The position of East Tennessee
during the Rebellion
was different from that of any other portion of the Southern States
except Western Texas
A majority of its inhabitants were loyal, but the rebels controlled the country by their troops, and had a sufficient number of sympathizers among the inhabitants to make the position of the Union-loving citizens perilous.
But so thoroughly outspoken and defiant was the loyalty of the people that it constantly found expression in their acts.
The men capable of bearing arms were almost universally enlisted in the Union
army or acting as scouts for it, and the women, with a heroism above all praise, let slip no opportunity of benefitting the Union
For the Union
men who were “lying out,” as it was termed, i. e
., concealing themselves by day to avoid the ruthless conscription, or the murderous violence of the rebels, they had always words of cheer and acts of kindness, feeding them from their own scanty supplies, and sheltering them whenever it was safe to do so. When, as was the case in the later years of the war, the Union
prisoners who had escaped from Richmond
, and Andersonville
began to find their way over the Black and Cumberland mountain
ranges, these faithful Unionists
, both men and women, guided and escorted them, concealed them by day or night, and led them by secret routes past the rebel troops which were hunting them, till they were safe within the Union
A single guide, Dan Ellis
, brought through between four and five thousand escaped prisoners in this way.
Among those who assisted actively in this good work was the young and beautiful girl, long known as “the nameless heroine,” whose services we here record.
She was from a loyal family, and avowed openly her earnest sympathies with the North
, but her youthfulness, grace, and intelligence, made her so widely and universally beloved and petted, that the rebel officers, many of whom were much fascinated by her beauty and pleasing manners, never suspected her of giving active aid to the escaped Unionists
or to the Union
Yet she had obtained from them information in regard to their plans and expectations, of which she made most effectual use for the Union
Night after night, too, did she escort the escaped prisoners past the most dangerous points of the rebel garrisons and outposts, doing this from the age of about fourteen, at the risk of her liberty and life, from no other motive than her ardent love for her country and its cause, and in spite of the flatteries and persuasions of the secessionists, who would gladly have won a maiden so gifted and so well educated to their cause.
The correspondents of the Tribune
and the Cincinnati Gazette
— were indebted to her guidance for their escape from the rebels.
Into a ward of the whitewashed halls,
Where the dead and dying lay,
Wounded by bayonets, shells, and balls,
Somebody's Darling was borne one day-
Somebody's Darling, so young and so brave,
Wearing yet on his pale, sweet face,
Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave,
The lingering light of his boyhood's grace.
Matted and damp are the curls of gold,
Kissing the snow of the fair young brow,
Pale are the lips of delicate mould--
Somebody's Darling is dying now.
Back from his beautiful blue-veined brow,
Brush all the wandering waves of gold;
Cross his hands on his bosom now-
Somebody's Darling is still and cold.
Kiss him once for somebody's sake,
Murmur a prayer both soft and low;
One bright curl from its fair mates take-
They were somebody's pride, you know;
Somebody's hand hath rested there-
Was it a mother's, soft and white?
And have the lips of a sister fair
Been baptized in the waves of light?
God knows best!
he has somebody's love:
Somebody's heart enshrined him there;
Somebody wafted his name above,
Night and morn, on the wings of prayer.
Somebody wept when he marched away,
Looking so handsome, brave, and grand;
Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay,
Somebody clung to his parting hand.
Somebody's waiting and watching for him-
Yearning to hold him again to her heart;
And there he lies with his blue eyes dim,
And the smiling, child-like lips apart.
Tenderly bury the fair young dead,
Pausing to drop on his grave a tear;
Carve in the wooden slab at his head,
“Somebody's Darling slumbers here.”