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Robert E. Lee Portrait
the ordinary limits of the anger
of her sex. But on the comparatively rare occasions when her passion mastered
her, her paroxysms of rage were fearful. Few cared to encounter her, and none to
offer opposition. The presence of her father was the only influence which
stilled her wrath. When her father approached her love conquered her rage, and
she was speedily calmed.
This untamable damsel Harry
Gwynne had worshiped with an untiring constancy ever since he had been old
enough to hold any opinions at all. He was a year or two older than his
mistress, but from the days when they both wore frocks she had been, in imperial
sense, the mistress, and he the slave. He had played with her, and ridden with
her, and quarreled with her, and obeyed her. He had broken-in a mare for her; he
had planted an Italian garden for her; he had acted in all things as one whose
existence was ordained for her convenience. All this she had received as her
due. She admitted to herself, if ever she thought about the matter, that she was
very fond of her cousin; but she was not, on that account, disposed to play the
meek maiden, waiting modestly for the kerchief of the sultan. She used her
slave's services with magnificent indifference, and rewarded him sometimes with
a smile, and sometimes with a fit of rage.
When no more letters came from
Paris, and the Squire began to act as though he had no son, Mistress Bessie
evidently deemed herself of increased importance. She had never pretended any
love for the disinherited Horace. His airs and graces annoyed her. He could say
prettier things than Harry, and he danced a minuet better than—hardly, at least,
better than Harry, for that more rustic gentleman could not dance at all. But he
had once craned at a hedge; and, on the whole, his sister did not regret his
loss. She began to esteem herself the heiress of Gwynne. Papa would do something
for Harry, of course, independently of the fortune left by Harry's mother; but
she would be the great lady.
The Squire said not a word of his
intentions, but the greater the gulf between him and his son, the tighter
appeared the bond that united him to his nephew; and the fonder he grew of his
nephew, the oftener did his daughter wax wroth with her cousin, and indeed with
every one else. She was but twenty years old, but she was a notorious termagant;
and the old housekeeper at the manor surmised that she would be the last of her
branch of the house, for no one would woo so wild a bride —no one, that is, but
Master Harry, and she seemed daily less inclined to stoop to the faithful
cousin. Unless some terrible lesson should tame her, she would live a cheerless
The oftener this willful lady was
told to be a good child the more pertinaciously she asserted her independence.
Poor Harry still worshiped, but he received more frowns than smiles for his
pains. One day when he was more than ordinarily definite and demonstrative in
his professions of attachment, his mistress stamped her little foot and vowed
she hated him—that her father gave too much love to the nephew and too little to
his child, and that so far from having any intention of surrendering her heart,
she regarded her suitor as the chief bar to her earthly happiness. Of course
this was not true. Of course she loved every hair on the head of her yellow-pated
cousin. But the statements of young ladies are as mysterious as the dispatches
of diplomatists. They use language to conceal their thoughts, though happily
their art is not always skillful enough to conceal itself. But whether it was or
was not true, it made Harry very miserable. He was in a dilemma. If he was cold
to his uncle, his uncle looked pained. If he was not cold to his uncle, he was
accused of winning away a father's love from the personage whom, more than any
other, he desired to encircle with all love. On the whole, the household was a
stormy one; but now and then a patch of blue sky smiled through the clouds.
Bessie forgot her grievances, and spent a merry day with her old play-fellow.
These intervals were, however, sorrowfully rare.
And now the Squire fell ill. The
career of his son had afflicted him more than had been supposed. He was struck
with paralysis, and lost the use of his lower limbs. Stretched in his bed or on
a couch, he was dependent on others for his necessities and for his pleasures.
Harry and his cousin vied with one another in unwearied attention, but a state
of things which ought to have healed all breaches seemed to widen the gulf
between them. When the Squire called for Harry to read him the Gazette, or to
write a letter to the bailiff, the fair Bessie sulked over her harpsichord. And
if, perchance, the Squire said, "Bessie, will you write as I dictate?" or,
"Bessie, I am going to be lifted into the coach, and to be driven to Minchester,"
it was, "Papa, won't Harry do it better?" or, "Papa, Harry knows all about the
crops, and will be a more amusing companion."
These observations were, unlike
some others of the young lady's, perfectly true; and the Squire was gradually
and unconsciously beginning to act upon them. His great affliction made it hard
for him to bear with the caprices of his daughter, and day after day he became
less able to endure Harry out of his sight. He was growing prematurely old and
prematurely peevish, and his exactions taxed all the patience of his dutiful
Miss Bessie's temper, too, grew
worse instead of Letter. Once she had even flown into a passion before her
crippled father, and had not been calmed by his appealing look. She remembered
the day when she was all in all to her parent, and now she was as nothing. Nor
were there wanting those evil influences of gossip and flattery which are never
wanting in a court or in a large household. There were voices which whispered,
"Madam, look out for the estate, the Squire's health is fast failing. Will you
like to leave the manor, or live in it as Master Harry's guest? For to Master
Harry the Squire will assuredly leave it."
At this Mistress Elizabeth Gwynne
quite forgot that she desired nothing better than to stay at Gwynne all her
life, with this treacherous Harry,
as his wife, and forgot also her
firm faith that his wishes entirely agreed with her own. She only remembered
that she was the daughter of the elder branch; that there was a suspicion that
she was to be disinherited; that—that—indeed she was not very clear what. But
enough had been said to rouse all her rage, and from that day the notion of a
will never failed to raise the devil at her heart.
She and her cousin dined daily in
her father's own study. It was the only occasion on which the three were long
together. On a certain day, in the course of the meal, the Squire looked across
the table contrived to fasten to his couch, and said:
"Harry, lad, has Griffiths gone
"He went at ten o'clock, Sir. He
rode Brown Hanover. He wanted to have Strawberry, but I know she isn't up to
"Papa, what have you sent
Griffiths to Minchester for? You know I was going to ride over this afternoon."
"Something that Griffiths could
do better than you, my Bessie."
There was a significant look in
the invalid's eyes.
"Harry, what did he go for? Oh!
very well. If you won't tell me, pray keep your secret!"
And she cooked her spleen. It was
not, indeed, a very merry meal.
"Hannah, do you know why
Griffiths has gone to Minchester?"
"Griffiths, ma'am? Minchester,
ma'am? I think I heard him say he was going to take a letter to Mr. Deeds."
Now Deeds was the family lawyer.
The plot was out. The Squire was going to make a will in Harry's favor. The
despised daughter of the house sat brooding in her own room, and her face grew
very dark. The groom brought round her mare, but she said she had changed her
mind. She would not ride that day.
Late in the afternoon she saw Mr.
Deeds and a clerk drive up the avenue in a chaise. She heard them ushered into
her father's bedroom. The Squire had felt weaker than usual, and had retired to
his room immediately after his mid-day meal. The noise of the footsteps on the
marble, and the shutting of the doors, was as oil on fire. Elizabeth Gwynne was
all but in the last stage of passion. She chafed and fumed in her own room till
suspense became unbearable. She rang a hand-bell that summoned a maid, and sent
" Tell some of the people to ask
Mr. Harry if he will speak with me immediately."
Presently the girl returned.
"Mr. Harry was busy with the
Squire and could not come." Had it come to this? Was she, the once-loved
daughter, to remain silent in her room, while her natural father was signing
away her patrimony to her cousin? Had not she a right to be with her father? He
was doing something important or he would not have sent for Deeds. It was her
plain duty to be with him.
"He shall not do it!—he shall not
do it!" she muttered between her teeth, and in a violent paroxysm of passion
stalked along the corridor to her father's rooms. As she crossed the hall she
met Deeds and his acolyte, conducted by a lackey, on their way to their chaise.
The old lawyer bowed low.
"Hypocrite!" she hissed, and
She flung open her father's door.
When all motion had become irksome to him he had taken up his quarters in what
was called the state bed-room on the ground-floor. Queen Anne had passed a night
at Gwynne, and the room had been sumptuously furnished for her. On the lofty
bed, rich with curious needle-work, and canopied by clingy plumes, lay the old
chief of his clan, helpless and wan. A fire burned loweringly on the cunning
smith's work that lay at the bottom of the huge fire-place, and threw a
changeful light on the high-backed chairs, the black cabinets, the heavy
hangings, and the painted ceiling of the great gloomy room. At the side of the
bed stood a table littered with pens and writing materials. An extinguished
taper still poisoned the air. At the foot of the bed stood Harry, holding in his
hand a clean, new parchment document, folded, tied, and sealed.
All her fears were then realized.
She was the despised and disinherited dependent. There lay the father who had
abandoned her. There stood the scheming villain who had ousted her from her own.
Her cousin stood still for an instant, startled by her sudden appearance, and
awed by the white passion of her face. She strode to where he stood, snatched
the packet from his hand, and flung it into the glowing coals. Ere her cousin
had recovered from the shock she had thrust the vellum deep into the great fire.
He started forward to rescue his charge before it was consumed, but she stood
with outstretched arm before the grate, and shrieked in a voice hoarse with
rage—"Robber! robber! robber! Would you rob me of my birth-right? You have
stolen my father's love! Would you steal my inheritance too? Stand back, Sir;
you shall not touch it! My father never meant to do it. He does not know what
you have made him do—he always loved me—he never would—" She looked up at her
father as she spoke; and Harry, who had stood dumb beneath her torrent of abuse,
and down whose cheeks two hot tears of gentle pity for her, and utter anguish
for self, were slowly trickling — Harry looked round at the Squire too. He was
sitting up in his bed; his arms were stretched out, and his hands were clasping
and unclasping themselves in the air, while his lips mumbled in vain, and his
eyes seemed to burn to speak. So he sat for a minute, his children rushing to
his side and seizing his hands. It seemed as though his brow would crack in the
agony of desire to speak. For a moment the eyes shone with a brighter lustre in
the flickering flame of the burning packet, his mouth made a convulsive effort
to form a word, and he fell heavily back on his pillow, dead.
There was an awful silence for a
space, and then Elizabeth burst forth in a wail of sorrow and remorse. She had
killed her father. She had better die to join him.
"Kill me, kill me, Harry!" she
shrieked. But the utter desolation of grief that was expressed in her cousin's
face silenced her own sobs. Kneeling down by the side of the bed she hid her
head in her hands, and was still.
Then came doctors and domestics.
"Another stroke!" "Poor Squire; and only five-and-forty." "And how did Miss
Gwynne get to her father's room?" "Did he know her before he died?"
All these things were said as she
was borne in a dull stupor to her room. Harry alone knew the truth. He saw her
laid on her bed and in the custody of her women, and then retired to his own
grief and the many duties he had to perform.
In the morning the old
housekeeper came to him and brought tidings of her lady. Elizabeth had slept a
little in the night, and was calm now. She wished to see her cousin, She
received him with great gentleness, and as one who had had her life-lesson. She
knew that no apology could atone for what she had said and done. She trusted her
grief would be sufficient punishment. She could not insult her cousin in his own
home with her presence after what had occurred. Immediately after the funeral
she should leave Gwynne. Mrs. Griffiths had promised to go with her. She had
enough to maintain her in decent respectability from what her mother had left
her for pocket-money. She should not require much, for she should not live long.
"And, Harry," she added, "when
you hear that I am dead, will you let me be buried with papa in our own
church-yard?" She looked him tearfully in the face.
"O Bessie, Bessie!" he broke out;
"you go away!—you leave Gwynne! It is I that must go! It is yours—it is all
yours! The will left it all to you. O Bessie! How could you—how could you—?" But
he stopped in the middle of his reproach. "Bessie, I am come to bid you good-by.
You would not have me stay! It is better for us to part."
I can not chronicle the precise
words in which Miss Gwynne, as soon as she was satisfied that she was mistress,
and not guest, invited her cousin to stay. But he did stay. It was perhaps
undignified in him; he had surely had warning. But he did stay. He staid some
half a century longer; and there is no record in the family of his wife ever
having flown in a rage with her lord.
When Mr. Deeds had driven over
from Minchester he had brought over the draft of a will, unsigned, leaving the
whole estate to Elizabeth. So he had been ordered; but he strongly deprecated
the notion of the Squire's disinheriting his son for what he termed the errors
of youth. He had some stormy discussion with his client, and at last left the
house, leaving the will yet unsigned, and declaring that, if Mr. Gwynne was
determined, some other lawyer must be employed to do the work. The Squire
immediately signed the will that was afterward burned, and Harry's was the only
evidence that could secure the property to his cousin.
Before, however, any difficulty
could arise as to the succession, news arrived at Gwynne that Horace had been
killed in a duel. He had married a French lady, who bore him no children, and
who, at his death, came to reside in London, and was said to have made a great
impression at Carlton House.
NEGROES AS SOLDIERS.
168, and 169
to illustrations of the negroes as soldiers. So much ignorant prejudice is still
entertained in many parts of the North to the employment of colored troops that
it is due to the country that the capacity of the negro to drill and fight can
not be too strongly insisted upon.
The picture on page 161
represents the negro learning the use of the Minie rifle. The drill masters in
the Department of the South report that the negroes in the South Carolina
regiments evince great aptitude at learning the manual of arms. They are more
docile than white recruits, and when once they have mastered a movement they
retain the knowledge perfectly. Similar testimony is borne by officers in the
West. One of them predicts that with proper drill and training the negroes will
be the steadiest rank and file in the world.
With regard to their fighting
qualities we can not do better than reproduce the following extracts. The first
is from a letter to the New York Times, describing the battle, or rather the
skirmish of Island Mounds, where a detachment of the First Kansas Colored
Volunteers attacked and routed a band of rebels. He says:
The detachment under Gardner was
attacked by the foe, who swept down like a whirlwind upon it. One volley was
fired in concert, which emptied several saddles, and then this devoted body was
separated by the force of that sweeping charge. The fight thus became a hand to
hand encounter of one man to six. The rebels were mostly armed with shot-guns,
revolvers, and sabres, our men with the Austrian rifle and sabre-bayonet. The
latter is a fearful weapon, and did terrible execution in the hands of the
muscular blacks. Six-Killer, the leader of the Cherokee negroes, fell with six
wounds after shooting two men, bayoneting a third, and laying a fourth hors du
combat with the butt of his gun. Another one, badly wounded, Sergeant Ed. Lowrey,
was attacked by three men; he had discharged his rifle, and had no time to load
again, when they fell upon him with revolver and sabre. He was then badly hurt
with a shot-gun wound. One man demanded his surrender, to which the reply was a
stunning blow from the butt of the rifle, knocking him off his horse. The negro,
when approached, had his sabre-bayonet in hand, about to fix it on his gun. The
prostrate man got a crashing blow from it on the skull as he fell, and then, as
the other charged, the bayonet was used with effect on the nearest horse, and
the butt of the gun on the next man.
Captain Crew, retaining his
position at the head of the few men who keep together, retreated with his face
to the enemy, firing his revolver as he did so. He fell with a terrible wound in
the groin, but again rose and retreated. Surrounded by half a dozen of the foe,
he was ordered to surrender. "Never!" he shouted, at the same time calling to
the half dozen negroes around him to die rather than give up. He then fell dead
with a bullet in his heart. His body was instantly rifled of revolver and watch,
though his purse was not found. Five minutes afterward the rebel who took the
watch was killed by one of the negroes, who again took the watch from him and
brought it into camp.
So ended the battle of Island
Mounds, which, though
commenced through the rash and
impetuous daring of the officers, yet, under most unfavorable circumstances,
resulted in a complete victory to the negro regiment.
What I narrate I saw myself, and
having witnessed several engagements since this rebellion commenced, I know what
fighting amounts to. H.
The other extract is from the
official report of Colonel Higginson of the First South Carolina Volunteers
(colored), describing an expedition into the interior undertaken by him:
ON BOARD STEAMER "BEN DEFORD,"
Sunday, Feb. 1, 1863. Brigadier-General Saxton, Military Governor, etc.:
GENERAL,—I have the honor to
report the safe return of the expedition under my command, consisting of 462
officers and men of the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers, who left
Beaufort on January 23, on board the steamers John Adams, Planter, and Ben
Deford. The expedition has carried the regimental flag and the
Proclamation far into the interior of Georgia and Florida. The men have been
repeatedly under fire; have had infantry, cavalry, and even artillery arranged
against them, and have, in every instance, come off not only with unblemished
honor, but with undisputed triumph. At Township, Florida, a detachment of the
expedition fought a cavalry company which met us unexpectedly on a midnight
march through pine woods, and which completely surrounded us. They were beaten
off with a loss on our part of one man killed and seven wounded, while the
opposing party admits twelve men killed (including Lieutenant Jones, in command
of the company), besides many wounded. So complete was our victory that the
enemy scattered, hid in the woods all night, not returning to his camp, which
was five miles distant, until noon next day—a fact which was unfortunately
unknown until too late to follow up our advantage. Had I listened to the urgent
appeals of my men, and pressed the flying enemy, we could have destroyed his
camp; but in view of the darkness, his uncertain numbers, and swifter motions,
with your injuuctions of caution, I judged it better to rest satisfied with the
victory already gained.
Nobody knows any thing about
these men who has not seen them in battle. I find that I myself knew nothing.
There is a fiery energy about them beyond any thing of which I have ever read,
unless it be the French Zouaves. It requires the strictest discipline to hold
them in hand. During our first attack on the river, before I got them all penned
below, they crowded at the open ends of the steamer, loading and firing with
inconceivable rapidity, and shouting to each other, "Never give it up!"
WE publish on
page 173 a
of the rebel General ROBERT E. LEE, commanding the rebel army on the
Rappahannock. It is from a drawing recently made by Mr. Vizetelly, the
correspondent of the London Illustrated News, and, as will be seen, differs very
materially from the portraits which are current at the North, which are taken
from old photographs made before the war.
Robert E. Lee was born in
Virginia about the year 1808. He entered West Point, where he received the usual
military education at the cost of the Government of the United States. He
graduated honorably in 1829, and received an appointment as Second Lieutenant of
Engineers. For eighteen years he served in the army, drawing the usual pay from
the Government, and rising to the rank of Major and Lieutenant-Colonel of
Cavalry. In the Mexican war he was further honored by a brevet of Colonel, and
on the appointment of Albert S. Johnston to the command of the Utah expedition,
Lee succeeded him in command of the Second Cavalry. After filling this honorable
and agreeable post in the military service of his country for several years, he
crowned his career by deserting his flag at the moment of his country's sorest
need. When the
Richmond politicians passed what they called an Ordinance of
Secession, Robert E. Lee threw up his commission, and accepted the rank of
General in the rebel army.
In Mexico Lee had been Chief of
General Scott's Staff, and won high praise for his skill. It was a common remark
in our army, before the war, that "Bob Lee" was the ablest strategist we had.
His first performances in the rebel army did not confirm his reputation: he was
eclipsed for a time by both
Beauregard and Johnston. After the latter was
wounded, however, at
Fair Oaks, Lee took the whole command of the rebel army in
Virginia, and directed its operations during the
seven days' battles before
Richmond. He likewise led the rebels into
Maryland, and commanded them at
Antietam, and subsequently at
Fredericksburg. At present he stands very high in
THE REBEL GENERAL STONEWALL
WE publish on
page 173 a portrait
of the famous rebel General Thomas JEFFERSON JACKSON, better known as Stonewall
Jackson, from a recent drawing by Mr. Vizetelly of the London Illustrated Noes.
Thomas J. Jackson was born in
Virginia about the year 1825, and is consequently about thirty-nine years of
age. He graduated at West Point in 1846, and in the following year accompanied
Magruder's battery to Mexico. At Contreras and Churubusco he distinguished
himself so highly on the field that he was brevetted Captain for gallantry. At
Chapultepec he again won laurels, and was brevetted Major for gallant and
meritorious conduct. On his return from Mexico he was for some time in command
at Fort Hamilton; but in 1842 he resigned his rank. At the outbreak of the
rebellion Major Jackson was one of those Southerners who were greatly
embarrassed to discover the true line of their duty. He had married a Northern
wife, was an honorable and conscientious man, and long hesitated what course to
pursue. It is stated that his father-in-law, a Northern clergyman, visited him,
and urged him to remain faithful to his country and his flag. They spent several
hours in prayer together, and Jackson confessed that the struggle was sore. But
finally the pernicious doctrine of State Rights, which Jackson, like so many
other gallant Southrons, had imbibed early in life, won the day: "I must go with
Virginia!" he cried, and plunged headlong into the vortex of treason.
As a rebel officer he has been
energetic, lucky, and skillful. At
Bull Run he won his cognomen of "Stonewall"
by promising Beauregard that his brigade should stand like a stone-wall before
the enemy; the promise was kept. He fought Shields (Next