Page images

Government of the United States, nor afford aid or comfort to the enemies thereof in any manner whatever, nor communicate to any one in the rebellious States, or proceeding thither, or to any one in Europe, or other foreign country, any information that may or can be used to the injury of the United States, and that I will report in writing to the Secretary of the Navy every two weeks, and hold myself prepared to return to Fort Warren whenever he shall so direct; it being understood that this parole is to cease at the pleasure of the Secretary of the Navy, or in the event of my recommitment to prison, or my exchange, or the termination of the war.

"Signed, in duplicate, at Fort Warren, this 12th day of August, 1864,



"EDW. R. PARRY, 1st Lieut., 11th Infantry, U. S. A.,

"Commissary of Prisoners."

What a parting I have had with my poor fellow-prisonersmessages and entreaties for Richmond, good wishes, affectionate counsels, almost tears! Captain Green gave me a ring of his own manufacture, and my good friend Marrs wanted to press upon me a gold chain, a remnant of property which the Yaukees had, strangely enough, left the poor fellow, A's I passed through the sally-port, I turned to wave my handkerchief to the weary, watching faces; but the sergeant orders me to "move on." I have left behind some friendships in those granite walls; and, if there, too, I have left a pleasant record of my companionship in the hearts of my unfortunate countrymen, God knows that I am prouder of it than of any other memory of my life.

August 15.-I was required to report in twenty-four hours in Brooklyn, but found time to see some friends in Boston. I saw my benefactress there, the noble Catholic lady, who had devoted herself to the comfort and consolation of the unhappy men in Fort Warren, and whose name should be inscribed in every record of honor in the Confederacy.

I am yet strange and giddy in the comparative liberty of a parole after the horror and torture of a Yankee prison. In the streets of Boston there was sounding in my ears the usual surly "halt" of some brass-harnessed Yankee at almost every step; and in the cars, whirled for twelve hours by the white houses and apple orchards of New England, and through the peaceful scenes of the country, I was imagining the reveille, the harsh call to the cook-house, the orderly's round, and all the other routine of a day in prison.

I am living in a very remote suburb of Brooklyn; and here, incog., and intent to avoid all contact with the Yankee, I must possess my soul in patience, until, in God's good time and merciful providence, I shall again breathe the air of home and of liberty.

August 17.-A letter from my dear friend in Boston:

BOSTON, 1864.

I did not half tell you, my dear Mr. Pollard, how glad and grateful I am for your release. I did not realize it until after you had gone. The pleasure of seeing you, face to face, of making you a veritable fact, after believing you somewhat a myth, of talking with you upon the one subject of deep interest to us both, was too much at the time to take in that other joy of your freedom. I suppose if I were a boy, I should have thrown up my cap, and made a noise like that "the shrouds make at sea, in a stiff tempest, as loud and to as many tones." As it was, I followed the impulse of a womanly nature, and, kneeling down, I thanked Him who had heard our prayer, and loosed your chains, and opened wide your guarded prison doors.

We are getting up some things for the prisoners. What shall I put in for Mr. Pollard, was my first thought— forgetting, for the moment, that you had taken wings. I wish I had asked you more particularly what is best to send. I shall really be grateful for any suggestions. After all, how little one can do for so many. What are the five loaves and two small fishes among such a multitude. It is only that the

doing one's best is acceptable from the sympathy it expresses. You, dear friend, entirely over-estimated the very little I found it a privilege to do for you. If I could atone by a life of service for the least of the wrongs my people (alas! that I should say my people) have inflicted upon as noble a race as God ever created, I should only be too happy. You must never think of any little thing I have done in any other way. If I have given you one moment's cheer or comfort, it has been more to me than to you that I have been able to do so.

I shall hope to hear from you as soon as you have had your fill of sleeping between fresh, clean sheets. I think I would take it out after the fashion of Rip Van Winkle. And the pleasure, too, of sitting at a table with one's own friends, and eating in a Christian way! It must almost repay you for the hardship and the keen discomfort of your prison life. No more rations, no more abominable pork! Deo gratias!

I have just received a call from a gentleman friend . He is, indeed, a very true and faithful man; and the time will yet come when his voice will be heard above the wild waves of passionate strife, and his calm power will be felt. I intend writing him this week, and it will give me great pleasure to tell him what you said of him.

September 10.-The fall has set in, and yet no news of my exchange. I have written to Richmond of my failing health; but I fear it may be some time yet before I again see my brown South, and stand upon the "sacred soil" of Virginia.

Living here, almost in the seclusion of four walls-at least, choosing such severe isolation as I think becomes, both the misfortune and resentment of a prisoner-consumed by sickness and anxiety, I have nothing left to sustain me but the promises of hope. And if I cannot hope successfully, I can at least hope bravely.

Anything rather than mere nostalgia, or that certain fatal charm of melancholy, which loses its misfortunes in idle sentimentalism.

He who learns to wait is more than all other men the master of his fate.

Chronology of the Third Year of the War.


May 1.-Battle of Port Gibson, Miss. Gen. Grant, U. S. A., defeats the C. S. Gens. Green and Tracy.





[ocr errors]


14.-Jackson, Miss., is evacuated, and occupied by Grant.
16.-Gen. Grant defeats Gen. Pemberton at Baker's Creek.
Gen. Tilghman killed.

17.-Gen. Pemberton routed on the Big Black by Gen. Grant,
and retreats to Vicksburg.

22.-Attack and repulse of the U. S. forces under Gen. Grant

on the works at Vicksburg. Attack and repulse of

the U. S. forces under Gen. Banks at Port Hudson.

23. Investment of Vicksburg by Gen. Grant.

June 3.-Beginning of Gen. Lee's onward movement in Virginia. 9.-Gen. Stuart defeats the Federal cavalry at Brandy Station.

66 14.-Battle of Winchester and defeat of the Federals by Gen. Ewell. Capture of Martinsburg by Gen. Rodes. Second attack on the works at Port Hudson.

"14-17.-Gen. Hooker withdraws from the Rappahannock, and occupies Centreville and Manassas.

66 17.-Two brigades of Federal cavalry defeated by Stuart at




18.-Engagement at Aldie renewed. Stuart forced to retire.

23.-Capture of Brashear City, La., by Gen. Taylor. "24-30.-Invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania by the Confederate forces under Gen. Lee.

[ocr errors]

28.-Repulse of Gen. Green at Donaldsonville, La.

66 29.-The Federal army, under Gen. Meade, crosses the Po


« PreviousContinue »