Ezra Church Battle Description


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 27, 1864

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Ezra's Church

Battle of Ezra's Church




[AUGUST 27, 1864.



"SUNSHINE !" I love darkness best; Day is hard and darkness tender: Darkness soothes the aching breast; Day but mocks it with his splendor. Wherefore bid me sing of light? Me, the mournful child of Night.


Ah ! my hand upon the string Wanders vainly preluding. Echoes of the tropic wake ! Lavish bloom and languid grove, Sharp-cut mountain, dreamy lake, Glorious nature, glowing love ! Would that I could catch a ray For my heart and for my lay.


Never here !—This pallid sky Makes the very soul to shiver. To my brown South let me fly, Let me feel once more its fever; Let me bury there my pain, Live and love and sing again.


WE give on pages 556 and 557 illustrations of General SHERMAN'S campaign in front of Atlanta. The sketch on page 556 represents a portion of the BATTLE OF EZRA'S CHURCH, fought July 28. General LOGAN, after M'PHERSON'S death, assumed temporary command of the Army of the Tennessee. This army was, after the battle of the 22d, transferred from its position on the east side of Atlanta to the extreme right of our army on the west side, threatening the Macon Road. The movement was the most rapid of a campaign which, for the expeditious movements of troops over vast distances, will be celebrated in the history of the war. The Fifteenth (LOGAN'S own) Corps had hardly got in position on the right before it was attacked by 20,000 of the enemy under General STEWART. The battle, commencing shortly after one o'clock, continued with exceeding fierceness until nearly dark. At the first onset our men had no shelter of any kind, but their keen appreciation of a breast-work was shown by the fact that before the fight ended a rail-work affording considerable shelter had been constructed. The battle was fought entirely by the Fifteenth Corps, and the loss sustained by them is probably the slightest that is known—51 killed and 476 wounded. Over 700 rebel dead were buried by our men, and the reports from the rebels acknowledge a loss of over 5000 men. Among the rebel wounded were Generals LORING, STEWART, S. D. LEE, BROWN, and GIBSON.

The sketch gives especially that part of the battle in which WOOD'S division was engaged, on the left, near the church. HARROW held the centre, and MORGAN L. SMITH the right. After the assault on WOOD had thus signally failed an attack was made on SMITH with some success. SMITH was nearly flanked, and several of his batteries were captured; but none of these were taken off the field except two howitzers, nor was the position occupied by the rebels. At three o'clock WOOD reinforced SMITH, and the line of works taken by the rebels was recaptured. The scene from General SHERMAN'S stand-point was one of exceeding grandeur. The lines were so close together that they seemed to be only separated by the work for which they were battling.

On page 557 we give a picture of EZRA'S CHURCH itself. On the same page is another sketch connected with this battle, giving a view of DEAD BROOK, the scene of a portion of the engagement. A third sketch represents General SHERMAN'S head-quarters near Decatur, July 19, before the battles of the 20th, 22d, and 28th. These quarters were at the same time used by Dr. SHIPPEN, surgeon of HASCALL'S division, Twenty-third Corps, for the purposes of a hospital.


THE engraving on page 557 gives the Paris fashions for the month of August. Although easy of wear, these light costumes are not without their peculiar complications ; and, to be altogether graceful require care in the selection and arrangement of the colors for ornament. In addition to the ordinary disposition to patronize foulards, alpacas, and bareges, great favor is being bestowed upon white muslin dresses of the first quality, trimmed fantastically with strips of silk disposed in all directions, according to the caprices of the modiste. Indeed, light dresses generally, ornamented with silk strips attached as just mentioned, or with very small passementerie trimmings, enjoy a vogue altogether undisputed, and really merit the patronage they meet with even in the highest quarters.

The head-dresses and bonnets worn at this season are extremely varied in style and shape. The chapeau Windsor in Tuscan (shown in one of our illustrations) is one of the most fashionable of the round description; but the legitimate bonnet in white tulle—small, round, and with or without bavolet—completes, a ravir, the white muslin costume just alluded to. The bavolet is usually replaced by a bow in tulle or by a garland of small flowers gracefully arranged.


Fig. 1. Walking Dress.--Robe and paletot of gray foulard, with three rows of dark violet silk and passementerie trimming on the skirt; round the edge of the paletot, across the shoulders, and on the cuffs, a single row of similar trimming is adapted with a most pleasing effect. The small round chapeau is in white tulle bouillonne, the havolet being replaced by a large tulle bow; orange bow and ribbons.

Fig. 2. Evening Dress.—Very pale yellow alpaca robe, ornamented with silk embroidery in several shades of velvet. The skirt especially presents a very pretty and novel appearance, and the dress is completed by the Moldavian vest, and the muslin chemisette, of which only a small portion is seen above the black silk plastron edged with violet. The head-dress is the coiffure Catalane, in Valenciennes lace, with black and violet velvet bow in front.

Fig. 3. Walking Dress for a Young Lady.—Light stone colored toilet, the paletot and robe being of uniform color, but trimmed with pink silk ornaments soutaches. The paletot is relatively more abundantly decorated than the skirt. Tuscan chapeau Windsor, almost covered with eagles' feathers and white feathers, the latter placed in front.


THE ancient Greeks and Romans had some very curious notions about bees. They imagined that they were sometimes originated from the putrid carcasses of animals, especially lions ; that the kings (as they called them) were produced from the brain, as being the nobler part, and the remainder of the swarm—the profanum vulgus—from the flesh. Virgil actually gives a receipt for making a swarm out of a dead ox.

Another absurd fancy was that bees were generated in the blossoms and among the leaves of particular plants, the olive being one—a more refined notion than the other, certainly—and that the baby-bees were from thence coIlected by the old ones.

A still more wonderful story, if possible, is told us by Lucius Columella, in his agricultural work entitled "Dere Rustics," written somewhere about the year A.D. 40. He gravely informs no that bees which have been killed for the sake of obtaining their honey may be advantageously kept till spring, and then placed in the sun among pounded fig-tree ashes, when they will come to life again! This is vitality, and no mistake.

Tens New York theatres may now look out and secure for their audiences a new wonder. An optician in Paris has succeeded in producing the effect of zigzag lightning on the stage, with its peculiar blue color, by means of a concave mirror, in the process of which are the two carbon poles of a powerful battery nearly in contact. When the mirror is rapidly moved by the hand, and the poles touch for a brief interval, a dazzling beam of light is thrown across the stage precisely like a flash of lightning. He has also succeeded in producing a rainbow, by means of an electric spectrum, which is used with effect in the opera of Moses.

THE Roman female corpses were painted. So are the corpses of the inhabitants of the Polynesian Islands and of New Zealand. When a New Zealand chieftain dies, says Mr. Polack, the relatives and friends cut themselves with muscle-shells and let blood profusely, because they believe that ghosts, and especially royal ghosts, are exceedingly partial to this beverage. The head is adorned with the most valued feathers of the albatros. The hair is anointed with shark oil, and tied at the crown with a ribbon of tapa. The lobes of the ears are ornamented with bunches of white down from the sea-fowl's breast, and the cheeks are embellished with red-ochre. The brow is encircled with a garland of pink and white flowers of kaikatoa. Mats, wove of the silken flax, are thrown around the body, which is placed upright. Skulls of enemies slain in battle are ranged at its feet. The relics of ancestors, dug up for the occasion, are placed on platforms at its head. A number of slaves are slaughtered to keep the chieftain company. His wives and concubines drown themselves, that they also may be of the party. The body lies in state three or four days. The priests flourish round it, with wisps of flax, to keep off the devil and all his angels. The pihe, or funeral song, is then chanted, which we take to be the Old Hundredth of the New Zealanders, very much resembling the noenia, or funeral song of the Romans. At last the body is buried with the favorite mats, muskets, trinkets, etc., of the deceased.

THE language of the eye is very hard to counterfeit. You can read in the eyes of your companion, while you talk, whether your argument hits him, though his tongue will not confess it. A man comes away from a company; he has heard no important remark, but if in sympathy with the society, he is cognizant of such a stream of life as has been flowing to him through the eye. There are eyes which give no more admission into them than blueberries; others are liquid, and deep wells that men might fall into; and others are oppressive and devouring, and take too much notice. There are asking eyes and asserting eyes, eyes full of faith—some of good and some of sinister omen.

M. DANCEL, in a paper read to the Paris Academy of Sciences, has directed attention to the importance of water as a cause of obesity. He narrated two experiments—one on a lean horse, from whose diet per day 3 pounds of oats were subtracted, while it was provided with abundance of water, into which a pound of bran was put. In the course of twenty-seven days it increased about 36 pounds in weight. In the same regiment an exceedingly fat more, that could hardly carry its rider, was reduced from an allowance of sixty litres of water per day to fifteen, and speedily lost its obesity, resuming its former vigor.

THE spire of Strasbourg Cathedral had hitherto secured to France the distinction of possessing the loftiest structure among church belfries known in Europe ; but that proud pinnacle is destined to be overtopped by the tower in process of erection at St. Stephen's Minster, in Vienna. Hitherto the Austrian spire had only reached an altitude of 439 feet, while the Alsatian steeple measured 449 in height; an addition of 15 feet to its rival on the Danube pets an end to the boast and glory of the Rhine the state of the poll being now, Strasbourg 449, Vienna 454, majority for Vienna 5 feet with a few inches. France, however, has got Mont Blanc.

A FORMAL, but most essential rule makes letters once posted the property of the Postmaster-General until they are delivered as addressed, and they must not he given up to the writers on any pretense whatever. One or two requests of this kind related to us, we are not likely soon to forget. On one occasion a commercial traveler called at an office and expressed a fear that he had inclosed two letters In wrong envelopes, the addresses of which he furnished. It appeared, from the account which he reluctantly gave, after the refusal to grant his request, that his position and prospects depended upon his getting his letters, and correcting the mistakes, inasmuch as they revealed plans which he had adopted to serve two mercantile houses in the same line of business, whose interests clashed at every point. . . . Another case occurred in which a fast young gentleman confessed to carrying on a confidential correspondence with two young ladies at the same time, and that he had, or feared he had, crossed two letters which he had written at the same sitting. ... Writing of this, we are reminded of a case in which a country post-master had a letter put into his hand through the office window, together with the following message, delivered with great emphasis: "Here's a letter; she wants it to go along as fast as it can, 'cause there's a feller wants to have her here ; and she's courted by another feller that's not here, and she wants to know whether he is going to have her or not."

A DIFFICULTY between an actor and his manager gave rise to an odd scene the other night at the Theatre des Arts, at Rouen. During the performance of "Nos Al-Bees," M. Delacrox, who was playing the chief role, suddenly paused in his part and said, " Gentlemen, allow me to interrupt myself an instant, and tell you something, I have just been dismissed by M. Briet. Now, I depend on my engagement for my bread, and as I have not deserved this treatment I appeal to you. The director has in this case looked more to himself than the public. This will never do. If you agree with me, he good enough to applaud me; those who are of a different opinion can hiss." (Applause.) " Thank you." And he went on with his part of the haughty baron.

THE following singular event occurred just after Grant's severe battles north of the James. A sergeant had been engaged placing upon a number of head-boards the names of members of his regiment who had been killed in the late fight. There was one board in excess, and in a sportive vein he placed with a lead-pencil his own name upon it, and the date of his demise, June 20, as his term of service had then expired and he was about to leave for home. A day or two after, while bidding his companions farewell, he was struck in the breast by a 20-pounder Parrot and instantly killed. The very head-board he bad unthinkingly inscribed with his own name was placed over his grave, which, with date, correctly marks his resting-place.

A DIEPPE paper informs no that an English-built yacht, the Pearl, now belonging to a French gentleman, has come into that port, and is amusing the sea-side visitors by exhibiting a number of relics from the Alabama, picked up after the action, of which the Pearl was in part also a spectator. Among these objects saved is a curious note-book, belonging to one of the seamen, and containing, doubtless for his own interests in the way of prize-money, a complete list of all the vessels destroyed or captured by the Alabama. The list begins on. the 5th of September, 1862, and closes on the 27th of April, 1S64; and, curiously enough, enumerates just sixty-five captures, answering to the number of Captain Semmes's chronometers. Seven vessels are named as ransomed, forty-seven as burned, and ten as sold ; and the work of destruction is estimated at from eight to ten millions of dollars.


" HERE'S news for ye, Jake, and work to do!" said a tall, rough-looking fellow, who had ridden up a moment before, and throwing himself from his horse came up the walk to where Jake Rennan sat cleaning a shot-gun. Jake looked up lazily.

"Wa'al, what is it now ?"

"The Colonel's got positive news that that churned courier Id pass this way some time to-night. It's most likely he'll come by Rocky Run; but he may come t'other way, so you're to watch and stop him ef you kin afore he gets to the Forks. Take a couple of men with you, more ef you kin, and make it sure this time. Ef he carries the news the Colonel thinks he does, it'll be worth money to you to take him."

" All right ! Ef he comes my way he's booked for the Colonel's quarters, you may be sure o' that."

A bright-looking boy of some ten years was sitting near by, hacking at a bit of pine with a rusty jack-knife. The new-comer looked at him curiously. "That's not your boy, Jake ?"

Jake laughed. " I reckon not, I hain't a Yankee myself."

" And the boy is. I kin see that stickin' out plainer'n the nose on yer face." " Yes, and he's got more grit 'n most of 'ern. Ef lee hadn't he'd a never been were. He belonged to one o' them fellers we surprised down at the Run. His father was took prisoner and sent off to Richmond, and some of us goin' next day by where the campin' place had been, we found this yer boy pretty bad wounded too ; but he would git well, and so we let him, and yere he is on our hands, as desperit a Yankee as you'll find. I kind o' like him though."

"Gritty, eh?" said the man, stepping toward the boy. "See yere, bubby, jest you say Hurrah for Jeff Davis, or I'll put this through we quicker 'n lightnin' !" flashing his sword in the boy's face.

The little fellow was standing up by this time, and his cheeks were flushing. He looked at the man an instant, perhaps be saw that he was only trying to frighten him. Taking off his ragged hat, he swung it over his head,

"Hurrah for the Stars and Stripes !" he said, in a low voice, but firmly.

The man's face darkened. He looked as though he were going to strike him, but Rennan interposed.

"Don't bother the boy; run away, Will."

The other man laughed. " I wasn't goin' to touch him," he said, and went down the walk, .Take following him, and standing some moments to talk with him beyond the boy's hearing.

But Will had heard enough. Some poor fellow was to be waylaid that night and shot for his dispatches. The boy, young as he was, had had already experience in life beyond his years. His father had been living South at the time when the war broke out, and of a family of six his father and he had alone escaped alive from the persecution which raged round every Union man. Three brothers he had seen slain, and his mother had died of grief. He had refused to leave his father, and now here he was. He knew what these men meant when they talked about waylaying a courier. " If I wasn't such a little boy," he thought, sadly, "I could do some-thing : I wonder if I couldn't any way. The man said some time tonight, and I know where the Forks are. They'd kill me though, if they caught me at it." He wandered about, thinking it over, anxious and unhappy all day.

When night came he complained of a headache, and made it an excuse to go to bed early. Once in the little room where he slept he raised the window softly, and clambering out over a roof below, he started off as fast as he could go in the direction of the Forks.

They were all too busy getting Jake ready to miss him; but he feared lest they should discover , his absence, and suspect where he had gone. His heart beat fast as he flew along the road, and he imagined in every sound that he heard Jake upon his track.

He reached the Forks, however, safely. Beyond this point the road—roughs and scarcely more than a bridle-path before—dwindled and diverged into various nearly undistinguishable ways.

It would not answer for him to remain here, but where to wait beyond ? By which of these scarcely perceptible ways would the expected courier come ?

Fortunately, about half a mile on the woods were more open and the growth low. There was a high, bright moon. " If only Jake will stay at the Forks and watch," thought the boy, as he ran again to-ward the more open ground. That reached, he climbed a tree, and began his watch, listening at the same time for Jake and his men.

Not a very easy watch you may imagine that —every young sense on the alert, and so many shadows among the scattering trees to delude his eye.

Suddenly he heard the tramp of a horse, and al-most instantly saw him—it must be he, he thought —a man alone on horseback, and riding at that pace.

Almost in the same moment he imagined he heard some one approaching in the opposite direction. The courier, if it were he, was riding unsuspiciously on, trusting perhaps to the speed of the animal he rode to take him past any danger that lurked.

Will was coming down from his perch as quickly as possible. He was quite sure that Jake and his men were waiting not far away ; the courier

was riding on unconscious of it—passing directly under the tree in which the boy was, when, calculating the distance with an accuracy born of' the emergency, WiIl swung himself lightly down, and —strange and providential happening—landed upon the very back of the animal the courier rode. The horse plunged a little ; the man, too accustomed to danger of all kinds—for these couriers are a very brave and tried set of men—to lose his presence of mind made no sound.

"Turn back quickly," whispered the boy; "there's danger ahead !"

The man did not hesitate a single instant. With an instinct sharpened by long experience he recognized the warning as worthy of notice, strangely as it had come, and wheeling his horse suddenly to the right, he rode at top-speed to a thicker portion of the wood, and, skirting along it, soon distanced Jake and his men, though they followed him. Upon discovering his change of route several shots were fired after him, but ineffectually, and he eventually reached his destination, bearing the boy with him.

Will became the hero of the hour.

News came soon after of the death of his father in prison, and the boy was left the sole survivor of his family.

He begged to stay with the army, and the regiment into whose hands he had fallen at first were too fond and proud of him to send him away. So he staid as drummer-boy.


THE care of a wife and family seemed wholly in-compatible with the circumstances surrounding a man like Garibaldi, whose life was devoted to the cause of liberty—of fighting in behalf of all op-pressed peoples—however successful he might be in his efforts, he would never have the leisure that was required in the father of a family. Fate, how-ever, decided otherwise.

Finding himself completely isolated, and standing alone in the world, from losing all his friends, who were drowned at the wreck of the Rio Pat-de, he was one day, while on the lake of Santa Catharina, sitting in the cabin of the sloop Itaparika, and looking toward the shore, when suddenly he saw, at a farm-house situated on the neighboring hill of La Barra, three or four girls busily engaged in domestic duties. They were all remarkable for beauty; but one in particular arrested his attention for her uncommon grace and loveliness.

He was still watching them when he received an order to go on shore. Immediately on landing he directed This steps to the house. He was admitted by the owner, whom he happened to know slightly, having met him once before.

The impulse which had prompted him to go to the house was to address the girl whom he had so admired. On seeing her he immediately besought her to become his wife. The girl, it seems, conceived an affection as warm and as sudden as he had felt for her ; and after the lapse of a few short days they were man and wife.

The surname of this lovely Brazilian girl of the province of Santa Catharina, who became, under such peculiarly romantic circumstances, the wife of Garibaldi, has never been revealed. In all the biographies of our hero she is alone mentioned by her Christian name of Anita.

She seems to have been a brunette of a rich, warm complexion, with black and piercing eyes; of a beautifully rounded figure, and a sort of queenly majesty of deportment; active, daring, high-spirited, and in every respect worthy of being the companion for life of such a man as Garibaldi.

Many anecdotes are told of her courage.

Scarcely had she been married to our hero, and had gone to sea with him, than they were threatened with an attack by the enemy, who were far superior to them in numbers. Garibaldi wanted Anita to land, but she steadily refused to accede to his request, and, as from the bottom of his heart he admired her courage and was proud of it, he did not urge his point, but allowed her to do as the pleased.

Not only did Anita remain on board the vessel, but she staid on deck during the whole of the engagement, and even took a part in it, inspiriting the crew to acts of desperate courage by her own example. Snatching a carbine from the hands of a man who bad been shot clown dead at her feet, she kept up a repeated fire on the enemy.

During the engagement, which lasted five hours, Garibaldi, as he says himself, experienced the greatest shock he ever felt in his life.

Anita, in the heat of the battle, standing on the deck and flourishing a sabre, was inspiriting the men to deeds of valor when she was knocked down by the wind of a cannon-ball that had killed two men standing close by her side. Garibaldi we, springing forward to her, thinking that he would I find her a corpse, when she rose to her feet, covered with the blood of the men who had fallen close to her, but quite unhurt.

Garibaldi begged her to go below and remain, there until the action was over.

" I will go below," was her reply, " but on to drive out the cowards who are skulking there;" for only a few seconds before she had seen three men leave the deck and hurry rapidly down the hatchway, so as to get out of danger of the storm of bullets that was sweeping the dock. And going below she immediately after reappeared, driving before her the three men, overcome with shame that they should have been surpassed in courage by a woman.

Garibaldi himself has said that Anita, whose heart beat as much as his own for the cause of the people, took part in tights as an "amusement.," and "as a simple variation to the general monotony of camp life."

At the battle fought at a place called Coritiban she could not content herself with being, as her husband desired, a mere spectator of the combat. She went to the baggage-wagons with the view of seeing that the soldiers were properly supplied with




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