Civil War Overview
Civil War 1861
Civil War 1862
Civil War 1863
Civil War 1864
Civil War 1865
Civil War Battles
Robert E. Lee
Civil War Medicine
Civil War Links
Civil War Art
Republic of Texas
Civil War Gifts
Robert E. Lee Portrait
PRESENTATION OF A FLAG TO THE THIRTEENTH
CONNECTICUT REGIMENT BY LOYAL LADIES OF
NEW ORLEANS.—SKETCHED BY AN OFFICER OF THE
13TH.—[SEE PAGE 487.]
Page) "I think so," replied Joe; and he brought his telescopic rifle
to a horizontal position.
"Do you see him?" inquired the
"How far is he away?"
"Fifteen hundred yards."
"Can you fetch him?"
And Joe did try. He brought his
piece to a steady aim, pulled the trigger, and sent the bullet whizzing on its
experimental tour, the officers meantime looking through their field glasses.
Joe hit the fellow in the leg or foot. He went hobbling up the hill on one leg
and two hands, in a style of locomotion that was amusing. Our General was so
tickled—there is no better word—at the style and celerity of the fellow's
retreat that it was some time before he could get command of his risibles
sufficiently to thank Joe for what he had done.
AUTHOR OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE,"
THE FOURTH SCENE.
THE most striking spectacle
presented to a stranger by the shores of Suffolk is the extraordinary
defenselessness of the land against the encroachments of the sea.
At Aldborough, as elsewhere on
this coast, local traditions are, for the most part, traditions which have been
literally drowned. The site of the old town, once a populous and thriving port,
has almost entirely disappeared in the sea. The
German Ocean has swallowed up
streets, market-places, jetties, and public walks; and the merciless waters,
consummating their work of devastation, closed, no longer than eighty years
since, over the salt-master's cottage at Aldborough, now famous in memory only
as the birth-place of the poet CRABBE.
Thrust back year after year by
the advancing waves, the inhabitants have receded, in the present century, to
the last morsel of hand which is firm enough to be built on—a strip of ground
hemmed in between a marsh on one side and the sea on the other. Here, trusting
for their future security to certain sandhills which the capricious waves have
thrown up to encourage them, the people of Aldborough have boldly established
their quaint little watering-place. The first fragment of their earthly
possessions is a low, natural dyke of shingle, surmounted by a public path which
runs parallel with the sea. Bordering this path in a broken, uneven line are the
villa residences of modern Aldborough—fanciful little houses, standing mostly in
their own gardens, and possessing here and there, as horticultural ornaments,
staring figure-heads of ships, doing duty for statues among the flowers. Viewed
from the low level on which these villas stand, the sea, in certain conditions
of the atmosphere, appears to be higher than the land; coasting-vessels gliding
by assume gigantic proportions and look alarmingly near the windows. Intermixed
with the houses of the better sort are buildings of other forms and periods. In
one direction the tiny Gothic town-hall of old Aldborough—once the centre of the
vanished port and borough—now stands fronting the modern villas close on the
margin of the sea. At another point a wooden tower of observation, crowned by
the figure-head of a wrecked Russian vessel, rises high above the neighboring
houses, and discloses through its scuttle-window grave men in dark clothing
seated on the topmost story perpetually on the watch—the pilots of Aldborough
looking out from their tower for ships in want of help. Behind the row of
buildings thus curiously intermingled runs the one straggling street of the
town, with its sturdy pilots' cottages, its mouldering marine store-louses, and
its composite shops. Toward the northern end this street is bounded by the one
eminence visible over all the marshy flat—a low, wooded hill on which the church
is built. At its opposite extremity the street leads to a deserted martello
tower, and to the forlorn outlying suburb of Slaughden, between the river Aldo
and the sea. Such are the main characteristics of this curious little outpost on
the shores of England as it appears at the present time.
On a hot and cloudy July
afternoon, and on the second day which had elapsed since he had written to
Magdalen, Captain Wragge sauntered though the gate of North Shingles Villa, to
meet the arrival of the coach, which then connected Aldborough with the Eastern
Counties Railway. He reached the principal inn as the coach drove up, and was
ready at the door to receive Magdalen and Mrs. Wragge on their leaving the
The captain's reception of his
wife was not characterized by an instant's unnecessary waste of time. He looked
distrustfully at her shoes— raised himself on tip-toe—set her bonnet straight
for her with a sharp tug—said, in
a loud whisper, "hold your tongue"—and left her, for the time being, without
further notice. His welcome to Magdalen, beginning with the usual flow of words,
stopped suddenly in the middle of the first sentence. Captain Wragge's eye was a
sharp one, and it instantly showed him something in the look and manner of his
old pupil which denoted a serious change.
There was a settled composure on
her face, which, except when she spore, made it look as still and cold as
marble. Her voice was softer and more equable, her eyes were steadier, her step
was slower than of old. When she smiled the smile came and went suddenly, and
showed a little nervous contraction on one side of her mouth never visible there
before. She was perfectly patient with Mrs. Wragge; she treated the captain with
a courtesy and consideration entirely new in his experience of her—but she was
interested in nothing. The curious little shops in the back streets; the high
impending sea; the old town-hall on the beach; the pilots, the fishermen, the
passing ships—she noticed all these objects as indifferently as if Aldborough
had been familiar to her from her infancy. Even when the captain drew up at the
garden-gate of North Shingles, and introduced her triumphantly
to the new house, she hardly
looked at it. The first question she asked related, not to her own residence,
but to Noel Vanstone's.
"How near to us does he live?"
she inquired, with the only betrayal of emotion which had escaped her yet.
Captain Wragge answered by
pointing to the fifth villa from North Shingles, on the Slaughden side of
Aldborough. Magdalen suddenly drew back from the garden-gate as he indicated the
situation, and walked away by herself to obtain a nearer view of the house.
Captain Wragge looked after her,
and shook his head discontentedly. "The devil take that gentleman in the
back-ground," he thought. "She has not got over the loss of him yet."
"May I speak now?" inquired a
meek voice behind him, articulating respectfully ten inches above the top of his
The captain turned round and
confronted his wife. The more than ordinary bewilderment visible in her face at
once suggested to him that Magdalen had failed to carry out the directions in
his letter, and that Mrs. Wragge had arrived at Aldborough without being
properly aware of the total transformation to be accomplished in her identify
and her name. The necessity of setting this doubt at rest was too serious to be
"CAPTAIN WRAGGE STARTED UP ON HIS
KNEES, AND STOPPED ON THEM, PETRIFIED BY ASTONISHMENT."