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Raid of Captain Wm. Miles Hazzard on St. Simon's Island.

Among the many bold and successful raids within the enemy's lines, perhaps none surpassed, in cool courage and successful results, that made by Captain William Miles Hazzard, upon the island of Saint Simons, Georgia, which was occupied as an important depot for Federal troops and supplies. He not only entered their lines, but burned the wharf and large storehouses at the south end of the island, but although his retreat was cut off by the capture of his boats, he took those of the enemy and thus effected his escape to the mainland.

Possibly, to vent their spite for the injury inflicted, the United States troops subsequently destroyed the parish church and the tombstones which marked the graves of his family. This act so incensed Captain Hazzard, that by the light of a torch, upon one of the broken slabs, he wrote the following letter and boldly entering the camp of the Federal commander, General Montgomery, he placed it at the door of his tent upon a stick planted in the ground.

The poet, Paul H. Hayne, hearing of these courageous acts, ascertained the facts of the affair and wrote the following beautiful ode in commemoration thereof.

Captain Hazzard is descended from a military family, the first of whom, William Hazzard, was a colonel in the British army. His son, Major William Whig Hazzard, was in the Continental army, and wounded at the seizure of Savannah; while his own father was a Colonel in the United States army of the date of General Scott, with whom he served.

St. S. Church yard, St. Simon's Island, Georgia.
Commandant Federal Forces at South End:
Sir — I have more than once been informed through your deserted allies, that the graves of our family and friends had been desecrated by your forces after the unsuccessful attempt to capture me some months ago. This rumor I could not believe, as the custom, even of the savage, has been to respect the home of the dead. But the sight I now behold convinces me of the truth of the report. I shuddered to think of the practice of bushwhacking, shooting sentinels on post, &c., which has always been discountenanced by my commander (General Beauregard), and my chief has spared many of your men. But let me tell you, sir, that beside these graves, I swear by heaven to avenge their desecration. If it is honorable for you to disturb the dead, I shall consider it an honor, and will make it my ambition, to disturb your living. I shall [283] fancy, sir, the voice of the departed ones from their desecrated homes, exclaiming that such a nation may truly say to Corruption, thou art my father; to Dishonor, thou art my mother; Vandalism, thou art my ambition.

Ode by Paul Hayne.


The night and its stillness were ‘round him,
     And the spell of solitude bound him
With a feeling of awe, as his footsteps drew nigh
     The spot where the bones of his forefathers lie,
On the island whose tropical wildwood
     Had rung to the laugh of his childhood;
And he paused with a sigh where the low branches fall
     From the oak, and the willow o'ershadowing the wall
Of the church-yard, that sleeps pale and hoary
     'Neath the moonlighted tremulous glory!


He stood in the stillness, full-hearted!
     For a dream of the loved and departed
Sunk deep in his soul, to the fountain of tears,
     And the memories were stirred that had slumbered with years,
And while touched by these reveries tender,
     He passed from the shade to the splendor,
And beheld with a start the grey tombs of his sires
     All blackened with insults, and blasted with fires,
By the human hyena who lashes
     His rage o'er a dead freeman's ashes!


There are passions too stern for full token!
     There are vows far too deep to be broken!
And such was the storm of the passion, which now
     Whirled up from the scout's boiling breast to his brow,
Overwhelming all gentler emotion
     As calm streams are ‘whelmed in the ocean;
And such was the oath, which thrilled hot on his tongue,
     From the spirit this dastardly outrage had wrung,
While the last voice of mercy that wooed him
     Fled fast from the wrath that subdued him!--


“By these monuments, wasted and lowly,
     By the thought of my dead, the most holy,
By the strength of my arm, by the ire in my soul,
     I vow wheresoever the red battle-waves roll, [284]
And their standards of infamous omen
     Shall flaunt o'er the heads of our foemen,
For each wreck and foul stain which their fury hath left
     On the graves of my ancestors, ravaged and cleft,
That the corpse of some craven marauder
     Shall gorge the wild birds of our border!”


He spoke! and his eyes that were bright'ning
     With the glare of his heart's lurid lightning,
Flashed fierce as he strode ‘round the fragments of tombs
     Throa the quick-shifting gleams and the desolate glooms,
To the worn temple porch, where in silence
     He wrote his swift words of defiance,
And affixed them thereon, with the letters of flame
     Shining clear o'er the sign of his terrible name,
That the ruffianly ghouls who peruse them
     May know what dark vengeance pursues them!


As he turned him to go throa the wildwood,
     That echoed the sports of his childhood,
It seemed to the scout that dread voices of yore
     Were blent with the night winds that moaned by the shore,--
That the heroes of Eld hovered o'er him,--
     And this the stern message they bore him:
“No rest to thine arm, brain or valor be given,
     Till the hordes of the outlaw and alien are driven
By the keen sword of ruin and slaughter,
     To their ships on the gore-crimsoned water.”

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