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[436] not have to cross any mountains at all to get into Frederick. Then, too, if there were “forty flags, with their silver stars,” and “forty flags, with their crimson bars,” flapping “in the morning wind” over the “clusted spires of Frederick,” there must have been eighty in all; though if the poet means to assert that the flags which had the silver stars were the same that had the crimson bars, forty was a goodly number to have floating over one little town. If the flag which Barbara picked up had been “hauled down,” then it must have been hauled down from a standing flag-staff; and it must have been rather a “lofty” feat for her to pick that up, too, and set it in her attic-window. But I suppose it was an allowable poetic license for Mr. Whittier to convert the Potomac river into a “mountain wall,” and one dingy old flag, hoisted probably over a quartermaster's office, into--

Forty flags, with their silver stars,
Forty flags, with their crimson bars.

Eighty or forty, as the case may be, however, he ought to have accounted for the other seventy-nine or thirty-nine, and not left them to be trampled in the dust by the “Rebel tread” that came up the street with “Stonewall Jackson riding ahead,” even by poetic license. If they were forty regimental flags, and they were flapping in the morning wind that morning, then they must have been flapping over forty regiments, which incontinently fled on the approach of the “Rebel tread,” one of them dropping its flag in the panic. Now, I suppose it is useless to quarrel with the license which a poet takes with his subject, but I presume it is allowable to say that our poet in this case has taken an equal license with all the other facts of the case.

General Jackson had been severely injured by a fall of his horse on the 5th, and his corps reached the vicinity of Frederick on the afternoon of the 6th of September, 1862, under the command of General D. H. Hill. One division (Jackson's own), under the command of General Starke, marched through Frederick that evening, and camped in the vicinity--one brigade of the division, under command of General (then Colonel) Bradley T. Johnson (a citizen of Frederick up to the beginning of the war), being posted in the town to preserve order and prevent any depredations on the citizens. The other divisions were halted and camped near Monocacy Junction, near which General Jackson also camped; and I am very confident that he did not go into Frederick until the morning of the 10th, when his command marched for the capture of Harper's Ferry. The General went through Frederick, with.a cavalry escort, in advance of his troops, who did not pass through the town until he was some distance beyond it.

The so-called “ex-Confederate” in California who says that “Stonewall Jackson ordered his dust-browned ranks to halt in front of Mrs. Frietchie's house, and that a bullet from his gun was one of the many that hit the flag she held,” if he indeed was ever a Confederate soldier, has strayed as far from the truth in the tale


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