluttered from the mastheads of an extraordinary number of boats, enabling their owners to laugh at the command to heave to.

        One word more about that much misunderstood (by Christians) word "harem." It does not mean, as is generally supposed, a collection of odalisques, but it is the equivalent of our word "family," and includes not only the wives and children, but the mothers and grandmothers, the aunts and cousins, and their female slaves. A wealthy man maintained a great number of women in his harem because it was a part of his state to do so, and the greater the number, the greater the consideration in which he was held. Ismail Pasha had many palaces containing harems into which he had never put his foot; they were his harems, but possibly were legacies from his predecessors. The Khedive's mother always made him a present of a beautiful Circassian or Georgian girl on his birthday, and it is very probable that he never took the trouble to see any of them. How could they, without a thought beyond making toilets


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and eating candy, interest a highly intelligent and educated man accustomed to the best society of Europe?

        Much sympathy has been wasted on the Oriental women by their Christian sisters. Under no circumstances would the Moslem ladies change places with them. A Mohammeden woman measures the affectionate esteem in which she is held by her lord and master by the number of eunuchs who accompany her when she goes abroad, and the closeness of the watch kept upon her while in the harem; and yet she has a certain amount of liberty. For instance, no husband can refuse a childless wife permission to go alone to Dhamanour to sit on the sacred stone which is believed to be a sure cure for barrenness, and no one who has ever attended the feast of Dhamanour, and witnessed the scenes there enacted, leaves with the slightest doubt about the efficacy of a visit to Dhamanour in such cases. And there also is the right to visit the public baths. No eunuch is permitted to accompany a woman further than the entrance, and the woman has the right to remain in the baths as long as it suits her pleasure. Closely veiled and with a voluminous silk gown covering her from the top of her head to her toes, there is nothing to prevent her from entering the door and immediately turning around and walking out again, passing right by her guardian without his knowledge; for where there are dozens of similar bags containing women, what mortal eyes could distinguish any particular female? And woe betide the eunuch that interferes with any lady not belonging to his master's harem. Such is the love of adventure among foreigners that many have been willing to risk the awful penalties of invading a Mussulman's home so as to be able to boast afterwards that they had been inside of a harem. By treaty with the great powers a Moslem has the right to put to death any man caught in the act of so doing.

        The eunuch is as a rule faithful and devoted to his master, and the master indulges the creature in every way.


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Many of these things are very wealthy, and strange to say, they buy beautiful slaves to wait upon them in their own private homes, and their conversation is almost entirely restricted to the subject of women and their perfections. Of course there are some disloyal scoundrels among the eunuchs, at least there were said to be. I remember one in particular who was nearly seven feet in height and as slender as a flagstaff. I do not know that he was unfaithful, but at all events he made a very good income by making gullible young men believe that he was. His method was very simple; he would hang around Shepheard's Hotel and pick out some rich young tourist and tell him that a wonderfully beautiful inmate of his master's harem had seen him and fallen in love with him, and as she was his (the eunuch's) favorite, he had consented to assist her in her love affair, and that if the proposed victim would make an appointment with him, as his master was out of the city, he, the eunuch, would facilitate their meeting, etc. He would then accompany his dupe through dark and narrow streets to the rear of the garden wall surrounding his master's palace, unlock a small door and lead him into the grounds, and when he had got him some distance inside he would turn upon him and demand a large sum of money, threatening to give the alarm if it was not instantly forthcoming. Sefar Pasha, the brute's master, and an apostate Austrian who had amassed great wealth and also stood high in the esteem of both the Sultan and the Khedive, used to get great merriment out of the facetiousness of his confidential slave. He used to say that doubtless more Leanders boasted of having invaded the sacred precincts of his harem than that of any other pasha or bey, but he doubted if any of them ever boasted of the amount it cost them simply to pass the garden gate. Sefar undoubtedly was in the confidence of the rascal. When Arabi Bey raised his rebellion in Egypt the inmates of Sefar Pasha's harem, in common with many others, were turned out


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on to the streets of Cairo to prevent their starving inside of their gilded cages.

        The first wife of a Moslem is selected for him by his mother or nearest female relative; the second wife is chosen by the first; numbers one and two choose the third; and one, two, and three select the fourth; and it is said that they search the harems for the most beautiful girl that can be found. The reason for this is that Moslem women are not supposed to have souls, but a true believer can have as members of his houri harem in paradise as many of his earthly wives as he chooses, so the only chance of a hereafter for the women is to please their lords so well that said lords will ask for them when they get to paradise.


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CHAPTER XXXIII

Egyptian Army splendidly drilled in manual of arms and tactics--American officers dine with the Effendina--Sham battle--Napoleon disgraces me--Feast of the Dossé--Marriage of the Nile--Offend Arabi Bey and am sent to Rosetta--Sailing on the great canal--Rosetta--A deserted palace--See ghosts which turn out to be lepers--Accept hospitality of an Armenian--Commander of garrison not overjoyed to see me.

        WHEN we American officers entered the Egyptian Army it was composed of some sixty thousand well-drilled men. The French officers who had preceded us had done wonders with them in this respect, and in the manual of arms it would have put the West Point cadets on their mettle to have excelled any infantry regiment of the line. The Egyptian rapid formation of squares from fours to whole brigades was a marvel to us. Ever since Napoleon beat off the Mameluke cavalry under the shadow of the Pyramids their whole idea of military strategy centred on the formation of squares.

        We had not been very long in Egypt before some forty thousand men of all branches of the service were gathered around Cairo to take part in a grand sham battle. I was temporarily assigned to General Stone's staff for the occasion. General Stone was to command one army and Lieutenant-General Ratib Pasha, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army, was to command the other.

        The evening of the day before the battle, the Khedive gave a grand banquet to which the American officers were invited. On the right of His Highness sat Nubar Pasha, the Prime Minister, and on his left General Charles P. Stone, chief-of-staff. Opposite the Effendina sat General Loring, with me, away out of my rank, on his left. My being placed so far above many officers who should have had my seat of honor was because Loring could not speak French, the


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language of the court, and needed me to interpret for him, and also to assist him, as he had but one arm.

        "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." While the banquet was magnificent, there was one sinister formality which gave me the creeps. Alongside of the Khedive's dinner plate was another and larger plate which was never removed between the courses. When a dish was passed to His Highness he helped himself plentifully,--he was a good trencherman,--and then he cut his portion in two and placed half of it on the extra plate; and when we were through dinner the Khedive's private chemist took the plate and contents and carried them to his laboratory where he analyzed them in a search for poison. This performance, I was told, was gone through after every meal.

        During the dinner His Highness said a few pleasant words to each of the American officers--to me he said that he would look forward to seeing "that bounding horse" on the morrow, and asked if I thought so nervous an animal would stand fire. General Stone answered, laughingly, that with me on him, he would have to stand fire. I had intended to ride a more sedate charger, but after that remark, which I regarded as a challenge, I decided to ride Napoleon--and Napoleon disgraced me.

        At a critical time during the action General Stone sent me with an order to the pasha commanding his artillery to move certain batteries, which were massed on a small knoll, to another position, as Ratib Pasha was trying to pass some troops, under cover of another hill, to a position in their rear. The infantry were blazing away down the whole line and I passed like a whirlwind along the whole length of it, going so fast that "Naboleone" (as the natives called him) could not have stopped if he had wanted to; but alas, as I dashed among the heavy guns, which were making a fearful uproar, and came to a halt in front of the pasha, saluted, and was passing him the order, I felt myself sinking, and I continued to sink until my feet were on the ground, while the poor


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frightened brute shivered between my legs. The horse was actually so terrified by the artillery that his legs had given way under him and he was resting with his belly on the sand. I used the spurs, but they had no effect. The pasha smiled in an amused way and maliciously told me to return and report to the general that the order would be obeyed. I knew as well as he did that I could not move, but I gave him a surprise by telling him that it was necessary for me to remain until the change had been made. That was too much for even the stoicism of the Arab pasha and I could distinctly hear his loud laugh despite the booming of the guns. When the artillery stopped firing preparatory to limbering up, Napoleon sprang into the air with a wonderful bound and as he came down to earth again he started to run. I made no effort to stop him, being too thankful to escape from my ridiculous position.

        The day after the sham battle we attended the feast of the Dossé where we saw fanatics lie on their backs as close together as sardines in a box, and form a living pathway five hundred or more yards in length. The thousands of spectators formed living walls on each side of this human road, and then came some fifty priests in front, and as many behind, the high priest, mounted on a snow-white stallion, and they walked over the prostrate bodies. The horse alone showed any disinclination to step on the human beings. He had to be pushed from behind to make him put his foot on the first body, and they had much difficulty in making him do it. The Arabs pretend to believe that the prostrate fanatics are so holy that the hoofs of the horse do not hurt them, but I noticed that the instant the animal passed over a body the man was lifted up and carried away--not one was allowed to get up by himself, so no one could prove that any ribs were broken. As soon as the horse and rider reached the end of the living pathway, the immense throng of people made a rush for them and began to pull out the hairs of the animal's beautiful flowing mane and tail for sacred relics.


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When they, or as many of them as could get near enough to pluck a hair, were satisfied, the horse's tail was as bare as that of a rat. He belonged to the Prophet's breed, as could be easily distinguished by the three red marks across the nose. These marks are inherited from Mohammed's mare, and were caused by the Prophet having, after some great victory over the accursed unbeliever, wiped the blood from his dripping scimitar with his fingers and then wiped the gory fingers on the nose of his mare. No one save the Sultan, the Khedive, the Sheik Ul Islam, and one or two other high church dignitaries are allowed to mount horses of this breed.

        This feast of the Dossé, I am glad to say, is no longer tolerated by Egypt's present rulers. Nor is the one of the "marriage of the Nile," when the banks of the river were cut and the water allowed to escape into the grand canal; then they took a young virgin, arrayed in a bridal costume, in a boat to the middle of the river, and as the waters broke through the bank dumped her, bound hand and foot, overboard.

        I must say that at this time I very much enjoyed Cairo with its many state functions, but I suppose that General Stone thought that a little work would be beneficial for my health, for he sent me to the staff of General Loring, inspector-general of infantry, and it did not take me very long to get myself into trouble with a very influential personage--one Arabi Bey, who afterwards headed the great rebellion. General Loring and I inspected his regiment which was stationed at the Abbassia, in the suburbs of Cairo. It was very early in the morning when the regiment was drawn up in line, and I became very suspicious about the number of men who were suddenly seized with a desire to pray. (A Mussulman has to pray whenever the notion strikes him, and under no circumstances must any one interfere with him when at his devotions.) A private would suddenly hand his gun to a man alongside of him, face in the direction


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he supposed Mecca to be, raise his arms, start his prayer, and we had to pass him by without inspection of either his uniform, accoutrements, or gun. It was a good ruse, but a cursory glance convinced me that a gun, badly out of order, was the cause of the devout feeling which had come over him, and in my notebook I recorded all of these weapons as unfit for service. General Loring incorporated these notes in his report, with the result that the Minister of War admonished Arabi, and Arabi defended himself by saying that the bad report was only caused by my religious prejudices, as could be easily proved by the fact that I had reported only the guns of men engaged in prayer as being out of order. The Minister sent for General Loring and myself and quite plainly intimated that if I expected to remain in Egypt it would be advisable for me to drop some of my Christian prejudices. I felt outraged, but at the same time flattered, as it was the first time I had ever been accused of harboring an excess of Christian zeal. General Loring was also angry, and he ordered me to re-inspect Arabi's regiment the next morning--and to bring some of the guns back with me, as samples.

        I arrived at the garrison about dawn and found Arabi seated on his prayer carpet, in front of his quarters, busily engaged in his devotions. I presented the order, and at first he refused to obey it, but on reflection he ordered out his command. The inspection was soon over, as I seized only half a dozen guns belonging to men engaged in prayer, knowing them to be the ones I wanted. I made my saïs carry the guns, and returned to the general's quarters. I was ordered to take them to the citadel and show them to the Minister, who seemed to be as angry as Arabi was, despite the fact that the guns were disgracefully out of order. A few days afterwards I received an order to go to Rosetta to inspect some old cannon there which doubtless had not been used or cleaned since the day when Nelson's guns had roared at Aboukir.


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        My orders were explicit. I was to embark on a dahabeah and go through the Mamoudeah Canal to the Rosetta Branch of the Nile and down that stream to Rosetta. I was to take my horse with me, and an Arab officer who spoke French was to accompany me as interpreter. The order also informed me that all necessary arrangements had been made for my comfort on the voyage and after I arrived at my destination. However, knowing something about Egyptian ways by this time, I took the precaution of having a large basket of provisions prepared for me at my restaurant--and well it was for me that I did so. For I not only did not find any food on the dahabeah, but I also found that the young Arab officer expected me to furnish him with rations.

        We sailed smoothly over the placid waters of the canal while I amused myself watching the novel scenery, the fellaheen, male and female, old men and women, and little children working in the fields with their short-handled hoes, leading water from the smaller canals on the higher levels to the plants they wished to irrigate. The dignified ibis strutted fearlessly among them, or perched on the backs of buffaloes, seeking vermin, and their snow-white feathers made a pretty contrast to the black hides of the animals. Along the banks of the canal men were lifting water to the higher levels with the same machinery used by their forefathers in the time of Moses, namely, in baskets.

        As we glided along I was for a time much mystified by seeing boys of eight or ten years of age apparently standing in the water up to their waists as the boat, which I knew drew five or six feet of water, passed so close that I could almost have touched them. I soon discovered that they were herders and were seated on the backs of water oxen which were feeding on the grasses which grew at the bottom of the canal. Each boy was armed with a sharp-pointed stick with which he prodded the beast when he wanted him to go ashore to resume work.

        I also made another discovery, and that was that Mahmoud,


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my interpreter, did not know as much French as I did Arabic, and this was not reassuring.

        At the end of my second day's journey I arrived at Rosetta at about nine o'clock at night. The moon was at its full, and the moon seen through the dry atmosphere of Egypt seems larger than it does in other lands. I had been told that every arrangement would be made for my comfort and I was glad to see two soldiers with a wheelbarrow come down to the landing-place. Mahmoud surlily tried to make me understand something, but without success, and as the boat touched the landing he leaped ashore and I saw him no more that night. The soldiers put my trunk on their barrow and making signs for me to follow they led the way into the city with me trailing behind, leading Napoleon, whose iron-shod hoofs resounded on the cobblestones. The buildings lining the street were of stone and magnificent in their proportions, but there was not a human being to be seen, nor a sound to be heard, save that made by my horse's feet and the squeaking of the rusty wheel of the barrow. After walking for many blocks we entered what once must have been a grand palace with great stone columns in the court and most imposing stairs leading to the apartments above. Napoleon was made fast to a column, and I followed the men who carried my trunk upstairs, where they deposited my property in the centre of a room that must have been at least sixty feet long by about forty in width, and then they left me, I thinking, of course, that they were going away for the purpose of getting me some food and bedding for the horse as well as myself--but I saw them no more.

        I sat on my trunk for a long time watching the moonbeams that penetrated through the great windows, which were devoid of sashes as well as of curtains, until the loneliness became so oppressive that it became unbearable. A loud snort from Napoleon decided me to seek his companionship. I found the horse in a very nervous state, but my presence seemed to quiet him. I talked to him and soothed him, and


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when he seemed contented with his lot I went out on to the street to look at the moon and take a little stroll. The only living thing I met was a pariah dog that snarled and disappeared through the entrance of a handsome house. While perfectly harmless to natives I knew that these wild dogs, especially when in packs, had a great aversion for Christians, and where one was met it was certain that there were many more near by, so I determined to return to my palace where I again found Napoleon in a great state of excitement, making a clatter by pawing on the stone floor and snorting. It was some time before I could quiet him, and then I sat down resting my back against the column to which he was made fast. Wearied I dropped off to sleep, but was soon startled out of it by a loud snort. After soothing the animal I dozed off again, and this performance was kept up all night. At times when awake I thought I could see shapes flitting about among the shadows, but I soon came to the conclusion that what I saw was the result of my own imagination. At last the horse quieted down seemingly resigned to the situation, and I fell into a sound sleep and awoke only when the sun streamed into the portal. When I opened my eyes I was astonished to see a dozen or more wretched human beings standing within a few feet of me, and as soon as they discovered I was awake they commenced to clamor for backsheesh (alms), so my spectres of the lonely night had not after all been Cleopatras and Pharaohs, or the creation of my overwrought imagination. One of the horrible creatures became emboldened and came quite close to me extending his fearfully distorted hands. One glance and I knew that my guests were lepers. Horrified, I hastily saddled my horse and vaulted into the saddle, throwing some small coins on the stone floor as I dashed out into the street.

        At the full gallop I went, whither I knew not. Following the street to where its end touched the desert, I found a small bazaar around which some two hundred and fifty inhabitants


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lived in an almost deserted city which at one time had sheltered several hundreds of thousands, and which now eked out a scanty existence by supplying the niggardly wants of a small garrison of Egyptian soldiers. Rosetta had once been a great commercial city, but the silt of the Nile had deposited itself to such a depth at the mouth of the Rosetta Branch that vessels drawing more then three or four feet of water could not enter the port--and thus was ruined the commerce of the once flourishing city. Here it was that the famous "Rosetta Stone," the key to the hieroglyphics, was found.

        At the little bazaar I procured a cup of coffee, and when I had finished it, an Armenian, who kept one of the booths, in perfect English offered for five shillings to interpret for me. I told him that I wanted food and shelter for my horse and myself, and he offered to accommodate me if I would accompany him to his house--which of course I did. I never saw what the inside of his house looked like, as he never invited me to enter it. The Oriental Christian keeps his women-folks secluded almost to the same extent as do the Mussulmans. So my host lodged me in a small two-room, one-story, stone outbuilding where I occupied one room and my horse the other. Inducing the Armenian to accompany me, I went to the barracks and showed my orders to the bey, who seemed none too well pleased to see me. A young lieutenant was then called and instructed to show me the cannon that were to be inspected. My work was soon finished, and my report was very brief, but my instructions compelled me to remain in Rosetta until I received orders to return to Cairo, and I was suffering from a very bad case of nostalgia for Cairo.


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CHAPTER XXXIV

Khedive always just to the American officers, but it was difficult to obtain an audience with him--Go to Alexandria with General Loring and occupy a royal palace--Difficult to get paid--Row with customs officials--An Egyptian military banquet--I have not rank enough to entitle me to a seat at the table--Cabal formed against General Stone--I am sent to the staff of Ratib Pasha, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army.

        MY experience while in the Egyptian Army convinced me that so far as the American officers were concerned, they could always get just treatment if they could only get their cases before the Khedive; but there was the rub. How was one to get an interview? This was generally a matter of long negotiation, as His Highness was surrounded by as unprincipled a set of scoundrels as ever accursed the throne of a prince. To get through this cordon was almost an impossibility. Only one American officer could get an interview whenever he wished it, and that one was General Stone. Had he occupied himself with the troubles of the others, he would have had but little time to devote to his duties as chief-of-staff.

        General Loring was ordered to the command of the Department of Alexandria, and I went with him as aide-de-camp. An old, small, and dilapidated royal palace was assigned the general for his headquarters. They were very commodious and very uncomfortable. The faded brocades and silks of the curtains and divans were in rags, and moth-eaten rugs were scattered over the floors which did not look as if they had been swept since the days when some of the Pharaoh princes dwelt there. I spent one night under its roof and then fled to the Hôtel d'Angleterre. The myriads of fleas and things, such as an occasional scorpion dropping on to a bed, were too much for me.

        It did not take us very long to discover that we were not welcome to the native officers and that we had been placed


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in the positions of opéra-bouffe soldiers. For instance, the first thing General Loring did was to make a requisition for a headquarters guard of ten men. The answer from his second (?) in command was that so many men could not be spared for such a purpose. The general then demanded a roster, which was promptly returned reporting twelve thousand men fit for duty! The matter was referred to the Minister of War, who of course sustained the native pasha.

        Our pay had fallen in arrears several months and there seemed no help for it. As I have said before, there was no pay department. One month we would get an order for it on the Khedive's privy purse, and the next on a custom house--any place where there was supposed to be a little money, it did not matter where, and when we presented the order we were met with a bland "Boukrah" ("Come tomorrow"), and that was supposed to satisfy both us and our creditors. Now I had learned that the Khedive knew nothing of this state of affairs, and that he would be very angry if it should ever come to his ears--so I decided that I would either get my money, or it would get there. My patience was exhausted, and I determined to get either my pay or a row that would have to attract the attention of His Highness, so I buckled on my sword and pistol and went down to the custom house, on which I had orders for several months' pay, and was received as usual with great politeness and firmness and told as usual to "come to-morrow." With equal suavity I replied that I had come for my money and that I meant to have it--that I had any amount of leisure, and they could take their time about it.

        The custom house was situated on the harbor and the only entrance into the city was through a sallyport in which I took up a position amongst a lot of dry-goods boxes. By the rules of the port the custom house closed at four o'clock. At half-past three, I was told that I must leave the building, as none but employees were permitted to remain after that hour. I replied that I not only would not leave unless I


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received my money first, but that until I was paid no one else would leave unless they passed over my dead body, and I produced my regulation Colt from its holster. At this the official seemed to lose his half-contemptuous, half-commiserating smile, and he retired to confer with his chief; then his chief, the bey came out in high dudgeon and told me that the Effendina would be very angry if he ever heard of my actions, and that I would be dismissed. In reply I asked him if he thought it would be a very dreadful thing to be put out of the service of a government which could not raise sufficient money to pay my wretched pittance. He promised to pay me if I would come back "tomorrow," and I laughed in his face. He then retired to his sanctum and sent word to me that if I would come in there I would receive my money; but on surveying the advantages of my position, I declined the invitation, simply stating that the money must be counted out on the dry-goods box, and that then I would gladly leave--and the money was counted out to me!

        That night I received a visit from the bey and he fairly fawned on me as he cringingly begged me not to mention what had passed, as there was no telling what might happen to him if it came to the ears of his master--and he was right; for the Khedive never dreamed that we were kept out of our pay month after month as had been the custom.

        The native pasha who was second in command nominally, but in reality first, invited General Loring to a banquet, and I was ordered to accompany my chief. We entered a carriage and drove across the sands for some three miles before we arrived at the garrison where the pasha's headquarters were situated. First the guard was inspected and afterwards we were ushered into the banquet hall. Of course General Loring had the seat of honor on the right of the pasha and at his place were placed a plate, knife, fork, and spoon, in the European style--the natives of course eating out of the large dishes or pans with their fingers. My


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chair was conspicuous by its absence. It was very humiliating for me to have to do the interpreting in so personal a matter, but there was no help for it. General Loring told me to say to the pasha that it was absolutely necessary for him to have me beside him, as I was his only means of communication, and besides he had only one arm and frequently needed assistance. The pasha replied that I could stand behind the general's chair. I was never so near becoming a madman as I was while translating this suggestion, and when I had finished I told the general that I would retire. He begged me not to desert him, and explained that no offense was meant--only they did not know any better. Finally a chair was brought for me and placed by the general.

        I was indignant with General Loring for the excuse he made for wanting me beside him. I was neither an interpreter nor a valet--and before I got through I intended to make him understand it too. I was a gentleman at home, and I intended to be treated as one in Egypt. It appeared strange to me that I, who had been a guest at the Khedive's table on several occasions, should not be considered of sufficient rank to sit at a meal in the company of these cheap off-colored beys. I had had enough of it, and I intended to sever my connection with His Highness's service the moment I could get hold of pen, ink, and paper.

        The next morning I took the train for Cairo, and on arriving there went straight to the citadel; and as I gazed on the great square between the palace and the mosque,--the scene of another banquet, when Mehemet Ali invited the Mamelukes to partake of his hospitality and when they were inside closed the sallyport and cut loose the artillery into them,--I realized that I was not the only man that had got more than he bargained for at an Egyptian feast. The artillery could not have been worse than the mortification I had suffered.

        After a short wait I was shown into the presence of General Stone, who appeared very much shocked at my


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story and frankly told me that the affair was going to embarrass him greatly. I insisted that the simplest way out of the difficulty was to use his influence to have my resignation accepted immediately. But this he would not hear of, and instructed me to return to him in three days. The chief-of-staff was very suave--he was not only a most accomplished man in his profession, but he was a born manipulator of men. Mott, Loring, Sibley, Rhett, Kennon, and several others had formed a cabal against him, but he had handled the whole crowd as though they were so many naughty children; and before he got through with them they were tame enough to eat out of his hand and beg for his influence when they wanted any favors from the Khedive. It was not extraordinary, therefore, that he bent me to his will, tore up my resignation, ordered me not to say another word about the matter, as it would greatly annoy the Khedive if it got to his ears, and then informed me that it had been decided to send me to the staff of Ratib Pasha, lieutenant-general, and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army. This detail would give me the rank of a lieutenant-colonel and all danger of a repetition of such a contretemps as the one I had recently been subjected to would be at an end.


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CHAPTER XXXV

Ratib Pasha--Attempted suicide gained him promotion--Ratib is presented to a pretty soubrette--And calls on her accompanied by his staff--The commander-in-chief is peeved--The Abyssinian campaign--Ratib Pasha the only court favorite faithful to the Khedive Ismail in the hour of humiliation and sorrow--The Duke of Hamilton, General Mott, and the duel that did not come off.

        RATIB PASHA, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army, was not an imposing figure to look at; he was only five feet four or five inches in height and could hardly have weighed more than a hundred pounds; his features were not at all impressive, and they were of a dark brown tinge. He had risen to his high rank suddenly, and like most military heroes rejoiced in an ugly facial wound which did not add to his personal beauty. The story of his promotion was typical of the methods of the khedives of the time in such cases.

        Abbas Pasha was the ruler, and little Ratib was one of his equerries. Abbas used to turn him into ridicule and get lots of fun out of him; but one day Ratib had the misfortune to displease his master, who had a very ugly temper, and in a burst of rage Abbas turned upon him and hissed the awful word "Canzire!" The Arabic language is prolific in epithets, but not one of them conveys the degrading insult incorporated in this Arab word for "hog." One might pass over lightly being called the "brother of a sow," but the plain, unvarnished name of the unclean beast, when applied to a gentleman, demanded either satisfaction or death. Now Ratib could not challenge his lord and master, so he did the next most proper thing--he retired to an antechamber where there was a little parlor pistol lying on a table. This he picked up and fondled fondly for a moment, and then he lay down on a divan, placed the muzzle of the toy pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger! The little pellet of lead penetrated the roof of his mouth and came out alongside of


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his nose. Ratib's nose bled in sympathy, and he soon became a gory-looking spectacle. The surgeons arrived and quickly performed a most remarkable operation--they inserted a small silver tube in the hole, which served to decorate his features as well as to announce to the world that he was a hero.

        Like most men of quick and high temper, Abbas Pasha was overcome with regret, and to make amends promised Ratib the first thing that he thought the little fellow would like, which was the position of commander-in-chief, on condition that he would recover. Ratib recovered--not only recovered, but retained his position under the reign of Ismail Pasha, Khedive.

        When the quiet and politic American, General Stone, was made chief-of-staff of the army, he did not announce himself with a blare of trumpets; in fact he kept in the background, and few of the high officials were aware of the fact that a new power had arisen among them which had to be reckoned with. Stone worked silently and unobtrusively, but he had the tremendous leverage of the Khedive's power to help him; and soon, without depriving Ratib Pasha of a single chevron or gold tassel, that officer, hardly perceiving the momentum, gently glided into what Mr. Cleveland would have called a position of "innocuous desuetude."

        Such was the general to whose staff Colonel Charles Chaillé-Long and I were detailed; and when we reported for duty I cannot say that Ratib appeared overjoyed to see us, despite the fact that we had been told the orders were issued at his personal request. I think myself that Ratib imagined it would give him a little prestige among the natives to have a couple of the Americans, who were regarded as curiosities from an unknown land, riding in his train.

        Of course, with my usual luck I soon managed to fall into disfavor. My fall from grace came about in a most unexpected way. It was an off night at the opéra bouffe, and the incomparable Céline Monthalon was charming


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her audience with the wonders of her delightful voice at the Italian opera, the famous edifice which had been built by the Khedive for the production of Verdi's "Aïda." During an entr'acte I discovered that there was a large sprinkling of the artistes of the bouffe and comedy companies in the audience--among them, seated in a box, high up, I spied pretty and piquant little Mademoiselle Girardin, the charming soubrette of the opéra bouffe. She was accompanied by her mother, for she was awfully proper and never went to any place without a mother. (Duplan, the bouffe tenor, told me that she was so particular in this matter of mothers, that this was the third she had had in two years to his knowledge.) I went up to the box to pay my compliments and was enjoying myself greatly when there was a knock at the door and to my astonishment some one asked for me. I went to the door and came face to face with my chief Ratib Pasha! I could have been knocked down with a feather. But the interview was not so awful as might have been expected--all that the great man wanted was an introduction to Mademoiselle Girardin, which seemed a very simple matter, but which was not. I asked the young lady's permission to present to her His Excellency, Ratib Pasha, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army, and the little minx put me to confusion by flatly denying his identity, asserting that I was always trying to play practical jokes, and insisted that she did not believe Ratib was any kind of a general at all, much less the great commander-in-chief. Ratib took a seat beside her and began the agreeable task of convincing her that he was indeed the great and only human being of that exalted rank, and before he knew what she was up to, the little scamp in petticoats had extracted a promise from him that he would the next day prove to her that he was really and truly "It" by calling on her at her apartments, not only in full uniform, but also accompanied by his staff! By this time, realizing that my services were no


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longer required, I quietly sneaked out of the box only to be heartily laughed at by my young men friends for having been run off by "old Ratib."

        The next afternoon Colonel Chaillé-Long was absent from headquarters on some duty (fortunately for him), when His Excellency informed me that he wished his staff to accompany him on his ride, in full uniform. Instantly it flashed through my mind what was up, and I swore a mighty internal oath that I would not accompany him even if every soubrette in the trade died of disappointment. When the appointed hour arrived it found the staff, with the exception of myself, all ready. I was still attired in my Presbyterian parson single-breasted black undress uniform coat. The pasha appeared in full regalia, with his broad sash across his sunk-in chest and his coat so covered with embroidered gold flowers that only here and there was a blue spot of cloth visible. He glared at me for a moment and remarked that he was under the impression that he had told me he expected me to accompany him, and I replied that "I would be unable to ride that afternoon." He then ordered me to remain until he returned, as he would have something to say to me, and then he mounted his horse and, accompanied by his staff, rode away to conquer or die.

        Ratib's staff consisted of some twenty-odd Egyptian officers (exclusive of Colonel Chaillé-Long and myself), and they formed quite a gorgeous pageant as they wended their way out of the courtyard and into the street. It was the hour at which all the prominent people of Cairo went for their afternoon promenade on the fashionable Shubra drive, and to get into that beautiful avenue they all had to pass by the apartments of Mademoiselle Girardin.

        The commander-in-chief drew his staff up in front of the soubrette's house and dismounted, doubtless affording the pleasure-seekers much amusement; and I take it for granted that he convinced the young lady upon whom he


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called in such state that he really was a general. When he returned to his palace he asked me "if my conduct was a sample of the discipline I had come so many miles to teach his countrymen, and for which His Highness paid such an extravagant price." There was an offensive sneer on his face which I resented, informing him that I might be a mercenary, but that I would never put His Highness's uniform to such a doubtful use as presenting it before actresses as proof that I was one of his officers. Ratib was furious. For a moment I thought the little fellow was going to assault me, but he seemed suddenly to change his mind and hurled himself on to a divan instead, where he began to kick and scream with rage like an angry child, and there I left him. After this scene I got on very well with my chief, officially, as he had no desire to have the cause of the trouble made public property; and personally he was such a religious fanatic that he did not dislike me any more than he did any other Christian dog.

        Ratib had in his composition a goodly share of Oriental cunning and was familiar with all the subtle workings of Egyptian ways of bringing about results, which were incomprehensible to the American mind. For instance, the Khedive decided that his army needed a little exercise, and to give it to them he sent an expedition of twelve thousand men down the Red Sea coast to castigate the Abyssinians. He had never heard the Gilbert and Sullivan song about the "torpedo and the whale," and little dreamed that Egypt was cast for the part of the whale. Loring was immensely delighted when the command was given to him. Ratib Pasha lay low and said nothing until just before the expedition sailed; then he obtained permission to accompany it merely as an onlooker and a student of war with no authority over the troops whatever so far as Loring was aware of. The Oriental gentlemen who knew the ways of the country and also felt kindly disposed toward Loring shook their heads knowingly, but did not dare to warn him.


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The army landed, but had not gone very far from the coast when they received information that the Abyssinians were coming, some thirty thousand strong, to attack them. Now the Egyptian Army was splendidly drilled and disciplined, and they were armed with Remington breachloaders, at that time one of the best weapons in use in any of the armies; but alas, the troops did not know how to shoot and few of them had ever fired a gun. Powder was too expensive to be wasted in target practice, and what money De Lesseps did not get out of the Khedive for his canal was needed too much to swell the fortunes of the court favorites, those soulless parasites who kept the khedival treasury drained. If fearlessness of death constitutes bravery, then every Egyptian soldier is a hero, for they have not the slightest dread of their end. They come from the peasant class (fellahs) and are not aggressive, but rather than attack they preferred to stand still and be killed like sheep.

        Fortunately for Loring, when the Abyssinians appeared, Ratib, who had no idea of letting Loring reap the glory of a great victory while he himself was present on the field, produced from his breast-pocket an order from the Minister of War authorizing him to take over the command of the army whenever in his opinion it should be necessary, and of course the necessity had now arisen. Loring was relieved and the Abyssianians poured down the mountain-sides armed with all sorts of antediluvian weapons including flintlocks, swords, and rhinocerous-hide shields, spears, and clubs. They rushed up to the Egyptians and wrenched the breech-loaders out of their hands and used them to club the life out of those poor wretches. The slaughter was great and the disaster frightful. But it did not appear that Ratib lost much in prestige so far as his standing at court was concerned.

        My remarks concerning the fighting qualities of the Egyptians, it must be remembered, refer to a time before


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Gordon licked his Soudanese army into shape and made them fight so splendidly. He had done the same thing previously with the Chinese, and always insisted that they were splendid fighting material when officered by Europeans; and it must also be remembered that the Soudanese and Nubians are fighting men naturally, and very different races of men from the gentle peasant of the lower Nile.

        To the everlasting honor of Ratib Pasha I must say that when Ismail Pasha, Khedive, was dethroned and all the parasites who had drained him of his wealth had abandoned him, Ratib Pasha alone followed the master who had been so kind to him into exile, and shared his imprisonment and broken fortunes.

        It was while I was attached to the staff of the commander-in-chief that a personal difficulty occurred in Cairo which caused a great deal of gossip both in Egypt and Europe, and I regret to say that I was partly the unintentional cause of it.

        The Duke of Hamilton had come to Egypt in his steam yacht bringing a very gay and noisy party of young men with him. It was shortly after he had met with great losses on the turf and had found it convenient to skip to France between two days to avoid his most pressing creditors. He had celebrated his arrival in Paris by sending all Europe into convulsions of laughter by his answer to an invitation to dine with his cousin the Emperor Napoleon. It read: "Sire: I have neither the clothes nor the manners for imperial society." The duke's creditors, however, were amenable to reason and made an arrangement with him whereby they took over the management of his enormous estates and allowed him a pittance of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year until they could pay themselves.

        The duke and his party went to Cairo where they took possession of Shepheard's Hotel, the most famous caravansary for Europeans in the place at that day, and they made


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things lively for the rest of the guests, one of their most favorite amusements being footraces through the long corridors in the middle of the night.

        If there was any trouble brewing, it was just my luck to stumble into it. There was a rich Englishman by the name of Fairman visiting Cairo, and he and I were not on good terms. One afternoon on returning from riding I stopped at my restaurant and went in to dinner just as I was, dressed in my undress uniform, and carrying in my hand a light riding-whip. I took my seat at a table where Colonels Chaillé-Long and Mason were dining, and after I got through I walked out of the room, and in the corridor met Mr. Fairman, who made a remark at which I took offense, and, losing my temper, I struck him with the whip. Mr. Fairman told me he would send his seconds to me and we separated. But on reflection he decided not to challenge me.

        Now, it so happened that Mr. Fairman was an acquaintance of the Duke of Hamilton and his party, and shortly after our affray he was seated at a table with them in the garden in front of the Villa Shubra (a place where promenaders could stop for refreshments), and who should enter the grounds but Major-General Mott. Mott knew the duke and saluted him as he was passing the table where the latter was seated with his friends. The duke courteously invited Mott to join his party, but Mott replied that he would do so with pleasure if it were not for the fact that Mr. Fairman was present. The duke was naturally offended and asked for an explanation. Mott replied that "under no circumstances would he sit at the same table with a man who had been publicly horsewhipped and had not resented it." The words were no sooner out of Mott's mouth than a sporty young baronet in the party jumped to his feet and demanded Mott's card, saying that he would send his seconds to him, and selected the duke for one of them. The duke carried the demand for an apology or satisfaction to Mott,


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and the latter referred him to me as his friend who would carry on the negotiations. The duke, when he called on me, made himself so agreeable that I took quite a fancy to him and tried to point out a way by which the matter might be dropped without having recourse to a hostile meeting. I became so confidential with him that I told him his young friend would not have a ghost of a chance for his life if ever he went on the field with General Mott, who, besides having fought several duels and killed one man to my knowledge, was a magnificent swordsman and a dead shot with pistols, and furthermore it was useless to expect an apology from him. But my remarks did not seem at all to dismay the duke, and as no apology could be had, the only other thing to do was to arrange the details for a hostile meeting. These we agreed upon in the most amicable spirit. We were to go to Alexandria and the party was to stop at the Hotel Abbatt on the plaza, and the next morning at daylight repair to a cemetery in the suburbs (the one where one of the Apostles is supposed to be buried), and there let our principals blaze away at each other.

        At daylight on the morning on which the duel was expected to take place, General Mott and myself, carrying a case of dueling pistols, entered the office of the hotel and asked the night clerk if the duke and his party had yet been called, when to our amazement the sleepy clerk replied that they had left the hotel at 2 A.M. and gone aboard their yacht and were probably by that time far out at sea!

        Instead of letting the matter rest there, against my advice General Mott wrote a letter to the London papers in which he particularly excoriated the Duke of Hamilton, and brought down upon himself a torrent of abuse. The Duke of Hamilton took no notice of him, but truth compels me to state that I afterwards heard that the young baronet was anxious to fight and that the duke, having no intention whatever of allowing him to be perforated by Mott's leaden pellet, had forcibly carried him away.


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CHAPTER XXXVI

The Franco-Prussian War--Apply for leave to go to France--Wrecked Paris in sackcloth and ashes--A generous Jew.

        WHEN the Franco-Prussian War was at its height several of the American officers, among them myself, through the Khedive requested permission to go to France for the purpose of studying our profession on the battle-fields. The answer came back that the Imperial Government would be pleased to receive a small number of native Egyptian officers, but that they did not care to have the Americans in His Highness's service. I had a great desire to see what was going on, so I applied for leave of absence, which was granted me, and I took passage for Marseilles in a little bark because it was a cheap way of making the voyage, and like everything else I have found in this life that was cheap it was "bum."

        The Tigre was supposed to be a steamer. I don't know how many "cat" power her engine was said to have had, but I do know that it broke down whenever it felt like it. She was crowded with the usual polyglot assemblage of passengers of all Oriental nations commonly found aboard ships in the eastern Mediterranean, many of them--in fact whole families--camping on the upper deck for economical reasons. The filth of the vessel was indescribable. I shared my stateroom with a young Jew who spoke several languages and was both highly educated and refined. All went well enough until after we passed through the Strait of Bonifacio and struck the mistral, which was blowing a gale. We were off the Îles de Hier on the French coast, bucking the heavy sea without making any headway, when our miserable little coffee-mill of an engine broke down. The ship was hastily put under sail, and thinking that she was riding the seas nicely I turned into my bunk and went to


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sleep, only to be suddenly awakened some time in the middle watch by an awful crash. Rushing on deck I found that both fore and mainmast had gone by the board. Nearly every man on deck had appointed himself captain and was frantically bellowing orders to which no one else paid the slightest attention. There was a perfect Babel of tongues at work. The spars, held by their rigging, were acting as battering-rams against the wooden sides of the ship, and it was evident that she would not be able to stand the punishment for very long. The passengers rushed for the boat davits and began to lower the boats, a difficult feat even for sailors to perform in such a seaway. As the boats touched the water the poor wretches, like a frightened flock of sheep, leaped over the side, more alighting in the sea than in the boats, sufficient numbers, however, landing in them to cause them to swamp. But strange to say several of them got away and reached the shore which was only a few miles away.

        My roommate, Mr. Suarez, made several starts for the boats, but I dissuaded him. When day broke the Tigre was sinking fast by the stern, but fortunately both sea and wind had gone down. There was a very small dinghy, used as a market boat in port, fastened bottom up on the poop deck, and on this boat I had had my eyes fastened for some time, knowing that no one else would think of taking her. When at daylight Mr. Suarez and I found ourselves alone on the fast-sinking bark, I turned this little boat over and found her oars fastened under the thwarts. The bow of the Tigre was standing high out of the water and her taffrail was submerged, so without difficulty I launched our pygmy craft and leaped into her as she glided into the water, but alas! my pocketbook with every sovereign I possessed was in my breast-pocket and as I jumped into the boat I heard it go kerchunk into the sea. I paddled back to the wreck for my companion, and to my surprise found that he had gone back to the cabin and brought up a very light steamer


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trunk of mine, but the water was so deep he had not been able to save anything of his own. Without further adventure we rowed to the island and from there were taken to La Ciotat on the mainland and then proceeded to Marseilles by rail, Mr. Suarez having kindly purchased a ticket for me as well as for himself.

        At Marseilles we could form no idea of the condition of the interior of France, as the heavy hand of war had not reached that far south, and hearing that trains were running through to Paris we started for that once gay capital, only to find that we had been misinformed and that we had to undergo many vexatious delays before arriving there. We soon entered the country still occupied by the Germans, although the war was over. They had their sentries at all the railway stations, and I was disgusted at the brutal and overbearing manner they showed toward the civilian population. Instead of commanding a Frenchman to halt, they would merely strike him a fearful blow in the pit of his stomach with the butt of a musket; even when these poor people only wanted to approach a train for the purpose of making inquiries about missing friends or relatives.

        It was in the early spring of 1871 when we entered Paris in one of the first trains that had arrived in that city since the suppression of the Commune. It was dark when we detrained and when we asked for a cab we were laughed at; the porter asked of what use a cab would be since all the horses had been eaten. We were also told that all the famous hotels whose names we remembered had been converted into hospitals. Finally a man agreed to pilot us to a small hotel on the Boulevard Montmartre where we could get accommodations and we followed him.

        The next morning early I wrote to friends in England telling them of the loss of my pocketbook and asking them to send me enough money to enable me to return to Egypt, but the mails were disorganized and I never heard whether or not they had received my letter. After I had finished


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my breakfast I took a walk, passing through the once crowded boulevards des Italiens, des Capucines, and la rue Royale without meeting a living soul. The once magnificent plate-glass show windows which were not smashed were perforated with bullet holes so close together that it would have been impossible to put one's hand on a spot that a bullet had not gone through. The Palace of the Tuileries was an ugly mass of smouldering ruins with the smoke still ascending from it, and the fronts of the houses on the rue de Rivoli, opposite the Palace of the Louvre, were lying in the street. In some of the houses the interior of the bedrooms could be plainly seen, looking as though their former occupants had only just stepped out of them for a moment. I walked down the Champs Élysées where once the fountains and the trees had been so beautiful, but there was now not even a bush or shrub to relieve the desolation which had been wrought by the hands of vandals. I proceeded on through the Arc de l'Étoile to the edge of a treeless desert once known as the Bois de Boulogne, one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Returning I passed through the Place Vendôme and saw its beautiful column, broken into several pieces, lying on the ground. I had seen enough. Could this be the gay and debonnaire Paris with the gilded and mirrored pleasure places and the laughing throngs I had seen only two short years previously?

        That was a gloomy and a weary week I spent in Paris, and when its end came I was still without funds and the landlord was scowling at me. I had never laid eyes on my companion in the shipwreck since the night of my arrival! He was still in Paris and stopping at the same house, but I came to the conclusion that he was avoiding me. Hopeless and expecting to be put out on the street, I went up to my room one night after wandering for hours about the deserted streets and saw what I supposed was a notice to leave pinned on the pincushion. Wearily opening the envelope, the contents of which I thought I already knew, I was greatly


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delighted to find that I was mistaken and that it contained a note from Mr. Suarez telling me that he regretted that business had prevented him from seeing me, and directing me to take an enclosed note to a friend of his, a banker, who would supply me with quite a large sum of money which I could return at my convenience! He wound up the note by saying that he was compelled to leave hurriedly that night. The banker gave me the money, but said that Mr. Suarez had left no address, as he expected to return to Paris in a few days, but that as he knew my address in Egypt he would write to me. I have never seen or heard from that generous Jew from that day to this.

        It is not necessary for me to say that I left Paris as quickly as possible and returned to Egypt where I resumed my uncongenial military duties.


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CHAPTER XXXVII

Return to America--Tired of the Egyptian service, but the Khedive declines to allow me to resign--Grants me a furlough with permission to go home--Determine again to become a farmer--"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses"--Columbia, South Carolina--Become lord and master of the great Hampton plantation--A bachelor's ménage and appetite--A lively fox hunt in which the wily Carpetbag Government is run to cover--Matches only cost five cents a box--Trial justice Sam Thompson.

        EARLY in 1872 it became very evident to me that there was no future for the American officers in Egypt, and many of the others thought as I did, but few of them had any very bright prospects to look forward to if they returned home. I determined to chance it, knowing that I could always turn to that last resort of the navy man and become a farmer. Land was plentiful and cheap where I came from.

        I was agreeably surprised to find that the Khedive did not want to let me go, saying that I was only a homesick boy and that he would allow me a six months' furlough instead of accepting my resignation. I assured him that I would not come back, but he thought differently and advised me to accept the furlough, saying that if at its expiration I was still of the same mind he would then accept my resignation. So I bade farewell to Egypt and went to Liverpool, where I took ship for New York and was delighted to find among the passengers Clarence Cary and Frank Dawson, two of my best friends, and comrades in the Confederate Navy.

        I had a letter from my friend, Mr. Edward Markoe Wright, asking me to come to his house immediately on my arrival in New York, and landing in that port very early in the morning I waited until I thought the family were up and then went there. While waiting for my host to come down I opened a Bible which was lying on a table and the first words that caught my eye was the commencement of the thirty-first chapter of Isaiah: "Woe to them that go down


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to Egypt for help; and stay on horses," etc. I had not seen a Bible for a very long time, but this verse was so apt that I had no curiosity to read any further for fear that it might become even more personal. Arriving in Charleston, South Carolina, although Mr. Trenholm advised me against the venture, I managed to persuade him to let me have the grand old Hampton plantation in exchange for some stocks I had in railroads and a cotton manufactory. The property comprised several thousand acres and was situated on the Congaree River, four miles below Columbia, the capital of the State. There was a new ten-room house which had been recently erected on the place and a huge barn capable of stabling a hundred animals. The avenue, a mile long, leading from the public road to the house, was lined by huge oak trees whose limbs formed a perfect Gothic arch the whole distance. One of my little nephews the first time he passed through it, in a subdued whisper said, "It feels like a church, does it not?" Alas, that wonderful avenue has long since been turned into cordwood and burned.

        The place was so large that there were five separate and distinct villages or negro settlements on it. My grandfather, writing an account of a visit he had paid General Hampton in 1798, says that he "saw one hundred ploughs going at the same time in one field." Of course these were the little one-horse ploughs commonly used in the South until many years after the Civil War, but it goes to show how enormous was the size of the fields.

        I set up housekeeping at Hampton and at first my ménage was as lonely as it was unique. I had only one servant, Maum Margaret, a huge black woman somewhat past the middle age; she must have weighed at least two hundred and fifty pounds, and she had only ten children. She cooked for me and made my bed, and when dark approached she returned to her cabin and her family. Maum Margaret always carried a huge basket, both going and coming, and when my bills came in for the first month's expenses I felt


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that I had discovered a clue to the mystery of the basket. According to the grocer's bill, besides the game I had killed, and the fish, chickens, and fresh meat that I had bought, in a little over four weeks I had eaten fifty pounds of bacon, eleven hams, three barrels of flour, and a lot of canned things, and still I weighed at that time only a hundred and forty-five pounds!

        The house was surrounded by forest trees, and the nights were very lonely, my only companions being an ugly-looking bulldog and a hound. I was the only white man on the place and there were hundreds of ignorant negroes, many of them lawless and fast reverting to barbarism. It was impossible to obtain a conviction against one of them for any crime, as the negro trial justice was dependent upon his fees for his livelihood, and it was well known that a white man would pay rather than go to jail and that a negro would not.

        When I had left South Carolina three years before it was under martial law; now the experiment of the Reconstruction, which ought to have been called the "destruction," was in full sway. Franklin J. Moses was governor, and the helpless whites were compelled to submit to outrages by the presence of United States troops who were there to see that we did not run amuck among the carpetbaggers and scalawags. The latter name was applied to Southern men who had joined with the carpetbaggers in plundering their fellow citizens. While these thieves lived in luxury their lives must have been mentally very uncomfortable, for they well knew that if the troops should be removed for a moment their lives would pay the penalty of their outrages. But the swag was so rich that not even fear for their lives could induce them to let go even after they had accumulated riches beyond their most extravagant dreams. Their only safeguard was the soldiers, and the regular officers had such a contempt for them that they would hold no social intercourse with them, and the privates hated the negroes with a bitter hatred and took no pains to disguise their feelings.


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        Moses did not belong to the low class of whites, as has often been represented; on the contrary, he was one of that class of Jews which had always stood high in the estimation of their fellow citizens and he had married into a most excellent family. He was an officer in one of the regular South Carolina regiments and had an excellent record in the Confederate Army. On one occasion when the flag was shot away, at Fort Sumter, under a heavy fire he climbed the flagstaff and replaced it. Why he should have pursued the course he did is incomprehensible. I first saw him under very ludicrous circumstances. I had known from childhood Colonel Black, who commanded the Eighteenth Infantry, the United States regiment stationed at Columbia to keep us "rebs" in order, and I was on the most friendly terms with all the officers of the command than whom a higher-toned set of gentlemen it was never my good fortune to meet. Among the younger officers was a Lieutenant Todd, from Kentucky, who, like all his countrymen, was very fond of fox hunting. Riding by the barracks one afternoon Lieutenant Todd stopped me and asked if I could not get up a fox hunt for that night, as the moon was full and it would be a great night for a chase. I agreed with him and told him if he would notify the other officers, I would go back to the club and tell my friends that there was to be a hunt and then go and see some of the planters who had hounds, and that I would meet them at the Lexington County end of the bridge which spanned the Congaree.

        When I arrived at the rendezvous with the dogs I found some thirty or forty hunters assembled and each one seemed armed with a pocket flask. They were very busily engaged in renewing the assurances of their highest, consideration for one another, at the same time whooping and yelling like demons. I begged them to keep quiet, as not only would the noise run every fox out of the county, but it would also excite the dogs who had not been hunted for some time and were very fresh. Silence was obtained for a few minutes and


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I uncoupled the hounds and started the hunt. The full moon was shining brightly on the white sandy soil, and except where the shadows of the lofty yellow pine trees fell, it was as light as day. The dogs had hardly begun the hunt for a trail when unfortunately a puppy in the pack spied a stray cur and gave tongue, followed by the rest in full cry. The men put spurs to their horses, their yells drowning the music of the pack. I had seen the cur they were chasing, but I was helpless to stop either dogs or men; so I blew my horn in vain for some time, and then, knowing that as soon as the dogs caught the cur, they would make their way across the bridge and go to a farm in the sand hills on the other side of Columbia, I rode to the bridge and asked the man in charge of it if he had seen a pack of dogs cross. He told me that he had, and also about fifty crazy men after them. Passing by the barracks on my way to the farm where I supposed I would find the dogs, I was hailed by an officer who was crossing the parade ground. He asked me to dismount and said that it was a very good joke, and had been very well played, but the time for stopping it had come, as he had no idea of keeping the whole regiment, under arms all night for my amusement, and that, anyhow, Colonel Black was in the officer of the day's office and would like to see me. The room was dimly lighted, and at first I saw no one but the colonel, who was seated at a table on which there was a lamp. Calling me by my first name, he asked since when I had become a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Before answering I glanced around the room and to my astonishment beheld the governor and his cabinet seated in line against the wall. I laughingly replied to the colonel's inquiry by saying that if I was a Ku Klux there were about fourteen officers of the Eighteenth Infantry who belonged to my particular band; and just then the disappointed huntsmen trooped in, and not seeing their colonel at first, began to berate me for letting the dogs get away. Moses and the lieutenant-governor, the secretary of state, the treasurer,


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comptroller, adjutant-general and superintendent of public education arose and sneaked out into the night.

        "The wicked flee when no man pursueth." The next morning we heard the explanation of the carpetbaggers' scare. It seems that when the hunting party gathered in the woods at the end of the bridge, and were making so much noise, an old negro woman hastened across the river and warned the governor that hundreds of Ku Klux were gathering for an attack on the state officials. Moses sent out a trusted scout who, when he had got halfway across the river, took fright, and returning reported that thousands of the white-sheeted devils were assembled and only waiting for the signal to annihilate every white Republican in the capital. Moses sent the warning to his friends, and they all fled to the barracks for protection, their flight being accelerated by the yells of the sportsmen trying to head the dogs as they scampered through the streets of the city. Those were sad days for Columbia, but the natives had at least one week's merriment over this escapade.

        The first time I came into conflict with the carpetbaggers was one day when Maum Margaret informed me that she wanted to get through her work early, as there was to be a "speaking" and she wished to attend it. I asked where the meeting was to take place and she informed me that the white man (I never heard a negro call a carpetbagger a gentleman) was having my property moved out of one of my barns for the purpose, as it was raining. The man was a candidate for the legislature, and I determined to attend the meeting. The fellow was uneducated and mouthy. I heard him tell those ignorant blacks that "the land belonged to them by rights, as their labor had made it what it was, and the only way to get rid of the rebel landlord was to tax him out of the country, and that if they would vote for him he would get a law passed to effect that desirable result"; and then he went on to say that if we could not be got rid of in that way, then they ought to burn us out--


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a box of matches only cost five cents and any child could strike one. At this I jumped on the improvised speaker's stand and grabbed him by the collar and hustled him out of the building and to the public road, where I faced him in the direction of Columbia, and telling him if he ever dared put his foot on my property again I would fill him full of lead, I gave him a kick where I thought it would do the most good and started him on his way. Not a single negro had followed us, so naturally there were no witnesses, but the next day I was served with a warrant charging me with assault, and when the trial came off the scoundrel had dozens of witnesses, negroes who lived in my houses and who were dependent on my employment for their means of subsistence, to testify against me.

        The trial justice was a negro by the name of Sam Thompson. He had been a slave of my brother-in-law, Dr. Alfred Wallace, and when they were boys Dr. Wallace had amused himself by teaching Sam to read. This was the judge before whom I was tried and fined fifty dollars, which of course I paid rather than go to jail, and the justice pocketed the fines and fees. Seeing how easy it was to get it out of me, Sam ever afterwards looked to me for a regular monthly contribution; in fact, I was before him so often that we became quite intimate.

        Another candidate appeared a few days afterwards. This one was a common cornfield negro who appealed for votes on the ground that if he was elected he would have two laws enacted, one for the whites and another for the colored folks; of course the one for the negroes would be better than the one for the whites, but he never intimated what the laws were to be. A few days after this man made his appearance on the place I caught him, axe in hand, attempting to cut down one of the magnificent oaks in the avenue. I not only ordered him to desist, but threatened him with personal violence if he struck the tree another blow. He said he would see if any white man could talk to him that way,


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and the next day I was again fined for assault. I was becoming a regular gold mine for Sam Thompson, the trial justice.

        My only milch cow, which had a young calf, was killed skinned, and butchered in the middle of the night within three hundred yards of my house. I traced the hide to a negro's house and recovered it. One of the women in the house had me arrested and fined for trespass. The fact that it was my house and that she paid me no rent for it didn't "cut any ice."

        When I went to the Hampton plantation I had an idea of helping these people,--there were several hundred of them,--and while I could give employment only to some fifteen or twenty, I gave all of them permission, not only to cut as much firewood as they needed out of the forest, but also to sell wood to the inhabitants of Columbia, and for this they were to pay me nothing. My reward was that when the cold weather came instead of going out and cutting wood they ripped the planks from the interior of my houses and burned them, giving as an excuse that it was too far to the woods situated some four or five hundred yards away.


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CHAPTER XXXVIII

The name Galapagos inspires the preacher--I take Northern friends to a prayer meeting--"Getting glory"--A chicken thief and a bulldog get hitched together--Death of Hector as a consequence--The preponderance of the evidence--Ball toilets in the middle of the day and champagne orgies on the main street--The comptroller of the State opens fire on the house of Colonel Black, U.S.A., the commandant--Moses, promised immunity, gives testimony in the fraudulent bond case--Questions of personal privilege--Nancy Eliot.

My mother and unmarried sister came to stay with me at Hampton bringing with them my little nephew Howell Morgan, whose father had died a prisoner of war on Johnson's Island, and after their arrival there was a change in my ménage. Maum Margaret was discharged on the score of economy, and sad to say, several of her grown sons and daughters had to return to the fields and work for their bacon and hominy. A new, cook and a maid were installed, and when we had company we commandeered "Monday," the head preacher on the place, who had once been a house servant before he found preaching more lucrative. It is hardly necessary to say that Monday was the biggest old scoundrel in the neighborhood.

        Hampton was the camp-meeting place where thousands of negroes assembled for an annual orgy, and Monday was getting his flock into condition for the great event. At the camp-meeting grounds an immense arbor of pine boughs had been erected and rough seats or benches installed. In Monday's flock were two girls, as black as ebony, named Blanche and Pearl, and had they been white they undoubtedly would have made a sensation on the stage.

        Two of my Northern friends came to see me on my promise that I would give them some good shooting, which, of course, I could do, as the place in those days was overrun with quail and rabbits. I wanted to amuse them and determined to take them to my private theater, namely, a prayer


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meeting at the camp-ground. I confided my intention to Monday and told him that there was a dollar in it for him if he would work his congregation up in proper style, and a half-dollar each to Blanche and Pearl if they "got glory" in extra good form. Monday assured me I should be more than satisfied.

        At dinner we had some mock-turtle soup and the conversation turned to turtles. I remarked that in the Galapagos Islands turtles had been captured which weighed a ton and more, and the others had big turtle yarns to spin also. Every time the name Galapagos was mentioned I could see Monday's eyes fairly bulge. He was waiting on table, and knowing the negro's love for strange-sounding words which he did not understand, I rather suspected that there would be echoes from that one. After we had finished dinner and smoked our cigars, I proposed a visit to the prayer meeting. We approached the place from behind where the preacher was exhorting, and as we arrived we heard Monday from his rough pine board pulpit say: "My brederin, in dat great day when de angel ob de Lord come down and say 'Gallipagos! Gallipagos! Gallipagos!' what den is you goin' to say?" And a roar came back from the congregation, "Gallipagos! Lord, Gallipagos!"

        As Monday went on exhorting, moans became more and more frequent, interspersed with shouts of "Glory!" and "I gettin' glory!" But the eyes of most of the spectators were fixed upon Blanche and Pearl, who slowly arose and began to move their feet, at first with great deliberation, and then with increasing speed while announcing in a most convincing manner that they were "gettin' glory." This went on until their bodies were writhing in the most wonderful contortions accompanied by occasional extraordinary leaps into the air, while uttering wild shrieks and blasphemies which I will not pain the reader by repeating. The performance ended by these girls falling to the ground in a fit and remaining there, foaming at the mouth, while


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their bodies and limbs were as rigid as iron bars. Then they were taken up by men who lifted them by their heads and heels, and still rigid they were carried out to where water could be poured over them until they revived, and in a few minutes they were ready for another exhibition.

        Although there were some notoriously bad characters living on the place, I had no fear of their entering the house, but they would pilfer grain from the barn and rob the hen-roost. I slept on the lower floor and my bulldog stayed in my bedroom at night, and when any unusual noise occurred outside he would give me notice and I would open a window, out of which he would jump. If I heard any one yell I knew somebody was there, and I would go out and disengage Hector from him.

        There was a negro by the name of Renty who had served one or more terms in the penitentiary and who gave me a great deal of trouble. Nominally he lived in one of my houses, but as there were always warrants out for him, he spent most of his time hidden in a swamp, where his wife, a most excellent and hard-working woman, kept him supplied with food.

        One night the bulldog awakened me and, as usual, I let him out of the window, and soon heard moans of "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" Taking a lantern with me I went to the chicken-house and found that Renty had used the open slats out of which it was built for a ladder and had climbed as high as possible, and dangling from his trousers was Hector, swinging like a pendulum. I persuaded Renty to come down, and when he reached the ground he suggested that I should get a chisel and hatchet and pry the dog loose. But I explained to Renty that since emancipation an English bulldog was worth a great deal more money to me than a free nigger, but offered a compromise: if he would remain perfectly still I would go into the house and get something that would make Hector let go. Procuring a handful of smoking tobacco I returned and sprinkled it on


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the dog's nose which caused him to sneeze and Renty was freed from his viselike teeth. Three days after Hector was a dead dog, a piece of meat well sprinkled with powdered glass having been placed where the poor beast was sure to find it.

        Shortly after Hector's tragic death, I heard one night the whinny of a horse in my barn, and I got up and went to investigate its cause. I found backed up against the open barn door a one-horse spring wagon half loaded with my cow peas, and coming out of the door was my old friend Renty with a full bushel basket on his shoulder. He dropped the basket on seeing me and seemed in mortal terror that I was going to kill him, but I soon reassured the scoundrel, and ordered him to saddle a horse for me. It was between three and four o'clock in the morning and there was not as yet a soul stirring on the plantation. I made Renty mount his wagon and escorted him to Columbia. It was shortly after daylight when we arrived at the trial justice's office and we had not met a single human being on the way. We sat on the steps until judge Sam Thompson opened his court at nine o'clock. I then made my charge against Renty and called attention to the cow peas in the wagon as my proof. The judge took Renty aside, and after some conversation, which I could not overhear, "His Honor" informed me that he could not hear the case until one o'clock in the afternoon, and that in the mean time he would be responsible for the prisoner.

        When I returned to the court I found some fifteen or twenty negroes from the plantation assembled in the courtroom ready to testify as witnesses. Renty took the stand himself and swore that he had never been in that barn in his life,--despite the fact that he had been a slave of the Hamptons and afterwards of the Trenholms,--not even in corn-shucking times when all the hands were gathered there. He could not explain how this was, but stuck to his story. Next he put a little girl on the stand who swore that


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she was his niece and was only eleven years of age. She also swore that her uncle had never been in the barn in his life. I asked her if she understood the nature of an oath, and she replied that the "debbil" would get her if she did not tell the truth. I then asked her to be careful about her answer to a question I would ask her. I told her that her uncle had sworn that he was thirty-seven years of age, and asked her if she was willing to swear that her uncle had never been in the barn during the twenty-six years that he had lived on that place before she was born; and she replied, "I swear to God he never was!" I turned to the judge and said, "Sam, you see what kind of a story this is." His Honor put on a solemn expression and replied, "I can't help it, suh, de preponderance ob de ebidence is agin you."

        But that was not all. The judge called Renty to him, and after a whispered conference, Renty entered a charge of assault against me! And his witnesses all swore to the same story, namely, that Renty was driving his cart peaceably in the avenue and that I had come up on horseback and dragged him off his wagon and beat him in a most shameful manner. I realized at once the helplessness of my situation and became reckless. "Sam!" I shouted to the judge, "did you ever hear that I was a strong man?" "Yes," suavely replied His Ebony Honor: "everybody knows you is double-jinted." "Well," I said, "I want you to take a good look at Renty's face now and see how differently it will look after I drive him one from the shoulder." And with that I drew back to strike, but Renty was too quick for me, and with a wild cry of "Jedge, for God's sake, don't let him do it!" he dived under the table at which the judge was seated. It sounds very funny now, but it cost me fifty dollars then, and money was very scarce in South Carolina at that time.

        In those days strange sights could be witnessed in the streets of Columbia at any time. I remember--not only once, but on several occasions--seeing a handsome landau drawn by a spanking pair of high-stepping Kentucky horses


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and containing four negro wenches arrayed in low-neck and short-sleeved dresses, their black bosoms and arms covered with real jewels in the middle of the day, draw up in front of a barroom on Main Street where the wives and daughters of the old and impoverished aristocracy did their shopping. Out of the saloon would come the governor accompanied by several high state officials, followed by a servant bearing a waiter on which was champagne and glasses, and right there on the public sidewalk enter into a perfect orgy with the dusky belles.

        White carpetbaggers seemed to have so much money that they did not know what to do with it. I have seen one of them walk into a drinking saloon by himself and ostentatiously order a quart bottle of champagne, take one glass of it, and carelessly throw a ten-dollar bill on the counter and tell the barkeeper to keep the change; and this in a community where people bred in affluence were suffering for the very necessities of life.

        The salary of the comptroller was eighteen hundred dollars a year. Dr. Nagle, who held the office, had arrived in Columbia literally in rags. In the first year of his incumbency--out of his salary, of course--he bought a fine house and a carriage and horses with gold-mounted harness among other things, and incidentally built a bridge across the Congaree River that must have cost thousands of dollars. This worthy official, returning home one day while drunk, caused quite a sensation, beating his wife unmercifully, and she fled from the house and took refuge in the home of Colonel Black, U.S.A., which was next door. Whereupon Nagle, armed with a Winchester rifle, began to pump lead through the sides of the commandant's frame house. The soldiers of the Eighteenth Infantry, hearing what was happening at the home of their beloved colonel, came from the barracks on the run, determined to have Nagle's gore, and tore down the picket fence in front of his house, before their officers arrived and stopped them.


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        Cardoza, a negro, was superintendent of public education, and Purvis, a Philadelphia mulatto, was adjutant-general of the State. These two men were considered by the natives to be the most respectable members of the State Government. A law was passed authorizing the issue of some twenty millions of state bonds, and it was supposed that a large number of fraudulent bonds were also printed. At all events, when Hampton upset the carpetbag government, Parker, the state treasurer, started a bonfire in his back yard which made so much smoke that the fire engines turned out and extinguished it, and to the amazement of the crowd which had rapidly assembled it was discovered that it was state bonds that he was burning. Parker was afterwards tried and convicted. Ex-Governor Moses was promised immunity if he would come back to the State and testify in the case, and to the astonishment of the court he volunteered the information that when he was speaker of the House of Representatives he had signed more than eighteen hundred thousand dollars of fraudulent pay certificates. The State House was overrun with young negroes who were down on the pay-rolls as "attachés" (they called themselves "taw-cheeses"), and that may have accounted for some of the money.

        The legislative halls of South Carolina presented a spectacle such as had never been seen before, and the like of which, let us hope, will never be witnessed again. The furnishings were very fine, especially the carpets and cuspidors; the latter were charged to the State at eighteen dollars each. The members were mostly negroes, as there was not a sufficient number of carpetbaggers to fill all the offices. The negro members from the upper part of the State reveled in the use of long words which they generally mispronounced, and those from the low country mostly talked in the sea island and ricefield pidgin English called "gulla," which is unintelligible to the stranger. For instance, they call all males "she" and all females "he"; and


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if they want to ask if you hear, they say "Yedium"; and "Shum deh" is "Do you see it?"

        When in session the legislature was as good as a circus. I remember once, when one honorable member called another honorable member "a liar," the offended Solon jumped to his feet yelling: "Mr. Speaker! I rises to a question of pussonal privilege. I wants dat ricefield nigger to understand dat I won't stand none ob his insinuendos agin me!"

        General Worthington, who had been an officer in the Union volunteer army, and who had been one of the pallbearers at the funeral of President Lincoln, came to South Carolina immediately after he had been mustered out of the service and found no difficulty in having himself elected to Congress. One day he was busily engaged in lobbying a bill through the legislature, and while holding a huge bunch of greenbacks in one hand, which he occasionally waved aloft as he passed from the seat of one member to that of another, suddenly a negro jumped to his feet and claimed the recognition of the Speaker on a question of privilege. When asked to state it, he said he had just been informed that General Worthington had given another member twenty-five dollars for his vote on the bill, and he had only given him, the protestor, five dollars. He wanted that "white man" to understand that his vote was worth as much as that of any ricefield nigger from Santee or any other part of the State! In any State north of the Potomac this brazen confession would have landed a member of the legislature in the penitentiary, but in the legislative halls of South Carolina it only caused a roar of laughter at the expense of the cheap lawmaker.

        The speaker of the House was a very highly educated and able man, as black as a highly polished boot; some said that he was a Jamaica negro who had been to school in England and others insisted that he was a product of Harvard University. Be that as it may, he certainly was one of the most brilliant orators I ever heard speak. His name was Eliot,


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and he evidently had a susceptible heart, for in the midst of his meteoric career of loot and pillage he fell desperately in love with Nancy, the most beautiful mulatto girl in Columbia. Nancy was the nursemaid for Mrs. Heyward's little children, and although the Heywards, like all other aristocrats, had been impoverished by the war, and Nancy was then free, not even the high wages offered by the carpetbaggers could tempt her to leave those little children of whom she was fond. But Eliot offered marriage, and the girl was dazzled by the high position to which he proposed to raise her, and tearfully she left the Heyward home to become the proud wife of the wealthy speaker. Nancy had been brought up among aristocrats and she knew how to do things. She was no sooner married than she set up a handsome establishment, and she could be seen in full ball toilet, in the middle of the day, with her neck and arms covered with jewels, driving down Main Street. But besides the love of finery Nancy had another side to her character. Nothing could have induced her to stop in front of Mrs. Heyward's house in that costume or in her carriage, but in the cool of the afternoon, Nancy, arrayed in the neat cap and apron of a nursemaid, would stop her carriage around the corner from her former mistress's home, and alighting would walk to the house and beg to be allowed to take the children out. The people who had seen her in gala attire in the middle of the day would behold the strange spectacle of the same Nancy, as demure as a novice, seated on the front seat of her own landau, with the children occupying the back seat. Everybody liked Nancy and her promenades with the children were among the strange features of that strange time. Nancy attended one of the inauguration balls in Washington and was said to have been one of the most beautifully gowned women of the occasion.


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CHAPTER XXXIX

Corrupt judiciary--Melton voted for Seymour and Blair, but bet his money on Grant--Feud between Attorney-General Melton and Colonel Montgomery in which Mr. Caldwell was killed and I was wounded.

        THE judiciary was as corrupt as the legislature--and that is saying a great deal. An imported negro sat on the supreme bench, his colleagues being white carpetbaggers. There was talk about impeaching a negro judge of one of the district courts in the lower part of the State, and judge Moses, an uncle of the governor, was actually impeached by the piebald legislature because he got away with a large amount of property belonging to a white widow and her fatherless children while the estate was in the hands of the court. The outrage was so flagrant that even the Government at Washington took notice of it, and orders came from the national capital that not only must such things stop, but that more honest men must be elected to the judgeships at the next election. Moses was only allowed thirteen days to prepare for his defense. While walking on the street one day, and longing for human sympathy, he met Major Melton, a famous wit and likewise a stammerer. "Major," said the judge, "history does not record such an outrage as a man being allowed only thirteen days to prepare for his defense in a trial!" "Hold on, judge," replied Melton, "the Bible, which is the foundation of history, records that your people didn't allow our Saviour thirteen minutes!"

        Major Melton was a native-born South Carolinian, a lawyer by profession, and he had served throughout the war as an officer in the Confederate Army. That he was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, no one doubted until the time came for the legislature to elect new district judges. Judicial timber among the carpetbaggers was scarce. Washington was peremptory in its orders that a higher class of men should be placed on the bench, and the legislature did not


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dare disobey its orders, as they full well knew that they could not exist an hour if the Administration withdrew the troops. So they issued an invitation to all lawyers who cared to accept judgeships to appear before the legislature and address that august body. To the amazement of everybody Melton was one of those who appeared. He was a fine orator and made them an eloquent Republican speech, and was getting on finely until an old negro member interrupted him with "Dat's all very fine, Mr. Melton, but who you vote for last election?" The question brought Melton to his stammering and he replied, "I vo-vo-voted for Sey-seymour and Blair." A roar of laughter interspersed with jeers greeted this confession, but Melton's voice soon dominated the situation and he was heard to say, "Ho-ho-hold on; I bet my money on Grant!" His quickness saved and elected him.

        Afterwards judge Melton was elected attorney-general of the State and unfortunately became involved in a newspaper controversy with Colonel Montgomery, the president pro tem of the Senate, in which several vituperative letters were exchanged. Montgomery was also a Southern man who had become a Republican. The public were freely discussing the fiery correspondence and it was the general opinion that a personal difficulty would result from it.

        I was in Columbia one day when a particularly abusive letter over the signature of Montgomery appeared in the paper. I did not know the president pro tem of the Senate, and had only a bowing acquaintance with judge Melton. I had attended to some business I had in the city and had mounted my horse with the intention of returning to my home, when on Main Street I met young Mr. Caldwell, a cotton broker, and one of the few men in Columbia who had any money. Mr. Caldwell hailed me and asked me to dismount and accompany him to Pollock's Restaurant and have luncheon with him. I laughingly declined, at the same time pointing to the well-known horse I was riding, a wicked thoroughbred stallion, who a short time before had


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killed a man. Mr. Caldwell called a negro, man who was standing on the corner and asked him if he would not hold the horse, telling me that the man had formerly been the horse's groom. I dismounted and walked down the street with my host.

        Arriving at the restaurant we saw that the long table in the public dining-room was fully occupied, and Mr. Caldwell proposed that we go upstairs into a private room, where we had our meal and were just finishing it when a servant brought Mr. Caldwell a card. Turning to me my host asked if I had any objections to having Judge Melton join us, as he, Mr. Caldwell, had something very particular to tell him. Of course I said that I would be delighted to see the judge, and he was ushered into the room. Mr. Caldwell and the judge went over to a window and entered into a conversation which did not last over three minutes. I never learned what the subject discussed was. The three of us then descended the stairs and Mr. Caldwell went to the cashier's desk to pay the bill. Mr. Caldwell tendered a bank-note of rather large denomination, and while we waited for the change he asked me if I had ever seen Colonel Montgomery, and on being told that I had not seen him to know him, he pointed toward the dining-room, the door of which was open, and said: "The man seated at the head of the table is Captain Tupper, and the man on his right is the president pro tem of the Senate." "Yes," I replied, "and there goes Judge Melton into that room. Those men will surely have a difficulty." Mr. Caldwell said, "I will stop him"; and started for the door, I following. I was two or three steps behind Caldwell, and as I entered the room I saw Melton with his open hand slap Montgomery in the face, and the two clinched, upset the chair, and rolled on to the floor. Instantly Captain Tupper rose from his chair, drawing it back with his left hand as with his right he drew a revolver from his hip pocket. He raised the weapon and fired, and as he did so Caldwell threw up his arms and with a gasp fell


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dead in my arms. I laid him gently on the floor and as I raised my head I heard a bullet whistle near my left ear. Thinking I had better hurry, I stepped over Caldwell's dead body, and leaped over the two struggling men on the floor while Tupper was again cocking his pistol with his eyes now glued on Judge Melton, who was on top of Montgomery. Tupper was standing between two windows, and I felt certain that I could throw him out of one of them before he could shoot Melton. I picked him up, and in another instant I would have sailed him through the window, when to my surprise he reached over my left shoulder and, pressing the muzzle of his pistol against my back, just below the point of the shoulder blade, he pulled the trigger. My left arm fell limply by my side and Tupper dropped to the floor, landing on his feet. With my right hand I grabbed the wrist of the hand which still held the smoking pistol and it dropped to the floor at my feet. I could easily have picked it up and killed him with it, but I felt sure that I had my death wound, and I did not wish to go before my Maker with the blood of another on my hands; so I compromised by telling Tupper that before I went I was going to give him the worst beating he ever had had.

        While this was going on, the guests, who a moment before, had been enjoying their meal, were panic-stricken; those who were near the door rushed through it, and the rest sought safety under the tables. In such emergencies singular ideas sometimes flash through the mind. I could have done all I wanted to do to Captain Tupper just as well where I was as in any other place, but it seemed to me that I wanted room, and plenty of room, so I threw my right arm around his body, lifted him on to my hip, and carried him out of a side door leading into an alley. I then dropped him on to his feet and before he could recover from his surprise, I must have struck him a pretty hard blow, for the back of his head was the first thing that struck the bricks. I felt that I must hurry as my strength was fast failing, and I leaped upon


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his prostrate body. Tupper was a very handsome man and seemed to have but one idea and that was to save his face, which he covered with his hands. I would hit his hands so hard that the pain would make him remove them for an instant and before he could get them back I would smash him again. Tupper was dressed in a white duck suit and I in tweeds of a red and brown hue. The blood rushing out of my wound saturated his white clothes and I must confess he was a gory-looking object. Several negro policemen arrived on the scene and began to club me. The sheriff came, and after I was pulled off of Tupper, asked me if I was not ashamed to beat a man in that way after I had shot him. To my insistence that Tupper had killed Mr. Caldwell, and that it was my blood which saturated his clothes, I could get no credence. The sympathies of the representatives of the law were all with Mr. Tupper, and the police dragged me off to jail, and although I offered no resistance they twisted my arms, especially the injured one, in a most brutal manner--Judge Melton (who accompanied me) protesting all the way against my being treated so roughly. It was some little time after I reached the jail that the sheriff found out the true state of affairs and arrested Captain Tupper. Mr. Clarke, a lawyer at that time, and now the president of a bank (I am glad to say he is still living--1916), came hurriedly to the jail in a carriage and took Judge Melton and myself to the judge's home, where I was laid on a bed until the doctors and their operating-table arrived, and then they began to carve and probe me for the bullet. Three separate times did they strap me to that leather-covered table during the three months I was absolutely helpless, and they wanted to dig into me a fourth time, but I protested against their doing so until I could have a talk with Mr. Trenholm, who at my request left his important affairs in Charleston to come to me. I could not speak in a voice above a whisper, but I managed to tell my best friend that if I was put on that operating-table again I would die under the knife and that


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I preferred to die in my bed. Mr. Trenholm told me that it was the opinion of the surgeons that I surely would die unless they extracted the bullet, and I told him that they did not know where the bullet was and were only groping blindly in my body. Mr. Trenholm asked the doctors if I would live if they found the lead, and they replied that they could give no assurance to that effect, but that I would certainly die unless it was found. Under these circumstances my friend agreed with me that it would be better for me to be allowed to pass away quietly in my bed.

        When the decision was announced, the doctors told Mr. Trenholm that I could have anything I wanted, as nothing would hurt me, and the kind old gentleman leaned over me and asked if there was anything I desired to have and was amazed when I murmured "champagne." The doctor told him it would be better to humor me, as I might fret if it was denied me, adding that I would not be able to swallow it. A small glassful of the wine was put to my lips and I took one good swallow, and then my throat seemed to contract so that I could not have taken another if my life depended upon it, and in a few minutes I dozed off into a profound slumber, the first sleep I had had in three months without the use of chloral, and I did not awake from it for two hours. The first thing I asked for on opening my eyes was champagne, and this time I was able to drain the glass and then slept for five hours.

        When the surgeons came the next morning to dress my wound, they were surprised to find my condition so improved and ordered more champagne, and from that moment I began to get better. Why I craved champagne is a mystery to me, as it is a wine I never cared for when in my normal condition.

        India-rubber tubing had been inserted to drain my wound, and every morning the surgeons would take it out to cleanse it and then they would put it back; this hurt worse than the probing and cutting did. To have a bullet


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enter one's body is not such an unpleasant sensation as would be imagined, but oh, the agony of the probe and forceps, especially when a surgeon makes a mistake and tries to pull out something that is not the bullet--as happened to me.

        While I was lying helpless in Judge Melton's home the house caught fire one day. The soot in one of the chimneys became ignited and fell on the shingle roof causing quite a blaze. A young gentleman by the name of Richard Bacot, who when a boy had run away and gone to sea before the mast, performed a rather remarkable feat. There was no ladder on the premises, but the sailor did not need one; he went up the lightning rod hand over hand and tore away the burning shingles with his bare hands, and of course was burned very badly. Mr. Bacot was in the house when the alarm was given, as he had kindly volunteered to assist in nursing me.

        When I was able to be up and about again, the trial of Captain Tupper for the killing of Mr. Caldwell was begun, and of course I was one of the witnesses called by the State. I described what had taken place and also told the court that I did not blame Captain Tupper for shooting me, as I surely would have thrown him out of the window if he had not done so. I was not cross-examined, but the trial took on the appearance of a French court, where they do what is called "reconstituting" the tragedy. I was made to place officials of the court in the positions occupied by the principals of the deplorable affair and show how Tupper arose from his chair and fired the fatal shot; how Caldwell fell dead in my arms, and how I laid him down on the floor and stepped over his body and leaped over Melton and Montgomery as they struggled with each other, etc., etc. It was my first appearance in public as an actor, and thank Heaven, my last.

        Captain Tupper, testifying in his own behalf, said that he had had no intention of shooting until he saw me enter


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the room, and then, fearing that I would kill him if I got my hands on him, he had fired his revolver in self-defense. Why he should have expected an attack from me I cannot imagine, as I had never before spoken half a dozen words to him in our short acquaintance.

        Judge Carpenter, who presided at the trial, was a carpetbagger, a man of considerable learning and ability, but unfortunately he would go, periodically, on the most frightful debauches. The jury was a mixed one of whites and blacks and they brought in a verdict of guilty. Captain Tupper was sentenced to the penitentiary, but he never went there. He was nominally kept in the jail at Columbia for some months. I was told that his room in the prison in the daytime resembled a club, where he entertained his friends very hospitably. Sheriff Dent and his sons were friends of Tupper and at night, with Tupper, they would visit the places of amusement. After several months of such nominal confinement, Captain Tupper was pardoned by Governor Franklin J. Moses, and shortly after securing his freedom, he was elected mayor of Summerville, South Carolina. He killed another man and died an honored(?) citizen in the community in which he lived.

        If the above facts were not a matter of record in the courts and elsewhere, I would fear to put them on paper, as they seem to be so preposterous in Anno Domini 1916. The story of the Reconstruction period in South Carolina has never been told in print except in the files of the "Charleston News and Courier," and now that nearly all of those who passed through that nightmare have passed away, I fear that the present generation will never realize its horrors. But believe me, South Carolina was the nearest approach to a hell on earth during the orgy of the carpetbaggers and negroes that ever a refined and proud people were subjected to.


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CHAPTER XL

Cotton-picking by moonlight--Swindled by a carpetbagger out of my hay crop--Legislative debates--Confiscation by taxation--Poverty no bar to marrying and giving in marriage--Hound dog gives the alarm and saves my family from death when house catches fire--Pay taxes in a novel way, and sell Hampton plantation--Move to Charleston.

        As a cotton planter I was a failure. Negroes, who cultivated in a desultory manner a half-acre of poor ground capable of producing a quarter of a bale of cotton, marketed five or six. This was made possible by the proximity of the cotton-fields of the white planters, and moonlight nights, combined with the fact that low whites had established near each large plantation country grocery stores where they exchanged bacon, hominy, and whiskey for unginned cotton. In fact they were simply fences where stolen goods could be disposed of.

        There were hundreds of acres of bottom lands on the plantation which produced a luxuriant growth of natural grass which grew to a great height and made very good hay. This crop alone should have brought me in a very good income, but there were almost insurmountable difficulties in the harvesting of it. Like most of my neighbors I had great quantities of land, but very little ready money.

        There was also a very good water-power on the place, furnished by a creek which divided the estate into two parts. Once there had been a gristmill on its banks, but Sherman had destroyed it and the dam; only the millstones were left intact. General Dennis, a carpetbagger, superintendent of the penitentiary, sized up my situation and generously (?) came to my relief with a proposition that if I would give him the hay crop, he would build a dam and rehabilitate the mill for me. I grabbed at the offer as a drowning man would at a straw, with the result that General Dennis brought his convicts down to the plantation,


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harvested the hay, and when the last load had safely come across the bridge he tore that structure down and pretended for a few days to be busily engaged in repairing my dam. He soon wearied of the farce and I saw no more of either him, his convicts, or my hay crop. I had enough sense left not to go to law with him about it, as a negro jury or a carpetbag judge would surely have decided in favor of Dennis, who was a political leader. I simply should have had to pay the costs of court, and should have been lucky if they had not awarded Dennis damages against me.

        Things were fast going from bad to worse. Ill-gotten wealth and power had made the carpetbaggers more arrogant and offensive than ever, and day by day the ignorant negroes became more impossible to deal with. In the country a white woman did not dare go more than fifty paces from her own front door, and after every outrage there was a lynching as sure as the night followed day. There was very little secrecy about it and everybody knew who the lynchers were, but the carpetbag and city negro, constables felt a delicacy about risking "malaria" by going into the country to make arrests.

        The only place of amusement open in Columbia was the legislative circus, whose real business was transacted by some half a dozen white scamps in the privacy of their committee rooms while the ricefield negroes from the low country and the cornfield negroes from the up-country mouthed and made faces at each other on the floor of the House, laboring under the impression that they were engaged in important argument.

        There was a shrewd negro member by the name of Beverly Nash, who prided himself on his courtly manners and his knowledge of legislative etiquette, and it was said that no white carpetbagger had ever been smart enough to get away with his (Nash's) share of the swag in any public robbery. Beverly had been the body-servant of an ante-bellum member of the legislature, and in the old


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days had attended his master at many sessions of that august body. Whenever the language in debate between the negroes grew too heated, or too strong, Beverly would always arise to a question of personal privilege, and preface his remarks by saying: "Mr. Speaker, when real gentlemen used to occupy these seats befo' de wah, dey nevah used no sich language as dat widout somebody got shot or else got der heads knocked off wif a gov'ment inkstand!"

        Rumors of the outrageous and excessive taxation imposed upon the citizens by the legislature had reached even the ears of a Republican Congress, and an investigating committee was sent to Columbia. If they ever conferred with or examined anybody besides the leading carpetbaggers, I never heard of it. The Congressmen were informed by these worthies that the landowners had no cause for complaint, as they were taxed only two and a half per cent on the value of their property and that the people of New York State were taxed at the same rate, and this appeared to the Congressmen to be fair enough. But the carpetbaggers did not tell the committee that in New York a man was taxed on one half to two thirds of the actual value of his property, and in South Carolina on ten times as much as it could possibly be sold for. Take my case as an example. The Hampton plantation was taxed on a valuation of some two hundred and sixty-odd thousand dollars. I went before the "board of equalization," which the committee had insisted should be organized and which, of course, was composed entirely of carpetbaggers, and made my protest, with no avail. I even offered to sell the property to any member of the board for thirty thousand dollars, but they had looked up the records and found that Mr. Trenholm had paid the Hamptons in 1862, when Confederate money was worth something, one million dollars besides giving them a bond for three hundred thousand dollars payable in gold six months after peace was declared between the North and South. They considered that they were letting me off


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very cheap, and declined to take into consideration the fact that when Mr. Trenholm had purchased, there were hundreds of slaves, and herds of blooded horses and cattle, besides flocks of sheep of rare breeds and also Angora goats. So far as my offer to sell them the property for thirty thousand dollars was concerned, they were a "board of equalization," and not real estate speculators.

        At last the day came when my property was put up for sale for past-due taxes. Of course no Southern gentleman, even if he had had the money, would have bid for the estate of a fellow sufferer at a tax sale, but there were creatures who had plenty of cash who would. I told the auctioneer that I hoped he would get more for the plantation than the taxes amounted to, as I would appreciate what was left over. The auctioneer smiled and invited me to talk to the crowd and invite them to bid. I told him I would be delighted to do so. It was rumored in the crowd that Nagle, the comptroller, was going to buy the property. I told the assemblage that it was useless for me to tell them anything about the plantation, as they knew it as well as I did, but what I did want to tell them was that that place was my home and I would fill the man who came on it with a tax title so full of lead he would never be able to swim again. Instantly the crowd began to call for Nagle, urging him to buy, and assuring him that he would never die of chills and fever if he did. There were no bids and the sale was postponed for another month, and month after month on every sales-day it was offered and every time it was put up for sale the crowd would begin to yell for Nagle and urge him to buy. After some months, without any explanation, the auctioneer no longer offered it for sale; and for a time his reasons were an inexplicable mystery to the natives, who knew that it was impossible that I could have raised money enough to pay the taxes.

        The Southerner is a queer composition. As a good piece of breakfast bacon is streaked with lean and fat, so is his


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character made up of layers of gayety and sadness. A sorrowful gloom spreads over his countenance as he listens to some favorite song, such as "There will be a vacant chair," or, "Under the rosebush there is a grave," and the next instant he will be roaring with laughter over a witty remark, or gayly dash off into the mazes of the dance. In this Reconstruction period he held public meetings at which he proclaimed his intention of shaking off the yoke of his carpetbag and negro tyrants, and yet insisted that under no circumstances would he break his parole by raising his hand against the United States Government troops. All the same he was grimly determined that his persecutors should go: in carriages, if they would, or in hearses, if they must. The grave consequences which might follow what he intended to do did not dampen his spirits, however, and he had his barbecues and his shoots for turkeys, and also his balls where dress coats were not to be seen and where his devoted women appeared in cheap muslin gowns, their very simplicity still more endearing them to the hearts of the men who loved them so dearly and were so proud of them.

        Poverty was no bar to matrimony and there were marrying and giving in marriage. The young men took no thought of what the future might have in store, and the young girls, brought up in an atmosphere of self-denial, willingly took the risks with the men they loved. I was not different from the other young men with whom I associated, and amid the mutterings of the coming storm and while the old Confederate veterans were forming rifle clubs all over the State, I married Miss Gabriella Burroughs, a granddaughter of former Chancellor William Ford De Saussure, the head of an old Huguenot family, and my sister Sarah, whose journal, "Diary of a Confederate Girl," was published recently (1915), married Captain Francis W. Dawson, who had become the editor of the "Charleston News and Courier." My wedding took place some months before that of my sister, and after the ceremony I


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took my bride to the plantation, It was a dark night and the negroes had, as a compliment to the bride, built bonfires of pine knots which lit up the stately oaks in the avenue and made quite an impressive picture. Fires in the night have always had a fascination for me, but that night I got more than I cared for.

        My mother and sister occupied the second story of the frame house, and there was only one staircase leading from the wide hall to the upper chambers, and in that hall was kept burning a kerosene swinging lamp on account of my mother being nervous. My bedroom was on the lower floor.

        There was no use my trying to keep watch dogs, as I knew from experience that the negroes who liked chickens and things would poison them as fast as I brought them home. About the premises, however, was an old hound whose name was Blitzen--"peace be to her ashes." Blitzen was the kind of a hound dog that every one liked to kick around--she was absolutely good for nothing, or so we all thought. She could neither trail a fox nor give tongue on a trail. No one had ever heard her bark at the approach of a stranger, and her only interest in life was to lie outside of the kitchen door and sleepily wait for the bones the cook would occasionally throw to, or at, her, according to the humor of that important person at the moment. In the middle of the night I heard a dog whining and scratching at the back door and I got up to investigate. As I opened my bedroom door imagine my horror when I beheld the yellow pine floor of the hall in flames at the very foot of the staircase, the only possible means of escape for my mother and sister. The kerosene lamp had exploded and covered the floor with burning oil. I rushed back into the bedroom, jerked the blankets off the bed, and with them managed to smother the flames, but not before my hands were badly burned. From that time to the day of her death no one was ever allowed again to "kick that hound dog around."


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        As time went on my financial condition made my position on the plantation more and more untenable, until one day Colonel Childs, a banker, told me that he would buy my property if I would pay the taxes up to date. I laughed at such an offer, as it was of course impossible, or I thought it was, for me to comply with the terms. Colonel Childs then advised me, as a mere matter of curiosity, to go to the tax collector and find out the exact amount due. I did so, and to my amazement was told that the taxes had been paid! I demanded to know the name of the person who had paid them, and after demurring until the carpetbagger concluded that it would be more comfortable to give me the information than to have a row, he told me that Dr. Nagle, the comptroller of the State, had paid them. Almost bursting with rage and indignation I hurried to the State House and was fortunate enough to find Nagle alone in his office. As I entered he looked up uneasily and with his right hand started to open a drawer. I suspected that there was a pistol in that drawer, and quickly putting my hand on my hip pocket exclaimed, "Stop that!"--and his arm fell limply to his side. I wasted no time, but at once plunged into a statement of the object of my visit, demanding to know what he meant by his insolence in paying the taxes on my property. He stammered for a moment, and then assured me that he did not wish to have any trouble with me, and that he had only paid the taxes to rid himself of the monthly annoyance of having all the toughs of the town howling to him to buy my property, their only purpose being to make trouble for him with me. Reaching a bundle of tax receipts, which were in a pigeon-hole in his desk, he handed them to me, saying that rather than have anymore trouble about the matter I was welcome to them. He could well afford to be generous, for Heaven only knows what the amount of this fellow's stealings were from the State.

        Within the hour after my pleasant interview with Nagle I was back at the bank and amazed Colonel Childs by handing


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him the tax receipts. The transfer of the titles to the estate were quickly completed, and I moved to Charleston where I accepted a position in the office of the "News and Courier" tendered to me by my brother-in-law Captain Dawson.


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CHAPTER XLI

Friendly shooting-match--Dancing the "Too Ral Loo"--Negro mobs--Dawson wounded--U.S. Regulars attacked with stones--General Hunt, U.S.A., takes command of the rifle clubs--This action costs General Hunt his promotion on retirement--Feud between Governor Chamberlain and Captain Bowen, the sheriff of Charleston County.

        THE political situation in Charleston looked even more ominous than that in Columbia. The white carpetbaggers had begun to quarrel among themselves and the negroes were becoming enraged because the white rascals reserved for themselves all the best places in the gift of the State. Before I went to Charleston there had been a shooting-match at a meeting of the board of aldermen. Cunningham, a carpetbagger, of course, was mayor, and he had in some way incurred the emnity of the two Mackeys, Thomas Jefferson and William M. (cousins). Some hot words passed between these affectionate relatives and simultaneously they drew their revolvers and opened fire. The other aldermen dived under the table, as did the mayor, and well for him that he did in time, for after the smoke cleared away it was discovered that all of the bullets had struck the wall in a small circle just behind where the mayor's head had been. Of course neither of the Mackeys had been hurt. The latter were what we called "scalawags"--Southern men who for office had joined our persecutors. William Mackey, to strengthen his hold on the negro vote, married a quadroon girl who he claimed was a descendant of General Sumter, of Revolutionary fame.

        I saw a queer sight soon after my arrival in Charleston. The negroes seemed to have gone crazy and were constantly parading the streets--men and women--singing and dancing a dance they called the "Too Ral Loo." They would gather by the hundreds on the beautiful Battery, and with the steps familiar in the "cake-walk" they would chant the


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refrain, "I am dancing the Too Ral Loo." However, as they molested no one, nobody interfered with them.

        Greatly enjoying their license to take possession of the streets, the mobs formed without provocation with more and more frequency, and as long as they confined their activities to dancing and singing no one seemed to mind their vagaries, but becoming emboldened they began to throw stones. That was the signal for the rifle clubs to repair to their armories, and well it was for the ignorant creatures that the clubs were composed mostly of veterans of the war, who were under perfect discipline, or else there would have been a massacre.

        Captain Dawson, who was indefatigable in his efforts to redeem the State from carpetbag rule, lashed the miscreants unmercifully with his virile pen and never failed to expose their rascalities and pillory them before the public. The carpetbaggers in revenge had taught the negroes to hate Dawson more bitterly than any other white man in the State. Dawson had the energy of a steam engine and usually worked at his desk until two or three o'clock in the morning. The only physical exercise he allowed himself was to ride on horseback from his home to his office and back again for his meals. A mob assembled in Broad Street one day, and Dawson, on his way home, rode through it with the result that a perfect fusillade of revolver shots were turned loose on him and one bullet struck him in the leg. He continued on his way home, where he had his wound bound up, ate his lunch, and then, mounting his horse, rode back to his office, passing through the rioters again--this time without being hurt.

        General Henry J. Hunt, U.S.A., who had commanded the artillery in the Army of the Potomac from the crack of the first gun to Appomattox, was in command of the military district in which Charleston was situated, and unlike his predeccessors he was very much respected by the natives. He knew that the white people did not intend to lift a


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finger against the United States Government again, and he had kept but one skeleton company of artillery at the arsenal where he had his headquarters. There were only some thirty-odd men in the company.

        One day a mob of several thousand negro men and women gathered near the City Hall, and became very violent in their threats, which this time were directed principally against the white carpetbaggers, who they claimed had got all the swag and had not divided fairly with them, and they clamored for their blood. The carpetbaggers were badly frightened, fled to the arsenal, and begged General Hunt for protection. General Hunt at once marched his skeleton company to the scene of the riot, and arriving at the intersection of Broad and Meeting Streets he came face to face with the mob, which did not seem disposed to give way before his troops, whom he had ordered to ground arms while he advanced and commanded the rioters to disperse. This order was replied to with jeers and curses, and while General Hunt was trying to persuade them to go quietly to their homes, they began to throw bricks and stones at the soldiers. I was on the sidewalk near where the soldiers were drawn up, and never did I see a better example of discipline than was exhibited by those poor fellows standing there like statues, with their faces bleeding, while they awaited orders under a perfect shower of missiles. General Hunt knew that every negro in the crowd carried a weapon, either a pistol or razor, and he also knew that by sheer weight of numbers they could sweep his small command off the street if they rushed them. In this dilemma he asked some of the white bystanders if they could point out to him the commander of the rifle clubs of which he had heard. They directed him to a one-legged man, General Conner, a veteran of the war, and General Hunt requested him to call out the clubs, and form them behind his regulars. Almost instantly there, was heard a bell tolling in the steeple of old St. Michael's. This was the signal agreed


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upon, and as though by magic there came a rush of several companies of infantry, a battery of artillery, and a squadron of cavalry. The negroes knew, these men, and before they had fairly taken up their stations in support of the regulars, the mob had melted away, and in less than ten minutes there was not a black face to be seen on the street.

        The sequel to this incident was as follows: It was, and is, the custom that when a veteran officer who served in war retires he is given an additional grade. General Hunt was a colonel in the regular army with as fine a record as any officer in it. During the war commanders-in-chief were frequently changed, but no one ever suggested the idea that Hunt could be improved upon as chief of artillery. When he came up for retirement, however, on account of age, he was retired with only his rank of colonel through some unseen influence, which came out of hiding when an effort was made to pass a bill through Congress to give him the additional grade. The very carpetbaggers whose worthless lives he had saved flocked to Washington and protested against his promotion on the ground that he was a rebel sympathizer and had on one occasion taken command of the rebel rifle clubs and used them to cow the loyal element in Charleston!

        At the time of the riots in Charleston bitter dissensions had sprung up among the white carpetbaggers, the most important being that between Bowen, the sheriff of Charleston County, who wielded great influence over the negroes, and Daniel H. Chamberlain, who was then governor of the State.

        Bowen was the felon who had occupied the cell in the Charleston jail into which Mr. Trenholm, the former Secretary of the Confederate Treasury, had been thrust on his arrival in Charleston. Bowen had been released at the time of the general jail delivery when Charleston was captured. He had taken refuge on one of the sea islands where he acquired great influence over the negroes during


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the military rule, and when the Reconstruction began and the carpetbaggers took charge, he came forth from his seclusion a full-blown politician.

        Even the most bitter enemies of Governor Chamberlain recognized him as a man of ability. He was a man of refinement and brilliant education. One great reason for the intense dislike shown toward him was that, when one of his children died in Columbia, he called in a negro preacher to perform the burial services. But I have heard that Chamberlain said his reason for this was that at such a time he did not care to subject himself to the chance of a rebuff from any of the white ministers. Governor Chamberlain soon found himself between two fires--the enmity of the white natives on one side, and the bitter hatred of the carpetbaggers, who had discovered that they could not control him, on the other.


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CHAPTER XLII

Captain Dawson, editor of the "Charleston News and Courier," denounces Bowen as the assassin of Colonel White--Bowen brings libel suit--Eli Grimes, the actual murderer, located--I go to Leesville and bring Grimes to Charleston to testify--Grimes attempts to kill himself--Grimes's sensational testimony--Mistrial.

        THE fortune of the beautiful and accomplished Mrs. King, who had saved Mr. Trenholm's gold for him while he occupied the felon's cell in Charleston jail so recently vacated by Captain Bowen, had suffered like those of the rest of the people of Charleston, and it was necessary for her to obtain employment, which she easily found in the United States Treasury. Clerks, if they know what is good for them, don't rebuff Congressmen. It was Mrs. King's misfortune to meet Bowen, then a full-fledged Congressman. To escape her unaccustomed drudgery she married this fellow, and in less than a year a previous wife turned up and had Bowen indicted, tried, and convicted on a charge of bigamy. He was sent to the penitentiary, but only remained there for a short time, as he had a strong political pull. He was pardoned and returned to Charleston where he was immediately elected sheriff of the county.

        Captain Dawson, editor of the "Charleston News and Courier," who, figuratively speaking, could attach the sting of a hornet to the nib of his pen and write with it, mercilessly attacked Bowen in the columns of his paper. Bowen, having no character to lose, for a time ignored the editor, but when Dawson boldly charged him with the murder of Colonel White during the latter part of the war, even the carpetbaggers insisted that the sheriff should take some action against him. He sued Dawson for libel, claiming damages in the sum of one hundred thousand dollars.

        The facts of the case as charged by Dawson were that Colonel White had put Bowen under arrest for some breach


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of discipline and had thereby earned the latter's enmity; that Bowen had a private soldier in his company who had committed a murder, of which crime Bowen alone was cognizant, and naturally had Eli Grimes, the private, in his power. He commanded Grimes to kill Colonel White. Grimes demurred, and Bowen threatened to inform the civil authorities in Lee County, southwestern Georgia, where the crime had been committed. Frightened, Grimes agreed to do as his tormentor wished. On his first attempt to assassinate his colonel he hid in a "turkey blind" situated on a path which Colonel White used twice a day, but the murderer's heart failed him and he let his intended victim pass without firing. He made the excuse to Bowen that the spring of the lock of his gun was out of order. Bowen then gave him a new carbine and warned him that if Colonel White was alive the next morning he would inform him of the murder Grimes had committed in Georgia. At about ten o'clock in the night Colonel White was reading by a small lamp in a room of the weatherboarded shanty which he occupied, and Grimes, having located his position by the light, sneaked up to the side of the house and fired through the thin weatherboarding, killing White instantly. Grimes escaped into the swamp, but was soon surrounded and captured. Grimes at once implicated Bowen in the crime, and both of them were arrested and put on a train for Charleston where they were to be tried, but Grimes, although he was in irons, eluded the vigilance of his guard and jumped out of a window of the slow-moving train while it was on the trestle, some ten miles long, which spans the Santee Swamp. It was supposed that he had been drowned or that the alligators which infest the swamp had made a meal of him. Bowen was safely landed in the Charleston jail, where he was when the Union troops took possession of the city and opened the prison doors.

        Bowen brought his libel suit in 1875, eleven years after the murder had been committed. Colonel White's command


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had scattered, so Dawson had no witnesses by whom he could prove his charge. The loss of one hundred thousand dollars, or any large part of such a sum, meant financial ruin to him, and the fact that the case would be tried before a carpetbag judge and a jury composed mostly of negroes, the panel for which would be chosen by Bowen's henchmen, was not reassuring. While in this dilemma Dawson received a letter postmarked Louisville, Kentucky, from a woman, who stated in it that "she was Bowen's legal wife and that she wanted to get even with him." She also asserted that Eli Grimes was not dead, and that he had as great a desire to get even with Bowen as she had, and that if Captain Dawson would go to Lee County, Georgia, he would find the man. She advised Dawson to be very careful, as Grimes was a desperate and dangerous fellow; that she was from Lee County herself and knew what she was talking about.

        This Mrs. Bowen was the same woman who, under the alias of Mrs. House, became a celebrated criminal and landed in the New Jersey penitentiary for the crime or crimes of having put out of the world several husbands by poisoning them.

        Captain Dawson went to Leesville, Georgia, a county seat, saw Grimes, and persuaded him to allow himself to be locked up until it was time for him to testify against Bowen. It was deemed advisable to keep secret the fact that Grimes was alive until he could be produced at the trial. When that time arrived, I volunteered to go after Grimes. Dawson went with me to Columbia, South Carolina, and explained the case to Governor Chamberlain, who gladly embraced the opportunity to punish his arch-enemy, Bowen. He secretly made out extradition papers and appointed me a state constable to bring back Eli Grimes, charged with murder. The Governor of Georgia, a Democrat, was delighted to honor the requisition.

        I proceeded to Leesville and was much disappointed to find that Eli had tired of the monotony of the jail and had


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left. The sheriff, to whom I carried a letter from the governor, informed me that he did not care to he mixed up in the case; that Grimes belonged to a large clan of poor whites and that they were a dangerous lot. He also advised that take a train bound north, which was shortly due, as it would be better for my health to get away before the Grimes family learned what I had come for. The only compromise I could effect was that he would show me where Grimes lived in the suburbs. He also agreed to lock Grimes up if I brought him to the jail with my warrant. I waited until an hour before day, and then, armed with a revolver and pair of handcuffs, I went to Eli's house and knocked at the door which, after a short wait, was opened a hand's breadth. Seeing that it was not going to be opened any wider, I exclaimed, "In the name of the law I arrest you!"--and throwing my full weight against the obstruction I burst into the room and instantly found myself grappling with my prisoner. We struggled all over the room while a woman in scant night attire leaned over the banister above us shrieking at the top of her voice. Suddenly the banister gave way and the woman tumbled down, landing on our heads, knocking both of us to the floor. I fell on top of Grimes, and the almost nude woman, now insensible, lay alongside of us. I quickly put the handcuffs on Grimes and ordered him to stand up and precede me to the door, emphasizing my command by the display of my pistol. Grimes demurred because he had on only his underclothes. Not knowing that his wife was in a faint, he commanded her to get his gun, and as she did not move he cursed her in a most shocking way. I forced him out of the house, and on the way to the jail promised him that not a hair of his head should come to harm, and told him that Captain Dawson had the promise of the governor that even if there was a trial and conviction, he would pardon him for the crime committed more than ten years before.

        When I got Grimes in his cell I left him in the care of


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the one-legged keeper, who was himself a prisoner, but a "trusty," and went to the sheriff's house, where I was invited to have breakfast. I had hardly eaten a mouthful when the one-legged "trusty," with only one crutch, bounded into the room exclaiming, "Eli Grimes is dead!" We leaped to our feet and rushed to the prison, and when the cell door was opened we beheld a gruesome sight. Eli's body lay on the floor and his mangled head and face were covered with blood. The village doctor was summoned and much to my relief pronounced the man to be still alive. He bathed and bandaged his damaged head, and in an hour Grimes, apparently, was himself again. The "trusty" told the sheriff that after I had left the jail Grimes swore I should never take him to South Carolina alive, and that he, the "trusty," had paid no attention to what he said, but went to another part of the building to attend to his duties, when suddenly he heard some awful thuds, and going to Grimes's cell found that worthy engaged in running the length of his narrow quarters and with all his force striking his head against the steel with which the walls were lined.

        The Grimes family soon assembled and made threats, but I persuaded them that no harm should befall Eli. The doctor advised me to take him away on the first train, as, he said, unless I took him away before dark, his friends would rescue him.

        When I arrived at Macon I found I had a very ill man on my hands, and I had to ask the hospitality of the local jail. Oh, the days I spent in jail with that raving criminal, who was "out of his head" from the effects of a raging fever. Had I been that wretch's mother I could not have nursed him more tenderly.

        When Grimes was able to travel I took him to Augusta, Georgia, to await further instructions, and of course had to occupy the same cell with him as a precaution against his again trying to commit suicide. A dead Grimes would have been of no use to Captain Dawson.


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        We were taken to Charleston on a special train and on arriving there I dressed Grimes in a suit of my own clothes and had him shaved and his hair cut. We then wandered around the city until it was time for him to appear in court, where we took our seats among the crowded spectators. The trial proceeded in a desultory manner until one of Dawson's counsel asked that Eli Grimes should be called. Bowen and his lawyers burst into such loud laughter at this that the judge rapped for order. The court crier went to the door and perfunctorily called "Eli Grimes!" I took that individual by the arm and steered him through the throng of spectators until I landed him safely in the witness box. Grimes was sworn, but so certain was Bowen that the man was dead that he and his friends had paid no attention to what was going on until Grimes, when asked his name, in a loud voice answered, "Eli Grimes!"

        The appearance of the supposedly dead man must have shocked Bowen considerably, for he turned an ashen color, gasped, and appeared about to faint, but was revived with a glass of water.

        One of the first questions asked the witness was, "Who killed Colonel White?" Before answering, Grimes pointed his finger at Bowen and said, "If you will make that man look me in the eyes I will tell you." But Bowen did not accept the challenge. Grimes said, "I knew he didn't dare do it." And then in a most impressive manner he turned to the court and said, "Judge, I pulled the trigger, but there (pointing to Bowen) is the man who killed Colonel White." He then went on to tell of his acquaintance with Bowen, who at home was a professional gambler, and how he in a fracas had killed (in a most cowardly manner) a neighbor during a quarrel about a hog. It was in a lonely spot in the woods and he buried his victim so well that he felt sure his crime would never be known, but when he looked around he saw Bowen, who was squirrel hunting.

        It was early in the war and Bowen, who was raising a


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volunteer company, asked him to enlist, but that he had replied that it was a rich man's war and as he, Grimes, did not own any "niggers," he did not see why he should be expected to fight for them. Whereupon Bowen quietly informed him that if he did not enlist at once, he, Bowen, would inform the authorities where they could find the body of the dead man, and also the man who killed him, and intimated that there would be a hanging soon. Badly frightened, Grimes enlisted. When their regiment was on North Island, South Carolina, Bowen had some trouble with his colonel and proposed that Grimes should kill him, but Grimes demurred; saying that he had nothing against that officer. But Bowen again threatened him and frightened him into doing it.

        When Grimes had finished his testimony, Bowen fairly shrieked to his deputies to "Arrest that man!" But I showed my instructions from the governor to bring Grimes to Columbia and the judge ordered that I should be allowed to proceed.

        The case resulted in a mistrial, and that was much better than Captain Dawson had expected. As Grimes had come back to life, Bowen never dared to demand a retrial, and Dawson resumed his pen-lashings.


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CHAPTER XLIII

Exciting political campaign of 1875--I return to Columbia--The dual legislature--Hamilton, negro member of the legislature, makes a Democratic speech--The military evict the Democrats from the Capitol.

        THE political campaign of 1875 was probably the most exciting one that this or any other country ever went through, and it was a red-hot one in South Carolina as the native-born population of that State had determined, cost what it would, to overthrow the carpetbag and negro government and free themselves from a tyranny that was no longer bearable. None but a desperate people would have dreamed that it could be done, as the negroes not only greatly outnumbered the whites, but, not satisfied with their great normal majority, on election days, permitted many darky boys, ranging between the ages of seventeen and twenty, to vote, as no one could swear positively to a negro's age. Black women were also allowed to vote by the election officials, who were, of course, appointed by the carpetbaggers, and it took an expert to detect the sex of a flat-chested negro woman of over forty years of age when she was dressed in men's clothes. I remember one instance a negro man, challenged at the polls, with tears in his eyes acknowledging that he had voted at the other precincts, but protested that he had not before voted at that particular polling-booth!

        Besides the great majority that was to be overcome it was necessary to avoid any conflict with the United States Government or its troops. General Wade Hampton, General M. C. Butler, General Gary, and Captain Dawson were the acknowledged leaders of the forlorn hope, and rifle clubs were formed all over the State. These clubs were called by the carpetbaggers "Redshirts," as for economical reasons they wore red flannel shirts instead of more costly uniforms. The carpetbaggers tried to give the National Government


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the impression that these clubs were simply made up of bandits when the truth was that they were composed mostly of veterans of the Civil War, men who belonged to the best families in the State.

        For the first time a great and united effort was made by the native whites to influence the colored vote. Heretofore the blacks had to a man voted the Republican ticket, and now, although they spoke with the greatest contempt of the carpetbaggers, they could not be induced to vote against them on election day. Many amusing stories were told at the expense of those who endeavored to convert Sambo and induce him to embrace Democratic doctrines. One of them was that General Hampton had met one of his former slaves and asked him what he had in a basket which the fellow was carrying on his arm. The man said he had some puppies in it. The general, who was an ardent sportsman, asked what kind of puppies they were, and the darky, removing the cover, disclosed three or four newly born pups, at the same time saying, "Dey is good Democratic pups, suh." A month later the general met the same negro with the same basket and again asked him what was in it, and again the man replied, "Pups, suh." "What kind of puppies have you today," laughingly inquired the general; and the darky replied "Good Republican pups, suh,"--and uncovered his basket. The general, who never forgot a horse or a dog, said, "Why, Sam, you rascal, those are the same puppies you showed me a month ago, and told me that they were good Democratic puppies!" "Yes, Mas' Wade," replied the darky; "but don't you see dey done got der eyes open now!"

        Of course all efforts to wean the negroes from the Republican Party were futile, but the whites had great hopes that the dissensions among the carpetbaggers would disrupt their party. They soon learned that in those days the Republican Party did not divide on election day.

        Wherever in the State the carpetbaggers held a political meeting, there would assemble the whites and insist on a


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division of time with their orators. It was embarrassing to the aliens.

        Captain Dawson asked me to go to Columbia, as he thought I could be of service to the cause in Richland District, as the county was called at that time. Shortly after my arrival in the capital we heard that the Republicans were to hold a great mass meeting in Edgefield District, the home of General M. C. Butler. The word was passed to the members of the rifle clubs, and those within reach, as usual, attended the meeting. A platform had been erected in a grove of trees, and seated on it were Governor Chamberlain and a number of his most prominent black and white lieutenants. The speaker's stand was surrounded by a dense mass of blacks through which we forced our horses, and as many of us as could find room took up our positions as near the stand as possible.

        General Butler, against the protests of the carpetbaggers, forced his way on to the stand, accompanied by several others. General Butler was an extraordinarily handsome man--tall and graceful, and possessed of the manners of a Chesterfield. His courtesy and winning smile made friends of all who came in contact with him. At one of the battles in Virginia a shell had struck his horse in the breast and exploded inside of the animal, shattering the general's leg so badly that it had to be amputated below the knee; but so well did he manage his artificial limb that for several years after the war was over he used to dance at balls, and it was difficult to convince strangers that he was a one-legged man. In the hour of danger he was one of the coolest men I ever saw, and he feared neither man nor devil. But with all of his beautiful manners, when he wanted to, he could be the most cold-blooded, insolent human being that mortal eyes ever beheld. Without saying so much as "by your leave" to the assembled carpetbaggers, Butler began to harangue the crowd, denouncing the Republican leaders who were present. While he was tongue-lashing Chamberlain, he stood


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over him shaking his finger almost in his face. Chamberlain, who was a bald-headed man, was seated with one elbow resting on the arm of his chair and his forefinger was moving nervously back and forth in the rim of hair below his bald spot and just above his ear. Suddenly, during one of the pauses in General Butler's speech, a voice in the audience rang out with "Run him out in the clearing, Governor, and I will shoot him for you!" Looking in the direction from whence the interruption came, I saw a "redshirt," mounted on his horse, not ten feet from the governor, with a Colt's revolver aimed at the head of the chief magistrate of the State. But at a word from Butler he lowered his weapon and kept quiet during the rest of the speaking.

        The negroes, naturally afraid of their former masters, became somewhat terrorized, and when the redshirts appeared at their meetings the more timid among them would quietly sneak away. Of course there were clashes in various parts of the State, but the blacks had become so nervous that the white carpetbaggers could not induce them to stand their ground, and the meetings soon took on a decided Democratic hue. The few Republican speeches made became very conservative, and the eyes of the speakers, while they were delivering them, looked as wild as those of a cornered jack-rabbit looking for some means of escape.

        Some extraordinary incidents occurred. The night before the election a barbecue was held on a plantation, which was a polling precinct where several hundred negroes and possibly half a dozen whites voted, and the next day it was carried by an enormous Democratic majority. The negroes always voted the straight Republican ticket, and the whites, of course, voted the Democratic; and it seemed a strange reversal of form only to be accounted for by the fact that some old veterans knew where two Confederate brass field-pieces had been buried to keep them from falling into General Sherman's hands. These cannon had been disinterred, and manned as a section of artillery, they had been


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brought to the barbecue. In the small hours of the night a drill had been ordered, and several shells had burst in the air, with the result that when the polls were opened in the morning no negroes were around there to vote.

        I do not suppose that any one claimed that the famous election of November, 1875, was a fair one. Where the negroes were in such a majority that they could manage things in their own way, negro women and boys under age voted with impunity and repeated as often as they felt disposed. On the other hand, the whites in some places played practical jokes which were highly successful in their results. At one precinct in the country, where it was considered impossible to overcome the great black majority, two young white men did the trick quite successfully. They had posted themselves in front of the voting-booth as challengers of illegal voters--they were brothers-in-law and devoted friends. While the voting was going on, to the amazement of the onlookers, they became involved in a quarrel in which one of them called the other a liar. Instantly they both drew their weapons and began to shoot. It was afterwards discovered that most of their bullets landed in the polling-booth. The negro judges of the election fled, but the sole Democratic official, who usually, at elections, could get no one to listen to his protests, was left alone in charge of the ballot boxes and took them safely to the capital, where, when opened, their contents fairly staggered the Republican officials so great was the Democratic majority in this usually overwhelming Republican precinct.

        The carpetbag officials, of course, counted the Democrats out--and the native whites swore a mighty oath that no longer would they submit to carpetbagger and negro domination. They proclaimed General Hampton and the Democratic candidates for the legislature as elected, and the rifle clubs began to gather in the vicinity of the capital.

        Two legislatures assembled in Columbia. The carpetbaggers and negroes had possession of the State House, and the


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Democratic body met in the local court-house--each claiming to be the legal lawmakers for the State.

        One night some twenty or thirty young men, myself among the number, although none of us were members of the legislature, quietly entered the State House, and distributing ourselves at points of vantage and the exits, we allowed no one to leave the building. There were quite a number of young negroes--"Tacheeses" (attachés) as they called themselves--in the building, but none of the higher officials were there. As there were no telephones in those days, and as we would not let anybody leave, there was no way for them to get word to their friends that we were in possession. Everything with us seemed to be plain sailing, and expecting to be complimented on our enterprise we sent word to General Hampton that we had the State House and would hold it until the Democratic legislature assembled therein. But our leaders wanted above everything to avoid a clash with the United States Government, and knowing that the United States troops would be called upon to eject us, General Hampton sent back word for us to withdraw from the capitol at once--which we did.

        I think that it was two days after the foregoing episode that the Democratic legislators met at the court-house and decided to go to the capitol and take their seats, as by right, in the legislative halls. Led by General Wallace, their speaker, they marched to the State House followed by a number of men bent upon assisting them if they met with any opposition. Arriving at the State House they thrust aside the sergeants-at-arms and doorkeepers, and took their seats in their respective halls. It was before the usual hour for the Republican legislature to meet, and the chambers were empty, with the exception of a few negro employees. I entered the House of Representatives with the members of that body. General Wallace took the speaker's chair and called the House to order, and was proceeding with the business of the day, when the Republican members arrived


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in a great state of excitement, palpably chagrined at finding themselves outwitted. The Democrats had occupied all the seats on the right of the speaker, and only the vacant chairs on his left were empty, so our former masters had to be content with those. Mackey, the speaker of the Republican House, had an ordinary chair brought and placed alongside of the regular speaker's seat now occupied by General Wallace. Neither speaker recognized the other, nor did they interchange a single word during the whole time the dual legislature was in session. Whenever a Democratic member arose to address the House, a carpetbagger or negro would also get on his feet. General Wallace would recognize the Democrat, and Mackey would do the same for the Republican, and then both members would begin to speak at once, each pretending to be absolutely oblivious of the other's presence. But now and then curiosity would get the better of the Republicans and their spokesman would stop to listen to what the other orator was saying, and as the other orator was engaged in a denunciation of their rascalities, it could not have afforded them much satisfaction.

        At times it looked as though it would be impossible to avoid a hostile collision between the two bodies despite the fact that the carpetbaggers were frightened, knowing, as they did, that the first shot would be the signal for their annihilation. They had become desperate, and the scathing denunciations which they had to listen to penetrated through even their dulled sensibilities.

        No one, singly, dared to leave the chamber for fear they would be unable to return, but the citizens generously smuggled in baskets of food for their representatives, so they did not suffer from hunger.

        Hour after hour passed, during which many exciting scenes took place;--night came, the hall was lighted, and still the pandemonium reigned. About ten o'clock, Hamilton, a black and very intelligent negro member who had accumulated quite a handsome fortune as a planter of cotton, and


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who had the reputation of being the most honest politician among that nefarious gang, came to me and said, if I would stand by him, that he would make a speech and expose the rascalities of the carpetbaggers. Of course, before committing myself I consulted some of the leaders, who approved, and Speaker Wallace was informed as to what was about to take place. I was surprised to find, on inquiry, that Hamilton was not armed, and taking him out into a committee room I gave him my revolver. I followed him back into the chamber and stood behind his chair. Hamilton at last caught the eye of Speaker Mackey and to the amazement of the Republicans and most of the Democrats also, Speaker Wallace, in a loud voice, also recognized the Republican member.

        Hamilton was in earnest--he was tired of the uncertainties of life and property in which he lived. He also had the foresight to see that the end of carpetbag rule had come, and had determined to cast his lot with his former friends, the ex-slave-owners. He had a fine command of the English language, having traveled considerably with his master as a valet when a slave. He not only named the crimes which had been committed against the people of the State, but also named the time, place, and the men who had perpetrated them. This was too much for the carpetbag and negro members; they raged and stormed at first, and finally, urged on by the carpetbaggers, a dozen or more negroes started for Hamilton, who drew his pistol and leveled it at them. I warned him not to shoot until some one touched him, and at that moment a friend of mine took up a position behind me, and knowing that I was not armed pushed a pistol into my hand. The negroes hesitated and stopped, and Hamilton, laying his revolver on his desk, remarked that he would kill the first man who laid a finger on him. By this time the chamber was in an uproar. The negroes and their white confrères were engaged in reviling Hamilton, while the Southerners were urging him to go on.


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Hamilton proceeded with his speech, and never did I hear, even from the mouth of General M. C. Butler, such a scathing denunciation of the carpetbaggers.

        When Hamilton had finished his remarks to the House, he turned to me and said that "now his life was not worth the price of a puff of smoke," as the negroes would surely kill him before he could get out of the city. I reassured him by telling him that I was going to stay by him until he was out of danger.

        We left the House of Representatives together and were not followed. I took Hamilton to the home of Mr. Douglas De Saussure, a prominent lawyer, and he was kept there until he could catch a train bound for his home.

        Returning to the House of Representatives I found my way barred by General Dennis, the carpetbagger who had robbed me of my hay crop and mill dam, and half a dozen so-called "Tacheeses." I roughly pushed Dennis aside and walking through the gang of young negroes entered the chamber. It was now after midnight and the House was in as great disorder as when I had left it. A number of negro members were gathered together near the speaker's desk, and there was some anxiety expressed for the safety of General Wallace. One of our leaders asked me to take up a position behind the chair of General Wallace. To this Speaker Mackey objected, but on my informing him very impolitely that there was no one man enough to remove me, he paid no more attention to me.

        Urged on by the carpetbaggers, the negroes made a demonstration as though they wanted to remove Speaker Wallace from the chair by force, but they changed their minds when they saw how quickly the whites rushed in between them and the speaker. They wavered for a moment and then returned to their seats.

        By three o'clock in the morning the speaking had ceased and every one seemed weary of the excitement. There was absolute silence for a little while, and then the whites were


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aroused by a burst of melody which came from the throats of the plantation darkies who had, in such a marvelous manner, been transformed into statesmen.

        With the morning came the military, who had received orders from Washington to evict from the State House the so-called "Wallace House." The Democrats after a protest marched out of the building in the same order that they had marched into it.

        As a matter of personal interest I might add that my daughter Helen afterwards married the only son of General Wallace.


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CHAPTER XLIV

General M. C. Butler elected U.S. Senator by Democratic legislature--Carpetbag conspiracy against Butler proves a fiasco--Don Cameron, to the amazement of the country, forces the seating of Butler in the U.S. Senate--Senator Blaine traps Senator Vance who was fond of practical jokes--Astonishing clash between Senators Bayard and Blaine--Visit of a Senate Committee to the Indian Territory--Attempt to give a scolding to Chief Joseph, of the Nez Percés Indians, and the result--The mountain would not come to Mohammed, so Mohammed had to go to the mountain--Joseph turns the tables on the Senators and administers a stinging tongue-lashing--We leave Joseph, but do not feel very proud of ourselves.

        POLITICAL events both national and state in 1875-76 were full of thrills. Hayes and Tilden each claimed to have been elected to the Presidency, and Chamberlain and Hampton each claimed to have been legally elected as Governor of South Carolina. Tilden was counted out and Hampton was counted in. How the electoral vote of South Carolina could have been given to Hayes, and Hampton at the same time declared to have been elected governor, is, as the late Lord Dundreary would have said, "One of those things no fellow could understand," as, while negro women and boys under age may have voted, and there might have been several tissue ballots found in the boxes, still, it was a well-known fact that neither whites nor blacks ever voted a split ticket in South Carolina.

        South Carolina was in deadly earnest in her determination never again to submit to carpetbagger and negro rule. The authorities in Washington realized that the criminal orgy, miscalled government, of these wretches had come to an end, and that the only result of keeping them in power by the use of bayonets would be to cause the slaughter of numbers of ignorant, misled negroes.

        Having nothing to do I accepted several invitations from Northern friends (strange to say they were all Republicans in politics) and went with one of them on a yachting cruise


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along the New England coast, stopping at Bath, Maine, among other ports, where my host begged me not to let it be known that I had once been a pirate and had participated in the capture of several vessels belonging to that once prosperous shipowning town.

        After the yachting cruise I paid a number of visits to friends and was having a delightful time at the beautiful country seat of General E. Burd Grubb, near Burlington, New Jersey, when I received a letter telling me that a trust estate, my last and sole source of income, had forever disappeared. By my authority my trustee had lent the money, for which he was seeking an investment, to a friend of mine who was in business. Knowing our personal relations, the trustee let him have the money on his assurance that he would at once send back the collateral securities, but my friend failed before he did so. On learning of my total financial ruin I at once went to Washington to the house of my brother-in-law, General R. C. Drum, adjutant-general of the United States Army at that time, and I was still there when the United States Senate met to hold probably the most exciting session in its history.

        The Democratic legislature had kept up its organization despite the fact that the military would not allow them to enter the State House, and they had elected General M. C. Butler, a nephew of Commodore Perry, to the United States Senate. Corbin, a carpetbagger, was elected to the same seat by the Republican legislature. As the United States Senate at the time was Republican by a majority of one, Butler's election was generally regarded, by everybody except Butler, as an empty compliment.

        The carpetbaggers had fled from the South and were gathered in great numbers in Washington, posing in the rôle of political "lame ducks" and demanding that the Republican Administration should take care of them.

        The Senate was Republican by a majority of one, and no one, with the exception of General Butler, dreamed that it


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would be possible for him to obtain the seat under the circumstances. But the carpetbaggers were not satisfied with this apparent certainty. They wanted revenge, and to obtain it they formed a conspiracy for the purpose of so besmirching Butler that he would never be able to appear in national politics again.

        One day General Butler sent for me and told me of the conspiracy and how one of the carpetbaggers had gone on a spree and let the cat out of the bag, by mistake, to a Northern Democrat under the impression that he was a carpetbagger from some other State than South Carolina. The simple scheme was to have a woman of the demi-monde visit the general's apartment at an hour when it was known that he was usually alone, and the conspirators were to follow her into the rooms. It was a plan that required more courage than I had ever given the carpetbaggers the credit of possessing. The general requested me to remain with him until the dénouement.

        As the probable time for the visit approached, General Butler went into his bedroom and I remained in the sitting-room. The apartment was situated on the ground floor in a house on "F" Street, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets. His rooms were separated by folding doors. We had not long to wait before a heavily veiled woman, without asking for General Butler, or knocking at the sitting-room door, boldly entered and seemed considerably excited when she discovered me alone in the room. Before I could ask her business she demanded to know where General Butler was. I frankly told her that the general knew all about the conspiracy, and that if she would take a seat she would probably see some fun when her friends arrived. The woman became greatly agitated and started for the front door, but I had no idea of letting her meet the conspirators, and suggested to her that in going out that way she might fall into the hands of the police, and that as I did not want a scandal I would gladly show her out the back way where she could


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escape into an alleyway and from thence to a side street. She accepted my offer with enthusiasm and made a hasty exit.

        When I returned to the apartment General Butler and I changed places and he seated himself in the parlor while I went into the bedroom and closed the doors. The cicatrix of the stump of the General's amputated leg had been paining him and he was using his crutches that day. We had not long to wait. The door leading to the street and the one between the hall and his sitting-room had been left purposely ajar, and a few moments after the departure of the mysterious lady five carpetbaggers burst unceremoniously into the room. General Butler arose and demanded to know what they meant by the intrusion, but they were all so hilarious that they took no notice of his indignation, and two of them suddenly threw open the doors of the bedroom and to their surprise did not find the lady, but beheld me reclining on a couch. I leaped to my feet and seizing a chair for a weapon began to brandish it, at the same time, I fear, using some very violent language. General Butler was hopping about on one crutch while making most menacing flourishes in the air with the other. The general was the possessor of a most highly sulphurated vocabulary when his angry passions were aroused, and he was using it with unstinted prodigality. The scoundrels did not stand on the order of their going, but struggled among themselves for the honor of being first to reach the street--and thus ended the adventure with the veiled lady.

        I was in the gallery of the Senate when the contested seat in that body between Corbin, the carpetbagger, and Butler, the Confederate brigadier, came up for decision. It was a very exciting session. Conkling and Blaine for once were in accord, and they were merciless in their denunciations of Butler. Butler, of course, could not talk back, as he was not yet a Senator. Conkling described the Chesterfieldian Butler as a "swashbuckler," and Blaine accused him of


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being "a murderer whose hands were dripping with the blood of innocent negroes massacred at Hamburg." I was surprised at Butler's seeming indifference to the attack until he afterwards told me that he was not at Hamburg when the shooting took place, but that he was near there--in fact, his home was not twenty miles away from the scene. The truth of the matter was that, urged on by their white leaders, the negroes in Hamburg had started a riot, and an Edgefield rifle club had hastily assembled and suppressed them, and in the process had killed a few of the most violent. It was singular that no carpetbaggers were ever killed in those collisions.

        When the vote as to whether Butler or Corbin should be declared the duly elected Senator from South Carolina was taken, no one seemed particularly interested, as it was taken for granted that the Republican majority of one would seat Corbin, but great was the amazement when Don Cameron, the autocrat of the Pennsylvania Republican machine, announced that he voted for Butler. The excitement caused by this vote was nothing, however, in comparison to the pandemonium which reigned in that dignified body when Patterson, the carpetbag Senator from South Carolina, a man I had frequently heard Butler denounce at public meetings as everything that was dishonest and despicable, followed the lead of Cameron and voted also to seat Butler! Patterson was a Pennsylvanian, and a henchman of the Camerons. The carpetbag days in South Carolina were over forever, and he well knew that ruin stared him in the face at home if he dared vote contrary to the wishes of Cameron.

        Butler was seated and given the chairmanship of the Civil Service Committee, a sinecure, as that committee had nothing to do in those days, and was one of the least important committees, whose chairmanship was usually given to a member of the minority. His only patronage was the appointment of a messenger at a salary of fifteen hundred


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dollars a year, and this position he gave to me--and I surely did need the money at that time.

        I was in the Senate Chamber on that memorable night when Senators Conkling and Lamar had their famous clash, and on another occasion I was a witness of that extraordinary sight when Senator Blaine, like a caged lion, walked back and forth in front of the Democratic desks behind which were seated a number of ex-Confederate brigadiers. He would stop first in front of one of them and denounce his political methods, and then pass on to the next, but always skipped Senator Bayard, of Delaware, who was seated alongside of the one-legged General Hampton, and also ignored Senator Voorhees, of Indiana. At the end of the row was seated Senator Zebulon B. Vance, of North Carolina, an inveterate joker. When Blaine would reach Vance's seat he would look at him for a moment and then give a little start as though very much surprised, then retrace his steps and take up a position in front of some other Democratic Senator on whom he would pour out his wrath. This performance, repeated several times, made, as I have no doubt it was intended to make, Bayard, Voorhees, and Vance conspicuous because he excepted them from his general denunciations so freely lavished on their Democratic confrères. First Bayard and then Voorhees asked permission to interrupt him, but curtly refusing the former's request, he told the latter that he would not give up the floor for an instant to a man who in the Civil War had been neither "fish, flesh, fowl, nor good red herring." Vance seemingly flushed with anger at being excepted from the attacks, without asking permission to interrupt challenged Blaine "to show that he had ever made a disloyal remark since the surrender at Appomattox." Blaine called the attention of the presiding officer and the Senate to the fact that he had carefully avoided making any attack on the Senator from North Carolina, but added that he usually had on his desk some ammunition, useful in such contingencies, and he strode to


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it pretending that he was looking for something important among the mass of documents strewed thereon. Seemingly failing in his search, he gave a sigh. The Democratic side of the chamber laughed with glee at his supposed discomfiture, but when the merriment ceased Mr. Blaine said that he sometimes had something under his desk, and stooping down he produced a schoolbook of orations published for the use of the public schools of North Carolina. This book he told the Senate was issued to the schools when Zebulon B. Vance was governor and also, ex-officio, a member of the public school board, and this was the kind of oratory and loyalty being taught the youth of the State. He then opened the book at a marked page and read a selection from one of Vance's orations which proved to be a red-hot "secesh" speech, all about "when the South, like a phoenix, would arise from its ashes and cast out the Northern vandal," etc., etc. The Senate lost its dignity and indulged in roars of laughter in which Senator Vance hilariously joined. He saw the trap Mr. Blaine had set for him and appreciated the dexterity with which it had been sprung.

        After the merriment had somewhat subsided, Mr. Blaine stopped in front of Senator Bayard's desk. His hands were in his trousers pockets and his whole attitude, I must say, was offensive, and doubtless was meant to be so. General Wade Hampton occupied the next seat to Mr. Bayard and Mr. Blaine commenced to berate the general as though he was responsible for all the sins of the South since the commencement of the Civil War. General Hampton, in a most dignified manner, remained perfectly quiet during the verbal attack, but suddenly, without even asking the President pro tem's permission to interrupt the speaker, Mr. Bayard exclaimed, while shaking his finger at Mr. Blaine, "You shall not stand in front of my desk in that insolent attitude with your hands in your pockets!" Mr. Blaine glared at him for a moment and then said that he would stand in any place in the Senate Chamber that he chose, and he certainly


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would keep his hands in his pockets as long as it pleased him to do so. Mr. Bayard lost his temper, and jumping to his feet exclaimed, "You may talk that way here, but at another time and place--" He got no farther, for Mr. Blaine fairly roared, "Stop!" And then in a lower tone of voice, while pointing to General Hampton, he said, "If that threat had come from that one-legged man, it might mean something, but from you--p'st!" he hissed, and at the same time snapped his fingers in a most offensive manner.

        When Mr. Blaine had finished his tirade against the "Confederate brigadiers," he took his seat. Mr. Bayard, showing great emotion, instantly arose, and addressing the presiding officer said that "if in the heat of debate he had said anything to offend the Senator from Maine he wished to withdraw the remark!" The Senators and the crowds in the galleries fairly gasped in astonishment, for surely, if an apology was in order, it was not due from Mr. Bayard.

        As I watched this unpleasant scene little did I dream that it was destined at a future day to give me what the French call a "mauvais quart d'heure"--but it did.

        The marvelous Hayes-Tilden-Hampton-Chamberlain decision had given South Carolina control of her own political affairs, but not the control of her judiciary, as carpetbag judges still presided over her courts, and the warfare between the carpetbaggers and the natives still continued before the courts. Corbin, the disappointed contestant for a seat in the United States Senate, was the United States district attorney, and naturally thirsted for revenge and sought to use the United States District Court to attain his ends. He hated Dawson, the editor of the "Charleston News and Courier," even more than he did Butler. Colonel Simonton, an ex-Confederate officer, and a brilliant lawyer, was informed that Corbin was about to proceed against Dawson, and a number of other prominent Democrats, in the United


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States Court, charging them with instigating or participating in violations of the United States laws governing presidential or national elections. On the other hand, United States Senator Patterson, the South Carolina carpetbagger, and Cardozo, a highly educated carpetbag negro who had been superintendent of public education, and many other ex-officials of the looted States, had been indicted before the state courts, and it was well known that the judges thereof were anxious to make their peace with the native whites.

        The following letter from Senator M. C. Butler will give an idea as to how things were managed in those days:--

EDGEFIELD, S.C., Sept. 12, 1879.

COL. J. M. MORGAN,
Washington, D.C.
DEAR MORGAN: --

        Colonel Simonton writes to-day that Corbin is in Charleston preparing to renew the election prosecutions in Charleston in November, in the United States Court, and suggests that the prosecutions in the State Courts be pressed at the next term of the Court in Columbia--third Monday in next month--before [Judge] Mackey.

        I would be obliged if you would see Patterson and Cardozo in person and say that you have this information from reliable sources, and that unless Corbin is stopped there will be no possible chance to control the prosecutions in Columbia. Chamberlain will be moved upon also, as the truce will be at an end.

        The repeal of "test oath" and amendment to the jury law will protect our people--but we do not want this question reopened, and it will not be, unless the Radicals make the first move.

        I am sorry that Dawson is not here, as Corbin will have especial delight in annoying him, if he can.

        Mention no names in your conferences, and be good enough to let me hear from you. I will see Youmans next week.

Very truly yours,

M. C. BUTLER.

        I had a talk with Patterson and Cardozo, and there were no more prosecutions.


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        It must have been a mighty poor Senator who in those days could not (at the expense of the Government) get up, under the guise of an "investigation," a "junket" to some part of the country he wished to see during the summer vacations.

        It was my good fortune to accompany one of these luxurious pleasure parties to the Indian Territory. The object of our jaunt was supposed to be for the purpose of looking into the condition of the Nez Percés Indians who were interned there and who were becoming restless. It was thought it would be well to give their chief, Joseph, a good scolding, and the result of their well-meant efforts was that Joseph gave the Senators a tongue-lashing the like of which United States Senators have rarely been subjected to. Joseph fairly excoriated them, and worse than that, he was in the right.

        Our accommodations for the journey from Washington consisted of a splendid Pullman sleeping-car (special) and a luxurious dining-car, and most sumptuously did we fare on the best of everything there was to eat. Champagne was served even at breakfast as well as at other meals, and was also at the service of any one who wanted it between meals. There were only four Senators, but including ladies, men guests, and Senate attachés our company numbered some thirty people.

        Joseph's camp with its brown tepees was very picturesque. Seats for the Senators had been placed in a grove of oaks. The rest of us stood behind the chairs of the Solons, and, we flattered ourselves, made a very dignified and imposing picture, shaded as we were by magnificent trees, amongst which were the wigwams of the Indians, and between the trees a glimpse of the almost limitless prairie could be had.

        At the foot of a gigantic tree, leaning with his back against it, sat Chief Joseph with his braves seated in a semicircle around him. They were at least a hundred and fifty yards from where the Senators had taken up their position. When


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all was ready for the "pow-wow," the chairman of the committee sent the assistant sergeant-at-arms, with me as his aide-de-camp(?), to give Joseph permission to approach the august presence and receive a scolding. We walked up to the silent chief, who neither rose nor deigned to look at us. Christy, the assistant sergeant-at arms, gave him the message through an Indian interpreter. Joseph's reply was that he had not sent for the Senators, nor did he care particularly to talk to them, but if they had anything to say to him they could come over to where he was seated and say it. The programme had been that Joseph was to stand in front of the seated Senators while they read the "riot act" to him, but the wily savage had no intention of occupying any such undignified position. He refused to budge. As the mountain would not come to Mohammed, the Senators were compelled to go to Joseph, or else give up the conference. They decided to go and soon found themselves standing in the presence of the seated savage monarch.

        Patterson, the carpetbag Senator from South Carolina, was the chairman. He was not an impressive speaker, and used many awkward gestures, sawing the air with his arms when orating. He was also very vehement in his style, and plunged right into his subject, scolding Joseph for his sins of commission and omission. When he got through two more Senators took an oratorical fling at "Lo the poor Indian." All this time Joseph and his braves sat wrapped in their blankets--and silence. When the Senators had finished their tirades, Joseph, a magnificent specimen of the red man, standing, as he did, over six feet high in his moccasins, slowly arose, and as he did so his blanket gradually slipped from his shoulders to the ground leaving him clothed only in the eagle feathers of his headdress and a breech-clout. The first words he uttered were to ask the Senators if they had finished, and on being assured that they had, he began an oration, which, although it had to be translated by an interpreter, for eloquence and pathos I have rarely, if ever, heard


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equaled. He described how his tribe had dwelt on their lands, which the Great Spirit had given them, from time immemorial; how game was plentiful, and life was pleasant; how they had been kind to the first white settlers who had come to Oregon, and how when more came they had assisted them; how when the whites had become more numerous they had fenced in the land for their cattle, spoiling the hunting; and finally how the whites had ordered his people to "get out"! He told how when a little boy his father made him promise that he never would part with any of the lands to the pale faces, or any one else, and that all the tales of settlers to the effect that the Indians had sold them land were false. He then went on to tell the reasons why he went on the war path. He described his pursuit by the army, and claimed that he had defeated the soldiers in every engagement; how in one battle the troops had bravely charged his rifle pits and some of them had fallen within his lines, and, having no medical facilities, under a flag of truce he had sent the wounded soldiers to General Howard's camp to be made well. He called the attention of the Senators to the fact, which he said he could prove by the soldiers, that neither his braves nor himself had ever scalped a dead or a wounded white man. He also asserted that, though he was the victor in the fighting, under a flag of truce, as he did not wish to prolong the strife, he had agreed to accompany the soldiers to the nearest settlement where there was a fort and surrender on condition that he and his warriors should be sent back to Oregon; that, instead of keeping faith with him, they had disarmed his braves, and then had brought them to this unhealthy country. He added that it appeared to him the whites were afraid to fight, like men, in the open, and had sent them to this pest-hole to be killed by fever. He said that he had brought several hundred braves to this place and asked the Senators if they saw them around him. Pointing to a near-by graveyard be answered his own question by saying, "No; they lie over there, killed by


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your fevers!" He boldly denounced the Indian agent as a dishonest and immoral man, accusing him of stealing the rations and medicines the Government sent for his use, and called attention to several Indian girls who were gaudily dressed in the attire of white women, with their necks and arms bedizened with pinchbeck jewelry; he told the Senators that those young women had once been honest squaws, contented with their blankets, and intended for wives for his young men, but with those trinkets and bright-colored calicos, the Indian agent and his white assistants had led them astray.

        When Joseph had finished his arraignment of the whites, without saying so much as "By your leave," he picked up his blanket, wrapped it around him, and, followed by his warriors, he was dignity, outraged dignity, personified as he walked away and sought the seclusion of his tepee.


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CHAPTER XLV

"Fighting Bob" Evans gets me employment with Governor Alexander R. Shepherd and I go to Mexico--My brother, P. H. Morgan, is appointed U.S. Minister to Mexico--San Antonio, Texas, where we buy a herd of unbroken mules--The Canon de las Iglesias--Dangers of the mountain trail--Batopilas--The San Miguel silver mine--Governor Shepherd as an executive--A law unto himself, he wins the favor of Porfirio Diaz--In Bonanza--My conducta carries a hundred and forty thousand dollars in silver bars to Chihuahua--Instinct of the mountain mule--Beware of the polite Mexican--Narrow escape from falling into the hands of Victoria, the Apache Chief--The mountain trail strewn with silver bars.

        DURING the whole time I was an attaché of the Senate I was longing for some more suitable position, and in 1880-81 I confided my wishes to my old classmate in my Annapolis days, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, popularly known as "Fighting Bob."

        Alexander R. Shepherd, formerly Governor of the District of Columbia, was organizing a mining expedition to go to Batopilas, Mexico. Admiral, then Captain Evans, recommended me to Governor Shepherd as a good man to take charge of the conductas, as the mule trains carrying bullion to Mazatlan on the Pacific, on one side of the mountains, and Chihuahua, on the other, were called.

        Before we started I learned that my elder brother, Philip Hicky Morgan, the United States judge of the International Court in Egypt, had been appointed United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico. This appointment only increased my desire to see that wonderful land, accounts of which I had greedily listened to in the days of my childhood when the Mexican War veterans talked of little else.

        Governor Shepherd was taking his whole family to Mexico with him, and was also accompanied by some half-dozen friends, all of whom evidently expected to "get rich quick." A large number of people were gathered at the


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station to see the Governor off and wish him bon voyage and all manner of good luck. We left Washington in style, traveling in a private car and having every luxury money could buy. Our first stop was in St. Louis, Missouri, where we spent two or three very pleasant days before proceeding to San Antonio, Texas, where the Governor bought a herd of wild mules, a number of wagons, and a couple of ambulances for the convenience of his family. He also engaged a number of cowboys, and it was very interesting and exciting to watch them while engaged in breaking in the wild mules who never before had known even the restraining influence of a rope.

        After some three weeks of toilsome travel over the desert-like plains we reached the Rio Grande at a little town called Presidio del Norte, and after fussing for two or three days with the Mexican customs officials we proceeded to Chihuahua, Mexico, where the Governor had to sell the American mules and buy a new herd of mountain-bred ones to carry the packs over the Sierra Madres. We used the American animals to haul the wagons to Ysabel, some thirty miles from Chihuahua, a town without houses situated at the commencement of the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The inhabitants were cave-dwellers. We had been told that they were there, but on our arrival, as we saw neither houses nor people, we wondered, and some of us proceeded to investigate the mystery. We climbed the rocky hill and soon located the holes in the side of it in which the Indians lived. I entered one of these caves, which was about eight feet in diameter, and found a man and his wife and three children. An old iron skillet, a stone on which they ground their corn, and two goats, comprised their worldly goods. The Indians apparently had no curiosity concerning us and had not even taken the trouble to look at our large cavalcade.

        At Ysabel the wagons were unloaded and their contents packed on the backs of the little squirrel-like mountain


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mules. This operation was very interesting to watch. A Mexican would lasso a mule and then blindfold him; until this was done no power on earth could have cinched a packsaddle on the animal's back. This blindfold was shaped like the eye-shades used by clerks to protect their sight from the glare of electric lights. With the older mules this operation was merely perfunctory, as the muleteers would carelessly hang the string over one ear and let the blindfold dangle by the side of the animal's jaw. Of course the mule saw everything that was being done to him, but without that cloth somewhere about his head it was at the risk of life that any one approached him, and the Mexican, although usually brutal in his methods with animals, made that concession to the mule's prejudices.

        As nearly as it was possible to do so, the packs which each mule carried were made to weigh three hundred pounds. As soon as the load was well cinched to their backs, the mules were turned loose, but made no attempt to escape. The secret of this was that the old white bell mare was securely tethered. As soon as all was ready for the start the bell mare was led to the trail and started upon it, and the bridleless little animals fell in behind her in Indian file and the eight-day mountain journey commenced.

        We had not traveled very far before we entered the Cañon de las Iglesias, or "Cañon of the Churches," where we saw one of the grandest and most magnificent spectacles. The precipitous sides of the canon rose to a height of from five hundred to two thousand feet, and the face of the rock at intervals took on the appearance of great cathedrals. No imagination is required to discern the spires, towers, and minarets, and several of them have a plainly marked Gothic-arched entrance extending for some feet back into the rock. It seemed hard to realize that they were the work of the elements and not of some gigantic race of men. Some of these cathedrals of nature are beautifully


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proportioned and deeply impressed the least imaginative members of our party.

        The trail across the mountains is very rough and in some places dangerous. At one point a chasm some two hundred and fifty yards wide is spanned by a ridge only about three feet wide at the top. There are holes in it all the way across for the mules to put their feet in to avoid the possibility of slipping; there is a sheer fall of three thousand feet to the bottom on one side and seven thousand on the other. No one is allowed to cross on foot, and those who are susceptible to dizziness have to be blindfolded. The scenery along the trail is magnificent. At times we could look down and see the buzzards gracefully circling above the clouds. It is a strange sensation to see lightning below you and to hear the rumbling of the thunder as it rises to your level.

        We had to ford several mountain streams which, after heavy rains or a cloudburst, are very dangerous, and we passed within sight of a few Indian villages, perched high up on a mountain-side, whose inhabitants fled on perceiving us, driving their goats ahead of them, and soon disappearing among the crags. With others I visited one of these abandoned villages and found that the Indians had left behind them all of their belongings that were not edible. From time immemorial they have been subjected to such cruelties by the Mexicans that they take no chances of coming into contact with them if they can possibly avoid it.

        On our arrival at the hacienda of the San Miguel mine, which Governor Shepherd had purchased from Mr. Fargo, of the famous express company, things began to be doing, and the native had his first experience with an example of the genus hustler.

        The town of Batopilas, situated on the right bank of the river of that name, is about a mile below the hacienda. Its inhabitants, with few exceptions, were miners, who


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had been out of employment for a long time, as the mining industry had been at a standstill for several years.

        To reach the town from the hacienda it was necessary to cross the river, a very rapid stream flowing through the narrow canon whose precipitous sides rose to a height of two or three thousand feet, shutting out a glimpse of the sun from before ten o'clock in the morning and after three in the afternoon.

        The San Miguel mine was situated about half a mile above the hacienda. The tunnel leading into it was a little above the high-water mark, and after entering it we discovered that, contrary to all of our preconceived ideas, the miners mined upward instead of downward. Out of this mine several millions of dollars of silver had in the past been taken out. It was what is called a "pocket" mine, and marvelous stories were told by the natives about the great riches some of the pockets had contained. The roofs of some of the ancient pockets were sustained by great columns of rock out of which "native" silver, as it is called, protruded in the shape of nails. The richness of these old pillars could not be questioned, but it was against the law to touch them, as they were kept for the protection of the miners.

        Before Governor Shepherd had been at the hacienda twenty-four hours both it and the mine took on the appearance of a busy beehive. The notoriously lazy Mexicans suddenly discovered that they could move at the double-quick under the magnetic eye of their new ruler. It seemed as though by instinct the natives instantly recognized the big man as a born ruler, and he was in fact one of the ablest executives it was ever my good fortune to know. He seemed instinctively to know everything, although this was his first experience in mining. He was a man who was fond of luxury and would send for miles to some snowcapped peak for snow to make for himself a cooling drink, and while sitting on the piazza in a comfortable chair,


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enjoying a fine cigar, no man could pass within the radius of his vision that he did not instantly know what that fellow could do best, and what he ought to be doing at that moment.

        The Governor had brought with him a large amount of paper money which he had had printed in New York. He at once opened a store at the hacienda and told the miners that he intended to pay them with this paper money and that they could buy what they wanted at the store with it, and the miners greedily accepted his offer. Then, to their amazement he ordered them to knock down those rich columns containing Heaven only knows how much native silver to the ton!

        Naturally there were storekeepers and others who became envious, and they reported to the Government at the City of Mexico how the Governor had defied the law both in the matter of the columns and in the issuing of paper money without the consent of the authorities. But a little thing like that did not faze the Governor. The row got him into communication with the President, Don Porfirio Diaz, and soon this extraordinary Washington man had authority to do pretty much as he pleased in the Batopilas district, and even the mighty jefe politico, or sheriff, was courting his favor.

        In a very short time the columns were ground into dust, the silver extracted and cast into bars weighing about a hundred pounds each, two of these bars were strapped to the pack-saddle of each mule, and I was started with my conducta, carrying a hundred and forty thousand dollars worth of silver, on the trail to Chihuahua. At Chihuahua the silver was turned over to a regular freighter whose wagon train took it across the American boundary.

        No sooner had I arrived in Chihuahua than a report spread that Shepherd had struck a new and immensely rich pocket in the San Miguel mine which was once more in bonanza, and the news of my arrival with the treasure


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was telegraphed to the United States causing quite a flurry in mining circles. This was the beginning of the great boom inaugurated in Mexican mines by American promoters, in which millions of dollars, in good money, were invested. Worked-out mines were plentiful and cheap. Doubtless, if one only dug deep enough, a silver mine could be found anywhere in Mexico.

        Sometimes I carried the bullion to Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast, but the trail to Chihuahua was by far the most picturesque and interesting. Occasionally in the rainy season we would come to a mountain stream that was a raging torrent and impossible to ford, and then we had to sit down by the side of it and wait for the waters to subside. Of course we had no conveniences for carrying tents, and when it rained we got wet, and when the sun came out we got dry again.

        We usually traveled about twenty miles a day, but the distance depended upon favorable camping-spots. When the day's journey was over, the mules were lassoed, blind-folded, and hobbled, their loads and pack-saddles removed, and then the blindfolds were taken off, and they were allowed to graze on the mountain-sides--if one can call it grazing where no two spears of grass are within ten feet of each other. These hardy little animals, however, even with their front feet tied together, could climb like goats, and succeeded in getting from such scanty pasturage sufficient sustenance to enable them day after day to climb up rugged mountains with from two to three hundred pounds on their backs. Sometimes in the morning our start would be delayed on account of their having strayed three or four miles away during the night.

        The intelligence--or instinct, if one prefers to call it such--of these mountain mules is most extraordinary. We were going through an arroyo one afternoon, the bed of the stream perfectly dry, and its banks so precipitous that it seemed impossible a hoofed animal could climb them,


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when without any apparent cause a panic or stampede occurred, and in less time than it takes to tell it those mules, with their heavy packs, were climbing up the precipitous sides of the cliffs as though they were squirrels. The Mexicans followed them, on foot, while wildly crying to me to follow their example. I needed no persuasion, as my mule became unmanageable, took the bit in his teeth, and scampered up the steep bank as nimbly as the others. Perched upon a ledge, some thirty feet above the trail, I soon learned the cause of the excitement, as in a few minutes I heard a mighty roar and then saw a wall of water some fifteen feet in height rushing down the arroyo. The Mexicans explained to me that there had been a cloudburst up in the mountains, and that the rush of the torrent was so great that but for the sense of the so-called "stupid" mules, we should all have been swept to our deaths.

        This life on the trail was naturally one of hardship and privation. When we camped (going toward Chihuahua), I always made the men lay the silver bars close together on the ground and on these I made my bed by spreading my poncho, or rubber sheet, and my blanket over them. Pauper as I was, many is the night I slept on a fortune. My poncho was my sole protection from the weather in the rainy season, and when returning to Batopilas with the mules laden with goods, machinery, or provisions, I had, like the others, to sleep on the bare rock or ground, and many a morning found that I had a tarantula or a scorpion for a bedfellow, but I never saw any one bitten by these creatures. Rattlesnakes at high altitudes are also fond of human companionship and warmth, and are disposed to creep under a man's blanket or cuddle up alongside of him while he sleeps, but a hair rope laid in a circle around one's sleeping-place will prevent their too near approach.

        These journeys were very lonely to me. I usually had with me eight or ten men to manage the mules, but their society was not very comforting; I much prefered the company


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of the long-eared fraternity "who had neither pride of ancestry nor hope of progeny." I never met a Mexican who did not try to impress me with the idea that the only way one of them could be managed was by showing him great deference and extreme politeness; but I found by experience that military discipline--fearless enforcing of orders worked to much greater advantage. The man who enters into a bowing contest with a Mexican has lost before he starts. When a Mexican means mischief he always advances on the man whom he intends to harm with his serape, or blanket, closely drawn about him, hiding both hands, and then he begins by paying his intended victim fulsome compliments, drawing nearer and nearer all the time, until close enough to use his wicked knife. Naturally I had occasional trouble with some of my men as to the propriety of their obeying orders, and when one of them would go into a frenzy of rage and then suddenly control himself and pretend that he wanted to apologize and would approach me, I simply would draw my pistol and order him to open his blanket, and never failed to find the ready knife concealed in its folds. I would make the fellow stand where he was and wait without argument until he had cooled off. I never found that they bore malice for any length of time, and besides they had quite a respect for any one who was handy with a gun.

        On one of my trips I came within a hair's breadth of losing my hair. I had made a very hurried journey to Chihuahua with some two hundred silver bars, worth a thousand dollars each, which Governor Shepherd was very anxious to have reach the town before the regular day for the monthly freight wagon train to start for the American border, as he had an arrangement with American bankers by which he could draw bills against silver shipments as soon as the bullion crossed the Rio Grande. Despite every exertion, I was detained by swollen mountain streams and arrived at Chihuahua too late to catch the wagons. According to my


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instructions I turned the silver bars over to Mr. Macmanus, the Governor's agent, who insisted that I should put the silver into ambulances and try to catch up with the wagon train, which only had two days the start of me, and which only traveled at the rate of about ten miles a day. Mr. Macmanus urged this course because he said he knew how important it was for the Governor to have the shipment reach the border as soon as possible. At first I agreed to go, and the hour for my departure was fixed for seven o'clock the next morning. I was tired and hungry, and going to the little inn quickly ate my chile con carne and tortillas and then went to bed.

        I thought little of the race I was to make after the wagons, as it was all in the day's work, and when day broke I arose, quickly dressed, and proceeded to Mr. Macmanus's store to await the ambulances. The vehicles, each drawn by four fresh mules, arrived on time, the silver bars were placed in them, I bade Mr. Macmanus and his partner good-bye, my foot was on the step of the ambulance, and I was about to give the word to start, when suddenly a queer sensation came over me and the idea flashed through my brain that I had no right to take this great responsibility on myself. I withdrew my foot from the step and told the agent that I had decided not to go! He was shocked and amazed; tried persuasion, and threats as to what Governor Shepherd would do if the bullion failed to make the connection, etc.; but I replied that my instructions were explicit, and that they simply ordered me to deliver the silver to Macmanus & Co. at Chihuahua; and that I declined the responsibility of making a dash toward the border with it unless I had clear instructions from Governor Shepherd to that effect. I asked them how, if by any accident I lost the treasure, I could explain why, without orders, I was speeding for the border with it, when my instructions were to deliver it in Chihuahua and take a receipt for it. At all events, I would not go.

        At twelve o'clock I was still in Macmanus's store superintending


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the packing of some goods I was to take back to Batopilas, when suddenly I heard men in front of the store talking in a most excited manner. A peon from Mr. Macmanus's hacienda, situated about twelve miles distant, had come to Chihuahua at full speed, as the condition of the horse he rode plainly showed. The man reported that at nine o'clock that morning Victoria, chief of the Apaches, with his band, had attacked the hacienda, killed and outraged many of the residents,--in fact all who were not quick enough to get away and hide; that he had looted the buildings, and driven off all the stock! Had I started with the silver I was to have made my first change of mules at this hacienda, and I most probably would have arrived there simultaneously with Victoria, who was every bit as cruel a savage as his successor Geronimo. Instead of having any more fault found with my want of enterprise, I received many compliments, and much praise for my good judgment--and extraordinary foresight (?), etc.

        On one of my trips from Batopilas to Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast with a conducta of over a hundred thousand dollars worth of silver bars, we came to a place in the mountains where the trail was literally strewn with silver bars, and not a man or a mule was to be seen. The bars lay on the ground some thirty to sixty yards apart and there were a great many of them. My men were certain that a conducta had been attacked by ladrones and urged me to hurry on, as they feared the bandits would return for their booty as soon as they had driven its lawful guardians well away. To tell the truth, by that time I knew the Mexicans well enough to know that had I stopped and tried to save the bullion, I would have received scant thanks from its rightful owners. My men also begged me not to say anything about it, as they feared they would be imprisoned until the bandits were captured--a very indefinite period, indeed. I sympathized with my peons, for a Mexican jail is no joke. It is expected by the authorities that a prisoner's family will feed him, and


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if he has no money or friends, the only things he is given to eat are soup, made from the heads and shin bones of some unfortunate animal, and a crust of coarse bread not fit for human beings to eat. I visited one of the jails once and a filthier place it would be hard to imagine.


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CHAPTER XLVI

Resign position as chief of conductas and start for home via Mazatlan and San Francisco--Alamos--Witness marriage between a Mexican girl and a German--New York--A dress-suit my chief asset--Return to Mexico and become a civil engineer (?) --Primitive coaching--Queretaro and its opal mines.

        To the wanderer in strange lands home becomes endowed with all sorts of advantages which had not been perceived before he roamed away from it. The fact that he left because he could not make a living there is entirely forgotten. My life on the trail was one of hardship, and I could see no prospect of bettering it if I spent the rest of my days on one mule while driving others up and down the mountain-sides. In the lonely hours of the night I thought of many things I could do if I could only once more put my foot on my native heath. A job appears to be about the easiest thing in the world to get to a man who is not in need of one.

        I resigned my position as chief of conductas, and Governor Shepherd made arrangements for me to accompany, on my way home, one Don Ramon, a merchant in Batopilas who was about to start for Mazatlan with a conducta. Young Lyman Learned, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a boy of eighteen, who was in ill health, also took advantage of the opportunity to return to the States, or "God's own country," as self-exited Americans call it.

        There is no race on earth that the Mexicans, high or low, hate as they do the Americans, and Don Ramon did not hanker after our company and made no secret of the fact. But to avoid incurring the displeasure of the all-powerful Governor Shepherd, he, with rather bad grace, consented to allow the two Gringos to ride along the same trail in sight of His Highness's mules.

        "Gringo," being interpreted, means the "unintelligible," and is an expression of contempt applied to all Americans.


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        Arriving at the town of Alamos, we spent two days making arrangements to have our mules returned to Batopilas and also waiting for a tri-weekly stage that would take us to the coast of the Gulf of California and from thence to Mazatlan. While at Alamos we saw a rather unique ceremony. A young German was to be married to the daughter of a prosperous Mexican merchant, and before the ceremony could be performed he had to be taken to the fountain, in the centre of the plaza on which the church was situated, where he was stripped and publicly bathed. A sheet was then wrapped around him; and he walked to the steps which led up to the portals of the church, where he was made to crawl on all fours until he reached the door; then he was made to get down on his belly and wriggle his way up the aisle to the chancel rail, where he was again permitted to stand erect while he renounced Protestantism; after which he was conducted to the vestry, where he arrayed himself in his best clothes and returned to meet his bride at the altar and the ceremony was at last performed.

        A wedding in Mexico was at this time a most expensive luxury. I was told that no priest would marry a couple, even if they were peons, for a smaller fee than three hundred dollars, and in that day no peon could hope to save that amount, from his scant wages of five or ten cents for a day's work, in a lifetime. So the poorer classes just did without the blessing of the Church, and I must say, to the credit of the Mexicans, that it rarely, if ever, happens that one of them deserts the mother of his children.

        Learned and I took passage in a steamer bound for San Francisco, and singular to relate she proved to be the identical ship I had once made a voyage in from Charleston, South Carolina, to New York nearly twenty years before. Remembering some acrobatics the old "water-bruiser" had performed off Cape Hatteras on that occasion, I earnestly prayed that we should not butt into one of those not infrequent gales that the Pacific is famed for.


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        After a short and pleasant stay in San Francisco, Learned and I started on our tedious overland journey to New York, where I found myself in a few days and at once went in search of that employment which had seemed so easy to obtain in my day-dreams when following the lonely trail in Mexico. But in the turmoil of New York's busy streets there seemed to be no place for dreamers of vague dreams, and I soon found myself wandering about with no very definite object in view. I did not know how to ask a stranger to give me employment, and if the stranger had asked me what I could do, I could only have answered, "Reef, furl, and steer, a little navigation, ride a horse, and some little knowledge as to how sugar cane and cotton seed ought to be planted," and I began to have grave doubts as to whether my accomplishments would make me an invaluable employee in a counting-house.

        I suppose every man has his little fad, idiosyncrasy, or peculiarity secreted some place about his person; at least all the men I have ever met carried around some pet foible. Among my acquaintances the man who came nearest to being free from fads was a millionaire who was lavish in his hospitality, and as generous as a prince ought to be; but alas, his pet and only economy was the saving of matches and it really hurt his feelings to see one wasted.

        One of my idiosyncrasies was a dress-suit. Through hope and despondency I clung to mine in whatever part of the world I was, and it never failed to reward me by securing for me a good time which, had I not been so loyal to it, would have been impossible. So after tramping the streets in the business district downtown all day, I would seek that dress-suit when the shades of evening ended my fruitless quest, and as I donned it my dejected air as by magic disappeared, and once more I became the man of the world without a care, usually spending my evenings at some entertainment at the houses of my wealthy friends, or at the clubs, to several of which I always had cards of invitation when in


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New York. Many of my friends would have gladly assisted me in getting employment, but how can a man be helped in that way when he becomes speechless as the first business conundrum is asked him--"What do you know how to do?"

        To the impecunious man the day to "move on" comes sooner or later, generally sooner. I one day met the captain of a steamer which was about to sail for Vera Cruz, and taking a fancy to me, the skipper invited me to accompany him, as his guest, on the voyage. Of course I accepted, and on the ship met a Mr. Van Vleck, a civil engineer, who, accompanied by his son and three other young men, was on his way to Mexico in the employment of the Mexican Central Railroad, a corporation which at that time had recently been formed. Mr. Van Vleck informed me that his engineering party was complete with the exception of a "topographer" and offered me the position. When I told him I had no knowledge of the work, he brushed aside my scruples by saying that he would teach me, and of course I was perfectly delighted with the opportunity.

        At Vera Cruz the American Consul informed me that my brother, the Minister, was spending a few days at Orizaba, and I at once proceeded to that place to visit him. After a few pleasant days spent with my brother and his family, I had once more to come down from my high horse, as the brother of the representative of the United States, and go to work as a "sub" in the engineering party, which I joined in the City of Mexico. We proceeded by stage-coach to Leon where we were to commence our work.

        Traveling by stage-coach in Mexico (before the days of the railroads) was a most exhilarating and exciting experience. Besides the very rough roads and beautiful scenery there was always the possibility, if not probability, of having a brush with bandits, and the certainty of an upset at more or less frequent intervals. The stage-coaches were drawn by nine mules--two at the pole, four in the "swing,"


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and three in the lead. The stage-driver was a man of great importance whom every one treated with marked deference. He never condescended to do anything but drive, and along-side of him, on the box seat, was his mozo or servant. At his right was a stand containing three varieties of whips with lashes of various lengths for use on the wheelers, or the mules in the swing, and the longest was for use on the leaders, who were so far away that it was difficult to reach them with any accuracy. This difficulty was provided against by the mozo supplying himself with a bucketful of pebbles, which he threw with such accuracy that he could hit either ear of any mule in the lead, especially if he was offered a small coin for an exhibition of his skill. Of course the control of that number of hard-headed and hard-mouthed mules was accomplished principally by a powerful brake on which, by placing his foot on the lever, the driver could throw his whole weight.

        Occasionally when the mules were changed at a hacienda perfectly wild and untrained one would be brought out and blindfolded and then most unceremoniously thrown down and his feet tied; while in that uncomfortable position the harness would be put on him and he would be hitched to the stage as one of the inside mules of the swing. Then the other mules would be placed and the wild animal's feet untied, the blindfold removed as the driver shouted to his team, and away they would go at the gallop while the frenzied and frightened wild mule would be plunging and kicking and throwing himself on the ground in his desperation. But the rest of the team never wavered or hesitated in their mad race, and whether lying on his side or kicking, the unruly one was dragged along until he learned that it was more comfortable to gallop with the rest than to be dragged over the rough stones on his side. The lesson was usually learned in a mile or two.

        On our way to Leon we passed through the rather pretty city of Queretaro, near which the Emperor Maximilian


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was so cruelly put to death. One of the most singular traits of the Spanish race is their fastidiousness about the place where they murder an honorable enemy. They must have a wall to put his back against. The wall, or something equally as good, is an absolute requisite properly to stage the sport. About two miles from Queretaro, standing alone in a broad and level prairie, rises a solitary rock some hundred feet long and about thirty feet high with a precipitous side, and poor Maximilian, who after his capture was imprisoned in the city, was taken all that distance before his execution so that his murderers could have a fitting background for the tragedy.

        Another thing for which Queretaro is famous is its opal mines. I was fortunate enough to obtain permission to enter one of these mines, and lit up by torches the interior furnished one of the most beautiful sights that eye ever beheld. It was like fairyland. The multi-colored jewels reflected the light from the dome, the sides, and the floor of the cave. There were pieces of opal, protruding from the walls, which were as large as a man's body, and I no longer wondered why opals were cheap in Mexico. At the hotel I bought a handful of small stones from a peon, who seemed gleeful when I paid him with a Mexican silver dollar. I was afterwards informed by the proprietor of the inn that I had been outrageously swindled, as had he known I wanted to buy opals he would have furnished me with twice the number for half the price.


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CHAPTER XLVII

Leon, the city whose sole industry is the carving of leather and making of saddles--Running trial lines on the gallop--La Piedad--Didn't flop quick enough and got stoned--The brave peccary--The strangler tree--The tree that bleeds blood--Come upon a murdered man lying on the road--The volcano of Colima--General Grant only likes rebels who fought--Mr. Gilmore comes near losing his life in the Jule River--Return to the States to finance a silver mine.

        ON our arrival at Leon we were surprised to find so large and thriving a city so far in the interior and of whose existence we had theretofore been ignorant. The secret of its prosperity lay in the fact that it was the centre of the saddlery and carved leather industry for which it is famed in Mexico.

        We bought horses and saddles and engaged mozos (servants who care for the horses), for this unique surveying party was to be mounted. The reason for this was that there was a rival corporation in the field and the one which first got its maps to the City of Mexico would obtain the rich concession.

        We took our departure from Leon, and when we had got well out of sight of the place, the race began. The "flag" man would be sent at the gallop as far ahead as he could be seen by the "transit" man, and the "chain" men measured the distance on the trot. As soon as they were far enough ahead, the transit stand was folded and given in charge to a mounted peon and he and the engineer put spurs to their horses and caught up with the flag. The work of the man with the level and of the topographer was necessarily slower, and after the start we rarely saw the party again until we rejoined them, sometimes late in the night, at the camp or village where they slept. In this manner we sometimes went over as much as thirty miles in a day, but as the very rough work was to be done over again before any railroad


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was built, it did not matter. The concession was the thing to get, and after that was secured the engineers that were to follow would do the real work. At towns like Irapuato, La Piedad, etc., we would stop for days while the maps were being made, and as soon as finished they were hurried on to the City of Mexico and the concession claimed. They were very pretty maps and served their purpose well, but I should have hated to be a contractor who based his estimates on them.

        This surveying expedition was a very interesting experience to me. My duties necessitated my riding for miles away from the line, and although I had few adventures worthy of being recounted, still I saw much of the country that was of interest, such as visiting a silver mine situated on the top of a mountain so high that the snow never melted, and going down the mountain-side, in less than an hour, I found myself in a country where oranges, pineapples, and bananas grew luxuriantly.

        While in La Piedad I had a somewhat unpleasant experience owing to my ignorance of the manners and customs of the people. La Piedad, as its name indicates, is a very religious town. I was walking on the principal street one day when a religious procession came along. I saw the people kneel on the dirty roadway as the crucifix approached, but not being a Catholic I had no idea that I was expected to do likewise; but the Mexicans easily made their desires understood by the accursed Gringo by throwing a shower of stones at me, several of which hit their mark before I could find refuge in an open doorway.

        On another occasion, while alone, I saw a peccary, a small wild hog, come out of a jungle and stop in the middle of the trail. These animals are fighters and wonderfully brave. To get a good shot at him with my Winchester rifle I dismounted and fired, with the result that the peccary was wounded and my horse broke away and left me standing there, while the pig squealed and four of his companions


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answered to his call of distress and made an awful row over him. They stood there, some hundred and fifty yards from me, until I shot the last one of them down. These animals have a gland on their backs near the tail which, when they are injured, emits a stench that would make a skunk turn green with envy, and which if not quickly removed with a knife in a manner well known to the Mexican, permeates the flesh and makes it unfit for food, but when the operation is successfully performed the meat is sweet and the hams are unexcelled in delicacy of flavor.

        Among the sights which made an impression on me was a forest of wild orange trees through which we rode for miles. I also saw many of the hygera, a species of the banyan tree in appearance. This tree is an assassin and a strangler. It starts as a slender vine and quickly climbs the tree it has selected for a victim--forms a network around the trunk, and creeping out on the branches it sends down vines which on reaching the ground take root and quickly grow to the size of large posts. The lacework formed by the vine around the trunk of the doomed tree grows into a solid mass, and as the hygera grows with great rapidity it tears the roots of the tree out of the ground and replaces them with its own. I saw one of these parasite trees which, with its posts supporting its limbs, covered at least half an acre of ground.

        Another tree which interested me very much produced a fruit about the size of a large apple with a russet-colored, thin skin, which contained a most delicious custard; one tasting it could hardly believe that it was not made by some expert cook. I also saw a tree called the sangre, about which the Mexicans in our party seemed to be somewhat superstitious. When the bark was cut through with a knife, it was found that its sap was of the color of blood and left a stain on a handkerchief exactly as blood would do.

        But there were other sights to be seen in Mexico besides the beauties of nature. I was riding along a public highway


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early one morning when a heavy fog prevailed. Suddenly my horse shied and whirled around so suddenly that I was almost unseated, and after I had got him under control, he could not be persuaded to return to the spot where he had balked until my mozo had dismounted, and leading his own horse, led the way. An exclamation from the mozo caused me to dismount also, and on approaching him I plainly saw through the now lifting fog the cause of my horse's fright. There, lying on his back, with wide-open, bulging eyes, was a fine-looking man with about a foot of a machete standing up out of his breast. His dead body lay in a pool of blood. My mozo examined him and expressed the opinion that the poor fellow had not been dead for very long, as his body was still warm. As we could do nothing for him, we continued on our way, and until we reached the next village the mozo kept entreating me not to mention what we had seen. At the town I met an American who had been many years in the country, and naturally I confided to him our gruesome secret. To my surprise he advised me to ride on, and to ride fast, as at any moment an official might be informed of the tragedy, and if it was known that my mozo and I had passed along that road we should be thrown into prison and kept there until our friends could produce the murderer who had committed the awful deed. I took his advice, and urged on by my mozo, rode fast.

        Our road took us within a short distance of Colima, that wonderful volcano which, with almost clocklike regularity, sends up into the heavens a great cloud of smoke every four hours.

        Without further adventure I arrived at the City of Mexico, where I became an attaché of the Legation and spent several very pleasant months in that beautiful climate, where it is never very hot or cold and where the elements are so well regulated that in the rainy season one can tell by looking at his watch about when it is going to rain. At the same hour every afternoon the shower comes down, and


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after it has laid the dust, Society enters its carriages and all the swells go out for a drive. The last piece of property a Mexican parts with, when adversity overtakes him, is his carriage.

        My brother's residence, on the fine public square called the Alameda, and the United States Legation, were twin buildings adjoining each other. One morning, coming out of the Legation, I was accosted by a gentleman who asked to be directed to judge Morgan's house. Although I had never met General Grant, I instantly recognized him from his resemblance to the many portraits I had seen. While I was offering to escort him into the house, my brother appeared and, after greeting the general, laughingly said: "Do you know that is a rebel you are talking to, General?" The ex-President gave me a kindly smile and turning to judge Morgan replied: "Well, the question is, did he fight? It is only the other kind of rebels I can't get along with." And that is the extent of my only interview with the great Union general, as he and my brother entered the house and I never saw him again.

        There was sojourning in the City of Mexico at this time a young gentleman from New Orleans by the name of Gilmore. One of his brothers had married a daughter of Judge Morgan. Gilmore had been tempted to go to Mexico by stories he had heard about the golden opportunities that there awaited young men of energy. He unfortunately fell into the hands of an enthusiastic disciple of Colonel Sellers, who persuaded him that there was "a fortune in pigs." Gilmore invested his money with him in a ham manufactory in Puebla, with the usual result, that when the partnership was dissolved, Gilmore received only the experience for his share of the assets.

        One day Gilmore informed me that he had received a communication from a Mexican who dwelt a hundred or more miles away, on the road to Tampico, offering him a three-fourths interest in a rich silver mine if he would


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furnish the money to work it. Gilmore was enthusiastic over the proposition and offered me an interest (in the company to be formed) if I would go with him and investigate the property. I jumped at the chance, and accompanied by two mozos we mounted our horses and started for--we did not know where.

        We finally found the man who owned the mine and he piloted us to it. It did not require an expert to see that there was silver in the vein, as pieces of metal larger than ten-penny nails stuck out of the rocks, and we were permitted to take away with us a small bagful as samples to show prospective investors.

        As Gilmore and I had more time than anything else, we determined to prospect the country further and in fact ride as far as Tampico, a seaport we both desired to see. So we bade an adios to the Mexican who owned the mine and again started on our travels.

        We proceeded on our way until we reached the Jule (pronounced "Hoola"), or India Rubber River, where we proposed to stop for a long rest. It was well that we had determined to rest there, as there was a freshet and we found the stream unfordable until the waters should subside. On our way to the river our narrow trail led at times through a dense growth of wild lemon bushes whose leaves were infested with a tick whose Mexican name is too indecent to mention. This tick, on being brushed off the leaves by a horseman's legs, gets under his trousers and bores its way through the skin, where it deposits eggs which soon cause an ugly sore and a scab to form, which rapidly grows and has the appearance of small horns. They sometimes grow to a length of three quarters of an inch and the slightest touch causes them to give most agonizing pain, and frequently they cause the temporary loss of the use of the lower limbs. The itching is maddening. The antidote for these insects grows on the same bush on which they live, in the shape of a lemon whose juice instantly kills them, but


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this fact we did not know at the time, and suffered accordingly.

        On the side from which we approached the stream were cliffs some seventy feet in height, and the river was reached by the dry bed of an arroyo which formed the road to the ford. The stream at this point was some four hundred yards in width and the shore just opposite was low. Below the ford cliffs arose on the other side, the river rapidly narrowed, and the current greatly increased in velocity until the water poured over falls, some eighty feet in height, a few hundred yards farther downstream.

        We longed for a bath, and lost no time in taking off our clothes and entering the water. There was a small islet, the crest of a sandbar, which showed its top above the water, and I swam for it. Making a landing, I lay down and began to rub my itching skin with sand and called out to Gilmore (who had told me that he could swim) to come over and enjoy it. Gilmore struck out, and when he had swam half the distance, to my horror, I saw that he was in trouble. I plunged into the water and went to his assistance. As I approached him he threw up his arms and sank, but I was fortunate enough to grab and raise him to the surface. I was dismayed to find that he had lost consciousness, but supporting him with one arm I swam for the shore with the other, naturally making but slow headway, and conscious of the fact that the current was increasing in velocity every moment. At last we reached the cliff and I seized a small bush which was growing out of a crevice in the rock. For a few moments my anchorage held while I shouted to the Mexican mozos for help. Then, after a few seconds, the roots of the bush were torn out by our weight and again we were carried down by the current. This happened again and again while the roar of the falls came nearer and louder each moment. At last I caught hold of a tuft of grass, the last hope in sight, and before it pulled out from its fastenings the mozos on top of the cliff tied their lassos together and


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lowered them down to me. I at once made them fast to Gilmore's body and told the Mexicans to hoist away, which they did, and after great effort they finally landed him safe, but still insensible. While Gilmore was being hoisted up, my tuft of grass came out and I went drifting down the stream, only able to retard my progress by pressing my torn hands against the almost smooth side of the cliff, but finally--it seemed ages to me--the mozos again lowered the lasso, and I was hauled up to safety. I found that my friend was still unconscious, and to the amazement of the Mexicans I made them help me to hold him upside down until the water ran out of him, and after working his arms up and down and attempting to revive him by artificial respiration, at the same time rubbing him with mescal (native whiskey made from the maguey plant) we succeeded in bringing him to.

        After a wait of four or five days, until the waters subsided and Gilmore had recovered from his shock, we waded and swam our horses across the river which had so nearly caused our finish, and continued our journey. On our way, when near the head of navigation on the Panuco River we met with a strange character in the shape of a white man who said he was from Philadelphia originally, but had lived in Mexico for thirty years. He was a quack doctor, and evidently belonged to the class of "lost" men whose people, if he had any, supposed dead. The doctor, without invitation, joined our party and proceeded with us to Panuco. He became very friendly on the way, and informed me that he knew where there was a lake of asphalt and that for a very small consideration he would guide me to it. But my mind was engaged in dreaming dreams about the great wealth to be obtained out of the silver mine, so I paid very little attention to his story.

        Gilmore and I proceeded to Tampico, stayed there a few days, and returned to the City of Mexico without further adventure. It was decided that I should take the little bag


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of ore samples and go to New York, via Vera Cruz and Havana, for the purpose of raising money to exploit our find. I could interest no one in New York in the enterprise, so, procuring some letters of introduction to people in Chicago, I went to that city only to find that the instant silver mines were mentioned I was looked upon with suspicion. In fact, the capitalists seemed to take it for granted that I was one of the class of operators who wished to organize a company to work an imaginary hole in the ground, to sell stock to confiding old maids and widows with stories showing how a five-dollar investment in the stock would produce millions, and having got their money to skip. I returned to New York depressed by my failure as a promoter, and to add to my troubles I found myself getting short of funds and no employment in sight.


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CHAPTER XLVIII

Return to Tampico and get shipwrecked on the bar--A squaw man who was a quack doctor--Find a lake of asphalt and strike oil--A precarious ferry--Ill with fever and receive a matrimonial proposal.

        My experience with the silver mine ought to have taught me that rich mines and asphalt lakes are luxuries only for the already rich, and that the mines of Golconda would be absolutely useless to a man without capital to work them. But in the weary weeks I spent in New York at that time I could not get the idea of that asphalt lake out of my head, and I became a victim to one idea and that was to find my vagabond friend, the self-styled "doctor," again.

        Unexpectedly becoming the possessor of a small amount of cash, I started at once for New Orleans, determined to work my way back to Tampico from that city if my money gave out; but luck was again with me, and at New Orleans I met my old friend Captain McIntosh, who commanded a ship bound to Mexico and making Tampico one of her ports of call. Telling my friend of my plight he kindly offered me a free passage which I gratefully accepted.

        During the Mexican War in 1846 several vessels were sunk to blockade the port of Tampico, and at the time of which I write a bar extended across the entrance with so little water on it that ships had to lie some distance out and transfer their freight to lighters. (The bar has been dredged in recent years.)

        With some difficulty, on account of a northeaster blowing, with two or three other passengers I was transferred to a ramshackle steam launch. The sea was running quite high, and when we got on the bar the little craft rose on the crest of a high curler and the next moment her bow struck the bottom just as another wave capsized her, throwing us into the sea. Boats put out from the ship, and amongst others, I


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was pulled into one of them, but several Mexicans who could not swim were drowned.

        From Tampico I went to the head of navigation on the Panuco River as a passenger on a little stern-wheel steamboat which had originally plied on the bayous of Louisiana. Landing at the village, I had no difficulty in finding my rollicking doctor, who was delighted to see me again and insisted that I should be his guest. The doctor had, years before I met him, married (?) an Indian woman. He was what would have been called on our own plains a "squaw man."

        The question now arose as to how we were to get horses for our trip to the asphalt lake. The doctor could get one, but the natives did not seem disposed to oblige the new Gringo. The doctor got around the situation by walking some distance to the house of a patient and by representing that the horse he had borrowed had gone lame and it was necessary for him to have a sound one. His request was granted, and mounted on the new animal I started with only the doctor for a guide, and very soon found that he had never been to the lake and did not even know where it was, but was asking information from every native we met. It was in the rainy season and sleeping on the ground was very uncomfortable, and when we rolled up our blankets in the morning, preparatory to resuming our journey, it gave one a disagreeable sensation to find that a tarantula or a scorpion had crawled under it for the warmth and been a bedfellow for hours probably.

        After wandering about in the dense forest, in what began to look to me like an aimless way, we suddenly came upon the object of our search. The asphalt lake appeared to be about a mile long and several hundred yards wide. Its surface was hard enough to bear our weight, but it was very sticky. In walking along its banks I was surprised and delighted to find crude petroleum trickling through the crevices of the rocks. Here indeed was a find! Joyfully I filled


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one of the doctor's mescal bottles with a sample, and we lost no time in returning to the doctor's home, and from thence I went to Tampico and New York, via New Orleans.

        Arriving in New York I at once informed my friends, Mr. Clarence Cary and Mr. Frederick W. Whitridge, of what I had found, and they engaged Mr. John F. Randolph, a mining expert, to return to Mexico with me and make a report upon the find, as well as to file claims under the Mexican laws.

        We lost no time in making preparations for the journey and soon arrived at Panuco, where we had no difficulty in getting into communication with the doctor, but to our dismay we found it impossible to get horses on which to continue our journey. The doctor informed us that there were large herds of horses in the neighborhood, and that it was only a way the Mexicans had of taking their time when there was a chance to sell anything, and that it was useless to try to hurry them: if we would take it easy we undoubtedly would get the animals in time, so we hired a small vacant adobe house and proceeded to wait--wait. The only thing that would stand a chance of winning in a waiting contest with a Mexican would, in my opinion, be the Washington Monument.

        The days dragged slowly by until Mr. Randolph announced that his business at home would not permit of his remaining any longer and we began to pack up our things and make inquiry about a boat to take us back to Tampico. The next morning there were between twenty and thirty horses lined up in front of our house waiting for a purchaser, and we found them very reasonable in price.

        Having our mounts and a pack-horse, with the doctor as our guide, we started for the lake. The doctor was a gay old guide. He told us that he had a patient who would give us accommodation for the night, and that he would take us to the house by a short cut through the dense forest. Night came on, and it was soon evident that he had lost his bearings.


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Randolph got an ugly fall into a mud puddle when his horse stumbled, and then the animal ran away, which made things worse. Next the doctor was dragged from his saddle by a tangled mass of vines and his horse also escaped, leaving the doctor and Mr. Randolph to proceed on foot, tripping at almost every step. It was after midnight, and it was a very dark night too, when we arrived at the bamboo house, only to find that the owner was dying. The doctor alone was allowed to enter, but the old women of the household, with their faces well covered by their rebozos (shawls), supplied us with much-needed coffee and tortillas. The horses of the doctor and Mr. Randolph were recovered by peons the next morning, and we proceeded to a river which was too deep to ford. The doctor went some distance up the stream to get an Indian and his boat to ferry us across. The boat, a canoe made out of the trunk of a tree, was very cranky, and when we had put our traps into her and got in ourselves her gunwales were not more than three inches out of the water, and to add to the precariousness of the situation we had to lead four horses by the lassos while they swam alongside of the boat.

        We arrived at the lake and Mr. Randolph made a superficial survey of it and marked out some claims for oil wells, and after taking more samples we went on to the town of Vanilla and the doctor returned home by himself.

        Vanilla is the great market of Mexico for the vanilla beans. As one enters the town the odor of vanilla is so strong that the atmosphere is impregnated with it, and no wonder, as the streets in front of every house are partially covered with blankets on which the beans are spread to cure before being shipped. The beans are brought into town by the Indians. They are grown in the forest, where each vine has a tree to itself. No particular tree belongs to any individual until he has planted his vine alongside of it. A stranger would imagine that inextricable confusion as to the ownership of particular vines would arise, but such was


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not the case. I was told that not only did each Indian remember where he had placed his seed, but that no altercations ever arose among them as to the ownership of particular vines. In Vanilla we learned that there were other parties to the westward who were prospecting for oil, and it was decided that it would be best for me to go in search of them and find out what they were doing, and then to return to Tampico to attend to some business there in connection with the claims.

        It was a long and lonesome ride over a trail I had never been over before--I was unaccompanied even by a mozo. I found the oil men, and they showed me a spot where they had sunk a shallow well and struck oil a few feet below the surface. There was no way at that time of marketing the stuff. It was flowing over the ground and going to waste.

        Proceeding on my way, I was soon attacked by the form of malaria common in the tierra caliente, and was compelled to stop at a small settlement whose head man was a Mexican of rather light color. For a consideration he hospitably consented to furnish food for my horse and myself and also permit me to sleep on the bamboo poles which formed the bunks in the usual thatched shed some little distance from his house, and there I lay tossing with fever for I do not know how many days; my host afterwards told me I had been delirious.

        It was while lying in my bunk after I regained my senses that I witnessed a very interesting festival. All children in Mexico are named after the saint on whose day they are born. Those born on Christmas are named Jesus, and when a male child is born on a day which has been set apart for a lady saint, the poor little fellow is christened Mary, Magdalen, Dorothy, or whatever other girl name the saint bore whose feast-day it happened to be.

        The day I refer to was the birthday of the sole child of the head man. There were thirty or forty men and women, the latter, of course, wearing their rebozos over their heads


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and a part of their faces. They seated themselves on the bare ground in a semicircle, a few yards from where I lay, and opposite them, seated on rustic chairs, were two musicians who played, one on a small and the other upon a huge guitar, the largest I had ever seen.

        The daughter of the house, accompanied by her father, soon made her appearance, and in a most staid and solemn manner took up a position in the centre of the circle and commenced dancing for the entertainment of her guests. The girl was of an unusually light complexion: she was tall and handsome and the undulating motions of her lissome body reminded me of the movements of a leopard. Her great bright black eyes would blaze with light one moment and the next soften and languish according to whether the music was fast or slow. Her jet-black hair hung down her back in two large plaits which reached to her knees. Her dress was made of calico of a brilliant red hue, and I thought it rather immodestly short for a Mexican woman, as it barely reached to her instep.

        Her dancing reminded me of Egyptian dancing, as it consisted mostly in movements of the hips, and the bare feet, barely lifted from the ground, seemed only used to turn her around and around in unison with the slow music.

        The fiesta commenced in the afternoon. There were intermissions in the dancing for refreshments consisting of coffee and native beer, after which the dancing was continued far into the night. I was surprised to see that none of the young men sought to dance with the girl, but suppose that it would not have been in good form for them to offer to do so on such an occasion.

        Despite my diet of tough beef, fried, of course, and all on fire with hot chile pepper, I commenced to get better, and my lonesomeness made me all the more anxious to be on my way again. I had never seen the daughter of the house except on the occasion of the fiesta, and of course I had never spoken to her. Judge of my surprise when one day


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her father joined me and said that he wanted to have a talk with me. I naturally told him to go ahead, and to my great amazement he made me a financial statement of his assets consisting of his home, land, cattle, horses, and goats. I could not think what he was driving at until he told me that the girl I had seen dancing was the idol of his heart and that his only object in life was her welfare and happiness. He went on to say that Mexicans made very bad and selfish husbands, and that he had always heard that the Americans were the kindest husbands in the world, and for that reason he wanted her to marry one. He also told me that he was very anxious to have her marry at once, as he suspected that she was already favorably inclined toward a worthless young Mexican who he was afraid would carry her off some day. He wound up his tale of romance by saying that he had taken a great fancy to me, and if I would become his son-in-law he would take me into partnership immediately, and eventually leave me all his property when he died.

        Naturally I was very much astounded by the proposition, and must confess that I was somewhat worried, as I was entirely in the power of this man and did not even have my horse to get away on, as the poor brute was being pastured some miles away from the settlement. It was a difficult situation for me, as I wished, at all costs save one, to avoid offending him or arousing his ire. In as kindly and sympathetic a way as possible I suggested that the young lady might object, as I had never had the honor of exchanging a word with her, but he brushed the idea aside by informing me that the girl had nothing to say about it, and that she would marry the man he chose to select for her. Things were getting to be serious, so I mustered up sufficient courage to tell him that there were insurmountable difficulties in the way of the alliance he seemed disposed to honor me with, and that while I fully appreciated the compliment, it was impossible for me to conform to his wishes, as it was a matter of great importance that I should return to the


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United States immediately, and if I took his daughter with me, she, not being able to speak English, would naturally be dreadfully lonely, homesick, and unhappy. I omitted to say anything about hotels being indisposed to accommodate us on account of her color. But such arguments as I used seemed to carry weight with the old fellow, and the next day my horse arrived and we parted most amicably. This was the only time in my life I was ever proposed to--or for.

        Being very weak and having to sleep on the ground in my wet clothes (it was the rainy season), the fever came on again, and my body was racked with pain while traversing the weary, lonely miles until I arrived at Panuco, where I found my friend the doctor, who administered some pills, after taking which I entirely collapsed. When I again became convalescent, the doctor boasted that he had administered thirty grains of calomel to me in one dose!

        Bidding the doctor farewell forever, I proceeded once more to Tampico to take ship for the States. I was fortunate enough to be in time to catch the steamer Mexico commanded by my old friend Captain McIntosh, who, when I boarded the ship as she lay off the bar, expressed himself as being shocked at my wretched appearance.


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CHAPTER XLIX

Not even any money in oil, when I am interested--President Gonzalez and General Porfirio Diaz--Collapse of oil scheme--Encounter General Charles P. Stone by accident and get employment--The Statue of Liberty--Swept to sea by harbor ice--Meet an old foe--Laying a corner-stone--General Winfield S. Hancock--Lecture my superior officer--I am appointed Consul-General to Australasia.

        ARRIVING in New York I spent my days building castles in the air whose only foundations were my wild speculations as to the amount of wealth the oil fields in Mexico were going to bring me. But wiser and cooler heads saw the danger of investing good money in our sister (?) republic.

        President Gonzalez, who had been pitchforked into the position of President by Porfirio Diaz because the Mexican constitution at that time did not permit of a Mexican President succeeding himself, was a one-armed man. He had lost a hand while serving under Diaz in one of the latter's many campaigns, and Diaz, while expressing the greatest confidence in him, took the precaution of having himself appointed as Minister of War so that he could retain control of the army.

        Gonzalez was a diseased man, and it was necessary to have his arm repeatedly amputated on account of the cicatrix never properly healing, and when it sloughed away there was danger of his bleeding to death through the exposed arteries. Everybody felt sure that there would be a revolution when he passed away. His arm finally was cut off so near the shoulder that there was no chance of a further amputation, and every time there was a rumor that the President was ill, Mexico trembled with fear, and foreign investors buttoned up their pockets when Mexican speculation was mentioned. The time allowed by law for us to do a certain amount of work on our claims passed, and they


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lapsed. I found myself poorer than when I had first gone to Mexico.

        It might be interesting to mention that the constitution of Mexico at that time provided that in case of the death of the President he should be succeeded by the Chief Justice, but when it became known that Gonzalez's life was in grave danger, Congress hastily amended the law and conferred the succession on the President of the Senate, Mr. Rubio, and very shortly after the law was passed, Porfirio Diaz, then a man about forty-five years of age, married the daughter of the President of the Senate, Señorita Carmen Rubio, a girl between fifteen and sixteen years of age, and I must say the most beautiful girl, of the upper class, that I saw during my travels in that country.

        The oil field which we had located passed into the hands of great corporations who bitterly fought over the claims, and when they were not fighting each other, the Mexican revolutionists broke the monotony by raiding the property, levying forced loans, and occasionally killing a few employees.

        After my hopes for the success of the oil enterprise were blasted, I remained in New York City because there was as good a chance of my getting employment there as there was in any other place, and besides, while New York is no place for people of moderate means to live in, it is the very best town in the world for the very rich and the very poor. The rich can find every pleasure, and the poor can live there better on less money than they can in any other place.

        I was disconsolately walking on Broadway one day, after having failed to get employment, when in front of old Trinity Church a man threw his arms suddenly around me in a most demonstrative manner while assuring me that he was delighted to see me again. The man was General Charles P. Stone, under whom I had served in Egypt. One of the first things the general said to me was that he hoped I was at leisure and not in any employment, and I told him that was


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very unkind, as I needed work badly and was sorely pressed for money--small as my expenses were. The general replied that I was just the man he wanted, as he had a place for me on Bedloe's Island where he was the engineer who was to erect the "Statue of Liberty." Naturally I jumped at the chance.

        Bedloe's Island was the scene of the hanging of the last real deep-sea pirate executed in the United States, as General Stone frequently facetiously reminded me by saying that if the Georgia had been captured during the Civil War I might have occupied a very high position on Bedloe's Island. The quarters for the small number of troops necessary to garrison the little fort were frame buildings and were then used for offices. As I had no place to live on the island I slept at my lodgings in the city, which necessitated my being at the barge office on the Battery every morning at five o'clock to take a small steam launch for the island. At that time there was no other way of getting there. The launch was old and the engine was feeble and rickety. The winter of 1884-85 was cold, and at times much ice formed in the harbor. One dark and foggy morning the launch broke down when we were about halfway to the island. The tide was swiftly running out. An ice field quickly imprisoned us and we were carried nearly to Sandy Hook. None of the vessels--which we could hear but could not see--paid the slightest attention to the feeble squeal of our toy whistle. The day was waning and the prospect of passing the night out on the broad Atlantic in that little unseaworthy craft was not pleasant, especially as the wind was rising. just as night was coming on, however, a Good Samaritan in the guise of a tugboat heard our shouts and came to our assistance, but before passing a line to us demanded and received ten dollars for towing us back to the city. We had been all day without either food or water and arrived at the barge office after ten o'clock that night.

        Major Kennish, who had been on the staff of General


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Butler during the time the Dutch Gap Canal was being cut, had charge of the concrete work for the foundation and pedestal on which the statue was to stand. He became greatly interested when he learned that I had been engaged in throwing shells at him for seven months during the latter part of the war, and when I made a boast about pointing a rifled gun on one occasion and knocking a timber out of the wooden tower General Butler had erected near the canal and went on to give a ludicrous description of how two men engaged in looking through a telescope came scrambling to the ground, Major Kennish said he had good cause to remember the incident, for the reason that one of the men was General Butler and the other was himself.

        Outside of having to catch the five-o'clock boat every morning my duties on the island were not very onerous. General Stone knew my limitations, and was very considerate. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the scientific work and the foundation and pedestal grow. The stormy day on which the corner-stone was laid I shall never forget. I was as proud as though the completion of the work was due to my individual efforts.

        On the great day, when the hour for the ceremonial arrived, it rained in torrents, driving General Stone and the reception committee to shelter. The boat bearing Major-General Winfield S. Hancock, who was to lay the stone, was expected every minute, and as I knew the general well personally, General Stone suggested that I should wait on the dock and receive him. The rain let up just in time, and the function went through without a hitch. Photographs and visiting cards, my own among the number, were placed in the niche along with coins, newspapers, etc., and unless that pedestal is used in the future to sustain something besides that old sheet-iron effigy, which was originally designed for a statue of victory, that receptacle will probably be opened during the lifetime of people now of middle age, owing to the fact that the Goddess of Liberty has been so rust-eaten


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from the elements already that Anthony Comstock's society will soon make it a sine qua non that she either get new clothes or go into seclusion.

        It was Rochefoucauld, I believe, who in a cynical mood once said: "We even take a certain amount of pleasure in the very misfortunes of our friends." This was certainly the case with me when one day there was an awful row, on the parapet of the fort, between General Stone and the gifted artist-author-contractor, F. Hopkinson Smith, whose official position I never could quite define; but he was either interested in the contracts or else represented the society which raised the money to erect the statue. When the quarrel was at its height General Stone called me and asked if I would be the bearer of a challenge for him, and of course I said, "Yes, with pleasure." As the verbal quarrel was about to be renewed, I interposed by telling the general that under the code no further interchange of harsh words were permitted after calling in the services of a second, and then I carried him off triumphantly for a private consultation. After the two gentlemen had had time to cool off, I settled the matter amicably, but oh, wasn't it nuts to crack--for me! On several occasions in my life I had had to stand at attention in the presence of the chief-of-staff of the Egyptian Army while he lectured me on the subject of losing my temper too quickly, and now it was my opportunity to do a little lecturing on the same subject myself. I talked to him like a father, more in sorrow than actual reproof, until the general burst into laughter at the idea, and told me to "go to the devil" and settle the matter in any way I chose.

        It was while I was employed on Bedloe's Island that the great function of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge to traffic took place. I was fortunate in that friends secured for me an invitation to be present and the party I was with had seats near the President. Mr. Cleveland, then Governor of New York, and many of the state officials occupied seats in a stand just opposite. I must confess that the huge form


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of Mr. Cleveland did not appear to advantage when contrasted with the symmetrical, well-dressed, and elegant figure of President Arthur. But looks do not amount to much when history is written, and Mr. Cleveland's Administration will be long remembered after that of Mr. Arthur has been forgotten.

        While I watched the President that was, and the President that was to be, I found myself wondering if they ever acknowledged to themselves that "luck" had played any part in elevating them to the proud positions they occupied in the nation, or if they attributed their success to their own superior abilities and energy, as in my experience in life I had never met a successful man who was willing to acknowledge any obligation to dame Fortune. A little perfunctory recognition of the slight assistance rendered him by Divine Providence is grudgingly vouchsafed by the average man after once achieving success, because that is good form; but that is all, despite the fact that the world around him is filled with human derelicts, men of great mental powers as well as physical energy, who have labored through the years without attaining success. In my wanderings over the world I have met many favored mortals, but I have never yet seen one of them who could be made to understand that it might not be entirely a man's own fault if he failed to accumulate wealth.

        The work on the pedestal was nearing completion, and where the winds of Fate would waft me next was a matter over which I had no control--and consequently was none of my affair. It was while thoughts such as these were running through my head I received a telegram which gave me the surprise of my life. It read: "You have been appointed consul-general to Australasia. Come to Washington and file a bond." And it was signed, "F. W. Dawson."


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CHAPTER L

My appointment as consul-general arouses great indignation among Southern office-seekers--Mr. Cleveland said he never would have appointed me had he known I was a "pirate"--Torpedo, in the shape of a pamphlet, comes near blowing up my prospects--Mr. Secretary Bayard gets angry--Mr. Cleveland brushes the matter aside and wishes me bon voyage--Get married and start for San Francisco--Mr. Bayard recalls me to Washington by telegram--I sail for Australia--Seventh-Day Adventists indignant when Captain skips Saturday at the one hundred and eightieth meridian.

        GROVER CLEVELAND had been inaugurated as President on the 4th of March, 1885, and it was early in April when I started for Washington to get my instructions from the State Department before departing for my new post.

        Friends volunteered to go on my bond. I called on the President and Mr. Bayard, the Secretary of State, both of whom received me most cordially and congratulated me on my appointment. And then suddenly to my amazement I found myself the centre of quite a storm.

        It had been many a year since the Democrats had had any patronage to distribute, and Washington had been invaded by an army of office-seekers, principally from the South, who, like the fastidious Kentuckian, "wanted a little sugar in theirs." The newspapers--Democratic ones--criticized my appointment adversely, while politicians protested against it personally. The applicants from South Carolina thought that they were being robbed of a choice bit of patronage which belonged by right to them, and harped upon the fact that I had not been born in the State, but I comforted myself with the knowledge that if that lot ever learned that Nazareth was situated beyond their boundary lines, there would not be left a Christian among them in a week. Of course some of the carpetbaggers had a shy at me, but much worse than that, Southern men who had never met me, who probably had never heard my name before, joined in the hue and cry against my appointment.


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Mr. Tillman, afterwards Senator, was quoted in one of the newspapers as saying that I had been a participant in one of the most disgraceful tragedies that had ever occurred in South Carolina. The remark was so worded that it left the reader in doubt as to whether it was Captain Tupper or myself who had killed Caldwell. Possibly the fact that while Dawson lived he never let Tillman's head rise much above the surface of the political whirlpool without ducking him, may have somewhat influenced the latter's opinion of myself. Senators Hampton and Butler, of South Carolina, were the recipients of an avalanche of indignant protests (from people who wanted the place for themselves or their friends), although neither of the Senators had had anything to do with getting me the plum. Things became so warm for them that Mr. Cleveland came to their rescue, like the brave man he was, and announced that the appointment was entirely a personal one of his own, and that he wanted placed before him by reputable parties some distinct charges against me before he would rescind it. The only charge submitted was that I had been an officer of the United States Navy and had resigned and served in the Confederacy, and that awful accusation was made by a Southern man! It is a good joke on my self-elected enemies that none of them knew enough about my past life to make the charge that I had served on board of a Confederate cruiser engaged in burning American ships on the high seas, for that would most certainly have ended my aspirations, as Mr. Cleveland afterwards told my brother-in-law, Captain Dawson, that had he known I was on the Georgia he never would have made the appointment.

        The mystery of my appointment ought to have been a very simple one to professional politicians. The solution of it is as follows: Dawson was the editor of the most powerful Democratic newspaper in the South at that time; he was a member of the National Democratic Committee, and had been a delegate to the convention which nominated


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Mr. Cleveland. Senator Hampton was strongly in favor of the nomination of Mr. Bayard, but Dawson beat him for the chairmanship of the South Carolina delegation and induced its members to authorize him to cast the solid vote. When noses were counted in the convention it was discovered that the South Carolina delegation had just the required number of votes to make the selection of Mr. Cleveland certain. Dawson cast them for Mr. Cleveland.

        Several weeks after Mr. Cleveland had assumed the Presidency, Captain Dawson called at the White House to pay his respects, and as he entered the President's presence the latter, who was in a jolly mood, laughingly said: "I know all about what you did for me, Captain Dawson, but you must remember that there are others--don't claim everything." Dawson, in the same bantering spirit, replied: "Mr. President, if you will appoint my brother-in-law as consul-general to Australasia, I will promise you not to ask another favor during your administration." Mr. Cleveland, still laughing, replied: "Your brother-in-law is appointed. What is his name?" It was immediately after this conversation that I received the telegram informing me of my appointment.

        When Mr. Cleveland was informed that I was a little fifteen-year-old midshipman at Annapolis when the war began, he brushed aside the charge, that I was an officer of the navy who had resigned to fight against the flag, as unworthy of serious consideration. But my troubles were not yet over.

        In an unlucky moment, tempted by the desire to make a few dollars, I had written an article calling attention to the remarkable resemblance between the lower classes of Egyptians and Mexicans in appearance, customs, and manners. That was harmless enough: but unfortunately I had told of some outrages perpetrated on Americans while I was in Mexico, and how they had been stopped by the firmness of Mr. Blaine when he became Secretary of State, and I also


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had said some very complimentary things about the ex-Secretary, winding up with the statement that "with such a man at the helm there never would be any more cold-blooded murders in the despotism known as the Republic of Mexico."

        Some one of my many evil-wishers in some way got hold of the pamphlet and carried it to Mr. Bayard. Mr. Bayard immediately sent for me, and for reasons of his own also sent for Senator M. C. Butler. When we entered the Secretary's office it was evident that he was livid with rage. In his left hand he held the pamphlet, while with his right he pointed at it with a trembling finger while he demanded to know if I was the author. I told him I was, whereupon he flew into such a paroxysm of temper that I feared he would break a blood vessel. He grabbed a handful of papers which were lying on his desk, tore them, and threw them on the floor, and then stamped on them, while from his mouth he poured forth a torrent of abuse, until General Butler arose and in a very dignified manner said, in those quiet tones of his which his intimates knew were a danger signal: "Mr. Secretary, you must remember that I am a United States Senator!" Mr. Bayard, his voice almost choked with emotion, replied: "I am not talking to you, Senator; I am talking to this man," pointing at me; and then he fairly wailed: "The President does not know of this! The President does not know of this!"

        I turned to Senator Butler and said: "I am not going to remain here to be insulted in this way." And taking no further notice of the Secretary, I walked out of his office and returned to my hotel, where half an hour later I received a summons to the White House. I felt that my sentence was about to be pronounced, and to say that I was very unhappy but mildly describes my feelings.

        When I was ushered into the presence of the President, he was alone. In his hand he held a copy of that infernal little pamphlet. He was standing, and his huge figure looked


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bigger than ever to me. As I advanced toward him he appeared to be frowning (which was not a good augury to me). He opened the interview by saying: "Mr. Morgan, do you really believe Mr. Blaine to be as able a man as you describe him in this article?" I replied: "I most assuredly do, sir." Mr. Cleveland's eyes twinkled and a humorous smile passed over his face as he said: "I am very glad to hear you say so, for if you did not regard Mr. Blaine as an able man I am doubtful if you would have the capacity to fill the important position I am sending you to. I wish you a pleasant voyage. Good-bye!"

        I was fairly dazed by this unexpected turn in my affairs, for after my unpleasant interview with Mr. Bayard I had regarded the matter of my appointment as having been settled adversely to my hopes. How I got out of the White House I do not know, but when I came to my senses I was out in the grounds hurrying as fast as I could to tell Senator Butler of my wonderful interview with the President.

        That night I went to New York and a few days after my arrival I married Miss Frances A. Fincke, a daughter of Judge Charles Fincke, of New York, and we started for San Francisco, at which city we arrived safely without further adventure.

        In San Francisco I met several old friends and shipmates who were more than kind. There was Dick Floyd who had served in the C.S. cruiser Florida. I also met the Reverend Mr. Foute, an Episcopal clergyman and the rector of a very fashionable church; he was a most dignified dignitary of the Church. The last time I had seen Foute was some twenty years previously when he was a midshipman in the Confederate Navy waiting in Paris for a Confederate cruiser which never materialized. If my memory serves me correctly, at that time the clerical gentleman (that was to be) was about as wild as an "unbusted" bronco, and as apt to kick over the traces. Foute had been on board the Merrimac in the great fights in Hampton Roads, and in those


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days would have welcomed a fight with a circular saw. I also met Frank Roby, one of the ablest and most gallant of the young naval officers of the Confederacy, with whom I had served on the Mississippi River in 1861-62.

        One day a police officer came to me: he turned out to be an old shipmate, having been a quartermaster on board the McRae when I joined that vessel at the commencement of the war. Forgetting the dignity of my position and possibly having some recollections of his own concerning my midshipman days, he very unnecessarily intimated that I could paint the town any shade of red I preferred without the least fear that the police would notice the change of hue.

        The day before that appointed for our departure quite a good-sized bombshell was dropped into our camp in the shape of a telegram from Mr. Bayard. The message was short and to the point; it said: "Return to Washington. The President has not finally decided on your appointment." Mr. Bayard was not the only man with a temper that day; I was slightly "peeved" myself. I wired back: "I sail for Australia to-morrow. Please address any further communication to Melbourne." This message might have been construed as a case of lèse majesté, but so far as I was concerned I had stood all the hazing I intended to stand. I had the President's appointment in my pocket, and I decided that if I was consul-general to Australasia, my place was in Melbourne, and if I was not the consul-general, it was none of Mr. Bayard's business where I went, especially as the Government had advanced me no money, and I was traveling at my own expense. Strange to say, I never heard any more about the matter.

        On board the ship as passengers were representatives of several different religious sects who were bound for the antipodes bent upon the conversion of the heathen Australian. The largest sect represented was composed of some forty or fifty Seventh-Day Adventists, who, if the captain of the ship had allowed it, would have held a continuous


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revival throughout the voyage. Their nautical lore was limited, and probably none of them had devoted much time to the study of the science of navigation. Owing to this omission on their part we came very near having a mutiny on board when one day at dinner the captain arose from his seat at the head of the table and with his knife rapped for silence. When he had secured the attention of the assembled company, he announced that the ship was approaching the one hundred and eightieth meridian of longitude which would be crossed during the night, and informed us that, although the day was Friday, the next morning would be Sunday, and that he would read the religious services on the quarter deck, as he was required to do by law. Instantly there was an uproar among the Seventh-Day Adventists, who shouted in protest against the tyrannical decree of the captain, accusing him of trying to rob them of their Sabbath, which was Saturday. They treated with indignation and contempt the captain's assurance that if the ship had crossed the one hundred and eightieth meridian on Saturday night, the next day would necessarily be Monday. Things looked squally for a time, until the captain offered a sensible compromise, tendering them the use of the saloon for their devotional exercises, and assuring them that he had not the slightest objection to their regarding the next day as Saturday, or any other day, so long as it did not interfere with the navigation of his ship.


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CHAPTER LI

Sydney's beautiful harbor--The authorities compliment me by giving me a private compartment for the journey to Melbourne and I am surprised to find myself a prisoner therein--Beautiful Melbourne and its suburbs--Sir Henry Loch, Governor of Victoria--My wife suddenly ennobled--Singular coincidence of meeting a gentleman who had been a passenger on a ship we had stopped on the high seas twenty-two years previously--Wonderful Australian horsemanship.

        IT would require the pen of a much more skilled writer than I am to depict the beauties of the harbor of Sydney. Suffice it to say that, although the harbors of New York, Rio de Janeiro, and San Francisco are very magnificent, they cannot compare in grandeur to that of the "Queen of the Antipodes," where the greatest ships that plough the seas can tie up to its docks and still have fathoms and fathoms of water beneath their keels.

        Every one was very kind to us in Sydney. An American merchant who owned an American trotting-horse took me for a drive in the beautiful suburbs, and we went as far as Botany Bay, so famed in history and story as the location of the much-dreaded prison settlement, all signs of which have disappeared long years ago. I shall always feel grateful to my newly made friend for his considerate advice, which was never, in speaking to a native, to allude to the fact that there was once a penal settlement in Australia, for while hundreds of thousands of immigrants of all classes of society, who had never seen the inside of a prison, lived in the country, they resented any allusion to its once having been a penal colony. A student of the vagaries of human nature would be impressed by the singular coincidence that the criminals who were deported to the American colonies by the mother country, like their Australian confrères, never left any progeny, despite the fact that all other men and


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animals who settled in the two countries immediately became most extraordinarily prolific.

        The railway journey from Sydney to Melbourne is between six and seven hundred miles and was in that day (1885) a most tedious one. Without my ever having met with any of the railway officials, they most considerately and courteously sent me free transportation, and more than that, reserved a whole compartment for Mrs. Morgan and myself, the guard (a conductor we should call him) being given orders to lock us in and not to open the door for any one. These instructions, faithfully carried out, caused us, for a time, no little inconvenience, for when the train made a long wait at a station and the other passengers got out to get refreshments and stretch their limbs, the grateful change was denied us, as the guard was obdurate, and insisted on obeying his instructions to the letter. Finally at one of the stations I raised such a row that a railway official who fortunately was a passenger came to our compartment to find out what was the matter. Explanations followed and he persuaded our jailer to let us out amid much good-natured laughter at our expense.

        We found Melbourne to be a beautiful city, excelled in that respect possibly by only one city of its size in the world, and that, of course, is Washington. The city proper is only a mile square in dimensions and is situated on the Yarra Yarra River, about three miles above where that stream empties itself into Hobson's Bay, a great stretch of landlocked water which is the harbor of Melbourne, but with none of the picturesque beauty of Sydney Harbor. The city on the Yarra Yarra has many fine buildings, but they are devoted almost entirely to business purposes, the majority of its population living in the picturesque suburban settlements which entirely surround it and where almost every residence is surrounded by a garden. The handsomest of these suburbs, which contains many palatial dwellings, is called "Toorak," and naturally is the abiding-place


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of most of the millionaires. Being a modest man I took a house in South Yarra, where people of moderate means resided.

        My first pleasant duty was to call on Sir Henry (afterwards Lord) Loch, the Governor of Victoria, and personal representative of the Queen, to whom I showed my credentials and received his authority to act while awaiting the receipt of my exequatur with Queen Victoria's signature attached. The governor was a remarkably handsome man, tall, well formed, dignified, and at the same time possessed of most winning and courteous manners. He was that Sir Henry Loch who with Sir Harry Parks, while both of them were serving on the staff of Lord Elgin in China, were captured under a flag of truce and most cruelly tortured. Sir Henry told me that he had been manacled and placed in a cage, and in that way had been carried through the country as a spectacle for the edification of the people in the interior. When he arrived at a town of any considerable size, for the amusement of the natives, the "foreign devil" as they called him was taken out of his cage, naked, and chained to the stone pavement; and among other tortures be was smeared with molasses so as to make him more attractive to the flies. Lady Loch belonged to one of the bluest-blooded families of the British aristocracy; she was a beautiful woman and looked the part of "vice-reine" which she so charmingly impersonated.

        Sir Henry had surrounded himself with quite a number of high-born young men, several of them bearing titles, who assisted in making the social functions at Government House very attractive. There was also a constant stream of distinguished travelers passing through Melbourne, and quite a number of younger sons and other sprigs of nobility who had come croppers at home and were seeking new fortunes in the land of gold, where people made fabulous returns from every other employment than that of digging for the yellow metal.


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        Shortly after our arrival in Melbourne we were invited to dine at Government House and incidentally received our first jar at the hands of the gorgeous flunky who, resplendent in the vice-regal liveries, announced the guests. In an undertone I gave him our names as Colonel and Mrs. Morgan, when to my horror and mortification he shouted at the top of his voice, "Colonel and Lady Morgan!" And for the rest of our stay in Melbourne Mrs. Morgan was addressed generally as "Lady Morgan."

        At the dinner, the governor, who had become very friendly with me, laughingly asked a Mr. Calder who was seated near him if he was aware that a reincarnation of "Morgan the Buccaneer" was present. Mr. Calder replied that he himself had once been captured by pirates, and went on to describe how in 1863, when returning from England, the ship he was on had been stopped by the Alabama, and how, when the boat from the "corsair" came alongside, he had expected to see the typical pirate, over six feet high, with a huge beard, board the vessel. He was amazed to see an infant in uniform climb up the ladder and demand that the captain show him the ship's papers! I here interrupted by assuring him that he was mistaken about the Alabama having captured him, at which assertion he became very indignant and informed me that, as he was there, he ought to know what he was talking about, and added that the infant had told him that the name of the cruiser was Alabama. I replied that the infant had lied, and Mr. Calder demanded to know how I could possibly make such an assertion, and was dumfounded when I told him that I was the infant, and had been sent aboard the Australian liner for the purpose of telling them that our ship (the Georgia) was the Alabama, in the hope that in speaking other ships the news that the Alabama was in those waters would reach the American men-of-war in search of her and take them off of her trail while she made her way to the Indian Ocean. I also told Mr. Calder that while the infant midshipman


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was in the captain's cabin, he, Mr. Calder, had procured a paper bag full of cakes and two copies of the "Illustrated London News" and presented them to the grateful middy, who had not enjoyed such good things for many a long day. The gentleman looked amazed and in reply to his unspoken question, I said, "Yes; I have grown somewhat in the last twenty years."

        My house in South Yarra was situated not very far from Government House, and Sir Henry frequently sent for me when anything of interest was going on there. On one occasion he invited me to see an exhibition of riding by an Australian, and I must say that it was the most remarkable bit of horsemanship I ever beheld. I have ridden with the Englishmen behind the famous "Pytchley," I have lived with the Texan, and sojourned with the Western cowboy, and I have also matched my own skill with the Bedouin Arab on his native desert, and there are old men still living who will bear testimony to my expertness in the saddle when I was young; but I take off my hat to the Australian and will give him the palm as the best horseman in the world. The Bedouin rides a horse that was foaled in his master's tent; he was always broken. The Englishman rides a horse that is trained from the time he is a yearling and who never, even in a nightmare, dreamed of bucking; and the cowboy, while deserving all credit for his wonderful sticking abilities when "busting" his bronco, is after all only riding a pony who quickly gets tired of bucking and quits. But the Australian rides an entirely different animal from any of the foregoing. The English thoroughbred,--and there are no other kinds of horses in Australia,--when bred on the great stations (ranches), where they roam over estates of hundreds of square miles, not only becomes very wild, but develops into a buck-jumper of magnificent proportions, and furthermore he grows to be a much larger animal than his English ancestor. It also must be remembered that the Australian rides a plain English saddle without pommel or cantle.


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        When I arrived at Government House on this occasion, I found Sir Henry Loch and two other gentlemen waiting in the paddock; one of these was the Honorable Robert Boyle, a younger son of the Earl of Cork, and the other was that Sir George Tryon, commander of the fleet in Australian waters at that time, who afterwards lost his life when the collision occurred in the Mediterranean between the battleships the Camperdown and the Victoria.

        The horse to be ridden was a big bay nearly seventeen hands high and powerful in proportion. He was eight years old and had never had even a rope on him before that day. He had been driven in a "mob" of horses from the station where he was bred, and now was in a narrow trap into which he had been forced by the use of a portable fence. In this pen of strong timbers the frightened and frantic creature had, for the first time in his life, a snaffle bit forced into his mouth and a saddle girthed to his back. It was also while confined in this way that the Australian, a splendid-looking specimen of a man, mounted him, and as though by magic the impromptu stall tumbled apart and the struggles of the horse to get rid of the man, and of the man to stay on the horse, commenced. The enraged creature suddenly lowered his head until it was between his knees and then leaped into the air perpendicularly and came down on the same spot stiff-legged; then he jumped sideways to the left, followed by a spring to the right, and with the quickness of a cat he plunged forward and then backward; and before the onlookers could catch their breath he had whirled around several times with such lightning-like rapidity that it made every one dizzy to watch him; he then began to squeal and dashed off in a mad race around the paddock, only interrupted by frequent stops to indulge in buck-jumping and whirls. During the whole of this performance the Australian calmly kept his seat as though he was a part of the frantic animal. This exhibition of rough riding came near ending in a tragedy. The horse by leaps


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and bounds finally approached within eight or ten feet of the stout board fence which enclosed the paddock, and then he leaped into the air and threw his body, broadside on, against it! Horse, man, and fence went down with a crash, and for a moment there was indescribable confusion as amidst the flying planks the horse rolled completely over his rider, recovered his feet, and continued his acrobatic feats; but to his evident astonishment his mad attempt at murder and suicide had not budged the Australian from his saddle.

        Sir Henry Loch ordered the performance stopped at once; saying that he could not allow the sacrifice of the life of one of Her Majesty's subjects simply to show two sailors what real horsemanship was. But the Australian did not take the same view, and begged, almost with tears, to be allowed to stay where he was until the horse gave up the fight, saying that if he dismounted then, no living human being would ever be able to ride that horse again. But Sir Henry was firm, and the show was over.


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CHAPTER LII

Impecunious globe-trotters--Consular courts--Become skipper of a water-logged bark against my wishes--A captain claims a dollar a day for tuition in the culinary art--For obeying my instructions an Australian court mulcts me for five hundred dollars, holding that despite my exequatur I am only a commercial agent--Grocer's assistant gets quite a large fortune--Many supposed dead men live in the South Sea Islands--Blackbirders.

        WERE I an habitual office-holder I would describe my duties at the consulate-general as onerous and myself as the only man who could possibly perform them. But such was not the fact. The only line of American steamers came to the port of Sydney, and only a small quantity of wool was shipped to the United States from Melbourne. At rare intervals an American sailing ship, generally a dilapidated, bluff-bowed old "water-bruiser," would limp into Hobson's Bay, either loaded with lumber or in ballast, and from there go to Newcastle, New South Wales, for a cargo of coal, and the business of these vessels did not occupy much time. Of course I was harassed by impecunious "globe-trotters," who would insist that as consul I had in my keeping a large fund, furnished by the Government, for the purpose of paying their passages to the next point of interest they proposed to visit, and failing that, as a man and a brother, my conscience should compel me to supply the means out of my own pocket. At rare intervals it was necessary to hold a consular court, either to take testimony in some lawsuit pending before the courts at home, or to decide some question between an American captain and his crew. One case of this kind was when a captain demanded that I should discharge his crew for him without pay on account of their mutinous conduct, and the counter-charge of the crew that the ship had been sent out from the home port in ballast for the purpose of having her wrecked so as to collect the insurance money, and that it was because they would not allow


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the skipper to scuttle her that he made the charge of mutiny against them. I decided in favor of the crew and ordered them paid off, but the skipper said he had no money, and when I told him that I would not clear his ship with a new crew until he did pay them, the skipper skipped, leaving his unseaworthy old bark on my hands, and the port authorities made life miserable for me until she was finally beached to keep her from sinking in the harbor.

        The captains of some of these Pacific sailing tramp ships were a hard lot, who were so mean that they not only ill-treated their crews and gave them scant rations, but to save the expense of oil actually carried no lights at night, much to the danger of other vessels as well as their own. One of these fellows, whose crew I discharged, had borrowed the savings of his negro cook amounting to a hundred dollars, but when it came to a settlement both loan and wages were wiped out by the captain's counterclaim for broken crockery, dishes spoiled in the cooking, and a charge of one dollar a day for tuition in the culinary art during the whole time the man had been on board of his ship. He pretended to be indignant when I would not allow this fraud to pass.

        I had a personal experience with one of the Australian courts of justice which was temporarily both costly and unpleasant. The circumstances were as follows: There resided in a handsome villa in a fashionable suburb a woman who was always expensively dressed and who, despite her dissipated appearance, still showed signs of once having been beautiful and refined. I was told that her house was richly furnished and contained costly paintings and marble statues besides other objects of art, etc. Every three months a bill of exchange for a large amount came to the consulate from a city in New England, with instructions that it was to be given into the hands of this woman and her receipt taken therefor. This went on for a long time until one day, after the arrival of the American mail, she did not put in an appearance at the consulate. I sent word to her that her


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money had arrived, but for some time afterward received no reply, until one morning, a very "cheeky" young man bounced into my office and informed me that he was the assistant of the grocer who supplied the woman with provisions, and that he had come for her check, at the same time insinuating that there was no use in my denying it, as he knew I had the money. Naturally I declined to entrust the valuable piece of paper to the keeping of this individual, much to his indignation. A few days afterward he returned and told me that the lady was very ill and must have the money at once. Again I declined to part with it, when the fellow angrily said: "Well, anyhow, she is going to die tomorrow and then I will show you who will get the money." I asked him how he dared say that any one was going to die to-morrow or any other day, but he only repeated his assertion. The very next day he again made his appearance and, with a broad grin on his vulgar face, exclaimed: "She is dead! I told you so! And now I will show you who is going to get the money."

        I sent the consular clerk at once to the house with instructions that, if the report that the woman was dead was true, he was to place the seal of the consulate upon all of her effects, as I was required to do by the consular instructions. This was done; and I immediately called on the doctor who had attended the dead woman during her last illness. I found him in a very indignant frame of mind concerning the case. He told me that his patient had died from alcoholism, and that despite his instructions that under no circumstances should she be allowed to touch spirits of any kind, the grocer's assistant had surreptitiously kept her supplied with the brandy which had caused her death.

        When I had made sure of the woman's death I placed the bill of exchange in a sealed envelope, directed to the person who had sent the money, and dropped the missive into the post-office with my own hand; and well it was that I did so, for no sooner were the obsequies over than the


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grocer's assistant filed a will signed by the unfortunate deceased in due legal form, making him sole legatee as well as executor of her estate. He then came in haste to me and demanded that I surrender to him the bill of exchange, and his impotent rage when I told him that I had returned it to its rightful owner was a sight to see. But the fellow got even with me. He sued me personally for trespass and demanded damages. My lawyer thought it would only be necessary for me to produce my book of instructions from my Government to convince the court that I had acted legally, but the grocer's clerk employed a smarter lawyer, who made the point that there was not and never had been a consular treaty between Great Britain and the United States, and that consequently, at most, I could only be regarded by the court as a commercial agent, with none of the prerogatives of a consul. The judge who presided at the trial was an Irishman who had formerly been a policeman in New York: he mulcted me for fifty pounds sterling for damages besides fifty pounds for costs, making five hundred dollars outside of my lawyer's fee!

        Of course I reported the matter to the State Department, which took scant notice of my protest, and I will maintain with my dying breath that, unless such a treaty has been made since that time, no official act of an American or British consul in either country is or has ever been legal.

        After Mr. Blaine became Secretary of State I related the above facts to my friend Walker Blaine, his son, who brought the matter to the attention of his father with the result that the five hundred dollars was refunded to me.

        The South Sea Islands have a singular fascination for some people. There are many men, whose families at home have long since mourned them as dead, who to-day are alive and well enjoying the care-free life and dolce far niente of that dream-compelling climate. I heard of one such man who had been for many years a dweller on one of the islands, and was told that he was a one-legged man and that his


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name was Proctor. It so happened that I had had a schoolmate by the name of Proctor who had lost a leg at the first battle of Manassas. He was a nephew of General Beauregard, and after he returned to his home in New Orleans, after the Civil War, he found that a young lady with whom he was deeply enamoured had married some one else, and Proctor disappeared, not to be heard of again for many years.

        I started inquiries about this man Proctor, and was informed that he was living with the natives and in sore trouble on account of his artificial leg having worn out. I also heard a strange story connected with that same leg, which was that on one occasion when Proctor and a boat's crew had landed on the beach of one of the islands, they were suddenly set upon by cannibals. It was a case of sauve qui peut, and the rest of the crew left Proctor to his fate as they took flight toward the place where they had left their boat. Proctor could not run, but nothing daunted he sat down on the beach and deliberately unfastened his artificial leg, intending to use it as a weapon and sell his life as dearly as possible. The cannibals, seeing a man unhitching his limbs, took fright and scampered back into the bush leaving Proctor unharmed. I soon learned that this same man was the friend of my boyhood, and I wrote him a letter asking him to come to Melbourne and also sent him money to come with. When he arrived in Melbourne I took him to my home and gave him employment in the consulate.

        Proctor told me many of his adventures and of his strange life among the South Sea islanders who, when they are not cannibals, are most hospitable and the kindliest people in the world. Shortly after his first arrival in Australia necessity compelled him to accept the first offer of a job that was made him and this was to take command of a "blackbirder." A "blackbirder" was nothing more or less than a slaver, but the word "slave-owner" horrifies our British cousins too much to allow of its use in their presence. Proctor, and


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many others in the trade, only took their ships to promising islands and, anchoring offshore, tempted, at first, one or two of the more venturesome of the suspicious natives to come on board: these pioneers were shown many colored beads, gaudy handkerchiefs, and tinsel, and then they were allowed to return to their friends to tell of the wondrous store of what they considered wealth the ship contained. Finally, impelled by curiosity, the king or chief would go on board, and the rest was easy. He was shown the coveted articles on the upper deck, and then was promised a number of them if he would induce the ablest of his young men to come on board. Once on the ship they were invited to go below and see greater wonders still, and while they would be admiring the gaudy trifles, the hatches would be suddenly closed, and the "blackbirder" would sail away for Queensland where the sugar planters were eagerly waiting for them. They were not sold into slavery,--oh, no! that is too horrid a word; but those poor devils, who could neither read nor write, nor yet speak English, signed contracts to work on the plantations and in return for their labor received a few strings of beads and three or four bandanna handkerchiefs. The Government allowed them to be contracted for a term of only three years, and there was a clause in the document requiring their return at the expiration of that time. This clause was faithfully lived up to by the planters, and possibly the same ship which had brought them took them back to the chain of islands, which all look wonderfully alike. The natives were told by the captain to point out their particular island and they would be landed. But few would risk it, as, if they made a mistake and put foot on the wrong island, they would be killed and eaten before the ship which had brought them sailed out of sight. Consequently the unfortunates preferred to return to their drudgery than to take such risks.

        It might be asked where the profit to the ship came in. Well, it is said that there are cabins de luxe on the transatlantic


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liners which cost a thousand dollars a trip, and while not quite so luxurious, the price of a passage from the islands to Queensland for a cannibal was proportionately high for the accommodations furnished, and the planter had to pay this before he got his "nigger."

        Proctor remained with me for two months, and then the "call from Cathay" became too strong for him to resist, and he returned to his queer friends, who knew not what labor meant, nor the need of clothes, and to whom Nature supplied cocoanuts, fruit, and fish which amply supplied their wants.

        In reading this account of the doings of the "blackbirders," as recounted to me by Proctor, it must be remembered that I am writing about a state of affairs which existed forty or more years ago, and that the Government of Queensland even in my time (1885-89) had put a stop to much of the injustice of the trade.

        Ten or fifteen years after I had returned to the United States, I learned that Proctor had come home to New Orleans, found the sweetheart of his youth a widow, and married her.


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CHAPTER LIII

Vast estates--Australian hospitality--Kangaroo hunting--The dingo --Rabbits in myriads--Aborigines--Marriage customs--Black trackers--Black swans--No songbirds, but many curious birds--The "laughing jackass" always gets a laugh when he tells a funny story--The "Ornithoryncus."

        WHILE in Australia I visited several of the large stations (as the ranches are called), many of them comprising several hundreds of square miles of land, whereon thousands of cattle, horses, and sheep grazed at will: that is, they grazed at that time wherever the rabbits had left any verdure for them to feed upon.

        The owners of the vast estates possessed every comfort that money could procure, and they wanted for nothing except social intercourse with their equals. Owing to their great holdings of land frequently the nearest neighbor lived thirty or more miles away, and a visitor was generally received with open arms. They were a most hospitable people and joyously "welcomed the coming guest," but were loath to "speed the parting one."

        One of the greatest amusements at the stations was the kangaroo hunt, for which sport they had bred a special dog very much resembling the great English staghound. An Australian would no more shoot a kangaroo than an Englishman would a fox. I went on several of these hunts, which take place very frequently, as the singular beast feeds on the grass needed for sheep. In the daytime the animal is to be found only on the tops of the hills, where he can easily see the approach of a possible enemy.

        One morning I went out with a party of gentlemen and employees of the estate, and with field-glasses located a number of kangaroos. We passed around the foot of the hill until we got well to leeward and then commenced the


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ascent. We were well on top of the hill before we were discovered and the animals took fright. They started down the incline with marvelous speed, their extraordinary leaps covering forty or more feet at each bound, and the jumps following each other with such astounding rapidity as fairly to daze the onlooker.

        I was mounted on a race-horse called "Post Boy," belonging to my host, which was noted for speed, he having won a valuable cup only a month prior to the time of our hunt. Putting the spurs to our horses, we fairly flew after the fleeing kangaroos, but no horse, no matter what his speed, can keep up with one of these animals going downhill. When we reached the level ground, however, we gained rapidly, and then I saw a singular sight. The horsemen had their stirrup leathers so arranged that they could easily be unfastened from the saddle, and when we reached the level ground they unfastened one, swinging the iron stirrup around their heads as a cowboy would a lasso. Each man went in chase of a particular kangaroo, and when he ranged alongside of the poor beast, with unerring aim he laid the creature low with a single blow. The kangaroo's most tender spot is the head, so tender, in fact, that the aboriginals kill it easily with the light boomerang.

        One kangaroo, when he got tired, stopped in the open, and a jockey, a boy of sixteen, leaped from his horse and running around the poor creature, to avoid its death-dealing kick, he seized it from behind, and then commenced a most interesting wrestling-bout, for the kangaroo turned in the boy's embrace and they had a grand struggle until one of the horsemen arrived and gave the brute a coup de grace with his stirrup. After the mêlée it was found that the boy had been quite badly bitten on the shoulder.

        Another kangaroo, when he came to a huge and dead eucalyptus tree, placed his back against it and faced his foes, the first of whom to reach him was a large hound, and as the dog leaped for his throat the kangaroo raised one of his


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powerful hind legs and with a swift blow disemboweled the hound as cleverly as though the operation had been performed with a butcher's cleaver.

        I also participated in a dingo hunt. This cowardly brute is the only carnivorous animal indigenous to Australia. He is red in color and is a species of wild dog, resembling in his habits and appearance our own despised coyote. I was told that a single dingo in one night would kill as many as fifty sheep merely for the love of slaughter. I saw, too, while at these stations the ravages committed by the rabbits. These little creatures are not indigenous, but are the offspring of a half-dozen which were imported by a gentleman for the purpose of making his lawn look more like home, as even the Australians who have never visited the mother country call England. The rabbits on arriving in Australia changed many of their habits, and instead of breeding only once or twice a year and producing only two young at a time, they began to breed when only a month old, giving birth to four or six at a litter, and producing a new litter every month, until the country was overrun by them, and lands which had supported thousands of sheep became as bare as if a fire had swept over them, the rabbits having fed upon even the roots of the grass. I saw one stretch of country where there were so many of these creatures that the ground seemed to be in motion, so close were they together. The ravages were so serious that a bounty was paid by the Government for rabbit scalps, and thousands of pounds were offered for an invention that would rid the country of the pest. Miles of rabbit-proof fencing was put up and an attempt made to kill all the vermin within the enclosure, but it was discovered that when the men engaged in the exterminating process found rabbits getting scarce, rather than lose their jobs they would throw a few pair over the fence so as to secure a new supply.

        I sent a report to the State Department describing the ruin the rabbits had wrought, and in it stated that one pair


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of rabbits in three years would, through their progeny, produce two millions of bunnies. The newspapers got hold of this report and made great fun of me. It was suggested that I revise my figures, and in reply I sent them the report of the government statistician from which I had procured my information on the subject, in which it appeared that an experiment had been made by segregating one pair of the little animals in an enclosure so arranged that they could not burrow out of it and no other rabbits could get to them. After a time, when the enclosure could hold no more, a simple calculation, made by multiplication, gave the above result.

        I saw many strange sights in this land, where the trees do not lose their leaves, but do shed their bark, and one of the weirdest sights was to pass through a forest of eucalyptus trees which had been belted so that grass for sheep would grow at their roots, and watch the flocks of white cockatoos flying from dead branch to dead branch, and on the ground an "old man" kangaroo, at least six feet in height, looking very uncanny, as with extraordinary leaps and bounds he fled from the approach of man.

        I saw also great fern trees, of the same species we place in jardinières, whose leaves were fifteen or twenty feet in length.

        I visited a camp of the aborigines, those strange black people, with long and silky hair, who are classed as the lowest specimens of the human race. At night the spectacle of the camp was most attractive, as the ground seemed to be sprinkled with tiny lights. The aboriginal says that when a man's stomach is warm, it is all that is necessary in cold weather, and each member of the tribe builds his own individual little fire of twigs affording a small flame not much larger than that of a candle, and getting his belly close to it, and his body forming a half-circle around it, after his day of hunting he comfortably sleeps.

        The Australian opossum, which has a fine fur as well as


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a bushy tail, is the mainstay of the native's existence, furnishing him with meat and the little clothes which he wears only in cold weather. The aborigines climb to great heights on the giant dead trees, which have limbs only near their tops, by cutting with their tomahawks notches in which they insert their big toes. I saw one of these fellows, at least fifty feet from the ground, stop, and with his hatchet dig out of the dead tree a worm at least six inches long and as big around as my first finger, and, horrible to relate, he opened his mouth and swallowed the slimy thing.

        The way the men get wives is rather unique. Only in exceptional cases do they take women of their own tribe for mates, and as every tribe is constantly at war with all their neighbors it would seem that the race must die out but for a custom of hunting in three parties, the men in one, the married women in another, and the young girls of marriageable age forming a third. The object of the hunt, besides the obtaining of food, is to capture the young women of their enemies. When they do marry in their own tribes the ceremony is very striking. After the bargain with the girl's father is completed and the required number of opossum skins paid, the bride takes up a position just outside of her parent's hut, and alone waits there. She has not long to wait, for the groom to be is watching. As soon as he sees her in her proper place, he seizes his war club, walks to where she is standing, raises his weapon, and bats her over the head, knocking her senseless. He then picks up her body, puts it on his shoulder, carries her to his own hut--and the ceremony is over. The object of hitting her on the head is said to be for the purpose of showing her who is going to be boss in the future. When an attempt is made to civilize these people, they quickly become victims of tuberculosis and die.

        Many of these aborigines are employed by the rural police to assist in the capture of escaped prisoners, or to find people who become lost in the "bush," as the back country is


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called. Those used in this service are called "black trackers," and besides their marvelous woodcraft they possess a keen faculty of scent unsurpassed by even that of a hound dog, and it is said that no prisoner who ever attempted to escape into the bush has ever been able to elude them, and they never fail to bring back those travelers who have lost their way.

        I went also to the lake whereon the black swans breed, and was surprised to find that their young were white. The morning after my arrival there I was awakened by the sound of myriads of little tinkling silver bells, and was amazed to find that the sweet music came from the throats of numberless little "bell" birds no bigger than my thumb.

        I also saw in my travels into the interior of the country those remarkable cranes called the "companion birds," which live in flocks on marshy ground and when alarmed form quadrille sets and dance. Really they appear to be going through the figures of the "lancers," a dance very popular fifty years ago.

        There are no native songbirds, but the Australian magpie learns to talk with great facility, and his voice is much more human than that of the average parrot. The magpies which nest near human habitations often repeat the words they hear children use while at play, and when miles away from any settlement the stranger, riding alone through the bush, feels rather a creepy sensation when he is told by an invisible and almost human voice to "leave something alone," or receives an invitation "to play." These birds when nesting are very savage and will attack a man who even passes near the tree where their nests are. I once saw a man who had had his face and neck terribly lacerated and his cap torn to shreds by a couple of them.

        The ugly "lyre" or "bower" bird, with the beautiful tail whose feathers form a very good imitation of a lyre, is also something of a mimic, and by making sounds resembling the chopping of wood, or the squeaking of wagon wheels, he


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entices the weary traveler (who about sundown is searching for a place to camp) from the trail, and the trails are so faintly marked that, once departed from, the wayfarer is lost; worse than that, he will never find the water he imagined must be near the camp whose sounds had been imitated by the bird. One of the peculiarities of the lyre bird is that he is somewhat of a landscape gardener, and makes himself quite a pretty bower in which he places all sorts of bright-colored pebbles. Why he builds the bower, unless it is for a playground, has never been explained, as the bird builds its nest, and deposits its eggs, in entirely different places.

        The "laughing jackass" is an unfailing source of amusement to the natives as well as to strangers. This brownish bird is about the size of a small pigeon, and consists mostly of a head which is larger than his body and ridiculous little tail combined. His bill is shaped like that of a duck, and his laugh is infectious. About sundown a dozen or more of them can be seen sitting on the dead limb of a tree near some barn, and one of them will begin to croon as though he were telling his friends a funny story, and when he evidently reaches the point of the joke, the others burst into hilarious laughter sounding wonderfully like the mirth of a lot of aged men. The laughing jackass is protected by law, as he not only is a good scavenger, but he is also a good ratter and mouser. He is, too, the deadly enemy of snakes, of which there is no non-poisonous variety in Australia. He soars high in the air when hunting for reptiles, and when he espies his prey he lets himself fall out of the skies and comes tumbling down in the same manner that a pelican does when fishing, only the laughing jackass hits solid ground instead of yielding water, and the sound of his little body hitting the earth can be heard quite a distance away. When he rises in the air again the snake can be seen dangling from his talons while in small circles the bird attains a great height. When he decides that he has reached the


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proper altitude for his purpose, he lets the snake drop and comes tumbling down after it, at the same time giving utterance to screams of laughter. This performance is repeated until the reptile is dead. I had one of these birds in my garden as a pet, and every time I passed by him he laughed at me until I became quite sensitive on the subject of his disrespectful conduct.

        But the most wonderful bird (or should I call it animal?) of Australia is the "Ornithoryncus" or "Platibus," as it is commonly called. This strange creature has a body formed somewhat like that of a small beaver. Its fur is of almost as fine a texture as that of a seal. It has the bill of a duck and its four feet are webbed and shaped like those of a duck. It lays eggs, and is amphibious!


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CHAPTER LIV

Sir Henry Loch gives a fancy-dress ball in honor of the Queen's jubilee--The Melbourne Exhibition--Return to America via Suez Canal--Visit to the "Isle of France" (Mauritius)--Paul and Virginia must have sat down hard--Return to Melbourne--Secretary of State appoints a naval officer to take charge of appropriation for American exhibit--First World's Fair Commission ever to turn back a balance into the Treasury--Receive a medal--Leave Australia--Authorize captain of the Mariposa to return to Sydney--Samoans as swimmers--Resign.

        WITH the year 1887 came the preparations and festivities for the celebration of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, which were opened at Government House by one of the grandest fancy-dress balls that had ever taken place in Australia. All of the costumes of the dealers were engaged long before the great event, and even the theatres closed their doors that night because the actors had no costumes left, as the management had lent them all to swells who wanted to attend the ball. I was one of those who could not procure a fancy dress from either costumer or theatre, but not willing to acknowledge myself beaten, I went home and brought out a Mexican sombrero, serape, and a pair of brass spurs which I had kept since the days I was in Mexico, and these, with a pair of black trousers slashed up the side from foot to knee and trimmed with gold lace, a piece of clothes-line for a lasso, and some long false hair hanging from the sombrero to below my shoulders, made me a very good imitation of the Mexican vaquero or cowboy. My get-up was pronounced the success of the evening, and I was followed by a throng of the curious who wanted to know what character I represented, what the lasso was for, and why I wore spurs with rowels as big as silver dollars and with bells on them.

        Some time previous to this ball, at the solicitation of Sir Henry Loch, I had recommended to the State Department the advisability of an appropriation for an American exhibit at the great World's Fair which was shortly to take


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place in Melbourne, and Congress had appropriated the necessary money.

        The health of my wife, never very good, about this time became so bad that her attending physicians advised me to lose no time in taking her home. We took passage on a French steamer and returned home via the Suez Canal, stopping on the way at Adelaide, South Australia, Mauritius, or Isle of France, Reunion, which in the days of the French monarchy was known as the "Isle de Bourbon," the Seychelles Islands, Aden, in Arabia, Suez, and from thence through the Mediterranean to Messina, and, passing between Corsica and Sardinia, disembarked at Marseilles, from which place we went to the Riviera.

        I must mention that while at Mauritius we visited the wonderful Botanic Gardens, and the attendant who accompanied us through the grounds, with a perfectly straight face pointed out the identical stone bench upon which "Paul and Virginia" had sat! They must have sat a long time judging from the two hollows worn in the stone.

        From the Riviera we went to Paris, and after a short stay proceeded to Havre, where we took a French steamer, and after a most boisterous voyage arrived in New York at the commencement of the great blizzard of March, 1888.

        In April, 1888, I had to return to Australia, via San Francisco, alone, but before doing so I went to Washington to pay my respects to the President and to the Secretary of State. Mr. Cleveland, of course, was very courteous; I expected that; but I was greatly surprised at the cordiality with which Mr. Bayard received me; in fact, he became quite confidential during the interview and impressed upon me the necessity of trying to curb the extravagance of the commissioners to the exhibition, of whom I was one (ex officio), recently appointed to represent the country at the Melbourne World's Fair. He told me that "these commissions had become a stench in the nostrils of the nation, as it was their custom to throw away the money they were authorized


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to expend, and then come back to Congress for another appropriation to pay the bills with." I suggested that if he would put the funds into the hands of a naval officer, accustomed to disbursing large sums of money, this danger might be easily avoided. Mr. Bayard seized upon the idea with avidity, and asked me to accompany him to the office of the Secretary of the Navy. On our way through the corridors I saw Lieutenant Marix, and told the Secretary that this officer had recently been at Melbourne in the sloop-of-war Enterprise, and Mr. Bayard asked me to introduce him. In a few minutes the Secretary of the Navy had ordered Mr. Marix to report for special duty to the Secretary of State. The result of this appointment was not only a success, but it also was very amusing.

        When the commissioners reached Melbourne, all business men, having private axes to grind, they proceeded to business at once and held a meeting, to which I was not invited, and decided that they would divide the appropriation into as many parts as there were commissioners, and that each one should take charge of a special department, and be responsible for his share of the money. That being settled, they called on me with a demand that I turn the funds over to them. I never saw a madder set of men than they were when I told them that I had nothing to do with the money, and that it was not only not in my keeping, but in that of a naval officer, who, acting under the orders of the Secretary of State, would attend to the decoration of the hall and arrangement of the exhibit as well as the disbursement of all funds, and save them all trouble in that respect. But the result was that, for the first time in the history of American commissions to world fairs, every bill was paid and a large balance returned to the United States Treasury!

        As an exhibition the World's Fair at Melbourne was a great success, but unfortunately the Australians became possessed of a craze for real estate speculation. The price


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of land, miles from the City Hall, was run up to fabulous prices, the purchasers never stopping to inquire where the necessary population was to come from to build on the lots for which they paid so dearly. The madness dimmed the business vision of all classes, with the result that when the exhibition closed and the strangers went home, there followed a panic which brought ruin to thousands of unfortunately credulous people of moderate means as well as to some of the wealthiest families in the country.

        After the fair was over, through the United States State Department, I received a most artistic and beautiful medal in recognition of my endeavors to promote the success of the undertaking.

        In September, 1888, I left Australia on the steamship Mariposa (Spanish for "butterfly") bound for San Francisco. It was lucky for the captain that I was on board, for when we arrived at Auckland, New Zealand, he received a cablegram urging him to return to Sydney to take command of one of the company's ships the captain of which had met with some accident. This could not be done without the consent of the consul-general, as the vessel was under the American flag. After consultation with the captain and mate, and having satisfied myself that the latter had a master's certificate, and was in every way competent, I took this grave responsibility on myself and allowed the captain to leave.

        At the island of Tutuila, one of the Samoan group, I witnessed a thrilling and most interesting sight. A schooner from Apia always met the steamer at Tutuila with the mail for the United States. We passed her a hawser and unfortunately it slacked up and became entangled in our propeller. The sea was smooth and the water was very clear, permitting us to see down to quite a depth. Around the vessels were several canoes filled with natives, both men and women being as naked as the day they were born. A dozen or more


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had come on board of the steamer bringing fans, sea beans, and other trifles to sell. Our captain offered to pay the men if they would dive down and cut the hawser free from the screw. They jumped at the chance of making a little easy money, and being supplied with knives, they plunged overboard, one at a time, and proceeded to saw away on the heavy cable. They seemed to be able to stay below the surface for an extraordinary length of time, and as fast as one man would come to the surface another would go down and continue the work. Suddenly those of us who were watching the performance were horrified to see two immense sharks approach the man at work. The attention of the captain, who had spent many years on the Pacific, was called to the monsters. The captain only laughed, and said that if the Samoan was a white man he would already have been eaten, but, he added, "Sharks are not cannibals, and they won't harm their brother who is half fish himself." The sequel proved the captain to be right, for while we stood at the taffrail anxiously watching the terrors of the sea, one of the sharks approached the man at work, and was so near to him that he appeared to be smelling him, and the only notice the Samoan took of the great fish was to put his hand on its nose and shove it away.

        As soon as the mail bags were safely on board, and the screw was freed from its entanglement, we proceeded at full speed. The native canoes made no attempt to follow us, and the Samoans on our ship's deck seemed perfectly unconcerned as they stood patiently waiting for a purchaser for their wares. They asked no one to buy, and accepted any money offered and gleefully parted with their property. The ship was making about fourteen knots and Tutuila, although a high island, was fast sinking out of sight behind the horizon, when first one and then another of the "men fish" looked toward his home. Quietly laying their wares on the deck they deliberately walked to the rail and dived, head first, into the sea. By this time we must have been


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some eight or more miles from land, and on my expressing some anxiety about the islanders, the captain assured me that they ran no risk, as they were perfectly capable of remaining in the water for forty-eight hours!

        When I rejoined my wife in Washington, D.C., she was in such bad health that I decided it would be impossible for her to return to Australia, so I decided to resign the consul-generalship. I called on the President and made known my decision to him and was somewhat surprised when he requested me to postpone sending in my resignation until I heard further from him, and at the same time cautioned me not to mention my intention to any one, as the news would cause a host of applicants for the place to assemble in Washington to present their claims to the appointment before he was ready to name my successor, and that would cause him much inconvenience. A month later he signified to me that the proper time had arrived. I regretted very much that family reasons necessitated my giving up the lucrative and congenial office, as I liked Australia and the Australians very much, and although a Republican administration was about to come into power, I could have retained the place for another four years under President Harrison, who had been a classmate and intimate friend of two of my brothers at Miami University, Ohio. The family intimacy dated from before the days of the Revolution and had always been maintained, and besides this kindly feeling, Mrs. Harrison, who was a Miss Scott, was named for one of my father's sisters. Then, too, Mr. Blaine, who was to succeed Mr. Bayard as Secretary of State, was a good friend of mine, and his son, Walker, who was also to occupy a position of influence in the Department, was one of my intimates. Mr. Cleveland appointed as my successor, Mr. Lesesne, of Charleston, South Carolina, who met with a tragic fate before he had been very long in Australia. His body was found floating in Sydney Harbor.


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CHAPTER LV

"Cedarcroft"--Death of Captain Dawson--Ten years on a farm--Vagaries of the genus horse--Australian fox terriers.

        WHEN my daughter Frederica was born, both she and her mother were so delicate that I was advised to take them into the country, one of the doctors telling me frankly that it was the best thing to do, but that he doubted if either of them would be alive in six weeks. I bought a farm called "Cedarcroft," near Gaithersburg, Maryland, and moved my little family there and never had cause to regret it, as the open-air life restored both wife and child to health.

        We had hardly got comfortably settled on the farm when I was summoned by telegraph to Charleston, South Carolina, as a most horrible tragedy had occurred there resulting in the death of my dear friend and brother-in-law, Captain Francis Warrington Dawson, editor of the Charleston "News and Courier." My sister, Mrs. Dawson, was in the habit of making frequent visits to Europe, and on one of these trips she had brought back with her a very pretty Swiss nursemaid. Just around the corner from where Captain Dawson lived was the home of a Dr. McDow and his family. The back yards of the two houses adjoined each other. One day the nursemaid complained to Captain Dawson that whenever she went out with his children Dr. McDow accosted her on the streets and forced his attentions on her, and that she wanted a stop put to the annoyance. Captain Dawson was very indignant, and said that he was going to see McDow and forbid him speaking to the girl again while she was accompanying his children. He was seen to enter McDow's office, which was on the ground floor of his residence, but Captain Dawson never came out again alive. What actually happened in that office


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only Dr. McDow knew. He was alone in the house, as his family was absent at the time. At his trial the doctor testified that Dawson came into the office, where he, McDow, was seated at his desk, and not only used abusive language, but raised his cane to strike him, and that he, McDow, in self-defense, seized a pistol which was lying in an open drawer at his right hand, and fired, with the result that Captain Dawson fell, mortally wounded. The singular part of this story was that the autopsy showed that the bullet had entered Captain Dawson's body from behind. To the astonishment of the country at large the trial resulted in a miscarriage of justice through a mistrial and Dr. McDow was set free.

        Captain Dawson had a strong character; in fact, he was a masterful man. He had many friends, and more enemies. His caustic editorials in the "News and Courier" were much admired by some, but the bee on the end of his pen had stung many others. He had undoubtedly done as much as, and probably more than, any other man to free South Carolina from the carpetbag yoke, but when the editorial lion was dead, the political hyenas whose aspirations he had failed to further gathered at his grave to growl and snarl over his dead body, and it was probably owing to this bitter feeling that his murder went unavenged. Some years after the horrible tragedy, Dr. McDow was found dead in his house where he was living alone.

        Sad at heart over the loss of my brother-in-law and best of friends, and the bereavement of my sister and her son and daughter, I returned to my Maryland farm. For ten long years I devoted my time to farming and the breeding of horses with rather worse than indifferent success. When I started the business it seemed as though a craze had possessed all the young men of fortune in the country to set up large breeding establishments, with the result that horses became a drug on the market.

        I wonder if any one ever understood the workings of a


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horse's mind, or instinct, as some prefer to call it? The staid and sober old family horse who will with the utmost sangfroid walk up to a locomotive and smell it, or who will refuse to become interested in blasting operations going on near him, or who will go to sleep while the racing horses drag a fire engine with its clanging bells by him on the street, will throw a dozen fits, go into convulsions, and smash things generally if he sees a piece of paper on the ground, or when a chicken flies across the road in front of him. I attended to the breaking of my colts myself, and they usually afforded enough excitement to prevent my suffering from ennui. Runaways and smash-ups were of frequent occurence and were regarded as being in the day's work. One day, while driving a very gentle colt to a light sulky, the ubiquitous chicken ran across the road in front of him with the usual result. The colt jumped sideways and fell, overturning the two-wheeled vehicle and throwing me out, landing me at the bottom of a deep ditch with the colt on top of me. When the colt struggled to his feet he stood for a few moments with one hind foot planted on my breast. I was almost suffocated, and for an instant thought that the bones would be crushed in by the weight of the animal; but he was a kindly creature and seemed to know he was hurting me, as he, with deliberation, lifted his foot from my chest and put it down alongside of my face. With all that tangled mass of broken harness hanging from the young animal, I did not know at what moment a kicking exhibition would commence, and slowly raised myself to a sitting position and inched myself out of immediate danger. A violent fit of coughing, followed by the expectoration of a quantity of blood, left me feeling quite weak, but I managed to get the colt out of the ditch, and the only memento I now have of my narrow escape from death is a protuberance of bone as big as the end of my thumb which adorns the end of one of my upper ribs.

        I had brought several fox terriers from Melbourne, and as


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these dogs had never before seen snow it was amusing to see them grab a mouthful, and when the cold bit their tongues, lose their tempers and proceed to fight it. There are no non-poisonous snakes in Australia, and when a blade of grass, moved by the breeze, rustled against another, these little animals would make a leap as though they were being shot out of a catapult, so instinctively afraid were they of snakes. Fox terriers at the time happened to be the fad in dogs, and I bred them for profit. At times I would have between twenty and thirty of these active, nervous, little creatures on the farm, and life to them meant one continuous rat hunt in the barn varied by wild chases after rabbits and strange curs. Any one who has ever kept one fox terrier can imagine the din in which we lived with twenty-five on the premises.


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CHAPTER LVI

Visit Mrs. Jefferson Davis in New York--Accompany Mrs. Davis to Richmond--Unveiling of the memorial window to Mr. Davis--Make the oration at the unveiling of the statuette to Mr. Davis in the Confederate Museum--The old Confederate "White House"--Present my sword and letters from President Davis and General Lee to the Museum--Letter from Mrs. Davis on the subject of Prince Polignac's canard about his mission to France for the purpose of selling the State of Louisiana.

        IN 1897, I went to visit Mrs. Jefferson Davis in New York. She was then living at the Girard Hotel, by no means a fashionable hostelry, but the best the poor lady, who was supporting herself by her pen, could afford. I had last seen Mrs. Davis when she visited Mr. Trenholm's family in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1867. At that time she was a middle-aged woman in splendid health. She was tall and her figure showed strength and activity in her every movement. Imagine what a shock it was to me to see coming into the room an old lady, bent with sorrow and, physical suffering, who walked with the assistance of a cane. But the shock which her appearance gave me was no greater than the change that time had wrought in me caused her. I advanced to meet her, and she placed her hands on my shoulders and kissed me, then, holding me at arm's length, she earnestly gazed at my face for a moment and suddenly exclaimed: "Jimmy! my child! What have you done to your pretty brown hair?" She told me that nothing had made her realize so vividly her own age as the sight of my white hair, as she had always thought of me as a laughing, romping boy, who, with her youngest brother, was always in some kind of mischief.

        When the memorial window to Mr. Jefferson Davis, in St. Paul's Church in Richmond, was to be unveiled, in April, 1898, Colonel Burton N. Harrison, Mr. Davis's former


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private secretary, and I were invited to accompany Mrs. Davis to the former capital of the Confederacy. It was not a cheerful trip, for we could not help but remember that former painful journey that we had taken together when Richmond fell and the hopes of the Southern people were annihilated. Try as we would we could find no topic of conversation that would not lead us back to memories of our loved ones who had passed away since the stormy days of the war, or recollections of the gallant heroes we had known who had died for what they thought was the cause of the right.

        At the unveiling I found it difficult to fix my attention upon the religious services of the moment, as my memory surged backward to a time some forty years previously when I sat in the same church with the family of Mr. Trenholm and listened to its much-loved old rector, Dr. Minnegerode, with his strong German accent, pray fervently for the success of our arms; and when my attention would wander, as wander sometimes it did, my eyes would frequently rest upon the bowed heads of such historical personages as President Davis, General Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, J. E. B. Stuart, and many other officers of high rank and fame who usually attended services there when they were in Richmond for the day.

        The day after the unveiling of the memorial window, I was invited to make the speech in presenting a statuette of Mr. Davis, which had been given to the ladies in charge of the Confederate Museum, which occupies the former residence of the Confederacy's chief. I could only with difficulty control my emotion as I spoke, for that house, where as a young midshipman I had romped with "Jeff" Howell, Mrs. Davis's youngest brother, and where I had spent so many happy days when off duty, was now filled with ghosts of the past. The ladies connected with the Museum were very kind to me, and I felt very much complimented when they requested me to present to the Museum the Confederate


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regulation naval sword, which I wore when I accompanied Mrs. Davis South. The sword was made in England, and had the cotton plant chased on one side of the blade and the tobacco plant on the other; also the first Confederate flag (the "Stars and Bars") and the naval coat of arms--two crossed cannon and a fouled anchor. This sword now hangs in the "Louisiana" room of the Confederate "White House."

        Prince Polignac, a French officer, served for a time in the Confederate Army. Mr. Jefferson Davis appointed him a brigadier-general and sent him to Louisiana to serve under Mr. Davis's brother-in-law, General "Dick" Taylor, commanding the Southern troops in that part of the country. Prince Polignac, being a foreigner, had an advantage over the native-born soldiers in that he could quit when he got tired. A wearied feeling came over him in the latter part of 1864, when things were looking rather gloomy for the Confederacy, and he returned to "la belle France," as he had a perfect right to do. As distance always "lends enchantment to the view," Polignac after a few years began to imagine himself a second Lafayette as well as the real hero of the Confederate Army. In carrying out the resemblance to Lafayette, he proposed to revisit America after thirty years and make a triumphal tour of the Southern States. He really seemed to labor under the hallucination that he had won the independence of the Southern Confederacy. But that was not the only illusion he labored under. In 1901, unable longer to bear the strain of an impossible state secret whose weight he had staggered under for forty years, he confided to a newspaper reporter the story of Jefferson Davis's treachery and meditated treason, and told how he, Polignac, had been sent to France by Mr. Davis to offer to the Emperor Napoleon III the State of Louisiana in return for military assistance in the struggle then going on between the North and South. I sent the newspaper clipping to Mrs. Davis and received the following reply:--


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HOTEL GIRARD, NEW YORK,
123 WEST FORTY-FOURTH STREET,
March 21, 1901.

MY DEAR JIMMIE: --

        Your letter was a great surprise to me and I have sent it with the slip to Mr. Reagan. I should have asked Burton Harrison for his memories in the matter, but knew the whole statement false, and even if it had not been, Harrison would not have known anything about a matter necessarily of so private a nature. The matters of State were not, of course, confided to him, so Mr. Reagan will answer the accusation definitely and brand it, as a scandalous invention of some one. That some thoughtless men might have collogued together is barely possible, but not probable, as if we had been reduced to such a strait the French Government would have known Mr. Davis could not give France territory already on the eve of being captured from us, and such an agreement or offer would have been utterly worthless.

        Even the man who writes does not certify to Mr. Davis or the Confederate Government having sent Prince Polignac on such a mission. Who else had the right? This is a ridiculus mus, I suppose found by some pothouse statesman.

        Thank you for your defense of Mr. Davis, and believe me,

Faithfully your friend,

V. JEFFERSON DAVIS.

        Mr. Reagan was Postmaster-General of the Confederate Government, and at the time Mrs. Davis wrote the foregoing letter he was the only survivor of President Davis's Cabinet. Mrs. Davis sent me his answer to the canard about the offer to trade Louisiana, and of course it was an indignant denial of the story. Wishing to put the refutation of the impossible falsehood where it could be seen by future generations, and also to protect Mr. Davis's memory, I gave Mr. Reagan's letter to Professor Callahan, the Southern historian, as I knew Mrs. Davis wanted it to have publicity. But Mrs. Davis objected to some statements that Professor Callahan had made concerning her husband in some of his writings, and when I informed her as to the disposition I had made of the letter she wrote me at once as follows:


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HOTEL GIRARD, NEW YORK,
123 WEST FORTY-FOURTH STREET,
April 9, 1898.

MY DEAR JIMMIE:--

        Yours received. Please get back the letter which you sent to Professor Callahan; I do not wish him to have it, and wish to preserve it myself. I have no reason to suppose that he will use it in the just and impartial spirit of a historian, nor yet with the reverence due to my dead husband's memory. I am sure you meant to perpetuate Mr. Reagan's testimony in the most enduring manner, but some of Professor Callahan's utterances convince me to the contrary. With thanks for your interest, and very happy over my friend Prince Polignac's interest in my husband's stainless reputation,

I am affectionately yours,

V. JEFFERSON DAVIS.


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CHAPTER LVII

The hero of Manila Bay--Distinguished dead who were my friends--Some learned societies which have honored me--"Peace at any price."

        IN 1898, I sold "Cedarcroft," my country place, and moved to the City of Washington where I was living when the "hero of Manila Bay" returned to the capital after his brilliant victory and received an ovation from his fellow citizens which must have made his very blood tingle with pride and gratification. In the old prints the naval heroes are always depicted as standing on the quarter deck, sword in hand, and pointing with it toward some indefinite object in the distance, but the picture of Admiral Dewey which I saw a few days after his triumphal entry into the city, although never painted, will remain indelibly printed on my memory as long as life lasts.

        My little daughter, Frederica, a child of nine, was, like everybody else, enthusiastic over the admiral, and her one ambition was to shake hands with him and be able to boast in years to come that she had talked with the great man. I was persuaded to take her to his bachelor quarters to satisfy her longing. The admiral, of course, was very kind and courteous, as it is natural for him to be, and in a little while he took the child into the next room, leaving his aide-de-camp and me to entertain each other. After some little time, fearing we were making too long a visit and that the admiral might tire of his little guest, I went into the room to tell her it was time for us to say good-bye. As I entered the apartment I beheld as pretty a picture as ever eyes rested upon. There, in front of an open trunk, seated on the floor, side by side, were the victorious admiral and the little girl having the time of their lives. The hero was busily pinning his decorations and medals on the front of her little dress, and around her neck was the famous diamond-studded


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chain of the magnificent watch which the City of Boston had presented to him. With much laughter he ordered the aide and myself to leave him and his playmate alone, and for nearly an hour longer continued to amuse her with the treasures the wonderful trunk contained.

        I have other and sadder memories of distinguished and gallant officers whom I have had the honor to number among my dear and personal friends. I was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of Major-General Harry Heth, who commanded a division in General Lee's army. General Heth was like one of the family in General Lee's house, where he had spent much of his time in boyhood. He had the unique distinction of being the only officer whom General Lee ever was heard to call by his first name. He invariably addressed both of his sons, Custis and Runie, as "General," but General Heth was always spoken to as "Harry."

        Another dear friend whose body I accompanied on its last journey was Rear Admiral James E. Jouett, U.S.N., one of the most gallant officers in the service. He it was who in a launch boarded and captured the Confederate gunboat Royal Yacht in Galveston Harbor, and afterwards commanded the U.S.S. Metacomet which was lashed alongside of the Hartford at the battle of Mobile Bay. He cut loose from the Hartford and engaged the C.S. gunboat Selma and after a furious engagement destroyed her. I on one occasion heard Mr. Loyal Farragut, the only son of the great admiral, say that undoubtedly Jouett was his father's favorite captain.

        Admiral Jouett died at the "Anchorage," near Sandy Springs, Maryland, his favorite place of residence. I was in the same house with him when he passed away, and only a week or ten days before I had seen that wonderful old gentleman (he was a good deal over seventy) on a moonlight night out with his beloved hounds chasing a fox. None of Admiral Jouett's immediate family were with him, when he,


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died, as they were in Florida at the time. I could not bear the idea of the old hero being buried from an undertaker's shop, so I had his body taken to my residence in Washington, and from there, escorted by the Marine Band and a battalion of marines and sailors, it was taken to Arlington, where he now rests.

        As an ex-vice-president of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution I was one of the guard of honor who walked alongside of the caisson which bore the remains of General Clinton, the fourth Vice-President of the United States, and a Revolutionary hero, from the Congressional Cemetery to the railway station on the occasion of their removal to his native State of New York in 1908.

        When I was United States Consul-General in Melbourne, the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia did me the honor of making me a life member, and in 1904, when the Eighth International Geographic Congress met in Washington, my Australian friends further honored me by appointing me their delegate. The assemblage was a most imposing one, for here were assembled the most distinguished geographers and explorers living at the time. When I was called on to say something, I felt very nervous in the presence of such a gathering, for while I had wandered over a great portion of the globe, I had not been any place that some explorer had not been before me. So to avoid appearing silly, I read to them a hitherto unpublished diary of my great-grandfather, Colonel George Morgan, giving a graphic account of a voyage he made in a batteau from the mouth of the Kaskaskia River to the Gulf of Mexico in 1767. Butler in his "History of Kentucky" (1834) says: "The earliest enterprise in navigating the Mississippi by Americans from Pittsburgh to New Orleans was indeed one of boldness. It was performed by Colonel Taylor, of Kentucky, his brother, and Colonel Linn, who got as far as the Yazoo, and then went to Georgia with the Southern Indians in 1769."


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        Colonel Morgan's voyage was made, as recorded in his diary, two years previous to this date, namely, 1767; and he also covered the whole route, returning to Philadelphia by sea. The Geographic Congress was much interested in the diary and ordered it printed in its "Proceedings."

        Again, in 1906, the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia paid me the compliment of delegating me to represent them at the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, held under the auspices of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, an institution which was founded in 1743. When the delegates were called to order it appeared that most, if not all, of the great scientific societies and institutions of learning in the world were represented. Oxford, Cambridge, the Royal Society of London, as well as many of the Continental universities, had sent some of their ablest men to represent them and to do honor to the memory of Benjamin Franklin.

        Harvard, Yale, and other American universities and learned societies were represented by such men as Charles W. Eliot, Arthur T. Hadley, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, Professor Simon Newcomb, etc. When the speech-making began, one of the delegates addressed the assembly in Latin, and was followed by others who spoke in the languages of their various nationalities, and I must confess that I felt myself very much out of place amidst all this erudition until Mr. Andrew Carnegie, Lord Rector of the University of St. Andrew's, mounted the stage and commenced orating with his strong Scotch accent.

        In 1914 I was invited to deliver the oration on the occasion of the decoration of the graves of the Confederate dead at Winchester, Virginia,--historic Winchester, around which so many bloody battles were fought, and which changed hands so many times during the great conflict of the Civil War, and where some of the residences to this day show the marks where shot and shell struck them.


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        There are two graveyards at Winchester, situated side by side, with only a narrow footpath separating them. One is the United States National Cemetery, where sleep the Federal soldiers who fell in the neighborhood, and in the other lie the Confederates who probably killed and were killed by them. It is a solemn sight, these brave and silent warriors camped alongside of each other for all eternity.

        I am doubtful if my remarks on that occasion met with unanimous approval from my living audience. I feel sure, however, that they met with the approval of the dead heroes who, I maintained, had given up life and all that was dear to them in an effort to defend and protect their native land. But a fad, amounting almost to a religious mania, has swept over the nation in recent years. It is called "peace at any price" and is a menace to the country. Most living Southerners have either forgotten or never have experienced bayonet rule, and how the carpetbagger and the negro tyrannized over us in the days of the so-called "Reconstruction." They seem to think that if the conqueror does come, it will only be like a change in national administration, and that, secure in their lives and property, all will go on as before. These deluded "peace-at-any-price" people are bad enough, but then we have in our midst the more dangerous element American braggarts--who maintain that no preparation for war is necessary, as a crowd of farmers and dry-goods clerks armed with pitchforks, scythes, and yardsticks, or a corporal's guard of Boy Scouts with their pretty little staffs can whip the British Coldstream Guards and the Prussian Death's-Head Hussars combined! They point with pride to how the Confederates built, within a few months, ironclads which fought splendidly, and in their ignorance nothing but a great disaster could make them realize that a single modern dreadnaught can whip the Gulf of Mexico full of just such craft as the Merrimac, Albemarle, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

        They have entrusted the training of their boys entirely


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to women, forgetting that woman follows the fashion of the moral fad of the hour as earnestly as she does the Parisian styles in clothes, and is easily persuaded to take up with ecstasy such fads or myths as universal peace, and to labor conscientiously to instill into the pliant minds of her young pupils the beautiful and peaceful principles of turning the other cheek, or lying down when they feel themselves being imposed upon. In fact, deep in her heart, there is nothing a woman has such a contempt and disgust for as she has for a weakling or a coward, and when the fad of the day is war, there is nothing so merciless and cruel as the female. I remember seeing the mothers and grandmothers of these same women, in the early sixties of the last century, instigating their men-folks to arm and slay, and I distinctly remember how they would contemptuously sweep aside their skirts for fear they would be contaminated by coming in contact with even a lifelong male friend who had dodged going into the fray. I also told the young men that these same young women, who held aloft their peace banners with such a sanctimonious air, would march off with the conqueror when he came, leaving their own men, the creatures of their fallacious teaching, prostrate under the heel of the victor, bereft of self-respect, property, and of all their good-looking young women. I warned them that wars would occur in the future as they had in the past; that they had continued, with short intervals of peace (for the purpose of recuperating their energies), since the time when God Almighty Himself and his archangel had led the hosts, to the day of Appomattox.

        I made my speech on the 30th of June, and on the 1st of August, thirty-two days later, the greatest war the world has yet witnessed was begun in Europe.


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CHAPTER LVIII

The "birth of a nation"--Assistant manager of the Washington branch of the International Banking Corporation--Extracts from a diary kept on a journey to Panama--Meet my old classmates Admirals Coghlan and Glass, of the "brood of the Constitution"--My old hulk is laid up in ordinary waiting to be scrapped.

        IT does not fall to the lot of every man to be present at the birth of a nation, but it so happened that I was present when the Republic of Panama made its first appearance in the family of-- so-called--independent countries. President Roosevelt was the chief medical attendant in charge of the accouchement, with William Nelson Cromwell acting as sage femme and the French engineer, Bunau-Varilla, acting the part of the trained nurse.

        It so happened that in the year 1903 I was the assistant manager of the Washington branch of the International Banking Corporation. The high officials of the bank, whose headquarters were in New York, knew what was in the wind, and wished to send a representative to the Isthmus to spy out the land and report as to the advisability of establishing branches there. All of the bank officials agreed that it would be advisable to investigate the new field, but such was the universal fear of the dreaded yellow fever that they all side-stepped the detail. I volunteered for the service and received the appointment, as there were no competitors.

        The following extracts, made from my diary kept on the voyage, may be of interest:--

        December 1, 1903. At 11.30 A.M. boarded the Panama steamship Seguranca. This ship was the headquarters of General Shafter and his chief of staff, Colonel Miley, during the Spanish War. Found the decks deserted, but soon saw Mr. Bunau-Varilla, the first Panamanian Minister to the United States, come up from below. He continued to bob up and down through the hatchway until the ship was ready to sail. I wondered at his


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strange antics until I learned that the whole Panama Government, the "Junta," was on board.

        A man who holds forth continuously in the smoking-room swears that he took part in the last Panama revolution and that "so many men were killed that the buzzards would not touch any one under the rank of a colonel."

        December 6. The "Junta," which hitherto has remained secluded, is now very much in evidence on deck. It appears that I am an object of some little curiosity among them. I was approached by Señor Arosemina, a highly educated gentleman with charming manners, who evidently intended to pump me as to my object in going to Panama at this time. He was very diplomatic and tactful, but I made the work easy for him by blurting out that "I had no secrets to conceal. I represented a great bank which had branches all over the world, and that I was going to the Isthmus to find out if it would pay us to establish branches there." The señor's astonishment at my frankness was so great that he fairly gasped, and then he took his leave.

        In a little while I was interviewed by another member of the "Junta," Don Federico Boyd,--the name sounds English because his father was a former American newspaper editor in Panama. Don Federico's manner was very different from that of the courtly Arosemina. He appeared to me to be very angry, and tersely informed me that under no circumstances would I be permitted to open a bank on the Isthmus, and then he turned on his heel and walked away.

        Shortly after this Señor Arosemina came to my stateroom, I suppose for the purpose of finding out how I took the unpleasant news. I told him that I wanted to bet that the United States, after all, would not recognize the Republic of Panama. As he smiled incredulously, I told him that General Thomas H. Hubbard, president of the International Banking Corporation, was not only a man of great wealth and social prominence, but that he was a man of great influence in the councils of the Republican Party, and that as soon as the ship reached the dock in Colon I was going to cable him that no American would be allowed to do a banking business in the country, and that of course he would make the contents of my cablegram public, and that I did not believe any United States Senator would have the courage to vote for the recognition of a country which would not allow a reputable American banker to do business within its limits.

        The señor seemed to consider my remarks as of sufficient importance to be reported to the "Junta," and soon I received a


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visit from the head of that august body, Dr. Amador, first President of the Republic of Panama, who informed me that I entirely misunderstood what Don Federico Boyd had said to me; that the idea the latter intended to convey was that no foreign bank would be permitted to flood the country with its notes, etc.; but that while he did not think that a foreign bank would find it lucrative to start business in the community, still if I wanted to lose my money no one would prevent me so long as I did not put any bank-notes into circulation. As the International was not a bank of issue, and as I had never mentioned any intention of putting out bank-notes, I thought the explanation very ingenious--and very satisfactory. I told the President that I was merely going to look over the field and report as to whether or not I considered it would be advantageous to establish branches there. I afterwards learned that two of the President's daughters were married to two sons of Ehrman, who seemed to have a monopoly of the banking business of the country.

        Dr. Amador is tall and straight with a benign countenance and is possessed of the typical sympathetic manners of the family physician. He is said to be universally beloved and respected by the people of Panama.

        December 8. Ship rolled and pitched heavily all night. At daylight arrived at Colon. American fleet commanded by my former classmate Rear Admiral Joseph B. Coghlan ("Jolly Joe"), the man who created such excitement by repeating the popular "Hoch der Kaiser" rhymes, the refrain of which is "Me und Gott," for which he was banished to Bremerton.

        About every half-hour a rain squall passes over the place and the water comes down, not in drops, but in sheets.

        A small crowd of officials came to the dock to welcome Dr. Amador home. They seem delighted to learn that they have had a revolution and that it has been successful (in Washington). Dr. A. is really the whole revolution.

        At 9 A.M. took the special train for Panama. Train decorated with flags. We had an ovation all the way across the Isthmus. The train runs for some distance along the banks of the Chagres River and crosses that stream several times. From Colon to Panama there is an almost continuous settlement inhabited chiefly by Chinamen and Jamaica negroes. Along the route of the proposed canal there lies, going to ruin, an extraordinary amount of machinery such as locomotives, cars, steel rails, etc., and steam tugs, dredges, and barges.

        


Illustration


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        Arriving at Panama we found the city gayly decorated with flags, and the whole Panamanian army was at the railway station to do honor to their chief. It was a most extraordinary array composed mostly of negroes. There were tall old men with short guns of the vintage of 1812, and small boys, evidently not more than fourteen years of age, carrying old muskets with enormously long barrels; their uniforms were evidently made to suit the taste of the individual wearers, as no two were alike, most of them being adorned with yellow, blue, and red rags supposed to represent ribbons; but they all appeared to be dirty and ragged. A band of music, however, enlivened the scene as they gayly marched off escorting their new President to his residence. On the route bombs were exploded and fire-crackers lavishly popped.

        The Hotel Central where I stopped was only two or three doors from the home of Dr. Amador, in front of which a band of music and an enthusiastic crowd remained until 9.30, P.M. when it quietly dispersed. The American idea of no more bloodshed and no more revolutions seems to rule supreme. "Peace and prosperity" are the watchwords. God grant for these poor people that this dream, which is so contrary to their nature, may come true.

        December 9. The humid, hot atmosphere is almost stifling. Went out to buy a straw hat. Could not find a Panama hat in any of the stores. Panamanians don't wear them; so compromised on a straw hat made in Italy.

        Called on the American Consul-General, who seemed very much gratified when I presented him with a personal letter of introduction from Mr. John Hay, Secretary of State. Wanting some money, armed with my letter of credit I called on Mr. Henry Ehrman, local king of finance. The first question he asked me was as to whether I was personally acquainted with Mr. William Nelson Cromwell, of New York, and when I had to acknowledge that I did not have the honor, I could plainly see that he did not think much of me. Everybody I meet asks me the same question, by way of making conversation, and when I reply in the negative they appear to lose all interest in me. Before leaving the United States I was under the impression that President Roosevelt was the "king pin" in that country just at present, but I find I am mistaken.

        Mr. Ehrman questioned me as to where I was born, and when told Louisiana, he seemed delighted to meet me, and to my surprise the rich man told me that he had once carried a peddler's


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pack in that State, and went on to inquire if we had any mutual acquaintances. To my surprise he asked me if I knew the Averys of Louisiana, and when I told him that Judge Avery was a most intimate friend of my father, and that I had been a schoolmate of his sons, I could see the mercury in my social thermometer rise with a bound and my status was established so far as Panama was concerned. Ehrman told me that when a peddler he often stopped at Avery's Island and that the family were always very kind to him. In Mr. Ehrman's bank there were coils of rope, dry goods, bolts of silk, and various other merchandise for sale. I inquired as to what the rate of exchange was that day, and he drew himself up and replied, "Whatever I choose to make it!"--and he told the truth too.

        While there a dump cart loaded with silver coin stopped in front of the bank and dumped its contents on the sidewalk, and the clerks went out and sat around it while counting the dollars. I caused Mr. Ehrman great amusement by asking him what rate of interest he paid depositors. He replied that he "charged them two per cent for taking care of their money!" I decided then and there that Panama was a good place for a bank.

        I find that my name is not one to conjure with here, as the legends of the people have kept fresh the memory of Morgan the Buccaneer's burning of Panama. I do not think it necessary to tell them that Sir Henry's name appears on the old genealogical tree brought to America by my ancestor who was the first of his family to settle there.

        After luncheon took a siesta. All doors and windows in the hotel are left open. About 3.30 P.M. I arose and was sitting on the side of my bed, clad only in gauze undershirt and drawers, when who should walk into my room, unannounced, but the President of the Republic, who, believing in the old adage that it is "the early bird which catches the worm," had a little business, on the side, which he wanted to see me about, namely, to rent me one of his buildings in case I decided to establish a bank in Panama. I found it somewhat difficult to talk business in a dignified manner while en déshabille, especially with the ruler of a great nation, so I called his attention to a photograph of my fourteen-year-old daughter which was on my dressing-table, and before he ceased admiring it I had slipped on my clothes and felt myself to be again "the solemn banker." We went out for a stroll to see his building and he also showed me the ancient fortifications of the city, which were very interesting.


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        December 10. The hotel stands on the public plaza on the other side of which is the Cathedral; near by is the Bishop's palace, a part of the lower floor of which is occupied by the Panama lottery. I had a bad night of it and little sleep. I retired at 10.30 P.M. and found that there were as many mosquitoes inside the net as there were outside. It was difficult to kill them, as I had only the feeble light of a primitive candle. Came near setting the hotel on fire, and at last fell asleep, only to be awakened at midnight by a fellow with a magnificent baritone voice and a guitar. He was serenading his lady love who lived in the vicinity. Being old and crabbed I said something that sounded to me very much like "D--n!" and then went to sleep again, to be awakened an hour afterwards by firing in the distance; it sounded to me like the once familiar picket firing. Going out on the piazza I saw two young men in front of the park gate who were quietly chatting and smoking. Said "D--n!" again and went back to bed. It was half-past one when the firing again awakened me. This time it seemed nearer. Went out on the piazza and saw the young men (before mentioned) still in the park, where they were still smoking. Did not see any reason why I should get excited if they were not, so gave vent to a real big big "D--n" and went to bed for the third time. About 2 A.M. firing became very heavy and soldiers crowded the plaza. Several bullets pattered against the front wall of the hotel. I could not believe that military men would fire a feu de joie with ball cartridges, so I jumped up and hastily dressed, feeling sure that I was in for another revolution. Slipping a pistol into my hip pocket I went downstairs. The hotel seemed deserted, and not a living soul was to be seen in the patio. The entrance to the hotel from the street was through a tunnel resembling the sallyport of a fort. If I was to die I wanted the finish to take place in the open and not in a trap, like a rat. Knowing the great love (?) of the natives for the accursed Yankee, I had little doubt as to what my fate would be as soon as I was recognized as belonging to the hated race. Judge of my astonishment when I reached the street and several men threw their arms around me while exclaiming, "Amigo Americano!" I soon learned that the cause of the commotion was that the soldiers did not think that sufficient joy had been shown on the occasion of the return of their chief two days ago, and they had chosen this unearthly hour further to honor their President.

        Dr. Amador appeared on his front piazza in response to their cheers and made them a speech which was loudly applauded.


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There were "Vivas" for William Nelson Cromwell, the greatest man in America (in their opinion), but none for Theodore Roosevelt. Finally the soldiers returned peaceably to their barracks, and I to my bed.

        I called to-day on Mr. Dukey, who runs the lottery. He also does a banking business. He tells me that he has an average of fifty thousand dollars on deposit with him. He thinks that the International will be ruined if it establishes a branch here. But if they do put one here, he would like to take charge of it for a liberal consideration. Also called on Mr. Brandon, who has a combination bank and store. He evidently considers himself a very important personage and gave me a scolding because I had not brought letters of introduction to him from my bank. Also seemed disgusted that I was not acquainted with the great Cromwell. However, I placated him by buying a box of cigars. He assured me that a branch bank here would be the death-knell of the International, but that he would accept the management of it if the pay was sufficient.

        I went to see several foreigners who are in business, who pleaded with me to establish a branch here, and grew eloquent over the advantages that would accrue to the bank if I did so.

        In the afternoon Rear Admiral Glass, U.S.N., and United States Consul-General Gudger called on me. I was at Annapolis with Glass. He is the man who graduated "No. 1" of my class, the famous "brood of the Constitution," so called because they spent their first year at the Naval Academy on board of that historic frigate.

        December 11. Went with Mr. Peet, agent of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, on his yacht to return the call of Admiral Glass. Had a most affectionate and warm reception. The admiral took us in his barge from his flagship Marblehead to call on the captain of the U.S. monitor Wyoming, and from that vessel we went to H.B.M. cruiser Amphion, where we were very hospitably entertained. There were a number of enormous sharks swimming round these men-of-war waiting for scraps to be thrown overboard. There was one huge shark in particular which had but one eye; every sailor that has ever visited the port, I was told, knew him, as he had been about the harbor for a length of time beyond the memory of any living man. He was called "One-Eyed Pete," and was said to be perfectly harmless, but I did not see any one in swimming--and it was a hot day too.

        December 12. At 10 o'clock this morning called on President


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Amador and his Cabinet at the Government House. Had a very pleasant reception. I urged them to deposit the ten million dollars they are to receive from the United States with our bank and offered them four per cent interest on all sums of over a million placed with us as a fixed deposit for one or more years. They seemed pleased with the offer, and it looks as if I may get it.

        December 12. Having learned what I wanted to know about my business, I took the evening train for Colon. Colonel Black, of the United States Engineers, was a fellow passenger, and strongly urged me to establish a bank on the Isthmus, as he said it was a necessity without which our Government would be subjected to grave inconvenience.

        Had pointed out to me an interesting tree which stands near the railroad track. The trunk of it is white and of huge proportions. It is called the "Stephens" tree, because that was the name of the first engineer