e least possible amount of work.
But the negro women amused me most of any. In all their native hideousness of form and feature, they bedizen their persons with European costumes, of every fashion, fabric, and colour, and walk the streets with a solemn dignity that even a Spanish hidalgo might envy.
I had not supposed that I sorts of weapons were marching about, and cavalrymen in the most picturesque costumes were galloping up and down on fine-looking horses.
Accustomed as I was to European discipline and uniform, I must confess that on me the first impression of these Confederate soldiers was not favourable, and far was I from any idea how soon themy day's ride, I gladly accepted the invitation.
The camp was a novelty to me in the art of castrametation.
The horses were not picketed in regular lines as in European armies, but were scattered about anywhere in the neighbouring wood, some tethered to swinging limbs, some tied to small trees, others again left to browse at wil
his bold General, and we often escaped as by a miracle from the dangers which surrounded us. It was only by this exposure of himself that he could insure the extraordinary success which invariably crowned his expeditions and military operations.
The object of this excursion soon appeared.
Our cavalry force received orders to provide themselves with rations for three days, and on the 12th we commenced that ride round the army of General McClellan which attracted so much attention even in Europe.
June 12, 1862.
It was two o'clock in the morning, and we were all fast asleep, when General Stuart's clear voice awoke us with the words, Gentlemen, in ten minutes every man must be in his saddle!
In half the time all the members of the Staff were dressed, and the horses had been fed; and the ten minutes were scarcely up when we galloped off to overtake the main body, which we reached by about five o'clock. Our command was composed of parts of the different regiments of the brigad
ached the Potomac at White's Ford, where the cavalry were to cross.
The banks of this noble river, which is of great width at this point, rise to the height of about sixty feet above the bed of the stream, and are overshadowed by gigantic trees of primeval growth, the trunks and branches of which are enwrapped with luxuriant vines, that, after reaching the very top, fall in graceful streamers and festoons to the ground, thus presenting tangles of tender verdure rarely seen in the forests of Europe.
At White's Ford the Potomac is divided into two streams by a sandy strip of island in the middle.
This island is half a mile in length, and offered us a momentary resting-place half-way in our passage of the river.
It was, indeed, a magnificent sight as the long column of many thousand horsemen stretched across this beautiful Potomac.
The evening sun slanted upon its clear placid waters, and burnished them with gold, while the arms of the soldiers glittered and blazed in its radiance.
ought the partridges which were said to abound in the large fields around the village.
The American partridge in its habits closely resembles the partridge of Europe, but is much smaller in size, and different in plumage, reminding one more of the European quail.
It consorts in large coveys, which, after having been dispersedgiven to his ancestor, with the inscription, From the oldest living general to the greatest.
We also visited the noble estate of Mr T., who had travelled much in Europe, and who gave us an excellent dinner, where we passed some pleasant hours over the walnuts and the wine.
All around the dwelling were magnificent hickory-trees,ed church, a short distance from Charlestown, which had seventy or eighty years ago been burned down, and which looked quite picturesque, with ivy trailing from its shattered walls and Gothic windows.
Upon me, long accustomed to the century-stained ruins of Europe, the old church of Jefferson did not make the desired impression.
them, but a very good way is to hunt them with dogs, which must be trained for the purpose, and which, as soon as a flock has been started, disperse it and pursue the single birds so long and with such loud barking that they fly in affright to the tree, where the sportsman finds it a simple matter to bring them down.
They fly only when pressed in this manner or when suddenly driven out of a thicket, but they run with the celerity of the greyhound, and are extremely wary and cunning.
If in Europe one uses the proverb As stupid as a turkey, in America one says As smart as a wild gobbler.
The American pheasant is a fine bird, about the size of the English grouse, but the meat is far superior, and I thought it the best game I had ever eaten.
The Virginia hare is of very small size, and resembles the European rabbit in habits and appearance.
It is an easy prey for any fast pointer dog, but the meat is of very inferior quality.
Very near The Bower, on the opposite side of the Opequ
I was conscious of a blush reddening my cheeks under my beard at this, but I felt also a glow of pride, and I would not at that moment have exchanged the simple, earnest tribute of the great warrior for all the orders and crosses of honour of Europe.
Hurrah for old Von!
And now let us be off, said Stuart, and slapping me on the back to conceal his own slight embarrassment, he rose from the table, followed by his companions.
In a few minutes we rode off at a gallop to fresh scenes of excitur line of battle, and I accompanied him upon a little reconnaissance to a slight eminence, from which we could narrowly watch the approach of the vast numbers of the enemy.
With his battery he had two 15-pounder brass guns, imported by him from Europe at his own expense, that were remarkable for their long range and accuracy of aim, but were too heavy for flying artillery.
These pieces, being at once placed in position at our point of survey, speedily commenced the fight, and their fire being
In a very few minutes the banjo vibrated under his master hand, the two fiddles shrieked in unison, and Bob's bones clattered their most hideous din; and in the animated beat of the music, and the lively measures of the dance, we soon forgot the little desagremens of our journey.
Our English captain entered into the fun quite as heartily as any of us. If there was no magnificent hall, with the light showering down from a thousand wax candles on the brilliant toilettes of Europe, to fall forth our admiration, there were many pretty faces and sparkling eyes worth looking into; and it was quite delightful to see our foreign friend winding through the mazes of many bounding quadrilles and Virginia reels with an evident enjoyment of the same.
After several hours of mirth and dancing, we accepted the kind offer of our host to lend us one of his own waggons for our return to headquarters, where we arrived a short time before daybreak, little thinking how soon we should b
h I think quite pardonable under the circumstances.
Having by repeated loud knocks induced the inhospitable negro to reopen the door, he addressed him thus: Mr Madden (this was the man's name), you don't know what a good friend of yours I am, or what you are doing when you are about to treat us in this way. That gentleman there (pointing to me) is the great General Lee himself; the other one is the French ambassador just arrived from Washington (this alluded to Price, who, being lately from Europe, and much better equipped than the rest, had rather a foreign appearance); and I am a staff-officer of the General's, who is quite mad at being kept waiting outside so long after riding all this way on purpose to see you. In fact, if you let him stay any longer here in the cold, I'm afraid he'll shell your house as soon as his artillery comes up.
The old negro was so perfectly staggered by this long harangue, which was uttered with a perfectly serious countenance, that he immediately invit