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‘You are alone, madam. You shall have a guard;’ and an hour after a sentry appeared, who walked the piazzas till dawn.

The long and terrible night passed. Next morning a sick soldier was found asleep on one of the galleries, and waking, he begged for water. My mother, kind as she was courageous, and generous as patriotic, not only obeyed the merciful injunction, ‘If thine enemy thirst, give him drink,’ but for the two following days, during which the army remained in the city, furnished him with food and a cot on which to lie. He seemed deeply grateful, the poor, simple boy who had come into this affair as an adventure, but which was likely to prove fatal fun to him. He spoke of his home with misty eyes, and the Christian mother who watched over him prayed God to guard her own absent ones, and to send them a friend in the hour of need, as she strove truly to be to this alien. On the last evening he tottered away to join his command, and she saw him no more; but at the judgment bar this one deed of pure charity will be remembered and rewarded to her who fulfilled the highest and hardest commandment: ‘Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good unto them that persecute you and despitefully use you.’

Individually, we lost little or nothing by this calamitous visitation. While so many thousands were rendered homeless, our home was spared. The old family plate had been concealed in a pigeon-house, and thus escaped confiscation. One cow of three was taken and a number of fowls; the fencing was destroyed, and the orchard much cut up; but not an article of the smallest value was taken from the house. The mysterious midnight visitor, with his flashing sword and bare head, remained ever a blessed memory, and Heaven was invoked for him henceforward till her death by the sainted woman he had rescued.

The fearful fatigue and excitement of this time left its lasting marks upon my mother, and she never recovered from the cold contracted on that night of nights. When the last ‘bummer’ had departed, and the charred ruins of the devoted city alone remained to prove that all this had not been a fearful vision, she sat down for the first time to rest, and drawing off the stockings from feet numb with long standing, the entire epidermis peeled off as if a blister had been applied. One may judge of the state of mind which rendered her up to that moment unconscious of such a contingency.

The afternoon of my arrival was spent in sauntering mournfully over the capitol grounds, and contemplating the stretches of black desolation which lay southward for over a mile, and extended east

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