« PreviousContinue »
Nor did brave Leonidas-
With decimated ranks, they come,
And through the crowded street
With firm though weary feet.
Whose cheers of welcome swell ;
And torn by shot and shell ! They should be hung on sacred shrines,
Baptized with grateful tears,
Through all succeeding years.
By patriot sire to son,
Brave deeds sublimely done.
And solemn joy to see
Honor to the hero-slain !
When war's clarion blast shall cease
Who for freedom nobly died !
BY CHARLES BOYNTON HOWELL.
A SOLDIER'S LETTER.
BY MARY O. HOVEY.
From their labors nobly done,
Mourners, in whose every heart
Dear madam, I'm a soldier, and my speech is rough
and plain; I'm not much used to writing, and I hate to give you
pain; But I promised that I'd do it--he thought it might be
so, If it came from one who loved him, perhaps 'twould
ease the blow-By this time you must surely guess the truth I fain
would hide, And you'll pardon a rough soldier's words, while I tell
you how he died. 'Twas the night before the battle, and in our crowded
tent More than one brave boy was sobbing, and many a
knee was bent ; For we knew not, when the morrow, with its bloody
work, was done, How many that were seated there, should see its set
ting sun. 'Twas not so much for self they cared, as for the loved
at home; And it's always worse to think of than to hear the
Sacrificing self they fought
Alexander, brave and bold,
'Twas then we left the crowded tent, your soldier-boy
and I, And we both breathed freer, standing underneath the
clear blue sky. I was more than ten years older, but he seemed to
take to me, And oftener than the younger ones, he sought my
company. He seemed to want to talk of home and those he held
most dear; And though I'd none to talk of, yet I always loved to
So then he told me, on that night, of the time he came I send you back bis hymn-book, and the cap he used
away, And how you sorely grieved for him, but would not And a lock, I cut the night before, of his bright, curllet him stay;
ing hair. And how his one fond hope had been, that when this war was through,
I send you back his Bible. The night before he died, He might go back with honor to his friends at home We turne its leaves together, as I read it by his side. and you.
I've kept the belt he always wore; he told me so to do: He named his sisters one by one, and then a deep flush It has a hole upon the side— tis where the ball went came,
through. While he told me of another, but did not speak her So now I've done his bidding; there's nothing more to
But I shall always mourn with you the boy we loved so well.
And then he said: “Dear Robert, it may be that I
shall fall, And will you write to them at home how I loved and
spoke of all ?” So I promised, but I did not think the time would
come so SOON.
BY EDWARD S. ELLIS.
The fight was just three days ago-he died to-day at noon.
From New-England's granite mountains, It seems so sad that one so loved should reach the
From the North's resounding woods, fatal bourn,
From the far West's flashing fountains, While I should still be living here, who had no friends
Pour the living human floods. to mourn.
Onward sweeps the aroused nation, It was in the morrow's battle. Fast rained the shot
From the lakes and streams and sca; and shell;
Onward for their home's salvation, He was fighting close besideóme, and I saw him when
And the fight for liberty. he fell. So then I took him in my arms, and laid him on the Deeds, not words, make men immortal grass
In this grand, hervic age; 'Twas going against orders, but I think they'll let it He who wills can ope the portal pass.
To a name on history's page. 'Twas a Minie ball that struck him; it entered at the side,
Know ye not that revolutions And they did not think it fatal till the morning that
Are the tbroes of struggling Right? he died.
In these national ablutions So when he found that he must go, he called me to
It must triumph over Might. his bed, And said: “ You'll not forget to write when you hear
What though but a child in learning, that I am dead ?
When the war-note onward rolls, And you'll tell them how I loved them and bid them
While our country's fate is turning, all good-by?
'Tis not heads we need—but souls, Say I tried to do the best I could, and did not fear to
Some must make their names historic, And underneath my pillow there's a curl of golden
Who, the future soon will tell ;
Some must perform deeds heroic There's a name upon the paper; send it to my mother's
And the roll of glory swell. care.
Strike then for the truth eternal ; “Last night I wanted so to live; I seemed so young
Strike then, for the cause is just;
Strike then at the wrong infernal, Last week I passed my birthday—I was but nineteen,
Till it bites again the dust. When I thought of all I'd planned to do, it seemed so
hard to die; But then I prayed to God for grace, and my cares are
THE BATTLE. all gone by.” And here his voice grew weaker, and he partly raised Give them a shell boys! give them a shell ! his head,
They are coming over the hill; And whispered, “Good-by, mother !" and so your boy
You can see their widening columns swell;
You can hear their bugles trill. was dead!
Give them a shell, boys! Aim her straight! I wrapped his cloak around him, and we bore him out Ready! Pull lanyard ! Off she goes ! to-night,
Hear her skurry and scream in hate. And laid him by a clump of trees, where the moon Pouff! She's done for a dozen foes !
was shining bright, And we carved him out a headboard as skilful as we Give them grape, boys ! give them grape ! could;
They are coming a little too near. If you should wish to find it, I can tell you where it Each dusky bulk is gaining a shape, stood.
And their tramp is loud and clear.
WHAT THE BIRDS SAID.
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
The birds, against the April wind,
Flew Northward, singing as they flew ; They sang : “ The land we leave behind
Has swords for corn-blades, blood for dew."
“O wild-birds ! Aying from the South,
What saw and leard ye, gazing down ?” "We saw the mortar's upturned mouth,
The sickened camp, the blazing town
Give them grape, boys! Steady! Fire !
Now, boys, go to work with a will ! Sight that gun a little bit higher.
Right !-a gap that twenty can fill ! Give them lead, boys! give them lead !
Up with the infantry! Load, boys, load ! Where's Joe Lane? Poor fellow ! he's dead;
Many of us must travel his road! Give them lead, boys! On they come,
With columns Massed in a fierce attack. Think of your dear ones safe at home!
Stand by your guns, boys! Drive them back! Give them stcel, boys! give them steel!
They fight like devils! At them again! Their charge is broken ! they pause, they reel!
After them, boys, with might and main ! Give them steel, boys! See how they run!
I'm hit-just here--but never mind me. Lay me down by the side of that gun,
And after the rest with a three times three ! Give them a cheer, boys! give them a cheer!
Let them know we have won the fight! I'm dying now; you can bury me here.
Dig deep, boys, and do it to-night. There's one at home--you can give her my sword,
(You know whom I mean,) and say that I Have always been true to my plighted wordFor my country and her I am glad to die.
Α. Α. Α.
“ Beneath the bivouac's starry lamps,
We saw your march-worn children die ; In shrouds of moss, in cypress swamps,
We saw your dead uncoffined lie.
“We heard the starving prisoner's sighs;
And saw, from line and trench, your sons Follow our flight with home-sick eyes
Beyond the battery's smoking guns."
“And heard and saw ye only wrong
And pain,” I cried, “ O wing-worn flocks ?" “We heard,” they sang,
“ the freedman's song, The crash of slavery's broken locks ! “We saw from new, uprising States
The treason-nursing mischief spurned, As, crowding freedom's ample gates,
The long-estranged and lost returned.
* FORWARD, MARCH.”
BY MRS. C. J. MOORE.
“O'er dusky faces, seamed and old,
And hands horn-hard with unpaid toil, With hope in every rustling fold,
We saw your star-dropt tlag uncoil,
On Newbern's bloo ly battle-ground,
Bold as a crusade knight,
All eager for the fight. “Forward, my men, my comrades brave !"
His voice rang loud and clear ; And charging with our bayonets,
We followed in the rear.
“ And, struggling up through sounds accursed,
A grateful murmur clomb the air, A whisper scarcely heard at first,
It filled the listening heavens with prayer. “And sweet and far, as from a star,
Replied a voice which shall not cease, Till, drowning all the noise of war,
It sings the blessed songs of peace !"
And, ever foremost, on he pressed ;
Our ranks held firm and true, Though volley after volley poured
And thinned us through and through.
So to me, in a doubtful day
Of chill and slowly greening spring, Low stooping from the cloudy gray,
The wild-birds sang or seemed to sing.
Well done, my boys, the day is ours !
Like veterans you've fought !" Another crash of musketry;
The day was dearly bought:
They vanished in the misty air,
The song went with them in their flight; But lo! they left the sunset fair,
And in the evening there was light,
For there, upon the accursed soil,
Our young Lieutenant lay ; Too brave for even one low moan,
His life-blood ebbed away.
DOWN BY THE RAPIDAN.
How, like a dream of childhood, the sweet May-day
goes by! A golden brightness gilds the air, a rose-flush paints
the sky; And the southern winds come bearing in their freights
of rare perfume From the far-off country valleys, where the spring
flowers are in bloom.
We sit beneath the windows and watch the evening Oh ! let us not forget them our brave, unselfish boys sun,
Who have given up their loved ones, their happy And count the silver rain-drops, descending one by household joys,
And stand to-night in rank and file, determined to a The very town seems silenced in a soft, delicious calm. How different is the scene to-night down by the Rapi- To triumph over treason, down by the Rapidan! dan!
And let our hearts be hopeful; our faith, unwavering, Down by the rushing Rapidan, hark! how the muskets strong; crack !
Right must be all-victorious when battling with the The battle-smoke rolls up so thick, the very heavens
Wrong. are black.
Let us bear up our heroes' hands! Pray, every soul No blossom-scented winds are there, no drops of silver rain;
“God bless our boys who fight to-night down by the The air is thick with sulphurous heat, and filled with Rapidan!"
moans of pain.
IN D E X.
EXPLANATION OF ABBREVIATIONS IN THE INDEX.
D. stands for Diary of Events ; Doc. for Documents; and P. for Poetry, Rumors and Incidents,
prisoners captured by,
66 debate on, in the Virginia House of
D. 3 ANDERSON, Capt. Fifty-first Indi-
D. 22 BABCOCK, CHARLES A., Capt. See
Fort Powell, Ala.,
Doc. 100 BACHE, GEORGE M., Lieut. Com. See
Doc. 19 BACHELLER, 0. A., Lieut. See Mobile,
D. 86 “Annie Thompson,” account of the accounts of the fight at, Doc. 858
Doc. 356 Bacon, G. M., Capt., Twenty-fourth
D. 6, 19, 21, 60 "A patriotic father," anecdote of, P. 24 BAILEY, Lieut.-Col. See Red
9 BAILEY, THEODORUS, Rear-Admiral, Re-
ports of operations in Florida, Doc, 250
D. 48 works in St. Andrew's Bay, Fla.,
Doc. 594 Report of the destruction of rebel
salt-works in East and West-Bay,
P. 6 instructions to Gen. Steele, Doc. 339
Doc. 824 Report of the destruction of salt-
D. 26 works at St. Mark's, Fla., Doc. 419
BAIN, GEORGE M., Rev.,
BAIRD, ABSALON, Gen., Doc. 208, 429
BAKER, EDWARD. See Mobile, Doc. 126
D. 49 BAKER, R. H.,
Doc. 357 Armstrong's Ferry, Tenn., skirmish- Baker's Creek, Miss., skirmish near,
of the, in Jan. and Feb., 18 4.
BALDWIN, W. H., Lieut.-Col., Report
D. 8 Gen. Thomas's Report, Doc. 805 of the battle of Pleasant Hill, Doc. 510
D. 56 BANGS, ELI A. See Fort Pillow, Doc. 57
D. 69 military executions in the, D. 24 Bank of Ashland, Ky., robbed by guer-
captures Corpus Christi and Aran-
Doc. 26 A “Soldier's Letter," by Mary C. lands at Brazos de Santiago, Texas,
Doc. 518, D. 53 Athens, Alabama, rebel attack on, D. 86 operations of, in the Gulf Depart-
D. 72 See Pleasant Hill., La., Doc. 335
Doc. 155 order in reference to labor in Louisi.
rebel accounts of his expedition, address at New Orleans, La., March
D. 3 constitutes a Board of Education at
Doc. 537, D. 57