d was a private of one of our regiments, whom Stuart had detached to his military family for his musical talent alone, Bob Sweeney, a brother of the celebrated banjo-player, Joe Sweeney, forerunner of all the Christy's;--Bob Sweeney, who also playedBob Sweeney, who also played this favourite instrument of the family with amazing cleverness; who knew sentimental, bibulous, martial, nautical, comic songs out of number; who was carried about with him by the General everywhere; who will have a conspicuous place in some of ouance that on my return she would be found grazing or lying down composedly at the spot where I had left her. Sometimes Bob Sweeney, the banjo-player, accompanied me on my expeditions with the fowling-piece.
Bob had the good sense to confine his eff all assembled-guests, officers, couriers, and negroes-around a roaring wood-fire in the centre of our encampment, where Sweeney, with his banjo, gave us selections from his repertoire, which were followed by a fine quartette by some of our soldiers
f horses, and also learned that our daring band of horsemen was already on its rapid return to Virginia.
I availed myself of the opportunity while in Shepherdstown of paying my respects to Mrs L., by whom and the other ladies of her household I was welcomed with the utmost kindness.
On the morning of the 13th General Stuart arrived again safely at The Bower, heralding his approach from afar by the single bugler he had with him, whose notes were somewhat oddly mingled with the thrum of Sweeney's banjo.
Our delight in being again together was unspeakable, and was greatly enhanced by the glorious issue of the expedition.
Many prisoners had been taken; he had secured large numbers of horses and mules, and he had inflicted great material damage upon the enemy.
All my comrades had mounted themselves on fresh horses, and they came back with wonderful accounts of their adventures across the border, what terror and consternation had possessed the burly Dutch farmers of Pennsylvania, a
emy, retard him as much as possible, and protect the left flank of our army.
So we rode quietly along in the tracks of our horsemen, who, before the Staff had left The Bower, had proceeded in the direction of Berryville.
Our mercurial soldiers were as gay as ever, and even the most sentimental members of the Staff had rallied from the despondence incidental to departure from our late encampment, when during the afternoon we reached en route the little town of Smithfield, where, under Bob Sweeney's direction as impresario, we managed to get up a serenade for the amiable widow who had entertained me with such hospitality.
Meanwhile the rain, which had been falling when we rode off from The Bower, had ceased, a keen north wind had set in, and it had begun to freeze hard, when, late at night, we reached Berryville, chilled, wet, and hungry.
The provisions of the country had been more or less consumed by the troops who had preceded us on the march, and it was therefore regarded a
sisted only of a small piece of pork and a canteen of bad apple-brandy; but wit and good-humour make amends for the lack of dishes, and our songs re-echoed through the adjoining forests.
Dearing soon proposed that we should send a courier for Bob Sweeney and his banjo, which was carried nem.
con.; and before half an hour had elapsed, the joyous minstrel occupied the post of honour upon the large mess-chest at our great camp-fire, and the music of the banjo, the songs of the bivouac, and the d accomplished young ladies I had seen in Richmond, the very mention of whose names caused the hearts of several of my younger comrades to beat quicker than the excitement of the field of battle.
Dinner followed without loss of time; then came Sweeney with his banjo, and dancing with the music; and again I enjoyed the harmless, careless gaiety of our camp-life to the top of my bent.
Late in the evening we had the pleasure of greeting our friends, Messrs Lawley and Vizetelly, for whom a tent
e veryfrequently-before-mentioned yellow waggon was again brought out, and four spirited mules of the medical department of our headquarters were harnessed to it. Sweeney reported himself with his banjo and two fiddlers, and very soon the whole company, consisting of Captain Phillips, Major Pelham, Major Terrell, Captain Blackford,ny fair ones had already assembled, and the whole company awaited, with impatience and anxiety, the arrival of their distinguished guests and the promised music.
Sweeney lost no time in his orchestral arrangements.
In a very few minutes the banjo vibrated under his master hand, the two fiddles shrieked in unison, and Bob's bones yment 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 be aroused by the notes of a very different music from that of Sweeney's orchestra.
his two friends, and the night was far on ere we separated.
The moment we had finished breakfast next morning our horses were in readiness, and we all started for a ride to Fredericksburg, and over the battle-field, which presented itself to the astonished eyes of our English friends still stained with blood, and with the marks still fresh, in all their horror, of the past work of desolation and destruction.
The day wound up with a great Fandango in Stuart's roomy tent, enlivened with Sweeney's songs and banjo-playing to negro dances; and a monster egg-nogg was prepared, in the mixing of which even Lord Hartington and Colonel Leslie lent their inexperienced hands in beating up the eggs — a part of the preparation, by the way, which requires no little skill, and is, moreover, intensely laborious; and when, after several hours of merriment, we separated at a late hour, both of them agreed that camp life was, after all, not so unendurable.
On the morning of the 30th our guests
eached Hampton's headquarters, near Culpepper Court-house, before noon, where we met Stuart; and in the evening we all went by invitation to the village, where Fitz Lee's men had got up a negro-minstrel entertainment, and, with the assistance of Sweeney and Bob, succeeded in giving us a performance which would have rivalled any in London.
Next day Stuart started for Richmond, accompanied by his Staff, leaving Pelham and myself, with some of our couriers, at Culpepper.
We took up our quarters met his death in a comparatively small engagement, after passing safely through so many great battles.
Being on a visit of pleasure, he had been taken unprepared, and, at the first sound of the cannon, hastened unarmed, on a horse borrowed from Sweeney, to the field of action.
His batteries had not come up to answer the enemy's cannon, but his ardour would not allow him to wait for their arrival, and he rushed forward into the thickest of the fight, cheering on our men and animating them by h