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Full text of "My diary North and South"




Ed 










THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 



PRESENTED BY 

PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND 
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID 



MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 



MY DIARY 



NORTH AND SOUTH. 



BY 

WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL. 

n 



BOSTON: 
T. O. H. P. BURNHAM. 

NEW YORK: 0. S. FELT, 36 WALKER ST. 
1863. 



RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: 
STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY H. 0. HOUGHTON- 



Eft* 

.1 



To 
RICHARD OBTAIN, M. D., 

f)fs Volume fs 3ietrfcateTr 

IN TESTIMONY OF THE REGARD AND GRATITUDE 
OF 

THE AUTHOR. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



A BOOK which needs apologies ought never to 
have been written. This is a canon of criticism so 
universally accepted, that authors have abstained of 
late days from attempting to disarm hostility by con 
fessions of weakness, and are almost afraid to say a 
prefatory word to the gentle reader. 

It is not to plead in mitigation of punishment or 
make an appeal ad misericordiam, I break through 
the ordinary practice, but by way of introduction 
and explanation to those who may read these vol 
umes, I may remark that they consist for the most 
part of extracts from the diaries and note-books 
which I assiduously kept whilst I was in the 
United States, as records of the events and impres 
sions of the hour. I have been obliged to omit 
many passages which might cause pain or injury 
to individuals still living in the midst of a civil 
war, but the spirit of the original is preserved as 
far as possible, and I would entreat my readers to 
attribute the frequent use of the personal pronoun 



M317285 



viii INTRODUCTORY. 

and personal references to the nature of the sources 
from which the work is derived, rather than to the 
vanity of the author. 

Had the pages been literally transcribed, without 
omitting a word, the fate of one whose task it was 
to sift the true from the false and to avoid error 
in statements of fact, in a country remarkable for 
the extraordinary fertility with which the unreal is 
produced, would have excited some commiseration ; 
but though there is much extenuated in these 
pages, there is not, I believe, aught set down in 
malice. My aim has been to retain so much re 
lating to events passing under my eyes, or to 
persons who have become famous in this great 
struggle, as may prove interesting at present, though 
they did not at the time always appear in their 
just proportions of littleness or magnitude. 

During my sojourn in the States, many stars of 
the first order have risen out of space or fallen into 
the outer, darkness. The watching, trustful, millions 
have hailed with delight or witnessed with terror 
the advent of a shining planet or a splendid comet, 
which a little observation has resolved into watery 
nebulae. In the Southern hemisphere, Bragg and 
Beauregard have given place to Lee and Jackson. 
In the North, McDowell has faded away before 



INTRODUCTORY. ix 

McClellan, who having been put for a short season 
in eclipse by Pope, only to culminate with in 
creased effulgence, has finally paled away before 
Burnside. The heroes of yesterday are the martyrs 
or outcasts of to-day, and no American general 
needs a slave behind him in the triumphal chariot 
to remind him that he is a mortal. Had I foreseen 
such rapid whirls in the wheel of fortune I might 
have taken more note of the men who were be 
low, but my business was not to speculate but to 
describe. 

The day I landed at Norfolk, a tall lean man, 
ill-dressed, in a slouching hat and wrinkled clothes, 
stood, with his arms folded and legs wide apart, 
against the wall of the hotel looking on the ground. 
One of the waiters told me it was " Professor 
Jackson," and I have been plagued by suspicions 
that in refusing an introduction which was offered 
to me, I missed an opportunity of making the ac 
quaintance of the man of the stonewalls of Win 
chester. But, on the whole, I have been fortunate 
in meeting many of the soldiers and statesmen who 
have distinguished themselves in this unhappy war. 

Although I have never for one moment seen rea 
son to change the opinion I expressed in the first 
letter I wrote from the States, that the Union as 



X INTRODUCTORY. 

it was could never be restored, I am satisfied the 
Free States of the North will retain and gain great 
advantages by the struggle, if they will only set 
themselves at work to accomplish their destiny, nor 
lose their time in sighing over vanished empire 
or indulging in abortive dreams of conquest and 
schemes of vengeance ; but my readers need not 
expect from me any dissertations on the present or 
future of the great republics, which have been so 
loosely united by the Federal band, nor any de 
scription of the political system, social life, manners 
or customs of the people, beyond those which may 
be incidentally gathered from these pages. 

It has been my fate to see Americans under 
their most unfavorable aspect ; with all their na 
tional feelings, as well as the vices of our common 
humanity, exaggerated and developed by the terri 
ble agonies of a civil war, and the throes of po 
litical revolution. Instead of the hum of industry, 
I heard the noise of cannon through the land. So 
ciety convulsed by cruel passions and apprehensions, 
and shattered by violence, presented its broken an 
gles to the stranger, and I can readily conceive 
that the America I saw, was no more like the 
country of which her people boast so loudly, than 
the St. Lawrence when the ice breaks up, hurrying 



INTRODUCTORY. xi 

onwards the rugged drift and its snowy crust of 
crags, with hoarse roar, and crashing with irresist 
ible force and fury to the sea, resembles the calm 
flow of the stately river on a summer s day. 

The swarming communities and happy homes of 
the New England States the most complete ex 
hibition of the best results of the American system 
it was denied me to witness ; but if I was de 
prived of the gratification of worshipping the frigid 
intellectualism of Boston, I saw the effects in the 
field, among the men I met, of the teachings and 
theories of the political, moral, and religious profes 
sors, who are the chiefs of that universal Yankee 
nation, as they delight to call themselves, and there 
recognized the radical differences which must sever 
them forever from a true union with the Southern 
States. 

The contest, of which no man can predict the 
end or result, still rages, but notwithstanding the 
darkness and clouds which rest upon the scene, I 
place so much reliance on the innate good qualities 
of the great nations which are settled on the Con 
tinent of North America, as to believe they will be 
all the better for the sweet uses of adversity; learn 
ing to live in peace with their neighbors, adapting 
their institutions to their necessities, and working 



xii INTRODUCTORY. 

out, not in their old arrogance and insolence 
mistaking material prosperity for good government 
but in fear and trembling, the experiment on 
which they have cast so much discredit, and the 
glorious career which misfortune and folly can 
arrest but for a time. 

W. H. RUSSELL. 

London, December 8, 1862. 



CONTENTS. 



. CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Departure from Cork The Atlantic in March Fellow passen 
gers American politics and parties The Irish in New 
York Approach to New York 1 



CHAPTER II. 

Arrival at New York Custom house General impressions 
as to North and South Street in New York Hotel 
Breakfast American women and men Visit to Mr. Ban 
croft Street railways 7 

CHAPTER III. 

"St. Patrick s day" in New York Public dinner American 
Constitution General topics of conversation Public estimate 
of the Government Evening party at Mons. B s . 15 

CHAPTER IV. 

Streets and shops in New York Literature A funeral Din 
ner at Mr. H s Dinner at Mr. Bancroft s Political 

and social features Literary breakfast ; Heenan and Sayers . 24 



CHAPTER V. 

Off to the railway station Railway carriages Philadelphia 
Washington Willard s Hotel Mr. Seward North and 
South The " State Department " at Washington President 
Lincoln Dinner at Mr. Seward s . .30 



CHAPTER VI. 

A state dinner at Mr. Abraham Lincoln s Mrs. Lincoln The 
Cabinet Ministers A newspaper correspondent Good Friday 
at Washington 41 



xiv CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VII. 

PAGE 

Barbers shops Place-hunting The Navy Yard Dinner at 
Lord Lyons Estimate of Washington among his country 
men Washington s house and tomb The Southern Com 
missioners Dinner with the Southern Commissioners 
Feeling towards England among the Southerners Animos 
ity between North and South 50 

CHAPTER VIII. 

New York Press Rumors as to the Southerners Visit to the 
Smithsonian Institute Pythons Evening at Mr. Seward s 
Rough draft of official despatch to Lord J. Russell Esti 
mate of its effect in Europe The attitude of Virginia . . 68 

CHAPTER IX. 

Dinner at General Scott s Anecdotes of General Scott s early 
life The startling despatch Insecurity of the capital . . 72 

CHAPTER X. 

Preparations for Avar at Charleston My own departure for the 
Southern States Arrival at Baltimore Commencement of 
hostilities at Fort Sumter Bombardment of the fort Gen 
eral feeling as to North and South Slavery First Impres 
sions of the city of Baltimore Departure by steamer . . 76 

CHAPTER XI. 

Scenes on board an American steamer The "Merrimac" 
Irish sailors in America Norfolk A telegram on Sunday.; 
news from the seat of war American "chaff" and our Jack 
Tars ... .80 



CHAPTER XII. 

Portsmouth Railway journey through the forest The great 
Dismal Swamp American newspapers Cattle on the line 
Negro labor On through the Pine Forest The Confede 
rate flag Goldsborough ; popular excitement Weldon 
Wilmington The Vigilance Committee : --H . . .87 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Sketches round Wilmington Public opinion Approach to 
Charleston and Fort Sumter Introduction to General Beaure- 
gard Ex-Governor Manning Conversation on the chances 
of the war " King Cotton " and England Visit to Fort 
Sumter Market-place at Charleston . . . . ~ . 95 



CONTENTS. xv 

CHAPTER XIV. 

PAdS 

Southern volunteers Unpopularity of the Press Charleston 

Fort Sumter Morris Island Anti-union enthusiasm 
Anecdote of Colonel Wigfall Interior view of the fort North 
versus South 101 

CHAPTER XV. 

Slaves, their Masters and Mistresses Hotels Attempted boat- 
journey to Fort Moultrie Excitement at Charleston against 
New York Preparations for war General Beauregard 
Southern opinion as to the policy of the North, and estimate of 
the effect of the war on England, through the cotton market 
Aristocratic feeling in the South 112 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Charleston : the Market-place Irishmen at Charleston Gov 
ernor Pickens : his political economy and theories News 
paper offices and counting-houses Rumors as to the war 
policy of the South 120 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Visit to a plantation ; hospitable reception By steamer to 
Georgetown Description of the town A country mansion 

Masters and slaves Slave diet Humming-birds Land 
irrigation Negro quarters Back to Georgetown . . .125 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Climate of the Southern States General Beauregard Risks of 
the post-office Hatred of New England By railway to Sea 
Island plantation Sporting in South Carolina An hour on 
board a canoe in the dark 135 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Domestic negroes Negro oarsmen Off to the fishing-grounds 

The devil-fish Bad sport The drum-fish Negro quar 
ters Want of drainage Thievish propensities of the blacks 

A Southern estimate of Southerners 141 



CHAPTER XX. 

By railway to Savannah Description of the city Rumors of 
the last few days State of affairs at Washington Prepara 
tions for war Cemetery of Bonaventure Road made of 
oyster-shells Appropriate features of the cemetery The 
Tatnall family Dinner-party at Mr. Green s Feeling in 
Georgia against the North 149 



XVI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXI. 

PAGE 

The river at Savannah Commodore Tatnall Fort Pulaski 
Want of a fleet to the Southerners Strong feeling of the 
women Slavery considered in its results Cotton and Geor 
gia Off for Montgomery The Bishop of Georgia The 
Bible and Slavery Macon Dislike of United States gold 155 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Slave-pens ; Negroes on sale or hire Popular feeling as to Se 
cession Beauregard and speech-making Arrival at Mont 
gomery Bad hotel accommodation Knights of the Golden 
Circle Reflections on Slavery Slave auction The Legis 
lative Assembly A " live chattel " knocked down Rumors 
from the North (true and false) and prospects of war . . 162 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Proclamation of war Jefferson Davis Interview with the 
President of the Confederacy Passport and safe-conduct 
Messrs. Wigfall, Walker, and Benjamin Privateering and 
letters of marque A reception at Jefferson Davis s Dinner 
at Mr. Benjamin s 172 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Mr. Wigfall on the Confederacy Intended departure from the 
South Northern apathy and Southern activity Future 
prospects of the Union South Carolina and cotton The 
theory of slavery Indifference at New York Departure 
from Montgomery 179 

CHAPTER XXV. 

The River Alabama Voyage by steamer Selma Our cap 
tain and his slaves " Running " slaves Negro views of hap 
piness Mobile Hotel The city Mr. Forsyth . . 184 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Visit to Forts Gaines and Morgan War to the knife the cry of 
the South The " State " and the " States "Bay of Mobile 
The forts and their inmates Opinions as to an attack on 
Washington Rumors of actual war 192 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

Pensacola and Fort Pickens Neutrals and their friends Coast 
ing Sharks The blockading fleet The stars and stripes, 
and stars and bars Domestic feuds caused by the war 
Captain Adams and General Bragg Interior of Fort Pickens 197 



CONTENTS. xvii 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

PAGE 

Bitters before breakfast An old Crimean acquaintance Earth 
works and batteries Estimate of cannons Magazines Hos 
pitality English and American introductions and leave-tak 
ings Fort Pickens : its interior Return towards Mobile 
Pursued by a strange sail Running the blockade Landing 
at Mobile 210 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Judge Campbell Dr. Nott Slavery Departure for New Or 
leans Down the river Fear of cruisers Approach to 
New Orleans Duelling Streets of New Orleans Un- 
healthiness of the city Public opinion as to the war Happy 
and contented negroes 225 

CHAPTER XXX. 

The first blow struck The St. Charles Hotel Invasion of Vir 
ginia by the Federals Death of Col. Ellsworth Evening 
at Mr. Slidell s Public comments on the war Richmond 
the capital of the Confederacy Military preparations Gen 
eral society Jewish element Visit to a battle-field of 1815 . 234 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Carrying arms New Orleans jail Desperate characters 
Executions Female maniacs and prisoners The river and 
levee Climate of New Orleans Population General dis 
tress Pressure of the blockade Money Philosophy of 
abstract rights The doctrine of State Rights Theoretical 
defect in the Constitution 244 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

Up the Mississippi Free negroes and English policy Mo 
notony of the river scenery Visit to M. Roman Slave 
quarters A slave-dance Slave-children Negro hospital 
General opinion Confidence in Jefferson Davis . . . 253 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Ride through the maize-fields Sugar plantation : negroes at 
work Use of the lash Feeling towards France Silence of 
the country Negroes and dogs Theory of slavery Phys 
ical formation of the negro The defence of slavery The 
masses for negro souls Convent of the Sacre Coeur Ferry 
house A large land-owner . . . ..._~. . . 261 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Negroes Sugar-cane plantations The negro and cheap labor 
Mortality of blacks and whites Irish labor in Louisiana 
A sugar-house Negro children Want of education Negro 
diet Negro hospital Spirits in the morning Breakfast 
More slaves Creole planters 270 



xvin CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

PAGE 

War-rumors, and military movements Governor Manning s 
slave plantations Fortunes made by slave-labor Frogs for 
the table The forest Cotton and sugar A thunder-storm 280 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Visit to Mr. M CalPs plantation Irish and Spaniards The 
planter A Southern sporting man The Creoles Leave 
Houmas Donaldson ville Description of the City Baton 
Rouge Steamer to Natchez Southern feeling ; faith in Jef 
ferson Davis Rise and progress of prosperity for the plant 
ers Ultimate issue of the war to both North and South . . 284 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Down the Mississippi Hotel at Vicksburg Dinner Public 
meeting News of the progress of the war Slavery an< 
England Jackson Governor Pettus Insecurity of life - 
Strong Southern enthusiasm Troops bound for the North 
Approach to Memphis Slaves for sale Memphis General 
Pillow 295 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

Camp Randolph Cannon practice Volunteers " Dixie " 
Forced return from the South Apathy of the North Gen 
eral retrospect of politics Energy and earnestness of the 
South Fire-arms Position of Great Britain towards the bel 
ligerents Feeling towards the Old Country .... 309 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Heavy Bill Railway travelling Introductions Assassina 
tions Tennessee " Corinth " " Tory " " Humbolt " 
" The Confederate Camp " Return Northwards Columbus 
Cairo The Slavery Question Prospects of the War 
Coarse journalism . . . : ." v" ." " ; V v . 322 

CHAPTER XL. 

Camp at Cairo The North and the South in respect to Eu 
rope Political reflections Mr. Colonel Oglesby My 
speech Northern and Southern soldiers compared Amer 
ican country-walks Recklessness of life Want of cavalry 
Emeute in the camp Defects of army medical department 
Horrors of war Bad discipline 337 

CHAPTER XLI. 

Impending battle By railway to Chicago Northern enlighten 
ment Mound City " Cotton is King " Land in the 
States Dead level of American society Return into the 
Union American homes Across the Prairie White labor 
ers New pillager Lake Michigan 346 



CONTENTS. xix 

CHAPTER XLII. 

PAQB 

Progress of events Policy of Great Britain as regarded by the 
North The American press and its comments Privacy a 
luxury Chicago Senator Douglas and his widow Amer 
ican ingratitude Apathy in volunteering Colonel Tur- 
chin s camp 354 

CHAPTER XLIII. 

Niagara Impression of the Falls Battle scenes in the neigh 
borhood A village of Indians General Scott Hostile 
movements on both sides The Hudson Military school 
at West Point Return to New York Altered appearance 
of the city Misery and suffering Altered state of public 
opinion, as to the Union and towards Great Britain . . . 360 

CHAPTER XLIV. 

Departure for Washington A " servant " The American 
Press on the War Military aspect of the States Philadel 
phia Baltimore Washington Lord Lyons Mr. Sumner 
Irritation against Great Britain " Independence " day 
Meeting of Congress General state of affairs .... 373 

CHAPTER XLV. 

Interview with Mr. Seward My passport Mr. Seward s views 
as to the war Illumination at Washington My " servant " 
absents himself New York journalism The Capitol Inte 
rior of Congress The President s Message Speeches in 
Congress Lord Lyons General McDowell Low standard 
in the army Accident to the " Stars and Stripes " A street 
row Mr. Bigelow Mr. N. P. Willis 380 

CHAPTER XLVI. 

Arlington Heights and the Potomac Washington The Fed 
eral camp General McDowell Flying rumors Newspaper 
correspondents General Fremont Silencing the Press and 
Telegraph A Loan Bill Interview with Mr. Cameron 
Newspaper criticism on Lord Lyons Rumors about McClel- 
lan The Northern army as reported and as it is General 
McClellan 393 

CHAPTER XLVIL 

Fortress Monroe General Butler Hospital accommodation 
Wounded soldiers Aristocratic pedigrees A great gun 
Newport News Fraudulent contractors General Butler 
Artillery practice Contraband negroes Confederate lines 
Tombs of American loyalists Troops and contractors Du- 
ryea s New York Zouaves Military calculations A voyage 
by steamer to Annapolis 405 



xx CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XLVIII. 

PAGE 

The "State House" at Annapolis Washington General Scott s 
quarters Want of a staff Rival camps Demand for horses 
Popular excitement Lord Lyons General McDowell s 
movements Retreat from Fairfax Court House General 
Scott s quarters General Mansfield Battle of Bull Run . 423 

CHAPTER XLIX. 

Skirmish at Bull s Run The Crisis in Congress Dearth of 
horses War Prices at Washington Estimate of the effects 
of Bull Run Password and Countersign Transatlantic View 
of " The Times " Difficulties of a Newspaper Correspond 
ent in the Field 43i 

CHAPTER L. 

To the scene of action The Confederate camp Centreville 
Action at Bull Run Defeat of the Federals Disorderly re 
treat to Centreville My ride back to Washington . . . 442 

CHAPTER LI. 

A runaway crowd at Washington The army of the Potomac 
in retreat Mail-day Want of order and authority News 
paper lies Alarm at AVashington Confederate prisoners 
General McClellan M. Mercier Effects of the defeat on 
Mr. Seward and the President McDowell General Patter 
son ............ 467 

CHAPTER LII. 

Attack of illness General McClellan Reception at the White 
House Drunkenness among the Volunteers Visit from Mr. 
Olmsted Georgetown Intense heat McClellan and the 
Newspapers Reception at Mr. Seward s Alexandria A 
Storm Sudden Death of an English Officer The Maryland 
Club A Prayer and Fast Day Financial Difficulties . . 479 



CHAPTER LIU. 

Return to Baltimore Colonel Carroll A Priest s view of the 
Abolition of Slavery Slavery in Maryland Harper s Ferry 

John Brown Back by train to Washington Further ac 
counts of Bull Run American Vanity My own unpopu 
larity for speaking the truth Killing a " Nigger " no murder 

Navy Department 491 

CHAPTER LIV. 

A tour of inspection round the camp A troublesome horse 

McDowell and the President My opinion of Bull Run 



CONTENTS. xxi 

PAGE 

indorsed by American officers Influence of the Press 
Newspaper correspondents Dr. Bray My letters Captain 
Meagher Military adventures Probable duration of the 
war Lord A. Vane Tempest The American journalist 
Threats of assassination . 505 

CHAPTER LV. 

Personal unpopularity American naval officers A gun levelled 
at me in fun Increase of odium against me Success of the 
Hatteras expedition General Scott and McClellan McClel- 
lan on his camp-bed General Scott s pass refused Prospect 
of an attack on Washington Skirmishing Anonymous let 
ters General Halleck General McClellan and the Sabbath 

Rumored death of Jefferson Davis Spread of my unpop 
ularity An offer for my horse Dinner at the Legation 
Discussion on Slavery 516 

CHAPTER LVI. 

A Crimean acquaintance Personal abuse of myself Close fir 
ing A reconnoissance Major-General Bell The Prince de 
Joinville and his nephews American estimate of Louis Napo 
leon Arrest of members of the Maryland Legislature Life 
at Washington War cries News from the Far West 
Journey to the Western States Along the Susquehannah and 
Juniata Chicago Sport in the prairie Arrested for shoot 
ing on Sunday The town of D wight Return to Washing 
ton Mr. Seward and myself 531 

CHAPTER LVII. 

Another Crimean acquaintance Summary dismissal of a news 
paper correspondent Dinner at Lord Lyons Review of 
artillery " Habeas Corpus " The President s duties Mc- 
Clellan s policy The Union army Soldiers and the patrol 

Public men in America Mr. Seward and Lord Lyons 
A judge placed under arrest Death and funeral of Senator 
Baker Disorderly troops and officers Official fibs Duck- 
shooting at Baltimore 543 

CHAPTER LVIII. 

General Scott s resignation Mrs. A. Lincoln Unofficial mis 
sion to Europe Uneasy feeling with regard to France Ball 
given by the United States cavalry The United States army 

Success at Beaufort Arrests Dinner at Mr. Seward s 
News of Captain Wilkes and the Trent Messrs. Mason and 
Slidell Discussion as to Wilkes Prince de Joinville The 
American press on the Trent affair Absence of thieves in 
Washington " Thanksgiving Day " Success thus far in fa 
vor of the North . 5GG 



xxu CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER LIX. 

PAGE 

A captain under arrest Opening of Congress Colonel D Utas- 
sy An ex-pugilist turned senator Mr. Cameron Ball in 
the officers huts Presentation of standards at Arlington 
Dinner at Lord Lyons Paper Currency A polyglot dinner 

Visit to Washington s tomb Mr. Chase s report Colonel 
Seaton Unanimity of the South The Potomac blockade 
A Dutch-American Crimean acquaintance The American 
lawyers on the Trent affair Mr. Sumner McClellan s army 

Impressions produced in America by the English press on 
the affair of the Trent Mr. Sumner on the crisis Mutual 
feelings between the two nations Rumors of war with Great 
Britain . 579 



CHAPTER LX. 

News of the death of the Prince Consort Mr. Sumner and the 
Trent affair Despatch to Lord Russell The Southern Com 
missioners given up Effects on the friends of the South 
My own unpopularity at New York Attack of fever 
My tour in Canada My return to New York in February 
Successes of the Western States Mr. Stanton succeeds Mr. 
Cameron as Secretary of War Reverse and retreat of Mc- 
Clellan My free pass The Merrimac and Monitor My 
arrangement to accompany McClellan s head-quarters Mr. 
Stanton refuses his sanction National vanity wounded by my 
truthfulness My retirement and my return to Europe . .591 



MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 



CHAPTER I. 

Departure from Cork The Atlantic in March Fellow passengers 
American politics and parties The Irish in New York Ap 
proach to New York. 

Ox the evening of 3d March, 1861, 1 was transferred from 
the little steam-tender, which plies between Cork and the an 
chorage of the Cunard steamers at the entrance of the harbor, 
to the deck of the good steamship Arabia, Captain Stone ; and 
at nightfall we were breasting the long rolling waves of the 
Atlantic. 

The voyage across the Atlantic has been done by so many 
able hands, that it would be superfluous to describe mine, 
though it is certain no one passage ever resembled another, 
and no crew or set of passengers in one ship were ever iden 
tical with those in any other. For thirteen days the Atlantic 
followed its usual course in the month of March, and was true 
to the traditions which affix to it in that month the character 
of violence and moody changes, from bad to worse and back 
again. The wind was sometimes dead against us, and then 
the infelix Arabia with iron energy set to work, storming 
great Malakhofs of water, which rose above her like the side 
of some sward-coated hill crested with snow-drifts ; and hav 
ing gained the summit, and settled for an instant among the 
hissing sea-horses, ran plunging headlong down to the en 
counter of another wave, and thus went battling on with heart 
of fire and breath of flame igneus est ollis vigor hour 
after hour. 

The traveller for pleasure had better avoid the Atlantic in 

the month of March. The wind was sometimes with us, and 

then the sensations of the passengers and the conduct of the 

ship were pretty much as they had been during the adverse 

1 



2 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

breezes before, varied by the performance of a very violent 
" yawing " from side to side, and certain squashings of the 
paddle-boxes into the yeasty waters, which now ran a race 
with us and each other, as if bent on chasing us down, and 
rolling their boarding parties with foaming crests down on our 
decks. The boss, which we represented in the stormy shield 
around us, still moved on ; day by day our microcosm shifted 
its position in the ever-advancing circle of which it was the 
centre, with all around and within it ever undergoing a sea 
change. 

The Americans on board were, of course, the most interest 
ing passengers to one like myself, who was going out to visit 
the great Republic under very peculiar circumstances. There 
was, first, Major Garnett, a Virginian, who was going back 
to his State to follow her fortunes. He was an officer of the 
regular army of the United States, who had served with dis 
tinction in Mexico ; an accomplished, well-read man ; reserved, 
and rather gloomy ; full of the doctrine of States Rights, and 
animated with a considerable feeling of contempt for the New 
Englanders, and with the strongest prejudices in favor of the 
institution of slavery. He laughed to scorn the doctrine that 
all men are born equal in the sense of all men having equal 
rights. Some were born to be slaves some to be laborers 
in the lower strata above the slaves others to follow useful 
mechanical arts the rest were born to rule and to own their 
fellow-men. There was next a young Carolinian, who had 
left his post as attache at St. Petersburg!! to return to his 
State: thus, in all probability, avoiding the inevitable super 
session which awaited him at the hands of the new Govern 
ment at Washington. He represented, in an intensified form, 
all the Virginian s opinions, and held that Mr. Calhoun s in 
terpretation of the Constitution was incontrovertibly right. 
There were difficulties in the way of State sovereignty, he 
confessed; but they were only in detail the principle was 
unassailable. 

To Mr. Mitchell, South Carolina represented a power quite 
sufficient to meet all the Northern States in arms. " The 
North will attempt to blockade our coast," said he ; " and in 
that case, the South must march to the attack by land, and 
will probably act in Virginia." " But if the North attempts 
to do more than institute a blockade ? for instance, if their 
fleet attack your seaport towns, and land men to occupy 
them ? " " Oh, in that case we are quite certain of beating 



PASSENGERS. AMERICAN POLITICS. 3 

them." Mr. Julian Mitchell was indignant at the idea of 
submitting to the rule of a " rail-splitter," and of such men 
as Seward and Cameron. " No gentleman could tolerate such 
a Government." 

An American family from Nashville, consisting of a lady 
and her son and daughter, were warm advocates of a " gen 
tlemanly" government, and derided the Yankees with great 
bitterness. But they were by no means as ready to encoun 
ter the evils of war, or to break up the Union, as the South- 
Carolinian or the Virginian ; and in that respect they repre 
sented, I was told, the negative feelings of the Border States, 
which are disposed to a temporizing, moderate course of ac 
tion, most distasteful to the passionate seceders. 

There were also two Louisiana sugar-planters on board 
one owning 500 slaves, the other rich in some thousands of 
acres ; they seemed to care very little for the political aspects 
of the question of Secession, and regarded it merely in refer 
ence to its bearing on the sugar crop, and the security of slave 
property. Secession was regarded by them as a very extreme 
and violent measure, to which the State had resorted with re 
luctance ; but it was obvious, at the same time, that, in event 
of a general secession of the Slave States from the North, 
Louisiana could neither have maintained her connection with 
the North, nor have stood in isolation from her sister States. 

All these, and some others who were fellow-passengers, 
might be termed Americans pur sang. Garnett belonged 
to a very old family in Virginia. Mitchell came from a stock 
of several generations residence in South Carolina. The 
Tennessee family were, in speech and thought, types of what 
Europeans consider true Americans to be. Now take the 
other side. First there was an exceedingly intelligent, well- 
informed young merchant of New York nephew of an Eng 
lish county Member, known for his wealth, liberality, and mu 
nificence. Educated at a university in the Northern States, 
he had lived a good deal in England, and was returning to 
his father from a course of book-keeping in the house of his 
uncle s firm in Liverpool. His father and uncle were born 
near Coleraine, and lie had just been to see the humble dwell 
ing, close to the Giant s Causeway, which sheltered their 
youth, and where their race was cradled. In the war of 1812, 
the brothers were about sailing in a privateer fitted out to 
prey against the British, when accident fixed one of them in 
Liverpool, where he founded the house which has grown so 



6 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

was without, so far as I could see, any legitimate cause of re 
volt, or any injury or grievance, perpetrated or imminent, as 
sailed by States still less friendly to us, which the Slave States, 
pure and simple, certainly were and probably are. At the 
same time, I knew that these were grounds which I could just 
ly take, whilst they would not be tenable by an American, who 
is by the theory on which he revolted from us and created his 
own system of government, bound to recognize the principle 
that the discontent of the popular majority with its rulers, is 
ample ground and justification for revolution. 

It was on the morning of the fourteenth day that the shores 
of New York loomed through the drift of a cold wintry sea, 
leaden-gray and comfortless, and in a little time more the 
coast, covered with snow, rose in sight. Towards the after 
noon the sun came out and brightened the waters and the sails 
of the pretty trim schooners and coasters which were dancing 
around us. How different the graceful, tautly-rigged, clean, 
white-sailed vessels, from the round-sterned, lumpish billyboys 
and nondescripts of the eastern coast of our isle ! Presently 
there came bowling down towards us a lively little schooner- 
yacht, very like the once famed "America," brightly painted 
in green, sails dazzling white, lofty ponderous masts, no tops. 
As she came nearer, we saw she was crowded with men in 
chimney-pot black hats, and coats, and the like perhaps a 
party of citizens on pleasure, cold as the day was. Nothing 
of the kind. The craft was our pilot-boat, and the hats and 
coats belonged to the hardy mariners who act as guides to the 
port of New York. Their boat was lowered, and was soon 
under our mainchains ; and a chimney-pot hat having duly 
come over the side, delivered a mass of newspapers to the cap 
tain, which were distributed among the eager passengers, when 
each at once became the centre of a spell-bound circle. 



CHAPTER II. 

Arrival at New York Custom house General impressions as to 
North and South Street in New York Hotel Breakfast 
American women and men Visit to Mr. Bancroft Street rail 
ways. 

THE entrance to New York, as it was seen by us on 
16th March, is not remarkable for beauty or picturesque 
scenery, and I incurred the ire of several passengers, because 
I could not consistently say it was very pretty. It was 
difficult to distinguish through the snow the villas and country 
houses, which are said to be so charming in summer. But 
beyond these rose a forest of masts close by a low shore of 
brick houses and blue roofs, above the level of which again 
spires of churches and domes and cupolas announced a great 
city. On our left, at the narrowest part of the entrance, 
there was a very powerful casemated work of fine close stone, 
in three tiers, something like Fort Paul at Sebastopol, built 
close to the water s edge, and armed on all the faces, ap 
parently a tetragon with bastions. Extensive works were 
going on at the ground above it, which rises rapidly from the 
water to a height of more than a hundred feet, and the rudi 
ments of an extensive work and heavily armed earthen para 
pets could be seen from the channel. On the right hand, 
crossing its fire with that of the batteries and works on our 
left, there was another regular stone fort with fortified en 
ceinte ; and higher up the channel, as it widens to the city 
on the same side, I could make out a smaller fort on the 
water s edge. The situation of the city renders it susceptible 
of powerful defence from the seaside ; and even now it would 
be hazardous to run the gauntlet of the batteries, unless in 
powerful iron-clad ships favored by wind and tide, which 
could hold the place at their mercy. Against a wooden fleet 
New York is now all but secure, save under exceptional cir 
cumstances in favor of the assailants. 

It was dark as the steamer hauled up alongside the wharf 
on the New Jersey side of the river ; but ere the sun set, I 



8 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

could form some idea of the activity and industry of the peo 
ple from the enormous ferry-boats moving backwards and for 
wards like arks on the water, impelled by the great walking- 
beam engines, the crowded stream full of merchantmen, 
steamers, and small craft, the smoke of the factories, the tall 
chimneys, the net-work of boats and rafts, all the evi 
dences of commercial life in full development. What a 
swarming, eager crowd on the quay-wall ! What a wonderful 
ragged regiment of laborers and porters, hailing us in broken 
or Hibernianized English ! " These are all Irish and Ger 
mans," anxiously explained a New Yorker. " I ll bet fifty 
dollars there s not a native-born American among them." 

With Anglo-Saxon disregard of official insignia, American 
Custom House officers dress very much like their British 
brethren, without any sign of authority as faint as even the 
brass button and crown, so that the stranger is somewhat un 
easy when he sees unauthorized-looking people taking liber 
ties with his plunder, especially after the admonitions he has 
received on board ship to look sharp about his things as soon 
as he lands. I was provided with an introduction to one of 
the principal officers, and he facilitated my egress, and at last 
I was bundled out through a gate into a dark alley, ankle 
deep in melted snow and mud, where I was at once engaged 
in a brisk encounter with my Irish porterhood, and, after a 
long struggle, succeeded in stowing my effects in and about a 
remarkable specimen of the hackney-coach of the last cen 
tury, very high in the axle, and weak in the springs, which 
plashed down towards the river through a crowd of men 
shouting out, "You haven t paid me yet, yer honor. You 
haven t given anything to your own man that s been waiting 
here the last six months for your honor ! " " Tm the man 
that put the lugidge up, sir," &c., &c. The coach darted on 
board a great steam ferry-boat, which had on deck a number 
of similar vehicles and omnibuses ; and the gliding, shifting 
lights, and the deep, strong breathing of the engine, told me 
I was moving and afloat before I was otherwise aware of it. 
A few minutes brought us over to the lights on the New York 
side, a jerk or two up a steep incline, and we were rat 
tling over a most abominable pavement, plunging into mud- 
holes, squashing through snow-heaps in ill-lighted, narrow 
streets of low, mean-looking, wooden houses, of which an un 
usual proportion appeared to be lager-bier saloons, whiskey- 
shops, oyster-houses, and billiard and smoking establishments. 

The crowd on the pavement were very much what a stran- 



STREETS. 9 

ger would be likely to see in a very bad part of London, 
Antwerp, or Hamburg, with a dash of the noisy exuberance 
which proceeds from the high animal spirits that defy police 
regulations and are superior to police force, called " rowdy 
ism." The drive was long and tortuous ; but by degrees the 
character of the thoroughfares and streets improved. At 
last we turned into a wide street with very tall houses, alter 
nating with far humbler erections, blazing with lights, gay 
with shop-windows, thronged in spite of the mud with well- 
dressed people, and pervaded by strings of omnibuses, Ox 
ford Street was nothing to it for length. At intervals there 
towered up a block of brickwork and stucco, with long rows 
of windows lighted up tier above tier, and a swarming crowd 
passing in and out of the portals, which were recognized as 
the barrack -like glory of American civilization, a Broad 
way monster hotel. More oyster-shops, lager-bier saloons, 
concert -rooms of astounding denominations, with external 
decorations very much in the style of the booths at Bartholo 
mew Fair, churches, restaurants, confectioners, private 
houses! again another series, they cannot go on expanding 
forever. The coach at last drives into a large square, and 
lands me at the Clarendon Hotel. 

Whilst I was crossing the sea, the President s Inaugural 
Message, the composition of which is generally attributed to 
Mr. Seward, had been delivered, and had reached Europe, 
and the causes which were at work in destroying the cohesion 
of the Union had acquired greater strength and violence. 

Whatever force " the declaration of causes which induced 
the Secession of South Carolina " might have for Carolinians, 
it could not influence a foreigner who knew nothing at all of 
the rights, sovereignty, and individual independence of a state, 
which, however, had no right to make war or peace, to coin 
money, or enter into treaty obligations with any other coun 
try. The South Carolinian was nothing to us, quoad South 
Carolina he was merely a citizen of the United States, and 
we knew no more of him in any other capacity than a French 
authority would know of a British subject as a Yorkshireman 
or a Munsterman. 

But the moving force of revolution is neither reason nor 
justice it is most frequently passion it is often interest. 
The American, when he seeks to prove that the Southern 
States have no right to revolt from a confederacy of states 
created by revolt, has by the principles on which he justifies 
1* 



10 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

his own revolution, placed between himself and the European 
a great gulf in the level of argument. According to the deeds 
and words of Americans, it is difficult to see why South Caro 
lina should not use the rights claimed for each of the thirteen 
colonies, " to alter and abolish a form of government when it 
becomes destructive of the ends for which it is established, 
and to institute a new one." And the people must be left to 
decide the question as regards their own government for them 
selves, or the principle is worthless. The arguments, how 
ever, which are now going on are fast tending towards the 
ultima ratio regum. At present I find public attention is con 
centrated on the two Federal forts, Pickens and Sumter, called 
after two officers of the revolutionary armies in the old war. 
As Alabama and South Carolina have gone out, they now de 
mand the possession of these forts, as of the soil of their sev 
eral states and attached to their sovereignty. On the other 
hand, the Government of Mr. Lincoln considers it has no right 
to give up anything belonging to the Federal Government, 
but evidently desires to temporize and evade any decision 
which might precipitate an attack on the forts by the batteries 
and forces prepared to act against them. There is not suffi 
cient garrison in either for an adequate defence, and the diffi 
culty of procuring supplies is very great. Under the circum 
stances every one is asking what the Government is going to 
do ? The Southern people have declared they will resist any 
attempt to supply or reinforce the garrisons, and in Charles 
ton, at least, have shown they mean to keep their word. It 
is a strange situation. The Federal Government, afraid to 
speak, and unable to act, is leaving its soldiers to do as they 
please. In some instances, officers of rank, such as General 
Twiggs, have surrendered everything to the State authorities, 
and the treachery and secession of many officers in the army 
and navy no doubt paralyze and intimidate the civilians at the 
head of affairs. 

Sunday, 11 th March. The first thing I saw this morning, 
after a vision of a waiter pretending to brush my clothes with 
a feeble twitch composed of fine fibre had vanished, was a pro 
cession of men, forty or fifty perhaps, preceded by a small 
band (by no excess of compliment can I say, of music), trudg 
ing through the cold and slush two arid two : they wore sham 
rocks, or the best resemblance thereto which the American 
soil can produce, in their hats, and green silk sashes embla 
zoned with crownless harp upon their coats, but it needed not 



COSTUME. HOUSES. 1 1 

these insignia to tell they were Irishmen, and their solemn mien 
indicated that they were going to ma.ss. It was agreeable to 
see them so well clad and respectable looking, though occa 
sional hats seemed as if they had just recovered from severe 
contusions, and others had the picturesque irregularity of out 
line now and then observable in the old country. The aspect 
of the street was irregular, and its abnormal look was increased 
by the air of the passers-by, who at that hour were domestics 
very finely dressed negroes, Irish, or German. The col 
ored ladies made most elaborate toilets, and as they held up 
their broad crinolines over the mud looked not unlike double- 
stemmed mushrooms. " They re concayted poor craythures 
them niggirs, male and faymale," was the remark of the wait 
er as he saw me watching them. " There seem to be no spar 
rows in the streets," said I. " Sparras ! " he exclaimed ; " and 
then how did you think a little baste of a sparra could fly 
across the ochean ? " I felt rather ashamed of myself. 

And so down-stairs where there was a table d hote room, 
with great long tables covered with cloths, plates, and break 
fast apparatus, and a smaller room inside, to which I was di 
rected by one of the white-jacketed waiters. Breakfast over, 
visitors began to drop in. At the " office " of the hotel, as it 
is styled, there is a tray of blank cards and a big pencil, where 
by the cardless man who is visiting is enabled to send you his 
name and title. There is a comfortable " reception room," in 
which he can remain and read the papers, if you are engaged, 
so that there is little chance of your ultimately escaping him. 
And, indeed, not one of those who came had any but most hos 
pitable intents. 

Out of doors the weather was not tempting. The snow lay 
in irregular layers and discolored mounds along the streets, 
and the gutters gorged with " snow-bree " flooded the broken 
pavement. But after a time the crowds began to issue from 
the churches, and it was announced as the necessity of the 
day, that we were to walk up and down the Fifth Avenue and 
look at each other. This is the west-end of London its 
Belgravia and Grosvenoria represented in one long street, with 
offshoots of inferior dignity at right angles to it. Some of the 
houses are handsome, but the greater number have a com 
pressed, squeezed-up aspect, which arises from the compulso 
ry narrowness of frontage in proportion to the height of the 
building, and all of them are bright and new, as if they were 
just finished to order, a most astonishing proof of the rapid 



12 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

development of the city. As the hall-door is made an impor 
tant feature in the residence, the front parlor is generally a 
narrow, lanky apartment, struggling for existence between the 
hall and the partition of the next house. The outer door, 
which is always provided with fine carved panels and mould 
ings, is of some rich varnished wood, and looks much better 
than our painted doors. It is generously thrown open so as 
to show an inner door with curtains and plate plass. The 
windows, which are double on account of the climate, are fre 
quently of plate glass also. Some of the doors are on the 
same level as the street, with a basement story beneath ; 
others are approached by flights of steps, the basement for 
servants having the entrance below the steps, and this, I be 
lieve, is the old Dutch fashion, and the name of "stoop" is 
still retained for it. 

No liveried servants are to be seen about the streets, the 
door-ways, or the area-steps. Black faces in gaudy caps, or 
an unmistakable "Biddy" in crinoline are their substitutes. 
The chief charm of the street was the living ornature which 
moved up and down the trottoirs. The costumes of Paris, 
adapted to the severity of this wintry weather, were draped 
round pretty, graceful figures which, if wanting somewhat in 
that rounded fulness of the Meclicean Venus, or in height, 
were svelte and well poised. The French boot has been 
driven off the field by the Balmoral, better suited to the snow ; 
and one must at once admit all prejudices notwithstanding 
that the American woman is not only well shod and well 
gloved, but that she has no reason to fear comparisons, in 
foot or hand with any daughter of Eve, except, perhaps, 
the Hindoo. 

The great and most frequent fault of the stranger in 
any land is that of generalizing from a few facts. Every 
one must feel there are " pretty days " and " ugly days " in 
the world, and that his experience on the one would lead him 
to conclusions very different from that to which he would 
arrive on the other. To-day I am quite satisfied that if 
the American women are deficient in stature and in that 
which makes us say, " There is a fine woman," they are easy, 
well formed, and full of grace and prettiness. Admitting a 
certain pallor which the Russians, by the by, were wont 
to admire so much that they took vinegar to produce it the 
face is not only pretty, but sometimes of extraordinary 
beauty, the features fine, delicate, well defined. Ruby lips, 



MR. BANCROFT. 13 

indeed, are seldom to be seen, but now and then the flashing 
of snowy-white evenly-set ivory teeth dispels the delusion 
that the Americans are though the excellence of their den 
tists be granted naturally ill provided with what they take 
so much pains, by eating bon-bons and confectionery, to de 
prive of their purity and color. 

My friend R , with whom I was walking, knew every 

one in the Fifth Avenue, and we worked our way through a 
succession of small talk nearly as far as the end of the street 
which runs out among divers places in the State of New 
York, through a debris of unfinished conceptions in masonry. 
The abrupt transition of the city into the country is not un 
favorable to an idea that the Fifth Avenue might have been 
transported from some great workshop, where it had been built 
to order by a despot, and dropped among the Red men : in 
deed, the immense growth of New York in this direction, 
although far inferior to that of many parts of London, is re 
markable as the work of eighteen or twenty years, and is 
rendered more conspicuous by being developed in this elon 
gated street, and its contingents. I was introduced to many 
persons to-day, and was only once or twice asked how I liked 
New York ; perhaps I anticipated the question by expressing 
my high opinion of the Fifth Avenue. Those to whom I 
spoke had generally something, to say in reference to the 
troubled condition of the country, but it was principally of a 
self-complacent nature. " I suppose, sir, you are rather sur 
prised, coming from Europe, to find us so quiet here in New 
York: we are a peculiar people, and you don t understand us 
in Europe." 

In the afternoon I called on Mr. Bancroft, formerly minis 
ter to England, whose work on America must be rather rudely 
interrupted by this crisis. Anything with an " ex " to it in 
America is of little weight ex-presidents are nobodies, 
though they have had the advantage, during their four years 
tenure of office, of being prayed for as long as they live. So 
it is of ex-ministers, whom nobody prays for at all. Mr. 
Bancroft conversed for some time on the aspect of affairs, but 
he appeared to be unable to arrive at any settled conclusion, 
except that the republic, though in danger, was the most 
stable and beneficial form of government in the world, and 
that as a Goverment it had no power to coerce the people of 
the South or to save itself from the danger. I was indeed 
astonished to hear from him and others so much philosophical 



14 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

abstract reasoning as to the right of seceding, or, what is next 
to it, the want of any power in the Government to prevent 
it. 

Returning home in order to dress for dinner, I got into a 
street-railway-car, a long low omnibus drawn by horses over a 
strada ferrata in the middle of the street. It \vas filled with 
people of all classes, and at every crossing some one or other 
rang the bell, and the driver stopped to let out or to take in 
passengers, whereby the unoffending traveller became pos 
sessed of much snow-droppings and mud on boots and cloth 
ing. I found that by far a greater inconvenience caused by 
these street-railways was the destruction of all comfort or 
rapidity in ordinary carriages. 

I dined with a New York banker, who gave such a dinner 
as bankers generally give all over the world. He is a man 
still young, very kindly, hospitable, well-informed, with a most 
charming household an American by theory, an English 
man in instincts and tastes educated in Europe, and sprung 
from British stock. Considering the enormous interests he 
has at stake, I was astonished to perceive how calmly he 
spoke of the impending troubles. His friends, all men of po 
sition in New York society, had the same dilettante tone, and 
were as little anxious for the future, or excited by the present, 
as a party of savans chronicling the movements of a " mag 
netic storm." 

On going back to the hotel, I heard that Judge Daly and 
some gentlemen had called to request that I would dine with 
the Friendly Society of St. Patrick to-morrow at Astor 
House. In what is called " the bar," I met several gentle 
men, one of whom said, " the majority of the people of New 
York, and all the respectable people, were disgusted at the 
election of such a fellow as Lincoln to be President, and 
would back the Southern States, if it came to a split." 



CHAPTER III. 

" St. Patrick s day " in New York Public dinner American Con 
stitution General topics of conversation Public estimate of the 
Government Evening party at Mons. B *s. 

Monday, 18th. "St. Patrick s day in the morning" being 
on the 17th, was kept by the Irish to-day. In the early 
morning the sounds of drumming, fifing, and bugling came 
with the hot water and my Irish attendant into the room. 
He told me : " We ll have a pretty nice day for it. The 
weather s often agin us on St. Patrick s day." At the angle 
of the square outside I saw a company of volunteers assem 
bling. They wore bear-skin caps, some turned brown, and 
rusty green coatees, with white facings and crossbelts, a good 
deal of gold-lace and heavy worsted epaulettes, and were 
armed with ordinary muskets, some of them with flint-locks. 
Over their heads floated a green and gold flag with mystic 
emblems, and a harp and sunbeams. A gentleman, with an 
imperfect seat on horseback, which justified a suspicion that 
he was not to the manor born of Squire or Squireen, with 
much difficulty was getting them into line, and endangering 
his personal safety by a large infantry-sword, the hilt of which 
was complicated with the bridle of his charger in some inexpli 
cable manner. This gentleman was the officer in command 
of the martial body, who were gathering to do honor to the 
festival of the old country; and the din and clamor in the 
streets, the strains of music, and the tramp of feet outside 
announced that similar associations were on their way to the 
rendezvous. The waiters in the hotel, all of whom were Irish, 
had on their best, and wore an air of pleased importance. 
Many of their countrymen outside on the pavement exhibited 
very large decorations, plates of metal, and badges attached 
to broad ribbons over their left breasts. 

After breakfast I struggled with a friend through the crowd 
which thronged Union Square. Bless them ! They were all 
Irish, judging from speech and gesture and look ; for the 



16 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

most part decently dressed, and comfortable, evidently bent 
on enjoying the day in spite of the cold, and proud of the 
privilege of interrupting all the trade of the principal streets, 
in which the Yankees most do congregate, for the day. They 
were on the door-steps, and on the pavement men, women, 
and children, admiring the big policemen many of them 
compatriots and they swarmed at the corners, cheering 
popular town-councillors or local celebrities. Broadway was 
equally full. Flags were flying from the windows and stee 
ples m d on the cold breeze came the hammering of drums, 
and the blasts of many wind instruments. The display, such 
as it was, partook of a military character, though not much 
more formidable in that sense than the march of the Trades 
Unions, or of Temperance Societies. Imagine Broadway 
lined for the long miles of its course by spectators mostly 
Hibernian, and the great gaudy stars and stripes, or as one 
of the Secession journals I see styles it, the " Sanguinary 
United States Gridiron " waving in all directions, whilst up 
its centre in the mud march the children of Erin. 

First came the acting Brigadier-General and his staff, es 
corted by 40 lancers, very ill-dressed, and worse mounted : 
horses dirty, accoutrements in the same condition, bits, bridles, 
and buttons rusty and tarnished ; uniforms ill-fitting, and badly 
put on. But the red flags and the show pleased the crowd, 
and they cheered " bould Nugent" right loudly. A band fol 
lowed, some members of which had been evidently " smiling" 
with each other ; and next marched a body of drummers in 
military uniform, rattling away in the French fashion. Here 
comes the 69th N. Y. State Militia Regiment the battalion 
which would not turn out when the Prince of Wales was in 
New York, and whose Colonel, Corcoran, is still under court 
martial for his refusal. Well, the Prince had no loss, and the 
Colonel may have had other besides political reasons for his 
dislike to parade his men. 

The regiment turned out, I should think, only 200 or 220 
men, fine fellows enough, but not in the least like soldiers or 
militia. The United States uniform which most of the mili 
tary bodies wore, consists of a blue tunic and trousers, and a 
kepi-like cap, with " U. S." in front for undress. In full dress 
the officers wear large gold epaulettes, and officers and men a 
bandit-sort of felt hat looped up at one side, and decorated 
with a plume of black-ostrich feathers and silk cords. The 
absence of facings, and the want of something to finish off the 



FRIENDLY SOCIETIES. 17 

collar and cuffs, render the tunic very bald and unsightly. 
Another band closed the rear of the 69th, and to eke out the 
military show, which in all was less than 1200 men, some com 
panies were borrowed from another regiment of State Militia, 
and a troop of very poor cavalry cleared the way for the 
Napper-Tandy Artillery, which actually had three whole guns 
with them ! It was strange to dwell on some of the names of 
the societies which followed. For instance, there were the 
" Dungannon Volunteers of 82," prepared of course to vindi 
cate the famous declaration that none should make laws for 
Ireland, but the Queen, Lords, and Commons of Ireland ! 
Every honest Catholic among them ignorant of the fact that 
the Volunteers of 82 were all Protestants. Then there was 
the " Sarsfield Guard ! " One cannot conceive anything more 
hateful to the fiery high-spirited cavalier, than the republican 
form of Government, which these poor Irishmen are, they 
think, so fond of. A good deal of what passes for national 
sentiment, is in reality dislike to England and religious ani 
mosity. 

It was much more interesting to see the long string of 
Benevolent, Friendly, and Provident Societies, with bands, 
numbering many thousands, all decently clad, and marching 
in order with banners, insignia, badges, and ribbons, and the 
Irish flag flying along-side the " stars and stripes." I cannot 
congratulate them on the taste or good effect of their accesso 
ries on their symbolical standards, and ridiculous old harp 
ers, carried on stages in " bardic costume," very like artificial 
white wigs and white cotton dressing-gowns, but the actual 
good done by these societies, is, I am told, very great, and 
their charity would cover far greater sins than incorrectness 
of dress, and a proneness to " piper s playing on the national 
bagpipes." The various societies mustered upwards of 10,000 
men, some of them uniformed and armed, others dressed in 
quaint garments, and all as noisy as music and talking could 
make them. The Americans appeared to regard the whole 
thing very much as an ancient Roman might have looked on 
the Saturnalia ; but Paddy was in the ascendant, and could 
not be openly trifled with. 

The crowds remained in the streets long after the proces 
sion had passed, and I saw various pickpockets captured by 
the big policemen, and conveyed to appropriate receptacles. 
" Was there any man of eminence in that procession," I 
asked. "No; a few small local politicians, some wealthy 



18 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

store-keepers, and beer-saloon owners perhaps ; but the mass 
were of the small bourgeoisie. Such a man as Mr. O Conor, 
who may be considered at the head of the New York bar 
for instance, would not take part in it." 

In the evening 1 went, according to invitation, to the Astor 
House a large hotel, with a front like a railway terminus, 
in the Anierico-Classical style, with great Doric columns and 
portico, arid found, to my surprise, that the friendly party 
was to be a great public dinner. The halls were filled with 
the company, few or none in evening dress ; and in a few 
minutes I was presented to at least twenty-four gentlemen, 
whose names I did not even hear. The use of badges, med 
als, and ribbons, might, at first, lead a stranger to believe he 
was in very distinguished military society ; but he would soon 
learn that these insignia were the decorations of benevolent 
or convivial associations. There is a latent taste for these 
things in spite of pure republicanism. At the dinner there 
were Americans of Dutch and English descent, some " Yan 
kees," one or two I^nglishmen, Scotchmen, and Welshmen. 
The chairman, Judge Daly, was indeed a true son of the 
soil, and his speeches were full of good humor, fluency, and 
wit; but his greatest effect was produced by the exhibition of 
a tuft of shamrocks in a flower-pot, which had been sent 
from Ireland for the occasion. This is done annually, but, 
like the miracle of St. Januarius, it never loses its effect, and 
always touches the heart. 

I confess it \vas to some extent curiosity to observe the 
sentiment of the meeting, and a desire to see how Irishmen 
were affected by UKJ change in their climate, which led me to 
the room. I came away regretting deeply that so many 
natives of the British Isles should be animated with a hostile 
feeling towards Kngland, and that no statesman has yet arisen 
xvho can devise a panacea for the evils of these passionate 
and unmeaning differences between races and religions. Their 
strong antipathy is not diminished by the impossibility of grat 
ifying it. They live in hope, and certainly the existence of 
these feelings is not only troublesome to American statesmen, 
but mischievous to the Irish themselves, inasmuch as they are 
rendered with unusual readiness the victims of agitators or 
political intriguers. The Irish element, as it is called, is much 
regarded in voting times, by suffraging bishops and others ; at 
other times, it is left to its work and its toil Mr. Seward and 
Bishop Hughes are supposed to be its present masters. Un- 



OFFERS OF SERVICE. 19 

doubtedly the mass of those I saw to-day were better clad than 
they would have been if they remained at home. As I said 
in the speech which I was forced to make much against my 
will, by the gentle violence of my companions, never had I 
seen so many good hats and coats in an assemblage of Irishmen 
in any other part of the world. 

March 19. The morning newspapers contain reports of 
last night s speeches which are amusing in one respect, at all 
events, as affording specimens of the different versions which 
may be given of the same matter. A " citizen " who was kind 
enough to come in to shave me, paid me some easy compli 
ments, in the manner of the " Barber of Seville," on what he 
termed the " oration " of the night before, and then proceeded 
to give his notions of the merits and defects of the American 
Constitution. " He did not care much about the Franchise 
it was given to too many he thought. A man must be five 
years resident in New York before he is admitted to the privi 
leges of voting. When an emigrant arrived, a paper was de 
livered to him to certify the fact, which he produced after 
lapse of five years, when he might be registered as a voter ; if 
he omitted the process of registration, he could however vote 
if identified by two householders, and a low lot," observed the 
barber, " they are Irish and such like. I don t want any 
of their votes." 

In the afternoon a number of gentlemen called, and made 
the kindest offers of service ; letters of introduction to all 
parts of the States ; facilities of every description all ten 
dered with frankness. 

I was astonished to find little sympathy and no respect for 
the newly -installed Government. They were regarded as 
obscure or undistinguished men. I alluded to the circumstance 
that one of the journals continued to speak of " The President " 
in the most contemptuous manner, and to designate him as the 
great " Rail-Splitter." " Oh yes," said the gentleman with 
whom I was conversing, " that must strike you as a strange 
way of mentioning the Chief Magistrate of our great Republic, 
but the fact is, no one minds what the man writes of any one, 
his game is to abuse every respectable man in the country in 
order to take his revenge on them for his social exclusion, and 
at the same time to please the ignorant masses who delight in 
vituperation and scandal." 

In the evening, dining again with my friend the banker, I 
had a favorable opportunity of hearing more of the special 



20 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

pleading which is brought to bear on the solution of the grav 
est political questions. It would seem as if a council of phy 
sicians were wrangling with each other over abstract dogmas 
respecting life and health, whilst their patient was struggling 
in the agonies of death before them ! In the comfortable and 
well-appointed house wherein I met several men of position, 
acquirements, and natural sagacity, there was not the smallest 
evidence of uneasiness on account of circumstances which, to 
the eye of a stranger, betokened an awful crisis, if not the 
impending dissolution of society itself. Stranger still, the 
acts which are bringing about such a calamity are not re 
garded with disfavor, or, at least, are not considered unjus 
tifiable. 

Among the guests were the Hon. Horatio Seymour, a for 
mer Governor of the State of New York ; Mr. Tylden, an 
acute lawyer ; and Mr. Bancroft. The result left on my mind 
by their conversation and arguments was that, according to 
the Constitution, the Government could not employ force to 
prevent secession, or to compel States which had seceded by 
the will of the people to acknowledge the Federal power. In 
fact, according to them, the Federal Government was the 
mere machine put forward by a Society of Sovereign States, 
as a common instrument for certain ministerial acts, more 
particularly those which affected the external relations of the 
Confederation. I do not think that any of the guests sought 
to turn the channel of talk upon politics, but the occasion of 
fered itself to Mr. Horatio Seymour to give me his views of 
the Constitution of the United States, and by degrees the 
theme spread over the table. I had bought the " Consti 
tution " for three cents in Broadway in the forenoon, and had 
read it carefully, but I could not find that it was self-expound 
ing ; it referred itself to the Supreme Court, but what was to 
support the Supreme Court in a contest with armed power, 
either of Government or people ? There was not a man who 
maintained the Government had any power to coerce the 
people of a State, or to force a State to remain in the Union, 
or under the action of the Federal Government; in other 
words, the symbol of power at Washington is not at all anal 
ogous to that which represents an established Government in 
other countries. Quid prosunt leges sine armis ? Although 
they admitted the Southern leaders had meditated " the trea 
son against the Union " years ago, they could not bring them 
selves to allow their old opponents, the Republicans now in 



MR. SEYMOUR. 21 

power, to dispose of the armed force of the Union against 
their brother democrats in the Southern States. 

Mr. Seymour is a man of compromise, but his views go 
farther than those which were entertained by his party ten 
years ago. Although secession would produce revolution, it 
was, nevertheless, " a right," founded on abstract principles, 
which could scarcely be abrogated consistently with due re 
gard to the original compact. One of the company made a 
remark which was true enough, I dare say. We were talk 
ing of the difficulty of relieving Fort Sumter an infallible 
topic just now. " If the British or any foreign power were 
threatening the fort," said he, " our Government would find 
means of relieving it fast enough." In fact, the Federal Gov 
ernment is groping in the dark ; and whilst its friends are 
telling it to advance boldly, there are myriad voices shrieking 
out in its ears, " If you put out a foot you are lost." There 
is neither army nor navy available, and the ministers have no 
machinery of rewards, and means of intrigue, or modes of 
gaining adherents known to European administrations. The 
democrats behold with silent satisfaction the troubles into 
which the Republican triumph has plunged the country, and 
are not at all disposed to extricate them. The most notable 
way of impeding their efforts is to knock them down with the 
" Constitution " every time they rise to the surface and begin 
to swim out. 

New York society, however, is easy in its mind just now, 
and the upper world of millionnaire merchants, bankers, con 
tractors, and great traders are glad that the vulgar Republicans 
are suffering for their success. Not a man there but resented 
the influence given by universal suffrage to the mob of the 
city, and complained of the intolerable effects of their ascen 
dency of the corruption of the municipal bodies, the venality 
of electors and elected, and the abuse, waste, and profligate 
outlay of the public funds. OK these there were many illus 
trations given to me. garnished with historietts of some of the 
civic dignitaries, and of their coadjutors in the press ; but it 
did not require proof that universal suffrage in a city of which 
perhaps three fourths of the voters were born abroad or of 
foreign parents, and of whom many were the scum swept off 
the seethings of European populations, must work most in 
juriously on property and capital. I confess it is to be much 
wondered at that the consequences are not more evil ; but no 
doubt the time is coming when the mischief can no longer 



22 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

be borne, and a social reform and revolution must be inev 
itable. 

Within only a very few hundreds of yards from the house 

and picture-gallery of Mons. B , the representative of 

European millions, are the hovels and lodgings of his equals 
in political power. This evening I visited the house of Mons. 

B , where his wife had a reception, to which nearly the 

whole of the party went. When a man looks at a suit of 
armor made to order by the first blacksmith in Europe, he 
observes that the finish of the joints and hinges is much higher 
than in the old iron clothes of the former time. Possibly the 
metal is better, and the chasings and garniture as good as the 
work of Milan, but the observer is not for a moment led to 
imagine that the fabric has stood proof of blows, or that it 
smacks of ancient watch-fire. If he were asked why it is so, 
he could not tell ; any more perhaps than he could define ex 
actly the difference between the lustrous, highly -jewelled, well- 
greaved Achaian of New York and the very less effective and 
showy creature who will in every society over the world pass 
muster as a gentleman. Here was an elegant house I use 
the word in its real meaning with pretty statues, rich car 
pets, handsome furniture and a gallery of charming Meisso- 
niers and genre pieces ; the saloons admirably lighted a fair 
fine large suite, filled with the prettiest women in the most 
delightful toilets, with a proper fringe of young men, or 
derly, neat, and well turned-out, fretting against the usual 
advanced posts of turbaned and jewelled dowagers, and pro 
vided with every accessory to make the whole good society ; 
for there was wit, sense, intelligence, vivacity ; and yet there 
was something wanting not in host or hostess, or company, 
or house where was it ? which was conspicuous by its 
absence. Mr. Bancroft was kind enough to introduce me to 
the most lovely faces and figures, and so far enable me to 
judge that nothing could be more beautiful, easy, OF natural 
than the womanhood or girlhood of New York. It is pretti- 
ness rather than fineness ; regular, intelligent, wax-like faces, 
graceful little figures ; none of the grandiose Roman type 
which Von llaumer recognized in London, as in the Holy 
City, a quarter of a century ago. Natheless, the young men 
of New York ought to be thankful and grateful, and try to be 
worthy of it. Late in the evening I saw these same young 
men, Novi Eboracenses, at their club, dicing for drinks and 
oathing for nothing, and all very friendly and hospitable. 



THE CLUB-HOUSE. 23 

The club-house is remarkable as the mansion of a happy 
man who invented or patented a waterproof hat-lining, where 
by he built a sort of Sallustian villa, with a central court 
yard, a 1 Alhambra, with fountains and flowers, now passed 
away to the New York Club. Here was Pratt s, or the de- 
furict Fielding, or the old C. C. C. s in disregard of time and 
regard of drinks and nothing more. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Streets and shops in New York Literature A funeral Dinner at 

Mr. H s Dinner at Mr. Bancroft s Political and social 

features Literary breakfast; Heenan and Sayers. 

March 20th. The papers are still full of Sumter and 
Pickens. The reports that they are or are not to be relieved 
are stated and contradicted in each paper without any regard 
to individual consistency. The " Tribune " has an article on 
my speech at the St. Patrick s dinner, to which it is pleased 
to assign reasons and motives which the speaker, at all events, 
never had in making it. 

Received several begging letters, some of them apparently 
with only too much of the stamp of reality about their tales 
of disappointment, distress, and suffering. In the afternoon 
went down Broadway, which was crowded, notwithstanding 
the piles of blackened snow by the curbstones, and the sloughs 
of mud, and half-frozen pools at the crossings. Visited sev 
eral large stores or shops some rival the best establish 
ments in Paris or London in richness and in Value, and far 
exceed them in size and splendor of exterior. Some on 
Broadway, built of marble, or of fine cut stone, cost from 
6,000 to 8,000 a year in mere rent. Here, from the base 
to the fourth or fifth story, are piled collections of all the 
world can produce, often in excess of all possible requirements 
of the country ; indeed I was told that the United States have 
always imported more goods than they could pay for. Jewel 
lers shops are not numerous, but there are two in Broadway 
which have splendid collections of jewels, and of workmanship 
in gold and silver, displayed to the greatest advantage in fine 
apartments decorated with black marble, statuary, and plate- 
glass. 

New York has certainly all the air of a " nouveau riche." 
There is about it an utter absence of any appearance of a 
grandfather one does not see even such evidences of eccen- 



NORTH AND SOUTH. 25 

trie taste as are afforded in Paris and London, by the exist 
ence of shops where the old families of a country cast off 
their "exuviae" which are sought by the new, that they may 
persuade the world they are old; there is no curiosity shop, 
not to speak of a Wardour Street, and such efforts as are made 
to supply the deficiency reveal an enormous amount of igno 
rance or of bad taste. The new arts, however, flourish ; the 
plague of photography has spread through all the corners of 
the city, and the shop-windows glare with flagrant displays of 
the most tawdry art. In some of the large booksellers shops 
Appleton s for example are striking proofs of the activ 
ity of the American press, if not of the vigor and originality 
of the American intellect. I passed down long rows of shelves 
laden with the works of European authors, for the most part, 
oh shame ! stolen and translated into American type without 
the smallest compunction or scruple, and without the least in 
tention of ever yielding the most pitiful deodand to the au 
thors. Mr. Appleton sells no less than one million and a half 
of Webster s spelling-books a year; his tables are covered 
with a flood of pamphlets, some for, others against coercion ; 
some for, others opposed to slavery, but when I asked for 
a single solid, substantial work on the present difficulty, I was 
told there was not one published worth a cent. With such 
men as Audubon and Wilson in natural history, Prescott and 
Motley in history, Washington Irving and Cooper in fiction, 
Longfellow and Edgar Poe in poetry, even Bryant and the 
respectabilities in rhyme, and Emerson as essayist, there is no 
reason why New York should be a paltry imitation of Leip- 
sig, without the good faith of Tauchnitz. 

I dined with a litterateur well known in England to many 
people a year or two ago sprightly, loquacious, and well in 
formed, if neither witty nor profound now a Southern man 
with Southern proclivities, as Americans say ; once a South 
ern man with such strong anti-slavery convictions, that his ex 
pression of them in an English quarterly had secured him the 
hostility of his own people one of the emanations of Amer 
ican literary life for which their own country finds no fitting 
receiver. As the best proof of his sincerity, he has just now 
abandoned his connection with one of the New York papers 
on the republican side, because he believed that the course of 
the journal was dictated by anti-Southern fanaticism. He is, 
in fact, persuaded that there will be a civil war, and that the 
South will have much of the right on its side in the contest. 
2 



26 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

At his rooms were Mons. B , Dr. Gwin, a Californian ex- 
senator, Mr. Barlow, and several of the leading men of a cer 
tain clique in New York. The Americans complain, or as 
sert, that we do not understand them, and I confess the re 
proach, or statement, was felt to be well founded by myself at 
all events, when I heard it declared and admitted that " if 
Mons. Belmont had not gone to the Charleston Convention, 
the present crisis would never have occurred." 

March 22d. A snow-storm worthy of Moscow or Riga 
flew through New York all day, depositing more food for the 
mud. I paid a visit to Mr. Horace Greeley, and had a long 
conversation with him. He expressed great pleasure at the 
intelligence that I was going to visit the Southern States. 
" Be sure you examine the slave-pens. They will be afraid 
to refuse you, and you can tell the truth." As the capital 
and the South form the chief attractions at present, I am 
preparing to escape from " the divine calm " and snows of 
New York. 1 was recommended to visit many places before I 
left New York, principally hospitals and prisons. Sing-Sing, the 
state penitentiary, is " claimed," as the Americans say, to be 
the first " institution " of its kind in the world. Time presses, 
however, and Sing-Sing is a long way off. I am told a sys 
tem of torture prevails there for hardened or obdurate offend- 
ders torture by dropping cold water on them, torture by 
thumbscrews, and the like rather opposed to the views of 
prison philanthropists in modern days. 

March 23d. It is announced positively that the authori 
ties in Pensacola and Charleston have refused to allow any 
further supplies to be sent to Fort Pickens, the United States 
fleet in the Gulf, and to Fort Sumter. Everywhere the 
Southern leaders are forcing on a solution with decision arid 
energy, whilst the Government appears to be helplessly drift 
ing with the current of events, having neither bow nor stern, 
neither keel nor deck, neither rudder, compass, sails, or steam. 
Mr. Seward has declined to receive or hold any intercourse 
with the three gentlemen called Southern Commissioners, who 
repaired to Washington accredited by the Government and 
Congress of the Seceding States now sitting at Montgomery, 
so that there is no channel of mediation or means of adjust 
ment left open. I hear, indeed, that Government is secretly 
preparing what force it can to strengthen the garrison at 
Pickens, and to reinforce Sumter at any hazard ; but that its 
want of men, ships, and money compels it to temporize, lest 



AMERICAN JOURNALS. 27 

the Southern authorities should forestall their designs by a 
vigorous attack on the enfeebled forts. 

There is, in reality, very little done by New York to sup 
port or encourage the Government in any decided policy, and 
the journals are more engaged now in abusing each other, and 
in small party aggressive warfare, than in the performance of 
the duties of a patriotic press, whose mission at such a time is 
beyond all question the resignation of little differences for the 
sake of the whole country, and an entire devotion to its safety, 
honor, and integrity. But the New York people must have 
their intellectual drams every morning, and it matters little 
what the course of Government may be, so long as the aris 
tocratic democrat can be amused by ridicule of the Great Rail 
Splitter, or a vivid portraiture of Mr. Horace Greeley s old 
coat, hat, breeches, and umbrella. The coarsest personalities 
are read with gusto, and attacks of a kind which would not 
have been admitted into the " Age " or " Satirist " in their 
worst days, form the staple leading articles of one or two of 
the most largely circulated journals in the city. " Slang " in 
its worst Americanized form is freely used in sensation head 
ings and leaders, and a class of advertisements which are not 
allowed to appear in respectable English papers, have posses 
sion of columns of the principal newspapers, few, indeed, ex 
cluding them. It is strange, too, to see in journals which 
profess to represent the civilization and intelligence of the 
most enlightened and highly educated people on the face of 
the earth, advertisements of sorcerers, wizards, and fortune 
tellers by the score " wonderful clairvoyants," " the seventh 
child of a seventh child," " mesmeristic necromancers," and 
the like, who can tell your thoughts as soon as you enter the 
room, can secure the affections you prize, give lucky numbers 
in lotteries, and make everybody s fortunes but their own. 
Then there are the most impudent quack programmes very 
doubtful " personals " addressed to " the young lady with black 
hair and blue eyes, who got out of the omnibus at the corner 
of 7th Street " appeals by " a lady about to be confined " 
to "any respectable person who is desirous of adopting a child: " 
all rather curious reading for a stranger, or for a family. 

It is not to be expected, of course, that New York is a very 
pure city, for more than London or Paris it is the sewer of 
nations. It is a city of luxury also French and Italian 
cooks and milliners, German and Italian musicians, high prices, 
extravagant tastes and dressing, money readily made, a life in 



28 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

hotels, bar-rooms, heavy gambling, sporting, and prize-fight 
ing flourish here, and combine to lower the standard of the 
bourgeoisie at all events. Where wealth is the sole aristoc 
racy, there is great danger of mistaking excess and profusion 
for elegance and good taste. To-day as I was going down 
Broadway, some dozen or more of the most over-dressed men 
I ever saw were pointed out to me as " sports ; " that is, men 
who lived by gambling-houses and betting on races ; and the 
class is so numerous that it has its own influence, particularly 
at elections, when the power of a hard-hitting prize-fighter 
with a following makes itself unmistakably felt. Young 
America essays to look like martial France in mufti, but the 
hat and the coat suited to the Colonel of Carabiniers en re- 
traite do not at all become the thin, tall, rather long-faced 
gentlemen one sees lounging about Broadway. It is true, in 
deed, the type, though not French, is not English. The char 
acteristics of the American are straight hair, keen, bright, 
penetrating eyes, and want of color in the cheeks. 

March 25th. I had an invitation to meet several mem 
bers of the New York press association at breakfast. Among 
the company were Mr. Bayard Taylor, with whose exten 
sive notes of travel his countrymen are familiar a kind of 
enlarged Inglis, full of the genial spirit which makes travel 
ling in company so agreeable, but he has come back as trav 
ellers generally do, satisfied there is no country like his own 
Prince Leeboo loved his own isle the best after all Mr. 
Raymond, of the " New York Times " (formerly Lieutenant- 
Governor of the State) ; Mr. Olmsted, the indefatigable, able, 
and earnest writer, whom to describe simply as an Abolition 
ist would be to confound with ignorant if zealous, unphilo- 
sophical, and impracticable men ; Mr. Dana, of the " Tri 
bune ; " Mr. Hnrlbut, of the " Times ; " the Editor of the 
" Courier des Etats Unis ; " Mr. Young, of the " Albion," 
which is the only English journal published in the States ; 
and others. There was a good deal of pleasant conversation, 
though every one differed with his neighbor, as a matter of 
course, as soon as he touched on politics. There was talk de 
omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis, such as Heenan and Sayers, 
Secession and Sumter, the press, politicians, New York life, 
and so on. The first topic occupied a larger place than it 
was entitled to, because in all likelihood the sporting editor of 
one of the papers who was present expressed, perhaps, some 
justifiable feeling in reference to the refusal of the belt to the 



LITERARY BREAKFAST. 29 

American. All admitted the courage and great endurance of 
his antagonist, but seemed convinced that Heenan, if not the 
better man, was at least the victor in that particular contest. 
It would be strange to see the great tendency of Americans 
to institute comparisons with ancient and recognized standards, 
if it were not that they are adopting the natural mode of 
judging of their own capabilities. The nation is like a grow 
ing lad who is constantly testing his powers in competition 
with his elders. He is in his youth and nonage, and he is 
calling down the lanes and alleys to all comers to look at his 
muscle, to run against or to fight him. It is a sign of youth, 
not a proof of weakness, though it does offend the old hands 
and vex the veterans. 

Then one finds that Great Britain is often treated very 
much as an old Peninsula man may be by a set of young 
soldiers at a club. He is no doubt a very gallant fellow, and 
has done very fine things in his day, and he is listened to with 
respectful endurance, but there is a secret belief that he will 
never do anything very great again. 

One of the gentlemen present said that England might dis 
pute the right of the United States Government to blockade 
the ports of her own States, to which she was entitled to 
access under treaty, and might urge that such a blockade was 
not justifiable ; but then, it was argued, that the President 
could open and shut ports as he pleased ; and that he might 
close the Southern ports by a proclamation in the nature of 
an Order of Council. It was taken for granted that Great 
Britain would only act on sordid motives, but that the well 
known affection of France for the United States is to check 
the selfishness of her rival, and prevent a speedy recognition. 



CHAPTER V. 

Off to the railway station Railway carriages Philadelphia 
Washington Wi Hard s Hotel Mr. Seward North and South 

The " State Department " at Washington President Lincoln 

Dinner at Mr. Seward s. 

AFTER our pleasant breakfast came that necessity for 
activity which makes such meals disguised as mere light 
morning repasts take their revenge. I had to pack up, and 
1 am bound to say the moral aid afforded me by the waiter, 
who stood with a sympathizing expression of face, and looked 
on as I wrestled with boots, books, and great coats, was of 
a most comprehensive character. At last I conquered, and 
at six o clock P. M. I left the Clarendon, and was conveyed 
over the roughest and most execrable pavements through 
several miles of unsympathetic, gloomy, dirty streets, and 
crowded thoroughfares, over jaw-wrenching street-railway 
tracks, to a large wooden shed covered with inscriptions re 
specting routes and destinations on the bank of the river, 
which as far as the eye could see, was bordered by similar 
establishments, where my baggage was deposited in the mud. 
There were no porters, none of the recognized and established 
aids to locomotion to which we are accustomed in Europe, 
but a number of amateurs divided the spoil, and carried it 
into the offices, whilst I was directed to struggle for my ticket 
in another little wooden box, from which I presently received 
the necessary document, full of the dreadful warnings and con 
ditions, which railway companies inflict on the public in all 
free countries. 

The whole of my luggage, except a large bag, was taken 
charge of by a man at the New York side of the ferry, who 
" checked it through " to the capital giving me a slip of 
brass with a number corresponding with a brass ticket for each 
piece. When the boat arrived at the stage at the other side 
of the Hudson, in my innocence I called for a porter to take 
my bag. The passengers were moving out of the capacious 



RAILWAY CARRIAGES. PHILADELPHIA. 31 

ferry-boat in a steady stream, and the steam throat and bell of 
the engine were going whilst I was looking for my porter ; 
but at last a gentleman passing, said, " I guess y ill remain 
here a considerable time before y ill get any one to come for 
that bag of yours ;" and taking the hint, I just got off in time 
to stumble into a long box on wheels, with a double row of 
most uncomfortable seats, and a passage down the middle, 
where I found a place beside Mr. Sanford, the newly-ap 
pointed United States Minister to Belgium, who was kind 
enough to take me under his charge to Washington. 

The night was closing in very fast as the train started, but 
such glimpses as I had of the continuous line of pretty- 
looking villages of wooden houses, two stories high, painted 
white, each with its Corinthian portico, gave a most favorable 
impression of the comfort and prosperity of the people. The 
rail passed through the main street of most of these hamlets 
and villages, and the bell of the engine was tolled to warn the 
inhabitants, who drew up on the sidewalks, and let us go by. 
Soon the white houses faded away into faint blurred marks 
on the black ground of the landscape, or twinkled with star- 
like lights, and there was nothing more to see. The passen 
gers were crowded as close as they could pack, and as there 
was an immense iron stove in the centre of the car, the heat 
and stuffiness became most trying, although I had been 
undergoing the ordeal of the stove-heated New York houses 
for nearly a week. Once a minute, at least, the door at 
either end of the carriage was opened, and then closed with 
a sharp, crashing noise, that jarred the nerves, and effectually 
prevented sleep. It generally was done by a man whose sole 
object seemed to be to walk up the centre of the carriage in 
order to go out of the opposite door occasionally it was 
the work of a newspaper boy, with a sheaf of journals and 
trashy illustrated papers under his arm. Now and then it 
was the conductor ; but the periodical visitor was a young 
gentleman with chain and rings, who bore a tray before him, 
and solicited orders for " gum drops," and " lemon drops," 
which, with tobacco, apples, and cakes, were consumed in 
great quantities by the passengers 

At ten o clock, p. M., we crossed the river by a ferry-boat to 
Philadelphia, and drove through the streets, stopping for sup 
per a few moments at the La Pierre Hotel. To judge from 
the vast extent of the streets, of small, low, yet snug-looking 
houses, through which we passed, Philadelphia must contain 



32 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

in comfort the largest number of small householders of any 
city in the world. At the other terminus of the rail, to which 
we drove in a carriage, we procured for a small sum, a dollar 
I think, berths in a sleeping-car, an American institution of 
considerable merit. Unfortunately a party of prize-fighters 
had a mind to make themselves comfortable, and the result 
was anything but conducive to sleep. They had plenty of 
whiskey, and were full of song and tight, nor was it possible 
to escape their urgent solicitations " to take a drink," by 
feigning the soundest sleep. One of these, a big man, with 
a broken nose, a mellow eye, and a very large display of 
rings, jewels, chains, and pins, was in very high spirits, and in 
formed us he was " Going to Washington to get a foreign mis 
sion from Bill Seward. He wouldn t take Paris, as he didn t 
care much about French or Frenchmen ; but he d just like to 
show John Bull how to do it ; or he d take Japan if they were 
very pressing." Another told us he was " Going to the bosom 
of Uncle Abe " (meaning the President) " that he knew 
him well in Kentucky years ago, and a high-toned gentleman 
he was." Any attempts to persuade them to retire to rest 
made by the conductors were treated with sovereign contempt ; 
but at last whiskey asserted its supremacy, and having estab 
lished the point that they " would not sleep unless they 

pleased," they slept and snored. 

At six, A. M., we were roused up by the arrival of the train 
at Washington, having crossed great rivers and traversed cities 
without knowing it during the night. I looked out and saw a 
vast mass of white marble towering above us on the left, 
stretching out in colonnaded porticoes, and long flanks of win 
dowed masonry, and surmounted by an unfinished cupola, from 
which scaffold and cranes raised their black arms. This was 
the Capitol. To the right was a cleared space of mud, sand, 
and fields, studded with wooden sheds and huts, beyond which, 
again, could be seen rudimentary streets of. small red brick 
houses, and some church-spires above them. 

Emerging from the station, we found a vociferous crowd 
of blacks, who were the hackney-coachmen of the place ; but 
Mr. Sanford had his carriage in waiting, and drove me straight 
to Willard s Hotel where he consigned me to the landlord at 
the bar. Our route lay through Pennsylvania Avenue a 
street of much breadth and length, lined with amianthus trees, 
each in a white-washed wooden sentry-box, and by most irreg 
ularly-built houses in all kinds of material, from deal plank 



WILLARD S HOTEL. 33 

to marble of all heights, and every sort of trade. Few 
shop-windows were open, and the principal population con 
sisted of blacks, who were moving about on domestic affairs. 
At one end of the long vista there is the Capitol ; and at the 
other, the Treasury buildings a fine block in marble, with 
the usual American classical colonnades. 

Close to these rises the great pile of Willard s Hotel, now- 
occupied by applicants for office, and by the members of the 
newly-assembled Congress. It is a quadrangular mass of 
rooms, six stories high, and some hundred yards square ; and 
it probably contains at this moment more scheming, plotting, 
planning heads, more aching and joyful hearts, than any 
building of the same size ever held in the world. I was 
ushered into a bedroom which had just been vacated by 
some candidate whether he succeeded or not I cannot tell, 
but if his testimonials spoke truth, he ought to have been 
selected at once for the highest office. The room was littered 
with printed copies of letters testifying that J. Smith, of Hart 
ford, Conn., was about the ablest, honestest, cleverest, and 
best man the writers ever knew. Up and down the long 
passages doors were opening and shutting for men with pa 
pers bulging out of their pockets, who hurried as if for their 
life in and out, and the building almost shook with the tread 
of the candidature, which did not always in its present aspect 
justify the correctness of the original appellation. 

It was a remarkable sight, and difficult to understand un 
less seen. From California, Texas, from the Indian Reserves, 
and the Mormon Territory, from Nebraska, as from the re 
motest borders of Minnesota, from every portion of the vast 
territories of the Union, except from the Seceded States, the 
triumphant Republicans had winged their way to the prey. 

There were crowds in the hall through which one could 
scarce make his way the writing-room was crowded, and 
the rustle of pens rose to a little breeze the smokii>g-room, 
the bar, the barber s, the reception-room, the ladies drawing- 
room all were crowded. At present not less than 2,500 
people dine in the public room every day. On the kitchen 
floor there is a vast apartment, a hall without carpets or any 
furniture but plain chairs and tables, which are ranged in 
close rows, at which flocks of people are feeding, or discours 
ing, or from which they are flying away. The servants never 
cease shoving the chairs to and fro with a harsh screeching 
noise over the floor, so that one can scarce hear his neighbor 
2* 



34: MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

speak. If he did, he would probably hear as I did, at this 
very hotel, a man order breakfast, " Black tea and toast, 
scrambled eggs, fresh spring shad, wild pigeon, pigs feet, two 
robins on toast, oysters," and a quantity of breads and cakes 
of various denominations. The waste consequent on such 
orders is enormous and the ability required to conduct 
these enormous establishments successfully is expressed by 
the common phrase in the States, " Brown is a clever man, 
but he can t manage an hotel." The tumult, the miscella 
neous nature of the company my friends the prize-fighters 
are already in possession of the doorway the heated, muggy 
rooms, not to speak of the great abominableness of the pas 
sages and halls, despite a most liberal provision of spittoons, 
conduce to render these institutions by no means agreeable to 
a European. Late in the day I succeeded in obtaining a 
sitting-room with a small bedroom attached, which made me 
somewhat more independent and comfortable but you must 
pay highly for any departure from the routine life of the 
natives. Ladies enjoy a handsome drawing-room, with piano, 
sofas, and easy chairs, all to themselves. 

I dined at Mr. Sanford s, where I was introduced to Mr. 
Seward, Secretary of State ; Mr. Truman Smith, an ex-sena 
tor, much respected among the Republican party; Mr. An 
thony, a senator of the United States, a journalist, a very 
intelligent-looking man, with an Israelitish cast of face ; Col 
onel Foster of the Illinois railway, of reputation in the States 
as a geologist ; and one or two more gentlemen. Mr. Seward 
is a slight, middle-sized man, of feeble build, with the stoop 
contracted from sedentary habits and application to the desk, 
and has a peculiar attitude when seated, which immediately 
attracts attention. A well-formed and large head is placed on 
a long slender neck, and projects over the chest in an argu 
mentative kind of way, as if the keen eyes were seeking for 
an adversary ; the mouth is remarkably flexible, large but 
well-formed, the nose prominent and aquiline, the eyes secret, 
but penetrating, and lively with humor of some kind twin 
kling about them ; the brow bold and broad, but not remarka 
bly elevated ; the white hair silvery and fine a subtle, quick 
man, rejoicing in power, given to perorate and to oracular utter 
ances, fond of badinage, bursting with the importance of state 
mysteries, and with the dignity of directing the foreign policy 
of the greatest country as all Americans think in the 
world. After dinner he told some stories of the pressure on 



THE SECRETARY OF STATE. 35 

the President for place, which very much amused the guests 
who knew the men, and talked freely and pleasantly of many 
things stating, however, few facts positively. In reference 
to an assertion in a New York paper, that orders had been 
given to evacuate Sumter, " That," he said, " is a plain lie 
no such orders have been given. We will give up nothing 
we have abandon nothing that has been intrusted to us. If 
people would only read these statements by the light of the 
President s inaugural, they would not be deceived." He 
wanted no extra session of Congress. " History tells us that 
kings who call extra parliaments lose their heads," and he 
informed the company he had impressed the President with 
his historical parallels. 

All through this conversation his tone was that of a man 
very sanguine, and with a supreme contempt for those who 
thought there was anything serious in secession. " Why," 
said he, " I myself, my brothers, and sisters, have been all 
secessionists we seceded from home when we were young, 
but we all went back to it sooner or later. These States will 
all come back in the same way." I doubt if he was ever in the 
South ; but he affirmed that the state of living and of society 
there was something like that in the State of New York sixty 
or seventy years ago. In the North all was life, enterprise, 
industry, mechanical skill. In the South there was depend 
ence on black labor, and an idle extravagance which was mis 
taken for elegant luxury tumble-down old hackney-coaches, 
such as had not been seen north of the Potomac for half a 
century, harness never cleaned, ungroomed horses, worked at 
the mill one day and sent to town the next, badly furnished 
houses, bad cookery, imperfect education. No parallel could 
be drawn between them and the Northern States at all. " You 
are all very angry," he said, " about the Merrill tariff. You 
must, however, let us be best judges of our own affairs. If 
we judge rightly, you have no right to complain ; if we judge 
wrongly, we shall soon be taught by the results, and shall 
correct our error. It is evident that if the Morrill tariff ful 
fils expectations, and raises a revenue, British manufacturers 
suffer nothing, and we suffer nothing, for the revenue is raised 
here, and trade is not injured. If the tariff fails to create 
a revenue, we shall be driven to modify or repeal it." 

The company addressed him as " Governor," which led to 
Mr. Seward s mentioning that when he was in England he 
was induced to put his name down with that prefix in a hotel 



36 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

book, and caused a discussion among the waiters as to whether 
he was the " Governor " of a prison or of a public company. 
I hope the great people of England treated Mr. Seward with 
the attention due to his position, as he would assuredly feel 
and resent very much any slight on the part of those in high 
places. From what he said, however, I infer that he was 
satisfied with the reception he had met in London. Like 
most Americans who can afford it, he has been up the Nile. 
The weird old stream has great fascinations for the people of 
the Mississippi as far at least as the first cataract. 

March 27th. This morning, after breakfast, Mr. Sanford 
called, according to promise, and took me to the State depart 
ment. It is a very humble in fact, dingy mansion, two 
stories high, and situated at the end of the magnificent line of 
colonnade in white marble, called the Treasury, which is here 
after to do duty as the head-quarters of nearly all the public 
departments. People familiar with Downing Street, how 
ever, cannot object to the dinginess of the bureaux in which 
the foreign and state affairs of the American Republic are 
transacted. A flight of steps leads to the hall-door, on which 
an announcement in writing is affixed, to indicate the days of 
reception for the various classes of persons who have business 
with the Secretary of State ; in the hall, on the right and left, 
are small rooms, with the names of the different officers on the 
doors most of them persons of importance ; half-way in the 
hall a flight of stairs conducts us to a similar corridor, rather 
dark, with doors on each side opening into the bureaux of the 
chief clerks. All the appointments were very quiet, and one 
would see much more bustle in the passages of a Poor Law 
Board or a parish vestry. 

Jn a moderately sized, but very comfortable, apartment, 
surrounded with book-shelves, and ornamented with a few en 
gravings, we found the Secretary of State seated at his table, 
and enjoying a cigar; he received me with great courtesy and 
kindness, arid after a time said he would take occasion to pre 
sent me to the President, who was to give audience that day 
to the minister of the new kingdom of Italy, who had hitherto 
only represented the kingdom of Sardinia. 

1 have already described Mr. Seward s personal appear 
ance ; his son, to whom he introduced me, is the Assistant- 
Secretary of State, arid is editor or proprietor of a journal in 
the State of New York, which has a reputation for ability and 
fairness. Mr. Frederick Seward is a slight delicate-looking 



PRESIDENT LINCOLN. 37 

man, with a high forehead, thoughtful brow, dark eyes, and 
amiable expression ; his manner is very placid and modest, 
and, if not reserved, he is by no means loquacious. As we 
were speaking, a carriage drove up to the door, and Mr. Sew- 
ard exclaimed to his father, with something like dismay in his 
voice, " Here comes the Chevalier in full uniform ! " and in 
a few seconds in effect the Chevalier Bertinatti made his ap 
pearance, in cocked hat, white gloves, diplomatic suit of blue 
and silver lace, sword, sash, and ribbon of the cross of Savoy. 
I thought there was a quiet smile on Mr. Seward s face as he 
saw his brilliant companion, who contrasted so strongly with 
the more than republican simplicity of his own attire. " Fred., 
do you take Mr. Russell round to the President s, whilst I go 
with the Chevalier. We will meet at the White House." 
We accordingly set out through a private door leading to the 
grounds, and within a few seconds entered the hall of the 
moderate mansion, White House, which has very much the 
air of a portion of a bank or public office, being provided with 
glass doors and plain heavy chairs and forms. The domestic 
who was in attendance was dressed like any ordinary citizen, 
and seemed perfectly indifferent to the high position of the 
great personage with whom he conversed, when Mr. Seward 
asked him, " Where is the President ? " Passing through one 
of the doors on the left, we entered a handsome spacious room, 
richly and rather gorgeously furnished, and rejoicing in a kind 
of " demi-jour" which gave increased effect to the gilt chairs 
and ormolu ornaments. Mr. Seward and the Chevalier stood 
in the centre of the room, whilst his son and I remained a 
little on one side : " For," said Mr. Seward, " you are not to 
be supposed to be here." 

Soon afterwards there entered, with a shambling, loose, 
irregular, almost unsteady gait, a tall, lank, lean man, consid 
erably over six feet in height, with stooping shoulders, long 
pendulous arms, terminating in hands of extraordinary dimen 
sions, which, however, were far exceeded in proportion by his 
feet. He was dressed in an ill-fitting, wrinkled suit of black, 
which put one in mind of an undertaker s uniform at a funeral ; 
round his neck a rope of black silk was knotted in a large 
bulb, with flying ends projecting beyond the collar of his coat ; 
his turned-down shirt-collar disclosed a sinewy muscular yel 
low neck, and above that, nestling in a great black mass of 
hair, bristling and compact like a ruff of mourning pins, rose 
the strange quaint face and head, covered with its thatch of 



38 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

wild republican hair, of President Lincoln. The impression 
produced by the size of his extremities, and by his flapping 
and wide projecting ears, may be removed by the appearance 
of kindliness, sagacity, and the awkward bonhommie of his 
face ; the mouth is absolutely prodigious ; the lips, straggling 
and extending almost from one line of black beard to the 
other, are only kept in order by two deep furrows from the 
nostril to the chin; the nose itself a prominent organ 
stands out from the face, with an inquiring, anxious air, as 
though it were sniffing for some good thing in the wind ; the 
eyes dark, full, and deeply set, are penetrating, but full of an 
expression which almost amounts to tenderness ; and above 
them projects the shaggy brow, running into the small hard 
frontal space, the development of which can scarcely be esti 
mated accurately, owing to the irregular flocks of thick hair 
carelessly brushed across it. One would say that, although 
the mouth was made to enjoy a joke, it could also utter the 
severest sentence which the head could dictate, but that Mr. 
Lincoln would be ever more willing to temper justice with 
mercy, and to enjoy what he considers the amenities of life, 
than to take a harsh view of men s nature and of the world, 
and to estimate things in an ascetic or puritan spirit. A per 
son who met Mr. Lincoln in the street would not take him to 
be what according to the usages of European society is 
called a " gentleman ; " and, indeed, since I came to the United 
States, I have heard more disparaging allusions made by 
Americans to him on that account than I could have expected 
among simple republicans, where all should be equals ; but, at 
the same time, it would not be possible for the most indifferent 
observer to pass him in the street without notice. 

As he advanced through the room, he evidently controlled 
a desire to shake hands all round with everybody, and smiled 
good-humoredly till he was suddenly brought up by the staid 
deportment of Mr. Seward, and by the profound diplomatic 
bows of the Chevalier Bertinatti. Then, indeed, he suddenly 
jerked himself back, and stood in front of the two ministers, 
with his body slightly drooped forward, and his liands behind 
his back, his knees touching, and his feet apart. Mr. Sew 
ard formally presented the minister, whereupon the Presi 
dent made a prodigiously violent demonstration of his body in 
a bow which had almost the effect of a smack in its rapidity 
and abruptness, and, recovering himself, proceeded to give his 
utmost attention, whilst the Chevalier, with another bow, read 



THE " TIMES." DINNER AT MR. SEWARD S. 39 

from a paper a long address in presenting the royal letter 
accrediting him as minister resident;" and when he said that 
"the king desired to give, under your enlightened administra 
tion, all possible strength and extent to those sentiments of 
frank sympathy which do not cease to be exhibited every 
moment between the two peoples, and whose origin dates 
back as far as the exertions which have presided over their 
common destiny as self-governing and free nations," the 
President gave another bow still more violent, as much as to 
accept the allusion. 

The minister forthwith handed his letter to the President, 
who gave it into the custody of Mr. Sevvard, and then, dipping 
his hand into his coat-pocket, Mr. Lincoln drew out a sheet 
of paper, from which he read his reply, the most remarkable 
part of which was his doctrine " that the United States were 
bound by duty not to interfere with the differences of foreign 
governments and countries." After some words of compli 
ment, the President shook hands with the minister, who soon 
afterwards retired. Mr. Seward then took me by the hand 
and said "Mr. President, allow me to present to you Mr. 
Russell, of the London Times. " On which Mr. Lincoln put 
out his hand in a very friendly manner, and said, " Mr. Rus 
sell, I am very glad to make your acquaintance, and to see 
you in this country. The London Times is one of the 
greatest powers in the world, in fact, I don t know anything 
which has much more power, except perhaps the Missis 
sippi. I am glad to know you as its minister." Conversation 
ensued for some minutes, which the President enlivened by 
two or three peculiar little sallies, and I left agreeably im 
pressed with his shrewdness, humor, and natural sagacity. 

In the evening I dined with Mr. Seward, in company with 
his son, Mr. Seward, junior, Mr. Sanford, and a quaint, natural 
specimen of an American rustic lawyer, who was going to 
Brussels as Secretary of Legation. His chief, Mr. Sanford, 
did not appear altogether happy when introduced to his 
secretary, for he found that he had a very limited knowledge 
(if any) of French, and of other things which it is generally 
considered desirable that secretaries should know. 

Very naturally, conversation turned on politics. Although 
no man can foresee the nature of the crisis which is coming, nor 
the mode in which it is to be encountered, the faith of men like 
Mr. Sanford and Mr. Seward in the ultimate success of their 
principles, and in the integrity of the Republic, is very re- 



40 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

markable ; and the boldness of their language in reference to 
foreign powers almost amounts to arrogance and menace, if 
not to temerity. Mr. Sevvard asserted that the Ministers of 
England or of France had no right to make any allusion to the 
civil war which appeared imminent ; and that the Southern 
Commissioners who had been sent abroad could not be re 
ceived by the Government of any foreign power, officially or 
otherwise, even to hand in a document or to make a represen 
tation, without incurring the risk of breaking off relations 
with the Government of the United States. As regards the 
great object of public curiosity, the relief of Fort Sumter, Mr. 
Seward maintains a profound silence, beyond the mere 
declaration, made with a pleasant twinkle of the eye, that 
" the whole policy of the Government, on that and other 
questions, is put forth in the President s inaugural, from which 
there will be no deviation. Turning to the inaugural message, 
however, there is no such very certain indication, as Mr. Sew 
ard pretends to discover, of the course to be pursued by Mr. 
Lincoln and the cabinet. To an outside observer, like my 
self, it seems as if they were waiting for events to develop 
themselves, and rested their policy rather upon acts that had 
occurred, than upon any definite principle designed to control 
or direct the future. 

I should here add that Mr. Seward spoke in high terms of 
the ability, dexterity, and personal qualities of Mr. Jefferson 
Davis, and declared his belief that but for him the Secession 
movement never could have succeeded as far as it has gone, 
and would, in all probability, indeed, have never taken place 
at all. After dinner cigars were introduced, and a quiet little 
rubber of whist followed. The Secretary is given to expatiate 
at large, and told us many anecdotes of foreign travel ; it 
I am not doing him injustice, I would say further, that he 
remembers his visit to England, and the attention he received 
there, with peculiar satisfaction. He cannot be found fault 
with because he has formed a most exalted notion of the 
superior intelligence, virtue, happiness, and prosperity of his 
own people. He said that it would not be proper for him 
to hold any communication with the Southern Commissioners 
then in Washington ; which rather surprised me, after what 1 
had heard from their friend, Mr. Banks. On returning to my 
hotel, I found a card from the President, inviting me to dinner 
the following day. 



CHAPTER VI. 

A state dinner at the White House Mrs. Lincoln The Cabinet 
Ministers A newspaper correspondent Good Friday at Wash 
ington. 

March 2Sth. I was honored to-day by visits from a great 
number of Members of Congress, journalists, and others. 
Judging from the expressions of most of the Washington 
people, they would gladly see a Southern Cabinet installed in 
their city. The cold shoulder is given to Mr. Lincoln, and 
all kinds of stories and jokes are circulated at his expense. 
People take particular pleasure in telling how he came tow 
ards the seat of his Government disguised in a Scotch cap 
and cloak, whatever that may mean. 

In the evening I repaired to the White House. The ser 
vant who took my hat and coat was particularly inquisitive as 
to my name and condition in life ; and when he heard I was 
not a minister, he seemed inclined to question my right to be 
there at all : " for," said he, " there are none but members of 
the cabinet, and their wives and daughters, dining here to 
day." Eventually he relaxed, instructed me how to place 
my hat so that it would be exposed to no indignity, and in 
formed me that I was about to participate in a prandial enjoy 
ment of no ordinary character. There was no parade or dis 
play, no announcement, no gilded staircase, with its liveried 
heralds, transmitting and translating one s name from landing 
to landing. From the unpretending ante-chamber, a walk 
across the lofty hall led us to the reception-room, which was 
the same as that in which the President held his interview 
yesterday. 

Mrs. Lincoln was already seated to receive her guests. 
She is of the middle age and height, of a plumpness degen 
erating to the embonpoint natural to her years ; her features 
are plain, her nose and mouth of an ordinary type, and her 
manners and appearance homely, stiffened, however, by the 
consciousness that her position requires her to be something 
more than plain Mrs. Lincoln, the wife of the Illinois lawyer ; 



42 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

she is profuse in the introduction of the word "sir" in every 
sentence, which is now almost an Americanism confined to 
certain classes, although it was once as common in England. 
Her dress I shall not attempt to describe, though it was very 
gorgeous and highly colored. She handled a fan with much 
energy, displaying a round, well-proportioned arm, and was 
adorned with some simple jewelry. Mrs. Lincoln struck ine 
as being desirous of making herself agreeable ; and I own I 
was agreeably disappointed, as the Secessionist ladies at 
Washington had been amusing themselves by anecdotes which 
could scarcely have been founded on fact. 

Several of the Ministers had already arrived ; by and by 
all had come, and the party only waited for General Scott, 
who seemed to be the representative man in Washington of 
the monarchical idea, and to absorb some of the feeling which 
is lavished on the pictures and memory, if not on the monu 
ment, of Washington. Whilst we were waiting, Mr. Seward 
took me round, and introduced me to the Ministers, and to 
their wives and daughters, among the latter, Miss Chase, who 
is very attractive, agreeable, and sprightly. Her father, the 
Finance Minister, struck me as one of the most intelligent 
and distinguished persons in the whole assemblage, tall, of 
a good presence, with a well-formed head, fine forehead, arid 
a face indicating energy and power. There is a peculiar 
droop and motion of the lid of one eye, which seems to have 
suffered from some injury, that detracts from the agreeable 
effect of his face ; but, on the whole, he is one who would not 
pass quite unnoticed in a European crowd of the same descrip 
tion. 

In the whole assemblage there was not a scrap of lace or 
a piece of ribbon, except the gorgeous epaulettes of an old 
naval officer who had served against us in the last war, and 
who represented some branch of the naval department. Nor 
were the Ministers by any means remarkable for their per 
sonal appearance. 

Mr. Cameron, the Secretary of War, a slight man, above 
the middle height, with gray hair, deep-set keen gray eyes, 
and a thin mouth, gave me the idea of a person of ability and 
adroitness. His colleague, the Secretary of the Navy, a 
small man, with a great long gray beard and spectacles, did 
not look like one of much originality or ability; but people 
who know Mr. Welles declare that he is possessed of admin 
istrative power, although they admit that hi*, does not know 



AMERICAN MINISTERS. 43 

the stem from the stern of a ship, and are in doubt whether 
he ever saw the sea in his life. Mr. Smith, the Minister of 
the Interior, is a bright-eyed, smart (I use the word in the 
English sense) gentleman, with the reputation of being one 
of the most conservative members of the cabinet. Mr. Blair, 
the Postmaster- General, is a person of much greater in 
fluence than his position would indicate. He has the repu 
tation of being one of the most determined Republicans in the 
Ministry ; but he held peculiar notions with reference to the 
black and the white races, which, if carried out, would not by 
any means conduce to the comfort or happiness of free negroes 
in the United States. He is a tall, lean man, with a hard, 
Scotch, practical-looking head an anvil for ideas to be 
hammered on. His eyes are small and deeply set, and have 
a rat-like expression ; and he speaks with caution, as though 
he weighed every word before he uttered it. The last of the 
Ministers is Mr. Bates, a stout, thick-set, common-looking 
man, with a large beard, who fills the office of Attorney- 
General. Some of the gentlemen were in evening dress ; 
others wore black frock-coats, which it seems, as in Turkey, 
are considered to be en regie at a Republican Ministerial 
dinner. 

In the conversation which occurred before dinner, I was 
amused to observe the manner in which Mr. Lincoln used 
the anecdotes for which he is famous. Where men bred in 
courts, accustomed to the world, or versed in diplomacy, would 
use some subterfuge, or would make a polite speech, or give a 
shrug of the shoulders as the means of getting out of an em 
barrassing position, Mr. Lincoln raises a laugh by some bold 
west-country anecdote, and moves off in the cloud of merriment 
produced by his joke. Thus, when Mr. Bates was remon 
strating apparently against the appointment of some indiffer 
ent lawyer to a place of judicial importance, the President 
interposed with, " Come now, Bates, he s not half as bad as 
you think. Besides that, I must tell you, he did me a good 
turn long ago. When I took to the law, I was going to court 
one morning, with some ten or twelve miles of bad road 
before me, and I had no horse. The judge overtook me in 
his wagon. Hollo, Lincoln ! Are you not going to the 
court-house ? Come in, and I ll give you a seat. Well, I 
got in, and the judge went on reading his papers. Presently 
the wagon struck a stump on one side of the road ; then it 
hopped off to the other. I looked out, and I saw the driver 



42 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

she is profuse in the introduction of the word "sir" in every 
sentence, which is now almost an Americanism confined to 
certain classes, although it was once as common in England. 
Her dress I shall not attempt to describe, though it was very 
gorgeous and highly colored. She handled a fan with much 
energy, displaying a round, well-proportioned arm, and was 
adorned with some simple jewelry. Mrs. Lincoln struck me 
as being desirous of making herself agreeable ; and I own I 
was agreeably disappointed, as the Secessionist ladies at 
Washington had been amusing themselves by anecdotes which 
could scarcely have been founded on fact. 

Several of the Ministers had already arrived ; by and by 
all had come, and the party only waited for General Scott, 
who seemed to be the representative man in Washington of 
the monarchical idea, and to absorb some of the feeling which 
is lavished on the pictures and memory, if not on the monu 
ment, of Washington. Whilst we were waiting, Mr. Seward 
took me round, and introduced me to the Ministers, and to 
their wives and daughters, among the latter, Miss Chase, who 
is very attractive, agreeable, and sprightly. Her father, the 
Finance Minister, struck me as one of the most intelligent 
and distinguished persons in the whole assemblage, tall, of 
a good presence, with a well-formed head, fine forehead, arid 
a face indicating energy and power. There is a peculiar 
droop and motion of the lid of one eye, which seems to have 
suffered from some injury, that detracts from the agreeable 
effect of his face ; but, on the whole, he is one who would not 
pass quite unnoticed in a European crowd of the same descrip 
tion. 

In the whole assemblage there was not a scrap of lace or 
a piece of ribbon, except the gorgeous epaulettes of an old 
naval officer who had served against us in the last war, and 
-who represented some branch of the naval department. Nor 
were the Ministers by any means remarkable for their per 
sonal appearance. 

Mr. Cameron, the Secretary of War, a slight man, above 
the middle height, with gray hair, deep-set keen gray eyes, 
and a thin mouth, gave me the idea of a person of ability and 
adroitness. His colleague, the Secretary of the Navy, a 
small man, with a great long gray beard and spectacles, did 
not look like one of much originality or ability; but people 
who know Mr. Welles declare that he is possessed of admin 
istrative power, although they admit that h*. does not know 



AMERICAN MINISTERS. 43 

the stem from the stern of a ship, and are in doubt whether 
he ever saw the sea in his life. Mr. Smith, the Minister of 
the Interior, is a bright-eyed, smart (I use the word in the 
English sense) gentleman, with the reputation of being one 
of the most conservative members of the cabinet. Mr. Blair, 
the Postmaster- General, is a person of much greater in 
fluence than his position would indicate. He has the repu 
tation of being one of the most determined Republicans in the 
Ministry ; but he held peculiar notions with reference to the 
black and the white races, which, if carried out, would not by 
any means conduce to the comfort or happiness of free negroes 
in the United States. He is a tall, lean man, with a hard, 
Scotch, practical-looking head an anvil for ideas to be 
hammered on. His eyes are small and deeply set, and have 
a rat-like expression ; and he speaks with caution, as though 
he weighed every word before he uttered it. The last of the 
Ministers is Mr. Bates, a stout, thick-set, common-looking 
man, with a large beard, who fills the office of Attorney- 
General. Some of the gentlemen were in evening dress ; 
others wore black frock-coats, which it seems, as in Turkey, 
are considered to be en regie at a Republican Ministerial 
dinner. 

Jn the conversation which occurred before dinner, I was 
amused to observe the manner in which Mr. Lincoln used 
the anecdotes for which he is famous. Where men bred in 
courts, accustomed to the world, or versed in diplomacy, would 
use some subterfuge, or would make a polite speech, or give a 
shrug of the shoulders as the means of getting out of an em 
barrassing position, Mr. Lincoln raises a laugh by some bold 
west-country anecdote, and moves off in the cloud of merriment 
produced by his joke. Thus, when Mr. Bates was remon 
strating apparently against the appointment of some indiffer 
ent lawyer to a place of judicial importance, the President 
interposed with, " Come now, Bates, he s not half as bad as 
you think. Besides that, I must tell you, he did me a good 
turn long ago. When I took to the law, I was going to court 
one morning, with some ten or twelve miles of bad road 
before me, and I had no horse. The judge overtook me in 
his wagon. Hollo, Lincoln ! Are you not going to the 
court-house ? Come in, and I ll give you a seat. Well, I 
got in, and the judge went on reading his papers. Presently 
the wagon struck a stump on one side of the road ; then it 
hopped off to the other. I looked out, and I saw the driver 



44 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

was jerking from side to side in his seat ; so says I, Judge, I 
think your coachman has been taking a little drop too much this 
morning. Well I declare, Lincoln, said he, I should not 
-wonder if you are right, for he lias nearly upset me half a 
dozen of times since starting. So, putting his head out of 
the window, he shouted, Why, you infernal scoundrel, you 
are drunk ! Upon which, pulling up his horses, and turning 
round with great gravity, the coachman said, By gorra ! 
that s the first rightful decision you have given for the last 
twelvemonth. " Whilst the company were laughing, the Presi 
dent beat a quiet retreat from the neighborhood of the At 
torney-General. 

It was at last announced that General Scott was unable to 
be present, and that, although actually in the house, he had 
been compelled to retire from indisposition, and we moved 
in to the banqueting-hall. The first " state dinner," as it is 
called, of the President, was not remarkable for ostentation. 
No liveried servants, no Persic splendor of ancient plate, or 
chefs d ceuvre of art, glittered round the board. Vases of 
flowers decorated the table, combined with dishes in what 
may be called the " Gallo- American " style, with wines which 
owed their parentage to France, and their rearing and edu 
cation to the United States, which abounds in cunning nurses 
*br such productions. The conversation was suited to the 
state dinner of a cabinet at which women and strangers were 
present. I was seated next Mr. Bates, and the very agree 
able and lively Secretary of the President, Mr. Hay, and 
except when there was an attentive silence caused by one of 
the President s stories, there was a Babel of small talk round 
the table, in which I was surprised to find a diversity of 
accent almost as great as if a number of foreigners had been 
speaking English. I omitted the name of Mr. Hamlin, the 
Vice-President, as well as those of less remarkable people 
who were present ; but it would not be becoming to pass over 
a man distinguished for nothing so much as his persistent and 
unvarying adhesion to one political doctrine, which has made 
him, in combination with the belief in his honesty, the occu 
pant of a post which leads to the Presidency, in event of any 
occurrence which may remove Mr. Lincoln. 

After dinner the ladies and gentlemen retired to the drawing- 
room, and the circle was increased by the addition of several 
politicians. I had an opportunity of conversing with some of 
the Ministers, if not with all, from time to time, and I was 



DINNER AT THE. WHITE HOUSE. 45 

struck by the uniform tendency of their remarks in reference 
to the policy of Great Britain. They seemed to think that 
England was bound by her anti-slavery antecedents to discour 
age to the utmost any attempts of the South to establish its 
independence on a basis of slavery, and to assume that they 
were the representatives of an active war of emancipation. 
As the veteran Commodore Stewart passed the chair of the 
young lady to whom I was speaking, she said, " I suppose, 
Mr. Russell, you do not admire that officer ? " " On the con 
trary," I said, " I think he is a very fine-looking old man." 
" I don t mean that," she replied ; " but you know he can t be 
very much liked by you, because he fought so gallantly against 
you in the last war, as you must know." I had not the cour 
age to confess ignorance of the captain s antecedents. There 
is a delusion among more than the fair American who spoke 
to me, that we entertain in England the sort of feeling, morbid 
or wholesome as it may be, in reference to our reverses at 
New Orleans and elsewhere, that is attributed to Frenchmen 
respecting Waterloo. 

On returning to Willard s Hotel, I was accosted by a gentle 
man who came out from the crowd in front of the office. 
" Sir," he said, " you have been dining with our President to 
night." I bowed. " Was it an agreeable party ? " said he. 
" What do you think of Mr. Lincoln ? " " May I ask to whom 

I have the pleasure of speaking ? " " My name is Mr. , 

and I am the correspondent of the New York ." " Then, 

sir," I replied, " it gives me satisfaction to tell you that I think 
a great deal of Mr. Lincoln, and that I am equally pleased 
with my dinner. I have the honor to bid you good evening." 
The same gentleman informed me afterwards that he had 
created the office of Washington Correspondent to the New 
York papers. " At first," said he, " I merely wrote news, and 
no one cared much ; then I spiced it up, squibbed a little, and 
let off stories of my own. Congressmen contradicted me, 
issued cards, said they were not facts. The public atten 
tion was attracted, and I was told to go on ; and so the Wash 
ington correspondence became a feature in all the New York 
papers by degrees." The hum and bustle in the hotel to-night 
were wonderful. All the office-seekers were in the passages, 
hungering after senators and representatives, and the ladies in 
any way related to influential people, had an entourage of cour 
tiers sedulously paying their respects. Miss Chase, indeed, 
laughingly told me that she was pestered by applicants for her 



46 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

father s good offices, and by persons seeking introduction to 
her as a means of making demands on " Uncle Sam." 

As I was visiting a book-shop to-day, a pert, smiling young 
fellow, of slight figure and boyish appearance came up and 
introduced himself to me as an artist who had contributed to 
an illustrated London paper during the Prince of Wales s tour, 
and who had become acquainted with some of my friends; 
and he requested permission to call on me, which I gave with 
out difficulty or hesitation. He visited me this evening, poor 
lad ! and told me a sad story of his struggles, and of the de 
pendence of his family on his efforts, as a prelude to a request 
that I would allow him to go South when I was making the 
tour there, of which he had heard. He was under an engage 
ment with the London paper, and had no doubt that if he was 
with me his sketches would all be received as illustrations of 
the places to which my letters were attracting public interest 
in England at the time. There was no reason why I should be 
averse to his travelling with me in the same train. He could 
certainly go if he pleased. At the same time I intimated that 
I was in no way to be connected with or responsible for him. 

March 2$f.h, Good Friday. The religious observance 
of the day was not quite as strict as it would be in England. 
The Puritan aversion to ceremonials and formulary observ r 
ances has apparently affected the American world, even as 
far south as this. The people of color were in the streets 
dressed in their best. The first impression produced by fine 
bonnets, gay shawls, brightly -colored dresses, and silk brode- 
quins, on black faces, flat figures, and feet to match, is singular ; 
but, in justice to the backs of many of the gaudily-dressed 
women, who, in little groups, were going to church or chapel, it 
must be admitted that this surprise only came upon one when 
he got a front view. The men generally affected black coats, 
silk or satin waistcoats, and parti-colored pantaloons. They 
carried Missal or Prayer-book, pocket-handkerchief, cane, or 
parasol, with infinite affectation of correctness. 

As I was looking out of the window, a very fine, tall young 
negro, dressed irreproachably, save as to hat and boots, passed 
by. "I wonder what he is ?" I exclaimed inquiringly to a 
gentleman who stood beside me. " Well," he said, " that fellow 
is not a free nigger ; he looks too respectable. I dare say you 
could get him for 1500 dollars, without his clothes. You 
know," continued he, "what our Minister said when he saw a 
nigger at some Court in Europe, and was asked what he 



STATE RIGHTS. 47 

thought of him : Well, I guess, said he, * if you take off his 
fixings, he may be worth 1000 dollars down. In the course 
of the day, Mr. Banks, a corpulent, energetic young Virginian, 
of strong Southern views, again called on me. As the friend 
of the Southern Commissioners he complained vehemently 
of the refusal of Mr. Seward to hold intercourse with him. 
" These fellows mean treachery, but we will balk them." In 
answer to a remark of mine, that the English Minister would 
certainly refuse to receive Commissioners from any part of the 
Queen s dominions which had seized upon the forts and arse 
nals of the empire and menaced war, he replied : " The case is 
quite different. The Crown claims a right to govern the whole 
of your empire ; but the Austrian Government could not refuse 
to receive a deputation from Hungary for an adjustment of 
grievances ; nor could any State belonging to the German 
Diet attempt to claim sovereignty over another, because they 
were members of the same Confederation." I remarked " that 
his views of the obligations of each State of the Union were 
perfectly new to me, as a stranger ignorant of the controversies 
which distracted them. An Englishman had nothing to do 
with a Virginian and New Yorkist, or a South Carolinian he 
scarcely knew anything of a Texan, or of an Arkansian ; we 
only were conversant with the United States as an entity ; and 
all our dealings were with citizens of the United States of 
North America." This, however, only provoked logically 
diffuse dissertations on the Articles of the Constitution, and on 
the spirit of the Federal Compact. 

Later in the day, I had the advantage of a conversation 
with Mr. Truman Smith, an old and respected representative 
in former days, who gave me a very different account of the 
matter; and who maintained that by the Federal Compact 
each State had delegated irrevocably the essence of its sover 
eignty to a Government to be established in perpetuity for the 
benefit of the whole body. The Slave States, seeing that the 
progress of free ideas, and the material power of the North, 
were obtaining an influence which must be subversive of the 
supremacy they had so long exercised in the Federal Govern 
ment for their own advantage, had developed this doctrine of 
States Rights as a cloak to treason, preferring the material 
advantages to be gained by the extension of their system to 
the grand moral position which they would occupy as a por 
tion of the United States in the face of all the world. 

It is on such radical differences of ideas as these, that the 



48 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

whole of the quarrel, which is widening every day, is founded. 
The Federal Compact, at the very outset, was written on a 
torn sheet of paper, and time has worn away the artificial 
cement by which it was kept together. The corner-stone of 
the Constitution had a crack in it, which the heat and fury of 
faction have widened into a fissure from top to bottom, never 
to be closed again. 

In the evening I had the pleasure of dining with an Amer 
ican gentleman who has seen much of the world, travelled far 
and wide, who has read much and beheld more, a scholar, a 
politician, after his way, a poet, and an ologist one of those 
modern Grceculi, who is unlike his prototype in Juvenal only 
in this, that he is not hungry, and that he will not go to heaven 
if you order him. 

Such men never do or can succeed in the United States ; 
they are far too refined, philosophical, and cosmopolitan. 
From what I see, success here may be obtained by refined 
men, if they are dishonest, never by philosophical men, unless 
they be corrupt not by cosmopolitan men under any cir 
cumstances whatever; for to have sympathies with any people, 
or with any nation in the world, except his own, is to doom a 
statesman with the American public, unless it be in the form 
of an affectation of pity or good will, intended really as an 
offence to some allied people. At dinner there was the very 
largest naval officer I have ever seen in company, although I 
must own that our own service is not destitute of some good 
specimens, and I have seen an Austrian admiral at Pola, and 
the superintendent of the Arsenal at Tophaneh, who were not 
unfit to be marshals of France. This Lieutenant, named 
Nelson, was certainly greater in one sense than his British 
namesake, for he weighed 260 pounds. 

It may be here remarked, passim and obiter, that the Amer 
icans are much more precise than ourselves in the enumera 
tion of weights and matters of this kind. They speak of 
pieces of artillery, for example, as being of so many pounds 
weight, and of so many inches long, where we would use cwts. 
and feet. With a people addicted to vertical rather than 
lateral extension in everything but politics and morals, precis 
ion is a matter of importance. I was amused by a descrip 
tion of some popular personage I saw in one of the papers the 
other day, which after an enumeration of many high mental 
and physical attributes, ended thus, " In fact he is a remark 
ably fine high-toned gentleman, and weighs 210 pounds." 



AN" AMERICAN NELSON". 49 

The Lieutenant was a strong Union man, and he inveighed 
fiercely, and even coarsely, against the members of his pro 
fession who had thrown up their commissions. The superin 
tendent of the Washington Navy Yard is supposed to be very 
little disposed in favor of this present Government ; in fact, 
Capt. Buchanan may be called a Secessionist, nevertheless, I 
am invited to the wedding of his daughter, in order to see the 
President give away the bride. Mr. Nelson says, Sumter 
and Pickens are to be reinforced. Charleston is to be reduced 
to order, and all traitors hanged, or he will know the reason 
why ; and, says he, " I have some weight in the country." In 
the evening, as we were going home, notwithstanding the 
cold, we saw a number of ladies sitting out on the door-steps, 
in white dresses. The streets were remarkably quiet and 
deserted ; all the colored population had been sent to bed long 
ago. The fire-bell, as usual, made an alarm or two about 
midnight. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Barbers shops Place-hunting The Navy Yard Dinner at Lord 
Lyons Estimate of Washington among his countrymen 
Washington s house and tomb The Southern Commissioners 
Dinner with the Southern Commissioners Feeling towards 
England among the Southerners Animosity between North 
and South. 

March 30t7i. Descended into the barber s shop off the 
hall of the hotel ; all the operators, men of color, mostly mu- 
lattoes, or yellow lads, good-looking, dressed in clean white 
jackets and aprons, were smart, quick, and attentive. Some 
seven or eight shaving chairs were occupied by gentlemen in 
tent on early morning calls. Shaving is carried in all its ac 
cessories to a high degree of publicity, if not of perfection, in 
America ; and as the poorest, or as I may call them without 
offence, the lowest orders in England have their easy shaving 
for a penny, so the highest, if there be any in America, submit 
themselves in public to the inexpensive operations of the negro 
barber. It must be admitted that the chairs are easy and well- 
arranged, the fingers nimble, sure, and light ; but the affecta 
tion of French names, and the corruption of foreign languages, 
in which the hairdressers and barbers delight, are exceedingly 
amusing. On my way down a small street near the Capitol, 
I observed in a shop window, " Rowland s make easier paste," 
which I attribute to an imperfect view of the etymology of 
the great " Macassar ; " on another occasion I was asked to 
try Somebody s " Curious Elison," which I am afraid was an 
attempt to adapt to a shaving paste, an address not at all suited 
to profane uses. It appears that the trade of barber is almost 
the birthright of the free negro or colored man in the United 
States. There is a striking exemplification of natural equality 
in the use of brushes, and the senator flops down in the seat, 
and has his noble nose seized by the same fingers which the 
moment before were occupied by the person and chin of an 
unmistakable rowdy. 

In the midst of the divine calm produced by hard hand 



PLACES WANTED. 51 

rubbing of my head, I was aroused by a stout gentleman who 
sat in a chair directly opposite. Through the door which 
opened into the hall of the hotel, one could see the great 
crowd passing to and fro, thronging the passage as though it 
had been the entrance to the Forum, or the " Salle de pas 
perdus." I had observed my friend s eye gazing fixedly 
through the opening on the outer world. Suddenly, with his 
face half-covered with lather, and a bib tucked under his chin, 
he got up from his seat exclaiming, " Senator ! Senator ! 
hallo!" and made a dive into the passage whether he re 
ceived a stem rebuke, or became aware of his impropriety, I 
know not, but in an instant he came back again, and submitted 
quietly, till the work of the barber was completed. 

The great employment of four fifths of the people at Wil- 
lard s at present seems to be to hunt senators and congressmen 
through the lobbies. Every man is heavy with documents 
those which he cannot carry in his pockets and hat, occupy 
his hands, or are thrust under his arms. In the hall are ad 
vertisements announcing that certificates, and letters of testi 
monial, and such documents, are printed with expedition and 
neatness. From paper collars, and cards of address to car 
riages, and new suits of clothes, and long hotel bills, nothing 
is left untried or uninvigorated. The whole city is placarded 
with announcements of facilities for assaulting the powers that 
be, among which must not be forgotten the claims of the " ex 
celsior card-writer," at Willard s, who prepares names, ad 
dresses, styles, and titles, in superior penmanship. The men 
who have got places, having been elected by the people, must 
submit to the people, who think they have established a claim 
on them by their favors. The majority confer power, but they 
seem to forget that it is only the minority who can enjoy the 
first fruits of success. It is as if the whole constituency of 
Marylebone insisted on getting some office under the Crown 
the moment a member was returned to Parliament. There 
are men at Willard s who have come literally thousands of 
miles to seek for places which can only be theirs for four 
years, and who with true American facility have abandoned 
the calling and pursuits of a lifetime for this doubtful canvass ; 
and I was told of one gentleman, who having been informed 
that he could not get a judgeship, condescended to seek a place 
in the Post-Office, and finally applied to Mr. Chase to be ap 
pointed keeper of a " lighthouse," he was not particular where. 
In the forenoon I drove to the Washington Navy Yard, in 



52 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

company with Lieutenant Nelson and two friends. It is 
about two miles outside the city, situated on a fork of land 
projecting between a creek and the Potomac River, which is 
here three quarters of a mile broad. If the French had a 
Navy Yard at Paris it could scarcely be contended that Eng 
lish, Russians, or Austrians would not have been justified in 
destroying it in case they got possession of the city by force 
of arms, after a pitched battle fought outside its gates. I con 
fess I would not give much for Deptford and Woolwich if 
an American fleet succeeded in forcing its way up the 
Thames ; but our American cousins, a little more than kin 
and less than kind, who speak with pride of Paul Jones and 
of their exploits on the Lakes, affect to regard the burning 
of the Washington Navy Yard by us, in the last war, as an 
unpardonable outrage on the law of nations, and an atrocious 
exercise of power. For all the good it did, for my own part, 
I think it were as well had it never happened, but no juris 
consult will for a moment deny that it was a legitimate, even 
if extreme, exercise of a belligerent right in the case of an 
enemy who did not seek terms from the conqueror ; and who, 
after battle lost, fled and abandoned the property of their state, 
which might be useful to them in war, to the power of the 
victor. Notwithstanding all the unreasonableness of the Amer 
ican people in reference to their relations with foreign powers, 
it is deplorable such scenes should ever have been enacted 
between members of the human family so closely allied by all 
that shall make them of the same household. 

The Navy Yard is surrounded by high brick walls ; in the 
gateway stood two sentries in dark blue tunics, yellow facings, 
with eagle buttons, brightly polished arms, and white Berlin 
gloves, wearing a cap something like a French kepi, all very 
clean and creditable. Inside are some few trophies of guns 
taken from us at Yorktown, and from the Mexicans in the 
land of Cortez. The interior inclosure is surrounded by red 
brick houses, and stores and magazines, picked out with white 
stone ; and two or three green glass-plots, fenced in by pillars 
and chains and bordered by trees, give an air of agreeable 
freshness to the place. Close to the river are the work 
shops: of course there is smoke and noise of steam and 
machinery. In a modest office, surrounded by books, papers, 
drawings, and models, as well as by shell and shot and racks 
of arms of different descriptions, we found Capt. Dahlgren, 
the acting superintendent of the yard, and the inventor of the 



THE NAVY YARD. 53 

famous gun which bears his name, and is the favorite arma 
ment of the American navy. By our own sailors they are 
irreverently termed " soda-water bottles," owing to their 
shape. Capt. Dahlgren contends that guns capable of throw 
ing the heaviest shot may be constructed of cast-iron, carefully 
prepared and moulded so that the greatest thickness of metal 
may be placed at the points of resistance, at the base of the 
gun, the muzzle and forward portions being of very moderate 
thickness. 

All inventors, or even adapters of systems, must be earnest 
self-reliant persons, full of confidence, and, above all, impres 
sive, or they will make little way in the conservative, status- 
^woloving world. Captain Dahlgren has certainly most of 
these characteristics, but he has to fight with his navy depart 
ment, with the army, with boards and with commissioners, 
in fact, with all sorts of obstructors. When I was going over 
the yard, he deplored the parsimony of the department, which 
refused to yield to his urgent entreaties for additional furnaces 
to cast guns. 

No large guns are cast at Washington. The foundries are 
only capable of turning out brass field-pieces and boat-guns. 
Capt. Dahlgren obligingly got one of the latter out to practise 
for us a 12-pounder howitzer, which can be carried in a 
boat, run on land on its carriage, which is provided with 
wheels, and is so light that the gun can be drawn readily 
about by the crew. He made some good practice with shrap 
nel at a target 1200 yards distant, firing so rapidly as to keep 
three shells in the air at the same time. Compared with our 
establishments, this dockyard is a mere toy, and but few 
hands are employed in it. One steam sloop, the " Pawnee," 
was under the shears, nearly ready for sea : the frame of 
another was under the building-shed. There are no facilities 
for making iron ships, or putting on plate-armor here. Every 
thing was shown to us with the utmost frankness. The fuse 
of the Dahlgren shell is constructed on the vis inertia prin 
ciple, and is not unlike that of the Armstrong. 

On returning to the hotel, I found a magnificent bouquet of 
flowers, with a card attached to them, with Mrs. Lincoln s com 
pliments, and another card announcing that she had a " recep 
tion " at three o clock. It was rather late before I could get to 
the White House, and there were only two or three ladies 
in the drawing-room when I arrived. I was informed after 
wards that the attendance was very scanty. The Washington 



54 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

ladies have not yet made up their minds that Mrs. Lincoln is 
the fashion. They miss their Southern friends, and constantly 
draw comparisons between them and the vulgar Yankee 
women and men who are now in power. I do not know 
enough to say whether the affectation of superiority be justi 
fied ; but assuredly if New York be Yankee, there is nothing 
in which it does not far surpass this preposterous capital. 
The impression of homeliness produced by Mrs. Lincoln on 
first sight, is not diminished by closer acquaintance. Few 
women not to the manner born there are, whose heads would 
not be disordered, and circulation disturbed, by a rapid transi 
tion, almost instantaneous, from a condition of obscurity in a 
country town to be mistress of the White House. Her smiles 
and her frowns become a matter of consequence to the whole 
American world. As the wife of the country lawyer, or even 
of the congressman, her movements were of no consequence. 
The journals of Springfield would not have wasted a line upon 
them. Now, if she but drive down Pennsylvania Avenue, 
the electric wire thrills the news to every hamlet in the Union 
which has a newspaper ; and fortunate is the correspondent 
who, in a special despatch, can give authentic particulars of 
her destination and of her dress. The lady is surrounded by 
flatterers and intriguers, seeking for influence or such places 
as she can give. As Selden says, " Those who wish to set a 
house on fire begin with the thatch." 

March 31st, .Easter Sunday. I dined with Lord Lyons 
and the members of the Legation ; the only stranger present 
being Senator Sumner. Politics were of course eschewed, 
for Mr. Sumner is Chairman of the Committee on Foreign 
Relations of the Senate, and Lord Lyons is a very discreet 
Minister ; but still there crept in a word of Pickens and Sum- 
ter, and that was all. Mr. Fox, formerly of the United States 
Navy, and since that a master of a steamer in the commercial 
marine, who is related to Mr. Blair, has been sent on some 
mission to Fort Sumter, and has been allowed to visit Major 
Anderson by the authorities at Charleston ; but it is not 
known what was the object of his mission. Everywhere there 
is Secession resignation, in a military sense of the word. The 
Southern Commissioners declare they will soon retire to 
Montgomery, and that any attempt to reinforce or supply the 
forts will be a casus belli. There is the utmost anxiety to 
know what Virginia will do. General Scott belongs to the 
State, and it is feared he may be shaken, if the State goes out. 



THE SHRINE OF WASHINGTON. 55 

Already the authorities of Richmond have intimated they will 
not allow the foundry to furnish guns to the seaboard forts, 
such as Monroe and Norfolk in Virginia. This concession 
of an autonomy is really a recognition of States Rights. 
For if a State can vote itself in or out of the Union, why can 
it not make war or peace, and accept or refuse the Federal 
Government? In fact, the Federal system is radically defec 
tive against internal convulsion, however excellent it is or 
may be for purposes of external polity. I walked home with 
Mr. Sumner to his rooms, and heard some of his views, which 
were not so sanguine as those of Mr. Seward, and I thought 
I detected a desire to let the Southern States go out with 
their slavery, if they so desired it. Mr. Chase, by the way, 
expressed sentiments of the same kind more decidedly the 
other day. 

April 1st. On Easter Monday, after breakfast with Mr. 
Olmsted, I drove over to visit Senator Douglas. Originally 
engaged in some mechanical avocation, by his ability and elo 
quence he has raised himself to the highest position in the 
State short of the Presidency, which might have been his but 
for the extraordinary success of his opponent in a fortuitous 
suffrage scramble. He is called the Little Giant, being modo 
Upedali statura, but his head entitles him to some recognition 
of intellectual height. His sketch of the causes which have 
led to the present disruption of parties, and the hazard of 
civil war, was most vivid and able ; and for more than an hour 
he spoke with a vigor of thought and terseness of phrase 
which, even on such dreary and uninviting themes as squatter 
sovereignty and the Kansas-Nebraska question, interested a 
foreigner in the man and the subject. Although his sympa 
thies seemed to go \vith the South on the question of slavery 
and territorial extension, he condemned altogether the attempt 
to destroy the Union. 

April 2d. The following day I started early, and per 
formed my pilgrimage to " the shrine of St. Washington," at 
Mount Vernon, as a foreigner on board called the place. Mr. 
Bancroft has in his possession a letter of the General s mother, 
in which she expresses her gratification at his leaving the 
British army in a manner which implies that he had been 
either extravagant in his expenses or wild in his manner of 
living. But if he had any human frailties in after life, they 
neither offended the morality of his age, nor shocked the sus 
ceptibility of his countrymen ; and from the time that the 



56 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

much maligned and unfortunate Braddock gave scope to his 
ability, down to his retirement into private life, after a career 
of singular trials and extraordinary successes, his character 
acquired each day greater altitude, strength, and lustre. Had 
his work failed, had the Republic broken up into small anar 
chical states, we should hear now little of Washington. But 
the principles of liberty founded in the original Constitution 
of the colonies themselves, and in no degree derived from or 
dependent on the Revolution, combined with the sufferings of 
the Old and the bounty of nature in the New "World to carry 
to an unprecedented degree the material prosperity, which 
Americans have mistaken for good government, and the phys 
ical comforts which have made some States in the Union the 
nearest approach to Utopia. The Federal Government hith 
erto " let the people alone," and they went on their way sing 
ing and praising their Washington as the author of so much 
greatness and happiness. To doubt his superiority to any 
man of woman born, is to insult the American people. They 
are not content with his being great or even greater than 
the great : he must be greatest of all ; " first in peace, and 
first in war." The rest of the world cannot find fault with 
the assertion, that he is " first in the hearts of his country 
men." But he was not possessed of the highest military 
qualities, if we are to judge from most of the regular actions, 
in which the British had the best of it ; and the final blow, 
when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktovvn, was struck by the 
arm of France, by Rochambeau and the French fleet, rather 
than by Washington and his Americans. He had all the 
qualities for the work for which he was designed, and is fairly 
entitled to the position his countrymen have given him as the 
immortal czar of the United States. His pictures are visible 
everywhere in the humblest inn, in the Minister s bureau, 
in the millionnaire s gallery. There are far more engravings 
of Washington in America than there are of Napoleon in 
France, and that is saying a good deal. 

What have we here ? The steamer which has been pad 
dling down the gentle current of the Potomac, here a mile 
and more in breadth, banked in by forest, through which can 
be seen homesteads and white farm-houses, in the midst of 
large clearings and corn-fields has moved in towards a 
high bluff, covered with trees, on the summit of which is vis 
ible the trace of some sort of building a ruined summer- 
house, rustic temple whatever it may be ; and the bell on 



WASHINGTON S HOUSE. 57 

deck begins to toll solemnly, and some of the pilgrims uncover 
their heads for a moment. The boat stops at a rotten, tumble 
down little pier, which leads to a waste of mud, and a path 
rudely cut through the wilderness of briers on the hill-side. 
The pilgrims, of whom there are some thirty or forty, of both 
sexes, mostly belonging to the lower classes of citizens, and 
comprising a few foreigners like myself, proceed to climb this 
steep, which seemed in a state of nature covered with prime 
val forest, and tangled weeds and briers, till the plateau, on 
which stands the house of Washington and the domestic of 
fices around it, is reached. It is an oblong wooden house, of 
two stories in height, with a colonnade towards the river face, 
and a small balcony on the top and on the level of the roof, 
over which rises a little paltry gazebo. There are two win 
dows, a glass door at one end of the oblong, and a wooden al 
cove extending towards the slave quarters, which are very 
small sentry-box huts, that have been recently painted, and 
stand at right angles to the end of the house, with dog-houses 
and poultry-hutches attached to them. There is no attempt 
at neatness or order about the place ; though the exterior of 
the house is undergoing repair, the grass is unkempt, the 
shrubs untrimmed, neglect, squalor, and chicken feathers 
have marked the lawn for their own. The house is in keep 
ing, and threatens to fall to ruin. I entered the door, and 
found myself in a small hall, stained with tobacco juice. An 
iron railing ran across the entrance to the stairs. Here stood 
a man at a gate, who presented a book to the visitors, and 
pointed out the notice therein, that " no person is permitted 
to inscribe his name in this book who does not contribute to 
the Washington Fund, and that any name put down without 
money would be erased." Notwithstanding the warning, some 
patriots succeeded in recording their names without any pecu 
niary mulct, and others did so at a most reasonable rate. 
When I had contributed in a manner which must have repre 
sented an immense amount of Washingtoniolatry, estimated 
by the standard of the day, I was informed I could not go 
up-stairs as the rooms above were closed to the public, and 
thus the most interesting portion of the house was shut from 
the strangers. The lower rooms presented nothing worthy of 
notice some lumbering, dusty, decayed furniture ; a broken 
harpsichord, dust, cobwebs no remnant of the man himself. 
But over the door of one room hung the key of the Bastille.* 
* Since borrowed, it is supposed, by Mr. Seward, and handed over 
3* 



58 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

The gardens, too, were tabooed ; but through the gate I could 
see a wilderness of neglected trees and shrubs, not unmingled 
with a suspicion of a present kitchen-ground. Let us pass to 
the Tomb, which is some distance from the house, beneath the 
shade of some fine trees. It is a plain brick mausoleum, with 
a pointed arch, barred by an iron grating, through which the 
light penetrates a chamber or small room containing two sar 
cophagi of stone. Over the arch, on a slab let into the brick, 
are the words : " Within this enclosure rest the remains of 
Gen. George Washington." The fallen leaves which had 
drifted into the chamber rested thickly on the floor, and were 
piled up on the sarcophagi, and it was difficult to determine 
which was the hero s grave without the aid of an expert, but 
there was neither guide nor guardian on the spot. Some four 
or five gravestones, of various members of the family, stand in 
the ground outside the little mausoleum. The place was most 
depressing. One felt angry with a people whose lip service 
was accompanied by so little of actual respect. The owner 
of this property, inherited from the " Pater Patrice," has been 
abused in good set terms because he asked its value from the 
country which has been so very mindful of the services of his 
ancestor, and which is now erecting by slow stages the over 
grown Cleopatra s needle that is to be a Washington Monu 
ment when it is finished. Mr. Everett has been lecturing, 
the Ladies Mount Vernon Association has been working, and 
every one has been adjuring everybody else to give liberally ; 
but the result so lately achieved is by no means worthy of 
the object. Perhaps the Americans think it is enough to say 
" Si monumentum queer is, circumspice" But, at all events, 
there is a St. Paul s round those words. 

On the return of the steamer I visited Fort Washington, 
which is situated on the left bank of the Potomac. I found 
everything in a state of neglect gun-carriages rotten, shot 
piles rusty, furnaces tumbling to pieces. The place might be 
made strong enough on the river front, but the rear is weak, 
though there is low marshy land at the back. A company of 
regulars were on duty. The sentries took no precautions 
against surprise. Twenty determined men, armed with re 
volvers, could have taken the whole work ; and, for all the 

by him to Mr. Stan ton. Lafayette gave it to Washington ; lie also 
gave his name to the Fort which lias played so conspicuous a part in 
the war for liberty "La liberte cles deux mondes," might well sigh 
it he could see his work, and what it has led to. 



THE SOUTHERN COMMISSIONERS. 59 

authorities knew, we might have had that number of Virgin 
ians and the famous Ben McCullough himself on board. Af 
terwards, when I ventured to make a remark to General 
Scott as to the carelessness of the garrison, he said : " A few 
weeks ago it might have been taken by a bottle of whiskey. 
The whole garrison consisted of an old Irish pensioner." Now 
at this very moment Washington is full of rumors of desper 
ate descents on the capital, and an attack on the President 
and his Cabinet. The long bridge across the Potomac into 
Virginia is guarded, and the militia and volunteers of the Dis 
trict of Columbia are to be called out to resist McCullough 
and his Richmond desperadoes. 

April 3d. I had an interview with the Southern Commis 
sioners to-day, at their hotel. For more than an hour I heard, 
from men of position and of different sections in the South, 
expressions which satisfied me the Union could never be re 
stored, if they truly represented the feelings and opinions of 
their fellow-citizens. They have the idea they are ministers 
of a foreign power treating with Yankeedom, and their indig 
nation is moved by the refusal of Government to negotiate 
with them, armed as they are with full authority to arrange 
all questions arising out of an amicable separation such as 
the adjustment of Federal claims for property, forts, stores, 
public works, debts, land purchases, and the like. One of the 
Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, Mr. 
Campbell, is their intermediary, and of course it is not known 
what hopes Mr. Seward has held out to him ; but there is 
some imputation of Punic faith against the Government on 
account of recent acts, and there is no doubt the Commissioners 
hear, as I do, that there are preparations at the Navy Yard 
and at New York to relieve Sumter, at any rate, with pro 
visions, and that Pickens has actually been reinforced by sea. 
In the evening I dined at the British Legation, and went over 
to the house of the Russian Minister, M. de Stoeckl, in the 
evening. The diplomatic body in Washington constitute a 
small and very agreeable society of their own, in which few 
Americans mingle except at the receptions and large evening 
assemblies. As the people now in power are novi homines, 
the wives and daughters of ministers and attaches are deprived 
of their friends who belonged to the old society in Washing 
ton, and who have either gone off to Secession, or sympathize 
so deeply with the Southern States that it is scarcely becom 
ing to hold very intimate relations with them in the face of 



60 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Government. From the house of M. de Stoeckl I went to a 
party at the residence of M. Tassara, the Spanish Minister, 
where there was a crowd of diplomats, young and old. 
Diplomatists seldom or never talk politics, and so Pickens 
and Sumter were unheard of; but it is stated nevertheless 
that Virginia is on the eve of secession, and will certainly go 
if the President attempts to use force in relieving and strength 
ening the Federal forts. 

April 4th. I had a long interview with Mr. Seward to 
day at the State Department. He set forth at great length 
the helpless condition in which the President and the Cabinet 
found themselves when they began the conduct of public af 
fairs at Washington. The last cabinet had tampered with 
treason, and had contained traitors ; a miserable imbecility 
had encouraged the leaders of the South to mature their plans, 
and had furnished them with the means of carrying out their 
design. One Minister had purposely sent away the navy of 
the United States to distant and scattered stations ; another 
had purposely placed the arms, ordnance, and munitions of 
war in undue proportions in the Southern States, and had 
weakened the Federal Government so that they might easily 
fall into the hands of the traitors and enable them to secure the 
war materiel of the Union ; a Minister had stolen the public 
funds for traitorous purposes in every port, in every de 
partment of the State, at home and abroad, on sea and by 
land, men were placed who were engaged in this deep conspir 
acy and when the voice of the people declared Mr. Lincoln 
President of the United States, they set to work as one man to 
destroy the Union under the most flimsy pretexts. The Pres 
ident s duty was clearly defined by the Constitution. lie had 
to guard what he had, and to regain, if possible, what he had 
lost. He would not consent to any dismemberment of the 
Union nor to the abandonment of one iota of Federal property 
nor could he do so if he desired. 

These and many more topics were presented to me to show 
that the Cabinet was not accountable for the temporizing pol 
icy of inaction, which was forced upon them by circumstances, 
and that they would deal vigorously with the Secession move 
ment as vigorously as Jackson did with nullification in South 
Carolina, if they had the means. But what could they do 
when such a man as Twiggs surrendered his trust and sacrificed 
the troops to a crowd of Texans ; or when naval and military 
oiFicers resigned en masse, that they might accept service in the 



MR. SEWARD S VIEWS. 61 

rebel forces ? All this excitement would come right in a very 
short time it was a brief madness, which would pass away 
when the people had opportunity for reflection. Meantime 
the danger was that foreign powers would be led to imagine 
the Federal Government was too weak to defend its rights, 
and that the attempt to destroy the Union and to set up a 
Southern Confederacy was successful. In other words, again, 
Mr. Seward fears that, in this transition state between their 
forced inaction and the coup by which they intend to strike 
down Secession, Great Britain may recognize the Government 
established at Montgomery, and is ready, if needs be, to 
threaten Great Britain with war as the consequence of such 
recognition. But he certainly assumed the existence of strong 
Union sentiments in many of the seceded States, as a basis for 
his remarks, and admitted that it would not become the spirit 
of the American Government, or of the Federal system, to use 
armed force in subjugating the Southern States against the 
will of the majority of the people. Therefore if the majority 
desire Secession, Mr. Seward would let them have it but he 
cannot believe in anything so monstrous, for to him the Federal 
Government and Constitution, as interpreted by his party, are 
divine, heaven-born. He is fond of repeating that the Fede 
ral Government never yet sacrificed any man s life on account 
of his political opinions ; but if this struggle goes on, it will 
sacrifice thousands tens of thousands, to the idea of a Fede 
ral Union. " Any attempt against us," he said, " would revolt 
the good men of the South, and arm all men in the North to 
defend their Government." 

But I had seen that day an assemblage of men doing a 
goose-step march forth dressed in blue tunics and gray 
trousers, shakoes and cross-belts, armed with musket and 
bayonet, cheering and hurrahing in the square before the War 
Department, who were, I am told, the District of Columbia 
volunteers and militia. They had indeed been visible in vari 
ous forms parading, marching, and trumpeting about the town 
with a poor imitation of French pas and elan, but they did 
not, to the eye of a soldier, give any appearance of military 
efficiency, or to the eye of the anxious statesman any indica 
tion of the animus pugnandi. Starved, washed-out creatures 
most of them, interpolated with Irish and flat-footed, stumpy 
Germans. It was matter for wonderment that the Foreign 
Minister of a nation which was in such imminent danger in 
its very capital, and which, with its chief and his cabinet, was 



62 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

almost at the mercy of the enemy, should hold the language 
I was aware he had transmitted to the most powerful nations 
of Europe. Was it consciousness of the strength of a great 
people, who would be united by the first apprehension of 
foreign interference, or was it the peculiar emptiness of a 
bombast which is called Buncombe ? In all sincerity I think 
Mr. Seward meant it as it was written. 

When I arrived at the hotel, I found our young artist wait 
ing for me, to entreat I would permit him to accompany me 
to the South. I had been annoyed by a paragraph which had 
appeared in several papers, to the effect that " The talented 
young artist, our gifted countryman, Mr. Deodore F. Moses, 
was about to accompany Mr. &c. &c., in his tour through the 
South." I had informed the young gentleman that I could 
not sanction such an announcement, whereupon he assured me 
he had not in any way authorized it, but having mentioned in 
cidentally to a person connected with the press that he was 
going to travel southwards with me, the injudicious zeal of his 
friend had led him to think he would do a service to the youth 
by making the most of the very trifling circumstance. 

I dined with Senator Douglas, where there was a large 
party, among whom were Mr. Chase, Secretary of the Treas 
ury ; Mr. Smith, Secretary of the Interior ; Mr. Forsyth, 
Southern Commissioner ; and several members of the Senate 
and Congress. Mrs. Douglas did the honors of her house 
with grace and charming good-nature. I observe a great ten 
dency to abstract speculation and theorizing among Americans, 
and their after-dinner conversation is apt to become didactic 
and sententious. Few men speak better than Senator Doug 
las ; his words are well chosen, the flow of his ideas even and 
constant, his intellect vigorous, and thoughts well cut, precise, 
and vigorous he seems a man of great ambition, and he told 
me he is engaged in preparing a sort of Zollverein scheme for 
the North American continent, including Canada, which will 
fix public attention everywhere, and may lead to a settlement 
of the Northern and Southern controversies. For his mind, 
as for that of many Americans, the aristocratic idea embodied 
in Russia is very seductive ; and he dwelt with pleasure on 
the courtesies he had received at the court of the Czar, imply 
ing that he had been treated differently in England, and per 
haps France. And yet, had Mr. Douglas become President 
of the United States, his good-will towards Great Britain might 
have been invaluable, and surely it had been cheaply pur- 



THE SOUTHERN COMMISSIONERS. 63 

chased by a little civility and attention to a distinguished citi 
zen and statesman of the Republic. Our Galleos very often 
care for none of these things. 

April 5th. Dined with the Southern Commissioners and 
a small party at Gautier s, a French restaurateur in Pennsyl 
vania Avenue. The gentlemen present were, I need not say, 
all of one way of thinking ; but as these leaves will see the 
light before the civil war is at an end, it is advisable not to 
give their names, for it would expose persons resident in 
Washington, who may not be suspected by the Government, 
to those marks of attention which they have not yet ceased to 
pay to their political enemies. Although I confess that in my 
judgment too much stress has been laid in England on the se 
verity with which the Federal authorities have acted towards 
their political enemies, who were seeking their destruc 
tion, it may be candidly admitted, that they have forfeited all 
claim to the lofty position they once occupied as a Government 
existing by moral force, and by the consent of the governed, 
to which Bastilles and lettres de cachet, arbitrary arrests, and 
doubtful, illegal, if not altogether unconstitutional, suspension 
of habeas corpus and of trial by jury were unknown. 

As Col. Pickett and Mr. Banks are notorious Secessionists, 
and Mr. Phillips has since gone South, after the arrest of his 
wife on account of her anti-federal tendencies, it may be permit 
ted to mention that they were among the guests. I had pleasure 
in making the acquaintance of Governor Roman. Mr. Craw 
ford, his brother commissioner, is a much younger man, of 
considerably greater energy and determination, but proba 
bly of less judgment. The third commissioner, Mr. Forsyth, 
is fanatical in his opposition to any suggestions of compromise 
or reconstruction ; but, indeed, upon that point, there is little 
difference of opinion amongst any of the real adherents of the 
South. Mr. Lincoln they spoke of with contempt ; Mr. Sew- 
ard they evidently regarded as the ablest and most unscrupu 
lous of their enemies ; but the tone in which they alluded to 
the whole of the Northern people indicated the clear convic 
tion that trade, commerce, the pursuit of gain, manufacture, 
and the base mechanical arts, had so degraded the whole race, 
they would never attempt to strike a blow in fair fight for 
what they prized so highly in theory and in words. Whether 
it be in consequence of some secret influence which slavery 
has upon the minds of men, or that the aggression of the North 
upon their institutions has been of a nature to excite the deep- 



64 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

est animosity and most vindictive hate, certain it is there is a 
degree of something like ferocity in the Southern mind tow 
ards New England which exceeds belief. I am persuaded 
that these feelings of contempt are extended towards England. 
They believe that we, too, have had the canker of peace upon 
us. One evidence of this, according to Southern men, is the 
abolition of duelling. This practice, according to them, is 
highly wholesome and meritorious ; and, indeed, it may be 
admitted that in the state of society which is reported to exist 
in the Southern States, it is a useful check on such men as it 
restrained in our own islands in the last century. In thj 
course of conversation, one gentleman remarked that he con 
sidered it disgraceful for any man to take money for the dis 
honor of his wife or his daughter. " With us," he said, " there 
is but one mode of dealing known. The man who dares tam 
per with the honor of a white woman, knows what he has to 
expect. We shoot him down like a dog, and no jury in the 
South will ever find any man guilty of murder for punishing 
such a scoundrel." An argument which can scarcely be allud 
ed to was used by them, to show that these offences in Slave 
States had not the excuse which might be adduced to diminish 
their gravity when they occurred in States where all the popu 
lation were white. Indeed, in this, as in some other matters 
of a similar character, slavery is their summum bonum of mo 
rality, physical excellence, and social purity. I was inclined 
to question the correctness of the standard which they had set 
up, and to inquire whether the virtue which needed this mur 
derous use of the pistol and the dagger to defend it, was not 
open to some doubt ; but I found there was very little sym 
pathy with my views among the company. 

The gentlemen at table asserted that the white men in 
the Slave States are physically superior to the men of the 
Free States ; and indulged in curious theories in morals and 
physics to which I was a stranger. Disbelief of anything a 
Northern man that is, a llepublican can say, is a fixed 
principle in their minds. I could not help remarking, when 
the conversation turned on the duplicity of Mr. Seward, and 
the wickedness of the Federal Government in refusing to give 
the assurance Sumter would not be relieved by force of arms, 
that it must be of very little consequence what promises Mr. 
Seward made, as, according to them, not the least reliance was 
to be placed on his word. The notion that the Northern men 
are cowards is justified by instances in which congressmen 



THE SOUTHERN COMMISSIONERS. 65 

have been insulted by Southern men without calling them out, 
and Mr. Sumner s case was quoted as the type of the affairs 
of the kind between the two sides. 

I happened to say that I always understood Mr. Sumner 
had been attacked suddenly and unexpectedly, and struck 
down before he could rise from his desk to defend himself ; 
whereupon a warm refutation of that version of the story 
was given, and I was assured that Mr. Brooks, who was a 
very slight man, and much inferior in height to Mr. Sumner, 
struck him a slight blow at first, and only inflicted the heavier 
strokes when irritated by the Senator s cowardly demeanor. 
In reference to some remark made about the cavaliers and 
their connection with the South, I reminded the gentleman 
that, after all, the descendants of the Puritans were not to be 
despised in battle : and that the best gentry in England were 
worsted at last by the train-bands of London, and the " rab- 
bledom " of Cromwell s Independents. 

Mr., or Colonel, Pickett, is a tall good-looking man, of 
pleasant manners, and well-educated. But this gentleman 
was a professed buccaneer, a friend of Walker, the gray-eyed 
man of destiny his comrade in his most dangerous razzie. 
He was a newspaper writer, a soldier, a filibuster ; and he 
now threw himself into the cause of the South with vehe 
mence ; it was not difficult to imagine he saw in that cause 
the realization of the dreams of empire in the south of the 
Gulf, and of conquest in the islands of the sea, which have 
such a fascinating influence over the imagination of a large 
portion of the American people. He referred to Walker s 
fate with much bitterness, and insinuated he was betrayed by 
the British officer \vho ought to have protected him. 

The acts of Mr. Floyd and Mr. Howell Cobb, which must 
be esteemed of doubtful morality, are here justified by the 
States Rights doctrine. If the States had a right to go out, 
they were quite right in obtaining their quota of the national 
property which would not have been given to them by the 
Lincolnites. Therefore, their friends were not to be censured 
because they had sent arms and money to the South. 

Altogether the evening, notwithstanding the occasional 
warmth of the controversy, was exceedingly instructive ; one 
could understand from the vehemence and force of the speak 
ers the full meaning of the phrase of " firing the Southern 
heart." so often quoted as an illustration of the peculiar force 
of political passion to be brought to bear against the Repub- 



66 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

licans in the Secession contest. Mr. Forsyth, struck me as 
being the most astute, and perhaps most capable, of the gen 
tlemen whose mission to Washington seems likely to be so 
abortive. His name is historical in America his father 
filled high office, and his son has also exercised diplomatic 
function. Despotisms and Republics of the American model 
approach each other closely. In Turkey the Pasha unem 
ployed sinks into insignificance, and the son of the Pasha 
deceased is literally nobody. Mr. Forsyth was not selected 
as Southern Commissioner on account of the political status 
acquired by his father ; but the position gained by his owr 
ability, as editor of " The Mobile Register," induced the 
Confederate authorities to select him for the post. It is quite 
possible to have made a mistake in such matters, but I am 
almost certain that the colored waiters who attended us at 
table looked as sour and discontented as could be, and seemed 
to give their service with a sort of protest. I am told that 
the tradespeople of Washington are strongly inclined to favor 
the Southern side. 

April 6th. To-day I paid a second visit to General Scott, 
who received me very kindly, and made many inquiries 
respecting the events in the Crimea and the Indian mutiny 
and rebellion. He professed to have no apprehension for the 
safety of the capital ; but in reality there are only some 700 
or 800 regulars to protect it and the Navy Yard, and two field- 
batteries, commanded by an officer of very doubtful attach 
ment to the Union. The head of the Navy Yard is openly 
accused of treasonable sympathies. 

Mr. Seward has definitively refused to hold any intercourse 
whatever with the Southern Commissioners, and they will re 
tire almost immediately from the capital. As matters look 
very threatening, I must go South and see with my own eyes 
how affairs stand there, before the two sections come to open 
rupture. Mr. Seward, the other day, in talking of the South, 
described them as being in every respect behind the age, with 
fashions, habits, level of thought, and modes of life, belonging 
to the worst part of the last century. But still he never has 
been there himself! The Southern men come up to the 
Northern cities and springs, but the Northerner rarely travels 
southwards. Indeed, I am informed, that if he were a well- 
known Abolitionist, it would not be safe for him to appear in a 
Southern city. I quite agree with my thoughtful and earnest 
friend, Olmsted, that the United States can never be con- 



OFFICE-SEEKERS. 67 

sidered as a free country till a man can speak as freely in 
Charleston as he can in New York or Boston. 

I dined with Mr. Riggs, the banker, who had an agreeable 
party to meet me. Mr. Corcoran, his former partner, who 
was present, erected at his own cost, and presented to the city, 
a fine building, to be used as an art-gallery and museum ; but 
as yet the arts which are to be found in Washington are politi 
cal and feminine only. Mr. Corcoran has a private gallery of 
pictures, and a collection, in which is the much-praised Greek 
Slave of Hiram Powers. The gentry of Columbia are 
thoroughly Virginian in sentiment, and look rather south than 
north of the Potomac for political results. The President, I 
hear this evening, is alarmed lest Virginia should become hos 
tile, and his policy, if he has any, is temporizing and timid. It 
is perfectly wonderful to hear people using the word " Gov 
ernment " at all, as applied to the President and his cabinet 
a body which has no power " according to the constitution "to 
save the country governed or itself from destruction. In fact, 
from the circumstances under which the constitution was 
framed, it was natural that the principal point kept in view 
should be the exhibition of a strong front to foreign powers, 
combined with the least possible amount of constriction on the 
internal relations of the different States. 

In the hotel the roar of office-seekers is unabated. Train 
after train adds to their numbers. They cumber the passages. 
The hall is crowded to such a degree that suffocation might 
describe the degree to which the pressure reaches, were it not 
that tobacco-smoke invigorates and sustains the constitution. 
As to the condition of the floor it is beyond description. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

New York Press Rumors as to the Southerners Visit to the Smith 
sonian Institute Pythons Evening at Mr. Seward s Eough 
draft of official despatch to Lord J. llussell Estimate of its effect 
in Europe The attitude of Virginia. 

April 1th. Raining all day, cold and wet. I am tired 
and weary of this perpetual jabber about Fort Sumter. 
Men here who know nothing at all of what is passing send 
letters to the New York papers, which are eagerly read by 
the people in Washington as soon as the journals reach the 
city, and then all these vague surmises are taken as gospel, 
and argued upon as if they were facts. The " Herald " keeps 
up the courage and spirit of its Southern friends by giving 
the most florid accounts of their prospects, and making con 
tinual attacks on Mr. Lincoln and his government ; but the 
majority of the New York papers are inclined to resist Seces 
sion and aid the Government. I dined with Lord Lyons in 
the evening, and met Mr. Sumner, Mr. Blackwell, the man 
ager of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, his wife, and 
the members of the Legation. After dinner I visited M. de 
Stoeckl, the Russian Minister, and M. Tassara, the Minister 
of Spain, who had small receptions. There were few Ameri 
cans present. As a rule, the diplomatic circle, which has, by- 
the-by, no particular centre, radii, or circumference, keeps its 
\ members pretty much within itself. The great people here 
are mostly the representatives of the South American powers, 
who are on more intimate relations with the native families 
in Washington than are the transatlantic ministers. 

April 8th. How it does rain ! Last night there were 
torrents of water in the streets literally a foot deep. It still 
runs in muddy whirling streams through the channels, and the 
rain is falling incessantly from a dull leaden sky. The air is 
warm and clammy. There are all kind of rumors abroad, 
and the barbers shops shook with " shaves " this morning. 
Sumter, of course, was the main topic. Some reported that 
the President had promised the Southern Commissioners, 



SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE. 69 

through their friend Mr. Campbell, Judge of the Supreme 
Court, not to use force in respect to Pickens or Sumter. I 
wrote to Mr. Seward, to ask him if he could enable me to 
make any definite statement on these important matters. 
The Southerners are alarmed at the accounts they have re 
ceived of great activity and preparations in the Brooklyn and 
Boston navy yards, and declare that " treachery " is meant. 
I find myself quite incapable of comprehending their position. 
How can the United States Government be guilty of " treach 
ery " toward subjects of States which are preparing to assert 
their independence, unless that Government has been guilty 
of falsehood or admitted the justice of the decision to which 
the States had arrived ? 

As soon as I had finished my letters, I drove over to the 
Smithsonian Institute, and was most kindly received by Pro 
fessor Henry, who took me through the library and museum, 
and introduced me to Professor Baird, who is great in natural 
history, and more particularly in ornithology. I promised 
the professors some skins of Himalayan pheasants, as an addi 
tion to the collection. In the library we were presented to 
two very fine and lively rock snakes, or pythons, I believe, 
some six feet long or more, which moved about with much 
grace and agility, putting out their forked tongues and hissing 
sharply when seized by the hand or menaced with a stick. I 
was told that some persons doubted if serpents hissed ; I can 
answer for it that rock snakes do most audibly. They are 
not venomous, but their teeth are sharp and needle like. 
The eye is bright and glistening ; the red forked tongue, when 
protruded, has a rapid vibratory motion, as if it were moved 
by the muscles which produce the quivering hissing noise. I 
was much interested by Professor Henry s remarks on the 
large map of the continent of North America in his study : 
he pointed out the climatic conditions which determined the 
use, profits, and necessity of slave labor, and argued that the 
vast increase of population anticipated in the valley of the 
Mississippi, and the prophecies of imperial greatness attached 
to it, were fallacious. He seems to be of opinion that most 
of the good land of America is already cultivated, and that 
the crops which it produces tend to exhaust it, so as to compel 
the cultivators eventually to let it go fallow or to use manure. 
The fact is, that the influence of the great mountain-chain in 
the west, which intercepts all the rain on the Pacific side, 
causes an immense extent of country between the eastern 



70 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

slope of the chain and the Mississippi, as well as the district 
west of Minnesota, to be perfectly dry and uninhabitable ; 
and, as far as we know, it is as worthless as a moor, except 
for the pasturage of wild cattle and the like. 

On returning to my hotel, I found a note from Mr. Seward, 
asking me to visit him at nine o clock. On going to his house, 
I was shown to the drawing-room, and found there only the 
Secretary of State, his son, and Mrs. Seward. I made a 
parti carre for a friendly rubber of whist, and Mr. Seward, 
who was my partner, talked as he played, so that the score of 
the game was not favorable. But his talk was very interest 
ing. " All the preparations of which you hear mean this only. 
The Government, finding the property of the State and Fed 
eral forts neglected and left without protection, are deter 
mined to take steps to relieve them from that neglect, and to 
protect them. But we are determined in doing so to make no 
aggression. The President s inaugural clearly shadows out 
our policy. We will not go beyond it we have no inten 
tion of doing so nor will we withdraw from it." After a 
time Mr. Seward put down his cards, and told his son to go 
for a portfolio which he would find in a drawer of his table. 
Mrs. Seward lighted the drop light of the gas, and on her 
husband s return with the paper left the room. The Secre 
tary then lit his cigar, gave one to me, and proceeded to read 
slowly and with marked emphasis, a very long, strong, and 
able despatch, which he told me was to be read by Mr. Adams, 
the American Minister in London, to Lord John Russell. It 
struck me that the tone of the paper was hostile, that there 
was an undercurrent of menace through it, and that it con 
tained insinuations that Great Britain would interfere to split 
up the Republic, if she could, and was pleased at the prospect 
of the dangers which threatened it. 

At all the stronger passages Mr. Seward raised his voice, 
and made a pause at their conclusion as if to challenge remark 
or approval. . At length I could not help saying, that the de 
spatch would, no doubt, have an excellent effect when it came 
to light in Congress, and that the Americans would think 
highly of the writer ; but I ventured to express an opinion 
that it would not be quite so acceptable to the Government 
and people of Great Britain. This Mr. Seward, as an Amer 
ican statesman, had a right to make but a secondary consider 
ation. By affecting to regard Secession as a mere political 
heresy which can be easily confuted, and by forbidding foreign 



MR. SEWARD AND SECESSION. 71 

countries alluding to it, Mr. Seward thinks he can establish 
the supremacy of his own Government, and at the same time 
gratify the vanity of the people. Even war with us may not 
be out of the list of those means which would be available for 
re-fusing the broken union into a mass once more. However, 
the Secretary is quite confident in what he calls " reaction." 
" When the Southern States," he says, " see that we mean 
them no wrong that we intend no violence to persons, rights, 
or things that the Federal Government seeks only to fulfil 
obligations imposed on it in respect to the national property, 
they will see their mistake, and one after another they will 
come back into the union." Mr. Seward anticipates this pro 
cess will at once begin, and that Secession will all be done 
and over in three months at least, so he says. It was after 
midnight ere our conversation was over, much of which of 
course I cannot mention in these pages. 

April Sth. A storm of rain, thunder, and lightning. The 
streets are converted into watercourses. From the country 
we hear of bridges washed away by inundations, and roads 
rendered impassable. Accounts from the South are gloomy, 
but the turba jRemi in Willard s are as happy as ever, at least 
as noisy and as greedy of place. By-the-by, I observe that 
my prize-fighting friend of the battered nose has been re 
warded for his exertions at last. He has been standing drinks 
all round till he is not able to stand himself, and he has ex 
pressed his determination never to forget all the people in the 
passage. I dined at the Legation in the evening, where there 
was a small party, and returned to the hotel in torrents of 
rain. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Dinner at General Scott s Anecdotes of General Scott s Early Life 
The Startling Despatch Insecurity of the Capital. 

April 10th. To-day I devoted to packing up such things 
as I did not require, and sending them to New York. I re 
ceived a characteristic note from General Scott, asking me to 
dine with him to-morrow, and apologizing for the shortness 
of his invitation, which arose from his only having just heard 
that I was about to leave so soon for the South. The Gen 
eral is much admired by his countrymen, though they do not 
spare some " amiable weaknesses ; " but, in my mind, he can 
only be accused of a little vanity, which is often found in 
characters of the highest standard. He likes to display his 
reading, and is troubled with a desire to indulge in fine writ 
ing. Some time ago he wrote a long letter to the " National 
Intelligencer," in which he quoted Shakespeare and Paley to 
prove that President Buchanan ought to have garrisoned the 
forts at Charleston and Pensacola, as he advised him to do ; 
and he has been the victim of poetic aspirations. The Gen 
eral s dinner hour was early ; and when I arrived at his mod 
est lodgings, which, however, were in the house of a famous 
French cook, I found a troop of mounted volunteers of the 
district, parading up and down the street. They were not 
ba.d of their class, and the horses, though light, were active, 
hardy, and spirited ; but the men put on their uniforms bad 
ly, wore long hair, their coats and buttons and boots were 
unbrushed, and the horses coats and accoutrements bore evi 
dence of neglect. The General, who wore an undress blue 
frock-coat, with eagle-covered brass buttons, and velvet collar 
and cuffs, was with Mr. Seward and Mr. Bates, the Attorney- 
General, and received me very courteously. He was inter 
rupted by cheering from the soldiers in the street, and by 
clamors for " General Scott." He moves with difficulty, 
owing to a fall from his horse, and from the pressure of in 
creasing years ; and he evidently would not have gone out 



DINNER AT GENERAL SCOTT S. 73 

if he could have avoided it. But there is no privacy for pub 
lic men in America. 

But the General went to them, and addressed a few words 
to his audience in the usual style about " rallying round," and 
"dying gloriously," and "old flag of our country," and all 
that kind of thing ; after which, the band struck up " Yankee 
Doodle." Mr. Seward called out, " General, make them play 
the i Star-Spangled Banner, and Hail Columbia. " And so 
I was treated to the strains of the old bacchanalian chant, 
" When Bibo," &c., which the Americans have impressed to 
do duty as a national air. Then came an attempt to play 
" God save the Queen," which I duly appreciated as a com 
pliment ; and then followed dinner, which did credit to the 
cook, and wine, which was most excellent, from France, 
Spain, and Madeira. The only addition to our party was 
Major Cullum, aide-de-camp to General Scott, an United 
States engineer, educated at West Point. The General un 
derwent a little badinage about the phrase " a hasty plate of 
soup," which he used in one of his despatches during the 
Mexican War, and he appealed to me to decide whether it 
was so erroneous or ridiculous as Mr. Seward insisted. I 
said I was not a judge, but certainly similar liberal usage of 
a w r ell-known figure of prosody might be found to justify the 
phrase. The only attendants at table were the General s 
English valet and a colored servant ; and the table apparatus 
which bore such good things was simple and unpretending. 
Of course the conversation was of a general character, and 
the General, evidently picking out his words with great pre 
cision, took the lead in it, telling anecdotes of great length, 
graced now and then with episodes, and fortified by such 
episodes as " Bear with me, dear sir, for a while, that I 
may here diverge from the main current of my story, and 
proceed to mention a curious " &c., and so on. 

To me his conversation was very interesting, particularly 
that portion which referred to his part in the last war, where 
he was wounded and taken prisoner. He gave an account of 
the Battle of Chippewa, which was, he said, fought on true 
scientific principles ; and in the ignorance common to most 
Englishmen of reverses to their arms, I was injudicious 
enough, when the battle was at its height, and whole masses 
of men were moving in battalions and columns over the table, 
to ask how many were engaged. The General made the 
most of his side : " We had, sir, twenty-one hundred and sev- 
4 



74 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

enty-five men in the field/ He told us how. when the Brit 
ish men-of-war provoked general indignation in Virginia by 
searching American vessels for deserters in the Chesapeake, 
the State of Virginia organized a volunteer force to guard the 
shores, and, above all things, to prevent the country people 
sending down supplies to the vessels, in pursuance of the 
orders of the Legislature and Governor. Young Scott, then 
reading for the bar, became corporal of a troop of these pa 
trols. One night, as they were on duty by the banks of the 
Potomac, they heard a boat with muffled oars coming rapidly 
down the river, and soon saw her approaching quite close to 
the shore under cover of the trees. When she was abreast 
of the troopers, Scott challenged " What boat is that ? " 
" It s His Majesty s ship Leopard, and what the d - is 
that to you ? Give way, my lads ! " "I at once called on 
him to surrender," said the General, " and giving the word to 
charge, we dashed into the water. Fortunately, it was not 
deep, and the midshipman in charge, taken by surprise by a 
superior force, did not attempt to resist us. We found the 
boat manned by four sailors, and filled with vegetables and 
other supplies, and took possession of it ; and I believe it is 
the first instance of a man-of-war s boat being captured by 
cavalry. The Legislature of Virginia, however, did not ap 
prove of the capture, and the officer was given up accord- 



"Many years afterwards, when I visited Europe, I hap 
pened to be dining at the hospitable mansion of Lord Holland, 
and observed during the banquet that a gentleman at table 
was scrutinizing my countenance in a manner indicative of 
some special curiosity. Several times, as my eye wandered 
in his direction, I perceived that he had been continuing his 
investigations, and at length I rebuked him by a continuous 
glance. After dinner, this gentleman came round to me and 
said, General Scott, I hope you will pardon my rudeness in 
staring at you, but the fact is that you bear a most remarkable 
resemblance to a great overgrown, clumsy country fellow of 
the same name, who took me prisoner in my boat when I was 
a midshipman in the " Chesapeake," at the head of a body of 
mounted men. He was, I remember quite well, Corporal 
Scott. That Corporal Scott, sir, and the individual who 
addresses you, are identical one with the other. The officer 
whose acquaintance I thus so auspiciously renewed, was 
Captain Fox, a relation of Lord Holland, and a post-captain 
in the British navy." 



CONVERSATION AND ANECDOTES. 75 

Whilst he was speaking, a telegraphic despatch was brought 
in, which the General perused with evident uneasiness. He 
apologized to me for reading it by saying the despatch was 
from the President on Cabinet business, and then handed it 
across the table to Mr. Seward. The Secretary read it, and 
became a little agitated, and raised his eyes inquiringly to the 
General s face, who only shook his head. Then the paper was 
given to Mr. Bates, who read it, and gave a grunt, as it were, 
of surprise. The General took back the paper, read it twice 
over, and then folded it up and put it in his pocket. " You 
had better not put it there, General," interposed Mr. Seward ; 
" it will be getting lost, or in some other hands." And so the 
General seemed to think, for he immediately threw it into the 
fire, before which certain bottles of claret were gently mel 
lowing. 

The communication was evidently of a very unpleasant 
character. In order to give the Ministers opportunity for a 
conference, I asked Major Cullum to accompany me into the 
garden, and lighted a cigar. As I was walking about in the 
twilight, I observed two figures at the end of the little enclo 
sure, standing as if in concealment close to the wall. Major 
Cullum said, " The men you see are sentries I have thought it 
expedient to place there for the protection of the General. 
The villains might assassinate him, and would do it in a mo 
ment if they could. He would not hear of a guard, nor any 
thing of the sort, so, without his knowing it, I have sentries 
posted all round the house all night. This was a curious 
state of things for the commander of the American army, in 
the midst of a crowded city, the capital of the free and enlight 
ened Republic, to be placed in ! On our return to the sitting- 
room, the conversation was continued some hour or so longer. 
I retired with Mr. Seward in his carriage. As we were 
going up Pennsylvania Avenue almost lifeless at that time 
I asked Mr. Seward whether he felt quite secure against 
any irruption from Virginia, as it was reported that one Ben 
McCullough, the famous Texan desperado, had assembled 
500 men at Richmond for some daring enterprise : some said 
to carry off the President, cabinet, and all. He replied that, 
although the capital was almost defenceless, it must be remem 
bered that the bold bad men who were their enemies were 
equally unprepared for active measures of aggression. 



CHAPTER X. 

Preparation for war at Charlestown My own departure for the South 
ern States Arrival at Baltimore Commencement of hostilities 
at Fort Sumter Bombardment of the Fort General feeling as 
to North and South Slavery First impressions of the City of 
Baltimore Departure by steamer. 

April 12th. This morning I received an intimation that 
the Government had resolved on taking decisive steps which 
would lead to a development of events in the South and test 
the sincerity of Secession. The Confederate general at 
Charleston, Beauregard, has sent to the Federal officer in 
command at Sumter, Major Anderson, to say, that all commu 
nication between his garrison and the city must cease ; and, 
at the same time, or probably before it, the Government at 
Washington informed the Confederate authorities that they 
intended to forward supplies to Major Anderson, peaceably if 
permitted, but at all hazards to send them. The Charleston 
people are manning the batteries they have erected against 
Sumter, have fired on a vessel under the United States flag, 
endeavoring to communicate with the fort, and have called out 
and organized a large force in the islands opposite the place 
and in the city of Charleston. 

I resolved, therefore, to start for the Southern States to-day, 
proceeding by Baltimore to Norfolk instead of going by Rich 
mond, which was cut off by the floods. Before leaving, I 
visited Lord Lyons, Mr. Seward, the French and Russian 
Ministers ; left cards on the President, Mrs. Lincoln, General 
Scott, Mr. Douglas, Mr. Sumner, and others. There was no 
appearance of any excitement in Washington, but Lord Lyons 
mentioned, as an unusual circumstance, that he had received 
no telegraphic communication from Mr. Bunch, the British 
Consul at Charleston. Some ladies said to me that when I 
came back I would find some nice people at Washington, and 
that the rail-splitter, his wife, the Sewards, and all the rest of 
them, would be driven to the place where they ought to be : 
" Varina Davis is a lady, at all events, not like the other. 



ARRIVAL AT BALTIMORE. 77 

We can t put up with such people as these ! " A naval officer 
whom I met, told me, " if the Government are really going 
to try force at Charleston, you ll see they ll be beaten, and 
we ll have a war between the gentlemen and the Yankee row 
dies ; if they attempt violence, you know how that will end." 
The Government are so uneasy that they have put soldiers 
into the Capitol, and are preparing it for defence. 

At 6 p. M. I drove to the Baltimore station in a storm of 
rain, accompanied by Mr. Warre, of the British Legation. 
In the train there was a crowd of people, many of them dis 
appointed place-hunters, and much discussion took place re 
specting the propriety of giving supplies to Sumter by force, 
the weight of opinion being against the propriety of such a 
step. The tone in which the President and his cabinet were 
spoken of was very disrespectful. One big man, in a fur coat, 
who was sitting near me, said, " Well, darn me if I wouldn t 
draw a bead on Old Abe, Seward aye, or General Scott 
himself, though I ve got a perty good thing out of them, if 
they due try to use their soldiers and sailors to beat down 
States Rights. If they want to go they ve a right to go." 
To which many said, " That s so ! That s true ! " 

When we arrived at Baltimore, at 8 P. M., the streets were 
deep in water. A coachman, seeing I was a stranger, asked 
me two dollars, or 85. 4d., to drive to the Eutaw House, a 
quarter of a mile distance ; but I was not surprised, as I had 
paid three-and-a-half and four dollars to go to dinner and re 
turn to the hotel in Washington. On my arrival, the land 
lord, no less a person than a major or colonel, took me aside, 
and asked me if I had heard the news. "No, what is it?" 
" The President of the Telegraph Company tells me he has 
received a message from his clerk at Charleston that the bat 
teries have opened fire on Sumter because the Government 
has sent down a fleet to force in supplies." The news had, 
however, spread. The hall and bar of the hotel were full, 
and I was asked by many people whom I had never seen in 
my life, what my opinions were as to the authenticity of the 
rurnor. There was nothing surprising in the fact that the 
Charleston people had resented any attempt to reinforce the 
forts, as I was aware, from the language of the Southern. 
Commissioners, that they would resist any such attempt to the 
last, and make it a casus and causa belli. 

April 14:th. The Eutaw House is not a very good speci 
men of an American hotel, but the landlord does his best to 



78 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

make his guests comfortable, when he likes them. The 
American landlord is a despot who regulates his dominions by 
ukases affixed to the walls, by certain state departments called 
" offices " and " bars," and who generally is represented, whilst 
he is away on some military, political, or commercial under 
taking, by a lieutenant; the deputy being, if possible, a 
greater man than the chief. It requires so much capital to 
establish a large hotel, that there is little fear of external com 
petition in the towns. And Americans are so gregarious that 
they will not patronize small establishments. 

I was the more complimented by the landlord s attention 
this morning when he came to the room, and in much excite 
ment informed me the news of Fort Sumter being bombarded 
by the Charleston batteries was confirmed, "And now," said 
he, " there s no saying where it will all end." 

After breakfast I was visited by some gentlemen of Balti 
more, who were highly delighted with the news, and I learned 
from them there was a probability of their State joining those 
which had seceded. The whole feeling of the landed and 
respectable classes is with the South. The dislike to the 
Federal Government at Washington is largely spiced with 
personal ridicule and contempt of Mr. Lincoln. Your Mary- 
lander is very tenacious about being a gentleman, and what he 
does not consider gentlemanly is simply unfit for any thing, far 
less for place and authority. 

The young draftsman, of whom I spoke, turned up this 
morning, having pursued me from Washington. He asked 
me whether I would still let him accompany me. I observed 
that I had no objection, but that I could not permit such para 
graphs in the papers again, and suggested there would be no 
difficulty in his travelling by himself, if he pleased. He re 
plied that his former connection with a Black Republican 
paper might lead to his detention or molestation in the South, 
but that if he was allowed to come with me, no one would 
doubt that he was employed by an illustrated London paper. 
The young gentleman will certainly never lose any thing for 
the want of asking. 

At the black barber s I was meekly interrogated by my 
attendant as to my belief in the story of the bombardment. 
He was astonished to find a stranger could think the event 
was probable. " De geri lemen of Baltimore will be quite 
glad ov it. But maybe it ll come bad after all." I discovered 
my barber had strong ideas that the days of slavery were 



DESCRIPTION OF BALTIMORE. 79 

drawing to an end. " And what will take place then, do you 
think ? " " Wall, sare, spose colored men will be good as 
white men." That is it. They do not understand what a 
vast gulf flows between them and the equality of position with 
the white race which most of those who have aspirations 
imagine to be meant by emancipation. He said the town 
slave-owners were very severe and harsh in demanding 
larger sums than the slaves could earn. The slaves are sent 
out to do jobs, to stand for hire, to work on the quays and 
docks. Their earnings go to the master, who punishes them 
if they do riot bring home enough. Sometimes the master is 
content with a fixed sum, and all over that amount which the 
slave can get may be retained for his private purposes. 

Baltimore looks more ancient and respectable than the 
towns 1 have passed through, and the site on which it stands 
is undulating, so that the houses have not that flatness and 
uniformity of height which make the streets of New York 
and Philadelphia resemble those of a toy city magnified. 
Why Baltimore should be called the "Monumental City" 
could not be divined by a stranger. He would never think 
that a great town of 250,000 inhabitants could derive its 
name from an obelisk cased in white marble to George 
Washington, even though it be more than 200 feet high, nor 
from the grotesque column called " Battle Monument," 
erected to the memory of those who fell in the skirmish out 
side the city in which the British were repulsed in 1814. I 
could not procure any guide to the city worth reading, and 
strolled about at discretion, after a visit to the Maryland 
Club, of which I was made an honorary member. At dark I 
started for Norfolk in the steamer " Georgiana." 



CHAPTER XI. 

Scenes on board an American steamer The "Merrimac" Irish 
sailors in America Norfolk A telegram on Sunday; news 
from the seat of war American "chaff" and our Jack Tars. 

Sunday, April 14. A night of disturbed sleep, owing to 
the ponderous thumping of the walking beam close to my 
head, the whizzing of steam, and the roaring of the steam- 
trumpet to warn vessels out of the way mosquitoes, too, 
had a good deal to say to me in spite of my dirty gauze 
curtains. Soon after dawn the vessel ran alongside the jetty 
at Fortress Monroe, and I saw indistinctly the waterface 
of the work which is in some danger of being attacked, it is 
said, by the Virginians. There was no flag on the staff 
above the walls, and the place looked dreary and desolate. 
It has a fine bastioned profile, with moat and armed lunettes 
the casemates were bricked up or occupied by glass 
windows, and all the guns I could make out were on the 
parapets. A few soldiers were lounging on the jetty, and 
after we had discharged a tipsy old officer, a few negroes, 
and some parcels, the steam-pipe brayed it does not whis 
tle again, and we proceeded across the mouth of the 
channel and James River towards Elizabeth River, on which 
stand Portsmouth and Gosport. 

Just as I was dressing, the door opened, and a tall, neatly 
dressed negress came in and asked me for my ticket. She 
told me she was ticket-collector for the boat, and that she was 
a slave. The latter intelligence was given without any re 
luctance or hesitation. On my way to the upper deck I ob 
served the bar was crowded by gentlemen engaged in con 
suming, or wailing for, cocktails or mint-juleps. The latter, 
however, could not be had just now in such perfection as 
usual, owing to the inferior condition of the mint. In the 
matter of drinks, how hospitable the Americans are ! I was 
asked to take as many as would have rendered me incapable 
of drinking again; my excuse on the plea of inability to 



NORFOLK NAVY YARD. 81 

grapple with cocktails and the like before breakfast, was 
heard with surprise, and I was urgently entreated to abandon 
so bad a habit. 

A clear, fine sun rose from the waters of the bay up into 
the purest of pure blue skies. On our right lay a low coast 
fringed with trees, and wooded densely with stunted forest, 
through which creeks could be seen glinting far through the 
foliage. Anxious looking little wooden lighthouses, hard set 
to preserve their equilibrium in the muddy waters, and bent 
at various angles, marked the narrow channels to the towns 
and hamlets on the banks, the principal trade and occupation 
of which are oyster selling and oyster eating. We are 
sailing over wondrous deposits and submarine crops of the 
much-loved bivalve. Wooden houses painted white appear 
on the shores, and one large building with wings and a cen 
tral portico surmounted by a belvedere, destined for the 
reception of the United States sailors in sickness, is a strik 
ing object in the landscape. 

The steamer in a few minutes came along-side a dirty, 
broken-down, wooden quay, lined with open booths, on which 
a small crowd, mostly of negroes, had gathered. Behind the 
shed there rose tiled and shingled roofs of mean dingy houses, 
and we could catch glimpses of the line of poor streets, nar 
row, crooked, ill-paved, surmounted by a few church-steeples, 
and the large sprawling advertisement-boards of the tobacco- 
stores and oyster-sellers, which was all we could see of Ports 
mouth or Gosport. Our vessel was in a narrow creek ; at 
one side was the town in the centre of the stream the old 
" Pennsylvania," intended to be of 120 guns, but never com 
missioned, and used as receiving ship, was anchored along 
side the wall of the Navy Yard below us, lay the " Merri- 
rnac," apparently in ordinary. The only man-of-war fit for 
sen was a curiosity a stumpy bluff-bowed, Dutch-built look 
ing sloop, called the " Cumberland." Two or three smaller 
vessels, dismasted, were below the " Merrimac," and we could 
just see the building-sheds in which were one or two others, 
I believe, on the stocks. A fleet of oyster-boats anchored, or 
in sailless observance of the Sunday, dotted the waters. 
There was an ancient and fishlike smell about the town worthy 
of its appearance and of its functions as a seaport. As the 
vessel came close along-side, there was the usual greeting be 
tween friends, and many a cry, " Well, you ve heard the news ? 
The Yankees out of Sumter ! Isn t it fine ! " There were 
4* 



82 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

few who did not participate in that sentiment, but there were 
some who looked black as night and said nothing. 

Whilst we were waiting for the steam ferry-boat, which 
plies to Norfolk at the other side of the creek, to take us over, 
a man-of-war boat pulled along-side, and the coxswain, a hand 
some, fine-looking sailor, came on deck, and, as I happened to 
be next him, asked me if Captain Blank had come down with 
us? I replied, that I did not know, but that the captain 
could tell him no doubt. u He ? " said the sailor, pointing 
with great disgust to the skipper of the steamer. " Why he 
knows nothin of his passengers, except how many dollars 
they come to," and started off to prosecute his inquiries among 
the other passengers. The boat along-side was clean, and 
was manned by six as stout fellows as ever handled an oar. 
Two I made sure of were Englishmen, and when the cox 
swain was retiring from his fruitless search, I asked him 
where he hailed from. " The Cove of Cork. I was in the 
navy nine years, but when I got on the West Ingy Station, I 
heerd how Uncle Sam treated his fellows, and so I joined 
him." " Cut and run, I suppose ?" " Well, not exactly. I 
got away, sir. Emigrated, you know ! " " Are there any other 
Irishmen or Englishmen on board ? " "I should think there 
was. That man in the bow there is a mate of mine, from the 
sweet Cove of Cork ; Driscoll by name, and there s a Belfast 
man pulls number two ; and the stroke, and the chap that 
pulls next to him is Englishmen, and fine sailors they 
are, Bates and Rookey. They were in men-of-war too." 
" What ! five out of seven, British subjects ! " " Oh, ay, 
that is we onst was most of us now are Mericans, I 
think. There s plenty more of us aboard the ship." 

The steam ferry was a rickety affair, and combined with 
the tumble-down sheds and quays to give a poor idea of 
Norfolk. The infliction of tobacco-juice on board was re 
markable. Although it was but seven o clock every one had 
his quid in working order, and the air was filled with yellow 
ish-brown rainbows and liquid parabolas, which tumbled in 
spray or in little flocks of the weed on the foul decks. As it 
was Sunday, some of the numerous flagstaffs which adorn the 
houses in both cities displayed the United States bunting ; 
but nothing could relieve the decayed air of Norfolk. The 
omnibus which was waiting to receive us must have been the 
earliest specimen of carriage building in that style on the 
continent; and as it lunged and flopped over the prodigious 



THE ATLANTIC HOTEL. 83 

bad pavement, the severe nature of which was aggravated by 
a street railway, it opened the seams as if it were going to 
fall into firewood. The shops were all closed, of course ; but 
the houses, wooden and brick, were covered with signs and 
placards indicative of large trade in tobacco and oysters. 

Poor G. P. R. James, who spent many years here, could 
have scarce caught a novel from such a place, spite of great 
oy.-ters, famous wild fowl, and the lauded poultry and vege 
tables which are produced in the surrounding district?. There 
is not a hill for the traveller to ascend towards the close of a 
summer s day, nor a moated castle for a thousand miles around. 
An execrable, tooth-cracking drive ended at last in front of the 
Atlantic Hotel, where I was doomed to take up my quarters. 
It is a dilapidated, uncleanly place, with tobacco-stained floor, 
full of flies and strong odors. The waiters were all slaves : 
untidy, slipshod, and careless creatures. I was shut up in a 
small room, with the usual notice on the door, that the propri 
etor would not be responsible for anything, and that you were 
to lock your doors for fear of robbers, and that you must take 
your meals at certain hours, and other matters of the kind. 
My umbra went over to Gosport to take some sketches, he 
said ; and after a poor meal, in a long room filled with " cit 
izens," all of them discussing Sumter, I went out into the 
street. 

The people, I observe, are of a new and marked type, 
very tall, loosely yet powerfully made, with dark complex 
ions, strongly-marked features, prominent noses, large angular 
mouths in square jaws, deep-seated bright eyes, low, narrow 
foreheads, and are all of them much given to ruminate 
tobacco. The bells of the churches were tolling, and I turned 
into one; but the heat, great enough outside, soon became 
nearly intolerable ; nor was it rendered more bearable by my 
proximity to some blacks, who were, I presume, servants or 
slaves of the great people in the forward pews. The clergy 
man or minister had got to the Psalms, when a bustle arose 
near the door which attracted his attention, and caused all to 
turn round. Several persons were standing up and whispering, 
whilst others were stealing on tiptoe out of the church. The 
influence extended itself gradually and all the men near the 
door were leaving rapidly. The minister, obviously interested, 
continued to read, raising his eyes towards the door. At last 
the persons near him rose up and walked boldly forth, and I 
at length followed the example, and getting into the street, 



84 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

saw men running towards the hotel. " What is it ? " exclaimed 
I to one. " Come along, the telegraph s in at the * Day Book. 
The Yankees are whipped!" and so continued. I came at 
last to a crowd of men, struggling, with their faces toward the 
wall of a shabby house, increased by fresh arrivals, and di 
minished by those who, having satisfied their curiosity, came 
elbowing forth in a state of much excitement, exultation, and 
perspiration. " It s all right enough ! " " Didn t I tell you 
so?" "Bully for Beauregard and the Palmetto State!" I 
shoved on, and read at last the programme of the cannonade 
and bombardment, and of the effects upon the fort, on a dirty 
piece of yellowish paper on the wall. It was a terrible writing. 
At all the street corners men were discussing the news with 
every symptom of joy and gratification. Now I confess I 
could not share in the excitement at all. The act seemed to 
me the prelude to certain war. 

I walked up the main street, and turned up some of the al 
leys to have a look at the town, coming out on patches of water 
and bridges over the creeks, or sandy lanes shaded by trees, 
and lined here and there by pretty wooden villas, painted in 
bright colors. Everywhere negroes, male and female, gaudily 
dressed or in rags ; the door-steps of the narrow lanes swarm 
ing with infant niggerdom big-stomached, curve-legged, 
rugged-headed, and happy tumbling about dim-eyed tooth 
less hags, or thick-lipped mothers. Not a word were they 
talking about Sumter. "Any news to-day?" said I to a re 
spectable-looking negro in a blue coat and brass buttons, 
wonderful hat, and vest of amber silk, check trousers, and 
very broken-down shoes. " Well, sare, I tink nothin much 
occur. Der hem afire at Squire Nichol s house last night ; 
least way so I hear, sare." Squire, let me say parenthetically, 
is used to designate justices of the peace. Was it a very 
stupid poco-curante, or a very cunning, subtle Sambo? 

In my walk I arrived at a small pier, covered with oyster 
shells, which projected into the sea. Around it, on both sides, 
were hosts of schooners and pungys, smaller half-decked boats, 
waiting for their load of the much-loved fish for Washington, 
Baltimore, and Richmond. Some brigs and large vessels lay 
along-side the wharves and large warehouses higher up the 
creek. Observing a small group at the end of the pier, I 
walked on, and found that they consisted of fifteen or twenty 
well-dressed mechanical kind of men, busily engaged in " chaf 
fing," as Cockneys would call it, the crew of the man-of-war 



AN INCIPIENT ROW. 85 

boat I had seen in the morning. The sailors were stretched 
on the thwarts, some rather amused, others sullen at the or 
deal. " You better just pull down that cussed old rag of 
yours, and bring your old ship over to the Southern Confed 
eracy. I guess we can take your * Cumberland whenever 
we like ! Why don t you go, and touch off your guns at 
Charleston ? " Presently the coxswain came down with a 
parcel under his arm, and stepped into the boat. " Give way, 
my lads ; " and the oars dipped in the water. When the boat 
had gone a few yards from the shore, the crowd cried out : 
" Down with the Yankees ! Hurrah for the Southern Con 
federacy ! " and some among them threw oyster shells at the 
boat, one of which struck the coxswain on the head. " Back 
water ! Back water all. Hard ! " he shouted ; and as the 
boat s stern neared the land, he stood up and made a leap in 

among the crowd like a tiger. " You cowardly d d set. 

Who threw the shells ? " No one answered at first, but a 
little wizened man at last squeaked out : " I guess you ll have 
shells of another kind if you remain here much longer." The 
sailor howled with rage : " Why, you poor devils, I d whip 
any half-dozen of you, teeth, knives, and all in five min 
utes ; and my boys there in the boat would clear your whole 
town. What do you mean by barking at the Stars and 
Stripes ? Do you see that ship ? " he shouted, pointing tow 
ards the " Cumberland." " Why the lads aboard of her 
would knock every darned seceder in your State into a 
cocked hat in a brace of shakes ! And now who s coining 
on ? " The invitation was not accepted, and the sailor with 
drew, with his angry eyes fixed on the people, who gave him 
a kind of groan ; but there were no oyster shells this time. 
" In spite of his blowing, I tell yer," said one of them, " there s 
some good men from old Virginny abo rd o that ship that will 
never fire a shot agin us." " Oh, we ll fix her right enough," 
remarked another, " when the time comes." I returned to 
my room, sat down, and wrote for some hours. The dinner 
in the Atlantic Hotel was of a description to make one wish 
the desire for food had never been invented. My neighbor 
said he was not " quite content about this Sumter business. 
There s nary one killed nor wownded." 

Sunday is a very dull day in Norfolk, no mails, no post, 
no steamers ; and, at the best, Norfolk must be dull exceed 
ingly. The superintendent of the Seaboard and Roanoke Rail 
way, having heard that I was about proceeding to Charleston, 



86 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

called upon me to offer every facility in his power. Sent 
Moses with letters to post-office. At night the mosquitoes 
were very aggressive and successful. This is the first place 
in which the bedrooms are unprovided with gas. A mutton 
dip almost made me regret the fact. 



CHAPTER XII. 

Portsmouth Railway journey through the forest The great Dis 
mal Swamp American newspapers Cattle on the line Ne 
gro labor On through the Pine Forest The Confederate flag 

Goldsborough ; popular excitement Weldon Wilmington 

The Vigilance Committee. 

Monday, April 15. Up at dawn. Crossed by ferry to 
Portsmouth, and arrived at railway station, which was at no 
place in particular, in a street down which the rails were laid. 
Mr. Robinson, the superintendent, gave me permission to take 
a seat in the engine car, to which I mounted accordingly, was 
duly introduced to, and shook hands with the engineer and 
the stoker, and took my seat next the boiler. Can any solid 
reason be given why we should not have those engine sheds 
or cars in England ? They consist of a light frame placed on 
the connection of the engine with the tender, and projecting 

/so as to include the end of the boiler and the stoke-hole. 
They protect the engineer from rain, storm, sun, or dust. 
Windows at each side afford a clear view in all directions, 
and the engineer can step out on the engine itself by the 
doors on the front part of the shed. There is just room for 
four persons to sit uncomfortably, the persons next the boiler 
being continually in dread of roasting their legs at the fur 
nace, and those next the tender being in danger of getting 
logs of wood from it shaken down on their feet. Neverthe 
less I rarely enjoyed anything more than that trip. It is true 
one s enjoyment was marred by want of breakfast, for I could 
not manage the cake of dough and the cup of bitter, sour, 
greasy nastiness, called coffee, which were presented to me in 
lieu of that meal this morning. 

But the novelty of the scene through which I passed atoned 
for the small privation. I do not speak of the ragged streets 
and lines of sheds through which the train passed, with the 
great bell of the engine tolling as if it were threatening death 
to the early pigs, cocks, hens, and negroes and dogs which 



88 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

walked between the rails the latter, by the by, were always 
the first to leave the negroes generally divided with the 
pigs the honor of making the nearest stand to the train nor 
do I speak of the miserable suburbs of wooden shanties, nor 
of the expanse of inundated lands outside the town. Passing 
all these, we settled down at last to our work : the stoker fired 
up, the engine rattled along over the rugged lane between the 
trees which now began to sweep around us from the horizon, 
where they rose like the bank of a river or the shores of a 
sea, and presently we plunged into the gloom of the primeval 
forest, struggling as it were, with the last wave of the deliige. 

The railroad, leaving the land, boldly leaped into the air, 
and was carried on frailest cobweb-seeming tracery of wood 
far above black waters, from which rose a thick growth and 
upshooting of black stems of dead trees, mingled with the 
trunks and branches of others still living, throwing out a most 
luxuriant vegetation. The trestle-work over which the train 
was borne, judged by the eye, was of the slightest possible 
construction. Sometimes one series of trestles was placed 
above another, so that the cars ran on a level with the tops 
of the trees ; and, looking down, we could see before the train 
passed the inky surface of the waters, broken into rings and 
agitated, round the beams of wood. The trees were draped 
with long creepers and shrouds of Spanish moss, which fell 
from branch to branch, smothering the leaves in their clammy 
embrace, or waving in pendulous folds in the air. Cypress, 
live-oak, the dogwood, and pine struggled for life with the 
water, and about their stems floated balks of timber, waifs and 
strays carried from the rafts by flood, or the forgotten spoils of 
the lumberer. On these lay tortoises, turtles, and enormous 
frogs, which lifted their heads with a lazy curiosity when the 
train rushed by, or flopped into the water as if the sight and 
noise were too much for their nerves. Once a dark body of 
greater size plashed into the current which marked the course 
of a river. " There s many allygaitors come up here at times," 
said the engineer, in reply to my question ; " but I don t take 
much account of them." 

When the trestle-work ceased, the line was continued 
through the same description of scenery, generally in the 
midst of water, on high embankments which were continually 
cut by black rapid streams, crossed by bridges on trestles of 
great span. The strange tract we are passing through is the 
" Dismal Swamp," a name which must have but imperfectly 



AN AMERICAN ENGINEER. 89 

expressed its horrors before the railway had traversed its out 
skirts, and the canal, which is constructed in its midst, left 
traces of the presence of man in that remnant of the world s 
exit from the flood. In the centre of this vast desolation there 
is a large loch, called " Lake Drummond," in the jungle and 
brakes around which the runaway slaves of the plantations 
long harbored, and once or twice assembled bands of depreda 
tors, which were hunted down, broken up, and destroyed like 
wild beasts. 

Mr. Robinson, a young man some twenty-seven years of 
age, was an excellent representative of the young American 
full of intelligence, well-read, a little romantic in spite of 
his practical habits and dealing with matters of fact, much at 
tached to the literature, if not to the people, of the old coun 
try ; and so far satisfied that English engineers knew some 
thing of their business, as to be anxious to show that American 
engineers were not behind them. He asked me about Wash 
ington politics with as much interest as if he had never read a 
newspaper. I made a remark to that effect. " Oh, sir, we 
can t believe," exclaimed he, " a word we read in our papers. 
They tell a story one day, to contradict it the next. We never 
know when to trust them, and that s one reason, I believe, 
yea find us all so anxious to ask questions and get informa- 
t on from gentlemen we meet travelling." Of the future he 
jpoke with apprehension ; " but," said he, " I am here repre 
senting the interests of a large number of Northern sharehold 
ers, and I will do my best for them. If it comes to blows 
after this, they will lose all, and I must stand by my own 
friends down South, though I don t belong to it." 

So we rattle on, till the scene, at first so attractive, becomes 
dreary and monotonous, and I tire of looking out for larger 
turtles or more alligators. The silence of these woods is op 
pressive. There is no sign of life where the train passes 
through the water, except among the amphibious creatures. 
After a time, however, when we draw out of the swamp and 
get into a dry patch, wild, ragged-looking cattle may be seen 
staring at us through the trees, or tearing across the rail, and 
herds of porkers, nearly in the wild-boar stage, scuttle over 
the open. Then the engineer opens the valve ; the sonorous 
roar of the engine echoes though the woods, and now and then 
there is a little excitement caused by a race between a pig 
and the engine, and piggy is occasionally whipped off his legs 
by the cow-lifter, and hoisted volatile into the ditch at one 



90 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

side. When a herd of cattle, however, get on the line and 
show fight, the matter is serious. The steam horn is sounded, 
the bell rung, and steam is eased oft , and every means used to 
escape collision ; for the railway company is obliged to pay 
the owner for whatever animals the trains kill, and a cow s 
body on one of these poor rails is an impediment sufficient to 
throw the engine off, and u send us to immortal smash." 

It was long before we saw any workmen or guards on the 
line ; but at one place I got out to look at a shanty of one of 
the road watchmen. It was a building of logs, some twenty feet 
long by twelve feet broad, made in the rudest manner, with an 
earthen roof, and mud stuffed and plastered between the logs 
to keep out the rain. Although the day was exceedingly hot, 
there were two logs blazing on the hearth, over which was 
suspended a pot of potatoes. The air inside was stifling, and 
the black beams of the roof glistened with a clammy sweat 
from smoke and unwholesome vapors. There was not an ar 
ticle of furniture, except a big deal chest and a small stool, in 
the place ; a mug and a teacup stood on a rude shelf nailed to 
the wall. The owner of this establishment, a stout negro, was 
busily engaged with others in " wooding up " the engine from 
the pile of cut timber by the roadside. The necessity of stop 
ping caused by the rapid consumption is one of the desagremens 
of wood fuel. The wood is cut down and stacked on plat 
forms, at certain intervals along the line ; and the quantity 
used is checked off against the company at the rate of so much 
per cord. The negro was one of many slaves let out to the 
company. White men would not do the work, or were too 
expensive ; but the overseers and gangsmen were whites. 
" How can they bear that fire in the hut ? " " Well. If you 
went into it in the very hottest day in summer, you would tind 
the niggers sitting close up to blazing pine-logs ; and they sleep 
at night, or by day when they ve fed to the full, in the same 
way." My friend, nevertheless, did not seem to understand 
that any country could get on without negro laborers. 

By degrees we got beyond the swamps, and came upon 
patches of cleared land that is, the forest had been cut 
down, and the only traces left of it were the stumps, some four 
or five feet high, "snagging" up above the ground; or the 
trees had been girdled round, so as to kill them, and the black 
trunks and stiff arms gave an air of meagre melancholy and 
desertion to the place, which was quite opposite to its real 
condition. Here it was that the normal forest and swamp had 



THE STARS AND BARS. 91 

been subjugated by man. Presently we came in sigbt of a 
flag fluttering from a lofty pine, which had been stripped of 
its branches, throwing broad bars of red and white to the air, 
with a blue square in the upper quarter containing seven stars. 
That s our flag," said the engineer, who was a quiet man, 
much given to turning steam-cocks, examining gauges, wip 
ing his hands in fluffy impromptu handkerchiefs, and smoking 
tobacco "That s our flag! And long may it wave o er 
the land of the free and the home of the ber-rave ! " As we 
passed, a small crowd of men, women, and children, of all 
colors, in front of a group of poor broken-down shanties or 
log-huts, cheered to speak more correctly whooped and 
yelled vehemently. The cry was returned by the passengers 
in the train. " We re all the right sort hereabouts," said the 
engineer. " Hurrah for Jeff Davis ! " The right sort were 
not particularly flourishing in outward aspect, at all events. 
The women, pale-faced, were tawdry and ragged ; the men, 
yellow, seedy looking. For the first time in the States, I 
noticed barefooted people. 

Now began another phase of scenery an interminable 
pine-forest, far as the eye could reach, shutting out the light 
on oach side by a wooden wall. From this forest came the 
str jngest odor of turpentine ; presently black streaks of 
snoke floated out of the wood, and here and there we passed 
cleared spaces, where in rude-looding furnaces and factories 
people more squalid and miserable looking than before were 
preparing pitch, tar, turpentine, rosin, and other naval stores, 
for which this part of North Carolina is famous. The stems 
of the trees around are marked by white scars, where the tap 
pings for the turpentine take place, and many dead trunks 
testified how the process ended. 

Again, over another log village, a Confederate flag floated 
in the air ; and the people ran out, negroes and all, and cheer 
ed as before. The new flag is not so glaring and gaudy as 
the Stars and Stripes ; but, at a distance, when the folds hang 
together, there is a considerable resemblance in the general 
effect of the two. If ever there is a real sentiment du drapeau 
got up in the South, it will be difficult indeed for the North 
to restore the Union. These pieces of colored bunting seem 
to twine themselves through heart and brain. 

The stations along the roadside now gradually grew in pro 
portion, and instead of a small sentry-box beside a wood pile, 
there were three or four wooden houses, a platform, a booking 



92 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

office, an " exchange " or drinking room, and general stores, 
like the shops of assorted articles in an Irish town. Around 
these still grew the eternal forest, or patches of cleared land 
dotted with black stumps. These stations have very grand 
names, and the stores are dignified by high-sounding titles ; 
nor are " billiard saloons " and " restaurants " wanting. We 
generally found a group of people waiting at each ; and it 
really was most astonishing to see well-dressed, respectable- 
looking men and women emerge out of the " dismal swamp," 
and out of the depths of the forest, with silk parasols and 
crinoline, bandboxes and portmanteaux, in the most civilized 
style. There were always some negroes, male and female, in 
attendance on the voyagers, handling the baggage or the ba 
bies, and looking comfortable enough, but not happy. The 
only evidence of the good spirits and happiness of these peo 
ple which I saw was on the part of a number of men who 
were going off from a plantation for the fishing on the coast. 
They and their wives and sisters, arrayed in their best which 
means their brightest, colors were grinning from ear to 
ear as they bade good-by. The negro likes the mild excite 
ment of sea fishing, and in pursuit of it he feels for the mo 
ment free. 

At Goldsborough, which is the first place of importance on 
the line, the wave of the Secession tide struck us in full career. 
The station, the hotels, the street through which the rail ran 
was filled with an excited mob, all carrying arms, with signs 
here and there of a desire to get up some kind of uniform 
flushed faces, w r ild eyes, screaming mouths, hurrahing for 
" Jeff Davis " and " the Southern Confederacy," so that the 
yells overpowered the discordant bands which were busy with 
" Dixie s Land." Here was the true revolutionary furor in 
full sway. The men hectored, swore, cheered, and slapped 
each other on the backs ; the women, in their best, waved 
handkerchiefs and flung down garlands from the windows. 
All was noise, dust, and patriotism. 

It was a strange sight and a wonderful event at which we 
were assisting. These men were a levy of the people of 
North Carolina called out by the Governor of the State for 
the purpose of seizing upon forts Caswell and Macon, belong 
ing to the Federal Government, and left unprotected and un 
defended. The enthusiasm of the " citizens" was unbounded, 
nor was it quite free from a taint of alcohol. Many of the 
volunteers had flint firelocks, only a few had rifles. All 



WAR FEVER. 93 

kinds of head-dress were visible, and caps, belts, ana pouches 
of infinite variety. A man in a large wide-awake, with a 
cock s feather in it, a blue frock-coat, with a red sash and a 
pair of cotton trousers thrust into his boots, came out of 
Griswold s Hotel with a sword under his arm, and an article 
which might have been a napkin of long service, in one hand. 
He waved the article enthusiastically, swaying to and fro on 
his legs, and ejaculating " H ra for Jeff Dav s H ra for 
S thern E r rights ! " and tottered over to the carriage through 
the crowd amid the violent vibration of all the ladies hand 
kerchiefs in the balcony. Just as he got into the train, a man 
in uniform dashed after him, and caught him by the elbow, 
exclaiming, " Them s not the cars, General ! The cars this 
way, General ! " The military dignitary, however, felt that if 
he permitted such liberties in the hour of victory he was de 
graded forever, so, screwing up his lips and looking grave 
and grand, he proceeded as follows : " Sergeant, you go be 

. I say these are my cars ! They re all my cars ! I ll 

sen l them where I please to if I like, sir. They 

shf ,11 go where I please to New York, sir, or New Orleans, 

sii ! And sir, I ll arrest you." This famous idea dis- 

t. acted the General s attention from his project of entering the 
train, and muttering, " I ll arrest you," he tacked backwards 
and forwards to the hotel again. 

As the train started on its journey, there was renewed 
yelling, which split the ear a savage cry many notes higher 
than the most ringing cheer. At the wayside inn, where we 
dined piece de resistance being pig the attendants, comely, 
well-dressed, clean negresses were slaves "worth a thousand 
dollars each." I am not favorably impressed by either the 
food or the mode of living, or the manners of the company. 
One man made very coarse jokes about " Abe Lincoln " and 
" negro wenches," which nothing but extreme party passion 
and bad taste could tolerate. Several of the passengers had 
been clerks in Government offices at Washington, and had 
been dismissed because they would not take the oath of alle 
giance. They were hurrying off full of zeal and patriotism 

to tender their services to the Montgomery Government. 

****** 

I had been the object of many attentions and civilities from 
gentlemen in the train during my journey. One of them, who 
told me he was a municipal dignitary of Weldon, having ex 
hausted all the inducements that he could think of to induce 



94 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

me to spend some time there, at last, in desperation, said he 
would be happy to show me "the antiquities of the place." 
Weldon is a recent uprising in wood and log-houses from the 
swamps, and it would puzzle the archaeologists of the world 
to find anything antique about it. 

At nightfall the train stopped at Wilmington, and I was 
shot out on a platform under a shed, to do the best I could. 
In a long, lofty, and comfortless room, like a barn, which 
abutted on the platform, there was a table covered with a 
dirty cloth, on which lay little dishes of pickles, fish, meat, and 
potatoes, at which were seated some of our fellow-passengers. 
The equality of all men is painfully illustrated when your 
neighbor at table eats with his knife, dips the end of it into 
the salt, and disregards the object and end of napkins. But 
it is carried to a more disagreeable extent when it is held to 
mean that any man who comes to an inn has a right to share 
your bed. I asked for a room, but I w r as told that there were 
so many people moving about just now that it was not possi 
ble to give me one to myself; but at last I made a bargain 
for exclusive possession. When the next train came in, how 
ever, the woman very coolly inquired whether I had any 
objection to allow a passenger to divide my bed, and seemed 
very much displeased at my refusal ; and I perceived three 
big-bearded men snoring asleep in one bed in the next room 
to me as I passed through the passage to the dining-room. 

The "artist" Moses, who had gone with my letter to the 
post, returned, after a long absence, pale and agitated. He 
said he had been pounced upon by the Vigilance Committee, 
who were rather drunk, and very inquisitive. They were 
haunting the precincts of the post-office and the railway sta 
tion, to detect Lincolnites and Abolitionists, and were obliged 
.to keep themselves wide awake by frequent visits to the 
adjacent bars, and he had with difficulty dissuaded them from 
paying me a visit. They cross-examined him respecting my 
opinion of Secession, and desired to have an audience with me 
in order to give rne any information which might be required. 
I cannot say what reply was given to their questioning ; but 
I certainly refused to have any interview with the Vigilance 
Committee of Wilmington, and was glad they did not disturb 
me. Rest, however, there was little or none. I might have 
as well slept on the platform of the railway station outside. 
Trains coming in and going out shook the room and the bed 
on which I lay, and engines snorted, puffed, roared, whistled, 
and rang bells close to my key-hole. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Sketches round Wilmington Public opinion Approach to Charles 
ton and Fort Sumter Introduction to General Beauregard 
Ex-Governor Manning Conversation on the chances of the war 
" King Cotton " and England Visit to Fort Sumter Mar 
ket-place at Charleston. 

EARLY next morning, soon after dawn, I crossed the Cape 
Fear River, on which Wilmington is situated, by a steam 
ferry-boat. On the quay lay quantities of shot and shell. 
" How came these here ? " I inquired. " They re anti-aboli 
tion pills," said my neighbor ; " they ve been waiting here for 
two months back, but now that Sumter s taken, I guess they 
won t be wanted." To my mind, the conclusion was by no 
means legitimate. From the small glance I had of Wil 
mington, with its fleet of schooners and brigs crowding the 
broad and rapid river, I should think it was a thriving place. 
Confederate flags waved over the public buildings, and I was 
informed that the forts had been seized without opposition or 
difficulty. I can see no sign here of the "affection to the 
Union," which, according to Mr. Seward, underlies all " seces 
sion proclivities." 

As we traversed the flat and uninteresting country, through 
which the rail passes, Confederate flags and sentiments greeted 
us everywhere ; men and women repeated the national cry ; 
at every station militia-men arid volunteers were waiting for 
the train, and the everlasting word "Sumter" ran through 
all the conversation in the cars. 

The Carolinians are capable of turning out a fair force of 
cavalry. At each stopping-place I observed saddle-horses 
tethered under the trees, and light driving vehicles, drawn 
by wiry muscular animals, not remarkable for size, but strong- 
looking and active. Some farmers in blue jackets, and yellow 
braid and facings, handed round their swords to be admired 
by the company. A few blades had flashed in obscure Mexi 
can skirmishes one, however, had been borne against " the 



96 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Britishers." I inquired of a fine, tall, fair-haired young fel 
low whom they expected to fight. " That s more than I can 
tell," quoth he. " The Yankees ain t such cussed fools as to 
think they can come here and whip us, let alone the British." 
" Why, what have the British got to do with it ? " " They 
are bound to take our part : if they don t, we ll just give them 
a hint about cotton, and that will set matters right." This 
was said very much with the air of a man who knows what 
he is talking about, and who was quite satisfied " he had you 
there." I found it was still displeasing to most people, partic 
ularly one or two of the fair sex, that more Yankees were 
not killed at Sumter. All the people who addressed me 
prefixed my name, which they soon found out, by " Major " 
or " Colonel " " Captain " is very low, almost indicative of 
contempt. The conductor who took our tickets was called 
" Captain." 

At the Pedee River the rail is carried over marsh and 
stream on trestle work for two miles. " This is the kind of 
country we ll catch the Yankees in, if they come to invade us. 
They ll have some pretty tall swimming, and get knocked on 
the head, if ever they gets to land. I wish there was ten 
thousand of the cusses in it this minute." At Nichol s station 
on the frontiers of South Carolina, our baggage was regularly 
examined at the Custom House, but I did not see any one 
pay duties. As the train approached the level and marshy 
land near Charleston, the square block of Fort Sumter was 
seen rising above the water with the " stars and bars " flying 
over it, and the spectacle created great enthusiasm among the 
passengers. The smoke was still rising from an angle of the 
walls. Outside the village-like suburbs of the city a regiment 
was marching for old Virginny amid the cheers of the people 
cavalry were picketed in the fields and gardens tents 
and men were visible in the by-ways. 

It was nearly dark when we reached the station. I was 
recommended to go to the Mills House, and on arriving there 
found Mr. Ward, whom I had already met in New York and 
Washington, and who gave me an account of the bombard 
ment and surrender of the fort. The hotel was full of nota 
bilities. I was introduced to ex-Governor Manning, Senator 
Chestnut, Hon. Porcher Miles, on the staff of General Beau- 
regard, and to Colonel Lucas, aide-de-camp to Governor 
Pickens. I was taken after dinner and introduced to Gen 
eral Beauregard, who was engaged, late as it was, in his room 



JOHN MANNING. 97 

at the Head-Quarters writing despatches. The General is a 
small, compact man, about thirty-six years of age, with a 
quick, and intelligent eye and action, and a good deal of the 
Frenchman in his manner and look. He received me in the 
most cordial manner, and introduced me to his engineer officer, 
Major Whiting, whom he assigned to lead me over the works 
next day. 

After some general conversation I took my leave ; but be 
fore I went, the General said, " You shall go everywhere and 
see everything ; we rely on your discretion, and knowledge 
of what is fair in dealing with what you see. Of course you 
don t expect to find regular soldiers in our camps or very sci 
entific works." I answered the General, that he might rely 
on my making no improper use of what I saw in this country, 
but, * unless you tell me to the contrary, I shall write an ac 
count of all 1 see to the other side of the water, and if, when 
it comes back, there are things you would rather not have 
known, you must not blame me." He smiled, and said, " I 
dare say we ll have great changes by that time." 

That night I sat in the Charleston Club with John Manning. 
Who that has ever met him can be indifferent to the charms 
of manner and of personal appearance, which render the ex- 
Governor of the State so attractive ? There were others 
present, senators or congressmen, like Mr. Chestnut and Mr. 
Porcher Miles. We talked long, and at last angrily, as 
might be between friends, of political affairs. 

I own it was a little irritating to me to hear men indulge in 
extravagant broad menace and rodomontade, such as came 
from their lips. " They would welcome the world in arms 
with hospitable hands to bloody graves." " They never could 
be conquered." " Creation could not do it," and so on. I was 
obliged to handle the question quietly at first to ask them 
" if they admitted the French were a brave and warlike 
people ! " " Yes, certainly." " Do you think you could bet 
ter defend yourselves against invasion than the people of 
France ? " " Well, no ; but we d make it pretty hard busi 
ness for the Yankees." " Suppose the Yankees, as you call 
them, come with such preponderance of men and materiel, 
that they are three to your one, will you not be forced to sub 
mit ?" " Never." " Then either you are braver, better dis 
ciplined, more warlike than the people and soldiers of France, 
or you alone, of all the nations in the world, possess the means 
of resisting physical laws which prevail in war, as in other 
5 



98 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

affairs of life." " No. The Yankees are cowardly rascals. 
We have proved it by kicking and cuffing them till we are 
tired of it ; besides, we know John Bull very well. Pie will 
make a great fuss about non-interference at first, but when he 
begins to want cotton he ll come off his perch." I found this 
was the fixed idea everywhere. The doctrine of " cotton is 
king," to us who have not much considered the question a 
grievous delusion or an unmeaning babble to them is a 
lively all-powerful faith without distracting heresies or schisms. 
They have in it enunciated their full belief, and indeed there 
is some truth in it, in so far as we year after year by the stim 
ulants of coal, capital, and machinery have been working up 
a manufacture on which four or five millions of our population 
depend for bread and life, which cannot be carried on without 
the assistance of a nation, that may at any time refuse us an 
adequate supply, or be cut off from giving it by war. 

Political economy, we are well aware, is a fine science, but 
its followers are capable of tremendous absurdities in practice. 
The dependence of such a large proportion of the English peo 
ple on this sole article of American cotton is fraught with the 
utmost danger to our honor and to our prosperity. Here were 
these Southern gentlemen exulting in their power to control the 
policy of Great Britain, and it was small consolation to me to 
assure them they were mistaken ; in case we did not act as 
they anticipated, it could not be denied Great Britain would 
plunge an immense proportion of her people a nation of 
manufacturers into pauperism, which must leave them de 
pendent on the national funds, or more properly on the prop 
erty and accumulated capital of the district. 

About 8-30, P. M., a deep bell began to toll. " What is 
that?" "It s for all the colored people to clear out of the 
streets and go home. The guards will arrest any who are 
found out without passes in half an hour." There was much 
noise in the streets, drums beating, men cheering, and march 
ing, and the hotel is crammed full with soldiers. 

April 17th. The streets of Charleston present some such 
aspect as those of Paris in the last revolution. Crowds of 
armed men singing and promenading the streets. The battle- 
blood running through their veins that hot oxygen which is 
called " the flush of victory " on the cheek ; restaurants full, 
revelling in bar-rooms, club-rooms crowded, orgies and ca- 
rousings in tavern or private house, in tap-room, from cabaret 
down narrow alleys, in the broad highway. Sumter has 



VISIT TO FORT SUMTER. 99 

set them distraught ; never was such a victory ; never such 
brave lads ; never such a fight. There are pamphlets al 
ready full of the incident. It is a bloodless Waterloo or Sol- 
ferino. 

After breakfast I went down to the quay, with a party of 
the General s staff, to visit Fort Sumter. The senators and 
governors turned soldiers wore blue military caps, with " pal 
metto " trees embroidered thereon ; blue frock-coats, with up 
right collars, and shoulder-straps edged with lace, and marked 
with two silver bars, to designate their rank of captain ; gilt 
buttons, with the palmetto in relief; blue trousers, with a 
gold-lace cord, and brass spurs no straps. The day was 
sweltering, but a strong breeze blew in the harbor, and puffed 
the dust of Charleston, coating our clothes, and filling our eyes 
with powder. The streets were crowded with lanky lads, 
clanking spurs, and sabres, with awkward squads marching to 
and fro, with drummers beating calls, and ruffles, and points 
of war ; around them groups of grinning negroes delighted 
with the glare and glitter, a holiday, and a new idea for them 

Secession flags waving out of all the windows little Irish 
boys shouting out, " Battle of Fort Sumter ! New edishun ! " 

As we walked down towards the quay, where the steamer 
was lying, numerous traces of the unsettled state of men s 
minds broke out in the hurried conversations of the various 
friends who stopped to speak for a few moments. " Well, 
governor, the old Union is gone at last ! " " Have you heard 
what Abe is going to do?" "I don t think Beauregard will 
have much more fighting for it. What do you think ? " And 
so on. Our little Creole friend, by the by, is popular beyond 
description. There are all kinds of doggerel rhymes in his 
honor one with a refrain 

" With cannon and musket, with shell and petard, 
We salute the North with our Beau-regard " 

is much in favor. 

We passed through the market, where the stalls are kept 
by fat negresses and old " unkeys." There is a sort of vul 
ture or buzzard here, much encouraged as scavengers, and 
but all the world has heard of the Charleston vultures so 
we will leave them to their garbage. Near the quay, where 
the steamer was lying, there is a very tine building in white 
marble, which attracted our notice. It was unfinished, and 
immense blocks of the glistening stone destined for its com- 



100 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

pletion, lay on the ground. " What is that ? " I inquired. 
" Why, it s a custom-house Uncle Sam was building for our 
benefit, but I don t think he ll ever raise a cent for his treas 
ury out of it." " Will you complete it ? " "I should think 
not. We ll lay on few duties ; and what we want is free- 
trade, and no duties at all, except for public purposes. The 
Yankees have plundered us with their custom-houses and du 
ties long enough." An old gentleman here stopped us. " You 
will do me the greatest favor," he said to one of our party who 
knew him, " if you will get me something to do for our glori 
ous cause. Old as I am, I can carry a musket not far, to 
be sure, but I can kill a Yankee if he comes near." When 
he had gone, my friend told me the speaker was a man of for 
tune, two of whose sons were in camp at Morris Island, but 
that he was suspected of Union sentiments, as he had a North 
ern wife, and hence his extreme vehemence and devotion. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Southern volunteers Unpopularity of the press Charleston 
Fort Sumter Morris Island Anti-union enthusiasm Anec 
dote of Colonel Wigfall Interior view of the fort North versus 
South. 

TIIETIE was a large crowd around the pier staring at the 
men in uniform on the boat, which was filled with bales of 
goods, commissariat stores, trusses of hay, and hampers, sup 
plies for the volunteer army on Morris Island. I was amused 
by the names of the various corps, " Tigers," " Lions," " Scor 
pions," " Palmetto Eagles," " Guards," of Pickens, Sumter, 
Marion, and of various other denominations, painted on the 
boxes. The original formation of these volunteers is in com 
panies, and they know nothing of battalions or regiments. 
The tendency in volunteer outbursts is sometimes to gratify 
the greatest vanity of the greatest number. These companies 
do not muster more than fifty or sixty strong. Some were 
" dandies," and " swells," and affected to look down on their 
neighbors and comrades. Major Whiting told me there was 
difficulty in getting them to obey orders at first, as each man 
had an idea that lie was as good an engineer as anybody else, 
" and a good deal better, if it came to that." It was easy to 
perceive it was the old story of volunteer and regular in this 
little army. 

As we got on deck, the Major saw a number of rough, long 
haired-looking fellows in coarse gray tunics, with pewter but 
tons and worsted braid lying on the hay-bales smoking their 
cigars. " Gentlemen," quoth he, very courteously, " you ll 
oblige me by not smoking over the hay. There s powder be 
low." " I don t believe we re going to burn the hay this time, 
kernel," was the reply, "and anyway, we ll put it out afore it 
reaches the bustibles," and they went on smoking. The Ma 
jor grumbled, and worse, and drew off. 

Among the passengers were some brethren of mine belong- 



102 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

ing to the New York and local papers. I saw a short time 
afterwards a description of the trip by one of these gentlemen, 
in which he described it as an affair got up specially for him 
self, probably in order to avenge himself on his military per 
secutors, for he had complained to me the evening before, that 

the chief of General Beauregard s staff told him to go to , 

when he applied at head-quarters for some information. I 
found from the tone and looks of my friends, that these literary 
gentlemen were received with great disfavor, and Major Whit 
ing, who is a bibliomaniac, and has a very great liking for the 
best English writers, could not conceal his repugnance and 
antipathy to my unfortunate confreres. " If I had my way, 
I would fling them into the water ; but the General has given 
them orders to come on board. It is these fellows who have 
brought all this trouble on our country." 

The traces of dislike of the freedom of the press, which I, 
to my astonishment, discovered in the North, are broader and 
deeper in the South, and they are not accompanied by the 
signs of dread of its power which exist in New York, where 
men speak of the chiefs of the most notorious journals very 
much as people in Italian cities of past time might have talked 
of the most infamous bravo or the chief of some band of as 
sassins. Whiting comforted himself by the reflection that they 
would soon have their fingers in a vice, and then pulling out 
a ragged little sheet, turned suddenly on the representative 
thereof, and proceeded to give the most unqualified contradic 
tion to most of the statements contained in " the full and accu 
rate particulars of the Bombardment and Fall of Fort Sum- 
ter," in the said journal, which the person in question listened 
to with becoming meekness and contrition. " If I knew who 
wrote it," said the Major, " I d make him eat it." 

I was presented to many judges, colonels, and others of the 
mass of society on board, and, " after compliments," as the 
Orientals say, I was generally asked, in the first place, what 
I thought of the capture of Sumter, and in the second, what 
England would do when the news reached the other side. 
Already the Carolinians regard the Northern States as an 
alien and detested enemy, and entertain, or profess, an im 
mense affection for Great Britain. 

When we had shipped all our passengers, nine tenths of 
them in uniform, and a larger proportion engaged in chewing, 
the whistle blew, and the steamer sidled off from the quay 
into the yellowish muddy water of the Ashley River, which 



FORT SUMTER. 103 

is a creek from the sea, with a streamlet running into the 
head waters some distance up. 

The shore opposite Charleston is more than a mile distant 
and is low and sandy, covered here and there with patches of 
brilliant vegetation, and long lines of trees. It is cut up with 
creeks, which divide it into islands, so that passages out to sea 
exist between some of them for light craft, though the navi 
gation is perplexed and difficult. The city lies on a spur or 
promontory between the Ashley and the Cooper rivers, and 
the land behind it is divided in the same manner by similar 
creeks, and is sandy and light, bearing, nevertheless, very fine 
crops, and trees of magnificent vegetation. The steeples, the 
domes of public buildings, the rows of massive warehouses 
and cotton stores on the wharves, and the bright colors of the 
houses, render the appearance of Charleston, as seen from the 
river front, rather imposing. From the mastheads of the few 
large vessels in harbor floated the Confederate flag. Look 
ing to our right, the same standard was visible, waving on the 
low, white parapets of the earthworks which had been engaged 
in reducing Sumter. 

That much-talked-of fortress lay some two miles ahead of 
us now, rising up out of the water near the middle of the 
passage out to sea between James Island and Sullivan s Is 
land. It struck me at first as being like one of the smaller 
forts off Cronstadt, but a closer inspection very much dimin 
ished its importance ; the material is brick, not stone, and the 
size of the place is exaggerated by the low background, and 
by contrast with the sea-line. The land contracts on both 
sides opposite the fort, a projection of Morris Island, called 
" Cumrning s Point," running out on the left. There is a sim 
ilar promontory from Sullivan s Island, on which is erected 
Fort Moultrie, on the right from the sea entrance. Castle 
Pinckney, which stands on a small island at the exit of the 
Cooper River, is a place of no importance, and it was too far 
from Sumter to take any share in the bombardment : the same 
remarks apply to Fort Johnson on James Island, on the right 
bank of the Ashley River below Charleston. The works 
which did the mischief were the batteries of sand on Morris 
Island, at Cumming s Point, and Fort Moultrie. The floating 
battery, covered with railroad-iron, lay a long way off, and 
could riot have contributed much to the result. 

As we approached Morris Island, which is an accumulation 
of sand covered with mounds of the same material, on which 



104 MY DIAEY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

there is a scanty vegetation alternating with salt-water marshes, 
we could perceive a few tents in the distance among the sand 
hills. The sand-bag batteries, and an ugly black parpapet, 
with guns peering through port-holes as if from a ship s side, 
lay before us. Around them men were swarming like ants, 
and a crowd in uniform were gathered on the beach to receive 
us as we landed from the boat of the steamer, all eager for 
news and provisions and newspapers, of which an immense 
flight immediately fell upon them. A guard with bayonets 
crossed in a very odd sort of manner, prevented any unau 
thorized persons from landing. They wore the universal coarse 
gray jacket and trousers, with worsted braid and yellow fac 
ings, uncouth caps, lead buttons stamped with the palmetto- 
tree. Their unbronzed firelocks were covered with rust. The 
soldiers lounging about were mostly tall, well-grown men, young 
and old, some with the air of gentlemen ; others coarse, long 
haired fellows, without any semblance of military bearing, but 
full of fight, and burning with enthusiasm, not unaided, in 
some instances, by coarser stimulus. 

The day was exceedingly warm and unpleasant, the hot 
wind blew the fine white sand into our faces, and wafted it in 
minute clouds inside eyelids, nostrils, and clothing ; but it was 
necessary to visit the batteries, so on we trudged into one and 
out of another, walked up parapets, examined profiles, looked 
along guns, and did everything that could be required of us. 
The result of the examination was to establish in my mind the 
conviction, that if the commander of Sumter had been allowed 
to open his guns on the island, the first time he saw an indica 
tion of throwing up a battery against him, he could have saved 
his fort. Moultrie, in its original state, on the opposite side, 
could have been readily demolished by Sumter. The design 
of the works was better than their execution the sand-bags 
were rotten, the sand not properly revetted or banked up, and 
the traverses imperfectly constructed. The barbette guns of 
the fort looked into many of the embrasures, and commanded 
them. 

The whole of the island was full of life and excitement. 
Officers were galloping about as if on a field-day or in action. 
Commissariat carts were toiling to and fro between the beach 
and the camps, and sounds of laughter and revelling came 
from the tents. These were pitched without order, and were 
of all shapes, hues, and sizes, many being disfigured by rude 
charcoal drawings outside, and inscriptions such as " The 



CAMP SCENES. 105 

Live Tigers," " Rattlesnake s-hole," " Yankee Smashers," &c. 
The vicinity of the camps was in an intolerable state, and on 
calling the attention of the medical officer who was with me, 
to the danger arising from such a condition of things, he said 
with a sigh. " I know it all. But we can do nothing. Remem 
ber they re all volunteers, and do just as they please." 

In every tent was hospitality, and a hearty welcome to all 
comers. Cases of champagne and claret, French pates, and 
the like, were piled outside the canvas walls, when there was 
no room for them inside. In the middle of these excited 
gatherings I felt like a man in the full possession of his senses 
coming in late to a wine party. " Won t you drink with me, 
sir, to the (something awful) of Lincoln and all Yan 
kees ? " " No ! if you ll be good enough to excuse me." 
" Well, I think you re the only Englishman who won t." 
Our Carolinians are very fine fellows, but a little given to the 
Bobadil style hectoring after a cavalier fashion, which they 
fondly believe to be theirs by hereditary right. They assume 
that the British crown rests on a cotton bale, as the Lord 
Chancellor sits on a pack of wool. 

In one long tent there was a party of roystering young men, 
opening claret, and mixing " cup " in large buckets ; whilst 
others were helping the servants to set out a table for a ban 
quet to one of their generals. Such heat, tobacco-smoke, 
clamor, toasts, drinking, hand-shaking, vows of friendship ! 
Many were the excuses made for the more demonstrative of the 
Edonian youths by their friends. " Torn is a little cut, sir ; 
but he s a splendid fellow he s worth half-a-million of dol 
lars." This reference to a money standard of value was not 
unusual or perhaps unnatural, but it was made repeatedly; 
and I was told wonderful tales of the riches of men who were 
lounging round, dressed as privates, some of whom at that 
season, in years gone by, were looked for at the watering 
places as the great lions of American fashion. But Secession 
is the fashion here. Young ladies sing for it ; old ladies pray 
for it ; young men are dying to fight for it ; old men are ready 
to demonstrate it. The founder of the school was St. Calhoun. 
Here his pupils carry out their teaching in thunder and fire. 
States Rights are displayed after its legitimate teaching, and 
the Palmetto flag and the red bars of the Confederacy are its 
exposition. The utter contempt and loathing for the venerat 
ed Stars and Stripes, the abhorrence of the very words United 
States, the intense hatred of the Yankee on the part of these 



106 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

people, cannot be conceived by any one who has not seen them, 
lam more satisfied than ever that the Union can never be re 
stored as it was, and that it lias gone to pieces, never to be put 
together again, in the old shape, at all events, by any power 
on earth. 

After a long and tiresome promenade in the dust, heat, and 
fine sand, through the tents, our party returned to the beach, 
where we took boat, and pushed off for Fort Sumter. The 
Confederate flag rose above the walls. On near approach the 
marks of the shot against the pain coupe, and the embrasures 
near the salient were visible enough ; but the damage done to 
the hard brickwork was trifling, except at the angles : the edges 
of the parapets were ragged and pock-marked, and the quay 
wall was rifted here and there by shot; but no injury of a 
kind to render the work untenable could be made out. The 
greatest damage inflicted was, no doubt, the burning of the 
barracks, which were culpably erected inside the fort, close 
to the flank wall facing Cumming s Point. 

As the boat touched the quay of the fort, a tall, powerful- 
looking man came through the shattered gateway, and with 
uneven steps strode over the rubbish towards a skiff which 
was waiting to receive him, and into which he jumped and 
rowed off. Recognizing one of my companions as he passed 
our boat he suddenly stood up, and with a leap and a scramble 
tumbled in among us, to the imminent danger of upsetting 
the party. Our new friend was dressed in the blue frock-coat 
of a civilian, round which he had tied a red silk sash his 
waistbelt supported a straight sword, something like those 
worn with Court dress. His muscular neck was surrounded 
with a loosely-fastened silk handkerchief ; and wild masses of 
black hair, tinged with gray, fell from under a civilian s hat 
over his collar; his unstrapped trousers were gathered up 
high on his legs, displaying ample boots, garnished with for 
midable brass spurs. But his face was one not to be forgotten 
a straight, broad brow, from which the hair rose up like the 
vegetation on a river bank, beetling black eyebrows a mouth 
coarse and grim, yet full of power, a square jaw a thick ar 
gumentative nose a new growth of scrubby beard and mus 
tache these were relieved by eyes of wonderful depth and 
light, such as I never saw before but in the head of a wild 
beast. If you look some day when the sun is not too bright 
into the eye of the Bengal tiger, in the Regent s Park, as the 
keeper is coming round, you will form some notion of the ex- 



COLONEL WIGFALL. 107 

pression I mean. It was flashing, fierce, yet calm with a 
well of fire burning behind and spouting through it, an eye 
pitiless in anger, which now and then sought to conceal its 
expression beneath half-closed lids, and then burst out with an 
angry glare, as if disdaining concealment. 

This was none other than Louis T. Wigfall, Colonel (then 
of his own creation) in the Confederate army, and Senator 
from Texas in the United States a good type of the men 
whom the institutions of the country produce or throw off 
a remarkable man, noted for his ready, natural eloquence ; his 
exceeding ability as a quick, bitter debater ; the acerbity of his 
taunts ; and his readiness for personal encounter. To the last 
he stood in his place in the Senate at Washington, when 
nearly every other Southern man had seceded, lashing with a 
venomous and instant tongue, and covering with insults, 
ridicule, and abuse, such men as Mr. Chandler, of Michigan, 
and other Republicans : never missing a sitting of the House, 
and seeking out adversaries in the bar-rooms or at gam 
bling tables. The other day, when the fire against Sumter 
was at its height, and the fort, in flames, was reduced almost 
to silence, a small boat put off from the shore, and steered 
through the shot and the splashing waters right for the walls. 
It bore the Colonel and a negro oarsman. Holding up a white 
handkerchief on the end of his sword, Wigfall landed on the 
quay, clambered through an embrasure, and presented himself 
before the astonished Federals with a proposal to surrender, 
quite unauthorized, and " on his own hook," which led to the 
final capitulation of Major Anderson. 

I am sorry to say, our distinguished friend had just been 
paying his respects sans homes to Bacchus or Bourbon, for he 
was decidedly unsteady in his gait and thick in speech ; but his 
head was quite clear, and he was determined 1 should know 
all about his exploit. Major Whiting desired to show me 
round the work, but he had no chance. " Here is where I got 
in," quoth Colonel Wigfall. " I found a Yankee standing here 
by the traverse, out of the way of our shot. He was pretty 
well scared when he saw me, but I told him not to be alarmed, 
but to take me to the officers. There they were, huddled up 
in that corner behind the brickwork, for our shells were 
tumbling into the yard, and bursting like " &c. (The Colonel 
used strong illustrations and strange expletives in narrative.) 
Major Whiting shook his military head, and said something un 
civil to me, in private, in reference to volunteer colonels and the 



108 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

like, which gave him relief; whilst the martial Senator I forgot 
to say that lie has the name, particularly in the North, of having 
killed more than half a dozen men in duels (I had an escape 
of being another) conducted me through the casemates with 
uneven steps, stopping at every traverse to expatiate on some 
phase of his personal experiences, with his sword dangling 
between his legs, and spurs involved in rubbish and soldiers 
blankets. 

In my letter I described the real extent of the damage in 
flicted, and the state of the fort as I found it. At first the bat 
teries thrown up by the Carolinians were so poor, that the Unit 
ed States officers in the fort were mightily amused at them, 
and anticipated easy work in enfilading, ricocheting, and batter 
ing them to pieces, if they ever dared to open fire. One 
morning, however, Capt. Foster, to whom really belongs the 
credit of putting Sumter into a tolerable condition of defence 
with the most limited means, was unpleasantly surprised by 
seeing through his glass a new work in the best possible situa 
tion for attacking the place, growing up under the strenuous 
labors of a band of negroes. " I knew at once," he said, " the 
rascals had got an engineer at last." In fact, the Carolinians 
were actually talking of an escalade when the officers of the 
regular army, who had " seceded," came down and took the 
direction of affairs, which otherwise might have had very 
different results. 

There was a working party of volunteers clearing away 
the rubbish in the place. It was evident they were not accus 
tomed to labor. And on asking why negroes were not em 
ployed, 1 was informed : " The niggers would blow us all up, 
they re so stupid ; and the State would have to pay the owners 
for any of them who were killed and injured." " In one re 
spect, then, white men are not so valuable as negroes?" 
" Yes. sir. that s a fact." 

Very few shell craters were visible in the terreplein ; the 
military mischief, such as it was, showed most conspicuously 
on the parapet platforms, over which shells had been burst as 
heavily as could be, to prevent the manning of the barbette 
guns. A very small affair, indeed, that shelling of Fort 
Suniter. And yet who can tell what may arise from it ? 
" Well, sir," exclaimed one of my companions, " I thank God 
for it, if it s only because we are beginning to have a history 
for Europe. The universal Yankee nation swallowed us up." 

Never did men plunge into unknown depth of peril and 



COLONEL WIGFALL. 109 

1 rouble more recklessly than these Carolinians. They fling 
themselves against the grim, black future, as the Cavaliers 
under Rupert may have rushed against the grim, black Iron 
sides. Will they carry the image farther ? Well ! The 
exploration of Sumter was finished at last, not till we had vis 
ited the officers of the garrison, who lived in a windowless, 
shattered room, reached by a crumbling staircase, and who 
produced whiskey and crackers, many pleasant stories and 
boundless welcome. One young fellow grumbled about pay. 
He said : " I have not received a cent since I came to Charles 
ton for this business." But Major Whiting, some days after 
wards, told me he had not got a dollar on account of his pay, 
though on leaving the United States army he had abandoned 
nearly all his means of subsistence. These gentlemen were 
quite satisfied it would all be right eventually ; and no one 
questioned the power or inclination of the Government, which 
had just been inaugurated under such strange auspices, to 
perpetuate its principles and reward its servants. 

After a time our party went down to the boats, in which we 
were rowed to the steamer that lay waiting for us at Morris 
Island. The original intention of the officers was to carry us 
over to Fort Moultrie, on the opposite side of the Channel, 
and to examine it and the floating iron battery j but it was too 
late to do so when we got off, and the steamer only ran across 
and swept around homewards by the other shore. Below, in 
the cabin, there was spread a lunch or quasi dinner; and the 
party of Senators, past and present, aides-de-camp, journalists, 
and flaneurs, were not indisposed to join it. For me there 
was only one circumstance which marred the pleasure of that 
agreeable reunion. Colonel and Senator Wigfall, who had not 
sobered himself by drinking deeply, in the plenitude of his 
exultation alluded to the assault on Senator Sumner as a type 
of the manner in which the Southerners would deal with the 
Northerners generally, and cited it as a good exemplification 
of the fashion in which they would bear their " whipping." 
Thence, by a natural digression, he adverted to the inevitable 
consequences of the magnificent outburst of Southern indig 
nation against the Yankees on all the nations of the world, and 
to the immediate action of England in the matter as soon as 
the news came. Suddenly reverting to Mr. Sumner, \vhose 
name he loaded with obloquy, he spoke of Lord Lyons in terms 
so coarse, that, forgetting the condition of the speaker, I re 
sented the language applied to the English Minister, in a very 



110 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

unmistakable manner ; and then rose and left the cabin. In 
a moment I was followed on deck by Senator "VVigfall : his 
manner much calmer, his hair brushed back, his eye sparkling. 
There was nothing left to be desired in his apologies, which 
were repeated and energetic. We were joined by Mr. Man 
ning, Major Whiting, and Senator Chestnut, and others, to 
whom I expressed my complete contentment with Mr. Wig- 
fall s explanations. And so we returned to Charleston. The 
Colonel and Senator, however, did not desist from his atten 
tions to the good or bad things below. It was a strange 
scene these men, hot and red-handed in rebellion, with their 
lives on the cast, trifling and jesting, and carousing as if they 
had no care on earth all excepting the gentlemen of the 
local press, who were assiduous in note and food-taking. It 
was near nightfall before we set foot on the quay of Charles 
ton. The city was indicated by the blaze of lights, and by the 
continual roll of drums, and the noisy music, and the yelling 
cheers which rose above its streets. As I walked towards the 
hotel, the evening drove of negroes, male and female, shuffling 
through the streets in all haste, in order to escape the patrol 
and the last peal of the curfew bell, swept by me ; and as I 
passed the guard-house of the police, one of my friends pointed 
out the armed sentries pacing up and down before the porch, 
and the gleam of arms in the room inside. Further on, a 
squad of mounted horsemen, heavily armed, turned up a by 
street, and with jingling spurs and sabres disappeared in the 
dust and darkness. That is the horse patrol. They scour the 
country around the city, and meet at certain places during the 
night to see if the niggers are all quiet. Ah, Fuscus ! these 
are signs of trouble. 

" Integer vitas, scelerisque purus 
Non eget Mauri jaculis neque arcu, 
Nee venenatis gravida sagittis, 
Fusee, pharetrA." 

But Fuscus is going to his club ; a kindly, pleasant, chatty, 
card-playing, cocktail-consuming place. He -nods proudly to 
an old white-woolled negro steward or head-waiter a slave 
as a proof which I cannot accept, with the curfew tolling 
in my ears, of the excellencies of the domestic institution. 
The club was filled with officers ; one of them, Mr. liansome 
Calhoun,* asked me what was the object which most struck me 
* Since killed in a duel by Mr. Rhett. 



MENACING THE NORTH. Ill 

at Morris Island ; I tell him as was indeed the case that it 
was a letter-copying machine, a case of official stationery, and 
a box of Red Tape, lying on the beach, just landed and ready 
to grow with the strength of the young independence. 

But listen ! There is a great tumult, as of many voices 
coming up the street, heralded by blasts of music. It is a 
speech-making from the front of the hotel. Such an agitated, 
lively multitude ! How they cheer the pale, frantic man, lim 
ber and dark-haired, with uplifted arms and clinched fists, who 
is perorating on the balcony ! " What did he say ? " " Who 
is he ? " " Why it s he again ! " " That s Roger Pryor he 
says that if them Yankee trash don t listen to reason, and 
stand from under, we ll march to the North and dictate the 
terms of peace in Faneuil Hall! Yes, sir and so we will 
certa-i-n su-re ! " " No matter, for all that ; we have shown 
we can whip the Yankees whenever we meet them at 
Washington or down here." How much I heard of all this 
to-day how much more this evening ! The hotel as noisy 
as ever more men in uniform arriving every few minutes, 
and the hall and passages crowded with tall, good-looking 
Carolinians. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Slaves, their Masters and Mistresses Hotels Attempted boat- 
journey to Fort Moultrie Excitement at Charleston against 
New York Preparations for war General Beaurcgard 
Southern opinion as to the policy of the North, and estimate of 
the effect of the war on England, through the cotton market 
Aristocratic feeling in the South. 

April 18th. It is as though we woke up in a barrack. 
No ! There is the distinction, that in the passages slaves are 
moving up and down with cups of iced milk or water for their 
mistresses in the early morning, cleanly dressed, neatly clad, 
with the conceptions of Parisian millinery adumbrated to their 
condition, and transmitted by the white race, hovering round 
their heads and bodies. They sit outside the doors, and chatter 
in the passages ; and as the Irish waiter brings in my hot 
water for shaving, there is that odd, round, oily, half-strangled, 
chuckling, gobble of a laugh peculiar to the female Ethiop, 
coming in through the doorway. 

Later in the day, their mistresses sail out from the inner 
harbors, and launch all their sails along the passages, down 
the stairs, and into the long, hot, fluffy salle-a-manger, where, 
blackened with flies which dispute the viands, they take their 
tremendous meals. They are pale, pretty, svelte just as I 
was about to say they were rather small, there rises before me 
the recollection of one Titanic dame a Carolinian Juno, 
with two lovely peacock daughters and I refrain from gener 
alizing. Exceedingly proud these ladies are said to be for 
a generation or two of family suffice in this new country, it 
properly supported by the possession of negroes and acres, to 
give pride of birth, and all the grandeur which is derived from 
raising raw produce, cereals, and cotton sud terra. Their 
enemies say that the grandfathers of some of these noble 
people were mere pirates and smugglers, who dealt in a cava 
lier fashion with the laws and with the flotsam and jetsam of 
fortune on the seas and reefs hereabouts. Cotton suddenly 



MAJOR WHITING. 113 

almost unnaturally, as far as the ordinary laws of commerce 
are concerned, grew up whilst land was cheap, and slaves were 
of moderate price the pirates, and piratesses had control of 
both, and in a night the gourd swelled and grew to a prodig 
ious size. These are Northern stories. What the Southerners 
say of their countrymen and women in the upper part of this 
u blessed Union " I have written for the edification of people 
at home. 

The tables in the eating-room are disposed in long rows, or 
detached; so as to suit private parties. When I was coming 
down to Charleston, one of my fellow-passengers told me he 
was quite shocked the first time he saw white people acting as 
servants ; but no such scruples existed in the Mills House, for 
the waiters were all Irish, except one or two Germans. The 
carte is much the same at all American hotels, the variations 
depending on local luxuries or tastes. Marvellous exceedingly 
is it to see the quantities of butter, treacle, and farinaceous 
matters prepared in the heaviest form of lish, of many 
meats, of eggs scrambled or scarred or otherwise prepared, 
of iced milk and water, which an American will consume in a 
few minutes in the mornings. There is, positively, no rest at 
these meals no repose. The guests are ever passing in and 
out of the room, chairs are forever pushed to and fro with a 
harsh grating noise that sets the teeth on edge, and there is a 
continual clatter of plates and metal. Every man is reading 
his paper, or discussing the news with his neighbor. I was 
introduced to a vast number of people and was asked many 
questions respecting my views of Sumter, or what I thought 
" old Abe and Seward would do ? " The proclamation calling 
out 75,000 men issued by said old Abe, they treat with the 
most profound contempt or unsparing ridicule, as the case may 
be. Five out of six of the men at table wore uniforms this 
morning. 

Having made the acquaintance of several warriors, as well 
as that of a Russian gentleman, Baron Sternberg, who was 
engaged in looking about him in Charleston, and was, like most 
foreigners, impressed with the conviction that actum est de Re- 
publicd, I went out with Major W T hiting* and Mr. Ward, the 
former of whom was anxious to show me Fort Moultrie and 
the left side of the Channel, in continuation of my trip yester 
day. It was arranged that we should go off as quietly as pos 
sible, "so as to prevent the newspapers knowing anything 
* Now Confederate General. 



114 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

about it." The Major has a great dislike to the gentlemen of 
the press, and General Beauregard had sent orders for the 
staff-boat to be prepared, so as to be quiet and private, but the 
fates were against us. On going down to the quay, we learn 
ed that a gentleman had come down with an officer and had 
gone off in our skiff, the boat-keepers believing they were the 
persons for whom it was intended. In fact, our Russian friend, 
Baron Sternberg, had stolen a march upon us. 

After a time, the Major succeeded in securing the services 
of the very smallest, most untrustworthy, and ridiculous-look 
ing craft ever seen by mortal eyes. If Charon had put a two- 
horse power engine into his skiff, it might have borne some 
resemblance to this egregious cymbalus, which had once been 
a flat-bottomed, opened-decked cutter or galley, into the midst 
of which the owner had forced a small engine and paddle- 
wheels, and at the stern had erected a roofed caboose, or 
oblong pantry, sacred to oil-cans and cockroaches. The crew 
consisted of the first captain and the second captain, a lad of 
tender years, and that was all. Into the pantry we scrambled, 
and sat down knee to knee, whilst the engine was getting up 
its steam : a very obstinate and anti-caloric little engine it 
was puffing and squeaking, leaking, and distilling drops of 
water, and driving out blasts of steam in unexpected places. 

As long as we lay at the quay all was right. The Major 
was supremely happy, for he could talk about Thackeray and 
his writings a theme of which he never tired nay, on 
which his enthusiasm reached the height of devotional fervor. 
Did I ever know any one like Major Pendennis ? Was it 
known who Becky Sharp was ? Who was the O Mulligan ? 
These questions were mere hooks on which to hang rhapsodies 
and delighted dissertation. He might have got down as far as 
Pendennis himself, when a lively swash of water flying over 
the preposterous little gunwales, and dashing over our boots 
into the cabin, announced that our bark was under way. 
There is, we were told, for several months in the year, a brisk 
breeze from the southward and eastward in and off Charles 
ton Harbor, and there was to-day a small joggle in the water 
which would not have affected anything floating except our 
steamer ; but as we proceeded down the narrow channel by 
C/n^tle Pinckney, the little boat rolled as if she would cap 
size every moment, and made no pretence at doing more than 
a mile an hour at her best ; and it became evident that our 
voyage would be neither pleasant, prosperous, nor speedy. 



AN ABORTIVE EXCURSION". 115 

Still the Major went on between the lurches, and drew his 
feet up out of the water, in order to have "a quiet chat," as 
lie said, "about my favorite author." My companion and my 
self could not condense ourselves or foreshorten our nether 
limbs quite so deftly. 

Standing out from the shelter towards Sumter, the sea 
came rolling on our beam, making the miserable craft oscil 
late as if some great hand had caught her by the funnel 
Yankeeice, smokestack and was rolling her backwards and 
forwards, as a preliminary to a final keel over. The water 
came in plentifully, and the cabin was flooded with a small 
sea: the latter partook of the lively character of the external 
fluid, and made violent efforts to get overboard to join it, which 
generally were counteracted by the better sustained and 
directed attempts of the external to get inside. The captain 
seemed very unhappy ; the rest of the crew our steerer 
had discovered that the steamer would not steer at all, and 
that we were rolling like a log on the water. Certainly 
neither Pinckney, nor Sumter, nor Moultrie altered their 
relative bearings and distances towards us for half an hour or 
so, though they bobbed up and down continuously. " But it 
is," said the Major, " in the character of Colonel Newcome 
that Thackeray has, in my opinion, exhibited the greatest 
amount of power ; the tenderness, simplicity, love, manliness, 

and " Here a walloping muddy-green wave came " all 

aboard," and the cymbalus gave decided indications of turning 
turtle. We were wet and miserable, and two hours or more 
had now passed in making a couple of miles. The tide was 
setting more strongly against us, and just- off Moultrie, in the 
tideway between its walls and Sumter, could be seen the heads 
of the sea-horses unpleasantly crested. I know not what ot 
eloquent disquisition I lost, for the Major was evidently in 
his finest moment and on his best subject, but I ventured to 
suggest that we should bout ship and return and thus arous 
ed him to a sense of his situation. And so we wore round 
a very delicate operation, which, by judicious management in 
getting side bumps of the sea at favorable movements, we 
were enabled to effect in some fifteen or twenty minutes ; 
and then we became so parboiled by the heat from the engine, 
that conversation was impossible. 

How glad we were to land once more I need not say. As 
I gave the captain a small votive tablet of metal, he said, 
* I m thinkiii* it s very well yes turned back. Av we d gone 



116 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

any further, devil aback ever we d have come." " Why didn t 
you say so before?" "Sure I didn t like to spoil the trip." 

My gifted countryman and I parted to meet no more. 

****** 

Second and third editions and extras ! News of Secession 
meetings and of Union meetings ! Every one is filled with 
indignation against the city of New York, on account of the 
way in which the news of the reduction of Fort Sumter has 
been received there. New England has acted just as was ex 
pected, but better things were anticipated on the part of the 
Empire City. There is no sign of shrinking from a contest : 
on the contrary, the Carolinians are full of eagerness to test 
their force in the field. " Let them come ! " is their boastful 
mot d ordre. 

The anger which is reported to exist in the North only adds 
to the fury and animosity of the Carolinians. They are de 
termined now to act on their sovereign rights as a State, cost 
what it may, and uphold the ordinance of secession. The 
answers of several State Governors to President Lincoln s de 
mand for troops, have delighted our friends. Beriah Magoffin, 
of Kentucky, declares he won t give any men for such a 
wicked purpose ; and another gubernatorial dignitary laconi 
cally replied to the demand for so many thousand soldiers, 
" Nary one." Letcher, Governor of Virginia, has also sent a 
refusal. From the North comes news of mass-meetings, of 
hauling down Secession colors, mobbing Secession papers, of 
military bodies turning out, banks subscribing and lending. 

Jefferson Davis has met President Lincoln s proclamation 
by a counter manifesto, issuing letters of marque and reprisal 
on all sides preparations for war. The Southern agents are 
buying steamers, but they fear the Northern States will use 
their navy to enforce a blockade, which is much dreaded, as it 
will cut off supplies and injure the commerce, on which they 
so much depend. Assuredly Mr. Seward cannot know any 
thing of the feeling of the South, or he would not be so con 
fident as he was that all would blow over, and that the States, 
deprived of the care and fostering influences of the general 
Government, would get tired of their Secession ordinances, 
and of their experiment to maintain a national life, so that the 
United States will be reestablished before long. 

I went over and saw General Beauregard at his quarters. 
He was busy with papers, orderlies, and despatches, and the 
outer room was crowded with officers. His present task, he 



GENERAL BEAUREGARD. 117 

told me, was to put Sumter in a state of defence, and to dis 
arm the works bearing on it, so as to get their fire directed on 
the harbor-approaches, as " the North in its madness " might 
attempt a naval attack on Charleston. His manner of trans 
acting business is clear and rapid. Two vases filled with 
flowers on his table, flanking his maps and plans ; and a little 
hand bouquet of roses, geraniums, and scented flowers lay on 
a letter which he was writing as I came in, by way of paper 
weight. He offered me every assistance and facility, relying, 
of course, on my strict observance of a neutral s duty. I 
reminded him once more, that as the representative of an Eng 
lish journal, it would be my duty to write freely to England 
respecting what I saw ; and that I must not be held account 
able if on the return of my letters to America, a month after 
they were written, it was found they contained information to 
which circumstances might attach an objectionable character. 
The General said, " I quite understand you. We must take 
our chance of that, and leave you to exercise your discre 
tion." 

In the evening I dined with our excellent Consul, Mr. 
Bunch, who had a small and very agreeable party to meet 
me. One very venerable old gentleman, named Huger (pro 
nounced as Hugee), was particularly interesting in appearance 
and conversation. He formerly held some official appointment 
under the Federal Government, but had gone out with his 
State, and had been confirmed in his appointment by the Con 
federate Government. Still he was not happy at the pros 
pect before him or his country. " I have lived too long," he 
exclaimed ; "I should have died ere these evil days arrived." 
What thoughts, indeed, must have troubled his mind when he 
reflected that his country was but little older than himself; 
for he was one who had shaken hands with the framers of the 
Declaration of Independence. But though the tears rolled 
down his cheeks when he spoke of the prospect of civil war, 
there was no symptom of apprehension for the result, or in 
deed of any regret for the contest, which he regarded as the 
natural consequence of the insults, injustice, and aggression 
of the North against Southern rights. 

Only one of the company, a most lively, quaint, witty old 
lawyer named Petigru, dissented from the doctrines of Seces 
sion ; but he seems to be treated as an amiable, harmless per 
son, who has a weakness of intellect or a " bee in his bonnet " 
on this particular matter. 



118 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

It was scarcely very agreeable to my host or myself to find 
that no considerations were believed to be of consequence in 
reference to England except her material interests, and that 
these worthy gentlemen regarded her as a sort of appanage of 
their cotton kingdom. " Why, sir, we have only to shut off 
your supply of cotton for a few weeks, and we can create a 
revolution in Great Britain. There are four millions of your 
people depending on us for their bread, not to speak of the 
many millions of dollars. No, sir, we know that England 
must recognize us," &c. * 

Liverpool and Manchester have obscured all Great Britain 
to the Southern eye. I confess the tone of my friends irri 
tated me. I said so to Mr. Bunch, who laughed and re 
marked, " You ll not mind it when you get as much accus 
tomed to this sort of thing as I am." I could not help saying, 
that if Great Britain were such a sham as they supposed, the 
sooner a hole was drilled in her, and the whole empire sunk 
under water, the better for the world, the cause of truth, and 
of liberty. 

These tall, thin, fine-faced Carolinians are great materialists. 
Slavery perhaps has aggravated the tendency to look at all the 
world through parapets of cotton bales and rice bags, and though 
more stately and less vulgar, the worshippers here are not less 
prostrate before the " almighty dollar " than the Northerners. 
Again cropping out of the dead level of hate to the Yankee, 
grows its climax in the profession from nearly every one of 
the guests, that he would prefer a return to British rule to any 
reunion with New England. " The names in South Carolina 
show our origin Charleston, and Ashley, and Cooper, &c. 
Our Gadsden, Sumter and Pinckney were true cavaliers," &c. 
They did not say anything about Pedee, or Tombigbee, or Sul 
livan s Island, or the like. We all have our little or big weak 
nesses. 

I see no trace of cavalier descent in the names of Huger, 
Rose, Manning, Chestnut, Pickens ; but there is a profession 
of faith in the cavaliers and their cause among them because 
it is fashionable in Carolina. They affect the agricultural 
faith and the belief of a landed gentry. It is not only over 
the wineglass why call it cup ? that they ask for a Prince 
to reign over them ; I have heard the wish repeatedly ex 
pressed within the last two days that we could spare them one 
of our young Princes, but never in jest or in any frivolous 
manner. 



CAKE OF SLAVES. 119 

On my way home again, I saw the sentries on their march, 
the mounted patrols starting on their ride, and other evidences 
that though the slaves are " the happiest and most contented 
race in the world," they require to be taken care of like less 
favored mortals. The city watch-house is filled every night 
with slaves, who are confined there till reclaimed by their 
owners, whenever they are found out after nine o clock, p. M., 
without special passes or permits. Guns are firing for the 
Ordinance of Secession of Virginia. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Charleston; the Market-place Irishmen at Charleston Governor 
Pickens : his political economy and theories Newspaper offices 
and counting-houses Rumors as to the war policy of the South. 

April 19th. An exceeding hot day. The sun pours on 
the broad sandy street of Charleston with immense power, and 
when the wind blows down the thoroughfare it sends before 
it .vast masses of hot dust. The houses are generally detached, 
surrounded by small gardens, well provided with verandas to 
protect the windows from the glare, and are sheltered with 
creepers and shrubs and flowering plants, through which flit 
humming-birds and fly-catchers. In some places the streets 
and roadways are covered with planking, and as long as the 
wood is sound they are pleasant to walk or drive upon. 

I paid a visit to the markets ; the stalls are presided over by 
negroes, male and female ; the colored people engaged in sell 
ing and buying are well clad ; the butchers meat by no means 
tempting to the eye, but the fruit and vegetable stalls well 
filled. Fish is scarce at present, as the boats are not permit 
ted to proceed to sea lest they should be whipped up by the ex 
pected Yankee cruisers, or carry malecontents to communicate 
with the enemy. Around the flesh-market there is a skirling 
crowd of a kind of turkey-buzzard ; these are useful as scaven 
gers and are protected by law. They do their nasty work 
very zealously, descending on the oflfal thrown out to them, 
with the peculiar crawling, puffy, soft sort of flight which is 
the badge of all their tribe, and contending with wing and beak 
against the dogs which dispute the viands with the harpies. 
It is curious to watch the expression of their eyes as with out 
stretched necks they peer down from the ledge of the market 
roof on the stalls and scrutinize the operations of the butchers 
below. They do not prevent a disagreeable odor in the 
vicinity of the markets, nor are they deadly to a fine and 
active breed of rats. 

Much drumming and marching through the streets to-day. 



GOVERNOR PICKENS. 121 

One very ragged regiment which had been some time at Mor 
ris Island halted in the shade near me, and I was soon made 
aware they consisted, for the great majority, of Irishmen. 
The Emerald Isle, indeed, has contributed largely to the pop 
ulation of Charleston. In the principal street there is a 
large and fine red-sandstone building with the usual Greek- 
Yankee-composite portico, over which is emblazoned the 
crownless harp and the shamrock wreath proper to a St. 
Patrick s Hall, and several Roman Catholic churches also 
attest the Hibernian presence. 

I again called on General Beauregard, and had a few mo 
ments conversation with him. He told me that an immense 
deal depended on Virginia, and that as yet the action of the 
people in that State had not been as prompt as might have 
been hoped, for the President s proclamation was a declaration 
of war against the South, in which all would be ultimately in 
volved. He is going to Montgomery to confer with Mr. Jeffer 
son Davis. I have no doubt there is to be some movement 
made in Virginia. Whiting is under orders to repair there, 
and he hinted that he had a task of no common nicety and diffi 
culty to perform. He is to visit the forts which had been seized 
on the coast of North Carolina, and probably will have a look 
at Portsmouth. It is incredible that the Federal authorities 
should have neglected to secure this place. 

Later I visited the Governor of the State, Mr. Pickens, to 
whom I was conducted by Colonel Lucas, his aide-de-camp. 
His palace was a very humble shed-like edifice with large 
rooms, on the doors of which were pasted pieces of paper 
with sundry high -reading inscriptions, such as "Adjutant 
General s Dept.," " Quartermaster- General s Dept.," "Attor 
ney-General of State," &c. ; and through the doorways could 
be seen men in uniform, and grave, earnest people busy at 
their desks with pen, ink, paper, tobacco, and spittoons. The 
governor, a stout man, of a big head, and a large, important- 
looking face, with watery eyes and flabby features, was seated 
in a barrack-like room, furnished in the plainest way, and 
decorated by the inevitable portrait of George Washington, 
close to which was the " Ordinance of Secession of the State 
of South Carolina" of last year. 

Governor Pickens is considerably laughed at by his sub 
jects ; and I was amused by a little middy, who described with 
much unction the Governor s alarm on his visit to Fort Pick- 
ens, when he was told that there were a number of live shells 
6 



122 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

and a quantity of powder still in the place. He is said to 
have commenced one of his speeches with " Born insensible 
to fear," &c. To me the Governor was very courteous ; but I 
confess the heat of the day did not dispose me to listen with 
due attention to a lecture on political economy with which he 
favored me. I was told, however, that he had practised with 
success on the late Czar when he was United States Minister 
to St. Petersburg, and that he does not suffer his immediate 
staff to escape from having their minds improved on the rela 
tions of capital to labor, and on the vicious condition of capital 
and labor in the North. 

" In the North, then, you will perceive, Mr. Russell, they 
have maximized the hostile condition of opposed interests in 
the accumulation of capital and in the employment of labor, 
whilst we in the South, by the peculiar excellence of our do 
mestic institution, have minimized their opposition and max 
imized the identity of interest by the investment of capital in 
the laborer himself," and so on, or something like it. I could 
not help remarking it struck me there was " another difference 
betwixt the North and the South which he had overlooked, 
the capital of the North is represented by gold, silver, notes, 
and other exponents, which are good all the world over and 
are recognized as such ; your capital has power of locomotion, 
and ceases to exist the moment it crosses a geographical line." 
" That remark, sir," said the Governor, " requires that I 
should call your attention to the fundamental principles on 
which the abstract idea of capital should be formed. In order 
to clear the ground, let us first inquire into the soundness of 

the ideas put forward by your Adam Smith." 1 had to 

look at my watch and to promise I would come back to be 
illuminated on some other occasion, and hurried off to keep 
an engagement with myself to write letters by the next mail. 

The Governor writes very good proclamations, neverthe 
less, and his confidence in South Carolina is unbounded. " If 
we stand alone, sir, we must win. They can t whip us." A 
gentleman named Pringle, for whom I had letters of intro 
duction, has come to Charleston to ask me to his plantation, but 
there will be no boat from the port till Monday, and it is un 
certain then whether the blockading vessels, of which we hear 
so much, may not be down by that time. 

April 20th. I visited the editors of the " Charleston Mercu 
ry " and the " Charleston Courier " to-day at their offices. The 
Rhett family have been active agitators for secession, and it is 



AMONG THE CHARLESTONIANS. 123 

said they are not over well pleased with Jefferson Davis for 
neglecting their claims to office. The elder, a pompous, hard, 
ambitious man, possesses ability. He is fond of alluding to 
his English connections and predilections, and is intolerant of 
New England to the last degree. I received from him, ere I 
left, a pamphlet on his life, career and services. In the news 
paper offices there was nothing worthy of remark ; they were 
possessed of that obscurity which is such a characteristic of , 
the haunts of journalism the clouds in which the lightning// 
is hiding. Thence to haunts more dingy still where Plutus 
lives to the counting-houses of the cotton brokers, up many 
pairs of stairs into large rooms furnished with hard seats, en 
gravings of celebrated clippers, advertisements of emigrant 
agencies and of lines of steamers, little flocks of cotton, spec 
imens of rice, grain, and seed in wooden bowls, and clerks 
living inside railings, with secluded spittoons, and ledgers, and 
tumblers of water. 

I called on several of the leading merchants and bankers, 
such as Mr. Rose, Mr. Muir, Mr. Trenholm, and others. 
With all it was the same story. Their young men were off 
to the wars no business doing. In one office I saw an an 
nouncement of a company for a direct communication by 
steamers between a southern port and Europe. " When do 
you expect that line to be opened ? " I asked. " The United 
States cruisers will surely interfere with it." " Why, I ex 
pect, sir," replied the merchant, " that if those miserable 
Yankees try to blockade us, and keep you from our cotton, 
you ll just send their ships to the bottom and acknowledge us. 
That will be before autumn, I think." It was in vain I 
assured him he would be disappointed. " Look out there," he 
said, pointing to the wharf, on which were piled some cotton 
bales ; " there s the key will open all our ports, and put us into 
John Bull s strong box as well." 

I dined to-day at the hotel, notwithstanding many hospita 
ble invitations, with Messrs. Manning, Porcher Miles, Reed, 
and Pringle. Mr. Trescot, who was Under Secretary of State 
in Mr. Buchanan s Cabinet, joined us, and I promised to visit 
his plantation as soon as I have returned from Mr. Pringle s. 
We heard much the same conversation as usual, relieved by 
Mr. Trescot s sound sense and philosophy. He sees clearly 
the evils of slavery, but is, like all of us, unable to discover 
the solution and means of averting them. 

The Secessionists are in great delight with Governor Letch- 



124 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

er s proclamation, calling out troops and volunteers, and it is 
hinted that Washington will be attacked, and the nest of 
Black Republican vermin which haunt the capital, driven out. 
Agents are to be at once despatched to get up a navy, and 
every effort made to carry out the policy indicated in Jeff 
Davis s issue of letters of marque and reprisal. Norfolk har 
bor is blocked up to prevent the United States ships getting 
away ; and at the same time we hear that the Unites States 
officer commanding at the arsenal of Harper s Ferry has re 
tired into Pennsylvania, after destroying the place by fire. 
How " old John Brown " would have wondered and rejoiced, 
had he lived a few months longer ! 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Visit to a plantation ; hospitable reception By steamer to George 
town Description of the town A country mansion Masters 
and slaves Slave diet Humming-birds Land irrigation 
Negro quarters Back to Georgetown. 

April 2lst. In the afternoon I went with Mr. Porcher 
Miles to visit a small farm and plantation, some miles from 
the city, belonging to Mr. Crafts. Our arrival was unex 
pected, but the planter s welcome was warm. Mrs. Crafts 
showed us round the place, of which the beauties were due to 
nature rather than to art, and so far the lady was the fitting 
mistress of the farm. 

We wandered through tangled brakes and thick Indian-like 
jungle, filled with disagreeable insects, down to the edge of a 
small lagoon. The beach was perforated with small holes, in 
which Mrs. Crafts said little crabs, called " fiddlers " from their 
resemblance in petto to a performer on the fiddle make their 
abode ; but neither them nor " spotted snakes " did we see. 
And so to dinner, for which our hostess made needless ex 
cuses. " I am afraid I shall have to ask you to eke out your 
dinner with potted meats, but I can answer for Mr. Crafts 
giving you a bottle of good old wine." " And what better, 
madam," quoth Mr. Miles, " what better can you offer a sol 
dier ? What do we expect but grape and canister ? " 

Mr. Miles, who was formerly member of the United States 
Congress, and who has now migrated to the Confederate 
States of America, rendered himself conspicuous a few years 
ago when a dreadful visitation of yellow fever came upon 
Norfolk and destroyed one half of the inhabitants. At that 
terrible time, when all who could move were flying from the 
plague-stricken spot, Mr. Porcher Miles flew to it, visited the 
hospitals, tended the sick ; and although a weakly, delicate 
man. gave an example of such energy and courage as materi 
ally tended to save those who were left. I never heard him 
say a word to indicate that he had been at Norfolk at all. 



126 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

At the rear of the cottage-like residence (to the best of ray 
belief built of wood), in which the planter s family lived, was 
a small enclosure, surrounded by a palisade, containing a 
number of wooden sheds, which were the negro quarters ; and 
after dinner, as we sat on the steps, the children were sent for 
to sing for us. They came very shyly, and by degrees ; first 
peeping round the corners and from behind trees, oftentimes 
running away in spite of the orders of their haggard mammies, 
till they were chased, captured, and brought back by their 
elder brethren. They were ragged, dirty, shoeless urchins of 
both sexes ; the younger ones abdominous as infant Hindoos, 
and wild as if just caught. With much difficulty the elder 
children were dressed into line ; then they began to shuffle 
their flat feet, to clap their hands, and to drawl out in a mo 
notonous sort of chant something about the " River Javvdam," 
after which Mrs. Crafts rewarded them with lumps of sugar, 
which were as fruitful of disputes as the apple of discord. A 
few fathers and mothers gazed at the scene from a distance. 

As we sat listening to the wonderful song of the mocking 
birds, when these young Sybarites had retired, a great, big, 
burly red-faced gentleman, as like a Yorkshire farmer in high 
perfection as any man I ever saw in the old country, rode up 
to the door, and, after the usual ceremony of introduction and 
the collating of news, and the customary assurance " They 
can t whip us, sir ! " invited me then and there to attend a 
fete champetre at his residence, where there is a lawn famous 
for trees dating from the first settlement of the colony, and 
planted by this gentleman s ancestor. 

Trees are objects of great veneration in America if they 
are of any size. There are perhaps two reasons for this. In 
the first place, the indigenous forest trees are rarely of any 
great magnitude. In the second place, it is natural to Amer 
icans to admire dimension and antiquity ; and a big tree grati 
fies both organs size and veneration. 

I must record an astonishing feat of this noble Carolinian. 
The heat of the evening was indubitably thirst-compelling, 
and we went in to " have a drink." Among other things on 
the table were a decanter of cognac and a flask of white cura- 
yoa. The planter filled a tumbler half full of brandy. "What s 
in that flat bottle, Crafts ? " " That s white curagoa." The 
planter tasted a little, and having smacked his lips and ex 
claimed " first-rate stuff," proceeded to water his brandy with 
it, and tossed off a full brimmer of the mixture without any 



EXCURSION TO GEORGETOWN. 127 

remarkable ulterior results. They are a hard-beaded race. 
I doubt if cavalier or puritan ever drank a more potent bum 
per than our friend the big planter. 

April 22d. To-day was fixed for the visit to Mr. Prin- 
gle s plantation, which lies above Georgetown near the Pedee 
River. Our party, which consisted of Mr. Mitchell, an emi 
nent lawyer of Charleston, Colonel Reed, a neighboring plan 
ter, Mr. Ward, of New York, our host, and myself, were on 
board the Georgetown steamer at seven o clock, A. M., and 
started with a quantity of commissariat stores, ammunition, 
and the like, for the use of the troops quartered along the 
coast. There was, of course, a large supply of newspapers 
also. At that early hour invitations to the " bar " were not 
uncommon, where the news was discussed by long-legged, 
grave, sallow men. There was a good deal of joking about 
" old Abe Lincoln s paper blockade," and the report that the 
Government had ordered their cruisers to treat the crews of 
Confederate privateers as " pirates " provoked derisive and 
menacing comments. The full impulses of national life are 
breathing through the whole of this people. There is their 
flag flying over Sumter, and the Confederate banner is waving 
on all the sand-forts and headlands which guard the approaches 
to Charleston. 

A civil war and persecution have already commenced. 
" Suspected Abolitionists " are ill-treated in the South, and 
" Suspected Secessionists " are mobbed and beaten in the 
North. The news of the attack on the 6th Massachusetts, and 
the Pennsylvania regiment, by the mob in Baltimore, has 
been received with great delight ; but some long-headed peo 
ple see that it will only expose Baltimore and Maryland to 
the full force of the Northern States. The riot took place on 
the anniversary of Lexington. 

The " Nina " was soon in open sea, steering northwards 
and keeping four miles from shore in order to clear the shoals 
and banks which fringe the low sandy coasts, and effectually 
prevent even light gunboats covering a descent by their ord 
nance. This was one of the reasons why the Federal fleet 
did not make any attempt to relieve Fort Sumter during the 
engagement. On our way out we could see the holes made 
in the large hotel and other buildings on Sullivan s Island be 
hind Fort Moultrie, by the shot from the fort, which caused 
terror among the negroes " miles away." There was no sign 
of any blockading vessel, but look-out parties were posted 



128 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

along the beach, and as the skipper said we might have to 
make our return-journey by land, every sail on the horizon 
was anxiously scanned through our glasses. 

Having passed the broad mouth of the Santee, the steamer 
in three hours and a half ran up an estuary, into which the 
Maccamaw River and the Pedee River pour their united 
waters. 

Our vessel proceeded along-shore to a small jetty, at the 
end of which was a group of armed men, some of them being 
part of a military post, to defend the coast and river, estab 
lished under cover of an earthwork and palisades constructed 
with trunks of trees, and mounting three 32-pounders. Sev 
eral posts of a similar character lay on the river banks, and 
from some of these we were boarded by men in boats hungry 
for news and newspapers. Most of the men at the pier were 
cavalry troopers, belonging to a volunteer association of the 
gentry for coast defence, and they had been out night and day 
patrolling the shores, and doing the work of common soldiers 
very precious material for such work. They wore gray 
tunics, slashed and faced with yellow, buff belts, slouched felt 
hats, ornamented with drooping cocks plumes, and long jack 
boots, which well became their fine persons and bold bearing, 
and were evidently due to " Cavalier " associations. They 
were all equals. Our friends on board the boat hailed, them 
by their Christian names, gave and heard the news. Among 
the cases landed at the pier were certain of champagne and 
pates, on which Captain Blank was wont to regale his com 
pany daily at his own expense, or that of his cotton broker. 
Their horses picketed in the shade of trees close to the beach, 
the parties of women riding up and down the sands, or driving 
in light tax-carts, suggested images of a large picnic, and a 
state of society quite indifferent to Uncle Abe s cruisers and 
" Hessians." After a short delay here, the steamer proceeded 
on her way to Georgetown, an ancient and once important set 
tlement and port, which was marked in the distance by the 
little forest of masts rising above the level land, and the tops 
of the trees beyond, and by a solitary church-spire. 

As the " Nina " approaches the tumble-down wharf of the 
old town, two or three citizens advance from the shade of 
shaky sheds to welcome us, and a few country vehicles and 
light phaetons are drawn forth from the same shelter to re 
ceive the passengers, while the negro boys and girls who have 
been playing upon the bales of cotton and barrels of rice, 



THE PLANTER S HOUSE. 129 

which represent the trade of the place on the wharf, take up 
commanding positions for the better observation of our pro 
ceedings. 

There is about Georgetown an air of quaint simplicity and 
old-fashioned quiet, which contrasts refreshingly with the bus 
tle and tumult of American cities. While waiting for our 
vehicle we enjoyed the hospitality of Colonel Reed, who took 
us into an old-fashioned, angular, wooden mansion, more than 
a century old, still sound in every timber, and testifying, in 
its quaint wainscotings, and the rigid framework of door and 
window, to the durability of its cypress timbers and the pre 
servative character of the atmosphere. In early days it was 
the grand house of the old settlement, and the residence of 
the founder of the female branch of the family of our host, 
who now only makes it his halting-place when passing to and 
fro between Charleston and his plantation, leaving it the year 
round in charge of an old servant and her grandchild. Rose- 
trees and flowering shrubs clustered before the porch and filled 
the garden in front, and the establishment gave one a good 
idea of a London merchant s retreat about Chelsea a hundred 
and fifty years ago. 

At length we were ready for our journey, and, in two light 
covered gigs, proceeded along the sandy track which, after a 
while, led us to a road cut deep in the bosom of the woods, 
where silence was only broken by the cry of a woodpecker, 
the scream of a crane, or the sharp challenge of the jay. For 
miles we passed through the shades of this forest, meeting 
only two or three vehicles containing female planterdom on 
little excursions of pleasure or business, who smiled their wel 
come as we passed. Arrived at a deep chocolate-colored 
stream, called Black River, full of fish and alligators, we find 
a flat large enough to accommodate vehicles and passengers, 
and propelled by two negroes pulling upon a stretched rope, 
in the manner usual in the ferry-boats in Switzerland. 

Another drive through a more open country, and we reach 
a fine grove of pine and live-oak, which melts away into a 
shrubbery guarded by a rustic gateway : passing through this, 
we are brought by a sudden turn to the planter s house, buried 
in trees, which dispute with the green sward and with wild 
flower-beds the space between the hall-door and the waters of 
the Pedee ; and in a few minutes, as we gaze over the ex 
panse of fields marked by the deep water-cuts, and bounded 
by a fringe of unceasing forest, just tinged with green by the 
6* 



130 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

first life of the early rice-crops, the chimneys of the steamer 
we had left at Georgetown, gliding as it were through the 
fields, indicate the existence of another navigable river still 
beyond. 

Leaving the veranda which commanded this agreeable 
foreground, we enter the mansion, and are reminded by its 
low-browed, old-fashioned rooms, of the country houses yet to 
be found in parts of Ireland or on the Scottish border, with 
additions, made by the luxury and love of foreign travel, of 
more than one generation of educated Southern planters. 
Paintings from Italy illustrate the walls, in juxtaposition 
with interesting portraits of early colonial governors and 
their lovely womankind, limned with no uncertain hand, and 
full of the vigor of touch and naturalness of drapery, of 
which Copley has left us too few exemplars ; and one por 
trait of Benjamin West claims for itself such honor as his 
own pencil can give. An excellent library filled with col 
lections of French and English classics, and with those pon 
derous editions of Voltaire, Rousseau, the " Memoires pour 
Servir," books of travel and history which delighted our fore 
fathers in the last century, and many works of American and 
general history affords ample occupation for a rainy day. 

It was five o clock before we reached our planter s house 
White House Plantation. My small luggage was carried into 
my room by an old negro in livery, who took great pains to 
assure me of my perfect welcome, and who turned out to be a 
most excellent valet. A low room hung with colored mezzo 
tints, windows covered with creepers, and an old-fashioned 
bedstead and quaint chairs, lodged me sumptuously ; and after 
such toilet as was considered necessary by our host for a 
bachelor s party, we sat down to an excellent dinner, cooked 
by negroes and served by negroes, and aided by claret mel 
lowed in Carolinian suns, and by Madeira brought down stairs 
cautiously, as in the days of Horace and Ma3cenas, from the 
cellar between the attic and the thatched roof. 

Our party was increased by a neighboring planter, and 
after dinner the conversation returned to the old channel 
all the frogs praying for a king anyhow a prince to rule 
over them. Our good host is anxious to get away to Europe, 
where his wife and children are, and all he fears is being 
mobbed at New York, where Southerners are exposed to in 
sult, though they may get off better in that respect than Black 
Republicans would down South. Some of our guests talked 



UNHEALTHY SEASON. 131 

of the duello, and of famous hands with the pistol in these 
parts. The conversation had altogether very much the tone 
which would have probably characterized the talk of a group 
of Tory Irish gentlemen over their wine some sixty years 
ago, and very pleasant it was. Not a man no, not one 
will ever join the Union again! "Thank God!" they say, 
" we are freed from that tyranny at last." And yet Mr. Sew- 
ard calls it the most beneficent government in the world, which 
never hurt a human being yet ! 

But alas ! all the good things which the house affords, can 
be enjoyed but for a brief season. Just as nature has ex 
panded every charm, developed every grace, and clothed the 
scene with all the beauty of opened flower, of ripening grain, 
and of mature vegetation, on the wings of the wind the poi 
soned breath comes borne to the home of the white man, and 
he must fly before it or perish. The books lie unopened on 
the shelves, the flower blooms and dies unheeded, and, pity 
tis, tis true, the old Madeira garnered neath the roof, settles 
down for a fresh lease of life, and sets about its solitary task 
of acquiring a finer flavor for the infrequent lips of its ban 
ished master and his welcome visitors. This is the story, at 
least, that we hear on all sides, and such is the tale repeated to 
us beneath the porch, when the moon while softening enhances 
the loveliness of the scene, and the rich melody of mocking 
birds fills the grove. 

Within these hospitable doors Horace might banquet better 
than he did with Nasidienus, and drink such wine as can be 
only found among the descendants of the ancestry who, improv 
ident enough in all else, learnt the wisdom of bottling up 
choice old Bual and Sercial, ere the demon of oidium had dried 
up their generous sources forever. To these must be added 
excellent bread, ingenious varieties of the (/alette, compounded 
now of rice and now of Indian meal, delicious butter and 
fruits, all good of their kind. And is there anything better 
rising up from the bottom of the social bowl ? My black 
friends who attend on me are grave as Mussulman Khit- 
mutgars. They are attired in liveries and wear white cravats 
and Berlin gloves. At night when we retire, off they go to 
their outer darkness in the small settlement of negro-hood, 
which is separated from our house by a wooden palisade. 
Their fidelity is undoubted. The house breathes an air of 
security. The doors and windows are unlocked. There is 
but one gun, a fowling-piece, on the premises. No planter 



132 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

hereabouts has any dread of his slaves. But I have seen, 
within the short time I have been in this part of the world, 
several dreadful accounts of murder and violence, in which 
masters suffered at the hands of their slaves. There is some 
thing suspicious in the constant never-ending statement that 
" we are not afraid of our slaves." The curfew and the night 
patrol in the streets, the prisons and watch-houses, and the 
police regulations, prove that strict supervision, at all events, 
is needed and necessary. My host is a kind man and a good 
master. If slaves are happy anywhere, they should be so 
with him. 

These people are fed by their master. They have half a 
pound per diem of fat pork, and corn in abundance. They 
rear poultry and sell their chickens and eggs to the house. 
They are clothed by their master. He keeps them in sick 
ness as in health. Now and then there are gifts of tobacco 
and molasses for the deserving. There was little labor going 
on in the fields, for the rice has been just exerting itself to get 
its head above water. These fields yield plentifully ; the wa 
ters of the river are fat, and they are let in whenever the 
planter requires it by means of floodgates and small canals, 
through which the fiats can carry their loads of grain to the 
river for loading the steamers. 

April 23d. A lovely morning grew into a hot day. 
After breakfast, I sat in the shade watching the vagaries of 
some little tortoises, or terrapins, in a vessel of water close at 
hand, or trying to follow the bee-like flight of the humming 
birds. Ah me ! one wee brownie, with a purple head and red 
facings, managed to dash into a small grape or flower conserv 
atory close at hand, and, innocent of the ways of the glassy 
wall, he or she lam much puzzled as to the genders of 
humming-birds, and Mr. Gould, with his wonderful mastery 
of Greek prefixes and Latin terminations, has not aided me 
much dashed up and down from pane to pane, seeking to 
perforate each with its bill, and carrying death and destruction 
among the big spiders and their cobweb-castles which for the 
time barred the way. 

The humming-bird had as the Yankees say, a bad time of 
it, for its efforts to escape were incessant, and our host said 
tenderly, through his mustaches, " Pooty little thing, don t 
frighten it ! " as if he was quite sure of getting off to Saxony 
by the next steamer. Encumbered by cobwebs and ex 
hausted, now and then our little friend toppled down among 



HUMMING BIRDS. THE PLANTATION. 133 

the green shrubs, and lay panting like a living nugget of ore. 
Again he, she, or it took wing and resumed that mad career ; 
but at last on some happy turn the bright head saw an open 
ing through the door, and out wings, body, and legs dashed, 
and sought shelter in a creeper, where the little flutterer lay, 
all but dead, so inanimate, indeed, that I could have taken the 
lovely thing and put it in the hollow of my hand. What 
would poets of Greece and Rome have said of the humming 
bird ? What would Hafiz, or Waller, or Spenser have sung, 
had they but seen that offspring of the sun and flowers ? 

Later in the day, when the sun was a little less fierce, we 
walked out from the belt of trees round the house on the 
plantation itself. At this time of year there is nothing to 
recommend to the eye the great breadth of flat fields, sur 
rounded by small canals, which look like the bottoms of dried- 
up ponds, for the green rice has barely succeeded in forcing its 
way above the level of the rich dark earth. The river bounds 
the estate, and when it rises after the rains, its waters, loaded 
with loam and fertilizing mud, are let in upon the lands 
through the small canals, which are provided with sluices and 
banks and floodgates to control and regulate the supply. 

The negroes had but little to occupy them now. The chil 
dren of both sexes, scantily clad, were fishing in the canals and 
stagnant waters, pulling out horrible-looking little catfish. 
They were so shy that they generally fled at our approach. 
The men and women were apathetic, neither seeking nor shun 
ning us, and I found that their master knew nothing about 
them. It is only the servants engaged in household duties 
who are at all on familiar terms with their masters. 

The bailiff or steward was not to be seen. One big slouch 
ing negro, who seemed to be a gangsman or something of the 
kind, followed us in our walk, and answered any questions we 
put to him very readily. It was a picture to see his face 
when one of our party, on returning to the house, gave him a 
larger sum of money than he had probably ever possessed 
before in a lump. "What will he do with it?" Buy sweet 
things, sugar, tobacco, a penknife, and such things. " They 
have few luxuries, and all their wants are provided for." 
Took a cursory glance at the negro quarters, which are not 
very enticing or cleanly. They are surrounded by high pal 
ings, and the entourage is alive with their poultry. 

Very much I doubt whether Mr. Mitchell is satisfied the 
Southerners are right in their present course, but he and Mr. 



134 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Petigru are lawyer?, and do not take a popular view of the 
question. After dinner the conversation again turned on the 
resources and power of the South, and on the determination 
of the people never to go back into the Union. Then cropped 
out again the expression of regret for the rebellion of 1776, 
and the desire that if it came to the worst, England would 
receive back her erring children, or give them a prince under 
whom they could secure a monarchical form of government. 
There is no doubt about the earnestness with which these 
things are said. 

As the " Nina " starts down the river on her return voyage 
from Georgetown to-night, and Charleston harbor may be 
blockaded at any time, thus compelling us to make a long 
detour by land, I resolve to leave by her, in spite of many 
invitations and pressure from neighboring planters. At mid 
night our carriage came round, and we started in a lovely 
moonlight to Georgetown, crossing the ferry after some delay, 
in consequence of the profound sleep of the boatmen in their 
cabins. One of them said to me, " Mus n t go too near de 
edge ob de boat, massa." " Why not ? " " Becas if massa 
fall ober, he not come up agin likely, a bad ribber for 
drowned, massa." He informed me it was full of alligators, 
which are always on the look-out for the planters and ne 
groes dogs, and are hated and hunted accordingly. 

The " Nina " was blowing the signal for departure, the 
only sound we heard all through the night, as we drove 
through the deserted streets of Georgetown, and soon after 
three o clock, A. M., we were on board and in our berths. 



CHAPTEK XVIII. 

Climate of the Southern States General Beauregard Risks of the 
post-office Hatred of New England By railway to Sea Island 
plantation Sporting in South Carolina An hour on board a 
canoe in the dark. 

April 24^/j. In the morning we found ourselves in chop 
ping little sea-way for which the " Nina " was particularly 
unsuited, laden as she was with provisions and produce. 
Eyes and glasses anxiously straining seawards for any trace 
of the blockading vessels. Every sail scrutinized, but no 
" stars and stripes " visible. 

Our captain a good specimen of one of the inland-water 
navigators, shrewd, intelligent, and active, told me a good 
deal about the country. He laughed at the fears of the whites 
as regards the climate. " Why, here am I," said he, " going 
up the river, and down the river all times of the year, and 
at times of day and night when they reckon the air is most 
deadly, and I ve done so for years without any bad effects. 
The planters whose houses I pass all run away in May, and 
go off to Europe, or to the piney wood, or to the springs, or 
they think they d all die. There s Captain Buck, who lives 
above here, he comes from the State of Maine. He had 
only a thousand dollars to begin with, but he sets to work and 
gets land on the Maccamaw River at twenty cents an acre. It 
was death to go nigh it, but it was first-rate rice land, and 
Captain Buck is now worth a million of dollars. He lives 
on his estate all the year round, and is as healthy a man as 
ever you seen." 

To such historiettes my planting friends turn a deaf ear. 
" I tell you what," said Pringle, "just to show you what kind 
our climate is. I had an excellent overseer once, who would 
insist on staying near the river, and wouldn t go away. He 
fought against it for more than five-and-twenty years, but he 
went down with fever at last." As the overseer was more 
than thirty years of age when he came to the estate, he had 



136 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

not been cut off so very suddenly. I thought of the quack s 
advertisement of the " bad leg of sixty years standing." The 
captain says the negroes on the river plantations are very 
well off. He can buy enough of pork from the slaves on one 
plantation to last his ship s crew for the whole winter. The 
money goes to them, as the hogs are their own. One of the 
stewards on board had bought himself and his family out of 
bondage with his earnings. The State in general, however, 
does not approve of such practices. 

At three o clock, P. M., ran into Charleston harbor, and 
landed soon afterwards. 

I saw General Beauregard in the evening : he was very 
lively and in good spirits, though he admitted he was rather 
surprised by the spirit displayed in the North. "A good 
deal of it is got up, however," he said, " and belongs to that 
washy sort of enthusiasm which is promoted by their lec 
turing and spouting." Beauregard is very proud of his per 
sonal strength, which for his slight frame is said to be very 
extraordinary, and he seemed to insist on it that the Southern 
men had more physical strength, owing to their mode of life 
and their education, than their Northern " brethren." In the 
evening held a sort of tabaks consilium in the hotel, where a 
number of officers Manning, Lucas, Chestnut, Calhoun, &c., 
discoursed of the affairs of the nation. All my friends, 
except Trescot, I think were elated at the prospect of hostili 
ties with the North, and overjoyed that a South Carolina reg 
iment had already set out for the frontiers of Virginia. 

April 25th. Sent off my letters by an English gentleman, 
who was taking despatches from Mr. Bunch to Lord Lyons, as 
the post-office is becoming a dangerous institution. We hear 
of letters being tampered with on both sides. Adams s Ex 
press Company, which acts as a sort of express post under 
certain conditions, is more trustworthy ; but it is doubtful how 
long communications will be permitted to exist between the 
two hostile nations, as they may now be considered. 

Dined with Mr. Petigru, who had most kindly postponed 
his dinner party till my return from the plantations, and met 
there General Beauregard, Judge King, and others, among 
whom, distinguished for their esprit and accomplishments, were 
Mrs. King and Mrs. Carson, daughters of my host. The dis 
like, which seems innate, to New England is universal, and 
varies only in the form of its expression. It is quite true Mr. 
Petigru is a decided Unionist, but he is the sole specimen of 



BETWEEN CHARLESTON AND SAVANNAH. 137 

the genus in Charleston, and he is tolerated on account of his 
rarity. As the witty, pleasant old man trots down the street, 
utterly unconscious of the world around him, he is pointed out 
proudly by the Carolinians as an instance of forbearance on 
their part, and as a proof, at the same time, of popular unan 
imity of sentiment. 

There are also people who regret the dissolution of the 
Union such as Mr. Huger, who shed tears in talking of it 
the other night ; but they regard the fact very much as they 
would the demolition of some article which never can be re 
stored and reunited, which was valued for the uses it rendered 
and its antiquity. 

General Beau regard is apprehensive of an attack by the 
Northern " fanatics " before the South is prepared, and he con 
siders they will carry out coercive measures most rigorously. 
He dreads the cutting of the levees, or high artificial works, 
raised along the whole course of the Mississippi, for many 
hundreds of miles above New Orleans, which the Federals 
may resort to in order to drown the plantations and ruin the 
planters. 

We had a good-humored argument in the evening about the 
ethics of burning the Norfolk navy yard. The Southerners 
consider the appropriation of the arms, moneys, and stores of 
the United States as rightful acts, inasmuch as they represent, 
according to them, their contribution, or a portion of it, to the 
national stock in trade. When a State goes out of the Union 
she should be permitted to carry her forts, armaments, arse 
nals, &c., along with her, and it was a burning shame for the 
Yankees to destroy the property of Virginia at Norfolk. These 
ideas, and many like them, have the merit of novelty to Eng 
lish people, who were accustomed to think there were such 
things as the Union and the people of the United States. 

April 2Qth. Bade good-by to Charleston at 9*45 A. M., this 
day, and proceeded by railway, in company with Mr. Ward, 
to visit Mr. Trescot s Sea Island Plantation. Crossed the 
river to the terminus in a ferry steamer. No blockading ves 
sels in sight yet. The water alive with small silvery fish, like 
mullet, which sprang up and leaped along the surface inces 
santly. An old gentleman, who was fishing on the pier, com 
bined the pursuit of sport with instruction very ingeniously by 
means of a fork of bamboo in his rod, just above the reel, into 
which he stuck his inevitable newspaper, and read gravely in 
his cane-bottomed chair till he had a bite, when the fork was 



138 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

unhitched and the fish was landed. The negroes are very 
much addicted to the contemplative man s recreation, and they 
were fishing in all directions. 

On the move again. Took our places in the Charleston 
and Savannah Railway for Pocotaligo, which is the station 
for Barnwell Island. Our fellow-passengers were all full of 
politics the pretty women being the fiercest of all no ! 
the least good-looking were the most bitterly patriotic, as if 
they hoped to talk themselves into husbands by the most un- 
femiriine expressions towards the Yankees. 

The country is a dead flat, perforated by rivers and water 
courses, over which the rail is carried on long and lofty tres 
tle-work. But for the fine trees, the magnolias and live-oak, 
the landscape would be unbearably hideous, for there are none 
of the quaint, cleanly, delightful villages of Holland to relieve 
the monotonous level of rice swamps and wastes of land and 
water and mud. At the humble little stations there were in 
variably groups of horsemen waiting under the trees, and ladies 
with their black nurses and servants who had driven over in 
the odd-looking old-fashioned vehicles, which were drawn up 
in the shade. Those who were going on a long journey, 
aware of the utter barrenness of the land, took with them a 
viaticum and bottles of milk. The nurses and slaves squatted 
down by their side in the train, on perfectly well-understood 
terms. No one objected to their presence on the contrary, 
the passengers treated them with a certain sort of speciaj con 
sideration, and they were on the happiest terms with their 
charges, some of which were in the absorbent condition of life, 
and dived their little white faces against the tawny bosom of 
their nurses with anything but reluctance. 

The train stopped, at 12-20, at Pocotaligo; and there we 
found Mr. Trescot and a couple of neighboring planters, fa 
mous as fishers for "drum," of which more by and by. I 
had met old Mr. Elliot in Charleston, and his account of this 
sport, and of the pursuit of an enormous sea monster called 
the devil-fish, which he was one of the first to kill in these 
waters, excited my curiosity very much. Mr. Elliot has writ 
ten a most agreeable account of the sports of South Carolina, 
and I had hoped he would have been well enough to have 
been my guide, philosopher, and friend in drum-fishing in 
Port Royal ; but he sent over his son to say that he was too 
unwell to come, and had therefore despatched most excellent 
representatives in two members of his family. It was ar- 



RAIN-CROWS AND SNAKE-HAWKS. 139 

ranged that they should row down from their place and meet 
us to-morrow morning at Trescot s Island, which lies above 
Beaufort, in Port Royal Sound and River. 

Got into Trescot s gig, and plunged into a shady lane with 
wood on each side, through which we drove for some distance. 
The country, on each side and beyond, perfectly flat all 
rice lands few houses visible scarcely a human being on 
the road drove six or seven miles without meeting a soul. 
After a couple of hours or so, I should think, the gig turned 
up by an open gateway on a path or road made through a 
waste of rich black mud, " glorious for rice," and landed us at 
the door of a planter, Mr. Heyward, who came out and gave 
us a most hearty welcome, in the true Southern style. His 
house is charming, surrounded with trees, and covered with 
roses and creepers, through which birds and butterflies are 
flying. Mr. Heyward took it as a matter of course that we 
stopped to dinner, which we were by no means disinclined to 
do, as the day was hot, the road was dusty, and his reception 
frank and kindly. A fine specimen of the planter man ; and, 
minus his broad-brimmed straw hat and loose clothing, not a 
bad representative of an English squire at home. 

Whilst we were sitting in the porch, a strange sort of boom 
ing noise attracted my attention in one of the trees. " It is a 
rain-crow," said Mr. Heyward ; " a bird which we believe to 
foretell rain. I ll shoot it for you." And, going into the hall, 
he took down a double-barrelled fowling-piece, walked out, and 
fired into the tree ; whence the rain-crow, poor creature, fell 
fluttering to the ground and died. It seemed to me a kind of 
cuckoo the same size, but of darker plumage. I could 
gather no facts to account for the impression that its call is a 
token of rain. 

My attention was also called to a curious kind of snake- 
killing hawk, or falcon, which makes an extraordinary noise 
by putting its wings point upwards, close together, above its 
back, so as to offer no resistance to the air, and then, begin 
ning to descend from a great height, with fast-increasing rapid 
ity, makes, by its rushing through the air, a strange loud hum, 
till it is near the ground, when the bird stops its downward 
swoop and flies in a curve over the meadow. This I saw two 
of these birds doing repeatedly to-night. 

After dinner, at which Mr. Heyward expressed some alarm 
lest Secession would deprive the Southern States of " ice," we 
continued our journey towards the river. There is still a re- 



140 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

markable absence of population or life along the road, and 
even the houses are either hidden or lie too far off to be seen. 
The trees are much admired by the people, though they would 
not be thought much of in England. 

At length, towards sundown, having taken to a track by a 
forest, part of which was burning, we came to a broad muddy 
river, with steep clay banks. A canoe was lying in a little 
harbor formed by a slope in the bank, and four stout negroes, 
who were seated round a burning log, engaged in smoking and 
eating oysters, rose as we approached, and helped the party 
into the "dug-out," or canoe, a narrow, long, and heavy boat, 
with wall sides and a flat floor. A row of one hour, the latter 
part of it in darkness, took us to the verge of Mr. Trescot s 
estate, Barn well Island ; and the oarsmen, as they bent to 
their task, beguiled the way by singing in unison a real negro 
melody, which was as unlike the works of the Ethiopian Ser- 
enaders as anything in song could be unlike another. It was 
a barbaric sort of madrigal, in which one singer beginning 
was followed by the others in unison, repeating the refrain in 
chorus, and full of quaint expression and melancholy : 

" Oh, your soul ! oh, ray soul ! I m going to the churchyard to lay 

this body down ; 

Oh, my soul ! oh, your soul ! we re going to the churchyard 
to lay this nigger down." 

And then some appeal to the difficulty of passing " the Jaw- 
dam," constitute^ the whole of the song, which continued with 
unabated energy through the whole of the little voyage. To 
me it was a strange scene. The stream, dark as Lethe, flow 
ing between the silent, houseless, rugged banks, lighted up 
near the landing by the fire in the woods, which reddened the 
sky the wild strain, and the unearthly adjurations to the 
singers souls, as though they were palpable, put me in mind 
of the fancied voyage across the Styx. 

" Here we are at last." All I could see was a dark shadow 
of trees and the tops of rushes by the river side. " Mind 
where you step, and follow me close." And so, groping along 
through a thick shrubbery for a short space, I came out on a 
garden and enclosure, in the midst of which the white outlines 
of a house were visible. Lights in the drawing-room a 
lady to receive and welcome us a snug library tea, and 
to bed : but not without more talk about the Southern Con 
federacy, in which Mrs. Trescot explained how easily she 
could feed an army, from her experience in feeding her ne 
groes. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Domestic negroes Negro oarsmen Off to the fishing grounds 
The devil-fish Bad sport The drum-fishNegro quarters 
Want of drainage Thievish propensities of the blacks A 
Southern estimate of Southerners. 

April 27th. Mrs. Trescot, it seems, spent part of her 
night in attendance on a young gentleman of color, who was 
introduced into the world in a state of servitude by his poor 
chattel of a mother. Such kindly acts as these are more 
common than we may suppose ; and it would be unfair to put 
a strict or unfair construction on the motives of slave owners 
in paying such attention to their property. Indeed, as Mrs. 
Trescot says, " When people talk of my having so many 
slaves, I always tell them it is the slaves who own me. Morn 
ing, noon, and night, I m obliged to look after them, to doctor 
them, and attend to them in every way." Property has its 
duties, you see, madam, as well as its rights. 

The planter s house is quite new, and was built by himself; 
the principal material being wood, and most of the work being 
done by his own negroes. Such work as window-sashes and 
panellings, however, was executed in Charleston. A pretty 
garden runs at the back, and from the windows there are 
wide stretches of cotton-fields visible, and glimpses of the 
river to be seen. 

After breakfast our little party repaired to the river side, 
and sat under the shade of some noble trees waiting for the 
boat which was to bear us to the fishing grounds. The wind 
blew up stream, running with the tide, and we strained our 
eyes in vain for the boat. The river is here nearly a mile 
across, a noble estuary rather, with low banks lined with 
forests, into which the axe has made deep forays and clearings 
for cotton-fields. 

It would have astonished a stray English traveller, if, pen 
etrating the shade, he heard in such an out-of-the-way place 
familiar names and things spoken of by the three lazy persons 



142 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

who were stretched out cigar in mouth on the ant-haunt 
ed trunks which lay prostrate by the seashore. Mr. Trescot 
spent some time in London as attache to the United States 
Legation, was a club man, and had a large circle of acquaint 
ance among the young men about town, of whom he remem 
bered many anecdotes and peculiarities, and little adventures. 
Since that time he was Under- Secretary of State in Mr. 
Buchanan s administration, and went out with Secession. He 
is the author of a very agreeable book on a dry subject, " The 
History of American Diplomacy," which is curious enough as 
an unconscious exposition of the anti-British jealousies, and 
even antipathies, which have animated American .statesmen 
since they were created. In fact, much of American diplo 
macy means hostility to England, and the skilful employment 
of the anti-British sentiment at their disposal in their own 
country and elsewhere. Now he was talking pleasantly of 
people he had met many of them mutual friends. 

" Here is the boat at last ! " I had been sweeping the 
broad river with my glass occasionally, and at length detected 
a speck on its broad surface moving down towards us, with a 
white dot marking the foam at its bows. Spite of wind and 
tideway, it came rapidly, and soon approached us, pulled by 
six powerful negroes, attired in red-flannel jackets and white 
straw hats with broad ribbons. The craft itself a kind ot 
monster canoe, some forty-five feet long, narrow, wall-sided, 
with high bow and raised stern lay deep in the water, for 
there were extra negroes for the fishing, servants, baskets of 
provisions, water buckets, stone jars of less innocent drinking, 
and abaft there was a knot of great strong planters, Elliots 
all cousins, uncles, and brothers. A friendly hail as they 
swept up along-side, an exchange of salutations. 

" Well, Trescot, have you got plenty of Crabs ? " 

A groan burst forth at his insouciant reply. He had been 
charged to find bait, and he had told the negroes to do so, and 
the negroes had not done so. The fishermen looked grievous 
ly at each other, and fiercely at Trescot, who assumed an air 
of recklessness, and threw doubts on the existence of fish in 
the river, and resorted to similar miserable subterfuges ; in 
deed, it was subsequently discovered that he was an utter 
infidel in regard to the delights of piscicapture. 

" Now, all aboard ! Over, you fellows, and take these 
gentlemen in ! " The negroes were over in a moment, waist 
deep, and, each taking one on his back, deposited us dry in 



DEVIL-FISH. 143 

the boat. I only mention this to record the fact, that I was 
much impressed by a practical demonstration from my bearer 
respecting the strong odor of the skin of a heated African. I 
have been wedged up in a column of infantry on a hot day, 
and have marched to leeward of Ghoorkhas in India, but the 
overpowering pungent smell of the negro exceeds everything 
of the kind I have been unfortunate enough to experience. 

The vessel was soon moving again, against a ripple, caused 
by the wind, which blew dead against us ; and, notwithstand 
ing the praises bestowed on the boat, it was easy to perceive 
that the labor of pulling such a dead-log-like thing through 
the water told severely on the rowers, who had already come 
some twelve miles, I think. Nevertheless, they were told to 
sing, and they began accordingly one of those wild Baptist 
chants about the Jordan in which they delight, not destitute 
of music, but utterly unlike what is called an Ethiopian mel 
ody. 

The banks of the river on both sides are low ; on the left 
covered with wood, through which, here and there, at inter 
vals, one could see a planter s or overseer s cottage. The 
course of this great combination of salt and fresh water some 
times changes, so that houses are swept away and plantations 
submerged ; but the land is much valued nevertheless, on 
account of the fineness of the cotton grown among the islands. 
" Cotton at twelve cents a pound, and we don t fear the 
world." 

As the boat was going to the fishing ground, which lay 
towards the mouth of the river at Hilton Head, our friends 
talked politics and sporting combined, the first of the usual 
character, the second quite new. 

I heard much of the mighty devil-fish which frequents 
these waters. One of our party, Mr. Elliot, sen., a tall, 
knotty, gnarled sort of man, with a mellow eye and a hearty 
voice, was a famous hand at the sport, and had had some 
hair-breadth escapes in pursuit of it. The fish is described 
as of enormous size and strength, a monster ray, which pos 
sesses formidable antennae-like horns, and a pair of huge fins, 
or flappers, one of which rises above the water as the creature 
moves below the surface. The hunters, as they may be call 
ed, go out in parties, three or four boats, or more, with 
good store of sharp harpoons and tow-lines, and lances. When 
they perceive the creature, one boat takes the lead, and 
moves down towards it, the others following, each with a 



144 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

harpooner standing in the bow. The devil-fish sometimes is 
wary, and dives, when it sees a boat, taking such a long spell 
below that it is never seen again. At other times, however, 
it backs, and lets the boat come so near as to allow of the 
harpooner striking it, or it dives for a short way and comes 
up near the boats again. The moment the harpoon is fixed, 
the line is paid out by the rush of the creature, which is 
made with tremendous force, and all the boats at once hurry 
up, so that one after another they are made fast to that in 
which the lucky sportsman is seated. At length, when the 
line is run out, checked from time to time as much as can be 
done with safety, the crew take their oars and follow the 
course of the ray, which swims so fast, however, that it keeps 
the line taut, and drags the whole flotilla seawards. It de 
pends on its size and strength to determine how soon it rises 
to the surface ; by degrees the line is warped in and hove 
short till the boats are brought near, and when the ray comes 
up it is attacked with a shower of lances and harpoons, and 
dragged off into shoal water to die. 

On one occasion, our Nimrod told us, he was standing in 
the bows of the boat, harpoon in hand, when a devil-fish came 
up close to him ; he threw the harpoon, struck it, but at the 
same time the boat ran against the creature with a shock 
which threw him right forward on its back, and in an instant 
it caught him in its horrid arms and plunged down with him 
to the depths. Imagine the horror of the moment ! Imagine 
the joy of the terrified drowning, dying man, when, for some 
inscrutable reason, the devil-fish relaxed its grip, and enabled 
him to strike for the surface, where he was dragged into 
the boat more dead than alive by his terror-smitten compan 
ions, the only man who ever got out of the embraces of 
the thing alive. " Tom is so tough that even a devil-fish 
could make nothing out of him." 

At last we came to our fishing ground. There was a sub 
stitute found for the favorite crab, and it was fondly hoped our 
toils might be rewarded with success. And these were toils, 
for the water is deep and the lines heavy. But to alleviate 
them, some hampers were produced from the stern, and won 
derful pies from Mrs. Trescot s hands, and from those of fair 
ladies up the river whom we shall never see, were spread out, 
and bottles which represented distant cellars in friendly nooks 
far away. " No drum here ! Up anchor, and pull away a 
few miles lower down." Trescot shook his head, and again 



DRUM-FISH. 145 

asserted his disbelief in fishing, or rather in catching, and in 
deed made a sort of pretence at arguing that it was wiser to 
remain quiet and talk philosophical politics ; but, as judge of 
appeal, I gave it against him, and the negroes bent to their 
oars, and we went thumping through the spray, till, rounding 
a point of land, we saw pitched on the sandy shore ahead of 
us, on the right bank, a tent, and close by two boats. " There 
is a party at it ! " A fire was burning on the beach, and as we 
came near, Tom and Jack and Harry were successfully identi 
fied. " There s no take on, or they would not be on shore. 
This is very unfortunate." 

All the regret of my friends was on my account, so to ease 
their minds I assured them I did not mind the disappointment 
much. " Hallo Dick ! Caught any drum ? " "A few this 
morning ; bad sport now, and will be till tide turns again." 
I was introduced to all the party from a distance, and present 
ly I saw one of them raising from a boat something in look 
and shape and color like a sack of flour, which he gave to a 
negro, who proceeded to carry it towards us in a little skiff. 
" Thank you, Charley. I just want to let Mr. Russell see a 
drum-fish." And a very odd fish it was, a thick lumpish 
form, about four and a half feet long, with enormous head and 
scales, and teeth like the grinders of a ruminant animal, acting 
on a great pad of bone in the roof of the mouth, a very un 
lovely thing, swollen with roe, which is the great delicacy. 

" No chance till the tide turned," but that would be too 
late for our return, and so unwillingly we were compelled to 
steer towards home, hearing now and then the singular noise 
like the tap on a large unbraced drum, from which the fish 
takes its name. At first, when I heard it, I was inclined to 
think it was made by some one in the boat, so near and close 
did it sound ; but soon it came from all sides of us, and evi 
dently from the depths of the water beneath us, not a sharp 
rat-tat-tap, but a full muffled blow with a heavy thud on the 
sheepskin. Mr. Trescot told me that on a still evening by the 
river side the effect sometimes is most curious, the rolling 
and pattering is audible at a great distance. Our friends were 
in excellent humor with everything and everybody, except the 
Yankees, though they had caught no fish, and kept the negroes 
at singing and rowing till at nightfall we landed at the island, 
and so to bed after supper and a little conversationj in which 
Mrs. Trescot again explained how easily she could maintain 
a battalion on the island by her simple commissariat, already 
7 



146 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

adapted to the niggers, and that it would therefore be very 
easy for the South to feed an army, if the people were 
friendly. 

April 2Sth. The church is a long way off, only available 
by a boat and then a drive in a carriage. In the morning a 
child brings in my water and boots an intelligent, curly- 
headed creature, dressed in a sort of sack, without any par 
ticular waist, barefooted. I imagined it was a boy till it told 
mp it was a girl. I asked if she was going to church, which 
seemed to puzzle her exceedingly ; but she told me finally she 
would hear prayers from " uncle " in one of the cottages. 
This use of the words " uncle " and " aunt " for old people 
is very general. Is it because they have no fathers and 
mothers? In the course of the day, the child, who was four 
teen or fifteen years of age, asked me " whether I would not 
buy her. She could wash and sew very well, and she thought 
missus wouldn t want much for her." The object she had in 
view leaked out at last. It was a desire to see the glories 
of Beaufort, of which she had heard from the fishermen ; and 
she seemed quite wonderstruck when she was informed I did 
not live there, and had never seen it. She had never been 
outside the plantation in her life. 

After breakfast we loitered about the grounds, strolling 
through the cotton-fields, which had as yet put forth no bloom 
or flower, and coming down others to the thick fringes of 
wood and sedge bordering the marshy banks of the island. 
The silence was profound, broken only by the husky mid-day 
crowing of the cocks in the negro quarters. 

In the afternoon I took a short drive " to see a tree," which 
was not very remarkable, and looked in at the negro quarters 
and the cotton-mill. The old negroes were mostly indoors, 
and came shambling out to the doors of their wooden cottages, 
making clumsy bows at our approach, but not expressing any 
interest or pleasure at the sight of their master and the strang 
ers. They were shabbily clad ; in tattered clothes, bad straw 
hats and felt bonnets, and broken shoes. The latter are expen 
sive articles, and negroes cannot dig without them. Trescot 
sighed as he spoke of the increase of price since the troubles 
broke out. 

The huts stand in a row, like a street, each detached, with 
a poultry- house of rude planks behind it. The mutilations 
which the poultry undergo for the sake of distinction are 
striking. Some are deprived of a claw, others have the wat- 



A SEA-ISLAND PLANTATION. 147 

ties cut, and tails and wings suffer in all ways. No attempt 
at any drainage or any convenience existed near them, and 
the same remark applies to very good houses of white people 
in the south. Heaps of oyster shells, broken crockery, old 
shoes, rags, and feathers were found near each hut. The huts 
were all alike windowless, and the apertures, intended to be 
glazed some fine day, were generally filled up with a deal 
board. The roofs were shingle, and the whitewash which 
had once given the settlement an air of cleanliness, was now 
only to be traced by patches which had escaped the action of 
the rain. I observed that many of the doors were fastened 
by a padlock and chain outside. " Why is that ? " " The 
owners have gone out, and honesty is not a virtue they have 
towards each other. They would find their things stolen if 
they did not lock their doors." Mrs. Trescot, however, in 
sisted on it that nothing could exceed the probity of the slaves 
in the house, except in regard to sweet things, sugar, and the 
like ; but money and jewels were quite safe. It is obvious 
that some reason must exist for this regard to the distinctions 
twixt meum and tuum in the case of masters and mistresses, 
when it does not guide their conduct towards each other, and 
I think it might easily be found in the fact that the negroes 
could scarcely take money without detection. Jewels and 
jewelry would be of little value to them ; they could not 
wear them, could not part with them. The system has made 
the white population a police against the black race, and the 
punishment is not only sure but grievous. Such things as 
they can steal from each other are not to be so readily 
traced. 

One particularly dirty looking little hut was described to 
me as * the church." It was about fifteen feet square, be 
grimed with dirt and smoke, and windowless. A few benches 
were placed across it, and " the preacher," a slave from 
another plantation, was expected next week. These preach 
ings are not encouraged in many plantations. They " do the 
niggers no good" "they talk about things that are going on 
elsewhere, and get their minds unsettled," and so on. 

On our return to the house, I found that Mr. Edmund 
Rhett, one of the active and influential political family of that 
name, had called a very intelligent and agreeable gentle 
man, but one of the most ultra and violent speakers against 
the Yankees I have yet heard. He declared there were few 
persons in South Carolina who would not sooner ask Great 



148 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Britain to take back the State than submit to the triumph 
of the Yankees. " We are an agricultural people, pursuing 
our own system, and working out our own destiny, breeding 
up women and men with some other purpose than to make 
them vulgar, fanatical, cheating Yankees hypocritical, if as 
women they pretend to real virtue ; and lying, if as men they 
pretend to be honest. We have gentlemen and gentlewomen 
in your sense of it. We have a system which enables us to 
reap the fruits of the earth by a race which we save from 
barbarism in restoring them to their real place in the world as 
laborers, whilst we are enabled to cultivate the arts, the 
graces, and accomplishments of life, to develop science, to 
apply ourselves to the duties of government, and to under 
stand the affairs of the country." 

This is a very common line of remark here. The South 
erners also take pride to themselves, and not unjustly, for 
their wisdom in keeping in Congress those men who have 
proved themselves useful and capable. " We do not," they 
say, " cast able men aside at the caprices of a mob, or in obe 
dience to some low party intrigue, and hence we are sure of 
the best men, and are served by gentlemen conversant with 
public affairs, far superior in every way to the ignorant clowns 
who are sent to Congress by the North. Look at the fellows 
who are sent out by Lincoln to insult foreign courts by their 
presence." I said that I understood Mr. Adams and Mr. 
Dayton were very respectable gentlemen, but I did not re 
ceive any sympathy ; in fact, a neutral who attempts to mod 
erate the violence of either side, is very like an ice between 
two hot plates. Mr. Rhett is also persuaded that the Lord 
Chancellor sits on a cotton bale. " You must recognize us, 
sir, before the end of October." In the evening a distant 
thunder-storm attracted me to the garden, and I remained out 
watching the broad flashes and sheets of fire worthy of the 
tropics till it was bedtime. 



CHAPTER XX. 

By railway to Savannah Description of the city Rumors of the 
last few days State of affairs at Washington Preparations for 
war Cemetery of Bonaventure lload made of oyster-shells 
Appropriate features of the Cemetery The Tatnall family 
Dinner-party at Mr. Green s Feeling in Georgia against the 
North. 

April 23th, This morning up at six, A.M., bade farewell 
to our hostess and Barn well Island, and proceeded with Tres- 
cot back to the Pocotaligo station, which we reached at 12-20. 
On our way Mr. Heyward and his son rode out of a field, 
looking very like a couple of English country squires in all but 
hats and saddles. The young gentleman was good enough 
to bring over a snake-hawk he had shot for me. At the 
station, to which the Heywards accompanied us, were the 
Elliotts and others, who had come over with invitations and 
adieux ; and I beguiled the time to Savannah reading the 
very interesting book by Mr. Elliott, senior, on the Wild 
Sports of Carolina, which was taken up by some one when 
I left the carriage for a moment and not returned to me. The 
country through which we passed was flat and flooded as 
usual, and the rail passed over dark deep rivers on lofty 
trestle-work, by pine wood and dogwood-tree, by the green 
plantation clearing, with mud bank, dike, and tiny canal mile 
by mile, the train stopping for the usual freight of ladies, and 
negro nurses, and young planters, all very much of the same 
class, till at three o clock, p. M., the cars rattled up along-side 
a large shed, and we were told we had arrived at Savannah. 

Here was waiting for me Mr. Charles Green, who had al 
ready claimed me and rny friend as his guests, and I found in 
his carriage the young American designer, who had preceded 
me from Charleston, and had informed Mr. Green of my 
coming. 

The drive through such portion of Savannah as lay be 
tween the terminus and Mr. Green s house, soon satisfied my 
eyes that it had two peculiarities. In the first place, it had 



150 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

the deepest sand in the streets I have ever seen ; and next, 
the streets were composed of the most odd, quaint, green-win 
dowed, many-colored little houses I ever beheld, with an odd 
population of lean, sallow, ill-dressed unwholesome-looking 
whites, lounging about the exchanges and corners, and a busy, 
well-clad, gayly-attired race of negroes, working their way 
through piles of children, under the shade of the trees which 
bordered all the streets. The fringe of green, and the height 
attained by the live-oak, Pride of India, and magnolia, give 
a delicious freshness and novelty to the streets of Savannah, 
which is increased by the great number of squares and open 
ings covered with something like sward, fenced round by 
white rail, and embellished with noble trees to be seen at 
every few hundred yards. It is difficult to believe you are 
in the midst of a city, and I was repeatedly reminded of the 
environs of a large Indian cantonment the same kind of 
churches and detached houses, with their plantations and gar 
dens not unlike. The wealthier classes, however, have houses 
of the New York Fifth Avenue character : one of the best of 
these, a handsome mansion of rich red-sandstone, belonged to 
ray host, who coming out from England many years ago, 
raised himself by industry and intelligence to the position 
of one of the first merchants in Savannah. Italian statuary 
graced the hall ; finely carved tables and furniture, stained 
glass, and pictures from Europe set forth the sitting-rooms ; 
and the luxury of bath-rooms and a supply of cold fresh water, 
rendered it an exception to the general run of Southern edi 
fices. Mr. Green drove me through the town, which im 
pressed me more than ever with its peculiar character. We 
visited Brigadier- General Lawton, who is charged with the 
defences of the place against the expected Yankees, and found 
him just setting out to inspect a band of volunteers, whose 
drums we heard in the distance, and whose bayonets were 
gleaming through the clouds of Savannah dust, close to the 
statue erected to the memory of one Pulaski, a Pole, who 
was mortally wounded in the unsuccessful defence of the city 
against the British in the War of Independence. He turned 
back arid led us into his house. The hall was filled with 
little round rolls of flannel. " These," said he, " are car 
tridges for cannon of various calibres, made by the ladies 
of Mrs. Lawton s cartridge class. " There were more 
cartridges in the back parlor, so that the house was not 
quite a safe place to smoke a cigar in. The General has 



NEWS FROM THE NORTH. 151 

been in the United States army, and has now come forward 
to head the people of this State in their resistance to the 
Yankees. 

We took a stroll in the park, and I learned the news of the 
last few days. The people of the South, I find, are delighted 
at a snubbing which Mr. Seward has given to Governor 
Hicks of Maryland, for recommending the arbitration of 
Lord Lyons, and he is stated to have informed Governor 
Hicks that " our troubles could not be referred to foreign ar 
bitration, least of all to that of the representative of a Euro 
pean monarchy." The most terrible accounts are given of 
the state of things in Washington. Mr. Lincoln consoles 
himself for his miseries by drinking. Mr. Seward follows 
suit. The White House and capital are full of drunken bor 
der ruffians, headed by one Jim Lane, of Kansas. But, on 
the other hand, the Yankees, under one Butler, a Massachu 
setts lawyer, have arrived at Annapolis, in Maryland, secured 
the " Constitution " man-of-war, and are raising masses of 
men for the invasion of the South all over the States. The 
most important thing, as it strikes me, is the proclamation of 
the Governor of Georgia, forbidding citizens to pay any 
money on account of debts due to Northerners, till the end of the 
war. General Robert E. Lee has been named Commander- 
in-Chief of the Forces of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 
and troops are flocking to that State from Alabama and other 
States. Governor Ellis has called out 30,000 volunteers in 
North Carolina, and Governor Rector of Arkansas has seized 
the United States military stores at Napoleon. There is a 
rumor that Fort Pickens has been taken also, but it is very 
probably untrue. In Texas and Arkansas the United States 
regulars have not made an attempt to defend any of the forts. 

In the midst of all this warlike work, volunteers drilling, 
bands playing, it was pleasant to walk in the shady park, with 
its cool fountains, and to see the children playing about 
many of them, alas ! " playing at soldiers " in charge of 
their nurses. Returning, sat in the veranda and smoked a 
cigar ; but the mosquitoes were very keen and numerous. 
My host did not mind them, but my cuticle will never be 
sting-proof. 

April 30th, At 1 30 P. M. a small party started from Mr. 
Green s to visit the cemetery of Bonaveriture, to which every 
visitor to Savannah must pay his pilgrimage ; difficiles aditus 
primos habet a deep sandy road which strains the horses 



152 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

and the carriages ; but at last " the shell road is reached a 
highway several miles long, consisting of oyster shells the 
pride of Savannah, which eats as many oysters as it can to 
add to the length of this wonderful road. There is no stone 
in the whole of the vast alluvial ranges of South Carolina and 
Maritime Georgia, and the only substance available for mak 
ing a road is the oyster-shell. There is a toll-gate at each end 
to aid the oyster-shells. Remember they are three times the 
size of any European crustacean of the sort. 

A pleasant drive through the shady hedgerows and border 
ing trees lead to a dilapidated porter s lodge and gateway, 
within which rose in a towering mass of green one of the fin 
est pieces of forest architecture possible ; nothing to be sure 
like Burnham Beeches, or some of the forest glades of Wind 
sor, but possessed, nevertheless, of a character quite its own. 
What we gazed upon was, in fact, the ruin of grand avenues 
of live-oak, so well-disposed that their peculiar mode of 
growth afforded an unusual development of the " Gothic idea," 
worked out and elaborated by a superabundant fall from the 
overlacing arms and intertwined branches of the tillandsia, or 
Spanish moss, a weeping, drooping, plumaceous parasite, which 
does to the tree what its animal type, the yellow fever 
vomitoprieto does to man clings to it everlastingly, drying 
up sap, poisoning blood, killing the principle of life till it dies. 
The only differ, as they say in Ireland, is, that the tillandsia 
all the time looks very pretty, and that the process lasts very 
long. Some there are who praise this tillandsia, hanging like 
the tresses of a witch s hair over an invisible face, but to me it 
is a paltry parasite, destroying the grace and beauty of that 
it preys upon, and letting fall its dull tendrils over the fresh 
lovely green, as clouds drop over the face of some beautiful 
landscape. Despite all this, Bonaventure is a scene of re 
markable interest ; it seems to have been intended for a place 
of tombs. The Turks would have filled it with turbaned 
white pillars, and with warm ghosts at night. The French 
would have decorated it with interlaced hands of stone, with 
tears of red and black on white ground, with wreaths of im 
mortelles. I am not sure that we would have done much 
more than have got up a cemetery company, interested Shil- 
liber, hired a beadle, and erected an iron paling. The Sa 
vannah people not following any of these fashions, all of which 
are adopted in Northern cities, have left everything to nature 
and the gatekeeper, and to the owner of one of the hotels, who 



THE TATNALLS. 153 

has got up a grave-yard in the ground. And there, scattered 
up and down under the grand old trees, which drop tears of 
Spanish moss, and weave wreaths of Spanish moss, and 
shake plumes of Spanish moss over them, are a few monu 
mental stones to certain citizens of Savannah. There is a 
melancholy air about the place independently of these emblems 
of our mortality, which might recommend it specially for pic 
nics. There never was before a cemetery where nature 
seemed to aid the effect intended by man so thoroughly. 
Every one knows a weeping willow will cry over a wedding 
party if they sit under it, as well as over a grave. But here 
the Spanish moss looks like weepers wreathed by some fan 
tastic hand out of the crape of dreamland. Lucian s Ghost- 
lander, the son of Skeleton of the Tribe of the Juiceless, could 
tell us something of such weird trappings. They are known 
indeed as the best bunting for yellow fever to fight under. 
Wherever their flickering horsehair tresses wave in the breeze, 
taper end downwards, Squire Black Jack is bearing lance and 
sword. One great green oak says to the other, " This fellow 
is killing me. Take his deadly robes off my limbs ! " " Alas ! 
see how he is ruining me ! I have no life to help you." It 
is, indeed, a strange and very ghastly place. Here are so 
many querci virentes, old enough to be strong, and big, and 
great, sapful, lusty, wide-armed, green-honored all dying 
out slowly beneath tillandsia, as if they were so many mon 
archies perishing of decay -or so many youthful republics 
dying of buncombe brag, richness of blood, and other diseases 
fatal to overgrown bodies politic. 

The void left in the midst of all these designed walks and 
stately avenues, by the absence of any suitable centre, increases 
the seclusion and solitude. A house ought to be there some 
where you feel in fact there was once the mansion of the Tat- 
nalls, a good old English family, whose ancestors came from the 
old country, ere the rights of man were talked of, and lived 
among the Oglethorpes, and such men of the pigtail school, 
who would have been greatly astonished at finding themselves 
in company with Benjamin Franklin or his kind. I don t 
know anything of old Tatnall. Indeed who does ? But he 
had a fine idea of planting trees, which he never got in Amer 
ica, where he would have received scant praise for anything 
but his power to plant cotton or sugar-cane just now. In his 
knee breeches, and top boots, I can fancy the old gentleman 
reproducing some home scene, and boasting to himself, " I will 
7* 



154 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

make it as fine as Lord Nihilo s park." Could he see it now ? 
A decaying army of the dead. The mansion was burned 
down during a Christmas merrymaking, and was never built 
again, and the young trees have grown up despite the Spanish 
moss, and now they stand, as it were in cathedral aisles, around 
the ruins of the departed house, shading the ground, and en 
shrining its memories in an antiquity which seems of the 
remotest, although it is not as ancient as that of the youngest 
oak in the Squire s park at home. 

I have before oftentimes in my short voyages here, won 
dered greatly at the reverence bestowed on a tree. In fact, 
it is because a tree of any decent growth is sure to be older 
than anything else around it ; and although young America 
revels in her future, she is becoming old enough to think 
about her past. 

In the evening Mr. Green gave a dinner to some very 
agreeable people, Mr. Ward, the Chinese Minister (who 
tried, by the by, to make it appear that his wooden box was 
the Pekin State carriage for distinguished foreigners) Mr. 
Locke, the clever and intelligent editor of the principal jour 
nal in Savannah, Brigadier Lawton, one of the Judges, a 
Britisher, owner of the once renowned America which, under 
the name of Camilla, was now lying in the river (not perhaps 
without reference to a little speculation in running the block 
ade, hourly expected), Mr. Ward and Commodore Tatnall, so 
well known to us in England for his gallant conduct in the 
Peiho affair, when he offered and gave our vessels aid, though 
a neutral, and uttered the exclamation in doing so, in his 
despatch at all events, " that blood was thicker than water." 
Of our party was also Mr. Hodgson, well known to most of 
our Mediterranean travellers some years back, when he was 
United States Consul in the East. He amuses his leisure 
still by inditing and reading monographs on the languages of 
divers barbarous tribes in Numidia and Mauritania. 

The Georgians are not quite so vehement as the South 
Carolinians in their hate of the Northerners ; but they are 
scarcely less determined to fight President Lincoln and all his 
men. And that is the test of this rebellion s strength. I did 
not hear any profession of a desire to become subject to Eng 
land, or to borrow a prince of us ; but I have nowhere seen 
stronger determination to resist any reunion with the New 
England States. " They can t conquer us, sir ? " " If they 
try it, we ll whip them." 



CHAPTER XXI. 

The river at Savannah Commodore Tatnall Fort Pulaski Want 
of a fleet to the Southerners Strong feeling of the women 
Slavery considered in its result Cotton and Georgia Off for 
Montgomery The Bishop of Georgia The Bible and Slavery 
Macon Dislike of United States gold. 

May Day. Not unworthy of the best effort of English 
fine weather before the change in the calendar robbed the 
poets of twelve days, but still a little warm for choice. The 
young American artist Moses, who was to have called our 
party to meet the officers who were going to Fort Pulaski, 
for some reason known to himself remained on board the 
Camilla, and when at last we got down to the river side I 
found Commodore Tatnall and Brigadier Lawton in full uni 
form waiting for me. 

The river is about the width of the Thames below Graves- 
end, very muddy, with a strong current, and rather fetid. 
That effect might have been produced from the rice-swamps 
at the other side of it, where the land is quite low, and stretches 
away as far as the sea in one level green, smooth as a billiard- 
cloth. The bank at the city side is higher, so that the houses 
stand on a little eminence over the stream, affording con 
venient wharfage and slips for merchant vessels. 

Of these there were few indeed visible nearly all had 
cleared out for fear of the blockade ; some coasting vessels 
were lying idle at the quay side, and in the middle of the 
stream near a floating dock the Camilla was moored, with her 
club ensign flying. These are the times for bold ventures, 
and if Uncle Sam is not very quick with his blockades, there 
will be plenty of privateers and the like under C. S. A. colors, 
looking out for his fat merchantmen all over the world. 

I have been trying to persuade my friends here they will 
find very few Englishmen willing to take letters of marque 
and reprisal. 

The steamer which was waiting to receive us had the Con- 



156 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

federate flag flying, and Commodore Tatnall, pointing to a 
young officer in a naval uniform, told me he had just "come 
over from the other side," and that he had pressed hard to be 
allowed to hoist a Commodore or flag-officer s ensign in honor 
of the visit and of the occasion. I was much interested in the 
fine white-headed, blue-eyed, ruddy-cheeked old man who 
suddenly found himself blown into the air by a great political 
explosion, and in doubt and wonderment was floating to shore, 
under a strange flag in unknown waters. He was full of 
anecdote too, as to strange flags in distant waters and well- 
known names. The gentry of Savannah had a sort of Celtic 
feeling towards him in regard of his old name, and seemed de 
termined to support him. 

He has served the Stars and Stripes for three fourths of a 
long life his friends are in the North, his wife s kindred are 
there, and so are all his best associations but his State has 
gone out. How could he fight against the country that gave 
him birth ! The United States is no country, in the sense 
we understand the words. It is a corporation or a body cor 
porate for certain purposes, and a man might as well call him 
self a native of the common council of the city of London, or 
a native of the Swiss Diet, in the estimation of our Americans, 
as say he is a citizen of the United States ; though it answers 
very well to say so when he is abroad, or for purposes of a 
legal character. 

Of Fort Pulaski itself I wrote on my return a long account 
to the " Times." 

When I was venturing to point out to General Lawton the 
weakness of Fort Pulaski, placed as it is in low land, accessi 
ble to boats, and quite open enough for approaches from the city 
side, he said, " Oh, that is true enough. All our seacoast 
works are liable to that remark, but the Commodore will take 
care of the Yankees at sea, and we shall manage them on 
land." These people all make a mistake in referring to the 
events of the old war. " We beat off the British fleet at 
Charleston by the militia ergo, we ll sink the Yankees now." 
They do not understand the nature of the new shell and 
heavy vertical fire, or the effect of projectiles from great dis 
tances falling into works. The Commodore afterwards, 
smiling, remarked, * I have no fleet. Long before the South 
ern Confederacy has a fleet that can cope with the Stars and 
Stripes, my bones will be white in the grave." 

We got back by eight o clock, p. M., after a pleasant day. 



CIVILIZING EFFECT OF SLAVERY. 157 

"What I saw did not satisfy me that Pulaski was strong, or 
Savannah very safe. At Bonaventure, yesterday, I saw a 
poor fort, called " Thunderbolt," on an inlet from which the 
city was quite accessible. It could be easily menaced from 
that point, while attempts at landing were made elsewhere, as 
soon as Pulaski is reduced. At dinner met a very strong 
and very well-informed Southerner there are some who are 
neither or either whose name was spelled Gourdin, and 
pronounced Go-dine just as Huger is called Hugee and 
Tagliaferro, Telfer, in these parts. 

May 2d. Breakfasted with Mr. Hodgson, where I met 
Mr. Locke, Mr. Ward, Mr. Green, and Mrs. Hodgson and 
her sister. There were in attendance some good-looking 
little negro boys and men dressed in liveries, which smacked 
of our host s Orientalism ; and they must have heard our dis 
cussion, or rather allusion, to the question which would decide 
whether we thought they are human beings or black two- 
legged cattle, with some interest, unless indeed the boast of 
their masters, that slavery elevates the character and civilizes 
the mind of a negro, is another of the false pretences on 
which the institution is rested by its advocates. The native 
African, poor wretch, avoids being carried into slavery totis 
viribus, and it would argue ill for the effect on his mind of 
becoming a slave, if he prefers a piece of gaudy calico even 
to his loin-cloth and feather head-dress. This question of 
civilizing the African in slavery, is answered in the assertion 
of the slave owners themselves, that if the negroes were left 
to their own devices by emancipation, they would become the 
worst sort of barbarians a veritable Quasheedom, the like 
of which was never thought of by Mr. Thomas Carlyle. I 
doubt if the aboriginal is not as civilized, in the true sense of 
the word, as any negro, after three degrees of descent in 
servitude, whom I have seen on any of the plantations 
even though the latter have leather shoes and fustian or cloth 
raiment and felt hat, and sings about the Jordan. He is ex 
empted from any bloody raid indeed, but he is liable to be 
carried from his village and borne from one captivity to an 
other, and his family are exposed to the same exile in America 
as in Africa. The extreme anger with which any unfavorable 
comment is met publicly, shows the sensitiveness of the slave 
owners. Privately, they affect philosophy ; and the blue 
books, and reports of Education Commissions and Mining 
Committees, furnish them with an inexhaustible source of ar- 



158 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

gument, if you once admit that the summum bonum lies in a 
certain rotundity of person, and a regular supply of coarse 
food. A long conversation on the old topics old to me, but 
of only a few weeks birth. People are swimming with the 
tide. Here are many men, -who would willingly stand aside 
if they could, and see the battle between the Yankees, whom 
they hate, and the Secessionists. But there are no women in 
this party. Wo betide the Northern Pyrrhus, whose head is 
within reach of a Southern tile and a Southern woman s 



arm 



I revisited some of the big houses afterwards, and found 
the merchants not cheerful, but fierce and resolute. There is 
a considerable population of Irish and Germans in Savannah, 
who to a man are in favor of the Confederacy, and will fight 
to support it. Indeed, it is expected they will do so, and there 
is a pressure brought to bear on them by their employers 
which they cannot well resist. The negroes will be forced 
into the place the whites hitherto occupied as laborers only 
a few useful mechanics will be kept, and the white population 
will be obliged by a moral force drafting to go to the wars. 
The kingdom of cotton is most essentially of this world, and it 
will be fought for vigorously. On the quays of Savannah, 
and in the warehouses, there is not a man who doubts that he 
ought to strike his hardest for it, or apprehends failure. And 
then, what a career is before them ! All the world asking 
for cotton, and England dependent on it. What a change since 
Whitney first set his cotton-gin to work in this state close by 
us ! Georgia, as a vast country only partially reclaimed, yet 
looks to a magnificent future. In her past history the Florida 
wars, and the treatment of the unfortunate Cherokee Indians, 
who were expelled from their lands as late as 1838, show the 
people who descended from old Oglethorpe s band were fierce 
and tyrannical, and apt at aggression, nor will slavery im 
prove them. I do not speak of the cultivated and hospitable 
citizens of the large towns, but of the bulk of the slaveless 
whites. 

May 3d. I bade good-by to Mr. Green, who with several 
of his friends carne down to see me off, at the terminus or 
" depot " of the Central Railway, on my way to Montgomery 
and looked my last on Savannah, its squares and leafy 
streets, its churches, and institutes, with a feeling of regret 
that I could not see more of them, and that I was forced to be 
content with the outer aspect of the public buildings. I had 



EPISCOPAL SANCTION OF SLAVERY. 159 

been serenaded and invited out in all directions, asked to visit 
plantations and big trees, to make excursions to famous or 
beautiful spots, and especially warned not to leave the State 
without visiting the mountain district in the northern and west 
ern portion ; but the march of events called me to Mont 
gomery. 

From Savannah to Macon, 191 miles, the road passes 
through level country only partially cleared. That is, there 
are patches of forest still intruding on the green fields, where 
the jagged black teeth of the destroyed trees rise from above 
the maize and cotton. There were but few negroes visible at 
work, nor did the land appear rich, but I was told the rail was 
laid along the most barren part of the country. The Indians 
had roamed in these woods little more than twenty years ago 

now the wooden huts of the planters slaves, and the larger 
edifice with its veranda and timber colonnade stood in the 
place of their wigwam. 

Among the passengers to whom I was introduced was the 
Bishop of Georgia, the Rev. Mr. Elliott, a man of exceeding 
fine presence, of great stature, and handsome face, with a 
manner easy and graceful, but we got on the unfortunate 
subject of slavery, and I rather revolted at hearing a Christian 
prelate advocating the institution on scriptural grounds. 

This affectation of Biblical sanction and ordinance as the 
basis of slavery was not new to me, though it is not much 
known at the other side of the Atlantic. I had read in a work 
on slavery, that it was permitted by both the Scriptures and the 
Constitution of the United States, and that it must, therefore, 
be doubly right. A nation that could approve of such inter 
pretations of the Scriptures and at the same time read the 
" New York Herald." seemed ripe for destruction as a corpo 
rate existence. The maliun prohibitum was the only evil its 
crass senses could detect, and the malum per se was its good, 
if it only came covered with cotton or gold. The miserable 
sophists who expose themselves to the contempt of the world 
by their paltry thesicles on the divine origin and uses of 
slavery, are infinitely more contemptible than the wretched 
bigots who published themes long ago on the propriety of 
burning witches, or on the necessity for the offices of the In 
quisition. 

Whenever the Southern Confederacy shall achieve its inde 
pendence no matter what its resources, its allies, or its aims 

it will have to stand face to face with civilized Europe on 



1GO MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

this question of slavery, and tlie strength which it derived from 
the asgis of the Constitution " the league with the devil and 
covenant with Hell" will be withered and gone. 

I am well aware of the danger of drawing summary con 
clusions off-hand from the windows of a railway, but there is 
also a right of sight which exists under all circumstances, and 
so one can determine if a man s face be dirty as well from a 
glance as if he inspected it for half an hour. For instance, 
no one can doubt the evidence of his senses, when he sees 
from the windows of the carriages that the children are bare 
footed, shoeless, stockingless that the people who congregate 
at the wooden huts and grog-shops of the stations are rude, un 
kempt, but great fighting material, too that the villages are 
miserable places, compared with the trim, snug settlements 
one saw in New Jersey from the carriage windows. Slaves 
in the fields looked happy enough but their masters certainly 
were rough looking and uncivilized and the land was but 
badly cleared. But then we were traversing the least fertile 
portions of the State a recent acquirement gained only 
one generation since. 

The train halted at a snug little wood-embowered restaurant, 
surrounded by trellis and lattice-work, and in the midst of a 
pretty garden, which presented a marked contrast to the " sur 
roundings " we had seen. The dinner, served by slaves, was 
good of its kind, and the charge not high. On tendering the 
landlord a piece of gold for payment, he looked at it with dis 
gust, and asked, " Have you no Charleston money ? No Con 
federate notes ? " " Well, no ! Why do you object to gold ? " 
" Well, do you see, I d rather have our own paper ! I don t 
care to take any of the United States gold. I don t want their 
stars and their eagles ; I hate the sight of them." The man 
was quite sincere my companion gave him notes of some 
South Carolina bank. 

It was dark when the train reached Macon, one of the prin 
cipal cities of the State. We drove to the best hotel, but the 
regular time for dinner hour was over, and that for supper not 
yet come. The landlord directed us to a subterranean restau 
rant, in which were a series of crypts closed in by dirty cur 
tains, where we made a very extraordinary repast, served by 
a half-clad little negress, who watched us at the meal with 
great interest through the curtains the service was of the 
coarsest description ; thick French earthenware, the spoons 
of pewter, the knives and forks steel or iron, with scarce a 



MACON HOTEL. 161 

pretext of being cleaned. On the doors were the usual warn 
ings against pickpockets, and the customary internal police 
regulations and ukases. Pickpockets and gamblers abound 
in American cities, and thrive greatly at the large hotels and 
the lines of railways. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Slave-pens ; Negroes on sale or hire Popular feeling as to Secession 

Beauregard and speech-making Arrival at Montgomery 
Bad hotel accommodation Knights of the Golden Circle Re 
flections on Slavery Slave auction The Legislative Assembly 

A " live chattel " knocked down Rumors from the North 
(true and false) and prospects of war. 

May Mh. In the morning I took a drive about the city, 
which is loosely built in detached houses over a very pretty 
undulating country covered with wood and fruit-trees. Many 
good houses of dazzling white, with bright green blinds, veran 
das, and doors, stand in their own grounds or gardens. In 
the course of the drive I saw two or three signboards and 
placards announcing that " Smith & Co. advanced money on 
slaves, and had constant supplies of Virginian negroes on sale 
or hire." These establishments were surrounded by high 
walls enclosing the slave-pens or large rooms, in which the 
slaves are kept for inspection. The train for Montgomery 
started at 9*45 A. M., but I had no time to stop and visit them. 

It is evident we are approaching the Confederate capital, 
for the candidates for office begin to show, and I detected a 
printed testimonial in my room in the hotel. The country, 
from Macon, in Georgia, to Montgomery, in Alabama, offers no 
features to interest the traveller which are not common to the 
districts already described. It is, indeed, more undulating, 
and somewhat more picturesque, or less unattractive, but, on 
the whole, there is little to recommend it, except the natural 
fertility of the soil. The people are rawer, ruder, bigger 
there is the same amount of tobacco chewing and its conse 
quences and as much swearing or use of expletives. The 
men are tall, lean, uncouth, but they are not peasants. There 
are, so far as I have seen, no rustics, no peasantry in America ; 
men dress after the same type, differing only in finer or coarser 
material ; every man would wear, if he could, a black satin 
waistcoat and a large diamond pin stuck in the front of his 



POPULAR FEELING. 163 

shirt, as he certainly has a watch and a gilt or gold chain of 
some sort or other. The Irish laborer, or the German hus 
bandman is the nearest approach to our Giles Joker or the 
Jacques Bonhomme to be found in the States. The mean 
white affects the style of the large proprietor of slaves or cap 
ital as closely as he can ; he reads his papers and, by the 
by, they are becoming smaller and more whitey-brown as we 
proceed and takes his drink with the same air takes up 
as much room, and speaks a good deal in the same fashion. 

The people are all hearty Secessionists here the Bars and 
Stars are flying at the road-stations and from the pine-tops, 
and there are lusty cheers for Jeff Davis and the Southern 
Confederacy. Troops are flocking towards Virginia from the 
Southern States in reply to the march of Volunteers from 
Northern States to Washington ; but it is felt that the steps 
taken by the Federal Government to secure Baltimore have 
obviated any chance of successfully opposing the " Lincolnites " 
going through that city. There is a strong disposition on the 
part of the Southerners to believe they have many friends in 
the North, and they endeavor to attach a factious character 
to the actions of the Government by calling the Volunteers 
and the war party in the North " Lincolnites," " Lincoln s 
Mercenaries," " Black Republicans," " Abolitionists," and the 
like. The report of an armistice, now denied by Mr. Seward 
officially, was for some time current, but it is plain that the South 
must make good its words, and justify its acts by the sword. 
General Scott would, it was fondly believed, retire from the 
United States army, and either remain neutral or take com 
mand under the Confederate flag, but now that it is certain he 
will not follow any of these courses, he is assailed in the foulest 
manner by the press and in private conversation. Heaven 
help the idol of a democracy ! 

At one of the junctions General Beauregard, attended by 
Mr. Manning, and others of his staff, got into the car, and 
tried to elude observation, but the conductors take great pleas 
ure in unearthing distinguished passengers for the public, and 
the General was called on for a speech by the crowd of idlers. 
The General hates speech-making, he told me, and he had 
besides been bored to death at every station by similar de 
mands. But a man must be popular or he is nothing. So, 
as next best thing, Governor Manning made a speech in the 
General s name, in which he dwelt on Southern Rights, Sumter, 
victory, and abolitiondom, and was carried off from the cheers 



164 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

of his auditors by the train in the midst of an unfinished 
sentence. There were a number of blacks listening to the 
Governor, who were appreciative. 

Towards evening, having thrown out some slight outworks, 
against accidental sallies of my fellow-passengers saliva, I 
went to sleep, and woke up at eleven p. M., to hear we were in. 
Montgomery. A very rickety omnibus took the party to the 
hotel, which was crowded to excess. The General and his 
friends had one room to themselves. Three gentlemen and 
myself were crammed into a filthy room which already con 
tained two strangers, and as there were only three beds in the 
apartment it was apparent that we were intended to " double 
up considerably ; " but after strenuous efforts, a little bribery 
and cajoling, we succeeded in procuring mattresses to put on 
the floor, which was regarded by our neighbors as a proof of 
miserable aristocratic fastidiousness. Had it not been for the 
flies, the fleas would have been intolerable, but one nuisance 
neutralized the other. Then, as to food nothing could be 
had in the hotel but one of the \vaiters led us to a restau 
rant, where we selected from a choice bill of fare, which con 
tained, I think, as many odd dishes as ever I saw, some un 
known fishes, oyster-plants, possums, raccoons, frogs, and other 
delicacies, and, eschewing toads and the like, really made a 
good meal off dirty plates on a vile table-cloth, our appetites 
being sharpened by the best of condiments. 

Colonel Pickett has turned up here, having made his escape 
from Washington just in time to escape arrest travelling 
in disguise on foot through out-of-the-way places till he got 
among friends. 

I was glad when bedtime approached, that I was not among 
the mattress men. One of the gentlemen in the bed next 
the door was a tremendous projector in the tobacco juice line : 
his final rumination ere he sank to repose was a masterpiece 
of art a perfect liquid pyrotechny, Roman candles and 
falling stars. A horrid thought occurred as I gazed and won 
dered. In case he should in a supreme moment turn his 
attention my way ! I was only seven or eight yards off, 
and that might be nothing to him ! I hauled down my mos 
quito curtain at once, and watched him till, completely satia 
ted, he slept. 

May 5th. Very warm, and no cold water, unless one went 
to the river. The hotel baths were not promising. This 
hotel is worse than the Mills House or Willard s. The feeding 



INNER VIEW OF SLAVERY. 165 

and the flies are intolerable. One of our party comes in to 
say that he could scarce get down to the hall on account of 
the crowd, and that all the people who passed him had very 
hard, sharp bones. He remarks thereupon to the clerk at the 
bar, who tells him that the particular projections he alludes to 
are implements of defence or offence, as the case may be, and 
adds, " I suppose you and your friends are the only people 
in the house who haven t a bowie-knife, or a six-shooter, or 
Derringer about them." The house is full of Confederate 
congressmen, politicians, colonels, and place-men with or 
without places, and a vast number of speculators, contractors, 
and the like, attracted by the embryo government. Among 
the visitors are many filibusters, such as Henningsen, Piek- 
ett, Tochman, Wheat.* I hear a good deal about the associa 
tion called the Knights of the Golden Circle, a Protestant 
association for securing the Gulf provinces and States, includ 
ing which has been largely developed by recent events 
them in the Southern Confederacy, and creating them into an 
independent government. 

Montgomery has little claims to be called a capital. The 
streets are very hot, unpleasant, and uninteresting. I have 
rarely seen a more dull, lifeless place ; it looks like a small 
Russian town in the interior. The names of the shopkeepers 
indicate German and French origin. I looked in at one or 
two of the slave magazines, which are not unlike similar estab 
lishments in Cairo and Smyrna. A certain degree of free 
dom is enjoyed by some of the men, who lounge about the 
doors, and are careless of escape or liberty, knowing too well 
the difficulties of either. 

It is not in its external aspects generally that slavery is so 
painful. The observer must go with Sterne, and gaze in on 
the captives dungeons through the bars. The condition of a 
pig in a sty is not, in an animal sense, anything but good. 
Well fed, over fed, covered from the winds and storms of 
heaven, with clothing, food, medicine, provided, children taken 
care of, aged relatives and old age itself succored and guarded 

is not this ? Get thee behind us, slave philosopher ! 

The hour comes when the butcher steals to the sty, and the 
knife leaps from the sheath. 

Now there is this one thing in being an ara di/Spwv, that 
be the race of men bad as it may, a kind of grandiose charac 
ter is given to their leader. The stag which sweeps his rivals 
* Since killed in action. 



166 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

from his course is the largest of the herd ; but a man who 
drives the largest drove of sheep is no better than he who 
drives the smallest. The flock he compels, must consist of 
human beings to develop the property of which I speak, and 
so the very superiority of the slave master in the ways and 
habits of command proves that the negro is a man. But, at 
the same time the law which regulates all these relations be 
tween man and his fellows, asserts itself here. The dominant 
race becomes dependent on some other body of men, less mar 
tial, arrogant, and wealthy, for its elegances, luxuries, and 
necessaries. The poor villeins round the Norman castle forge 
the armor, make the furniture, and exercise the mechanical 
arts which the baron and his followers are too ignorant and 
too proud to pursue ; if there is no population to serve this 
purpose, some energetic race comes in their place, and the 
Yankee does the part of the little hungry Greek to the 
Roman patrician. 

The South has at present little or no manufactures, takes 
everything from the Yankee outside or the mean white within 
her gates, and despises both. Both are reconciled by interest. 
The one gets a good price for his manufacture and the fruit 
of his ingenuity from a careless, spendthrift proprietor ; the 
other hopes to be as good as his master some day, and sees 
the beginning of his fortune in the possession of a negro. It 
is fortunate for our great British Catherine-wheel, which is 
continually throwing off light and heat to the remotest parts 
of the world I hope not burning down to a dull red cinder 
in the centre at last that it had not to send its emigrants to 
the Southern States, as assuredly the emigration would soon 
have been checked. The United States has been represented 
to the British and Irish emigrants by the Free States the 
Northern States and the great West and the British and 
German emigrant who finds himself in the South, has drifted 
there through the Northern States, and either is a migratory 
laborer, or hopes to return with a little money to the North 
and West, if he does not see his way to the possession of land 
and negroes. 

After dinner at the hotel table, which was crowded with 
officers, and where I met Mr. Howell Cobb and several sena 
tors of the new Congress, I spent the evening with Colonel 
Deas, Quartermaster-General, and a number of his staff, in 
their quarters. As I was walking over to the house, one of 
the detached villa-like residences so common in Southern cities, 



COTTON, LAND, AND NEGROES. 167 

I perceived a crowd of very well-dressed negroes, men and 
women, in front of a plain brick building which I was inform 
ed was their Baptist meeting-house, into which white people 
rarely or never intrude. These were domestic servants, or 
persons employed in stores, and their general appearance indi 
cated much comfort and even luxury. I doubted if they all 
were slaves. One of my companions went up to a young 
woman in a straw-hat, with bright red-and-green ribbon trim 
mings and artificial flowers, a gaudy Paisley shawl, and a rain 
bow-like gown, blown out over her yellow boots by a prodig 
ious crinoline, and asked her " Whom do you belong to ? " She 
replied, " I b long to Massa Smith, sar." Well, we have men 
who " belong " to horses in England. I am not sure if 
Americans, North and South, do not consider their superiority 
to all Englishmen so thoroughly established, that they can 
speak of them as if they were talking of inferior animals. 
To-night, for example, a gallant young South Carolinian, 
one Ransome Calhoun,* was good enough to say that " Great 
Britain was in mortal fear of France, and was abjectly subdued 
by her great rival." Hence came controversy, short and acri 
monious. 

May 6th. I forgot to say that yesterday before dinner I 
drove out with some gentlemen and the ladies of the family of 
Mr. George N. Sanders, once United States consul at Liver 
pool, now a doubtful man here, seeking some office from the 
Government, and accused by a portion of the press of being 
a Confederate spy Porous de grege epicuri but a learned 
pig withal, and weatherwise, and mindful of the signs of the 
times, catching straws and whisking them upwards to detect 
the currents. Well, in this great moment I am bound to say 
there was much talk of ice. The North owns the frozen cli 
mates ; but it was hoped that Great Britain, to whom belongs 
the North Pole, might force the blockade and send aid. 

The environs of Montgomery are agreeable well-wooded, 
undulating, villas abounding, public gardens, and a large negro 
and mulatto suburb. It is not usual, as far as I can judge, to 
see women riding on horseback in the South, but on the road 
here we encountered several. 

After breakfast I walked down with Senator Wigfall to the 

capitol of Montgomery one of the true Athenian Yankee- 

ized structures of this novo-classic land, erected on a site 

worthy of a better fate and edifice. By an open cistern, on 

* Since killed. 



168 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

our way, I came on a gentleman engaged in disposing of some 
living ebony carvings to a small circle, who had more curiosity 
than cash, for they did not at all respond to the energetic 
appeals of the auctioneer. 

Tiie sight was a bad preparation for an introduction to the 
legislative assembly of a Confederacy which rests on the In 
stitution as the corner-stone of the social and political arch 
which maintains it. But there they were, the legislators or 
conspirators, in a large room provided with benches and seats, 
and listening to such a sermon as a Balfour of Burley might have 
preached to his Covenanters resolute and massive heads, 
and large frames such men as must have a faith to inspire 
them. And that is so. Assaulted by reason, by logic, argu 
ment, philanthropy, progress directed against his peculiar in 
stitutions, the Southerner at last is driven to a fanaticism a 
sacred faith which is above all reason or logical attack in the 
propriety, righteousness, and divinity of slavery. 

The chaplain, a venerable old man, loudly invoked curses 
on the heads of the enemy, and blessings on the arms and 
councils of the New State. When he was done, Mr. Howell 
Cobb, a fat, double-chinned, mellow-eyed man, rapped with 
his hammer on the desk before the chair on which he sat 
as speaker of the assembly, and the house proceeded to bus 
iness. I could fancy that, in all but garments, they were 
like the men who first conceived the great rebellion which-led 
to the independence of this wonderful country so earnest, 
so grave, so sober, and so vindictive at least, so embittered 
against the power which they consider tyrannical and insulting. 

The word " liberty " was used repeatedly in the short time 
allotted to the public transaction of business and the reading 
of documents ; the Congress was anxious to get to its work, 
and Mr. Howell Cobb again thumped his desk and announced 
that the house was going into "secret session," which inti 
mated that all persons who were not members should leave. I 
was introduced to what is called the floor of the house, and had 
a delegate s chair, and of course I moved away with the others, 
and with the disappointed ladies and men from the galleries ; 
but one of the members, Mr. Rhett, I believe, said jokingly : 
" I think you ought to retain your seat. If the Times will 
support the South, we ll accept you as a delegate." I replied 
that I was afraid I could not act as a delegate to a Congress 
of Slave States. And, indeed, I had been much affected at 
the slave auction held just outside the hotel, on the steps of 



NEGRO AUCTION. 169 

the public fountain, which I had witnessed on my way to the 
capitol. The auctioneer, who was an ill-favored, dissipated- 
looking rascal, had his " article " beside him, on, not in, a deal 
packing-case a stout young negro badly dressed and ill-shod, 
who stood with all his goods fastened in a small bundle in his 
hand, looking out at the small and listless gathering of men, 
who, whittling and chewing, had moved out from the shady side 
of the street as they saw the man put up. The chattel charac 
ter of slavery in the States renders it most repulsive. What a 
pity the nigger is not polypoid so that he could be cut up 
in junks, and each junk should reproduce itself. 

A man in a cart, some volunteers in coarse uniforms, a few 
Irish laborers in a long van, and four or five men in the usual 
black coat, satin waistcoat, and black hat, constituted the au 
dience, whom the auctioneer addressed volubly : " A prime field 
hand ! Just look at him good-natered, well-tempered ; no 
marks, nary sign of bad about him ! En-i-ne hunthered 
only nine hun-ther-ed and fifty dol rs for em ! Why, it s quite 

rad-aklous ! Nine hundred and fifty dol rs ! I can t raly 

That s good. Thank you, sir. Twenty-five bid nine hun- 
therd and seventy-five dol rs for this most useful hand. The 
price rose to one thousand dollars, at which the useful 
hand was knocked down to one of the black hats near me. 
The auctioneer and the negro and his buyer all walked off to 
gether to settle the transaction, and the crowd moved away. 

" That nigger went cheap," said one of them to a compan 
ion, as he walked towards the shade. " Yes, Sirr ! Niggers 
is cheap now that s a fact." I must admit that I felt my 
self indulging in a sort of reflection whether it would not be 
nice to own a man as absolutely as one might possess a horse 
to hold him subject to my will and pleasure, as if he were 
a brute beast without the power of kicking or biting to 
make him work for me to hold his fate in my hands : but 
the thought was for a moment. It was followed by disgust. 

I have seen slave markets in the East, where the traditions 
of the race, the condition of family and social relations divest 
slavery of the most odious characteristics which pertain to it 
in the States ; but the use of the English tongue in such a 
transaction, and the idea of its taking place among a civilized 
Christian people, produced in me a feeling of inexpressible 
loathing and indignation. Yesterday I was much struck by 
the intelligence, activity, and desire to please of a good-look 
ing colored waiter, who seemed so light-hearted and light- 
8 



170 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

colored I could not imagine he was a slave. So one of our 
party, who was an American, asked him : " What are you, 
boy a free nigger ? " Of course he knew that in Alabama 
it was most unlikely he could reply in the affirmative. The 
young man s smile died away from his lips, a flush of blood 
embrowned the face for a moment, and he answered in a sad, 
low tone : " No, sir ! I b long to Massa Jackson," and left the 
room at once. As I stood at an upper window of the capitol, 
and looked on the wide expanse of richly-wooded, well-culti 
vated land which sweeps round the hill-side away to the hori 
zon, I could not help thinking of the misery and cruelty which 
must have been borne in tilling the land and raising the 
houses and streets of the dominant race before whom one na 
tionality of colored people has perished within the memory of 
man. The misery and cruelty of the system are established 
by the advertisements for runaway negroes, and by the de 
scription of the stigmata on their persons whippings and 
brandings, scars and cuts though these, indeed, are less 
frequent here than in the border States. 

On my return, the Hon. W. M. Browne, Assistant-Secre 
tary of State, came to visit me a cadet of an Irish family, 
who came to America some years ago, and having lost his 
money in land speculations, turned his pen to good account 
as a journalist, and gained Mr. Buchanan s patronage and 
support as a newspaper editor in Washington. There he be 
came intimate with the Southern gentlemen, with whom he 
naturally associated in preference to the Northern members ; 
and when they went out, he walked over along with them. 
He told me the Government had already received numerous 
I think he said 400 letters from ship-owners applying 
for letters of marque and reprisal. Many of these applica 
tions were from merchants in Boston, and other maritime 
cities in the New England States. He further stated that 
the President was determined to take the whole control of the 
army, and the appointments to command in all ranks of offi 
cers into his own hands. 

There is now no possible chance of preserving the peace or 
of averting the horrors of war from these great and prosper 
ous communities. The Southern people, right or wrong, are 
bent on independence and on separation, and they will tight 
to the last for their object. 

The press is fanning the flame on both sides : it would be 
difficult to say whether it or the telegraphs circulate lies most 



NOW AND EIGHTY-SIX YEARS SINCE. 171 

largely ; but that as the papers print the telegrams they must 
have the palm. The Southerners are told there is a reign of ter 
ror in New York that the 7th New York Regiment has been 
captured by the Baltimore people that Abe Lincoln is 
always drunk that General Lee has seized Arlington Heights, 
and is bombarding Washington. The New York people are 
regaled with similar stories from the South. The coincidence 
between the date of the skirmish at Lexington and of the at 
tack on the 6th Massachusetts Regiment at Baltimore is not 
so remarkable as the fact, that the first man who was killed at 
the latter place, 86 years ago, was a direct descendant of the 
first of the colonists who was killed by the royal soldiery. 
Baltimore may do the same for the South which Lexington 
did for all the Colonies. Head-shaving, forcible deportations, 
tarring and feathering are recommended and adopted as spe 
cifics to produce conversion from erroneous opinions. The 
President of the United States has called into service of the 
Federal Government 42,000 volunteers, and increased the reg 
ular army by 22,000 men, and the navy by 18,000 men. If 
the South secede, they ought certainly to take over with them 
some Yankee hotel keepers. This " Exchange " is in a fright 
ful state nothing but noise, dirt, drinking, wrangling. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Proclamation of war Jefferson Davis Interview with the Presi 
dent of the Confederacy Passport and safe-conduct Messrs. 
Wigfall, Walker, and Benjamin Privateering and letters of 
marque A reception at Jefferson Davis s Dinner at Mr. Ben 
jamin s. 

May 9th. To-day the papers contain a proclamation by 
the President of the Confederate States of America, declar 
ing a state of war between the Confederacy and the United 
States, and notifying the issue of letters of marque and repri 
sal. I went out with Mr. Wigfall in the forenoon to pay my 
respects to Mr. Jefferson Davis at the State Department. 
Mr. Seward told me that but for Jefferson Davis the Seces 
sion plot could never have been carried out. No other man 
of the party had the brain, or the courage and dexterity, to 
bring it to a successful issue. All the persons in the Southern 
States spoke of him with admiration, though their forms of 
speech and thought generally forbid them to be respectful to 
any one. 

There before me was " Jeff Davis s State Department a 
large brick building, at the corner of a street, with a Confed 
erate flag floating above it. The door stood open, and " gave " 
on a large hall whitewashed, with doors plainly painted be 
longing to small rooms, in which was transacted most impor 
tant business, judging by the names written on sheets of paper 
and applied outside, denoting bureaux of the highest functions. 
A few clerks were passing in and out, and one or two gentlemen 
were on the stairs, but there was no appearance of any bustle 
in the building. 

We walked straight up-stairs to the first floor, which was 
surrounded by doors opening from a quadrangular platform. 
On one of these was written simply, " The President." Mr. 
Wigfall went in, and after a moment returned and said, " The 
President will be glad to see you ; walk in, sir." When I 
entered, the President was engaged with four gentlemen, who 



MR. JEFFERSON DAVIS. 173 

were making some offer of aid to him. He was thanking 
them " in the name of the Government." Shaking hands 
with each, he saw them to the door, bowed them and Mr. 
Wigfall out, and turning to me, said, " Mr. Russell, I am glad 
to welcome you here, though I fear your appearance is a 
symptom that our affairs are not quite prosperous," or words 
to that effect. Pie then requested me to sit down close to his 
own chair at his office-table, and proceeded to speak on gen 
eral matters, adverting to the Crimean War and the Indian 
Mutiny, and asking questions about Sebastopol, the Redan, 
and the Siege of Lucknow. 

I had an opportunity of observing the President very 
closely : he did not impress me as favorably as I had ex 
pected, though he is certainly a very different looking man 
from Mr. Lincoln. He is like a gentleman has a slight, 
light figure, little exceeding middle height, and holds himself 
erect and straight. He was dressed in a rustic suit of slate- 
colored stuff, with a black silk handkerchief round his neck ; 
his manner is plain, and rather reserved and drastic ; his 
head is well formed, with a fine full forehead, square and 
high, covered with innumerable fine lines and wrinkles, fea 
tures regular, though the cheek-bones are too high, and the 
jaws too hollow to be handsome ; the lips are thin, flexible, and 
curved, the chin square, well defined ; the nose very regular, 
with wide nostrils ; and the eyes deep-set, large and full 
one seems nearly blind, and is partly covered with a film, 
owing to excruciating attacks of neuralgia and tic. Wonder 
ful to relate, he does not chew, and is neat and clean-looking, 
with hair trimmed, and boots brushed. The expression of his 
face is anxious, he has a very haggard, care-worn, and pain- 
drawn look, though no trace of anything but the utmost con 
fidence and the greatest decision could be detected in his con 
versation. He asked me some general questions respecting 
the route I had taken in the States. 

I mentioned that I had seen great military preparations 
through the South, and was astonished at the alacrity with 
which the people sprang to arms. " Yes, sir," he remarked, 
and his tone of voice and manner of speech are rather re 
markable for what are considered Yankee peculiarities, " In 
Eu-rope" (Mr. Seward also indulges in that pronunciation) 
" they laugh at us because of our fondness for military titles 
and displays. All your travellers in this country have com 
mented on the number of generals and colonels and majors 



174 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

all over the States. But the fact is, we are a military peo 
ple, and these signs of the fact were ignored. We are not 
less military because we have had no great standing armies. 
But perhaps we are the only people in the world where gen 
tlemen go to a military academy who do not intend to follow 
the profession of arms." 

In the course of our conversation, I asked him to have the 
goodness to direct that a sort of passport or protection should 
be given to me, as I might possibly fall in with some guerrilla 
leader on my way northwards, in whose eyes I might not be 
entitled to safe conduct. Mr. Davis said, " I shall give such 
instructions to the Secretary of War as shall be necessary. 
But, sir, you are among civilized, intelligent people who under 
stand your position, and appreciate your character. We do 
not seek the sympathy of England by unworthy means, for 
we respect ourselves, and we are glad to invite the scrutiny 
of men into our acts ; as for our motives, we meet the eye of 
Heaven." I thought I could judge from his words that he 
had the highest idea of the French as soldiers, but that his 
feelings and associations were more identified with England, 
although he was quite aware of the difficulty of conquering 
the repugnance which exists to slavery. 

Mr. Davis made no allusion to the authorities at Washing 
ton, but he asked me if I thought it was supposed in England 
there would be war between the two States ? I answered, 
that I was under the impression the public thought there 
would be no actual hostilities. " And yet you see we are 
driven to take up arms for the defence of our rights and lib 
erties." 

As I saw an immense mass of papers on his table, I rose 
and made my bow, and Mr. Davis, seeing me to the door, 
gave me his hand and said, " As long as you may stay among 
us you shall receive every facility it is in our power to afford 
to you, and I shall always be glad to see you." Colonel Wig- 
fall was outside, and took me to the room of the Secretary of 
War, Mr. Walker, whom we found closeted with General 
Beauregard and two other officers in a room full of maps and 
plans. He is the kind of man generally represented in our 
types of a " Yankee " tall, lean, straight-haired, angular, 
with fiery, impulsive eyes and manner a ruminator of to 
bacco and a profuse spitter a lawyer, I believe, certainly 
not a soldier ; ardent, devoted to the cause, and confident to 
the last degree of its speedy success. 



MR. BENJAMIN. 175 

The news that two more States had joined the Confederacy, 
making ten in all, was enough to put them in good humor. 
" Is it not too bad these Yankees will not let us go our own 
way, and keep their cursed Union to themselves ? If they 
force us to it, we may be obliged to drive them beyond the 
Susquehanna." Beauregard was in excellent spirits, busy 
measuring off miles of country with his compasses, as if he 
were dividing empires. 

From this room I proceeded to the office of Mr. Benjamin, 
the Attorney-General of the Confederate States, the most 
brilliant perhaps of the whole of the famous Southern orators. 
He is a short, stout man, with a full face, o-live-colored, and 
most decidedly Jewish features, with the brightest large black 
eyes, one of which is somewhat diverse from the other, and a 
brisk, lively, agreeable manner, combined with much vivacity 
of speech and quickness of utterance. He is one of the first 
lawyers or advocates in the United States, and had a large 
practice at Washington, where his annual receipts from his 
profession were not less than 8,000 to 10,000 a year. But 
his love of the card-table rendered him a prey to older and 
cooler hands, who waited till the sponge was full at the end 
of the session, and then squeezed it to the last drop. 

Mr. Benjamin is the most open, frank, and cordial of the 
Confederates whom I have yet met. In a few seconds he was 
telling me all about the course of Government with respect to 
privateers and letters of marque and reprisal, in order prob 
ably to ascertain what were our views in England on the sub 
ject. I observed it was likely the North would not respect 
their flag, and would treat their privateers as pirates. " We 
have an easy remedy for that. For any man under our flag 
whom the authorities of the United States dare to execute, we 
shall hang two of their people." " Suppose, Mr. Attorney- 
General, England, or any of the great powers which decreed 
the abolition of privateering, refuses to recognize your flag ? " 
" We intend to claim, and do claim, the exercise of all the 
rights and privileges of an independent sovereign State, and 
any attempt to refuse us the full measure of those rights would 
be an act of hostility to our country." " But if England, for 
example, declared your privateers were pirates ? " " As the 
United States never admitted the principle laid down at the 
Congress of Paris, neither have the Confederate States. If 
England thinks fit to declare privateers under our flag pirates, 
it would be nothing more or less than a declaration of war 



176 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

against us, and we must meet it as best we can." In fact, 
Mr. Benjamin did not appear afraid of anything ; but his con 
fidence respecting Great Britain was based a good deal, no 
doubt, on his firm faith in cotton, and in England s utter sub 
jection to her cotton interest and manufactures. "All this 
coyness about acknowledging a slave power will come rifrht at 
last. "We hear our commissioners have gone on to Paris, 
which looks as if they had met with no encouragement at 
London ; but we are quite easy in our minds on this point at 
present." 

So Great Britain is in a pleasant condition. Mr. Seward 
is threatening us with war if we recognize the South, and the 
South declares that if we don t recognize their flag, they will 
take it as an act of hostility. Lord Lyons is pressed to give 
an assurance to the Government at Washington, that under 
no circumstances will Great Britain recognize the Southern 
rebels ; but, at the same time, Mr. Seward refuses to give any 
assurance whatever, that the right of neutrals will be respected 
in the impending struggle. 

As I was going down stairs, Mr. Browne called me into his 
room. He said that the Attorney- General and himself were 
in a state of perplexity as to the form in which letters of 
marque and reprisal should be made out. They had con 
sulted all the books they could get, but found no examples to 
suit their case, and he wished to know, as I was a barrister, 
whether I could aid him. I told him it was not so much my 
regard to my own position as a neutral, as the vafri inscitia 
juris which prevented me throwing any light on the subject. 
There are not only Yankee ship-owners but English firms 
ready with sailors and steamers for the Confederate Govern 
ment, and the owner of the Camilla might be tempted to part 
with his yacht by the offers made to him. 

Being invited to attend a levee or reception held by Mrs. 
Davis, the President s wife, I returned to the hotel to prepare 
for the occasion. On my way I passed a company of volun 
teers, one hundred and twenty artillerymen, and three field- 
pieces, on their way to the station for Virginia, followed by a 
crowd of " citizens " and negroes of both sexes, cheering vo 
ciferously. The band was playing that excellent quick-step 
" Dixie." The men were stout, fine fellows, dressed in coarse 
gray tunics with yellow facings, and French caps. They 
were armed with smooth-bore muskets, and their knapsacks 
were unfit for marching, being water-proof bags slung from 



MR. JEFFERSON DAVIS AT HOME. 177 

the shoulders. The guns had no caissons, and the shoeing 
of the troops was certainly deficient in soling. The Zouave 
mania is quite as rampant here as it is in New York, and the 
smallest children are thrust into baggy red breeches, which 
the learned Lipsius might have appreciated, and are sent out 
with flags and tin swords to impede the highways. 

The modest villa in which the President lives is painted 
white, another "White House," and stands in a small 
garden. The door was open. A colored servant took in our 
names, and Mr. Browne presented me to Mrs. Davis, whom I 
could just make out in the demi-jour of a moderately-sized 
parlor, surrounded by a few ladies and gentlemen, the former 
in bonnets, the latter in morning dress a la midi. There 
was no affectation of state or ceremony in the reception. 
Mrs. Davis, whom some of her friends call " Queen Varina," 
is a comely, sprightly woman, verging on matronhood, of good 
figure and manners, well-dressed, ladylike, and clever, and she 
seemed a great favorite with those around her, though I 
did hear one of them say, " It must be very nice to be the 
President s wife, and be the first lady in the Confederate 
States." Mrs. Davis, whom the President C. S. married en 
secondes noces, exercised considerable social influence in Wash 
ington, where I met many of her friends. She was just now 
inclined to be angry, because the papers contained a report 
that a reward was offered in the North for the head of the 
arch rebel Jeff Davis. " They are quite capable, I believe," 
she said, " of such acts." There were not more than eighteen 
or twenty persons present, as each party came in and staid 
only for a few moments, and, after a time, I made my bow 
and retired, receiving from Mrs. Davis an invitation to come 
in the evening, when I would find the President at home. 

At sundown, amid great cheering, the guns in front of the 
State Department, fired ten rounds to announce that Tennessee 
and Arkansas had joined the Confederacy. 

In the evening I dined with Mr. Benjamin and his brother- 
in-law, a gentleman of New Orleans, Colonel Wigfall coming 
in at the end of dinner. The New Orleans people of French 
descent, or " Creoles," as they call themselves, speak French 
in preference to English, and Mr. Benjamin s brother-in-law 
labored considerably in trying to make himself understood in 
our vernacular. The conversation, Franco-English, very 
pleasant, for Mr. Benjamin is agreeable and lively. He is 
certain that the English law authorities must advise the Gov- 
8* 



178 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

ernment that the blockade of the Southern ports is illegal so 
long as the President claims them to be ports of the United 
States. " At present," he said, " their paper blockade does no 
harm ; the season for shipping cotton is over ; but in October 
next, when the Mississippi is floating cotton by the thousands 
of bales, and all our wharves are full, it is inevitable that the 
Yankees must come to trouble with this attempt to coerce us." 
Mr. Benjamin walked back to the hotel with me, and we found 
our room full of tobacco-smoke, filibusters, and conversation, in 
which, as sleep was impossible, we were obliged to join. I 
resisted a vigorous attempt of Mr. G. N. Sanders and a friend 
of his to take me to visit a planter who had a beaver-dam 
some miles outside Montgomery. They succeeded in capturing 
Mr. Deasy. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Mr. Wigfall on the Confederacy Intended departure from the South 

Northern apathy and Southern activity Future prospects of 
the Union South Carolina and cotton The theory of slavery 

Indifference at New York Departure from Montgomery. 

May 8th. I tried to write, as I have taken my place in the 
steamer to Mobile to-morrow, and I was obliged to do my best 
in a room full of people, constantly disturbed by visitors. 
Early this morning, as usual, my faithful Wigfall comes in 
and sits by my bedside, and passing his hands through his 
locks, pours out his ideas with wonderful lucidity and odd 
affectation of logic all his own. " We are a peculiar people, 
sir ! You don t understand us, and you can t understand us, 
because we are known to you only by Northern writers and 
Northern papers, who know nothing of us themselves, or mis 
represent what they do know. We are an agricultural people ; 
we are a primitive but a civilized people. We have no cities 
we don t want them. We have no literature we don t need 
any yet. We have no press we are glad of it. We do not 
require a press, because we go out and discuss all public ques 
tions from the stump with our people. We have no com 
mercial marine no navy we don t want them. We are 
better without them. Your ships carry our produce, and you 
can protect you* own vessels. We want no manufactures : 
we desire no trading, no mechanical or manufacturing classes. 
As long as we have our rice, our sugar, our tobacco, and our 
cotton, we can command wealth to purchase all we want from 
those nations with which we are in amity, and to lay up 
money besides. But with the Yankees we will never trade 
never. Not one pound of cotton shall ever go from the South 
to their accursed cities ; not one ounce of their steel or their 
manufactures shall ever cross our border." And so on. What 
the Senator who is preparing a bill for drafting the people 
into the army fears is, that the North will begin active opera 
tions before the South is ready for resistance. " Give us till 



180 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

November to drill our men, and we shall be irresistible." 
He deprecates any offensive movement, and is opposed to 
an attack on Washington, which many journals here advocate. 

Mr. Walker sent me over a letter recommending me to all 
officers of the Confederate States, and I received an invitation 
Jrorn the President to dine with him to-rnorrow. which I was 
much chagrined to be obliged to refuse. In fact, it is most im 
portant to complete my Southern tour speedily, as all mail 
communication will soon be suspended from the South, and 
the blockade effectually cuts off any communication by sea. 
Rails torn up, bridges broken, telegraphs down trains 
searched the war is begun. The North is pouring its hosts 
to the battle, and it has met the paeans of the conquering 
Charlestonians with a universal yell of indignation and an 
oath of vengeance. 

I expressed a belief in a letter, written a few days after my 
arrival (March 27th), that the South would never go back 
into the Union. The North think that they can coerce the 
South, and I am not prepared to say they are right or wrong ; 
but I am convinced that the South can only be forced back by 
such a conquest as that which laid Poland prostrate at the 
feet of Russia. It may be that such a conquest can be made 
by the North, but success must destroy the Union as it has 
been constituted in times past. A strong Government must 
be the logical consequence of victory, and the triumph of 
the South will be attended by a similar result, for which, 
indeed, many Southerners are very well disposed. To the 
people of the Confederate States there would be no terror in 
such an issue, for it appears to me they are pining for a 
strong Government exceedingly. The North must accept it, 
whether they like it or not. 

Neither party if such a term can be applied to the rest 
of the United States, and to those States which disclaim the 
authority of the Federal Government was prepared for 
the aggressive or resisting power of the other. Already 
the Confederate States perceive that they cannot carry ail 
before them with a rush, while the North have learned 
that they must put forth all their strength to make good a 
tithe of their lately uttered threats. But the Montgomery 
Government are anxious to gain time, and to prepare a 
regular army. The North, distracted by apprehensions of 
vast disturbance in their complicated relations, are clamoring 
for instant action and speedy consummation. The counsels 



THE FAITH OF SOUTH CAROLINA. 181 

of moderate men, as they were called, have been utterly 
overruled. 

The whole foundation on which South Carolina rests is 
cotton and a certain amount of rice ; or rather she bases 
her whole fabric on the necessity which exists in Europe for 
those products of her soil, believing and asserting, as she 
does, that England and France cannot and will not do without 
them. Cotton, without a market, is so much flocculent matter 
encumbering the ground. Rice, without demand for it, is un 
salable grain in store and on the field. Cotton at ten cents 
a pound is boundless prosperity, empire, and superiority, and 
rice or grain need no longer be regarded. 

In the matter of slave-labor, South Carolina argues pretty 
much in the following manner: England and France (she 
says) require our products. In order to meet their wants, we 
must cultivate our soil. There is only one way of doing so. 
The white man cannot live on our land at certain seasons of 
the year ; he cannot work in the manner required by the crops. 
He must, therefore, employ a race suited to the labor, and that 
is a race which will only work when it is obliged to do so. 
That race was imported from Africa, under the sanction of the 
law, by our ancestors, when we were a British colony, and it 
has been fostered by us, so that its increase here has been as 
great as that of the most flourishing people in the world. In 
other places, where its labor was not productive or imperative 
ly essential, that race has been made free, sometimes with dis 
astrous consequences to itself and to industry. But we will 
not make it free. We cannot do so. We hold that slavery is 
essential to our existence as producers of what Europe re 
quires ; nay more, we maintain it is in the abstract right in 
principle ; and some of us go so far as to maintain that the 
only proper form of society, according to the law of God and 
the exigencies of man, is that which has slavery as its basis. 
As to the slave, he is happier far in his state of servitude, 
more civilized and religious, than he is or could be if free or in 
his native Africa. For this system we will fight to the end. 

In the evening I paid farewell visits, and spent an hour with 
Mr. Toombs, who is unquestionably one of the most original, 
quaint, and earnest of the Southern leaders, and whose elo 
quence and power as a debater are greatly esteemed by his 
countrymen. He is something of an Anglo-maniac, and an 
Anglo-phobist a combination not unusual in America 
that is, he is proud of being connected with and descended 



182 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

from respectable English families, and admires our mixed con 
stitution, whilst he is an enemy to what is called English pol 
icy, and is a strong pro-slavery champion. Wigfall and he are 
very uneasy about the scant supply of gunpowder in the 
Southern States, and the difficulty of obtaining it. 

In the evening had a little reunion in the bedroom as be 
fore. Mr. Wigfall, Mr. Keitt, an eminent Southern politi 
cian, Col. Pickett, Mr. Browne, Mr. Benjamin, Mr. George 
Sanders, and others. The last-named gentleman was dismissed 
or recalled from his post at Liverpool, because he fraternized 
with Mazzini and other Red Republicans a ce qiC on dit. 
Here he is a slavery man, and a friend of an oligarchy. Your 
" Rights of Man " man is often most inconsistent with himself, 
and is generally found associated with the men of force and 
violence. 

May 9th. My faithful Wigfall was good enough to come 
in early, in order to show me some comments on my letters in 
the " New York Times." It appears the papers are angry 
because I said that New York was apathetic when I landed, 
and they try to prove I was wrong by showing there was a 
" glorious outburst of Union feeling," after the news of the 
fall of Sumter. But I now know that the very apathy of 
which I spoke was felt by the Government of Washington, 
and was most weakening and embarrassing to them. What 
would not the value of " the glorious outburst" have been, had 
it taken place before the Charleston batteries had opened on 
Sumter when the Federal flag, for example, was fired on, 
flying from the " Star of the West," or when Beauregard cut 
off supplies, or Bragg threatened Pickens, or the first shovel 
of earth was thrown up in hostile battery ? But no ! New 
York was then engaged in discussing State rights, and in 
reading articles to prove the new Government would be traitors 
if they endeavored to reinforce the Federal forts, or were 
perusing leaders in favor of the Southern Government. 
Haply, they may remember one, not so many weeks old, in 
which the " New York Herald " compared Jeff Davis and his 
Cabinet to the " Great Rail Splitter," and Seward, and Chase, 
and came to the conclusion that the former " were gentlemen " 
(a matter of which it is quite incompetent to judge) 
" and would, and ought to succeed." The glorious outburst of 
" Union feeling " which threatened to demolish the " Herald " 
office, has created a most wonderful change in the views of the 
proprietor, whose diverse-eyed vision is now directed solely to 



FAREWELL LEVEE. 183 

the beauties of the Union, and whose faith is expressed in " a 
hearty adhesion to the Government of our country." New 
York must pay the penalty of its indifference, and bear the 
consequences of listening to such counsellors. 

Mr. Deasy, much dilapidated, returned about twelve o clock 
from his planter, who was drunk when he went over, and 
would not let him go to the beaver-dam. To console him, the 
planter stayed up all night drinking, and waking him up at 
intervals, that he might refresh him with a glass of whiskey. 
This man was well off, owned land, and a good stock of slaves, 
but he must have been a "mean white," who had raised him 
self in the world. He lived in a three-roomed wooden cabin, 
and in one of the rooms he kept his wife shut up from the 
stranger s gaze. One of his negroes was unwell, and he took 
Deasy to see him. The result of his examination was, " Nig 
ger ! I guess you won t live more than an hour." His diagnosis 
was quite correct. 

Before my departure I had a little farewell levee Mr. 
Toombs, Mr. Browne, Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Walker, Major 
Deas, Col. Pickett, Major Calhoun, Captain Ripley, and 
others who were exceedingly kind with letters of introduc 
tion and offers of service. Dined as usual on a composite 
dinner Southern meat and poultry bad at three o clock, 
and at four, p. M., drove down to the steep banks of the Alabama 
River, where the castle-like hulk of the " Southern Republic " 
was waiting to receive us. I bade good-by to Montgomery 
without regret. The native people were not very attractive, 
and the city has nothing to make up for their deficiency, but 
of my friends there I must always retain pleasant memories, 
and, indeed, I hope some day I shall be able to keep my 
promise to return and see more of the Confederate ministers 
and their chief. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

The River Alabama Voyage by steamer Selma Our captain 
and his slaves " Running " slaves Negro views of happiness 
Mobile Hotel The city Mr. Forsyth. 

THE vessel was nothing more than a vast wooden house, of 
three separate stories, floating on a pontoon which upheld the 
engine, with a dining-hall or saloon on the second story sur 
rounded by sleeping-berths, and a nest of smaller rooms up 
stairs ; on the metal roof was a "musical" instrument called 
a " calliope," played like a piano by keys, which acted on 
levers and valves, admitting steam into metal cups, where it 
produced the requisite notes, high, resonant, and not un- 
pleasing at a moderate distance. It is 417 miles to Mobile; 
but at this season the steamer can maintain a good rate of 
speed, as there is very little cotton or cargo to be taken on 
board at the landings, and the stream is full. 

The river is about 200 yards broad, and of the color of 
chocolate and milk, with high, steep, wooded banks, rising so 
much above the surface of the stream that a person on the 
upper deck of the towering " Southern Republic" cannot get a 
glimpse of the fields and country beyond. High banks and 
bluffs spring up to the height of 150 or even 200 feet above 
the river, the breadth of which is so uniform as give the 
Alabama the appearance of a canal, only relieved by sudden 
bends and rapid curves. The surface is covered with masses 
of drift - wood, whole trees, and small islands of branches. 
Now and then a sharp, black, fang-like projection standing 
stiffly in the current gives warning of a snag, but the helms 
man, who commands the whole course of the river, from an 
elevated house amidships on the upper deck, can see these in 
time ; and at night pine-boughs are lighted in iron cressets at 
the bows to illuminate the water. 

The captain, who was not particular whether his name was 
spelt Maher, or Meaher, or Meagher (les trois se disent), was 
evidently a character, perhaps a good one. One with a 



THE "SOUTHERN REPUBLIC." 185 

gray eye full of cunning and of some humor, strongly marked 
features, and a very Celtic mouth of the Kerry type. He 
soon attached himself to me, and favored me with some won 
derful yarns, which I hope he was not foolish enough to think 
I believed. One relating to a wholesale destruction and mas 
sacre of Indians, he narrated with evident gusto. Pointing 
to one of the bluffs, he said that, some thirty years ago, the 
whole of the Indians in the district being surrounded by the 
whites, betook themselves to that spot, and remained there 
without any means of escape, till they were quite starved out. 
So they sent down to know if the whites would let them go, 
and it was agreed that they should be permitted to move down 
the river in boats. When the day came, and they were all 
afloat, the whites anticipated the boat-massacre of Nana Sahib 
at Cawnpore, and destroyed the helpless red skins. Many 
hundreds thus perished, and the whole affair was very much 
approved of. 

The value of land on the sides of this river is great, as it 
yields nine to eleven bales of cotton to the acre, worth 10 / 
a bale at present prices. The only evidences of this wealth 
to be seen by us consisted of the cotton sheds on the top of 
the banks, and slides of timber, with steps at each side down 
to the landings, so constructed that the cotton bales could be 
shot down on board the vessel. These shoots and staircases 
are generally protected by a roof of planks, and lead to un 
known regions inhabited by niggers and their masters, the 
latter all talking politics. They never will, never can be con 
quered, nothing on earth could induce them to go back 
into the Union. They will burn every bale of cotton, and 
fire every house, and lay waste every field and homestead, 
before they will yield to the Yankees. And so they talk 
through the glimmering of bad cigars for hours. 

The management of the boat is dexterous, as she ap 
proaches a landing-place, the helm is put hard over, to the 
screaming of the steam-pipe and the wild strains of " Dixie " 
floating out of the throats of the calliope, and as the engines 
are detached, one wheel is worked forward, and the other 
backs water, so she soon turns head up stream, and is then 
gently paddled up to the river bank, to which she is just kept 
up by steam the plank is run ashore, and the few passen 
gers who are coming in or out are lighted on their way by the 
flames of pine in an iron basket, swinging above the bow by a 
long pole. Then we see them vanishing into black darkness 



186 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

up the steps, or coming down clearer and clearer till they 
stand in the full blaze of the beacon which casts dark shadows 
on the yellow water. The air is glistening with fire-flies, 
which dot the darkness with specks and points of flame, just 
as sparks fly through the embers of tinder or half-burnt paper. 

Some of the landings were by far more important than 
others. There were some, for example, where an iron rail 
road was worked down the bank by windlasses for hoisting 
up goods ; others where the negroes half-naked leaped ashore, 
and rushing at piles of firewood, tossed them on board to feed 
the engine, which, all uncovered and open to the lower deck, 
lighted up the darkness by the glare from the stoke-holes, 
which cried forever, " Give, give ! " as the negroes cease 
lessly thrust the pine-beams into their hungry maws. I could 
understand how easily a steamer can " burn up," and how 
hopeless escape would be under such circumstances. The 
whole framework of the vessel is of the lightest resinous pine, 
so raw that the turpentine oozes out through the paint ; the 
hull is a mere shell. If the vessel once caught fire, all that 
could be done would be to turn her round, and run her to the 
bank, in the hope of holding there long enough to enable the 
people to escape into the trees ; but if she were not near a 
landing, many must be lost ; as the bank is steep down, the 
vessel cannot be run aground ; and in some places the trees 
are in eight and ten feet of water. A few minutes would suf 
fice to set the vessel in a blaze from stem to stern ; and if there 
were cotton on board, the bales would burn almost like pow 
der. The scene at each landing was repeated, with few vari 
ations, ten times till we reached Selma, 110 miles distance, at 
11.30 at night. 

Selma, which is connected with the Tennessee and Missis 
sippi rivers by railroad, is built upon a steep, lofty bluff, and 
the lights in the windows, and the lofty hotels above us, put 
me in mind of the old town of Edinburgh, seen from Prince s 
Street. Beside us there was a huge storied wharf, so that our 
passengers could step on shore from any deck they pleased. 
Here Mr. Deasy, being attacked by illness, became alarmed 
at the idea of continuing his journey without any opportunity 
of medical assistance, and went on shore. 

May 10th. The cabin of one of these steamers, in the 
month of May, is not favorable to sleep. The wooden beams 
of the engines creak and scream " consumedly," and the great 
engines themselves throb as if they would break through their 



ON BOARD THE STEAMER. 187 

thin, pulse covers of pine, and the whistle sounds, and the 
calliope shrieks out " Dixie " incessantly. So, when I was up 
and dressed, breakfast was over, and I had an opportunity of 
seeing the slaves on board, male and female, acting as stew 
ards and stewardesses, at their morning meal, which they took 
with much good spirits and decorum. They were nicely 
dressed clean and neat. I was forced to admit to myself 
that their Ashantee grandsires and grandmothers, or their 
Kroo and Dahomey progenitors were certainly less comforta 
ble and well clad, and that these slaves had other social ad 
vantages, though I could not recognize the force of the Bishop 
of Georgia s assertion, that from slavery must come the sole 
hope of, and machinery for, the evangelization of Africa. I 
confess I would not give much for the influence of the stew 
ards and stewardesses in Christianizing the blacks. 

The river, the scenery, and the scenes were just the same 
as yesterday s high banks, cotton-slides, wooding stations, 
cane brakes and a very miserable negro population, if the 
specimens of women and children at the landings fairly repre 
sented the mass of the slaves. They were in strong contrast 
to the comfortable, well-dressed domestic slaves on board, and 
it can well be imagined there is a wide difference between the 
classes, and that those condemned to work in the open fields 
must suffer exceedingly. 

A passenger told us the captain s story. A number of 
planters, the narrator among them, subscribed a thousand dol 
lars each to get up a vessel for the purpose of running a cargo 
of slaves, with the understanding they were to pay so much 
for the vessel, and so much per head if she succeeded, and so 
much if she was taken or lost. The vessel made her voyage 
to the coast, was laden with native Africans, and in due time 
made her appearance off Mobile. The collector heard of her, 
but, oddly enough, the sheriff was not about at the time, the 
United States Marshal was away, and as the vessel could not 
be seen next morning, it was fair to suppose she had gone up 
the river, or somewhere or another. But it so happened that 
Captain Maher, then commanding a river steamer called the 
Czar (a name once very appropriate for the work, but since the 
serf emancipation rather out of place), found himself in the 
neighborhood of the brig about nightfall ; next morning, in 
deed, the Czar was at her moorings in the river ; but Captain 
Maher began to grow rich, he had fine negroes fresh run on 
his land, and bought fresh acres, and finally built the " South- 



188 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

era Republic." The planters asked him for their share of the 
slaves. Captain Maher laughed pleasantly ; he did not under 
stand what they meant. If he had done anything wrong, they 
had their legal remedy. They were completely beaten ; for 
they could not have recourse to the tribunals in a case which 
rendered them liable to capital punishment. And so Captain 
Maher, as an act of grace, gave them a few old niggers, and 
kept the rest of the cargo. 

It was worth while to see the leer with which he listened to 
this story about himself. " Wall now ! You think them niggers 
I ve abord came from Africa ! I ll show you. Jist come up 
here, Bully ! " A boy of some twelve years of age, stout, fat, 
nearly naked, came up to us ; his color was jet black, his wool 
close as felt, his cheeks were marked with regular parallel 
scars, and his teeth very white, looked as if they had been 
filed to a point, his belly was slightly protuberant, and his 
chest was marked with tracings of tattoo marks. 

" What s your name, sir ? " 

" My name Bully." 

" Where were you born ? " 

" Me born Sout Karliner, sar ! 

" There, you see he wasn t taken from Africa," exclaimed 
the Captain, knowingly. " I ve a lot of these black South 
Caroliny niggers abord, haven t I, Bully ? " 

" Yas, sar." 

" Are you happy, Bully ? " 

" Yas, sar." 

" Show how you re happy." 

Here the boy rubbed his stomach, and grinning with delight, 
said, " Yummy ! yummy ! plenty belly full." 

" That s what I call a real happy feelosophical chap," quoth 
the Captain. " I guess you ve got a lot in your country can t 
pat their stomachs and say, yummy, yummy, plenty belly 

" Where did he get those marks on his face ? " 

" Oh, them ? Wall, it s a way them nigger women has of 
marking their children to know them ; isn t it, Bully ? " 

" Yas, sar ! me spose so ! " 

" And on his chest ? " 

" Wall, r ally I do b l eve them s marks agin the smallpox." 

" Why are his teeth filed ? " 

" Ah, there now ! You d never have guessed it ; Bully- 
done that himself, for the greater ease of biting his vittels." 



MOBILE. 189 

In fact, the lad, and a good many of the hands, were the 
results of Captain Maher s little sail in the Czar. 

" We re obleeged to let em in some times to keep up the 
balance agin the niggers you run into Canaydy." 

From 1848 to 1852 there were no slaves run; but since 
the migrations to Canada and the personal liberty laws, it has 
been found profitable to run them. There is a bucolic ferocity 
about these Southern people which will stand them good stead 
in the shock of battle. How the Spartans would have fought 
against any barbarians who came to emancipate their slaves, 
or the Romans have smitten those who would manumit slave 
and creditor together ! 

To-night, on the lower deck, amid wood fagots, and barrels, 
a dance of negroes was arranged by an enthusiast, who desired 
to show how " happy they were." That is the favorite theme 
of the Southerners ; the gallant Captain Maher becomes quite 
eloquent when he points to Bully s prominent " yummy," and 
descants on the misery of his condition if he had been left to 
the precarious chances of obtaining such developments in his 
native land ; then turns a quid, and, as if uttering some sacred 
refrain to the universal hymn of the South, says, " Yes, sir, 
they re the happiest people on the face of the airth ! " 

There was a fiddler, and also a banjo-player, who played 
uncouth music to the clumsiest of dances, which it would be 
insulting to compare to the worst Irish jig ; and the men with 
immense gravity and great effusion of sudor, shuffled and cut 
and heeled and buckled to each other with an overwhelming 
solemnity, till the rum-bottle warmed them up to the lighter 
graces of the dance, when they became quite overpowering. 
" Yes, sir, jist look at them, how they re enjoying it ; they re 
the happiest people on the face of the airth/ When " wood 
ing " and firing up, they don t seem to be in the possession of 
the same exquisite felicity. 

May llth. At early dawn the steamer went its way 
through a broad bay of snags, bordered with drift-wood, and 
with steam-trumpet and calliope announced its arrival at the 
quay of Mobile, which presented a fringe of tall warehouses, 
and shops along-side, over which were names indicating Scotch, 
Irish, English, many Spanish, German, Italian, and French 
owners. Captain Maher at once set off to his plantation, 
and we descended the stories of the walled castle to the beach, 
and walked on towards the " Battle House," so called from 
the name of its proprietor, for Mobile has not yet had its 



190 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

fight, like New Orleans. The quays, which usually, as we 
were told, are lined with stately hulls and a forest of masts, 
were deserted ; although the port was not actually blockaded, 
there were squadrons of the United States ships at Pensacola, 
on the east, and at New Orleans, on the west. 

The hotel, a fine building of the American stamp, was the 
seat of a Vigilance Committee, and as we put down our names 
in the book, they were minutely inspected by some gentlemen 
who came out of the parlor. It was fortunate they did not 
find traces of Lincolnism about us, as it appeared by the papers 
that they were busy deporting " Abolitionists " after certain 
preliminary processes supposed to 

" Give them a rise, and open their eyes 
To a sense of their situation." 

The citizens were busy in drilling, marching, and drum-beat 
ing, and the Confederate flag flew from every spire and 
steeple. The day was so hot, that it was little more inviting 
to go out in the sun than it would be in the dogdays at 
Malaga, to which, by the by, Mobile bears some "kinder- 
sorter" resemblance; but, nevertheless, I sallied forth, and 
had a drive on a shell road by the head of the bay, where 
there were pretty villarettes in charming groves of magnolia, 
orange-trees, and lime-oaks. Wide streets of similar houses 
spring out to meet the country through sandy roads ; some 
worthy of Streatham or Belham, and all surrounded in such 
vegetation as Kew might envy. 

Many Mobilians called, and among them the mayor, Mr. 
Forsyth, in whom I recognized the most remarkable of the 
Southern Commissioners I had met at Washington. Mr. 
Magee, the acting British Consul, was also good enough to 
wait upon me, with offers of any assistance in his power. I 
hear he has most difficult questions to deal with, arising out 
of the claims of distressed British subjects, and disputed 
nationality. In the evening, the Consul and Dr. Nott, a 
savant, and physician of Mobile, well known to the ethnolo 
gists for his work on the " Types of Mankind," written con 
jointly with the late Mr. Gliddon, dined with me, and I 
learned from them that, notwithstanding the intimate commer. 
cial relations between Mobile and the great Northern cities, 
the people here are of the most ultra-secessionist doctrines. 
The wealth and manhood of the city will be devoted to repel 
the " Lincolnite mercenaries " to the last. 



MOBILE. 191 

After dinner we walked through the city, which abounds in 
oyster saloons, drinking-houses, lager-bier and wine shops, and 
gambling and dancing places. The market was well worthy 
of a visit something like St. John s at Liverpool on a Sat 
urday night, crowded with negroes, mulattoes, quadroons, and 
mestizos of all sorts, Spanish, Italian, and French, speaking 
their own tongues, or a quaint lingua franca, and dressed in 
very striking and pretty costumes. The fruit and vegetable 
stalls displayed very fine produce, and some staples, remark-* 
able for novelty, ugliness, and goodness. After our stroll 
we went into one of the great oyster saloons, and in a room 
up-stairs had opportunity of tasting those great bivalvians 
in the form of natural fish puddings, fried in batter, roasted, 
stewed, devilled, broiled-, and in many other ways, plus raw. 
I am bound to observe that the Mobile people ate them as if 
there was no blockade, and as though oysters were a specific 
for political indigestions and civil wars ; a fierce Marseillais 
are they living in the most foreign-looking city I have yet 
seen in the States. My private room in the hotel was large, 
well-lighted with gas, and exceedingly well furnished in the 
German fashion, with French pendule and mirrors. The 
charge for a private room varies from 1 to l 5*. a day ; the 
bedroom and board are charged separately, from 10-s. Qd. to 
12s. 6d. a day, but meals served in the private room are all 
charged extra, and heavily too. Exclusiveness is an aristo 
cratic taste which must be paid for. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

Visit to Forts Gaines and Morgan War to the knife the cry of the 
South The " State " and the " States " Bay of Mobile The 
forts and their inmates Opinions as to an attack on Washington 
Rumors of actual war. 

May 12th. Mr. Forsyth had been good enough to invite me 
to an excursion down the Bay of Mobile, to the forts built by 
Uncle Sam and his French engineers to sink his Britishers 
now turned by " C. S. A." against the hated Stars and Stripes. 
The mayor and the principal merchants and many politicians 
and are not all men politicians in America ? formed the 
party. If any judgment of men s acts can be formed from 
their words, the Mobilites, who are the representatives of the 
third greatest part of the United States, will perish ere they 
submit to the Yankees and people of New York. I have 
now been in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Ala 
bama, and in none of these great States have I found the 
least indication of the Union sentiment, or of the attachment 
for the Union which Mr. Seward always assumes to exist in 
the South. If there were any considerable amount of it, I 
was in a position as a neutral to have been aware of its exist 
ence. 

Those who might have at one time opposed secession, have 
now bowed their heads to the majesty of the majority ; and 
with the cowardice, which is the result of the irresponsible 
and cruel tyranny of the multitude, hasten to swell the cry of 
revolution. But the multitude are the law in the United States. 
" There s a divinity doth hedge " the mob here, which is omni 
potent and all good. The majority in each State determines its 
political status according to Southern views. The Northerners 
are endeavoring to maintain that the majority of the people in 
the mass of the States generally shall regulate the point for 
each State individually and collectively. If there be any party 
in the Southern States which thinks such an attempt justifiable, 



FORT GAINES, FORT MORGAN. 193 

it sits silent and fearful and hopeless in darkness and sorrow 
hid from the light of day. General Scott, who was a short time 
ago written of in the usual inflated style, to which respectable 
military mediocrity and success are entitled in the States, is 
now reviled by the Southern papers as an infamous hoary trai 
tor and the like. If an officer prefers his allegiance to the 
United States flag, and remains in the Federal service after 
his State has gone out, his property is liable to confiscation by 
the State authorities, and his family and kindred are exposed 
to the gravest suspicion, and must prove their loyalty by ex 
tra zeal in the cause of Secession. 

Our merry company comprised naval and military officers 
in the service of the Confederate States, journalists, politi 
cians, professional men, merchants, and not one of them had 
a word but of hate and execration for the North. The Brit 
ish and German settlers are quite as vehement as the natives 
in upholding States rights, and among the most ardent up 
holders of slavery are the Irish proprietors and mercantile 
classes. 

The Bay of Mobile, which is about thirty miles long, with 
a breadth varying from three to seven miles, is formed by the 
outfall of the Alabama and of the Tombigbee Rivers, and is 
shallow and dangerous, full of banks and trees, embedded in 
the sands ; but all large vessels lie at the entrance between 
Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, to the satisfaction of the mas 
ters, who are thus spared the trouble with their crews which 
occurs in the low haunts of a maritime town. The cotton is 
sent down in lighters, which employ many hands at high 
wages. The shores are low wooded, and are dotted here and 
there with pretty villas ; but present no attractive scenery. 

The sea-breeze somewhat alleviated the fierceness of the 
sun, which was however too hot to be quite agreeable. Our 
steamer, crowded to the sponsons, made little way against the 
tide ; but at length, after nearly four hours sail, we hauled up 
along-side a jetty at Fort Gaines, which is on the right hand or 
western exit of the harbor, and would command, were it fin 
ished, the light-draft channel ; it is now merely a shell of 
masonry, but Colonel Hardee, who has charge of the defences 
of Mobile, told me that they would finish it speedily. 

The Colonel is an agreeable, delicate-looking man, scarcely 

of middle age, and is well known in the States as the author 

of " The Tactics," which is, however, merely a translation of 

the French manual of arms. He does not appear to be pos- 

9 



194 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

sessed of any great energy or capacity, but is, no doubt, a 
respectable officer. 

Upon landing we found a small body of men on guard in 
the fort. A few cannon of moderate calibre were mounted on 
the sand-hills and on the beach. We entered the unfinished 
work, and were received with a salute. The men felt difficulty 
in combining discipline with citizenship. They were "bored" 
with their sand-hill, and one of them asked me when I " thought 
them damned Yankees were coming. He wanted to touch off 
a few pills he knew would be good for their complaint." I 
must say I could sympathize with the feelings of the young 
officer who said he would sooner have a day with the Lincoln- 
ites, than a week with the mosquitoes for which this locality is 
famous. 

From Fort Gaines the steamer ran across to Fort Morgan, 
about three miles distant, passing in its way seven vessels, 
mostly British, at anchor, where hundreds may be seen, I am 
told, during the cotton season. This work has a formidable 
sea face, and may give great trouble to Uncle Sam, when he 
wants to visit his loving subjects in Mobile in his gunboats. It 
is the work of Bernard, I presume, and like most of his designs 
has a weak long base towards the land ; but it is provided with 
a wet ditch and drawbridge, with derni lunes covering the cur 
tains, and has a regular bastioned trace. It has one row of 
casemates, armed with thirty-two and forty-two pounders. The 
barbette guns are eight-inch and ten-inch guns; the external 
works at the salients, are armed with howitzers and field-pieces, 
and as we crossed the drawbridge, a salute was fired from a 
field battery, on a flanking bastion, in our honor. 

Inside the work was crammed with men, some of whom 
slept in the casemates others in tents in the parade grounds 
and enceinte of the fort. They were Alabama Volunteers, 
and as sturdy a lot of fellows as ever shouldered musket ; 
dressed in homespun coarse gray suits, with blue and yellow 
worsted facings and stripes to European eyes not very re 
spectful to their officers, but very obedient, I am told, and very 
peremptorily ordered about, as I heard. 

There were 700 or 800 men in the work, and an undue 
proportion of officers, all of whom were introduced to the 
strangers in turn. The officers were a very gentlemanly, 
nice-looking set of young fellows, and several of them had 
just come over from Europe to take up arms for their State. 
1 forget the name of the officer in command, though I cannot 



NEWS FROM THE NORTH. 195 

forget his courtesy, nor an excellent lunch he gave us in his 
casemate after a hot walk round the parapets, and some prac 
tice with solid shot from the barbette guns, which did not tend 
to make me think much of the greatly-be-praised Columbiads. 

One of the officers named Maury, a relative of " deep-sea 
Maury," struck me as an ingenious and clever officer ; the 
utmost harmony, kindliness, and devotion to the cause prevailed 
among the garrison, from the chief down to the youngest en 
sign. In its present state the Fort would suffer exceedingly 
from a heavy bombardment the magazines would be in 
danger, and the traverses are inadequate. All the barracks 
and wooden buildings should be destroyed if they wish to 
avoid the fate of Sumter. 

On our cruise homewards, in the enjoyment of a cold din 
ner, we had the inevitable discussion of the Northern and 
Southern contest. Mr. Forsyth, the editor and proprietor of 
the " Mobile Register," is impassioned for the cause, though 
he was not at one time considered a pure Southerner. There 
is difference of opinion relative to an attack on Washington. 
General St. George Cooke, commanding the army of Virginia 
on the Potomac, declares there is no intention of attacking it, 
or any place outside the limits of that free and sovereign State. 
But then the conduct of the Federal Government in Mary 
land is considered by the more fiery Southerners to justify the 
expulsion of " Lincoln and his Myrmidons," " the Border 
Ruffians and Cassius M. Clay," from the capital. Butler has 
seized on the Relay House, on the junction of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad, with the rail from Washington, and has 
displayed a good deal of vigor since his arrival at Annapolis. 
He is a Democrat, and a celebrated criminal lawyer in Massa 
chusetts. Troops are pouring into New York, and are pre 
paring to attack Alexandria, on the Virginia side, below 
Washington and the Navy Yard, where a large Confederate 
flag is flying, which can be seen from the President s windows 
in the White House. 

There is a secret soreness even here at the small effect 
produced in England compared with what they anticipated by 
the attack on Sumter; but hopes are excited that Mr. Greg 
ory, who was travelling through the States some time ago, 
will have a strong party to support his forthcoming motion 
for a recognition of the South. The next conflict which takes 
place will be more bloody than that at Sumter. The gladia 
tors are approaching Washington, Annapolis, Pennsylvania 



196 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

are militarj departments, each with a chief and Staff, to which 
is now added that of Ohio, under Major G. B. McClellan, 
Major-General of Ohio Volunteers at Cincinnati. The au 
thorities on each side are busy administering oaths of alle 
giance. 

The harbor of Charleston is reported to be under blockade 
by the Niagara steam frigate ; and a force of United States 
troops at St. Louis, Missouri, under Captain Lyon, has at 
tacked and dispersed a body of State Militia under one Briga 
dier-General Frost, to the intense indignation of all Mobile. 
The argument is, that Missouri gave up the St. Louis Arsenal 
to the United States Government, and could take it back if 
she pleased, and was certainly competent to prevent the 
United States troops stirring beyond the Arsenal. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

Pensacola and Fort Pickens Neutrals and their friends Coasting 
Sharks The blockading fleet The stars and stripes, and 
stars and bars Domestic feuds caused by the war Captain 
Adams and General Bragg Interior of Fort Pickens. 

May 13th. I was busy making arrangements to get to 
Pensacola, and Fort Pickens, all day. The land journey was 
represented as being most tedious and exceedingly comfortless 
in all respects, through a waste of sand, in which we ran the 
chance of being smothered or lost. And then I had set my 
mind on seeing Fort Pickens as well as Pensacola, and it 
would be difficult, to say the least of it, to get across from an 
enemy s camp to the Federal fortress, and then return again. 
The United States squadron blockaded the port of Pensacola, 
but I thought it likely they would permit me to run in to visit 
Fort Pickens, and that the Federals would allow me to sail 
thence across to General Bragg, as they might be assured I 
would not communicate any information of what I had seen in 
my character as neutral to any but the journal in Europe, 
which I represented, and in the interests of which I was 
bound to see and report all that I could as to the state of both 
parties. It was, at all events, worth while to make the at 
tempt, and after a long search I heard of a schooner which 
was ready for the voyage at a reasonable rate, all things con 
sidered. 

Mr. Forsyth asked if I had any objection to take with me 
three gentlemen of Mobile, who were anxious to be of the 
party, as they wanted to see their friends at Pensacola, where 
it was believed a " fight " was to come off immediately. Since 
I came South I have seen the daily announcement that ** Braxton 
Bragg is ready," and his present state of preparation must be 
beyond all conception. But here was a difficulty. I told Mr. 
Forsyth that I could not possibly assent to any persons coming 
with me who were not neutrals, or prepared to adhere to the 
obligations of neutrals. There was a suggestion that I should 
say these gentlemen were my friends, but as I had only seen 



198 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

two of them on board the steamer yesterday, I could not ac 
cede to that idea. " Then if you are asked if Mr. Ravesies 
is your friend, you will say he is not." " Certainly." " But 
surely you don t wish to have Mr. Ravesies hanged ? " " No, 
I do not, and I shall do nothing to cause him to be hanged ; 
but if he meets that fate by his own act, I can t help it. 1 
will not allow him to accompany me under false pretences." 

At last it was agreed that Mr. Ravesies and his friends, Mr. 
Bartre and Mr. Lynes, being in no way employed by or con 
nected with the Confederate Government, should have a place 
in the little schooner which we had picked out at the quayside 
and hired for the occasion, and go on the voyage with the plain, 
understanding that they were to accept all the consequences of 
being citizens of Mobile. 

Mr. Forsyth, Mr. Ravesies, and a couple of gentlemen 
dined with me in the evening. After dinner., Mr. Forsyth, 
who, as mayor of the town, is the Executive of the Vigilance 
Committee, took a copy of " Harper s Illustrated Paper," 
which is a very poor imitation of the " London Illustrated 
News/ ^and called my attention to the announcement that Mr. 
Moses, their special artist, was travelling with me in the 
South, as well as to an engraving, which purported to be by 
Moses aforesaid. I could only say that I knew nothing of the 
young designer, except what he told me, and that he led me 
to believe he was furnishing sketches to the " London News." 
As he was in the hotel, though he did not live with me, I sent 
for him, and the young gentleman, who was very pale and 
agitated on being shown the advertisement and sketch, declared 
that he had renounced all connection with Harper, that he 
was sketching for the " Illustrated London News," and that 
the advertisement was contrary to fact, and utterly unknown 
to him ; and so he was let go forth, and retired uneasily. 
After dinner I went to the Bienville Club. " Rule No. 1 " is, 
" No gentleman shall be admitted in a state of intoxication." 
The club very social, very small, and very hospitable. 

Later paid my respects to Mrs. Forsyth, whom I found 
anxiously waiting for news of her young son, who had gone 
off to join the Confederate Army. She told me that nearly 
all the ladies in Mobile are engaged in making cartridges, 
and in preparing lint or clothing for the army. Not the 
smallest fear is entertained for the swarming black population. 

May 14tth. Down to our yacht, the Diana, which is to be 
ready this afternoon, and saw her cleared out a little a 



THE NIGHT CRUISE. 199 

broad-beamed, flat-floored schooner, some fifty tons burden, 
with a centre-board, badly calked, and dirty enough unfa 
miliar with paint. The skipper was a long-legged, ungainly 
young fellow, with long hair and an inexpressive face, just re 
lieved by the twinkle of a very " Yankee " eye ; but that was 
all of the hated creature about him, for a more earnest seceder 
I never heard. 

His crew consisted of three rough, mechanical sort of men 
and a negro cook. Having freighted the vessel with a small 
stock of stores, a British flag, kindly lent by the acting Con 
sul, Mr. Magee, and a tablecloth to serve as a flag of truce, 
our party, consisting of the gentlemen previously named, Mr. 
Ward, and the young artist, weighed from the quay of Mobile 
at five o clock in the evening, with the manifest approbation 
of the small crowd who had assembled to see us off, the rumor 
having spread through the town that we were bound to see 
the great fight. The breeze was favorable and steady ; at 
nine o clock, p. M., the lights of Fort Morgan were on our 
port beam, and for some time we were expecting to see the 
flash of a gun, as the skipper confidently declared they would 
never allow us to pass unchallenged. 

The darkness of the night might possibly have favored us, 
or the sentries were remiss ; at all events, we were soon creep 
ing through the " Swash," which is a narrow channel over 
the bar, through which our skipper worked us by means of a 
sounding pole. The air was delightful, and blew directly off 
the low shore, in a line parallel to which we were moving. 
When the evening vapors passed away, the stars shone out 
brilliantly, and though the wind was strong, and sent us at a 
good eight knots through the water, there was scarcely a rip 
ple on the sea. Our course lay within a quarter of a mile of 
the shore, which looked like a white ribbon fringed with fire, 
from the ceaseless play of the phosphorescent surf. Above this 
belt of sand rose the black, jagged outlines of a pine forest, 
through which steal immense lagoons and marshy creeks. 

Driftwood and trees strew the beach, and from Fort Mor 
gan, for forty miles, to the entrance of Pensacola, not a human 
habitation disturbs the domain sacred to alligators, serpents, 
pelicans, and wild-fowl. Some of the lagoons, like the Per- 
dida, swell into inland seas, deep buried in pine woods, and 
known only to the wild creatures swarming along its brink 
and in its waters ; once, if report says true, frequented, how 
ever, by the filibusters and by the pirates of the Spanish 
Main. 



200 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

If the mosquitoes were as numerous and as persecuting in 
those days as they are at present, the most adventurous youth 
would have soon repented the infatuation which led him to 
join the brethren of the Main. The mosquito is a great 
enemy to romance, and our skipper tells us that there is no 
such place known in the world for them as this coast. 

As the Diana flew along the grim shore, we lay listlessly 
on the deck admiring the excessive brightness of the stars, or 
watching the trailing fire of her wake. Now and then great 
fish flew off from the shallows, cleaving their path in flame ; 
and one shining gleam came up from leeward like a watery 
comet, till its horrible outline was revealed close to us a 
monster shark which accompanied us with an easy play of 
the fin, distinctly visible in the wonderful phosphorescence, 
now shooting on ahead, now dropping astern, till suddenly it 
dashed off seaward with tremendous rapidity and strength 
on some errand of destruction, and vanished in the waste of 
waters. Despite the multitudes of fish on the coast, the 
Spaniards who colonize this ill-named Florida must have had 
a trying life of it between the Indians, now hunted to death 
or exiled by rigorous Uncle Sam, the mosquitoes, and the 
numberless plagues which abound along these shores. 

Hour after hour passed watching the play of large fish and 
the surf on the beach ; one by one the cigar-lights died out ; 
and muffling ourselves up on deck, or creeping into the little 
cabin, the party slumbered. I was awoke by the Captain 
talking to one of his hands close to me, and on looking up saw 
that he was staring through a wonderful black tube, which he 
denominated his " tallowscope," at the shore. 

Looking in the direction, I observed the glare of a fire in 
the wood, which on examination through an opera-glass re 
solved itself into a steady central light, with some smaller 
specks around it. " Wa ll," said the Captain, " I guess it is 

just some of them d d Yankees as is landed from their 

tarnation boats, and is conoitering for a road to Mobile." 
There was an old iron carronade on board, and it struck me 
as a curious exemplification of the recklessness of our Amer 
ican cousins, when the skipper said, " Let us put a bag of 
bullets in the ould gun, and touch it off at them ; " which he 
no doubt would have done, seconded by one of our party, who 
drew his revolver to contribute to the broadside, but that I 
represented to them it was just as likely to be a party out from 
the camp at Pensacola, and that, anyhow, I strongly objected 



FORT M RAE AND FORT PICKENS. 201 

to any belligerent act whilst I was on board. It was very 
probably, indeed, the watchfire of a Confederate patrol, for 
the gentry of the country have formed themselves into a body 
of regular cavalry for such service ; but the skipper declared 
that our chaps knew better than to be showing their lights in 
that way, when we were within ten miles of the entrance to 
Pensacola. 

The skipper lay-to, as he, very wisely, did not like to run 
into the centre of the United States squadron at night ; but 
just at the first glimpse of dawn the Diana resumed her 
course, and bowled along merrily till, with the first rays of 
the sun, Fort M Rae, Fort Pickens, and the masts of the 
squadron were visible ahead, rising above the blended hori 
zon of land and sea. We drew upon them rapidly, and soon 
could make out the rival flags the Stars and Bars and Stars 
and Stripes flouting defiance at each other. 

On the land side on our left is Fort M Rae, and on the end 
of the sand-bank, called Santa Rosa Island, directly opposite, 
rises the outline of the much-talked-of Fort Pickens, which is 
not unlike Fort Paul on a small scale. Through the glass 
the blockading squadron is seen to consist of a sailing frigate, 
a sloop, and three steamers ; and as we are scrutinizing them, 
a small schooner glides from under the shelter of the guard- 
ship, and makes towards us like a hawk on a sparrow. Hand 
over hand she comes, a great swaggering ensign at her peak, 
and a gun all ready at her bow ; and rounding up along-side 
us a boat manned by four men is lowered, an officer jumps in, 
and is soon under our counter. The officer, a bluff, sailor-like 
looking fellow, in a uniform a little the worse for wear, and 
wearing his beard as officers of the United States navy gener 
ally do, fixed his eye upon the skipper who did not seem 
quite at his ease, and had, indeed, confessed to us that he had 
been warned off by the Oriental, as the tender was named, 
only a short time before and said, "Hallo, sir, I think I 
have seen you before: what schooner is this ?" "The Diana 
of Mobile." " I thought so." Stepping on deck, he said, 
" Gentlemen, I am Mr. Brown, Master in the United States 
navy, in charge of the boarding schooner Oriental." We each 
gave our names ; whereupon Mr. Brown says, " I have no 
doubt it will be all right, be good enough to let me have your 
papers. And now, sir, make sail, and lie-to under the quarter 
of that steamer there, the Powhattan." The Captain did not 
look at all happy when the officer called his attention to the 
9* 



202 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

indorsement on his papers ; nor did the Mobile party seem 
very comfortable when he remarked, " I suppose, gentlemen, 
you are quite well aware there is a strict blockade of this 
port?" 

In half an hour the schooner lay under the guns of the 
Powhattan, which is a stumpy, thick -set, powerful steamer of 
the old paddle-wheel kind, something like the Leopard. We 
proceeded along-side in the cutter s boat, and were ushered 
into the cabin, where the officer commanding, Lieutenant 
David Porter, received us, begged us to be seated, and then 
inquired into the object of our visit, which he communicated 
to the flag-ship by signal, in order to get instructions as to 
our disposal. Nothing could exceed his courtesy ; and I was 
most favorably impressed by himself, his officers, and crew. 
He took me over the ship, which is armed with ten-inch Dahl- 
grens and eleven-inch pivot guns, with rifled field-pieces and 
howitzers on the sponsons. Her boarding nettings were triced 
up, bows and weak portions padded with dead wood and old 
sails, and everything ready for action. 

Lieutenant Porter has been in and out of the harbor ex 
amining the enemy s works at all hours of the night, and he 
has marked off on the chart, as he showed me, the bearings 
of the various spots where he can sweep or enfilade their 
works. The crew, all things considered, were very clean, 
and their personnel exceedingly fine. 

We were not the only prize that was made by the Oriental 
this morning. A ragged little schooner lay at the other side 
of the Powhattan, the master of which stood rubbing his 
knuckles into his eyes, and uttering dolorous expressions in 
broken English and Italian, for he was a noble Roman of 
Civita Vecchia. Lieutenant Porter let me into the secret. 
These small traders at Mobile, pretending great zeal for the 
Confederate cause, load their vessels with fruit, vegetables, < 
and things of which they know the squadron is much in want, 
as well as the garrison of the Confederate forts. They set 
out with the most valiant intention of running the blockade, 
and are duly captured by the squadron, the officers of which 
are only too glad to pay fair prices for the cargoes. They 
return to Mobile, keep their money in their pockets, and de 
clare they have been plundered by the Yankees. If they 
get in, they demand still higher prices from the Confederates, 
and lay claim to the most exalted patriotism. 

By signal from the flag-ship, Sabine, we were ordered to 



THE FLAG-SHIP. 203 

repair on board to see the senior officer, Captain Adams ; and 
for the first time since I trod the deck of the old Leander in 
Balaklava harbor, I stood on board a fify-gun sailing frigate. 
Captain Adams, a gray-haired veteran of very gentle man 
ners and great urbanity received us in his cabin, and listened 
to my explanation of the cause of my visit with interest. 
About myself there was no difficulty ; but he very justly ob 
served he did not think it would be right to let the gentle 
men from Mobile examine Fort Pickens, and then go among 
the Confederate camps. I am bound to say these gentlemen 
scarcely seemed to desire or anticipate such a favor. 

Major Vogdes, an engineer officer from the fort, who hap 
pened to be on board, volunteered to take a letter from me to 
Colonel Harvey Browne, requesting permission to visit it ; 
and I finally arranged with Captain Adams that the Diana 
was to be permitted to pass the blockade into Pensacola har 
bor, and thence to return to Mobile, my visit to Pickens de 
pending on the pleasure of the Commandant of the place. 
" I fear, Mr. Russell," said Captain Adams, * in giving you 
this permission, I expose myself to misrepresentation and un 
founded attacks. Gentlemen of the press in our country care 
little about private character, and are, I fear, rather unscrupu 
lous in what they say ; but I rely upon your character that no 
improper use shall be made of this permission. You must 
hoist a flag of truce, as General Bragg, who commands over 
there, has sent me word he considers our blockade a declara 
tion of war, and will fire upon any vessel which approaches him 
from our fleet. 

In the course of conversation, whilst treating me to such 
man-of-war luxuries as the friendly officer had at his disposal, 
he gave me an illustration of the miseries of this cruel con 
flict of the unspeakable desolation of homes, of the bitter 
ness of feeling engendered in families. A Pennsylvanian by 
birth, he married long ago a lady of Louisiana, where he re 
sided on his plantation till his ship was commissioned. He 
was absent on foreign service when the feud first began, and 
received orders at sea, on the South American station, to re 
pair direct to blockade Pensacola. He has just heard that 
one of his sons is enlisted in the Confederate army, and that 
two others have joined the forces in Virginia ; and as he said 
sadly, " God knows, when I open my broadside, but that I 
may be killing my own children." But that was not all. 
One of the Mobile gentlemen brought him a letter from his 



204 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

daughter, in which she informs him that she has been elected 
vivandiere to a New Orleans regiment, with which she intends 
to push on to Washington, and get a lock of old Abe Lincoln s 
hair ; and the letter concluded with the charitable wish that 
her father might starve to death if he persisted in his wicked 
blockade. But not the less determined was the gallant old 
sailor to do his duty. 

Mr. Ward, one of my companions, had sailed in the Sabine 
in the Paraguay expedition, and I availed myself of his ac 
quaintance with his old comrades to take a glance round the 
ship. Wherever they came from, four hundred more sailor- 
like, strong, handy young fellows could not be seen than the 
crew ; and the officers were as hospitable as their limited re 
sources in whiskey grog, cheese, and junk allowed them to be. 
With thanks for his kindness and courtesy, I parted from 
Captain Adams, feeling more than ever the terrible and ear 
nest nature of the impending conflict. May the kindly good 
old man be shielded on the day of battle ! 

A ten-oared barge conveyed us to the Oriental, which, with 
flowing sheet, ran down to the Powhattan. There I saw Cap 
tain Porter, and told him that Captain Adams had given me 
permission to visit the Confederate camp, and that I had writ 
ten for leave to go on shore at Fort Pickens. An officer was 
in his cabin, to whom I was introduced as Captain Poore, of 
the Brooklyn. " You don t mean to say, Mr. Russell," said 
he, " that these editors of Southern newspapers who are with 
you have leave to go on shore ? " This was rather a fishing 
question. " I assure you, Captain Poore, that there is no 
editor of a Southern newspaper in my company." 

The boat which took us from the Powhattan to the Diana 
was in charge of a young officer related to Captain Porter, 
who amused me by the spirit with which he bandied remarks 
about the war with the Mobile men, who had now recovered 
their equanimity, and were indulging in what is called chaff 
about the blockade. " Well," he said, " you were the first to 
begin it ; let us see whether you won t be the first to leave it 
off. I guess our Northern ice will pretty soon put out your 
Southern fire." 

When we came on board, the skipper heard our orders to 
up stick and away with an air of pity and incredulity ; nor 
was it till I had repeated it, he kicked up his crew from their 
sleep on deck, and with a " Wa ll, really, I never did see sich 
a thing ! " made sail towards the entrance to the harbor. 



THE FLAG OF TRUCFT. 205 

As we got abreast of Fort Pickens, I ordered tablecloth 
No. 1 to be hoisted to the peak ; and through the glass I saw- 
that our appearance attracted no ordinary attention from the 
garrison of Pickens close at hand on our right, and the more 
distant Confederates on Fort M Rae and the sand-hills on our 
left. The latter work is weak and badly built, quite under the 
command of Pickens, but it is supported by the old Spanish 
fort of Barrancas upon high ground further inland, and by nu 
merous batteries at the water-line and partly concealed amidst 
the woods which fringe the shore as far as the navy yard of 
Warrington, near Pensacola. The wind was light, but the 
tide bore us onwards towards the Confederate works. Arms 
glanced in the blazing sun where regiments were engaged at 
drill, clouds of dust rose from the sandy roads, horsemen riding 
along the beach, groups of men in uniform, gave a martial ap 
pearance to the place in unison with the black muzzles of the 
guns which peeped from the white sand batteries from the en 
trance of the harbor to the navy yard now close at hand. As 
at Sumter Major Anderson permitted the Carolinians to erect 
the batteries he might have so readily destroyed in the com 
mencement, so the Federal officers here have allowed General 
Bragg to work away at his leisure, mounting cannon after 
cannon, throwing up earthworks, and strengthening his batte 
ries, till he has assumed so formidable an attitude, that I doubt 
very much whether the fort and the fleet combined can silence 
his fire. 

On the low shore close to us were numerous wooden houses 
and detached villas, surrounded by orange groves. At last the 
captain let go his anchor off the end of a wooden jetty, which 
was crowded with ammunition, shot, shell, casks of provisions, 
and commissariat stores. A small steamer was engaged in add 
ing to the collection, and numerous light craft gave evidence 
that all trade had not ceased. Indeed, inside Santa Rosa Is 
land, which runs for forty-five miles from Pickens eastward 
parallel to the shore, there is a considerable coasting traffic 
carried on for the benefit of the Confederates. 

The skipper went ashore with my letters to General Bragg, 
and speedily returned with an orderly, who brought permis 
sion for the Diana to come along-side the wharf. The Mobile 
gentlemen were soon on shore, eager to seek their friends ; 
and in a few seconds the officer of the quartermaster-general s 
department on duty came on board to conduct me to the 
officers quarters, whilst waiting for my reply from General 
Brag. 



206 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

The navy yard is surrounded by a high wall, the gates 
closely guarded by sentries ; the houses, gardens, workshops, 
factories, forges, slips, and building sheds are complete of 
their kind, and cover upwards of three hundred acres ; and 
with the forts which protect the entrance, cost the United 
States Government not less than six millions sterling. Inside 
these was the greatest activity and life, Zouave, Chasseurs, 
and all kind of military eccentricities were drilling, parad 
ing, exercising, sitting in the shade, loading tumbrils, playing 
cards, or sleeping on the grass. Tents were pitched under the 
trees and on the little lawns and grass-covered quadrangles. 
The houses, each numbered and marked with the name of the 
functionary to whose use it was assigned, were models of neat 
ness, with gardens in front, filled with glorious tropical flowers. 
They were painted green and white, provided with porticoes, 
Venetian blinds, verandas, and colonnades, to protect the in 
mates as much as possible from the blazing sun, which in the 
dog-days is worthy of Calcutta. The old Fulton is the only 
ship on the stocks. From the naval arsenal quantities of shot 
and shell are constantly pouring to the batteries. Piles of 
cannon-balls dot the grounds, but the only ordnance I saw 
were two old mortars placed as ornaments in the main avenue, 
one dated 1776. 

The quartermaster conducted me through shady walks into 
one of the houses, then into a long room, and presented me 
en masse to a body of officers, mostly belonging to a Zouave 
regiment from New Orleans, who were seated at a very com 
fortable dinner, with abundance of champagne, claret, beer, 
and ice. They were all young, full of life and spirits, except 
three or four graver and older men, who were Europeans. 
One, a Dane, had fought against the Prussians and Schleswig- 
Holsteiners at Idstedt and Friederichstadt ; another, an Ital 
ian, seemed to have been engaged indifferently in fighting all 
over the South American continent ; a third, a Pole, had been 
at Comorn, and had participated in the revolutionary guerrilla 
of 1848. From these officers I learned that Mr. Jefferson 
Davis, his wife, Mr. Wigfall, and Mr. Mallory, Secretary of 
the Navy, had come down from Montgomery, and had been 
visiting the works all day. 

Every one here believes the attack so long threatened is to 
come off at last and at once. 

After dinner an aide-de-camp from General Bragg entered 
with a request that I would accompany him to the command- 



GENERAL BRAGG ON SLAVERY. 207 

ing officer s quarters. As the sand outside the navy yard was 
deep, and rendered walking very disagreeable, the young 
officer stopped a cart, into which we got, and were proceeding 
on our way, when a tall, elderly man, in a blue frock-coat with 
a gold star on the shoulder, trousers with a gold stripe and 
gilt buttons rode past, followed by an orderly, who looked 
more like a dragoon than anything I have yet seen in the 
States. " There s General Bragg," quoth the aide, and I was 
duly presented to the General, who reined up by the wagon. 
He sent his orderly off at once for a light cart drawn by a 
pair of mules, in which I completed my journey, and was 
safely decarted at the door of a substantial house surrounded 
by trees of lime, oak, and sycamore. 

Led horses and orderlies thronged the front of the portico, 
and gave it the usual head-quarters-like aspect. General Bragg 
received me at the steps, and took me to his private room, 
where we remained for a long time in conversation. He had 
retired from the United States army after the Mexican war 
in which, by the way, he played a distinguished part, his name 
being generally coupled with the phrase " a little more grape, 
Captain Bragg," used in one of the hottest encounters of that 
campaign to his plantation in Louisiana ; but suddenly the 
Northern States declared their intention of using force to free 
and sovereign States, which were exercising their constitution 
al rights to secede from the Federal Union. 

Neither he nor his family were responsible for the system 
of slavery. His ancestors found it established by law and 
flourishing, and had left him property, consisting of slaves, 
which was granted to him by the laws and constitution of the 
United States. Slaves were necessary for the actual cultiva 
tion of the soil in the South ; Europeans and Yankees who 
settled there speedily became convinced of that ; and if a 
Northern population were settled in Louisiana to-morrow, they 
would discover that they must till the land by the labor of the 
black race, and that the only mode of making the black race 
work, was to hold them in a condition of involuntary servitude. 
" Only the other day, Colonel Harvey Browne, at Pickens, 
over the way, carried off a number of negroes from Tortugas, 
and put them to work at Santa Rosa. Why ? Because his 
white soldiers were not able for it. No. The North was 
bent on subjugating the South, and as long as he had a drop 
of blood in his body, he would resist such an infamous at 
tempt." 



MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Before supper General Bragg opened his maps, and pointed 
out to me in detail the position of all his works, the line of fire 
of each gun, and the particular object to be expected from its 
effects. " I know every inch of Pickens," he said, " for I hap 
pened to be stationed there as soon as I left West Point, and I 
don t think there is a stone in it that I am not as well ac 
quainted with as Harvey Browne." 

His staff, consisting of four intelligent young men, two of 
them lately belonging to the United States army, supped with 
us, and after a very agreeable evening, horses were ordered 
round to the door, and I returned to the navy yard attended 
by the General s orderly, and provided with a pass and coun 
tersign. As a mark of complete confidence, General Bragg 
told me, for my private ear, that he had no present intention 
whatever of opening fire, and that his batteries were far from 
being in a state, either as regards armament or ammunition, 
which would justify him in meeting the fire of the forts and 
the ships. 

And so we bade good-by. " To-morrow," said the General, 
" I will send down one of my best horses and Mr. Ellis, my 
aide-de-camp, to take you over all the works and batteries." 
As I rode home with my honest orderly beside instead of be 
hind me, for he was of a conversational turn, I was much per 
plexed in my mind, endeavoring to determine which was right 
and which was wrong in this quarrel, and at last, as at Mont 
gomery, I was forced to ask myself if right and wrong \vere 
geographical expressions depending for extension or limitation 
on certain conditions of climate and lines of latitude and lon 
gitude. Here was the General s orderly beside me, an intelli 
gent middle-aged man, who had come to do battle with as 
much sincerity ay, and religious confidence as ever act 
uated old John Brown or any New England puritan to make 
war against slavery. " I have left my old woman and the 
children to the care of the niggers ; I have turned up all my 
cotton land and planted it with corn, and I don t intend to go 
back alive till I ve seen the back of the last Yankee in our 
Southern States." " And are wife and children alone with the 
negroes?" " Yes, sir. There s only one white man on the 
plantation, an overseer sort of chap." " Are not you afraid of 
the slaves rising ? " " They re ignorant poor creatures, to be 
sure, but as yet they re faithful. Any way, I put my trust in 
God, and I know he ll watch over the house while I m away 
fighting for this good cause ! " This man came from Missis- 



ON BOARD THE SCHOONER. 209 

sippi, and had twenty-five slaves, which represented a money 
value of at least 5000. He was beyond the age of enthusi 
asm, and was actuated, no doubt, by strong principles, to him 
unquestionable and sacred. 

My pass and countersign, which were only once demanded, 
took me through the sentries, and I got on board the schooner 
shortly before midnight, and found nearly all the party on 
deck, enchanted with their reception. More than once we 
were awoke by the vigilant sentries, who would not let what 
Americans call " the balance " of our friends on board till 
they had seen my authority to receive them. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

Bitters before breakfast An old Crimean acquaintance Earthworks 
and batteries Estimate of cannons Magazines Hospitality 
English and American introductions and leave-takings Fort 
Pickens ; its interior Return toward Mobile Pursued by a 
strange sail Running the blockade Landing at Mobile. 

May I Qtk. The reveille of the Zouaves, note for note the 
same as that which, in the Crimea, so often woke up poor 
fellows who slept the long sleep ere nightfall, roused us this 
morning early, and then the clang of trumpets and the roll of 
drums beating French calls summoned the volunteers to early 
parade. As there was a heavy dew, and many winged things 
about last night, I turned in to my berth below, where four 
human beings were supposed to lie in layers, like mummies 
beneath a pyramid, and there, after contention with cock 
roaches, sank to rest. No wonder I was rather puzzled to know 
where I was now; for in addition to the music and the famil 
iar sounds outside, I was somewhat perturbed in my mental 
calculations by bringing my head sharply in contact with a 
beam of the deck which had the best of it; but, at last, 
facts accomplished themselves and got into place, much aided 
by the appearance of the negro cook with a cup of coffee in 
his hand, who asked, " Mosieu ! Capitaine vant to ax vedder 
you take some bitter, sar ! Lisbon bitter, sar." I saw the 
captain on deck busily engaged in the manufacture of a liquid 
which I was adjured by all the party on deck to take, if I 
wished to make a Redan or a Malakoff of my stomach, and 
accordingly I swallowed a petit verre of a very strong, and 
intensely bitter preparation of brandy and tonic roots, sweet 
ened with sugar, for which Mobile is famous. 

The noise of our arrival had gone abroad ; haply the 
report of the good things with which the men of Mobile had 
laden the craft, for a few officers came aboard even at that 
early hour, and we asked two who were known to our friends 
to stay for breakfast. That meal, to which the negro cook 
applied his whole mind and all the galley, consisted of an 



A FRIEND FROM THE CRIMEA, 211 

ugly looking but well-flavored fish from the waters outside us, 
fried ham and onions, biscuit, coffee, iced water and Bordeaux, 
served with charming simplicity, and no way calculated to 
move the ire of Horace by a display of Persic apparatus. 

A more greasy, oniony meal was never better enjoyed. 
One of our guests was a jolly Yorkshire farmer-looking man, 
up to about 16 stone weight, with any hounds, dressed in a 
tunic of green baize or frieze, with scarlet worsted braid 
down the front, gold lace on the cuffs and collar, and a felt 
wide-awake, with a bunch of feathers in it. He wiped the 
sweat off his brow, and swore that he would never give in, 
and that the whole of the company of riflemen whom he 
commanded, if not as heavy, were quite as patriotic. He was 
evidently a kindly affectionate man. without a trace of malice 
in his composition, but his sentiments were quite ferocious 
when he came to speak of the Yankees. He was a large 
slave-owner, and therefore a man of fortune, and he spoke 
with all the fervor of a capitalist menaced by a set of Red 
Republicans. 

His companion, who wore a plain blue uniform, spoke sen 
sibly about a matter with which sense has rarely any thing to 
do namely uniform. Many of the United States volunteers 
adopt the same gray colors so much in vogue among the Con 
federates. The officers of both armies wear similar distin 
guishing marks of rank, and he was quite right in supposing 
that in night marches, or in serious actions on a large scale, 
much confusion and loss would be caused by men of the same 
army firing on each other, or mistaking enemies for friends. 

Whilst we were talking, large shoals of mullet and other 
fish were flying before the porpoises, red fish, and other ene 
mies, in the tide-way astern of the schooner. Once, as a 
large white fish came leaping up to the surface, a gleam of 
something still whiter shot through the waves, and a boiling 
whirl, tinged with crimson, which gradually melted off in the 
tide, marked where the fish had been. 

" There s a ground sheark as has got his breakfast," quoth 
the Skipper. " There s quite a many of them about here." 
Now and then a turtle showed his head, exciting desiderium 
tarn cari captis, above the envied flood which he honored with 
his presence. 

Far away toward Pensacola, floated three British ensigns, 
from as many merchantmen, which as yet had fifteen days to 
clear out from the blockaded port. Fort Pickens had hoisted 



212 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

the stars and stripes to the wind, and Fort M Rae, as if to 
irritate its neighbor, displayed a flag almost identical, but for 
the " lone star," which the glass detected instead of the ordi 
nary galaxy the star of Florida. 

Lieutenant Ellis, General Bragg s aide-de-camp, came on 
board at an early hour in order to take me round the works, 
and I was soon on the back of the General s charger, safely 
ensconced between the raised pummel and cantle of a great 
brass-bound saddle, with emblazoned saddle-cloth and mighty 
stirrups of brass, fit for the fattest marshal that ever led an 
army of France to victory ; but General Bragg is longer in 
the leg than the Duke of Malakoff or Marshal Canrobert, 
and all my efforts to touch with my toe the wonderful sup 
ports which, in consonance with the American idea, dangled 
far beneath, were ineffectual. 

As our road lay by head-quarters, the aide-de-camp took 
me into the court and called out " Orderly ; " and at the sum 
mons a smart soldier-like young fellow came to the front, took 
me three holes up, and as I was riding away touched his cap 
and said, " I beg your pardon, sir, but I often saw you in the 
Crimea." He had been in the llth Hussars, and on the day 
of Balaklava he was following close to Lord Cardigan and 
Captain Nolan, when his horse was killed by a round shot. 
As he was endeavoring to escape on foot the Cossacks took 
him prisoner, and he remained for eleven months in captivity 
in Russia, till he was exchanged at Odessa, toward the close 
of the war ; then, being one of two sergeants who were per 
mitted to get their discharge, he left the service. " But here 
you are again," said I, "soldiering once more, and merely 
acting as an orderly ! " " Well, that s true enough, but I 
came over here, thinking to better myself as some of our 
fellows did, and then the war broke out, and I entered one of 
what they called their cavalry regiments Lord bless you, 
sir, it would just break your heart to see them and here I am 
now, and the general has made me an orderly. He is a kind 
man, sir, and the pay is good, but they are not like the old 
lot ; I do not know what my lord would think of them." The 
man s name was Montague, and he told me his father lived 
" at a place called Windsor," twenty -one miles from London. 
Lieutenant Ellis said he was a very clean, smart, well-con 
ducted soldier. 

From head-quarters we started on our little tour of inspec 
tion of the batteries. Certainly, any thing more calculated 



FORTS AROUND FORT PICKEXS. 213 

to shake confidence in American journalism could not be 
seen ; for I had been led to believe that the works were of 
the most formidable description, mounting hundreds of guns. 
Where hundreds was written, tens would have been nearer 
the truth. 

I visited ten out of the thirteen batteries which General 
Bragg has erected against Fort Pickens. I saw but five 
heavy siege guns in the whole of the works among the fifty or 
fifty-five pieces with which they were armed. There may 
be about eighty altogether on the lines, which describe an 
arc of 135 degrees for about three miles round Pickens, at 
an average distance of a mile and one third. I was rather 
interested with Fort Barrancas, built by the Spaniards long 
ago an old work on the old plan, weakly armed, but pos 
sessing a tolerable command from the face of fire. 

In all the batteries there were covered galleries in the rear, 
connected with the magazines, and called " rat-holes," intend 
ed by the constructors as a refuge for the men whenever a 
shell from Pickens dropped in. The rush to the rat-hole does 
not impress one as being very conducive to a sustained and 
heavy fire, or at all likely to improve the morale of the gun 
ners. The working parties, as they were called volunteers 
from Mississippi and Alabama, great long-bearded fellows in 
flannel shirts and slouched hats, uniformless in all save bright 
ly burnished arms and resolute purpose were lying about 
among the works, or contributing languidly to their comple 
tion. 

Considerable improvements were in the course of execu 
tion ; but the officers were not always agreed as to the work 
to be done. Captain A., at the wheelbarrows : " Now then, 
you men, wheel up these sand-bags, and range them just at 
this corner." Major B. : " My good Captain A., what do 
you want the bags there for ? Did I not tell you, these mer 
lons were not to be finished till we had completed the parapet 
on the front ? " Captain A. : " Well, Major, so you did, and 
your order made me think you knew darned little about your 
business ; and so I am going to do a little engineering of my 
own." 

Altogether, I was quite satisfied General Bragg was per 
fectly correct in refusing to open his fire on Fort Pickens and 
on the fleet, which ought certainly to have knocked his works 
about his ears, in spite of his advantages of position, and of 
some well-placed mortar batteries among the brushwood, at 



214 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

distances from Pickens of 2500 and 2800 yards. The maga 
zines of the batteries I visited did not contain ammunition for 
more than one day s ordinary firing. The shot were badly 
cast, with projecting flanges from the mould, which would be 
very injurious to soft metal guns in firing. As to men, as in 
guns, the Southern papers had lied consumedly. I could not 
say how many were in Pensacola itself, for I did not visit the 
camp : at the outside guess of the numbers there was 2000. 
I saw, however, all the camps here, and I doubt exceedingly 
if General Bragg who at this time is represented to have 
any number from 30,000 to 50,000 men under his command 
has 8000 troops to support his batteries, or 10,000, includ 
ing Pensacola, all told. 

If hospitality consists in the most liberal participation of 
all the owner has with his visitors, here, indeed, Philemon 
has his type in every tent. As we rode along through every 
battery, by every officer s quarters some great Mississippian 
or Alabarnian came forward with " Captain Ellis, I am glad 
to see you." " Colonel," to me, " won t you get down and 
have a drink ? " Mr. Ellis duly introduces me. The Colonel 
with effusion grasps my hand and says, as if he had just gained 
the particular object of his existence, u Sir, I am very glad 
indeed to know you. I hope you have been pretty well since 
you have been in our country, sir. Here, Pompey, take the 
colonel s horse. Step in, sir, and have a drink." Then comes 
out the great big whiskey bottle, and an immense amount of 
adhesion to the first law of nature is required to get you off 
with less than half-a-pint of " Bourbon ; " but the most trying 
thing to a stranger is the fact that when he is going away, the 
officer, who has been so delighted to see him, does not seem 
to care a farthing for his guest or his health. 

The truth is, these introductions are ceremonial observances, 
and compliances with the universal curiosity of Americans to 
know people they meet. The Englishman bows frigidly to 
his acquaintance on the first introduction, and if he likes him 
shakes hands with him on leaving a much more sensible 
and justifiable proceeding. The American s warmth at the 
first interview must be artificial, and the indifference at part 
ing is ill-bred and in bad taste. I had already observed this 
on many occasions, especially at Montgomery, where I noticed 
it to Colonel Wigfall, but the custom is not incompatible with 
the most profuse hospitality, nor with the desire to render 
service. 



VISIT TO FORT PICKENS. 21 5 

On my return to head-quarters I found General Bragg in 
his room, engaged in writing an official letter in reply to my 
request to be permitted to visit Fort Pickens, in which he 
gave me full permission to do as I pleased. Not only this, 
but he had prepared a number of letters of introduction to the 
military authorities, and to his personal friends at New 
Orleans, requesting them to give me every facility and 
friendly assistance in their power. He asked me my opinion 
about the batteries and their armament, which I freely gave 
him quantum valeat. " Well," he said, tk I think your conclu 
sions are pretty just; but, nevertheless, some fine day I shall 
be forced to try the mettle of our friends on the opposite 
side." All I could say was, " May God defend the right." 
"A good saying, to which I say, Amen. And drink with you 
to it." 

There was a room outside, full of generals and colonels, 
to whom I was duly introduced, but the time for departure 
had come, and I bade good-by to the general and rode down 
to the wharf. I had always heard, during- my brief sojourn 
in the North, that the Southern people were exceedingly 
illiterate and ignorant. It may be so, but I am bound to say 
that I observed a large proportion of the soldiers, on their 
way to the navy yard, engaged in reading newspapers, though 
they did not neglect the various drinking bars and ex 
changes, which were only too numerous in the vicinity of the 
camps. 

The schooner was all ready for sea, but the Mobile gentle 
man had gone off to Pensacola, and as I did not desire to 
invite them to visit Fort Pickens where, indeed, they would 
have most likely met with a refusal I resolved to sail with 
out them and to return to the navy yard in the evening, in 
order to take them back on our homeward voyage. " Now 
then, captain, cast loose ; we are going to Fort Pickens." The 
worthy seaman had by this time become utterly at sea, and 
did not appear to know whether he belonged to the Confed 
erate States, Abraham Lincoln, or the British navy. But 
this order roused him a little, and looking at me with all his 
eyes, he exclaimed, " Why, you don t mean to say you are 
going to make me bring the Diana alongside that darned 
Yankee Fort ! " Our table-cloth, somewhat maculated with 
gravy, was hoisted once more to the peak, and, after some 
formalities between the guardians of the jetty and ourselves, 
the schooner canted round in the tideway, and with a fine 
light breeze ran down toward the stars and stripes. 



216 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

What magical power there is in the colors of a piece of 
bunting ! My companions, I dare say, felt as proud of their 
flag as if their ancestors had fought under it at Acre or Jeru 
salem. And yet how fictitious its influence ! Death, and dis 
honor worse than death, to desert it one day ! Patriotism and 
glory to leave it in the dust, and fight under its rival, the next ! 
How indignant would George Washington have been, if the 
Frenchman at Fort du Quesne had asked him to abandon the 
old rag which Braddock held aloft in the wilderness, and to 
serve under the very fleur-de-lys which the same great George 
hailed with so much joy but a few years afterwards, when it 
was advanced to the front at Yorktown, to win one of its few 
victories over the Lions and the Harp. And in this Confed 
erate flag there is a meaning which cannot die it marks the 
birthplace of a new nationality, and its place must know it 
forever. Even the flag of a rebellion leaves indelible colors 
in the political atmosphere. The hopes that sustained it 
may vanish in the gloom of night, but the national faith still 
believes that its sun will rise on some glorious morrow. Hard 
must it be for this race, so arrogant, so great, to see stripe and 
star torn from the fair standard with which they would fain 
have shadowed all the kingdoms of the world ; but their great 
continent is large enough for many nations. 

" And now," said the skipper, " I think we d best lie to 
them cussed Yankees on the beach is shouting to us." And 
so they were. A sentry on the end of a wooden jetty sung 
out, " Hallo you there ! Stand off or I ll fire," and " drew 
a bead-line on us." At the same time the skipper hailed, 
" Please to send a boat off to go ashore." " No, sir ! Come in 
your own boat ! " cried the officer of the guard. Our own 
boat ! A very skiff of Charon ! Leaky, rotten, lop-sided. We 
were a hundred yards from the beach, and it was to be hoped 
that with all its burden, it could not go down in such a short 
row. As I stepped in, however, followed by my two com 
panions, the water flew in as if forced by a pump, and when 
the sailors came after us the skipper said, through a mouthful 
of juice, " Deevid ! pull your hardest, for there an t a more 
terrible place for shearks along the whole coast." Deevid and 
his friend pulled like men, and our hopes rose with the water 
in the boat and the decreasing distance to shore. They 
worked like Doggett s badgers, and in five minutes we were 
out of " sheark " depth and alongside the jetty, where Major 
Vogdes, Mr. Brown, of the Oriental, and an officer, introduced 



FORT PICKENS. 217 

as Captain Barry of the United States artillery, were waiting 
to receive us. Major Vogdes said that Colonel Brown would 
most gladly permit me to go over the fort, but that he could 
not receive any of the other gentlemen of the party ; they 
were permitted to wander about at their discretion. Some 
friends whom they picked up amongst the officers took them 
on a ride along the island, which is merely a sand-bank cov 
ered with coarse vegetation, a few trees, and pools of brack 
ish water. 

If I were selecting a summer habitation I should certainly 
not choose Fort Pickens. It is, like all other American works 
I have seen, strong on the sea faces and weak toward the 
land. The outer gate was closed, but at a talismanic knock 
from Captain Barry, the wicket was thrown open by the 
guard, and we passed through a vaulted gallery into the 
parade ground, which was full of men engaged in strengthen 
ing the place, and digging deep pits in the centre as shell traps. 
The men were United States regulars, not comparable in phy 
sique to the Southern volunteers, but infinitely superior in 
cleanliness and soldierly smartness. The officer on duty led 
me to one of the angles of the fort and turned in to a covered 
way, which had been ingeniously contrived by tilting up gun 
platforms and beams of wood at an angle against the wall, and 
piling earth and sand banks against them for several feet in 
thickness. The casemates, which otherwise would have been 
exposed to a plunging fire in the rear, were thus effectually 
protected. 

Emerging from this dark passage I entered one of the 
bomb-proofs, fitted up as a bed-room, and thence proceeded 
to the casemate, in which Colonel Harvey Browne has his 
head-quarters. After some conversation, he took me out upon 
the parapet and went all over the defences. 

Fort Pickens is an oblique, and somewhat narrow parallel 
ogram, with one obtuse angle facing the sea and the other 
toward the land. The bastion at the acute angle toward Bar 
rancas is the weakest part of the work, and men were engaged 
in throwing up an extempore glacis to cover the wall and the 
casemates from fire. The guns were of what is considered 
small calibre in these days, 32 and 42 pounders, with four or 
five heavy columbiads. An immense amount of work has 
been done within the last three weeks, but as yet the prepara 
tions are by no means complete. From the walls, which are 
made of a hard baked brick, nine feet in thickness, there is a 
10 



218 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

good view of the enemy s position. There is a broad ditch 
round the work, now dry, and probably not intended for water. 
The cuvette has lately been cleared out, and in proof of the 
agreeable nature of the locality, the officers told me that sixty 
very fine rattle-snakes were killed by the workmen during the 
operation. 

As I was looking at the works from the wall, Captain Vog- 
des made a sly remark now and then, blinking his eyes and 
looking closely at my face to see if he could extract any infor 
mation. " There are the quarters of your friend General 
Bragg ; he pretends, we hear, that it is an hospital, but we 
will soon have him out when we open fire." " Oh, indeed." 
" That s their best battery beside the light-house ; we can t 
well make out whether there are ten, eleven, or twelve guns 
in it." Then Captain Yogdes became quite meditative, and 
thought aloud, " Well, I m sure, Colonel, they ve got a strong 
entrenched camp in that wood behind their morter batteries. 
I m quite sure of it we must look to that with our long 
range guns." What the engineer saw, must have been certain 
absurd little furrows in the sand, which the Confederates have 
thrown up about three feet in front of their tents, but whether 
to carry off or to hold rain water, or as cover for rattle-snakes, 
the best judge cannot determine. 

The Confederates have been greatly delighted with the idea 
that Pickens will be almost untenable during the summer for 
the United States troops, on account of the heat and mosquitos, 
not to speak of yellow fever ; but in fact they are far better 
off than the troops on shore the casemates are exceedingly 
well ventilated, light and airy. Mosquitos, yellow fever, 
and dysentery, will make no distinction between Trojan and 
Tyrian. On the whole, I should prefer being inside, to being 
outside Pickens, in case of a bombardment ; and there can be 
no doubt the entire destruction of the navy yard and sta 
tion by the Federals can be accomplished whenever they please. 
Colonel Browne pointed out the tall chimney at Warrenton 
smoking away, and said, " There, sir, is the whole reason of 
Bragg s forbearance, as it is called. Do you see ? they are 
casting shot and shell there as fast as they can. They know 
well if they opened a gun on us I could lay that yard and 
all their works there in ruin ; " and Colonel Harvey Browne 
seems quite the man for the work a resolute, energetic 
veteran, animated by the utmost dislike to secession and its 
leaders, and full of what are called " Union Principles," 



OFF MOBILE. 219 

which are rapidly becoming the mere expression of a desire 
to destroy life, liberty, property, any thing in fact which op 
poses itself to the consolidation of the Federal government. 

Probably no person has ever been permitted to visit two 
hostile camps within sight of each other save myself. I was 
neither spy, herald, nor ambassador ; and both sides trusted 
to me fully on the understanding that I would not make use 
of any information here, but that it might be communicated 
to the world at the other side of the Atlantic. 

Apropos of this, Colonel Browne told me an amusing story, 
which shows that cuteness is not altogether confined to the 
Yankees. Some days ago a gentleman was found wander 
ing about the island, who stated he was a correspondent of 
a New York paper. Colonel Browne was not satisfied with 
the account he gave of himself, and sent him on board one 
of the ships of the fleet, to be confined as a prisoner. Soon 
afterwards a flag of truce came over from the Confederates, 
carrying a letter from General Bragg, requesting Colonel 
Browne to give up the prisoner, as he had escaped to the 
island after committing a felony, and enclosing a warrant 
signed by a justice of the peace for his arrest. Colonel 
Browne laughed at the ruse, and keeps his prisoner. 

As it was approaching evening and I had seen every 
thing in the fort, the hospital, casemates, magazines, bake 
houses, tasted the rations, and drank the whiskey, I set out 
for the schooner, accompanied by Colonel Browne and Cap 
tain Barry and other officers, and picking up my friends at 
the bakehouse outside. 

Having bidden our acquaintances good-by, we got on board 
the Diana, which steered toward the Warrington navy yard, 
to take the rest of the party on board. The sentries along 
the beach and on the batteries grounded arms, and stared 
with surprise as the Diana, with her tablecloth flying, crossed 
over from Fort Pickens, and ran slowly along the Confeder 
ate works. Whilst we were spying for the Mobile gentlemen, 
the mate took it into his head to take up the Confederate 
bunting, and wave it over the quarter. " Hollo, what s that 
you re doing ? " " It s only a signal to the gentlemen on 
shore." " Wave some other flag, if you please, when we are 
in these waters, with a flag of truce flying." 

After standing off and on for some time, the Mobilians at 
last boarded us in a boat. They were full of excitement, 
quite eager to stay and see the bombardment which must 



220 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

come off in twenty- four hours. Before we left Mobile harbor 
I had made a bet for a small sum that neither side would 
attack within the next few days ; but now I could not even 
shake my head one way or the other, and it required the 
utmost self-possession and artifice of which I was master to 
evade the acute inquiries and suggestions of my good friends. 
I was determined to go they were equally bent upon re 
maining ; and so we parted after a short but very pleasant 
cruise together. 

We had arranged with Mr. Brown that we would look out 
for him on leaving the harbor, and a bottle of wine was put 
in the remnants of our ice to drink farewell ; but it was almost 
dark as the Diana shot out seawards between Pickens and 
M Rae ; and for some anxious minutes we were doubtful 
which would be the first to take a shot at us. Our tablecloth 
still fluttered ; but the color might be invisible. A lantern was 
hoisted astern by my order as soon as the schooner was clear of 
the forts ; and with a cool sea-breeze we glided out into the 
night, the black form of the Powhattan being just visible, the 
rest of the squadron lost in the darkness. We strained our 
eyes for the Oriental, but in vain ; and it occurred to us that 
it would scarcely be a very safe proceeding to stand from the 
Confederate forts down toward the guard-ship, unless under 
the convoy of the Oriental. It seemed quite certain she 
must be cruising some way to the westward, waiting for us. 

The wind was from the north, on the best point for our re 
turn ; and the Diana, heeling over in the smooth water, pro 
ceeded on her way toward Mobile, running so close to the 
shore that I could shy a biscuit on the sand. She seemed to 
breathe the wind through her sails, and flew with a crest of 
flame at her bow, and a bubbling wake of meteor-like streams 
flowing astern, as though liquid metal were flowing from a 
furnace. 

The night was exceedingly lovely, but after the heat of the 
day the horizon was somewhat hazy. " No sign of the Ori 
ental on our lee-bow?" "Nothing at all in sight, sir, ahead 
or astern." Sharks and large fish ran off from the shallows 
as we passed, and rushed out seawards in runs of brilliant light. 
The Perdida was left far astern. 

On sped the Diana, but no Oriental came in view. I felt 
exceedingly tired, heated, and fagged; had been up early, 
ridden in a broiling sun, gone through batteries, examined 
forts, sailed backwards and forwards, so I was glad to turn in 



AN EXCITING CHASE. 221 

out of the night dew, and, leaving injunctions to the captain 
to keep a bright look out for the Federal boarding schooner, 
I went to sleep without the smallest notion that I had seen 
my last of Mr. Brown. 

I had been two or three hours asleep when I was awoke by 
the negro cook, who was leaning over the berth, and, with 
teeth chattering, said, " Monsieur ! nous somrnes perdus ! un 
bailment de guerre nous poursuit il va tirer bientot. Nous 
serons coule ! Oh, Mon Dieu ! Oh, Mon Dieu ! " I started 
up and popped my head through the hatchway. The skipper 
himself was at the helm, glancing from the compass to the 
quivering reef points of the mainsail. " What s the matter, 
captain ? " " Waal, sir," said the captain, speaking very slowly, 
" There has been a something a running after us for nigh the 
last two hours, but he ain t a gaining on us. I don t think 
he ll kitch us up nohow this time ; if the wind holds this pint 
a leetle, Diana will beat him." 

The confidence of coasting captains in their own craft is an 
hallucination which no risk or danger will ever prevent them 
from cherishing most tenderly. There s not a skipper from 
Hartlepool to Whitstable who does not believe his Maryanne 
Smith or the Two Grandmothers is able, " on certain pints," 
to bump her fat bows, and drag her coal-scuttle shaped stern 
faster through the sea than any clipper afloat. I was once 
told by the captain of a Margate Billy Boy he believed he 
could run to windward of any frigate in Her Majesty s service. 

" But, good heavens, man, it may be the Oriental no 
doubt it is Mr. Brown who is looking after us." " Ah ! Waal, 
may be. Whoever it i$, he creeped quite close up on me in 
the dark. It give me quite a sterk when I seen him. May 
be, says I, he is a privateering pirating chap. So I 
runs in shore as close as I could ; gets my centre board in, and, 
says I, I ll see what you re made of, my boy. And so we 
goes on. He ain t a-gaining on us, I can tell you." 

I looked through the glass, and could just make out, half or 
three quarters of a mile astern, and to leeward, a vessel look 
ing quite black, which seemed to be standing on in pursuit of 
us. The shore was so close, we could almost have leaped 
into the surf, for when the centre board was up the Diana 
did not draw much more than four feet of water. The skip 
per held grimly on. " You had better shake your wind, and 
see who it is ; it may be Mr. Brown." " No, sir, Mr. Brown 
or no, I can t help carrying on now ; there s a bank runs all 



222 MY DIARY NORTH AXD SOUTH. 

along outside of us, and if I don t hold my course I ll be on it 
in one minute." I confess I was rather annoyed, but the cap 
tain was master of the situation. He said, that if it had been 
the Oriental she would have fired a blank gun to bring us to 
as soon as she saw us. To my inquiries why he did not 
awaken me when she was first made out, he innocently re 
plied, " You was in such a beautiful sleep, I thought it would 
be regular cruelty to disturb you." 

By creeping close in shore the Diana was enabled to keep 
to windward of the stranger, who was seen once or twice to 
bump or strike, for her sails shivered. " There, she s struck 
again." " She s off once more," and the chase is renewed. 
Every moment I expected to have my eyes blinded by the 
flash of her bow gun, but for some reason or another, possibly 
because she did not wish to check her way, the Oriental 
privateer, or whatever it was saved her powder. 

A stern chase is a long chase. It is two o clock in the 
morning the skipper grinned with delight. " I ll lead him 
into a pretty mess if he follows me through the Swash/ 
whoever he is." We were but ten miles from Fort Morgan. 
Nearer and nearer to the shore creeps the Diana. 

" Take a cast of the lead, John." " Nine feet," " Good. 
Again." Seven feet." " Again." " Five feet." " Charlie, 
bring the lantern." We were now in the " Swash," with a 
boiling tideway. 

Just at the moment that the negro uncovered the lantern 
out it went, a fact which elicited the most remarkable amount 
of imprecations ear ever heard. The captain went dancing 
mad in intervals of deadly calmness, and gave his com 
mands to the crew, and strange oaths to the cook alternately, 
as the mate sung out, " Five feet and a half." " About she 
goes ! Confound you, you black scoundrel, I ll teach you," 
&c., &c. "Six feet! Eight feet and a half !" " About she 
comes again." " Five feet ! Four feet and a half." (Oh, 
Lord ! Six inches under our keel !) And so we went, with 
a measurement between us and death of inches, not by any 
means agreeable, in which the captain showed remarkable 
coolness and skill in the management of his craft, combined 
with a most unseemly animosity toward his unfortunate cook. 

It was very little short of a miracle that we got past the 
" Elbow," as the most narrow part of the channel is called, 
for it was just at the critical moment the binnacle light was 
extinguished, and went out with a splutter, and there we 



THE DIANA RUNS THE BLOCKADE. 223 

were left in darkness in a channel not one hundred yards 
wide and only six feet deep. The centre board also got jam 
med once or twice when it was most important to lie as close 
to the wind as possible ; but at last the captain shouted out, 
" It s all right, we re in deep water," and calling the mate 
to the helm proceeded to relieve his mind by chasing Charlie 
into a corner and belaboring him with a dead shark or dog 
fish about four feet long, which he picked up from the deck 
as the handiest weapon he could find. For the whole morn 
ing, henceforth, the captain found great comfort in making 
constant charges on the hapless cook, who at last slyly threw 
the shark overboard at a favorable opportunity, and forced 
his master to resort to other varieties of Rhadamantine imple 
ments. But where was the Oriental all this time ? No one 
could say ; but Charlie, who seemed an authority as to her 
movements, averred she put her helm round as soon as we 
entered the " Swash," and disappeared in black night. 

The Diana had thus distinguished herself by running the 
blockade of Pensacola, but a new triumph awaited her. As 
we approached Fort Morgan a gray streak in the East just 
offered light enough to distinguish the outlines of the fort and 
of the Confederate flag which waved above it. A fair breeze 
carried us abreast of the signal station, one solitary light 
gleamed from the walls, but neither guard boat put off to 
board us, nor did sentry hail, nor was gun fired still we 
stood on. " Captain, had you not better lie to ? They ll be 
sending a round shot after us presently." " No, sir. They are 
all asleep in that fort," replied the indomitable skipper. 

Down went his helm and away ran the Diana into Mobile 
Bay, and was soon safe in the haze beyond shot or shell, run 
ning toward the opposite shore. This was glory enough, for 
the Diana of Mobile. The wind blew straight from the North 
into our teeth, and at bright sunrise she was only a few miles 
inside the bay. 

All the livelong day was spent in tacking from one low 
shore to another low shore, through water which looked like 
pea soup. We had to be sure the pleasure of seeing Mobile 
from every point of view, east and west, with all the varieties 
between northing and southing, and numerous changes in the 
position of steeples, sandhills, and villas, the sun roasting us 
all the time and boiling the pitch out of the seams. 

The greatest excitement of the day was an encounter with 
a young alligator, making an involuntary voyage out to sea 



224 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

in the tide-way. The crew said he was drowning, having 
lost his way or being exhausted by struggling with the cur 
rent. He was about ten feet long, and appeared to be so 
utterly clone up that he would willingly have come aboard as 
he passed within two yards of us ; but desponding as he was, 
it would have been positive cruelty to have added him to the 
number of our party. 

The next event of the day was dinner, in which Charlie 
outrivalled himself by a tremendous fry of onions and sliced 
Bologna sausage, and a piece of pig, which had not decided 
whether it was to be pork or bacon. 

Having been fourteen hours beating some twenty-seven 
miles, I was landed at last at a wharf in the suburbs of the 
town about five o clock in the evening. On my way to the 
Battle House I met seven distinct companies marching through 
the streets to drill, and the air was filled with sounds of bu 
gling and drumming. In the evening a number of gentlemen 
called upon me to inquire what I thought of Fort Pickens 
and Pensacola, and I had some difficulty in parrying their 
very home questions, but at last adopted a formula which ap 
peared to please them I assured my friends I thought it 
would be an exceedingly tough business whenever the bom 
bardment took place. 

One of the most important steps which I have yet heard of 
has excited little attention, namely, the refusal of the officer 
commanding Fort MacHenry, at Baltimore, to obey a writ of 
habeas corpus issued by a judge of that city for the person of 
a soldier of his garrison. This military officer takes upon 
himself to aver there is a state of civil war in Baltimore, 
which he considers sufficient legal cause for the suspension of 
the writ. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Judge Campbell Dr. Nott Slavery Departure for New Orleans 
Down the river Fear of Cruisers Approach to New Or 
leans Duelling Streets of New Orleans Unhealthiness of 
the city Public opinion as to the war Happy and contented 
negroes. 

May ~[8th. An exceedingly hot day, which gives bad 
promise of comfort for the Federal soldiers, who are coming, 
as the Washington Government asserts, to put down rebellion 
in these quarters. The mosquitoes are advancing in numbers 
and force. The day I first came I asked the waiter if they 
were numerous. " I wish they were a hundred times as many," 
said he. On my inquiring if he had any possible reason for such 
an extraordinary aspiration, he said, " because we would get 
rid of these darned black republicans out of Fort Pickens all 
the sooner." The man seemed to infer that they would not 
bite the Confederate soldiers. 

I dined at Dr. Nott s, and met Judge Campbell, who has 
resigned his high post as one of the Judges of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, and explained his reasons for do 
ing so in a letter, charging Mr. Seward with treachery, dis 
simulation, and falsehood. He seemed to me a great casuist 
rather than a profound lawyer, and to delight in subtle dis 
tinctions and technical abstractions ; but I had the advantage 
of hearing from him at great length the whole history of the 
Dred Scott case, and a recapitulation of the arguments used 
on both sides, the force of which, in his opinion, was irresist 
ibly in favor of the decision of the Court. Mr. Forsyth, Col 
onel Ilardee, and others were of the company. 

To me it was very painful to hear a sweet ringing silvery 
voice, issuing from a very pretty mouth, " I m so delighted to 
hear that the Yankees in Fortress Monroe have got typhus 
fever. I hope it may kill them all." This was said by one 
of the most charming young persons possible, and uttered with 
10* 



226 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

unmistakable sincerity, just as if she had said, " I hear all the 
snakes in Virginia are dying of poison." I fear the young 
lady did not think very highly of me for refusing to sympa 
thize with her wishes in that particular form. But all the 
ladies in Mobile belong to " The Yankee Emancipation So 
ciety." They spend their days sewing cartridges, carding lint, 
preparing bandages, and I m not quite sure that they don t 
fill shells and fuses as well. Their zeal and energy will go 
far to sustain the South in the forthcoming struggle, and no 
where is the influence of women greater than in America. 

As to Dr. Nott, his studies have induced him to take a 
purely materialist view of the question of slavery, and, accord 
ing to him, questions of morals and ethics, pertaining to its 
consideration, ought to be referred to the cubic capacity of the 
human cranium the head that can take the largest charge 
of snipe shot will eventually dominate in some form or other 
over the head of inferior capacity. Dr. Nott detests slavery, 
but he does not see what is to be done with the slaves, and 
how the four millions of negroes are to be prevented from be 
coming six, eight, or ten millions, if their growth is stimulated 
by high prices for Southern produce. 

There is a good deal of force in the observation which I 
have heard more than once down here, that Great Britain 
could not have emancipated her negroes had they been dwell 
ing within her border, say in Lancashire or Yorkshire. No 
inconvenience was experienced by the English people per se 
in consequence of the emancipation, which for the time de 
stroyed industry and shook society to pieces in Jamaica. 
Whilst the States were colonies, Great Britain viewed the 
introduction of slaves to such remote dependencies with sat 
isfaction, and when the United States had established their 
sovereignty they found the institution of slavery established 
within their own borders, and an important, if not essential, 
stratum in their social system. The work of emancipation 
would have then been comparatively easy ; it now is a stupen 
dous problem which no human being has offered to solve. 

May l$th. The heat out of doors was so great that I felt 
little tempted to stir out, but at two o clock Mr. Magee drove 
me to a pretty place, call Spring Hill, where Mr. Stein, a 
German merchant of the city, has his country residence. The 
houses of Mobile merchants are scattered around the rising 
ground in that vicinity ; they look like marble at a distance, 
but a nearer approach resolves them into painted wood. 



MOBILE TO NEW ORLEANS. 227 

Stone is almost unknown on all this seaboard region. The 
worthy German was very hospitable, and I enjoyed a cool 
walk before dinner under the shade of his grapes, which 
formed pleasant walks in his garden. The Scuppernung 
grape, which grew in profusion a native of North Carolina 
has a remarkable appearance. The stalk, which is smooth, 
and covered with a close-grained gray bark, has not the char 
acter of a vine, but grows straight and stiff like the branch of 
a tree, and is crowded with delicious grapes. Cherokee plum 
and rose-trees, and magnificent magnolias, clustered round his 
house, and beneath their shadow I listened to the worthy Ger- * 
man comparing the Fatherland to his adopted country, and 
now and then letting out the secret love of his heart for the 
old place. He, like all of the better classes in the South, has 
the utmost dread of universal suffrage, and would restrict the 
franchise largely to-morrow if he could. 

May 20. I left Mobile in the steamer Florida for New 
Orleans this morning at eight o clock. She was crowded with 
passengers, in uniform. In my cabin was a notice of the rules 
and regulations of the steamer. No. 6 was as follows : " All 
slave servants must be cleared at the Custom House. Pas 
sengers having slaves will please report as soon as they come 
on board." 

A few miles from Mobile the steamer, turning to the right, 
entered one of the narrow channels which perforate the whole 
of the coast, called " Grant s Pass." An ingenious person 
has rendered it navigable by an artificial cut ; but as he was 
not an universal philanthropist, and possibly may have come 
from north of the Tweed, he further erected a series of bar 
riers, which can only be cleared by means of a little pepper- 
castor iron lighthouse ; and he charges toll on all passing ves 
sels. A small island at the pass, just above water-level, about 
twenty yards broad and one hundred and fifty yards long, was 
being fortified. Some of our military friends landed here ; and 
it required a good deal of patriotism to look cheerfully at the 
prospect of remaining cooped up among the mosquitoes in a 
box, on this miserable sand-bank, which a shell would suffice 
to blow into atoms. 

Having passed this channel, our steamer proceeded up a kind 
of internal sea, formed by the shore, on the right hand and on 
the left, by a chain almost uninterrupted of reefs covered with 
sand, and exceedingly narrow, so that the surf of the ocean 
rollers at the other side could be seen through the foliage of the 



228 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

pine-trees which line them. On our right the endless pines 
closed up the land view of the horizon ; the beach was pierced 
by creeks without number, called bayous ; and it was curious 
to watch the white sails of the little schooners gliding in and 
out among the trees along the green meadows that seemed to 
stretch as an impassable barrier to their exit. Immense troops 
of pelicans flapped over the sea, dropping incessantly on the 
fish which abounded in the inner water ; and long rows of the 
same birds stood digesting their plentiful meals on the white 
beach by the ocean foam. 

There was some anxiety in the passengers minds, as it was 
reported that the United States cruisers had been seen inside, and 
that they had even burned the batteries on Ship Island. We 
saw nothing of a character more formidable than coasting 
craft and a return steamer from New Orleans till we ap 
proached the entrance to Pontchartrain, when a large schooner, 
which sailed like a witch and was crammed with men, attracted 
our attention. Through the glass I could make out two guns 
on her deck, and quite reason enough for any well-filled mer 
chantman sailing under the Stars and Stripes to avoid her close 
companionship. 

The approach to New Orleans is indicated by large hamlets 
and scattered towns along the seashore, hid in the piney woods, 
which offer a retreat to the merchants and their families from 
the fervid heat of the unwholesome city in summer time. 
As seen from the sea, these sanitary settlements have a pic 
turesque effect, and an air of charming freshness and lightness. 
There are detached villas of every variety of architecture in 
which timber can be constructed, painted in the brightest hues 
greens, and blues, and rose tints each embowered in 
magnolias and rhododendrons. From every garden a very long 
and slender pier, terminated by a bathing-box, stretches into 
the shallow sea ; and the general aspect of these houses, with 
the light domes and spires of churches rising above the lines 
of white railings set in the dark green of the pines, is light and 
novel. To each of these cities there is a jetty, at two of 
which we touched, and landed newspapers, received or dis 
charged a few bales of goods, and were off again. 

Of the little crowd assembled on each, the majority were 
blacks the whites, almost without exception, in uniform, and 
armed. A near approach did not induce me to think that any 
agencies less powerful than epidemics and summer-heats could 
render Pascagoula, Passchristian, Mississippi City, and the 



AN AMERICAN DIFFICULTY. 229 

rest of these settlements very eligible residences for people of 
an active turn of rnind. 

The livelong day my fellow-passengers never ceased talk 
ing politics, except when they were eating and drinking, 
because the horrible chewing and spitting are not at all in 
compatible with the maintenance of active discussion. The 
fiercest of them all was a thin, fiery-eyed little woman, who at 
dinner expressed a fervid desire for bits of " Old Abe " his 
ear, his hair ; but whether for the purpose of eating or as 
curious relics, she did not enlighten the company. 

After dinner there was some slight difficulty among the mil 
itary gentlemen, though whether of a political or personal 
character, I could not determine ; but it was much aggravated 
by the appearance of a six-shooter on the scene, which, to my 
no small perturbation, was presented in a right line with my 
berth, out of the window of which I was looking at the com 
batants. I am happy to say the immediate delivery of the 
fire was averted by an amicable arrangement that the disputants 
should meet at the St. Charles Hotel at twelve o clock on the 
second day after their arrival, in order to fix time, place, and 
conditions of a more orthodox and regular encounter. 

At night the steamer entered a dismal canal, through a 
swamp which is infamous as the most mosquito haunted place 
along the infested shore ; the mouths of the Mississippi them 
selves being quite innocent, compared to the entrance of Lake 
Pontchartrain. When I woke up at daylight, I found the 
vessel lying alongside a wharf with a railway train alongside, 
which is to take us to the city of New Orleans, six miles dis 
tant. 

A village of restaurants or " restaurats," as they are called 
here, and of bathing boxes has grown up around the terminus ; 
all the names of the owners, the notices and sign-boards being 
French. Outside the settlement the railroad passes through a 
swamp, like an Indian jungle, through which the overflowings 
of the Mississippi creep in black currents. The spires of New 
Orleans rise above the underwood and semi-tropical vegeta 
tion of this swamp. Nearer to the city lies a marshy plain, 
in which flocks of cattle, up to the belly in the soft earth are 
floundering among the clumps of vegetation. The nearer 
approach to New Orleans by rail lies through a suburb of 
exceedingly broad lanes, lined on each side by rows of miser 
able mean one-storied houses, inhabited, if I am to judge from 
the specimens I saw, by a miserable and sickly population. 



230 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 4 

A great number of the men and women had evident traces 
of negro blood in their veins, and of the purer blooded whites 
many had the peculiar look of the fishy-fleshy population of 
the Levantine towns, and all were pale and lean. The rail- 
Avay terminus is marked by a dirty, barrack -like shed in the 
city. Selecting one of the numerous tumble-down hackney 
carriages which crowded the street outside the station, I 
directed the man to drive me to the house of Mr. Mure, the 
British consul, who had been kind enough to invite me as his 
guest for the period of my stay in New Orleans. 

The streets are badly paved, as those of most of the Ameri 
can cities, if not all that I have ever been in, but in other re 
spects they are more worthy of a great city than are those of 
New York There is an air thoroughly French about the 
people cafes, restaurants, billiard-rooms abound, with oyster 
and lager-bier saloons interspersed. The shops are all maga- 
zins ; the people in the streets are speaking French, particu 
larly the negroes, who are going out shopping with their mas 
ters and mistresses, exceedingly well dressed, noisy, and not 
unhappy looking. The extent of the drive gave an imposing 
idea of the size of New Orleans the richness of some of the 
shops, the vehicles in the streets, and the multitude of well- 
dressed people on the pavements, an impression of its wealth 
and the comfort of the inhabitants, The Confederate flag was 
flying from the public buildings and from many private houses. 
Military companies paraded through the streets, and a large 
proportion of men were in uniform. 

In the day I drove through the city, delivered letters of in 
troduction, paid visits, and examined the shops and the public 
places ; but there is such a whirl of secession and politics sur 
rounding one it is impossible to discern much of the outer 
world. 

Whatever may be the number of the Unionists or of the 
non-secessionists, a pressure too potent to be resisted has been 
directed by the popular party against the friends of the 
Federal government. The agent of Brown Brothers, of 
Liverpool and New York, has closed their office and is go 
ing away in consequence of the intimidation of the mob, or as 
the phrase is here, the " excitement of the citizens," on hear 
ing of the subscription made by the firm to the New York 
fund, after Surnter had been fired upon. Their agent in 
Mobile has been compelled to adopt the same course. Other 
houses follow their example, but as most business transactions 



OPINIONS ON THE WAR. 231 

are over for the season, the mercantile community hope the 
contest will be ended before the next season, by the recog 
nition of Southern Independence. 

The streets are full of Turcos, Zouaves, Chasseurs ; walls 
are covered with placards of volunteer companies ; there are 
Pickwick rifles, La Fayette, Beauregard, MacMahon guards, 
Irish, German, Italian and Spanish and native volunteers, 
among whom the Meagher rifles, indignant with the gentle 
man from whom they took their name, because of his adhe 
sion to the North, are going to rebaptize themselves and to 
seek glory under one more auspicious. In fact, New Orleans 
looks like a suburb of the camp at Chalons. Tailors are busy 
night and day making uniforms. I went into a shop with the 
consul for some shirts the mistress and all her seamstresses 
were busy preparing flags as hard as the sewing-machine 
could stitch them, and could attend to no business for the 
present. The Irish population, finding themselves unable to 
migrate northwards, and being without work, have rushed to 
arms with enthusiasm to support Southern institutions, and 
Mr. John Mitchell and Mr. Meagher stand opposed to each 
other in hostile camps. 

May 22d. The thermometer to-day marked 95 in the 
shade. It is not to be wondered at that New Orleans suffers 
from terrible epidemics. At the side of each street a filthy 
open sewer flows to and fro with the tide in the blazing sun, 
and Mr. Mure tells me the city lies so low that he has been 
obliged to go to his office in a boat along the streets. 

I sat for some time listening to the opinions of the various 
merchants who came in to talk over the news and politics in 
general. They were all persuaded that Great Britain would 
speedily recognize the South, but I cannot find that any of 
them had examined into the effects of such a recognition. One 
gentleman seemed to think to-day that recognition meant forcing 
the blockade ; whereas it must, as I endeavored to show him, 
merely lead to the recognition of the rights of the United States 
to establish a blockade of ports belonging to an independent 
and hostile nation. There are some who maintain there will be 
no war after all ; that the North will not fight, and that the 
friends of the Southern cause will recover their courage when 
this tyranny is over. No one imagines the South will ever 
go back to the Union voluntarily, or that the North has power 
to thrust it back at the point of the bayonet. 

The South has commenced preparations for the contest by 



232 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

sowing grain instead of planting cotton, to compensate for the 
loss of supplies from the North. The payment of debts to 
Northern creditors is declared to be illegal, and " stay laws " 
have been adopted in most of the seceding States, by which the 
ordinary laws for the recovery of debts in the States them 
selves are for the time suspended, which may lead one into 
the belief that the legislators themselves belong to the debtor 
instead of the creditor class. 

May 23d. As the mail communication has been suspend 
ed between North and South, and the Express Companies are 
ordered not to carry letters, I sent off my packet of despatches 
to-day, by Mr. Ewell, of the house of Dennistoun & Co. ; 
and resumed rny excursions through New Orleans. 

The young artist, who is stopping at the St. Charles Hotel, 
came to me in great agitation to say his life was in danger, in 
consequence of his former connection with an abolition paper 
of New York, and that he had been threatened with death by 
a man with whom he had had a quarrel in Washington. Mr. 
Mure, to calm his apprehensions, offered to take him to the 
authorities of the town, who would, no doubt, protect him, as 
he was merely engaged in making sketches for an English 
periodical, but the young man declared he was in danger of 
assassination. He entreated Mr. Mure to give him despatches 
which would serve to protect him. on his way northward ; and 
the Consul, moved by his mental distress, promised that if he 
had any letters of an official character for Washington he 
would send them by him, in default of other opportunities. 

I dined with Major Ranney, the president of one of the 
railways, with whom Mr. Ward was stopping. Among the 
company were Mr. Eustis, son-in-law of Mr. Slidell ; Mr. 
Morse, the Attorney-General of the State ; Mr. Moise, a Jew, 
supposed to have considerable influence with the Governor, 
and a vehement politician ; Messrs. Hunt, and others. The 
table was excellent, and the wines were worthy of the reputation 
which our host enjoys, in a city where Sallusts and Luculli are 
said to abound. One of the slave servants who waited at 
table, an intelligent yellow " boy," was pointed out to me as a 
son of General Andrew Jackson. 

We had a full account of the attack of the British troops 
on the city, and their repulse. Mr. Morse denied emphatical 
ly that there was any cotton bag fortification in front of the 
lines, where our troops were defeated ; he asserted that there 
were only a few bales, I think seventy-five, used in the con- 



FEARS OF NEGRO REVOLT. 233 

struction of one battery, and that they and some sugar hogs 
heads, constituted the sole defences of the American trench. 
Only one citizen applied to the State for compensation, on 
account of the cotton used by Jackson s troops, and he owned 
the whole of the bales so appropriated. 

None of the Southern gentlemen have the smallest appre 
hension of a servile insurrection. They use the univeral for 
mula " our negroes are the happiest, most contented, and most 
comfortable people on the face of the earth." I admit I have 
been struck by well-clad and good-humored negroes in the 
streets, but they are in the minority ; many look morose, ill- 
clad, and discontented. The patrols I know have been strength 
ened, and I heard a young lady the other night, say, " I shall 
not be a bit afraid to go back to the plantation, though mamma 
says the negroes are after mischief." 






CHAPTER XXX. 

The first blow struck The St. Charles Hotel Invasion of Virginia 
by the Federals Death of Col. Ellsworth Evening at Mr. 
Siidell s Public comments on the war Richmond the capital 
of the Confederacy Military preparations General society 
Jewish element Visit to a battle-field of 1815. 

May 24cth. A great budget of news to-day, which, with 
the events of the week, may be briefly enumerated. The 
fighting has actually commenced between the United States 
steamers off Fortress Monroe, and the Confederate battery 
erected at Sewall s Point both sides claim a certain success. 
The Confederates declare they riddled the steamer, and that 
they killed and wounded a number of the sailors. The cap 
tain of the vessel says he desisted from want of ammunition, 
but believes he killed a number of the rebels, and knows he 
had no loss himself. Beriah Magoffin, Governor of the sover 
eign State of Kentucky, has warned off both Federal and 
Confederate soldiers from his territory. The Confederate 
congress has passed an act authorizing persons indebted to the 
United States, except Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Mis 
souri, and the District of Columbia, to pay the amount of their 
debts to the Confederate treasury. The State convention of 
North Carolina has passed an ordinance of secession. Ar 
kansas has sent its delegates to the Southern congress. Sev 
eral Southern vessels have been made prizes by the block 
ading squadron ; but the event which causes the greatest 
excitement and indignation here, was the seizure, on Monday, 
by the United States marshals, in every large city through 
out the Union, of the telegraphic despatches of the last twelve 
months. 

In the course of the day, I went to the St. Charles Hotel, 
which is an enormous establishment, of the American type, 
with a Southern character about it. A number of gentlemen 
were seated in the hall, and front of the office, with their legs 
up against the wall, and on the backs of chairs, smoking, spit- 



ELLSWORTH SHOT. 235 

ting, and reading the papers. Officers crowded the bar. The 
bustle and noise of the place would make it anything but an 
agreeable residence for one fond of quiet ; but this hotel is 
famous for its difficulties. Not the least disgraceful among 
them, was the assault committed by some of Walker s fili 
busters, upon Captain Aldham of the Royal Navy. 

The young artist, who has been living in great seclusion, 
was fastened up in his room ; and when I informed him that 
Mr. Mure had despatches which he might take, if he liked, 
that night, he was overjoyed to excess. He started off north 
in the evening, and I saw him no more. 

At half-past four, I went down by train to the terminus on 
the lake, where I had landed, which is the New Orleans Rich 
mond, or rather, Greenwich, and dined with Mr. Eustis, Mr. 
Johnson, an English merchant, Mr. Josephs, a New Orleans 
lawyer, and Mr. Hunt. The dinner was worthy of the repu 
tation of the French cook. The terrapin soup excellent, 
though not comparable, as Americans assert, to the best tur 
tle. The creature from which it derives its name, is a small 
tortoise ; the flesh is boiled somew r hat in the manner of turtle, 
but the soup abounds in small bones, and the black paws with 
the white nail-like stumps projecting from them, found amongst 
the disjecta membra, are not agreeable to look upon. The 
bouillabaisse was unexceptionable, the soft crab worthy of 
every commendation ; but the best dish was, unquestionably, 
the pompinoe, an odd fish, something like an unusually ugly 
John Dory, but possessing admirable qualities in all that 
makes fish good. The pleasures of the evening were en 
hanced by a most glorious sunset, which cast its last rays 
through a wilderness of laurel roses in full bloom, which 
thronged the garden. At dusk, the air was perfectly alive 
with fire-flies and strange beetles. Flies and coleopters 
buzzed in through the open windows, and flopped among the 
glasses. At half-past nine we returned home, in cars drawn 
by horses along the rail. 

May 25th. Virginia has indeed been invaded by the Fed 
erals. Alexandria has been seized. It is impossible to de 
scribe the excitement and rage of the people ; they take, how 
ever, some consolation in the fact that Colonel Ellsworth, in 
command of a regiment of New York Zouaves, was shot by 
J. T. Jackson, the landlord of an inn in the city, called the 
Marshall House. Ellsworth, on the arrival of his regiment in 
Alexandria, proceeded to take down the Secession flag, which 



236 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

had been long seen from the President s windows. He went out 
upon the roof, cut it from the staff, and was proceeding with it 
down-stairs, when a man rushed out of a room, levelled a double- 
barrelled gun, shot Colonel Ellsworth dead, and fired the other 
barrel at one of his men, who had struck at the piece, when 
the murderer presented it at the Colonel. Almost instantane 
ously, the Zouave shot Jackson in the head, and as he was 
falling dead thrust his sabre bayonet through his body. Strange 
to say, the people of New Orleans, consider Jackson was com 
pletely right, in shooting the Federal Colonel, and maintain 
that the Zouave, who shot Jackson, was guilty of murder. 
Their theory is that Ellsworth had come over with a horde 
of ruffianly abolitionists, or, as the " Richmond Examiner" has 
it, " the band of thieves, robbers, and assassins, in the pay of 
Abraham Lincoln, commonly known as the United States 
Army," to violate the territory of a sovereign State, in order 
to execute their bloody and brutal purposes, and that he was 
in the act of committing a robbery, by taking a flag which did 
not belong to him, when he met his righteous fate. 

It is curious to observe how passion blinds man s reason, in 
this quarrel. More curious still to see, by the light of this 
event, how differently the same occurrence is viewed by 
Northerners and Southerners respectively. Jackson is depict 
ed in the Northern papers as a fiend and an assassin ; even 
his face in death is declared to have worn a revolting expres 
sion of rage and hate. The Confederate flag which was the 
cause of the fatal affray, is described by one writer, as having 
been purified of its baseness, by contact with Ellsworth s blood. 
The invasion of Virginia is hailed on all sides of the North 
with the utmost enthusiasm. " Ellsworth is a martyr hero, 
whose name is to be held sacred forever." 

On the other hand, the Southern papers declare that the in 
vasion of Virginia, is "an act of the Washington tyrants, 
which indicates their bloody and brutal purpose to exterminate 
the Southern people. The Virginians will give the world 
another proof, like that of Moscow, that a free people, fighting 
on a free soil, are invincible when contending for all that is 
dear to man." Again "A band of execrable cut-throats and 
jail-birds, known as the Zouaves of New York, under that 
chief of all scoundrels, Ellsworth, broke open the door of a 
citizen, to tear down the flag of the house the courageous 
owner met the favorite hero of the Yankees in his own hall, 
alone, against thousands, and shot him through the heart he 



MR. SLIDELL. 237 

died a death which emperors might envy, and his memory will 
live through endless generations." Desperate, indeed, must 
have been the passion and anger of the man who, in the fullest 
certainty that immediate death must be its penalty, committed 
such a deed. As it seems to me, Colonel Ellsworth, however 
injudicious he may have been, was actually in the performance 
of his duty when taking down the flag of an enemy. 

In the evening I visited Mr. Slidell, whom I found at home, 
with his family, Mrs. Slidell and her sister Madame Beaure- 
gard, wife of the general, two very charming young ladies, 
daughters of the house, and a parlor full of fair companions, 
engaged, as hard as they could, in carding lint with their fair 
hands. Among the company was Mr. Slidell s son, who had 
just travelled from school at the North, under a feigned name, 
in order to escape violence at the hands of the Union mobs 
which are said to be insulting and outraging every Southern 
man. The conversation, as is the case in most Creole domestic 
circles, was carried on in French. I rarely met a man whose 
features have a greater finesse and firmness of purpose than 
Mr. Slidell s ; his keen gray eye is full of life ; his thin, firmly- 
set lips indicate resolution and passion. Mr. Slidell, though 
born in a Northern State, is perhaps one of the most deter 
mined disunionists in the Southern Confederacy ; he is not a 
speaker of note, nor a ready stump orator, nor an able writer; 
but he is an excellent judge of mankind, adroit, persevering, 
and subtle, full of device, and fond of intrigue ; one of those 
men, who, unknown almost to the outer world, organizes and 
sustains a faction, and exalts it into the position of a party 
what is called here a " wire-puller." Mr. Slidell is to the 
South something greater than Mr. Thurlow Weed has been to 
his party in the North. He, like every one else, is convinced 
that recognition must come soon ; but, under any circumstances, 
he is quite satisfied, the government and independence of the 
Southern Confederacy are as completely established as those 
of any power in the world. Mr. Slidell and the members of 
his family possess naivete, good sense, and agreeable man 
ners ; and the regrets I heard expressed in Washington 
society, at their absence, had every justification. 

I supped at the club, which I visited every day since I was 
made an honorary member, as all the journals are there, and 
a great number of planters and merchants, well acquainted 
with the state of affairs in the South. There were two Eng 
lishmen present, Mr. Lingain and another, the most deter- 



238 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

mined secessionists and the most devoted advocates of slavery 
I have yet met in the course of my travels. 

May 26th. The heat to-day was so great, that I felt a 
return of my old Indian experiences, and was unable to go, 
as I intended, to hear a very eminent preacher discourse on 
the war at one of the principal chapels. 

All disposable regiments are on the march to Virginia. It 
was bad policy for Mr. Jefferson Davis to menace Washington 
before he could seriously carry out his threats, because the 
North was excited by the speech of his Secretary at War to 
take extraordinary measures for the defence of their capital ; 
and General Scott was enabled by their enthusiasm not only 
to provide for its defence, but to effect a lodgment at Alexan 
dria, as a base of operations against the enemy. 

When the Congress at Montgomery adjourned, the other 
day, they resolved to meet on the 20th of July at Richmond, 
which thus becomes the capital of the Confederacy. The 
city is not much more than one hundred miles south of Wash 
ington, with which it M r as in communication by rail and river ; 
and the selection must cause a collision between the two ar 
mies in front of the rival capitals. The seizure of the Nor 
folk navy yard by the Confederates rendered it necessary to 
reinforce Fortress Monroe ; and for the present the Potomac 
and the Chesapeake are out of danger. 

The military precautions taken by General Scott, and the 
movements attributed to him to hold Baltimore and to main 
tain his communications between Washington and the North, 
afford evidence of judgment and military skill. The North 
ern papers are clamoring for an immediate advance of their 
raw levies to Richmond, which General Scott resists. 

In one respect the South has shown greater sagacity than 
the North. Mr. Jefferson Davis having seen service in the 
field, and having been Secretary of War, perceived the dan 
gers and inefficiency of irregular levies, and therefore induced 
the Montgomery congress to pass a bill which binds volun 
teers to serve during the war, unless sooner discharged, and 
reserves to the President of the Southern Confederacy the 
appointment of staff and field officers, the right of veto to 
battalion officers elected by each company, and the power of 
organizing companies of volunteers into squadrons, battalions, 
and regiments. Writing to the "Times," at this date, I observed : 
" Although immense levies of men may be got together for 
purposes of local defence or aggressive operations, it will be 



"CHARGES OF ABOLITIONISM." 239 

very difficult to move these masses like regular armies. There 
is an utter want of field-trains, equipage, and commissariat, 
which cannot be made good in a day, a week, or a month. 
The absence of cavalry, and the utter deficiency of artillery, 
may prevent eithei side obtaining any decisive result in one 
engagement ; but there can be no doubt large losses will be 
incurred whenever these masses of men are fairly opposed to 
each other in the open field." 

May 27th. I visited several of the local companies, their 
drill-grounds and parades ; but few of the men were present, 
as nearly all are under orders to proceed to the camp at Tan- 
gipao or to march to Richmond. Privates and officers are 
busy in the sweltering streets purchasing necessaries for their 
journey. As one looks at the resolute, quick, angry faces 
around him, and hears but the single theme, he must feel the 
South will never yield to the North, unless as a nation which 
is beaten beneath the feet of a victorious enemy. 

In every State there is only one voice audible. Hereafter, 
indeed, state jealousies may work their own way ; but if 
words means anything, all the Southern people are determined 
to resist Mr. Lincoln s invasion as long as they have a man 
or a dollar. Still, there are certain hard facts which militate 
against the truth of their own assertions, " that they are united 
to a man, and prepared to fight to a man." Only 15,000 are 
under arms out of the 50,000 men in the State of Louisiana 
liable to military service. 

" Charges of abolitionism " appear in the reports of police 
cases in the papers every morning ; and persons found guilty, 
not of expressing opinions against slavery, but of stating their 
belief that the Northerners will be successful, are sent to 
prison for six months. The accused are generally foreigners, 
or belong to the lower orders, who have got no interest in the 
support of slavery. The moral suasion of the lasso, of tar 
ring and feathering, head-shaving, ducking, and horseponds, 
deportation on rails, and similar ethical processes are highly 
in favor. As yet the North have not arrived at such an ele 
vated view of the necessities of their position. 

The New Orleans papers are facetious over their new mode 
of securing unanimity, and highly laud what they call " the 
course of instruction in the humane institution for the amelio 
ration of the condition of Northern barbarians and abolition 
fanatics, presided over by Professor Henry Mitchell," who, in 
other words, is the jailer of the work-house reformatory. 



240 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

I dined at the Lake with Mr. Mure, General Lewis, Ma 
jor Ranney, Mr. Duncan Kenner, a Mississippi planter, Mr. 
Claiborne, &c., and visited the club in the evening. Every 
night since I have been in New Orleans there have been one 
or two fires ; to-night there were three one a tremendous 
conflagration. When I inquired to what they were attributa 
ble, a gentleman who sat near me, bent over, and looking me 
straight in the face, said, in a low voice, " The slaves." The 
flues, perhaps, and the system of stoves, may also bear some 
of the blame. There is great enthusiasm among the town s- 
people in consequence of the Washington artillery, a crack 
corps, furnished by the first people in New Orleans, being or 
dered off for Virginia. 

May 28th. On dropping in at the Consulate to-day, I 
found the skippers of several English vessels who are anxious 
to clear out, lest they be detained by the Federal cruisers. 
The United States steam frigates Brooklyn and Niagara have 
been for some days past blockading Pass a 1 outre. One 
citizen made a remarkable proposition to Mr. Mure. He 
came in to borrow an ensign of the Royal Yacht Squadron for 
the purpose, he said, of hoisting it on board his yacht, and 
running down to have a look at the Yankee ships. Mr. Mure 
had no flag to lend ; whereupon he asked for a description 
by which he could get one made. On being applied to, I asked 
" whether the gentleman was a member of the Squadron ? " 
" Oh, no," said he, " but my yacht was built in England, and I 
wrote over some time ago to say I would join the squadron." 
I ventured to tell him that it by no means followed he was a 
member, and that if he went out with the flag and could not 
show by his papers he had a right to carry it, the yacht would 
be seized. However, he was quite satisfied that he had an 
English yacht, and a right to hoist an English flag, and went off 
to an outfitter s to order a fac-simile of the squadron ensign, 
and subsequently cruised among the blockading vessels. 

We hear Mr. Ewell was attacked by an Union mob in 
Tennessee, his luggage was broken open and plundered, and 
he narrowly escaped personal injury. Per contra, " charges 
of abolitionism," continue to multiply here, and are almost as 
numerous as the coroner s inquests, not to speak of the 
difficulties which sometimes attain the magnitude of murder. 

I dined with a large party at the Lake, who had invited me 
as their guest, among whom were Mr. Slidell, Governor Hebert, 
Mr. Hunt, Mr. Norton, Mr. Fellows, and others. I observed 



A NEW ORLEANS OFFICIAL. 241 

in New York that every man had his own solution of the cause 
of the present difficulty, and contradicted plumply his neighbor 
the moment he attempted to propound his own theory. Here 
I found every one agreed as to the righteousness of the quar 
rel, but all differed as to the best mode of action for the South 
to pursue. Nor was there any approach to unanimity as the 
evening waxed older. Incidentally we had wild tales of 
Southern life, some good songs curiously intermingled with 
political discussions, and what the Northerners call hyphileutin 
talk. 

When I was in the Consulate to-day, a tall and well-dressed, 
but not very prepossessing-looking man, entered to speak to 
Mr. Mure on business, and was introduced to me at his own 
request. His name was mentioned incidentally to-night, and 
I heard a passage in his life not of an agreeable character, to 
say the least of it. A good many years ago there was a ball 
at New Orleans, at which this gentleman was present ; he paid 
particular attention to a lady, who, however, preferred the 
society of one of the company, and in the course of the even 
ing an altercation occurred respecting an engagement to 
dance, in which violent language was exchanged, and a push 
or blow given by the favored partner to his rival, who left 
the room, and, as it is stated, proceeded to a cutler s shop, 
where, he procured a powerful dagger-knife. Armed with 
this, he returned, and sent in a message to the gentleman 
with whom he had quarrelled. Suspecting nothing, the latter 
came into the antechamber, the assassin rushed upon him, 
stabbed him to the heart, and left him weltering in his blood. 
Another version of the story was, that he waited for his vic 
tim till he came into the cloak-room, and struck him as he 
was in the act of putting on his overcoat. After a long de 
lay, the criminal was tried. The defence put forward on his 
behalf was that he had seized a knife in the heat of the mo 
ment when the quarrel took place, and had slain his adversary 
in a moment of passion ; but evidence, as I understand, went 
strongly to prove that a considerable interval elapsed between 
the time of the dispute and the commission of the murder. 
The prisoner had the assistance of able and ingenious coun 
sel; he was acquitted. His acquittal was mainly due to the 
judicious disposition of a large sum of money ; each juroi; 
when he retired to dinner previous to consulting over the ver 
diet, was enabled to find the sum of 1000 dollars under his 
plate ; nor was it clear that the judge and sheriff had not par- 
11 



242 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

ticipated in the bounty ; in fact, I heard a dispute as to the 
exact amount which it is supposed the murderer had to pay. 
He now occupies, under the Confederate Government, the 
post at New Orleans which he lately held as representative 
of the Government of the United States. 

After dinner I went in company of some of my hosts to 
the Boston Club, which has, I need not say, no connection 
with the city of that name. More fires, the tocsin sounding, 
and so to bed. 

May 29th. Dined in the evening with M. Aristide Milten- 
berger, where I met His Excellency Mr. Moore, the Gov 
ernor of Louisiana, his military secretary, and a small party. 

It is a strange country, indeed ; one of the evils which 
afflicts the Louisianians, they say, is the preponderance and 
influence of South Carolinian Jews, and Jews generally, such 
as Moise, Mordecai, Josephs, and Judah Benjamin, and others. 
The subtlety and keenness of the Caucasian intellect give 
men a high place among a people who admire ability and 
dexterity, and are at the same time reckless of means and 
averse to labor. The Governor is supposed to be somewhat 
under the influence of the Hebrews, but he is a man quite 
competent to think and to act for himself, a plain, sincere 
ruler of a Slave State, and an upholder of the patriarchal in 
stitute. After dinner we accompanied Madam Milten-berger 
(who affords in her own person a very complete refutation of 
the dogma that American women furnish no examples of the 
charms which surround their English sisters in the transit 
from the prime of life towards middle age), in a drive along 
the shell road to the lake and canal ; the most remarkable 
object being a long wall lined with a glorious growth of orange- 
trees : clouds of mosquitoes effectually interfered with an en 
joyment of the drive. 

May 30th. Wrote in the heat of the day, enlivened by 
. iny neighbor, a wonderful mocking-bird, whose songs and 
imitations would make his fortune in any society capable of 
appreciating native-born genius. His restlessness, courage, 
activity, and talent, ought not to be confined to Mr. Mure s 
cage, but he seems contented and happy. I dined with Ma 
dame and M. Milten-berger, and drove out with them to visit 
the scene of our defeat in 1815, which lies at the distance of 
some miles down the river. 

A dilapidated farm-house surrounded by trees and negro 
huts, marks the spot where Pakenham was buried, but his 



THE REPULSE AT NEW ORLEANS. 243 

body was subsequently exhumed and sent home to England. 
Close to the point of the canal which constitutes a portion of 
the American defences, a negro guide came forth to conduct 
us round the place, but he knew as little as most guides of the 
incidents of the fight. The most remarkable testimony to the 
severity of the fire to which the British were exposed, is 
afforded by the trees in the neighborhood of the tomb. In 
one live-oak there are no less than eight round shot embedded ; 
others contain two or three, and many are lopped, rent, and 
scarred by the flight of cannon-ball. The American lines 
extended nearly three miles, arid -were covered in the front by 
swamps, marshes, and water cuts, their batteries and the ves 
sels in the river enfiladed the British as they advanced to the 
attack. 

Among the prominent defenders of the cotton bales was a 
notorious pirate and murderer named Lafitte, who with his 
band was released from prison on condition that he enlisted in 
the defence, and did substantial service to his friends and 
deliverers. 

Without knowing all the circumstances of the case, it would 
be rash now to condemn the officers who directed the assault ; 
but so far as one could judge from the present condition of 
the ground, the position must have been very formidable, and 
should not have been assaulted till the enfilading fire was sub 
dued, and a very heavy covering fire directed to silence the 
guns in front. The Americans are naturally very proud of 
their victory, which was gained at a most trifling loss to them 
selves, which they erroneously conceive to be a proof of their 
gallantry in resisting the assault. It is one of the events 
which have created a fixed idea in their minds that they are 
able to " whip the world." 

On returning from my visit I went to the club, where I had 
a long conversation with Dr. Rushton, who is strongly con 
vinced of the impossibility of carrying on government, or con 
ducting municipal affairs, until universal suffrage is put down. 
He gave many instances of the terrorism, violence, and assas 
sinations which prevail during election times in New Orleans. 
M. Milten-berger, on the contrary, thinks matters are very 
well as they are, and declares all these stories are fanciful. 
Incendiarism rife again. All the club windows crowded with 
men looking at a tremendous fire, which burned down three or 
four stores and houses. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

Carrying arms New Orleans jail Desperate characters Execu 
tions Female maniacs and prisoners The river and levee 
Climate of New Orleans Population General distress Pres 
sure of the blockade Money Philosophy of abstract rights 
The doctrine of state rights Theoretical "defect in the constitu 
tion. 

May 3lst. I went with Mr. Mure to visit the jail. We 
met the sheriff, according to appointment, at the police court. 
Something like a sheriff a great, big, burly, six-foot man, 
with revolvers stuck in his belt, and strength and arms quite 
sufficient to enable him to execute his office in its highest 
degree. Speaking of the numerous crimes committed in New 
Orleans, he declared it was a perfect hell upon earth, and that 
nothing would ever put an end to murders, manslaughters, and 
deadly assaults, till it was made penal to carry arms; but by 
law every American citizen may walk with an armory round 
his waist, if he likes. Bar-rooms, cock-tails, mint-juleps, 
gambling-houses, political discussions, and imperfect civiliza 
tion do the rest. 

The jail is a square whitewashed building, with cracked 
walls and barred windows. In front of the open door were 
seated four men on chairs, with their legs cocked against the 
wall, smoking and reading newspapers. " Well, what do you 
want?" said one of them, without rising. "To visit the 
prison." " Have you got friends inside, or do you carry an 
order ? " The necessary document from our friend the 
sheriff, was produced. We entered through the doorway, 
into a small hall, at the end of which was an iron grating and 
door. A slightly-built young man, who was lolling in his 
shirt-sleeves on a chair, rose and examined the order, and, 
taking down a bunch of keys from a hook, and introducing 
himself to us as one of the warders, opened the iron door, 
and preceded us through a small passage into a square court 
yard, formed on one side by a high wall, and on the othei 



JAIL AT NEW ORLEANS. 245 

three by windowed walls and cells, with doors opening on the 
court. It was filled with a crowd of men and boys ; some 
walking up and down, others sitting, and groups on the pave 
ment ; some moodily apart, smoking or chewing ; one or 
two cleaning their clothes, or washing at a small tank. We 
walked into the midst of them, and the warder, smoking his 
cigar and looking coolly about him, pointed out the most 
desperate criminals. 

This crowded and most noisome place was filled with felons 
of every description, as well as with poor wretches merely 
guilty of larceny. Hardened murderers, thieves, and assas 
sins, were here associated with boys in their teens, who were 
undergoing imprisonment for some trifling robbery. It was 
not pleasant to rub elbows with miscreants who lounged past, 
almost smiling defiance, whilst the slim warder, in his straw 
hat, shirt-sleeves, and drawers, told you how such a fellow 
had murdered his mother, how another had killed a police 
man, or a third had destroyed no less than three persons in a 
few moments. Here were seventy murderers, pirates, bur 
glars, violaters, and thieves, circulating among men who had 
been proved guilty of no offence, but were merely waiting for 
their trial. 

A veranda ran along one side of the wall, above a row of 
small cells, containing truckle beds for the inmates. " That s 
a desperate chap, I can tell you," said the warder, pointing to 
a man who, naked to his shirt, was sitting on the floor, with 
heavy irons on his legs, which they chafed notwithstanding the 
bloody rags around them, engaged in playing cards with a fel 
low" prisoner, and smoking with an air of supreme contentment. 
The prisoner turned at the words, and gave a kind of grunt 
and chuckle, and then played his next card. " That," said the 
warder, in the proud tone of a menagerie keeper exhibiting 
his fiercest wild beast, " is a real desperate character ; his 
name is Gordon ; I guess he comes from your country ; he 
made a most miraculous attempt to escape, and all but suc 
ceeded ; and you would never believe me if I told you that 
he hooked on to that little spout, climbed up the angle of that 
wall there, and managed to get across to the ledge of that win 
dow over the outside wall before he was discovered." And 
indeed it did require the corroborative twinkle in the fellow s 
eye, as he heard of his own exploit, to make me believe 
that the feat thus indicated could be performed by mortal 
man. 



246 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

" There s where we hang them," continued he, pointing to a 
small black door, let into the wall, about eighteen feet from the 
ground, with some iron hooks above it. " They walk out on 
the door, which is shot on a bolt, and when the rope is round 
their necks from the hook, the door s let flop, and they swing 
over the court-yard." The prisoners are shut up in their cells 
during the execution, but they can see w r hat is passing, at least 
those who get good places at the windows. " Some of them," 
added the warder, " do die very brave indeed. Some of them 
abuse as you never heard. But most of them don t seem to 
like it." 

Passing from the yard, we proceeded up-stairs to the first 
floor, where were the debtors rooms. These were tolerably 
comfortable, in comparison to the wretched cells we had seen ; 
but the poorer debtors were crowded together, three or four in 
a room. As far as I could ascertain, there is no insolvency 
law, but the debtor is free, after ninety days imprisonment, if 
his board and lodging be paid for. " And what if they are 
not ? " " Oh, well, in that case we keep them till all is paid, 
adding of course for every day they are kept." 

In one of these rooms, sitting on his bed, looking wicked 
and gloomy, and with a glare like that of a wild beast in his 
eyes, was a Doctor Withers, who, a few days ago, murdered 
his son-in-law and his wife, in a house close to Mr. Mure s. 
He was able to pay for this privilege, and " as he is a respect 
able man," said the warder, " perhaps he may escape the 
worst." 

Turning from this department into another gallery, the 
warder went to an iron door, above which was painted a 
death s head and cross-bones ; beneath were the words " con 
demned cell." 

He opened the door, which led to a short narrow covered 
gallery, one side of which looked into a court-yard, admitting 
light into two small chambers, in which were pallets of straw 
covered with clean counterpanes. 

Six men were walking up and down in the passage. In the 
first room there was a table, on which were placed missals, 
neatly bound, and very clean religious books, a crucifix, and 
Agnus Dei. The whitewashed wall of this chamber was cov 
ered with most curious drawings in charcoal or black chalk, 
divided into compartments, and representing scenes in the life 
of the unhappy artist, a Frenchman, executed some years ago 
for murdering his mistress, depicting his temptations, his 



FEMALE MANIACS. 247 

gradual fall from innocence, his society with abandoned 
men and women, intermingled with Scriptural subjects, 
Christ walking on the waters, ancl holding out his hand to the 
culprit, the murderer s corpse in the grave, angels visit 
ing and lamenting over it ; finally, the resurrection, in which 
he is seen ascending to heaven ! 

My attention was attracted from this extraordinary room to 
an open gallery at the other side of the court-yard, in which 
were a number of women with dishevelled hair and torn 
clothes, some walking up and down restlessly, others scream 
ing loudly, while some with indecent gestures were yelling to 
the wretched men opposite to them, as they were engaged in 
their miserable promenade. 

Shame and horror to a Christian land ! These women 
were maniacs ! They are kept here until there is room for 
them at the State Lunatic Asylum. Night and day their 
terrible cries and ravings echo through the dreary, waking 
hours and the fitful slumbers of the wretched men so soon 
to die. 

Two of those who walked in that gallery are to die to 
morrow. 

What a mockery the crucifix ! the Agnus Dei! the 
holy books ! I turned with sickness and loathing from the 
dreadful place. " But," said the keeper, apologetically, 

" there s not one of them believes he ll be hanged." 

****** 

We next visited the women s gallery, where female crimi 
nals of all classes are huddled together indiscriminately. On 
opening the door, the stench from the open veranda, in which 
the prisoners were sitting, was so vile that I could not proceed 
further ; but I saw enough to convince me that the poor, err 
ing woman who was put in there for some trifling offence, and 
placed in contact with the beings who were uttering such lan 
guage as we heard, might indeed leave hope behind her. 

The prisoners have no beds to sleep upon, not even a blanket, 
and are thrust in to lie as they please, five in each small cell. 
It may be imagined what the tropical heat produces under 
such conditions as these ; but as the surgeon was out, I could 
obtain no information respecting the rates of sickness or 
mortality. 

I next proceeded to a yard somewhat smaller than that ap 
propriated to serious offenders, in which were confined pris 
oners condemned for short sentences, for such offences as 



248 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

drunkenness, assault, and the like. Among the prisoners were 
some English sailors, confined for assaults on their officers, or 
breach of articles; all of whom had complaints to make to the 
Consul, as to arbitrary arrests and unfounded charges. Mr. 
Mure told me that when the port is full he is constantly en 
gaged inquiring into such cases ; and I am sorry to learn that 
the men of our commercial marine occasion a good deal of 
trouble to the authorities. 

I left the prison in no very charitable mood towards the 
people who sanctioned such a disgraceful institution, and pro 
ceeded to complete my tour of the city. 

The " Levee," which is an enormous embankment to pre 
vent the inundation of the river, is now nearly deserted ex 
cept by the river steamers, and those which have been unable 
to run the blockade. As New Orleans is on an average three 
feet below the level of the river at high water, this work re 
quires constant supervision ; it is not less than fifteen feet 
broad, and rises five or six feet above the level of the adja 
cent street, and it is continued in an almost unbroken line for 
several hundreds of miles up the course of the Mississippi. 
When the bank gives way, or a " crevasse," as it is techni 
cally called, occurs, the damage done to the plantations has 
sometimes to be calculated by millions of dollars ; when the 
river is very low there is a new form of danger, in what is 
called the " caving in " of the bank, which, left without the 
support of the water pressure, slides into the bed of the giant 
river. 

New Orleans is called the " Crescent City " in consequence 
of its being built on a curve of the river, which is here about 
the breadth of the Thames at Gravesend, and of great depth. 
Enormous cotton presses are erected near the banks, where 

^the bales are compressed by machinery before stowage on ship- 
jooard. at a heavy cost to the planter. 

If The custom-house, the city-hall, and the United States mint, 
are fine buildings, of rather pretentious architecture ; the for 
mer is the largest building in the States, next to the capital. 
I was informed that on the levee, now almost deserted, there 
is during the cotton and sugar season a scene of activity, life, 
and noise, the like of which is not in the world. Even Can 
ton does not show so many boats on the river, not to speak of 
steamers, tugs, flat-boats, and the like ; and it may be easily 
imagined that such is the case, when we know that the value 
of the cotton sent in the year from this port alone exceeds 



MR BIBB AND SELF-DEFENCE. 249 

twenty millions sterling, and that the other exports are of the 
value of at least fifteen millions sterling, whilst the imports 
amount to nearly four millions. 

As the city of New Orleans is nearly 1700 miles south of 
New York, it is not surprising that it rejoices in a semi-trop 
ical climate. The squares are surrounded with lemon-trees, 
orange-groves, myrtle, and magnificent magnolias. Palmet- 
toes and peach-trees are found in all the gardens, and in the 
neighborhood are enormous cypresses, hung round with the 
everlasting Spanish moss. 

The streets of the extended city are different in character 
from the narrow chaussees of the old town, and the general 
rectangular arrangement common in the United States, Russia, 
and British Indian cantonments is followed as much as possi 
ble. The markets are excellent, each municipality, or grand 
division, being provided with its own. They swarm with 
specimens of the composite races which inhabit the city, from 
the thorough -bred, woolly-headed negro, who is suspiciously 
like a native-born African, to the Creole who boasts that every 
drop of blood in his veins is purely French. 

I was struck by the absence of any whites of the laboring 
classes, and when I inquired what had become of the men 
who work on the levee and at the cotton presses in competi 
tion with the negroes, I was told they had been enlisted for 
the war. 

I forgot to mention that among the criminals in the prison 
there was one Mr. Bibb, a respectable citizen, who had a little 
affair of his own on Sunday morning. 

Mr. Bibb was coming from market, and had secured an 
early copy of a morning paper. Three citizens, anxious for 
news, or, as Bibb avows, for his watch and purse, came up 
and insisted that he should read the paper for them. Bibb de 
clined, whereupon the three citizens, in the full exercise of their 
rights as a majority, proceeded to coerce him ; but Bibb had a 
casual revolver in his pocket, and in a moment he shot one of 
his literary assailants dead, and wounded the two others 
severely, if not mortally. The paper which narrates the cir 
cumstances, in stating that the successful combatant had been 
committed to prison, adds, " great sympathy is felt for Mr. 
Bibb." If the Southern minority is equally successful in its 
resistance to force majeure as this eminent citizen, the fate of 
the Confederacy cannot long be doubtful. 

June 1st. The respectable people of the city are menaced 
11* 



250 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

with two internal evils in consequence of the destitution 
caused by the stoppage of trade with the North and with 
Europe. The municipal authorities, for want of funds, 
threaten to close the city schools, and to disband the police ; 
at the same time employers refuse to pay their workmen on 
the ground of inability. The British Consulate was thronged 
to-day by Irish, English, and Scotch, entreating to be sent 
North or to Europe. The stories told by some of these poor 
fellows were most pitiable, and were vouched for by facts and 
papers ; but Mr. Mure has no funds at his disposal to enable 
him to comply with their prayers. Nothing remains for them 
but to enlist. For the third or fourth time I heard cases of 
British subjects being forcibly carried off to fill the ranks of 
yo-called volunteer companies and regiments. In some instan 
ces they have been knocked down, bound, and confined in bar 
racks, till in despair they consented to serve. Those who 
have friends aware of their condition were relieved by the in 
terference of the Consul ; but there are many, no doubt, 
thus coerced and placed in involuntary servitude without his 
knowledge. Mr. Mure has acted with energy, judgment, and 
success on these occasions ; but I much wish he could have, 
from national sources, assisted the many distressed English 
subjects who thronged his office. 

The great commercial community of New Orleans, which 
now feels the pressure of the blockade, depends on the inter 
ference of the European Powers next October. They have 
among them men who refuse to pay their debts to Northern 
houses, but they deny that they intend to repudiate, and 
promise to pay all who are not Black Republicans when the 
war is over. Repudiation is a word out of favor, as they feel 
the character of the Southern States and of Mr. Jefferson 
Davis himself has been much injured in Europe by the breach 
of honesty and honor of which they have been guilty ; but I 
am assured on all sides that every State will eventually re 
deem all its obligations. Meantime, money here is fast van 
ishing. Bills on New York are worth nothing, and bills on 
England are at 18 per cent, discount from the par value of 
gold ; but the people of this city will endure all this and much 
more to escape from the hated rule of the Yankees. 

Through the present gloom come the rays of a glorious fu 
ture, which shall see a grand slave confederacy enclosing the 
Gulf in its arms, and swelling to the shores of the Potomac 
and Chesapeake, with the entire control of the Mississippi and 



SLAVERY AND COTTON. 251 

a monopoly of the great staples on which so much of the man 
ufactures and commerce of England and France depend. 
They believe themselves, in fact, to be masters of the destiny 
of the world. Cotton is king not alone king but czar; and 
coupled with the gratification and profit to be derived from 
this mighty agency, they look forward w r ith intense satisfac 
tion to the complete humiliation of their hated enemies in the 
New England States, to the destruction of their usurious rival 
New York, and to the impoverishment and ruin of the States 
which have excited their enmity by personal liberty bills, and 
have outraged and insulted them by harboring abolitionists 
and an anti-slavery press. 

The abolitionists have said, " We will never rest till every 
slave is free in the United States." Men of larger views 
than those have declared, " They will never rest from agita 
tion until a man may as freely express his opinions, be they 
what they may, on slavery, or anything else, in the streets of 
Charleston or of New Orleans as in those of Boston or 
New York." " Our rights are guaranteed by the Constitu 
tion," exclaim the South. " The Constitution," retorts Wen 
dell Phillips, " is a league with the devil, a covenant with 
hell." 

The doctrine of State Rights has been consistently advo 
cated not only by Southern statesmen, but by the great party 
who have ever maintained there was danger to liberty in the 
establishment of a strong central Government ; but the con 
tending interests and opinions on both sides had hitherto been 
kept from open collision by artful compromises and by ingen 
ious contrivances, which ceased with the election of Mr. Lin 
coln. 

There was in the very corner-stone of the republican edi 
fice a small fissure, which has been widening as the grand 
structure increased in height and weight. The early states 
men and authors of the Republic knew of its existence, but 
left to posterity the duty of dealing with it and guarding 
against its consequences. Washington himself was perfectly 
aware of the danger ; and he looked forward to a duration 
of some sixty or seventy years only for the great fabric he 
contributed to erect. He was satisfied a crisis must come, 
when the States whom in his farewell address he warned 
against rivalry and faction would be unable to overcome the 
animosities excited by different interests, and the passions 
arising out of adverse institutions ; and now that the separa- 



252 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

tion has come, there is not, in the Constitution, or out of it, 
power to cement the broken fragments together. 

It is remarkable that in New Orleans, as in New York, the 
opinion of the most wealthy and intelligent men in the com 
munity, so far as I can judge, regards universal suffrage as 
organized confiscation, legalized violence and corruption, a 
mortal disease in the body politic. The other night, as I sat 
in the club-house, I heard a discussion in reference to the 
operations of the Thugs in this city, a band of native-born 
Americans, who at election times were wont deliberately to 
shoot down Irish and German voters occupying positions as 
leaders of their mobs* These Thugs were only suppressed 
by an armed vigilance committee, of which a physician who 
sat at table was one of the members. 

Having made some purchases, and paid all my visits, I 
returned to prepare for my voyage up the Mississippi and 
visits to several planters on its banks my first being to Gov 
ernor Roman. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

Up the Mississippi Free negroes and English policy Monotony 
of the river scenery Visit to M. Roman Slave quarters A 
slave-dance Slave-children Negro hospital General opin 
ion Confidence in Jefferson Davis. 

June %d. My good friend the Consul was up early to see 
me off; and we drove together to the steamer J. L. Gotten. 
The people were going to mass as we passed through the 
streets ; and it was pitiable to see the children dressed out as 
Zouaves, with tin swords and all sorts of pseudo-military 
tomfoolery ; streets crowded with military companies ; bands 
playing on all sides. 

Before we left the door a poor black sailor came up to 
entreat Mr. Mure s interference. He had been sent by Mr. 
Magee, the Consul at Mobile, by land to New Orleans, in the 
hope that Mr. Mure would be able to procure him a free 
passage to some British port. He had served in the Royal 
Navy, and had received a wound in the Russian war. The 
moment he arrived in New Orleans he had been seized by the 
police. On his stating that he was a free-born British subject, 
the authorities ordered him to be taken to Mr. Mure ; he could 
not be allowed to go at liberty on account of his color ; the 
laws of the State forbade such dangerous experiments on the 
feelings of the slave population ; and if the Consul did not 
provide for him, he would be arrested and kept in prison, if 
no worse fate befell him. He was suffering from the effect 
of his wound, and was evidently in ill health. Mr. Mure 
gave him a letter to the Sailors Hospital, and some relief out 
of his own pocket. The police came as far as the door with 
him, and remained outside to arrest him if the Consul did not 
afford him protection and provide for him, so that he should not 
be seen at large in the streets of the city. The other day a 
New Orleans privateer captured three northern brigs, on board 
which were ten free negroes. The captain handed them over 
to the Recorder, who applied to the Confederate States Mar- 



254 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

shal to take charge of them. The Marshal refused to receive 
them, whereupon the Recorder, as a magistrate and a good 
citizen, decided on keeping them in jail, as it would be a bad 
and dangerous policy to let them loose upon the community. 

I cannot help feeling that the position taken by England in 
reference to the question of her colored subjects is humiliating 
and degrading. People who live in London may esteem this 
question a light matter ; but it has not only been inconsistent 
with the national honor ; it has so degraded us in the opinion 
of Americans themselves, that they are encouraged to indulge 
in an insolent tone and in violent acts towards us, which will 
some day leave Great Britain no alternative but an appeal to 
arms. Free colored persons are liable to seizure by the police, 
and to imprisonment, and may be sold into servitude under 
certain circumstances. 

On arriving at the steamer, I found a considerable party of 
citizens assembled to see off their friends. Governor Roman s 
son apologized to me for his inability to accompany me up the 
river, as he was going to the drill of his company of volun 
teers. Several other gentlemen were in uniform ; and when 
we had passed the houses of the city, I observed companies 
and troops of horse exercising on both sides of the banks. 
On board were Mr. Burnside, a very extensive proprietor, 
and Mr. Forstall, agent to Messrs. Baring, who claims descent 
from an Irish family near Rochestown, though he speaks our 
vernacular with difficulty, and is much more French than 
British. He is considered one of the ablest financiers and 
economists in the United States, and is certainly very ingen 
ious, and well crammed with facts and figures. 

The aspect of New Orleans from the river is marred by the 
very poor houses lining the quays on the levee. Wide streets 
open on long vistas bordered by the most paltry little domi 
ciles ; and the great conceptions of those who planned them, 
notwithstanding the prosperity of the city, have not been 
realised. 

As we were now floating nine feet higher than the level of 
the streets, we could look down upon a sea of flat roofs, and 
low wooden houses, painted white, pierced by the domes and 
spires of churches and public buildings. Grass was growing 
in many of these streets. At the other side of the river there 
is a smaller city of shingle-roofed houses, with a background 
of low timber. 

The steamer stopped continually at various points along the 



RIVER AT NEW ORLEANS. 255 

levee, discharging commissariat stores, parcels, and passengers ; 
and after a time glided up into the open country, which spread 
beneath us for several miles at each side of the banks, with a 
continuous background of forest. All this part of the river is 
called the Coast, and the country adjacent is remarkable for 
its fertility. The sugar plantations are bounded by lines 
drawn at right angles to the banks of the river, and extending 
through the forest. The villas of the proprietors are thickly 
planted in the midst of the green fields, with the usual porti 
coes, pillars, verandas, and green blinds ; and in the vicinity 
of each are rows of whitewashed huts, which are the slave 
quarters. These fields, level as a billiard table, are of the 
brightest green with crops of maize and sugar. 

But few persons were visible ; not a boat was to be seen ; 
and in the course of sixty-two miles we met only two steamers. 
No shelving banks, no pebbly shoals, no rocky margins mark 
the course or diversify the outline of the Mississippi. The 
dead, uniform line of the levee compresses it at each side, and 
the turbid waters flow without let in a current of uniform 
breadth between the monotonous banks. The gables and 
summit of one house resemble those of another ; and but for 
the enormous scale of river and banks, and the black faces of 
the few negroes visible, a passenger might think he was on 
board a Dutch " treckshuyt." In fact, the Mississippi is a 
huge trench-like canal draining a continent. 

At half past three P. M. the steamer ran along-side the 
levee at the right bank, and discharged me at " Cahabanooze," 
in the Indian tongue, or " The ducks sleeping-place," together 
with an English merchant of New Orleans, M. La Ville 
Beaufevre, son-in-law of Governor Roman, and his wife. The 
Governor was waiting to receive us in the levee, and led the 
way through a gate in the paling which separated his ground 
from the roadside, towards the house, a substantial, square, 
two-storied mansion, with a veranda all round it, embosomed 
amid venerable trees, and surrounded by magnolias. By way 
of explaining the proximity of his house to the river, M. 
Roman told me that a considerable portion of the garden in 
front had a short time ago been carried off by the Mississippi ; 
nor is he at all sure the house itself will not share the same 
fate ; I hope sincerely it may not. My quarters were in a 
detached house, complete in itself, containing four bedrooms, 
library, and sitting-room, close to the mansion, an-d surrounded, 
like it, by fine trees. 



256 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

After we had sat for some time in the shade of the finest 
group, M. Roman, or, as he is called, the Governor once a 
captain always a captain asked me whether I would like to 
visit the slave quarters. I assented, and the Governor led the 
way to a high paling at the back of the house, inside which the 
scraping of fiddles was audible. As we passed the back of 
thWmansion some young women flitted past in snow-white 
dresses, crinolines, pink sashes, and gaudily colored handker 
chiefs on their heads, who were, the Governor told me, the 
domestic servants going off to a dance at the sugar-house ; he 
lets his slaves dance every Sunday. The American planters 
who are not Catholics, although they do not make the slaves 
work on Sunday except there is something to do, rarely grant 
them the indulgence of a dance, but a few permit them some 
hours of relaxation on each Saturday afternoon. 

We entered, by a wicket-gate, a square enclosure, lined with 
negro huts, built of wood, something like those which came 
from Malta to the Crimea in the early part of the campaign. 
They are not furnished with windows .a wooden slide or 
grating admits all the air a negro desires. There is a par 
tition dividing the hut into two departments, one of which is 
used as the sleeping-room, and contains a truckle bedstead and 
a mattress stuffed with cotton wool, or the hair-like fibres of 
dried Spanish moss. The wardrobes of the inmates hang from 
nails or pegs driven into the wall. The other room is furnish 
ed with a dresser, on which are arranged a few articles of 
crockery and kitchen utensils. Sometimes there is a table in 
addition to the plain wooden chairs, more or less dilapidated, 
constituting the furniture a hearth, in connection with a 
brick chimney outside the cottage, in which, hot as the day 
may be, some embers are sure to be found burning. The 
ground round the huts was covered with litter and dust, heaps 
of old shoes, fragments of clothing and feathers, amidst which 
pigs and poultry were recreating. Curs of low degree 
scampered in and out of the shade, or around two huge dogs, 
chiens de garde, which are let loose at night to guard the pre 
cincts ; belly deep, in a pool of stagnant water, thirty or forty 
mules were swinking in the sun and enjoying their day of rest. 

The huts of the negroes engaged in the house are separated 
from those of the slaves devoted to field labor out of doors by 
a wooden paling. I looked into several of the houses, but 
somehow or other felt a repugnance, I dare say unjustifiable, 
to examine the penetralia, although invited indeed, urged, 



SLAVE QUARTERS. 257 

to do so by the Governor. It was not that I expected to come 
upon anything dreadful, but I could not divest myself of some 
regard for the feelings of the poor creatures, slaves though 
they were, who stood by, shy, courtesying. and silent, as I broke 
in upon their family circle, felt their beds, and turned over 
their clothing. What right had I to do so ? 

Swarms of flies, tin cooking utensils attracting them by 
remnants of molasses, crockery, broken and old, on the dressers, 
more or less old clothes on the wall, these varied over and over 
again, were found in all the huts ; not a sign of ornament or 
decoration was visible ; not the most tawdry print, image of 
Virgin or Saviour ; not a prayer-book or printed volume. The 
slaves are not encouraged, or indeed permitted to read, and 
some communities of slave-owners punish heavily those at 
tempting to instruct them. 

All the slaves seemed respectful to their master ; dressed in 
their best, they courtesied, and came up to shake hands with 
him and with me. 4 Among them were some very old men and 
women, the canker-worms of the estate, who were dozing 
away into eternity, mindful only of hominy, and pig, and 
molasses. Two negro fiddlers were -working their bows with 
energy in front of one of the huts, and a crowd of little children 
were listening to the music, together with a few grown-up 
persons of color, some of them from the adjoining plantations. 
The children are generally dressed in a little sack of coarse 
calico, which answers all reasonable purposes, even if it be flot 
very clean. 

It might be an interesting subject of inquiry to the natural 
philosophers who follow crinology to determine why it is that 
the hair of the infant negro, or child, up to six or seven 
years of age, is generally a fine red russet, or even gamboge 
color, and gradually darkens into dull ebon. These little bod 
ies were mostly large-stomached, well fed, and not less hap 
py than free born-children, although much more valuable 
for if once they get over juvenile dangers, and advance 
toward nine or ten years of age, they rise in value to 100 or 
more, even in times when the market is low and money is 
scarce. 

The women were not very well-favored ; one yellow girl, 
with fair hair and light eyes, whose child was quite white, ex- 
cepted ; the men were disguised in such strangely-cut clothes, 
their hats and shoes and coats so wonderfully made, that one 
could not tell what their figures were like. On all faces there 



258 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

was a gravity which must be the index to serene contentment 
and perfect comfort ; for those who ought to know best declare 
they are the happiest race in the world. 

It struck me more and more, however, as I examined the 
expression of the faces of the slaves, that deep dejection is 
the prevailing, if not universal, characteristic of the race. 
Here there were abundant evidences that they were well 
treated ; they had good clothing of its kind, food, and a mas 
ter who wittingly could do them no injustice, as he is, I am 
sure, incapable of it. Still, they all looked sad, and eve i 
the old woman who boasted that she had held her old owner 
in her arms when he was an infant, did not smile cheerfully, 
as the nurse at home would have done, at the sight of her an 
cient charge. 

The negroes rear domestic birds of all kinds, and sell eggs 
and poultry to their masters. The money is spent in pur 
chasing tobacco, molasses, clothes, and flour ; whiskey, their 
great delight, they must not have. Some seventy or eighty 
hands were quartered in this part of the estate. 

Before leaving the enclosure I was taken to the hospital, 
which Avas in charge of an old negress. The naked rooms 
contained several flock beds on rough stands, and five patients, 
three of whom were women. They sat listlessly on the beds, 
looking out into space ; no books to amuse them, no conversa 
tion nothing but their own dull thoughts, if they had any. 
They were suffering from pneumonia and swellings of the 
glands of the neck ; one man had fever. Their medical at 
tendant visits them regularly, and each plantation has a prac 
titioner, who is engaged by the term for his services. If the 
growth of sugar-cane, cotton, and corn, be the great end of 
man s mission on earth, and if all masters were like Governor 
Roman, slavery might be defended as a natural and innocuous 
institution. Sugar and cotton are, assuredly, two great agen 
cies in this latter world. The older one got on well enough 
without them. 

The scraping of the fiddles attracted us to the sugar-house, 
where the juice of the cane is expressed, boiled, granulated, 
and prepared for the refinery, a large brick building, with a 
factory-looking chimney. In a space of the floor unoccupied 
by machinery some fifteen women and as many men were as 
sembled, and four couples were dancing a kind of Irish jig 
to the music of the negro musicians a double shuffle in a 
thumping ecstasy, with loose elbows, pendulous paws, angu- 



CREOLE PLANTERS. 259 

lated knees, heads thrown back, and backs arched inwards 
a glazed eye, intense solemnity of mien. 

At this time of year there is no work done in the sugar- 
house, but when the crushing and boiling are going on, the 
labor is intensely trying, and the hands work in gangs night 
and day ; and, if the heat of the fires be superadded to the 
temperature in September, it may be conceded that nothing 
but " involuntary servitude " could go through the toil and 
suffering required to produce sugar. 

In the afternoon the Governor s son came in from the com 
pany which he commands : his men are of the best families iu 
the country planters and the like. We sauntered about the 
gardens, diminished, as I have said, by a freak of the river. 
The French Creoles love gardens ; the Anglo-Saxons here 
about do not much affect them, and cultivate their crops up to 
the very doorway. 

It was curious to observe so far away from France so many 
traces of the life of the old seigneur the early meals, in 
which supper took the place of dinner frugal simplicity 
and yet a refinement of manner, kindliness and courtesy not 
to be exceeded. 

In the evening several officers of M. Alfred Roman s com 
pany and neighboring planters dropped in, and we sat out in 
the twilight, under the trees in the veranda, illuminated by 
the flashing fireflies, and talking politics. I was struck by the 
profound silence which reigned all around us, except a low 
rushing sound, like that made by the wind blowing over corn 
fields, which came from the mighty river before us. Nothing 
else was audible but the sound of our own voices and the dis 
tant bark of a dog. After the steamer which bore us had 
passed on, I do not believe a single boat floated up or down 
the stream, and but one solitary planter, in his gig or buggy, 
traversed the road, which lay between the garden palings and 
the bank of the great river. 

Our friends were all Creoles that is, natives of Louisiana 
of French or Spanish descent. They are kinder and bet 
ter masters, according to universal repute, than native Ameri 
cans or Scotch ; but the New England Yankee is reputed to 
be the severest of all slave owners. All these gentlemen to a 
man are resolute that England must get their cotton or per 
ish. She will take it, therefore, by force ; but as the South is 
determined never to let a Yankee vessel carry any of its prod 
uce, a question has been raised by Monsieur Baroche, who is 



260 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

at present looking around him in New Orleans, which causes 
some difficulty to the astute and statistical Mr. Forstall. The 
French economist has calculated that if the Yankee vessels be 
excluded from the carrying trade, the commercial marine of 
France and England together will be quite inadequate to carry 
Southern produce to Europe. 

But Southern faith is indomitable. "With their faithful ne 
groes to raise their corn, sugar, and cotton, whilst their young 
men are at the wars ; with France and England to pour gold 
into their lap with which to purchase all they need in the con 
test, they believe they can beat all the powers of the Northern 
world in arms. Illimitable fields, tilled by multitudinous ne 
groes, open on their sight, and they behold the empires of 
Europe, with their manufactures, their industry, and their 
wealth, prostrate at the base of their throne, crying out, " Cot 
ton ! More cotton ! That is all we ask ! " 

Mr. Forstall maintains the South can raise an enormous 
revenue by a small direct taxation ; whilst the North, deprived 
of Southern resources, will refuse to pay taxes at all, and will 
accumulate enormous debts, inevitably leading to its financial 
ruin. He, like every Southern man I have as yet met, ex 
presses unbounded confidence in Mr. Jefferson Davis. I am 
asked invariably, as the second question from a stranger, 
" Have you seen our President, sir ? don t you think him a 
very able man ? " This unanimity in the estimate of his char 
acter, and universal confidence in the head of the State, will 
prove of incalculable value in a civil war. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Ride through the maize-fields Sugar plantation ; negroes at work 
Use of the lash Feeling towards France Silence of the coun 
try Negroes and dogs Theory of slavery Physical forma 
tion of the negro The defence of slavery The masses for ne 
gro souls Convent of the Sacre Coeur Ferry house A large 
land-owner. 

June 3d. At five o clock this morning, having been awak 
ened an hour earlier by a wonderful chorus of riotous mock 
ing-birds, my old negro attendant brought in my bath of Mis 
sissippi water, which, Nile-like, casts down a strong deposit, 
and becomes as clear, if not so sweet, after standing. " Le 
seigneur vous attend ; " and already I saw, outside my window, 
the Governor mounted on a stout cob, and a nice chestnut 
horse waiting, led by a slave. Early as it was, the sun felt 
excessively hot, and I envied the Governor his slouched hat 
as we rode through the fields, crisp with dew. In a few min 
utes our horses were traversing narrow alleys between the tall 
fields of maize, which rose far above our heads. This corn, 
as it is called, is the principal food of the negroes ; and every 
planter lays down a sufficient quantity to afford him, on an 
average, a supply all the year round. Outside this spread vast 
fields, hedgeless, wall-less, and unfenced, where the green cane 
was just learning to wave its long shoots in the wind a lake 
of bright green sugar-sprouts, along the margin of which, in 
the distance, rose an unbroken boundary of forest, two miles 
in depth, up to the swampy morass, all to be cleared and turned 
into arable land in process of time. From the river front to 
this forest, the fields of rich loam, unfathomable, and yielding 
from one to one and a half hogsheads of sugar per acre under 
cultivation, extend for a mile and a half in depth. In the 
midst of this expanse white dots were visible like Sowers seen 
on the early march in Indian fields, many a time and oft. 
Those are the gangs of hands at work we will see what 
they are at presently. This little reminiscence of Indian life 
was further heightened by the negroes who ran beside us to 



262 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

whisk flies from the horses, and to open the gates in the plan 
tation boundary. When the Indian corn is not good, peas are 
sowed, alternately, between the stalks, and are considered to 
be of much benefit ; and when the cane is bad, corn is sowed 
with it, for the same object. Before we came up to the gangs 
we passed a cart on the road containing a large cask, a bucket 
full of molasses, a pail of hominy, or boiled Indian corn, and 
a quantity of tin pannikins. The cask contained water for 
the negroes, and the other vessels held the materials for their 
breakfast ; in addition to which, they generally have each a dried 
fish. The food was ample, and looked wholesome ; such as 
any laboring man would be well content with. Passing along 
through maize on one side, and cane at another, we arrived at 
last at a patch of ground where thirty-six men and women 
were hoeing. 

Three gangs of negroes were at work : one gang of men, 
with twenty mules and ploughs, was engaged in running through 
the furrows between the canes, cutting up the weeds, and clear 
ing away the grass, which is the enemy of the growing shoot. 
The mules are of a fine, large, good-tempered kind, and under 
stand their work almost as well as the drivers, who are usually 
the more intelligent hands on the plantation. The overseer, a 
sharp-looking Creole, on a lanky pony, whip in hand, superin 
tended their labors, and, after a salutation to the Governor, to 
whom he made some remarks on the condition of the crops, 
rode off to another part of the farm. With the exception of 
crying to their mules, the negroes kept silence at their work. 

Another gang consisted of forty men, who were hoeing out 
the grass in Indian corn. The third gang, of thirty-six wo 
men, were engaged in hoeing out cane. Their clothing seemed 
heavy for the climate ; their shoes, ponderous and ill-made, had 
worn away the feet of their thick stockings, which hung in 
fringes over the upper leathers. Coarse straw hats and bright 
cotton handkerchiefs protected their heads from the sun. The 
silence which I have already alluded to, prevailed among 
these gangs also not a sound could be heard but the blows 
of the hoe on the heavy clods. In the rear of each gang 
stood a black overseer, with a heavy-thonged whip over his 
shoulder. If " Alcibiade " or " Pompee " were called out, he 
came with outstretched hand to ask " How do you do," and 
then returned to his labor ; but the ladies were coy, and scarce 
ly looked up from under their flapping chapeaux de paille at 
their visitors. 



HEAT AND COLD. 263 

Those who are mothers leave their children in the charge 
of certain old women, unfit for anything else, and " suckers," 
as they are called, are permitted to go home, at appointed pe 
riods in the day, to give the infants the breast. The overseers 
have power to give ten lashes ; but heavier punishment ought 
to be reported to the Governor ; however, it is not likely a 
good overseer would be checked, in any way, by his master. 
The anxieties attending the cultivation of sugar are great, and 
so much depends upon the judicious employment of labor, it 
is scarcely possible to exaggerate the importance of experi 
ence in directing it, and of power to insist on its application. 
When the frost comes, the cane is rendered worthless one 
touch destroys the sugar. But if frost is the enemy of the 
white planter, the sun is scarcely the friend of the black man. 
The sun condemns him to slavery, because it is the heat which 
is the barrier to the white man s labor. The Governor told 
me that, in August, when the crops are close, thick-set, and 
high, and the vertical sun beats down on the laborers, nothing 
but a black skin and head covered with wool can enable a man 
to walk out in the open field and live. 

We returned to the house in time for breakfast, for which 
our early cup of coffee and biscuit and the ride had been good 
preparation. Here was old France again. One might 
imagine a lord of the seventeenth century in his hall, but for 
the black faces of the servitors and the strange dishes of 
tropical origin. There was the old French abundance, the 
numerous dishes and efflorescence of napkins, and the long- 
necked bottles of Bordeaux, with a steady current of pleasant 
small talk. I saw some numbers of a paper called " La 
Misachibee" which was the primitive Indian name of the grand 
river, not improved by the addition of sibilant Anglo-Saxon 
syllables. 

The Americans, not unmindful of the aid to which, at the 
end of the War of Independence, their efforts were merely 
auxiliary, delight, even in the North, to exalt France above 
her ancient rival : but, as if to show the innate dissimilarity of 
the two races, the French Creoles exhibit towards the New 
Englanders and the North an animosity, mingled with con 
tempt, which argues badly for a future amalgamation or 
reunion. As the South Carolinians declare, they would rather 
return to their allegiance under the English monarchy, so the 
Louisianians, although they have no sentiment in common 
with the people of republican and imperial France, assert 



264 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

they would far sooner seek a connection with the old country 
than submit to the yoke of the Yankees. 

After breakfast, the Governor drove out by the ever-silent 
levee for some miles, passing estate after estate, where grove 
nodded to grove, each alley saw its brother. One could form 
no idea, from the small limited frontage of these plantations, 
that the proprietors were men of many thousands a year, 
because the estates extend on an average for three or four 
miles back to the forest. The absence of human beings on the 
road was a feature which impressed one more and more. But 
for the tall chimneys of the factories and the sugar-houses, one 
might believe that these villas had been erected by some 
pleasure-loving people who had all fled from the river banks 
for fear of pestilence. The gangs of negroes at work were 
hidden in the deep corn, and their quarters were silent and 
deserted. We met but one planter, in his gig, until we arrived 
at the estate of Monsieur Potier, the Governor s brother-in-law. 
The proprietor was at home, and received us very kindly, 
though suffering from the effects of a recent domestic calamity. 
He is a grave, earnest man with a face like Jerome Bonaparte, 
and a most devout Catholic ; and any man more unfit to live in 
any sort of community with New England Puritans one cannot 
well conceive ; for equal intensity of purpose and sincerity of 
conviction on their part could only lead them to mortal strife. 
His house was like a French chateau erected under tropical 
influences, and he led us through a handsome garden laid out 
with hot-houses, conservatories, orange-trees, and date-palms, 
and ponds full of the magnificent Victoria Regia in flower. 
We visited his refining factories and mills, but the heat from the 
boilers, which seemed too much even for the all-but-naked ne 
groes who were at work, did not tempt us to make a very long 
sojourn inside. The ebony faces and polished black backs of 
the slaves were streaming with perspiration as they toiled over 
boilers, vat, and centrifugal driers. The good refiner was not 
gaining much money at present, for sugar has been rapidly fall 
ing in New Orleans, and the 300,000 barrels produced annual 
ly in the South will fall short in the yield of profits, which on 
an average may be taken at 11 a hogshead, without counting 
the molasses for the planter. With a most perfect faith in 
States Rights, he seemed to combine either indifference or ig 
norance in respect to the power and determination of the North 
to resist secession to the last. All the planters hereabouts 
have sowed an unusual quantity of Indian corn, to have food for 



THE NEGRO QUESTION. 265 

the negroes if the war lasts, without any distress from inland 
or sea blockade. The absurdity of supposing that a blockade 
can injure them in the way of supply is a favorite theme to 
descant upon. They may find out, however, that it is no con 
temptible means of warfare. 

At night, there are regular patrols and watchmen, who look 
after the levee and the negroes. A number of dogs are also 
loosed, but I am assured that the creatures do not tear the ne 
groes ; they are taught " merely " to catch and mumble them, 
to treat them as a well-broken retriever uses a wounded wild 
duck. 

At six, A. M., Mo ise came to ask me if I should like a glass 
of absinthe, or anything stomachic. At breakfast was Doctor 
Laporte, formerly a member of the Legislative Assembly of 
France, who was exiled by Louis Napoleon ; in other words, he 
was ordered to give in his adhesion to the new regime, or to take 
a passport for abroad. He preferred the latter course, and now, 
true Frenchman, finding the Emperor has aggrandized France 
and added to her military reputation, he admires the man on 
whom but a few years ago he lavished the bitterest hate. 

The carriage is ready, and the word farewell is spoken at 
last. M. Alfred Roman, my companion, has travelled in Eu 
rope, and learned philosophy ; is not so orthodox as many of 
the gentlemen I have met who indulge in ingenious hypotheses 
to comfort the consciences of the anthropo-proprietors. The ne 
gro skull won t hold as many ounces of shot as the white man s. 
Potent proof that the white man has a right to sell and to own 
the creature ! He is plantigrade, and curved as to the tibia ! 
Cogent demonstration that he was made expressly to work for 
the arch-footed, straight-tibiaed Caucasian. He has a rete 
mucosurn and a colored pigment ! Surely he cannot have a 
soul of the same color as that of an Italian or a Spaniard, far 
less of a flaxen-haired Saxon ! See these peculiarities in the 
frontal sinus in sinciput or occiput ! Can you doubt that the 
being with a head of that shape was made only to till, hoe, and 
dig for another race ? Besides, the Bible says that he is a son 
of Ham, and prophecy must be carried out in the rice-swamps, 
sugar-canes,. and maize-fields of the Southern Confederation. 
It is flat blasphemy to set yourself against it. Our Saviour 
sanctions slavery because he does not say a word against it, and 
it is very likely that St. Paul was a slave-owner. Had cotton 
and sugar been known, the apostle might have been a planter ! 
Furthermore, the negro is civilized by being carried away from 
12 



266 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Africa and set to work, instead of idling in native inutility. 
What hope is there of Christianizing the African races, except 
by the agency of the apostles from New Orleans, Mobile, or 
Charleston, who sing the sweet songs of Zion with such vehe 
mence, and clamor so fervently for baptism in the waters of 
the " Jawdam " ? 

If these high physical, metaphysical, moral and religious 
reasonings do not satisfy you, and you are bold enough to 
venture still to be unconvinced and to say so, then I advise 
you not to come within reach of a mass meeting of our citi 
zens, who may be able to find a rope and a tree in the neigh 
borhood. 

As we jog along in an easy rolling carriage drawn by a 
pair of stout horses, a number of white people meet us com 
ing from the Catholic chapel of the parish, where they had 
been attending the service for the repose of the soul of a lady 
much beloved in the neighborhood. The black people must 
be supposed to have very happy souls, or to be as utterly lost 
as Mr. Shandy s homunculus was under certain circumstances, 
for I have failed to find that any such services are ever con 
sidered necessary in their case, although they may have been 
very good or, where the service would be most desirable 
very bad Catholics. The dead, leaden uniformity of the 
scenery forced one to converse, in order to escape profound 
melancholy : the levee on the right hand, above which nothing 
was visible but the sky ; on the left plantations with cypress 
fences, whitewashed and pointed wooden gates leading to the 
planters houses, and rugged gardens surrounded with shrubs, 
through which could be seen the slave quarters. Men making 
eighty or ninety hogsheads of sugar in a year lived in most 
wretched tumble-down wooden houses not much larger than 
ox sheds. 

As we drove on, the storm gathered overhead, and the rain 
fell in torrents the Mississippi flowed lifelessly by not 
a boat on its broad surface. 

At last we reached Governor Manning s place, and went to 
the house of the overseer, a large heavy-eyed old man. 

" This rain will do good to the corn," said the overseer. 
" The niggers has had sceerce nothin to do leetly, as they 
eve cleaned out the fields pretty well." 

At the ferry-house I was attended by one stout young slave, 
who was to row me over. Two flat-bottomed skiffs lay on the 
bank. The negro groped under the shed, and pulled out a 



THE NEGRO FERRYMAN. 267 

piece of wood like a large spatula, some four feet long, and a 
small round pole a little longer. " What are those ?" quoth I. 
" Dem s oars, Massa," was my sable ferryman s brisk reply. 
" I m very sure they are not ; if they were spliced they might 
make an oar between them." " Golly, and dat s the trute, 
Massa." " Then go and get oars, will you ? " While he was 
hunting about we entered the shed at the ferry for shelter 
from the rain. We found " a solitary woman sitting " smok 
ing a pipe by the ashes on the hearth, blear-eyed, low-browed 
and morose young as she was. She never said a word nor 
moved as we came in, sat and smoked, and looked through her 
gummy eyes at chickens about the size of sparrows, and at a 
cat not larger than a rat which ran about on the dirty floor. 
A little girl, some four years of age, not overdressed in 
deed, half-naked, " not to put too fine a point upon it " 
crawled out from under the bed, where she had hid on our 
approach. As she seemed incapable of appreciating the use 
of a small piece of silver presented to her having no pre 
cise ideas in coinage or toffy her parent took the obolus in 
charge, with unmistakable decision ; but still the lady would 
not stir a step to aid our guide, who now insisted on the " key 
ov de oar-house." The little thing sidled off and hunted it out 
from the top of the bedstead, and when it was found, and the 
boat was ready, I was not sorry to quit the company of the 
silent woman in black. The boatman pushed his skiff, in shape 
a snuffer-dish, some ten feet long and a foot deep, into the 
water there was a good deal of rain in it. I got in too, 
and the conscious waters immediately began vigorously spurt 
ing through the cotton wadding wherewith the craft was 
calked. Had we gone out into the stream we should have 
had a swim for it, and they do say that the Mississippi is the 
most dangerous river in the known world, for that healthful 
exercise. " Why ! deuce take you " (I said at least that, in 
my wrath), " don t you see the boat is leaky ? " " See it now 
for true, Massa. Nobody able to tell dat till Massa get in 
though." Another skiff proved to be more stanch. I bade 
good-by to my friend Roman, and sat down in my boat, which 
was forced by the negro against the stream close to the bank, 
in order to get a good start across to the other side. The view 
from my lonely position was curious, but not at all picturesque. 
The world was bounded on both sides by a high bank, which 
constricted the broad river, just as if one were sailing down 
an open sewer of enormous length and breadth. Above the 



MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

bank rose the tops of tall trees and the chimneys of sugar- 
houses, and that was all to be seen save the skj. 

A quarter of an hour brought us to the levee on the other 
side. I ascended the bank, and across the road, directly in 
front appeared a carriage gateway and wickets of wood, paint 
ed white, in ? line of park palings of the same material, which 
extended up and down the road far as the eye could see, and 
guarded wide-spread fields of maize and sugar-cane. An 
avenue lined with trees, with branches close set, drooping and 
overarching a walk paved with red brick, led to the house, the 
porch of which was visible at the extremity of the lawn, with 
clustering flowers, rose, jasmine, and creepers, clinging to the 
pillars supporting the veranda. The view from the belvedere 
on the roof was one of the most striking of its kind in the 
world. 

If an English agriculturist could see six thousand acres of 
the finest land in one field, unbroken by hedge or boundary, 
and covered with the most magnificent crops of tasselling Indian 
corn and sprouting sugar-cane, as level as a billiard-table, he 
would surely doubt his senses. But here is literally such a sight 
six thousand acres, better tilled than the finest patch in all the 
Lothians, green as Meath pastures, which can be turned up for a 
hundred years to come without requiring manure, of depth prac 
tically unlimited, and yielding an average profit on what is sold 
off it of at least 20 an acre, at the old prices and usual yield of 
sugar. Rising up in the midst of the verdure are the white 
lines of the negro cottages and the plantation offices and sugar- 
houses, which look like large public edifices in the distance. 
My host was not ostentatiously proud in telling me that, in the 
year 1857, he had purchased this estate for 300,000 and an 
adjacent property, of 8000 acres, for 150,000, and that he 
had left Belfast in early youth, poor and unfriended, to seek 
his fortune, and indeed scarcely knowing what fortune meant, 
in the New World. In fact, he had invested in these purchases 
the geater part, but not all, of the profits arising from the 
business in New Orleans, which he inherited from his master; 
of which there still remained a solid nucleus in the shape of a 
great woollen magazine and country house. He is not yet 
fifty years of age, and his confidence in the great future of 
sugar induced him to embark this enormous fortune in an 
estate which the blockade has stricken with paralysis. 

I cannot doubt, however, that he regrets he did not invest 
his money in a certain great estate in the North of Ireland, 



A COAST PLANTATION. 269 

which he had nearly decided on buying ; and, had he done 
so, he would now be in the position to which his unaffected 
good sense, modesty, kindliness, and benevolence, always add 
ing the rental, entitle him. Six thousand acres on this one 
estate all covered with sugar-cane, and 16,000 acres more of 
Indian corn, to feed the slaves ; these were great posses 
sions, but not less than 18,000 acres still remained, covered 
with brake and forest and swampy, to be reclaimed and turned 
into gold. As easy to persuade the owner of such wealth 
that slavery is indefensible as to have convinced the Norman 
baron that the Saxon churl who tilled his lands ought to be 
his equal. 

I found Mr. Ward and a few merchants from New Orleans 
in possession of the bachelor s house. The service was per 
formed by slaves, and the order and regularity of the attend 
ants were worthy of a well-regulated English mansion. In 
Southern houses along the coast, as the Mississippi above 
New Orleans is termed, beef and mutton are rarely met with, 
and the more seldom the better. Fish, also, is scarce, but 
turkeys, geese, poultry, and preparations of pig, excellent 
vegetables, and wine of the best quality, render the absence 
of the accustomed dishes little to be regretted. 

The silence which struck me at Governor Roman s is not 
broken at Mr. Burnside s ; and when the last thrill of the 
mocking-bird s song has died out through the grove, a stillness 
of Avernian profundity settles on hut, field, and river. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Negroes Sugar-cane plantations The negro and cheap labor 
Mortality of blacks and whites Irish labor in Louisiana A 
sugar-house Negro children Want of education Negro diet 
Negro hospital Spirits in the morning Breakfast More 
slaves Creole planters. 

June 5th. The smart negro who waited on me this morn 
ing spoke English. I asked him if he knew how to read and 
write. " We must not do that, sir." " Where were you 
born? " "I were raised on the plantation, Massa, but I have 
been to New Orleens ; " and then he added, with an air of 
pride, "I s pose, sir, Massa Burnside not take less than 1500 
dollars for me." Down-stairs to breakfast, the luxuries of 
which are fish, prawns, and red meat which has been sent for 
to Donaldsonville by boat rowed by an old negro. Breakfast 
over, I walked down to the yard, where the horses were wait 
ing, and proceeded to visit the saccharine principality. Mr. 
Seal, the overseer of this portion of the estate, was my guide, 
if not philosopher and friend. Our road lay through a lane 
formed by a cart track, between fields of Indian corn just be 
ginning to flower as it is called technically, to " tassel " 
and sugar-cane. There were stalks of the former twelve or 
fifteen feet in height, with three or four ears each, round which 
the pea twined in leafy masses. The maize affords food to 
the negro, and the husks are eaten by the horses and mules, 
which also fatten on the peas in rolling time. 

The wealth of the land is inexhaustible : all the soil requires 
is an alternation of maize and cane ; and the latter, when cut 
in the stalk, called " ratoons," at the end of the year, produces 
a fresh crop, yielding excellent sugar. The cane is grown 
from stalks which are laid in pits during the winter till the 
ground has been ploughed, when each piece of cane is laid 
longitudinally on the ridge and covered with earth, and from 
each joint of the stalk springs forth a separate sprout when 
the crop begins to grow. At present the sugar-cane is waiting 



SLAVERY AND FIELD LABOR. 271 

for its full development, but the negro labor around its stem 
has ceased. It is planted in long continuous furrows, and 
although the palm-like tops have not yet united in a uniform 
arch over the six feet which separates row from row, the stalks 
are higher than a man. The plantation is pierced with wagon 
roads, for the purpose of conveying the cane to the sugar- 
mills, and these again are intersected by and run parallel with 
drains and ditches, portions of the great system of irrigation 
and drainage, in connection with a canal to carry off the sur 
plus water to a bayou. The extent of these works may be 
estimated by the fact that there are thirty miles of road and 
twenty miles of open deep drainage through the estate, and 
that the main canal is fifteen feet wide, and at present four 
feet deep ; but in the midst of this waste of plenty arid wealth, 
where are the human beings who produce both ? One must 
go far to discover them ; they are buried in sugar and in 
maize, or hidden in negro quarters. In truth, there is no trace 
of them, over all this expanse of land, unless one knows where 
to seek ; no " ploughboy whistles o er the lea ;" no rustic stands 
to do his own work ; but the gang is moved off in silence from 
point to point, like a corps d armee of some despotic emperor 
manoeuvring in the battle-field. 

Admitting everything that can be said, I am the more per 
suaded from what I see, that the real foundation of slavery in 
the Southern States lies in the power of obtaining labor at will 
at a rate which cannot be controlled by any combination of 
the laborers. Granting the heat and the malaria, it is not for 
a moment to be argued that planters could not find white men 
to do their work if they would pay them for the risk. A 
negro, it is true, bears heat well, and can toil under the blaz 
ing sun of Louisiana, in the stifling air between the thick-set 
sugar-canes; but the Irishman who is employed in the stoke 
hole of a steamer is exposed to a higher temperature and 
physical exertion even more arduous. The Irish laborer can, 
however, set a value on his work ; the African slave can only 
determine the amount of work to be got from him by the ex 
haustion of his powers. Again, the indigo planter in India, 
out from morn till night amidst his ryots, or the sportsman 
toiling under the midday sun through swamp and jungle, 
proves that the white man can endure the utmost power of the 
hottest sun in the world as well as the native. More than 
that, the white man seems to be exempt from the inflammatory 
disease, pneumonia, and attacks of the mucous membrane and 



272 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

respiratory organs to which the blacks are subject ; and if the 
statistics of negro mortality were rigidly examined, I doubt 
that they would exhibit as large a proportion of mortality and 
sickness as would be found amongst gangs of white men under 
similar circumstances. But the slave is subjected to rigid con 
trol ; he is deprived of stimulating drinks in which the free 
white laborer would indulge ; and he is obliged to support life 
upon an antiphlogistic diet, which gives him, however, suf 
ficient strength to execute his daily task. 

It is in the supposed cheapness of slave labor and its profit 
able adaptation in the production of Southern crops, that the 
whole gist and essence of the question really lie. The planter 
can get from the labor of a slave for whom he has paid 200, 
a sum of money which will enable him to use up that slave in 
comparatively a few years of his life, whilst he would have to 
pay to the white laborer a sum that would be a great apparent 
diminution of his profits, for the same amount of work. It is 
calculated that each field-hand, as an able-bodied negro is 
called, yields seven hogsheads of sugar a year, which, at the 
rate of fourpence a pound, at an average of a hogshead an 
acre, would produce to the planter 140 for every slave. 
This is wonderful interest on the planter s money ; but he 
sometimes gets two hogsheads an acre, and even as many as 
three hogsheads have been produced in good years on the best 
lands ; in other words, two and a quarter tons of sugar and 
refuse stuff, called " bagasse," have been obtained from an 
acre of cane. Not one planter of the many I have asked 
has ever given an estimate of the annual cost of a slave s 
maintenance ; the idea of calculating it never comes into their 
heads. 

Much depends upon the period at which frost sets in ; and 
f the planters can escape till January without any cold to nip 
he juices and the cane, their crop is increased in value each 
lay ; but it is not till October they can begin to send cane to 
he mill, in average seasons ; and if the frost does not come 
ill December, they may count upon the fair average of a hogs- 
lead of 1200 pounds of sugar to every acre. 

The labor of ditching, trenching, cleaning the waste lands, 
and hewing down the forests, is generally done by Irish 
laborers, who travel about the country under contractors, Gl 
are engaged by resident gangsmen for the task. Mr. Seal 
lamented the high prices of this work ; but then, as he said, 
" It was much better to have Irish to do it, who cost nothing 



PERQUISITES OF SLAVES. 273 

to the planter, if they died, than to use up good field-hands in 
such severe employment." There is a wonderful mine of 
truth in this observation. Heaven knows how many poor Hi 
bernians have been consumed and buried in these Louisianian 
swamps, leaving their earnings to the dramshop-keeper and 
the contractor, and the results of their toil to the planter. 
This estate derives its name from an Indian tribe called 
Houmas; and when Mr. Burnside purchased it for 300,000, 
he received in the first year 63,000 as the clear value of the 
crops on his investment. 

The first place I visited with the overseer was a new sugar- 
house, which negro carpenters and masons were engaged in 
erecting. It would have been amusing, had not the subject 
been so grave, to hear the overseer s praises of the intelligence 
and skill of these workmen, and his boast that they did all the 
work of skilled laborers on the estate, and then to listen to 
him, in a few minutes, expatiating on the utter helplessness 
and ignorance of the black race, their incapacity to do any 
good, or even to take care of themselves. 

There are four sugar-houses on this portion of Mr. Burn- 
side s estate, consisting of grinding-mills, boiling-houses, and 
crystallizing sheds. 

The sugar-house is the capital of the negro quarters, and 
to each of them is attached an enclosure, in which there is a 
double row of single-storied wooden cottages, divided into two 
or four rooms. An avenue of trees runs down the centre of 
the negro street, and behind each hut are rude poultry- 
hutches, which, with geese and turkeys, and a few pigs, form 
the perquisites of the slaves, and the sole source from 
which they derive their acquaintance with currency. Their 
terms are strictly cash. An old negro brought up some ducks 
to Mr. Burnside last night, and offered the lot of six for three 
dollars. " Very well, Louis ; if you come to-morrow, I ll pay 
you." " No, massa ; me want de money now." " But won t 
you give me credit, Louis? Don t you think I ll pay the 
three dollars ? " " Oh, pay some day, massa, sure enough. 
Massa good to pay de tree dollar ; but this nigger want money 
now to buy food and things for him leetle famly. They will 
trust massa at Donaldsville, but they won t trust this nigger." 
I was told that a thrifty negro will sometimes make ten or 
twelve pounds a year from his corn and poultry ; but he can 
have no inducement to hoard ; for whatever is his, as well as 
himself, belongs to his master. 
12* 



274 MY DIARY NOKTH AND SOUTH. 

Mr. Seal conducted me to a kind of forcing-house, where 
the young negroes are kept in charge of certain old crones 
too old for work, whilst their parents are away in the cane 
and Indian corn. A host of children of both sexes were 
seated in the veranda of a large wooden shed, or playing 
around it, very happily and noisily. I was glad to see the 
boys and girls of nine, ten, and eleven years of age were at 
this season, at all events, exempted from the cruel fate which 
befalls poor children of their age in the mining and manu 
facturing districts of England. At the sight of the overseer, 
the little ones came forward in tumultuous glee, babbling out, 
" Massa Seal," and evidently pleased to see him. 

As a jolly agriculturist looks at his yearlings or young 
beeves, the kindly overseer, lolling in his saddle, pointed with 
his whip to the glistening fat ribs and corpulent paunches of 
his woolly -headed flock. " There s not a plantation in the 
State," quoth he, " can show such a lot of young niggers. 
The way to get them right is not to work the mothers too 
hard when they are near their time ; to give them plenty to 
eat, and not to send them to the fields too soon." He told me 
the increase was about five per cent, per annum. The chil 
dren were quite sufficiently clad, ran about round us, patted tho 
horses, felt our legs, tried to climb up on the stirrup, and 
twinkled their black and ochrey eyes at Massa Seal. Some 
were exceedingly fair ; and Mr. Seal, observing that my eye 
followed these, murmured something about the overseers be 
fore Mr. Burnside s time being rather a bad lot. He talked 
about their color and complexion quite openly ; nor did it 
seem to strike him that there was any particular turpitude 
in the white man who had left his offspring as slaves on tha 
plantation. 

A tall, well-built lad of some nine or ten years stood by 
me, looking curiously into my face. "What is your name ?" 
said I. " George," he replied. " Do you know how to read 
or write ? " He evidently did not understand the question. 
" Do you go to church or chapel ? " A dubious shake of the 
head. " Did you ever hear of our Saviour ? " At this point 
Mr. Seal interposed, and said, " I think we had better go on, 
as the sun is getting hot," and so we rode gently through the 
little ones ; and when we had got some distance he said, rather 
apologetically, " We don t think it right to put these things 
into their heads so young, it only disturbs their minds, and 
leads them astray." 



NEGRO HOSPITALS. 275 

Now, in this one quarter there were no less than eighty 
children, some twelve and some even fourteen years of age. 
No education no God their whole life food and play, 
to strengthen their muscles and fit them for the work of a 
slave. And when they die ? " " Well," said Mr. Seal, 
" they are buried in that field there by their own people, and 
some of them have a sort of prayers over them, I believe." 
The overseer, it is certain, had no fastidious notions about 
slavery ; it was to him the right thing in the right place, and 
hb summiim bonum was a high price for sugar, a good crop, 
and a healthy plantation. Nay, I am sure I would not 
wrong him if I said he could see no impropriety in running a 
good cargo of regular black slaves, who might clear the great 
backwood and swampy undergrowth, which was now exhaust 
ing the energies of his field-hands, in the absence of Irish 
navvies. 

Each negro gets five pounds of pork a week, and as much 
Indian corn bread as he can eat, with a portion of molasses, 
and occasionally they have fish for breakfast. All the car 
penters and smiths work, the erection of sheds, repairing of 
carts and ploughs, and the baking of bricks for the farm 
buildings, are done on the estate by the slaves. The ma 
chinery comes from the manufacturing cities of the North ; 
but great efforts are made to procure it from New Orleans, 
where factories have been already established. On the bor 
ders of the forest the negroes are allowed to plant corn for 
their own use, and sometimes they have an overplus, which 
they sell to their masters. Except when there is any harvest 
pressure on their hands, they have from noon on Saturday till 
dawn on Monday morning to do as they please, but they must 
not stir off the plantation on the road, unless with special 
permit, which is rarely granted. 

There is an hospital on the estate, and even shrewd Mr. 
Seal did not perceive the conclusion that was to be drawn 
from his testimony to its excellent arrangements. " Once a 
nigger gets in there, he d like to live there for the rest of his 
life." But are they not the happiest, most contented people 
in the world at any rate, when they are in hospital ? I 
declare that to me the more orderly, methodical, and perfect 
the arrangements for economizing slave labor regulating 
slaves are, the more hateful and odious does slavery be 
come. I would much rather be the animated human chattel 
of a Turk, Egyptian, Spaniard, or French Creole, than the 



276 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

laboring beast of a Yankee or of a New England capital 
ist. 

When I returned back to the house I found my friends en 
joying a quiet siesta, and the rest of the afternoon was de 
voted to idleness, not at all disagreeable with a thermometer 
worthy of Agra. Even the mocking-birds were roasted into 
silence, and the bird which answers to our rook or crow sat 
on the under branches of the trees, gaping for air with his bill 
wide open. It must be hot indeed when the mocking-bird 
loses his activity. There is one, with its nest in a rose-bush 
trailed along the veranda under my window, which now sits over 
its young ones with outspread wings, as if to protect them from 
being baked ; and it is so courageous and affectionate, that 
when I approach quite close, it merely turns round its head, 
dilates its beautiful dark eye, and opens its beak, within which 
the tiny sharp tongue is saying, I am sure, " Don t for good 
ness sake disturb me, for if you force me to leave, the children 
will be burned to death." 

June 6th. My chattel Joe, " adscriptus miJii domino? 
awoke me to a bath of Mississippi water with huge lumps of 
ice in it, to which he recommended a mint-julep as an ad 
junct. It was not here that I was first exposed to an ordeal 
of mint-julep, for in the early morning a stranger in a South 
ern planter s house may expect the offer of a glassful of 
brandy, sugar, and peppermint beneath an island of ice an 
obligatory panacea for all the evils of climate. After it has 
been disposed of, Pornpey may come up again with glass 
number two : " Massa say fever very bad this morning 
much dew." It is possible that the degenerate Anglo-Saxon 
stomach has not the fine tone and temper of that of an Hiber 
nian friend of mine, who considered the finest thing to coun 
teract the effects of a little excess was a tumbler of hot whiskey 
and water the moment the sufferer opened his eyes in the 
morning. Therefore, the kindly offering may be rejected. 
But on one occasion before breakfast the negro brought up 
mint-julep number three, the acceptance of which he enforced 
by the emphatic declaration, " Massa says, sir, you had better 
take this, because it ll be the last he make before breakfast." 

Breakfast is served : there is on the table a profusion of 
dishes grilled fowl, prawns, eggs and ham, fish from New 
Orleans, potted salmon from England, preserved meats from 
France, claret, iced water, coffee and tea, varieties of hominy, 
mush, and African vegetable preparations. Then come the 



A NEGRO S EARLY REMINISCENCES. 277 

newspapers, which are perused eagerly with ejaculations, " Do 
you hear what they are doing now infernal villains ! that 
Lincoln must be mad ! " and the like. At one o clock, in 
spite of the sun, I rode out with Mr. Lee, along the road by 
the Mississippi, to Mr. Burnside s plantation, called Orange 
Grove, from a few trees which still remain in front of the 
overseer s house. We visited an old negro, called " Boat 
swain," who lives with his old wife in a wooden hut close by 
the margin of the Mississippi. His business is to go to Don 
aldson ville for letters, or meat, or ice for the house a tough 
row for the withered old man. He is an African born, and 
he just remembers being carried on board ship and taken to 
some big city before he came upon the plantation. 

" Do you remember nothing of the country you came from, 
Boatswain?" "Yes, sir. Jist remember trees and sweet 
things my mother gave me, and much hot sand I put my 
feet in, and big leaves that we play with all us little chil 
dren and plenty to eat, and big birds and shells." " Would 
you like to go back, Boatswain ? " " What for, sir ? no one 
know old Boatswain there. My old missus Sally inside." 
" Are you quite happy, Boatswain ? " " I m getting very old, 
massa. Massa Burnside very good to Boatswain, but who 
care for such dam old nigger ? Golla Mighty *ave me four 
teen children, but he took them all away again from Sally 
and me. No budy care much for dam old nigger like me." 

Further on Mr. Seal salutes us from the veranda of his 
house, but we are bound for overseer Gibbs, who meets us, 
mounted, by the roadside a man grim in beard and eye, 
and silent withal, with a big whip in his hand and a large 
knife stuck in his belt. He leads us through a magnificent 
area of cane and maize, the latter towering far above our 
heads ; but I was most anxious to see the forest primeval 
which borders the clear land at the back of the estate, and 
spreads away over alligator-haunted swamps into distant 
bayous. It was not, however, possible to gratify one s cu 
riosity very extensively beyond the borders of the cleared 
land, for rising round the roots of the cypress, swamp-pine, 
and live-oak, there was a barrier of undergrowth and bush 
twined round the cane-brake which stands some sixteen feet 
high, so stiff that the united force of man and horse could 
not make way against the rigid fibres ; and indeed, as Mr. 
Gibbs told us, " When the niggers take to the cane-brake they 
can beat man or dog, and nothing beats them but snakes and 
starvation." 



278 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

He pointed out some sheds around which were broken bot 
tles where the last Irish gang had been working, under one 
"John Loghlin," of Donaldsonville, a great contractor, who, 
he says, made plenty of money out of his countrymen, whose 
bones are lying up and down the Mississippi. " They due 
work like fire," he said. " Loghlin does not give them half 
the rations we give our negroes, but he can always manage 
them with whiskey ; and when he wants them to do a job he 
gives them plenty of forty-rod, and they have their fight 
out reglar free fight, I can tell you, while it lasts. Next 
morning they will sign anything and go anywhere with him." 

On the Orange Grove Plantation, although the crops were 
so fine, the negroes unquestionably seemed less comfortable 
than those in the quarters of Houmas, separated from them 
by a mere nominal division. Then, again, there were more 
children with fair complexions to be seen peeping out of the 
huts ; some of these were attributed to the former overseer, 
one Johnson by name, but Mr. Gibbs, as if to vindicate his 
memory, told me confidentially he had paid a large sum of 
money to the former proprietor of the estate for one of his 
children, and had carried it away with him when he left. 
" You could not expect him, you know," said Gibbs, " to buy 
them all at ftie prices that were then going in 56. All the 
children on the estate," added he, " are healthy, and I can 
show my lot against Seal s over there, though I hear tell he 
had a great show of them out to you yesterday." 

The bank of the river below the large plantation was occu 
pied by a set of small Creole planters, whose poor houses were 
close together, indicating very limited farms, which had been 
subdivided from time to time, according to the French fashion ; 
so that the owners have at last approached pauperism ; but 
they are tenacious of their rights, and will not yield to the 
tempting price offered by the large planters. They cling to 
the soil without enterprise and without care. The Spanish 
settlers along the river are open to the same reproach, and 
prefer their own ease to the extension of their race in other 
lands, or to the aggrandizement of their posterity; and an 
Epicurean would aver, they were truer philosophers than the 
restless creatures who wear out their lives in toil and labor to 
found empires for the future. 

It is among these men that, at times, slavery assumes its 
harshest aspect, and that the negroes are exposed to the 
severest labor ; but it is also true that the slaves have closer 



FRENCH CREOLES. 279 

relations with the families of their owners, and live in more 
intimate connection with them than they do under the strict 
police of the large plantations. These people sometimes get 
forty bushels of corn to the acre, and a hogshead and a half 
of sugar. We saw their children going to school, whilst the 
heads of the houses sat in the veranda smoking, and their 
mothers were busy with household duties ; and the signs of 
life, the voices of women and children, and the activity vis 
ible on the little farms, contrasted not unpleasantly with the 
desert-like stillness of the larger settlements. Rode back in 
a thunder-storm. 

At dinner in the evening Mr. Burnside entertained a num 
ber of planters in the neighborhood, M. Bringier, M. 
Coulon (French Creoles), Mr. Duncan Kenner, a medical 
gentleman named Cotmann, and others; the last-named 
gentleman is an Unionist, and does not hesitate to defend his 
opinions; but he has, during a visit to Russia, formed high 
ideas of the necessity and virtues of an absolute and central 
ized government. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

War-rumors, and military movements Governor Manning s slave 
plantations Fortunes made by slave-labor Frogs for the table 
The forest Cotton and sugar A thunder-storm. 

June 1th. The Confederate issue of ten millions sterling, 
in bonds payable in twenty years is not sufficient to meet the 
demands of Government ; and the four millions of small Treas 
ury notes, without interest, issued by Congress, are being rap 
idly absorbed. Whilst the Richmond papers demand an 
immediate movement on Washington, the journals of New 
York are clamoring for an advance upon Richmond. The 
planters are called upon to accept the Confederate bonds in 
payment of the cotton to be contributed by the States. 

Extraordinary delusions prevail on both sides. The North 
believe that battalions of scalping Indian savages are actually 
stationed at Harper s Ferry. One of the most important 
movements has been made by Major-General McClellan, who 
has marched a force into Western Virginia from Cincinnati, 
has occupied a portion of the line of the Baltimore and Ohio 
railway, which was threatened with destruction by the Seces 
sionists ; and has already advanced as far as Grafton. Gen. 
McDowell has been appointed to the command of the Federal 
forces in Virginia. Every day regiments are pouring down 
from the North to Washington. General Butler, who is in 
command at Fortress Monroe, has determined to employ ne 
gro fugitives, whom he has called " Contrabands/ in the works 
about the fort, feeding them, and charging the cost of their 
keep against the worth of their services ; and Mr. Cameron, 
the Secretary of War, has ordered him to refrain from sur 
rendering such slaves to their masters, whilst he is to permit 
no interference by his soldiers with the relations of persons 
held to service under the laws of the States in which they 
are in. 

Mr. Jefferson Davis has arrived at Richmond. At sea the 
Federal steamers have captured a number of Southern ves- 



MONSIEUR CRAPAUD. 281 

sels ; and some small retaliations Lave been made by the 
Confederate privateers. The largest mass of the Confederate 
troops have assembled at a place called Manassas Junction, 
on the railway from Western Virginia to Alexandria. 

The Northern papers are filled with an account of a battle 
at Philippi, and a great victory, in which no less than two of 
their men were wounded and two were reported missing as 
the whole casualties ; but Napoleon scarcely expended so 
much ink over Austerlitz as is absorbed on this glory in the 
sensation headings of the New York papers. 

After breakfast I accompanied a party of Mr. Burnside s 
friends to visit the plantations of Governor Manning, close at 
hand. One plantation is as like another as two peas. We 
had the same paths through tasselling corn, high above our 
heads, or through wastes of rising sugar-cane ; but the slave 
quarters on Governor Manning s were larger, better built, 
and more comfortable-looking than any I have seen. 

Mr. Bateman, the overseer, a dour strong man, with specta 
cles on nose, and a quid in his cheek, led us over the ground. 
As he saw my eye resting on a large knife in a leather case 
stuck in his belt, he thought it necessary to say, " I keep this 
to cut my way through the cane-brakes about ; they are so 
plaguey thick." 

All the surface water upon the estate is carried into a large 
open drain, with a reservoir in which the fans of a large wheel, 
driven by steam-power, are worked so as to throw the water 
over to a cut below the level of the plantation, which carries it 
into a bayou connected with the lower Mississippi. 

Jn this drain one of my companions saw a prodigious frog, 
about the size of a tortoise, on which he pounced with alacrity ; 
and on carrying his prize to land he was much congratulated 
by liis friend. " What on earth will you do with the horrid 
reptile ? " " Do with it ! why, eat it to be sure." And it is 
actually true, that on our return the monster " crapaud " was 
handed over to the old cook, and presently appeared on the 
breakfast-table, looking very like an uncommonly fine spatch 
cock, and was partaken of with enthusiasm by all the com 
pany. 

From the draining-wheel we proceeded to visit the forest, 
where negroes were engaged in clearing the trees, turning up 
the soil between the stumps, which marked where the mighty 
sycamore, live oak, gum-trees, and pines had lately shaded the 
rich earth. In some places the Indian corn was already wav- 



282 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

ing its head and tassels above the black gnarled roots ; in other 
spots the trees, girdled by the axe, but not yet down, rose up 
from thick crops of maize ; and still deeper in the wood 
negroes were guiding the ploughs, dragged with pain and dif 
ficulty by mules, three abreast, through the tangled roots and 
rigid earth, which will next year be fit for sowing. There 
were one hundred and twenty negroes at work ; and these, 
with an adequate number of mules, will clear four hundred 
and fifty acres of land this year. " But it s death on niggers 
and mules," said Mr. Bateman. " We generally do it witli 
Irish, as well as the hedging and ditching ; but we can t gei 
them now, as they are all off to the wars." 

Although the profits of sugar are large, the cost of erecting 
the machinery, the consumption of wood in the boiler, and the 
scientific apparatus, demand a far larger capital than is re 
quired by the cotton planter, who, when he has got land, may 
procure negroes on credit, and only requires food and clothing 
till he can realize the proceeds of their labor, and make a cer 
tain fortune. Cotton will keep where sugar spoils. The 
prices are far more variable in the latter, although it has a 
protective tariff of twenty per cent. 

The whole of the half million of hogsheads of the sugar 
grown in the South is consumed in the United States, whereas 
most of the cotton is sent abroad ; but in the event of a block 
ade the South can use its sugar ad nauseam, whilst the cotton 
is all but useless in consequence of the want of manufacturers 
in the South. 

When I got back, Mr. Burnside was seated in his veranda, 
gazing with anxiety, but not with apprehension, on the march 
ing columns of black clouds, which were lighted up from time 
to time by heavy flashes, and shaken by rolls of thunder. 
Day after day the planters have been looking for rain, tapping 
glasses, scrutinizing aneroids, consulting negro weather proph 
ets, and now and then their expectations were excited by 
clouds moving down the river, only to be disappointed by their 
departure into space, or, worse than all, their favoring more 
distant plantations with a shower that brought gold to many a 
coffer. "Did you ever see such luck? Kenner has got it 
again ! That s the third shower Bringier has had in the last 
two days." 

But it was now the turn of all our friends to envy us a 
tremendous thunder-storm, with a heavy, even downfall of 
rain, which was sucked up by the thirsty earth almost as fast 



PRAYING FOR RAIN. 283 

as it fell, and filled the lusty young corn with growing pains, 
imparting such vigor to the cane that we literally saw it 
sprouting up, and could mark the increase in height of the 
stems from hour to hour. 

My good host is rather uneasy about his prospects this 
year, owing to the war ; and no wonder. He reckoned on an 
income of 100,000 for his sugar alone; but if he cannot 
send it North it is impossible to estimate the diminution of 
his profits. I fancy, indeed, he more and more regrets that 
he embarked his capital in these great sugar-swamps, and that 
he would gladly now invest it at a loss in the old country, of 
which he is yet a subject ; for he has never been naturalized 
in the United States. Nevertheless, he rejoices in the finest 
clarets, and in wines of fabulous price, which are tended by 
an old white-headed negro, who takes as much care of the 
fluid as if he was accustomed to drink it every day. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Visit to Mr. M f Call s plantation Irish and Spaniards The planter 

A Southern sporting man The Creoles Leave Houmas 
Donaldsonville Description of the City Baton Rouge 
Steamer to Natchez Southern feeling ; faith in Jefferson Davis 

Rise and progress of prosperity for the planters Ultimate 
issue of the war to both North and South. 

June Sth. According to promise, the inmates of Mr. 
Burnside s house proceeded to pay a visit to-day to the plan 
tation of Mr. M Call, who lives at the other side of the river 
some ten or twelve miles away. Still the same noiseless plan 
tations, the same oppressive stillness, broken only by the toll 
ing of the bell which summons the slaves to labor, or marks 
the brief periods of its respite ! Whilst waiting for the ferry 
boat, we visited Dr. Cotmann, who lives in a snug house near 
the levee, for, hurried as we were, twould nevertheless have 
been a gross breach of etiquette to have passed his doors ; 
and I was not sorry for the opportunity of making the ac 
quaintance of a lady so amiable as his wife, and of seeing a 
face with tender, pensive eyes, serene brow, and lovely con 
tour, such as Guido or Greuse would have immortalized, and 
which Miss Cotmann, in the seclusion of that little villa on 
the banks of the Mississippi, scarcely seemed to know, would 
have made her a beauty in any capital in Europe. 
t The Doctor is allowed to rave on about his Union propen 
sities and political power, as Mr. Petigru is permitted to in 
dulge in similar vagaries in Charleston, simply because he is 
supposed to be helpless. There is, however, at the bottom of 
the Doctor s opposition to the prevailing political opinion of 
the neighborhood, a jealousy of acres and slaves, and a senti 
ment of animosity to the great seigneurs and slave-owners, 
which actuate him without his being aware of their influence. 
After a halt of an hour in his house, we crossed in the ferry 
to Donaldsonville, where, whilst we were waiting for the car 
riages, we heard a dialogue between some drunken Irishmen 



SPANISH AND IRISH VOLUNTEERS. 285 

and some still more inebriated Spaniards in front of the public- 
house at hand. The Irishmen were going off to the wars, and 
were endeavoring in vain to arouse the foreign gentlemen to 
similar enthusiasm ; but, as the latter were resolutely sitting 
in the gutter, it became necessary to exert eloquence and force 
to get them on their legs to march to the head-quarters of the 
Donaldsonville Chasseurs. " For the love of the Virgin and 
your own sowl s sake, Fernandey, get up and cum along wid 
us to fight the Yankees." " Josey, are you going to let, us be 
murdered by a set of damned Protestins and rascally nig 
gers?" " Gorney, my darling, get up; it s eleven dollars a 
month, and food and everything found. The boys will mind 
the fishing for you, and we ll come back as rich as Jews." 

What success attended their appeals I cannot tell, for the 
carriages came round, and, having crossed a great bayou 
which runs down into an arm of the Mississippi near the sea, 
we proceeded on our way to Mr. M Call s plantation, which 
we reached just as the sun was sinking into the clouds of an 
other thunder-storm. 

The more one sees of a planter s life the greater is the con 
viction that its charms come from a particular turn of mind, 
which is separated by a wide interval from modern ideas in 
Europe. The planter is a denomadized Arab; he has fixed 
himself with horses and slaves in a fertile spot, where he 
guards his women with Oriental care, exercises patriarchal 
sway, and is at once fierce, tender, and hospitable. The inner 
life of his household is exceedingly charming, because one is 
astonished to find the graces and accomplishments of woman 
hood displayed in a scene which has a certain sort of savage 
rudeness about it after all, and where all kinds of incongruous 
accidents are visible in the service of the table, in the furni 
ture of the house, in its decorations, menials, and surrounding 
scenery. 

It was late in the evening when the party returned to 
Donaldsonville ; and when we arrived at the other side of the 
bayou there were no carriages, so that we had to walk on foot 
to the wharf where Mr. Burnside s boats were supposed to be 
waiting the negro ferry-man having long since retired to 
rest. Under any circumstances a march on foot through an 
unknown track covered with blocks of timber and other im 
pedimenta which represented the road to the ferry, could not 
be agreeable ; but the recent rains had converted the ground 
into a sea of mud filled with holes, with islands of planks and 



286 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

beams of timber, lighted only by the stars and then this in 
dress trousers and light boots ! 

We plunged, struggled, and splashed till we reached the 
levee, where boats there were none ; and so Mr. Burnside 
shouted up and down the river, so did Mr. Lee, and so did 
Mr. Ward and all the others, whilst I sat on a log affecting 
philosophy and indifference, in spite of tortures from mosqui 
toes innumerable, and severe bites from insects unknown. 

The city and river were buried in darkness ; the rush of the 
stream which is sixty feet deep near the banks, was all that 
struck upon the ear in the intervals of the cries, " Boat ahoy ! " 
" Ho ! Batelier ! " and sundry ejaculations of a less regular 
and decent form. At length a boat did glide out of the dark 
ness, and the man who rowed it stated he had been waiting all 
the time up the bayou, till by mere accident he came down to 
the jetty, having given us up for the night. In about half an 
hour we were across the river, and had per force another in 
terview with Dr. Cotmann, who regaled us with his best in 
story and in wine till the carriages were ready, and we drove 
back to Mr. Burnside s, only meeting on the way two mount 
ed horsemen with jingling arms, who were, we were told, the 
night patrol ; of their duties I could, however, obtain no 
very definite account. 

June 9th. A thunder-storm, which lasted all the morning 
and afternoon till three o clock. When it cleared I drove, in 
company with Mr. Burnside and his friends, to dinner with 
Mr. Duncan Kenner, who lives some ten or twelve miles 
above Houmas. He is one of the sporting men of the South, 
well known on the Charleston race-course, and keeps a large 
stable of racehorses and brood mares, under the management 
of an Englishman. The jocks were negro lads ; and when 
we arrived, about half a dozen of them were giving the colts 
a run in the paddock. The calveless legs and hollow thighs 
of the negro adapt him admirably for the pigskin ; and these 
little fellows sat their horses so well, one might have thought, 
till the turn in the course displayed their black faces and grin 
ning mouths, he was looking at a set of John Scott s young 
gentlemen out training. 

The Carolinians are true sportsmen, and in the South the 
Charleston races create almost as much sensation as our Derby 
at home. One of the guests at Mr. Kenner s knew all about 
the winners of Epsom Oaks, and Ascot, and took delight in 
showing his knowledge of the " Racing Calendar." 



DONALDSONVILLE. 287 

It is observable, however, that the Creoles do not exhibit 
any great enthusiasm for horse-racing, but that they apply 
themselves rather to cultivate their plantations and to domestic 
duties ; and it is even remarkable that they do not stand prom 
inently forward in the State Legislature, or aspire to high 
political influence and position, although their numbers and 
wealth would fairly entitle them to both. The population of 
small settlers, scarcely removed from pauperism, along the river 
banks, is courted by men who obtain larger political influence 
than the great land-owners, as the latter consider it beneath 
them to have recourse to the arts of the demagogue. 

June 10^. At last venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus. 
I had seen as much as might be of the best phase of the great 
institution less than I could desire of a most exemplary, 
kind-hearted, clear-headed, honest man. In the calm of a 
glorious summer evening we crossed the Father of Waters, 
waving an adieu to the good friend who stood on the shore, 
and turning our backs to the home we had left behind us. It 
was dark when the boat reached Donaldsonville on the oppo 
site " coast." 

I should not be surprised to hear that the founder of this 
remarkable city, which once contained the archives of the 
State, now transferred to Baton Rouge, was a North Briton. 
There is a simplicity and economy in the plan of the place 
not unfavorable to that view, but the motives which induced 
Donaldson to found his Rome on the west of Bayou La 
Fourche from the Mississippi must be a secret to all time. 
Much must the worthy Scot have been perplexed by his 
neighbors, a long-reaching colony of Spanish Creoles, who toil 
not and spin nothing but flshing-nets, and who live better than 
Solomon, and are probably as well-dressed, minus the bar 
baric pearl and gold of the Hebrew potentate. Take the 
odd, little, retiring, modest houses which grow in the hollows 
of Scarborough, add to them the least imposing mansions in 
the town of Folkstone, cast these broadsown over the surface 
of the Essex marshes, plant a few trees in front of them, then 
open a few cafes billard of the camp sort along the main 
street, and you have done a very good Donaldsonville. 

A policeman welcomes us on the landing, and does the 
honors of the market, which has a beggarly account of 
empty benches, a Texan bull done into beef, and a coffee- 
shop. The policeman is a tall, lean, west-countryman ; his 
story is simple, and he has it to tell. He was one of Dan 



288 MY DIARY KORTH AND SOUTH. 

Rice s company a travelling Astley. He came to Donald- 
sonville, saw, and was conquered by one of the Spanish 
beauties, married her, became tavern-keeper, failed, learned 
French, and is now constable of the parish. There was, 
however, a weight on his mind. He had studied the matter 
profoundly, but he was not near the bottom. How did the 
friends, relatives, and tribe of his wife live ? No one could 
say. They reared chickens, and they caught fish ; when there 
was a pressure on the planters, they turned out to work for 
Qs. Qd. a-day, but those were rare occasions. The policeman 
had become quite gray with excogitating the matter, and he 
had " nary notion how they did it. 

Donaldson ville has done one fine thing. It has furnished 
two companies of soldiers all Irishmen to the wars, and 
the third is in the course of formation. Not much hedging, 
ditching, or hard work these times for Paddy ! The black 
smith, a huge tower of muscle, claims exemption on the 
ground that " the divil a bit of him comes from Oireland : 
he nivir hird af it, ban-in from the buks he rid," and is 
doing his best to remain behind, but popular opinion is 
against him. 

As the steamer could not be up from New Orleans till 
dawn, it was a relief to saunter through Donaldsonville to see 
society, which consisted of several gentlemen and various Jews 
playing games unknown to Hoyle, in oaken bar-rooms flanked 
by billiard tables. Dr. Cotrnann, who had crossed the river 
to see patients suffering from an attack of euchre, took us 
round to a little club, where I was introduced to a number 
of gentlemen, who expressed great pleasure at seeing me, 
shook hands violently, and walked away ; and, finally, melted 
off into a cloud of mosquitoes by the river-bank, into a box 
prepared for them, which was called a bedroom. 

These rooms were built of timber on the stage close by the 
river. " Why can t I have one of these rooms ? " asked I, 
pointing to a larger mosquito box. " It is engaged by ladies." 
" How do you know ?" " Parceque dies out envoye leur butin" 
It was delicious to meet the French "plunder" lor baggage 
the old phrase, so nicely rendered in the mouth of the Mis 
sissippi boatman. 

Having passed a night of discomfiture with the winged 
demons of my box, I was aroused by_ the booming of the 
steam drum of the boat, dipped my head in water among 
drowned mosquitoes, and went forth upon the landing. The 



WHISKEY IN DANGER. 289 

policeman had just arrived. His eagle eye lighted upon a 
large flat moored alongside, on the stern of which was in 
scribed in chalk, " Pork, corn, butter, beef," &c. Several 
" spry " citizens were also on the platform. After salutations 
and compliments, policeman speaks " When did she come 
in ? " (meaning flat.) First citizen " In the night, I 
guess." Second citizen " There s a lot of whiskey aboord, 
too." Policeman (with pleased surprise) " Yeu never 
mean it ? " First citizen " Yes, sir ; one hundred and 
twenty gallons ! " Policeman (inspired by patriotism) 
" It s a west-country boat ; why dont the citizens seize it ? 
And whiskey rising from 17c. to 35c. a gallon ! " Citizens 
murmur approval, and I feel the whiskey part of the cargo 
is not safe. " Yes, sir," says citizen three, " they seize all our 
property at Cairey (Cairo), and I m making an example of 
this cargo." 

Further reasons for the seizure were adduced, and it is 
probable they were as strong as the whiskey, which has, no 
no doubt, been drunk long ago on the very purest principles. 
In course of conversation with the committee of taste which 
had assembled, it was revealed to me that there was a strict 
watch kept over those boats which are freighted with whiskey 
forbidden to the slaves, and with principles, when they come 
from the west country, equally objectionable. " Did you hear, 
sir, of the chap over at Duncan Kenner s, as was caught the 
other day ? " " No, sir ; what was it ? " " Well, sir, he was 
a man that came here and went over among the niggers at 
Kenner s to buy their chickens from them. He was took up, 
and they found he d a lot of money about him." " Well, of 
course, he had money to buy the chickens." " Yes, sir, but 
it looked suspeec-ious. He was a west-country fellow, tew, 
and he might have been tamperin with em. Lucky for him 
he was not taken in the arternoon." "Why so?" "Be 
cause, if the citizens had been drunk, they d have hung him 
on the spot." 

The Acadia was now along-side, and in the early morning 
Donaldsonville receded rapidly into trees and clouds. To bed, 
and make amends for mosquito visits, and after a long sleep 
look out again on the scene. It is difficult to believe that we 
have been going eleven miles an hour against the turbid river, 
which is of the same appearance as it was below the same 
banks, bends, driftwood, and trees. Large timber rafts, nav 
igated by a couple of men, who stood in the shade of a few 
13 



290 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

upright boards, were encountered at long intervals. White 
egrets and blue herons rose from the marshes. At every 
landing the whites who came down were in some sort of uni 
form. There were two blacks placed on board at one of the 
landings in irons captured runaways and very miserable 
they looked at the thought of being restored to the bosom of 
the patriarchal family from which they had, no doubt, so 
prodigally eloped. I fear the fatted calf-skin would be ap 
plied to their backs. 

June \\th. Before noon the steamer hauled along-side a 
stationary hulk at Baton Rouge, which once " walked the 
waters" by the aid of machinery, but which was now used as 
a floating hotel, depot, and storehouse 315 feet long, and 
fully thirty feet on the upper deck above the level of the 
river. The Acadia stopped, and I disembarked. Here were 
my quarters till the boat for Natchez should arrive. The 
proprietor of the floating hotel was somewhat excited be 
cause one of his servants was away. The man presently 

came in sight. " Where have you been you ? " " Away 

to buy de newspaper, Massa." " For who, you ?" " Me 

buy em for no one, Massa ; me sell nm agin, Massa." " See 

now, you , if ever you goes aboard them steamers to 

meddle with newspapers, I m but I ll kill you, mind 

that ! " 

Baton Rouge is the capital of the State of Louisiana, and 
the State House thereof is a very quaint and very new exam 
ple of bad taste. The Deaf and Dumb Asylum near it is in 
a much better style. It was my intention to have visited the 
State Prison and Penitentiary, but the day was too hot, and 
the distance too great, and so I dined at the oddest little cre- 
ole restaurant, with the funniest old hostess, and the strangest 
company in the world. 

On returning to the boat hotel, Mr. Conrad, one of the cit 
izens of the place, and Mr. W. Avery, a judge of the district 
court, were good enough to call and to invite me to remain 
some time, but I was obliged to decline. These gentlemen 
were members of the home guard, and drilled assiduously 
every evening. Of the 1300 voters at Baton Rouge, more 
than 750 are already off to the wars, and another company 
is being formed to follow them. Mr. Conrad has three sons 
in the field, and another is anxious to follow, and he and his 
friend, Mr. Avery, are quite ready to die for the disunion. 
The waiter who served out drinks in the bar wore a uniform, 



NATCHEZ PLANTERS. 291 

and his musket lay in the corner among the brandy bottles. 
At night a patriotic meeting of citizen soldiery took place in 
the bow, with which song and whiskey had much to do, so 
that sleep was difficult. 

Precisely at seven o clock on Wednesday morning the Mary 
T. came alongside, and soon afterward bore me on to Natchez, 
through scenery which became wilder and less cultivated as 
she got upwards. Of the 1500 steamers on the river, not a 
tithe are now in employment, and the owners of these profit 
able flotillas are " in a bad way." It was late at night when 
the steamer arrived at Natchez, and next morning early I 
took shelter in another engineless steamer beside the bank of 
the river at Natchez-under-the-hill, which was thought to be 
a hotel by its owners. 

In the morning I asked for breakfast. " There is nothing 
for breakfast ; go to Curry s on shore." Walk up hill to 
Curry s a bar-room occupied by a waiter and flies. " Can 
I have any breakfast ? " " No, sir-ree ; it s over half-an-hour 
ago." "Nothing to eat at all?" "No, sir." "Can I get 
some anywhere else ? " "I guess not." It had been my be 
lief that a man with money in his pocket could not starve 
in any country soi-disant civilized. I chewed the cud of 
fancy faute de mieux, and became the centre of attraction to 
citizens, from whose conversation I learned that this was 
"Jeff. Davis s fast-day." Observed one, " It quite puts me in 
mind of Sunday ; all the stores closed." Said another, 
" We ll soon have Sunday every day, then, for I spect it 
won t be worth while for most shops to keep open any 
longer." Natchez, a place of much trade and cotton export 
in the season, is now as dull let us say, as Harwich without 
a regatta. But it is ultra-secessionist, nil obstante. 

My hunger was assuaged by Mr. Marshall, who drove me 
to his comfortable mansion through a country like the wooded 
parts of Sussex, abounding in fine trees, and in the only lawns 
and park-like fields I have yet seen in America. 

After dinner, my host took me out to visit a wealthy plant 
er, who has raised and armed a cavalry corps at his own 
expense. We were obliged to get out of the carriage at 
a narrow lane and walk toward the encampment on foot in the 
dark ; a sentry stopped us, and we observed that there was a 
semblance of military method in the camp. The captain was 
walking up and down in the veranda of the poor hut, for 
which he had abandoned his home. A book of tactics Har- 



292 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

dee s lay on the table of his little room. Our friend was 
full of fight, and said he would give all he had in the world to 
the cause. But the day before, and a party of horse, com 
posed of sixty gentlemen in the district, worth from 20,000 
to 50,000 each, had started for the war in Virginia. Every 
thing to be seen or heard testifies to the great zeal and resolu 
tion with which the South have entered upon the quarrel. 
But they hold the power of the United States, and the loyalty 
of the North to the Union at far too cheap a rate. 

Next day was passed in a delightful drive through cotton 
fields, Indian corn, and undulating woodlands, amid which were 
some charming residences. I crossed the river at Natchez, 
and saw one fine plantation, in which the corn, however, was 
by no means so good as the crops I have seen on the coast. 
The cotton looks well, and some had already burst into flower 
bloom, as it is called which has turned to a flagrant pink, 
and seems saucily conscious that its boll will play an important 
part in the world. 

The inhabitants of the tracts on the banks of the Missis 
sippi, and on the inland regions hereabout, ought to be, in the 
natural order of things, a people almost nomadic, living by 
the chase, and by a sparse agriculture, in the freedom which 
tempted their ancestors to leave Europe. But the Old World 
has been working for them. All its trials have been theirs ; 
the fruits of its experience, its labors, its research, its discov 
eries, are theirs. Steam has enabled them to turn their rivers 
into highways, to open primeval forests to the light of day and 
to man. All these, however, would have availed them little 
had not the demands of manufacture abroad, and the increas 
ing luxury and population of the North and West at home, 
enabled them to find in these swamps and uplands sources of 
wealth richer and more certain than all the gold mines of the 
world. 

There must be gnomes to work those mines. Slavery was 
an institution ready to their hands. In its development there 
lay every material means for securing the prosperity which 
Manchester opened to them, and in supplying their own coun 
trymen with sugar. The small, struggling, deeply-mortgaged 
proprietors of swamp and forest set their negroes to work to 
raise levees, to cut down trees, to plant and sow. Cotton at 
ten cents a pound gave a nugget in every boll. Land could 
be had for a few dollars an acre. Negroes were cheap in pro 
portion. Men who made a few thousand dollars invested them 



DANGERS OF THE FUTURE. 293 

in more negroes, and more land, and borrowed as much again 
for the same purpose. They waxed fat and rich there 
seemed no bounds to their fortune. 

But threatening voices came from the North the echoes 
of the sentiments of the civilized world repenting of its evil 
pierced their ears, and they found their feet were of clay, and 
that they were nodding to their fall in the midst of their 
power. Ruin inevitable awaited them if they did not shut out 
these sounds and stop the fatal utterances. 

The issue is to them one of life and death. Whoever raises 
it hereafter, if it be not decided now, must expect to meet the 
deadly animosity which is now displayed towards the North. 
The success of the South if they can succeed must lead 
to complications and results in other parts of the world, for 
which neither they nor Europe are prepared. Of one thing 
there can be no doubt a slave state cannot long exist without 
a slave trade. The poor whites who have won the fight will 
demand their share of the spoils. The land for tilth is abund 
ant, and all that is wanted to give them fortunes is a supply of 
slaves. They will have that in spite of their masters, unless 
a stronger power than the Slave States prevents the accom 
plishment of their wishes. 

The gentleman in whose house I was stopping was not in 
sensible to the dangers of the future, and would, I think, like 
many others, not at all regret to find himself and property safe 
in England. His father, the very day of our arrival, had pro 
ceeded to Canada with his daughters, but the Confederate 
authorities are now determined to confiscate all property be 
longing to persons who endeavor to evade the responsibilities 
of patriotism. In such matters the pressure of the majority is 
irresistible, and a sort of mob law supplants any remissness on 
the part of the authorities. In the South, where the deeds of 
the land of cypress and myrtle are exaggerated by passion, 
this power will be exercised very rigorously. The very lan 
guage of the people is full of the excesses generally accepted 
as types of Americanism. Turning over a newspaper this 
morning, I came upon a " card" as it is called, signed by one 
" Mr. Bonner," relating to a dispute between himself and an 
Assistant-Quarter-Master-General, about the carriage of some 
wood at Mobile, which concludes with the sentence that I 
transcribe, as an evidence of the style which is tolerated, if 
not admired, down South : 



294 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

" If such a Shylock-hearted, caitiff scoundrel does exist, 
give me the evidence, and I will drag him before the bar of 
public opinion, and consign him to an infamy so deep and 
damnable that the hand of the Resurrection will never reach 
him." 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Down the Mississippi Hotel at Vicksburg Dinner Public meet 
ing News of the progress of the war Slavery and England 
Jackson Governor Pettus Insecurity of life Strong 
Southern enthusiasm Troops bound for the North Approach 
to Memphis Slaves for sale Memphis General Pillow. 

Friday, June 14^. Last night with my good host from 
liis plantation to the great two-storied steamer General Quit- 
man, at Natchez. She was crowded with planters, soldiers 
and their families, and as the lights shone out of her windows, 
looked like a walled castle blazing from double lines of em 
brasures. 

The Mississippi is assuredly the most uninteresting river in 
the world, and I can only describe it hereabout by referring 
to the account of its appearance which I have already given 
not a particle of romance, in spite of oratorical patriots and 
prophets, can ever shine from its depths, sacred to cat and 
buffalo fish, or vivify its turbid waters. 

Before noon we were in sight of Vicksburg, which is sit 
uated on a high bank or bluff on the left bank of the river, 
about 400 miles above New Orleans and some 120 miles from 
Natchez. 

Mr. MacMeekan, the proprietor of the " Washington," de 
clares himself to have been the pioneer of hotels in the far 
west ; but he has now built himself this huge caravansary, 
and rests from his wanderings. We entered the dining saloon, 
and found the tables closely packed with a numerous company 
of every condition in life, from generals and planters down to 
soldiers in the uniform of privates. At the end of the room 
there was a long table on which the joints and dishes were 
brought hot from the kitchen to be carved by the negro 
waiters, male and female, and as each was brought in the 
proprietor, standing in the centre of the room, shouted out 
with a loud voice, " Now, then, here is a splendid goose ! 
ladies and gentlemen, don t neglect the goose and apple-sauce ! 



296 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Here s a piece of beef that /can recommend! upon my honor 
you will never regret taking a slice of the beef. Oyster-pie ! 
oyster-pie ! never was better oyster-pie seen in Vicksburg. 
Run about, boys, and take orders. Ladies and gentlemen, 
just look at that turkey! who s for turkey?" and so on, 
wiping the perspiration from his forehead and combating with 
the flies. 

Altogether it was a semi-barbarous scene, but the host was 
active and attentive ; and after all, his recommendations were 
very much like those which it was the habit of the taverners 
in old London to call out in the streets to the passers-by when 
the joints were ready. The little negroes who ran about to 
take orders were smart, but now and then came into violent 
collision, and were cuffed incontinently. One mild-looking 
little fellow stood by my chair and appeared so sad that I 
asked him " Are you happy, my boy ? " He looked quite 
frightened. " Why don t you answer me ? " " I se afeered, 
sir ; I can t tell that to Massa." " Is not your master kind to 
you ? " " Massa very kind man, sir ; very good man when 
he is not angry with me," and his eyes lilled with tears to the 
brim. 

The war fever is rife in Vicksburg, and the Irish and Ger 
man laborers, to the extent of several hundreds, have all gone 
off to the war. 

When dinner was over, the mayor and several gentlemen 
of the city were good enough to request that I would attend 
a meeting at a room in the railway-station, where some of the 
inhabitants of the town had assembled. Accordingly I went 
to the terminus and found a room filled with gentlemen. 
Large china bowls, blocks of ice, bottles of wine and spirits, 
and boxes of cigars were on the table, and all the materials 
for a symposium. 

The company discussed recent events, some of which I 
learned for the first time. Dislike was expressed to the 
course of the authorities in demanding negro labor for the 
fortifications along the river, and uneasiness was expressed 
respecting a negro plot in Arkansas ; but the most interesting 
matter was Judge Taney s protest against the legality of the 
President s course in suspending the writ of habeas corpus in 
the case of Merriman. The lawyers who were present at this 
meeting were delighted with his argument, which insists that 
Congress alone can suspend the writ, and that the President 
cannot legally do so. 



THE CAPITAL OF MISSISSIPPI. 297 

The news of the defeat of an expedition from Fortress 
Monroe against a Confederate post at Great Bethel, has 
caused great rejoicing. The accounts show that there was the 
grossest mismanagement on the part of the Federal officers. 
The Northern papers particularly regret the loss of Major 
"VVinthrop, aide-de-camp to General Butler, a writer of prom 
ise. At four o clock, p. M., I bade the company farewell, and 
the train started for Jackson. The line runs through a poor 
clay country, cut up with gulleys and watercourses made by 
violent rain. 

There were a number of volunteer soldiers in the train ; 
and their presence no doubt attracted the girls and women 
who waved flags and cheered for Jeff Davis and States Rights. 
Well, as I travel on through such scenes, with a fine critical 
nose in the air, I ask myself, " Is any Englishman better than 
these publicans and sinners in regard to this question of 
slavery?-" It was not on moral or religious grounds that our 
ancestors abolished serfdom. And if to-morrow our good 
farmers, deprived of mowers, reapers, ploughmen, hedgers 
and ditchers, were to find substitutes in certain people of a 
dark skin assigned to their use by Act of Parliament, I fear 
they would be almost as ingenious as the Rev. Dr. Seabury in 
discovering arguments physiological, ethnological, and biblical, 
for the retention of their property. And an evil day would it 
be for them if they were so tempted ; for assuredly, without 
any derogation to the intellect of the Southern men, it may 
be said that a large proportion of the population is in a state 
of very great moral degradation compared with civilized An 
glo-Saxon communities. 

The man is more natural, and more reckless ; he has more 
of the qualities of the Arab than are to be reconciled with 
civilization ; and it is only among the upper classes that the 
influences of the aristocratic condition which is generated by 
the subjection of masses of men to their fellow-man are to be 
found. 

At six o clock, the train stopped in the country at a railway 
crossing by the side of a large platform. On the right was a 
common, bounded by a few detached wooden houses, separated 
by palings from each other, and surrounded by rows of trees. 
In front of the station were two long wooden sheds, which, as 
the signboard indicates, were exchanges or drinking saloons ; 
and beyond these again were visible some rudimentary streets 
of straggling houses, above which rose three pretentious spires 
13* 



298 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

and domes, resolved into insignificance by nearer approach. 
This" was Jackson. 

Our host was at the station in his carriage, and drove us to 
his residence, which consisted of some detached houses shaded 
by trees in a small enclosure, and bounded by a kitchen gar 
den. He was one of the men who had been filled with the 
afflatus of 1848, and joined the Young Ireland party before it 
had seriously committed itself to an unfortunate outbreak ; 
and when all hope of success had vanished, he sought, like 
many others of his countrymen, a shelter under the stars and 
stripes, which, like most of the Irish settled in the Southern 
States, he was now bent on tearing asunder. He has the 
honor of being mayor of Jackson, and of enjoying a competi 
tive examination with his medical rivals for the honor of at 
tending the citizens. 

In the evening I walked out with him to the adjacent city, 
which has no title to the name, except as being the State capi 
tal. The mushroom growth of these States, using that phrase 
merely as to their rapid development, raises hamlets in a 
small space to the dignity of cities. It is in such outlying ex 
pansion of the great republic that the influence of the foreign 
emigration is most forcibly displayed. It would be curious to 
inquire, for example, how many men there are in the city of 
Jackson exercising mechanical arts or engaged in small com 
merce, in skilled or manual labor, who are really Americans 
in the proper sense of the word. I was struck by the names 
over the doors of the shops, which were German, Irish, Italian, 
French, and by foreign tongues and accents in the streets ; but, 
on the other hand, it is the native-born American who obtains 
the highest political stations and arrogates to himself the larg 
est share of governmental emoluments. 

Jackson proper consists of strings of wooden houses, with 
white porticoes and pillars a world too wide for their shrunk 
rooms, and various religious and other public edifices, of the 
hydrocephalic order of architecture, where vulgar cupola and 
exaggerated steeple tower above little bodies far too feeble to 
support them. There are of course a monster hotel and blaz 
ing bar-rooms the former celebrated as the scene of many a 
serious difficulty, out of some of which the participators never 
escaped alive. The streets consist of rows of houses such as 
I have seen at Macon, Montgomery, and Baton Rouge ; and as 
we walked towards the capital or State-house there were many 
more invitations " to take a drink " addressed to my friend and 



GOVERNOR PETTUS. 299 

me than we were able to comply with. Our steps were bent 
to the State-house, which is a pile of stone, with open colon 
nades, and an air of importance at a distance which a nearer 
examination of its dilapidated condition does riot confirm. Mr. 
Pettus, the Governor of the State of Mississippi, was in the 
Capitol ; and on sending in our cards, we were introduced to his 
room, which certainly was of more than republican simplicity. 
The apartment was surrounded with some common glass cases, 
containing papers and old volumes of books ; the furniture, a 
table or desk, and a few chairs and a ragged carpet ; the glass 
in the windows cracked and broken ; the walls and ceiling dis 
colored by mildew. 

The Governor is a silent man, of abrupt speech, but easy of 
access ; and, indeed, whilst we were speaking, strangers and 
soldiers walked in and out of his room, looked around them, 
and acted in all respects as if they were in a public-house, ex 
cept in ordering drinks. This grim, tall, angular man seemed 
to me such a development of public institutions in the South as 
Mr. Seward was in a higher phase in the North. For years 
he hunted deer and trapped in the forest of the far west, and 
lived in a Natty Bumpo or David Crocket state of life ; and he 
was not ashamed of the fact when taunted with it during his 
election contest, but very rightly made the most of his inde 
pendence and his hard work. 

The pecuniary honors of his position are not very great as 
Governor of the enormous State of Mississippi. He has sim 
ply an income of 800 a year and a house provided for his 
use; he is not only quite contented with what he has but be 
lieves that the society in which he lives is the highest develop 
ment of civilized life, notwithstanding the fact that there are 
more outrages on the person in his State, nay, more murders 
perpetrated in the very capital, than were known in the worst 
days of mediaeval Venice or Florence ; indeed, as a citizen 
said to me, " Well, I think our average in Jackson is a murder 
a month ; " but he used a milder name for the crime. 

The Governor conversed on the aspect of affairs, and evinced 
that wonderful confidence in his own people which, whether it 
arises from ignorance of the power of the North, or a convic 
tion of greater resources, is to me so remarkable. " Well, sir," 
said he, dropping a portentous plug of tobacco just outside the 
spittoon, with the air of a man who wished to show he could 
have hit the centre if he liked, " England is no doubt a great 
country, and has got fleets and the like of that, and may have 



300 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

a good deal to do in TLu-rope ; but the sovereign State of Mis 
sissippi can do a great deal better without England than Eng 
land can do without her." Having some slight recollection of 
Mississippi repudiation, in which Mr. Jefferson Davis was so 
actively engaged, I thought it possible that the Governor might 
be right ; and after a time his Excellency shook me by the 
hand, and I left, much wondering within myself what manner 
of men they must be in the State of Mississippi when Mr. 
Pettus is their chosen Governor ; and yet, after all, he is hon 
est and fierce ; and perhaps he is so far qualified as well as 
any other man to be Governor of the State. There are news 
papers, electric telegraphs, and railways ; there are many edu 
cated families, even much good society, I am told, in the State ; 
but the larger masses of the people struck me as being in a 
condition not much elevated from that of the original back 
woodsman. On my return to the Doctor s house I found some 
letters which had been forwarded to me from New Orleans 
had gone astray, and I was obliged, therefore, to make arrange 
ments for my departure on the following evening. 

June 1 Qth. I was compelled to send my excuses to Gov 
ernor Pettus, and remained quietly within the house of my 
host, entreating him to protect me from visitors and especially 
my own confreres, that I might secure a few hours even in 
that ardent heat to write letters to home. Now, there is some 
self-denial required, if one be at all solicitous of the popularis 
aura, to offend the susceptibilities of the irritable genus in 
America. It may make all the difference between millions of 
people hearing and believing you are a high-toned, whole 
souled gentleman or a wretched, ignorant and prejudiced John 
Bull ; but, nevertheless, the solid pudding of self-content and 
the satisfaction of doing one s work are preferable to the praise 
even of a New York newspaper editor. 

When my work was over I walked out and sat in the shade 
with a gentleman whose talk turned upon the practices of the 
Mississippi duello. Without the smallest animus, and in the 
most natural way in the world, he told us tale after tale of 
blood, and recounted terrible tragedies enacted outside bars of 
hotels and in the public streets close beside us. The very air 
seemed to become purple as he spoke, the land around a veri 
table " Aceldama." There may, indeed, be security for prop 
erty, but there is none for the life of its owner in difficulties, 
who may be shot by a stray bullet from a pistol as he walks 
up the street. 



TO GENTLEMEN IN DIFFICULTIES. 301 

I learned many valuable facts. I was warned, for example, 
against the impolicy of trusting to small-bored pistols or to 
pocket six-shooters in case of a close fight, because suppose 
you hit your man mortally he may still run in upon you and 
rip you up with a bowie-knife before he falls dead ; whereas 
if you drive a good heavy bullet into him, or make a hole in 
him with a " Derringer " ball, he gets faintish and drops at 
once. 

Many illustrations, too, were given of the value of practical 
lessons of this sort. One particularly struck me. If a gen 
tleman with whom you are engaged in altercation moves his 
hand towards his breeches pocket, or behind his back, you 
must smash him or shoot him at once, for he is either going to 
draw his six-shooter, to pull out a bowie-knife, or to shoot you 
through the lining of his pocket. The latter practice is con 
sidered rather ungentlemanly, but it has somewhat been more 
honored lately in the observance than in the breach. In fact, 
the savage practice of walking about with pistols, knives, and 
poniards, in bar-rooms and gambling-saloons, with passions un- 
governed, because there is no law to punish the deeds to 
which they lead, affords facilities for crime which an uncivi 
lized condition of society leaves too often without punishment, 
but which must be put down or the country in which it is tol 
erated will become as barbarous as a jungle inhabited by wild 
beasts. 

Our host gave me an early dinner, at which I met some of 
the citizens of Jackson, and at six o clock I proceeded by the 
train for Memphis. The carriages were, of course, full of 
soldiers or volunteers, bound for a large camp at a place called 
Corinth, who made night hideous by their song and cries, stim 
ulated by enormous draughts of whiskey and a proportionate 
consumption of tobacco, by teeth and by fire. The heat in 
the carriages added to the discomforts arising from these 
causes, and from great quantities of biting insects in the sleep 
ing places. The people have all the air and manners of set 
tlers. Altogether the impression produced on my mind was 
by no means agreeable, and I felt as if I was indeed in the 
land of Lynch-law and bowie-knives, where the passions of 
men have not yet been subordinated to the influence of the 
tribunals of justice. Much of this feeling has no doubt been 
produced by the tales to which I have been listening around 
me most of which have a smack of manslaughter about 
them. 



302 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

June 17th. If it was any consolation to me that the very 
noisy and very turbulent warriors of last night were exceed 
ingly sick, dejected, and crestfallen this morning, I had it to 
the full. Their cries for water were incessant to allay the in 
ternal fires caused by " forty-rod " and " sixty-rod," as whiskey 
is called, which is supposed to kill people at those distances. 
Their officers had no control over them and the only au 
thority they seemed to respect was that of the " gentlemanly " 
conductor, whom they were accustomed to fear individually, 
as he is a great man in America and has much authority and 
power to make himself disagreeable if he likes. 

The victory at Big or Little Bethel has greatly elated these 
men, and they think they can walk all over the Northern 
States. It was a relief to get out of the train for a few min 
utes at a station called Holly Springs, where the passengers 
breakfasted at a dirty table on most execrable coffee, corn 
bread, rancid butter, and very dubious meats, and the wild 
soldiers outside made the most of their time, as they had 
recovered from their temporary depression by this time, and 
got out on the tops of the carriages, over which they performed 
tumultuous dances to the music of their band, and the great 
admiration of the surrounding negrodom. Their demeanor is 
very unlike that of the unexcitable staid people of the North. 

There were in the train some Texans who were going to 
Richmond to offer their services to Mr. Davis. They de 
nounced Sam Houston as a traitor, but admitted there were 
some Unionists, or as they termed them, Lincolnite skunks, in 
the State. The real object of their journey was, in my mind, 
to get assistance from the Southern Confederacy, to put down 
their enemies in Texas. 

In order to conceal from the minds of the people that the 
government at Washington claims to be that of the United 
States, the press politicians and speakers divert their attention 
to the names of Lincoln, Seward, and other black republicans, 
and class the whole of the North together as the Abolitionists. 
They call the Federal levies " Lincoln s mercenaries " and 
"abolition hordes," though their own troops are paid at the 
same rate as those of the United States, This is a common 
mode of procedure in revolutions and rebellions, and is not 
unfrequent in wars. 

The enthusiasm for the Southern cause among all the people 
is most remarkable, the sight of the flag waving from the 
carriage windows drew all the population of the hamlets and 



WAYSIDE PARADE. 303 

the workers in the field, black and white, to the side of the 
carriages to cheer for Jeff Davis and the Southern Confeder 
acy, and to wave whatever they could lay hold of in the air. 
The country seems very poorly cultivated, the fields full of 
stumps of trees, and the plantation houses very indifferent. 
At every station more " soldiers," as they are called, got in, 
till the smell and heat were suffocating. 

These men were as fanciful in their names and dress as 
could be. In the train which preceded us there was a band 
of volunteers armed with rifled pistols and enormous bowie- 
knifes, who called themselves " The Toothpick Company." 
They carried along with them a coffin, with a plate inscribed, 

" Abe Lincoln, died ," and declared they were " bound " 

to bring his body back in it, and that they did not intend to 
use muskets or rifles, but just go in with knife and six-shooter, 
and whip the Yankees straight away. How astonished they 
will be when the first round shot flies into them, or a cap-full 
of grape rattles about their bowie-knives. 

At the station of Grand Junction, north of Holly Springs, 
which latter is 210 miles north of Jackson, several hundreds 
of our warrior friends were turned out in order to take the 
train north-westward for Richmond, Virginia. The 1st Com 
pany, seventy rank and file, consisted of Irishmen, armed with 
sporting rifles without bayonets. Five sixths of the 2d 
Company, who were armed with muskets, were of the same 
nationality. The 3d Company were all Americans. The 
4th Company were almost all Irish. Some were in green, 
others were in gray, the Americans who were in blue had not 
yet received their arms. When the word fix bayonets was 
given by the officer, a smart keen-looking man, there was an 
astonishishing hurry and tumult in the ranks. 

" Now then, Sweeny, whar are yes dhriven me too ? Is it 
out of the redjmint amongst the officers yer shovin me? " 

" Sullivan, don t ye hear we re to fix beenits ? " 

" Sarjent, jewel, wud yes ayse the shtrap of me baynit ? " 

" If ye prod me wid that agin, I ll let dayloite into ye." 

The officer, reading, " No. 23. James Pnelan." 

No reply. 

Officer again, " No. 23. James Phelan." 

Voice from the rank, " Shu re, captain, and faix Phelan s 
gone ; he wint at the last depot." 

" No. 40. Miles Corrigan." 

Voice further on, " He s the worse for dhrink in the cars, 



304 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

yer honor, and says he ll shoot us if we touch him ; " and 
so on. 

But these fellows were, nevertheless, the material for 
fighting and for marching after proper drill and with good 
officers, even though there was too large a proportion of old 
men and young lads in the ranks. To judge from their dress 
these recruits came from the laboring and poorest classes of 
whites. The officers affected a French cut and bearing with 
indifferent success, and in the luggage vans there were three 
foolish young women with slop-dress imitation clothes of the 
Vivandiere type, who, with dishevelled hair, dirty faces, and 
dusty hats and jackets, looked sad, sorry, and absurd. Their 
notions of propriety did not justify them in adopting straps, 
boots, and trousers, and the rest of the tawdry ill-made costume 
looked very bad indeed. 

The train which still bore a large number of soldiers for the 
camp of Corinth, proceeded through dreary swamps, stunted for 
ests, and clearings of the rudest kind at very long intervals. We 
had got out of the cotton district and were entering poorer soil, 
or land which, when cleared, was devoted to wheat and corn, 
and I was told that the crops ran from forty to sixty bushels 
to the acre. A more uninteresting country than this portion 
of the State of Mississippi I have never witnessed. There 
was some variety of scenery about Holly Springs where 
undulating ground covered with wood, diversified the aspect of 
the flat, but since that we have been travelling through mile 
after mile of insignificantly grown timber and swamps. 

On approaching Memphis the line ascends towards the 
bluff of the Mississippi, and farms of a better appearance 
come in sight on the side of the rail ; but after all I do not 
envy the fate of the man who, surrounded by slaves and shut 
out from the world, has to pass his life in this dismal region, 
be the crops never so good. 

At a station where a stone pillar marks the limit between 
the sovereign State of Mississippi and that of Tennessee, 
there was a house two stories high, from the windows of 
which a number of negro girls and young men were staring 
on the passengers. Some of them smiled, laughed, and chat 
ted, but the majority of them looked gloomy and sad enough. 
They were packed as close as they could, and I observed that 
at the door a very ruffianly looking fellow in a straw hat, long 
straight hair, flannel shirt, and slippers, was standing with his 
legs across and a heavy whip in his hand. One of the pas- 



MEMPHIS. 305 

sengers walked over and chatted to him. They looked in 
and up at the negroes and laughed, and when the man came 
near the carriage in which I sat, a friend called out, " Whose 
are they, Sam ? " " He s a dealer at Jackson, Mr. Smith. 
They re a prime lot of fine Virginny niggers as I ve seen this 
long time, and he wants to realize, for the news looks so 
bad." 

It was 1/40 P. M. when the train arrived at Memphis. I 
was speedily on my way to the Gayoso House, so called after 
an old Spanish ruler of the district, which is situated in the 
street on the bluff, which runs parallel with the course of the 
Mississippi. This resuscitated Egyptian city is a place of im 
portance, and extends for several miles along the high bank 
of the river, though it does not run very far back. The 
streets are at right angles to the principal thoroughfares, 
which are parallel to the stream ; and I by no means ex 
pected to see the lofty stores, warehouses, rows of shops, and 
handsome buildings on the broad esplanade along the river, 
and the extent and size of the edifices public and private in 
this city, which is one of the developments of trade and com 
merce created by the Mississippi. Memphis contains nearly 
30,000 inhabitants, but many of them are foreigners, and 
there is a nomad draft into and out of the place, which 
abounds in haunts for Bohemians, drinking and dancing- 
saloons, and garning-rooms. And this strange kaleidoscope 
of negroes and whites of the extremes of civilization in its 
American development, and of the semi-savage degraded by 
his contact with the white ; of enormous steamers on the 
river, which bears equally the dug-out or canoe of the black 
fisherman ; the rail, penetrating the inmost recesses of swamps, 
which on either side of it remain no doubt in the same state 
as they were centuries ago ; the roll of heavily-laden wagons 
through the streets ; the rattle of omnibuses and all the phe 
nomena of active commercial life before our eyes, included in 
the same scope of vision which takes in at the other side of 
the Mississippi lands scarcely yet settled, though the march 
of empire has gone thousands of miles beyond them, amuses 
but perplexes the traveller in this new land. 

The evening was so exceedingly warm that I was glad to 
remain within the walls of my darkened bedroom. Ail the 
six hundred and odd guests whom the Gayoso House is said 
to accommodate were apparently in the passage at one time. 
At present it is the head-quarters of General Gideon J. Pil- 



30 G MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

low, who is charged with the defences of the Tennessee side 
of the river, and commands a considerable body of troops 
around the city and in the works above. The house is con 
sequently filled with men in uniform, belonging to the Gen 
eral s staff or the various regiments of Tennessee troops. 

The Governors and the Legislatures of the States view with 
dislike every action on the part of Mr. Davis which tends to 
form the State troops into a national army. At first, indeed, 
the doctrine prevailed that troops could not be sent beyond the 
limits of the State in which they were raised then it was 
argued that they ought not to be called upon to move outside 
their borders ; and I have heard people in the South inveigh 
ing against the sloth and want of spirit of the Virginians, who 
allowed their State to be invaded without resisting the enemy. 
Such complaints were met by the remark that all the North 
ern States had combined to pour their troops into Virginia, 
and that her sister States ought in honor to protect her. 
Finally, the martial enthusiasm of the Southern regiments 
impelled them to press forward to the frontier, and by delicate 
management, and the perfect knowledge of his countrymen 
which Mr. Jefferson Davis possesses, he is now enabled to 
amalgamate in some sort the diverse individualities of his 
regiments into something like a national army. 

On hearing of my arrival, General Pillow sent his aide-de 
camp to inform me that he was about starting in a steamer up 
the river, to make an inspection of the works and garrison 
at Fort Randolph and at other points where batteries had 
been erected to command the stream, supported by large levies 
of Tennesseans. The aide-de-camp conducted me to the 
General, whom I found in his bedroom, fitted up as an office, 
littered with plans and papers. Before the Mexican War 
General Pillow was a flourishing solicitor, connected in busi 
ness with President Polk, and commanding so much influence 
that when the expedition was formed he received the nomina 
tion of brigadier-general of volunteers. He served with dis 
tinction and was severely wounded at the battle of Chapultepec 
and at the conclusion of the campaign he retired into civil 
life, and was engaged directing the work of his plantation till 
this great rebellion summoned him once more to the field. 

Of course there is, and must be, always an inclination to de 
ride these volunteer officers on the part of regular soldiers ; 
and I was informed by one of the officers in attendance on the 
General that he had made himself ludicrously celebrated in 



DEFENCES OF MEMPHIS. 307 

Mexico for having undertaken to throw up a battery which, 
when completed, was found to face the wrong way, so that the 
guns were exposed to the enemy. General Pillow is a small, 
compact, clear-complexioned man, with short gray whiskers, 
cut in the English fashion, a quick eye, and a pompous man 
ner of speech ; and I had not been long in his company be 
fore I heard of Chapultepec and his wound, which causes him 
to limp a little in his walk, and gives him inconvenience in 
the saddle. He wore a round black hat, plain blue frock-coat, 
dark trousers, and brass spurs on his boots ; but no sign of 
military rank. The General ordered carriages to the door, 
and we went to see the batteries on the bluff or front of the 
esplanade, which are intended to check any ship attempting 
to pass down the river from Cairo, where the Federals under 
General Prentiss have entrenched themselves, and are under 
stood to meditate an expedition against the city. A parapet of 
cotton bales, covered with tarpaulin, has been erected close to 
the edge of the bank of earth, which rises to heights varying 
from 60 to 150 feet almost perpendicularly from the waters of the 
Mississippi, with zigzag roads running down through it to the 
landing-places. This parapet could offer no cover against 
vertical fire, and is so placed that well-directed shell into the 
bank below it would tumble it all into the water. The zigzag 
roads are barricaded with weak planks, which would be shiv 
ered to pieces by boat-guns ; and the assaulting parties could 
easily mount through these covered ways to the rear of the 
parapet, and up to the very centre of the esplanade. 

The blockade of the river at this point is complete ; not a 
boat is permitted to pass either up or down. At the extrem 
ity of the esplanade, on an angle of the bank, an earthen 
battery, mounted with six heavy guns, has been thrown up, 
which has a fine command of the river ; and the General in 
formed me he intends to mount sixteen guns in addition, on 
a prolongation of the face of the same work. 

The inspection over, we drove down a steep road to the 
water beneath, where the Ingomar, a large river steamer, 
now chartered for the service of the State of Tennessee, was 
lying to receive us. The vessel was crowded with troops 
all volunteers, of course about to join those in camp. Great 
as were their numbers, the proportion of the officers was in 
ordinately large, and the rank of the greater number pre 
posterously high. It seemed to me as if I was introduced to 
a battalion of colonels, and that I was not permitted to pierce 



308 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

to any lower strata of military rank. I counted seventeen 
colonels, and believe the number was not then exhausted. 

General Clarke, of Mississippi, who had come over from 
the camp at Corinth, was on board, and I had the pleasure of 
making his acquaintance. He spoke with sense and firmness 
of the present troubles, and dealt with the political difficulties 
in a tone of moderation which bespoke a gentleman and a 
man of education and thought. He also had served in the 
Mexican war, and had the air and manner of a soldier. With 
all his quietness of tone, there was not the smallest disposition 
to be traced in his words to retire from the present contest, or 
to consent to a reunion with the United States under any cir 
cumstances whatever. Another general, of a very different 
type, was among our passengers, a dirty-faced, frightened- 
looking young man, of some twenty-three or twenty-four 
years of age, redolent of tobacco, his chin and shirt slavered 
by its foul juices, dressed in a green cutaway coat, white jean 
trousers, strapped under a pair of prunella slippers, in which 
he promenaded the deck in an Agag-like manner, which gave 
rise to a suspicion of bunions or corns. This strange figure 
was topped by a tremendous black felt sombrero, looped up at 
one side by a gilt eagle, in which was stuck a plume of ostrich 
feathers, and from the other side dangled a heavy gold tassel. 
This decrepit young warrior s name was Ruggles or Strug 
gles, who came from Arkansas, where he passed, I was in 
formed, for " quite a leading citizen." 

Our voyage as we steamed up the river afforded no novelty, 
nor any physical difference worthy of remark, to contrast it 
with the lower portions of the stream, except that upon our 
right-hand side, which is, in effect, the left bank, there are 
ranges of exceedingly high bluffs, some parallel with and 
others at right angles to the course of the stream. The river 
is of the same pea-soup color with the same masses of leaves, 
decaying vegetation, stumps of trees, forming small floating 
islands, or giant cotton-tree, pines, and balks of timber whirling 
down the current. Our progress was slow ; nor did I regret 
the captain s caution, as there must have been fully nine hun 
dred persons on board ; and although there is but little danger 
of being snagged in the present condition of the river, we en 
countered now and then a trunk of a tree, which struck against 
the bows with force enough to make the vessel quiver from 
stem to stern. I was furnished with a small berth, to which 
I retired at midnight, just as the Jngomar was brought to at 
the Chickasaw Bluffs, above which lies Camp Randolph. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

Camp Randolph Cannon practice Volunteers " Dixie " Forc 
ed return from the South Apathy of the North General re 
trospect of politics Energy and earnestness of the South 
Fire-arms Position of Great Britain towards the belligerents 
Feeling towards the Old Country. 

June ISth. On looking out of my cabin window this morning 
I found the steamer fast along-side a small wharf, above which 
rose, to the height of 150 feet, at an angle of forty-five degrees, 
the rugged bluff already mentioned. The wharf was covered 
with commissariat stores and ammunition. Three heavy guns, 
which some men were endeavoring to sling to rude bullock- 
carts, in a manner defiant of all the laws of gravitation, seemed 
likely to go slap into the water at every moment ; but of the 
many great strapping fellows who were lounging about, not one 
gave a hand to the working party. A dusty track wound up 
the hill to the brow, and there disappeared ; and at the height 
of fifty feet or so above the level of the river two earthworks 
had been rudely erected in an ineffective position. The vol 
unteers who were lounging about the edge of the stream were 
dressed in different ways, and had no uniform. 

Already the heat of the sun compelled me to seek the shade ; 
and a number of the soldiers, laboring under the same infat 
uation as that which induces little boys to disport themselves 
in the Thames at Waterloo Bridge, under the notion that they 
are washing themselves, were swimming about in a back 
water of the great river, regardless of cat-fish, mud, and 
fever. 

General Pillow proceeded on shore after breakfast, and we 
mounted the coarse cart-horse chargers which were in wait 
ing at the jetty to receive us. It is scarcely worth while to 
transcribe from my diary a description of the works which I 
sent over at the time to England. Certainly, a more extraor 
dinary maze could not be conceived, even in the dreams of a 



310 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

sick engineer a number of mad beavers might possibly con 
struct such dams. They were so ingeniously made as to pre 
vent the troops engaged in their defence from resisting the 
enemy s attacks, or getting away from them when the assail 
ants had got inside most difficult and troublesome to de 
fend, and still more difficult for the defenders to leave, the 
latter perhaps being their chief merit. 

The General ordered some practice to be made with round 
shot down the river. An old forty-two pound carronade was 
loaded with some difficulty, and pointed at a tree about 1700 
yards which I was told, however, was not less than 2500 
yards distant. The General and his staff took their posts 
on the parapet to leeward, and I ventured to say, " I think, 
General, the smoke will prevent your seeing the shot." To 
which the General replied, " No, sir," in a tone which indi 
cated, " I beg you to understand I have been wounded in 
Mexico, and know all about this kind of thing." " Fire ! " The 
string was pulled, and out of the touch-hole popped a piece of 
metal with a little chirrup. " Darn these friction tubes ! I 
prefer the linstock and match," quoth one of the staff, sotto 
voce, " but General Pillow will have us use friction tubes 
made at Memphis, that ar n t worth a cuss." Tube No. 2, 
however, did explode, but where the ball went no one could 
say, as the smoke drifted right into our eyes. 

The General then moved to the other side of the gun, 
which was fired a third time, the shot falling short in good 
line, but without any ricochet. Gun No. 3 was next fired. 
Off went the ball down the river, but off went the gun, too, 
and with a frantic leap it jumped, carriage and all, clean off 
the platform. Nor was it at all wonderful, for the poor old- 
fashioned chamber carronade had been loaded with a charge 
and a solid shot heavy enough to make it burst with indigna 
tion. Most of us felt relieved when the firing was over, and, 
for my own part, I would much rather have been close to the 
target than to the battery. 

Slowly winding for some distance up the steep road in a 
blazing sun, we proceeded through the tents which are scat 
tered in small groups, for health s sake, fifteen and twenty to 
gether, on the wooded plateau above the river. The tents 
are of the small ridge-pole pattern, six men to each, many of 
whom, from their exposure to the sun, whilst working in these 
trenches, and from the badness of the water, had already been 
laid up with illness. As a proof of General Pillow s energy, 



KATIONS AND EQUIPMENT. 311 

it is only fair to saj he is constructing, on the very summit of 
the plateau, large cisterns, which will be filled with water 
from the river by steam power. 

The volunteers were mostly engaged at drill in distinct 
companies, but by order of the General some 700 or 800 of 
them were formed into line for inspection. Many of these 
men were in their shirt sleeves, and the awkwardness with 
which they handled their arms showed that, however good 
they might be as shots, they were bad hands at manual pla 
toon exercise ; but such great strapping fellows, that, as I 
walked down the ranks there were few whose shoulders were 
not above the level of my head, excepting here and there a 
weedy old man or a growing lad. They were armed with old 
pattern percussion muskets, no two clad alike, many very 
badly shod, few with knapsacks, but all provided with a tin 
water-flask and a blanket. These men have been only five 
weeks enrolled, and were called out by the State of Tennes 
see, in anticipation of the vote of secession. 

I could get no exact details as to the supply of food, but 
from the Quartermaster-General I heard that each man had 
from fib. to 1^ Ib. of meat, and a sufficiency of bread, sugar, 
coffee, and rice daily ; however, these military Olivers "asked 
for more." Neither whiskey nor tobacco was served out to 
them, which to such heavy consumers of both, must prove one 
source of dissatisfaction. The officers were plain, farmerly 
planters, merchants, lawyers, and the like energetic, de 
termined men, but utterly ignorant of the most rudimentary 
parts of military science. It is this want of knowledge on the 
part of the officer which renders it so difficult to arrive at a 
tolerable condition of discipline among volunteers, as the 
privates are quite well aware they know as much of soldiering 
as the great majority of their officers. 

Having gone down the lines of these motley companies, 
the General addressed them in a harangue in which he 
expatiated on their patriotism, on their courage, and the 
atrocity of the enemy, in an odd farrago of military and 
political subjects. But the only matter which appeared to 
interest them much was the announcement that they would be 
released from work in another day or so, and that negroes would 
be sent to perform all that was required. This announcement 
was received with the words, " Bully for us ! " and " That s 
good." And when General Pillow wound up a florid peroration 
by assuring them, " When the hour of danger comes I will be 



312 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

with you," the effect was by no means equal to his expecta 
tions. The men did not seem to care much whether General 
Pillow was with them or not at that eventful moment ; and, 
indeed, all dusty as he was in his plain clothes he did not look 
very imposing, or give one an idea that he would contribute 
much to the means of resistance. However, one of the officers 
called out, " Boys, three cheers for General Pillow." 

What they may do in the North I know not, but certainly 
the Southern soldiers cannot cheer, and what passes muster for 
that jubilant sound is a shrill ringing scream with a touch of 
the Indian war-whoop in it. As these cries ended, a stentorian 
voice shouted out, " Who cares for General Pillow ? " No one 
answered ; whence I inferred the General would not be very 
popular until the niggers were actually at work in the 
trenches. 

We returned to the steamer, headed up stream, and pro 
ceeded onwards for more than an hour, to another landing, 
protected by a battery, where we disembarked, the General 
being received by a guard dressed in uniform, who turned out 
with some appearance of soldierly smartness. On rny re 
marking the difference to the General, he told me the corps 
encamped at this point was composed of gentlemen planters, 
and farmers. They had all clad themselves, and consisted 
of some of the best families in the State of Tennessee. 

As we walked down the gangway to the shore, the band on 
the upper deck struck up, out of compliment to the English 
element in the party, the unaccustomed strains of " God save 
the Queen ! " and I am not quite sure that the loyalty which 
induced me to stand in the sun, with uncovered head, till the 
musicians were good enough to desist, was appreciated. Cer 
tainly a gentleman, who asked me why I did so, looked very 
incredulous, and said " That he could understand it if it had 
been in a church ; but that he would not broil his skull in the 
sun, not if General Washington was standing just before him." 
The General gave orders to exercise the battery at this point, 
and a working party was told off to firing drill. Twas fully 
six minutes between the giving of the orders and the first gun 
being ready. 

On the word " fire " being given, the gunner pulled the lan 
yard, but the tube did not explode ; a second tube was in 
serted, but a strong jerk pulled it out without exploding ; a 
third time one of the General s fuses was applied, which gave 
way to the pull, and was broken in two ; a fourth time was 



" DIXIE." 313 

more successful the gun exploded, and the shot fell short 
and under the mark in fact, nothing could be worse than 
the artillery practice which I saw here, and a fleet of vessels 
coming down the river might, in the present state of the gar 
risons, escape unhurt. 

There are no disparts, tangents, or elevating screws to the 
gun, which are laid by eye and wooden chocks. I could see 
no shells in the battery, but was told there were some in the 
magazine. 

Altogether, though Randolph s Point and Fort Pillow afford 
strong positions, in the present state of the service, and equip 
ment of guns and works, gunboats could run past them with 
out serious loss, and, as the river falls, the fire of the batteries 
will be even less effective. 

On returning to the boats the band struck up " The Mar 
seillaise " and " Dixie s Land." There are two explanations 
of the word Dixie one is that it is the general term for the 
Slave States, which are, of course, south of Mason and Dix- 
on s line ; another, that a planter named Dixie, died long ago, 
to the intense grief of his animated property. Whether they 
were ill-treated after he died, and thus had reason to regret 
his loss, or that they had merely a longing in the abstract 
after Heaven, no fact known to me can determine ; but cer 
tain it is that they long much after Dixie, in the land to which 
his spirit was supposed by them to have departed, -md console 
themselves in their sorrow by clamorous wishes to follow their 
master, where probably the revered spirit would be much sur 
prised to find himself in their company. The song is the work 
of the negro melodists of New York. 

In the afternoon we returned to Memphis. Here I was 
obliged to cut short my Southern tour, though I would will 
ingly have stayed, to have seen the most remarkable social 
and political changes the world has probably ever witnessed. 
The necessity of rny position obliged me to return northwards 
unless I could write, there was no use in my being on the 
spot at all. By this time the Federal fleets have succeeded in 
closing the ports, if not effectually, so far as to render the car 
riage of letters precarious, and the route must be at best devi 
ous and uncertain. 

Mr. Jefferson Davis was, I was assured, prepared to give 

me every facility at Richmond to enable me to know and to 

see all that was most interesting in the military and political 

action of the New Confederacy ; but of what use could this 

14 



314 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

knowledge be if I could not communicate it to the journal I 
served ? 

I had left the North when it was suffering from a political 
paralysis, and was in a state of coma in which it appeared 
conscious of the coming convulsion but unable to avert it. 
The sole sign of life in the body corporate was some feeble 
twitching of the limbs at Washington, when the district mili 
tia were called out, whilst Mr. Seward descanted on the mer 
its of the Inaugural, and believed that the anger of the South 
was a short madness, which would be cured by a mild appli 
cation of philosophical essays. 

The politicians, who were urging in the most forcible man 
ner the complete vindication of the rights of the Union, were 
engaged, when I left them arguing, that the Union had no 
rights at all as opposed to those of the States. Men who had 
heard with nods of approval of the ordinance of secession 
passed by State after State were now shrieking out, " Slay the 
traitors ! " 

The printed rags which had been deriding the President as 
the great " rail-splitter," and his Cabinet as a collection of ig 
noble fanatics, were now heading the popular rush, and call 
ing out to the country to support Mr. Lincoln and his Minis 
try, and were menacing with war the foreign States which 
dared to stand neutral in the quarrel. The declaration of 
Lord John Russell that the Southern Confederacy should 
have limited belligerent rights had at first created a thrill of 
exultation in the South, because the politicians believed that 
in this concession was contained the principle of recognition ; 
while it had stung to fury the people of the North, to whom 
it seemed the first warning of the coming disunion. 

Much, therefore, as I desired to go to Richmond, where I 
was urged to repair by many considerations, and by the ear 
nest appeals of those around me, I felt it would be impossible, 
notwithstanding the interest attached to the proceedings there, 
to perform my duties in a place cut off from all communica 
tion with the outer world ; and so I decided to proceed to 
Chicago, and thence to Washington, where the Federals had 
assembled a large army, with the purpose of marching upon 
Richmond, in obedience to the cry of nearly every journal of 
influence in the Northern cities. 

My resolution was mainly formed in consequence of the in 
telligence which was communicated to me at Memphis, and I 
told General Pillow that I would continue my journey to 



SOUTHERN UNANIMITY. 315 

Cairo, in order to get within the Federal lines. As the river 
was blockaded, the only means of doing so was to proceed by 
rail to Columbus, and thence to take a steamer to the Federal 
position ; and so, whilst the General was continuing his inspec 
tion, I rode to the telegraph office, in one of the camps, to order 
my luggage to be prepared for departure as soon as I arrived, 
and thence went on board the steamer, where I sat down in 
the cabin to write my last despatch from Dixie. 

So far I had certainly no reason to agree with Mr. Seward 
in thinking this rebellion was the result of a localized ener 
getic action on the part of a fierce minority in the seceding 
States, and that there was in each a large, if inert, mass op 
posed to secession, which would rally round the Stars and 
Stripes the instant they were displayed in their sight. On the 
contrary, I met everywhere with but one feeling, with excep 
tions which proved its unanimity and its force. To a man the 
people went with their States, and had but one battle cry, 
" States rights, and death to those who make war against 
them ! " 

Day after day I had seen this feeling intensified by the 
accounts which came from the North of a fixed determination 
to maintain the war ; and day after day, I am bound to add, 
the impression on my mind was strengthened that " States 
rights " meant protection to slavery, extension of slave terri 
tory, and free-trade in slave produce with the outer world ; 
nor was it any argument against the conclusion that the 
popular passion gave vent to the most vehement outcries 
against Yankees, abolitionists, German mercenaries, and mod 
ern invasion. I was fully satisfied in my mind also that the 
population of the South, who had taken up arms, were so 
convinced of the righteousness of their cause, and so com 
petent to vindicate it, that they would fight with the utmost 
energy and valor in its defence and successful establishment. 

The saloon in which I was sitting afforded abundant evi 
dence of the vigor with which the South are entering upon 
the contest. Men of every variety and condition of life had 
taken up arms against the cursed Yankee and the Black Repub 
lican there was not a man there who would not have given 
his life for the rare pleasure of striking Mr. Lincoln s head 
off his shoulders, and yet to a cold European the scene was 
almost ludicrous. 

Along the covered deck lay tall Tennesseans, asleep, whose 
plumed felt hats were generally the only indications of their 



316 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

martial calling, for few indeed had any other signs of uniform, 
except the rare volunteers, who wore stripes of red and 
yellow cloth on their trousers, or leaden buttons, and discolored 
worsted braid and facings on their jackets. The afterpart 
of the saloon deck was appropriated to General Pillow, his 
staff, and officers. The approach to it was guarded by a 
sentry, a tall, good-looking young fellow in a gray flannel 
shirt, gray trousers, fastened with a belt and a brass buckle, 
inscribed U. S., which came from some plundered Federal 
arsenal, and a black wide-awake hat, decorated with a green 
plume. His Enfield rifle lay beside him on the deck, and, 
with great interest expressed on his face, he leant forward in 
his rocking-chair to watch the varying features of a party 
squatted on the floor, who were employed in the national 
game of " Euchre." As he raised his eyes to examine the 
condition of the cigar he was smoking, he caught sight of me, 
and by the simple expedient of holding his leg across my 
chest, and calling out, " Hallo ! where are you going to ? " 
brought me to a standstill whilst his captain who was one 
of the happy euchreists, exclaimed, "Now, Sam, you let 
nobody go in there." 

I was obliged to explain who I was, whereupon the sentry 
started to his feet, and said, " Oh ! indeed, you are Russell 
that s been in that war with the Rooshians. Well, I m very 
much pleased to know you. I shall be off sentry in a few 
minutes ; I ll just ask you to tell me something about that 
fighting." He held out his hand, and shook mine warmly as 
he spoke. There was not the smallest intention to offend in 
his manner ; but, sitting down again, he nodded to the cap 
tain, and said, " It s all right ; it s Pillow s friend that s 
Russell of the London Times. " The game of euchre was 
continued and indeed it had been perhaps all night for 
my last recollection on looking out of my cabin was of a number 
of people playing cards on the floor and on the tables all 
down the saloon, and of shouts of " Eu-kerr ! " u Ten dollars, 
you don t ! " " I ll lay twenty on this ! " and so on; and with 
breakfast the sport seemed to be fully revived. 

There would have been much more animation in the game, 
no doubt, had the bar on board the Ingomar been opened ; 
but the intelligent gentleman who presided inside had been 
restricted by General Pillow in his avocations ; and when 
numerous thirsty souls from the camps came on board, with 
dry tongues and husky voices, and asked for " mint-juleps," 



"THE INGOMAR." 317 

"brandy smashes," or " whiskey cocktails," he seemed to take 
a saturnine pleasure by saying, " The General won t allow no 
spirit on board, but I can give you a nice drink of Pillow s 
own iced Mississippi water," an announcement which generally 
caused infinite disgust and some unhandsome wishes respect 
ing the General s future happiness. 

By and by, a number of sick men were brought down on 
litters, and placed here and there along the deck. As there 
was a considerable misunderstanding between the civilian and 
military doctors, it appeared to be understood that the best 
way of arranging it was not to attend to the sick at all, and 
unfortunate men suffering from fever and dysentery were left 
to roll and groan, and lie on their stretchers, without a soul to 
help them. I had a medicine chest on board, and I ventured 
to use the lessons of my experience in such matters, adminis 
tered my quinine, James s Powder, calomel, and opium, 
secundum meam artem, and nothing could be more grateful than 
the poor fellows were for the smallest mark of attention. 
" Stranger, remember, if I die," gasped one great fellow, 
attenuated to a skeleton by dysentery, " That I am Robert 
Tallon, of Tishimingo county, and that I died for States 
rights ; see, now, they put that in the papers, won t you ? 
Robert Tallon died for States rights," and so he turned round 
on his blanket. 

Presently the General came on board, and the Ingomar 
proceeded on her way back to Memphis. General Clarke, to 
whom I mentioned the great neglect from which the soldiers 
were suffering, told me he was afraid the men had no medical 
attendance in camp. All the doctors, in fact, wanted to fight, 
and as they were educated men, and generally connected with 
respectable families, or had political influence in the State, 
they aspired to be colonels at the very least, and to wield the 
sword instead of the scalpel. 

Next to the medical department, the commissariat and trans 
port were most deficient ; but by constant courts-martial, 
stoppages of pay, and severe sentences, he hoped these evils 
would be eventually somewhat mitigated. As one who had 
received a regular military education, General Clarke was 
probably shocked by volunteer irregularities ; and in such 
matters as guard-mounting, reliefs, patrols, and picket duties, 
he declared they were enough to break one s heart ; but I was 
astonished to hear from him that the Germans were by far the 
worst of the five thousand troops under his command, of whom 
they formed more than a fifth. 



318 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Whilst we were conversing, the captain of the steamer in 
vited us to come up into his cabin on the upper deck ; and as 
railway conductors, steamboat captains, bar-keepers, hotel 
clerks, and telegraph officers are among the natural aristocracy 
of the land, we could not disobey the invitation, which led to 
the consumption of some of the captain s private stores, and 
many warm professions of political faith. 

The captain told me it was rough work aboard sometimes, 
with " sports " and chaps of that kind ; but " God bless you ! " 
said he, " the river now is not what it used to be a few years 
ago, when we d have three or four difficulties of an afternoon, 
and maybe now and then a regular free fight all up and down 
the decks, that would last a couple of hours, so that when we 
came to a town we would have to send for all the doctors 
twenty miles round, and maybe some of them would die in 
spite of that. It was the rowdies used to get these fights up ; 
but we ve put them pretty well down. The citizens have 
hunted thorn out, and they s gone away west." " Well, then, 
captain, one s life was not very safe on board sometimes." 
" Safe ! Lord bless you ! " said the captain ; " if you did not 
meddle, just as safe as you are now, if the boiler don t collapse. 
You must, in course, know how to handle your weepins, and 
be pretty spry in taking your own part." " Ho, you Bill ! " 
to his colored servant, " open that clothes-press." " Now, 
here," he continued, " is how I travel ; so that I am always 
easy in my mind in case of trouble on board." Putting his 
hand under the pillow of the bed close beside him, he pulled 
out a formidable looking double-barrelled pistol at half-cock, 
with the caps upon it. " That s as purty a pistol as Derringer 
ever made. I ve got the brace of them here s the other ; " 
and with that he whipped out pistol No. 2, in an equal state 
of forwardness, from a little shelf over his bed ; and then go 
ing over to the clothes-press, he said, " Here s a real old Ken- 
tuck, one of the old sort, as light on the trigger as gossamer, 
and sure as deeth. Why, law bless me, a child would cut a 
turkey s head off with it at a hundred yards." This was a 
huge lump of iron, about five feet long with a small hole bored 
down the centre, fitted in a coarse German-fashioned stock. 
" But," continued he, " this is my main dependence ; here is a 
regular beauty, a first-rate, with ball or buckshot, or whatever 
you like made in London. I gave two hundred dollars for 
it ; and it is so short and handy, and straight shooting, I d just 
as soon part with my life as let it go to anybody ; " and, with a 



GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA. 319 

glow of pride in his face, the captain handed round again a 
very short double-barrelled gun, of some eleven or twelve 
bore, with back-action locks, and an audacious " Joseph Man- 
ton, London," stamped on the plate. The manner of the man 
was perfectly simple and bond fide ; very much as if Inspec 
tor Podger were revealing to a simpleton the mode by which 
the London police managed refractory characters in the sta 
tion-house. 

From such matters as these I was diverted by the more 
serious subject of the attitude taken by England in this quarrel. 
The concession of belligerent rights was, I found, misunder 
stood, and was considered as an admission that the Southern 
States had established their independence before they had 
done more than declare their intention to fight for it. 

It is not within my power to determine whether the North 
is as unfair to Great Britain as the South ; but I fear the 
history of the people, and the tendency of their institutions, 
are adverse to any hope of fair-play and justice to the old 
country. And yet it is the only power in Europe for the good 
opinion of which they really seem to care. Let any French, 
Austrian, or Russian journal write what it pleases of the 
United States, it is received with indifferent criticism or callous 
head-shaking. But let a London paper speak, and the whole 
American press is delighted or furious. 

The political sentiment quite overrides all other feelings ; 
and it is the only symptom statesmen should care about, as it 
guides the policy of the country. If a man can put faith in 
the influence for peace of common interests, of common origin, 
common intentions, with the spectacle of this incipient war 
before his eyes, he must be incapable of appreciating the con 
sequences which follow from man being an animal. A war 
between England and the United States would be unnatural ; 
but it would not be nearly so unnatural now as it was when it 
was actually waged in 1776 between people who were barely 
separated from each other by a single generation ; or in 1812 
14, when the foreign immigration had done comparatively little 
to dilute the Anglo-Saxon blood. The Norman of Hampshire 
and Sussex did not care much for the ties of consanguinity 
and race when he followed his lord in fee to ravage Guienne 
or Brittany. 

The general result of my intercourse with Americans is to 
produce the notion that they consider Great Britain in a state 
of corruption and decay, and eagerly seek to exalt France at 



320 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

her expense. Their language is the sole link between Eng 
land and the United States, and it only binds the England of 
1770 to the American of 1860. 

There is scarcely an American on either side of Mason and 
Dixon s line who does not religiously believe that the colonies, 
alone and single-handed, encountered the whole undivided 
force of Great Britain in the Revolution, and defeated it. I 
mean, of course, the vast mass of the people ; and I do not 
think there is an orator or a writer who would venture to tell 
them the truth on the subject. Again, they firmly believe that 
their petty frigate engagements established as complete a naval 
ascendency over Great Britain as the latter obtained by her 
great encounters with the fleets of France and Spain. Their 
reverses, defeats and headlong routs in the first war, their 
reverses in the second, are covered over by a huge Buncombe 
plaster, made up of Bunker s Hill, Plattsburg, Baltimore, and 
New Orleans. 

Their delusions are increased and solidified by the extraor 
dinary text-books of so-called history, and by the feasts and 
festivals and celebrations of their e very-day political life, in 
all of which we pass through imaginary Caudine Forks ; and 
they entertain towards the old country at best very much the 
feeling which a high-spirited young man would feel towards 
the guardian who, when he had come of age, and was free 
from all control, sought to restrain the passions of his early 
life. 

Now I could not refuse to believe that in New Orleans, 
Montgomery, Mobile, Jackson, and Memphis there is a reck 
less and violent condition of society, unfavorable to civilization, 
and but little hopeful for the future. The most absolute and 
despotic rule, under which a man s life and property are safe, 
is better than the largest measure of democratic freedom, 
which deprives the freeman of any security for either. The 
state of legal protection for the most serious interests of man, 
considered as a civilized and social creature, which prevails in 
America, could not be tolerated for an instant, and would gen 
erate a revolution in the worst governed country in Europe. 
I would much sooner, as the accidental victim of a generally 
disorganized police, be plundered by a chance diligence robber 
in Mexico, or have a fair fight with a Greek Klepht, suffer 
from Italian banditti, or be garrotted by a London ticket-of- 
leave man, than be bowie-knived or revolvered in consequence 
of a political or personal difference with a man, who is certain 



KENTUCKY NEUTRAL. 321 

not in the least degree to suffer from an accidental success in 
his argument. 

On our return to the hotel I dined with the General and 
his staff at the public table, where there was a large assem 
blage of military men, Southern ladies, their families, and 
contractors. This latter race has risen up as if by magic, to 
meet the wants of the new Confederacy ; and it is significant 
to measure the amount of the dependence on Northern manu 
facturers by the advertisements in the Southern journals, in 
dicating the creation of new branches of workmanship, me 
chanical science, and manufacturing skill. 

Hitherto they have been dependent on the North for the 
very necessaries of their industrial life. These States were 
so intent on gathering in money for their produce, expending 
it luxuriously, and paying it out for Northern labor, that they 
found themselves suddenly in the condition of a child brought 
up by hand, whose nurse and mother have left it on the steps 
of the poor-house. But they have certainly essayed to rem 
edy the evil and are endeavoring to make steam-engines, gun 
powder, lamps, clothes, boots, railway carriages, steel springs, 
glass, and all the smaller articles for which even Southern 
households find a necessity. 

The peculiar character of this contest develops itself in a 
manner almost incomprehensible to a stranger who has been 
accustomed to regard the United States as a nation. Here 
is General Pillow, for example, in the State of Tennessee, 
commanding the forces of the State, which, in effect, belongs 
to the Southern Confederacy ; but he tells me that he cannot 
venture to move across a certain geographical line, dividing 
Tennessee from Kentucky, because the State of Kentucky, 
in the exercise of its sovereign powers and rights, which the 
Southern States are bound specially to respect, in virtue of 
their championship of States rights, has, like the United King 
dom of Great Britain and Ireland, declared it will be neutral 
in the struggle ; and Beriah Magoffin, Governor of the afore 
said State, has warned off Federal and Confederate troops 
from his territory. 

General Pillow is particularly indignant with the cowardice 
of the well-known Secessionists of Kentucky ; but I think he 
is rather more annoyed by the accumulation of Federal troops 
at Cairo, and their recent expedition to Columbus on the Ken 
tucky shore, a little below them, where they seized a Confed 
erate flag. 

14* 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Heavy Bill Railway travelling Introductions Assassinations 
Tennessee " Corinth " r " Troy " " Humbolt " " The Con 
federate Camp " Return Northwards Columbus Cairo The 
Slavery Question Prospects of the War Coarse Journalism. 

Jane 19th. It is probable the landlord of the Gayoso 
House was a strong Secessionist, and resolved, therefore, to 
make the most out of a neutral customer like myself cer 
tainly Herodotus would have been astonished if he were 
called upon to pay the little bill which was presented to me in 
the modern Memphis ; and had the old Egyptian hostelries 
been conducted on the same principles as those of the Ten- 
nessean Memphis, the " Father of History " would have had 
to sell off a good many editions in order to pay his way. I 
had to rise at three o clock A. M., to reach the train, which 
started before five. The omnibus which took us to the station 
was literally nave deep in the dust ; and of all the bad roads and 
dusty streets I have yet seen in the New World, where both 
prevail, North and South, those of Memphis are the worst. 
Indeed, as the citizen, of Hibernian birth, who presided over 
the luggage of the passengers on the roof, declared, " The 
streets are paved with waves of mud, only the mud is all dust 
when it s fine weather." 

By the time I had arrived at the station my clothes were 
covered with a fine alluvial deposit in a state of powder ; the 
platform was crowded with volunteers moving off for the wars, 
and I was obliged to take my place in a carriage full of Con 
federate officers and soldiers who had a large supply of 
whiskey, which at that early hour they were consuming as a 
prophylactic against the influence of the morning dews, 
which hereabouts are of such a deadly character that, to be 
quite safe from their influence, it appears to be necessary, 
judging from the examples of my companions, to get as 
nearly drunk as possible. Whiskey, by-the-by, is also a sov 
ereign specific against the bites of rattle-snakes. All the 



FKIENDS ON THE PLATFORM. 323 

dews of the Mississippi and the rattle-snakes of the prairie 
might have spent their force or venom in vain on my compan 
ions before we had got as far as Union City. 

I was evidently regarded with considerable suspicion by my 
fellow passengers, when they heard I was going to Cairo, 
until the conductor obligingly informed them who I was, 
whereupon I was much entreated to fortify myself against the 
dews and rattle-snakes, and received many offers of service 
and kindness. 

Whatever may be the normal comforts of American rail 
way cars, they are certainly most unpleasant conveyances 
when the war spirit is abroad, and the heat of the day, which 
was excessive, did not contribute to diminish the annoyance 
of foul air the odor of whiskey, tobacco, and the like, com 
bined with innumerable flies. At Humbolt, which is eighty- 
two miles away, there was a change of cars, and an oppor 
tunity of obtaining some refreshment, the station was 
crowded by great numbers of men and women dressed in their 
best, who were making holiday in order to visit Union City, 
forty-six miles distant, where a force of Tennessean and Mis 
sissippi regiments are encamped. The ladies boldly advanced 
into carriages which were quite full, and as they looked quite 
prepared to sit down on the occupants of the seats if they did 
not move, and to destroy them with all-absorbing articles of 
feminine warfare, either defensive or aggressive, and crush 
them with iron-bound crinolines, they soon drove us out into 
the broiling sun. 

Whilst I was on the platform I underwent the usual pro 
cess of American introduction, not, I fear, very good humor- 
edly. A gentleman whom you never saw before in your life, 
walks up to you and says, u I am happy to see you among us, 
sir," and if he finds a hand wandering about, he shakes it 
cordially. " My name is Jones, sir, Judge Jones of Pumpkin 
County. Any information about this place or State that I 
can give is quite at your service." This is all very civil and 
well meant of Jones, but before you have made up your mind 
what to say, or on what matter to test the worth of his prof 
fered information, he darts off and seizes one of the group 
who have been watching Jones s advance, and comes forward 
with a tall man, like himself, busily engaged with a piece of 
tobacco. u Colonel, let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. 
Russell. This, sir, is one of our leading citizens, Colonel 
Knags." Whereupon the Colonel shakes hands, uses nearly 



324 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

the same formula as Judge Jones, immediately returns to his 
friends, and cuts in before Jones is back with other friends, 
whom he is hurrying up the platform, introduces General 
Cassius Mudd and Dr. Ordlando Bellows, who go through 
the same ceremony, arid as each man has a circle of his own, 
my acquaintance becomes prodigiously extended, and my 
hand considerably tortured in the space of a few minutes ; 
finally I am introduced to the driver of the engine and the 
stoker, but they proved to be acquaintances not at all to be 
despised, for they gave me a seat on the engine, which was 
really a boon, considering that the train was crowded beyond 
endurance, and in a state of internal nastiness scarcely con 
ceivable. 

When I had got up on the engine a gentleman clambered 
after me in order to have a little conversation, and he turned 
out to be an intelligent and clever man well acquainted with 
the people and the country. I had been much impressed by 
the account in the Memphis papers of the lawlessness and 
crime which seemed to prevail in the State of Mississippi, 
and of the brutal shootings and stabbings which disgraced it 
and other Southern States. He admitted it was true, but 
could not see any remedy. " Why not ? " " Well, sir, the 
rowdies have rushed in on us, and we can t master them ; 
they are too strong for the respectable people." " Then you 
admit the law is nearly powerless ? " " Well, you see, sir, 
these men have got hold of the people who ought to adminis 
ter the law, and when they fail to do so they are so powerful 
by reason of their numbers, and so reckless, they have things 
their own way." 

" In effect, then, you are living under a reign of terror, 
and the rule of a ruffian mob ? " " It s not quite so bad as 
that, perhaps, for the respectable people are not much affected 
by it, and most of the crimes of which you speak are com 
mitted by these bad classes in their own section ; but it is 
disgraceful to have such a state of things, and when this war 
is over, and we have started the confederacy all fair, we ll 
put the whole thing down. We are quite determined to take 
the law into our own hands, and the first remedy for the con 
dition of affairs which, we all lament, will be to confine the 
suffrage to native-born Americans, and to get rid of the infa 
mous, scoundrelly foreigners, who now overrule us in our 
country." " But are not many regiments of Irish and Ger 
mans now fighting for you ? And will these foreigners who 



TENNESSEE. 325 

have taken up arms in your cause be content to receive as 
the result of their success an inferior position, politically, to 
that which they now hold ? " " Well, sir, they must ; we 
are bound to go through with this thing if we would save 
society." I had so often heard a similar determination ex 
pressed by men belonging to the thinking classes in the 
South, that I am bound to believe the project is entertained 
by many of those engaged in this great revolt one princi 
ple of which indeed, may be considered hostility to universal 
suffrage, combining with it, of course, the limitation of the 
immigrant vote. 

The portion of Tennessee through which the rail runs is 
exceedingly uninteresting, and looks unhealthy, the clear 
ings occur at long intervals in the forest, and the unwhole 
some population, who came out of their low shanties, situated 
amidst blackened stumps of trees or fields of Indian corn, 
did not seem prosperous or comfortable. The twists and 
curves of the rail, through cane brakes and swamps exceed 
ed in that respect any line I have ever travelled on ; but the 
vertical irregularities of the rail were still greater, and the 
engine bounded as if it were at sea. 

The names of the stations show that a savant has been 
rambling about the district. Here is Corinth, which consists 
of a wooden grog-shop and three log shanties ; the acropolis 
is represented by a grocery store, of which the proprietors, 
no doubt, have gone to the wars, as their names were sus 
piciously Milesian, and the doors and windows were fastened ; 
but occasionally the names of the stations on the railway 
boards represented towns and villages, hidden in the wood 
some distance away, and Mummius might have something 
to ruin if he marched off the track, but not otherwise. 

The city of Troy was still simpler in architecture than the 
Grecian capitol. The Dardanian towers were represented 
by a timber-house, in the veranda of which the American 
Helen was seated, in the shape of an old woman smoking 
a pipe, and she certainly could have set the Palace of Priarn 
on fire much more readily than her prototype. Four sheds, 
three log huts, a saw-mill, about twenty negroes sitting on 
a wood-pile, and looking at the train, constituted the rest of 
the place, which was certainly too new for one to say, Troja 
fuit, whilst the general " n xins " would scarcely authorize us 
to say with any confidence, Troja fuerit. 

The train from Troy passed through a cypress swamp, over 



326 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

which the engine rattled, and hopped at a perilous rate along 
high trestle work, till forty-six miles from Humbolt we came 
to Union City, which was apparently formed by aggregate 
meetings of discontented shavings that had travelled out of the 
forest hard by. But a little beyond it was the Confederate 
camp, which so many citizens and citizenesses had come out 
into the wilderness to see ; and a general descent was made 
upon the place whilst the volunteers came swarming out of 
their tents to meet their friends. It was interesting to observe 
the affectionate greetings between the young soldiers, mothers, 
wives, and sweethearts, and as a display of the force and ear 
nestness of the Southern people the camp itself containing 
thousands of men, many of whom were members of the first 
families in the State was specially significant. 

There is no appearance of military order or discipline 
about the camps, though they were guarded by sentries and 
cannon, and implements of war and soldiers accoutrements 
were abundant. Some of the sentinels carried their firelocks 
under their arms like umbrellas, others carried the but over 
the shoulder and the muzzle downwards, and one for his 
greater ease had stuck the bayonet of his firelock into the 
ground, and was leaning his elbow on the stock with his chin 
on his hand, whilst sybarites less ingenious, had simply depos 
ited their muskets against the trees, and were lying down 
reading newspapers. Their arms and uniforms were of differ 
ent descriptions sporting rifles, fowling pieces, flint muskets, 
smooth bores, long and short barrels, new Enfields, and the like ; 
but the men, nevertheless, were undoubtedly material for excel 
lent soldiers. There were some few boys, too young to carry 
arms, although the zeal and ardor of such lads cannot but 
have a good effect, if they behave well in action. 

The great attraction of this train lay in a vast supply of 
stores, with which several large vans were closely packed, 
and for fully two hours the train was delayed, whilst hampers 
of wine, spirits, vegetables, fruit, meat, groceries, and all the 
various articles acceptable to soldiers living under canvas 
were disgorged on the platform, and carried away by the ex 
pectant military. 

I was pleased to observe the perfect confidence that was 
felt in the honesty of the men. The railway servants simply 
deposited each article as it came out on the platform the 
men came up, read the address, and carried it away, or left it, 
as the case might be ; and only in one instance did I see a 



A FILIBUSTKRO. 327 

scramble, which was certainly quite justifiable, for, in handing 
out a large basket the bottom gave way, and out tumbled 
onions, apples, and potatoes among the soldiery, who stuffed 
their pockets and haversacks with the unexpected bounty. 
One young fellow, who was handed a large wicker-covered 
jar from the van, having shaken it, and gratified his ear by 
the pleasant jingle inside, retired to the roadside, drew the 
cork, and, raising it slowly to his mouth, proceeded to take a 
good pull at the contents, to the envy of his comrades ; but 
the pleasant expression upon his face rapidly vanished, and 
spurting out the fluid with a hideous grimace, he exclaimed, 

" D ; why, if the old woman has not gone and sent me a 

gallon of syrup." The matter was evidently considered too 
serious to joke about, for not a soul in the crowd even smiled ; 
but they walked away from the man, who, putting down 
the jar, seemed in doubt as to whether he would take it away 
or not. 

Numerous were the invitations to stop, which I received 
from the officers. " Why not stay with us, sir ; what can a 
gentleman want to go among black Republicans and Yankees 
for?" It is quite obvious that my return to the Northern 
States is regarded with some suspicion ; but I am bound to 
say that my explanation of the necessity of the step was 
always well received, and satisfied my Southern friends that I 
had no alternative. A special correspondent, whose letters 
cannot get out of the country in which he is engaged, can 
scarcely fulfil the purpose of his mission ; and I used to point 
out, good-humoredly, to these gentlemen that until they had 
either opened the communication with the North, or had 
broken the blockade, and established steam communication 
with Europe, I must seek my base of operations elsewhere. 

At last we started from Union City ; and there came into the 
car, among other soldiers who were going out to Columbus, a fine 
specimen of the wild filibustering population of the South, which 
furnish many recruits to the ranks of the Confederate army 
a tall, brawny-shouldered, brown-faced, black -bearded, hairy- 
handed man, with a hunter s eye, and rather a Jewish face, 
full of life, energy, and daring. I easily got into conversation 
with him, as my companion happened to be a freemason, and 
he told us he had been a planter in Mississippi, and once 
owned llO negroes, worth at least some 20,00(U. ; but, as he said 
himself, " I was always patrioting it about ; " and so he went 
off, first with Lopez to Cuba, was wounded and taken prisoner 



328 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

by the Spaniards, but had the good fortune to be saved from the 
execution which was inflicted on the ringleaders of the expe 
dition. When he came back he found his plantation all the 
worse, and a decrease amongst his negroes ; but his love of 
adventure and filibustering was stronger than his prudence 
or desire of gain. He took up with Walker, the " gray-eyed 
man of destiny," and accompanied him in his strange career 
till his leader received the coup de grace in the final raid upon 
Nicaragua. 

Again he was taken prisoner, and would have been put to 
death by the Nicaraguans, but for the intervention of Captain 
Aldham. " I don t bear any love to the Britishers," said he, 
" but I m bound to say, as so many charges have been made 
against Captain Aldham, that he behaved like a gentleman, 
and if I had been at New Orleans when them cussed cowardly 
blackguards ill-used him, I d have left my mark so deep on a 
few of them, that their clothes would not cover them long." 
He told us that at present he had only five negroes left, " but 
I m not going to let the black Republicans lay hold of them, 
and I m just going to stand up for States rights as long as I 
can draw a trigger so snakes and abolitionists look out." 
He was so reduced by starvation, ill-treatment, and sickness 
in Nicaragua, when Captain Aldham procured his release, 
that he weighed only 110 pounds, but at present he was over 
200 pounds, a splendid bete fauve, and without wishing so fine 
a looking fellow any harm, I could not but help thinking that 
it must be a benefit to American society to get rid of a consid 
erable number of these class of which he is a representative 
man. And there is every probability that they will have a 
full opportunity of doing so. 

On the arrival of the train at Columbus, twenty-five miles 
from Union City, my friend got out, and a good number of 
men in uniform joined him, which led me to conclude that 
they had some more serious object than a mere pleasure trip 
to the very uninteresting looking city on the banks of the Mis 
sissippi, which is asserted to be neutral territory, as it be 
longs to the sovereign State of Kentucky. I heard, accident 
ally, as I came in the train, that a party of Federal soldiers 
from the camp at Cairo, up the river, had recently descended 
to Columbus and torn down a secession flag which had been 
hoisted on the river s bank, to the great indignation of many 
of its inhabitants. 

In those border States the coming war promises to produce 



COLUMBUS, KENTUCKY. 329 

the greatest misery ; they will be the scenes of hostile operations ; 
the population is divided in sentiment; the greatest efforts 
will be made by each side to gain the ascendency in the State, 
and to crush the opposite faction, and it is not possible to be 
lieve that Kentucky can maintain a neutral position, or that 
either Federal or Confederates will pay the smallest regard 
to the proclamation of Governor Magoffin, and to his empty 
menaces. 

At Columbus the steamer was waiting to convey us up to 
Cairo, and I congratulated myself on the good fortune of ar 
riving in time for the last opportunity that will be afforded of 
proceeding northward by this route. General Pillow on the 
one hand, and General Prentiss on the other, have resolved 
to blockade the Mississippi, and as the facilities for Confed 
erates going up to Columbus and obtaining information of 
what is happening in the Federal camps cannot readily be 
checked, the general in command of the port to which I am 
bound has intimated that the steamers must cease running. 
It was late in the day when we entered once more on the 
father of waters, which is here just as broad, as muddy, as 
deep, and as wooded as it is at Baton Rouge, or Vicksburg. 

Columbus is situated on an elevated spur or elbow of land 
projecting into the river, and has, in commercial faith, one of 
those futures which have so many rallying points down the 
centre of the great river. The steamer which lay at the 
wharf, or rather the wooden piles in the bank which afforded 
a resting place for the gangway, carried no flag, and on board 
presented traces of better days, a list of refreshments no longer 
attainable, and of bill of fare utterly fanciful. About twenty 
passengers came on board, most of whom had a distracted air, 
as if they were doubtful of their journey. The captain was 
surly, the office keeper petulant, the crew morose, and, per 
haps, only one man on board, a stout Englishman, who was 
purser or chief of the victualling department, seemed at all in 
clined to be communicative. At dinner he asked me whether I 
thought there would be a fight, but as I was oscillating be 
tween one extreme and the other, I considered it right to con 
ceal my opinion even from the steward of the Mississippi 
boat ; and, as it happened, the expression of it would not have 
been of much consequence one way or the other, for it turned 
out that our friend was of very stern stuff. " This war," he 
said, "is all about niggers; I ve been sixteen years in the 
country, and I never met one of them yet was fit to be any 



330 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

thing but a slave ; I know the two sections well, and I tell 
you, sir, the North can t whip the South, let them do their 
best ; they may ruin the country, but they ll do no good." 

There were men on board who had expressed the strongest 
Secession sentiments in the train, but who now sat and listened 
and acquiesced in the opinions of Northern men, and by the 
time Cairo was in sight, they, no doubt, would have taken 
the oath of allegiance which every doubtful person is required 
to utter before he is allowed to go beyond the military post. 

In about two hours or so the captain pointed out to me a 
tall building and some sheds, which seemed to arise out of a 
wide reach in the river, " that s Cairey," said he, " where the 
Unionists have their camp," and very soon stars and stripes 
were visible, waving from a lofty staff, at the angle of low 
land formed by the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio. 

For two months I had seen only the rival stars and bars, 
with the exception of the rival banner floating from the ships 
and the fort at Pickens. One of the passengers told me 
that the place was supposed to be described by Mr. Dickens, 
in " Martin Chuzzlewit," and as the steamer approached the 
desolate embankment, which seemed the only barrier between 
the low land on which the so-called city was built, and the 
waters of the great river rising above it, it certainly became 
impossible to believe that sane men, even as speculators, 
could have fixed upon such a spot as the possible site of a 
great city, an emporium of trade and commerce. A more 
desolate woe-begone looking place, now that all trade and 
commerce had ceased, cannot be conceived ; but as the south 
ern terminus of the Central Illinois Railway, it displayed a very 
different scene before the war broke out. 

With the exception of the large hotel, which rises far 
above the levee of the river, the public edifices are repre 
sented by a church and spire, and the rest of the town by a 
line of shanties and small houses, the rooms and upper stories 
of which are just visible above the embankment. The gen 
eral impression effected by the place was decidedly like that 
which the Isle of Dogs produces on a despondent foreigner as 
he approaches London by the river on a drizzly day in Novem 
ber. The stream, formed by the united efforts of the Missis 
sippi and the Ohio, did not appear to gain much breadth, and 
each of the confluents looked as large as its product with the 
other. Three steamers lay alongside the wooden wharves 
projecting from the embankment, which was also lined by 



CAIRO MOSQUITOES. 331 

some flat-boats. Sentries paraded the gangways as the 
steamer made fast along the shore, but no inquiry was di 
rected to any of the passengers, and I walked up the levee 
and proceeded straight to the hotel, which put me very much 
in mind of an effort made by speculating proprietors to create 
a watering-place on some lifeless beach. In the hall there 
were a number of officers in United States uniforms, and the 
lower part of the hotel was, apparently, occupied as a mili 
tary bureau ; finally, I was shoved into a small dungeon, with 
a window opening out on the angle formed by the two rivers, 
which was lined with sheds and huts and terminated by a 
battery. 

These camps are such novelties in the country, and there 
is such romance in the mere fact of a man living in a tent, 
that people come far and wide to see their friends under 
such extraordinary circumstances, and the hotel at Cairo was 
crowded by men and women who had come from all parts 
of Illinois to visit their acquaintances and relations belong 
ing to the State troops encamped at this important point. The 
salle a manger, a long and lofty room on the ground floor, 
which I visited at supper time, was almost untenable by rea 
son of heat and flies ; nor did I find that the free negroes, 
who acted as attendants, possessed any advantages over their 
enslaved brethren a few miles lower down the river ; though 
their freedom was obvious enough in their demeanor and 
manners. 

I was introduced to General Prentiss, an agreeable per 
son, without any thing about him to indicate the soldier. He 
gave me a number of newspapers, the articles in which were 
principally occupied with a discussion of Lord John Russell s 
speech on American affairs : Much as the South found fault 
with the British minister for the views he had expressed, the 
North appears much more indignant, and denounces in the 
press what the journalists are pleased to call " the hostility of 
the Foreign Minister to the United States." It is admitted, 
however, that the extreme irritation caused by admitting the 
Southern States to exercise limited belligerent rights was not 
quite justifiable. Soon after nightfall I retired to my room 
and battled with mosquitoes till I sank into sleep and exhaus 
tion, and abandoned myself to their mercies ; perhaps, after 
all, there were not more than a hundred or so, and their united 
efforts could not absorb as much blood as would be taken out 
by one leech, but then their horrible acrimony, which leaves 



332 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

a wreck behind in the place where they have banqueted, in 
spires the utmost indignation and appears to be an indefensible 
prolongation of the outrage of the original bite. 

June 20th. When I awoke this morning and, gazing out 
of my little window on the regiments parading on the level 
below me, after an arduous struggle to obtain cold water for a 
bath, sat down to consider what I had seen within the last 
two months, and to arrive at some general results from the 
retrospect, I own that after much thought my mind was 
reduced to a hazy analysis of the abstract principles of right 
and wrong, in which it failed to come to any very definite con 
clusion : the space of a very few miles has completely altered 
the phases of thought and the forms of language. 

I am living among "abolitionists, cut-throats, Lincolnite 
mercenaries, foreign invaders, assassins, and plundering Dutch 
men." Such, at least, the men of Columbus tell me the gar 
rison at Cairo consists of. Down below me are " rebels, con 
spirators, robbers, slave breeders, wretches bent upon destroy 
ing the most perfect government on the face of the earth, in 
order to perpetuate an accursed system, by which, however, 
beings are held in bondage and immortal souls consigned to 
perdition." 

On the whole, the impression left upon my mind by what 
I had seen in slave states is unfavorable to the institution of 
slavery, both as regards its effect on the slave and its influ 
ence on the master. But my examination was necessarily 
superficial and hasty. I have reason to believe that the more 
deeply the institution is probed, the more clearly will its un- 
soundness and its radical evils be discerned. The constant 
appeals made to the physical comforts of the slaves, and their 
supposed contentment, have little or no effect on any person 
who acts up to a higher standard of human happiness than 
that which is applied to swine or the beasts of the fields " See 
how fat my pigs are." 

The arguments founded on a comparison of the condition 
of the slave population with the pauperized inhabitants of 
European states are utterly fallacious, inasmuch as in one 
point, which is the most important by far, there can be no com 
parison at all. In effect slavery can only be justified in the 
abstract on the grounds which slavery advocates decline to 
take boldly, though they insinuate it now and then, that is, 
the inferiority of the negro in respect to white men, which 
removes them from the upper class of human beings and 



THE WRATH TO COME. 333 

places them in a condition which is as much below the Cau 
casian standard as the quadrumanous creatures are beneath the 
negro. Slavery is a curse, with its time of accomplishment 
not quite at hand it is a cancer, the ravages of which are 
covered by fair outward show, and by the apparent health of 
the sufferer. 

The Slave States, of course, would not support the Northern 
for a year, if cotton, sugar, and tobacco became suddenly 
worthless. But, nevertheless, the slave-owners would have 
strong grounds to stand upon if they were content to point to 
the difficulties in the way of emancipation, and the circum 
stances under which they received their damnosa heredilas 
from England, which fostered, nay forced, slavery in legisla 
tive hotbeds throughout the colonies. The Englishman may 
say, " We abolished slavery when we saw its evils." The 
slave-owner replies, " Yes, with you it was possible to decree 
the extinction not with us." 

Never did a people enter on a war so utterly destitute of 
any reason for waging it, or of the means of bringing it to a 
successful termination against internal enemies. The thirteen 
colonies had a large population of sea-faring and soldiering 
men, constantly engaged in military expeditions. There was 
a large infusion, compared with the numbers of men capable 
of commanding in the field, and their great enemy was sep 
arated by a space far greater than the whole circumference of 
the globe would be in the present time from the scene of 
operations. Most American officers who took part in the war 
of 1812-14 are now too old for service, or retired into private 
life soon after the campaign. The same remark applies to 
the senior officers who served in Mexico, and the experiences 
of that campaign could not be of much use to those now in 
the service, of whom the majority were subalterns^ or at most, 
officers in command of volunteers. 

A love of military display is very different indeed from a 
true soldierly spirit, and at the base of the volunteer system 
there lies a radical difficulty, which must be overcome before 
real military efficiency can be expected. In the South the 
foreign element has contributed largely to swell the ranks with 
many docile and a few experienced soldiers, the number of 
the latter predominating in the German levies, and the same 
remark is, 1 hear, true of the Northern armies. 

The most active member of the staff here is a young 
Englishman named Binmore, who was a stenographic writer 



334 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

in London, but has now sharpened his pencil into a sword, 
and when I went into the guard-room this morning I found 
that three fourths of the officers, including all who had seen 
actual service, were foreigners. One, Milotzky, was an Hun 
garian ; another, Waagner, was of the same nationality ; a 
third, Schuttner, was a German ; another, Mac something, was 
a Scotchman ; another was an Englishman. One only (Colo 
nel Morgan), who had served in Mexico, was an American. 
The foreigners, of course, serve in this war as mercenaries ; 
that is, they enter into the conflict to gain something by it, 
either in pay, in position, or in securing a status for themselves. 

The utter absence of any fixed principle determining the 
side which the foreign nationalities adopt is proved by their 
going North or South with the state in which they live. On 
the other hand, the effects of discipline and of the principles 
of military life on rank and file are shown by the fact that 
the soldiers of the regular regiments of the United States and 
the sailors in the navy have to a man adhered to their colors, 
notwithstanding the examples and inducements of their 
officers. 

After breakfast I went down about the works, which fortify 
the bank of mud, in the shape of a V, formed by the two 
rivers a fleche with a ditch, scarp, and counter-scarp. 
Some heavy pieces cover the end of the spit at the other side 
of the Mississippi, at Bird s Point. On the side of Missouri 
there is a field intrenchment, held by a regiment of Germans, 
Poles, and Hungarians, about 1000 strong, with two field bat 
teries. The sacred soil of Kentucky, on the other side of the 
Ohio, is tabooed by Beriah Magoffin, but it is not possible for 
the belligerents to stand so close face to face without occupy 
ing either Columbus or Hickman. The thermometer was at 
100 soon after breakfast, and it was not wonderful to find 
that the men in Camp Defiance, which is the name of the can 
tonment on the mud between the levees of the Ohio and Mis 
sissippi, were suffering from diarrhoea and fever. 

In the evening there was a review of three regiments, form 
ing a brigade of some 2800 men, who went through their drill, 
advancing in columns of company, moving en echelon, changing 
front, deploying into line on the centre company, very credi 
tably. It was curious to see what a start ran through the 
men during the parade when a gun was fired from the battery 
close at hand, and how their heads turned toward the river ; 
but the steamer which had appeared round the bend hoisted 



ELEGANT EXTRACTS. 335 

the private signs, by which she was known as a friend, and 
tranquillity was restored. 

I am not sure that most of these troops desire anything but 
a long residence at a tolerably comfortable station, with plenty 
of pay and no marching. Cairo, indeed, is not comfortable ; 
the worst barrack that ever asphyxiated the British soldier 
would be better than the best shed here, and the flies and the 
mosquitoes are beyond all conception virulent and pestiferous. 
I would not give much to see Cairo in its normal state, but it 
is my fate to witness the most interesting scenes in the world, 
through a glaze of gunpowder. It would be unfair to say that 
any marked superiority in dwelling, clothing, or comfort was 
visible between the mean white of Cairo or the black chattel 
a few miles down the river. Brawling, rioting, and a good 
deal of drunkenness prevailed in the miserable sheds which 
line the stream, although there was nothing to justify the 
libels on the garrison of the Columbus Crescent, edited by one 
Colonel L. G. Faxon, of the Tennessee Tigers, with whose 
writings I was made acquainted by General Prentiss, to whom 
they appeared to give more annoyance than he was quite wise 
in showing. 

This is a style of journalism which may have its merits, 
and which certainly is peculiar ; I give a few small pieces. 
" The Irish are for us, and they will knock Bologna sausages 
out of the Dutch, and we will knock wooden nutmegs out of 
the Yankees." " The mosquitoes of Cairo have been sucking 
the lager-bier out of the dirty soldiers there so long, they are 
bloated and swelled up as large as spring possums. An as 
sortment of Columbus mosquitoes went up there the other day 
to suck some, but as they have not returned, the probability 
is they went off with delirium tremens ; in fact, the blood of 
these Hessians would poison the most degraded tumble bug in 
creation." 

Our editor is particularly angry about the recent seizure of 
a Confederate flag at Columbus by Colonel Oglesby and a 
party of Federals from Cairo. Speaking of a flag intended 
for himself, he says, "Would that its folds had contained 
1000 asps to sting 1000 Dutchmen to eternity unshriven." 
Our friend is certainly a genius. His paper of June the 19th 
opens with an apology for the non-appearance of the journal 
for several weeks. " Before leaving," he says, " we engaged 
the services of a competent editor, and left a printer here to 
issue the paper regularly. We were detained several weeks 



336 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

beyond our time, the aforesaid printer promised faithfully to 
perform his duties, but he left the same day we did, and con 
sequently there was no one to get out the paper. We have 
the charity to suppose that fear and bad whiskey had nothing 
to do with his evacuation of Columbus." Another elegant 
extract about the flag commences, " When the bow-legged 
wooden-shoed, sour craut stinking, Bologna sausage eating, 

hen roost robbing Dutch sons of had accomplished the 

brilliant feat of taking down the Secession flag on the river 
bank, they were pointed to another flag of the same sort 
which their guns did not cover, flying gloriously and defiantly, 
and dared yea ! double big black dog dared, as we used to 
say at school, to take that flag down the cowardly pups, the 
thieving sheep dogs, the sneaking skunks dare not do so, 
because their twelve pieces of artillery were not bearing on 
it." As to the Federal commander at Cairo, Colonel Faxon s 
sentiments are unambiguous. "The qualifications of this 
man, Prentiss," he says, " for the command of such a squad of 
villains and cut-throats are, that he is a miserable hound, a 
dirty dog, a sociable fellow, a treacherous villain, a notorious 
thief, a lying blackguard, who has served his regular five 
years in the Penitentiary and keeps his hide continually full 
of Cincinnati whiskey, which he buys by the barrel in order 
to save his money in him are embodied the leprous rascali 
ties of the world, and in this living score, the gallows is 
cheated of its own. Prentiss wants our scalp ; we propose a 
plan by which he may get that valuable article. Let him 
select 150 of his best fighting men, or 250 of his lager-bier 
Dutchmen, we will select 100, then let both parties meet 
where there will be no interruption at the scalping business, 
and the longest pole will knock the persimmon. If he does 
not accept this proposal, he is a coward. We think this a 
gentlemanly proposition and quite fair and equal to both 
parties." 



CHAPTER XL. 

Camp at Cairo The North and the South in respect to Europe 

Political reflections Mr. Colonel Oglesby My speech 
Northern and Southern soldiers compared American country- 
walks Recklessness of life Want of cavalry Emeute in the 
camp Defects of army medical department Horrors of war 

Bad discipline. 

June 21st. Verily I would be sooner in the Coptic Cairo, 
narrow streeted, dark bazaared, many flied, much vexed by 
donkeys and by overland route passengers, than the horrid 
tongue of land which licks the muddy margin of the Ohio 
and the Mississippi. The thermometer at 100 in the shade- 
before noon indicates nowhere else such an amount of heat 
and suffering, and yet prostrate as I was, it was my fate to 
argue that England was justified in conceding belligerent 
rights to the South, and that the attitude of neutrality we had 
assumed in this terrible quarrel is not in effect an aggression 
on the United States ; and here is a difference to be perceived 
between the North and the South. 

The people of the seceding States, aware in their con 
sciences that they have been most active in their hostility to 
Great Britain, and whilst they were in power were mainly 
responsible for the defiant, irritating, and insulting tone com 
monly used to us by American statesmen, are anxious at the 
present moment when so much depends on the action of for 
eign countries, to remove all unfavorable impressions from 
our minds by declarations of good will, respect, and admira 
tion, not quite compatible with the language of their leaders 
in times not long gone by. The North, as yet unconscious of 
the loss of power, and reared in a school of menace and vio 
lent assertion of their rights, regarding themselves as the whole 
of the United States, and animated by their own feeling of 
commercial and political opposition to Great Britain, main 
tain the high tone of a people who have never known let or 
hindrance in their passions, and consider it an outrage that 
15 



338 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

the whole world does not join in active sympathy for a gov 
ernment which in its brief career has contrived to affront 
every nation in Europe with which it had any dealings. 

If the United States have astonished France by their in 
gratitude, they have certainly accustomed England to their 
petulance, and one can fancy the satisfaction with which the 
Austrian Statesmen who remember Mr. Webster s despatch 
to Mr. Hulsemann, contemplate the present condition of the 
United States in the face of an insurrection of these sover 
eign and independent States which the Cabinet at Washing 
ton stigmatizes as an outbreak of rebels and traitors to the 
royalty of the Union. 

During my short sojourn in this country I have never yet 
met any person who could show me where the sovereignty of 
the Union resides. General Prentiss, however, and his Illi 
nois volunteers, are quite ready to fight for it. 

In the afternoon the General drove me round the camps in 
company with Mr. Washburne, Member of Congress, from 
Illinois, his staff and a party of officers, among whom w r as Mr. - 
Oglesby, colonel of a regiment of State Volunteers, who struck 
me by his shrewdness, simple honesty, and zeal.* He told 
me that he had begun life in the utmost obscurity, but that 
somehow or other he got into a lawyer s office, and there, by 
hard drudgery, by mother wit, and industry, notwithstanding 
a defective education, he had raised himself not only to inde 
pendence, but to such a position that 1000 men had gathered 
at his call and selected one who had never led a company in 
his life to be their colonel ; in fact, he is an excellent orator 
of the western school, and made good homely, telling speeches 
to his men. 

" I m not as good as your Frenchmen of the schools of 
Paris, nor am J equal to the Russian colonels I met at St. 
Petersburg, who sketched me out how they had beaten you 
Britishers at Sebastopol," said he; "but I know I can do 
good straight fighting with my boys when I get a chance. 
There is a good deal in training, to be sure, but nature tells 
too. Why 1 believe I would make a good artillery officer if 
I was put to it. General, you heard how I laid one of them 
guns the other day and touched her off with my own hand 
and sent the ball right into a tree half-a-mile away." The 
Colonel evidently thought he had by that feat proved his fit 
ness for the command of a field battery. One of the German 
* Since died of wounds received in action. 



CAMP ORATORY. 339 

officers who was listening to the lively old man s talk, whis 
pered to me, " Dere is a good many of tese colonels in dis 
camp." 

At each station the officers came out of their tents, shook 
hands all round, and gave an unfailing invitation to get down 
and take a drink, and the guns on the General s approach 
fired salutes, as though it was a time of profbundest peace. 
Powder was certainly more plentiful than in the Confederate 
camps, where salutes are not permitted unless by special order 
on great occasions. 

The General remained for some time in the camp of the 
Chicago light artillery, which was commanded by a fine young 
Scotchman of the Saxon genus Smith, who told me that the 
privates of his company represented a million and a half of 
dollars in property. Their guns, horses, carriages, and ac 
coutrements were all in the most creditable order, and there 
was an air about the men and about their camp which showed 
they did not belong to the same class as the better disciplined 
Hungarians of Milotzky close at hand. 

Whilst we were seated in Captain Smith s tent, a number 
of the privates came forward, and sang the " Star-spangled 
banner," and a patriotic song, to the air of " God save the 
Queen ! " and the rest of the artillery-men, and a number of 
stragglers from the other camps, assembled and then formed 
line behind the singers. When the chorus was over there 
arose a great shout for Washburne, and the honorable con 
gressman was fain to come forward and make a speech, in 
which he assured his hearers of a very speedy victory and the 
advent of liberty all over the land. Then " General Prentiss" 
was called for; and as citizen soldiers command their Generals 
on such occasions, he too was obliged to speak, and to tell his 
audience " the world had never seen any men more devoted, 
gallant, or patriotic than themselves." " Oglesby " was next 
summoned, and the tall, portly, good-humored old man stepped 
to the front, and with excellent tact and good sense, dished up 
in the Buncombe style, told them the time for making speeches 
had passed, indeed it had lasted too long ; and although it was 
paid there was very little fighting when there was much talk 
ing, he believed too much talking was likely to lead to a great 
deal more fighting than any one desired to see between citi 
zens of the United States of America, except their enemies, 
who, no doubt, were much better pleased to see Americans 
fighting each other than to find them engaged in any other 



340 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

employment. Great as the mischief of too much talking had 
been, too much writing had far more of the mischief to an 
swer for. The pen was keener than the tongue, hit harder, 
and left a more incurable wound ; but the pen was better than 
the tongue, because it was able to cure the mischief it had in 
flicted." And so by a series of sentences the Colonel got round 
to me, and to my consternation, remembering how I had fared 
with my speech at the little private dinner on St. Patrick s 
Day in New York, I was called upon by stentorian lungs, and 
hustled to the stump by a friendly circle, till I escaped by ut 
tering a few sentences as to " mighty struggle," " Europe gaz 
ing," " the world anxious," " the virtues of discipline," " the 
admirable lessons of a soldier s life," and the " aspiration that 
in a quarrel wherein a British subject was ordered, by an au 
thority he was bound to respect, to remain neutral, God might 
preserve the right." 

Colonel, General, and all addressed the soldiers as " gen 
tlemen," and their auditory did not on their part refrain from 
expressing their sentiments in the most unmistakable manner. 
" Bully for you, General ! " " Bravo, Washburne ! " " That s 
so, Colonel ! " and the like, interrupted the harangues ; and 
when the oratorical exercises were over the men crowded 
round the staff, cheered and hurrahed, and tossed up their 
caps in the greatest delight. 

With the exception of the foreign officers, and some of the 
Staff, there are very few of the colonels, majors, captains, or 
lieutenants who know anything of their business. The men 
do not care for them, and never think of saluting them. A 
regiment of Germans was sent across from Bird s Point this 
evening for plundering and robbing the houses in the district 
in which they were quartered. 

It may be readily imagined that the scoundrels who had to 
fly from every city in Europe before the face of the police 
will not stay their hands when they find themselves masters 
of the situation in the so-called country of an enemy. In 
such matters the officers have little or no control, and disci 
pline is exceedingly lax, and punishments but sparingly in 
flicted, the use of the lash being forbidden altogether. Fine 
as the men are, incomparably better armed, clad and doubt 
less better fed than the Southern troops, they will scarcely 
meet them man to man in the field with any chance of suc 
cess. Among the officers are bar-room keepers, persons little 
above the position of potmen in England, grocers apprentices, 



A WALK IN THE COUNTRY. 341 

and such like often inferior socially, and in every other re 
spect, to the men whom they are supposed to command. 
General Prentiss has seen service, I believe, in Mexico ; but 
lie appears to me to be rather an ardent politician, embittered 
against slaveholders and the South, than a judicious or skilful 
military leader. 

The principles on which these isolated commanders carry 
on the war are eminently defective. They apply their whole 
minds to petty expeditions, which go out from the camps, at 
tack some Secessionist gathering, and then return, plundering, 
as they go and come, exasperating enemies, converting neu 
trals into opponents, disgusting friends, and leaving it to the 
Secessionists to boast that they have repulsed them. Instead 
of encouraging the men and improving their discipline these 
ill-conducted expeditions have an opposite result. 

June 22d. An active man would soon go mad if he were 
confined in Cairo. A mudbank stretching along the course of 
a muddy river is not attractive to a pedestrian ; and, as is the 
case in most of the Southern cities, there is no place round 
Cairo where a man can stretch his legs, or take an honest walk 
in the country. A walk in the country ! The Americans 
have not an idea of what the thing means. I speak now only 
of the inhabitants of the towns of the States through which I 
have passed, as far as I have seen of them. The roads are 
either impassable in mud or knee-deep in dust. There are no 
green shady lanes, no sheltering groves, no quiet paths through 
green meadows beneath umbrageous trees. Off the rail there 
is a morass or. at best, a clearing full of stumps. No 
temptations to take a stroll. Down away South the planters 
ride or drive ; indeed in many places the saunterer by the 
wayside would probably encounter an alligator, or disturb a 
society of rattlesnakes. 

To-day I managed to struggle along the levee in a kind of 
sirocco, and visited the works at the extremity, which were 
constructed by an Hungarian named Waagner, one of the 
emigres who came with Kossuth to the United States. I found 
him in a hut full of flies, suffering from camp diarrhoea, and 
waited on by Mr. O Leary, who was formerly petty officer in 
our navy, served in the Furious in the Black Sea, and in the 
Shannon Brigade in India, now a lieutenant in the United 
States army, where I should say he feels himself very much 
out of place. The Hungarian and the Milesian were, how 
ever, quite agreed about the utter incompetence of their mili- 



342 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

tary friends around them, and the great merits of heavy artil 
lery. " When I tell them here the way poor Sir William 
made us rattle about them sixty-eight-pounder guns, the poor 
ignorant creatures laugh at me not one of them believes it," 
" It is most astonishing," says the colonel, " how ignorant they 
are ; there is not one of these men who can trace a regular 
work. Of West Point men I speak not, but of the people about 
here, and they will not learn of me from me who know." 
However, the works were well enough, strongly covered, com 
manded both rivers, and not to be reduced without trouble. 

The heat drove me in among the flies of the crowded hotel, 
where Brigadier Prentiss is planning one of those absurd ex 
peditions against a Secessionist camp at Commerce, in the 
State of Missouri, about two hours steaming up the river, and 
some twelve or fourteen miles inland. Cairo abounds in Se 
cessionists and spies, and it is needful to take great precautions 
lest the expedition be known ; but, after all, stores must be got 
ready, and put on board the steamers, and preparations must 
be made which cannot be concealed from the world. At dusk 
700 men, supported by a six-pounder field-piece, were put on 
board the " City of Alton," on which they clustered like bees 
in a swarm, and as the huge engine labored up and down 
against the stream, and the boat swayed from side to side, I 
felt a considerable desire to see General Prentiss chucked into 
the stream for his utter recklessness in cramming on board one 
huge tinder-box, all fire and touchwood, so many human beings, 
who, in event of an explosion, or a shot in the boiler, or of a 
heavy musketry fire on the banks, would have been converted 
into a great slaughter-house. One small boat hung from her 
stern, and although there were plenty of river fiats and numer 
ous steamers, even the horses belonging to the field-piece 
were crammed in among the men along the deck. 

In my letter to Europe I made, at the time, some remarks 
by which the belligerents might have profited, and which at 
the time these pages are reproduced may strike them as pos 
sessing some value, illustrated as they have been by many 
events in the war. " A handful of horsemen would have been 
admirable to move in advance, feel the covers, and make pris 
oners for political or other purposes in case of flight; but the 
Americans persist in ignoring the use of horsemen, or at least 
in depreciating it. though they will at last find that they may 
shed much blood, and lose much more, before they can gain a 
victory without the aid of artillery and charges after the retreat- 



A CAMP EMEUTE. 343 

ing enemy. From the want of cavalry, I suppose it is, the 
unmilitary practice of scouting, as it is called here, has arisen. 
It is all very well in the days of Indian wars for footmen to 
creep about in the bushes, and shoot or be shot by sentries and 
pickets ; but no civilized war recognizes such means of annoy 
ance as firing upon sentinels, unless in case of an actual ad 
vance or feigned attack on the line. No camp can be safe 
without cavalry videttes and pickets ; for the enemy can pour 
in impetuously after the alarm has been given, as fast as the 
outlying footmen can run in. In feeling the way for a column, 
cavalry are invaluable, and there can be little chance of am 
buscades or surprises where they are judiciously employed ; 
but scouting on foot, or adventurous private expeditions on 
horseback, to have a look at the enemy, can do, and will do, 
nothing but harm. Every day the papers contain accounts of 
scouts being killed, and sentries being picked off. The latter 
is a very barbarous and savage practice ; and the Russian, in 
his most angry moments, abstained from it. If any officer 
wishes to obtain information as to his enemy, he has two ways 
of doing it. He can employ spies, who carry their lives in 
their hands, or he can beat up their quarters by a proper re- 
connoissance on his own responsibility, in which, however, it 
would be advisable not to trust his force to a railway train." 

At night there was a kind of emeute in camp. The day, as 
I have said, was excessively hot, and on returning to their 
tents and huts from evening parade the men found the con 
tractor who supplies them with water had not filled the barrels ; 
so they forced the sentries, broke barracks after hours, mobbed 
their officers, and streamed up to the hotel, which they sur 
rounded, calling out, " Water, water," in chorus. The Gen 
eral came out, and got up on a rail : " Gentlemen," said he, 
" it is not my fault you are without water. It s your officers 
who are to blame ; not me." (" Groans for the Quartermas 
ter," from the men.) " If it is the fault of the contractor, I ll 
see that he is punished. I ll take steps at once to see that the 
matter is remedied. And now, gentlemen, I hope you ll go 
back to your quarters;" and the gentlemen took it into their 
heads very good-humoredly to obey the suggestion, fell in, and 
inarched back two deep to their huts. 

As the General was smoking his cigar before going to bed, 
I asked him why the officers had not more control over the 
men. " Well," said he, " the officers are to blame for all this. 
The truth is, the term for which these volunteers enlisted is 
drawing to a close ; and they have not as yet enrolled them- 



344 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

selves in the United States army. They are merely volun 
teer regiments of the State of Illinois. If they were dis 
pleased with anything, therefore, they might refuse to enter the 
service or to take fresh engagements ; and the officers would 
find themselves suddenly left without any men ; they therefore 
curry favor with the privates, many of them, too, having an eye 
to the votes of the men when the elections of officers in the new 
regiments are to take place." 

The contractors have commenced plunder on a gigantic 
scale ; and their influence with the authorities of the State is 
so powerful, there is little chance of punishing them. Besides, 
it is not considered expedient to deter contractors, hy too scru 
pulous an exactitude, in coming forward at such a trying 
period ; and the Quartermaster s department, which ought to 
be the most perfect, considering the number of persons con 
nected with transport and carriage, is in a most disgraceful and 
inefficient condition. I told the General that one of the 
Southern leaders proposed to hang any contractor who was 
found out in cheating the men, and that the press cordially ap 
proved of the suggestion. " I am afraid," said he, if any such 
proposal was carried out here, there would scarcely be a con 
tractor left throughout the States." Equal ignorance is shown 
by the medical authorities of the requirements of an army. 
There is not an ambulance or cacolet of any kind attached to 
this camp ; and, as far as I could see, not even a litter was 
sent on board the steamer which has started with the ex 
pedition. 

Although there has scarcely been a fought field or anything 
more serious than the miserable skirmishes of Shenck and 
Butler, the pressure of war has already told upon the people. 
The Cairo paper makes an urgent appeal to the authorities to 
relieve the distress and pauperism which the sudden interrup 
tion of trade has brought upon so many respectable citizens. 
And when I was at Memphis the other day, I observed a pub 
lic notice in the journals, that the magistrates of the city would 
issue orders for money to families left in distress by the enrol 
ment of the male members for military service. When 
General Scott, sorely against his will, was urged to make 
preparations for an armed invasion of the seceded States in 
case it became necessary, he said it would need some hundreds 
of thousands of men and many millions of money to effect that 
object. Mr. Seward, Mr. Chase, and Mr. Lincoln laughed 
pleasantly at this exaggeration, but they have begun to find by 
this time the old general was not quite so much in the wrong. 



SENTRY DUTY. 345 

In reference to the discipline maintained in the camp, I must 
admit that proper precautions are used to prevent spies entering 
the lines. The sentries are posted closely and permit no one 
to go in without a pass in the day and a countersign at night. 
A conversation with General Prentiss in the front of the hotel 
was interrupted this evening by an Irishman, who ran past us 
towards the camp, hotly pursued by two policemen. The sen 
try on duty at the point of the lines close to us brought him up 
by the point of the bayonet. " Who goes tere?" " A friend, 
shure your honor ; I m a friend." " Advance three paces and 
give the countersign." " I don t know it, I tell you. Let me 
in, let me in." But the German was resolute, and the police 
men now coming up in hot pursuit, seized the culprit, who 
resisted violently, till General Prentiss rose from his chair and 
ordered the guard, who had turned out, to make a prisoner of 
the soldier and hand him over to the civil power, for which the 
man seemed to be most deeply grateful. As the policemen 
were walking him off, he exclaimed, " Be quiet wid ye, till I 
spake a word to the Giniral," and then bowing and chuckling 
with drunken gravity, he said, " an indeed, Giniral, I m much 
obleeged to ye altogither for this kindness. Long life to ye. 
We ve got the better of that dirty German. Hoora for Giniral 
Prentiss." He preferred a chance of more whiskey in the police 
office and a light punishment to the work in camp and a heavy 
drill in the morning. An officer who was challenged by a sen 
try the other evening, asked him, " Do you know the counter 
sign yourself?" " No, sir, it s not nine o clock, and they have 
not given it out yet." Another sentry stopped a man be 
cause he did not know the countersign. The fellow said, " I 
dare say you don t know it yourself." " That s a lie," he ex 
claimed ; " it s Plattsburgh." " Plattsburgh it is, sure enough," 
said the other, and walked on without further parley. 

The Americans, Irish, and Germans, do not always coin 
cide in the phonetic value of each letter in the passwords, and 
several difficulties have occurred in consequence. An incau 
tious approach towards the posts at night is attended with 
risk ; for the raw sentries are very quick on the trigger. 
More fatal and serious injuries have been inflicted on the 
Federals by themselves than by the enemy. " I declare to 
you, sir, the way the boys touched off their irons at me going 
home to my camp last night, was just like a running fight 
with the Ingins. I was a little tight, and didn t mind it a 
cuss." 



CHAPTER XLI. 

Impending battle By railway to Chicago Northern enlightenment 
Mound City "Cotton is King" Land in the States 
Dead level of American society Return into the Union Amer 
ican homes Across the Prairie White laborers New pil 
lager Lake Michigan. 

June 23d. The latest information which I received to 
day is of a nature to hasten my departure for Washington ; 
it can no longer be doubted that a battle between the two 
armies assembled in the neighborhood of the capital is immi 
nent. The vague hope which from time to time I have enter 
tained of being able to visit Richmond before I finally take up 
my quarters with the only army from which I can communicate 
regularly with Europe has now vanished. 

At four o clock in the evening I started by the train on the 
famous Central Illinois line from Cairo to Chicago. 

The carriages were tolerably well filled with soldiers, and 
in addition to them there were a few unfortunate women, 
undergoing deportation to some less moral neighborhood. 
Neither the look, language, nor manners of my fellow-passen 
gers inspired me with an exalted notion of the intelligence, 
comfort, and respectability of the people which are so much 
vaunted by Mr. Seward and American journals, and which, 
though truly attributed, no doubt, to the people of the New 
England States, cannot be affirmed with equal justice to belong 
to all the other components of the Union. 

As the Southerners say, their negroes are the happiest 
people on the earth, so the Northerners boast, " We are the 
most enlightened nation in the world." The soldiers in the 
train were intelligent enough to think they ought not to be 
kept without pay, and free enough to say so. The soldiers 
abused Cairo roundly, and indeed it is wonderful if the peo 
ple can live on any food but quinine. However, speculators, 
looking to its natural advantages as the point where the two 
great rivers join, bespeak for Cairo a magnificent and prosper 
ous future. The present is not promising. 



MOUND CITY. COTTON IS KING. 347 

Leaving the shanties, which face the levees, and some poor 
wooden houses with a short vista of cross streets partially 
flooded at right angles to them, the rail suddenly plunges into 
an unmistakable swamp, where a forest of dead trees wave 
their ghastly, leafless arms over their buried trunks, like 
plumes over a hearse a cheerless, miserable place, sacred to 
the ague and fever. This occurs close to the cleared space 
on which the city is to stand, when it is finished and the 
rail, which runs on the top of the embankment or levee, here 
takes to the trestle, and is borne over the water on the usual 
timber frame-work. 

" Mound City," which is the first station, is composed of a 
mere heap of earth, like a ruined brickkiln, which rises to 
some height and is covered with fine white oaks, beneath 
.which are a few log huts and hovels, giving the place its 
proud name. Tents were pitched on the mound side, from 
which wild-looking banditti sort of men, with arms, emerged 
as the train stopped. " I ve been pretty well over Europe," 
said a meditative voice beside me, " and I ve seen the despotic 
armies of the old world, but I don t think they equal that set 
of boys." The question was not worth arguing the boys 
were in fact very " weedy," " splinter-shinned chaps," as an 
other critic insisted. 

There were some settlers in the woods around Mound City, 
and a jolly-looking, corpulent man, who introduced himself 
as one of the officers of the land department of the Central 
Illinois railroad, described them as awful warnings to the 
emigrants not to stick in the south part of Illinois. It was 
suggestive to find that a very genuine John Bull, " located," 
as they say in the States for many years, had as much aver 
sion to the principles of the abolitionists as if he had been 
born a Southern planter. Another countryman of his and 
mine, steward on board the steamer to Cairo, eagerly asked 
me what I thought of the quarrel, and which side I wou^d 
back. I declined to say more than I thought the North pos 
sessed very great superiority of means if the conflict were to 
be fought on the same terms. Whereupon my Saxon friend 
exclaimed, " all the Northern States and all the power of the 
world can t beat the South ; and why ? because the South 
has got cotton, and cotton is king." 

The Central Illinois officer did not suggest the propriety of 
purchasing lots, but he did intimate I would be doing service 
if I informed the world at large, they could get excellent land, 



348 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

at sums varying from ten to twenty-five dollars an acre. In 
America a man s income is represented by capitalizing all that 
he is worth, and whereas in England we say a man has so 
much a year, the Americans, in representing his value, ob 
serve that he is worth so many dollars, by which they mean 
that all he has in the world would realize the amount. 

It sounds very well to an Irish tenant farmer, an English 
cottier, or a cultivator in the Lothians, to hear that he can get 
land at the rate of from 2 to 5 per acre, to be his forever, 
liable only to state taxes ; but when he comes to see a paral 
lelogram marked upon the map as " good soil, of unfathom 
able richness," and finds in effect that he must cut down trees, 
eradicate stumps, drain off water, build a house, struggle for 
high-priced labor, and contend with imperfect roads, the want 
of many things to which he has been accustomed in the old 
country, the land may not appear to him such a bargain. In 
the wooded districts he has, indeed a sufficiency of fuel as long 
as trees and stumps last, but they are, of course, great impedi 
ments to tillage. If he goes to the prairie he finds that fuel 
is scarce and water by no means wholesome. 

When we left this swamp and forest, and came out after a 
run of many miles on the clear lands which abut upon the 
prairie, large fields of corn lay around us, which bore a pecul 
iarly blighted and harassed look. These fields were suffering 
from the ravages of an insect called the " army worm," almost 
as destructive to corn and crops as the locust-like hordes of 
North and South, which are vying with each other in laying 
waste the fields of Virginia. Night was falling as the train 
rattled out into the wild, flat sea of waving grass, dotted by 
patch-like Indian corn enclosures ; but halts at such places as 
Jonesburgh and Cobden, enabled us to see that these settle 
ments in Illinois were neither very flourishing nor very civil 
ized. 

There is a level modicum of comfort, which may be con 
sistent with the greatest good of the greatest number, but 
which makes the standard of the highest in point of well-being 
very low indeed. I own, that to me, it would be more agree 
able to see a flourishing community placed on a high level in 
all that relates to the comfort and social status of all its mem 
bers than to recognize the old types of European civilization, 
which place the castle on the hill, surround its outer walls 
with the mansion of doctor and lawyer, and drive the people 
into obscure hovels outside. But then one must confess that 



WESTERN TOWNS. 349 

there are in the castle some elevating tendencies which cannot 
be found in the uniform level of citizen equality. There are 
traditions of nobility and noble deeds in the family ; there are 
paintings on the walls ; the library is stored with valuable 
knowledge, and from its precincts are derived the lessons not 
yet unlearned in Europe, that though man may be equal, the 
condition of men must vary as the accidents of life or the 
effects of individual character, called fortune, may determine. 

The towns of Jonesburgh and Cobden have their little tea 
pot-looking churches and meeting-houses, their lager-bier sa 
loons, their restaurants, their small libraries, institutes, and 
reading rooms, and no doubt they have also their political 
cliques, social distinctions and favoritisms ; but it requires, 
nevertheless, little sagacity to perceive that the highest of the 
bourgeois who leads the mass at meeting and prayer, has but 
little to distinguish him from the very lowest member of the 
same body politic. Cobden, for example, has no less than four 
drinking saloons, all on the line of rail, and no doubt the high 
est citizen in the place frequents some one or other of them, 
and meets there the worst rowdy in the place. Even though 
they do carry a vote for each adult man, " locations " here 
would not appear very enviable in the eyes of the. most miser 
able Dorsetshire small farmer ever ferreted out by " S. 
G. O." 

A considerable number of towns, formed by accretions of 
small stores and drinking places, called magazines, round the 
original shed wherein live the station master and his assistants, 
mark the course of the railway. Some are important enough 
to possess a bank, which is generally represented by a wooden 
hut, with a large board nailed in front, bearing the names of 
the president and cashier, and announcing the success and 
liberality of the management. The stores are also decorated 
with large signs, recommending the names of the owners to 
the attention of the public, and over all of them is to be seen 
the significant announcement, " Cash for produce." 

At Carbondale there was no coal at all to be found, but 
several miles farther to the north, at a place called Dugoine, 
a h eld of bituminous deposit crops out, which is sold at the 
pit s mouth for one dollar twenty-five cents, or about 5s. 2d. 
a ton. Darkness and night fell as I was noting such meagre 
particulars of the new district as could be learned out of the 
window of a railway carriage ; and finally with a delicious 
sensation of cool night air creeping in through the windows, 



350 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

the first I had experienced for many a long day, we made 
ourselves up for repose, and were borne steadily, if not rapid 
ly, through the great prairie, having halted for tea at the 
comfortable refreshment rooms of Centralia. 

There were no physical signs to mark the transition from 
the land of the Secessionist to Union-loving soil. Until the 
troops were quartered there, Cairo was for Secession, and 
Southern Illinois is supposed to be deeply tainted with disaf 
fection to Mr. Lincoln. Placards on which were printed the 
words, " Vote for Lincoln and Harnlin, for Union and Free 
dom," and the old battle-cry of the last election, still cling to 
the wooden walls of the groceries, often accompanied by bitter 
words or offensive additions. 

One of my friends argues that as slavery is at the base of 
Secession, it follows that States or portions of States will be 
disposed to join the Confederates or the Federalists, just as 
the climate may be favorable or adverse to the growth of 
slave produce. Thus in the mountainous parts of the Border 
States of Kentucky and Tennessee, in the north-western part 
of Virginia, vulgarly called the pan-handle, and in the pine 
woods of North Carolina, where white men can work at the 
rosin and naval store manufactories, there is a decided feeling 
in favor of the Union ; in fact, it becomes a matter of iso 
thermal lines. It would be very wrong to judge of the con 
dition of a people from the windows of a railway carriage, 
but the external aspect of the settlements along the line, far 
superior to that of slave hamlets, does not equal my ex 
pectations. We all know the aspect of a wood in a gentle 
man s park ; which is submitting to the axe, and has been par 
tially cleared, how raw and bleak the stumps look, and how 
dreary is the naked land not yet turned into arable. Take 
such a patch, and fancy four or five houses made of pine 
planks, sometimes not painted, lighted by windows in which 
there is, or has been, glass, each guarded by a paling around 
a piece of vegetable garden, a pig house, and poultry box ; 
let one be a grocery, which means a whiskey shop, another 
the post-office, and a third the store where " cash is given for 
produce." Multiply these groups, if you desire a larger set 
tlement, and place a wooden church with a Brobdignag spire 
and Lilliputian body out in a waste, to be approached only by 
a causeway of planks ; before each grocery let there be a 
gathering of tall men in sombre clothing, of whom the ma 
jority have small newspapers, and all of whom are chewing 



PRAIRIE SCENES. 351 

tobacco ; near the stores let there be some light-wheeled carts 
and ragged horses, around which are knots of unmistakably 
German women ; then see the deep tracks which lead off to 
similar settlements in the forest or prairie, and you have a 
notion, if your imagination is strong enough, of one of these 
civilizing centres which the Americans assert to be the homes 
of the most cultivated and intelligent communities in the 
world. 

Next morning, just at dawn, I woke up and got out on the 
platform of the carriage, which is the favorite resort of 
smokers and their antitheses, those who love pure fresh air, 
notwithstanding the printed caution, " It is dangerous to stand 
on the platform ; " and under the eye of early morn saw 
spread around a flat sealike expanse, not yet warmed into 
color and life by the sun. The line was no longer guarded 
from daring Secessionists by soldiers outposts, and small 
camps had disappeared. The train sped through the centre 
of the great verdant circle as a ship through the sea, leaving 
the rigid iron wake behind it tapering to a point at the ho 
rizon and as the light spread over it, the surface of the crisp 
ing corn waved in broad undulations beneath the breeze from 
east to west. This is the prairie indeed. Hereabouts it u 
covered with the finest crops, some already cut and stacked. 
Looking around one could see church spires rising in the 
distance from the white patches of houses, and by degrees 
the tracks across the fertile waste became apparent, and then 
carts and horses were seen toiling through the rich soil. 

A large species of partridge or grouse appeared very abun 
dant, and rose in flocks from the long grass at the side of the 
rail or from the rich carpet of flowers on the margin of the 
corn-fields. They sat on the fence almost unmoved by the 
rushing engine, and literally swarmed along the line. These 
are called " prairie chickens " by the people, and afford ex 
cellent sport. Another bird about the size of a thrush, with 
a yellow breast and a harsh cry, I learned was " the sky-lark ; " 
and apropos of the unmusical creature, I was very briskly 
attacked by a young lady patriot for finding fault with the 
sharp noise it made. " Oh, my ! And you not to know that 
your Shelley loved it above all things ! Didn t he write some 
verses quite beautiful, too, they are to the sky-lark?" 
And so " the Britisher was dried up," as I read in a paper 
afterwards of a similar occurrence. 

At the little stations which occur at every few miles 



352 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

there are some forty of them, at each of which the train stop?, 
in 365 miles between Cairo and Chicago- the Union flag 
floated in the air ; but we had left all the circumstance of this 
inglorious war behind us, and the train rattled boldly over the 
bridges across the rare streams, no longer in danger from Se 
cession hatchets. The swamp had given place to the corn 
field. No black faces were turned up from the mowing and 
free white labor was at work, and the type of the laborers 
was German and Irish. 

The Yorkshireman expatiated on the fertility of the land, 
and on the advantages it held out to the emigrant. But I ob 
served all the lots by the side of the rail, and apparently as 
far as the eye could reach, were occupied. " Some of the 
very best land lies beyond on each side," said he. " Out over 
there in the fat places is where we put our Englishmen." By 
digging deep enough good water is always to be had, and coal 
can be carried from the rail, where it costs only 7s. or 8s. a 
ton. Wood there is little or none in the prairies, and it was 
rarely indeed a clump of trees could be detected, or anything 
higher than some scrub brushwood. Those little communities 
which we passed were but the growth of a few years, arid as we 
approached the northern portion of the line we could see, as it 
were, the village swelling into the town, and the town spread 
ing out to the dimensions of the city. " I dare say, Major," 
says one of the passengers, " this gentleman never saw any 
thing like these cities before. I m told they ve nothing like 
them in Europe ?" " Bless you," rejoined the Major, with a 
wink, "just leaving out London, Edinbro , Paris, and Man 
chester, there s nothing on earth to ekal them." My friend, 
who is a shrewd fellow, by way of explanation of his military 
title, says, " I was a major once, a major in the Queen s Bays, 
but they would put troop-sergeant before it them days." Like 
many Englishmen he complains that the jealousy of native- 
born Americans effectually bars the way to political position 
of any naturalized citizen, and all the places are kept by the 
natives. 

The scene now began to change gradually as we approached 
Chicago, the prairie subsided into swampy land, and thick 
belts of trees fringed the horizon ; on our right glimpses of 
the sea could be caught through openings in the wood the 
inland sea on which stands the Queen of the Lakes. Michi 
gan looks broad and blue as the Mediterranean. Large farm 
houses stud the country, and houses which must be the retreat 



APPROACH TO CHICAGO. 353 

of merchants and citizens of means ; and when the train, 
leaving the land altogether, dashes out on a pier and causeway 
built along the borders of the lake, we see lines of noble 
houses, a fine boulevard, a forest of masts, huge isolated piles 
of masonry, the famed grain elevators by which so many have 
been hoisted to fortune, churches and public edifices, and the 
apparatus of a great city ; and just at nine o clock the train 
gives its last steam shout and comes to a standstill in the spa 
cious station of the Central Illinois Company, and in half-an- 
hour more I am in comfortable quarters at the Richmond 
House, where I find letters waiting for me, by which it ap 
pears that the necessity for my being in Washington in all 
haste, no longer exists. The wary General who commands 
the army is aware that the advance to Richmond, for which 
so many journals are clamoring, would be attended with seri 
ous risk at present, and the politicians must be content to wait 
a little longer. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

Progress of events Policy of Great Britain as regarded by the North 
The American press and its comments Privacy a luxury 
Chicago Senator Douglas and his widow American ingrati 
tude Apathy in volunteering Colonel Turchin s camp. 

I SHALL here briefly recapitulate what has occurred since 
the last mention of political events. 

In the first place the South has been developing every day 
greater energy in widening the breach between it and the 
North, and preparing to fill it with dead ; and the North, so 
far as I can judge, has been busy in raising up the Union as 
a nationality, and making out the crime of treason from the 
act of Secession. The South has been using conscription in 
Virginia, and is entering upon the conflict with unsurpassable 
determination. The North is availing itself of its greater re 
sources and its foreign vagabondage and destitution to swell 
the ranks of its volunteers, and boasts of its enormous armies, 
as if it supposed conscripts well led do not fight better than 
volunteers badly officered. Virginia has been invaded on 
three points, one below and two above Washington, and pass 
ports are now issued on both sides. 

The career open to the Southern privateers is effectually 
closed by the Duke of Newcastle s notification that the British 
Government will not permit the cruisers of either side to bring 
their prizes into or condemn them in English ports ; but, 
strange to say, the Northerners feel indignant against Great 
Britain for an act which deprives their enemy of an enormous 
advantage, and which must reduce their privateering to the 
mere work of plunder and destruction on the high seas. In 
the same way the North affects to consider the declaration of 
neutrality, and the concession of limited belligerent rights to 
the seceding States, as deeply injurious and insulting ; whereas 
our course has, in fact, removed the greatest difficulty from 
the path of the Washington Cabinet, and saved us from in 
consistencies and serious risks in our course of action. 



THE QUEEN S PROCLAMATION. 355 

It is commonly said, " What would Great Britain have done 
if we had declared ourselves neutral during the Canadian re 
bellion, or had conceded limited belligerent rights to the Se 
poys ? " as if Canada and Hindostan have the same relation 
to the British Crown that the seceding States had to the 
Northern S-tates. But if Canada, with its parliament, judge?, 
courts of law, and its people, declared it was independent of 
Great Britain ; and if the Government of Great Britain, 
months after that declaration was made and acted upon, per 
mitted the new State to go free, whilst a large number of her 
Statesmen agreed that Canada was perfectly right, we could 
find little fault with the United States Government for issuing 
a proclamation of neutrality the same as our own, when after 
a long interval of quiescence a war broke out between the 
two countries. 

Secession was an accomplished fact months before Mr. Lin 
coln came into office, but we heard no talk of rebels and pirates 
till Sumter had fallen, and the North was perfectly quiescent 
not only that the people of wealth in New York were 
calmly considering the results of Secession as an accomplished 
fact, and seeking to make the best of it ; nay, more, when I 
arrived in Washington some members of the Cabinet were 
perfectly ready to let the South go. 

One of the first questions put to me by Mr. Chase in my 
first interview with him, was whether I thought a very inju 
rious effect would be produced to the prestige of the Federal 
Government in Kurope if the Northern States let the South 
have its own way, and told them to go in peace. " For my 
own part," said he, " I should not be averse to let them try it, 
for I believe they would soon find out their mistake." Mr. 
Chase may be finding out his mistake just now. When I left 
Kngland the prevalent opinion, as far as I could judge, was, 
that a family quarrel, in which the South was in the wrong, 
had taken place, and that it would be better to stand by and 
let the Government put forth its strengh to chastise rebellious 
children. But now we see the house is divided against itself, 
and that the family are determined to set up two separate 
establishments. These remarks occur to me with the more 
force because I see the New York papers are attacking me 
because I described a cairn in a sea which was afterwards 
agitated by a storm. " What a false witness is this," they 
cry ; " see how angry and how vexed is our Berrnoothes, and 
yet the fellow says it was quite placid." 



356 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

I have already seen so many statements respecting my say 
ings, my doings, and rny opinions, in the American papers, 
that I have resolved to follow a general rule, with few excep 
tions indeed, which prescribes as the best course to pursue, 
not so much an indifference to these remarks as a fixed pur 
pose to abstain from the hopeless task of correcting them. 
The " Quicklys " of the press are incorrigible. Commerce 
may well be proud of Chicago. I am not going to reiterate 
what every Crispin us from the old country has said again and 
again concerning this wonderful place not one word of sta 
tistics, of corn elevators, of shipping, or of the piles of build 
ings raised from the foundation by ingenious applications of 
screws. Nor am I going to enlarge on the splendid future of 
that which has so much present prosperity, or on the benefits 
to mankind opened up by the Illinois Central Railway. It 
is enough to say that by the borders of this lake there has 
sprung up in thirty years a wonderful city of fine streets, lux 
urious hotels, handsome shops, magnificent stores, great ware 
houses, extensive quays, capacious docks ; and that as long 
as corn holds its own, and the mouths of Europe are open, 
and her hands full, Chicago will acquire greater importance, 
size, and wealth with every year. The only drawback, per 
haps, to the comfort of the money-making inhabitants, and of 
the stranger within the gates, is to be found in the clouds of 
dust and in the unpaved streets and thoroughfares, which give 
anguish to horse and man. 

I spent three days here writing my letters and repairing the 
wear and tear of my Southern expedition ; and although it was 
hot enough, the breeze from the lake carried health and vigor 
to the frame, enervated by the sun of Louisiana and Missis 
sippi. No need now to wipe the large drops of moisture from 
the languid brow lest, they blind the eyes, nor to sit in a state 
of semi-clothing, worn out and exhausted, and tracing with 
rnoist hand imperfect characters on the paper. 

I could not satisfy myself whether there was, as I have been 
told, a peculiar state of feeling in Chicago, which induced many 
people to support the Government of Mr. Lincoln because they 
believed it necessary for their own interest to obtain decided 
advantages over the South in the field, whilst they were opposed 
totis viribus to the genius of emancipation and to the views of 
the Black Republicans. But the genius and eloquence of the 
Little Giant have left their impress on the facile mould of dem 
ocratic thought ; and he who argued with such acuteness and 



REPUBLICAN INGRATITUDE. 357 

ability last March in Washington, in his own study, against 
the possibility, or at least the constitutional legality, of using 
the national forces, and the militia and volunteers of the North 
ern States, to subjugate the Southern people, carried away by 
the great bore which rushed through the placid North when 
Sumter fell, or perceiving his inability to resist its force, sprung 
to the crest of the wave, and carried to excess the violence of 
the Union reaction. 

Whilst I was in the South I had seen his name in Northern 
papers with sensation headings and descriptions of his magnifi 
cent crusade for the Union in the West. I had heard his name 
reviled by those who had once been his warm political allies, 
and his untimely death did not seerri to satisfy their hatred. 
His old foes in the North admired and applauded the sudden 
apostasy of their eloquent opponent, and were loud in lamenta 
tions over his loss. Imagine, then, how I felt when visiting 
his grave at Chicago, seeing his bust in many houses, or his 
portrait in all the shop-windows, I was told that the enor 
mously wealthy community of which he was the idol were 
permitting his widow to live in a state not far removed from 
penury. 

" Senator Douglas, sir," observed one of his friends to me, 
" died of bad whiskey. He killed himself with it while he was 
stumping for the Union all over the country." " Well," I said, 
" I suppose, sir, the abstraction called the Union, for which by 
your own account he killed himself, will give a pension to his 
widow." Virtue is its own reward, and so is patriotism, un 
less it takes the form of contracts. 

As far as all considerations of wife, children, or family are 
concerned, let a man serve a decent despot, or even a constitu 
tional country with an economizing House of Commons, if he 
wants anything more substantial than lip-service. The history 
of the great men of America is full of instances of national in 
gratitude. They give more praise and less pence to their 
benefactors than any nation on the face of the earth. Wash 
ington got little, though the plundering scouts who captured 
Andre were well rewarded ; and the men who fought during 
the War of Independence were long left in neglect and poverty, 
sitting in sackcloth and ashes at the doorsteps of the temple of 
liberty, whilst the crowd rushed inside to worship Plutus. 

If a native of the British Isles, of the natural ignorance of 
his own imperfections which should characterize him, desires 
to be subjected to a series of moral shower-baths, douches, and 



358 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

shampooing with a rough glove, let him come to the United 
States. In Chicago he will be told that the English people 
are fed by the beneficence of the United States, and that all 
the trade and commerce of England are simply directed to the 
one end of obtaining gold enough to pay the Western States 
for the breadstuffs exported for our population. We know 
what the South think of our dependence on cotton. The peo 
ple of the East think they are striking a great blow at their 
enemy by the Morrill tariff and I was told by a patriot in 
North Carolina, " Why, creation ! if you let the Yankees shut 
up our ports, the whole of your darned ships will go to rot. 
Where will you get your naval stores from ? Why, I guess 
in a year you could not scrape up enough of tarpentine in the 
whole of your country for Queen Victoria to paint her nursery- 
door with." 

Nearly one half of the various companies enrolled in this 
district are Germans, or are the descendants of German par- 
ents, and speak only the language of the old country ; two- 
thirds of the remainder are Irish, or of immediate Irish descent ; 
but it is said that a grand reserve of Americans born lies be 
hind this avant garde, who will come into the battle should 
there ever be need for their services. 

Indeed so long as the Northern people furnish the means of 
paying and equipping armies perfectly competent to do their 
work, and equal in numbers to any demands made for men, 
they may rest satisfied with the accomplishment of that duty, 
and with contributing from their ranks the great majority of 
the superior and even of the subaltern officers ; but with the 
South it is far different. Their institutions have repelled im 
migration ; the black slave has barred the door to the white 
free settler. Only on the seaboard and in the large cities are 
German and Irish to be found, and they to a man have come 
forward to fight for the South ; but the proportion they bear to 
the native-born Americans who have rushed to arms in de 
fence of their menaced borders, is of course far less than it is 
as yet to the number of Americans in the Northern States who 
have volunteered to fight for the Union. 

I was invited before I left to visit the camp of a Colonel 
Turchin, who was described to me as a Russian officer of 
great ability and experience in European warfare, in com 
mand of a regiment consisting of Poles, Hungarians, and 
Germans, who were about to start for the seat of war ; but I 
was only able to walk through his tents, where I was aston- 



UNION COSSACKS. 359 

ished at the amalgam of nations that constituted his battalion ; 
though, on inspection, I am bound to say there proved to be an 
American element in the ranks which did not appear to have 
coalesced with the bulk of the rude, and, I fear, predatory Cos 
sacks of the Union. Many young men of good position have 
gone to the wars, although there was no complaint, as in South 
ern cities, that merchants offices have been deserted, and great 
establishments left destitute of clerks and working hands. In 
warlike operations, however, Chicago, with its communication 
open to the sea, its access to the head waters of the Mississip 
pi, its intercourse with the marts of commerce and of manufac 
ture, may be considered to possess greater belligerent power 
and strength than the great city of New Orleans ; and there 
is much greater probability of Chicago sending its contingent 
to attack the Crescent City than there is of the latter being 
able to despatch a soldier within five hundred miles of its 
streets. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

Niagara Impression of the Falls Battle scenes in the neighbor 
hood A village of Indians General Scott Hostile move 
ments on both sides The Hudson Military school at West 
Point Return to New York Altered appearance of the city 
Misery and suffering Altered state of public opinion, as to 
the Union and towards Great Britain. 

AT eight o clock on the morning of the 27th I left Chicago 
for Niagara, which was so temptingly near that I resolved to 
make a detour by that route to New York. The line from the 
city which I took skirts the southern extremity of Lake Mich 
igan for many miles, and leaving its borders at New Buffalo, 
traverses the southern portion of the state of Michigan by Al 
bion and Jackson to the town of Detroit, or the outflow of Lake 
St. Clair into Lake Erie, a distance of 284 miles, which was 
accomplished in about twelve hours. The most enthusiastic 
patriot could not affirm the country was interesting. The 
names of the stations were certainly novel to a Britisher. 
Thus we had Kalumet, Pokagon, Dowagiac, Kalamazoo, Ypsi- 
lanti, among the more familiar titles of Chelsea, Marengo, Al 
bion, and Parma. 

It was dusk when we reached the steam ferry-boat at De 
troit, which took us across to Windsor ; but through the dusk I 
could perceive the Union Jack waving above the unimpressive 
little town which bears a name so respected by British ears. 
The customs inspections seemed very mild ; and I was not 
much impressed by the representative of the British crown, 
who, with a brass button on his coat and a very husky voice, 
exercised his powers on behalf of Her Majesty at the landing- 
place of Windsor. The officers of the railway company re 
ceived me as if I had been an old friend, and welcomed me 
as if I had just got out of a battle-field. " Well, I do wonder 
them Yankees have ever let you come out alive." " May I 
ask why ? " " Oh, because you have not been praising them all 
round, sir. Why even the Northern chaps get angry with a 



NIAGARA FALLS. 361 

Britisher, as they call us, if he attempts to say a word against 
those cursed niggers." 

It did not appear the Americans are quite so thin-skinned, 
for whilst crossing in the steamer a passage of arms between 
the Captain, who was a genuine John Bui!, and a Michigan- 
der, in the style which is called chaff or slang, diverted most 
of the auditors, although it was very much to the disadvan 
tage of the Union champion. The Michigan man had threat 
ened the Captain that Canada would be annexed as the con 
sequence of our infamous conduct. " Why, I tell you," said 
the Captain, " we d just draw up the negro chaps from our 
barbers shops, and tell them we d send them to Illinois if 
they did not lick you ; and I believe every creature in Michi 
gan, pigs and all, would run before them into Pennsylvania. 
We know what you are up to, you and them Maine chaps ; 
but Lor bless you, sooner than take such a lot, we d give you 
ten dollars a head to make you stay in your own country ; 
and we know you would go to the next worst place before 
your time for half the money. The very Bluenoses would 
secede if you were permitted to come under the old flag." 

All night we travelled. A long day through a dreary, ill- 
settled, pine-wooded, half-cleared country, swarming with mos 
quitoes and biting Hies, and famous for fevers. Just about 
daybreak the train stopped. 

" Now, then," said an English voice ; " now, then, who s for 
Clifton Hotel ? All passengers leave cars for this side of the 
Falls." Consigning our baggage to the commissioner of the 
Clifton, my companion, Mr. Ward, and myself resolved to 
walk along the banks of the river to the hotel, which is some 
two miles and a half distant, and set out whilst it was still so 
obscure that the outline of the beautiful bridge which springs 
so lightly across the chasm, filled with furious hurrying waters, 
hundreds of feet below, was visible only as is the tracery of 
some cathedral arch through the dim light of the cloister. 

The road follows the course of the stream, which whirls 
and gurgles in an Alpine torrent, many times magnified, in a 
deep gorge like that of the Tete Noire. As the rude bellow 
of the steam-engine and the rattle of the train proceeding on 
its journey were dying away, the echoes seemed to swell into 
a sustained, reverberating, hollow sound from the perpendicu 
lar banks of the St. Lawrence. We listened. " It is the 
noise of the Falls," said my companion ; and as we walked 
on the sound became louder, filling the air with a strange 
16 



362 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

quavering note, which played about a tremendous uniform 
bass note, and silencing every other. Trees closed in the road 
on the river side ; but when we had walked a mile or so, the 
lovely light of morning spreading with our steps, suddenly 
through an opening in the branches there appeared, closing up 
the vista -white, flickering, indistinct, and shroud-like the 
Falls, rushing into a grave of black waters, and uttering that 
tremendous cry which can never be forgotten. 

I have heard many people say they were disappointed with 
the first impression of Niagara. Let those who desire to see 
the water-leap in all its grandeur, approach it as I did, and I 
cannot conceive what their expectations are if they do not 
confess the sight exceeded their highest ideal. I do not pre 
tend to describe the sensations or to endeavor to give the effect 
produced on me by the scene or by the Falls, then or subse 
quently ; but I must say words can do no more than confuse 
the writer s own ideas of the grandeur of the sight, and mis 
lead altogether those who read them. It is of no avail to do 
laborious statistics, and tell us how many gallons rush over in 
that down-flung ocean every second, or how wide it is, how 
high it is, how deep the earth-piercing caverns beneath. For 
my own part, I always feel the distance of the sun to be insig 
nificant, when I read it is so many hundreds of thousands of 
miles away, compared with the feeling of utter inaccessibility 
to anything human which is caused by it when its setting rays 
illuminate some purple ocean studded with golden islands in 
dreamland. 

Niagara is rolling its waters over the barrier. Larger and 
louder it grows upon us. 

" I hope the hotel is not full," quoth my friend. I confess, 
for the time, I forgot all about Niagara, and was perturbed 
concerning a breakfastless ramble and a hunt after lodgings 
by the borders of the great river. 

But although Clifton Hotel was full enough, there was room 
for us, too ; and for two days a strange, weird kind of life I 
led, alternating between the roar of the cataract outside and 
the din of politics within ; for, be it known, that at the Cana 
dian side of the Falls many Americans of the Southern States, 
who would not pollute their footsteps by contact with the soil 
of Yankee-land, were sojourning, and that merchants and 
bankers of New York and other Northern cities had selected 
it as their summer retreat, and, indeed, with reason ; for after 
excursions on both sides of the Falls, the comparative seclu- 



HARPIES OF THE FALLS. 363 

sion of the settlements on the left bank appears to me to ren 
der it infinitely preferable to the Rosherville gentism and 
semi-rowdyism of the large American hotels and settlements 
on the other side. 

It was distressing to find that Niagara was surrounded by 
the paraphernalia of a fixed fair. I had looked forward to a 
certain degree of solitude. It appeared impossible that man 
could cockneyfy such a magnificent display of force and gran 
deur in nature. But, alas ! it is haunted by what poor Albert 
Smith used to denominate " harpies." The hateful race of 
guides infest the precincts of the hotels, waylay you in the 
lanes, and prowl about the unguarded moments of reverie. 
There are miserable little peep-shows and photographers, bird- 
stufFers, shell-polishers, collectors of crystals, and proprietors 
of natural curiosity shops. 

There is, besides, a large village population. There is a 
watering-side air about the people who walk along the road 
worse than all their mills and factories working their water- 
privileges at both sides of the stream. At the American 
side there is a lanky, pretentious town, with big hotels, shops 
of Indian curiosities, and all the meagre forms of the bazaar 
life reduced to a minimum of attractiveness which destroy the 
comfort of a traveller in Switzerland. I had scarcely been 
an hour in the hotel before I was asked to look at the Falls 
through a little piece of colored glass. Next I was solicited 
to purchase a collection of muddy photographs, representing 
what I could look at with my own eyes for nothing. Not fin 
ally by any means, I was assailed by a gentleman who was 
particularly desirous of selling me an enormous pair of cow s- 
horns and a stuffed hawk. Small booths and peep-shows cor 
rupt the very margin of the bank, and close by the remnant 
of the " Table Rock," a Jew (who, by the by, deserves infinite 
credit for the zeal and energy he has thrown into the collec 
tions for his museum), exhibits bottled rattlesnakes, stuffed 
monkeys, Egyptian mummies, series of coins, with a small 
living menagerie attached to the shop, in which articles of 
Indian manufacture are exposed for sale. It was too bad to 
be asked to admire such lusus naturtz as double-headed calves 
and dogs with three necks by the banks of Niagara. 

As I said before, I am not going to essay the impossible or 
to describe the Falls. On the English side there are, inde 
pendently of other attractions, some scenes of recent historic 
interest, for close to Niagara are Lundy s Lane and Chippewa. 



364 MY - DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

There arc few persons in England aware of the exceedingly 
severe fighting which characterized the contests between the 
Americans and the English and Canadian troops during the 
campaign of 1814. At Chippewa, for example, Major-Gen 
eral Riall, who, with 2000 men, one howitzer, and two twenty- 
four-pounders, attacked a force of Americans of a similar 
strength, was repulsed with a loss of 500 killed and wounded ; 
and on the morning of the 25th of July the action of Lundy s 
Lane, between four brigades of Americans and seven field- 
pieces, and 3100 men of the British and seven field-pieces, 
took place, in which the Americans were worsted, and retired 
with a loss of 854 men and two guns, whilst the British lost 
878. On the 14th of August following, Sir Gordon Drum- 
mond was repulsed with a loss of 905 men out of his small 
force in an attack on Fort Erie; and on the 17th of Septem 
ber an American sortie from the place was defeated with a 
loss of 510 killed and wounded, the British having lost 609. 
In effect the American campaign was unsuccessful; but their 
failures were redeemed by their successes on Lake Champlain, 
and in the affair of Plattsburg. 

There was more hard fighting than strategy in these battles, 
and their results were not, on the whole, creditable to the 
military skill of either party. They were sanguinary in pro 
portion to the number of troops engaged, but they were very 
petty skirmishes considered in the light of contests between 
two great nations for the purpose of obtaining specific results. 
As England was engaged in a great war in Europe, was far 
removed from the scene of operations, was destitute of steam- 
power, whilst America was fighting, as it were, on her own 
soil, close at hand, with a full opportunity of putting forth all 
her strength, the complete defeat of the American invasion of 
Canada was more honorable to our arms than the successes 
which the Americans achieved in resisting aggressive demon 
strations. 

In the great hotel of Clifton we had every day a little war 

of our own, for there were but why should I mention 

names ? Has not government its bastiles ? There were in 
effect men, and women too, who regarded the people of the 
Northern States and the government they had selected very 
much as the men of 98 looked upon the government and 
people of England ; but withal these strong Southerners were 
not very favorable to a country which they regarded as the 
natural ally of the abolitionists, simply because it had resolved 
to be neutral. 



LIFE AT NIAGARA. 365 

On the Canadian side these rebels were secure. British 
authority was embodied in a respectable old Scottish gentle 
man, whose duty it was to prevent smuggling across the boil 
ing waters of the St. Lawrence, and who performed it with 
zeal and diligence worthy of a higher post. There was in 
deed a withered triumphal arch which stood over the spot 
where the young Prince of our royal house had passed on his 
way to the Table Rock, but beyond these signs and tokens 
there was nothing to distinguish the American from the Brit 
ish side, except the greater size and activity of the settlements 
upon the right bank. There is no power in nature, according 
to great engineers, which cannot be forced to succumb to the 
influence of money. The American papers actually announce 
that " Niagara is to be sold ; " the proprietors of the land 
upon their side of the water have resolved to sell their water 
privileges ! A capitalist could render the islands the most 
beautifully attractive places in the world. 

Life at Niagara is like that at most watering-places, though 
it is a desecration to apply such a term to the Falls ; and 
there is no bathing there, except that which is confined to the 
precincts of the hotels and to the ingenious establishment on 
the American side, which permits one to enjoy the full rush 
of the current in covered rooms with sides pierced, to let it 
come through with undiminished force and with perfect security 
to the bather. There are drives and pic-nics, and mild ex 
cursions to obscure places in the neighborhood, where only 
the roar of the Falls gives an idea of their presence. The 
rambles about the islands, and the views of the boiling rapids 
above them, are delightful ; but I am glad to hear from one 
of the guides that the great excitement of seeing a man and 
boat carried over occurs but rarely. Every year, however, 
hapless creatures crossing from one shore to the other, by 
some error of judgment or miscalculation of strength, or 
malign influence, are swept away into the rapids, and then, 
notwithstanding the wonderful rescues effected by the Amer 
ican blacksmith and unwonted kindnesses of fortune, there is 
little chance of saving body corporate or incorporate from the 
headlong swoop to destruction. 

Next to the purveyors of curiosities and hotel-keepers, the 
Indians, who live in a village at some distance from Niagara, 
reap the largest profit from the crowds of visitors who repair 
annually to the Falls, They are a harmless and by no means 
elevated race of semi-civilized savages, whose energies are. 



366 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

expended on whiskey, feather fans, bark canoes, ornamental 
moccasons, and carved pipe-stems. I had arranged for an ex 
cursion to see them in their wigwams one morning, when the 
news was brought to me that General Scott had ordered, or 
been forced to order the advance of the Federal troops en 
camped in front of Washington, under the command of Mc 
Dowell, against the Confederates, commanded by Beauregard, 
who was described as occupying a most formidable position, 
covered with entrenchments and batteries in front of a ridge 
of hills, through which the railway passes to Richmond. 

The New York papers represent the Federal army to be of 
some grand indefinite strength, varying from 60,000 to 120,000 
men, full of fight, admirably equipped, well disciplined, and 
provided with an overwhelming force of artillery. General 
Scott, I am very well assured, did not feel such confidence in 
the result of an invasion of Virginia, that he would hurry raw 
levies and a rabble of regiments to undertake a most arduous 
military operation. 

The day I was introduced to the General he was seated at 
a table in the unpretending room which served as his boudoir 
in the still humbler house where he held his head-quarters. 
On the table before him were some plans and maps of the har 
bor defences of the Southern ports. I inferred he was about 
to organize a force for the occupation of positions along the 
coast. But when I mentioned my impression to one of his 
officers, he said, " Oh, no, the General advised that long ago ; 
but he is now convinced we are too late. All lie can hope, 
now, is to be allowed time to prepare a force for the field, but 
there are hopes that some compromise will yet take place." 

The probabilities of this compromise have vanished ; few 
entertain them now. They have been hanging Secessionists 
in Illiniois, and the court-house itself has been made the scene 
of Lynch law murder in Ogle county. Petitions, prepared by 
citizens of New York to the President, for a general conven 
tion to consider a compromise, have been seized. The Con 
federates have raised batteries along the Virginian shore of 
the Potomac. General Banks, at Baltimore, has deposed the 
police authorities " proprio motu" in spite of the protest of 
the board. Engagements have occurred between the Federal 
steamers and the Confederate batteries on the Potomac. On 
all points, wherever the Federal pickets have advanced in Vir 
ginia, they have encountered opposition and have been obliged 
to halt or to retire. 



WEST POINT. 367 

As I stood on the veranda this morning, looking for the 
last time on the Falls, which were covered with a gray mist, 
that rose from the river and towered unto the sky in columns 
which were lost in the clouds, a voice beside me said, " Mr. 
Russell, that is something like the present condition of our 
country, mists and darkness obscure it now, but we know the 
great waters are rushing behind, and will flow till eternity." 
The speaker was an earnest, thoughtful man, but the country 
of which he spoke was the land of the South. " And do you 
think," said I, " when the mists clear away the Falls will be as 
full and as grand as before ? " " Well," he replied, " they are 
great as it is, though a rock divides them ; we have merely 
thrown our rock into the waters, they will meet all the same 
in the pool below." A colored boy, who has waited on me at 
the hotel, hearing I was going away, entreated me to take him 
on any terms, which were, I found, an advance of nine dollars, 
and twenty dollars a month, and, as I heard a good account of 
him from the landlord, I installed the young man into my 
service. In the evening I left Niagara on my way to New 
York. 

July 2d. At early dawn this morning, looking out of 
the sleeping car, I saw through the mist a broad, placid river 
on the right, and on the left high wooded banks running 
sharply into the stream, against the base of which the rails 
were laid. West Point, which is celebrated for its picturesque 
Fcenery, as much as for its military school, could not be seen 
through the fog, and I regretted time did not allow me to stop 
and pay a visit to the academy. I was obliged to content my 
self with the handiwork of some of the ex-pupils. The only 
camaraderie I have witnessed in America exists among the 
West Point men. It is to Americans what our great public 
schools are to young Englishmen. To take a high place at 
West Point is to be a first-class man, or wrangler. The 
academy turns out a kind of military aristocracy, and I have 
heard complaints that the Irish and Germans are almost com 
pletely excluded, because the nominations to West Point 
are obtained by political influence ; and the foreign element, 
though powerful at the ballot-box, has no enduring strength. 
The Murphies and Schmidts seldom succeed in shoving their 
sons into the American institution. North and South, I have 
observed, the old pupils refer everything military to West 
Point. " I was with Beauregard at West Point. He was 
three above me." Or, " McDowell and I were in the same 



368 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

class." An officer is measured by what he did there, and if 
professional jealousies date from the state of common pupilage, 
so do lasting friendships. I heard Beauregard, Lawton, 
Hardee, Bragg, and others, speak of McDowell, Lyon, 
McClellan, and other men of the academy, as their names 
turned up in the Northern papers, evidently judging of them 
by the old school standard. The number of men who have 
been educated there greatly exceeds the modest requirements 
of the army. But there is likelihood of their being all in full 
"work very soon. 

At about nine, A. M., the train reached New York, and in 
driving to the house of Mr. Duncan, who accompanied me 
from Niagara, the first thing which struck me was the changed 
aspect of the streets. Instead of peaceful citizens, men in 
military uniforms thronged the pathways, and such multitudes 
of United States flags floated from the windows and roofs of 
the houses as to convey the impression that it was a great 
holiday festival. The appearance of New York when I first 
saw it was very different. For one day, indeed, after my 
arrival, there were men in uniform to be seen in the streets, 
but they disappeared after St. Patrick had been duly honored, 
and it was very rarely I ever saw a man in soldier s clothes 
during the rest of my stay. Now, fully a third of the people 
carried arms, and were dressed in some kind of martial garb. 

The walls are covered with placards from military com 
panies offering inducements to recruits. An outburst of mili 
tary tailors has taken place in the streets ; shops are devoted 
to militia equipments ; rifles, pistols, swords, plumes, long 
boots, saddle, bridle, camp belts, canteens, tents, knapsacks, 
have usurped the place of the ordinary articles of traffic. 
Pictures and engravings bad, and very bad of the "bat 
tles " of Big Bethel and Vienna, full of furious charges, smoke 
ind dismembered bodies, have driven the French prints out 
of the windows. Innumerable " General Scotts " glower at 
you from every turn, making the General look wiser than he 
or any man ever was. Ellsworths in almost equal proportion, 
Grebles and Winthrops the Union martyrs and Tompkins, 
the temporary hero of Fairfax court-house. 

The " flag of our country " is represented in a colored en 
graving, the original of which was not destitute of poetical 
feeling, as an angry blue sky through which meteors fly 
streaked by the winds, whilst between the red stripes the 
stars just shine out from the heavens, the flag-staff being typi- 



NEW YORK AROUSED. 369 

fied by a forest tree bending to the force of the blast. The 
Americans like this idea to my mind it is significant of 
bloodshed and disaster. And why not ! What would become 
of all these pseudo-Zouaves who have come out like an erup 
tion over the States, and are in no respect, not even in their 
basgy breeches, like their great originals, if this war were not 
to go on ? I thought I had had enough of Zouaves in New 
Orleans, but dis aliter visum. 

They are overrunning society, and the streets here, and the 
dress which becomes the broad-chested, stumpy, short-legged 
Celt, who seems specially intended for it, is singularly unbe 
coming to the tall and slightly-built American. Songs " On 
to glory," " Our country," new versions of " Hail Columbia," 
which certainly cannot be considered by even American com 
placency a " happy land " when its inhabitants are preparing 
to cut each other s throats ; of the " star-spangled banner," are 
displayed in booksellers and music-shop windows, and patri 
otic sentences emblazoned on flags float from many houses. 
The ridiculous habit of dressing up children and young people 
up to ten and twelve years of age as Zouaves and vivandieres 
has been caught up by the old people, and Mars would die 
with laughter if he saw some of the abdominous, be-specta- 
cled light infantry men who are hobbling along the pavement. 

There has been indeed a change in New York ; externally 
it is most remarkable, but I cannot at all admit that the abuse 
with which I was assailed for describing the indifference which 
prevailed on my arrival was in the least degree justified. I 
was desirous of learning how far the tone of conversation " in 
the city " had altered, and soon after breakfast I went down 
Broadway to Pine Street and Wall Street. The street in all 
its length was almost draped with flags the warlike charac 
ter of the shops was intensified. In front of one shop window 
there was a large crowd gazing with interest at some object 
which I at last succeeded in feasting my eyes upon. A gray 
cap with a tinsel badge in front, and the cloth stained with 
blood was displayed, with the words, " Cap of Secession offi 
cer killed in action." On my way I observed another crowd 
of women, some with children in their arms standing in front 
of a large house and gazing up earnestly and angrily at the 
windows. I found they were wives, mothers, and sisters, and 
daughters of volunteers who had gone off and left them des 
titute. 

The misery thus caused has been so great that the citizens 
16* 



370 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

of New York have raised a fund to provide food, clothes, and 
a little money a poor relief, in fact, for them, and it was 
plain they were much needed, though some of the applicants 
did not seem to belong to a class accustomed to seek aid from 
the public. This already! But Wall Street and Pine Sireet 
are bent on battle. And so this day, hot from the South and 
impressed with the firm resolve of the people, and finding that 
the North has been lashing itself into fury, I sit down and 
write to England, on my return from the city. " At present 
dismiss entirely the idea, no matter how it may originate, that 
there will be, or can be, peace, compromise, union, or seces 
sion, till war has determined the issue." 

As long as there was a chance that the struggle might not 
take place, the merchants of New York were silent, fearful of 
offending their Southern friends and connections, but inflicting 
infinite damage on their own government and misleading both 
sides. Their sentiments, sympathies, and business bound them 
with the South ; and, indeed, till " the glorious uprising " the 
South believed New York was with them, as might be cred 
ited from the tone of some organs in the press, and I remem 
ber hearing it said by Southerners in Washington, that it was 
very likely New York would go out of the Union ! When 
the merchants, however, saw the South was determined to quit 
the Union, they resolved to avert the permanent loss of the 
great profits derived from their connection witli the South by 
some present sacrifices. They rushed to the platforms the 
battle-cry was sounded from almost every pulpit flag-rais 
ings took place in every square, like the planting of the tree 
of liberty in France in 1848, and the oath was taken to tram 
ple Secession under foot, and to quench the fire of the South 
ern heart forever. 

The change in manner, in tone, in argument, is most re 
markable. I met men to-day who last March argued coolly 
and philosophically about the right of Secession. They are 
now furious at the idea of such wickedness furious with 
England, because she does not deny their own famous doctrine 
of the sacred right of insurrection. " We must maintain our 
glorious Union, sir." " We must have a country." " We 
cannot allow two nations to grow up on this Continent, sir." 
" We must possess the entire control of the Mississippi." 
These " musts," and " can ts," and " won ts," are the angry ut 
terances of a spirited people who have had their will so long 
that they at last believe it is omnipotent. Assuredly, they 



IRRITATION AGAINST ENGLAND. 371 

will not have it over the South without a tremendous and 
long-sustained contest, in which they must put forth every ex 
ertion, and use all the resources and superior means they so 
abundantly possess. 

It is absurd to assert, as do the New York people, to give 
some semblance of reason to their sudden outburst, that it was 
caused by the insult to the flag at Sumter. Why, the flag had 
been fired on long before Sumter was attacked by the Charleston 
batteries ! It had been torn down from United States arsenals 
and forts all over the South ; and but for the accident which 
placed Major Anderson in a position from which he could not 
retire, there would have been no bombardment of the fort, 
and it would, when evacuated, have shared the fate of all the 
other Federal works on the Southern coast. Some of the gen 
tlemen who are now so patriotic and Unionistic, were last March 
prepared to maintain that if the President attempted to ree n- 
force Sumter or Pickens, he would be responsible for the de 
struction of the Union. Many journals in New York and out 
of it held the same doctrine. 

One word to these gentlemen. I am pretty well satisfied 
that if they had always spoken, written, and acted as they do 
now, the people of Charleston would not have attacked Sum 
ter so readily. The abrupt outburst of the North and the 
demonstration at New York filled the South, first- with aston 
ishment, and then with something like fear, which was rapidly 
fanned into anger by the press and the politicians, as well as 
by the pride inherent in slaveholders. 

I wonder what Mr. Seward will say when I get back to 
Washington. Before I left, he was of opinion at all events, 
he stated that all the States would come back, at the rate 
of one a month. The nature of the process was not stated ; 
but we are told there are 250,000 Federal troops now under 
arms, prepared to try a new one. 

* Combined with the feeling of animosity to the rebels, there 
is, I perceive, a good deal of ill-feeling towards Great Britain. 
The Southern papers are so angry with us for the Order in 
Council closing British ports against privateers and their 
prizes, that they advise Mr. Rust and Mr. Yancey to leave 
Europe. We are in evil case between North and South. I 
met a reverend doctor, who is most bitter in his expressions 
towards us ; and I dare say, Bishop and General Leonidas 
Polk, down South, would not be much better disposed. The 
clergy are active on both sides ; and their flocks approve of 



372 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

their holy violence. One journal tells, with much gusto, of a 
blasphemous chaplain, a remarkably good rifle shot, who went 
into one of the skirmishes lately, and killed a number of reb 
els the joke being, in fact, that each time he fired and 
brought down . his man, he exclaimed, piously, " May Heaven 
have mercy on your soul ! " One Father Mooney, who per 
formed the novel act, for a clergyman, of " christening " a big 
gun at Washington the other day, wound up the speech he 
made on the occasion, by declaring "the echo of its voice 
would be sweet music, inviting the children of Columbia to 
share the comforts of his father s home." Can impiety and 
folly and bad taste go further ? 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

Departure for Washington A "servant" The American Press 
on the War Military aspect of the States Philadelphia 
Baltimore Washington Lord Lyons Mr. Sumner Irrita 
tion against Great Britain " Independence " day Meeting of 
Congress General state of affairs. 

July 3d. Up early, breakfasted at five, A. si., and left my 
hospitable host s roof, on my way to Washington. The ferry 
boat, which is a long way off, starts for the train at seven 
o clock ; and so bad are the roads, I nearly missed it. On 
hurrying to secure my place in the train, I said to one of the 
railway officers : " If you see a colored man in a cloth cap 
and dark coat with metal buttons, will you be good enough, sir, 
to tell him I m in this carriage." " Why so, sir ? " " He is 
my servant." " Servant," he repeated ; " your servant ! I 
presume you re a Britisher ; and if he s your servant, I think 
you may as well let him find you." And so he walked away, 
delighted with his cleverness, his civility, and his rebuke of 
an aristocrat. 

Nearly four months since I went by this road to Washing 
ton. The change which has since occurred is beyond belief. 
Men were then speaking of place under Government, of 
compromises between North and South, and of peace ; now 
they only talk of war and battle. Ever since I came out of 
the South, and could see the newspapers, I have been struck 
by the easiness of the American people, by their excessive 
credulity. Whether they wish it or not, they are certainly 
deceived. Not a day has passed without the announcement 
that the Federal troops were moving, and that " a great battle 
was expected " by somebody unknown, at some place or other. 

I could not help observing the arrogant tone with which 
writers of stupendous ignorance on military matters write of 
the operations which they think the Generals should undertake. 
They demand that an army, which has neither adequate trans 
port, artillery, nor cavalry, shall be pushed forward to Richmond 



374 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

to crush out Secession, and at the same time their columns 
teem with accounts from the army, which prove that it is not 
only ill-disciplined, but that it is ill-provided. A general outcry 
has been raised against the war department and the contractors, 
and it is openly stated that Mr. Cameron, the Secretary, has 
not clean hands. One journal denounces the " swindling and 
plunder " which prevail under his eyes. A minister who is 
disposed to be corrupt can be so with facility under the system 
of the United States, because he has absolute control over the 
contracts, which are rising to an enormous magnitude, as the 
war preparations assume more formidable dimensions. The 
greater part of the military stores of the States are in the South 
arms, ordnance, clothing, ammunition, ships, machinery, and 
all kinds of materiel must be prepared in a hurry. 

The condition in which the States present themselves, par 
ticularly at sea, is a curious commentary on the offensive and 
warlike tone of their statesmen in their dealings with the first 
maritime power of the world. They cannot blockade a single 
port effectually. The Confederate steamer Su niter has escaped 
to sea from New Orleans, and ships run in and out of Charleston 
almost as they please. Coming so recently from the South, I 
can see the great difference which exists between the two 
races, as they may be called, exemplified in the men I have 
seen, and those who are in the train going towards Washington. 
These volunteers have none of the swash-buckler bravado, 
gallant-swaggering air of the Southern men. They are staid, 
quiet men, and the Pennsylvanians, who are on their way to 
join their regiment in Baltimore, are very inferior in size and 
strength to the Tennesseans and Carolinians. 

The train is full of men in uniform. When I last went over 
the line, I do not believe there was a sign of soldiering, beyond 
perhaps the " conductor," who is always decribed in the papers 
as being "gentlemanly," wore his badge. And, a propos of 
badges, I see that civilians have taken to wearing shields of 
metal on their coats, enamelled with the stars and stripes, and 
that men who are not in the army try to make it seem they 
are soldiers by affecting military caps and cloaks. 

The country between Washington and Philadelphia is 
destitute of natural beauties, but it affords abundant evidence 
that it is inhabited by a prosperous, comfortable, middle-class 
community. From every village church and from many houses, 
the Union flag was displayed. Four months ago not one was 
to be seen. When we were crossing in the steam ferry-boat 



OCCUPATION OF MARYLAND. 375 

at Philadelphia I saw some volunteers looking up and smiling 
at a hatchet which was over the cabin door, and it was not till 
I saw it had the words "States Rights Fire Axe" painted 
along the handle I could account for the attraction. It would 
fare ill with any vessel in Southern waters which displayed an 
axe to the citizens inscribed with " Down with States Rights " 
on it. There is certainly less vehemence and bitterness among 
the Northerners ; but it might be erroneous to suppose there 
was less determination. 

Below Philadelphia, from Havre-de-Grace all the way to 
Baltimore, and thence on to Washington, the stations on the 
rail were guarded by soldiers, as though an enemy were ex 
pected to destroy the bridges and to tear up the rails. Wooden 
bridges and causeways, carried over piles and embankments, 
are necessary, in consequence of the nature of the country ; 
and at each of these a small camp was formed for the soldiers 
who have to guard the approaches. Sentinels are posted, pick 
ets thrown out, and in the open field by the wayside troops are 
to be seen moving, as though a battle was close at hand. In 
one word, we are in the State of Maryland. By these means 
alone are communications maintained between the North and 
the capital. As we approach Baltimore the number of sen 
tinels and camps increase, and earthworks have been thrown 
up on the high grounds commanding the city. The display of 
Federal flags from the public buildings and some shipping in 
the river was so limited as to contrast strongly with those sym 
bols of Union sentiments in the Northern cities. 

Since I last passed through this city the streets have been 
a scene of bloodshed. The conductor of the car on which we 
travelled from one terminus to the other, along the street rail 
way, pointed out the marks of the bullets on the walls and in 
the window frames. " That s the way to deal with the Plug 
Uglies," exclaimed he ; a name given popularly to the lower 
classes called Rowdies in New York. " Yes," said a fellow- 
passenger quietly to me, " these are the sentiments which are 
now uttered in the country which we call the land of freedom, 
and men like that desire nothing better than brute force. There 
is no city in Europe Venice, Warsaw, or Rome subject 
to such tyranny as Baltimore at this moment. In this Pratt 
Street there have been murders as foul as ever soldiery com 
mitted in the streets of Paris." Here was evidently the judi 
cial blindness of a States Rights fanatic, who considers the 
despatch of Federal soldiers through the State of Maryland 



376 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

without the permission of the authorities an outrage so flagrant 
as to justify the people in shooting them down, whilst the sol 
diers become murderers if they resist. At the corners of the 
streets strong guards of soldiers were posted, and patrols moved 
up and down the thoroughfares. The inhabitants looked sullen 
and sad. A small war is waged by the police recently ap 
pointed by the Federal authorities against the women, who 
exhibit much ingenuity in expressing their animosity to the 
stars and stripes dressing the children, and even dolls, in the 
Confederate colors, and wearing the same in ribbons and bows. 
The negro population alone seemed just the same as before. 

The Secession newspapers of Baltimore have been sup 
pressed, but the editors contrive nevertheless to show their 
sympathies in the selection of their extracts. In to-day s pa 
per there is an account of a skirmish in the West, given by 
one of the Confederates who took part in it, in which it is 
stated that the officer commanding the party " scalped " twenty- 
three Federals. For the first time since I left the South I see 
those advertisements headed by the figure of a negro running 
with a bundle, and containing descriptions of the fugitive, and 
the reward offered for imprisoning him or her, so that the owner 
may receive his property. Among the insignia enumerated 
are scars on the back and over the loins. The whip is not 
only used by the masters and drivers, but by the police ; and 
in every report of petty police cases sentences of so many 
lashes, and severe floggings of women of color are recorded. 

It is about forty miles from Baltimore to Washington, and 
at every quarter of a mile for the whole distance a picket of 
soldiers guarded the rails. Camps appeared on both sides, 
larger and more closely packed together ; and the rays of the 
setting sun fell on countless lines of tents as we approached 
the unfinished dome of the Capitol. On the Virginian side 
of the river, columns of smoke rising from the forest marked 
the site of Federal encampments across the stream. The fields 
around Washington resounded with the words of command 
and tramp of men, and flashed with wheeling arms. Parks 
of artillery studded the waste ground, and long trains of white- 
covered wagons filled up the open spaces in the suburbs of 
Washington. 

To me all this was a wonderful sight. As I drove up Penn 
sylvania Avenue I could scarce credit that the busy thorough 
fare all red, white, and blue with flags, filled with dust from 
galloping chargers and commissariat carts ; the side-walks 



DANGEROUS DESPATCHES. 377 

thronged with people, of whom a large proportion carried 
sword or bayonet ; shops full of life and activity was 
the same as that through which I had driven the first morning 
of my arrival. Washington now, indeed, is the capital of the 
United States ; but it is no longer the scene of beneficent legis 
lation and of peaceful government. It is the representative 
of armed force engaged in war menaced whilst in the very 
act of raising its arm by the enemy it seeks to strike. 

To avoid the tumult of Willard s, I requested a friend to 
hire apartments, and drove to a house in Pennsylvania Avenue, 
close to the War Department, where he had succeeded in en 
gaging a sitting-room about twelve feet square, and a bed 
room to correspond, in a very small mansion, next door to a 
spirit merchant s. At the Legation I saw Lord Lyons, and 
gave him a brief account of what I had seen in the South. I 
was sorry to observe he looked rather careworn and pale. 

The relations of the United States Government with Great 
Britain have probably been considerably affected by Mr. Sew- 
ard s failure in his prophecies. As the Southern Confederacy 
develops its power, the Foreign Secretary assumes higher 
ground, and becomes more exacting, and defiant. In these 
hot summer days, Lord Lyons and the members of the Lega 
tion dine early, and enjoy the cool of the evening in the gar 
den ; so after a while I took my leave, and proceeded to Gau- 
tier s. On my way I met Mr. Sumner, who asked me for 
Southern news very anxiously, and in the course of conversa 
tion with him I was confirmed in my impressions that the 
feeling between the two countries was not as friendly as could 
be desired. Lord Lyons had better means of knowing what 
is going on in the South, by communications from the British 
Consuls ; but even he seemed unaware of facts which had 
occurred whilst I was there, and Mr. Sumner appeared to be 
as ignorant of the whole condition of things below Mason and 
Dixon s line as he was of the politics of Timbuctoo. 

The importance of maintaining a friendly feeling with Eng 
land appeared to me very strongly impressed on the Senator s 
mind. Mr. Seward has been fretful, irritable, and acrimonious; 
and it is not too much to suppose Mr. Sumner has been useful 
in allaying irritation. A certain despatch was written last 
June, which amounted to little less than a declaration of war 
against Great Britain. Most fortunately the President was 
induced to exercise his power. The despatch was modified, 
though not without opposition, and was forwarded to the Eng- 



378 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

lish Minister with its teeth drawn. Lord Lyons, who is one 
of the suavest and quietest of diplomatists, has found it difficult, 
I fear, to maintain personal relations with Mr. Seward at 
times. Two despatches have been prepared for Lord John 
Russell, which could have had no result but to lead to a breach 
of the peace, had not some friendly interpositor succeeded in 
averting the wrath of the Foreign Minister. 

Mr. Sumner is more sanguine of immediate success than I 
am, from the military operations which are to commence when 
General Scott considers the army fit to take the field. At 
Gautier s I met a number of officers, who expressed a great 
diversity of views in reference to those operations. General 
McDowell is popular with them, but they admit the great defi 
ciencies of the subaltern and company officers. General 
Scott is too infirm to take the field, and the burdens of adminis 
tration press the veteran to the earth. 

July Uh. " Independence Day." Fortunate to escape this 
great national festival in the large cities of the Union where it 
is celebrated with many days before and after of surplus re 
joicing, by fireworks and an incessant fusillade in the streets, 
I was, nevertheless, subjected to the small ebullition of the 
Washington juveniles, to bell-ringing and discharges of cannon 
and musketry. On this day Congress meets. Never before 
has any legislative body assembled under circumstances so 
grave. By their action they will decide whether the Union 
can ever be restored, and will determine whether the States 
of the North are to commence an invasion for the purpose of 
subjecting by force of arms, and depriving of their freedom, the 
States of the South, 

Congress met to-day merely for the purpose of forming itself 
into a regular body, and there was no debate or business of 
public importance introduced. Mr. Wilson gave me to un 
derstand, however, that some military movements of the ut 
most importance might be expected in a few days, and that 
General McDowell would positively attack the rebels in front 
of Washington. The Confederates occupy the whole of 
Northern Virginia, commencing from the peninsula above 
Fortress Monroe on the right or east, and extending along the 
Potomac, to the extreme verge of the State, by the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railway. This immense line, however, is broken by 
great intervals, and the army with which McDowell will have 
to deal may be considered as detached, covering the approach 
es to Richmond, whilst its left flank is protected by a corps of 



THE MILITARY SITUATION". 379 

observation, stationed near Winchester, under General Jack 
son. A Federal corps is being prepared to watch the corps 
and engage it, whilst McDowell advances on the main body, 
To the right of this again, or further west, another body of 
Federals, under General McClellan, is operating in the valleys 
of the Shenandoah and in Western Virginia ; but I did not 
hear of any of these things from Mr. Wilson, who was, I am 
sure, in perfect ignorance of the plans, in a military sense, of 
the General. I sat at Mr. Sumner s desk, and wrote the final 
paragraphs of a letter describing my impressions of the South 
in a place but little disposed to give a favorable color to them. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

Interview with Mr. Seward My passport Mr. Seward s views as 
to the war Illumination at Washington My " servant " ab 
sents himself New York journalism The Capitol Interior 
of Congress The President s Message Speeches in Congress 

Lord Lyons General McDowell Low standard in the army 

Accident to the " Stars and Stripes " A street row Mr. 
Bigelow Mr. N. P. Willis. 

WHEN the Senate had adjourned, I drove to the State 
Department and saw Mr. Seward, who looked much more worn 
and haggard than when I saw him last, three months ago. He 
congratulated me on my safe return from the South in time to 
witness some stirring events. " Well, Mr. Secretary, I am 
quite sure that, if all the South are of the same mind as those 
I met in my travels, there will be many battles before they 
submit to the Federal Government." 

" It is not submission to the Government we want ; it is to 
assent to the principles of the Constitution. When you left 
Washington we had a few hundred regulars and some hastily- 
levied militia to defend the national capital, and a battery and 
a half of artillery under the command of a traitor. The 
Navy Yard was in the hands of a disloyal officer. We were 
surrounded by treason. Now we are supported by the loyal 
States which have come forward in defence of the best Gov 
ernment on the face of the earth, and the unfortunate andl 
desperate men who have commenced this struggle will have tor 
yield or experience the punishment due to their crimes." 

" But, Mr. Seward, has not this great exhibition of strength 
been attended by some circumstances calculated to inspire ap 
prehension that liberty in the Free States may be impaired ; 
for instance, I hear that I must procure a passport in order to 
travel through the States and go into the camps in front of 
Washington." 

" Yes, sir ; you must send your passport here from Lord 
Lyons, with his signature. It will be no good till I have 
signed it, and then it must be sent to General Scott, as Com- 



PASSPORTS. 381 

mander-in- Chief of the United States army, who will subscribe 
it, after which it will be available for all legitimate purposes. 
You are not in any way impaired in your liberty by the 
process." 

" Neither is, one may say, the man who is under surveil 
lance of the police in despotic countries of Europe ; he has 
only to submit to a certain formality, and he is all right ; in 
fact, it is said by some people, that the protection afforded by 
a passport is worth all the trouble connected with having it in 
order." 

Mr. Seward seemed to think it was quite likely. There 
were corresponding measures taken in the Southern States by 
the rebels, and it was necessary to have some control over 
traitors and disloyal persons. " In this contest," said he, " the 
Government will not shrink from using all the means which 
they consider necessary to restore the Union." It was not my 
place to remark that such doctrines were exactly identical 
with all that despotic governments in Europe have advanced 
as the ground of action in cases of revolt, or with a view to 
the maintenance of their strong Governments. " The Execu 
tive," said he, "has declared in the inaugural that the rights 
of the Federal Government shall be fully vindicated. We 
are dealing with an insurrection within our own country, of our 
own people, and the Government of Great Britain have 
thought fit to recognize that insurrection before we were able 
to bring the strength of the Union to bear against it, by con 
ceding to it the status of belligerent. Although we might 
justly complain of such an unfriendly act in a manner that 
might injure the friendly relations between the two countries, 
we do not desire to give any excuse for foreign interference ; 
although we do not hesitate, in case of necessity, to resist it to 
the uttermost, we have less to fear from a foreign war than 
any country in the world. If any European Power provokes 
a war, we shall not shrink from it. A contest between Great 
Britain and the United States would wrap the world in fire, 
and at the end it would not be the United States which would 
have to lament the results of the conflict." 

I could not but admire the confidence may I say the cool 
ness ? of the statesman who sat in his modest little room 
within the sound of the evening s guns, in a capital menaced 
by their forces who spoke so fearlessly of war witli a Power 
which could have blotted out the paper blockade of the South 
ern forts and coast in a few hours, and, in conjunction with the 



382 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Southern armies, have repeated the occupation and destruction 
of the capital. 

The President sent for Mr. Seward whilst I was in the 
State Department, and I walked up Pennsylvania Avenue to 
my lodgings, through a crowd of men in uniform who were 
celebrating Independence Day in their own fashion some 
by the large internal use of tire- water, others by an external 
display of fire-works. 

Directly opposite my lodgings are the head-quarters of Gen 
eral Mansfield, commanding the district, which are marked by 
a guard at the door and a couple of six-pounder guns pointing 
down the street. I called upon the General, but he was busy 
examining certain inhabitants of Alexandria and of Washington 
itself, who had been brought before him on the charge of being 
Secessionists, and I left my card, and proceeded to General 
Scott s head-quarters, which I found packed with officers. 
The General received me in a small room, and expressed his 
gratification at my return, but I saw he was so busy with re 
ports, despatches, and maps, that I did not trespass on his 
time. I dined with Lord Lyons, and afterwards went with 
some members of the Legation to visit the camps, situated in 
the public square. 

All the population of Washington had turned out in their 
best to listen to the military bands, the music of which was 
rendered nearly inaudible by the constant discharge of fire 
works. The camp of the 12th New York presented a very 
pretty and animated scene. The men liberated from duty 
were enjoying themselves out and inside their tents, and the 
sutlers booths were driving a roaring trade. I was intro 
duced to Colonel Butterfield, commanding the regiment, who 
was a merchant of New York ; but notwithstanding the train 
ing of the counting-house, he looked very much like a soldier, 
and had got his regiment very fairly in hand. In compliance 
with a desire of Professor Henry, the Colonel had prepared a 
number of statistical tables in which the nationality, height, 
weight, breadth of chest, age, and other particulars respecting 
the men under his command were entered. I looked over the 
book, and as far as I could judge, but two out of twelve of 
the soldiers were native-born Americans, the rest being Irish, 
German, English, and European-born generally. According 
to the commanding officer they were in the highest state of 
discipline and obedience. He had given them leave to go out 
as they pleased for the day, but at tattoo only fourteen men 



WANTED A HORSE. 383 

out of one thousand were absent, and some of those had been 
accounted for by reports that they were incapable of locomo 
tion owing to the hospitality of the citizens. 

When I returned to my lodgings, the colored boy whom I 
had hired at Niagara was absent, and I was told he had not 
come in since the night before. " These free colored boys," 
said my landlord, " are a bad set ; now they are worse than 
ever ; the officers of the army are taking them all away from 
us ; it s just the life they like ; they get little work, have good 
pay j but what they like most is robbing and plundering the 
farmers houses over in Virginia ; what with Germans, Irish, 
and free niggers, Lord help the poor Virginians, I say ; but 
they ll give them a turn yet." 

The sounds in Washington to-night might have led one to 
believe the city was carried by storm. Constant explosion of 
fire-arms, fireworks, shouting, and cries in the streets, which 
combined, with the heat and the abominable odors of the un- 
drained houses and mosquitoes, to drive sleep far away. 

July 5th. As the young gentleman of color, to whom I 
had given egregious ransom as well as an advance of wages, 
did not appear this morning, I was, after an abortive attempt 
to boil water for coffee and to get a piece of toast, compelled 
to go in next door, and avail myself of the hospitality of Cap 
tain Cecil Johnson, who was installed in the drawing-room of 
Madame Jost. In the forenoon, Mr. John Bigelow, whose 
acquaintance I made, much to my gratification in time gone 
by, on the margin of the Lake of Thun, found me out, and 
proffered his services ; which, as the whilom editor of the 
" Evening Post " and as a leading Republican, he was in a posi 
tion to render valuable and most effective ; but he could not 
make a Bucephalus to order, and I have been running through 
the stables of Washington in vain, hoping to find something 
up to my weight such flankless, screwy, shoulderless, cat- 
lilve creatures were never seen four of them would scarcely 
furnish ribs and legs enough to carry a man, but the owners 
thought that each of them was fit for Baron Rothschild ; and 
then there was saddlery and equipments of all sorts to be got, 
which the influx of officers and the badness and dearness of 
the material put quite beyond one s reach. Mr. Bigelow was 
of opinion that the army would move at once ; " But," said I, 
" where is the transport where the cavalry and guns ? " 
" Oh," replied he, " I suppose we have got everything that is 
required. I know nothing of these things, but I am told cav- 



384 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

airy are no use in the wooded country towards Richmond." 
I have not yet been able to go through the camps, but I doubt 
very much whether the material or commissariat of the grand 
army of the North is at all adequate to a campaign. 

The presumption and ignorance of the New York journals 
would be ridiculous were they not so mischievous. They 
describe " this horde of battalion companies unofficered, 
clad in all kinds of different uniform, diversely equipped, per 
fectly ignorant of the principles of military obedience and 
concerted action," for so I hear it described by United States 
officers themselves as being " the greatest army the world 
ever saw ; perfect in officers and discipline ; unsurpassed in 
devotion and courage; furnished with every requisite; and 
destined on its first march to sweep into Richmond, and to 
obliterate from the Potomac to New Orleans every trace of 
rebellion." 

The Congress met to-day to hear the President s Message 
read. Somehow or other there is not such anxiety and eager 
ness to hear what Mr. Lincoln has to say as one could expect 
on such a momentous occasion. It would seem as if the 
forthcoming appeal to arms had overshadowed every other 
sentiment in the minds of the people. They are waiting for 
deeds, and care not for words. The confidence of the New 
York papers, and of the citizens, soldiers, and public speakers, 
contrast with the dubious and gloomy views of the military 
men ; but of this Message itself there are some incidents 
independent of the occasion to render it curious, if not inter 
esting. The President has, it is said, written much of it in his 
own fashion, which has been revised and altered by his Min 
isters ; but he has written it again and repeated himself, and 
after many struggles a good deal of pure Lincolnism goes 
down to Congress. 

At a little after half-past eleven I went down to the Capitol. 
Pennsylvania Avenue was thronged as before, but on ap 
proaching Capitol Hill, the crowd rather thinned away, as 
though they shunned, or had no curiosity to hear, the Presi 
dent s Message. One would have thought that, where every 
one who could get in was at liberty to attend the galleries in both 
Houses, there would have been an immense pressure from the 
inhabitants and strangers in the city, as well as from the 
citizen soldiers, of which such multitudes were in the street ; 
but when I looked up from the floor of the Senate, I was 
astonished to see that the galleries were not more than three 



THE CAPITOL. 385 

parts filled. There is always a ruinous look about an unfinish 
ed building when it is occupied and devoted to business. The 
Capitol is situated on a hill, one face of which is scarped by 
the road, and has the appearance of being formed of heaps 
of rubbish. Towards Pennsylvania Avenue the long frontage 
abuts on a lawn shaded by trees, through which walks and 
avenues lead to the many entrances under the porticoes and 
colonnades ; the face which corresponds on the other side 
looks out on heaps of brick and mortar, cut stone, and a waste 
of marble blocks lying half buried in the earth and cumbering 
the ground, which, in the magnificent ideas of the founders and 
planners of the city, was to be occupied by stately streets. 
The cleverness of certain speculators in land prevented the 
execution of the original idea, which was to radiate all the 
main avenues of the city from the Capitol as a centre, the 
intermediate streets being formed by circles drawn at regularly- 
increasing intervals from the Capitol, and intersected by the 
radii. The speculators purchased up the land on the side 
between the Navy Yard and the site of the Capitol; the 
result the land is unoccupied, except by paltry houses, and 
the capitalists are ruined. 

The Capitol would be best described by a series of photo 
graphs. Like the Great Republic itself, it is unfinished. It 
resembles it in another respect : it looks best at a distance ; 
and, again, it is incongruous in its parts. The passages are so 
dark that artificial light is often required to enable one to find 
his way. The offices and bureaux of the committees are 
better than the chambers of the Senate and the House of Rep 
resentatives. All the encaustics and the white marble and 
stone staircases suffer from tobacco juice, though there is a 
liberal display of spittoons at every corner. The official 
messengers, doorkeepers, and porters wear no distinctive 
badge or dress. No policemen are on duty, as in our Houses 
of Parliament; no soldiery, gendarmerie, or sergens-de-ville 
in the precincts ; the crowd wanders about the passages as it 
pleases, and shows the utmost propriety, never going where it 
ought not to intrude. There is a special gallery set apart for 
women; the reporters are commodiously placed in an ample 
gallery, above the Speaker s chair ; the diplomatic circle have 
their gallery facing the reporters, and they are placed so low 
down in the somewhat depressed chamber, that every word 
can be heard from speakers in the remotest parts of the house 
very distinctly. 

17 



386 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

The seats of the members are disposed in a manner some 
what like those in the French Chambers. Instead of being 
in parallel rows to the walls, and at right angles to the Chair 
man s seat, the separate chairs and desks of the senators are 
arranged in semicircular rows. The space between the walls 
and the outer semicircle is called the floor of the house, and it 
is a high compliment to a stranger to introduce him within 
this privileged place. There are leather-cushioned seats and 
lounges put for the accommodation of those who may be in 
troduced by senators, or to whom, as distinguished members 
of congress in former days, the permission is given to take 
their seats. Senators Sumner and Wilson introduced me to a 
chair, and made me acquainted with a number of senators 
before the business of the day began. 

Mr. Sumner, as the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign 
Relations, is supposed to be viewed with some jealousy by 
Mr. Seward, on account of the disposition attributed to him to 
interfere in diplomatic questions ; but if he does so, we shall 
have no reason to complain, as the Senator is most desirous 
of keeping the peace between the two countries, and of mol 
lifying any little acerbities and irritations which may at 
present exist between them. Senator Wilson is a man who 
has risen from what would be considered in any country but 
a republic the lowest ranks of the people. He apprenticed 
himself to a poor shoemaker when he was twenty-two years 
of age, and when he was twenty-four years old he began to 
go to school, and devoted all his earnings to the improvement 
of education. He got on by degrees, till he set up as a master 
shoemaker and paanufacturer, became a " major-general " of 
State militia ; finally was made Senator of the United States, 
and is now " Chairman of the Committee of the Senate on 
Military Affairs." He is a bluff man, of about fifty years of 
age, with a peculiar eye and complexion, and seems honest and 
vigorous. But is he not going ultra crepidam in such a post? 
At present he is much perplexed by the drunkenness which 
prevails among the troops, or rather by the desire of the men 
for spirits, as he has a New England mania on that point. One 
of the most remarkable-looking men in the House is Mr. Sum 
ner. Mr. Breckinridge and he w r ould probably be the first 
persons to excite the curiosity of a stranger, so far as to in 
duce him to ask for their names. Save in height and both 
are a good deal over six feet there is no resemblance be 
tween the champion of States Rights and the orator of the 



HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 387 

Black Republicans. The massive head, the great chin and 
jaw, and the penetrating eyes of Mr. Breckinridge convey 
the idea of a man of immense determination, courage, and 
sagacity. Mr. Sumner s features are indicative of a philosoph 
ical and poetical turn of thought, and one might easily conceive 
that he would be a great advocate, but an indifferent leader 
of a party. 

It was a hot day ; but there was no excuse for the slop- 
coats and light-colored clothing and felt wide-awakes worn by 
so many senators in such a place. They gave the meeting 
the aspect of a gathering of bakers or millers ; nor did the 
constant use of the spittoons beside their desks, their reading 
of newspapers and writing letters during the dispatch of busi 
ness, or the hurrying to and fro of the pages of the House 
between the seats, do anything but derogate from the dignity 
of the assemblage, and, according to European notions, violate 
the respect due to a Senate Chamber. The pages alluded to 
are smart boys, from twelve to fifteen years of age, who stand 
below the President s table, and are employed to go on er 
rands and carry official messages by the members. They 
wear no particular uniform, and are dressed as the taste or 
means of their parents dictate. 

The House of Representatives exaggerates all the peculiar 
ities I have observed in the Senate, but the debates are not 
regarded with so much interest as those of the Upper House ; 
indeed, they are of far less importance. Strong-minded states 
men and officers Presidents or Ministers do not care 
much for the House of Representatives, so long as they are 
sure of the Senate ; and, for the matter of that, a President 
like Jackson does not care much for Senate and House to 
gether. There are privileges attached to a seat in either 
branch of the Legislature, independent of the great fact that 
they receive mileage and are paid for their services, which 
may add some incentive to ambition. Thus the members can 
order whole tons of stationery for their use, not only when 
they are in session, but during the recess. Their frank covers 
parcels by mail, and it is said that Senators without a con 
science have sent sewing-machines to their wives and pianos 
to their daughters as little parcels by post. I had almost for 
gotten that much the same abuses were* in vogue in England 
some century ago. 

The galleries were by no means full, and in that reserved 
for the diplomatic body the most notable person was M. Mer- 



388 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

cier, the Minister of France, who, fixing his intelligent and 
eager face between both hands, watched with keen scrutiny 
the attitude and conduct of the Senate. None of the members 
of the English Legation were present. After the lapse of an 
hour, Mr. Hay, the President s Secretary, made his appear 
ance on the floor, and sent in the Message to the Clerk of the 
Senate, Mr. Forney, who proceeded to read it to the House. 
It was listened to in silence, scarcely broken except when 
some senator murmured " Good, that is so ; " but in fact the 
general purport of it was already known to the supporters of 
the Ministry, and not a sound came from the galleries. Soon 
after Mr. Forney had finished, the galleries were cleared, and 
I returned up Pennsylvania Avenue, in which the crowds of 
soldiers around bar-rooms, oyster-shops, and restaurants, the 
groups of men in officers uniform, and the clattering of dis 
orderly mounted cavaliers in the dust, increased my apprehen 
sion that discipline was very little regarded, and that the army 
over the Potomac had not a very strong hand to keep it with 
in bounds. 

As I was walking over with Capt. Johnson to dine with 
Lord Lyons, I met General Scott leaving his office and walk 
ing with great difficulty between two aides-de-camp. He was 
dressed in a blue frock with gold lace shoulder straps, fastened 
round the waist by a yellow sash, and with large yellow lapels 
turned back over the chest in the old style, and moved with 
great difficulty along the pavement. " You see I am trying 
to hobble along, but it is hard for me to overcome my many 
infirmities. I regret I could not have the pleasure of granting 
you an interview to-day, but I shall cause it to be intimated to 
you when I may have the pleasure of seeing you ; meantime 
I shall provide you with a pass and the necessary introductions 
to afford you all facilities with the army." 

After dinner I made a round of visits, and heard the diplo 
matists speaking of the Message ; few, if any of them, in its 
favor. With the exception perhaps of Baron Gerolt, the 
Prussian Minister, there is not one member of the Legations 
who justifies the attempt of the Northern States to assert the 
supremacy of the Federal Government by the force of arms. 
Lord Lyons, indeed, in maintaining a judicious reticence, when 
ever he does speak gives utterance to sentiments becoming 
the representative of Great Britain at the court of a friendly 
Power, and the Minister of a people who have been protago 
nists to slavery for many a long year. 



GENERAL M C DOWELL. 389 

July 6th. I breakfasted with Mr. Bigelow this morning, 
to meet General McDowell, who commands the army of the 
Potomac, now so soon to move. He came in without an aide- 
de-camp, and on foot, from his quarters in the city. He is a 
man about forty years of age, square and powerfully built, but 
with rather a stout and clumsy figure and limbs, a good head 
covered with close-cut thick dark hair, small light-blue eyes, 
short nose, large cheeks and jaw, relieved by an iron-gray tuft 
somewhat of the French type, and affecting in dress the style 
of our gallant allies. His manner is frank, simple, and agree 
able, and he did not hesitate to speak with great openness of 
the difficulties he had to contend with, and the imperfection of 
all the arrangements of the army. 

As an officer of the regular army he has a thorough con 
tempt for what he calls " political generals" the men who 
use their influence with President and Congress to obtain 
military rank, which in time of war places them before the 
public in the front of events, and gives them an appearance 
of leading in the greatest of all political movements. Nor is 
General McDowell enamored of volunteers, for he served in 
Mexico, and has from what he saw there formed rather an un 
favorable opinion of their capabilities in the field. He is in 
clined, however, to hold the Southern troops in too little re 
spect ; and he told me that the volunteers from the Slave States, 
who entered the field full of exultation and boastings, did not 
make good their words, and that they suffered especially from 
sickness and disease, in consequence of their disorderly habits 
and dissipation. His regard for old associations was evinced 
in many questions he asked me about Beauregard, with whom 
he had been a student at West Point, where the Confederate 
commander was noted for his studious and reserved habits, and 
his excellence in feats of strength and athletic exercises. 

As proof of the low standard established in his army, he 
mentioned that some officers of considerable rank were more 
than suspected of selling rations, and of illicit connections 
with sutlers for purposes of pecuniary advantage. The Gen 
eral walked back with me as far as my lodgings, and I observ 
ed that not one of the many soldiers he passed in the streets 
saluted him, though his rank was indicated by his velvet collar 
and cuffs, and a gold star on the shoulder strap. 

Having written some letters, I walked out with Captain 
Johnson and one of the attaches of the British Legation, to 
the lawn at the back of the White House, and listened to the 



390 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

excellent band of the United States Marines, playing on a 
kind of dais under the large flag recently hoisted by the Pres 
ident himself, in the garden. The occasion was marked by 
rather an ominous event. As the President pulled the hal 
yards and the flag floated aloft, a branch of a tree caught the 
bunting and tore it, so that a number of the stars and stripes 
were detached and hung dangling beneath the rest of the flag, 
half detached from the staff. 

I dined at Captain Johnson s lodgings next door to mine. 
Beneath us was a wine and spirit store, and crowds of officers 
and men flocked indiscriminately to make their purchases, with 
a good deal of tumult, which increased as the night came on. 
Later still, there was a great disturbance in the city. A body 
of New York Zouaves wrecked some houses of bad repute, 
in one of which a private of the regiment was murdered early 
this morning. The cavalry patrols were called out and 
charged the rioters, who were dispersed with difficulty after 
resistance in which men on both sides were wounded. There 
is no police, no provost guard. Soldiers wander about the 
streets, and beg in the fashion of the mendicant in " Gil Bias " 
for money to get whiskey. My colored gentleman has been 
led away by the Saturnalia and has taken to gambling in the 
camps, which are surrounded by hordes of rascally followers 
and sutlers servants, and I find myself on the eve of a cam 
paign, without servant, horse, equipment, or means of trans 
port. 

July 1th. Mr. Bigelow invited me to breakfast, to meet 
Mr. Senator King, Mr. Olmsted, Mr. Thurlow Weed, a Sen 
ator from Missouri, a West Point professor, and others. It was 
indicative of the serious difficulties which embarrass the ac 
tion of the Government to hear Mr. Wilson, the Chairman 
of the Military Committee of the Senate, inveigh against the 
officers of the regular army, and attack West Point itself. 
Whilst the N,ew York papers were lauding General Scott 
and his plans to the skies, the Washington politicians were 
speaking of him as obstructive, obstinate, and prejudiced 
unfit for the times and the occasion. 

General Scott refused to accept cavalry and artillery at 
the beginning of the levy, and said that they were not re 
quired ; now he was calling for both arms most urgently. The 
officers of the regular army had followed suit. Although 
they were urgently pressed by the politicians to occupy Har 
per s Ferry and Manassas, they refused to do either, and the 



MR. OLMSTED. 391 

result is that the enemy have obtained invaluable supplies from 
the first place, and are now assembled in force in a most for 
midable position at the second. Everything as yet accom 
plished has been done by political generals not by the 
officers of the regular army. Butler and Banks saved Balti 
more in spite of General Scott. There was an attempt made 
to cry up Lyon in Missouri ; but in fact it was Frank Blair, 
the brother of the Postmaster-General, who had been the 
soul and body of all the actions in that State. The first step 
taken by McClellan in Western Virginia was atrocious he 
talked of slaves in a public document as property. Butler, 
at Monroe, had dealt with them in a very different spirit, and 
had used them for State purposes under the name of contra 
band. One man alone displayed powers of administrative 
ability, and that was Quartermaster Meigs ; and unquestion 
ably from all I heard, the praise was well bestowed. It is 
plain enough that the political leaders fear the consequences 
of delay, and that they are urging the military authorities to 
action, which the latter have too much professional knowledge 
to take with their present means. These Northern men know 
nothing of the South, and with them it is omne ignotum pro 
minima. The West Point professor listened to them with a 
quiet smile, and exchanged glances with me now and then, 
as much as to say, " Did you ever hear such fools in your 
life?" 

But the conviction of ultimate success is not less strong 
here than it is in the South. The difference between these 
gentlemen and the Southerners is, that in the South the lead 
ers of the people, soldiers and civilians, are all actually under 
arms, and are ready to make good their words by exposing 
their bodies in battle. 

I walked home with Mr. N. P. Willis, who is at Washing 
ton for the purpose of writing sketches to the little family 
journal of which he is editor, and giving war " anecdotes ; " 
and with Mr. Olmsted, who is acting as a member of the New 
York Sanitary Commission, here authorized by the Govern 
ment to take measures against the reign of dirt and disease in 
the Federal camp. The Republicans are very much afraid 
that there is, even at the present moment, a conspiracy against 
the Union in Washington nay, in Congress itself; and re 
gard Mr. Breckinridge, Mr. Bayard, Mr. Vallandigham, and 
others as most dangerous enemies, who should not be per 
mitted to remain in the capital. I attended the Episcopal 



392 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

church and heard a very excellent discourse, free from any 
political allusion. The service differs little from our own, 
except that certain euphemisms are introduced in the Litany 
and elsewhere, and the prayers for Queen and Parliament 
are offered up nomine mutato for President and Congress. 



CHAPTER XLVL 

Arlington Heights and the Potomac Washington The Federal 
camp General McDowell Flying rumors Newspaper corre 
spondents General Fremont Silencing the Press and Tele 
graph A Loan Bill Interview with Mr. Cameron Newspa 
per criticism on Lord Lyons Rumors about McClellan The 
Northern army as reported and as it is General McClellan. 

July 8th. I hired a horse at a livery stable, and rode out 
to Arlington Heights, at the other side of the Potomac, where 
the Federal army is encamped, if not on the sacred soil of 
Virginia, certainly on the soil of the District of Columbia, 
ceded by that State to Congress for the purposes of the Fed 
eral Government. The Long Bridge which spans the river, 
here more than a mile broad, is an ancient wooden and brick 
structure, partly of causeway, and partly of platform, laid on 
piles and uprights, with drawbridges for vessels to pass. The 
Potomac, which in peaceful times is covered with small craft, 
now glides in a gentle current over the shallows unbroken by 
a solitary sail. The " rebels " hare established batteries be 
low Mount Vernon, which partially command the river, and 
place the city in a state of blockade* 

As a consequence of the magnificent conceptions which 
were entertained by the founders regarding the future dimen 
sions of their future city, Washington is all suburb and no 
city. The only difference between the denser streets and the 
remoter village-like environs, is that the houses are better and 
more frequent, and the roads not quite so bad in the former. 
The road to the Long Bridge passes by a four-sided shaft of 
blocks of white marble, contributed, with appropriate mottoes, 
by the various States, as a fitting monument to Washington. 
It is not yet completed, and the materials lie in the field 
around, just as the Capitol and the Treasury are surrounded 
by the materials for their future and final development. 
Further on is the red, and rather fantastic, pile of the Smith 
sonian Institute, and then the road makes a dip to the bridge, 
past some squalid little cottages, and the eye reposes on the 
17* 



394 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

shore of Virginia, rising in successive folds, and richly wooded, 
up to a moderate height from the water. Through the green 
forest leaves gleams the white canvas of the tents, and on the 
highest ridge westward rises an imposing structure, with a 
portico and colonnade in front, facing the river, which is called 
Arlington House, and belongs, by descent, through Mr. Custis, 
from the wife of George Washington, to General Lee, Com- 
mander-in- Chief of the Confederate army. It is now occu 
pied by General McDowell as his head-quarters, and a large 
United States flag floats from the roof, which shames even 
the ample proportions of the many stars and stripes rising up 
from the camps in the trees. 

At the bridge there was a post of volunteer soldiers. The 
sentry on duty was sitting on a stump, with his firelock across 
his knees, reading a newspaper. He held out his hand for 
my pass, which was in the form of a letter, written by General 
Scott, and ordering all officers and soldiers of the army of the 
Potomac to permit me to pass freely without let or hindrance, 
and recommending me to the attention of Brigadier-General 
McDowell and all officers under his orders. " That ll do ; you 
may go," said the sentry. "What pass is that, Abe?" in 
quired a non-commissioned officer. " It s from General Scott, 
and says he s to go wherever he likes." " I hope you ll go 
right away to Richmond, then, and get Jeff Davis s scalp for 
us," said the patriotic sergeant. 

At the other end of the bridge a weak tete de pont, com 
manded by a road-work farther on, covered the approach, and 
turning to the right I passed through a maze of camps, in 
front of which the various regiments, much better than I ex 
pected to find them, broken up into small detachments, were 
learning elementary drill. A considerable number of the men 
were Germans, and the officers were for the most part in a 
state of profound ignorance of company drill, as might be seen 
by their confusion and inability to take their places when the 
companies faced about, or moved from one flank to the other. 
They were by no means equal in size or age, and, with some 
splendid exceptions, were inferior to the Southern soldiers- 
The camps were dirty, no latrines the tents of various pat 
terns but on the whole they were well castrametated. 

The road to Arlington House passed through some of the 
finest woods I have yet seen in America, but the axe wa? 
already busy amongst them, and the trunks of giant oaks were 
prostrate on the ground. The tents of the General and his 



AN AMERICAN GENERAL S STAFF. 395 

small staff were pitched on the little plateau in which stood 
the house, and from it a very striking and picturesque view 
of the city, with the White House, the Treasury, the Post- 
Office, Patent-Office, and Capitol, was visible, and a wide 
spread of country, studded with tents also as far as the eye 
could reach, towards Maryland. There were only four small 
tents for the whole of the head-quarters of the grand army of 
the Potomac, and in front of one we found General McDowell, 
seated in a chair, examining some plans and maps. His per 
sonal staff, as far as I could judge, consisted of Mr. Clarence 
Brown, who came over with me, and three other officers, but 
there were a few connected with the departments at work in the 
rooms of Arlington House. I made some remark on the subject 
to the General, who replied that there was great jealousy on 
the part of the civilians respecting the least appearance of dis 
play, and that as he was only a brigadier, though he was in 
command of such a large army, he was obliged to be content 
with a brigadier s staff. Two untidy-looking orderlies, with 
ill-groomed horses, near the house, were poor substitutes for 
the force of troopers one would see in attendance on a General 
in Europe, but the use of the telegraph obviates the necessity 
of employing couriers. I went over some of the camps with 
the General. The artillery is the most efficient-looking arm 
of the service, but the horses are too light, and the number of 
the different calibres quite destructive to continuous efficiency 
in action. Altogether I was not favorably impressed with 
what I saw, for I had been led by reiterated statements to 
believe to some extent the extravagant stories of the papers, 
and expected to find upwards of 100,000 men in the highest 
state of efficiency, whereas there were not more than a third 
of the number, and those in a very incomplete, ill-disciplined 
state. Some of these regiments were called out under the 
President s proclamation for three months only, and will soon 
have served their full time, and as it is very likely they will 
go home, now the bubbles of national enthusiasm have all 
escaped, General Scott is urged not to lose their services, but 
to get into Richmond before they are disbanded. 

It would scarcely be credited, were I not told it by General 
McDowell, that there is no such thing procurable as a decent 
map of Virginia. He knows little or nothing of the country 
before him, more than the general direction of the main roads, 
which are bad at the best ; and he can obtain no information, 
inasmuch as the enemy are in full force all along his front, 



396 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

and he has not a cavalry officer capable of conducting a recon- 
noissance, which would be difficult enough in the best hands, 
owing to the dense woods which rise up in front of his lines, 
screening the enemy completely. The Confederates have 
thrown up very heavy batteries at Manassas, about thirty 
miles away, where the railway from the West crosses the line 
to Richmond, and I do not think General McDowell much 
likes the look of them, but the cry for action is so strong the 
President cannot resist it. 

On my way back I rode through the woods of Arlington, and 
came out on a quadrangular earthwork, called Fort Corcoran, 
which is garrisoned by the Sixty-ninth Irish, and commands 
the road leading to an aqueduct and horse-bridge over the 
Potomac. The regiment is encamped inside the fort, which 
would be a slaughter-pen if exposed to shell-fire. The streets 
were neat, the tents protected from the sun by shades of ever 
greens and pine boughs. One little door, like that of an ice 
house, half buried in the ground, was opened by one of the 
soldiers, who was showing it to a friend, when my attention 
was more particularly attracted by a sergeant, who ran for 
ward in great dudgeon, exclaiming " Dempsey ! Is that you 
going into the magazine, wid yer pipe lighted ? " I rode 
away with alacrity. 

In the course of my ride I heard occasional dropping shots 
in camp. To my looks of inquiry, an engineer officer said 
quietly, " They are volunteers shooting themselves." The 
number of accidents from the carelessness of the men is aston 
ishing ; in every day s paper there is an account of deaths and 
wounds caused by the discharge of firearms in the tents. 

Whilst I was at Arlington House, walking through the camp 
attached to head-quarters, I observed a tall, red-bearded officer 
seated on a chair in front of one of the tents, who bowed as I 
passed him, and as I turned to salute him, my eye was caught 
by the apparition of a row of Palmetto buttons down his coat. 
One of the officers standing by said, " Let me introduce you to 
Captain Taylor, from the other side." It appears that he came 
in with a flag of truce, bearing a despatch from Jefferson Davis 
to President Lincoln, countersigned by General Beauregard at 
Manassas. Just as I left Arlington, a telegraph was sent from 
General Scott to send Captain Taylor, who rejoices in the 
name of Tom, over to his quarters. 

The most absurd rumors were flying about the staff, one of 
whom declared very positively that there was going to be a 



GENERAL FREMONT. 397 

compromise, and that Jeff Davis had made an overture for 
peace. The papers are filled with accounts of an action in 
Missouri, at a place called Carthage, between the Federals 
commanded by Colonel Sigel, consisting for the most part of 
Germans, and the Confederates under General Parsons, in 
which the former were obliged to retreat, although it is admit 
ted the State troops were miserably armed, and had most in 
effective artillery, whilst their opponents had every advantage 
in both respects, and were commanded by officers of European 
experience. Captain Taylor had alluded to the news in a 
jocular way to me, and said, " I hope you will tell the people 
in England we intend to whip the Lincolnites in the same 
fashion wherever we meet them," a remark which did not lead 
me to believe there was any intention on the part of the Con 
federates to surrender so easily. 

July 2th. Late last night the President told General Scott 
to send Captain Taylor back to the Confederate lines, and he 
was accordingly escorted to Arlington in a carriage, and thence 
returned without any answer to Mr. Davis s letter, the nature 
of which has not transpired. 

A swarm of newspaper correspondents has settled down 
upon Washington, and great are the glorifications of the high- 
toned paymasters, gallant doctors, and subalterns accomplished 
in the art of war, who furnish minute items to my American 
brethren, and provide the yeast which overflows in many col 
umns ; but the Government experience the inconvenience of 
the smallest movements being chronicled for the use of the 
enemy, who, by putting one thing and another together, are no 
doubt enabled to collect much valuable information. Every 
preparation is being made to put the arrny on a war foot 
ing, to provide them with shoes, ammunition wagons, and 
horses. 

I had the honor of dining with General Scott, who has 
moved to new quarters, near the War Department, and met 
General Fremont, who is designated, according to rumor, to 
take command of an important district in the West, and to 
dear the right bank of the Mississippi and the course of the 
Missouri. " The Pathfinder " is a strong Republican and Abo 
litionist, whom the Germans delight to honor, a man with a 
dreamy, deep blue eye, a gentlemanly address, pleasant features, 
and an active frame, but without the smallest external indica 
tion of extraordinary vigor, intelligence, or ability ; if he has 
military genius, it must come by intuition, for assuredly he has 



398 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

no professional acquirements or experience. Two or three 
members of Congress, and the General s staff, and Mr. Bige- 
low, completed the company. The General has become visi 
bly weaker since I first saw him. He walks down to his 
office, close at hand, with difficulty ; returns a short time be 
fore dinner, and reposes ; and when he has dismissed his 
guests at an early hour, or even before he does so, stretches 
himself on his bed, and then before midnight rouses himself 
to look at despatches or to transact any necessary business. 
In case of an action it is his intention to proceed to the field 
in a light carriage, which is always ready for the purpose, with 
horses and driver ; nor is he unprepared with precedents of 
great military commanders who have successfully conducted 
engagements under similar circumstances. 

Although the discussion of military questions and of poli 
tics was eschewed, incidental allusions were made to matters 
going on around us, and I thought I could perceive that the 
General regarded the situation with much more apprehension 
than the politicians, and that his influence extended itself to 
the views of his staff. General Fremont s tone was much 
more confident. Nothing has become known respecting the 
nature of Mr. Davis s communication to President Lincoln, 
but the fact of his sending it at all is looked upon as a piece 
of monstrous impertinence. The General is annoyed and dis 
tressed by the plundering propensities of the Federal troops, 
who have been committing terrible depredations on the people 
of Virginia. It is not to be supposed, however, that the Ger 
mans, who have entered upon this campaign as mercenaries, 
will desist from so profitable and interesting a pursuit as the 
detection of Secesh sentiments, chickens, watches, horses, and 
dollars. I mentioned that I had seen some farm-houses com 
pletely sacked close to the aqueduct. The General merely 
said, " It is deplorable ! " and raised up his hands as if in dis 
gust. General Fremont, however, said, " I suppose you are 
familiar with similar scenes in Europe. I hear the allies were 
not very particular with respect to private property in Russia" 
a remark which unfortunately could not be gainsaid. As I 
was leaving the General s quarters, Mr. Blair, accompanied 
by the President, who was looking more anxious than I had 
yet seen him, drove up, arid passed through a crowd of sol 
diers, who had evidently been enjoying themselves. One of 
them called out, " Three cheers for General Scott ! " and I am 
not quite sure the President did not join him. 



THE LOAN BILL. 399 

July \th. To-day was spent in a lengthy excursion along 
the front of the camp in Virginia, round by the chain bridge 
which crosses the Potomac about four miles from Washing 
ton. 

The Government have been coerced, as they say, by the 
safety of the Republic, to destroy the liberty of the press, 
which is guaranteed by the Constitution, and this is not the 
first instance in which the Constitution of the United States 
will be made nominis umbra. The telegraph, according to 
General Scott s order, confirmed by the Minister of War, 
Simon Cameron, is to convey no dispatches respecting military 
movements not permitted by the General ; and to-day the 
newspaper correspondents have agreed to yield obedience to 
the order, reserving to themselves a certain freedom of detail 
in writing their despatches, and relying on the Government to 
publish the official accounts of all battles very speedily. 
They will break this agreement if they can, and the Govern 
ment will not observe their part of the bargain. The freedom 
of the press, as I take it, does not include the right to publish 
news hostile to the cause of the country in which it is pub 
lished ; neither can it involve any obligation on the part of 
Government to publish despatches which may be injurious to 
the party they represent. There is a wide distinction be 
tween the publication of news which is known to the enemy 
as soon as to the friends of the transmitters, and the utmost 
freedom of expression concerning the acts of the Government 
or the conduct of past events ; but it will be difficult to estab 
lish any rule to limit or extend the boundaries to which discus 
sion can go without mischief, and in effect the only solution of 
the difficulty in a free country seems to be to grant the press 
free license, in consideration of the enormous aid it affords in 
warning the people of their danger, in animating them with 
the news of their successes, and in sustaining the Government 
in their efforts to conduct the war. 

The most important event to-day is the passage of the Loan 
Bill, which authorizes Mr. Chase to borrow, in the next year, 
a sum of 50,000,000, on coupons, with interest at seven per 
cent., and irredeemable for twenty years the interest being 
guaranteed on a pledge of the Customs duties. I just got 
into the House in time to hear Mr. Vallandigham, who is an ul 
tra Democrat, and very nearly a Secessionist, conclude a well- 
delivered argumentative address. He is a tall, slight man, of 
a bilious temperament, with light flashing eyes, dark hair and 



400 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

complexion, and considerable oratorical power. " Deem me 
ef I wouldn t just ride that Vallandiggaim on a reay-al," quoth 
a citizen to his friend, as the speaker sat down, amid a few fee 
ble expressions of assent. Mr. Chase has also obtained the 
consent of the Lower House to his bill for closing the Southern 
ports by the decree of the President, but I hear some more 
substantial measures are in contemplation for that purpose. 
Whilst the House is finding the money the Government are 
preparing to spend it, and they have obtained the approval of 
the Senate to the enrolment of half a million of men, and the 
expenditure of one hundred millions of dollars to carry on the 
war. 

I called on Mr. Cameron, the Secretary of War. The 
small brick house of two stories, with long passages, in which 
the American Mars prepares his bolts, was, no doubt, large 
enough for the 20,000 men who constituted the armed force on 
land of the great Republic, but it is not sufficient to contain a 
tithe of the contractors who haunt its precincts, fill all the 
lobbies, and crowd into every room. With some risk to coat- 
tails, I squeezed through iron-masters, gun-makers, clothiers, 
shoemakers, inventors, bakers, and all that genus which fattens 
on the desolation caused by an army in the field, and was in 
troduced to Mr. Cameron s room, where he was seated at a 
desk surrounded by people, who were also grouped round two 
gentlemen as clerks in the same small room. " I tell you, 
General Cameron, that the way in which the loyal men of 
Missouri have been treated is a disgrace to this Government," 
shouted out a big, black, burly man "I tell you so, sir." 
" AVell, General," responded Mr. Cameron, quietly, " so you 
have several times. Will you, once for all, condescend to par 
ticulars ? " " Yes, sir ; you and the Government have disre 
garded our appeals. You have left us to fight our own battles. 
You have not sent us a cent " "There, General, I in 
terrupt you. You say we have sent you no money," said Mr. 
Cameron, very quietly. " Mr. Jones will be good enough to 
ask Mr. Smith to step in here." Before Mr. Smith carne in, 
however, the General, possibly thinking some member of the 
press was present, rolled his eyes in a Nicotian frenzy, and 
perorated : " The people of the State of Missouri, sir, will 
power-out every drop of the blood which only flows to warm 
patriotic hearts in defence of the great Union, which offers 
freedom to the enslaved of mankind, and a home to persecuted 
progress, and a few-ture to civil-zation. We demand, General 



MR. SECRETARY CAMERON. 401 

Cameron, in the neame of the great Western State " 

Here Mr. Smith came in, and Mr. Cameron said, " I want 
you to tell me what disbursements, if any, have been sent 
by this department to the State of Missouri." Mr. Smith was 
quick at figures, and up in his accounts, for he drew out a 
little memorandum book, and replied (of course, I can t tell 
the exact sum), " General, there has been sent, as by vouchers, 
to Missouri, since the beginning of the levies, six hundred 
and seventy thousand dollars and twenty-three cents." " The 
General looked crestfallen, but he was equal to the occasion, 
" These sums may have been sent, sir, but they have not been 

received. I declare in the face of " "Mr. Smith will 

show you the vouchers, General, and you can then take any 
steps needful against the parties who have misappropriated 
them." 

" That is only a small specimen of what we have to go 
through with our people," said the Minister, as the General 
went off with a lofty toss of his head, and then gave me a 
pleasant sketch of the nature of the applications and inter 
views which take up the time and clog the movements of an 
American statesman. " These State organizations give us a 
great deal of trouble." I could fully understand that they did 
so. The immediate business that I had with Mr. Cameron 
he is rarely called General now that he is Minister of War 
was to ask him to give me authority to draw rations at cost 
price, in case the army took the field before I could make 
arrangements, and he seemed very well disposed to accede ; 
" but I must think about it, for I shall have all our papers 
down upon me if I grant you any facility which they do not 
get themselves." After I left the War Department, 1 took a 
walk to Mr. Seward s, who was out. In passing by Presi 
dent s Square, I saw a respectably-dressed man up in one of 
the trees, cutting off pieces of the bark, which his friends be 
neath caught up eagerly. I could not help stopping to ask 
what was the object of the proceeding. " Why, sir, this is 

the tree Dan Sickles shot Mr. under. I think it s quite 

a remarkable spot." 

July llth. The diplomatic circle is so totus teres atque 
rotundus, that few particles of dirt stick on its periphery from 
the road over which it travels. The radii are worked from 
different centres, often far apart, and the tires and naves often 
fly out in wide divergence ; but for all social purposes is a 
circle, and a very pleasant one. When one sees M. de 



402 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

Stoeckle speaking to M. Mercier, or joining in with Baron 
Gerolt and M. de Lisboa. it is safer to infer that a little social 
reunion is at hand for a pleasant civilized discussion of ordi 
nary topics, some music, a rubber, and a dinner, than to re 
solve with the New York Correspondent, " that there is reason 
to believe that a diplomatic movement of no ordinary signifi 
cance is on foot, and that the Ministers of Russia, France, and 
Prussia have concerted a plan of action with the representa 
tive of Brazil, which must lead to extraordinary complications, 
in view of the temporary embarrassments which distract our 
beloved country. The Minister of England has held aloof 
from these reunions for a sinister purpose no doubt, and we 
have not failed to discover that the emissary of Austria, and 
the representative of Guatemala have abstained from taking 
part in these significant demonstrations. We tell the haughty 
nobleman who represents Queen Victoria, on whose son we so 
lately lavished the most liberal manifestations of our good 
will, to beware. The motives of the Court of Vienna, and 
of the Republic of Guatemala, in ordering their representa 
tives not to join in the reunion which we observed at three 
o clock to-day, at the corner of Seventeenth Street and One, 
are perfectly transparent ; but we call on Mr. Seward in 
stantly to demand of Lord Lyons a full and ample explana 
tion of his conduct on the occasion, or the transmission of his 
papers. There is no harm in adding, that we have every 
reason to think our good ally of Russia, and the minister of 
the astute monarch, who is only watching an opportunity of 
leading a Franco-American army to the Tower of London 
and Dublin Castle, have already moved their respective Gov 
ernments to act in the premises." 

That paragraph, with a good heading, would sell several 
thousands of the "New York Stabber" to-morrow. 

July 12th. There are rumors that the Federals, under 
Brigadier McClellan, who have advanced into Western Vir 
ginia, have gained some successes ; but so far it seems to have 
no larger dimensions than the onward raid of one clan against 
another in the Highlands. And whence do rumors come ? 
From Government departments, which, like so many Danaes 
in the clerks rooms, receive the visits of the auriferous 
Jupiters of the press, who condense themselves into purvey 
ors of smashes, slings, baskets of champagne, and dinners. 
McClellan is, however, considered a very steady and respect 
able professional soldier. A friend of his told me to-day one 



THE NORTHERN ARMY. 403 

of the most serious complaints the Central Illinois Company- 
had against him was that, during the Italian war, he seemed 
to forget their business ; and that lie was busied with maps 
stretched out on the floor, whereupon he, superincumbent, 
penned out the points of battle and strategy, when he ought 
to have been attending to passenger trains and traffic. That 
which was flat blasphemy in a railway office, may be amaz 
ingly approved in the field. 

July 13th. I have had a long day s ride through the 
camps of the various regiments across the Potomac, and at 
this side of it, which the weather did riot render very agree 
able to myself, or the poor hack that I had hired for the day, 
till my American Quartermaine gets me a decent mount. I 
wished to see with my own eyes what is the real condition 
of the army which the North have sent down to the Potomac, 
to undertake such a vast task as the conquest of the South. 
The Northern papers describe it as a magnificent force, com 
plete in all respects, well-disciplined, well-clad, provided with 
fine artillery, and with every requirement to make it effective 
for all military operations in the field. 

In one word, then, they are grossly and utterly ignorant of 
what an army is or should be. In the first place, there are not, I 
should think, 30,000 men of all sorts available for the campaign. 
The papers estimate it at any number from 50,000 to 100,000, 
giving the preference to 75,000. In the next place their ar 
tillery is miserably deficient ; they have not, I should think* 
more than five complete batteries, or six batteries, including 
scratch guns, and these are of different calibres, badly horsed, 
miserably equipped, and provided with the worst set of gun 
ners and drivers which I, who have seen the Turkish field-guns, 
ever beheld. They have no cavalry, only a few scarecrow 
men, who would dissolve partnership with their steeds at the 
first serious combined movement, mounted in high saddles, on 
wretched mouthless screws, and some few regulars from the 
frontiers, who may be good for Indians, but who would go 
over like ninepins at a charge from Punjaubee irregulars. 
Their transport is tolerably good, but inadequate ; they have 
no carriage for reserve ammunition ; the commissariat drivers 
are civilian?, under little or no control ; the officers are un- 
soldierly-looking men ; the camps are dirty to excess ; the 
men are dressed in all sorts of uniforms ; and from what F 
hear, I doubt if any of these regiments have ever performed 
a brigade evolution together, or if any of the officers know 



404 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

what it is to deploy a brigade from column into line. They 
are mostly three months men, whose time is nearly up. 
They were rejoicing to-day over the fact that it was so, and 
that they had kept the enemy from Washington " without a 
fight." And it is with this rabblement, that the North pro 
poses not only to subdue the South, but according to some of 
their papers, to humiliate Great Britain, and conquer Canada 
afterwards. 

I am opposed to national boasting, but I do firmly believe 
that 10,000 British regulars, or 12,000 French, with a proper 
establishment of artillery and cavalry, would not only entirely 
repulse this army with the greatest ease, under competent 
commanders, but that they could attack them and march into 
Washington, over them or with them, whenever they pleased. 
Not that Frenchman or Englishman is perfection, but that the 
American of this army knows nothing of discipline, and what 
is more, cares less for it. 

Major- General McClellan I beg his pardon for styling him 
Brigadier has really been successful. By a very well-con 
ducted and rather rapid march, he was enabled to bring 
superior forces to bear on some raw levies under General 
Garnett (who came over with me in the steamer), which fled 
after a few shots, and were utterly routed, when their gallant 
commander fell, in an abortive attempt to rally them by the 
banks of the Cheat River. In this " great battle " McClellan s 
loss is less than thirty killed and wounded, and the Confederate 
loss is less than one hundred. But the dispersion of such 
guerrilla bands has the most useful etfect among the people of 
the district; and McClellan has done good service, especially 
as his little victory will lead to the discomfiture of all the 
Secessionists in the valley of the Kanawha, and in the val 
ley of Western Virginia. I left Washington this afternoon, 
with the Sanitary Commissioners, for Baltimore, in order to 
visit the Federal camps at Fortress Monroe, to which we pro 
ceeded down the Chesapeake the same night. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

Fortress Monroe General Butler Hospital accommodation 
"Wounded soldiers Aristocratic pedigrees A great gun 
Newport News Fraudulent contractors General Butler 
Artillery practice Contraband negroes Confederate lines 
Tombs of American loyalists Troops and contractors Dur- 
yea s New York Zouaves Military calculations A voyage by 
steamer to Annapolis. 

July Ikth. At six o clock this morning the steamer arrived 
at the wharf under the walls of Fortress Monroe, which pre 
sented a very different appearance from the quiet of its aspect 
when first I saw it, some months ago. Camps spread around 
it, the parapets lined with sentries, guns looking out towards 
the land, lighters and steamers alongside the wharf, a strong 
guard at the end of the pier, passes to be scrutinized and per 
mits to be given. I landed with the members of the Sanitary 
Commission, and repaired to a very large pile of buildings, 
called " The Hygeia Hotel," for once on a time Fortress Mon 
roe was looked upon as the resort of the sickly, who required 
bracing air and an abundance of oysters ; it is now occupied 
by the wounded in the several actions and skirmishes which 
have taken place, particularly at Bethel ; and it is so densely 
crowded that we had difficulty in procuring the use of some 
small dirty rooms to dress in. As the business of the Com 
mission was principally directed to ascertain the state of the 
hospitals, they considered it necessary in the first instance to 
visit General Butler, the commander of the post, who has been 
recommending himself to the Federal Government by his ac 
tivity ever since he came down to Baltimore, and the whole 
body marched to the fort, crossing the drawbridge after some 
parley with the guard, and received permission, on the pro 
duction of passes, to enter the court. 

The interior of the work covers a space of about seven or 
eight acres, as far as I could judge, and is laid out with some 
degree of taste : rows of fine trees border the walks through 
the grass plots ; the officers quarters, neat and snug, are sur- 



406 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

rounded with little patches of flowers, and covered with creep 
ers. All order and neatness, however, were fast disappearing 
beneath the tramp of mailed feet, for at least 1200 men had 
pitched their tents inside the place. We sent in our names to 
the General, who lives in a detached house close to the sea 
face of the fort, and sat down on a bench under the shade of 
some trees, to avoid the excessive heat of the sun until the 
commander of the place could receive the Commissioners. 
He was evidently in no great hurry to do so. In about half 
an hour an aide-de-camp came out to say that the General 
was getting up, and that he would see us after breakfast. 
Some of the Commissioners, from purely sanitary considera 
tions, would have been much better pleased to have seen him 
at breakfast, as they had only partaken of a very light meal 
on board the steamer at five o clock in the morning ; but we 
were interested meantime by the morning parade of a portion 
of the garrison, consisting of 300 regulars, a Massachusetts 
volunteer battalion, and the 2d New York Regiment. 

It was quite refreshing to the eye to see the cleanliness of 
the regulars their white gloves and belts, and polished but 
tons, contrasted with the slovenly aspect of the volunteers ; 
but, as far as the material went, the volunteers had by far the 
best of the comparison. The civilians who were with me did 
not pay much attention to the regulars, and evidently pre 
ferred the volunteers, although they could not be insensible to 
the magnificent drum-major who led the band of the regulars. 
Presently General Butler came out of his quarters, and walk 
ed down t he lines, followed by a few officers. He is a stout, 
middle-aged man, strongly built, with coarse limbs, his fea 
tures indicative of great shrewdness and craft, his forehead 
high, the elevation being in some degree due perhaps to the 
want of hair ; with a strong obliquity of vision, which may 
perhaps have been caused by an injury, as the eyelid hangs 
with a peculiar droop over the organ. 

The General, whose manner is quick, decided, and abrupt, 
but not at all rude or unpleasant, at once acceded to the 
wishes of the Sanitary Commissioners, and expressed his de 
sire to make my stay at the fort as agreeable and useful as 
he could. " You can first visit the hospitals in company with 
these gentlemen, and then come over with me to our camp, 
where I will show you everything that is to be seen. I have 
ordered a steamer to be in readiness to take you to Newport 
News." He speaks rapidly, and either affects or possesses 



A NATIONAL DIFFERENCE. 407 

great decision. The Commissioners accordingly proceeded to 
make the most of their time in visiting the Hygeia Hotel, 
being accompanied by the medical officers of the garrison. 

The rooms, but a short time ago occupied by the fair ladies 
of Virginia, when they came down to enjoy the sea-breezes, 
were now crowded with Federal soldiers, many of them suffer 
ing from the loss of limb or serious wflunds, others from the 
worst form of camp disease. I enjoyed a small national 
triumph over Dr. Bellows, the chief of the Commission 
ers, who is of the " sangre azul " of Yankeeism, by which 
I mean that he is a believer, not in the perfectibility, but 
in the absolute perfection, of New England nature which 
is the only human nature that is not utterly lost and aban 
doned Old England nature, perhaps, being the worst of 
all. We had been speaking to the wounded men in several 
rooms, and found most of them either in the listless condition 
consequent upon exhaustion, or with that anxious air which is 
often observable on the faces of the wounded when strangers 
approach. At last we came into a room in which two soldiers 
were sitting up, the first we had seen, reading the newspapers. 
Dr. Bellows asked where they came from ; one was from Con 
cord, the other from New Haven. " You see, Mr. Russell," 
said Dr. Bellows, " how our Yankee soldiers spend their time. 
I knew at once they were Americans when I saw them read 
ing newspapers." One of them had his hand shattered by a 
bullet, the other was suffering from a gun-shot wound through 
the body. "Where were you hit?" I inquired of the first. 
" Well," he said, " I guess my rifle went off when I was 
cleaning it in camp." " Were you wounded at Bethel ? " I 
asked of the second. " No, sir," he replied ; " I got this 
wound from a comrade, who discharged his piece by accident 
in one of the tents as I was standing outside." " So," said I, 
to Dr. Bellows, " whilst the Britishers and Germans are en 
gaged with the enemy, you Americans employ your time 
shooting each other ! " 

These men were true mercenaries, for they were fighting 
for money I mean the strangers. One poor fellow from 
Devonshire said, as he pointed to his tump, " I wish I had 
lost it for the sake of the old island, sir," paraphrasing Sars- 
field s exclamation as he lay dying on the field. The Amer 
icans were fighting for the combined excellences and strength 
of the States of New England, and of the rest of the Fed 
eral power over the Confederates, for they could not in their 



408 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

heart of hearts believe the Old Union could be restored by 
force of arms. Lovers may quarrel and may reunite, but if 
a blow is struck there is no redintegratio amoris possible again. 
The newspapers and illustrated periodicals which they read 
were the pabulum that fed the flames of patriotism incessantly. 
Such capacity for enormous lying, both in creation and ab 
sorption, the world ndver heard. Sufficient for the hour is 
the falsehood. 

There were lady nurses in attendance on the patients ; who 
followed let us believe, as I do, out of some higher motive 
than the mere desire of human praise the example of Miss 
Nightingale. I loitered behind in the rooms, asking many 
questions respecting the nationality of the men, in which the 
members of the Sanitary Commission took no interest, and I 
was just turning into one near the corner of the passage when 
I was stopped by a loud smack. A young Scotchman was 
dividing his attention between a basin of soup and a demure 
young lady from Philadelphia, who, was feeding him with a 
spoon, his only arm being engaged in holding her round the 
waist, in order to prevent her being tired, I presume. Miss 
Rachel, or Deborah, had a pair of very pretty blue eyes, but 
they flashed very angrily from under her trim little cap at the 
unwitting intruder, and then she said, in severest tones, " Will 
you take your medicine, or not ? " Sandy smiled, and pre 
tended to be very penitent. 

When we returned with the doctors from our inspection we 
walked around the parapets of the fortress, why so called I 
know not, because it is merely a fort. The guns and mortars 
are old-fashioned and heavy, with the exception of some new- 
fashioned and very heavy Columbiads, which are cast-iron 
eight, ten, and twelve-inch guns, in which I have no faith what 
ever. The armament is not sufficiently powerful to prevent its 
interior being searched out by the long-range fire of ships with 
rifle guns, or mortar boats ; but it would require closer and 
harder work to breach the masses of brick and masonry which 
constitute the parapets and casemates. The guns, carriages, 
rammers, shot, were dirty, rusty, and neglected ; but General 
Butler told me he was busy polishing up things about the 
fortress as fast as he could. 

Whilst we were parading these hot walls in the sunshine, 
my companions were discussing the question of ancestry. It 
appears your New Englander is very proud of his English de 
scent from good blood, and it is one of their is msin the Yan- 



THE "UNION" GUN. 409 

kee States that they are the salt of the British people and the 
true aristocracy of blood and family, whereas we in the isles 
retain but a paltry share of the blue blood defiled by incessant 
infiltrations of the muddy fluid of the outer world. This may 
be new to us Britishers, but is a Q. E. D. If a gentleman 
left Europe 200 years ago, and settled with his kin and kith, 
intermarrying his children with their equals, and thus per 
petuating an ancient family, it is evident he may be regarded 
as the founder of a much more honorable dynasty than the 
relative who remained behind him, and lost the old family 
place, and sunk into obscurity. A singular illustration of the 
tendency to make much of themselves may be found in the 
fact, that New England swarms with genealogical societies and 
bodies of antiquaries, who delight in reading papers about 
each other s ancestors, and tracing their descent from Norman 
or Saxon barons and earls. The Virginians opposite, who 
are flouting us with their Confederate flag from Sewall s Point, 
are equally given to the " genus et proavos." 

At the end of our promenade round the ramparts, Lieuten 
ant Butler, the General s nephew and aide-de-carnp, came to 
tell us the boat was ready, and we met His Excellency in the 
court-yard, whence we walked down to the wharf. On our 
way, General Butler called my attention to an enormous heap 
of hollow iron lying on the sand, which was the Union gun 
that is intended to throw a shot of some 350 Ibs. weight or 
more, to astonish the Confederates at Sewall s Point opposite, 
when it is mounted. This gun, if I mistake not, was made 
after the designs of Captain Rodman, of the United States 
artillery, who in a series of remarkable papers, the publica 
tion of which has cost the country a large sum of money, has 
given us the results of long-continued investigations and ex 
periments on the best method of cooling masses of iron for 
ordnance purposes, and of making powder for heavy shot. 
The piece must weigh about 20 tons, but a similar gun, mount 
ed on an artificial island called the Rip Raps, in the channel 
opposite the fortress, is said to be worked with facility. The 
Confederates have raised some of the vessels sunk by the 
United States officers when the Navy Yard at Gosport was 
destroyed, and as some of these are to be converted into rams, 
the Federals are preparing their heaviest ordnance, to try the 
effect of crushing weights at low velocities against their sides, 
should they attempt to play any pranks among the transport 
vessels. The General said : " It is not by these great masses 
18 



410 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

of iron this contest is to be decided ; we must bring sharp 
points of steel, directed by superior intelligence." Hitherto 
General Butler s attempts at Big Bethel have not been crown 
ed with success in employing such means, but it must be ad 
mitted that, according to his own statement, his lieutenants 
were guilty of carelessness and neglect of ordinary military 
precautions in the conduct of the expedition he ordered. The 
march of different columns of troops by night concentrating 
on a given point is always liable to serious interruptions, and 
frequently gives rise to hostile encounters between friends, in 
more disciplined armies than the raw levies of United States 
volunteers. 

When the General, Commissioners, and Staff had embarked, 
the steamer moved across the broad estuary to Newport News. 
Among our passengers were several medical officers in attend 
ance on the Sanitary Commissioners, some belonging to the army, 
others who had volunteered from civil life. Their discussion 
of professional questions and of relative rank assumed such a 
personal character, that General Butler had to interfere to 
quiet the disputants, but the exertion of his authority was 
not altogether successful, and one of the angry gentlemen 
said in my hearing, " I m d d if I submit to such treatment if 
all the lawyers in Massachusetts with stars on their colors 
were to order me to-morrow." 

On arriving at the low shore of Newport News we landed 
at a wooded jetty, and proceeded to visit the camp of the 
Federals, which was surrounded by a strong entrenchment, 
mounted with guns on the water face ; and on the angles 
inland, a broad tract of cultivated country, bounded by a belt 
of trees, extended from the river away from the encampment; 
but the Confederates are so close at hand that frequent 
skirmishes have occurred between the foraging parties of the 
garrison and the enemy, who have on more than one occasion 
pursued the Federals to the very verge of the woods. 

Whilst the Sanitary Commissioners were groaning over 
the heaps of filth which abound in all camps where discipline 
is not most strictly observed, I walked round amongst the 
tents, which, taken altogether, were in good order. The day 
was excessively hot, and many of the soldiers were lying 
down in the shade of arbors formed of branches from the 
neighboring pine wood, but most of them got up when they 
heard the General was coining round. A sentry walked up 
and down at the end of the street, and as the General came 



COLONEL PHELPS AND THE CHIVALRY. 411 

up to him he called out " Halt." The man stood still. " I 
just want to show you, sir, what scoundrels our Government 
has to deal with. This man belongs to a regiment which has 
had new clothing recently served out to it. Look what it is 
made of." So saying the General stuck his fore-finger into 
the breast of the man s coat, and with a rapid scratch of his 
nail tore open the cloth as if it was of blotting paper. 
" Shoddy sir. Nothing but shoddy. I wish I had these con 
tractors in the trenches here, and if hard work would not 
make honest men of them, they d have enough of it to be 
examples for the rest of their fellows." 

A vivacious prying man, this Butler, full of bustling life, 
self-esteem, revelling in the exercise of power. In the course 
of our rounds we were joined by Colonel Phelps, who was for 
merly in the United States army, and saw service in Mexico, 
but retired because he did not approve of the manner in 
which promotions were made, and who only took command of 
a Massachusetts regiment because he believed he might be in 
strumental in striking a shrewd blow or two in this great battle 
of Armageddon a tall, saturnine, gloomy, angry-eyed sallow 
man, soldier-like, too, and one who places old John Brown on 
a level with the great martyrs of the Christian world. Indeed 
one, not so fierce as he, is blasphemous enough to place images 
of our Saviour and the hero of Harper s Ferry on the mantel 
piece, as the two greatest beings the world has ever seen. 
" Yes, I know them well. I ve seen them in the field. I ve 
sat with them at meals. I ve travelled through their country. 
These Southern slave-holders are a false, licentious, godless 
people. Either we who obey the laws and fear God, or they 
who know no God except their own will and pleasure, and 
know no law except their passions, must rule on this continent, 
and I believe that Heaven will help its own in the conflict they 
have provoked. I grant you they are brave enough, and des 
perate too, but surely justice, truth, and religion, will strength 
en a man s arm to strike down those who have only brute force 
and a bad cause to support them." But Colonel Phelps was 
not quite indifferent to material aid, and he made a pressing 
appeal to General Butler to send him some more guns and 
harness for the field-pieces he had in position, because, said 
he, "in case of attack, please God I ll follow them up sharp, 
and cover these fields with their bones." The General had a 
difficulty about the harness, which made Colonel Phelps very 
grim, but General Butler had reason in saying he could not 



412 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

make harness, and so the Colonel must be content with the 
results of a good rattling fire of round, shell, grape and can 
ister, if the Confederates are foolish enough to attack his bat 
teries. 

There was nothing to complain of in the camp, except the 
swarms of flies, the very bad smells, and perhaps the shabby 
clothing of the men. The tents were good enough. The ra 
tions were ample, but nevertheless, there was a want of order, 
discipline, and quiet in the lines which did not augur well for 
the internal economy of the regiments. When we returned 
to the river face, General Butler ordered some practice to be 
made with a Sawyer rifle gun, which appeared to be an or 
dinary cast-iron piece, bored with grooves on the shunt 
principle, the shot being covered with a composition of a metal 
lic amalgam like zinc and tin, and provided with flanges of the 
same material to fit the grooves. The practice was irregular 
and unsatisfactory. At an elevation of 24 degrees, the first 
shot struck the water at a point about 2000 yards distant. 
The piece was then further elevated, and the shot struck quite 
out of land, close to the opposite bank, at a distance of nearly 
three miles. The third shot rushed with a peculiar hurt 
ling noise out of the piece, and flew up in the air, falling 
with a splash into the water about 1500 yards away. The 
next shot may have gone half across the continent, for assur 
edly it never struck the water, and most probably ploughed 
its way into the soft ground at the other side of the river. 
The shell practice was still worse, and on the whole I wish 
our enemies may always fight us with Sawyer guns, partic 
ularly as the shells cost between 6 and 7 apiece. 

From the fort the General proceeded to the house of one of 
the oificers, near the jetty, formerly the residence of a Virgin 
ian farmer, who has now gone to Secessia, where we were 
most hospitably treated at an excellent lunch, served by the 
slaves of the former proprietor. Although we boast with 
some reason of the easy level of our mess-rooms, the Ameri 
cans certainly excel us in the art of annihilating all military 
distinctions on such occasions as these ; and I am not sure the 
General would not have liked to place a young doctor in close 
arrest, who suddenly made a dash at the liver wing of a fowl 
on which the General was bent with eye and fork, and carried 
it off to his plate. But on the whole there was a good deal of 
friendly feeling amongst all ranks of the volunteers, the reg 
ulars being a little stiff and adherent to etiquette. 



A RIDE TO HAMPTON. 4113 

In the afternoon the boat returned to Fortress Monroe, and 
the General invited me to dinner, where I had the pleasure of 
meeting Mrs. Butler, his staff, and a couple of regimental offi 
cers from the neighboring camp. As it was still early, Gen 
eral Butler proposed a ride to visit the interesting village of 
Hampton, which lies some six or seven miles outside the fort, 
and forms his advance post. A powerful charger, with a tre 
mendous Mexican saddle, fine housings, blue and gold em 
broidered saddle-cloth, was brought to the door for your hum 
ble servant, and the General mounted another, which did 
equal credit to his taste in horseflesh ; but I own I felt rather 
uneasy on seeing that he wore a pair of large brass spurs, 
strapped over white jean brodequins. He took with him his 
aide-de-camp and a couple of orderlies. In the precincts of 
the fort outside, a population of contraband negroes has been 
collected, whom the General employs in various works about 
the place, military and civil ; but I failed to ascertain that the 
original scheme of a debit and credit account between the 
value of their labor and the cost of their maintenance had 
been successfully carried out. The General was proud of 
them, and they seemed proud of themselves, saluting him 
with a ludicrous mixture of awe and familiarity as he rode 
past. " How do, Massa Butler ? How do, General ? " ac 
companied by absurd bows and scrapes. k Just to think," 
said the General, " that every one of these fellows represents 
some one thousand dollars at least out of the pockets of the 
chivalry yonder." " Nasty, idle, dirty beasts," says one of the 
staff, sotto voce ; " I wish to Heaven they were all at the bot 
tom of the Chesapeake. The General insists on it that they 
do work, but they are far more trouble than they are worth." 

The road towards Hampton traverses a sandy spit, which, 
however, is more fertile than would be supposed from the soil 
under the horses hoofs, though it is not in the least degree in 
teresting. A broad creek or river interposed between us and 
the town, the bridge over which had been destroyed. Work 
men were busy repairing it, but all the planks had not yet 
been laid down or nailed, and in some places the open space 
between the upright rafters allowed us to see the dark waters 
flowing beneath. The Aide said, " I don t think, General, it 
is safe to cross ; " but the chief did not mind him until his 
horse very nearly crashed through a plank, and only regained 
its footing with unbroken legs by marvellous dexterity ; where 
upon we dismounted, and, leaving the horses to be carried over 



4H MY J TART NORTH AND SOUTH. 

in the ferry-boat, completed the rest of the transit, not with 
out difficulty. At the other end of the bridge a street lined 
with comfortable houses, and bordered with trees, led us into 
the pleasant town or village of Hampton pleasant once, but 
now deserted by all the inhabitants except some pauperized 
whites and a colony of negroes. It was in full occupation of 
the Federal soldiers, and I observed that most of the men 
were Germans, the garrison at Newport News being princi 
pally composed of Americans. The old red brick houses, 
with cornices of white stone ; the narrow windows and high 
gables ; gave an aspect of antiquity and P^uropean comfort to 
the place, the like of which I have not yet seen in the States. 
Most of the shops were closed ; in some the shutters were still 
down, and the goods remained displayed in the windows. " I 
have allowed no plundering," said the General; "and if I find 
a fellow trying to do it, I will hang him as sure as my name 
is Butler. See here," and as he spoke he walked into a large 
woollen-draper s shop, where bales of cloth were still lying on 
the shelves, and many articles such as are found in a large 
general store in a country town were disposed on the floor or 
counters ; " they shall not accuse the men under my command 
of being robbers." The boast, however, was not so well jus 
tified in a visit to another house occupied by some soldiers. 
" Well," said the General, with a smile, " I dare say you know 
enough of camps to have found out that chairs and tables are 
irresistible ; the men will take them off to their tents, though 
they may have to leave them next morning." 

The principal object of our visit was the fortified trench 
which has been raised outside the town towards the Confed 
erate lines. The path lay through a church-yard filled with 
most interesting monuments. The sacred edifice of red brick, 
with a square clock-tower rent by lightning, is rendered inter 
esting by the fact that it is almost the first church built by the 
English colonists of Virginia. On the tombstones are recorded 
the names of many subjects of His Majesty George III., and 
familiar names of persons born in the early part of last cen 
tury in English villages, who passed to their rest before the 
great rebellion of the Colonies had disturbed their notions of 
loyalty and respect to the crown. Many a British subject, 
too, lies there, whose latter days must have been troubled by 
the strange scenes of the war of independence. With what 
doubt and distrust must that one at whose tomb I stand have 
heard that George Washington was making head against the 



GENERAL BUTLER. 415 

troops of His Majesty King George III. ! How the hearts 
of the old men who had passed the best years of their exist 
ence, as these stones tell us, fighting for His Majesty against 
the French, must have beaten when once more they heard the 
roar of Frenchman s ordnance uniting with the voices of the 
rebellious guns of the colonists from the plains of Yorktown 
against the entrenchments in which Cornwallis and his de 
serted band stood at hopeless bay ! But could these old eyes 
open again, and see General Butler standing on the eastern 
rampart which bounds their resting-place, and pointing to the 
spot whence the rebel cavalry of Virginia issue night and day 
to charge the loyal pickets of His Majesty The Union, they 
might take some comfort in the fulfilment of the vaticinations 
which no doubt they uttered, " It cannot, and it will not, come, 
to good." 

Having inspected the works as far as I could judge, too 
extended, and badly traced which I say with all deference 
to the able young engineer who accompanied us to point out 
the various objects of interest the General returned to the 
bridge, where we remounted, and made a tour of the camps 
of the force intended to defend Hampton, falling back on 
Fortress Monroe in case of necessity. Whilst he was riding 
ventre d terre, which seems to be his favorite pace, his horse 
stumbled in the dusty road, and in his effort to keep his seat 
the General broke his stirrup leather, and the ponderous brass 
stirrup fell to the ground ; but, albeit a lawyer, he neither lost 
his seat nor his sang froid, and calling out to his orderly " to 
pick up his toe plate," the jean slippers were closely pressed, 
spurs and all, to the sides of his steed, and away we went once 
more through dust and heat so great I was by no means sorry 
when he pulled up outside a pretty villa, standing in a garden, 
which was occupied by Colonel Max Weber, of the German 
Turner Regiment, once the property of General Tyler. The 
camp of the Turners, who are members of various gymnastic 
societies, was situated close at hand ; but I had no opportunity 
of seeing them at work, as the Colonel insisted on our par 
taking of the hospitalities of his little mess, and produced some 
bottles of sparkling hock and a block of ice, by no means un 
welcome after our fatiguing ride. His Major, whose name I 
have unfortunately forgotten, and who spoke English better 
than his chief, had served in some capacity or other in the 
Crimea, and made many inquiries after the officers of the 
Guards whom he had known there. I took an opportunity of 



416 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

asking him in what state the troops were. " The whole thing 
is a robbery," he exclaimed ; " this war is for the contractors ; 
the men do not get a third of what the Government pay for 
them ; as for discipline, rny God ! it exists not. We Germans 
are well enough, of course ; we know our affair ; but as for 
the Americans, what would you ? They make colonels out of 
doctors and lawyers, and captains out of fellows who are not 
fit to brush a soldier s shoe." " But the men get their pay ? " 
" Yes that is so. At the end of two months, they get it, and 
by that time it is due to sutlers, who charge them 100 per 
cent." 

It is easy to believe these old soldiers do not put much con 
fidence in General Butler, though they admit his energy. 
" Look you ; one good officer with 5,000 steady troops, such 
as we have in Europe, shall come down any night and walk 
over us all into Fortress Monroe whenever he pleased, if he 
knew how these troops were placed." 

On leaving the German Turners, the General visited the 
camp of Duryea s New York Zouaves, who were turned out 
at evening parade, or more properly speaking, drill. But for 
the ridiculous effect of their costume the regiment would have 
looked well enough ; but riding down on the rear of the ranks 
the discolored napkins tied round their heads, without any fez 
cap beneath, so that the hair sometimes stuck up through the 
folds, the ill-made jackets, the loose bags of red calico hanging 
from their loins, the long gaiters of white cotton instead of 
the real Zouave yellow and black greave, and smart white 
gaiter made them appear such military scarecrows, I could 
scarcely refrain from laughing outright. Nevertheless the 
men were respectably drilled, marched steadily in columns of 
company, wheeled into line, and went past at quarter distance 
at the double much better than could be expected from the 
short time they had been in the field, and I could with all 
sincerity say to Colonel Duryea, a smart and not unpretentious 
gentleman, who asked my opinion so pointedly that I could 
not refuse to give it, that I considered the appearance of the 
regiment very creditable. The shades of evening were now 
falling, and as I had been up before 5 o clock in the morning, 
I was not sorry when General Butler said, " Now we will go 
home to tea, or you will detain the steamer." He had ar 
ranged before I started that the vessel, which in ordinary course 
would have returned to Baltimore at eight o clock, should re 
main till he sent down word to the Captain to go. 



IMPORTANCE OF SUFFOLK. 417 

We scampered back to the fort, and judging from the chal 
lenges and vigilance of the sentries, and inlying pickets, I am 
not quite so satisfied as the Major that the enemy could have 
surprised the place. At the tea-table there were no additions 
to the General s family ; he therefore spoke without any re 
serve. Going over the map, he explained his views in refer 
ence to future operations, and showed cause, with more mili 
tary acumen than I could have expected from a gentleman of 
the long robe, why he believed Fortress Monroe was the true 
base of operations against Richmond. 

I have been convinced for some time, that if a sufficient 
force could be left to cover Washington, the Federals should 
move against Richmond from the Peninsula, where they could 
form their depots at leisure, and advance, protected by their 
gunboats, on a very short line which offers far greater facilities 
and advantages than the inland route from Alexandria to Rich 
mond, which, difficult in itself from the nature of the country, 
is exposed to the action of a hostile population, and, above all, 
to the danger of constant attacks by the enemies cavalry, 
tending more or less to destroy all communication with the 
base of the Federal operations. 

The threat of seizing Washington led to a concentration of 
the Union troops in front of it, which caused in turn the col 
lection of the Confederates on the lines below to defend Rich 
mond. It is plain that if the Federals can cover Washington, 
and at the same time assemble a force at Monroe strong 
enough to march on Richmond, as they desire, the Confeder 
ates will be placed in an exceedingly hazardous position, 
scarcely possible to escape from ; and there is no reason why 
the North, with their overwhelming preponderance, should not 
do so, unless they be carried away by the fatal spirit of brag 
and bluster which comes from their press to overrate their 
own strength and to despise their enemy s. The occupation of 
Suffolk will be seen, by any one who studies the map, to afford 
a most powerful leverage to the Federal forces from Monroe 
in their attempts to turn the enemy out of their camps of com 
munication, and to enable them to menace Richmond as well 
as the Southern States most seriously. 

But whilst the General and I are engaged over our maps 
and mint juleps, time flies, and at last I perceive by the clock 
it is time to go. An aide is sent to stop the boat, but he re 
turns ere I leave with the news that " She is gone." Where 
upon the General sends for the Quartermaster Talmadge, who 
18* 



418 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

is out in the camps, and only arrives in time to receive a se 
vere " wigging." It so happened that I had important papers 
to send off by the next mail from New York, and the only 
chance of being able to do so depended on my being in Balti 
more next day. General Butler acted with kindness and 
promptitude in the matter. " I promised you should go by the 
steamer, but the captain has gone off without orders or leave, 
for which he shall answer when I see him. Meantime it is 
my business to keep my promise. Captain Talmadge, you 
will at once go down and give orders to the most suitable trans 
port steamer or chartered vessel available, to get up steam at 
once and come up to the wharf for Mr. Russell." 

Whilst I was sitting in the parlor which served as the Gen 
eral s office, there came in a pale, bright-eyed, slim young man 
in a subaltern s uniform, who sought a private audience, and 
unfolded a plan he had formed, on certain data gained by noc 
turnal expeditions, to surprise a body of the enemy s cavalry 
which was in the habit of coming down every night and dis 
turbing the pickets at Hampton. His manner was so eager, 
his information so precise, that the General could not refuse 
his sanction, but he gave it in a characteristic manner. " Well, 
sir, I understand your proposition. You intend to go out as a 
volunteer to effect this service. You ask my permission to 
get men for it. I cannot grant you an order to any of the 
officers in command of regiments to provide you with these ; 
but if the Colonel of your regiment wishes to give leave to his 
men to volunteer, and they like to go with you, I give you 
leave to take them. I wash my hands of all responsibility in 
the affair." The officer bowed and retired, saying, " That is 
quite enough, General." * 

At ten o clock the Quartermaster came back to say that a 
screw steamer called The Elizabeth was getting up steam for 
my reception, and I bade good-by to the General, and walked 
down with his aide and nephew, Lieutenant Butler, to the 
Hygeia Hotel to get my light knapsack. It was a lovely 
moonlight night, and as I was passing down an avenue of 
trees an officer stopped me, and exclaimed, " General Butler, 
I hear you have given leave to Lieutenant Blank to take a 

* It may be stated here, that tin s expedition met with a disastrous 
result. If I mistake not, the officer, and with him the correspondent 
of a paper who accompanied him, were killed by the cavalry whom 
he meant to surprise, and several of the volunteers were also killed or 
wounded. 



THE SAD SEA WAVE. 419 

party of my regiment and go off scouting to-night after the 
enemy. It is too hard that " What more he was going to 
say I know not, for I corrected the mistake, and the officer 
walked hastily on towards the General s quarters. On reach 
ing the Hygeia Hotel I was met by the correspondent of a 
New York paper, who as commissary-general, or, as they are 
styled in the States, officer of subsistence, had been charged to 
get the boat ready, and who explained to me it would be at 
least an hour before the steam was up ; and whilst I was wait 
ing in the porch I heard many Virginian, and old-world stories 
as well, the general upshot of which was that all the rest of the 
world could be "done" at cards, in love, in drink, in horse 
flesh, and in fighting, by the true-born American. General 
Butler came down after a time, and joined our little society, nor 
was he by any means the least shrewd and humorous racon 
teur of the party. At eleven o clock The Elizabeth uttered 
some piercing cries, which indicated she had her steam up ; 
and so I walked down to the jetty, accompanied by my host 
and his friends, and wishing them good-by, stepped on board 
the little vessel, and with the aid of the negro cook, steward, 
butler, boots, and servant, roused out the captain from a small 
wooden trench which he claimed as his berth, turned into it, 
and fell asleep just as the first difficult convulsions of the screw 
aroused the steamer from her coma, and forced her languidly 
against the tide in the direction of Baltimore. 

July 15th. I need not speak much of the events of last 
night, which were not unimportant, perhaps to some of the in 
sects which played a leading part in them. The heat was 
literally overpowering ; for in addition to the hot night there 
was the full power of most irritable boilers close at hand to 
aggravate the natural desagremens of the situation. About an 
hour after dawn, when I turned out on deck, there was nothing 
visible but a warm gray mist ; but a knotty old pilot on deck 
told me we were only going six knots an hour against tide and 
wind, and that we were likely to make less way as the day 
wore on. In fact, instead of being near Baltimore, we were 
much nearer Fortress Monroe. Need I repeat the horrors of 
this day ? Stewed, boiled, baked, and grilled on board this 
miserable Elizabeth, I wished M. Montalembert could have 
experienced with me what such an impassive nature could in 
flict in misery on those around it. The captain was a shy, 
silent man, much given to short naps in my temporary berth, 
and the mate was GO wild, he might have swam off with per- 



420 MY DIARY NORTH AND SOUTH. 

feet propriety to the woods on either side of us, and taken to a 
tree as an aborigine or chimpanzee. Two men of most retiring 
habits, the negro, a black boy, and a very fat mjgress who 
officiated as cook, filled up the " balance" of the crew. 

I could not write, for the vibration of the deck of the little 
craft gave a St. Vitus dance to pen and pencil ; reading was 
out of the question from the heat and flies ; and below stairs 
the fat cook banished repose by vapors from her dreadful 
caldrons, where, Medea-like, she was boiling some death broth. 
Our breakfast was of the simplest and may I add ? the least 
enticing ; and if the dinner could have been worse it was so ; 
though it was rendered attractive by hunger, and by the kind 
ness of the sailors who shared it with me. The old pilot had a 
most wholesome hatred of the Britishers, and not having the 
least idea till late in the day that I belonged to the old country, 
favored me with some very remarkable views respecting their 
general mischievousness and inutility. As soon as he found 
out my secret he became more reserved, and explained to me 
that he had some reason for not liking us, because all he had in 
the world, as pretty a schooner as ever floated and a fine cargo, 
had been taken and burnt by the English when they sailed up 
the Potomac at Washington. He served against us at Bla- 
densburg. I did not ask him how fast he ran ; but he had a 
good rejoinder ready if I had done so, inasmuch as he was 
up West under Commodore Perry on the lakes when we suf 
fered our most serious reverses. Six knots an hour ! hour 
after hour ! And nothing to do but to listen to the pilot. 

On both sides a line of forest just visible above the low 
shores. Small coasting craft, schooners, pungies, boats laden 
with wood creeping along in the shallow water, or plying 
down empty before wind and tide. 

" I doubt if we ll be able to catch up them forts afore night," 
said the skipper. The pilot grunted, " I rather think yu ll 

not." " H and thunder ! Then we ll have to lie off till 

daylight ? " " They may let you pass, Captain Squires, as 
you ve this Europe-an on board, but anyhow we can t fetch 
Baltimore till late at night or early in the morning." 

I heard the dialogue, and decided very quickly that as An 
napolis lay somewhere ahead on our left, and was much nearer 
than Baltimore, it would be best to run for it while there was 
daylight. The captain demurred. He had been ordered to 
take his vessel to Baltimore, and General Butler might come 
down on him for not doing so ; but I proposed to sign a letter 



A CHESAPEAKE PILOT. 4L1 

stating he had gone to Annapolis at my request, and the 
steamer was put a point or two to westward, much to the 
pleasure of the Palinurus, whose " old woman " lived in the 
town. I had an affection for this weather-beaten, watery- 
eyed, honest old fellow, who hated us as cordially as Jack 
detested his Frenchman in the old days before ententes cordi- 
ales were known to the world. lie was thoroughly English 
in his belief that he belonged to the only sailor race in the 
world, and that they could beat all mankind in seamanship ; 
and he spoke in the most unaffected way of the Britishers as a 
survivor of the old war might do of Johnny Crapaud " They 
were brave enough no doubt, but, Lord bless you, see them 
in a gale of wind ! or look at them sending down top-gallant 
masts, or anything sailor-like in a breeze. You d soon see 
the differ. And, besides, they never can stand again us at 
close quarters." By and by the houses of a considerable 
town, crowned by steeples, and a large Corinthian-looking 
building, came in view. " That s the State House. That s 
where George Washington first in peace, first in war, and 
first in the hearts of his countrymen laid down his victori 
ous sword without any one asking him, and retired amid the 
applause of the civilized world." This flight I am sure was 
the old man s treasured relic of school-boy days, and I m not 
sure he did not give it to me three times over. Annapolis 
looks very well from the river side. The approach is guarded 
by some very poor earthworks and one small fort. A dis 
mantled sloop of war lay off a sea wall, banking up a green 
lawn covered with trees, in front of an old-fashioned pile of 
buildings, which formerly, I think, and very recently indeed, 
was occupied by the cadets of the United States Naval School. 
" There was a lot of them Seceders. Lord bless you ! these 
young ones is all took by these States Rights doctrines 
just as the ladies is caught by a new fashion." 

About seven o clock the steamer hove along-side a wooden 
pier which was quite deserted. Only some ten or twelve sail 
ing boats, yachts, and schooners lay a