(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Miss Ravenel's conversion from secession to loyalty"

s'^*- 



Z?/^-/^ 



J ?^c 








l^r*^ 13'A<- H^or. 




fA,:i|,rr>^ 





P. BUCHSR 
GoHicNon 



THE NEW BOOKS 

OF THE SEASON 

PUBLISHED BY 

HARPER & BROTHERS, New York. 



Harper & Brothers luUl send the followhtg works by i;iail, postage prepaid, to any 
part of the United States, on receipt of the price. 

Harper's Catalogue rtw^ Trade-List tnay be obtained grattcitously on application 
to the Publisliers personally, or ivill be sent by viail on receipt of Five Cents. 

McClintock and Strongs Cyclopedia. 

A Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical 
Literature. Prepared by the Rev. John McClintock, 
D.D., and James Strong, S.T.D. Vol. I.— A, B. Roy- 
al 8vo, Cloth, $5 GO ; Sheep, $6 oo ; Half Mor., $8 oo. 

Christies Faith. 

By the Author of " Mattie : a Stray," " Carry's . Confes- 
sion," &c. i2mo, Cloth, $1 75. 

Thrilling Adventures of Daniel Ellis, 

The great Union Guide of East Tennessee for a Period 
of nearly Four Years during the great Southern Rebel- 
lion. Written by Himself Containing a Short Biog- 
raphy of the Author. With Illustrations. i2mo. Cloth, 
$2 50. 

Trollopes Last Chronicle of Barset, 

The Last Chronicle of Barset. A Novel. By Anthony 
Trollops, Author of " Can You Forgive Her ?" " The 
Small House at Allington," " Doctor Thorne," " Fram- 
ley Parsonage," &c. 8vo, Cloth and Paper. (Just 
Ready.) 

He7iry Winter Daviis Speeches afid Addresses. 
Speeches and Addresses delivered in the Congress of 
the United States, and on several Public Occasions, by 
Henry Winter Davis, of Mar}4and. Preceded by a 
Sketch of his Life, Public Services, and Character (be- 
ing an Oration by the Hon. J. A. J. Creswell, U. S. 
Senator from Maryland). With Notes, Introductory 
and Explanatory. 8vo, Cloth, $4 00. 



2 Harper •&> Brothers' New Books of the Season. 

Trollopes Claverings. 

The Claverings. A Novel. By Anthony Trollope, 
Author of " The Last Chronicle of Barset," &:c. With 
Illustrations. 8vo, Paper, 50 cents; Cloth, $1 00. 

American Leaves: 

Familiar Notes of Thought and Life. By Rev. Samuel 
Osgood, D.D. izmo, Cloth, Beveled Edges, $1 75. 

Played Out. 

A Novel. By Annie Thomas, Author of " On Guard," 
"Denis Donne," "Playing for High Stakes," "-Walter 
Goring," &c. 8vo, Paper, 75 cents. 

Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood. 

A Novel. ByGEORGE Macdonald, M.A. i2mo. Cloth, 

$1 75- 

Two Marriages. 

A Novel. By Miss MuLOCk, Author of " John Halifax, 
Gentleman," " A Noble Life," " Christian's ISIistake," 
&c., &c. Large izmo. Cloth, Beveled Edges," $1 50. 

The Land of Thor. 

By J. Ross Browne, Author of " An American Family 
in Germany," " Crusoe's Island," " Yusef," &c. Illus- 
trations. i2mo, Cloth. (Nearly Ready.) 

The Village on the Cliff. 

A Novel. By Miss Thackeray, Author of " The Story 
of Elizabeth." Illustrated. 8vo, Paper, 25 cents. 

Partisan Life with Mosby ; 

Or, Three Years with Mosby and his Men. By John 
Scott, of Fauquier, Author of " The Lost Principle" 
and " Letters to an Officer in the Army." 8vo, Cloth. 
(Iti Press.) 

Black Sheep. 

A Novel. By Edmund Yates, Author of " Kissing the 
Rod," " Land at Last," &c. 8vo, Paper, 50 cents. 



MISS RAVENEL'S COxWERSION 



SECESSIOiN TO LOYALTY. 



By J. W. DE FOREST, 

ArTHOR OF "EUROPEAN ACQUAIXTAN'CE," "SEACLIFF," 
ETC., ETC. 



XEW YORK: 

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 

FRAXKLIX SQUARE. 
186 7. 



Entered, according to J^t of Congress, in the year one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-seven, by 

HARPER & BROTHERS, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of 
l!sew York. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTKB PAGE 

I. Mr. Edward Colbuvne becomes acquainted with Miss Lillie 

Ravenel 7 

II. Miss Eavenel becomes acquainted with Lieutenant Colonel 

Carter 19 

III. Mr. Colburne takes a Segar with Lieutenant Colonel Carter 31 

IV. The Dramatic Personages go on a Picnic, and study the 

Ways of New Boston 44 

V. The Dramatic Pei'sonages get News from Bull Eun 59 

YI. Mr. Colburne sees his Way clear to be a Soldier 71 

VII. Captain Colburne raises a Company, and Colonel Carter a 

Regiment 84 

VIIL The Brave bid " Good-by" to the Fair 99 

IX. Prom New Boston to New Orleans, via Port Jackson 112 

X. The Eavenels find Captain Colburne in good Quarters.... 125 

XI. New Orleans Life and New Orleans Ladies 142 

XII. Colonel Carter befriends the Eavenels 159 

XIII. The Course of True Love begins to run rough 175 

XIV. Lillie chooses for herself 191 

XV. Lillie bids "Good-by" to the Lover whom she has chosen 

and to the Lover whom she would not choose 203 

XVI. Colonel Carter, gains one Victory and Miss Eavenel an- 
other 218 

XVII. Colonel Carter is entirely victorious before he begins his 

Campaign 232 

XVIII. Doctor Eavenel commences the Eeorganization of South- 
ern Labor 247 

XIX. The Eeorganization of Southern Labor is continued with 

Visor 261 



IV 



Contexts. 



CHAPTEE PAGE 

XX. Captain Colburne marches and figlits with Credit 275 

XXI. Captain Colburne lias Occas-ion to sec Life in a llos- 

jiital 289 

XXII. Captain Colburne re-enforces the Ravcnels in Time to 

aid them in running away 303 

XXIII. Captain Colburne covers the Retreat of the Southern 

Labor Organization 319 

XXIV. A desperate Attack and a successful Defense 333 

XXV. Domestic Happiness in spite of adverse Circumstances.. 34G 

XXVI. Captain Colburne describes Camp and Field Life 3G0 

XXVII. Colonel Carter makes an Astronomical Expedition with 

a dangerous Fellow-traveler 371 

XXVIII. The Colonel continues to be led into Temptation 385 

XXIX. Lillie reaches the Apotheosis of Womanhood 401 

XXX. Colonel Carter commits his first ungentlemanly Action iH 

XXXI. A Torture which might have been spared 427 

XXXII. A most logical Conclusion 440 

XXXIII. Lillie devotes herself entirely to the Rising Generation.. 459 

XXXIV, Lillie's Attention is recalled to the Risen Generation.... 473 
XXXV. Captain Colburne as Mr. Colburne 489 

XXXVL A Brace of Offers 503 

XXXVII. A Marriage 517 



MISS RAVENEL'S CONVERSION. 



CHAPTER I. 

MK. EDWAED COLBURXE BECOMES ACQUAINTED WITH MISS 
LILLIE EAYEXEL. 

It was shortly after the capitulation of loyal Fort Siun- 
ter to rebellioils South Carolina that Mr. Edward Col- 
burne of New Boston made the acquaintance of Miss Lillie 
Ravenel of Xew Orleans. 

An obscure American author remarks in one of his re- 
jected articles, (which he had the kindness to read to me 
from the manuscript) that every great historical event re- 
verberates in a very remarkable manner through the for- 
tunes of a multitude of private and even secluded individ- 
uals. Xo volcanic eruption rends a mountain without 
stirring the existence of the mountain's mice. It was un- 
questionably the southern rebellion which brought Miss 
Ravenel and Mr. Colbume into interesting juxtaposition. 
But for this gigantic political upturning it is probable 
that the young lady would never gave visited ISTew Bos- 
ton where the young gentleman then lived, or, visiting 
it and meeting him there, would have been a person of no 
necessary importance in his eyes. But how could a most 
loyal, warm-hearted youth fail to be interested in a pretty 
and intelligent girl who was exiled from her home because 
her father would not be a rebel ? 

Xew Boston, by the way, is the capital city of the little 
Yankee State of Barataria. I ask pardon for this geogra- 



8 Miss Rayexel's Conversion 

phical impertinence of introducing a seventh State into 
New England, and solemnly affirm that I do not mean to 
disturb thereby the congressional balance of the repul)lic. 
I make the arrangement with no political object, but solely 
for my private convenience, so that I may tell my story 
freely without being accused of misrepresenting this pri- 
vate individual, or insulting that j^ublic functionary, or 
burlesquing any self-satisfied community. Like Sancho 
Panza's famous island of the same name, Barataria was 
surrounded by land, at least to a much greater extent than 
most islands. 

It was through Ravenel the father that Colburne made 
the acquaintance of Miss Ravenel. In those days, not yet 
a soldier, but only a martially disposed young lawyer and 
wrathful patriot, he used to visit the New Boston House 
nearly every evening, running over all the* journals in the 
reading-room, devouring the telegraphic reports that were 
brought up hot from the newspaper offices, and discussing 
the great political events of the time with the heroes and 
sages of the city. One evening he found nobody in the 
reading-room but a stranger, a tall gentleman of about 
fifty, with a baldish head and a slight stoop in the should- 
ers, attired in an English moming-suit of modest snuff- 
color. He was reading the Xew York Evening Post 
through a rather dandified eyeglass. Presently he put the 
eyeglass in his vest pocket, produced a pair of steel-bowed 
spectacles, slipped them on his nose and resumed his read- 
ing with an air of increased facility and satisfaction. He 
was thus engaged, and Colburne was waiting for the Post, 
ragmg meanwhile over that copperhead sheet, The New 
Boston Index, when there was a jDleasant rustle of female 
attire in the hall which led by the reading-room. 

" Papa, put on your eyeglass," said a silver voice which 
Colburne liked. " Do take off those horrid spectacles. 
They make you look as old as Ararat." 

" 3Iy dear, the eyeglass makes me feel as old as you 
say," responded papa. 



Fr. OM Secession to Loyaltt. 9 

" Well, stop reading then and come up stall's," was the 
young person's next command. " I've had such an awful 
afternoon with those pokey people. I want to tell 
you- 



Here she caught sight of Colburne regarding her fixedly 
in the mirror, and with another rustle of vesture she sud- 
denly slid beyond reach of the angle of incidence and re- 
fraction. 

The stranger laid down the Post in his lap, pocketed 
his spectacles, and, looking about him, caught sight of 
Colburne. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," said he with a frank, friendly, 
man of the world sort of smile. " I have kept the evening 
paper a long time. Will you have it ?" 

To our young gentleman the civility of this well-bred, 
middle-aged personage was somewhat imposing, and con- 
sequently he made his best bow and would not accept of 
the Post until positively assured that the other had entire- 
ly done with it. Moreover he would not commence read- 
ing immediately because that might seem like a tacit re- 
proach ; so he uttered a few patriotic common-places on 
the news of the day, and thereby gave occasion for this 
history. 

" Yes, a sad struggle, a sad struggle— especially for the 
South,'^ assented the imnamed gentleman. " You can't 
imagine how unprepared they are for it. The South is 
just like the town's poor rebelling against the authorities ; 
the more successful they are, the more sure to be ruined." 

While he spoke he looked in the young and strange face 
of his hearer with as much seeming earnestness as if the 
latter had been an old acquaintance whose opinions were 
of value to him. There was an amiable fascination in the 
sympathetic grey eyes and the persuasive smile. He 
ckught Colburne's expression of interest and proceeded. 

" Xobody can tell me anything about those unlucky, 
misguided people. I am one of them by birth — I have 
lived among them nearly all my life — I know them. They 

A 2 



10 Miss R a vex el's Conversion 

are as ill-informed as Hottentots. They have no more idea 
of their relative strength as compared to that of the Unit- 
ed States than the Root-diggers of the Rocky Mountains. 
They are doomed to perish by their own ignorance and 
madness." 

" It will probably be a short struggle," said Colbume, 
speaking the common belief of the North. 

" I don't know — I don't know about that ; we mustn't 
be too sure of that. You must understand that they are 
barbarians, and that all barbarians are obstinate and reck- 
less. They will hold out like the Florida Seminoles. 
They will resist like jackasses and heroes. They won't 
know any better. They will be an honor to the fortitude 
and a sarcasm on the intelligence of human nature. They 
will become an example in history of much that is great, 
and all that is foolish." 

" May I ask what part of the South you have resided 
in ?" inquired Colburne. 

" I am a South Carolinian born. But I have lived in 
Xew Orleans for the last twenty years, summers excepted. 
A man can't well live there the year round. He must be 
away occasionally, to clear his system of its malaria phys- 
ical and moral. It is a Sodom. I consider it a proof of 
depravity in any one to Avant to go there. But there was 
my work, and there I staid — as little as possible. •! staid 
till this stupid, barbarous Ashantee rebellion drove me out." 

" I am afraid you will be an exile for some time, sir," 
observed Colburne, after a short silence during which he 
regarded the exiled stranger with patriotic sympathy. 

" I am afraid so," was the answer, uttered in a tone 
which implied serious reflection if not sadness. 

He remembers the lost home, the sacrificed wealth, the 
undeserved hostility, the sentence of outlawry which 
should have been a meed of honor, thought the enthusias- 
tic young patriot. The voice of welcome ought to greet 
him, the hand of friendship ought to aid him, here among 
loval men. 



Feo3i Secessiox to Loyalty, 11 

" I hope you stay some time in New Boston, sir," he 
observed aloud. " If I can he of the slightest benefit to 
you, I shall be most happy. Allow me to offer you my 
card, sir." 

" Oh ! Thank you. You are extremely kind," said the 
stranger. He bowed very politely and smiled very cor- 
dially as he took the bit of pasteboard ; but at the same 
time there was a slight fixity of surprise in his eye which 
made the sensitive Colburne color. He read the name on 
the card ; then, with a start as of reminiscence, glanced at 
it again ; then leaned forward and peered into the young 
man's face with an air of eager curiosity. 

" Are you — is it possible ! — are you related to Doctor 
Edward Colburne of this place who died fourteen or fifteen 
years ago ?" 

" I am his son, sir." 

" Is it possible ! I am delighted to meet you. I am 
most sincerely and earnestly gratified. I knew your father 
well. I had particular occasion to know him as a fellow 
beginner in mineralogy at a time when the science was 
little studied in this country. We corresponded and ex- 
changed specimens. My name is Eavenel. I have been 
for twenty years professor of theory and practice in the 
Medical College of Xew Orleans. An excellent place for 
a dissectmg class, by the way. So many negroes are 
whipped to death, so many white gentlemen die in their 
boots, as the saying is, that we rarely lack for subjects. — 
But you must have been quite young when you had the 
misfortune — and science had the misfortune — to lose your 
father. Really, you have quite his look about the eyes 
and forehead. What profession may I ask ?" 

"Law," said Colburne, who 'was flushed with pleasure 
over the acquisition of this charming acquaintance, so evi- 
dently to him a man of the world, a savant, a philosopher, 
and a patriotic martyr. 

"Law — that is a smatteiing of it — just enough to have 
an office and do notary work." 



12 Miss Ravenel's Coxveksiox 

" A good profession ! A grand, profession ! But I should 
have expected your fathers son to be a physician or a min- 
eralogist." 

He took off his spectacles and surveyed Colbume's 
frank, handsome face with evidently sincere interest. He 
seemed as much occupied with this young stranger's histo- 
ry and prospects as he had been a moment before with his 
own beliefs and exile. 

At this stage of the conversation one of the hotel serv- 
ants entered the room and said, " Sir, the young lady 
wishes you would come up stairs, if you please, sir." 

" Oh, certainly," answered the stranger, or, as I may 
now call him, the Doctor. " Mr. Colburne, come up to my 
room, if you are at leisure. I shall be most happy to have 
a longer conversation with you." 

Colburne was in the usual quandaiy of young and mod- 
est men on such occasions. He wished to accept the invit- 
ation ; he feared that he ought not to take advantage of it ; 
he did not know how to decline it. After a lightning-like 
consideration of the pros and cons^ after a stealthy glance 
at his toilet in the mirror, he showed the good sense and 
had the good luck to follow Doctor Ravenel to his private 
parlor. As they entered, the same silver voice which Col- 
burne had heard below, exclaimed, " Why papa ! What 
has kept you so long ? I have been as lonely as a mouse 
in a trap." 

"Lillie, let me introduce Mr. Colburne to you," an- 
swered papa. " My dear sir, take this arm chair. It is 
much more comfortable than those awkward mahogany 
uprights. Don't suppose that I want it. I prefer the sofa, 
I really do." 

Miss Ravenel, I suppose I ought to state in this exact 
place, was very fau', with lively blue eyes and exceedingly 
handsome hair, very luxuriant, very wavy and of a flossy 
blonde color lighted up by flashes of amber. She Avas tall 
and rather slender, with a fine form and an uncommon 
Q^race of manner and movement. Colburne was flattered 



Fkom Secessio:n- to Loyalty. 13 

by tlie quick "blush and pretty momentary flutter of embar- 
rassment with which she received him. This same irre- 
pressible blush and flutter often interested those male indi- 
viduals who were fortunate enough to make Miss Eavenel's 
acquaintance. Each young fellow thought that she was 
specially interested in himself; that the depths of her 
womanly nature were stirred into pleasurable excitement 
by his advent. And it was frequently not altogether a 
mistake. Miss Ravenel was interested in people, in a con- 
siderable number of people, and often at first sight. She 
had her father's sympathetic character, as well as his 
graceful cordiahty and consequent chann of manner, the 
whole made more fascinating by being veiled in a delicate 
gauze of womanly dignity. As to her being as lovely as a 
houri, I confess that there were difierent opinions on that 
question, and I do not care to settle it, as I of course 
might, by a tyrannical afiirmation. 

It is curious how resolutely most persons demand that 
the heroine of a story shall be extraordinarily handsome. 
And yet the heroine of many a love afiair in our own lives 
is not handsome ; and most of us fall in love, quite earnest- 
ly and permanently in love too, with rather plain women. 
Why then should I strain my conscience by asserting 
broadly and positively that Miss Ravenel was a first class 
beauty ? But I do affirm Tvithout hesitation that, like her 
father, she was socially charming. I go farther : she was 
also very loveable and (I beg her pardon) very capable of 
loving ; although up to this time she did not feel sure that 
she possessed either of these two qualities. 

She had simply bowed with a welcoming smile and that 
flattering blush, but without speaking or ofiering her hand, 
when Colburne was presented. I suspect that she waited 
for her father to give her a key to the nature of the inter- 
view and an intimation as to Avhether she should join in 
the conversation. She was quite capable of such small 
forethought, and Doctor Ravenel was worthy of the trust. 

" Mr. Colburne is the son of Doctor Colburne, my dear," 



14 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

he observed as soon as his guest was seated. " You have 
heard me speak of the Doctor's premature and lamented 
death. I think myself very fortunate in meeting his son." 

" You are very kind to call on us, Mr. Colburne," said 
the silver voice with a musical accent which almost 
amounted to a singsong. " I hope you don't hate South- 
erners," she added with a smile which made Colburne feel 
for a moment as if he could not heartily hate Beauregard, 
then the representative man of the rebellion. " We are 
from Louisiana, you know." 

" I regret to hear it," answered Colburne. 

" Oh, don't pity us," she laughed. " It is not such a bad 
2:)lace." 

" Please don't misunderstand me. I meant that I regret 
your exile from your home." 

" Thank you for that. I don't know whether papa will 
thank you or not. He doesn't appreciate Louisiana. I 
don't believe he is conscious that he has suffered a misfor- 
tune in being obliged to quit it. I am. Xew Boston is 
very pretty, and the people are very nice. But you know 
how it is ; it is bad to lose one's home." 

" My dear, I can't helj^ laughing at your grand misfor- 
tune," said the Doctor. " We are something like the He- 
brews when they lost Pharaoh king of Egypt, or like peo- 
ple who lose a sinking wreck by getting on a sound vessel. 
Besides, our happy home turned us out of doors." 

The Doctor felt that he had a right to abuse his own, 
especially after it had ill-treated him. 

" Were you absolutely exiled, sir ?" asked Colburne. 

" I had to take sides. Those unhappy Chinese allow no 
neutrals — nothing but themselves, the central flowery peo- 
ple, and outside barbarians. They have fed on the poor 
blacks until they can't abide a man who isn't a cannibal. 
He is a reproach to them, and they must make away with 
him. They remind me of a cracker whom I met at a cross 
road tavern in one of my journeys through the north of 
Georgia. This man, a red-nosed, toba<jco-drizzling, whis- 



Feo:m Secessio:n- to Loyalty. 15 

key-jDerfumed giant, invited me to drink ^vitli him, and, 
when I declined, got furious and wanted to fight me. I 
told him that I never drank whiskey and that it made me 
sick, and finally succeeded in pacifying him without touch- 
ing his poison. In fact he made me a kind of apology for 
having ofiered to cut my throat. ' Wa'al, fact is, stran- 
ger,' said he, ' J,' (laying an accent as strong as his liquor 
on the personal pronoun) ' / use whiskey.' — You under- 
stand the inference, I suppose : a man who refused whiskey 
was a contradiction, a reproach to his j^ersonality : such a 
man he could not sufier to live. It was the Brooks and 
Sumner affair over again. Brooks says, ' Fact is J believe 
in slavery,' and immediately hits Sumner over the head 
for not believing in it." 

" Somethmg like my grandfather, who, when he had to 
diet, used to want the whole family to live on dry toast," 
observed Colburne. " For the time being he believed in 
the universal propriety and necessity of toast." 

" Were you in danger of violence before you left Xew 
Orleans ?" he presently asked. " I beg pardon if I am too 
curious." 

" Violence ? Why, not precisely ; not immediate vio- 
lence. The breakmg-oft' point was this. I must explain 
that I dabble in chemistry as well as mineralogy. Now in 
all that city of raw materialism, of cotton-bale and sugar- 
hogshead instinct — I can't call it intelligence — there was 
not a man of southern principles who knew enough of che- 
mistry to make a fuse. They wanted to possess themselves 
of the United States forts in theu' State. They supposed 
that they would be obliged to shell them. The shells they 
had plundered from the United States arsenal ; but the 
fuses were wanting. A military committee requested me 
to fabricate them. Of course I was driven to make an im- 
mediate choice between rebellion and loyalty. I took the 
first steamboat to New York, getting off just in time to 
escape the system of surveillance which the vigilance com- 
mittees established." 



16 Miss R a vex el's Coxyersion 

It may seem odd to some sensible people that this learn- 
ed gentleman of over fifty should expose his own history 
so freely to a young fellow whom he had not seen imtil 
half an hour before. But it was a part of the Doctor's 
character to suppose that humanity took an interest in him 
just as he took an interest m all humanity ; and liis natu- 
ral frankness had been increased by contact with the pre- 
vailing communicativeness of his open-hearted fellow-citi- 
zens of the South. I dare say that he would have unfolded 
the tale of his exile to an intelligent stage-driver by whom 
he might have chanced to sit, with as little hesitation as 
he poured it mto the ears of this graduate of a distin- 
guished university and representative of a staid puritanical 
aristocracy. He had no thought of claiming admiration 
for his self-sacrificing loyalty. His story was worth tell- 
ing, not because it was connected with his interests, but 
because it had to do with his sentiments and convictions. 
Why should he not relate it to a stranger who was evi- 
dentl}' capable of sympathising with those sentiments and 
appreciating those convictions ? 

But there was another reason for the Doctor's frankness. 
At that time every circumstance of the opening civil war, 
every item of life that came from hostile South to indig- 
nant Xorth, was regarded by all as a species of public 
property. If you put down your name on a hotel register 
as arrived from Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, Xew Or- 
leans, or any other pomt south of Mason & Dixon's line, 
you were immediately addressed and catechised. Peoj^le 
wanted to know how you escaped, and why you tried to 
escape ; and were ready to accord you any credit you de- 
manded for perilous adventures and patriotic motives ; 
and did not perceive it nor think a bit ill of you if you 
showed yourself somewhat of a romancer and braggart. 
And you, on the other hand, did not object to telling your 
story, but let it out as naturally as a man just rescued 
from drowning opens his heart to the sympathising crowd 
wdiicTi greets him on the river bank. 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 17 

Kow Miss Ravenel was a rebel. Like all young people 
and almost all women she was strictly local, narrowly 
geographical in her feelings and opinions. She was colored 
by the soil in which she had germinated and been nur- 
tured ; and during that year no flower could be red, white 
and blue in Louisiana. Accordingly the young lady lis- 
tened to the Doctor's story of his self-imposed exile and to 
his sarcasms upon the people of her native city with cer- 
tam i^retty little starts and sniiFs of disapprobation which 
reminded Colburne of the counterfeit spittings of a kitten 
playing anger. She could not under any j^i'o^'ocation 
quarrel with her father, but she could perseveringly and 
energetically disagree with his opinions. When he had 
closed his tu-ade and history she broke forth in a defence 
of her darling Dixie. 

" Now, papa, you are too bad. Mr. Colburne, don't 
you think he is too bad ? Just see here. Louisiana is my 
native State, and papa has lived there half his life. He 
could not have been treated more kindly, nor have been 
thought more of, than he was by those Ashantees, as he 
calls them, until he took sides agamst them. If you never 
lived with the southerners you don't know how pleasant 
they are. I don't mean those rough creatures from Ark- 
ansas and Texas, nor the stupid Acadians, nor the poor 
white trash. There are low people everywhere. But I 
do say that the better classes of Louisiana and ^lississipjn 
and Georgia and South Carolina and Virginia, yes, and of 
Tennessee and Kentucky, are right nice. If they don't 
know all about chemistry and mineralogy, they can talk 
delightfully to ladies. They are perfectly charming at re- 
ceptions and dinner parties. They are so hospitable, too, 
and generous and courteous ! Xow I call that ci^dlization. 
I say that such people are civilized." 

" They have taught you Ashantee English, though," 
smiled the Doctor, who has not yet fully realized the fact 
that his daughter has become a young lady, and ought no 
longer to be criticised like a school girl. " I am afraid 



18 Miss R a vex el's Co x version 

Mr. Colburne won't understand what 
means." 

" Oh, yes he will. Do try to understand it, Mr. Col- 
burne," answers Miss Ravenel, coloring to her temples and 
fluttering like a canary whose cage has been shaken, but 
still smiling good-naturedly. Her ftither's satire, delivered 
before a stranger, touched her, but could not irritate a 
good temper softened by affection. 

" I must be allowed to use those Ashantee phrases once 
in a while," she went on. " We learn them from our old 
mammas ; that is, you know, our nice old black nurses. 
Well, I admit that the mammas are not grammarians. I 
admit that Louisiana is not perfect. But it is my Louisi- 
ana. And, i^apa, it ought to be your Louisiana. I think 
we owe fealty to our State, and should go with it wherev- 
er it goes. Don't you believe in State rights, Mr. Col- 
burne ? Wouldn't you stand by Barataria in any and ev- 
ery case ?" 

" Xot against the Union, Miss Ravenel," resj^onded the 
young man, unshaken in his loyalty even by that earnest 
look and winning smile. 

" Oh dear ! how can you say so !" exclaims the lovely 
advocate of secession. " I thought Xew Englanders — all 
but Massachusetts people — would agree with us. Wasn't 
the Hartford Convention held in New England ?" 

" I can't help admiring your knowledge of political his- 
tory. But the Hartford Convention is a byeword of re- 
proach among us now. We should as soon think of being 
governed by the Blue Laws." 

At this declaration Miss Ravenel lost hope of converting 
her auditor. She dropped back in her corner of the sofa, 
clasping her hands and pouting her lips with a charming 
earnestness of mild desperation. 

Well, the evenmg passed away delightfully to the young 
patriot, although it grieved his soul to find Miss Ravenel 
such a traitor to the republic. It was nearly twelve when 
he bade the strangers good night and apologized for stay- 



Fkom vSecessiox to Loyalty. 19 

ing so late, and accepted an invitation to call next day, 
and hoped they would continue to live in l^ew Boston. 
He actually trembled with pleasure when Lillie at partmg 
gave him her hand in the frank southern fashion. And 
after he had reached his cosy bedroom on the opposite side 
of the public square he had to smoke a segar to compose 
himself to sleep,- and succeeded so ill in his attempt to 
secure speedy slumber that he heard the town clock ring 
out one and then two of the morning before he lost his 
consciousness. 

" Oh dear ! papa, how he did hang on !" said Miss Rav- 
enel as soon as the door had shut behind him. 

Certamly it was late, and she had a right to be impa- 
tient with the visitor, especially as he was a Yankee and 
an abolitionist. But Miss Ravenel, like most young ladies, 
was a bit of a hypocrite in talking of young men, and was 
not so very ill pleased at the bottom of her heart with the 
hanorino- on of Mr. Colburne. 



CHAPTER n. 

:&nSS EAVEXEL BECOilES ACQUAESTED WITH LIEUTENANT- . 
COLONEL CAETEE. 

Me. Colbuene was not tardy in callmg on the Ravenels 
nor careless in improving chances of encountering them by 
seemmg accident. His modesty made him afraid of being 
tiresome, and his sensitiveness of being ridiculous ; but 
neither the one terror nor the other prevented tiim from m- 
flictmg a good deal of his society upon the interesting ex- 
iles. Three weeks after his introduction it was his good 
fortune to be invited to meet them at a dmner party given 
■ them by Professor Whitewood of his own Alma Mater, the 
celebrated Winslow University. 

The "Whitewood house was of an architecture so com- 



20 Miss R a ye x el's Cox version" 

men ill Xew Boston that in describing it I run no risk of 
identifying it to the curious. Exteriorly it was a. square 
box of brick, stuccoed to rei:)resent granite ; interiorly it 
consisted of four rooms on each floor, divided by a hall up 
and down the centre. This was the original construction, 
to which had been added a greenhouse, mto which you 
passed through the parlor, carefully balanced by a study 
into which you passed through the library. Trim, regu- 
lar, geometrical, one half of the structure weighing to an 
oimce just as much as the other half, and the whole per- 
haps forming some exact fraction of the entire avoirdupois 
of the globe, the very furniture distributed at measured 
distances, it was precisely such a building as the Xew Bos- 
ton soul would naturally create for itself Miss Ravenel 
noticed this with a quickness of perception as to the rela- 
tions of mind and matter which, astonished and amused 
Mr. Colburne. 

" If I should be transported on Aladdin's carpet," she 
said, " fast asleej), to some unknown country, and should 
wake up and find myself in such a house as this, I should 
know that I T^as in Xew Boston. How the Professor must 
enjoy himself here ! This room is exactly twenty feet one 
way by twenty feet the other. Then the hall is just ten 
feet across by just forty in length. The Professor can look 
at it and say. Four times ten is forty. Then the green- 
house and the study balance each other like the paddle- 
boxes of a steamer. Why will you all be so square ?" 

" But how shall we become triangular, or circular, or 
star-shaped, or cruciform ?" asked Colburne. " And what 
would be the good of it if we should get mto those forms ?" 

" You w8uld be so much more picturesque. I should 
enjoy myself so much more in looking at you." 

" I am so sorry you don't like us." 

" How it grieves you !" laughed the young lady. A 
flush of rose mounted her cheek as she said this; but I 
must beg the reader to recollect that Miss Ravenel blushed 
at anvthms: and nothinir. 



Feom Secessiox to Loyalty. 21 

" Xow here are buildings of all shapes and colors," she 
13roceeded, turnmg over the leaves of a photographic album 
which contained views of Venetian architecture. " Don't 
you see that these were not built by Xew Bostonians ?" 

They were in the library, whither Miss Whitewood had 
conducted them to exhibit her father's jfine collection of 
photographs and engravings. A shy but hospitable and 
thoughtful maiden, mcapable of striking up a flirtation of 
her own, and with not a selfish matrimonial m her head, 
but still quite able to sympathise with, the loves of others, 
jNIiss Whitewood had seated her two guests at their art 
banquet, and then had gently withdrawn herself from the 
study so that they might talk of what they chose without 
restraint. It was already reported, with or without rea- 
son, that Mr. Colburne was interested m the fascinating- 
young exile from Louisiana, and that she was not so indif- 
ferent to him as she evidently was to most of the New 
Boston beaux. This was the reason why that awkward 
but good Miss Whitewood, twenty-five years old and 
without a suitor, be it remembered, had brought them in- 
to the quiet of the study. Meantime the door was wide 
open into the hall, and exactly opposite to it was another 
door wide open into the parlor, where, in full view of the 
young people, sat all the old people, meaning thereby Doc- 
tor Ravenel, Professor Whitewood, Mrs. Whitewood, and 
her prematurely middle-aged daughter. The three 'New 
Bostonians were listening with evident delight to the flu- 
ent and zealous Louisianian. But, instead of enter mg up- 
on his conversation, wliich consisted chiefly of lively satire 
and declamation directed against slavery and its rebellious 
partizans, let us revert for a tiresome moment or two, 
while dinner is preparing and other guests are arriving, to 
the subject on which Miss Ravenel has been teasing Mr. 
Colburne. 

New Boston is not a lively nor a sociable place. The 
principal reason for this is that it is inhabited chiefly by 
New Englanders. Puritanism, the prevailing faith of that 



22 Miss Ravexel's Coxversiox 

land and race, is not only not favorable but is absolutely- 
noxious to social gayejties, amenities and graces. I say 
this in sorrow and not in anger, for Xew England is the 
land of my birth and Puritanism is the creed of my pro- 
genitors. And I add as a mere matter of justice, that, de- 
ficient as the Xew Bostonians are in timely smiles and a]>- 
propriate compliments, bare as they are of jollities and an- 
gular in manners and ojmiions, they have strong sympa- 
thies for what is clearly right, and can become enthusias- 
tic in a matter of conscience and benevolence. If they 
have not learned how to loA'e the beautiful, they know how 
to love the good and true. But Puritanism is not the only 
reason why the Xew Bostonians are socially stiff and un- 
sympathetic. The city is divided into more than ihe ordi- 
nary number of cliques and coteries, and they are hedged 
from each other by an unusually thorny spirit of repulsion. 
From times now far beyond the memory of the oldest in- 
habitant, the capsheaf in the social pp-amid has been allot- 
ted by common consent, without much opposition on the 
part of the other inhabitants, to the president and profes- 
sors of T\^iuslow University, their families, and the few 
whom they choose to honor with their intimacy. In early 
days this learned institution was chiefly theological and its 
magnates all clerical ; and it was inevitable that men bear- 
ing the priestly dignity should hold high rank in a puritan 
community. Eighty or a hundred years ago, moreover, 
the professor, with his salary of a thousand dollars year- 
ly was a nabob of wealth in a city where there were not 
ten merchants and not one retired capitahst who could 
boast an equal income. Finally, learning is a title to con- 
sideration which always has been and still is recognized 
by the majority of respectable Americans. An objection- 
able feature of this sacred inner chcle of society is that it 
contains none of those seraphim called young gentlemen. 
The sons of the professors, excepting the few who become 
tutors and eventually succeed their fathers, leave Xew 
Boston for larger fields of enterprise ; the daughters of the 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 23 

professors, enamored of learning and its votaries alone, 
will not dance, nor pic-nic, much less intermarry, with the 
children of shop-keepers, shippers and manufacturers ; and 
thus it hapf)ens that almost the only beaux whom you will 
discover at the parties given in this Upper Five Hundred 
are slender and beardless undergraduates. 

From the time of Colburne's introduction to the Raven- 
els it was the desire of his heart to make ISTew Boston a 
pleasant place to them ; and by dint of spreading abroad 
the fame of then* patriotism and its ennobling meed of 
martyrdom, he was able, in those excitable days, to infect 
with the same fancy all his relatives and most of liis ac- 
quaintances ; so that in a short time the exiles received 
quite a number of hospitable calls and invitations. The 
Doctor, travelled man of the world as he was, made no 
sort of difficulty in enjoying or seeming to enjoy these at- 
tentions. If he did not sincerely and heartily relish the 
New Bostonians, so different m flavor of manner and edu- 
cation from the society in which he had been educated, he 
at least made them one and all believe that they were lux- 
uries to his palate. He became shortly the most popular 
man for a dinner party or an evening conversazione that 
was ever known in that city of geometry and puritanism. 
Except when they had wandered outside of Xew Boston, 
or rather, I should say, outside of Xew England, and got 
across the ocean, or south of Mason and Dixon's line, 
these good and grave burghers had never beheld such a 
radiant, smiling, universally sympathetic and perennially 
sociable gentleman of fifty as Ravenel. A most interesting 
spectacle was it to see him meet and greet one of the 
elder magnates of the university, usually a solid and sm- 
cere but shy and somewhat unintelligible person, who al- 
ways meant three or four times as much as he said or 
looked, and whose ice melted away from him leaving him 
free to smile, as our southern friend fervently grasped his 
frigid hand and beamed with tropical warmth hito his 
arctic spirit. Such a greeting was as exhilarating as a pint 



24 Miss Kayenel's Conversion 

of sherry to the sad, sedentary scholar, wlio liad just come 
from a weary day's grubbing among Hebrew roots, and 
whose afternoon recreation had been a walk in the city 
cemetery. 

There were not wanting good people who feared the 
Doctor ; who were suspicious of this inexhaustible courtesy 
and alarmed at these conversational j^owers of fascination ; 
who doubted whether poison might not infect the pleasant 
talk, as malaria fills the orange-scented air of Louisiana. 

" I consider him a very dangerous man ; he might do a 
great deal of harm if he chose," remarked one of those 
conscientious but uncharitable ladies whom I have regard- 
ed since my childhood with a mixture of veneration and 
dislike. Thin-lipped, hollow-cheeked, narrow-chested, with 
only one lung and an intermittent digestion, without a 
single rounded outline or graceful movement, she was a sad 
example of what the Xew England east winds can do in 
enfeebling and distortmg the human form divine. Such 
are too many of the New Boston women when they reach 
that middle age which should be physically an era of 
adipose, and morally of charity. Even her smile was a 
Avoful phenomenon ; it seemed to be rather a symptom of 
pain than an expression of pleasure ; it was a kind of gri- 
ping smile, like that of an mfant with the colic. 

" K he chose ! What harm would he choose to do ?" 
expostulated Colburne, for whose ears this warning was 
intended. 

" I can't precisely make out whether he is orthodox or 
not," repHed the inexorable lady. " And if he is hetero- 
dox, what an awful power he has for deceiving and lead- 
ing away the minds of the young ! He is altogether too 
agreeable to win my confidence until I know that he is 
o-uided and restramed by grace." 

" That is the most unjust thing that I ever heard of," 
broke out Colburne indignantly. " To condemn a man 
because he is charming ! If the converse of the rule is 
true, Mrs. Ruggles — if unpleasant people are to be ad- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 25 

mired because they are such — then some of us New Bos- 
tonians ought to be objects of adoration." 

" I have my opinions, Mr. Colburne," retorted the lady, 
who was somewhat stung, although not clever enough to 
comprehend how badly. 

" It makes a great difference with an object wlio looks 
at it," continued the young man. " I sometimes wonder 
Avhat the ants think of us human beings. Do they under- 
stand our capacities, duties and destinies ? Or do they 
look upon us from what might be called a pismire point of 
view ?" 

Colburne could say such things because he was a popu- 
lar favorite. To people who, like the Xew Bostonians, di%l 
not demand a high finish of manner, this young man was 
charming. He was sympathetic, earnest in his feelings, as 
frank as such a modest fellow could be, and among friends 
had any quantity of exj^ansion and animation. He would 
get into a gale of jesting and laughter over a game of 
whist, provided his fellow j^layers were in anywise dis- 
j^osed to be merry. On such occasions his eyes became 
so bright and his cheeks so flushed that he seemed lumin- 
ous with good humor. His laugh was sonorous, hearty, 
and contagious ; and he was not at all fastidious as to 
what he laughed at : it was sufficient for him if he saw 
that you meant to be witty. In conversation he was very 
pleasant, and had only one questionable trick, which was 
a truly American habit of hyperbole. When he was ex- 
cited he had a droll, absent-minded way of running his 
fingers through his wavy brown hair, until it stood up in 
picturesque masses which were very becommg. His fore- 
head was broad and clear ; his complexion moderately 
light, with a strong color in the cheeks ; his nose straight 
and handsome, and other features sufficiently regular ; his 
eyes of a light hazel, and remarkable for their gentleness. 
There was nothing hidden, nothing stern, in his expression 
— you saw at a glance that he was the embodiment of 
frankness and good nature. In person he was strongly 

B 



2fi Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

built, and he bad increased bis vigor by systematic exer- 
cise. He bad been one of tbe best gymnasts and oarsmen 
in college, and still kej)t up bis familiarity witb swinging- 
bars and racing sbells. His firm wbite arms were well set 
on broad sboulders and a full chest ; and a pair of long, 
vigorous legs completed an uncommonly fine figure. Par- 
donably proud of the strength which he had m part cre- 
ated, he loved to exhibit gymnastic feats, and to talk of 
the matches in which he had been stroke-oar. It was the 
only subject on which he exhibited personal vanity. To 
^um up, he was considered in his set the finest and most 
agreeable young man in Xew Boston. 

Let us now return to the dinner of Professor "White- 
wood. The party consisted of eight persons ; the male 
places being filled by Professor Whitewood, Doctor Rav- 
enel, Colburne, and a Lieutenant-Colonel Carter ; the fe- 
male by Mrs. and Miss Whitewood, Miss Ravenel, and 
John Whitewood, Jr. This last named individual, the 
son and hcii- of the host, a youth of twenty years of age, 
was a very proper person to fill the position of fourth lady. 
Thin, pale and almost sallow, with pinched features sur- 
mounted by a high and roomy forehead, tall, slender, nar- 
row-chested and fi-agile in form, shy, silent, and pure as 
the timidest of girls, he was an example of what can be 
done with youthful blood, muscle, mind and feeling by the 
studious severities of a puritan university. Miss Ravenel, 
accustomed to far more masculine men, felt a contempt for 
him at the first glance, saying to herself. How dreadfully 
ladylike ! She was far better satisfied with the appear- 
ance of the stranger, Lieutenant-Colonel Carter. A little 
above the middle height he was, with a full chest, broad 
shoulders and muscular anns, brown curlins: hair, and a 
monstrous brown mustache, forehead not very high, nose 
straight and chm dimpled, brown eyes at once audacious 
and mirthful, and a dark rich complexion which made one 
think of pipes of sherry wine as well as of years of sun- 
burnt adventure. When he was presented to her he 



From Secession to Loyalty. 27 

looked her full in the eyes with a bold flash of interest 
which caused her to color from her forehead to her shoul- 
ders. In age he might have been anywhere from thirty- 
three to thii-ty-seven. In manner he was a thorough man 
of the world without the insinuating suavity of her father, 
but with all his self-possession and readiness. 

Colburne had not expected this alarming phenomenon. 
He was clever enough to recognize the stranger's gigantic 
social stature at a glance, and like the Israelitish spies in 
the presence of the Amakim, he felt himself shrink to a 
grasshopper mediocrity. 

At table the company was arranged as follows. At the 
head sat Mrs. Whitewood, with Dr. Ravenel on her right, 
and Miss Whitewood on her left. At the foot was the 
host, flanked on the right by Miss Ravenel and on the left 
by Lieutenant-Colonel Carter. The two central side places 
were occupied by young Whitewood and Colbunie, the 
latter being between Miss Whitewood and Miss Ravenel. 
With a quickness of perception which I suspect he would 
not have shown had not his heart been interested in the 
question he immediately decided that Doctor Ravenel was 
intended to go tete-a-tete with Mrs. Whitewood, and this 
strange officer with Miss Ravenel, while he was to devote 
himself to Miss Whitewood. The worrying thought drove 
every brilliant idea from his head. He could no more talk 
and be merry than could that hermaphrodite soul whose 
lean body and cadaverous countenance fronted him on the 
opposite side of the table. Miss Whitewood, who was 
nearly as great a student as her brother, was almost as de- 
ficient in the powers of speech ; she made an efibrt, first in 
the direction of the coming Presentation Day, then to- 
wards somebody's notes on Cicero, finally upon the wea- 
ther ; at last, with a woman's sympathetic divination, she 
guessed the cause of Colbume's gloom, and sank into a 
pitying silence. As for Mrs. Whitewood, amiable woman 
and excellent housewife, though an invalid, her conversa- 
tional faculty consisted in listening. Thus nobody talked 



28 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

except the Ravenels, Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, and Pro- 
fessor Whitewood. 

Colburne endeavored to conceal his troubled condition 
by a smile of counterfeit interest in the conversation. 
Then he grew ashamed of himself, and tearing off his ficti- 
tious smirk, substituted a look of stern thought, thereby 
exliibiting an honest countenance, but not one suitable to 
the occasion. There was sherry on the table ; not because 
wine-bibbing was a habit of the Whitewoods, inasmuch as 
the hostess had brought it out of the family medical stores 
Avith a painful twinge of conscience ; but there it was, in 
deference to the suj^posed tastes of the army gentleman 
and the strangers from the south. Colburne was tempted 
to rouse himself with a glass of it, but did not, being a 
pledged member of a temperance society. Instead of this 
he made a gallant moral effort, and succeeded in talking 
copiously to the junior Whitewood. But as what he said 
is of little consequence to our story, let us go back a few 
moments and learn what it was that had depressed his 
spirits. 

" I am delighted to meet some one from Louisiana, Miss 
Ravenel," said the Lieutenant-Colonel, after the master of 
the house had said grace. 

" Why ? Are you a Louisianian ?" asked the yoimg lady 
with, a blush of interest whicli was the first thing that 
troubled Colburne. 

" Xot precisely. I came very near calling myself such 
at one time, I liked the State and the peo2:)le so much. I 
was stationed there for several years." 

" Indeed ! At jS^ew Orleans ?" 

" Not so fortunate," replied the Lieutenant Colonel with 
a smile and a slight bow, which was as much as to say 
that, if he had been stationed there, he might have hoj^ed 
for the happiness of knowing Miss Ravenel earlier. " I 
was stationed in the arsenal at Baton Rouge." 

" I never was at Baton Rouge ; I mean I never "sdsited 
there. I have passed there repeatedly in going up and 



From Secession to Loyalty. 29 

down the river, just while the boat made its landings, you 
know. What a beautiful place it is ! I don't mean tbe 
buildings, but the situation, the bluffs." 

" Precisely. Great relief to get to Baton Rouge and 
see a hill or two after staying in the lowlands." 

" Oh ! don't say anything against the lowlands," begged 
Miss Ravenel. 

"I won't," promised the Lieutenant Colonel. " Give 
you my word of honor I won't do it, not even in the strict- 
est privacy." 

There was a cavalier dash in the gentleman's tone and 
manner ; he looked and spoke as if he felt himself quite 
good enough for his company. And so he was, at least in 
respect to descent and social position ; for no family in 
Virginia boasted a purer strain of old colonial blue blood 
than the Carters. In addition the Lieutenant Colonel was 
a gentleman by right of a graduation from West Point, 
and of a commission in the regular service which dated 
back to the times when there were no volunteers and few 
civilian appointments, and when by consequence army offi- 
cers formed a caste of aristocratic military brahmins. 
From the regular service, however, in which he had 
been only a lieutenant, his name had vanished several 
years previous. His lieutenant-colonelcy was a volunteer 
commission issued by the governor of the State. It was in 
the Second Barataria, a three-months' regiment, which 
was shortly to distinguish itself by a masterly retreat 
from Bull Run. Carter had injured his ancle by a fall 
from his horse, and was away from the army on a sick 
leave of twenty days, avoiding the hospitals of Washing- 
ton, and giving up his customary enjoyments in Xew York 
for the sake of attending to business which will transpii-e 
during this narrative. His leave had nearly expired, but 
he had applied to the War Department for an extension of 
ten days, and was awaiting an answer from that awful 
headquarters with the utmost tranquillity. If he found 
himself in the condition of being absent without leave, 



30 Miss Rayexel's Coxveksiox 

he knew liow to explain things to a military commission 
or a board of inquiry. 

The Lieutenant-Colonel liked the appearance of the 
young person whom he had been invited to meet. In the 
first place, he said to himself, she had a charming mixture 
of girlish freshness and of the thorough-bred society air 
which he considered indispensable to a 'lady. In the 
second place she looked somewhat like his late wife ; and 
although he had been a wasteful and neglectful husband, 
he still kept a moderately soft spot in his heart for the 
memory of the departed one ; not being in this respect 
different, I understand, from the majority of widowers. 
He saw that Miss Ravenel was willing to talk any kind 
of nothing so long as she could talk of her native State, 
and that therefore he could please her without much in- 
tellectual strain or chance of rivalry. Consequently he 
prattled and made prattle for some minutes about Louis- 
iana. 

"Were you acquainted with the McAllisters?" he 
wanted to know. " Very natural that you shouldn't be. 
They lived up the river, and seldom went to the city. 
They had such a noble plantation, though ! You could 
enjoy the true, old-style, princely Louisiana hospitality 
there. Splendid life, that of a southern planter. If I 
hadn't been in the army — or rather, if I could have done 
everything that I fancied, I should have become a sugar 
planter. Of course I should have run myself out, for it 
takes a frightful capital and some business faculty, or else 
the best of luck. By the way, I am afraid those fine fel- 
lows will all of them come to grief if this war continues 
five or six years." 

" Five or six years !" exclaimed Professor Whitewood 
in astonishment, but not in dismay, so utter was his incre- 
dulity. "Do you suppose. Colonel, that the rebels can 
resist for five or six years ?" 

" Why not ? Ten or twelve millions of people on their 
own ground, and difficult ground too, will make a terrific 



From Secession to Loyalty, 



31 



resistance. They are as well prepared as we are, and bet- 
ter. Frederic of Prussia wasn't conquered m seven years. 
I don't see anything unreasonable in allowing these fel- 
lows five or six. By the way," he laughed, " I am givmg 
you an honest professional opinion. Talking outside—to 
the rabble— talking as a patriot," (here he laughed agam) 
" and not as an officer, I say three months. Do it m three 
months, gentlemen !" he added, setting his head back and 
swelling his chest in imitation of the conventional popular 
orator. . 

Miss Pvavenel laughed outright to hear the enemies ot 
her section satuized. 

" But how will the South stand a contest of five or six 
years ?" queried the Professor. 

" Oh, badly, of course ; get whipped, of course ; that is, 
if we develope energy and military talent. We have the 
resources to thrash ^them. War in the long rim is pretty 
much a matter of arithmetical calculation. Oh, Miss Rav- 
enel, I was about to ask you, did you know the Slidells ?" 
" Very slightlv." 

" Why slightly ? Didn't you like them? I thought 
they were very agreeable people; though, to be sure, 
they were parvenus.'^'' 

" They were very ultra, you know ; and papa was of 
the other party." 

" Oh, indeed !" said the Lieutenant-Colonel, turning his 
head and surveying Ptavenel with curiosity, not because 
he was loyal, but because he was the young lady's papa. 
" How I regret that I had no chance to make your father's 
acquaintance m Louisiana. Give you my honor that I 
wasn't so simple as to prefer Baton Rouge to N'ew Orleans. 
I tried to get ordered to the crescent city, but the War 
Department was obdurate. I am confident," he added, 
with his audacious smile, half flattering and half quizzical, 
" that if the Washington people had known all that I lost 
by not getting to ^N'ew Orleans, they would have relented." 
"it was perfectly clear to Miss Ravenel that he meant to 



32 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

pay her a compliment. It occurred to lier that she was 
i:)robably in short di-esses when the gallant Lieutenant- 
Colonel was on duty at Baton Rouge, and thus missed a 
chance of seeing her in Xew Orleans. But she did not 
allude to this ludicrous possibility ; she only colored at his 
audacity, and said, " Oh, it's such a lovely city ! I think 
it is far preferable to New York." 

" But is it not a very wicked city ?" asked the host, 
quite seriously. 

"Mr. Whitewood ! How can you say that to me, a na- 
tive of it ?" she laughed. 

" Jerusalem," j^ursued the Professor, getting out of his 
scrape with a kmd'of ponderous dexterity, like an elephant 
backing ofP a shak}^ bridge, and takuig his time about it, 
like Xoah spending a hundred and twenty years m build- 
ing his ark — " Jerusalem j^roved her wickedness by casting 
out the prophets. It seems to me that your presence here, 
and that of your father, as exiles, is sufficient proof of the 
iniquity of Xew Orleans." 

" Upon my honor, Professor !" burst out the Lieutenant- 
Colonel, " you beat the best man I ever saw at a compli- 
ment." 

It was now Professor Whitewood's pale and wrinkled 
cheek which flushed, partly with gratification, partly with 
embarrassment. His wife surveyed him in mild astonish- 
ment, almost fearing that he had indulged in much sherry. 

• The Lieutenant-Colonel, by the way, had taken to the 
wme in a style which showed that he was used to the 
taste of it, and liked the eflects. His conversation orrew 
more animated ; his bass voice rang from end to end of 
the table, startling Mrs. Whitewood ; his fine brown eyes 
flashed, and a few drops of perspiration beaded his brow. 
It must not be supposed that the sheriy alone could do as 
much as this for so old a campaigner. That afternoon, as 
he lounged and yawned in the readmg-room of the Xew 
Boston House, he had thought of Professor Whitewood's 
invitation, and, feeling low-spirited and stupid, had con- 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 33 

eluded not to go to the dinner, althongli in the morning he 
had sent a not^ of acceptance. Then, feeling low-spirited 
and stupid, as I said, he took a glass of ale, and subse- 
quently a stiffish whiskey-punch, following up the treat- 
ment with a segar, which by producmg a dryness of the 
throat, induced him to try another whiskey-punch. Forti- 
fied by twenty-five cents' worth of liquor (at the then 
prices) he felt his ambition and industry revive. By Jove, 
Carter, he said to himself, you must go to that dinner- 
party. Whitewood is just one of those pious heavy- 
weio-hts who can biing this puritanical governor to 
terms. Put on your best toggery, Carter, and make your 
bow, and say how-de-do. 

Thus it was that when the Professor's sherry entered in- 
to the Lieutenant-Colonel, it found an ally there which aid- 
ed it to produce the afore-mentioned signs of excitement. 
Colburne, I grieve to say, almost rejoiced in detecting 
these symptoms, thuiking that surely Miss Ravenel would 
not fancy a man who was, to say the least, uiordiaately 
convivial. Alas ! Miss Kavenel had been too much accus- 
tomed to just such gentlemen in Xew Orleans society to 
see anything disgusting or even surprising in the manner 
of the Lieutenant-Colonel. She continued to prattle with 
him. in her pleasantest manner about Louisiana, not in the 
least restrained by Colburne's presence, and only now and 
then casting an anxious glance at her father ; for Ravenel 
the father, man of the world as he was, did not fancy the 
bacchanalian Xew Orleans type of gentility, having ob- 
served that it frequently brought itself and its T\'ife and 
children to grief 

The dinner lasted an hour and a half, by which time it 
was nearly twilight. The ordinary prandial hour of the 
Whitewoods, as well as of most fashionable Xew Boston 
people, was not later than two o'clock in the afternoon, 
but tliis had been considered a special occasion on account 
of the far-off* origin of some of the guests, and the meal had 
therefore commenced at five. On leaving the table the 
B2 



34 Miss Ravexel's Coxversion 

party went into the parlor and had coffee. Then Miss 
Ravenel thought it wise to propitiate her father's searching 
eye by quitting the Lieutenant-Colonel with his pleasant 
wordly ways and his fascinating masculine maturity, and 
going to visit the greenhouse in company with that pale 
bit of human celery, John White wood. Carter politely 
stood up to the rack for a while wdth IMiss Whitewood, 
but, finding it dry fodder to his taste, soon made his 
adieux. Colburne shortly followed, in a state of mind to 
question the goodness of Providence in permitting lieuten- 
ant-colonels. 



CHAPTER ni. 

MR. COLBURNE TAKES A SEGAR WITH LIEUTEXAXT-COLOXEL 
CARTER. 

As Colbnrne neared his house he saw the Lieutenant- 
Colonel standmg in the flare of a street lamp and looking 
up at the luminary with an air of puzzled consideration. 
With a temperance man's usual lack of charity to people 
given to wine, the civilian judged that the soldier was 
disgracefully intoxicated, and, instead of thinking how 
to conduct him quietly home, was about to pass him by 
on the other side. The Lieutenant-Colonel turned and re- 
cognized the young man. Li other states of feeling he 
would have cut him there and then, on the ground that 
it was not binding on him to continue a chance acquaint- 
ance. But being full at the moment of that comprehen- 
sive love of fellow existences which some constitutions 
extract from inebriating fluids, he said, 

" Ah ! how are you ? Glad to come across you again." 
Colburne nodded, smiled and stopped, saying, " Can I 
do anything for you ?" 



FEOii Secession to Loyalty. 35 

Will you smoke ?" asked the Lieutenant-Colonel, offer- 
" But how to light it ? there's the rub. I've 
just broken my last match against this ciirsed wet lamp- 
post — never thought of the dew, you know — and Avas stu- 
dying 'the machine itself, to see if I could get up to it 
and into it." 

" I have matches," said Colburne. He produced them ; 
they lighted and walked on together. 

Being a great fancier of good segars, and of moonlit 
summer walks under Xew Boston elms, I should like here 
to describe how sweetly the fragrance of the Havanas rose 
through the still, dewy air into the interlacing arches of 
nature's cathedral aisles. The subject would have its 
charms, not only for the great multitude of my brother 
smokers, but for many young ladies who dearly love the 
smell of a segar because they like the creatures who use 
them. At a later period of this history, if I see that I am 
likely to have the necessary space and time, I may bloom 
into such pleasant episodes. 

" Come to my room," said the soldier, taking the arm of 
the civilian. " Hope yon have nothing better to do. We 
Avill have a glass of ale." 

Colburne would have been glad to refuse. He was mod- 
est enough to feel himself at a disadvantage in the compa- 
ny of men of fashion ; and moreover he was just sufficient- 
ly jealous of the Lieutenant-Colonel not to desire to fra- 
ternize ^dth him. Finally, a strong suspicion troubled his 
mind that this military personage, indifferent to Xew Bos- 
ton opinions, and evidently a wine-bibber, might proceed 
to get publicly drunk, thus making a disagreeable scene^ 
with a chance of future scandal. Why then did not Col- 
burne decline the invitation? Because he was young, 
good-natured, modest, and wanting in that social tact 
and courage which most men only acquire by much in- 
tercourse with a great variety of theh fellow creatures. 
The Lieutenant-Colonel's, walk was the merest trifle un- 
steady, or at least careless, and his herculean arm, solid 



36 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

and knotted as an apple-tree limb, swayed repeatedly 
against Colbnrne, eliciting from liim a stroke-oarsman's ap- 
probation. Proud of his own biceps, the young man had 
to acknowledge its comparative hiferiority in volume and 
texture. 

" Are you a gymnast. Colonel ?" he asked. " Your arm 
feels Uke it." 

"Sword exercise," answered the other. "Very good 
thing to work off a heavy dinner. What do you do 
here"? Boat it, eh ? That's better yet, I fancy." 

'♦ But the sword exercise is just the thing for your pro- 
fession." 

" Pshaw ! — ^beg pardon. But do you suppose that we 
m these times ever fight hand to hand ? Xo sir. Gun- 
powder has killed all that." 

" Perhaps there never was much real hand to hand 
fightino'," suggested Colburne. " Look at the battle of 
Pharsaiia. Two armies of Romans, the best soldiers of an- 
tiquity, meet each other, and the defeated party loses 
fifteen thousand men killed and wounded, while the vic- 
tors lose only about two hundred. Is that fighting ? Isn't 
it clear that Pompey's men began to run away when they 
got within about ten feet of Cxesar's ?" 

" By Jove ! you're right. Bully for you ! You would 
make a soldier. Yes. And if Caesar's men had had long- 
rano-e rifles, Pompey's men would have run away at a 
hundred yards. All victories are won by moral force — by 
the terror of death rather than by death itself" 

" Then it is not the big battalions that carry the day," 
inferred Colburne. " The weakest battalions will win, if 
they will stand." 

" But they won't stand, by Jove ! As soon as they see 
they are the weakest, they run away. Modern war is 
founded on the prmciple that one man is afraid of two. 
Of course you must make allowance for circumstances, 
strength of position, fortifications, superior discipline, and 
superior leadership. Circumstances are sometimes strong 



From Secession to Lotaltt. 37 

enough to neutralize numbers. — Look here. Axe you in- 
terested in these matters ? Why don't you go into the 
army ? What the devil are you staying at home for when 
the whole nation is arming, or will soon have to arm ?" 

" I " — stammered Colburne — " I have thought of apply- 
ing for a quartermaster's position," 

" A quartermaster's !" exclaimed the Lieutenant-Colonel, 
without seekhig to disguise his contempt. " What for ? 
To keep out of the fighting ?" 

" Xo," said Colburne, meekly. " But I do know a little 
of the ways of business, and I know nothing of tactics and 
discij)line. I coiild no more drill a company than I could 
sail a ship. I should be like the man who mounted such a 
tall horse that he not only couldn't manage him, but 
couldn't get ofl* till he was thrown off". I should be dis- 
missed for incompetency." 

" But you can learn all that. You can learn in a month. 
You are a college man, aint you ? — you can learn more in 
a month than these boors from the militia can in ten years. 
I tell you that the fellows who are in command of compa- 
nies in my regiment, and in all the volunteer regiments 
that I know, are not fit on an average to be corporals. The 
best of them are from fair to middlins^. You are a colleo-e • 
man, amt you ? Well, when I get a regiment you shall 
have a company in it. Come up to my quarters, and let's 
talk this over." 

Arrived at his room. Carter rang for Scotch ale and se- 
gars. Li the course of half an hour he became exceedingly 
open-hearted, though not drunk in the ordinary and disa- 
greeable acceptation of the word. 

" I'll tell you why I am on here," said he. " It's my 
mother's native State — old Baratarian family — Standishes, 
you know — historically Puritan and colonial. The White- 
woods are somehow related to me. By the way, I'm a 
Virginian. I suppose you think it queer to find me on 
this side. Xo you don't, though ; you don't believe in 
the State Riaht of secession. Xeither do I. I was edu- 



38 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

cated a United States soldier. I follow General Scott. 
Xo Virginian need be ashamed to follow old Fuss and 
Feathers. TV"e used to swear by him in the army. Great 
Scott ! the fellows said. Well, as I had to give up my fa- 
ther's State, I have come to my mother's. I want old Bar- 
ataria to distinguish herself. Now's the chance. We are 
going to have a long war. I want the State to be pre- 
pared and come out strong ; it's the grandest chance she'll 
ever have to make herself famous. I've been to see the 
Governor. I said to him, ' Governor, now's your chance ; 
now's the chance for Barataria ; now's my chapce. It's 
going to be a long war. Don't depend on volunteermg — 
it won't last. Get a militia system ready which will 
classify the whole population, and bring it into the fight 
as fast as it's needed. Make the State a Prussia. If you'll 
allow me, I'll draw up a -plmi which shall make Barataria 
a military community, and put her at the head of the 
Union for moral and physical power. Appoint me your 
chief of stafi*, and I'll not only draw up the plan, but put 
it in force. Then give me a division, or only a brigade, 
and I'll show you what well-disciplined Baratarians can 
do on the battle-field. Xow what do you think the Gover- 
nor answered ? — Governor's a dam fool !" 

" Oh, no !" protested Colburne, astonished ; for the chief 
magistrate of Barataria was highly respected. 

" I don't mean individually — not a natural-born fool," 
explained the Lieutenant-Colonel — " but a fool from the 
necessity of the case ; mouthpiece, you see, of a stupid day 
and generation. What can he do ? he asks. I admit it. 
He can't do anything but what Democracy permits. Lose 
the next election, he says. Well, I suppose he would ; and 
that won't answer. Governor's wise in his day and gen- 
eration, although a fool by .the eternal laws of military 
reason. — I don't know as I talk very clearly. But you get 
at my meaning, don't you ? — Well, I had a long argu- 
ment, and gave it up. We must go on volunteering, and 
the rusty militia-men and greasy dema- 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 39 

gogues who bring in the comi^anies. The rank and file 
is magnificent — can't be equalled — too good. But such an 
infernally miserable set as the officers average ! Some 
bright young fellows, who can be licked into shape ; the 
rest old deacons, tinkers, military tailors, Jew pedlars 
broken down stump orators ; wrong-headed cubs who have 
learned just enough of tactics to know how not to do it. 
Look at the man that I, a Virginian gentleman, a West 
Pointer, have over me for Colonel. He's an old bloat — an 
old political bloat. He knows no more of tactical evolu- 
tions than he does of the art of navigation. He'll order a 
battalion which is marching division front to break into 
platoons. You don't understand that? It's about the 
same as — well, never mind — it can't be done. Well, this 
cursed old bloat is engineering to be a General. We don't 
want such fellows for Generals, nor for Colonels, nor for 
Captains, nor for privates, by Jove ! If Barataria had to 
fit out frigates instead of regiments, I wonder if she would 
put such men in command of them. Democracy might de- 
mand it. The Governor would know better, but he might 
be driven to it, for fear of losing the next election. 

"Now then," continued the Lieutenant-Colonel, "I 
come to business. We shall have to raise more regiments. 
I shall apply for the command of one of them, and shall 
get it. But I want gentlemen for my officers. I am a 
gentleman myself, and a West Pointer. I don't want tin- 
kers and pedlars and country deacons. You're a college 
man, aint you ? All right. College men will do for me. 
I want you to take a company in my regiment, and get in 
as many more of your set as you can. I'm not firing blank 
cartridge. My tongue may be thick, but my head is clear. 
Will you do it ?" 

" I will," decided Colburne, after a moment of earnest 
consideration. 

The problem occurred to him whether this man, clever 
as he was, professional soldier as he was, but aj^parently a 
follower of rash John Barlevcorn, would be a wiser leader 



40 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

in the field than a green but temperate civilian. He could 
not stop to settle the question, and accepted the Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel's leadership by imi^ulse. The latter thanked 
him cordially, and then laughed aloud, evidently because 
of that moment of hesitation. 

" Don't think I'm this way always," he said. " Xever 
when on duty ; Great Scott ! no man can say that. Indeed 
I'm not badly off now. If I willed it I could be as logical 
as friend Whitewood — I could do a problem in Euclid. 
But it would be a devil of an eftbrt. You won't demand 
it of me, will you ?" 

" It's an odd thing ui man," he went on gravely, " how 
he can govern drunkenness and even sickness. Just as 
though a powder-magazine should have self-control enough 
not to explode when some one throws a live coal into it. 
The only time I ever got drunk clear through, I did it de- 
liberately. I was to Cairo, caught there by a railroad 
breakdown, and had to stay over a Jiight. Ever at Cairo ? 
It is the dolefullest, cursedest place ! If a man is excusable 
anywhere for drinking himself insensible, it is at Cairo, 
Illinois. The last thing I recollect of that evening is that I 
was sitting in the bar-room, feet against a pillar, debating 
whether I would go quite drunk, or make a fight and stay 
sober. I said to myself, It's Cairo, and let myself go. 
My next distinct recollection is that of waking up in a 
raih'oad car. I had been half conscious two or three times 
previously, but had gone to sleep again, without taking 
notice of my surroundings. This time I looked about me. 
]Mv carpet-bag was between my feet, and my over-coat in 
the rack above my head. I looked at my watch ; it was 
two in the afternoon. I turned to the gentleman who 
shared my seat and said, ' Sir, will you have the goodness 
to tell me where this train is going?' He stared, as you 
may suppose, but replied that we were going to Cincinnati. 
The devil we are I thought I ; and I wanted to, go to St. 
Louis. I afterwards came across a man who was able to 
tell me how I s^ot on the train. He said that I came down 



From Secession to Loyalty. 41 

at five in the morning, carpet-bag and over-coat in hand, 
settled my bill in the most rational manner possible, and 
took the omnibus to the railroad station. Xow it's my be- 
lief that I could have staved ofi" that drunken fit by obsti- 
nacy. I can stave this one off. You shall see." 

He emptied his glass, lighted a fresh segar big enough 
to floor some men without other aid, and commenced 
walking the room, taking it diagonally from corner to cor- 
ner, so as to gain a longer sweep. 

" Don't stir," he said. " Don't mind me. Start another 
segar and try the ale. You won't ? What an inhuman 
monster of abstinence !" 

" That is the way they brmg us up m Xew Boston. We 
are so temperate that we are disposed to outlaw the rais- 
ing of rye." 

" You mean in your set. There must be somebody in 
this city who gets jolly ! there is everywhere, so far as I 
have travelled. You will find a great many fellows like 
me, and worse, in the old army. And good reason for it ; 
just think of our life. All of us couldn't have nice 2:>laces in 
charge of arsenals, or at Xewport, or on Governor's 
Island. I was five years on the frontier and in Califor- 
nia before I got to Baton Rouge ; and that was not so very 
delightful, by the way, in yellow fever seasons. Xow 
imagine yourself in command of a comj^any garrisoniug 
Fort Wallah- Wallah on the upper Missouri, seven hun- 
dred miles from an opera, or a library, or a lady, or a 
mince j)ie, or any other civilizing iufluence. The Cap- 
tain is on detached service somewhere. You are the First 
Lieutenant, and your only companion is Brown the Second 
Lieutenant. You mustn't be on sociable terms with the 
men, because you are an ofiicer and a gentleman. You 
have read your few books, and talked Brown dry. There 
is no shooting within five miles of the fort ; and if you go 
beyond that distance, the Blackfeet will raise your hair. 
What is there to save you from suicide but old-rye ? 
That's one way we come to driuk so. You are lucky. 



42 Miss R a yen el's Conversion 

You have had no temptations, or almost none, in tliis lit- 
tle Puritan city." 

" There are some bad places and people here. I don't 
speak of it boastingly." 

" Are there ?" laughed Carter. " I'm delighted to hear 
it, by Jove ! When my father went through college here, 
there wasn't a chance to learn anythmg wicked but hy- 
pocrisy. Chance enough for that, judging from the sto- 
ries he told me. So old AYliitewood is no longer the exact 
model of all the New Bostonians ?" 

" Xot even in the University. There used to be such a 
solemn set of Professors that they couldn't be recognised 
in the cemetery because they had so much the air of tomb- 
stones. But that old dark-blue lot has nearly died out, 
and been succeeded by younger men of quite a pleasant 
cerulean tint. They have studied in Europe. They like 
Paris and Vienna, and other places that used to be so 
wicked ; they don't think such very small lager of the 
German theologians; they accept geology, and discuss 
Darwin with patience." 

" Don't get out of my range. Who the devil is Dar- 
wm ? l^ever mind ; PU take him for granted ; go on with 
your new-school Professors. 

" Oh, I havn't much to say about them. They are quite 
agreeable. They are what I call men of the world — though 
I suppose I hardly know what a man of the world is. I 
dare say I am like the mouse who took the first dog that 
he saw for the elephant that he had heard of" 

The Lieutenant-Colonel stopped his walk and surveyed 
him, hands in pockets, a smile on his lip, and a silent 
horse-laugh in his eye. 

" Men of the world, are they ? By Jove ! Well ; per- 
haps so ; I havn't met them yet. But if it comes to 
pointing out men of the world, allow me to indicate 
our Louisiana friend, Eavenel. There's a fellow who can 
do the universally agreeable. You couldn't tell this even- 
ing which he liked best, Whitewood or me ; and I'll be 



Feo:m Secession to Loyalty. 43 

hano-ed if tlie same man can like both of us. When lie 
was^talking with the Professor he seemed to be saying 
to himself, '''Whitewood is my blue-book;" and when he 
was talking with me his whole countenance glowed with 
an expression which stated that ' Carter is the boy.' 
What a diplomatist he would make ! I like him immense- 
ly. He has a charmmg daughter too ; not beautifol ex- 
actly, but Yery charming." 

C'olburne felt an oppression which would not allow him 
to discuss the question. At the same time he was not m- 
dignant, but only astonished, perhaps also a little pleased, 
at "the tone of indifference with which the other spoke of 
the young lady. His soul was so occupied with this new 
tram of thought that I doubt whether he heard und^r- 
standingly the conversation of his uiterlocutor for the next 
few minutes. Suddenly it struck him that Carter was en- 
tirely sober, in body and brain. 

" Colonel, wouldn't you like to go on a pic-nic ?" he 
asked abruptly. 

" Pic-nic ?— political thuig ? Why, yes ; thmk I ought 
to like it ; help along our regiment." 

" No, no ; not poUtical. Pm sorry I gave you such an 
exalted expectation ; now you'll be disappomted. I mean 
an affair of young ladies, beaux, baskets, paper parcels, 
sandwiches, cold tongue, biscuits and lemonade." 

" Lemonade !" said Carter with a grimace. " Could a 
•fellow smoke ?" 

" I take that liberty." 

" Is Miss Ravenel going ?" 

" Yes." 

" I accept. How do you go ?" 

" In an omnibus. I will see that you are taken up— say 
at nuie o'clock to-morrow morning." 



44 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE DRAMATIC PERSONAGES GO ON A PIC-NIC, AND STUDY 
THE WAYS OF NEW BOSTON. 

When the Lieutenant-Colonel awoke in the mornmg he 
did not feel much like going on a pic-nic. He had a slight 
ache in the top of his head, a huskiness in the throat, a 
woolliness on the tongue, a feverishness in the cuticle, and 
a crawling tremulousness in the muscles, as though the 
molecules of his flesh were separately alive and intertwin- 
ing themselves. ' He drowsily called to mind a red-nosed 
old gentleman whom he had seen at a bar, trying in vain 
to gather up his change with shaky fingers, and at last 
exclaimmg, " Curse the change !" and walking off hastily 
in evident mortification. 

" Ah, Carter ! you will come to that yet," thought the 
Lieutenant-Colonel. — "To be sure," he added after a 
moment, " this sobering one's self by main strength of ^dll, 
as I did last night, is an extra trial, and enough to shake 
any man's system. — But how about breakfast and that 
confounded pic-nic ?'* was his next reflection. " Carter, tem- 
perance man as you are, you must take a cocktail, or you 
won't be able to eat a mouthful this morning." 

He rang ; ordered an eye-opener, stiff; swallowed it, and 
looked at his watch. Eight ; never mind ; he would wash 
and shave ; then decide between breakfast and pic-nic. 
Thanks to his martial education he was a rapid dresser, 
and it still lacked a quarter of nine when he appeared in 
the dining saloon. He had time therefore to eat a mutton 
chop, but he only looked at it with a disgusted eye, his 
stomach being satisfied with a roll and a cup of coffee. 
In the outer hall he lighted a segar, but after smoking 
about an inch of it, threw the rest away. It was decid- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 45 

edly one of his qualmish mornings, and he was glad to 
get a full breath of out of door air. 

" Is my hamper ready ?" he said to one of the hall-boys. 

"Sir?" 

" My hamper, confound you ; " repeated the Lieutenant 
Colonel, who was more irritable than usual this morning, 
" The basket that I ordered last night. Go and ask the 
clerk." 

" Yes, su'," said the boy when he returned. *' It's all 
right, sir. There it is, sir, behind the door." 

The omnibus, a little late of course, appeared about a 
quarter past nine. Besides Colburne it contained three 
ladies, two of about twenty-five and one of thirty-five, ac- 
companied by an equal number of beardless, slender, 
jauntily dressed youths whom the Lieutenant-Colonel took 
for the ladies' younger brothers, inferring that pic-nics were 
family aflaii*s in Xew Boston. Surveying these juvenile 
gentlemen witli some contempt, he was about to say to 
Colburne, " Yery sorry, my dear fellow, but really don't 
feel well enough to go out to-day," when he caught sight 
of Miss Ravenel. 

" Are you going ?" she asked with a blush which, was 
so indescribably flattering that he instantly responded, 
" Yes, indeed." 

Behind Miss Ravenel came the doctor, who immediately 
inquhed after Carter's health with an air of friendly m- 
terest that contrasted curiously with the glance of sus- 
picion which he bent on him as soon as his back was 
turned. Libbie hastened into the omnibus, very much 
afraid that her father would order her back to her room. 
It was only by dint of earnest begging that she had ob- 
tained his leave to join the pic-nic, and she knew that he 
had given it without suspecting that this sherry-loving 
army gentleman would be of the party. 

" But where are your matrons, Mr. Colburne ?" asked 
the doctor. " I see only young ladies, who themselves 
need matronizing." 



46 Miss Rave x el's Conversiox 

The beauty of thirty-five looked graciously at him, and 
judged*!iim a perfect gentleman. 

" Mrs. AYhitewood goes out in her own carnage," an 
swered Colburne. 

The Doctor bowed, j^rofessed himself delighted with the 
arrangements, wished them all a pleasant excursion, and 
turned away with a smilmg face which, became exceed- 
ingly serious as he walked slowly up staii's. It was not 
thus that young ladies were allowed to go a pleasuring 
at Xew Orleans. The severe proprieties of French man- 
ners with regard to demoiselles were m considerable favor 
there. Her mother never would have been caught in this 
way, he thought, and was anxious and repentant and an- 
gry with, himself, until his daughter returned. 

In the omnibus Colburne did the introductions ; and now 
Carter discovered that the beardless young gentlemen 
were not the brothers of the ladies, but most evidently 
their cavaliers ; and was therefore left to infer that the 
beaux of Xew Boston are blessed with an immortal youth, 
or rather childhood. He could hardly help laughing aloud 
to thuik how he had been caught in such a nursery sort of 
pic-nic. He glanced from one downy face to another 
with a cool, mocking look wliicli no one understood but 
Miss Ravenel, who was the only other person in the party 
to whom the sight of such juvenile gallants was a rarity. 
She bit her lips to repress a smile, and desperately opened 
the conversation. 

" I am so anxious to see the Eagle's Xest," she said to 
one of the students. 

" Oh ! you never saw it ?" he replied. 

There were two things in this response which surprised 
Miss Ravenel. In the first place the young gentleman 
blushed violently at being addressed ; in the second, he 
spoke in a A'ery hoarse and weak tone, his voice being not 
yet established. Unable to think of anything further to 
say, he turned for aid to the maiden of thirty-five, be- 
tween whom and himself there was a tender feeling, as 



Fko:m Secession to Loyalty. 47 

appeared openly later in the day. She set him on his in- 
tellectual pins by commencing a conversation on th6'wood- 
en-spoon exhibition. 

" What is the wooden-spoon ?" asked Lillie. 

" It is a burlesque honor in college," answered the youth. 
" It used to be given to the stupidest fellow in the gradu- 
ating class. Xow it's given to the j oiliest fellow — most 
popular fellow — smartest fellow, that doesn't take a real 
honor." 

" Allow me to ask, sir, are you a candidate ?" inquu-ed 
the Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Miss Ravenel cringed at this unprovoked and not very 
brilliant brutality. The collegian merely stammered " Xo, 
sir," and blushed immoderately. He was too much puz- 
zled by the other's impassable stare to comprehend the 
sneer at once ; but he studied it much during the day, and 
that night writhed over the memory of it till towards 
morning. Both Carter and the lady of thirty-five ought to 
have been ashamed of themselves for taking unfair advan- 
tage of the simplicity and sensitiveness of this lad ; but the 
feminine sinner had at least this excuse, that it was the 
•angelic spirit of love, and not the demonaic spirit of scorn, 
which prompted her conduct. Perceiving that her boy 
was being abused, she inveigled him into a corner of the 
vehicle, where they could talk together without mterrup- 
tion. The conversation of lovers is not usually mteresting 
to outsiders except as a subject of laughter ; it is frequent- 
ly stale and flat to a degree which seems incomprehensible 
when you consider the strong feelings of the interlocutors. 
This is the ordinary sort of thmg, at least in ISTew Bos- 
ton : — 

Lady, (smiling) Did you go out yesterday ? 

Gent, (smiling) Yes. 

Lady. Where ? 

Gent. Only down to the post-oflice. 

Lady. JMany people in the streets ? 

GGUt. Not very many. 



48 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

And all the while the two persons are not thinking of 
the walk, nor of the post-office, nor of the people in the 
streets, nor of anythmg of which they speak. They are 
thinking of each other ; they are prattling merely to be 
near each other ; they are so full of each other that they 
cannot talk of foreign subjects interestingly ; and so the 
babble has a meanmg which the unsymi^athetic bye- 
stander does not comprehend. 

After circulating through the city to pick up the vari- 
ous mvited ones, the omnibus was joined by a second om- 
nibus and two or three family rockaways. The little fleet 
of vehicles then sailed into the country, and at the end of 
an hour's voyage came to anchor under the lee of a wood- 
ed cliff called the Eagle's Xest, which was the projected 
site of the j^ic-nic. Up the long slope which formed the 
back of the cliff, a number of baskets and demijohns were 
carried by the youthful beaux of the party with a child- 
like zeal which older gallants might not have exhibited. 
Carter's weighty hamper was taken care of by a couple 
of juniors, who jumped to the task on learning that it be- 
longed to a United States army officer. He offered repeat- 
edly to relieve them, but they would not suffer it. In a* 
roundabout and marticulate manner they were exhibiting 
the fervent patriotism of the time, as well as that perpet- 
ual worshi]) which young men pay to their superiors in 
asje and knowledo^e of the world. And oh ! how was vir- 
tue rewarded when the basket was oj^ened and its contents 
displayed I It was not for the roast chicken that the 
two frohcsome juniors cared : the companion baskets 
around were crammed with edibles of all manner of 
flesh and fowl ; it was the sight of six bottles of cham- 
pagne which made their eyes rejoice. But with a holy 
horror equal to their wicked joy did all the matrons of 
the party, and indeed more than half of the younger peo- 
ple, stare. Carter's champagne was the only spirit of a 
vinous or ardent natm*e present. And when he produced 
two bunches of segars from his pockets and proceeded to 



From Secession to Loyalty. 49 

distribute them, the moral excitation reached its height. 
Immediately there were opposing j^artisaus in the pic-nic : 
those who meant to take a glass of champagne and smoke 
a segar, if it were only for the wicked fun of the thing; 
and those who meant, not only that they would not smoke 
nor drink themselves, but that nobody else should. These 
last formed little groups and discussed the aiiair with 
conscientious bitterness. But what to do ? The atrocity 
puzzled them by its very novelty. The memory of woman 
did not go back to the time when an aristocratic Xew Bos- 
ton pic-nic had been s6 desecrated. I say the memory of 
vaoraan advisedly and upon arithmetical calculation ; for 
in this party the age of the males averaged at least five 
years less than that of the females. 

" Why don't you stop it, Mrs. Whitewood ?" said the 
maiden of thirty-five, with gu'lish enthusiasm. " You are 
the oldest person here." (Mrs. Whitewood did not look 
particularly flattered by this statement.) " You have a 
perfect right to order anything." (Mrs. Whitewood looked 
as if she would like to order the young lady to let her 
alone.) " If I were you, I would step out there and say, 
Gentlemen, this must be stopped." 

Mrs. Whitewood might have rej^lied. Why don't you 
say it yourself? — you are old enough. But she did not ; 
such sarcastic observations never occurred to her good- 
natured soul ; nor, had she been endowed with, thousands 
of similar conceits, would she have dared utter one. It 
was impossible to rub her up to the business of confront- 
ing and puttmg down the adherents of the champagne 
basket. She did think of speaking to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Carter privately about it, but before she could decide 
in what terms to address him, the last bottle had been 
cracked, and then of course it was useless to say anything. 
So m much horror of spirit and with many self-reproaches 
for her weakness, she gazed helplessly upon Avhat she 
considered a scene of wicked revelry. In fact there was 
C 



50 Miss Ravexel's Con version 

a good deal of jollity and racket. The six bottles of 
champagne made a pretty strong dose for the unaccus- 
tomed heads of the dozen lads and three or four young 
ladies Avho finished them. Carter himself, cloyed with 
the surfeit of yesterday, took almost nothing, to the ^von- 
der, and even, I suspect, to the disappomtment of the 
temperance party. But he made himself dreadfully ob- 
noxious by urging his Sillery upon every one, including 
the Whitewoods and the maiden of thirty-five. The latter 
declmed the profiered glass with an air of viituous mdig- 
nation which struck him as uncivil, more particularly as 
it evoked a triumphant smile from the adherents of lem- 
onade. With a cruelty without parallel, and for which I 
shall not attempt to excuse him, he immediately offered 
the bumper to the young gentleman on whose arm the 
lady leaned, with the observation, " Madam, I hope you 
will allow your son to take a little." 

The unhappy couple walked away in a speechless con- 
dition. The two juniors heretofore mentioned burst into 
hysterical gulphs of laughter, and then pretended that it 
was a smiultaneous attack of coughmg. There were no 
more attempts to put down the audacious army gentle- 
man, and he was accorded that elbow-room which we all 
grant to a bull in a china-shop. He was himself somewhat 
shocked by the sensation which he had produced. 

" TVhat an awful row !'' he whispered to Colburne. " I 
have plunged this nursery into a state of civil war. When 
you said i:)ic-nic, how could I suppose that it was a Sab- 
bath-school excursion ? By the way, it isn't Sunday, is 
it ? Do you always do it this way m Xew Boston ? But 
you are not immaculate. You do some things here which 
would draw down the frown of society m other places. 
Look at those couples — a young fellow and a girl — stroll- 
ing off by themselves among the thickets. Some of them 
have been out of sight for half an hour. I should think it 
would make talk. I should thmk Mrs. Whitewood, Avho 
seems to be matron in chief, would stop it. I tell you, it 



FE0 3r Secessiox to Loyalty. 51 

wouldn't do iii XewYork or Philadelphia, or any such place, 
except among the lower classes. You don't catch our young 
Louisianienne making a dryad of herself. I heard one of 
these lads ask her to take a walk in the grove on top of the 
hill, and I saw her decline with a blush which certainly 
expressed astonishment, and, I think, mdignation. ]^ow 
how the devil can these old girls, who have lived long 
enough to be able to put two and two together, be so 
dem'd inconsistent ? After regarding me with horror for 
offering them a glass of champagne, they will commit im- 
prudences which make them appear as if they had drunk 
a bottle of it. And yet, just look. I have too much deli- 
cacy to ask one of those young ones to stroll off with me 
in the bushes. — Won't you have a segar ? I don't believe 
Miss Ravenel objects to tobacco. They smoke in Louisia- 
na ; yes, and they chew and di-ink, too. Shocking fast set. 
I really hope the child never will many down there. I 
take an mterest in her. You and I will go out there some 
day, and reconquer her patrimony, and put her in possess- 
ion of it, and then ask her which she will have." 

Colburne had already talked a good deal with Miss Ra- 
venel. She was so discouraging to the student beaux, 
and Carter had been so general in his attentions with a 
view to getting the champagne into circulation, that she 
had fallen chiefly to the young lawyer. As to the women, 
she did not much enjoy theu' conversation. At that time 
everybody at the Xorth was passionately loyal, especially 
those who would not m any chance be called upon to fight 
— and this loyalty was expressed towards i^ersons of se- 
cessionist proclivities with a frank energy which the lat- 
ter considered brutal incivility. From the male sex Miss 
Ravenel obtained some compassion or polite forbearance, 
but from her own very little ; and the result was that she 
avoided ladies, and might perhaps have been driven to 
suffer the boy beaux, only that she could make sure of the 
society of Colburne. Important as this young gentleman 
was to her, she could not forbear teasmg him concerning 



52 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

the local j^eculiarities of Xew Boston. This afternoon she 
was satirical upon the juvenile gallants. 

" You seem to be the only man in New Boston," she 
said. " I suppose all the males are executed when they are 
found guilty of being twenty-one. How came you to es- 
cape ? Perhaps you arc the executioner. Why don't you 
do your office on the Lieutenant-Colonel ?" 

" I should like to," answered Colbume. 

Miss Ravenel colored, but gave no other sign of com- 
prehension. 

" I don't like old beaux," persisted Colburnc. 

" Oh ! I do. When I left Xew Orleans I parted from a 
beau of forty." 

" Forty ! How could you come away ?" 

" Why, you know that I hated to leave Xew Orleans." 

" Yes ; but I never knew the reason before. Did you 
say forty ?" 

"Yes, sir; just forty. Is there anythmg strange in a 
man of forty being agreeable ? I don't see that you Xew 
Bostonians find it difficult to like ladies of forty. But I 
havn't told you the worst. I have another beau, whom I 
like better than anybody, who is fifty-five." 

" Youi' father." 

" You are very clever. As you are so bright to-day 
perhaps you can explain a mystery to me. Why is it that 
these grown women are so fond of the society of these 
students ? They don't seem to care to get a word from 
Lieutenant-Colonel Carter. I don't think they are crazy 
after you. They are altogether absorbed in makmg the 
time pass pleasantly to these boys." 

" It is so in all little university towns. Can't you un- 
derstand it ? When a girl is fifteen a student is naturally a 
more attractive object to her than a mechanic or a shop- 
keeper's boy. She thinks that to be a student is the chief 
end of man ; that the world was created in order that 
there might be students. Frequently he is a southerner ; 
and you know how charming southerners are." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 53 

" Oh, I know all about it." 

" Well, the girl of fifteen takes a fancy to a freshman. 
She flu-ts with, him all through the four years of his under- 
graduate course. Then he departs, promising to come 
back, but never keeping his promise. Perhaps by this 
time she is really attached to him ; and that, or habit, or 
her orio-inal taste for romance and strano-ers, oives her a 
cant for life ; she never flirts with anything but a student 
afterwards ; can't relish a man who has'nt a flavor of Greel? 
and Latin. Generally she sticks to the senior class. When 
she gets into the thirties she sometimes enters the theo- 
logical seminary m search of prey. But she never likes 
anything which hasn't a student smack. It reminds one 
of the story that when a shark has once tasted human 
flesh he will not eat any other unless driven to it by hun- 
ger." 

" What a brutal comparison !" 

" One consequence of this fascination," continued Col- 
burne, " is that Xew Boston is full of unmarried females. 
There is a story in college that a student threw a stone at 
a dog, and, missmg him, hit seven old maids. On the 
other hand there are some s^ood results. These old o-iris 
are bookish and mature, and their conversation is im- 
proving to the under-graduates. They sacrifice them- 
selves, as woman's wont is, for the good of others." 

" If you ever come to Xew Orleans I will show you a 
fascinating lady of thirty. She is my aunt — or cousin — I 
hardly know which to call her — Mrs. Larue. She has 
beautiful black hair and eyes. She is a true type of Louis- 
iana." 

" And you are not. What right had you to be a blonde ?" 

" Because I am my father's daughter. His eyes are blue. 
He came from the up-country of South Carolina. There 
are plenty of blondes there." 

This conversation, the reader j^erceives, is not monu- 
mentally grand or important. Xext in flatness to the 
ordinary talk of two lovers comes, I think, the ordinary 



54 Miss Raven el's Coxyeusiox 

talk of two young persons of the opposite sexes. In the 
first place they are young, and therefore have few great 
ideas to interchange and hut limited ranges of experience 
to compare ; in the second place they are hampered and 
embarrassed by the mute but potent consciousness of sex 
and the alai-ming possibility of mamage. I am inclined 
to give much credit to the saying that only married people 
ancl vicious people are agreeably fluent in an assembly of 
^DOth sexes. When therefore I report the conversation of 
these two uncorrupted young persons as bemg of a moder- 
ately dull quality, I flatter myself that I am publishing the 
very tmth of nature. But it follows that we had best 
finish with this pic-nic as soon as possible. We will sup- 
pose the chickens and sandwiches eaten, the champagne 
drunk, the segars smoked, the party gathered into the om- 
nibusses and rockaways, and the vehicle in which we are 
chiefly interested at the door of the Xew Boston House. 
As the Lieutenant-Colonel enters with Miss Ravenel a 
waiter hands him a telegraphic message. 

" Excuse me," he says, and reads as they ascend the 
stairs together. On the parlor floor he halts and takes 
her hand with an air of more seriousness than he has yet 
exhibited. 

" Miss Ravenel, I must bid you good-bye. I am so sorry ! 
I leave for Washington immediately. My application for 
extension of leave has been refused. I do sincerely hope 
that I shall meet you again." 

" Good bye," she simply said, not unaware that her 
hand had been pressed, and for that reason unable or un- 
willing to add more. 

He left her there, hurried to his room, packed his valise, 
and was oft" in twenty minutes ; for when it was necessary 
to move quick he could put on a rate of speed not easily 
equalled. 

jNliss Ravenel walked to her father's room in deep medi- 
tation. Without stating the fact in words she felt that 
the presence of this mature, masculine, worldly gentleman 



From Secession to Loyalty. 55 

of the army was agreeable to her, and that his farewell 
had been an unpleasant surprise. If he was inebriate, dis- 
sipated, dangerous, it must be remembered that she did 
not know it. In simply smelling of wine and segars he 
had an odoi of Louisiana, to which she had been accus- 
tomed from childhood even in the grave society of her 
father's choice, and whicli was naturally grateful to the 
homesick sensibilities of the exiled girl. 

For the last hour or two Doctor Ravenel had paced 
his room in no little excitement. He was a notably indus- 
trious man, and had devoted the day to writmg an article 
on the mineralogy of Arkansas ; but even this labor, the 
utterance of a life-long' scientific enthusiasm, could not 
divert him from what I may call maternal anxieties. 
Why did I let her go on that silly expedition ? he repeated 
to himself It is the last time ; absolutely the last. 

At this moment she entered the room and kissed him 
with more than ordinary efl:usion. • She meant to forestall 
his expected rej^roof for her unexpectedly long absence ; 
moreover she felt a very little lonely and in need of unus- 
ual affection in consequence of that farewell. 

" My dear ! how late you are !" said the unappeased 
Doctor. " How could you stay out so ? How could you 
do it ? The idea of staymg out till dusk ; I am astonished. 
Really, girls have no prudence. They are no more fit to 
take care of themselves amid the dangers and stupidities of 
society than so many goslings among the wheels and hoofs 
of a crowded street." 

Do not suppose that Miss Ravenel bore these reproofs 
withL the serene countenance of Fra Angelico's seraphs, 
softly beaming out of a halo of eternal love. She was 
very much mortified, very much hurt and even a little an- 
gry. A hard word from her father was an exceeding 
great trial to her. The tears came into her eyes and the 
color into her cheeks and neck, while all her slender form 
trembled, not visibly, but consciously, as if her veins Avere 
filled with quicksilver. 



50 jM I s s 11 A V K X el's C O X V E R S I O X 

" Late I AVhy, no papa !" ( Running to the window and 
pointing to the crimson west.) " Why, the sun is only 
just gone down. Look for yourself, papa." 

" Well ; that is too late. If for nothing else, just think 
of the dew, — the chill. I am not pleased. I tell you, 
Lillie, I am not pleased." 

" Xow, papa, you are right hard. I do say you are right 
cruel. How could I help myself? I couldn't come home 
alone. I couldn't order the j^ic-nic to break up and come 
home when I pleased. How could I ? Just tliink of it, 
i:)apa." 

The Doctor was walking up and down the room with his 
liands behind his back and his head bent forward. He had 
hardly looked at his daughter : he never looked at her 
when he scolded her. He gave her a side-glance now, and 
seeing her eyes full of tears, he was unable to answer her 
either good or evil. The earnestness of his affection for her 
made hini very sensitive and sore and cowardly, in case of 
a misunderstandmg. She was looking at him all the time 
that she talked, her face full of her troubled eagerness to 
exculpate herself; and now, though he said not a word, she 
knew him well enough to see that he had relented from his 
anger. Encouraged by this discovery she regained in a 
moment or two her self-possession. She guessed the real 
cause, or at least the strongest cause of his vexation, and 
proceeded to dissipate it. 

" Papa, I think there must be something important go- 
ing on in the army. Lieutenant-Colonel Carter has 
received a telegraph, and is going on by the next train." 

He halted in his walk and faced her with a childlike 
smile of pleasure. 

" Has he, indeed !" he said as gaily as if he had heard of 
some piece of personal good fortune. Then, more gravely 
and with a censorious countenance, " Quite time he went, 
I should say. It doesn't look well for an officer to be 
enjoying himself here m Barataria when his men may be 
fiorhtinoj in Yii'ginia." 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 57 

Miss Ravenel thouglit of suggesting that the Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel had been on sick leave, but concluded that 
it would not be well to attemjDt his defence at the present 
moment. 

" Well Lillie," resumed the Doctor, after takmg a cou- 
pleof leisurely turns up and down the room, " I don't know 
but I have been unjust in blammg you for coming home 
so late. I must confess that I don't see how you could 
help it. The fault was not yours. It resulted from the 
very nature of all such expeditions. It is one of the m- 
conveuiences of pic-nics that common sense is never in- 
vited or never has time to go. I wonder that Mrs. 
Whitewood should permit such iiTational procedures." 

The Doctor was somewhat apt to exaggerate, whether 
in j)raise or blame, when he became interested in a subject. 

" Well, well, I am chiefly in fault myself," he concluded. 
" It must be the last time. My dear, you had better take 
ofi* your things and get ready for tea." 

While Lillie was engaged on her toilette the Doctor co- 
gitated, and came to the conclusion that he must say some- 
thing against this Carter, but that he had better say it in- 
directly. So, as they sauntered down stairs to the tea- 
table he broke out upon the bibulous gentry of Louisiana. 

" To-day's Herald will amuse you," he said. " It con- 
tains the proceedings of a meeting of the planters of St. 
Dominic Parish. They are opposed to freedom. They 
object to the nineteenth century. They mean to smash 
the United States of America. And for all this they pledge 
their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. It sur- 
passes all the jokes in Joe Miller. To think of those 
whiskey-soaked, negro-whipj)ing, man-slaughtering ruffi- 
ans, with a bottle of Louisiana rum in one hand and a cat- 
o'-nine-tails in the other, a revolver in one pocket and a 
boAvie-knife in the other, drunken, swearing, gambling, 
depraved as Satan, with their black wives and mulatto 
children — to think of such ruffians prating about their 
sacred honor ! Whv, they absolutely don't understand 
* • C2 



58 Miss Rayexel's Conversion 

the meaniiig of the words. They have heard of respectable 
communities possessing such a quality as honor, and they 
feel bound to talk as if they possessed it. The pirates of 
the Isle of Pines might as well pledge their honesty and 
humanity. Their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred 
honor ! Their lives are not worth the powder that will 
blow them out of existence. Their fortunes will be Avorth 
less in a couple of years. And as for their sacred honor, 
it is a pure figment of ignorant imaginations made deliri- 
ous by bad whiskey. That drinkmg is a ruinous vice. 
When I see a man soaking himself with sherry at a 
friend's table, after having previously soaked with whis- 
key in some groggery, I thmk I see the devil behind his 
chair putting the mfernal mark on the back of his coat. 
And it is such a common vice in Louisiana. There is 
hardly a young man free from it. In the country districts, 
when a young fellow is paying attention to a young lady, 
the parents don't ask whether he is in the habit of gettmg 
drunk; they take that for granted, and only concern 
themselves to know whether he gets cross-drunk or amia- 
ble-drunk. If the former, they have some hesitation ; if 
the latter, they consent to the match thankfully." 

jNIiss Ravenel understood perfectly that her father was 
cutting at Lieutenant-Colonel Carter over the shoulders of 
the convivial gentlemen of Louisiana. She thought him 
unjust to both parties, but concluded that she would not 
aro-ue the question ; being conscious that the subject was 
rather too delicately near to her feelings to be discussed 
without danger of disclosures. 

" "Well, they are rushing to their doom," resumed the 
Doctor, turning aside to general reflections, either because 
such was the tendency of his mind, or because he thought 
that he had demolished the Lieutenant-Colonel. " They 
couldn't wait for whiskey to finish them, as it does other 
barbarous races. They must call on the political mount- 
ains to crush them. Their slaveholding Sodom will perish 
for the lack of five just men, or a single just idea. It must 



Fko^c Secession to Loyalty. 59 

be razed and got out of the way, like any other obstacle 
to the progress of humanity. It must make room for 
somethuig more consonant with the railroad, electric-tel- 
egraph, priating-press, inductiYe philosophy, and practical 
Christianity." 



CHAPTER Y 

THE DRAMATIC PEESOXAGES GET XEWS FEOil BULL EUN. 

" Papa, are we gouig to stay in New Boston forever ?" 
asked Miss Ravenel. 

" My dear, I am afraid we shall both have to die some 
day, after which we can't expect to stay here, pleasant as 
it might be," replied the Doctor. 

" ISTonsense, papa ! You know what I mean. Are you 
o-omg to make Xew Boston a pemianent place of resi- 
dence ?" 

" How can I tell, my dear ? We can't go back to New 
Orleans at present ; and where else should we go ? You 
know that I must consult economy in my choice of a resi- 
dence. My bank deposits are not monstrous, and there is 
no tellmg how long I may be cut off from my resources. 
New Boston presents two advantages ; it gives me some 
employment and it is tolerably cheap. Through the 
friendliness of these excellent professors I am kept con- 
stantly busy, and am not paid so very badly, though I 
can't say that I am m any danger of growmg suddenly 
rich. Then I have the run of the university library, which 
is a great thmg. Finally, where else m the United States 
should we find a prettier'or pleasanter little city ?" 

" The people are dreadfully poky." 

" Mj daughter, I wish you would have the goodness to 
converse with me m EngHsh. I never became thoroughly 



00 Miss Ravenel's Con version 

familiar with the Gohl Coast dialects, and not even with 
the court language of Ashantee." 

" It isn't Ashantee at all. Everj^body says poky ; and 
it is real poky in you to pretend not to understand it; 
don't you think so yourself now? Besides these Xew 
Bostonians are so ferociously federal ! I can't say a word 
for the South hut the women glare at me as though they 
wanted to hang me on a sour apple tree, like Jeff Davis." 

" My dear, if one of these loyal ladies should say a word 
for her own lawful government in New Orleans, she 
would be worse than glared at. I doubt Avhether the 
Avild-mannered cut-throats of your native city would let 
her oif with plain hanging. Let us thank Heaven that 
we are among civilized people who only glare at us, and 
do not stick us under the fifth rib, when we differ with 
them in opinion." 

" Oh papa ! how bitter you are on the southerners ! It 
seems to me you must forget that you were bom in South 
Carolina and have lived twenty-five years in Louisiana." 

" Oh ! oh ! the beautiful reason for defendmg organized 
barbarism ! Suppose I had had the misfortune of being 
born in the Isle of Pines ; would you have me therefore 
be the apologist of piracy ? I do hope that I am perfectly 
free from the prejudices and trammels of geographical 
morality. My body was born amidst slavery, but my 
conscience soon found the underground raihoad. I am not 
boasting ; at least I hope not. I have had no plantations, 
no patrimony of human flesh ; very few temptations, in 
short, to bow down to the divinity of Ashantee. I sin- 
cerely thank Heaven for these three thmgs, that I never 
owned a slave, that I was educated at the north, and that 

1 have been able to visit the free civilization of Europe." 

" But why did you live in Louisiana if it was such a 
Sodom, papa ?" 

" All ! there you have me. Perhaps it was because I 
had an expensive daughter to support, and could pick up 
four or five thousand dollars a vear there easier than anv- 



Fp. OM Secession to Loyalty. 



61 



where else. But you see I am suffering for having given 
my countenance to sin. I have escaped out of the burning 
city, like Lot, with only my family. It is my daily won- 
der, Lillie, that you are not turned into a pillar of salt. 
The only reason probably is that the age of mh*acles is 
over." 

" Papa, when I am as old as you are, and you are as 
young as I am, I'll satirize you dreadfully.— Well, if we 
are gomg to live m Xew Boston, why can't we keep 
house ?" 

"It costs more for. two people to keep house than to 
board. Our furniture, rent, food, fiiel, lights and servants 
would come to more than the eighteen dollars a week 
which we pay here, now that we have given up our par- 
lor. In a civilized country elbow-room is expensive." 

" But is it exactly nice to stay forever in a hotel ? 
English travellers make such an outcry about American 
families living in hotels." 

" I know. At the bottom it is bad. But it is a sad 
necessity of American society. So long as we have un- 
trained servants — black barbarians at the South and mu- 
tinous foreigners at the Xorth — many American house- 
keepers will throw down their keys in despair and rush for 
refuge to the hotels. And numbers j^roduce respectability, 
at least in a democracy." 

" So we must give up the idea of a nice little house all 
to ourselves." 

" I am afraid so, unless I should haj^pen to find diamonds 
in the basaltic formation of the Eagle's Xest." 

The Doctor falls to his writing, and Miss Ravenel to 
her embroidery. Presently the young lady, without 
having anythmg m particular to say, is conscious of a de- 
sire for further conversation, and, after searching for a sub- 
ject, begins as follows. 

" Papa, have you been in the parlor this mornmg ?" 

" Yes, my dear," answers papa, scratching away des- 
perately with his old-fashioned quill pen. 



62 Miss R a y e x e l ' s Conversion 

" Whom did you see there V" 

" See ? — Where ? — Oh, I saw Mr. Andrew Smith," says 
the Doctor, at first absent-minded, then looking a little 
quizzical. 

" What did he have to say ?" 

" Why, my dear, he spoke so low that I couldn't hear 
what he said." 

" He did !" responds Miss Ravenel, all interest. " What 
did that mean ? Why didn't you ask him to repeat it ?" 

" Because, my dear, he wasn't talking to me ; he was 
talking to Mrs. Smith." 

Here Miss Ravenel perceives that her habitual curiosity 
is beino: made fun of, and replies, " Papa, you ought to be 
ashamed of yourself." 

" My child, you must give me some chance to write," 
retorts the Doctor ; " or else you must learn to sit a little 
in your own room. Of course I prefer to have you here, 
l)ut I do demand that you accord me some infinitesimal de- 
gree of consideration." 

Father and daughter used to have many conversations 
not very dissimilar to the above. It was a constant prat- 
tle when they were together, unless the Doctor raised the 
standard of revolt and refused to talk in order that he 
mio-ht work. Ever since Lillie's earliest recollection they 
had been on these same terms of sociability, companion- 
ship, almost equality. The intimacy and democracy of the 
relation arose partly from the Doctor's extreme fondness 
for children and young people, and partly from the fact 
that he had lost his wife early, so that in his household 
life he had for years dej^ended for sympathy upon his 
daughter. 

Twice or thrice every morning the Doctor was obliged 
to remonstrate against Lillie's talkativeness, something 
after the manner of an afiectionate old cat who allows her 
pussy to jump on her back and bite her ears for a half 
hour together, but finally im2D0ses quiet by a velvety and 
harmless cufling. Occasionally he avenged himself for 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. G3 

her untimely demands on his attention by reading to her 
what he considered a successful passage of the article 
Tvliich he might then be composing. In this, however, he 
had not the least intention of j^nnishment, but supposed 
that he was conferring a pleasure. It was an essential 
element of this genial, social, sympathetic nature to be- 
lieve that whatever interested him would necessarily in- 
terest those whom he loved and even those with whom he 
simply came in contact. When Lillie offered corrections 
on his style, which happened frequently, he rarely hesi- 
tated to accejit them.. Yanity he had none, or at any rate 
displayed none, except on two subjects, his daughter and 
his scientific fame. As a proof of this last he gloried in 
an extensive correspondence with European savants, and 
made Lillie read every one of those queer shaped letters, 
written on semi-transparent paper and with foreign stamps 
and postmarks on their envelopes, which reached him 
from across the Atlantic. Although medicine was his 
profession and had provided him with bread, he had lat- 
terly fallen in love with mineralogy, and in his vacation 
wanderings though that mountainous belt which runs from 
the Carolinas westward to Arkansas and Missouri he had 
discovered some new species which were eagerly sought 
for by the directors of celebrated European collections. 
Great was his delight at receiving in Xew Boston a weighty 
box of specimens which he had shipped as freight from 
Xew Orleans just previous to his own departure, but 
which for two months he had mourned over as lost. It 
dowered him with an embarrassment of riches. During a 
week his bed, sofa, table, wash-stand, chau's and floor 
were littered vrith the scraps of paper and tufts of cotton 
and of Spanish moss which had served as wrappers, and 
with hundreds of crystals, ores and other minerals. Over 
this confusion the Doctor domineered with a face wrinkled 
by happy anxiety, laying do^vn one queer-colored pebble 
to pick up another, pronouncing this a Smithite and that 
a Brownite trying his blowpipe on them alid then his 



64 Miss Ravexel's Coxveesiox. 

hammer, and covering all the furniture ^vith a layer of 
learned smudge and dust and gravel. 

" Papa, you have puckered your forehead up till it is like 
a baked apple," Lillie would remonstrate. "You look 
more than five thousand years old ; you look as though 
you might be the grandfather of all the mummies. Now 
do leave off bothering those poor Smithites and Hivites 
and Amelekites, and come and take a walk." 

" 3Iy dear, you havn't the least idea how necessary it is 
to push one's discoveries to a certainty as quickly as possi- 
ble " would answer the Doctor, meanwhile peering at a 
specimen through his magnifymg glass. "The world 
won't wait for me to take your time. If I don't work 
fast enouo'h in my researches, it will set somebody else at 
the job. It makes no allowance for Louisiana ideas of 
leisure and," — ^here he suddenly breaks off his moralizing 
and exclaims, " My dear, this is not a* Brownite ; it is a 
Robinsonite — a most unquestionable and superb Robin- 

sonite." 

" Oh papa ! I wish I was an unquestionable Robin- 
sonite ; then you would take some sort of interest in me," 
says Jkliss Lillie. 

But the Doctor is lost in the ocean of his new discovery, 
and for fifteen minutes has not a word to say on any sub- 
ject comprehensible to the young lady. 

Two hours of every afternoon were devoted by father 
and daughter to a long walk in company, sometimes a 
mere shcTpprng or calling tour, but generally an excursion 
into the pure country of fields and forest as yet so easily 
reached from the centre of Xew Boston. The Doctor pre- 
served a reminiscence of his college botany, and attemj^ted 
to impart some of his knowledge of plants to Lillie. But 
she was a hopeless scholar ; she persisted in carmg for little 
except human beings and such literature as related directly 
to them, meaning thereby history, biography, novels and 
poetry; she remained delightfully innocent of all the 
ologies. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 65 

" You ouglit to have been born four thousand years 
ago, Lillie," he exclaimed in despair over some new in- 
stance of her incapacity to move in his favorite grooves. 
" So far as you are concerned, Linnaeus, Humboldt, Lyell, 
Faraday, Agassiz and Dana might as well not have lived. 
I believe you will go through life without more knowl- 
edge of science than just enough to distinguish between a 
2)lant and a pebble." 

" I do hope so, papa," replied the incorrigible and de- 
lightful ignoramus. 

When they met one of their acquaintance on these 
walks the Doctor would not allow him to pass with, a nod 
and a smile, after the unobtrusive Xew Boston fashion. 
He would stop him, shake hands cordially, inquire earn- 
estly after his health and family, and before partmg con- 
trive to say something personally civil, if not compli- 
mentary ; all of which would evidently jflatter the iS^ew 
Bostoniau, but would also as evidently discompose him 
and turn his head, as being a man unaccustomed to much 
social incense. 

" Papa, you trouble these people," Lillie would some- 
times expostulate. " They don't know where to put all 
your civilities and courtesies. They don't seem to have 
pockets for them." 

" My child, I am nothing more than ordinarily polite." 
" Kothmg more than ordinary in Louisiana, but some- 
thing very extraordinary here. I have just thought why 
all the gentlemen one meets at the South are so civil. It 
is because the uncivil ones are shot as fast as they are dis- 
covered." 

"There is something in that," admitted the Doctor. 
" I suppose duelling has something to do with the super- 
ficial good manners current down there. But just consid- 
er what an impolite thing shooting is m itself To knock 
and jam and violently push a man into the other world is 
one of the most boorish and barbarous discourtesies that I 
can imagine. How should I like to be treated that way ! 



66 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

I think I never should be reconciled to the fact or its au- 
thor." ' 

" But these New Bostonians are so poky — so awfully 
serious." 

"I have some consideration for anti-jokers. They are 
not amusing, but they are generally useful. It is well 
for the race, no doubt, to have many persons always in 
solemn earnest. I don't know what the world would 
come to if every body could see a joke. Possibly it might 
laugh itself to death." 

Frequently on these walks they were met and joined by 
Mr. Colburue. That young gentleman, frank as his clear 
hazel eyes and hearty laugh made him appear, was awk- 
wardly sly in bringing about these ostensibly accidental 
meetmgs. Xot that his clumsy male cunning deceived 
Miss Ravenel : she was not by any means fond enough of 
him to fail to see through him ; she knew that he walked 
in her j^aths with malice aforethought. Her father did 
not know it, nor suspect it, nor ever, by any innate con- 
sciousness or outward hint, feel his attention drawn 
toward the circumstance. And, what was most absurd of 
all, Mr. Colburne ^^ersisted m fearing that the Doctor, that 
travelled and learned man of the world, guessed the secret 
of his slyness, but never once attributed that degree of 
sharp-sightedness to the daughter. I sometimes get quite 
out of patience with the wglj sex, it is so densely stupid 
with regard to these little social riddles. For example, it 
haj^pened once at a party that while Colburne, who never 
danced, was talking to Miss Ravenel, another gentleman 
claimed her hand for a quadrille. She took her place in 
the set, but first handed her fan to Colburne. Xow every 
lady who obser^^ed this action understood that Miss Rav- 
enel had said to Colburne as j^lainly as it was possible to 
express the thing without speakmg or usmg force, that 
she wished him to return to her side as soon as the 
quadrille was over, and that in fact she preferred his con- 
versation to that of her dancing admirer. But this mas- 



Fkom Secession to Lot alt y. 67 

culine blunderer comprehended nothing ; he grumbled to 
himself that he was to be put oiF with the honor of holding 
a fan while the other fellow ran away with the owner ; 
and so, shoving the toy into his ^^ocket, he absented him- 
self for half an horn*, to the justifiable disapprobation of 
Miss Ravenel, who did not again give him any thing to 
hold for many evenings. 

But this was an exceptional piece of stupidity in Col- 
burne, and probably he would not have been guilty of it 
but for a spasm of jealousy. He was not grossly deficient 
in social tact, any more than m natural cleverness or in 
acquired information. Conversation, and very sensible 
conversation too, flowed like a river when he came into 
confluence with the Kavenels. The prevailing subject, as 
a matter of course, was the rebellion. It was every body's 
subject ; it was the nightmare by night and the delmum 
by day of the American people ; it was the one thing that 
no one ignored and no one for an hour forgot. The twenty 
loyal millions of the Xorth shuddered with rage at the 
insolent wickedness of those conspirators who, merely that 
they might perpetuate human bondage and their own po- 
litical supremacy, proposed to destroy the grandest social 
fabric that Liberty ever built, the city of refuge for op- 
j^ressed races, the hope of the nations. For men who 
through such a glorious temple as this could rush with 
destroying torches and the cry of " Rule or rum," the 
North felt a horror more passionate than ever, on any oc- 
casion, for any cause, thrilled the bosom of any other peo- 
ple. This indignation was earnest and wide-spread in pro- 
portion to the civilization of the century and the intelli- 
gence of the population. Tlie hundreds of telegraph luies 
and thousands of printing presses in the United States, 
sent the knowledge of every new treason, and the rever- 
beration of every throb of patriotic anger, in a day to all 
Americans outside of nurseries and lunatic asylums. The 
excitement of Germany at the opening of the Thirty 
Years' War, of England previous to the Cromwellian 



G8 Miss Rayexel's Conversion 

struggle, was torj^id and j^artial in comparison Avith this 
outburst of a modern, reading and swiftly-informed free 
democracy. As yet there was little bloodshed ; the old 
respect for law and confidence in the processes of reason 
could not at once die, and men still endeavored to con- 
vince each other by argument while holding the pistol to 
each other's heads ; but from the St. Lawrence to the 
Gulf there was a spiiitual preparedness for slaughter 
which was to end in such murderous contests as should 
make ensanguined Europe rise from its thousand battle- 
iields to stare m wonder. 

TTomen and children were as wild with the patriotic 
excitement as men. Some of the prettiest and gentlest- 
born ladies of Xew Boston waited m a mixed crowd half 
the night at the railroad station to see the first regiments 
pass towards Washington, and flung their handkerchiefs, 
rings, pencil-cases, and other trmkets to the astonished 
country lads, to show them how the heart of woman 
blessed the nation's defenders. In no society could you be 
ten minutes without hearing the words war, treason, re- 
bellion. And so, the subject being every body's sulyect, 
the Ravenels and Colburne frequently talked of it. It was 
quite a sad and sore circumstance to the two gentlemen 
that the lady was a rebel. To a man who prides himself 
on his superior capacity and commanding nature, (that is 
to say, to almost every man in existence) there can be 
few greater grievances than a woman whom he cannot 
convert ; and more particularly and painfully is this true 
Avhen she bears some near relationship to him, as for in- 
stance that of a wife, sister, daughter and sweetheart. 
Thus Ravenel the father and Colbunie the admirer, fret- 
ted daily over the obstinate treasonableness of Miss Lillie. 
Patriotism she called it, declaring that Louisiana was her 
country, and that to it she owed her allegiance. 

It is worthy of passing remark how loyal the young 
are to the prevailing ideas of the community in which 
they are nurtured. You will find adult republicans in 



From Secession to Loyalty 



69 



England, but no infant ones ; adults monarchists in our 
own country, but not in our schools and nurseries. I have 
known an American of fifty whose beliefs, prejudices and 
tastes were all European, but who could not save his five 
children from being all Yankee. Accordingly this young- 
lady of nmeteen, born and nurtured among Louisianians, 
held firm for Louisiana in spite of the arguments of the 
adored papa and the rather agreeable admirer. 

The Doctor liked Colburne, and respected his intellect. 
He rarely tired of talking with him on any subject, and 
concerning the war they could go on interminally. The 
only point on wliich they disagreed was the probable 
length of the contest ; the southerner prophecyuig that it 
would last five or six years, and the northerner that the 
rebels would succumb in as many months. Miss Ravenel 
sometimes said that the Xorth would give up in a year, 
and sometimes that the war would last forty years, both 
of which opinions she had heard sustained in Xew Or- 
leans. But, whatever she said, she always believed in the 
superior pluck and warlike skill of the peojole of her own 
section. 

" Miss Ravenel," said Colburne, "I believe you thm]: 
that all southerners are giants, so tall that they can't see ;i 
Yankee without lymg down, and so pugnacious that they 
never go to church without praying for a chance to fight 
somebody." 

She resented this satii'e by observing, " Mr. Colburne, if 
I believe it you ought not to dispute it." 

I am inclined to thmk that the young man in these days 
rather damaged his chances of winning the young lady's 
kind regards (to use a hackneyed and therefore decorous 
phrase) by his stubborn and passionate loyalty to the old 
starry banner. It was im^Dossible that the two should 
argue so much on a subject wliich so deeply interested 
both without occasionally coming to spiritual blows. But 
why should Mr. Colburne wm the kind regards of Miss 
Ravenel ? If she were his wife, how could he support her ? 



70 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

He had little, and she had notlimg. 

While they were talking over the war it went on. One 
balmy summer day our little debating club of three sat in 
one of the small iron balconies of the hotel, discussing the 
great battle which had been fought, and rumor said won, 
on the heights around Manassas Junction. For a week the 
city had been Avild about the ' on to Richmond' movement ; 
and to-day the excitement culminated in a general joy 
which was impatient for official announcements, flags, bells 
and cannon. It was true that there was one susincious 
cu'cumstance ; that for twenty-four hours no telegrams 
concernmo; the fis-ht had come over the wires from Wash- 
ington ; but, excepting a few habitual croakers and secret 
copperheads, who were immediately frowmed into silence, 
no one jn-edicted evil tidmgs. At the last accounts " the 
grand army of the Potomac " was dri\'ing before it the 
traitorous battalions of the South ; McDowell had gauicd 
a great victory, and there was an end of rebellion. 

" I don't believe it — I don't believe it," Miss Ravenel 
repeatedly asseverated, until her father scolded her for her 
absurd and disloyal incredulity. 

" The telegraph is in order again," observed Colbunie 
" I heard one of those men who just passed say so." Here 
comes somebody that we know. "VMiitewood I — I say, 
Whitewood ! Any thing on the bulletin-board ?" 

The pale young student looked up with a face of des- 
2)air and eyes full of tears. 

" It's all u]}, Colburne," said he. " Our men are running, 
throwing away their guns and every thmg." 

His trembling voice hardly sufficed for even this short 
story of shame and disaster. Miss Ravenel, the desperate 
rebel, jumped to her feet with a nervous shriek of joy and 
then, catching her father's reproving eye, rushed up stairs 
and danced it out in her own room. 

" It's impossible !" remonstrated Colburne in such excite- 
ment that his voice w^as almost a scream. "Why, by the 
last accounts — " 



Fbom Secession to Loyalty. 71 

" Oh ! that's all gone up," groaned Whitewood, who 
was in such a state of grief thatjie could hardly talk m- 
telligibly. " We've got more. We've got the end of 
the battle. Johnson came up on our right, and we are 
whipped all to pieces." 

" Johnson ! Why, where was Patterson ?" 

" Patterson is an old traitor," shouted Whitewood, 
pushing wildly on his way as if too sick at heart to talk 
more. 

" It is very sad," observed the Doctor gravely. The 
thought occurred to him that for his own interests he had 
better have stayed m 'New Orleans ; but he lost sight of it 
immediately in his sorrow for the seeming calamity which 
had befallen country and liberty and the human race. 

" Oh ! it's horrible — horrible. I don't believe it. I can't 
believe it," groaned Colburne. " It's too much to bear. I 
must o-o home. It makes me too sick to talk." 



CHAPTER yj. 

MR. COLBUENE SEES HIS WAY CLEAR TO BE A SOLDIER. 

Stragglers arrived, and then the regiments. People 
were not angry with the beaten soldiers, but treated 
them mth tenderness, gave them plentifal cold collations, 
and lavished indignation on their ragged shoddy uniforms. 
Then the little State, at first pulseless with despair, took 
a long breath of relief when it found that Beam-egard had 
not occupied Washington, and set bravely about pre- 
paring for far bloodier battles than that of Bull Run. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Carter did not return with his regi- 
ment ; and Colburne read with a mixture of emotions that 
he had been wounded and taken prisoner while gallantly 
leading a charge. He marked the passage, and left the 
paper with his compliments for the Ravenels, after debat- 
ing at the door of the hotel whether he should call on them, 



72 Miss R a v e n e l ' s C o n t e n s i o x 

and deciding in the negative. Xot being able as yet to 
apjH'eciate that blessing m disguise, Bull Run, his loyal 
heart was very sad and sore over it, and he felt a thrill of 
something like horror whenever he thought of the joyful 
shriek with which Lillie had welcomed the shocking tid- 
ings. He was angry with her, or at least he tried to be. 
He called up his patriotism, that strongest of Xew Eng- 
land isms, and resolved that witli a secessionist, a woman 
who wished ill to her country, he would not fall in love. 
But to be sure of this he must keep away from her ; for 
thus much of love, or of perilous inclination at least, he 
already had to acknowledge ; and moreover, while he was 
somewhat ashamed of the feeling, he still could not hearti- 
ly desire to eradicate it. Troubled thus concerning the 
aftairs of the country and of his own heart, he kept aloof 
from the Ravenels for three or four days. Then he said to 
himself that he had no cause for avoiding the Doctor, and 
that to do so was disgraceful treatment of a man who had 
proved his loyalty by taking up the cross of exile. 

This story will probably have no readers so destitute of 
sympathy with, the young and loving, as that they can 
not guess the result of Colburne's internal struggles. Aft- 
er two or three chance conversations with Ravenel he 
jumi3ed, or to speak more accurately, he gently slid to the 
conclusion that it was absurd and unmanly to make a 
distinction in favor of the father and against the daughter. 
Quarrel with a woman ; how ridiculous ! how unchival- 
rous ! He colored to the tips of his repentant ears as he 
thought of it and of what Miss Ravenel must think of it. 
He hastened to call on her before the breach which he had 
made between her and himself should become untraversa- 
ble ; for although the embargo on their intercourse had 
lasted only about a week, it already seemed to hun a 
lapse of tune measureable by months ; and this very 
naturally, inasmuch as during that short interval he had 
lived a life of anguish as a man and a patriot. Accord- 
ingly the old intimacy was resumed, and the two young 



■/r 



E^BOM Secession to Loyalty. 73 

people seldom passed forty-eight hours apart. But of the 
rebellion they said little, and of Bull Run nothing. These 
were such sore subjects to him that he did not wish to 
speak of them except to the ear of sympathy ; and she, 
divining his sensitiveness, would not give him pain not- 
withstanding that he was an abolitionist and a Yankee. 
If the Doctor, ignorant of what passed in these young- 
hearts, turned the conversation on the war, Lillie became 
silent, and Colbume, appreciating her forbearance, tried to 
say very little. Thus without a compact, without an expla- 
nation, they accorded in a stram of mutual charity which 
predicted the ultimate conversion of one or the other. 

Moreover, Colburne asked himself, what right had he to 
talk if he did not fight ? If he wanted to answer this 
woman's outcry of delight over the rout of Bull Run, the 
place to do it was not a safe parlor, but a field of victor- 
ious battle. AYhy did he not act in accordance with these 
truly chivah-ous sentiments ? "Why not fall into one of tlie 
new regiments which his gallant little State was organiz- 
ing to continue the struggle? Why not march on with, 
the soul of old John Brown, joining in the sublime though 
quaint chorus of, " We're coming. Father Abraham, thi-ee 
hundred thousand more ?" 

He did talk very earnestly of it with various persons, 
and, among others, with Doctor Ravenel. The latter ap- 
proved the young man's warlike inclinations promptly 
and earnestly. 

" It is the noblest duty that you may ever have a chance 
to perform during your life," said he. " To do something 
personally towards upholdmg this Union and striking 
down slavery is an honor beyond any thmg that ever was 
accorded to Greek or Roman. I wish that I were young 
enough for the work, or fitted for it by nature or educa- 
tion. I would be willing to have my tombstone set up 
next year, if it could only bear the inscription, " He died 
in gbmig freedom to slaves." 

" Oh I do stop," implored Lillie, who entered m time to 
D 



74 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

hear the conchidmg sentence. " What do you talk about 
your tombstone for ? You will get perfectly addled about 
abolition, like all the rest. Now, papa, you ought to be 
more consistent. You didn't use to be so violent against 
slavery. You have changed since five years ago." 

" I know it," says the Doctor. " But that doesn't prove 
that I am wrong now. I wasn't infallible five years ago. 
Why, my dear, the progress of our race from barbarism to 
civilization is through the medium of constant change. If 
the race is benefited by it, why not the mdividual ? I am 
a sworn foe to consistency and conservation. To stick 
obstinately to our old opmions, because they are old, is as 
Ibolish as it would be in a soldier-crab to hold on to liis 
shell after he had outgrown it instead of picking up a new 
one fitted to his increased size. Suppose the snakes per- 
sisted in gomg about in their last year's skins ? Xo, no ; 
there are no such fools m the lower animal kingdom ; that 
stupidity is confined to man." 

" The world does move," observed Colbume. " We 
consider ourselves pretty strict and old-fashioned here in 
New Boston. But if our Puritan ancestors could get 
hold of us, they would be likely to have us A\-hipped as 
heretics and Sabbath-breakers. Very likely we would be 
equally severe upon our own great-great-grandchildren, if 
we should get a chance at them." 

" Weak spirits are frightened by this change, this growfh, 
this forward impetus," said the Doctor. " I must tell you a 
story. I was travelling in Georgia three years ago. On 
the seat next in front of me sat a cracker, who was e\i- 
dently making his first railroad experience, and in other 
respects learning to go on his hind legs. Presently the 
train crossed a bridge. It vras narrow, uncovered and 
vrithout sides, so that a passenger would not be likely to 
see it unless he sat near the window. Now the cracker 
sat next the alley of the car, and away from the Tsmidow. 
I observed him give a glare at the river and turn away 
his head suddenly, after which he rolled about in a queer 



Miss Ravexel's Coxveesion 15 

way, and finally went on the floor in a heap. We picked 
him up ; spirits were easily produced, (they always are 
down there) ; and presently the cracker was brought to 
his senses. His first worcls were, 'Has she lit' — He 
was under the impression that the tram had taken the 
river at a running jnmj). Xow that is very much like the 
judgment of timid and ill-infi^rmed people on the -pro- 
gress of the nation or race at such a time as this. They 
don't know about the bridge; they think we are flymg 
through the air ; and so they go ofi" in general fainting-fits." 
Colbunie laughed, as ' many another man has done be- 
fore him, at this good old story. 

" On our train, " said he, " on the train of human pro- 
gress, we are parts of the engine and not mere passengers. 
I ought to be revolving somewhere. I ought to be at 
work. I want to do something — I am most anxious to do 
something — ^but I don't know precisely what. I suppose 
that the inability exists in me, and not in my circum- 
stances. I am like the gentleman who tired himself out 
with jumping, but never could jump high enough to see 
over his own standing-collar." 

" I know how you feel. I have been in that state my- 
self, often and in various ways. For instance it has oc- 
cui'red to me, especially in my younger days, to feel a 
strong desire to write, vdthout having anything to say. 
There was a burning in my brain ; there was a sentiment 
or sensation which led me to seek pens, ink and paper ; 
there was an imj)atient, uncertain, aimless efibrt to com- 
mence ; there was a pause, a revery, and all was over. 
It was a storm of sheet-lightning. There were glorious 
gleams, and far ofi* openings of the heavens ; but no sound, 
droppings, no sensible revelation from the uj^j^er world. — 
However, your longings are for action, and I am con- 
vuiced that you will find your opportunity. There will 
be work enough m this matter for all." 

" I don't know," said Colburne. " The sixth and sev- 



^6 Miss Ravexel's Conveksion 

enth regiments are full. I hear that there isn't a lieiiten- 
antcy left." 

" You will have to raise your own company." 

" Ah ! But for what regiment ? We shan't raise another, 
I am afraid. Yes, I am actually afraid that the war will 
"be over in six months." 

Miss Ravenel looked up hastily as if she should like to 
say " Forty years," but checked herself by a surprising 
effort of magnanimity and good nature. 

" That's queer patriotism," laughed the Doctor. But let 
me assure you, Mr. Colburne, that your fears are ground- 
less. There will be more regiments needed." 

Miss Ravenel gave a slight approving nod, but still said 
nothing, remembering Bull Run and how provokingly she 
had shouted over it. 

" This southern oligarchy," continued the Doctor, " will 
be a tough nut to crack. It has the consolidated vigor of 
a tyi-anny." 

" I wonder where Lieutenant-Colonel Carter is ?" queried 
Colburne. " It is six weeks since he was taken prisoner. 
It seems like six years." 

Miss Ravenel raised her head with an air of interest, 
glanced hastily at her father, and gave herself anew to 
iier embroidery. The Doctor made a grimace which was 
as much as to say that he thought small beer or sour beer 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Carter. 
^ " He is a very fine officer," said Colburne. " He was 
highly spoken of for his conduct at Bull Run." 

"" I would rather have you for a Colonel," replied the 
Doctor. 

Colburne laughed contemptuously at the idea of his 
fitness for a colonelcy. 

" I would rather have any respectable man of tolerable 
intellect," insisted the Doctor. " I tell you that I know 
that type perfectly. I know what he is as well as if I had 
been acquainted with him for twenty years. He is what 
we southerners, in our barbarous local vanity, are accus- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 77 

tomed to call a sontliern gentleman. He is on the model 
of the sugar-planters of St. Dominic Parish. He needs 
somebody to care for him. Let me tell you a story. TThen 
I was on a mineralogical expedition in Xorth Carolina 
some years ago, I happened to be out late at night looking 
for lodgings. I was apj^roaching one of those cross-road 
groggeries which they call a tavern down there, when I 
met a most curious couple. It was a man and a goose. 
The man was drunk, and the goose was sober. The man 
was staggering, and the goose was waddling perfectly 
straight. Every few steps it halted, looked, back and 
quacked, as if to say. Come along. The moon was shining, 
and I could see the whole thing plainly. I was obliged to 
put up for the night in the groggery, and there I got an 
explanation of the comedy. It seems that this goose was 
a pet, and had taken an unaccountable affection to its 
owner, who was a wretched drunkard of a cracker. The 
man came nearly every night to the groggery, got drunk 
as regularly as he came, and generally went to sleep on 
one of the benches. About midnight the goose would ap- 
pear and cackle for him. The bar-keeper would shake up 
the drunkard and say, ' Here ! your goose has come for 
you.' As soon as the brute could get his legs he would 
start homeward, guided by his more mtelligent compan- 
ion. If the man fell down and couldn't get up, the goose 
would remain by him and squawk vociferously for assist- 
ance. — Xow, su', there was hardly a sugar-planter, hardly"* 
a southern gentleman, in St. Dominic Parish, who didn't 
need some such guardian. Often and often, as I have 
seen them swilling wine and brandy at each other's tables 
I have charitably wished that I could say to this one and 
that one. Sir, your goose has come for you." 

"But you never have seen the Lieutenant-Colonel so 
badly off," answered Colburne, after a short meditation. 

" Why no — not precisely," admitted the Doctor. " But 
I know his type," he presently added with an obstmacy 
which Miss Ravenel secretly thought very unjust. She 



78 Miss Kavenel's Conversion 

thought it best to direct her spirit of censure in another 
direction. 

" Papa," said she, " what a count ryfied habit you have 
of telling stories !" 

" Don't criticise, my dear," answers papa. " I am a high 
toned southern gentleman, and always knock people on 
the head who criticise me." 

The question still returns upon us, why Mr. Colbume 
did not jom the army. It is time, therefore, to state the 
hitlierto unimportant fact that he was the only son of a 
widow, and that his life was a necessity to her, not only 
as a consolation to her loneliness, but as a support to her 
declming fortunes. Doctor Colbume had left his wife and 
child an estate of about twenty-five thousand dollars, 
which, at the time of his death was a respectable fortune 
m New Boston. But the mflux of gold from California, 
and the consequent rise of 2:)rices, seriously dimmif^hed tlie 
value of the family income just about the time that Ed- 
ward, by growmg mto manhood and entering college, ne- 
cessitated an increase of expenses. Therefore Mrs. Col- 
bume was led to put one half of the joint fortime into cer- 
tain newly-organized manufacturmg companies, which 
promised to increase her annual six per cent to twenty-four 
— nor was she therem'exceedmgly to blame, being led away 
by the example and advice of some of the sharpest New 
Boston capitalists, many of whom had their experienced 
pinions badly lamed in these joint-stock adventurings. 

" What you want, Mr. Colburne," said a director, " is 
an investment which is both safe and permanent. Now 
this is just the thing." 

I can not say much for the safety of the investment, but 
it certamly was a permanent one. Durmg the first year 
the promised twenty-four per cent was paid, and the widow 
could have sold out for one hundred and twenty. Then 
came a free-trade. Democratic improvement on the tarifi"; 
the manufacturing interest of the country was paralyzed, 
and the Braggville stock fell to ninety. 3Irs. Colburne 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 79 

might still have sold out at a profit, counting in her first 
year's dividend ; but as it was not in her inexperience to 
see that this was wisdom, she held on fi^r a — decline. By 
the opening of the war her certificates of manufacturing 
stock were waste paper, and her annual mcome was re- 
duced to eight himdred dollars. Indeed, for a year or two 
previous to the commencement of this story, she had been 
forced to make inroads upon her capital. 

Of this crisis in the family affairs Edward was fully 
aware, and like a true-born, industrious Yankee, did his 
best to meet it. From every lowermost branch and twig 
of his profession he plucked some fruit by dint of constant 
watchfulness, so that during the past year he had been 
very nearly able to cover his own conscientiously econom- 
ical expenditures. He was gaining a foothold m the law, 
although he as yet had no cases to plead. If he held on a 
year or two longer at this rate he might confidently ex- 
pect to restore the family income and stave off the threat- 
ened sale of the homestead. 

But this was not all which prevented him from going 
forth to battle. The cry of his mother's heart was, 
" jVIy son, how can I let thee go ?" She was an abolition- 
ist, as was almost every body of her set in New Boston ; 
she was an enthusiastic patriot, as was almost every one 
in the north during that sublime summer of popular 
enthusiasm ; but this war — oh, this strange, ferocious war ! 
was horrible. Her sensitively affectionate nature, blinded 
by veils of womanly tenderness, folded in habits of life- 
long jDcace, could not see the hard, inevitable necessity of 
the contest. Earnestly as she sympathised with its loyal 
and humane objects, she was not logical enough or not 
finn enough to sympathise with the iron thing itself. 
Lapped in sweet influences of peace all her loving life, why 
mast she be called to death amid the clamor of murderous 
contests ? For her health was failing ; a painful and fatal 
disease had fastened its clutches on her ; another year's 
course she did not hope to run. And if the hateful strug- 



80 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

gle must go on, if it mii^t torment licr last few days with 
its agitations and horrors, so much the more did she need 
her only child. Other women's sons — yes, if there was no 
help for it — but not hers — might put on the panoply of 
strife, and disappear from anxiously following eyes into 
the smoke and flame of battle. Edward told her every day 
■■ the warlike news of the journals, the grand and stern -pnt- 
ting on of the harness, the gigantic plans for crushing the 
nation's foes. She could take no interest in sueh tidings 
but that of aversion. He read to her in a voice which 
thrilled like swellings of martial music, Tennyson's Charge, 
of the Six Hundred. She listened to the clarion-toned 
words with distaste and almost with horror. 

"Well, the summer wore aAvay, that summer of sombre 
preparation and preluding skirmishes, whose scattering 
musketry and thin cannonade faintly prophecied the or- 
chestral thunders of Gettysburg!! and the Wilderness, 
and whose few dead preceded like skirmishers the massive 
columns which for years should firmly follow them into 
the dark valley. Its forereaching shadows fell upon many 
homes far away from the battlefield, and chilled to death 
many sensitive natures. Old persons and mvalids sank 
into the grave that season imder the oppression of its 
straining suspense and j^reliminary horror ; and among 
these victims, whom no man has counted and whom few 
have thought of collectively, was the mother of Colbume. 

One September afternoon she sent for Edward. The 
Doctor had gone ; his labors were over. The clergyman 
had gone ; neither was he longer needed. There was no 
one in the room but the nurse, the dying mother and the 
only child. The change had been expected for days, and 
Edward had thought that he was prepared for it ; had in- 
deed marvelled and been shocked at himself because he 
could look forward to it with such seemmg composure ; 
for, reason with his heart and his conscience as he might, 
he could not feel a fitting dread and anguish. In the 
common phrase of humanity, when numbed by unusual 



FROii Secession to Loyalty. 81 

sorrow, he could not realize it. But now, as, leaning over 
the footboard and looking steadfastly upon his mother's 
face, he saw that the final hour had come, a sickness of 
heart fell upon him, and a trembling as if his soul were 
bemg torn asunder. Yet neither wept ; the Puritans and 
the children of the Puritans do not. weep easily ; they are 
taught, not to utter, but to hide their emotions. The 
nurse perceived no signs of unusual feeling, except that 
the face of the strong man became suddenly as pale as 
that of the dying woman, and that to him this was an hour 
of anguish, while to her it was one of unspeakable joy. 
The mother knew her son too well not to see, even with 
those failmg eyes, into the depths of his sorrow. 

" Don't be grieved for me, Edward," she said. " I am 
sustamed by the faith of the promises. I am about to re- 
turn from the place whence I came. I am re-entermg 
with peace and with confidence into a blessed eternity." 

He came to the side of the bed, sat down on it and took 
her hand without speaking. 

" You will follow me some day," she went on. " You 
will follow me to the place where I shall be, at the right 
hand of the Lord. I have prayed for it often ; — I was 
praying for it a moment ago ; and, my child, my prayer 
will be granted. Oh, I have been so fearful for you; 
But I am fearful no longer." 

He made no answer except to press her hand while she 
paused to draw a few short and wearisome breaths. 

" I can bear to part with you now," she resumed. " I 
could not bear it till the Lord granted me this full assur- 
a^ice that we shall meet again. I leave you m his hands. 
I make no conditions with him. I have been sweetly 
brought to give you altogether up to one who loves 
you better than I know how to love you. He gave 
me my love, and he has kept more than he gave. Perhaps 
I have been selfish, Edward, to hold on to you as I have. 
You have felt it your duty to go into the army, and per- 
haps I have been selfish to prevent you. Now you are 
D2 



82 Miss Rayenel's Conversion 

free ; to-morrow I shall not be here. If you still see that 
to be your duty, go ; and the Lord go with you, darling, 
and give you strength and courage. I do not ask him to 
spare you, but only to guide you here below, and restore 

you to me above. And he will do it, Edward, for his 

OAVTi sake. I am full of confidence ; the promises are sure. 
For you and for myself, I rejoice with a joy unspeakable 
and full of glory." 

While thus sj^eakmg, or rather whispering, she had put 
one arm around his neck. As he kissed her wasted cheek 
and let fall his first tears on it, she drew her hand across 
his face with a caressing tenderness, and smiling, fell back 
softly on her i)illow, closing her eyes as calmly as if to 
sleep. A few broken words, a murmuring of unutterable, 
unearthly, ir.finite happiness, echoes as it were of greetings 
far away with welcoming angels, were her last utterances. 
To the young man, who still held her hand and now and 
then kissed her cheek, she seemed to slumber, although 
her breathing gradually sank so low that he could not per- 
ceive it. But after a long time the nurse came to the bed- 
side, bent over it, looked, listened, and said, " She is 
gone !" 

He was free ; she was not there. 

He went to his room with a horrible feeling that for him 
there was no more love ; that there was nothing to do 
and nothhig to expect ; that his life was a blank. He 
could fix his mind on nothing past or future ; not even up- 
on the unparalleled sorrow of the present. Taking uj) the 
Bible which she had given }^im, he read a page before he 
noticed that he had not understood and did not remember 
a smgle passage. In that vacancy, that almost idiocy, 
which beclouds afflicted souls, he could not recall a dis- 
tiuct impression of the scene through which he had just 
passed, and seemed to have forgotten forever his mother's 
dying words, her confidence that they should meet again, 
her heavenly joy. With the same perverseness, and m 
spite of repeated efibrts to close his ears to the sound, 



Feo^j: Secession to Loyalty. 83 

some inner, wayward self repeated to him over and over 
again these verses of the unhappy Poe — 

" Thank Heaven ! the crisis, 

The danger is past, 

And the lingering ilhiess 

Is over at last, 

And the fever called Living 

Is conquered at last." 

The sad words sounded wofully true to him. For the 
time, for some days, it seemed to him as if life were but a 
w^earisome illness, for which the grave was but a cure. His 
mind, fevered by night watcMng, anxiety, and an unac- 
customed grapplmg with sorrow, was not in a healthy 
state. He thought that he was willing to die ; he only de- 
sired to fall usefully, honorably, and in consonance with 
the spuit of his generation ; he would set his face hence- 
forward towards the awful beacons of the battle-field. His 
resolution was taken with the seriousness of one, who, 
though cheerful and even jovial by nature, had been per- 
meated to some extent by the solemn passion of Puritan- 
ism. He painted to himself in strong colors the risk of 
death and the nature of it ; then deliberately chose the 
part of facing this tremendous mystery in support of the 
right. * All this while, be it remembered, his mind was 
somewhat exalted by the fever of bodily weakness and of 
spiritual sorrow. 



84 Miss Ravexel's Cox version 



CHAPTER Vn. 

CAPTAIN COLBUEXE RAISES A C03IPAXT, AXD COLOXEL 
CARTER A REGIMEXT. 

The settlement of his mother's estate and of his own 
pecuniary aifau'S occupied Colburne's time until the early- 
part of October. By then he had invested his property as 
well as might be, rented the much-loved old homestead, 
taken a room in the Xew Boston House, and was fully 
prepared to bid good-bye to native soil, and, if need be, 
to life. Miss Ravenel was a strong though silent tempta- 
tion to remain and to exist, but he resisted her with the 
heroism which he subsequently exhibited in combating 
male rebels. 

One morning, as he left the hotel rather later than usual 
to go to his office, his eyes fell upon a high-colored face 
and gigantic brown mustache, which he could not have 
foiled to recognize, no matter where nor when encount- 
ered. There was the wounded captive of Bull Run, as big 
chested and rich complexioned, as audacious in eye and 
haughty in aii", as if no hurt nor hardship nor calamity had 
ever befalle^ him. He checked Colburne's eager advance 
with a cold stare, and passed him without speaking. But 
the young fellow hardly had time to color at this rebuff, 
when, just as he was opening the outer door, a baritone 
voice arrested him with a ringing, " Look here !" 

" Beg i^ardon," continued the Lieutenant-Colonel, com- 
mg up hastily. " Didn't recognize you. It's quite a time 
smce our pic-nic, you know." 

Here he showed a broad grin, and presently burst out 
laughhig, as much amused at the past as if it did not con- 
tain Bull Run. 

" What a jolly old pic-nic that was !" he went on. " I 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 85 

have shouted a himdred times to think of myself passing 
the wine and segars to those prim old virgins. Just as 
though I had bowsed into the House Beautiful, among 
Bunyan's damsels, and offered to treat the crowd !" 

Again the Lieutenant-Colonel laughed noisily, his inso- 
lent black eyes twinkling with merriment. Colburne 
looked at him and listened to him with amazement. Here 
was a man who had lately been in what was to him the 
terrible mystery of battle ; who had fallen down wounded 
and been carried away captive while fighting heroically 
for the noblest of causes ; who had witnessed the greatest 
and most humiliating overthrow which ever befel the ar- 
mies of the republic ; who yet did not allude to any of 
these things, nor apparently think of them, but could chat 
and laugh about a pic-nic. Was is treasonable indifference, 
or levity, or the sublimity of modesty ? Colburne thought 
that if he had been at Bull Run, he never could have 
talked of any thing else. 

" Well, how are you ?" demanded Carter. " You are 
looking a little pale and thin, it seems to me." 

" Oh, I am well enough," answered Colburne, passing- 
over that subject with modest contempt, as not worthy of 
mention. " But how are you f Have you recovered from 
your wound ?" 

" Wound ? Oh ! yes ; mere bagatelle ; healed up some 
time ago. I shouldn't have been caught if I hadn't been 
stunned by my horse falling. The wound was nothing," 

" But you must have suffered in your confinement," said 
Colburne, determined to appreciate and pity. 

" Suffered ! My dear fellow, I suffered with eating and 
drinking and making merry. I had the deuce's own time 
in Richmond. I met loads of my old comrades, and they 
nearly killed me with kindness. They are a nice set of 
old boys, if they are on the wrong side of the fence. You 
didn't suppose they would maltreat a brother West Point- 
er, did you ?" 



86 Miss Ravexel's Coxversiox 

And the Lieutenant-Colonel laughed heartily at the civ- 
ilian blundej'. 

" I didn't know, really," answered the puzzled Col- 
burne. " I must say I thought so. But I am as poor a 
judge of soldiers as a sheep is of catamounts." 

" Why, look here. When I left they gave me a supper, 
and not only made me drunk, but got drunk themselves in 
my honor. Opened their purses, too, and forced their 
money on me." 

All this, it will be noted, was long previous to the time 
when Libby Prison and Andersonville were deliberately 
converted into pest-houses and starvation pens. 

" I am afraid they wanted to bring you over," observed 
Colburne. He looked not only suspicious, but even a little 
anxious, for in those days every patriot feared for the faith 
of his neighbor. 

"I suppose they did," replied Carter carelessly, as if he 
saw nothing extraordinary in the idea. " Of course they 
did. They need all the help that they can get. In fact 
the rebel Secretary of War paid me the compliment of 
making me an offer of a regiment, with an assurance that 
promotion might be relied on. It was done so delicately 
that I couldn't be offended In fact it was quite natural, 
and he probably thought it would be bad taste to omit it. 
I am a Yii'ginian, you know ; and then I was once engaged 
in some southern schemes and diplomacies — before this 
war broke out, you understand — oh, no connection with 
this war. However, I declmed his offer. There's a patriot 
for you." 

" I honor you, su*," said Colbume with a fervor which 
made the Lieutenant-Colonel grm. " You ought at be re- 
warded." 

" Quite so," answered the other in his careless, half-jok- 
ing style. " Well, I am rewarded. I received a letter 
yesterday afternoon from your Governor offering me a re- 
giment. I had just finished an elegant dinner with some 
good fellows, and was going in for a roaring evening. But 



From Secession to Loyalty. 8*7 

business before pleasure. I took a cold plunge bath and 
the next tram for Xew Boston, getting here at midnight. 
I am off at ten to see his Excellency." 

" I am sincerely delighted," exclaimed the young man. 
" I am delighted to hear that the Governor has had such 
good sense." 

After a moment's hesitation he added anxiously, " Do 
you remember your mvitation to me ?" 

" Certainly. What do you say to it now ? Will you 
go with me ?" 

" I will," said Colburne emphatically. " I will try. I 
only fear that I can neither raise nor command a compa- 
ny." 

" ^ever fear," answered Carter in a tone which pooh- 
poohed at doubt. " You are just the man. Come round to 
the bar with me, and let's drink success to our regiment. 
Oh, I recollect ; you don't imbibe. Smoke a segar, then, 
while we talk it over. I tell you that you are just the 
man. Noblesse ohlige. Any gentleman can make a good 
enough company officer in three months' practice. As to 
raising your men, I'll give you my best countenance, 
whatever that may amount to. And if you actually don't 
succeed in getting your quota, after all, why, we'll take 
somebody else's men. Examinations of officers and consol- 
idations of companies biing all these things right, you 
know." 

" I should be sony to profit by any other man's influ- 
ence and energy to his harm," answered the fastidious 
Colburne. 

" Pshaw ! it's all for the good of the service and of the 
country. Because a low fellow who keej^s a saloon can 
treat and wheedle sixty or eighty stout fellows into the 
ranks, do you suppose that he ought to be commissioned 
an officer and a gentleman ? I don't. It can't be in my 
regiment. Leave those things to me, and go to work with- 
out fear. Write to the Adjutant-General of the State to- 
day for a recruiting commission, and as soon as you get it, 



88 Miss Rayexel's Coxversiox 

open an office. I guarantee that you shall be one of the 
Captains of the Tenth Barataria." 

" Who are the other field officers ?" asked Colburne. 

" Not appointed yet. I am alone in my glory. I am 
the reo-iment. But the Lieutenant-Colonel and Major 
shall be of the right stamp. I mean to have a word to say 
as to the choice. I tell you that we'll have the bulliest 
regiment that ever sprang from the soil of Xew England." 

" Well, I'll try. But I really fear that I shall just get 
my company recruited in time for the next war." 

" Xever fear," laughed Carter, as though war were a 
huge practical joke. " We are in for a four or five years' 
job of fighting." 

" You don't mean it !" said the young man in amaze- 
ment. " Why, we citizens are all so full of confidence. 
McClellan, every body says, is organizing a splendid ar- 
my. Did Bull Run give you such an opmion of the supe- 
rior fighting qualities of the southerners ?" 

" Xot at all. Both sides fought timidly, as a rule, just as 
greenhorns naturally would do. The best description of 
the battle that I have heard was given in a single sentence 
by my old captain, Lamar, now in command of a Georgia 
regiment. Said he, ' There never was a more frightened 
set than our fellows — except your fellows. — Why, we out- 
foucrht them in tlie morning ; we had them fairly whipj^ed 
until Johnston came up on our right. The retreat was a 
mathematical necessity ; it was like saying. Two and two 
make four. When our line was turned, of course it had 
to retreat." 

" Retreat !" groaned Colburne in bitterness over the re- 
collection of that calamitous afternoon. " But you didn't 
see it. They ran shamefully, and never stopped short of 
Washington. One man reached Xew Boston mside of 
twenty-four hours. It was a panic unparalleled in his- 
tory." 

" Xonsense ! Beg your pardon. Did you never read of 
Austerlitz and Jena and Waterloo? Our men did pretty 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 89 

well for militia. I didn't see the panic, to be sure; — I 
was picked up before that happened. But I have talked 
with some of om* officers who did see it, and they told me 
that the papers exaggerated it absnrdly. Newspaper 
corresj^ondents ought not to be allowed in the army. 
They exaggerate every thing. If we had gained a victory, 
they would have made it out something greater than 
Waterloo. You must consider how easily inexperience is 
deceived. Just get the story of an upset from an old stage- 
driver, and then from a lady passenger ; the first will tell 
it as quite an ordinary aflair, and the second will make it 
out a tragedy. Now when some old grannies of congress- 
men and some young ladies of newspaper reporters, none 
of whom had ever seen either a victory or a defeat before, 
got entangled among half a dozen disordered regiments 
they naturally concluded that nothing like it had happen- 
ed in history. I tell you that it wasn't unparalleled, and 
that it ought not to have been considered surprising. 
Whichever of those two green armies got repulsed was 
pretty sure to be routed. That was a' very pretty 
manoeuvre, though, that coming up of Johnston on 
our right. Patterson ought to be court-martialed for his 
stupidity." 

" Stupidity ! He is a traitor," exclaimed Colburne. 

" Oh ! oh !" expostulated the Colonel with a cough. 
" If we are to try all our dull old gentlemen as traitors, 
we shall have our hands full. That's somethins: like 
hanging homely old women for witches. — By the way, 
how are the Allstons ? I mean the — the Ravenels. Well, 
are they ? Young lady as blooming and blushing as ever ? 
Glad to hear it. Can't stop to call on them; my train 
goes in ten minutes. — I am delighted that you are going 
to fall in with me. Good bye for to-day." 

Away he went, leaving Colburne in wonder over his 
contrasts of slanginess and gentility, his mingled audacity 
and insouciance of character, and all the picturesque ms 
and outs of his moral architecture, so different from the 



90 Miss Ravexel's Coxyersiox 

severe plainness of the spiritual temples common in Xew 
Boston. The young man Avould have preferred that liis 
future Colonel should not drmk and swear ; but lie would 
not puritanically decide that a man who drank and swore 
could not be a good officer. He did not know aimy men 
well enough to dare judge them witli positiveness ; and 
he certainly would not try them by the moral standards 
according to which he tried civilians. The facts that 
Carter was a professional soldier, and that he had shed 
his blood in the cause of the country, were sufficient to 
make Colburne regard with, charity all his frank vices. 

I must not allow the reader to suppose that I present 
Carter as a type of all regular officers. There were men 
in the old army who never tasted liquors, who never 
blasphemed, who did not waste theii* substance in riotous 
livmg, who could be accused of no evil practices, who 
were models of Christian gentlemen. The American ser- 
vice, as well as the English, had its Havelocks, its Ileadly 
Yicars, its Colonel ISJ'ewcomes. Xevertheless I do ven- 
ture to say that it had also a great many men whose moral 
habits were cut more or less on the Carter pattern, who 
swore after the fashion of the British army in Flanders, 
whose heads could carry drink like Dugald Dalgetty's, 
and who had even other vices concernmg which my dis- 
creet pen is silent. 

Within a week after the conversation above reported 
Colburne opened a recruiting office, advertised the " Put- 
nam Rangers" largely, and adorned his doorway with a 
transparency representmg Old Put m a bran-new uniform 
riding sword in hand down the stone steps of Horse- 
neck. His company, as yet in embryo, was one of the ten 
accepted out of the nineteen offered for Carter's regiment. 
It was supposed that the name of a West Point colonel 
would render the organization a favorite one with the en- 
listing classes ; and accordmgly all the chiefs of incomplete 
companies throughout the State of Barataria wanted to 
sieze the chance for easy recruiting. But Colburne 



From Secession to Loyalty. 91 

soon found that the dulhiess of a young lawyer's office 
was none too prosy an exordium for the dullness of a re- 
cruitmg office at this particular period. Passed was that 
springSde of popular enthusiasm when companies were 
raisecl m a day, when undersized heroes wept at being re- 
jected by the mustermg officer, when well-to-do youths 
paid a hundred dollars to buy out a chance to be shot at. 
Bull Run had disenchanted some romantic natures con- 
cerning the pleasures of war, and the vast enlistments of 
the summer had di'awn heavily on the nation's fighting 
material. Moreover, Colbm-ne had to encounter obstacles 
of a personal nature, such as did not trouble some of his 
competitors. A student, a member of a small and shy so- 
cial circle, neither business man nor one of the bone and 
sinew, not having belonged to a fire company or militia 
company, nor even kept a bar or billiard-saloon, he had no 
retainers nor partisans nor shopmates to call upon, no rum- 
my customers whom he could engage in the war-dance on 
condition of unlimited AvHskey. He had absolutely no 
personal means of influencing the classes of the community 
which furnish that important element of all militiiry or- 
ganizations, private soldiers. For a time he remamed al- 
most as solitary in his office as Old Put m the perilous 
glory of his breakneck descent. In short the raismg of his 
company proved a slow, vexatious and expensive busi- 
ness, notwithstandmg the countenance and aid of the Col- 
onel. 

Miss Ravenel was much spited m secret when she saw 
his advertisement ; but she was too proud to expose her 
interest in the matter by opposition. What object had 
she in keeping him at home and out of danger? More- 
over after the fashion of most southern women, she be- 
Heve'd in fio-htino-, and respected a man the more for draw- 
in- the sword, no matter for which party. After a while 
when his activity and cheerfulness of spirit had returned 
to hun, she began to talk with her old freedom of expi-es- 
sion, and indulged in playful prophecies about the Bull 



92 Miss Ravenel's Coxyersiox 

Runs he avouIcI figlit, the masterly retreats he Avoiild accom- 
plish, and the captivities he would undergo. 

" When you are a prisoner in Richmond," she said, " I'll 
write to my Louisiana friends in the southern army and 
tell them what a spiteful abolitionist you are. I'll get them 
to put a colored friend and brother into the same cell with 
you. You won't like it. You'll promise to go back to 
your law office, if they'll send that fellow to his planta- 
tion." 

The Doctor was all sympathy and interest, and brim- 
med over with prophecies of Colburne's success. He 
judged the people of Barataria by the people of Louisiana ; 
the latter preferred gentlemen for officers, and so of course 
would the former. Notwithstanding his hatred of slavery 
he was still somewhat under the influence of its aristo- 
cratical glamour. He had not yet fully comprehended 
that the war was a struggle of the plain j^eople against an 
oligarchy, and that the plain people had, not very under- 
standingly but still very resolutely, determined to lead the 
fighting as well as to do it. He had not yet full faith 
that the northern working-man would beat the southern 
gentleman, without much guidance from the northern 
scholar. 

" Don't be discouraged," he said to Colburne. " I feel 
the utmost confidence in your prospects. As soon as it is 
generally understood who you are and what your char- 
acter is, you will have recruits to give away. It is impos- 
sible that these bar-tenders and tinkers should raise good 
men as easily as a gentleman and a graduate of the uni- 
versity. They may get a run of ruft-scuff, but it won't 
last. I predict that your company will be completed 
sooner and composed of better material than any other in 
the regunent. I would no more give your chance for that 
of one of these tmkers than I would exchange a meteorite 
for its weight in old nails." 

The Doctor abounded in promising but unfruitful 
schemes for helpiug forward the Putnam Rangers. He 



Feoxi Secession to Loyalty. 93 

proposed that Colburne should send a cii-cular to all the 
clergymen and Sabbath-school superintendents of the 
county, callhig upon each parish to furnish the subscriber 
with only one good recruit. 

" If they do that," said he, " as they unquestionably 
will when the case is properly presented to them, why the 
company is filled at once." 

He advised the young man to make an oratorical tour, 
delivermg patriotic speeches in the village lyceums, and 
circulatmg an enlistment paper at the close of each per- 
formance. He told him that it would not be a bad move 
to apply to his professional brethren far and near for aid 
in rousing the popular enthusiasm. He himself wrote fa- 
vorable notices of the captain and his company, and got 
them prmted in the city journals. One day he came home 
in a hurry, and with, great glee produced the evening edi- 
tion of the New Boston Patriot. 

" Our young friend has hit it at last," he said to Lillie. 
" He has called the muses to his aid. Here is a superb 
patriotic hymn of his composition. It is the best thing of 
the khid that the literature of the war has produced." 
(The Doctor was somewhat given to hyperbole in speak- 
ing well of his friends.) " It can't fail to excite popular 
attention. I venture to predict that those verses alono 
will bring him hi fifty men." 

" Let me see," said Lillie, making an impatient snatch 
at the paper ; but the Doctor ctrew it away, desirous of en- 
joying the luxury of his own elocution. To read a good 
thing aloud and to poke the fire are sunple but real pleas- 
ures, wliicli some people cannot easily deny themselves — 
and which belong of right, I thmk, to the head of a fami- 
ly. The Doctor settled himself in an easy chair, adjusted 
his collar, put up his eyeglass, dropped it, put on his 
spectacles in spite of Lillie's remonstrances, and read as 
follows— 



94 Miss Rayenel's Conveesion 



A NATIONAL HYMN. 

Tune : America. 

Be thou our countr3''s Chief 
Id this our )-ear of grief, 

Allfather great ; 
Go forth with awful tread, 
Crush treason's serpent head, 
Bring back our sons misled, 

And save our State. 

Uphold our stripes and stars 
Through war's destroying jars 

With thy right hand ; 
Oh God of battles, lead 
*^ Where our swift navies speed, 

Where our brave armies bleed 

For fatherland. 

Break every yoke and chain, 
Let truth and justice reign 

From sea to sea ; 
Make all our statutes right 
In thy most holy sight ; 
Light us, O Lord of light. 
To foUow Thee. 

God bless our fatherland, 
God make it strong and grand 

On sea and shore ; 
Ages its glory swell. 
Peace in its borders dwell, 
God stand its sentinel 

For ever more. 

" Let ine see it," persisted Lillie, making a second and 
more successful reach for the paper. She read the verses 
to herself with a slight flush of excitement, and then 
quietly remarked that they were pretty. It has been sus- 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 95 

pected that she kept that paper ; at all events, when her 
father sought it next mornuig to cut out the verses and 
paste them in his common-place book, he could not find it ; 
and while Lillie pretended to take an interest in his search, 
she made no distinct answer to his inquiries. I am told 
by persons wise in the ways of young ladies that they 
sometimes lay aside trifles of this sort, and are afterwards 
ashamed, from some inexplicable cause, of having the fact 
become patent even to their nearest relatives. It must 
not be understood, by the way, that Mss Ravenel had lost 
her slight admii-ation for that full-blown specimen of the 
male sex, Colonel Carter. He was too much in the style 
of a Louisiana j^lanter not to be attractive to her homesick 
eyes. She welcomed his rare visits with her mvariable 
but nevertheless flattering blush, and talked to him with 
a vivacity which sent flashes of pam into the soul of CoV 
burne. The young man admitted the fact of these spasms, 
but tried to keep up a deception as to their cause. Li his 
charity towards himself he attributed them to an unselfish 
anxiety for the happmess of that sweet gu-1, who, he feared, 
would find Carter an unsuitable husband, however grand- 
iose as a social ornament and accomplished as an officer. 

In spite of these sentimental possibilities of disagree- 
ment between the Colonel and the Captain, their friend- 
ship daily grew stronger. The foi-mer was not in the 
least influenced by lovelorn jealousy, and set much store 
by Colburne as being the only officer in his regiment who 
was precisely to his taste. He had desired, but had not 
been able to obtam, the young gentlemen of N'ew Boston, 
the sons of the college professors, and of the city clergy- 
men. The set was limited in number and not martial nor 
enthusiastic in character. It had held aristocratically 
aloof from the militia, from the fire companies, from personal 
interference in local politics, from every social enterprise 
which could bring it into contact with the laboring 
masses. It needed two years of tremendous war to break 
through the shy reserve of this secluded and almost mon- 



96 Miss Rayenel's Conversion 

astic little circle, and let loose its sons upon the battle- 
field. The Colonel was disgusted with his raft of tmkers 
and tailors, as he called his officers, although they were 
mostly good drill-masters and creditably zealous in learn- 
ing the graver duties of their new profession. The regu- 
lar army, he said, had not been troubled with any such 
kmd of fellows. The brahmmism of West Point and of 
the old service revolted from such vulgar associations. It 
required the fiery breath of many fierce battles, in which 
the gallantry of volunteers shone consj^icuous, to blow this 
feeling into oblivion. 

One day the Colonel related in confidence to the Doctor 
a chcumstance which had given him peculiar disgust. 
The Governor having permitted him to nominate his own 
Lieutenant-Colonel, he had selected an ex-officer of a three 
months' regiment who had shown tactical knowledge, and 
gallantry. The field position of Major he had finally re- 
solved to demand for Colburne. Hence an interview, and 
an iinj^leasant one, with the chief magistrate of Barataria. 

" Gov^-nor," said Carter, " I want that majority for a 
particular friend of mine, the best officer m the regiment 
and the best man for the place that I know in the State." 

The Governor was in his little office reclining in a high- 
backed oaken chau-, and toasting his feet at a fire. He 
was a tall, thin, stooping gentleman, slow in gait because 
feeble in health, with a benign dignity of manner and an 
unvarying amiability of countenance. His eyes were a 
j^ale blue, his hah a light chesnut slightly silvered by fifty 
years, his complexion had once been freckled and was still 
fair, his smile was frequent and conciliatory. Like Presi- 
dent Lincoln he sprang from the plain people, who were to 
conquer in this war, and like him he was capable of intel- 
lectual and moral growth in proportion to enlargement of 
his sphere of action. A modest, gentle-tempered, oblig- 
ing man, patriotic in every impulse, devout m the severe 
piety of New England, distinguished for personal honor 



From Secession to Loyalty. 97 

and private virtues, he was iu the main a credit to the 
State which had selected him for its loftiest dignity. 

He had risen from his chair and saluted the Colonel 
with marked respect. Although he did not like his moral 
ways, he valued him highly for his jDrofessional ability 
and courage, and was proud to have him in command of a 
Baratarian regiment. To his shy spirit this aristocratic 
and martial personage was m fact a rather imposmg phe- 
nomenon. Carter had a fearful eye ; by turns audacious- 
ly haughty and insolently quizzical ; and on this occasion 
the Governor felt himself more than usually discomposed 
under its wide open, steady, confident stare. He seemed 
even a little tremulous as he took his seat ; he dreaded to 
disagree with the representative of West Point brahmui- 
ism ; and yet he knew that he must. 

" Captain Colburne." 

" Oh — Captain Colburne," hesitated the Governor. " I 
agree with you. Colonel, in all that you say of him. I 
hope that there will be an opportunity yet of pushing him 
forward. But just now," he continued with a smile that 
was apologetical and almost penitent, " I don't see that I 
can give him the majority. I have promised it to Cap- 
tain Gazaway." 

" To Gazaway !" exclaimed Carter. A long breath of an- 
gry astonishment swelled his broad breast, and liis cheek 
would have flushed if any emotion could have deepened 
the tint of that dark red bronze. 

" You don't mean, I hope. Governor, that you are re- 
solved to give the majority of my regiment to that 1)oor." 

" I know that he is a plain man," mildly answered the 
Governor, who had begun life himself as a mechanic. 

" Plain man ! He is a plain blackguard. He is a tod- 
dy-mixer and shoulder-hitter." 

The Governor uttered a little troubled laugh ; he was 
clearly discomposed, but he was not angry. 

" I am willing to grant all that you say of him," he an- 
swered. " I have no personal Hking for the man. Indi- 
E 



98 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

vidually I should prefer Caj^tain Colburne. But if you 
knew the pressure that I am under — " 

He hesitated as if reflecting, smiled again with his hab- 
itual gentleness, folded and unfolded his hands nervously, 
and proceeded with his explanation. 

" You must not expose our little political secrets, Col- 
onel. I am obliged to permit certain schemes and j^lots 
which personally I disaj^prove of. Captain Gazaway liVes 
in a very close district, and influences a considerable num- 
ber of votes. He is popular among his class of peoj^le. as 
vou can see by the ease with which he filled his company. 
He and his friends insist upon the majority. If we refuse it 
Ave shall probably lose the district and a member of Con- 
gress. That is a serious matter at this time when the 
administration must be supported by a strong house, or 
the nation may be shipwrecked. Still, if I were left alone 
I would take the risk, and appoint good officers and no 
others to all our regiments, satisfied that success in the 
field is the best means of holding the masses firm in 
support of the Government. But in the meantime Bur- 
leigh, who is our candidate m Gazaway's district, is de- 
feated, we will suppose. Burleigh and Gazaway under- 
stand each other. If Gazaway gets the majority, he 
promises to insure the district to Burleigh. You see the 
pressure I am under. All the leading managers of our 
party concur in urging upon me this promotion of Gaza- 
way. I regret extremely that I can do nothing now for 
your favorite, whom I respect very much. I hope to do 
something for him in the future." 

" When an election is not so near at hand," suggested 
Carter. 

" Here," continued the Governor, without noticing the 
satire, I have been perfectly frank with you. All I ask in 
return is that you will have patience." 

" 'Pon my honor, I can't of course find fiiult with you 
personally, Governor," replied the Colonel. " I see how 
the cursed thino; works. You are on a treadmill, and 



From Secession to Loyalty. 99 

must keep steiDping according to the machinery. But by 
— ! sir, I wish this whole matter of appointments was in 
the hands of the War Department." 

" I almost wish it was," sighed the Governor, still 
without a show of wounded pride or impatience. 

It was this conversation whicli the Colonel repeated to 
the scandalized ears of Doctor Ravenel, when the latter 
urged the promotion of Colburne. 

" I hope you will inform our young friend of your efforts 
in his favor," said the Doctor. " He will be exceeduigly 
gratified, notwithstanding the disappointment." 

" No," said the Colonel. " I beg your pardon ; but 
don't tell him. It would not be policy, it would not be 
soldierly, to inform him of any thing likely to disgust him 
with the service." 



CHAPTER YIII. 

THE BEAVE BID GOOD-BYE TO THE FAIE. 

Another circumstance disgusted Colonel Carter even 
more than the affair of the majority. He received a com- 
munication from the War Department assigning his regi- 
ment to the Xew England Division, and directmg him to 
report for orders to 3Iajor-General Benjamin F. Butler. 
Over this priper he fired off such a volley of oaths as if 
Uncle Toby's celebrated army in Flanders had fallen in 
for practice in battalion swearing. 

" A civilian ! a lawyer, a political wire-puller ! a militia- 
man!" exclaimed the high-born southern gentleman. West 
Point graduate and ex-ofiicer of the regular army. " What 
does such a fellow know about the organization or the 
command of troops ! I don't believe he could make out 
the property returns of a company, or take a platoon of 



100 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

skirmishers into action. And I must report to him, in- 
stead of he to me !" 

Let us sujDpose that some inconceivably great power 
had suddenly created the Colonel a first-class lawyer, and 
ordered the celebrated Massachusetts advocate to act un- 
der him as junior counsel. We may conjecture that the 
latter might have been made somewhat indignant by such 
an arrangement. 

" I'll make official application to be transferred to some 
other command," continued Carter, thmking to himself. 
" If that won't answer, I'll go to the Secretary myself 
about it, irregular as personal application may be. And 
if that won't answer, I'll be so long in getting ready for 
the field, that our Major-General Pettifogger will probably 
go without me." 

If Carter attempted to carry out any of these plans, he 
no doubt discovered that the civilian General was greater 
than the West Pomt Colonel in the eyes of the authorities 
at Washington. But it is probable that old habits of sol- 
dierly obedience prevented him from ofiering much if any 
resistance to the will of the War Department, just as it 
prevented him from expressmg his dissatisfaction in the 
presence of any of his subordinate officers. It is true that 
the Tenth was an unconscionable long time in getting rea- 
dy for the field, but that Avas owing to the decay of the 
enlistmg spirit in Barataria, and Carter seemed to be as 
much fretted by the lack of men as any body. Meantime 
not even Colburne, the officer to whom he unbosomed him- 
self the most freely, overheard a syllable from him in dis- 
paragement of General Butler. 

During the leisurely organization and drilling of his re- 
giment the Colonel saw Miss Ravenel often enough to fall 
desperately in love with her, had he been so minded. He 
was not so minded ; he liked to talk with pretty young 
ladies, to flirt with them and to tease them ; but he did 
not easily take sentiment au grand serieux. Self-conceit 
and a certain hard-hearted indiffierence to the feelmgs of 



From Secession to Loyalty. 101 

others, combined with a love of fun, made him a habitual 
quiz. He acknowledged the charm of Lillie's outlines and 
manner, but he treated her like a child whom he could 
pet and banter at his pleasure. She, on the other hand, 
was a little too much afraid of him to quiz in return ; she 
could not treat this mature and seemingly worldly-wise 
man with the playful impertinence which sometimes 
marked her manner towards Colburne. 

" Miss Ravenel, have you any messages for Xew Or- 
leans ?" said the Colonel. "I begm to thmk that we 
shall go just there. It will be such a rich pocket for Gen- 
eral Butler's fingers." 

In speakuig to civilians Carter was not always so care- 
ful of the character of his superiors as m talking to his 
subordinate ofiicers. 

"Just think of the twelve millions of gold in the 
banks," he proceeded, " and the sugar and cotton too, and 
the wholesale nigger-stealing that we can do to varnish 
over our robberies. It grieves me to death to thmk that 
the Tenth will soon be street-firmg up and down New Or- 
leans. We shall make such an awful slaughter among 
yonr crowds of old admirers !" 

" I hope you won't kill them all." 

" Oh, I shan't kill them all. I am not going to commit 
suicide," said the Colonel with a flippant gallantry which 
made the young lady color with a suspicion that she was 
not profoundly appreciated. 

" Do you really think that you are going to Xew Or- 
leans ?" she presently mquired. 

" Ah ! Don't ask me. You have a right to command 
me ; but don't, I beg of you, order me to tell state se- 
crets." 

" Then why do you introduce the subject?" she replied, 
more annoyed by his manner than by what he said. 

" Because the subject has irresistible charms ; because it 
is connected with your past, and perhaps with your fu- 
ture." 



102 31iss Ravexel's Conversion 

N'ow if Carter had looked in tlie least as he sjioke, I 
fear that Miss Lillie would have been flattered and grati- 
fied. But he did not ; he had a quizzing smile on his auda- 
cious face ; he seemed to be talking to her as he would to 
a child of fourteen. Being a woman of eighteen, and sen- 
sitive, she was not pleased by his confident fiimiliarity, 
and in her inexperience she showed her annoyance perhaps 
a little more plainly than was quite dignified. After 
watching her for a moment or two with his wide-open, 
unwinking eyes, he suddenly changed his tone, and ad- 
dressed her with an air of entirely satisfactory respect. 
The truth is that he could not help being at times semi- 
impertinent to young ladies ; but then he had delicacy of 
breeding enough to know when he was so ; he did not quiz 
them in mere boorish stuiDidity. 

" I should be truly delighted," he said, " I should con^ 
sider it one of the greatest honors possible to me — if I 
could do somethmg towards opening your way back to 
your own home." 

" Oh ! I wish you could," she replied with enthusiasm. 
" I do so want to get back to Louisiana. But I don't 
want the South whipped. I want peace." 

" Do you ? That is a bad wish for me," observed Car- 
ter, with his characteristic frankness, coolly wondering to 
himself how he would be able to live without his colonelcy. 
As to how he could pay the thousand or two which he 
owed to tailors, shoemakers, restaurateurs and wme 
merchants, that was never to him a matter of marvel 
or of anxiety, or even of consideration. 

In obedience to a cm'ious instinct which exists in at least 
some feminine natures, Miss Ravenel liked the Colonel, or 
at least felt that she could like him, just in proportion as 
she feared him. A man who can make some women trem- 
ble, can, if he chooses, make them love. Pure and modest 
as this girl of eighteen was, she could, and I fear, would 
have fallen des2:)erately in love with this toughened world- 
ling, had he, with his despotic temperament, resolutely 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 103 

willed it. In justice to her it must be remembered that 
she knew little or nothuig about his various naughty ways. 
In her presence he never swore, nor got the worse for 
liquor, nor alluded to scenes of dissipation. At church he 
decorously put dowTi his head while one could count 
twenty, and made the responses with a politeness meant 
to be complimentary to the parties addressed. Her 
father hmted ; but she thought him unreasonably preju- 
diced ; she made what she considered the proper allow- 
ance for men who wore uniforms. She had very little 
idea of the stupendous discount which would have to be 
admitted before Colonel Carter could figure up as an an- 
o-el of light, or even as a decently \drtuous member of 
human society. She thought she stated the whole sub- 
ject fairly when she admitted that he might be " fast ;" 
but she had an mnocently inadequate conception of the 
meanino' which the masculiue sex attaches to that epithet. 
She applied it to him chiefly because he had the mu- 
mental self-possession, the graceM audacity, the free and 
easy fluency, the little ways, the general au-, of certam 
men in Xew Orleans who had been pomted out to her as 
" fafl^" and concernuig whom there were dubious Avhisper- 
ingsamong elderly dowagers, but of whom she actually 
knew little more than that they had good manners and 
were favorites with most ladies. She had learned to con- 
sider the type a satisfactory one, without at all appreci- 
ating its moral signification. That Colonel Carter had 
been downright wicked and was still capable of being so 
under a moderate pressure of temptation, she did not be- 
lieve with any reahzing and savmg faith. Balzac says 
that very corrupt people are generally very agreeable; 
and it may be that this extraordiuary fact is capable of a 
simple and sufficient explanation. They are seared and 
do not take thing seriously ; they do not contradict you 
on this propriety and that belief, because they care noth- 
ing about proprieties and beliefs ; they love nothiug, hate 
nothiao-, and are as easy to weai* as old slippers. The 



104 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

strict moralist and j^ietcst, on the other hand, is as hard 
and unyielding as a boot just from the hands of the 
maker ; you must conform to his model, or he will consci- 
entiously pinch your moral corns in a most grievous man- 
ner ; he cannot grant you a hair's-breadth "without burst- 
ing his uppers and endangermg his sole. But j^leasant as 
our corruj^t friends are apt to be, you must not trust your 
affections and your happiness to them, or you may find 
that you have cast your j^earls before the unclean. 

These reflections are not perhaps of the newest, but they 
are just as true as when they were first promulgated. 

Concerning the i^ossible flirtation to which I have al- 
luded Doctor Ravenel was constauly ill at ease. If he found 
on returning from a walk that' Lillie had received a call 
from the Colonel during his absence, he was secretly 
worried and sometimes openly peevish for hours afterward. 
He would break out uj^on that sort of people, though al- 
w^ays without mentioning names ; and the absent Carter 
would receive a severe lashing over the back of some gen- 
tleman whom Lillie had known or heard of in Xew Orleans. 

" I don't see how I ever lived among such a disre2:)utable 
population," he would say. " I look upon myself IMne- 
times as a man who has just come from a twenty-five 
year's residence among the wealthy and genteel pirates of 
the Isle of Pmes. I actually feel that I have no claims 
upon a decent society to be received as a respectable 
character. If a Xew Boston man should refuse to shake 
hands with me on the ground that my associations had 
not been what they should be, I could not find it m my 
heart to disagree with him. Among that people I used to 
wonder at the j^atience of the Almighty. I obtained a 
conception of his long-suffermg mercies such as I could 
not have obtained in a virtuous community. Just look at 
that Colonel McAllister, who used to be the brightest 
ornament of New Orleans fashion. A mass of corrujDtion ! 
The immoral odor of him must have been an offense to the 
heavens. I can imagme the angels and glorified spirits 



From Secessions' to Loyalty. 105 

looking down at him witli disgust, and actually holding 
their noses, like the kmg in Oreagna's picture when he 
comes across the dead body. There neyer Avas a subject 
brought into our dissecting room so abominable to the 
physical senses as that man was to the moral sense." 

"Oh, i^apa, don't!", implored Miss Lillie. "You talk 
most horridly when you get started on certam subjects." 

" My conversation is'nt half pungent enough to do jus- 
tice to the perfume of the subject," insisted the Doctor. 
" When I speak or try to speak of that McAllister, and of 
similar people to be met therp and everywhere, I am 
obliged to admit the inadequacy of language. ^NTothing 
but the last trump can utter a sound appropriate to such 
personages." 

" But Colonel McAllister is a very respectable middle- 
aged planter now, papa," said Lillie. 

" Respectable ! Oh, my child ! do not persist m talking 
as if you were still in the nursery. Samt Paul, Pascal, 
Wilberforce couldn't have remained respectable if they 
had been slaveholding planters." 

To Colonel Carter personally the Doctor was perfectly 
civil,^as he was to every one with whom he was obliged 
to come in contact, including the reprobated McAllister 
and his similars. Even had he been of a combative dis- 
position, or been twice as prejudiced against Carter as he 
was, he could not have brought himself in these days and 
with his present loyal enthusiasm, to discourteously en- 
treat an officer who wore the United States uniform and 
who had bled in the cause of country against treason. 
Moreover he felt a certain degree of good-will towards 
our military roue, as being the patron of his particular 
friend Colburne. Of this young man he seemed almost as 
fond as if he were his father, without, however, entertain- 
ing the slightest thought of gainmg him for a son-in-law. 
I never knew, nor read of, not even in the most unnatural 
novels, an American father who was a matchmaker. 

So the autumn and half the winter passed away, with- 
E 2 



106 Miss R a vex el's Conversion 

out any one falling in love, unless it might be Colburne. 
It needed all his good sense to keep him from it ; or rather 
to keep him from paymg Miss. Ravenel what are called 
significant attentions ; for as to his being in love, 1 admit 
it, although he did not. To use old-fashioned language, 
alarming m its directness and strength of meaning, I sup- 
pose he Avould have courted her if she would have let him. 
But there was something m the young lady's manner to- 
wards him which kept him at arm's length ; which had 
the charm of friendshii), indeed, but no faintest odor of 
even the possibility of love, just as certain flowers have 
beauty but no perfume ; which said to liim very gently 
but also very firmly, " Mr. Colbm-ne, you had better not 
be iQ a hurry." 

At times he was under sudden and violent temptation. 
The trustmg Doctor placed Lillie under his charge to go 
to one or two concerts and popular lectures, following 
therein the simple and virtuous ways of Xew Boston, 
where young ladies have a freedom which in larger and 
wickeder cities is only accorded to married women. On 
the way to and from thes^ amusements, Lillie's hand resting 
lisihtly on his arm, and the obscurity of the streets veiling 
T^-hatever reproof or warning might sparkle m her eyes, 
his heart was more urgent and his soul less titnid than 
usual. 

• "I have only one subject of regret in going to the war," 
he once said ; " and that is that I shall not see you for a 
long time, and may never see you agam." 

There was a magnetic tremulousness in his voice wliich 
thrilled through Miss Ravenel and made it difficult for her 
to breathe naturally. For a few seconds she could not 
answer, any more than he could continue. She felt as we 
do in dreams when we seem to stand on the edge of a 
gulf- wavering whether we shall fall backward into safety 
or forward into the unknown. It was one of the perilous 
and decisive moments of the young lady's life ; but the 
end of it was that she recovered self-possession enough to 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 107 

speak before he could rally to pursue Ms advantage. 
Ten seconds more of silence might have resulted in an en- 
gagement ring. 

" What a hard heart you have !" she laughed. " INT o 
greater cause of regret than that ! And here you are, go- 
ing to lay waste my country, and perhaps burn up my 
house. You abolitionists are dreadful." 

He immediately changed his manner of conversation 
with a painful consciousness that she had as good as or- 
dered him to do so. 

" Oh ! I have no sort of compunction about turning the 
South mto a desert," he said, T\TLth a poor attempt at mak- 
ing merry. " I mean to take a bag of salt with me, and 
sow all Louisiana with it." 

And the rest of the dialogue, until he left her at the 
door of the hotel, was conducted in the same style of la- 
borious and painful trifling. 

As the day aj^proached for the sailing of the regiment, 
Colburne looked forward with dread yet with eagerness 
to the last interview. At times he thought and hoped 
and almost expected that it would bring about some decis- 
ive expression of feeling which should give a desirable di- 
rection to the perverse heart of this inexplicable young- 
lady. Then he reflected during certain flashes of pure 
reason, how foolish, how cruel it would be to win her af- 
fection only to quit her on the instant, certainly for 
months, probably for years, perhaps for ever. Moreover, 
suppose he should lose a leg or a nose in his first battle, 
how could he demand that she should keej) her vows, and 
yet how could he give her up ? But these last interviews 
are frequently unsatisfactory ; and the one which Col- 
burne excitedly anticij^ated was eminently so. It took 
place in the public parlor of the hotel ; the Doctor was 
present, and so were several dowager boarders. The regi- 
ment had marched through the city in the afternoon, sur- 
rounded and cheered by crowds of enthusiastic citizens, 
and was already on board of the coasting steamer which 



108 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

would transfer it to the ocean transport at Xew Yoik. 
Colburne had obtamed permission to remain in Xew Bos- 
ton until the evening through train from the east. 

" Tliis is a proud day for you," said the warm-hearted 
Doctor. " But I must say that it is a sad one for me. I 
am truly o-rieved to think how long it may be before we 
shall see you again." 

" I hope not very long," answered the young man with 
a gravity and sadness which did not consort with liis 
words. 

He was pale, nervous and feverish, partly from lack of 
sleep the night before. 

" I really think it will not be very long," he repeated 
after a moment. 

Xow tliat peace was apparently his only chance of re- 
turning to Miss Ravenel, he longed for it, and like most 
yoimi:? people he could muster confidence to believe in 
what he hoped. Moreover it was at this time a matter of 
northern faith that the contest could not last a year ; that 
the great army which was being drilled and disciplined 
on the banks of the Potomac would prove irresistible 
when it should take the field ; that McClellan would find 
no difficulty in trampling out the life of the rebellion. 
Colonel Carter, Doctor Ravenel and a few obstinate old 
hunker democrats were l^e only persons in the httle State 
of Barataria who did not give way to this popular con- 
viction. 

"Where are you going, Mr. Colburne?" asked Lillie 
eagerly. 

" I don't know, really. The Colonel has received sealed 
orders. He is not to open them until we have been 
twenty-four hours at sea." 

" Oh ! I think that is a shame. I do think that is abom- 
inable," said the young lady with excitement. She was 
very inquisitive by nature, and she was particularly anx- 
ious to know if the regiment would reach Louisiana. 
" I am inclined to believe that we shall go to Yhginia," 



From. Secessiox to Loyalty. 109 

resumed Colbnrne. "I hope so. The great battle of the 
war is to be fought there, and I want to take part hi it." 

Poor young man ! he felt like saying that he wanted to 
be killed m it ; mistaken young man ! he believed that 
there would be but one great battle. 

" Wherever you go you will be doing your duty as a 
patriot and a friend of the interests of humanity," put in 
the Doctor, emphatically. I confidently anticipate for you 
the greatest successes. I anticipate your personal success. 
Colonel Carter will undoubtedly be made a general, and 
you will return the commander of your regiment. But 
even if you never receive a grade of promotion, nor have 
a chance to strike a blow m battle, you will still have per- 
formed one of the highest duties of manhood and be en- 
titled to our lastmg respect. I sincerely and fervently 
envy you the feelings which you will be able to carry 
through life." 

" Thank you, sir," was all the answer that Colburne 
could think of at the moment. 

" If you find yourself near a post-office you Avill let us 
know it, won't you?" asked Lillie with a thoughtless 
frankness for which she immediately blushed painfully. 
In the desire to know whether Louisiana would be at- 
tacked and assaulted by Colonel Carter, she had said more 
than she meant. 

Colburne brightened into a grateful smile at the idea 
that he might venture to write to her. 

" Certainly," added the Doctor. " You must send me a 
letter at once when you reach your destination." 

Colburne promised as he was required, but not with the 
light heart which had shone in liis face an instant before. 
It was sadly clear, he thought, that he must not on any 
account write to Miss Ravenel. 

" And now I must say good-bye, and God bless you," 
he sighed, putting out his hand to the young lady, while 
his face grew perceptibly whiter, if we may believe the re- 
ports of the much affected dowager spectators. 



110 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

As Miss Ravenel gave liim her hand, her cheeks also 
became discolored, not with pallor however, but only 
with her customary blush when excited. 

" I do hope you will not be hurt," she murmured. 

She was so simply kind and friendly in her feelings that 
she did not notice with any thrill of emotion the feiwent 
jn-essure, the clinging as of despair, with which he held 
her hand for a few seconds. An hour afterward she re- 
membered it suddenly, blushing as she interpreted to her- 
self its significance, but with no sentiment either of love 
or anger. 

" God bless you ! God bless you !" repeated the Doctor, 
much moved. " Let me know as early and as often as 
possible of your welfare. Our best wishes go with you." 

Colburne had found the interview so painful, so differ- 
ent from what his hopes had pictured it, that, under pre- 
tence of bidding farewell to other friends, he left the hotel 
half an hour before the arrival of his train. As he passed 
through the outer door he met the Colonel entering. 

" Ah ! paid you adieux ?" said Carter in his rough-and- 
ready, jaunty way. " I must say good-bye to those nice 
people. Meet you at the train." 

Colburne merely replied, " Very well sir," with a heart 
as gloomy as the sour February weather, and strolled 
away, not to take leave of any more friends, but to smoke 
an anchorite, uncomforting segar in the purlieus of the sta- 
tion. 

" Delighted to have found you," said the Colonel inter- 
cepting the Ravenels as they were leavuig the parlor for 
their rooms. " 31iss Ravenel, I have neglected my duty for 
the sake of the pleasure — no, the pain, of bidding you 
good-bye." 

The Doctor cringed at this speech, but expressed delight 
at the visit. Lillie adorned the occasion by a blush as 
sumptuous as a bouquet of roses, and led the way back to 
the parlor, defiant of her father's evident intention to 



From Secession to Loyalty. Ill 

shorten the scene by remaining standing in the hall. The 
Doctor, finding himself thus out-generalled, retorted by 
taking the lead in the conversation, and talked volubly for 
ten minutes of the magnificent appeamnce of the regiment 
as it marched through the city, of the probable length of 
the war, and of the differing characteristics of northerners 
and southerners. Meanwhile Miss Ravenel sat quietly, 
after the fashion of a French demoiselle, saymg nothing, 
but pertaps thmking all the more dangerously. At last 
the Colonel broke loose from the father and resolutely ad- 
dressed himself to the daughter. 

" Jkliss Ravenel, I suppose that you have not a friendly 
wish to send with me." 

" I don't know why I should have," she replied, " un- 
til I know that you are not going to harm my people. 
But I have no very bad wishes." 

" Thank you for that," he said with a more serious air 
than usual. " I do sincerely desire that your feelings 
were such as that I could consider myself to be fighting 
your cause. Perhaps you will find before we get through 
that I am fighting it. If we should go to New Orleans — 
which is among the possibilities — it may be the means of 
restoring you to your home." 

" Oh ! I should thank you for that— almost. I should 
be tempted to feel that the end justified the means." 

" Let me hope that I shall meet you there, or some- 
where, soon," he added, rising. 

His manner was certainly more earnest and impressive 
than it had ever been before in addressing her. The tre- 
mor of her hand was perceptible to the strong steady hand 
which took it, and her eyes dropped under the firm gaze 
which met them, and which for the first time, she thought, 
had an expression deeply significant to her. 

"If she turns out to have any prospects"— thought the 
Colonel as he went down stairs. " If they ever get back 
their southern property" — 



312 Miss 1 1 a v e x e l ' s Conversion 

He left the sentence unfinished on the writing tablets 
of his soul, to light a segar. His impulses and passions 
were strong when once aroused, but on this subject they 
had only begun to awaken. 



CHAPTER IX. 

FROM N:EW boston to new ORLEANS, VIA FORT JACKSON. 

" By " (this '•and that) ! swore Colonel Carter to him- 
self when, twenty-four hours out from Sandy Hook, he 
oj^ened his sealed orders in the privacy of his state-room. 
"Butler has got an expedition to himself We are in for 
a round of Big Bethels as sure as " (this and that and the 
other.) 

I wish it to be understood that I do not endorse the 
above criticism on the celebrated 2:)roconsul of Louisiana. 
I am not sketching the life of General Butler, but of Colo- 
nel Carter — I am not trying to show how things really 
were, but only how the Colonel looked at them. 

Carter opened the door and looked mto the cabin.' 
There stood a particularly clean soldier of the Tenth, his 
uniform carefully brushed, his shoes, belts, cartridge-box 
and cap-pouch blacked, his buttons and brasses shinhig 
like morning suns, white cotton gloves on his hands, and 
his bayonet in its scabbard, but without a musket. Being 
the neatest man of all those detailed for guard that morn- 
ing, he had been selected by the Adjutant as the Colonel's 
orderly. He saluted his commander by carrying his right 
hand open to his fore-piece, then well out to the right, 
then dropping it with the little finger agamst the seam 
of his trousers, meanwhile standing bolt upright with his 
heels well together. The Colonel surveyed hun from top 
to toe with a look of approbation. 

" Very well, orderly," said he. " Very clean and sol- 
dierly. Been in the old army, I see." 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 113 

Here he gratified himself with another full-length in- 
spection of this statue of neatness and speechless respect. 

" Xow go to the captam of the vessel," he added, " give 
him my compliments, and request him to step to my state- 
room." 

The orderly saluted again, faced about as if on a pivot, 
and walked away. 

" Here, come back, sir," called the Colonel. " ^V^hat 
did I tell you?" 

" You told me, sir, to give your compliments to the 
captain of the vessel, and request him to step to your 
state-room," replied the soldier. 

" My God ! he understood the first time," exclaimed the 
Colonel. " Been in the old army, I see. Quite right, su* ; 
go on." 

In a few minutes the marine functionary was closeted 
with the military potentiality. 

" Sit down. Captain," said the Colonel. " Take a glass 
of wine." 

" Ko, thank you. Colonel," said the Captain, a small, 
brown, quiet-mannered, taciturn man of forty-five, his 
iron-grey locks carefully oiled and brushed, and his dark- 
blue mornmg-suit as neat as possible. " I make it a nile 
at sea," he added, " never to take any thing but a bottle 
of porter at dinner." 

" Very good : never get drunk on duty — good rule," 
laughed the Colonel. " Well, here are our orders. Look 
them over, Captam, if you please." 

The Captain read, lifted his eyebrows with an ah* of 
comprehension, put the paper back in the envelope, re- 
turned it to the Colonel, and remarked, " Ship Island." 

" It would be best to say nothing about it at present," 
observed Carter. " Some accident may yet send us back 
to Xew York, and then the thing would be known earlier 
than the War Department wants." 

" Very good. I will lay the j^roper course, and say no- 
thing:." 



114 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

And so, with a little further talk about cleanmg quar- 
ters and cooking rations, the interview terminated. It 
was not till the transport was off the beach of Ship Island 
that the Tenth Barataria became aware of its destination. 
Meantime, takmg advantage of a run of smooth weather, 
Carter disciplmed his green regiment into a state of clean- 
liness, order and subserviency, which made it a wonder 
to itself. He had two daily inspections with regard to 
personal cleanlmess, going through the companies himself, 
praising the neat and remorselessly punishmg the dirty. 
" What do you mean by such hair as that, sir ?" he would 
say, j^okmg up a set of long locks with the hilt of his sa- 
bre. " Have it off before night, sir. Have it cut short 
and neatly combed by to-mon-ow morning." 

For offences which to the freeborn American citizen 
seemed peccadilloes or even virtues, (such as saying to a 
second-lieutenant, " I am as good as you are,") men were 
seized up by the wrists to the riggmg with their toes 
scarcely touching the deck. The soldiers had to obey or- 
ders without a word, to touch their caps to officers, to 
stop chaffing the sentinels, to keep off the quarter-deck, 
and out of the cabin. 

" By (this and that) I'll teach them to be soldiers," 
swore the Colonel. " They had theu' skylarking in Bara- 
taria. They are on duty now." 

The men were not pleased ; freeborn Americans could 
not at first be gratified with such despotism, however sal- 
utary ; but they were intelligent enough to see that there 
was a hard, j^ractical sense at the bottom of it ; they not 
only feared and obeyed, but they respected. Every Amer- 
ican who is true to his national education regards with 
consideration a man who knows his own business. When- 
ever the Colonel walked on the mam deck, or m the hold 
where the men were quartered, there was a silence, a 
quiet standing out of the way, a rising to the feet, and a 
touching of fore-pieces. To his officers Carter was distant 
and authoritative, although formally courteous. It was, 



From Secession to Loyalty. 115 

" Lieutenant, have the goodness to order those men down 
from the riggmg, and to keep them down ;" and when the 
officer of the day reported that the job was done, it was, 
" Very well. Lieutenant, much obliged to you." Even the 
private soldiers whom he berated and punished were 
scrupulously addressed by the title of " Sk." 

" My God, sir ! I ought not to be obliged to speak to 
the enlisted men at all," he observed apologetically to the 
captain of the transport. " A colonel in the old army was 
a little deity, a Grand Lama, who never opened his mouth 
Qxcept on the greatest occasions. But my officers, you 
see, don't know their busmess. I am as badly off as you 
would be if your mates, sailors and firemen were all farm- 
ers. I must attend to things myself" 

" Captam Colburne," he said on another occasion, " how 
about your property returns ? Have the goodness to let 
me look at them." 

Colburne brought two packets of neatly folded papers, 
tied up m the famous, the historical, the proverbial red tape, 
and endorsed ; the one, " Return of Ordnance and Ordnance 
Stores appertammg to Co. 1, 10th Regt. Barataria Vols., for 
the quarter endmg December 31st, 1861 ;" the other, 
" Return of Clothmg and Camp and Garrison Equipage 
appertainmg to Co. I, 10th Regt. Barataria Vols., for the 
quarter endmg Dec. 31st, 1861." Carter glanced over the 
footings, the receipts and the invoices with the prompt and 
accurate eye of a bank accountant. 

" Correct," said he. " Very much to your credit. Captain. 

Orderly ! give my compliments to all the commandants 

of companies, and request them to call on me immediately 
in the after cabin." 

One after another the captains walked m, saluted, and 
took seats m obedience to a wave of the Colonel's hand. 

" Gentlemen," he began, " those of you who have finished 
your property returns for the last quarter will send them 
in to the adjutant this afternoon for examination. Those 
who have not, will proceed to complete them immediately. 



116 Miss Ray en el's Conversion 

If you need any instructions, you will apply to Captain 
Colburne. His papers are correct. Gentlemen, the United 
States Army Kegulations are as important to you as the 
United States Army Tactics. Ignorance of one will get 
you into trouble as surely as ignorance of the other. 
Such parts of the Regulation as refer to the army account- 
ability system are of especial consequence to your pockets. 
Neglect your returns, and you will get your pay stopped. 
This is not properly my business. You are responsible 
for yourselves directly to the 'War Department. But I 
wish to set you on the right path. You ought to take ^ 
pride, gentlemen, m learning the whole of your profession, 
even if you are sure that the war will not last three 
months. If a thing is worth learnmg at all it should be 
learned well, if only for the good of a man's own soul. 
Never do a duty by halves. No man of any self-respect 
will accept an officer's pay without performing the whole 
of an officer's duty. And this accountability system is 
worth study. It is the most admirable system of book- 
keeping that ever was devised. John C. Calhoun perfected 
it when he was Secretary of War and at the top of his intel- 
lectual powers. I have no hesitation in saymg that a man 
who can account truthfully and without loss for all the 
public property m a company, accordmg to this system, is 
able to master the busmess of any mercantile house or 
banking establishment. The system is as minute and m- 
exorable as a balance-sheet. When I was a boy, just out 
of West Point and in command of a company on the Indian 
frontier, I took part m a skirmish. I was as vam over my 
first fight as a kitten over its first mouse. I thought the 
fame of it must illuminate Washington and dazzle the 
clerks in the department offices. In my next return I 
accounted for three missing ball-screws as lost in the en- 
gagement of Ti-apper's Bluti". I supposed the army ac- 
countability system would bow to a second-lieutenant 
who had been under fire. But, gentlemen, it did no such 
thuio-. I crot a letter from the Chief of Ordnance informing 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 117 

me that I must state circumstantially and on honor how 
the three ball-screws were lost. I couldn't do it, couldn't 
make out a satisfactory certificate, and had them taken 
out of my pay. I, the hero of an engagement, who had 
personally shot a Pawnee, was charged thirty-nine cents 
for three ball-screws." 

Emboldened by the Colonel's smiles of grim humor the 
audience burst into a laugh. 

"I knew another case," he proceeded. "A young 
fellow was appointed quartermaster at Puget Sound. 
About a year after he had sent in his first return he was 
notified by the Quartermaster General that it did not pro- 
perly account for certam cap letters, value five cents. In- 
dignant at what he considered such small-beer fault-find- 
ing, he immediately mailed five cents to Washington, 
with a statement that it was intended to cover the defi- 
ciency. Six months later he received a sharp note from 
the Quartermaster General, returning him his five cents, 
informing him that the department was not accustomed to 
settle accounts in that manner, and directing him to for- 
ward the proper papers concerning the missing property 
under penalty of being reported to the Adjutant General. 
The last I knew of him he was still corresponding on the 
subject, and hoping that the rebels would take enough of 
Washington to burn the quartermaster's department. 
Now, gentlemen, this is not nonsense. It is business and 
sense, as any bank cashier will tell you. Red-Tapo 
means order, accuracy, honesty, solvency. A defalcation 
of five cents is as bad in principle as a defalcation of a 
million. I tell you these stories to give you an idea 
of w^hat will be exacted of you some time or other, it may 
be soon, but certainly at last. I wish you to complete your 
returns as soon as possible. They ought to have gone in 
long since. That is all, gentlemen." 

" I talked to them like a Dutch uncle," said Carter to 
the captain of the transport, after relating the above inter- 
view. The fact is that in the regular army Ave generally 



113 Miss Ravexel's C ox vers ion 

left the returns to the first sergeants. When I was in 
command of a company I gave mine the ten dollars 
monthly for accountability, and hardly ever saw my 
papers except when I signed them, all made up and ready 
to forward. But here the first sergeants, confound them ! 
don't know so much as the ofiicers. The officers must do 
every thing personally, and I must set them the example." 

So much at present for Carter as chief of a volunteer, 
regiment which it was his duty and pride to transform 
into a regiment of regulars. Professionally if not person- 
ally, as a soldier if not as a man, he had an imperious 
conscience ; and his aristocratic breeding and tolerably 
liard heart enabled him to obey it in this matter of disci- 
plme without hesitation or pity. And now, in the calm 
leisure of this winter voyage over summer seas, let us go 
back a little in his history, and see what kind of a life his 
had been outside of the regulations and devoirs of the 
army. 

" How rapidly times change !" he said to Colburne m a 
moment of unusual communicativeness. " Three years 
ago I expected to take a regiment or so across this gulf 
on a very different errand. I was, by (this and that) a 
filibuster and pro-slavery champion m those days; at least 
by intention. I was closeted with the Lamars and the 
Soules — the Governor of South Carolina and the Governor 
of Mississippi and the Governor of Louisiana — the gentle- 
men who proj^osed to carry the auction-block of freedom 
into Yucatan, Cuba, the island of Atalantis, and the moon. 
I exj^ected to be a second Cortez. Xot that I cared 
much about their pro-slavery projects and palaverings. I 
was a soldier of fortune, only anxious for active service, 
pay and promotion. I might have been monarch of all I 
surveyed by this time, if the world had turned as we ex- 
pected. But this vv^ar broke up my prosj^ects. They saw 
it coming, and decided that they must husband their re- 
sources for it. It was necessary to take sides for a greater 



Feo:si Secf. ssiox to Loyalty. 119 

struggle than the one we wanted. They chose their party, 
and I chose mine." 

These confessions were too fragmentary and guarded to 
satisfy the curiosity of Colburne ; but he subsequently ob- 
tained information in the South from which he was able 
to piece out this part of Carter's history ; and the facts 
are perhaps worth repeating as illustrative of the man and 
his times. Our knowledge is sufficiently complete to en- 
able us to decide that the part which he played in the fili- 
bustering conspiracy was not that of a Burr, but of a 
Walker, which indeed might be inferred from the fact 
that he was not intellectually capable of making himself 
head of a cabal which included some of the cleverest of 
the keen-sighted (though not far-sighted) statemen of the 
south. It is no special reflection on the Colonel's brains 
to say that they were not equal to those of Soule and 
Jefferson Davis. Moreover a soldier is usually a poor in- 
triguer, because his profession rarely leads him to appeal 
to any other influence than open authority : he is not 
obUged to learn the politician's essential arts of convincmg, 
wheedling and circumventing ; he simply says to his man 
Go, and he goeth. Carter, then, was to be the commander 
of the regiment, or brigade, or division, or whatever might 
be the proposed force of armed filibusters. There appears 
to have been no doubt in the minds of the ringleaders as 
to his fidelity. He was a Virginian born, and of a family 
which sat in the upj^er seats of the southern oligarchy. 
Furthermore, he had married a wife and certain appertam- 
ing human property in Louisiana ; and although he had 
buried the first, and dissolved the second (as Cleopatra did 
pearls) in the wine cuj), it was reasonable to suppose that 
they had exercised an establishing influence on his charac- 
ter ; for what Yankee even was ever known to remain an 
abolitionist after having once tasted the pleasure of living 
by the labor of others ? Moreover he had become agent 
and honorary stockholder of a company whicli had a new 
patent rifle to dispose of ; and it was an item of the filibus- 



120 Miss T l a v e x e l ' s C o x y j: r s i o x 

tering bargain that the expeditionary force should be 
armed with ordnance furnished by this Pennsylvania man- 
ufactory. Finally, having melted down his own and bis 
wife's patrimony in the crucible of pleasure, and been driv- 
en by debts to resign his lieutenancy for something which 
promised, but did not provide, a better income, he was 
known to be dreadfully in need of money. 

It is impossible to make the whole conspiracy a matter 
of i^lain and positive history. Colburne thought he had 
learned that at least two or three thousand men were 
sworn in as officers and soldiers, and that the Governors 
of several Southern States had pledged themselves to sup- 
port it, even at the risk of being obliged to bully the 
venerable public functionary who then occuj^ied the 
White House. It is certain that councils of state and war 
were held m the !Mills House at Charleston and in the St. 
Charles Hotel at New Orleans. It is even asserted that a 
distmguished southern divme was present at some of these 
sessions, and gave his blessmg to the plan as one of the 
most hopeful missionary enterprises of the day ; and the 
story, ironical as it may seem to misguided Yankees, be- 
comes seriously credible when we remember that certain 
devout southerners advocated the slave-trade itself as a 
means of christianizing benighted Africans. Where the 
expedition was to go and when it was to sail are still 
points of uncertainty. Carter himself never told, and per- 
haps was not let into the secret. His j^art was to draw 
over as many of his old comi*ades as possible ; to organize 
the enlisted men into companies and regiments, and to 
command the force when it should once be landed. Con- 
cerning the causes of the failure of the enterprise we knoAv 
nothing more than what he stated to Colburne. The arch 
conspii'ators foresaw the election of Lincoln, and resolved 
to save the material and enthusiasm of the South for war 
at home. It is pretty certain, however, that they sought 
to brmg Carter's courage and professional ability into the 
new channel which they had resolved to open for such 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 121 

qualities ; and we can only wonder that a man of such des- 
perate fortunes, apparently such a mere Dugald Dalgetty, 
was not seduced mto treason by their no doubt earnest 
persuasions and flattermg jH'omises. He may have re- 
sisted their blandishments merely because he knew thnt 
the other -side was the strongest and richest; but if we 
are charitable we will concede that it argued in him some 
still uneradicated roots of military honor and patriotism. 
At all events, here he was, confident, cheerful and jealous, 
going forth to fight for his old flag and his whole coun- 
try. This vague and unsatisfactory story of the conspii-a- 
cy would not have been worth relating did it not shed 
some cloudy light on the man's dubious history and con- 
tradictory character. 

We may take it for granted that Captain Colburne de- 
voted much of his time during this voyage to meditations* 
on Miss Ravenel. But lovers' reveries not being popular 
reading in these days, I shall omit all the interesting mat- 
ter thus oflered, notwithstanding that the young man has 
my earnest sympathies and good wishes. 

One summer-like March morning the steam transport, 
black with men, lay bowing to the snow-like sand-drifts 
of Ship Island ; and by sunset the regiment was ashore, 
the camp marked out, tents j^itched, rations cooking, and 
line formed for dress-parade; an instance of military 
promptness which elicited the praises of Generals Pheli^s 
and Butler. 

It is well known that the expedition against Xew Or- 
leans started from Ship Island as its base. Over the or- 
ganization of the enterprise, the battalion and brigade 
driUs on the dazzling sands, the gun-boat fights m the 
offing with rebel cruisers from Mobile, the arrival of Far- 
ragut's frigates and Porter's bomb-schooners, and the 
grand review of the expeditionary force, I must hurrv 
without a word of description, although I might make np 
a volume on these subjects from the newspapers of the 
day, and from three or four long and enthusiastic letters 
F 



122 Miss Rave x el's Conveesion 

which Colburne wrote to Ravenel. But these matters do 
not i^roperly come -\vithin the scope of this narrative, 
which is biographical and not historical. Parenthetically 
it may he well to remark that neither Carter nor Col- 
bm-ne ever referred to Miss Ravenel m their few and brief 
interviews. The latter was not disposed to talk of her 
to that listener ; and the fonner was too much occupied 
with his duties to give much thought to an absent Dul- 
cinea. The Colonel was no longer in that youthfully ten- 
der stage when absence mcreases aftection. To make him 
love it was necessary to have a woman in pretty close 
personal propinquity. 

In a month or two from the arrival of the Tenth Barata- 
ria at Ship Island it was agam on board a transport, this 
time bound for Xew Orleans via Fort Jackson, 
* " This part of Louisiana looks as the world must have 
looked in the marsupial period," says Colburne in a letter 
to the Doctor written from the Head of the Passes. 
" There are tAvo narrow but seemmgly endless antennte of 
land; between them rolls a river and outside of them 
spreads an ocean. Dry land there is none, for the Mis- 
sissippi being imusually high the soil is submerged, and 
the trees and shrubs of these long ribbons of underwood 
which enclose us have their boles hi the water. I do not 
understand why the ichthyosauri should have died out in 
Louisiana, It certamly is not fitted, so far as I can see, 
for human habitation. May it not have been the chaos 
{vide Milton) through which Satan floundered ? Miss 
Ravenel will, I trust, forgive me for this h^-pothesis when 
she learns that it is suggested by your theory that Lucifer 
was and is and ever will be peculiarly at home in this part 
of the world," 

In a subsequent passage he gives a long account of the 
famous bombardment of the forts, which I feel obliged to 
suppress as not strictly biographical, he not being under 
fire but only an eye-witness and ear- witness of the cannon- 
ade. One paragraph alone I deem it worth while to copy, 



From Secession to Loyalty. 123 

being a curious analysis of the feelings of the individual in 
the presence of sublime but monotonous circumstance. 

" Here we are, m view of what I am told is the greatest 
bombardment known in maiine, or, as I should call it, am- 
phibious warfare. You take it for granted, I suppose, that 
we are in a state of constant and noble excitement ; but 
the extraordinary truth is that we are in a condition of 
wearisome ennui and deplorable cTesaeimrement. We are 
too ignorant of the great scientific problems of war to 
take an mtelligent mterest in the fearful equation of fleets 
=forts. We got tired a week ago of the mere auricular 
pleasure of the incessant bombing. We got tired a day or 
two afterward of climbing to the crosstrees to look at the 
fading globes of smoke left aloft in the air by the bursting 
shells. We are totally tired of the monotonous flow of 
the muddy river, and the interminable parallel curves of its 
natural levees and the glassy stretches of ocean which 
seem to slope upwards toward the eastern and western 
horizon. We pass our time m playing cards, smoking, 
grumbling at our wi-etched fare, exchangmg dull gossip 
and wishing that we might be allowed to do something. 
Happy is the man who chances once a day to find a clear 
space of a dozen feet on the crowded deck where he can 
take a constitutional. Waiting for a belated tram, alone, 
in a country railroad station, is not half so wearisome." 

But in a subsequent page of the same letter he makes 
record of startling events and vivid emotions. 

" The fleet has forced the passage of the forts. We 
have had a day and a night of almost crazy excitement. 
A battle, a victory, a glorious feat of arms has been 
achieved within our hearing, though beyond our sight .and 
range of action. A submerged ii'on-clad, one of the 
wrecks of the enemy's fleet, drifted against our cable, 
shook us over the edge of eternity, and then floated by 
harmlessly. Blazing fire-ships have passed us, lighting up 
the midnight river until its ripples seemed of flame." 

In another part of the letter he says, " The forts have 



124 Miss Rave x el's Coxveksiox 

surrendered, and we are steaming up the Mississippi in 
the track of that amazing Farragut. As I look around me 
Tvith what knowledge of science there is in my eyes, I feel 
as if I had lived a few millions of years since yesterday ; 
for within twenty-four hours we have sailed out of the 
marsupial period into the comparatively modern era of 
fluvial deposits and luxuriant vegetation. Give my com- 
pliments to Miss Ravenel, and tell her that I modify my 
criticisms on the scenery of Louisiana. On either side the 
land is a livmg emerald. The plantation houses are em- 
bowered in orange groves — in a glossy mass of brilliant, 
fragrant verdure. I do not know the names of a quarter 
of the plants and trees which I see ; but I pass the live- 
long day in admiring and almost adoring their tropical 
beauty. We are no welcome tourists, at least not to the 
white inhabitants ; very few of them show themselves, and 
they do not answer our cheering, nor hardly look at us ; 
they walk or ride grimly by, with faces set straight for- 
ward, as if they could thereby ignore our existence. But 
to the negroes we evidently appear as friends and redeem- 
ers. Such joyous gathermgs of dark faces, such deei> 
chested shouts of welcome and deliverance, such a waving 
of green boughs and white vestments, and even of picka- 
ninnies — such a bending of knees and visible praising of 
God for his long-expected and at last realized mercy, sa- 
lutes our eyes from morn till night, as makes me grateful 
to Heaven for this hour of holy triumph. How glorious 
will be that time, now near at hand, when our re-united 
country will be free of the shame and curse of slavery !" 

Miss Ravenel spit in her angry pussy-cat fashion when 
her father read to her this passage of the letter. 

" TTe are m Xew Orleans," proceeds Colburne towards 
the close of this prodigious epistle. " Our regiment was 
the first to reach the city and to witness the bareness of 
the once-crowded wharves, the desertion of the streets and 
the sullen spite of the few remaining inhabitants. I sus- 
pect that your aristocratic acquaintances have all fled at 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 125 

the approach of the Vandal Yankees, for I see only ne- 
groes, poor foreigners, and rowdies, more savage-looking 
than the tribes of the Bowery. The spirit of impotent but 
impertinent hate in this population is astonishing. The 
ragged news-boys will not sell us a paper — the beggarly 
restaurants will not furnish us a dmner. ^VTierever I walk 
I am saluted by mutterings of ' Damned Yankee !' — ' Cut 
his heart out !' &c. &c. I once more profess allegiance to 
your theory that this is where Satan's seat is. But the 
evil spirits who inhabit this city of desolation only grimace 
and mumble, without attempting any manner of injury. 
If Miss Ravenel fears that there will be a popular insur- 
rection and a consequent burning of the city, assure her 
from me that she may dismiss all such terrors." 

And here, from mere lack of space rather than of inter- 
esting matter, I must close my extracts from this incompa- 
rably elongated letter. I question, by the way, whether 
Colburne would have covered so much paper had he not 
been reasonably justified in imagining a pretty family pic- 
ture of the Doctor reading and Miss Ravenel listening. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE EAVEXELS FIXD CAPTAIN COLBUEXE IX GOOD QUAETEES. 

The spring and summer of 1862 was a time of such 
peace and pleasantness to the Tenth Barataria as if there 
had been no war. With the Major General commanding 
Carter was a favorite, as being a man who had seen ser- 
vice, a most efficient officer, an old regular and a West 
Pointer. The Tenth was a pet, as being clean, admirably 
accoutred, well-disciplined and thoroughly instructed in 
those formal niceties and watchful severities of guard 



126 I\Iiss Ravenel's Cox version 

duty wliicli are harder to teach to new soldiers than the 
minutia3 of the manual, or the perplexities of field evo- 
lutions, or the grim earnestness of fightmg. The Colonel 
was appointed Major of Xew Orleans, with a suspicion of 
something handsome in addition to his pay ; the regiment 
was put on provost duty in the city, instead of being sent 
into the malarious mud of Camj) Parapet or the feverish 
trenches of Vicksburgh. Colburne's letters of those days 
are full of braggadocio about the splendid condition of 
the Tenth and the peculiar favor with which it was 
viewed by the commanding general. Doctor Ravenel, in 
his admiration for the young captain, unwisely published 
some of these complacent e^^istles, thereby elieitmg retorts 
and taunts from the literary champions of rival regiments, 
the esjjrit du corps having already grown into a strong and 
touchy sentiment among the volunteer organizations. 

In this new Capua, the onl}^ lap of luxury that our 
armies found durmg the war, Carter, a curious compound 
of hardihood and sybaritism, forgot that he wanted to be 
Hannibal, and that he had not yet fought his Cannae. 
He gave himself up to lazy pleasures, and even allowed his 
officers to run to the same, in which they were not much 
discountenanced by the commandmg general, whose grim, 
practical humor was perhaps gratified by the spectacle of 
freeborn mudsills dwelling m the palaces and emptying 
the wine-cellars of a rebellious aristocracy. If, indeed, an 
undesirable cub over-stepped some vague boundary, he 
found himself court-martialed and dismissed the service. 
But the mass of the regimental officers, being jealous in 
their light duties and not prominently obnoxious in 
character, were permitted to live in such circumstances of 
comfort as they chose to gather about them from the pro- 
perty of self-exiled secessionists. Thus the regiment went 
through the season : no battles, no marches, no privations, 
no exposm-es, no anxieties : not even any weakening loss 
from the perilous climate. That terrible guardian angel 
of the land, Yellow Jack, would not come to realize the 



From Secession to Loyalty. 



127 



fond predictions of the inhabitants and abolish the alien 
garrison as a similar seraph destroyed the host of Senna- 
cherib. . . r^ ^ ' n ^ 

"Don't you find it hot ?" said a citizen to Captam Col- 
burne " You'll find it too much for you yet." 

" Pshaw !" answered the defiant youth. " I've seen it hot- 
ter than this in Barataria with two feet of snow on the 

oTound." ^ ^ 

Durmo- the sprmg Colburn ^I'ote several long letters to 
the Doctor, with his mind, you may believe, fixed more 
on Miss Ravenel than on his nommal correspondent. It 
was a case of moral strabismus, which like many a phy- 
sical squint, was not without its beauty, and was even 
quite charmmg to the o-aze of sentimental sympathy. It 
was a sly carom on the father, with the mtention of pocket- 
ino- the daughter, but done with a hand rendered so tim- 
orous by anxiety that the blows seemed to be struck at 
random The Captam enjoyed this correspondence ; at 
times he felt all by himself as if he were talking with the 
youno- lady ; his hazel eyes sparkled and his clear cheeks 
flushed with the excitement of the imagmary mterview; 
he dropped his pen and pushed up his wavy brown hair 
into careless tangles, as was his wont m gleesome conver- 
sation. But this happiness was not without its counter- 
weio-ht of trouble, so that there might be no failure of 
equflibrium m the moral balance of the universe. After 
Colburne had received two responses to his epistles, there 
ensued a silence which caused hun many lugubrious mis- 
givmo-<. Were the Eavenels sick or dead? Had they 
o-one to Canada or Europe to escape the jealous and exact- 
hio- loyalty of New England? Were they ofiended at 
somethmo; which he had written? Was Lillie to be mar- 
riedto young Whitewood, or some other conveniently pro- 
pinquitous admirer ? . 

The truth is that the Doctor had obtamed a permit trom 
the government to go to Kew Orleans, and that the letter 
in which he informed Colburne of his plan had miscarried, 



128 ]\I I S S li AV E X K L ' S C O X T 12 R S I O X 

as frequently happened to letters in those days of wide- 
spread confusion. On a certain scorching day in June he 
knocked at the door of the neat little brick house whicli 
had been assigned to the Captain as his quarters. It was 
opened by an officer in the uniform of a second-lieutenant, 
a man of remarkable presence, very dark and saturnine in 
visage, tall and broad-shouldered and huge chested, with 
the limbs of a Heenan and the ringmg bass voice of a 
Susini. He informed the visitor that Captam Colburne 
was out, but insisted with an amicable boisterousness up- 
on his entermg. He had an elaborate and ostentatious 
courtesy of manner which puzzled the Doctor, who could 
not decide whether he was a born and bred gentleman or 
a professional gambler. 

" Xearly dinner time, sir,'* he said in a rolling deep 
tone like mellow thunder. " The Captain will be in soon 
for that good and sufficient reason. You will dine with 
us, I hope. Give you some capital wine, sir, out of Mon- 
sieur Soule's own cave. Take this oaken arm-chair, sir, 
and allow me to relieve you of your chapcau. What 
name, may I ask ? — Ah ! Doctor Ravenel. — My God, sir ! 
the Captain has a letter for you. I saw it on his table a 
moment ago." 

He commenced rummaging among papers and Avriting 
materials with an exhilaration of haste which caused Rav- 
enel to suspect that he tad taken a bottle or so of the 
Soule sherry. 

" Here it is," he exclaimed with a smile of triumph and 
friendliness. " You had better take it while you see it. 
If you are a lawyer, sir, you are aware that possession is 
nine tenths of a title. I beg pardon ; of course you are 
not a lawver. Or have I the honor to address an L. L. 
D. ?" 

" Merely an M. D.," observed Ravenel, and took his 
letter. 

" A magnificent profession !" rejomed the sonorous lieu- 
tenant. " Most ancient and honorable profession. The 



Feom Secessiox to Loyalty. 129 

profession of Esculapius and Hippocrates. The physician 
is older than the lawyer, and more useful to humanity." 

Ravenel looked at his letter and observed that it was 
not post-marked nor sealed ; he opened it, and found that 
it was from Colburne to himself — intended to go, no 
doubt, by the next steamer. 

" I hope it gives you good news from home, sir," ob- 
served the lieutenant in the most amicable manner. 

The Doctor bowed and smiled assent as he put the let- 
ter in his i^ocket, not thinking it worth while to explain 
matters to a gentleman who was so evidently muddled by 
the Soule vintages. As his interlocutor rattled on he 
looked about the room and admired the costly furniture 
and tasteful ornaments. There were two choice paintings 
on the paneled walls, and a dozen or so of choice engrav- 
ings. The damask curtains edged with lace were superb, 
and so were the damask coverings of the elaborately 
carved oaken chairs and lounges. The marble mantels 
and table, and the extravagant tortoise-shell tiroir^ were 
loaded with Italian cameos, Parisian bronzes, Bohemian 
glass-ware, Swiss wood-sculpture, and other varieties of 
European gimcracks. Agamst the wall in one corner 
leaned four huge albums of photograjjhs and engravings. 
The Doctor thought that he had never before seen a house 
in America decorated with such exquisite taste and lavish 
expenditure. He had not been in it before, and did not 
know who was its proprietor. 

" Elegant little box, sir," observed the lieutenant. " It 
belongs to a gentleman who is now a captain in the rebel 
service. He built and furnished it for his affinity, an act- 
ress whom he brought over from Paris, which diso-usted 
his wife, I understand. Some women are devilish exact- 
ing, sir." 

Here the humor of a satyr gleamed in his black eyes 
and grinned under his black mustache. 

" You will see her portrait (the affinity's — not the wife's) 
all over the house, as she appeared in her various charac- 

F2 



180 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

ters. And here she is in her morning-gown, in her own 
natural part of a plain, straight-forward affinity." 

He pointed witli* another satyr-like grin to a large pho- 
tograph representing the bust and face of a woman appar- 
ently twenty-eight or thirty years of age, who could not 
have been handsome, but, judging by the air of life and 
cleverness, might have been quite charming. 

" Intelligent old girl, I should say, sir," continued the 
cicerone, regardless of the Doctor's look of disgust ; " but 
not precisely to my taste. I like them more youthful and 
innocent, with something of the down of girlhood's purity 
about them. What is your opinion, sir ?" 

Thus bullied, the Doctor admitted that he entertained 
much the same preferences, at the same time wishing 
heartily in his soul that Colburne would arrive. 

" We have devilish fine times here, sir," pursued the 
other in his remorseless garrulity. " AYe finished the rebel 
captain's wine-cellar long ago, and are now living on old 
Soule's. Emptied forty-six bottles of madeira and cham- 
pagne yesterday. Select party of loyal friends, sir, from 
our own regiment, the bullissimo Tenth Barataria." 

" Ah ! you belong to the Tenth ?" inquired the Doctor 
with interest. 

" Yes, sir. Proud to own it, sir. The best regiment in 
either service. Xot that I enlisted m Barataria. I had 
the honor of bemg the first man to jom it here. I was in 
the rebel service, sir, an unwilling victim, dragged as an 
iimocent sheep to the slaughter, and took a part much 
a<T^ainst my mclinations in the defence of Fort Jackson. It 
seemed to me, sir, that the day of judgment had come, 
and the angel was blowing particular hell out of his 
trumpet. Those shells of Porter's killed men and buried 
them at one rap. My eyes stuck out so to watch for 
them that they havn't got back into their proper place yet. 
After the fleet forced the passage I was the first man to 
raise the standard of revolt, and bid defiance to my offi- 
cers. 1 then made the best time on record to New Or- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 131 

leans, and enlisted under the dear old flag of my country 
in Captain Colbnrpe's company. I took a fancy to the 
captain at first sight. I saw that he was a born gentleman 
and a scholar, sir. I was first made sergeant for good 
conduct, obedience to orders, and knowledge of my busi- 
ness ; and when the second-lieutenant of the company died 
of bilious fever I was promoted to the vacancy. Our colo- 
nel, sii', prefers gentlemen for officers. I am of an old 
Knickerbocker family, one of the aborigmal Peter Stuyve- 
sant Knickerbockers, as you may mfer from my name — 
Van Zandt, at your service, sir — Cornelius Van Zandt, 
second-lieutenant, Co. I, Tenth Regiment Barataria Vol- 
unteers. I am delighted to make your acquaintance, and 
hoij^e to see much of you." 

I hope not, thought the Doctor with a shudder ; but he 
bowed, smiled, and continued to wait for Colburne. 

" Hope to have the pleasure of receivmg you here often," 
Van Zandt went on. "Always give you a decent bottle 
of wine. When the Soule cave gives out, there are others 
to be had for the asking. By the way — I beg a thousand 
pardons — allow me to offer you a bumper of madeira. You 
refuse ! Then, sir, permit me the pleasure of drinking 
your health." 

He drank it in a silver goblet, holding as much as a 
tumbler, to the astonishment if not to the horror of the 
temperate Doctor. 

" I was remarkmg, I believe, sir," he resumed, " that I 
am a descendant of the venerable Knickerbockers. If you 
doubt it, I beg leave to refer you to Colonel Carter, who 
knew my family in ISTew York. I am sensitive on the sub- 
ject in all its bearings. I have a sort offend, an ancestral 
vendetta, with Washington Irving on accotlnt of his 
Knickerbocker's History of iSTew York. It casts an unde- 
served ridicule on the respectable race from which I am 
proud to trace my lineage. My old mother, sir — God 
bless her ! — never could be induced to receive Washington 
Irving at her house. By the way, I was speaking of Colo- 



132 Miss Ravenel's Coxveksiox 

nel Carter, I thiiik, sir. He's a judge, of old blue blood, 
sir; comes of an ancient, true-blue cavalier strain himself; 
what you might call old Virginia particular. A splendid 
man, sir, a born gentleman, an officer to the back-bone, 
the best colonel m the service, and soon will be the best 
general. When he comes to show himself in field service, 
these militia-generals will have to take the back seats. I 
assume Avhatever responsibility there may be in predicting 
it, and I request you to mark my words. I am willmg to 
back them with a fifty or so ; though don't imderstand 
me as bemg so impertment as to offer you a bet — I am 
l^erfectly well aware of the respect due to your clerical 
profession, sir — I was only supposing that I might fiill in- 
to conversation on the subject with a betting character. I 
feel bound to tell you how much I admire Captain Col- 
burne, of whom I think I was speaking. He saw that I 
was a gentleman and a man of education. (By the way, 
did I tell you that I am a graduate of Columbia College ?) 
He saw that I was above my place m the ranks, and he 
started me on my career of j^romotion. I would go to the 
death for him, sir. He is a man, sir, that you can depend 
on. You know just where to find him. He is a man that 
you can tie to." 

The Doctor looked gratified at this statement, and lis- 
tened with visible interest. 

" He would have died in the cause of total abstinence, 
but for Colonel Carter," contmued Van Zandt. " The 
Colonel came in when he was at his lowest." 

" Sick !" exclaimed the Doctor. " Has he been sick ?" 

" Sick, sir ? Yes, sir ! Wofully broken up — slow bilious 
typhoid fever — and wouldn't drink, sir — conscientious 
against it.' ' You must drink, by ! sir,' says the Colo- 
nel; * you must drink and wear woollen shirts.' 'But,' 
says the Captain, ' if I drink and get well, my men will 
drink and go to hell.' By the way, those Avere not his 
exact words, sir. I am apt to put a little swearing into a 
story. It's like lemon in a punch. Don't you think so. 



Fkom Sjecessiox to Loyalty. 133 

sir? — Where was I? Oh, I remember. 'How can I 
punish my men,' says the Captain, ' for doing what I do 
myself?' ' It's none of their dam business wliat you do,' 
says the Colonel. ' If they get drunk and neglect duty 
.thereby, it's your business to punish them. And if you 
neo-lect duty, it's my business to punish you. But don't 
suppose it is any affair of your men. The idea is contrary 
to the Regulations, sir.' Those are the opinions of Colonel 
Carter, sir, an officer, a gentleman and a philosopher. 'No- 
thmg but good old Otard brandy and woollen shirts 
brought the Captain around — woollen shirts and good old 
Otard brandy with the Soule seal on it. He was dying of 
bilious night-sweats, sir. Horrible climate, this Louisiana. 
But perhaps you are acquamted with it. By the way, I 
was speaking' of Colonel Carter, I believe. He knows how 
to enjoy himself He keeps the finest house and most hos- 
pitable board m this city. He has the prettiest little 
French — houdoir — " 

He was about to utter quite another word, but recol- 
lected himself in tune to substitute the word boudoir, 
while a saturnme twinkle in his eye showed that he felt 
the humor of the misapplication. Then, tickled with his 
own wit, he followed up the idea on a broad grm. 

" I am more envious of the Colonel's boudoir, sir, than 
of his commission. IsTothing like a trim little French 
boudoir for a bachelor. You are a man of the world, sir, 
and understand me." 

And so on, prattling ad nauseam, meanwhile pouring 
down the madeira. The Doctor, who wanted to say, " Su% 
your o-oose has come for you," had never before listened 
to such garrulity nor witnessed such thirst. When Col- 
burne entered. Van Zandt undertook to introduce the 
two, although they met each other with extended hands 
and friendly inquiries. The Captain was somewhat em- 
barrassed, knowing that his surroundings were of a nature 
to rouse suspicion as to the perfect vutuousness of his life, 
and thinking, perhaps in consequence of this knowledge, 



134 Miss Ravexel's C ox version 

that the Doctor surveyed hhn with an investigatmg ex- 
pression. Presently he turned his eyes on Van Zandt ; 
and, gently as they had been toned by nature, there was 
now a something m them which visibly sobered the bac-^ 
chanalian; he rose to his feet, saluted as if he were still a 
private soldier, and left the room murmuring something 
about hurrying up dinner. The Doctor noticed with in- 
terest the authoritative demeanor which had usurped the 
place of the old Xew Boston innocence. 

" And where is Miss Ravenel ?" was of course one of the 
first questions. 

" She is in the city," was the answer. 

" Is it jDOSsible ? (With a tremendous beating of the 
heart.) 

" Yes. You may suppose that I could not get her to 
stay behmd when it was a question of re-visitmg Xew Or- 
leans. She is as fierce a rebel as ever." 

Colbume laughed, with the merest shadow of hysteria 
in his amusement, and, patriot as he was, felt that he 
hated Miss Ravenel none the worse for the announcement. 
There is a state of the affections in which every peculiar- 
ity of the loved object, no matter how offensive primarily 
or in itself, becomes an additional charm. People who 
really like, cats like them all the better for their cattish- 
ness. A mother who dotes on a deformed child takes an 
interest in all lame children because they remind her of 
her own unfortunate. 

" Besides, there was no one to leave her with in Xew 
Boston," continued the Doctor. 

" Certainly," assented Colburne in a manifestly cheerful 
humor. 

" But I am truly sorry to see you so thin and pale," the 
Doctor went on. "You are suffering from our horrible 
climate. You positively must be careful. Let me beg of 
you to avoid as much as possible going out in the night air." 

Colburne could not help laughing outright at the re- 
commendation. 



Feom Secessiox to Loyalty. 135 

" I dare say it's good advice," said he. " But when I 
am officer of the day I must make my rounds after mid- 
night. It puts me in mind of the counsel which one of 
our Union officers who was in the siege of Vicksburg re- 
ceived from his mother. She tokl him that the air near 
the ground is always unhealthy, and urged him never to 
sleep lower than the thu-d story. This to a man who lay 
on the ground without even a tent to cover him." 

" War is a dreadful thing, even in its lesser details," ob- 
served the Doctor. 

" What can I do for you ?" asked Colburne after a 
moment's silence. 

" I really don't know at present. Perhaps much. I have 
copie here, of course, to get together the fragments of my 
property. I may be glad of some introductions to the 
military authorities." 

" I will do my best for you. Colonel Carter can do 
more than I can. But, in the first place, you must dine 
with me." 

"Thank you; no. I dine at five with a relation of 
mine." 

" Dine twice, then. Dine with me first, for Kew Bos- 
ton's sake. You positively must." 

" Well, if you insist, I am delighted of course. — But 
what a city ! I must break out wdth my amazement. Who 
could have believed that prosperous, gay, bragging 'Kew 
Orleans would come to such grief and poverty ! I seem to 
have walked through Tyre and witnessed the fiilfiUment 
of the predictions of the prophets. I have been haunted 
all day by Ezekiel. Business gone, money gone, popula- 
tion gone. It is the hand of the Almighty, bringing to 
shame the counsels of wicked ralers and the predictions of 
lying seers. I ask no better proof than I have seen to-day 
that there is a Divine Ruler. I hope that the whole land 
will not have to pay as heavy a price as New C^leans to 
be quit of its compact with the devil. We are are all 
guilty to some extent. The North thought that it could 



136 Miss Ravexel's Coxveksion 

make money out of slavery and yet evade the natural 
punishments of its naughty connivance. It thought that it 
could use the South as a catspaw to pull its chesnuts out 
of the fires of hell. It hoped to cheat the devil by doing 
its dirty business over the ^^lanter's shoulders. But he is 
a sharp dealer. He will have his bond or his pound of 
flesh. None of us ought to get off easily, and therefore 
I conclude that we shall not." 

Now who would suppose that the Doctor had in his 
mind all the while a moral lecture to Colburne ? Yet so 
it was : for this purpose had he gone back to Tyre and 
Babylon ; with this object in view had he descanted on 
divine providence and the father of evil. It was his man- 
ner to reprove and warn persons whom he liked, but liot 
bluntly nor du-ectly. He touched them up gently, around 
the legs of other people, and over the shoulders of events 
which lost their personal mterest to most human beings 
thousands of years ago. Please to notice how gradually, 
delicately, yet surelv he descended upon Colburne through 
epochal spaces of time, and questions which mvolved the 
guilt and punishment of continents. 

" Just look at this city," he continued, " merely in its 
character as a temptation to this army. Here is a chance 
for plunder and low dissipation such as most of your sim- 
ply educated and innocent country lads of New England 
never before imagined, I have no doubt that there is 
spoil enough here to demoralize a corps of veterans. I 
don't believe that any thing can be more ruinous to a 
military force than free licence to enrich itself at the 
expense of a conquered enemy. There is nobody so need- 
ed here at this moment as John the Baptist. You re- 
member that when the soldiers came unto him he exhorted 
them, among other things, to be content with their wages. 
I suppose the counsel was an echo of the military wisdom 
of his R«omau rulers. The greatest blessmg that could 
be vouchsafed this army would be to have John the Bap- 
tist crying night and day in this wilderness of temptation, 



From Secession to Loyalty. 137 

Be content with your -wages ! I haye hardly been here 
forty-eight hours, and I liave ah-eady heard stories of cot- 
ton speculations and sugar speculations, as they are slyly 
called, yes, and of speculations in plate, pictures, furniture, 
and even private clothing. It is sure disgrace and proba- 
ble ruin. Please to understand that I am not pleading 
the cause of the traitors who have left their goods ex- 
posed to these peculations, but the cause of the army which 
is thus exposed to temptation. I want to see it subjected 
to the rules of honor and common sense. I want it pro- 
tected from its opportunities." 

The Doctor had not alluded to plundered wine-cellars, 
but Colburne's mmd reverted to the forty-six emptied bot- 
tles of yesterday. John the Baptist had not made men- 
tion of this elegant little dwelling, but this convicted leg- 
ionary glanced uneasily over its furniture and gimcracks. 
He had not hitherto thought that he was doing any thing 
irregular or immoral. In his opmion he Avas punishing re- 
bellion by using the property of rebels for the good or the 
pleasure of loyal citizens. The subject had been pre- 
sented to him in a new and disagreeable light, but he was 
too fak-minded and conscientious not to give it his in- 
stant and serious consideration. As for the forty-six bot- 
tles of wine, he might have stated, had he supposed it to 
be worth while, that he had drunk only a couple of glasses, 
and that he had quitted the orgie in disgust durmg its early 
stages. 

''^I dare say this is all wrong," he adniitted. " Unques- 
tionably, if any thing is confiscated, it should be for the 
direct and sole benefit of the government. There ought 
to be a system about it. If Ave occupy these houses Ave 
ought to receipt for the furniture and be responsible for it. 
I wonder that something of the sort is not done. But you 
must remember charitably how green most of us are, from 
the highest to the lowest, in regard to the laAvs of Avar, the 
rights of conquerors, the discipline of armies, and every 



138 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

thing that pertams to a state of hostilities. It is very 
much as if the Quakers had taken to fighting." 

" Oh, I don't say that I am right," answered the Doctor. 
" I don't i^retend to assert. I only suggest." 

" I am afraid there is occasion to ofl:er apologies for my 
Lieutenant," continued Colburne. 

" A very smgular man. I should say eccentric," ad- 
mitted the Doctor charitably. 

" He annoys me a good deal, and yet he is a valuable 
officer. When he is drunk he is the drunkest man since 
the discovery of alcohol. He isn't drunk to-day. You 
have heard of three-bottle men. Well, Van Zandt is some- 
thing like a thirty bottle man. I don't think he has had 
above two quarts of sherry this morning. I let him have 
it to keep him from swallowing' camphene or corrosive 
sublimate. But with all liis drink he is one of the best 
officers in the regiment, a good drill-master, a first-rate dis- 
ciplinarian, and able to do army busmess. He takes a 
load of writing off my hands. I never saw such a fellow 
for returns and other official documents. He turns them 
off in a way that reminds you of those jugglers who 
pull dozens of yards of paper out of their mouths. He was 
once a bank accountant, and he has seen five years in the 
regular army. That explains his facility with the pen and 
the musket. Then he speaks French and Spanish. I be- 
lieve he is a reprobate son of a very respectable Xew York 
lamily." 

This brief biography of Van Zandt furnished Ravenel 
the text for a discourse on the dangers of intemperance, 
illustrated by remmiscences of New Orleans society, and 
culminating in the assertion that three-quarters of the 
southern political leaders whom he remembered had died 
drunkards. The Doctor was more disposed than most 
Ansclo-Saxons towards monoloo^ue, and he had a mixture 
of enthusiasm and humor which made people in general 
listen to him patiently. His present oration was inter- 
rupted by a mulatto lad who announced dmner. 



FEOii Secession to Loyalty. 139 

The meal was elegantly cooked and served. Louisiana 
has inherited from its maternal France a delicate taste in 
convivial aflairs, and the culinary artist of the occasion 
was he who had formerly ministered to the instructed ap- 
petites of the rebel captam and his Parisian affinity; To 
Colburne's mortification Van Zandt had paraded the rarest 
treasures of the Soule wme-cellar; hermitage that could 
not have been bought then in New York for two dollars a 
bottle, and madeira that was worth three times as much ; 
not to enlarge upon the champagne for the dessert, and 
the old Otard brandy for the pousse-cafe. He seemed to 
have got quite sober, as if by some miracle; or as if there 
was a fresh Van Zandt always ready to come on when one 
got over the bay ; and he now recommenced to get him- 
self drunk again ah initio. He governed his tongue, how- 
ever, and behaved with good breeding. Evidently he 
was not only grateful to Colburne, but stood m profes- 
sional awe of him as his superior officer. After dinner, 
still amazmgly sober, although with ten or twenty dol- 
lars' worth of wine in him, he sat down to the j^iano, and 
thundered out some pretty-well executed arias from popu- 
lar operas. 

" Four o'clock !" exclaimed the Doctor. " I have just 
time to get home and see my daughter dme. Captain, we 
shall see you soon, I hope." 

" Certamly. What is the earliest time that I can call 
without inconveniencing you ?" 

" Any time. This evening." 

The Doctor bade Yan Zandt a most amicable good aft- 
ernoon, but did not ask him to accompany Colburne in 
the projected visit. 

No sooner was he gone than the Captain turned upon 
the Lieutenant. 

" Mr. Yan Zandt, I must beg you to be extremely pru- 
dent m your language and conduct before that gentle- 
man." 

" By Jove !" roared Yan Zandt, " it came near being 



140 Miss Ravexel's Conveksiov 

the cursedest mess. I have liad to pour down the juice of 
the grape to keep from fainting." 
"What is the matter?" 

"Why, Parker brought his cousin here this 

morning. You've heard of the girl lie calls his cousin ? 
She's in the smoking-room now. I've been so confoundedly- 
afraid you would show him the smoking-room ! I've been 
sweatmg with fright durmg the whole dinner, and all 
the time looking as if every thmg was lovely and the 
goose hung high. She couldn't get out, you know ; the 
side entrance has never been unlocked yet — no key, you 
know." 

" What ill Heaven's name did you let her in here for ?" 
demanded Colburne in a passion. 

" Why — Parker, you see — I didn't like to insult Parker 
by refusing him a favor. He only wanted to leave her 
while he ran around to head-quarters to report something. 
He swore by all his gods that he wouldn't be gone an 
hour." 

" Well, get her out. See that the coast is clear, and 
then get her out. Tell her she must go. And hereafter, 

if any of my brother officers want to leave their 

cousins here, remember, sir, to put a veto on it." 

The perspiration stood on his brow at the mere thought 
of what might have been the Doctor's suspicions if he had 
gone into the smoking-room. Van Zaiidt went about his 
delicate errand with a very meek and sheepish grace. 
When he had accomplished it, Colburne called him into 
the sitting-room and held the following Catonian dis- 
course. 

" Mr. Van Zandt, I want you to take an inventory of 
the furniture of the house and the contents of the wine- 
cellar, so that when I leave here I can satisfy myself that 
not a single article is missing. We shall leave soon. I 
shall make application to-day to have my company quar- 
tered in the custom-house, or in tents in one of tlic 
squares." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 141 

" Upon my honor, Captain !" remonstrated the dis- 
mayed Van Zandt, " I j)led|Pyou my word of honor that 
nothing of this kind shall happen again." 

He cast a desperate glare around the luxurious rooms, 
and gave a mournful thought to the now forbidden para- 
dise of the wine-cellar. 

" And I give you mme to the same effect," answered.the 
Captain. " The debauch of yesterday answers my pur- 
pose as a warning ; and I mean to get out of temptation 
for my sake and yours. Besides, this is no way for sol- 
diers to live. It is poor preparation for the field. More 
than half of our officers are in barracks or tents. I am 
as able and ought to be as willing to bear it as they. 
Make your preparations to leave here at the shortest no- 
tice, and meantime remember, if you please, the inventory. 
The company clerk can assist you." 

Poor Van Zandt, who was a luxurious brute, able to 
endure any hardship, but equally able to revel in any sy- 
baritism, set about his unwelcome task with a crest-fallen 
obedience. I do not wish to be understood, by the way, 
as insinuating that all or even many of our officers then 
stationed in Xew Orleans were given up to plunder and 
debauchery. I only wish to j^i'esent an idea of tho 
temptations of the place, and to show how our friend Col- 
burne could resist them, with some aid from the Doctor, 
and perhaps more from Miss Ravenel. 

As the Doctor walked homeward he put his hand into 
his pocket for a handkerchief to wipe his brow, and dis- 
covered a paper. It Avas Colburne's letter to him, and he 
read it through as he strolled onward. 

"How singular !" he said. " He doesn't eveiLmention 
that he has been sick. He is a noble fellow." 

The Doctor was too fond of the young man to allow his 
faith in him to be easily shaken. 



142 Miss Raven el's Coxversiok" 

m 

CHAPTER XL 

NEW ORLEANS LITE AND NEW ORLEANS LADIES. 

From these chapters all about men I return with pleas- 
ure to my young lady, rebel though she is. Before she 
had been twenty-four hours in 'New Orleans she discov- 
ered that it was by no means so delightful a place as of 
old, and she had become quite indignant at the federals, to 
whom she attributed all this gloom and desolation. AMiy 
not ? Adam and Eve were well enough until the angel of 
the Lord di'ove them out of Paradise. The felon has no 
unusual troubles, so far as he can see, except those which, 
are raised for him by the malignity of judges and the 
sheriff. Miss Ravenel was informed by the few citizens 
whom she met, that New Orleans was doing bravely un- 
til the United States Government illegally blocked up the 
river, and then piratically seized the city, frightening 
away its inhabitants and paralyzing its business and nul- 
lifying its prosperity. One old gentleman assured her that 
Fan-agut and Butler had behaved in the most unconstitu- 
tional manner. At all events somebody had spoiled the 
gayety of the place, and she was quite miserable and even 
pettish about it. 

" Isn't it dreadful !" she said, burstmg into tears as she 
threw herself into the arms of her aunt, Mrs. Larue, who, 
occupying the next house, had rushed in to receive the re- 
stored exile. 

She had few sympathies with this relation, and never 
before felt a desire to overflow into her bosom ; but any 
face which had been familiar to her in the happy by-gone 
times was a passport to her sympathies in this hour of 
affliction. 

" C'est effrayant," replied Mrs. Larue. " But you are 



From Secession to Loyalty. 143 

out of fashion to weep. We have given over that femin- 
ine weakness, ma cfiere. That fountain is dry. The inhu- 
manities of these Yankee Vandals have driven us into a 
despair too profound for tears. We do not flatter Beast 
Butler with a sob." 

Although she talked so strongly she did not seem more 
than half in earnest. A half smile lurked around her 
lips of deep rose-color, and her bright, almond-shaped 
black eyes sparkled with interest rather than with passion. 
By the way, she was not a_ venerable personage, and not 
properly Lillie's aimt, but only the widow of the late Mrs. 
Ravenel's brother, not more than thiity-three years of 
age and still decidedly pretty. Her complexion was dark, 
pale and a little too thick, but it was relieved by the jet 
black of her regular eye-brows and of her masses of wavy 
hair. Her face Avas oval, her nose straight, her lips thin 
but nicely modeled, her chin little and dimpled ; her ex- 
pression was generally gay and coquettish, but amazingly 
variable and capable of running through a vast gamut of 
sentiments, includmg affection, melancholy and piety. 
Though short she was well built, with a deep, healthy 
chest, splendid arms and finely turned ankles. She did 
not strike a careless observer as handsome, but she bore 
close examination with advantage. The Doctor instmct- 
ively suspected her ; did not think her a safe woman to 
have about, although he could allege no overtly wicked 
act against her ; and had brought up Lillie to be shy of 
her society. Nevertheless it was impossible just now to 
keep her at a distance, for he would probably be much 
away from home, and it was necessary to leave his 
daughter with some one. 

In politics, if not in other things, Mrs. Larue was as dou- 
ble-faced as Janus. To undoubted secessionists she talked 
bitterly, coarsely, scandalously against the northerners. 
If advisable she could go on about Picayune Butler, Beast 
Butler, Traitor Fan-agut, Vandal Yankees, wooden-nut- 
meg heroes, mudsills, nasty tinkers, nigger-worshippers, 



144 Miss Rayenel's Conversion 

amalgamationists, &c. &c. from nine o'clock in the morning 
when she got up, till midnight when she went to bed. At 
the same time she could call in a quiet way on the mayor 
or the commanding General to wheedle protection out of 
them by playing her fine eyes and smiling and flattering. 
Knowin<^ the bad social repute of the Ravenels as Union- 
ists, she would not invite them into her own roomy house ; 
but she was pleased to have them in their own dwelling 
next door, because they might at a pinch serve her as 
friends at the Butler court. On the principle of justice to 
Satan, I must say that she was no fair sample of the proud 
and stiff-necked slaveholdmg aristocracy of Louisiana. 
Neither was she one of the patriotic and puritan few who 
shared the Doctor's sympathies and princii:)les. As she 
came of an old French Creole family, and her husband had 
been a lawyer of note and an ultra southern politician, 
she belonged, like the Ravenels, to the patrician order of 
New Orleans, only that she was counted among the Soul6 
set, while her relatives had gone over to the Barker fac- 
tion. She had not been reduced to beggary by the advent 
of the Yankees ; her estate was not in the now worthless 
investments of negroes, plantations, steamboats, or rail- 
roads, but in bank stock ; and the New Orleans banks, 
though robbed of theii* specie by the flying Lovell, still 
made theii' paper pass and commanded a markat for their 
shares. But Mrs. Larue was disturbed lest she might m 
some imforeseen manner follow the general rush to rum ; 
and thus, in respect to the Vandal invaders, she was at 
once a little timorous and a little savage. 

The conversation between niece and youthful aunt was 
interrupted by a call from Mrs. and Miss Langdon, two 
stern, thin, pale ladies in black, without hoops, highly 
aristocratic and inexorably rebellious. They started when 
they saw the young lady ; then recovered themselves and 
looked on her with unacquainted eyes. Miss Larue made 
haste, smiling mwardly, to introduce her cousin Miss Rav- 
enel. 



From Se cession to Loyalty. 145 

Ah, indeed, Miss Ravenel ! They remembered having 
met Miss Ravenel fomierly. But really they had not ex- 
pected to see her in New Orleans. They supposed that 
she had taken up her residence at the north ^itli her 
father. 

Lillie trembled with mortification and colored ^vith an- 
ger. She felt with a shock that sentence of social ostra- 
cism had been passed upon her because of her father's 
fidelity to th6 Union. Was this the reward that her love 
for her native city, her defence of Louisiana in the midst 
of Yankee-land, had deserved ? Was she to be ignored, 
cut, satirized, because she was her father's daughter ? She 
rebelled in spirit against such injustice and cruelty, and 
remained silent, simply expressing her feelmgs by a 
haughty bow. She disdained to enter upon any self-de- 
fence ; she perceived that she could not, without passing 
judgment upon her much adored papa ; and finally she 
knew that she was too tremulous to speak with good eifect. 
The Langdons and Mrs. Larue proceeded to discuss aflaii*.i 
political ; metaphorically tying Beast Butler to a flaming 
stake and performmg a scalp dance around it, making 
a drinking cup of his skull, quafiing from it refreshing 
draughts of Yankee blood. Lillie remembered that, disa- 
greeably loyal as the New Boston ladies were, she had 
not heard from their lips any such conversational atrocities. 
She did not sympathize much when Mrs. Langdon entered 
on a lyrical recital of her own wrongs and sorrows. She 
was sorry, indeed, to hear th^t young Fred Langdon had 
been killed at Fort Jackson ; but then the mother ex- 
pi'essed such a squaw-like fury for revenge as quite 
shocked and rather disgusted our heroine ; and moreover 
she could not forget how coolly she had been treated 
merely because she was her dear father's daughter. She 
actually felt incliued to laugh satirically when the two 
visitors proceeded to relate jointly and with a species of 
solemn ferocity how they had that mornmg snubbed a 
Yankee officer. 

G 



• 



146 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

"The brute got up and offered us his seat m the cars. I 
didn't look at him. Neither of us looked at him. I said 

^ve both said — ' We accept nothing from Yankees.' I 

remained — Tve both remained — standing." 

Such was the mild substance of the narrative, but it was 
horrible m the tellmg, with fierce little hisses and glares, 
stickmg out from it like quills of the fretful porcupme. 
Miss Ravenel did not sympathize with the conduct of the 
lair snubbers, and I fear also that she desii'cd to make 
them feel uncomfortable. 

" Really," she observed, " I think it was right civil m 
liim to give up his seat. I didn't know that they were so 
polite. I thought they treated the citizens with all sorts of 
indignities." 

To this the Langdons vouchsafed no reply except by 
rising and taking their departure. 

" Good-day, Miss Ravenel," they said. " So suqDrised 
ever to have seen you in New Orleans again !" 

Nor did they ask her to visit them, as they very urgent- 
ly did Mrs. Larue. It seemed likely to Lillie that she 
would not find life in New Orleans so pleasant as she had 
expected. Half her old friends had disappeared, and the 
other half had tmned to enemies. She was to be cut in 
the street, to be glared at in church, to be sneered at in 
the parlor, to be put on the defensive, to be obliged to 
fight for herself and her father. Her temper rose at the 
thought of such imdeserved hardness, and she felt that if 
it continued long she should turn loyal for very spite. 

Doctor Ravenel, returning from his inteiwiew with Col- 
burne, met the Langdon ladies in the hall, and, although 
they hardly nodded, waited on them to the outer door 
with his habitual politeness. Lillie caught a glimpse of 
this from the parlor, and was infuriated by then* incivility 
and his lack of resentment. 

" Didn't they speak to you, papa?" she cried, running 
to him. " Then I would have let them finc^their own way 
out. What are you so patient for ?" 



Fko.1 Secession, to Loyalty. 147 

" Jfy dear, I am merely followmo- the Christ Jan <>, 

Bet me by these low Yankees whom we a^TZ'"^^', 

insulted to-day by a woman who calls herself a lad/ 
'V:? "but "l/r/'T'-r ^^^" =^ ^"""^ of retaliation ; 

itatiL:;o27ded:iK^^^^^^^^^ 

folly may have deserved^pnSem" ' """"■■ *"'• 

"'m'llri°f P?P«'-ty ?" ^"^'PPed the young lady 
tion?' you ask for the sake of argument, or foAnforma- 

"Our railroad property," stated the Doctor " won't h. 
worth ^n^uchuntd it is recovered iron, the handTTthe 

"But that is nearly all our property." 
"Except this house." 

" Yes except the house. But how are we to live in ih. 
house without money ^" « ^^ t. lo live m the 

Jj^5 to-day. Captain Col^.^be he^eThifXtn! 

pWe."'"''^-" ^^"^ ^"^-^ ^-"= '-V. '^I-'^-g .Ith 

It would be delightful to see any amicable visa..e in this 
city of enemies; and moreover 4e haA „„ "oemims 
that Captain Colbnrne, thought TX^rjeSmln 
ly and agreeable; she had even admitted thft heT 
handsome, though not so handsome as Colot Car^" 

Soi Ts sTm ^ '"*?',:' r ^"^^ P-Pect of ?ma,e 
visitoi. As Sam W eller might have phrased it, had he 



148 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

known the lady, a man was Mrs. Larue's " particular wan* 
ity." The kitchen department of the Ravenels not being 
yet organized, they dined that day with their relative. 
The meal over, they went to their own house, Lillie to at- 
tend to housekeeping duties, and the Doctor to forget all 
trouble in a box of minerals. Lillie's last words to Mrs. 
Larue had been, " You must spend the evening with us. 
This Captain Colbume is right pleasant." 

" Is he ? We will bring him over to the right side. 
When he gives up the blue uniform for the grey I shall 
adore him." 

" I don't think he will change his coat easily." 

Tn her own house she continued to think of the Captain's 
coat, and then of another coat, the same in color, but with 
two rows of buttons. 

" Who did you see out, papa ?" she asked presently. 

" Who did I see out ? Mr. Colburne, as I told you." 

" Nobody else, papa ?" 

" I don't recollect," he said absent-mindedly, as he set- 
tled himself to a microscopic contemplation of a bit of ore. 

"Don't wrinkle up your forehead so. I wish you 
wouldn't. It makes you look old enough to have come 
over with Christopher Columbus." 

It was a part of her adoration of her father that she 
could not bear to see in him the least symptoms of increas- 
ing age. 

" I don't think that I saw a single old acquaintance," 
said the Doctor, rubbing his head thoughtfully. " It is as- 
tonishing how the high and mighty ones have disappeared 
from this city, where they used to suppose that they de- 
fied the civilized world. The barbarians didn't know what 
the civilized world could do to them. The conceited brag- 
gadocia of Xew Orleans a year ago is a most comical re- 
miniscence now, in the midst of its speechless terror and 
submission. One can't help thinking of frogs sitting 
around their own puddle and trying to fill the universe 
with their roarinojs. Some urchin throws a stone into the 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 149 

puddle. You see fifty pairs of legs twinkle in the air, and 
the nproar is followed by silence. It was just so here. The 
United States pitched Farragut and Butler into the puddle 
of secession, and all our political roarers dived out of 
sight. Many of them are still here, but they keep their 
noses under water. By the way, I did see twc^of my old 
students, Bradley and John Akers. Bradley told me that 
the rebel authorities maintained a pretence of victory un- 
til the last moment, probably in order to keep the popu- 
lace quiet while they got themselves and their property 
out of the city. He was actually reading an official bulle- 
tin stating that the Yankee fleet had been sunk in passing 
the forts when he heard the bang, bang, bang of Farra- 
gut's cannonade at Chalmette. Akers was himself at 
Chalmette. He says that the Hartford came slowly around 
the bend below the fort with, a most provoking comjoosure. 
They immediately opened on her with all their artillery. 
She made no reply and began to turn. They thought she 
was about to run away, and hurrahed lustily. Suddenly, 
whang ! crash ! she sent her whole broadside into them. 
Akers says that not a man of them waited for a second 
salute ; they started for the woods in a body at full speed ; 
he never saw such running. Their heels twinkled like the 
heels of the frog that I spoke of" 

" But they made a good fight at the forts, papa." 

" My dear, the devil makes a good fight against his 
Maker. But it is small credit to him — it only proves his 
amazing stupidity." 

" Papa," said Lillie after a few minutes of silence, " I 
think you might let those stones alone and take me out 
to walk." 

" To-morrow, my child. It is nearly sunset now, and 
Mr. Colburne may come early." 

A quarter of an hour later he laid aside his minerals and 
picked up his hat. 

" Where are you going ?" demanded Lillie eagerly and 
almost pettishly. It was a question that she never failed 



150 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

to put to him in that same semi-aggrieved tone every time 
that he essayed to leave her. She did not want him to go 
out unless she went in his company. If he would go, it 
was, " When will you come back ?" and when he returned 
it was, " Where have you been ?" and " Who did you 
see ?" and " What did he say ?" &c. &c. Never was a 
child so hjfimted by a pet sheep, or a handsome husband by 
a i^lain wife, as was this charming papa by his doating 
daughter. 

" I am going to Dr. Elderkin's," said Ravcnel. " I hear 
that he has been kind enough to store my electrical ma- 
chine during our absence. He was out when I called on 
him this morning, but he was to be at home by six this 
evening. I am anxious to see the machine." 

" Oh, papa, don't ! How can you be so addled about 
your sciences ! You are just like a little boy come home 
from a visit, and pulling over his playthings. Do let the 
machine go till to-morrow." 

" My dear, consider how costly a plaything it is. I 
couldn't replace it for five hundred dollars." 
" When will you come back ?" demanded Lillie. 
" By half-past seven at the latest. Brmg in Mrs. Larue 
to help entertain Captain Colburne ; and be sure to ask 
him to wait for me." 

When he quitted the house Lillie went to the window 
and watched him until he was out of sight. She always 
had a childish aversion to bemg left alone, and solitude 
was now particularly objectionable to her, so forsaken did 
she feel in this city where she had once been so happy. 
After a time she remembered Captain Colburne and the 
social duties of a state of young ladyhood. She hurried 
to her room, licchted both o:as-burners, turned their fiiU 
luminosity on the mirror, loosened up the flossy waves of 
her blpnde hair, tied on a pink ribbon-knot, and then a 
blue one, considered gravely as to wliicli was the most 
becoming and finally took a profile view of the effect by 
means of a hand-glass, prinking and turnmg and adjusting 



From Secession to Loyalty. 151 

her plumage like a canary. She was conscientiously 
aware, you perceive, of her obligation to put herself in 
suitable condition to please the eye of a visitor. She was 
not a learned woman, nor an unpleasantly strong-minded 
one, but an average young lady of good breedmg — just 
such as most men fall in love with, who wanted social 
success, and depended for it upon pretty looks and pleas- 
ant ways. By the time that these private devoirs were 
accomplished Mrs. Larue entered, bearing marks of having 
given her person a similar amount of fastidious attention. 
Each of these ladies saw what the other had been about, 
but neither thought of being surprised or amused at it. To 
their minds such preparation was j^erfectly natural and 
womanly, and they would have deemed the absence of it 
a gross piece of untidiness and boorishness. Mrs. Larue 
put Lillie's blue ribbon-knot a little more oif her forehead, 
and Lillie smoothed out an almost imperceptible wrmkle 
m 3Irs. Larue's waist-belt. I am not positively sure, m- 
deed, that waist-belts were then worn, but I am willing 
to take my oath that some small office of the kmd was 
rendered. 

Of course it would be agreeable to have a scene here 
between Colburne and Miss Ravenel ; some burnmg w^ords 
to tell, some thrilling looks to describe, such as might 
'show how they stood with regard to each other — some- 
thing which would visibly advance both these yoimg per- 
sons' heart-histories. But they behaved in a disappoint- 
ingly well-bred manner, and entirely refrained from turn- 
ing their feelings wrong side outwards. With the excep- 
tion of Miss Ravenel's inveterate blush and of a slightly 
unnatural rapidity of utterance in Captain Colburne, they 
met like a young lady and gentleman who were on excel- 
lent terms, and had not seen each other for a month or 
two. This is not the way that heroes and heroines meet 
on the boards or m some romances ; but in actual human 
society they frequently balk our expectations m just this 



152 Miss Uavexel's Conversion 

manner. Mclo-dramatically considered real life is frequent- 
ly a foilure. 

" You don't know how pleasant it is to me to meet you 
and your father," said Colburne. " It seems like New Bos- 
ton over again." 

The time during which he had known tlie Ravenels at 
New Boston was now a pasture of very delightful things 
to his memory. 

"It is pleasant to me because it seems like Xew Or- 
leans," laughed Miss Lillie. " Xo, not much like New Or- 
leans, either," she added. " It used to be so gay and 
amusing ! You have made an awfully sad place of it 
with your patriotic invasion." 

" It is bad to take medicine," he replied. " But it is 
better to take it than to stay sick. If you will have the 
self-denial to live ten years longer, you will see Xew Or- 
leans more prosperous and lively than ever." 

" I shan't like it so well. "V\"e shall be nobodies. Our 
old friends will be driven out, and there will be a new set 
Avho won't know us." 

" That depends on yourselves. They will be glad to 
know you, if you will let them. I understand that the 
jSTapoleonic aristocracy courts the old out-of-place oligar- 
chy of the Faubourg St. Germain. It will be like that, 
here, I presume." 

Mrs. Larue had at first remained silent, playing off a 
pretty little game of shyness ; but seeing that the young 
peoj^le had nothing special to say to each other, she gave 
way to her sociable instincts and joined in the conversa- 
tion. 

" Captain Colburne, I will promise to live the ten years," 
she saicL " I want to see Xew Orleans a metropolis. We 
ha^e failed. You shall succeed ; and I will admire your 
success." 

The patriotic young soldier looked frankly gratified. He 
concluded that the lady was one of the far-famed Unionists • 
of the South, a race then really about as extinct as the 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 153 

rledo, but deTOutly believed in by the sanguine masses of 
the Xorth, and of\vhich our officers at Xew Orleans were 
consequently much in search. He began to talk gaily, 
pushing his hair up as usual when in good spirits, and 
laughing heartily at the slightest approach to wit, whether 
made by himself or another. Some people thought that 
Mr. Colburne laughed too much for thorough good breed- 
ing. 

" I feel quite weighted by what you expect," he said. 
" T want to go to work immediately and build a brick and 
plaster State-house like ours in Xew Boston. I suppose 
every metropolis must have a State-house. But you mustn't 
expect too much of me ; yon mustn't watch me too close. 
I shall want to sleep occasionally in the ten years." 

" We shall look to see you here from time to time," re- 
joined Mrs. Larue. 

" You may be sure that I shan't forget that. There are 
other reasons for it besides my admiration for your loyal 
sentiments," said Colburne, attempting a double-shotted 
compliment, one projectile for each lady. 

At that imputation of loyal sentiments Lillie could 
hardly restrain a laugh ; but Mrs. Larue, not in the least 
disconcerted, bowed and smiled graciously. 

" I am sorry to say," he continued, " that most of the 
ladies of New Orleans seem to regard us with a perfect 
hatred. When I pass them in the street they draw them- 
selves aside in such a way that I look in the first attain- 
able mirror to see if I have the small-pox. They are 
dreadfully sensitive to the presence of Yankees. They re- 
mind me of the catarrhal gentleman who sneezed every 
time an ice-cart drove by his house. Seriously they abuse 
us. I was dreadfully set down by a couple of women in 
black this morning. They entered a street car in which I 
was. There were several citizens present, but not one of 
them offered to give up his place. I rose and offered them 
mine. They no more took it than if they knew^ that I had 
scalped all their relatives. They surveyed me from head 



154 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

to foot with a lofty scorn which made them seem fifty 
feet high and fifty years okl to my terrified optics. They 
hissed out, * We accej^t nothuig from Yankees,' and re- 
mained standing. The hiss would have done honor to 
Rachel or to the geese who saved Rome." 

The two listeners laughed and exchanged a glance of 
comprehension. 

" Offer them your hand and heart, and see if they won't 
accept something from a Yankee," said Mrs. Larue. 

Colburne looked a trifle disconcerted, and because he 
did so Miss Ravenel Mushed. In both these young j^er- 
sons there Avas a susceptibility, a promptness to take 
alarm with regard to hymenial subjects which indicated 
at least that they considered themselves old enough to 
marry each other or somebody, whether the event would 
ever happen or not. 

" I suppose Miss Ravenel thmks I was served perfectly 
right," observed Colburne. " If I see her standing in a 
street car and offer her my seat, I suppose she will say 
somethmg crushing." 

He 23referred, you see, to talk apropos of Miss Ravenel, 
rather than of Mrs. Larue or the Langdons. 

" Please don't fail to try me," observed Lillie. " I hate 
to stand up unless it is to dance." 

As Colburne had not been permitted to learn dancing m 
his younger days, and had felt ashamed to undertake it in 
what seemed to him his present fullness of years, he had 
nothing. to say on the new idea suggested. The speech 
even made him feel a little uneasy : it sounded like an 
implication that Miss Ravenel preferred men who danced to 
men who did not: so fastidiously jealous and sensitive are 
people who are ever so slightly in love. 

In this wandering and suj^erficial way the conversation 
rippled along for nearly an hour. Colburne had been 
nonplussed from the beginning by not finding his young 
lady alone, and not being able therefore to say to her at 
least a few of the affectino- thinojs which were in the hot- 



Fro:m Secession to Loyalty. 155 

torn of his heart. He had amved at the house full of 
2)leasant emotion, believing that he should certainly over- 
flow with warm expressions of friendship if he did not 
absolutely pour forth a torrent of passionate affection. 
Mrs. Larue had dropped among his agreeable bubbles of 
expectation like a piece of ice into a goblet of cham- 
pagne, taking the life and effervescence out of the generous 
fluid. He was occupied, not so much in talking or listen- 
ing, as m cogitating how he could bring the conversa- 
tion into congeniality with his own feelmgs. By the way, 
if he had found Miss Ravenel alone, I doubt whether 
he would have dared say any thing to her of a startling 
nature. He over-estimated her and was afraid of her ; he 
under-estimated himself and was too modest. 

Lillie had repeatedly wondered to herself why her 
father did not come. At last she looked at her Avatch and 
exclaimed with anxious astonishment, " Half past eight ! 
Why, Yictorine, where can papa be ?" 

" At Doctor Elderkin's without doubt. Once that two 
men commence on the politics they know not how to 
finish." 

" I don't believe it," said the girl with the unreasona- 
bleness common to affectionate people when they are anx- 
ious about the person they like. " I don't believe he is 
staying there so long. I am afraid something has happened 
to him. He said he would certainly be back by half past 
seven. He relied on seeing Captain Colburne. I really 
am very anxious. The city is in such a dreadful state !" 

" I will go and inquire for him," offered Colburne. 
" Where is Doctor Elderkin's ?" 

" Oh, my dear Captain ! don't think of it," objected 
Mrs. Larue. " You, a federal officer, you would really be 
in danger in the streets at night, in this imguarded part of 
the city. You would certainly catch harm from our 
canaille. Re-assure yourself, cousin Lillie. Your father, 
a citizen, is in no peril." 

Mrs. Larue really believed that the Doctor ran little 



156 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

risk, but her main object in talking Avas to start an interest 
between herself and the young officer, lie smiled at the 
idea of his being attacked, and, disregarding the aunt, 
looked to the niece for orders. Miss RaA'enel thought that 
he hesitated through fear of the canaille, and gave him a 
glance of impatience bordermg disagreeably close on an- 
ger. Smarting under the injustice of this look he said 
quietly, " I will bring you some news before long," in- 
quired the way to the Elderkin house, and went out. At 
the first turning he came upon a man sittmg on a flight of 
front-door steps, and wiping from his fac-e with his hand- 
kerchief somethmg which showed like blood in the gas- 
light. 

"Is that you, Doctor?" he said. "-Are you hurt? 
What has happened ?" 

" I have been struck. — Some blackguard struck me. — 
With a bludgeon, I think." 

Colburne picked up his hat, aided in bandaging a cut 
on the forehead, and offered his arm. 

" It does'nt look very bad, does it ?" said Ravenel. " I 
thought not. My hat broke the force of the blow. But 
still it prostrated me. I am really very much obliged to 
you," 

" Have you any idea who it was ?" 

." N'ot the least. Oh, it's only an ordinary Xew Or- 
leans salutation. I knew I was in Xew Orleans Avhen I 
was hit, just as the shipwrecked man knew he was in a 
Christian country when he saw a gallows." 

" You take it very coolly, sir. You would make a good 
soldier." 

" I belong in the city. It is one of our pretty ways to 
brain people by surprise. I never had it happen to me 
before, but I have always contemplated the possibility of 
it. I wasn't in the least astonished. How lucky I had on 
that deformity of civilization, a stiff beaver ! I will wear 
nothmg but beavers henceforward. I swear allegiance to 
them, as Baillie Jarvie did to guid braidcloth. A brass 



From Secession to Loyalty. 157 

helmet T^^ould be still better. Somebody ought to get up 
a dress hat of aluminum for the New Orleans market." 
" Oh, papa !" screamed Lillie, when she saw him enter 
• on Colburne's arm, his hat smashed, his face pale, and a 
streak of half- wiped blood down the bridge of his nose. 
She was the whitest of the two, and needed the most at- 
tention for a mmute. Mrs. Larue excited Colburne's ad- 
miration by the cool efficiency with which she exerted 
herself— bringmg water, sponges and bandages, washing 
the cut, bindmg it up artistically, and finishmg the treat- 
ment with a glass of sherry. Her late husband used to 
be brought home occasionally in similar condition, except 
that he took his sherry, and a great deal of it too, in ad- 
vance. 

"It was one of those detestable soldiers," exclaimed 
Lillie. 

" No, my dear," said the Doctor. " It was one of our 
own excellent people. They are so ardent and impulsive 
you know. They have the southern heart, always fired 
up. It was some old acquaintance, you may depend, al- 
though I did not recognize him. As he struck me he said, 
' Take that, you Federal spy.' He added an epithet that I 
doli't care to repeat, not believing that it apj^lies to me. 
I think he would have renewed the attack but for the ap- 
proach of some one, probably Captain Colburne. You owe 
him a word of thanks, Lillie, particularly after what you 
have said about soldiers." 

The young lady held out her hand to the Captam with 
an impulse of gratitude and compunction. He took it 
and could not resist the temptation of stoopmg and kissing 
it, whereupon her white face flushed mstantaneously to a 
crimson. Mrs. Larue smiled knowingly and said, " That 
is mnj French, Captain ; you will do admirably for New 
Orleans." 

" He doesn't know all the pretty manners and customs 
of the place," remarked the Doctor, who was not evidently 
displeased at the kiss. " He hasn't yet learned to knock 



158 Miss Ravexel's Coxversion 

down elderly gentlemen because tliey disagn.'e witli him 
in politics. They are awfully behmd-hand at the North, 
Mrs. Larue, in those social graces. The mudsill Sumner 
was too unpolished to think of clubbing the brains out of 
the gentleman Brooks. He boorishly undertook to settle 
a question of right and justice by argument." 

" You must'nt talk so much, papa," urged Lillie. " You 
ought to go to bed." 

Colburne bade them good evening, but on reaching the 
door stopped and said, " Do you feel safe here ?" 

Lillie looked grateful and wishful, as though she would 
have liked a guard ; but the Doctor answered, " Oh, per- 
fectly safe, as far as concerns that fellow. He ran off too 
much frightened to attempt any thing more at present. 
So much obliged to you !" 

Xevertheless, a patrol of the Tenth Barataria did arrive 
in the vicmity of the Ravenel mansion during the night, 
and scoured the streets till daybreak, arresting every man 
who carried a cane and could not give a good account of 
himself. In a general way, New Orleans was a safer 
l^lace in these times than it had been before since it was a 
village. I may as well say here that the perpetrator of 
this assault was not discovered, and that the adventure 
had no results except a day or two of headache to the 
Doctor, and a considerable progress in the conversion of 
Miss Ravenel from the doctrine of state sovereignty. 
Women, especially warm-hearted women offended in the 
persons of those whom they love, are so terribly illogical ! 
If Mr. Secretary Seward, with all his constitutional lore 
and persuasive eloquence, had argued with her for thi-ee 
weeks, he could not have converted her ; but the moment 
a southern ruffian knocked her father on the head, she be- 
gan to see that secession was indefensible, and that the 
American Union ought to be preserved. 

" It was a mere sporadic outbreak of our local light- 
heartedness," observed Ravenel, speaking of the outrage. 
" The man had no designs — no permanent malice. He 



From Secession to Loyalty. 159 

merely took advantage of a charming opportunity. He 
saw a loyal head within reach of his bludgeon, and he m- 
stinctively made a clutch at it. The finest gentlemen of 
the city would have done as much under the same tempta- 
tion." ^ 



CHAPTER Xn. 

COLOXEL CAETER BEFEIEXDS THE EAVEXELS. 

Captaen^ Colbuexe indulged in a natural expectation 
that the kiss which he had laid on Miss Ravenel's hand 
Avould draw him nearer to her and render their relations 
more sentimentally sympathetic. He did not base his hopes, 
however, on the imj^ression produced by the mere phy- 
sical contact of the salute ; he had such an exalted opm- 
ion of the young lacly's spiritual purity that he never 
thought of believing that she could be influenced by any 
simply carnal impulses, however innocent; and further- 
more he was himself in a too exalted and seraphic state of 
feeling to attach much importance to the mere motion of 
the blood and thrillings of the spinal marrow. But he did 
think, in an unreasonmg, blindly longing way, that the 
fact of his having kissed her once was good reason for 
hoping that he might some day kiss her again, and be per- 
mitted to love her T\dthout exciting her anger, and possi- 
bly even gain the wondrous boon of being loved by her. 
Notwithstandmg his practical New England education, 
and his individual sensitiveness at the idea of doing or so 
much as meditatmg any thmg ridiculous, he diifted into 
certam reveries of conceivable interviews with the young 
lady, wherem she and he gradually and sweetly approx- 
inated until matrimony seemed to be the only natural con- 
clusion. But the next time he called at the Ravenel house, 
he found Mrs. Larue there, and, what was worse. Colonel 



160 Miss Raven el's Cox version 

Carter. Lillie remembered the kiss, to be sure, and 
blushed at the sight of the giver ; but she preserved her 
self-j^ossession in all other resj^ects, and was evidently not 
a charmed victim. I think I am able to assure the reader 
that in her head the osculation had given birth to no re- 
veries. It is true that for a moment it had startled her 
greatly, and seemed to awaken in her some mighty and 
mysterious influence. But it is also true that she was half 
angry at huu for troubling her spiritual nature so po- 
tently, and that on the whole he had not advanced him- 
self a single step in her affections by his audacity. If any 
thing, she treated him with more reserve and kept him at 
a greater distance than before. 

]Mrs. Larue did her best to make up for the indifference 
of Lillie, and to reward Colburne, not so much for his 
friendly offices of the evening previous, as for his other 
and in her eyes much greater merits of bemg young and 
handsome. The best that the widow could offer, however, 
was little to the Captain - indeed had she laid her heart, 
hand and fortune at his feet he would only have been em- 
barrassed by the unacceptable benificence ; and he was 
even somewhat alarmed at the dangerous glitter of her 
eyes and freedom of her conversation. It must be under- 
stood here that Madame's devotion to him, fervent as it 
seemed, was not whole-hearted. She would have preferred 
to harness the Colonel into her triumjihal chariot, and had 
only given up that idea after a series of ineffectual efforts. 
Some men can be driven by a cimning hand through flirt- 
ations which they do not enjoy, just as a spiritless horse 
can be held down and touched up, to a creditable trot ; 
but Carter was not a nag to be managed m this way, 
being too experienced and selfish, too willful by nature 
and too much accustomed to domineer, to allow himself 
to be guided by a jockey whom he did not fancy. Could 
she have got at him alone and often enough she might 
perhaps have broken him in ; for she knew of certain 
secret methods of rareyizmg gentlemen which hardly evei 



FPvOii Secession to Loyalty. 1G1 

fail upon persons of Carter's physical and moral nature ; 
but thus far she had found neither the time nor the juxta- 
position necessary to a trial of her system. Accordingly 
she had been obliged to admit, and make the best of, the 
fact that he was resolved to do the most of his talkmo^ 
with Miss Ravenel. Leave the two alone she could not, 
according to Xew Orleans ideas of propriety, and so was 
compelled for a tune to play what might be called a foot- 
man's part in conversation, standing behind and listening. 
It was a pleasant relief from this experience to take the 
ribbons in her own hands and drive the tractable though 
reluctant Colburne. Whrle the Colonel and Lillie talked 
in the parlor, the Captain and Mrs. Larue held long dia- 
logues in the balcony. He let her have the major part of 
these conversations because she liked it, because he felt 
no particular spirit for it, and because as a listener he could 
glance oftener at Miss Ravenel. Although a younger 
man than Carter and a handsomer one, he never thought 
to outshine him, or, in ©ommon j)arlance, to cut him out ; 
holding him in too high respect as a superior officer, and 
looking up to him also with that deference which most 
homebred, unvitiated youth accord to mature worldlmgs. 
The mnocent country lad bows to the courtly roue because 
he perceives his polish and does not suspect his corruption. 
Captain Colburne and Miss Ravenel were similarly m- 
nocent and juvenile m their worshipful appreciation of 
Colonel Carter. The only difference was that the former, 
bemg a man, made no secret of his admiration, while the 
latter, bemg a marriageable young lady, covered hers un- 
der a mask of playful raillery. 

*' Are you not ashamed," she said, " to let me catch you 
tyrannizing over my native city ?" 

" Don't mention it. Havn't the heart to go on much 
longer. I'y resign the mayoralty to-day if you will ac- 
cept it." 

" Offer it to my father, and see if I don't accept for him." 

This was a more audacious thrust than the young lady 



c 

162 Miss R a yen el's Conversion 

was aware of. The idea of a civilian mayor was one that 
High Authority considered feasible, provided a citizen 
could be found who was loyal enough to deserve the post, 
and influential enough to pay for it by building up that 
so much-desired Union party. 

" A good suggestion," said the Colonel. " I shall res- 
pectfully refer it to the distinguished consideration of the 
commanding general." 

He entertained no such intention, the extras of his 
mayoralty being exceedmgly important to hun in view of 
the extent and costly nature of his present domestic estab- 
lishment. 

" Oh, don't !" answered Miss Ravenel. 

" Why not ? if you please." 

" Because that would be bribing me to turn Yankee out- 
right." 

This brief passage in a long conversation suggested to 
Carter that it might be well for himself to procure some 
position or profitable employment for the out-of-work Doc- 
tor. If a man seems likely to appropriate your peaches, 
one of the best things that you can do is to ofier him some- 
body else's apples. Moreover he actually felt a sincere 
and even strong interest in th@ worldly welfare of the 
Ravenels. By a little dexterous questioning he found 
that, not only was the Doctor's college bare of students, 
but that his railroad stock paid nothmg, and that, m short, 
he. had lost all his property except his house and some 
small bank deposits. Ravenel smilingly admitted that he 
had been justly punished for mvestingin anything wliicli 
bore even a, geographical relation to the crime of slavery. 
He received with bewildered though courteously calm as- 
tonishment a proposition that he should try his hand at a 
sugar speculation. 

" I beg pardon. I really don't understand," said he. 
" I am so unaccustomed to business transactions." 

" Why, you buy the sugar for six cents a pound and 
sell it for twenty." 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 163 

" Bless me, what a profit ! Why don't business men 
take adrantage of the opportunity ?" 

" Because they havn't the opportunity. Because it re- 
quires a permit from the powers that be to get the sugar." 

" Oh ! confiscated sugar. I comprehend. But I suj)- 
posed that the Government — " 

" You don't comprehend at all, my dear Doctor. Xot 
confiscated sugar, but sugar that we can't confiscate — 
sugar beyond our reach — beyond the lines. You must 
understand that the rebels want quinine, salt, shoes, gold 
and lots of things. We want sugar and cotton. A bar- 
ter is effected, and each party is benefited. I should call 
it a stupid arrangement and contrary to the laws of war, 
only that it is permitted by — by very high authority. At 
all events, it is very profitable and perfectly safe." 

" You really astonish me," confessed the Doctor, whose 
looks expressed even more amazement than his language. 
" I should have considered such a trade nothing less than 
treasonable." 

'* I don't mean to say that it isn't. But I am willmg to 
make allowances for the parties who engage in it, consid- 
ering whose auspices they act under. As I was saying, 
the trade is contrary to the articles of war. It is giving 
aid and comfort to the enemy. But the powers that be, 
for unknown reasons which I am of course bound to re- 
spect, grant permits to certain persons to bring about 
these exchanges. I don't doubt that such a permit could 
be obtained for you. Will you accept it ?" 

" Would you accept it for yourself?" asked the Doctor. 

"I am a United States officer," replied the Colonel, 
squaiing his shoulders. "And a born Virginian gen- 
tleman," he was about to add, but checked himself 

By the way, it is remarkable how rarely this man spoke 
of his native State. It is likely enough that he had some 
remorse of conscience, or rather some qualms of sentiment, 
as to the choice which he had made in fighting against, 
instead of for, the Old Dominion. If he ever mentioned 



1G4 Miss Rat ex el's Conversion 

lier name, it was simply to express his pleasure that he 
was not warring w^ithin her borders. In other respects it 
would have been difficult to infer from his conversation 
that he was a southerner, or that he was conscious of be- 
ino- any thing but a graduate of West Point and an officer 
of°the United States army. But it was only in political 
matters that he was false to his birth-place. In his strong 
passions, his capacity for domestic sympathies, his strange 
conscience (as sensitive on some points as callous on 
others), his spendthrift habits, his inclination to swearing 
and drinking, his mixture in short of gentility and bar- 
barism, he was a true child of his class and State. He 
was a Virginian in his vacillation previous to a decision, 
and in the vigor which he could exhibit after having once 
decided. A Virginian gentleman is popularly supposed 
to be a combination of laziness and dignity. But this is 
an error; the type would be considered a marvel of energy 
in some countries ; and, as we have seen in this war, it is 
capable of amazing activity, audacity and perseverance. 
Of all the States which have fought against the . Union 
Virginia has displayed the most formidable military qual- 
ities. 

■" And I am a United States citizen," said the Doctor, 
as firmly as the Colonel, though without squarmg his 
shoulders or making any other physical assertion of lofty 
character. 

" Very well. — You mean it, I suppose. — Of course you 
do. — You are quite right. It isn't the correct thing, this 
trade, as a matter of course. Still, knowing that it was 
allowed, and not knowing how you might feel about it, I 
thought I would offer you the chance. It pays like pii-a- 
cy. I have known a single smuggle* to net forty thou- 
sand dollars, after paying hush money and every thing." 
" Shocking !" said the Doctor. " But you mustn't 
thmk that I am not obliged to you. I really am grateful 
for your interest in my well-being. Only I can't accept. 
Some men have virtue strong enough to survive such 



From Secession to Loyalty. 165 

things ; but I fear that my character is of too low and fee- 
ble a standard." • 

"You are not offended, I hope," observed the Colonel 
after a thoughtful pause, during which he debated 
whether he should offer the Doctor the mayoralty, and de- 
cided in the negative. 

" Not at all. I beg you to believe, not at all. But 
how is it possible that such transactions are not checked !" 
he exclaimed, recurring to his amazement. " The govern- 
ment ought to be informed of them." 

"Who is to inform? Xot the barterers nor their abet- 
tors, I suppose. You don't expect that of these business 
fellows. You think perhaps that I ought to expose the 
thing. But in the army we obey orders without criticising 
our superiors publicly. Suppose I should inform, and find 
myself unable to prove any thing, and be dismissed the 
service." 

The Doctor hung his head in virtuous discouragement, 
admitting to himself that this world is indeed an unsatis- 
factory planet. 

" You may rely upon my secrecy concerning all this, 
Colonel," he said. 

" I do so ; at least so far as regards your authority. As 
for the trade itself, I don't care how soon it is blown 
upon." 

If the Colonel had been a quoter of poetry, which ho 
was not, he would probably have repeated as he walked 
homeward '• An honest man's the noblest work of God." 
What he did say to himself was, " By Jove ! I must get 
the Doctor a good thing of some sort." 

Ten days later he called at the house with a second 
proposition which astonished Ravenel almost as much as 
the first. 

" Miss Ravenel," he said, " you are a very influential 
person. Every body who knows you admits it. Mr. Col- 
burne admits it. I admit it." 

Lillie blushed with unusual heartmess and tried in vain 



166 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

to think of some saucy answer. The Colonel's quizzical 
smile, histfree and easy compliments and confident ad- 
dress, sometimes touched the pride of the young lady, and 
made her desire to rebel against him. 

" I want you," he continued, " to persuade Doctor Rav- 
enel to be a colonel." 

" A colonel !" exclaimed father and daughter. , 

" Yes, and a better colonel than half those in the ser- 
vice." 

" On which side, Colonel Carter ?" asked Miss Ravenel, 
who saw a small chance for vengeance. 

" Good heavens ! Do you suppose I am recruiting for 
lebel regiments ?" 

" I didn't know but Mrs. Larue might have brought you 
over." 

The Colonel laughed obstreperously at the insinuation, 
not in the least dashed by its pertness. 

" No, it's a loyal regiment ; black in the face with loy- 
alty. General Butler has decided on organizing a force 
out of the free colored population of the city." 

'' It isn't possible. Oh, what a shame !" exclaimed 
Lillie. 

The Doctor said nothing, but leaned forward with 
marked mterest. 

" There is no secret about it," continued Carter. " The 
thing is decided on, and will be made public immediately. 
But it is a disagreeable affair to handle. It will make an 
awful outcry, here and every where. It wouldn't be wise 
to identify the Government too closely with it until it is 
sure to be a success. Consequently the darkies will be en- 
rolled as militia — State troops, you see — just as your rebel 
friend Lovell, Miss Ravenel, enrolled them. Moreover, to 
give the arrangement a further local character it is thought 
best to have at least one of the regiments commanded by 
some well known citizen of New Orleans. I proposed 
this idea to the General, and he doesn't think badly of it. 
Now who will sacrifice himself for his country ? Who 



From Secession to Loyalty. 167 

will make the niggers in uniform respectable? Doctor, 
will you do it ?" 

" Papa, you shall do no such thing," cried Lillie, thorough- 
ly provoked. Then, reproachfully, " Oh, Colonel Car- 
ter !" The Colonel laughed with immovable good humor, 
and surveyed her pretty wrath with calm admiration. 

" Be quiet, my child," pronounced the Doctor with an 
unusual toije of authority. " Colonel, I am interested, 
exceedingly interested m what you tell me. The idea is 
admirable. It will be a lasting honor to the man who con- 
ceived it." 

" Oh, papa !" protested Lillie. She was slightly union- 
ized, but not in the least abolitionized. 

"I am delighted that General Butler has resolved to 
take the resnonsibility of it," continued the Doctor. " Our 
free negroes are really a respectable class. Many of them 
are wealthy and well educated. In the whole south Gen- 
eral Butler could not have found another so favorable a 
place to try this experiment as Xew Orleans." 

" I am glad you think so," answered the Colonel ; but 
he said it with an air of no great enthusiasm. In fact how 
could an old army officer, a West Point military Brahmin 
and a Virginian gentleman look with favor at first sight 
on the plan of raising nigger regiments ? 

"But as for the colonelcy," contmued the Doctor. 
" Are you positively serious in making me that proposi- 
tion ?" 

"Positively." 

" Why, I am no more fit to be a Colonel than I am to 
be a professor of Sanscrit and Chinese literature." 

" That need'nt stand in the way at all. That is of no 
consequence." 

Ravenel laughed outright, and waited for an explan- 
ation. 

" Your Lieutenant-Colonel and Major Avill be experienced 
officers— that is, for volunteers," said Carter. " They will 
know the drill, at any rate. Your part will be simply to 



168 Miss R a v e n e l ' s C o n v e r s i o x 

give the thing a local coloring, as if the New Orleans 
people had got it up among themselves." 

Here he burst into a horse-laugh at the idea of saddling 
Louisianians with the imputation of desiring and raising 
nigger soldiers for putting down the rebellion and slavery. 

^' You TV-ill have nothing to do with the regiment," he 
went on. As soon as it is organized, or under way, you 
will be detached. You will be superintendent gf negro ed- 
ucation, or superintendent of negro labor, or something of 
that sort. You will have the rank and pay of Colonel, 
you see ; but your work will be civil instead of military ; 
it will be for the benefit of the niggers." 

" Oh, indeed !" answered the Doctor, his face for the 
first time showing that the proposition had for him a pole 
of attraction. " So officers can be detached for such f>ur- 
poses ? It is perfectly honorable, is it ?" 

" Quite so. Army custom. About the same thing as 
making an officer a provost-marshal, or military governor, 
or mayor." 

" Really, I am vastly tempted. I am vastly flattered 
and very grateful. I must think of it. I will consider it 
seriously." 

In his philanthropic excitement he rose and walked the 
room for some minutes. The windows were open and ad- 
mitted what little noise of population there was in the 
street, so that Miss Ravenel and the Colonel, sitting near 
each other, could exchange a few words without being 
overheard by the abstracted Doctor. I suspect that the 
young lady was more angry at this moment than on any 
previous occasion recorded in the present history. Col- 
burne would have quailed before her evident excitement, 
but Colonel Carter, the widower, faced her with a smile of 
good-natured amusement. Seeuig that there was no pros- 
pect of striking a panic iuto the foe, she made a flanking 
movement instead of a direct attack. 

" What do you suppose the old army will think of the 
negro regiment plan ?" 



F E o :m S e c e s s I o X to Loyalty. 169 

" Vin ordinaire^ I suiDpose." 

" Then how cBi you advise my father to go into a thing 
which you call vin ordinaire P" she demanded, her lips 
trembling with an agitation which was partly anger, and 
partly alarm at her own audacity. 

As this was a question which Carter could not answer 
satisfactorily without telling her that he knew how poor 
her father was, and also knew what a bad thing poverty 
was, he made no reply, but rose and sauntered about the 
room with his thumbs in his vest pockets. And Lillie 
was so curiously m awe of this mature man, who said 
what he pleased and was silent when he pleased, that she 
made no further assault on him. 

" I must confess," said the Doctor, resuming his seat, 
" that this is. a most attractive and flattering proposition. 
I am vain enough to believe that I could be of use to 
this poor, ignorant, brutish, down-trodden, insulted, plun- 
dered race of pariahs and helots. If I could organize ne- 
gro labor in Louisiana on a basis just and profitable to all 
parties, I should consider myself more honored than by 
being made President of the United States in ordinary 
times. If I could be the means of educating their dark- 
ened minds and consciences to a decent degree of Christian 
intelligence and virtue, I would not exchange my good 
name for that of a Paul or an ApoUos. My only objection 
to this present 2)lan is the colonelcy. I should be in a 
false position. I should feel myself to be ridiculous. !N'ot ' 
that it is ridiculous to be a colonel," he explained, smiling, 
" but to wear the uniform and receive the pay of a colonel 
without being one — there is the satire. Xow could not 
that point be evaded? Could I not be made superintendent 
of negro labor without being burdened with the military 
dignity ? I really feel some conscientious scruples on 
the matter, quite aside from my desire not to appear al)- 
surd. I should be willing to do the work for less pay, 
provided I could escape the livery. I am sorry to give 
you any trouble when I am already under such obhga 

H 



ITO Miss Raven el's Conversion 

tions. But would you have the kindness to inquire 
whether this superintendency could n^ be established 
without attaching to it the military position ?" 

" Certainly. But I foresee a difficulty. Will the Gene- 
ral dare to found such an office, and set aside public 
money for its salary ? I suppose he has no legal right toj 
do it. Detach an officer for the purpose — that is all very 
simple and allowable ; it's army fashion. But when it 
comes to founding new civil offices, you trench upon 
State or Federal authority. Besides, this superintendency 
of negro labor is going to be a heavy thmg, and the Gene- 
i"al may want to keep it directly under his own thumb, as 
lie can do if the superintendent is an army officer. How- 
ever, I will ask your question. And, if the civil office 
can be founded, you will accept it ; is it not so ?" 

" I do accept. Most gratefully, most proudly." 

" But how if the supermtendency can't be had without 
the colonelcy ?" 

" Why, then I — T fear I shall be forced to decline. I 
really don't feel that I can j^lace myself in a false position. 
Only don't suppose that I am unconscious of my profound 
obligations to you." 

" What an old trump of a Don Quixote !" mused the 
Colonel as he lit his segar in the street for the walk home- 
ward. " It's devilish handsome conduct in him ; but, by 
Jove ! I don't believe the old fellow can aiiord it. I'm 
afraid it will be up-hill work for him to get a decent living 
in this wicked world, however he may succeed in the 
next." 

A few mmutes later a cold chill of worldly wisdom 
struck through his enthusiasm. 

" He hasn't starved long enough to biing him to his 
milk," he thought. " When he gets down to his last dol- 
lar, and a thousand or two below it, he won't be so par- 
ticular as to how he lines his pockets." 

The Colonel almost felt that a civilian had no right to 
such a delicate and costly sense of honor. He would have 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 



171 



been rather glad to have the Doctor enter into some of 
these schemes for getting money, inasmuch as this same 
filthy lucre was all that Miss Ravenel needed to make her 
• a very attractive partie. The next day he repaired at the 
easiest office hours to head-quarters, and j^lead earnestly 
to have the proposed superintendency founded on the ba- 
sis of a civil office, the salary to be furnished by the State 
or by the city, or by a per-centage levied on the wa-es of 
the negroes. But the Proconsul did not like to assume 
8uch a responsibility, and moreover would not sympathise 
7 ^^^/^^^to^-'s fastidiousness on the subject of the uni- 
torm. The Colonel hurried back to Ravenel and uro-ed 
him to accept the military appomtment. He repeated" to 
him, ^^ Remember, this is a matter of twenty-six hundred a 
y^r, with a pertmacity which was the same as to say 
ifou know that you cannot afford to refuse such a sala- 
vj. IheDoctordid not dispute the correctness of the 
msmuation, but persisted with smiling obstinacy in de- 
clinmg the eagles. lam inclmed to thmk that he was 
•somewhat unreasonable on the subject, and that the Colo- 
nel was not far froni right in bemg secretly a little angry 
with him. The latter did not care a straw for the mcr.l/, 

\Z ^ (T ''''' ^""^ ^' ^^""'^^ *^^* ^ supermtendenf of 
colored labor would infallibly be tempted by very consid- 
erable side earnmgs and perquisites. Even Miss Lillie 
was rather disappomted at the failure of the project To 
arm negroes to command a colored regiment was aboli- 
tionistic and abommable ; but to set the sam^ negroes to 
work on a hundred plantations, would be plafmo- the 
southerner, the planter, the sugar aristocrat, o!i a^ma^nrfi! 
cent scale ,^ and she thought also that in thii busmess" her 
^ither might do CYcr so much good, and make for himself 
a noble name m Lomsiana, by restormg thousands of run- 
away field-hands to their lawful owner! Let us not be 
too severe upon the barbarian beliefs of this civilized youn^ 
lady. She had not the same geographical reasons for lov° 



172 Miss Ravexel's Goxversiox 

ing human liberty in the abstract that we have who were 
nurtured in the truly free and democratic North. Moreo- 
ver, for some reason which I shall not trouble myself to 
discover, all women love aristocracies. 

The Eavenei funds were getting low, and the Doctor, 
despairing of finding profitable occupation in depopulated 
New Orleans, was thinking seriously of returnmg to Xew 
Boston, when High Authority sent him an appomtment as 
superintendent of a city hospital, with a salary of fifteen 
hundred dollars. 

"I can do that," he said jubilantly as he showed the ap- 
pointment to Carter, unaware that the latter had been the 
means of obtaining it. " My medical education will come 
in i^lay there, and I shall feel that I am acting in my own 
character. It will not be so grand a field of usefulness as 
that which you so kindly offered me, but it will perhaps 
approximate more nearly to my abilities." 

" It is a captain's pay instead of a colonel's," laughed 
Carter. " I don't know any body who would make such 
a choice except you and young Colburne, who supposes 
that he isn't fit to be a field ofiicer. Some day head-quar- 
ters will perhaps be able to do better by you. When the 
Western Railroad is recovered — the railroad in which you 
hold property — there will be the suj^erintendency of that, 
probably a matter of some three or four thousand dollars 
a year." 

'" But I couldn't do it," objected the Doctor, thereby 
drawing another laugh from his interlocutor. 

He was perfectly satisfied with his fifteen hundred, 
although it was so miserably inferior to the annual six 
thousand which he used to draw from his scientific labors 
in and out of the defunct college. As long as he could 
live and retain his self-respect, he was not much disposed 
to grumble at Providence. Things in general were going 
well ; the rebellion would be put down ; slavery would 
perish in the struggle; truth and justice would prevail. 
The certainty of these results formed in his estimation a 



From Secession to Loyalty. 173 

part of his personal estate — a wealth which was mvisihle^ 
it is true, but none the less real, inexhaustible and consola- 
tory — a wealth which was sufficient to enrich and ennoble 
every true-hearted American citizen. 

When it was known throughout the city that he had 
accepted a position from the Federal authorities, the name 
of Ravenel became entirely hateful to those who only a 
few years before accorded it their friendship and respect. 
The hostile gulf between Lillie and her old friends yawned 
mto such a vast abyss, that few words were ever ex- 
changed across it ; and even those that did occasionally 
reach her anxious ears had a tone of anger which excited, 
sometimes her grief, and sometimes her resentment. The 
young lady's character was such that the resentment 
steadily gamed on the grief, and she became from day to 
day less of a Secessionist and more of a Unionist. Her 
father laughed in his good-natured way to see how spited 
she was by this social ostracism. 

" You should never quarrel with a pig because he is a 
pig," said he. " The only wise way is not to suppose that 
you can make a lap-dog of hun, and not to invite him mto 
your parlor. These j)oor people have been brought up to 
hate and maltreat every body who does not agree with 
their opmions. If the Apostle Paul should come here, 
they would knock him on the head for making a brother 
of Onesimus." 

" But I can't bear to be treated so," answered the vexed 
young lady. " I don't want to be knocked on the head, 
nor to have you knocked on the head. I don't even want 
them to thuik what they do about me. I wish I had the 
supreme power for a day or tAvo." 

" What progress !" observed the Doctor. " She wants 
to be General Butler." 

" N^o I don't," snapped Lillie, whose nerves were indeed 
much worried by her internal struggles and outward 
trials. " But I would like to be emperor. I would actu- 



174 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

ally enjoy forcing some of these horrid people to change 
their style of talking." 

" I don't think you would enjoy it, my dear. I did once 
entertain the design of making myself autocrat, and de- 
ciding what should be believed by my fellow citizens, and 
bringing to deserved punishment such as differed from 
me. It would be such a fine thmg, I thought, to manage 
in my own way, and manage right, all the religion, j^oli- 
tics, business, education, and conscience of the country. 
But I dropped the plan, after mature consideration, be- 
cause I foresaw that it would give me more to do than I 
could attend to." 

Lillie, working at her embroidery, made no reply, not 
apparently appreciating her father's wit. Presently she 
gave token that the current of her thoughts had changed, 
by breaking out with her usual routine of questions. 
" Who did you see in the streets ? Didn't you see any 
body ? Didn't you hear any thing ?" etc. etc. 

By what has been related in this chapter it will be per- 
ceived that Colonel Carter has established a claim to be 
received witli at least courtesy in the house of the Raven- 
els. The Doctor could not decently turn a cold shoulder 
to a man who had been so zealous a friend, although he 
still admired him very little, and never willingly permitted 
him a moment's un watched intercourse with Lillie. He 
occasionally thought with disgust of Yan Zandt's leering 
insinuations concerning the little French boudoir ; but he 
charitably concluded that he ought not to attach much 
importance to the prattle of a man so clearly under the 
influence of liquor as was that person at Colburne's quar- 
ters ; and finallv he reflected with a sig:h that the boudoir 
busmess was awfully common in the world as then consti- 
tuted, and that men who were engaged in it could not 
well be ostracised from society. So outwardly he was 
civil to the Colonel, and inwardly sought to control his 
almost instinctive repugnance. As for Lillie, she positively 
liked the widower, and thought him the finest gentleman 



From Secession to Loyalty. 175 

of the very few who now called on her. Captam Col- 
burne was very pleasant, lively and good ; but— and here 
she cea^^ed to reason— she felt that he was not magnetic. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE BEGINS TO RUN ROUGH. 

Ix some Arabian Nights or other, there is a story of 
voyagers in a becalmed ship who were drifted by irresist- 
ible c'lirrents towards an unknown island. As they gazed 
at it theii' eyes were deceived by an enchantment m the 
atmosphere, so that they seemed to see upon the shore a 
number of beautiful women waiting to welcome them, 
whereas these expectant figures were really nothmg but 
hideous apes with carniverous appetites, whose desire it 
was to devour the approaching strangers. 

As Miss Ravenel drifted towards Colonel Carter she be- 
held him in the guise of a pure and noble creature, while 
in truth he was a more than commonly demoralized man, 
with potent capacities for injurmg others. Mrs. Larue, on 
the other hand, perceived him much as he was, and liked 
him none the less for it. Had she lived in the days before 
the flood she would not have cared specially for the angels 
who came down to enjoy themselves with the daughters 
of men, except just so far as they satisfied her vanity and 
curiosity. Seemg clearly that the Colonel was not a ser- 
aph, but a creature of far lower grade, very coarse and 
carnal in some at least of his dispositions, she would still 
have been pleased to have him fall m love with her, and 
would perhaps have accepted him as a husband. It is pro- 
bable that she did not have a suspicion of the glamour 
which humbugged the innocent eyes of her youthful cous- 
in. But she did presently perceive that it would be Lil- 
lie and not herself, who would receive Carter's offer of 



176 Miss Ravenel's Conveksion 

mamagc, if it was ever made to either. How should she 
behave under these trymg circumstances ? Pauiful as the 
discovery may have* been to her vanity, it had little effect 
on a temper so callously amiable, and none on the lucid 
wisdom of a spirit so clarified by selfishness. She !^howed 
that she was a person of good worldly sense, and of little 
heart. She soon brought herself to encourage the Carter 
flirtation, partly because she had a woman's passion for 
seeing such things move on, and partly for reasons of 
state. If the Colonel married Lillie he would be a valua- 
ble friend at court ; moreover the match could not hurt 
the social position of her relatives, who were ostracised as 
Yankees already ; it would be all gam and no loss. She 
soon discovered, as she thought, that there was no need 
of blowing the Colonel's trumpet in the ears of Miss Lil- 
lie, and that the young lady could be easily brought to 
greet him with a betrothal hymn of, " Hail to the chief who 
in triumph advances." But the Doctor, who evidently did 
not like the Colonel, might exercise a deleterious influence 
on these fine chances. Madame Larue must try to lead 
the silly old gentleman to take a reasonable look at his 
own mterests. What a paroxysm of vexation and (Con- 
tempt she would have gone into, had she known of his 
refusal to make forty or fifty thousand dollars on sugar, 
merely because the transaction might furnish the Confeder- 
ate army witli salt and quinine ! Xot bemg aware of this 
act of cretinism, she vreht at him on the marriage busines«; 
with a hopeful spirit. 

" "What an admirable parti for some of our Xew Orleans 
young ladies would be the Colonel Carter I" 

The Doctor smiled and bowed his assent, because such 
was his habit concerning all matters whicli were indifler- 
ent to him. The fact that he had lived twenty-five years 
in Xew Orleans without ever being driven to fight a duel, 
although disagreemg with its fiery population on various 
touchy subjects, shows what an exquisite courtesy he must 
have maintained in his manners and conversation. 



From Secession to Loyalty 177 

" I must positively introduce Mm to jNIees Langdon or 
jMees Dumas, aud see what will come of it," i^ursued Ma- 
dame. 

Ravenel professed and looked his delight at the propos- 
ition, without carmg a straw for the subject, being en- 
o;aged in a charming mineralogical revcry. Mrs. Larue 
perceived his indifference and was annoyed by it, but con- 
tmued to smile with the Indian-like fortitude of a veteran 
worldling. 

" He is of an excellent family— one of the best families 
of Virginia. He would be a suitable parti for any young 
lady of my acquamtance. There is no doubt that he has 
splendid prospects. He is almost the only regular officer 
in the department. Of course he will win promotion. I 
should not be surprised to see him supersede Picayime 
Butler. I beg your pardon — I mean ::Major-General But- 
ler. I hear him*^ so constantly called Picayune that I feel 
as if that was his name of baptism. Mark my prophecy 
now. In a year that man will be superseded by Colonel 
Carter." 

" It might be a change for the better," admitted the 
Doctor with the composure of a Gallio. 

" The Colonel has a large salary," continued Madame. 
" The mayoralty gives him three thousand, and his pay as 
colonel is two thousand six hundred. Five thousand six 
hundred dollars seems a monstrous salary in these days 
of poverty." 

" It does, indeed," coincided the Doctor, remembering 
his own fifteen hundred, with a momentary dread that it 
would hardly keep him out of debt. 

Mrs. Larue paused and considered whether she should 
venture further. She had already got as far as this two 
or three times without eliciting from her brother-in-law a 
word good or bad as to the matter which she had at heart. 
She had been like a boy who walks two miles to a pond, 
puts on his skates, looks at the thinly frozen surface, shakes 
his doubtful head, unbuckles his skates aud trudges home 
H2 



178 Mis.s Raven el's Conveksiox 

again. She resolved to try the ice this time, at no matter 
what risk of breaking it. 

"I have been thinking that he would not be a hsidjxirti 
for my little cousin." 

The Doctor laid aside his Robinsonites in some quiet 
corner of his mind, and devoted himself to the subject of 
the conversation, leaning forward and surveying Madame 
earnestly through his spectacles. 

" I would almost rather bury her," he said in his excite- 
ment. 

"You amaze me. There is a difference in age, I grant. 
But how little ! He is still what we call a young man. 
And then marriages are so difficult to make up in these 
horrible times. AVho else is there in all Xew Orleans ?" 

" I don't see why she should marry at all," said the Doc- 
tor very warmly. " Why can't she contiinie to live with 
me?" 

" Positively you are not serious." 

" I certainly am. I beg pardon for disagreeing with 
you, but I don't see why I shouldn't entertain the idea I 
mention." 

" Oh ! when it comes to that, there is no arguing. Tou 
step out of the bounds of reason into j^ure feeling and 
egoisme. I also beg your pardon, but I must tell you that 
you are egolste. To forbid a girl to marry is like forbid- 
ding a young man to engage in business, to work, to open 
his own car Here. A woman who must not love is de- 
frauded of her best rights." 

" Why can't she be satisfied with lovmg me ?" de- 
manded the Doctor. He knew that he was talkmg irra- 
tionally on this subject ; but what he meant to say was, 
" I don't like Colonel Carter." 

" Because that would leave her an unhappy, sickly old 
maid," retorted Madame. " Because that would leave you 
without grandchildren." 

Ravenel rose and walked the room with a melancholy 
step and a coimtenance full of trouble. Suddenly he 



From Secession to Loyalty. 179 

stopped sliort and turned upon Mrs. Larue a look of anxious 
inquiiy. 

" I hope you have not observed in Lillie any inclination 
towards this — this idea." 

" Not the slightest," replied Madame, lying frankly, and 
without the slightest hesitation or confusion. 

" And you have not broached it to her ?" 

" Never !" affirmed the lady solemnly, which was 
another whopper. 

" I sincerely hope that you will not. Oblige me, I beg 
you, by promising that you will not." 

" If such is your pleasure," sighed Madame. " Well — I 
promise." 

" I am so much obliged to you," said the Doctor. 

" I know that there is a diflerence in age," Mrs. Larue 
recommenced, thereby insinuatmg that that was the only 
objection to the match that she could imagine : but her 
brother-in-law solemnly shook his head, as if to say that 
he had other reasons for opposition compared with which 
this was a trifle : and so, after taking a sharp look at him, 
she judged it wise to drop the subject. 

" I hope," concluded the Doctor, " that hereafter, when 
I am away, you will allow Lillie to receive calls in your 
house. There is a back passage. It is neither quite deco- 
rous to receive gentlemen alone here, nor to send them 
away." 

Mrs. Larue made no objection to this plan, seeing that 
she could be just as strict or just as careless a duenna as 
she chose. 

" I wonder why he has such an aversion to the match," 
she thought. Accustomed to see men matured m vice 
lead innocent young girls to the altar, habituated to look 
upon the notoriously pure-minded Doctor as a social curi- 
osity rather than a social standard, she scarcely guessed, 
and could not realize, the repugnance with which such a 
father would resign a daughter to the doubtful protection 



180 Miss Raven el's Conveksiox 

of a Imsband cnoscn from tlie class known as men about 
town. 

" Aurait il decouvcrt," slie continued to meditate ; " ce 
petit liaison de monsieur le colonel? II est vraiment 
curieux mon beau - frere ; c'est plutot une vierge qu'un 
homme." 

I beg the reader not to do this clever lady the injustice 
to sup2)0se that she kept or ever intended to keep her 
promise to the Doctor. To him, indeed, she did not for a 
long time speak of the j^Ji'oposed marriage, intending there- 
by to lull his suspicions to sleep, and thus prevent him 
from offering any timely opposition to that natural course 
of human events which might alone suffice to bring 
about the desired end. But into Lillie's ears she perpetu- 
ally whispered pleasant things concerning Carter, besides 
leaving the two alone together for ten, fifteen, twenty 
minutes at a time, until Lillie would get alarmed at her 
unusual position, and become either nervously silent or 
nervously talkative. For these services the Colonel was 
not as grateful as he should have been. He was just the 
man to believe that he could make his own way in a love 
affair, and need not burden himself with a sense of obliga- 
tion for any one's assistance. IMoreover, valuing himself 
on his knowledge of life, he thought that he understood 
Mrs. Larue's character perfectly, and declared that he was 
not the man to be managed by such an intriguante, how 
ever knowing. He did in fact perceive that she was cor- 
rupt, and by the way he liked her none the worse for it, 
although he would not have married her. To Colburne he 
spoke of her gaily and conceitedly as " the Larue," or 
sometimes as " La rouee," for he knew French Avell enough 
to make. an occasional bad pun in it. The Captam, on the 
other hand, never mentioned her except respectfully, feel- 
ing himself bound to treat any relative of Miss Ravenel 
with perfect courtesy. 

But while Carter supposed that he comprehended the 
Larue, he walked in the path which she had traced out 



F E o :m Secession to L o y a l t v . i si 

for him. From week to week he found it more agreeable 
to be with Miss Ravenel. Those random tete-a-tetes 
which to her were so alarming, were to him so pleasant 
that he caught himself anticipatmg them with anxiety. 
The Colonehmight have known from his past experience, 
he might have known by only looking at his high-colored 
face and j^owerful frame in a mirror, that it was not a safe 
amusement for him to be so much with one charming la- 
dy. Self-j^ossessed in his demeanor, and, like most roues, 
tolerably cool for a little distance below the surface of his 
feelings, he was at bottom and by the decree of imperious 
nature, very volcanic. As we say of some fiery wmes, 
there was a great deal of body to him. At this time he 
was determined not to fall hi love. He remembered how 
he had been infatuated m other days, and dreaded the re- 
turn of the passionate dominion. To use his own express- 
ion, " he made such a blasted fool of himself when he once 
got after a woman !" 

Nevertheless, he began to be, not jealous; he could not 
admit that very soft impeachment ; but he began to want 
to monopolize Miss Ravenel. When he found Colburne in 
her company he sometimes talked French to her, thereby 
embaiTassing and humiliating the Caj)tain, who understood 
nothing of the language except when he saw it in print, 
and could trace out the meaning of some words by their 
resemblance to Latin. The young lady, either becaase she 
felt for Colbume's awkward position, or because she did 
not wish to be suspected of saying things which she 
might not have dared utter in English, usually restored 
the conversation to her mother tongue after a few senten- 
ces. Once her manner in doing this was so pomted that 
the Colonel apologized. 

" I beg pardon, Captain," he said, to which he added a 
white lie. " I really supposed that you spoke French." 

Xo ; Colburne did not speak French, nor any other mod- 
ern language ; he did not draw, nor sing, nor play, and 
was in short as destitute of accomplishments as are most 



182 Miss Ravenel's Contersiox 

Americans. He blushed at the Colonel's apology, whicli 
mortified him more than the offence for which it was in- 
tended to atone. He would have given all his Greek for 
a smattering of Gallic, and he took a French teacher the 
next morning. 

Anotlier annoyance to Colbume was ]Mrs. Larue. He 
was still so young in heart matters, or rather in coquetry, 
that he was troubled by being made the object of airs of 
affection which he could not reciprocate. I do not mean 
to say that the lady was in love with him ; she never had 
been in love in her life, and was not going to begin at 
thirtv-three. The plain, placid truth was, that she was 
wilUnf^ to flirt with him to please herself, and detennined 
to keep him away from Lillie in order to give every possi- 
ble chance to Carter. Only when Mrs. Larue said "flirt," 
she meant indescribable things, such as ladies may talk of 
without reproach among themselves, but which, if intro- 
duced into print, are considered very improper reading. 
Meantime neither Carter nor Colburne understood her, al- 
though the former would have hooted at the idea that lie 
did not comprehend the lady perfectly. 

" By Jove !" soliloquized the knowing Colonel, " she is 
sweeter on him than a pailful of syrup. She puts one in 
mind of a boa-constrictor. She is licking him all over, pre- 
paratory to swallowing him. Xot a bad sort of serpent 
to have* around one, either," pursued the Colonel, almost 
winking to himself, so knowing did he feel. " Xot a bad 
sort of serpent. Only I shouldn't care about marrying 
her." 

Lideed the Colonel reminds one a little of " devilish sly 
old Joey Bagstock." 

The innocent Colbume acknowledged to himself that he 
did not comprehend Mrs. Larue nor her purposes. He 
would have inferred from her ways that she Avanted him 
for a husband, only that she spoke in a very cool way of 
the matrimonial state. 

" Marriage will not content me, nor will single lite," she 



From Secess-ton to Loyalty. 183 

said to him one day. " I have tried both, and I cannot 
recommend either. It is a choice between two evils, and 
one does not know to say which is the least." 

Widows in search of second husbands do not talk pub- 
licly in this style, and Colburne intelligently concluded 
that ^e was not to be invited to the altar. At the same 
time Mrs. Larue went on In'this way, she treated him to 
certam appetizmg little movements, glances and words, 
which led him to suspect with some vague alarm that she 
did not mean to let him off as a mere acquaintance. Final- 
ly, as is supposed, an explanation ensued which was not 
to his liking. There was an interview of half an hour in a 
back parlor, brought about by the graceful manoeuvres of 
the lady, of which Colburne steadily refused to reveal the 
secrets, although straitly questioned by the fun-loving 
Colonel. 

" By Jove ! he's been bluffing her," soliloquized Carter, 
who thought he perceived that from this private confabu- 
lation the parties came forth on terms of estrangement. 
" What a queer fellow he is ! Suppose he didn't want to 
marry her — he might amuse himself It would be pleas- 
ant to him, and wouldn't hurt her. Hanged if he isn't a 
curiosity !" 

The next time that Colburne called on Miss Ravenel the 
Larue took her revenge for that mysterious defeat, the par- 
ticulars of which I am unable to relate. To comprehend 
the nature and efficiency of this vengeance, it is necessary 
to take a dive into the recesses of Xew Orleans society. 
There is a geographical fable of civilized white negroes in 
the centre of Africa, somewhere near the Mountains of 
the Moon. This fable is realized in the Crescent City and 
m some of the richest planting districts of Louisiana, 
where you will find a class of colored people, who are not 
black people at all, having only the merest fraction of ne- 
gro blood in their veins, and who are respectable in char- 
acter, numbers of them wealthy, and some of them accom- 
plished. These Creoles, as they call themselves, have been 



184 Miss R a v e x e l ' s • C o x v e r s i o x 

free for generations, and until Anglo-Saxon law invaded 
Louisiana, enjoyed the same rights as other citizens. They 
are good Catholics ; they marry and are given in mar- 
riage ; their sons are educated in Paris on a perfect level 
with young Frenchmen ; their daughters receive the strict 
surveillance which is allotted to girls in most southern 
countries. In the street many of them are scarcely dis- 
tinguishable from the unmixed descendants of the old 
French planters. But there is a social line of demarkation 
drawn about them, like the sanitary cordon about an in- 
fected district. The Anglo-Saxon race, the proudest race 
of modern times, does not marry nor consort with them, 
nor of late years does the pure French Creole, driven to 
jom in this ostracism by the brute force of Henghist and 
Horsa prejudice. The Xew Orleanois who before the war 
should have treated these white colored people on terms 
of equality, would have shared in their opprobrium, and 
perhaps have been ridden on a rail by his outraged fellow- 
citizens of northern descent. 

Xow these white negroes from the Mountains of the 
Moon constituted the sole loyal class, except the slaves, 
which Butler found in Louisiana. They and their black 
cousins of the sixteenth degree were the only people who, 
as a body, came forward with joy to welcome the 
drums and tramplings of the 'New England Division; 
and when the commandmg General called for regiments ot 
free blacks to uphold the Stars and Stripes, he met a patri- 
otic response as enthusiastic as that of Connecticut or Mas- 
sachusetts. Foremost in this military uprising were two 
brothers of the name of Meurice, who poured out their 
wealth freely to meet those incidental ex2:)enses, never ac- 
knowledged by Government, which attend the recruiting 
of volunteer regiments. They gave dinners and presented 
flags ; they advanced uniforms, sabres and pistols for offi- 
cers ; they trusted the families of private soldiers. The 
youngest Meurice became Major of one of the regiments, 
which I take to be the nearest approach to a miracle 



Fkom- Secession to LoYxVlty. 185 

ever yet enacted in the United States of America. 
Their entertamments became so famous that invitations to 
them were gratefully accepted by officers of Anglo-Saxon 
organizations. At their profuse yet elegant table, where 
Brillat-Savarin would not have been annoyed by a badly 
cooked dish or an inferior wine, and where he might have 
listened to the accents of his own Parisian, Colburne had 
met Xew Englanders, Xew Yorkers, and even stray Ma- 
rylanders and Kentuckians. There he became acquainted 
(ignorant Baratarian that he was !) with the tasse de cafe 
noil' and the petit verre de cognac which, close a French 
dinner. There he smoked cigars whicli gave him new 
ideas concerning the value of Cuba. For these pleasures 
he was now to suffer at the Caucasian hands of Madauie 
Larue. 

" I am afraid that we are doomed to lose you, Captain 
Colburne," she said with a smile which expressed some- 
thing worse than good-natured raillery. " I hear that you 
have made some fascmating acquauitauces hi Xew Orleans. 
I never myself had the pleasure of knowing the Meurices. 
They are very charming, are they not ?" 

Colburne's nerves quivered under this speech, not be- 
cause he was conscious of having done any thing unbe- 
commg a gentleman, but because he divmed the clever 
malice of tlie "attack. To gentle spirits the consciousness 
that they are the objects of spite, is a dolorous sensa- 
tion. 

" It is a very pleasant and mtelligent family," he rej^lied 
bravely. 

" Who are they ?" smilmgly asked Miss Ravenel, who 
inferred from her aunt's manner that Colburne was to be 
charged with a flirtation. 

" Ce sont des metis, ma chere," laughed Mrs. Larue. 
" II y a dine plusieurs fois. Ces abolitionistes out leur 
gonts a eux." 

Lillie colored crimson with amazement, with horror, 
with downright anger. To this Xcav Orleans born Anglo- 



186 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

Saxon girl, full of the pride of lineage and the prejudices of 
the slaveholding society in which she had been nurtured, 
it seemed a downright insult that a gentleman who called 
on her, should also call on a metis, and admit it and defend 
it. She glanced at Colburne to see if he had a word to 
offer of aj^ology or explanation. It might be that he had 
visited these mixed bloods in the performance of some 
disagreeable but unavoidable duty as an officer of the 
Federal army. She hoped so, for she liked him too well to 
be willing to despise him. 

" Intelligent ? But without doubt," assented Madame, 
" if they had been stupid, you would not have dmed with 
them four or five times." 

" Three times, to be exact, Mrs. Larue," said Colburne. 
He had formed his Ime of battle, and could be not merely 
defiant but ironically aggressive. But the lady was master 
of the southern tactics; she had taken the initiative, and 
she attacked audaciously ; although, I must explain, with- 
out the slightest sign of irritation. 

" Which do you find the most agreeable," she asked, 
" the white people of Xew Orleans, or the brown ?" 

Colburne was tempted to reply that he did not see much 
difference, but refrained on account of Miss Ravenel ; and, 
dropping satire, he entered on a calm defence, less of him- 
self than of the mixed i*ace in question. He affirmed their 
intelligence, education, good breeding, resijectability of 
character, and exceptional patriotism in a community of 
rebels. 

" You, Mrs. Larue, think something of the elegancies of 
society as an element of civilization," he said. "Now 
then, I am obliged to confess that these people can -give a 
finer dinner, better selected, better cooked, better served, 
than I ever saw in my own city of New Boston, notwith- 
standing that we are as white as they are and — can't speak 
French. These Meurices, for example, have actually given 
me new ideas of hospitality, as something which may be 
plenteous without being coarse, and cordial without being 



Fro:m Secessiox to Loyalty. 187 

boreous. I don't hesitate to call them nice people. As 
for the African blood in' their veins (if that is a reproach) 
I can't detect a trace of it. I shouldn't have believed it 
if they hadn't assured me of it. There is a little child 
there, a cousin, with blue eyes and straight flaxen hair. 
She has the honor, if it is one, of being whiter than I am." 

It will be remembered here that any one who was waiter 
than Colburne was necessarily much whiter than Mrs. 
Larue. 

" When I first saw the eldest Meurice," he proceeded, 
" I supposed from his looks that he was a German. The 
Major bears a striking resemblance to the first Xapoleo'i, 
and is certainly one of the handsomest men that I have ' 
seen in Xe^' Orleans. His manners are charming, as I 
suppose they ought to be, seeing that he has lived in Paris 
since he was a child." 

Mrs. Larue had never transgressed the borders of 
Louisiana. 

" "When this war broke out he came home to see if he 
might be permitted to fight for his race, and for his and 
my country. He now wears the same uniform that I do, 
and he is my superior ofiicer." 

" It is shameful," broke out Lillie. 

" It is the will of authority," answered Colburne, — " of 
authority that I have sworn to respect." 

" A southern gentleman would resign," said Mrs. Larue. 

" A northern gentleman keejDS his oath and stands by 
his flag," retorted Colburne. 

Mrs. Larue paused, suppressed her rising excitement, 
and with an exterior air of meekness considered the situ- 
ation. She had gained her battle ; she had wounded and 
punished him ; she had probably detached Lillie from him ; 
now she would stop the conflict. 

" I beg pardon," she said, looking him full in the eyes 
with a charming little expression of penitence. " I am 
sorry if I have annoyed you. I thought, I hoped, 
you might perhaps be obliged to me for hinting to you 



188 Miss Kavexel's Coxveiisiox 

that these people are not received here in society. You 
are a stranger, and do not know our prejudices. I pray 
you to excuse me if I have been officious." 

Colburne was astonished, disarmed, ashamed, notwith- 
standing that he had been in the right and was the in- 
jured party. 

" *Mrs. Larue, I beg your pardon," he answered. " I 
have been unnecessarily excited. I sincerely ask you par- 
don." 

She accorded it in pleasant words and with the most 
amiable of smiles. She was a good-natured, graceful little 
grimalkm, she could be j^retty and fiestive over a mouse 
while torturing it ; so purring and velvet-pawed, indeed, 
that the mouse himself could not believe her to be in ear- 
nest, and prayed to be excused for turnmg upon her.' It 
is probable that, not being susceptible to keen emotions, 
she did not know what deep pain she had given the young 
man by her attack. The advantage which blase people 
have over innocents in a fight is awful. They know how 
to hit, and they don't mmd the punishing. It is said that 
Deaf Burke's physiognomy was so calloused by frequent 
poundings that he would permit any man to give him a 
facer for a shilling a crack. 

Lillie said almost nothmo- duruio- the conversation, be- 
ing quite overcome with amazement and anger at Col- 
burne's degradation and at the wrongheadedness, the in- 
delicacy, the fanaticism with which he defended it. When 
the errmg young man left the house she did not give him 
her hand, after her usual friendly southern fashion. The 
pride of race, the prejudices of her education, would not 
permit her to be cordial, at least not in the first moments 
of offence, with one who felt himself at liberty to go from 
her parlor to that of an octoroon. How could a Miss 
Ravenel put herself on a level with a Miss Meurice. 

" Oh, these abolitionists ! these negar worshippers !" 
laughed Mrs, Larue, when the social heretic had taken 
himself away. " Are they not horrible, these Xew Eng- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 189 

laud isms ? He will be joining the vondoos next. I foresee 
that you will have rivals, Mees Lillie. I fear that Made- 
moiselle Meurice will carry the day. You are under the 
disadvantage of being white. Et puis tu n'est pas 
descendue d'une race batarde. Quel malheur ! Je ne dirais 
rien s'il entretenait son octaronne a lui. Yoila qui est 
permis, bien que ce n'est pas joli." 

" Mrs. Larue, I wish you wouldn't talk to me in that 
^^ay ; — I don't like to hear it," said Lillie, in high anger. 

" Mais c'est mieux au moins que de les epouser, les octa- 
ronnes," persisted Madame. 

Miss Ravenel rose and went to her own house and 
room without answering. Since her father fled from Xew 
Orleans, openly espousmg the cause of the Xorth against 
the South, she had not been so vexed, so hurt, as she was 
by this vulgar conduct of her friend. Captain Colburne. 
Although it cannot be said that she had even begun to 
love him, she certainly did like him better than any other 
man that she ever knew, excepting her father and Colonel 
Carter. She had thought, also, that he liked her too well 
to do anythmg which would be sure to meet her disaj)- 
probation ; and her womanly pride was exceedingly hurt 
in that her friendship had been risked for the sake of com- 
munion with a race of pariahs. There is little doubt that 
Colburne now had small chance v\dth Miss Eavenel. He 
guessed as much, and the thought cut him even more 
deeply that he could have imagined ; but he was too chival- 
rous to be false to his education, to his principles, to him- 
self, though it were to gain the heart of the only woman 
whom he had ever loved. Li fact, so fastidious was his 
sense of honor that he had disdained to fortify himself 
ao-ainst Mrs. Larue's attack by stating, as he might have 
done truthfully, that at one of these Meurice dinners he 
had sat by the side of Colonel Carter. 

I consider it worth while to mention here that Colburne 
committed a great mistake about this time in declining a 
regiment which the eldest Meurice offered to raise for him, 



190 Miss Ravexel's Coxversiox 

providing he would apply for the colonelcy. But it was 
not for fear of Mrs. Larue nor yet of Miss Ravenel that he 
declined the proffer. He took the proposition into serious 
consideration and referred it to Carter, who advised him 
against it. Public opmion on this subject had not yet be- 
come so overpowermgly luminous that the old regular, 
the West Pomt Brahmin, could see the negro in a military 
light. 

" I may be all wrong," he admitted with a considerable 
effusion of swearing. " If the war spins out it may prove 
me all wrong. A downright slaughtering match of 'three 
or four years will force one party or other to call in the 
nigger. But I can't come to it yet. I despise the low 
lu-ute. I hate to see him in uniform. And then he never 
will be used for the higher military operations. If you 
take a command of niggers, you will find yourself put into 
Fort Pike or some such place, among the mosquitoes and 
fever and ague, where white men can't live. Or your 
regiment will be made road-builders, and scavengers, and 
bao-o-ao-e o-uards, to do the dirty work of white res^iments. 
You never Avill form a line of battle, nor head a storming 
column, nor get any credit if you,.,d'0. And finally, just 
look at the military position of these Louisiana black regi- 
ments. They are not ax^tnowledged by the government 
yet ; they are not a part of the army. They are only 
Louisiana militia, called out by General Butler on his own 
responsibility. Suppose the War Department shouldn't 
approve his policy ; — then down goes your house. You 
have resigned your captaincy to get a sham colonelcy ; 
and there you are, out of the service, with a bran-new 
uniform. Stay in the regiment. You shall have, by" 
(this and that !) " the first vacancy in the field positions." 

In fact it was an espnt du coiys which more than any- 
thing else induced Colburne to clmg to the Tenth Barataria. 
A volunteer, a citizen soldier, new to the ways of armies, 
he lonojed to do his fiorhtin^ under his own State flag, and 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 191 

at the head of the men whom he had hunself raised and 
drilled for the battle-field. 

About these times Colonel Carter broke up that more 
than questionable domestic establishment which Lieutenant 
Yan Zandt had alluded to under the humorous misnomer 
of " a little French boudoir.'''' Whether this step was taken 
by the advice of Mrs. Larue, or solely because the Colonel 
had found some source of truer enjoyment, I am unable to 
say ; but it is certain, and it is also a very natural human 
circumstance, that from this day his admiration for Miss 
Raveriel burgeoned rapidly mto the condition of a passion. 



CHAPTER XIY. 

LLLLIE CHOOSES FOR HERSELF. 

Late in that eventful summer of 1862, so bloody in Vir- 
ginia and Kentucky, so comparatively peaceful in the ma- 
larious heats of Louisiana, the Colonel of the Tenth Bara- 
taria held a swearing soliloquy. Li general when he 
swore it was at somebody or to somebody ; but on the 
present occasion the performance was confined to the soli- 
tude of his own room and the gratification of his own 
ears ; unless, indeed, we may venture to suppose that he 
had a guardian angel whose painful duty it was to attend 
him constantly. I suspect that I have not yet enabled 
the reader to realize how remarkable were the Colonel's 
gifts in the way of profanity; and I fear that I could not 
do it without penning three or four such astonishing pages 
as never were printed, unless it might be m the infernal 
regions. In the appropriate words of Lieutenant Yan 
Zandt, who, by the way, honestly admired his superior 
officer for this and for his every other characteristic, " it 
was a nasty old swear." 



192 i\I I S S 11 A V E N E L ' S C O N V E II S I O X 

Carter's quarters were a large brick house belonging to 
a lately wealthy but now impoverished and exiled Seces- 
sionist, lie had his office, his parlor, his private sittmg- 
rooni, his dmmg-room, his billiard-room, and five upper 
bedrooms, besides the basement. His life corresponded 
with his surroundings ; his dinners were elegant, his wines 
and segars superior. As it was now evening and his busi- 
ness hours long since over, he was in his sitting-room, 
lounging in an easy chair, his feet on a table, a half- 
smoked segar in one hand and an open letter in the other. 
Only the Colonel or Lieutenant Van Zandt, ormeneqfually 
gifted m ardent expressions, could suitably describe the 
heat of the weather. Although he wore nothmg but his 
shirt and pantaloons, his cheeks were deeply flushed, and 
his forehead beaded with ijerspiration. The Louisiana 
mosquitoes, a numerous and venomous people, were buzz- 
ing in his ears, raising blotches on his face and perforat- 
ing his Imen. But it was not about them, it was about 
the letter, that he was blaspheming. When the paroxysm 
was over he restored the segar to his lips, discovered that 
it was out, and relighted it ; for he was old smoker enough 
and healthy enough to prefer the pungency of a stump to 
the milder flavor of a virgin weed. While he re-reads his 
letter, we will venture to look over his shoulder. 

" My dear Colonel," it ran, " I am sorry that I can give 
you no better news. Waldo and I have worked like Tro- 
jans, but without bringing anything to pass. You will 
see by enclosed copy of application to the Secretary, that 
Ave got a respectable crowd of Senators and Representatives 
to join in demandmg a step for you. The Secretary is all 
right ; he fully acknowledges your claims. But those 
infernal bigots, the Sumner and Wilson crowd, got ahead 
of us. They went to headquarters, civil and military. We 
couldn't even secure your nomination, much less a sena- 
torial majority for confiimation. These cursed fools mean 
to purify the army, they say. They put McClellan's defeat 
down to his pro-slavery sentiments, and Pope's defeat to 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 193 

McClellan. They intend to turn out every moderate man, 
and shove in their own sort. They talk of making Banks 
head of the Army of the Potomac, in place of McClellan, 
who has just saved the capital and the nation. There 
never was such fanaticism since the Scotch mu:iisters at 
Dunbar undertook to pray and preach down CromwelFs 
army. You are one of the men whom they have black- 
balled. They have got hold of the tail-end of some old 
plans of yours in the filibustering days, and are making the 
most of it to show that you are unfit to command a brig- 
ade in * the army of the Lord.' They say you are not the 
man to march on with old John Brown's soul and hang 
JefT. Davis on a sour apple-tree. I think you had better 
take measures to get rid of that filibustering ghost. I have 
another piece of advice to ofier. Mere administrative 
ability in an office these fellows can't appreciate ; but they 
can be dazzled by successM service in the field, because 
that is beyond theii* own cowardly possibilities ; also be- 
cause it takes with, their constituents, of whom they are the 
most respectful and obedient servants. So why not give 
up your mayoralty and go in for the autumn campaign ? 
If you will send home your name with, a victory attached 
to it, I think we can manufacture a a public opinion to 
compel your nomination and confirmation. Mind, I am 
not finding fault. I know that nothing can be done in 
Louisiana during the simimer. But blockheads don't know 
this, and in politics we are forced to appeal to blockheads ; 
our supreme court of decisions is, after all, the twenty 
millions of ignorami who do the voting. Accordingly, I 
ad^dse you to please these twenty millions by putting your- 
self into the fall campaign. 

" Very truly yours, &c." 

" D n it ! of course I mean to fight," muttered the 

Colonel, when he had finished his second reading. " I'll 
resign the mayoralty, and ask for active service and a 
brigade. Then I must wi'ite something to explain that 

I 



194 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

filibustering business. — Xo, I Tvon't. The less that is ex- 
plained, the better. I'll deny it outright. — Now there's 
Weitzel. He, by " (this and that) " can have a star, and 
I can't. My junior, by" (that and the other) " in the ser- 
vice, by " (this and that) " by at least six years. What 
if he should get the active brigade ? It would be just him, 
by " (this and that) " to want it, and just like Butler, by" 
(that and the other) " to give it to him." 

The Colonel sat for a long time in vexatious thought, 
slapping his mosquito bites, relighting his stump and 
smoking it down to its bitterest dregs. Finally, without 
having written a word, he gave up the battle with the 
stinging multitudes, drank a glass of brandy and water, 
turned ofli" the gas, stepped into the adjoining bedroom, 
kicked off his trousers (long since unbuttoned), drew the 
mosquito-curtain, and went to bed as quickly and quietly 
as an infimt. Soldiering habits had enabled him to court 
slumber with success under all circumstances. 

During the month of September was formed that fa- 
mous organization, composed of five regiments of infantry, 
with four squadrons and two batteries attached, known 
officially as the Reserve Brigade, but popularly as Weit- 
zel's. It was intended from the first for active service, 
and the title Reserve was apphed to it simply to mislead 
the enemy. The regiments were encamped for purj^oses 
of drill and preparation on the flats near CarroUton, a vil- 
lage four or five miles above Xew Orleans. Carter ai> 
plied for the brigade, but was imable to obtain it. "Weitzel 
was not only his superior in rank, but was Butler's favorite 
officer and most trusted military adviser. Then Carter 
threw up his mayoralty and reported for duty to his regi- 
ment, in great bitterness of spirit at finding himself obliged 
to serve under a man who had once been his junior and 
inferior. His only consolation was that this was not the 
worst ; both he and Weitzel were under the orders of an 
attorney. 

But he went to work vigorously at drilling, disciplining 



From Secession to Loyalty. 195 

and fittiiio- out his regiment. His Sunday morning inspec- 
tions were awful ordeals which lasted the whole forenoon. 
If a company showed three or four dirty men the Colonel 
sent for the Captain and gave him such a lecture as made 
him think seriously of tendering his resignation. When not 
on drill or guard duty the soldiers were busy nearly all 
day m brushmg their uniforms, polishing their brasses and 
buttons, blacking their shoes and accoutrements, and wash- 
ing their shu'ts, drawers, stockings, and even their canteen 
strings. The battalion drills of the Tenth were truly la- 
borious gymnastic exercises, performed in great part on 
the double-quick. The sentinels did their whole duty, or 
were relieved and sent to the guardhouse. Corporals who 
failed to make their rounds properly were reduced to the 
ranks. Privates who forgot to salute an officer, or who 
did not do it in handsome style, were put in confinement 
on bread and water. The company cooking utensils were 
scoured every day, and the camp was as clean as bare, 
turfless earth could be. Carter was a hard-hearted, intel- 
ligent, conscientious, beneficent tyrant. The Tenth 
Barataria was the show regiment of the Reserve Brigade. 
I have not time to analyze the interesting feelings of free- 
born Yankees under this searching despotism. I can only 
say that the soldiers hated their colonel because they 
feared him ; that, like true Americans they profoundly re- 
spected him because, as they said, " he knew his biz ;" 
that they were excessively proud of the superior drill and 
neatness to which he had brought them against their 
wills; and that, on the whole, they would not have ex- 
changed him for any other regimental commander in the 
brigade. They firmly believed that under " Old Carter " 
they could whip the best regiment in the rebel service. It 
is true that there were exceptional ruffians who could not 
forget that they had been bucked and put in the stocks, 
and who muttered vindictive prophecies as to something 
desperate which they would do on the first field of battle. 
" Bedad an' I'll not forget to pay me reshpecs to 'im," 



196 Miss Ravenel's Cox vers iox 

growled a Hibernian pugilist. " Let 'im get in front of 
the line, an I'll show 'im that I know how to fire to the 
right and left oblike." 

Carter laughed contemptuously when informed of the 
bruiser's threat. 

" It's not worth taking notice of," he said. " I know 
what he'll do when he comes under the enemy's fire. He'll 
blaze away straight before him as fast as he can load and 
pull trigger, he'll be in such a cursed hurry to kill the men 
who are trying to kill him. I couldn't probably make him 
fire right oblique, if I wanted to. You never have seen 
men in battle, Captain Colburne. It's really amusing to 
notice how eager and savage new troops are. The mo- 
ment a man has discharged his piece he falls to loading as 
if his salvation depended on it. The moment he has loaded 
he fires just where he did the first time, whether he sees 
anything or not. And he'll keep doing this till you stop 
him. I am speaking of raw troops, you understand. The 
old cocks save their powder, — that is unless they get be- 
deviled with a panic. You must remember this when w.e 
come to fight. Don't let your men get to blazing away at 
nothino^ and scarinsj themselves with their own noise, un- 
der the delusion that they are fiercely engaged." 

During the month or more which the brigade passed at 
Carrollton Ravenel frequently visited Colburne, and did 
not forget to make an incidental call or two of civility on 
Colonel Carter. On two or three gala occasions he brought 
out Mrs. Larue and Miss Ravenel. They always came and 
went by the railroad, their present means not justifying a 
carriage. When the ladies appeared in cam^) the Colonel 
usually discovered the fact, and hastened to make himself 
master of the situation. He invited them under the mar- 
quee of his double tent, brought out store of confiscated 
Madeira, ordered the regimental band to play, sent word 
to the Lieutenant-Colonel to take charge of dress-parade, 
and escorted his visitors in front of the Ime to show them 
the exercises. In these high official hospitalities neither 



From Secession to Loyalty. 197 

Colburne nor any other company officer was invited to 
share. Even the lieutenant-colonel, the major, the first 
surgeon and the cha^ilain, though ranking as field and 
stafl:* ofiicers, kept at a respectful distance from the favored 
visitors and their awful host. For discipline's sake Carter 
lived in loftier state among these volunteers than he would 
have done in a regular regiment. Miss Ravenel was 
amused, but she was also considerably impressed, by the 
awe with which he was regarded by all who surrounded 
him. I believe that all women admire men who can make 
other men afraid. 

" Are you as much scared at the general as your officers 
are at you ?" she laughingly asked. " I wish I could see 
the general." 

" I will brmg him to your house," saicl Carter ; but this 
was one of the jDromises that he did not keep. That gay 
speech of the young lady must have been a bitter dose to 
him, as we know who are aware of his professional disap- 
pointment. 

The ladies were delighted to walk down the open ranks 
on inspection, and survey the neat packing of the double 
lines of unslung knapsacks. 

" It is like going through a milliner's shop," said Lillie. 
" How nicely the things are folded ! They really have a great 
deal of taste in arranging the colors. See, here is blue and 
red and grey, and then blue again, with a black cravat here 
and a white handherchief there. It is like the backs of a 
row of books." 

"Yes, this box knapsack is a good one for show," the 
Colonel admitted. " It is too large, however. When the 
men come to march they will find themselves overloaded. 
I shall have to make a final inspection and throw away a 
few tons of these extra-military gewgaws. What does a 
soldier want of .black cravats and daguerreotypes and 
diaries and Testaments ?" 

" How cruelly practical you are !" said Lillie. 

" Not in every thing," responded the Colonel with a sigh ; 



198 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

and for some reason the young lady blushed profoundly 
at the answer. 

Of course these visits, the regiment, the Reserve Brigade, 
and its destination were matters of frequent conversation 
at the Ravenel dwellinor. Throuorh some leak of indiscre- 
tion or treachery it transpired that Weitzel was to oust 
Mouton from the country between the Mississippi and* the 
Atchafalaya, where he was a constant menace to New Or- 
leans. The whole city, rebel and loyal, argued and quar- 
reled about the chances of success. The Secessionists Avere 
rampant ; they said that Mouton had fifteen thousand men ; 
they ofi:ered to bet their j^iles that he would have Xcw Or- 
leans back in a month. At every notable corner and in 
front of every poj^ular drinking saloon were grouj^s of 
tall, dark, fierce-looking men, carrying heavy canes, who 
glared at Union oflicers and muttered about coming 
Union defeats. Pale brunette ladies flouted their skirts 
scornfully at sight of Federal uniforms, and flounced out 
of omnibusses and street cars defiled by their presence. 
These feminine politicians never visited Miss Ravenel, how- 
ever intimately they might have known her before the war ; 
and if they met her in the street they complimented her with 
the same look of hate which they vouchsafed to the flag 
of theu' country. With Madame Larue they were still on 
good terms, although they rarely called at her house for 
fear of encountering the Ravenels. This suited Madame's 
puqDOses precisely ; she could thereby be Federal at home 
and Secessionist abroad. 

" You know, my dears," she would say to the female 
Langdons and Soules, " that one cannot undo one's self of 
one's own relatives. That would be unreasonable. So I 
am obliged to receive the Doctor and his poor daughter 
at my house. But I understand perfectly that their so- 
ciety must be to you disagreeable. Therefore I absolve 
you, though with pain, from returning my visits. But, my 
dears, I shall only call on you the more often. Do not be 
surprised," she would sometimes add, " if you see a Fed- 



Fko:h Secession to Loyalty. 199 

eral uniform enter my door from time to time. I have my 
objects. I flatter myself that I shall yet be of benefit to 
the good cause." 

And in fact she did occasionally send to a certain secret 
junto scraps of information which she professed to have ex- 
tracted from Union ofiicers. This information was of no 
value ; it is even probable that much of it was a deliberate 
figment of her imagination ; but in this way she kept her 
j)olitical odor sweet in the nostrils of the city Secessionists. 

In secret she cared for little more than to be on the safe 
side and keep her property. She laughed with delighted 
malice at the Doctor's sarcasms upon the absurdities of 
New Orleans politics, and the rottenness of ISTew Orleans 
morals. She sympathized with Lillie's youthful indigna- 
tion at her own social proscription. She flattered Carter's 
professional pride by predicting his success m the field. 
She satirized Colburne behind his back, and praised him to 
his face, for his Catonian principles. She was all things to 
all men, and made herself generally agreeable. 

Meantime Lillie had become what she called a Federalist ; 
for she was not yet so established in the faith as to style 
it Loyalist or Patriot. What girl would not have been 
thus converted, driven as she w^as from the mansion of 
secession by its bitter inmates, and drawn towards the op- 
posing house by her father and her two admirers ? Colonel 
Carter's visits were frequent and his influence strong and 
increasing, notwithstandmg the Doctor's warning tirades. 
It made her uneasy, fretful and unhappyj to disagree with 
her father ; but on the subject of this preference she posi- 
tively could not hold his opinions. He seemed to her to 
be so unjust ; she could not understand why he should be 
so bitterly and groundlessly prejudiced ; the reasons 
which he hinted at glided off" her like rain off a bird's 
feathers. She granted no faith to the insinuation that the 
Colonel was a bad man, nor, had she credited it, would she 
have inferred therefrom that he would make a bad husband. 
Let us not be astonished at the delusion of this intelligent 



200 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

and pure-minded young lady. I have witnessed more ex- 
traordinary assortments and choices than this. I have 
more than once seen an elegant, brilliant, highly-cultured 
girl make an inexplicable and hungry snap at a man who 
was stupidly, boorishly, viciously her mferior. The subtle 
and potent sense which draws the two sexes together is 
•an inexorable despot. 

The Colonel was one of its victims, although not quite 
bereft of reason. Still, if he did not offer himself to Miss 
Ravenel before going on this Lafourche expedition, it was 
simply from considerations of worldly prudence, or, as he 
phrased it to hunself, out of regard to her happiness. He 
thought that his pay was insufficient to support her in the 
style to which she had been accustomed, and in which he 
wished his wife to live. That he would be rejected he did 
not much expect, being a veteran in love affairs, accus- 
tomed to conquer, and gifted by birthright with an auda- 
cious confidence. Xor did he so much as suspect that he 
was not good enough for her. His moral perceptions, not 
very keen perhaps by nature, had been still further cal- 
loused by thii'ty-five years of wandering in the wilderness 
of sin. Strange as it may seem to people of staid lives the 
Colonel did not even consider himself a fast man. He al- 
lowed that he drank ; yes, that he sometimes drank more 
than was good for him ; but, as he laughingly said, he 
never took more than his regulation quart a day; by 
which he meant that, according to the army standard, he 
was a temperate drinker. As to gambling, that was a 
gentleman's amusement, and moreover he had done very 
little of it in the last year or two. It was true that he 

had had various ; but then all men did that sort of 

thing at times and under temptation ; they did it more or 
less openly, according as they were men of the world or 
hypocrites ; if they said they didn't, they lied. The Colonel 
did not grant the least faith to the story of Joseph, or, al- 
lowing it to be true, for the sake of argument, he consid- 
ered Joseph no gentleman. In short, after inspecting him- 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 201 

self fairly and fully according to his lights, he concluded 
that he was rather honorable even in his vices. Had he 
not, for instance, entangled himself in that affair of the 
French boudoir chiefly to get Miss Ravenel out of his head, 
and so keep fvom leading her and himself into a poverty- 
stricken marriage ? Thus, though he was very frank with 
himself, he still concluded that he was a tolerably good 
fellow. Yes ; and there were many other persons who 
thought him good enough ; men who knew his ways per- 
fectly but could not see much matter of reproach in them. 
In this state of opinion, and temper of feehng, the Colonel 
approached his last interveiw with Miss Ravenel. He 
meant to avoid the temptation of seeing her alone on this 
occasion ; but when Mrs. Larue told him that he should 
have a private interview of half an hour he could not re- 
fuse the offer. It must not be supposed that Lillie was a 
party to the conspiracy. Madame alone originated, planned, 
and executed. She saw to it beforehand that the Doctor 
should be invited out ; she stopped Colburne on the door- 
step with a message that the ladies were not at home ; 
lastly she slipped out of the parlor, dodged through the 
back passage into the Ravenel house, and remained there 
thirty minutes by the watch. It vexed this amiable crea- 
ture a trifle that the Colonel should j^refer Lillie; but 
since he would be so foolish, she was determmed that he 
should make a marriage of it. Leaving her to these re- 
flections as she walks the Doctor's studio, kicking his 
mmerals about the carpet with her little feet, or watchuig 
at the window lest he should return unexpectedly, let us 
go back to Mss Ravenel and her still imdecided lover. It 
was understood that the expedition was to sail the next 
day, although Carter had not said so, not being a man to 
tattle official secrets. When, therefore, he entered the 
house that evening, she felt a vague dread of him, as if 
half comprehending that the occasion might lead him to 
say somethmg decisive of her future. Carter on his part 
knew that he would not be interrupted for a reasonable 
12 



202 Miss Ravexel's CoxvetwSiox 

number of minutes ; and as Mrs. Larue left the room the 
sense of opportunity rushed upon him like a flood of tempta- 
tion. He forgot in an instant that she was poor, that he 
was poor and extravagant, and that a marriage would be 
the maddest of follies, compared with which all his by- 
gone extravagancies were acts of sedate wisdom. He was 
now what he always had been, and what people of strong 
passions very frequently are, the victim of chance and 
juxtaposition. He rose from the sofa where he had been 
sitting and worrying his cap, walked straight across the 
room with a firm step, like the resolute, irresistible ad- 
vance of a veteran regiment, and took a cliair beside her. 

" Miss Ravenel," he said, and stopped. There was 
more profound feeling in his voice and face than we have 
yet seen him exhibit m this history ; there was so much, 
and it was so electrical in its natuix?, at least as regarded 
her, that she trembled in body and spirit. " Miss Rav- 
enel," he resumed, " I did mtend to go to this battle 
without saying one word of love to you. But I cannot 
do it. You see I cannot do it." 

Such a moment as this is one of the supreme moments 
of a woman's life. There is a fulfillment of hope which is 
thrillingly delicious ; there is a demand, amounting to a 
decree, which involves her whole bemg, her whole future ; 
there is a surprise, — it is always a surprise, — which is so 
sudden and great that it falls like a terror. A pure and 
loving girl who receives a first declaration of love from 
the man whom she has secretly chosen out of all men as 
the keeper of her heart is in a condition of soul wliich 
makes her womanhood all ecstacy. There is not a nerve 
in her brain, not a drop of blood in her body, which does 
not go delirious with the enthusiasm of the moment. She 
does not ^eem really to see, nor to hear, nor to speak, but 
only to feel that presence and those words, and her own 
reply ; to feel them all by some new, miraculous sense, 
such as we are conscious of in dreams, Avhen things are 
communicated to us and by us without touch or voice. It 



From Secession to Loyalty. 203 

is a mere palpitation of feeling, yet full of utterances ; a 
throbbing of happiness so acute and startling as to be al- 
most pain. That man has no just comprehension of this 
moment, or is very unworthy of the power vested in his 
manhood, who can awaken such emotions merely for a 
passing pleasure, or blight them afterward by unfaithful- 
ness and neglect. In one sense Carter was as noble as his 
triumph ; he was not a good man, but he could love fer- 
vently. At the same time he was not timorous, but under- 
stood her although she did not answer. Precisely because 
she did not speak, because he saw that she could not 
speak, because he felt that no more speech was necessary, 
he took her hand and pressed it to his lips. The color 
which had left her skin came back to it and burned like a 
flame in her face and neck. 

" May I write to you when I am away ?" he asked. 

She raised her eyes to his with an expression of loving 
gratitude which no words could utter. She tried to 
speak, but she could only whisper — 

" Oh ! I should be so happy." 

" Then, my dear, my dearest one, remember that I am 
yours, and try to feel that you are mine." 

I shall go no farther in the description of this interview. 



CHAPTER XV. 

LILLIE BIDS GOOD-BYE TO THE LOVER WHOM SHE HAS 

CHOSEX, AND TO THE LOVER WHOM SHE 

WOULD NOT CHOOSE. 

LiLLiE left Mrs. Larue early, without a word as to the 
great event which had just changed the world for her, 
and retired to her own house and her own room. She 
was in a state of being, half stunned, half ecstatic ; every 
faculty seemed to be suspended, except so far as it was 



204 Miss Ravexel's Coxveksiox 

electrified to action by one idea ; she sat by the window 
with folded hands, motionless, seeing and hearing only 
through her memory ; she sought to recollect him as he 
was when he took her hand and kissed it ; she called to 
mind all that he had said and looked and done. She 
could not tell whether she had been thus occupied five 
minutes or half an hour, when she heard the tinkle of the 
door-bell, followed by her father's entrance. Tlien sud- 
denly a great terror and sense of guilt fell upon her spirit. 
From the moment when that confession of love had been 
uttered down to this moment her mind had been occupied 
by but one human being, and that was her lover. Now, 
for the first time during the evening, she recollected that 
the man of her choice was not the man of her father's 
choice, but, more than almost any other person, the object 
of liis suspicion, if not of his aversion. Yet she loved 
them both ; she could not take sides with one against the 
other; it would kill her to give up the affection of 
either. All impulse, all passion, blood and brain as trem- 
ulous as quicksilver, she ran down stairs, opened the door 
into the study where the doctor stood among his boxes, 
wavered backward under a momentary throb of fear, then 
sprang forward, threw her arms around his neck and 
sobbed upon his shoulder, 

" Oh, papa ! — I am so happy ! — so miserable !" 

The doctor stared in astonishment and in some vague 
alarm. Hardly aware of how much energy he used, he 
detached her from him and held her out at arm's length, 
looking anxiously at her for an explanation. 

" Oh, don't push me away," begged Lillie, and strug- 
gled back to him, trying to hide her face against his 
breast. 

A suspicion of the truth fell across the Doctor, but he 
strove to fling it from him as one dashes off* a disagreeable 
reptile. Still, he looked quite nervous and apprehensive 
as he said, " What is it, my child ?" 



Fkom Secession to Lovalty. 205 

" Mr. Carter Tvill tell you," she whispered ; then, before 
he could speak, " Do love him for my sake." 

He pushed her sobbing into a chaii-, and turned his back 
on her with a groan. 

" Oh \—That man !— I can't— I won't." 

He walked several times rapidly up and down the room, 
and then broke out again. 

" I can not consent. I will not consent. It is not my 
duty. Oh, Lillie ! how could you choose the very man of 
all that — ! I tell you this must not be. It must stop here. 
I have no confidence in him. He will not make you happy. 
He will make you miserable. I tell you that you will re- 
gret the day that you marry him to the last moment of 
your life. My child," (persuasively) " you must believe 
me. You must trust my judgment. Will you not be 
persuaded ? Will you not stop where you are ?" 

He ceased his walk and gazed eagerly at her, hoping for 
some aflirmative sign. As may be supposed Lillie could 
not give it ; she could make no very distinct signs just 
then, either one way or the other ; she did not speak, nor 
look at him, nor shake her head, nor nod it ; she only cov- 
ered her face with her hands, and sobbed. Then the Doc- 
tor, feeling himself to be forsaken, and acknowledging it 
by outward dumb show, after the manner of men who are 
greatly moved, went to the other end of the room, sat down 
by himself and dropped his head into his hands, as if accept- 
ing utter loneliness m the world. Lillie gave him one 
glance in his acknowledged extremity of desertion, and, 
rimning to him, knelt at his feet and laid her head against 
his. She was certainly the most unhappy of the two, but 
her eagerness w^as even stronger than her misery. 

" Oh papa ! ivhy do you hate him so ?" 

" I don't hate him. I dread him. I suspect him. I know 
he will not make you happy. I know he will make you 
miserable." 

" But why ? — why ? Perhaps he can explain it. Tell 



206 Miss R a v e n e l ' s Conversion 

him what you think, papa. I am sure he can expLain every- 
thing." 

But the Doctor only groaned, rose up, disentangled 
himself from his daughter, and leavmg her there on the 
floor, continued his doleful walk. 

Xever having really feared what had come to pass, but 
only given occasional thought to it as a possible though 
improbable calamity, he had not inquired strictly into 
Carter's manner of life, and so had nothing definite to al- 
lege against him. At the same time he knew perfectly 
well from trifling circumstances, incidental remarks, gen- 
eral air and bearing, that he was one of the class known in 
the world as " men about town :" a class not only obnox- 
ious to the Doctor's moral sentiments as the antipodes of 
his own purity, but also as bemg a natural product of that 
slaveholding system which he regarded as a compendium 
of injustice and wickedness ; a class the members of which 
were constantly coming to grief and bringmg sorrow upon 
those who held them m affection. He knew them ; he had 
watched and disliked them since his childhood ; he was 
familiar by unpleasant observation with their language, 
feelings, and doings ; he knew where they began, how they 
went on, and in what sort they ended. The calamities 
which they wrought for themselves and all who were 'con- 
nected with tiiem he had witnessed in a hundred similar, 
and, so to speak, reflected instances. He remembered 
young Hammer si ey, who had sunk down in drunken par- 
alysis and burned liis feet to a crisp at his father's fire. 
Young Ellicot had dashed out his brains by leapuig from 
a fourth story window in a fit of delirium tremens. Tom 
Akers was shot dead while drunk by a negro whom he had 
horribly tortured. Fred Sanderson beat his wife until she 
left him, spent his property at bars and gaming-tables 
and died in Cuba wjth Walker. Others he recollected, by 
the dozen, it seemed to him, who had fallen, wild with 
whiskey, in grog-shop broils or savage street rencontres. 
Those who lived to grrow old had slave-born children, whom 



From Secession to Loyalty. 207 

they either shamelessly acknowledged, or more shamelessly- 
ignored, and perha^^s sold at the auction-block. They were 
drunkards, gamblers, adulterers, murderers. Of such was 
the kingdom of Hell. And this man, to whom his only 
child, his Lillie, had entrusted her heart, was, he feared, 
he almost knew, one of that same class, although not, it 
was to be hoped, so deeply stamed with the brutish forms 
of vice which flow directly from slavery. He could not 
entrust her to him ; he could not accept him as a son. 
At the same time he could not in this interview make any 
distinct charges against his life and character. Accordingly 
his talk was vague, incoherent, and sounded to Lillie like 
the frettings of groundless prejudice. The painful inter- 
view lasted above an hour, and, so far as concerned a de- 
cision, ended precisely where it began. 

" Go to your bed, my child," the Doctor said at last. 
" And go to sleep if you can. You will cry yourself sick." 

She gave him a silent kiss, wet with tears, and went 
away with an aching heart and a wearied frame. 

For two hours or more the Doctor continued his miser- 
able walk up and down the study, from the door to the 
window, from corner to corner, occasionally stopping to 
rest a tired body which yet had no longing for slumber. 
He went back over his daughter's life, begmning with the 
infantile days when he used to send the servant away from 
the cradle in which she lay, and rock it himself for the 
pure pleasure of watching her. He remembered how she 
had expanded into the whole of his heart when her mother 
died. He thought how solely he had loved her since that 
bereavement, and how her love for him had grown with 
her growth and strengthened with every maturing power 
of her spirit. In the enthusiasm, the confidence of this 
recollection, he did not doubt at moments but that he could 
win her back to himself from this misplaced aflection. She 
was so young yet, her heart must be so pliable yet, that 
he could surely influence her. As this comforting hope 
stole through him he felt a desire to look at her. Yes, he 



208 Miss Rave x el's Coxversiox 

must see her again before he could get to sleep ; he would 
go gently to her room and gaze at her without waking 
her. ' Putting on his slipi^ers, he crept softly up stairs and 
opened her door without noise. By the light of a dying 
candle he saw Lillie in her night dress, sittmg up in bed 
and wipmg the tears from her cheeks with her hands. 

" Papa !" she said in an eager gasp, tremulous with 
affection, grief and hope. 

" Oh, my child ! I thought you would be asleep," he 
answered, advancmg to the bedside. 

" You are not very angry with me ?" she asked, making 
him sit down by her. 

" No ; not angry. But so grieved !" 

*' Then may he not write to me ?" 

She looked so loving, so eager, so soiTOwful that he 
could not say Xo. 

" Yes ; he may write." 

She drew his head towards her with her wet hands, and 
gave him a kiss the very gratitude of which pamed him. 

" But not you," he added, trying to be stern. " You 
must not write. You must not entangle yourself farther. 
I want to make inquiries. I must have time in this mat- 
ter. I will not be hurried. You must not consider your- 
self engaged, Lillie. I cannot allow it." 

" Oh, you will inquire, papa ?" implored the girl, confi- 
dent that Carters character would come imharmed out 
of the furnace of investigation. 

" Yes, yes. But give me time. This is too important, 
too solemn a matter to be hurried over. I will see. I will 
decide hereafter. There. Now you must go to sleep. 
Good night, my darling." 

" Good night, dear papa," she murmured, with the sigh 
of a tu-ed child. " Forgive me." 

It was near morning before either of them slept ; and 
both came to the breakfast table with pale, wearied faces. 
There were dark circles around Lillie's eyes, and her 
head ached so that she could hardly hold it up, but still 



From Secession to Loyalty. 209 

she put on a piteous, propitiating smile. She hoped and 
feared unreasonable things every time that her father spoke 
or seemed to her to be about to speak. She thought he 
might say that he had given up all his opposition ; and in 
the same breath she dreaded lest he might declare that it 
must be all over forever. But the conversation of the 
evening was not resumed, and the meal passed m absorbed, 
anxious, embarrassing silence, neither being able to talk 
on any subject but the one which filled their tnoughts. 
An hour later Lillie suddenly fled from the parlor to her 
own room. She had seen Carter approaching the house ; 
she felt certain that he came to demand her of her father ; 
and at such an interview she could not have been j^resent, 
she thought, without dymg. The mere thought of it as 
she sat by her window, looking out without seeing any- 
thing, made her breath come so painfully that she wondered 
whether her lungs were not afiected, and whether she were 
not dcptmed to die early. Her fatigue, and still more her trou- 
bles, made her babyish, like an invalid. After half an hour 
had passed she heard the outer door close upon tne visitor, 
and could not resist the temptation of peeping out to see 
him, if it were only his back. He was looking, with those 
handsome and audacious eyes of his straight at her win- 
dow. With a sudden throb of alarm, or shame, or some 
other womanish emotion, she hid herself behind the curtain, 
only to look out again when he had disappeared, and to 
grieve lest she had given him ofi:ence. After a while her 
father called her, and she went down trembling to the 
parlor. 

" I have seen him," said the Doctor. " I told him what 
I told you. I told him that I must wait, — that I wanted 
time for reflection. I gave him to understand that it must 
not be considered an engagement. At the same time I 
allowed him to write to you. God forgive me if I have 
done wrong. God pity us both." 

Lilhe did not thuik of asking if he had been civil to the 
Colonel ; she knew that he would not and could not be 



210 Miss Rave x el's Conversion 

discourteous to any human being. She made no answer 
to what he said except by going gently to him and kissmg 
him. 

" Come, you must dress yourself," he added. The regi- 
ment goes on board the transport at twelve o'clock. I 
promised the Colonel that we would be there to bid him — 
and Captain Colburne good-bye." 

Dressing for the street was usually a long operation 
with Lillie, but not this morning. Although she reached 
the station of the Carrollton railroad in a breathless con- 
dition, it seemed to her that her father had never walked 
so slowly ; and on board the cars she really fatigued her- 
self with the nervous tension of an involuntary mental 
effort to push forward the wheezy engine. 

Carrollton is one the suburban offshoots of Xew Orleans, 
and contains some two thousand inhabitants, mostly of 
the poorer classes, and of Germanic lineage. Around it 
stretches the tame, rich, dead level which constitutes 
southern Louisiana. The only raised ground is the levee ; 
the only grand feature of the landscape is the Mississippi ; 
all the rest is greenery, cypress groves, orange thickets, 
flowers, or bare flatness. As Lillie emerged from the 
brick and plaster railroad-station she saw the Tenth and 
its companion regiments along the levee, the men sitting 
down ill their ranks and waituig patiently, after the man- 
ner of soldiers. The narrow open jDlace between the river 
and the dusty little suburb was thronged with citizens ; — 
German shopkeepers, silversmiths, &c., who were out of 
custom, and Irish laborers who were out of work ; — poor 
women, (whose husbands were in the rebel army) selling 
miserable cakes and beer to the enlisted men ; all, white as 
well as black, ragged, dirty, lounging, listless hopeless ; 
none of them hostile, at least not in maimer; a dis- 
couraged, subduced, stricken population. Against the 
bank were moored six steamboats, their smoke-stacks, and 
even their upper decks, overlooking the low landscape. 
They were not the famous floating palaces of the Mis- 



FEOii Secession to Loyalty. 211 

ssisippi, those bad all been carried away by Lovell, or 
burnt at the wharves, or sunk in battle near the forts; 
these were smaller craft, such as formerly brought cotton 
clown the Red River, or threaded the shallows between 
Lake Pontchartrain and Mobile. They looked more 
fragile even than northern steamboats ; their boilers and 
machinery were unenclosed, visible, neglected, ugly ; the 
superstructure was a card-house of stanchions and clap- 
boards. 

The Doctor led Lillie through the crowd to a pile of 
lumber which, promised a view of the scene. As she 
mounted the humble lookout she caught sight of a manly 
equestrian figure, and heard a powerful bass voice thunder 
out a sentence of command. It was so guttural as to be 
incomprehensible to her ; but in obedience to it the loung- 
ing soldiers sprang to their feet and resumed their ranks ; 
the shining muskets rose straight from the shoulder, and 
then took a uniform slope ; there was a bustle, a mo- 
mentary minglmg, and she saw knapsacks instead of faces. 

" Battalion !" the Colonel had commanded. " Shoul- 
der arms. Right shoulder shift arms. Right face." 

He now spoke a few words to the adjutant, who re- 
peated the orders to the captams, and then signalled to the 
drum-major. To the sound of drum and fife the right com- 
pany, followed successively by the others from right to 
left, filed doAvn the little slope with a regular, resounding 
tramp, and rapidly crowded one of the transports with 
blue uniforms and shuiing rifles. How superb iq Lillie's 
eyes was the Colonel, though his face was grim and his 
voice harsh with arbitrary power. She liked him for his 
bronzed color, his monstrous mustache, his air of matured 
manhoo/l ; yes, how much better she liked him for bemg 
thirty-five years old than if he had been only twenty-five ! 
How much jDrouder of him was she because she was a 
little afraid of him, than if he had seemed one whom she 
might govern ! Presently a brilliant blush rose like a sunrise 
upon her countenance. Carter had caught sight of them, 



212 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

and was apj^roachmg. A wave of his hand and a stare of 
his imperious eyes drove away the flock of negroes who had 
crowded their lookout. The interview was short, and to a 
listener would have been unmteresting, unless he had 
known the sentimental relations of the parties. The Doc- 
tor did nearly all of that part of the talking which was 
done in words ; and his observations, if they were noted at 
all, probably seemed to the other two mere flatness and 
irrelevancy. He prophecied success to the expedition ; he 
wished the Colonel success for the sake of the good cause ; 
finally he warmed so far as to wish him personal success 
and safety. But what was even this to that other question 
of union or separation for life ? 

Presently the Adjutant approached with a salute, and re- 
ported that the transport would not accommodate the 
whole regiment. 

" It must," said the Colonel. " The men are not prop- 
erly stowed. I suppose they won't stow. They hav'n't 
learned yet that they can't have a state-room apiece. I 
well attend to it, Adjutant." 

Turnmg to the Ravenels, he added, " I suppose I must 
bid you good-bye. I shall have little more time to myself. 
I am so much obliged to you for coming to see us ofi*. God 
bless you ! God bless you !" 

Wlien a man of the Colonel's nature utters this benedic- 
tion seriously he is unquestionably much more moved than 
ordinarily. Lillie felt this : not that she considered Car- 
ter wicked, but simply more masculine than most men : 
and she was so much shaken by his unusual emotion that 
she could hardly forbear burstmg mto tears in public. 
When he was gone she would have been glad to fly im- 
mediately, if only she could have found a place where she 
might be alone. Then she had to compose herself to meet 
Colburne. 

" The Colonel sent me to take care of you," he said, as 
he joined them. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 213 

" How good of him !" thought Lillie, meaning thereby 
Carter, and not the Captam. 

" Will they all get on board this boat ?" she inquired. 

" Yes. They are moving on now. The men of course 
hate to stow close, and it needed the Colonel to make then 
do it." 

" It looks awfully crowded," she answered, searching the 
whole craft over for a glimpse of Carter. 

The Doctor had little to say, and seemed quite sad ; he 
was actually thinking how much easier he could have loved 
this one than the other. Colburne knew nothing of the 
great event of the previous evening, and so was not mis- 
erable about it. He hoped to send back to this girl such a 
good report of himself from the field of impending battle 
as should exact her admiration, and perhaps force her heart 
to salute him Imperator. He was elated and confident; 
boasted of the soldierly, determined look of the men ; 
pointed out his own company with pride ; proj^hesied bril- 
liant success. When at last he bade them good-bye h^' 
did it in a light, kindly brave way wliich was meant to 
cheer up Miss Ravenel under any possible cloud of forebod- 
ing. 

" I won't say anything about being brought back on my 
shield. I won't ever j^romise that there shall be enough 
left to fill a table-spoon." 

Yet the heart felt a pang of somethmg like remorse for 
this counterfeit gayety of the lips. 

The gangway plank was hauled in ; a few stragglers 
leaped aboard at the risk of a ducking; the regimental 
band on the upper deck struck up a national air ; the ne- 
groes on shore danced and cackled and screamed with 
childish delight ; the noisy high-pressure engine began to 
sob and groan like a demon in pain, — the boat veered 
slowly into the stream and followed its consorts. Two 
gunboats and six transports steamed up the yellow river, 
trailing columns of black smoke athwart the blue sky, and 
away over the green levels of Louisiana. 



214 Miss HxVtenel's Coxversiox 

Now came nearly a weekof anxiety to Lillie and trouble 
to her father. She Avas -^vith him as much as possible, 
partly because that was her okl and loving habit, and 
partly because she wanted him continually at hand to 
comfort her. She was not satisfied with seemg him morn- 
ing and evening ; she must visit him at the hospitals, and 
go back and forth with him on the street cars ; she must 
hear from him every half hour that there was no danger 
of evil tidings, as if he were a newsj^aper issued by extras ; 
she must keep at him with questions that no man could 
answer. 

" Papa, do you believe that Mouton has fifteen thousand 
men ? Do you believe that there will be a great battle ? 
Do you believe that our side " (she could call it our side 
now) " will be beaten ? Do you believe that our loss will 
be very heavy ? What is the usual proportion of killed 
in a battle ? You don't knaw ? Well, but what are the 
probabilities ?'' 

If he took up a book or opened his cases of minerals, it 
was, " Oh, please don't read," or, " Please let those stones 
alone. I want you to talk to me. When do you suppose 
the battle will haj)pen ? When shall we get the first news ? 
When shall we get the particulai-s ?" 

And so she kej^t questioning ; she was enough to won-y 
the life out of j^apa : but then he was accustomed to be 
thus worried. He was a most patient man, even in the 
bosom of his own family, which is not so common a trait 
as many persons suppose. One afternoon those sallow, 
black-eyed Hectors at the corners of the streets, who looked 
so much like gamblers and talked so much like traitors, 
had an air of elation which scared Miss Ravenel ; and she 
accordinglp hurried home to receive a confirmation of her 
fears from Mrs. Larue, who had heard that there had been 
a great battle near Thibodeaux, that Weitzel had been de- 
feated and that Mouton would certainly be in tlie city by 
next day afternoon. For an hour she was m an agony of 
unalleviated terror, for her comforter had not returned 



From Secession to Loyalty. 215 

from the hospital. When he ^ame she ilew upon him and 
ravenously demanded consolation. 

" My dear, yon must not be so childish," remonstrated^ 
the Doctor. " You must have more nerve, or you won't 
last the year out." 

" But what will become of you ? If Mouton comes here 
you will be sacrificed — you and all the Union men. I ^-ish 
you would take refuge on board some of the ships of war. 
Do go and see if they will take you. T shan't be hurt. 
I can get along." 

Ravenel laughed. 

" My dear, have you gone back to your babyhood ? I 
don't believe this story at all. When the time comes I 
will look out for the safety of both of us." 

" But do please go somewhere and see if you can't hear 
something." 

And when the Doctor was thus driven to pick up his 
hat, she took hers also and accompanied him, not being 
able to wait for the news until his return. They could 
learn nothing ; the journals had no bulletms out ; the Union 
banker, Mr. Barker, had nothmg to communicate ; they 
looked wistfully at headquarters, but did not dare to in- 
trude upon General Butler. As they went homeward the 
knots of well-dressed Catilines at the corners carried their 
treasonable heads as high and stared at Federal uniforms 
as insolently as ever. Ravenel thought sadly how much 
they resembled in air the well-descended gentleman to 
whom he feared that he should have to trust the happiness 
of his only child. Those of them who knew him did not 
speak nor bow, but glared at him as a Pawnee might glare 
at the captive himter around whose stake he expected to 
dance on the morrow. Evidently his life would be in 
peril if Mouton should enter the city ; but he was a san- 
guine, man and did not believe in the calamity. 

Next mornmg, as the father set off for the hospital, the 
daughter said, " If you hear any thing, do come right 
straight and tell me." 



216 Miss R a v e n e l ' s C o n v e k s i o x 

Twenty minutes after waM Ravenel was back at the 
house, breathless and radiant. "Weitzel had gained a vic- 
tory ; had taken cannon and hundreds of prisoners ; was in 
full march on the rebel capital, Thibodeaux. 

" Oh ! I am so happy !" cried the heretofore Secessionist. 
" But is there no list of killed and wounded ? Has our 
loss been heavy ? What do you think ? What do you 
think are the probabilities ? How strange that there should 
be no list of killed and wounded ! Was that positively all 
that you heard ? So little ? Oh, papa, don't, please, go 
to the hospital to-day. I can't bear to stay alone. — ^Well, 
if you must go, I will go with you." 

And go she did, but left him in half an hour after she 
got there, crazy to be near the bulletm boards. During 
the day she bought all the extras, and read four descrip- 
tions of the battle, all precisely alike, because copied from 
the same official bulletin, and all unsatisfactory because 
they did not contain lists of killed and wounded. But at 
the post-office, just before it closed, she was rewarded for 
that long day of wearymg inquiries. There was a letter 
from Carter to herself, and another from Colbume to her 
father. 

" My dear Lillie," began the first ; and here she paused 
to kiss the words, and wipe away the tears. " We have 
had a smart little fight, and whipped the enemy hand- 
somely. Weitzel managed matters in a way that really 
does him great credit, and the results are one cannon, 
three hundred prisoners, possession of the killed and 
wounded, and of the field of battle. Our loss was tri- 
fling, and includes no one whom you know. Life and 
limb being now doubly valuable to me for your sake, I 
am happy to inform you that I did not get hurt. I am 
tu-ed and have a great deal to do, so that I can only scratch 
you a line. But you must believe me, and I know that 
you will believe me, when I tell you that I have the heart 
to write you a dozen sheets instead of only a dozen sen- 
tences. Good bye, my dear one. 

" Ever and altooether vours." 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 21 Y 

It was Lillie's first love letter ; it was from a lover who 
had just come unharmed out of the perils of battle ; it was 
a "bLinding, thrilling page to read. She would not let her 
father take it ; no, that was not in the agreement at all ; 
it was too sacred even for his eyes. But she read it to 
him, all but those words of endearment ; all but those 
very words that to her were the most precious of all. In 
return he handed her Colburne's epistle, which was also 
brief. 

" My dear Doctor, — I have had the greatest pleasure 
of my whole life ; I have fought under the flag of my 
country, and seen it victorious. I have not time to write 
particulars, but you will of course get them in the papers. 
Our regiment behaved most nobly, our Colonel proved 
himself a hero, and our General a genius. We are en- 
camped for the night on the field of battle, cold and hun- 
gry, but brimming over with pride and happiness. There 
may be another battle to-morrow, but be sure that we shall 
conquer. Our men were greenhorns yesterday, but' they 
are veterans to-day, and will face any thing. Ask Miss 
Ravenel if she will not turn loyal for the sake of our gal- 
lant little army. It deserves even that compliment. 

" Truly yours." 

" He doesn't say that he is unhurt," observed the Doc- 
tor. 

" Of course he is," answered Lillie, not willing to sup- 
pose for him the honor of a wound when her paragon had 
none. " Colonel Carter says that the loss includes no one 
whom we know." 

" He is a noble fellow," pursued the Doctor, still dwell- 
ing on the young man's magnanimity in not thinking to 
speak of himself. " He is the most truly heroic, chivalrous 
gentleman that I know. He is one of nature's noblemen." 

Lillie was piqued at these praises of Colburne, not con- 
sidering him half so fine a character as Carter, m eulogy 
K 



218 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

of whom her father said nothing. She thought of asking 
him if he had noticed how the Captain spoke of the Col- 
onel as a hero — ^but concluded not to do it, for fear he 
might reply that the latter ought to have paid the former 
the same compliment. She felt that for the present, until 
her father's prejudices should wear away, she must be 
contented with deifying her Achilles alone. Notwith- 
standing this pettish annoyance, grievous as it was to a 
most loving spirit strongly desirous of sympathy, the rest 
of the day passed delightfully, the time being divided be- 
tween frequent readings of Carter's letter, and intervals of 
meditation thereon. The epistle which her father wrote 
to the Colonel was also thoroughly read, and was in fact 
so emendated and enlarged by her suggestions that it 
might be considered her composition. 



CHAPTER XYI. 

colonel cakter gains one victory, and miss ravenel 

ANOTHER. 

After the victory of Georgia Landing, the brigade was 
stationed for the winter in the vicinity of the little half- 
Creole, half- American city of Tliibodeaux. I have not time 
to tell of the sacking of this land of rich plantations ; how 
the inhabitants, by flying before the northern Yandals, in- 
duced the spoliation of their own property ; how the ne- 
groes defiled and jDlundered the forsaken houses, and how 
the soldiers thereby justified themselves in plundering the 
negroes ; how the furniture, plate and libraries of the La- 
fourche planters were thus scattered upon the winds of 
destruction. These things are matters of public and not 
of private history. If I were writing the life and times of 
Colonel Carter, *or of Captain Colburne, I should relate 
them with conscientious tediousness, adding a description 



F li o it S E c E s s I o X TO Loyalty 



219 



in the best style of modern i^^ord-painting of the windmg 
and muddy Bayou Lafourche, the interminable parallel 
levees, the flat border of rich bottom land, the fields of 
moving cane, and the enclosmg stretches of swampy forest. 
But I am simply Tvritmg a biography of Miss Kavenel, 
illustrated by skretches of her three or four relatives and 
intimates. 

To reward Colonel Carter for his gallantry at Georgia 
Landmg, and to compensate him for his disappointment 
in not obtaining the star of a brigadier, the commanding 
general appomted him military governor of Louisiana, and 
stationed him at Xew Orleans. 

In his present temper and with his present intentions 
he was smcerely delighted to obtam the generous loot. of 
the governorship. In order to save up money for his ap- 
proachmg married life, he tried to be economical, and 
actually thought that he was so, although he regularly 
spent the monthly two hundred and twenty-two dollars 
of his colonelcy. But the position of governor would give 
him several thousands a year, and these thousands he could 
and would put aside to comfort and adorn his future wife. 
Kow-a-days there was no private and unwarrantable at- 
tachment to his housekeeping establishment; the pure 
love that was in his heart overthrew and drove out all 
the unclean spirits who were its enemies. Moreover, he 
rapidly cut down his drinkuig habits, first prunmg ofi" his 
cocktails before breakfast, then his absmthe before dinner, 
then liis afternoon whiskeys straight, then his convivial 
eyenmg punches, and in short everything but the hot 
night-cap with which he prepared himself for slumber. 

" That may have to go, too," he said to himself, " when I 
am married." 

He spent every spare moment with Lillie and her father. 
He was quite happy m his love-born sanctification of sj^irit, 
and showed it in his air, countenance and conversation! 
Man of the world as he was, or thought he was, roue as 
he had been, it never occurred to him to wonder at the 



220 Miss Ravenel's Cox version 

o 

change which had come over him, nor to laugh at him- 
self because of it. To a nature so simply passionate as 
his, the present hour of passion was the only hour that he 
could realize. He shortly came to feel as if he had never 
lived any other life than this which he was living now. 

The Doctor soon lost his keen distrust of Carter ; he be- 
gan to respect him, and consequently to like him. Indeed 
he could not help being pleased with any tolerable person 
who pleased his daughter ; although he sometimes exhib- 
ited a petulant jealousy of such persons which was droll 
enough, considering that he was only her father. 

" Papa, I believe you would be severe on St. Cecilia, or 
St. Ursula, if I should get intimate with them," Lillie had 
once said. " I never had a particular friend since I was 
a baby, but what you picked her to pieces." 

And the Doctor had m reply looked a little indignant, 
not perceiving the justice of the criticism. By the way, 
Lillie had a similar jealousy of him, and was ready to 
slander any single woman who ogled him too fondly. 
There were moments of great anguish when she feared 
that he might be inveigled into admiring, perhaps lovuig, 
perhaps (horrid thought !) marrying, Mrs. Larue. If it 
ever occurred to her that this would be a poetically just 
retribution for her own sin of giving away her heart with- 
out asking his approval, she drew no resignation from the 
thought. I may as well state here that the widow did oc- 
casionally make eyes at the Doctor. He was oldish, but 
he was very charmuig, and any man is better than no man, 
She had given up Carter ; our friend Colburne was Avith 
his regiment at Thibodeaux ; and the male angels of New 
Orleans were so few that their visits were far between. 
So those half-shut, almond eyes of dewy blackness and 
brightness were frequently turned sidelong upon Ravenel, 
with a coquettish significance which made Lillie uneasy in 
the innermost chambers of her filial affection. Mi's. Larue 
had very remarkable eyes. They were the only features 
of her face that were not under her control : they were so 



From Secession to Loyalty. 221 

expressive that she never could fully veil their meaning. 
They were beautiful spiders, weaving quite visibly webs 
of entanglement, the threads of which were rays of daz- 
zling Hght and subtle sentiment. 

" Devilish handsome eyes ! Dangerous, by Jove !" re- 
marked the Colonel, judging in his usual confident, broad- 
cast fashion, right rather more than half the time. " I've 
seen the day, by Jove ! when they would have finished 
me." 

For the present the Doctor was saved from their perilous 
witchery by the advent of Colbume, who, having obtained 
a leave of absence for ten days, came of course to spend 
it with the Ravenels. Immediately the Larue orbs kin- 
dled for him, as if they were pyres whereon his passions, if 
he chose, might consume themselves to ashes. She exhib- 
ited and felt no animosity on account of bygones. She 
was a most forgiving, cold-hearted, good-natured, selfish, 
well-bred little creature. She never had standing quarrels, 
least of all with the other sex ; and she could practice a 
marvellous perseverance, without any acrimony in case of 
disappointment. Colburne was favored with private in- 
terviews which he did not seek, and visions of conquest 
which did not excite his ambition. He was taken by gen- 
tle force up the intricate paths of a mountain of talk, and 
shown the unsubstantial and turbulent kingdoms of coque- 
try, with a hint that all might be his if he would but fall 
down and worship. It became a question in his mind whe- 
ther Milton should not have represented Satan as a female 
of French extraction and Xew Orleans education. 

" Captain Colburne, you do not like women," she once 
said. 

" I beg your pardon — I repel the horrible accusation." 

" Oh, I admit that you like a woman — this one, perhaps, 
or that one. But it is the individual which interests yoa, 
and not the sex. For woman as woman — for woman be- 
cause she is woman — you care little." 

" Mrs. Larue, it is a very singular charge. iN'ow that 



222 Miss Ravexel's Converriox * 

you have brought it to my notice, I don't know but I must 
plead guilty, to some extent. You mean to say, I suppose, 
that I can't or won't fall in love with the first woman I 
come to, merely because she is handy." 

" That is precisely it, only you have phrased it rather 
grossly." 

" And do you charge it as a fault in my character ?" 

" I avow that I do not regard it as so manly, so truly 
masculme, you comprehend, as the opposite trait." 

" Upon my honor !" exclaimed Colburne in amazement. 
"Then you must consider, — I beg your pardon — but it 
follows that Don Juan was a model man." 

" In my opuiion he was. Excuse my frankness. I am 
older than you. I have seen much life. I have a right to 
philosophise. Just see here. It is intended for wise rea- 
sons that man should not leave woman alone ; that he 
should seek after her constantly, and force himself upon 
her ; that, losing one, he should find another. Therefore 
the man, who, losing one, chooses another, best represents 
his sex." 

She waited for a reply to her argument, but Colburne 
was too much crushed to ofier one. He shirked his honest 
duty as an interlocutor by saying, " Mrs. Larue, this is a 
novel idea to me, and I must have time for consideration 
before I accept it." 

She laughed without a sign of embarrassment, and 
changed the subject. 

But Mrs. Larue was not the only cause which prevented 
Colburne's visit from being a monotony of happiness. He 
soon discovered that there was an understanding between 
Colonel Carter and Miss Ravenel ; not an engagement, 
perhaps, but certainly an inner circle of confidences and 
sentiments into which he was not allowed to enter. In 
this matter Lillie was more open and legible than her lover. 
She so adored her hero because of the deadly perils which 
he had aflfronted, and the honor wliich he had borne from 
anion o- theii' flame and smoke, that she could not always con- 



o Feom Secession to Loyalty. 223 

ceal, and sometimes did not care to conceal, her admira- 
tion. Xot that she ever expressed it by endearments or 
fondling words : no, that would have been a coarse au- 
dacity of which her maidenly nature was incapable : but 
there were rare glances ot irrepressible meaning, surprised 
out of her very soul, which came like revelations. When 
she asked Colburne to tell her the whole story of Georgia 
Landing, he guessed easily what she most wanted to hear. 
To please her, he made Carter the hero of the epic, related 
how impetuous he was during the charge, how superbly 
cool as soon as it was over, how he sat his horse and 
waved his sabre and gave his orders. To be sure, the 
enthusiastic youth took a soldierly j^leasure in the history ; 
he was honestly proud of his commander, and he loved to 
tell the tale of his own only battle. But notwithstanding 
this slight pleasure, notwithstanding that the Doctor 
treated him with even tender consideration, and that Mrs. 
Larue was often amusing as well as embarrassmg, he did 
not enjoy his visit. This mysterious cloud which encom- 
passed the Colonel and Miss Ravenel, sejDaratuig them from 
all others, cast upon him a shadow of melancholy. In the 
first place, of course, it was pamful to suspect that he had 
lost this charming girl ; in the second, he grieved on her 
account, not believing it possible that with that man for a 
husband she could be permanently happy. Carter was a 
brave soldier, an able officer, a person of warm and natu- 
rally kind impulses ; but gentlemen of such habits as his 
were not considered good matches where Colburne had 
formed his opinions. No man, whatever his talents, could 
win a professorship in Winslow University, or occupy a 
respectable niche in N'ew Boston society, who rarely went 
to church, who drank freely and openly, who had been 
seen to gamble, who swore like a trooper, and who did 
other things which the Colonel had been known to do. 
All this time he was so over-modest by nature, and so op- 
pressed by an acquired sense of soldierly subordination, 
that he never seriously thought of setting himself up as a 



224 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

rival against the Colonel. Perhaps I am tedious in my 
analvsis of the Captain's opinions, motives and sentiments. 
The truth is that I take a sympathetic interest in liim, be- 
lieving him to be a representative young man of my native 
iSTew England, and that I consider him a better match for 
Miss Ravenel than this southern " high-toned " gentleman 
whom she insists upon having. 

While Colburne was feeling so strongly with regard to 
Lillie, could she not devote a sentiment to him? Xot 
many; she had not time; she was otherwise occupied. 
So selfishly wrapped up in her own affections was she, 
that, until Mrs. Larue laughingly suggested it, she never 
thought of his bemg jealous or miserable on account of 
her. Then she hoped that he did not care much for her, 
and was really sorry for him if he did. What a horrible. 
fate it seemed to her to be disappointed in love ! She re- 
membered that she had once liked hmi very much indeed ; 
but so she did even yet, she added, with a comfortable 
closing oflier eyes to all change in the nature of the senti- 
ment ; and perhaps he only fancied her in a similar Pla- 
tonic fashion. Once she had cut out of a paper, and put 
away in so safe a place that now she could not find it, a 
little poem whicli he had written, and which was only in- 
terestino- because he was the author. She blushed as she 
called her folly to mind, and resolved that it should never 
be known to any one. It is curious that she was a little 
vexed with Colburne because of this reminiscence, and felt 
that it more than repaid him for all the secret devotion 
wliicb he might have lavished on her. 

" My leave of absence has not been as pleasant as I 
hoped it would be," he once had the courage to remark. 

" Why not ?" she asked absent-mmdedly ; for she was 
thinking of her own heart affairs. 

"I fear that I have lost some sympathies which I 



once- 



Here he checked himself, not daring to confess how 
much he had once hoped. With a sudden comprehension 



From Secession to Loyalty. 225 

of his meaning Lillie colored intensely, after her usual 
fashion on startlkig occasions, and glanced about the room 
in search of some other subject of conversation. 

" I have a sense of bemg a stranger in the family," he 
explained after a moment of painful silence. 

She might surely have said something kind here, but 
she was too conscientious or too much embarrassed to do 
it. She made one of those efforts which Avomen are ca- 
pable of, and sailed out of the difficulty on the wmgs of a 
laugh. 

" I am sure Mrs. Larue takes a deep interest in you." 

Colburne colored in his turn under a sense of mortifica- 
tion mmgled with something like anger. Both were re- 
lieved when Doctor Ravenel entered, and thereby broke up 
the fretting dialogue. Xow why was not the young man 
informed of the real state of affairs in the family ? Simply 
because the Doctor, fearful for his child's happiness, and 
loth to lose dominion over her future, could not yet bring 
himself to consider the engagement as a finality. 

There were no scenes during the leave of absence. N'ei- 
ther Colburne nor Madame Larue made a declaration or 
received a refusal. Two days before the leave of absence 
terminated he sadly and wisely and resolutely took his 
departure for Thibodeaux. Xothing of interest happened 
to him during the winter, except that he accompanied his 
regiment in Weitzel's advance up the Teche, which re- 
sulted in the retreat of Mouton from Camp Beasland, and 
the destruction of the rebel iron-clad " Cotton." A nan-a- 
tive of the expedition, written with his usual martial en- 
thusiasm, but which imfortunately I have not space to 
pubhsh, was received by Doctor Ravenel, and declared by 
him to be equal in precision, brevity, elegance, and every 
other classical quality of style, to the Commentaries of 
Julius Caesar. The Colonel remarked, in his practical 
way, that the thing seemed to have been well planned, 
and that the Captain's account was a good model for a de- 
spatch, only a little too long-winded and poetical. 
K2 



226 Miss Ravenel's Conveksion 

Colburne being absent, Mrs. Larue turned her guns once 
more upon the Doctor. As the motto o]tan Irishman at a 
Donnybrook fair is, " Wherever you see a head, hit it," 
so the rule which guided her in the Vanity Fair of this 
life was, " Wherever you see a man, set your cajD at him." 
It must not be supposed, however, that she made the same 
eyes at the Doctor that she made at Colburne. Her man- 
ner would vary amazingly, and frequently did vary to suit 
her company, just as a chameleon's jacket is said to change 
color according to the tree which he inhabits ; and this 
was not because she was simple and easily influenced, but 
precisely because she was artful and anxious to govern, 
and knew that soft looks and words are woman's best 
means of emj^ire. It Avas interesting to see what a nun- 
like and saintly pose she could take in the presence of a 
clergyman. To the Colonel she acted the part of Lady 
Gay Spanker ; to the Doctor she was femme raisonnahle^ 
and, so far as she could be, femme savante ; to Colburne 
she of late generally played the female Platonic j^hiloso- 
pher. It really annoys me to reflect how little space I 
must allow myself for paintmg the character of this re- 
markable woman. " She was nobody's fool but her own," 
remarked the Colonel, who understood her in a coarse, 
incomplete way ; nor did she deceive either Lillie or the 
Doctor in regard to the main features of her character, 
although they had no suspicion how far she could carry 
some of her secret caprices. It is hard to blind completely 
the eyes of one's own family and daily intimates. 

As a hen is in trouble when lier ducklings take to the 
water, so was Lillie's soul disturbed when her father was 
out on the flattering sea of Madame's conversation. Car- 
ter was amused at the wiles of the widow and the terrors 
of the daughter. He comprehended the aflair as well as 
Lillie, at the same time that he did not see so very much 
harm in it, for the lady was pretty, clever, young enough, 
and had money. But nothing came of the flirtation — at 
least not for the present. Although the Doctor was an 



Fko:^ Secession to Loyalty. 227 

eminently sociable being and indefatigably courteous to all 
of Eve's daughters, he was not at bottom what you call a 
ladies' man. He was too much wrapped up in his daugh- 
ter and in his scientific studies to be easily pervious to the 
shafts of Cupid ; besides which he was pretty solidly cuir- 
assed by fifty-five years of worldly experience. Madame 
even felt that she was kept at a distance, or, to use a more 
corporeal and specially correct expression, at arm's length, 
by his very politeness. 

" Doctor, have you not thought it odd sometimes that 
I never consult you professionally ?" she asked one day, 
changing suddenly from feimne raisonnable to Lady Gay 
Spanker. 

" Really, it never occurred to me. I don't expect to 
prescribe for my own family. It would be unfair to my 
brother doctors. I believe, too, that you are never sick." 

" Thanks to Heaven, never ! But that is not the only 
cause. The truth is — perhaps you have not noticed the 
fact— but you are not married. If you want me for a pa- 
tient, there must first be a Mrs. Ravenel." 

" Ah ! Yes. Somebody to whom I could confide what is 
the matter with you." 

" That would not matter. We women always tell our own 
maladies. Xo ; that would not matter ; it is merely the 
look of the thing that troubles me." 

The Doctor had the air of being cornered, and remained 
smiling at Mrs. Larue, awaiting her pleasure. 

" I do not propose to consult you," she continued. " I 
am so constantly well that I am alnost unhappy about it. 
But I do think seriously of studymg medicine. What is 
your ojDinion of female doctors ?" 

" A capital idea !" exclaimed Ravenel, jumping at the 
change of subject. " Why not follow it up ? You could 
master the science of medicine in two or three years, and 
you have ability enough to practice it to great advantage. 
You might be extremely useful by making a specialty of 
your own sex." 



228 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

" You are a professor of theory and practice, Doctor. 
Will YOU instruct me ?" 

" Oh ! as to that — Elderkin Avould be better. lie is pre- 
cisely in Avhat ought to be your line. I think that out of 
kindness to you I ought to say No." 

" Xot even if I would promise to study mmeralogy also ?" 

Ravenel pondered an instant, and then eluded her with 
a story. 

" That reminds me of a chaffermg which I overheard in 
a country tavern in Georgia between a Yankee peddler 
and an indigenous specimen. The Cracker wanted to 
sell the stranger a horse. ' I don't care particularly for a 
trade,' says the Yankee, ' but I'll buy the shoes if you'll 
throw in the creetur.' Medicine is a great science ; but 
mineralogy is a far vaster one." 

In short, the Doctor was to Madame like a cold cake to 
a lump of butter ; he calmly endured her, but gave her no 
encouragement to melt u2)on his bosom. Just at this time 
he was more than usually safe from love entanglements be- 
cause he was so anxious about Lillie's position and pros- 
pects. He made what inquiries he could concerning Car- 
ter's way of life, and watched his demeanor and conversa- 
tion closely while talkmg to him with the politest of smiles. 
He was unexpectedly gratified by discovermg that his pro- 
posed son-in-law led — at least for the present — a sober and 
decent life. "With his devotion as a lover no fault could 
be found by the most exactmg of fathers. He called on 
Lillie every evenmg and sent her flowers every mornmg ; 
hi short, he bloomed with fair promise of being an aftec- 
tionate and even uxorious husband. Gradually the Doctor 
weaned himself from his selfish or loving susj^icions, and 
became accustomed to the idea that from this man his 
daughter might draw a life-long happmess. Thus when it 
happened, late in January, nearly four months after 
the declaration, that Carter requested to be informed de- 
finitely as to his prospects, he obtained permission to con- 
sider the aff^iir an enoiao-ement. 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 229 

" You know I can't promise wealth to Miss Ravenel," 
he said frankly. " She may have to put up with a very 
simple style of life." 

" If she can't be contented, I shall not pity her," an- 
swered the Doctor. " I don't believe that the love of mo- 
ney is the root of all evil. But I do say that it is one of 
the most degrading passions conceivable in woman. I 
sympathise with no womSn whose only trouble is that 
she cannot have and spend a great deal of money. By the 
way, you know how unable I am to endow her." 

"Don't mention it. You have already endowed her. 
The character that you have transmitted to her, sir — " 

The Doctor bowed so j^i'omptly and appreciatively that 
the Colonel did not feel it necessary to round off the com- 
pliment. 

As men do not talk copiously with each other on these 
subjects, the interview did not last ten minutes. 

I hope that I shall not impress the reader unfavorably 
concerumg Lillie's character when I state that she was 
frankly happy over the result of her lover's probation. Her 
delight did not arise merely from the prospect of a smooth 
course of love and marriage. It sprang in part from the 
greatly comfortmg fact that now there was no difference 
of opinion, no bar to perfect sympathy, between her and 
that loved, respected, almost adored papa. I have given a 
very imperfect idea of her if I have not already made it clear 
that with her the sentiment of filial affection was almost a 
passion. From very early childhood she had been remark- 
able for papa-worship, or whatever may be the learned 
name for the canonization of one's progenitors. At the 
age of seven she had propounded the question, " Mamma, 
why don't they make papa President of the United States ?" 
Some light may be shed on the character of this departed 
mother and wife by stating that her answer was, " My 
dear, your father never chose to meddle m politics." Whe- 
ther Mrs. Ravenel actually deified the Doctor with all the 
simple faith of the child, or whether the reply was merely 



230 Miss R a v e n e l ' s Conversion 

meant to confirm the latter in her filial piety, is a matter oi 
doubt even to persons who were well acquainted with the 
deceased ladj^ 

At last Lillie could prattle to her father about Carter as 
much as she liked ; and she used the privilege freely, being 
habituated to need, demand and obtain his sympathies. 
Xot that she filled his ears with confessions of love, or said 
that Colonel Carter was " so handsome !" or anything of 
that sickish nature. But when her father came in from a 
w'alk, it was, " Papa, did you see Mr. Carter anywhere ? 
And what did he say ?" At another time it was, " Papa, 
did Mr. Carter ever tell you about his first campaign 
against the Indians ?" And then would follow the story, 
related with glee and a humorous appreciation of the 
grandiloquent ideas of a juvenile West Pomter about to 
draw his maiden sword. A frequent subject of her conversa- 
tion was Carter's chance of promotion, not considered with 
regard to the pecuniary advantages thereof, but m respect 
to the simple justice of advancing such an able and gal- 
lant oflicer. It was, " Papa, how can the Government be 
so stupid as to neglect men who know their duties ? Mrs. 
Larue says that the abolitionists are opposed to Mr. Carter 
because he doesn't hold their ultra opmions. I suppose 
they would rather favor a man who talks as they do, even 
if he got Avhipped every time, and never freed a nigger. 
If Mr. Carter were on the southern side, he would find 
promotion fast enough. It is enough to make any one 
turn rebel." 

" My dear," says the Doctor with emphasis, " I would 
rather be a private soldier under the flag of my 
country, than be a major-general in the army of those 
villainous conspirators against country, liberty and human- 
ity. I respect Colonel Carter for holding fast to his 
patriotic sentiments, in spite of unjust neglect, far more 
than I would if he were loyal merely because he was sure 
of being commander-m-chief. 

Lillie could not fail to be gratified by such a compliment 



From Secession to Loyalty. 231 

to the moral worth of her hero. After a few moments of 
ao'reeable meditation on the various perfections of that 
great bemg, she resumed the old subject. 

" I think that there is a chance yet of his gettmg a star 
when the official report of the battle of Georgia Landing 
once reaches the minds of those slow creatures at Washing- 
ton. "What do you think, j^apa ? What are the proba- 
bilities ?" 

" Really, my dear, you perplex me. Prophecy never 
formed a part of my education. There are even a few 
events in the past that I am not ultimately acquainted 
with." 

" Then you shouldn't look so awfully old, papa. If you 
will wrinkle up your forehead in that venerable way, as if 
you were the Wandering Jew, you must expect to have 
people ask you all sorts of questions. Why will you do 
it ? I hate to see you making yourself so aggravatingiy 
ancient when nature does her best to keep you young." 

About these times the Doctor wrote, with a pitying if 
not a sad heart, to inform Colburne of the engagement. 
The young man had looked for some such news, but it 
nevertheless pained him beyond his anticipations. Ko 
mental pre^^aration, no melancholy certamty of forecast, 
ever quite fits us to meet the avalanche of a great calamity. 
1^0 matter, for mstance, how long we have watched the 
sure invasion of disease upon the life of a dear friend or 
relative, we are always astonished with a mighty shock 
when the last feeble breath leaves the wasted body. Col- 
burne had long sat gloomily by the bedside of his dying 
hope, but when it expired outright he was seemingly none 
the less full of anguished amazement. 

" Who would have thought it !" he repeated to himself 
" How could she choose such a husband, so old, so worldly, 
so immoral ? God help her and watch over her. The 
love of such a man is a calamity. The tender mercies of 
the wicked are unintentional cruelties." 

As for himself, the present seemed a barren waste with- 



232 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

out a blossom of happiness, and the future another waste 
without an oasis of hope. For a time he even lost all de- 
sire for promotion, or for any other worldly honor or suc- 
cess ; and he would not have considered it hard, so unde- 
sirable did life appear, if he had known that it was his fate 
to die in the next battle. If he wanted to live it was only 
to see the war terminate gloriously, and the stars and 
stripes once more flying over his whole country. The de- 
votional sentiments which his mother had sown through- 
out his youth, and which had been wanned for a while 
into some strength of feeling and purpose by the saintly 
glory of her death, struggled anew into temporary bloom 
under the clouds of this second bereavement. 

" Kot my will but Thine be done," he thought. And 
then, " How unworthy I am to repeat those words !" 

There were certain verses of the Bible which whispered 
to him a comforting spnpathy. Many times a day such a 
phrase as, " A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," 
repeated to him as if by some other self or guardian angel, 
would thrill his mind with the plaintive consolation of 
requiems. 



CHAPTER XYIL 

COLONEL CARTER IS ENTIRELY TICTORIOUS BEFORE HE 
BEGINS HIS CAMPAIGN. 

Towards the close of this winter of 1862-3 Banks su- 
perseded Butler, and the Xew England Division expanded 
mto the Nineteenth Army Corps. Every one who was 
in New Orleans during that season will remember the 
amazement with which he and all other persons saw 
transport after transport steam up the nver, increasing the 
loyal forces in and around the city by at least ten thou- 
sand men, which rumor magnified into twenty-five thou- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 233 

sancl. Where did they come from, and where were they 
going, and what would be the result ? Smce the opening 
of the war no expedition of magnitude had been conducted 
with similar secrecy ; and every one argued that a general 
who could plan with such reticence would execute with 
corresponding vigor and ability. While the Secessionists 
shrank within themselves, seeing no more hope of freeing 
Louisiana from Xorthern Vandals, our Doctor and his 
fellow Loyalists exulted in a belief that the war would soon 
be brought to a triumphant close. 

" Three mere transports !" exclaimed Ravenel, commg 
in from a walk on the leveo. " It is a most glorious spec- 
tacle, this exhibition of the power of the Republic. It 
equals the greatest military efforts of the greatest military 
nations. One is absolutely remmded of consular Rome, 
canying on the war with Hannibal in Italy, and at the 
same time sending one great army to Spain and another to 
Africa. I pin my faith to the tail of General Scott's ana.- 
conda. In the end it will crush Secessia, break every bone 
in its body, and swallow it. I think. Colonel, that we 
have every reason to congratulate ourselves on the pros- 
pects." 

" I really can't see it," answered Carter, with a lugu- 
brious laugh. 

" How so ? You astonish me." 

" Don't you perceive that I lose my Governorship ?" 

" Oh, but — I don't anticipate an immediate close of the 
struggle. It may last a year yet ; and during that time — " 

"That is not the point. King Stork has succeeded 
King Log. King Stork's men must have the nice places 
and King Log's men must get out of them." 

" Oh, but they won't turn you out," exclaimed Lillie, and 
then blushed as she thought how her eagerness might be 
interpreted. 

" We shall see," answered the Colonel gravely, and al- 
most sadly. He was so much m love with this girl that a 



234 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

« 
life in Capua with her seemed more desirable tlian tlie 
winning of Cannai's away from her. 

" Here is my fate," he said when he called on the fol- 
lowing evening, and handed her two official documents, 
the one relieving him from his position as Military Gov- 
ernor, the other assigning him to the command of a bri- 
gade. 

"!N'ow you must go into the battle again," she said, 
makmg a struggle to preserve her self-possession. 

" I am sorry, — on your account." 

At this answer her effort at stoicism and maidenly 
dignity failed ; she dropped her head and hid her face in 
the sewing work on which she had been engaged. This 
was too much for Carter, to whom love had been a reju- 
venation and almost a regeneration, so that he was as gen- 
tle, virginal, and sensitive as if he had never known the 
hardenmg experiences of a soldier and a man about town. 
Sitting down beside his betrothed, he pressed her temples 
with both his hands and kissed the light, flossy, amber- 
colored ripples of her hair. He could feel the half-sup- 
pressed sobs which trembled through her frame, breaking 
softly and noiselessly, like summer waves dying on a reedy 
shore. How he longed to soothe her by graspmg all her 
being into his and making her altogether his ovrn ! He 
was on the point of falling before the temptation which he 
had that morning resolved to resist. He knew that he 
ought not to marry, with only his colonelcy as a support ; 
yet he was about to urge an immediate marriage, and 
would have done so had he spoken. Lillie would not 
have refused him : it would not have been in the nature 
of woman : what girl would put off a lover who was gomg 
to the battle-field ? Xothing prevented the consummation 
of this imprudence but a ring at the door-bell. Miss Rav- 
enel sprang up and fled from the parlor, fearful of being 
caught with tears on her cheeks and her hair disordered. 
Mrs. Larue entered, gave the Colonel a saucy courtesy, 
cast a keen sidelong glance at his serious countenanco, 



From Secession to Loyalty. 235 

repressed apparently some flippant remark which was on 
her Hps, begged him to excuse her for a few moments, and 
slid out of the room. 

" Confound her !" muttered the Colonel, indignant at 
Madame without cause, merely because he had been inter- 
rupted. 

By the time that Lillie had dried her eyes, washed her 
face and composed herself so far as to dare return to 
the parlor, Mrs. Larue, ignorant of the good or mischief 
that she was accomplishing, was there also. Consequently, 
although Carter stayed late into the evening, there was no 
second opportunity for the j^erilous trial of a tete-a-tete 
farewell. 

Xext day he went by the first train to Thibodeaux. As 
commanding^ ofiicer of a brio-ade he exhibited his usual 
energy, practical ability, and beneficent despotism. The 
colonels were ordered to make immediate inspections of 
their regiments,- and to send in reports of articles necessary 
to complete the equipment of their men, with requisitions 
for the same on the brigade quartermaster. During seve- 
ral consecutive days he personally went the rounds of his 
grand guards and outlying videttes, choosing for this 
purpose midnight, or a wet storm, or any other time when 
he suspected that men or officers might relax their vigi- ' 
lance. In such a j^elting rain, as if the Father of Waters 
had been taken up to heaven and poured back into Louisi- 
ana, he came upon a picket of five men who had sought 
refuge in some empty sugar-hogsheads. The closed-up 
heads were toward the road, because from that direction 
came the wind ; and such was the pattering and howling 
of the tempest, that the men did not hear the tramp of the 
approachmg horse. Reining up, the Colonel shouted, 
" Surrender ! The first man that stirs, dies !'' 

jSTot a soul moved or answered. For a minute or two 
Carter sat motionless, smiling grimly, with the water 
streaming down his face and uniform. Then he ordered : 



236 Miss Kayexel's C ox version 

I 

" Come out here, one of you. I want to see what this 
picket is made of." 

A corporal crawled out, leavmg his gun behind him in 
the recumbent hogshead. His face was pale at his first 
appearance, but it turned paler still when he recognized 
his brigade commander. 

" I — I thought it was a secesh," he stammered. 

" And so you surrendered, sir !" thundered the Colonel. 
" You allowed yourself to be surprised, and then you sur- 
rendered ! Give me your name, sir, and the names of 
your men." 

Twenty minutes afterward a detachment from the re- 
serve relieved the culj^rits, and marched them into camp 
as prisoners. Xext day the corporal and the soldier whose 
turn it had been to stand as sentry, went before a court- 
martial, and in a week thereafter were on their way to 
Ship Island, to work out a sentence of hard labor with 
ball and chain. 

On the midnio-ht followino^ this adventure Carter or- 
dered the outlying videttes to fire three rounds of musket- 
ry, and then rode from camp to camp to see which regi- 
ment got into line the quickest. 

The members of his stafi", especially his Adjutant-Gene- 
'ral and Aid, found their positions no sinecures. Every 
night one or other of these young gentlemen made the 
rounds of the pickets some time between midnight and 
daybreak, and immediately on his return to head-quarters 
reported to the Colonel the condition of the Ime as regard- 
ed practical efiiciency and knowledge of the formalities. 
If the troops fell in at three in the morning to go through 
the drill of taking position to repel an imaginary enemy, 
they had at least the consolation of knowing that some 
poor stalF-ofiicer had been roused out of bed half an hour 
before to disseminate the order. A staff-ofiicer mspected 
every guard-mounting and every battalion-drill, and made 
a report as to how the same was conducted. A staff-officer 
rode through every regimental camp every morning, and 



From Secession to Loyalty. 237 

made a report of its condition as to cleanliness. If the ex- 
plosion of a rifle was heard any where about the post, a 
stafi'-officer was on the spot in five minutes to learn the 
circumstances of the irregularity, to order the offender to 
the guard-house, and to make his report to the all-pervad- 
ing brigade commander. A false or incomplete statement 
he did not dare to render, so severe was the cross-ques- 
tioning which he was liable to undergo. 

" Did you see it yourself. Lieutenant ?" the Colonel 
would ask. 

" I saw the man cleaning his piece, sir ; and he confessed 
that he had discharged it to get the ball out." 

" Who was the man ?" 

" Private Henry Brown, Company I, Xinth Barataria." 

" Yery well, Mr. Brayton." • (In the regular army a 
lieutenant is Mr.) " Xow have the kindness to take my 
compliments to the Colonel of the Xinth Barataria and the 
fi^ld-oflicer of the day, and request them to step here.". 

First comes the commanding officer of the regiment in 
which the offence has been committed. 

" Walk in. Colonel," says the brigade commander. 
" Take a seat, sir. Colonel, a rifle has been fired by one 
of your men this morning. How is that ?" 

" It was against my orders, sir. The man is in tho 
guard-house." 

" This is not the first oftence of the kind — it is the third 
or fourth within a week." 

"The fact is, sir, that the men have no ball-screws. 
Their rifles get wet on picket duty, and they have no 
means of drawing the loads. Consequently they are 
tempted to discharge them, notwithstandmg the orders." 

" Ah ! You must give them the devil until they learn 
to resist temptation. But no ball-screws ! How is that ?" 

" I was not aware, sir, of the deficiency." 

" Xot aware of it ? My God, Colonel ! Xot aware of 
such a deficiency of equipment in your own regiment ?" 

" I am extremely sorry, sk," apologizes the humiliated 



238 Miss Ravenel's, Conversion 

Colonel, who does not know what might be done to him 
for such neglect, and who, although only three months in 
the service, is a conscientious officer, anxious to do his 
whole duty. 

" Send up a requisition for ball-screws and for every other 
lacking article of ordnance," says the brigade commander. 
" I will forward it to head-quarters and see that you are 
supplied. But, by the way, how did this fellow get out- 
side your camp-guard with his gun ? That is all wrong. 
Have the goodness to haul your officer of the guard over 
the coals about it. Make him understand that he is re- 
sponsible for such irregularities, and that he may get dis- 
missed the service if he doesn't attend to his duties. That 
is all. Colonel. Will you take a glass of brandy ? Good 
morning, sir." 

Then, turnuig to the Adjutant-General: " Captam, make 
out a circular directmsj commandants of regiments to see 
that targets are set up in proper places where the relieved 
guards may discharge their rifles. The best marksman to 
be reported to regimental head-quarters, and to be relieved 
from all ordinary duty for twenty-four hours." 

The field-officer of the day is now announced by the or- 
derly. 

" Come in, Captain ; take a seat, sir. Are you aware. 
Captain, that a rifle has been fired this morning, outside 
the camps, in violation of general orders ?" 

" I — I think I heard it," stammers the Captain, taking 
it for granted that he is guilty of something, but not know- 
ing what. 

" Do you know who the ofiender is ?" demands the Colo- 
nel, his brow beginning to blacken like a stormy heaven 
over the ignoramus. 

" I do not, sii'. I will inquii-e, if you wish. Colonel." 

" If I wish ! My God, sir ! of course I wish it. Haven't 
you already inquired ? My God, sir ! what do you sup- 
pose your duties are ?" 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 239 

" I didn't know that this was one of them," pleads the 
now miserable Captain. 

" Don't you know, sir, that you are responsible for eve- 
ry irregularity that happens within the grand guards and 
outside the camps, while you are field-officer of the day ? 
Don't you know that you are responsible for the firing of 
this rifle ?" 

"Responsible," feebly echoes the Captain, not seeing 
the fact as yet, but nevertheless very much troubled. 

" Yes, sir. It is your business, if any thing goes wrong, 
to know it, and discover the perpetrators, and report them 
for punishment. It was your business, as soon as that 
gun was fired, to find out who fired it, to have him put 
under guard, and to see that he was reported for punish- 
ment. You haven't attended to your duty, sii\ And be- 
cause tthe officers of the day don't know and don't do their 
duty, I have to make my staff-officers ride day and night, 
and knock up their horses. Here is my Aid, who has been 
doing your business. Mr. Brayton, give the Captain this 
man's name, &c. Do you know, Captain, why muskets 
should not be fired about the camps at the will and pleas- 
ure of the enlisted men ?" 

" I suppose, sir, to prevent a waste of ammunition." 

" Good God ! Why, yes, sir ; but that isn't all — that 
isn't half, sii\ The great reason, the all-important reason, 
is that firing is a signal of danger, of an enemy, of battle. 
If the men are to go shooting about the woods in this 
fashion, we shall never know when we are and when we 
are not to be attacked. Without orders from these head- 
quarters no firing is permissible except by the pickets, and 
that only when they are attacked. This matter involves 
the safety of the command, and must be subjected to the 
strictest discipline. That is all. Captain. Good morning, 
sir." 

As the poor officer of the day goes out, the heavens seem 
to be peopled with threatening brigade commanders, and 



240 Miss Ravexel's Con version 

the earth to be a Avilclerness of uiiexlored and thorny re- 
sponsibilities. 

" Well, Mr. Brayton, T\diat was the cause of the firing ?" 
inquired Carter one midnight, when the Aid returned from 
an expedition of inquiry. >^ 

" A sentmel of the Ninth shot a man dead, ^ir, for neg- 
lecting to halt when challenged." 

" Good, by " (this and that), exclaimed the Colonel. 
*' Those fellows are redeeming themselves. It used to be 
the meanest regiment for guard duty infthe brigade. But 
this is the second man the Ninth fello^rs have shot within 
a week. By" (that and the other) "they are learnmg 
their business. What is the sentinel's name, Mr. Bray- 
ton ?" 

" Private Henry Brown, Company I. The same man, 
sir, that was punished the other day for firing ofi" h^ rifle 
without orders." 

" Ah, by Jove ! he has learned something — learned to 
do as he is told. Mr. Brayton, I wish you would go to 
the Colonel of the Ninth in the morning, and request him 
from me to make Brown a corporal at the first opportuni- 
ty-. Ask him also to give the man a good word in an or- 
der, to be read before the regiment at dress parade to- 
morrow. By the way, wRo was the fellow who was shot ?" 

" Private Murj^hy of the Ninth, who had been to Thibo- 
deaux and over-stayed his j^ass. He was probably drunk, 
sir — he had a half-empty bottle of whiskey in his j^ocket." 

" Bully for him — he died happy," laughed the Colonel. 
" You can go to bed now, Mr. Brayton. Much obliged to 
you." 

A few days later the brigade commander looked over 
the proceedmgs of the court-martial which he had con- 
vened, and threw doAvn the manuscript with an oath. 

" What a stupid — what a cursedly stupid record ! Or- 
derly, give my compliments to Major Jackson, and request 
him" (here he rises to a roar) " to report here immedi- 
atelv." 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 241 

Picking up the manuscript, he annotated it in pencil un- 
til Major Jackson was announced. 

" My God, sir !" he then broke out. " Is that your style 
of conducting a court-martial ? This record is a disgrace 
to you as President, and to me for selecting you for such 
duty. Look here, sir. Here is a private convicted oi 
beating the officer of the guard — one of the greatest offen- 
ces, sir, which a soldier could commit — an offence whicli 
strikes at the very root of discipline. Xow what is the 
punishment that you have allotted to him ? To be con- 
fined m the guard-house for three months, and to carry a 
log of wood for three hours a day. Do you call that <a 
suitable punishment ? He ought to have three years of 
hard labor with ball and chain — that is the least he ought 
to have. You might have sentenced him to be shot. Why, 
sir, do you fully realize what it is to strike an officer, and 
especially an officer on duty ? It is to defy the very soul 
of discipline. Without respect for officers, there is no ar- 
my. It is a mob. Major Jackson, it apj^ears to me that 
you have no conception of the dignity of your own posi- 
tion. You don't know what it is to be an officer. That is 
all, sir. Good morning." 

" Captain," continues the Colonel, turnmg to his Adju- 
tant-General, " make out an order disapprovmg of all the 
proceedings of this court, and dkecting that ^lajor Jack- 
son shall not again be detailed on court-martial while he 
remains iinder my command." 

Carter was a terror to his whole brigade — to the stupid- 
est private, to every lieutenant of the guard, to every com- 
mandant of company, to the members of his staff, and even 
to his equals, in grade, the colonels. He knew his business 
so well, he was so invariably right m his fault-findings, he 
was so familiar with the labyrinth of regulations and gen- 
eral orders, through which almost all others groped with 
many stumblmgs, and he was so conscientiously and 
-gravely outraged by offences against discipline, that he 
was necessarily a dreadful personage. To use the compo- 

L 



242 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

site expression, half Hibernian and half Hebraic, of Lieu- 
tenant Van Zandt, he was a regular West Point Bull of 
Bashan in the volunteer Chiua-shoj). But while he was 
thus feared, he was also greatly respected ; and a word of 
praise from him was cherished by officer or soldier as a 
medal of honor. And, stranger still, while he was exer- 
cising what must seem to the civilian reader a hard-hearted 
despotism, he was writing every other day letters full of 
ardent aftection to a young lady in Xew Orleans. 

In a general way one is tempted to speak jestingly of 
the circumstance of a well-matured man falling in love 
with a girl in her teens. By the time a man gets to be 
near forty, his moral physiognomy is suj^posed to be so 
pock-marked with bygone amours as to be in a measure 
ludicrous, or at least devoid of dignity in its tenderness. 
But Carter's emotional nature was so emphatic and volca- 
nic, so capable of bringing a drama of the affections to a 
tragic issue, that I feel no disposition to laugh over his 
affair with Miss Bavenel, although it was by no means his 
first, nor perhaps his twentieth. Considering the passions 
as forces, we are obliged to respect them in proj^ortion to 
their power rather than their dhection. And in this case 
the direction was not bad, nor foolish, but good, and high- 
ly creditable to Carter ; for Miss Ravenel, though as yet 
barely adolescent, was a finer woman in brain and heart 
than he had ever loved before ; also he loved her better 
than he had ever before loved any woman. 

He could not stay away from her. As soon as he had 
got his brigade into such order as partially satisfied his 
stern professional conscience, he obtained a leave of ab- 
sence for seven days, and went to Xew Orleans. From 
this visit resulted one of the most important events that 
will be recorded in the present history. I shall hurry over 
the particulars, because to me the circumstance is not an 
agreeable one. Having from my first acquaintance with 
Miss Ravenel entertained a fondness for her, I never could 
fancy this match of hers ^\nth such a dubious person as 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 243 

Colonel Carter, who is quite capable of making her very 
unhappy. I always agreed with her father in preferring 
Colburne, whose character, although only half developed 
in consequence of youth, modesty, and Puritan education, 
is nevertheless one of those germs which promise much 
beauty and usefulness. But Miss Ravenel, more emotional 
than reflective, was fated to love Carter rather than Col- 
burne. To her, and probably to most women, there was 
something powerfully magnetic in the ardent nature which 
found its physical expression in that robust frame, that 
florid brunette complexion, those mighty mustachios, and 
darkly burning eyes. 

The consequence of this visit to New Orleans was a sud- 
den marriage. The tropical blood in the Colonel's veins 
drove him to demand it, and the electric potency of his 
presence forced Miss Ravenel to concede it. When he held 
both her hands in his, and, looking with passionate impor- 
tunity into her eyes, begged her not to let him go again 
into the flame of battle without the consolation of feeling 
that she was altogether and for ever his, she could only 
lay her head on his shoulder, gently sobbing in speechless 
acquiescence. How many such marriages took place dur- 
ing the war, sweet flowers of afiection springing out of 
the mighty carnage ! How many fond girls forgot their 
womanly preference for long engagements, slow prepara- 
tions of much shopping and needle- work, coy hesitations, 
and gentle maidenly tyrannies, to fling themselves into the 
arms of lovers who longed to be husbands before they 
. went forth to die ! How many young men in uniform left 
behind them weeping brides to whom they were doomed 
never to return ! 

" Brave boys are all, gone at their country's call, 
And yet, and yet. 
We cannot forget 
That many brave boys must fall." 

This sad little snatch from the chorus of a common- 
place song Lillie often repeated to herself, with tears in 



244 * Miss Ravenel's Conveksion 

her eyes, wlien Carter was at the front, without mindmof a 
bit the fact that her " brave boy " was thirty-six years okl. 

The marriage cost the Doctor a violent pang ; but he 
consented to it, overborne by the passion of the period. 
There was no time to be lost on bridal dresses, any more 
than in bridal tours. The ceremony was performed in 
church by a regimental chaplain, in presence of the flither, 
Mrs. Larue, and half a dozen chance spectators, only two 
days before the Colonel's leave of absence expired. Neither 
then nor afterward could Lillie realize this day and hour, 
through which she walked and spoke as if in a state of 
somnambulism, so stupefied or benumbed was she by the 
strength of her emotions. The lookers-on observed no 
sign of feeling about her, except that her face was as pale 
and apparently as cold as alabaster. She behaved with an 
appearance of j^erfect self-possession ; she spoke the or- 
dained Avords at the right moment and in a clear voice — 
and yet alt the while she was not sure that she was in her 
riirht mind. It was a frozen delirium of feeling^, ice with- 
out and fire within, like a volcano of the realms of the 
pole. 

Once in the hackney-coach which conveyed them home, 
alone with this man who was now her husband, her mas- 
ter, the ice melted a little, and she could weep silently up- 
on his shoulder. She was not wretched ; neither could she 
distmctly feel that she was happy ; if this was happiness, 
then there could be a joy which was no release from pain. 
She had no doubts about her future, such as even yet 
troubled her fiither, and set him pacing by the half-hour 
together up and down his study. This man by her side, 
this strong and loving husband, would always make her 
happy. She did not doubt his goodness so much as she 
doubted her own ; she trusted hun almost as firmly as if 
lie were a deity. Yes, he would always love her — and she 
would always, always, always love him ; and what more 
was there to desire ? All that day she was afraid of him, 
and yet could not bear to be away frofti him a moment. 



Feom: Secession to Loyalty. 245 

He had such an authority over her — his look and voice 
and touch so tyrannized her emotions, that he was an ob- 
ject of something like terror ; and yet the sense of his 
domination was so sweet that she could not wish it to be 
less, but desired with her whole beating brain and heart 
that it might evermore increase. I give no record of her 
conversation at this time. She said so little ! Usually a 
talker, almost a prattler, she was now silent ; a look front 
her husband, a thought of her husband, would choke her 
at any moment. He seemed to have entered into her 
Avhole being, so that she was not fully herself. The words 
which she whispered when alone with him were so sacred 
with woman's profoundest and purest emotions that they 
must not be written. The words which she uttered in the 
presence of others were not felt by her, and were not 
worth writing. 

After two days, there was a parting ; perhaps, she 
wretchedly thought, a final one. 

" Oh ! how can I let you go ?" she said. " I cannot. I 
cannot bear it. Will you come back? Will you ever 
come back? Will you be careful of yourself? You 
won't get killed, will you ? Promise me." 

She was womanish about it, and not heroic, like her 
Amazonian sisters on the Rebel side. Kevertheless she 
did not feel the separation so bitterly as she would have 
done, had they been married a few months or years, in- 
stead of only a few hours. Intimate relations with her 
husband had not yet become a habit, and consequently a 
necessity of her existence ; the mere fact that they had ex- 
changed the nuptial vows was to her a realization of all 
that she had ever anticipated in marriage ; when they left 
the altar, and his ring was upon her finger, their wedded 
life was as complete as it ever would be. And thus, in 
her ignorance of what love might become, she was spared 
something of the anguish of separation. 

She was thinking of her absent husband when Mrs. 
Larue addressed her for the first time as Mrs. Carter ; and 



246 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

yet ill her dreaminess she did not at the moment recog- 
nize the name as her own : not until Madame laughed and 
said, " Lillie, I am talking to you." Then she colored 
crimson and throbbed at the heart as if her husband him- 
self had laid his hand upon her shoulder. 

Very shortly she began to demand the patient encour- 
agements of her father. All day, when she could get at 
him, she pursued him with questions which no man in 
these unprophetic days could answer. It was, " Papa, do 
you thmk there will be an active campaign this summer ? 
Papa, don't you suppose that Mr. Carter will be allowed 
to keep his brigade at Thibodeaux ?" 

She rarely spoke of her husband except as Mr. Carter. 
She did not like his name John — it sounded too common- 
place for such a suj^erb creature ; and the title of Colonel 
was too official to satisfy her affection. But " Mr. Carter " 
seemed to express her respect for this man, her husband, 
her master, who was so much older, and, as she thought, 
morally greater than herself. 

Sometunes the Doctor, out of sheer pity and j^aternal 
sympathy, answered her questions just as she wished 
them to be answered, telling her that he saw no prospect 
of an active campaign, that the brigade could not possibly 
be spared from the irnportant post of Thibodeaux, etc. etc. 
But then the exactingness of anxious love made her want 
to know why he thought so ; and her persevering inquir- 
ies ■ generally ended by forcing him from all his hastily 
constructed works of consolation. In mere self-defence, 
therefore, he occasionally urged upon her the unpleasant 
but ennobling duties of patience and self-control. 

"My dear," he would say, "we cannot increase our 
means of happiness without increasing our possibilities of 
misery. A woman who marries is like a man who goes 
into business. The end may be greatly increased wealth, 
or it may be bankruptcy. It is cowardly to groan over 
the fact. You must leam to accept the sorrows of your 
present life as well as the joys ; you must try to strike a 



From Secession to Loyalty. 247 

rational balance between the two, and be contented if you 
can say, ' On the whole, I am happier than I was.' I beg 
you, for your own sake, to overcome this habit of looking 
at only the darker chances of life. If you go on fretting, 
you will not last the war out. Iso constitution — no wom- 
an's constitution, at any rate — can stand it. You posi- 
tively must cease to be a child, and become a woman." 
Lillie tried to obey, but could only succeed by spasms. 



CHAPTER XVni. 

DOCTOR EAYENEL COMMENCES THE OEGANIZALION OF 
SOUTHERN LABOR. 

For some time previous to the mamage Doctor Rav- 
enel had been plotting the benefit of the human race. He 
was one of those philanthropic conspirators, those human- 
itarian Catilines, who, for the last thirty years have been 
rotten-egged and vilified at the Korth, tarred and feath- 
ered and murdered at the South, under the name of aboli- 
tionists. It is true that until lately^ he has been a silent 
one, as you may infer from the fact that he was still in the 
land of the living. If the hundred-headed hydra had 
preached abolition in Xew Orleans previous to the advent 
of Farragut and Butler, he would have had every one of 
his skulls fractured within twenty-four hours after he had 
commenced his ministry. Nobody could have met the 
demands of such a mission except that gentleman of mii-a- 
culous vitality mentioned by Ariosto, who, as fast as he 
was cut in pieces, picked himself up and grew together as 
good as new. 

The Doctor was chiefly intent at present upon inducing 
the negroes to work as freemen, now that they were no 
longer obliged to work as slaves. He talked a great deal 



248 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

about his plan to various influential personages, and even 
pressed it at department headquarters in a lengthy private 
interview. 

" You are right, sir," said Authority, with suave dignity. 
" It is a matter of great instant importance. It may be- 
come a military necessity. Suppose we should have a 
Avar with France, (I don't say, sir, that there is any danger 
of it,) we might be cut oflTrom the rest of the Union. Louisi- 
ana would then have to live on her own resources, and feed 
her own army. These negroes mvst be induced to work. 
Tliey must be put at it immediately ; they must have their 
hoes in the soil before six weeks are over ; other^tise we 
are in danger of a famine. I have arranged a plan. Doc- 
tor. The provost-marshals are to pick up every unem- 
ployed negro, give him his choice as to what plantation he 
will work on, but see that he works somewhere. There is 
to be a fixed rate of wages, — so much in clothes and so 
much m rations. Select your plantation, my dear sir, and 
I will see that it is assigned to you. You will then obtain 
your laborers by makmg Avritten application to the Super- 
intendent of Xegro Labor." 

The Doctor was honestly and intelligently delighted. 
He expressed his admiration of the commandmg general's 
motives and wisdom in such terms that the latter, high as 
he was in position and mighty m authority, felt flattered. 
Yoji could not possibly talk with Ravenel for ten minutes 
Avithout thinkuig better of yourself than before ; for, per- 
ceivmg that you had to do with a superior man, and that 
he treated you Avith deference, you instinctively inferred 
that you were not only a person but a personage. But 
the compliments and ah* of respect which he accorded the 
commanding general were not mere empty civilities, nor 
well-bred courtesies, nor exjn-essions of consideration for 
place and aiithority. ' Ravenel's enthusiasm led him to be- 
lieve that, in finding a man who sympathised with him m 
his pet project, he had found one of the greatest minds of 
the age. 



FKOii Secession to Loyalty. 249 

"At last," he said to his daughter when he reached 
home, " at last Tre are likely to see wise justice meted out 
to these poor blacks." 

" Is the Major-General pleasant ?" asked Lillie, with an 
inconsequence which was somewhat characteristic of her. 
She was more interested in learning how a great dignitary 
looked and behaved than in hearing what were his opin- 
ions on the subject of freemen's labor. 

" I don't know that a major general is obliged to be plea- 
sant, at least not in war time," answered the Doctor, a 
little annoyed at the interruption to the traui of his ideas. 
" Yes, te is pleasant enough ; in fact something too much 
of deportment. He put me in mind of one of my adven- 
tures among the Georgia Crackers. I had to put up for 
the night in one of those miserable up-country log shanties 
where you can study astronomy all night through the 
chinks in the roof, and where the man and wife sleep one 
side of you and the children and dogs on the other. The 
family, it seems, had had a quarrel with a neighboring 
family of superior pretensions, which had not yet culmin- 
ated in acous^ino- or shootins;. The eldest dauo-hter, a 
ras^sred girl of seventeen, described to me with srreat 
gusto an encounter which had taken place between her 
mother and the female chieftain of the hostile tribe. Said 
she, " Miss Jones, she tried to come the dignerfied over 
mar. But thar she found her beater. My mar is hell on 
dignerty." — Well, the Major-General runs rather too luxu- 
riantly to dignity. But his ideas on the subject of reor- 
ganizing labor are excellent, and have my earnest respect 
and approbation. I believe that under his administration 
the negroes will be allowed and encouraged to take their 
first certain step toward civilization. They are to receive 
some remuneration, — not for the bygone centuries of forced 
labor and oppression, — but for what they will do here- 
after." 

" I don't see, papa, that they have been treated much 
worse than they might expect," responds Lillie, who, ah 



250 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

though now a firm loyalist, has by no means become an 
abolitionist. 

" Perhaps not, my dear, perhaps not. They have no 
doubt been better off in the Dahomey of America than 
they would have been in the Dahomey of Africa ; and cer- 
tainly they couldn't expect much from a Christianity whose 
chief corner-stone was a hogshead of slave-grown sugar. 
The negroes were not foolish enough to look for much 
good in such a moral atrocity as that. They have put 
their trust in the enemies of it ; in Fremont a while ago, 
and in Lincoln now. At present they do expect some- 
thing. They believe that ' the year of jubilo am come.' 
And so it is. Before this year closes, many of these poor 
creatures will receive what they never did before — wages 
for their labor. For the first time in their lives they will 
be led to realize the idea of justice. Justice, honesty, 
mercy, and nearly the whole list of Christian virtues, have 
hitherto been empty names to them, having no practical 
signification, and in fact utterly unknown to their minds 
except as words that for some unexplained purpose had 
been inserted in the Bible. How could they believe in 
the thmgs themselves ? They never saw them practiced ; 
at least they never felt their hifluence. Of course they 
were liars and hypocrites and thieves. All constituted 
society lied to them by calling them men and treating 
them as beasts ; it played the hyi^ocrite to them by preach- 
ing to them the Christian virtues, and never itself practis- 
ing them ; it played the thief by takmg all the earnmgs of 
their labor, except just enough to keep soul and body 
together, so that they might labor more. Our consciences, 
the conscience of the nation, will not be cleared when we 
have merely freed the negroes. We must civilize and 
Christianize them. And we must begin this by teaching 
them the great elementary duty of man in life — that of 
working for his own subsistence. I am so interested in 
the problem that T have resolved to devote myself person- 
ally to its solution." 



FROii Secession to Loyalty. 251 

" What ! And give up your hospital ?" 

" Yes, my dear. I have ah-eady given it up, and got my 
plantation assigned to me." 

" Oh, papa ! Where ?" 

Of course Lillie feared that in her new home she might 
not be able to see her husband ; and of course the Doctor 
divined this charmmg anxiety, and hastened to relieve" her 
fi'om it. 

" It is at Taylorsville, my dear. Taylorsville forms a 
part of Colonel Carter's military jmisdiction, and the fort 
there is garrisoned by a detachment from his brigade. He 
can come to see us without neglecting his duties." 

Lillie colored, and said nothing for a few minutes. She 
was so unused as yet to her husband, that the thought of 
bemg visited by him thrilled her nerves, and took t'empor- 
ary possession of all her mind. 

" But, papa," she presently inquired, " will this support 
you as well as the hospital ?" 

" I don't know, child. It is an experiment. It may be 
a failure, and it may be a pecuniary success. We shall 
certainly be obliged to economize until our autumn crops 
are gathered. But I am willmg to do that, if I meet with 
no other reward than my own consciousness that I enter 
upon the task for the sake of a long oppressed race. I be- 
lieve that by means of kindness and justice I can give them 
such ideas of industry and other social virtues as they 
could not obtain, and have not obtained, from centuries of 
robbery and cruelty." 

Lillie was lost in meditation, not concerning the good 
of the blacks, but concerning the probable visits of Colonel 
Carter at Taylorsville. Aflectionately selfish woman as 
she was, she would not have given up the alarming joy of 
one of those anticipated interviews for the chance of civil- 
izing a capering wilderness of negroes. 

Taylorsville, a flourishing village before the war, is sit- 
uated on the Mississippi just where it is tapped by Bayou 
Rouge, which is one of the dozen channels through which 



252 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

the Father of Waters finds the Gulf of Mexico. It is on 
the western bank of the river, and for the most part on the 
southern bank of the bayou ; and is protected from both 
by that continuous system of levees which alone saves 
southern Louisiana from yearly inundations. At the time 
of which I speak, a large portion of the town consisted oi 
charred and smoke-blackened ruins. Its citizens had been 
mad enough to fire on our fleet, and Farragut had swept 
it with his iron besoms of destruction. On the same bank 
of the Mississippi, but on the northern bank of the bayou, 
at the apex of the angle formed by the diverging currents, 
is Fort Winthrop, a small star-shaped earth-work, faced 
in part with bricks, suiTounded by a ditch except on the 
river side, and provided with neither casemate nor bomb- 
proof. Ordered by Butler and designed by Weitzel, it 
had been thrown up shortly after the little victory of 
Georgia Landing. It was to be within reach of this fort 
in case of an attack from raiding rebels, that Ravenel had 
selected a plantation for his philanthropic experiment in 
the neighborhood of Taylorsville. Haste was necessary to 
success, for the planting season was slippmg away. 
Within a week or so after the marriage he had bought a 
stock of tools and provisions, obtained a ragged corj^s of 
negroes from the Supermtendent of Colored Labor, shipped ' 
every thing on board a Government transport, and was on 
the spot where he proposed to initiate the re-organization 
of southern industry. 

The plantation house was a large, plain wooden man- 
sion, very much like those which the country gentility of 
N'ew England built about the beginning of this century, 
except that the necessities of a southern climate had dic- 
tated a spacious veranda covering the whole front, two 
stories in height, and supported by tall square wooden 
pillars. In the rear was a one-storied wing, containing 
the kitchen, and rooms for servants. Farther back, at the 
extremity of a deep and slovenly yard, where pigs had 
been wont to wander without much opposition, was a hoi- 



From Secession to Loyaltv. 253 

low square of cabins for the field-hancls, each consisting of 
two rooms, and all alike built of rough boards coarsely 
whitewashed. Xeither the cabins nor the family mansion 
had a cellar, nor even a foundation wall ; they stood on 
projos of brick-work, leaving room underneath for the free 
circulation of air, dogs, pigs and pickaninnies. On either 
side of the house the cleared lands ran a considerable" dis- 
tance up and down the bayou, closing in the rear, at a 
depth of three or four hundred yards, in a stretch of for- 
est. An eighth of a mile away, not far from the winding 
road wliich skilled the sinuous base of the levee, was the 
most expensive building of the plantation, the great brick 
sugar-house, with vast expanses of black roof and a gi- 
o-antic chimney. Xo smoke of mdustry arose from it ; the 
sound of the grinding of the costly steam machinery had 
departed ; the vats were empty and dry, or had been car- 
ried away for bunks and fire-wood by foraging soldiers and 
negroes. 

There was not a soul in any of the buildmgs or about 
the grounds when the Eavenels arrived. The Secessionist 
family of Robertson had fled before AYeitzel's advance in- 
to the Lafourche country, and its chief, a' man of fifty, 
had fallen at the head of a company of militia at the 
fight at Georgia Landing. Then the field-hands, who had 
hid in the swamps to avoid bemg carried to Texas, came 
upon the house like locusts of destruction, broke down its 
doors, shattered its windows, plundered it from parlor to 
garret, drank themselves drunk on the venerable treas- 
ures of the wine closet, and diverted themselves with soil- 
ing the carpets, breaking the chairs, ripping up the sofas, 
and defacing the family portraits. Some gentle sentiment, 
perhaps a feeble love for the departed young " missus," 
perhaps the passion of their race for music, had deterred 
them from mjuring the piano, which was almost the only 
unharmed piece of furniture in the once handsome parlor. 
The single living creature about the place was a half- 
starved grimalkin, who caterwauled dolefully at the visit- 



254 Miss Kavenel's Conversion 

ors from a distance, and could not be enticed to approach 
by the blandishments of Lillie, an enthusiastic cat-fancier. 
To the merely sentimental observer it was sad to think 
that this house of desolation had not long since been the 
abode of the generous family life and prodigal hospitality 
of a southern planter. 

" Oh, how doleful it looks !" sighed Lillie, as she wan- 
dered about the deserted rooms. 

" It is doleful," said the Doctor. " As doleful as the 
ruins of Babylon — of cities accursed of God, and smitten 
for their wickedness. My old friend Elderkin used to say 
(before he went addled about southern rights) that he 
wondered God didn't strike all the sugar planters of Louis- 
iana dead. Well He has stricken them with stark mad- 
ness ; and under the influence of it they are getting them- 
selves killed off as fast as possible. It was time. The 
world had got to be too intelligent for them. They could 
not live without retarding the progress of civilization. 
They wanted to keep up the social systems of the middle 
ages amidst railroads, steamboats, telegraphs, patent reap- 
ers, and under the noses of Humboldt, Leverrier, Lyell, 
and Agassiz. Of course they must go to the wall. They 
will be pinned up to it i?i terrore??i, like exterminated 
crows and chicken-hawks. The grand jury of future cen- 
turies will bring in the verdict, ' Served them right !' At 
the same time one cannot help feeling a little human sym- 
pathy, or at any rate a little poetic melancholy, on step- 
ping thus into the ruins of a family." 

Lillie, however, was not very sentimental about the de- 
parted happiness of the Robertsons ; she was planning how 
to get the house ready for the expected visit of Colonel 
Carter ; in that channel for the present ran her poesy. 

"But really, papa, we must go to work," she said. 
" The nineteenth century has turned out the Robertsons, 
and put us in — but it has left these rooms awfully dirty, 
and the fm-niture in a dreadful condition." 

In a few minutes she had her hat off, her dress pinned 



Fko:\i Secession to Loyalty. 255 

up to keep it out of the dust, her sleeves rolled back to her 
elbows, and was flying about with remarkable emphasis, 
dragging broken chairs, etc., to the garret, and brooming 
up such whirlwinds of dust, that the Doctor flew abroad 
for refu2:e. What she could not do herself she set half a 
dozen negroes, male and female, to doing. She was wild 
with excitement and gayety, running about, ordering and 
laus^hinoj like a threefold creature. It was deligjhtful to 
remember, in a sweet under-current of thought which 
flowed gently beneath her external glee, that she was 
working to welcome her husband, slaving for him, thing 
herself out for his dear sake. In a couple of hours she was 
so Aveary that she had to fling herself on a settee in the 
veranda, and rest, while the negroes continued the labor. 
Women in general, I believe, love to work by sj^asms and 
deljriums, doing, or making believe do, a vast deal vrhile 
they are at it, but dropping ofi" presently into languor and 
headache. 

"Papa, we shall have five whole chairs," she called. 
" You can sit in one, I in another, and that will leave 
three for 'Mr. Carter. Why don't you come and do some- 
thing ? I have fagged myself half to death, and you 
haven't done a thing but mope about with your hands be- 
hind your back. Come in now, and go to work." 

" My dear, there are so many negroes in there that I 
can't get in," 

" Then come up and talk to me," commanded the young 
lady, who had meant that all the while. " You needn't 
think you can find any Smithites or Robinsonites. There 
isn't a mineral in Louisiana, unless it is a brickbat. Do 
come up here and talk to me. I can^t scream to you all 
the afternoon." 

" I am so glad you can't," gi-inned papa, and strolled 
obstinately away in the direction of the sugar-house. He 
was studying the nature of the soil, and proposing to sub- 
ject it to a chemical analysis, in order to see if it could 
not be made to produce as much corn to the acre as the 



256 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

bottom lands of Ohio. Indian com and sweet potatoes, 
with a little seasoning of onions, beets, squashes, and 
other kitchen garden vegetables, should be his only crop 
that season. Also he would raise pigs and chickens by the 
hundred, and perhaps three or four cows, if promising 
calves could be obtained in the country. What Xew Or- 
leans wanted, and what the whole department would 
stand in desperate need of, should a w^ar break out with 
France, was, not sugar, but corn and pork. All that sum- 
mer the possibility of a war with France was a prominent 
topic of conversation in Louisiana, so that even the sol- 
diers talked in their rough way of " revelling in the halls 
of the Montezumas, and filling their pockets with little 
gold Jesuses." As for making sugar, unless it might be 
a hogshead or so for family consummation, it was out of the 
question. It w^ould cost twenty thousand dollars merf^ly 
to put the sugar-house and its machinery to rights — and 
the Doctor had no such riches, nor any thing approaching 
to it, this side of heaven. Nevertheless he was perfectly 
happy in strolling about his unplanted estate, and revolv- 
mg his unfulfilled plans, agricultural and humanitarian. 
He proposed to produce, not only a crop of corn and pota- 
toes, but a race of intelligent, industrious and virtuous 
laborers. He w^ould make himself analytically acquainted, 
not only with the elements and possibilities of the soil, but 
with those of the negro soul. By the way, I ought to 
mention that he was not proprietor of the plantation, but 
only a tenant of it to the United States, payuig a rent 
which for the first year was merely nominal, so anxious 
was Authority to mitiate successfully the grand exj^eri- 
ment of freedmen's labor. 

When he returned to the house from a stroll of two 
hours Lillie favored him with a good imitation of a sound 
scolding. What did he mean by leavmg her alone so, 
without anybody to speak a word to ? If he was going 
to be always out m this way, they might as well live in 
New Orleans where he would be fussina: around his hos- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 257 

pital from morning till night. She was tired with over- 
seeing those stniDid negroes and trying to make them set 
the chairs and tables right side up. 

" My dear, don't reproach them for being stupid," said 
Ravenel. " For nearly a century the whole power of our 
great Republic, north and south, has been devoted to keep- 
ing them stupid. Your own State has taken a demoniac 
interest in this infernal labor. We mustn't quarrel with 
our own deliberate productions. "We wanted stupidity, 
we have got it, and we must be contented with it. At least 
for a while. It is your duty and mme to work patiently, 
courteously and faithfully to undo the horrid results of a 
century of selfishness. I shall expect you to teach all 
these poor people to read." 

" Teach them to read ! what, set up a nigger school !" 

" Yes, you born barbarian, — and daughter of a bom 
barbarian, — for I felt that way myself once. I want you 
in the first place to teach them, and yourself too, how to 
spell negro with only one g. You must not add your 
efibrts to keep this abused race under a stigma of social 
contempt. You must do what you can to elevate them in 
sentiment and in knowledge." 

" But oh, what a labor ! I would rather clean house 
every day." 

" jSTot so very much of a labor— not so very much of a 
labor," insisted the Doctor. " Xegro children are just as 
intelligent as white children until they find out that they 
are black. Xow we will never tell, them that they are 
black ; we will never hint to them that they are born our 
inferiors. You will find them bright enough if you won't 
knock them on the head. Why, you couldn't read your- 
self till you were seven years old." 

" Because you didn't care to have me. I learned quick 
enough when I set about it." 

" Just so. And that proves that it is not too late for 
our people here to commence their education. Adults can 
beat children at the alphabet." 



258 Miss K aye x el's Conversion 

" But it is against the law, teaching them to read." 

The Doctor burst into a hearty laugh. 

"The laws of Dahomey are abrogated," said he. 
" What a fossil you are ! You remind me of my poor 
dotino" old friend, Elderkin, who persists in declaring that 
the invasion of Louisiana was a violation of the Constitu- 
tion." 

By this time the dozen or so of negroes had brought the 
neglected mansion to a habitable degree of cleanliness, and 
decked out two or three rooms with what tags and ampu- 
tated fragments remained of the once fine furniture. A 
chamber had been prepared for Lillie, and another for the 
Doctor. A tea-table was set in a picnic sort of style, and 
crowned with corn cake, fried pork, and roasted sweet po- 
tatoes. 

" Are you not going to ask in our colored friends ?" in- 
quired Lillie, mischievously. 

" Why no. I don't see the logical necessity of it. I al- 
ways have claimed the right of selecting my own inti- 
mates. I admit, however, that I have sat at table with 
less respectable peoj^le in some of the most aristocratic 
houses of New Orleans. Please to drop the satire and put 
some sugar in my tea." 

" Mercy ! there is no sugar on the table. The stupid 
creatures ! How can you wonder, papa, that I allow my- 
self to look down on them a little ?" 

" I don't believe it is possible to get all the virtues and 
all the talents for nothing a year, or even for ten dollars a 
month. I will try to induce the Major-General command- 
ing to come and wait on table for us. But I am really 
afraid I sha'n't succeed. He is very busy. Meantime 
suppose you should hint to one of the handmaidens, as 
politely as you can, that I am accustomed to take sugar 
in my tea." 

" Julia !" called Lillie to a mulatto girl of eighteen, who 
just then entered from the kitchen. " You have given us 
How could you be so silly ?" 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 259 

" Don't !" expostulated the Doctor. " I never knew a 
woman but scolded her servants, and I never knew a ser- 
vant but waited the worse for it. All that the good-na- 
tured creature desired was to know what you wanted. It 
didn't clear her head nor soften her heart a bit to call her 
silly ; nor would it have helped matters at all if you had 
gone on to pelt her with all the hard names in the English 
language. Be courteous, my dear, to everything that is 
human. We owe that much of respect to the fact that 
man is made in the image of his Maker. Politeness is a 
part of piety." 

" When would Mr. Carter be able to visit them ?" was 
Lillie's next spoken idea. Papa really could not say, but 
hoped very soon — whereupon he was immediately ques- 
tioned as to the reasons of his hope. Having no special rea- 
son to allege, and being driven to admit that, after all, the 
visit could not positively be counted upon, he was sharply 
catechised as to why he thought Mr. Carter would not 
come, to which he could only reply by denying he had 
entertained such a thought. Then followed m rapid suc- 
cession, " Suppose the brigade leaves Thibodeaux, where 
will it go to ? Suppose General Banks attacks Port Hud- 
son, won't he be obliged to leave Colonel Carter to defend 
the Lafourche Interior ? Suppose the brigade is ordered 
►into the field, will it not, being the best brigade, be al- 
ways kept in reserve, out of the range of fire ?" 

" My dear child," deprecated the hunted Doctor, " what 
happy people those early Greeks must have been who were 
descended from the immortal gods ! They could ask their 
papas all sorts of questions about the future, and get relia- 
ble answers." 

" But I am so anxious !" said Lillie, dropping back in 
her chair with a sob, and wiping away her tears with her 
napkin. 

'^ly poor dear little girl, you must try to keep up a 
better courage," urged papa in a compassionate tone 
which only made the drops fall faster, so affectmg i^ pity. 



260 Miss Ravenel's Conveesiox 

" Xothing lias happened to him yet, and \re have a rio-ht 
to hope and pray that nothing will." 

" But something may^^ was the persevering answer of 
anxiety. 

As soon as supper was over she hurried to her room, 
locked the door, knelt on the bit of carpet by the bedside, 
buried her face in the bed-clothes, and prayed a long time 
with tears and sobs, that her husband, her own and dear 
husband, might be kept from danger. She did not even 
ask that he might be brought to her ; it was enough if he 
might only be delivered from the awful perils of battle ; 
in the humility of her earnestness and terror she had not 
the face to require more. After a while she went down 
stairs agam with an expression of placid exhaustion, ren- 
dered sweeter by a soft glory of religious trust, as the sun- 
set mellowness of our earthly atmosphere is rayed by 
beams from a mightier world. Sitting on a stool at her 
father's feet, and laying her head on his knee, she talked 
in more cheerful tones of Carter, of their own prospects, 
and then agam of Carter — for ever of Carter. 

" I uill teach the negroes to read," she said. " I will 
try to do good — and to be good." 

She was thinking how she could best win the fovor and 
protection of Heaven for her husband. She would teach 
the negroes for Carter's sake ; she had not yet learned to 
do it for Jesus Christ's sake. She was not a heathen ; she 
had received the same evangelical instruction that "most 
young Americans receive ; she was perfectly well aware 
of the doctrme of salvation by faith and not .by works. 
But no profound sorrow, no awful sense of helj^lessness 
under the threatenuio* of danorers to those whom she dear- 
ly loved, had CA^er made these things matters of personal 
experience and realizuig belief 

- When the Doctor called in the negroes at nme o'clock, 
and read to them a chapter from the Bible, and a praf cr, 
Lillie joined in the devotions with an unusual sense of hu- 
mility and earnestness. In her own room, before going to 



From Secession to Loyalty. 261 

bed, she prayed again for Carter, and not for him only, 
but for herself. ' Then she quickly fell asleep, for she was 
young and very tired. How SDme elderly people, who 
have learned to toss and count the hours till near morn- 
ing, envy these infants, whether of twenty months or twen- 
ty years, who can so readily cast their sorrows into the 
profound and tranquil ocean of slumber ! 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE KEOEGA^aZATIOX OF SOUTHERN LABOR IS CONTINUED 
WITH YIGOR. 

By six o'clock m the morning the Doctor was out visit- 
mg the quarters of his sable dependants. Having on the 
previous evenmg told Major Scott, the head man or over- 
seer of the gang, that he should exj)ect the people to rise 
by daybreak aijd get their breakfasts immediately, so as to 
be ready for early work, he was a little astonished to find 
half of them still asleej), and two or three absent. The 
Major himself was just leaving the water-butt in rear of 
the plantation house, where he had evidently been per- 
forming his mornins^ ablutions. 

" Scott," said the Doctor, " you shouldn't use tnat water. 
The butt holds hardly enough for the family." 

" Yes sah," answered with a reverential bow the Major. 
" But the butt that we has is mighty dry." 

" But there is the bayou, close by." 

" Yes sah, so 'tis," assented the Major, with another 
bow. " I guess I'll think of that nex' time." 

" But what are you all about ?" asked the Doctor. " I 
understood that you were all to be up and ready for work 
by this tune." 

" I tole the boys so," said the Major in a tone of indig- 
nant virtue. " I tole 'em every one to be up an' about right 



262 Miss Ravenel's Conveksion 

smart this raornin'. I tole 'cm this was the fust mornin' an' 
they orter be up right smart, cos everythin' 'pendcd on 
how we took a start. 'Pears like they didn't mine much 
about it some of 'em." 

" I'm afraid you didn't set them an example, Scott. 
Have you had your breakfast ?" 

" No sah. 'Pears like the ole woman couldn't fetch no- 
thin' to pass this mornm'." 

" Well, Scott, you must set them an example, if you 
want to influence them. Never enjoin any duty upon a 
man without setting him an example." 

" Yes sah ; that's the true way," coincided the unabashed 
•Major. "That's the way Abraham an' Isaac an' Jacob 
went at it," he added, turnmg his large eyes upward with 
a sanctimoniousness of effect which most men could not 
have equalled without the aid of lifted hands, tonsures 
and priestly gowns. " An' they was God's 'ticlar child'n, 
an 'lightened by his holy sperrit." 

The Doctor studied him for a moment with the interest 
of a philosopher in a moral curiosity, and .said to liimself, 
rather sadly, that a monkey or a parrot might be educated 
to very nearly the same show of piety. 

" Are all the people here ?" he inquired, reverting from 
a consideration of the spiritual harvest to matters con- 
nected with temporal agriculture. 

" No sah. I'se feared not. Tom an' Jim is gone fo' 
suah. Tom he went off las' night down to the fote. 
'Pears like he's foun' a oral down thar that he's a co'tinor. 
Then Jim ; — don' know whar Jim is nohow. Mighty 
poor mean nigger he is, I specs. Sort o' no 'count nigger." 

" Is he ?" said the Doctor, eyeing Scott with a suspicious 
air, as if considering the possibility that he too might be a 
negro of no account. "I must have a talk with these 
people. Get them all together, every man, woman and 
pickaninny." 

The Major's face was radiant at the prospect of a speech,' 
a scene, a spectacle, an excitement. He went at his sab- 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 263 

ordinates with a will, dragging them out of their slumbers 
by the heels, jerking the little ones along by the shoulder, 
and shouting in a grand bass voice, " Come, start 'long ! 
Pile out ! Git away frum hyer. Mars Ravenel gwine to 
make a speech." 

In a few minutes he had them drawn up in two ranks, 
.men in front, women in the rear, tallest on the right, young- 
lings on the left. 

" I knows how to form 'em," he said with a broad smile 
of satisfied vanity. " I used to c'mand a comp'ny under 
Gineral Phelps. I was head boss of his cullud 'camp- 
ment. He fus' give me the title of Major." 

He took his post on the right of the line, honored the 
Doctor with a military salute, and commanded in a 
hollow roar, " 'Tention !" 

" My fi'iends," said the Doctor, " we are all here to eaiTi 
our living." 

" That's so. Bress the Lawd ! The good time am 
a comin'," from the not unintelligent audience. 

" Hear me patiently and don't interrupt," continued the 
Doctor. "I see that you understand and appreciate 
your good fortune in being able at last to work for the 
wages of freedom." 

" Yes, Mars'r," in a subdued hoarse whisper from Major 
Scott, who immediately apologized for his liberty by a 
particularly grand military salute. 

" I want to impress upon you," said Ravenel, " that the 
true dignity of freedom does riot consist in laziness. A 
lazy man is sure to be a poor man, and a poor man is never 
quite a free man. He is not free to buy what he would 
like, because he has no money. He is not free to respect 
himself, for a lazy man is not worthy even of his own res- 
pect. We must all work to get any thing or deserve any 
thing. In old times you used to work because you were 
afraid of the overseer." " Whip," he was about to say, 
but skipped the degrading word. 

" Now you are to work from hope, and not from fear. 



264 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

The good time has come Avhen our nation has resolved to 
declare that the laborer is worthy of his hire." 

" Oh, the blessed Scripter !" shouted Madam Scott in a 
piercing pipe, whereupon her husband gave her a white- 
eyed glare of reproof for daring to speak when he was 
silent. 

"Your future depends upon yourselves," the Doctor 
went on. " You can become useful and even influential 
citizens, if you will. But you must be industrious and 
honest, and faithful to your engagements. I want you to 
understand this perfectly. I will talk more to you about 
it some other time. Just now I wish chiefly to impress 
upon you your immediate duties Avhile you are on this 
plantation. I shall expect you all to sleep in your quar- 
ters. I shall expect you to be up at daybreak, get your 
breakfasts as soon as possible, and be ready to go to work 
at once. You must not leave the plantation during the 
day without my permission. You will work ten hours a 
day during the working season. You will be orderly, 
honest, virtuous and respectable. In return I am to give 
you rations, clothing, quarters, fuel, medical attendance, 
and instruction for children. I am also to pay you as 
wages eight dollars a month for first-class hands, and six 
for second-class. Each of you will have his little plot of 
land. Finally, I will endeavor to see that you are all, old 
and young, taught to read." 

Here there was an unanimous shout of delight, followed 
by articulate blessmgs and utterances of gratitude. 

" Whenever any one gets dissatisfied," concluded the 
Doctor, " I will apply to find him another place. You 
know that, if you go oft" alone and without authority, you 
are exposed to be picked up by the provost-marshal, and 
put in the anny. ]N"ow then, get your breakfasts. !Major 
Scott, you will report to me when they are ready to go to 
work." 

While the Major ofiered up a ponderous salute, the line 
dispersed in gleesome confusion, which was a sore disap- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 265 

pointment to him, as he wanted to make it right face, clap 
hands, and break ranks in military fashion. The Doctor 
went to breakfast with the most cheerful confidence in his 
retainers, notwithstanding the idle oj)enmg of this morn- 
ing. As soon as the poor fellows knew what he expected 
of them, they would be sure to do it, if it was anything in 
reason, he said to Lillie. The nes^roes were iojnorant of 
their duty, and often thoughtless of it, but they were at 
bottom zealous to do right, and honestly disposed toward 
people who paid them for their labor. And here the author 
ventures to introduce the historical doubt as to whether 
any other half-barbarous race was ever blessed and beauti- 
fied with such a lovingly grateful spirit as descended, liko 
the flames of the day of Pentecost, upon the bondsmen of 
America when their chains were broken by the just hanos 
of the great Republic. Impure in life by reason of their 
immemorial degradation, first as savages, and then as 
slaves, they were pure in heart by reason of their fervent 
joy and love. 

Under no urgency but that of their own thankfulness 
the Doctor's negroes did more work that summer than the 
Robertsons had ever got from double their number by the 
agency of a white overseer, drivers, whips and paddles. 
On the second morning they were all present and up at 
daybreak, includmg even Tom the lovelorn, and Jim the 
" no 'count nigger." In a couple of weeks they had split 
out many wagon-loads of rails from the forest in rear of 
the plantation, put the broken-down fences m order, and 
prepared a suflicient tract of ground for planting. Xot a 
pig nor a chicken disappeared from the Doctor's flocks and 
hards, if I may be allowed to apply such magnificent terms 
to bristly and feathered creatures. On the contrary, his 
small store of live-stock increased with a rapidity Avhicli 
seemed miraculous, and which was inadequately explamed 
by the non-committal commentary of Major Scott, '* Specs 
it mebbe in anser to prayer." Ravenel finally learned, to 
his intense mortification, that his over-zealous henchmen 
M 



266 Miss Rate x el's Conversion 

were in the habit of clepredatmg nightly on the property 
of adjacent planters of the old Secession stock, and adding 
such of their spoils as they did not need, to his limited zo- 
ological collection. Under the pangs of this discovery he 
made a tour of apology and restitution through the neigh- 
borhood, and on returning from it, called his hands to- 
gether and delivered them a lecture on the universal ai> 
jjlication of the law of honesty. They heard him with 
suppressed titters and hastily eclipsed grins, nudging each 
other in the side, and exhibitmg a keen percejjtion of the 
practical humor and poetical justice of their roguery. 

" 'Pears like you don' wan' to spile the 'Gyptians, Mars 
Kavenel," observed a smirkmg, shining darkey known as 
Mr. Mo. " You's one o' God's chosen people, an' you's 
been in slavery somethin' like we has, an' you has a right 
to dese yere rebel chickins," 

" My good people," replied the Doctor, " I don't say but 
that you have a right to all the rebel chickens in Louisiana. 
I deny that I have. I have always been well paid for my 
labor. And even to you I would say, be forgiving, — be 
magnanimous, — avoid even the appearance of evil. It is 
your great business, your great duty toward yourselves, 
to establish a character for perfect honesty and harmless- 
ness. If you haven't enough to eat, I don't mind adding 
something to your rations." 

" We has 'nuff to eat," thundered Major Scott. " Let 
the man as says we hasn't step out ?/e?e." 

Xobody stepped out ; everybody was full of nourish- 
ment and content ; and the interview terminated in a buzz 
of satisfaction and suppressed laughter. Thenceforward 
the Doctor had the virtuous pleasure of observing that his 
legitimate pigs and chickens were left to their natural 
means of increase. 

Lillie's reading schools, held every evening in one of the 
unfurnished rooms of the second story, were attended regu- 
larly by both sexes, and all ages of this black population. 
The rapidity of their progress at first astonished and 



From Secession to Loyalty. 267 

eventually delighted her, in proportion as she gradually 
took her ignorant but zealous scholars to her heart. The 
eagerness, the joy, the gratitude even to tears, with which 
they accepted her tuition was touchmg. They pronounced 
the words " Miss Lillie " with a tone and manner which 
seemed to lay soul and body at her feet ; and when the 
Doctor entered the schoolroom on one of his visits of in- 
spection they gaA'e him a dazzling welcome of grins and 
rolling eyes ; the sj^ectacle reminded him vaguely of such 
spiritual expressions crowns of glory and stars in the 
firmament. If the gratitude of the humble is a benedic- 
tion, few people have ever been more blessed than were 
the Ravenels at this j^eriod. 

As a truthful historian I must admit that there were 
some rotten specks in the social fruit which the Doctor 
was trymg to raise from this barbarous stock. Lillie was 
annoyed, was even put out of all patience temporarily, by 
occasional scandals which came to light among her sable 
pupils and were referred to her or to her father for settle- 
ment. That eminent dignitary and supposed exemplar of 
purity. Major Scott, was the very first to be detected in 
capital sin, the scandal bemg all the more grievous because 
he was not only the appointed industrial manager, but the, 
self-elected spiritual overseer of the colored community. 
He preached to them every Sunday afternoon, and secretly 
plunjed himself on being more fluent by many degrees 
than Mars Ravenel, who conducted the morning exercises 
chiefly through the agency of Bible and prayer-book. 
His copiousness of language, and abundance of Scriptural 
quotation was quite wonderful. In volume of sound his 
praymg was as if a bull of Bashan had had a gift m 
prayer; and if Heaven could have been taken, like Jericho, 
by mere noise. Major Scott was able to take it alone. Had 
he been born white and decently educated, he would prob- 
ably have made a popular orator either of the j^ulpit or 
forum. He had the lungs for it, the volubility and the 
imagination. In pious conversation, venerable air, grand 



268 Miss Ravexel's Cox version 

physique, superb bass voicej mijsical ear, perfection of 
teeth, and shining white of the eyes, he was a counterpart 
of Mrs. Stowe's immortal idealism, Uncle Tom. But, like 
some white Christians, this tolerably exemplary black had 
not yet arrived at the ability to keep the whole decalogue. 
He sometimes got a fall m his wrestlings with the sin of 
lying, and in regard to the seventh commandment he was 
even more liable to overthrow than King David. Ravenel 
had much ado to heal some social heart-burninojs caused 
by the Major's want of illumination concerning the bind- 
ing nature of the marriage contract. He got him married 
over again by the chaplain of the garrison at Fort Win- 
throp, and then informed him that, in case of any more 
scandals, he should report him to the provost-marshal as a 
proper character to enter the army. 

" I'se very sorry for what's come to j^ass. Mars Rav- 
enel," said the alarmed and repentant culprit. " But now 
I 'specs to go right forrad in the path of duty. I s'pose 
now Mars Chaplam has done it strong. Ye see, afore it 
wasn't done strong. I wasn't rightly married, like 'spect- 
able folks is, nohow. Ef I'd been married right strong, 
like 'spectable white folks is, I wouldn't got into this muss 
an fotched down shame on 'ligion, for which I'se mighty 
sorry an' been about rej^entm in secret places with many 
tears. That's so, Mars Ravenel, as true as I hopes to be 
forgiven." 

Here the Major's manhood, what he had of it, broke 
down, or, perhaps I ought to say, showed itself honorably, 
and he wept copious tears of what I must charitably ac- 
cept as true compunction. 

" I am a little disappointed, but not much astonished," 
said the Doctor, discussing this matter with the Chaplain. 
" I was inclined to hope at one time that I had found an 
actual Uncle Tom. I was anxious and even ready to be- 
lieve that the mere gift of freedom had exalted and puri- 
fied the negro character notwithstandmg uncounted cen- 
turies of barbarism or of oppression. But in hoping a 



From Secessioi^ to Loyalty. 269 

moral miracle I was licfjiuig too much. I ought not to 
have expected that a ^t. Vincent cle Paul could be raised 
under the injustice and dissoluteness of the sugar-plantmg 
system. After all, the Major is no Tvorse than David. 
That is 23retty Avell for a man whom the American Repub- 
lic, thirty millions strong, has repressed and kept brutish 
with its whole power from his birth down to about a year 
ago." 

" It seems to me," answered the Chaplain, — " I beg your 
pardon, — but it seems to me that you don't sufficiently 
consider the enlightening power of divine grace. If this 
man had ever been truly regenerated (which I fear is not 
the case), I doubt whether he would have fallen into this 
sm." 

" My dear sir," said the Doctor warmly, " renewing a 
man's heart is only a partial reformation, unless you illu- 
minate his mind. He wants to do right, but how is he to 
know what is right ? Suppose he can't read. Suppose 
half of the Bible is not told hun. Suppose he is misled by 
half the teaching, and all the example of those whom he 
looks up to as in every respect his superiors. I am dis- 
posed to regard Scott as a very fau* attempt at a Christian, 
considering his chances. I am grieved over his error, but 
I do not think it a case for righteous indignation, except 
agamst men who brought this poor fellow up so badly." 

" But Uncle Tom," instanced the Chaplain, who had not 
been long in the South. 

" My dear sir. Uncle Tom is a pure fiction. There never 
was such a slave, and there never will be. A man edu- 
cated imder the degrading influences of bondage must al- 
ways have some taint of uncommon grossness and lowness. 
I don't believe that Onesimus was a pattern of piety. But 
St. Paul had the moral sense, the Christianity, to make al- 
lowance for his disadvantages, and he recommended him 
to Philemon, no doubt as a weak brother who required 
special charity and instruction." 

Injured husbands of the slave-grown breed are rarely 



2V0 Miss R a ye x el's Conversion 

implacable in their anger; and before a fortnight had 
passed, Major Scott was preaching and praying among his 
colored brethren with as much confidence and acceptance 
as ever. 

The season opened delightfully with the Ravenels. Lillie 
'vvas occasionally doleful at not gettmg letters from her 
husband, and sometimes depressed by the solitude and 
monotony of plantation life. Her father, bemg more 
steadily occupied, and having no afiectionate worry on his 
mind, was constantly and almost boyishly cheerful. It 
was one of his characteristics to be contented under nearly 
any circumstances. Wherever he happened to be he 
thought it was a very nice place ; and if he afterwards 
found a spot with superior advantages, he simply liked it 
better still. I can easily believe that, but for the stigma 
of forced confinement, he Avould have been quite happy in 
a 2)i'ison, and that, on regaining his libert}", he would simply 
have remarked, " Why, it is even pleasant er outside than 
in." 

But I am running ahead of some important events in 
my story. Lillie received a letter from her husband say- 
ing that he should visit the family soon, and then another 
informing her that in cons'equence of an unforeseen press 
of business, he should be obliged to postpone the visit for 
a few days. His two next letters were written from 
Brashear City on the Atchafalaya river, but contained no 
explanation of his presence there. Then came a silence of 
three days, which caused her to torture herself with all 
sorts of gloomy doubts and fears, and made her fly for 
forgetfulness or comfort to her housekeejDmg, her school, 
and her now frequent private devotions. The riddle was 
explained when the Doctor procured a Xew Orleans paper 
at the fort, with the news that Banks had crossed the 
Atchafalaya and beaten the enemy at Camp Beasland. 

" It's all right," he said, as he entered the house. He 
waved the paper triumphantly, and smiled with a counter- 
feit delight, anxious to forestall her alarm. 



FBOii Secession to Loyalty. 271 

" Oh ! what is it?" asked Lillie with a choking sensation, 
fearful that it might not be quite as right as she wanted. 

"Banks has defeated the enemy in a great battle. 
Colonel Carter is unhurt, and honorably mentioned for 
bravery and ability." 

" Oh, papa !" 

She had turned very white at the thought of the peril 
through which her husband had passed, and the possibility, 
instantaneously foreseen, that he might be called to en- 
counter yet other dangers. 

" We ought to be very grateful, my darling." 

" Oh ! why has he gone ? Why didn't he tell me that 
he was going? Why did he leave me so in the dark?" 
was all that Lillie could say in the way of thankfulness. 

"My child, don't be unreasonable. He wished of 
course to save you from unnecessary anxiety. It was 
very kind and mse in him." 

Lillie snatched the paper, ran to her own room and 
read the official bulletin over and over, dropping her tears 
upon it and kissing the place, where her husband was 
praised and recommended for promotion. Then she 
thought how generous and grand he was to go forth to 
battle in silence, without uttering a word to alarm her, 
without making an appeal for her sympathy. The great- 
est men of history have not seemed so great to the world 
as did this almost unknown colonel of volunteers ft) his 
wife. She was in a passion, an almost unearthly ecstasy 
of grief, terror, admiration and love. It is well that we 
cannot always feel thus strongly ; if we did, we should 
not average twenty years of life ; if we did, the human 
race would perish. 

Next day came two letters from Carter, one written be- 
fore and one after the battle. In his description of the 
fighting he was as professional, brief and unenthusiastic 
as usual, merely mentioning the fact of success, narrating 
in two sentences the part which his brigade had taken in 
the action, and saying nothing of his own dangers or per- 



272 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

formances. But there was another subject on wliich he 
was more copious, and this j^art of the letter Lillie 
prized most of all. " I am afraid I sicken you witli such 
fondness," he concluded. " It seems to me that you must 
get tired of reading over and over again the same endear- 
ing phrases and pet names." 

" Oh, never imagine that I can sicken of hearmg or 
reading that you love me," she answered. " You must 
not cheat me of a single pet name ; you must call me by 
such names over and over in every letter. I always skim 
through your letters to read those dear words first. I 
should be utterly and forever miserable if I did not believe 
that you love me, and did not hear so from you con- 
stantly." 

At this time Lillie knew by heart all her husband's 
letters. Let her eye rest on the envelope of one which 
she had received a week or a fn-tnight previous, and she 
could repeat its contents almost verbatim, certamly not 
missing one of the lovmg phrases aforesaid. Through the 
ISTew Orleans paj^ers and these same wonderful ej^istles 
she followed the victorious army in its ouAvard march, 
now at Franklin, now at Opelousas, and now at Alex- 
andria. It was all good news, except that her husband 
was forever gomg farther away ; the Rebels were always 
flying, the triumphant Unionists were always pursuing, 
and tliere were no more battles. She flattered herself that 
the summer campaign was over, and that Carter would 
soon get a leave of absence and come to his own home to 
be petted and worshij^ped. 

From Alexandria arrived a letter of Colburne's to the 
Doctor. The young man had needed all this time and 
these events to fortify him for the task of writing to the 
Ravenels. For a while after that marriage it seemed to 
him as if he never could have the courage to meet them, 
nor even call to their attention the fact of his continued 
existence. His congratulations were written with labored 
care, and the rest of the letter in a style of afiected 



From Secession to Loyalty. 273 

gayety. I shall copy from it a single extract, because it 
bears some relation to the grand reconstruction experi- 
ment of the Doctor. 

" I hear that you are doing your part towards organiz- 
ing free labor in Louisiana. I fear that you will find it an 
up-hill business, no* only from the nature of your surround- 
ino^s but from that of Your material. I am as much of an 
abolitionist as ever, but not so much of a 'nigger-wor- 
shipper.' I don't know but that I shall yet become an 
advocate of slavery. I frequently think that my boy 
Henry will fetch me to it. He is an awful boy. He dances 
and gambles all night, and then wants to sleep all day. 
If the nights and days were a thousand years long apiece, 
he would keep it up in the same fashion. In order that he 
may not be disturbed in his rest by my voice, he goes 
aw^ay from camp and curls up in some refuge which I have 
not yet discovered. I pass hours every day in shouting 
for Henry. Of course his labors are small and far be- 
tween. He brushes my boots in the morning because he 
doesn't go to bed till after I get up ; but if I want them 
polished during the day, — at dress-parade, for instance, — 
it is not Henry w^ho polishes them. "When I scold him 
for his worthlessness, he laughs most obstropolously (I 
value myself on this word, because to my ear it describes 
Henry's laughter exactly). For his services, or rather 
for what he ought to do and doesn't, I pay him ten dol- 
lars a month, with rations and clothing. He might earn 
two or three times as much on the levee at Xew Orleans ; 
but the lazy creature would rather not earn anything ; he 
likes to get his living gratis, as he does with me. This is 
the way he came to join me. AYhen I was last in Xew 
Orleans, Henry, whom I had previously known as the body 
servant of one of my sergeants, paid me a visit. Said I, 
' What are you doing ?' " 

" ' Workin 'on 'ee levee.' 

" ' How much do you get ?' 



214 Miss Rayenel's Conversion 

" ' It's 'cordin' to what I doos. Ef I totes a big stent, 
I gits two dollars ; an' ef I totes 'nufi* to kill a boss, I gits 
two dollars 'n 'aff a day.' 

" ' Why, that is grand pay. That is a great deal better 
than hanging around camp for nothing but your board 
and clothes. I am glad you have gone at some profitable 
and manly labor. Stick to it, and maUe a man of yourself. 
Get some money in the bank, and then give yourself a 
little schooling. You can make yourself as truly respect- 
able as any white man, Henry.' 

" ' Ya-as,' he said hesitatingly, as if he thought the re- 
sult hardly worth the trouble ; for which opinion I hardly 
blame him, considering the nature of a great many white 
men of this country. 'But it am right hard work, 
Cap'm.' — Here he chuckled causelessly and absurdly. — 
' Sometimes I thinks I'd like to come and do chores for 
you, Cap'm.' 

" ' Oh no,' I remonstrated. ' Don't think of giving up 
your respectable and profitable industry. I couldn't afford 
to pay you more than ten dollars a month." 

Here he laughed in his obstropolous and irrational fash- 
ion, signifyuig thereby, I think, that he was embarrassed 
by my arguments. 

" Well, I kinder likes dem terms," he said. " 'Pears like 
I wants to have a good time better'n to have a heap o' 
money." 

And so here he is with me, havmg a good time, and 
getting more money than he deserves. Now when you 
have freed with your own right hand as many of these 
lazy bumpkins as I have, you will feel at liberty to speak 
of them with the same disrespectful levity. Wendell Phillips 
says that the negro is the only man in America who can 
afford to fold his arms and quietly await his future. That 
is just what the critter is doing, and just what puts me 
out of patience with him. Moreover, he can't afford it ; if 
he doesn't fall to work pretty soon, we shall cease to be 
negrophilists ; we shall kick him out of doors and get in 



From Secession to Loyalty. 275 

somebody who is not satisfied with folding his arms and 
waiting his future." 

" He is too impatient," said the Doctor, after he had 
finished reading the letter to Lillie. " Just like all young 
people — and some old ones. God has chosen to alloAV him- 
self a hundred years to free the negro. We must not 
grumble if He chooses to use up a hundred more in civiliz- 
ing him. I can answer that letter, to my own satisfaction. 
What right has Captain Colburne to demand roses or pota- 
toes of land which has been sown for centuries with noth- 
ing but thistles ? We ought to be thankful if it merely 
lies barren for a while." 



CHAPTER XX. 

CAPTAIN COLBTJRXE MARCHES AND FIGHTS WITH CREDIT. 

The consideration of Mr. Colburne's letter induces me 
to take up once more the thread of that young warrior's 
history. In the early part of this month of May, 1863, we 
find him with, his company, regiment and brigade, en- 
camped on the bank of the Red River, just outside of the 
once flourishing little city of Alexandria, Louisiana. Un- 
der the j^rotection of a clapboard shanty, five feet broad 
and ten feet high, which three or four of his men have 
voluntarily built for him, he is lying at full length, smok- 
ing his short wooden pipe with a sense of luxury ; for since 
he left his tent at Brashear City, four weeks previous, this 
is the first shelter which he has had to protect him from 
the rain, except one or two ticklish mansions of rails, piled 
up by Henry of the " obstropolous " laughter. The brig- 
ade encampment, a mushroom city which has sprung up 
in. a day, presenting every imaginable variety of tempora- 
ry cabin, reaches half a mile up and down the river, un- 
der the shade of a long stretch of ashes and beeches. Hun- 



276 Miss Ravenel's Conveksiox 

dreds of soldiers are bathing in the reddish-ochre current, 
regardless of the possibility thai the thick woods of the 
opposite bank may conceal Rebel marksmen. 

Colburne has eaten his dinner of fried pork and hard- 
tack, has washed off the grime of a three days' march, has 
finished his pipe, and is now dropping gently into a sol- 
dier's child-like yet light slumber. He does not mind the 
babble of voices about him, but if you should say " Fall 
in !" he would be on his feet in an instant. He is a hand- 
some model of a warrior as he lies there, though rougher 
and plainer in dress than a painter would be apt to make 
him. He is dark-red with sunburn ; gaunt with, bad 
food, irregular food, fasting and severe marching ; gaunt 
and wiry, but all the hardier and stronger for it, like a 
wolf. His coarse fotigue uniform is dirty with slee^ig on 
the ground, and with marching through mud and clouds 
of dust. It has been soaked over and over again with 
rain or perspiration, and then powdered thickly with the 
fine-grained, unctuous soil of Louisiana, until it is almost 
stiff enough to stand alone. He cannot wash it, because 
it is the only suit he has brought with him, and because 
moreover he never knows but that he may be ordered to 
fall in and march at five mmutes' notice. 

Yet his body and even his mind are in the soundest and 
most enviable health. His constant labors and hardships, 
and his occasional perils have preserved him from that en- 
feebling melancholy which often infects sensitive spirits 
upon whom has beaten a storm of trouble. Always in the 
open air, never poisoned by the neighborhood of four 
walls and a roof, he never catches cold, and rarely fails to 
have more appetite than food. He has borne as well as 
the hardiest mason or fanner those terrific forced marches 
which have brought the army from Camp Beasland to 
Alexandria on a hot scent after the flymg and scattering 
rebels. His feet have been as sore as any man's ; they 
have been bh§tered from toe to heel, and swollen beyond 
their natural size ; but he has never vet laid down bv the 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 27Y 

roadside nor crawled into an army wagon, saying that he 
could march no further. He is loyal and manly in his 
endurance, and is justly proud of it. In one of his letters 
he says, " I was fully repaid for yesterday's stretch of 
thirty-five miles by Overhearing one of my Irishmen say, 

while washing his bloody feet, ' Be ! but he's a hardy 

man, the Captin !'— To which another responded, ' An' he 
had his hands full to kape the byes' courage up ; along in 
the afthernoon, he was a jokin' an' scoldin' an' eucoura^'o-in' 

for ten miles together. Be . ! an' when he gives oul.it 

'ull be for good rayson.' " 

From Alexandria, BanJ^s suddenly shifted his army to 
the junction of the Red River with the Mississippi, and 
from thence by transport to a pomt north of Port Hudson, 
thus cutting it ofi from communication with the Confed- 
eracy. In this movement TVeitzel took command of the 
Reserve Brigade and covered the rear of the column. By 
night it made prodigious marches, and by day lay in 
threatening line of battle. The Rebel Cavalry, timid and 
puzzled, followed at a safe distance without attackiuo-. 
Xow came the delicious sail fi-om Simmsport to Bayoii 
Sara, during which Colburne could lounge at ease on the 
deck with a sense of luxury in the mere consciousness that 
he was not marchmg, and repose his mind, his eyes, his 
very muscles, by gazing on the fresh green bluffs which 
faced each other across the river. To a native of hilly 
New England, who had passed above a year on the flats 
of Louisiana, it was delightful to look once more upon a 
rolling country. 

It was through an atmosphere of scalding heat and sti- 
fling dust that the brigade marched up the bluffs of Bayou 
Sara and over the rounded eminences which stretched on 
to Port Hudson. The perspiration which drenched the 
ragged uniforms and the pulverous soil which powdered 
them rapidily mixed into a muddy plaster ; and the same 
plaster grimed the men's faces out of almost all semblance 
to humanity, except where the dust clung dry and gray 



278 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

to hair, beard, eyebrows and eyelashes. So dense was the 
distressing cloud that it was impossible at times to see the 
length of a company. It seemed as if the men would go 
rabid with thirst, and drive the officers mad with their 
pleadings to leave the ranks for water, a privilege not al- 
lowable to any great extent in an enemy's country. A 
lovely crystal streamlet, i-unning knee-deep over clean yel- 
low sand, a charming contrast to black or brown bayous 
with muddy and treacherous banks, was forded by the 
feverish ranks with shouts and laughter of child-like enjoy- 
ment. But it was through volumes of burning yet lazy 
dust, soiling and darkening the glory of sunset, that the 
brigade reached its appointed bivouac in a large clearing, 
only two miles from the rebel stronghold, though hidden 
from it by a dense forest of oaks, beeches and magnolias. 

It is too early to tell, it is even too early to know, the 
whole truth concerning the siege of Port Hudson. To an 
honest man, anxious that the world shall not be hum- 
bugged, it is a mournful reflection that ^^erhaps the whole 
truth never will be known to any one who will dare or 
care to tell it. "We gained a victory there ; we took an 
important step towards the end of the Rebellion ; but at 
what cost, through what means, and by whose merit ? It 
was a capital idea, whosesoever it was, to clean out Taylor's 
Texan s and Louisianians from the Teche country before 
we undertook the siege of Gardner's Arkansians, Alaba- 
mians, and Mississippians at Port Hudson. But for some- 
body's blunder at that well-named locality, Ii'ish Bend, the 
plan would have succeeded better than it did, and Taylor 
would not have been able to reorganize, take Brashear 
City, threaten Xew Orleans, and come near driving Banks 
from his main enterprise. As it was we opened the siege 
with fair prospects of success, and no disturbing force in 
the rear. The garrison, lately fifteen or twenty thousand 
strong, had been reduced to six thousand, in order to re- 
inforce Yicksburg ; and Joe Johnston had already direct- 
ed Gardner to destroy his fortifications and transfer all his 



. From Secession to Loyalty. 279 

men to the great scene of contest on the central Mississippi. 
Banks arrived from Simmsport just in time to prevent 
the execution of this order. A smart skirmish was fought, 
in which we lost more men than the enemy, but forced 
Gardner to retire within his works, and accept the eventu- 
alities of an investment. 

At five o'clock on the morning of the 27th of May, Col- 
burne was awakened by an order to fall in. Whether it 
signified an advance on our part, or a sally by the enemy, 
he did not know nor ask, but with a soldier's indifference 
proceeded to form his company, and, that done, ate his 
breakfast of raw pork and hard biscuit. He would have 
been glad to have Henry boil him a cup of coffee ; but that 
idle freedman was " having a good time," probably sleep- 
ing, in some unknown refuge. For two hours the ranks 
sat on the ground, musket in hand ; then Colburne saw 
the foremost line, a quarter of a mile m front, advance 
into the forest. One of Weitzel's aids now dashed up to 
Carter, and immediately his staff-oflicers galloped away to 
the difterent commanders of recriments. An admonishinsj 
murmur of " Fall in, men !" — " Attention, men !" from the 
captams ran along the line of the Tenth, and the soldiers 
rose in their j)laces to meet the grand, the awful possibili- 
ty of battle. It was a long row of stern faces, bronzed 
with simburn, sallow in many cases with malaria, grave 
with the serious emotions of the hour, but hardened by the 
habit of danger, and set as firm as flmts toward the ene- 
my. The old mnocence of the peaceable Xew England 
farmer and mechanic had disappeared from these war- 
seared visages, and had been succeeded by an expression 
of hardened combativeness, not a little brutal, much like 
the look of a lazy bull-dog. Colburne smiled with pleas- 
ure and pride as he glanced along the line of his company, 
and noted this change in its physiognomy. For the pur- 
pose for which they were drawn up there they were bet- 
ter men than when he first knew them, and as good men 
as the sun ever shone upon. 



280 ]\[ I S S R A V E N E L ' S CONVERSION 

At last the Lieutenant-Coloners voice rang out, " Bat- 
talion, forward. Guide right. March !" 

To keep the ranks closed and aligned in any tolerable 
fio-htino- shape while strugglmg through that mile of tan- 
gled forest and broken ground, was a task of terrible diffi- 
culty. Plunging through thickets, leaping over fallen 
trees, a contmuous foliage overhead, and the fallen leaves 
of many seasons under foot, the air full of the damp, 
mouldering smell of virgin forest, the brigade moved for- 
Avard with no sound but that of its own tramplmgs. It is 
peculiar of the American attack that it is almost always 
made in Ime, and always without music. The men ex- 
pected to meet the enemy at every hillock, but they ad- 
vanced rapidly, and laughed at each other's slippings and 
tumbles. Every body was breathless with climbmg over 
obstacles or running around them. The officers were be- 
gmning to swear at the broken ranks and unsteady pace. 
The Lieutenant-Colonel, perceiving that the regiment was 
diverging from its comrades, and fearing the consequences 
of a gap in case the enemy should suddenly open fire, rode 
repeatedly up and down the line, yellmg, " Guide right ! 
Close up to the right !" Suddenly, to the amazement of 
every one, the brigade came upon bivouacs of Union regi- 
ments quietly engaged in distributing rations and prepar- 
uig breakfast. 

" AYhat are you doing up here ?" asked a Major of Col- 
burne. 

" We are gomg to attack. Don't you take part in it ?" 

" I suppose so. I don't know. We have received no 
orders." 

Through this scene of tardmess, the result perhaps' of 
one of those blunders which are known in military as well 
as in all other human operations, Weitzel's division steadily 
advanced, much wondering if it was to storm Port Hudson 
alone. The ground soon proved so difficult that the Tenth, 
unable to move in line of battle, filed into a faintly marked 
forest road and pushed forward by the flank in the ordin- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 281 

ary column of march. The battle had already commenced, 
although Colburne could see nothmg of it, and could hear 
nothing but a dull pum-jnun-pum of cannon. He passed 
• rude rifle-pits made of earth and large branches, which had 
been carried only a few minutes j^revious by the confused 
rush of the leading brigade. Away to the right, but not 
near enough to be heard above the roar of artillery, there 
was a wild, scattering musketry of broken lines, fighting 
and scrambling along as they best could over thicketed 
knolls, and through rugged gullies, on the track of the re- 
tiring Alabamians and Arkansans. It was the blindest 
and most perplexing forest labyi'uith conceivable ; it was 
impossible to tell whither you were going, or whether you 
would stumble on friends or enemies ; the regiments were 
split into little squads from which all order had disap- 
l^eared, but which nevertheless advanced. 

The Tenth was still marching through the woods by the 
flank, unable to see either fortifications or enemy, when it 
came under the fire of artillery, and encountered the re- 
tu-ing stream of wounded. At this moment, and for two 
hours afterward, the uproar of heavy guns, bursting shells, 
falling trees and flying splinters was astonishing, stun- 
ning, horrible, doubled as it was by the sonorous echoes 
of the forest. Magnolias, oaks and beeches eighteen 
inches or two feet in diameter, were cut asunder with a 
deafening scream of shot and of splitting fibres, the tops 
falling after a pause of majestic deliberation, not sidewise, 
but stem downwards, like a descending parachute, and 
striking the e^rth with a dull shuddering thunder. They 
seemed to give up their life with a roar of animate an- 
guish, as if they were savage beasts, or as if they were in- 
habited by Afreets and Demons. 

The unusually horrible clamor and the many-sided na- 
ture of the danger had an evident efiect on the soldiers, 
hardened as they Avere to scenes of ordinary battle. Grim 
faces turned in every direction with hasty stares of alarm, 
looking aloft and on every side, as well as to the front, for 



282 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

destruction. Pallid stragglers who had dropped out of 
the leading brigade drifted by the Tenth, dodging from 
trunk to trunk in an instinctive search for cover, although 
it was visible that the forest was no protection, but ra- 
ther an additional peril. Every regiment has its two or 
three cowards, or perhaps its half-dozen, weakly-nerved 
creatures, whom nothing can make fight, and who never 
do fight. One abject hound, a corporal with his dis- 
graced stripes upon his arm, came by with a ghastly 
backward glare of horror, his face colorless, his eyes pro- 
jectmg, and his chin shaking. Colburne cursed him for 
a poltroon, struck him with the flat of his sabre, and 
dragged him mto the ranks of his own regiment ; but 
the miserable creature was too thoroughly unmanned by 
the great horror of death to be moved to any show of 
resentment or even of courage by the indignity ; he on- 
ly gave an idiotic stare with outstretched neck toward 
the front, then turned with a nervous jerk, like that of a 
scared beast, and rushed rearward. Further on, six men 
were standing in smgle file behind a large beech, holding 
each other by the shoulders, when with a stunnmg crash 
the entu-e top of the tree flew off and came down among 
them butt foremost, sendmg out a cloud of dust and splin- 
ters. Colburne smiled grimly to see the paralyzed terror 
of their upward stare, and the frantic flight which barely 
saved them from being crushed jelly. A nian who keeps 
the ranks hates a skulker, and wishes that he may be 
killed, the same as any other enemy. 

" But m truth," says the Captain, in one of his letters, 
" the sights and sounds of this battle-reaped forest were 
enough to shake the firmest nerves. Never before had I 
been so tried as I was during that hour in this wilderness 
of death. It was not the slaughter which nnmanned me, 
for our regiment did not lose very heavily ; it was the stu- 
pendous clamor of the cannonade and of the crashing trees 
which seemed to overwhelm me by its mere physical 
power ; and it made me unable to bear spectacles which I 



From Secession to Loyalty. 283 

had witnessed in other engagements with perfect compos- 
ure. When one of our men was borne by me with half 
his foot torn ofl* by a round shot, the splintered bones pro- 
jecting clean and white from the ragged raw flesh, I grew 
so sick that perhaps I might have fainted if a brother ofli- 
cer had not given me a sip of whiskey from his canteen. 
It was the only occasion iij my fighting experience when 
I have had to resort to that support. I had scarcely re- 
covered myself when I saw a broad flow of blood stream 
down the face of a color-corj)oral who stood withm arm's- 
length of me. I thought he was surely a dead man ; but it 
was only one of the wonderful escapes of battle. The bul- 
let had skirted his cap where the fore-piece joins the cloth, 
forcing the edge of the leather through the skin, and mak- 
ing a clean cut to the bone from temple to temple. He 
went to the rear blmded and with a smart headache, but 
not seriously injured. That we were not slaughtered by 
the wholesale is wonderful, for we were closed up in a 
compact mass, and the shot came with stunning rapidity. 
A shell burst in the centre of my company, tearing one 
man's heel to the bone, but doing no other damage. The 
wounded man, a good soldier though as quiet and gentle 
as a bashful girl, touched his hat to me, showed his bleed- 
ing foot, and asked leave to go to the rear, which I of 
course granted. "^VTiile he was sj^eaking, another shell 
burst about six feet from the first, doing no harm at all, 
although so near to Yan Zandt as to dazzle and deafen 
him." 

Presently a section of Bainbridge's regular battery came 
up, winding slowly through the forest, the guns thump- 
ing c^'er roots and fallen limbs, the men sitting superbly 
erect on their horses, and the color-sergeant holding his 
battle-flag as proudly as a knight-errant ever bore his pen- 
non. In a minute the two brass Xapoleons opened with a 
sonorous spang, which drew a spontaneous cheer from 
the delighted infantry. The edge of the wood was now 
reached, and Colburne could see the enemy's position. In 



284 Miss Raven el's Conversiox 

front of him lay a broad and curving valley, irregular in 
surface, and seamed in some places by rugged gorges, the 
whole made more difficult of passage by a multitude of 
felled trees, the leafless trunks and branches of which 
were tano-led into an inextricable chevauz defnse. On the 
other side of this valley rose a bluff or table-land, partially 
covered with forest, but showing on its cleared spaces the 
tents and cabms of the Rebel encampments. . Along the 
edge of the bluff, followmg its sinuosities, and at this dis- 
tance looking like mere natural banks of yellow earth, ran 
the fortifications of Port Hudson. Colburne could see 
Paine's brigade of Weitzel's division descending into the 
valley, forcing its bloody way through a roarmg cannon- 
ade and a continuous screech of musketry. 

An order came to the commander of the Tenth to deploy 
two companies as skirmishers in the hollow in front of 
Bainbridge, and push to the left with the remainder of 
the regiment, throwmg out other skirmishers and silencing 
the Rebel artillery. One of the two detached companies 
was Colburne's, and he took command of both as senior 
officer. At the moment that he filed his men out of the 
line a murmur ran through the regiment that the Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel was killed or badly wounded. Then came an 
mquiry as to the whereabouts* of the Major. 

" By Jove ! it wouldn't be a dangerous job to hunt for 
him," chuckled Van Zandt. 

" TThy ? Where is he ?" asked Colburne. 

" I don't beUeve, by Jove ! that I could say within a 
mile or two. I only know, by Jove ! that he is no7i est 
inventus. I saw him a quarter of an hour ago charging 
for the rear with his usual impetuosity. I'll bet myever- 
lasting salvation that he's in the safest spot within ten 
miles of this d d unhealthy neighborhood." 

The senior captain took command of the regiment, and 
led it tjo the left on a line parallel with the fortifications. 
Colburne descended with his little detachment, numbering 
about eighty muskets, into that Valley of the Shadow of 



From Secessio2«- to Loyalty. 285 

Death, climbiiig over or creeping under the fallen trunks 
of the tangled labyrmth, and making straight for the bluff 
on which thundered and smoked the rebel stronghold. 
As his men advanced they deployed, spreading outwards 
like the diverging blades of a fan until they covered a 
front of nearly a quarter of a mile. Every stump, every 
prostrate trunk, every knoll and gulley was a temporary 
breastwork, from behind which they poured a slow but 
fatal fire upon the rebel gunners, who could be plainly 
seen upon the hostile parapet working their pieces. The 
officers and sergeants moved up and down the line, each 
behind his own platoon or section, steadily urging it for- 
ward. 

" Move on, men. Move on, men," Colburne repeated. 
" Don't expose yourselves. Use the covers ; use the 
stumps. But keep moving on. Don't take root. Don't 
stop till we I'each the ditch." 

In spite of their intelligent prudence the men were fall- 
mg under the incessant flight of bullets. A loud scream 
from a thicket a little to Colburne's right attracted his at- 
tention. 

"Who is that ?" he called. 

'• It is Allen !" replied a sergeant. " He is shot through 
the body. Shall I send him to the rear ?" 

" 'Not now, wait till we are relieved. Proj) him up and 
leave him in the shade." 

He had in his mind this passage of the Army Regula- 
tions : " Soldiers must not be permitted to leave the ranks 
to strip or rob the dead, nor even to assist the wounded, 
unless by express permission, which is only to be given 
after the action is decided. The highest interest and most 
pressing duty is to win the victory, by which only can a 
proper care of the wounded be ensured." 

Turnmg to a soldier who had mounted a log and stood 
up at the full height of his six feet to survey the fii-tifica- 
tions, Colburne shouted, " Jump down, you fool. Ycu 
will get yourself hit for nothing." 



286 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

" Captain, I can't see a chance for a shot," replied the 
fellow deliberately. 

" Get down !" reiterated Colburne ; but the man had 
waited too long already. Throwing up both hands he fell 
backward with an incoherent gurgle, pierced through the 
lungs by a rifle-ball. Then a little Irish soldier burst out 
swearing, and hastily pulled his trousers to glare at a bul- 
let-hole through the calf of his leg, with a comical expres- 
sion of mingled surprise, alarm and wrath. And so it went 
on; every few minutes there was an oath of rage or a 
shriek of j^ain ; and each outcry marked the loss of a man. 
But all the while the line of skiiTuishers advanced. 

The sickishness which troubled Colburne in the cannon- 
smitten forest had gone, and was succeeded by the tierce 
excitement of close battle, where the combatants grow 
angry and savage at sight of each other's faces. He was 
throbbing with elation and confidence, for he had cleaned 
off the gunners from the two pieces in his front. He felt 
as if he could take Port Hudson with his detachment 
alone. The contest was raging in a clamorous rattle of 
musketry on the right, where Paine's brigade, and four 
regiments of the Reserve Brigade, all broken into detach- 
ments by gullies, hillocks, thickets and fallen trees, were 
struggling to turn and force the fortifications. On his left 
other companies of the Tenth were slowly movmg forward, 
deployed and firing as skirmishers. In his front the Rebel 
musketry gradually slackened, and only now and then 
could he see a broad-brimmed hat show above the earth- 
works and hear the hoarse whistle of a Minie-ball as it passed 
him. The garrison on this side was clearly both few m 
number and disheartened. It seemed to him likely, yes 
even certain, that Port Hudson would be carried by stoi-m 
that morning. At the same time, half mad as he was with 
the glorious intoxication of successful battle, he knew that 
it would be utter folly to push his unsupported detach- 
ment into the works, and that such a movement would 
probably end in slaughter or capture. Fifteen or twenty. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 287 

he did not know precisely how many, of his soldiers had 
been hit, and the survivors were getting short of cart- 
ridges. 

" Steady, men !" he shouted. " Halt ! Take cover and 
hold your position. Don't waste your powder. Fire slow 
and aim sure." 

The"orders Avere echoed from man to man along the ex- 
tended, straggluig line, and each one disappeared behind 
the nearest thicket, stump or fallen tree. Colbume had 
already sent three corporals to the regiment to recount his 
success and beg for more men ; but neither had the mes- 
sengers reappeared nor reinforcements arrived to support 
his proposed assault. 

"Those fellows must have got themselves shot," he said 
to Van Zandt. " I'll go myself. Keep the line where it 
is, and save the cartridges." 

Taking a single soldier with him, he hurried rearward 
by the clearest course that he could find through the pros- 
trate forest, without minding the few bullets that whizzed 
by him. Suddenly he halted, powerless, as if struck by 
paralysis, conscious of a general nervous shock, and a sharp 
pain in his left arm. His first impulse, — a very hurried 
impulse, — was to take the arm with his right hand and 
t^dst it to see if the bone was broken. Xext he looked 
about him for some shelter from the scorching and crazing 
sunshine. He espied a green bush, and almost immediately 
lost sight of it, for the shock made hun faint although the 
paui was but momentary. 

" Are you hurt. Captain ?" asked the soldier. 

" Take me to that bush," said Colburne, pointing — for 
he knew where the cover was, although he could not see it. 

The soldier put an arm round his waist, led him to the 
bush, and laid him down. 

" Shall I go for help. Captain ?" 

" Xo. Don't weaken the company. All right. Xo 
bones broken. Go on in a minute." 

The man tied his handkerchief about the ragged 'and 



288 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

bloody hole in the coat-sleeve ; then sat down and reloaded 
his musket, occasionally casting a glance at the pale face 
of the Captain. In two or three minutes Colburne's color 
came back, and he felt as well as ever. He rose carefully 
to his feet, looked about him as if to see where he was, 
and again set off for the regiment, followed by his silent 
companion. The bullets still Avhizzed about them, }fut did 
no harm. After a slow walk of ten mmutes, during wliicli 
Colburne once stopped to sling his arm in a handkerchief, 
he emerged from a winding gully to find himself within a 
few yards of Bainbridge's battery. Behmd the guns was 
a colonel calmly sitting his horse and watching the battle. 

" What is the matter ?" asked the Colonel. 

" A flesh wound," said Colburne. " Colonel, there is a 
noble chance ahead of you. Do you see that angle ? My 
men are at the base of it, and some of them in the ditch. 
They have driven the artillerymen from the guns, and 
forced the infantry to lie low. For God's sake send ui 
your regiment. We can certainly carry the j^lace." 

" The entire brigade that I command is engaged," re- 
plied the Colonel. " Don't you see them on the right of 
your position ?" 

" Is there no other force about here ?" asked Colburne, 
sitting down as he felt the dizziness coming over him again. 

" Xone that I know of This is such an infernal country 
for movements that we are all dislocated. Xobody knows 
where anythmg is. — But you had better go to the rear, 
Captam. You look used up." 

Colburne was so tired, so weak with the loss of blood, 
so worn out by the heat of the sun, and the excitement of 
fighting that he could not help feeling discouraged at the 
thought of struggling back to the position of his company. 
He stretched himself under a tree to rest, and in ten minutes 
was fast asleep. TVhen he awoke — he never knew how 
long afterwards — he could not at first tell what he re- 
membered from what he had dreamed, and only satisfied 
himself that he had been hit bv lookmg at his bloody and 



Fko:^! Secession to Loyalty. 289 

bandaged arm. An artilleryman brought him to his full 
consciousness by shoutmg excitedly, " There, by God ! 
they are trying a charge. The infantry are trying a 
charge." 

Colburne rose up, saw a regiment struggling, across the 
valley, and heard its long-drawn charging yell. 

" I must go back," he exclaimed. " My men ought to 
go in and sujDport those fellows." Turning to the soldier 
who attended him he added, " Run ! Tell Van Zandt to 
forward." 

The soldier ran, and Colburne after him. But he had 
not gone twenty paces before he fell straight forward on 
his face, without a word, and lay perfectly still. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

CAPTAIN COLBUENE HAS OCCASION TO SEE LIFE IN A 
HOSPITAL. 

"When Colburne came to himself he was lying on the 
ground in rear of the pieces. Beside him, in the shadow 
of the same tuft of withering bushes, lay a wounded lieu- 
tenant of the battery and four wounded artillerists. A 
dozen steps away, raj^idly blackening in the scorching sun 
and sweltering aii*, were two more artillerists, stark dead, 
one with his brains bulging from a bullet-hole in his fore- 
head, while a dark claret-colored streak crossed his face, 
the other's light-blue trousers soaked with a dirty carna- 
tion stain of life-blood drawn from the femoral artery. 
Xone of the wounded men writhed, or groaned, or j^leaded 
for succor, althouojh a sweat of suiferins^ stood m o*reat 
drops on their faces. Each had cried out when he was hit, 
uttering either an oath, or the simple exclamation " Oh I" 
in a tone of dolorous surprise ; one had shrieked spasmod- 
ically, physically crazed by the shock administered to 
some important nervous centre ; but all, sooner or later, 



290 Miss Ravenel's Contersiox 

had settled into the calm, sublime patience of the wounded 
of the battle-field. 

The brass Xajioleons were still spanging sonorously, and 
there was a ceaseless spitting of irregular musketry in the 
distance. 

" Didn't the assault succeed ?" asked Colburne as soon 
as he had got his wits about him. 

" No sir — it was beat off," said one of the wounded ar- 
tillerists. 

"You've had a faint, su'," he added with a smile. 
" That was a smart tumble you got. We saw you go over, 
and brought you back here." 

" I am very much obliged," replied Colburne. His ann 
pained him now, his head ached frightfully, his whole 
frame was feverish, and he thought of Xew England 
brooks of cool water. In a few minutes Lieutenant Van 
Zandt appeared, his dark face a little paler than usual, and 
the right shoulder of his blouse pierced with a ragged and 
bloody bullet-hole. 

" Well, Ca^Dtain," said he, " we have got, by Jove ! our 
allowance of to-day's rations. Hadn't we better look up 
a doctor's shop ? I feel, by the everlastmg Jove ! — excuse 
nie — that I stand in need of a sup of whiskey. Lieutenant 
— I beg your pardon — I see you are wounded — I hope 
you're not much hurt, sir — but have you a drop of the 
article about the battery ? No ! By Jupiter ! You go 
into action mighty short of ammunition. I beg your par- 
don for troubling you. This is, by Jove ! the dryest 
fighting that I ever saw. I wish I was in Mexico, and 
had a gourd of aguaardiente." 

By the way, I wish the reader to understand that, when 
I introduce a " By Jove !" into Van Zandt's conversation, 
it is to be understood that that very remarkably profane 
officer and gentleman used the great Name of the True 
Divmity. 

" Where is the company. Lieutenant ?" asked Colburne. 

" Relieved, sir. Both companies were relieved and or- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 291 

dered back to the regiment fifteen or twenty minutes ago, 
I got this welt ui the shoulder just as I was coming out of 
that damned hollow. We may as well go along, sir. Our 
day's fight is over." 

" So the attack failed," said Colburne, as they took up 
their slow march to the rear in search of a field hospital. 

" Broken up by the ground, sir ; beaten off by the mus- 
ketry. ' Couldn't put more than a man or two on the ram- 
parts. Played out before it got any where, just like a 
wave coming up a sandy beach. It was only a regiment. 
It ought t6 have been a brigade. But a regiment might 
have done it, if it had been shoved in earlier. That was 
the time, su-, when you went off for reinforcements. If 
we had had the bully old Tenth there then, we could have 
taken Port Hudson alone. Just after you left, the Rebs 
raised the white flag, and a whole battalion of them came 
out on our right and stacked arms. Some of our men 
spoke to them, and asked what they were after. They 
said — by Jove ! it's so, sir ! — they said they had surren- 
dered. Then down came some Rebel General or other, in 
a tearing rage, and marched them back behind the works. 
The charge came too late. They beat it off easy. They 
took the starch out of that Twelfth Maine, sir. I have 
seen to-day, by Jove ! the value of minutes." 

Before they had got out of range of the Rebel musketry 
they came upon a surgeon attending some wounded men 
in a little sheltered hollow. He offered to examine their 
hurts, and proj)Osed to give them chloroform. 

" Xo, thank you," said Colburne. " You have your 
hands full, and we can walk farther." 

" Doctor, I don't mind taking a little stimulant," ob- 
served Van Zandt, picking up a small flask and draining 
it nearly to the bottom. " Your good health, sii' ; my best 
respects." - 

A quarter of a mile further on they found a second sur- 
g^on similarly occupied, from whom Van Zandt obtained 
ano^lier deep draught of his favorite medicament, reject- 



292 Miss Ravenel's Conveesiox 

ing chloroform with profane poUteness. Colhume refused 
both, and asked for water, but could obtain none. Deep 
in the profound and solemn woods, a full mile and a half 
from the fightmg line, they came to the field hospital of 
the division. It was simply an immense collection of 
wounded men in every imaginable condition of mutilation, 
every one stained more or less with his own blood, every 
one of a ghastly yellowish pallor, all lying in the open air 
on the bare ground, or on their own blankets, Avith no 
shelter excej)t the friendly foliage of the oaks and beeches. 
In the centre of this mass of suffering stood s^eral oper- 
ating tables, each burdened by a grievously wounded man 
and surrounded by surgeons and their assistants. Under- 
neath were greatvpools of clotted blood, amidst which lay 
amputated fingers, hands, arms, feet and legs, only a little 
more ghastly in color than the faces of those who waited 
their turn on the table. The surgeons, who never ceased 
their awful labor, were daubed with blood to the elbows ; 
and a smell of blood drenched the stifling air, ovei-power- 
ing even the pungent odor of chloroform. Tlie place re- 
sounded with groans, notwithstanding that most of the in- 
jured men who retained their senses exhibited the heroic 
endurance so common on tlie battle-field. One man, whose 
leg was amputated close to his body, uttered an inarticu- 
late jabber of broken screams, and rolled, or rather 
bounced from side to side of a pile of loose cotton, with 
such violence that two hospital attendants were fully occu- 
pied in holding him. Another, shot through the body, 
lay speechless and dying, but quivering from head to foot 
with a prolonged though probably imconscious agony. He 
contmued to shudder thus for half an hour, when he gave 
one superhuman throe, and then lay quiet for ever. An 
Irishman, a gimner of a regular battery, showed aston- 
ishing vitality, and a fortitude bordering on callousness. 
His right leg had been knocked off above the knee by a 
round shot, the stump being so deadened and seared by 
the shock that the mere bleeding: was too slig:ht tobemor- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 293 

tal. He lay on his left side, and was trying to get his 
left hand into his tronsers-pocket. With great difficulty 
and grinning with pain, he brought forth a short clay 
pipe, blackened by previous smoking, and a pinch of 
chopped plug tobacco. Having filled the pipe carefully 
and deliberately, he beckoned a negro to bring him a coal 
of fire, lighted, and commenced puffing with an air of 
tranquillity which resembled comfort. Yet he was prob- 
ably mortally wounded ; human nature could hardly sur- 
vive such a hurt in such a season ; nearly all the leg am- 
putations at Port Hudson proved fatal. The men whose 
busmess it is to pick up the wounded — the musicians and 
quartermaster's people — were constantly bringing in fresh 
sufferers, laying them on the ground, putting a blanket-roll 
or havresack under their heads, and then hurrying away 
for other burdens of misery. They, as well as the sur- 
geons and hospital attendants, already looked worn out 
with the fatigue of their terrible mdustry. 

" Come up and see them butcher, Captahi," said the 
iron-nerved Van Zandt, striding over prostrate and shrink- 
ing forms to the side of one of the tables, and glaring at 
the process of an amputation with an eager smile of inter- 
est much like the grin of a bull-dog who watches the cut- 
tmg up of a piece of beef Presently he espied the assist- 
ant surgeon of the Tenth, and made an immediate rush at 
him for whiskey. Bringing 'the flask which he obtamed 
to Colburne, he gave him a sip, and then swallowed the 
rest himself By this time he began to show signs of in- 
toxication; he laughed, told stories, and bellowed humor- 
ous comments on the horrid scene. Colburne left him, 
moved out of the circle of anguish, seated himself on the 
ground with his back against a tree, filled his pipe, and 
tried to while away the time in smoking. He was weak 
with want of food as well as loss of blood, but he could 
not eat a bit of cracker which a wounded soldier gave him. 
Once he tried to soothe the agony of iiis Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel, whom he discovered lying on a pile of loose cotton. 



294 Mis& Ravexel's Coxveksiox 

with a buUet-woiiud in his thigh which the surgeon whis- 
pered was mortal, the missile having glanced up into his 
body. 

" It's a lie !" exclaimed the sufferer. " It's all nonsense, 
Doctor. You don't know your business. I won't die: I 
sha'n't die. It's all nonsense to say that a little hole in the 
leg like that can kill a great strong man like me. I tell 
you I sha'n't and won't die." 

Under the influence of the shock or of chloroform his 
mmd soon began to wander. 

" I have fought well," he muttered. " I am not a 
coward. I am not a Gazaway. I have never disgraced 
myself I call all my regiment to witness that I have 
fought like a man. Summon the Tenth here, officers and 
men ; summon them here to say what they like. I will 
leave it to any officer — any soldier — in my regiment." 

In an hour more he was a corpse, and before night he 
was black with putrefaction, so rapid was that shocking 
change under the heat of a Louisiana May. 

Amid these horrible scenes Van Zandt grew momen- 
tarily more intoxicated. The surgeons could hardly keep 
him quiet long enough to dress his wound, so anxious was 
he to stroll about and search for more whiskey. He talked, 
laughed and swore without intermission, every now and 
then bellowing like a bull for strong liquors. From table 
to table, from sufferer to sufferer he followed the surgeon 
of the Tenth, slapping him on the back violently and shout- 
ing, " Doctor,, give me some whiskey. I'll give you a rise. 
Doctor. I'll give you a rise higher than a balloon. Hand 
over your whiskey, damn you !" 

If he had not been so horrible he would have been 
ludicrous. His Herculean form was in incessant stumbling 
motion, and his dark face was beaded with pers2)iration. 
A perpetual silly leer played about his wide mouth, and 
his eyes stood out so with eagerness that the white showed 
a clear circle around' the black ii'is. He offered his assist- 
ance to the surgeons ; boasted of his education as a graduate 



F E o M Secession to Loyalty. 295 

of Columbia College ; declared that he was abetter Doctor 
than any other mfernal fool present ; made himself a tor- 
ment to the helplessly wounded. Upon a Major of a Louis- 
iana regiment who had been disabled by a severe contu- 
sion he poured contempt and imprecations. 

" What are you lying whimpering there for ?" he shouted. 
" It's nothing but a little bruise. A child, by Jove ! 
wouldn't stop playing for it. You ought to be ashamed 
of yourself. Get up and join your regiment." 

The Major simply laughed, being a hard drmker him- 
self, and having a brotherly patience with drunkards. 

"That's the style of Majors," pursued Yan Zandt. " We 
are blessed, by Jove ! with a Major. He is, by Jove ! a 
dam incur— dam — able darn coward." (When Yan Zandt 
was informed the next day of this feat of profanity he 
seemed quite gratified, and remarked, " That, by Jove ! is 
giving a word a full battery, — bow-chaser, stern-chaser 
and long-tom amidships.") " Where's Gazaway ? (in a 
roar). Where's the heroic Major of the Tenth ? I am go- 
ing, by Jove ! to look him up. I am going, by Jove ! to 
find the safest place in the whole country. W^here Gazaway 
is, there is peace !" 

Colburne refused one or two ofiers to dress his wound, 
saying that others needed more instant care than himself. 
When at last he submitted to an examination, it was found 
that the ball had passed between the bones of the fore-arm, 
not breaking them indeed, but scaling ofi* some exterior 
splmters and making an ugly rent in the muscles. 

" I don't thmk you'll lose your arm," said the Surgeon. 
" But you'll have a nasty sore for a month or two. I'll 
dress it now that I'm about it. You'd better take the 
chloroform ; it Tvdll make it easier for both of us." 

Under the combined influence of weakness, whiskey and 
chloroform, Colburne fell asleep after the operation. About 
sundown he awoke, his throat so parched that he could 
hardly speak, his skin fiery with fever, and his whole body 
sore. Xevertheless he jomed a procession of slightly 



296 Miss Raven el's Conveksion 

wounded men, and marched a mile to a general hospital 
wliich had been set up in and around a planter's house in 
rear of the forest. The proprietor and his son were in the 
garrison of Port Hudson. But the wife and two grown- 
up daughters were there, full of scorn and hatred ; so un- 
womanly, so unimaginably savage in conversation and 
soul that no novelist would dare to invent such characters ; 
nothing but real life could justify hmi in paintmg them. 
They seemed to be actually intoxicated with the malignant 
strength of a malice, passionate enough to dethrone the 
reason of any being not aboriginally brutal. They laughed 
like demons to see the wounds and hear the groans of the 
sufferers. They jeered them because the assault had failed. 
The Yankees never could take Port Hudson ; they were 
the meanest, the most dastardly people on earth. Joe 
Johnson would soon kill the rest of them, and have Banks 
a prisoner, and shut him up in a cage. 

•' I hoj^e to see you all dead," laughed one of these fe- 
male hyenas. " I will dance with joy on your graves. My 
brother makes beautiful rings out of Yankee bones." 

No harm was done to them, nor any stress of silence 
laid upon them. When theii' own food gave out they 
Avere fed from the public stores ; and at the end of the sieo-e 
they w.ere left unmolested, to gloat in their jackal fashion 
over patriot graves. 

There was a lack of hospital accommodation near Port 
Hudson, so bare is the land of dwellings ; there was a lack 
of surgeons, nurses, stores, and especially of ice, that abso- 
lute necessity of surgery in our southern climate ; and 
therefore the wounded were sent as rapidly as possible to 
Xew Orleans. Ambulances were few at tliat time in the 
Department of the Gulf, and Colburne found the heavy, 
springless army- wagon which conveyed him to Springfield 
Landing a chariot of torture. His arm was swollen to 
twice its natural size from the knuckles to the elbow. 
Xature had set to work with her tormenting remedies of 
inflammation and suppuration to extract the shai-p slivers 



From Secession to Loyalty. 297 

of bone whicli still hid in the wound notwithstanding the 
searchino- finger and prohe of the Surgeon. During the 
nio-ht previous to this journey neither whiskey nor opmm 
could enable hhn to sleep, and he could only escape from 
his painM self-consciousness by drenching himself with 
chloroform. But this mornmg he almost forget his own 
sensations m pity and awe of the multitudinous agony 
which bore him companv. So nearly supernatural m its 
horror was the burden of anguish which filled that long 
train of jolting wagons that it seemed at times to his 
fevered imagmation as if he were out of the world, and 
journeymg m the realms of eternal torment. The sluggish 
current of'suftermg groaned and wailed its way on board 
the steam transport, spreadmg out there mto a great sur- 
face of torture which could be taken in by a single sweep 
of the eye. Wounded men and dying men filled the state- 
rooms and covered the cabm floor and even the open deck 
There was a perpetual murmur of moans, athwart which 
passed frequent shrieks from sufierers racked to madness, 
like lio-htnmgs dartmg across a gloomy sky. More than 
one poor fellow drew his last breath m the wagons and on 
board the transport. All these men, thought Colburne, 
are dying and agonizmg for their country and for human 
freedom."^ He p^-ayed, and, without argumg the matter, 
he wearily yet calmly trusted, that God would grant them 
His mfinite mercy m^his world and the other. 

It was a tiresome voyage from Sprmgfield Landmg to 
Xew Orleans. Colburne had no place to lie down, and if 
he had had one he could not have slept. Durmg most of the 
trip he sat on a pile of baggage, holding in his right hand a 
tm quart cup filled with ice and punctured with a small 
hole, through which the chilled water dripped upon his 
wounded arm. Great was the excitement m the city when 
the o-hastly travellers landed. It was already known there 
that^an assault had been delivered, and that Port Hudson 
had not been taken ; but no particulars had been pubhshed 
which mio-ht indicate that the Union army had sufiered a 
N2 



298 Miss R a vex el's Conveksion 

severe repulse. Now, Avhen several steamboats discharged 
a (jio^antic freight of mutilated men, the facts of defeat and 
slaughter were sanguinarily apparent. Secessionists of 
both sexes and all ages swarmed in the streets, and filled 
them with a buzz of inhuman delight. Creatures in the 
guise of wqmanhood laughed and told their little children 
to laugh at the pallid faces which showed from the am- 
bulances as they went and returned in frequent journeys 
between the levee and the hospitals. The officers and 
men of the garrison were sad, stern and threatening in as- 
l^ect. The few citizens who had declared for the Union 
cowered by themselves and exchanged whispers of gloomy 
foreboding. 

In St. Stephen's Hospital Colburne found something of 
that comfort which a wounded man needs. His arm was 
dressed for the second time ; his ragged uniform, stiff with 
blood and dirt, was removed ; he was sponged from head 
to foot and laid in the first sheets which he had seen for 
months. There were three other wounded ofiicers in the 
room, each on his own cot, each stripped stark naked and 
covered only by a sheet. A Major of a Connecticut regi- 
ment, who had received a grapeshot through the lungs, 
smiled at Colburne's arm and whisjDered, " Flea-bit^." 
Then he pointed to the horrible orifice in his own breast, 
through which tlie blood and bi-eath could be seen to bub- 
ble whenever the dressings were removed, and nodded 
with another feeble but heroic smile which seemed to say, 
" This is no flea-bite." Iced water appeared to be the only 
exterior medicament in use, and the hospital nurses wer6 
constantly drenching the dressings with this simple 
panacea of wise old Mother Nature. But in this early 
stage of the great agony, before the citizens had found it 
in their hearts to act the part of the Good Samaritan, there 
was a lack of attendance, Happy were those officers who 
had their servants with them, like the Connecticut Major, 
or who, like Colburne, had strength and members left to 
take care of their own hurts. He soon hit upon a deyice 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 299 

to lessen liis self-healing labors. He got a nurse to drive 
a hook into the ceiling and susjDend his quart cup of ice 
to it by a triangle of strings, so that it might hang about 
six inches above his wounded arm, and shed its dew of 
consolation and health without trouble to himself. In his 
fever he Avas childishly anxious about his quart cup ; he 
was afraid that the surgeon, the nurse, the visitors, would 
hit it and make it swing. That arm was a little world of 
pain ; it radiated pam as the sun radiates light. 

For the first time in his life he drank freely of strong 
liquors. Whiskey was the internal panacea of the hospital, 
as iced water was the outward one. Every time that the 
Surgeon visited the four ofiicers he sent a nurse for four 
milk punches ; and if they wanted other stimulants, such 
as claret or porter, they could have them for the asking. 
The generosity of the Government, and the sublime benefi- 
cence of the Sanitary Commission suj)plied every necessary 
and many luxuries, Colburne was on his feet in forty- 
eight hours after his arrival, ashamed to lie in bed under 
the eyes of that mangled and heroic Major. He was pro- 
moted to the milk-toast table, and then to the apple-sauce 
table. Holding his tin cup over his arm, he made frequent 
rounds of the hospital, cheering up the wounded, and find- 
ing not a little pleasure in watching the progress of in- 
dividual cases. He never acquired a taste, as many did, 
for frequenting the operating-room, and (as Yan Zandt 
phrased it) seeing them butcher. This chevalier sans 
peur, who on the battle-field could face death and look upon 
ranks of slain unblenchingly, was at heart as soft as a 
woman, and never saw a surgeon's knife touch living flesh 
without a sensation of faintness. 

He often accompanied the Chief Surgeon m his tours of 
inspection. A wonder of 2:>ractical philanthropy was this 
queer, cheerful, indefatigable Doctor Jackson, as brisk and 
inspiriting as a mountain breeze, tireless in body, fervent 
in spirit, a benediction with the rank of Major. Iced water, 
whiskey, nourishment and encouragement were his cure- 



300 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

alls. There Avere surgeons who themselves drank the 
claret and brandy of the Sanitary Commission, and gave 
the remnant to their friends ; who poured the consolidated 
milk of the Sanitary Commission on the canned peaches of 
the Sanitary Commission and put the grateful mess into 
theii* personal stomachs ; and who, having thus comforted 
themselves, went out with a pleasant smile to see their 
patients eat bread without peaches and drmk coffee with- 
out milk. But Dr. Jackson was not one of these self- 
centred individuals ; he had fibres of sympathy which 
reached into the lives of others, especially of the wretched. 
As he passed through the crowded wards all those sick 
eyes turned to him as to a sun of strength and hope. He 
never left a wounded man, however near to death, but the 
poor fellow brightened up with a confidence of speedy re- 
covery. 

" Must cheer 'em — must cheer 'em," he miittered to Col- 
burne. " Courage is a great medicine — best in the world. 
Works miracles — yes, miracles." 

" Why ! how are you, my old boy ?" he said aloud, stop- 
ping before a patient with a ball in the breast. " You look 
as hearty as a buck this morniug. Gettmg on wonder- 
fully." 

He gave him an easy slap on the shoulder, as if he con- 
sidered him a well man already. He knew just where to 
administer these slaps, and just how to graduate them to 
the invalid's weakness. After counting the man's pulse 
he smiled in his face with an air of astonishment and ad- 
mii'ation, and proceeded, " Beautiful ! Couldn't do it bet- 
ter if you had never got hit. Xurse, bring this man a 
milk-punch. That's all the medicine he wants." 

When they had got a few yards from the bed he sighed, 
jerked his thumb backward significantly, and whispered 
to Colburne, " No use. Can't save him. Xo vitality. Bone- 
yard to-morrow." 

They stopped to examine another man who had been 
shot through the head from temple to temple, but without 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 301 

unseating life from its throne. His head, especially about 
the face, was swollen to an amazing magnitude ; his eyes 
were as red as blood, and projected from their sockets, two 
awful lumps of inflanmiation. He was blind and deaf, but 
able to drink milk-punches, and still full of vital force. 

" Fetch him round, I giiess^^ whispered the Doctor with 
a smile of gratification. "Holds out beautiful." 

" But he will always be blind, and probably idiotic." 
" 1^0. Xot idiotic. Brain as sound as a nut. As for 
blmdness, can't say. Shouldn't wonder if he could use his 
peepers yet. Great doctor, old Xature — if you won't get 
in her way. Works miracles — miracles ! Why, m the 
Peninsular campaign I sent ofi" one man well, with a rifle- 
ball m his heart. Must have been in his heart. There's 
your room-mate, the Major. Put a walking cane through 
him, and h£ won't die. Could, but won't. Too good pluck 
to let o-o. Peof'lar bull terrier." 

" How is my boy Jerry ? The little Iiish fellow with a 
shot m the groin." 

" Ah, I remember. Empty bed to-morrow." 
" You don't mean that there's no hope for him ?" 
" Ko, no. All right. I mean he'll get his legs and be 
about. No fear for that sort. Pluck enough to pull half 
a dozen men through. Those devil-may-care boys make 
capital soldiers, they get well so quick. This fellow will 
be stealing chickens in three weeks. I wouldn't bet that I 
could kill him." 

Thus in the very tolerable comfort of St. Stephen's Col- 
burne escaped the six weeks of trying siege duty which 
his regiment had to perform before Port Hudson. The 
Tenth occupied a little hollow about one hundred and 
fifty yards from the rebel fortifications, protected in front 
by a high knoll, but exposed on the left to a fire which hit 
one or more every day. The men cut a terrace on their 
own side of the knoll, and then topped the crest with a 
double Ime of logs pierced for musketry, thus forming a 
solid and convenient breastwork. On both sides the sharp- 



302 Miss Ray ex el's Conveksion 

shooting began at daybreak and lasted till nightfall. On 
both sides the marksmanship grew to be fatally accnrate. 
Men were shot dead through the loopholes as they took 
aim. If the crown of a hat or cap showed above the breast- 
work, it was pierced by a bullet. After the siege was 
over, a rebel officer, who had been stationed on this front, 
stated that most of his killed and wounded men had been 
hit just above the Ime of the forehead. Every mornmg at 
dawn, Carter, who had his quarters in the midst of the 
Tenth, was awakened by a spattering of musketry and the 
sino:ino: of Minie-balls throusjh the branches above his head, 
and even through the dry foliage of his own sylvan shanty. 
Xow and then a shriek or oath indicated that a bullet had 
done its brutal work on some human frame. Xo crowd 
collected ; the men Avere hardened to such tragedies ; four 
or five bore the victim away ; the rest asked, " Who is it ?" 
One death which Carter witnessed was of so remarkable a 
character that he wrote an account of it to his wife, al- 
though not given to noting with much interest the minor 
and personal incidents of war. 

" I had just finished breakfast, and was lying on my back 
smokmg. A bullet whistled so unusually low as to attract 
my attention and struck with a loud smash in a tree about 
twenty feet from me. Between me and the tree a soldier, 
with his great coat rolled under his head for a pillow, lay 
on his back reading a newspaper which he held in both 
hands. I remember smiling to myself to see this man start 
as the bullet passed. Some of his comrades left ofl" playmg 
pards and looked for it. The man who was readmg re- 
mained perfectly still, his eyes fixed on the paper with a 
steadiness which I thought curious, considering the bustle 
around him. Presently I noticed that there were a few. 
drops of blood on his neck, and that his face was paling. 
Calling to the card-players, who had resumed their game, 
I said, ' See to that man with the paper.' They went to 
him, spoke to him, touched him, and found him perfectly 
dead. The ball had struck hmi under the chin, traversed 



From Secession to Lotalty. 303 

the neck, and cut tlie spinal column where it joins the 
brain, making a fearful hole through which the blood had 
already soaked his great-coat. It was this man's head, and 
not the tree, which had been struck with such a report. 
There he lay, still holding the New York Independent, 
with his eyes fixed on a sermon by Henry Ward Beecher. 
It was really quite a remarkable circumstance. 

" By the way, you must not suppose, my dear little girl, 
that bullets often come so near me. I am as careful of my- 
self as you exhort me to be." 

Xot quite true, this soothing story ; and the Colonel 
knew it to be false as he wrote it. He knew that he was 
in danger of death at any moment, but he had not the 
heart to tell his wife so, and make her unhappy. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

CAPTAIN COLBUEXE REIXEOECES THE KAVENELS IN TIME TO 
AID THEM IN EUNNING AW AT. 

CoLBUENE had been two or three weeks in the hospital 
when he was startled by seemg Doctor Ravenel advancing 
eagerly upon him with a face full of trouble. The Doctor 
had heard of the young man's hurt, and as his sensitive 
sympathy invariably exaggerated danger and suffering, 
especially if they concerned any one whom he loved, he 
had imagined the worst, and taken the first boat for JSTew 
Orleans. On the other hand, Colburne surmised from that 
concerned countenance that the Doctor brought evil 
tidings of his daughter. Was she unhappy in her mar- 
riage^ or widowed^ or dead ? He laughed outright, with a 
sense of relief equivalent to positive pleasure, when he 
learned that he alone was the cause of Ravenel's worry. 

" I am getting along famously," said he. " Ask Doctor 
Jackson here. I am not sick at all above my left elbow. 



304 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

Below the elbow the arm seems to belong to some other 
man." 

The Doctor shook his head with the resolute incredulity 
of a man who is too anxious not to expect the worst. 

" But you can't continue to do well here. This air is 
infected. This great mass of inflammation, suppuration, 
mortification and death, has poisoned the atmosphere of 
the hospital. I scented it the moment I entered the door.' 
Am I not right, Dr. Jackson ?" 

" Just so. Can't help it. Horrid weather for cases," re- 
2)lied the chief surgeon,* wii^mg the perspiration from his 
forehead. Air is poisoned. Wish to God I could get a 
fresh building. JNXy patients would do better in shanties 
than they will here." 

" I knew it," said Ravenel. " Xow thej^i, I am a coun- 
try doctor. I can take this young man to'sa plantation, 
and give him pure air." 

"That's what you want," observed Jackson, turnmg 
to Colburne. " Your arm don't need ice now. Water 
will do. Better go, I think. I'll see that you have a 
month's leave of absence. Come, you can go to Taylors- 
ville, and still not miss a chance for fighting. Tried to send 
him north," he added, addressing Ravenel. " But he's 
foolish about it. Wants to see Port Hudson out — what 
you call a knight-errant." 

Colburne was in a tremble, body and soul, at the 
thought of meeting Mrs. Carter ; he had never been so 
profoundly shaken by even the actuality of encountering 
Miss Ravenel. Most of us have been in love enough to 
understand all about it without explanation, and to feel 
no wonder at him because, after reeling mentally this 
way and that, he finally said, " I will go." Xoav and 
then there is a woman who cannot bear to look upon 
the man whom she has loved and lost, and who will turn 
quick corners and Tun down side streets to escape him, 
haunting him spiritually perhaps, but bodily keeping 
afar from him all her life. But stronger natures, who can 



FROii SECESSioiyr TO Loyalty. 305 

endure the trial, frequently go to meet it, and seem to find 
some dolorous comfort in it. As regards Colburne, it may 
be that he would not have gone to Taylorsville had he not 
been weak and feverish, and felt a craving for that pet- 
ting kindness wliich seems to be a necessity of invalids. 

f doubt whether the life in Pvavenel's house contrib- 
uted much to advance bis convalescence. His emotions 
were played upon too constantly and powerfully for the 
highest good of the temporarily shattered mstrument. 
He had supposed that he would undergo one great shock 
on meetmg Mrs. Carter, and that "then his trouble would 
be over. The first thrill was not so potent as he expected ; 
but it was succeeded by a constant unrest, like the 
burning of a slow fever ; he was uneasy all day and slept 
badly "at night. In the house he could not talk freely 
and gaily, because of Lillie's presence ; and out of it he 
could not feel with calmness, because he was perpetually 
thmking of her. After all, it may have been the splint- 
ers of bone in the arm, quite as much as the arrow in th^ 
heart, which worried him. Of Mrs. Carter I must ad- 
mit that she was not mercifiil; she made the doubly- 
wounded Captam talk % great deal of his Colonel. He 
might recite Carter's martial deeds and qualities as length- 
ily as he pleased, and recommence da capo to recite them 
over again, not only without fatigumg her, but without 
exciting in her mind a thought that he was douig any 
thing remarkable. She was very much pleased, but she 
was not a bit grateful. Why should she be ! It wa^ 
perfectly natural to her mind that people should admire 
the Colonel, and talk much of his glory. Colburne per- 
formed this ill-paid task with infinite patience, sympathy, 
and self-sacrificing love ; and no warrior was ever better 
sung in conversational epics than was Carter the successful 
by Colburne the disappointed. Under the rude oppression of 
this subject the bruised shrub a exhaled daily sweetness. 
It is almost painful to contemplate these two loving hearts : 
the one sending its anxious sympathies a Imndred miles 



306 Miss Ravenel's Co x ye k sign 

away nito the deadly trenches of Port Hudson ; the other 
pouring out its sympathies for a present object, but cov- 
ertly and without a thought of reward. If the passionate 
affection of the woman is charmmg, the unrequited, un- 
hoping love of the man is sublime. 

The Doctor perhaps saw what Lillie could not or would 
not see. 

" My dear," he observed, " you must remember that 
Colonel Carter is not the husband of Captain Colburne." 

" Oh papa !" she answered. " Do you suppose that he 
doesn't like to talk about Colonel Carter ? Of course he 
does. He admires him, and likes him immensely." 

" I dare say — I dare say. But nevertheless you give 
him very large doses of your husband." 

" Xo, papa ; not too large. He is such a good friend 
that I am sure he doesn't object. Just think how unkind 
it would be not to want to talk about my husband. You 
don't understand him if you think he is so shabby." 

Xevertheless the Doctor was partially right, and shabby 
as it may have been, Colburne was no better for the con- 
versation which so much gratified Mrs. Carter. His arm 
discharged its slivers of bone and^ealed steadily, but he 
Avas thin and pale, slept badly, and had a slow fever. It 
must not be supposed that he wilfully brooded over his 
disappointment ; much less that he was angry about it or 
felt any desire to avenge it. He was too sensible not to 
struggle agamst useless pinmgs ; too gentle-hearted- and 
honorable to be even tempted of base or cruel spiiits. Xot 
that he was a moral miracle ; not that he was even a mar- 
vellously bright exception to the general run of humanity ; 
on the contrary he was like many of us, especially when 
we are under the influence of elevating emotion. Some by 
me forgotten author has remarked that no earthly being is 
purer, more like the souls in paradise, than a young man 
during his first earnest love. 

At one time Colburne entirely forgot himself in his 
sympathy for Mrs. Carter. When the news came of the 



From Secession to Loyalty. 307 

unsuccessful and murderous assault of the fourteenth of 
June, she was nearly crazy for three days because of her 
uncertainty concerning the fate of her husband. She must 
hear constantly from her comforters the assurance that all 
was undoubtedly well ; that, if the Colonel had been en- 
gaged in the fighting, he would certainly have been named 
in the ofiicial report ; that, if he had received any harm, he 
would have been all the more sure of being mentioned, 
etc., etc. Clingmg as if for life to these two men, she de- 
manded all their strength to keep her out of the depths of 
despair. Every day they went two or three times to the 
fort, one or other of them, to gather information from pass- 
ing boats concernmg the new tragedy. Very honestly 
and earnestly gratified was Colburne when he was able to 
bring to Mrs. Carter a letter from her husband, written 
the day after the struggle, and saying that no harm had 
befallen him. How that letter was wept over, prayed 
over, held to a beatmg heart, and then to loving lips ! The 
house was solemn all day with that immense and unspeak- 
able joy. 

Circumstances soon occurred which caused this lonely 
and anxious family to be troubled about its own safety. 
To carry on the siege of Port Hudson, Banks had been 
obliged to reduce the garrison of :N"ew Orleans and of its 
vast exterior Ime of defences (a hundred miles from the 
city on every side) to the lowest point consistent with 
safety. Meantime Taylor reorganized the remnant of his 
beaten army, raised new levies by conscription, procured 
reinforcements from Texas, and resumed the ofl^ensive. 
Brashear City on the Atchafalaya, with its immense mass 
of commissary stores, and garrison of raw Nine Months' 
men, was captured by surprise. A smart little battle was 
fought at Lafourche Crossing, near Thibodeaux, in which 
Greene's Texans charged with their usual brilliant impetu- 
osity, but were repulsed by our men with fearful slauo;hter 
after a hand-to-hand struggle over the contested cannon. 
Kevertheless the Union troops so en retired before superior 



308 Miss Ravexel's Co x version 

numbers, and Greene's wild mounted rangers were at 
liberty to patrol the Lafourche Interior. 

" We can't stay here long," said Colbunie, in the council 
of war in which the family talked these matters over. 
" Greene will come this way sooner or later. If he can 
take Fort Winthrop, he Avill thereby blockade the Missis- 
sippi, cut ofl" Banks' supplies, and force him to raise the 
siege of Port Hudson. He is sure to try it sooner or later." 

" Must we leave our plantation, then ?" asked Ravenel 
in real anguish. To lose his home, his invested capital, 
pigs, chickens, prospective croj) of vegetables, and, worse 
yet, of enlightened and ennobled negroes, was indeed a 
torturing calamity. Had he known on the afternoon of 
that day, that before morning the shaggy ponies and long, 
lank, dirty mosstroopers of Greene's brigade would be upon 
him, he would not have paused to examine the situation 
from so many diiferent j)oints of view. Colburne knew by 
experience the celerity of Texan rangers ; he had chased 
them. in forced marches from Brashear City to Alexandria 
without ever seeing a tail of their horses ; and yet even he 
indulged in a false security. 

" I think we have twelve hours before us," he observed. 
" To-morrow morning we shall have to get up and get, as 
the natives say. Still it's my opinion — I don't believe 
Mrs. Carter had better stay here ; she ought to go to the 
fort to-night." 

" Are gou going, papa ?" asked Mrs. Carter, who some- 
how was not much alarmed. 

" My dear, I must stay here till the last moment. We 
have so much property here ! You will have to go T\'ith- 
out me." 

" Then I won't go," she answered ; and so that was 
settled. 

" You ought to be ofi*," said the Doctor to Colburne. 
" As a United States officer you are sure to be kept a 
prisoner, if taken. I certainly think that you ought to go." 

ColbmTie thought so too, but would not desert his friends ; 



Feom Secession to Loyal-ty. 309 

he shrugged his shoulders m spirit and resolved to endure 
^vhat might come. The negroes were in a state of ex- 
quisite alarm. The entire black population of the Lafourche 
Interior was making for the swamps or other places of 
shelter ; and only the love of the Ravenel gang for their 
good massa and beautiful missus kept them from being 
swej)t. away by the contagious current. The horror with 
which they regarded the possibility of being returned into 
slavery delighted the Doctor, who, even in those cu*cum- 
stances, dilated enthusiastically upon it as a proof that the 
race was capable of high aspirations. 

" They have already acquired the love of individual 
liberty," said this amiable optimist. " The cognate love 
of liberty in the abstract, the liberty of all men, is not far 
ahead of them. How superior they already are to the 
white wretches who are fighting to send them back to 
slavery ! — Shedding blood, their own and their brothers', 
for slavery ! Is it not utterly amazing ? Risking life 
and taking life to restore slavery ! It is the foolishest, 
wickedest, most demoniacal infatuation that ever possessed 
humanity. The Inquisition, the Massacre of St. Bartholo- 
mew, were common sense and evangelical mercy com- 
pared to this pro-slavery rebellion. And yet these imps 
of atrocity pretend to be Christians. They are the most 
orthodox creatures that ever served the devil. They rant 
and roar in the Methodist camp-meetmgs ; they dogmatize 
on the doctrines in the Presbyterian church ; they make 
the responses in the Episcopal liturgy. There is only one 
pinnacle of hypocrisy that they never have had the auda- 
city to mount. They have not yet brought themselves to 
make the continuance and spread of slavery an object of 
prayer. It would be logical, you know ; it would be just 
like their impudence. I have expected that they would 
come to it. I have looked forward to the time when their 
hypocritical priesthood would put up bloody hands in the 
fa.ce of an uidignant Heaven, and say, * O God of Justice ! 
O Jesus, lover of the oppressed ! bless, extend and perpet- 



310 Mi*ss Ray EX el's Conversion 

uate slavery ; prosper us in selling the wife away from 
the husband, and ihe child away from the parent ; enable 
us to convert the blood and tears of our fellow creatures 
into filthy lucre ; help us to degrade man, who was made 
in Thine image ; and to Father, Son and Spuit be all the 
QlQi-y J' — Can you imagine anything more astoundingly 
wicked than such a petition ? And yet I am positively as- 
tonished that they have not got up monthly concerts of 
prayer, and fabricated a liturgy, all pregnant with just 
such or similar blasphemies. But God would not wait for 
them to reach this acme of iniquity. His patience is ex- 
hausted, and He is even now brmgmg them to punish- 
ment." 

" They have some power left yet, as we feel to-night," 
said Colburne. 

" Yes. I have seen an adder's hfead flatten and snap 
ten mmutes after the creature was cut in two. I dare say 
it might have inflicted a poisonous wound." * 

" I think you had better send the hands to the fort." 

" Do you anticipate such immediate danger ?" inquired 
the Doctor, his very spectacles expressing surprise. 

" I feel uneasy every time I think of those Texans. They 
are fast boys. They outmarch their own shadows some- 
times, and have to wait for them to come in after night- 
fall." 

" I really ought to send the hands ofl'," admitted the 
Doctor after a minute of reflection. " I never could for- 
o-ive myself if through my means they should be returned 
to bondage." 

" It would be a poor result of a freedman's labor experi- 
ment." 

The Doctor went to the back door and shouted for Major 
Scott. 

" Major," said he, " you must take all the people down 
to the fort as soon as they can get ready." 

" They's all ready, Marsr. They's only a waitin' for the 
word." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 311 

" Very well, Bring tliein along. I'll write a note to 
the commandant, asking him to take yon in for the night. 
You can come back in the morning if all is quiet." 

" What's a gwine to come of you an' Miss Lillie ?" 

" Xever mind that now. I will see to that presently. 
Brmg the people along." 

In five minutes fifteen men, six women and four pick- 
aninnies, the whole laboring force of the plantation, were 
in the road before the house, each loaded Tv^ith a portion 
of his or her property, such as blankets, food, and cooking 
utensils. The men looked anxious ; the women cried loudly 
T\T-th fright and grief; the pickanuinies cried because their 
mothers did. 

" Oh, Mars Ravenel ! you'll be*cotched suah," sobbed the 
old mamma who did the family cooking. " Mss Lillie, do 
come 'long with us." 

" We'se g^Yine to tote some o' your fixm's 'long," ob- 
served Major Scott. 

"Better let him do it," said Colburne. "It may be 
your only chance to save necessaries." 

So the negroes added to their loads whatever seemed 
most valuable and essential of the Ravenel baggage. Then 
Scott received the note to the commandant of the fort, 
handed it to Julius, the second boss, and remarked with 
dignity, "I stays with Marsr." The Major was undis- 
guisedly alarmed, but he had a character to sustam, and a 
military title to justify. He was immediately joined in his 
forlorn hope by Jim the " no *count nigger," who, being 
a sly and limber darkey, fleet of foot, and familiar with 
swamp life, had a faith that he could wriggle out of any 
danger or captivity. 

"Keep them," said Colburne to Ravenel. " We shall 
want them as look-outs during the night." 

There was an evident hesitation in the whole gang as 
to whether they should go or stay ; but Colburne settled 
the question by pronouncing in a tone of military com- 
mand, " Forward, march !" 



312 Miss R a v e n e l ' s Conversion 

" Ah ! they knows how to mmd that sort o' talk," said 
Major Scott, highly gratified with the spectacular nature 
of the scene. " I'se a been eddycatin' 'em to millingtary 
ways. They knows a heap a'ready, they doos." 

He smiled with a simple and transitory joy, although he 
could hear the voice of his wife (commonly called Mamma 
Major) rising in loud lament amid the chorus of sorrow 
with, which the women and children moved away. The 
poor creature kept no grudge against her husband for his 
infidelity of a month previous. 

In the lonely and imperilled little household Colburne 
now took command. 

" Since you will fight," he said smiling, " you must fight 
under my orders. I am th*e military power, and I proclaim 
martial law." 

He forbade the Ravenels to undress ; they must be pre- 
pared to run at a moment's notice. He laughed at the 
Doctor's proposition to barricade the doors and windows, 
and, instead thereof, opened two or three trunks and scat- 
tered articles of little value about the rooms. The pro- 
perty would be a bait, he said, which might amuse the 
raiders while the family escaped. To gratify Major Scott's 
tremulous enthusiasm he loaded his own revolver and the 
Doctor's doubled-barreled fowling-piece, smiluig sadly to 
himself to think how absurd was the idea of fighting off" a 
band of Texans with such a feeble artillery. He posted 
the two negroes as a vidette a quarter of a mile down the 
road, with strict orders not to build a fire, not to sleep, 
not to make a noise, but in case of the approach of a party 
to hasten to the house and give information. The Major 
begged hard for the fowling-piece, but Colburne would not 
let him have it. 

" He would be worse than a Xine Months' man," he said 
to the Doctor. " He would be bangmg away at stumps 
and shadows all night. There wouldn't be a livmg field 
mouse on the plantation by morning." 

The Doctor's imagination was seriously affected by these 



Fko^ Secession to Loyaltt. 313 
business-like preparations, and .e ^^^^ 

exammed theu Rainess t extinguished every 

buckled on his swoid =^°a revo^ , ^ ^^^^^^^^ 

light, took his seat -* J J^ ^J yo.AM veteran 
the danger, waited '^'^'^ ^ ^ f^'^^^^j^t tliat he had taken 
was perfectly cabn notwithstandin t^t 

^ore precautions than ^ f-^^^^^J, ^^^e visited th^ 
would have ^^-fJ^7f^^,^:;Ue then mounted the levee 
negroes to see if they ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^„,, tte bayou ; then 
to hsten for tramp ot men oi ^" towards the woods 

went to the sugar-house f ^^ ^^ ^^n reW his silent 
which hacked the P^-f ^«^; ;^:"„, ,Xhe moon stUl 

wat^h at *-P- -t°J\,f fllriand.cape. Colburne, 
poured a pale light o^el xuc ^^_ 

'^^■^T ottSVl^ wo:5"w::Vst saymg to 
mamder of nutation in ^^ , ^-^^^^ 

g-S^^-^=^i;;^-r^^t^ 

S-ri^-:Sf n—st/r L, he stei^ed 
^l th'e parlor and a-kejhe two s^^^^^^^^^ 
.M^rc;mtnr ;e;ple^^id out of an anxious 
":Lps nothmg," answered Colburne. "Only be 
"By 'this time the two videttes were m the house, breath- 



314 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

quarter mile off, mebbe ; but they's a comiu' right smart. 
Oh Cap'm, please give me the double-barril gun. I wants 
to ficrht for my liberty an' for Mars Ravenel an' for Miss 
Lillie." 

" Take it," said Colburne. " Xow then. Doctor, you and 
Jim will hurry Mrs. Carter directly down the road to the 
fort. Jim can keep up on foot. The Major and I will go 
to the woods, fire from there, and draw the enemy in that 
direction." 

Every one obeyed him T\'ithout a word. The approach- 
ing tramp of horses was distmctly audible at the house 
when the Ravenels mounted the mules and set off at a lum- 
berimr trot, the animals beingr urcred forward bv resound- 
mcr whacks from Jim's bludojeon. Colburne scowled and 
grated his teeth with impatience and vexation. 

"I ought to have sent them away last evening," he 
muttered with a throb of self-reproach. 

" Scott, you and I will have to fight," he said aloud. 
" They never can escape unless we keep the rascals here. 
We must fire once from the house ; then run to the woods 
and fire asraiii there. We must show ourselves men now." 

" Yes, Mars Cap'm," replied the Major. His voice was 
tremulous, and his whole fi-ame shook, but he was never- 
theless ready to die, if need be, for his liberty and his 
benefactors. Of physical courage the poor fellow had 
little ; but in moral courage he was at this moment sub- 
lime. 

Colburne posted himself and his comrade at a back 
corner of the house, where they could obtain a yiew of the 
road which led toward Thibodeaux. 

" Xow, Scott," he said, " you must not fire until I have 
fired. You must not fire until you have taken aim at 
somebody. You must fire only one barrel. Then you 
must make for the woods along the line of this fence. If 
they follow us on horseback we can bother them by dodg- 
ing over the fence now and then. If they catch us, we 
must fight as long as we can. Cheer up, old fellow. It'? 



Fko:si Secession to Loyalty. 315 

all riojlit. It's not bad business as soon as you're used 
to it." 

" Cap'm, I'se ready," ansTvered Scott solemnly. " I'se 
not gwine for ter be cotched alive." 

Then he prayed for some minutes in a low whisper, 
while Colburne stood at the corner and watched. " Watch 
and pray," the latter repeated to himself, smiling inwardly 
at the odd compliance with the double injunction, so 
strangely does the mind work on such occasions. It was 
not a deliberate process of intellection with him ; it was an 
instinctive flash of ideas, not traceable to any feeling 
which was m him at the time ; on the contrary, his pre- 
vailing emotion was one of extreme anxiety. The tramp 
which fled toward the fort gently diminished m the dis- 
tance, while the tramp which approached from the oppo- 
site side grew nearer and louder. When the advancing 
horsemen got witliin a hundred yards of the house, they 
slackened their pace to a walk, and finally halted, jn'oba- 
bly to listen. Some of them must have dismounted at this 
time, for Colburne suddenly beheld four footmen at the 
front gate. He scowled at this sign of experienced cau- 
tion, and gave a hasty glance toward the garden in his 
rear, to see if others were not cutting ofi" his retreat. He 
could not discover the features of any of the four, but he 
could see that they were of the tall and lank Texan type, 
dressed in brownish clothing, and provided with short 
guns, no doubt double-barreled fowling-pieces. Inside of 
the gate they halted and seemed to hearken, while one of 
them pointed up the road toward the fort, and whispered 
to his comrades. Colburne had hoped that they would get 
into the house, and fall to plundering ; but they had evi- 
dently overheard the fugitives, for there was a simulta- 
neous backward movement in the group — they were going 
to i-emount and pursue. ISTow was his time, if ever, to 
eflect the proposed diversion. Aiming his six-inch revolver 
at the tallest, he fired a single barrel. The man yelled a 
curse, staggered, dropped his gun, and leaned against the 



316 Miss R a ten el's Conveksiox 

fence. Two of his comrades sprang across the road, and 
threw themselves behmd the levee as a breast-work, while 
the fourth, all grit, turned short and brought his fowlmg- 
piece to a level as Colburne drew behmd -his cover. In 
that same moment, Major Scott, wild with a sudden mad- 
ness of conflict, shouted like a lion, bounded beyond the 
angle of the house, planting himself on two feet set wide 
apart, his mad black face set toward the enemy, and his 
gun aimed. Both fired at the same instant, and both fell 
together, probably alike lifeless. The last prayer of the 
negro was, " My God !" and the last curse of the rebel 
was " Damnation !" 

By the light of the moon Colburne looked at his com- 
rade, and saw the brains following the blood from a hole 
in the centre of his forehead. He cast a glance at the 
levee, fired one more barrel at a broad-brimmed hat whicli 
rose above it, listened for a second to an advancing rush 
of hoofs in order to decide whether it came by the road 
or by the fields, turned, crossed the garden on a noiseless 
run, placed himself on the further side of a high and 
close plantation-fence, and followed its cover rapidly to- 
ward the forest. The distance was less than a quarter 
of a mile, but he was quite breathless and fiiint before he 
had traversed it, so weak was he still, and so little ac- 
customed to exercise. In the edge of the wood he sat 
down on a fallen and mouldering trunk to listen. If the 
cavalry 'were pursuing their course up the road, they 
were doing it very pnidently and sloAvly, for he could 
hear no more trampling of horses. Tolerably satisfied as 
to the safety of the Ravenels, he reloaded his two empty 
barrels, settled his course in his mind, and pushed as 
straight as he could for Taylorsville without quitting 
the cover of the forest. Although the fort was not four 
miles away in a direct line, it was daybreak when he 
came in sight of a low flattened outline, as of a trun- 
cated mound, which showed dimly through the yellow- 
itih morning mist. He had still to cross a dead level of 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 317 

four or five hundred yards, witli no points of shelter but 
three small wooden houses. At this moment 'wlien safety 
seemed so near and sure, he saw on the bayou road, two 
hundred yards to his right, half a dozen black and in- 
distinct bunches moving in a direction parallel to his 
own. They were unquestionably horsemen going toward 
the fort, and nearer to it than he. Changmg his direction,- 
he made straight for the river, struck it above the fortifi- 
cation, and got behmd the levee, thus securing both a 
covered way to hide his course, and an earthwork from 
behind which he could fight. He lost no time in peeping 
over the top of the mound, but pushed ahead at his best 
speed, supposing that no cavalry scouts would dare ap- 
proach very near to a garrison supplied with, artillery. 
He could see a sentry pacing the ramparts, the dark uni- 
form showing clear against the grey sky beyond. He 
even thought that the man perceived him, and supposed 
that his dangers were over for the present. He was full 
of exhilaration, and glanced back at the events of the 
night with, a sense of satisfaction, taking it all for granted 
with a resolute faith of satisfaction, that the liavenels had 
escaped. Major Scott was dead ; he was really quite sorry 
for that ; but then two Texans had been killed, or at least 
disabled ; the war was so much nearer its close. In a 
small way he felt much as a general does who has eflected 
a masterly retreat, and inflicted severe loss upon the pur- 
suing enemy. 

Presently a break in the bank forced him to mount the 
levee. As he reached the top he stared in astonishment 
and some dismay at a man in butternut-colored clothing, 
mounted on a rough pony, with the double-barreled gun 
of Greene's mosstroopers across his saddle-bow, who was 
posted on the road not forty feet distant. The Butternut 
immediately said, in the pleasant way current in armies, 
" Halt, you son of a bitch !" 

He fired, but missed, as Colburne skirted the break on a 
run, and S23rang again behind the levee. The Captain 



318 Miss Ravexel's C ox version 

then fired in return, with no other effect than to make the 
Butternut gallop beyond revolver range. From this dis- 
tance he called out, ironically, " I say, Yank, have you 
heard from Brashear City ?" 

Colburne made no reply, but continued his retreat un- 
molested. When the sentinel challenged, " Halt ! who 
comes there ?" he thought he had never heard a pleasanter 
welcome. 

" Friend," he answered. 

" Halt, friend ! Corporal of the guard, number five," 
shouted the sentry. 

The corporal appeared, recognized Colburne, and let 
him in through the gate in a j^alisade which connected 
one angle of the fort with the river. The garrison was 
already under arms, and the men were lying down behind 
the low works, with their equipments on and their mus- 
kets by their ^ides. The first person from the plantation 
whom Colburne saw was Mauma Major. 

" Where is Mrs. Carter, aunty ?" he asked. 

"They's all here, bress the Lord! And now you's 
come !" shouted the good fat creature, clapping her hands 
with delight. " Whar my ole man ?" 

" In heaven," said Colburne, with a solemn tenderness 
which carried instant conviction. The woman screamed, 
and went down upon her knees with an air and face of 
such anguish as might cast shame upon those philosophers 
as have asserted that the negro is not a man. 

" Oh ! the Lord gave ! The Lord gave !" she repeated, 
wildly. 

Perhaps she had forgotten, perhaps she never knew, the 
remainder of the text ; but its piteous sense of bereave- 
ment, and of more than human consolation, was evidently 
clear m some manner to her soul. 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 319 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

CAPTAIN COLBITRXE COYERS THE RETREAT OF THE SOUTHERN 
LABOR ORGANIZATION. 

CoLBURNE soon cliscoYerecl the RaYenels and their re^ 
tamers biYonacked in an angle of the fortification. The 
Doctor actually embraced him in delight at his escape ; 
and Mrs. Carter seized both his hands in hers, exclaimmg, 
« Oh, I am so happy !" ^ ^.^ 

She was full of gayetY. She had had a splendid nap ; 
had actually slept out of doors. Did he see that tent made 
out of a blanket ? She had slept m that. She could biYOuac 
as well as you, Captain Colburne ; she was as good a sol- 
dier as you. Captain Colburne. She liked it, ol all thmgs 
in the world. She neYer would sleep in the house agam 
till she was fif— sixty. 

It was curious to note how she checked herself upon the 
point of mentioning fifty as the era of first decrepitude. 
Her father was OYcr fifty, and therefore fifty could not be 
old age, notwithstandmg her preconceiYed opmions on the 

subject. , T T 1 1 

" But oh how obliged we are to you !" she added, chang- 
ino- suddenly to a serious Yiew. "How kmd and noble 
and braYe you are ! We owe you so much !-Isn t it 
strano-e that I should be saymg such thmgs to you ^ L 
■ ncYei^thouo-ht that I should cYcr say anythmg of the kmd to 
any man but my father and my husband. I am mdeed grate- 
ful to you, and thankful that you have escaped." 

As she spoke, her eyes filled with tears. There was a 
singular changeableness about her of late ; she shitted 
rapidly and without warnmg, almost without cause, from 
one emotion to another ; she felt and expressed all emotions 
with more than usual fervor. She was sadder at times 
and gayer at times than circumstances seemed to justify. 
An ordinary observer, a man especially, would have been 



320 Miss Ravexel's Conyersion 

apt to consider some of her conduct odd, if not irrational. 
The truth is that she had been living a new life for the 
past two months, and that her being, i:»hysical and moral, 
had not yet been able to settle into a tranquil unity of 
function and feeling. Many women and a few men will 
understand me here. Colbm-ne was too merely a young 
man to comprehend anything ; but he could stand a little 
way off and worship. He thought, as she faced him with 
her cheeks flushed and her eyes the brighter for tears, that 
she was very near in guise and nature to an angel. It 
may be a paradox ; it may be a dangerous fact to make, 
public ; but he certainly was loving another man's wife 
with j^erfect innocence. 

" What is the matter with Mauma Major ?" asked the 
Doctor. 

Colburne briefly related the martyrdom of Scott ; and 
father and daughter hurried to console the weeping black 
woman. 

Then the young soldier bethought himself that he oup^ht 
to report his knowledge of the rebels to the commandant 
of the garrison. " You '11 find the cuss in there," said a 
devil-may-care lieutenant, pointing to a brick structure in 
the centre of the fort. Colburne entered, saw an oflicer 
sleeping on a pile of blankets, and to his astonishment 
recognized him as Major Gaza way. In slumber this re- 
markable poltroon looked respectably formidable. He 
was six feet in height and nearly two hundred pounds in 
weight, "large-limbed, deep-chested, broad-shouldered, dark 
in complexion, aquiline in feature, masculine and even 
stern in expression. He had begun life as a prize fighter, 
but had failed in that career, not because he lacked 
strength or skill, but from want of pluck to stand the ham- 
mering. Nevertheless he was a tolerable hand at a rough- 
and-tumble fight, and still more efficient in election-day 
bullying and browbeating. For the last ten years he had 
kept a billiard saloon, had held various small public offices, 
and had been the Isaiah Rynders of his little city. On the 



Feo:m Secession to Loyalty. 321 

stump lie had a low kiiid of popular eloquence made up of 
coarse denunciation, slanderous lying, bar-room slang, 
smutty stories, and j)rofanity. The Rebellion broke out ; 
the Rebel cannon aimed at Fort Sumter knocked the breath 
out of the Democratic party ; and Gazaway_ turned Re- 
publican, bruigmg over two hundred fighting voters, and 
changing the political complexion of his district. Conse- 
quently he easily got a commision as captain in the three 
months' campaign, and subsequently as major in the Tenth, 
much to the disgust of its commandant. He had expected 
and demanded a colonelcy ; he thought that the Gorernor, 
in not granting it, had treated him with ingratitude and 
black injustice ; he honestly believed this, and was naively 
sore and angry on the subject. It needed this trait of born 
impudence to render his character altogether contemptible ; 
for had he been a conscious, humble coward, he would 
have merited a pity not altogether disunited from respect. 
From the day of receiving his commission Gazaway had 
not ceased to intrigue and bully for promotion in a long 
series of blotted and ill-spelled letters. How could a mere 
Major ever hope to go before the people successfully as a 
candidate for Congress ? That distinction was the aim of 
Gazaway, as of many another more or less successful black- 
guard. It is true that these horrid battles occasionally 
shook his ambition and his confidence in liis own merits. 
Under fire he was a meek man, much given to lying low, 
to praying fervently, to thinking that a whole skin was 
better than laurels. But m a few hours after the danger 
was past, his elastic vanity and selfishness rose to the oc- 
casion, and he was as pompous in air, as dogmatical m 
speech, as impudently greedy in his demands for advance- 
ment as ever. Such was one of Colburne's superior offi- 
cers ; such was the dastard to whom the wounded hero re- 
ported for duty. Colburne, by the way, had never asked 
for promotion, believing, with the faith of chivalrous youth, 
that merit would be sure of undemanded recognition. 
After several calls of " Major !" the slumberer came to 



322 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

his consciousness ; he used it by rolling over on his side, 
and endeavoring to resume his dozings. lie had not been 
able to sleep till late the night before on account of his 
terrors, and now he was reposing like an animal, anxious 
chiefly to be let alone. 

" Major — excuse me — I have something ol' importance to 
report," insisted the Captain. 

" Well ; what is it ?" snarled Gazaway. Then, catching 
sight of Colburne, " Oh ! that you. Cap ? "Where you 
from ?" 

" From a plantation five miles below, on the bayou. I 
was followed in closely b\^ the rebel cavalry. Their 
pickets are less than half a mile from the fort." 

" My God !" exclaimed Gazaway, sitting up and throw- 
ing oiF his musquito-net. " What do you think ? They 
ain't gomg to attack the fort, be they ?" Then calling his 
homespun pomposity to his aid, he added, with a show of 
bravado, "I can't see it. They know better. We can 
knock spots out of 'em." 

" Of course we can," coincided the Captam. '' I don't 
believe they have any siege artillery ; and if we can't beat 
off" an assault we ought to be cat-o'-nme-tailed." 

" Cap, I vow I wish I had your health," said the Major, 
gazmg shamelessly at Colburne's thm and pale face. " You 
can stand anything. I used to think I could, but this 
cussed climate fetches )7ie. I swear I hain't been myself 
smce I come to Louisianny." 

It is true that the Major had not been m field service 
what he once honestly thought he was. He had supposed 
himself to be a brave man ; he was never disenchanted of 
this belief except while on the battle-field ; and after he 
had run away he always said and tried to believe that it 
was because he was sick. 

" I was took sick with my old trouble, he continued ; 
" same as I had at Xew Orleans, you know— th6 very day 
that we attacked Port Hudson." 

By the way, he had not had it at New Orleans ; he fiad 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 323 

had it at Georgia Landing and Camp Beasland ; but Col- 
burne did not correct him. 

" By George ! Avhat a day that was !" he exclaimed, re- 
ferring to the assault of the 2'7th of May. " I'll bet more'n 
a hundred shots come within five feet of me. If I could a 
kep*' up with the regiment, I'd a done it. But I couldn't. 
I had to go straight to the hospital. I tell you I suffered 
there. I couldn't get no kind of attention, there was so 
many wounded there. After a few days I set out for the 
regiment, and found it in a holler where the rebel bullets 
was skipping about like parched peas in a skillet. But I 
was too sick to stand it. I had to put back to the hos- 
pital. Finally the Doctor he sent me to Xew Orleans. 
Well, I was just gettin' a little flesh on my bones when 
General Emory ordered every man that could walk to be 
put to duty. Xothing would do but I must take com- 
mand of this fort. I got here yesterday morning, and the 
boat went back in the afternoon, and here we be in a hell 
of a muss. I brought twenty such invalids along — men 
no more fit for duty than I be. I swear it's a shame." 

Colburne did not utfer the disgust and contempt which 
he felt ; he turned away in silence, intending to look up 
dressmgs for his arm, which had become dry and feverish. 
The Major called him back, 

" I say. Cap, if the enemy are in force, what are we to 
do ?" 

" Why, we shall fight, of course." 

" But we ha'n't got men enough to stand an assault." 

" How many ?" 

"One little comp'ny Louisianny men, two comp'nies 
nine months' men, and a few invalids." 

" That's enough. Have you any spare arms ?" 

" I d'no. I reckon so," said the Major, in a peevish tone. 
" I reckon you'd better hunt up the Quartermaster, if 
there is one. I s'pose he has 'em." 

" A friend of mine has brought fifteen able-bodied ne- 
groes into the fort. I want guns for them." 



324 Miss Rayexel's Conversion 

" Niggers !" sneered the Major. " What good be they ?" 

Losing all patience, Colburne disrespectfully turned his 
"back without answering, and left the room. 

" I say. Cap, if we let them niggers fight Ave'll be all 
massacred," were the last words that he heard from Gaza- 
way. 

Having got his arm bound anew with wet dressings, he 
sought out the Quartermaster, and proceeded to accouter 
the Ravenel negroes, meanwhile chewmg a breakfast of 
hard crackers. Then, meeting the Lieutenant who had di- 
rected him to Gazaway's quarters, and who proved to be 
the commandant of the Louisiana company, they made a 
tour of the ramparts together, doing their volunteer best 
to take in the military features of the flat surrounding 
landscape, and to decide upon the line of approach which 
the rebels would probably select in cjlse of an assault. 
There was no cover except tAVO or three wooden houses of 
such slight texture that they would afford no jirotection 
against shell or grape. The levee on the op]X)site side of 
the baj^ou might shelter sharpshooters, but not a column. 
They trained a tAventy-four-pounder iron gun in that di- 
rection, and pointed the rest of the artillery so as to 
sweep the plain between the fort and a wood half a mile 
distant. The ditch was deep and wide, and well filied 
with water, but there was no abattis or other obstruction 
outside of it. Tlie weakest front was toward the Missis- 
sippi, on which side the rampart was a mere bank not five 
feet in hight, scarcely domhiating the slope of twenty-five 
or thirty yards which stretched between it and the water. 

" I wish the river was higher — smack up to the fortifi- 
cations," said the Louisiana lieutenant. " They can wade 
around them fences," he added, pointing to the palisades 
which connected the work with the river. 

This officer was not a Louisianian by birth, any more 
than the men whom he commanded. They were a medley 
of all nations, principally Lish and Germans, and he had 
begun his martial career as a volunteer m an Indiana regi- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 325 

ment. He was chock full of fight and confidence ; this 
was the only fort he had ever ganisoned, and he consid- 
ered it almost impregnable ; his single doubt was lest the 
assailants "might wade in around them fences." Col- 
burne, remembering how Banks had been repulsed twice 
from inferior works at Port Hudson, also thought the 
chances good for a defence. Indeed, he looked forward 
to the combat with something like a vindictive satisfac- 
tion. Heretofore he had always attacked ; and he wanted to 
fight the rebels once from behind a rampart ; he wanted to 
teach them what it was to storm fortifications. If he had 
been better educated in his profession he would have 
found the fort alarmingly small and open, destitute as it 
was of bomb-proofs, casemates and traverses. The river 
showed no promise of succor; not a gunboat or transport 
appeared on its broad, slow, yellow current ; not a friendly 
smoke could be seen across the flat distances. The little 
garrison, it seemed, must rely upon its own strength and 
courage. But, after taking a deliberate view of all the 
circumstances, Colburne felt justified in reporting to Major 
Gaza way that the fort could beat ofi" as many Texans as 
could stand between it and the woods, which was the same 
as to say a matter of one or two hundred thousand. Leav- 
ing his superior officer in a state of spasmodic and short- 
lived courage, he spread his rubber blanket in a shady 
corner, rolled up his coat for a pillow, laid himself down, 
and slept till nearly noon. When he awoke, the Doctor 
was holding an umbrella over him. 

" I am ever so much obliged to you," said Colburne, sit- 
ting up. 

" ^ot at all. I was afraid you might get the fever. 
Our Louisiana sun, you know, doesn't dispense beneficence 
alone. I saw that it had found you out, and I rushed to 
the rescue." 

" Is Mrs. Carter sheltered ?" asked the Captain. 

" She is very comfortably ofi", considering the circum- 
stances." 



326 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

He was twiddling and twirling his umbrella as though 
he had something on liis mind. 

" I want you to do me a favor," he said, after a moment. 
" I should really like a gun, if it is not too much trouble." 

The idea of the Doctor, with his fifty-five years, his 
peaceful habits, and his spectacles, rushing to battle made 
Colburne smile. Another imaginary picture, the image of 
Lillie weeping over her father's body, restored his serious- 
ness. 

" What would Mrs. Carter say to it ?" he asked. 

" I should be obliged if you would not mention it to 
her," answered the Doctor. "I think the matter can be 
managed without her knowledge." 

Accordingly Colburne fitted out this unexpected recruit 
with a rifle-musket, and showed him how to load it, and 
how to put on his accoutrements. This done, he reverted 
to the subject which most interested his mind just at 
present. 

" Mrs. Carter must be better sheltered than she is," he 
said. " In case of an assault, she would be in the way 
where she is, and, moreover, she might get hit by a chance 
bullet. I will tell the Major that his Colonel's wife is here, 
and that he must turn out for her." 

" Do you think it best ?" questioned the Doctor. 
" Really, I hate to disturb the commandant of the fort." 

But Colburne did thmk it best, and Gazaway was not 
hard to convince. He hated to lose his shelter, poor as it 
was, but he had a salutary dread of his absent Colonel, 
and remembermg how dubious had been his o^snl record 
in field service, he thought it wise to secure the favor of 
Mrs. Carter. Accordingly Lillie, accompanied by Black 
Julia, moved into the brick building, notwithstanding her 
late declarations that she liked nothing so well as sleeping 
in the open air. 

"Premature old age," laughed Colburne. "Sixty 
already." 



Fko^t Secession to Loyalty. 327 

" It is the African Dahomey, and not the American, 
which produces the Amazons," observed the Doctor. 

" If you don't stop I shall be severe," threatened Lillie. 
" I have a door now to tm-n people out of" 

" Just as though that was a punishment," said Colburne. 
" I thought out-of-doors was the place to live." 

As is usual with people in circumstances of romance 
which are not mstantly and overpowermgiy alarmmg, 
there was an exhilaration in their spirits which tended to- 
wards gayety. While Mrs. Carter and Oolburne were 
thus jesting, the Doctor shyly introduced his martial 
equipments into the house, and concealed them under a 
blanket in one corner. Presently the two men adjourned 
to the ramparts, to learn the cause of a commotion which 
was visible among the garrison. Far up the bayou road 
thin yellow- clouds of dust could be seen rising above the 
trees, no doubt indicating a movement of troops in con- 
siderable force. From that quarter no advance of friends, 
but only of Texan cavalry and Louisianian infantry, could 
be expected. Xearly all the soldiers had left their shel- 
ters of boards and rubber blankets, and were watching the 
threatening phenomenon with a grave jSxedness of expres- 
sion which showed that they fully appreciated its deadly 
significance. Sand-columns of the desert, water-spouts of 
the ocean, are a less impressive spectacle than the ap- 
proaching dust of a hostile army. The old and tried sol- 
dier knows all that it means ; he knows how tremendous 
will be the screech of the shells and the ghastliness of the 
wounds ; he faces it with an inward shrinking, although 
with a calm determination to do his duty ; his time for 
elation will not come until his blood is heated by fighting, 
and he joins in the yeU of the charge. The recruit, deeply 
moved by the novelty of the sight, and the unknown 
grandeur of horror or of glory which it presages, is either 
vaguely terrified or full of excitement. Calm as is the ex- 
terior of most men in view of approaching battle, not one 
of them looks upon it with entire indifference. But let the 



328 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

eyes on the fortifications strain as they might, no lines of 
trooj^s could he distinguished, and there was little, if any, 
increase in the number of the rebel pickets who sat sen- 
tinel in their saddles under the shade of scattered trees 
and houses. Presently the murmur " A flag of truce !" ran 
along the line of spectators. Down the road which skirted 
the northern bank of the bayou rode slowly, amidst a little 
cloud of dust, a party of four horsemen, one of whom 
carried a white flag. 

" What does that mean," asked Gazaway. " Do you 
thmk peace is proclaimed ?" 

"It means that they want this fort," said Colburne. 
" They are going to commit the impertinence of asking us 
to surrender." 

The Major's aquiline visage was very pale, and his out- 
stretched hand shook visibly ; he was evidently seized by 
the complaint which had so troubled him at Port Hudson. 

" Cap, what shall I do ?" he inquired in a confidential 
whisper, twisting one of his tremulous fingers into Col- 
burne's buttonhole, and drawing him aside. 

" Tell them to go to , and then send them there," 

said the Captain, angrily, perceiving that Gazaway's feel- 
mgs inclined toward a capitulation. " Send out an oflicer 
and escort to meet the fellows and bring in their message. 
They mustn't be allowed to come inside." 

" Xo, no ; of course not. We couldn't git very good 
terms if they should see how few we be," returned the 
Major, unable to see the matter in any other light than 
that of his own terrors. " Well, Cap, you go and meet the 
feller. Xo, you stay here ; I want to talk to you. Here, 
Where's that Louisianny Lieutenant ? Oh, Lieutenant, you- 
go out to that feller with jest as many men 's he's got ; 
stop him 's soon 's you git to him, and send in his business. 
Send it in by one of your men, you know ; and take a 
white flag, or han'kerch'f, or suthiu'." 

When Gazaway was in a perturbed state of mind, liis 
con^ ersation had an unusual twang of the provincialisms 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 329 

of tone and grammar amidst which he had been educated, 
or rather had grown up without an education. 

At sight of the Union flag of truce, the rebel one, 
now only a quarter of a mile from the fort, halted under 
the shadow of*an evergreen oak by the roadside. After a 
j^arley of a few minutes, the Louisiana Lieutenant re- 
turned, beaded with perspiration, and delivered to Gaza- 
way a sealed envelope. The latter opened it with fingers 
which worked as awkwardly as a worn-out paii* of tongs, 
read the enclosed note with evident difficulty, cast a 
troubled eye up and down the river, as if looking in vam 
for help, beckoned Colburne to follow him, and led the 
way to a deserted angle of the fort. 

"I say, Cap," he whispered, "we've got to surrender." 

Colburne looked him sternly in the face, but could not 
catch his cowardly eye. 

" Take care. Major," he said. 

Gazaway started as if he had been threatened with per- 
sonal violence. 

" You are a ruined man if you surrender this fort," pur- 
sued Colburne. 

The Major writhed his Herculean form, and looked all 
the anguish which so mean a nature was capable of feel- 
mg ; for it suddenly occurred to him that if he capitulated 
he might never be promoted, and never go to Congress. 

" TThat in God's name shall I do ?" he implored. 
" They've got six thous'n' men." 

" Call the officers together, and put it to vote." 

" Well, you fetch 'em, Cap. I swear I'm too sick to 
Stan' up." 

,Down he sat in the dust, resting his elbows on his knees, 
and his head between his hands. Colburne sought out 
the officers, seven in number, besides himself, and all, as it 
chanced. Lieutenants. 

" Gentlemen," he said, " we are dishonored cowards if 
we surrender this fort without fighting." 



330 Miss Ra vex el's Coxveesion 

" Dani' d if we don't have the biggest kind of a scrim- 
mage first," returned the Louisianian. 

The afflicted Gaza way rose to receive them, opened the 
communication of the rebel general, dropped it, picked 
it up, and handed it to Colburne, saymg, " Cap, you 
read it." 

It was a polite summons to surrender, stating the in- 
vesting force at six thousand men, declaring that the suc- 
cess of an assault was certam, offering to send the garrison 
on j^arole to Xew Orleans, and closing with the hope that 
the commandant of the fort would avoid a useless effusion 
of blood. 

" Xow them's what I call han'some terms," broke in 
Gazaway eagerly. " We can't git no better if we fight a 
week. And we can't fight a day. We hain't got the men 
to whip six thous'n' Texans. I go for takin' terms while 
we can git 'em." 

" Gentlemen, I go for fightmg," said Colburne. 

" That's me," responded the Louisiana lieutenant ; and 
there was an approving murmur from the other officers. 

" This fort," contmued our Captain, " is an absolute neces- 
sity to the prosecution of the siege of Port Hudson. If it 
is lost, the navigation of the river is interru23ted, and our 
army is cut off from its suj^plies. If we surrender, we 
make the whole campaign a failure. We must not do it. 
We never shall be able to face our comrades after it ; we 
never shall be able to look loyal man or rebel in the eye. 
We can defend ourselves. General Banks has been re- 
pulsed twice from inferior works. It is an easy chance to 
do a great deed — to deserve the thanks of the army and the 
whole country. Just consider, too, that if we don't hold 
the fort, we may be called on some day to storm it. Which 
is the easiest ? Gentlemen, I say, Xo surrender !" 

Every officer but Gazaway answered, " That's my vote." 
The Louisiana Lieutenant fingered his revolver threaten- 
ingly, and swore by all that was holy or infernal that he 
would shoot the first man who talked of cai^itulating. 



FEOii Secession to Loyalty. 



331 



Gazaway's mouth had oi^ened to gurgle a remonstrance, 
but at this threat he remamed silent and gasping like a 
stranded fish. 

" Well, Cap, you write an answer to the cuss, and the 
Major '11 sign it," said the Louisianian to Colburne, with a 
grin of humorous mahgnity. Our friend ran to the office 
of the Quartermaster, and returned m a minute with the 
following epistle : 

" Sir : It is my duty to defend Fort Wmthrop to the 
last extremity, and I shall do it." 

The signature which the Major appended to this heroic 
document was so tremulous and illegible that the rebel 
general must have thought that the commandant was 
either very illiterate or else a very old gentleman afflicted 
with the palsy. 

Thus did the unhappy Gazaway have greatness thrust 
upon him. He would have been indignant had he not been 
so terrified ; he thought of court-martialmg Colburne some 
day for msubordination, but said nothing of it at present ; 
he was fully occupied with searching the fort for a j^lace 
which promised shelter from shell ^and bullet. The rest 
of the day he spent chiefly on the river front, lookmg up 
and down the stream m vaui for the friendly smoke of 
gunboats, and careful all the while to keep his head below 
the level of the ramparts. His trepidation was so apparent 
that the common soldiers discovered it, and amused them- 
selves by slyly jerkmg bullets at him, m order to see him 
jump, fall down and clap his hand to the part hit by the 
harmless missile. He must have suspected the trick ; but 
he did not threaten vengeance nor even try to discover 
the jokers: every feeble source of manliness in him had 
been dried up by his terrors. He gave no orders, exacted 
no obedience, and would have received none had he de- 
manded it. Late in the afternoon, half a dozen veritable 
rebel balls whistling over the fort sent him cowering into 
the room occupied by Mrs. Carter, where he appropriated 
a blanket and stretched hunself at full length on the floor. 



332 Miss Raven el s Conyeesion 

fairly grovelling and flattening in search of safety. It was 
a case of cowardice which bordered upon mania or physical 
disease. He had just manliness enough to feel a little 
ashamed of himself, and mutter to Mrs. Carter that he was 
" too sick to Stan' up." Even she, novel as she was to the 
situation, understood him, after a little study ; and the 
sight of his degrading alarm, instead of striking her with 
a panic, roused her pride. and her courage. With what an 
admiring contrast of feeling she looked at the brave Col- 
burne and thought of her brave husband I 

The last ravs of the settiuGj sun showed no sio-n of an 
enemy except the wide thin semich'cle of rebel pickets, 
quiet but watchful, which stretched across the bayou from 
the river above to the river below. As night deepened, 
the vigilance of the garrison ui creased, and not only the 
sentmels but every soldier was behmd the ramparts, each 
officer remaining in rear of his own comj^any or platoon, 
ready to direct it and lead it at the first alarm. Colburne, 
who was tacitly recognized as commander-in-chief, made 
the rounds every hour. About midnight a murmur of 
joy ran from bastion to bastion as the news spread that 
two steamers were close at hand, coming up the river. 
Presently every one could see their engme-fires glowing 
like fireflies in the distant, and hear through the breathless 
night the sighmg of the steam, the moaning of the ma 
chmery, and at last the swash of water agamst the bows. 
The low, black hulks, and short, delicate masts, distinctly 
visible on the gleaming groundwork of the river, and 
against the faintly lighted horizon, showed that they were 
gunboats ; and the metallic rattle of their cables, as they 
came to anchor opposite the fort, proved that they had ar- 
rived to take part in the approaching struggle. Even 
Gazaway crawled out of his asylum to look at the cheermg 
reinforcement, and assumed somethmg of his native pom- 
posity as he observed to Colburne, " Cap, they won't dare 
to pitch into us, with them fellers alongside." 

A bullet or two from the rebel sharj^shooters posted on 



Feo:si Secession to Loyalty. 333 

the southern side of the bayou sent him back to his house 
of refuge. He thought the assault Avas about to commence, 
and was entirely absorbed in hearkening for its opening 
clamor. "When Mrs. Carter asked him what was oroino- 
on, he made her no answer. He was listening with all his 
pores ; his very hair stood on end to listen. Presently he 
stretched himself upon the floor in an mstinctive effort to 
escape a spattering of musketry which broke through the 
sultry stillness of the night. A black sjDCck had slid around 
the stern of one of the gunboats, and was making for the 
bank, saluted by quick spittings of fire from the levee 
above and below the junction of the bayou with the river. 
In reply, similar fiery spittings scintillated from the dark 
mass of the fort, and there was a rapid ichit-ivhit of in- 
visible missiles. A cutter was coming ashore ; the rebel 
pickets were firing upon it ; the garrison was firing upon 
the pickets ; the pickets upon the garrison. The red flashes 
and irregular rattle lasted until the cutter had completed 
its return voyage. There was an understanding now be- 
tween the little navy and the little army ; the gunboats 
knew where to direct their cannonade so as best to sup- 
port the garrison ; and the soldiers were full of confidence, 
although they did not relax their vigilance. Doctor Rav- 
enel and Mrs. Carter supposed in their civilian inexperience 
that all danger was over, and by two o'clock in the morn- 
ing were fast asleep. 



CHAPTER XXiy. 

. A DESPEEATE ATTACK AXD A SUCCESSFUL DEFENCE. 

While it was still darkness Lillie was awakened 
from her sleep by an all-pervading, startling, savage up- 
roar. Through the hot night came tramplings and yell- 
ings of a rebel brigade ; roarmg of twenty-four-pounders 
and whirring of grape from the bastions of the fort ; roar- 
mg of hundred-pounders and flight of shrieking, cracking. 



334 Miss Ravexel's Cox vers ion 

flashing shells from the gunboats ; incessant spattering 
and fiery spitting of musketry, with whistling and hum- 
ming of bullets ; and, constant through all, the demoniac 
yell advancuig like the howl of an infernal tide. Bedlam, 
pandemonium, all the maniacs of earth and all the fiends 
of hell, seemed to have combined in riot amidst the crash- 
insis of storm and volcano. The clamor came with the 
suddenness and continued with more than the rage of a 
tornado. Lillie had never imagined anything so unearthly 
and horrible. She called loudly for her father, and was 
positively astonished to hear his voice close at her side, so 
strangely did the familiar tones sound in that brutal up- 
roar. 

" What is it ?" she asked. 

"It must be the assault," he replied, astonished into 
telling the alarming truth. " I will step out and take a 
look." 

" You shall not," she exclaimed, clutching him. " What 
if you should be hit I" 

" My dear, don't be childish," remonstrated the Doctor. 
" It is my duty to attend to the wounded. I am the only 
surgeon in the fort. Just consider the ingratitude of 
neglecting these brave fellows who are fighting for our 
safety." 

" Will you promise not to get hurt ?" 

" Certainly, my dear." 

•' Will you come back every five minutes and let me 
see you ?" 

" Yes, my dear. I'll keep you informed of everything 
that happens." 

She thought a few moments, and gradually loosened her 
hold on him. Her curiosity, her anxiety to know how 
this terrible drama went on, helped her to be brave and 
to spare him. As soon as her fingers had unclosed from 
his sleeve he crept to where his rifle stood and softly, 
siezed it ; and in so doing he stepped on the recumbent 
Gazaway, who groaned, whereupon the Doctor politely 



From Secession to Loyalty. 335 

apologized. As he stepped out of the building he distin- 
guished Colburne's voice on the river front, shoutincr, 
" This ^ay, men !" In that direction ran the Doctor, hold- 
ing his rifle in both hands, at something like the position 
of a charge bayonet, with his thumb on the trigger so as 
to be ready for immediate conflict. Suddenly bang ! went 
the piece at an angle of forty-five degrees, sending its ball 
clean across the Mississippi, and causing a veteran ser- 
geant near him to inquire " what the hell he was about." 

" Really, that explosion was quite extraordinary," said 
the surprised Doctor. " I had not the least intention of 
firing. Would you, sir, have the goodness to load it for , 
me ?" 

But the sergeant was in a hurry, and ran on without 
answermg. The Doctor began to finger his cartridge-box 
in a wild way, intending to get out a cartridge if he could, 
when a faint voice near him said, " I'll load your gun for 
you, sir." 

" Would you be so kind ?" replied the Doctor, delighted. 
"I am so dreadfully inexperienced in these operations! 
I am quite sorry to trouble you." 

The sick man — one of the invalids whom Gazaway had 
brought from ISTew Orleans — loaded the piece, capped it, 
and added some brief instructions in the mysteries of half- 
cock and full-cock. 

" Really you are very good. I am quite obliged," said 
the Doctor, and hurried on to the river front, guided by 
the voice of Colburne. At the rampart he tried to shoot 
one of our men who was coming up wounded from the 
palisade, and would probably have succeeded, but that 
the lock of his gun would not work. Colburne stopped 
him in this well-intentioned but mistaken labor, saying, 
" Those are our people." Then, " Your gun is at half-cock. 
— There. — Now keep your finger ofi" the trigger until you 
see a rebel." 

Then shouting, " Forward, men !" he ran down to the 



336 Miss Ravenel's Conveesion 

palisade followed by twenty or thirty, of whom one was 
the Doctor. 

The assailing brigade, debouching from the woods half 
a mile away from the front, had advanced in a Avide front 
across the flat, losing scarcely any men by the fire of the 
artillery, although many, shaken by the horrible screech- 
ing of the hundred-pound shells, threw themselves on the 
ground in the darkness or sought the frail shelter of the 
scattered dwellmgs. Thus diminished in numbers and 
broken up by night and obstacles and the diflermg speed 
of running men, the brigade reached the fort, not an or- 
ganization, but a confused swarm, flowing along the edge 
of the ditch to right and left in search of an entrance. 
There was a constant spattermg of flushes, as individuals 
returned the steady fire of the garrision ; and the sharp 
clean whistle of round bullets and buckshot mingled in the 
thick warm air with the hoarse whiz of Minies. Now and 
then an angry shout or wailing scream indicated that some 
one had been hit and mangled. The exhortations and 
oaths of the rebel ofiicers could be distinctly heard, as they 
endeavored to restore order, to drive up stragglers, and to 
urge the mass forward. A few jumped or fell mto the 
ditch and floundered there, unable to climb up the smooth 
facings of brickwork. Tavo or three hundred collected 
around the palisade which connected the northern front with 
the river, some lying down and waiting, and others firing 
at the woodwork or the neighbormg ramparts, while a few 
determined ones tried to burst open the gate by main 
strength. 

The Doctor put the whole length of his barrel through 
one of the narrow port holes of the palisade and immediately 
became aware that some on the outside had seized it and 
was pullmg downwards. " Let go of my gun !" he shouted 
instinctively, without considering the unreasonable nature 
of the request. " Let go yourself, you son of a bitch !" 
returned the outsider, not a whit more rational. The Doc- 
tor pulled trigger with a sense of just indignation, and 



Fko:si Secession to Loyalty. 337 

drew in his gun, the barrel bent at a right angle and 
burst ed. Whether he had injured the rebel or only start- 
led him into letting go his hold, he never knew and did 
not then pause to consider. He felt his ruined weapon 
all over with his hands, tried in vain to draw the ramrod, 
and, after brmgiug all his philosophical acumen to bear on 
the subject, gave up the idea of reloadmg. Casting about 
for a new armament, he observed behind him a man lying 
m one of the many little gullies which seemed to slope be- 
tween the fort and the river, his eyes Avide open and fixed 
upon the palisade, and his right hand loosely holding a rifle. 
The Doctor concluded that he was sick, or tired, or seek- 
ing shelter from the bullets. 

" Would you be good enough to lend me your gun for 
a few moments ?" he inquired. 

The man made no reply ; he was perfectly dead. The 
Doctor being short-sighted and without his spectacles, and 
not accustomed, as yet, to appreciating the eflects of mus- 
ketry, did not suspect this until he bent over him, and saw 
that his woolen shirt was soaked with blood. He picked 
up the rifle, guessed that it was loaded, stumbled back to 
the palisade, insinuated the mere muzzle into a port-hole, 
and fired, with splintering eflect on the woodwork. The 
explosion w^as followed by a howl of anguish from the ex- 
terior, which gave him a mighty throb, partly of horror 
and partly of loyal satisfaction. " After all, it is only a 
species of surgical operation," he thought, and proceeded 
to reload, according to the best of his speed and knowl- 
edge. Suddenly he staggered under a violent impulse, 
precisely as if a strong man had jerked him by the coat- 
collar, and putting his hand to the spot, he found that a 
bullet (nearly spent in penetrating the palisades) had 
punched its way through the cloth. This was the nearest 
approach to a wound that he received during the engage- 
ment. 

Meantime things were going badly with the assailants. 
Disorganized by the night, cut up by the musketry, de- 
P 



338 Miss Raven el's Coxveksion 

moralized by tlie incessant screaming and bursting of the 
one-hundred-pound shells, unable to force the palisade or 
cross the ditch, they rapidly lost heart, threw themselves 
on the earth, took refuge behind the levees, dropped away 
in squads through the covering gloom, and were, in short, 
rej^ulsed. In the course of thirty minutes, all that yelling 
swarm had disappeared, except the thickly scattered dead 
and wounded, and a few well-covered stragglers, who con- 
tinued to fire as sharpshooters. 

" We have whipped them !" shouted Colburne. " Hurrah 
for the old flag !" 

The garrison caught the impulse of enthusiasm, and 
raised yell on yell of triumph. Even the wounded ceased 
to feel their anguish for a moment, and uttered a feeble 
shout or exclamation of gladness. The Doctor bethought 
himself of his daughter, and hurried back to the brick 
building to inform her of the victory. She threw herself 
into his arms with a shriek of delight, and almost in the 
same breath reproached him sharply for leaving her so long. 

" My dear, it can't be more than five minutes," said the 
Doctor, fully believing what he said, so rapidly does time 
pass in the excitement of successful battle. 

" Is it really over ?" she asked. 

" Quite so. They are rushing for the woods like pelted 
frogs for a puddle. They are going in all directions, as 
though they were bound for Cowes and a market. I don't 
believe they will ever get together again. "We have 
gained a magnificent victory. It is the grandest moment 
of my life." 

" Is Captain Colbume unhurt ?" was Lillie's next ques- 
tion. 

" Perfectly. We haven't lost a man — except one," he 
added, bethinking himself of the poor fellow whose gun he 
had borrowed. 

" Oh !" she sighed, with a long inspiration of relief, for 
the life of her brave defender had become precious in her 
eyes. 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 339 

The Doctor had absent-mindedly brought his rifle into 
the room, and Tras much troubled with it, not caring to 
shock Lillie with the fact that he had been personally en- 
gaged. He held it behmd his back with one hand, after 
the manner of a naughty boy who has been nearly de- 
tected in breakmg windows, and who still has a brickbat 
in his fist which he dares not show, and cannot find a 
chance to hide. He was slyly settmg it against the wall 
when she discovered it. 

" What !" she exclaimed. " Have you been fighting, 
too ? You dear, darlmg, wicked papa !" 

She kissed him violently, and then laughed hysterically. 

" I thought you were up to some mischief all the while," 
she added. " You were gone a dreadful time, and I 
screaming and looking out for you. Papa, you ought to 
be ashamed of yourself" 

" I have reason to be. I am the most disgraceful igno- 
ramus. I don't know how to load my gun. I think I 
must have put the bullet in wrong end first. The ramrod 
won't go down." 

" Well, put it away now. You don't want it any more. 
You must take care of the wounded." 

" Wounded !" exclaimed the Doctor. " Are there any 
wounded ?" 

" Oh dear ! several of them. I forgot to tell you. They 
are to bring them m here. I am going to our trunks to 
get some Imen." 

The Doctor was quite astonished to find that there were 
a number of wounded ; for havmg escaped unhurt himself, 
he concluded that every one else had been equally lucky, 
exceptmg, of course, the man who lay dead in the gulley. 
As he laid down his gun he heard a groaning in one 
corner, and went softly towards it, expecting to find one 
of the victims of the conflict. Lifting up one end of a 
blanket, and lighting a match to dispel the dimness, he be- 
held the prostrate Gazaway, his face beaded with the per- 
spiration of heat and terror. 



340 Miss Ravexel's Coxversiox 

"Oh !" said the Doctor, Avith perhaps the merest twang 
of contempt in the exclamation. 

" My God, Doctor !" groaned the Major. "I tell you 
I'm a sick man. I've got the most awful bilious colic that 
ever a feller had. If you can give me something, do, for 
God's sake !" 

" Presently," answered Ravenel, and j^aid no more at- 
tention to him. 

" If I could have discharged my gun," he afterwards 
said, in relatmg the circumstance, " I should have been 
tempted to rid him of his bilious colic by a surgical opera- 
tion." 

The floor of the little building was soon cumbered with 
half a dozen injured men, and dampened with their blood. 
The Doctor had no instruments, but he could probe with 
his finger and dress with wet bandages. Lillie aided him, 
pale at the sight of blood and suffering, but resolute to do 
what she could. When Colburne looked in for a moment, 
she nodded to him with a sweet smile, which was meant 
to thank him for havmg defended her. 

" I am glad to see you at this work," he said. " There 
will be more of it." 

" AV^hat ! More fightmg !" exclaimed the Doctor, look- 
ing up from a shattered finger. 

" Oh yes. We mustn't hope that they will be satisfied 
w^ith one assault. There is a suj^porting column, of course ; 
and it will come on soon. But do you stay here, whatever 
happens. You will be of most use here." 

He had scarcely disappeared w-hen the w^hole air be- 
came horribly vocal, as, with a long-drawn, screaming bat- 
tle-j^ell, the second brigade of Texans moved to the assault, 
and the " thunders of fort and fleet " replied. Taking the 
same direction as before, but pushmg forward with superior 
solidity and energy, the living wave swe2;)t up to the forti- 
fications, howled along the course of the ditch, and surged 
clamorously agamst the palisade. Colburne was there 
with half the other officers and half the strenofth of the 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 341 

garrison, silent for the most part, but fighting desperately. 
Suddenly there was a shout of, " Back ! back ! They are 
coming round the palisade." 

There was a stumblmg rush for the cover of the fortifica- 
tion 23roper ; and there the last possible Ime of defence was 
established instmctively and in a moment. Officers and 
men dropped on their knees behind the low bank of earth, 
and continued an irregular, deliberate fire, each discharg- 
ing his piece as fast as he could load and aim. The gar- 
rison was not sufficient to form a continuous rank along 
even this single front, and on such portions of the works 
as were protected by the ditch, the soldiers were scattered 
almost as sparsely as sentinels. Xothing saved the place 
from being carried by assault except the fact that the as- 
sailants were unprovided with scaling ladders. The ad- 
venturous fellows who had flanked the palisade, rushed to 
the gate, and gave entrance to a torrent of tall, lank men 
in butternut or dirty grey clothing, their bronzed faces 
flushed with the excitement of suj^posed victory, and their 
yells of exultation drowning for a minute the sharj) out- 
cries of the wounded, and the rattle of the musketry. But 
the human billow was met by such a fatal discharge that 
it could not come over the rampart. The foremost dead 
fell across it, and the mass reeled backward. Unfortunately 
for the attack, the exterior slope was full of small knolls 
and gullies, beside being cumbered with rude shanties, of 
four or five feet in height made of bits of board, and shelter 
tents, which had served as the quarters of the garrison. 
Behind these covers scores if not hundreds sought refuge, 
and could not be induced to leave them for a second 
charge. They commenced with musketry, and from that 
moment the great peril was over. The men behind the 
rampart had only to lie quiet, to shoot every one who. 
approached or rose at full length, and to wait till daylight 
should enable the gunboats to open with grape. In vam 
the rebel officers, foreseeing this danger, strove with voice 
and example to raise a yell and a rush. The impetuosity 



342 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

of the attack had died out, and coukl not be brouir-ht to 
life. 

" They don't like the way it works," laughed the Louis- 
iana lieutenant in high glee. " They ain't on it so much as 
they was." 

For an hour the exchange of close musketry continued, 
the strength of the assailants steadily decreasing, as some 
fell wounded or dead, and others stole out of the fital en- 
closure. Daylight showed more than a hundred fallen 
and nearly two hundred unharmed men ; all lying or 
crouching among the irregularities of that bloody and bul- 
let-torn glacis. Several voices cried out, " Stoj) firing. We 
surrender." 

An officer m a lieutenant-colonel's uniform repeated these 
words, waving a white handkerchief Then rising from 
his refuge he walked up to the rampart, leaped upon it, 
and stared in amazement at the thm line of defenders, 
soldiers and negroes intermingled. 

" By ! I won't surrender to such a handful," he 

exclaimed. " Come on, boys !" 

A sergeant immediately shot him through the breast, 
and his body fell inside of the works. Not a man of those 
whom he had appealed to followed him ; and only a few 
rose from their covers, to crouch again as soon as they 
witnessed his fate. The fire of the gan'ison reopened yith 
violence, and soon there were new cries of, " We surren- 
der," with a waving of hats and handkerchiefs. 

" What shall we do ?" asked the Louisiana lieutenant. 
" They are three to our one. If we let the d — n scoun- 
drels in, they will knock us down and take our guns away 
from us." 

Colburne rose and called out, " Do you surrender?" 

"Yes, .yes," from many voices, and a frantic agitation of 
broadbrims. 

" Then throw your arms into the river." 

First one, then another, then several together obeyed 
this order, until there was a general rush to the bank, and 



Feo:m Secession to Loyalty. 343 

a prodigious splashing of double-barreled guns and bowie- 
knives in the yellow water. 

" Xow sit down and keep quiet," was Colburne's next 
command. 

They obeyed with the utmost composure. Some filled 
their pipes and fell to smokmg ; others produced corn-cake 
from their havresacks and breakfasted ; others busied them- 
selves ^^th proppmg^ tlie wounded and bringing them 
water. Quite a number crawled into the deserted shanties 
and went to sleep, apparently worn out with the night's 
work and watching. A low murmur of conversation, 
chiefly concerning the events of the assault, and not spe- 
cially gloomy in its tenor, gradually mingled mth the 
oToans'^of the wounded. When the gate of the palisade 
was closed upon them and refastened, they laughed a 
little at the idea of bemg shut up in a pen like so many 
chickens. * 

" Trapped, by Jimmy !" said one. " You must excuse 
me if I don't know how to behave myself I never was 
cotched before. I'm a wild man of the pararies, I am." ^ 
On all sides the attack had failed, with heavy loss to 
the assailants. The heroic little garrison, scarcely one 
hundred and fifty strong, mcludmg oflicers, camp-followers 
and negroes (all of whom had fought), had captured more 
than it's own numbers, and killed and wounded twice 
its own numbers. The fragments of the repulsed brigades 
had fallen back beyond the range of fire, and even the 
semicircle of pickets had almost disappeared in the 
woods. The prisoners and wounded were taken on board 
the o;imboats, and forwarded to New Orleans by the first 
transport down the river: As the last of the unfortunates 
left the shore Colburne remarked. " I wonder if those poor 
fellojvs will ever get tired of fightmg for an institution 
which only prolongs their own mferiority." 

" I am afraid not— I am afraid not," said the Doctor. 
« Not, at least, until they are whipped into reason. ^ They 
have been educated under -an awful tyranny of prejudice, 



344 Miss Rayexel's Coxveesion 

conceit, and ignorance. They are more incapable of per- 
ceiving their own true interests than so many brutes. I 
have had the honor to be acquamted with dogs who were 
their superiors in that respect. In Tennessee, on one of 
my excursions, I stopi)ed over night in the log-cabin of a 
farmer. It Avas rather chilly, and I wanted to poke the 
fire. There was no poker. ' Ah,' said the farmer, ' Bose 
has run off -v^ith the poker again.' He went out for a mo- 
ment, and came in with the article. I asked him if his dog 
had a fancy for pokers. ' Xo,' said he ; ' but one of my 
boys once burnt the critter's nose Avith a hot poker ; and 
ever since then he hides it every time that he coiSes across 
it. We know whar to find it. He allays puts it under 
the house and kivers it up with leaves. It's curous,' said 
he, * to watch him go at it, snufiing to see if it is hot, and 
picking it up and sidlmg off as sly as a horse-thief He 
has an awful bad conscience about it. Perhaps yen noticed 
that when you asked for the poker, Bose he got up and 
travelled.' — Xow, you see, the dog knew what had burned 
him. But these poor besotted creatures don't know that 
it is slavery which has scorched their stupid noses. They 
have no idea of getting rid of their hot poker. They are 
fighting to keep it." 

When it had become certain that the fighting was quite 
over. Major Gazaway reappeared in public, complaining 
much of internal pains, but able to dictate and sigh a pom- 
pous ofiicial report of his victory, in which he forgot to 
mention the colic or the name of Captain Colburne. Dur- 
ing the following night the flare of widespread fires against 
the sky showed that the enemy were still in the neighbor- 
hood ; and negroes who stole in from the swamps reported 
that the country was " cram full o' rebs, way up beyon' 
Mars Ravenel's plantashum." 

" You won't be able to reoccupy your house for a long 
time, I fear," said Colburne. 

" il^o," sighed the Doctor. " My experiment is over. I 
must get back to Xew Orleans." 



FKOii Secessioj^ to Loyalty. 345 

" And I must go to Port Hudson, I shall be forgiven, 
I presume, for not reporting back to the hospital." 

Such ^vas the defence of Fort Wmthrop, one of the most 
gallant feats of the \var. Those days are gone by, and 
there will be no more like them forever, at least, not in our 
forever. Xot very long ago, not more than two hours 
before this ink dried upon tlie paper, the author of the pres- 
ent history was sittmg on the edge of a basaltic cliff which 
overlooked a wide expanse of fertile earth, flourishing 
villages, the spires of a city, and, beyond, a shming sea 
flecked with the full-blown sails' of peace and prosperity. 
From the face of another basaltic cliff two miles distant, 
he saw a white globule of smoke dart a little way upward, 
and a minute afterwards heard a dull, deep jpum ! of ex- 
plodmg gunpowder. Quarrymen there were blasting out 
rocks from which to build hives of industry and happy 
family homes. But the sound reminded him of the roar 
of artillery ; of the thunder of those signal guns which used 
to j)resage battle ; of the alarums which only a few months 
previous were a command to him to mount and ride into 
the combat. Then he thought, almost with a feeling of 
sadness, so strange is the human heart, that he had prob- 
ably heard those clamors, uttered in mortal earnest, for 
the last time. Xever again, perhaps, even should he live 
to the age of threescore and ten, would the shriek of grape- 
shot, and the crash of shell, and the multitudinous whiz 
of musketry be a part of his life. ^NTevermore would he 
hearken to that charging yell which once had stirred his 
blood more fiercely than the sound of trumpets : the South- 
ern battle-yell, full of howls and yelpmgs as of brute 
beasts rushing hilariously to the fray : the long-sustained 
Xorthern yell, all human, but none the less relentless and 
stern ; nevermore the one nor the other. Xo more charges 
of cavalry, rushing through the dust of the distance ; no 
more answering smoke of musketry, veiling unshaken 
lines and squares ; no more colmnns of smoke, piling high 
above deafening batteries. Xo more groans of wounded, 
P2 



346 Miss Raven el's Conveesion 

nor sliouts of victors over i)ositions carried and banners 
captured, nor reports of triumphs which saved a nation 
from disappearing off the face of the eartli. After thinking 
of these tlmigs for an hour together, ahnost sadly, as I 
have said, he walked back to his home ; and read with in- 
terest a paper which prattled of to-s\Ti elections, and adver- 
tised corner-lots for sale ; and decided to make a kid-gloved 
call in the evening, and to go to church on the morrow. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

DOMESTIC HAPPIXESS, IX SPITE OF ADVEKSE CIKCUM- 
STAXCES. 

Whex Colburne reached Port Hudson, it had capitu- 
lated ; the stars and stripes were flying in place of the stars 
and bars. With a smile of triumph he climbed the steep 
path which zig-zagged up the almost precipitous breast — 
earth changing into stone — of the gigantic bluff which 

formed the river front of the fortress. At the summit was 

» 

a plateau of nearly three-quarters of a mile in diameter, 
verdant with turf and groves, and pleasantly rolling in 
surface. He had never been here before ; he and twelve 
thousand others had tried to come here on the 27th of 
May, but had failed ; and he paused to take a long look at 
the spot and its surroundings. ISTot a sign of fortification 
w^as visible, except five or six small semi-lunes of earth at 
difierent points along the edge of the bluff, behind which 
were mounted as many monstrous guns, some smooth-bore, 
some rifled. Solid shot from these giants had sunk the 
Mississippi, and crippled all of Farragut's fleet but two in 
his audacious rush up the river. Shells from them had 
flown clean over the bluff, and sought out the farthest 
camps of Banks's army, burstmg with a sonorous, hollow 
thimder which seemed to shake earth and atmosphere. On 
the land side the longj lines of earthworks wliich had so 



From Secession to Loyalty. 347 

steadily and bloodily repulsed our columns were all below 
the line of sight, hidden by the undulations of the ground, 
or by the forest. The turf was torn and pitted by the 
bombardments ; two-hundred-pound shells, thrown by the 
long rifles of the fleet, lay here and there, some m fragments, 
some unexploded ; the church, the store, and half a dozen 
houses, which constituted the village, Avere more or less 
shattered. The bullets of the Union sharpshooters had 
reached as far as here, and had even gone quite over and 
fallen into the Mississippi. A gaunt, dirty woman told 
Colburne that on the spot where he stood a soldier of the 
garrison' had been killed by a chance rifle-ball while drink- 
ing a glass of beer. Leaving*his cicerone, he joined a 
j)arty of officers who were lounging in the shade of a 
tree, and inquired for the residence of Colonel Carter. 

" Here you are," ansAvered a lieutenant, pointing to 
the nearest house. " Can I do any thing for you, Captam ? 
I am his aid. I wouldn't advise you to call on him un- 
less you have something very particular to say. Every 
body has been celebratmg the surrender, and the Colonel 
isn't exactly ui a state for business." 

Colburne hesitated ; but he had letters from Carter's 
wife and father-in-law, and of course he must see him, 
drunk or sober. At that moment he heafd a voice that 
he recognized ; a voice that had demanded and obtained 
what he had not dared to ask for — a voice that, as he 
well knew, she longed for as the sweetest of earth's music. 

" Hi ! hi !" said the Colonel, making his appearance upon 
the unpainted, war^oed, paralytic *rerandah of his dwell- 
ing. Through the low-cut window from which he issued 
could be seen a sloppy table, with bottles and glasses, and 
the laughing faces of two bold-browed, slatternly girls, 
the one seventeen, the other twenty. He had on an old 
dressing-gown, fastened around Ms waist with a sword- 
belt, and his trousers hung loose about the heels of a pair 
of dii'ty slippers. His face was flushed and his eyes blood- 
shot ; he was winliing, leering, and slightly unsteady. 



348 Miss R a v e x e l ' s C o x v e e s i o x 

Colburne slunk behind a tree, humiliated for his sake, and 
ready to rave or weep as he thought of the young wife 
to whom this man's mere name was a comfort. 

" Hi ! hi !" repeated Carter. " Where are all these 
fellows?" 

The aid advanced and saluted. " Do you want any one, 
Colonel ?" 

" Xo, no. Don't want any one. What for ? Celebrate 
it alone. Man enough for it." 

Presently catching the eve of another officer, he again 
chuckled, "Hi! hi!" 

The person thus addressed approached and saluted. 

" I say," observed the Cfolonel, " I got letters last night 
addressed General Carter — Brigadier-General John T. 
Carter. What do you think of that ?" 

" I hope it means j^romotion," said the officer. " Colonel, 
do you think we shall go into quarters ?" 

" No, no ; no go into quarters ; no go into quarters 
for us. Played out — quarters. In ole, ole times, after 
fought a big battle, used to stop — look out good quarters, 
and stop. But now nix curn rouse the stop." 

Back he reeled through the window, to sit down to his 
whiskey and water, amidst the laughter and rather scorn- 
ful blandishmeuts of the Secession lasses. 

Nevertheless I must see him, decided Colburne. " Ask 
Colonel Carter," he said to an orderly, "if he can re- 
ceive Captain Colburne, who brings letters and messages 
from Mrs. Carter." 

In a minute the man /etumed, saluted and said, " The 
Colonel sends his compliments and asks you to walk in, 
sii'." 

When Colburne entered Carter's presence he found him 
somewhat sobered in manner ; and although the bottles 
and glasses were still on the table, the bold-faced girls had 
disappeared. 

" Captain, sit down. Take glass plain whiskey," were 



FEOii Secession to Loyalty. 



349 



the Colonel's first words. " Good for your arm— good for 
every thing. Glad you got off without a— cut-off " 

He would have used the word amputation, only he 
knew that his tongue could not manage it. 

" Thank you, Colonel. Here are two letters, sir, from 
Mrs. Carter and the Doctor. Just as I was leaving, when 
it was too lateto write, Mrs. Carter charged me to say to 
you that her father had decided to go at once to Xew 
Orleans, so that your letters must be directed to her 
there." 

" I understand," answered Carter slowly and ^dth the 
solemnity of enfi)rced sobriety. "Thank you." 

He broke open his wife's letter and glanced hurriedly 
through it. 

" Captain, I'm 'bliged to you," he said. « You've saved 
my wife from im-prisn— ment. She's 'bliged to you. 
You're noble fellah. I charge myself with your pro— 
mosh'n." 

It was so painful to see him struggle in that humiliating 
manner to appear sober, that Colburne cut short the inter- 
view by pretexting a necessity of reporting immediately 
to his regiment. 

"Come to-morrow," said Carter. "All right to-morrow. 
Business to-morrow. To-day — celebrash'n." 

The Colonel, although not aware of the fact, was far ad- 
vanced m the way of the drunkard. He had long smce 
passed the period when it was necessary to stimulate his 
appetite for si^irituous liquors by sugar, lemon-peel, bitters 
and other condiments. He had lived through the era of 
fancy drinks, and entered the cycle of confirmed plam 
whiskey. At the ^S'ew Orleans bars he did not call for-the 
fascinating mixtures for which those establishments are 
famous; he ran his mind's eye wearily over the milk- 
punches, claret -punches, sherry-cobblers, apple -toddies, 
torn - and -jernes, brandy -slmgs, and gm - cocktails ; then 
said in a slightly hoarse hasso profondo, " Give me sorue 
plain whiskey." He had swallowed a great deal of strong 



350 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

drink during the siege, and since the surrender he had not 
known a sober Arakiiig moment. His appetite was poor, 
especially at breakfast. His face was constantly flushed, 
his body had an api>earance of being bloated, and his hands 
were tremulous. Xevertheless, obedient to a delusion 
common to men of his habits, he did not consider himself 
a hard drmker. He acknowledged that he ^t intoxicated 
at times and thoroughly, but he thought not more fre- 
quently or thoroughly than the average of good fellows. 
He was kept in countenance by a great host of comrade 
inebriates in the old service and in the new, in the navy 
as well as in the army, in high civilian position and at the 
front, in short throughout almost every grade and class of 
American society. He could point to men whose talents 
and public virtues the nation honors, and say, " They get 
as drunk as I do, and as often." He could point to such 
cases on this side of the water and on the other. Does 
anybody remember the orgies of the liri clari et venera- 
hili, who gathered at Boston to celebrate the obsequies 
of John Quincy Adams, and at Charleston to lament over 
the remains of John C. Calhonfi ? Does anybody remem- 
ber the dinner speeches on board of Sir Charles Xapier's 
flagship, just before the Baltic fleet set out for Cronstadt ? 
Latterly this vice has increased upon us in America, thanks 
to the reaction agamst the Maine liquor law, thanks to the 
war. Perhaps it is for the best ; perhaps it is a good thing 
that hundreds of leading Americans and hundreds of thou- 
sands of led Americans should be drunkards ; it may be, 
in some incomprehensible manner, for the interest of hu- 
manity. To my unenlightened mmd the contrary seems 
provable ; but I am liable to error, and sober at this mo- 
ment of writmg : a pint of whiskey might illuminate me to 
see behind the veil. It is wonderful to me, a member of 
the ofuzzlins: Ang^lo-Saxon race, that the abstemious Latm 
nations have not yet got the better of us. Nothing can 
account for it, unless it is that spiritual, and intellectual, 
and political tyranny more than counterbalance the advant- 



Feom Secession to Loyalty-. 351 

ages of temperance. Booziiig John Bull and Jonathan 
have kept an upper hand because then- geographical con- 
ditions have enabled them to remain free ; and on their 
impregnable islands and separated quarters of the globe 
they have besotted themselves for centuries with political 
impunity. 

Xext day, as Carter had promised, he was able to at- 
tend to business. His first act was to issue an order as- 
signing Captain Colburne to his staff as " Acting Assistant 
Adjutant-General, to be obeyed and respected accord- 
ingly." When the young officer reported for duty he 
found the Colonel sober, but stern and gloomy with the 
woful struggle against his maniacal appetite, and shaky 
in body ^"ith the result of the bygone debauch. 

" Captain," said he, " I wish you would do me the favor 
to join my mess. I want a temperance man. Xo more 
whiskey for one while ! — By the way, I owe you so 
much I never can repay you for saving my wife from those 
savages. If admiration is any reward, you have it. My 
wife and her father both overflow ^"ith your praises." 

Colburne bowed and replied that he had done no more 
than his duty as an officer and a gentleman. 

" I am glad it was you who did it," rejDlied the Colonel. 
" I don't know any other person to whom I would so will- 
ingly be under such an obligation." 

It was certainly rather handsome in Carter that he should 
cheerfully permit his wife to feel admiration and gratitude 
towards so handsome a young man as Colburne. 

" That infernal poltroon of a Gazaway !" he broke out 
presently. " I ought to have cashiered him long ago. I'll 
have him court-martialed and shot. By the way, he was 
perfectly well when you saw him, wasn't he ?" 

" I should think so. He loolied like a champion of the 
heavy weights. The mere reflection of his biceps was 
enough to break a looking-glass." 

" I thought he had run away from the service altogether. 
He came up to the regiment once during the siege. The 



352 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

officers kicked him out, and he disappeared. Got in at 
some hospital, it seems — By (tliis and that) three quarters 
of the hospitals are a disgrace to the service. They are 
asylums for shirks and cowards. I wish you wouhl make 
it your first husmess to inform yourself of all Gazaway's 
sneakings — misbehavior in presence of the enemy, you un- 
derstand — violation of the fifty-second article of war — and 
draw up charges against him. I want charges that A^'ill 
shoot him." 

Here I may as well anticipate the history of the Major. 
When the charges against him were forwarded, he got 
wind of them, and, malting a personal appeal to high au- 
thority, pleaded hard for leave to resign on a surgeon's 
certificate of physical disability. The request was granted 
for some mysterious reason, probably of political origin ; 
and this vulgar poltroon left the army, and the department 
with no oflicial stigma on his character. On reaching 
Barataria he appealed to his faithful old herd of followers 
and assailed Colonel Carter and Caj^tain Colburne as a 
couple of aristocrats who would not let a working man 
hold a commission. 

Two days subsequent to Colburne's arrival at Port 
Hudson the brigade sailed to Fort Winthrop and from 
thence followed the trail of the retreating Texans as far as 
Thibodeaux, where Carter established his head-quarters. 
A week later, Avhen the rebels were all across the Atcha- 
falaya and quiet once more prevailed in the Lafourche In- 
terieur, he sent toXew Orleans for his wife, and established 
her in a pretty cottage, with orange trees and a garden, in 
the outskirts of the little French American city. The 
Doctor's plantation house had been burned, his agricultural 
implements destroyed, and his cattle eaten or driven away 
by the rebels, who put a devout zeal into the task of lay- 
ing waste every spot which had been desecrated by the 
labor of manumitted bondsmen. His grand exi^eriment 
of reorganizing southern industry being thus knocked on 
the head, he had applied for and obtained his old position 



From Secession to Loyalty. 353 

in the liospital. Lillie wept at parting from him, but never- 
theless flew to live with her husband. 

The months which she passed at Thibodeaux were the 
happiest that she had ever known. The Colonel did not 
drink ; was Avith her every moment that he could spare 
from his duties ; was strongly loving and ncfisily cheer- 
ful, like a doting dragoon as he was ; abounded with 
attentions and presents, bouquets from the garden, and 
dresses from New Orleans ; was uneasy to make her 
comfortable, and exhibit his affection. The whole brigade 
knew her, and delighted to look at her, drilling badly in 
consequence of inattention when she cantered by on horse- 
back. The sentinels, when not watched by the lieutenant 
of the guard, gratified themselves and amused her with the 
courteous pleasantry of presenting arms as she passed. 
Such officers as were aristocratic enough or otherwise for- 
tunate enough to obtain a bowing acquaintance, still more 
to be invited to her receptions and dinner parties, flattered 
her by their evident admiration and devotion. A second 
lieutenant who once had a chance to shorten her stirrup 
leather, alluded to it vain-gloriously for weeks afterward, 
and received the nickname from his envious comrades 
of " Acting Assistant Flunkey General, Second Brigade, 
First Division, Nmeteenth Army Corps." It made no 
difference with the happy youth ; he had shortened the 
stirrup of the bemg who was every body's admiration ; 
and from his pedestal of good fortune he smiled serenely 
at detraction. Lillie was the queen, the goddess, the only 
queen and goddess, of»the Lafourche Interieur. Li the 
whole district there was no other lady, except the wives 
of two captains, who occupied a^ much lower heaven, 
and some bitter Secessionists, who kept aloof from the 
army, and were besides wofully scant in their graces and 
wardrobe. The adulation which she received did not come 
from the highest human source, but it was unmixed, un- 
shared, whole-souled, constant. She thought it was the 
most delightful thing conceivable to keep house, to be mar- 



354 Miss R a vex el's Cox version 

ried, to be tlie wife of Colonel Carter. If she had been 
twenty-iive or thirty years old, a veteran of society, I 
should be inclmed to laiio-h at her for the child-like pleas- 
ure she took in her conditions and surroundings ; but only 
twenty, hardly ever at a party, married without a wed- 
ding, mari-ied less than six months, I sympathise T\'ith her, 
rejoice with her, in her unaccustomed intoxication of hap-' 
pmess. It was curious to see how slowly she got accus- 
tomed to her husband. For some time it seemed to her 
amazmg and almost incredible that any man should call 
himself by such a title, and claim the familiarity and the 
rights which it implied. She frequently blushed at en- 
countering him, as if he were still a lover. If she met the 
bold gaze of his wide-open brown eyes, she trembled with- 
an inward thrill, and wanted to say, " Please don't look at 
me so !" He could tyrannize over her with his eyes ; he 
could make her come to him and try to hide from them by 
nestling her head on his shoulder ; he used to wonder at 
his power, and gratify liis vanity as well as his affection 
by using it. 

An officer of the staff, who believed in the marvels 
of the so-called psychologists, observed the emotion awak- 
ened in the wife by the husband's gaze, and mentioned it 
to Colburne as a proof of the actuality of magnetico-spiri- 
tualistic influence. The Captain was not convinced, and 
felt a strong desire to box the oflicer's ears. What -right 
had the fellow to make the movements and inclinations of 
that woman's soul an object of curiosity and a topic of 
conversation? He oflercd no re^ly to the remark, and 
glared m a way which astonished the other, who had the 
want of delicacy common to men of one idea. Colburne 
divmed Mrs. Carter too well to adopt the magnetic theory. 
Judging her nature out of the depths of his own, he be- 
lieved that love was the true and all-sufficient explanation 
of her nervousness under the gaze of her husband. It was 
a painful belief: firstly, for the very natural reason that 
he was not himself the cause of the emotion ; secondly, be- 



From Secession to Loyaltt. 355 

cause he feared that the Colonel might be a blight to the 
delicate aftection which clasped him with its tendrils. 

His relations with both were the most familiar, the 
frankest, the kmdest. \yhen Carter could not ride out 
with his wife, he detailed Colburne for the agreeable duty. 
When Mrs. Carter made a visit to headquarters, and did 
not find the Colonel there, she asked for the adjutant-gen- 
eral. The friend sent the lady bouquets by the hands of 
the husband. Carter knew to some extent how Colburne 
adored Lillie, but he had a fine confidence in the purity 
and humility of the adoration, and he trusted her to him 
as he would have trusted her to her father. The Captain 
was not a member of the family : the cottage was too far 
from his ofiicial duties to allow of that ; but he dined there 
every Sunday, and called there every other evenmg. Rav- 
onel's letters to one or the other, were the common prop- 
erty of both. If Lillie did not hear from her father twice 
a Aveek, and therefore became anxious about him, because 
it was the yellow fever season, or because of the broad 
fiict that man is mortal, she applied to Colburne as well as 
'to her husband for comforting suggestions and assurances. 
In company ^vith some chance fourth, these three had the 
gayest evenings of whist and euchre. Lillie never looked 
at her cards without excitmg the laughter of the two men, 
by declarmg that she hadn't a thing in her hand — posi- 
tively not a single thing — couldn't take a trick — not one. 
She talked perpetually, told what honors she held, stole 
glances at her opponent's hand, screamed with delight 
when she won, and in short violated all the venerable rules 
of whist. She forgot the run of the cards, trumped her 
partner's trick, led diamonds when he had trashed on 
hearts, led the queen when she held ace and kmg. To her 
trumps she held on firmly, never showing them till the last 
moment, and scolding her partner if he called them out. 
She mvariably claimed the deal at the close of each hand, 
thereby gettmg it oftener than she had a right to it. But 
she might do what she pleased, sure that those who played 



356 Miss Rayenel's Conversion 

with her would not complam. Was she not queen and 
goddess, Semiraniis and Juno ? Who would rebel, even 
in the slightest particular, against the dommion of a hap- 
piness which overflowed in such gayety, such confidence 
in all around, such unchangeable amiability ? 

She was in superb health of body, and spirit without a 
pam, or a sickly moment, or a cloud of forebodmg, or a 
thrill of pettishness. A physical calmness so deliciously 
placid as to remmd one of that spiritual peace which passeth 
understandmg, bore her gently through the summer, 
smilmg on all beholders. Do you remember the serene 
angel in the first picture of Cole's Voyage of Life, who 
stands at the helm of the newly launched bark, guiding it 
down the gentle river ? It is the mother voyaging with 
her child, whether before its birth or after. Just now she 
looked much like this angel, only more frolicsomely happy. 
Her blue eyes sparkled with the lustre of health so perfect 
that the mere consciousness of a life was a pleasure. Her 
cheeks, usually showmg more of the lily than of the rose, 
were so radiant with color that it seemed as if every throb 
of emotion might force the blood through the delicate skin. 
Her arms, neck and shoulders were no longer Dianesque, 
but rounded, columnal, Junonian. It was this novel, this 
almost superwomanly health which gave her such an 
efiiorescence of happuiess, amiability and beauty. 

She had repeatedly hinted to her husband that she had 
a secret to tell him. When he asked what it was she 
l)lushed, laughed at him for the question, and declared 
that he should never know it, that she had no secret at all, 
that she had been joking. Then she wondered that he should 
not guess it ; thought it the strangest thing in the A^'orld 
that he should not know it. At last she made her confes- 
sion : made it to him alone, ^'ith closed doors and in dark- 
ness ; she could no more have told it in the light of day 
than in the presence of a circle. Then for many minutes 
she nestled close to him with wet cheeks and clinguig 
arms, listening eagerly to his assurances of love and devo- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 357 

tion, hungering imappeaseably for them, growmg to him, 
one with him. 

After this Carter treated his wife with increased tender- 
ness. Xothmg that she desired was too good for her, or 
too difficult to get. He sought to check the constant 
exercise which she delighted in, and especially her lono^ 
rides on horseback ; and when with a sweet, laughing wil- 
fulness she defied his authority, he watched her ^^'ith evi- 
dent anxiety. He wrote about it all to her father, and the 
consequence -vras a visit from the Doctor. This combina- 
tion of natural potentates was victorious, and equestrianism 
was given up for walking and tending flowers. At this 
time she had so much afiection to spare that she lavished 
treasures of it, not only on plants, but on birds, cats, dogs, 
and loonies. Here Colburne drifted into the circle of her 
sympathies. He was fond of pets, especially of weak ones, 
for instance liking cats better than dogs, and liking them 
all the more because most people abused and, as he con- 
tended, misunderstood them. He had stories to tell of 
felme creatures who had loved him with a love like that 
of Jonathan for David, passing the love of woman. There 
was the abnormally sensitive Tabby who pined away with 
grief when his mother died, and the uncomformably intelli- 
gent Tom who persisted in getting into his trunk when he 
was packing it to go to the wars. 

" I am confident," he asserted, " that Puss knew I was 
about to leave, and wanted to be taken along." 

Lillie did not question it ; all love, even that of animals, 
seemed natural to her ; she felt (not thought) that love 
was the tea?her of the soul. 

By the way, Colburne's passion for pets had deep roots 
in his character. It sprang from his j^itying fondness for 
the weak, and was closely related to his sympathies with 
humanity. It extended to the feebler members of his own 
race, such as children and old ladies, whom he befriended 
and petted whenever he could, and who in return granted 
him their easily-won affection. For flowers, and in gen- 



358 Miss Ravexel's Coxveesiox 

eral for inanimate nature, he cared little ; never could be 
induced to study botany, nor to understand why other 
people should study it ; could not see any human interest 
in it. Geology he liked, because it promised, he thought, 
some knowledge of the early history of man, or at least of 
the grand cosmical preparation for his advent. Astronomy 
was also interesting to him, inasmuch as we may at some 
future time traverse sidereal spaces. The most interesting 
star in the heavens, to his mind, was that one in the 
Pleiades which is supposed to be the central sun of our 
solar and planetary system. Around this all that lie knew 
and all whom he loved revolved, even including Mrs. 
Carter. 

I presume that this summer was the happiest period in 
the life of the Colonel. He was in fine health, tlianks to 
his present temj^erate ways, although they reduced his 
weight so rapidly that his ^ife thought he was sick, and 
became alarmed about him. He frequently recommended 
marriage to Colburne, and they had long conversations on 
the subject; not, however, before 3Irs. Carter, whose en- 
trance always caused the Captain to drop the subject. The 
Telemachus was as fully persuaded of the benefits, hapj^i- 
ness and duty of wedded life as the Mentor, and was much 
the best theorizer. 

" I believe," he said, " that neither man nor woman is a 
complete nature by himself or herself, and that you must 
unite the two m one before humanity is 2)erfected, and, to 
use an Emersonianism, comes full cii'cle. The union is 
aftection, and the consecration of it is marriage. You re- 
member Baron Munchausen's horse ; how he was cut in 
two, and the halves got on very poorly without each 
other ; and how they were reunited with mutual benefit. 
Now this is the history of every bachelor and single 
woman, who having miserably tried for ^ while to go it 
alone, finally coalesce happily in one flesh." 

" By Jove, Captain, you talk like a philosopher," said 
the Colonel. " You ought to write something. You ought 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 359 

to practice, too, according to your preaching. There is 
Mrs. Larue, now. No," he added seriously. " Don't take 
her. She isn't worthy of you. You deserve the best." 

Colburne was a better conversationalist than Carter, ex- 
cej^t in the way of small talk with comparative strangers, 
wherein the hitter's confidence in himself, strengthened by 
habits of authority, gave him an easy freedom. Indeed, 
when Carter was actually brilliant in society, you might 
be sure he had taken five or six plam whiskeys, and that 
five or six more (what a head he sported !) Avould make 
him moderately drunk. If my readers will go back to the 
dmner at Professor Whitewood's, and the evening which 
followed it, and the next day's pic-nic when he was under 
the influence of a whiskey fever, they will see the best that 
he could do as a talker. With regard to subjects which 
implied ever so little scholarship, the Colonel accorded 
the Captain a facile admiration which at first astonished 
the latter. Talking one day of the earth-works of Port 
Hudson, Colburne observed that the Romans threw up 
field fortifications at the close of every day's march, one 
legion standing under arms to protect the workmen, while 
another marched out and formed line of battle to coA^er 
the foragers. If the brigade commander had ever known 
these things, he had evidently forgotten them. He looked 
at Colburne with undisguised astonishment, and set him 
down from that moment as a fellow of infinite erudition. 
This was far from being the only occasion on which the 
volunteer captain was led to notice the narrow professional 
basis from which most of the oflicers of the old service 
talked and thought. Now and then he met a johilosopher 
like Phelps, or a chemist like Franklm ; but in general he 
found them as little versed in the ways and ideas of the 
world as so many old sea-captains ; and even with regard 
to their own profession they were narrowly practical and 
technical. 

Amidst all these pleasant sentiments and conversings, 
Carter had his perplexities and anxieties. He was spend- 



360 Miss Haven el's Conversion 

mcf more than his income, and neither knew how to in- 
crease it, nor how to curtail his outlay. Besides his colo- 
nel's pay he had no resources, unless indeed dunning let- 
ters could be made into negotiable paper. He was not 
very sensitive on the subject of these missives ; and in fact 
he was what most people would consider disgracefully cal- 
lous to their influence ; but he looked forward with alarm 
to a time when his credit might fail altogether, and, his 
wife might suffer for luxuries. 



CHi^TER XXVI. 

CAPTAIN COLBUENE DESCEIBES CAMP AND FIELD LIFE. 

A PEEUSAL of the letters of Colbume has decided me to 
sketch some of the smaller incidents of his experience in 
field service. The masculine hardness of the subject will 
perhaps be an agreeable relief to the reader after the scenes 
of domestic felicity, not very comprehensible or interesting 
to bachelors, w^hich are depicted in the preceding chapter. 

The many minor hardships of a soldier are, I presume, 
hardly suspected by a civilian. As an instance of what an 
oflicer may be called on to endure, even under favorable 
cu'cumstances, when for instance he is not in Libby Prison, 
nor in the starvation camp at Andersonville, I cite the fol- 
lowing passage from the Captam's correspondence : 

" I think that the severest trial I ever had was on a 
transport. The soldiers were on half rations; and ofiicers, 
you know, must feed themselves. We had not been paid 
for four months, and I commenced the voyage, which was 
to last three days, with seventy-five cents in my pocket. 
The boat charged a quarter of a dollar a meal. Such were 
the prospects, and I considered them solemnly. I said to 
myself, ' Dinner will furnish the greatest amount of nourish- 
ment, and I will eat only dmner.' The first day I went 
without breakfast and supper. On th0 morning of the 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 361 

second day I awoke fearfully hungry, aud could not resist 
the folly of breakfast. I had character enough to refuse 
dmner, but by night I was starvmg again. Possibly you 
do not know what it is to be ravening after food. I ate 
supper. That was my last possible meal on board the 
steamer. I had no chance of borrowing, for every one 
was about as poor as myself; and to add to my sufferings, 
the weather was superb and I had a seafarmg appetite. 
I was truly miserable with the degradmg misery of hun- 
ger, thinking like a dog of nothmg but food, when a 
brother officer produced a watermelon which he had saved 
for this supreme moment of destitution. He was charitable 
enough to divide it among four fellow paupers ; and on 
that quarter of a watermelon I lived twenty-six hours, very 
wretchedly. When we landed I was in command of the 
regiment, but could hardly give an order loud enough to 
be heard by the shrunken battalion. Two hours after- 
wards Henry brought me a small plate of stewed onions, 
without meat or bread, not enough to feed a Wethersfield 
baby. I ate them all, too starved to ask Henry whether 
he had anything for himself or not. Shameful, but natural 
Ridiculous as it may seem, I think I can point to this day 
as the only thoroughtly imhappy one in two years of ser- 
vice. It was not .severe suffermg ; but it was so con- 
temptible, so animal ; there was no heroic relief to it. I 
felt like a starved cur, and growled at the Government, 
and thought I wanted to resign. Hunger, like sickness, 
has a depressmg effect on the morale, and changes a young- 
man into his grandmother." 

It appears that these little starvation episodes were of 
frequent recurrence. In one letter he speaks of having 
marched all day on a single biscuit, and in another, writ- 
ten during his Virginia campaign, of having lived for 
eighteen hours on green apples. He often alluded with 
pride to the hardihood of soul which privations and dan- 
gers had given to the soldiers. 

" Our men are not heroes in battle alone," he writes. 

Q 



362 Miss Ravenel's Coxveksion 

"Three months without shelter, drenched by rain or 
scorched by the sun, tormented by mosquitoes, tainted 
with fever, shaking with the ague, they appear stoically 
indifferent to all hardships but their lack of tobacco. Out 
of the four hundred men whom we brought to this poisonous 
hole [Brashear City], forty are dead and one hundred and 
sixty are in hospital. We can hear their screams a mile 
away as they go into the other world in their chariots of 
delirium. The remainder, half sick themselves, thin and 
yellow ghosts in ragged uniforms, crawl out of their di- 
minutive shanties and go calmly to their duties without 
murmuring, without a desertion. What a scattering there 
would be hi a Xew Ens^land villacje, in which one tenth 
of the inhabitants should die in six weeks of some local 
disease ! Yet these men are New Englanders, only tem- 
pered to steel by hardships, by discipline, by a profound 
sense of duty. How I have seen them march with blistered 
and bleeding feet ! march all night after having fought all 
day ! march when every step was a crucifixion ! Oh, 
these noblemen of nature, our American common soldiers ! 
In the face of suffering and of death they are my equals ; 
and while I exact their obedience, I accord them my re- 
spect." 

The mud of Louisiana apjjears to have been as trouble- 
some a footmg, as the famous sacred soil of Virginia. 

" It is the most abominable, sticky, doughy stuff that 
ever was used in any country for earth," he says. " It 
' balls up' on your feet like damp snow on a horse's hoofs. 
I have repeatedly seen a man stop and look behind him, 
under the belief that he had lost off his shoe, when it was 
merely the dropping of the immense mud-pie which had 
formed around his foot. It is like travelling over a land 
of suet saturated with pudding sauce. 

" Just now the raui is coming down as m the days of 
IsToah. I am under a tent, for an unusual mercy ; but the 
drops ai-e driven through the rotten canvass by the wind. 
The ditch outside my dwelling is not deep enough to carry 



From Secession to Loyalty. 363 

oft^ all the water which runs into it, and a small stream is 
stealmg under my bedding and formmg a puddle in the 
centre of my floor. But I don't care for this ; — I know 
that my rubber-blanket is a good one : the maiu nuisance 
is that my interior will be muddy. By night I expect to 
be in a new tent, enlarged and elevated by a siding of 
planks, so that I shall have a promenade of eight feet 
in length sheltered from the weather. I only fear that the 
odor will not be agreeable ; for the planks were plundered 
from the molasses-vats of a sugar-mill and are saturated 
with treacle ; not sticky, you understand, but quite too 
saccharinely fragrant." 

It appears that the army, even in field service, is not 
altogether barren of convivialities. In the letter following 
the one, quoted above he says, " My new dwelling has 
been warmed. I had scarcely taken possession of it when 
a brother officer, half seas over, and with an inscrutable 
smile on his lips, stalks in and insists upon treating the 
occasion. I cannot prevent it without oflending him, and 
there is no strong reason why I should prevent it. He 
sends to the sutler for two bottles of claret, and then for 
two more, and finishes them, or sees that they are finished. 
It is soon evident that he is crowded full and can't carry 
any more for love, or politeness. At dress parade I do not 
see him out, and learn that he is in his tent, vdth a pros- 
pect of remaining there for the next twelve hours. Yet 
he is a brave, faithful officer, this now groggiest of slee^^ers, 
and generally a very temperate one, so that everybody is 
wondering, and, I am sorry to say, giggling, over his un- 
usual obfuscation." 

In another letter he describes a "jollification by divi- 
sion" on the anniversary of the little victory of Georgia 
Landmg. 

" All the officers, not only of the old brigade but of the 
entire division, were invited to headquarters. Being 
a long Avay from our base, the eatables were limited to 
dried beef, pickles and hard-tack, and the only refreshments 



364 Miss Ravenel's Conveesiox 

to be had in profusion were commissary whiskey and 
martial music. Such a roaring time as there was by mid- 
night in and around the hollow square formed by the liead- 
quarter tents. By dint of vociferations the General was 
driven to make the first speech of a life-time. He confined 
himself chiefiy to reminiscences of our battles, and made a 
very pleasant, rambling kind of talk, most of it, however, 
inaudible to me, who stood on the outside of the circle. 
When he closed, Tom Perkins, our brave and bossy band- 
drummer, roared out, ' General, I couldn't hear much of 
what you said, but I believe what you said was right'." 

" This soldierly profession of faith was followed by three- 
times-three for our commander, everybody joinmg in with- 
out regard to grade of commission. Then Captain Jones 
of our regiment shouted, ' Tenth Barataria ! three cheers for 
our old comrades at Georgia Landmg and everywhere else, 
the Seventy-Fifth Xew York !' and the cheers were given. 
Then Captain Brown of the Seventy Fiftli replied, ' There 
are not many of us Seventy-Fifth left ; but what there are, 
we can meet the occasion ; three cheers for the Tenth Ba- 
rataria !' Then one excited officer roared for Colonel 
Smith, and another howled for Colonel Robinson, and 
another screamed for Colonel Jackson, in consequence of 
which those gentlemen responded with sj^eeches. JSTobody 
seemed to care for what they said, but all hands yelled as 
if it was a bayonet charge. As the fun got fast and furi- 
ous public attention settled on a gigantic, dark-complex- 
ioned officer, stupendously drunk and volcanically up- 
roarious ; and twenty voices united in shoutmg, ' Yan 
Zandt ! Yan Zaudt !' — The great Yan Zandt, smilmg like 
an mtoxicated hy?ena, plunged uncertainly at the crowd, 
and was assisted to the centre of it. There, as if he were 
about to make an oration of an hour or so, he dragged off 
his overcoat, after a struggle worthy of Weller Senior in 
his pursiest days ; then, held up by two friends, in a man- 
ner which reminded me obscurely of Aaron, and Hur sus- 
taining Moses, he stretched out both Iiands, and delivered 



From Secession to Loyalty. 365 

himself as follows. ' G'way fron^ th' front thar ! GVay 
from the front thar ! An' when say g'way from th' front 
—thar ' 

" He probably intended to disperse some musicians and 
contrabands who were grinning at him ; but before he 
could explain himself another drunken gentleman reeled 
against him, vociferating for Colonel Robinson. Van 
Zandt gave way with a gigantic lurch, like that of an over- 
balanced iceberg, which carried him clean out of the circle. 
Somebody brought him his overcoat and held him up while 
he surged mto it. Then he fell over a tent rope and lay 
across it for five minutes, struggling to regain his feet and 
smiling in a manner incomprehensible to the beholder. 
He made no effort to resume his speech, and evidently 
thought that he had finished it to public satisfaction ; but 
he subsequently addressed the General in his tent, request- 
ing, so far as could be understood, that the Tenth might 
be mounted as cavalry. Tom Perkins also staggered into 
the presence of our commander, and made him a pathetic 
address, weeping plentifully over his own maudlin, and 
shakmg hands repeatedly, with the remark, ' General, alio w^ 
rae to take you by the hand.' 

" It was an All Fools' evenmg. For once distinctions of 
rank were abolished. This morning we are subordinates 
again, and the General is our dignified superior ofiicer." 

One of the few amusements of field service seems to con- 
sist in listening to the facetiae of the common soldiers* more 
particularly the irrepressible Hibernians. 

" These Irishmen," he says, " are certainly a droll race 
when you get used to their way of looking at things. My 
twenty-five Pa-ddies have jabbered and joked more since 
they entered the service than my seventy Americans backed 
up by my ten Germans. To give you an idea of how they 
prattle I will try to set down a conversation which I over- 
heard while we were bivouacking on the field of our first 
battle. The dead are buried ; the wounded have been car- 
ried to a temporary hospital ; the pickets are out, watchful, 



3G6 Miss Ravexel's Coxversiox 

we may be sure, "because half- frozen in the keen October' 
wmd ; the men who remam with the colors are sitting up 
around camp fires, their knapsacks, blankets and overcoats 
three miles to the rear. This seems hard measure for 
fellows who have made a twenty-mile march, and gained 
a A'ictory since morning. But my Irishmen are as" jolly as 
ever, blathering and chafiing each other after their usual 
fashion. The butt of the company is Sweeney, a withered 
little animal who walks as if he had not yet thoroughly 
learned to go on his hind legs, a most curious mixture of 
simplicity and humor, an actual Handy Andy. 

' Sweeney,' says one, ' you ought to do the biggest part 
of the fightin'. You ate more'n your share of the rashins.' 

' I don't ate no more rashins than I get,' retorts Sweeney, 
indignant at this stale calumnv. ' I^d like to see the man 
as did.' 

' Oh, you didn't blather so much whin thim shells was 
a-flying about your head.' 

Here Sweeney falls back upon his old and sometimes 
successful dodge of trying to turn the current of ridicule 
npon some one else : 

' Wasn't Mickey Emmett perlite a-comin' across the lot ?' 
he demands. ' I see him bowin' like a monkey on horse- 
back. He was makin' faces as 'ud charrm the head off a 
whalebarry. Mickey, you dodged beautiful.' 

Mickey. Thim shells 'ud make a wooden man dodge. 
Sweeney's the bye for dodgin'. He was a runnin' about 
like a dry pea in a hot shovel. 

Siveeney. That's what me legB was made for. 

Sullivan. Are ye dead, Sweeney? (An old joke which 
I do not understand.) 

Sicecney. An I wud be if I was yer father, for thinkin' 
of the drrunken son I had. 

Sullivan. Did ye see that dead rebel with his oye out ? 

Sweeney. The leftenant ate up all his corn cake while he 
wasn't noticiu'. 

SullivfLn. It was lookin' at Sweeney put his oye out. 



From: Secessiox to Loyalty. 367 

Sweeney. It's lucky for him lie didn't see the pair av us. 

Jonathan. Stop your yawping, you Paddies, and let a 
fellow sleep if he can. You're worse than an acre of tom- 
cats. 

Sullivan. To the divil wid ye! It's a pity this isn't all 
an Oirish company, for the credit of the Captin. 

Touhey. Byes, it's mighty cowld slapin' with niver a 
blanket, nor a wife to one's back. 

Siveeney. I wish a man 'ud ask me to lisht for three years 
more. Wouldn't I knock his head oif ? 

Sullivan. Ye couldn't raich the head av a man, Sweeney. 
Ye hav'n't got the hoight for it. 

Sweeney. I'd throw him down. Thin I'd be tall enough. 

" And so they go on till one or two m the morning, 
when I fall asleep, leaving them still talkmg." 

Even the characteristics of a brute aiford matter of com- 
ment amid the Sahara-like flatness of ordinary camp life. 

" I have nothmg more of importance to communicate," 
he says in one letter, " except that I have been adopted 
by a tailless dog, who, probably for the lack of other fol- 
lowing, j^ersists in laying claim to my fealty. If I leave my 
tent door open when I go out, I find him under my bunk 
when I come in. As he has nothing to wag, he is put to 
it to express his approval of my ways and character. 
When I speak to him he lies down on his back with a 
meekness of expression which I am sure has not been 
rivalled since Aloses. He is the most abnormally bobbed 
dog that ever excited my amazement. I think I do not 
exaggerate when I declare that his tail appears to have 
been amputated in the small of his back. How he can 
draw his breath is a wonder. In fact, he seems to have 
lost his voice by the operation, as though the docking had 
injured his bronchial tubes, for he never barks, nor growls, 
nor whines. I often lose myself in speculation over his ab- 
sent appendage, questionmg whether it was shot away in 
battle, or left behind in a rapid march, or bitten off, or 
pulled out. Perhaps it is on detached service as a waggin- 



D68 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

master, or has got a jiromotion and become a brevet lion's 
tail. Perhaps it has gone to the dog heaven, and is wag- 
ging somewhere in glory. Venturing again on a pun I 
observed that it is very proper that an army dog should 
be detailed. I wish I could find his master ; — I have just 
one observation to make to that gentleman ; — I would say 
to him, ' There is your dog. — I don't want the beast, and I 
don't see why he wants me ; but I can't get rid of him, 
any more than I can of Henr)^, who is equally useless.' I 
sometimes try to estimate the infinitessimal loss which the 
world would experience if the two should disappear to- 
gether, but always give up the problem in despair, not 
having any knowledge of fractions small enough to figure 
it." 

" In a general way," says Colburne, " we are sadly ofi* for 
amusements. Fowling is not allowed because the noise of 
the guns alarms the pickets. Even alligators I have only 
shot at once, when I garrisoned a little post four miles 
from camp, and, being left without rations, was obliged to 
subsist my company for a day on boiled Saurian. The 
meat was eatable, but not recommendable to persons of 
delicate appetite, being of an ancient and musky flavor, 
as though it had been jjut up in its horny case a thousand 
years ago. By the way, a minie ball knocks a hole in these 
fellows' celebrated jackets without the slightest difliculty. 
As for riding after hounds or on steej^le chases, or boxing, 
or making up running or rowing matches, after the gym- 
nastic fashion of English ofiicers, we never think of it. 
Now and then there is a horse-race, but for the most i^art 
we play euchre. Drill is no longer an amusement as at 
first, but an inexpressibly wearisome monotony. Conver- 
sation is profitless and dull, except when it is professional 
or larkish. With the citizens we have no dealings at all, 
and I have not spoken to a lady since I left Xew Orleans. 
Books are few because we cannot carry them about, being 
limited in our baggage to a carpet-sack ; and moreover 
I have lost my taste for reading, and even for all kinds of 



FROii Secession to Loyalty. 369 

thinking except on military matters. My brother officers, 
you know, are brave, sensible and useful men, but would 
not answer to fill the professorial chairs of Winslow Uni- 
versity. They represent the plain people whose cause is 
being fought out in this war against an aristocracy. When 
I first went mto camp with the regiment they humorously 
recognized my very slight fashionable elevation by styling 
my company, which then numbered eighteen men, ' The 
Upper Ten Thousand.' Xow all such distmctions are 
rubbed out ; it is, who can fight best, march best, com 
mand best ; each one stands on the base of his individual 
manhood. In the army a man cannot remain long on a 
social pedestal which will enable him to overlook the top 
of his own head. He can obtain no respect which is not 
accorded to rank or merit ; and very little merit is ac- 
knowledged except what is of a professional character." 

With true esprit du corps he frequently expatiates on 
the excellencies of his regiment. 

" The discipline in the Tenth is good," he declares, '* and 
consequently there are no mutinies, no desertions and not 
much growling. Ask the soldiers if they are satisfied 
with the service, and they might answer, 'No;' but you 
cannot always judge of a man by what he says, even in his 
im23ulsive moments ; you must also consider what he does. 
Look at an old man-of-war's man : he growls on the fore- 
castle, but is as meek as Moses on the quarter-deck; and, 
notwithstandmg all his mutterings, he is always at his 
post and does his duty with a will. Just so our soldiers 
frequently say that they only want to get out of the ser- 
vice, but never run away and rarely manoeuvre for a dis- 
charge." 

This, it will be observed, was before the days of substi- 
tutes and bounty-jumpers, and while the regiments were 
still composed of the noble fellows who enlisted during the 
first and second years of the war. 

From all that I can learn of Captain Colburne I judge 
that he was a model officer, at least so far as a volunteer 

Q2 



370 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

knew how to be one. While his men feared him on ac- 
count of his reserve and his severe discipline, thev loved 
him for the gallantry and cheerful fortitude with which he 
shared their dangers and hardships. The same res^^ect 
which he exacted of them he accorded, at least outwardly, 
to all superior officers, even including the contemptible 
Gazaway. He did this from principle, for the good of the 
service, believing that authority ought not to be questioned 
lightly in an army. By the way, the Major did not like 
him : he would have preferred to have the Captain jolly 
and familiar and vulgar ; then he would have felt at ease 
in his presence. This gentlemanly bearing, this dignified 
respect, kept him, the superior, at a distance. The truth 
is that, although Gazaway was, in the emphatic language 
of Lieutenant Van Zandt, " an inferior cuss," he never- 
theless had intelligence enough to suspect the profound 
contempt which lay behind Colburne's salute. Only in 
the Captain's letters to his intimate friend, Ravenel, does 
he speak unbecomingly of the Major. 

" He is," says one of these epistles, " a low-bred, con- 
ceited, unreasonable, domineering ass, who by instinct de- 
tests a gentleman and a man of education. He will issue 
an order contrary to the Regulations, and fly into a rage 
if a captain represents its illegality. I have got his ill- 
will in this way, I presume, as well j^erhaps as by knowing 
how to spell correctly. His orders, circulars, etc., are per- 
fect curiosities of literature until they are corrected by his 
clerk, who is a ])rivate soldier. Sometimes I am almost 
tired of obeying and respecting my inferiors ; and I cer- 
tamly shall not continue to serve a day after the war is 
over." 

However, these matters are now by-gones, Gazaway be- 
ing out of the regiment. I mention them chiefly to show 
the manliness of character which this intelligent and edu- 
cated young officer exhibited in remaining in the service 
notwithstanding moral annoyances more painful to bear 
than marches and battles. He is still enthusiastic; has 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 37i 

not by any means had fighting enough ; wants to go to 
Virginia in order to be in the thickest of it. He is disap- 
pointed at not receiving promotion ; but bears it bravely 
and uncomplainmgly, for the sake of the nation ; bears it 
as he does sickness, starvation, blistered feet and wounds. 



CHAPTER XXVH. 

COLOXEL CARTER ISIAKES AX ASTROXOMICAL EXPEDITION 
WITH A DANGEROUS FELLOW TRAVELLER, 

^ A PROSPECT of flat peace and boundless prosperity, is 
tiresome to the human eye. Although it is morally agree- 
able to think about the domestic happiness and innocence 
of the Carters, as sketched in a late chapter, there is dan- 
ger that the subject might easily prove tiresome to the 
reader, and moreover it is difficult to write upon it. I 
announce therefore with intellectual satisfaction thatf our 
Colonel is summoned to tlie trial of bidding good-bye to 
his wife, and undertaking a journey to Washington. 

It was his own work and for his own interests. He felt 
the necessity of adding to his income, and desired the 
honor and claimed the justice of promotion. High Au- 
thority in the department admitted that the star of a briga- 
dier was not too high a reward for this brave man, 
thoroughly instructed officer, model colonel. Hig j Author- 
ity was tired of gerrymandering seniorities so as to give a 
superb brigade of three thousand men to the West Point 
veteran, Carter, and a skeleton division of nine hundred 
men to the ex-major-general of militia, ex-mayor of Pom- 
poosuc, Brigadier-General John Snooks. Accordingly 
when the Colonel applied for a month's leave of absence, 
with the understood purpose of suekig for an acknowledg- 
ment of his services, High Authority made him bearer (Tf 
dispatches to Washington, so that, being on. duty, he 
might pay his travelling expenses out of the Government ' 



372 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

pocket. The same mail which brought him his order in- 
formed him that a steamer would sail for the north on the 
next day but one.. Acting with the rapidity which always 
marked his movements when he had once decided on his 
course, he took the next morning's train for Xew Orleans, 
first pressing his wife for many times *to his breast and 
kissing away such of her tears as he could stay to wit- 
ness. To good angels, and other people capable of ap- 
preciating such things, it would have been a pretty though 
pathetic spectacle to see this slender," blonde-haired girl 
clinging to the strong, bronzed, richly colored man with 
the burning black eyes. 

" Oh, what shall I do • Avithout you ?" she moaned. 
" What shall I do with myself?" 

" My dear little child," he said, " you will do just what 
you like. If you choose to stay here and keep house, 
Captain Colburne will see that you are cared for. Perhaps 
it may be best, however, to join your father. Here are 
twc^hundred dollars, all the money that I have except 
what is necessary to take me to Xew Orleans. I sliall get 
a month's pay there. Don't settle any bills. Tell people 
that I w411 attend to them when I come back. — There. 
Don't kee]) me, my dear one. Don't make me lose the 
train." 

So he went, driving to the railroad in an ambulance, 
while Lillie looked after him with tearful eyes, and waved 
her handkerchief and kissed her hand till he was out of 
sight. At first she decided that she would remain at 
Thibodeaux and think of her husband in every room of the 
house, and every walk of the garden ; but after two days 
she found herself so miserably lonesome that she shut up 
the cottage, went to Xew Orleans and threw herself upon 
her father for consolation. Havmg told so much in anticipa- 
tion we will go back to the Colonel. The two hundred 
dollars wliich he left with his wife had been borrowed 
from the willing Colburne. Carter had no pay due him 
as he had hinted, but he hoped to obtam a month's ad- 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 373 

vance from a paymaster, or, failing in that, to borrow from 
some one, say tlie commanding general. In fact, one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars, abstracted from Government funds. 
I fear, were furnished him by a neglected quartermaster, 
who likewise wanted promotion and was willing to run 
this risk for the sake of securing the benign influences of 
Carter's future star. With this friend in need the Colonel 
took the first o-lass of plain whiskey which he had swallowed 
in three months. To this followed other glasses, profiered 
by other friends, whose importunity he could not noAY re- 
sist, although yesterday he had repulsed them with ease. 
Every .brother colonel, every aj^preciating brigadier, 
seemed possessed of Satan to l6ad him to a bar or to his. 
own quarters and there to toast his health, or his luck, or 
his star. It was " Here's how !" and " Here's towards 
you !" from ten o'clock in the mornmgr when he oot his 
money, until four in the afternoon when he sprang on 
board the Creole just as she loosed her moorings from the 
shaky posts of the tattered wooden wharf Being in that 
state of exhilaration which enabled Tam O'Shanter to gaze 
on the witches of Alloway kirk-yard without flinchmg, the 
Colonel was neither astonished nor alarmed at encounter- 
ing on the quarter-deck the calm, beautiful, dangerous eyes 
of Madame Larue. The day before he would have been al- 
most willing to lose the steamer rather than travel with her. 
Xow, in the fearlessness of plain whiskey, he shook both her 
hands with impetuous warmth and said, " 'Pon honoi», Mrs. 
Larue, perfectly delighted to see you." 

"And so am I delighted," she answered Avith a flash of 
unfeigned pleasure in her eyes, which might have alarmed 
the Carter of yesterday but which gratified the Carter of 
to-day. 

" Now I shall have a cavalier," she continued, allowing 
him to pull her down on a seat by his side. " Kow I shall 
have a protector and adviser. I have had such need of 
one. Did you know that I was going on this boat ? I am 
so flattered if you meant to accompany me ! I am going 



374 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

north to invest ray little property. I still fear that it is 
not safe here. Xo one knows what may happen here. As 
soon as I could sell for a convenable sum, I resolved to 
go north. I shall expect you to be my counsellor how to 
invest." 

Carter laughed boisterously. 

" My dear, I never invested a picayune in my life," he 
said. 

She noticed the term of endearment and the fact of 
semi-intoxication, but she was not vexed nor alarmed by 
either. She was tolerably well accustomed to drunken 
gentlemen, and she was not easily hurt by love-making, 
no matter how vigorous. 

" You have always invested in the Bank of Love," she 
remarked wdth one of those amatory glances wliich black 
eyes, it seems to me, can make more effective than blue 
ones. 

" And in monte and faro, and bluff and euchre," he 
added, laughing loudly again. " In wine bills, and hotel 
bills, and tailors' bills, and all sorts of negatives." 

The debts which weighed somewhat heavily yesterday 
were mere comicalities and piquancies of life to-day. 

" Oh ! you are a terrible personage. I fear you are not 
the protector I ought to choose." 

He made no reply, feeling vaguely that the conversa- 
tion was growing- dangerous, and sending back a thought 
to his wife like a cry for help. Mrs. Larue divined his 
alarm and changed the subject. 

" What makes you voyage north ?" she asked with a 
knowing smile. " Are you in search of a new planet ?" 

Through his plain whisliey the Colonel could not see her 
joke on the star which he was seeking, but he was still 
clever enough to shun the confession that he was on an ex- 
pedition in search of promotion. 

" I am bearer of dispatches," he said. " Xothmg to do 
now in Louisiana. I shall be back before any more fight- 
ing comes off"." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 375 

" Shall you ? I am enchanted of it. I shall return soon, 
and hope to make the voyage with you. I am not going 
to forsake Xew Orleans. I love the city well enough — and 
more, I cannot sell my house. Remember, you must let 
me know when you return, and arrange yourself to come 
on my steamer." 

Xext morning, in possession of his sober senses, Carter 
endeavored to detach himself a little from Mrs. Larue, 
impelled to this seeming lack of chivalry by remembrance 
of his wife, and mistrust of his own power of self-govern- 
ment. But this prudent course soon appeared to be im- 
possible for a variety of reasons. In the first place it hap- 
pened, whether by chance or through her forethought 
lie did not know, that their state-rooms opened on the 
same narrow passage. Li the second place, he was the 
only acquamtance that Mrs. Larue had on board, and there 
was not another lady to take her up, • the Creole being a 
Government transport, and civilian travel being in those 
times rare between New York and New Orleans. More- 
over, the other passengers were in his estimation low, or 
at least plain people, sucR as sutlers, speculators, and 
rough volunteer officers — so that, if he left her, she was 
alone, and could not even venture on deck for a breath of 
fresh air. At any rate, that was the Avay that she chose 
to put it, although there was not the least danger that 
she would be insulted, and although, had Carter been 
absent, she would not have failed to strike up a flirta- 
tion with some other representative of my noble sex. 
Finally, he was obliged to consider that she was a rela- 
tive of his Avife. Thus before the second day was over, 
he found himself under bonds of courtesy to be the con- 
stant attendant of Mrs. Larue. They sat together next 
the head of the table, the lady being protected from the 
ignoble crowd of volunteers by the Colonel on one side, 
and the captain of the Creole on the other. Opposite them 
were a major and a chaplain, highly respectable persons 
so far as one could judge from their conversation, but who 



376 Miss Ravexel's Con version 

never got a word, rarely a look, from Mrs. Larue or Car- 
ter. The captain talked, first witb. one party, then with 
the other, hut never with both at once. He Avas a polite 
and considerate man, accustomed to his delicate official 
position as a host, and he saw that he w^ould not he thanked 
for making the conversation general. Except to him, to 
Carter, and to the servants, Mrs. Larue did not speak 
one word during the first seven days of the passage. All 
the volunteer officers admired her nun-like demeanor. Kept 
afar off, and with no other woman in sight, they began 
to worship her, much as the brigade at Thibodeaux 
adored that solitary planet of loveliness, Mrs. Carter. 
The fact that she was a widow, which crept out in some 
inexplicable manner, only heightened the enthusiasm. 

" By Heavens !" declared one flustered Captain, " if I 
only had Colonel before my name, and a hundred thou- 
sand dollars after it, I would rush to her and say, ' Mad- 
ame, are you inconsolable? Could I persuade you to 
forget the dear departed ?' " 

While these gentlemen worshipped her. Carter hoped 
she would get sea- sick. This 'great, brawny, boisterous, 
domineering, heroic fighter had just enough moral vitality 
to know when he was in danger of falling, and to wish for 
safety. Those Avere perilous hours at evening, when the 
ship sw6pt steadily through a lulling whisper of waters, 
when a trail of foamy phosphorescense, like a transitory 
Milky Way, followed in pursuit, when a broad bar of rip- 
plmg light ran straight out to the setting moon, when the 
decks were deserted except by slumberers, and Mrs. Larue 
persisted in dallying. The temptation of darkness, the 
temptation of solitude, the fever which begins to turn 
sleepless brains at midnight, made this her possible hour 
of coquettish conquest. She varied from delicately phrased 
sentimentalities to hoydenish physical impertinences. He 
was not permitted for five minutes together to forget that 
she was a bodily, as well as a spiritual presence. He was 
not checked in any transitory license of speech or gesture. 



From Secession to Lotaltt. STY 

Meantime she quoted fine rhapsodies from Balzae, and re- 
peated telling situations from Dumas le Jeune, and com- 
mented on both in the interest of the sainte passion de 
r amour. Once, after a few moments of silence and revery, 
she said with an air of earnest feeling, " Is it not a horrible 
fate for a woman — solitude ? Doyou not pity me ? Thirty 
yeai's old, a widow, and childless ! No one to love ; no 
right to love any one." 

She changed into French now, as she frequently did when 
she was animated and wished to express herself freely. 
Such talk as this sounds unnatural in the language of the 
Anglo-Saxon, but is not so unbecoming to the tongue of 
the Gauls. 

" A woman to whom the aifections are forbidden, is de- 
prived of the use of more than half her bemg. Whatever 
her ^possibilities, she is denied all expansion beyond a cer- 
tain limit. She may not explore, much less use, her own 
heart. It contains chambers of joy which she can only 
guess of, and into which she must not enter. There is a 
nursery of affections there, but she can only stand ^^th 
her ear to the door, tryuig to hear the sweet prattle ^'ithin. 
There is an innermost chapel, mth an altar all set for the 
communion of love, but no priest to invite her to the holy 
banquet. She is capable of a mother's everlasting devo- 
tion, but she scarcely dares suspect it. She is fitted to 
enter upon the tender mysteries of wifehood, and yet she 
is constantly fearing that she shall never meet a man whom 
she can love. That is the old maid, horrible name ! The 
widow is less ashamed, but she is more unhappy. She has 
been taught her possibilities, and then suddenly forbidden 
the use of them." 

Had the Colonel been acquainted with Michelet and his 
fellow rhapsodists on women, he might have suspected 
Madame of a certain amount of plagiarism. But he only 
thought her amazingly clever, at the same time that he 
was unable to answer her in her own style. 



378 Miss Raven el's Cox vers ion 

" Why don't you marry ?" he asked, striking with Anglo- 
Saxon practicality at the root of the matter. 

" Satirical question I" responded Madame, putting her 
face close to his, doubtless in order to make her smile visi- 
ible by moonlight. " It is not so easy to marry in these 
frightful times. Besides, — shall I avow it? — what if I 
cannot marry the man of my choice ?" 

" That's bad." 

" What if he uould marry some one else ? — Is it not a 
humilating confession ? — Do you know what is left to a 
woman then ? Either hidden love, or spiritual self-mur- 
der. Which is the greater of the two crimes ? Is the for- 
mer a crime ? Society says so. But are there not excep- 
tions to all rules, even moral ones ? Love always has this 
great defence — that nature prompts it, commands it. As 
for self-repression, asphyxia of the heart, Xature never 
prompts that." 

The logical conclusion of all this sentimental soj^histry 
was clear enough to Carter's intellect, although it did not 
deceive his Anglo-Saxon conscience. He understood, 
briefly and in a matter of fact way that Madame was quite 
willing to be his wife's rival. He was not yet pi'epared to 
accept the oiler ; he only feared and anticipated that he 
should be brought to accept it. 

Mrs. Larue was a curious study. Her vices and virtues 
(for she had both) were all instinctive, mthout a taint of 
education or eflbrt. She did just what she liked to do, 
unchecked by conscience or by anythmg but prudence. 
She was as coiTupt as possible without self-reproach, and 
as amiable as possible without self-restraint. Her serenity 
was at all times as unrippled as was that of Lillie in her 
happiest conditions. Her temper was so sunny, her smile 
so ready, and her manner so flattering, that few persons of 
the male sex could resist liking her. But she was the de- 
testation of most of her lady acquaintance — who were 
venomously jealous of her attractions — or rather seduc- 
tions — and abhorred her for the imscrupulous manner in 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 379 

which she put them to use, abushig her in a way which 
was enough to make a man rally to her rescue. She really 
cared little for that divin sens du genesiaque concerning 
which she prattled so freely to her intimates ; and there- 
fore she was cool and sure in her coquetries, at the same 
time that vanity gave her motive force which some naughty 
flirts derive from passion. She took a pride in making- 
conquests of men, at no matter what personal sacrifice. 

Carter saw where he was drifting to, and groaned over 
it in s^^irit, and made resolutions which he broke in half 
an hour, and rowed desperately against the tide, and then 
drifted agam. 

"A woman in the same house has so many devilish 
chances at a fellow," he repeated to himself with a bitter 
laugh ; and indeed he coarsely said as much to Mrs. Larue, 
with a desperate hope of angering and alienatmg her. She 
put on a meekly aggrieved air, drew away from him, and 
answered, " That is unmanly in you. I did not thmk you 
could be so dishonorable." 

He was deeply humiliated, begged her jDardon, swore 
that he was merely jesting, and troubled himself much to 
obtain forgiveness. During the whole of that day she was 
distant, dignified and silently reproachful. Yet all the 
while she was not a bit angry with him ; she was as mail 
cious as Mephistopheles, but she was also as even-tem- 
pered ; moreover she was flattered and elated by the evi- 
dent desperation which drove him to the impertinence. 
In his eflbrts to obtain a reconciliation Carter succeeded 
so thoroughly that the scene took place late at night, his 
arm around her waist and his lips touching her cheek. 
You must remember — charitably or indignantly, as you 
please — that she was his wife's relative. From this time 
forward he pretty much stopped his futile rowing against 
the tide. He let Mrs. Larue take the helm and guide him 
down the current of his own emotions, singing meawhile 
her syren lyrics about la sainte passion, etc. etc. There 
were hours, indeed, when he grated over reefs of remorse. 



380 Miss 11 a v e n e l ' s Conversion 

At the thought of liis innocent, loving, trusting Avife he 
shut his eyes as if to keep out the gaze of a reproachful 
spectre, clenched his hands as if trying to grasp some rope 
of escape, and cursed himself for a fool and a villain. But 
it was a penitence without fruit, a self-reproach without 
self-control. 

Mrs. Larue treated him now 'svdth a familiar and coufid- 
ino- fondness which he sometimes liked and sometimes not, 
according as the present or the past had the strongest hokl 
on liis feelings. 

" I am afraid that you do not always realize that we are 
one for life," she said in one of her earnest, French speak- 
ing moods. "You are my sworn friend forever. You 
must never hate me ; you cannot. You must never change 
towards me ; it would be a perjury of the heart. But I 
do not doubt you, my dear friend. I have all confidence 
in you. Oh, T am so happy in feeling that we are united 
in such an indissoluble concord of sympathy." 

Carter could only reply by taking her hand and press- 
ing it in silence. He was absolutely ashamed of himself 
that he was able to feel so little and to say nothing. 

" I never shall desire a husband," she proceeded. " I can 
now use all my heart. What does a woman need more ? How 
strangely Heaven has made us ! A woman is only happy 
when she is the slave, body and soul, of some man. She 
is happy, just in proportion to her obedience and self- 
sacrifice. Then only she is aware of her full nature. She 
is relieved from prison and permitted the joy of expansion. 
It is a seeming paradox, but it is solemnly true." 

Carter made no answer, not even by a look. He was 
thinking that his wife never philosophised concerning her 
love, never analyzed her sentiments, and a shock of self- 
reproach, as startling as the throb of a heart-complaint, 
struck him as he called to mind her purity, trust and affec- 
tion. It is curious, by the way, that he sufiered no re- 
morse on account of Mrs. Larue. In his opinion she fared 
no worse than she deserved, and in fact fared precisely as 



From Secessiox to Loyalty, 381 

she desired, only he had not the nerve to tell her so. 
When, late one night, on the darkened and deserted 
quarter-deck, she cried on his shoulder and whispered, " I 
am afraid you don't love me — I have a right to claim 
your love," he felt no affection, no gratitude, not even any 
profound pity. It ann'oyed him that she should weep, and 
thus as it were reproach him, and thus trouble still further 
his wretched ha^^piness. He was not hypocrite enough to 
say, " I do love you ;" he could only kiss her repeatedly, 
penitently and in silence. He still had a remnant of a con- 
science, and a mangled, sore sense of honor. IsTor should 
it be understood that Mrs. Larue's tears were entirely hy- 
pocritical, although they arose from emotions which were 
so trivial as to be somewhat difficult to handle, and so 
mixed that I scarcely know how to assort them. In the 
first place she was not very well that evening, and was 
oppressed by the despondency which all human beings, es- 
pecially women, suffer from when vitality throbs less vig- 
orously than usual. Moreover a little emotion of this sort 
was desirable, firstly to complete the conquest of Carter by 
reminding him how much she had sacrificed for him, and 
secondly to rehabilitate herself in her own esteem by prov- 
ing that she possessed a species of conscience. N'o wo- 
man likes to believe herself hopelessly corrupt : when 
she reaches that point she is subject to moral spasms which 
make existance seem a horror ; and we perhaps find her 
floating in the river, or as^^hyxiated with charcoal. There- 
fore let no one be surprised at the temporary tenderness, 
similar to compunction, which overcame Mrs. Larue. 

Xow that these two had that conscience which makes 
cowards of us all, they dropped a portion of the reserve 
^^ith which they had hitherto kept their fellow-passen- 
gers at a distance. The captam was encouraged to in- 
troduce his two neighbors, the major and chaplain ; and 
Mrs. Larue cast a few tellmg glances at the former and 
discussed theological subjects mth the latter. To one 
who knew her, and was not shocked by her masquerades, 



382 Miss Raven el's Coxversion 

nothing could be more diverting tlian the nun-like airs 
which she put on j^our achalander le prttre. Carter and 
she laughed heartily over them in their evening asides. 
She would have made a capital actress in the natural com- 
edy school known on the boards of the Gymnase and at 
Wallack's, for it was an easy amusement to her to play a 
variety of social characters. She had no strong emotions 
nor profound principles of action, it is true, but she was 
sympathetic enough to divine them, and clever enough to 
imitate their expression. Her manner to the chaplam was 
so religiously respectful as to pull all the strmgs of his 
unconscious vanity, personal and professional, so that he 
fell an easy prey to her humbugging, declared that he con- 
sidered her state of mmd deeply interesting, prayed for 
her in secret, and hoped to convert her from the errors of 
papacy. Indeed her profession of faith was promismg if 
not finally satisfiictory. 

" I believe in the holy catholic church," she said. " But 
I am not dogmatique. I think that others also may have 
the truth. Our faith, yours and mine, is at bottom one, 
indivisible, imcontradictory. It is only our human weak- 
ness which leads us to dispute with each other. We dis- 
jmte, not as to the faith, but as to who holds it. This is 
uncharitable. It is like quarrelsome children." 

The chaplain was charmed to agree with her. He thought 
her the most hopefully religious catholic that he had ever 
met ; he also thought her the wittiest, the most graceful, 
and on the whole the handsomest. Her eyes alone were 
enough to deceive him : they were inexhaustible green- 
rooms of sparkling masks and disguises; and he was 
especially taken with the Madonnesque gaze which issued 
from their recesses. He was bamboozled also by the prim, 
broad, white collar, like a surplice, which she put on ex- 
pressly to attract him ; by the demure air of childlike i^iety 
which clothed her like a mantle ; by her deferen'ce to his 
opinion ; by her teachable spirit. Perhaps he may also 
have been pleased mth her plump shoulders and round 



From Secession to Loyalty. 383 

arms, and he certainly did glance at them occasionally as 
their outlines showed through the transparent muslin ; but 
he said nothing of them in his talks concerning Mrs. Larue 
Avitli his room-mate the Major. 

" Tai a2)2^rivaise le pretre,^^ she observed laughingly to 
Carter. " I have assured myself a firm friend in his rever- 
ence. He will defend me the character always. He has 
asked me to visit his family, and promised to call to see 
me at Xew York. Madame La Pretresse is to call also. 
He is quite capable of praying me to stand godmother to 
his next child. If he were not married, I should have an 
ofi'er. I believe I could bring him to elope with me in a 
fortnight." 

" Why don't you ?" asked Carter. " It would make a 
scandal that would amuse you," he added somewhat bit- 
terly, for he was at times disgusted by her heartlessness. 

" Ko, my dear," she replied gently, pressing his arm. 
"I am quite satisfied with my one conquest. It is all I 
desire in the world." 

They were leaning against the tafii-ail, listening to the 
gurgling of the waters in the luminous wake and watching 
the black lines of the masts waving against the starlit sky. 

" You are silent," she observed. " Why are you so sad?" 

" I am thinking of my wife," he replied, almost sullenly. 

" Poor Lillie ! I wish she were here," said Mrs. Larue. 

" My God ! what a woman you are !" exclaimed the 
Colonel. " Don't you know that I should be ashamed to 
look her in the face ?" 

" Mv dear, why do you distress yourself so ? You can 
love her still. I am not exacting. I only want a comer 
in your heart. If I might, I would demand the whole ; 
but I know I could not have it. You ought not to be un- 
happy ; that is my part in the drama. I have sacrificed 
much. What have you sacrificed? A man risks nothing, 
loses nothing, in these afiairs du coeur. He has a bonne for- 
tune, voild toutr 

Carter was heavy laden in secret with his bonne fortune. 



384 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

He was glad when the voyage ended, and he could leave 
Mrs. Larue at Xcw York, with a pleasing chance that he 
might never meet her again, and a hope that he had heard 
the last of her sainte j^o^ssion cle Vamour. Of course he 
was obliged, before he quitted her, to see that she was 
established in a good boarding house, and to introduce 
her to one or two respectable fomilies among liis old ac- 
. quaint ance in the city. Of course also he said nothing to 
these families about her proi:>ensities towards the divin 
sens and the sainte passion. She quickly made herself a 
character as a southern loyalist, and as such became quite 
a pet in society. Before she had been a week in the city 
she was an inmate of the household of the Rev. Dr. White- 
head, a noted theologian and leading abolitionist, who 
Avorked untiringly at the seemingly easy task of convert- 
ing her from the errors of slavery and papacy. It some- 
what scandalized his graver parishioners, especially those 
of Copperhead tendencies, that he should patronize so gay 
a lady. But the Reverend Doctor did not see her pranks, 
and did not believe the tale when others related them. 
How could he when she looked the picture of a saint, 
dressed entirely in black and white, wore her hair plam a 
la Madojine, and talked theology with those earnest eyes, 
and that childlike smile ? To the last he honestly regarded 
her as very nigh unto the kmgdom of heaven. It was to 
shield her from envious slanders, to cover her with the 
gegis of his great and venerable name, that the warm- 
hearted, unsuspicious old gentleman dedicated to her his 
little work on moral reform, entitled " St. Mary Magdalen." 
How ecstatically Mrs. Larue laughed over this book when 
she got to her own room with it, after the presentation ! She 
had not had such a paroxysm of merriment before, since 
she was a child ; for durmg all her adult life she had been 
too blasee to laugh often A\ith profound heartiness and 
honesty : her gayety had been superficial, like most of her 
other expressions of feeling. I can imagine that she looked 
very attractive m her spasm of jollity, with her black eyes 



Froji Secession to Loyalty. 



385 



sparklmg, her brunette cheeks flushed, her jetty streams 
of hau- waving and her darkly roseate arms and shoulders 
bare m the process of undressing. Before she went to bed 
she put the book in an envelope addressed to Carter, and 
wrote a playful letter to accompany it, signed "Tour best 
and most loving friend, St. Marie Madeleine." 



CHAPTER XXYin. 

THE COLONEL CONTINUES TO BE LED INTO TEMPTATION. 

On the cars between New York and Washington Carter 
encountered the Governor of Barataria. After the custom- 
ary compliments had been exchanged, after the Governor 
had acknowledged the services of the famous Tenth and 
the Colonel had eulogized the good old State, the latter 
spoke of the vacant lieutenant-colonelcy in the reo-iment 
and asked that it might be given to Colburne. ° ' 

"But I have promised that to Mr. Gazaway," said the 
Governor, looking slightly troubled. 

"To Gazaway !" roared Carter in wathful astonishment. 

What! to the same Gazaway? Why— Governor— are 
you aware— are you perfectly aware why he left the red- 
ment ?" ° 

The Governor's countenance became still more troubled 
but did not lose its habitual expression of mild obstinacy' 

n 1 Z^l'^ ^''^'^'" ^^ ^^^'^ ^^^tly. " It is a very mis- 
erable affair." "^ 

"Miserable! It is to the last degree scandalous. I 
never heard of anything so utterly contemptible as this 

leilows behavior. Yon certamly cannot know If 

you did, you wouldn't think of letting this infernal pol- 
troon back mto the regiment. He ought to have been court- 
martialed. It is a cursed shame that he was not shot for 
misbehavior in presence of the enemy. Let me tell you his 
story." •' 

R 



386 Miss Ravenel's Cox version 

The Governor liad an air which seemed to say that it 
would be of no use to tell lum anything ; but he folded his 
hands, bowed his head, crossed his legs, put a pastille in 
his mouth, and meekly composed himself to listen. 

" This Gazaway is the greatest coward that I ever saw," 
pursued the Colonel. " I positively think he must be the 
greatest coward that ever lived. At Georgia Landing he 
left his horse, and dodged, and ducked, and squatted be- 
hind the line in such a contemptible way that I came near 
rapping him over the head with the flat of my sabre. At 
Camp Beasland he shammed sick, and skulked about the 
hospitals, whimpering for medicine. I sent in charges 
against him then ; but they got lost, I believe, on the 
march ; at any rate, they never turned up. At Port Hud- 
son I released him from arrest, and ordered him into the 
fight, hoping he would get shot. I privately told the sur- 
geon not to excuse him, and I told the blackguard himself 
that he must face the music. But he ran away the mo- 
ment the brigade came under tire. He was picked up at 
the hospital by the provost-guard, and sent to the regiment 
in its advanced position. The ofiicers refused to obey his 
orders unless he proved his courage first by taking a rifle 
and fighting in the trenches. They equipped him, but he 
wouldn't fight. He trembled from head to foot, said he 
didn't know how to load his gun, said he was sick, cried. 
Then they kicked him out of camp — actually and literally 
booted him out — put the leather to him, sir. That is the 
last time that he was seen with the regiment. He was 
next picked up in the hospitals of Xew Orleans, and sent 
to the front by Emory, who would have shot him if he had 
known what he was. He was in command of Fort Win- 
throp, and wanted to surrender at the first summons. 
Xothing but the high spirit of his officers, and the gallantry 
of the whole garrison, saved the fort from its own com- 
mander. I tell you, sir, that he is a redemptionless sneak. 
He is a disgrace to the regiment, and to the State, and to 
the country. He is a disgrace to every man in both ser- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 387 

vices — to evey man who calls himself an American. And 
you propose to restore him to the regiment !" 

The Governor sighed, and looked very sad, but at the 
same time as meekly determined as Moses. 

" My dear Colonel, I knew it all," he said. " But I 
think I am right. I think I am acting out our American 
prmciple — the greatest good of the greatest number. I 
must beg your patient hearing and your secrecy. In the 
first place, Gazaway is not to keep the commission. It is 
merely given to whitewash him. He will accept it, and 
then resign it. That is all understood." 

" But what the do you Avant to whitewash him for? 

He ought to be gibbeted." 

" I know. Very true. But see here. We must carry 
the elections. We must have the government supported 
by the people. We must give the administration a clear 
majority in both houses of Congress. Otherwise, you see, 
Copperheadism and Secession, false peace and rebellion will 
triumph." 

But the way to carry the elections is to whip the rebels, 
my God ! — to have the best officers and the best army, and 
win all the victories, my God !" 

The Governor smiled as if from habit, but pursued his 
own course of reasoning resolutely, without noticmg the 
new argument. His spunk was rising a little, and he had 
no small amount of domination in him, not-^dthstandino- 
his amiability. 

" Now Gazaway's Congressional district is a close one," 
he continued, " and we fear that his assistance is necessary 
to enable us to carry it. I grieve to think that it is so. 
It is not our fault. It is the fault of those men who will 
vote a disloyal ticket. Well, he demands that we shall 
whitewash him by givmg him a step up from his old com- 
mission. On that condition he agrees to insure us the dis- 
trict. Then he is to resign," 

"My God! what a disgraceful muddle!" was Carter's 
indio-nant comment. 



388 Miss IIavexel's Conveksion 

The Governor looked almost provoked at seeing that the 
Colonel would not appreciate his difficulties and necessities. 

" I sacrifice my own feelings in this matter," he insisted. 
" I assure you that it is a most painful step for me to 
take." 

He forgot that he was also sacrificing the feelings of 
Captain Colburne and of other deserving officers in the 
gallant Tenth. 

I wouldn't take the step," returned the Colonel. " I'd 
let the election go to hell before I'd take it. If that is the 
way elections are carried, let us have done with them, and 
pray for a depotism." 

After this speech there was a silence of some minutes. 
Each of these men was a wonder to the other ; each of 
them ought to have been a wonder to himself The Gov- 
ernor knew that Carter was a roue, a hard drmker, some- 
thing of a Dugald Dalgetty ; and he could not understand 
his professional chivalry, his passion for the honor of the 
service, his bitter hatred of cowards. The Colonel knew 
the Governor's upright moral character as an individual, 
and was amazed that such a man could condescend to what 
he considered dirty trickery. In one respect, Carter had 
the highest moral standpoints. He did vrrong to please 
himself, but it was under the pressure of overwhelming 
impulse, and he paid for it m frank remorse. The other 
did wrong after calm deliberation, sadly regrettmg the 
alleged necessity, but chloroformmg his conscience with 
the plea of that necessity. He was at bottom a well-inten- 
tioned and honorable man, but blinded by long confine- 
ment in the dark labyrinths of political intrigue, as the 
fishes of the Mammoth Cave are eyeless through the lack 
of light. He would have shrunk with horror from Carter 
had he known of that affiiiir with Madame Larue. At the 
same time he could commission a known coward above the 
lieads of heroes, to carry a Congressional district. And, m 
order that we may not be too hard upon him, let us con- 
sider his difficulties ; let us suppose that he had elevated 



JB'eom Secession to Loyalty. 389 

the Bayard and thrown the Bardolph overboard. In the 
first place all the wire-pullers of his foUowmg would have 
been down upon him ^^th arguments and appeals, begging 
him in the name of the party, of the country, of liberty, not 
to lose the election. His own candidate in the doubtful 
district, an old and ultimate friend, would have said, " You 
have ruined my chances." All the capitalists and manufac- 
turers who depended on this candidate to get this or that 
axe sharpened on the Congressional grindstone, would have 
added their outcries to the lamentation. Thinking of all 
this, and thinking too of the Copperheads, and what they 
would be sure to do if they triumphed, he felt that Avhat 
he had decided on' was for the best, and that he must do it. 
Gazaway must have the lieutenant-colonelcy until the 
sprmg election was over ; and then, and not before, he must 
make way for some honorable man and brave officer. 

" But how can this fellow have such a political influ- 
ence ?" queried the Colonel. " It ought to be easy enough 
to expose him in the newspapers, and smash him." 

" The two hundred men or so who vote as he says never 
read the newspapers, and wouldn't believe the exposure." 

" There is the majority left," observed Carter, after ano- 
ther pause. " Captain Colburne might have that — if he 
would take promotion under Gazaway." 

"I have given that to my nephew, Captain Rathbun," 
said the Governor, blushing. 

He was not ashamed of his political log-rollmg with a 
vulgar coward, but he was a little discomposed at confess- 
uig his very pardonable and perhaps justifiable nepotism. 

" Captain Rathbun," he pursued hastily, " has been 
strongly recommended by all the superior officers of his 
corps. There is no chance of promotion in the cavalry, as 
our State has only furnished three companies. I have 
therefore transferred him to the infantry, and I placed him 
in your regiment because there were two vacancies." 

"Then my recommendation goes for nothing," said 
Carter, in gloomy discontent. 



390 Miss R aye x el's Conveksiox 

" Really, Colonel, I must have some authority in these 
matters. I am called commander-in-chief of the forces 
of the State. I am sorry if it annoys you. But there will 
be — I assure you there will soon be — a vacancy for Cap- 
tain Colburne." 

" But he will have to come in under your nephew, I 
suppose." 

" I suppose so. I don't see how it can be otherwise. 
But it will be no disgrace to him, I assure you. lie will 
find Major Rathbun an admirable officer and a comrade 
perfectly to his taste. He graduated from the University 
only a year after Captain Colburne." 

" Excuse me if I leave you for half an hour," observed 
Carter, without attempting to conceal his disgust. " I 
want to step into the smoking-car and take a segar." 

" Certainly," bowed the Governor, and resumed his 
newspaper. He was used to such unpleasant interviews 
as this ; and after drawing a tired sigh over it, he was all 
tranquillity agam. The Colonel was too profoundly in- 
furiated to return to his companion during the rest of the 
journey, much as he wanted his influence to back up his 
own application for promotion. 

" Horrible shame, by Jove !" he muttered, while chew- 
ing rather than smoking his segar. " I wish the whole 
thing Avas in the hands of the AYar Department. Damn 
the States and their rights ! I ^vish, by (this and that) 
that we were centralized." 

Thus illogically ruminated the "West Pointer ; not see- 
ing that the good is not bad merely because it may be 
abused ; not seeing that Centralism is sure to be more cor- 
rupt than Federalism. The reader knows that such cases as 
that of Gazaway were not common. They existed, but 
they were exceptional ; they were sporadic, and not symp- 
tomatic. In general the military nominations of the Gov- 
ernor did honor to his heart and his head. It was Col- 
burne's accidental misfortune that his State contained one 
or two doubtful districts, and that one of them was in the 



Froim Secession to Loyalty. 391 

liands, or was supposed to be iii the hands, of his contempt- 
ible superior officer. In almost any other Baratarian regi- 
ment the intelligent, educated, brave and honorable young 
captain Avould have been sure of promotion. 

Carter was troubled with a foreboding that his own 
claims would meet with as little recognition as those of 
Colburne. He took plain whiskeys at nearly every stop- 
ping-place, and reached Washington more than half drunk, 
but still in low spirits. Sobered and rested by a night's 
sleep, he delivered his dispatches, was bowed out by Gen- 
eral Halleck, and then sought out a resident Congressional 
friend, and held a frank colloquy with him concernmg the 
attainment of the desired star. 

" You see, Colonel, that you are a marked man," said 
the M. C. " You have been known to say that the war 
will last five years." 

" Well, it will. It has lasted nearly three, and it will 
kick for two more. I ought to be promoted, by (this and 
that) for my sagacity." 

" Just so," laughed the M. C. " But you won't be. The 
trouble is that you say just what the Copperheads say ; 
and you get credit for the same motives. It is urged, 
moreover, that men like you discourage the nation and 
cheer the rebels." 

" By Jove ! I'd like to see the rebel who would be 
cheered by the news that the war will last two years 
longer." 

The honorable member laughed again, in recognition of 
the hit, and proceeded : 

" Then there is that old filibustering afiair. When you 
went into that you were not so good a prophet as you are 
now ; and m fact it is a very unfortunate afiair at present ; 
it stands in your way confoundedly. In fact, you are not 
a favorite with our left wing — our radicals. The President 
is all right. The War Department is all right. They ad- 
mit your faithfulness, ability and services. It is the Sen- 
ate that knocks you. I am afraid you will have to wait 



392 IMiss Ravenel's Conversion 

for sometliing to turn up. In fact, I don't see my way to a 
confirmation yet." 

Carter swore, groaned, and chewed his cigar to a pulp. 

" But don't be discouraged," pursued the M. C. " We 
have brought over two or three of the radicals to your 
side. Three or four more will do the job. Then we can 
get a nomination with assurance of a confii-mation. I 
promise you it shall be attended to at the first chance. But 
you must come out strong against slavery. Abolition is 
your card. New converts must be zealous, you know." 

" By Jove, I am strong. I didn't believe in arming the 
negro once ; but I do now. It was a good movement. 
I'll take a black brigade." 

" Will you ?" Then you can have a white one, I guess. 
By the way, perhaps you can do something for yourself 
A good many of the Members are m town already. I'll 
take you around — show you to friends and enemies. In 
fact you can do something for yourself" 

Carter did something in the way of treatmg, giving 
game-suppers, flattering and talking anti-slavery, smiling 
outwardly the while, but ^'ithin full of bitterness. It 
seemed to him a gross injustice that the destiny of a man 
who had fought should be ruled by people who slept in 
good beds every night and had never heard a bullet whis- 
tle. He thought that he was demeanmg himself by bow- 
ing down to members of Congress and State wire-pullers ; 
but he was driven to it by his professional rage for promo- 
tion, and still more urgently by the necessity of increasing 
his income. When he left Washington after the two 
weeks' stay which was permitted to him, his nomination to 
a brigadiership was proinised, and he had strong hopes of 
obtaining the Senatorial confirmation. At Xew York he 
called on Mrs. Larue. He had not meant to do it when 
he quitted the virtuous capital of the nation, but as he ap- 
proached her he felt drawn towards her by something 
stronger than the engine. Moreover, he thought to him- 
self that she might do something for his promotion if she 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 393 

could be induced to go to Washington and try the ponder- 
osity of the United States Senate with that powerful social 
lever of hers, la sainte jmssio??, etc. 

" Why didn't you tell me this before ?" she exclaimed. 
" Why were you not frank with me, mo?i ami ? I would 
have gone. I would have worked day and night for you. 
I would have had such fun ! It would have been delicious 
to humbug those abolitionist Senators. I would have been 
the ruin of Mr. Sumnaire and Mr. Weelsone. There would 
have been yet more books dedicated to Sainte Marie Made- 
leme." 

She burst into a laugh at these jolly ideas, and waltzed 
about the room with a mimicry of love-making in her eyes 
and gestures. 

" But T can not go alone, you perceive ; do you not ?" 
she resumed, sitting down by his side and laying one hand 
caressingly on his shoulder. " I should have no position 
alone, and there is not the time for me to create one. 
Moreover, I have paid for my passage to New Orleans in 
the Mississijipi." 

" Well, we shall be together," said Carter. " That is 
my boat. But what a cursed fool I was in not taking you 
to WashiQo;ton !" 

" Certainly you were, mon ami. It is most regrettable. 
It is desespirantP 

As far as these two were concerned, the voyage south 
was much like the latter part of the voyage north, except 
that Carter sufiered less from self-reproach, and was gen- 
erally in higher spirits. He had not money enough left to 
pay for his meals and wine, but he did not hesitate to bor- 
row a hundred dollars from the widow, and she lent it 
^vith her usual amiability. 

" You shall have all I can spare," she said. " I only 
wisli to live and dress comme il faut. You are always 
welcome to what remains." 

What could the unfortunate man do but be grateful ? 
Mrs. Larue began to govern him with a mild and insinuat- 

E2 



394 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

ing domination ; and, strange to say, her empire was not 
altogether injurious. She corrected him of a number of 
the bearish ways which lie had insensilily acquired by life 
in the army, and wliich his wife had not dared to call his 
attention to, worshij^ping him too sincerely. She laughed 
him out of his swearing, and scolded him out of most of his 
drinking. She mended his stockings, trimmed the frayed 
ends of his necktie, saw to it that his clothes were brushed ; 
in short, she greatly improved his personal appearance, 
which had grown somewhat shabby under the influences 
of travellmg and carousing; for the Colenel was one of 
those innumerable male creatures who always go to seedi- 
ness as soon as womankmd ceases to care for them. With 
him she had no more need of coquetries and sentimental 
prattle ; and she treated him very much as a wife of five 
years' standing treats her husband. She was amiable, 
pains-taking, petting, slightly exacting, slightly critical, 
moderately chatty, moderately loving. They led a peace- 
able, domestic sort of life, i^ithout much regard to 
secrecy, ^vithout much terror at the continual danger of 
discovery. They were old sinners enough to feel and be- 
have much like innocent people. Carter's remorse, it must 
be observed, had arisen entirely from his affection for his 
wife, and his shame at having proved unworthy of her 
afi'ectionate confidence, and not at all from any sense of 
doing an injury to Mrs. Larue, nor from a tenderness of 
conscience concerning the abstract question of right and 
wi'ong. Consequently, after the first humiliation of his fall 
was a little numbed by time, he could be quite comfort- 
able in spirit. 

But his uneasiness awakened at the sight of Lillie, and 
the pressure of her joyful embrace. The meeting, aftection- 
ate as it seemed on both sides, gave him a very miserable 
kmd of happiness. He did not turn his eyes to Mrs. 
Larue, who stood by with a calm, pleased smile. He was 
led away in triumph ; he was laid on the best sofa and 
woi-shipped ; he was a king, and a god in the eyes of that 



From Secession to Loyalty. 395 

pure wife ; but he was a very unhappy, and shamefaced 
deity. 

" Oh, what charming letters you wrote !" whispered 
Lillie. " IIow good you were to write so often, and to 
write such sweet thmgs ! They were such a comfort to 
me !" 

Carter was a little consoled. He had written often and 
affectionately ; he had tried in that way to make amends 
for a concealed wrong ; and he was heartily glad to find 
that he had made her happy. 

" Oh, my dear child !" he said. " I am so delighted if I 
have given you any pleasure !" 

He spoke this with such a sigh, almost a groan, that she 
looked at him m wonder and anxiety. 

" What is the matter, my darling ?" she asked. " What 
makes you sad ? Have you failed in gettmg your promo- 
tion ? Xever mind. I will love you to make up for it. 
I know, and you know, that you deserve it. We will be 
just as happy." 

" Perhaps I have not altogether failed," he replied, glad 
to change the subject. " I have some hoj^esyet of getting 
good news." 

" Oh, that will be so delightful ! Won't it be nice to 
be prosperous as well as happy ! I shall be so overjoyed 
on your account ! I shall be too proud to live." 

In his lonely meditations Carter frequently tried himself 
at the bar of his strange conscience, and struggled hard to 
gain a verdict of not guilty. What could a fellow do, he 
asked, when a woman would persist in flinging herself at 
his head ? He honestly thought that most men would 
have done as he did ; that no one but a religious fanatic 
could have resisted so much temptation ; and that such re- 
sistance would have been altogether ungentlemanly. To 
atone for his wrong he was most tender to his wife ; he 
followed her with attentions, and loaded her with presents. 
As the same time that he had a guilt upon his soul Avhich 
might have killed her had she discovered it, he would not 



396 Miss Raven el s Conversion 

stint her wardrobe, nor forget to kiss her every time he 
went out, nor fail to bring her bouquets every evening. 
He has been known to leave his bed at midnight and 
walk the street for hours, driving away dogs whose howl- 
ing prevented her from sleeping. Deeds like this were 
his penance, his expiation, his consolation. 

He was now on duty in the city. High Authority, de- 
termined to make amends for the neglect with wliich this 
excellent officer was treated, offered him the best thmg 
which it had now to give, the chief-quart ermastership of 
the Department of the Gulf His pay would thereby be 
largely increased in consequence of his legal commutations 
for rooms and fuel, besides which there was a chance of 
securing large extra-official gleanings from such a broad 
field of labor and responsibility. But Carter realized little 
out of his position. He could keep his accounts of Gov- 
ernment property correctly ; but except in his knowledge 
of returns, and vouchers, and his clerk-like accuracy, he 
was not properly speaking a man of busmess ; that is to 
say, he had no faculty for making money. He was too 
professionally honorable to lend Government funds to 
speculators for the sake of a share of the profits. He would 
not descend to the well-known trickery of getting public 
property condemned to auction, and then buying it in for 
a sono: to sell it at an advance. In the case of a sinc^le 
wagon he might do something of the sort in order to rec- 
tify his balances m the item of wagons ; or he might make 
a certificate of theft in a small aflair of trousers or havre- 
sacks which had been lost through negligence, or issued 
without a receipt. But to such straits officers were fre- 
quently driven by the responsibility system ; he sheltered 
himself under the plea of necessity ; and did nothing worse. 
In fact, his position was a temptation without bemg 
a benefit. 

It was a serious temptation. A great deal of money 
passed through his hands. He paid out, and received on 
account of the Government, thousands of dollars daily ; 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 397 

and the mere handling of snch considerable sums made 
him feel as if he were a great capitalist. Money was an 
every day, vulgar commodity, and he spent it with profu- 
sion. Before he had been in his j)lace two months he was 
worm-eaten, leaky, sinkmg with debts. No one hesitated 
to trust a man who had charge over such an abounding 
source of wealth as the chief-quartermastership of the De- 
partment of the Gulf. He lived sumptuously, drank good 
wines, smoked the best segars, and marketed for the Rav- 
enel table in his own name, blaspheming the expense 
whether of cost or credit. Remembering that his wife 
needed gentle exercise, and had a right to every comfort 
which he could furnish, he gave her a carriage, and pair 
of ponies, and of course set up a coachman. 

"Can you afford it, my dear?" asked Lillie, a little 
anxious, for she was aware of his tendency to extrava- 
gance. 

" I can afford anything, my little one, rather than the 
loss of you," replied the Colonel after a moment's hesita- 
tion. 

She wanted to believe that all was well, and therefore 
the task of comdncing her was easy. Her trust was con- 
stant, and her adoration fervent ; they were symj^tomatic 
of her physical condition ; they were for the present laws 
of her nature. It was more than usually painful to her 
now to be separated long from her deity. When he went 
out it was, " Where are you going ? When will you come 
back ?" — When he returned it was, " How long you have 
been gone ! Oh, I though you would come an hour 
ago ?" It was childish, but she did not perceive it, and if 
she had, she could not have helped it. She clung to him, 
and longed after him because she must ; there was a bond 
of unity between them which clasped her inmost life. 

Meanwhile how about Mrs. Lame ? 'No one could have 
been more discreet, more corruptly sagacious, more sun- 
nily amiable, than this singular woman. She petted Lillie 
like a child, helped her in her abundant sewing labors, 



398 Miss Ravexel's Cox version 

brought her as many bouquets as the Colonel himself, 
scolded her for huprudencies, forbade this dish and recom- 
mended that, laughed at her occasional despondencies, and 
cheered her as women know how to cheer each other. She 
seemed like the truest friend of the young woman whom 
she would not have hesitated much to rob of her husband, 
provided she could have wished to do it. This kindness 
was not hypocrisy, but simple, unforced good nature. It 
was natural, and therefore, agreeable to her to be amiable ; 
and as she always did what she liked to do, she was a 
pattern of amiability. To have quarrded seriously "wdth 
Lillie would have been a downright annoyance to her, and 
consequently she avoided every chance of a disagreement, 
so far at least as was consistent with her private pleasures. 
She had not the slightest notion of elo^Ding with the Colonel ; 
she did not take passions sufficiently aic grand sericux for 
that ; she would not have isolated herself from society for 
any man. 

Xot withstanding Mrs. Larue's sugar mask Lillie was at 
times disposed to fight her ; not, however, in the slightest 
degree on account of her husband ; only on account of her 
father. The sly Creole, partly for her own amusement in- 
deed, but chiefly to divert suspicion from her familiarity 
with Carter, commenced a coquettish attack upon the 
Doctor. Lillie was sometimes in a desperate fright lest 
she should entrap him into a marriage. She thought that 
she understood Mrs. Larue perfectly, and she felt quite 
certain that she was by no means good enough for her 
father. In her estimation there never was a man, unless 
it might be her husband, who was so good, so noble, so 
charming as this parent of hers ; and if she had been called 
on to select a wife for him, I doubt whether any woman 
could have passed the examination to which she would 
have subjected the candidates. 

" I perfectly spoil you, papa," she said, laughing. " I 
pet you and admire you till I suppose I shall end by ruin- 
ing you. If ever you go out into the world alone, 



Fro:m Secessiox to Loyalty. 399 

what will become of you ? You will miss my care dread- 
fully. You mustn't leave me ; it's for your own good — 
hear ? You mustn't trust yourself to anybody else — hear ?" 

"I hear, my child," answers the Doctor. "What a 
charming little Gold Coast accent you have !" 

" Pshaw ! It isn't negro at all. Everybody talks so. 
But I wonder if you are trying to change the subject." 

" Really I wasn't aware of a subject being presented for 
my consideration." 

" Oh, you don't understand, or you won't understand. 
I do believe you have a guilty conscience." 

" A guilty conscience about what, my child ? Have the 
kindness to speak plainly. My mind is getting feeble." 

" Ain't you ashamed to ask me to speak plainly ? I 
don't want to speak plainly. Do you actually want to 
have me?" 

" If it wouldn't overpower your reason, I should like it. 
It would be such a convenience to me." 

" Well, I mean, papa," said Lillie, coloring at her auda- 
city, " that I don't like Mrs. Larue !" 

" Don't like Mrs. Larue ! Why, she is as kind to you as 
she can possibly be. I thought you were on the best of 
terms." 

" I mean that I don't like her well enough to call her 
Mamma." 

" Call her Mamma !" repeated the Doctor, staring over his 
spectacles in amazement. "You don't mean? — upon my 
honor, you are too nonsensical, Lillie." 

" Am I ? Oh, I am so delighted !" exclaimed Lillie ea- 
gerly. " But I luas so afraid." 

" Do you think I am in my dotage ?" inquired the Doc- 
tor, almost indignant. 

" Xo no, papa. Don't be vexed with me. I dare say it 
was very absurd in me. But I do think she is so artful 
and designing." 

" She is a curious woman, we know," observed Ravenel. 
" She certainly has some — peculiarities." 



400 Miss Rayexel's Cox version 

Lillie laughed outright, and said, " Oh yes," Tvith a gay- 
little air of satire. 

" But she is too young to think of me," pursued the Doc- 
tor. " She can't be more than tvventy-five." 

"Papa!!" protested Lillie. " She is thir— ty ! Have 
you lost your memory ?" 

" Thirty ! Is it possible ? Really, I am growing old. 
I am constantly understating other people's ages. I have 
caught mj'self at it repeatedly. I don't know whether it 
is forgetfulness, or inability to realize the flight of time, or 
an instinctive effort to make myself out a modern by show- 
ing that my intimates are youthful. But I am constantly 
doing it. Do you recollect how I have laughed about 
Elderkin for this same trick ? He is always relating anec- 
dotes of his youth in a way which would lead you to sup- 
pose that the events happened some fifteen or twenty years 
ago. And yet he is seventy. I mustn't laugh at Elderkin 
any more." 

" Xonsense !" said Lillie. " You are not a bit like him. 
He blacks his hair to correspond with his dates. He means 
to humbug people. And then you are not old." 

" But, to return to Mrs. Larue," observed the Doctor. 
" She has a clear head ; she is pretty sensible. She is not 
a woman to put herself in a false or ridiculous j^osition. I 
really have not observed anything of what you hint." 

" Oh no. Of course not. Men never do ; they are so 
stupid ! Of course you wouldn't observe anythuig until 
she went on her knees and made you a formal declaration. 
I was afraid you might say, 'Yes,' in your surprise." 

" My dear, don't talk in that way of a lady. You de- 
grade your own sex by such jesting." 

However, the Doctor did in a quiet way put himself on 
his guard agamst Mrs. Larue ; and Lillie, observmg this, 
did also in a quiet way feel quite elated over the condition 
of things in the family. She was as happy as she had ever 
been, or could desire to be. It was a shocking state of 
deception ; corruption lilied over with decorum and smil- 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 401 

ing amiability ; whited sejjulchres, apples of Sodom, bloom- 
ing Upas. Carter saw Mrs. Larue as often as he wanted, 
and even much oftener, in a j^riyate room, which even his 
wife did not know of, in rear of his offices. Closely veiled 
she slipped in by a back entrance, and reappeared at the 
end of ten minutes, or an hour, or perhaps two hours. It 
was after such interviews had taken place that his wife 
welcomed him with those touching words. "Oh, where 
have you been ? I thought you never would come." 

He would have been glad to break the evil charm, but 
he was too far gone to be capable of virtuous effort. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

LILLIE EEACHES THE APOTHEOSIS OF WOMANHOOD. 

WoiiAX is more intimately and irresponsibly a child of 
jN'ature than man. She comes oftener, more completely, 
and more evidently under the power of influences which 
she can neither direct nor resist, and which make use of 
her without consulting her inclination. Her part then is 
passive obedience and uncomplaming suffering, while 
through her the ends of life are accomplished. She has no 
choice but to accept her beneficent martyrdom. Like 
Jesus of Xazareth she agonzies that others may live ; but 
imlike Him, she is impelled to it by a will higher than her 
■ own. At the same time, a loving spirit is given to her, so 
that she is consoled m her own anguish, and does not seri- 
ously desire that the cup may pass from her before she has 
drunk it to the dregs. She has the patience of the 
lower animals and of inanimate nature, ennobled by a 
heavenly joy of self-sacrifice, a divine pleasure ia suffering 
for those whom she loves. She is both lower and hio;her 
than man, by mstmct rather than by reason, from necessity 
i-ather than from choice. 

There came a day to Lillie duiing which she lay between 



402 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

two worlds, not caring which she entered, submissive to 
whatever might he, patient though weeping with jjain. 
Her father did not dare trust her to his own care, but 
called in his old friend and colleague. Doctor Elderkin, 
These two, with Carter, Mrs. Larue, and a hired nurse, did 
not quit the house for twenty-four hours, and all but the 
husband and father were almost constantly in the room of 
the invalid. The struggle was so long and severe that 
they thought it would end in death. Xeither Mrs. Larue 
nor the nurse slept during the whole night, but relieved 
each other at the bedside, holding by turns the quivering, 
clutching hand of Lillie, and fanning the crimson cheeks 
and the brow covered with a cold sweat as of a death agony. 
The latent womanlmess of Mrs. Larue, the tenderness which 
did actually exist in some small measure beneath her 
smooth surface of amiability and coquetry, was profoundly 
stirred by her instinctive sympathy for a suftering Avhich 
was all feminine. She remembered that same anguish in 
her own life, and lived it over again. Every throe of the 
sick girl seemed to penetrate her own body. She thought 
of the child which had been given and taken years ago, 
and then she wiped away a tear, lest Lillie might see it 
and fear for herself Allien she was not by the bedside 
she stood at the window, now looking for a glimpse of 
dawn as if that could bring any hope, and then turning to 
craze at the tossing^ invalid. 

The Doctor only once allowed Carter to enter the room. 
The ver}' expansion of Lillie at sight of him, the eagerness 
^Yith. which her soul reached out to him for help, pity, love, 
was perilous. There was danger that she might say, " My 
dear, good-bye f and in the exaltation of such an impulse 
she might have departed. As for him, he had never be- 
fore witnessed a scene like this, and he never forgot it. 
His wife held both his hands, clasping them spasmodically, 
a broad spot of fever in either cheek, the veins of her fore- 
head SAVollen, and her neck suffused, her eyes j^reternatur- 
ally open and never removed from his, her whole express- 



Feom Secessioi^ to Loyalty. 403 

ion radiant with agony. The mortal pain, the supernatural 
expectation, the light of that other world which was so 
near, spiritualized her face, and made it unhumanly beauti- 
ful. He seemed to himself to be standing on earth and 
joining hands with her in heaven. He had never before 
reached so far ; never so communed with another life. His 
own face was all of this world, stern with anxiety and per- 
haps remorse ; for the moment was so agitating and im- 
perious that he could not direct his emotions nor veil his 
expression. Happy for her that she had no suspicion of 
one thing which was in his heart. She believed that he 
was solely tortured by fear that she would die ; and if she 
could have thought to speak, she would have comforted 
him. On her own account she did not desire to live ; only 
for his sake, and for her father's, and perhaps a little for 
her child's. The old Doctor watched her, shook his head, 
signed to the husband to leave the room, and took his wife's 
hands m his place. As Carter went out Mrs. Larue fol- 
lowed him a few steps into the passage. 

" What is between you and me must end," she whisp- 
ered. 

" Yes," he replied in the same tone, and went to his 
room somewhat comforted. 

At seven in the morning he was awakened by a tremulous 
knocking at his door. Springing from the sofa, on which 
he had dozed for an hour or two without undressmg, he 
opened, and encountered Mrs. Larue, pale with sleeplessness 
but smiling gaily. 

" T e;2e^," she said, speaking her mother tongue in her 
haste, and hastened noiselessly, like a swift sprite, back to 
the sick room. Carter followed, entered with a sense of 
awe, passed softly around the screen which half encircled 
the bed, and saw his Avife and child lying side by side. 
Lillie was very pale ; her face was still sj^iritualized by the 
Gethsemane of the night ; but her eyes Avere still radiant 
with a purely human happiness. She w^as in eager haste 
to have him drink at the newly-opened fountain of joy. 



404 Miss Raven el's Conveksion 

Even as he stooped to kiss her slie could not -wait, but 
turned lier head towards the infant with a smile of exulta- 
tion and said, " Look at him." 

" But how are you ?" he asked, anxiously ; for a man 
"does not at once forget his wife in his oftspring ; and Car- 
ter had a stain of remorse on his soul which he needed to 
wash away with rivers of tenderness. 

" Oh, I am perfectly well," she answered. " Isn't he 
pretty ?" 

At that moment the child sneezed ; the air of this world 
was too pungent. 

" Oh, take him I" she exclaimed, looking for the nurse. 
" He is going to die." 

The black woman lifted the boy and handed him to the 
father. 

" Don't drop him," said Lillie. " Are you sure you can 
hold him ? I wouldn't dare to take him." 

As if she could have taken him ! In her eagerness she 
forgot that she was sick, and talked as if she were in her 
full strength. Her eyes followed the infant so uneasily 
about the room that Elderkin motioned Carter to replace 
him on the bed. 

" Xow he won't fall," she said, cheerfully. — " It was only 
a sneeze," she added presently, with a little laugh which was 
like a gurgle, a purr of hapjmiess. " I thought something 
was the matter with him." — Shortly afterward she asked, 
" How soon will he talk ?" 

" I am afraid not for two or three weeks, unless the 
weather is favorable," replied Elderkin, with a chuckle 
which under the circumstances was almost blasphemous. 

" How strange that he can't talk !" she replied, without 
noticing the old gentleman's joke. " He looks so intelli- 
gent!" 

" She wouldn't be a bit surprised to hear him sing an 
Italian opera," said Ravenel. " She has seen a miracle to- 
day. Nothing could astonish her." 

Lillie did not laugh nor answer ; nothing interested her 



Fko:m Secession to Loyalty. 405 

wliich did not say, Baby ! Baby was for the time the 
whole thought, the whole life, of this girl, who a little pre- 
vious existed through her husband, and before that through 
her father. Each passion had been stronger than its pre- 
decessor ; but now she had reached the culminating point 
of her womanhood : higher than Baby it was impossible 
for her to go. Even her father distressed and alarmed her 
a little by an affection for the newly-arrived divinity which 
lacked what she felt to be the proper reverence. ISTot con- 
tent Avith worshiping afar off, he picked up the tiny god 
and carried him to the partial day of a curtained wmdow, 
desu'ing, as he said, the honor of being the first to give him 
an idea. 

" The first to give him an idea !" laughed the father. 
" Why, he looks as if he had been thinkmg for centuries. 
He looks five thousand years old." 

Seeing that Lillie began to weary, the old Doctor re- 
placed the deity on the pillow which served him for an 
altar, and turned the male worshipers out of the room. 

" How delighted they are with him !" she said when the 
door had closed behmd them. " Doctor, isn't he an un- 
commonly handsome child ?" she added with the adorable 
simplicity of perfect love. " I thought babies were not 
pretty at first." 

The room was now kept still. The mother and child 
lay side by side, reposing from their night-long struggle 
for life. The mother looked steadily at the infant ; the in- 
fant looked with equal fixity at the window : each gazed 
and wondered at an unaccustomed glory. In a few min- 
utes both dropped to sleep, overcome by fatigue, and by 
novel emotions, or sensations. For three days a succes- 
sion of long slumbers, and of waking intervals similar to 
tranquilly delightful dreams, composed their existence. 
When they were thus reposed they tasted life vn.ih a more 
complete and delicious zest. Lillie entertauied her hus- 
band and father for hours at a time with discoursing on 
the attributes of the baby, pomting out the difl'erent 



406 Miss Ravenel's Con version 

elements of his glory, and showing how he grew in graces. 
She was quite indifferent to their affectionate raillery ; 
nothing could shake her faith in the illimital)ility of the 
new deity. They two, dear as they were, were neverthe- 
less human, and were not so necessary as they had been 
to her faith in goodness, and her happiness in loving. So 
long as she had the baby to look at, she could pass the 
whole day without them, hardly wondering at their 
absence. 

" We are dethroned," said the Doctor to the Colonel. 
" We are a couple of Sat urns who have made way for the 
new-born Jupiter." 

" Xonsense !" smiled Lillie. " You think that you are 
going to sj^end all your time with your minerals now. 
You are perfectly happy in the idea. I shaVt allow it." 

" Xo. We must remain and be converts to the new 
revelation. Well, I suppose we sha'n't resist. We are 
ready to make our profession of faith at all times and in 
all places." 

" This is the place," said Lillie. " Isn't he sweet ?" 

The grandfather knew a great deal better than either 
the father or mother how to handle the diminutive Jupiter. 
He took him from the pillow, carried him to the window, 
drew the curtain slowly, and laughed to see the solemn 
little eyes, after winkmg slowly, turn upward and fix 
themselves steadily on the broad, mild effulgence of the 
sky. 

" He looks for the light, as plants and trees lean to- 
wards it," said he. " He is trying to see the heavenly 
mansions which he may some day inhabit. Xobody knows 
how soon. They get up their chariots very suddenly 
sometimes, these little Elijahs." 

" Oh, don't talk so," imi^lored Lillie. " He sha'n't die." 

The Doctor was thinking of his own only boy, who had 
flown from the cradle to Heaven more than twenty years 
ago. 

Aside from tenderness for his wife, Carter's principal 



From Secession to Loyalty. 407 

emotion all this while was that of astonishment at his posi- 
tion. It cost him considerable mental effort, and stretch 
of imagination, to conceive himself a relative of the new- 
comer. He did not, like Lillie, love the child by passionate 
instinct ; and he had not yet learned to love him as he had 
learned to love her. He was tender of the infant, as a 
creature whose weakness pleaded for his protection ; but 
when it came to the question of affection, he had to con- 
fess that he loved him chiefly through his mother. He 
was a poor hand at fondling the boy, being always afraid 
of doing him some harm. He was better pleased to see 
him in Lillie's arms than to feel him in his own ; the little 
burden was curiously warm and soft, but so evidently sus- 
ce23tible to injury as to be a terror. 

" I would rather lead a storming party," he said. " I 
have been beaten in that sort of thmg, and lived through 
it. But if I should drop this fellow — " 

And here the warrior absolutely flinched at the thought 
of how he would feel in such a horrible case. 

Now commenced a beautiful reciprocal education of 
mother and child. Each discovered every day new mys- 
teries, new causes of admiration and love, in the other. 
Long before a childless man or even woman would have 
imagined signs of intelligence in the infant, the mother had 
not merely imagined but had actually discovered them. 
You would have been wrong if you had laughed incredu- 
lously when she said, "He begins to take notice." Of 
course her fondness led her into errors : she mistook symp- 
toms of mere sensation for utterances of ideas ; she per- 
ceived prophetically rather than by actual observation : 
but some things, some opening buds of intellect, she saw 
truly. She deceived herself when she thought that at the 
age of three weeks he knew his father ; but at the same 
time she was quite correct in believing that he recognized 
and cried for his mother. This delighted her ; she would 
let him cry for a moment, merely for the pleasure of being 
so desired ; then she would fold him to her breast and be 



408 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

his comforter, his life. They were teachers, consolers, 
deities, the one to the other. 

Her love gave a fresh inspiration to her religious feeling. 
Here was a new object of thanksgiving and prayer : an 
object so nearly divme that only Heaven could have sent 
it : an object so delicate that only Heaven could preserve 
it. For her baby she prayed with an intelligence, a feel- 
^mg, a faith, such as she had never known before, not even 
when praying for her husband during his times of battle. 
It seemed certain to her that the merciful All-Father and 
the Son who gave himself for the world would sympathize 
compassionately with the innocence, and helplessness of 
her little child. These sentiments were not violent : she 
would have withered under the breath of any passionate 
emotion : they were as gentle and comforting as summer 
breezes from orange groves. Once only, during a slight 
accession of fever, there came something like a physical 
revelation ; a room full of mysterious, dazzling light ; a 
communication of some surprising, unutterable joy ; an im- 
pression as of a elivine voice, saymg, " Thy sins are for- 
given thee." 

Forgiven of God, she wished also to be forgiven of man. 
The next morning, moved by the remembrance of the vis- 
ion, although its exaltation had nearly vanished with the 
fall of the fever, she beckoned her husband to her, and 
T\T.th tears begged his pardon for some long since forgotten 
petulance. This was the hardest trial that Carter had yet 
undergone. To have her plead for his forgiveness was a 
reproach that he could hardly bear with self-possession. 
He must not confess — no such relief was there for his bur- 
dened spirit — but he sank on his knees in miserable pen- 
itence. 

" Oh ! forgive me," he said. " I am not half good enough 
for you. I am not worthy of your love. You must pray 
for me, my darlmg." 

For the time she was his religion : his loving, chastening, 



From Secession to Loyalty. 409 

though not all-seing deity : uj^liftmg and piirifyuag him, 
even as she was exalted and sanctified by her child. 

Her sick-bed happiness was checkered by some troubles. 
It was hard not to stir ; not to be able to help herself; not 
to tend the baby. When her face was washed for her by 
the nurse, there would be places where it was not thor- 
oughly dried, and which she sought to wipe by rubbino- 
agamst the pillow. After- a few trials of this sort she for- 
bade the nurse to touch her, and in si ailed her husband in 
the duty. It w^as actually a comfort to him to seek to 
humiliate himself by these dressmg-maid services ; and it 
seemed to him that he was thereby earning forgiveness for 
the crime which he dared not confess. He washed her 
face, took her meals m, and put them out, fed her with his 
own hands, fanned her by the hour, and all, she thought, 
as no one else could. 

" How gentle you are !" she said, her eyes suddenly 
moistening with gratitude. " How nicely you wait on me ! 
And to think that you have led a storming party ! And I 
have seen men afraid of you ! My dear, what did you 
ever mean by saying that you are not good enough for 
me ? You are a hundred times better than I deserve." 

Carter laid his forehead in her gently clasping hands 
without speaking. 

" What are you going to call him ?" he asked presently. 

"Why, Ravenel; — didn't you know?" she answered 
'W'ith a smile. 

She had been callmg him Ravenel to herself for several 
days, without telling any one of it. It was a pleasure to 
think that she alone knew his name ; that she had so much 
in him of an unshared, secret possession. 

" Ravenel Carter," she repeated. " We can make that 
into Ravvie. Don't you like it ?" 

" I do," he answered. " It is the best name possible. 
It contains the name of at least one good man." 

" Of two good men," she insisted. " A good husband 
and a good father." 

S 



410 Miss Rave x el's Conversion 

Her first drive in the pony carriage was an ecstacy. By 
her side sat the nurse holding Ravvie, and opposite sat 
her husband and father. Presently she made the Colonel 
and the nurse change places. 

" I want my child where I can see him, and my husband 
where I can lean against him," she said. 

" I don't come in," observed the Doctor. " I am Mon- 
sieur De Trop — Mr. No Account." 

" Xo you are not. I want you to look at Ravvie and 
me." 

Soon she was anxious lest the child should catch cold 
by riding backwards. 

" No more danger one way than the other," said the 
Doctor. " The back of his head goes all around." 

" I dare say his hair will protect him ; won't it ?" she 
asked. 

" His hair is about as heavy as his whiskers," laughed 
the Doctor. " He is in no danger of Absalom'^ fate." 

The nurse having pulled up a shawl in rear of the little 
bobbmg head, Lillie was satisfied, and could turn her at- 
tention to other things. She laid her slender hand on her 
husband's knee, nestled against his strong shoulder and 
said, " Isn't it lovely — isn't the whole world beautiful !" 

They had taken the nearest cut out of the city, and were 
passing a surburban mansion, the front yard of which was 
full of orange trees and flowers. A few weeks before she 
would have wanted to steal the flowers ; now she eagerly 
asked her husband to get out and beg for some. When 
he returned with a gorgeous bouquet she was full of grati- 
tude, exclaiming, " Oh, how lovely ! Did you thank the 
people ? I am so obliged to them. Did they see the child 
in the carriage ?" 

" Yes," said the Colonel, smiling with pleasure at her 
naive delight. " The lady saw the child, and said this 
rose was for him." 

Accordingly the rose, carefully stripped of all thorns, 



\ 



From Secessiox to Loyalty. 411 

was put iiito the dimpled fist of Ravvie, who of course pro- 
ceeded to suck it. 

" He is smelling of it," cried Lillie, ^dth a charming faith 
in the little god's precocity. 

" He is trying it by his universal test — his all-sufficient 
crucible," said the Doctor. " Everything must go into 
that mouth. It is his only medium for acquiring knowledge 
at present. If it was large enough and he could reach far 
enough, he would investigate the nature of the solar system 
by means of it. It is lucky for the world that he is not 
sufficiently big to put the sun in his mouth. We should 
certainly find ourselves in darkness — not to mention that 
he might burn himself. My dear, I am afraid he will 
swallow some of the leaves," he added. "We must inter- 
fere. This is one of the emergencies when a grandfather 
has a right to exercise authority." 

The rose was gently detached from Ravvie's fat grasp, 
and stuck in his little silk bonnet, his eyes following it till 
it disappeared. 

" You see he is an eating animal," contmued the Doctor. 
" That is pretty much all at present, and that is enough. 
He has no need of any more wisdom than what will enable 
him to demand nourishment and dispose of it ; and God, in 
his great kindness towards infants, has not troubled him 
Tvith any further revelations so far. God has provided us 
to do all the necessary thinking in his case. The infant is 
a mere swallower, digestor, and assimilator. He knows 
how to convert other substances into himself. He does it 
with energy, singleness of purpose, perseverance, and won- 
derful success. N'othing more is requisite. In eating he 
is performing the whole duty of man at his age. So far as 
he goes he is a masterpiece." 

" But you are making a machine of him — an oyster," 
protested Lillie. 

" Very like," said the Doctor, " Very like an oyster. 
His existence has a simplicity and unity very similar to 
that of the lower orders of creation. Of course I am not 



412 Miss 

speaking of his possibilities. They are spiritual, grand, 
perhaj^s gigantic. If j'oii could see the inferior face of liis 
brain, you would be able to perceive even now the magnifi- 
cent capacities of the as yet untuned instrument." 

" Oh don't, papa !*' implored Lillie. " You trouble me. 
Do they ever dissect babies ?" 

" Not such lively ones as this," said the Doctor, and pro- 
ceeded to change the subject. " I never saw a healthier 
creature. I shouldn't wonder if he survived this war, 
which you used to say would last forty years. Perhaps 
he will be the man to finish it." 

" I don't say so now. I didn't think my husband would 
be on the Union side when I said that. I think we shall 
beat them now." 

" Since the miracle all other things seem possible," 
philosophised the Doctor. 

I do not repeat the Colonel's talk. It was not so ap- 
propriate as that of the others to the occasion ; for he knew 
little as yet of the profounder depths of womanly and in- 
fantile nature ; his first marriage had been brief and child- 
less. In fact. Carter was rather a silent man in family 
conclaves, unless the conversation turned on some branch 
of his profession, or the matters of ordinary existence. He 
occupied himself with watchmg alternately his wife and 
child ; with wrapping \\]) the former, and occasionally 
fondlmg the latter. 

" How very warm he feels ! — how amazingly he pulls 
hair! — I believe he wants to get my head in his mouth," 
are samples of his observations on the infant wonder. He 
felt that the baby was either below him or above him, he 
really could not tell which. Of his wife's position he was 
certain : she was far higher than his plane of existence : 
when she took his hand it was from the heavens. 

From Mrs. Larue he was thoroughly detached, and with 
a joyful sense of relief, freedom, betterment. They talked 
very little Avith each other, and only on indifierent subjects 
and in the presence of others. It is possible that this sep- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 413 

« 
aration would not have lasted if they had been thrown 
together nnguarded, as had been the case on board the 
Creole; but here, caring for his infimt and for the wife 
who had suffered so much and so sweetly for his sake, the 
Colonel felt no puissance of passionate temptation. 

Mrs. Larue had no conscience, no sense of honor ; but 
like many cold blooded ^^eople, she valued herself on her 
» firmness. In an unwonted burst of enthusiasm she had 
told him that all must be over between them, and she 
meant to make her words good, no matter Avhat he might 
desire. She was a little mortified to see how easily he had 
cut loose from her ; but she knew how to explain it so as 
not to wound her vanity, nor tempt her to break her reso- 
lution. 

" If he did not love his wife now, he would be a brute," 
she reflected. " And if he had had the possibilities of a 
brute in him, I never should have had a caprice for him. 
After all, I do not care much for the merely physical hu- 
man being. C^est par le cote morale qu ''on s'empare de 
moi. Ai^res tout je suis presque aicssi pure dans les senti- 
ments que ma petite coiisine.'''' 

Meanwhile her self-restramt was something of a trial to 
her. At times she thought seriously of marrying again, 
A\ith the idea of puttmg an end to these risky intrigues and 
harassing struggles. Perhaps it was under this impress- 
ion that she wrote a letter to Colburne, informing him of 
the birth of Ravvie, and sketchmg some few items of the 
scene with a picturesqueness and sympathy that quite 
touched the young gentleman, astonished as he was at the 
frankness of the language. 

" After all," she concluded, " married life has exquisite 
pleasures, as well as terrific possibilities of sorrow. I do 
not really know whether to advise a young man like you to 
take a wife or not. Whether you marry or remain smgle 
you will be sorry. I think that in either state the pains 
outweigh the pleasures. It follows that we are not to con- 
sider our own happiness, but to do what we think is 



414 Miss Ravexel'. s Conversion 

for the happiness of others. Is not this the true secret of 
life ?" 

"Is it possible that I have been unjust?" queried Col- 
burne. " Those are not the teachings of a corrupted na- 
ture." 

He did not know and could not have conceived the un- 
natural conscience, tlie abnormal ideas of purity and duty, 
which this woman had created for her own use and com- 
fort, out of elements that are beyond the ken of most Xew 
Englanders. He was the child of Puritanism, and she of 
Balzac's moral philosophy. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

COLONEL CARTER COMMITS HIS FIRST UNGENTLEMANLY 
' ACTION. 

We come now to the times of the famous and unfortu- 
nate Red River expedition. Durmg the winter of 1863-4 
Xew Orleans society, civil as well as military, was wild 
Avith excitement over the great enterprise which was not 
only to crush the rebel power m the southwest, but to 
open to commerce the immense stores of cotton belonging 
to the prhicely planters of the Red River bottoms. Cotton 
was gold, foreign exchange, individual wealth, national 
solvency. Thousands of men went half mad in their desire 
for cotton. Cotton was a contagion, an influenza, a delirium. 

In the height of this excitement a corpulent, baldish, 
smiling gentleman of fifty was closeted, not for the first 
time, with the chief quartermaster. His thick feet were 
planted wide apart, his chubby hands rested on his chubby 
knees, his broad base completely filled the large office 
chair in which he sat, his paunchy torso and fat head leaned 
forward in an attitude of eagerness, and his twinklmg grey 
eyes, encircled by yellowish folds, were fixed earnestly 
upon the face of Carter. 



Fro^ Secession to Loyalty. 415 

" Colonel, you make a great Biistake m letting this 
chance .lip " he said, and then paused to wheeze. 

The Co onel said nothing, smoked his twenty cent Ha.- 

^''^^IrrfLStTsm-e thing," continued the oleagi- 
nous i^onLge. "Banks' column will ^^-^^^^^^^Z 
»and strono-. Steele's will be ten thousand. Theie are 
£y thousand, without counting Porter's flee^ The 
Confederates can't raise twenty thousand to cover the Red 
S:fc:lry, if they go to hell. Besides^ Aere . an un 
derstandino-. Tit for tat, you know. Cotton lor casn. 
You see llamas well posted on the matter as you are, 

''"he paused, wheezed, nodded, smiled and bored hi. 
cofkLrew eyes into Carter. The latter uttei-ed not a wo. d 
n,id crave no sio-n of either acqmescence or demal. 

" You see th^ cotton is sure to come," contmued the stout 
man Srawing his ocular corkscrew for a moment 
"n^w whatlpro^ose is, that you put in the cai^tal^^or ^^^^ 
greater part of it, and that I do the work and g^ve jouthe 
fion's shire of th^ profits. I can't furmsh tiie c^p. 1 and 
vou can You can't do the work, and I can. Oi suppose 
iZarantee you a certain sum on each bale, Colonel, for 
aluXd th'ousand dollars, I promise you a square profit 

"^V^Ir'rlLViftistl to pay so well, why don't you 
an in alone ?" asked Carter. 

^ Mr Walker pointed at his coarse grey trousers and then 
took hold of the frayed edge of his coarse grey coat. 

"See here. Colonel," said he. "The man who wears 
this cloth hasn't a hundred thousand dollars ^'^^J, , ^'^^ i 
I knew you in old times I used to go ^" ?^y ^>-°^£°,*;„^^ 
hope to do it again-not that I care for it. Thats one 



410 Miss 11 a vex el's Conversion 

reason I don't go in alone — a short "bank balance. Another 
is that I haven't the influence at lieadquarters that you have. 
I need your name as well as your money to put the busi- 
ness through quick and sure. That's why I offer you four 
fifths of the profits. Colonel, it's a certain thing and a good 
thmo-. I am positively astonished at finding any hesitation 
in a man in your pecuniary condition." 

" What do you know about my condition ?" demanded 
Carter imperiously. 

" Well, it's my interest to know," replied Walker, whose 
cunning fat smile did not quail before the Colonel's leonine 
roar and toss of mane. " I have bought up a lot of your 
debts and notes. I got them for an average of sixty, Col- 
onel." 

" You paid devilish dear, and made a bad investment," 
said Carter, " I wouldn't have given thirty." 

A bitter smile twisted his lips as he thought how poor 
he was, how bad his credit was, and how mean it was to 
be poor and discredited. 

" Perhaps I have. I believe I have, unless you go into 
this cotton. I bought them to induce you to go into it. 
I thought you would oblige a man who relieved you from 
forty or fifty duns. I took a four thousand dollar risk on 
you. Colonel." 

Carter scowled and stopped smoking. He did not know 
what W^alker could do with him ; he did not much be- 
lieve that he legally could do anythmg ; his creditors never 
had done more than dun him. But High Authority might 
perhaps be led to do unpleasant thmgs: for instance, in the 
way of relieving him from his position, if the fact should 
be forced upon its notice, that so responsible an officer as 
the chief quartermaster of the Gulf Department was bur- 
dened by private indebtedness. At all events it was un- 
pleasant to have a grasping, intriguing, audacious fellow 
like Walker for a creditor to so large an amount. It 
would be a fine thing to get out of debt once for all ; to 
astonish his duns (impertinent fellows, some of them) by 



Fko:m Secession to Loyalty. 417 

settling eveiy solitary bill mth interest ; to be rich once 
for all, without clanger of recnrrmg poverty ; to be rich 
enough to force promotion. Other officials — quartermas- 
ters, paymasters, etc. — Avere going in for cotton on the 
strength of Government deposits. The influenza had 
caught the Colonel ; indeed it was enough to corrupt any 
man's honesty to breathe the moral atmosphere of 'Nevf Or- 
leans at that time ; it could taint the honor derived from 
blue ancestral blood and West Point professional pride. 

Carter did not, however, give way to his oily Mephis- 
topheles during this mterview. Walker's victory was 
not so sudden as Mrs. Larue's ; his temptation was not so 
well suited as hers to the character of the victim ; the love 
of lucre could not compare as a force with /e clivhi se7ts du 
genesiacjue. It was not until Walker had boldly threatened 
to brmg his claims before the General Commanding, not 
until the army had well nigh reached the Red River, not 
until the chance of investment had almost passed, that the 
Colonel became a speculator. Once resolved, he acted 
with audacity, according to his temperament. But here, 
unfortunately for the curious reader, we enter upon cavern- 
ous darkness, where it is impossible to trace out a story 
except by hazardous inference, our only guides being com- 
mon rumor, a fragment of a letter, a conversation half- 
overheard, and other circumstances of a like unsatisfactory 
nature. Before giving my narrative publicity I feel bound 
to state that the entire series of alleged events may be a 
fiction of the excited popular imagination, founded on 
facts which might be explained in accordance with an as- 
sumption of Carter's innocence, and official honor. 

I am inclined to believe, or at least to admit, that he 
drew a large sum (not less than one hundred thousand 
dollars) of the Government money in his charge, and 
placed it in the hands of his agent for the purchase of cot- 
ton from the planters of the Red River. It is probable 
that Walker expected to complete the transaction withm 
a month, and to place the cotton, or the proceeds of it, in 



418 Miss R a vex el's Conversion 

the hands of his principal early enough to enable the latter 
to show a square balance on his official return at the close 
of the current quarter. Such claims as might come in 
during this period could be put off by the plea of " no 
funds," or the safer devices of, " disallowed," — " papers 
returned for correction," etc., etc. That the cotton could 
be sold at a monstrous profit was unquestionable. At 
New Orleans there were greedy capitalists, who had not 
been lucky enough to get into the Ring, and so accompany 
the expedition, who were anxious to pay cash down for 
the precious commodity immediately on its arrival at the 
levee, or even before it quitted the Red River. Iso body 
entertained a doubt of the military and commercial suc- 
cess of the great expedition, with its fleet, its veteran in- 
fantry, its abundant cavalry, all splendidly equipped, and 
its strategic combination of concentric columns. Even 
rabid secessionists were infected by the mania, and sought 
to invest their gold in cotton. It is probable that Carter's 
hopes at this time were far higher than his fears, and that 
he pretty confidently expected to see himself a rich man 
inside of sixty days. I am telling my story, the reader 
perceives, on the presumption that rumor has correctly 
stated these mysterious events. 

If the materials for the tale were only attainable it would 
be a delightful thmg to follow the coipulent Walker 
through the peaceful advance and sangumary retreat of 
the great expedition. It is certain that from some quarter 
he obtained command of a vast capital, and that, in spite 
of liis avoirdupois, he was alert and indefatigable in seek- 
ing opportunities for investment. Had Mars been half as 
adroit and watchful in liis strategy as this fiit old Mercury 
was m his speculations, Shreveport would have been taken, 
and Carter would have made a quarter of a million. But 
the God of Lucre had great reason to grumble at the God 
of War. It was in vain that Mercury lost fifty pounds of 
flesh in sleepless lookout for chances, in audacious rides to 
plantations haunted by guerrillas, shot at from swamps, 



Fiio:m Secession to Loyalty. 419 

and thickets, half starved or living on raw pork and hard- 
tack, bargaining nearly all night after riding all day, un- 
tirino- as a savage, zealous as an abolitionist, sublime in his 
passion for gain. Mars incautiously stretched his splendid 
army over thirty miles of road, and saw it beaten in de- 
tachments by a force one quarter smaller, and vastly in- 
ferior in discipline and equipment. There was such a 
panic at Sabme Cross Roads as had not been seen since 
Bull Run. Cavalry, artillery, and infantry, mingled to- 
gether m hopeless confusion, rushed in wild flight across 
the open fields, or forced their way down a narrow ro'ad 
encumbered with miles of abandoned baggage wagons. 
Through this chaos of terror advanced the saviours of the 
dav, the heroic First Division of the Xineteenth Corps, 
marching calmly by the flank, hooting and jeering the 
runaways, filing into line within grape range of the enemy, 
and opening a withering fire of musketry which checked 
until nightfall the victorious, elated, impetuous Rebel 
masses. Then came an extraordinary midnight retreat of 
twenty miles, and in the afternoon of the next day a hardly- 
won, unimproved victory. The first division of the Xine- 
teenth Corps, and seven thousand men of the Sixteenth 
Corps, the one forming the right and the other the left, 
resisted for hours the violent charges of the rebels, and 
then advanced two miles, occupying the field of battle. 
The soldiers were victorious, but the General was beaten. 
A new retreat was ordered, and Mercury went totally to 
grief 

The obese Walker was last seen by loyal eyes on the 
night which followed the barren triumph of Pleasant Hill. 
He had had his horse shot under him in the begmning of 
the fightmg at Sabine Cross Roads, while in advance of the 
column ; had efiected a masterly retreat, partly on foot 
and partly on a Government mule which he took from a 
negro driver, who had cut it loose from an entangled 
waggon ; had fed himself abundantly from the havresacks 
of defunct rebels on the field of victory ; and then had he- 



420 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

roically set to work to make the best of circumstances. 
Believing with the confidence of his sanguine nature that 
the army would advance in the mornmg, he started on his 
mule, accompanied by two comrades of the Ring, for the 
house of a neighboring planter, to whom it is supposed 
that he had advanced cash for cotton. Xo one knows to 
this day what became of him, or of his funds, or invest- 
ments, or fellow adventurers. All alike disappeared utterly 
and forever from the knowledge of the Union army when 
the three rode into that night of blood and groans beyond 
the! flickermg circle of light, thrown out by the camp fires. 

The news of the calamity, we may suj^pose, nearly par- 
alyzed Carter. Defalcation, trial by court-martial, dis- 
graceful dismissal from the service, hard labor at Tortugas, 
ball and chain, a beggared family, a crazed wife, must 
have made up a terrific spectre, advancing, close at hand, 
unavoidable, pitiless. It Avould be a laborious task to an- 
alyze and fully conceive the feelmgs of such a man in such 
a position. Xaturally and with inexorable logic followed 
the second act of the moral tragedy. A deed which some 
men would call merely a blunder led straight to another 
deed which all men would call a crime. He could not, 
as men have sometimes done, hope to annul his indebtedness 
by the simple commission of murder. Irresistible necessity 
drove him (if our hypothetical tale is correct) into a species 
of Avickedness which was probably more repugnant to his 
peculiarly educated conscience than the taking of human 
life. 

Carter wanted, we will say, one hundred and ten thou- 
sand dollars to make himself square with the United States 
and his private creditors. Looking over the Government 
property for wliich he had receipted and was responsible, 
he found fifteen steamboats, formerly freight or passenger 
boats on the Mississij^pi and its branches, but now regular 
transports, part of them lying idly at the levee, the others 
engaged in carrying reinforcements to the army at Grande 
Ecore or in bringing back the sick and wounded. If ten 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 421 

of these boats were sold at an average of ten thousand 
dollars apiece and re-bought at an average of twenty-five 
thousand dollars apiece, the transaction would furnish a 
profit of "one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which 
would settle all his debts, besides furnishing collusion- 
money. Fu'st, he wanted a nominal purchaser, who 
had that sort of honor which is necessary among thieves, 
fortune enough to render the story of the purchase plausi- 
ble, and character enough to impose on the public. Carter 
went straight to a man of known fortune, born in Xew 
Orleans, high in social position, a secessionist who had 
taken the oath of allegiance. Mr. Hollister was a small 
and thin gentleman, with sallow and hollow cheeks, black 
eyes, ii'on gray hair, mellow voice, composed and elegant 
manners. His air, notwithstanding his small size, was 
remarkably dignified, and his expression was so calm that 
it would have seemed benignant but for a most nnhappy 
eye. It was startlingly black, with an agitated flicker in 
it, like the flame of a candle blowing in the wind ; it did 
not seem to be pursuing any object without, but rather 
flying from some horrible thought within. What intrigue 
or crime or suflering it was the record of it is not worth 
while to inquire. There had been many dark things done 
or planned in Louisiana during the lifetime of Mr. Hollis- 
ter. His age must have been sixty-five, although the fresh- 
ness of his brown morning suit, the fineness and fit of his 
linen, the neat brush to his hair, the clean shave on his face, 
took ten years off" his shoulders. As he dabbled in stocks 
and speculations, he had his office. He advanced to meet 
the chief quartermaster, shook hands with respectful cor- 
diality, and conducted him to a chair with as much polite- 
ness as if he were a lady. 

" You look pale. Colonel," he said. " Allow me to offer 
you a glass of brandy. Trying season, this last summer. 
There was a time when I never thought of facing our cli- 
mate all the year round." 

Taking out of a cupboard one of the many bottles of 



422 Miss Ra vex el's Conversion 

choice old cognac with which he had enriched his wine- 
cellar, before the million of former days had dwindled to 
the hundred thousand of to-day, he set it beside a pitcher 
of ice-water and some glasses which stood on a table. The 
Colonel swallowed half a tumbler of pure brandy, and 
dashed some water after it. The broker mixed a weak 
slino;, and sipped it to keep his visitor in countenance. 

" Mr. Hollister," said Carter, " I hope I shall not offend 
you if I say that I know you have suffered heavily by 
the war." 

" I shall certainly not be offended. I am obliged to you 
for showing the slightest interest in my affairs." 

" You have taken the oath of allegiance — haven't you ?" 

Mr. Hollister said " Yes," and bowed respectfully, as if 
saluting the United States Government. 

" It is only fair that you should obtain remuneration for 
your losses." 

The black eyes flashed a little under the iron-gray, bushy 
eyebrows, but the sallow face shoAved no other sign of 
interest and none of impatience. 

" I know of a transaction — an investment — " pursued 
Carter, " which will probably enable you to pocket — to re- 
alize — perhaps twenty thousand dollars." 

" I should be indebted to you for life. Whatever ser- 
vice I can render in return will be given with all my 
heart." 

" It requires secrecy. May I ask you to pledge your 
word ?" 

" I pledge it. Colonel — my word of honor — as a Louisi- 
ana gentleman." 

Carter drew a long breath, poured out another dose of 
brandy, partially raised it and then set it, down without 
drmking. 

" There are ten river steamboats here," he went on — 
" ten transports which are not wanted. I have received a 
message from headquarters to the effect that we no longer 
need our present large force of transports. The ai-my will 



Fro:m: Secessiox to Loyalty. 423 

not retreat from Grande Ecore. It is sufficiently reinforced 
to go to Bhrereport. I am empowered to select eight of 
these transports for sale — you understand." 

" Precisely," bowed Hollister. " If the army advances, 
of course it does not need transports." 

As to the military information he neither believed nor 
disbelieved, knowing well that the Colonel would not 
honestly tell him anything of consequence on that score. 

" Well, they will be sold," added Carter, after a pause, 
during which he vainly tried to imagine some other method 
of covering his enormous defalcation. " They will be sold 
at auction. They will probably bring next to nothing. I 
propose that you be present to buy them." 

The broker closed his eyes for a moment or two, and 
when he had opened them he had made his calculations. 
He inferred that the United States Government was not to 
profit much by the transaction ; that, in plain words, it 
was to be cheated out of an amount of property more or 
less considerable ; and, being a Confederate at heart, he 
had no objection. 

" Why not have a private sale ?" he asked. 

" It is contrary to the Regulations." 

" Ah ! Then it might be well not to have the auction 
made too public." 

" I suppose so. Perhaps that can be arranged." 

" I can arrange it, Colonel. If I may select the parties 
to be present, men of straw, you understand — the auction 
will wear a sufficient air of publicity, and will yet be sub- 
stantially a private sale. All that is easily enough man- 
aged, provided we first understand each other thoroughly. 
Listen, if you please. The ten steamboats are worth, we 
will say, an average of twenty-five thousand dollars, or 
two hundred and fifty thousand for the lot. If I buy them 
for an average of ten thousand, which is respectable " 

Here he looked gravely at Carter, and, seeing assent in 
his eyes, continued. 

" If I buy them at an average of ten thousand, there 



424 Miss Ravexel's Coxveksiox 

will remain a profit — in case of sale — of one hundred and 
fifty thousand. That is very well — exceedingly well. Of 
course I should only demand a moderate proportion of so 
large a sum. But there are several other things to be con- 
sidered. If I am to pay cash down, it will oblige me to 
borrow immensely, and perhaps to realize at a loss by 
forcing sales of my stocks. In that case I should want — 
say a third — of the profit in order to cover my risk and 
my losses, as well as my expenses in the way of — to be 
plain — hush-money. If I can pay by giving my notes, 
and moreover can be made sure of a j^urchaser before the 
notes mature, I can afford to undertake the job for one 
sixth of the profits, which I estimate to be twenty-five 
thousand dollars." 

There was a flash of pleasure in Carter's eyes at discov- 
ering that the broker was so moderate m his expectations. 
There was a similar glitter in the dark orbs of Hollister at 
seeing that the Colonel tacitly accepted his ofl:er, from 
which he would have been willing to abate a few thousands 
rather than lose the job. 

" The boats will have to go before an Inspector before 
they can be sold," said the Colonel, after a few moments 
of reverie, duruig which he drank off his brandy. 

" I hope he will be amenable to reason," said Hollister. 
" Perhaps he will need a couple of thousands or so before 
he will be able to discover his Ime of duty. It may an- 
swer if he is merely ignorant of steamboats." 

" Of course he is. What can an army officer know about 
steam engmes or hulls ?" 

" I will see that he is posted. I will see thai he has en- 
tirely satisfactory evidence concerning the worthless 
nature of the jDroperty from the captains, and engineers, 
and carpenters. That will require — say three thousand — 
possibly twice that. I will advance the money for these 
incidental expenses, and you will reimburse me one half 
when the transaction is complete." 

The Colonel looked up uneasily, and made no reply. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 425 

He did not want to make money out of the swindle : 
curiously enough he still had too much conscience, too 
much honor, for that ; but he must be sure of enough to 
clear off his defalcation. 

" Well, we will see about that afterward," comj^romised 
Hollister. " I will pay these expenses and leave the ques- 
tion of reimbursement to you. By the way, what are the 
names of the boats ? I know some of them." 

" Queen of the South, Queen of the West, Pelican, Cres- 
cent City, Palmetto, Union, Father of Waters, Red River, 
Gulf State, and Massachusetts," repeated Carter, ^dth a 
pause of recollection before each title. 

The broker laughed. 

" I used to own three of them. I know them all, except 
the Massachusetts, which is a northern boat. All in run- 
ning order ?" 

"Yes. Dirty, of course." 

" Very well. Now jDcrmit me to make out a complete 
l^rogramme of the transaction. The boats are recommended 
for the action of an Inspector. I see to it that he receives 
sufficient evidence to prove their imserviceable condition. 
It is ordered that they be sold at j^ublic auction. I pro- 
vide the persons who are to be present at the auction. 
These men — my agents — will purchase the boats at a net 
cost of one hundred thousand dollars, for which they will 
give my notes payable a month from date. ^\"ithin the 
month I am supposed to refit the boats and make them 
serviceable, while the Government is certain to need them 
back again. I then sell them to you — the purchasing 
agent of the Government — for a net sum of at least two 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. I receive my notes 
back, and also a cash balance of one hundred and thirty 
thousand dollars, of which I only take thirty thousand, 
leaving the rest in your hands under a mutual pledge of 
confidence. I desire to make one final suggestion, which 
I consider of great importance. It would be well if the 
boats, when re-bought, should accidentally take fire and 



426 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

be destroyed, as it would prevent inspection as to the 
amount which I might have expended in repairs. Colonel, 
is that perfectly to your satisfaction ?" 

The unfortunate, unhappy, degraded officer and gentle- 
man could only reply, " Yes." 

Such is the sup^^osed secret history of this scandalous 
stroke of business. It is only certain that the boats M^ere 
inspected and condemned; that at an auction, attended by 
a limited number of respectably dressed persons, they 
were sold for sums varying from seven to fifteen thousand 
dollars ; that the amounts were all paid in the notes of L. 
M. Hollister, a well-known broker, and capitalist of sup- 
posed secession proclivities ; that within a month the trans- 
ports were repurchased by the Government at sums vary- 
ing from fifteen to thirty thousand dollars ; that thus a net 
profit of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars accrued to 
the said Hollister ; and that three days after the sale the 
boats cauo-ht fire and burned to the water's eds^e. Of 
course there was talk, perhaps unjustifiable ; suspicions, 
which perhaps had no foundation in fact. But there was 
no investigation, possibly no serious cause for it, probably 
no chance for it. 

Colonel Carter sent a square balance-sheet to the Quar- 
termaster's Department at Washmgton, and paid all his 
private debts in 'New Orleans. But he grew thin, looked 
anxious, or ostentatiously gay, and resumed to some ex- 
tent his habits of drinking. Once he terrified his wife by 
remaining out all night, explaining when he came home in 
the morning that he had been up the river on pressing 
business. The truth is that the Colonel had got himself 
stone-blind drunk, and had slept himself sober in a hotel. 



FROii Secession to Loyalty. 427 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

A TORTURE -V^'HICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN SPARED. 

A WEEK after the conflagration Carter received his com- 
mission as Brigadier-General. His first impression was one 
of exultation : his enemies and his adverse fate had been 
beaten ; he was on the road to distinction ; he could wear 
the silver star. Then came a feeling of despondency and 
fear, while he remembered the crime into which he had 
been driven, as he thought or tried to think, by the lack 
of this just recognition of his services. Oh the bitterness 
of good fortune, long desired, which comes too late ! 

"A month ago this might have saved me," he muttered, 
and then burst into curses upon his political opponents, his 
creditors, himself, all those who had brought about his 
ruin. 

" My only crime ! The only ungentlemanly act of my 
life ]" was another phrase which dropped from his lips. 
Doubtless he thought so: many people of high social posi- 
tion hold a similarly mixed moral creed ; they allow that 
a gentleman may be given to expensive immoralities, but 
not to money-getting ones ; that he may indulge in wine, 
women, and play, but not m swindlmg. All over Europe 
this curious ethical distinction prevails, and very naturally, 
for it springs out of the conditions of a hereditary aristo- 
tracy, and makes allowance for the vices to which wealthy 
nobles are tempted, but not for vices to which they are 
not tempted. A feeble echo of it has traversed the ocean, 
and influenced some characters in America both for good 
and for evil. 

Carter was almost astonished at the child-like joy, so 
contradictory to his own angry remorse, with which Lillie 
received the news of his promotion. 

" Oh ! — My General !" she said, colormg to her forehead 



428 Miss Ravexel's Cox tee sign 

with delight, after a single glance at the commission which 
he dropped into her lap. She rose up and gave him a 
mock military salute ; then sprang at him and covered his 
bronzed face and long mustache with kisses. 

" I am so happy ! They have done you justice at last — 
a little justice. Oh, I am so glad and proud ! I am going 
Avith you to buy the star. You shall let me choose it." 

Then, her mind taking a forward leap of fifteen years, 
she added, " We will send Rav^^e to West Point, and he 
shall be a general, too, He isgomg to be very intelligent. 
And brave, also. He isn't in the least timid." 

Carter laughed for the first time smce he had received 
the commission. 

" My dear," said he, " Ravvie will probably become a 
general long after I have ceased to be one. I am a volun- 
teer. I am only a general while the war lasts." 

" But the war will last a long time," hopefully replied 
the monster in woman's guise, who loved her husband a 
hundred times as much as she did her country. 

" There is one unpleasant result of this promotion," ob- 
served Carter. 

" What ! You are not going to the field ?" asked Lil- 
lie, clutching him by the sleeve. " Oh, don't do that !" 

" My little girl, I cannot hold my present jDosition. A 
Brigadier-General can't remain quartermaster, not even of 
a department. I must resign it and report for duty. 
Headquarters may order me to the field, and I certainly 
ought to go." 

" Oh no ! It can't be necessary. To think that this 
should come just when we were so happy. I wish you 
hadn't been promoted." 

"My darling, you want to make a woman of me," he 
said, holding her close to his side. " I must show myself 
a man, now that my manhood has been recognized. My 
honor demands it." 

He talked of his honor from long habit ; conscious, how- 
ever, that the word stung him. 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 429 

"But don't ask to be sent to the field," pleaded Lillie. 
" Resign your place and report for duty, if you must. 
But please don't ask to be sent to the field. Promise me 
that ; won't you ?" 

Looking into his wife's tearful eyes, mth his strong and 
plump hands on her sloping shoulders, the Colonel prom- 
ised as she asked him. But that evening, Avriting from his 
office, he sent a communication to the headquarters of the 
Department of the Gulf, requestmg that he might be re- 
lieved from his quartermastership and assigned to duty 
with the army in the field. What else should he do ? He 
had proved himself unfit for family life, unfit for business ; 
but, by (this and that and th» other) he could command a 
brigade and he could fight. He would do what he had 
done, and could do again, with credit. Besides, if he should 
win distinction at Grande Ecore, it might prevent an in- 
vestigation into that infernal muddle of cotton and steam- 
boats. A great deal is pardoned by the public, and even 
by the War Department, to courage, capacity, and success. 

In a few days he received orders from the General com- 
manding, directing him to report to the headquarters of the 
army in the field. He signed his last quartermaster papers 
gaily, kissed his wife and child sadly, shook hands with 
Ravenel and Mrs. Larue, and took the first boat up the 
river. 

Lillie was amazed and shocked at discovering how little 
she missed him. She accused herself of bemg wicked and 
heartless ; she would not accept the explanation that she 
v>'as a mother. It was all the more hateful in her to for- 
get him, she said, noAV that he was the father of her child. 
Still, she could not be miserable ; she was almost always 
happy with her baby. Such a lovely baby he was ; charm- 
ing because he was heavy, because he ate, because he 
slept, because he cried ! His wailing troubled her because 
it denoted that he was ill at ease, and not because the 
sound was in itself disagreeable to her ear. If she heard it 
at a little distance from the house, for instance when re- 
T 



430 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

returning from a walk, she quickened her step and smiled 
gaily, saj^ing, " He is alive. You will see how he will 
stop when I take him." 

People who feel so strongly are rarely interesting ex- 
cept to those who share their feelings, or who have learned 
to love them under any circumstances, and though all the 
metamorphoses of which a single character is capable. She 
would have been perfectly tedious at this period to any or- 
dinary acquaintance who had not been initiated into the 
sweet mystery of love for children. Her character and con- 
versation seemed to be all solved in the great alembic of 
maternity. She was a mother as passionately as she had 
been a betrothed and a wife ; and indeed it appeared as 
if this culminating condition of her womanhood was the 
most absorbing of all. This exquisite life, delicious in spite 
of her occasional anxieties and self-reproaches concerning her 
husband, flowed on ^Tithout much mixture of trouble until 
one day she picked up a letter on the floor of her father's 
study which opened to her a hitherto inconceivable foun- 
tain of bitterness. Let us see how this unfortunate manu- 
script found its way into the house. 

Doctor Ravenel, deprived for the last two years of his 
accustomed summer trip to Europe, or the north, or other 
countries blessed with a mineralogy, sought health and 
amusement in long walks about Xew Orleans and its flat, 
ugly vicinity. Lillie, who used to be his comrade in these 
exercises, now took constitutionals in the pony carriage or 
in company T\Tlth the wicker wagon of Master Ravvie. 
These strolls of the Doctor were therefore somewhat dull 
business. A country destitute of stones was to him much 
like a language destitute of a literature. He fell into a 
way of walking without paying much attention to his sur- 
roundings, revolving the while new systems of mineralogy, 
crystallizing his knowledge into novel classifications, re- 
calling to memory the characteristics of his specimens, as 
Lillie recollected the giggles and cunning ways of her baby. 
In one of these absent-minded moods he was surprised by 



From Secessio?^ to Loyalty.. 431 

a heavy shower, three or four miles from home. The only 
shelter was a deserted shanty, once probably the dwelling 
of a free negro. A minute or two after the Doctor found 
himself in its single room, and before he had discovered 
the soundest part of its leaky roof, a man in the imdress 
uniform of a United States officer, dripping wet, reeled into 
the doorway, mth the observation, " By Jove ! this is 
w^atering my rum." 

The Doctor immediately recognized in the herculean fonn, 
bronzed face, black eyes and twisted nose, the personality 
of Lieutenant Yan Zandt. He had not seen him for nearly 
two years, but the man's appearance and voice were un- 
forgettable. The Doctor was charitable in philosophising 
concerning coarse and vicious people, but he abominated 
their society and always avoided it if possible. He looked 
about him for a means of escape and found none ; the man 
filled up the only door-way, and the rain was descending in 
torrents. Accordingly the Doctor turned his back on the 
Lieutenant and ruminated mineralogy. 

" I prefer plain whisky," continued Van Zandt, staring 
at the rain with a contemptuous grin. " I don't want, by 
Jove ! so much water in my grog. None of your mixed 
drinks, by Jove ! Plain whisky !" 

After a minute more of glaring and smiling, he remarked, 
" Dam slow business, by Jove ! Van Zandt, my bully 
boy, we won't wait to see this thing out. We'll turn in." 

Facing about with a lurch he beheld the otfier inmate 
of the shanty. 

" Hullo !" he exclaimed. Then recollecting the breeding 
of his youth, he added, " I beg pardon, sir. Am I mtrud- 
ing?" 

" N'ot at all ; of course not," replied Ravenel. " Our 
rights here are the same." 

" I aiji glad to hear it. And, by the way, have the kind- 
ness to understand me, sir. I didn't mean to insinuate 
that I supposed this to be your residence. J[.only thought 
that you might be the proprietor of the estate." 



432 Miss Kavexel's Conversion * 

"Xot so unfortunate," said tlie Doctor. 

The Lieutenant laughed like a twelve-pound brass how- 
itzer, the noisiest gun, I believe, in existence. 

" Very good, sir. The more a man owns here in Louis- 
iana, the poorer he is. That's just my opinion, sir. I feel 
honored in agreeing with you, sir. By Jove, I own noth- 
ing. I couldn't afford it — on my pay." 

A stream of water from a hole in the roof was pattering 
on his broad back, but he took no notice of it, and probably 
was not conscious of it. He stared at the Doctor with un- 
blinking, bulgmg eyes, not in the least recollecting him, 
but perfectly conscious that he was -in the presence of a 
gentleman. Drunk or sober, Van Zandt never forgot that 
he came of old Knickerbocker stock, and never failed to 
accord respect to aristocratic demeanor wherever he 
found it. 

" I beg your pardon, sir," he resumed. " You must ex- 
cuse me lor addressing you in this free and easy way. I 
only saw you indistmctly at first, sir, and couldn't judge 
as to your social position and individual character. I per- 
ceive that you are a gentleman, sir. You will excuse me 
for mentioning that I coP-ie of an old Knickerbocker family 
which dates in American history from the good old jolly 
Dutch times of Peter Stuyvesant — God bless his jolly old 
Dutch memory ! You Tvill understand, sir, that a man 
who feels such blood as that in his veins is glad to meet a 
o;entleman anywhere, even in such a cursed old hovel as 
this, as leaky and rickety, by Jove ! as the Southern Con- 
federacy. And, sir, in that connection allow me to say, 
hoping no offence if you hold a contrary opmion, that the 
Confederacy is played out. We licked them on the Red 
River, sir. The bully old First Division — God bless its 
ragged old flags ! I can't speak of them without feeling 
my eyes water — much as I hate the fluid — the jolly, fight- 
ing old First Division fairly murdered them at Sabme 
Cross Roads. At Pleasant Hill the old First, and Andrew 
Jackson Smith's western boys laid them out over two 



FROii Secession to Loyalty. 433 

miles square of prairie. If we had had a cracker in our 
havresacks ^ye would have gone bang up to Shreveport — if 
we had had a cracker apiece, and the firm of W. C. Do 
you know what I mean, sir, by W. C ? Weitzel and Car- 
ter ! Those are the boys for an advance. That's the firm 
that our brigade and division banks on. TVeitzel and 
Carter would have taken us to Shreveport, with or without 
crackers, by Jove ! We wanted nothmg but energy. If 
we had had half the go, the vim, the forward march, to 
lead us, that the rebels had, we would have finished the 
war in the southwest. We must take a leaf out of Johnny 
Reb's book. Fas est ah hosted doceri. I believe I quote 
correctly. If not, please correct me. By the way, did I 
mention to you that I am a graduate of Columbia CoUert'e 
in Xew York City ? Allow me to repeat the statement. 
I have reason to be proud of the fact, inasmuch as I took 
the Greek salutatory, the second highest honor, sir, of the 
graduation. You are a college man yourself, sir, I per- 
ceive, and can make allowance for my vanity in the cir- 
cumstance. But I am wandering fron my subject. I was 
speakmg, I believe, of Colonel Carter — I beg his pardon — 
General Carter. At last, sir, the Administration has done 
justice to one of the most gallant and capable ofiicors in 
the service. So much the better for the Administration. 
Colonel Carter — I beg pardon — General Carter is not only 
an oflicer but a gentleman ; not one of those plebeian hum- 
bugs whom our ridiculous Democracy delights 4o call 
nature's gentlemen; but a gentleman born and bred — 
1171 echayitillon de bonne race — a jet of pure old sangre azul. 
I, who am an old Knickerbocker — as I believe I had the 
honor to inform you — I delight to see such men put for- 
ward. Don't you, sir ?" 

The Doctor admitted with a polite smile that the promo- 
tion of General Carter gave him pleasure. 

" I knew it would, sir. You came of good blood your- 
self. I can see it in your manners and conversation, sir. 
"Well, as I was saymg, the promotion of Carter is one of 

T 



434 Miss Rave x el's Conversion 

the most intelligent mores of the Admmistration. Carter— 
I \)eg pardon — I don't mean to insinuate that I am on 
familiar terms with him — I acknowledge him as my supe- 
rior officer and keep my distance — General Carter is born 
for command and for victory. Wherever he goes he con- 
quers. He is triumphant in tJie field and in the boudoir. 
He is victorious over man and women. By Jove, sir," 
(here he gave a saturnine chuckle, and leer.) " I came 
across the most amusing proof of his capacity for bringing 
the fair sex to a surrender." 

The Doctor grew uneasy, and looked out anxiously at 
the pouring rain, but saw no chance of effecting an escape. 

" You see, sir, I am wounded," continued Van Zandt. 
" They gave me a welt at Port Hudson, and they gave me 
another at Pleasant Hill." 

" 3Iy dear sir, you will catch your death, standing un- 
der the drippmg in that way," said the Doctor. 

" Thank you, sir," replied Van Zandt, changhig his posi- 
tion. "Xo great harm, however. Water, sir, doesn't 
hurt me, unless it gets into my whiskey. Exteriorly it is 
simply disagreeable ; interiorly the same, as well as in- 
jurioas. Xot that I am opposed to bathing. On the con- 
trary, it is my practice to take a sponge bath every morn- 
ing — that is, Avlien I don't sleej) withui musket range of 
the enemy. Well, as I was saying, they gave me a welt 
at Pleasant Hill — a mere flesh wound through the thigh — 
nothing worth blathering about — and I was sent to St. 
James Hospital. I can't stand the hospital. I don't fancy 
the fare at the milk-toast table, sir. (This with a grimace of 
unutterable disgust.) I took out a two-legged leave of 
absence to-day, and went over to the Lake House ; lost my 
horse there, and had to foot it back to the city. That is 
how I came to have the pleasure of listening to your con- 
versation here, sir. But I believe I was speaking of Gen- 
eral Carter. Some miserable light wine which I had the 
folly to drink at the Lake has muddled my head, I fancy. 
Plain whisky is the only safe thmg. Allow me to recom- 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 435 

mend you to stick to it, I wish we had a canteen of hon- 
est commissary now ; we coukl pass the night very 
comfortably, sir. But I was speaking of General Carter, 
and liis qualities as an officer. Ah ! I remember. I men- 
tioned a letter, ^nd, by Jove ! here it is in my breast- 
pocket, soaked with this cursed water. If you will .have 
the goodness to peruse it, you will see that I am not ex- 
aggeratmg when I boast of the conquests of my superior 
officer. The lady frankly owns up to the fact that she has 
surrendered to him ; no caj^itulation, no terms, no honors 
of war ; unconditional surrender, by Jove ! a U. S. G. sur- 
render. It is an unreserved coming down of the coon." 

" It is one of Lillie's letters," thought Ravenel. " This 
drunkard does not know that the General is married, and 
mistakes the frank affi?ction of a wife for the illicit passion 
of an intriguante. It is best that I should expose the mis- 
take and prevent further misrepresentation." 

He took the moist, blurred sheet, unfolded it, and found 
the envelope carefully doubled up inside. It was addressed 
to " Colonel J. T. Carter," with the addition in one corner 
of the word " personal." The handwriting was not Lillie's, 
but a large, round hand, foreign in style, and, as he judged, 
feigned. Glancing at the chirography of the note itself, he 
immediately recognized, as he thought, the small, close, 
neat penmanship of Mrs. Larue. Van Zandt was too drunk 
to notice how j^ale the Doctor turned, and how his hand 
trembled. 

" By Jove ! I am tired," said the Bacchanal. " I shall, 
with your permission, take the d — st nap that ever was 
heard of since the days of the seven sleepers. Don't be 
alarmed, sir, at my snoring. I go off like a steamboat 
bursting its boiler." 

Tearing a couple of boards from the wall of the shanty, 
he laid them side by side in one corner, selected a blackened 
stone, from the fire-place for a pillow, put his cap on it, 
stretched himself out ^Hth an inebriated smile, and was 
fast asleep before the Doctor had decided whether he would 



436 Miss Kavenel's Conversion 

or -svould not read the letter. He was most anxious to 
establish innocence; if there Tras any guilt, he did not 
want to know it. He ran over all of Mrs. Larue's conduct 
since the marriage, and could not call to mind a smgle cir- 
cumstance Avhich had excited in him a^ suspicion of evil. 
She was coquettish, and, he feared, nnprmcipled ; but he 
could not believe that she was desperately wicked. Nev- 
ertheless, as he did not understand the woman, as he er- 
roneously supposed her to be of an ardent, impulsive na- 
ture, he thought it possible that she had been fascinated 
by the presence of such a masculine bemg as Carter. Of 
him as yet he had no suspicion : no, he could not have 
been false, even in thought, to his young wife ; or, as Rav- 
enel j^hrased it to himself, " to my daughter." He would 
read the letter and probe the ugly mystery and discover 
the falsity of its terrors. As he unfolded the paper he was 
checked by the thought that to peruse unbidden a lady's^ 
correspondence was hardly honorable. But there was a 
reply to that : the mischief of publicity had already com- 
menced ; the sleeping drunkard there had read the letter. 
After all, it might be a mere joke, a burlesque, an April- 
Fool affair ; and if so, it was properly his business to dis- 
cover it and to make the explanation to Van Zandt. And 
if, on the other hand, it should be really a confession of 
criminal feeluig, it was his duty to be mformed of that also, 
in order that he might be able to protect the domestic 
peace of his daughter. 

He read the letter through, and then sat down on the 
door-sill, regardless of the driving rain. There was no 
charitable doubt possible m the matter ; the writer was a 
guilty woman, and she addressed a guilty man. The letter 
alluded clearly and even grossly to past assignations, and 
fixed the day and hour for a future one. Carter's name 
did not appear except on the envelope ; but his avocations 
and business hours were alluded to ; the fact of their voyage 
together to New York was mentioned ; there was no doubt 
that he was the man. The Doctor was more miserable than 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 437 

he remembered to have been before since tbe death of his 
Avite. After half an liour of wretched meditation, walking 
meanwhile up and down the puddles wliich had collected 
on the earthen floor of the shanty, he became aware that 
the rain had ceased, and set out on his miserable 'walk 
homeward. 

Should he destroy the letter ? Should he give it to Mrs. 
Larue and crush her ? Should he send it to Carter ? Should 
he show it to Lillie ? How could he answer any one of 
these horrible questions ? What right had Fate to put such 
questions to him ? It was not his crime. 

On reachmg home he changed his wet clothes, put the 
billet in his pocket-book, sat down to the dinner-table and 
tried to seem cheerful. But Lillie soon asked him, " What 
is the matter with you, papa ?" 

" I got wet, my dear. It was a very hard walk back 
through the mud. I am quite worn out. I believe I shall 
go to bed early." 

She repeated her question two or three times : not that 
she suspected the truth, or suspected anything more than 
just what he told her : but because she was anxious about 
his health, and because she had a habit of putting many 
questions. Even m the absorption of his inexj^licable 
trouble she worried him, so that he grew fretful at her im- 
portunity, and answered her cris^^ly, that he was well 
enough, and needed nothmg but quiet. Then suddenly he 
repented himself with invisible tears, wondering at his 
irrational and seemingly cruel peevishness, and seeming 
to excuse himself to himself by calling to mind that he was 
tormented on her account. He almost had a return of his 
vexation when Lillie commenced upon him about her hus- 
band, asking, " Isn't it time to hear, papa ? And how soon 
do you think I will get a letter ?" 

" Very soon, my dear," he replied gloomily, remember- 
ing the wicked letter m his pocket, and clenching his hands 
under the table to resist a sudden impulse to give it to her. 



438 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

" I hope there will be no more battles. Don't you think 
that the fighting is over ?" 

" Perhaps it may be best for him to have a battle." 

" Oh no, papa ! He lias his promotion. I am perfectly 
satisfied. I don't want him to fight any more." - 

The father made no answer, for he could not tell her 
what he thought, which was that perhaps her husbandhad 
better die. It must be remembered that he did not know 
that the intrigue had terminated. 

" Here comes the little Brigadier," said Lillie, when the 
baby made his usual after-dinner irruption into the parlor. 

" Isn't he sweet ?" she asked for the ten thousandth 
time, as she took him from the hands of the nurse and put 
him m her father's lap. The cooing, jumping, clinging 
infant clawing at watch-chain, neck-tie and spectacles, soft, 
helpless and harmless, gave the Doctor the first emotion 
similar to happiness which he had felt for the last three 
hours. How we fly for consolation to the dependent in- 
nocence of childhood when we have been grievously and 
lastingly wounded by the perfidy or cruelty of the adult 
creatures in whom we had put our trust ! Stricken ones 
who have no children sometimes take up ^-ith dogs and 
cats, knowing that, if they are feeble, they are also faith- 
ful. But with the baby in his arms, Ravenel could not 
decide what to do with the baby's father; and so he 
handed the boy back to his mother, saying with more 
significance of manner than he intended, "There, my dear, 
there is your comfort." 

"Papa, you are sick," replied Lillie, looking at him 
anxiously. " Do lie down on the sofa." 

" I will go to my room and go to bed," said he. " It is 
eight o'clock ; and it will do me no harm if I sleep twelve 
hours to-night. Xow don't follow me, my child; don't 
tease me. I only want rest." 

After kissing her and the child he hurried away, for he 
heard Mrs. Larue coming through the back hall toward the 
parlor, and as frequently happens, the innocent had not the 



Feom Secession to Loyaltt. 439 

audacity to face the guilty. In the passage he paused, 
glanced back through the crack of the door, and was 
amazed, almost infuriated, to see that woman kneel at 
Lillie's feet and fondle the baby ^vith her usual air of girl- 
ish gayety. 

" What infernal hypocrisy !" he muttered as he turned 
away, a little indignant at the giggling delight with which 
liavvie welcomed the well-known visitor. His charitable 
philosophy had all evaporated for the time, and he could 
not believe that this wicked creature had a spark of good 
in her, not even enough to smile upon a child honestly. 
To his mind the caresses which she lavished on Ravvie 
were part of a deep-laid plan of devilish deceit. 

Four wretched houi-s passed over him, and at midnight 
Jie was still undecided what to do. There were fathers in 
Louisiana who did not mind this sort of thing ; but he 
could not understand those fathers ; he minded it. There 
were fathers who would simply say to an erring son-in- 
law over a glass of wine, " Xow look here, my dear sir, 
you must be cautious about publicity ;" or Avho would 
quietly send Mrs. Larue her letter, with a note politely re- 
questing that she would make arrangements which would 
not interfere with the quiet of, " Yours very respectfully," 
etc. But such fathers could not love their daughters as he 
loved his, and could not have such a daughter as he had. 
To be false to Lillie was an almost un2:)aralleled crime — 
a crime wliich demanded not only reproach but punish- 
ment ; a crime which, if passed over, would derange the 
moral balance of the universe. It seemed to him that he 
must show Lillie the letter, and take her away from this 
unworthy husband, and carry her north or somewhither 
where she should never see him more. This was vrhat 
ought to be ; but then it might kill her. Late in the night, 
when he fell asleep on the outside of his bed, still dressed, 
his light still burning, the letter m his hand, he had not 
yet decided what to do. 

About dawn, awakened early as usual by the creeping 



440 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

of Ravvie, Lillie tlioiiglit of her father, and slipping on a 
clressiiiGr-^own, stole to his room to see if he were well or 
ill. She was alarmed to find him dressed, and looking 
pale and sunken. Before she had decided whether to let 
him sleep on, or to awaken him and tell him to go to bed 
as a sick man should, her eye fell upon the letter. It must 
be that which had made him so gloomy and strange. What 
could it be about ? Had he lost his place at the hospital ? 
That need not trouble him, for her husband had left her 
two thousand dollars in bank, and he would not object to 
have her share it with her father. Her husband was so 
generous and lovmg, that she could trust his affection for 
any thmg ! She was accustomed to open and read her fa- 
ther's letters without asking his permission. She took up 
this one, and glanced through it with delirious haste. The 
Doctor was awakened by a shriek of agony, and found 
Lillie senseless on the floor, with the open letter under her 
hand. 

Xow he knew what to do ; she must go far away at once 
— she must never again see her husband. 



CHAPTER XXXH. 

A MOST LOGICAL CONCLUSION. 

When Lillie came to her senses she A^-as lying on her 
father's bed. For some minutes he had been bending over 
her, watching her i:)ulse, bathiJig her forehead, tissing her, 
and calling her by name in a hoarse, frightened whisper. 
He was aware that msensibility was her best fiiend ; but 
he must know at once whether she would live or die. At 
first she lay quiet, silent, recollectmg, trying not to be- 
lieve ; then she suddenly plunged her face into the pillow 
with a groan of unspeakable anguish. It was not for five 
or ten minutes longer, not until he had called her by every 
imaginable epithet of pity and tenderness, that she turned 



Frox Secession to Loyalty. 441 

toward him with another spasmodic throe, clasped his 
head to her bosom, and burst into an impetuous sobbing 
and low crying. Still she did not speak an mtelligible 
word ; her teeth were set firm, as if in bodily pain, and her 
sobs came through her parted lips ; she would not look at 
him either, and kept her eyes closed, or turned u^Dward 
distractedly. It seemed as if, even in the midst of her 
anguish, she was stung by shame at the nature of the ca- 
lamity, so insulting to her pride as a woman and wife. 
After a while this paroxysm ceased, and she lay silent 
again, while another icy wave of despair flowed over her, 
her consciousness bemg expressed solely in a trembling of 
her cheeks, her lips, and her fingers. "When he whispered, 
"TVe will go north, we will never come back here," 
• she made no sign of assent or objection. She did not 
answer him in any manner until he asked her if she wanted 
Ravvie ; but then she leaped at the proffered consolation, 
the gift of Heaven's pity, with a passionate " Yes !" For 
an anxious half hour the Doctor left her alone ^dth her 
child, knowing that it was the best he could do for her. 

One thing he must attend to at once. Steps must be 
taken to j^revent Mrs. Larue from crossing his daughter's 
sight even for a moment. See the woman himself he could 
not ; not, at least, until she were dead. He enclosed her 
billet to her m a sealed envelope, adding the following 
note, which cost him many minutes to write — 

" Madame : The accompanying letter has fallen into the 
hands of my daughter. She is dangerously ill. I hope 
that you will have the humanity not to meet her again." 

When the housemaid returned from delivermg the pack- 
age he said to her, " Julia, did you give it to Mrs. Larue ?" 

" Yes sah." 

"Did you give it into her own hands ?" 

" Yes sah. She was in bed, an' I gin it to herself." 

"What — how did she look?" asked' the Doctor after a 
moment's hesitation. 

T 2 



442 Miss Ravexel's Coxveksion 

" She dicVn look nohow. She jess lit a match an' burned 
the letter up." 

Tlie Doctor was aghast at the horrible, hard-hearted 
corruptness implied by such coolness and forethought. But 
in point of fact, Mrs. Larue had been startled far beyond 
her common wont, and was now more profoundly grieved 
than she had ever been before in her life. 

" What a pity !" she said several times to herself " I 
have made them very miserable. I have done mischief 
when I meant none. Why didn't the stupid creature 
burn the letter ! I burned all his. What a pity ! AVell, 
at any rate it will go no farther." 

She had her trunks packed and drove immediately after 
breakfast to Carrollton, where she remained secluded in the 
hotel until she found a private boardmg house in the un- • 
frequented outskirts of the village. It the Ravenels moved 
away, her man servant was to mform her, so that she 
might return to her house. She realized perfectly the in- 
humanity of encountering Lillie, and was resolved that no 
such meeting should take place, no matter what might be 
the exj^ense of keeping up two establishments. In her 
pity and regret she was almost willing to sell her house at 
a loss, or shut it uj) mthout rent, and pinch herself in 
some northern city, supposing that the Ravenels concluded 
to stay in Xew Orleans. " I owe them that much," she 
thought, Tsith a consciousness of bemg generous, and not 
bad-hearted. Then she sighed, and said aloud, " Poor 
Lillie ! I am so sorry for her ! But she has a baby, and 
for liis -sake she will forgive her husband." 

And then a feelmg came over her that she would like to 
see the baby, and that it would have been a j^leasure to at 
least kiss it good-bye. 

The family mth which she lived consisted of a man of 
sixty and his wife, ^vith two unmarried daughters of 
twenty-eight and thirty, the parents Xew Englanders, the 
children born in Louisiana, but all alike orthodox, devout, 
silent, after the old fashion of Xew England. The father 



Fko^i Secession to Loyalty. 443 

was a cotton broker, nearly- bankrupted by the Rebellion, 
and was glad for pecuniary reasons to receive a respect- 
able boarder. Such a household Mrs. Larue had chosen 
as an asylum, believmg that she would be benefited just 
now by an odor of sanctity, if it were only derived from 
propinquity. Something might get out ; Lillie might go 
delirious and make disclosures ; and it was well to build 
up a character for staidness. The idea of entering a con- 
vent she rejected'the moment that it occurred to her. " This 
is monastic enough," she thought with a repressed smile as 
she looked at the serious faces of her Presbyterian hosts 
male and female. 

The Aliens became as much infatuated with her as did 
the Chaplain on board the Creole, or the venerable D. D. 
in Xew York city. Her modest and retiring manner, her 
amiability, cheerfulness, and sprightly conversation, made 
her the most charmmg person in their eyes that they had 
ever met. The daughters regained somethmg of their 
blighted youthfulness under the sunny mfluences of her 
presence, aided by the wisdom of her counsel, and the cun- 
ning of her fingers in matters of the toilet. Mrs. Allen 
kissed her with motherly afiection every time that she 
bade the family good-night. The old trick of showing a 
mind ripe for conversion from Popery was played vnth the 
usual success. After she had left the house, and when she 
was once more receivmg and flirting m New Orleans, Mr. 
Allen used to excite her laughter by presenting her ^Tith 
tracts against Romanism, or lending her volumes of ser- 
mons by emment Protestant divines. Not that she ever 
laughed at him to his face : she would as soon have thought 
of striking him Avith her fist ; she was too good-natured 
and well-bred to commit either impertinence. 

For the sake of appearances she remained in the country 
a week or more after the Ravenels had left the city. Re- 
stored to her own house, she found herself somewhat lone- 
ly for lack of her relatives, and somewhat gloomy, or at 
least annoyed, when she thought of the cause of the 



444 Miss Rayenel's Coxversiox 

separation. But there Avas no need of continning soli- 
tude ; any quantity of army society could be had by such 
New Orleans ladies as wished it ; and Mrs. Lainie finally 
resolved to break with treason, and flirt with loyalty in 
gilt buttons. In a short time her parlor was frequented 
by gentlemen who wore silver leaves and eagles and stars 
on their shoulders, and the loss of Colonel Carter was more 
than made up to her by the devotion of persons who were 
mightier in counsel and in war than he. The very latest 
news from her is of a highly satisfactory character. It is 
reported that she was fortunate enough to gain the special 
favor of an official personage very high in authoiity in 
some unmentionable departnient of the South, who, as a 
mark of his gratitude, gave her a permit to trade for seve- 
ral thousand bales of cotton. This curious billet-doux she 
sold to a Xew York speculator for fifteen thousand dol- 
lars, thereby re-establishmg her somewhat dila2>idated for- 
tunes. 

Just as a person whose dwelling falls about his head is 
sometimes preserved from death by some fragment of the 
wreck which prostrates him, but preserves him from the 
mass, so Lillie was shielded from the full pressure of her 
misery by a short fever, bringing with it a few days of 
delirium, and a long prostration, during which she had not 
strength to feel acutely. When we must bend or break, 
Nature often takes us in her own pitying hands, and lays 
ns gently upon beds of insensibility or semi-consciousness. 
Thanks be to Heaven for the merciful opiate of sickness ! 

During the fever two letters arrived from Carter, but 
Ravenel put them away ^-ithout showing them to the in- 
valid. For some time she did not inquire about her hus- 
band ; when she thought of him too keenly she asked with 
a start for her baby. Nature contmually led her to that 
tender, helpless, speechless, potent consoler. The moment 
it was safe for her to travel, Ravenel put her on board a 
vessel bound to New York, choosing a sailing craft, not 
only for economy's sake, but to secure the benefit of a 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 445 

lengthy voyage, and to keep longer away from all news 
of earth and men. She made no objection to going ; her 
f^ither wished it to be so ; it was right enough. The voy- 
age lasted three weeks, during which she slowly regamed 
strength, and as a consequence something of her old cheer- 
fulness and hopefulness. The Doctor had a strong faith 
that she would not be broken down by her calamity. ^ Xot 
only was her temper gay and remarkable for its elasticity, 
but her physical constitution seemed to partake of the 
same characteristics, and she had always recovered from 
sickness with rapidity. Xot a bit disposed to broodmg, 
taking a lively interest in whatever went on around her, 
she would not fall an easy pi4y to confirmed melancholy. 
The Doctor never alluded to her husband, and when Lillie 
at last mentioned his name, it was merely to say, " I hope 
he will not be killed." 

" I hope not," replied Ravenel gently, and stopped there. 
He could not, however, repress a brief glance of surprise 
and investigation. Could it be that she would come to 
forgive that man ? Had he been too hasty m dragging 
her away from Xew Orleans, and giving up the moderate 
salary which was so necessary to them both ? But no : it 
would kill her to meet Mrs. Larue : they must never go 
back to that Sodom of a city. 

The question of income was a serious one. He was 
nearly at the end of his own resources, and he had not 
suffered Lillie to draw any of her perfidious husband's 
money. But he did not dwell much on these pecuniary 
questions now, being chiefly occupied with the moral fu- 
ture of his child, wondermg much whether she would m- 
deed forgive her husband, and whether she would ever 
again be happy. Of course it was not until they reached 
Xew York that they learned the cTcnts which I must now 
relate. 

Carter joined the army at Grande Ecore just before it 
resumed field operations. Bailey's famous dam had let 
Porter out of his trap ; the monitors, the gunboats, the Ad- 



446 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

iniral, were on their way down the river ; it was too late 
to go to Shreveport, or to gather cotton ; and so the column 
set out rearward. That it was strong enough to take care 
of itself against any force which the rebels could bring to 
cut oif the retreat was well known ; and Carter assumed 
command of his new brigade with a sense of elation at the 
prospect of fighting, which he had little reason to doubt 
would be successful. By the last gunboat of the depart- 
hig fleet he sent his wife a letter, full of gay anticipations, 
and expressions of afiection, which she was destined never 
to ansAver. By the last transport which came to Grande 
Ecore arrived a letter from Ravenel, which, owmg to the 
hastiness of the march, did not reach him until the evening 
before the battle of Cane River. In the glare of a camp- 
fire he read of the destruction Avhich he had wrought in 
the peace of his own family. Ravenel spoke briefly and 
without reproaches of the discovery; stated that- he be- 
lieved it to be his duty to remove his child from the scene 
of such a domestic calamity ; that he should therefore take 
her to the north as soon as she was able to travel. 

" I beg that you will not force yourself upon her," he 
concluded. " Hitherto she has not mentioned your name 
to me, and I do not know what may be her feelings with 
regard to you. Some time she may jDardon you, if it is 
your desire to be pardoned. I cannot say. At present I 
know of nothing better than to take her away, and to ask 
your forbearance, m the name of her sickness and sufiering." 

This letter was a cruel blow to Carter. If the staif 
oflicers who sat Tvdth him around the camp-fire could have 
known how deeply and for what a purely domestic reason 
the seemingly stern and hard General was sufiering, they 
would have been very much amazed. He was poj^ularly 
supposed to be a man of the world, Avith bad morals and 
a calloused heart, which could neither feel much anguish 
of its own nor sympathise keenly Avith the anguish of other 
hearts. But the General was indeed so wretched that he 
could not talk with them, and could not even sit among 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 44T 

them in silence. He went on one side and walked for an 
hour up and down in the darkness. He tried to clear up 
the whole thing in his mmd, and decide distinctly what 
was the worst that had happened, and what was the best 
that could be done But his perceptions were very 
tumultuous and mcoherent, as is usually the case with a 
man when first overtaken by a great calamity. It was a 
horrible affair ; it was a cursed, infernal affair ; and that 
was about all that he could say to himself He was m- 
tolerably ashamed, as well as grieved and angry. He 
thought' very little about Mrs. Larue, good or bad ; he was 
not mean enough to curse her, although she had been more 
to blame than he ; only he did wish that he never had 
seen her, and did curse the day which brought them to- 
gether on the Creole. The main thing, after all, was that 
he had ill-treated his wife, and it did not matter who had 
been his accomplice in the wicked business. He set his 
teeth into his lips, and felt his eyes grow moist, as ho 
thought of her, sick and suffering because she loved him, 
and he had not been worthy of her love. Would she ever 
forgive him, and take him back to her heart ? He did not 
know. He would try to win her back; he would fight 
desperately, and distinguish himself; he would ofier her 
the best unpulses and bravest deeds of manhood. Perhaps 
if he should earn a Major-General's star and high fiime m 
the nation, and then should go to her feet, she would re- 
ceive him. A transitory thrill of pleasure shot through 
him as he thought of reconciliation and renewed love. 

At last the General was recalled to the fire to read or- 
ders which concerned the movements of the morrow, and 
to transmit them to the regiments of his own command. 
Then he had to receive two old friends, regular officers of 
the artillery, who called to congratulate him on his promo- 
tion. AVhiskey was produced for the visitors, and Carter 
himself drank freely to drown trouble. When they went 
away, about midnight, he found himself wearied out, and 



448 Miss Raven el's Coxveksion 

very soon dropped asleep, for he was a soldier and could 
slumber under all circumstances. 

At Grande Ecore the Red River throws off" a bayou 
wliich rejoins it below, the two currents enclosing an island 
some forty miles in length. This bayou, now called the 
Cane River, was once the origmal stream, and in memory 
of its ancient grandeur flows between high banks alto- 
gether out of projDortion to its modest current. Over the 
dead level of the island the army had moved without be- 
ing opposed, or harassed, for the rebels had reserved 
their strength to crush it when it should be entangled in 
the crossing of the Cane River. Taylor with his xVrkansas 
and Louisiana infantry had followed the march closely 
but warily, always within striking distance but avoiding 
actual conflict, and now lay m line of battle only a few 
miles in rear of Andrew Jackson Smith's western boys. 
Polignac with his wild Texan cavalry had made a great 
circuit, and already held the bluffs on the southern side of 
the Cane River confronting Emory's two divisions of the 
Nineteenth Corps. The mam plan of the battle was simple 
and inevitable. Andrew Jackson Smith must beat off" the 
attack of Taylor, and Emory must abolish the obstacle- of 
Polignac. 

The veteran and wary commander of the Xmeteenth 
Corps had already decided how he would go over his 
ground, should he find it occupied by the enemy. He had 
before him a wood of considerable extent, then an oj^en 
plam eight hundred yards across, and then a valley in the 
nature of a ravine, at the bottom of which flowed a river, 
not fordable here, and with no crossing but a ferry. A 
single narrow road led down through a deep cut to the 
edge of the raj^id, muddy stream, and, startmg again from 
the other edge, rose through a similar gorge until it disap- 
peared from sight behind the brows of high bluffs crowned 
with pines. Under the pines and along the rim of the 
bluffs lay the line of Polignac. There had been no time 
to reconnoitre his dispositions; indeed, his presence in 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 449 

strong force ^vas not yet positively known to the leaders 
of tlie Union army ; but if there, his horses had no doubt 
been sent to the rear, and his men formed to fight as in- 
fantry. And if this were so, if an army of several thou- 
sand Texan riflemen occupied this strong position, how 
should it be carried ? Emory had already decided that it 
would never do to butt at it in front, and that it could only 
be taken by a turnmg movement. Thus this part of the 
battle had a plan of its own. 

Such was the military situation upon Avhich our new 
Brigadier opened his heavy eyes at half-past three o'clock 
on the morning after gettmg that woeful letter about his 
wife. The army was to commence its march at half-past 
four, and Carter was aroused by the bustle of preparation 
from the vast bivouac. Thousands of men were engaged 
in rolling their blankets, putting on their equipments, wip- 
ing the dew from their rifles, and eatmg their hasty and 
unsavory breakfasts of hard-tack. Companies were falling 
in ; the voices of the first-sergeants were heard callmg the 
rolls ; long-drawn orders resounded, indicating the forma- 
tion of regimental lines-; the whinnies of horses, the bray- 
ing of mules, and the barkmg of dogs joined in the clamor ; 
but as yet there was no tramplmg of the march, no rolling 
of the wheels of artillery. Xothiug could be seen of this 
populous commotion except here and there where a for- 
bidden cooking-fire cast its red flicker over little knots 
of crouching soldiers engaged m preparing coffee. 

In the moment of coming to his senses, and before mem- 
ory had fully resumed its action, the General was vaguely 
conscious that something horrible was about to happen, or 
had already happened. But an old soldier is not long in 
wakmg up, especially when he has gone to sleep in the 
expectation of a battle, and Carter knew almost instanta- 
neously what was the nature of the burden that weighed 
upon his soul. He lay full dressed at the foot of a tree, 
with no shelter but its branches. He was quite still fi)r a 
minute or more, staring at the dark sky with steady, 



450 Miss R a vex el's Coxversiox 

gloomy eyes. His first act was to put bis hand to the 
breast jDOcket of his blouse and draw out that cruel letter, 
as if to read it anew by the flicker of a fire which reached 
his resting place. But there was no need of that : he knew 
all that was in it as soon as he looked at the envelope ; he 
remembered at once even the blots and the position of the 
signature. Xext the sight of it angered him, and he 
thrust it back crumpled mto his pocket. There was no 
need, he felt, of making so much of the aflair ; such aftairs 
were altogether too common to be made so much of; he 
could not and would not see any sense in the Doctor's 
conduct. He sprang to his feet in his newly-found in- 
dignation, and glared fiercely around the bivouac of his 
brigade. 

" How's this ?" he growled. " I ordered that not a fire 
should be lighted. Mr. Yan Zandt, did you pass the or- 
der to every regiment last evening ?" 

" I did, sir," answers our old acquaintance, now a staflT 
oflicer, thanks to his Dutch courage, and his ability mth 
the pen. 

"Ride ofl* again. Stop those tires instantly. My God ! 
the fools want to tell the enemy just when we start." 

This outburst raised his spirits, and after swallowing a 
cocktail he sat down to breakfast with some appetite. The 
toughness of the cold boiled chicken, and the dryness and 
hardness of the army biscuit srerved as a further distrac- 
tion, and enabled him to utter a joke about such delicacies 
being very suitable for projectiles. But he was still ner- 
vous, uneasy, eager, driven by the sin which was past, and 
dragged by the battle which was before, so that any long 
reveling at the banquet was impossible. He quitted the 
empty cracker box which served him for a table, and paced 
grimly up and down until his orderly came to buckle on 
his sword, and his servant brought him his horse. 

" How are the saddle-pockets, Cato T'' he asked. 

" Oh, day's chuck full, Gen'l Hull cold chicken in dis 
yere one, an' bottle o' whisky hi dis yere." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 451 

Carter swung himself slowly and heavily mto his saddle. 
He was weary, languid and feverish with want of sleep, 
and trouble of mind. In truth he was physically and 
morally a much discomforted Brigadier General. Without 
waiting for other directions than his example, his five staff 
officers mounted also and fell mto a group behind him. In 
their rear was the brigade flag-bearer escorted by half-a- 
dozen cavalry-men. The sombre dawn was turning to red 
and gold in the east. A monstrous serpent of blue and 
steel was already creeping toward the ferry, mcreashig m 
lensjth as additional reoiments streamed into the road from 
the fields which had served for the bivouac. When Carter 
had seen his entire brigade file by, he set off at a canter, 
placed himself at the head of it, and rode on at a walk, 
silent and gloomy of countenance. ISTot even the thought 
that he was now a general, and had a chance to make a 
reputation for himself as well as for others, could enable 
him to quite throw off the seriousness and anxiety which 
beclouds the minds of men during the prelimmaries of bat- 
tle. The remembrance of the misery which he had wrought 
for his w^ife was no pleasant distraction. It was like a 
foreboding ; it overshadowed him even when he was not 
thinking of it distinctly ; it seemed to have a menacing arm 
which pointed him to punishment, calamity, perhaps a 
grave. He was like a haunted man Vvho sees his followmg 
phantom if he turns his head ever so little. N"evertheless, 
when he squarely faced the subject, and dragged it out 
separately from the general sombreness of the situation, it 
did not seem such a very hopeless misfortune. It surely 
was not possible that she had broken with him for life. He 
would wm her back to him ; it must be that she loved him 
enough to forgive him some day ; he would Avin her back 
^T.th repentance and victories. As he thought this he 
dashed a little way into the fields, gave a- glance at the 
line of his brigade, and dispatched a couple of his staff to 
close up the rearmost files of his regiments. 

Presently there was a halt : something probably going 



452 Miss Ravenel's Coxyersion 

on in front : perhaps a reconnoisance : perhaps battle. Tlie 
men Avere allowed to stack arms and sit down by the road- 
side. Then came news : Enemy in force at the crossing: a 
direct attack in front out of the question : turning move- 
ments to be made somewhere by somebody. It was a full 
hour after sunrise when an aid of General Emory's arrived 
with orders for General Carter to report for duty to Gen- 
eral Birge. 

" What is the situation ?" asked the General. 

" Two brigades are formmg in front," replied the aid. 
" We have an immense line of skirmishers stretching from 
the Cane River on the right all along the edge of the 
woods, and out into the fields. But we can't go at them 
in front. Their o-round is nearlv a hundred feet his/her 
than ours, and the crossmg isn't fordable. We have got 
to flank them. Closson is going up Avith some artillery to 
establish a position on our left, and from that the cavalry 
will turn the right wing of the enemy. Birge is to do the 
same thins^ on this side with three brio-ades. He will o-q 
up about a mile — three miles from the ferry — ford the 
river — it's fordable up there — come round on the fellows, 
and give it to them over the left." 

" Very good," said Carter. " If I shouldn't come back, 
give the General my compliments for his j^lau. Much 
obliged. Lieutenant." 

At this moment the flat, dull rej^ort of a rifled iron gun 
came from the Avoods far aAvay in front, followed a few 
seconds afterward by another report, still flatter in sound 
and much more distant, the bursting of a shell. 

" There goes Closson," laughed the young oflicer. " Two 
tAventy-pound Parrotts and four three-inch rifles ! He'll 
Avake 'em up when he gets fairly a-talking. Good luck to 
you. General." 

And away he rode gaily, at a gallop, in the direction of 
the ferry. 

While Birge's column countermarched, and Carter's 
brigade filed into the rear of it, the cannonade became 



From Secession to Loyaltt. 453 

lively ill the front, tlie crashes of the gmis alternating rap- 
idly with the crashes of the shells, as Closson went in with 
all his six pieces, and a Rebel battery of seven responded. 
After half an hour of this the enemy found that a range of 
two thousand yards was too long for them, and became 
silent. Then Closson ceased firing also, and waited to 
hear from Birge. And now for five or six hours there was 
no more sound of fighting along this line, except an occa- 
sional shot from the skirmishers aimed at pufis of rifle smoke 
which showed rarely against the phies of the distant blufls. 
The infantry column struggled over its long detour by the 
rio-ht ; the cavalry tried in vam to force a way through the 
jungles on the left ; the centre listened to the roar of A. J. 
Smith's battle in the rear, and lunched and waited. At 
two o'clock Emory put everything in order to advance 
whenever Birge's musketry should give notice that he was 
closely engaged. Closson was to move forward on the 
left, and fire'^as fast as he could load. The remamder of 
the artillery was to gallop down the river road to the 
ferry, and open ^ith a dozen or fifteen pieces. The two 
supporting brigades were to push through the woods as 
rapidly as possible and cover the artillery. The skir- 
mishers were to cross the river wherever they could ford 
it, and keep up a heavy fire in order to occupy the atten- 
tion of the enemy. Closson started at once, forced five of 
his three-mch rifles through the wood, went into battle at 
a range of a thousand yards, and in ten minutes dislodged 
the Rebel guns from their position. But all this was 
mere feinting ; the heavy fighting must be done by Birge. 
The flankmg column had a hard road to travel. After 
fordmg the Cane Paver it entered a country of thickets, 
swamps and gullies so difiicult of passage that five hours 
were spent in marching barely five miles. Two regiments 
were deployed m advance as skirmishers ; the others fol- 
lowed in columns of division doubled on the centre. At 
one time the whole force went mto luie of battle on a false 
alarm of the near presence of the eneilv-y. Then the nature 



454 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

of the ground forced it to move for nearly a mile in the 
ordinary column of march. It floundered through swampy 
und'ergrowths ; it forded a deep and muddy bayou. About 
two o'clock in the afternoon it came out upon a clearing 
in full view of a bluff", forty or fifty feet in height, flanked 
on one side by the river, and on the other by a marshy 
jungle connecting with a lake. Along the brow of this 
bluft' lay Polignac's left Aving, an unknown force of Texan 
riflemen, all good shots, and impetuous fighters, elated 
moreover with pursuit and the expectation of victory. 
Here Carter received an order to charge yriih his brigade. 

" Very good," he answered, in a loud, satisfied, confi- 
dent tone, at the same time throAving away his segar. 
" Let me look at things first. I want to see where to go 
in." 

A single glance told him that the river side was unas- 
sailable. He galloped to the right, inspected the boggy 
jungle, glared at the lake beyond, and decided that noth- 
mg could be done in that quarter. Returnmg to the bri- 
gade he once more surveyed the ground in its front. It 
would be necessary to take down a high fence, cross an 
open field, take down a second fence, and advance \\]) the 
hill under a close fire of musketry. But he was not dis- 
pirited by the prospect ; he was no longer the silent, 
sombre man of the morning. The w^hizzing of the Texan 
bullets, the sight of the butternut uniforms, and ugly 
broadbrims which faced him, had cleared his deep breast 
of oppression, and called the fighting fire into his eyes. 
He swore loudly and gaily ; he would flog those dirty 
rapscallions ; he w^ould knock them high and dry into the 
other world ; he would teach them not to get in his way. 

" Go to the regunental commanders," he shouted to 
his staff" officers. " Tell them to push straight at the hill. 
Tell them, Guide right." 

On w^ent the regiments, four in number, keej^mg even 
pace with each other. There was a halt at the first fence 
while the men struggled with the obstacle, climbing it in 



From Secession to Loyalty. 455 

some places, and pushmg it over in others. The General's 
brow darkened mth anxiety lest the temporary confusion 
should end in a retreat ; and spurring close np to the line 
he rode hither and thither, cheering the soldiers onward. 

" Forward, my fine lads," he said. " Down with it. 
Jump it. Xow then. Get into your ranks. Get along, 
my lads." 

On went the regiments, moving at the ordmary quick- 
step, arms at a right-shoulder-shift, ranks closed, gaps 
filled, iinfaltermg, heroic. The dead were fallmg; the 
wounded were crawlmg in numbers to the rear ; the leis- 
urely hum of long-range bullets had changed into the sharp, 
multitudinous ivhit-ivhit of close firuig ; the stifled crash 
of balls hittmg bones, and the soft chuck of flesh-wounds 
mingled with the outcries of the suflferers ; the blufi* in 
front was smoking, rattling, wailing with the incessant 
file-fire ; hut the front of -the brigade remained unbroken, 
and its rear showed no stragglers. The right hand reo-i- 
ment floundered m a swamp, but the other hurried on 
without waiting for it. As the momentum of the move- 
ment increased, as the spirits of the men rose with the 
charge, a stern shout broke forth, something between a 
hurrah and a yell, swelling up against the rebel musketry, 
and defymg it. Gradually the pace mcreased to a double- 
quick, and the whole mass ran for an eighth of a mile 
through the whistling bullets. The second fence disap- 
peared like frost-work, and up the slope of the hill strug- 
gled the pantmg regiments. When the foremost ranks 
had nearly reached the summit, a sudden silence stifled 
the musketrv. Polio-nac's line Aravered, ceased firino- 
broke and went to the rear in confusion. The clamor of 
the charging yell redoubled for a moment, and then died 
in the rear of a tremendous volley. Xow the Union line 
was firing, and now the rebels were falling. Such was 
the charge which carried the crossing, and gained the bat- 
tle of Cane River. 



4oG Miss 11 a vex el's Conveesion" 

But Brigadier-General Johu Carter had already fallen 
gloriouifly in the arms of victory. 

At the moment that the fatal shot struck him he had 
forgotten his guilt and remorse in the wild joy of success- 
ful battle. He was on horseback, closely following his 
advancing brigade, and watching its spirited push, and 
listening to its mad yell, with such a smile of soldierly de- 
light and pride that it was a pleasure to look upon his 
bronzed, confident, heroic face. It would have been 
strange to a civilian to hear the stream of joyful curses 
with which he expressed his admiration and elation. 

" God damn them ! see them go in !" he said. " God 
damn their souls ! I can put them anywhere !" 

He had just uttered these words when a Minie-ball 
struck him in the left side, just below the ribs, with a thud 
which was audible ten feet from him hi spite of the noise 
of the battle. He started violently in the saddle, and 
then bent slowly forward, laying his right hand on the 
horse's mane. He was observed to carry his left hand 
twice toward the wound without touching it, as if desirous, 
yet fearful, of ascertaining the extent of the injury. The 
blow was mortal, and he must have known it, yet he re- 
tamed his ruddy bronze color for a minute or two. With 
the assistance of two staff officers he dismounted and 
walked eight or ten yards to the shade of a tree, uttering 
not a groan, and only showing his agony by the manner 
m which he bent forward, and the spasmodic clutch with 
Avhich he held to those supporting shoulders. . But when 
he had been laid down, it was visible enough that there 
was not half an hour s life in him. His breath was short, 
his forehead was thickly beaded with a cold pers2)iration, 
and his face was of an ashy pallor stamed with streaks of 
ghastly yellow. 

" Tell Colonel Gilliman," he said, mentionmg the senior 
colonel of the brigade, and then paused to catch his breath 
before he resumed, " tell him to keep straight forward." 

These were the first words that he had spoken smce he 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 457 

was hit. His voice had ah-eady sunk from a clear, son- 
orous bass to a hoarse whisper. Presently, as the smoking 
and roaring surge of battle rolled farther to the front a chap- 
lain and a surgeon came up, followed by several ambulance 
men bearinor stretchers. The chaj^lain was attached to 
Carter's old regiment, and had served under him since its 
formation. The surgeon, a Creole by birth, a Frenchman 
by education, philosophical and roue, belonged to a Louis- 
iana loyal regiment, and had known the General in other 
days, when he was a dissipated, spendthrift lieutenant of 
the regular army, stationed at Baton Rouge. He gave 
him a large cup of whiskey, uncovered the wound, i3robed 
it ^T-th his finger, and said nothmg, looked nothmg. 

" Why don't you do something ?" Avhispered the chap- 
lain eagerly, and almost weeping. 

" I have done all that is — essential," he replied, with a 
slight shrug of the shoulders. 

" How do you feel. General ?" asked the chaplain, turn- 
ing to his dying commander. 

" Gomg," was the whispered answer. 

" Going ! — Oh, going where ?" implored the other, sink- 
ing on his knees. " General, have you thought of the sac- 
rifice of Jesus Christ ?" 

For a moment Carter's deep voice returned to him, as, 
fixing his stern eyes on the chaplain, he answered, " Don't 
bother ! — where is the brigade ?" 

Perhaps he thought it unworthy of him to seek God in 
his extremity, when he had neglected Him in all his hours 
of health. Perhaps he felt that he owed his last thoughts 
to his country and his professional duties. Perhaps he did 
not mean all that he said. 

It was strange to note the power of military discipline 
upon the chaplain. Even m this awful hour, when it was 
his pa»t to fear no man, he evidently quailed before his 
superior officer. Under the pressure of a three years' 
habit of obedience and respect, cowed by rank and that 
audacious will accustomed to domination, he shrank back 
U 



458 Miss Ra vex el's Conversion 

into silence, covering his face with his hands, and no doubt 
praying, but uttering no further word. 

" General, the brigade has carried the position," said one 
of the stafi-officers. 

Carter smiled, tried to raise his head, dropped it slowly, 
drew a dozen labored breaths, and was dead. 

" J/ « maintena jusq' ati bout son 'personnage^'' said the 
surgeon, letting fall the extinct pulse. " Sa mort est tout 
ce qiC il y a de plus logiqueP 

So he thought, and very naturally. He had only known 
him in his evil hours ; he judged him as all superficial ac- 
quaintances would have judged ; he was not aware of the 
tenderness Avhich existed at the bottom of that passionate 
nature. With another education Carter might have been 
a James Brainard or a St. Vincent de Paul. With 
the training that he had, it was perfectly logical that in 
his last moments he should not want to be bothered about 
Jesus Christ. 

The body was borne on a stretcher in rear of the 
victorious columns until they halted for the night, when it 
was buried m the private cemetery of a planter, in pres- 
ence of Carter's former regiment. Among the spectators 
was Colburne, stricken with real grief as he thought of the 
bereaved wife. Throughout the army the regret was 
general and earnest over the loss of this brave and able 
officer, apparently just entering ujDon a career of long-de- 
served promotion. In a letter to Ravenel, Colburne re- 
lated the particulars of Carter's death, and closed with a 
fervent eulogium on his character as a man and his services 
as a soldier, forgetting that he had sometimes drunk too 
deeply, and that there were suspicions against him of other 
vices. It is thus that young and generous spuits are apt 
to remember the dead, and it is thus always that a soldier 
laments for a worthy commander who has fallen on the 
field of honor. 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 459 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

LILLIE DEVOTES HERSELF ENTIRELY TO THE RISING 
GENERATION. 

LiLLiE wished to return, at least for a while, to her old 
quarters in the New Boston House. A desire to go back 
by association to some part of her life which had been 
happy may have influenced her in this choice ; and she was 
so quietly earnest in it that her father yielded, although 
he feared that the recollections connected with the place 
would increase her melancholy. They had been there 
only three days when he read mth a shock the newspaper 
report of the battle of Cane River, and the death of " the 
lamented General Carter." He did not dare mention it 
to her, and sought to keep the journals out of her reach. 
This was easy enough, for she never went out alone, 
rarely spoke to any one but her father, and devoted her 
time mostly to her child and her sewing. But about a 
week after their arrival, as the Doctor came in to dinner 
from a morning's reading in the college library, he found 
her weeping quietly over a letter -^hich lay open in her 
lap. She handed it to him, merely saying, " Oh, papa !" 

He glanced through it hastily ; it was Colburne's ac- 
count of Carter's death. 

" I knew this, my dear," he said. " But I did not dare 
to tell you. I hope you are able to bear it. There is a 
great deal to bear in this world. But it is for our good." 

" Oh, I don't know," she replied with a weary air. . She 
was thinking, not of his general consolations, but of his 
hope that she could endvire her trial ; for a trial it was, 
this sudden death of her husband, though she had thought 
of him of late only as separated from her forever. After 
a short silence she sobbed, "I am so sorrj^ I quarreled 



460 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

with him. I wish I had written to him that I was not 
angry." 

She went on crying, but not jjassionately, nor with a 
show of unendurable sorrow. From that time, as he 
watched the patient tranquillity of her grief, the Doctor 
conceived a firm hope that she would not be permanently 
crushed by her afflictions. She kept the letter in her own 
writmg desk, and read it many times when alone ; some- 
times laying it down with a start to take np the uncon- 
scious giggling comforter in the cradle ; sometimes tellmg 
him what it all meant, and what her tears meant, saying, 
" Poor baby ! Baby's papa is dead." 

Only once did an expression savoring of anger at any 
one force its way through her lips. 

" I don't see why I should have been made miserable 
because others are wicked," she said. 

" It is one of the necessary consequences of living," an- 
swered the Doctor. " Other people's sins are sometimes 
brought to our doors, just as other people's infants are 
sometimes left there in baskets. God has ordained that 
we shall help bear the burdens of our fellow creatures, 
even down to the consequences of their crimes. It is one 
way of teaching us not to sin. I have had my small share 
of this unpleasant labor. I lost my home and my income 
because a few men wanted to found a slave-driving olig- 
archy on the ruins of their country." 

" We have had nothing but trials," sighed Lillie. 

" Oh yes," said the Doctor. " Life in the average is a 
mass of happiness, only dotted here and there by trials. 
Our pleasures are so many that they grow monotonous 
and are overlooked." 

I must now include the history of eight months in a few 
pages. The Doctor, ignorant of the steamboat transaction, 
allowed his daughter to draw the money which she had 
left behind on deposit, considering that Carter's child un- 
questionably had a right to it. Through the good offices 
of that amiable sinner, Mrs. Larue (of which he was equally 



FPwOii Secession to Loyalty. 461 

unaware), he was enabled to let Lis house in Xew Orleans 
as a Government office. Thus provided with ready money 
and a small quarterly payment, he resumed his literary 
and scientific labors, translating from a French Encyclo- 
pedia for a New York publisher, and occasionally securing 
a job of mineralogical discovery. The familiar life of 
former days, when father and daughter were all and all to 
each other, slowly revived, saddened by recollections, but 
made joyful also by the new affection which they shared. 
As out of the brazen vase of the Arabian Xights arose the 
malignant Jinn whose head touched the clouds, and whose 
voice made the earth tremble, so out of the cradle of Rav- 
vie arose an influence, perhaps a veritable angel, whose 
crown w^as in the heavens, and whose power brought down 
consolation. There was no cause of inner estrangement ; 
nothing on which father and child could not feel alike. 
Ravenel had found some difficulty in liking his daughter's 
husband, but he had none at all in loving his daughter's 
baby. So, agreeing on all subjects of much importance to 
either, and disposed by affection and old habit to take a 
strong interest in each other's affairs, they easily returned 
to their former ways of much domestic small-talk, Hapj)ily 
for Lillie she was not taciturn, but a prattler, and by na- 
ture a light-hearted one. Xow prattlers, like workers of 
all kinds, physical and moral, unconsciously dodge by their 
activity a great many shafts of suflering which hit their 
quieter brothers and sisters. A widow who orders her 
mourning, and waits for it with folded hand and closed 
lips, is likely to be more melancholy than a widow who 
must trim her gowns, and make up her caps with her own 
fingers, and who is thereby impelled to talk of them to 
her mother, sisters, and other born sympathisers. It was 
a symptom of returning health of mind when Lillie could 
linger before the glass, arrange her hair with the old taste, 
put on a new cap daintily and say, " Papa, how does that 
look ?" 

"Yery well, my dear," answers papa, scratching away 



462 Miss Rayexel's Conveesiox 

at his translation. Then, remembering what his cliild had 
suffered, and transferring his thoughts to the subject which 
she proffers for consideration, he adds, " It seems to me 
that it is unnecessarily stiff and j^archment like. It looks 
as if it was made of stearine." 

" ^Vhy, that's the material," says Lillie. " Of course it 
looks stiff; it ought to." 

" But why not have some other material ?" queries the 
Doctor, w^ho is as dull as men usually are in matters of 
the female toilet. " Why not use white silk, or some- 
thing ?" 

" Silk, papa !" exclaims Lillie, and laughs heartily. 
" Who ever heard of using silk for mourning ?" 

Woe to women when they give up making their own 
dresses and take to female tailors ! Five will then die of 
broken hearts, of ennui, of emptiness of life, where one dies 
now. 

But her great diverter and comforter was still her child. 
Like most women she was born for maternity more dis- 
tinctly and positively even than for love. She had not 
given up her dolls until she was fourteen ; and then she 
had put them reverentially and tenderly away in a trunk 
where she could occasionally go and look at them ; and 
less than seven years later she had a living doll, her own, 
her soul's doll, to care for and worship. It was charming 
to see this slender, Diana-like form, overloaded and leaning, 
but still bearing, with an affection which was careless of 
fatigue, the disj^roportionate weight of that healthy, succu- 
lent, ponderous Bavvie. His pink foce, and short flaxen 
hair bobbed about her shoulders, and his chubby hands 
played with her nose, lips, hair, and white collars. When 
he went out on an airing she almost always went with 
him, and sometimes took the sole charge of his wicker 
wagon, proud to drag it because of its illustrious burden. 
Ravvie had a promenade in the morning mth mamma and 
nurse, and another late in the afternoon with mamma and 
grandpapa. Lillie meant to make him healthy by keep- 



From Secession to Loyalty. 4C3 

ing him constantly in the open air, and burning him brown 
in the sunshine, after the sensible fashion of southern nur- 
series, and in consonance mth the teaching of her father. 
The old Irish nurse, a veteran and enthusiast in her pro- 
fession, had more than one contest mth this provokingly 
devoted mother. Xot thai Rosann objected to the child 
being out ; she would have been glad to have him in the 
wicker wagon from breakfast to dinner, and from dinner 
to sundown; but she wanted to be the sole guide and 
companion of his wanderings. When, therefore she was 
ordered to stay at home and do the small washing and 
ironing, while the mistress went oft' with the baby, she set 
up an indignant ullaloo, and threatened departure without 
warning. Sometimes Lillie was satirical and said, " Ro- 
sann, since you can't nurse the baby, I hope you will al- 
low me to do so." 

To which Rosann, with Irish readiness, and \vith an 
apologetic titter, would reply, " An' smce God allows ye 
to do it, ma'am, I don't see as I can make an objection." 

" I would turn her away if she wasn't so fond of Rav- 
vie," affirmed Lillie m a pet. " She is the most selfish 
creature that I ever saw. She wants him the whole time. 
I declare, papa, I only keep her out of pity. I believe it 
would break her heart to deprive her of the child." 

" It's a very odd sort of selfishness," observed the Doc- 
tor. " Most people would call it devotion, self-abnegation, 
or something of that sort." 

" But he isn't her child," answered Lillie, half vexed, 
half smiling. '^ She thinks he is. I actually believe she 
thinks that she had him. But she didn't. I did." 

She tossed her head with a pretty air of defiance, which 
was as much as to say that she was not ashamed of the 
feat. 

Long before Master Ravvie could say a word in . any 
language, she had commenced the practice of talking to 
him only in French. He should be a Imguist from his 
cradle ; and she herself would be his teacher. When he 



464 Miss Raven el's Con version 

got old enoiioh, her father should instruct him in the 
sciences, and, if he chose to be a doctor, in the theory and 
j^ractice of medicine. They would never send him to 
school, nor to college : thus they would save money, have 
him always by them and keep him from evil. Concerning 
this project she had long arguments with her father, who 
thought a boy should be with boys, learn to rough it away 
from home, study human nature as well as languages and 
sciences, and grow up with a circle of emulators and life 
comrades. 

" You will give up this little plan of yours," he said, 
" when he gets old enough to make it necessary. When 
he is fifteen he won't wear the shell that fits him now, and 
meantime we must let another one grow on his back 
against he needs it." ^ 

But Lillie could not yet see that her child ought even 
to be separated from her. She was constantly arranging, 
and re-arranging her imaginary future in such ways as 
seemed best fitted to make him a permanent feature of it. 
In every cloud-castle that she built he occuj^ied a central 
throne, with her father sitting on the right hand and she 
on the left. Of course, however, she was chiefly occupied 
^ith his present, desiring to make it as delightful to him 
as possible. 

" I wonder if Ravvie would like the sea-shore," she said, 
on one of the first warm days of summer. 

" Why so ?" asks j^apa. 

" Oh, it would be so pleasant to spend a week or so on 
the sea-shore. I think I could get a little fatter and 
stronger if I might have the sea-breeze and sea-bathing. I 
am tired of being so thin. Besides, it would be such fun 
to take Ravvie down to the beach and see him stare at the 
waves rolling in. How round his eyes would be ! Do 
you remember how he used to turn his head up when he 
was a month old, and stare at the sky with his eyes set 
like a doll-baby's. I wish I knew what he used to think 
of it." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 465 

" I presume lie ttioiiglit just about as mucli as the holly- 
hocks do when they turn then- faces toward the sun," says 
*the Doctor. 

" For shame, papa ! Do you compare him to a vege- 
table?'^ 

" Xot now. But in those days he was only a grade 
above one. There wasn't much in him but possibilities. 
Well ; he may have perceived that the sky was very fine ; 
but then the hollyhocks perceive as much." 

" What ! don't you suppose he had a soul ?" 

" Oh yes. He had a tongue too, but he hadn't learned 
to talk TNTLth it. I doubt whether his soul was of much use 
to him in that stage of his existence." 

" Papa, it seems to me that you talk like an infidel. 'Now 
if Ravvie had died when he was a month old, I should 
have expected to meet him in Heaven — that is, if I am 
ever fit to go there." 

" I have no doubt you would — no' doubt of it," affirmed 
the Doctor with animation. " I never intended to dispute 
the little man's immortality." 

" Then why did you call him a hollyhock ?" 

" My dear, I take it all back. He isn't a hollyhock and 
never was." 

" If we can hire a house I want it in the suburbs," said 
Lillie, after a meditation. " I want it outside the city so 
that Ravvie can have plenty of air. His room must be on 
the sunny side, papa — hear ?" 

" Yes," answered j^apa, who had also had his revery, 
probably concerning Smithites and Brownites. 

" You don't hear at all," said Lillie. " You don't pay 
any attention." 

" Well, my child, there is plenty of time. We sha'n't 
have a house for the next five mmutes." 

" I know it. Not for five years perhaps. But I want 
you to pay attention when I am talking about Ravvie." 

Meantime the two were very popular m New Boston. 
As southern refugees, as martyrs m the cause of loyalty, 



466 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

as an organizer of free black labor, as the widow of a 
distinguished Union officer, both and each were person- 
ages whom tlie fervent Federalists of the little city de- 
lighted to honor. As soon as they would receive calls or 
accept of new acquaintances they had all that they wanted. 
Professor "\7hitewood had been killed at Chaucellorsville, 
although bodily more than three hundred miles from 
the field of battle ; and his son was now worth eighty 
thousand dollars, besides seven hundred dollars yearly 
from a tutorship, and the prospect of succeeduig to his 
father's position. This well-to-do, virtuous, amiable, and 
intelligent young gentleman was more than suspected of 
bemg in love with the penniless widow. His sister made 
the affair a subject of much meditation, and even of prayer, 
being anxious above all things on earth, that her brother 
should be happy. Whitewood was more than once ob- 
served to drop his Hmdustani, sidle out upon the green 
and beg the privilege of drawing Ravvie's baby-wagon ; 
and what was particularly suspicious about the matter 
was, that he never attempted to jom Rosann in this man- 
ner, but only Mrs. Carter. Lillie colored at the signifi- 
cance of the shyly-preferred request, and would not con- 
sent to it, but nevertheless was not angry. Her bookish 
admirer's interest in her mcreased when he found that she 
aided her father in his translations ; for from his childhood 
he had been taught to like people very much in propor- 
tion to their intellectuality and education. Of evenings 
he was frequently to be seen in the little parlor of the 
Ravenels on the fourth floor of the Xew Boston House. 
Lillie would have been glad to have him bring his sister, 
so that they four could make up a game of whist ; but since 
the dawm of history no Whitewoods had ever handled a 
pack of cards, and the capacity of learning to do so was 
not in them. Moreover they still retained some of the old 
!N"ew England scruples of conscience on the subject. 
Whitewood talked quite as much with the Doctor as with 
Lillie ; quite as much about minerals and chemistry as 



From Secession to Loyalty. 467 

about subjects with which she was familiar; but it was 
easy to see that, if he had known how, he would have 
made his conversation altogether femmine. At precisely 
ten o'clock he rose with a start and sidled to the door ; 
stuck there a few moments to add a postcript concerning 
science or classic literature ; then with another start opened 
the door, and said, " Good evening " after he was in the 
passage. 

" How awkward he is !" Lillie would sometimes observe. 

" Yes — physically," was the Doctor's answer. " But 
not morally. I don't see that he tramples on any one's 
feelmgs, or breaks any one's heart." 

The visitor gone, father and daughter walked in the 
hall while Rosann opened the windows for ventilation. 
After that the baby's cradle was dragged into the parlor 
with much ceremony, the whole family either directing or 
assistmg ; a mattress and blankets were produced from a 
closet and made up on the floor mto a bed for the nurse ; 
grandpapa kissed both his children and went to his own 
room next door ; and Lillie proceeded to undress, talking 
to Rosann about Ravvie. 

" An' do ye know, ma'am, what the little crater did to 
me to-day ?" says the doting Lishwoman. " He jist pulled 
me spectacles ofi" me nose an' stuck 'em in his own little 
mouth. He thought, mebbe, he could see with his mouth. 
An' thin he lucked me full in the face as cunnia as could 
be, an' give the biggest jump that iver was. I tell ye, 
ma'am, babies is smarter now than they used to be." 

This remarkable anecdote, with the nurse's commentary, 
being repeated to the Doctor ui the mornuig, he philoso- 
phised as follows. 

" There may be something in Rosann's statement. It 
is not impossible that the babies of a civilized age are more 
exquisitely sensitive beings than the babies of antique 
barbarism. It may be that at my birth I was a little ahead 
of my Gallic ancestor at his birth. Perhaps I was able to 
compare two sensations as early in life as he was able to 



468 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

perceive a single sensation. It might be something like 
this. He at the age of ten days would be capable of 
thinking, ' Milk is good.' I at the same age could perhaps 
go so far as to think, 'Milk is better than Daily's Mixture.' 
Babies now-a-days have need of bemg cleverer than they 
used to be. Tliey have more dangers to evade, more 
medicines to spit out." 

" I know what you mean," said Lillie. " You always 
did rebel against Dally. But what was I to do ? He 
u'ould have the colic." 

" I know it ! He would ! But Dally couldn't help it. 
Don't, for pity's sake, vitiate and torment your poor little 
angel's stomach, so new to the atrocities of this world, 
with drugs. These mixers of baby medicines ought to be 
fed on nothing but their own nostrums. That would soon 
put a stop to their inventions of the adversary." 

" Oh dear," sighed Lillie. " I don't know what to do 
with him sometimes. I am so afraid of not doing enough, 
or doing too much !" 

Then the argumentemad liominem occurred to her: that 
argumentem which proves nothing, and which women love 
so well. 

" But you have given him things, papa. Don't you re- 
member the red fluid ?" 

" I never gave it to him," asserted the Doctor. 

" But you gave it to me to give to him — when you threw 
the Dally out of the window." 

" And do you know what the red fluid was ?" 

" ISTo. It did him good. It was just as powerful as the 
Dally. Consequently it must have been a drug." 

"It was pure water, slightly colored. That was all, 
upon my honor — as we say down south. It used to amuse 
me to see you drop it according to prescription — five drops 
for a dose — very particular not to give him six. He 
might have drunk the vial full." 

"Papa," said Lillie when she had fully realized this 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 



469 



awful deception, " you have a great many sins to repent 

of-" . '^ .^ 

"Poisoning my own granclcliilcl is not one ol them, 

thank Heaven !" 

"But suppose Ravvie had become really sick?" she 
su2:gested more seriously. 

"Ah ! what a clear con science 1 should have had ! ^ o- 
body could have laid it to me." 

"How healthy, and strong, and big lie is?" was her 
next observation. "He will be like you. I would bet 
anything that he will be six feet high." 

kavenel laughed at a bet which would have to wait 
some sixteen or eighteen years for a decision, and said it 
reminded him of a South Carolinian who offered to wager 
that in the year two thousand slavery would prevail the 
world over. 

"This whole subject of mfancy's perceptions, and opin- 
ions is curious," he observed presently. "What a world 
it would be, if it were exactly as these little people see it ! 
Yes, and what a world it would be, if it were as we grown 
people see it in our different moods of depression, exhilara- 
tion, vanity, spite, and folly ! I suppose that only Deity 
sees it truly." 

In this kind of life the spring grew into summer, the sum- 
mer sobered into autumn, and the autumn began to grow 
hoary with wmter. Eight months of paternal affection re- 
ceived, and maternal cares bestowed had decided that 
Lillie should neither die of her troubles nor suffer a life- 
long blighting of the soul. In bloom she was what she 
used to be ; in expression alone had she suffered a change. 
Sometimes sudden flashes of profoundly felt pain troubled 
her eyes, as she thought of ber venture of love and its 
great shipwreck. She had not the slightest feeling of 
ano-er toward her husband ; she could not be angry with 
the buried father of her child. But she felt, and some- 
times reproached herself for it, that his crime had made 
her grieve less over his death, just as his death had led her 



470 Miss R a ten el's Cox version 

to pardon his crime. She often prayed for him, not that 
she believed m Purgatory and its deliverance, but rather 
because the act soothed painful yearnings which she could 
not dispel by reason alone. Her devotional tendencies 
had been much increased by. her troubles. In fact, she 
was far more religious than some of the straiter New 
Bostonians were able to 1)elieve when they knew that she 
played whist, and noted hoAV tastefully she was dressed, 
and how charmingly graceful she was in social intercourse. 
She never went to sleep without reading a chapter m the 
Bible, and jn'aying for her child, her father, and herself. 
It is possible that she may have forgotten the heathen, the 
Jews, and the negroes. Well, she had not been educated 
to think much of far away people, but rather to interest 
herself in such as were near to her, and could be made 
daily happy or unhappy by her conduct. She almost of- 
fended Mrs. White wood by admittmg that she loved Rav- 
vie a thousand times more than the ten tribes, or, as Mrs. 
W. called them, the Avandering sheep of the house of 
Israel. Nor could this excellent lady enlist her interest 
in favor of the doctrme of election, owing perhaps to the 
adverse remarks of Doctor Ravenel. 

" My dear madame," he said, " let us try to be good, 
repent of our short - comings, trust in the atonement, 
and leave such niceties to those whose business it is to 
discuss them. Doctrines are no more religion than geolo- 
gical bird-tracks are animated nature. Doctrines are the 
footpmits of piety. You can learn by them where devout- 
minded men have trod in their searchings after the truth. 
But they are not m themselves religion, and will not save 
souls." 

" But think of the great and good men who have made 
these doctrines the stiidy and guide of their lives," said 
Mrs. Whitewood. " Tliink of our Puritan forefathers." 

" I do," answered the Doctor. " I thmk highly of them. 
They have my profoundest respect. We are still moving 
under the impetus which they gave to humanity. Dead 



From Secession to Loyalty. 4V1 

as they are, they govern this continent. At the s^ame time 
they mnst have been disagreeable to hve Ts^th. Then- 
doctrines made them hard in thought and manner. When 
I thmk of their o-rimness, imcharity, mclemency 1 am 
tempted to sav that the smners of those days were the salt 
of the earth." Of course, Mrs. Whitewood, it is only a 
temotation. I don't succumb to it. But now, as to these 
doctrmes, as to merely dogmatic religion, it remmds me 
of a story. This story goes (I don't believe it), that an 
mo-enious man, havmg found that a bandage drajrn tight 
around the waist will abate the pangs of hunger, set up a 
boardmg-house on the idea. At breakfast the waiters 
strapped up each boarder with a stout surcmgle. At dm- 
ner the waistbelts were drawn up another hole-or two, 
if you were hungrv. At tea there was another pull on the 
buckle The story proceeds that one dyspeptic old bache- 
lor found himself much better by the evening of the second 
day, but that the other guests rebelled and left the house 
in a body, denouncmg the gentlemanly proprietor as a 
humbuo-. Xow some of our ethical purveyors remmd me 
of this hiventor. They put nothmg mto you ; they give 
you no sustaining food. They simply bind your soul, and 
now and then take up a hole m your moral waistbelt. 

It is pretty certam that Lillie even felt more mterest m 
Captam Colburne than m the vanished Hebrews It will 
be remembered that she has never ceased to like him smce 
she met him, more than three years ago, m this same^ew 
Boston House, which is now m some famt degree fragrant 
to her with his memory. Here commenced that loyal 
affection AvHch has followed her through her love lor an- 
other, her marriage, and her maternity, and which has 
risked life to save her from captivity. She would be un- 
o-rateful if she did not prefer him hi her heart to every 
other human being except her father and RavTie. ^^ext 
to her mtercourse mth this same parent and c^ild, Ool- 
burne's letters were her chief social pleasures. They were 
iuT ariably directed to the Doctor ; but if she got at them 



472 Miss Raven el's Coxveksion 

first, she had no hesitation about oj^ening them. It was 
her business and j^leasure also to file them for preservation. 

" If he never returns," she said, " I will write his life. 
But how horrible to hear of him killed !" • 

" In five months more his three years will be up," ob- 
served the Doctor. " I hope that he will be protected 
through the perils that remain." 

" I hope so," echoed Lillie. " I wonder if the war will 
last long enough to need Ravvie. He shall never go to 
West P(Hnt." 

" He is pretty certam not to go for the next fourteen 
years," said Ravenel, smiling at this long look ahead. 

Lillie sighed ; she was thinkmg of her husband ; it was 
West Point wliich had rumed his noble character ; noth- 
ing else could account for such a downfall ; and her child 
should not go there. 

In July (1864) they heard that the Xineteenth Corps 
had been transferred to Virginia, and during the autumn 
Colburne's letters described Sheridan's brilliant victories 
in the Shenandoah Valley. The Captain was present in 
the three pitched battles, and got an honorable mention 
for gallantry, but no promotion. Indeqd advancement 
w^as impossible without a transfer, for, although his regi- 
ment had only two field-officers, it was now too much re- 
duced in numbers to be entitled to a colonel. More than 
two-thirds of the rank and file, and more than two-thirds 
of the oflicers had fallen in those three savage struggles. 
Xevertheless the young man's letters were imflag^'inoj m 
their tone of elation, bragging of the braver}^ of his regi- 
ment, describing bayonet charges through whistlmg storms 
of hostile musketry, telling of captured flags and cannon 
by the half hundred, afiectionate over his veteran corps 
commander, and enthusiastic over his youthful general in 
chief 

" Really, that is a most brilliant letter," observed Rav- 
enel, after listening to Colburne's account of the victory 
of Cedar Creek. " That is the most splendid battle-piece 



From Secession to Loyalty. 473 

that ever ^vas produced by any author, ancient or modern," 
he went on to say m his enthusiastic and somewhat hyper- 
bolical style. " Neither Tacitus nor Xapier can equal it. 
Alison is all fudge and claptrap, with his granite squares 
of mfantry and his billows of calvalry. One can under- 
stand Colburne. I know just how that battle of Cedar 
Creek was fought, and I almost think that I could fight 
such an one myself There is cause and effect, and their 
relations to each other, in his narrative. When he comes 
home I shall insist upon his writmg a history of this war." 
" I wish he would," said Lillie, vrith. a flash of interest 
for which she blushed presently. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

lillie's attextiox is recalled to the eisixg gexer- 

ATIOX. 

Ox or about the first of January, 1865, Lillie chanced to 
go out on a shopping excursion, and descended the stair- 
way of the hotel just in time to catch sight of a newly 
arrived guest, who was about entering his room on the 
first story. One servant directed the unsteady step and 
supported the wavering form of the stranger, while an- 
other carried a painted wooden box eighteen or twenty 
mches square, which seemed to be his sole baggage. As 
Lillie was in the broad light and the invalid was walking 
from her down a dark passage, she could not see how thin 
and yellow his face was, nor how weather-stained, thread- 
bare, and even ragged was his fatigue uniform. But she 
could distmguish the dark blue cloth, and gilt buttons 
which her eye never encountered now without a sj^arkle 
of interest. 

She had reached the street before the question occurred 
to her. Could it be Captain Colburne ? She reasoned that 
it could not be, for he had written to them only a fortnight 



474 Miss Rave x el's Cox version 

ago without mentioning either sickness or wounds, and 
the time of his reguuent would not be up for ten days yet. 
Xevertlieless she made her shopping tour a short one for 
thinking of that sick officer, and on returning to the hotel 
she looked at the arrival-book, regardless of the half-dozen 
students who lounged against the office counter. There, 
written in the clerk's hand, was " Capt. Colburne, No. 18." 
As she went up stairs she could not resist the temptation 
of passing Xo. 18, and was nearly overcome by a sudden 
impulse to knock at the door. She wanted to see her best 
friend, and to know if he were really sick, and how sick, 
and whether she could do anything for him. She deter- 
mmed to send a servant to make instant inquiries ; but on 
reaching her room she found her father playing with 
Ravvie. 

" Papa, Captam Colburne is here," were her first words. 

" Is it possible !" exclaimed the Doctor, leaping up ^dth 
delight. " Have you seen him ?" 

" Xot to speak with him. I am afraid he is sick. He 
was leanmg on the porter's arm. He is in number eigh- 
teen. Do go and ask how he is." 

" I will. You are certain that it is our Captain Col- 
burne ?" 

" It must be," answered Lillie as he went out ; and then 
thought with a blush, " Will papa laugh at me if I am 
mistaken ?" 

When Ravenel rapped at the door of Xo. 18, a deep but 
rather hoarse voice answered, " Come in." 

" ^[y dear friend !" exclaimed the Doctor, rushing into 
the room ; but the moment that he saw the Captam he 
stopped in surprise and dismay. 

" Don't get up," he said. " Don't stir. Bless me ! how 
long have you been in this way ?" 

" Only a little while — a month or two," answered Col- 
burne T^dth his customary cheerful smile. " Soon be all 
right again. Sit down." 

He was stretched at full length on his bed, evidently 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 



475 



quite feeble, his eyes underscored wiA lines ot blueish yel- 
low, his face sallow and features sharpened^ The eyes 
heiselves were heavy and dull w«h the effee s of the 
opium which he had taken to enable him to undergo the 
dav-s iourner. Besides his long brown mustache, which 
had become Vasged with want of care, he had on a beaixl 
of three weekS' growth ; and his face and hands were 
•stained with the dust and smirch of two days' contmuous 
railroad travel, ^'hich he had not yet had time to w^.sh 
^„.av-iu fact, as soon as he had reached his room he had 
thrown himself on the bed and fallen asleep. His only 
clothuK. was a summer blouse of dark blue flannel, a com- 
mon soldier's shirt of knit woolen. Government troiisers 
of coarse light-blue cloth without a welt, and brown Gov- 
ernment stockings worn through at toe and heel. On the 
floor lay his shoes, rough kip-skin brogans, likewise of Gov- 
ernment issue. All of his clothing was meradically stamecl 
.vith the famous mud of Virginia ; his b ouse was thiead- 
bare where the sword-belt went, and had a ragged bullet- 
hole through the collar. Altogether he presented the 
spectacle of a m.an pretty thoroughly worn out m field 



service. 



"Is that all you^-ear hi this season ?' demanded or 
rather exclaimed the Doctor. " You will kill yourself. 

Colburne's answering laugh was so feeble that its cheer- 
fulness sounded like mockery. it T „m 

" There isn't a chance of killing me," he said. I am 
not cold. On the contrary, I am suff-ermg with the heat 
of these fires and close rooms. It's rather odd consider- 
in. how run down I am. But actually I have been quar- 
refin- all the wav home to keep my wmdow m the car 
openTl was so stifled for want of air. Three jears spent 
out of doors makes a house seem like a Black Hole of Cal- 

'""But no vest!" urged the Doctor. "It^s enough to 

o-uarantee yon an mflammation of the lungs." 

" " I hav'n't seen my vest nor any part of my full uniform 



476 Miss R a vex el's Cox version 

for six months," said Colburne, much amused. "You 
don't know till you try it how ' hardy a soldier can be, 
even when lie is sick. 3Iy only bed-clothing until about 
the first of Xovember was a rubber blanket. I will tell 
you. When we left Louisiana in July we thought we 
were going to besiege Mobile, and consequently I only 
took my flannel suit and rubber blanket. It was enough 
for a southern summer campaign. Henry had all he could 
do to tote his own aftairs, and my rations and frymg-pan. 
You ought to have seen the disgust "with which he looked 
at his bundle. He began to think that he would rather 
be respectable, and industrious, and learn to read, than 
carry such a load as that. His only consolation was that 
he would soon steal a horse. Well, I hav'n't seen my trunk 
since I left it on store in Xew Orleans, and I don't know 
where it is, though I suppose, it may be in Washington 
■with, the rest of the baggage of our division. I tell you 
this has been a glorious campaign, this one in the Shenan- 
doah ; but it has been a teaser for privations, marching, 
and guard-duty, as well as fighting. It is the first time 
that I ever knocked under to hardships. Half-starved by 
day, and half-frozen by night. I don't think that even 
this would have laid me out, however, if I hadn't been 
poisoned by the Louisiana swamps. Malarious fever is 
what bothers me." 

" You will have to be very careful of yourself," said the 
Doctor. He noticed a febrile agitation in the look and 
even m the conversation of the wasted young hero which 
alarmed him. 

" Oh no," smiled Colburne. " I will be all right in a 
week or two. All I want is rest. I will be about in less 
than a week. I can travel now. You don't realize how a 
soldier can pick himself up from an ordinary illness. Isn't 
it curious how the poor fellows will be around on their 
pins, and in their clothes till they die ? I think I am 
rather efteminate in taking off my shoes. I only did it 
out of compliment to the white coverlet. Doesn't it look 



FROaS.OE.S.OJ lO LOVALPT. «' 

« Well. After I get nd ot^tnem. 
zen's suit as soon as possible." 

i^ T am home to be mustered out of seiyice. 

form for me. I am home to " ^ j o„e of the 

I can't stay auy l°f -' f ^"^;\f ~^^ and so go 

original officers, and have never been l , ^^_ 

out%-ith the original -S^--*f Jj^^Jf^ ^ ^^^^ =^ ^"'^ 
enlisted eighteen ^^" ^w*^' f. re^taid. I came home 
veteran regiment and I -"^\^^ ;\ X, .Inty as staff- 
before the organization. J-J^^^ ^ou see I wanted 

officer, and so got a l^^^'^ J^^^ "^\'a,,\o make out my 
to he here as early as VO^Memo^ier ^ ^^^^^^^ 

men's account, and muster-out rolls. 

amount of work to do this week. ^^ ^^^^^ ^^ 

"Work!" exclaimed Ea^^enei 1 ^^^^ 

to work than yon are to fly. loucant^ , 

sha'n't." ... Tf T aon't do this ioh 

" But I must. I am ^•'^^P«.'^^;^le , Jf I do^i t J^^_^ 

CKoa-nt. w -Kirn o.rir." 



the four copies. 



478 Miss Ravexel's Conversion 

sake as well as mine. By Jove ! -sve get horrible 'hard 
measure in field service. 1 have gone almost mad about 
that box during the past six months ; wanted it every day 
and couldn't have it for lack of transportation ; the War 
Department demanding returns, and hospitals demanding 
descriptive lists of wounded men ; one threatening to stop 
my pay, and another to rej^ort me to the Adjutant-Gen- 
eral ; and I couldn't make out a paper for lack of that box. 
If I had only known that we were coming to Virginia, I 
could have prepared myself, you see ; I could have made 
out a memorandum-book of my company accounts to 
carry in my pocket ; but how did I know ?" 

He spoke as rapidly and eagerly as if he were pleading 
his case befoi-e the Adjutant-General, and showing cause 
why he should not be dishonorably dismissed the service. 
After a moment of gloomy rejection he spoke agam, still 
harpmg on this worrying subject. 

" I have six months' unfinished business to write up, or 
I am a disgraced man. The Commissary of Musters will 
report me to the Adjutant-General, and the Adjutant -Gen- 
eral will dismiss me from the service. It's pretty jus- 
tice, isn't it ?'' 

" But if you are a staft-officer and on detached service ?" 

" That doesn't matter. The moment the muster-out day 
comes, I am commandant of company, and responsible for 
company papers. I ought to go to work to-day. But I 
can't. I am horribly tired. I may try this evenmg." 

" No no, my dear friend," implored the Doctor. " You 
mustn't talk in this way. You will make yourself sick. 
You are sick. Don't you know that you are almost deli- 
rious on this subject ?" 

" Am I ? Well, let's drop it. By the way, how are 
you ? And how is Mrs. Carter ? Upon my honor I have 
iDcen shamefully selfish in talking so much about my 
afiairs. How is Mrs. Carter, and the little boy ?" 

" Very well, both of them. My daughter will be glad 
to see you. But you mustn't go out to-day." 



From Secession to Lotalty. 479 

" No uo. I want some clothes. I can't go out in these 
filthy rags. I am loaded and disreputable with the sacred 
&outhern°soil. If you will have the kuidness to ring the 
bell, I will send for a tailor. I must be measured for a 
citizen's suit immediately." 

" My dear fellow, why won't you undress and go to 
bed ? I will order a strait-jacket for you if you don't." 

" Oh, you don't know the strength of my constitution," 
said Colburne, with his haggard, feverish, confident smile. 

" Upon my soul, you look like it !" exclaimed the Doc- 
tor, out of patience. " Well, what will you have for din- 
ner ? Of course you are not going down." 

" Not in these tatters — no. Why, I think I should like 
— let. me see — some good — oysters and mince pie." 

The Doctor laughed aloud, and then threw up his hands 
desperately. 

" I thought so. Stark mad. I'll order your dumer my- 
self, sir. You shall have some farina." 

" Just as you say. I don't care much. I don't want 
anything. But it's a long while since I have had a piece 
of mince pie, and it can't be as bad a diet as raw pork 
and green apples." 

" I don't know," answered the Doctor. " Now then, 
will you promise to take a bath and go regularly to bed 
as soon as I leave you ?" 

" I will. How you bully a fellow ! I tell you I'm not 
sick, to speak of I'm only a little worried." 

When Ravenel returned to his own apartment he found 
Lillie waiting to go down to dinner. 

" How is he ?" she asked the moment he opened the 
door. 

"Very badly. Very feverish. Hardly in his right 
mind." 

" Oh no, papa," remonstrated Lillie. " You always ex- 
aggerate such things. Now he isn't very bad ; is he ? Is 
he as sick as he was at Donnelsonville ? You know how 



480 Miss RxVvenel's Conversion 

fast he got well then. I don't believe he is in any danger. 
Is he ?"' 

She took a strong interest in him ; it was her way to 
take an interest and to show it. She had much of what 
the French call expansion, and very little of self-repression 
whether in feeling or speech. 

" I tell you, my dear, that I am exceedingly anxious. 
He is almost prostrated by Aveakness, and there is a febrile 
excitement which is weakenmg him still more. No im- 
mediate danger, you understand ; but the case is certainly 
a very delicate and uncertain one. So many of these noble 
fellows die after they get home ! I wouldn't be so anxious, 
only that he thinks he has a vast quantity of company 
business on hand which must be attended to at once." 

" Can't we do it, or some of it, for him ?" 

" Perhaps so. I dare say. Yes, I thmk it likely. But 
now let us hurry down. I want to order something suit- 
able for his dinner. I must buy a dose of morphine, too, 
that will make him sleep till to-morrow morning. He 
7nust sleep, or he won't live." 

" Oh, papa I I hope you didn't talk that way to liim. 
you are enough to frighten patients into the other world, 
you are always so anxious about them." 

" Xot much dano-er of frio-htenino; him," o-roaned the 
Doctor. " I wish he could be scared — just a little — just 
enough to keep him quiet." 

After dmner the Doctor saw Colburne agam. He had 
bathed, had gone to bed, and had an opiated doze, but 
was still in his state of fevered nervousness, and showed 
it, unconsciously to himself, in his conversation. Just now 
his mind was running on the subject of Gazaway, prob- 
ably in connection with his own lack of promotion ; and 
he talked ^'ith a bitterness of comment, and an irritation 
of feeling which were very unusual with him. 

" You know the secret history of his rehabilitation," 
said he. " Well, there is one consolation in the miserable 
affair. He fooled our sly Governor. You know it was 



From Secession to Loyalty. 481 

agreed, that, after Gazaway had been whitewashed T\ith a 
lieutenant-colonelcy, he should show his gratitude by 
carrying his district for our party, and then resign to make 
way for the Governor's nephew. Major Rathbun. But it 
seems Gazaway had his own ideas. He knew a trick or 
two besides saving his bacon on the battle-field. His plan 
was that he should be the candidate for Congress from the 
district. When he found that he couldn't make that work, 
he did the next best thing, and held on to his commission. 
Wasn't it capital ? It pays me for bemg overlooked, dur- 
ing three years, in spite of the recommendations of my 
colonel and my generals. There he is still, Lieutenant- 
Colonel, with the Governor's nephew under him to do his 
fighting and field duty. I don't know how Gazaway got 
command of the conscript camp where he has been for the 
last year. I suppose he lobbied for it. But I know that 
he has turned it to good account. One of my sergeants 
was on detached duty at the camp, and was taken behind 
the scenes. He told me that he made two hundred dol- 
lars in less than a month, and that Gazaway must have 
pocketed ten times as much." 

" How is it possible that they have not ferreted out such 
a scoundrel !" exclaims the horror-stricken Doctor. 

" Ah ! the War Department has had a great load to 
carry. The War Department has had its hands too lull 
of Jeff Davis to attend to every smaller rascal." 

" But why didn't Major Rathbun have him tried for his 
old offences? It was the Major's interest to get him out 
of his own way." 

" Those were condoned by the acceptance of his resigna- 
tion. Gazaway died ofiicially with full absolution ; and 
then was born again in his reappomtment. He could go 
to work with clean hands to let substitutes escape for five 
hundred dollars a,-piece, while the sergeant who allowed 
the man to dodge him got fifty. Isn't it a beautiful 
story ?" 

'•' Shocking ! But this is doing you harm. You don't 

X 



482 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

need talk — you need sleej). I have brought you a do&e to 
make you hold your tongue till to-morrow mornmg." 

" Oh, opium. I have been living on it for the last forty- 
eight hours — the last week." 

" Twelve more hours won't hurt you. You must stop 
thinking and feeling. I tell you honestly that I never saw 
you m such a feverish state of excitation when you were 
wounded. You talk m a manner quite unlike yourself" 

" Very well," said Colburne with a long-drawn sigh, as 
if resignmg himself by an effort to the repugnant idea of 
repose. 

Here we may as well turn off Lieutenant-Colonel Gaza- 
way, since he will not be executed by any act of civil or 
military justice. Removed at last from the conscript 
camp, and ordered to the front, he at once sent in his res- 
ignation, backed up by a surgeon's certificate of physical 
disability, retired from the service with a capital of ten or 
fifteen thousand dollars, removed to Xew York, set up a 
first-class billiard-saloon, turned democrat once more, ob- 
tained a couple of city offices, and now has an income of 
seven or eight thousand a-year, a circle of admiring hench- 
men, and a reputation for ability in business and politics. 
When he speaks in a ward meetmg or in a squad of sj^ecu- 
lators on 'Change, his words have ten times the influence 
that would be accorded in the same places to the utteran- 
ces of Colburne or Ravenel. I, however, prefer to write 
the history of these two gentlemen, who appear so unsuc- 
cessful when seen from a worldly point of view. 

Fearing to disturb Colburne's slumbers, Ravenel did not 
visit him again until nine o'clock on the followmg morn- 
ing. He found him dressed, and lookmg over a mass of 
company records, preparatory to commencing his muster- 
out roll. 

"You ought not to do that," said the Doctor. "You 
are very feverish and weak. All the strength you have is 
from opiates, and you tax your brain fearfully by driving 
it on such fuel." 



FROii Secession to Loyalty. 483 

" But it must be done, Doctor," he said with a scowl, 
as if trying to see clearly through clouds of fever and mor- 
phine. " ft is an awful job," he added with a sigh. " Just 
see what it is. I must have the name of every officer and 
man that ever belonged to the company— where, when, 
and by whom enlisted — where, when, and by whom mus- 
tered in — when and by whom last paid — what bounty 
paid and what bounty due — balance of clothing account 
—stoppages of all sorts— facts and dates of every promo- 
tion and reduction, discharge, death and desertion— num- 
ber and date of every important order. Five copies ! 
Why don't they demand five hundred ? Upon my soul, it 
doesn't seem as if I could do it," 

" Why not make some of your men do it ?" 

" I have none here. I am the only man who will go out 
on this paper. There is not a man of my origmal compa- 
ny who has not either re-eulisted as a veteran, or deserted, 
or died, or been killed, or been discharged because of 
wounds, or breaking down under hardships." 

" Astonishmg I" 

"Very curious. That Shenandoah campaign cut up 
our regiment wonderfully. We went there vdih four hun- 
dred men, and we had less than one hundred and fifty 
when I left."- 

The civilian stared at the coolness of the soldier, which 
seemed to him much like hard-hearted ness. The latter 
rubbed his forehead and eyes, not aflected by these tre- 
mendous recollections, but simply seeking to gain clear- 
ness of brain enough to commence his talk. 

" You must not work to-day," said the Doctor. 

"I have only three days for the job, and I mtist work 
to-day." 

" Well — go on then. Make your original, wliich is, I 
suppose, the great difficulty ; and" my daughter and I will 
make the four others." 

" Will you ? How kind you are I" 

At nine o'clock of the folio whig mornmg Colbume de- 



484 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

livered to Ravenel the original muster-out roll. During 
that day and the next the father and daughter finished 
the four copies, ^vhile Colburue lay iii bed, too sick and 
dizzy to raise his head. On the fourth day he went by 
railroad to the city of , the primary rendezvous of 

the regiment, and was duly mustered out of existence as 
an officer of the United States army. Returning to Xew 
iBoston that evening, he fainted at the door of the hotel, 
was carried to his room by the porters, and did not leave 
his bed for forty-eight hours. At the end of that time he 
dressed himself in his citizen's suit, and called on Mrs. 
Carter. She was astonished and frightened to see him, 
for he was alarmmgly thin and ghastly. Nevertheless, 
after the first startled exclamation of " Captain Colburne !" 
she added with a benevolent hypocrisy, " How much bet- 
ter you look than I thought to see you !" 

He held both her hands for a moment, gazing into her 
eyes with a profound gratification at their sympathy, and 
then said, as he seated himself, " Tliank you for your anx- 
iety. I am going to get well now. I am going to give 
myself three months of pure, perfect rest." 

The wearied man pronounced the word rest with a 
touching intonation of pleasure. 

" Don't call me Captain," he resumed. " The very word 
tires me, and I want repose. Besides, I am a' citizen, and 
have a right to the Mister." 

"He is mortified because he was not promoted," thought 
Lillie, and called him by the threadbare title no more. 

" It always seems to be our business to take care of you 
when you are sick," she said. " We nursed you at Tay- 
lorsville — that is, till we wanted some fighting done." 

" That seems a great while ago," replied Colburne med- 
itatively. "How many thmgs have happened since then !" 
he was about to say, but checked the utterance for fear of 
giving her pain. 

" Yes, it seems a long time ago," she repeated soberly, 
for she too thought how many things had happened since 



From Secession to Loyalty. 485 

then, and thought it with more emotion, than he could 
give to the idea. He continued to gaze at l^er earnestly 
and with profound pity m his heart, while his memory 
flashed over the two great incidents of maternity and. 
widowhood. " She has fought harder battles than I have," 
he said to himself, wondering meanwhile to find her so 
little changed, and deciding that what change there was 
only made her more charmmg. He longed to say some 
word of consolation for the loss of her husband, but he 
would not speak of the subject until she introduced it. 
Lillie's mind also wondered shudderingly around that be- 
reavement, and then dashed desperately away from it, 
without uttering a plaint. 

" Can I see the baby ?" he asked, after these few mo- 
ments of silence. 

She colored deeply, not so much with pleasure and 
pride, as with a return of the old virginity of soul. He 
understood it; for he remembered that she had blushed in 
the same manner when she met him for the first time after 
her marriage. It was the modesty of her womanhood, 
confessing, " I am not what I was when you saw me last." 

" He is^not a baby," she laughed. " He is a great boy, 
more than a year old. Come and look at him." 

She led the wUy into her room. It was the fii*st time 
that he had ever been ui her room, and the place filled 
him with delicious awe, as if he were in the presence of 
some sweet sanctity. Irish Rosann," sittmg by the bed- 
side and reading her prayer-book, raised her old head and 
took a keen survey of the stranger through her silver- 
rimmed spectacles. On the bed lay a chubby urchm, well 
grown for a yearlmg, his fair fiice red with health, sun- 
burn, and sleep, arms spread wide apart, and one dimpled 
leg and foot outside of the coverlet. 

"" There is the Little Doctor," she said, bending down 
and kissing a dimple. 

It was a long time since she had called him " Little Gen- 
eral," or, " Little Brigadier." From the worship of the 



486 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

husband she had gone back in a great measure, perhaps 
altogether, tp the earlier and happier worship of the parent. 
" Does he look like his grandflither ?" asked Colburne. 
" Why ! Can't you see it ? He is wonderfully like 
him. He has blue eyes, too. Don't you see the resem- 
blance ?" 

" I think he has more chms than your father. He has 
double chins all the way down to his toes," said Colburne, 
pomting to the collops on the little leg. 

" You mustn't laugh at him," she answered. " I sup- 
pose you have seen him enough. Men seldom take a 
longer look than that at a baby." 

" Yes. I don't want to wake him up. I don't want 
the responsibility of it. I wouldn't assume the responsi- 
bilities of an ant. I haven't the energy for it." 

They returned to the little parlor. The Doctor came in, 
and immediately forced the invalid to lie on a sofa, proi> 
phig him up with pillows and proposing to cbver him with 
an Aftghan. 

•' Xo," said Colburne. " I beg pardon for my obstmacy, 
but I suffer with heat all the time." 

" It is the fever," said the Doctor. " Remittent ma- 
larious fever. It is no joke when it dates from Brashear 
City."^ 

" It it not bemg used to a house," answered Colburne, 
stubborn in faith in his OAvn health. "It is wearmg a 
vest and a broadcloth coat. I really am not strong enough 
to bear the hardships of civilization." 

" We shall see," said the Doctor gravely. " The Indians 
die^ of civilization. So does many a returned soldier. 
You will have to be careful of yourself for a long time to 
come." 

" I am," said Colburne. " I sleep with windows open." 

" Why didn't you write to us that you were sick ?" 
asked Lillie. 

" I didn't wish to worry you. I knew you were kind 
enough to be wori-ied. What was the use ?" 



Feoji Secession to Loyalty. 487 

She thought that it was noble, and just like him, but 
she said nothing. She could not help admiring him, as he 
lay there, for lookmg so sick and weak, and yet so cheer 
ful and courageous, so absolutely mdifferent to his state 
of bodily depression. There was not in his face or man- 
ner a single shadow of expression which seemed like an 
appeal for pity or sympathy. He had the air of one who 
had become so accustomed to suffering as to consider it a 
common-place matter not worthy of a moment's despon- 
dency, or even consideration. His look was noticeably 
resolute, and energetic, yet patient. 

" You are the most resigned sick man that I ever saw," 
she said. " You make as good an invalid as a woman." 

" A soldier's life cultivates some of the Christian virtues," 
he answered ; " especially resignation and obedience. Just 
see here. You are roused at midnight, march twenty 
miles on end, halt three or four hours, perhaps m a pelting 
rain ; then you are faced about, marched back to your old 
quarters and dismissed , and nobody ever tells you why or 
wherefore. You take it very hard it first, but at last you 
get used to it and do just as you are bid, without com- 
plaint or comment. You no more pretend to reason con- 
cenimg your duties than a millstone troubles itself to un- 
derstand the cause of its revolutions. You are set in mo- 
tion, and you move. Think of bemg started out at early 
dawn and made to stand to arms till daylight, every 
morning, for six weeks running. You may grumble at it, 
but you do it all the same. At last you forget to grumble 
and even to ask the reason why. You obey because you 
are ordered. Oh ! a man learns a vast deal of stoical vir- 
tue in field service. He learns courage, too, agamst sick- 
ness as well as against bullets. I believe the war will 
give a manlier, nobler tone to the character of our nation. 
The school of suffermg teaches grand lessons." 

" And how will the war end ?" asked Lillie, anxious, as 
every citizen was, to get the opinion of a soldier on this 
great question. 



488 Miss Raven el's Con version 

" We shall beat them, of course." 

"When?" 

" I can't say. Xobody can. I never heard a military 
man of any merit pretend to fix the time. Xow that I am 
a civilian, perhaps I shall resume the gift of prophecy." 

" Mr. Seward keeps saying, in three months." 
t " Well, if he keeps saymg so long enough he will hit it. 
Mr. Seward hasn't been serious in such talk. His only ob- 
ject was to cheer up the nation." 

" So we shall beat them ?" cheerfully repeated the con- 
verted secessionist. " And what then ? I hope we shall 
pitch uito England. I hate her for being so underhand- 
edly spiteful toward the Xorth, and false toward the South." 

" Oh no ; don't hate her. England, like every body 
else, doesn't like ii great neighbor, and would be pleased 
to see him break up into small neighbors. But England 
is a grand old nation, and one of the lights of the world. 
The only satisfaction which I should find in a war with 
England would be that I could satisfy my^ curiosity en a 
pomt of professional interest. I would like to see how 
European troops fight compared Tvith ours. I would 
cheerfully risk a battle for the spectacle." 

" And which do you think would beat ?" asked Lillie. 

" I really don't know. That is just the question. Ma- 
rengo against Cedar Creek, Leij^sic against the Wilder- 
ness. I should like, of all thmgs in the world, to see the 
trial." 

Thus they talked for a couple of hours, in a quiet way, 
strolling over many subjects, but discussing nothmg of 
deep personal interest. Colburne was too weak to have 
much desire to feel or to excite emotions. In studying 
the young woman before him he was chiefly occupied m 
detecting and measuring the exact change which the po- 
tent incidents of her later life had wrought in her expres- 
sion. He decided that she looked more serious and more 
earnest than of old ; but that was the total of his fancied 
discoveries ; in fact, he was too languid to analyze. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 489 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

CAPTAIX COLBURXE AS MR. COLBUEXE. 

DuEixG three months Colburne rested from marches, 
battles, fatigues, emotions. He was temporarily so worn 
out in body and mmd that he could not even rally vigor 
enough to take an mterest in any but the greatest of the 
majestic passing events. It is to be considered that he 
had been case-hardened by war to all ordinary agitations ; 
that exj^osure to cannon and musketry had so calloused 
him as that he could read newspapers with tranquillity. 
Accordingly he troubled himself very little about the 
world ; and it got along at an amazing rate without his 
assistance. There were no more Marengos in the Shenan- 
doah Yalley, but there was a Waterloo near Petersburg, 
and an XJlm near Raleigh, and an assassination of a greater 
than "William of Orange at Washington, and over all a 
grand, re-united, triumphant republic. 

As to the battles Colburne only read the editorial sum- 
maries and official reports, and did not seem to care much 
for " oiu* own correspondent's " picturesque particulars. 
Give him the positions, the dispositions, the leaders, the 
general results, and he kne^w how to infer the minutiae. To 
some of his civilian friends, the brother abolitionists of 
former days, this calmness seemed like indifference to the 
victories of his country; and such was the eagerness and 
hotness of the times that some of them charged him T^-ith 
want of patriotism, sympathy with the rebels, copperhead- 
ism, etc. One day he came into the Ravenel parlor with 
a smile on his face, but betraying in his manner something 
of the irritability of weakness and latent fever. 

" I have heard a most astonishing thing," he said. " I 
have been called a Copperhead. I who fought three 
X2 



490 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

years, marched the skin off my feet, have been wounded, 
starved, broken down m field service, am a Copperhead. 
The man who inferred it ought to know ; he has lived 
among Copperheads for the last three years. He has never 
been in the army-^never smelled a pinch of rebel powder. 
There were no Copperheads at the front ; they were all 
here, at the rear, where he was. He ought to know them, 
and he says that I am one of them. Isn't it amazing !" 

" How did he discover it ?" asked the Doctor. 

" "We were talking about the war. This man — who has 
never heard a bullet whistle, please remember — asserted 
that the rebel soldiers were cowards, and asked my opin- 
ion. I demurred. He insisted and grew warm. ' But,' 
said I, ' don't you see that you spoil my glory ? Here I 
have been in the.field three years, finding these rebels a 
very even match in fighting. If they are cowards, I am a^ 
poltroon. The inference hurts me, and therefore I deny 
the premise.' I think that my argument aggravated him. 
He repeated positively that the rebels were cowards, and 
that whoever asserted the contrary was a southern sympa- 
thiser. ' But,' said I, ' the rebel armies difler from ours 
chiefly in being more purely American. Is it the greater 
proportion of native blood which causes the cowardice ?' 
Thereupon I had the Copperhead brand ])\\t upon my 
forehead, and was excommunicated from the paradise of 
loyalty. I consider it rather stunning. I was the only 
practical abolitionist in the company — the only man who 
had freed a negro, or caused tne death of a slaveholder. 
Doctor, you too must be a Copperhead. You have suf- 
fered a good deal for the cause of freedom and country ; 
but I don't believe that you consider the rebel armies 
packs of cowards." 

The Doctor noted the excitement of his young friend, 
and observed to himself, " Remittent malarious fever." 

" I get along very easily with these earnest people," he 
added aloud. " They say more than they strictly believe, 
because their feelings are stronger than can be spoken. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 491 

They are pretty tart ; but they are mere buttermilk or 
lemonade compared with the nitric acid which I used to 
find m Louisiana ; they speak hard things, but they don't 
stick you under the fifth rib with a bowie-knife. Thanks 
to my social training in the South, I am able to say to a 
man who abuses me for my opinions, ' Sir, I am profoundly 
grateful to you for not cutting my throat from ear to ear. 
I shall never forget your politeness.' " 

The nervous fretfulness apparent in Colburne's manner 
on this occasion passed away as health and strength re- 
turned. Another phenomenon of his recovered vigor was 
that he began to show a stronger passion for the society 
of Mrs. Carter than he had exhibited when he first returned 
from the wars. On his well days he made a span with 
young Whitewood at the baby wagon ; only it was ob- 
servable that, after a few trials, they came to a tacit un- 
derstandmg to take turns in this duty ; so that when one 
was there, the other kept away, in a magnaminous, man 
fashion. Colburne found Mrs. Carter, in the main, a much 
more serious person in temper than when he bade her 
good-bye in Thibodeaux. The interest which this shadow 
of sadness gave her in his eyes, or, perhaps I should say, 
the interest with which she invested the subject of sadness 
in his mind, may be inferred from the somewhat wordy 
fervor of the following passage, which he penned about 
this time in his common-place book. 

" The BigniUj of Sorrow. Grand is the heart which is 
ennobled, not crushed, by sorrow ; by mighty sorrows 
worn, not as manacles, but as a crown. Try to conceive 
the dignity of a soul which has suffered deeply and borne 
its sufferings well, as compared with another soul which 
has not suffered at all. Remember how we respect a 
veteran battle-ship— a mere dead mass of timber, ropes, 
and iron— the Hartford — after her decks have run mth 
blood, and been torn by shot. No spectacle of new fri- 
gates just from the stocks, moulded in the latest perfected 
form, can stir our souls with sympathy like the sight of 



492 Miss Rayexel's Conversion 

the battered hulk. Truly there is something of divinity 
in the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, e^en when 
his body is but human, provided always that his soul has 
gro-VNTi purer by its trials." 

At one time Colburne was somewhat anxious about 
Mrs. Carter lest her eharacter should become permanently 
sombre in consequence of lonely brooding over her trou- 
bles. He remembered with pleasure her former girlish 
gayety, and wished that it might be again her prevailing 
expression. 

" Do you think you see people enough ?" he asked her. 
" I mean, a sufficient variety of people. Monotony of in- 
tellectual diet is as bad for the spiiit as monotony of physi- 
cal nourishment for the body." 

" I am sure that papa and Mr. Whitewood constitute a 
variety," she answered. 

Colburne was not badly pleased with this speech, inas- 
much as it seemed to convey a slight slur upon Mr. White- 
wood. He was so gratified, in fact, that he lost sight of 
the subject of the conversation until she recalled him to it. 
" Do you think I am gettmg musty ?" she inquired. 
" Of course not. But there is danger in a long-continued 
uniformity of spuitual surroundmgs : danger of running 
into a habit of reverie, brooding, melancholy : danger of 
growing spiritually old." 

" I know it. But what can a woman do ? It is one of 
the inconveniences of womanhood that we can't change 
our surroundings — not even our hoops — at our own pleas- 
ure. We can't run out into the world and say. Amuse us." 
" There are two worlds for the two sexes. A man's 
consists of all the millions of earth and of future time — • 
unless he becomes a captain in the Tenth Barataria — then 
he stays where he began. A woman's consists of the 
l^eople whom she meets daily. But she can enlarge it ; 
she can make it comprehend more than papa and -Mr. 
Whitewood." 

" But not more than Ravvie," said Lillie. 



From Secession to Loyalty. 493 

As Colburne listened to this declaration be felt some- 
thing like jealousy of the baby, and somethmg like indigna- 
tion at Mrs. Carter. What busmess had she to let her- 
self be circumscribed by the limits of such a diminutive 
creature ? This was not the only time that Lillie shot this 
single arrow in her quiver at Mr. Colburne. She talked 
a great deal to him about Ravvie, believmg all the while 
that she kept a strict rein upon her maternal vanity, and 
did not mention the boy half as often as she would have 
been justified in doing by his obesity and other remark- 
able characteristics. I do not mean to intimate that the 
subject absolutely and acrimoniously annoyed our hero. 
On the whole her maternal fondness was a pleasant spec- 
tacle to him, especially when he drew the inference that 
so good a mother would be sure to make an admirable 
wife. Moreover his passion for pets easily flowed into an 
affection for this infant, and the child increased the feelmg 
by his grateful response to the young bachelor's attentions. 
Mrs. Carter blushed more than once to see her baby quit 
her and toddle across the room and gre^t Colburne's en- 
trance. 

" Eavvie, come here," she would say. " You trouble 
people." 

" No, no," protested Colburne, picking up the little man 
and setting him on his shoulder. " I like to be troubled 
by people who love me." 

Then after a slight pause, he added audaciously, " I ne- 
ver have been much troubled in that Avay." 

Mrs. Carter's blush deepened a shade or two at this ob- 
servation. It was one of those occasions on Avhich a wom- 
an always says something as mal-apropos as possible ; and 
in accordance with this instmct of her sex, she spoke of 
the Russian Plague, which was then a subject of gossip 
in the papers. 

" I am so afraid Ravvie will take it," she said. " I have 
heard that there is a case next door, and I am really 
tempted to run away with him for a week or two." 



494 Miss R a y e x e l ' s C o x v e r s i o x 

" I wouldn't," replied Colburne. " You might run into 
it somewhere else. One case is not alarming. ' If I had 
forty children to be responsible for, T wouldn't break up 
for a single case." 

" If you had forty you mightn't be so frightened as if 
you had only one," remarked Mrs. Carter, seriously. 

Then the Doctor came in, to declare in his cheerful way 
that there was no Russian Plague in the city, and that, 
even if there were, it Avas no great affair of a disease among 
a well-fed and cleanly population. 

" We are more in danger of breaking out with national 
vanity," said he. " They are singing anthems, choruses, 
p?eans of praise to us across the water. All the nations of 
Europe are welcoming our triumph, as the daughters of 
Judea went out with cymbals and harps to greet the giant 
killing David. Just listen to this." 

Here he unfolded the Evening Post of the day, took off 
his eye-glasses, put on his spectacles, and read extracts 
from European editorials written on the occasion of the 
fall of Richmond -and surrender of Lee. 

"They are more flattering than Fourth of July ora- 
tions," said Colburne. " I feel as though I ought to go 
straight down to the sea-shore and make a bow across the 
Atlantic. It is enough to make a spread peacock-tail 
sprout upon every loyal American. I am not sure but that 
the next generation will be furnished with the article, as 
being absolutely necessary to express our consciousness of 
admiration. On the Darwinian theory, you know; cir- 
cumstances breed species." 

" The Europeans seem to have more enthusiastic views 
of us than we do of ourselves," observed Lillie. " I never 
thought of our being such a grand nation as Monsieur La- 
boulaye paints us. You never did, papa." 

" I never had occasion to till now," said the Doctor. 
" As long as we were bedraggled in slavery there was not 
much room for honest, intelligent pride of country. It is 
difterent now. These Europeans judge us aright ; we have 



From Secession to Loyalty. 495 

done a stupendous thing. - They are outside of the strug- 
gle, and can survey its proportions with the eyes with 
which our descendants will see it. I think I can discover 
a little of its grandeur. It is the fifth act in the grand 
drama of hunjan liberty. First, the Christian revelation. 
Second, the Protestant reformation. Third, the war of 
American Independence. Fourth, the French revolution. 
Fifth, the struggle for the freedom of all men, without 
distinction of race and color; this Democratic struggle 
which confirms the masses in. an equality with the few. 
We have taught a greater lesson than all of us think or 
understand. Once agam we have reminded the world of 
Democracy, the futility of oligarchies, the outlawry of 
Csesarism." 

" In the long run the right conquers," moralized Col- 
burne. 

" Yes, as that pure and wise martyr to the cause of 
freedom, President Lincoln, said four years ago, right 
makes miglit. A just system of labor has produced power, 
and an unjust system has produced weakness. The North, 
living by free industry, has twenty millions of people, and 
wealth inexhaustible. The South, living by slavery, has 
twelve millions, one half of whom are paupers and secret 
enemies. The right always conquers because it always 
becomes the strongest. In that sense ' the hand of God ' 
is identical ^dth ' the heaviest battalions.' Another thing 
which strikes me is the intensity of character which our 
people have developed. We are no longer a mere collec- 
tion of thirty millions of bores, as Carlyle called us. 
There never was greater vigor or range. Look at Booth, 
the new Judas Iscariot. Look at Blackburn, who packed 
up yellow fever rags with the hope of poisoning a conti- 
nent. What a sweep, what a gamut, from these satanic 
wretches to Abraham Lincoln ! a purer, wiser and greater 
than Socrates, whom he reminds one of by his plain sense 
and homely humor. In these days — the days of Lincoln, 
Grant and Sherman — faith in the imagination — faith in 



496 Miss Ravexel's Cox version 

the supernatural origin of humauity — becomes possible. 
We see men who are demoniacal and men who are divine. 
I can now go back to my childhood, and read Plutarch as 
I then read him, believing that wondrous men have lived 
because I see that they do live. I can now understand 
the Paradise Lost, for I have beheld Heaven fighting with 
Hell." 

"The national debt will be awful," observes Lillie, 
after the brief pause which naturally follows the Doctor's 
Cyricism. " Three thousand millions ! What will my 
share be ?" 

" We will pay it off," says the Doctor, " in a series of 
operatic entertainments, at a hundred thousand dollars the 
dress seats — back seats fifty thousand." 

" The southern character will be improved by the strug- 
gle," observed Colburne, after another silence. "They 
will be sweetened by adversity, as their persimmons are 
by frost. Besides, it is such a calming thing to have one's 
tight out ! It draws off the bad blood. But Avhat are 
we to do about punishmg.the masses? I go for punish- 
ing only the leaders." 

" Yes," coincided the Doctor. " They are the respon- 
sible criminals. It is astonishing how imperiously strong 
chara^i'ters govern weak ones. You will often meet with 
a man who absolutely enters into and possesses other men, 
making them talk, act and feel as if they were himself 
He puts them on and wears them, as a soldier crab puts 
on and wears an empty shell. For instance, you hear a 
man talking treason ; you look at him and say, ' It is that 
poor fool. Cracker.' But all the while it is Planter, who, 
being stronger minded than Cracker, dwells m him and 
blasphemes out of his windows. Planter is the living 
crab, and Cracker is the dead shell. The question comes 
up, ' Which shall we hang, and which shall we pardon ?' I 
say, hang Planter, and tell Cracker to get to work. 
Planter gone, some better man will occupy Cracker and 
make him speak and live virtuously." 



From Secession to Loyalty. 497 

But strange as it may seem, unpatriotic as it may seem, 
there 'was a subject which interested Colburne more than 
these great matters. It was a woman, a widow, a mother, 
who, as he supposed, still mourned her dead husband, and 
only loved among the livmg her father and her child. 
How imperiously, for wise ends, we are governed by the 
passion of sex for sex, m spite of the superficial pleas of 
selfish reason and interest ! What other quality, physical 
or moral, have we that could take the j^lace of this bene- 
ficently despotic mstinct ? Do you believe that conscience, 
sense of duty, jihilanthropy, would induce men and women 
to bear with each other — to bring children into the world 
— to save the race from extmction ? Strike out the affec- 
tion of sex for sex, and earth would be, first a hell, then a 
desert. God is not very far from every one of us. The 
nation was not more certainly guided by the hand of 
Providence m overthrowing slavery, than was this man 
in loving this woman. I do not suspect that any one of 
these reflections entered the mind of Colburne, although 
he was intellectually quite capable of such a small amount 
of philosophy. AYe never, or hardly ever think of apply- 
ing general piinciples to our own cases ; and he believed, 
as a matter of course, that he liked Mrs. Carter simply be- 
cause she was individually loveable. On other subjects 
he could think and talk with perfect rationality ; he could 
even discourse transcendentally to her concernmg her own 
heart history. For instance, one day when she was sadder 
than usual, nervous, irritable, and iu imperious need of a 
sympathismg confidant, she alluded shyly to her sorrows, 
and, finding him willing to listen, added frankly, " Oh, I 
have been so unhappy !" 

It is rather strange that he did not sieze the opportunity 
and say, " Let me be your consoler." But he too Avas in 
a temporarily morbid state, his mind unpractical with 
fever and weakness, wandermg helplessly around the ideas 
of trouble and consolation like a moth around the be- 



498 Miss R a vex el's Coxversiox 

wilderment of a candle, and not able to perceive that the 
great comforter of life is action, lahor, duty. 

" So have multitudes," he answered. " There is some 
comfort in that." 

" How can you say so ?" she asked, turning upon him 
in astonishment. 

" Look here," he answered. " There are ten thousand 
blossoms on an apple tree, but not five hundred of them 
mature into fruit. So it is with us human beings : a few 
succeed, the rest are failures. It is a part of the method 
of God. He creates many, m order that some may be 
sure to reach his proposed end. He abounds in means; 
he has more material than he needs ; he minds nothing but 
his results. You and I, even if we are blighted blooms, 
must be content with knowing that his purposes are cer- 
tain to be fulfilled. If we fail, others will succeed, and in 
that fact we can rejoice, forgetting ourselves." 

" Oh ! but that is very hard," said Lillie. 

" Yes ; it is. But what right have we to demand that 
we shall be happy ? That is a condition that we have no 
right and no power to make with the Creator of the Uni- 
verse. Our desire should be that we might be enabled to 
make others happy. I wonder that this should seem hard 
doctrine to you. Women, if I understand them, are full 
of self-abnegation, and live through multitudes of self- 
sacrifices." 

" And still it sounds haixl," persisted Lillie. " I could 
not bear another sacrifice." 

She closed her eyes under an impulse of spiritual agony, 
as the thought occurred to her that she might yet be 
called on to give up her child. 

" I am sorry you have been unhappy," he said, much 
moved by the expression of her face at this moment. " I 
have sympathised with you, oh, so much ! without ever 
saying a word before." 

She did not stop him from takmg her hand, and for a 
few moments did not withdi'aw it from his grasp. Far 



FEOii Secession TO Loyalty. 499 

deeper than the philosophy, which she could understand 
but not feel, these simple and common-place words, just 
such as any child might utter stole mto her heart, convey- 
in o- a tearful sense of comfort and . eliciting a throb of 
gratitude. 

But their conversation was not often of so melancholy 
and sentimental a nature. She had more gay hours ^dth 
this old friend during a few weeks than she had had dur- 
ing six months previous to his arrival. She often laughed 
Avhen the tears Avere ready to start ; but gradually the 
spu-it of laughter was expelling the spirit of tears. She 
was hardly sensible, I suspect, how thoroughly he was 
wmding himself into all her emotions, her bygone griefs, 
her present consolations, her pitying remembrance of her 
husband, her love for her father and child, her recollec- 
tions of the last four years, so full for her of life and feel- 
ing. His presence recalled by turns all of these things, 
sweeping gently, like a hand timid because of affection, 
over every chord of her heart. Man has great power over 
a woman when he is so gifted or so circumstanced that 
he can touch that strongest part of her nature, her senti- 
ments. 

However, it must not be supposed that Mr. Colburne 
was at this time playing a very audible tune on Mrs. Car- 
ter's heart-strings, or that he even distinctly intended to 
touch that delicate instrument. He was quite aware that 
he must better his pecuniary condition before he could 
honorably meddle in such lofty music. 

"I must go to work," he said, after he had been at 
home nearly three months. " I shall get so decayed with 
laziness that I sha'n't be able to pick myseif up. I shall 
cease to be respectable if I lounge any longer than is ob- 
solutely necessary to restore my health." 

" Yes, work is best," answered the Doctor. " It is our 
earthly glory and blessing. It is a great comfort to think 
that the'evil spirit of no-work is pretty much exorcised 
from our nation. The victory of the North is at bottom 



500 Miss Rayexel's Conversion 

the triumph of laboring men living by their own industry, 
over non-laboring men who wanted to live by the mdustry 
of others. Euroj^e sees this even more plainly than we 
do. All over that continent the industrious classes hail 
the triumph of the Xorth as their own victory. Slavery 
meant in reality to create an idle nobility. Liberty has 
established an industrious democracy. In working for 
our own living we are obeying the teachings of this war, 
the triumj^hant spirit of our country and age. The ycamg 
man who is idle now belongs to bygone and semi-barbar- 
ous centuries ; he is more of an old fogy than the narrow- _ 
est minded farm-laborer or ditch-digging emigrant. AYhat 
a prosperous hive this will be now that it contains no class 
of drones ! There was no hope of good from slavery. It 
was like that side of the moon which never sees the bright 
face of the Earth and whose night is always darkness, no 
matter how the heavens revolve. Yes, we must all go to 
work. That is, we must be useful and respectable. I am 
very glad for your sake that you have studied a profes- 
sion. A young man brought up in literary and scientific 
circles is subject to the temptation of concluding that it 
will be a fine thing to have no calling but letters. He is 
apt to think that he will make his living by his pen. isTow 
that is all wrong ; it is wrong because the pen is an un- 
certain means of existence ; for no man should voluntarily 
place himself in the condition of living from hand to 
mouth. Every university man, as well as every other 
man, should learn a profession, or a busines?, or a trade. 
Then, when he has somethmg solid to fall back upon, he 
may if he chooses try what he can do as a scholar or au- 
thor." 

" I shall re-open my law office," said Colburne. 

"I wonder if it 'would be unhandsome or unfaii*," 
queried the Doctor, " if I too should open an office and 
take such patients as might offer." 

" I don't see it. I don't see it at all," responded Col- 
burne. 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 501 

" Xor do I, either — considering my necessities," said 
Ravenel, meanwhile calculatmg internally how much 
longer his small cash capital would last at the present 
rate of decrease. 

Within a week after this conversation two offices were 
opened, and the professional ranks of Kew Boston were 
reinforced by one doctor and one lawyer. 

" Papa, now that you have set up a sign," said Lillie, 
" I will trust you entirely ^vith Ravvie." 

"Yes, women always ask after a sign," observed Rav- 
enel. " It is astonishing how much the sex believes in 
pretense and show. If I should advertise myself — no 
matter how ignorant I might be — as a specialist in female 
maladies, I could have all the lady invalids in Xew Boston 
for patients. Positively I sometimes get out of patience 
with the sex for its streaks of silliness. I am occasionally 
tempted to believe that the greatest difficulty which man 
has overcome in climbing the heights of civilization is the 
fact that he has had to tote women on his shoulders." 

" I thought you never used negro phrases, j^apa." 

" I pass that one. Tote has a monosyllabic vigor about 
it which pleads for it." 

" You know Mrs. Poyser says that women are fools be- 
cause they were made to match the men." 

"Mrs. Poyser was a very intelligent woman — well 
worthy of her son, Ike," returned the Doctor, who knew 
next to nothmg of novels, 

" Now go to your office," said Lillie, " and if Mrs. Poy- 
ser calls on you, don't give her the pills meant for Mrs. 
Partington. They are different ladies." 

Colburne did not regret that he had been a soldier ; he 
would not have missed the battle of Cedar Creek alone 
for a thousand dollars ; but he sometimes reflected that if 
he had remained at home during the last three years, he 
might now be in a lucratire practice. From his salary as 
captain he had been able to lay up next to nothing. Nom- 
inally it was fifteen hundred and sixty dollars ; but the in- 



502 Miss Ravenel's Coxveesion 

come tax took out thirty dollars, and he had forfeited the 
monthly ten dollars allowed for responsibility of arms, 
etc., during the time he was on staff duty ; in addition to 
which gold had been up to 290, diminishing the cash value 
of his actual pay to less than five hundred dollars. Fur- 
thermore he had lent largely to brother officers, and in 
consequence of the death of the borrowers on heroic fields, 
had not always been repaid. Yan Zandt owed him two 
hundred dollars, and Carter had fallen before he could re- 
turn him a similar sum. Nevertheless, thanks to the in- 
dustiy and economy of a father long since buried, the 
young man had a sufficient income to support him while 
he could plant the slowly growing trees of business and 
profit. He could live ; but could he marry ? Gold was 
falling, and so were prices ; but even before the war one 
thousand dollars a year would not support two ; and now 
it certainly would be insufficient for three. He considered 
this question a great deal more than was necessary for a 
man who meant to be a bachelor ; and occasionally a 
recollection of 'White'wood's eighty thousand gave him a 
pang of envy, or jealousy, or both together. 

The lucre which he so earnestly desired, not for its own 
stupid sake, but for the gratification of a secretly nursed 
purpose, began to flow in upon him in small but constant 
driblets. Some enthusiastic j^eople gave him their small 
jobs in the way of conveyancing, etc., because he had 
fought three years for his country ; and at least, somewhat 
to his alarm, a considerable case was thrust upon him, 
with a retaining fee which he immediately banked as being 
too large for his pocket. Conscious that his legal erudi- 
tion was not great, he went to a former fellow student 
who during the past four years had burrowed himself 
into a good practice, and proposed that they should take 
the case m partnership. 

" You shall be counsellor," said he, "and I will be ad- 
vocate. You shall furnish the law skeleton of the plea^ 
and I will clothe it with appeals to the gentlemen of the 



From Secession to Loyalty. 503 

jury. I used to be famous for spouting, you know ; and I 
think I could ask a few questions." 

" I will do it for a tliird," said the other, who was not 
himself a pleader. 

" Good !" 

It was done and the case was gained. The pecuniary 
profits were divided, but Colburne carried away all the 
popular fame, for he had spouted in such a manner as 
quite to dissolve the gentlemen of the jury. The two 
young men went into partnership on the basis afforded by 
their "first transaction, and were soon in possession of a 
promismg if not an opulent busmess. It began to seem 
possible that, at a not very distant day, Colburne might 
mean something if he should say, " I endow thee mth my 
worldly goods." 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

A BRACE OF OFFERS. 

At last Colburne gave Mrs. Carter a bouquet. It was 
a more significant act than the reader who loves flowers 
will perceive without an explanation. Fond as he was 
of pets and of most things which are, or stand as emblems 
of innocence, he cared very little for flowers except as 
features of a landscape. He was conscious of a gratifica- 
tion in walking along a field path which ran through 
dandelions, buttercups, etc.; but he never would have 
thought of picking one of them for his own pleasure any 
more than of picking a maple tree. In short, he was defi- 
cient in that sense which makes so many people crave 
their presence, and could probably have lived in a flower- 
less land without any painfnl sentiment of barrenness. 
Therefore it was only a profound and affectionate study 



504 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

into Mrs. Carter's ways and tastes which brought him to 
the point of buying and bringing to her a bouquet. 

He was actually surprised at the flush of pleasure with 
Avhich she received it : a pleasure evidently caused in 
great measure by the nature of the gift itself; and only in 
small part, he thought, by a consciousness of the motives 
of the giver. He watched her with great interest while 
she gaily filled a vase with water, put the bouquet in it, 
placed it on the mantel piece, stej^ped back to look at it, 
then set it on her work-table, took in the effect once more, 
drcAV a pleased sigh and resumed her seat. Her Diana- 
like, graceful form showed to advantage in the plain black 
dress, and her wavy blonde hair seemed to him specially 
beautiful in its contrast with her plain widow's cap. Youth 
mth its health and hope had brought back the rounded 
outlines which at one time had been a little wasted by 
maternity and sorrow. Her white and smgularly clear 
s'kin had resumed its soft roseate tint and could show as 
distinctly as ever the motions of the quickly-stirred blood. 
Her blue eyes, if not as gay as they were four years ago 
were more eloquent of experience, thought, and feeling. 
Mr. Colburne must be pardoned for thmking that she was 
more beautiful than the bouquet, and for wondermg how 
she could prize a loveliness so much inferior in grace and 
expression to her own. 

" Do you know ?" she said, and then checked herself. 
She was about to remind him that these were the first 
flowers Avhich he ever gave her, and to laugh at him good 
humoredly for havmg been so slow in divming one of her 
passions. But the idea struck her that the gift might be, 
for the very reason of its novelty, too significant to be a 
proper subject for her comments. 

" Do you know," she continued, after a scarcely per- 
ceptible hesitation, " that I am not so fond of flowers as I 
was once ? They remind me of Louisiana, and I — don't 
love Louisiana." 

" But this is thanking you very poorly for your pre- 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 505 

sent," she added, after another and longer pause. " You 
know that I am obliged to you. Don't you ?" 

" I do," said Colburne. He had been many times re- 
paid for his offering by seeing the pams which she took to 
preserve it and place it to the best advantage. 

" It is very odd to me, though, that you never seemed 
to love them," she observed, reverting to her first thought. 

" It is my misfortune. I have a pleasure the less. It is 
like not having an ear for music." 

" How can you love poetry without loving flowers ?" 

" I knew a sculptor once who couldn't find the slightest 
charm or the slightest exhibition of cajDacity in an opera. I 
had a soldier in my company who could see perfectly well 
by daylight, but was stone blind by moonlight. That is 
the way some of us are made. We are but partially de- 
veloped or, rather, not developed equally in all directions. 
My aesthetic self seems to be lacking in button-holes for 
bouquets. If I could carry a landscape about in my hand, 
I think I would ; but not a bunch of flowers." 

" But you love children ; and they are flowers." 

"Ah! but they are so human! They make a noise; 
they appreciate you comprehensibly ; they go after a 
fellow." 

So you like people who go after you ? thought Mrs. 
Carter, smiling to herself at the confession. Somehow she 
was interested in and pleased vdtb. the minutest peculiar- 
ities of Mr. Colburne. 

From that day forward her work table rarely lacked a 
bouquet, although her friend's means, after paying his 
board bill, were not by any means amj^le. In fact there 
soon came to be two bouquets, representing rival admirers 
of the lady. Young Whitewood, who loved flowers, and 
had a greenhouse full of them, but had never hitherto 
dared present one to the pretty widow, took courage from 
Colburne's example, and far exceeded him in the sump- 
tuousness of his offerings. By the way, I must not neglect 
this shy gentleman's claims to a place in my narrative. He 



506 Miss Rate x el's Conversion 

Tras a prorament figure of evenings in the Ravenel parlor, 
and did a great deal of talking there on learned subjects 
^Yitb. the Doctor, sitting the while on the edge of his 
chair, with his thin legs twisted around each other in such 
a Avay as to exhibit with painful distinctness their bony 
outlines. Each of these young men was considerably 
afraid of the other. Colbunie recognized the fact that a 
fortune of eighty thousand dollars would be a very suit- 
able adjunct to Mrs. Carter's personal and social graces, 
and that it would be perfectly proper in her to accept it if 
offered, as it seemed likely to be. Whitewood bowed 
modestly to Colburne's superior conversational cleverness, 
and humbled himself in the dust before his honorable fame 
as a soldier. What was he, a man of j^eace, a patiiot who 
had only talked and paid, in comparison wkh this other 
man who had shed his blood and risked his life for their 
common country and the cause of human progress ? So 
when the Captain talked to Mrs. Carter, the tutor con- 
tented himself with Doctor Ravenel. He was painfully 
conscious of his own stiffness and coldness of style, and 
mourned over it, and envied the ease and wannth of these 
southerners. To tliis subject he frequently alluded, driven 
thereto by a sort of agony of conviction ; for the objective 
White wood imperfectly expressed the subjective, who 
thought earnestly and felt ardently. 

" I don't understand," he said mournfully, " why i>eo- 
ple of the same blood should be so different — in tact, so 
oj^posed — in manner, as are the northerners and south- 
erners." 

" The difference spiings from a radical difference of pur- 
pose in their lives," said the Doctor. " The pro-slavery 
South meant oligarchy, and imitated the manners of the 
European nobility. The democratic Xortli means equality 
— every man standing on his own legs, and not bestriding 
other men's shoulders — every man passing for just what 
he is, and no more. It means honesty, sincerity, frank- 
ness, in word as well as deed. It means c^eneral hard 



Feom Secession to Loyalty. 507 

work, too, ill consequence of which there is less chance to 
cultivate the graces. The polish of the South is superficial 
and semi-barbarous, like that of the Poles and all other 
slaveholding oligarchies. I confess, however, that I should 
like to see a little more sympathy and expansion in the 
northern manners. A native, untravelled New Bostonian 
is rather too much in the style of an iceberg. He is enough 
to cause atmospheric condensation and changes of temper- 
ature. It is a story that when a new Yankee arrives in 
the warm air of Louisiana, there is always a shower. But 
that, you know, is an exaggeration." 

Whitewood laughed in a disconcerted, conscience- 
stricken manner. 

" Xevertheless, they do a vast deal of good," continued 
the Doctor. " They purify as well as disturb the atmo- 
sphere. To me, a southerner, it is a humiliatmg reflection, 
that, but for these Yankees and their cold moral purity, 
we should have established a society upon the basis of 
the most horrible slavery that the world has known 
since the days of pagan Rome." 

Whitewood glanced at Mrs. Carter. She smiled acqui- 
escence and sympathy ; her conversion from secession and 
slavery was complete. 

All this while Colburne boarded at the I^ew Boston 
House, and saw the Doctor and Mrs. Carter and Ravvie 
every day. When they went down to the sea-shore for a 
week during the hot weather, he could not leave his busi- 
ness to accompany them, as he wished, but must stay in 
New Boston, feeling miserably lonesome of evenmgs, 
although he knew hundreds of people in the little city. It 
was an aggravation of his troubles to learn that Mr. 
Whitewood had followed the Ravenels to the watering- 
place. When the family returned, still accompanied by 
the eighty thousand dollar youth, Colbunie looked very 
searchingly into the eyes of Mrs. Carter to discover if pos- 
sible what she had been doing with herself She noticed 
it, and blushed deeply, which puzzled and troubled him 



508 Miss Raven, el's Conversion 

through hours of subsequent meditation. If they were en- 
gaged, they would certainly tell me, thought he ; but nev- 
ertheless he was not entirely easy about the matter. 

It happened the next evening that he lounged into one 
of the small parlors of the hotel, intending to pass out 
upon a little front balcony and look at the moonlit, elm- 
arched glories of the Common. A murmur of two voices 
— a male voice and a female — came in from the balcony 
and checked his advance. As he hesitated young White- 
wood entered the room through the open window, hastily 
followed a moment afterward by Mrs. Carter. 

" Mr. Whitewood, please say nothing about this," she 
whispered. " Of course you will not. I never shall." 

" Certainly, not," replied the young man. The tone in 
which he spoke was so low that Colburne could detect no 
expression in it, whether of despondency or triumph. 
Entering as they did from the moonlight into a room 
Avhich had been left unlighted in order to keep out sum- 
mer bisects, neither of them perceived the involuntary 
listener. Whitewood went out by the door, and Mrs. 
Carter returned to the balcony. In order that the reader 
may be spared the trouble of turning over a few pages 
here, I will state frankly that the young man had pro- 
posed and been refused, and that Mrs. Carter had begged 
him not to let the aliair get abroad because — well, because 
a sudden impulse came over her to do just that, whether 
it concerned her or not to 'keep the secret. 

Colburne remained alone, in such an agony of anxiety 
as he had not believed himself capable of feeling. All the 
stoicism which he had learned by forced marches, starva- 
tions, and battles was insufficient, or was not of the proper 
kind, to sustain him comfortably under the torture in- 
flicted by his supposed discovery. The Rachel whom he 
had waited for more than four years was again lost to him. 
But was she lost ? asked the hope that never dies in us. It 
was not positively certain; words and situations may 
have different meanings; his rival did not seem much 



From Secession to Loyalty. 509 

elated. He would ask Mrs. Carter what the scene meant, 
and learn his fate at once. She would not keep the secret 
from him when he should tell her the motives which in- 
duced him to question her. Whether she refused him or 
not, whether she was or was not engaged to another, he 
would of course be entirely frank with her, only regretting 
that he had not been so before. He was whole-souled 
enough, he had learned at least this much of self-abnega- 
tion, not to try to save his vanity in such a matter as lov- 
ing for life. As the most loveable woman that he had 
ever known, it was due to her that she should be informed 
that his heart was at her command, no matter what she 
mio;ht do with it. The feelino- of the moment was a 
grand one, but not beyond the native power of his char- 
acter, although three years ago he had not been sufficiently 
developed to be capable of it. 

He stepped to the window, pushed apart the long 
damask curtams and stood by her side. 

" Oh ! Is it you !" she exclaimed. " You quite startled 
me." Then, after a moment's hesitation, " When did you 
come in ?" 

" I was in the room three minutes ago," he answered, 
and paused to draw a long breath. " Tell me, Mrs. Car- 
ter," he resumed, " what is it that Mr. Whitew^ood is to 
keep secret ?" 

" Mr. Colburne !" she rei^lied, full of astonishment that 
he should put such a question. 

" I did not overhear intentionally," he went on. " I did 
not hear much, and I wish to know more than I heard." 

Mr. Colburne was master of the situation, although he 
was not aware of it. Surprise was the least of Lillie's 
emotions ; she was quite overwhelmed by her lover's 
presence, and by the question which he put to her ; she 
could not have declared truly at the moment that her soul 
w^as altogether her own. 

" Oh, Mr. Colburne ! I cannot tell you," w\as all she 
could say, and that in a whisper. 



510 Miss Ravenel's Conversion 

She would have told him all, if he had insisted, but he 
did not. He liad manliness enough, he was sufficiently- 
able to affront danger and suffering, to say what was in 
liis own lieart, ^^thout knowing what had passed between 
her and his rival. He stood silent a moment, j^ondering, 
not over his purpose, but as to what his words should be. 
Then flashed across him a suspicion of the truth, that 
Whitewood had made his venture and met with ship- 
wreck. A wave of strong hope seemed to lift him over 
reefs of doubt, and shook him so, like a ship trembling on 
a billow, that for an instant longer he could not sj^eak. 
Just then Rosann's recognizable Irish voice was heard, 
' calling, " Mrs. Carter! Mrs. Carter! Might I spake t' 
ye?" 

" What is it ?" asked Lillie, steppmg by Colburne into 
the parlor. Ravvie was cutting a double tooth, was 
feverish and fretful, and she had been anxious about him. 

" Ma'am, I'd like t' have ye see the baby. I'm thinkm' 
he ought t' have somethrn' done for 'm. He's mightily 
worried." 

"Please excuse me, Mr. Colburne," said the mother, and 
ran up stairs. Thus it happened that Lillie unintention- 
ally evaded the somewhat remarkable and humiliating 
circumstance of receiving two declarations of love, two 
offers of marriage, in a single evening. She did not, how- 
ever, know precisely what it was that she had escaped ; 
and, moreover, she did not at first think much about it. 
except in a very fragmentary and unsatisfactory manner ; 
for Ravvie soon went into convulsions and remained in a 
precarious condition the whole night, absorbing all her 
time and attention. Of course he had his gums lanced, 
and his chubby feet put in hot water, and medicine poured 
down his patient throat. In the morning he was so com- 
fortable that his mother went to bed and slept till noon. 
When she awoke and found Ravvie quite recovered, and 
had kissed his cheeks, his dimpled neck, and the fat col- 
lops in his legs a hundred times or so, and called him her 



From Secession to Loyalty. 511 

own precious, and her dearest darling, and her sweet little 
man at every kiss, she began to dress herself and to think ' 
of Mr. Colburne, and of his imexplamed anxieties to say — 
what ? She went tremulously to dinner, blushing scarlet 
after her sensitive manner as she entered the dining-room, 
but quite unnecessarily, inasmuch as he was not at table. 
She could not say whether she was most relieved or an- 
noyed by his unexpected absence. It is w- orthy of record 
that before tea-time she had learned through some round- 
about medium, (Rosann and the porter, I fear,) that Mr. 
Colburne had been summoned to New York by a tele- 
gram and was not expected back for a day or two. Her 
father was away on a mineralogical hunt, unearthing bur- 
rows and w^arrens of Smithites and Browmites. Thus she 
had plenty of opportunity for reflection, and she probably 
emj^loyed it as well as most young w^omen w^ould under 
similar-circumstances, but, of course, to no purpose at all 
so far as concerned takmg any action. In such matters a 
woman can do little more than sit still while others trans- 
act her history. She was under the spell : it was not she 
who would control her own fate : it was Mr. Colburne. 
She was ashamed and almost angry to find that she was 
so weak ; she declared that it was disgraceful to fall in 
love w^th a man who had not yet told her plainly that he 
loved her ; but all her shame, and anger, and declarations 
could not alter the stubborn fact. She would never own 
it to any one else, but she w^as obliged to confess it to her- 
self, although the avowal made her cry w^ith vexation. 
She had to remember, too, that it was not quite two years 
and a half smce she was married, and not quite eighteen 
months since she had become a widow. She walked 
through a valley of humiliation, very meek in spirit, and 
yet, it must be confessed, not very unhappy. At times 
she defended herself, asking the honest and rational ques- 
tion. How could she help loving this man ? He had been 
so faithful and delicate, he was so brave and noble, that 
she wondered that every woman who knew him did not 



512 Miss Rave x el's Cox version 

adore him. And then, as she thought of liis perfections, 
she went tremblingly back to the inquiry, Did he love her? 
He had not gone so far as to say it, or anything approach- 
ing to it ; and yet he surely woukl not have asked her 
what had passed between another man and herself unless 
he meant to lay bare to her his uimost heart ; she knew 
that he was too generously delicate to demand such a 
confidence except T\dth a most serious and tender purpose. 
She did not mdeed suppose that he would have gone on 
then to say everythmg that he felt for her ; for it did not 
seem to her that any one moment which she could fix 
upon would be great enough for such a revelation. But 
it would have come in time, if she had answered him suit- 
ably ; it might come yet, if she had not offended him, and 
if he did not meet some one whom he should see to be 
more desirable. Had she offended him by her manner, or 
by what she had said, or failed to say ? Oh, how easy it 
is to suspect that those Avhom we love are vexed with us ! 
If it should be so that she had given him cause of ancrer, 
how could she make 23eace with him without demeaning 
herself? Well, let the worst come to the worst, there 
was her boy who would always be faithful and loving. 
She kissed him violently and repeatedly, but could not 
keep a tear or two from fallmg on him, although why they 
were shed the child could have explained as rationally as 
she. 

Of all these struggles Colburne knew nothmg and 
guessed nothing. He too had his yearnings and anxieties, 
although he did not express them by kissing anything or 
crying upon anything. He was sternly fearful lest he was 
losmg all-ipiportant moments, and he attended to his busi- 
ness in New York as energetically as he would have stormed 
a battery. Had he offended Mrs. Carter ? Had Whitewood 
succeeded, or failed, or not tried ? He could not answer 
any of these questions, but he was in a fury to get back 
to New Boston. 

Lillie trembled when she heard his knock upon the door 



• Feom Secession to Loyalty. 513 

at eight o'clock that evening. She knew it was his by in- 
stmct ; she had known it two or three times during the 
day when it was only a servant's ; but at last she was 
right in her divination. She was trying at the moment 
to write a letter to her father, T\4th the door open into her 
bed-room, where Ravvie sat imder the benign spectacles 
of Rosann. In answer to her " Come in," Colburne en- 
tered, looking pale with want of sleep, for he had worked 
nights and travelled days. 

" I am so glad you have come back," she said in her 
frank way. 

" And I am so glad to get back," he replied, dropping 
wearily into an easy chair. " ^7hen does your father re- 
turn ?" 

" I don't know. He told me to write to him at Spring- 
field until I got word to stop." 

Colburne Avas pleased ; the Doctor would not be at home 
for a day or two ; that would give him other opportunities 
in case this one should result in a failure. The little parlor 
looked more formidable than the balcony, and the glare of the 
gas was not so encouraging as the mellow moonlight. He 
did not feel sure how he should be able to speak here, 
where she could see every working of his countenance. 
He did not know that from the moment he began to speak 
of the subject which filled his heart she would not be able 
to look him in the face until after she had promised to be 
his "altogether and forever. 

TTomen always will talk at such times. They seem to 
dread to be caught, and to know that silence is a danger- 
ous trap for the feelings ; and consequently they prattle 
about anything, no matter what, provided the i^rattle will 
prolong the time during which the hunter is in chase. 

" You look quite worn out with your journey," she said. 
" I should think you had made a forced march to IN'ew 
York and back on foot." 

" I have been under the necessity of working nights," 
he answered, without tellinor her that it was the desire to 

Y2 ^ 



514 Miss Raven el's Conversion 

return as quickly as j^ossible to her which had constituted 
the forcing power. 

" You shouldn't do it. You will wear yourself down 
again, as you did in field service." 

" Xo. There are no privations here ; no hunger, and no 
food more unwholesome than hungjer ; no suffering: with 
cold ; no malaria. If I fall sick here, it will only be with 
living too well, and having too easy a time. Somebody 
says that death is a disgrace ; that man ought to be ashamed 
of himself for dying. I am inclined to admit it, unless the 
man is m field service. In field service I have suffered 
keenly now and then, so as to become babyish about it, 
and think of you and how glad you would be to give me 
somethmg to eat." 

She made no reply, except to look at him steadily for a 
moment, admirmg what seemed to her the heroism of 
speaking so lightly of hardships. 

" You see I confided strongly in your kindness," he re- 
sumed. " I do so still." 

The color flooded her face and neck as she divined from 
his manner that he was about to resume the conversation 
of the barlcony. He rose, walked to the door which led 
into the bed-room, closed it gently and came back. She 
could not speak nor raise her eyes to his face as he stood 
before her. If he had kept silence for a few moments she 
would probably have recovered herself and said, " Won't 
you sit down," or some such insanity.. But he did not 
give her time for that ; he took one of her hands in both 
of his and said, " Lillie !" 

There was a question m the tone, but she could not an- 
swer it except by suddenly raising her other hand to her 
face, as if to hide the confession which was glowing there. 

" You know that I have loved you four years," he went 
on, bending down to her and whispermg. 

She never knew how it was that she found herself a 
moment afterwards on her feet, leaning against his breast, 
with her head on his shoulder, sobbing, trembling, but full 



Fkom Secession to Loyalty. 515 

of joy. The man whom she ought always to have loved, 
the man whom she now did love with the whole strength 
of her being, whom she could trust perfectly and forever, 
had claimed her as his, and she had resigned herself to 
him, not desiring to reserve a drop of her blood or a 
thought of her soul. Xothing could separate them but 
death ; nothing could make them unhappy but losing each 
other : for the moment there Avas nothing in the world 
but they two and their love. After a time — it might have 
been five minutes, or half an hour — she remembered — 
positively recollected with a start — that she had a child. 

" Come and see him," she said. " Come and look at 
our boy." 

She caught him by the arm, and dragged him, willing 
to go, into the room where Ravvie lay asleep. She never 
thought of her flushed face and disordered hair, although 
Rosann's spectacles were fixed upon her ^ith an astonish- 
ment which seemed to enlarge their silver-bound orbits. 

" Isn't he beautiful !" she whispered. " He is yours — 
mine — ours." 

Kosann gavcher head a toss of comprehension and sat- 
isfaction in which I heartily join her, as does also, I hope, 
the reader. 

Colburne and then Lillie kissed the child — all uncon- 
scious of the love which was lavished on him, which filled 
the room, and was copious enough to fill lives. 

It had all come like a great surprise to Lillie. As much 
as she may have desired it, as much as she may have 
hoped it m moments for which she reproached herself at 
the time as absurd and almost immodest, it nevertheless de- 
scended upon her, this revelation, with wings of dazzling 
astonishment. In the night she awoke to disbelieve, and 
then to remember all with a joyful faith. And while think- 
ing it over, in a delicious reverie which could not justly 
be called thought, but rather a thrilling succession of 
recollections and sentiments, there came to her among the 
multitude of impressions a wonder at her own happiness. 



516 Miss Rate x el's Co x ye k sign 

She seemed with amazement to see herself in double : the 
one figure -svidowed and weeping, seated amid the tombs 
of perished hopes : the other also widowed in garb, but 
about to put on garments of bridal white, and with a 
face which lit up the darkness. 

" How can it be !" she exclaimed aloud, as she remem- 
bered the despair of eighteen months ago. Then she 
added, smilmg with a delicious consciousness of justifica- 
tion, " Oh ! I love him better than I ever loved any other. 
I am right in loving him." 

After that she commended the once-loved one, who was 
dead, to Heaven's pity — and then prayed long and fer- 
vently for the newly loved one who was living — but 
brokenly, too, and stopping now and then to smile at his 
bright image painted on the niglit. Last came a prayer 
for her child, whom she might have forgotten in these 
passionate emotions, only that she could hear his gentle 
breathiug through the quiet midnight. 

" I wonder how you can love me so, when I kept you 
so long away from me," she said to Colbume at their next 
meeting. ^ 

" You are all the dearer for it," he answered. " Yes, 
even because another stood for a long time between us, 
you are all the dearer. Perhaps it ought not to be so ; 
but so it is, my darling." 

Her gratitude was uttered in a silent, fervent pressure 
of her lips against his cheek. These were the only words 
that passed between them concerning her first marriage. 

" Where are we to live ?" he asked. " Do you want to 
LTO back to Xew Orleans ?" 

" Oh, never !" she replied. " Always at the Xorth ! I 
like it so much better !" 

She was williag at all times now to make confession of 
her conversion. 



Fkom Secession to Loy^^lty. 517 



CHAPTER XXXVn. 

A MAEKIAGE. 

Doctor Rayexel was delighted when Lillie, blushing 
monstrously and with one arm around his neck, and her 
face at first a little behind his shoulder, confided to him 
the new revelation which had made her life doubly pres- 
cious. 

" I never was more happy smce I came into the world, 
my dear," he said. " I am entirely satisfied. I do most 
heartily return thanks for this. I believe that now your 
happiness and well-being are assured, so far as they can 
be by any human circumstance. He ls the noblest youno- 
man that I ever knew." 

" Shall I send him to you to implore your consent ?" 
she asked roguishly. " Do you want a chance to dom- 
ineer over him ?" 

The Doctor laughed outright' at the absurdity of the 
idea. 

" I feel," said he, " as though I ought to ask his consent. 
I ought to apologize to the municipar authorities for taking 
the finest fellow in the city away from the young ladies 
of native birth. Seriously, my dear child, you will have 
to try hard in order to be good enough for him." 

" Go away," answered Lillie with a little push. " Papas 
are the most ungrateful of all human bemgs. Well, if I 
am not good enough, there is Ravvie, and you. I throw 
you both in to make it an even bargain." 

It was soon decided that the marriage should take pla<?e 
early in September. Lillie had never had a long engao-e- 
ment, and did not now specially care for one, beino- 
therein, I understand, similar to most widows when they 
are once persuaded to exchange their mourning for bridal 
attire. Men never like that period of expectation, and 



518 Miss Raven el's Cox version 

Colbiirne urged an early day for his inauguration as 
monarch of a heart and household. His family homestead, 
just now tenantless, was made fine by the application of 
much paint and wall-paper, and the introduction of half-a- 
dozen new articles of furniture. Lillie and he visited it 
nearly every day during their brief betrothal, usually 
accompanied by Ravvie in the wicker baby-wagon, and 
were very happy in dressing up the neglected garden, ar- 
ranging and re-arranging the chairs, and tables, and plan- 
ninor how the rooms should be distributed amongr the 
family. To the Doctor was assigned the best front bed- 
room, and to the Smithites and Brownites, etc., an adjoming 
closet of abundant dimensions. 

"Ravvie and Rosann shall have the back chamber," 
said Lillie, " so that Ravvie can look out on the garden 
and be away from the dust of the street. I am so de- 
lighted that the little fellow is at last to have a garden 
and flowers. You and I will take the other front bed- 
room, next to papa's." 

Here she colored at her own frankness, and hurried on 
to other dispositions. 

" That will leave us two little rooms for servants up 
stairs ; and down stairs we shall -have a parlor, and dming- 
room, and kitchen ; we shall fairly lose ourselves. How 
much pleasanter than a hotel !" 

Colburne had noticed her blush with a sense of pleasure 
and triumph ; but he was generous enough and delicate 
enough to s^^are her any allusion to it. 

" You have left no place for friends," he merely observed. 

" Oh, but we mustn't entertam much, for a while. We 
— you — cannot afford it. I have be^n catechising Mrs. 
Whitewood about the cost of meat and things. Prices 
are dreadful." 

After a little pause she broke out, " Oh, won't it be de- 
lightful to have a house, and garden, and flowers ! Rav- 
vie will be so happy here ! We shall all be so happy ! I 
can't think of anything else." 



Feo:si Secession to Loyalty. 519 

" And you don't want a wedding tour ?" 

" Oh yes ! I do want it. But, my darling, you cannot 
aftbrd it. You must not tempt me. We will have the 
wedding tour five years hence, when we come to celebrate 
our wooden wedding. Then you will be rich, perhaps." 

The grand ceremony which legalized and ratified all 
these arrangements took place at five o'clock in the after- 
noon in the little church of St. Joseph, The city being 
yet small enough to feel a decided interest in the private 
afiairs of any noted citizen, a crowd of uninvited spectators 
collected to witness the marriage of the popular young 
captain with the widow of the lamented Union General. 
Stories of how the father had given up his all for the sake 
of the Republic, how Colburne had single-handed saved 
Mrs. Carter from a brigade of Texans, and how the dying 
General had bequeathed the care of his family to the Cap- 
tain on the field of victory, circulated among the lookers 
on and inflamed them to an enthusiasm which exhibited it- 
self in a violent waving of handkerchief as the little bridal 
party came out of the church and drove homeward. Since 
New Boston was founded no other nuptials had been so 
celebrated, if we may believe the oldest inhabitant. 

At last Colburne had his wife, and his wife had her 
home. For the last four years they have sailed separately 
over stormy seas, but now they are in a quiet haven, 
united so long as life shall last. 

It grieves me to leave this young woman thus on -the 
threshold of her history. Here she is, at twenty- three, 
with but one child, and only at her second husband. Two- 
thirds of her years and heart history are probably before 
her. Women are most interesting at thirty : tten only do 
they in general enter upon their full bloom, physical, 
moral and intellectual : then only do they attain their 
highest charm as members of society. But a sense of 
artistic fitness, derived from a belief that now she has a 
sure start in the voyage of happmess, compels me to close 
the biography of my heroine at her marriage with my 



520 Miss R a vex el's Cox version 

favorite, Mr. Colburne. Moreover, it will be perceived 
that, if 1 continue her story, I shall have to do it through 
the medium of prophecy, which might give it an air of im- 
probability to the reader, besides leading me to assume 
certaui grave responsibilities, such, for instance, as decid- 
ing the next presidential election T^ithout vraiting for the 
verdict of the people. 

We need have no fears about the prospects of Colburne. 
It is true that durmg his military career luck has been 
agamst him, and he has not received promotion although 
he deserved it ; but his disappomtment in not obtainmg 
great military glory will finally give strength to his 
charactei* and secure to him perfect manliness and success. 
It has taken down his false pride, and taught him to use 
means for ends ; moreover, it will preserve him from being 
enfeebled by a dropsy of vanity. Had he been mustered 
out of service as a Brigadier-General of volunteers, he 
might possibly have disdained the small begmnmgs of a 
law busmess, demanded a foreign consulate or home col- 
lectorship, and became a State pauper for life. As it is, 
he will stand on his own base, which is a broad and solid 
one ; and the men around him will have no advantage 
over him, except so far as their individual bases are better 
than his ; for in civilian life there is no rank, nor seniority, 
and the close corporation of political cabal has little in- 
fluence. ■ The chivalrous sentiment which would not let 
him beg for promotion will show forth in a resolute self- 
reliance and an incorruptible honor, which in the long run 
will be to his outward advantage. His responsibilities 
will take all dreaminess out of him, and make him practi- 
cal, industrious, able to arrive at results. His courage 
will prolong his health, and his health will be used in 
eflective labor. He has the patience of a soldier, and a 
soldier's fortitude under discouragement. He is a better 
and stronger man for having fought three years, out-facing 
death and sufliering. Like the nation, he has developed, 
and learned his powers. Possessing more physical and 



From Secession to Loyalty. 521 

intellectual vigor than is merely necessary to exist, he will 
succeed in the duties of life, and control other men's lives, 
labors, opinions, successes. ' It is greatly to his honor, it 
is a sure promise of his future, that he understands his 
seeming failure as a soldier, and is not discouraged by it, 
but takes hold of the next thing to do wiih. confident 
energy. 

He is the soldier citizen : he could face the flame of bat- 
tle for his country : he can also earn his own living. He 
could leave his ofiice-chair to march and fight for three 
years ; and he can return to peaceful industry, as ennobling 
as his fighting. 

It is in millions of such men that the strength of the Re- 
public consists. 

As for his domestic history, I think that we need have 
no terrors either for his happiness or that of Mrs. Colburne. 

" I don't see but that you get along very well together," 
said the Doctor, addressing the young couple, a week, or 
so after the marriage. " I really don't see why I can't 
hereafter devote myself exclusively to my Brownites and 
Robinsonites." 

" Papa," answered Lillie, " I never felt so near saying 
that I could spare you." 

Colbux-ne listened, haj^pily smiling, conscious of a loved 
and loving wife, of a growing balance in bank, of sur- 
roundings wliich he would not have