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Dutch (West Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
one of them gave a drop of milk,--neither did hers), let her wait till the next lot comes in,--that is all.--Yesterday's operations gave the following total yield: Thirty contrabands, eighteen horses, eleven cattle, ten saddles and bridles, and one new army-wagon. At this rate we shall soon be self-supporting cavalry. Where complaints are made of the soldiers, it almost always turns out that the women have insulted them most grossly, swearing at them, and the like. One unpleasant old Dutch woman came in, bursting with wrath, and told the whole narrative of her blameless life, diversified with sobs:-- Last January I ran off two of my black people from St. Mary's to Fernandina, (sob,)--then I moved down there myself, and at Lake City I lost six women and a boy, (sob,)--then I stopped at Baldwin for one of the wenches to be confined, (sob,)--then I brought them all here to live in a Christian country (sob, sob). Then the blockheads [blockades, that is, gunboats] came, and th
Baldwin, Fla. (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
cavalry. Where complaints are made of the soldiers, it almost always turns out that the women have insulted them most grossly, swearing at them, and the like. One unpleasant old Dutch woman came in, bursting with wrath, and told the whole narrative of her blameless life, diversified with sobs:-- Last January I ran off two of my black people from St. Mary's to Fernandina, (sob,)--then I moved down there myself, and at Lake City I lost six women and a boy, (sob,)--then I stopped at Baldwin for one of the wenches to be confined, (sob,)--then I brought them all here to live in a Christian country (sob, sob). Then the blockheads [blockades, that is, gunboats] came, and they all ran off with the blockheads, (sob, sob, sob,) and left me, an old lady of forty-six, obliged to work for a living. (Chaos of sobs, without cessation.) But when I found what the old sinner had said to the soldiers I rather wondered at their self-control in not throttling her. Meanwhile skirmishing
Fort Montgomery (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
whole community. These little trips were called rest ; there was no other rest during those ten days. An immense amount of picket and fatigue duty had to be done. Two redoubts were to be built to command the Northern Valley; all the intervening grove, which now afforded lurking ground for a daring enemy, must be cleared away; and a few houses must be reluctantly razed for the same purpose. The fort on the left was named Fort Higginson, and that built by my own regiment, in return, Fort Montgomery. The former was necessarily a hasty work, and is now, I believe, in ruins; the latter was far more elaborately constructed, on lines well traced by the Fourth New Hampshire during the previous occupation. It did great credit to Captain Trowbridge, of my regiment (formerly of the New York Volunteer Engineers), who had charge of its construction. How like a dream seems now that period of daily skirmishes and nightly watchfulness! The fatigue was so constant that the days hurried by
East India (search for this): chapter 4
the matter with Major-General Hunter, then commanding the Department. Hilton Head, in those days, seemed always like some foreign military station in the tropics. The long, low, white buildings, with piazzas and verandas on the waterside; the general impression of heat and lassitude, existence appearing to pulsate only with the sea-breeze; the sandy, almost impassable streets; and the firm, level beach, on which everybody walked who could get there: all these suggested Jamaica or the East Indies. Then the Headquarters at the end of the beach, the Zouave sentinels, the successive anterooms, the lounging aids, the good-natured and easy General,--easy by habit and energetic by impulse,--all had a certain air of Southern languor, rather picturesque, but perhaps not altogether bracing. General Hunter received us, that day, with his usual kindliness; there was a good deal of pleasant chat; Miles O'Reilly was called in to read his latest verses; and then we came to the matter in hand
Palatka (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
Maine. The remainder, with its colonel, will be here to-morrow, and, report says, Major-General Hunter. Now my hope is that we may go to some point higher up the river, which we can hold for ourselves. There are two other points [Magnolia and Pilatka], which, in themselves, are as favorable as this, and, for getting recruits, better. So I shall hope to be allowed to go. To take posts, and then let white troops garrison them,--that is my programme. What makes the thing more puzzling is, ch 27th, I wrote home: The Burnside has gone to Beaufort for rations, and the John Adams to Fernandina for coal; we expect both back by Sunday, and on Monday I hope to get the regiment off to a point farther up,-- Magnolia, thirty-five miles, or Pilatka, seventy-five,--either of which would be a good post for us. General Hunter is expected every day,; and it is strange he has not come. The very next day came an official order recalling the whole expedition, and for the third time evacuating Ja
Havana, N. Y. (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
eared and kindled it. Despite the service rendered by this once brilliant light, there were many wrecks which had been strown upon the beach, victims of the most formidable of the Southern river-bars. As I stood with my foot on the half-buried ribs of one of these vessels,--so distinctly traced that one might almost fancy them human, --the old pilot, my companion, told me the story of the wreck. The vessel had formerly been in the Cuba trade; and her owner, an American merchant residing in Havana, had christened her for his young daughter. I asked the name, and was startled to recognize that of a favorite young cousin of mine, beside the bones of whose representative I was thus strangely standing, upon this lonely shore. It was well to have something to relieve the anxiety naturally felt at the delay of the John Adams,--anxiety both for her safety and for the success of our enterprise. The Rebels had repeatedly threatened to burn the whole of Jacksonville, in case of another a
San Juan River (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
he end of the beach, the Zouave sentinels, the successive anterooms, the lounging aids, the good-natured and easy General,--easy by habit and energetic by impulse,--all had a certain air of Southern languor, rather picturesque, but perhaps not altogether bracing. General Hunter received us, that day, with his usual kindliness; there was a good deal of pleasant chat; Miles O'Reilly was called in to read his latest verses; and then we came to the matter in hand. Jacksonville, on the St. John's River, in Florida, had been already twice taken and twice evacuated; having been occupied by Brigadier-General Wright, in March, 1862, and by Brigadier-General Brannan, in October of the same year. The second evacuation was by Major-General Hunter's own order, on the avowed ground that a garrison of five thousand was needed to hold the place, and that this force could not be spared. The present proposition was to take and hold it with a brigade of less than a thousand men, carrying, however
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
called the Debatable land there was a line of cottages, hardly superior to negro huts, and almost all empty, where the Rebel pickets resorted, and from whose windows they fired. By degrees all these nests were broken up and destroyed, though it cost some trouble to do it, and the hottest skirmishing usually took place around them. Among these little affairs was one which we called Company K's skirmish, because it brought out the fact that this company, which was composed entirely of South Carolina men, and had never shone in drill or discipline, stood near the head of the regiment for coolness and courage,--the defect of discipline showing itself only in their extreme unwillingness to halt when once let loose. It was at this time that the small comedy of the Goose occurred,--an anecdote which Wendell Phillips has since made his own. One of the advancing line of skirmishers, usually an active fellow enough, was observed to move clumsily and irregularly. It soon appeared that
Texas (Texas, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
Take this for an example: The effect was electrical. The Rebels were the best men in Ford's command, being Lieutenant-Colonel Showalter's Californians, and they are brave men. They had dismounted and sent their horses to the rear, and were undoubtedly determined upon a desperate fight, and their superior numbers made them confident of success. But they never fought with artillery, and a cannon has more terror for them than ten thousand rifles and all the wild Camanches on the plains of Texas. At first glimpse of the shining brass monsters there was a visible wavering in the determined front of the enemy, and as the shells came screaming over their heads the scare was complete. They broke ranks, fled for their horses, scrambled on the first that came to hand, and skedaddled in the direction of Brownsville.--New York evening post, September 25, 1864. So I watched them anxiously. Fortunately there were deep trenches on each side the railway, with many stout, projecting roots, fo
Pilottown (Louisiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
the strange receptacle would have held nearly a gallon. We went on shore, too, and were shown a rather pathetic little garden, which the naval officers had laid out, indulging a dream of vegetables. They lingered over the little microscopic sprouts, pointing them out tenderly, as if they were cradled babies. I have often noticed this touching weakness, in gentlemen of that profession, on lonely stations. We wandered among the bluffs, too, in the little deserted hamlet once called Pilot town. The ever-shifting sand had in some cases almost buried the small houses, and had swept around others a circular drift, at a few yards' distance, over-topping their eaves, and leaving each the untouched citadel of this natural redoubt. There was also a dismantled lighthouse, an object which always seems the most dreary symbol of the barbarism of war, when one considers the national beneficence which reared and kindled it. Despite the service rendered by this once brilliant light, there w
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