Puslapio vaizdai

French were certainly not less, if we in- dotte's corps had displayed something very clude seven thousand who were taken prison- much like cowardice and mutiny at the last. ers. They lost, moreover, twelve standards The army still fought in the main like the perand eleven guns.

fect machine it was, but the individual men In the early hours of July 6, Charles had had lost their stern virtue. They believed that despatched an adjutant to Presburg with victory, plunder, and self-indulgence were the orders to the Archduke John to march at fair compensations of their toils. Ungirt and once and attack the enemy's rear. The ac- freed from the restraints of discipline, they cepted story is that the messenger found the gave signs that the petulance, timidity, and bridges over the river March destroyed, and unruliness which had been manifested in Poarrived six hours too late for his errand to land and Prussia were not diminished. be successful. There were many at the time Their Emperor, if his vision had been unwho attributed criminal negligence to John, clouded, would have understood that enduramong them his own brother, the com- ance, suffering, and privations would make mander-in-chief. For a time, by means of such men an untrustworthy dependence in the court intrigue and persistent misrepresenta- hour of need. How changed he was himself tion, the blame of procrastination was put, is clear from the fact that Bonaparte would not on John, but on Charles, but eventually never have rested until his foe was disorganthe former was found guilty and banished ized and overpowered, while Napoleon saw to Styria. Had the latter's plan succeeded, himself forced to treat with an opponent who, Napoleon would have had a different task, so though beaten, was still undaunted and active. difficult that the issue might well have been If he had been fighting for life, his position doubtful, if not disastrous. As it was, the would have been morally strong; fighting as a victory was dearly bought, and the Austrians world-conqueror, it was illogical; fighting as were not demoralized.

equal with equal to repel aggression, it was On the other hand, in the very hour of comprehensible. This last was the attitude victory the French, who had halted to take into which he was forced by the campaign breath, were thrown into a panic by the ap- of Aspern, Essling, Wagram. Francis, whose pearance of a few Austrian pickets from the power he had meant to crush, upon whom a Archduke John's army, now coming up, and few short weeks before he had heaped insult thousands of the victorious soldiers fled in and abuse, had turned out a most dangerous wild demoralization toward the Danube. John, foe. Technically conquered, it would not be whose appearance but a short time earlier well for the victor to try conclusions with would have turned his brother's defeat into him again in the still uncertain position of victory, drew back his 13,000 men in good the Napoleonic power. Rather reap the field order to guard Hungary. As Napoleon him- secured, the daunted conqueror reasoned, self had been in a dangerous condition of than risk devastation by grasping for more. over-confidence before Aspern, so now his This, and no other, is the explanation of that soldiery were clearly in the same plight. Self- remarkable somersault in Napoleon's diploconceit had made them unreliable. Berna- macy which followed in the next few weeks.

(To be continued.)

William M. Sloane.

[blocks in formation]



Author of « Two Runaways,) etc.

[ocr errors]


the silver light of the moon. The manhood

in him, so long unsummoned, so long concealed EE had surrendered, and a Fed- beneath that careless, easy-going, half-humor

eral general was in Macon ous, half-irritable quixotism, stirred under a

with ten thousand cavalry- new impulse.' What it was he did not know, L

men. The Southern Confed- but he felt himself emerging from the depths, eracy had ceased to exist. and a load lifting from his life. Light began

Upon no one did these rap- to stream in upon him. The failure of the Con

idly succeeding events fall federacy not only seemed at that moment to with such crushing force and effect as upon be natural, but the only possible result. He that most estimable gentleman, Major Craw- did not realize it, but the same emancipation ford Worthington, feudal lord of Woodhaven. from exploded theory and sentimental ficTo those who are acquainted with the major, tions was going on from Maryland to Texas. personally or as a historical character, it is Old gentlemen in white-oak rockers were needless to state that, being at Woodhaven drifting back into the Union from verandas at the time to which this chapter relates, he, all over the South. Wendell Phillips could no occupied the familiar and well-beloved seat longer dare say, even in the extravagance of upon his back porch. For a lifetime, it may eloquence, that the North thought and the be said, with the exception of his college days, South dreamed. The South, which all along his patriotic efforts to reach Mexico in time had thought through its politicians, was now to assist at the reduction of the country in thinking for itself. '46, a few terms of imprisonment in the Thus when the sound of a negro jubilee Georgia legislature, and his more recent Vir- floated up from the distance it did not disturb ginia campaign, he had virtually lived upon him. He knew what was going on: a negro that particular porch, overlooking as it did preacher with a smattering of political knowhis vast estate.

ledge and an extensive command of disjointed But pleasant as were his surroundings, but high-sounding phrases was haranguing they brought little comfort to Major Worth- the newly liberated slaves. He was telling ington. For three weeks his spirit had been them that freedom had come-that they had greatly oppressed. Although a close observer been « led up out of Egypt,». that they had of public affairs, the collapse of the Confed- « come out of the wilderness,» that their eracy had found him altogether unprepared - chains had been stricken from them, and that a statement not easily accepted by those who the Government had promised every one of do not know the hopeful Southern spirit. them « forty acres and a mule. They were When Lee surrendered he was, it is true, free to select a mule each, and to mark off appalled, but only momentarily. He felt that their land. Hence the jubilee of song and the the South could not fail; success was certain, cries of exultation; for was he not talking to though how, when, or in what way, he did not children? But the older men sat with their know: he was no analyst. Many possibilities hands against their heads, and thought. The fitted across his mind: Johnston would re- clamor came mostly from the women and the treat to the mountains, Davis would reach rising generation. Texas and reorganize the trans-Mississippi As the tumult increased, the happy smile department, or England would interfere. on the major's face changed slightly. It beCotton would still be king.

came sardonic. Isam, who was hurrying up During three weeks, however, he had done the steps to the porch, saw it; for at that a world of thinking. Never in his life had moment above a full pipe the major held a he thought so continuously-nay, so success- lighted match, and Isam knew the expression fully-upon any subject, and the reaction meant mischief. He was suffered to get inhad come.

side the back door; then the usual impatient The change came that night as he sat under call reached him:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

« Here! Where are you going ? »

his back upon Woodhaven, rode into Mill« Des goin' ter wind up de dinin'-room clock edgeville, and boarded the Macon train. He an' fetch some water for Miss Helen, sah.» was dressed in the uniform that he had first « What 's going on out yonder? »

donned in 1861. Isam smiled.

II. « Sorter preachin'-like, Mas' Craffud. Unc' Toby Johnson es er-preachin' on freedom.” THE Federal general had found a residence

« Which side is he preaching on? » suited to his taste, overlooking the beautiful

Isam's eyes opened a little wider. He city of Macon nestling in the Ocmulgee valley thought a moment, and then his black face one of the Roman or semi-Grecian dwelllighted up:

ings that seem to be climbing the slopes in « He's preachin' on de inside, Mas’ Craf- search of the breeze. He had lunched, and fud.»

was enjoying his cigar upon the broad portico, The major checked a very natural exclama- and doubtless his reflections were pleasant. tion when he recognized the innocent tones of The truce between Grant and Lee had been the negro's conciliating voice.

declared while he was approaching Macon « Did he tell them I am free too ? » with the prospect of an ugly fight on his Isam laughed silently.

hands. The Confederates had official informa« La, no, sah! Dey know you allus be'n tion of the truce, but he had none, so he simfree.»

ply came in and took possession of the city, « Oh, they do, do they? Well, I don't; but with its vast depots and supplies, without losI am free now.»

ing a man or firing a gun. « What you mean, Mas' Craffud ? »

His enjoyment of the beautiful prospect « Free from the care of you lazy rascals. framed by the massive white columns of his I've been pulling against it, and putting up headquarters was suddenly interrupted by the money against it; but now I'm free at last, advent of a majestic figure clad in a gorgeous and I reckon I 'll say, “Thank God!) before uniform the like of which he had never bethe year is out. Every man on this place held. It might have been an admirals or a must look out for himself and family here- Spanish ambassador's; a marshal of France after; I don't want one of them. I am going would not have despised it. As the figure apto enjoy emancipation myself until I can look proached by way of the circular drive, in the round.»

rays of the noonday sun, and with the deep« How dey goin' ter git somep'n' ter eat?» green magnolias fora background, the uniform

Isam's look was now an anxious one. The came out in a blaze of glory. major chuckled secretly when he heard «dey » The general rose and stood, as his visitor, instead of «we.»

sacrificing something of dignity and imposing « That is their affair, sir. Now you can get aspect to the demands of environment, scaled a job almost anywhere, for plow hands will be the short fight of steps by aid of the handrail. scarce.)

«I desire, sir,” said Major Worthington « Who-me? No, sah; no, sah! I'm goin' between his breaths, « to see General ter stay right hyah, Mas' Craffud. Some- He saluted as he spoke; for while the gentlebody got ter fetch water an’ wood, an' wait man addressed was very simply uniformed, he on de table, an' run roun' for folks, des same was evidently a man of rank, though just how as 'fo' freedom. Ain' no use ter talk ter me high in position the major could not deter'bout plowin'.»

mine without his glasses, and glasses were an «Who's going to pay you? I would n't artistic impossibility to the regalia he wore. give a dollar a month for four of you.»

« I am General sir,) was the reply as « Hit ’u'd be er dollar more ’n I be'n er-get- the salute was returned. Instantly the major tin', an'I ain' ask no man ter raise de wages.» lifted his hat and bowed profoundly. And with a laugh that only half disguised «Sir,” he said, impulsively extending his his genuine anxiety, Isam disappeared. chapeau, «your most obedient. I am Craw

The turmoil and disorder continued to in- ford Worthington, late major in the service crease from day to day. The preachers and of the Confederate States of America. With the women began to foment trouble. The old soldiers like yourself and me, general, the problem was becoming a serious one, for war is ended. I have the honor, sir, to offer crops were in a critical condition, and no con- you my hand.» tract existed between the freedmen and their The smile which was beginning to show late owner. Major Worthington thought out itself upon the face of the man in blue ina remedy at last, and one morning he turned stantly disappeared. He stepped forward,

[merged small][ocr errors]

took the hand of his gray-headed visitor, and « Well, sir, our methods were strange to the shook it cordially.

brigade to which, over my protest, we were « It is indeed, major. I am glad to meet assigned. I thought, and still think, that we you. Will you go inside, or be seated here?» would have been of infinitely more service as

« Here, by all means, sir. There is nothing a separate organization; but superior officers so pleasant in this world to me, sir, as the appealed to my patriotism, sir, and after consunlight, the blue skies, and the breezes of sultation with my friends, seeing my delicate the South. We Southerners, sir, think it an position, they yielded with fine courtesy. insult to nature when a man born here need- « On the day of our first review the diffilessly turns his back on these.»

culty I had foreseen arose; a dapper little « And well you may, major; well you may. fellow strode out in front of the brigade, and How delightful they all are!» Then quickly, gave command, «Carry arms!) He was a total « You were in the Confederate army; may I stranger to my company, sir; indeed, as I ask where you saw service, major? » afterward learned, he had never been intro

« At Manassas chiefly, sir. After that I was duced to a single member, and his family assigned to staff duty, and finally my State name was totally unknown to any of us. claimed me for civil service. It was hard to Well, sir, the brigade executed the order leave the front, but I am a State's rights man; fairly well; but the Worthington Guards reI felt in honor bound to respond. My company, mained motionless, and looked with surprise sir,-the Worthington Guards, -»

to me. Appreciating the situation, I walked « The Worthington Guards! «Gentlemen of out in front of them, and, guessing that the the Worthington Guards?»

command had been authorized, I said, (Gen« Yes, sir; they were gentlemen by birth, tlemen of the Worthington Guards, General inheritance, education, and instinct, sir. Many Beauregard requests that you will bring your a one of them sleeps his last sleep to-day in the pieces to the position of carry. Not a man of valleys of Virginia. The major lifted his hat them refused, sir! General Beauregard afterreverentlyas hespoke,and bowed his headamo- ward said that he was much impressed with mentinsilence. The facecf his hostgrew grave. their gentlemanly compliance,and appreciated

« I have heard of the Worthington Guards, the compliment very highly. He also complimajor,» he said presently; «the expression mented me upon my saving him an awkward (gentlemen of the Worthington Guards ) was situation. He did us the honor never aftera familiar one in our army. I should be glad ward to refer to my friends otherwise than by to hear more of your company. How did it their proper title, and they became greatly dehappen that so small a command became so voted to him. famous? How did the phrase originate ? » « They proved their devotion on the battle

« Phrase? You surprise me, sir. The Wor- field of Manassas, a few days later. Everythington Guards were a company organized by thing was giving way on the left-hot work myself among the best families of my county that, general! hot work! Bee was down, Barand my personal associates. They were mostly ton was down, I was almost down, and the younger than myself, and did me the honor Georgia troops, overwhelmed by superior to bear my name and select me as their com- numbers and frightful losses, were disorganmander, I having had some experience in ized and in confusion. It was at the time Mexico. They were all gentlemen, sir; all when General Beauregard, with our State flag gentlemen to the manner born. None other in hand, was endeavoring to reform the line, could have secured admission. Nearly all of and I was searching for him, that he said to them came attended by body-servants and me, "Captain, request the gentlemen of the with large wardrobes. It took a train to Worthington Guards to rally on their colors. move them, with servants and baggage; and Sir, that was my proudest moment. I pointed not a man of them, up to Manassas, ever ap- out what remained of my company, then peared in public except in the dress and style standing firm a hundred yards in advance, of a gentleman. Well, sir, as you may imagine, and replied, “General, I have already taken these gentlemen cared nothing for drill and the liberty to request the Worthington Guards, the details of camp service. They went out in your name, to remain out yonder and stop to fight, sir, and, begad! they did. But they the Federal advance. If you will permit me, I were not men to be ordered about by a social will rally the colors on the Guards. And I equal, sir. I would not have presumed to give carried the flag to them. Beauregard never orders to such a gathering of gentlemen, es- forgot that; he was a gentleman himself, and pecially when they stood ready to grant any a gallant man-a trifle hasty, sir, a trifle request I might make, and at any cost. hasty. When the fight was over he came in you, sir.»


person to call upon the Guards. He found a was filling two glasses as he spoke, and, handdozen or so only. It was a sad day for me, gen- ing one to the major, he said, lifting the other eral, a sad day, sir. They did not know how to gracefully, « The gentlemen of the Worthingrefuse any request from me, and I sometimes ton Guards—the health of the living and the think I made a mistake, a serious mistake.» memory of the dead! »

« Battles have been lost, major, for want of The old major choked slightly over his a few such mistakes. I think your action was drink, and turned away his face. His voice perfectly justifiable.»

was scarcely audible as he took his new « Sir, your most obedient. I no longer doubt friend's hand and said brokenly: it. The major lifted his chapeau.

«Sir, your-most obedient. « And was that the last of the Worthington Guards ? »

III. « Practically so. The company could not be recruited congenially; the members sought WHEN Major Crawford Worthington landed friends in other organizations. Only nine of at Woodhaven with his two German soldiers eighty-nine ever returned home. But I weary his gray eyes sparkled and twinkled merrily.

One, named Sprintz, was six feet in height, « On the contrary, I am greatly interested.» with a carriage that would have won him a

«Sir, your most obedient. Again the gal- place in an emperor's body-guard. His comlant major lifted his chapeau.

panion, Sneifleheimer, was short of stature, And then, falling into conversation on the but made up for his deficient height by a war in general, they soon reached that state breadth that was appalling and an officiousof good-fellowship which makes the asking ness that would have been unbearable if it of favors as easy as the granting. It was then had not been comical. The giant, on the other revealed that the major desired a detail of two hand, was stolid, and never spoke except after soldiers to go to his neighborhood and restore deep reflection, his distinguishing characterorder, offering his personal guarantee that istic being a disposition to agree with the prethey should be protected. His idea was that ceding speaker that brought him a reputation the presence of two representatives of the for amiability. United States army would have a happy effect The major's manner in his contact with upon the negroes, to whom a blue uniform was these gentlemen was Chesterfieldian. He adan object of reverence.

dressed each as «captain,» and was as def«I think, sir,» the major concluded, «a erential as human wisdom could direct. All couple of Dutchmen will do. They won't talk the day during their journey they had been too much to the hands, and they say, sir, you suspiciously shy of him, in truth not entirely have them pretty fresh.

satisfied as to his sincerity; but when estab« So I have, major; and you shall have as lished in a comfortable two-room house in the many as you wish.» He wrote two orders and yard at Woodhaven and served with a box of handed them to his guest.

fragrant cigars and a bottle or two of old « One of them,» he said, « will secure you Monongahela, and when Helen, the major's the detail; the other will protect your Con- niece, had inquired solicitously after their federate decorations. You are the only man health, they surrendered at discretion. Never in Macon to-day who wears them.”

did broiled chicken, hot rolls, and strong coffee «What!» exclaimed the major, astounded. go home to more appreciative appetites. The « Is it possible? General, your most obedient. major, contemplating his plan, felt that the I shall continue to wear them, sir, as a com- seeds of success had been well sown, and was pliment to you.»

happy. « Don't mention it, major; and take good But seeds of trouble had also been sown. care of my Dutchmen.)

For one morning Captain Sneifleheimer, in the « Sir, it is a pleasure to meet a gentleman, vanity of his grand title, having jostled Isam even though birth has made him an enemy in and received a dash of boiling coffee upon his war. Had you been born in this section, sir, neck, seized that astonished native by the naturally you would have been of the Wor- collar and shook him into a panic. All that thington Guards. It is my highest compli- Isam could understand of the assorted lanment, sir.»

guage launched at him was « verdammte The general smiled, took the arm of his neegur," which he was not slow in translatguest, and gently led him within.

ing into its English equivalent. From that « Had I been born in this section I should moment Isam was at war with Sneifleheimer. not have been guilty of this long delay.” He He could not do enough for the giant Sprintz,

[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »