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Pickett and his men Pickett, La Salle Corbell, 1848-1931 1900

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BICKETT
AND HIS MEN
BY
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(Mrs. Gen. George El Pickett)
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SECOND EDITION
ATLANTA, GA.
THE FOOTE & DAVIES COM
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BY
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LaSALLE CORBELL PICKETT
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(Mrs. Gen. George El Pickett)
9
SECOND EDITION
ATLANTA, GA.
THE FOOTE & DAVIES COMPANY
Printers and Binders
1900 Copyright, 1899,
By LaSalle Corbell/Pickett.
All rights reserved.
ssw«SSS««SSS3S5KS55Ki8«S!S5K«
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S^SSSKSS^^ DEDICATION.
To my husband, the noble leader of that band of heroes whose deeds
are sparkling jewels set in the history of the great Army of Northern Virginia, I would gladly inscribe this book—to him alone, to whom my life
has been dedicated; but remembering how often, in the humility of his
great soul, he has said, "I did not do it — my men did it all," I feel that
he would be better pleased to know that the brave men whom he led
through those four long, dark years have held a high place in my thought
as I have written.    Hence—
To the men of Pickett's Division, who yet clasp hands with me in
the friendship that was cemented in blood to grow stronger through all
the passing years, and to the memory of those who have gone from our
sight to be ever present in our hearts and on the most glorious page of
our country's history, this volume is lovingly dedicated. ^WSKJ«^8S*S*iS^^ PREFACE.
Why do I write this book? To add my tribute to the
memory of my hero husband and the noble men who followed him through the trials, dangers and hardships of a
four years' war. The impulse which moves me is love,
and I have endeavored that nothing should be written unworthy of that motive. If anything expressed or implied
shall give pain to any, whether he wore the gray or the
blue, it is contrary to the purpose or the wishes of the
author—contrary to the chivalrous soul of the soldier
and patriot, George E. Pickett, whose courage and constancy this work is intended to commemorate.
In the compilation of this record the reader must know
that I could not bring" personal witness to the events de-
scribed. They are based upon the official and other reports of eye-witnesses and participants. In treating of
the maneuvers and engagements herein mentioned, I have
excluded every disparaging statement which the facts of
history and justice to all participants would possibly permit. I have purposely avoided reading histories of the
conflict by authors on both sides, and based my own narrative upon original material, to avoid the possibility of
traveling over ground already covered by others.
Upon the battle-field I visited last year grew a wonderful wealth of white daisies, piled drift upon drift like the
banks of snowthat glitter in the light of the winter sun.
So blossom the flowers of peace and love and hope in the
hearts which yet fondly cherish the memory of the long-
gone days of darkness and of blood.
VII VIII
PREFACE.
Though the dream nation about which clustered so
many beautiful visions will never take its place among
the courts and powers of the world; though the ideal
which led the South through efforts of heroism not surpassed in all the records of the world will never be crystallized into that reality known to mortal eyes, yet in that
higher realm of thought, where the ideal is the true real,
it dwells in transcendent glory which transmutes into a
golden veil of light the war-clouds by which it was enshrouded.
That dream nation did not crumble into ruins and fade
away into naught. The setting sun reflected from its
gleaming minarets makes more radiant the light by which
our united country marches on its way to national glory
The bells in its towers ring out a paean to swell the grand
symphony which circles the world.
The gallant sons of heroic fathers who fell on battlefields of North and South now stand together to defend
our common country. Side by side North and South are
marching against the foe; step by step they keep time
to the mingled notes of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and
"Dixie," blending into the noblest battle-hymn that ever
thrilled the heart of soldier to deeds immortal.
Three phases of loyalty sway the Southern heart today— loyalty to memory, loyalty to present duty, loyalty
to hope. There is no rivalry among these phases of the
same noble sentiment. Together they work for the evolution of a regenerated nation. He who is untrue to the
past is recreant to the present and faithless to the future.
LaSalle Corbell Pickett.
Washington, D. C.,
August ij, iSg8.
12 tA
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CONTENTS.
chapter. page.
I.-—The Fall of Richmond  1-9*
II.—Anxiety, Suspense, Loneliness 10-16
III.—"Whoa, Lucy" ' ;    .     .    .      17-21
IV.—George Junior's First Greenback 22-28
V.— "Skookum Tum-tum " 29-33
VI.—Carpet-bag, Basket and Baby 34-46
VII.— " Edwards is Better " 47~5l
VIII.—One Woman Redeemed Them All 52-60
IX.—A Familiar Face    ..........      61-66
X.—Visitors, Shilling a Dozen — Our Left-handers     67-76
XI.—Born With Emeralds — Nemo Nocetur   .     .    .      77-85
XII.—Turkey Island       86-89
XIII.—Mexican and Indian Wars     .......      90-98
XIV.—San Juan 99-110
XV.—San Juan Continued   111-125
XVI.—Pickett's West Point Appointment and Military
• Services in the United States Army     .     .  126-129
XVII.—Slavery 130-138
XVIII.—Secession i39-I53
XIX.—At Yorktown and Williamsburg 154-161
XX.—Seven Pines   162-174
XXI.—Gaines's Mill 175-186
XXII.—Frazier's Farm 187-190
XXIII.—Second Manassas   191-194
XXIV.—Antietam   195-204
XXV.—Reorganization '..... 205-211
XXVI.—Pickett's Generals 212-218
XXVII.—Fredericksburg 219-232
XXVIII.—"Dogs of War " in Leash 233-235
XXIX.—Foraging Expedition — Suffolk     ..... 236-239
XXX.—Chancellorsville       ......... 240-249
XXXI.—The High Tide of the Confederacy   .... 250-256
XXXII.—Pennsylvania Campaign   ........ 257-266
IX X
CONTENTS
CHAPTER.
XXXIII.
XXXIV.
XXXV.
XXXVI.
XXXVII.
XXXVIII..
XXXIX.
XL.
XLI.
XLII.
XLIII.
XLIV.
XLV.
XL VI,
XLVIII.
XLIX.
PAGE.
-Gettysburg — First Day      ..„„... 267-279
-Gettysburg — Second Day   . 280-292
-Gettysburg — Third Day  293-309
-Where Were the Guns?  310-314.
-Detailed for Spe,cial Duty  315-323
-Twice Tears to Smiles  324-329
-Newbern  330-336
-Pickett's Voluntary Defense of Petersburg   . 337-344
-A Strange Birthday Celebration       .... 345-351
-Cold Harbor  352-356
-"Lee's Miserables "  357-361
-The Bermuda Hundred Lines  362-370
-The Peace Commission — The Last Review of
Pickett's Division     .            371-378
-On to Dinwiddie Court-house  ...... 379-384
-Five Forks  385-398
-Sailor's Creek  399-407
-The Blue and the Gray  408-422
Appendix ............. 425-429
Index 0.0.... 431-439 INTRODUCTION.
The distinguished subject of these memoirs I first
met as a cadet at West Point in the heyday of his bright
young manhood, in 1842. Upon graduating he was assigned to the regiment to which I had been promoted,
the Eighth United States Infantry, and Lieutenant Pickett
served gallantly with us continuously until, for meritorious service, he was promoted captain in 1856. Reserved
with distinguished valor in all the battles of General
Scott in Mexico, including the siege of Vera Cruz, and
was always conspicuous for gallantry. Pie was the first to
scale the parapets of Chapultepec on the 13th of September, 1847, and was the brave American who unfurled our
flag over the castle, as the enemy's troops retreated, firing
at the splendid Pickett as he floated our victorious colors.
In memory I can see him, of medium height, of graceful build, dark, glossy hair, worn almost to his shoulders in
curly waves, of wondrous pulchritude and magnetic presence, as he gallantly rode from me on that memorable
3d day of July, 1863, saying in obedience to the imperative order to which I could only bow assent, " I will lead
my division forward, General Longstreet." He was devoted to his martial profession, tolerating no rival near
the throne, except the beautiful, charming and talented
lady, whose bright genius and loyal heart have penned
these memoirs to her noble soldier husband, and who,
since he left her, has fought, single-handed and alone, the
battle of life. Of her and other ex-Confederate widows
it can be said that they have, since the war between the
XI XII
INTR OD UCTION.
States, fought as fierce battles as ever their warrior husbands waged, for in the silent passages of the heart many
severer battles are waged than were ever fought at Gettysburg.
George E. Pickett's greatest battle was really at Five
Forks, April I, 1865, where his plans and operations were
masterful and skilful, and if they had been executed as
he designed them, there might have been no Appomattox, and despite the disparity of overwhelming numbers,
a brilliant victory would have been his, if reinforcements
which he had every reason to expect had opportunely
reached him; but they were not ordered in season and
did not join the hard-pressed Pickett until night, when
his position had long since been attacked by vastly superior numbers with repeating rifles.
He was of an open, frank and genial temperament, but
he felt very keenly the distressing calamities entailed
upon his beloved Sunny South by the results of the war,
yet with the characteristic fortitude of a soldier, he bowed
with resignation to the inevitable, gracefully accepted the
situation, recognized the duty of the unfortunate to accept the results in no querulous spirit, and felt his obligation to share its effects.
No word of blame, or censure even, of his superior officers ever escaped Pickett's lips, but he nevertheless felt
profoundly the sacrifice of his gallant soldiers whom he
so loved. At Five Forks he had a desperate but a fighting chance, and if any soldier could have snatched victory
from defeat, it was the intrepid Pickett, and it was cruel
to leave that brilliant and heroic leader and his Spartan
band to the same hard straits they so nobly met at Gettysburg. At Five Forks Pickett lost more men in thirty
minutes than we lost, all told, in the recent Spanish-
American  war  from   bullets,  wounds,   sickness   or  any INTROD UCTION.
XIII
other casualty, showing the unsurpassed bravery with
which Pickett fought, and the tremendous odds and insuperable disadvantages under and against which this incomparable soldier so bravely contended; but with George
E. Pickett, whether fighting under the stars and stripes at
Chapultepec, or under the stars and bars at Gettysburg,
duty was his polar star; and with him duty was above consequences, and, at a crisis, he would throw them overboard.    Fiat Justitia, pereai mundus.
'' Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days!
None knew thee but to love thee,
Nor named thee but to praise. "
James Longstreet.
Gainesville, Georgia,
October 12, x8g8.  PIGKETT AN
S I
CHAPTER I.
THE   FALL   OF   RICHMOND.
When some one applied to President Lincoln for a
pass to go into Richmond, he gravely replied:
" I don't know about that; I have given passes to about
two hundred and fifty thousand men to go there during
the last two years, and not one of them has got there
yet." 1
Some of those passes had been used and their bearers
had arrived at last, having made the slowest time on record since the first camel bore the pioneer traveler over
an Oriental desert. The queen city of the South had
fallen. The story of the great nation which had hovered
upon the horizon of our visions had been written out to
its last sorrowful word.
On the morning of Sunday, April 2, in the holy calm
of St. Paul's Church, we had assembled to ask the
great Father of heaven and earth to guard our loved
ones and give victory to the cause so dear to us. Suddenly the glorious sunlight was dimmed by the heavy
cloud of disappointment, and the peace of God was
broken by the deep-voiced bells tolling the death-knell of
our hopes.
There was mad haste to flee from the doomed city.
President  Davis  and  his Cabinet   officers  were  in   the PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
church, and to them the news.first came. They hurried
to the State-house to secure the Confederate archives and
retreat with them to some place of safety.
Fear and dread fell over us all. We were cut off from
our friends and communication with them was impossible.
Our soldiers might have fallen into the hands of the
enemy — we knew not. They might have poured out their
life-blood on the battle-field—we knew not. In our helpless, deserted condition, all the world seemed to have
been struck with sudden darkness.
The records having been secured, an order was issued
to General Ewell to destroy the public buildings. The
one thing which could intensify the horrors of our position—fire— was added to our misfortunes. General J. C.
Breckenridge, our Secretary of War, with a wider humanity and a deeper sense of the rights of his people,
tried in vain to have this order countermanded, knowing
that its execution could in no way injure or impede the
victorious army, while it would result in the ruin of many
of our own people. The order was carried out with even
a greater scope than was intended.
The Shockoe warehouse was the first fired, it being regarded as a public building because it contained certain
stores belonging to France and England. A breeze
springing up suddenly from the south fanned the slowly
flickering flames into a blaze and they mounted upward
until they enwrapped the whole great building. On the
wings of the south wind they were carried to the next
building, and the next, until when the noon hour struck
all the city between Seventh and Fifteenth streets and
Main street and the river was a heap of ashes.
Still the flames raged on. They leaped from house
to house in mad revel. They stretched out great burning
arms on   all  sides  and  embraced in   deadly  clasp the THE FALL OF RICHMOND.
stately mansions which had stood in lofty grandeur from
the olden days of colonial pride. Soon they became towering masses of fire, fluttering immense banners of flame
wildly against the wind, and fell, sending up myriads of
fiery points into the air, sparkling like blazing stars
against the dark curtain that shut out the sky.
A stormy sea of smoke, wave upon wave, surged over
the town — here a billow of blackness that seemed of suffocating density — there a brilliant cloud, shot through and
through with arrows of crimson fire. The cruel wind
swept on, and the magnificent ocean of smoke and flame
rolled before it in surges of destruction over the once
fair and beautiful city of Richmond.
The terrified cries of women and children arose in
agony above the roaring of the flames, the crashing of
falling buildings, and the trampling of countless feet.
Piles of furniture and wares lay in the streets, as if the
city had struck one great moving-day, when everything was taken into the highways, and left there to be
trampled to pieces or buried in the mud.
The government stores were thrown out to be destroyed, and a mob gathered around to catch the liquors
as they ran in fiery rivers down the streets. Very soon
was drunkenness added to the confusion and uproar
which reigned over all. The officers of the law, terror-
stricken before the reckless crowd, fled for their lives.
The firemen dared not make any effort to subdue the
flames, fearing an attack from the soldiers who had executed the order to burn the buildings.
Through the night the fire raged, the sea of darkness
rolled over the town, and crowds of men, women and children went about the streets laden with what plunder they
could rescue from the flames. The drunken rabble shattered the plate-glass windows of the stores and wrecked PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
everything upon which they could seize. The populace
had become a frenzied mob, and the kingdom of Satan
seemed to have been transferred to the streets of Richmond.
About nine o'clock Monday morning a series of terrific
explosions startled even ears which would seem to have
endured every possible vnriety of painful sounds. Every
window in our home was shattered, and the old plate-glass
mirrors built into the walls were broken. It seemed as if
we were called upon to undergo a bombardment, in addition to all our other misfortunes, but it was soon ascertained that the explosions were from the government
arsenal and laboratory, which had now been caught by
the flames.    Fort Darling and the rams were blown up.
Every bank was destroyed, the flour-mills had caught
fire, the War Department was in ruins, the offices of the
Enquirer and Dispatch had been reduced to ashes, the
county court-house, the American Hotel, and most of the
finest stores of the city were ruined. The Presbyterian
church had escaped. The flames seemed instinctively to
have avoided Libby Prison, as if not even fire could add
to the horrors of that gloomy place.
While the flames were raging in full force the colored
troops of General Weitzel, who had been stationed on the
north side of the James, a few miles from Richmond, entered the city. As I saw their black faces shining through
the gloom of the smoke-environed town, I could not help
thinking that they added the one feature needed, if any
there were, to complete the demoniacal character of the
scene. They were the first colored troops I had ever seen,
and the weird effect produced by their black faces in that infernal environment was indelibly impressed upon my mind.
General Weitzel sent Major A. H. Stevens, of the
Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and Major E. E. Graves, THE FALL OF RICHMOND.
5
of his staff, at the head of a hundred mounted men, to
reconnoiterthe Richmond roads and works. At the fortifications beyond the junction of the Osborne turnpike
and New Market road they were met by a flag of truce
waved from a dilapidated old-fashioned carriage drawn
by a pair of skeleton-like horses. The truce party consisted of the Mayor of Richmond, Colonel Mayo;
Judge Meredith, of the Supreme Court; Judge Lyons, a
representative man of Virginia, and at one time minister
to England; and a fourth, whom I do not now recall.
The carriage was probably in the early part of the
century what might have been called, if the modern classic style of phraseology had prevailed at that time, a
"tony rig." At the period of which I write, it had made
so many journeys over the famous Virginia roads that it
had become a sepulchral wreck of its former self.
There may have been a time when the reminiscences of
animals that dragged out from the burning capital the
ruins of the stately chariot were a span of gay and gallant steeds, arching their necks in graceful pride, champing
their bits in scorn of the idea that harness made by man
could trammel their lofty spirits, pawing the earth in disdain of its commonplace coarseness. If so, the lapse of
years and an extended term of Confederate fare had reduced those noble coursers to shambling memories.
This dignified body, thus borne in impressive manner along the highway, had in custody a piece of—
parchment, shall I say? Yes, if I wish to preserve the
historic dignities, after the manner of my good friend,
Judge Lyons. Should I yield to the mandates of historic
truth, I should be compelled to state that it was a fragment of—wall-paper.
What of it? The chariot of state might be the wreck
of former grandeur, the horses might be the dimmest of 6 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
recollections, the official parchment might be but a torn
bit of wall-paper, turned wrong side out for convenience
in writing. Was not Judge Lyons still Judge Lyons—a
member of Old Dominion aristocracy—a former minister
to the court of St. James? With all the cold and stately
formality with which he might once have presented to
the Queen of England a representative of fie wealth and
culture of his nation, he "had the honor" to introduce
his companions to Major Stevens, and if there was any
lack of dignity in the manner in which the aforesaid slip
of wall-paper was conveyed to that probably astonished
officer, it was from no failure of duty on the part of him
upon whom yet rested some shadow of the royal glory
which pervaded the court of St. James. Upon the un-
' adorned side of the wall-paper were inscribed these words:
It is proper to formally surrender to the Federal authorities the
city of Richmond, hitherto capital of the Confederate States of America,
and the defenses protecting it up to this time.
Major Stevens courteously accepted the surrender on
behalf of his commanding general, to whom the document was transmitted, and proceeded to reduce the newly
acquired property to possession by valiantly fighting the
flames which were sturdily disputing ownership with him.
Having utilized to good effect what little remnant of
the fire department he could find, he ordered the stars
and stripes to be raised over the Capitol. Two soldiers
of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, one from Company
E and one from Company H, mounted to the summit of
the Capitol and in a few moments, for the first time in
more than four years, the national flag fluttered unmolested in the breezes of the South. The stars of the
Union were saluted, while our "warrior's banner took its
flight to meet the warrior's soul." THE FALL OF RICHMOND.
7
That flag which almost a century before had risen
from the clouds of war, like a star gleaming out through
the darkness of a stormy night, with its design accredited
to both Washington and John Adams, was raised over
Virginia by Massachusetts, in place of the one whose
kinship and likeness to the old banner had never been
entirely destroyed.
In March, 1861, the Confederate Congress adopted
the stars and bars — three horizontal bars of equal width,
the middle one white, the others red, with a blue union
of nine stars in a circle. This was so like the national
flag as to cause confusion. In 1863 this flag was replaced
by a banner with a white field, having the battle-flag (a
red field charged with a blue saltier on which were
thirteen stars) for a union. It was feared that this might
be mistaken for a flag of truce, and was changed by covering the outer half of the field with a vertical red bar.
This was finally adopted as the flag of the Confederate
States of America.
Richmond will testify that the soldiers of Massachusetts were worthy of the honor of first raising the United
States flag over the Capitol of the Confederacy, and will
also bear witness to the unvarying courtesy of Major
Stevens, and the fidelity with which he kept his trust.
It has seemed appropriate that I should begin my
story with the burning city, for fire has followed me all
my life. My story, I say? Semmes has said: "To
write history we must be a part of that history," My
story has been so closely allied with that of Pickett
and his division that it does not seem quite an intrusive interpolation for me to appear in the record of
that warrior band. How could I tell the story, and
the way in which that story was written, and not be a
part of it? 8
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
Kindled by the vandal hand of General Butler, in retaliation for the telegram which General Grant sent to
President Lincoln — "Pickett has bottled up Butler at
Bermuda Hundred"—fire destroyed our beautiful colonial home on the James. The good old hero of Appomattox was my husband's very dear friend, and he
would have been more economical with his telegrams
had he known that his friend must pay so heavy a toll
upon them. The United States government was also
charged enormously heavy rates upon that message, for
the ancestral home stood very far away from the line of
war, and Butler, coming from City Point at an expense,
of many millions, made a draft on the war fund out of all
proportion to any beneficent result accomplished by the
gratification of his personal spite.
In the burning of Richmond all my bridal presents
and my household furniture were consumed.
When the General was made president of Southern
agencies for the Washington Life Insurance Company,
we shut up our little cottage home on Turkey Island and
took apartments at the Spotswood Hotel in Richmond.
The following Christmas we went to spend the sacred
season with our dear grandmother — her last Christmas-
tide on earth. On our return the next night, the General
ordered the driver to take us to the Spotswood. " Lawd!
Lawd! Marse Gawge, 'deed an' 'deed, suh, ef I wuz to do
dat I'd be 'bleeged to dribe you smack down ter destruck-
shunment, fer 'fo' de Lawd, suh, de po' ole Spotserd is
dun an' bu'nt up smack down ter de groun' las' night;
yas, suh, dat she did." The occupants of that part of the
building where our rooms were located were burned to
death. Though fire had again robbed us of our effects,
through a merciful Providence our lives had been spared.
To my home in Washington late one night came a THE FALL OF RICHMOND.
poor man who asked for help. He said that he was one
of "Pickett's men" — that he had come to the end of his
rope and had nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep. I
went back to my son's room to get some money, and
thought I smelled something burning. Opening the
door leading down into the basement just beneath my
son's room, a puff of smoke struck me in the face. Hurrying back to the porch where I had left the man standing, I sent him to the nearest drug-store to give the
alarm. The engines came in time, and for once, by what
seemed a mere accident, I escaped the fate which has followed me with such unwavering persistence.
A flame of gas, lit by a careless servant, destroyed
the oil portrait of the General, given me by " Pickett's
men." It hung upon my wall, guarded on one side by the
beautiful Confederate flag presented to me by the " Philadelphia Brigade" and on the other by a handsome United
States flag, a treasured gift from my loved Southland.
The two banners for which so much blood and treasure had been sacrificed were fastened together by a scarf
of Confederate gray and Union blue, the design of a deaf
and dumb boy, a son of one of Pickett's men, and met
above the pictured head ,of the soldier who had fought
so bravely under them both. When the flames were extinguished, the portrait was a charred ruin, and flags and
scarf were a heap of ashes on the floor.
Fire destroyed the first manuscript of the story of
Pickett and his men, in the preparation of which thirteen
years of labor had been spent. Let me hope that the
only fire which will attach to my present effort to record
the history of those gallant soldiers is the long-ago-burnt-
out flames which surged over the unfortunate capital of
the Confederacy. CHAPTER II.
ANXIETY,  SUSPENSE,  LONELINESS.
The fire revealed many things which I would like
never to have seen and, having seen, would fain forget.
One of the most revolting sights was the amount of
provisions and shoes and clothing which had been accumulated by the speculators who hovered like vultures
over the scene of death and desolation. Taking advantage of their possession of money and their lack of both
patriotism and humanity, they had, by an early corner in
the market and by successful blockade-running, bought
up all the available supplies with an eye to future gain,,
while our soldiers and women and children were absolutely in rags and barefoot and starving.
Not even war, with its horrors and helplessness, can
divert such harpies from their accustomed methods of
accumulating wealth at the expense of those of their fellow men who have spent their lives in less self-seeking
ways.
. All my own little store was a small quantity of flour
and meal and a bag of beans; no salt even to season them;
and I an officer's wife. How much worse it must have^
been for those less favored than I.
The General had left me in Richmond when he went
away to fight the battle of Five Forks, telling me to stay
until he returned or sent for me. "I shall surely come,"
he said. So, like Casabianca, I waited, and not even " the
flames that lit the battle's wreck" should frighten me.
away.
IO ANXIETY,   SUSPENSE,   LONELINESS.
ir
Though my husband's friend, General Breckenridger
our Secretary of War, had, in his thoughtfulness, offered
me the opportunity of leaving our dear old Confederate
capital with him and his family, I remembered that General Pickett had left me here, and obediently determined
to remain until he should come or send for me. I gratefully thanked General Breckenridge for his kindness, but
said:
" I am like the boy who stood on the burning deck. I
can not go until the one voice calls me."
So my husband's good friend was regretfully forced to
leave me.
The days were made up of fears and anguish unspeakable.    The clock struck only midnight hours for me.
Rumors of the death of the General were credited
(I saw by the look in everybody's face), though no word
was said, and I would not ask a question nor let anybody
speak to me of him. The last letter I had received from
him had been dated the 30th of March, at Hatcher's
Run, the extreme right of the Confederate line at that
time. Most of the letter was written in Chinook. This
is a quotation from it:
Heavy rains; roads and streams almost impassable. While General Lee was holding a conference with his chiefs this morning a message came from General Fitz Lee, stating that through a prisoner he had
learned that the Federal cavalry, fifteen thousand strong, supported by-
heavy infantry, were at or near Dinwiddie Court-House. This decided
the General's plans, and he has placed General Fitz Lee in command
of the whole cavalry, Rosser's, W. H. F. Lee's, and his own, with
orders to march upon Five Forks. I am to support with my small
force of artillery and infantry this movement and take command
of the whole force,
The letter was in full faith of a short separation and
that all would be well, that he would surely return, and 12
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
implored me not to listen to or credit any rumors to the
contrary, and urged me in an added line to be brave and
of good cheer — to keep up a " skookum tum-tum." This
letter was brought to me by Jaccheri, a daring, fearless
Italian in my husband's employ as a headquarters postmaster. He was sagacious and loyal, perfectly devoted
to my husband and his cause, and was trusted with letters
of the strictest confidence and importance all through
the war.
As I said before, our people were on the verge of starvation. The army had been living on rations of corn and
beans, with " seasonings " of meat, for weeks before we left
camp. A rat even had been considered a bo?me bouche
for months past. The game had been trapped and killed
throughout the whole country, and my breakfast that
morning had consisted of a few beans cooked in water;
no salt; for salt had been a luxury for a long time in the
Confederacy. All the old smokehouses had been moved,
that the earth might be dug up and boiled down to get
the salt which in the many years it had absorbed.
John Theophelas, my dear little brother, nine years
old, was a great comfort to me in these days of trial. He
had just brought up my beans and was lovingly coaxing
me to eat them when Jaccheri came. A plate was filled
for Jaccheri, and after he had finished his meager breakfast, seasoned with his adventures in getting to me, swimming the river at one place with his clothes tied up in a
bundle on his head, etc., he said he must go. I added a
few lines to my diary of all my acts, which I always kept
for the General, and gave it to our faithful letter-carrier
to take back to him.
" Ina da days to come," said Jaccheri, in his soft Italian voice, "ina all landa, no matter, mucha people —
mucha gloly, nadia money, no matter, you find Jaccheri
SSS^JSSS^S^
a»j^»^S»
^ ANXIETY,   SUSPENSE,  LONELINESS.
n
here—and here—" first putting his hand over his heart
and then drawing from his boot and gracefully brandishing a shining blade.    " Gooda-by."
At the door he turned back and, untying his cravat,
wiggled out five pieces of money, three gold dollars and
two ninepences. He walked over on tiptoe to where our
baby was sleeping, crossed himself, and, kneeling by the
cradle, slipped into baby's little closed hand two of the
gold dollars and around his neck a much worn and soiled
scapula.
" Da mon — Confed — noa mucha good, noa now much
accountable — youa mighta want some; want her vely bad
before you nota get her.    Gooda-by, some moa."
Dear, faithful old Jaccheri, — he would take no refusal,
so I let baby keep the money and used it to buy milk for
him, for I had not a penny in the world,
I was reading aloud, lovingly and reverently, the torn
words on the ragged red-flannel scapula which Jaccheri
had given to baby: " Cease, the heart of Jesus is with
me," when baby opened his sweet eyes and crowed
over the little fortune which had come to him in his
dreams, and just then my little brother, who had gone
down-stairs with Jaccheri, came rushing back, his eyes
wide open, all excitement, exclaiming:
" Sister, sister! There's a Yankee down-stairs! Come
to see you, but don't you go; hide, hide, sister! I'll stand
by the door, and he daresen't pass by me. Quick, sister,
hide! He said he was one of brother George's friends,
but don't you believe him, sister! He has killed brother
George, and now he wants to kill you!"
" Oh, no, no, my child," I said reassuringly, trying to
soothe and calm him. " No, no; don't be such a little coward, dear. If he is one of your brother George's friends
he is mine, too, and he would do me no hurt.    I am not PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
in the least afraid, and I will go down right away and see
him."
" You are not afraid of anything, sister, and. you will
get killed yet, as sure as you are born, and brother George
told me to take care of you. What will he say when he
comes back and finds you dead and gone and nobody to
bury you? 'Course I'll nurse the poor baby for you if
you will go, but, sister, please marm, don't go. I shall
be scared to death till you come back."
"That's a sweet boy; take care of the baby," I said,
and, kissing them both, closed the door behind me.
As I entered the parlor a tall, thin gentleman with the
sweetest of smiles and the kindest of voices, dressed in
the uniform of a United States surgeon, arose and said
as he bowed, holding his hat against his breast, thus
avoiding offering me his hand:
• "My name is George Suckley, madam. I am one of
George Pickett's friends, although, as soldiers, we have
been enemies in the field for more than three years.
That, however, does not interfere with us when we are
not on duty. I have heard that you Southern women
were very bitter, and I did not know how you, his wife —
you are Pickett's wife, are you not, madam? — would take
a visit from me, but I came, nevertheless. Knowing
Pickett as well as I do, I know he would appreciate my
motive in coming."
"Your name is a very familiar one, Dr. Suckley," I
said. "I have often heard the General speak of you,
.and remember many stories of your adventures — your
love for bugs and beetles — for all natural history, in fact."
I wished him to know that I remembered him and had
not mistaken him for another, and also that I had reason
to wonder at seeing him in his present position. "He
often spoke of your having been with him at Fort Bel- ANXIETY,   SUSPENSE,  LONELINESS.
15
lingham Bay, and knowing how you felt when he left the
old army, he has often wondered at your remaining, and
going to the front."
" I am a surgeon in Grant's army," said Dr. Suckley,
proudly, ignoring and, by his manner, almost resenting
my reference to his former sympathy with the South.
" I love Pickett, and came, as he would have come had
our positions been reversed, to see his wife and offer her
tny services."
I thanked this kind-hearted gentleman and distinguished officer, but was too bitter to accept the smallest
courtesy at his hands, even in my husband's name, and
though offered for love's sake — so bitter that suffering
was preferable to such obligation. He bowed and was
going, when I said:
"Doctor, is there any news of the army—ours, I
mean?"
"The war is over, madam. You have my address, if
you should change your mind and will show me how I
can serve you."
He bowed and left. He, too, had heard that the General had been killed, and believed it, and I hated him
worse because of his belief.
On the evening of the 3d of April I was walking the
floor. Baby was asleep, and my little brother was walking behind me, when I heard:
"Grand victory at Five Forks! Pickett killed, and
his whole division captured!"
It seemed very strange to me that in the streets of
Richmond, my dear old home, the capital of the Confederacy, the death-of Pickett and the capture of his whole
division should be heralded as a "grand victory." How
great a change had come in so short a time! Even the
newsboys had gone over to the enemy. PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
" 'Tisn't so, sister; 'tisn't so! Don't you believe him!"
said my little brother. % Hush, sir; hush!" he excitedly
called out of the window to the newsboy. " Hush this
minute, hallooing your big stories out loud and scaring
everybody to death. I'd like to stick those five forks
through your old black gizzard, for you haven't got any
heart, I know. Ain't you ashamed of yourself, you good-
for-nothing old scalawag, you! There ain't a word of
truth in brother George being killed, and you know it,
you old thing! I'll go down and mash his mouth for him
and kick him to death for scaring you so, my poor sister—
poor sister! Yes, I'd just like to kill that boy, sister,
'deed I would; but it isn't so, my sister. You trust in
the Lord. I know brother George is not killed, for he
said he wouldn't get killed."
| No, it is not so. You are right, my darling. Your
brother George is not killed," I said. "Yes, he will come
back! — he will come back! He said he would, and he
will."
I thanked God then, and I thank God now, for the
sweet comfort of that precious little brother, John T.
Corbell — my little confidant and friend — and for his loyalty and love in all the succeeding years.
Oh, the sleepless nights that followed each other after
that in monotonous succession!
SSMtP"^ CHAPTER III.
"WHOA,  LUCV."
One morning I had mechanically dressed baby George
and had taken him to the window to hear the spring
sounds and breathe the spring balm and catch the sunshine's dripping gold wreathing the top of the quivering
blossoms of the magnolia- and tulip-trees.
It was the time when the orchestra of the year is in
perfect accord, when all the world is vocal — when the
birds sing of love, the buds and blossoms of joy, the
grains and grasses of hope and faith, and when each
rustle of wind makes a chime of vital resonance.
Through the quiver and curl of leaves and perfume of
flowers and soft undertone of dawn-winds came the words,
"Whoa, Lucy; whoa, little girl!"
Oh, those tones, those words, that voice thrilled my
heart so that I wonder it did not burst from very gladness! Such joy, such gratitude as flooded my soul only
the Giver of all good can know! All the privation and
starvation and blood-stains of the past four years, and the
woes and trials, griefs and fears, of those last dreadful
days were swept away by those blessed, precious words,
"Whoa, Lucy!" spoken in my husband's tender tones.
How I got down the stairs I do not know; I do not
remember. With baby in my arms, we were both of us
in my husband's almost before Lucy had been given into
the hands of the hostler. I do not know how to describe
the peace, the bliss of that moment — it is too deep and
too sacred to be translated into words. I think that it
2 17 18 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
is akin to the feeling that will come to me in the hereafter, when I have gone through all these dark days of
privation and of starvation of heart and soul here, victorious, and at last am safe within the golden gates and,
waiting and listening, shall hear again the voice that said,
"Whoa, Lucy!" here, bidding me welcome there.
All through the war Lucy had brought the General
to me. Spirited and beautiful, she had many times carried him twenty miles in an evening to see me, often
through dangers greater than battle. Lucy was not the
General's war-horse. She was the little thoroughbred
chestnut mare he always rode when he came to see me.
His "peace-saddle," his "love-pony," he called her, and
Bob, the General's valet, referring to her would say:
"Dat hoss Lucy she Marse George's co'tin'-filly; an' you
daresent projick wid dat hoss needer, 'kaze Marse George
iz mos' ez 'especkful to her ez ef she wuz sho'-'nuff real
folks." The horse the General used in battle he called
" Old Black," a steady, sure-footed, strong, fearless animal
that, while obedient to the General's slightest touch or
command, allowed no one else, on peril of death, to
mount her.
My father's home was in Chuckatuck, Nansemond
County, Virginia, about thirty miles from Norfolk, diagonally opposite Newport News. After the evacuation of
Norfolk by the Confederate forces all that part of the
country was neutral ground, being occupied one day by
Federal troops, and another by the Confederates. Lying
thus between the two lines, a constant warfare was carried on by the scouts of both armies.
I had not been to* my father's home since I v/as married, and was not prepared for the changes war had made.
Our own home on the James had been burned to ashes at
the command of Butler, and for awhile we had nowhere "WHOA,  LUCY."
19
to go but to my father's. We had nothing. We both
knew, however, that a loving welcome awaited us there
in my father's home. We knew that he had an abundance
to eat. Nature's great larder, the Chuckatuck, ran but a
.stone's throw from the back door, supplying with but little labor terrapin, fish, oysters and crabs in abundance, and
bait was plentiful. It was there, then, to my childhood's
home, that the General decided we should go. But, how?
There was no way of getting there, no steamers running,
and the railroad was derailed for miles around. Then
again, there was no money; my husband had not a penny
in the world, and our friends were no better off.
On the afternoon of the second day after the General's
return, while we were planning about going, my little
brother Johnny came running in, saying:
"Sister, I saw riding by the door just now that same
Yankee who came here to see you the other day, and who
said he was brother George's friend. He knew me, and
asked how you were, and how's the baby."
"Oh, I forgot; I must tell you all about it," I said,
and I then told the General of the visitor I had had before he came back. When I had told him all, his gray
eyes filled with tears, and looking down he said, tenderly:
"Dear old Suckley! God bless him! That's just
like him. Where is his card? Find it for me, please,
little one. Dear old Suckley — dear old fellow — so
true!" he said, looking at the card.
I stooped down and took the General's dear head in
both my hands, and raising it up looked down search-
ingly into his earnest, loving eyes to see how he could
possibly speak so kindly and so affectionately of a
Yankee.
" So you have that same kind of ' off-duty' feeling, too,
1 see, that this Yankee doctor spoke of having," I said 20
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
with surprise, and rather disrespectfully for me, too, I am
afraid.
" I must find the dear old fellow," the General said,
graciously overlooking my smallness of spirit, and excusing himself and taking leave of baby and me, he went out
at once.    In a little while he came back, saying:
| It is very fortunate for us, little one, that I went out
when I did. Suckley goes down the river to-morrow to
Norfolk in the surgeon-general's steamer, and he has
kindly invited us to go with him, dear old big-hearted
bug-catcher! Come, let us lose no time. Let us hurry
and get our little traps together and be ready. We will
not say anything about our plans to any one till to-morrow
morning, when we can announce our intentions and say
our good-bys simultaneously."
Not only had this Yankee officer, in his "off-duty"
feeling for the General, kindly volunteered to transport
us to our home, but to carry our trunks and horses, in
fact, all we had, which, alas! was very, very little. Most
of our worldly possessions — all of our bridal presents,
linen, library, pictures, silver, furniture, harp, piano, china,
—everything except a few clothes, had been stored at Kent,
Payne & Co.'s, and had been burned in the awful fire the
night of the evacuation of Richmond.
The General's staff had, one by one, come in during
the day from the field and camp, and all breakfasted with
us for the last time next morning in the old Pickett home
at the corner of Sixth and Leigh streets. The military
family had broken up at Appomattox after Lee's surrender, and the dear old headquarters Confederate flag the
General himself unstaffed, tore into strips and divided
among them.    Such a happy family they had been.
The second social parting was sad, too, for they had
taken me, "the child wife," into their lives twenty months
ssssssssss^s 'WHOA, LUCY."
21
before, and they all loved me and called me " sister."
Their pride in each other and in their command, the perils
that together they had endured, the varied experiences
of good times and bad, had bound them together in links
stronger than steel.
Spite of the partings, the loss of our cause, our disappointment and poverty, there was to me a sweet,
restful, peaceful feeling of thankfulness in my heart and
gratitude to God that the war was over, that my husband
had been spared and belonged now only to me, that we
were going home, and together, free from intrusion, could
rest under the shade of our own trees. CHAPTER IV.
GEORGE JUNIOR S  FIRST GREENBACK.
The next morning at ten o'clock Dr. Suckley called
in his headquarters ambulance to take us to the steamer.
Just at the close of breakfast we had announced our intention of going. There was to be a sudden breaking
up and severing of old associations. The staff were all
en route to their respective homes except the adjutant-
general, Major Charles Pickett. He and Mrs. Dr. Bur-
well, only brother and sister of my husband, were to
remain with their families for a time in the old Pickett
home.
We said our sad good-by in the great fruit- and flower-
garden at the rear of the house, and passing all alone
through the large parlors and wide halls, crept quietly
out and softly closed the door behind us. The only evidence of life in the dear old home as we looked back was
Dr. Burwell's big dog which, having escaped from the
back yard, howled mournfully within the gates. The
blinds and window-shades had not been opened or raised
since the Federal forces had occupied the city.
As we boarded the steamer that morning I realized for
the first time that our cause was lost. Never before in
all the days of my dear married life but cheer after cheer
had greeted us wherever we had gone — salute from soldier or sailor, whether on or off duty. This morning these
honors were replaced by stares of surprise, of mingled
curiosity and hate. Dr. Suckley recognized this feeling
at once, and, with a quizzical smile at my caged-tigress
22 GEORGE JUNIOR'S FIRST GREENBACK.
23
expression of rage, put his arm in that of the General, and
with a haughty glance at the men, walked boldly on board.
I was shown into the surgeon-general's stateroom, in which
there were many evidences of thoughtful care for my
comfort.    We were soon under way.
The General and Dr. Suckley called each other by
their given names and laughed and talked as cordially as
if they had loved the same dear cause and fought for it side
by side. At the table they drank to each other's health
and to the friends and memories of olden times. A
stranger could not have told which of the two soldiers
had furled his banner.
They chatted of Texas, and the great annexation strife
which had changed the political complexion of the nation
away back in what seemed to my youthful view a remote
antiquity. They talked of Mexico, and the General recalled reminiscences of the battles in which he had
fought in that wonderful tropical country. They discussed the wild, free, fresh, novel life of the far-off
Pacific coast, the wealth of the gold-mines of California,
its luscious and abundant fruits, and the friends they had
known there. They talked of the great Northwest, that
was like a mythologic region to me, of the Chinook Indians, and of San Juan Island and the English officers
who had occupied the island conjointly with the General.
I found myself wondering if it had been a dream, and
there had been no internecine strife.
Just before reaching City Point, which is a few hours'
distance from Richmond, Dr. Suckley came up to me and
said:
"We are going to stop for General Ingalls, who
wishes to come on board to pay his respects to you and
George. I don't suppose there is any one in the wide
world Rufus Ingalls loves more than he does your hus- 24 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
band, and I hope, madam, you will meet him with more
cordiality than you did another of your husband's friends.
At least, for the sake of their lifelong friendship, you
will not hurt him."
He turned for sympathy to my husband, who looked
acquiescingly at him and beseechingly at me. Presently
the General drew me to one side and whispered:
" Suckley voiced my wishes, my little wife, and I want
you to meet my old friend just as cordially as you can.
Put your little hand in his and forget everything except
that he is one of your husband's oldest and dearest
mends.
I promised my husband with all my heart to do what
he asked, and I really meant to do it. I loved to do everything he bade me. I liked him to make things hard for me
sometimes, that I might show him how sincere and loving
my obedience was. But when General Ingalls came on
board, was given a salute and received, as became his
rank, with the honors the absence of which I had marked
when my own General came, I slipped my hand out of
my husband's and ran back to my stateroom as fast as
I could.
There I burst out crying and shook our baby, waking
him, and told him how papa had been treated — that poor
papa had not had any honors paid him at all, and that
a dreadful old bad Yankee general had come on board
and taken them all, and that when he grew up and was a
big man he must fight and fight and fight, and never surrender, and never forgive the Yankees; no, not even if his
poor, dethroned papa asked him to do so. I told him
how his papa had asked me to shake hands with this
Yankee general, because he was his friend, and that I was
going to do it because papa wanted me to; that I tried and
could not and that he never must, either — never, never. GEORGE JUNIOR'S FIRST GREENBACK.
25
I did not know there was a witness to all my bitterness till I heard a smothered chuckle and, looking up,
saw my husband and his friend, General Rufus Ingalls,
standing over me. With a twinkle in his eye, and in a
voice full of suppressed laughter, General Ingalls said, as
he patted me on the head:
"I don't blame you one bit, little woman — not a
damn bit. I should feel just as terrible about it as
you do if I were in your place. It's all different with
Pickett and me, you see. We don't mind. Why, do
you know, child, we have slept under the same blanket,
fought under the same flag, eaten out of the same mess-
pan, dodged the same bullets, scalped the same Indians,
made love to the same girls — aye, Pickett, it won't do,
by Jove, to tell her all we have done together—no, no—
come, shake hands. I am dreadful sorry we have had this
terrible kick-up in the family, and all this row and bloodshed, but we are all Americans, damn it, anyhow, and your
fellows have been mighty plucky to hold out as they have.
Come, that's a good child; shake hands. May I kiss her,
Pickett? No — damn it, I shan't ask you. There, there!
Here is a basket of trash I had the orderly rake together.
I don't know what it all is, but I told the man to do
the best he could. Here, Mr. George junior — with your
bright eyes and your won't-cry mouth — here is a green
chip for a pair of red shoes."
General Ingalls put into our baby's bands his first
greenback, and it was the only money we had, too—every
cent. Baby and I said good-by, and he and the General went out on deck. While I was peeping into the
basket " Mr. George junior" tore the note in two. I
caught the pieces and stuck my bonnet-pin through them
till I could paste them together. One of the officers
brought me some glue, and I cut a hundred-dollar Con- 26
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
federate note in two to mend it with.    Poor Confederate
money!
* Representing nothing in God's earth now,
And naught in the waters below it;
As the pledge of a nation that passed away,
Keep it, dear friend, and show it.
Show it to those who will lend an ear
To a tale this trifle will tell —
Of Liberty born of a patriot's dream,
Of a storm-cradled nation that fell.
Too poor to possess the precious ores,
And too much of a stranger to borrow,
We issued to-day our promise to pay,
And hoped to redeem on the morrow.
The days rolled on, and weeks became years,
But our coffers were empty still;
Coin was so scarce that the treasury quaked
"When a dollar should drop in the till.
But the faith that was in us was strong, indeed,
Though our poverty well we discerned;
And this little check represents the pay
That our suffering veterans earned.
They knew it had hardly a value in gold,
Yet as gold our soldiers received it;
It gazed in our eyes with a promise to pay,
And every true soldier believed it.
But our boys thought little of price or pay,
Or of bills that were overdue —
We knew if it brought us our bread to-day
' Twas the best our poor country could do.
Keep it!    It tells all our history over,
From the birth of our dream till its last;
Modest, and born of the angel Hope,
Like our visions of glory, it passed.
* These verses were written on the back of a Confederate note, and
for a time were ascribed to John Esten Cooke, and to Colonel Wythe
Mumford.    They were afterwards attributed to Colonel Jonas.
"»v.vv.x«^vxxvvtvmvvv.\vvx\Yi\YW^V^^
^e«i««>Q>»«s<:^«ss!asis^sssss»stsssiSsss:^ss»!S^
»^ GEORGE JUNIOR'S FIRST GREENBACK
27
Baby's first greenback was put up to dry, and then I
turned my attention to the big covered basket the sailor
had brought in. What an Aladdin treat it was! Raisins
— the first I had seen in years and years — coffee, real
"sho'-'nuff" coffee — sugar, crushed sugar — how nice!
(we had had nothing but sorghum-juice sugar and sweet-
potato coffee for so long) — rice and prunes, Jamaica rum
and candy — French brandy and sherry and port — oh, me!
and figs—nothing ever had tasted so good as that first fig—
and well — the Yankee general who gave them all to me —
the tones of his voice made more peace than his words.
Eating the figs, I repeated them over to baby, saying:
" Never mind, baby, about hating this Yankee. He
said papa and he had trailed after the same Indians and
smoked their venison at the same camp-fire and had drunk
from the same flask. He said you looked like your papa,
and he said you were a beautiful boy. So you need not
mind about hating just this one. He said geography and
politics had forced your papa and him to take opposite
courses and it took four years to settle for their hot-head-
edness and ambitions. You must never be a politician,
and—you may love this one Yankee a tiny bit, and may
suck a piece of his beautiful candy."
Dr. Suckley not only took us to Norfolk, which was
the end of his route, but he took us up the Nansemond
River, thirty miles, and up Chuckatuck Creek, to my father's wharf. No one was expecting us. They thought,
of course, it was the "Yankees come again," and had
all run off and hidden, except my father who came down
to catch the boat-line and welcome the travelers, whoever
they might be. Oh, the joyful welcome of my great big-
hearted father!
Soldiers and sailors, one and all, came and shook
hands with us.    Baby and my little brother, Johnny, had PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
made friends of them all for us. Baby knew no difference between those who wore the blue and those who
wore the gray, and some of them had little ones at
home. We said good-by, with many a regret, to our
kind friend and benefactor, Dr. Suckley, and to the sailors and officers, and this time cheer after cheer went up
for my noble hero husband, as the little steamer hauled
in the lines and puffed away, and more names were
added to the list of Yankees for baby not to hate. CHAPTER V.
"SK00KUM TUM-TUM."
The General did not like to fight his battles over.
He said that the memories they revived were too bitter
to be cherished. The faces of the dead and dying soldiers on the field of battle were never forgotten. The sorrow of widows and orphans shadowed all the glory for
him. In the presence of memory he was silent. The
deepest sorrow, like the deepest joy, is dumb.
"We are both too worn and weary now for aught
else but to rest and comfort each other," he said. " We
will lock out of our lives everything but its joys. From
adversity, defeat and mourning, shall spring calmness for
the past, strength for the present, courage for the future.
Now that, in obedience to the command of General Lee,
I have finished and sent off the report of the last fight of
the old division, the closing days of our dear lost cause,
we will put up the pen for awhile, and lay aside our war
thoughts. We will rest and plan for peace, and then
after a time we will take up the pen again and write
down our memories for our children and perhaps for the
children of the old division. We will build us a nest
over the ashes of our once grand old colonial home on
the James, and plant a new grove in the place of the
sturdy old oaks cut down."
The General possessed the greatest capacity for happiness, and such dauntless courage and self-control that,
to all appearances, he could as cheerfully and buoyantly
steer his way over the angry, menacing, tumultuous surges
29
^^ 30
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
of life as over the waves that glide in tranquil smoothness and sparkle in the sunlight of a calm, clear sky.
This sweet rest which we had planned for ourselves,
however, was of but short duration. We had been at my
father's home only a few days, when a private messenger
brought letters of warning from some of the General's old
army friends. Two officers high in authority, solicitous
for his welfare, advised that, in the existing uncertain, incendiary, seditious condition of things, he should absent
himself for a while, until calm reflection should take the
place of wild impulse, and time bring healing on its
wings, and make peace secure.
Butler, who had not yet recovered from the "bottling-
up" experience, had instigated a movement to indict the
General for treason, and was making bitter speeches
against him in Congress. The people everywhere, incensed and furious over the assassination of their beloved,
martyred President, cried aloud for vengeance and blood
and the revival of the law of Moses.
The nation had gone mad with grief and rage. The
waves of passion rose mountain-high, and from the awful
storm the angels of justice, mercy and peace took flight.
All that was bad in the hearts of men arose to the surface; all that was good sank to the depths. The first person who could be seized upon was regarded as the proper
victim to the national fury. The weakest and most defenseless was made the target of popular wrath, because
rage could thereby most quickly spend itself in vengeance. Mrs. Surratt was imprisoned, and the whole country was in a state of frenzy and on the verge of revolution.
The strictest secrecy was enjoined upon us. Only my
father and mother were taken into our confidence. Lucy
was bridled, saddled and brought to the door. I
walked with my husband, he holding the bridle, to the
p^w.*VvXXX>V\XV\>\%V<\\\\\\\\\^
KWTCKKKW
^KSSSSS^SS^^ SKOOKUM TUM-TUM."
31
upper gate. It was ten o'clock; the moon was shining
brightly, and all was quiet and still.
The General's plan for me was that I should go next
day to Norfolk, take the steamer to Baltimore, and visit
his aunt, whose husband had been in the old army, and
who had not left it to join the Southern Confederacy,
though his sons had fought on that side, one of them having been detailed on duty at my husband's headquarters.
"My aunt will welcome you," he said, "and you will
remain with her until a telegram shall come to you, saying, 'Edwards is better.'" (Edward was my husband's
middle name.)
That telegram would mean that he was safe and that
I was to join him, starting on the next train. I was to
telegraph to " Edwards" from Albany, on my way to
him, sending the message to the point from which his
telegram had been dated. If his telegram should say,
"There is still danger of contagion," I was not to start,
but remain with his aunt until another message came.
" Cheer up, the shadows will scatter soon. Already
bright visions and happy day-dreams flit through my
brain and thrill my heart; so keep up a 'skookum tum-
tum,' little one, and take care of yourself. Watch for
the telegram, ' Edwards is better,' for it will surely come.
Now, keep up your courage and have faith; for it will
surely come.    God bless you."
I smiled up at him as he repeated the familiar old saying, "Keep up a 'skookum tum-tum' (a brave heart),
little one."
He had learned the phrase from an old Chinook warrior on the Pacific coast, and in the darkest days of the
ill-fated struggle, when hope died in the heart and the
sun seemed to have left the sky forever, he would lift
my face upward, look down upon it with his kind eyes,. 32
PICKETT AND HIS MEN
smile gently, and say in a cheerful voice,  "Keep up a
skookum tum-tum, dear one."
I listened to the sound of the footsteps of the horse,
(his "co'tin'-filly" — dear old Lucy) away in the distance, long after he was out of sight. Then I remembered a trick of my childhood, which had been taught
me by a half-Indian, half-negress, and, putting my ear to
the ground, I listened for the steps until the last echo
was lost.
The night-wind sighed with me as I walked back, repeating I Keep up a skookum tum-tum," My pathway lay
parallel with the Chuckatuck Creek, a stone's throw to the
left. The tide was high and still coming in. The surging of its waves seemed to call out to me, " Skookum
tum-tum! Skookum tum-tum!" I could not be all desolate, when the most beautiful forces of nature, echoing
his words, called to me, "Keep up a brave heart — brave
heart!"
My precious old father had waited to have us say
good-by alone, and was now coming forward to meet me.
Our baby awakened just as we got in. I confided to
baby the secret of the telegram, and told him papa said it
would surely come, and papa always said what was true.
The*stars were burning brightly in the midnight sky
to light the traveler on his way as he went afar off.
Could there be light on the pathway that led him from
me? Had his face been turned southward, with his eyes
fixed joyfully upon the loved home where he would be
welcomed when his journey was over, what radiant glory
would have flooded the way!
Far up in the zenith I could see "our star" gleaming
brilliantly, seeming to reach out fingers of light to touch
me in loving caress. It was a pure white star, that sent
down floods of silvery radiance.    Near it was a red star,
twwv\v\\x\vv\\xv\\\W*»\\^^ "SKOOKUM TUM-TUM.
33
gleaming and beautiful, but I did not love it. It seemed
to glow with the baleful fires of war. My great loving,
tender, white star was like a symbol of peace looking
down with serenest compassion.
" Our star," he had said, as we stood together only
one little evening before — how long ago it seemed — and
gazed upward to find what comfort we might in its soft
radiance. "Wherever we may be, we will look aloft into
the night sky, where it shines with steady light, and feel
that our thoughts and hearts are together."
I fell asleep, saying softly in my heart, " God's lights
to guide him."
There were no steamers and no railroads from my
home to Norfolk, but my father secured a pungy—a little oyster-boat — and the following day we, baby and I,
started off. My father's heart was almost broken at
parting from me so soon again. I was going, he knew
not where, but knowing that "what God hath joined together, no man should put asunder," he could not say
one word to keep me.
A storm came up just after we had gotten out of
Chuckatuck Creek, and we were delayed in arriving at
Norfolk. We had hoped to be there some hours before
the departure of the Baltimore steamer, but reached the
wharf as the plank was about to be taken in, so that my
father barely had time to say good-by to me and put me
on board.
$ CHAPTER VI.
CARPET-BAG, BASKET AND BABY.
Alone, except for baby George, for the first time in all
my seventeen years! Perhaps no timid little waif thrown
out upon the deep sea of life ever felt more utterly
desolate.
I stepped on board the Baltimore steamer and was
piloted into the saloon by a porter whose look and manner showed that he was perfectly cognizant of my ignorance and inexperience. In the midst of my loneliness
and the consciousness of my awkwardness and my real
sorrows, sympathy for myself revived my olden-time
compassion for poor David Copperfield, whom Steerforth's
servant had made to feel so "young and green."
So little did I know of traveling and the modes and
manners of travelers, that I sent for the captain of the
steamer to buy my ticket and arrange for my stateroom
and supper. I wondered a little, as I waited for him,
what he would think of my childishness, and if he often
had such helpless passengers, and if he had, what he did
with them, and if life was not sometimes made a burden
to him because of them. There was always an undercurrent, though, of realization of my position, and of dread
because of it. I.had one comforting reflection, however
— the captain could not take me for a conspirator. My
innocence was too genuine and embarrassing to be mistaken for assumed guilelessness.
I had been told on leaving my home that the slightest
imprudence   or   careless   word  from   me  might   cause
34
,\\vw\x\\\\\\vv\\\\\v\\\\\^\N^
^s^^sss^^^ssss^^^^ss^^ss^^^^^^ CARPE T-BAG, BASKET AND BAB Y.
35
my arrest, and that, in any event, if it were known who
I was, it was more than possible that I might be held
as a hostage for my husband. After consideration it had
been decided that I should travel, not under my own
name, but under my maiden name. The more I studied
the subject the more bewildered I became. How could
I keep my precious secret? I determined to be very
silent and guard my tongue closely and answer in monosyllables that would discourage intimacies. I began to
draw my face down and look serious and wise and assume
an expression of profound abstraction. Then it occurred
to me that this attitude would never do. In the few
novels I had read, the people who had secrets were always silent and mysterious. Their demeanor said more
plainly than words could have expressed:
" Behold, the modern Sphinx, whose riddle can never
be read! "
Every one would recognize immediately the fact that
my mind was the repository of something dangerous.
Then I thought I would cultivate a light and chatty
style, more in accordance with my natural character. So
I was soon, in my thought, in conversation with some imaginary person on home scenes and pleasures, assuming
an animation that ought to remove from the mind of the
most suspicious person the fancy that I could possibly
have anything to conceal. I found that my mental
allusions to what the General said and did were quite too
frequent and enthusiastic to be in accordance with my assumed character of an unknown little wife and mother,
traveling for the innocent purpose of spending a few
days with relations, expecting her obscure husband to
come for her after awhile from a little farm that he was
industriously tilling. If I could neither talk nor be silent,
what could I do? 36
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
R.
W
While I wrestled with these perplexities my train of
thought was interrupted by the ringing of a bell and a
loud voice shouting:      j
" Passengers will please walk into the custom-house
office and show their passports!"
The laws were so strict that no one could leave any
city in the South without a passport from the military
authorities stationed there. My grandmother had given
me her " oath of allegiance," which everybody in those
dread days immediately after the surrender of the army was
compelled to take, in order to purchase medicine, food or
clothing of any sort, or for the transaction of any kind of
business whatsoever. It was a rare occurrence that a man
was found who would take this iron-clad oath, for, no
matter how great the exigencies might be, he was branded
as a traitor if he yielded to them. Consequently, the
women, who were most bitter, too, in their feelings, were
obliged to make a sacrifice of their convictions and principles, and take this oath in order to alleviate or prevent
the absolute suffering of their loved ones. Illness in the
family and the urgent necessity for quinine and salt left
my unselfish little grandmother no alternative, and having taken this oath herself she found in it a kind of
safety. It had, at any rate, brought her relief, and she
wanted that I should have it with me, as a sort of
"mascot" or safeguard.
With carpet-bag, basket and baby, I started into the
custom-house office and explained to the officer in charge:
11 am very sorry, sir, that I have no passport. The
steamer was about to sail as I reached Norfolk. I came
from a little village thirty miles beyond, where passports
are not given. I have an oath of allegiance, if that will
answer in its place."
The officer, laughing, said:
ijfe^P
*?•■• CARPET-BAG, BASKET AND BABY.
37
" No; never mind. It is all right. Only register your
name. I remember you did come on board just as the
whistle blew; but was there not another passenger who
came on with you — a gentleman?"
"Yes, sir," I said. " It was my precious father, and he
went back home on the little sail-boat."
There must have been something to excite suspicion
in the way I wrote my name, or else in my manner. I
boldly wrote out my given name, and then as I started to
write my last name, I looked all around me, confused,
and changed the letter "P" to "C," writing "Corbell."
Then I began to erase "Corbell" and write "Phillips," the
name in my oath of allegiance. While there was really
nothing very false in what I did, I felt guilty and was
frightened, for I had been brought up to be strictly truthful, and to keep faithfully even the word of promise.
I had not been long in the saloon when baby became
restless and fretful. I was impatiently awaiting the coming of the captain, whom I had sent for, when a man appeared. He had short, curly hair, deep, heavy eyebrows,
eyes sunken and close together, as if they had to be
focused by his big, hooked nose or they would not be
able to see. He was chewing alternately one end of his
crinkly moustache and one side of his thick, red lip, and
was making a sucking noise with his tongue, as he said:
" Madam, you sent for the captain of the boat, I believe."
"Yes, sir."
"What do you wish?"
" I want you to be kind enough to get my ticket and
stateroom, please. My father had not time to see after
me.    He barely had time to put me on board."
"Certainly; with pleasure. You stop in Baltimore
long?" 38
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
"I don't know," I said.
"You have been there before, I suppose?"
"Oh, no; never. I have been nowhere outside of
Virginia and North Carolina. Most of my traveling before my marriage was in going to and from Lynchburg,
where I was at school.
" Lynchburg is a hilly city. It was founded by an
Irish emigrant, John Lynch, whose brother, Colonel
Charles Lynch, of Revolutionary fame, instituted the
lynch-law. Colonel Lynch was a great Whig, and too
impatient to wait for the superfluous ceremony of legally
administering justice upon the lawless Tories.
" Once I rode on horseback to the Peaks of Otter,
which are among the highest mountains of the South.
You can't imagine how glorious it was to be up there so
far away from the earth. When I first looked down from
their lofty heights the sky and the earth seemed to be
touching, and presently the rain began to pour. I could
see the glimmering, glittering drops, but could not hear
them fall. I was above the clouds and the rain — up in
the sunshine and stillness, the only audible sound a
strange supernatural flapping. It was the hawks and
buzzards flapping their wings. Suddenly the rain ceased,
the haze vanished, and I saw below the rugged mountains and what seemed in the distance a vast ocean.
It was the level country below.
"The words of John Randolph echoed in my heart
with this infinite mystery of nature. He with only a
servant had spent the night on those mighty rocks, and
in the morning as he was watching the glory of the sunrise, having no one else to whom to express his thought,
he pointed upward with his long, slender hand and
charged his servant never from that time to believe any
one who said there was no God.
w>.^v,vww\\\\v\\\\x\\\\\\\\x\\x^^^ CARPET-BAG, BASKET AND BABY,
39
"'No, sah, Marse John; no, sah,' said the awe-stricken
servant. ' I ain't a-gwine ter, sah. I neber had no notion
er bedoutin' sich a stronagin fack ez dat w'at you jes*
say, nohow, but I 'clar ter gracious now, Marse John, atter
dis, I ain't gwine ter let none er Marse Thomas Didy-
muses' tempshus bedoutin' tricks cotch no holt 'pun dis
nigger, fum dis day forward fereber no mo.'
"Once, too, I "
"You have relatives in Baltimore?" said the gentleman, abruptly interrupting me; otherwise, feeling that
geography and history were safe subjects, I should have
rattled on till I had told him all I knew.
"Yes, sir," said I.    "I am going to visit them."
"Where were you from this morning?"
"I came from a little country village about thirty
miles from Norfolk — Chuckatuck, a village in Nanse-
mond County. It used to be the capital city of a tribe of
Indians called the Nansemums."
" I saw your father as he was leaving the steamer. I
was attracted to f)im because he made an appeal to all
Masons, asking of them — poor man — with his hands
raised to God, their protection and care for his child and
grandchild. He thus was making himself known to any
of us, his brothers, who might be aboard, when he was lost
sight of by the turn of the boat. So, you see, you can
safely confide in me, and I will help you in any way I can."
"Thank you," I said. "I know my dear, dear papa is
a Mason. I know he was anxious about me; but I have
nothing to confide—nothing. I only want a stateroom
and my tickets and some milk for the baby. I do not
wish for any supper myself. I am so lonesome I could
not eat. It is wicked to feel blue and down-hearted,
with baby and all the kind friends to watch over me, as
you say; and then, too, God is always near." 40
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
"Yes, that is true.    Did you lose your husband in the
war?" Hlf     '§
"No, sir."
<3(He was in the war, though, was he not?"
"Yes, sir."
A fear came into my heart that I was talking too
much, I did not want him to know anything concerning
my husband, whose rank I especially desired to keep secret. I encouraged myself with the reflection that the
end justified the means, even though I might deviate
slightly from the truth, and said:
"You could not have heard of him, and he was not
of sufficient rank to have made an impression upon you,
even if you had."
"Where is he now?"
" In the country."
"And you are leaving him?"
"For a little while, only."
Then he talked of how much the Southerners had lost,
and how much they had to forgive; how easy it was to bear
victory and how hard to bear defeat, and said that if he had
been born South he would have been a rebel, and that his
sympathies even now were with the Southern people.
Then a sudden suspicion came to me, and I said:
" I wish there had never been any rebels at all; no, not
even the first rebel, George Washington; and, now, sir,
please, I do not want to talk about the war. I am very
weary and sleepy, and would like to retire. If you please,
sir, will you get me my stateroom and ticket? I am so
tired—so very tired."
Baby was lying asleep on my lap, hypnotized by the
chandeliers. The man looked down on him for a moment, and then said, " Of course, I will get them for you,"
and was going, when an ex-Confederate officer, one of my
wN^w^wwK^^sSSSSSSSESSSS&SSSS^aS CARPET-BAG, BASKET AND BABY.
41
husband's old comrades and friends, came up and, cordially reaching out his hand, said:
" How do you do, Mrs. Pickett? Where is the General?
What are you doing here, and where are you going?"
He himself was returning to his home in the far South,
but had been called back to Baltimore on business.
" Thank you, General B ," I said.   " My husband has
gone to farming. He has turned his sword into a plowshare, and I am going to visit his aunt, whom I have
never seen. He is to come to us after a little while;
could not leave conveniently just now. He is very well, I
thank you."
"I am so glad to have seen you," he said. "Will see
you later on," and was hobblingaway on his crutches. He
saw by my manner that he had said something to embarrass me, something hurtful to me, and left with a pained
look. He was dressed in his old Confederate gray.
The brass buttons had ail been cut off, in obedience to the
order at the custom-house office.
For several moments not a word was spoken. Then
I looked up and said:
" My tickets and stateroom, please."
"I thought you said your name was Corbell," said he
of the hooked nose, as he held my money shaking in his
hand. " I thought you said your husband's rank was not
sufficient to have made an impression; that in all probability I had never heard of him."
Oh, that smacking sound of jaw and tongue, and that
beak of a nose, and those little black eyes which grew into
Siamese twins as they glared at me like a snake! He did
not move, but said, while an undefined fear of him made
me tremble and grow cold:
"Your name was Corbell, and your husband was in the
country.    He was an officer of low rank." 42
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
He repeated this, more to himself than to me.
"Did I say that?" I said, and, with a face all honesty and truth, I looked straight into those eyes, divided
by that vulture feature, and told, without blushing, without a tremor in my voice, the first deliberate falsehood I
had ever told:
"Did I say so? Well, my mind has been unbalanced,
my friends think, by the way the war has ended, and they
are sending me from home to new scenes and new associations to divert me, with the hope of making me well
and strong again. Corbell was my maiden name, but I do
not know how I happened to say that my husband's rank
was low, for I was so proud of it. I could not have been
thinking. Won't you please be so good as to get my
ticket?    I am so tired I don't know what I am saying."
He went away, and the stateroom keys were brought
to me by a waitress. She unlocked the door for me. I
went in, too frightened now to think of supper, too
frightened to sleep, and wondering if, in my imprudence,
I had hurt my husband and what would happen if I had.
All night long the noise of the wheel was to me the
ax of the executioner. All night long it rose and fell
through seas, not of water, but of blood—the heart's
blood of valiant men, of devoted women, of innocent
little children. All night long it went up and down,
dripping from the awful sea—dripping with my husband's blood, with my father's, with the blood of all the
friends I had known and loved. Then it seemed as
if all the world but me had been slain to make that dread
sea, and I was doomed to move over it forever, with the
sound of the crushing wheels grinding my heart to powder
and never consuming me. Why had I, of the whole human
race, been left alone to go always up and down in that
horrible waste of blood?    Near morning I fell asleep and
■XVW.V\\\\VVWX\\X\\X\\\V^^ CARPET-BAG, BASKET AND BABY.
43
dreamed that it was I who had destroyed all that world of
people whose life-blood surged around me with a maddening roar, and that I was destined to an eternity of
remorse.
When I awoke the boat had landed. I got up and
dressed hurriedly. Starting to go out, I found that the
door was locked on the outside. The chambermaid
not answering my repeated call, I beckoned to a sailor
passing the window and begged that he would tell
the chambermaid that I was locked in and ask her
to come and let me out. She came to the door and
said:
" You can not get out."
"I do not understand," I said. "Are we not at Baltimore?"
An officer was with her, who answered:
"Yes, but you can not get off, madam. You are to be
detained upon the boat until the authorities come and
either release or imprison you. You are supposed to be
a suspicious character."
On a slip of paper I wrote:
"A Master Mason's wife and daughter in distress demands in their name that you will come to her."
I said to the chambermaid:
"Will you give this to the captain?"
On her hesitating, the officer said:
"You might as well."
She went. In a little while — a very little while — before I thought she could possibly have reached the captain, while I was trying to hush the baby, who was hungry,
a voice as kind and gentle as the benevolent face into
which I looked, said:
"What can I do for you, madam?    You sent for me."
" No, sir," I said, "I sent for the captain of the boat, 44
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
but I am glad you came; you seem so kind, and may help
me In some way in my trouble."
"I am the captain of the boat," he said. "What can
I do for you?"
"You are not the gentleman who represented himself
as the captain of the boat last night, sir, and bought for
me my ticket.    He was short and dark "
As I was describing the pseudo-captain the gentleman
interrupted me with:
" He is a Federal detective, madam, and has advised
that you be detained on the steamer until his return with
the authorities and warrant."
" But," I said, " he told me he had seen my father,
as he left the steamer, make the sign of a Master Mason
in distress, placing me in the care, not only of himself, but
of all Masons on this steamer, and he told me I was safe
and protected in their care, and he asked my confidence,
but I had none to give him.    He suspects me of what?"
The captain said:
"Your father did make that sign; your father did
place you in our care. His appeal was to all Masons, and
in their protection he did leave you. Come; I am captain of this steamer, and a captain is king on his own
boat. Where did you say you wished to go? Stand
aside," he said to the officer in charge.
Giving me his arm, he placed me and baby, carpetbag and basket, in a carriage and the driver was told to
drive to 97 Brenton street.
"Yis, sor," said the Irishman. "97 Brinton strate,
shure."
"God bless you and watch over you! Good-by, little baby."
After driving some time, the Irishman impatiently
told me there was no street by that name and I would
ssssssms^^ CARPET-BAG, BASKET AND BABY.
45
have to get out, but not until I had paid him for the two
hours he had been hunting "for the same."
" I will pay you the money," said I, " but there must be
such a place.    Come, here is the letter and the instructions."
"There's no place of the koind, an' the letther is all
wrong," he said, spelling it out, "an" phat's to be done,
an' where am I to be laving you? It's to the daypo I've
got to be afther going to now."
I Oh, I don't know," I said. " Why did you not tell the
captain of the steamer you did not know, and have him
tell you where to go?"
"Shure, I thought you would be afther knowin' yure
own moind, an' there's no one knows the place betther
'an the loikes of me an' it's there to be a-finding."
I did not know enough to get out and go to a drugstore and hunt in the directory. I was at my wits' end,
if I had ever had any wits. There was not a soul in the
city that I knew. I thought of the captain of the boat,
the only friend I had, yet I was afraid to go back to seek
him for fear the power he had would not be strong enough
to protect me, once I had left his boat. I could think of
no one else, nowhere else to go, and there was that in
the captain's voice and manner of daring and strength
that made me willing to trust myself with him, so I said:
" Drive me back to the captain of the boat, please. I
don't know what else to do."
When I went on board the captain was not yet gone,
which was an unusual thing. He had waited to see the
officers before leaving. I answered the smile that came
into his face, in spite of his kind heart, by handing him
my aunt's letter, who wrote not only a very peculiar hand,
but a very illegible one, saying:
" Read, captain, and see if this is not Brenton
street, the place my aunt has written me I must come." 46
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
"' Go to 97 Brenton street, where my niece, Mrs. C-
will bring you to my house,'" he read. " It might be anything else as well as Brenton," he said. " It looks like
* Brenton,' but I have lived here all my life and have
never heard of such a street. I'll get my directory, however, and look.    No," he said, " but it may be Preston; let's
look, but there are no C s living there.    You might try
this house, at any rate, 97 Preston street, and if you do not
find your friends living there then come to this number,
where my wife and I will be happy to have you as our
guest, you and the little lost bird, till you can write to your
friends and find out where they do want you to come."
Off again I started with the Irishman, who had become
interested in me by this time, and had forgotten all about
the depot.
" Here you are, marm, 97 Priston strate, an' a nice
house it is, marm.    Shall I take yure things in, marm?"
" No; first take up my card, if your horses will "stand."
"Av coorse, marm, an' they will."
I wrote on my card:
"Does Mrs. C live here — a niece of Mrs. S ?"
In a moment there were two or three faces at the
windows, and in another moment as many voices at the
carriage-door, asking, " Is this George Pickett's wife and
child?" and I was so thankful to be once more where
they knew George Pickett's wife and child.
Besides the lovely people whose home it was, there was
with them, on her way to her mother's, a daughter of Mrs.
S , Mrs. General B , who was one of the most
charming women I ever met. She had just returned from
the South. Her husband, too, was in the Confederate
army. The next day we both went out to her mother's,
my husband's aunt's home. CHAPTER VII.
"EDWARDS  IS   BETTER."
The week I spent in Hartford County, Maryland, at
the General's aunt's reminded me of my childhood, when
I used to play that I was a " Princess or a Beggar," or
" Morgiana of the Forty Thieves," or " The White Cat,"
or whatever character it would please me to select to
play, for my heart and soul were separated from my
body. I was not what I pretended to be. My body
went to parties and receptions and dinners, and received people and drove and paid calls, while my soul
waited with intense longing for the telegram, " Edwards
is better."
One day I had been out to dine and, coming home,
found awaiting me the message for which eyes and heart
had been looking for a time that seemed almost eternal.
That night I took the train for New York, starting out
all alone again, baby and I. I was tired and sleepy, but
there was such joy and gladness in my heart as I thought
of so soon seeing my husband that I did not think of
my discomforts. I repeated the telegram, " Edwards is
better, Edwards is better, " over and over again. I sang
it as a lullaby, putting baby to sleep to the measure of the
happy words, " Edwards is better. " I crooned it softly
with shut lips, lest some stranger should hear the precious
words, "Edwards is better.| Only for baby and me was
that sweet refrain. When baby slept I leaned back and
closed my eyes and saw a world of beauty and bloom as
the glad words   went dancing  through my heart.    Was
47 48
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
there ever so sweet a slumber-song since babies were first
invented to awaken the deepest melody of mother hearts?
I went to sleep with baby in my arms. I had not
money enough to get a berth—just barely enough to buy
my ticket and pay my expenses through to Montreal,
Canada, from which point the telegram was dated.
When I awakened later I found that a homespun shawl
had been placed under my head. I never thought about
who had been so kind, nor why the shawl was there. All
my life long every one had been thoughtful of me; things
had been done for me, courtesies had been extended to
me, and I had learned to accept kindnesses as only what
I had a right to expect from the human race. Murmuring
softly the comforting words, " Edwards is better," I
turned my face over and went to sleep again on the shawl.
I slept until my baby became restless from the jolting.
We took the steamer up the Hudson from New York
to Albany. Something made poor little baby sick. I
censured myself for having allowed him to catch cold on
the train while I was sleeping. He was teething, and was
very fretful. He had been used, too, to his nurse, his
black mammy. He missed her customary care and attention, his cradle and rocking, and was unhappy and could
not understand it. She used to give him his bath, to sing to
him her negro melodies, and to dance him up and down
in her strong arms, only bringing him to me for his daily
nourishment and kisses and my own enjoyment of him,
or when sometimes she wanted to go to her meals before
Thomas was ready to put him in his little wagon. So, in
his discomfort, he would reach out his hands and nod to
anybody to take him. He was tired of me, and thought
that I must, in some way, be the cause of all these
privations and the pain and suffering he was then undergoing.
VVVYVVWSSVWNKW
RSSSS^JBSSSSSSSS^S «' ED WARDS IS BE TIER. ?'
49
The philanthropic ladies on board the steamer seemed
very much concerned, and at a loss to understand why he
was so unhappy with me, and, apparently, preferred anybody and everybody else.
" Nurse, why do you not take the child to its mother?"
one would say, and a look of incredulity would follow my
assertion that I was its mother. "Then, why don't you
quiet the child, if you are, and find out what is the matter
with it?" and so on.
How indignant I was! Something in my manner must
have made them believe that it was not all right with me
and the child, for they followed me about, asking many
intrusive questions and making many offensive remarks.
The crying of the baby was as disagreeable to them as
it was distressing to me, and I was walking the deck, trying to quiet him, all tired and worn out as I was, when a
gentleman came up to me. On his shoulder I recognized
the shawl that had been put under my head on the cars
the night before. It introduced "one of the least of
these."    He said:
" Madam, excuse me, but I do not think you have had
any dinner, and you must be worn out with hunger and
fatigue from fasting and carrying the baby. Won't you
let me hold him while you go down and eat something?"
Even though he carried the shawl which bespoke my
faith, I was afraid to trust him with so precious a treasure
as my baby, and would rather have starved than have permitted it to go out of my sight.
"Thank you, very much, but I could not think of
troubling you," I said.    "No — oh, no.
Then said he:
" May I order something for you here? "
I was hungry, and was so glad for the open way he had
found for me, and said, "Yes," handing him twenty-five 50
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
cents. It was all I could afford to pay for dinner, but
as I looked at the tray when it was brought to me, I
thought, "How cheap things must be in New York,"
for there was soup and fish — a kind of yellow fish I had
never seen before, salmon, I afterward learned it was —
stewed with green peas, a bird, some asparagus and potatoes, ice-cream, a cup of coffee and a glass of sherry.
Upon his insisting that perhaps it would be restful to
the baby, I let him hold it while I ate my dinner. I did
not know how hungry I was, nor how much I was in need
of nourishment. Baby immediately became quiet in his
arms. Whether it was the change or not, I do not know,
but in a little while he was fast asleep. I covered him up
with the shawl to which the gentleman pointed, finished
eating my delicious dinner, taking my time and enjoying
it, while he read his book and held my baby. When the
servant came and took away the tray, I arose and, thanking the stranger for his kindness, said:
1 I will take the baby now, if you please."
" If you would rather," he said, | yes, but I think he will
be more comfortable with me for awhile. Then, too, you
might awaken him if you moved him. Let me hold him
while you rest. Here is a sweet little book, if you would
like to read it. I think, however, it would be better for you
to rest; to sleep, if you could.    You look really fagged out."
The book he gave me was a child's book*—it may have
been "Fern Leaves." I can't remember the name, but
written on the fly-leaf, in a child's irregular hand, were
these words:       *
For my dear darly popsy who is gon to fite the war fum his little
darly dorter little mary
Dear popsy don kill the por yangees and don let the yangees kill
you my por popsy little mary
Dear popsy com back soon to me an mama an grandad thats all
\ says your prayers popsy ebry day fum little mary
(VWNAWWWVW
v\\VCV\\\\\\\Vfc\\\XNV**!^V«^^ "EDWARDS IS BETTER." 51
Beneath little Mary's name was this line:
Little Mary died on the 16th of May, 1864 — her fifth birthday.
1 rested, but thought of little Mary as. I watched my
own baby who was sleeping so sweetly in this childless
stranger's arms — till presently the waves brought back to
me the days of my childhood — the story of the sailor with
his stolen mill, grinding out salt, forever and forever, and
the lost talisman lost still—back to my grandmother's
knee, listening with wonder-eyes to " Why the sea is
salt," the while my soul anon chanted to music those all-
healing, blissful words, " Edwards is better," gaining
strength for the o'erhanging trial I least dreamed of —
and the shadows rose to make place for one darker still. CHAPTER VIII.
ONE WOMAN REDEEMED THEM ALL.
My attention was attracted by a man in close conversation with the conductor. I was evidently the object
of it, for they would look carefully over the paper they
held and then at me, as if comparing me with something
therein described. Had I been a hardened criminal, they
would probably not have taken the risk of thus warning
me of the fact that I was under suspicion. As my appearance would seem to indicate that, if a law-breaker, I
was a mere tyro in vice, they supposed they could safely
take notes of me. I was absolutely sure that I was the
subject of the conversation, and trembled with a presentiment of coming evil. I tried in vain to turn my
face toward the window, but my eyes seemed fascinated.
A thousand preposterous fears passed in review through
my mind, though the real one never suggested itself. I
endeavored to dispel them each in turn, arguing that the
scrutiny of the men foreboded nothing, because I seemed
an object of curiosity to everybody, and now, as I recall
my appearance, I don't wonder, for I was very odd-looking.
In the first place, I was dressed so quaintly and looked
so entirely unlike those around me, and was all unconscious of any peculiarity or deficiency in my apparel —
being garmented in my very best, the traveling-gown,
etc., in which I had been married, and which had been
bought and made under such difficulties, and kept afterward with such scrupulous care. So I was perfectly well
satisfied with myself.
52
»«v«x«xv>»*«lVV\N\VXYV>\\\V\Yl\\>\\\\V^^^ ONE WOMAN REDEEMED THEM ALL.
53
I wore a long, loose-fitting black silk mantilla with
three ruffles at the bottom, while those around me were
dressed in tight-fitting, short cloth jackets. My bonnet
was of gray straw, plaited and dyed by the servants on
the plantation at home, and sewed into shape by our fashionable village milliner; a poke shape, extending far over
the face, a wreath of pink moss-rosebuds on the inside,
tangled in with my dark-brown hair, while it was trimmed
on the outside with several clusters and bunches of
grapes of a lighter shade of gray, also hand-made. The
grapes were formed of picked cotton, covered with
fleek-skin* and then tinted. My collar was one of my
bridal presents — from our pastor's wife — made of tatting and embroidery, about five inches wide, and was
pinned in front with a lava breast-pin. The prevailing
collar worn by the fashionable world was made of linen,
very narrow, only an edge of it showing, while very small,
jaunty hats, worn back on the head, were the style.
The conductor seemed to be arguing with this man
as I caught his eye, and just then my baby sprang forward
and snatched the newspaper from an old gentleman who
was sitting, reading it, in front of me, and shrieked when
it was loosened from his baby hands, while the old gentleman looked daggers in answer to my apologies; but,
thank heaven! when I looked again after this diversion,
the two men were gone.
I had just settled back, a little unnerved and weak,
however, when from behind me came a touch on my
shoulder, and, turning around, I saw the officer and the
conductor. The former said, " I have a warrant for your
arrest, madam," and forthwith served it upon me.
There on the cars, all alone, miles away from home
and friends, two dollars and ten cents all my little store,
* Fleek-skin is the thin covering of leaf lard. 54
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
I was arrested for — stealing! Stealing my own child!
I could not read the warrant as it trembled in my hands
— I had never seen one before. Baby thought it was a
compromise for the old gentleman's paper, and it was
with difficulty rescued from him.
As soon as my confused wits grasped the meaning of
this I said:
"This baby? This baby, sir? It is mine — mine — it
is named after its father — it is mine! I can prove it by
everybody in the world, and "
"Well, well," said the conductor kindly, as his voice
trembled, "that's all he wants, lady. You will only
have to be detained, in all probability, till the next train."
" But I must go on," I said, " for my husband is looking
for me, and I could not stand staying away another minute longer than the time at which he expects me. Please,
everybody, help me."
Some were too refined even to look toward me; others
merely glanced over their glasses or looked up from their
books and went on reading. Some kept their faces carefully turned toward the landscape; and a few, just as
heartless and more vulgar, gazed in open-mouthed curiosity.
One woman's good heart, thank God, redeemed them
all. She came forward, her tender blue eyes moist with
sympathy, her black crepe veil thrown back from her
lovely face and her waving hair with the silver threads
among the gold all too soon, and said, in a voice so
sweet that it might have come from the hearts of the
lilies of the valley that she wore bunched at her swan-
white throat:
"Come, I will stop off with you if it must be. Let
me see the paper."
Simultaneously with her, the gentleman of the home-
SS8SSSSS ONE WOMAN REDEEMED THEM ALL.
55
spun shawl came from I don't know where, and asked,
too, to see the paper, and both got off the train with
me.
I was so weak I could hardly hold or carry my baby,
for all at once there came over me the sense of my utter
helplessness to prove that my child was my own. There
was no one I could telegraph to without exposing who
and what I was, and where, and perhaps why, I was
going. A telegram to my friends at home not only might
betray me, but would alarm them. A telegram to my
husband would jeopardize his safety, for he would surely
come to me at once.
"Look! Look!" I said to the magistrate and officers,
as they read aloud the suspicions and accusations of the
philanthropic ladies who were with me on board the
Albany steamer, and who, in their zeal to secure a right
and correct a wrong, without understanding the causes of
my child's discomfort and unhappiness with me, or the
reasons for my rather suspicious manner and embarrassment, had caused my arrest.
Thus do the pure and holy ever keep guard over the
sins of the world and throw the cable-cord of justice
around the unregenerate to drag them perforce into the
path of rectitude. May they reap the reward to which
their virtues entitle them!
!' Look at its eyes and look at mine," holding his little
face up against my own. "Can't you every one see that
it is my child—my very own child?"
" That may be, but give us the name of some one to
whom we may telegraph — some tangible proof. If it is
all right, there must be some one who knows you and who
can testify in your behalf."
" No, no," I said, "there is no one. I have nobody to
help me, and if God does not show you all some way, and ■  ; | . ■   .   ■
$6 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
your own hearts do not convince you, I don't know what
I shall do." I 1
My poor, little, half-starved, in-litigation baby refused
to be comforted. The kind gentleman with the shawl
could amuse him no longer. He had dashed from him
the keys, and pushed the watch from his ear, and demanded impatiently of me the rights of sustenance. The
dear, good woman beside me, with the smile of the redeemed lighting up her face, touched mine, whispering in
my ear while I held baby's hands to prevent him in his impatience from tearing apart my mantle and untying my
bonnet-strings:
"Do you nurse your baby?"
- Yes," I said, "and he is so hungry—poor little thing."
Then she stood up, leaning on her cane, for she was
slightly lame, and said in a voice clear and sweet:
"Gentlemen, I have a witness" — my heart almost
stood still — " here, in the child who can not speak. It is
not always a proof of motherhood, but with the circumstantial evidence and the youth of this mother, this beyond peradventure is proof convincing. The child is still
nourished from her own body," and she opened my mantle.
I, who had never nursed my baby in the presence of
even my most intimate friends, bared my bosom before
all those strange men and women and nursed him as proof
that I was his mother, while tears of gratitude to the sweet
friend and to God flowed down my cheeks and dropped
on baby's face as he wonderingly looked up, trying to
pick off the tears with his little dimpled fingers, and thankfully enjoyed the proof \ The men turned aside and tears
flowed down more than one rugged face. The kind
stranger with the shawl lifted his eyes heavenward as if
in thanksgiving, and then turned them earthward and
breathed a bitter curse, deep and heartfelt.    Perhaps the
fSSSSSSSSSSS^SSSSM^S^S^^^SS^^^^^^^ ONE WOMAN REDEEMED THEM ALL.
57
recording angel jotted down the curse on the credit side
of the ledger with as great alacrity as he registered there
the prayer of thanks.
I trust that the philanthropic ladies, when the evidence
was sent them, were as surely convinced as all these people were, that I had not stolen my child. I hope they
were pleased by this indication of the existence of some
degree of innocence in the world, outside of their own
virtuous hearts, but — I don't know.
"Take thy fledgling, poor mother dove, under thy
trembling wings, back to its nest and the father bird's
care. I shall go a few miles further where I stop to see
my baby," said my new friend. "This little boy who
brought me back to life is older than yours. He is the
child of my only son, whose young life ebbed out on the
battle-field of Gettysburg, and whose sweet spirit has
joined that of his noble father, my husband, which, in his
very first battle, was freed. This baby blesses our lives —
the young mother's and the old mother's."
The train due twenty minutes before was signaled;
baby finished his " proof" on the car which was taking me
faster and faster to the loving heart and protecting care
that even this kind stranger saw how sadly I needed.
The friend so kind to me on the steamer succeeded in
.getting us seats, though apart.
The cars were crowded with soldiers returning home
after the war; disbanded soldiers, soldiers on furlough,
and the released prisoners, with their pale, cadaverous,
unshaven faces and their long, unkempt hair. One from
Andersonville, more emaciated and ragged than the others,
was selling his pictures and describing the horrors of his
prison life, and, as he told of his sufferings and torture,
amid the groans of sympathy, maledictions and curses
•were hurled against my people; and once his long, bony 58
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
arm and hand seemed to be stretched menacingly toward
me as he drew the picture of " the martyred Lincoln, whose
blood," said he, "cries out for vengeance. We follow his
hearse; let us swear a hatred to these people against whom
he warred, and as the cannon beats the hours with solemn
progression, renew with each sound unappeasable hatred."
I crouched back into my seat, almost holding my breath
as I pressed my baby against my beating heart. The
sweet new friend touched my brow with her lips, leaving
there a kiss and a prayer, put the lilies in my hand, and
was gone. The cars moved on, leaving a great void in my
heart as I thought of my God-given friend, so lately found,
so swiftly lost.
All this was more than thirty years ago, but one of the
lilies yet lies in my prayer-book, glorifying with the halo
of a precious memory the page on which it rests.
A man, not a soldier, I think, for brave soldiers are
magnanimous and generous always, stood up in a seat
almost opposite mine and said:
"When I think of the horrors of Libby and Anderson-
ville and look at these poor sufferers, I not only want to
invoke the vengeance of a just God, but I want to take a
hand in it myself. Quarter should be shown to none—-
every man, woman and child of this accursed Southern race
should be made the bondsman of his own slave for a
specified length of time, that they might know the curse
of serfdom. Their lands should be confiscated and given
to those whom they have so long and so cruelly wronged."
As he in detail related the story of their scanty allowance, the filth and darkness of their cells, I longed to get
up and plead for my people, and tell how they, too, were
without soap, food or clothes; that we had no medicines
even, except what were smuggled through the lines, and
that our own poor soldiers were barefooted and starving;
k\N\\\WX\V\\\\\\^VOT^ ONE WOMAN REDEEMED THEM ALL.
59
and that all the suffering of prisoners on both sides could
have been avoided by carrying out the terms of the cartel
proposed by the Confederate government. If I had only
dared to raise the veil and reveal the truth, sympathy
would have tempered their bitterness; the flame of divine
kinship smoldering in their veins, hidden as in a tomb,
would have miraged over the gulf of wrongs a bridge
of holier feelings. Yet the memory of the woman
whose son had been killed on the field of Gettysburg, and whose lily, now browned and withered with
the years, I cherish with such tender care, softened the
words that were like blows to my ear and heart. Thus
the power of one pure heart radiating its love upon
the world as an odorous flower, diffuses fragrance on
the surrounding atmosphere, uplifts the sorrowful spirit
and strengthens it to withstand the rude assaults of a vindictive world.
The official figures of Secretary of War Stanton and
Surgeon-General Barnes show that over three per cent,
more Confederates perished in Northern prisons than
Federals in Southern prisons. The report of Mr. Stanton,
July 19, 1866, says: " Of the Federal prisoners in Confederate prisons during the war, 22,576 died. Of Confederate prisoners in Federal prisons, 26,436 died. Surgeon-
General Barnes said that the Confederate prisoners numbered 220,000; the Federal prisoners, 270,000. Out of
270,000 Federals more than 22,000 died; of 220,000
Confederates more than 26,000 died.*
General Grant, in his letter to General Butler from City
* Mr. Blaine accounts for the greater mortality of Southern prisoners by saying that the Southern men were "ill-clad, ill-fed and diseased,
so that they died of disease they brought with them. "   That being true,
how then could tho South provide any better for Northern prisoners
than for her own soldiers ? 6o
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
Point, July 19, 1864, thus bespeaks his accord with his
government in opposing the exchange of prisoners:
It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons not to exchange them,
but it is humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. Every
man released on parole, or otherwise, becomes an active soldier against
us at once, either directly or indirectly. If we commence a system of
exchange which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on
until the whole South is exterminated. If we hold on to those caught,
they amount to no more than dead men. At this particular time to release all rebel prisoners North would ensure Sherman's defeat and would
compromise our safety here. -rr  g  Grant
Lieutenant-General.
General Grant further said, in his testimony before the
Committee on the Conduct of the War, February, 1865:
"Exchanges of prisoners having been suspended by reason
of disagreement on the part of agents of exchange on both
sides before I came into command of the armies of the
United States, and it then being near the opening of the
spring campaign, I did not deem it advisable or just to the
men who had to fight our battles to reinforce the enemy with
thirty or forty thousand discipli?ied troops at that time. An
immediate resumption of exchanges would have had that
effect without giving us corresponding benefits. The suffering said to exist among our prisoners South was a powerful argument against the course pursued, and so I felt it."
In the light of historic facts, the right entry will be
made of the suffering of the prisoners, North and South.
SS^SSSSSSSSS^SSSSiSSSSSSSs^SS^^^^S^^^^^^ CHAPTER IX.
A FAMILIAR FACE.
Owing to the delay, all the staterooms in the Lake
Champlain steamer had been taken, and my little sick
baby and its poor tired mother were very thankful when,
after the long, dreary night, they welcomed the dawn of
day which counted them many miles nearer to their Mecca.
I have forgotten the name of the place from which we
took the train for Montreal after leaving the steamer, but
I remember a fact of more consequence concerning it —
that it was the wrong place.
I received my first tariff lesson on reaching the Canada
side, when the passengers were summoned to the customhouse office to have their baggage examined, and I, with
my carpet-bag, basket and baby, followed my fellow voyagers. When my turn came I handed the officer my keys
and checks, which, after a glance, he gave back to me,
saying with haste and indifference, as if it might have been
the most trivial of matters:
"Your luggage has been left on the States side. Your
checks were not exchanged."
This was "the last straw." The camel's back had been
broken by no clothes. Heroically I had borne up under
dangers and hardships, accusations and imminent tragedies, but the loss of my wardrobe, that greatest calamity
which has ever been known to darken the career of mortal
woman, was too much, and I wept aloud. Not that I had
so large and so valuable an array of personal adornments.
The few clothes I had were intrinsically worthless except,
61 62
PICKETT AND HIS MEN
perhaps, as so many curios. There were gowns remodeled
and refashioned from court dresses over a hundred years
old. There were others entirely new as to texture, and
grotesquely original as to style, woven on our crude looms,
made streaked and striped with our natural dyes, trimmed
with an improvised passementerie made of canteloupe
and other seeds, and laces knit from fine-spun flax, with
buttons of carved and ornamented peach-stones. Then
there was my wedding-robe, constructed after approved
models, somewhere in the unknown regions of the frozen
North, and basely smuggled across the lines to me, an un-
regenerate reprobate, who wickedly (but artistically, be
it known) put it on and went, an unrepentant receiver of
smuggled goods, proudly to the altar, positively glorying
in villainy. In the Confederacy a new wedding-dress
was a rare and precious feature in costumery. Its introduction into a community was a social event of great
importance. Its possession was a distinction which rendered its fortunate owner especially subject to the gracious law of noblesse oblige. My bridal-robe had draped
the form of more than one fair maid since it had first
eluded the vigilant eyes which guarded the Federal line.
It was last worn by one of the most beautiful girls of
the Confederacy when she became the wife of a distinguished officer, and was put away forever when, a few
hours later, the groom was brought back to his bride,
wrapped in the white shroud of death. The purity of the
bridal-robe gave place to the sombreness of the widow's
weeds, which for many years were faithfully worn in
memory of her fallen hero.
My genuine grief for the loss of all my clothes touched
the heart of the sturdy Englishman into vouchsafing the
information that I would better return the checks for
■exchange and I would receive my luggage on the next
ssssssssssss^^s^^^^^^^^ A  FAMILIAR FACE.
63
train. The delight consequent upon this information,
taken in connection with my previous grief, may have impressed the British mind with the conviction that the
missing trunks contained an entire outfit just from Worth,
Felix being at that time yet in the realm of the unevolved.
Taking the wrong train at the wrong point put me into
Montreal later than I was expected, but I religiously followed instructions to remain on the train which stopped
over at Montreal, until I should be claimed, like a general-
delivery letter.
Every passenger had left the coach, and baby and I
were alone. I was waiting and watching breathlessly
for my claimant, when my hungry eyes caught sight of
three gentlemen coming straight toward me. It was with
but a languid interest that I regarded them, for I had preconceived convictions as to the appearance of the o?ie
who should assert proprietary rights over me, and neither
of these newcomers seemed at first glance adapted to respond to those convictions. The face of one seemed
rather familiar, but I was not sure, so I drew my little baby
closer to me and looked the other way. I felt them coming, and felt them stop right by my side.
"What will you have of me?" I asked.
There were tears in the eyes of the gentleman whose
face had seemed a familiar one, and the next minute baby
and I were in his great strong arms, and his tender voice
was reproachfully asking:
" Don't you know your husband, little one?"
I was looking for my General as I had been used to
seeing him—dressed in the dear old Confederate uniform,
and with his hair long and curling. The beautiful hair
had been trimmed, and while he was not subject to the
limitations of Samson in the matter pf personal strength,
a critical observer might have detected variations in per- 64 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
sonal beauty.    An English civilian suit of rough brown
cloth took the place of the old Confederate gray.
The two gentlemen with him were Mr. Corse, a
banker, a brother of one of the General's brigadiers, and
Mr. Symington, of Baltimore, a refugee. I noticed that
these gentlemen called the General "Mr. Edwards" and
me " Mrs. Edwards," which made me feel somewhat strange
and unnatural, but I reflected that I was in a foreign
country, and very far north of our old home, and perhaps
even people's names were affected by political and climatic conditions.
Knowing our poverty, I had expected the General to
take us to a quiet little room in some unpretentious boarding-house, but was too tired to voice my surprise when we
were driven in a handsome carriage to a palatial home*
I remember the beautiful grounds, the fountain, and flowers; the big English butler with side-whiskers who opened
the large carved doors; and the pretty girl in a cap who*
took baby from my arms.
After that I remember only being tired — so tired — so
very tired. When I had rested enough to remember again,
1 was on a sofa dressed in a pretty, soft, silken robe, and I
heard a kind voice saying:
"The lady is better; she will be all right. Let her
sleep."
Glancing up, I saw a benevolent-looking old gentleman
and a pair of spectacles. 1 closed my eyes and heard the
gentleman with the familiar face say such beautiful, such
sweet, pleasant things, and his voice and touch thrilled my
heart so that I kept my eyes shut and never wanted to open
them again; and presently the pretty girl with the cap on
came in and baby was in her arms, dressed in a beautiful
robe.
" Ze petite enfant—very much no hungry now — he eat
^{^J^^^WN^^n;
BSSSsS A FAMILIAR FACE.
6S
tres much pap — he sleep — he wash—he dress — he eat
tres much. He no hungry; he eat some more tres much
again. He smile; he now no very much hungry again
some more."
Was I in the land of fairies, and was the gentleman
with the familiar face the prince of fairies, as he was the
prince of lovers ? Our baby's outstretched arms and cry for
me as he recognized me dispelled any such delusion, but I
was too tired to hold out my hands to him. I soon felt his
little face, however, nestling close against my own, and
felt, too, the touch of yet another face, and heard the same
voice which had made my heart thrill with bliss whisper
again more things like unto those other things it had
whispered, but I was too tired and too happy to speak,
and my blessings seemed too sacred to open my eyes
upon, so I kept them closed. When the old English
physician came in the next day he said:
"Ah, ha! Ah, ha! The lady is most well. Keep on
feeding her and sleeping her. She is half-starved, poor
lady, and half-dazed, too, by sleeplessness. Ah, ha! Ah,
ha! Poor lady! That will do — feed her and sleep her;
feed her and sleep her.    Ah, ha!    Ah, ha!    That's all."
When the old doctor was gone I remember listening
for the tread of the sentinel -outside — confusing the "ah,
ha! ah, ha!" with the tramp, tramp, tramp—and as I
asked, the question brought back the memory that the
war was over, the guns were stacked, the camp was
broken, and the General was all my very own. I looked
around inquiringly and up into the familiar face for answer, and he, my General, explained our pleasant surroundings.
His old friends, Mr. and Mrs. James Hutton, he said,
had been suddenly summoned to England, and had prayed
him, as a great favor to them, to be their guest until their return, as otherwise the delay to make the necessary arrangements for their going would prevent their catching
the first steamer. Thus we had a beautiful home in which
to rest, to grow well and strong, to forget all that could
be forgotten of the past, and to enjoy the present. CHAPTER X.
VISITORS, SHILLING A DOZEN. — OUR LEFT-HANDERS.
The first week in June the French maid came to our
room with a telegram for Mr. Edwards, announcing that
Mr. and Mrs. Hutton would sail for home from England
the following week.
My husband calculated about what time they would
arrive, and how soon we would be forced to give up the
comforts of their beautiful and luxurious home, which we
were then enjoying. We began to hunt for a place to live,
commencing with the hotels and larger boarding-houses,
and winding up with the smaller ones. After a week of
varied, and some very funny, experiences, we decided at
last upon one house, principally because of its attractive
court and the pleasant verandas overlooking it.
"With its glistening fountain and pretty shrubbery and
flowers, how nice for our baby," I said. " How cool and
refreshing the sound of the water, and the glimpse of
green."
So, for baby's sake, the selection was made and our
rooms engaged. Our landlady was a very dark brunette, and prided herself upon being a French Canadian,
but	
"That man of mine," she sorrowfully said, "is a soggy
Englishman, and you would hardly believe it possible he
could be the father of our two beautiful daughters. Both
of them are going to do well, but they don't take after their
pa. The oldest is engaged to be married to a Stateser
with nine businesses!"
67 68
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
By the "nine businesses" and "Stateser" I gathered,
from her explanation, which she volunteered in answer
to my puzzled look, that the fortunate son-in-law-to-be
was a Yankee living in a small town in the State of Vermont, and owning a little country store where woolen
and cotton goods, silks and flannels, pottery, queensware,
hardware, groceries, grain, and so forth, were sold. In
her admiration of him, after each alleged "business" she
affixed the, to her, high-sounding title of "merchant."
The second daughter, she told me, was learning to
sing.
I She has a sweet voice, but she don't take after her
pa," she said, "and the young preacher student in the
next room to the right of the one you have chosen is
very much taken with her, and it looks like I'd get both
girls off my hands before long."
She said she could not give me the use of the parlors
when the girls wanted them.
"The Stateser comes a long ways, you know, and has
to have it all to himself when he is here."
But she generously suggested that if none "of them"
were using the parlor at the time when my " company
came," she would let me entertain my visitors in it at
the rate of a 1shilling a dozen!' which arrangement I considered a very good one for me, as I did not expect to
have more than a shilling's worth of visitors perhaps, in
six months.
Our meals were to be served in our own room, except
on Sundays, when we would have to dine in the public
dining-room and do our own "waiting," like the others.
We did not exactly understand what that meant, but one
day's experience proved it to be anything but comfortable. The dinner had all been cooked on Saturday and
was cut up and piled on the table in the center of the
^^^^^^li^^iiS'^^^^iN
fSSSSS^ "A SHILLING A DOZEN. "—OUR LEFT-HANDERS.
69
room, and we each had to serve ourselves. I could not
help thinking of the time when my General had been
served by butlers and waiters, each anxious to be the first
to anticipate his wishes, and all feeling amply rewarded
for every effort by a pleasant word or an appreciative
smile. I wondered how any one of those obsequious attendants would feel to see us now.
The following menu was about the average dinner
(with the exception, of course, that on week-days it was
warm): Corned beef, mutton pie, potato salad, pickled
snap-beans, gooseberry tarts, and milk. Our breakfast
was always cold; the first one was cold bread, preserves,
a baked partridge (which is the same as our pheasant),
and delicious coffee and butter.
Our rooms had one discomfort: we were awakened
every morning by the young lady making love to the bird
of her preacher beau while she arranged his room.
"Dear 'ittle birdie! — birdie dot a Dod? — birdie dot a
soul? — 'ittle birdie sings praises to Doddie? Dear 'ittle
birdie dot a dear 'ittle papa, and dear 'ittle papa must det
him a dear, dood 'ittle wifey—dood 'ittle Tistian wifey,
who will take tare of birdie and help him to make hi»
people dood Tistians, and help birdie and birdie's papa to
sing praises, too; tiss again, 'ittle birdie "
A sound as of the door opening, a rustling and a
confused "Oh, dear!" and then "Good-morning" was followed by the invariable excuse for not having finished
tidying up the room and cage before Jie came, "because
birdie and I are such friends — ain't we, birdie — and time
slips so quickly — don't it, birdie?"
I would know she was being forgiven, though I could
hear only the sounds of his deep, low tones between the
chirping to — birdie, of course. Neither my husband nor
I meant to listen to these chirpings to — birdie, of course, 70
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
and I always put my fingers in his ears' at the sound of
them.
After our breakfast was over and baby had been made
comfortable, I usually sent him out with Annie for his
walk, and she was delighted at having him all to herself.
"Shure, and I'll not be having the interfarence of so
many others whose rasponsability I don't be a-wanting;
for the bairn, God save him, was afther being that kissed,
his dinner wouldn't agray with him at all, at all. There
was the cook and John's wife and John and the coachman and that ugly French Lizette (sorra a bit am I to
be rid of her, the vain prig) would be all afther kissing
him until he'd be that sick his milk would curdle in him,
and for the loife of me I couldn't be kaping the clothes
clane on him with all their crumpling and handling; and
it's glad that I am entirely, the saints save us, having him
to mesilf, the blissed child!"
The rooms were comfortable, and we found the long
veranda, where we spent our evenings and most of our
mornings, not only a very pleasant change, but a source
of amusement as well. My curiosity was greatly excited
concerning our neighbors on the left. I was uncertain
how many there were of them, though I put them down in
my mind as not less than half a dozen.
The first morning these "Left-handers," as I called
them, were as silent as the grave till about noon, when,
all at once, without any premonitory noises, they commenced a most animated conversation, interspersed with
laughter, mirthful and scornful. Then the tones of their
voices would change from anger to reproach and then to
grief, so that at one time I was so full of sympathy with
the poor man who was being driven out into the cold
world that it was all I could do not to go in and plead for
him; but while I was hesitating all became quiet.    I sup-
VAWAVIiW '' A SHILLING A DOZEN. "—OUR LEFT-HANDERS.
71
posed he was gone and all was over with him, and involuntarily I offered up a prayer — all the help I could give.
Imagine, if you can, my surprise when the next morning at a little later hour I heard a repetition of the same
painful scene. The poor man had returned, I reasoned.
Taking them all together, I thought they certainly were
a most curious family, and I determined to enlist my husband's interest as soon as he came in. Something had
prevented my telling him the day before. That evening
as we were sitting on the veranda I carried my resolution
into effect and, though he listened with his usual sweet
patience, my description of the disturbance, to my surprise, excited in him more mirth than sympathy.
Just as I had finished telling him, our baby was brought
in to be enjoyed and put to sleep. "The little pig went
to market," "the mouse ran up the clock," "the cockhorse" was ridden "to Banbury Cross," and after innumerable " Hobble-de-gees," baby was ready, and so were
we, for his "Bye Baby Bunting."
When his sweet little "ah-ah-ah" accompanying ours
grew fainter and fainter, we began to sing in the Chinook
jargon the Lord's Prayer, which my husband had taught
to so many of the Indians on the Pacific coast, and which
we always sang at the last to make baby's sleep sound.
At the words, " Kloshe mika tumtum kopa illahie, kahkwa
kopa saghalie" (Thy will be done on earth as it is in
heaven), from through the open door of the room to our
left a voice clear and sweet joined in the same jargon
with ours to "Our Father," and as the last invocation was
chanted, " Mahsh siah kopa nesika konaway massachie —
Kloshe kahkwa " (Send away far from us all evil—Amen), a
handsome stranger stepped out and, with outstretched
hand, said to the General, with great cordiality, " Klahowya
sikhs, potlatch lemah" (How do you do, friend; give me. J*
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
your good hand). Then followed a conversation between
them about the Pacific coast, Fort Vancouver, San Juan
Island, Puget Sound, the Snohomish tribe and their many
mutual friends of the Salmon Illehe.
All the while I was wondering what could have become
of the other family — if they could have gone — and yet
now and then I caught a tone in his voice as he talked to
my husband, that sounded very similar to the tones of the
man in trouble belonging to them, though I did not see
how it would be possible for any one to drive, or wish
to drive, him out of their home. When, after awhile, I
came in for the compliments of the season, my astonishment knew no bounds when I learned that he had been
the sole occupant of that room since Sunday night.
The clock in the court struck seven. Rising hastily,
and with many apologies, this strange-family man wrote
something on his card, and handing it to my husband,
said, "I am playing at the theater here, to-night — come
and see me," and was gone.
To this kind stranger, William Florence, I was indebted for my first taste of the pleasures of the theater.
Almost every evening he, with our permission, joined us
on the veranda, shared our play with baby, cheered and
entertained the General, and kindly took us afterward to
seethe play. Yet, during the whole of his stay — four
days — he never once, in the most remote way, intruded
himself upon our confidence; and though he knew there
was some mystery, in his innate delicacy he made no
allusion to it.
On Saturday evening, when his engagement was over
and he came to say good-by, after lingering over the
pleasant evenings we had passed together, and putting
great stress upon the benefit they had been to him, he
stopped abruptly, saying:
¥\
^mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ««A SHILLING A DOZEN."—OUR LEFT-HANDERS.
73
"Confound it all! Forgive me, if I put my foot in it
— but here is something to buy a rattle for the youngster.
I swear I absolutely have no use for it. In fact, I never
had so much money at one time before in my whole life,
and it belongs by rights to the young rascal; for, if it had
not been for the \ cat's in the fiddle,' the \ cow jumping
over the moon,' 'getting the poor dog a bone,' and 'Our
Father who art in heaven,' I should have spent every red
cent of it on the fellows. Please — I insist," he said, as my
husband refused. " I know you have had more money
than you seem to be bothered with now; take this."
Though we were both very much touched by the kind
generosity of this stranger in a strange land, the General
was firm in his refusal.
"Well, good-by, and good luck to you," he said. "You
are as obstinate as an 'allegory on the banks of the Nile.'
Here it goes," putting the fifty dollars back into his
pocket, and turning to me, with a tone I so well remembered, he wished me happiness.
"Good-by," I said; "may 'Our Father' who art in
heaven and his little ones whom he says 'suffer to come
unto me,' keep your heart thoughtful for others, and gentle and kind all through this life. Believe in soul and be
vejy sure of God."
In all the years that came afterward, the friendship
formed then between my husband and our first " Lefthander" was never broken — and to me it was a legacy.
The following week I noticed his rooms were taken by
a very strangely acting lady and gentleman. I saw there
were two of them this time. The second evening, as I
was putting baby, who was unusually restless and fretful
and would not be amused or comforted, to sleep, the
queer lady, with a " Banquo-is-buried-and-can-not-come-
out-of-his-grave" tone and manner, said, "The child — is't 74
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
ill, or doth it need the rod withal?" Whether the child-
needed "the rod with all" or Mrs. Winslow's soothing-
syrup, he stopped crying at once, and while she talked
on, never took his startled eyes from her face till he
wearily closed them, hypnotized to sleep.
"Hast thou a nurse — one that thou call'st trustworthy?" she asked, after I had put baby in his little bed.
"Yes, madam," I answered — "one whose love makes
her so."
"It is well," she said, "and if thou dost not fear to
leave the watch with her, wilt thou and thy husband come
as our guests to see our Hamlet as we have conceived
him to be?"
It was the first of Shakespeare's plays I had ever seen,
and my blood ran cold as I breathlessly watched the
portrayal of it by these, the most celebrated actors of
their day (Charles Kean and his wife, Ellen Tree), and
with talents so versatile that I cried over the tragedy as if
my heart would break, and laughed with equal heartiness
over "Toodles," the farce which followed.
At the close of the play the actress brought her husband into the box and introduced him. Unlike her, he-
did all his acting on the stage, while she stabbed her potatoes and said, "What! no b-e-a-n-s?"
We accepted their kind invitation to share their carriage back to the house, and enjoyed, too, some of the
delicious supper prepared for them. It was their last
year on the stage, and I never saw them again, though I
treasure their little keepsake, given me in exchange for
one not half so pretty, and gratefully remember trie-
pleasure they put into our lives during the days they
were our "Left-handers."
Among others, there came in time that king of comedians, noble in mind as he was perfect in art, Joe Jeffer— "A SHILLING A DOZEN. "—OUR LEFT-HANDERS.
75
son. He was accompanied by his wife, a fascinating,
motherly little woman.
The second morning after meeting them, I, in compliment to her inquiries about my baby, asked after their little dog, to whom I had heard her husband talking as if it
had been a child.
She laughed and explained "Schneider," and told me
the story which has since become the property of the
newspapers, about how the great comedian had been
identified to the entire satisfaction of the bank-teller by
means of this same "Schneider," the most wonderful dog
that ever existed in the human mind.
Nor did this pleasant acquaintance end with our
Canadian experience. The next time we saw Joe Jefferson was in Richmond, where he gave a performance and
turned over the whole proceeds to a war-ruined Confederate, and all in such a quiet manner as to fulfill the spirit of
the Scriptural injunction regarding the right and left
hands. The kindness which was shown by the wealthy
tobacconist — the seeming favorite of fortune — to the poor
lad in the beginning of that career the distinction of
which, even then, one could foretell, was thus gracefully
repaid a thousand times by the successful actor.
Our landlady made a tour of inspection of all the
rooms every Friday, but to us she made her visits longer
each time, showing a growing interest in our affairs.
She could not solve the mystery of our having come from
such a palatial home to her boarding-house. Then, too,
one of my "shilling visitors" happening to be the Governor-General, and another an English officer, they were
also a cause of wonder. She was so insistent in this unbounded curiosity that we were compelled to seek a
larger house where we should be more lost sight of, especially as just at this time two prominent Southern gen- j6
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
tlemen, Mr. Beverly Tucker and Mr. Beverly Saunders,
had been gagged and taken through the lines, though
their release was immediately demanded by the English
government.
Much to my husband's relief, I volunteered to assume
the disagreeable task of notifying her, which notice she
seemed intuitively to have anticipated and determined to
thwart by telling of her troubles, all of which she laid at
"that Johnson's" (her husband's) door.
I He is got so high-minded now," she said, "he refuses
to blacken all the boots at night — leaves the top floor
ones till morning. Wants to set up-stairs with me and
the girls, instead of staying down in the kitchen, looking
for chaws and to be handy; expects us to hunt tins to
shine and mend, and nails to drive; won't eat the boarders' leavings; reads the Stateser's newspaper that he sends
to his girl; sets on it when he hears us coming; took
money from Stateser, too, and was that sly he was going
to spend it on himself, and I giving him all he needs."
Taking advantage of her pause for sympathy, I edged
in my notice. She immediately put all the blame of our
going on "that Johnson," and, though I assured her that
he had nothing whatever to do with it, wailed:
"You can't fool us, you can't fool us — he drives every
boarder out of the house."
Our next rooms opened on the Champs de Mars, the
attractions of which in part made up for the loss of the
veranda, but not for that of our " Left-handers," who had
come and gone, making oases in our lives. CHAPTER XI.
BORN  WITH   EMERALDS—NEMO   NOCETUR.
"Cast away this cloudy care — come, look at the soldiers," I said, as I saw a shadow in the General's smile
and heard a sigh, when the music, almost under our very
windows, signaled the hour for dress-parade.
The shapeless, senseless ghost of despair vanished
with my entreaties, as we stood at the window and
watched the soldiers, keeping time with them to step and
tune outwardly, while hiding the muffled sound within,
each playing we were enjoying it, without one marring
thought of the crumpled-browed past, trying to fool each
other till we really fooled ourselves. It was with thankfulness that I saw the General watch with unfeigned interest the maneuvers of the soldiers, day after day, and
pleasantly welcome reveille and tattoo. Our baby
learned to march almost before he walked.
While we were enjoying our congenial surroundings
and each other, spite of poverty, fears for the future, and
grief for the past, my husband became very ill. In the
crisis of his illness, while he required all my attention,
our baby was seized with croup. The kind old Englishman, recommended by my good friends, was very attentive, but failed to inspire me with my wonted faith.
The chief reason, I think, must have been that he was
not called "Doctor," but "Mister." For two weeks he
came once, and sometimes twice, a day, going first to
see and bring me news of baby, who had been kindly
taken by our friends to their home to be cared for.    I
77 78
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
was a source of unending amusement, an unsolvable
mystery, to the English doctor, though we were very
good friends.
During all this long illness I never once stopped to
consider the cost of anything, whether it were food, medicines or delicacies of any kind, if prescribed or suggested, but purchased regardless of expense. When the
danger was past, and our board bill was sent up, I counted
over our little store and found there was not enough left
to meet it.
My husband was still too ill to be annoyed or troubled
about anything, and with the bill hidden away in my
pocket, I was making a plan of battle and maneuvering
how I could fight my way out of the intrenchments, when
he noticed that I was looking pale, and suggested that I
go out for a little fresh air.
Eagerly taking advantage of the excuse thus offered,
I put on my bonnet and went down to the office and
took from my box in the safe an old-fashioned set of
emeralds and, asking the proprietor to direct me to the
most reliable jeweler and to send some one to sit with
my husband until my return, I went out.
I had had very little experience in buying of merchants, and none whatever in selling to them, but I
feigned great wisdom and dignity as I told the young
man who stepped forward to wait upon me that my business was with the head of the firm. He took me back
to an inner office, where an old man with grizzly-gray hair
and a very moist countenance was looking intently through
something, which very much resembled a napkin-ring
screwed into his right eye, at some jewels lying on a tray
before him. He wore his teeth on the outside of his
mouth, and his upper lip was so drawn, in the intensity
of his look, as to be almost hidden under his overreach- BORN WITH EMERALDS—NEMO NOCETUR.
79
ing nose. His face, too, was wrinkled up into a thousand gullies in his concentration upon his work.
"We don't hemploy young women 'ere," he said,
looking up and frowning as he suddenly became aware
of my presence.
" I came," I explained, taking out my emeralds and
handing them to him, "to ask you if you would not,
please, sir, kindly buy some of these stones from me, or,
at least, advance me some money on them."
"This is not a pawnbroker's shop, heither, mum," he
replied, as he carefully examined the jewels, and then,
suddenly popping the napkin-ring out of his eye, turned
both of the piercing little gray twinklers upon me and said:
"Where did you get these hemeralds from, miss?"
" I was born with them, sir," I said, indignantly.
Either from my appearance, or for some other cause,
he became suddenly suspicious, and not only would not
purchase them of me, but refused to let me have them
till I could prove my right to them. I was too young
and inexperienced to be anything but furious, and the
bitter, scalding tears that anger sometimes unlocks to relieve poor woman's outraged feelings, were still falling
fast when I reached the hotel with the clerk whom the
jeweler had sent back with me that I might prove by the
proprietor my ownership of the jewels with which I was
born.
He, in his sympathy, shared my anger and, after expressing his sincere regret that I should have been subjected to such an indignity, advised, as he snatched the
case from the clerk with a withering look of scorn translated into more emphatic language, that I should look
carefully over them to be sure that neither this hireling
nor his master had abstracted any of the stones, for his
experience had been that suspicion was born of guilt. 8o
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
As he again locked up my emeralds in his safe he
kindly asked how much money I needed, and| begged
that in the future I would permit him to advance for me
if I should need any, and furthermore, "as to the board
and expenses here," he said, " Mr. Edwards and I will arrange all that when he is well — entirely well."
Through the goodness of God and the skill of my kind
physician, my loved ones were spared to me, and one
day, some time after they were well, as I was reading
the paper to my husband, I chanced across an advertisement for a teacher of Latin in Miss Mcintosh's school.
The professor was going abroad and wanted some one to
take his place during his absence. The chuckle of delight which I involuntarily gave as I read it, provoked
from the General the remark that I was keeping something very good all to myself. I slyly determined that
this little suspicion should be verified and that I would
make an application at once for the position; then, if I
should fail, I alone would suffer from the disappointment.
So, just as soon as I could arrange it, I donned my best
clothes, assumed a most dignified mien, went to the number advertised and asked to see the professor.
I was shown into the primmest of parlors — the kind
of room one feels so utterly alone in, without even the
suspicion of a spirit around to keep your own spirit company. Each piece of furniture was placed with mathematical precision, and all was ghost-proof. The proprietress, who came in response to my call, seemed put up in
much the same order. She was tall and angular, and her
grizzly-red hair was arranged in three large puffs (like
fortifications, I thought) on each side of her long, thin
face, high cheek-bones, Roman nose, and eyes crowded up
together under gold-rimmed spectacles. As she held my
card in her hand and looked at me with a narrow-gauge BORN WITH EMERALDS—NEMO NOCETUR.
8r
gaze, piercing my inmost thoughts, and with that discouraging " Well !-what-can-I-do-for-you?" expression, I
felt all my courage going. My necessities aroused me
from my cowardice, and I said as bravely as I could:
11 have had the good fortune to read your advertisement, madam, in the paper this morning, and have come
in answer to it.    May I see the professor?"
Looking curiously at my card and then over her glasses
at me, she said, in a voice like an animated telephone
through which some one was speaking at the other end:
"The advertisement was for a teacher, not for a pupil."
11 am perfectly aware of that," I answered, *' and
came in response, to offer my services to the professor."
A most quizzical expression bunched up the corners
of her mouth and wiggled across her little colorless eyes,
as she said:
"I will send the professor down to you."
Looking over her spectacles again, as if for a verification of her first impression of me, she was gone.
Returning after a little while, she said:
" The professor requested me to ask if you would be
so good as to come up into the recitation-room."
I saw as soon as I had entered that a description of me
had preceded my coming, and not a very flattering one,
either, I judged, from the faces of the professor and the
pupils.
The class consisted of fourteen young ladies, all of
them apparently older than I was. The professor finished the sentence he was translating on the board,
rubbed it out, wiped his hands on the cloth, replaced it,
came forward and was duly presented by Miss Mcintosh,
who remained in the room. He had a pleasant, round,
smooth face, a bald head and large gray eyes, was short
and stout, with a sympathetic, cultured voice and manner. 82
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
" Miss Mcintosh tells me you came in reply to my advertisement. I have been forced to advertise in order to
save time, as my going abroad is unexpected and brooks
no delay."
" I am very glad you had no option but to advertise,
else it might not have been my good fortune to know of,
and respond to, your wants, sir."
" And you have really come to apply for the position ? "
he asked.
" I have, sir."
The expression on Miss Mcintosh's face, the nudging
and suppressed titter among the pupils which this answer brought forth was not calculated to lessen my embarrassment.
" Have you had any experience in teaching?"
"No, sir," I said.
" May I ask where you were educated."
I At home, except for two years, sir," I answered. " Then
I went to Lynchburg College, where I was graduated."
"Is that in England?"
"Oh, no, sir," said I, with astonishment at his ignorance, and then recollecting myself just as I was about to
inform him that Lynchburg was the fifth town in population in Virginia, was on the south bank of the James
River, one hundred and sixteen miles from the capital of
the State, and within view of the Blue Ridge mountains
and Peaks of Otter, I stopped short, embarrassed by my
imprudence. The professor, taking no notice of my confusion, went on to say:
' "And so you were graduated there? My class here
has just finished Caesar. Do you remember how Caesar
commences?"
" Yes, sir," I said, and repeated: " Gallia est omnis di-
visa in partes tres."
ssssssssssss^^ BORN WITH EMERALDS—NEMO NOCETUR.
83
"You have the Continental pronunciation, I see."
He gave me several sentences to translate; then an ode
from Horace and some selections from Catullus and
Tibullus. By this time the pupils were silent, and Miss
Mcintosh's expression was changed.
He then asked me to write and parse a sentence, which
I did, snying sotto voce as he took the chalk from me:
"That was a catch question."
" Please translate and parse this," said he, without
noticing my aside, and he wrote in Latin, "The President
of the United States said \ nobody is hurt ' "
" Before he wrote any further, instead of translating, I
looked up at him and said:
"But, oh, sir! somebody was hurt."
Quickly he cleared the board, put down the cloth,
wiped his hands, turned his face to me and offering his
hand, said, not to my surprise, because I had faith in
prayer, but rather to that of Miss Mcintosh and the
young ladies:
"I will engage you, Mrs. Edwards, and will be responsible for you."
We then went down to the parlor, and I gave him the
names of the only friends I had in Montreal of whom he
could make inquiries regarding me. The next day I gave
my first lesson to the class. I became very fond of them
all and, after my embarrassment of the first few days, got
along very well with them.
The General was very curious to know where I went
every day, but, knowing it gave me great pleasure to be
thus mysterious, humored me and asked no questions.
My first month's salary was spent in part payment on
an overcoat for him, and only Our Father and the angels
know what joy filled my heart, that with the work of my
hands I could give him comfort.    Then my secret was out. 84
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
I was sorry when the cold weather came. The snows
not only put an end to the military reviews, but covered
up the beautiful green. There were very few diversions
for us, but I was just as happy as it was possible for me
to be. Indeed, those were the very happiest days of my
whole life, and I was almost sorry when General Rufus
Ingalls wrote a letter to my husband, inclosing a kind
personal letter from General Grant, together with the following official assurance of his safety:
§cml (gnattans %m\n § the 3tait*il States,
-x^< &Sl~*-*?*.
^>^
^	
<zzfr   ^£~-», BORN WITH EMERALDS—NEMO NOCETUR.
85
General Grant also wrote that it had not been at all
necessary for us to go away in the first place, and that
the terms of his cartel should have been respected, even
though it had necessitated another declaration of war.
We stopped in New York en route to Virginia, expecting to remain there only three or four days, but we
found that our board had been paid in advance for two
weeks, that a carriage had been put at our service for that
length of time, and that in our box was a pack of wine-
cards marked "Paid." To this day I do not know how
many people's guests we were, for a great many of General Pickett's old army friends were there at the time, and
they all vied with each oth. r in making it pleasant and
happy for us. CHAPTER XII.
TURKEY ISLAND.
As soon as we could make our plans we went down
to Turkey Island, our plantation on the banks of the
James River. A rough cottage, hastily built, stood on
the site of the grand old colonial mansion burned by
Butler. Around it were the great melancholy stumps of
the old oaks and elms which Butler had seen fit to cut
down.
Turkey Island, called by the Federal soldiers Turkey
Bend, is in Henrico County, which is one of the original
shires into which Virginia was divided in 1634.
Historic Richmond, the State capital, a town established in the reign of George II., on land belonging to
Colonel Byrd, is its county-seat. Brandon, the home of
the Harrisons; Shirley, the home of the Carters; and
Westover, the home of the Byrds, where Arnold landed
on the 4th of January, 1781, and proceeded on his march
toward Richmond, are neighboring plantations; and Malvern Hill, where one of our internecine battles was fought,
adjoins Turkey Island.
Not far distant is the famous Dutch Gap canal, the
useful legacy which Butler left to the State of Virginia,
and which, in the advantages it gave the commonwealth,
to some extent atoned to my General for the destruction
of the Pickett home.
Diverting his troops for a time from wanton spoliation, Butler set them to digging a canal at Dutch Gap to
connect the James and Appomattox, thereby shortening
86
—-
««— TURKEY ISLAND.
87
by seven miles the road to Richmond, and placing the
State traffic under a permanent obligation to his memory.
To protect his men while they worked, he stationed his
prisoners in the trench beside them, in order that the
Confederates might not yield to the otherwise irresistible
temptation to fire upon them.
Butler may not have been gifted with that fascinating
suavity of demeanor which is necessary to render a man
an ever-sparkling ornament to society, but, from a practical, business point of view, he was not wholly destitute
of commendable qualities. His Dutch Gap canal is not
only a lasting monument to his progressive spirit, but a
benefit to commerce, and an interesting feature which has
attracted visitors from many nations.
Out on a point of the plantation, back from the river
in a clump of trees — the beginning of the big woods — is
still standing a most interesting monument. The top of
it was broken off by Butler's troops in a search for hidden treasure. It was erected by William and Mary Randolph in 1771. The following is a copy of the inscription
on one of its sides:
The foundation of this pillar was laid in 1771, when all the great
rivers of this country were swept by inundations never before experienced; which changed the face of nature and left traces of their violence
that will remain for ages.
My first visit to this monument is one of the sweetest
memories of my Turkey Island life. I had gone with my
husband to hunt rabbits and birds—a hunt more for the
meat than for the sport in those poverty-stricken days,
when our larders were greatly dependent upon the water
and the woods.
The day was fine, and the dew was yet glistening as
we came suddenly and without warning within touch of PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
the gray, broken monument shut in and surrounded by
the great forest trees. In silence and solemn awe, in the
Strange light and sudden cool beneath the shadows my
hero-soldier stacked his gun and, raising his cap, he
gently and silently reached for my hand. I slipped it
into his and drew close to him. A bird was singing in
the distance.
" God's choir," he said, and in his beautiful voice sang
his favorite hymn, | Guide me, O, thou great Jehovah."
Then he taught me these lines:
The groves are God's first temples.    Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them — ere he framed
The lofty vault to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication.
"Is not that monument one of the oldest in Virginia?"
I asked of my General, who, I believed, knew everything.
I No," he said. "There are many older, but the oldest
one in the United States, I believe, is one erected to a
poor fellow who died on your birthday. It is on the
banks of Neabsco Creek in Fairfax County. Once when
I was on furlough Snelling and I came across it and
copied it down. The poor fellow was a companion of
John Smith. The inscription on the monument simply
said:
"'Here lies ye body of Lieut. William Herris, who
died May 16, 1608, aged 65 years; by birth a Briton; a
good soldier, a good husband and neighbor.'"
These rambles over the fields and woods, through the
clover and sweetbrier, keeping step and chitting with
my General where he, as a boy, had often tramped with his TURKEY ISLAND.
89
father, are among the blessedest of my blessed memories.
My husband's classic taste and perfect harmony and simple, pure heart made him a great lover of nature, and the
trees and the plants, the stones, the sod, the ground, the
waters, the" sky, and all living animals, were his kin.
Though my warrior was a lion in battle, he was gentle,
amiable, good-humored, affectionate, and hospitable in
his home. The same exuberant and hopeful spirit which
cheered and encouraged his soldiers in the field was felt
in his home life. All the world are witnesses of his patriotism and unselfishness, as he offered his life for the
success of the cause in which he had faith. He was never
disheartened by the most complicated difficulties. Unspoiled by fame, just and loyal, he deserved the love he
received—for he was worshiped by his family, idolized
by his soldiers, honored by all parties and all nations —
my brave warrior, as simple as a child, as high-minded as
he of whom the word-magician said:
Every god did seem to set his seal, to give the world assurance
of a man.
It was here, on the site of the old home, beautiful
:still, though so sadly changed, among the dead stumps
where once waved the foliage of the magnificent ancestral
trees, we began to write our story for our children and, as
the General said, "for the children of the old division,
if it is good enough."
Far away from our dear old Turkey Island and the
sweet old days I finish the task which we, in happy
mood, set for ourselves. CHAPTER XIII.
MEXICAN AND  INDIAN WARS.
I Right or wrong, my country." Statesmen may argue
— soldiers must fight.
When in 1819 the United States, in the exuberance of
her territorial wealth, voluntarily threw Texas into the
hands of Spain as a bonus for the cession of Florida, for
which adequate compensation had been already given,
it would have taken a far-sighted statesman to foretell
that the lavish extravagance would sometime furnish
occasion for an unjust war of aggression.
The seeds were sown then with spendthrift hand, to be
reaped in a harvest of darkness little more than a quarter
of a century later and, whatever a soldier may have
thought of the justice of the cause, his duty was to follow
his flag.
The West Point class of 1846 probably held that all
that "pomp and circumstance of glorious war" was set
upon the stage especially for their instruction and employment. Whether it was or not, that fortunate class
was ushered upon the scene just in time to get the full
benefit of the situation.
Thus it happened that when General Scott led to
the siege of Vera Cruz his devoted band of warriors,
accompanied by a pontoon-train, " to cross rivers," in
a region conspicuously devoid of those picturesque
physical features, Lieutenant George E. Pickett, just
from West Point, was one of the number. I quote from
a letter just received from Major Edwin A. Sherman,
90 ^
/
>***
m
m
'fu>&£j
fj# CHAPTER XIII
MEXICAN AND  INDIAN WARS.
* Right or wrong, my country."   Statesmen may argue
i>ldiers must fight.
When in 1819 the United States, in the exuberance of
territorial wealth, voluntarily threw Texas into the
Spain as a bonus for the cession of Florida, for
e compensation had been already given,
taken a far-sighted statesman to foretell
extravagance would  sometime  furnish
r of aggression.
n with spendthrift hand, to be
s little more than a quarter
ver  a  soldier may have
e* his duty was to follow
•.
tije <pege 01  V era I,.:.
accompanied by a po-;-■.■■■■■■■
a   region   conspicuously   $&m
physical  features,  Lku-e .
from West Point, was one oi
a letter just received Iron"; I
riMMy
held
that all
■■■:&&
war *
' was set
- ,;n-.viDn.
and em-
(.feat fortunate class
the full
■' .u'-;' v>£
t  led  to
warriors,
in
picturesque
JpLI^iekett, just
quote from
nn A. Sherman, //.
/% **
/&%fy& U^^^/i,  MEXICAN AND INDIAN WARS.
91
of California, a comrade of Lieutenant Pickett in those
early days:
I knew the gallant George E. Pickett when he first received his
commission as second lieutenant in the United States army and joined
his regiment, the Eighth United States Infantry,, Colonel and Brevet
Major-General William J. Worth, soon after the battle of Monterey;
and at Saltillo, Mexico, under General Zachary Taylor; and under General Winfield Scott from Vera Cruz to the capture of the City of Mexico.
He was in the first line in order of landing on the
beach of Collado on the 9th of March, 1847, when the
setting sun was reflected from the silvery crown of Orizaba, the batteries of San Juan de Ulloa frowning down
upon the intruders and giving them grim welcome with a
menacing salute of heavy guns.
On March 22 General Scott summoned the city of Vera
Cruz and the castle to surrender, an invitation which
was declined with that distinguished politeness which
marks the bearing of the Spaniard, whether in the sunny
land of the ancient Castilian, or the more rugged surroundings which environ the inhabitants of the Spanish
regions of the New World.
Unfortunately for the gallant little city of Vera Cruz,
revolutions do not stop in Spanish-American countries for
a slight circumstance like a foreign invasion. Invasions are,
in a manner, accidental and epidemic in character—revolutions are endemic, perennial, and necessary to civic and
aesthetic existence. The only time that a Spanish-American may be said to be in danger of falling into melancholia and contracting hypochondriac dyspepsia is in the
accidental interlude that may once in a very great while
intervene between revolutions.
One of these festivities was at that time prevailing in
the City of Mexico, and the brave little town of Vera
Cruz, with its garrison of thirty-three hundred and sixty PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
men, counting the castle force, was left to choose between
death and the eternal stain of infamy which would blot her
honor if she tamely surrendered.    She chose death.
The sister city of Puebla, having a vacation between
revolutions, sent twenty thousand dollars to assist in preparing for the siege, and medical and surgical supplies
were procured with money gained by the ladies of Vera
Cruz by means of amateur theatrical performances. Perhaps it is well for the race that the human mind does not
lose its interest in the mimic stage even in the presence
of the most solemn and impressive tragedy of real life.
With a thorough knowledge of the fact that the city
could not be successfully defended by an inside force,
even though it had been much larger than it actually
was, heroic little Vera Cruz shut herself up within her old
Spanish walls to die for honor.
For seven days the doomed city endured a combined
assault of Scott's army and a terrific tempest of wind and
sand which nature had precipitated upon the unfortunate
little town. On the morning of the 29th of March the
garrison marched out with all the honors of war through
the Gate of Mercy, stacked arms in the Plain of Cocos,
the lowered colors saluted by a conqueror whose respect
and admiration could withhold no honor which might be
granted to a vanquished but not inglorious foe.
It may be interesting to the reader of subsequent history to note that the batteries turned with such telling
effect against the courageous little garrison of Vera Cruz
were arranged by Robert E. Lee, captain of engineers, a
member of General Scott's military staff, with the assistance of Lieutenant Beauregard.
Plucky little Vera Cruz having been disposed of, General Scott started on a northwest march, his object being
the City of Mexico, two hundred miles away.    Santa Anna MEXICAN AND INDIAN WARS.
93
had some days the start of him, and when the division
of General Twiggs reached the pass of Cerro Gordo he
found there a battery and a hostile line crossing the road.
Captain Joseph E. Johnston, topographical engineer,
discovered these obstacles to comfortable progress, having the misfortune, while prospecting for them, to arrest
two musket-balls proceeding on their lively way. Some
of us may be impressed by the fact that Joseph E. early
formed the habit of stopping musket-balls, and that it
lingered with him uncomfortably until a much later period
in his military career.
Santa Anna, being aware of these explorations on the
part of the invader, spent the I2th of August in examining his lines and preparing for an attack the next day.
Having attended to his military duties, he dined with his
staff and high officers, enjoying the patriotic music of his
fine band, and congratulating himself and his friends upon
the prospect of having yellow fever as a valuable ally in
fighting the enemy, a pious aspiration which has since
been known to bring solace to the Spanish mind.
The longed-for ally did not appear in time to be of
service, and the next day the crags of Cerro Gordo,
through which Santa Anna had said "not even a goat
could pick his way," were overrun with the soldiers of
General Shields. Santa Anna's chief of cuirassiers,,
Velasco, fell at the foot of Telegrafo; and Vasquez, the
central hero of the Mexican army, the admiration o£
friend and foe alike, surrounded by the guns of his battery, had the happiness to meet a soldier's glorious
death.
In the rocky cliffs of the Telegrafo, Captain John B.
Magruder gave evidence of those fighting qualities which
were afterward to be used against the flag for which he
was now doing such valiant battle. PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
The way to Mexico was opened on the 19th and 20th
of August by the battle of Contreras, in which our young
f^econd-Lieutenant Pickett received his first wound in the
fservice of his country.    This experience, however, did not
yprevent his doing good work at the battle of Churubusco,
Ae being in one of the two regiments which crossed the
jRio Churubusco and held the causeway which led to the
jcity.    The historian says:
Brevet-Major George Wright, Captains Bumford and Larkin Smith,
^JFirst Lieutenant and Adjutant James Longstreet, .Second Lieutenants
James G7S.SnelIing and George E. Pickett, of the Eighth Infantry,
rere all distinguished at this point.
There is more than one name in that list of the glorious
J^old Eighth which will be seen again in the record of the
^^nation's history.    The brevet which Lieutenant Pickett
-received  for  distinguished  gallantry at  Contreras  and
F^0Churubusco must have had as much influence as the min-
jistrations of the surgeons in healing all his wounds.
%   zS      ^e was more fortunate in the battle of El Molino del
Rey from which, though he was one of the storming party
that Worth sent against the mill in this most bloody of
the battles of the Mexican war, he emerged without a
scratch.    His brother lieutenant, J. G. S. Snelling, was
less happy, being severely wounded in the charge.
After this battle, which resulted in the complete rout
of the Mexican army, Santa Anna, to revive the sinking
spirits of his people, proclaimed that he had won a great
victory. This circumstance may serve to recall to the
mind of the reader of recent events the old adage, " History repeats itself."
East of Molino del Rey was a magnificent grove of
cypress trees planted by the kings away back in the days
of Aztec glory.    Here Montezuma had his villa, Chapul- MEXICAN AND INDIAN WARS.
95
tepee, "the hill of the grasshopper," and here, on the
morning of July 13, 1847, ^e^ ^ne ^as^ descendant of that
brave old monarch, fighting with the usurpers under
whose cruel hand had sunk the glory of his great ancestor.
Chapultepec was the key to the City of Mexico and,
as it stood in sullen strength, crowned by batteries, surrounded by breastworks and defended by mines, it must
have seemed to the observer that the capital was securely
locked and bolted.
Fourteen hours of steady fire on the 12th of September prepared the way for the grand assault of the 13th.
In this attack Lieutenant-Colonel J. E. Johnston led one
column. Lieutenant Lewis A. Armistead, of the Sixth
Infantry, was the first to leap into the great ditch surrounding the fortress.
Ascending the hill to the castle, Lieutenant James
Longstreet was severely wounded, and was carried off the
field by Captain Bumford. As he fell Lieutenant Pickett
sprang to his place and led on the men. The colors of
the regiment were borne by Corporal McCauly of Company
I, who fell wounded, being the sixth color-bearer to be shot
within five days. Lieutenant Pickett seized the flag, carried
it as he charged up the height, and, while the battle raged
below, took down the Mexican standard and planted the
colors of the Eighth Regiment with the national flag in
triumph on the summit of the castle of Chapultepec.
For this act of gallantry he was brevetted captain.
Mr. Sherman says of Lieutenant Pickett at this time:
In all the battles from the siege of Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, and Molino del Rey, when he was the first to plant the American
flag and the colors of his regiment upon the parapet of the castle of
Chapultepec, to the' surrender of the City of Mexico, he carved a pathway of glory and fame in the years of his younger manhood, that commanded the admiration and pride of all who had the honor to serve with
and under him to the entrance of the Halls of the Montezumas.    His ex- 96 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
ample inspired the rank and file of his regiment to the highest pitch of
courage and valor, that warranted the promotion of some of them from
the ranks to commissioned officers in the army for gallantry upon the
field of battle.
Lieutenant Jackson, later known to fame as "Stonewall," led a section of Magruder's artillery, and was bre-
vetted major for skill and bravery.
The battle of Chapultepec was pervaded with a literary
atmosphere by the presence of Captain Mayne Reid.
Having successfully turned the key, the American
army proceeded to march on to the citadel by the way of
the gates Belen and San Cosme. Over the Belen gate
Quitman, after a fierce contest, waved the flag of the
Palmetto regiment in token of victory.
The gallant Eighth was a part of the column led by
Worth against the gate of San Cosme. In the fierce
struggle which resulted in the surrender of the last barrier to the Mexican capital, Lieutenant Pickett did valiant
service, for which he has received honorable mention in
history. On the night of the 13th Santa Anna evacuated
the City of Mexico, and on the morning of the 14th
Scott's army took possession of the Halls of the Monte-
zumas.
Thus the curtain fell on the first act in the drama of
the military career of the youthful warrior who was destined to lead the greatest charge known to history.
After the close of the Mexican war Lieutenant Pickett
served for a number of years in Texas and upon the
southern frontier.
He commanded a company in the Ninth Infantry,
which was recruited and organized at Old Point Comfort
in the summer of 1855. Early in December the regiment
was ordered to the Pacific coast by way of the Isthmus,
and left Fortress Monroe on the St. Louis.    Before it MEXICAN AND INDIAN WARS.
97
reached the Isthmus it was divided, six companies under
Colonel Wright being placed on one of the Pacific steamers. Four companies, one of which was Captain Pickett's, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Casey, set
sail on another steamer.
The voyage to San Francisco, where the first stop was
made, consumed between three and four weeks. Here
the regiment was ordered to Oregon and Washington
Territories, six companies going to Fort Vancouver, and
four to Puget Sound.
Captain Pickett's company was one of those which
went to the Sound, and was soon after stationed at Bel-
lingham Bay, where their captain remained as commanding officer.
An Indian war was then raging, the tribes in all the
region from California to British America, numbering
about forty-two thousand warriors, having risen against
the northwestern settlers. Opposed to this formidable
array were fourteen hundred regulars and two thousand
volunteers. Two years of warfare reduced the Indians to
such a degree of submission that no tribe among them,
except the Modocs, ever again made war.
Captain Pickett was greatly distinguished in this war,
not only as a soldier, but as a promoter of the arts of
peace. He made friends even of his enemies, learning
the dialects of the different tribes, that he might be able
to teach them better principles of life than any they had
known.
Over them he exerted an almost mesmeric influence.
The red men were all his friends, but the most devoted
among them were the Nootkams and Chinooks, who
greeted and spoke of him always as "Hyas Tyee," "Hyas
Kloshe Tyee," "Nesika Tyee," "Great Chief," "Great
Good Chief," "Our Chief."    He translated into their own
7 98
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
jargon, and taught them to say, and to sing, some or our
most beautiful hymns and national airs, and the Lord's
Prayer:
Nesika Papa klaksta mitlite kopa saghalie, tik-egh
pee kloshe kopa nesika tum-tum Mika nem; Kloshe pee
Kloshe Mika hyas Saghalie Tyee kopa konaway tilikum:
Klosha kwah-ne-sum Mika tum-tum kopa illahie, kakwa
kopa Mika saghalie. Potlatch konaway sun nesika muck-
amuck pee chuck pee itl-wil-lie. Spose nesika mamook
masachie, wake Mika hyas Saghalie Tyee hyas solleks,
pee spose klaksta massachie kopa nesika, klaksta mitlite
kee-kwi-he, nesika solleks kopa klaska. Mam-ook tip-
shin nesika kok-shut. Mahsh siah kopa nesika kon-away
massachie. Nesika tum-tum pee tik-egh. Wah-ne-sun.
Kloshe kahkwa.
Our Father who lives in the far above, beloved and
hallowed in our hearts [be] Thy name; Great and good
Thou great The above Chief among all people: Good
always Thy will upon earth as in Thy far above. Give
every day our food and water and meat. If we do ill,
[be] not Thou [the] great far above Chief very angry,
and if any one evil towards us, not we angry towards
them. Mend up our broken ways. Send away far from
us all evil. Thine is the great strength and love. For
all the suns.    Good so.
When Captain Pickett quitted the Pacific coast he left
no truer mourners than these simple aborigines, whose
hearts had yielded to kindness as the flower opens to the
gentle rays of the sun. CHAPTER XIV.
SAN  JUAN.
When Charles II., on the 16th of May, 1670, granted a
charter to the Hudson's Bay Company, composed of
Prince Rupert and seventeen other enterprising spirits,
with the primary object of "the discovery of a new passage into the South Sea," as the Pacific Ocean was then
known, and the secondary purpose of trade with foreign
countries, he did not look forward to the complications
which would arise therefrom for future generations to unravel. It was not a characteristic of the Stuarts to take
thought of the morrow. They followed their own sweet
will to-day, happy if on the morrow some other head
came off instead of their own. In the case of the Hudson's Bay Company, in addition to other disadvantages, a
nice piece of other people's property was lost to the
English crown, an experience which is regarded as deleterious to the British constitution.
Charles II., like some other men, had come into the
world nearly a century too late for the full perfection of
his plans; that is, if he ever had any plans except for the
extraction of as much amusement as possible out of the
passing moment, and the murder of the unfortunate people who had been most loyal to him in his exile. If his
schemes included any permanent designs upon the northwest coast of America, Alexander VI., Pope of Rome,
had thwarted them by preceding the royal robber and
making the most of the advantage which accrues to the
man who  is first upon the field, if  he has the wit to
99 100
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
comprehend his  privileges and the force to seize upon
them.
Under the papal bull of 1493, Spain claimed by discovery the entire Pacific coast from Panama to Nootka
Sound on Vancouver's Island, including harbors, islands
and fisheries, and extending indefinitely inland, covering
the original Oregon Territory, which contained Oregon,
Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, up to fifty-four
forty. Spain has never fallen behind the most enterprising regions of the world in the matter of claiming things.
Her weakness lies mainly in respect to holding them.
In 1513, when, from a promontory, the delighted vision
of Balboa first rested upon the peaceful waves of the
Pacific, which by their gentle movement gave to the great
sea its reposeful name, the discoverer of this majestic
ocean took possession of it for his king as a private sea.
In 1558 that most distinguished pirate, Sir Francis
Drake, visited the northwestern coast, and in 1579 he
erected a monument there to signify the fact that he had
graciously accepted the sovereignty of that region for his
queen, who occasionally turned from her amiable vocation
of cutting off the heads of her lovers and otherwise
bringing those devoted victims to discomfiture, to the
truly royal British diversion of accepting her neighbor's
lands.
The first attempt of the English to open traffic on the
northwestern coast met with opposition from the Spanish
government, and for nearly two centuries the rival nations
enjoyed the privilege, so dear to regal souls, of carrying
on a desultory warfare over the territory occupied by
beasts clothed in furs worth far more in the markets of
the world than the human beings who, tortured by the
greed and oppression of despotic European powers,
might have found a refuge here.    It is not alone in the SAN JUAN.
101
nineteenth century that man has fallen below par in the
market-place.
England claimed the right to the trade accruing from
the facilities so lavishly afforded by nature on the northwestern coast, but when she attempted to enforce that alleged right Spain captured and confiscated her vessels.
This action brought the question into the tangled web of
diplomacy, wherein verbal niceties are skilfully made to
do service instead of batteries and bayonets, as being
safer and better adapted to the gradually deteriorating
physiques of men.
In 1789 the issue was made at Nootka Sound. The
younger Pitt, actuated by an inherited hatred of Spain,
shaped the policy which ended in the Nootka treaty of
1790. There is no doubt as to the strength of Pitt's animosity to the rival country, but the power of his diplomacy may be questioned, in view of the fact that Great
Britain failed in her effort to secure the coveted division
of territory, and was granted only the right to navigate,
trade and fish on the northwestern coast. The treaty was
exclusively commercial, and in nowise territorial. Spain
retained her sovereignty over all the land. Four years
later Spain, without formally relinquishing her rights,
withdrew from Nootka Sound and fixed her boundary at
the present northern limit of California. This removed
from the situation Spain as an actual claimant. This
treaty was abrogated in 1796 by the war between England
and Spain.
As a result of the fall of the French power in North
America on the Plains of Abraham one sad September
day in 1759, France transferred to Spain all her territorial
possessions on the west of the Mississippi, being impelled
thereto by the necessities of war and by the fear that her
remaining American possessions might fall into British UK*
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
hands. She never recovered from this blow to her interests and her pride, and in 1800 was quite ready to accept
the offer of the King of Spain to exchange Louisiana for
Tuscany, in order to secure a bridal present for his daughter,
who, having married too small a fraction of the earth for
a royal potato-patch, must be provided with a piece of
ground worth reigning over. This Spanish territory of
Louisiana included the former territory of Oregon, and
by this barter passed over to France.
Failing in his ambition to restore a grand new France
in America, and fearing the growing encroachments of
the English, Napoleon, in 1803, sold the territory to the
United States, who, by this purchase, acquired all that
Spain had ever held in the Northwest above the forty-
second parallel, which Spain claimed extended to fifty-
four forty. The claim to all the coast up to the forty-ninth
parallel is made absolute by the fact that the treaty of
Utrecht fixed the limit of the French possessions at that
point, and when France yielded to Spain in 1762 all her
possessions west of the Mississippi, Spain had constantly
affirmed her title up to fifty-four forty. Subsequently she
conveyed to France all her claim to the forty-ninth parallel and it was afterward conveyed to the United States
by France. In 1814 a new commercial treaty was made
between Great Britain and Spain, reaffirming the Nootka
treaty, which was a virtual concession by Great Britain
of the claim of Spain to fifty-four forty. Anything that
Spain owned beyond this was ceded to the United States
by the Florida treaty of 1819, which transferred all the
Spanish possessions north of forty-two.
These transactions left the question of boundary which
followed the old Spanish claim to be settled by England,
Russia and the United States, Russia's claim being based
on the discoveries of Bering.    Later Russia put forth a Hi
SAN JUAN.
103
claim to all the northwest coast and islands north of latitude fifty-one. John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of
State, denied that Russia had any claim south of fifty-five.
Great Britain also protested. The American objections
were emphasized in 1823 by the Monroe Doctrine, which
provided that the American continents were not to be
considered subjects of colonization by any European
power. It was finally agreed that the United States
should not make claims north of fifty-four forty, nor the
Russians south of that line. A like agreement was made
with Great Britain, and the two were to continue ten years,
with the privilege of navigation and trade where they had
previously existed. At the end of the stipulated decade
Russia served notice on the other two governments of the
discontinuance of British and American trade and navigation north of fifty-four forty.
Russia had previously established two posts in California, the existence of which was an annoyance to England, and after various devices for ridding the lower coast
of the unwelcome intrusion, Russia agreed, at the request of the United States, to withdraw from California
and relinquish all claim south of fifty-four forty. This
removed Russia from the competition for Oregon, and left
England and the United States to adjust the quarrel between themselves.
Among the claims made by Great Britain was that of
the Columbia River, a claim based upon " original discovery." There were other "original" things connected
with this subject besides the "discovery"; in fact, much
more "original" than the discovery.
Captain Robert Gray, of the American ship Columbia,
found the river and gave it the name of his vessel. He
afterward told Vancouver of the existence and location of
the stream, whereupon Vancouver, with true British en- 104
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
terprise, went to the point designated and proceeded to
discover the river with scientific precision and phenomenal keenness. It is possible that, to the obscure vision of
an unenlightened world, such a "discovery" might not
come strictly under the descriptive title of "original,"
but the English government promptly invested it with
novelty by inventing a phase of "original discovery"
henceforth to be known as "progressive." In the fine
art of diplomatic verbiage England has always held the
position of past master.
From this time Oregon furnished a subject of contention for the statesmen of England and the United
States. It lay like a smoldering fire, half darkened
under its ashes until a little wind of excitement would
blow suddenly against it and fan it into a vivid flame to
burn brightly till the breeze shifted to some other
quarter and the flame would sink again into a fitful
slumber.
It was claimed by the United States that the Oregon
country between forty-two and fifty-four forty was part
of the Louisiana cession made by Napoleon in 1803.
England refusing to recognize this claim, the question remained unsettled until 1818, when a treaty of joint occupancy was agreed upon, and renewed in 1827. The conditions of this treaty were that there should be equality
between the two nations in their occupancy of this territory. It is unnecessary to state that the equality, if it
ever existed, soon disappeared. There may come a time
when the lion will lie down with the lamb on some other
condition than the one predicted by a modern prophet,
that the lamb will be inside of the lion, but the lion in the
case will not be of that species known as the British lion.
This situation, with all its discomforts, continued until
the Presidential campaign of 1844, when the Democratic SAN JUAN.
105
platform sent the war-cry of "fifty-four forty or fight,"
resounding throughout the land.
This belligerent alternative was averted by the treaty
of June 15, 1846, which drew the line of division southward in such a way as to give the whole of Vancouver's
Island to the English and reserve to the United States the
archipelago of which San Juan Island is a part. This
concession was made by the United States to avoid cutting through Vancouver's and thus depriving the British
of a part of the island. A few months later Great Britain
manifested a desire to claim a line through Rosario Strait,
near the continent, as the boundary, thus throwing all the
islands of the Haro Archipelago within British jurisdiction. This attempt was promptly met by Mr. Bancroft, then minister to England, and for a time it was
apparently abandoned.
In January, 1848, Mr. Crampton, the British minister
to the United States, submitted a proposition which involved the transference to Great Britain of all the islands
in the Haro Archipelago.
In 1852 the Territory of Oregon included the Haro
Archipelago in one of its counties. After this the Hudson's Bay Company, always the rival and enemy of the
United States in the Northwest, established a post on San
Juan.
This company had for nearly two centuries been the
obstacle in the way of peace and progress in the Northwest. Prince Rupert and his seventeen capitalists had
developed into a corporation as fiercely opposed to civilization as modern monopolies have proven themselves.
The Hudson's Bay Company was the precursor in the
New World of the oil monopoly, the harbinger of the
sugar trust. Like them, it laid its heavy hand upon
every enterprise that might benefit the race.    The desert 106 PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
that might have been developed into a flower-garden
must be kept in its barrenness lest the bloom of the roses
should attract some human interest beside the monstrous
one of greed. The wilderness that might have given way
to happy homes and golden fields of grain must be kept
in its pristine stage of gloomy silence — not for the sake
of the glory of its stately trees and the solemn grandeur
of its mystic twilight aisles, nor for the melody of its
birds and the grace and beauty of its wild-beast life. Not
for any of these must nature forever reign queen of the
North Pacific coast, but only that the steel trap of the
hunter might never lack a victim, and the pockets of
Prince Rupert's worthy descendants never go empty.
Since the bird of unwisdom saved the queen city of the
world, and two great nations fought a bloody war on account of an old bucket, subjects usually regarded as trivial
have been known to play important parts in the history
of nations. The story of San Juan was enlivened by the
festive gambols of a cheerful pig belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company. This enterprising animal had a
habit of pursuing his useful vocation of rooting, in a garden pertaining to Mr. Lyman A. Cutlar, an American
occupant of the island. The relations of Mr. Cutlar to
the invaded premises prevented his appreciating to their
full worth the frugal virtues which in other circumstances
might have won high respect. He remonstrated with the
company to no effect and, taking the matter into his own
hands, the unfortunate pig fell a victim, like many another
innocent creature, to the strained political relations of the
two rival nations.
Having permanently removed the pig as an animated
factor of dissension, Mr. Cutlar offered to pay twice the
value of it by way of establishing amicable relations with
its former owners.    Pork had experienced a sudden rise SAN JUAN.
107
in the British market, and the worth of this particular
sample had risen into the realm of international ethics
and was not to be computed in terms of filthy lucre.
The next day the British steamer Beaver brought an
officer ashore to arrest Cutlar and take him to Victoria
for trial. Pointing his rifle at the officer, Cutlar replied
that they might take him to Victoria, but they would have
to kill him first. The officer, not feeling quite safe in
precipitating a crisis just then, withdrew, and the porcine
incident was diplomatically regarded as closed.
When the northern part of Oregon was separated into
a new Territory called Washington, the islands of the
Archipelago were included in Whatcom County. In 1855
the Hudson's Bay Company refused to pay the taxes assessed upon its property, and that property was advertised and sold to meet the demand. In the correspondence which ensued between the governors of Vancouver's
Island and Washington Territory, the governor of Vancouver's asserted his instructions to regard the islands as
a part of the British dominion. Crampton laid this correspondence before the State Department with a renewal of
his proposition for a joint commission to determine the
boundary-line, suggesting "the expediency of the adoption
by both governments of the channel marked as the only
known navigable channel by Vancouver as that designated in the treaty." This meant to run the line through
Vancouver's Strait and give up to Great Britain the Haro
Archipelago.
On the nth of August, 1856, an act was passed authorizing a commission to unite with similar officers appointed by the British government, each commissioner
being instructed as to the duties he was to perform.
Archibald Campbell was appointed commissioner on the
part of the United States, with John G. Parke, chief as- io8
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
tronomer and surveyor; and Captain James G. Prevost,
first commissioner for the British government, and Captain Richards, chief astronomer and surveyor of the
British commission, as second commissioner.
On the 27th of June, 1857, the first official meeting of
the joint commission was held. The British commander
stated that he could do nothing until the arrival of Captain Richards. Having waited until the close of October, Captain Prevost decided to accept the coast-survey
charts as accurate, and consented to adopt them for the
determination of the boundary. On the 26th of October
the commission met at Esquimalt Harbor, Vancouver's
Island, with the understanding that they were invested
with full powers. The discussion of the boundary question was had with this understanding on the part of the
United States commissioner.
As was to be expected, the commissioners failed to
agree on the subject of a satisfactory boundary, it being
somewhat difficult to interpret satisfactorily a treaty with
some one who has in advance made up his mind, and
openly declared his intention, as had the British commissioners, to accept only that interpretation which will
award to him the subject-matter of contention. A decision
which shall in no way effect the claim of one of the parties
to the dispute is scarcely worth the trouble of making.
The United States claimed the Canal de Haro as the
boundary, because it was tfie main channel south of the
forty-ninth parallel leading into the Strait of Fuca, and
it would secure the sole object for which the line was
deflected south from the forty-ninth parallel, that is, to
give the whole of Vancouver's Island to Great Britain.
The British commissioner claimed Rosario Strait as
the boundary, on the ground that it coincided with what
he called "the very peculiar wording" of the treaty.    He
1— SAN JUAN.
109
assumed that the Rbsario Strait answered to the requirement of the language, "separates the continent from Vancouver's Island," whereas Canal de Haro merely "separates Vancouver's Island from the continent," an illustration of the importance of linguistic purism in the science
of diplomacy. As his nation had drawn up the treaty,
and was therefore responsible for the peculiar wording,
it was scarcely becoming in him to set forth that claim,
in violation of the law of nations which provides that a
difficulty of construction shall not be decided in favor of
the nation creating the obscurity.
Being unable to support his claim, he offered as a
substitute a smaller channel which would include San
Juan in the British possessions. The United States commissioner refused to accept this compromise. The British
commissioner had received rigid instructions, and had no
power to accept any line that would not give San Juan to
Great Britain. He said, "beyond what I now offer I
can no further go."
It was only reasonable to suppose that the nearest
natural boundary which would avoid the necessity of
cutting Vancouver's Island would be the one sought.
This boundary was the Canal de Haro. In the communication by Mr. McLane, who had been sent specially to
Great Britain to aid in the negotiations, to Mr. Buchanan,
then Secretary of State, he specifically mentions the extension of the line by the Canal de Haro and the Strait
of Fuca to the ocean, no reference being made to Rosario.
He states that this proposition now made by Lord Aberdeen was suggested by his (Mr. McLane's) immediate
predecessor as one which his government might accept.
Again he refers to the modified extension of the line as
being adapted to avoid the southern cape of Vancouver's
Island. no
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
Mr. Benton, in a speech in the Senate in favor of
the treaty, mentioned the slight deflection of the line
with the object of avoiding the cutting of the south
end of Vancouver's Island. Again he spoke of the line
through the Channel de Haro, and stated that it preserved for the United States that cluster of islands between the Channel de Haro and the continent. Even Mr.
Crampton, the British minister, did not claim that Rosario
was the channel meant, but thought that it must refer to
Vancouver's Channel, erroneously supposing it to be the
only one answering the description which had up to that
time been surveyed and used.
It is a noticeable fact that the Strait of Rosario did
not appear upon any map, south of the forty-ninth parallel, until it was needed by the British government to cut
off a piece of somebody elses land, when it was hastily
moved southward and dated back to a period antedating
the treaty. CHAPTER XV.
SAN JUAN CONTINUED.
In 1853 the Hudson's Bay Company sent an agent with
a flock of sheep to take possession of San Juan Island, a
very peaceable purpose to which to devote a territory surrounded by such warlike associations. As it turned out,
however, not even the pastoral symphony of bleating
lambs could infuse harmony into the situation.
On the night of the 26th of July, in 1859, General
Harney, commander of the Department of Oregon,
stationed troops on the island. Captain Pickett and a
command of sixty-eight men were silently transferred
from the mainland and when the morning came were
in possession of the disputed territory. As the bold
Britons, one thousand nine hundred and forty strong,
looked from their five ships of war coastward through the
dawn and beheld this slight force, comfortable in the reflection that they had a cannon for every interloper there
except two, they must have experienced something of
the prospective triumph which swelled the heart of the
giant in sacred story as he hastened to meet the shepherd
youth armed with but a helpless-looking sling and stone.
Later in the game they had yet more reason to remember
the experience of that famous champion, and draw discouraging parallels.
To a proposition from the English commander for a
joint military occupation of San Juan, Captain Pickett
replied:
" As a matter of course, I, being here under orders from
in II:
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
my government, can not allow any joint occupation until
so ordered by my commanding general."
The English captain said, " I have one thousand men
on board the ships ready to land to-night."
" Captain, you have the force to land, but if you undertake it I will fight you as long as I have a man."
" Very well," answered Hornby, " I shall land them at
once."
" If you will give me forty-eight hours," said Captain
Pickett, "till I hear from my commanding officer, my
orders may be countermanded. If you don't, you must
be responsible for the bloodshed that will follow."
" Not one minute," was the English captain's reply.
Captain Pickett gave orders for the drawing up of his
men in lines on the hill facing the beach, where the English would have to land.
"We will make a Bunker Hill of it, and don't be afraid
of their big guns," said Pickett to his men.
The following is an extract from the report of General
Harney to General Scott:
The senior officer of three British ships of war threatened to land
an overpowering force upon Captain Pickett, who nobly replied that
whether they landed fifty or five thousand men his conduct would not
be affected by it; that he would open his fire, and, if compelled, take to
the woods fighting; and so satisfied were the British officers that such
would be his course, that they hesitated in putting their threat into
execution.
The following letter from General Harney to Captain
Pickett defines at length his purpose in transferring troops
to San Juan:
Headquarters Department of Oregon,
Fort Vancouver, W. T.f July 18, 1859.
Captain:   By Special Orders No. 72, a copy of which is inclosed,
you are directed to establish your company on Bfllevue or San Juan
Island, in some suitable position near the harbor at the southeastern
■'■ SAN JUAN CONTINUED.
extremity.    The general commanding instructs me to say the object to
be attained in placing you thus is twofold, viz.:
First. To protect the inhabitants of the island from the incursions
of the northern Indians of British Columbia and the Russian possessions. You will not permit any force of these Indians to visit San Juan
Island or the waters of Puget Sound in that vicinity over which the
United States have any jurisdiction. Should these Indians appear
peaceable you will warn them in a quiet but firm manner to return to
their own country and not visit in future the territory of the United
States; and in the event of any opposition being offered to your demands,
you will use the most decisive measures to enforce them, to which end
the commander of the troops stationed on the steamer Massachusetts will
be instructed to render every assistance and co-operation that will be
necessary to enable your command to fulfill the tenor of these instructions.
Second. Another serious and important duty will devolve upon yon
in the occupation of San Juan Island, arising from the American citizens
and the Hudson's Bay Company establishment at that point. This duty
is to afford adequate protection to the American citizens in their rights
as such, and to resist all attempts at interference by the British authorities residing on Vancouver's Island, by intimidation or force, in the controversies of the above-mentioned parties.
This protection has been called for in consequence of the chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, Mr. Dallas, having recently visited
San Juan Island with a British sloop of war, and threatened to take an
American citizen by force to Victoria for trial by British laws. It is
hoped a second attempt of this kind will not be made, but to ensure the
safety of our citizens the general commanding directs you to meet the
authorities from Victoria at once, on a second arrival, and inform them
they can not be permitted to interfere with our citizens in any way.
Any grievances they may allege as requiring redress can only be examined under our own laws, to which they must submit their claims in
proper form.
The steamer Massachusetts will be directed to transport your command, stores, etc., to San Juan Island, where you are authorized to
construct such temporary shelter as the necessities of the service may
demand.
Any materials, such as doors, window-sash, flooring, etc., that can
be rendered available will be taken with you from Fort Bellingham.    To
secure to your command the vegetables of your garden, a small detachment will be left to gather them when grown.
8 H4
PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
The general commanding is fully satisfied, from the varied experience and judgment displayed by you in your present command, that
your selection to the duties with which you are now charged will advance the interests of the service, and that your disposition of the subjects coming within your supervision and action will enhance your reputation as a commander.
In your selection of a position, take into consideration that future
contingencies may require an establishment of from four to six companies retaining the command of the San Juan harbor.
I am, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. Pleasanton,
Captain Second Dragoons, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Captain George Pickett,
Commanding Company D, Ninth Infantry,
Fort Bellingham, Puget Sound.
The following correspondence between Captain Pickett and the military officers and the agent of the Hudson's Bay Company will sufficiently indicate the existing
situation upon the island:
Military Camp,
San Juan Island, W. T., July 30, 1859.
My dear Colonel: I have the honor to inclose you some notes
which passed this morning between the Hudson's Bay authorities
and myself. From the threatening attitude of affairs at present, I
deem it my duty to request that the Massachusetts may be sent at
once to this point. I do not know that any actual collision will
take place, but it is not comfortable to be lying within range of a
couple of war-steamers. The Tribune, a thirty-gun frigate, is lying
broadside to our camp, and from present indications everything leads
me to suppose that they will attempt to prevent my carrying out my
instructions.
If you have any boats to spare I shall be happy to get one at least.
The only whale-boat we had was, most unfortunately, staved on the day
of our departure.
;-.- We will be very much in want of some tools and camp equipage.    I
have not the time, Colonel, to make out the proper requisition, but if SAN JUAN CONTINUED.
your quartermaster can send us some of these articles they will be o|
great service.
I am, sir, in haste, very truly, your obedient servant,
G. E. Pickett,
.Lieutenant-Colonel S. Casey, Captain Ninth Infantry.
Ninth Infantry, Commanding Fort Steilacoom, W. T.
P. S.—The Shubrick has rendered us every assistance in her power,
and I am much indebted for the kindness of officers.
Bellevue Farm, San Juan, July 30, 1859.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the Island of San Juan,
on which your camp is pitched, is the property and in the occupation of
the Hudson's Bay Company, and to request that you and the whole of
the party w .10 have landed from the American vessels will immediately
cease to occupy the same. Should you be unwilling to comply with my
request, I feel bound to apply to the civil authorities.
Awaiting your reply I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Chas. Jno. Griffin,
Captain Pickett, Agent Hudson's Bay Company.
Commanding Company D, Ninth Infantry,
Island of San Juan.
Military Camp,
San Juan, W. T., July 30, 1859.
Sir: Your communication of this instant has been received. I have
to state in reply that I do not acknowledge the right of the Hudson's
Bay Company to dictate my course of action. I am here by virtue of
an order from my government, and shall remain till recalled by the same
authority.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
George E. Pickett,
Captain Ninth United States Infantry, Commanding.
Mr. Charles J. Griffin,
Agent Hudson's Bay Company,
San Juan Island, W. T.
Military Post,
San Juan, W. T., August 3, 10 p.m.
Captain:    I have the honor to report the following circumstances:
The British ships the Tribune, the Plumper, the Satellite are lying here PICKETT AND HIS MEN.
in a menacing attitude. I have been "warned oJJ by the Hudson's Bay
agent; then a summons was sent to me to appear before a Mr. DeCour-
cey, an official of her Britannic Majesty. To-day I received the inclosed communications, and I also inclose my answer to same.
I had to deal with three captains, and I thought it better to take the
brunt of it. They have a force so much superior to mine that it will be
merely a mouthful for them; still I have informed them that I am here
by order of my commandi