A Diary From Dixie Part 2
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26 and we captured Mr. Chesnut and Governor Means. 1 The latter presented me with a book, a photo-book, in which I am to pillory all the celebrities.
Doctor Gibbes says the Convention is in a snarl. It was called as a Secession Convention. A secession of places seems to be what it calls for first of all. It has not stretched its eyes out to the Yankees yet; it has them turned inward; introspection is its occupation still.
Last night, as I turned down the gas, I said to myself: "Certainly this has been one of the pleasantest days of my life." I can only give the skeleton of it, so many pleasant people, so much good talk, for, after all, it was talk, talk, talk la Caroline du Sud. And yet the day began rather dismally. Mrs. Capers and Mrs. Tom Middleton came for me and we drove to Magnolia Cemetery. I saw William Taber's broken column. It was hard to shake off the blues after this graveyard business.
The others were off at a dinner party. I dined tte--tte with Langdon Cheves, so quiet, so intelligent, so very sensible withal. There never was a pleasanter person, or a better man than he. While we were at table, Judge Whitner, Tom Frost, and Isaac Hayne came. They broke up our deeply interesting conversation, for I was hearing what an honest and brave man feared for his country, and then the Rutledges dislodged the newcomers and bore me off to drive on the Battery. On the staircase met Mrs. Izard, who came for the same purpose. On the Battery Governor Adams 2 stopped us. He had heard of my saying he looked like Marshal Pelissier, and he came to say 1. John Hugh Means was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1850, and had long been an advocate of secession. He was a delegate to the Convention of 1860 and affixed his name to the Ordinance of Secession. He was killed at the second battle of Bull Run in August, 1862.
2. James H. Adams was a graduate of Yale, who in 1832 strongly opposed Nullification, and in 1855 was elected Governor of South Carolina.
27 that at last I had made a personal remark which pleased him, for once in my life. When we came home Mrs. Isaac Hayne and Chancellor Carroll called to ask us to join their excursion to the Island Forts to-morrow. With them was William Haskell. Last summer at the White Sulphur he was a pale, slim student from the university. To-day he is a soldier, stout and robust. A few months in camp, with soldiering in the open air, has worked this wonder. Camping out proves a wholesome life after all. Then came those nice, sweet, fresh, pure-looking Pringle girls. We had a charming topic in common - their clever brother Edward.
A letter from Eliza B., who is in Montgomery: "Mrs. Mallory got a letter from a lady in Was.h.i.+ngton a few days ago, who said that there had recently been several attempts to be gay in Was.h.i.+ngton, but they proved dismal failures. The Black Republicans were invited and came, and stared at their entertainers and their new Republican companions looked unhappy while they said they were enchanted showed no ill-temper at the hardly stifled grumbling and growling of our friends, who thus found themselves condemned to meet their despised enemy."
I had a letter from the Gwinns to-day. They say Was.h.i.+ngton offers a perfect realization of Goldsmith's Deserted Village.
Celebrated my 38th birthday, but I am too old now to dwell in public on that unimportant anniversary. A long, dusty day ahead on those windy islands; never for me, so I was up early to write a note of excuse to Chancellor Carroll. My husband went. I hope Anderson will not pay them the compliment of a salute with shotted guns, as they pa.s.s Fort Sumter, as pa.s.s they must.
Here I am interrupted by an exquisite bouquet from the Rutledges. Are there such roses anywhere else in the world? Now a loud banging at my door. I get up in a pet and throw it wide open. "Oh!" said John Manning, * * *
28 standing there, smiling radiantly; "pray excuse the noise I made. I mistook the number; I thought it was Rice's room; that is my excuse. Now that I am here, come, go with us to Quinby's. Everybody will be there who are not at the Island. To be photographed is the rage just now.
We had a nice open carriage, and we made a number of calls, Mrs. Izard, the Pringles, and the Tradd Street Rutledges, the handsome ex-Governor doing the honors gallantly. He had ordered dinner at six, and we dined tete-a-tete. If he should prove as great a captain in ordering his line of battle as he is in ordering a dinner, it will be as well for the country as it was for me to-day.
Fortunately for the men, the beautiful Mrs. Joe Heyward sits at the next table, so they take her beauty as one of the goods the G.o.ds provide. And it helps to make life pleasant with English grouse and venison from the West. Not to speak of the salmon from the lakes which began the feast. They have me to listen, an appreciative audience, while they talk, and Mrs. Joe Heyward to look at.
Beauregard 1 called. He is the hero of the hour. That is, he is believed to be capable of great things. A hero wors.h.i.+per was struck dumb because I said: "So far, he has only been a captain of artillery, or engineers, or something." I did not see him. Mrs. Wigfall did and reproached my laziness in not coming out.
Last Sunday at church beheld one of the peculiar local sights, old negro maumas going up to the communion, in their white turbans and kneeling devoutly around the chancel rail.
1. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was born in New Orleans in 1818, and graduated from West Point in the cla.s.s of 1838. He served in the war with Mexico; had been superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point a few days only, when in February, 1861, he resigned his commission in the Army of the United States and offered his services to the Confederacy.
29 The morning papers say Mr. Chesnut made the best shot on the Island at target practice. No war yet, thank G.o.d. Likewise they tell me Mr. Chesnut has made a capital speech in the Convention.
Not one word of what is going on now. "Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh," says the Psalmist. Not so here. Our hearts are in doleful dumps, but we are as gay, as madly jolly, as sailors who break into the strong-room when the s.h.i.+p is going down. At first in our great agony we were out alone. We longed for some of our big brothers to come out and help us. Well, they are out, too, and now it is Fort Sumter and that ill-advised Anderson. There stands Fort Sumter, en evidence, and thereby hangs peace or war.
Wigfall 1 says before he left Was.h.i.+ngton, Pickens, our Governor, and Trescott were openly against secession; Trescott does not pretend to like it now. He grumbles all the time, but Governor Pickens is fire-eater down to the ground. "At the White House Mrs. Davis wore a badge. Jeff Davis is no seceder," says Mrs. Wigfall.
Captain Ingraham comments in his rapid way, words tumbling over each other out of his mouth: "Now, Charlotte Wigfall meant that as a fling at those people. I think better of men who stop to think; it is too rash to rush on as some do." "And so," adds Mrs. Wigfall, "the eleventh-hour men are rewarded; the half-hearted are traitors in this row."
April 3d. - Met the lovely Lucy Holcombe, now Mrs. Governor Pickens, last night at Isaac Hayne's. I saw Miles now begging in dumb show for three violets she had in her 1. Louis Trezevant Wigfall was a native of South Carolina, but removed to Texas after being admitted to the bar, and from that State was elected United States Senator, becoming an uncompromising defender of the South on the slave question. After the war he lived in England, but in 1873 settled in Baltimore. He had a wide Southern reputation as a forcible and impa.s.sioned speaker.
30 breastpin. She is a consummate actress and he well up in the part of male flirt. So it was well done.
"And you, who are laughing in your sleeves at the scene, where did you get that huge bunch?" "Oh, there is no sentiment when there is a pile like that of anything!" "Oh, oh!"
To-day at the breakfast table there was a tragic bestowal of heartsease on the well-known inquirer who, once more says in austere tones: "Who is the flirt now?" And so we fool on into the black cloud ahead of us. And after heartsease cometh rue.
April 4th. - Mr. Hayne said his wife moaned over the hardness of the chaperones' seats at St. Andrew's Hall at a Cecilia Ball. 1 She was hopelessly deposited on one for hours. "And the walls are harder, my dear. What are your feelings to those of the poor old fellows leaning there, with, their beautiful young wives waltzing as if they could never tire and in the arms of every man in the room. Watch their haggard, weary faces, the old boys, you know. At church I had to move my pew. The lovely Laura was too much for my boys. They all made eyes at her, and nudged each other and quarreled so, for she gave them glance for glance. Wink, blink, and snicker as they would, she liked it. I say, my dear, the old husbands have not exactly a bed of roses; their wives twirling in the arms of young men, they hugging the wall."
While we were at supper at the Haynes's, Wigfall was sent for to address a crowd before the Mills House piazza. Like James Fitz James when he visits Glen Alpin again, it is to be in the saddle, etc. So let Was.h.i.+ngton beware. We were sad that we could not hear the speaking. But the 1. The annual b.a.l.l.s of the St. Cecilia Society in Charleston are still the social events of the season. To become a member of the St. Cecilia Society is a sort of presentation at court in the sense of giving social recognition to one who was without the pale.
31 supper was a consolation - pt de foie gras salad, biscuit glac and champagne frapp.
A s.h.i.+p was fired into yesterday, and went back to sea. Is that the first shot? How can one settle down to anything; one's heart is in one's mouth all the time. Any moment the cannon may open on us, the fleet come in.
April 6th. - The plot thickens, the air is red hot with rumors; the mystery is to find out where these utterly groundless tales originate. In spite of all, Tom Huger came for us and we went on the Planter to take a look at Morris Island and its present inhabitants - Mrs. Wigfall and the Cheves girls, Maxcy Gregg and Colonel Whiting, also John Rutledge, of the Navy, Dan Hamilton, and William Haskell. John Rutledge was a figurehead to be proud of. He did not speak to us. But he stood with a Scotch shawl draped about him, as handsome and stately a creature as ever Queen Elizabeth loved to look upon.
There came up such a wind we could not land. I was not too sorry, though it blew so hard (I am never seasick). Colonel Whiting explained everything about the forts, what they lacked, etc., in the most interesting way, and Maxcy Gregg supplemented his report by stating all the deficiencies and shortcomings by land.
Beauregard is a demiG.o.d here to most of the natives, but there are always seers who see and say. They give you to understand that Whiting has all the brains now in use for our defense. He does the work and Beauregard reaps the glory. Things seem to draw near a crisis. And one must think. Colonel Whiting is clever enough for anything, so we made up our minds to-day, Maxcy Gregg and I, as judges. Mr. Gregg told me that my husband was in a minority in the Convention; so much for cool sense when the atmosphere is phosph.o.r.escent. Mrs. Wigfall says we are mismatched. She should pair with my cool, quiet, self-poised Colonel. And her stormy petrel is but a male reflection of me.
32 April 8th. - Yesterday Mrs. Wigfall and I made a few visits. At the first house they wanted Mrs. Wigfall to settle a dispute. "Was she, indeed, fifty-five?" Fancy her face, more than ten years bestowed upon her so freely. Then Mrs. Gibbes asked me if I had ever been in Charleston before. Says Charlotte Wigfall (to pay me for my sn.i.g.g.e.r when that false fifty was flung in her teeth), "and she thinks this is her native heath and her name is McGregor." She said it all came upon us for breaking the Sabbath, for indeed it was Sunday.
Allen Green came up to speak to me at dinner in all his soldier's toggery. It sent a s.h.i.+ver through me. Tried to read Margaret Fuller Ossoli, but could not. The air is too full of war news, and we are all so restless.
Went to see Miss Pinckney, one of the last of the old-world Pinckneys. She inquired particularly about a portrait of her father, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 1 which she said had been sent by him to my husband's grandfather. I gave a good account of it. It hangs in the place of honor in the drawing-room at Mulberry. She wanted to see my husband, for "his grandfather, my father's friend, was one of the handsomest men of his day." We came home, and soon Mr. Robert Gourdin and Mr. Miles called. Governor Manning walked in, bowed gravely, and seated himself by me. Again he bowed low in mock heroic style, and with a grand wave of his hand, said: "Madame, your country is invaded." When I had breath to speak, I asked, "What does he mean?" He meant this: there 1. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was a brigadier-general in the Revolution and a member of the Convention that framed the Const.i.tution of the United States. He was an ardent Federalist and twice declined to enter a National Cabinet, but in 1796 accepted the office of United States Minister to France. He was the Federalist candidate for Vice-President in 1800 and for President in 1804 and 1808. Other distinguished men in this family were Thomas, Charles, Henry Laurens, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the second.
33 are six men-of-war outside the bar. Talbot and Chew have come to say that hostilities are to begin. Governor Pickens and Beauregard are holding a council of war. Mr. Chesnut then came in and confirmed the story. Wigfall next entered in boisterous spirits, and said: "There was a sound of revelry by night." In any stir or confusion my heart is apt to beat so painfully. Now the agony was so stifling I could hardly see or hear. The men went off almost immediately. And I crept silently to my room, where I sat down to a good cry.
Mrs. Wigfall came in and we had it out on the subject of civil war. We solaced ourselves with dwelling on all its known horrors, and then we added what we had a right to expect with Yankees in front and negroes in the rear. "The slave-owners must expect a servile insurrection, of course," said Mrs. Wigfall, to make sure that we were unhappy enough.
Suddenly loud shooting was heard. We ran out. Cannon after cannon roared. We met Mrs. Allen Green in the pa.s.sageway with blanched cheeks and streaming eyes. Governor Means rushed out of his room in his dressing-gown and begged us to be calm. "Governor Pickens," said he, "has ordered in the plenitude of his wisdom, seven cannon to be fired as a signal to the Seventh Regiment. Anderson will hear as well as the Seventh Regiment. Now you go back and be quiet; fighting in the streets has not begun yet."
So we retired. Dr. Gibbes calls Mrs. Allen Green Dame Placid. There was no placidity to-day, with cannon bursting and Allen on the Island. No sleep for anybody last night. The streets were alive with soldiers, men shouting, marching, singing. Wigfall, the "stormy petrel," is in his glory, the only thoroughly happy person I see. To-day things seem to have settled down a little. One can but hope still. Lincoln, or Seward, has made such silly advances and then far sillier drawings back. There may be a * * *
34 chance for peace after all. Things are happening so fast. My husband has been made an aide-de-camp to General Beauregard.
Three hours ago we were quickly packing to go home. The Convention has adjourned. Now he tells me the attack on Fort Sumter may begin to-night; depends upon Anderson and the fleet outside. The Herald says that this show of war outside of the bar is intended for Texas. John Manning came in with his sword and red sash, pleased as a boy to be on Beauregard's staff, while the row goes on. He has gone with Wigfall to Captain Hartstein with instructions. Mr. Chesnut is finis.h.i.+ng a report he had to make to the Convention.
Mrs. Hayne called. She had, she said, but one feeling; pity for those who are not here. Jack Preston, Willie Alston, "the take-life-easys," as they are called, with John Green, "the big brave," have gone down to the islands - volunteered as privates. Seven hundred men were sent over. Ammunition wagons were rumbling along the streets all night. Anderson is burning blue lights, signs, and signals for the fleet outside, I suppose.
To-day at dinner there was no allusion to things as they stand in Charleston Harbor. There was an undercurrent of intense excitement. There could not have been a more brilliant circle. In addition to our usual quartette (Judge Withers, Langdon Cheves, and Trescott), our two ex-Governors dined with us, Means and Manning. These men all talked so delightfully. For once in my life I listened. That over, business began in earnest. Governor Means had rummaged a sword and red sash from somewhere and brought it for Colonel Chesnut, who had gone to demand the surrender of Fort Sumter. And now patience - we must wait.
Why did that green goose Anderson go into Fort Sumter? Then everything began to go wrong. Now they have intercepted a letter from him urging them to let him surrender.
35 He paints the horrors likely to ensue if they will not. He ought to have thought of all that before he put his head in the hole.
April 12th. - Anderson will not capitulate. Yesterday's was the merriest, maddest dinner we have had yet. Men were audaciously wise and witty. We had an unspoken foreboding that it was to be our last pleasant meeting. Mr. Miles dined with us to-day. Mrs. Henry King rushed in saying, "The news, I come for the latest news. All the men of the King family are on the Island," of which fact she seemed proud.
While she was here our peace negotiator, or envoy, came in - that is, Mr. Chesnut returned. His interview with Colonel Anderson had been deeply interesting, but Mr. Chesnut was not inclined to be communicative. He wanted his dinner. He felt for Anderson and had telegraphed to President Davis for instructions - what answer to give Anderson, etc. He has now gone back to Fort Sumter with additional instructions. When they were about to leave the wharf A. H. Boykin sprang into the boat in great excitement. He thought himself ill-used, with a likelihood of fighting and he to be left behind!
I do not pretend to go to sleep. How can I? If Anderson does not accept terms at four, the orders are, he shall be fired upon. I count four, St. Michael's bells chime out and I begin to hope. At half-past four the heavy booming of a cannon. I sprang out of bed, and on my knees prostrate I prayed as I never prayed before.
There was a sound of stir all over the house, pattering of feet in the corridors. All seemed hurrying one way. I put on my double-gown and a shawl and went, too. It was to the housetop. The sh.e.l.ls were bursting. In the dark I heard a man say, "Waste of ammunition." I knew my husband was rowing about in a boat somewhere in that dark bay, and that the sh.e.l.ls were roofing it over, bursting toward the fort. If Anderson was obstinate, Colonel * * *
36 Chesnut was to order the fort on one side to open fire. Certainly fire had begun. The regular roar of the cannon, there it was. And who could tell what each volley accomplished of death and destruction?
The women were wild there on the housetop. Prayers came from the women and imprecations from the men. And then a sh.e.l.l would light up the scene. To-night they say the forces are to attempt to land. We watched up there, and everybody wondered that Fort Sumter did not fire a shot.
To-day Miles and Manning, colonels now, aides to Beauregard, dined with us. The latter hoped I would keep the peace. I gave him only good words, for he was to be under fire all day and night, down in the bay carrying orders, etc.
Last night, or this morning truly, up on the housetop I was so weak and weary I sat down on something that looked like a black stool. "Get up, you foolish woman. Your dress is on fire," cried a man. And he put me out. I was on a chimney and the sparks had caught my clothes. Susan Preston and Mr. Venable then came up. But my fire had been extinguished before it burst out into a regular blaze.
Do you know, after all that noise and our tears and prayers, n.o.body has been hurt; sound and fury signifying nothing - a delusion and a snare.
Louisa Hamilton came here now. This is a sort of news center. Jack Hamilton, her handsome young husband, has all the credit of a famous battery, which is made of railroad iron. Mr. Petigru calls it the boomerang, because it throws the b.a.l.l.s back the way they came; so Lou Hamilton tells us. During her first marriage, she had no children; hence the value of this lately achieved baby. To divert Louisa from the glories of "the Battery," of which she raves, we asked if the baby could talk yet. "No, not exactly, but he imitates the big gun when he hears that.
37 He claps his hands and cries 'Boom, boom.' " Her mind is distinctly occupied by three things: Lieutenant Hamilton, whom she calls "Randolph," the baby, and the big gun, and it refuses to hold more.
Pryor, of Virginia, spoke from the piazza of the Charleston hotel. I asked what he said. An irreverent woman replied: "Oh, they all say the same thing, but he made great play with that long hair of his, which he is always tossing aside!"
Somebody came in just now and reported Colonel Chesnut asleep on the sofa in General Beauregard's room. After two such nights he must be so tired as to be able to sleep anywhere.
Just bade farewell to Langdon Cheves. He is forced to go home and leave this interesting place. Says he feels like the man that was not killed at Thermopylae. I think he said that unfortunate had to hang himself when he got home for very shame. Maybe he fell on his sword, which was the strictly cla.s.sic way of ending matters.
I do not wonder at Louisa Hamilton's baby; we hear nothing, can listen to nothing; boom, boom goes the cannon all the time. The nervous strain is awful, alone in this darkened room. "Richmond and Was.h.i.+ngton ablaze," say the papers - blazing with excitement. Why not? To us these last days' events seem frightfully great. We were all women on that iron balcony. Men are only seen at a distance now. Stark Means, marching under the piazza at the head of his regiment, held his cap in his hand all the time he was in sight. Mrs. Means was leaning over and looking with tearful eyes, when an unknown creature asked, "Why did he take his hat off?" Mrs. Means stood straight up and said: "He did that in honor of his mother; he saw me." She is a proud mother, and at the same time most unhappy. Her lovely daughter Emma is dying in there, before her eyes, of consumption. At that moment I am sure Mrs. Means had a spasm of the heart; at least, * * *
38 she looked as I feel sometimes. She took my arm and we came in.
April 13th. - n.o.body has been hurt after all. How gay we were last night. Reaction after the dread of all the slaughter we thought those dreadful cannon were making. Not even a battery the worse for wear. Fort Sumter has been on fire. Anderson has not yet silenced any of our guns. So the aides, still with swords and red sashes by way of uniform, tell us. But the sound of those guns makes regular meals impossible. None of us go to table. Tea-trays pervade the corridors going everywhere. Some of the anxious hearts lie on their beds and moan in solitary misery. Mrs. Wigfall and I solace ourselves with tea in my room. These women have all a satisfying faith. "G.o.d is on our side," they say. When we are shut in Mrs. Wigfall and I ask "Why?" "Of course, He hates the Yankees, we are told. You'll think that well of Him."
Not by one word or look can we detect any change in the demeanor of these negro servants. Lawrence sits at our door, sleepy and respectful, and profoundly indifferent. So are they all, but they carry it too far. You could not tell that they even heard the awful roar going on in the bay, though it has been dinning in their ears night and day. People talk before them as if they were chairs and tables. They make no sign. Are they stolidly stupid? or wiser than we are; silent and strong, biding their time?
So tea and toast came; also came Colonel Manning, red sash and sword, to announce that he had been under fire, and didn't mind it. He said gaily: "It is one of those things a fellow never knows how he will come out until he has been tried. Now I know I am a worthy descendant of my old Irish hero of an ancestor, who held the British officer before him as a s.h.i.+eld in the Revolution, and backed out of danger gracefully." We talked of St. Valentine's eve, or the maid of Perth, and the drop of the white doe's blood that sometimes spoiled all.
38a FORT SUMTER UNDER BOMBARDMENT.
From an Old Print.
39 The war-steamers are still there, outside the bar. And there are people who thought the Charleston bar "no good" to Charleston. The bar is the silent partner, or sleeping partner, and in this fray it is doing us yeoman service.
April 15th. - I did not know that one could live such days of excitement. Some one called: "Come out! There is a crowd coming." A mob it was, indeed, but it was headed by Colonels Chesnut and Manning. The crowd was shouting and showing these two as messengers of good news. They were escorted to Beauregard's headquarters. Fort Sumter had surrendered! Those upon the housetops shouted to us "The fort is on fire." That had been the story once or twice before.
When we had calmed down, Colonel Chesnut, who had taken it all quietly enough, if anything more unruffled than usual in his serenity, told us how the surrender came about. Wigfall was with them on Morris Island when they saw the fire in the fort; he jumped in a little boat, and with his handkerchief as a white flag, rowed over. Wigfall went in through a porthole. When Colonel Chesnut arrived shortly after, and was received at the regular entrance, Colonel Anderson told him he had need to pick his way warily, for the place was all mined. As far as I can make out the fort surrendered to Wigfall. But it is all confusion. Our flag is flying there. Fire-engines have been sent for to put out the fire. Everybody tells you half of something and then rushes off to tell something else or to hear the last news.
In the afternoon, Mrs. Preston, 1 Mrs. Joe Heyward, and I drove around the Battery. We were in an open carriage.
1. Caroline Hampton, a daughter of General Wade Hampton, of the Revolution. was the wife of John S. Preston, an ardent advocate of secession, who served on the staff of Beauregard at Bull Run and subsequently reached the rank of brigadier-general.
40 What a changed scene - the very liveliest crowd I think I ever saw, everybody talking at once. All gla.s.ses were still turned on the grim old fort.
Russell, 1 the correspondent of the London Times, was there. They took him everywhere. One man got out Thackeray to converse with him on equal terms. Poor Russell was awfully bored, they say. He only wanted to see the fort and to get news suitable to make up into an interesting article. Thackeray had become stale over the water.
Mrs. Frank Hampton 2 and I went to see the camp of the Richland troops. South Carolina College had volunteered to a boy. Professor Venable (the mathematical), intends to raise a company from among them for the war, a permanent company. This is a grand frolic no more for the students, at least. Even the staid and severe of aspect, Clingman, is here. He says Virginia and North Carolina are arming to come to our rescue, for now the North will swoop down on us. Of that we may be sure. We have burned our s.h.i.+ps. We are obliged to go on now. He calls us a poor, little, hot-blooded, headlong, rash, and troublesome sister State. General McQueen is in a rage because we are to send troops to Virginia.
Preston Hampton is in all the flush of his youth and beauty, six feet in stature; and after all only in his teens; he appeared in fine clothes and lemon-colored kid gloves to grace the scene. The camp in a fit of horse-play seized him and rubbed him in the mud. He fought manfully, but took it all naturally as a good joke.
1. William Howard Russell, a native of Dublin, who served as a correspondent of the London Times during the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the War of Secession and the Franco-German War. He has been familiarly known as "Bull Run Russell." In 1875 he was honorary Secretary to the Prince of Wales during the Prince's visit to India.
2. The "Sally Baxter" of the recently published "Thackeray Letters to an American Family."
41 Mrs. Frank Hampton knows already what civil war means. Her brother was in the New York Seventh Regiment, so roughly received in Baltimore. Frank will be in the opposite camp.
Good stories there may be and to spare for Russell, the man of the London Times, who has come over here to find out our weakness and our strength and to tell all the rest of the world about us.
IV. CAMDEN, S. C.
April 20, 1861 - April 23, 1861 CAMDEN, S. C., April 20, 1861. - Home again at Mulberry. In those last days of my stay in Charleston I did not find time to write a word.
And so we took Fort Sumter, nous autres; we - Mrs. Frank Hampton, and others - in the pa.s.sageway of the Mills House between the reception-room and the drawing-room, for there we held a sofa against all comers. All the agreeable people South seemed to have flocked to Charleston at the first gun. That was after we had found out that bombarding did not kill anybody. Before that, we wept and prayed and took our tea in groups in our rooms, away from the haunts of men.
Captain Ingraham and his kind also took Fort Sumter - from the Battery with field-gla.s.ses and figures made with their sticks in the sand to show what ought to be done.
Wigfall, Chesnut, Miles, Manning, took it rowing about the harbor in small boats from fort to fort under the enemy's guns, with bombs bursting in air.
And then the boys and men who worked those guns so faithfully at the forts - they took it, too, in their own way.
A Diary From Dixie Part 2
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