Abbildungen der Seite


history, rather than a page of the present. Through the centre of the socalled Confederacy he marched his valiant men, with hardly a show of resistance to the momentum of his force. The want of solidity of this wicked imposition was no where more palpably shown than in the campaigns of Sherman. He might well be proud of the men who had enabled him to do this, and whom he now led, on the grand Review. Following him came Maj. General 0. 0. Howard, who has not been improperly designated as the Havelock” of the American Army. Educated at West Point, he had, however, resigned his position and was reading for the ministry, when the needs of the country called him to offer his services. In the Peninsula campaign, an arm (the right one) had been sacrificed to his country, yet he did not leave the service; meeting a serious reverse with a Corps under his command at Chancellorvllle, he still did not despair, and now with the success which untiring perseverance always deserves (when it is acompanied with genuine merit) he appears before his countrymen as the retiring Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Tennessee, having accepted the responsible position of Superintendent of the Freedmen of the United States. The career of this Christian soldier is something worthy of imitation by the youth of the land. It is possible for one to be a soldier and a Christian,nay, the best Christian makes the best soldier.

The Army of Tennessee, composed of the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps, commanded now by Major General Logan, had the right of the col

It had fought at Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Lookout Mountain, Resaca and Atlanta, and on many other fields. Hard fighting, short rations and long marches had been its share. The Lieutenant General had won his stars with its brave boys and must have felt an honest pride in looking over its war-worn ranks. First came the Fifteenth Corps, bearing as its badge a cartridge box with the legend “Forty Rounds. It was commanded by the brave and handsome Major General W. E. Hozen, who has risen from the position of captain in the 8th. Regular Infantry. At the storming of Fort M’Allister, he was at the head of the storming party. The colors of this command were tattered and torn, the result of many a shot from the insurgent forces. Inspiriting music accompanied the veterans, who stepped as lightly as though they had never known what it was to be fatigued. The Engineer Corps, attached to this command, as indeed is the case with all Sherman's Corps, was mostly composed of negroes, who shouldered their shovels, pick-axes and spades, and marched with all the grave dignity becoming men who had helped to build breastworks and other engineering contrivances for the protection and assistance of troops.

The Seventeenth Corps, was commanded by Major General Frank P. Blair, who was surrounded by a brilliant staff of accomplished officers. His men were entirely from the West, and seemed not a little proud of their badye, a silver arrow. Friends cheered them as they marched along and flowers were lavishly given their officers, by those whose enthusiasm adopted that form of expression. Swift as arrows in the charge, they had no unpleasant memories of failures to perform any duty assigned them. With military tread and earnest countenances these veteran soldiers, passed in review before the high dignitaries of the land. They also possess the right to a page in the great book of History.

Next came what is technically known as the left wingof Sherman's Army--the Army of Georgia, composed of the Twentieth and Fourteenth

Corps and commanded by a soldier, whose record has been excelled by few in this great war, Major General H. W. Slocum. The Twentieth Corps contains representatives of all the States in the Union. It was formed of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps of the Army of the Potomac, and its men had fought valiantly and well in Virginia, on the bloody fields of Antietam and among the rocky hills of Gettysburg, before they had been transferred to the West. The Star is the Corps-badge. Our readers may recollect the operations of this Corps at Lookout Mountain, under Hooker, when the battle was literally fought above the clouds. Both Western and Eastern states are represented in its ranks, and their deeds are as familiar to the country as the names of their Division-commanders—A. S. Williams and John W. Geary. The Corps itself was commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower, whose fame had been acquired in the Seventeenth Corps, before his assignment to the Twentieth. “As this Corps passed along the Avenue, our thoughts were wandering back to the time when some of its oldest regiments were beginning their military life in the Army of the Shenandoah under Banks. A very large number of officers have been rewarded with the stars that indicate the rank of General; but few of the familiar faces are to be seen in their ranks: still their services in defence of their country should never be forgotten. Many have gone to render up their account for the deeds done in the flesh, and the tear of sad regret dims the sight as memory tries to trace the four-years' history of these brave boys. They have endured as much hardship as ever falls to the lot of soldiers, and now return to the duties of citizens with the same patriotic spirit that compelled them to seek the field. The grandeur of the pageant, as well as the earnest enthusiasm of the spectators, was somewhat affected as the Pack-mule Brigade, attached to Geary's Division, made its appearance. This was the comic portion of the Review. Several hundred mules and donkeys, all apparently chosen for their diminutive size, were led by colored boys, whose clothing and general appearance are beyond description. Nothing could be called uniform,—all was multiform. Two boys, with hats that beggar description, mounted on mules about 4 feet high, led the Brigade, then followed the motley herd, with their backs loaded down with pots, pans and “such like commodities”, and

among the culinary utensils were mixed the various articles that foragers collect wherever they go. To mako the scene still more ludicrous-goats, coons and game chickens, with an occasional Poodle-dog were carried along on the backs of the long-eared quadrupeds. Cleanliness and order did not mark this Brigade, but its appearance removed the serious thoughts that were oppressing the crowd of earnest spectators, who will never recall its appearance without a smile.

The whole column was closed by the Fourteenth Corps, under Major Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, whose name is as suggestive of patriotic deeds as is that of his name-sake—the arch rebel-of broken faith, despicable perjury and horrible treason. The gallant Thomas first commanded this Corps, and disciplined it to that perfection of soldiery which has not lost a tittle of its glory under the present leader. The Acorn badge distinguished ed this fine body of men from their brethren of the grand Army, and they seemed not a little proud of it, as the ensign which had floated along with the national colors on many a sternly contested battle-field.

And now, the rear guard has passed and the Reviews—the largest ever held on this continent, have been closed. The nation has seen the survivors of those men who have taken their lives into their hands at their country's call. The calm imperturable Lieut. General, whose power of combination has made them irresistible, and whose disregard of self has enabled him to give honor where honor was due, has seen the last of the glittering bayonets of these world-renowned Armies. But grand as the spectacle has been, when we think that not more than one third of the Armies of the United States have been reviewed, the magnitude of the contest and expenditure of money and life to sustain the nation's integrity, begins to become clear to the thoughtful mind. What a treasure to us all must this country not henceforth be? Let children learn to respect the powers that be, to cultivate that subordination which will cause them to obey laws rather than the dictates of self-will. This vast body of soldiers will soon return to the duties of civil life. May they all strive to advance the natural resources of the country and the education, intellectual and moral, of its citizens, so that our fame shall not only rest upon our strength, but upon our character as true men, duly reverencing and cultivating every thing that is noble and good.

The whole world has been interested in these Reviews. We need fear no longer hostile conflict with foreign powers.

We are the strongest power on the globe. Let us then learn to fear doing wrong, let us cultivate the right, and thenwe may sing with honest pride

The star-spangled banner, oh long may it wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.



Very many times, when I have been relating to friends on shore the incidents of some ocean burial scene in which I have participated, and which faithful memory recalls vividly to mind, I have observed a sort of shrinking terror, an involuntary shudder pass over my listeners, as if there was something very terrible eren in the thought of consigning the inanimate clay of even a stranger to the cold dreary depths of an almost shoreless sea. The very idea of thus bestowing the dear remains of a loved relative or friend, is to those whose home is ever on the land, most revolting, and the reality itself would be almost insupportable. It is to them a cruel thought, that the last resting-place of the loved and the lost should be in the mighty depths of the ever restless ocean, down-far down, in the cold green caverns, uncoffined, and their grave unmarked by lettered marble; the wild waves chanting their unceasing requiem, and fierce winds howling everlastingly their funeral dirge, till the last loud trumpet shall bid the sea yield up its dead.

It is our unfamiliarity with ocean burials, that always clothes them with such dread. The sailor, grown familiar by long associations with such scenes, comes to look upon the sea as the only proper sepulchre of the dead, and shudders at the idea of a coffin prison, and the crushing suffocating weight of earth—the rotting of flesh and crumbling to dust of his bones, with ten times the horror that the landsman does upon a burial at


[ocr errors]

Ocean-born, cradled by the ship, rocked by waves and lullabied by the winds-reared to manhood on the

I had from


earliest recollection been familiar with the burial of our dead beneath its blue surface, and learned to look upon its heaving, ever-restless bosom, as the only fitting final resting place of man. Trenching deep into the earth, heaping on smothering clods, and crushing mortal remains beneath tons of conventional marble, seemed to me a desecration of God's image-a species of civilized barbarism, that brought always with the thought a shivering horror.

When my girl-wife first went to sea with me, I remember how at first, on our outward passage, her great terror was the possibility that death might seize

upon her when thousands of miles from her childhood's home, and her burial beneath the white-crested waves become a necessity. But when I explained to her, that properly disposed, with heavy weights attached to the feet, the dead body always went far down into the everlasting, immovable, currentless depths, scores of fathoms below the possible range of ravenous fishes, or the possible reach of corruption, where no decomposing agency could ever come, and upborne by the briny density of the lower depths, as on atmospheric wings, the body, floated perpendicularly-standing erect as in life—God's image still intact, waiting there unwearied, and unchanged in a single feature, until time shall be no longer, and the arch-angel's call shall summon it to come forth to judgment—then all the terror of such a sepulchre drifted from her, and my wife learned to contemplate with quiet pleasure such a final disposition of the dead. After she had become familiar with death and burials at sea by witnessing them, her earnest wish was, that, when God in his wisdom saw fit to summon her hence, the call might come in some mid-passage, and one day she exacted from me a promise, that, should she chance to die on shore, I would carry her far out to sea, and bury her there.

She had her desire accomplished. Her bright, young spirit took its Heaven-ward flight far away from the land, upon the bosom of the tempest-tossed ocean. She died and was buried at sea. Hers was the last ocean burial I ever looked upon, and with every feature of the scene as vivid as if engraved upon my heart in letters of living fire, I shall write briefly of it as it occurred. There is no need that I should draw upon imagination for a single thought. My journal, picturing the sad scene, lies open before me,

and that which I shall write will be simply unembellished facts.

The demon of secession had driven us hurriedly from our Eden-home in the far Southern Gulf regions, and the hardships, exposure and vicissitudes incident to a fugitive flight of more than a thousand miles through a hostile country and population, in rough wagons, on horseback, and by times on foot, had so shattered my wife's health-never robust, that there was but one hope of re-establishing it, and that hope a faint one. But I laid hold of it resolutely, and was rewarded by results almost miraculous.

Very carefully, upon a mattress, we bore my invalid, semi-paralytic wife on board a ship bound for the West Indies, and thus for the last time, I took her, who had been my companion in so many voyages to sea. The effect of salt water-bathing, salubrious sea air, and old associations, were like magic. On the tenth day my wife was walking the deck, leaning on my arm, revelling in her old delights-watching the wheeling flight of snowy sea fowl, the playful career of the porpoise, the arrowy darting dolphin, and the cutting through the air of those beautiful ocean fairies—the glittering flying fish.

So rapidly did health and vigor come back to her shattered frame, that when we reached Guadaloupe, the roses of her young childhood again bloomed in her cheeks, her dark brown eyes sparkled again with all their girlish vivacity, and she was equal to the fatigues of her favorite equestrian exercise, so that we made long excursions into the interior, and I never heard her complain of weariness.

Four months passed, during which time we had visited the Windward, and all the Virgin Group of Islands, and were at St. Pieres, in the Island of Martinique, prepared to embark for the United States.' We were offered a passage in one of our first-class steam sloops .of war, which had called at St. Pieres, and was home-ward bound, and as the ship would touch at Key West, the Havana, Port Royal and Beaufort, affording us an opportunity of seeing a great deal of our new naval power, and something of blockade life, the invitation was thankfully received and accepted.

We sailed from St. Pieres at an early hour on the morning of the 27th of October, with the trade winds blowing a gentle breeze, a clear, cloudless sky, and the blue waves slumbering as peacefully as a rocked infant.

Twelve hours later, the stout ship was doing brave battle with one of those terrible gales, which sometimes sweep over the surface of the Caribbean Sea with such destructive fury.

Within two hours after the gale came on, my wife was suddenly attacked with violent vomiting and great distress at the stomach. It was not sea sickness—though several of the sailors, and among

them had been upon the sea more than half their lives, were suffering severely from that malady. My wife had never experienced a moment's nausea from sea sickness in all her voyaging; besides, there was not a feature of the complaint apparent in her case. The symptoms were more like those of that dreadful scourge of the Northern tropics—the terrible Vomito. But then that fatal scourge had been no where in our course, and at Dominique, Mariegalante and Martinique, where we had spent the last five weeks, it so rarely occurs, that it seemed an utter impossibility that my wife could have become infected there. Still

, fearing that such was the character of her disease, I resorted to such remedies as I had used in a great many instances successfully—for I was familiar with the monster and had twice beaten him back and overboard, when he had laid his loathsome death-grip upon a whole ship's crew.

The surgeon of the ship, in his kindness and earnest solicitude, was all that I could have desired; but he was young, inexperienced, and not profoundly deep in medical jurisprudence; so that he was wholly unable to afford me the assistance and assurance I so much needed.

If I could have had the clear, cool judgment, and scientific skill of D. Stanly Gloninger, M.D., of Philadelphia, or one as competent, I believe

some who

« ZurückWeiter »