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In place of preface. Fortunate, indeed, is the reader who takes up a volume without preface; of which the persons are left to enact their own drama and the author does not come before the curtain, like the chorus of Greek tragedy, to speak for them. But, in printing the pages that follow, it may seem needful to ask that they be taken for what they are; simple sketches of the inner life of Rebeldom --behind its Chinese wall of wood and steel — during those unexampled four years of its existence. Written almost immediately after the war, from notes and recollections gathered during its most trying scenes, these papers are now revised, condensed and formulated for the first time. In years past, some of their crude predecessors have appeared — as random articles — in the columns of the Mobile Sunday Times, Appleton's Journal, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Philadelphia Times and other publications. Even in their present condensation and revision, they claim only to<
of the court of the Grand Turk. Such critics had come to Washington, had made their dicker, danced at the hotel hops, and been jostled on the Avenue. If they essayed an entrance into the charmed circle, they failed. Year after year, even the Titans of the lobby assailed the gates of that heaven refused them; and year after year they fell back, baffled and grommelling, into the pit of that outer circle whence they came. Yet every year, especially in the autumn and spring, behind that Chinese wall was a round of entertainments less costly than the crushes of the critic circle, but stamped with quiet elegance aped in vain by the non-elect. And when the whirl whirled outf at last, with the departing Congress; when the howling crowd had danced its mad carmagnole and its vulgar echoes had died into distance, then Washington society was itself again. Then the sociality of intercoursethat peculiar charm which made it so unique-became once more free and unrestrained. Passing from
hmond, Alexandria could hold a formidable army, ready at any moment to swoop down by the upper and more accessible approaches around Orange Courthouse. The occupation of Alexandria by the Union forces on the 24th of May was looked upon by Confederate leaders as the most decided act of war yet ventured upon by their wary adversary. Whatever may have been done within the non-seceded states, the South deluded herself that it was simply an exposition of the power of the government — a sort of Chinese warfare of gongs and tom-toms. The passage of the Potomac and seizure of a city under the aegis of the Confederate Government was actually crossing the Rubicon and carrying the war directly into the southern territory. Fortress Monroe and other fortified points still held by the United States, in the South, were conceded to be in a measure hers, at least by the right of possession; but Alexandria was considered part and parcel of the Confederacy, and as such sacred from invasion. Hence n
Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., Chapter 24: echo of Seven days, North and South. (search)
g trim, General Lee prepared to check the third great advance upon Manassas. Working on the inner line and being thus better able to concentrate his strength, he left only enough troops around Richmond to delay any advance of McClellan from the Peninsula; and, before the end of July, sent Stonewall Jackson — with Ewell's, A. P. Hill's, and his own old division under General Charles S. Winder, in all about 10,000 men — to frustrate the flatulent designs of the gong-sounding commander, whose Chinese warfare was echoing so loudly from the frontier. Cautious, rapid and tireless as ever, Jackson advanced into Culpeper county; and on the 9th of August gave the gong-sounder his first lesson on the field of Cedar Mountain. Throwing a portion of his force under Early on the enemy's flank and bringing Ewell and, later, Winder against his front, Jackson forced him from his position after a bloody fight, which the advance of A. P. Hill turned into a complete victory. Cedar Mountain was
still Mr. Davis retained, in council and field, the men he had chosen. And daily he grew more unpopular with the people, who, disagreeing with him, still held him in awe, while they despised the Congress. Even in this strait, the old delusion about the collapse of Federal finance occasionally came up for hopeful discussion; and, from time to time, Mr. Benjamin would put out a feeler about recognition from governments that remembered us less than had we really been behind the great wall of China. After Gettysburg and Vicksburg, came a lull in the heavier operations of the war. But raids of the enemy's cavalry were organized and sent to penetrate the interior South, in every direction. To meet them were only home guards and the militia; with sometimes a detachment of cavalry, hastily brought up from a distant point. This latter branch of service, as well as light artillery, now began to give way. The fearful strain upon both, in forced and distant marches, added to the wearing