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the tern of the enlistment of volunteers, was looked upon almost as a holiday recreation. In New York and Philadelphia, the recruiting offices were besieged by firemen, rowdies, and men fished from the purlicus of vice, and every sink of degradation. There appeared to be no serions realization of the war. If a man ventured the opinion that a hundred thousand Southern troops might be gathered in Virginia, he was laughed at, or answered with stories about the Adirondack sharpshooters and the New York “roughs. The newspapers
” declared that the most terrible and invincible army that ever enacted deeds of war might be gathered from the “roughs" of the Northern cities. Nothing could compete with their desperate courage, and nothing could withstand their furious onslaught. A regiment of firemen and congenial spirits was raised in New York, and put under command of Colonel Ellsworth, of Chicago, a youth, who had some time ago exhibited through the country a company of young men drilled in the inanual and exercises of the French Zonaves, who had made himself a favorite with the ladies at the Astor House and Willard's Hotel, by his long hair, gymnastic grace, and red uniform, and who boasted of a great deal of political influence as the pet and protégé of President Lincoln. To the standard of this young man, and also to that of a notorious bully and marauder, by the name of Billy Wilson, flocked all the vagrant and unruly classes of the great and vicious metropolis of New York. The latter boasted, that when his regiment was moved off, it would be found that not a thief, highwayman, or pickpocket would be left in the city. The people of New York and Washington were strangely enraptured with the spectacle of these terrible and ruthless crusaders, who were to strike terror to the hearts of the Southern people. Anecdotes of their rude and desperate disposition, their brutal speeches and their exploits of rowdyism, were told with glee and devoured with unnatural satisfaction. In Washington, people were delighted by anecdotes that Ellsworth's Zonaves made a practice of knocking their officers down; that their usual address to the sentinels was, “Say, fellow, I am agoin' to leave this ranch ;' that on rainy days they seized umbrellas from citizens on the streets, and knocked them in the gutter if they remonstrated; that, “in the most entire good humor," they levied contribir
tions of boots, shoes, liquors, and cigars on tradesmen; and that the “ gallant little colonel,” who controlled these unrnly spirits, habitually wore a bowie knife two feet long. These freaks and eccentricities were not only excusable, they were admirable: the untamed courage of the New York firemen and rowdies, said the people, were to be so useful and conspicuous in the war; and the prophecy was, that these men, 80 troublesome and belligerent towards quiet citizens who came in contact with them, would be the first to win honorable laurels on the field of combat.
“Billy Wilson's” regiment was held up for a long time in New York as an inimitable scarecrow to the South. The regiment was displayed on every occasion; it was frequently marched
up Broadway to pay visits to the principal hotels. On one of these occasions, it was related that Billy Wilson marched the companies into the hall and spacious bar-room of the hotel
, and issued the order “ Attention.” Attention was paid
, and the bystanders preserved silence. “Kneel down," shouted the colonel. The men dropped upon their knces. ** Yon do solemnly swear to cut off the head of every dd Secessionist you meet during the war.".
“We swear," was the
We swear, universal response. «The gallant souls," said a New York paper, " then returned in good order to their quarters.'
The newspaper extracts and incidents given above afford no little illustration of the spirit in which the North entered upon the war, and, in this connection, belong to the faithful history of the times. That spirit was not only trivial and tutterly beneath the dignity of the contest upon which the North was to enter ; it betrayed a fierceness and venom, the monstrous developments of which were reserved for a period
and partly affectation on the part of the Northern press and people, in their light estimation of the war, was wholly affectation on the part of the ingovernment had a particular object in essaying to represent
a the Southern revolution as nothing more than a local mutiny.
was plain for balking any thing like a European recognition of the Southern Confederacy, and Mr. Seward was prompt to rank the rebellion as a local and d'sorganized insur
later in the progress of events.
rection, amounting to nothing more than a passing and inci dental “change” in the history of the Union. At the time that all the resources of the government were put out to encounter the gathering armies of the South, already within a few miles of the capital, Mr. Seward, in a letter of instructions to Mr. Dayton, the recently appointed minister to France, dated the 4th of May, urged him to assure that government of the fact that an idea of a permanent disruption of the Union was absurd ; that the continuance of the Union was certain, and that too as an object of "affection!” He wrote: “The thought of a dissolution of this Union, peaceably or by force, has never entered into the mind of any candid statesman here, and it is high time that it be dismissed by the statesmen in Europe."
The government at Washington evidently showed, by its preparations, that it was secretly conscious of the resources and determined purposes of the revolution. Another proclamation for still further increasing his military forces had been made by Mr. Lincoln on the third of May. He called for fortyodd thousand additional volunteers to enlist for the war, and eighteen thousand seamen, besides increasing the regular army by the addition of ten regiments. It is curious that these immense preparations should have attracted such little notice from the Northern public. The people and soldiers appeared to be alike hilarious and confident in the prospect of a “short, sharp, and decisive" war, that was to restore the Union, open the doors of the treasury, give promotion and fame to those desirous of gain in those particulars, and afford new opportu. nities to adventurers of all classes.
The first and opening movements of the Northern campaign were decided to be a forward movement from the Potomac along the Orange and Alexandria and Central roads towards Richmond, while another invading army might be thrown into the Valley of Virginia from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The first step of the invasion of Virginia was the occupation of Alexandria, which was accomplished on the 24th of May, by throwing some eight thousand Federal troops across the Potomac, the Virginia forces evacuating the town and falling back to the Manassas Junction, where General Bonham, of South Carolina, was in command of the Confederate forces.
The invasion was accomplished under cover of the night, and with such secrecy and dispatch, that a number of Virginia cavalry troops were found, unconscious of danger, at thei quarters, and were taken prisoners.
The Federal occupation of the town was attended by a dra matic incident, the heroism and chivalry of which gave a remarkable lesson to the invader of the spirit that was to oppose his progress on the soil of Virginia. In the gray of the morning, Col. Ellsworth, who, with his Fire Zouaves, had entered the town, observed a Confederate flag floating from the top of an hotel called the Marshall House, and attended by a squad of his men, determined to secure it as his prize. He found his way into the hotel, ascended the stairs, and climbed, by a ladder, to the top of the house, where he secured the obnoxious ensign. As he was descending from the trap door, with the flag on his arm, he was confronted by Mr. Jackson, the proprietor of the hotel, who, aroused from his bed by the unusual noise, half dressed and in his shirt-sleeves, with a double-barrel gun in his hands, faced Ellsworth and his four companions with a quiet and settled determination. "This is my trophy," said the Federal commander, pointing to the flag. "And you are mine," responded the Virginian, as, with a quick aim he discharged his gun full into the breast of Colonel Ellsworth, and the next instant sank by his side a breathless corpse, from a bullet, sped through the brain, and a bayonetthrust at the hands of one of the soldiers.
The slayer of Colonel Ellsworth was branded, in the North, as an "assassin." The justice of history does not permit such a term to be applied to a man who defended his country's flag and the integrity of his home with his life, distinctly and fearlessly offered up to such objects of honor: it gives him the name which the Southern people hastened to bestow upon the memory of the heroic Jackson-that of "martyr." The character of this man is said to have been full of traits of rude, native chivalry. He was captain of an artillery company in his town. He was known to his neighbors as a person who united a dauntless and unyielding courage with the most gen .erous impulses. A week before his death "Union" man from Washington had been seized in the streets of Alexandria and a crowd threatened to shoot or hang him, when Jackson
went to his rescue, threatened to kill any man who would molest him, and saved him from the vengeance of the mob. A day before the Federal occupation of the town, in a conver bation in which some such movement was conjectured, his neighbors remonstrated with him about the danger of making his house a sign for the enemy's attack, by the flag which floated over it. He replied that he would sacrifice his life in keeping the flag flying—and by daybreak the next day the oathi was fulfilled. He laid down his life, not in the excitement of passion, but coolly and deliberately, upon a principle, and as an example in defending the sacred rights of his home and the flag of his country. This noble act of heroism did not fail to move the hearts of the generous people of the South; a monument was proposed to the memory of the only hero of Alexandria ; the dramatic story, and the patriotic example of " the martyr Jackson,” were not lost sight of in the stormy excitements of the war that swept out of the mind so many incidents of its early history; and in most of the cities of the South practical evidences of regard were given in large, volintary subscriptions to his bereaved family. The Federal forces were not met in Alexandria with any
01 huse demonstrations of “Union” sentiment which they had Seen induced, by the misrepresentations of the Northern press, co expect would hail the vanguard of their invasion of the South. The shouts and yells of the invaders fell upon the ears of a sullen people, who shut themselves up in their houses, as nuch to avoid the grating exultations of their enemies as contact with the rowdyism and riot that had taken possession of the streets. On coming into the town, the New York troops, particularly the Fire Zouaves, ran all over the city with their asual cry of “Hi,” “ Hi.” Citizens closed their doors, and as the news of the tragedy at the Marshall House spread over the town, it assumed an aspect like that of the Sabbath. About the wharves and warehouses, where hitherto the life and excitement of the town had been concentrated, the silence was absolutely oppressive; and the only people to be seen were numbers of negroes, who stood about the wharves and on the utreet corners with frightened faces, talking in low tones to. cach other.
With Alexandria and Fortress Monroe in its possession, the