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Echoes from the battlefield : or,
Southern life during the war

by Noble C. Williams of Atlanta, Ga.

THE FRANKLIN PRINTING AND PUBLISHING COMPANY.
1902.

 

Preface

 

PREFACE.

After a lapse of many years a retrospective mood possessed my thoughts, and for a brief period I was no longer a man but a boy full of life, and was once more playing with other children on the grounds of the old homestead, enjoying myself as only a healthy lad can; and while thus musing every scene in the grand but cruel panorama of war passed rapidly before my vision and tempted me so strongly that I could not resist the temptation to write and leave to my only child a true record of events as they occurred during that stormy period of our civil war. This is the only apology I can offer for this faulty little publication; but since it is finished, I now offer it to all who are willing to pass its imperfections by; and hope that some of its readers who were so fortunate as to escape the realities of war may by its perusal glean something of interest. And may some of the characters in it be found worthy of emulation. I have added some very beautiful poems by the best of authors, which will be found exceedingly instructive as well as pleasing.

Table of Contents

 

   page [VII]  
CONTENTS.

 

Chapter I.
  Page.
A Young Man's Struggle for an Education. 1
CHAPTER II.
The Young Doctor Locates and is Happily Married 3
CHAPTER III.
Moves to a New Home; Death of their First Born 7
CHAPTER IV.
Settles for Life as the War Blasts are Sounded 11
CHAPTER V.
The South Secedes; a Son to the Army and Return 14
CHAPTER VI.
Two Sons and a Young Northerner to the Front 20
   page VIII    
CHAPTER VII.
Death of their Soldier Son, Pickens Noble. 24
CHAPTER VIII.
Death of the Northern Boy, Robert Clingan, on the Battlefield 27
CHAPTER IX.
Bombardment of Atlanta by Gen. Sherman. 30
CHAPTER X.
The Doctor's First Illness; the Heroism Displayed by His Wife while Driving away Robbers 34
CHAPTER XI.
Battle of the 22d of July, Death of Generals Walker and McPherson 39
CHAPTER XII.
Invasion by Plunderers after the Departure of Gen. Sherman 46
CHAPTER XIII.
The Setting on Fire of Munitions of War by the Confederates 48

 

   page IX  
CHAPTER XIV.
The Family Scattered, Edward's Return and Death 50
CHAPTER XV.
A Reunion of the Doctor's Family, and Death of Aged Couple 55
Letter from a Union Surgeon at the Close of the War 60
Orphan Girl's Prayer 63
The War is Over 65
Miscellaneous War Poems 71-92

 

Chapter 1

 

        page 1       

Before the rude blasts of war were sounded and the sister States of this Union had ceased to dwell in peace, there resided in the beautiful and thrifty little city of Atlanta, Ga., a truly Southern family, the father of which was a South Carolinian by birth and an inheritant of the best blood of that State. He removed to Georgia when quite a young man to practice his chosen profession, which was that of healing the sick. No man was ever better qualified to perform the duties of physician and surgeon than this noble doctor, for by hard study at the best of schools he had been pronounced one of the most classical of scholars. After he had finished school he attended Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, Pa., and became an M.D., and quite proud he must have been to know that he received the reward for which he had striven so hard, under such difficulties as riding all the way from his home on the banks of the Savannah river to Philadelphia and return on horseback, through a rough, broken, and sparsely settled country; where the Indians were still roaming around

 

        page 2       
and not many of them were on very cordial terms with the whites; where the wild beasts of the forest were a constant menace to life and limb, and wild game was so plentiful as to attract but little attention, such difficulties to be met with were sure; for the iron-horse was not then in general use, and many a timid lad would have been content to dwell on the banks of the Savannah and lead the life of a farmer, rather than brave the discomforts and dangers of travel. But not so with this noble young man, who, while it may be said of him that he was very delicate, yet the fires of ambition were kindled to a glowing heat within his mighty brain, and he pressed forward and obtained the glittering prize which fitted him to proficiently practice as physician and surgeon. For not as now, when each medical man must practice as a specialist, he was forced to attend to a general practice as physician and surgeon. After bidding grand old Jefferson a last farewell, he started on his homeward journey, which was an uneventful one, save the thoughts which filled his brain while going to obtain his education were entirely different on the home-coming; for he went forth a delicate young man filled with swamp malaria, eager to obtain his chosen profession, and while drinking from the Jefferson fountain of knowledge he also drank of the pure crystal waters of the Schuylkill river, which restored him to perfect health. Thus as he pressed forward on his homeward journey in the full strength of a vigorous manhood, he was indeed a happy man.

Chapter 2

 

        page 3       
CHAPTER II.

Arriving at home after a long and tiresome journey, where he was received with overflowing love and pride by his family, he felt fully repaid for the trials and hardships he had undergone and the diligence devoted to study. While at home he must make a decision as to a location where to begin his practice. After several trips and much thought on the subject he selected Elbert county, Georgia, as his future home. He soon made friends among the people and began to do some practice, and was frequently called on professionally to attend the sick of the adjoining county of Wilkes. Among the men of this county there was one who was greatly pleased with the young Doctor C. He was a quaint middle-aged Irishman by the name of Ned Malalley, who was exceedingly good-hearted, as most Irishmen are. It was he who first introduced Doctor C. to his future wife, which was performed in the following unique manner, "Miss Lucy, allow me the pleasure of introducing to you, my young, handsome, and greatly esteemed friend Doctor C., and it is a great pity he drinks,    water." Miss Lucy was greatly shocked at such a queer introduction, especially as it took the water so long to take. Doctor C. was at once completely charmed with the beautiful Miss Lucy at this their first meeting. Her lovely figure, tall and graceful, with eyes of exquisite blue, and a complexion of alabaster tinted with roses, formed as she stood before him,

 

        page 4       
a picture of perfect health and loveliness    one which could not be hidden from his vision. While stooping over the bedside of some sick one this vision of female loveliness would flash forth before him, and when tired and worn-out from the labors of the long day he sought his much-needed rest, no sooner would his eyelids close than the idol of his heart, his guardian angel, would appear to him in his dreams. Such a state of affairs was not destined long to exist, for in the short while he had known her, he had loved her as he had loved none other, and felt that to live apart from her sweet presence was a punishment greater than he could bear; hence his calls to see her were more and more frequent, and as at length he thought he could see in return for his own the lovelight kindle in her eyes, he asked her to become his wife; while she in her modest and womanly way made answer yes. It had been to both like one of those rare old cases of love at first sight. Her father was a farmer possessed of some means and sheriff of the county in which he resided, and it was at his beautiful old-fashioned southern country home, one surrounded by every comfort, that these two hearts, which for some months past had beat in unison, were now to be united in one. The day had dawned beautiful and bright; the woodland and the meadows were aglow with the beauties of spring; the little violets were shyly peeping out from their leafy beds; the grassy meadows were wrapt in their rich carpets of green; the trees and leafy bowers were filled with beautiful birds, which were pouring forth upon the flower-perfumed air

 

        page 5       
their sweet melodious anthems of joy; the broad and well-kept winding country roadway was more lovely than ever before, and all nature seemed to speak of happiness. It was under such favorable circumstances that Doctor C., accompanied by a friend, after a short drive, arrived at the home of his loved one, just as the golden sun was slowly sinking to rest behind a bank of snow-white clouds, the edges of which were tinted with a delicate blending of rose and purple; and as its last rays penetrated the tops of the majestic old oaks, the scene was one of such exquisite beauty as never to be forgotten. Once on the inside of this hospitable old homestead, all except the invited guests were very busy making preparations for the gorgeous repast which was to be partaken of immediately after the wedding. The spacious parlors had already been tastefully arranged, and the servants were busy in the dining-room placing all of the delicacies of the season on the snowy tables, which fairly groaned under the weight of the good things. The negro servants who by the way were devoted to Miss Lucy, were happy in anticipation of the approaching festivities, as they well knew that they were to be permitted to enjoy themselves to the uttermost the same as the whites, the only difference being that they were to sup last, but not least. Soon after the candles were lighted the minister arrived, and all of the assembled guests were ushered into the spacious parlors followed by the bride and groom, where the quiet but impressive marriage ceremony was performed. After which all repaired to the dining-room to partake of a most delicious

 

        page 6       
repast, and indulge in spoken good wishes for the future of Doctor C. and his newly found wife. For an hour or more, amid congratulations, joy and mirth pervaded the surrounding atmosphere, and would have continued longer had not the doctor and his bride arranged to be transported to their future home at an early hour; so the good-byes were hastily spoken, and good wishes for their prosperity and health said; but amid all the gaiety there was much of sorrow. The friends of Miss Lucy were loath to part with her, as many had known and loved her from earliest childhood; the eyes of her fond parents were now filled with tears, because of their many doubts and fears for the future of their darling. But none seemed to take to heart the thoughts of an indefinite separation more than the black mammy who had nursed and cradled her from her babyhood; and as she stooped and kissed the brow of that fair young bride, and bade her farewell, with a God bless you, my honey, my child, the tears flowing down her dusky cheeks like rain, none present could have doubted the love and sincerity of this poor old soul.

Chapter 3

 

        page 7       
CHAPTER III.

A short while before his marriage Dr. C. had taken a trip to the then busy little town of Decatur, Ga., and while there he decided to change his location from Elbert county to Decatur. He therefore purchased a beautiful large lot with a small plain cottage at a very low price, as his means were very limited, a fact which had been made known to Miss Lucy and her parents. Her family possessed ample means to have given the young people quite a nice start, which they freely offered, but was courteously but firmly declined by the proud-spirited young doctor, preferring love in a cottage, for which he had struggled, to affluence which came as a gift. After traveling half of one night and nearly one full day by private conveyance, they arrived in the little town of Decatur, and were very cordially received by the doctor's friends. They spent a few days at the pleasant little inn of the town, after which they furnished and moved into their little cottage, where love now reigned supreme. Soon after they commenced housekeeping the doctor was kept very busy answering calls, some of which carried him many miles from home; and sometimes he was detained for quite a while, owing to the serious condition of the patient.

It would seem that such an existing state of affairs could afford but little pleasure to the wife of but a few months, as she was so frequently unavoidably forced to remain

 

        page 8       
alone for a considerable length of time; but such was not the case, for while she felt some fear and frequent spells of loneliness crept over her, yet with a brave heart she cast aside the unpleasant features of life and looked on the bright side of everything which might pertain to his and her future happiness. Thus she lived, passing her time as most women do in attending to the many household duties necessarily incumbent upon them. She also spent much time in the front yard, where many trees had been left standing and innumerable stumps were to be found; it required much labor to remove the stumps and put the land in a suitable condition for a lawn and flower-yard. As she was frequently without a servant, her own fair and delicate hands would often use a hoe in digging around and removing the stumps. By doing a little from day to day she soon had the front yard in such a condition that it was but little trouble to sow the lawn and plant flowers, which soon began to grow and blossom; and although it had been quite a tiresome undertaking for one so unused to labor, yet it occupied her time and thereby dispelled that spirit of loneliness which would unbidden so often steal over her during the absence of her husband. And it was such a pleasure to take his arm and stroll over the grassy lawn and sit beneath the wide-spreading boughs of the majestic oaks, or pluck the beautiful flowers; thus they spent many pleasant hours together. The people of Decatur were highly cultured as well as neighborly, and it was but a short while before Dr. C. and his wife could number many

 

        page 9       
of the select families among their best friends, and their exchange of visits were mutually enjoyable. After a residence of a year their little home was destined no longer to be lonesome, for a bright little blue-eyed rosy-cheeked boy came as a blessing to their household and to lay claim to the attention of the fond mother, whose joy was now inexpressible. This little fellow, as time passed on, began to walk and prattle, and he was named John C., in honor of a relative, one of the South's greatest statesmen. Little John was not long to be left without playmates, for two lovely little twin sisters, Georgia and Carolina, came to bring more happiness to the household. And as the years passed by the following girls and boys were added to the family: Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Louisiana, Florida, Edward, Pickens, and two daughters who died in infancy. Louisiana also died while a baby; the living children all grew up to be handsome and intelligent men and women. When John C. reached man's estate there were but few men in the State who could compare with him, for he was of a tall and commanding figure, and also intellectually gifted, and as soon as he acquired his collegiate and medical education he moved to Lee county, Georgia, and commenced the practice of medicine under most favorable conditions; but when in the zenith of his practice he was stricken with a critical tumor, and as there were none but ignorant doctors attending him, he succumbed to the disease and passed from this earth to the realms above. This was the first great sorrow the doctor's family had ever

 

        page 10       
known, and, if possible, was greatly magnified, for they were not permitted to attend his wants and bestow that watchful care which parents only can bestow upon a child, nor close his eyes at death. He had kind friends to attend his wants, but they could not take the place of loving parents. But the doctor's family were not permitted to grieve alone, for there were no hearts who felt his loss more keely than the loving ones of the two faithful colored servants, Aunt Ellen and Uncle John, and freely their tears mingled with those of his sorrowing parents.

Chapter 4

 

        page 11       
CHAPTER IV.

Soon after the death of John C., the doctor moved with his small family to the little village of Atlanta, six miles northwest of Decatur, where he lived for many years, to watch its marvelous growth from a village to a very important city. He lived to behold the lighted torches of Gen. Wm. T. Sherman applied to its houses, from which the fiery flames leaped high in air, roaring and crackling until their venomous work of destruction was complete, and nothing was left but heaps of blackened ruins to mark the spot where the proud little city once stood. The doctor moved to Atlanta in the early fifties, and in 1860 he resided in the southern portion of the city in a well-appointed two-story house, containing a tall basement, situated on a beautiful two-acre lot, on which was a fine orchard, vineyard and garden spot, barn, smoke-house, servants' house, and beautiful flower yard. The barn contained its horses and cows, the fowl house was well filled with poultry, and the servants' house was occupied by a sufficient number of negroes to keep the place in perfect condition. The orchard was a prolific producer of every kind of fruit known to this section of the South; even the almond tree blossomed and matured its fruit, and the garden products were varied and plentiful, giving the family a supply of the most choice vegetables in their season. At this particular period in their lives Doctor C. and family had nothing to wish for,

 

        page 12       
surrounded as they were by every comfort, as well as that greatest of blessings health, coupled with a large, growing, and lucrative practice, which the doctor was daily receiving; and in addition every member of his family, with the exception of Virginia who moved to New Jersey at the time of her marriage, and Missouri who had but recently married and lived quite near them, was sheltered beneath the one roof, including Carolina, now a widow, who married in 1848, and her only child, a little boy five years of age. But during the year of 1860 the whole country was greatly agitated, and excitement was at its highest pitch. Congressmen and senators, as well as the politicians of each State, as it now seems, were striving to create the sentiment of discord and hatred of one section for the other. Slave-holding and States' rights were the principal questions for discussion. The South strongly advocated both, while the North as firmly opposed them, and the discussions from day to day grew warmer and more intense, and bitter feelings were thus engendered to such an extent, that the South felt that rather than engage in a constant quarrel, it would be better to leave the house of its fathers and dwell in peace alone; but the North took a different view of the situation and desired the South to remain in the old homestead, which would have been better; but the hot blood of the South had been thoroughly stirred up, and they had determined to secede from the Union and form a confederacy of their own. Doctor C., who was a man of strong political opinions and was very aggressive in any

 

        page 13       
cause he chose to espouse, was a Unionist, and strongly opposed the dissolution of the Union, but was greatly in the minority, as a majority of his friends and most of his relatives were extreme secessionists. He did not attempt to conceal his views, but on the contrary was continually advocating his cause with much vigor; so much so, that an editor of a leading paper, who differed with him politically, yet at the same time was his true friend under all circumstances, urged him to keep quiet, as he had heard mutterings and threats which might land him in prison; but to all this the doctor bade defiance, as he did on all occasions when he felt deep conviction.

Echoes from the battlefield : or, Southern life during the war / by Noble C. Williams of Atlanta, Ga.

Chapter 5

 

        page 14       
CHAPTER V.

Soon after this, first one, and then another of the Southern States seceded, until at last his own State joined the alliance, all of which was displeasing to him. These States soon formed a compact known as the Confederate States of America. No sooner had this been accomplished than the bombardment of Fort Sumter took place, which ushered into existence one of the most terrible and destructive wars ever known to history,  a war in which brother fought against brother, and father was arrayed against son, and continued for nearly four long years; nor did it cease until it had left the South truly desolate. The shrill blast of the bugle, as it called for men good and true as volunteers to sustain its newly created government, did not fail, as it sounded, to penetrate the peaceful home of Doctor C., where it stirred up the warlike spirit of his two young sons, Edward Livingston and Pickens Noble. Edward at once hastened to obey the summons, and was one among the first in his city to enlist for military service, as did also a young Northern man, Robert Clingan by name, who had lived with the family of Doctor C. for more than a year, and was as much attached to them as if they had been his own blood kin. Pickens Noble, the younger son, also wanted to enlist, but as he had not reached his majority, he was by the stern command of his father forced to remain at home. How those days of the long ago, which have

 

        page 15       
slumbered within the walls of my memory for more than thirty-five years, flash forth as brightly before my vision as if they were but yesterday. And in my fancy I can hear the drums beating and the bands playing, and see the glistening bayonets gleaming as they are upheld by men clad in bright uniforms, whose plumes are waving as they begin the march of years. And amid all that brave host of soldiers, as they go forth to battle for the right, none seem more manly or soldierly in their bearing than Edward Livingston and his friend Robert. How well I remember the parting scene as they came in the house to say good-bye; father, mother, sisters, and brother are all assembled, but this assemblage does not seem the joyous one of months ago. A dreadful feeling of unrest, a shadow of sadness is written on the countenance of each as they say good-bye amid caresses and tears; but God alone can only know the heartaches of the fond mother as she showers kiss after kiss upon his cheek and brow and enfolds him in her loving embrace; as she feels it may be for years, and it may be forever, the separation. But one comforting thought to calm her drooping spirit appears, and that is that God in his tender mercy may, when the cruel war is over, restore him to her sheltering arms once more; and then there comes to her a spirit of pride, when she thinks of him as a gallant soldier son loyal to a righteous cause, for which all are praying to succeed. He had gone forth to battle, and if needs be, to die in defense of his country. Not long after his departure the news of battles in which

 

        page 16       
he was engaged came from the front; his name was to be found neither among the dead, dying, wounded, or captured, which brought to his loved ones a feeling of joy. For nearly two years Edward with his infantry command was to be found in the thickest of many hard-fought battles, but at length the term of their enlistment drew to a close, and they were mustered out of service, each soldier returning to his own home. Edward was truly glad to have the opportunity of returning once more to his dear old home, where the fond parents, sisters, and brother were with outstretched arms anxiously awaiting his arrival; nor did they have long to wait, for Edward was equally as desirous of beholding their dear faces once more as they were to see his. While he was quite a long distance from home when discharged, yet it took him but a short time, as he hastened with all possible speed to reach home. Once home he was for many days the idol of the household, and the grand reception given him was but a gentle reminder of the welcome reception given the prodigal son. For many days he was the center of attraction at home and abroad, for the people never grew tired of listening to this soldier boy as he related his thrilling experiences when on the red fields of carnage, his hair-breadth escapes when so nearly captured, the many ghastly sights he saw; and the acts of bravery and cowardice displayed by men when engaged in battle.

 

His stay at home was destined to be of but short duration, for the government had issued another call for volunteers,

 

        page 17       
as the army had been largely depleted, occasioned by the loss of men whose terms of enlistment had expired, as well as the many who were killed in battle. An immense number of troops were now greatly desired to enable the South in some measure to compete in numerical strength with the large and rapidly increasing power of the Union army. When the call came Edward and Robert were not long in deciding to re-enlist for two years longer. But as they had given the infantry their services in the past, they had now decided to enter the cavalry branch of the service; but this time these two young men were to have company, for young Pickens Noble, who had by this time nearly reached his majority, had decided to enter the service. His father, as on the former occasion, vigorously protested, but Pickens firmly insisted on going into service; he informed his father that all young men who remained at home would be termed cowards, and that he would rather fill an honorable soldier's grave than be branded as a coward. His determined argument finally gained for him the consent of his father, and he, Edward and Robert joined Company B, Fulton Dragoons, a cavalry company organized in their city. Edward was an accomplished musician and acted as bugler for his company, which was drilling, perfecting itself in the use of cavalry arms; and when they were sufficiently well drilled they were ordered to go to the front and report for duty. On the morning of the departure it would be hard to depict a sadder scene; the leave-taking two years before
  

 

        page 18       
was nothing to compare with it, for at that time only one of the boys was to go, but now the youngest and last was to be sacrificed on the altar of his country. But tears could not continue to forever flow; why should they? Was there not a comforting ray of hope remaining from the experiences of the two who had seen hard service in the past, going through and coming out of many hard-fought battles unscathed    not even a scratch or scar to tell of the many hardships they had endured? The boys were soon assigned to serve under that gallant and gentlemanly Southern soldier, General Wade Hampton, then stationed in Virginia, whose command achieved so much praise for their gallantry during the latter two years of the struggle between the States. It was during this campaign that the boys were sorely tried, for the marches were exceedingly long and tiresome, and the duties severely hard as well as dangerous. Battles were a very frequent occurrence, and during one of the most terrible conflicts of the war Edward, who, I have failed to state, was a most skillful physician and surgeon, was placed in charge of an ambulance to drive over the battle-field and bring in the seriously wounded and give them the much-needed medical attention. On this particular occasion, while driving his ambulance filled with wounded soldiers, the enemy charged the Confederates across the field where the wounded soldiers lay. While the rifles were raining their leaden hail, the cannonading was very severe, and one of the exploding shells had the audacity to tear the greater portion of the top

 

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of the ambulance off without injury to Dr. Edward; but unfortunately for him he was taken prisoner, but only remaining so for a few moments, as the Confederates, in recharging, gave him an opportunity to escape, which he quickly took, and drove rapidly onward to his own troops, which he soon reached without even receiving a scratch.

Chapter 6

 

        page 20       
CHAPTER VI.

Pickens Noble was a tall, strikingly handsome young man, well-formed, with large gray eagle eyes, and as brave as a lion; but camp life had not seemed to agree with him from the very first. His brother Edward could with his practiced eye discern that some serious disease was threatening to take away his life, and so solicitous was he for Pickens's welfare that he advised him to get a furlough, go home and take a much-needed rest; where, by the kindly attention of their dear mother and medical treatment of their father, he had hopes of his complete recovery. To all the entreaties of Edward he kindly but firmly turned a deaf ear; he flattered himself into believing that he did not feel so badly as might be supposed; and while he would be glad of the privilege of returning to the loved ones at home, yet as a true soldier he felt that his duty bade him stay at his post as long as he was permitted to sit in his saddle or raise a carbine to his shoulder in defense of his country; for nothing but bravery fired by an ambition to perform mighty deeds could have led him into such a serious error. He gradually but surely faded away, his strength failed, his vision grew dim, his cheeks were hollow, and his attenuated frame told only too truly of the near approach of that unchecked conqueror who was now on the way to transform a soldier of Hampton's Legion to a soldier of the cross. The well-trained eye of Edward had not

 

        page 21       
been deceived, for Pickens grew rapidly worse from day to day; he was removed from camp by his brother to the home of a kind Christian Virginia family, where, by the mother and daughter of that household, he was most faithfully watched, nursed and waited upon as tenderly as if he had been a son and brother, but to no saving purpose, for hard riding and severe exposure had brought on a disease from which he could never recover. Only a few more days of weariness, and the tired body of our soldier boy who had worn a jacket of gray had passed away, and his spirit was to give answer to the roll-call of Heaven, where white robes are gladly given in exchange for gray.

 

THE FADED GRAY JACKET.

1 Fold it up carefully, and lay it aside;
Tenderly touch it, look on it with pride,
For dear must it be to our hearts evermore,
The jacket of gray our loved soldier-boy wore,
 
2 Can we ever forget when he joined the brave band,
Who rose in defense of our dear Southern land,
And in his bright youth hurried on to the fray?
How proudly he donned it    the jacket of the gray!
 

 

        page 22       
3 His fond mother blessed him, and looked up above,
Commending to Heaven the child of her love;
What anguish was her's mortal tongue cannot say,
When he passed from her sight in the jacket of gray!
 
4 But her country had called, and she could not repine,
Though costly the sacrifice placed on its shrine;
Her heart's dearest hopes on its altar she'd lay,
When she sent out her boy in the jacket of gray.
 
5 Months passed, and war's thunders rolled over the land;
Unsheathed was the sword and lighted the brand;
We heard in the distance the sounds of the fray,
And prayed for our boy in the jacket of gray.
 
6 All vain, all in vain, were our prayers and our tears;
The glad shout of victory rang in our ears;
But our treasured one on the red battle-field lay,
While the life-blood oozed out on the jacket of gray.
 
7 His young comrades found him, and tenderly bore
His cold, lifeless form to his home by the shore;
Oh! dark were our hearts on that terrible day,
When we saw our dead boy in the jacket of gray.
 

 

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8 Ah! spotted, and tattered, and stained now with gore,
Was the garment which once he so proudly wore;
We bitterly wept as we took it away,
And replaced with death's white robe    the jacket of gray.
 
9 We laid him to rest, in his cold, narrow bed,
And 'graved on the marble we placed o'er his head,
As the proudest tribute our sad hearts could pay,
"He never disgraced the jacket of gray."
 
10 Then fold it up carefully, lay it aside,
Tenderly touch it, look on it with pride   
For dear to our hearts must it be evermore,
The Jacket of Gray our loved soldier-boy wore.
 
Caroline A. Ball, Of Charleston, S. C.
 

Chapter 7

 

        page 24       
CHAPTER VII.

But let digression here take place, and with our thoughts retrace so much of our story as shall carry us back to the place where Pickens had resolved to enter the army. While down in the city a few days before his departure he visited one of his merchant friends at his store, and while there noticed some duck eggs, and expressed a wish to take a few home and have his mother set them under a hen, and should they hatch he felt sure they would be a great pleasure to her, as she was fond of raising all kinds of fowls. His friend declined to receive any pay for them, but kindly presented them to him; he carried them home and gave them to his mother, who at once set them under a hen, and as a result two little ducks, a pair, were hatched, but not until Pickens was many miles away. The ducks grew nicely, and it was a custom of Mrs. C., once or twice weekly, in company with her little grandson, to take the ducks down into the orchard and dig earthworms for them, as they were very fond of them. The ducks were very tame and would readily follow her from the yard to the orchard in quest of their favorite food. On one of the usual foraging expeditions Mrs. C., accompanied by her grandson and the ducks, went to the orchard, and with a hoe began to dig up the worms. While thus engaged one of the ducks who seemed more greedy than the other, unfortunately shoved its bill down just as the hoe in the hands of Mrs.

 

        page 25       
C., descended; it struck off one corner of the duck's beak. This little accident, while entirely unavoidable, brought to the eyes of both, tears of genuine sorrow, for as pets they had loved them long and truly; but the hurt did not seem to disturb the duck for any considerable time, for it was soon its happy self again, devouring worms with seemingly as much pleasure as before, but with perhaps a little less greed, as it seemed to have learned its lesson. While waddling around the yard the mate of this duck, soon after the accident, was observed to suddenly spring into the air and fall back dead.

 

Strange as it may seem to relate, in a few days there came by letter an announcement of Pickens's death, and from a comparison of dates it was found that about the time the accident occurred to the first duck Pickens was taken seriously sick, and passed away on the same day that the other duck died. He now sweetly sleeps his last long sleep 'neath the spreading holly trees on the grassy slope of the soldiers' plat, among many of his comrades who had given up their lives in defense of a common cause, in that most beautiful of cemeteries, Hollywood, situated in one of the most beautiful of Southern cities, Richmond, Virginia. The Lord had for a second time with His own hand wielded the chastening rod of correction, which fell upon the family with much greater force, if possible, than the former. He had removed from them by that fell-destroying angel the youngest of their boys, a tall, handsome, manly young fellow, just budding into a glorious manhood. But even

 

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such depths of grief are not eternal. It runs its course until its fountains of tears become exhausted and the mourners are aroused to a consciousness of the justice and mercy of that infinite, unchangeable and eternal Being who doeth all things well, and the silver lining to the darkened clouds which as a pall of sorrow hung above them for a season appears and the bright visions of a glorious and reunited family in that land beyond the skies, where partings are no more becomes to them a fixed reality, and their lives are now spent in making preparations for that journey which shall bring them at its close, eternal rest.

Chapter 8

 

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CHAPTER VIII.

We will now retrace our steps to the army of Virginia, where we find our Northern friend Robert Clingan of Connecticut doing excellent service. His reason for first coming South was to be freed from the galling yoke of bondage which his unkind step-father was, against his will, forcing him to wear. And it was while he was working with the Southern Express Company that he became acquainted with Doctor C. and his sons. To Pickens the younger he was devotedly attached, and when he unfortunately lost his position he removed to the doctor's house, where he was treated as a son and brother. He made himself very useful about the home, for life would have been burdensome to him had he not have been allowed the privilege of doing such things about the place as he thought necessary. He was but a few years older than Pickens, and was in stature of a medium height, stoutly knit frame, broad shoulders, a large, shapely head containing a face which could not be regarded as handsome, but one that bore the imprint of firmness combined with a sparkle of kindliness, which was almost equal to that of a woman; and his manner was one of gentleness, a trait that made for him any number of friends. Such a man was he when he donned his jacket of gray and went forth to battle for the homes and firesides of his adopted country    the one in which he had spent the most happy moments of his life, and for which he now

 

        page 28       
desired to fight, and if needs be die. The ties that bound him in brotherly affection to Pickens and Edward could not have been any stronger had they in truth been own brothers. As a soldier no man of Southern birth or parentage ever displayed more loyalty to its cause, or valor on its battle-fields, than this Northern born but Southern hero. He commanded the confidence and love of the men of his company, and the unbounded respect of its officers. A few months after the death of Pickens, Robert was selected by his captain as a courier to transmit through a very dangerous portion of the line an important message to a superior officer. Mounted on a noble steed he dashed rapidly off amid a rain of Minie-balls and shells, and had passed almost through unharmed, when he spied the officer for whom he was looking, and at almost the same moment he observed him to reel and fall from his horse desperately wounded by an exploding shell. He quickly dismounted by the side of the officer, and tenderly lifted him up and placed him against and behind a tree to insure greater safety; but scarcely had he completed his mission when a Minie-ball fired from the enemies' rifle struck him a center shot in his forehead, producing a ghastly wound, which brought to an untimely close the life of one of the South's most deserving and daring heroes. When the news of his sad ending reached the home of his dear Southern friends, again tears of genuine sorrow began to flow and open afresh the bleeding wounds of those doubly stricken hearts. He now peace-fully sleeps on one of Virginia's noted battle-fields, where

 

        page 29       
the noise and confusion of battle can no longer disturb, but where the white-winged angel of peace shall hover over until that glorious day cometh when the dead shall be raised and life eternal begins.

Chapter 9

 

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CHAPTER IX.

Thus while these events were transpiring in the camps of the army of Northern Virginia, the great army of the Tennessee was pressing steadily forward under command of that skillful Union officer Gen. Wm. T. Sherman, who was using every means within his power to reach the Southern seacoast. He had passed through Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was planning to make the master stroke of all his achievements. Atlanta was to him the apple of his eye, a place long desired; for, from its situation as a railroad center, it was the key which, once in his possession and held, would unlock the entire Southern section and place it at his disposal. Doctor C. was at this time largely interested in one of the principal drug stores of the city, but devoted but little of his time to it until he was forced to, by the call made on his partner and clerks to enter the army. At this time none but professional men, boys under sixteen, and men over sixty were exempt from military duty; therefore he was compelled to employ an old and almost broken-down gentleman to manage, while the remainder of his force consisted of very young boys. The daily sales were immense and money plentiful, but prices were exceedingly high, and everybody seemed to have an abundance of money. The writer does not recollect the price of drugs at that time, but he was like most children, exceedingly fond of candy, and butter-scotch was one of

 

        page 31       
his favorites, for which he then paid the sum of twenty-five cents in Confederate shinplasters and considered it cheap; while now the same article could be purchased for a penny, yet money was so much more plentiful then than now, that the writer could then afford to buy more of it. Gen. Sherman commanding the Union forces, with an army consisting of one hundred thousand soldiers, was steadily pressing forward, while Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the Confederate forces, with an army containing perhaps forty-five thousand men, was slowly falling back towards Atlanta, and had on the 9th of July reached a point about nine miles from Atlanta on this side of the Chattahoochee river. About five days later the bombardment of the city commenced in earnest, and an incessant firing was kept up until September 1st. The first intimation the doctor's family received was through one of his daughters, but it was not very cordially received by her. She had stepped out into the street to see and minister to the wants of a wounded Confederate soldier who was lying in an ambulance which had stopped not many feet from their front door. A lady neighbor was with her, and while they were engaged in attending to his wants, they heard the report of cannons in the distance; but when, a few seconds later, a shell exploded almost immediately over their heads, they at once sought the shelter of their homes, where they remained terrified, for each report of a distant cannon brought to them fears of a speedy and terrible death. From this time to the cessation of firing the female portion of his family rarely

 

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ventured out of the house, and it was only at such times when there was seemingly a lull for a few moments. Sometimes when the firing was exceedingly heavy the family would forsake the main house and enter the cellar where they would feel a little safer. Strange to say, while shells were constantly exploding directly over and in close proximity to the house, yet it remained untouched during the siege. Many fell in various portions of the yard; one among the first was seen to penetrate the ground very near to the well. A negro went out and dug it up after considerable labor, for it had embedded itself fully two feet in mother earth, and then taking it up, carried it into the house to exhibit; but it chanced to be one of the long, heavy kind of percussion shells, and when the family spied the cap on the end, and knew it had not been exploded, they fled in mortal terror from it. She was ordered to take it out and place it to one side of the garden path near the grape arbor, where it remained for a number of years as a curiosity. Their little grandson and his cousin, who frequently called to see him, became so used to the bombardment that they would not hesitate to climb to the top of the grape arbor and gather baskets of grapes. This boy would also frequently go from his home to the store with the old gentleman manager, and when they would hear the report of a cannon in the distance, they would at once drop down behind the base of some friendly fence or stone wall, then rise and go forward until startled by another report, and in this manner reach the store. Shells were frequently exploding

 

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in the main business portion of the city, and when they would come in contact with the hard paving stones there was no calculating what course they would take. Both soldiers and citizens were maimed and killed in the streets almost daily. Most of the citizens constructed on their premises what were known as bomb proofs, which were holes dug in the earth eight or ten feet deep, and of a desirable width and length to suit the builder, covered overhead with heavy beams, which contained a covering of boards or tin to keep out the rain, and then covered with earth from three to five feet deep. The entrance to the small door was dug out in the shape of the letter L, and many persons' lives were preserved by using them as a shield. Night and day for more than six weeks shells were constantly being thrown into the city, adding to the death-rate daily, and setting fire often to its houses, which kept the firemen very busy extinguishing the flames. There was certainly a strange fascination connected with the nightly bombardment, for there could be seen at almost any time numbers of lighted shells, which brightly illuminated the sky with their fiery trails, as they sped onward on their mission of death and destruction. There were many stone and brick houses situated on the outskirts of the city, which seemed to have been made as special targets for practice, which were almost completely battered down by the vicious shells. The citizens, which were mostly women and children, were in constant fear of the city being taken by the Federals.

Chapter 10

 

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CHAPTER X.

We now return to the home of Dr. C., where we find him for the first time since his marriage lying sick, caused from drinking impure water on the island of Skidaway, where he had for some time served as surgeon to Colonel Stiles' regiment, ministering to the numerous sick soldiers, but was forced to retire on account of overwork and ill health. A few nights preceding the evacuation of the city a large number of the Confederate forces were being marched through the city from west to east, and following close at their heels came straggling bands of camp followers, robbers, wearing the garb of Confederate soldiers. The Union forces were expected momentarily to take possession of the city. The night was cool and starry. Dr. C. and family had retired early, but about midnight a loud knocking was heard at the back outer door. Mrs. C., who was very easily awakened, heard the noise and touched the doctor to see if he was awake, but, as she discovered, he was asleep, and as he was very sick, she did not desire to disturb him, so she quietly passed from her room into the rear one, at which door the knocking was heard; she crept cautiously to the door and demanded to know who was there. The response came, "Open the door and let us in." She then asked what was wanted, and the same voices still repeated, "Let us in or we will break the door down." As the Federals were momentarily expected and

 

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were greatly feared, she asked if they were Federals or Confederates. The terrible answer came, "Federals, and if you do not surrender at once we will burn your house down." The threats were not very pleasant to her, so she, not then knowing what was best to do, informed them that if as gentlemen they would come to the front door she would surrender. In passing through the room, she spied a large dinner-bell, which she seized as she passed into the hall, then mounted the stairway and aroused her daughters, Indiana and Carolina, and the little grandson, who were sleeping in a front room upstairs. She, clad only in her night-robes, opened the front door upstairs which opened out on a balcony which was walled up on all sides about three feet, the tin roof of which was deeply covered with a cold dew. Upon this she stood barefooted and thinly clad, bell in hand, vigorously ringing in hopes of arousing some of their near neighbors. While she was ringing the bell, her daughters, who were terror-stricken, opened the front windows and screamed at the top of their voices. Six or eight armed men could be seen moving around in the front yard; the leader took such a position as to enable him to see and be seen by Mrs. C. He commanded in a stern voice, "Madame, stop ringing that bell," but she paid no attention to the villain's command. A second time he called, "Madame, desist at once, or I will shoot," at the same time bringing his rifle to his shoulder and taking direct aim at her; but her contemptuous answer was given by the increased number of strokes of the bell as it

 

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pealed forth on the midnight air. A more heroically grand woman as she stood, expecting each moment to be her last, would take the search-light of years to discover. The daughters had descended to the room where the father was now not only awake and up, but, sick as he was, he had his trusty rifle pushed through the window, and had a perfect aim at the heart of one of the men, and was in the very act of firing, when his daughters stayed the hand that would have sent the villain face to face with his Maker. His daughters pleaded with him and insisted that if he were a Federal and should be killed by him, that in retaliation they would not spare a member of the family. By this time one of the neighbors, Mr. H., was aroused and came over to ascertain what was the matter; he had a pistol in his belt around his waist, but he was quickly commanded to surrender, which he did, giving up his pistol and his belt at the same time. Soon after another citizen, who lived a short distance beyond, was passing by on his way home, and he met with a similar fate, the only difference being he had no weapons to lose. The majority of the plunderers were then in the streets, where they actually bade the two citizens to march ten paces to the rear, which was obeyed with great fear, for, in army language, its meaning was to be shot. Soon after a belated home-guard, known as a militiaman, chanced to be passing by; he was halted and closely questioned, and stated that he belonged to Joe Brown's (the Governor's) "malish." They soon relieved him of his coat and hat and sent him on his way sorrowing. About the time the

 

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militiaman was out of sight a fearless young soldier by the name of Roscoe Ryan, who was a friend of Dr. C. and family, but who knew nothing of the trouble, as the bell-ringing and screaming had ceased when the first two citizens had been detained, came by on his way home, and they attempted to play the same game on him, but in him they had met their master. He informed them in language too plain to be misunderstood that they were villains and scoundrels, and threatened to see that they were severely dealt with, and then passed on without further molestation. All of the prisoners were then released, and the would-be robbers and murderers slunk out of sight and hearing. Soon after a soldier was seen passing by, and, fearing that the men might return, Mrs. C. requested him to guard the house until morning. He stated that it would be impossible for him to do so, but insisted on leaving a gun for their protection in case of further trouble. She thanked him very kindly, but instead of going out to take it she requested him to lay it on the lawn, for she was suspicious of him, not knowing but what he might belong to the same gang who had just caused them much uneasiness. The gun which had been placed on the lawn by the soldier remained there until morning, when it was taken up. Months after, it was placed in the hands of a gunsmith for examination, who, in withdrawing the charge, found it had been doubly loaded, and had it been fired in that condition might have been productive of very serious results. The most reasonable supposition as to the motives which led the bold but

 

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cowardly scoundrels to make an unsuccessful attempt to break into the doctor's residence, must be attributed to the fact that one or more members of the party had some time in the past, by frequent visits to the store, become thoroughly familiar with the manner in which the business was conducted. They had evidently, while walking around in the various parts of the store making small purchases, closely observed the office department, and the large amount of Confederate bills, together with both gold and silver in small quantities, was, when it chanced to come within the range of their vision, a temptation greater than their avaricious souls could resist. Hence they must have used their utmost skill as detectives in carefully watching the final disposition of the money. As all of the banks had removed from the city, it was a custom of Dr. C. to wrap up all the funds in paper, place it under his arm and take it home with him each evening. There can be but little doubt that these robbers had followed him home, spotted the house and taken in all the surroundings; and that when he was forced to take to his bed on account of illness they had missed him, and had at once discovered by casual inquiry not only his sickness, but his helpless condition, and a knowledge also that there were none but delicate females to offer them any resistance when the proper time came for them to carry out their diabolical plans, which, in all human probability, might have been successfully accomplished but for the heroism displayed by Mrs. C. and the timely arrival of that gallant young soldier, Roscoe Ryan.

Chapter 11

 

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CHAPTER XI.

Around and even near the center of the city earthen fortifications and entrenchments had been constructed, and it was among them in the frequent and fiercely fought battles that many of the brave soldiers of the opposing armies laid down their lives. General Hood, who had succeeded General Johnston, was an intense fighter, and was constantly giving the enemy open battle with great loss of life, and by doing so he entertained strong hopes of being able to hold the city. But on the 22d day of July occurred the most terrific conflict which had ever taken place between these two opposing armies, and which terminated in the killing and wounding of thirty thousand soldiers, and the killing of two of their most distinguished officers. General McPherson, commanding the Federal army of the Tennessee, was killed while attempting to reach his troops after the assault had begun, having been with General Sherman when the assault was first made. He came upon a line of Confederates and, when wheeling to escape, was shot dead in a skirt of woods about midway between Atlanta and Decatur. Major-General Walker, of the Confederate forces, was killed near the same spot while leading his division into battle. The United States Government has erected a monument in honor of General McPherson on the same spot upon which he fell. It is constructed of cannon balls, fenced with

 

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rifle barrels, which forms a neat and most appropriate tribute to his memory, as well as a reminder of those days of the sad past which tried men's souls. The splendid McPherson Barracks, situated about five miles from Atlanta, are also named in his honor. An old red-clay fort, situated in beautiful Grant Park, which was occupied by General Walker and his men, is named in his honor. As General Hood failed to complete a victory, he had to content himself with holding Atlanta, which he successfully did by detached fighting daily until September the first, when Gen. Wm. T. Sherman, having cut off his last resort for supplies by taking possession of the Macon and Western Railroad, he was forced to evacuate Atlanta, after a siege of nearly two months. On the following day Mayor James M. Calhoun, with a committee of councilmen and citizens, proceeded to the Federal camp, and, upon surrendering the city to General Sherman, asked protection for non-combatants and private property, which was promised; and only the very nearly complete destruction of the city can bear testimony to how much good faith was used by him in keeping the promise. On the following day, September the second, the Federal troops entered and took possession of the city. It was on this particular occasion that the grandson of Doctor C., in company with two little sons of Mr. Crankshaw, and one of Mr. Richardson, both of whose families were most excellent English people, took a walk of four long blocks to the Georgia Railroad depot, which was situated near the center of the city.

 

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The families of Mr. Crankshaw and Richardson had some milch cows; and as cattle feed was a very scarce commodity they were anxious to obtain anything in the shape of food for their cows, and knowing that the Confederate army had been compelled to leave a large supply of hardtack, a large but miserable imitation of a cracker, their boys had been given sacks and told to go and fill them, and as the boys were playmates of Doctor C.'s grandson he went with them to assist in filling the sacks. They reached the depot, where they found a large supply of hardtack, and also a large number of boys engaged in moving them. While engaged in filling their sacks some one in the crowd announced that the Federals were already in the business portion of the city. The boys cast their eyes in that direction and discovered that the announcement was only too true, for they could plainly discern the blue-coats in the distance, who were rapidly moving toward them, which sent a thrill of terror to their young hearts; and then, as it seemed to them, their race for life began, and with a swiftness almost equal to that of a deer they sped onward to their homes in hopes of safety. The home of Doctor C. was soon reached, where the younger of Mr. Crankshaw's boys, and Mr. Richardson's, accompanied Doctor C.'s grandson into the house, when he crawled under his grandmother's bed for concealment, and it took considerable persuasion under promise of protection to get him out. The negroes working on the place had pictured the Yankees, as they called them, to him in the most glowing

 

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colors, as beastly and bloodthirsty monsters, whose delight it was to catch men, women and innocent children for no other purpose than to murder them.

 

Soon after the boy came out from his place of concealment, a Federal officer and his staff were seen riding down the street in front of the house, a fact which assured all that the enemy had taken possession of the city. An hour later the tramp, tramp, tramp, of the greater portion of General Sherman's army could be heard as they passed down the street by the doctor's house. This continuous motion was kept up for several hours, when the command was given to halt and rest. No sooner had they broken ranks than hundreds of soldiers' faces could be seen peering through the fence, which separated the street from the garden, and as the grape arbor, filled with temptingly luscious grapes, appeared before their vision, their mouths fairly watered, and their stomachs seemed to contain an aching void that could only be filled by a speedy and vigorous assault upon them; which in less than five minutes was accomplished, greatly to the damage of both the grapes and the arbor. Perched as they were on every available inch of slat, they were reminders of a flock of hungry blue-birds, and, strange to relate, out of that vast number of men who enjoyed the privilege of feasting on those luscious grapes, all had taken them by force with the exception of one, whose gentlemanly instinct was so perfect that even the rough army life had failed to efface it. He came to the front door and gently knocked; some member of the family opened the door to

 

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find a pleasant-faced young soldier with cap in hand gracefully bowing, and at the same time in a pleasant tone of voice requesting permission to be allowed to gather a few grapes. His gentlemanly demeanor had come so unexpectedly that it gained for him the friendship of all of the doctor's family. His name was Kellog, and he came from Ohio. It was quite a fortunate occurrence, the meeting of this soldier, as the doctor was confined to his bed with a very serious illness, and was greatly in need of the services of a competent physician to attend him, and as there were no Southern physicians, all having left when the city was evacuated. The last Southern surgeon to leave the city was Doctor John Whitworth, a Mississippian who had been in constant attendance upon the doctor for a week or more, and stayed at great risk until the very last possible moment. He was a nephew of Doctor C.'s wife; and the family had to implore him to leave to avoid capture, and how anxiously they watched him as he put spurs to his horse and rapidly disappeared from view, apparently safe from the boys in blue. Mr. Kellog was requested to have a Federal surgeon visit the doctor, which he kindly did, and in response to his request Dr. Wm. C. Bennett, a very gentlemanly and eminent surgeon, called upon the doctor and found him very ill. He was suffering with a dangerous tumor on one side of his face, and the doctor decided that a surgical operation would be necessary; and he called in another surgeon to assist him. After the operation was performed the doctor was much more comfortable, and began to improve very rapidly, but it required many weeks to fully regain his usual health.

 

 

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When the surgeons first called on him they found him in a very weak condition, and greatly in need of a stimulant daily, and as the doctor did not possess any, the surgeons, as long as they remained in the city, were very careful to see that he was supplied with the very best rye whiskey from the United States Dispensary. They showed him every possible kindness and consideration, and by so doing they received the very grateful attachment of the doctor and his family, who were truly sorry when the time for their final departure had arrived. No words of praise could adequately express the gentlemanly and Christian character of these two noble Union surgeons. At sunrise on the morning of the departure of the Federal army, the doctor's family awoke to gaze upon one of the most awful and sickening sights it had ever been their misfortune to witness    their own beloved city enveloped on all sides in a seething mass of smoke and flame, madly curling upward to the blue skies above, and leaving behind only blackened ruins and heaps of ashes. General Sherman's men had applied the match, and the flames completed the work which it had begun; but not until it had brought many innocent owners of property to the very verge of, and in many cases absolute poverty. Unfortunately for the doctor, his entire stock of drugs, notes, accounts and valuable papers all went up in smoke. Just opposite the doctor's residence stood the handsome home of Mr. H., which was one among the very last to be fired. Some Union soldiers

 

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had been observed as they left the building, and a few moments later the house was one solid sheet of flame. The heat from the fire was so intense that it drew the rosin from Doctor C.'s front door. His family were living in the center of a circle, the edges of which were emitting flame, smoke and heat, as one of the wicked incidents of war. As descriptive power is almost inadequate to vividly portray the real horrors of such a conflagration, I shall not attempt it, but shall now speak of the people whose unhappy lot it was to observe it.

 

The few remaining people underwent many privations and greatly needed the necessities of life, as it took several days for the farmers who were so fortunate as to live in sections of the country not devastated by the armies to reach the city with supplies; many of them having traveled several hundred miles.

Gradually the citizens who had been forced to leave the city by order of General Sherman, began to return for the purpose of clearing away the ashes and mouldering ruins of their former homes, so as to rebuild them in such a manner as their limited means would permit. And many tearstained and saddened faces, as they gazed for the first time on their once happy homes, now blackened ruins, told only too plainly and truly of the completeness of the wreck left by General Sherman.

Doctor C. had now practically recovered his health, and soon began to go among the ruins and examine the extent of the destruction.

Chapter 12

 

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CHAPTER XII.

Plunderers who lived some miles from the city began to come in large numbers for the purpose of stealing such furniture as still remained in the few houses that were left standing. Their depredations were so frequent that the few remaining citizens held a meeting to organize a city government for their mutual protection. Doctor C. was elected mayor to serve until the return of the mayor who had gone south after surrendering the city. One of the doctor's first official acts was to appoint every able-bodied man a police officer. Trinity Methodist Church was filled with pianos and handsome furniture of every description, belonging to the best class of Atlanta's citizens, who, when ordered away by General Sherman, had been permitted to place them there for safe keeping. While the plunderers might not have seen any moral wrong in taking that which did not belong to them, believing all things taken during war was fair, nevertheless their mistaken views did not obliterate the fact that they were thieves. Some of these people soon discovered that all they had to do was to go to the church and get a choice load of furniture and haul it home; several loads had been taken when a citizen happened to make the discovery. The writer was present on one occasion when one of the thieves was attempting to haul off a load of elegant furniture, but was forced to replace it at the point of a police officer's pistol.

 

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Within a few months the greater portion of Atlanta's absent citizens had returned, and the sound of the hammer, saw and trowel could be heard in every portion of the city. All was now life and activity, and each and every one was striving to rebuild on the ruins, of what in the future was to be a great and magnificent city. Many years ago when it was not a city but simply a railroad terminus, the doctor's relative, that greatest of Southern statesmen, John C. Calhoun, predicted that it would in the years to come become the greatest inland city of the South. How nearly correct were his views cannot only be substantiated by its one hundred and twenty thousand citizens of to-day, but by the vast number of visitors who have entered and passed through its portals, and partaken of its hospitalities, during the three magnificent expositions held here in the past twenty years.

Chapter 13

 

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CHAPTER XIII.

A night or two before the evacuation of the city, the Confederate forces had many car-loads of explosive munitions of war, which it would be impossible to take with them, and lest it should fall into the enemies' hands they lined the railroad tracks east of the passenger depot with them and set them on fire, the lurid flames of which as they sped upward lighted up the whole city, and the continuous noise of the exploding ammunition was more terrible and intense as a terrorizer than the greatest battle which ever occurred. Its effect upon the sleeping citizens who had no knowledge of what was to transpire was extremely startling, as the noise was as that of a near-by, fiercely-fought battle, and the brilliancy of the illumination was such as the burning of a city in the distance would produce. After the departure of the Federals, the country for miles around presented a scene of almost unequaled desolation. Many trees had fallen by the army-woodman's ax, and those left standing were but the shattered remnants of their former selves, for cannonball, shell and Minie had vied with each other in their attempts at relieving the mighty oaks and pines of their limbs and trunks. The woods and fields were strewn with the carcasses of dead and decaying animals, most of which had performed valuable service, but becoming disabled were shot or left to die of starvation, and the sickening stench of their dead bodies attracted numbers of buzzards which fattened

 

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on the dead and decaying remnants of war. Many hungry and half wild dogs made night hideous with their howling, and frightened the women and children greatly, as they could be seen at almost any hour daily running wildly about the streets, seemingly seeking whom they might devour. But enough of the devastating and sickening scenes of a war between what was once a union of brothers, now left desolate, and the former love now turned to bitterest hate, as an effect of the appeal to arms; such an existing state of affairs was clearly discernible at its close. But time in its onward flight, closely pursued by a kind providence, which bore upon its wing a heavenly balm for the healing of the nations, closed the gaping wounds of the bloody chasm, and cemented afresh with indissoluble ties of brotherly love and trust this glorious Union of States. And may the omnipotent God who so wisely ruleth over the destinies of nations ever keep it pure and spotless, and may no foreign foe ever invade our peaceful shores, lest they be driven to their ships and sunk beneath the waves by those gallant boys who once did wear the blue and the gray.

Chapter 14

 

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CHAPTER XIV.

While the war was in progress, Virginia, who had married a Northern gentleman before its commencement, had moved to the State of New Jersey and was very comfortably situated, and her happiness was well-nigh complete; but as the war clouds began to hover over this land, her mind was greatly disturbed, and her constant prayer was that it might be averted; but when the declaration of war came, it found her drooping spirits completely shattered, for all that life held dear to her, with the exception of her husband, were living in her dear old Southland. Father, mother, brothers, sisters and kindred were now to be separated from her by a line which to cross meant death, and she was even to be denied the pleasure of the weekly exchange of letters which had been such a source of pleasure to her since leaving the old homestead, and then the awful thought that her father and brothers might be slain, and the mother and sisters left desolate; and that perhaps she might never be permitted to look upon their dear faces again, filled her young heart with grief which was almost unbearable.

While it had been determined that it would only be a few months before General Sherman would be knocking at the very gates of Atlanta, two of Doctor C.'s daughters, Georgia and Florida, in company with a negro slave woman, refugeed to Columbia county, near Augusta, Ga.,

 

        page 51       
about two hundred miles southeast of Atlanta, where they spent their time very pleasantly visiting among their relatives; but when the news reached them of the fall of Atlanta, their pleasure was turned to sorrow, for there was a dreadful uncertainty of the fate of the dear ones at home, as they knew not what had been the effect of the shelling upon them, or how they had fared since they were in the enemy's possession. Soon after the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, Edward returned to his home in a hungry, footsore and tired condition, and the loving reception extended to this overpowered but unconquered southern soldier boy was beautiful to behold. He was permitted to bring a beautiful new cavalry carbine home with him, which he gave to his little nephew, who was greatly delighted with it, and used it for several years in hunting quails, larks, robbins and doves. Soon after his return he was appointed city physician, the first Atlanta had ever had, and daily as well as nightly his calling was to minister to indigent poor, both white and black, and as smallpox was an epidemic, especially among the blacks, his position was not an enviable one; he soon tired of this life, and as he was an exceptionally fine civil engineer he had no difficulty in obtaining the position of assistant engineer on the Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railroad, the first one surveyed in this section after the close of the war.

 

After finishing this work he resumed the practice of medicine, but not in the city, as formerly, as he preferred

 

        page 52       
to do country practice. He established himself in Henry county, which adjoined his home, where he lived and most successfully practiced medicine for many years; and so successful was he that he earned the sobriquet of Meningitis Doctor. He was soon happily married to a beautiful young girl, and to them was born a lovely little girl baby, which was the idol of his heart, but this tender little bud, which was by great suffering gradually withering away, was by the mercy of our Lord early called to blossom on the celestial shores. But while baby yet lived, and he was in the very midst of his happiness, his health began to fail and he decided to give up country practice. He soon removed to the little town in which he first beheld the light of dawn, Decatur, Ga. He had just recovered from a serious attack of pneumonia, brought on by sleeping in cold shed-rooms, while attending country patients during the winter season.

 

He had been in Decatur but a short time when his cough assumed a serious condition, and it was feared that consumption was slowly making serious inroads upon his once vigorous constitution. Some years prior to the war, while he was a student studying medicine, it was his nightly custom to go to his father's office and seat himself in a very strongly built and comfortable office chair, which had an arm large enough to accommodate a book and lighted candle. On this occasion he was sitting in the chair, his mind deeply absorbed in study, when suddenly, without any warning, the floor sank down one story,

 

        page 53       
carrying him with it, while the roof at the same time settled down upon the floor, but his life was in some miraculous manner saved, perhaps attributable to the strong chair, which acted as a support for the roof and kept it off of him. The loud noise occasioned by the collapse of the building brought out the fire department, as well as a number of citizens, who were eager to know if any one was in the building when the collapse occurred. Some one announced that Edward had been caught in the fall. Immediately every one began to search for him, and each one would loudly call his name. His feeble voice was soon heard by a negro man, who approached with an axe in hand, and by cutting some timbers, which held him pinioned down, soon rescued him from his perilous position. It was ever afterward a standing joke that he had to be "axed" out. It has been said that although he was covered with lime dust externally, and his lungs filled with the same, caused by the falling plaster, that as soon as he was placed on his feet, although he was in a dazed condition, he immediately ran for his home so rapidly as to have done credit to a race-horse. This accident no doubt caused his lungs to become weakened, and when he was seized with pneumonia it was more than they could stand; hence consumption in the very worst form had surely seized upon him as its victim. As he gradually began to fail his father and mother persuaded him to leave Decatur and come to live with them in Atlanta. But how sad it made his loved ones feel, as day by day they noticed the wasting away of

 

        page 54       
his body, and the increased coughing attacks as they were followed by slight hemorrhages at first but increasing as the disease progressed; but the dear patient sufferer never gave up hope for a final restoration to health. How beautiful were his expressions of thankfulness to each and every one who showed him the slightest kindness or attention, and it was absolutely a real pleasure to be permitted to do him even the slightest little kindness. At length after a long and wearisome night, when the day dawn was being ushered in, the time for his departure from this sin-smitten world had arrived, and his spirit took its flight to the great beyond, and from the purity of his life and unshaken trust in the Christ who died for him, we feel sure that he now peacefully sleeps among the many just made perfect, who have long since passed from death to life eternal.

Chapter 15

 

        page 55       
CHAPTER XV.

A reunion of the doctor's family had been planned to take place the year following the war. And Missouri, who had removed from Atlanta during the latter part of the war to Mobile, Ala., was to attend in company with her husband and little son James, as was also Virginia with her husband and three lovely little girls, Virginia, Lucy and Bertha. The grandparents, aunts, and uncle were very anxious to meet the little girls whom they had never seen. Virginia, with her little family, arrived promptly at the appointed time, and the doctor's family was completely overjoyed while receiving them, for it had been ten years since they had seen Virginia, and now they were not only to have the pleasure of her company again, but an additional one in looking after the three cunning little Yankee girls. Just here a divine providence intervened, which once more turned this household of joy into one of sorrow; for their much-loved daughter Missouri had contracted a severe case of bilious fever which did not yield to the treatment of the skillful physician, but lay claim to her precious life. She was laid to rest in a magnificent vault in one of the most beautiful cemeteries of the Southland, situated in that lovely gulf city, Mobile, Ala., where the magnolia trees flourish in all their beauty summer and winter, and where the odors of the sweetly perfumed cape-jessamines are wafted by the gentle gulf breeze, and the

 

        page 56       
mocking-bird sweetly sings its evening song. Thus comes to pass the saying, man proposes but God disposes. Hence the joyous reunion so carefully planned could never in full be carried out. Missouri's husband and little boy came; but oh what sadness the sight of their faces brought to that home! After spending a month with her parents Virginia and her family returned to their Northern home, where they lived happily for the following six years; but sorrow soon came, for her husband was seized with a lingering but fatal illness, which within a year called him to his reward, for which he had made full preparation. Death having separated her from her husband, Virginia became very lonely, and determined once more to return to the home of her parents and remain with them during their declining years, and in order to do so she leased out her beautiful home, after which she bade farewell to home and friends, and was soon mingling again with the loved ones of her childhood. But not a year had passed since her arrival before her father, Doctor C., was stricken down with pleuro-pneumonia. He had been suffering with a severe cough for more than a week, when, on a beautiful, balmy February day he imprudently wore a pair of rather low-quartered shoes instead of boots as was his custom; at night he was seized with most violent pains, not only in the region of the chest, but extending to the bowels. He at first thought it was a severe case of colic, but after using his usual remedy for its treatment without relief, he became convinced of the nature of his disease and the malignancy

 

        page 57       
of its character and remarked to members of his family who were present that it would surely prove fatal, and, after much suffering for twenty-seven days, death came as a relief to him. He had passed the seventy-fifth mile-post on life's rough and care-worn road, but his vigorous manhood was shown by his wonderful power in resisting so stubbornly a disease which at that time was almost an epidemic, and was taking off almost without exception every one who was so unfortunate as to be stricken with it, and one which usually claimed its victims in from ten to fourteen days.

 

The doctor had been physician to Fulton county prison for over seven years, between the years of 1865 and 1874, and had attended every sick prisoner contained within its walls, both county, State and United States, and there was a vast number of them; nine-tenths of which he treated with a liver pill of his own make. But strange as it may seem, although he treated almost every disease incident to this climate, not a solitary death occurred under his treatment. This is a stubborn fact which remains uncontroverted by the medical profession of the world, that the doctor's record as well as his pills have never been equaled. His pills made him locally famous, but in doing so ruined his general practice, as his patrons, after using them one time, found that by sending to the doctor for a box of his pills they could, by using them in time, ward off disease, and save the necessity as well as the expense of the attention of a physician.

 

        page 58       

The death of the doctor brought to a close, a noble, generous, sympathetic and well-spent life, and although he had passed the allotted three-score years and ten, he was no idler, his talent had not been laid aside to rust, and when the call, come higher to thine everlasting home, sounded in his ears, he was actively engaged in giving medical attention not only to those living in affluence by whom his daily bread came; but he bestowed the same watchful care and attention upon the humblest negro in his rude cabin as upon the most favored ones, recognizing the scriptural injunction of love one another, be kind one to another, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. A large concourse of friends as well as patients, many of whom had been by his skillful treatment through the mercy of God, as it were, almost raised from the dead and restored to health, gathered around the bier to pay their last respects to one whose kindly face and gentle voice would never more be seen or heard on earth, and as they consigned his body to the grave and his spirit to the God who gave it, many were the tears that mingled with the earth of that city of the dead    beautiful Oakland cemetery of Atlanta, Ga., where he is now peacefully resting from his labors.

The removal of the good old doctor from this busy world, left the faithful wife who had started out on life's pilgrimage with him, to climb the steep and rugged pathways alone, and his helpful companionship for over forty years was now brought to a close, until they meet in paradise. Life to Mrs. C. was now very desolate, and but for the

 

        page 59       
companionship of her daughters and grandsons would hardly have been worth the living. But she was spared not only long enough to see her eldest grandson fully grown, but to clasp in her loving arms and bless his baby boy, her first great-grandson; but she did not tarry long after his arrival, for the weight of eighty-two years fell too heavily upon her to permit her to withstand a desperate case of pneumonia with which she was seized. After a useful life, one spent in doing good and trying to make others happy, in fact, all with whom she chanced to come in contact, her spirit winged its flight to the land beyond the skies, where, now in company with her loved ones who have gone before, she anxiously awaits the coming of the dear ones left on earth and hopes for that family reunion which was planned, but failed to succeed on earth, to materialize in Heaven.

 

Oakland cemetery, situated on an eminence which overlooks the city to the westward and the beautiful farming country for miles around to the south and east, is picturesquely beautiful with its trees and shrubbery, lawns, flowers, driveways, vaults, and marble shafts. One especially noticeable stands as a monument to the many Confederate heroes who are buried near its base. And not far from this sacred spot, side by side, rest the bodies of Doctor C., his wife and son Edward, together with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The intervening space between the spot where the doctor and his bonny bride first made their home nest is but five miles from where they now peacefully slumber, and all their living descendants, with the

 

        page 60       
exception of their grandson James, who is seeking a fortune in the far West, are so near to their last resting-place that they could visit it daily. Thus I draw to its close a sad but true story of Southern Life during the War.

 

  

Copy of a letter from one of the Union surgeons who so skillfully treated the doctor during his illness:"

 

 

Danbury, Conn., Jan. 21st, 1866.

Dear Doctor.    I have some anxiety to hear from the friends I left in the Confederacy when we began our march to the Sea. Mrs. Holbrook was here last summer, from whom I learned that you were all alive and had a house to shelter you. I was glad to learn that much. She also gave me some messages you sent me, showing that I had not been forgotten. I assure you it was most pleasant to hear from all of you after so long an absence, and especially after seeing the heavy cloud of smoke hang over the city when we left. I suppose you lost the store; this is why I wished you to take as many as possible of the goods to the house, for fear of some such thing, though I had no knowledge; yet I had learned in war to prepare for the worst. But we won't talk longer on this subject, it is pleasant neither to you nor me. We have come out of it with our lives, and let us be thankful for this good. I intended to call and see you the morning I left, but I was behind the rest of my staff and had to hurry. I would have liked to bid you good-bye though. We had a very pleasant

 

        page 61       
march to Savannah, when I left and came home soon after the war closed, and you and I were heartily glad of it. So I think were the armies of both sides, and so were the right-minded men all over the country. I came home and went into practice; am doing a fair business. I am not married yet as your wife advised me, and cannot until I make money faster, dry-goods fall or girls want fewer dresses. Tell her I intend to marry about the time that Yankee blacksmith or hospital fellow brings back the buggy she lent him. I have a few friends here and some enemies. The radical democrats do not fancy me because I went to the war and endorsed it. The radical republicans hate me because I am not an abolitionist, because I voted for McClellan and against negro suffrage. You saw the vote of Connecticut on the question of letting negroes vote in this State. The returned soldiers voted no almost to a man, which shocked the abolition party greatly. The people here who aspire to be genuine cod-fish aristocrats and are simply mud turtle aristocrats are mostly homeopathists, hating my father and self worse than the gentleman in black (decidedly). Party spirit runs high, and one must be a radical or be voted out of both parties. I and some others are on a high fence trying to keep out of reach of the yelping crowd and ourselves undefiled (though occasionally some filthy fellow throws a lump of mud at us), until some conservative party comes around willing to work for the best interest of the whole country, when we intend to join in. I hope it will come soon, for surely we will go to the dogs soon if we keep

 

        page 62       
on at the same pace we are now going. Why can't all sections of the country consent to bury the past, become reconciled and go to work with a hearty good-will for the common interest. Please write me what you know of the condition of the South, crops, manufactories etc., and the sentiment of the people. All about Atlanta. All about your family, and what became of the son who was at war when I saw you. I hope he came home safely. Remember me to all of your family separately and individually. I shall not forget them soon, for meeting with them was one of the few pleasant incidents of my war life. I enjoyed it much, and only wish we could have met under pleasanter circumstances. Remember me to Mrs. Holbrook. How are my "parvenue" friends, the Schofields. You need not remember me to them as I do not seek the acquaintance.

 


Yours truly,
Wm. C. Bennett, M.D.
 

"

 

Just as the closing lines of this story were being written, a speck at first, but gathering strength until it becomes of such magnitude, as it floats from Spain to our peaceful shores, as to be pronounced a war cloud, is being viewed by seventy-two millions of patriots, who are no longer divided by the bloody chasm of thirty-five years ago, but who have shaken hands across it, and as brothers, standing side by side, not in blue nor in gray, but in a mingled blue and gray, they offer to place upon the altar of their country any sacrifice, even life itself.

Part 1

 

        page 63       
THE ORPHAN GIRL'S PRAYER. BY G. W. BROWN .
Let me go to my home    I am weary of earth,
Not a friend have I left in the land of my birth;
Let me go where the bright waters chime as they flow
With the songs of the angels    O there let me go.
 
Let me go to my father    I remember the day
When the bell sadly tolled as they bore him away;
And I watched for his coming, when the sunlight grew low,
But he came to me never    to him let me go.
 
Let me go to my mother    she calls me away
To the bower that is green with the garlands of May,
And I know that her heart doth with love overflow
For the last of her household    to her let me go.
 
Let me go to my sisters    I'm fading like them,
And dark on my forehead is growing life's gem;
And I shall love them above as I loved them below,
Their sweet voices call me    O world, let me go.
 
Let me go to my brother    I wept when he died,
And I longed to be laid in the grave by his side;
It's been night in my heart since they laid him so low,
Earth's last tie was broken    to him let me go.
 

 

        page 64       
Let me go to my home    as the lone mountain bird,
To a sunnier clime when the bleak winds are heard;
Let me go where the bright waters chime as they flow
With the songs of the angels    O there let me go.
 

Part 2

 

        page 65       
THE WAR IS OVER.

Thanks be to God that peace and prosperity now reign in its stead, and every section of this great country is now peaceful and happy, with nothing to mar. Phoenix like the proud little city of Atlanta has arisen in its might and floated the ashes of 1864 out on the breezes of each passing year, until now not a vestige of the old scar remains as a reminder of the unpleasant past. But in its stead, standing peacefully serene, are magnificent residences, churches, schools, factories and towering office buildings, whose flags as they float out upon the winds, are beckoning to the many good citizens of other climes who are looking for something better to come and lend their aid in the further development of this now grand and growing city; the destiny of which is now considered by all who have taken the pains to watch its past progression, to be specially suited by location, climate and healthfulness, to become the most important as well as largest city in the Southland. There can be no doubt of its becoming the educational and financial center from the character of its present inhabitants as well as those who are constantly being added to its numbers. Its citizens are most certainly to be classed among the best on earth, and yet they come from almost every tribe and nation, and scarcely is there ever the slightest note of discord among them, they are so perfectly blended

  

 

        page 66       
in a common desire to do something good and great for their famous city. Life and property are perfectly safe, each man's opinion is his own, and no one dares to molest him. The courts accord equal justice to all. Its system of public schools is well nigh perfect, as is also its street railways, which extend out into the country many miles, connecting many of the near by towns. Its opera houses and places of amusement rank with the best. It has many imposing church structures of almost every denomination, filled by some of the best pulpit orators, who are thoroughly consecrated and devote much of their time to the poor and sick, in alleviating their temporal as well as their spiritual wants. The manufacturing interests are quite large and are steadily growing. The climate of Atlanta is unsurpassed and I might with safety add well nigh perfect. The winters are rarely excessively cold, the greater portion being so pleasant as to discard the use of an overcoat. The spring and summer seasons are delightful, and a comparison with those of other cities will prove its superiority. It has a beautiful park situated on its eastern side, given by that philanthropic gentleman, the late Col. L. P. Grant, and named in his honor. It can be reached by electric cars in twenty minutes from the center of the city, and its beautiful drives, walks and lake are a source of much pleasure to its citizens during the heated days of summer. Its cyclorama affords much pleasure to both young and old, for there they can see the battles of the past fought over. The Gress zoo given to the city by that kind-hearted gentleman,

 

        page 67       
Mr. Geo. V. Gress, as it stands upon a beautiful eminence just east of, and overlooking beautiful Lake Abana, filled with many species of wild animals, from the monkey to the elephant, is the El Dorado for the children, as their happy smiles and joyous laughter prove; and the name of the generous donor will ever be held in high esteem by the happy children of the present and future generations. The Soldiers Home, an institution which must not be regarded as a charity, was built by the subscriptions of a loving and generous people in payment of a debt of gratitude due to the aged and infirm veterans of "the lost cause," who risked their lives and received many wounds and scars which they will carry to their graves in defence of the homes and firesides of their people. Too much credit cannot be given the many old soldiers who planned and worked so faithfully to establish this glorious retreat, where the aged and weary might pleasantly spend the evening of their lives. Among all who labored for the establishment of this glorious institution, there were none who more unselfishly gave from its incipiency, his time and means, than the gallant and genial Colonel William Lowndes Calhoun, and for which the people of this State should forever love and honor him. East Lake four miles east and Lakewood four miles south, the Chattahoochee River eight miles northwest and Ponce de Leon Springs two and one half miles distant are important places during the summer season for they all furnish fresh air and shade for many overworked and tired citizens. One of the most important discoveries and one

 

        page 68       
which will tend largely to the future growth of Atlanta, was the accidental discovery within six miles west of it, of a spring of water as light and pure as nature could make it. It is very similar to and an analysis of it reveals the fact that it is the twin brother of the famous Poland Spring of Maine, which has made so many wonderful cures. It is somewhat superior to it because it contains less organic matter and less solids, and although it has been open to the public less than two years, yet its fame is already spreading abroad, and it is being shipped to various parts of the country for a much smaller price than Poland. Both of these waters have had numbers of persons to give their testimony to the numerous cures they have affected in liver, kidney and stomach diseases, dyspepsia, indigestion, constipation and skin diseases. This water, it is claimed, will remain on the stomach after it has refused to retain every other known liquid. I had almost forgotten to give the name of this newly discovered and wonderful spring. The water is known as Cascade Pure Spring, and flows out from among the rocks at the foot of a high and densely shaded hill in the little town of Cascade, Ga. The Atlanta Mineral Water Supply Company of this city are sole agents for the sale of this water. The writer has driven out with friends over a lovely chert road six miles to see this wonderful new spring and was amply repaid for his trouble. For not only was the ride highly enjoyable, but the beautiful scenery through which he passed, and especially the hills, valleys, and water-fall over the rugged granite rocks were

 

        page 69       
life-inspiring, but after drinking a number of glasses from the cool spring in succession without any discomfort, a feeling of exhileration came over him, and he felt that he should like to live always in the shadow of the trees of this great hill, and watch the ripple of the cascade as it flows over the rocks, and drink of the water of its spring forever. All who have suffered from nervous dyspepsia or indigestion, may readily know how I appreciated the drinking of more than one glass of water at a time without pain. We understand a movement is now in progress to build a large Hotel and Sanitarium for the pleasure and rest of the tired and overworked, and the cure of the sick. I now repeat that with all of these advantages which have come to us since 1864 we may look forward to greater gains in the number of inhabitants, and rest fully assured as to its future prosperity. A visit to Atlanta for pleasure, or if sick a visit to Cascade for health, and you will want to live among us forever.

 

 

        page 70       

Accompanying the following note, addressed to "Cavlier," was the beautiful poem from the pen of Maj. J. R. Barrick, entitled "The Monument Oak and Pine," which we take great pleasure in laying before our readers of the Intelligencer, it having at our earnest request been handed us by "Cavalier" for that purpose. The poem itself is one of the finest that has emanated from the pen of the gifted author, and this is saying much for it. It is a compliment, too, to "Cavalier" that his Christmas story, published in this paper, had the effect of giving inspiration to one whose poetic genius is recognized far and wide in his beloved South, and from whose graceful pen have flowed so many beautiful tributes to the virtues of her daughters and the valor of her sons. "The Monument Oak and Pine," which we now present to our readers, will be received by them with delight, and will add largely to the fame of the author.

 

Atlanta, Ga., January 6, 1867.

Dear Sir:    Whilst reading last evening "The Morning Ride," by John Randolph etc., which is accredited to your ready and graceful pen, I chanced upon what I fancied to be a pretty theme for a little poem. The result is herewith enclosed, with many misgivings as to the success with which the subject is handled.


Very truly yours,
J. R. Barrick.
 

Part 3

 

        page 71       
THE MONUMENT OAK AND PINE.
He did not ask the marble slab
Above his dust should rise,
Nor the gilded shaft with its story point
To the blue Virginia skies;
A land to its high-born idols wed,
He knew would his memory shrine,
Long as he slept in the classic shade
Of the mighty Oak and Pine.
 
The sculptured stone and sacred urn
May tell of the dying name,
And the monument to the ages bear
The record of its Fame;
Yet vain were such to his piercing eye,
As he scanned the shadowy years,
And his name on the royal roll,
The brightest among its peers.
 
His eye in its fervid glances set
On Fame's eternal sun,
His star in the zenith of glory rose
With that of Washington;
And scornful of all worldly pomp   
Of the hollow sound of praise,
He traced the scroll of his cenotaph,
In the light of the after-days.
 

 

        page 72       
He sleeps as the sons of genius sleep,
On a consecrated spot;
While the trump of fame to the world proclaims,
He shall never be forgot;
For ages still will Virginia's heart
Over the spot recline,
Its grief with the mournful requiem blend
Of the sentry Oak and Pine.
 
Keen as the clear Damascan blade
Each quick, sarcastic word,
His thoughts in a gush of eloquence
That the coldest bosom stirred,
As the nervous glance of his flashing eye
Through the council chamber ran,
When armed with the Jael-sword of truth,
He led in the Roman van.
 
Blent with the dust of their kindred soil
His ashes of renown,
With his memory like a jewel set
In Virginia's casket-crown;
And as the seasons come and go,
And the passing years decline,
No greener spot will the sleeper mark
Than the sturdy Oak and Pine.
 

On the highest elevation within his rail enclosure, or yard, stood an Oak of great size, facing the east, and twelve

 

        page 73       
feet towards the west was an enormous pine of immense height and majestic mien. In this space John Randolph, at an early day, selected his final resting place. His wishes in this respect were not disregarded, for in that memorable space, without tombstone or monument, and with only the Oak and Pine as nature's sentries, rest the ashes of Virginia's brightest intellect.     Cavalier.

 

Part 4

 

        page 74       
ONLY WAITING.

A very aged man in an almshouse was asked what he was doing now. He replied: "Only waiting."

Only waiting till the shadows
Are a little longer grown;
Only waiting till the glimmer
Of the day's last beam is flown;
Till the night of earth is faded
From the heart once full of day;
Till the stars of heaven are breaking
Through the twilight soft and gray.
 
Only waiting till the reapers
Have the last sheaf gathered home;
For the summer-time is faded,
And the autumn winds have come.
Quickly reapers, gather quickly
The last ripe hours of my heart,
For the bloom of life is withered,
And I hasten to depart.
 
Only waiting till the angels
Open wide the mystic gate,
At whose feet I long have lingered,
Weary, poor, and desolate.
 

 

        page 75       
Even now I hear their footsteps,
And their voices far away;
If they call me, I am waiting,
Only waiting to obey.
 
Only waiting till the shadows
Are a little longer grown;
Only waiting till the glimmer
Of the day's last beam is flown;
Then from out the gathering darkness
Holy, deathless stars shall rise,
By whose light my soul shall gladly
Tread its pathway to the skies.
 

Part 5

 

        page 76       
"HOME OF THE SOUL." BY FRENCH STRANGE.
In a clime where no cloud ever shadows the sky,
And no storm-burst of sorrow can roll,
Nor a murmur of sadness mar ever its peace,
Is the Beautiful Home of the Soul.
 
When the tumults of earth shall forever subside,
And I fathom the ultimate goal,
Through the portals of pearl may I entrance obtain
To the Beautiful Home of the Soul.
 
To my rest would I glide as a child to its dreams:
As the beams of the morning unroll,
Wing upward my flight from this cheerless abode
To the Beautiful Home of the Soul.
 
What is there to bind these affections below?
Where vain lusts and wild passions control:
When there's peace to be found that is lasting and sweet
In the Beautiful Home of the Soul.
 
As into the night wanes the evening of life,
May no billows of doubt o'er me roll:
The valley of shadows let me traverse in faith,
To the Beautiful Home of the Soul.
 
From the fetters that gall 'twould be sweet to be free,
And the chains which enslave    from the dole
Which embitters life's dream with the pangs that will fade
In the Beautiful Home of the Soul.
 

 

        page 77       

During the spring of 1902 our highly esteemed and faithful friend, French Strange, Christian, poet, and author; a gentleman of the old school, endowed with many sterling virtues, both of the head and heart; a man who was possessed with a very strong intellect and a resolute will; as a writer wielded his pen with great force, especially when bent on correcting some public error, where ever he found the columns of the papers open to his uses. His was a gentle, yet courageous nature. As a husband, father and friend, he was next to incomparable; while as a citizen he was one of the few whose lives were for the betterment of the world. His frail and tired body was suddenly and without warning brought to its rest while his spirit winged its flight to the "Beautiful Home of the Soul."

His devoted friend,
Noble C. Williams.

 

        page 78       

(This poem was written in loving memory of our darling little son, LeRoy Livingston, who for six short years was one of earth's fairest angels, then in the sweet spring-time, "when the arrows of noon-day lodged in the tree-tops bright, he fell in his saint-like beauty asleep by the Gates of Light.")Father.

VISIONS. Beautiful the visions that are borne to me,
Down on the misty sea of Time,
Sweeter far than the bloom of the lotus-tree,
Or the breeze from the whispering lime:
And I live in the days of the long ago,
While a child's dear face I see:
For our little Roy we have loved    not lost,
Is standing again at my knee.
 
But the vision is past    it is gone   
And it fades from my sight away:
Like soft rose-tinted clouds are lost
At the close of a sun-lit day:
And another is passing by   
A picture, wondrous, sweet and fair,
For on our Roy's angel face
Is resting a smile, from "over there."
 
But this one, too, fades from my sight,
While another is passing by:
And I almost touch our darling's hands,
As in snowy grace they lie:
 

 

        page 79       
O, Vision: I would bid you stay
Forever in my heart to keep:
So saint-like is our Roy's face,
So beautiful his sleep.
 
Then comes the last    the fairest one   
A child's dear form in white I see:
And close beside the Gates of Pearl
Our Roy stands, and waits for me.
O, Visions fair! O, Visions bright!
Thou needs't not tell thou art Christ-given:
For scenes so beautiful and pure,
Can only come to us from Heaven.
 

Mother.

Part 6

 

        page 80       
THE CONQUERED BANNER. BY ABRAM J. RYAN.

(The Poet Priest.)

Furl that banner! for 'tis weary;
'Round its staff 'tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it; it is best;
For there's not a man to wave it,
And there's not a sword to save it!
And there's not one left to lave it
In the blood which heroes gave it;
And its foes now scorn and brave it   
Furl it, hide it; let it rest!
 
Take that banner down! 'Tis tattered!
Broken is its staff and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered,
O'er whom it floated high;
Oh! 'tis hard for us to fold it   
Hard to think there's none to hold it!
Hard that those who once unrolled it,
Now must furl it with a sigh!
 
Furl that banner! furl it sadly!
Once six millions hailed it gladly,
And ten thousand wildly, madly,
Swore it should forever wave!
 

 

        page 81       
Swore that foeman's sword should never
Hearts entwined like theirs dissever;
And upheld by brave endeavor,
That dear flag should float forever
O'er their freedom or their grave.
 
Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low;
And that banner prone is trailing,
While around it sounds are wailing
Of its people in their woe!
 
For, though conquered, they adore it,
Love the cold dead hands that bore it,
Weep for those that fell before it   
Pardon those who trailed and tore it;
And, oh, wildly they deplore it,
Now to furl and fold it so!
 
Furl that banner! True 'tis gory,
But 'tis wreathed around with glory,
And 'twill live in song and story,
Though its folds are in the dust!
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages,
Furl its folds though now we must.
 
  

 

        page 82       
Furl that banner! sadly, slowly!
Treat it gently    it is holy,
For it waves above the dead;
Touch it not    unfold it never!
Let it lie there, furled forever,
For its people's hopes are dead!
 

Part 7

 

        page 83       
YE BATTERIES OF BEAUREGARD. BY JAMES R. BARRICK , OF KENTUCKY.
Ye batteries of Beauregard!
Pour hail from Moultrie's wall;
Bid the shock of your deep thunder
On their fleet in terror fall;
Rain your storm of leaden fury
On the black invading hosts   
Teach them that their step shall never
Press on Carolina's coast.
 
Ye batteries of Beauregard!
Sound the story of our wrong!
Let your tocsin wake the spirit
Of a people brave and strong;
The proud names of old remember   
Marion, Sumter, Pinckney, Green;
Swell the roll whose deeds of glory,
Side by side with theirs are seen.
 
Ye batteries of Beauregard!
From Savannah on them frown;
By the majesty of Heaven
Strike their grand "Armada" down;
By the blood of many a freeman,
By each dear-bought battle-field,
 

 

        page 84       
By the hopes we fondly cherish,
Never ye the victory yield!
 
Ye batteries of Beauregard!
All along our Southern coast,
Let, in after-time, your triumphs
Be a nation's pride and boast;
Send each missile with a greeting
To the vile, ungodly crew;
Make them feel they ne'er can conquer
People to themselves so true.
 
Ye batteries of Beauregard!
By the glories of the past,
By the memory of old Sumter,
Whose renown will ever last,
Speed upon their vaunted legions
Volleys thick of shot and shell;
Bid them welcome, in your glory,
To their own appointed hell.
 

Part 8

 

        page 85       
[From the Savannah News and Herald.]
"IN MEMORIAM." BY FATHER RYAN.

We are indebted to Rev. A. J. Ryan, the gifted Southern poet, for a manuscript copy of lines on the death of his brother, a Confederate soldier, who died on one of the battle-fields of Kentucky. It was one of the pieces read at the entertainment for the benefit of the Catholic orphans, and Father Ryan's introduction to the reading of it was thrillingly pathetic and eloquent, and was received by the audience attentively and with the most impressive silence. The speaker stated that he had a brother, at the breaking out of the war, who applied to him for advice regarding the army. He referred him to their mother, to whom the young patriot wrote an appeal. Like many a Southern mother, she told him to go and defend the cause of his people. He died under the Confederate flag; but the speaker would rather have him there under the soil of Kentucky, in a soldier's grave, than living in a down-trodden land. The lines cannot be read without emotion by any capable of appreciating the sensations so poetically expressed.

IN MEMORIAM    D. J. R. Thou art sleeping, brother, sleeping
In the lonely battle grave;
Shadows o'er the path are creeping   
Death, the reaper, still is reaping   
 

 

        page 86       
Years are swept, and years are sweeping,
Many a memory from my keeping,
But I am waiting still and weeping
For my beautiful and brave.
 
When the battle-songs were chanted,
And war's stirring tocsin pealed,
By whose songs their heart was haunted
And thy spirit, proved, undaunted,
Clamored wildly    wildly panted   
"Mother, let my wish be granted,
I will ne'er be mocked and taunted
That I fear to meet our vaunted
Foeman on the bloody field."
 
"They are thronging, mother, thronging
To a thousand fields of fame;
Let me go    'tis wrong, and wronging
God and thee to crush this longing;
On the muster-roll of glory
In my country's future story,
On the field of battle gory,
I must consecrate my name."
 
"Mother, gird my sword around me;
Kiss thy soldier-boy 'good-bye'."
In her arms she wildly wound thee,
To thy birthland's cause she bound thee,
 

 

        page 87       
With fond prayers and blessings crowned thee,
And she sobbed: "When foes surround thee
If you fall, I know they found thee
Where the bravest love to die."
 
At the altar of their nation
Stood that mother and her son;
He    the victim of oblation,
Panting for his immolation;
She in priestess' holy station,
Weeping words of consecration
While God smiled his approbation,
Blessed the boy's self-abnegation,
Cheered the mother's desolation,
When the sacrifice was done.
 
Forth, like many a noble other,
Went he, whispering soft and low,
"Good-bye; pray for me, my mother;
Sister, kiss me; farewell, brother;"
And he strove his grief to smother;
Forth, with spirit proud and peerless   
Forth, with footsteps firm and fearless   
And his parting gaze was tearless,
Though his heart was lone and cheerless,
Thus from all he loved, to go.
 
Lo, you flag of freedom flashing
In the sunny Southern sky!
 

 

        page 88       
On    to death and glory dashing   
On    where swords are clanging    clashing   
On    where balls are crushing    crashing   
On    'mid perils, dread, appalling   
On    they're falling    falling    falling   
On    they're growing fewer    fewer   
On    their hearts beat all the truer   
On    on    on    no fear    no falter   
On    though 'round the battle-altar
There were wounded victims groaning   
There were dying victims moaning   
On    right on    death    danger braving   
Warring where their flag was waving,
And baptismal blood was laving
With a tide of crimson water
All that field of death and slaughter;
On    still on    the bloody laver
Made them brave and made then braver;
On    with never a halt or waver   
On    they're battling    bleeding    bounding,
While the glorious shout is sounding,
"We will win the day or die."
 
And they won it    routed    riven,
Reeled the foeman's proud array,
They had struggled long and striven.
Blood in torrents they had given,
But their ranks, dispersed and driven,
Fled disgracefully away.
 

 

        page 89       
Many a heart was lonely lying
There that would not throb again;
Some were dead and some were dying;
Some were silent, some were sighing;
Thus to die    lone    unattended   
Unbewept and unbefriended   
On that bloody plain.
When the twilight, sadly, slowly,
Wrapped its mantle o'er them all;
O'er these thousands lying lowly   
Hushed in silence deep and holy   
There was one,    his blood was flowing
And his last of life was going   
And his pulse faint    fainter beating
Told his hours were few and fleeting;
And his brow grew white and whiter
And his eyes grew bright and brighter   
There he lay    like infant dreaming,
With his sword beside him gleaming;
For the hand in life that grasped it,
True to death    still fondly clasped it.
There his comrades found him lying,
'Mid the heaps of dead and dying;
And the sternest there bent weeping,
O'er that lonely sleeper sleeping,
'Twas the midnight    stars shone 'round him   
In a shroud of glory bound him;
 

 

        page 90       
And they told us how they found him
Where the bravest love to fall.
 
Where the woods like banners bending,
Drooped in glory and in gloom   
There, when that sad night was ending,
And the faint, far dawn was blending
With the stars now fast descending   
There    they mute and mournful bore him   
With the stars and shadows o'er him   
There    they laid him down so tender,
And the next day's sun and splendor
Flashed upon my brother's tomb.
 

Part 9

 

        page 91       
TO MY FRIEND.
We miss you and our hearts are sad and lonely,
We miss you and the void is never filled,
It calls your name forever and yours only,
As one great need, love-born and life-enstilled.
 
We miss you, as the captive shut forever
Within blank walls of ever-living gloom,
Must miss the song of birds, the shining river,
God's best sunshine and all earth's joy and bloom.
 
We miss you as life's sweet and pleasant hours
Are missed when through long care, jar and fret,
And bitter loss, our tears wet withered flowers,
And all life holds forevermore-regrets.
 
Your pictured face in memory's jeweled setting
(A clearer view than genius ever threw
On painted canvass) leaves us no forgetting,
Even though our hearts were less bereaved and true.
 
We miss you with our single balm for sorrow,
Else greater than our burdened hearts could bear;
Our souls sometimes, in God's fair to-morrow,
May meet and greet each other "over there."
 

Vivien Castane.

Brunswick, Georgia.

Part 10

 

        page 92       
WHEN RUCKER CALLS THE ROLL. BY F. O. CHASE.
How thick the mem'ries come to mind,
Of many a tented plain,
Of fading lines, of faded grey
And gastly heaps of slain,
Of bugles blaring through the night
In tones that stir the soul,
The days of '62 come back
When Rucker calls the roll.
 
Full many a roll call comes to mind,
Full many a sad parade
Of muskets glinting down the line
And gleam of saber blade,
Though few they be who do not sleep
Beneath some grassy knoll,
In vivid visions all come back
When Rucker calls the roll.
 
Then here's to Rucker    loyal heart,
Faithful and tried and true   
And when death's bugle sounds for taps
Our prayers shall go with you.
May many years pass o'er your head
Ere the last sad bell shall toll
To tell that faithful Rucker
No more shall call the roll.
 

 

        page 93       

The foregoing beautiful poem written by a white comrade in honor of a colored man, who can as perfectly call the roll of his company to-day, as he did during the war, is but an expression of the true feeling as it to-day exists between the whites and blacks who were companions during the war; one as master, the other as slave, yet their love was and still continues strong for each other. Uncle Amos, as he is familiarly called, is a well known colored citizen of Atlanta and has been a familiar figure upon its streets ever since the close of the war, and the man, woman, or child, who has for any length of time been a citizen and has not the honor of this grand old man's acquaintance, has certainly missed something; for the genial happy smile on his face as it beams over with good nature, when he politely raises his hat and at the same time speaks some pleasant and cheering words, would almost touch a heart of stone.

Amos Rucker entered the army with his young master, Sergeant Cornelius Samples, who was sergeant of Company C. 63rd Ga. Regiment, and in every manner proved himself loyal and true to the Southern cause. He is now a member of Camp Walker Confederate Veterans of Atlanta. His friends, and they are many, all hope and believe that the Georgia State Legislature, now in session, will substantially reward him for his services in the past, and his loyalty of the present. It would be but a fitting tribute to show to the world that the great State of Georgia is as ready to grant pensions to its worthy colored soldiers as it is to their former masters, whom they so faithfully served.

 

        page 94       

Amos, who is now 74 years old, would greatly appreciate this little token of recognition, and his prayers would no doubt follow the generous doners. A word to a wise legislature is sufficient. And now dear old friend, may the closing days of your life be spent surrounded with peace and plenty, and when the time comes for you to withdraw from the battles of earth, may you be fully prepared to answer the call of the roll when the Master shall call your name at the heavenly gate.

Your friend,
Noble C. Williams.

  

 

Atlanta, Ga., March 24, 1898.

I have read the manuscript of an interesting War Sketch written by Mr. Noble C. Williams of this city, entitled Echoes From The Battlefield, or Southern Life During The War. It is written in an easy, flowing and pleasing style, and its perusal will repay the time devoted it.


French Strange.
 

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