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Nassau (Bahamas) (search for this): chapter 2
as and pleasant skies we made a delightful voyage of twenty days to Nassau, unattended by any other than the ordinary incidents of the ocean twith tropical vegetation, which mark the entrance of the harbour of Nassau. The cargo of the Hero consisting in great part of powder, we werehip's papers and a glass of grog with becoming dignity, returned to Nassau, leaving us ill content to remain all night in the steamer, from wh are free negroes, under the colonial government of Great Britain. Nassau, its only port, was a gay enough little place at the time of my visent. What strikes one most forcibly in the external appearance of Nassau are the violent contrasts it presents to the eye. Nothing is subduehoroughfares. The irrepressible negro asserts himself immensely at Nassau. He seeks, and not altogether in vain, to unite the greatest possieared that she would be obliged to unload a portion of her cargo at Nassau, and thus be detained at that port for several weeks. The news fro
Queenstown (Irish Republic) (search for this): chapter 2
Chapter 1: Voyage, and arrival in the States On the 29th day of April 1862, I embarked at Queenstown on board the fine new steamer Hero, a vessel which had been built for running the blockade into the ports of the Confederate States of America, and was soon upon the bright waters of the Channel, bound for the theatre of war in the New World. Several most agreeable companions shared with me the accommodations of the steamer, and with smooth seas and pleasant skies we made a delightful voyage of twenty days to Nassau, unattended by any other than the ordinary incidents of the ocean transit. Off the Spanish coast we skirted a heavy gale; but as we proceeded from high to low latitudes the weather became every day more and more charming, until we ran upon an even keel into the blue phosphorescent seas that lave the coral reefs of the Bahamas. Here we met with an interruption which seemed likely for a time to terminate my American adventures, if I may be allowed the Hibern
Panama City (Panama) (search for this): chapter 2
persons with European costumes, of every fashion, fabric, and colour, and walk the streets with a solemn dignity that even a Spanish hidalgo might envy. I had not supposed that I should be so much impressed with the variety and beauty of the vegetable and insect life of the tropics; but even the broiling sun did not deter me from making daily little excursions around the island, armed with a white cotton umbrella, and wearing, after the manner of the foreign residents, the broad-brimmed Panama hat with its encircling muslin turban. I must have afforded some amusement to the natives, and others familiar with tropical scenery, as I stalked abroad thus defended, stopping every now and then to examine some strange and beautiful flower, or to admire the innumerable humming-birds and gorgeous butterflies that fluttered above it, or to purchase, at the stalls of the incessantly chattering negresses, luscious fruits which they offered me, and of which I did not even know the name. The
J. E. B. Stuart (search for this): chapter 2
d wishes in execrable English, gave me a letter to General J. E. B. Stuart, then commanding the cavalry of the army defendingch was so soon to come. It was no easy matter to find General Stuart, who, as commanding officer of the outposts, was anywhassured me that it would be next to impossible to find General Stuart that night, and kindly offered me the hospitality of htart in fifteen minutes, and my best chance of meeting General Stuart was to ride with the regiment. It was marvellous to sping rapidly along on an active, handsome horse. This was Stuart, the man whose arrival I awaited so anxiously, and who su truest and best friends I have had in this world. General Stuart was a stoutly-built man, rather above the middle heigh chasing the buffalo, now pursuing the treacherous savage, Stuart had passed nearly all his waking hours in the saddle, and ot the place to expatiate on the military character of General Stuart. His deeds will form the most considerable portion of
success whatever. At length, on the evening of his departure from the city, he informed me that he had seen the Secretary of War, General Randolph, who had manifested much interest in my situation, and would grant me an interview at one o'clock the next day. At the appointed hour I repaired to the War Department, and was received with great kindness by General Randolph, a most intelligent and amiable gentleman, who, after I had endeavoured to explain to him my plans and wishes in execrable English, gave me a letter to General J. E. B. Stuart, then commanding the cavalry of the army defending Richmond, and, at the same time, an order to procure a horse at the Government stables, with the advice to lose not a moment if I desired to see something of the impending battles. The Government stables were full of good horses, and I had no difficulty in finding an excellent chestnut mare, which afterwards carried me nobly on many a hard ride. At the earliest dawn of morning, on the 30th, an
erests, he had met with no success whatever. At length, on the evening of his departure from the city, he informed me that he had seen the Secretary of War, General Randolph, who had manifested much interest in my situation, and would grant me an interview at one o'clock the next day. At the appointed hour I repaired to the War Department, and was received with great kindness by General Randolph, a most intelligent and amiable gentleman, who, after I had endeavoured to explain to him my plans and wishes in execrable English, gave me a letter to General J. E. B. Stuart, then commanding the cavalry of the army defending Richmond, and, at the same time, an ong we could exchange but a few words. The battle was just about to commence, and my presentation to him was necessarily hurried and informal. After reading General Randolph's letter, he said he should be glad to have me at his side during the day's fight, and then presented me to a number of well-mounted young officers, members
McClellan (search for this): chapter 2
leading into the country. The din of active preparation struck continuously upon the ear in the roar of the forge, and the clatter of the army-waggon, and the heavy tramp of armed men. Large bodies of troops were marching and countermarching through the streets, orderlies and couriers were galloping about in every direction, and the notes of the fife and drum had hardly died away in the distance before the echoes were waked by the stormier music of a full military band. The vast army of McClellan hovered upon the northern and eastern skirts of the city, and over the line of the Chickahominy, which might be faintly traced from the tops of the highest buildings, his camp-fires could even be seen by night, and his balloons of observation, hanging like oranges in the sky, were clearly discernible in the afternoon. It was plain enough that an attack of the enemy in heavy force was expected at any moment. Under such exciting circumstances it was no less remarkable than gratifying to se
Joseph E. Johnston (search for this): chapter 2
covered with a thick brown beard, which flowed over his breast. His eye was quick and piercing, of a light blue in repose, but changing to a darker tinge under high excitement. His whole person seemed instinct with vitality, his movements were alert, his observation keen and rapid, and altogether he was to me the model of a dashing cavalry leader. Before the breaking out of hostilities between the North and South, he had served in the 1st United States Cavalry, of which regiment General Joseph E. Johnston was the Lieut.-Colonel, against the Indians of the Far West, and was severely wounded in an encounter with the Cheyennes on the Solomon's Fork of the Kansas river, in July 1857. In that wild life of the prairie, now chasing the buffalo, now pursuing the treacherous savage, Stuart had passed nearly all his waking hours in the saddle, and thus became one of the most fearless and dexterous horsemen in America, and he had acquired a love of adventure which made activity a necessity of
with the Cheyennes on the Solomon's Fork of the Kansas river, in July 1857. In that wild life of the prairie, now chasing the buffalo, now pursuing the treacherous savage, Stuart had passed nearly all his waking hours in the saddle, and thus became one of the most fearless and dexterous horsemen in America, and he had acquired a love of adventure which made activity a necessity of his being. He delighted in the neighing of the charger and the clangour of the bugle, and he had something of Murat's weakness for the vanities of military parade. He betrayed this latter quality in his jaunty uniform, which consisted of a small grey jacket, trousers of the same stuff, and over them high military boots, a yellow silk sash, and a grey slouch hat, surmounted by a sweeping black ostrich plume. Thus attired, sitting gracefully on his fine horse, he did not fail to attract the notice and admiration of all who saw him ride along. This is not the place to expatiate on the military character o
Virginians (search for this): chapter 2
ing orders. He added that he should start in fifteen minutes, and my best chance of meeting General Stuart was to ride with the regiment. It was marvellous to see how recently these unmilitary-looking troopers obeyed the orders of their colonel, and with what discipline and rapidity the breaking up of the camp was managed. I suffered the whole regiment, 800 strong, to pass me, that I might observe more narrowly its composition. The scrutiny called forth my admiration. The men were all Virginians, whose easy and graceful seat betrayed the constant habit of horseback exercise, and they were mounted mostly on blooded animals, some of which the most ambitious Guardsman or the most particular swell in London would have been glad to show off in Hyde Park. Looking back across three eventful years to that morning's march, I realise how little it was in my thought that my lot should be knit so closely with that of these brave fellows in fatigue and in fight, and that I should have to mour
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