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You will believe us not the less devoted who were in want of evening amusement. to you, if we obey the call of our coun. The colonel, who was raising a regiment
of volunteers, expressed his regret that “I certainly shall prize your devotion he could not have had them as captains. the more, if you regard patriotism as “We can't all be officers," said Loidyour highest duty.'
ley; " besides, it is guesswork to choose “ Then give me the token! Jones, I officers before they have been tried in do not ask if you are with me; it would service.” be unjust to ask.”
“True," replied the colonel. It is “I am with you. Ellen, you will de- little thought of in time of peace, when' vote us both to a glorious service; and we seek or accept these distinctions; but your esteem will reward us. If, after our at this time, the responsibility is burdenduty is done, you can prefer either of us some. I have no doubt of the determi. to others more worthy of you, you will nation of my officers to do their duty; infinitely reward us both."
but I tremble for their ability, and for “ It is a pity,” said Ellen, “ that there my own. I shall resign and ask for a is little chance for you to be officers." lower position, if I fail to win the appro
“ It is a just punishment for our delay,” bation of my superiors; that I am detersaid Loidley.
mined upon." “ It will be the more creditable if we “ How are your ranks?” asked Jones. rise from the ranks," replied Jones. * Nearly full; but it is hard to get the
“ True," said Ellen ; " and your exam- remainder. The enthusiasm has abated, ple will be of more service, if you act as or perhaps we have got all the enthusiasts.” men, and do not withhold your service be- “ But it is time you were marching. cause you have not the distinction you There should be a new effort to fill up,” merit as gentlemen. We have too many said Loidley. gentlemen and ladies, and not enough men "Yes," replied the colonel, moving and women, for this great emergency.". aside and beckoning our friends to follow.
In the approved style of romance, the “I would be greatly obliged if you would fair lady bestowed on each lover a beau- each say something that may help the tiful ringlet; and for the first time in good cause. Here is now a crowd of many years, she gave to each that ex- young men who ought to go. You are pression of the heart's interest which a popular among them, and you are both lover appreciates in such a case, and talented speakers ; I think you will not prizes the more if it hasn't become too fail to revive the enthusiasm that gave common, that is to say, she kissed them such a rush to begin with.
Can't you do both; not in a bashful, inexpert, inele- me the favor ?” gant way, but with the fine touch which Both assented. After conferring tomakes the receiver grateful for a high gether a few moments, they requested the distinction, and happy in the assurance colonel to make his arrangements for that there is one heart not indifferent speech-making. This he did with con, to him. The Greeks gave a prize to the siderable strategic adroitness, for he was maiden who gave the most delicate kiss a practical wire-puller. He began with at the Olympic Games, and esteemed, as a speech of his own, which he made very the seal of the heart's eloquence, the kiss short, much to the delight of his audithat accorded with their sense of the ence. He regretted that his learned and quence would amply atone for all he had soul, purse and hand, and if needed, been saying, and whose hearts, he knew, would shoulder the musket which his were united on this great question of uni- grandfather carried through the whole ty of the republic (hurrah, hurrah, hur- Revolution. That musket and a moderate rah), - yes, indissolubly united on this independency had descended to him; and question, however divided they might be with them had descended the principles on minor questions of the past. He of his honored grandfather. He had, intrusted that their modesty would not keep deed, hoped that his services at home them silent on this occasion. He would might be more effective than in the field, first introduce to the audience a gentle for which he had not been educated or man already well-known to most of them, trained; but as there are not as many as - George Loidley, Esq., Counsellor-at- were needed who were willing to sacrifice · law.
the comforts of home for the defence of A military speech is not admissible all that make home and country dear, his here; but it may be said that Loidley duty was to unite with the gallant men of struck a new vein and produced a deep the county who were about to march. impression. He avoided the hackneyed “Colonel, will you be so kind as to order appeals to merely personal motives, and the enrolment-book to be brought here?” skilfully touched on matters that excited There was a sensation. The book was admiration for patriotism, heroism, na- brought, and Jones wrote his name in it. tional greatness and glory, and the neces- Loidley immediately wrote his, also, and sity of powerful nationalities to maintain said, “ My friend Jones, some one should civilization. His speech was long, but it formally accept your truce. I trust you was listened to with unwearied attention. will allow me to do so, as I have been in Jones was watching the effect of it, and controversy with you more than any
other by signs well understood, advising the in the political contests of the last five speaker as to dwelling on certain points. years." There was little expression of feeling, - “ Here is my hand upon it, my dear none of the noisy approbation with which Loidley. We have spoken freely and the colonel's speech had been greeted; but hotly on public affairs; but I am sure a profound and serious impression had there has never been the least personal been made, and when he concluded, there dissatisfaction between us; and I will was hearty applause.
venture to say the same of you in regard Jones followed. He was conscious to others. We shall march as friends that there must be a feeling against him in and countrymen, shoulder to shoulder, most of the audience who knew his zeal and do the duty now before us; and othagainst the party in power. Would be er duties will be discussed when it becomes hypocrisy in him to say that he had ceas necessary to discuss them.” ed to cherish the principles that made The shrewd colonel was busy with the him zealous against that party. But he book. The example had been electric; could truly say that he was willing and half the audience volunteered; and withanxious and determined to make a truce in three days the regiment was full and and leave all matters of controversy to on its march for Washington. be settled when the rebellion was put The ladies surprised it on the morning down, as he trusted it would be. It of its march. They had kept a secret. would satisfy him if his townsmen under. They were assembled in am
ris. “No; it will only be a prayer," through such a passage, and were sursaid Bob Hatch.
prised; and some useless waste of life Bob was right; it was only a prayer, followed. But it gave opportunity for and short. As soon as it was over, the talent to rise. galleries presented a display of sweet- Thompson was so elated with the suchearts, wives, mothers, sisters, and cousins, cess of his sudden attack upon a careless who brought out a breakfast of good squad three times larger than his own things. If any fellow had no sweetheart, that he neglected the precautions neceswife, mother, sister, or cousin there, he sary for his own safety, in case the routhad the more time to dispose of the good ed enemy should perceive his weakness things.
and return to attack him. He did not When breakfast was over, and every conceal his force, as he might have done, gallant fellow had stowed away his huge nor did he look out for a strong position bundle of cakes and other luxuries, the to fall back upon. The enemy, having a drum was heard ; the regiment fell into commander sufficiently unwary but quick line; the ladies formed in the portico; of perception, soon got into order and the regiment was marched up; and our returned upon him. There was a spirited village belle presented' a beautifully fight for a time; but the inequality was wrought flag. The shout was energetic. such that it could not be continued with And that flag has been gloriously defended out certain capture. Thompson, who in many fields, and still waves over a con- foolishly exposed himself, was wounded, stantly recruited regiment, and will not his lieutenant was killed, his second lieureturn until it can be welcomed home tenant was sick in camp. There was a without a blush from those who gave it panic. Thompson, who was fainting from or those who bore it. It is not intended loss of blood, called out, “ Mr. Jones, you to say that there may not be blushing; will take the command; I advise you to but that will not be on account of the retreat." flag.
Jones and Loidley had provided them
selves with books of instruction and studLoidley and Jones were privates in ied diligently and been attentive in all Captain Thompson's company. Thomp- exercises, and were well qualified for the son was a good-hearted, popular fellow, a emergency. Every pass and defensible practical politician; not a rogue, yet not position on the way had been studied by 80 violently good as to quarrel with them. Jones instantly formed his plan rogues; he therefore was liked by all. of retreat, and gave his orders with such He apologized, time and again, and prom- decision and self-possession as reassured ised and regretted and hoped that there the men, most of whom would gladly have would be occasion to put our friends into chosen him to the command, from previous positions where they were needed. He knowledge of him. would snap at every chance to promote It was first necessary to stagger the them, etc.
enemy; a retreat without that would be Thompson was sent on a scout across a disastrous. For this purpose, he selected river and through a swamp that surprised a few of his best shots, and put them behim, although he understood swamps. hind a slight defence, with a crowd of But he was not to be swamped. After men who were too excited to fire with efseveral of his men had tried in vain to fect to load for the good shots. Loidley
dered a charge. It did not succeed; the and then we can laugh at them. Take firing was kept up with coolness and pre- your position there, with your sharpshootcision, and many fell before they reached ers; but remember that ammunition is the file prepared to meet them; and the precious.” survivors, already in a panic, were met The enemy were out of breath ; Loid. with a volley at twelve feet distance. ley's men had recovered theirs. Still, the They broke and run without touching enemy came on with a confident rush, bayonets; and many were shot down on thinking they had penned them. They
were met with a fire of mechanical cool. Still, there was an effort of their offi- ness and precision from Loidley's men, cers to rally them, and their force was which broke them in a few moments. sufficient to overpower the weakened com- Jones then rushed from his concealed popany of Jones.
He accordingly sent sition, and routed them. away all but a rear guard of sharpshoot- Loidley and three of his men had been ers with their loaders. The wounded wounded, but no one killed, in this last were taken along. Loidley commanded attack. this division, the subaltern officers and “ Can you keep up?” asked Jones of men cheerfully yielding to the order. Loidley. Loidley was directed to occupy a narrow “Yes, for an hour or more.
What pass in the swamp, — the only one near, have we to do next?” as they knew by the exploration necessa- “We shall have to repulse them again. ry to find it. All near it was impassable, They have a good commander, and he is even by good swimmers; and there were getting them together. Can you shoot trees sufficient for a tolerable screen accurately with your wound ? Well, it against musketry. This was half a mile is necessary that
should put him out from the position held by Jones; but he of the way.” hoped that the main body with the wound- The attack was renewed. The assail. ed would reach it before the enemy could ants broke, and their commander rallied be brought near them. A careful fire of them, and led them. He fell; and a slow sharpshooters was kept up, which picked but accurate fire weakened them as they off a few of the enemy and disturbed advanced. Still they kept on, until they their efforts at reorganization, until Jones got into mire and within short range of judged that Loidley was so far advanced the random shooters kept in reserve unthat he could not be overtaken by the en- der Jones. At this moment, the reserve emy. He had, in the mean time, made fired a volley with decisive effect, and the his men keep concealed, only showing repulse was complete and final. their heads occasionally when they fired. « Now we may creep toward the camp, This enabled him to gain a little time in as well as our encumbrances will allow. retreating, as the undergrowth was suffi- I hope they will be ready to help us cross cient to conceal the movement. He was the river. Loidley, you must lie down thus enabled to get at such distance that while we get ready; you are getting the enemy did not get within musket- weak.” range until he arrived at the pass in the The movement was soon commenced, swamp which Loidley had safely reached and in an hour, they had safely crossed before him.
the place they had named Belly Ferry. “Here you are, my gallant brother," After this, they moved leisurely, but not said Loidley. “ All safe, I hope. No; I without a vigilant watch in the rear.
- poor fellow!
care of Jones soon placed him out of “ And yet, it is contrary to our present danger.
practice. Our army is divided, and the
enemy concentrated between our divisions. A week after this affair, one Sunday, He acts on this theory; we act on the Jones and Loidley were in their tent, and old one, and try to envelop him, like a the following conversation took place :- great anaconda,' — curse their stupid Thompson is dead,
adulation!” “I am very sorry,” said Loidley. My dear Loidley, you have had more “ He was an honest and well-meaning hope than I, all along. When McDowell fellow. Who is to succeed him?” was withdrawn, I lost hope. With equal
“ That we shall see to-morrow. We talent and discipline on the other side, shall bury him this evening. I have and equal numbers and choice of posimade a sketch of the spot, so that we can tions, they ought' to beat us; but it apfind his remains to carry home.” pears that they are superior in numbers
“ You will probably succeed him.” as well as in position."
“I would rather you should, my dear “What are the present prospects ? ” Loidley. On considering our es zape, I " That we shall retreat." attribute it to you more than to myself.” « Good God!
don't think so! Mc“You are generous; but you are the Clellan will not retreat without another marked man.
battle and an irreparable defeat ? " “ Thompson was of my political faith, “He must obey orders.” and therefore biased, or I think he would “But who is to give such orders ?” have given the command to you. Be- “ I can only conjecture. The woundside, it is better that the political feel- ed and sick are being sent away, ings of the men should be conciliated by those who ought to be retained, and some the choice of one who cannot be suspect- who are almost fit for duty. Then, if ed of disloyalty.”
reports are true, Pope is overwhelmed, “Good God! there is not a man in the and will be driven back to Washington ; regiment so base as to suspect you of dis- and if he is much broken up, Washington loyalty, or any deficiency of zeal!” may be taken. Halleck, I infer, finds
“ I am glad you think so; but I hear the army divided, and deems it necessary so much about the meditated treason of to get McClellan back to Washington to officers of high rank, that I really wish meet and rally Pope's army, if it is deto remain below the level of such notice." feated.”
* You must not shrink from it. You “And what is Banks doing? What is are the marked man; the men will choose Fremont doing ? ” you. They have neither respect nor love "Oh, they are surrounding! But, my for the second lieutenant, though he is a dear Loidley, you must obey the surgeon's worthy fellow; and the colonel, I know, orders, and not get excited. I must move means to do all he can for you. You that we close this inquiry for to-day. have the advance, fairly; now don't talk There is a subject more cheering in this more about it. What say you to this letter from my sister. I will read it. newspaper prophecy, - that in a few days «• DEAR BROTHER, — Your account of or hours we are to be in Richmond ?”
fortunate retreat has just arrived. " Amen!”
Ellen, who calls about daily, at mail time, « But you don't believe it?”
came in just as I opened it. She was "No."
much grieved to hear of George's wound, "You are taciturn. Well, you keep though she said little; but her color the truce; but I am nowise bound to ret- changed very much.
We both feel asicence. What think
sured that he will get well, as you cerin Jomini?”
tainly would not mislead us. She is also “We have often discussed it together. greatly affected by your prospects; I You know I hold it as a leading, as the could see her emotion, as she studied over first article of military faith."
You need not fear that