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Full text of "The Orpheus C. Kerr papers"

. . 




UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 



FROM THH LIBRAE 



BENJAMIN PARKE AVERY. 



GIFT OF MRS. AVERY. 

August. 1806 
JFJ S7 i 

Accessions M 



y August, i8on. 

io..6$7i 7 VMS NO. CIS 

L Ji 



THE 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 







NEW YOKE: 
BLAKE MAN & MASON, 

21 MURRAY STREET. 
1862. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by 

BLAKEMAN & MASON, 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the [Tnited States, for the Southern 
District of New York. 



ELKCTROTVPKD UY SMITH & McDouoxi., 82 k 8t Beekman Street. 
PRINTED BY C. S. WESTCOTT & Co., 79 John Street. 







VA / 



CONTENTS. 



LETTER I. 

PAGB 

SHOWING HOW OTTR CORRESPONDENT CAME INTO THE WORLD . WITH SOME PAR 
TICULARS CONCERNING HIS EARLY CHILDHOOD 9 

LETTER II. 

SHOWING HOW THE WRITER INCREASED IN TEARS AND INDISCRETION, AND 
HOW HE WAS SAVED FROM MATRIMONY BY THE LAMENTABLE EXAMPLE OF 
JED SMITH 14 

LETTER III. 

OUR CORRESPONDENT BECOMES LITERARY, AND FATHOMS CERTAIN MYSTERIES 
OF JOURNALISM. HE PRODUCES A DISTINCTIVE AMERICAN POEM, AND 
GAINS TUB USUAL REWARD OF YOUTHFUL GENIUS 22 

LETTER IV. 

DESCRIBING THE 6OUTH IN TWELVE LINES, DEFINING THE CITIZEN S FIRST DUTY, 

AND RECITING A PARODY 81 

LETTER T. 

CONCERNING THE GREAT CROWD AT THE CAPITAL, OWING TO THE VAST INFLUX 
OF TROOPS, AND TOUCHING UPON FIRE-ZOUAVE PECULIARITIES AND OTHER 
MATTERS 87 

LETTER VI. 

INTRODUCING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, DILATING ON HAVELOCKS AS FIRST 
MADE BY THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, ILLUSTRATING THE STRENGTH OF HABIT 
AND WEAKNESS OF " SHODDY," AND SHOWING HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT 
INDULGED IN A HUGE CANARD, AFTER THE MANNER OF AN ENLIGHTENED 
DAILY PRESS 42 



IV CONTENTS. 

LETTER VII. P, 

RECORDING TIIE FIRST SANGUINARY EXPLOIT OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, AND 
ITS VICTORIOUS ISSUE 

LETTER VIII. 

THE REJECTED "NATIONAL HYMNS" 



LETTER IX. 

IN WHICH OUR CORRESPONDENT TEMPORARILY DIGRESSES FROM WAR MATTERS 

TO BOMANTIC LITERATURE, AND INTRODUCES A WOMAN S NOVEL. 68 

LETTER X. 

MAKING CONSERVATIVE MENTION OF THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN AND ITS EVENTS. 

THE FIRE-ZOUAVE S VERSION OF THE AFFAIR, AND so ON 74 

LETTER XI. 

GIVING AN EFFECT OF TIIE NEW BUGLE DRILL IN THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, AND 

MAKING SOME NOTE OF THE LATEST IMPROVEMENTS IN ARTILLERY, ETC 82 

LETTER XII. 

GIVING AN ABSTRACT OF. A GREAT ORATOR S FLAGGING SPEECH, AND RE 
CORDING A DEATHLESS EXPLOIT OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE 88 

LETTER XIII. 

SUBMITTING VARIOUS RUMORS CONCERNING THE CONDITION OF THINGS AT 
THE SOUTH, WITH A SKETCH OF A LIGHT SKELETON REGIMENT AND A NOTE 
OF VILLIAM BROWN S RECRUITING EXPLOIT 94 



LETTER XIV. 

BHOWINO HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT MADE A SPEECH OF VAGUE CONTINUITY, 
AFTER TIIE MODEL OF TIIE LATEST APPROVED STUMP ORATORY 



LETTER XV. 

WHEREIN WILL BE FOUND THE PARTICULARS OF A VISIT TO A SUSPECTED 



NEWSPAPER OFFICE, AND SO ON. 



105 



LETTER XVI. 

INTRODUCING THE GOTHIC STEED, PEGASUS, AND THE REMARKABLE GERMAN 

CAVALRY FROM THE WEST. . . 109 



CONTEXTS. 



LETTER XVII. 



PAGE 



NOTINa A NEW VICTORY OP THE MACKEREL BRIGADE IX VIRGINIA, AND IL 
LUSTRATING T1IE PECULIAR THEOLOGY OF VILLIAM BROWN J W1TU SOME 
MENTION OF THE SHARP-SHOOTERS 114 



LETTER XVIII. 

DESCRIBING THE TERRIBLE DEATH AND MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OP A 

CONFEDERATE PICKET, WITH A TRIBUTE TO HIS MEMORY 120 



LETTER XIX. 

NOTICING THE ARRIVAL OP A SOLID BOSTON MAN WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED 
LITERARY PRIZF., AND SHOWING HOW VILLIAM BROWN WAS TRIUMPHANTLY 
PROMOTED. . . 124 



LETTER XX. 

CONCERNING A SIGNIFICANT BRITISH OUTRAGE, AND THE CAPTURE OP MASON 

AND 8LIDELL 7 181 



LETTER XXI. 

DESCRIBING CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN S GREAT EXPEDITION TO ACCOMAC, AND 

ITS MARVELLOUS SUCCESS 186 

LETTER XXII. 

TREATING OF VILLIAM S OCCUPATION OF ACCOMAC, AND HIS WISE DECISION IN 

A CONTRABAND CASE 144 



LETTERXXIII. 

CONCERNING BRITISH NEUTRALITY AND ITS COSMOPOLITAN EFFECTS, WITH 

SOME ACCOUNT OF HOW CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY LOST HIS COMPANY 149 



LETTER XXIV. 

NARRATING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE S MANNER OP CELEBRATING CHRIBT- 
MAB, AND NOTING A DEADLY AFFAIR OF HONOR BETWEEN TWO WELL- 
KNOWN OFFICERS 158 

LETTER XXV. 

PRESENTING THE CHAPLAIN S NEW YEAR POEM, AND REPORTING THE Bltf- 
GULAR CONDUCT OF THE GENERAL OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE ON THB 
DAT HE CELEBRATED 1W 



VI CONTENTS. 



LETTER XXYI. PAGE 

PARTICULARS OF A FALSE ALARM, AND A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 
OF THE OFFICER COMMANDING. . . . . 173 



LETTER XXVII. 

TOUCHING INCIDENTALLY UPON THE CHARACTER OF ARMY FOOD, AND CELE 
BRATING THE GREAT DIPLOMATIC EXPLOIT OF CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN 
AT ACCOMAC 177 

LETTER XXVIII. 

CONCERNING THE CONTINUED INACTIVITY OF THE POTOMAC ARMY, AND SHOW 
ING HOW IT WAS POETICALLY CONSTRUED BY A THOUGHTFUL RADICAL. . . . 184 

LETTER XXIX. 

INTRODUCING A VERITABLE "MUDSILL," ILLUSTRATING YANKEE BUSINESS 
TACT, NOTING THE DETENTION OF A NEWSPAPER CHARTOGRAPHIST, 
AND 60 ON , .. 190 



LETTER XXX. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE GORGEOUS FETE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, INCLUDING THE 
OBSERVATIONS OF CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN I WITH SOME NOTES OF THE 
TOILETTES, CONFECTIONS, AND PUNCH 196 

LETTER XXXI. 

TREATING OF THE GREAT MILITARY ANACONDA, AND THE MODERN XANTIPPE. 203 

LETTER XXXII. 

COMMENCING WITH A BURST OF EXULTATION OVER NATIONAL VICTORIES, RE 
FERRING TO A SENATORIAL MISTAKE, DEPICTING A WELL-KNOWN CHARAC 
TER, AND REPORTING THE RECONNOISSANCE OF THE WESTERN CEN 
TAURS... .. 209 



LETTER XXXIII. 

EXEMPLIFYING THE TERRIBLE DOMESTIC EFFECTS OF MILITARY INACTIVITY 
ON THE POTOMAC, AND DESCRIBING THE METAPHYSICAL CAPTURE OF 
FORT MUGGINS 219 

LETTER XXXIV. 

BEGINNING WITH A LAMENTATION, BUT CHANGING MATERIALLY IN TONE AT 

TUB DICTUM OF JED SMITH 22S 



CONTENTS. Vll 



LETTER XXXY. PA GE 

GIVING PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION OP MODERN PATRIOTISM, AND CELEBRATING 

TH ADVANCE OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE TO MANASSA8, ETC 289 

LETTER XXX V I . 

CONCERNING THE WEAKNESSES OF GREAT MEN, THE CURIOUS MISTAKE OF A 
FRATERNAL MACKEREL, AND THE REMARKABLE ALLITERATIVE PERFORM 
ANCE OF CAPTAIN V1LLIAM BROWN 248 



LETTER XXXVII. 

DESCRIBKTG THE REMARKABLE STRATEGICAL MOVEMENT OF THE CONIC 

SECTION, UNDER CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY 254 

LETTER XXXVIII. 

INTRODUCING THE VERITABLE " HYMN OF THE CONTRABANDS," WITH EMAN 
CIPATION MUSIC, AND DESCRIBING THE TERRIFIC COMBAT A LA MAIN 
BETWEEN CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 
AND CAPTAIN MUNCUAUSEN, OF THE SOUTUEUN CONFEDERACY 260 

LETTER XXXIX. 

SHOWING HOW A REBEL WAS REDUCED, AND CONVERTED TO " RECONSTRUC 
TION," BY TIIE VALOROUS ORANGE COUNTY HOWITZERS 270 

LETTER XL. 

RENDERING TRIBUTE OF ADMIRATION TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, WITH A 

REMINISCENCE OF HOBBS & DOBBS, ETC 2T6 

LETTER XLI. 

CITING A NOTABLE CASE OF VOLUNTEER SURGERY, AND GIVING AN OUTLINE 

SKETCH OF " COTTON SEMINARY 11 . . . 283 



LETTER XLII. 

REVEALING A NEW BLOCKADING IDEA, INTRODUCING A GEOMETRICAL STEED, 
AND NARRATING THE WONDERFUL EXPLOITS OF THE MACKEREL SHARP 
SHOOTER AT YORKTOWN 



LETTER XLIII. 

CONCERNING MARTIAL LITERATURE; INTRODUCING A DIDACTIC POEM BY 
THE "ARKAN8AW TRACT SOCIETY," AND A BIOGRAPHY OF GARIBALDI 
FOR THE SOLDIER ..294 



Vlll CONTENTS. 



LETTER XLIY. 

SHOWING HOW THE GREAT BATTLE OF PARIS WAS FOUGHT AND WON BY THE 
MACKEREL BRIGADE, AIDED AND ABETTED BY THE IRON-PLATED FLEET 
OF COMMODORE HEAD 306 

LETTER X L Y . 

EXEMPLIFYING THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENT, AND 
SETTING FORTH THE MEASURES ADOPTED BY CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN IN 
HIS MILITARY GOVERNMENT OF PARIS 314 

LETTER XLVI. 

WHEREIN IS SHOWN HOW THE GENERAL OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE FOL 
LOWED AN ILLUSTRIOUS EXAMPLE, AND VETOED A PROCLAMATION. ALSO 
RECORDING A MILITARY EXPERIMENT WITH RELIABLE CONTRABANDS 322 

LETTER X L Y I I . 

INTRODUCING A POEM BASED UPON AN IDEA THAT IS IN VIOLET A POEM FOR 

WHICH ONE OF THE WOMEN OF AMERICA IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE 829 

LETTER XL Y III. 

TREATING CHIEFLY OF A TERRIBLE PANIC WHICH BROKE OUT IN PARIS, BUT 

SUBSEQUENTLY PROVED TO BE ONLY A NATURAL EFFECT OF STRATEGY 333 

LETTER XLIX. 

NOTING THE ARCHITECTURAL EFFECTS OF THE GOTHIC STEED, PEGASUS, AND 
DESCRIBING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE S SANGUINARY ENGAGEMENT WITH 
THE RICHMOND REBELS , . . 840 



LETTER L. 

REMARKING UPON A PECULIARITY OF VIRGINIA, AND DESCRIBING COMMODORE 
HEAD S GREAT NAVAL EXPLOIT ON DUCK LAKE, ETC 361 



LETTER LI. 

GIVING DUE PROMINENCE ONCE MORE TO THE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENT, NOTING 
A CAT-AND-DOG AFFAIR, AND REPORTING CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY S FORAG 
ING EXPEDITION ... 



LETTER LIT. 

DESCRIBING AMONG OTHER THINGS, A SPECIALITY OF CONGRESS, A VENERABLE 
POPULAR IDOL, AND THE DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED BY CAPTAIN SAM- 
YULE SA-MITH IN DYING. . . . . 874 



LETTER I. 

SHOWING HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT CAME INTO THE "WORLD: WITH 
SOME PARTICULARS CONCERNING HIS EARLY CHILDHOOD. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 20tb, 1861. 

JUDGE not by appearances, my boy ; for appear 
ances are very deceptive, as the old lady cholcrically 
remarked when one, who was really a virgin on to 
forty, blushingly informed her that she was a just 
twenty-five this month." 

Though you find me in Washington now, I was 
born of respectable parents, and gave every indica 
tion, in my satchel and apron days, of coming to 
something better than this, much better, my boy. 

Slightly northward of the Connecticut river, where 
a pleasant little conservative village mediates be 
tween two opposition hills, you may behold the land 
scape on which my infantile New England eyes first 
traced the courses of future railroads. 

Near the centre of this village in the valley, my 
boy, and a little back from its principal road, stood 
the residence of my worthy sire and a very pretty 
residence it was. From the frequent addition of a 

1* 



10 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

new upper-room here, a new dormer window there, 
and an innovating skylight elsewhere, the roof of the 
mansion had gradually assumed an Alpine variety of 
juts and peaks somewhat confusing to behold. Local 
tradition related that, on a certain showery occasion, 
a streak of lightning was seen to descend upon that 
roof, skip vaguely about from one peak to another, 
and finally slink ignominiously down the water-pipe, 
as though utterly disgusted with its own inability to 
determine, where there are so many, which peak it 
should particularly perforate. 

Years afterwards, my boy, this strange tale was 
told me by a venerable chap of the village, and I 
might have believed it, had he not outraged the prob 
ability of the meteorological narrative with a sequel. 

" And when that streak came down the pipe," 
says the aged chap, thoughtfully, "it struck a man 
who was leaning against the house, ran down to his 
feet, and went into the ground without hurting him 
a mite !" 

With the natural ingenuousness of childhood I 
closed one eye, my boy, and says I : 

" Do you mean to tell me, old man, that he was 
struck by lightning, and yet wasn t hurt ?" 

" Yes," says the venerable chap, abstractedly cut 
ting a small log from the door-frame of the grocery 
store with his jack-knife ; " the streak passed off 
from him, because he was a conductor." 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 11 

" A conductor ?" says I, picking up another stone 
to throw at the same dog. 

"Yes/ says the chap confidentially, "he was a 
conductor on a railroad." 

The human mind, my boy, when long affected by 
country air, tends na-turally to the marvellous, and 
affiliates with the German in normal transcendent 
alism. 

Such was the house in which I came to life a cer 
tain number of years ago, entering the world, like a 
human exclamation point, between two of the an 
griest sentences of a September storm, and adding 
materially to the uproar prevailing at the time. 

Next to my parents, of whom I shall say little at 
present, the person I can best remember, as I look 
back, was our family physician. A very obese man 
was he, my boy, with certain sweet-oiliness of man 
ner, and never out of patients. I think I can see 
him still, as he arose from his chair after a profound 
study of the case before him, and wrote a prescrip 
tion so circumlocutory in its effect, that it sent a 
servant half a mile to his friend, the druggist, for 
articles she might have found in her own kitchen, 
aqua pumpaginis and sugar being the sole ingredients 
required. 

The doctor had started business in our village as a 
veterinary surgeon, my boy ; but, as the entire extent 
of his practice for six months in that line was a call 



12 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

to mend one of Colt s revolvers, lie finally turned his 
attention to the ailings of his fellows, and wrought 
many cures with sugar and water Latinized. 

At first., my father did not patronize the new doc 
tor, having very little faith in the efficacy of sugar 
and water without the addition of a certain other 
composite often seen in bottles ; but the doctor s neat 
speech at a Sunday school festival won his heart at 
last. The festival was held near a series of small 
waterfalls just out of the village, my boy, and the 
doctor, who was an invited guest, was called upon 
for a few appropriate remarks. In compliance with 
the demand he made a speech of some compass, end 
ing with a peroration that is still quoted in my native 
place. He pointed impressively to the waterfalls, 
and says he : 

" All the works of nature is somewhat beautiful, 
with a good moral. Even them cataracts/ says he, 
sagely, " have a moral, and seem eternally whisper 
ing to the young, that Those what err falls ." 
. The effect of this happy illustration was very 
pleasing, my boy ; especially with those who prefer 
morality to grammar ; and after that, the physician 
had the run of all the pious families our own in 
cluded. 

It was a handsome compliment this worthy man 
paid me when I. was about six months old. 

Having just received from my father the amount 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 13 

of his last bill, he was complacent to the last degree, 
and felt inclined to do the handsome thing. He 
patted iny head as I sat upon my mother s lap, and 
says he : 

" How "beautiful is babes ! So small, and yet so 
much like human beings, only not so large. This 
boy," says he, fatly, looking down at me, " will make 
a noise in the world yet. He has a long head, a 
very long head." 

" Do you think so ?" says my father. 

" Indeed I do," says the doctor. " The little fel 
low/ says he, in a sudden fit of abstraction, " has a 
long head, a very long head and it s as thick as it is 
long." 

There was some coolness between the doctor and 
my father after that, my boy : and, on the following 
Sunday, my mother refused to look at his wife s new 
bonnet in church. 

I might cover many pages with further account of 
childhood s sunny hours ; but enough has been given 
already to establish the respectability of my birth, 
despite my present location ; and there I let the mat 
ter rest, my boy, for the time being. 

Yours, retrospectively, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER II. 

SHOWING HOW THE WRITER INCREASED IN YEARS AND INDISCRETION, 
AND HOW HE WAS SAVED FROM MATRIMONY BY THE LAMENTABLE 
EXAMPLE OF JED SMITH. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 25th, 1861. 

To continue from where I left off, my boy : be 
tween the interesting ages of ten and eighteen I went 
to school at the village academy, working through 
the English branches and the Accidence, with a 
lively sense of a preponderance of birch in the former, 
and occasional class-sickness in the latter. 

Those were my happiest days, my boy ; and as I 
look back to them now, for a moment all my flip 
pancy leaves me, and 1 forget that I am an American 
and a politician. Those dear old days ! those short, 
unreal days ! Only long in being long past. 

It was just after the eternal " Bonus Bona Bo- 
num" of the master had ceased to ring in my ears, 
that I commenced to be a young man. I knew that 
I was becoming a young man, my boy ; for it was 
then that I began to regard the unmarried women of 
America with sheepish bashfulness, and stumbled 
awkwardly as I entered my father s pew in church. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 15 

Then it was that the sound of a young female giggle 
threw me into a cold perspiration, and a looking- 
glass deluded me into gesticulating in solitude before 
it, and extemporizing the speeches I was to make 
when called upon to justify the report of fame by 
admiring populaces. 

Do you remember the asinine time in your own 
life, my boy, do you remember it ? I know that 
you do, my boy, for I can feel your blush on iny own 
cheeks. 

Of the few women of America who looked upon 
me with favor, there was one Ellen whom I really 
loved, I think ; for of all the girls, the mention of 
her name, alone, gave me that peculiar feeling in 
which instinctive impulse blends undefinably and 
perpetually with a sense of reverent respect ; or, 
rather, with a sense of some unworthiness of self. 
Ellen died before I had known her a year. I thought 
afterwards, like any other youngster, that I loved 
half-a-dozen different girls ; but, even in maturer 
years, second love is a poor imitation. Say what you 
will about second love, my boy, in the breast of him 
truly a man, it is but an imperium in imperio a 
flower on the grave of the first. 

There was one young woman of America in our 
village, my boy, about whom the chaps teased me not 
a little ; and I might, perhaps, have been teased into 
matrimony, like many another unfortunate, but for 



16 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

the example of a Salsbury chap I met one night in 
one of the village stores. He was a Yankee chap 
with much southwestern experience, my boy, and 
when he heard the lads teasing me about a woman, 
he hoisted his heels upon the counter, and says he : 

" Anybody d think that creation was born with a 
frock on, to hear the way you younkers talk woman. 
Darn the she-critters !" says he, shutting his jack- 
knife with a clash. " I d rayther be as lonesome as a 
borryed pup, than see a piece of caliker as big as a 
pancake. What s wimmen but a tarnation bundle of 
gammon and petticoats. Powerful ! Be you married 
folks, stranger ?" 

" Not yet," says I. 

"Don t never be then," says he. " My name s 
Smith one of the Smithses down to Salsbury, that s 
guaranteed to put away as much provender and carry 
as big a turkey as ever set on critters down in that 
dees trie t. And whilst my name s Smith, there ll 
never be a younker to call me daddy, ef a gal was 
to have Jerusalem tantrums after me. You rn a 
stranger, and ain t married folks ; but I don t mind 
tellin ye about a golfired rumpus I got into down in 
Salsbury when I .took to a gal that stuck out all 
around like a hay-stack, an was a screamer at choir- 
meetin and such like. Her name was Sal Green 
one of the Greenses down in Pegtown and the first 
time I took a notion to her was down to the old shingle 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 17 

meetin -house, when Sam Spooner had a bury in . 
"When the parson gets out a hymn, she straightened 
up like a rooster at six o clock of daybreak, and let 
out a string of screams that set all the babies to 
yelping as though big pins was goin clean through 
their insides. Geewhillikins ! how the critter did 
squawk and squeal, and turn up her eyes like a sick 
duck in a shower. I was jest fool enough to think it 
pooty ; and when my old man says, says he, i Jed, 
you re took all of a heap with that pooty creeter, 
I felt as ef chills an fever was givin me partikiler 
agony. Says I, i She s an armful fur the printze of 
Wales, and ef that Bob Tompkins don t stop makin 
eyes at her over there, I ll give him sech a lacing that 
he won t comb his hair for six weeks/ 

" The old man. put a chaw into his meat-safe, and 
shut one eye ; and, sez he-: ( Jed, you re a fool ef 
you don t hook that gal s dress fur her before next 
harvestin . She s a mighty scrumptious creetur, and 
just about ripe for the altar. Jest tell her there s 
more Smithses wanted an she ll leave the Greenses 
thout a snicker. I rayther liked the idee : but I 
told the old man that his punkin-pie was all squash ; 
because it wouldn t do to let on too soon. When the 
folks was startin from the church, I went up to Sal, 
and sez I, l Miss, I s pose you wouldn t mind lettin 
me see you tu hum. She blushed like a biled lob 
ster, and sez she : I don t know your folks. I felt 

2 



18 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

sorter streaked ; but I gev my collar a hitch, and sez 
I : i I m Mister Smith : one of the Smithses of this 
deestriet, an always willin for a female in distress/ 
Then she made a curtesy, an was goin to say some- 
thin , when Bob Tompkins steps up, and sez he : 
There s a-goin to be another buryin in this settle 
ment, ef some folks don t mind their own chores, an 
quit foolin with other folkses company ! This riled 
me rite up, and sez I : There s a feller in this 
deestrict that hain t had a spell of layin on his back 
for some time : but he s in immediate clanger of 
ketchin the disease bad. Bob took a squint at the 
width of my chist, and then he turned to Sal, who 
was shakin like a cabbage leaf in a summer gale, and 
sez he : ( Sal, let s marvel out of bad company before 
it spiles our morials/ With that he crooked one of 
his smashin machines, and Sal was jest hookin on, 
when I put the weight of about one hundred pounds 
under his ear, an sez I : e Jest lay there, Bob Tomp 
kins, until your parients comes out to look fur your 
body. He went down as ef he d been took with a 
suddint desire to examine the roots of the grass, and 
Sal screamed out that I d murdered the rantankerous 
critter. Sez I : The tombstun that s fur his head 
ain t cut yet : but I calkilate it ll be took out of 
the quarry ef he comes smellin around my heels 
ag in. Jest as I made this feelin remark, the var 
mint began to scratch earth as ef he had a mind to 



ORPHEUS C. KERIl PAPERS. 19 

see how it would feel to be on his pins ag in, and I 
crooked my elbow to Sal and thought it was about 
time to marvel. She layed up to me like a pig to a 
rough post, and we peregrinated along for some dis 
tance until we were pretty nigh hum. I was askin 
her cf it hurt her much when she sung, an she was 
sayin not partikeler, when all of a suddint somethin 
knocked Fourth-o -July fireworks out of my eyes, 
and I went to grass with my heels up. It was Bob 
Tompkins, and sez he : Lay there, Mr. Smith, and 
let us here from you by the next mail/ For a min 
ute, I thought I was bound for glory, but pooty soon 
I come to my oats, and then I rolled over and seen 
Bob a-squeezing Sal s hand. All right, my prooshian 
blue, thinks I, there ll be a pothecary s bill for some, 
family in this here deestrict : but I won t say who s 
to pay it at present. I jest waited to see the feller 
try to put his nose into Sal s face, and then I stretched 
to my feet, and sez I : This here pasture wants a 
little mashin down to make it fruitful, and it s my 
impreshun that I can do it. Sal see that I was 
bound to make somebody smell agony, so she jist 
ripped away from Bob, and marveled for the house, 
screaming fire, like a scrumptious fire-department. 
Bob looked after her for a minit, and then he turned 
to me, and sez he : I hope your folks have got some 
crape to hum ; because there s goin to be a job fur 
our wirtuous sexton. I kinder smiled outer one eye, 



20 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

and sez I : ( When Sal and I is married, we ll drop a 
tear fur the early decease of an individual who never 
would hev been born if it hadn t been for your pa- 
rients. This riled Bob up awful, and he came right 
at me, like a mad bull at a red shawl. I felt some- 
thin drop on the bridge of my nose, and see a hull 
nest of sky rockets all at onct ; but I only keeled for 
the shake of a tail, and then I piled in like a mad 
buffalo with the cholic. It was give and take for 
about five minutes ; and, I tell you, Bob played 
away on my nose like a Trojan. The blood flu some, 
and I was sorry I hadn t said good-bye to the folks 
before I left them ; but I gave Bob some happy 
evidences of youthful Christianity around his goggles, 
.and pooty soon he looked as ef he d been brought up 
to the charcoal business. We was makin pooty 
good time round the lot, when, all of a suddint, Sal 
came running up with her father and mother ; and, 
sez the old feller : Ef you two members of the church 
don t stop your religious exercises, there ll be some 
preachin from the book of John. 

" With that, Bob took his paw out of my hair, 
and sez he : Smithses son hit me the first whack. 
I jest promenaded up to the old man, and sez I : If 
you ll jest show me a good buryin -place, I ll take 
pleasure in makin a funeral for the Tompkinses. 
The old man looked kinder queerious at Sally, and 
she commenced to snicker ; and sez she : What are 
you two fellers rumpussin about ? I looked lovin 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 21 

at her, and sez I : l It s to see who shall hev the poot- 
iest gal of all the Greenses/ When I said this, the 
old man bust into a larf like a wild hyenner. ; and the 
old woman, she put her hands across her stummik 
and begin to larf like mad, and Sal she snickered 
right eout in my countenance, and sez she : Why, 
I m engaged to Sam Slocum ! 

" Strannger, there s no use of talkin . My hair riz 
right up like a blackin -brush, and Bob s eyes came 
out like peas out of a yaller pod. There was speech 
less silence for two minits, and then says Bob : 
{ There s a couple of golfired fools somewheres in this 
country, and it s a pity their dads ever seen their 
mothers. I see he felt powerful mean, so I walked 
up to him, and sez I : ( Suppose we go and look for 
the New Jerusalem ? He jest hooked to my elbow, 
and without sayin another word, we marveled for hum. 

"Sence that, I hain t held no communion with 
petticoats, and ef I ever get married, you shall hev 
an invite to the funeral." 

As I went home that night, my boy, after hearing 
the story of that rude, unlettered man, I made up 
my mind to have nothing more to do with the uncer 
tain women of America ; until my position should be 
such that they would not dare to "fool" me. The 
women of America, my boy, are equally apt at mak 
ing a fool of a man in his own estimation, and a man 
of a fool in their own. 9 Yours, for celibacy, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER III. 

OUR CORRESPONDENT BECOMES LITERARY, AND FATHOMS CERTAIN MYS 
TERIES OF JOURNALISM. HE PRODUCES A DISTINCTIVE AMERICAN 
POEM, AND GAINS THE USUAL REWARD OF YOUTHFUL GENIUS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 31st, 1S61. 

As far I can trace back, my boy, we never had a 
literary character in our family, save a venerable aunt 
of mine, on my mother s side, who . commenced her 
writing career by refusing to contribute to the Sunday 
papers, and subsequently won much fame as the au 
thoress of a set of copy-books. When this gifted rel 
ative found herself acquiring a reputation, she came 
in state to visit us, and so disgusted my very practical 
father by wearing slip-shod gaiters, inking her right 
hand thumb nail every morning, calling all things by 
European names, and insisting upon giving our old 
est plough horse the romantic and literary title of 
" Lord Byron/ that my exasperated parent incurred 
a most tremendous prejudice against authorship, my 
boy, and vowed, when she went away, that he never 
would invite her presence again. 

I was only twenty years old at that time, and the 
novelty of my aunt s conduct had rather an infatu- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 23 

ating effect upon me. With that perversity often 
observable in youngsters before they have seen much 
of the world, I became deeply interested in my lite 
rary relative as soon as my father commenced to 
speak contemptuously of her pursuits, and it took 
very little time to invest me with a longing and de 
termination to be a writer. 

Thenceforth I wore negligent linen ; frequently 
rested my head upon the forefinger of my right hand, 
with a lofty and abstracted air ; assumed an expres 
sion of settled and mysterious gloom when at church, 
and suffered my hair to grow long and uncombed. 

Speaking of the masculine literary habit of wearing 
the hair in this way, my boy, I find myself impressed 
with a profound metaphysical idea. You have prob 
ably noticed that writers following this fashion will 
frequently scratch their heads when inspiration plays 
the laggard. It is also true that wearers of long and 
uncombed hair who are not writers, will scratch their 
heads in the same way, occasionally. The action be 
ing the same in both cases, can it be that physiolog 
ical inspection would develope an affinity between the 
natural causes thereof ? 

I have often thought of this, my boy, I ve often 
thought of this. 

My bearing during this period of infatuation could 
hardly fail to attract considerable attention in our 
village, and there were two opinions about me. One 



24 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

was that I had been jilted ; the other, that I was 
about to become a vagabond and an actor. My 
father inclined to the former, and left me, as he 
thought, to get over my disappointment in the nat 
ural way. 

My peripatetic spell had lasted about six weeks, my 
boy, when I formed the acquaintance of the editor of 
the Lily of the Valley, who permitted me to mope in 
his office now and then, and soothed my literary in 
flammation by permitting me to write " puffs " for 
the village milliner. 

Oh ! the fierce and tremendous ecstasy of that 
moment when I first saw my own words in print, 
with not more than six typographical errors in each 
line : " QUEBN VICTORIA, it is said, is comind to 
this coontry for the xpress purpose of obtaining 
one of these beautiful spring bunnets at Madame 
Smith s." 

I noticed as I went home on the day of publication, 
that all whom I passed paused to look after me. I 
was already famous. The discovery, -on reaching our 
house, that one of my temples was somewhat fingered 
with printers ink, did not shake me in this belief, my 
boy ; I was too far gone for that. 

The editor of the Lily treated me considerately, 
and even asked me at times to accompany him to the 
place where he daily sipped inspiration, gaining there 
by a fresh flow of ideas and the qualified immortality 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 25 

of certain additional chalk-marks on the back of a 
door. I refer to a spirituous establishment. 

Finding that the editorial treasury did not redeem 
its verbal promissory notes, my boy, the proprietor 
of this establishment suddenly put forth a new sign, 
conspicuously reading : 



TIMOTHY TROT, 

LICENSED LIQUOR DE&LSH, | 
$ AND 

& ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF THE " LILY OF THE VALLEY." v\ 



The editor went to .him, and says he : 

" What do you mean by this impertinence, Tim 
othy ?" 

The liquor chap stuck his hands into his pockets, 
my boy, and says he : 

" If I furnish inspiration for nothing, I may as well 
have some literary credit. The village swallows what 
you furnish," says the chap, reasoningly, " and you 
swallow what I furnish, and so I m the head editor 
after all" 

But he took down the sign, my boy, when the ed 
itor dissolved the partnership by paying his score. 

What are called Spirited Editorials in the New 
York papers, my boy, very often involve two swal 
lows as well as a spread-eagle. 

2 



26 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

While looking over some old magazines in the Lily 
office one day, I found in an ancient British periodi 
cal a raking article upon American literature, wherein 
the critic affirmed that all our writers were but weak 
imitators of English authors, and that such a thing- 
even as a Distinctively American Poem sui generis, 
had not yet been produced. 

This radical sneer at the United States of America 
fired my Yankee blood, my boy, and I vowed within 
myself to write a poem, not only distinctively Amer 
ican, but of such a character that only America 
could have produced it. In the solitude of my room, 
that night, I wooed the aboriginal muse, and two 
days thereafter the Lily of the Valley contained my 
distinctive American poem of 

THE AMERICAN" TRAVELER. 

To Lake Aghmoogenegamook, 

All in the State of Maine, 
A man from "Wittequergaugaum came 

One evening in the rain. 

"I am a traveler," said he, 
" Just started on a tour, 
And go to Nomjamskillicook 
To-morrow morn at four." 

He took a tavern bed that night, 

And with the morrow s sun, 
By way of Sekledobskus went, 

With carpet-bag and gun. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 27 

A week passed on ; and next we find 

Our native tourist como 
To that sequestered village called 

Genasagarnagum. 

From thence he went to Absequoit, 

And there quite tired of Maine 
He sought the mountains of Vermont, 

Upon a railroad train. 

Dog Hollow, in the Green Mount State, 

"Was his first stopping-place, 
And then Skunk s Misery displayed 

Its sweetness and its grace. 

By easy stages then ho went 

To visit Devil s Den ; 
And Scrabble Hollow, by the way, 

Did come within his ken. 

Then, via Nino Holes and Goose Green, 

He traveled through the State, 
And to Virginia, finally, 

"Was guided by his fate.- 

"Within the Old Dominion s bounds, 

He wandered up and down, 
To-day, at Buzzard Roost ensconced, 

To-morrow, at Hell Town. 

At Pole Cat, too, ho spent a week, 

Till friends from Bull Ring came, 
And made him spend a day with them 

In hunting forest game. 

Then, with his carpet-bag in hand, 

To Dog Town next he went ; 
Though stopping at Free Negro Town, 

Where half a day he spent. 



28 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

From thence, into Negationburg 

His route of travel lay, 
Which haying gained, he left the State 

And took a southward way. 

North Carolina s friendly soil 

He trod at fall of night, 
And, on a bed of softest down, 

He slept at Hell s Delight. 

Mom found him on the road again, 

To Lousy Level bound; 
At Bull s Tail, and Lick Lizzard, too, 

Good provender he found. 

The country all about Pinch Gut 

So beautiful did seem, 
That the beholder thought it like 

A picture in a dream. 

But the plantations near Burnt Coat 

"Were even finer still, 
And made the wond ring tourist feel 

A soft, delicious thrill. 

At Tear Shirt too, the scenery 
Most charming did appear, 

With Snatch It in the distance far, 
And Purgatory near. 

But spite of all these pleasant scenes, 
The tourist stoutly swore, 

That home is brightest, after all, 
And travel is a bore. 

So back he went to Maine, straightway, 

A little wife he took ; 
And now is making nutmegs at 

Moosehicmagunticook. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 29 

In his note, introductory of this poem, my boy, the 
editor of the Lily affirmed (which is strictly true) 
that I had named none but veritable localities ; and 
ventured the belief that the composition would re 
mind his readers of Goldsmith. Upon which his 
scorpion contemporary in the next village observed, 
that there was rather more smith than gold about the 
poem. Genius, my boy, is never appreciated until 
its possessor is dead ; and even the useless praise it 
then obtains is chiefly due to the pleasure that is 
experienced in burying the poor wretch. 

Up to the time when this poem appeared in print, 
I had succeeded in concealing from my father the 
nature of my incidental occupation ; but now he 
must know all. 

He did know all, my boy ; and the result was, that 
he gave me ten dollars, and sent me to New York to 
look out for myself. 

" It s the only thing that will save him," says he 
to my mother, " and I must either send him off, or 
expect to see him sink by degrees to editorship, and 
commence to wear disgraceful clothes." 

I went to New York ; I became private secretary 
and speech-scribe to an unscrupulous and, therefore, 
rising politician ; and now I am in Washington. 

Thus, my boy, have I answered your desire for an 
outline of my personal history ; and henceforth let 

me devote my attention to other and more important 

3* 



30 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

inhabitants of our distracted country. I had a cer 
tain postmastership in my eye when I first came 
hither ; "but war s alarms indicate that I may do 
better as an amateur hero. 

Yours inconoclastically, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER IV. 

DESCRIBING THE SOUTH IN TWELVE LINES, DEFINING THE CITIZEN S 
FIRST DUTY, AND RECITING A PARODY. 

WASHINGTON. D. C., April , 1SG1. 

THE chivalrous South, my boy, has taken Fort 
Sumter, and only wants to be " let alone." Some 
things of a Southern sort I like, my boy ; Southdown 
mutton is fit for the gods, and Southside particular 
is liquid sunshine for the heart ; but the whole coun 
try was growing tired of new South wails before this, 
and my present comprehensive estimate of all there 
is of Dixie may be summed up in twelve straight 
lines, under the general heading of 

REPUDIATION. 

Neath a ragged palmetto a Southerner sat, 
A-twisting the band of his Panama hat, 
And trying to lighten his mind of a load 
By humming the words of the following ode : 
" Oh! for a. nigger, and oh ! for a whip; 

Oh ! for a cocktail, and oh ! for a nip ; 

Oh! for a shot at old Greeley and Beecher; 

Oh ! for a crack at a Yankee school-teacher ; 

Oh ! for a captain, and oh ! for a ship ; 

Oh ! for a cargo of niggers each trip." 
And so he kept oh-ing for all he had not, 
Not contented with owing for all that he d got. 



32 ORPHEUS C. KERU PAPERS. 

In view of the impending conflict, it is the duty of 
every American citizen, who has nothing else to do, 
to take up his abode in the capital of this agonized 
Republic, and give the Cabinet the sanction of his 
presence. Some base child of treason may intimate 
that Washington is not quite large enough to hold 
every American citizen ; but I m satisfied that, if all 
the democrats could have one good washing, they 
would shrink so that you might put the whole blessed 
party into an ordinary custom house. Some of the 
republicans are pretty large chaps for their size, but 
Jeff Davis thinks they can be " taken in" easily 
enough and I know that the new tariff will be 
enough to make them contract like sponges out of 
water. The city is full of Western chaps, at pres 
ent, who look as if they had just walked out of a 
charity-hospital, and had not got beyond gruel diet 
yet. Every soul of them knew old Abe when he was 
a child, and one old boy can even remember going 
for a doctor when his mother was born. I met one 
of them the other day (he is after the Moosehicma- 
gunticook post-office), and his anecdotes of the Presi 
dent s boyhood brought tears to my eyes, and several 
tumblers to my lips. He says, that when Abe was 
an infant of sixteen, he split so many rails that his 
whole county looked like a wholesale lumber-yard 
for a week ; and that when he took to flat-boating, 
he was so tall and straight, that a fellow once took 



ORPHEUS C. KEUR PAPERS. 33 

him for a smoke-stack on a steamboat, and didn t 
find out his mistake until he tried to kindle a lire 
under him. Once, while Abe was practising as a 
lawyer, he defended a man for stealing a horse, and 
was so eloquent in proving that his client was an 
honest victim of false suspicion, that the deeply- 
affected victim made him a present of the horse as 
soon as he was acquitted. I tell you what, my boy, 
if Abe pays a post-office for every story of his child 
hood that s told, the mail department of this glorious 
nation will be so large that a letter smaller than a 
two-story house would get lost in it. * 



Of all the vile and damning deeds that ever ren 
dered a city eternally infamous, my boy of all the 
infernal sins of dark-browed treachery that ever made 
open-faced treason seem holy, the crime of Baltimore 
is the blackest and worst. All that April day we 
were waiting with bated breath and beating hearts 
for the devoted men who had pledged their lives to 
their country at the first call of the President, and 
were known to be marching to the defence of the 
nation s capital. That night was one of terror : at 
any moment the hosts of the rebels might pour upon 
the city from the mountains of guilty Virginia, and 
grasp the very throat of the Republic. And with 



34 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

the first dim light of morning came the news that 
our soldiers bad been basely beset in the streets of 
Baltimore, and ruthlessly shot down by a treacherous 
mob ! Those whom they had trusted as brothers, 
my boy whose country they were marching to de 
fend with their lives assassinating them in cold 
blood ! 

I was sitting in my room at Willard s, when a 
serious chap from New Haven, who had just paused 
long enough at the door to send a waiter for the 
same that he had yesterday, came rushing into the 
apartment with a long, fluttering paper in his 
hand. 

" Listen to this/ says he, in wild agitation, and 
read : 

BALTIMORE. 

Midnight shadows, dark, appalling, round the Capitol were falling, 
And its dome and pillars glimmered spectral from Potomac s shore ; 
All the great had gone to slumber, and of all the busy number 
That had moved the State by day within its walls, as erst before, 
None there were but dreamed of heroes thither sent ere day was o er: 
Thither sent through BALTIMORE. 

But within a chamber solemn, barred aloft with many a column, 
And with windows tow rd Mount Yernon, windows tow rd Potomac s 

shore, 

Sat a figure, stern and awful ; Chief, but not the Chieftain lawful 
Of the land whose grateful millions "Washington s great name 

adore 

Sat the form a shade majestic of a Chieftain gone before, 
Thine to honor, Baltimore ! 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 35 

There he sat in silence, gazing, by a single planet s blazing, 
At a map outspread before him wide upon the marble floor ; 
And if twere for mortal proving that those reverend lips were moving, 
While the eyes were closely scanning one mapped city o er and o er 
"While ho saw but one great city on that map upon the floor 
They were whispering " BALTIMORE." 

Thus ho sat, nor word did utter, till there came a sudden flutter, 
And the sound of beating wings was heard upon the carved door. 
In a trico the bolts were broken ; by those lips no word was spokeu, 
As an Eagle, torn and bloody, dim of eye, and wounded sore, 
Fluttered down upon the map, and trailed a wing all wet with goro 
O er the name of BALTIMORE 1 

Then that noble form uprising, with a gesture of surprising, 
Bent with look of keenest sorrow tow rd tho bird that drooped bo- 
fore; 

" Emblem of my country !" said he, "are -thy pinions stained already 
In a tide whose blending waters never ran so red before ? 
Is it with the blood of kinsmen ? Tell me quickly, I implore !" 
Croaked the eagle " BALTIMORE !" 

" Eagle," said the Shade, advancing, |: tell mo by what dread mis- 
chancing 

Thou, tho symbol of my people, bear st thy plumes erect no more ? 

Why dost thou desert mine army, sent against the foes that harm mo, 

Through my country, with a Treason worlds to come shall e er de 
plore?" 

And the Eagle on the map, with bleeding wing, as just before, 
Blurred the name of BALTIMORE ! 

" Can it bo ?" tho spectre muttered. " Can it be ?" those palo lips ut 
tered ; 

"Is the blood Columbia treasures spilt upon its native shore? 

Is there iu tho land so cherished, land for whom the great havo per 
ished, 

Men to shed a brother s blood as tyrant s blood was shed before ? 

Where are they who murder Peace before the breaking out of war ?" 
Croaked the Eagle" BALTIMORE." 



36 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

At the word, of sound so mournful, came a frown, half sad, half scornful, 
O er the grand, majestic face where frown had never been before ; 
And the hands to Heaven uplifted, with an awful pow r seemed gifted 
To plant curses on a head, and hold them there forevermore 
To rain curses on a land, aad bid them grow forevermore 
Woo art thou, BALTIMORE ! 

Then the sacred spirit, fading, left upon the floor a shading, 
As of one with arms uplifted, from a distance bending o er ; 
And the vail of night grew thicker, and the death-watch beat the 

quicker 

For a death within a death, and sadder than the death before ! 
And a whispering of woe was heard upon Potomac s shore 
Hear it not, BALTIMORE ! 

And the Eagle, never dying, still is trying, still is trying, 
With its wings upon the map to hide a city with its gore ; 
But the name is there forever, and it shall be hidden never, 
While the awful brand of murder points the Avenger to its shore; 
While the blood of peaceful brothers God s dread vengeance doth im 
plore, 

Thou art doomed, BALTIMORE ! 

" There !" says the serious New Haven chap, as he 
finished reading, stirring something softly with a 
spoon, " what do you suppose Poe would think, if he 
were alive now and could read that ?" 

" I think," says I, striving to appear calm, " that 
he would be e Raven mad about it." 

" Oh ah yes," says the serious chap, vaguely, 
" what will you take ?" 

Doubtless I shall become hardened to the horrors 
of war in time, my boy ; but at present these things 
unhinge me. Yours, unforgivingly, 

ORPHEUS C. KERB. 



LETTER V. 

CONCERNING THE GREAT CROWD AT THE CAPITAL, OWING TO THE VAST 
INFLUX OF TROOPS, AND TOUCHING UPON FIRE-ZOUAVE PECULIARI 
TIES AND OTHER MATTERS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 24th, 1861. 

I AM living luxuriously, at present, on the top of 
a very respectable fence, and fare sumptuously on 
three granite biscuit a day, and a glass of water, 
weakened with brandy. A high private in the 
Twenty-second Kegiment has promised to let me 
have one of his spare pocket-handkerchiefs for a 
sheet on the first rainy night, and I never go to bed 
on my comfortable window-brush without thinking 
how many poor creatures there are in this world who 
have to sleep on hair mattresses and feather-beds all 
their lives. Before the -great rush of the Fire Zouaves 
and the rest of the menagerie commenced. I boarded 
exclusively on a front stoop on Pennsylvania Avenue, 
and used to slumber, regardless of expense, in a well- 
conducted ash-box ; but the military monopolize all 
such accommodation now, and I give way for the sake 
of my country. 

I tell you, my boy, we re having high old times 

4 



38 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

here just now, and if they get any higher, I shan t be 
able to afford to stay. The city is in " danger" every 
other hour, and as a veteran in the Fire Zouaves re 
marked, there seems to be enough danger laying 
around loose on Arlington Heights to make a very 
good blood-and-thunder fiction in numerous pages. 
If the vigilant and well-educated sentinels happen to 
see an old nigger on the other side of the Potomac, 
they sing out, "Here they come!" and the whole 
blessed army is snapping caps in less than a minute. 
Then all the cheap reporters telegraph to their papers 
in New York and Philadelphia, that " Jeff. Davis is 
within two minutes walk of the Capital, with a few 
millions of men/ and all the free states send six 
more regiments a piece to crowd us a little more. I 
sha n t stand much more crowding, for my fence is 
full now, and there were six applications yesterday 
to rent an improved knot-hole. .My landlord says 
that, if more than three chaps set up housekeeping 
on one post, he ll be obliged to raise the rent. 

Those Fire Zouaves are fellows of awful suction, I 
tell you. Just for greens, I asked one of them, yes 
terday, what he came here for? "Hah !" says he, 
shutting one eye, " we came here to strike for your 
altars and your fires especially your fires." General 
Scott says that if he wanted to make these chaps 
break through the army of a foe, he d have a fire-bell 
rung for some district on the other side of the rebels. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 39 

He says that half a million of the traitors couldn t 
keep the Fire Zouaves out of that district five min 
utes. I helieve him, my boy ! 

The weather here is highly favorable to the free 
development of perspiration and mint-juleps, and I 
have enjoyed the melancholy satisfaction of losing ten 
pounds of flesh in three days. One of the lieutenants 
of the Eighth has a gutter about half an inch deep 
worn down the bridge of his nose by the stream of 
perspiration since Wednesday ; and a chap from Ver 
mont melted so awfully the other day, that they had 
to put him in a refrigerator to keep enough of him to 
send home to his rich but pious family. 

In fact, this weather makes the Northern boys fall 
away awfully ; one of the Fire Zouaves fell away tre 
mendously yesterday ; he fell away from Washington 
to Annapolis, and then somebody had to put him in 
a guard-house to keep him from perspiring all the 
way back to New York. The chap that boards on 
the next front stoop to me now, was so fat when he 
came here that his captain refused to use him as a 
sentinel, because he could not see far enough over his 
stomach to detect any one approaching him. Well, 
my boy, that chap has fallen away to such an ex 
tent that it took me half an hour last night to find 
out what part of his uniform he lived in. He blew 
down three or four times while we were walking up 
Pennsylvania avenue ; and while I was helping him 



40 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPEKS. 

up the last time, a passer-by asked me "What I 
would take for that ere flag-staff ?" 

By-the-by, you ought to have heard Honest Old 
Abe s speech, on Wednesday, when we raised the 
Star-spangled particular on the Post-office. Says he : 
" On this present occasion, I feel that it will not be 
out of place to make a few remarks which were not 
applicable at a former period. Yesterday, the flag 
hung on the staff throughout the Union, and in con 
sequence of the scarcity of a breeze, there was not 
much wind blowing at the time. On the present 
happy occasion, however, the presence of numerous 
zephyrs causes the atmosphere to agitate for our 
glorious Union, and this flag, which now unfolds 
itself to the sight, is observed, upon closer inspection, 
to present a star-spangled appearance." 

Mr. Reward s speech, which was also received with 
frantic enthusiasm, sounded equally well. He said : 
" I trust that this glorious spectacle will make a deep 
impression upon all present, notwithstanding the fact 
that I am still convinced that peace may yet put an 
end to this unhappy conflict by means of a convention 
of all the States on the Fourth of July, 2776, which 
I have always advocated. As the President has re 
marked, the breeze which has just arisen in the bay 
of Naples, causes the Star-Spangled Banner to arouse 
a far prouder feeling in every American breast, than 
if a vessel should come in with a palmetto flag at her 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 41 

peak, and upon being asked where it came from, 
should reply : Oh, from one of the petty republics 
of America/ I have nothing more to say." 

I know this report is correct, for I copied both the 
speeches from a phonographic reporter s copy, and 
the phonographic reporter had only taken six glasses 
of old peach and honey before he went to work. 

Yours, hastily, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER VI. 

INTRODUCING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, DILATING ON HAVELOCKS AS 
FIRST MADE BY THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, ILLUSTRATING THE 
STRENGTH OF HABIT AND WEAKNESS OF "SHODDY," AND SHOWING 
HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT INDULGED IN A HUGE CANARD, AFTER 
THE MANNER OF AN ENLIGHTENED DAILY PRESS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 15th, 1861. 

THE members of the Mackerel Brigade., now sta 
tioned on Arlington Heights to watch the movements 
of the Potomac, which is expected to rise shortly, 
desire me to thank the women of America for supplies 
of Havelocks and other delicacies of the season just 
received. The Havelocks, my boy, are rather roomy, 
and we took them for shirts at first ; and the shirts 
are so narrow-minded, that we took them for Have- 
locks. If the women of America could manage to get 
a little less linen in the collars of the latter article, 
and a little more into the other departments of the 
graceful garment, there would be fewer colds in this 
division of the Grand Army. 

The Havelocks, as I have said before, are roomy 
very roomy, my boy. Villiam Brown, of Company 
3, Regiment 5, put one on last night, when he went 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 43 

on sentry-duty, and looked like a broomstick in a 
pillow-case, for all the world. When the officer of 
the night came round and caught sight of Villiam in 
his Havelock, he was struck dumb with admiration 
for a moment. Then he ejaculated : 

" What a splendid moonbeam 1" 

Villiam made a movement, and the sergeant 
came up. 

" What s that white object ?" says the officer to 
the sergeant. 

" The young man which is Villiam Brown," says 
the sergeant. 

" Thunder !" roars the officer, " tell him to go to 
his tent, and take off that night-gown !" 

" You re mistaken," says the sergeant. " The 
sentry is Villiam Brown, in his Havelock, which was 
made by the wimmen of America." 

The officer was so justly exasperated at his mis 
take, that he went immediately to his head-quarters, 
and took the Oath three times running, with a little 
sugar. 

The Oath is very popular, my boy, and comes in 
bottles. I take it medicinally myself. 

The shirts made by the women of America are noble 
.articles, as far down as the collar ; but would not do 
to use as an only garment. Captain Mortimer de 
Montague, one of the skirmish squad, put one on 
when he went to the President s Reception, and the 



44 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

collar stood up so high, that he couldn t put his cap 
on ; while the other departments didn t quite reach to 
his waist. His appearance at the White House was 
picturesque and interesting, and as he entered the 
drawing-room, General Scott remarked, very feel 
ingly : 

" Ah ! here comes one of our wounded heroes." 

" He s not wounded, general," remarked an officer, 
standing by. 

" Then, why is his head bandaged up so ?" asked 
the venerable veteran. 

" Oh !" says the officer, " that s only one of the 
shirts made by the patriotic wimmen of America." 

In about five minutes after this conversation, I 
saw the venerable veteran, the wounded hero, and the 
officer taking the Oath together. 

The Seventy-ninth, Highlanders, came to town 
early last week, and are the finest body of Scotchmen 
that were ever half kilt by uniform alone. My heart 
warmed to them when I first saw them ; and, with 
arms outspread, I greeted the gallant fellow nearest 
to me With a tear of gratified pride in his eye, he 
exclaimed : 

" Auld lang syne and Scots who ha e ; but gang 
awa wi Heeland laddie thegither o John Anderson 
my Jo ; and, moreover, we ll tak a right gude willie 
wacht for muckle twa and braw chiel." 

I told him I thought so myself. 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 45 

I m sorry to say, my boy, that some members of 
this splendid regiment are badly off for trowsers, and 
shock my modesty tremendously. They probably 
forgot them in their hurry to get to the war, and the 
Union Pretence Committee ought to send them out 
an assortment of peg-tops at once. " Not that I hob- 
ject to the hinnocent hamusements of the Highland 
ers, but that decency and propriety must be preserved 
within the limits of the army" as the British show 
man observed. 

I took a trip down to Alexandria the other night, 
to see how the Fire Zouaves were getting along, and 
came pretty near getting into trouble with one of 
Five s screamers. He was on guard ; and when he 
challenged me, the pass-word slipped my memory. 

" Drop that ere butt," says he, bringing his mus 
ket to a charge, " or I ll give yer a taste of the old 
masheen. Who- wha- what are yer coughin at 
sa-a-ay ?" 

I was frightened, my boy, and had just commenced 
the appropriate prayer of " Now I lay me down to 
sleep," when suddenly an idea struck me, and I acted 
on it immediately. 

"Hello!" says I, " Johnny, didn t you hear the 
old Hall kettle strike for the Fourth District ? 
Come along .with me and help to get the old dog 
cart on a jump, or Nine s roosters will get the rail 
road track and have the old butt in Christie street 



46 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

before we can swing the old inasheen over a pig s 
whisker/ 

" Bully for you !" says he, dropping his musket, 
all in a quiver, and commencing to roll up his panta 
loons. " I ve got a bet on that ere fire ; and ef I 
don t take the starch out of that ere Nine s feller 
what wears good clothes and don t do nothing you 
may just take my boots." 

It was all the force of habit, you see ; and if I 
hadn t stopped that Zouave, I really believe he d 
have run clean into the bosom of all the first 
families, looking for the Fourth District and Nine s 
feller ! 

The Mackerel brigade have got their new uniforms, 
and they are not the martial garments it would do to 
get fat in. High private Samivel Green put his on, 
partially, yesterday ; but, it s a positive fact, my 
boy, that by the time he got his coat buttoned, his 
pantaloons were all worn out. I managed to get on 
one of the uniforms myself, and the first time I went 
into the open air all the buttons blew off. 



I ve just returned from visiting the most mournful 
sight that ever made a man feel as though he d been 
peeling onions all the week, and grating horse-radish 
on Sunday. It was the first dying scene of one of 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 47 

the " Pet Laminers," down at Alexandria, and, as 
one of Five s chaps remarks, it was enough to make 
the eye of a darning-needle weep, and bring tears to 
the cheek of the Greek slave. Jim was the only 
name of the sufferer, and if he ever had any other, it 
had slipped his memory, though his affectionate rel 
atives sometimes called him "Shorty," by way of 
endearment. He was out on picket-guard the night 
before, when the Southern Confederacy attempted to 
pass him. He challenged the intruder, and called to 
his comrades for help ; but, before the latter could 
arrive, the Southern Confederacy drew a masked bat 
tery from his pocket, and fired six heavy balls 
through the head of the unfortunate Zouave, nearly 
fracturing his skull, and breaking several panes of 
glass. The cowardly miscreant then fled to an adja 
cent fence, closely followed by Sherman s Artillery. 

Upon discovering that he was wounded, Mr. 
Shorty examined the cap on his musket, and stood it 
carefully against a tree, buttoned his jacket to his 
neck, and asked a comrade for a chew of tobacco. 
Too full of emotion to speak, the ^comrade handed a 
gentlemanly plug to the dying man, who cut about 
half an ounce from it, placed it thoughtfully in his 
mouth, and then stuffed his handkerchief carefully in 
the hole in his forehead made by the balls. 

" Is any of my brains hanging out ?" he asked of 
another of his comrades. 



48 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" No, Shorty/ answered the other, bursting into 
.tears ; " you never had any to hang out/ 

After this response, the dying man paused for a 
moment to spit in the eyes of a dog that was smelling 
around his heels, and then proceeded with his com 
rades in the direction of the hospital, or the house 
used for that purpose. 

As they were passing the quarters of the officer 
with whom I was spending the night, the expiring 
Zouave stopped to twist the tail of an old darkey s 
cat, which made such a noise that the officer s atten 
tion was attracted, and he called the whole party 
into his room. I at once noticed that the top of Mr. 
Shorty s head was completely gone-, and that one of 
his eyes was half-way down the back of his neck. 
Upon entering the room he took a pipe from the 
mantel and commenced to smoke it, giving us 7 at the 
same time, a history of Nine s Engine and the first 
" muss " he was ever engaged in. After finishing the 
pipe, and requesting me to wrap him up in the Amer 
ican flag, he spit on one of my boots, and then died. 
I append a short biographical sketch. 

THE LATE PRIVATE SHORTY. 

Mr. James Shorty, the gallant Zouave who was 
shot last night by the Southern Confederacy, was 
born some years ago in a place I am not aware of, 
and graduated with high honors in the New York 



OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 49 

Fire Department. He was universally beloved for 
his genial manner of taking the butt, and never hit 
a feller bigger than himself. In the year 1861, he 
entered the United States army as a private Zouave, 
and was in it when the fate of war deprived the 
country of his beloved presence. His remains will 
be taken to the first fire that occurs. 

Poor Shorty ! I knew him well, my boy, and shall 
never forget how ready he always was to take a cigar 

from 

Yours, mournfully, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 

P. S. Since writing the above, I have heard that 
no such occurrence took place at Alexandria. The 
alarm was occasioned by the fall of a bag of hay in 
one of the officers quarters, the noise being mistaken 
for the firing of a battery. Mr. Shorty, it seems, 
does not belong to the Zouaves, at all, and is still in 
New York. 

0. C. K. 
3 



LETTER VII. 

RECORDING THE FIRST SANGUINARY EXPLOIT OF THE MACKEREL 
BRIGADE, AND ITS VICTORIOUS ISSUE. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Juno 20th, 1861. 

I HAVE just returned, my "boy, with my fellow- 
mercenaries and several mudsills from a carnival of 
gore. I am wounded my sensibilities are wounded, 
and my irrepressibles reek with the blood of the slain. 
These hands, that once opened the oysters of peace 
and toyed with the bivalves of tranquillity, are now 
sanguinary with the red juice of battle (gushing idea !), 
and linger in horrid ecstacy about the gloomy neck of 
a bottle holding about a quart. Eagle of my country, 
proud bird of the menagerie ! tliou art avenged! 

At a late hour last evening, the Brigadier-General 
of the Mackerel Brigade (formerly a practitioner in 
the Asylum for Idiots) received intelligence from a 
messenger that a strong force of chickens were in 
trenched near Fairfax Court-House under the com 
mand of a rabid secessionist named Binks. The 
brigade was at once ordered over the bridge at a 
double-quick, the general throwing a strong force of 
skirmishers into the Potomac, and waving his sword 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 51 

repeatedly to show that he was a stranger to fear. 
Shortly after touching Virginia* soil, the orderly 
sergeant reported an engagement, on the left flank, 
between private Yilliam Brown and the man that puts 
his hair in papers. A consultation of officers was im 
mediately called, and the order "About face" was given. 
So excited was our general by the event, that when 
the order to march was given he forgot all about the 
" About face " business, and we didn t know that we 
were going the wrong way until we suddenly found 
ourselves at the bridge again. A consultation of 
officers was immediately called, and it was deter 
mined that, in consequence of the well-known revo 
lution of the world on its axis, the part with the 
bridge on it had taken a turn while we were halting, 
and we were ordered to counterbalance the singular 
phenomena by marching the other way immediately. 
We had proceeded about one mile, when a scout re 
ported that a shower was coming up. A consultation 
of officers was immediately called, and it was deter 
mined that a squad should search a neighboring farm 
house for an umbrella for the Brigadier-General. The 
umbrella being obtained without loss of life, we pushed 
on toward Fairfax, and soon found ourselves before 
the works of the enemy. A consultation of officers 
was immediately called, and it was decided that the 
Brigadier-General should climb a tree, in order to be 
able to direct the assault effectively, and prevent the 



52 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

appearance of a widow in his family at home. The 
first regiment, Watch Guards, were ordered to recon 
noitre the works, and private Villiam Brown had 
almost succeeded in surrounding a very fat pullet, 
when Colonel Binks put his head out of the window 
of his fortress, and discharged a ten-inch "boot-jack 
at our centre. 

The Man that puts his hair in papers was wounded 
severely on one of his corns, and the Brigadier-Gen 
eral slid hastily down from the tree, and retired to the 
rear of an adjacent barn. A consultation of officers 
was immediately called, and it was determined to form 
our brigade into a square, and receive the charge of 
the enemy, who speedily appeared before the breast 
works with a pair of tongs in his hands. Reaching 
forward with the horrid weapon, he pulled the nose 
of our returned Brigadier-General with it. A con 
sultation of officers was immediately called, and it 
was determined that death was preferable to defeat. 
Accordingly, the brigade was ordered to advance cau 
tiously upon the enemy, while the orderly sergeant 
was sent to harass his rear, and turn his flank, if pos 
sible. Our brigadier-general attempted to lead the 
charge, but made a mistake about the direction again, 
and had galloped half a mile toward where we came 
from before he could be convinced of his mistake. 
Seeing us descending upon him, at last, like an ava 
lanche, the enemy deployed to the right, and poured 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 53 

in a volley of "cusses/ throwing our right column 
into confusion, and wounding the delicacy of our 
chaplain. A consultation of officers was immediately 
called, and it was determined to make one more dash. 
We were formed into the shape of a bunch of radishes, 
the brigadier-general retired a distance of two miles 
to encourage us, and we poured down upon the foe 
with irresistible force. His ranks were broken by the 
impetuosity of our charge, and he scattered and fled 
in dismay. 

The engagement then became general, and in a 
little while we were on our victorious way to Wash 
ington again, with 150 rebel prisoners. Our captives 
were chickens, in excellent condition for dressing, and 
their appearance so delighted our brigadier-general 
whom we found sharpening his sword on the bottom 
of his boot, some miles away that a consultation of 
officers was immediately called, and it was determined 
to cook and eat them immediately, lest the President 
should administer the oath of allegiance to them, and 
discharge them in the morning. 

Yours, victoriously, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER YIII. 

THE REJECTED "NATIONAL IIYMXS." 

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 80th, 1861. 

IMMEDIATELY after mailing my last to you, I se 
cured a short furlough, and proceeded to New York, 
to examine into the affairs of that venerable Commit 
tee which had offered a prize of $500 for the best 
National Hymn. 

Upon, going into literary circles, my boy, no less 
than fifty acknowledged poets confidentially informed 
me, that the idea of bribing the muse to be solemnly 
patriotic was altogether too vulgar to be tolerated for 
a moment by writers of reputation ; and a whole 
swarm of poets, never acknowledged by anybody, 
were human enough to say that $500 was not a 
small sum in these times ; but they hadn t "come to 
that yet, you know." 

One very poor Bohemian, my boy (whose scathing 
sarcasm at the expense of those degraded creatures 
who prefer wealth to intellect, has often delighted 
and improved the public mind), was so rash as to 
intimate that the importunities of his laundress 



ORPHEUS C. KERIl PAPERS. 55 

might drive him to the desperate resource of com 
peting for the prize ; but he was quickly made to 
blush for the unworthy thought, by the undisguised 
contempt for his "dcm d lowness" displayed by a 
decayed young gentleman in a dirty collar and very 
new neck-tie, who lives in a two-pair back in 
Wooster street (fish balls and a roll twice a day), and 
writes graphic sketches of fashionable life for the 
wholesale market. 

And yet, notwithstanding all this high-mindedness, 
my boy, there is an immense amount of some sort of 
genius insidiously pitted against the contemptible 
500. Astounding and distracting to relate, the 
committee announces the reception of no less than 
eleven hundred and fifty " anthems" ! 

The magnitude of eleven hundred and fifty " an 
thems" is almost more than one human mind can 
grasp. Allowing that each " anthem" is a quarter 
of a yard long, we have a grand total of two hundred 
and eighty-seven and a half yards of "anthem" ; 
allowing that each " anthem" weighs half a pound 
(intellectually and materially), I find a gross weight 
of five hundred and seventy-five pounds of "an 
them" ! 

Let the reflective mind consider these figures for a 
moment, and it will be stricken with a sense of the 
singular resemblance between Genius and other mar- 

o 

ketable commodities. Eleven hundred and fifty an- 



56 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

thems are enough to prove that Genius has its private 
mercenary weaknesses as well as Trade, my boy, and 
that brains can be bought by the yard as well as cal 
ico. Genius may carry with it a seeming contempt 
for the yellow dross of common humanity ; but it 
has to pay its occasional washerwoman. 

And all these " anthems" are rejected by the vener 
able committee ! But must they all, therefore, be 
lost to the world ? I hope not, my boy, I hope 
not. Having some acquaintance with the discrimi 
nating rag-merchant to whom they were turned over 
as rejected, I have procured some of the best, from 
which to quote for your special edification. 

Imprimis, my boy, observe this 

NATIONAL ANTHEM. 

BY II. W. L , OF CAMBRIDGE. 

Back in tho years when Phlagstaff, the Dane, was monarch 
Over the sea- ribbed land of the fleet-footed Norsemen, 

Once there went forth young Ursa to gaze at the heavens 
Ursa, tho noblest of all the Vikings and horsemen. 

Musing, he sat in his stirrups and viewed the horizon, 
Where the Aurora lapt stars in a North-polar manner, 

Wildly he started for there in the heavens before him 
Fluttered and flew tho original Star-Spangled Banner. 

The committee have two objections to this : in the 
first place, it is not an "anthem" at all ; secondly, 
it is a gross plagiarism from an old Scandinavian war- 
song of the primeval ages. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 57 

Next, I present a 

NATIONAL ANTHEM. 

BY THE HON. EDWABD E , OF BOSTON. 

Ponderous projectiles, hurled by heavy hands, 

Fell on our Liberty s poor infant head, 
Ere sho a stadium had well advanced 

On the great path that to her greatness led ; 
Her temple s propylon was shattered ; 

Yet, thanks to saving Grace and "Washington, 
Her incubus was from her bosom hurled; 

And, rising like a cloud-dispelling sun, 
She took the oil, with which her hair was curled, 
To grease tho " Hub" round which revolves the world. 

This fine production is rather heavy for an " an 
them," and contains too much of Boston to be con 
sidered strictly national. To set such an "anthem" 
to music would require a Wagner ; and even were it 
really accomodated to a tune, it could only be whis 
tled by the populace. 

We now come to a 

NATIONAL ANTHEM. 

BY JOHN GREEXLEAF W . 



My native land, thy Puritanic stock 
Still finds its roots firm-bound in Plymouth Rock, 
And all thy sons unite in one grand wish 
To keep tho virtues of Preserv-ed Fish. 

Preserv-ed Fish, the Deacon stern and true, 
Told our New England what her sons should do, 
And should they swerve from loyalty and right, 
Then the whole land were lost indeed in night. 



58 ORPHEUS C. KERR TAPERS. 

The sectional bias of this " anthem" renders it 
unsuitable for use in that small margin of the world 
situated outside of New England. Hence the above 
must be rejected. 

Here we have a very curious 

NATIONAL ANTHEM. 

BY DR. OLIVER WENDELL H . 

A diagnosis of our hist ry proves 

Our native land a land its native loves; 

Its birth a deed obstetric without peer, 

Its growth a source of wonder far and near. 

To love it more behold how foreign shores 
Sink into nothingness beside its stores ; 
Hyde Park at best though counted ultra-grand 
The " Boston Common" of Victoria s land 

The committee must not be blamed for rejecting 
the above, after reading thus far ; for such an " an 
them" could only be sung by a college of surgeons or 
a Beacon-street tea-party. 

Turn we now to a 

NATIONAL ANTHEM. 



BY RALPH WALDO E- 



Source immaterial of material naught, 

Focus of light infinitesimal, 
Sum of all things by sleepless Nature wrought, 

Of which abnormal man is decimal. 

Refract, in prism immortal, from thy stars 
To the stars blent incipient on our flag, 

The beam translucent, neutrifying death ; 
And raise to immortality the rag. 



ORPHEUS 0. KERR PAPERS. 59 

This " anthem " was greatly praised by a celebrated 
German scholar ; but the committee felt obliged to 
reject it on account of its too childish, simplicity. 

Here we have a 

NATIONAL ANTHEM 

BY WILLIAM CULLEX B . 

The suu sinks softly to his evening post, 

The sun swells grandly to his morning crown ; 

Yet not a star our flag of Heav n has lost, 
And not a sunset stripo with him goes down. 

So thrones may full ; and from tho dust of those, 
New thrones may rise, to totter like the last ; 

But still our country s nobler planet glows 
Whilo tho eternal stars of Heaven are fast. 

Upon finding that this did not go well to the air 
of " Yankee Doodle," the committee felt justified in 
declining it ; being furthermore prejudiced against it 
by a suspicion that the poet has crowded an adver 
tisement of a paper which he edits into the first line. 

Next we quote from a 

NATIONAL ANTHEM 

BY GEN. GEORGE P. M . 

In the days that tried our fathers 

Many years ago, 
Our fair land achieved her freedom, 

Blood-bought, you know. 
Shall we not defend her ever 

As we d defend 
That fair maiden, kind and tender, 

Calling us friend? 



60 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Yes! Let all the echoes answer, 

From hill and vale; 
Yes! Let other nations, hearing, 

Joy in the tale. 
Our Columbia is a lady, 

High-born and fair; 
We have sworn allegiance to her 

Touch her who dare. 

The tone of this "anthem" not being devotional 
enough to suit the committee, it should be printed on 
an edition of linen-cambric handkerchiefs, for ladies 
especially. 

Observe this 

NATIONAL ANTHEM 

BY N. P. W . 

One hue of our flag is taken 

From the cheeks of my blushing Pet, 

And its stars beat time and sparkle 
Like the studs on her chemisette. 

Its blue is the ocean shadow 

That hides in her dreamy eyes, 
It conquers all men, like her, 

And still for a Union flies. 

Several members of the committee being pious, it 
is not strange that this " an them" has too much of 
the Anacreon spice to suit them. 

We next peruse a 

NATIONAL ANTHEM 



BY THOMAS BAILEY A- 



Tho little brown squirrel hops in the corn, 
Tho cricket quaintly sings ; 



ORPHEUS C. KEKll PAPERS. 61 

The emerald pigeon nods his head, 

And the shad in the river springs, 
The dainty sunflower hangs its head 

On the shore of the summer sea ; 
And better far that I were dead, 

If Maud did not love me. 

I love the squirrel that hops in the com, 

And the cricket that quaintly sings; 
And the emerald pigeon that nods his head, 

And the shad that gayly springs. 
I love the dainty sunflower, too, 

And Maud with her snowy breast; 
I lovo them all ; but I love I love 

I love my country best. 

This is certainly very beautiful, and sounds some 
what like Tennyson. Though it was rejected by the 
Committee, it can never lose its value as a piece of 
excellent reading for children. It is calculated to fill 
the youthful mind with patriotism and natural his 
tory, besides touching the youthful heart with an 
emotion palpitating for all. 

Notice the following 

NATIONAL ANTHEM 

BY R. II. STOD . 

Behold the flag I Is it not a flag ? 

Deny it, man, if you dare ; 
And midway spread, twixt earth and sky, 

It hangs like a written prayer. 

"Would impious hand of foe disturb 

Its memories holy spell, 
And blight it with a dew of blood ? 

Ha, tr-r-aitor ! ! * * * THs well. 



62 ORPHEUS c. KERB PAPERS. 

And this is the last of the rejected anthems I can 
quote from at present, my boy, though several hun 
dred pounds yet remain untouched. 

Yours, questioningly, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER .IX. 

IN WHICH OUR CORRESPONDENT TEMPORARILY DIGRESSES FROM WAR 
MATTERS TO ROMANTIC LITERATURE, AND INTRODUCES A WOMAN S 
NOVEL. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., July , 1SG1. 

WHILE the Grand Army is making its preparations 
for an advance upon the Southern Confederacy, my 
boy, and the celebrated fowl of our distracted coun 
try is getting ready his spurs, let me distract your 
attention for a moment to the subject of harrowing 
Romance as inflicted by the intellectual women of 
America. 

To soothe and instruct me in my leisure and more 
ebrious moments, one of the ink-comparable women 
of America has sent me her new novel to read ; and 
before I allow you to enjoy its green leaves, my boy, 
you must permit me to make a few remarks concern 
ing the generality of such works. 

Long and patient study of womanly works teaches 
me that woman s genius, as displayed in gushing 
fiction, is a power of creating an unnatural and un 
mitigated ruffian for a hero, my boy, at whose shrine 
all created crinoline and immense delegations of infe- 



64 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

rior broadcloth are impelled to bow. Such a one was 
that old humbug, Rochester, the beloved of " Jane 
Eyre." The character has been done-over scores of 
times since poor Charlotte Bronte gave her famous 
novel to the world, and is still "much used in 
respectable families." 

The great difficulty with the intellectual women 
of America is, that they will persist in attempting to 
delineate a phase of manly character which attracts 
them above all others, but which they do not com 
prehend. Woman entertains a natural fondness for 
that which she can not understand, and hence it is 
that we very seldom find her without a wildly-vague 
admiration of Emerson. 

There is in this world, my boy, a noble type of 
manhood which unites dignified reserve with the most 
loyal integrity, relentless pride of manner with the 
kindest humility of heart, rigid indifference to the 
applause of the world with the finest regard for its 
honest respect, and carelessness of woman s mere 
frivolous liking with the most profound and chival 
rous reverence for her virtues and her love. 

This is the type which, without comprehending 
it, the intellectual women of America are continually 
striving to depict in their novels ; and a pretty mess 
they make of it, my boy, a pretty mess they make 
of it. 

Their " Rochester" hero is harder to understand 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. (jj 

than Hamlet, when he falls into the hands of our 
school-girl authoresses. He looms rakishly upon us, 
my boy, a horridly misanthropic wretch, despising 
the world with all the dreadful malignity of chronic 
dyspepsia, and displaying a degree of moral bilious 
ness truly horrifying to members of the church. His 
behavior to the poor little heroine is a perpetual out 
rage. Alternately he caresses and snubs her. He 
never fails to make her read to him when he traps her 
in the library ; and when she says, " Good night" to 
him he is too deep in a "fit of gloomy abstraction" 
to answer her civilly. If he calls her a " little fool," 
her fondness for him becomes ecstatic : and at the 
first hint of his having murdered a noble brother and 
two beautiful sisters in early life, she is led to fear 
that her adoration of him will exceed the love she 
owes to her Maker ! 

This unprincipled ruffian may be separated from the 
virtuous little heroine for years, and be flirting con- 
sumedly with half a dozen crinolines when next she 
sees him ; yet is he loved dearly by the virtuous little 
heroine all the time, and when last we hear of him, 
she is resting peacefully upon his vest-pattern. 

What makes the inconsistency of the whole story 
still more apparent, is the intense and double-refined 
piety of the heroine, as contrasted with an utter stag 
nation of all morality in the breast of the ruffian. 
How the two can assimilate, I do not understand ; 

6 



66 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

and my misunderstanding is wofully augmented by 
the heroine s frequent expressions of churchliness, and 
the ruffian s equally frequent outbursts of waggish 
infidelity. 

And now, my boy, let me transcribe for you the 
new novel, sent to me with such kind intent by one 
of the young and intellectual women of America. 
You will find much lusciousness of sentiment, my 
boy, in 

HI GGINS. 

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

BY GUSHALINA CRUSHIT. 



PREFACE. 

In writing the ensuing pages, I have been guided 
by no motives other than those which lead the mind, 
in its leisure hours, to scatter the germs of the beau 
tiful. It may be urged that the character of my 
hero is unnatural ; but I am sure there are many of 
my sex who will discover in Mr. Higgins a counter 
part of the ideal of days when life still knew the 
odors of its first spring, and the soul of man seemed 
to the eye of innocence an elysium of virtue into 
which no gangrene of mere worldliness intruded. I 
have done. 

CHAPTER I. 

It was on the eve of a day in the happy month of 
June, that my great grandfather s carriage, drawn by 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 67 

six hundred and twenty-two white horses, drew up 
under the tall palm trees before the gates of the ven 
erable Higgins Lodge, and I was lifted almost faint 
ing from the wearied vehicle. As my grandfather 
supported my trembling steps into the spacious hall 
of the lodge, I noticed that another figure had been 
added to our party. It was that of a man six feet 
high, and broad in proportion, whose majestic and 
spacious brow betokened realms of elysian thought 
and excrescent ideality. His pallid tresses hung in 
curls down his back, and an American flag floated 
from his Herculean shoulders. Fixed by a fascination 
only to be realized by those who have felt so, I cast 
my piercing glance at him, and my inmost soul knew 
all his sublimity. It was as though an angel s wing 
had swept my temples, and left a glittering pinion 
there. 

"Mr. Higgins/ said my grandfather, "here is your 
ward, Galushianna." 

For an instant silence prevailed. 

Then Mr. Higgins said, in tones of exquisitely 
modulated thunder : 

" What did you bring the d d girl here for, you 
old cuss you ?" 

It was as when one sees a strain of music. I re 
membered the prayers of my dear departed mother 
when she sought to enlighten my speechless infancy 
with divine grace, and I felt that I loved this Higgins. 



68 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Such is life. We wander through the bowers of 
love without a thought of the morrow, while the 
dread vulture of predestination eats into our souls, 
and cries, wo ! wo ! Truly, earthly happiness is a 
mockery. 

CHAPTER II. 

Scarcely had I taken my seat in the library after 
my grandfather had left us, when Mr. Higgins ordered 
me to black his boots. This I proceeded to do with a 
haughty air, scarcely daring to hope, but wishing that 
he would conquer his freezing reserve, and speak to 
me again. For I was but a child, and my young 
heart yearned for sympathy. 

Presently, Mr. Higgins turned his large gray eyes 
on me, and said : 

" Ha !" 

After this, he remained in a thoughtful reverie for 
two hours, and then turning to me, asked : 

" Galushiana, what do you think of me ?" 

" I think," replied I, carefully putting the black 
ing-brush in its place, " that your nature is naturally 
a noble one, but has been warped and shadowed by a 
misconceived impression of the great arcana of the 
universe. You permit the genuflexions of human sin 
to bias your inind in its estimate of the true economy 
of creation ; thus blighting, as it were, the fructifying 
evidences of your own abstract being " 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 69 

I blushed, and feared I bad gone too far. 

" Very true," responded Mr. Higgins, after a mo 
ment s pause ; " Schiller says nearly the same thing. 
It was a sense of man s utter nothingness that led me 
to kill my grandmother, and poison the helpless oil- 
spring of my elder brother." 

Here Mr. Higgins held down his head and quivered 
with emotions, as the ocean quakes under the shriek 
ing howl of the blast. 

I felt my whole being convulsed, and could not en 
dure the spectacle. I stole softly to the door, and 
stammered through my tears, " Good-night, Mr. Hig 
gins, I will pray for you." 

He did not turn his noble head, but sa-id, in firm 
tones : " Poor little beast, good night." 

I went to my room, but could not sleep. Shortly 
after half-past two o clock I crawled noiselessly down 
to the library-door and looked in. Mr. Higgins still 
sat before the fire in the same thoughtful position. 
" Poor little beast !" I heard him murmur softly to 
himself " poor little beast !" 

CHAPTER III. 

Let the reader transport himself to a small stone 
cottage on the Hudson, and he will behold me as I 
was at the age of twenty-one. I had reached that 
acme of woman s career when common sense is to her 
as nothing, and the world with all its follies bursts 



70 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

upon her ravished ears with ten-fold succulence. My 
grandfather had been dead some fifty years, and I was 
even thinking of him, when the door opened, and 
Mr. Higgins entered. I felt my heart palpitate, and 
was ahout to quit the room, when he cast a searching 
glance at me, and said : 

" Well, girl are you as big a fool as ever ?" 

I hung my head, for the tell-tale blush would 
bloom. 

" Come," said Mr. Higgins, " don t speak like a 
donkey. I m no priestly confessor. Curse the 
priests ! Curse the world ! Curse everybody ! 
Curse everything !" And he placed his feet upon 
the mantel-piece, and gazed meditatively into the 
fire. 

I could hear the beatings of my own heart, and all 
the warmth of my nature went forth to meet this 
sublime embodiment of human majesty ; yet I dared 
not speak. 

After a short silence, Mr. Higgins took a chew of 
tobacco, and placing his hand on my shoulder, ex 
claimed : 

" Why should I deceive you, girl ? Last night I 
poisoned my only remaining sister because she would 
have wed a circus-keeper, and scarcely an hour ago I 
lost two millions at faro. Your priests would say 
this was wrong hey ?" 

I stifled my sobs and said, as calmly as I could : 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 71 

" Our Church looks at the motive, not the deed. 
If a high sense of honor compelled you to poison all 
your relatives and play faro, the sin was rather the 
effect of vice in others than in your own noble heart, 
and I doubt not you may be called innocent," 

He glanced into the fire a few hours, and then 
said : 

" Go, Galushianna ! I would be alone ! Go, inno 
cent young scorpion." 

Oh, Higgins, Higgins, if I could have died for thee 
then, I don t know but I should have done it ! 

CHAPTER IV. 

Seventy-five years have rolled by since last I met 
the reader, and I am still a thoughtless girl. But oh, 
how changed ! The raven of despair has flapped his 
hideous brood over the halls of my ancestors, and 
taken from them all that once made them beautiful. 
When I look back I can see nothing before me, and 
when I look forward I can see nothing behind me. 
Thus it is with life. We fancy that each hour is a 
butterfly made to play with, and all is gall and bit 
terness. 

I was chastened by misfortune, and occupied a 
secluded cavern in the city of New Orleans, when 
my faithful old nurse entered my dressing-room, and 
burst into a fit of hysterical laughter. 

" Sassafrina !" I exclaimed, half angrily. 



72 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" Please don t be angry, miss/ responded the tried 
old creature ; u but I knew it would come all right 
at last. I told you Sir Claude Higgins hadn t mar 
ried his youngest sister, but you wouldn t believe 
me. Now he s down stairs in the parlor waiting for 
you." 

And the attached domestic fell dead at my feet. 

After hastily putting on a pair of clean stockings 
and reading a chapter in my mother s family Bible, I 
left the room, murmuring to myself, " Be still, my 
throbbing heart, be still." 

CHAPTER v. 

When I entered the parlor, Mr. Higgins sat gazing 
into the fire in an attitude of deep reflection, and did 
not note my entrance until I had touched him. His 
dishevelled hair Imng from his massive temples in 
majestic discomposure, and an extinguished torch lay 
smouldering at his glorious feet. 

O my soul s idol ! I can see thee now as I saw thee 
then, with the firelight glowing over thee ; like a smile 
from the cerulean skies ! 

As I touched him, he awoke. 

" Miserable girl !" he exclaimed, in those old fami 
liar tones, drawing me towards him, while a delicious 
tremor shook my every nerve. " Wretched little ser 
pent ! And is it thus we meet ? Poor idiot, you 
are but a woman, and I alas ! what am I ? Two 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 73 

hours ago, I set fire to three churches, and crushed a 
sexton iieath my iron heel. Do you not shrink ? 
Tis well. Then hear ine, viper, / lovest thee." 

Was it the music of a higher sphere that I smelt, 
or was I still in this world of folly and sin ? And 
were all my toils, my cares, my heart-breathings, my 
hope-sobbings, my soul-writhings to end thus glori 
ously at last in the adoration of a being on whom I 
lavished all the spirit s purest gloatings ? 

My bliss was more than I could endure. Tearing 
all the hair-pins from my hair and tying my pocket 
handkerchief about my heaving neck, I flung myself 
upon his steaming chest. 

" if ?/ Higgins !" 

" YOUR Higgins ! !" 

"OUR Higgins ! ! !" 

THE BLISSFUL FINIS. 

The intellectual women of America draw it rather 
tempestuously when they try to reproduce gorgeous 
manhood ; but they mean well, my boy, they mean 
well. Yours, in a brown study, 

ORPHEUS C. KERB. 



LETTER X. 

MAKING CONSERVATIVE MENTION OF THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN AND 
ITS EVENTS. THE FIRE-ZOUAVE S VERSION OF THE AFFAIR, AND 
SO ON. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 28th, 1861. 

We have met the enemy at last, my boy ; but I 
don t see that he s ours. We went after him with 
flying banners, and I noticed when we came back 
that they were flying still ! Honor to the brave who 
fell on that bloody field ! and may we kill enough 
secessionists to give each of them a monument of 
Southern skulls ! 

I was present at the great battle, my boy, and ap 
pointed myself a special guard of one of the baggage- 
wagons in the extreme rear. The driver saw me 
coming, and says he : 

" You can t cut behind this here wehicle, my fine 
little boy." 

I looked at him for a moment, after the manner of 
the late great actor, Mr. Kirby, and says I : 

" Soldier, hast thou a wife ?" 

Says he : 

" I reckon." 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 75 

" And sixteen small children ?" 

Says he : 

" There was only fifteen when last heard from." 

" Soldier/ says I, " were you to die before to-mor 
row, what would be your last request ?" 

Here I shed two tears. 

"It would be/ says he, " that some kind friend 
would take the job of walloping my offspring for a 
year on contract, and finding my beloved wife in sub 
jects to jaw about." 

" Soldier/ says I, " I m your friend and brother. 
Let me occupy a seat by your side." 

And he didn t let me do it. 

Just at this moment, something burst, and I found 
myself going up at the rate of two steeples and a 
shot-tower a second. I met a Fire Zouave on the 
way down, and says he : 

" Towhead, if you see any of our boys up where 
you re goin to, just tell them to hurry down ; fur 
there s goin to be a row, and Nine s fellers 11 take 
that ere four-gun hydrant from the scceshers in less 
time than you can reel two yards of hose." 

As I was very tired I did not go all the way up ; 
but turned back at the first cloud, and returned 
hastily to the scene of strife. I happened to light on 
a very fat secesher, who was doing a little running 
for exercise. Down he went, with me on top of him. 
He was dreadfully scared ; but says he to me : " I ve 



76 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

seen you before, by the gods !" I winked at him, 
and commenced to sharpen my sword on a stone. 

" Tell me," says he, " had you a female mother ?" 

" I had/ says I. 

" And a masculine father ?" 

" He wore breeches." 

" Then you are my long lost grandfather !" says 
the secesher, endeavoring to embrace me. 

" It won t do," says I ; " I ve been to the Bowery 
Theatre myself ;" and with that I took off his neck 
tie and wiped my nose with it. This action was so 
repugnant to the feelings of a Southern gentleman, 
that he immediately died on my hands ; and there I 
left him. 

It was my first personal victory in this unnatural 
war, my boy, and as I walked away I thought sadly 
of the domestic circle in the Southern Confederacy 
that might be waiting anxiously, tearfully, for the 
husband and father him whom I had morally assas 
sinated. And there he sprawled, denied even the 
simple privilege of extending a parting blessing to 
his children. Under ordinary circumstances, my boy, 
there s something deeply affecting in 

THE DYING SOUTHERNER S FAREWELL TO HIS SON. 

My boy, my lion-hearted boy, 

Your father s end draws near; 
Already is your loss begun, 

And, curso it, there s a tear. 



ORPHEUS C. KERIl PAPERS. 77 

I ve sought to bring you up, my son, 

A credit to the South, 
And all your poker games have been 

An honor to us both. 

Though scarcely sixteen years of age, 

Your bowie s tickled more 
Than many Southerners I know 

At fifty and three score. 

You ve whipped your nigger handsomely, 

And chewed your plug a day; 
And when I hear you swear, my son, 

What pride my eyes betray ! 

And now, that I must leave the world, 

My dying words attend; 
But first, a chew of niggerhead, 

And cut it near the end. 

To you the old plantation goes, 

With mortgage, tax, and all, 
Though compound interest on that first, 

"Will make the profit small. 

The niggers to your mother go; 

And if she wants to sell, 
You might contrive to buy her out, 

Should all tlio crops grow well. 

I leave you all my debts, my son, 

To Yankees chiefly due ; 
But curse the black republicans I 

That needn t trouble you. 

A true-born Southern gentleman. 

Disdains the vulgar thought 
Of paying, like a Yankee clerk, 

For what is sold and bought. 



78 ORPHEUS C, KERB PAPERS 

Leave that to storekeepers and fools 

"Who never banked a card; 
We pay our " debts of honor," boy, 

Though pressed however hard. 

Last summer at the North I bought, 
Somo nigger hats and shoes, 

And gave my note for ninety days; 
Forget it if you choose. 

The Yankee mudsills would not have 

Such articles to sell, 
If Southern liberality 

Had fattened them less well 

The Northern dun we hung last week 

Had twenty dollars clear, 
And that, my son, is all the cash 

I have to give you here. 

But that s enough to make a start, 
And, if you pick your boat, 

A Mississippi trip or two 
"Will set you all afloat. 

You play a screaming hand, my son, 

And push an ugly cue ; 
Oh ! these are thoughts that make me feel 

As dying Christians do! 

Keep cool, my lion-hearted boy, 

Till second ace is played, 
And then call out for brandy sour 

As though your pile was made. 

The other chaps will think you ve got 

The tiger by the tail; 
And when you see them looking glum, 

Just call for brandy pale 1 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 79 

I never knew it fail to make 

Some green one go it blind; 
And when the first slip-up is made, 

It s all your own, you ll find. 

My breath comes hard I m euchred, boy 

First Families must die; 
I leave you in your innocence, 

And here s a last good-bye. 

Shortly after the event I have recorded, I was ex 
amining the back of a house near the battle-field, to 
see if it corresponded with the front, when another 
Fire Zouave came along, and says he : 

" It s my opine that you re sticking rather too 
thick to the rear of that house to be much punkins 
in a muss. Why don t you go to the front like a 
man ?" 

" My boy," says I, " this is the house of a pre 
dominant rebel, and I m detailed to watch the back 
door." 

With that the Zouave was taken with such a dread 
ful fit of coughing that he had to move on to get his 
breath, and I was left alone once more. 

These Fire Zouaves, my boy, have a perversity 
about them not to be repressed. They were neck- 
and-neck with the rest of us in our stampede back to 
to this city ; and yet, my boy, they refuse to consider 
the United States of America worsted. Here is the 
version of 



80 ORPHEUS C. KEKH PAPERS. 

BULL RUN, 

BY A FIRE ZOUAVE. 

Ob, it s all very well for you fellers 

That don t know a fire from the sun, 
To curl your moustaches, and tell us 

Just how the thing oughter be done ; 
But when twenty wake up ninety thousand, 

There s nothin can follow but rout ; 
We didn t give in till we had to; 

And what are yer coughin about ? 

The crowd that was with them ere rebels 

Hud ten to pur every man ; 
But a fireman s a fireman, me covey, 

And he ll put out a fire if he can : 
So we run the masheen at a gallop, 

As easy as open and shut, 
And as fast as one feller went under, 

Another kept takin der butt. 

You oughter seen Farnham, that mornin I 

In spite of the shot and the shell 
His orders kept ringing around us 

As clear as the City Hall bell. 
He said all he could to encourage 

And lighten the hearts of the men, 
Until he was bleeding and wounded, 

And nary dried up on it then. 

While two rifle regiments fought us, 

And batteries tumbled us down, 
Them cursed Black-Horse fellers charged us, 

Like all the Dead Rabbits in town. 
And that s just the way with them rebels, 

It s ten upon one, or no fair; 
But we emptied a few of their saddles 

You may bet all your soap on that air I 



ORPHEUS C. KERU TAPERS. 81 

"Double up!" says our colonel, quite coolly, 

When he saw them come riding like mad, 
And wo did double up in a hurry, 

And let them have all that we had. 
They came at us counting a hundred, 

And scarcely two dozen went back ; 
So you see, if they bluffed us on aces, 

We made a big thing with the Jack. 

We fought till red shirts were as plenty 

As blackberries, strewing the grass, 
And then we fell back for a breathing, 

To let Sixty-nine s fellers pass. 
Perhaps Sixty-nine didn t peg them, 

And give them uncommon cheroots ? 
Well I ve just got to say, if they didn t 

You fellers can smell of my boots ! 

The- Brooklyn Fourteenth was another, 

And those Minnesota chaps too ; 
But the odds were too heavy against us, 

And but one thing was left us to do : 
Wo had to make tracks for our quarters, 

And finished it up pretty rough ; 
But if any chap says that they licked us, 

I d just like to polish him off! 

With the remembrance of the many heroic souls 
who sacrificed themselves for their country that day, 
I have not the heart, my boy, to continue the sub 
ject. I was routed at about five o clock in the after 
noon, and fell back on Washington, where I am now 
receiving my rations. I don t take the oath with any 
spirit since then ; and a skeleton with nothing on but 
a havelock is all that is left of 

Yours, emaciatedly. ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XI. 

GIVING AN EFFECT OF THE NEW BUGLE DRILL IN THE MACKEREL 
BRIGADE, AND MAKING SOME NOTE OF THE LATEST IMPROVEMENTS 
IN ARTILLERY, ETC. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., August , 1861. 

The Mackerel Brigade, of which I have the honor 
to be a member, was about the worst demoralized of 
all the brigades that covered themselves with glory 
and perspiration at the skrirnmage of Bull Bun. In 
the first place, it never had much morals, and when 
it came to be demoralized, it hadn t any ; so that 
ever since the disaster, the peasantry in the neighbor 
hood of the camp have been in constant mourning 
for departed pullets ; and one venerable rustic com 
plains that the Mackerel pickets milk all his cows 
every night, and come to borrow his churn in the 
morning. When one of the colonels heard the ven 
erable rustic make this accusation, he says to him : 

" Would you like to be revenged on the men who 
milk your animiles ?" The venerable rustic took a 
chew of tobacco, and says he : "I wouldn t like any 
thing better." The colonel looked at him sadly for a 
moment, and then remarked : " Aged stranger, you 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 83 

are already revenged. The men who milked your 
animiles are all from New York, where they had 
been accustomed to drink milk composed principally 
of Croton water. Upon drinking the pure article 
furnished by your gentle beastesses, they were all 
taken violently sick, and are now lying at the point 
of illness, expecting every moment to be their first." 
The venerable rustic was so affected by this intelli 
gence, that he immediately went home in tears. 

The new bugle drill is a very good idea, my boy, 
and our lads will probably become accustomed to it 
by the time they get used to it. The colonel of Keg- 
iment Five likes it so much that he has substituted 
the bugle for the drum, even. The other morning, 
when he tried it on for the first time, I was just 
entering the tent of one of the captains, to take the 
Oath with him, when the bugle sounded the order to 
turn out. 

"Ah !" says the captain, when he heard it, "we re 
going to have fish for breakfast at last. I hope its 
porgies," says he: "for Tin uncommon fond of 
porgies/ 

" Why, what are you talking about ?" says I. 

"You innocent lamb/ says he, "didn t you hear 
that ere fish-horn. It said e porgies/ as plain as could 
be." 

" Why, that s the bugle," says I, " and it sounded 
the order to turn out." 



84 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

He took his disappointment very severely, my boy, 
for he was really very fond of porgies. 

By invitation of a well-known official, I visited the 
Navy- Yard yesterday, and witnessed the trial of some 
newly-invented rifled cannon. The trial was of short 
duration, and the jury brought in a verdict of " inno 
cent of any intent to kill." 

The first gun tried was similar to those used in the 
Kevolution, except that it had a larger touch-hole, 
and the .carriage was painted green, instead of blue. 
This novel and ingenious weapon was pointed at a 
target about sixty yards distant. It didn t hit it, and 
us nobody saw any ball, there was much perplexity 
expressed. A midshipman did say that he thought 
the ball must have run out of the touch-hole when 
they loaded up for which he was instantly expelled 
from the service. After a long search without finding 
the bail, there was some thought of summoning the 
Naval Ketiring Board to decide on the matter, when 
somebody happened to look into the mouth of the 
cannon, and discovered that the ball hadn t gone out 
at all. The inventor said this would happen some 
times, especially if you didn t put a brick over the 
touch-hole when you fired the gun. The Govern-, 
ment was so pleased with this explanation, that it 
ordered forty of the guns on the spot, at two hundred 
thousand dollars apiece. The guns to be furnished 
as soon as the war is over. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 85 

The next weapon tried was Jink s double back- 
action revolving cannon for ferry-boats. It consists of 
a heavy bronze tube, revolving on a pivot, with both 
ends open, and a touch-hole in the middle. While 
one gunner puts a load in at one end, another puts in 
?- load at the other end, and one touch-hole serves for 
both. Upon applying the match, the gun is whirled 
swiftly round on a pivot, and both balls fly out in cir 
cles, causing great slaughter on both sides. This ter 
rible engine was aimed at the target with great accu 
racy ; but as the gunner has a large family dependent 
on him for support, he refused to apply the match. 
The Government was satisfied without firing, and 
ordered six of the guns at a million of dollars apiece. 
The guns to be furnished in time for our next 
war. 

The last weapon subjected to trial was a mountain 
howitzer of a new pattern. The inventor explained 
that its great advantage was, that it required no 
powder. In battle it is placed on the top of a high 
mountain, and a ball slipped loosely into it. As the 
enemy passes the foot of the mountain, the gunner in 
charge tips over the howitzer, and the ball rolls down 
the side of the mountain into the midst of the doomed 
foe. The range of this terrible weapon depends greatly 
on the height of the mountain and the distance to its 
base. The Government ordered forty of these moun 
tain howitzers at a hundred thousand dollars apiece, 



86 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

to be planted on the first mountains discovered in the 
enemy s country. 

These are great times for gunsmiths, my boy ; and 
if you find any old cannon around the junk-shops, 
just send them along. 

There is much sensation in nautical circles arisin^ 

o 

from the immoral conduct of the rebel privateers ; 
but public feeling has been somewhat easier since the 
invention of a craft for capturing the pirates, by an 
ingenious Connecticut chap. Yesterday he exhibited 
a small model of it at a cabinet meeting, and explained 
it thus : 

" You will perceive," says he to the President, 
" that the machine itself will only be four times the 
size cf the Great Eastern, and need not cost over a 
few millions of dollars. I have only got to discover 
one thing before I can make it perfect. You will 
observe that it has a steam-engine on board. This 
engine works a pair of immense iron clamps, which 
are let down into the water from the extreme end of 
a very lengthy horizontal spar. Upon approaching 
the pirate, the captain orders the engineer to put on 
steam. Instantly the clamps descend from the end 
of the spar and clutch the privateer athwartships. 
Then the engine is reversed, the privateer is lifted 
bodily out of the water, the spar swings around over 
the deck, and the pirate ship is let down into the hold 



ORPHEUS C. KERK PAPERS. 87 

by the run. Then shut your hatches, and you have 
ship and pirates safe and sound." 

The President s gothic features lighted up beauti 
fully at the words of the great inventor ; but in a 
moment they assumed an expression of doubt, and 
says he : 

"But how are you going to manage, if the priva 
teer fires upon you while you are doing this ?" 

" My dear sir/ says the inventor, " I told you I 
had only one thing to discover before I could make 
the machine perfect, and that s it." 

So you see, my boy, there s a prospect of our doing 
something on the ocean next century, and there s only 
one thing in the way of our taking in pirates by the 
cargo. 

Last evening a new brigadier-general, aged ninety- 
four years, made a speech to Kegiment Five, Mackerel 
Brigade, and then furnished each man with a lead- 
pencil. He said that, as the Government was disap 
pointed about receiving some provisions it had ordered 
for the troops, those pencils were intended to enable 
them to draw their rations as usual. I got a very big 
pencil, my boy, and have lived on a sheet of paper 
ever since. Yours, pensively, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XII. 

GIVIXG AN ABSTRACT OF A GREAT ORATOR S FLAGGING SPEECH, AND 
RECORDING A DEATHLESS EXPLOIT OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., September Sth, 1SG1. 

THE weather in the neighborhood of Chain Bridge 
still continues to bear hard on fat men, my boy, and 
the man who carries a big stomach around with him 
will be a person in reduced circumstances before he 
gets to bo a colonel. The Brigadier- General of the 
Mackerel Brigade observed, the other day, that he had 
been in hot water four weeks running, and ordered me 
to work six hours in the trenches for not laughing 
at the joke ; he said that old Abe had people ex 
pressly to laugh at his jokes, and had selected his 
Cabinet officers because they all had large mouths, 
and could laugh easily ; he said that he was resolved 
to have his own jokes appreciated, and if he didn t, 
he d be perditionized. It s my impression I say it s 
my impression, my boy, that the general got off his 
best joke when he promised the Mackerel Brigade to 
look after their interests as though they were his 
brothers. He may look after them, my boy, but it s 



ORPHEUS C. KEUU PAPERS. 89 

after they re out of sight. I don t say that he takes 
advantage of us : but I know that just after a basket 
of champagne was sent to the camp, directed to me, 
yesterday, I saw him sitting on an empty basket in 
his tent, trying to wind up his watch with a cork 
screw. I asked him what time it was, and he said 
the Conzstorshun must and shall be blockade-dade- 
did. I told him I thought so myself, and he imme 
diately burst into tears, and said he should never see 
his mother again. 

On Tuesday, there was a rumor that the Southern 
Confederacy had attacked at regiment at Alexandria, 
for the purpose of creating a confusion, so that it 
might pick the colonel s pockets, and Regiment 5, 
Mackerel Brigade, was ordered to go instantly to the 
rescue. Just as we were ready to march, a distin 
guished citizen of Washington presented a sword to 
the colonel from the ladies of the Capital, and made 
an eloquent speech. He spoke of the wonderful 
manner in which the world was called out of chaos at 
the creation, and spoke feelingly of the Garden of 
Eden, and the fall of our first parents ; he then went 
on to review the many changes the earth had expe 
rienced since it was first created, and described the 
method of the ancients to cook bread before stoves 
were invented ; he then spoke of the glories of Greece 
and Rome, giving a full history of them from the 
beginning to the present time ; he then went on to 



90 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

describe the origin of the republican and democratic 
parties, reading both platforms, and giving his ideas 
of Jackson s policy ; he then gave an account of the 
war of the Roses in England, and the cholera in 
Persia, attributing the latter to a sudden change in 
the atmosphere ; he then went on to speak of the 
difficulties encountered by Columbus in discovering 
this country, and gave a history of his subsequent 
career and death in Europe ; he then read an extract 
from Washington s Farewell Address; in conclusion, 
he said that the ladies of Washington had empowered 
him to present this here sword to that ere gallant 
colonel, in the presence of these here brave defenders 
of their country. 

At the conclusion of this speech, starvation com 
menced to make great ravages in the regiment, and 
the colonel was so weak, for want of sleep, that he 
had to be carried to his tent. A private remarked to 
me, that, if we could only have one more such pre 
sentation speech as that, the regiment would be com 
petent to start a grave-yard before it was finished. I 
believe him, my boy ! 

When the presentation was finished, the colonel 
announced from his camp-bedstead that the rumor of 
a fight at Alexandria was all a hum, and ordered us 
back to our tents. We hadn t been to our tents for 
such a long time, that some of us couldn t find them, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 91 

and one of our boys actually wandered around until 
he found himself at home in New York. 

The Mackerel Brigade, my boy, had a great engage 
ment yesterday, and came very near repulsing the 
enemy. We were ordered to march forward in three 
columns, until we came within five miles of the enemy, 
Colonel Wobbles leading the first ; Mr. Wobbles, the 
second ; and Wobbles, the third. In the advance 
our lines presented the shape of a clam-shell, but as 
we neared the point of danger, they gradually assumed 
more of the form of a cone, the rear-guard being 
several times as thick as the advance guard. When 
within six miles of the seceshers, we planted our bat 
tery of four six pounders, and opened a horrible fire of 
shot and shell on the adjacent country. The secesh 
ers replied with a hail of canister and shrapnell, 
and for eight hours the battle raged fearfully, but 
without hurting anybody, as the hostile forces were 
too far apart to reach each other with shot. Finally, 
Colonel Wobbles sent a messenger, by railroad, to ask 
the seceshers what they wanted, and they said they 
only wanted to be let alone. On receiving this reply, 
Colonel Wobbles was much affected, and ordered us 
to march back to camp, which we did. 

This affair was really a great victory for the Union, 
my boy, and I cannot refrain from giving short bio 
graphical sketches of the leaders concerned in it, 
commencing with 



92 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

COLONEL WOBBLES. 

This gallant officer, on whom the eyes of the whole 
world are now turned, was born at an exceedingly 
early age, in the place of his nativity. When but a 
mere boy, he evinced a fondness for the law, and his 
father, who was his mother s husband, placed him in 
the office of the late Daniel Webster. He practised 
law for some years, but failed to find any clients, and 
finally started a grocery store under Jackson s admin 
istration. At this time, Calhoun s peculiar views 
were agitating Christendom, and Mr. Wobbles mar 
ried a daughter of the late John Thomas, by whom 
he had no children. When the war broke out in 
Mexico, he left the grocery business, and opened a 
liquor store on the estate of the late J. Smith, and 
accumulated sufficient money to send his family into 
the country. Colonel Wobbles is now about eighty- 
five years old. 

MR. WOBBLES. 

This heroic young officer, now attracting so much 
attention, drew his first breath among the peaceful 
scenes of home, from which the captious might have 
augured anything but a soldier s destiny for him. 
W hile yet very young, he was remarkable for his pro 
ficiency in making dirt-pies, and went to school with 
the sons of the late Mr. Jones. In 1846, he did not 
graduate at West Point ; but when the war broke 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 93 

out between Mexico and the United States, he mar 
ried a niece of the late Daniel Webster. It was also 
at this period of his eventful career that he first be 
came a husband, and shortly after the birth of his 
eldest child, it was rumored that he had also become 
a father. He entered the present war as a military 
man. He is now but forty years old. 

WOBBLES. 

This noble patriot soldier, whose name is now a 
household word all over the world, was reared from 
infancy in the village of his birth, and took a promi 
nent part in the meals of his family. - While yet a 
youth, the Florida war broke out, and he attended 
the high-school of the late Mr. Brown. On arriving 
of age, he was just twenty-one years old, and was not 
a student at West Point. Shortly after this event, 
he married a cousin of the late Daniel Webster, and 
during the Mexican War he had one child, who still 
bears his father s name. Wobbles is now sixty years 
old. 

You will observe, my boy, that these noble officers 
have merited the commissions of brigadier-generals, 
and if they don t get them they ll resign. Colonel 
Wobbles told me this morning, that if he resigned 
the army would all go to pieces. I believe him, my 
boy ! field pieces. Yours, biographically, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XIII. 

SUBMITTING VARIOUS RUMORS CONCERNING THE CONDITION OP THINGS 
AT THE SOUTH, WITH A SKETCH OF A LIGHT SKELETON REGIMENT 
AND A NOTE OF VILLIAM BROWN S RECRUITING EXPLOIT. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 20th, 1861. 

THERE is every indication that something is about 
to occur, which, when it does transpire, my boy, will 
undoubtedly give rise to the rumor that a certain 
thing has happened. It was observed in military cir 
cles yesterday, that General McClellan ordered a new 
pair of boots to be forwarded immediately from New 
York, and from this it is justly inferred that the 
Chain Bridge will be attacked by the rebels in force 
very shortly. 

A gentleman who has just arrived from the South 
to purchase some postage-stamps, states that the rebel 
army is in an awful condition, and will starve to death 
as soon as Beauregard gives the order. At Kichmond, 
ice-cream was selling for a hundred dollars a quart, 
gum-drops at sixty dollars an ounce, Brandreth-s Pills 
at forty-two dollars and a half a box, Spaulding s 
Prepared Glue at twenty dollars a pint, and Mrs. 
Winslow s Soothing Syrup at four hundred dollars a 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 95 

bottle. In consequence of the sudden approach of 
fall and the renewed stringency of the blockade, 
there are no strawberries to be had, and the First 
Families are subsisting entirely upon persimmons. 
Should the winter prove cold, the Southerners to a 
man will be compelled to wear much thicker clothing, 
and it is anticipated that many of them will take 
cold. De lunatico inquirendo has broken out among 
the rebel troops at Manassas Junction, in consequence 
of insufficient accommodation, and the hospitals are 
so full of patients that numerous sufferers may be 
seen bulging out of the windows. 

The same gentleman thinks that Beauregard will 
be obliged to attack Washington at once, or resign 
his commission and go to the Dry Tortugas with his 
whole army. They are called the Dry Tortugas, my 
boy, because not a cocktail was ever known to be 
raised there. 

A perfectly reliable but respectable person arrived 
here yesterday from Paris, and brings highly impor 
tant intelligence from North Carolina. He has been 
permitted to sleep with a gentleman formerly residing 
in that State, and his report is credited by the Ad 
ministration. Nearly all the people of North Caro 
lina are devoted Union men at heart, and would 
gladly rally around the old flag, if it were not for the 
fact that nearly all the rest of the people of the State 
are secessionists and won t let them. In a town of 



96 ORPHEUS C. KEKR PAPERS. 

7jO inhabitants, 748 and a half (one small boy) are 
determined Unionists ; but the remainder, who are 
brutal traitors, have seized all the arms in the place, 
and threaten all who oppose them with instant death. 
At Raleigh, a mob consisting of three secessionists, 
has seized the post-office and all the letters of marque 
found in it. Marque has fled from the State. Since 
the victory of Hatteras Inlet, the .Union men have 
taken courage, and say, that if the Government will 
send two hundred thousand men to their assistance, 
and seventy-five rifled cannon, they can expel their 
oppressors in a few years. These true patriots must 
be instantly assisted, or a decimated and infuriated 
people will demand the expulsion of the entire Cabi 
net, and an entirely new issue of contracts for shoddy. 
In the interior of North Carolina there has been a 
rising of slaves. In fact, they rise every morning 
very early. From this the Tribune report of a negro 
insurrection originated. 

I formed a new acquaintance the other day, my 
boy, in the shape of the Calcium Light Eegiment, 
which is now ready to receive a few more recruits. 
The Calcium Light Regiment was born in Boston, 
near Bunker Hill Monument, and is now about sixty- 
five years old. He has become greatly demoralized 
from going without his rations for some days past, 
and is what may be called a skeleton regiment. He 
says that if he goes without them much longer, he ll 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 97 

soon be as light as a 12-inch, comet, and won t need 
much calcium to blind the enemy to his presence. 
He s very light, my boy, and his features are so 
sharp that he might be used to spike a cannon with. 
The Calcium Light Kegiment was recruited at great 
expense in New York, and went into camp on Biker s 
Island, until Secretary Cameron ordered his colonel 
to bring him on immediately for the defence of Wash 
ington. The regiment has three officers, and will 
elect the others as soon as his voice is strong enough. 
He says that he is a regiment of 1,000 men ; he 
says that 1,000 is simply the figure 1 and three ci 
phers, and that he represents the 1, and his three 
officers the three ciphers. 

I believe him, my boy ! 

Villiam Brown, of Kegiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, 
asked his colonel last week for leave to go to New 
York on recruiting service, and got it. He came back 
to-day, and says the colonel to him : 

" Where s your recruits ?" 

Villiam smiled sweetly, and remarked that he didn t 
see it. 

" Why, you went to New York on recruiting ser 
vice, didn t you ?" exclaimed the colonel. 

"Yes," says Villiam, "I went to recruit my 
health." 

The colonel immediately administered the Oath to 
9 



98 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

him. The Oath, my boy, tastes well with lemon 
in it. 

The women of America, my boy, are noble crea 
tures, and do not forget the brave soldiers of the 
Union. They have just sent the Mackerel Brigade a 
case of umbrellas, and we expect a gross of hair-pins 
by the next train. Yours, meditatively, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XIV. 

SHOWING HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT MADE A SPEECH OF VAGUE 
CONTINUITY, AFTER THE MODEL OF THE LATEST APPROVED STUMP 
ORATORY. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 30th, 1861. 

ANOTHER week has fled swiftly by, my boy, on 
those wings which poets and other long-haired crea 
tures suppose to be eternally flapping through the 
imaginary atmosphere of time ; yet the high old 
battle so long expected has not got any further than 
" heavy firing near the Chain Bridge/ which takes 
place every afternoon punctually at three o clock just 
in time for the evening papers. I have been think 
ing, my boy, that if this heavy firing in the vicinity 
of Chain Bridge lasts a few years longer, it will finally 
become a nuisance to the First Families living in that 
vicinity. But sometimes what is thought to be 
heavy firing is not that exactly ; the other day, a 
series of loud explosions were heard on Arlington 
Heights, and twenty-four reporters immediately tele 
graphed to twenty-four papers that five hundred 
thousand rebels had attacked our lines with two 
thousand rifled cannon, and had been repulsed with 



100 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

a loss of fourteen thousand killed. Federal loss 
one killed, and two committed suicide. But when 
General McClellan came to inquire into the cause of 
the explosions, this report was somewhat modified : 

" What was that firing for ?" he asked an orderly, 
who had just come over the river. 

" If you please, sir/ responded the sagacious ani 
mal, "there was no firing at all. It was Villiam 
Brown, of Kegiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, which has 
a horrible cold, and sneezes in that way/ 

Villiam has since been ordered to telegraph to the 
War Department whenever he sneezes, so that no 
more of these harrowing mistakes may be made. 

Last night, my boy, an old rooster from Cattarau- 
gus, who wants a one-horse post-office, and thinks 
I ve got some influence with Abe the Venerable, 
brought six big Dutchmen to serenade me ; and, as 
soon I opened the window to damn them, he called 
unanimously for a speech. At this time, my boy, an 
immense crowd, consisting of two policemen and a 
hackman, were drawn to the spot, and greeted me with 
great applause. Feeling that their intentions were 
honorable, I could not bear to disappoint my fel 
low-citizens, and so I was constrained to make the 
following 

SPEECH. 

Men of America : It is with feelings akin to emo 
tion that I regard this vast assemblage of Nature s 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 101 

noblemen, and reflect that it comes to do honor to 
me, who have only performed my duty. Gentlemen, 
my heart is full ; as the poet says : 

" The night shall be filled with burglars, 

And tho chaps that infest the day 
Shall pack up their duds like peddlers, 
And carry the spoons away." 

It seems scarcely five minutes ago that this vast 
and otherwise large country sprung from chaos at 
the call of Columbus, and immediately commenced 
to produce wooden nutmegs for a foreign shore. It 
seems but three seconds ago that all this beautiful 
scene was a savage wild, and echoed the axe-falls of 
the sanguinary pioneer, and the footfalls of the Last 
of the Mohicans. Now what do I see before me ? 
A numerous assembly of respectable Dutchmen, and 
other Americans, all ready to prove to the world that 

" Truth crushed to earth shall rise agaio, 
The immortal ears of jack are hers ; 
But Sarah languishes in pain 
And dyes, amid her worshipers." 

I am convinced, fellow-citizens, that the present 
outrageous war is no ordinary row, and that it cannot 
be brought to a successful termination without some 
action on the part of the Government. If to believe 
that a war cannot rage without being prosecuted, is 
abolitionism, then I am an abolitionist ; if to believe 
that a good article of black ink can be made out of 

9* 



102 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

black men, is republicanism, then I am a republican ; 
but we are all brothers now, except that fat Dutch 
man, who has gone to sleep on his drum, and I pro 
nounce him an accursed secessionist : 

" How doth the little busy beo 
Improve each shining hour, 
And gathers beeswax all the day, 
From every opening flower." 

Men of America, shall these things longer be ? I 
address myself particularly to that artist with the 
accordeon, who don t understand a word of English 
shall these things longer be ? That s what I want to 
know. The majestic shade of Washington listens 
for an answer, and I intend to send it by mail as soon 
as I receive it. Fellow citizens, it can no longer be 
denied that there is treason at our very hearthstones. 
Treason merciful Heavens ! 

" Come rest in this bosom, my own little dear, 

The Honourable R. M. T. Hunter is here ; 

I know not, I care not, if jilt s in that heart, 

I but know that I love tuee, whatever thou art." 

And now the question arises, is Merrill s tariff really 
a benefit to the country ? Gentlemen, it would be 
unbecoming in me to answer this question, and you 
would be incapable of understanding what I might 
say on the subject. The present is no time to think 
about tariffs : our glorious country is in danger, and 
there is a tax of three per cent, on all incomes over 



ORPHEUS C. KERll PAPERS. 103 

eight hundred dollars. Let each man ask himself in 
Dutch : " Am I prepared to shoulder my musket if I 
am drafted, or to procure a reprobate to take my 
place ?" In other words : 

" The minstrel returned from the war, 

With insects at large in his hair, 
And having a tuneful catarrh, 

He sung through his nose to his fair." 

Therefore, it is simply useless to talk reason to those 
traitors, who forget the words of Jackson words, let 
me add, which I myself do not remember. Animated 
by an unholy lust for arsenals, rifled cannon, and 
mints, and driven to desperation by the thought that 
Everett is preparing a new Oration on Washington, 
and Morris a new song on a young woman living up 
the Hudson River, they are overturning the altars of 
their country and issuing treasury bonds, which can 
not be justly called objects of interest. What words 
can express the horrors of such unnatural crime ? 

" Oft in the chilly night, 

"When slumber s chains have bound me, 
Soft Mary brings a light, 
And puts a shawl around me." 

Such, fellow-citizens, is the condition of our un 
happy country at present, and as soon as it gets any 
better I will let you know. An Indian once asked a 
white man for a drink of whisky. " No !" said the 
man, " you red skins are just ignorant enough to ruin 



104 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

yourselves with liquor." The sachein looked calmly 
into the eyes of the insulter, as he retorted : " You 
say I am ignorant. How can that be when I am a 
well-red man ?" 

And so it is, fellow-citizens, with this Union at 
present, though I am not able to show exactly where 
the parallel is. Therefore, 

" Let us then be up and wooing, 

"With a heart for any mate, 
Still proposing, still pursuing, 
Learn to court her, and to wait." 

At the conclusion of this unassuming speech, my 
boy, I was waited upon by a young man, who asked 
me if I did not want to purchase some poetry ; he 
had several yards to sell, and warranted it to wash. 
Yours, particularly, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR, 



LETTER XV. 

WHEREIN WILL BE FOUND THE PARTICULARS OF A VISIT TO A SUS 
PECTED NEWSPAPER OFFICE, AND SO ON. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 2d, 1861. 

THIS is a time, my boy, when it is the duty of 
every American citizen to make himself into a com 
mittee of safety, for the good of the republic, and 
make traitors smell the particular thunder of national 
vengeance. The eagle, my boy, has spread his san 
guinary wings for a descent upon the bantams of 
secession ; and if we permit his sublime pinions to 
be burthened with the shackles of domestic sedition, 
we are guilty of that which we do, and are otherwise 
liable to the charge of committing that which we per 
form. These thoughts came to me yesterday, after I 
had taken the Oath six times, and so overpowered me 
that I again took the Oath, with a straw in it. Just 
then it struck me that the Daily Union, published 
near Alexandria, ought to be suppressed for its trea 
son ; and I immediately started for the office, with 
an intention to offer personal violence to the editor. 
I found him examining a cigar through the bottom 



106 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

of a tumbler, whilst on the desk beside him lay the 
first "proof "of 

THE EDITOR S WOOING. 

"We love thee, Ann Maria Smith, 

And in thy condescension, 
We see a future full of joys 

Too numerous to mention. 

There s Cupid s arrow in thy glance, 

That by thy love s coercion 
Has reached our melting heart of hearts, 

And asked for one insertion. 

With joy we feel the blissful smart, 

And ere our passion ranges, 
We freely place thy love upon 

The list of our exchanges. 

There s music in thy lowest tone, 

And silver in thy laughter; 
And truth but we will give the full 

Particulars hereafter. 

Oh! we could tell thee of our plans 

All obstacles to scatter; 
But we are full just now, and have 

A press of other matter. 

Then let us marry, Queen of Smiths, 

Without more hesitation; 
The very thought doth give our blood 

A larger circulation ! 

When the editor noticed my presence, he scowled 
so that his spectacles dropped off. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 107 

" Ha, my fine little fellow," says he, hastily ; " I 
don t want to buy any poetry to-day." 

" Don t fret yourself, my venerable cherub," says 
I ; " I don t deal in poetry at present. I just came 
here to tell you that if you don t stop writing trea 
son, I ll suppress you in the name of the United 
States." 

" You re a mudsill mob," says he ; " and I don t 
allow no violent mobs around this office. I am an 
American citizen, and I won t stand no mobs. What 
does the Constitution say about newspapers ? Why, 
the Constitution don t say anything about them ; so 
you ve got no Constitutional authority for mobbing 
me." 

" Then take the Oath," says I. 

He looked at me for a moment, and then passed 
me a small black bottle. I held it up over my eyes 
for some time, to see if it was perfectly straight, and 
he remarked that if all Northerners took the Oath as 
freely as I did, they must be a water-proof conglom 
eration of patriots. I believe him, my boy ! 

The Mackerel Brigade has established a cookery 
department for itself, and is using a stove recently 
patented by the colonel of Regiment 5. This stove 
is a miraculous invention, and has already made for 
tunes for six cooks and a scullion. You put a shil 
ling s worth of wood into it, which first cooks your 
meat and then turns into two shilling s worth of char- 



108 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

coal ; so you make a shilling every time you kindle a 
fire. 

Yesterday, a gentleman, brought up to the oyster- 
trade, and who has made several voyages on the 
Brooklyn ferry-boats, exhibited the model of a new 
gun-boat to the Secretary of the Navy. He said its 
great advantage was that it could easily be taken to 
pieces ; and the Secretary was just going to order 
seventy-five for use in Central Park, when it leaked 
out that when once the gun-boat was taken to pieces 
there was no way of putting it together again. Only 
for this, my boy, we might have a gun-boat in every 
cistern. Yours, nautically, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XVI. 

INTRODUCING THE GOTHIC STEED, PEGASUS, AND THE REMARKABLE 
GERMAN CAVALRY FROM THE AVEST. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., October Cth, 1861. 

THE horse, my boy, is an animal in which I have 
taken a deep interest ever since the day on the Union 
Course, when I bet ten dollars that the " Pride of 
the Canal "would beat "Lady Clamcart," and was 
compelled to leave my watch with Mr. Simpson on 
the following morning. The horse, my boy, is the 
swarthy Arab s bosom friend, the red Indian s solitary 
companion, and the circus proprietor s salvation. One 
of these noble animals was presented to me last week, 
by an old-maid relative whose age I once guessed to 
be "about nineteen." The glorious gift was accom 
panied by a touching letter, my boy ; she honored 
my patriotism, and the self-sacrificing spirit that had 
led me to join the gallant Mackerel Brigade, and get 
a furlough as soon as a rebel picket appeared ; she 
loved me for my mother s sake, and as she happened 
to have ten shillings about her, she thought she would 
buy a horse with it for me. Mine, affectionately, 
Tabitha Turnips. 

10 



110 ORPHEUS C. KEER PAPERS. 

Ah, woman ! glorious woman ! what should we do 
without thee ? All our patriotism is but the inspi 
ration of thy proud love, and all our money is but the 
few shillings left after thou hast got through buying 
new bonnets. Oh ! woman thoughtful woman ! the 
soldier thanks thee for sending him pies and cakes 
that turn sour before they leave New York ; but, for 
heaven s sake don t send any more havelocks, or 
there ll be a crisis in the linen market. It s a com 
mon thing for a sentry to report " eighty thousand 
more havelocks from the women of America ;" and 
then you ought to hear the Brigadier of the Mackerel 
Brigade cuss ! "Jerusalem !" says he, " if any more 
havelocks come this afternoon, tell them that I ve 
gone out and won t be back for three weeks. Thun 
der I" says he, " there s enough havelocks in this here 
deadly tented field to open a brisk trade with Europe, 
and if the women of America keep on sending them, 
I m d d if I don t start a night-cap shop/ The 
general is a profane patriarch, my boy, and takes the 
Oath hot. The Oath, my boy, is improved by nut 
meg and a spoon. 

But to return to the horse which woman s generos 
ity has made me own me be-yuteous steed. The 
beast, my boy, is fourteen hands high, fourteen hands 
long, and his sagacious head is shaped like an old- 
fashioned pick-axe. Viewed from the rear, his style 
of architecture is gothic, and he has a gable-end, to 



ORPHEUS C. KEKU PAPERS. Ill 

which his tail is attached. His eyes, my boy, are two 
pearls, set in mahogany, and before he lost his sight, 
they were said to be brilliant. I rode down to 
the Patent Office, the other day, and left him 
leaning against a post, while I went inside to 
transact some business. Pretty soon the Commis 
sioner of Patents came tearing in like mad, and 
says he : 

" I d like to know whether this is a public building 
belonging to the United States, or a second-hand 
auction- shop." 

"What mean you, sirrah ?" I asked majesti 
cally. 

" I mean/ says he, " that some enemy to his coun 
try has gone and stood an old mahogany umbrella- 
stand right in front of this office/ 

To the disgrace of his species be it said, my boy, 
he referred to the spirited and fiery animal for which 
I am indebted to woman s generosity. I admit that 
when seen at a distance, the steed somewhat resem 
bles an umbrella-stand ; but a single look into his 
pearly eyes is enough to prove his relations with the 
animal kingdom. 

I have named him Pegasus, in honor of Tupper, 
and when I mount him, Villiam Brown, of Com 
pany 3, Regiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, says that I 
remind him of Santa Glaus sitting astride the roof of 
a small gothic cottage, holding on by the chimney. 



112 ORPHEUS C. KEER PAPERS. 

Villiam is becoming rather too familiar, my boy, and 
I hope he ll be shot at an early day. 

Yesterday the army here was reenforced with a 
regiment of fat German cavalry from the West, under 
the command of Colonel Wobert Wobinson, who has 
had great experience in keeping a livery-stable. Their 
animals are well calculated to turn the point of a 
sword, and are of the high-backed fluted pattern, 
very glossy at the joints. I saw one of the dragoons 
cracking nuts on the backbone of the Arabian he rode, 
and asked him about how much such an animal was 
worth without the fur ? He considered for a moment 
and then remarked that nix fustay and dampfnoodle, 
though many believed that swei glass und sweitzer- 
kase ; but upon the whole, it was nix cumarouse and 
apple-dumplings, notwithstanding the fact thatyawpy, 
yawpy, betterish. Singular to relate, my boy, I had 
arrived at the very same conclusion before I asked 
him the question. 

Colonel Wobert Wobinson reviewed the regiment 
near Chain Bridge this morning, and each horse used 
about an acre to turn around in. Just before the 
order to " charge" was given, the orderly sergeant 
kindled a fire under each horse, and when the charge 
commenced, only about six of the animals laid down. 
Colonel Wobinson remarked that these six horses were 
in favor of peace, and refused to fight against their 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 113 

Southern brethren. I told him I thought that the 
peace breed had longer ears ; and he said that that 
kind had been very scarce since the Government com 
menced appointing its foreign consuls. 

Yours, hoarsely, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 

10* 



LETTER XVII. 

NOTING A NEW VICTORY OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE IN VIRGINIA, 
AND ILLUSTRATING THE PECULIAR THEOLOGY OF VILLIAM BROWN; 
WITH SOME MENTION OF THE SHARP-SHOOTERS. 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., October 18th, 1S61. 

AT an early hour yesterday morning, while yet the 
dew was on the grass, and on everything else green 
enough to be out at that matinal hour, my boy, I 
saddled my gothic steed Pegasus, and took a trot for 
the benefit of my health. Having eaten a whole 
straw bed and a piece of an Irishman s shoulder dur 
ing the night, my architectural beast was in great 
spirits, my boy, and as he snuffed the fresh air and 
unfurled the remnants of his warlike tail to the breeze 
of heaven, I was reminded of that celebrated Arabian 
steed which had such a contempt for the speed of all 
other horses that he never would run with them in 
fact, my boy, he never would run at all. 

Having struck a match on that rib of Pegasus which 
was most convenient to my hand, I lit a cigar, and 
dropped the match, still burning, into the right ear 
of my fiery charger. Something of this kind is always 
necessary to make the sagacious animal start ; but 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 115 

when once I get his mettle up he never stops, unless 
he happens to hear some crows cawing in the air just 
ahove his venerable head. I am frequently glad that 
Pegasus has lost his eyesight, my boy : for could he 
see the expression on the faces of some of these same 
crows, when they get near enough to squint along his 
backbone, it would wound his sensibilities fearfully. 

On this occasion he carried me, at a speed of 2.40 
hours a mile, to a point just this side of Alexandria, 
where the sound of heavy cannonading and cursing 
made me pause. At first, my boy, I remembered an 
engagement I had in Washington, and was about to 
hasten back ; but while I was pressing the lighted end 
of my cigar to the side of Pegasus, to make him turn, 
Colonel Wobert Wobinson, of the Western Cavalry, 
came walking toward me from a piece of woods on my 
right, and informed me that ten of his men had just 
been attacked by fourteen thousand rebels, with 
twenty columbiads. " The odds/ says he, " is rather 
heavy ; but our cause is the noblest the world ever 
knew, and if my brave boys do not vanquish the un 
natural foe, an indignant and decimated people will 
at once call upon the Cabinet to resign." 

I told him that I thought I had read something 
like that in the Tribune ; but he didn t seem to 
hear me. 

By this time the cannonading had commenced to 
subside, and as I trotted alongside of Colonel Wob- 



116 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

inson toward the field of battle, I asked him what he 
had done with his horse. He replied, that while on 
his way to the field, his sagacious beast had observed 
a hay-stack, and was so entranced with the vision 
that he refused to go a step further ; so he had to 
leave him there. 

Upon reaching the scene of strife, my boy, we dis 
covered that the ten Western Cavalry men had routed 
the rebels, killing four regiments, which were all car 
ried away by their comrades, and capturing six 
columbiads, which were also carried away. On our 
side nobody was killed nor wounded. In fact, two of 
our men, who went into the fight sick with the mea 
sles, were entirely cured, and captured four good 
surgeons. I must state, however, my boy, that al 
though nobody was killed or wounded on our side, 
there was one man missing. It seems that when he 
found the balls flying pretty thickly about his ears, ho 
formed himself into a hollow-square, my boy, and 
retreated in good order into the neighboring bushes. 
He formed himself into a hollow-square by bending 
gently forward until his hands touched the ground, 
and made his retrograde movement on all-fours. 
Colonel Wobinson remarked that this style of forming 
a hollow-square was an intensely-immense thing on 
Hardee. 

I believe him, my boy ! 

The women of America, my boy, are a credit to 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 117 

the America eagle, and a great expense to their hus 
bands and fathers, but they don t exactly understand 
the most pressing wants of the soldier. For instance, 
a young girl, about seventy-five years of age, has 
been sending ten thousand pious tracts to the Mack 
erel Brigade, and the consequence is, that the air 
around the camp has been full of spit-balls for a 
week. These tracts, my boy, are very good for dying 
sinners and other Southerners, but I d rather have 
Bulwer s novels for general reading. Villiam Brown, 
of Company 3, Regiment 5, got one of them the other 
day, headed, " Who is your Father ?" The noble 
youth read the question over once or twice, and then 
dashed the publication to the ground, and took some 
tobacco to check his emotions. (That brave youth s 
father, my boy, is a disgrace to his species ; he has 
been sinking deeper and deeper in shame for some 
months past, until at last his name has got on the 
Mozart Hall ticket.) I saw that Villiam didn t un 
derstand what the tract really meant, and so I ex 
plained to him that it was intended to signify that 
God was his Father. The gifted young soldier looked 
at me dreamily for a moment, and then says he : 

"God is my Father!" says he. "Well, now I 
am hanged if that ain t funny ; for, whenever mother 
spoke of dad, she always called him ( the old devil ! " 

Villiam never went to Sabbath- school, my boy, and 



118 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

his knowledge of theology wouldn t start a country- 
church. 

Wishing to find out if he knew anything about 
catechism, I asked him ; last Sunday afternoon, if he 
knew who Moses was. 

" Yes/ says he, " I know him very well ; he sells 
old clothes in Chatham street." 

I went over to Virginia the other day to review 
Berdan s Sharpshooters, and was much astonished, 
my boy, at their wonderful skill with the rifle. The 
target is a little smaller than the side of a barn, with 
a hole through the centre exactly the size of a bullet. 
They set this up, my boy, just six hundred yards 
away, and fire at it in turn. After sixty of them had 
fired, I went with them to the target, but couldn t see 
that it had been hit by a single bullet. I remarked 
this to the captain, whereupon he looked pityingly at 
me, and says he : 

" Do you see that hole in the bull s eye, ^ust the 
size of a bullet ?" 

I allowed that I did. 

"Well," says he, "the bullets all went through 
that hole." 

Now I don t mean to say that the captain lied, my 
boy ; but it s my opinion my private opinion, my 
boy, that if he ever writes a work of fiction, it will 
sell ! 

La Mountain has been up in his balloon, and went 



ORPHEUS c. KERR PAPERS. 119 

so high that he could see all the way to the Gulf of 
Mexico, and observe what they had for dinner at Fort 
Pickens. He made discoveries of an important char 
acter, my boy, and says that the rebels have concen 
trated several troops at Manassas. A reporter of the 
Tribune asked him if he could see any negro insurrec 
tions, and he said that he did see some black spots 
moving around near South Carolina, but found out 
afterward that they were some ants which had got 
into his telescope. 

The Prince de Joinville s two sons, my boy, are 
admirable additions to General McClellan s staff, and 
speak English so well that I can almost understand 
what they say. Two Arabs are expected here to 
morrow to take command of Irish brigades, and 
General Blenker will probably have two Aztecs to 
assist him in his German division. 

Yours, musingly, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XVIII. 

DESCRIBING THE TERRIBLE DEATH AND MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE 
OF A CONFEDERATE PICKET, WITH A TRIBUTE TO HIS MEMORY. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 2Sth, 1861. 

MY head swells with patriotic pride when I casually 
remark that the Mackerel Brigade occupy the post of 
honor to the left of Bull Bun, which they also left 
on the day we celebrated. The banner which was 
presented to us by the women of America, and which 
it took the orator of the day six hours and forty min 
utes to describe to us, we are using in the shape of 
blazing neck- ties ; and when the hard-up sun of Vir 
ginia shines upon the glorious red bands around the 
sagacious necks of our veterans, they all look as 
though they had just cut their throats. The effect is 
gory, my boy extremely gory and respectable. 

At the special request of Secretary Seward, who 
wrote six letters about it to the Governors of all the 
States, I have been appointed a picket of the army of 
the Upper Potomac. In your natural ignorance, my 
boy, you may not know why a man is called a picket. 
He is called a picket, my boy, because, if anybody 
drops a pocket-book or a watch anywhere, his natural 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 121 

gifts would cause him to pick-it up. If he saw a 
pocket, he would not pick-it oh, no ! But pick-it 
picket. 

The Picket, my boy, has been an institution ever 
since wars began, and his perils are spoken of by some 
of the high old poets in these beautiful lines : 

" The chap thy tactics doom to bleed to-day 
Had he thy reasons, would he poker play ? 
Pleased to the last, he does a deal of good, 
And licks the man just sent to shed his blood. 1 

I am weeping, my boy. 

While on my lonely beat, about an hour ago, a 
light tread attracted my attention, and looking up, 
I beheld one of secesh s pickets standing before me. 

" Soldier/ says he, " you remind me of my grand 
mother, who expired before I was born ; but this un 
natural war has made us enemies, and I must shoot 
you. Give me a chaw terbacker." 

He was a young man, my boy, in the prime of life, 
and descended from the First Families of Virginia. 

I looked at him, and says I : 

" Let s compromise, my brother." 

" Never !" says he. " The South is fighting for her 
liberty, her firesides, and the pursuit of happiness, and 
I desire most respectfully to welcome you with bloody 
hands to a hospitable grave." 

" Stand off ten paces," says I, " and let s see whose 
name shall come before the coroner first." 

6 



122 OEPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

He took his place, and we fired simultaneously. I 
heard a ball go whistling by a barn about a quarter 
of a mile on my right ; and, when the smoke cleared 
away, I saw the secesh picket approaching me with 
an awful expression of woe on his otherwise dirty 
countenance. 

" Soldier/ says he, " was there anything in my 
head before you fired ?" 

" Nothing/ says I, " save a few harmless insects." 

" I speak not of them/ says he. "Was there any 
thing inside of my head ?" 

"Nothing !" says I. 

." Well/ says he, "just listen now." 

He shook his head mournfully, and I heard some 
thing rattle in it. 

" What s that ?" I exclaimed. 

" That," says he, " is your bullet, which has pene 
trated my skull, and is rolling about in my brain. I 
die happy, and with an empty stomach ; but there is 
one thing I should like to see before I perish for my 
country. Have you a quarter about you ?" 

Too much affected to speak, I drew the coin from 
my pocket and handed it to him. 

The dying man clutched it convulsively, and stared 
at it feverishly. 

" This," said he, " is the first quarter I ve seen 
since the fall of Sumter ; and, had I wounded you, I 
should have been totally unable to give you any quar- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 123 

ter. Ah ! how beautiful it is ! how bright, how ex 
quisite, and good for four drinks ! But I have not 
time to say all I feel." 

The expiring soldier then laid down his gun, hung 
his cap and overcoat on a branch of a tree, and blew 
his nose. 

He then died. 

And there I stood, my boy, on that lonely beat, 
looking down on that fallen type of manhood, and 
thinking how singular it was he had forgotten to give 
me back my quarter. 

As I looked upon him there, I could not help think 
ing to myself, " here is another whose home shall 
know him no more." 

The sight and the thought so affected me, that I 
was obliged to turn my back on the corpse and walk 
a little way from it. When I returned to the spot, 
the body was gone ! Had it gone to Heaven ? 
Perhaps so, my boy perhaps so ; but I hav n t seen 
my quarter since. 

Your own picket, 

ORPHEUS 0. KERR. 



LETTER XIX. 

NOTICING THE ARKIVAL OF A SOLID BOSTON MAN WITH AN UNPRE 
CEDENTED LITERARY PRIZE, AND SHOWING HOW VILLIAM BROWN 
WAS TRIUMPHANTLY PROMOTED. 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., November , 1861. 

HAVING just made a luscious breakfast, my boy, 
on some biscuit discovered amid the ruins of Hercu- 
laneum, and purchased expressly for the grand army 
by a contracting agent for the Government, I take a 
sip of coffee from the very boot in which it was 
warmed, and hasten to pen my dispatch. 

On Wednesday morning, my boy, the army here was 
reenforced by a very fat man from Boston, who said 
he d been used to Beacon street all the days of his life, 
and considered the State House somewhat superior to 
St. Peter s at Rome. He was a very fat man, my boy: 
eight hands high, six and a half hands thick, and his 
head looked like a full moon sinking in the west at 
five o clock in the morning. He said he joined the 
army to fight for the Union, and cure his asthma, and 
Colonel Wobert Wobinson thoughtfully remarked, 
that he thought he could grease a pretty long bayonet 
without feeling uncomfortable. This fat man, my 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 125 

boy, was leaning down to clean his boots just outside 
of a tent, when the General of the Mackerel Brigade 
happened to come along, and got a back view of 
him. 

" Thunder !" says the general, stopping short ; 
" who s been sending artillery into camp ?" 

" There s no artillery here, my boy," says I. 

" Well," says he, " then what s the gun-carriage 
doing here ?" 

I explained to him that what he took for a gun- 
carriage was a fat patriot blacking his boots ; and he 
said that he be dam. 

Soon after the arrival of this solid Boston man, my 
boy, I noticed that he always carried about with him, 
suspended by a strap under his right arm, something 
carefully wrapped in oilskin. He was sitting with me 
in my room at Willard s the other evening, and says 
I to him : 

"What s that you hug so much, my Plymouth 
Rocker ?" 

He nervously clutched his treasure, and says he : 

"It s an unpublished poem of the Honorable 
Edward, which I found in a very old album in Beacon 
street. It s an immortal and unpublished poem," 
says he, fondly taking a roll of manuscript from the 
oilskin wrapper, " by the greatest and most silent 
statesman of the age. You ll recognize the style at 
once. Listen 



126 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

ADVICE TO A MAID. 

Perennial maiden, thou art no less fair 
Than those whose fairness barely equals thine ; 
And like a cloud on Athos is thy hair, 
Touched with Promethean fire to make it shine 
Above the temple of a soul divine ; 
And yet, methinks, it doth resemble, too, 
The strands Berenice mid the stars doth twine, 
As Mitchell s small Astronomy doth show ; 
Procure the book, dear maid, when to the town you go. 

Young as thou art, thou might st be younger still, 
If divers years were taken from thy life : 
And who shall say, if marry man you will, 
You may not prove some man s own wedded wife ? 
Such things do happen in this worldly strife, 
If they take place that is, if they are done ; 
For with warm love this earthly dream is rife 
And where love shines there always is a sun 
As I remark in my Oration upon Washington. 

Supposing thou dost marry, thou wilt yearn 
For that which thou dost want ; in fact, desire 
The wisdom shaped for older heads to learn, 
And well designed to tame Youth s giddy fire : 
The wisdom, conflicts with the world inspire, 
Such as, perchance, I may myself possess, 
Though I am but a man, as was my sire, 
And own not wisdom such as gods may bless ; 
For man is naught, and naught is nothingness. 

Still, I may tell thee all that I do know, 
And telling that, tell all I comprehend; 
Since all man hath is all that he can show, 
And what he hath not, is not his to lend. 
Therefore, young maid, if you will but attend, 
You shall hear that which shall salute your ear ; 
But if you list not, I my breath shall spend 
Upon the zephyrs wandering there and here, 
The far-off hearing less, perhaps, than those more near. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 127 

Remember this : thou art thy husband s wife, 
And he the mortal thou art married to ; 
Else, thou fore er hadst led a single life, 
And he had never come thy heart to woo. 
Rememb ring this, do thou remember, too, 
He is thy bridegroom, thou his chosen bride; 
And if unto his side thou provest true, 
Then thou wilt bo for ever at his side ; 
As Tacitus observes, with some degree of pride. 

See that his buttons to his shirts adhere, 
As Trojan Hector to the walls of Troy ; 
And see that not, Achilles-like, appear 
Rents in his stocking-heels ; but be your joy 
To have his wardrobe all your thoughts employ, 
Save such deep thought as may, in duty given, 
Suit to his tastes his dinners ; nor annoy 
Digestion s tenor in its progress even ; 
Then his the joy of Harvard, Boston, and high HeaveJ 

If a .bread-pudding thou wouldst fondly make 
A thing nutritious, but no costly meal 
Of bread that s stale a due proportion take, 
And soak in water warm enough to feel ; 
Then add a strip or two of lemon-peel, 
"With curdled milk and raisins to your taste, 
And stir the whole with ordinary zeal, 
Until the mass becomes a luscious paste. 
Such pudding strengthens man, and doth involve no waste. 

" See thou thy husband s feet are never wet 

For wet brings cold, and colds such direful aches 

As old Parrhasius never felt when set 

On cruel racks or slow impaling stakes. 

Make him abstain, if sick, from griddle-cakes 

They, being rich, his stomach might derange 

And if in thin-soled shoes a walk he takes, 

See that his stockings he doth quickly change. 
Thus should thy woman s love through woman s duties range. 



128 OEPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

And now, fair maiden, all the stars grow pale, 
And teeming Nature drinks the morning dews ; 
And I must hasten to my Orient vale, 
And quick put on a pair of over-shoes. 
If from my words your woman s heart may choose 
To find a guidance for a future way, 
The Olympian impulse and the lyric muse 
In such approval shall accept their pay. 
And so, good-day, young girl ah me ! oh my ! good-day. 

EDWARD EVERDEVOURED. 

As the solid Boston man finished reading this use 
ful poem, he looked impressively at me, and says he : 

" There s domestic eloquence for you ! The Hon 
orable Edward is liberal in his views/ says he, en 
thusiastically, " and treats his subject with some lati 
tude." 

"Yes," says I, thoughtfully, "but they call it 
Platitude, sometimes." 

He didn t hear me, my boy. 

It is with raptures, my boy, that I record the pro 
motion of Villiam Brown, Company 3, Kegiment 5, 
Mackerel Brigade, to the rank of Captain, with the 
privilege of spending half his time in New York, and 
the rest of it on Broadway. Villiam left the army 
of the Upper Potomac to pass his examination here, 
and the Board of Examiners report that he reminded 
them of Napoleon, and made them feel sorry for the 
Duke of Wellington. One of the questions they 
asked him was : 

" Suppose your company was suddenly surrounded 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 129 

by a regiment of the enemy, and you had a precipice 
in your rear, and twenty-seven hostile batteries in 
front what would you do ?" 

Villiam thought a moment, and then says he : 

" I d resign my commission, and write to my mother 
that I was coming home to die in the spring-time." 

"Sensible patriot," says the Board. "Are you 
familiar with the history of General Scott ?" 

" You can bet on it," says Villiam, smiling like a 
sagacious angel ; " General Scott was born in Vir 
ginia when he was quite young, and discovered Scot 
land at an early age. He licked the British in 1812, 
wrote the Waverly Novels, and his son Whahae bled 
with Wallace. Now, old hoss, trot out your com 
mission and let s liquor." 

"Pause, fair youth," says the Board. "What 
makes you think that General Scott had a son named 
Whahae ? We never heard that before." 

" Ha !" says Villiam, agreeably, " that s because 
you don t know poickry. Why," says Villiam, "if 
you ll just turn to Burns works, you ll learn that 

" Scot s wha ha e wi Wallace bled, 

and if that ain t good authority, where s your Shaks- 
peare ?" 

The Board was so pleased with Villiam s learning, 
ray boy, that it gave him his commission, presented 
him with two gun-boats and a cannon, and recom- 



130 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

mended him for President of the New York Histor 
ical Society. 

It was rumored in camp last night, that the army 
would go into winter-quarters, and I asked Colonel 
Wobinson if he couldn t lend me a few of the quarters 
in advance, as I felt like going in right away. He 
explained to me that winter-quarters would only be 
taken in exchange for Treasury Notes, and I with 
drew my proposition for a popular loan. 

Yours, speculative!?, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XX. 

CONCERNING A. SIGNIFICANT BRITISH OUTRAGE, AND THE CAPTURE OF 
MASON AND SLIDELL. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 24th, 1861. 

MR. SEWARD, my boy, who takes the Oath with 
much sugar in it, and is likewise Secretary of State, 
will probably write twenty-four letters to all the 
Governors this week, in consequence of a recent out 
rage committed by Great Britain. I may remark 
with great indignation, that Great Britain is a mem 
ber of one of the New York regiments, my boy, and 
enlisted for the express purpose of stretching his legs. 
He is shaped something like a barrel of ale, and has a 
chin that looks like an apple-dumpling with a stitch 
in its side. As I rode slowly along near Fort Corco 
ran, on my Gothic steed Pegasus, about an hour ago, 
admiring the beauties of Nature, and smoking a pipe 
which was presented to me by the Women of Amer 
ica, I espied Great Britain seated by the roadside, 
contemplating an army biscuit. These biscuit, my 
boy, as I stated last week, were discovered amid the 
ruins of Herculaneum, and were at first taken for 
meteoric stones. 



132 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" Good morning, old Neutrality/ says I, affably, 
" You appear to be lost in religious meditation." 

"Ah !" says he, sighing like the great behemoth of 
the Scriptures, " I was thinking of the way of the 
transgressor. If the hinspired writers," says he, 
" thought the way of the transgressor was ard, I 
wonder what they d think about this ere biscuit." 

"You re jealous of America/ says I, "and it will 
be the painful duty of the Union, the Constitution, 
and the Enforcement of the Law to capture Canada, 
if you continue your abolition harangues against the 
best, the most beneficent and powerful bread in the 
civilized world." 

" Bread !" says he, with a groan in three syllables, 
" do you call this ere biscuit bread ? Why," says he, 
"this ere biscuit is Geology, and if it were in old 
Hingland, it would be taken for one of the Elgin 
marbles, and placed in the British Museum." 

I need scarcely inform you, my boy, that after this 
ungenerous remark of Great Britain, I left him con 
temptuously, and at once proceeded to blockade a 
place where the Oath is furnished in every style. 
We have borne with Great Britain a great while, 
my boy ; but it is now time for us to take Canada, 
and wipe every vestige of British tyranny from the 
face of the Globe. The American eagle, my boy, 
flaps his dark wings over the red-head of battle, and 
as his scarlet eyes rest for a moment on the English 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 133 

Custom House, he softly whispers he simply remarks 
he merely ejaculates GORE ! 

Americans ! fellow-citizens ! foreigners ! and people 
of Boston ! Shall we longer allow the bloated British 
aristocracy to blight us with base abolition procliv 
ities, while Mr. Seward is capable of holding a pen ? 

" Hail, blood and thunder 1 welcome, gentle Gore 1 
Let the loud hewgag shatter every shore 1 
High to the zenith let our eagle fly, 
Ten thousand battles blazing in his eye ! 
Nail our proud standard to the Northern Pole, 
Plant patent earthquakes in each foreign hole! 
Shout havoc, murder, victory, and spoils, 
Till all creation crouches in our toils ! 
Then, when the world to our behest is bent, 
And takes the Herald for its punishment, 
"We ll pin our banner to a comet s tail, 
And shake the Heavens with a big ALL HAIL ! " 

That s the spirit of America, my boy, taken with 
nutmeg on top, and a hollow straw. Very good for 
invalids. 

Next to the question concerning the capacity of 
gunboats for the sweet-potato trade, my boy, the 
great topic of the day is the capture of Slidell and 
Mason, whose arrest so pleased the colonel of the 
Mackerel Brigade, that he got up at nine o clock in 
the morning to tell the President about it. 

In the year 1776, my boy, this Slidell sold candles 
in New York, and was born about two years after the 
marriage of the elder SlidelL While he was yet a 



134 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

young man, he went much into female society, and at 
length offered his hand to a lady. Her father being a 
male, gave his consent to the match, and on the day 
of the wedding, there was a fire in the Seventh Ward. 
Since that time, Slidell has been a married man, and 
was much respected until he got into the Senate. I 
get these facts from a friend of the family, who has 
a set of silver spoons engraved with the name of 
Slidell. 

The rebel Mason was born and bred in the United 
States, and has always been a First Family. He says 
he was going to Europe on account of his health. 

The capture of these men, my boy, cannot fail to 
produce a great sensation in diplomatic circles, and I 
am informed by a reliable gentleman from Weehawken, 
that Mr. Seward is preparing a letter to Lord Lyons 
on the subject. This letter, I learn, will contain some 
such passages as this : 

" I have the honor to say to your lordship, that 
your lordship must be aware of your lordship s im 
portant duty as a Minister to the United States, and 
I trust that your lordship will pay a little attention 
to your lordship s grammar when next your lordship 
addresses your lordship s most obedient servant. Your 
lordship will permit me to say to your lordship, that 
your lordship is in no way capable of interpreting the 
Constitution to your lordship s American friends ; 
and I trust your lordship will not be offended when I 



ORPHEUS C. KEKR PAPERS. 135 

state to your lordship, that your lordship will find 
nothing in the Constitution to compel your lordship 
to demand your lordship s passport on account of the 
recent capture of State prisoners from one of your 
lordship s government s vessels, your lordship." 

I read this extract to Colonel Wobert Wobinson, 
of the Western Cavalry, my boy, and he said its only 
fault was, that it hadn t enough lordships in it. 

" Lordships," says he, "lend an easy grace to State 
documents, and are as aristocratic as a rooster s tail 
at sunrise." 

The colonel is a natural poet, my boy, and abounds 
in pleasing comparisons. 

The review of seventy thousand troops near Mun- 
son s Hill, on Thursday, was one of those stirring 
events, my boy, which we have been upon the eve of 
for the past year. A new cavalry company, for the 
Mackerel Brigade, excited great attention as it went 
past, and I understand the President said that, with 
the exception of the horses and the men, it was one 
of the finest cavalry mobs he ever saw. The horses 
are a new pattern ; fluted sides, polished knobs on 
the haunches, and a hand-rail all the way down the 
back. A rebel caught sight of one of these fine ani 
mals, the other day, and immediately fainted. It 
was afterward ascertained that he owned a field of 
oats in the neighborhood. 

Yours, variously, ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXI. 

DESCRIBING CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN S GREAT EXPEDITION TO ACCO- 
MAC, AND ITS MARVELLOUS SUCCESS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 1st, 1861. 

TwAS early morn, my boy. The sun rushed up 
the eastern sky in a state of patriotic combustion, and 
as the dew fell upon the grassy hill-sides, the moun 
tains lifted up their heads and were rather green. 
Far on the horizon six rainbows appeared, with an 
American Eagle at roost on the top one, and as the 
translucent pearl of the dawn shone between them, 
and a small pattern of blue sky with thirty-four stars 
broke out at one end, I saw I beheld yes, it ees ! 
it ees ! our Banger in the Skee yi ! 

The reason why the heavens took such an interest 
in the United States of America was the fact, that 
Captain Villiam Brown, of Company 3, Eegiment 5, 
Mackerel Brigade, was to make a Great Expedition 
to Accomac County on that morning. Twelve years 
was the period originally assigned, my boy, for the 
preparation of this Expedition ; but, when the gov 
ernment heard that the Accomac rebels were making 
candles of all the fat Boston men they took prisoners, it 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 137 

concluded to do something during the present century. 
Villiain Brown was assigned to the command of the 
Expedition, and when I asked the General of the 
Mackerel Brigade how such selection happened to be 
made, he said that Villiarn was assigned because there 
were so many signs of an ass about him. 

The General is much given to classical metaphors, 
my boy, and ought to write for the new American 
Encyclopedia. 

Previous to starting, Villiain Brown called a meet 
ing of his staff, for the purpose of selecting such 
officers only who had slept with Harclee, and knew 
beans. 

" Gentlemen," said Villiam, seating himself at a 
table, on which stood the Oath and a clean tumbler ; 
" I wish to know which of you is the greatest shakes 
in a sacred skrimmage." 

A respectable lef tenant stepped forward with his 
hand upon his boozum. 

" Being a native of Philadelphia/ says he, " I am 
naturally modest ; but only yesterday, when two 
rebels pitched into me, I knocked them both over, 
and am here to tell the tale." 

Villiam Brown gave the speaker a piercing look, 
my boy, and says he : 

" Impostor ! beware how you insult the United 
States of America. I fathom your falsehood/ says 
he, " by my knowledge of Matthew Maticks. You 
12* 



138 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

say that two chivalries pitched into you, and you 
knocked them, both over. Now Matthew Maticks 
distinctly says that two into one goes no times, and 
nothing over. Speaker of the House, remove this 
lef tenant to the donjon keep. He s Ananias Num 
ber 2." 

The officer from Philadelphia being removed to the 
guard-house, where there is weeping and wailing, and 
picking of teeth, another leftenant stepped for 
ward : 

" I deal in technicalities," says he, " and can post 
you in law." 

"Ha!" says Villiam, softly sipping the Oath, 
" then I will try you with an abstract question, my 
beautiful Belvideary. Supposing Mason and Slidell 
were your friends, how would you work it to get them 
out of Fort Warren ?" 

"Why," said the leftenant, pleasantly, "I d sue 
out a writ of Habeas Jackass, and get the New York 
Herald to advise the Government not to let them 
out." 

"Yes," says Villiam, meditatively, "that would 
be sure to do it. I ll use you to help me get up my 
Proclamation." 

"And now," says Villiam, dropping a lump of 
sugar into the Oath, and stirring it with a comb, 
" who is that air melancholy chap with a tall hat on, 
who looks like Hamlet with a panic ?" 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 139 

The melancholy chap came to the front, shook his 
long locks like Banquo, and says he : 

" I m the Press. I m the Palladium of our Lib 
erties 

" ; Here shall the Press the People s rights maintain, 
Una wed by affluence and inspired by gain. 

I m the best advertising medium in the country, and 
have reptile cotemporaries. I won t be suppressed. 
No, sir ! no, sir ! I refuse to be suppressed/ 

" You re a giant intellek," says Villiam, looking 
at him through the bottom of a tumbler; "but I 
can t stand the press. Speaker of the House, remove 
him to the bath and send for a barber. Now, gentle 
men, I will say a few words to the troops, and then 
we will march according to Hardee." 

The section of the Mackerel Brigade being mus 
tered in line against a rail fence, my boy, Captain 
Yilliam Brown shut one eye, balanced himself on one 
foot, and thus addressed them . 

" FELLOW-SOLDATS ! (which is French.) It was 
originally intended to present you with a stand of 
colors ; but the fellow-citizen who was to present it 
has only got as far as the hundred and fifty-second 
page of the few remarks he intended to make on the 
occasion, and it is a military necessity not to wait for 
him. (See Scott s Tactics, Vol. III., pp. 24.) I have 
but few words to say, and these are them : Should 



140 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

any of you happen to be killed in the coming battle, 
let me implore you to Die without a groan. It sounds 
better in history, as well as in the great, heart-stirring 
romances of the weekly palladiums of freedom. How 
well it reads, that Private Muggins received a shot 
in the neck and died without a groan! Soldats ! 
bullets have been known to pass clean through the 
thickest trees, and so I may be shot myself. Should 
such a calamity befall our distracted country, I shall 
die without a groan, even though I am a grown per 
son. Therefore, fear nothing. The eyes of the whole 
civilized world are upon you, and History and Do 
mestic Romance expect to write that you died with 
out a groan." 

At the conclusion of this touching and appropriate 
speech, my boy, all the men exclaimed : " We will !" 
except a young person from New York, who said 
that he d rather "Groan without a die ;" for which 
he was sentenced to read Seward s next letter. 

The Army being formed into a Great Quadrilateral 
(See Raymond s Tactics), moved forward at a double- 
quick, and reached Accomac just as the impatient sun 
was rushing down. With the exception of a mule, 
the only Virginian to be seen was a solitary Chivalry, 
who had strained himself trying to raise some interest 
from a Confederate Treasury Note, and couldn t get 
away. 

Observing that only one man was in sight, Captain 



OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 141 

Villiam Brown, who had stopped to tie his shoe behind 
a large tree on the left, made a flank movement on the 
Chivalry. 

"Is these the borders of Accomac ?" says he, pleas 
antly. 

" Why !" says the Chivalry, giving a start, "you 
must be Lord Lyons." 

" What makes you think that ?" asked Villiam. 

" Oh, nothing only your grammar/ says Chivalry. 

This made Villiam very mad, my boy, and he or 
dered the bombardment to be commenced immediate 
ly ; but as all the powder had been placed on board a 
vessel which could not arrive under two weeks, it was 
determined to take possession without combustion. 
Finding himself master of the situation, Captain 
Villiam Brown called the solitary Chivalry to him, 
and issued the following 

PROCLAMATION. 

CITIZEN OF ACCOMAC ! I come among you not as 
a incendiary and assassin, but to heal your wounds 
and be your long-lost father. Several of the happiest 
months in my life were not spent in Accomac, and 
your affecting hospitality will make me more than 
jealously-watchful of your liberties and the pursuit 
of happiness. (See the Constitution.) 

Citizen of Accomac ! These brave men, of whom 
I am a spectator, are not your enemies ; they are your 



142 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

brothers, and desire to embrace you in fraternal bonds. 
They wish to be considered your guests, and respect 
fully invite you to observe the banner of our common 
forefathers. In proof whereof I establish the follow 
ing orders : 

I. If any nigger come within the lines of the United 
States Army to give information, whatsomever, 
of the movements of the enemy, the aforesaid 
shall have his head knocked off, and be returned 
to his lawful owner, according to the groceries 
and provisions of the Fugitive Slave Ack. 
(See the Constitution.) 

II. If any chicken or other defenceless object belong 
ing to the South, be brought within the lines 
of the United States Army, by any nigger, his 
heirs, administrators, and assigns, the afore 
said shall have his tail cut off, and be sent 
back to his rightful owner at the expense of 
the Treasury Department. 

III. Any soldier found guilty of shooting the South 
ern Confederacy, or bothering him in any man 
ner whatsomever, the same shall be deemed 
guilty of disorderly conduct, and be pronounced 
an accursed abolitionist. 

VILLIAM BROWN, Eskevire, 
Captain Conic Section Mackerel Brigade, 
Commanding Accomac. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 143 

The citizen of Accomac, my boy, received this 
proclamation favorably, and said ho wouldn t go 
hunting Union pickets until the weather was warmer. 
Whereupon Villiam Brown fell upon his neck and 
wept copiously. 

The Union Army, my boy, now holds undisputed 
possession of over six inches of the sacred soil of Ac 
comac, and this unnatural rebellion has received a 
blow which shakes the rotten fabric to its shivering 
centre. The strong arm of the Government has at 
last reached the stronghold of treason, and in a few 
years this decisive movement on Accomac will be fol 
lowed by the advance of our army on the Potomac. 
Yours, with expedition, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXII. 

TREATING OF VILLIASl S OCCUPATION OF ACCOMAC, AND HIS WISE 
DECISION IN A CONTRABAND CASE. 

WASHINGTON, D. 0., December 16th, 1861. 

AFTER sleeping with Congress for two days, my 
boy, and observing four statesmen and a small page 
driven to the verge of apoplexy by the exciting tale 
called the President s Message, I thought it was about 
time to mingle with the world again, and sent my 
servant, Percy de Mortimer, to bring me my gothic 
steed Pegasus. After a long search in the fields after 
that chaste architectural animal, my boy, he met a 
Missouri picket chap, and says he : 

" Hev .you seen a horse hereabout, my whisky- 
doodle ?" 

" Hoss !" says Missouri, spitting with exquisite 
precision on one of De Mortimer s new boots. " No, 
I aint seen no boss, my Fejee bruiser ; but there s an 
all-fired big crow-roost down in that corner, I reckon ; 
and it must be alive, for I heard the bones rattle when 
the wind blew." 

My valet, Mr. De Mortimer, paid no heed to his 
satirical lowness, my boy, but proceeded majestically 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 145 

to where my gothic beast was eating the remains of a 
straw mattress. Brushing a few crows from the back 
bone of the fond charger, upon which they were inno 
cently roosting, he placed the saddle amidships, and 
conducted the fiery stallion to my hotel. 

Mounting in hot haste, I was about to start for 
Accomac, when the General of the Mackerel Brigade 
came down the steps in hot haste, and says he : 

" Is the Army of the Potomac about to advance ?" 

"Why do you ask ?" says I. 

"Thunder!" says he, "I ve been so long in one 
spot that I was going to get out my naturalization 
papers as a citizen of Arlington Heights. Ah !" says 
he, with a groan, " when the advance takes place I 
shall be too old to enjoy it." 

I asked him why he didn t make arrangements to 
have his grandson take his place, if he should become 
superanuated before the advance took place ; and he 
said that he be dam. 

On reaching Accomac, my boy, I found the Conic 
Section of the Mackerel Brigade reconnoitering in 
force after a pullet they had seen the night before. 
Which they couldn t catch it. 

Captain Villiam Brown, my boy, has his head 
quarters in a house with the attic and cellar on the 
same floor. I found two fat pickets playing poker on 
the roof, six first class pickets doing up Old Sledge 
on the rail-fence in front of the door, and eight con- 

13 



146 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

sumptive pickets eating a rooster belonging to the 
Southern Confederacy on the roof of a pig-pen. 

As I entered the aiiy and commodious apartment 
of the command er-in chief, I beheld a sight to make 
the muses stare like the behemoth of the Scriptures, 
and cause genius to take another nip of old rye. 
There was the cantankerous captain, my boy, seated 
on a keg of gunpowder, with his head laid sideways 
on a table ; one hand grasping a bottle half full of 
the Oath, and the other writing something on a piece 
of paper laid at right angles with his nose. 

" Hallo, my interesting infant," says I, " are you 
drawing a map of Pensacola for an enlightened 
press ?" 

" Ha !" says Villiam, starting up, and eyeing me 
closely through the bottom, of a bottle, "you behold 
me in the agonies of composition. Read this poickry," 
says he, " and if it aint double X with the foam off, 
where s your Milton ?" 

I took the paper, my boy, which resembled a speci 
men-card of dead flies, and read this poem : 

" The God of Bottles bo our aid, 

When rebels crack us; 
"We ll bend the bottle-neck to him, 
And he will Bacchus. 

" By Capt. Y ILL: AM BKOWN, Eskevire." 

I told Villiam that everything but the words of his 
poem reminded me of Longfellow, and says he : 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 147 

" Don t mention my undoubted genius in public ; 
because if Seward knew that I wrote poickry, he d 
think I wanted to be President in 1865, and he d get 
the Honest Old Abe to remove me. I think/ says 
Villiam, abstractedly, " that the Honest Old Abe is 
like a big bumble bee with his tail cut off, when his 
Cabinet comes humming around him." 

Villiam once stirred up the monkeys in a menagerie, 
my boy, and his metaphors from Natural History are 
chaste. 

At this moment a file of the Mackerel Brigade 
came in, bringing a son of Africa, who looked like a 
bottle of black ink wrapt up in a dirty towel, and a 
citizen of Accomac, who claimed him as his slave. 

" Captain," says the citizen of Accomac, " this 
nigger belongs to me, and I want him back. Besides, 
he stole a looking-glass from me, and has got it hid 
somewheres." 

Villiam smiled like a pleased clam, and says he : 
" You say he stole a looking-glass ?" 

" I reckon," says Accomac. 

"Prisonier!" says Villiam, to the Ethiop, "did 
you ever see the devil ?" 

" Nebber, sar, since missus died." 

" Citizen "of Accomac," says Villiam, sternly, "you 
have told a whopper ; and I shall keep this child of 
oppression to black the boots of the United States of 
America. You say he stole a looking-glass. He says 



148 ORPHEUS C. KEBR PAPERS. 

he has never seen the devil. Observe now/ says Vil- 
liam, argumentatively, "how plain it is ? that if he 
had even looked at your looking-glass, he must have 
seen the devil about the same time/ 

The citizen of Accomac saw that his falsehood was 
discovered, my boy, and returned to the bosom of his 
family cursing like a rifled parson. Villiam then 
adjourned the court for a week, and sent the contra 
band out to enjoy the blessings of freedom, digging 
trenches. 

It is pleasing, my boy, to see our commanders dis 
pensing justice in this manner ; and I don t wonder 
at the President s wanting to abolish the Supreme 
Court. Yours, judicially, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXIII. 

CONCERNING BRITISII NEUTRALITY AND ITS COSMOPOLITAN EFFECTS, 
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF HOW CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY LOST HIS 
COMPANY. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 20th, 1861. 

WHEN Britain first, at Napoleon s command, my 
boy, arose from out the azure main, this was her 
charter, her charter of the land, that Britains never, 
never, never shall be slaves as. long as they have a 
chance to treat everybody else like niggers. Suffer 
me also to remark, that, Britannia needs no bulwarks, 
no towers along the steep ; her march is o er the 
mountain wave, her home is on the deep where she 
keeps up her neutrality by smuggling contraband 
Southern confederacies, and swearing like a hard 
shell chaplain when Uncle Sam s ocean pickets over 
haul her. 

Albion s neutrality is waking up a savage spirit 
in the United States of America, as you will un 
derstand from the following Irish Idle which was 
written 



150 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 



PRO PAT-RIA. 

Two Irishmen out of employ, 

And out at the elbows as aisily, 
Adrift in a grocery-store 

Were smoking and taking it lazily. 
The one was a broth of a boy, 

Whose cheek-bones turned out and turned in again, 
His name it was Paddy O Toole 

The other was Misther McFinnigan. 

I think of enlistin ," says Pat, 

" Because do you see what o clock it is ; 
There s nothin adoin at all 

But drinkin at Mrs. O Docharty s. 
It s not until after the war 

That business times will begin again, 
And fightin s the duty of all " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" Bad luck to the rebels, I say, 

For kickin up all of this bobbery, 
They call themselves gintlemen, too, 

"While practin murder and robbery ; 
Now if it s gintale for to steal, 

And take all your creditors in again, 
I m glad I m no gintleman born " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" The spalpeens make bould to remark 

Their chivalry couldn t be ruled by us ; 
And by the same token I think 

They re never too smart to bo fooled .by us. 
Now if it s tho nagurs they mane 

Be chivalry, (hen it s a sin again 
To fight for a cause that is black " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 151 

" A nagur s a man, 70 may say, 

And aiqual to all other Southerners ; 
But chivalry s made him a brute, 

And so he s a monkey to Northerners ; 
Sure, look at tho poor cratur s heels, 

And look at his singular shin again j 
It s not for such gintlemen fight " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" The nagur States wanted a row, 

And now, be mo sowl, but they v.e got in it I 
They ve chosen a bed that is hard, 

However they shtrivo for to cotton it. 
I m thiukin , when winter comes on 

They ll all bo inclined to come in again ; 
But then we must bate them at first " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

"Och hone! but it s hard that a swato 

Good-lookin young chap like myself indado, 
Should loose his ten shillius a day 

Because of tho throublo tho South has made : 
But that s just tho raison, ye see, 

"Why I should help Union to win again 
It s that will bring wages once more " 

" You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" Joost mind what ould England s about, 

A sendin her throops into Canaday ; 
And all her ould ships on the coast 

Are ripe for some treachery any day. 
Now if she should mix m tho war 

Bo jabers ! it makes mo head spin again I 
Ould Ireland would have such a chance /" 

" You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" You talk about Irishmen, now, 

Enlistin by thousands from loyalty ; 
But wait till the Phoenix Brigade 

Is called to put down British Royalty ! 



152 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

It s then with the Stars and the Stripes 
All Irishmen here would go in again, 

To strike for the Shamrock and Harp 1" 

" You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

41 Och, murther ! me blood s in a blaze, 

To think of bould Corcoran leading us 
Right into the camp of the bastes 

"Whose leeches so long have been bleeding us ! 
The Stars and the Stripes here at home 

To Canada s walls we would pm again, 
And wouldn t we raise them m Cork ?" 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" And down at the South, do ye mind, 

There s plinty of Irishmen mustering, 
Deluded to fight for the wrong 

By rebel mis-statements and blustering ; 
But once let ould England, their foe, 

To fight with the Union begin again, 
And sure, they d desert to a man!" 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" There s niver an Irishmen born, 

From Maine to the end of Secessiondom. 
But longs for a time and a chance 

To fight for this country in Hessian-dom ; 
And so, if ould England should try 

"With treacherous friendship to sin again, 
They ll all be on one side at once " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

""We ve brothers in Canada, too 

(And didn t the Prince have a taste of them ?) 
To say that to Ireland they re true 

Is certainly saying the laste of them. 
If, bearing our flag at our head, 

"We rose Ireland s freedom to win again, 
They d murther John Bull in the rear 1" 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 153 

" Hurroo ! for the Union, me boys, 

And divil take all who would bother it, 
Secession s a nagur so black 

The divil himself ought to father it ; 
Hurroo ! for the bould 69th, 

That s prisintly bound to go in again ; 
It s Corcoran s rescue they re at " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

" I m off right away to enlist, 

And sure won t the bounty be handy-0 I 
To kapo mo respectably dressed 

And furnish me dudheens and brandy-0 1 
I m thinkin , me excellent friend, 

Ye ro eyeing that bottle of gin again ; 
You wouldn t mind thryiti a drop " 

"You re right, sir," says Misther McFinnigan. 

British neutrality, my boy ; reminds me of a chap 
I orico knew in the Sixth Ward. Two solid men, 
who didn t get drunk more than once a day, were 
running for alderman, and they both made a dead set 
on this chap ; but they hadn t any money, and he 
couldn t see it. 

"See here, old tops," says he, "I ll be a neutral 
this time ; so go in porgies !" 

Well, my boy, the election came off, and neither 
of the old tops was elected. No, sir ! Now, who do 
you suppose ivas elected ? 

The Neutral Chap, my boy ! 

Mad as hornets with the hydrophobia, the two old 
tops went to see him, and says they : 



154 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" Confound your picture, didn t you promise to be 
neutral ?" 

The chap dipped his nose into a cocktail., and then 
says he, blandly : 

" I was neutral, old Persimmonses. I only went 
to fifty Democrats, and got em to vote for me. Then 
to be neutral, I had to get fifty of the other feller s 
Black Kepublicans to do the same thing. Then I 
voted twelve times for myself, and ivent in." 

It was a very beautiful case, my boy, and the old 
tops were only heard to utter they were only known 
to exclaim they were barely able to articulate that 
neutrality didn t pay. 

Early yesterday morning, my boy, Company B, 
Eegiment 3, Mackerel Brigade, went down toward 
Centreville on a reconnoissance in force under Captain 
Bob Shorty. The Captain is a highly intellectual 
patriot, and don t get his sword twisted between his 
legs when he carries it in his hand. He led the com 
pany through the mud like a Christmas duck, until 
they came to a thicket in which something was seen 
to move. 

" Halt, you tarriers \" says Captain Bob Shorty, in 
a voice trembling with bravery. "Form yourselves 
into a square according to Hardee, while I stir up 
this here bush. There s something in that bush," 
says he, "and it s either the Southern Confederacy, 
or some other cow." 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 155 

The captain then leaned up to a tree to make him 
steady on his pins, my boy, and rammed his sword 
into the bushes like a poker into a fire thus : 




Nobody hurt on our side. 

What followed, my boy, can be easily told. At an 
early hour on the evening of the same day, a solitary 
horseman might have been seen approaching "Wash 
ington. It was Captain Bob Shorty, with his hat 
caved in, and a rainbow spouting under his left eye. 
He went straight to the head-quarters of the General 
of the Mackerel Brigade, and says he : 

"General, I ve reconnoitered in force, and found 
the enemy both numerious and cantankerous." 

"Beautiful!" says the general; "but where is 
your company ?" 

"Well, now," says Captain Bob Shorty, "you d 
hardly believe it ; but the last I see of that ere com 
pany, it was engaged in the pursuit of happiness at 
the rate of six miles an hour, with the rebels at the 
wrong end of the track. Dang my rations \" says 



156 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Captain Bob Shorty, "if I don t think that ere bob- 
tailed company has got to Kichmond by this time/ 

" Thunder \" says the general., " didn t they kill any 
of the rebels ?" 

" Nary a Confederacy/ says Captain Bob Shorty. 
" The bullets all rolled out of them ere muskets of 
theirs before the powder got fairly on fire. Them 
muskets/ continued Captain Bob Shorty, "would be 
good for a bombardment. You might possibly hit a 
city with them at two yards range ; but in personal 
encounters they are inferior to the putty-blowers of 
our innocent childhood." 

As the captain made this observation, my boy, he 
stepped hurriedly to the table, lifted a tumbler con 
taining the Oath to his pallid lips, took a seat in the 
coal-scuttle, and burst into a flood of tears. 

Deeply affected by this touching display of a beau 
tiful trait in our common nature, the general placed 
a small piece of ice on the captain s slanting brow, 
and hid his own emotions in a bottle holding about a 
quart. 

In reference to the beautiful battle-piece, accom 
panying this epistle, my boy, allow me to observe 
that it was taken on the spot by the Chiar oscuro 
artist, Patrick de la Koach, well-known in his native 
Italy as " Roachy." He studied in Rome (New 
York), and has a style peculiar for its width of tone 
and length of breath. The dark complexion of the 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 157 

figures in this fine picture represents the effects of the 
Virginia sun. Our troops are much tanned. The 
work was painted in oil colors with a bit of charcoal, 
my boy, and a copy of it will probably be ordered for 
the Capitol. Yours, for high old art, 

OP.PHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXIV. 

NARRATING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE S MANNER OF CELEBRATING 
CHRISTMAS, AND NOTING A DEADLY AFFAIR OF HONOR BETWEEN 
TWO WELL-KNOWN OFFICERS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 26th, 1861. 

A MERRY Christmas and Happy New Year, my 
boy, and the same to yourself. The recurrence of 
these gay old annuals makes me feel as ancient as the 
First Families of Virginia, and as grave as a church 
yard. How well I remember my first Christmas ! 
Early in the morning, my dignified paternal pre 
sented me with a beautiful spanking, and then my 
maternal touched me up with her slipper to stop my 
crying. Sensible people are the women of America, 
my boy ; they slap a boy on his upper end, which 
makes him howl, and then hit him on the other end 
to stop his noise. There s good logic in the idea, my 
boy. That first Christmas of mine was memorable 
from the fact that my present was a drum, on which 
I executed a new opera of my own composition with 
such good effect, that in the evening, a deputation of 
superannuated neighbors and old maids waited on my 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 159 

father with a petition that he would send me to sea 
immediately. 

But to return to the present, suffer me to observe 
that last Wednesday was celebrated by the Mackerel 
Brigade in a manner worthy of the occasion. Two 
hundred turkeys belonging to the Southern Confed 
eracy were served up for dinner, and from what I 
tasted, I am satisfied that they belonged to the First 
Families. They were very tough, my boy. 

In the evening, there was a ball, to which a num 
ber of the women of America were invited. Captain 
Villiam Brown came up from Accomac on purpose to 
attend, and looked, as the General of the Mackerel 
Brigade genteelly expressed it, like a bag of indigo 
that had been out without an umbrella in a hard 
shower of brass buttons. The general has an acute 
perception of the Beautiful, my boy. 

Villiam took the Oath six times, and then took a 
survey of the festive scene through the bottom of a 
tumbler. The first person he recognized was the 
youngest Miss Muggins, waltzing like a deranged bal 
loon with Captain Bob Shorty. Captain Bob was 
spinning around like a dislocated pair of tongs, and 
smirked like a happy fiend. Villiam gave one stare, 
put the tumbler in his pocket, and then made a bee- 
line for the pair. 

" Miss Muggins," says he, " you ll obleege me by 



160 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

dropping that air mass of brass buttons and mous 
taches, and dancing with me." 

" I beg your parding, sir," says Miss Muggins, with 
dignity, " but I chooses my own company." 

" Villiam," says Captain Bob Shorty, " if you don t 
take that big nose of yours away, it will be my pain 
ful duty to set it a little further back in your repul 
sive countenance." 

Then Villiam was mad. He hastily buttoned his 
coat up to the neck, took a bite of tobacco, and says 
he: 

" Captain Shorty, we have lived like br-r-others ; I 
have borrowed many a quarter of you ; and you 
promised that when I died, you would wrap me up 
in the American flag. But now you are mine enemy, 
and ha ! ha ! I am yours. Wilt fight ?" 

Twas enough ! 

" I wilt," responded Captain Bob Shorty. And in 
ten minutes time these desperate men stood face to 
face on the banks of the Potomac, the ghastly moon 
looking solemnly down upon them through a rift of 
floating shrouds ; and one of the First Families of 
Virginia pickets squinting at them from a neighbor 
ing bush. Yilliam s second was Colonel Wobert 
Wobinson of the Western Cavalry, Captain Bob 
Shorty s was Samyule Sa-mith. The fifth of the 
party was a fat surgeon from St. Louis, who stood 
with his sleeves rolled up and a big jack-knife in his 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 161 

hand. The surgeon also had a stomach pump with 
him, my boy, and twelve boxes of anti-bilious pills. 
The weapons were pistols, and the distance seventy 
paces. 

Captain Villiam Brown was observed to shiver, as 
he took his place, and was so cold, that he took aim 
at the surgeon instead of his antagonist. The sur 
geon called his attention to this little error ; and he 
immediately rectified his mistake by pointing his 
weapon point-blank at Samyule Sa-mith. 

" You blood-thirsty cuss !" shouted Samyule, with 
great emotion, " what are you pointing at me for ?" 

"I was thinking of my poor grandmother/ said 
Villiam, feelingly ; and immediately fired at the 
moon. 

Simultaneously, Captain Bob Shorty sent his bullet 
skimming along the ground, in the direction of Wash 
ington, and said that he wanted to go home. 

The surgeon decided that nobody was hurt ; and 
the two infuriated principals commenced to reload 
their pistols, with horrible calmness. 

Now it came to pass, that while Captain Villiam 
Brown was stooping down fixing his weapon, his 
hand became unsteady, and he pulled the trigger, 
without meaning to. Bang ! went the concern, and 
whiz ! went the ball right between the legs of Colonel 
Wobert Wobinson, causing that noble officer to skip 
four times, and swear awfully. 



162 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

"Treachery \" says Captain Bob Shorty, spinning 
around in great excitement, and letting drive at 
Samyule Sa-mith who happened to be nearest. 

" Gaul darn ye !" screamed Samyule, turning pur 
ple in the face, " you ve gone and shot all the rim of 
my cap off." 

" I couldn t help it," says Bob, looking into the 
barrel of his pistol with great intensity of gaze. 

At this moment, Villiam, who had loaded up again, 
tried to put the hammer of his weapon down on the 
cap ; but his hand slipped, and the charge exploded, 
barking the shins of the fat surgeon, and sending a 
bullet clean through his stomach-pump. 

The surgeon just took a seat, my boy, rubbed his 
shins half a second, took four boxes of pills, and then 
began to cuss I Marshal Kynders can cuss some, my 
boy, but that fat surgeon could beat him and all the 
Custom-House together. 

But suddenly a strange sound reduced all else to 
silence. It came first like the rumbling of a barrel 
of potatoes, and then grew into a fiendish chuckle. It 
was found to proceed from a neighboring bush, and on 
proceeding thither the party beheld a sight to make 
the pious weep. Kolling about in the brush was one 
of the First Families of Virginia pickets, kicking his 
heels in the air, and laughing himself right straight 
into apoplexy. 

" Lord !" says he, going into a fresh convulsion, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 163 

" take me prisoner and hang me for a rebel, but I 
never did see such a good one as that air gay old 
duel. If you d kept on/ says the picket, turning 
purple in the face, " I really reckon I should a busted 
myself." 

Captain Villiam Brown was greatly scandalized at 
this unseemly mirth, my boy, and requested the sur 
geon to cut the picket s head off ; but Colonel Wobert 
Wobinson interposed, and the laughing chap was only 
made prisoner. 

"And now, Villiam/ says Captain Bob Shorty, 
" we ve had the satisfaction of gentlemen, and can be 
friends again. I spurns Miss Muggins. The Amer 
ican flag is my only bride, and as for you ! well, 
I think rather more of you than I do of my own 
father." 

" Come to my arms !" exclaimed Villiam, falling 
upon his neck, and improving the opportunity to take 
the Oath from his canteen. 

It was an affecting sight, my boy ; and as those 
two noble youths walked amicably back to the camp 
together, the fat surgeon remarked to Samyule Sa-mith 
that they reminded him of Damon and Pythias just 
returned from the Syracuse Convention. 

Yours, for the Code, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXV. 

PRESENTING THE CHAPLAIN S NEW YEAR POEM, AND REPORTING THE 
SINGULAR CONDUCT OF THE GENERAL OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE 
ON THE DAY HE CELEBRATED. 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., January 2d, 1S62. 

ANOTHER year, my boy, has dawned upon a struggle 
in which the hopes of freedom and integrity all over 
the world are breathlessly involved ; and if the day- 
star of Liberty is destined to go down into the ocean 
wave, what is to become of the unoffending negroes ? 
I extract this beautiful passage, my boy, from the 
forthcoming speech of a fat Congressman, who is a 
friend to the human race, and charges the Adminis 
tration with imbecility and with mileage. I conversed 
with him the other evening, and, after discussing va 
rious topics, asked him what he thought of the Wash 
ington statue as it stood ? He winked three times, 
and then says he : 

" The only Washington statue I know anything 
about, is statu quo." 

The chaplain of the Mackerel Brigade joined seri 
ously in our staff festivities on New Year s eve, my 
boy ; but as midnight approached he grew very silent, 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 165 

and at a quarter of twelve he arose from his seat by 
the fire and asked permission to read something which 
he had written. 

"I would not retard your inevitable inebriation/ 
says he to us, as he drew a manuscript from one of his 
pockets, " but it is only fitting that we should pay 
Borne regard to 

"THE DYING YEAR. 

" Dying at last, Old Year I 
Another stroke of yonder clock, and thou 

Wilt pass the threshold of the world we see 
Into the world where Yesterday and Now 

Blend with the hours of the No More To Be. 

" I saw the moon last night 
Rise like a crown from the dim mountain s head, 

And to the Council of the Stars take way ; 
For thou, the king, though kinsman of the dead, 

Swayed still the sceptre of Another Day. 

" I see the moon to-night, 
Sightless and misty as a mourner s eye, 

Behind a vail ; or, like a coin to seal 
The lids of Time s last-born to majesty, 

Touched with the darkness of a hidden Leal. 

" Mark where yon shadow crawls 
By slow degrees beneath the window-sill, 

Timed by the death-watch, ticking slow and dull; 
The tide of night is rising, black and still 

Old Year, thou diest when tis at its full I 

" Ay ! moan and moan again, 
And shake all Nature in thine agony, 

And tear the ermine robes that mock thee now 
Like gilded fruit upon a blasted tree ; 

To-morrow comes ! To-morrow, where are Thou ? 



166 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

11 Wouldst thou be shrived, Old Year ? 
. Thou subtle sentence of delusive Time, 

Framed but to deepen all the mystery 
Of Life s great purpose ! Come, confess the crime, 
And man s Divinity shall date from thee 1 

" Speak to my soul, Old Year ; 
Let but a star leave its bright eminence 

In thy death-struggle, if this deathless Soul 
Holds its own destiny and recompense 

In the grand mast ry of a GOD S control I 

" No sound, no sign from thee ? 
And must I live, not knowing why I live, 

"Whilst Thou and years to come pass by me here 
"With faces hid, refusing still to give 

The one poor word that bids me cease to fear ? 

" That word, I charge thee, speak ! 
Quick 1 for the moments tremble on the verge 

Of the black chasm where lurks the midnight spell, 
And solemn winds already chant thy dirge 

Give Earth its Heaven, or Hell a deeper Hell I 

" Speak ! or I curse thee here ! 
I ll call it YEA if but a withered twig, 

Tossed by the wind, falls rattling on the roof; 
I ll call it YEA, if e en a shutter creak, 

Breathe but on me, and it shall stand for proof! 

" Too late ! The midnight bell 
The crawling shadow at its witching flood, 

"With the deep gloom of the Beyond is wed, 
And I, unanswered, sit within and brood, 

And thou, Old Year, art silent Thou art DEAD !" 

When the chaplain finished his reading, my boy, I 
told him that he must excuse the party for going to 
sleep, as they were really very tired. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 167 

On New Year s day, my boy, the General of the 
Mackerel Brigade desired me to make a few calls with 
him ; and appeaml tit my lodgings in a confirmed 
state of kid gloves, which he bought for the express 
purpose of making a joke. 

" A happy New Year to you, my Duke of Wel 
lington/ says I. " You look as frisky as a spring 
lamb." 

Immediately a look of intense meaning came over 
his Corinthian face, and he remarked, with awful 
solemnity : 

" Thunder ! you might better call me a goat, my 
Prushian blue, seeing that I ve got a couple of kids 
on hand just now." 

The joke was a good article in the glove line, my 
boy, and I don t think that the general had been 
studying over it more than four hours before we 
met. 

We made our first call at a house where the ladies 
were covered with smiles as with a garment ; and re 
marked that the day was fine. The general smiled 
in return, until his profile reminded me of a cracked 
tea-pot ; and says he : " Ladies, allow me to tender 
the compliments of the season. In this wine," says 
he, " which I hold in my hand, I behold the roses of 
your cheeks when you blush, and the sparkle of your 
eyes when you laugh. Let us hope that another New 
Year will find our unhappy country free from her 



168 ORPHEUS C. KERF. PAPERS. 

enemies, and the curse of African slavery blotted out 
of the map/ 

I whispered to the general that slavery wasn t on 
the map at all ; and he confidentially informed me, 
that I be dam. 

We then repaired to a house where the ladies had 
a very happy expression of countenance, and told us 
that it was a pleasant day. The general accidentally 
filled a wine glass with the deuce of the grape, and 
says he : " Ladies, suffer me to articulate the com 
pliments of the season. This aromatic beverage/ 
says he, " is. but a liquid presentment of your 
blushes and glances. Let us trust that within a 
year our country will resume the blessings of peace, 
and the unhappy bondman will be obliterated from 
the map/ 

One of the ladies said, "te-he." 

Another said that she felt "he ! he ! he !" 

" I believe her, my boy !" 

As we returned to the street, I told the general 
that he d better leave out the map at the next 
place, and he said that he d do it if he was nt afraid 
that Congress would nt confirm his appointment, if 
he did. 

We then visited a family where the ladies had faces 
beaming with happiness, and observed that it was 
really a beautiful day. The general happened to be 
placed near a cut-glass goblet, and says he : "Ladies, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 169 

in compliance with the day we celebrate, I offer the 
compliments of the season. This mantling nectar/ 
says he, "blushes like women and glitters like her 
orbs. Let us pray that in the coming twelve months, 
the stars and stripes will be re-established, and the 
negro removed from the map." 

He also said hie, my boy ; and one of the ladies 
wanted to know what that meant ?" 

I told her that Hie was a Latin term from Cicero 
de Officiis, and meant Hicjacet hear lies. 

" !" says she, " te-he-he !" 

On reaching the sidewalk this time, my boy, the 
general clasped my hand warmly, and said he d never 
forget me. He said I was his dear friend, and must 
never leave him ; and I said I wouldn t. 

We then called at a house where the ladies all 
smiled upon us, and remarked that we were having 
charming weather. The general raised a glass, and 
says he : 

" Ge-yurls, I am an old man ; but you are the 
complimeus of season. You are blushing like the 
wine-glass, and also your sparkles. On another New 
Year s day let our banner certainly let us all do it. 
And the negro slavery blot out the map/ 

As he uttered these feeling words, my boy, he bowed 
to me and kissed my hand. After which he looked 
severely at his pocket-handkerchief, and tried to leave 
the room by way of the fire-place. 



170 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

I asked him if he hadn t better take some soda ; 
and he said, that if I would come and live with him 
he would tell me how he came to get married. He 
said he loved me. 

Shortly after this we called at a residence where 
the ladies all looked very happy and said that it was 
a fine day. The general threw all the strength of his 
face into one eye, and says he : 

" Ladles, we are compl m^ns, and you are the ne 
groes on the map. This year pardon me, I should 
intro-interror-oduce my two friends who is drunk 
this year I say, our country may be hap " 

Here the general turned suddenly to me with tears 
in his eyes, and asked me to promise that I would 
never, never leave him. He said that I was a 
genTm n, and ought to give up drinking. I con 
ducted him tenderly to the hall, where he em 
braced me passionately, and invited me to call and 
see him. 

As soon as he had made a few remarks to a lamp 
post, requesting it to call at Willard s as it went 
home, and tell his wife that he was well, I took his 
arm, and we moved on at right angles. 

It is worthy of remark that at our next calling- 
place the ladies all beamed with joy, and told us that 
it was a delightful day. The general took a looking- 
glass for a window, and stood still before it, until I 
tapped him on the shoulder. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 171 

" D you zee that drunken fool standing there in 
the street ?" says he, pointing at the mirror. " It a 
Lord Lyons, s drunk as a fool/ 

I told him that he saw only his own figure in the 
glass, and he said he would see me safe home if I 
would go right away. Chancing at the moment to 
catch sight of a wine-glass, my boy, he walked toward 
it in a circle, and hastily filled the outside of it from 
an empty decanter. Then balancing himself on one 
foot, and placing his disengaged hand on a pyramid 
of Wane mange to support himself, he said impress 
ively : 

" Ladles, and gentle-lemons, the army will move on 
the first of May, and " 

Here the general went down under the table like a 
stately ship foundering at sea, and was heard to ask 
the wine-cooler to tell his family that he died for his 
country. 

Owing to the very hilly nature of the street, my 
boy, I was obliged to accompany the general home in 
a hack ; and as we rolled along towards the hotel, he 
disclosed to me an agitated history of his mother s 
family. 

When last I saw him he was trying to make out 
why the chambermaid had put four pillows on his bed, 
and endeavoring to lift off the two extra ones without 
disturbing the others. 



172 ORPHEUS 0. KERB PAPERS. 

Candidly speaking, my boy, this New-Year s-calls 
business is not a sensible calling, and simply amounts 
to a caravan of monkeys attending a menagerie of 
trained crinoline. 

Yours, philosophically, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXVI. 

GIVING THE PARTICULARS OF A FALSE ALARM, AND A BIOGRAPHICAL 
SKETCH OP THE OFFICER COMMANDING. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January llth, 1862. 

SCARCE had the glorious sun shot up the dappled 
orient on Monday morn, my boy, when the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Mackerel Brigade received 
a telegraphic dispatch which reads as follows : 

" General Frost has appeared near Centreville, and 
is now covering the wood and road in our rear." 

It bore no signature, my boy ; but the general be 
lieved the danger to be imminent, and ordered Captain 
Bob Shorty to take ten thousand men, and make a 
reconnoissance towards Centreville. 

" Bob, my cherub/ says he, " if you can get behind 
the rebel Frost, and take the whole Confederacy pris 
oners, don t administer the Oath until the Eagle of 
America is avenged." 

Bob smiled like a happy oyster, and says he : 

" Domino \" 

Twas nigh upon the hour of noon when Captain 



174 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

Bob Shorty and his veterans approached the beautiful 
village of Centreville. Cross-trees had been placed 
under the horses of the cavalry to keep them from 
falling down, and the infantry were arranging them 
selves so that the bayonets of the front rank 
shouldn t stick into the rear rank s eyes every time 
they turned a corner, when a solitary contraband 
might have been seen eating hoe-cake by the solemn 
road-side. 

" Confederate," said Captain Bob Shorty, approach 
ing him with his sword very much between his legs, 
" hast seen the rebel Frost and his myrmidions ? I 
come to give him battle, having heard that he was 
hereabouts." 

The Ethiopian took a pentagonal bite of hoecake, 
and says he : 

" Tell Massa Lincon that the frost war werry thick 
last night, but hab gone by this time." 
. Captain Bob Shorty took off his cap, my boy, 
looked carefully into it, put it on again, and frowned 
awfully. 

" Comrades," says he, addressing the troops, "you 
have all heard of a big thing on Snyder. You now 
behold it before you. This here reconnoissance," 
says he, " is what the French would call & few-paw. 
We must turn it into a foraging expedition. Charge 
on yonder hay-stack, and remember me in your 
prayers !" 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 175 

Twas early eve, my boy, when that splendid 
army returned to Potomac s shore, with two hay 
stacks for the horses, and ten Confederate chickens 
for supper. 

Nobody hurt on our side. 

I inclose the following brief sketch of the gallant 
soldier who commanded in this brilliant affair. 

CAPTAIN ROBERT SHORTY. 

This brave young officer was born in the Sixth 
Ward of New York, and was twenty-one years old 
upon arriving of age. When but a lad, he studied 
tobacco and the girls, and ran to fires for his health. 
When eligible to the right of franchise, he voted 
seven times in one day, and attracted so much atten 
tion from the authorities that his parents resolved to 
make a lawyer of him. On the breaking out of the 
war with Mexico, he offered his services to the Gov 
ernment as a major-general, but, for some reason, was 
not accepted. He will probably be sent to supersede 
General Halleck, in Missouri, as soon as any one of 
St. Louis writes to ask the President for another 
change. 

The general was so pleased when he heard of this 
spirited action, my boy, that he offered to review the 
Mackerel Brigade the next morning, and privately 
informed me that he considered the Southern Confed- 



176 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

eracy doomed to expire in less than three months. 
He said that it was already tottering to its fall, which 
must take place in the Spring. 
Perhaps so, my boy perhaps so ! 

Yours, for the flag, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXVII. 

TOUCHING INCIDENTALLY UPON THE CHARACTER OF ARMY FOOD, AND 
CELEBRATING THE GREAT DIPLOMATIC EXPLOIT OP CAPTAIN VILLIAM 
BROWN AT ACCOMAC. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 19th, 1862. 

IN the early part of the week I resolved to go 
down to Accomac, on a flying visit to Captain Villiam 
Brown and the Conic Section of the Mackerel Brigade. 
Accordingly, I went to the shoemaker s after my 
gothic steed Pegasus. The shoemaker, had said, my 
boy, that there was enough loose leather hanging 
about the architectural animal to make me a nice 
pair of slippers, and I gave him permission to cut 
them out. The operation only made the Morgan s 
back look a little more like the roof of a barn ; but 
I like him all the better for that, because he sheds 
the rain easier. 

The General of the Mackerel Brigade at first in 
tended to accompany me to Accomac ; and says he 
to Samynle Sa-mith, the orderly, says he : " Samyule ! 
just step down to the anatomical museum of the 
Western chaps, and buy me the best horse you can 
find in the collection. Here s a dollar and half 



178 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

fifty cents for the horse and a dollar for your 
trouble." 

Samyule came back in about forty minutes, and 
says he : 

" Colonel Wobert Wobinson, of the Western Cav 
alry, says I must come again this afternoon, as he 
don t know whether there ll be any horses left or 
not." 

" Thunder !" says the General. " How left ?" 

" Vy," says Samyule, " he can t tell whether any 
horses will be left until tho boys have had their din 
ner, can he 1" 

"Ah !" says the General, contemplatively, "I for 
got the beef-soup recommended by the doctors. It 
will be a pleasant change for the boys," says he, 
"from the mutton that was so plenty just after them 
mules died." 

Speaking of dinner, my boy ; let me tell you about 
a curious occurrence in our camp lately. Just after 
a load of rations had come in, a New York chap says 
to me, says he : 

"I m glad they re going to put down the Kuss 
pavement here pretty soon ; for it s getting damp as 
thunder." 

" Id-jut !" said I, sarcastically, " where have you 
seen any Russ pavement ?" 

He just took me softly by the arm, my boy, and 
led me a little way, and pointed, and says he : 



ORPHEUS C. KERK PAPERS. 179 

" If you ll just look there, you ll see some of the 
blocks." 

" Why/ says I, " those are army biscuit for the 
men/ 

" Biscuit !" says he, rubbing his stomach, and 
turning up his eyes like a cat with the apoplexy " if 
them s biscuit, Bunker Hill Monument must be built 
of flour that s all." 

And he went out and took the Oath. 

On arriving at Accomac, my boy, I asked a blue- 
and-gold picket where Villiam Brown was, and he 
said that he was in the library. 

The library was used by the former occupants of 
the residence as a hen-house, and contains two vol 
umes Hardee abridged, and " Every Man His Own 
Letter- Writer," Seward s edition. 

I found Captain Villiam Brown seated on what 
was formerly a Shanghai s nest, my boy, with his feet 
out of the window, and his head against a roost. He 
was studying the last-named book, and sipping Old 
Bourbon the Oath, in the intervals. The intervals 
were numerous. 

" Son of the Eagle," says I, " you remind me of 
Sir Walter Scott, at Abbotsford." 

Villiam looked abstractedly at me, at the same time 
moving the tumbler a little further from my hand, 
and says he : 

"I ve been in the agonies of diplomacy, but feel 



180 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

much better. " Ha !" says Villiam, beaming like a 
new comet, " I ve preserved our foreign relations 
peaceful, without humbling the United States of 
America/ 

I asked an explanation, and he informed me that 
on the evening before, one of his men had boarded an 
Accornac scow in Goose Creek, and captured two op 
pressed negroes, named Johnson and Peyton, who 
were carrying news to the enemy. " At first," says 
Villiam, sternly, " I thought of letting them off with 
hanging, but I soon felt that they deserved something 
worse, and so " says Villiam, with a malignant 
scowl that made my blood run cold " and so, I sen 
tenced them to read Sumner s speech on the Trent 
affair." 

On the following morning there came the following 
letter from the righteously-exasperated citizens of 
Accomac, which Yilliam labeled as 

DOCKYMENT I. 

SWEET VILLIAM SIR : I am instructed by the 
neutral Government of Accomac to assure the United 
States of America, that the feeling at present exist 
ing between the two Governments is of such a cordial 
nature, that love itself never inspired more heaving 
emotions in the buzzums of conglomerated youth. 

Therefore, the outrage committed by the United 
States of America on the flag of Accomac, in remov 
ing from its protection two gentlemen named John- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 181 

son and Peyton, is something for demons to rejoice 
over. The daughter of the latter gentleman has 
already slapped her mother in the face, and bared her 
buzzum to the breeze. 

I am instructed by the government of Accomac to 
demand the instant return of the two gentlemen, 
together with an ample apology for the base deed, and 
the amount of that little bill for forage. 

Again assuring you of the cordial feeling existing 
between the two countries, and the passionate affec 
tion I feel for yourself, I am, dear sir, most truly, 
dear sir, as ever, respected sir, your attached 

WILLIAM G-OAT. 

On receiving this communication from Mr. Goat, 
my boy, Captain Villiam Brown removed Lieutenant 
Thomas Jenks from the command of the artillery, 
and ordered six reviews of the troops without um 
brellas. He then had a small keg of the Oath rolled 
into the library, rumpled up his hair, shut one eye, 
and replied to Mr. Goat with 

DOCKYMENT II. 

LORD GOAT SIR : I take much felicity in receiv 
ing your lordship s note, which shows that the neutral 
Government of Accomac and the United States of 
America still cherish the feelings that do credit to 
Anglo-Saxon hearts of the same parentage. 

The two black beings, at present stopping in the 
barn attached to the present head-quarters, were 
contraband of war ; but were, nevertheless, engaged 



182 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

in the peaceful occupation of asking the protection 
of your lordship s government. 

Were I to decide this question in favor of the 
United States of America, I should forever forfeit 
the right of every American citizen to treat niggers 
as sailable articles, since I would thereby deny their 
right to sail. The Congress of the United States of 
America has been fighting for this right for more 
than a quarter of a century, and I cannot find it in 
me heart to debar it of that divine privilege for the 
future. 

I might cite Wheaton, Story, Bulwer, Kent, Mar- 
ryat, Sheridan, and Busteed, to sustain my position, 
were I familiar with those international righters. 

Therefore I am compelled to humble your lord 
ship s government by returning the two black beings 
aforesaid, and beg leave to assure your lordship that 
I am your lordship s only darling, 

VILLIAM BROWN, Eskevire, 
Captain Conic Section, Mackerel Brigade. 

After reading this able and brilliant document, my 
boy, I told Villiam that I thought he had made a 
very good point about negroes always being " sailable 
articles/ and he said that was diplomacy. 

"Ah!" says he, sadly, "my father always said 
that if you could not get over a rail fence by high- 
jump-acy, there was nothing like dip-low-macy. My 
dad was a natural statesman. Ah !" says Villiam, in 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 183 

a fine burst of filial emotion, " I wonder where the 
durned old fool is now." 

This idea plunged him into such a depth of reverie, 
that I left him without another word, mounted Peg 
asus, and ambled reflectively back to the Capitol. 

Diplomacy brings out the intellect of a nation, my 
boy, and is a splendid thing to use until we get our 
navy finished. 

Yours, in memory of Metternich, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXVIII. 

CONCERNING THE CONTINUED INACTIVITY OF THE POTOMAC ARMY, AND 
SHOWING HOW IT WAS POETICALLY CONSTRUED BY A THOUGHTFUL 
RADICAL. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 30th, 1862. 

NOTWITHSTANDING the hideous howlings of the 
Black ^Republicans, my boy, and the death of six 
Confederate pickets from old age, the Army of the 
Potomac will not commence the forward movement 
until the mud subsides sufficiently to show where 
some of the camps are. The Mackerel Brigade dug 
out a regiment yesterday, near Alexandria ; but 
there s no use of continuing the business without a 
dredging-machine. 

I was talking to Captain Bob Shorty, on Tuesday, 
respecting the inactivity of the army, and says he : 

" It s all very well to talk about making an advance, 
my beauty ; but I ve known one of the smartest men 
in the country to fail in it." 

" What mean you, fellow ?" says I. 

"Why," says he, "you know Simpson, your 
uncle ?" 

" I believe you, my boy !" says I. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 185 

"Well!" says Captain Bob Shorty, "that air 
Simpson is one of the smartest old cusses in the 
country yet there ain t no On to Kichmond about 
him. I asked him once, myself, to make an advance. 
I asked him to make an advance on my repeater, and 
he said- he couldn t." 

This argument, my boy, exposes thoroughly the 
base disloyalty and fiendish designs of the newspaper 
brigadiers who are constantly urging McClellan to 
advance advance ! Let them all be sent to Fort 
Lafayette, and the moral effect on this cursed rebel 
lion will be such that it will utterly collapse in two 
hours and forty- three minutes. 

The serious New Haven chap, of whom I spoke to 
you some time ago, takes a "radical" view of our 
long halt, and gives his ideas in 

THE MIDNIGHT WATCH. 

Soldier, soldier, wan and gray, 

Standing there so very still, 
On the outpost looking South, 

What is there to-night to kill ? 

Through the mist that rises thick 

From the noisome marsh around, 
I can see thee like a shade 

Cast from something underground. 

And I know that thou art old, 

For thy features, sharp, and thin, 
Cut their lines upon the shroud 

Damply folding thee within. 



186 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Fit art thou to watch and guard 

O er the brake and o er the bog; 
By the glitter of thine eyes 
Thou canst pierce a thicker fog. 

Tell me, soldier, grim and old, 
If thy tongue is free to say, 

What thou seest looking South, 
In that still and staring way? 

Tonderward the fires may glow 
Of a score of rebel camps ; 

But thou canst not see their lights, 
Through the chilling dews and damps. 

Silent still, and motionless? 

Get thee to the tents behind, 
Where the flag for which we fight 

Plays a foot-ball to the wind. 

Get thee to the bankments high, 
Where a thousand cannon sleep, 

While the call that bids them wake 
Bids a score of millions weep. 

Thou shalt find an army there, 
Working out the statesman s plots, 

While a poison banes the laud, 
And a noble nation rots. 

Thou shalt find a soldier-host 
Tied and rooted to its place, 

Like a woman cowed and dumb, 
Staring Treason in the face. 

Dost thou hear me ? Speak, or move I 
And if thou wouldst pass the line, 

Give the password of the night 
Halt ! and givo the countersign. 



ORPHEUS 0. KERB PAPERS. 187 

God of Heaven ! what is this 

Sounding through the frosty air, 
In a cadence stern and slow, 

From the figure looming there ! 

"Sentry, thou hast spoken well" 

Through the mist the answer came 
"I am wrinkled, grim, and old, 

May st thou live to be the same 1 

"Thou art here to keep a watch 

Over prowlers coming nigh ; 
I can show thee, looking South, 
"What is hidden from thine eye. 

u Here, the loyal armies sleep ; 

There, tho foe awaits them all; 
"Who can tell before the time 

"Which shall triumph, which shall fall ? 

" 0, but war s a royal game, 

Here a move and there a pause; 
Little recks the dazzled world 
What may be the winner s cause. 

"In the roar of sweating guns, 

In the crash of sabres crossed, 
"Wisdom dwindles to a fife, 
Justice in the smoke is lost. 

"But there is a mightier blow 

Than tho rain of lead and steel, 
Falling from a heavier hand 
Than the one the vanquished feel 

"Let the armies of the North 

Rest them thus for many a night; 
Not with them the issue lies, 

Twist tho powers of "Wrong and Right. 



188 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

. "Through the fog that wraps us round 

I can see, as with a glass, 
Far beyond the rebel hosts 

Fires that cluster, pause, and pass. 

"From the wayside and the wood, 

From the cabin and the swamp, 
Crawl the harbingers of blood, 

Black as night, with torch and lamp. 

"Now they blend in one dense throng; 

Hark ! they whisper, as in ire 
Catch the word before it dies 
Hear the horrid murmur Fire 1* 

"Mothers, with your babes at rest, 

Maidens in your dreaming-land 
Brothers, children wake ye all! 
The Avenger is at hand. 

"Born by thousands in a flash, 

Angry flames bescourgo the air, 
And the bowlings of the blacks 
Fan them to a fiercer glare. 

"Crash the windows, burst the doors^ 

Let the helpless call for aid; 
From the hell within they rush 
On the negro s reeking blade. 

"Through the flaming doorway arch, 
Half-dressed women frantic dart ; 
Demon 1 spare that kneeling girl 
God! the knife is in her heart. 

"By his hair so thin and gray 

Forth they drag the aged sire; 
First, a stab to stop his pray r 
Hurl him back into tho fire. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 189 

" What ! a child, a mother s pride, 

Crying shrilly with affright! 
Dash the axe upon her skull, 
Show no mercy she is white. 

"Louder, louder roars the flame, 

Blotting out the Southern home, 
Fainter grow the dying shrieks, 
Fiercer cries of vengeance come. 

" Turn, ye armies, where ye stand, 

Glaring in each others eyes ; 

While ye halt, a cause is won ; 

While ye wait, a despot dies. 

" Greater victory has been gained 

Than the longest sword secures, 

And the Wrong has been washed out 

With a purer blood than yours." 

Soldier, by my mother s pray r ! 

Thou dost act a demon s part ; 
Tell me, ere I strike thee dead, 

Whence thou comest, who thou art 

Back! I will not let thee pass 

Why, that dress is Putnam s own! 
Soldier, soldier, where art thou? 

Vanished like a shadow gone ! 

The Southern Confederacy may come to that yet, 
my boy, if it don t take warning in time from its 
patron Saint. I refer to Saint Domingo, my boy, 
I refer to Saint Domingo. 

Yours, musingly, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXIX. 

INTRODUCING A VERITABLE " MUDSILL," "ILLUSTRATING YANKEE BUSI 
NESS TACT, NOTING THE DETENTION OF A NEWSPAPER CHARTO- 
GRAPHIST, AND SO ON. 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2<1, 1SC2. 

I NEVER really knew what the term " mudsill" 
meant, my boy, until I saw Captain Bob Shorty on 
Tuesday. I was out in a field, just this side of Fort 
Corcoran, trimming down the ears of my gothic steed 
Pegasus, that he might look less like a Titanic rabbit, 
when I saw approaching me an object resembling a 
brown-stone monument. As it came nearer, I dis 
covered an eruption of brass buttons at intervals in 
front, and presently I observed the lineaments of a 
Federal face. 

" Strange being !" says I, taking down a pistol 
from the natural rack on the side of my steed, and at 
the same time motioning toward my sword, which I 
had hung on one of his hip bones, " Art thou the 
shade of Metamora, or the disembodied spirit of a 
sand-bank ?" 

" My ducky darling," responded the a3olian voice 
of Captain Bob Shorty, " you behold a mudsill just 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 191 

emerged from a liquified portion of the sacred soil. 
The mud at present inclosing the Mackerel Brigade 
is unpleasant to the personal feelings of the corps, 
but the effect at a distance is unique. As you survey 
that expanse of mud from Arlington Heights/ con 
tinued Captain Bob Shorty, " with the veterans of 
the Mackerel Brigade wading about in it up to their 
chins, you are forcibly reminded of a limitless plum- 
pudding, well stocked with animated raisins." 

" My friend," says I, " the comparison is apt, and 
reminds me of Shakspeare s happier efforts. But tell 
me, my Pylades, has the dredging for those missing 
regiments near Alexandria proved successful ?" 

Captain Bob Shorty shook the mire from his ears, 
and then, says he : 

" Two brigades were excavated this morning, and 
are at present building a raft to go down to Wash 
ington after some soap. Let us not utter complaints 
against the mud," continued Captain Bob Shorty, 
reflectively, " for it has served to develop the genius 
of New England. We dug out a Yankee regiment 
from Boston first, and the moment those wooden- 
nutmeg chaps got their breath, they went to work at 
the mud that had almost suffocated them, mixed up 
some spoiled flour with it, and are now making their 
eternal fortunes by peddling it out for patent ce 
ment." 

This remark of the captain s, my boy ; shows that 



192 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

the spirit of New England still retains its natural 
elasticity, and is capable of greater efforts than lignum 
vitse hams and clocks made of barrel hoops and old 
coffee-pots. I have heard my ancient grandfather 
relate an example of this spirit during the war of 
1812. He was with a select assortment of Pequog 
chaps at Bladensburg, just before the attack on 
Washington, and word came secretly to them that 
the Britishers down in the Chesapeake were out of 
flour 3 and would pay something handsome for a sup 
ply. Now, these Pequog chaps had no flour, my 
boy ; but that didn t keep them out of the specula 
tion. They went into the nearest graveyard, dug up 
all the tombstones, and put them into an old quartz- 
crushing machine, pounded them to powder, sent the 
powder to the coast, and and sold it to the Britishers 
for the very best flour, at twelve dollars and a half 
a barrel ! 

And can such a people as this be conquered by a 
horde of godless rebels ? Never ! I repeat it, sir 
never ! Should the Jeff. Davis mob ever get posses 
sion of Washington, the Yankees would build a wall 
around the place, and invite the public to come and 
see the menagerie, at two shillings a head. 

On Wednesday, some of our dryest pickets caught 
a shabby, long-haired chap loafing around the camps 
with a big block and sheet of paper under his arm, 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 193 

and brought him before the general of the Mackerel 
Brigade. 

" Well, Samyule," says the general to one of the 
pickets, " what is your charge against the prisonier ?" 

" He is a young man which is a spy/ replied Sam- 
yule, holding up the sheet of paper ; " and I take 
this here picture of his to be the Great Seal of the 
Southern Confederacy." 

" Why thinkest thou so, my cherub ? and what 
does the work of art represent?" inquired the gen 
eral. 

" The drawing is not of the best," responded Sam- 
yule, closing one eye, and viewing the picture criti 
cally ; " but I should say that it represented a ham, 
with a fiddle laid across it, and beefsteaks in the cor 
ners." 

" Miserable vandal !" shouted the long-haired chap, 
excitedly, "you know not what you say. I am a 
Federal artist ; and that picture is a map of the coast 
of North Carolina, for- a New York daily paper." 

" Thunder !" says the general " if that s a map, 
a patent gridiron must be a whole atlas." 

I believe him, my boy ! 

As a person of erudition, it pleased me greatly, my 
boy, to observe that our more moral New York regi 
ments cultivate a taste for reading, and are even so 
literary that they can t so much as light their pipes 
without a leaf out of a hymn-book. I was talking 

9 



194 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

to an angular-shaped chap from Montgomery county 
the other day about this, and says he : 

" Talk about reading ! Why, there s fifty news 
papers sent in a wrapper to our officers alone, every 
day. There s ten each of the Tribune and Times, 
ten each of the Boston Post and Gazette, ten of the 
Montgomery Democrat, and one New York Herald" 

"Look here ! my second Washington/ says I, 
" your story don t hang together. You say you have 
fifty" papers daily but according to my account that 
copy of the Herald makes fifty-one." 

" Did I not tell you that they came in a wrapper ? 
says the chap, with great dignity. 

" You did," says I. 

" Well," says he, " the Herald is the wrapper." 

This morning, my boy, I went with Colonel Wobert 
Wobinson to look at some new horses he had just 
imported from the Erie Canal stables for the Western 
cavalry, and was much pleased with the display of 
bone-work. One animal, in particular, interested me 
greatly ; he was born in 1776, had both of his hind- 
legs broken on the frontier, in one of the battles of 
1812, and lost both his eyes and his tail at the taking 
of Mexico. The colonel stated that he had selected 
this splendid animal for his own use in the field. 

Another fine calico animal of the stud was attached 
to the suite of Washington at the famous crossing of 
the Delaware, and is said to have surprised the Hes- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 195 

sians at Trenton as much as the army did. Previous 
to losing his teeth he .was sold to a Western dealer in 
hides for three dollars ; and the dealer, being an en 
thusiastic Union man, has let the Government have 
the animal for one hundred and ten dollars. 

A mousseline-de-laine mare also attracted my notice. 
She was sired by the favorite racer of the Marquis de 
Lafayette, and has been damned by everybody at 
tempting to drive her. The pretty beast comes from 
the celebrated Bone Mill belonging to the Erie Canal, 
and only cost the Government two hundred dollars. 

Believing that the public funds are being judiciously 
expended, my boy, I remain, 

Fondly thine own, ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXX. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE GORGEOUS PKTE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, INCLUD 
ING THE OBSERVATIONS OF CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN : WITH SOME 
NOTE OF THE TOILETTES, CONFECTIONS, AND PUNCH. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 7th, 1862. 

NOTWITHSTANDING your general ignorance of Nat 
ural History, my boy, you may be aware that when 
the eagle is wounded by the huntsman, instead of 
seeking some thick-set tree or dismal swamp, there to 
die like a common bird, he soars straight upward in 
the full eye of the sun, and bathes in all the glories 
of noonday, while his eyes grow dull with agony, and 
his talons are stiffening in death ; nor does he fall 
from the dazzling empyrean until the last stroke of 
fate hurls him downward like a thunderbolt. 

Our Union, my boy our Land of the Eagle is 
stricken sorely, and perhaps to death ; but like the 
proud bird of Jove, it disdains to grow morbid in its 
agonies ; and the occasional sighs of its patient 
struggling millions, are lost in sounds of death-defy 
ing revelry at the dauntless capital. 

All the best-looking uniforms in the army were in 
vited to Mrs. Lincoln s ball at the White House on 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 197 

Wednesday, and of course I was favored, together 
with the general of the Mackerel Brigade, and Cap 
tain Villiam Brown, of Accomac. My ticket, my 
boy, was as aristocractic as a rooster s tail at sunrise : 



(CUTLETS.) E pluri bust Union. (OYSTERS.) 

ORPHEUS C. KERR, 
Pleasure of your Company at the White House, 

(R. S. V. P.) WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5th, 1862. 

8 o clock, P. M. 

(HALF MOURNING FOR PRINCE ALBERT.) 

(NO SMOKING ALOUD.) 



At an early hour on the evening of the fete, the 
general of the Mackerel Brigade came to my room in 
a perfect perspiration of brass buttons and white 
kids, and I asked him what "no smoking aloud" 
meant. 

"Why," says he, putting his wig straight and 
licking a stray drop of brandy from one of his gloves, 
" it means that if you try to smoke any of the gen 
erals at the ball as to the plan of the campaign, you 
mustn t do it i aloud/ Thunder !" says- the general, 
in a fine glow of enthusinsm, " the only plan of the 
campaign that I know anything about, is the rata 
plan." 

Satisfied with the general s explanation, I proceeded 
with my toilet, and presently beamed upon him in such 
a resplendent conglomeration of ruffles, brass buttons, 



198 ORPHEUS C. KEER PAPERS. 

epaulettes and Hungarian pomade, that he said I re 
minded him of a comet just come out of a feather-bed, 
with its tail done up in papers. 

" My Magnus Apollo/ says he, " the way you hear 
that white cravat shows you to be of rich but genteel 
parentage. Any man/ says he, "who can wear a 
white cravat without looking like a coachman, may 
pass for a gentleman-born. Two-thirds of the clergy 
men who wear it look like footmen in their grave- 
clothes." 

We then took a hack to the White House, my 
boy, and on arriving there were delighted to find that 
the rooms were already filling with statesmen, miss- 
statesmen, mrs-statesmen, and officers, who had so 
much lace and epaulettes about them that they 
looked like walking brass-founderies with the front 
door open. 

The first object that attracted my special attention, 
however, was a thing that I took for a large and or 
namental pair of tongs leaning against a mantel, 
figured in blue enamel, with a life-like imitation of a 
window-brush on top. I directed the general s atten 
tion to it, and asked him if that was one of the unique 
gifts presented to the Government by the late Japa 
nese embassy ? 

"Thunder!" says the general, "that s no tongs. 
It s the young man which is Captain Villiam Brown, 
of Accomac. Now that I look at him," says the gen- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 199 

eral, thoughtfully, "he reminds me of an old-fashioned 
straddle-bug." 

Stepping from one lady s dress to another, until I 
reached the side of the Commander of the Aecomac, 
I slapped him on the back, and says I : 

" How are you, my blue-bird ; and what do you 
think of this brilliant assemblage ?" 

" Ha !" says Villiam, starting out of a brown 
study, and putting Borne cloves in his mouth, to 
disguise the water he d drank on his way from Aeco 
mac " I was just thinking what my poor old 
mother would say if she could see me and the other 
snobs here to-night. When I look on the women of 
America around me to-night/ says Villiam, feel 
ingly, " and see how much they ve cut off from the 
tops of their dresses, to make bandages for our 
wounded soldiers, I can t help feeling that their 
neck-or-nothing appearance so far from being in 
delicate, is a very delicate proof of their devoted love 
of Union." 

" I agree with you, my azure humanitarian," says 
I. " There s precious little waist about such dresses." 

Villiam closed one eye, turned his head one-side 
like a facetious canary, and says he : 

Now lovely woman scants her dress, with bandages 
the sick to bless ; and stoops so far to war s alarms, 
her very frock is under arms !" 

I believe him, my boy ! 



200 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Keturning to the General, we took a turn in the 
East Koom, and enjoyed the panorama of youth, 
beauty, and whiskers, that wound its variegated 
length before us. 

The charming Mrs. L , of Illinois, was richly 

attired in a frock and gloves, and wore a wreath of 
flowers from amaranthine bowers. She was affable as 
an angel with a new pair of wings, and was uni 
versally allowed to be the most beautiful woman 
present. 

The enthralling Miss C , from Ohio, was ele 
gantly clad in a dress, and wore number-four gaiters. 
So brilliant was her smile, that when she laughed at 
one of Lord Lyons witicisms, all one corner of the 
room was wrapped in a glare of light, and several 
nervous dowagers cried " Fire !" Her beauty was 
certainly the most beautiful present. 

The fascinating Miss L , of Pennsylvania, was 

superbly robed in an attire of costly material, with 
expensive flounces. She wore two gloves and a com 
plete pair of ear-rings, and spoke so musically that 
the leader of the Marine Band thought there was an 
asolian harp in the window. She was certainly the 
most beautiful woman present. 

The bewitching Mrs. G , from Missouri, was 

splendidly dressed in a breastpin and lace flounces, 
and wore her hair brushed back from a forehead like 
Mount Athos. Her eves reminded one of diamond 



ORPHEUS C, KERR PAPERS. 201 

springs sparkling in the shade of whispering willows. 
She was decidedly the finest type of beauty present. 

The President wore his coat and whiskers, and 
bowed to all salutations like a graceful door-hinge. 

There was a tall Western Senator present, who 
smiled so much above his stomach, that I was re 
minded of the beautiful lines : 

* As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, 
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm ; 
Though round its base a country s ruin spread, 
Eternal moonshine settles on its head." 

Upon going into the supper-room, my boy, I be 
held a paradise of eatables that made me wish myself 
a knife and pork, with nothing but a bottle of mustard 
to keep me company. There were oysters d la fun- 
dum; turkeys d la ruffles; chickens d la Mcthusaleh; 
beef d la Bull Run; fruit dlastumikake; jellies d la 
Kallararmorbus ; and ices d la aguefitz. 

The ornamental confectionary was beautifully sym 
bolical of the times. At one end of the table, there 
was a large lump of white candy, with six carpet- 
tacks lying upon it. This represented the " Tax on 
Sugar." At the other end was a large platter, con 
taining imitation mud, in which two candy brigadiers 
were swimming towards each other, with their swords 
between their teeth. This symbolized " War." 

These being very hard times, my boy, and the 
Executive not being inclined to be too expensive in 



202 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

its marketing, a most ingenious expedient was adopted 
to make it appear that there was just twice as much 
of certain costly delicacies on the table as there really 
was. About the centre of the table lay a large mirror, 
and on this were placed a few expensive dishes. Of 
course, the looking-glass gave them a double effect. 
For instance, if there was a pound of beefsteak on 
the plate, it produced another pound in the glass, 
and the effect was two pounds. 

When economy can be thus artistically blended 
with plentitude, my boy, money ceases to be king, 
and butcher-bills dwindle. Hereafter, when I re 
ceive for my rations a pint of % transparent coffee and 
two granite biscuit, I shall use a looking-glass for a 
plate. 

It was the very which-ing hour of the night when 
the general and myself left the glittering scene, and 
we had to ask several patrols " which" way to go. 

On parting with my comrade-in-arms, says I : 

" General, the ball is a success/ 

He looked at me in three winks, and says he : 

"It was a success particularly the bowl of 
punch !" Yours, for soda-water, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXI. 

TREATING OF THE GREAT MILITARY ANACONDA, AND THE MODERN 
XANTIPPE. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 16th, 1862. 

THERE is still much lingual gymnastics, my boy, 
concerning the recent fete, sham-pate at the White 
House ; but Colonel Wobert Wobinson, of the West 
ern Cavalry, has extinguished the grumblers by prov 
ing that the entertainment was strictly Constitutional. 
He profoundly observes, my boy, that it comes under 
the head of that clause of the Constitution which 
secures to the people of America the "pursuit of hap 
piness ;" and, as he justly remarks, if you stop the 
" pursuit of happiness/ where s the Instrument of 
our Liberties ? 

It pleases me greatly to announce, my boy, that 
the General of the Mackerel Brigade believes in 
McClellan, and gorgeously defends him against the 
attacks of that portion of the depraved press which 
has friends dying of old age in the Army of the 
Potomac. 

" Thunder !" says he to Captain Bob Shorty, stir 
ring the Oath in his tumbler with a tooth-brush 



204 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPEfRS. 

" the way Little Mac is devoting himself to the mili 
tary squelching of this here unnatural rebellion, is 
actually outraging his physical nature. He reviews 
his staff twice a day, goes over the river every five 
minutes, studies international law six hours before 
dinner, takes soundings of the mud every time the 
dew falls, and takes so little sleep, that there s two 
inches of dust on one of his eye-balls. Would you 
believe it," says the General, placing the tumbler 
over his nose to keep off a fly, " his devotion is such 
that his hair is turning gray and will probably dye !" 

Captain Bob Shorty whistled. I do not mean to 
say that he intended to be musically satirical, my 
boy ; but if I should hear such a canary-bird remark 
after I d told a story, somebody would go home with 
his eyes done up in rainbows. 

"Permit me" says Captain Bob Shorty, hurling 
what remained of the Oath into the aperture under 
his moustache. " You convince me that Little Mac s 
devotion is extraordinary/ continued Captain Bob 
Shorty, dreamily ; " but he don t come up to a chap 
I once knew, which was a editor. Talk about devo 
tion ! and outraging nature !" says Captain Bob 
Shorty, spitting with exquisite accuracy into the 
eyes of the regimental cat, "why, that ere editor 
threw body, soul, and breeches into his work ; and so 
completely identified himself with a free and enlight 
ened press, that his first child was a newsboy" 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PATERS. 205 

The General of the Mackerel Brigade arose from 
his seat, my boy, wound up his watch, brushed off 
his boots, threw the cat out of the window, and then 
says he : 

" Robert, name of Shorty, did you ever read in the 
Bible about Ananias, who was struck dead for telling 
a telegraph ?" 

" I heard about him," says Captain Bob Shorty, 
"when I was but a innocent lamb, and wore my 
mother s slipper on my back about as often as she 
wore it on her foot." 

" Well," says the general, with the air of a thought 
ful parent, " it s my opinion that if you d been Ana 
nias, the same streak of lightning would have buried 
you and paid the sexton." 

From this logical and vivid conversation, iny boy, 
you will understand that our leading military men 
have perfect faith in the genius of McClellan, and 
believe that he is equal to fifty yards of the S tar- 
Spangled Banner. His great anaconda has gathered 
itself in a circle around the doomed rabbit of rebel 
lion, and if the rabbit swells he s a goner. 

This great anaconda, my boy, may remind hellish 
readers of the anaconda once seen by a chap of my 
acquaintance living in the Sixth Ward. This chap, 
my boy, came tearing into a place where they kept 
the Oath on tap, and says he : 

" I ve just seen an anaconda down Broadway." 



206 ORPHEUS C. K.EHR PAPERS. 

" Anna who ?" says a red-nosed Alderman, dipping 
his finger into the water on the stove to see if it was 
warm enough to melt some brandy-refined sugar. 

" I said Anaconda, you ignorant cuss/ says the 
chap. 

" Was it the real insect ?" says the Alderman. 

" It was a real, original, genuine Anaconda/ says 
the chap. 

" Ah !" says the Alderman, " somebody s been stuf- 
fin you." 

" No, sir !" says the chap, but somebody s been 
stuifin the Anaconda, though." 

He d been to the Museum. 

If there should be among your unfortunate readers, 
my boy, any persons of such depraved minds as to 
perceive a likeness between this Anaconda and that 
Anaconda, may they be sent to Fort Lafayette, and 
compelled to read Tupper s poems until the rabbit of 
rebellion is reduced to his last quarter ! 

Early this morning a couple of snuff-colored pickets 
brought a female Southern Confederacy into camp, 
stating that she had called them nasty things and spit 
all over their guns. She said that she wanted to see 
the loathsome creature that commanded them, and 
her eyes flashed so when they took her by the arm, 
that her vail took fire twice, and her eyebrows smoked 
repeatedly. 

The General of the Mackerel Brigade received her 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 207 

courteously, only poking her in the ribs to see if she 
had any Armstrong guns concealed about her. Says he : 

" Have I the honor of addressing the wife of the 
Southern Confederacy ?" 

The female confederacy drew herself up as proudly 
as the First Family of Virginia when the butcher s 
bill comes to be paid, and replied, in soprano of great 
compass : 

" I am that injured woman, you ugly swine." 

The General bowed until his lips touched a pewter 
mug on the table, and then says he : 

" My dear madam, your words touch a tender chord 
in my heart, and it will give me pleasure to serve you. 
Your words, madam," continued the general, with 
visible emotion, "are precisely those which my be 
loved wife not unfrequently addresses to me. Ah ! 
my wife ! my wifey !" says the general, hysterically, 
"how often have you patted me on my head, and 
told me that my face looked like a chunk of beeswax 
with three cracks in it." 

The wife of the Southern Confederacy sneered au 
dibly, and called for a fan. There being no fan 
nearer than the office of Secretary Welles, she used a 
small whisk-broom. Says she : 

" Miserable hireling of a diabolical Lincoln, your 
wife is nothing to me. She is a creature ! I do not 
come here to hear her wrongs, but to express the un 
dying wish that you and all your horde may be wel- 



208 ORPHEUS C, KERR PAPERS. 

corned with muddy hands to hospitable graves. All 
I want is to be let alone." 

"My dear Mrs. S. C./ says the general, with a 
touch of brass and irony, "it is a matter of the ut 
most indifference to me whether you are f to be let 
alone/ or with the next house and lot." 

" I insist upon being let alone/ screamed the female 
Confederacy, spitting angrily. 

" I am not touching you/ says the general. 

" All I want is to be let alone/ shrieked the exas 
perated lady ; " and I will be let alone !" 

The General of the Mackerel Brigade hastily wiped 
his mouth with a bottle, and then says he : 

" Madam, if sandwiches are not plenty where you 
come from, it ain t for the want of tongue." 

On hearing this gastronomic remark, my boy, the 
injured wife of the Southern Confederacy swept from 
the room like an insulted Minerva, and departed for 
Secessia. It was observed that she frowned like a 
thunder-cloud at every Federal she passed, excepting 
one picket. Him she smiled on. She had detected 
him the act of admiring her ankles as she picked her 
way through the mud. 

Woman, my boy, has really many sweet qualities ; 
and if her head is sometimes in the wrong, she has 
always a reserve of genuine goodness of heart in the 
neighborhood of her gaiters. 

Yours, for the Sex, ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXII. 

COMMENCING WITH A BURST OP EXULTATION* OVER NATIONAL VICTO 
RIES, REFERRING TO A SENATORIAL MISTAKE, DEPICTING A WELL- 
KNOWN CHARACTER, AND REPORTING THE RECONNOISSANCE OP THE 
WESTERN CENTAURS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 21st, 1862. 

Now swells Columbia s bosom with a pride, that 
sets her eyes ablaze with living fire ;, and, with 
her arms upreaching to the skies, she draws in air 
new crowns with stars adorned, to ring the temples 
of her conquering chiefs. Far in the West, she sees 
the livid sparks struck by Achilles from the hostile 
sword, and in the South beholds how Ajax bold de 
fies the lightning of the rebel guns. Then clasping 
to her breast the flag we love, and donning swift 
Minerva s gleaming helm, she stands where Morn s 
first glories kiss the hills, and breathes the paean of a 
fame redeemed ! 

Three cheers for the chaps who pocketed Fort 
Donelson & Co., my boy, and may the rebels never 
have an easier boat to row than Roanoke. The other 
day I was talking with a New England Senator about 
the taking of the fort, and says I : 



210 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" It was a gay victory, my learned Theban ; but it 
makes me mad when I think how that slippery ras 
cal, Floyd, found an egress down the river." 

The Senator pulled up his collar, my boy, observed 
to the tumbler-sergeant that he would take the same 
with a little more sugar in it, and then says he : 

"In "that observation you sum up the whole cause 
of this unnatural strife. It is, indeed, the negro, 
whose wrongs are now being revenged upon us by an 
inscrutable Whig Providence ; and if the Govern 
ment does not speedily strike the fetters from the 
slave, that slave may yet be used to fight horribly 
against us. I shall cite the significant fact you 
mention in my next exciting speech/ 

I opened my eyes at this outburst until they looked 
like the bottoms of two quart bottles beaming in the 
sunshine, and then says I : 

" You talk as fluently as a Patent Office Eeport, 
my worthy Nestor ; but I don t exactly perceive what 
my remark has to do with the colored negro." 

" Why," says he, " didn t you say that the traitor 
Floyd found a negrcss down the river ?" 

For an instant, my boy, I felt very dizzy, and was 
obliged to lean my head against a tumbler for a mo 
ment. 

" Your ears, my friend/ says I, " are certainly 
long enough to hear correctly what is said to you ; 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 211 

but this time you ve made a slight mistake. I said 
that Floyd had found mi egress down the river/ 

The Senator looked at me for a moment, and says 
he: 

" Sold by a soldier ! Good morning." 
I wonder how those nice, pleasant, gentlemanly 
chaps down in South Carolina enjoy Uncle Samuel s 
latest hit ? I can fancy their damaging effects, my 
boy, upon the constitution of 

THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENTLEMAN. 

Down in the small Palmetto State, the curious ones may find 
A ripping, tearing gentleman, of an uncommon kind 
A staggering, swaggering sort of chap, who takes his whiskey straight, 
And frequently condemns his eyes to that ultimate vengeance which 
a clergyman of high standing has assured us must be the shi 
ner s fate ; 

A South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

You trace his genealogy, and not far back you ll seo 
A most undoubted octoroon, or mayhap a mustee ; 
And if you note the shaggy locks that cluster on his brow, 
You ll find that every other hair is varied with a kink, that seldom 
denotes pure Caucasian blood ; but, on the contrary, betrays an 
admixture with a race not particularly popular now 
This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

He always wears a full-dress coat pro- Adamite in cut 
With waistcoat of the loudest style, through which his ruffles jut. 
Six breastpins deck his horrid front : and on his fingers shine 
Whole invoices of diamond rings, which would hardly pass muster 
with the Original Jacobs in Chatham street, for jewels gen-u-iue 

This South Carolina gentleman, 

One of the present time. 



212 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

He chews tobacco by the pound, and spits upon the floor, 
If there is not a box of sand behind the nearest door ; 
And when he takes his weekly spree, he clears a mighty track 
Of everything that bears the shape of whisky-skin, gin-and-sugar, 
brandy-sour, peach-and-honey, irrepressible cocktail, rum-and- 
gum, and luscious apple-jack 

This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

He looks on grammar as a thing beneath the notice quite 
Of any Southern gentleman whose grandfather was white ; 
And as for education why, he ll plainly set it forth, 
That such d d nonsense never troubles the heads of the Chivalry ; 
though it may be sufficiently degrading to merit the per 
sonal attention of the poor wretches unfortunate enough to 
make their living at the North 

This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

He licks his niggers daily, like a true American ; 

And " takes the devil out of them " .by this sagacious plan. 

He tries his bowie knives upon the fattest he can find ; 

And if the darkey winces, why he is immediately arrested at the 
instance of the First Families in the neighborhood, on a charge 
of conversing with a fiendish abolitionist, and conspiring to 
poison all the wells in the State with strychnine, and arm the 
slaves of the adjoining plantations with knives and pistols ; for 
all of which he is very properly sentenced to five hundred 
lashes after which to prison he s consigned (by) 
This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

If for amusement he s inclined, he coolly looks about 
For a parson of the Methodists, or some poor peddler lout ; 
And having found him, has him hung from some majestic tree 
Then calls his numerous family to enjoy with hirn the instructive and 
entertaining spectacle of a "suspected abolitionist" receiving 
his just reward at the hands of an incensed com-mu-ni-ty 
This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 213 

He takes to euchre kindly, too, and plays an awful hand, 

Especially when those he tricks his style don t understand ; 

And if he wins, why then he stoops to pocket all the stakes ; 

But if ho loses, then he says unto the unfortunate stranger, who has 
chanced to win : " It s my opinion that you are a cursed aboli 
tionist ; and if you don t leave South Carolina in one hour, you 
will bo hung like a dog." But no offer to pay his loss he 
makes 

This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

Of course he s all the time in debt to those who credit give 

Yet manages upon the best the market yields to live ; 

But if a Northern creditor asks him his bill to heed, 

This honorable gentleman instantly draws two bowie-knives and a 
pistol, dons a blue cockade, and declares, that in consequence 
of the repeated aggressions of the North, and its gross viola 
tions of the Constitution, he feels that it would utterly degrade 
him to pay any debt whatever ; and that, in fact, he has at last 
determined to SECEDE ! 

This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 

And when, at length, to Charleston of the other world ho goes, 
He leaves his children mortgages, with all their other woes. 
As slowly fades the vital spark, ho doubles up his fists, 
And softly murmurs through his teeth : " I die under a full conviction 
of my errors in life, and freely forgive all men ; but still I only 
hope that somewhere on the other side of Jordan I may just 
come across some ab-o-li-tion-ists I" 

This South Carolina gentleman, 
One of the present time. 



Yesterday afternoon, my boy, Colonel Wobert 
Wobinson, of the Western Centaurs, ordered Cap 
tain Samyule Sa-mith to make a reconnoissance 
toward Flint Hill with a company of skeleton 



214 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

cavalry, having learned that several bushels of oats 
were stored there. 

Samyule drew up his company in line against a 
fence, and then says he : 

" Comrades, we go upon a mission that is highly 
dangurious, and America expects every hoss to do his 
duty. If we meet the rebels/ continued Samyule, 
impressively, " they will try hard to capture some of 
our bosses ; for they re badly oif for gridirons down 
there, and three or four of our spirited animals would 
supply them for the season. If any of you see them 
coming after the hardware, just put your gridirons on 
a gallop and fall back." 

At the conclusion of this speech, Private Peter 
Jenkins observed that he d been falling back ever 
since he got his horse ;. for which he was sentenced to 
laugh at all the colonel s jokes for a week. 

Would that I possessed the fiery pen of bully Homer, 
to describe the gallant advance of that splendid corps, 
as it trotted fiercely on to victory or death. At its 
head was Captain Samyule Sa-mith, mounted on a* 
horse of some degree of merit, his coat-tails flapping 
behind him like banners at half-mast, and his form 
bouncing about in the saddle like an inspired jumping- 
jack. There was Lieutenant Tummis Kagcht, re 
cently of the German navy, riding an animal with 
prows as sharp as a yacht and that was broadside to 
to the road at least half the time. There was private 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 215 

Peter Jenkins, seated directly over the tail of a yel 
low-enameled charger, that walked at right-angles 
with the fences, and never stopped to take breath 
until it had gone three yards. 

There was Sergeant OTake, late of Italy, who be 
strode a sorrel, whose side was full of symmetrical gut 
ters to carry the rain off, and who kept his octagon 
head directly under the right arm of the horseman 
ahead of him. There was private Nick O Demus, 
with his sabre tucked neatly into the eyes of his 
neighbor, managing an anatomical curiosity that 
walked half of the tune on his hind-legs, and creaked 
when it came to ruts in the road. 

Onward, right onward, went this glittering caval 
cade, my boy, until they came to an outskirt of Flint 
Hill, where a solitary remnant of a First Family 
might have been seen sitting on a fence, eating a 
sandwich. 

"Tr-r-aitor I" shouted Captain Samyule Sa-mith, 
in tones of milk-souring thunder, " where is the rest 
of the Confederacy, and what do you think of the 
news from Fort Donelson ?" 

The Confederacy hiccupped gloomily, my boy, as 
he took an impression of its front teeth on the sand 
wich, and says he : 

" The melancholy days are come the saddest of 
the year." 

" That s very true," said Samyule, pleasantly, "and 



216 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

proves you to be a person of some eddication. But 
tell me, sweet hermit of the dale/ pursued Samyule, 
" where are the oats \ve have heard about ?" 

The solitary Confederacy checked a rising cough 
with another bite at his ration, and says he : 

" You have the oats already ; for they were eaten 
last night by six Confederate chickens, and my slave, 
Mr. Johnson, sold them chickens to a prospecting de 
tachment of the Mackerel Brigade this morning. 
Don t talk to me any more," continued the Con 
federacy, sadly, " for I am very miserable, and haven t 
seen a quarter in six months." 

Samyule seemed touched, and put his hand half 
way into his pocket, but remembered his probable 
children, and refrained from romantic generosity. 

" Let me see Mr. Johnson/ says he, reflectively, 
" and I will question him concerning the South." 

The Confederacy indulged in a plaintive cat-call, 
whereupon there emerged from an adjacent clump 
of bushes a beautiful black being, richly attired in 
a heavy seal-ring and a red neck-tie. It was Mr. 
Johnson. 

" You have sent for me," says Mr. Johnson, with 
much dignity, "and I have come. If you do not 
want me, I will return." 

" You have seen the tragic Forrest ?" said Sam- 
yule. 

"The forest is my home," replied Mr. Johnson, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 217 

" and in its equal shade my humble hut stands sa 
credly embowered. As the gifted Whittier might 
say : 

" There lofty trees uprcar iu pillared state, 
And crystal streams the thirsty deer elate ; 
While through the halls that base the dome of leaves 
Fall sunshine-harvests spread in golden sheaves. 

" There toy the birds in sweet seclusion blest, 
To leap the branches or to build the nest, 
"While from their throats the grateful song outpoured 
"Wakes woodland orchestras to praise the Lord. 

" There walks the wolf, no longer driven wild 
By panting hounds and huntsman blood-defiled ; 
But tamed to kindness, seeketh peacefully 
The soothing shelter of a hollow tree. 

" "Who would be free, and tow r above his race, 
In the full freedom spurning man and place, 
Deep iu the forest let him rear his clan 
Where God himself stands face to face with man." 

Just as the oppressed African finished this rhythm 
ical statement of his platform, my boy, a huge horse 
fly, alighting on the nose of Captain Samyule Sa-mith, 
awoke that hero from the refreshing slumber into 
which he had fallen. 

" Tell me, Johnson," says he, " how you got your 
eddication, for I thought that persons from Afric s 
sunny mountain went to school about as often as a 
cat goes to sea." 

Mr. Johnson placed his hand upon his breast with 
much stateliness, and says he : "I entered Yale Col- 

10 



218 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

lege as a Spaniard, and having graduated with all 
honors, returned to my master, and was at once em 
ployed in cotton culture. I am contented and happy, 
and have never seen an uncomfortable day since my 
wife was sold. Go, stranger, and tell your people 
that the South may be overwhelmed, but she can 
never be conquered while Johnson has a seal ring to 
his back." 

On hearing this speech, my boy, Samyule said : 
" About face ! skeletons ;" and the gridiron cavalry 
returned to camp in a brown study. 

The intelligence of the southern slaves is really 
wonderful, my boy, and if it should ever come to a 
head, look out for a rise in wool. 

Yours, contemplatively, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXIII. 

EXEMPLIFYING THE TERRIBLE DOMESTIC EFFECTS OF MILITARY IN 
ACTIVITY ON THE POTOMAC, AND DESCRIBING THE METAPHYSICAL 
CAPTURE OF FORT MUGGINS. 

WASHINGTON, D. ., March 8d, 1S62. 

I KNOW a man, my boy, who was driven to lunacy 
by reliable war news. He was in the prime of life 
when the war broke out, and took such an interest in 
the struggle that it soon became nearly equal to the 
interest on his debts. With all the enthusiasm of 
vegetable youth he subscribed for all the papers, and 
commenced to read the reliable war news. In this 
way he learned that all was quiet on the Potomac, 
and immediately went to congratulate his friends, 
and purchase six American flags. On the following 
morning he wrapt himself in the banner of his country 
and learned from all the papers that all was quiet on 
the Potomac. His joy at once became intense ; he 
hoisted a flag on the lightning-rod of his domicil, 
purchased a national pocket-handkerchief, bought six 
hand-organs that played the Star-Spangled Banner, 
and drank nothing but gunpowder tea. In the next 
six months, however, there was a great change in our 



220 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

military affairs ; the backbone of the rebellion was 
broken, the sound of the thunder came from all parts 
of the sky, and fifty- three excellent family journals 
informed the enthusiast that all was quiet on the Po 
tomac. He now became fairly mad with bliss, and 
volunteered to sit up with a young lady whose brother 
was a soldier. On the following morning he com 
menced to read Bancroft s History of the United 
States, with Hardee s Tactics appended, only paus 
ing long enough to learn from the daily papers that 
all was quiet on the Potomac. Thus, in a fairy 
dream of delicious joy, passed the greater part of this 
devoted patriot s life ; and even as his hair turned 
gray, and his form began to bend with old age, his 
eye flashed in eternal youth over the still reliable war 
news. At length there came a great change in the 
military career of the Kepublic ; the rebellion received 
its death-wound, and Washington s Birthday boomed 
upon the United States of America. It was the 
morning of that glorious day, and the venerable pa 
triot was tottering about the room with his cane, 
when his great-grandchild, a lad of twenty-five, came 
thundering into the room with forty-three daily papers 
under his arm. 

"Old man \" says he, in a transport, " there s great 
news." 

"Boy, boy !" says the aged patriot, "do not trifle 
with me. Can it be that " 



OUl HKUS C. KKKK 1 AVKKS. 221 

" Bet your life" 

" Is it then a fact that " 

Yes" 

" Am I to believe that" 

"ALL IS QUIET ON THE POTOMAC !" 

It was too much for the venerable Brutus ; he 
clutched at the air, spun once on his left heel, sang a 
stave of John Brown s body, and stood transfixed 
with ecstacy. 

" Thank Heving," says he, " for sparing me to see 
this day !" 

After which he became hopelessly insane, my boy, 
and raved so awfully about all our great generals 
turning into mud-larks that his afflicted family had 
to send him to the asylum. 

This veracious and touching biography will show 
you how dangerous to public health is reliable war 
news, and convince you that the Secretary s order to 
the press is only a proper insanitary measure. 

I am all the more resigned to it, my boy, because 
it affects me so little that I am even able to give you 
a strictly reliable account of a great movement that 
lately took place. 

I went down to Accomac early in the week, my 
boy, having heard that Captain Villiam Brown and 
the Conic Section of the Mackerel Brigade were about 
to march upon Fort Muggins, where Jeff Davis, Beau- 
regard, Mason, Slidell, Yancey, and the whole rebel 



222 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Congress were believed to be intrenched. Mounted 
on my gothic steed Pegasus, who only blew down 
once in the whole journey, I repaired to Villiam s de 
partment, and was taking notes of the advance, upon 
a sheet of paper spread on the ground, when the 
commander of Accomac approached me, and says he : 

" What are you doing, my bantam ?" 

" Tm taking notes," says I, "for a journal which 
has such an immense circulation among our gallant 
troops that when they begin to read it in the camps, 
it looks, from a distance, as though there had just 
been a heavy snow-storm/ 

"Ah!" says Villiam, thoughtfully, "newspapers 
and snow-storms are somewhat alike ; for both make 
black appear white. But," said Villiam philosophi 
cally, " the snow is the more moral ; for you can t 
lie in that with safety, as you can in a newspaper. 
In the language of General Grant at Donelson," says 
Villiam, sternly : "I propose to move upon your 
works immediately." 

And with that he planted one of his boots right in 
the middle of my paper. 

" Bead that ere Napoleonic dockyment," says Vil 
liam, handing me a scroll. It was as follows : 

EDICK. 

Having noticed that the press of the United States 
of America is making a ass of itself, by giving infor- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 223 

mation to the enemy. concerning the best methods of 
carrying on the strategy of war, I do hereby assume 
control of all special correspondents, forbidding them 
to transact anything but private business ; neither 
they, nor their wives, nor their children, to the third 
and fourth generation. 

I. It is ordered, that all advice from editors to the 
War Department, to the general commanding, or the 
generals commanding the armies in the field, be abso 
lutely forbidden ; as such advice is calculated to make 
the United States of America a idiot. 

II. Any newspaper publishing any news whatever, 
however obtained, shall be excluded from all railroads 
and steamboats, in order that country journals, which 
receive the same news during the following year, may 
not be injured in cirkylation. 

III. This control of special correspondents does 
not include the correspondent of the London Times, 
who wouldn t be believed if he published all the news 
of the next Christian era. By order of 

VILLIAM BROWN, Eskevire, 
Captain Conic Section Mackerel Brigade. 

I had remounted Pegasus while reading this able 
State paper, my boy, and had just finished it, when 
a nervous member of the advance-guard accidentally 
touched off a cannon, whose report was almost imme 
diately answered by one from the dense fog before us. 



224 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

"Ha!" says Captain Villiam Brown, suddenly 
leaping from his steed, and creeping under it to ex 
amine if the saddle-girth was all right " the fort is 
right before us in the fog, and the rebels are awake. 
Let the Orange County Company advance with their 
howitzers, and fire to the north-east/ 

The Orange County Company, my boy, instantly 
wheeled their howitzers into position, and sent some 
pounds of grape toward the meridian, the roar of their 
weapons of death being instantaneously answered by 
a thundering orash in the fog. 

Company 3, Regiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, now 
went forward six yards at double-quick, and poured 
in a rattling volley of musketry, dodging fearlessly 
when exactly the same kind of a volley was heard in 
the fog, and wishing that they might have a few rebels 
for supper. 

" Ha \" says Captain Villiam Brown, when he no 
ticed that nobody seemed to be killed yet ; " Provi 
dence is on our side, and this here unnatural rebellion 
is squelched. Let the Anatomical Cavalry charge 
into the fog, and demand the surrender of Fort 
Muggins," continued Villiam, compressing his lips 
with mad valor, " while I repair to that tree back 
there, and see if there is not a fiendish secessionist 
lurking behind it." 

The Anatomical Cavalry immediately dismounted 
from their horses, which were too old to be used in a 



ORPHEUS C. KEUK PAPERS. 

charge, and gallantly entered the fog, with their sabres 
between their teeth, and their hands in their pockets 
it being a part of their tactics to catch a rebel be 
fore cutting his head off. 

In the meantime, my boy, the Orange County howit 
zers and the Mackerel muskets were hurling a con 
tinuous fire into the clouds, stirring up the angels, 
and loosening the smaller planets. Sturdily answered 
the rebels from the fog-begirt fort ; but not one of 
our men had yet fallen. 

Captain Villiam Brown was just coming down from, 
the top of a very tall tree, whither he had gone to 
search for masked batteries, when the fog commenced 
lifting, and disclosed the Anatomical Cavalry return 
ing at double-quick. 

Instantly our fire ceased, and so did that of the 
rebels. 

" Does the fort surrender to the United States of 
America ?" says Villiarn, to the captain of the Anato- 
inicals. 

The gallant dragoon, sighed, and says he : 

" I used my magnifying glass, but could find no 
fort." 

At this moment, my boy, a sharp sunbeam cleft 
the fog as a sword does a vail, and the mist rolled 
away from the scene in two volumes, disclosing to 
our view a fine cabbage-patch, with a dense wood 
beyond. 



226 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Villiam deliberately raised a bottle to his face, and 
gazed through it upon the unexpected prospect. 

"Ha!" says he sadly, "the garrison has cut its 
way through the fog and escaped, but Fort Muggins 
is ours ! Let the flag of our Union be planted on 
the ramparts," says Villiam, with much perspiration, 
" and I will immediately issue a proclamation to the 
people of the United States of America/ 

Believing that Villiam was somewhat too hasty in 
his conclusions, my boy, I ventured to insinuate that 
what he had taken for a fort in the fog, was really 
nothing but a cabbage inclosure, and that the escaped 
rebels were purely imaginary. 

" Imaginary !" says Villiam, hastily placing his 
canteen in his pocket. " Why. didn t you hear the 
roar of their artillery ?" 

" Do you see that thick wood yonder ?" says I. 

Says he, " It is visible to the undressed eye/ 

"Well," says I, "what you took for the sound of 
rebel firing, was only the echo of your own firing in 
that wood/ 

Villiam pondered for a few moments, my boy, like 
one who was considering the propriety of saying noth 
ing in as few words as possible, and then looked an 
gularly at me, and says he : 

"My proclamation to the press will cover all this, 
and the news of this here engagement will keep until 
the war is over. Ah t" says Villiam, " I wouldn t 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 227 

have the news of this affair published on any account ; 
for if the Government thought I was trying to cab 
bage in my Department, it would make me Minister 
to Eussia immediately." 

As the Conic Section of the Mackerel Brigade re 
turned slowly to head-quarters, my boy, I thought 
to myself : How often does man, after making some 
thing his particular forte, discover at last that it is 
only a cabbage-patch, and hardly large enough at 
that for a big hog like himself ! 

Yours, philanthropically, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXIV. 

BEGINNING WITH A LAMENTATION, BUT CHANGING MATERIALLY IN 
TONE AT THE DICTUM OF JED SMITH. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., March Sth, 1862. 

Two days ago, my boy, a letter from the West 
informed me that an old friend of mine had fallen in 
battle at the very moment of victory. One by one, 
my boy, I have lost many friends since the war began, 
and know how to bear the stroke ; but what will they 
say in that home to which the young soldier wafted a 
nightly prayer ? Thither, alas ! he goes 

NO MORE. 

Hushed be the song and the love-notes of gladness 
That broke with the morn from the cottager s door 

Muffle the tread in the soft stealth of sadness, 

For one who returneth, whose chamber-lamp burneth 

No more. 

Silent he lies on the broad path of glory, 

Where withers ungarnered the red crop of war. 

Grand is his couch, though the pillows are gory, 

Mid forms that shall battle, mid guns that shall rattle 

No more. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 229 

Soldier of Freedom, thy marches are ended 

The dreams that were prophets of triumph are o er 

Death with the night of thy manhood is blended 
The bugle shall call thce, the fight shall enthrall thee 

No more. 

Far to the Northward tho banners are dimming, 
And faint comes tho tap of the drummers before ; 

Low in the tree-tops the swallow is skimming ; 
Thy comrades shall cheer thee, the weakest shall fear thee 

No more. 

Far to the "Westward the day is at vespers, 

And bows down its head, like a priest, to adore ; 

Soldier, the twilight for theo has no whispers, 

The night shall forsake thee, the morn* shall awake thee 

No more. 

Wide o er tho plain, where tho white tents are gleaming, 
In spectral array, like tho graves they re before 

One there is empty, where once thou wort dreaming 
Of deeds that are boasted, of One that is toasted 

No more. 

When the Commander to-morrow proclaimeth 

A list of the brave for the nation to store, 
Thou shalt bo known with the heroes he nameth, 

Who wake from their slumbers, who answer their numbers 

No more. 

Hushed be the song and tho love-notes of gladness 
That broke with the morn from tho cottager s door 

Muffle the tread in the soft stealth of sadness, 

For one who returneth, whose chamber-lamp burneth 

No more. 

To escape my own thoughts, I went over into a 
camp of New England chaps, yesterday, my boy, and 
one of the first high-privates my eyes rested on was 



230 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Jed Smith, of Salsbury. He winked to the chaps 
lounging near him, when he noted my doleful look, 
and says he : 

" You re mopish, comrade. Hez caliker proved 
deceitful ?" 

"No," says I, indifferently. "Calico rather shuns 
me, as a general thing, my Down-easter, on account 
of my plain speaking." 

This startled him, my boy, as I expected it would, 
and says he : 

" That s jest like the mock-modesty of the wimmiri 
folks all the world .over, and a body might think they 
had the hull supply and no thin shorter ; but I tell ye 
it s the heartiest sow that makes the least noise, and 
half this here modesty is all sham. Onct in a while 
these here awful modest critters git shook down a bit, 
I guess ; and gheewhillikins ! ef it don t do me good 
to see it. I recollect I was goin down from Augusty 
some two years ago, in the old stage that Sammy 
Tompkins druv, and we had one of the she-critters 
aboard and she was a scrouger, I tell ye ! Bonnet 
red as a blaze, and stuck all over with stiff geeranium 
blows, a hump like a Hottentot gal, and sich ankles ! 
but hold your horses, I m gettin ahead of time. We 
was awful crowded, and no mistake piled right on 
top of each other, like so many layers of cabbage ; 
and the way that gal squealed when we struck a rut, 
was a caution to screech owls. And she was takin 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. * 231 

up her sheer of the coach, too, I guess ; and kind of 
si ivtched her walkin geer way under the seat in front 
of her, and out t other side, just to brace herself agin 
the diffikilties of travel. It being pretty bad goin 
down in them parts, she had on a pair of her brother s 
butes, and they was what she wouldn t have had seen 
if she d knowed it. One of the fellers on the middle 
seat was Zeb Green gone to glory some time ago 
and when he spied them butes, he winked to me, and 
sung out : 

" Gheewhillikins ! who owns these ere big trot 
ters ?" 

" Now, ye see, the she-critter was one of yer modest 
ones, and she wouldn t have owned up for the world, 
after that. Says she : 

" ( I guess they ain t mine. 

" Zeb see her game in a twinklin , and he was a tall 
one for a lark ; so says he : 

" I rayther guess there s petticuts goes with them 
mud mashers. 

"The gal she flamed up at that, and says she : 

" I guess you re barkin up the wrong saplin , 
Major, and yer must have a most audacious turkey 
on, not to know yer own butes. 

" Sich lyin tuk Zeb all aback for a minute ; but he 
combed up his bristles again, and tried her on another 
trail. 

" Now, you don t mean to come for to insinuate 



232 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

that them ere s my butes, and I not know it ? says 
he: 

" She was in for it then, and wouldn t back down ; 
so says she : 

" e In course I do, Major, and you d better look out 
fur your own leather/ 

" Zeb took a chaw of his terbacky, and says he : 
" Well, if you says it s so, I m bound to swaller 
the oyster ; but I ll be dod-rotted if my bute-maker 
won t hev to shave my last next winter/ 

" I seen right off that Zeb was up to the biggest 
kind of a spree, and I knew them butes was the gist 
of it ; cause ye see the she-critter couldn t hull "em 
in nohow, after what she d said. 

" We went wrigglin along for a while as still as 
cats in a milk-house, and the butes stayed where they 
was. But pretty soon Zeb began to grow uneasy like, 
and screwed up his ugly nose, like as if he was took 
with the pangs, and the doctor gone a courtin ". 

" Gheewhillikins ! says he, at last, c I shan t stand 
this here much longer, if there is company in the 
parlor ! 

" We all looked at him, and says one feller : 
" I. guess, Major, you re took putty bad/ 
" Zeb gave his phizog another twist, an says he : 
" You d better believe it, squire. I ve got corns 
on them ere feet of mine that d make a preacher 
swear, and them butes pinch like all tarnation/ 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 233 

" I sec right off how the smoke was blowin , and 
says I : 

" Off with em, Zeb ! We re all in the family, and 
won t mind you. 

" That was all the old he-one was waitin fur ; and 
as quick as I said it, he had one of that modest gal s 
feet in his hand, and twisted off the bute in a twink- 
lin ! ! We all see a perfect Wenus of a foot, and a 
golfired ankle, and then it was jerked away quicker n 
a flash, and the critter screamed like a rantankerous 
tom-cat with his tail under a cheese-knife ! 

" ( Murder ! you nasty thing, says she, i give me 
my bute. 

" With that, me, and Zeb, and the hull bilin of us 
roared right out ; and says Zeb, says he, as he handed 
her the bute with a killin bow says he : 

" c Young woman, I guess I ve taken your modesty, 
as the wimmen call it, down a peg. You sed them 
was my butes, and in course I had a right to shed 
em ; but ef they re your n now, why keep em to 
yourself, for massy s sake ! 

" That settled the gal down some, I tell ye ; and it 
give her such a turn that her putty face was like a 
rose when we stopt at the Red Tavern." 

We were so much pleased with this story, my boy, 
that we entreated the opponent of mock modesty to 
spin us another. 



234 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" Well, feller citizens," says he, " I don t mind if I 
do tell ye about 

A JOFIEED WAGON-TRADE 

I onct made down in Texas. You see I was doin a 
right smart chance of trade down in that deestrict 
with clocks, fur caps, Ingin meal, and other necessa 
ries of life ; and onct in a while I went it blind on a 
spekullation, when there was a chance to get a bar 
gain, and pay fifty per cent, on a stiff swindle. They 
was an old chap of a half breed they called Uncle 
Johnny, down there, and somehow he got wind of 
my pertikler cuteness, and he guessed he could run a 
pretty sharp saw on me, if he only got a sight. 

" I heerd he was after me, and thinks I you ll 
get a roastin , my boy, ef you pick up this hot-chest 
nut : but- I was consated beyond my powers then, 
and he was jist one huckleberry above my tallest 
persimmon. We cum together one night at Bill 
CroWn s tavern, and the fust thing the old cuss said 
was : 

" Jerewsalem crickets ! I m like a fellow jist out 
of a feather bed and no mistake. I tell ye that ere 
wagging uv mine rides jist about as slick as a railroad 
of grease, and if it warn t so allfired big, I wouldn t 
sell it for its weight in Orleans bank notes. 

" I kinder thought I smelt a putty big bed-bug ; 
but I glimpsed outer the door, and there stood the 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 235 

wagon under the shed, and lookin orful temptin . It 
war a big four wheel consarn, with a canvas top, and 
about as putty a consarn for family use as ever I sot 
my winkers on. Thinks I : 

" You don t fetch me this time, hoss ; for I ll be 
jist a neck ahead of you ! 

" So I stood a minit, and then says 1 : 
" Without lookiu nor nuthin , Uncle Johnny, I ll 
jest give you $50 for that ere hearse/ 

" He kinder blinked around, and says he : 
" ( I d rather sell my grandmother ; but the con- 
sarn s yourn, cunnel. Show yer hand. 

" He was too willin to suit me ; but the game was 
outer cover, and I wouldn t back down. So I give 
him the rags, and went out to look at my bargain. 
Would you bleave it, the old varmint had jist fetched 
that ere wagon down to the shed, and sot it up end 
on, so that I didn t see how the fore- wheels wasn t 
thar ! Fact ! They had marvelled, and the fore- 
axles was res tin on two hitchin stakes : Jist as I 
got through cussin, I heerd a jofired larfin, and thar 
was the robber and his friends standin in the door, 
splittin their sides at me. Thinks I, I went cheap, 
then, my beauty ; but look out for a hail-storm when 
the wind s up next time. I borreyed a horse, and 
took that ar bargain to my shanty ; and then I sot 
down and went to thinkin . Fur two days I war as 
melancholy as a chicken in gooseberry time, tryin to 



236 OEPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

hit some plan to get even with the cuss. All to onct 
somethin struck me, and I felt better. Ye see there 
was great talk down thar jist then, about the doctor s 
gig what they heard tell on, but not a one was there 
in the hull deestrict. I d seen one up in York, and 
thinks I, c Ef I don t make a doctor s two- wheeler 
outer that ere wagon, then bleed me to death 
with a oyster-knife ! So I jist got a big saw, and 
went to work quiet like, and cut that ere wagon right 
in two in the middle cover and all Then I took 
the shafts and fastened them onto the hind part, and 
rigged up a dash-board. And then I took part of the 
cut-off piece for a seat, and painted the hull thing 
with black paint ; and dod-rot me if ef I didn t hev 
a doctor s gig as rantankerous as you please ! I knew 
it would fetch a thunderin price fur its novelty to 
any one ; but I was after Uncle Johnny, and nobody 
else. One night I druv down to the tavern at a 
tearin rate, and the fust feller I see was hisself, a 
standin in the door, and sippin kill-me-quick. He 
was kinder took down when he see me comin it so 
piert in my new two-wheeler, and some of his friends 
inside axed him what was the matter. He kept as 
still as a mouse in a pantry until I come up, and then 
says ho : 

" What s that ere concern of yourn, hoss ? 

" Says I : 

" It s one of them doctor s flyers as I d rather ride 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 237 

in it than in Queen Victory s bang-up, A, No. 1, 
stage-coach. It s a scrouger." 

" He kinder stuck a minute, and then says he : 

" What ll ye take for it, hoss ? 

" I made out as though I didn t keer, and says I : 

" c lt was sent to me by a cousin up in York," and 
I don t keer to sell ; but yer may take it for $250. 

"He turned green about the gills at that, and 
says he : 

" Say $100, and I ll take it with my eyes shut. 

" It s yourn, says I. Give us the rags. 

" He smelt a bug that time ; but it was too late ; 
so he forked out the rale stuff, and then went to look 
at the two-wheeler. 

" < Thunder ! says he, blinkin at the seat. I ve 
seen that afore, or my name isn t what my father s 
wus ! 

" c Better blieve it, says I ; that s your four- 
wheeler shaved down to the very latest York- 
fashion/ 

" Then he did cuss ; but twarn t no use. The 
trade was a trade, and all the boys larfed till their 
tongues hung out. I treated all round, and as I left 
em, says I : 

" Uncle Johnny, when ye want to trade agin, jist 
pick out agrindstun that isn t too hard for yer blade. " 

At the conclusion of this tale of real life I returned 



238 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

to the city, my boy ; impressed with the conviction 
that the purpose of the sun s rising in the East is to 
give the New Englanders the first chance to monopo 
lize the supply, should daylight ever be a sailable 

article. 

Yours, admiringly, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXV. 

GIVING PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION OF MODERN PATRIOTISM, AND CEL 
EBRATING THE ADVANCE OP THE MACKEREL BRIGADE TO MANAS- 
SAS, ETC. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 14th, 1S62. 

PATRIOTISM, ray boy, is a very beautiful thing. 
The surgeon of a Western regiment has analyzed a 
very nice case of it, and says that it is peculiar to 
this hemisphere. He says that it first breaks out in 
the mouth, and from thence extends to the heart 
causing the latter to swell. He says that it goes on 
raging until it reaches the pocket, when it suddenly 
disappears, leaving the patient very Constitutional 
and conservative. " Bless me !" says the surgeon, 
intently regarding a spoon with a tumbler round it, 
" if a genuine American ever dies of patriotism it 
will be because the Tax Bill hasn t been applied soon 
enough." 

I believe him, my boy ! 

On Monday morning, just as the sun was rising, like 
a big gold watch " put up" at some celestial Simp 
son s, the sentinels of Fort Corcoran were seized with 
horrible tremblings at a sight calculated to make per- 



240 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

pendicular hair fashionable. As far as the eye could 
reach on every side of the Capital, the ground was 
black with an approaching multitude,, each man of 
which wore large spectacles,, and carried a serious 
carpet-bag and a bottle-green umbrella. 

" Be jabers !" says one of the sentinels, whose im 
perfect English frequently causes him to be taken for 
the Due de Chartres, " it s the whole Southern Con 
federacy coming to boord with us." 

"Aisey, me boy/ says the other sentinel, straight 
ening the barrel of his musket and holding it very 
straight to keep the fatal ball from rolling out, ".it s 
the sperits of all our pravious descindants coming to 
ax us, was our grandmother the Saycretary of the 
Navy/ 

Eight onward came the multitude, their spectacles 
glistening in the sun like so many exasperated young 
planets, and their umbrellas and carpet-bags swinging 
like the pendulums of so many infuriated clocks. 

Pretty soon the advance guard, who was a chap in 
a white neck-tie and a hat resembling a stove-pipe in 
reduced circumstances, poked a sentinel in the ribs 
with his umbrella, and says he : 

" Where s Congress ?" 

" Is it Congress ye want ?" says the sentinel. 

" Yessir !" says the chap. " Yessir. These are 
friends of mine ten thousand six hundred and forty- 
two free American citizens. We must see Congress. 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 241 

Yessir ! dammit. How about that tax-bill ? We 
come to protest against certain features in that bill." 

" Murther an turf!" says the sentinel, "is it the 
taxes all of them ould chaps is afther blaming ?" 

" Yessir !" says the chap, hysterically jamming his 
hat down over his forehead and stabbing himself 
madly under the arm with his umbrella. " Taxes is 
a outrage. Not all taxes," says the chap with sud 
den benignity, "but the taxes which fall upon us. 
Why don t they tax them as is able to pay, without 
oppressing us ministers, editors, merchants, lawyers, 
grocers, peddlers, and professors of religion ?" Here 
the chap turned very purple in the face, his eyes 
bulged greenly out, and says he : " Congress is a ass." 

" That s thruo for you," says the sentinel : " they 
ought to eximpt the whole naytion and tax the rest 
of it," 

The multitude then swarmed into Washington, my 
bay, and if they don t smother the Tax Bill, it will 
be because Congress is case-hardened. 

The remainder of the Mackerel Brigade being or 
dered to join the -Conic Section at Accomac for an 
irresistible advance on Manassas, I mounted my gothic 
steed Pegasus on Tuesday morning. 

Pegasus, my boy, has greatly improved since I 
rubbed him down with Snobb s Patent Hair Invigora- 
tor, and his tail looks much less like a whisk-broom 
than it did at first. It is now fully able to maintain 

11 



242 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

itself against all flies whatsoever. The general of the 
Mackerel Brigade rode beside me on a spirited black 
frame, and says he : 

" That funereal beast of yours is a monument of 
the home affections. Thunder \" says the general, 
shedding a small tear of the color of Scheidam 
Schnapps, " I never look at that air horse without 
thinking of the time I buried my first baby ; its head 
is shaped so much like a small coffin/ 

On reaching Accomac, my boy, we found Captain 
Villiam Brown at the head of the Conic Section of 
the Mackerel Brigade, dressed principally in a large 
sword and brass buttons, and taking the altitude of 
the sun with a glass instrument operated by means 
of a bottle. 

a Ah !" says Villiam, " You are just in time to 
hear my speech to the sons of Mars, previous to 
the capture of Manassas by the United States of 
America." 

Hereupon Villiam mounted a demijohn laid length 
wise, and says he : 

"FELLOW-ANACONDAS: Having been informed 
by a gentleman who has spent two weeks at Manassas, 
that the Southern Confederacy has gone South for its 
health, I have concluded that it is time to be offen 
sive. The great Anaconda, having eluded Barnum, 
is about to move on the enemy s rear : 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 243 

1 Rear aloft your peaks, yo mountings, 

Rear aloft your waves, sea ! 
Rear your sparkling crests, ye fountings, 
For my love s come back to me. 

The day of inaction is past, and now the United 
States of America is about to swoop down like a 
exasperated Eagle, on the chickens left by the hawk. 
Are you ready, my sagacious reptiles, to spill a drop 
or so for your soaking country ? Are you ready to 
rose up as one man 

" The rose is red, 

The wi lets blue, 
Sugar is sweet, and 

Bully for you. 



" Ages to come will look down on this day and 
say : i They died young/ The Present will reply : 
c I don t see it ; but the present is just the last thing 
for us to think about. Kichmond is before us, and 
there let it remain. We shall take it in a few years : 

" 1C may be for years and it may be for ever, 
Then why art thou silent, pride of mo heart. 

which is poickry. I hereby divide this here splendid 
army into one corpse, dammee, and take command 
of it." 

At the conclusion of this thrilling oration, my boy, 
the corpse dammee formed itself into a hollow square 
in the centre of which appeared a mail-clad ambu 
lance. 



244 ORPHEUS C. .KERR PAPERS. 

I looked at this carefully, and then says I to Vil- 
liam : 

" Tell me, my gay Achilles, what you carry in 
that ?" 

" Ha !" says Villiam, balancing himself on one 
leg, " them s my Kepeaters. This morning/ says 
Villiam, sagaciously, " I discovered six Kepeaters 
among my men. Each of them voted six times last 
election day, and I ve put them where they can t be 
killed. Ah !" says Villiam, softly, "the Democratic 
party can t afford to lose them Repeaters." 

Here a rather rusty-looking chap stepped out of the 
ranks a and says he : 

" Captain, I m a Repeater too. I voted four times 
last election." 

"It takes six to make a reliable Repeater," says 
Villiam. 

" Yes," says the chap : " but I voted for different 
coves twice for the Republican candidate and twice 
for the Democrat." 

"Ha \" says Villiam, " you re a man of intellect 
Here, sargent," says Villiam, imperiously, " put this 
cherubim into the ambulance." 

" And, sargent," says Villiam, thoughtfully, "give 
him the front seat." 

And now, my boy, the march for Manassas com 
menced, being timed by the soft music of the band. 
This band, my boy, is sui generis. Its chief artist is 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 245 

an ardent admirer of Rossini, who performs with great 
accuracy upon a night-key pressed closely against the 
lower lip, the strains being much like those emitted 
by a cart-wheel in want of grease. Then comes a 
gifted musican from Germany, whose instrument is a , 
fine-tooth comb wrapped in paper, and blown upon 
through its vibratory covering. The remainder of the 
band is composed chiefly of drums, though the second- 
base achieves some fine effects with a superannuated 
accordeon. 

Onward moved the magnificent pageant toward 
the plains of Manassas, the Anatomical Cavalry being 
in advance, and the Mackerel Brigade following closely 
after. 

Arriving on the noted battle-field, we found noth 
ing but a scene of desolation ; the rebels gone ; the 
masked batteries gone ; and nothing left but a soli 
tary daughter of the sunny South, who cursed us for 
invading the peaceful homes of Virginia, and then 
tried to sell us stale milk at six shillings a quart. 

When Captain Villiam Brown, surveyed this spec 
tacle, my boy, his brows knit with portentous anger, 
and says he : 

" So much for wasting so much time. Ah !" says 
Villiam, clutching convulsively at his canteen, " we 
have met the enemy, and they are hours ahead of 
us/ 

The only thing noticeable we found, my boy, upon 



246 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

searching the late stamping ground of the Southern 
Confederacy, was a beautiful " romaunt," evidently 
written by an oppressed Southern Union man, who 
had gone from bad to verse, and descriptive of 

THE SOUTHERN" VOLUNTEER S FAREWELL TO HIS 
WIFE. 

Fresh from snuff- dipping to his arms she went, 

And he, a quid removing from his mouth, 
Pressed her in anguish to his manly breast 

And spat twice, longingly, toward the South. 

" Zara," he said, and hiccup d as he spoke, 

" Indeed I find it most (hie) stremely hard 
To leave my wife, my niggers, and my debts, 
And march to glory with the Davis Guard ; 

" But all to arms the South has called her .sons, 

And while there s something Southern hands can steal, 
You can t (hie) spect me to stay here at home 
With heartless-duns for ever at my heel. 

* To-night a hen-copp falls ; and in a week 
We ll take the Yankee capital, I think ; 
But should it prove (hie) pedient not to do t, 

Why, then, we ll take in short, we ll take a drink, 

"I reckon I may p erish in the strife 

Some bullet in the back might lay me low 
And as my business needs attendiu to, 
I ll give you some directions ere I go. 

"That cotton-gin I haven t paid for yet 

The Yankee trusted for it, dear, you know, 
And it s a most (hie) stremely doubtful thing, 
Whether it s ever used again, or no. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 247 

" If Yankee s agent calls while I am gone, 

It s my (hie) spress command and wish, that you 
Denounce him for an abolition spy, 

And have him hung before his note is due. 

" That octoroon who made you jealous, love 

"Who sews so well and is so pale a thing; 
She keeps her husband, Sambo, from his work 
You d better sell her well, for what she ll bring. 

"In case your purse runs low while I m away 

There s Dinah s children two (hie) spensive whelps ; 
They won t bring much the way the markets are, 
But then you know how every little helps. 

" And there s that Yankee schoolmistress, you know, 
"Who taught our darlings how to read and spell; 
Now don t (hie) spend a cent to pay her bill ; 
If she aren t tarred and feathered, she ll do well 1 

" And now, my dear, I go where booty calls, 

I leave my whisky, cotton-crop, and thee ; 
Pray, that in battle I may not (hie) spire, 
And when you lick the niggers think of me. 

"If on some mournful summer afternoon 

They should bring home to you your warrior dead, 
Inter me with a toothpick in my hand, 
And write a last (hie) jacet o er my head." 

We found this in the shed lately used by the chiv- 
alric Con s tar veracy as a guard-house, my boy, and 
read it with deep emotion. 

Yours, Manassastonished, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXVI. 

CONCERNING THE WEAKNESSES OF GREAT MEN, THE CURIOUS MISTAKE 
OF A FRATERNAL MACKEREL, AND THE REMARKABLE ALLITERATIVE 
PERFORMANCE OF CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 20th, 1862. 

WHEN a wise, benign, but not altogether Khode- 
Island Providence saw fit to deal out a few moun 
tains to Eastern Tennessee and Western Virginia, 
my boy, it is barely possible that Providence had an 
eye to the present crisis of our subtracted country, 
and intended to furnish the coming Abe with a lit 
place for the lofty accommodation of such great men 
as were not in immediate demand among the- poli 
ticians. I am not topographical by nature, my boy ; 
I never went up to the top of the White Mountains 
to see the sun rise, and didn t see ; nor did I ever 
scale Mount Blanc for the purpose of allowing a fog 
to settle on my lungs ; but it s my private opinion, 
my boy, my private opinion, that, were it not for the 
perpendicular elevations of the earth s surface in the 
States named, it would be necessary for the honest 
Old Abe either to turn General Fremont into a reduced 
Consul, and commission him to furnish proofs of the 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 249 

nation s reverence for the name of Lafayette, or coop 
him up somewhere in solitary grandeur, like a rabbit 
in a Warren, 

"Great men," says the General of the Mackerel 
Brigade, as he and I were looking at some sugar 
together, the other nigh,t, through concave glasses 
"great men/ says he, "are like the ears of black- 
and-tan terriers ; they are good for ornaments, but 
you must cut off some of them when you would give 
them rats. Thunder \" says the general, -taking a 
perpendicular view of the sugar " if we didn t cut 
off great men occasionally, there d be more presi 
dential nominations to ratify next election than ever 
before struck terrier to the heart of an old-line whig." 

But you have yet to learn, my boy, what was the 
great reason for sending Fremont to the everlasting 
hills. On Tuesday I asked a knowing veteran at 
Willard s what it really was. He looked at me for a 
moment in immovable silence ; then ho softly placed 
his spoon-gymnasium on a table, looked cautiously 
in all directions, crept up to my ear on tiptoe, and 
says he : 

"Kerridges!" 

"Son of a bottle!" says I, "your information is 
about as intelligible as the ordinary remarks of Ralph 
Waldo Emerson." 

The knowing veteran suffered his nose to take a 
steam-bath for a moment, and then says he : 



250 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" Kerridges ! Kerridges with six horses and the 
American flag flying out of the back window. Fre 
mont s great mistake at the West was kerridges and 
six horses. Did he wish to buy some shoe-strings for 
his babes c Captain Poneyowiski/ says he to his 
chamberlain, order the second steward to tell the 
scarlet-and-grey groom, to send the kerridge and six 
horses round to the door, with a full band on the 
box/ Did he wish to make a call on the next block 
and obtain some Bath note-paper ( General Nock- 
mynoseoff/- says he to his first esquire in waiting, 
issue a proclamation to my Master in Chancery to 
instantly command the Master of the Horse to get 
ready the kerridge with six horses, and send the Life- 
Guard to clear the way/ In fact," says the knowing 
veteran, frowning mysteriously, "it is rumored that 
when he came home from Debar s theatre one night, 
and found the front door of his head-quarters acci 
dentally locked, he instantly ordered up the kerridge 
and six horses, to take him round to the back en 
trance. Now," says the knowing veteran, suddenly 
striking the table a glass blow that splashed, and as 
suming an air of embittered argument " they ve sent 
him to the mountains to suppress his kerridge." 

This explanation, my boy, may be all a fiction, but 
certain it is that General Fremont has not the carriage 
he had six months ago/ 

On Wednesday the gothic steed Pegasus bore me 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 251 

once more to Manassas, where I found the Mackerel 
Brigade vowing vengeance for the recent rebel atroci 
ties, of which I found many outrageous evidences. 

Just as I arrived on the ground, my boy, a Mackerel 
chap came running out of a deserted rebel tent with a 
round object in his hand, and immediately commenced 
to tear his hair and speak the language of the Sixth 
Ward. 

"My brother! my brother!" says he, eyeing his 
horrible trophy with tearful emotion. " ! that I 
should live to see your beloved skull turned into a 
cheese-box by rebels ! You was a Boston alderman, 
a moral man, and a candidate for the Legislature, 
before you came to this here horrid war to be killed 
by rebels, and have your skull aggravated into a seces 
sion utensil." 

Here the General of the Mackerel Brigade glanced 
at the heart-sickening trophy, and says he to the 
Mackerel chap : 

" Why, you poor ignorant cuss ! that there is 
nothing but a cocoanut-sheli hollowed out." 

" Is it ?" says the inferior Mackerel, brightening 
up, " is it ? Well/ says he, feelingly, " I took it for 
the skull of my brother, the Boston Alderman it s 
so hard and thick." 

These beautiful displays of fraternal emotion are 
quite frequent, my boy, and are calculated to shed a 
lustre of sanctity over the discoveries of our troops. 



252 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

The capture of Kichmond being deferred until the 
younger drummers of the brigade are old enough to 
vote in that city, I found Captain Villiam Brown and 
Captain Bob Shorty seated at a table in a tent the 
former being engaged with a pen and a decanter, 
while the latter drew a map of the campaign with a 
piece of lemon-peel dipped in something fragrant. 

It was beautiful to look at these two slashing 
heroes, as they sat there in the genial glare of canvas- 
strained noon-day, with a quart vessel between them. 

" Comrade/ says Captain Bob Shorty to me, cor 
dially, "this here is what we call intellectual relax 
ation, with a few liquid vowels to make it consonant 
with our tastes." 

" Yes !" says Captain Villiam Brown, with a fas 
cinating and elaborate wink at the decanter, "the 
physical man having taken Manassas, the human in- 
telleck is now in airy play. Ah !" says Villiam, majes 
tically passing me the disentangled curl-paper on 
which he had been writing, " read what I have penned 
for the perusal of the United States of America. " 

I grasped the document, my boy, and found on it 
inscribed the following efficacious effusion : 

FLOYD. 

Felonious Floyd, far-famed for falsifying, 
Forever first from Federal forces flying, 
From fabrications fanning Fortune s flame, 
Finds foul Fugacity factitious Fame. 



ORPHEUS C. KERU PAPERS. 253 

Fool 1 facile Fabler 1 Fugitive flagitious ! 
Fear for Futurity, Filcher fictitious ! 
Fame forced from Folly, finding fawners fled, 
Feeds final Failure failure fungus- fed. 

By CAPTAIN VJLLIAM Buowx, Eskevire. 

"Well, iny juvenile Union-blue/ says Villiam, 
smiling like a successful cherubim, " what do you 
think of that piece of American intelleck ?" 

" I think/ says I, " that it is worthy of an F. F. V." 

What followed, my boy, is none of your business, 
though a sentry near by subsequently observed that 
he heard the sound of soft, mellifluous gurgles come 
from the interior of the tent. 

Poetry, my boy, is man s best gift ; and that, I 
suppose, is the reason why it is so popular in young 
women s boarding-schools. 

Yours, in particular metre, 

ORPHEUS C. KERB. 



LETTER XXXVII. 

DESCRIBING THE REMARKABE STRATEGICAL MOVEMENT OF THE CONIC 
SECTION, UNDER CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY, 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., March 2Sth, 1862. 

THE most interesting natural curiosity here, next 
to Secretary Welles beard, is the office of the Secre 
tary of the Interior. Covered with spider-webs, and 
clothed in the dust of ages, my boy, sit the Secretary 
and his clerks, like so many respectable mummies in 
a neglected pyramid. The Department of the Inte 
rior, my boy, is in a humorous condition ; the sales 
of public lands for the past year amount to about ten 
shillings, the only buyer being a conservative Dutch 
man from New Jersey, who hasn t heard about the 
war yet. 

These things weigh upon my spirit, and I was glad 
to order up my Gothic stallion, Pegasus, the other 
day, and rattle down to Manassas once more. 

Upon reaching that celebrated field of Mars, my 
boy, I found the General of the Mackerel Brigade in 
his tent, surrounded by telegraphic instruments and 
railroad maps, while the Conic Section was drawn up 
in line outside. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 255 

" You appear to be much absorbed, my venerable 
Spartan/ says I to the General, as I handled the 
diaphanous vessel he was using as an act-drop in the 
theatre of war. 

The General frowned like an obdurate parent refus 
ing to let his only daughter marry a coal-heaver, and 
says he : 

" I m absorbed in strategy. Eighteen months ago, 
I was informed by a contraband that sixty thousand 
unnatural rebels were intrenched somewhere near here, 
and having returned the contraband to his master, to 
be immediately shot, I resolved to overwhelm the rebels 
by strategy. Thunder !" says the General, perspiring 
like a pitcher of ice-water in June, " if there s any 
thing equal to diplomacy it s strategy. And now," 
says the General, sternly, " it s my duty to order you 
to write nothing about this to the papers. You write 
about my movements ; the papers publish it, and are 
sent here ; my adjutant takes the papers to the reb 
els ; and so, you see, my plans are all known. I have 
no choice but to suppress you." 

"But," says I, "you might more surely keep the 
news from the rebels by arresting the adjutant." 

" Thunder !" says the general, " I never thought 
of that before." 

Great men, my boy, are never so great but that 
they can profit occasionally by a suggestion from the 
humblest of the species. I once knew a very great man 



256 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

who went home one night in a shower, and was horri 
fied at discovering that he could not get his umbrella 
through the front door. He was a very great man, 
understood Sanscrit, made speeches that nobody could 
comprehend, and had relatives in Beacon-street, Bos 
ton. There he stood in the rain, my boy, pushing his 
umbrella this way and that way, turning it endways 
and sideways, holding it at acute angles and obtuse 
angles ; but still it wouldn t go through the door, nor 
anything like it. By-and-by there came along a chap 
of humble attainments, who sung out : 

" What s the matter, old three-and-sixpence ?" 
, The great man turned pantingly round, and says 
he: 

" Ah, my friend, I cannot get my umbrella into the 
house. I ve been trying for half an hour to wedge it. 
through the door, but I can t get it through and know 
not how to act." 

The humble chap stood under a gas-light, my boy, 
and by the gleams thereof his mouth was observed to 
pucker loaferishly. 

" Hev you tried the experiment of shutting up that 
air umbrella ?" says he. 

The great man gave a start, and says he : 

" Per Jovem I I didn t think to do that." 

And he shut his umbrella and went in peacefully. 

The Conic Section was to make its great strategic 
movement, my boy, under Captain Bob Shorty ; and, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 257 

led by that fearless warrior, it set out at twilight. 
Onward tramped the heroes according to Hardee, for 
about an hour, and then they reached a queer-look 
ing little house with a great deal of piazza and a very 
little ground-floor. With his cap cocked very much 
over one eye, Captain Bob Shorty knocked at the 
door, and was answered by a young maiden of about 
forty-two. 

" Hast seen any troops pass here of late ?" asked 
Captain Bob Shorty, with much dignity. 

The Southern maiden, who was a First Family, 
sniffed indignantly, and says she : 

" I reckon not, poor hireling Hessian." 

" Forward double-quick march !" says Captain 
Bob Shorty, with much vehemence ; " that ere young 
woman has been eating onions." 

" Onward, right onward through the darkness, went 
the Conic Section of the Mackerel Brigade, eager to 
engage the rebel foe and work out the genius of 
strategy. Half an hour, and another house was 
reached. In response to the captain s knock a son 
of chivalry stuck his head out of a window, and 
says he : 

"There s nobody at home." 

Peace, ignoramius !" says Captain L ob Shorty, 
majestically ; " the United States of America wishes 
to know if you have seen any troops go by to 
night." 



258 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

" Yes/ says the chivalry, " my sister saw a com 
pany go by just now ; I reckon." 

" Forward double quick march !" says Captain 
Bob Shorty, "we can catch the Confederacy alive if 
we re quick enough." 

And now, my boy, the march was resumed with 
new vigor, for it was certain that the enemy was right 
in front, and might be strategically annihilated. A 
long time passed, however, without the discovery of a 
soul, and it was after midnight when the next house 
was gained. 

A small black contraband came to the door, and 
says he : 

" By gorry, mars r sogerum, what you hab ?" 

"Tell me, young Christy s minstrel," says Cap 
tain Bob Shorty, "have any troops passed here to 
night ?" 

The contraband turned a summerset, and says he : 

" Mars and misses hab seen two companies dis 
berry night, so helpum God." 

" Forward double-quick march !" says Captain 
Bob Shorty. "Two companies is rather heavy for 
this here band of Spartans, but it is sweet to die for 
one s country/ 

The march went on, my boy, until we got to the 
next house, where the inmates refused to appear, but 
shouted that they had seen three companies go past. 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 259 

At this Captain Bob Shorty was heard to scratch his 
head in the darkness, and says he : 

" This here strategy is a good thing at decent odds : 
but when it s, three to- one, it s more respectable to 
have all quiet on the Potomac. Halt, fellow wictims, 
and let us wait here until the daily sun is issued by 
the divine editor." 

The orb of light was calmly stealing up the east, 
my boy, when Captain Bob Shorty sprang from his 
blanket and observed the house, before which the 
Conic Section was encamped, with protruding eyes. 

" By all that s blue !" says Captain Bob Shorty, 
" if that ain t the werry identical house where we saw 
the vinegar maiden last night !" 

And so it was, my boy ! The Conic Section of the 
Mackerel Brigade had been going round and round on 
a private race-course all night, stopping four times at 
the same judge s stand, and going after their own 
tails, like so many humorous cats. 

Strategy, my boy, is a profound science, and don t 
cost more than two millions a day, while the money 
lasts. Yours, in deep cogitation, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXVIII. 

INTRODUCING THE VERITABLE "HYMN OF THE CONTRABANDS," WITH 
EMANCIPATION MUSIC, AND DESCRIBING THE TERRIFIC COMBAT A LA 
MAIN BETWEEN CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN, OF THE UNITED STATES 
OF AMERICA, AND CAPTAIN MUNCHAUSEN, OF THE SOUTHERN CON 
FEDERACY. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 4th, 1862. 

KNOWING you to be a connoisseur in horse-flesh, 
my boy, it is but proper I should tell you that I have 
leased my steed, the gothic Pegasus, for a few days to 
an army carpenter, that gentleman having expressed 
a wish to use my architectural animal as a model for 
some new barracks. Pegasus, my boy, when viewed 
lengthwise, presents a perspective not unlike a 
Hoboken cottage, and eminent builders tell me that 
his back is the very beau ideal of a combination roof. 
I sent a side-view photograph of the fiery stallion to 
a venerable grandmother not long since, and she 
wrote back that she was glad to see I had my quar 
ters elevated on piles to avoid dampness, but should 
think the hut would s*moke with such a crooked 
chimney ! The old lady is rather hard of hearing, 
my boy, and makes trifling . mistakes without her 
spectacles. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 261 

In the absence of my war-horse I hired a respecta 
ble hack to take me to Manassas, the driver saying 
that he would not charge me more than ten dollars 
an hour, as he had seen better days himself. What 
his seeing better days had to do with me I didn t ex 
actly see, my boy ; but I hired the chariot, and we 
went down the river at a pace sometimes achieved by 
that carriage in a funeral which contains the parents 
of the deceased. 

Wet towels, soda-water, and a few wholesome 
kicks in the rear having rendered Company 3, Regi 
ment 5, Mackerel Brigade, sufficiently certain of their 
legs to march a polka in the space of an ordinary 
corn field, Captain Villiam Brown placed himself at 
their head, and, flanked by a canteen and an adju 
tant, the combined pageant was just about to move 
on a reconnoitering expedition as I came up. 

" Ha !" said Villiam, hastily placing his shirt-frill 
over the neck of a bottle that accidentally peeped 
from his bosom " I am about to lead these noble 
beings on the path of glory, and you shall participate 
in the beams." 

Without a word, I turned his left wing ; and as 
the band, which consisted of a fat Dutchman and a 
night-key bugle, struck up " Drops of Brandy/ we 
moved onward, like the celestial vision of childhood s 
dream. 

Like the radiance of a higher heaven streaming 



262 OKPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

through the golden-tinted windows of some grand 
old cathedral, fell the softened light of that April 
afternoon., on budding Nature, as we halted before a 
piece of woods just this side of Strasburg. On the 
new leaves of the trees in front of us the sunshine 
coined a thousand phantom cataracts of specie, and 
in the vale below us a delicate purple shadow wrestled 
with the hill-reflected fire of the sun. Deep silence 
fell on Company 3 ; Kegiment 5, Mackerel Brigade ; 
the band put his instrument on the ring with the key 
of his trunk, and Yilliam softly reconnoitred through 
a spy-glass furnished with a cork. Suddenly the 
tones of a rich, manly voice swelled up from the bosom 
of the valley. 

"Hush !" says Villiam, sternly eyeing the band, 
who had just hiccupped " tis the song of the Con 
trabands." 

We all listened, and could distinctly hear the fol 
lowing words of the singer : 




"They re holding camp-meeting in Hickory Swamp, 

0, let my people go ; 
Do preacher s so dark dat he carry um lamp, 

0, let my people go. 
. De brudders am singing dis jubilee tune, 

0, let my people go ; 

Two doDars a year for de Weekly Tribune, 
0, let my people go!" 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 263 

As the strain died away in the distance, the adju 
tant slapped his left leg. 

" Why," said he, dreamily, " that must be Greeley 
down there." 

"No !" says Villiam, solemnly, "it is one of the 
wronged children of tyranny warbling the suppressed 
hymn of his injured people. It is a sign/ says Vil 
liam, trembling with bravery, "that the Southern 
Confederacy is somewhere around ; for when you 
hear the squeak -of the agonized rat," said Villiam, 
philosophically, " you may be sure that the sanguinary 
terrier is on the war-path." 

Scarcely had he spoken, my boy, when there 
emerged from the edge of the wood before us a rebel 
company, headed by an officer of hairy countenance 
and much shirt collar. This officer s face was a 
whisker plantation, through which his eyes peeped 
forth like two snakes coiled up in a window-brush. 
His dress was shoddy, his air was toddy, and a 
yard of valuable stair-carpet enveloped his manly 
shoulders. 

" Halt !" said he to his file of reptiles, whose gen 
eral effect was that of a congress of rag-merchants 
just come in from a happy speculation in George-Law 
muskets. 

"Sir," said the officer, bowing in a graceful semi 
circle, "I am somewhat in the First Family way, 
own a plantation, drink but little water at home, and 



264 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

have the honor to be Captain Munchausen, of the 
Southern Confederacy/ 

" Dost fence ?" says Villiam, grimly drawing his 
sword. 

" Fence !" says Captain Munchausen, also drawing 
his disguised crowbar. " Didst ever hear, boy, or 
read, of that great fencer of the olden time, the 
Chevalier St. George ?" 

" Often," says Villiam, in a tone that was as plainly 
the echo of a lie as is that of the delicate female eater 
of slate-pencils, when she says that she never could 
bear pork and beans. 

" Well/ 7 says Captain Munchausen, haughtily, 
" the chevalier was so extremely jealous of my supe 
rior skill, that he actually went and died nearly a 
hundred years before I was born/ 

" Soap/ says Villiam, like one talking in his sleep, 
" is sometimes made with powerful lie." 

"By Chivalry !" says Qaptain Munchausen, choler- 
ically ; "I swear, I never told a single lie in all my 
life." 

" A single lie !" says Villiam, abstractedly ; "ah, 
no ! for the lies of the Southern Confederacy are all 
married, and have large families." 

This domestic speech, my boy, was too much for 
Munchausen. Asking one of the rag merchants to 
hold his three-ply overcoat, and carefully removing 
his fragmentary cap, that none of the cold potatoes 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 265 

should spill out of it, he planted the remains of his 
right boot slightly in advance of the skeleton of his 
left, and thundered : 

" Sblood !" 

Quick as the lightning leaps along the cloud did 
Captain Villiam Brown send the great toe of his 
dexter foot to meet that of his foe ; his Damascus 
blade lay across the opposing brand, and he whis 
pered : 

" Sdeath !" 

It was a beautiful sight by Minerva it was ! 

" Stop !" says Yilliam, suddenly hauling in his 
weapon again ; " it shall never be said that I took 
advantage of a foeman." 

As he uttered these memorable words, my boy, this 
ornament of the service plucked an infant demijohn 
from his fearless bosom and magnanimously passed it 
to his antagonist. 

A soft commotion was visible in the whiskers of 
Captain Munchausen the suburb of a smile as it 
were ; a cavern opened in their midst, the vessel 
ascended curvilinearly thereto, and the sound was as 
the trickling of water down a mountain gulch. 

The adjutant took his seat on the sleeping body of 
the band, and with pencil and paper prepared to 
record the combat. The opposing champions faced 
each other, and as Villiam once more raised his blade 
he smiled horribly. 

12 



266 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Then, my boy, was witnessed a scene to make old 
Charlemagne s paladins dance High-jinks in their 
graves, and call all the Arturian knights to life again. 
Carte ct tierce ! but it was a spectacle for Hector and 
Achilles. With swords pointed straight at each 
other s noses did the valorous heroes skip wildly back, 
and then as wildly forward. Slam ! bang ! crack ! 
smack !" right and left ! over and under ! parry, feint, 
and premiere force ! Now did they hop fierily along 
on opposite sides of the road, eyeing each other 
like demoniac Thomas Cats upon the moonlit fence. 
Ever and anon did they dart furiously to the centre, 
cutting the blessed atmosphere to invisible splinters, 
and slaying imaginary legions. 

But a crisis was at hand ! In one of his terrible 
chops, the cool and collected Villiam brought his 
deadly weapon down full upon the knuckles of the 
enemy. But for the fact that Villiam s sword was 
not quite as sharp as the side of an ordinary three- 
story house, Munchausen s hand would never more 
have wielded trenchant blade. As it was, he hastily 
dashed his brand to the ground, crammed his knuckles 
into his mouth, struck up an impassioned dance, and 
mumbled, in extreme agitation : 

" Golfire your cursed abolition soul !" 

It was beautiful, my boy, to see how the calm Vil 
liam leaned upon his sword and smiled. 

"Ah !" says Villiam, "so perish the foes of the 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 267 

Union, the Constitution, and the Enforcement of the 
Laws. I have bruised the Confederacy. Adjutant 1" 
says Villiam, in a sudden burst of pardonable exulta 
tion, "score one for the United States of America !" 

Now it happened, my boy, that, as Villiam said 
this, he turned to where the adjutant was sitting, and 
bent down to give particular directions. His body 
was thus made to assume somewhat of the shape of 
the letter U, the curve being sharply toward the ene 
my. In an instant Captain Munchausen regained his 
sword, grasped it after the manner of a flail, and, with 
a prodigious spank, applied it to the unguarded por 
tion of my hero s anatomy. 

High sprang the almost assassinated Villiam into 
the air, with sparks pouring from his eyes, and Union 
oaths hissing from his working jaws. 

"Adjutant!" roared Captain Munchausen, "score 
one for the Southern Confederacy \" 

No sooner had Villiam reached the ground and 
picked up the cork that had fallen from his bosom as 
he ascended, than he plunged rampagiously at his ad 
versary, and aimed a blow at his head that must have 
taken it off had Captain Munchausen been about a 
yard taller. As it was, the stroke mercilessly split 
the air, and caused my hero to spin like a mighty top. 

In vain did the shameless Confederate swordsman 
endeavor to get in a hit as Villiam went round ; the 
sword of the Union met him at every turn, and right 



268 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

quickly was the avenging blade humming around his 
head again. Inspired with the strength of Hercules, 
the endurance of Prometheus, and the fire of Pluto, 
the gorgeous Villiam Brown went at his work once 
more, like a feller of great trees, arid in another mo 
ment his awful blade twanged upon the foeman s head. 

Down went Captain Munchausen singing inverted 
psalms, with a whole nest of rockets exploding in his 
brain. Pale turned his rag merchants at the sight, 
and one of them immediately deserted to our side and 
swore that he had always been a Union man. 

Villiam leaned upon his blade, and kindly re 
marked : 

" His head is broken ; I heard it crack." 

" Tis false !" says Captain Munchausen, gloomily ; 
"that is an old crack I ve had it ever since I was a 
boy." 

"Ah !" says Villiam, airily, "Fm afraid my blow, 
has caused more than one funeral in the inseck king 
dom, for the cut went right through the hair. Have 
a comb ?" says Villiam, pleasantly. 

Captain Munchausen made no reply, my boy, but 
motioned for his men to bear him from the field. It 
was noticed however, that, as he was being carried 
into the wood, he asked a gentleman in remarkable 
tatters, to take him to the last ditch. 

As the Southern Confederacy disappeared, Captain 
Villiam Brown hammered his sword straight with a 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 269 

bit of stone, forced it into its scabbard, and turned 
majestically to Company 3, Eeginient 5, Mackerel 
Brigade, several members of which were engaged in 
the athletic game of pitch-penny. 

" Let the band be awakened," says Villiam. 

A Mackerel at once proceeded to break the slum 
bers of the orchestra, by shaking a bottle near his ear 
that experiment having never been known to fail in 
the case of a pronounced musical character. 

"Ha!" says Villiam, with much spirit, a we will 
march to the national airs of our distracted country !" 

After sounding several cat-calls on his night-key 
bugle, in the manner of all great instrumentalists 
who wish to know about their instruments being in 
tune, the band struck up u Ale to the Chief," and we 
marched to quarters like so many heroes of ancient 
Eum. 

Shall treason triumph in our land, my boy, while 
there s a sword to wave ? I think not, my boy, I 
think not. Though Columbia did not rule the wave, 
her champions would see to it that she never waived 
the rule. Yours, for the Star- Spangled, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XXXIX. 

SHOWING HOW A REBEL WAS REDUCED, AND CONVERTED TO " RECON 
STRUCTION," BY THE VALOROUS ORANGE COUNTY HOWITZERS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 13th, 1862. 

THE stirring times are come again, the maddest of 
the year, and I am beginning to believe,, my boy, that 
what is to be will be as what has been has. Though 
still without my Gothic charger, Pegasus, that sym 
metrical racer having been borrowed for a writing- 
desk by a Secretary of the Fronterior, I am enabled to 
keep up communications with the Mackerel corpse 
dammee down the river, and ten thousand star-span 
gled banners flash through my veins as I relate the 
recent great artillery expedition of the Orange County 
Howitzers. 

It seems, my boy, that an intellectual member of 
the Mackerel Brigade got tired of investing Yorktown, 
and wandered away in pursuit of adventure. As he 
peregrinated in the neighborhood of a rebel domicil, 
he beheld what he took for the bird of our country, 
stalking out of the barnyard, and was taking measures 
to confiscate it, when the proprietor made his appear 
ance, and says he : 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 271 

"Hessian, spare that goose !" 

The Mackerel chap gave a tragic start, and says he : 

" Tis the Eagle I would rescue, Horatio : the bird 
celebrated by iny brother, the Congressman, in all his 
speeches." 

"Well," says the foul traitor, "it is undoubtedly 
what the Congressman takes for an Eagle, as I am. 
aware that Congressmen generally treat the American 
Eagle as if he were a goose ; but as that gander happens 
to belong to one of the very First Families of Virginia, 
and cost me four shillings, it becomes my painful duty 
to resist your habeas corpus act." And with that he 
drove the beautiful bird into the barnyard, and locked 
the gate. 

Fired to fury by this insult from one of those whom 
our army had come to protect, the Mackerel chap went 
immediately back to quarters, and appealed to his 
comrades for vengeance. 

That gifted officer Samyule Sa-mith, heard his 
burning words, and says he : 

"The cannon of the Union shall speak in this mat 
ter. Let the Orange County Howitzers get ready for 
action, and I will lead them against the Philistine." 

Instantly arose the notes of dreadful preparation ; 
the guns were mobilized, six English gentlemen in 
the hosiery business were invited to view the coming 
battle, and just as the moon rose above the trees, the 
artillery started for the rebel stronghold. 



272 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Arriving before the offending house, the howitzers 
were placed in line, and all got ready for the bom 
bardment. It was just possible, my boy, that two 
men might have marched into that house, and cap 
tured the misguided Confederacy without slaughter. 
You may be unable to see what use there was in 
bringing artillery and forming in line of battle ; but 
you are very ignorant, my boy ; you know nothing 
about strategy and war. 

" Soldiers/ says Samyule, " remember that the 
eyes of the whole world are upon you at this moment, 
and endeavor to hit the house as often as possible. 
We will fire one round without ball/ says Samyule, 
" to see if the powder is first-class." 

Now it chanced that while the loading-up was 
going on, the gallant Lieutenant Lemons got his legs 
wonderfully entangled in the lanyard of his piece, 
and kept turning the howitzer around in a manner 
strongly expressive of nervous agitation. Suddenly 
he stepped across to where Sarnyule was standing, 
and whispered in his ear. 

" 0, I see/ says Samyule, kindly, " you were 
educated at West Point, and want to know which 
end of the cannon ought to be pointed at the enemy. 
Well/ says Samyule, instructively, " you d better 
point the end with a hole in it." 

.Everything being in readiness, my boy, the com 
bined battery launched its thunders on the air, creat- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 273 

ing a great sensation in the neigboring hen-roosts, 
and causing a large rooster to fall from a branch in 
the midst of his refreshing slumbers. 

" Now, that the powder has sustained its reputa 
tion," says Samyule, impressively, " let the two-inch 
balls be hurled at the enemy s works." 

As the house was full ten yards off, this second dis 
charge failed to hit it ; but it brought the Southern 
Confederacy to the window in his night-cap, and says 
he: 

" There s no use of rny trying to sleep, if you chaps 
keep making such a noise down there." 

" Unhappy man," says Samyule, solemnly, " we 
come here to reduce you, and will listen to nothing 
but unconditional surrender." 

The Confederacy gaped, and says ho : 

" I m very sleepy, and can t talk to you now ; but 
I ll call over in the morning." 

And he shut the window, and went back to bed. 
A frown was observed to steal over the face of Sam 
yule. He has a peculiar countenance, my boy, and 
a frown affects it strangely. Take his mouth and 
moustache together, and they remind you of a mouse 
sunning himself on the edge of his hole ; and when 
the frown comes on, the mouse acts as though he had 
a stomach-ache. 

" Comrades," says Samyule, " the enemy requires 
12* 



274 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

another round, and we must do it on the square. 
Fire !" 

Like four-and-twenty thunder-storms the howitzers 
roared together, and had not the Orange County vet 
erans forgotten to put in any balls, there is reason to 
believe that some windows would have been broken. 
Another discharge, however, was more successful, as 
it knocked the top oif the chimney. 

The Southern Confederacy appeared at the window 
again, and says he : 

" If you fellows don t quit that racket down there, 
you ll irritate me pretty soon." 

This significant remark caused a sudden cessation 
of the bombardment, and Samyule hastily called a 
council of war. 

" Gentlemen/ says Samyule, " a new issue has 
arisen. If we irritate the Southern Confederacy, all 
hopes of future Union and reconstruction may be 
destroyed." 

A chap who was a conservative democrat suddenly 
flamed up at this, and says he : 

" The abolitionists caused this terrible war, and it 
is our business, as no-party men, to finish it Consti 
tutionally. If we irritate this man, no power on 
earth will ever make him submit to reconstruction. 
Ask him." 

Here the democratic chap took a large taste of to 
bacco, and sighed for his country. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 275 

" Mr. Davis/ says Samyule to the Confederacy at 
the window, " if we do not irritate you, will you con 
sent to be reconstructed ?" 

" Reconstructed !" says the Confederacy, thought 
fully ; " reconstructed ! Ah !" says he, " you mean, 
will I consent to be born again ?" 

" Yes," says Samyule, metaphysically ; " will you 
consent to be borne again, as we have borne with you 
heretofore ?" 

The Confederacy thought awhile, and then says he : 

" Consider me reconstructed." 

As that was all the Constitution asked, of course 
there was no more to be done, and the Orange County 
Howitzers returned to their original position in the 
mire, the English gentlemen remarking that the ap 
pearance and discipline of our troops were satisfac 
tory to Albion. 

Fighting according to the Constitution, my boy, is 
such an admirable way of preventing carnage, that 
some doctor ought to take out a patent for it as a 
cheap medicine. 

Yours to come, and 

ORPHEUS C. KERR, 



LETTER XL. 

RENDERING TRIBUTE OP ADMIRATION TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, 
WITH A REMINISCENCE OP IIOBBS & DOBBS, ETC. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 18th, 1S62. 

HAVING a leisure hour at my disposal, my boy, and 
being reminded of infatuating crinoline by the recep 
tion of certain bird-like notes in chirography strongly 
resembling the exquisite edging on delicious panta 
lettes, I turn my attention to that beautiful creation 
which is fearfully and wonderfully maid, and wears 
distracting gaiters. 

Woman, my boy, at her worst, is a source of real 
happiness to the sterner sex. There s a chap in the 
Mackerel Brigade who got very melancholy one day 
after receiving a letter from home, wherein he was 
affectionately called " a unnatural and wicious crec- 
tur" for not sending his better-half a new dress and 
some hair-pins. Seeing his affliction, and divining 
its cause, another Mackerel stepped up to him, and 
says he : 

"Is it the old woman which is on a tare ?" 

The married chap groaned, and says he : 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 277 

" She s mad as a hornet. I do believe/ says the 
married chap, turning very pale, " that she ll take 
away my night-key, and teach rny babes to call me 
the Old File." 

" Well," says the comforting Mackerel, " then why 
did you get married ? Why didn t you stay a single 
bachelor like me, and enjoy the pursuit of happiness 
in the Fire Department ?" 

" Happiness !" says the married chap, " why it was 
expressly to enjoy happiness that I wedded. Step this 
way," says the. married chap, with a horrible smile, 
leading his consoler aside, "ain t the women of 
America mortal ?" 

" Yes," says the Mackerel thoughtfully. 

"And don t they die?" 

" Yes," says the Mackerel. " That is to say," 
added the Mackerel, contemplatively, " they some 
times die when there s new and expensive tombstones 
in fashion." 

" Peter Perkins !" says the married chap, with a 
smile of wild bliss, " I wouldn t miss the happiness I 
shall feel when my angel returns to her native hev- 
ings, for the sake of being twenty bachelors. No !" 
says the married chap, clutching his bosom, " I ve 
lived on the thought of that air bliss ever since the 
morning rny female pardner threw my box of long- 
sixes out of the window, and called in the police be 
cause I brought a waluable terrier home with me." 



278 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Here the married chap uncorked his canteen and eyed 
it with speechless fury. 

Tears came to the eyes of the unwomantic Mack 
erel ; he extended his hand, and says he : 

" Say no more, Bobby say no more. If you ain t 
got the correck idea of Heaven there s no such place 
on the map." 

I give you this touching conversation between two 
of nature s noblemen, my boy, that you may appre 
ciate that beautiful dispensation of Providence which 
endows woman with the slighter failings of humanity, 
yet gives her the power to brighten the mind of in 
ferior man with glorious visions of joy beyond the 
grave. 

My arm has been strengthened in this war, my 
boy, by the inspiration of woman s courage, and aided 
by her almost miraculous foresight. Only yesterday, 
a fair girl of forty- three summers, thoughtfully sent 
me a box, containing two gross of assorted fish-hooks, 
three cook-books, one dozen of Tubbses best spool- 
cotton, three door-plates, a package of patent gera 
nium-roots, two yards of Brussels carpet, Kumford s 
illustrated work on Perpetual Intoxication, ten bottles 
of furniture-polish, and some wall-paper. Accom 
panying these articles, so valuable to a soldier on the 
march, was a note, in which the kind-hearted girl 
said that the things were intended for our sick and 
wounded troops, and were the voluntary tributes of a 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 279 

loyal and dreamy-souled woman. I tried a dose of 
the furniture-polish, my boy, on a chap that had the 
measles, and he has felt so much like a sofa ever since, 
that a coroner s jury will sit on him to-morrow. 

The remainder of this susceptible young creature s 
note, my boy, was calculated to move a heart of stone. 
She asked if it hurt much to be killed, and said she 
should think the President might sue Jeff Davis, or 
commit habeas corpus or some other ridiculous thing, 
to stop this dreadful, spirit-agonizing war. She said 
that her deepest heart-throbs and dream-yearnings 
were for the crimson-consecrated Union, and that she 
had lavished her most harrowing hope-sobs for its 
heaven-triumph. She said that she had a friend, 
named Smith, in the army, and wished I could find 
him out, and tell him that the human heart, though 
repining at the absence of the beloved object, may be 
coldly proud as a scornful statute to the stranger s 
eye, but pines like a soul-murdered water-lily on 
the lovely stream of its twilight-brooding contem 
plations. 

Anxious to oblige her, my boy, I asked the General 
of the Mackerel Brigade if he knew a soldier "of the 
name of Smith ?" 

The General thought awhile, and says he : 

" Not one. There are many of the name of 
Sa-mith," says the general, screening his eye from the 
sun with a bottle, " and the Smythes are numerous ; 



280 OKPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

but the Smiths all died as soon as the Prince of Wales 
came to this country/ 

This is an age of great aristocracy, my boy, and 
the name of Smith is confined to tombstones. I once 
knew a chap named Hobbs, who made knobs, and 
had a partner named Dobbs ; and he never could get 
married until he changed his title ; for what sensitive 
and delicately-nerved female would marry a man 
whose business-card read, " Try Hobbs & Dobbs 
Knobs ?" Finally, he called himself De Hobbs, and 
wedded a Miss Podger pronounced Po-gshay. After 
that, he cut his partner, ordered his friends to cease 
calling him Jack, and in compliance with the wishes 
of his wife s family, got out a business-card like 
this : 



t^ i_ 

| J&CQUSS DS HOBBS, 

TRY HIS 

DOOR-PERSUADERS. 



But, to return to the women of America, there was 
one of them came out to our camp not long ago, my 
boy, with six Saratoga trunks full of moral reading 
for our troops. She was distributing the cheerful 
works among the veterans, when she happened to 
to come across Private Jinks, who had just got his 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 281 

rations, and was swearing audibly at the collection of 
wild beasts he had found in one of his biscuits. 

" Young man/ says she, in a vinegar manner, " do 
you want to be damned ?" 

Private Jinks reflected a moment, and says he : 

" Keally, mem, I don t know enough about horses 
to say." 

The literary agent was greatly shocked, but recov 
ered in time to hand the warrior a small book, and 
told him to read it and be saved. 

It was a small and enlivening volume, my boy, 
written by a missionary lately served up for breakfast 
by the Emperor of Glorygoolia, and entitled " The 
Fire that Never is Quenched/ 

Jinks looked at the book, and says he : 

" What district is that fire in ?" 

The daughter of the Kepublic bit off a small piece 
of cough candy, and says she : 

" It s down below, young man, where you bid fair 
to go." 

" And will it never be put out ?" says Private 
Jinks. 

The deeply-affected crinoline shook her head until 
all her combs rattled, and says she : 

" No, young man ; it will burn, and burn, young 
man." 

" Then I m safe enough !" says Private Jinks, 
slapping his knee ; " for I m a member of Forty 



282 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Hose, and if that air fire is to keep burning, they ll 
have to have a paid Fire Department down there, 
and shut us fellows out." 

The daughter of the Kepublic instantly left him, 
my boy ; and when next I saw her, she was arguing 
with one of the chaplains, who pretended to believe 
that firemen sometimes went to Heaven. 

Woman, my boy, is an angel in disguise ; and if 
she had wings what a rise there would be in bonnets ! 
Yours, for the next Philharmonic, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XLI. 

CITING A NOTABLE CASE OP VOLUNTEER SURGERY, AND CITING AN 
OUTLINE SKETCH OP " COTTON SEMINARY." 

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 25th, 1862. 

THERE is a certain something about a sick-room, 
my boy, that makes me think seriously of my latter 
end, and recognize physicians as true heroes of the 
bottle-field. The subdued swearing of the sufferer 
on his bed, the muffled tread of the venerable nurse, 
as she comes into the room to make sure that the 
brandy recommended by the doctor is not too mild 
for the patient, the sepulchral shout of the regimental 
cat as she recognizes the tread of Jacob Barker, the 
sergeant s bull-terrier, outside ; all these are things 
to make the spectator remember that we are but dust, 
and that to return to dust is our dustiny. 

Early in the week, my boy, a noble member of the 
Pennsylvania Mud-larks was made sick in a strange 
manner. A draft of picked men from certain regi 
ments was ordered for a perilous expedition down the 
river. You may be aware, my boy, that a draft is 
always dangerous to delicate constitutions ; and, as 
the Mud-lark happened to burst into a profuse per- 



284 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

spiration about tlie time he found himself standing in 
this draft, he, of course, took such a violent cold that 
he had to he put to bed directly. I went to see him, 
nay boy ; and whilst he was relating to me some af 
fecting anecdotes of the time when he used to keep a 
bar, a member of the Medical Staff of the United 
States of America came in to see the patient. 

This venerable surgeon first deposited a large saw, 
a hatchet, and two pick-axes on the table, and then 
says he : 

" How do you find yourself, boy ?" 

The mud-lark took a small chew of tobacco with a 
melancholy air, and says he : 

" I think I ve got the guitar in my head, Mr. Saw 
bones, and am about to join the angel choir/ 

"I see how it is/ says the surgeon, thoughtfully ; 
" you think you ve got the guitar, when it s only the 
drum of your ear that is affected. Well," says the 
surgeon, with sudden pleasantness, as he reached after 
his saw and one of the pick-axes, " I must amputate 
your left leg at once." 

The mud-lark curled himself up in bed like a 
wounded anaconda, and says he : 

" I don t see it in that light." 

" Well," says the surgeon, in a sprightly manner, 
" then suppose I put a fly-blister on your stomick, 
and only amputate your right arm ?" 

The surgeon was formerly a blacksmith, my boy, 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

and got his diploma by inventing some pills with iron 
in them. He proved that the blood of six healthy 
men contained enough iron to make six horse-shoes, 
and then invented the pills to cure hoarseness. 

The sick chap reflected on what his medical adviser 
had said, and then says he : 

" Your words convince me that my situation must 
be dangerous. I must see some relative before I per 
mit myself to be dissected." 

" Whom would you wish me to send for ?" says the 
surgeon. 

" My grandmother, my dear old grandmother," said 
the Mud-lark, with much feeling. 

The surgeon took me cautiously aside, and says 
he: 

" My poor patient has a cold in his head, and his 
life depends, perhaps, on the gratification of his 
wishes. You have heard him ask for his grand 
mother, says the surgeon, softly, "and as his grand 
mother lives too far away to be sent for, we must 
practice a little harmless deception. We must send 
for Secretary Welles of the Navy Department, and 
introduce him as the grandmother. My patient will 
never know the difference." 

I took the hint, my boy, and went after the Secre 
tary ; but the latter was so busy examining a model 
of Noah s Ark that he could not be seen. Happily, 
however, the patient recovered while the surgeon was 



286 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

getting his saw filed, and was well enough last night 
to reconnoitre in force. 

The Mackerel Brigade being still in quarters before 
Yorktown, I am at leisure to stroll about the South 
ern Confederacy, my boy ; and on Thursday I paid a 
visit to Cotton Seminary, just beyond Alexandria, 
where the Southern intellect is taught to fructify and 
expand. This celebrated institution of learning is all 
on one floor, with a large chimney and heavy mortgage 
upon it, and a number of windows supplied with 
ground glass or, rather, supplied with a certain 
openness as regards the ground. 

Upon entering this majestic edifice, the master, 
Prex Peyton, descended at once from the barrel on 
which he was seated, and gave me a true Virginian 
welcome : 

" Though you may be a Lincoln horde," says he, in 
a manorial manner, " the republic of intellect recog 
nizes you only as a man. The Southern mind knows 
how to recognize a soul apart from its outer circum 
stances ; for what say the logicians ? Deus est anima 
brutorem! Take a seat on yonder barrel, friend 
Hessian, and you shall hear the wisdom of the youth 
ful minds. First class in computation stand up/ 

As I took a seat, my boy, the first class in compu 
tation came to the front ; and it is my private impres 
sion, my boy my private impression that each 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 287 

child s father was the owner of a rag plantation at 
some period of his life. 

" Boys/ says the master, " how is the table of 
Confederate money divided ?" 

" Into pounds, shillings, and pence." 

" Right. Now, Master Mason, repeat the table." 

Master Mason, who was a germ of a first family, 
took his fingers out of his mouth, and says he : 

" Twenty pounds of Confederate bonds make one 
shilling, twenty shillings make one penny, six pennies 
one drink." 

" That s right, my pretty little cherubs.," says the 
master. " Now go and take your seats, and study 
your bowie-knife exercises. Class in Geography, 
stand up." 

The class in geography consisted of one small 
Southern Confederacy, my boy, with a taste for 
tobacco. 

" Master Wise," says the master, confidently, " can 
you tell us where Africa is ?" 

Master Wise sniffed intelligently, and says he : 

" Africa is situated at the corner of Spruce and 
Nassau streets, and is bounded on the north by 
Greeley, on the south by Slavery, on the east by 
Sumncr, and on the west by Lovejoy." 

" Very true, my bright little fellow," says the mas 
ter ; " now go back to your chawing." 

" You see, friend Hessian," says the master, turn- 



288 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

ing to me, " how much superior Southerners are, even 
as children, to the depraved Yankees. In my teach 
ing experience, I have known scholars only six years 
old to play poker like old members of the church, 
and a pupil of mine euchred me once in ten 
minutes/ 

I thanked him for his courtesy, and was proceed 
ing to the door, when I observed four boys in one 
corner, with their mouths so distorted that they 
seemed to have subsisted upon a diet of persimmons 
all their lives. 

" Venerable pundit," says I, in astonishment, "how 
came the faces of those offspring so deformed ?" 

" !" says the master, complacently, " that class 
has been studying Carlyle s works." 

I retired from Cotton Seminary, my boy, with a 
firm conviction of the utility of popular education, 
and a hope that the day might come when a Profes 
sorship of Old Sledge would be created in the New 
York University. 

Yours, for a higher civilization, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XLII. 

REVEALING A NEW BLOCKADING IDEA, INTRODUCING A GEOMETRICAL 
STEED, AND NARRATING THE WONDERFUL EXPLOITS. OF THE MACK 
EREL SHARPSHOOTER AT YORKTOWN. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 2d, 1862. 

SPEAKING of the patriarch of the Navy Depart 
ment, my boy, they say that the respected Ancient 
has under consideration a new and admirable plan for 
making the blockade efficient. The idea is, to furnish 
all the naval captains with spectacles made of look 
ing-glass, so that when they are asleep, on the quarter 
deck, their glasses will reflect the figure of any rebel 
craft that may be trying to slip by. These specta 
cles could all be ready in twenty years ; and when 
the Secretary told a Congressman of the plan, the 
latter thought carefully over the suggestion, "as 
dripping with coolness it rose from the Welles," and 
says he : 

" My dear madam, the idea lacks but one thing 
the looking-glass spectacles ought to be supplied with 
a comb and brush, so that the captain could fix him 
self up after capturing the pirate. Ah, madam," says 
the Congressman, hastily picking up the Jack of 

13 



290 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Clubs, which ho had accidentally pulled out with his 
pocket-handkerchief, " you will rank next to Mary, 
the mother of Washington, in the affections of future 
generations." 

The mother of Washington, my boy ! the MOTHER 
of Washington ! why, the Secretary is already cele 
brated as the grandmother of Washington city. 

On the occasion of my last visit to Yorktown, my 
boy, I found the Mackerel Brigade so well up in ani 
mal spirits that each chap was equal to a pony of 
brandy, and capable of capturing any amount of glass 
artillery. At the present time, my boy, the brigade 
is formed in the shape of a clam-shell, with the right 
resting on a beer wagon, and the left on a traveling 
free-lunch saloon. I was examining the new battery 
of the Orange County Howitzers whose guns have 
such large touch-holes that the chaps keep their 
crackers and cheese in them when not in action and 
was also overhearing the remarks of a melancholy 
Mackerel concerning what he wished to be done with 
his effects in case he should perish with old age be 
fore the battle commenced when I beheld Captain 
Villiam Brown, approaching me on the most geo 
metrical beast I ever saw an animal even richer in 
sharp corners, my boy, than my own gothic steed, 
Pegasus. 

" Ha \" says Villiam, hastily swallowing something 
that brought tears to his eyes, and taking a bit of 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 291 

lemon-peel to clear his voice, " you are admiring my 
Arabian courser, and wondering whether it is one of 
the three presented to Secretary Seward by the Empe 
ror of Egypt." 

" You speak truly, my Bayard," says I ; " that 
superb piece of horseflesh looks like the original plan 
of the city of Boston there s so many bisecting 
angles about him/ 

"Ah !" says Villiam, with an agreeable smile, " in 
the words of the anthem of childhood 

" The angles told mo so. " 

Villiam s idea of angels, my boy, constitutes a 
theory of theology in itself. 

" What call you the charger ?" says I. 

" Euclid," says Villiam, pausing for a moment, to 
catch the gurgle of a canteen just reversed. " Ah !" 
says Villiam, recovering his presence of mind, " this 
here marvel of natural history is a guaranteed 2.40." 

" No !" says I. 

" Yes," says Villiam, calculatingly. " this superb 
animal is a sure 2.40 he cost me just Two dollars 
and Forty cents. But come with me," said Villiam, 
proudly, " and see the sharp-shooter contingent I 
have just organized to aid in the suppression of this 
here unnatural rebellion." 

I followed the splendidly-mounted warrior, my boy, 
to a spot not far from the nearest point of the enemy s 



292 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

lines, where I found a lengthy Western chap polish 
ing a rifle with a powerful telescope on the end of it. 
He had just been organized, and was preparing to 
make some carnage. 

" Now then, Ajack/ said Villiam, classically, " let 
us see you pick off that Confederacy over there, 
which looks like a mere fly at this distance." 

The sinewy sharpshooter sprang to his feet, called 
a drummer-boy to hold his chew of tobacco, looked 
at the rebel gunner through his telescope, shut up the 
telescope, took aim with both eyes shut, turned away 
his head, and fired ! 

I must say, my boy, that I at first thought the 
Confederacy was not hit at all, inasmuch as he only 
scratched one of his legs and squinted along his gun ; 
but Villiam soon showed me how exquisitely accu 
rate the sharpshooter s aim had been. 

" The bullet struck him/ says Villiam, confident 
ly, " and would have reached his heart, but for the 
Bible given him by his mother when he left home, 
which arrested its fatal progress. Let us hope/ says 
Villiam, seriously, " that he will henceforth search 
the Scriptures, and be a dutiful son." 

I felt the tears spring to my eyes, for I once had a 
mother myself. I couldn t help it, my boy I 
couldn t help it. 

The second shot of the unerring rifleman was 
aimed at a hapless contraband, who had been sent 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 293 

out to the end of a gun by the enemy, to see that 
the ball did not roll out before the gunner had time 
to pull the trigger. Crack ! went the deadly weapon 
of the sharpshooter, and down went the unhappy 
African to his dinner. 

"Ah!" says Villiam, skeptically, "do you think 
you hit him, Ajack ?" 

" Truelie, stranger," responded the unmoved 
marksman, sententiously. " He will die at twenty 
minutes past three this afternoon." 

Sick of this dreadful slaughter, my boy, I turned 
from the spot with Yilliam, and presently overtook 
the general of the Mackerel Brigade, who was seated 
on a fence by the roadside, trying to knock the cork 
out of a bottle with a piece of rock. We saluted, 
and went on to the camp. 

Shaq)shooters, my boy, are a source of much pain 
to hostile gunners, and if one of them should happen 
to put a bullet through the head of navigation, it 
would certainly cause the tide to fall. 

Yours, take-aimiably, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 






LETTER XIIII. 

CONCERNING MARTIAL LITERATURE: INTRODUCING- A DIDACTIC POEM 
BY THE "ARKANSAW TRACT SOCIETY," AND A BIOGRAPHY OF 
GARIBALDI FOR THE SOLDIER. 

WASHING-FOX, D. C.,May 7th, 1S62. 

SOUTHERN religious literature, my boy, is admir 
ably calculated to improve the morals of race-courses, 
and render dog-fights the instruments of wholesoine 
spiritual culture. 

On the person of a high-minded Southern Confed 
eracy captured the other day by the Mackerel pickets, 
I found a moral work which had been issued by the 
Arkansaw Tract Society for the diffusion of religious 
thoughts in the camp, and was much improved by 
reading it. The pure-minded Arkansaw chap who 
got it up, my boy, remarked in pallid print, that 
every man " should extract a wholesome moral from 
everything whatsomedever," and then went on to say 
that there was an excellent moral in the beautiful 
Arkansaw nursery tale of 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 295 



THE BEWITCHED TARRIER. 

Sam Johnson was a cullud man, 

Who lived down in Judce; 
lie owned a rat tan tarrier 

That stood bout one foot three; 
And the way that critter chawed up rats 

Was g-orjus for to see. 

One day this dorg was slumberin 

Behind the kitchen stove, 
When suddenly a wicked flea 

An ugly little cove 
.Commenced upon his faithful back 

With many jumps to rove. 

Then up arose that tarrier, 

With frenzy in his eye, 
And waitin only long enough 

To make a touchin cry, 
Commenced to twist his head around, 

Most wonderfully spry. 

But all in vain ; his shape was sich, 

So awful short and fat 
And though he doubled up hissel 

And strained hisself at that, 
His mouth was half an inch away 

From where the varmint sat. 

The dorg sat up an awful yowl 

And twisted like an eel, 
Emitting cries of misery 

At ev ry nip he d feel, 
And tumblin down and jumpin up, 

And turnin like a wheel. 



296 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

But still that most owdacious flea 
Kept up a constant chaw 

Just where he couldn t be scratched out 
By any reach of paw. 

But always half an inch beyond 
His wictim s snappin jaw. 

Sam Johnson heard the noise, and came 

To save his animile ; 
But when he see the crittur spin 

A barkin all the while 
He dreaded hiderfobia, 

And then began to rile. 

"The pup is mad enough," says he, 

And luggin in his axe, 
He gev the wretched tarrier 

A pair of awful cracks, 
That stretched him out upon the floor, 

As dead as carpet-tacks. 

MORAL. 

Take warnin by this tarrier, 
Now turned to sassidge meat; 

And when misfortin s flea shall come 
Upon your back to eat, . 

Beware, or you may die because 
You can t make both ends meet. 



The Arkansaw Tract Society put a note at the 
bottom of this moral lyric, my boy, stating that the 
"wicked flea here mentioned is the same varmint 
which is mentioned in Scripture as being so bold ; 
the wicked flea, when no man pursueth but the 
righteous, is as bold as a lion/ : 

Speaking of literature, my boy, I am happy to say 



ORPHEUS C. KERH PAPERS. 297 

that the members of the Mackerel Brigade have been 
inspired to emulate great examples by the biographies 
of great soldiers which have been sent to the camp for 
their reading by the thoughtful women of America. 
For instance, here we have the 

LIFE OF GENERAL GARIBALDI. 

BY THE NOBLEST RUM UN OF THE MALL. 



CHAPTER I. 

HIS BIRTH. 

At that period of the world s history when the Past 
immediately preceded the Present, and the Future was 
yet to come, there existed in a small town of which 
the houses formed a part, a rich but respectable couple. 
Owing to a combination of circumstances, their first 
son was a boy of the male gender, who inherited the 
name of his parents from the moment of his birth, 
and who is the subject of our story. When he was 
about five hours old, his male parent said to him : 

" My boy, do you know me ?" 

In an instant the eyes of the child flashed Jersey 
lightning, he ceased sucking his little fistesses, his 
hair would have stood on end if there had been any 
on his head, and he exclaimed in tones of thunder-r-r : 

" Viva Liberte et Maccaroni!" 

Mr. Garibaldi instantly clasped the little cherubim 
13* 



298 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

to his stomach, while Mrs. Garibaldi waved the tri- 
colored flag above them both, and requested the cham 
bermaid to bring her a little more of that same burn 
ing-fluid, with plenty of sugar in it. 

Thus was Garibaldi ushered into the world ; and 
the burning fluid is for sale by all respectable drug 
gists and grocers throughout the country, with S. 0. P. 
on the wrapper. 

CHAPTER II. 

HIS EDUCATION. 

On arriving at years of indiscretion, our hero began 
to display a tendency to " seven-up," Old Sledge, and 
other card-inal virtues, calculated to fit him for play 
ing his cards right in future years. Just about this 
time, too, his parents resolved to send him to school, 
and it is as the young scholar we must now regard 
him. 

Behold him, then, at his tasks, in a red shirt am 
putated at the neck, and two yellow patches (the 
badge of Sardinia) flaming from the background of 
his seat of learning. He readily mastered the Greek 
verbs and roots, comprehended liquorice root, studied 
geography, etymology, sycorax, and mahogany ; could 
decline to conjugate the verb toby, and quickly knew 
enough about, algebra to prove that X plus Y, not 
being equal to Z, is minus any dinner at noon, and 
plus one of the tightest applications of birch that 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 299 

ever produced the illusion of a red-hot stove in im 
mediate tontact with the human body. 

CHAPTER III. 

GARIBALDI GOES TO SEA. 

Just before the breaking-out of the rebellion at 
Rome, the trade in garlic and domestic fleas took a 
sudden start, and the Po was crowded with vessels 
of all nations especially the halluci-nations. One 
day, young Garibaldi was in the act of stabbing a 
ban-el of molasses to the heart with a quill, on Pier 
4, P. R. (Po River), when he was descried by the 
captain of a fishing-smack, detailed by Government 
to watch the motions of the English fleet. 

"Boy, ahoy !" says the Captain. 

The future liberator of Italy dropped his murder 
ous quill, wiped his nose with a pine shaving, and 
answered, in trumpet-tones : 

" You re another !" 

So delighted was the captain with this noble reply, 
that he flogged the whole starboard watch at the gun 
wales, ordered a preventer backstay on the kedge-an- 
chor, leaped ashore to where Garibaldi was standing, 
and offered to make him familiar with the seas, and a 
second Caesar. Garibaldi replied that he had already 
been half-seas over, but would not object to another 
cruise. He said he had traveled half-seas over, " on 
his face/ and would now travel the other half on a 



300 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

vessel. He went. The vessel proved to be a vessel 
of wrath, and Garibaldi became so familiar with the 
eat-o-nine-tails, that he soon mused upon a plan for 
deserting the ship. 

CHAPTER IV 

HE FIGHTS FOR ROME. 

All seas are liable to commotions, hence it is not 
strange that the Holy See encountered a storm about 
the time that it occurred. For some weeks, certain 
pure spirits had been fomenting the small beer of civil 
war, and in spite of vaticanation, it broke out at last, 
and was a rash proceeding. Garibaldi was sent for 
by the Goddess of Liberty to lead the insurrectionary 
forces, while the liberty of the goddess was endangered 
by the leadership of the commander of the French 
troops aiding the Pope. Our hero had but a handful 
of patriots on hand and on foot to fight with him ; but 
he determined to struggle to the last and perish in the 
attempt, even though he should lose his life by it. The 
Frenchman had an immense array of tried soldiers on 
the qui vive and on horseback ; but Garibaldi was not 
dismayed, and kept his courage up to the " sticking" 
point by hoping for aid. Alas ! the only aid they re 
ceived was lemonade and cannonade but not a brig 
ade. They fought with the French, and were whipped 
like blazes. Hinc ilia slacryma ! 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 301 



CHAPTER V. 

GARIBALDI IN AMERICA. 



After wandering about Italy as an exile for some 
months, the bold patriot came to America and opened 
a cigar shop. The writer remembers entering his shop 
one day to purchase a genuine meerschaum, and dis 
covering, afterwards, that it was made of plaster of 
Paris, and smelt when heated like ancient sour- 
krout flavored with lamp-oil. Garibaldi also sold the 
finest Habana cigars ever made on Staten Island, 
one brand of which was so strong in its integrity that 
it once defeated dishonesty, thus : 

One night, while Garibaldi was praying for his be 
loved Italy, at the house of a friend, a burglar broke 
into his store, with the intention of robbing it. The 
scoundrel broke open the till, took out all the city 
money (he refused to take anything but current 
funds), and then broke open a box of the cigars strong 
in their integrity, intending to have a quiet smoke 
before he left. Alas ! for him. 

When Garibaldi opened the store in the morning, 
he found the burglar laying on his back, with a cigar 
in his mouth, and too iveak to move! In the attempt 
to smoke the cigar, he had drawn his back bone clear 
through until it caught on his breast bone, and the 
back of his head was just breaking through the roof 
of his mouth, when the patriot found him. He was 



302 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

taken to the police-office, and discharged by the first 
alderman that came along. Such is life ! 

When the Emperor of France commenced his war 
with Austria, Garibaldi suddenly appeared at one of 
the elbows of the Mincio, and having passed around 
the Great Quadrilateral, headed a select body of Al 
pine shepherds, and charged the Austrians more than 
they could pay. All the world knows how that war 
ended. The emperors of France and Austria signed 
a treaty by which each was compelled to go back to 
his own country, tell his subjects that it was " all 
right/ and set all the wise men of the nation to 
discover what he had been righting about. Sardinia 
was not asked to give an opinion. About this time 
Garibaldi was left out in the cold. 

CHAPTER VI. 

OUR HERO IN SICILY. 

As we look abroad upon the vast nations of the 
earth, and remember that if they were all destroyed, 
not one of them would be left, the mind involuntarily 
conceives an idea, and becomes conscious of the preg 
nant fact, that " what is to be will be, as what has 
been, was." So when we look upon families, the 
thought forces itself upon us that if there were no 
births there would be no children : without fathers 
there could be no mothers ; and if the entire house 
hold should be swept away by disease, they would 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 303 

cease to live. So it is also, when we look upon an 
individual. Our intellect tells us that if he dies in 
infancy he will not live to be a man ; and if he never 
does anything, he will surely do nothing. 

This metaphysical line of thought is particularly 
natural in the case of Garibaldi. Look at him as he 
now stands, with one foot on Sicily and the other in 
a boot. Had he not been educated, he would have 
been uneducated ; had he not gone to sea he would 
never have been a sailor ; had he not fought for 
Rome, he would have laid down arms in her cause ; 
were he not now fighting for Italian independence, he 
would be otherwise engaged ! 

Thus the aspect presented by Garibaldi throughout 
his career, leads our thoughts into all the deep mean- 
derings of the German mind, and teaches us to per 
ceive that " whatever is, is right," as whatever is not, 
is wrong. 

Enraged at the impotent conclusion of the French- 
and-Austrian war, Garibaldi determined to prosecute 
hostilities on his own individual curve. In conse 
quence of the high price of ferriage on the Mincio, he 
moved down toward Palermo, and there called to his 
standard all Italians favorable to the immediate 
emancipation of Sicily and the removal of ajl duties 
on Maccaroni. Immediately the wildest enthusiasm 
raged among the friends of freedom. Six patriots 
attacked the fortress of Messalina, and were immedi- 



304 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

ately placed in prison, with chains around their necks, 
and Tapper s poems in their pockets. 

By degrees, Garibaldi made ready to capture 
Palermo ; he laid in a stock of cannon and woolen 
stockings, he harangued his warriors, and told them 
the day was theirs if they won it ; he invited all the 
reporters to a banquet. Then he went and took 
Palermo. 

How did he take it ? 

I know not ; there are more things in heaven and 
earth than arc dreamed of in ordinary philosophy : 
all I know is, that he took Palermo. 

Having brought my history down to this point, I 
deem it proper to pause in my task until the future 
shall have revealed what takes place hereafter ; and 
the past shall have ceased to interfere so outrageously 
with the present, that its limits can only be distin 
guished through the bottom of a tumbler. Liberty is 
the normal condition of the Italian, and while Gari 
baldi leads, the cry will be : "Liberty or death, with 
a preference for the former." Already the day-star of 
freedom gilds the horizon of beautiful Naples, and if 
it should not happen to be proved a comet by some 
evil-minded astronomer, Italy may yet be as free as 
New York itself, and pay a war-tax of not more than 
some millions a year. 

This finely-written life of the great Italian patriot 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 305 

had such an effect upon the Mackerels, my boy, that 
they all wished to live like Garibaldi hence, they 
are in no hurry to die for their country. 

Lives of great men all remind us, my boy, that we 
may make our lives sublime ; but I never read one 
yet, that gave instructions for making our deaths 
sublime to ourselves. 

Yours, for continued respiration, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XLIV. 

SHOWING HOW THE GREAT BATTLE OF PARIS WAS FOUGHT AND WON 
BY THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, AIDED AND ABETTED BY THE IRON- 
PLATED FLEET OF COMMODORE HEAD. 

WASHINGION, D. C., May 10th, 1862. 

I HAVE just returned, my boy, from witnessing one 
of the most tremendous battles of modern times, and 
shall see star-spangled banners in every sunset for 
six months to come. 

Hearing that the Southern Confederacy had evacu 
ated Yorktown, for the reason that the Last Ditch had 
moved on the first of May to a place where there 
would be less rent from our cannon, I started early 
in the week for the quarters of the valorous and san 
guinary Mackerel Brigade, expecting that it had gone 
toward Kichmond for life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
happiness. 

On reaching the Peninsula, however, I learned that 
the Mackerel " corpse darnmee" had been left behind 
to capture the city of Paris in co-operation with a 
squadron. 

Reaching the stamping-ground, my boy, I beheld 
a .scene at once unique and impressive. Each indi- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 307 

vidual Mackerel was seated on the ground, with a 
sheet of paper across his knees and an ink-bottle be 
side him, writing like an inspired poet. 

I approached Captain Villiam Brown, who was 
covering some bare spots on his geometrical steed 
Euclid, with pieces scissored out of an old hair-trunk, 
and says I : 

" Tell me, my noble Hector, what means this 
literary scene which mine eyes behold ?" 

" Ah !" says Villiam, setting down his glue-pot, 
" we are about to engage in a skrimmage from which 
not one may come out alive. These heroic beings," 
says Villiam, " are ready to die for their country at 
sight, and you now behold them making their wills. 
We shall march upon Paris/ says Villiam, "as soon 
as I hear from Sergeant O Pake, who has been sent 
to destroy a mill-dam belonging to the Southern 
Confederacy. Come with me, my nice little boy, 
and look at the squadron to take part in the attack." 

This squadron, my boy, consisted of one twenty- 
eiglit-inch row-boat, mounting a twelve-inch swivel, 
and commanded by Commodore Head, late of the 
Canal-boat Service. It is iron-plated after a peculiar 
manner. When the ingenious chap who was to iron- 
plate it commenced his work, Commodore Head 
ordered him to put the plates on the inside of the 
boat, instead of outside, as in the case of the Moni 
tor and Galena. 



308 ORPHEUS C. KEBR PAPERS. 

" What do you mean ?" says the contractor. 

" Why/ 7 says the commodore, " ain t them iron 
plates intended to protect the crew ?" 

" Yes/ says the contractor. 

"Well, then, you poor ignorant cuss," says the 
commodore, in a great passion, " what do you want 
to put the plates on the outside for ? The crew won t 
be on the outside will it ? The crew will be on the 
inside won t it ? And how are you going to pro 
tect the crew on the inside by putting iron plates on 
the outside ?" 

Such reasoning, my boy, was convincing, and the 
Mackerel Squadron is plated inside. 

While I was contemplating this new triumph of 
American naval architecture, and wondering what 
they would say about it in Europe, an orderly rode 
up and handed a scrap of paper to Villiam. 

" Ha !" says Villiam, perusing the message, and 
then passing it to me, " the veteran O Pake has not 
deceived the United States of America." 

The message was directed to the General of the 
Mackerel Brigade, my boy, and read as follows : 

" GENERAL : In accordance with your orders, I 
have destroyed the mill d n. O PAKE." 

" And now," says Villiam, returning his canteen to 
his bosom and pulling out his ruffles, " the United 
States of America will proceed to capture Paris with 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

great slaughter. Let the Brigade form in marching 
order, while the fleet proceeds around by water, after 
the manner of Lord Nelson/ 

The Mackerel Brigade was quickly on the march, 
headed by the band, who played an entirely new ver 
sion of " Hail Columbia" on his key bugle. Tramp, 
tramp, tramp ! and we found ourselves in position 
before Paris. 




MAP OF THE WOELD, SHOWING THE POSITION OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE AT 
THE GREAT BATTLE OF PARIS. 

Paris, my boy^ was a city of two houses previous 
to the recent great fire, which destroyed half of it, 
and we found it fortified with a strong picket-fence 
and counterscarp earthworks, from the top of which 
frowned numerous guns of great compass. 

The Mackerel Brigade was at once formed in line- 



310 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

of-battle-order the line being not quite as straight 
as an ordinary Pennsylvania railroad while the 
fleet menaced the water-front of the city from Duck 
Lake. 

You may not be able to find Duck Lake on the 
maps, my boy, as it is only visible after a heavy 
rain. 

Previous to the attack, a balloon, containing a 
Mackerel chap, and a telescope shaped like a bottle, 
was sent up to reconnoitre. 

" Well/ says Yilliam to the chap when he came 
down, " what is the force of the Confederacy ?" 

The chap coughed respectfully, and says he : 

"I could only see one Confederacy, which, is an old 
woman \" 

" Scorpion !" says VilKam, his eyes flashing like 
the bottoms of two reversed tumblers, " I believe you 
to be an accursed abolitionist. Go instantly to the 
rear/ says Yilliam, fiercely, "and read the Keport 
of the Yan Wyck Investigating Committee/ 

It was a terrible punishment, my boy, but the ex 
ample was needed for the good of the service. 

The Orange County Howitzers now advanced to 

O / 

the front, and poured a terrible fire in the direction 
of a point about half way between the nearest steeple 
and the meridian, working horrible carnage in a 
flock of pigeons that happened to be passing at the 
time. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 311 

" Splendid, my glorious Prooshians !" says Vil- 
liain, just escaping a fall from his saddle by the con 
vulsive start of Euclid, that noble war-horse having 
been suddenly roused from a pleasant doze by the 
firing " Splendid, my artillery darlings. Only," says 
Villiam, thoughtfully, "as the sun is a friendly 
power, don t aim at him so accurately next time." 

Meantime, Company 3, Kegiment 5, had advanced 
from the right, and were just about to make a spendid 
bayonet-charge, by the oblique, over the picket-fence 
and earthwork, when the concealed Confederacy sud 
denly opened a deadly fire of old shoes, throwing the 
Mackerels into great confusion. 

Almost simultaneously, a large potato struck the 
fleet on Duck Lake on the. nose, so intensely exciting 
him that he incontinently touched off his swivel, to 
the great detriment of the surrounding country. 

This was a critical moment, my boy ; the least 
trifle on either side would have turned the scale, and 
given the victory to either party. Villiam Brown had 
just assumed the attitude in which he desired Frank 
Leslie s Illustrated Artist to draw him, when a fami 
liar domestic utensil came hissing through the lurid 
air from the rebel works, and exploded in two pieces 
at his feet. 

" Ha !" says Villiam, eyeing the fragments with 
great pallor, " they have commenced to throw shell." 

In another moment that incomparable officer was 



312 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

at the head of a storming party ; and as the fleet 
opened fire on the cabbage-patch in the rear of the 
enemy s position, an impetuous charge was precipi 
tated in front. 

Though met by a perfect hail of turnips, stove- 
covers, and kindling-wood, the Mackerels went over 
the fence like a fourth-proof avalanche, and hemmed 
in the rebel garrison with walls of bayonets. 

" Surrender to the Union Anaconda and the United 
States of America/ thundered Yilliam. 

" You re a nasty, dirty creetur," responded the 
garrison, who was an old lady of venerable aspect. 

" Surrender, or you re a dead man, my F. F. 
Venus," says Villiam, majestically. 

The old lady replied with a look of scorn, my boy, 
walked deliberately toward the road, and when last 
seen was proceeding in the direction of Kichmond 
under a green silk umbrella and a heavy press of 
snuff. 

Now it happened, just after we had formally taken 
possession of the city, while the band was playing 
martial airs, and the fleet winding up his chronome 
ter, that the General of the Mackerel Brigade made 
his appearance on the field, and was received with 
loud cheers by those who believed that he brought 
their pay back with him. 

" My children," says the general, with a paternal 
smile, " don t praise me for an achievement in which 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 313 

all have won such imperishable laurels. I have only 
done my jooty." 

This speech, my boy, made a great impression upon 
me on account of its touching modesty. War, my 
boy, is calculated to promote an amount of bashful 
modesty never equaled except in Congress, and I 
have known brigadiers so self-deprecatory that they 
lived in a state of perpetual blush especially at the 
ends of their noses. 

Yours, inadequately, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 

14 



r. 



LETTER XLV. 

EXEMPLIFYING THE INCONSISTENCY OP THE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENT, 
AND SETTING FORTH THE MEASURES ADOPTED BY CAPTAIN VILLIAM 
BROWN IN HIS MILITARY GOVERNMENT OF PARIS. 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., May ISth, 1862. 

SUFFER me, my boy, to direct your attention to 
the Congress of our once distracted country, which is 
now shedding a beautiful lustre over the whole nation, 
and exciting that fond emotion of admiration which 
inclines the human foot to perform a stern duty. 
" Congress/ says Captain Samyule Sa-mith, nodding 
to the bar-keeper, and designating a particular bottle 
with his finger " Congress/ says he, "is a honor 
and a ornament to our bleeding land. The fortunes 
of war may fluctuate, the rose may fade ; but Congress 
is ever stable. Yes/ says Samyule, in a beautiful 
burst of enthusiasm, softly stirring the Oath in his 
tumbler with a toothpick, "Congress is stable in 
short, a stable full of mules." 

The Conservatives from the Border States, my boy, 
look upon the Southern Confederacy as a brother, 
whom it is our duty to protect against the accursed 
designs of the fiendish Abolitionists, who would make 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 315 

this war one of bloodshed. They ignore all party 
feeling, support the Constitution as it was, in contra 
distinction to what it is, and object to any Confisca 
tion measure calculated to irritate our misguided 
brothers and sisters in that beautiful land where 



The suitor he goes to tho planter so grand, 
And " Give me your daughter," says he, 
" For each unto other we ve plighted our lov 
I love her and so she loves me," 

Says he, 
" And married we re wishing to be." 

The planter was deeply affected indeed, 

Such touching devotion to see ; 
" The giving I couldn t afford ; but I ll sell 
Her for six hundred dollars to thee," 

Says he, 
41 Her mother was worth that to me." 



Which I quote from a sweet ballad I recently found 
among some rebel leave-ings at York town. 

These conservative patriots, my boy, remind me of 
a chap I once knew in the Sixth Ward. A high moral 
chap, my boy, and full of venerable dignity. One 
night the virtuous cuss doing business next door to 
him, having just got a big insurance on his stock, and 
thinking himself safe for a flaming speculation, set fire 
to his own premises and then called " Murder " on the 
next corner. Out came the whole Fire Department, 
only stopping to have jtwo fights and a scrimmage on 
the way, and pretty soon the water was pouring all 



316 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

over every house in the street except the one on fire. 
The high moral chap stuck his head out of the win 
dow, and says he : 

" This here fire ain t in my house, and I don t want 
no noise around this here residence." 

Upon this., some of our gallant firemen, who had 
just been into a fashionable drinking-shop not more 
than two blocks off, to see if any of the sparks had 
got in there, called to the chap to let them into his 
house, so that they might get at the conflagration 
more easily. 

"Never !" said the chap, shaking his nightcap con 
vulsively ; I didn t set fire to Joneses, and I can t 
have no Fire Department running around my 
entries." 

" See here, old blue-pills," says one of the firemen, 
pleasantly, " if you don t let us in, your own crib will 
go to blazes in ten minutes." 

But the dignified chap only shut down the window 
and went to bed again, saying his prayers backwards. 
I would not accuse a noble Department of violence, 
my boy, but in about three minutes there was a 
double back-action machine standing in that chap s 
front entry, with three-inch streams out of all the 
back windows. The fire was put out with only half 
a hose company killed and wounded, and next day 
there was a meeting to see what should be clone with 
the incendiary when he was caught. The high 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 317 

moral chap was at that meeting very early, and 
says he : 

" Let me advise moderation in this here unhappy 
matter. I feel deeply interested," says the chap, with 
tears ; " for I assisted to put out the conflagration by 
permitting the use of my house by the firemen. I 
almost feel," says the genial chap, " like a fellow fire 
man myself." 

At this crisis, a chap who was assistant engineer, 
and also Secretary to the Board of Education, arose, 
and says he : 

" What are yer coughin about, old peg-top ? 
Didn t me and the fellers have to cave in your door 
with a night-key wrench sa-a-ay ? What are yer 
gassin about, then ? You did a muchness you 
did ! Yes slightually in a horn. Now," says the 
gallant fireman, with an agreeable smile, "if you 
don t jest coil in yer hose and take the sidewalk very 
sudden, it ll be my duty, as a member of the Depart 
ment, to bust yer eye." 

I commend this chaste and rhetorical remark, my 

boy, to the attention of Border State Conswervatives. 

J ^ <^ - - 

Since the occupation of Paris by the Mackerel 
Brigade, affairs there have been administered with 
great intellectual ability by Captain Villiam Brown, 
who has been appointed Provisional Governor, to 
govern the sale of provisions. 

The city of Paris, my boy, as I told you lately, is 



318 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

laid out in one house at present ; and since the dis 
covery, that what were at first supposed to be Dahl- 
gren guns by our forces were really a number of old 
hats with their rims cut off, laid in a row on top of 
the earthworks, the democracy have stopped talking 
about the General of the Mackerel Brigade for next 
President. 

The one house,, however, was a boarding-house ; 
and though all the boarders left at the approach 
of our troops, it was subsequently discovered that all 
of them save one, were good Union men, and were 
brutally forced to fly by that one Confederate mis 
creant. When Yilliam heard of the fate of these 
noble and oppressed patriots, my boy, he suffered a 
tear to drop into the tumbler he had just found, and 
says he : 

"Just Hevings ! can this be so? Ah!" says 
Villiam, lifting a bottle near by to see that no rebel 
was concealed under it, " I will issue a proclamation 
calculated to conciliate the noble Union men of the 
sunny South, and bring them back to those protect 
ing folds in which, our inedycated forefathers folded 
their selves." 

Nobody believed it could be done, my boy nobody 
believed it could be done ; but Villiam understood 
his species, and issued the following 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 319 

PROCLAMATION. 

The Union men of the South are hereby informed 
that the United States of America has reasserted his- 
self, and will shortly open a bar-room in Paris. Also, 
cigars and other necessaries of life. By order of 
CAPTAIN YILLIAM BROWN, Eskevire. 

" There/ says Villiam, " the human intelleck may 
do what violence might fail to accomplish. "Ah !" 
says Villiam, "moral suasion is more majestik than 
an army with banners." 

In just half an hour after the above Proclamation 
was issued, my boy, the hum of countless approach 
ing voices called us to the ramparts. A vast multi 
tude was approaching. It was the Union men of the 
South, my boy, who had read the manifesto of a 
beneficent Government, and were coming back to take 
the Oath with a trifle of sugar in it. 

How necessary it is, my boy, that men intrusted 
with important commands generals and governors 
responsible for the pacification and welfare of mis 
guided provinces should understand just how and 
when to touch that sensitive chord in our common 
nature which vibrates responsively when man is in 
vited to take something by his fellow-man. 

Scarcely had Villiam assumed his office and sup 
pressed two reporters, when there were brought before 
him a fugitive contraband of the color of old meer- 



320 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

schaum, and a planter from the adjacent county, who 
claimed the slave. 

" It s me that s Misther Murphy would be afther 
axing your riverence to return the black crayture at 
once/ says the planter ; " for its meself that owns 
him, and he runn d away right under me nose and 
eyes as soon as me back was turned." 

"Ah !" says Yilliam, balancing a tumbler in his 
right hand. " Are you a Southerner, Mr. Murphy ?" 

" Yaysir," SSLJS Mr. Murphy, " it s that I am, in- 
tirely. Be the same token, I was raised and born in 
the swate South the South of Ireland." 

" Are you Chivalry ?" says Villiam, thoughtfully. 

" Is it Chivalry ! ah, but it s that I am, and me 
father before me, and me childers that s afther me. 
If Chivalry was praties I could furnish a dinner to 
all the wur-ruld, and have enough left to fade the 
pigs." 

"Murphy is a French name/ says Villiam, draw 
ing a copy of Yattel on International Law from his 
pocket and glancing at it, " but I will not dispute 
what you say. You must do without your contra 
band, however ; for slavery and martial law don t 
agree together in the United States of America." 

" Mr. Black," says Yilliam, gravely, turning to 
the emancipated African, " you have come to the 
right shop for freedom. You are from henceforth a 
freeman and a brother-in-law. You are now your 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 321 

own master," says Villiam, encouragingly, "and no 
man has a right to order you about. You are in the 
full enjoyment of Heving s best gift Freedom ! Go 
and black my boots." 

The moral grandeur of this speech, my boy, so 
affected the Southern planter that he at once became 
a Union man, took the Oath with the least bit of 
water in it, and asked permission to have his own 
boots blacked. 

I have been deeply touched of late, my boy, by the 
reception of a present from the ladies of Alexandria. 
It is a beautiful little dog, named Bologna (the 
women of America think that Bologna is the goddess 
of war, my boy), shaped like a door-mat rolled up, 
and elegantly frescoed down the sides in white and 
yellow. The note accompanying the gift was all 
womanly. 

" Accept," it said, " this slight tribute, as an index 
of the feelings with which the American women re 
gards the noble volunteer. Wear this gift next your 
heart when the fierce battle rages ; but, in the mean 
time, give him a bone." 

Bologna is a pointer, my boy a Five-Pointer. 

A.S a dead poet expresses it, Woman is " Heaven s 
noblest, best, and last good gift to man ;" and I as 
sure, you, my boy, that she is just the last gift he 
cares about. Yours, in bachelordliness, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 
14* 



LETTER XLVI. 

WHEREIN IS SHOWN HOW THE GENERAL OP THE MACKEREL BRIGADE 
FOLLOWED AN ILLUSTRIOUS EXAMPLE, AND VETOED A PROCLAMA 
TION. ALSO RECORDING A MILITARY EXPERIMENT WITH RELIABLE 
CONTRABANDS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 20th, 1862. 

KEJOICE with me, my boy, that I have got back 
my gothic steed, Pegasus, from the Government chap 
who borrowed him for a desk. The splendid archi 
tectural animal has just enough slant from his back 
bone to his hips to make a capital desk, my boy ; 
and then his tail is so handy to wipe pens on. In a 
moment of thirst he swallowed a bottle of ink, and 
some fears were entertained for his life ; but a gross 
of steel pens and a ream of blotting paper, immedi 
ately administered, caused him to come out all write. 
In a gothic sense, my boy, the charger continues to 
produce architectural illusions. He was standing on 
a hill-side the other day, with his rear-elevation to 
ward the spectators, his head up and ears touching at 
the top, when a chap, who has been made pious by 
frequent conversation with the contrabands, noticed 
him afar off, and says he to a soldier, " What church 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 323 

is that I behold in the distance, my fellow-worm of 
the dust ?" The military veteran looked, and says 
he, " It does look like a church ; but it s only a 
animated hay-rack belonging to the cavalry." 

" I see," says the pious chap, moving on ; " the 
beast looks like a church, because he s been accus 
tomed to steeple-chases." 

I have also much satisfaction in the society of my 
dog, Bologna, my boy, who has already become so 
attached to me that I believe he would defend me 
against any amount of meat. Like the Old Guard 
of France, he s always around the bony parts thrown ; 
and, like a bon vivant, is much given to whining after 
his dinner. 

The last time I was at Paris, my boy, this interest 
ing animal made a good breakfast off the calves of the 
General of the Mackerel Brigade s legs, causing that 
great strategetical conmiander to issue enough oaths 
for the whole Southern Confederacy. 

" Thunder !" says the General, at the conclusion 
of his cursory remarks, "I shall have the hydro 
phobia and bite somebody. It s my opinion," says 
the General, hastily licking a few grains of sugar from 
the spoon he was holding at the time, " it s my opin 
ion that I shall go rabid as soon as I see water." 

" Then you re perfectly safe, my conquering hero," 
says I ; "for when you see water, the Atlantic Ocean 
will be principally composed of brandy pale." 



324 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Speaking of Paris, it pains me, my boy, to say, 
that Captain Villiam Brown s Proclamation for the 
conciliation of southern Union men has been re 
pudiated by the General of the Mackerel Brigade. 

" Thunder !" says the General, taking a cork from 
his pocket in mistake for a watch-key, " it s against 
the Constitution to open a bar so far away from 
where Congress sits." 

And he at once issued the following 

" PROCLAMATION. 

" Whereas, There appears in the public prints what 
presumptuously pretends to be a proclamation of 
Captain Villiam Brown, Eskevire, in the words fol 
lowing, to wit : 

e PROCLAMATION. 

c The Union men of the South are hereby informed 
that the United States of America has reasserted 
hisself, and will shortly open a bar-room in Paris. 
Also, cigars and other necessaries of life. 

: By order of 
CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN, Eskevire/ 

" And whereas, the same is producing much excite 
ment among those members from the Border States 
who would prefer that said bar-room should be nearer 
Washington, in case of sickness. Therefore, I 7 Gen 
eral of the Mackerel Brigade, do proclaim and declare 
that the Mackerel Brigade cannot stand this sort of 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 325 

thing, and that neither Captain Villiam Brown nor 
any other commander has been authorized to declare 
free lunch, either by implication or otherwise, in any 
State : much less in a state of intoxication, of which 
there are several. 

" To persons in this State, now, I earnestly appeal. 
I do not argue : I beseech you to mix your own 
liquors. You cannot, if you would, be blind to the 
signs of the times, when such opportunity is offered 
to see double. I beg of you a calm and immense 
consideration of them (signs), ranging, it may be, 
above personal liquor establishments. The change 
you will receive after purchasing your materials will 
come gently as the dues from heaven not rending 
nor wrecking anything. Will you not embrace me ? 
May the extensive future not have to lament that you 
have neglected to do so. 

"Yours, respectfully, the 

" GENERAL OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE/ 

[Green seal.] 

When Villiam read this conservative proclamation, 
my boy, he looked thoughtfully into a recently-occu 
pied tumbler for a few moments, and then says he : 

" There s some intelleck in that. The general 
covers the whole ground. Ah !" says Villiam, pre 
paring, in a dreamy manner, to wash out the tumbler 
with something from a decanter, " the general so 



326 . ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

completely covers the whole ground sometimes, that 
the police departmink is required to clear it." 

I believe him., my boy. 

The intelligent and reliable contrabands, my boy, 
who have come into Paris from time to time, with 
valuable news concerning all recent movements not 
taking place in the Confederacy, were formed lately 
by Villiam, into a military company, called the Sam- 
bory Guard, Captain Bob Shorty being deputed to 
drill them in the colored-manual of arms. They were 
dressed in flaming red breeches and black coats, my 
boy, and each chaotic chap looked like a section of 
stove-pipe walking about on two radishes. 

I attended the first drill, my boy, and found the 
oppressed Africans standing in a line about as regular 
as so many trees in a maple swamp. 

Captain Bob Shorty whipped out his sleepless 
sword, straightened it on a log, stepped to the front, 
and was just about to give the first order, when, 
suddenly, he started, threw up his nose, and stood 
paralyzed. 

" What s the matter, my blue and gilt ?" says I. 

He stood like one in a dream, and says he : 

"Tears to me I smell something/ 

" Yes," says I ; " tis the scent of the roses that 
hangs round it still/ 

" True/ says Captain Bob Shorty, recovering, "it 
does smell like a cent ; and I haven t seen a cent of 






ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 327 

my pay for such a long time, that the novelty of the 
odor knocked me. Attention, company !" 

Only five of the troops were enough startled by 
this sudden order, my boy, to drop their guns, and 
only four stooped down to tie their shoes. One very 
reliable contraband left the ranks, and says he : 

" Mars r, hadn t Brudder Khett better gub out the 
hymn before the service commence ?" 

"Order in the ranks !" says Captain Bob Shorty, 
with some asperity, "Attention, Company ! Order 
Arms !" 

The troops did this very well, my boy, the muskets 
coming down at intervals of three minutes, bringing 
each man s cap with them, and pointing so regularly 
toward all points of the compass, that no foe could 
possibly approach from any direction without running 
on a bayonet. 

" Excellent !" says Captain Bob Shorty, with en 
thusiasm. " Only, Mr. Khett, you needn t hold your 
gun quite so much like a hoe. Carry arms !" 

Here Mr. Dana stepped out from the ranks, and 
says he : 

" Carrie who, mars r ?" 

" Go to the rear," says Captain Bob Shorty, indig 
nantly. " Present Arms !" 

Tf Present Arms means to stick your bayonet into 
the next man s side, my boy, the troops did it very 
well. 



328 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" Splendid !" says Captain Bob Shorty. " Shoulder 
Arms Eyes Eight Double-quick, March ! On to 
Kichmond 1" 

The troops obeyed the order ; my boy, and haven t 
been seen since. Perhaps they re going yet, my boy. 

Company 3, Kegiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, started 
for an advance on Kichmond yesterday, and by a 
forced march got within three miles of it. Another 
march brought them within five miles of the place ; 
and the last despatch stated that they had but ten 
miles to go before reaching the rebel capital. 

Military travel, my boy, is like the railroad at the 
West, where they had to make chalk marks on the 
track to see which way the train was going. 
Yours, on time, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XLYII. 

INTRODUCING A POEM BASED UPON AN IDEA THAT IS IN VIOLET A 
POEM FOR WHICH ONE OF THE WOMEN OP AMERICA IS SOLELY 
RESPONSIBLE. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 24th, 1862. 

ONE of the Northern women of America, my boy, 
has sent me a note, for the express purpose of express 
ing her hatred of the Southern Confederacy. She 
says, my boy, that the Confederacy is a miserable 
man, only fit for pecuniary dishonesty ; and that 
even the gentle William Shakspeare couldn t help 
revealing the peculiar failing of the Floydulent sec 
tion when he spoke so feelingly of 

" The sweet South, 

That breathes upon a bank of Violets, 
Stealing and giving odor." 

A fair hit, my boy a fair hit ; and sorry should I 
be to let the sweet South breathe upon any kind of a 
bank in which I had a deposit. 

Speaking of violets ; the woman of America sent 
one of those pretty flowers in her note ; and, as I 
looked upon it, I thought how fit it was to be 



330 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 



THE SOLDIER S EPITAPH. 

The woodlands caught the airy fire upon their vernal plumes, 
And echoed back the waterfall s exultant, trilling laugh, 

And through the branches fell the light in slender golden blooms 
To write upon the sylvan stream the Naiad s epitaph. 

On either side the sleeping vale the mountains swelled away, 
Like em ralds in the mourning ring that circles round the world 

And through the flow r-euamel d plain the river went astray, 
Like scarf of lady silver d o er around a standard furled. 

The turtle wooed his gentle mate, where thickest hung the boughs, 
While round them fell the blossoms plucked by robins wanton bills ; 

And on its wings the zephyr caught the music of his vows, 
To waft a strain responsive to the chorus of the hills. 

Twas in a nook beside the stream where grapes in clusters fell, 
And twixt the trees the swaying vines were lost in leafy showers, 

That fauns and satyrs, tamed to rest beneath the noonday spell, 
Gave silent ear and witness to the meeting of the flowers. 

The glories of the fields were there in summer s bright array, 
The virgins of the temple vast where Noon to Ev ning nods, 

To crown as queen of all the rest whose bosom should display 
The signet of a mission blest, the cipher of the gods. 

The royal Lily s sceptred cup besought an airy lip, 

The Rose s stooping coyness told the bee was at her heart, 

While all the other sisters round, with many a dainty dip, 

Sought jewels hidden in the grass, and waved its spears apart. 

"We seek a queen," the Lily said, "and she shall wear the crown 
Who to the Mission of the Blest the fairest right shall prove ; 

For unto her, whoe er she be, has come in sunlight down 
The badge of Nature s Royalty, from angel hands above. 

" I go to deck the wreath that binds a fair, imperial brow, 
Whose whiteness shall not be the less that mine is purer still ; 

For though a band of sparkling gems is set upon it now, 
Twill be the fairer that the Church in me beholds her will." 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 331 

* I claim a loyal suitor s touch," the Rose ingenuous said, 

"And ho will choose mo when he seeks the bow r of lady fair, 

To match me, with a smile, against her check s betraying red, 
And place me, with a kiss, within the shadows of her hair." 

And next the proud Camellia spoke : " "Where festal music swells, 
And solemn priest, with gown and book, a knot eternal ties, 

I go to hold the vail of her who hears her marriage-bells, 
And pledges all her life unto the Love that never dies." 

The Laurels raised their glowing heads, and into language broke : 
" Tis ours to honor gallant deeds that awe a crouching world; 

We rest upon the warrior s helm when fades the battle s smoke, 
And bloom perennial on the shield that back the foeman hurled." 

And other sisters of the field, the woodland, and the vale, 
Each told the story of her work, and glorified her quest ; 

But none of all the noble ones had yet revealed the talo 

That taught them from the gods she wore the signet in her breast. 

At length the zephyr raised a leaf, the lowliest of the low, 
And there, behold a Violet the Spring let careless slip ; 

Beyond its season blooming there where newer beauties grow, 
Enshrined like an immortal thought that lives beyond the lip. 

" \\ e greet thy presence, little one," the graceful Lily said, 
And quivered with a silent laugh behind her snowy screen, 

" Upraise unto the open sun thy modest little head ; 
For here, perchance, in thee at last the Flow rs have found their 
queen." 

A tremor shook the timid flower, and soft her answer came : 

" Tis but a simple duty left to one so small as I ; 
And yet I would not yield it up for all the higher famo 

Of nodding on a hero s helm, or catching beauty s eye. 

" I go to where an humble mound uprises in a field, 
To mark the placs of one whose life was lost a land to save ; 

Where bannered pomp no birth attests, nor marbled sword nor shield ; 
I go to deck," the Violet said, " a simple soldier s grave." 



332 ORPHEUS G. KERB PAPERS. 

There fell a hush on all the flowers ; but from a distant grove 
Burst forth the anthem of the birds in one grand peal of praise ; 

As though the stern old Forest s heart had found its early love, 
And all of earth s sublimity was melted in its lays I 

Then, as the modest flower upturned her blue eyes to the sun, 
There fell a dewdrop on her breast as shaken from a tree ; 

The lowliest of the sisterhood the godlike Crown had won; 
For hers it was to consecrate Truth s Immortality. 

The woodlands caught the airy fire upon their vernal plumes, 
And echoed back the waterfall s exultant, trilling laugh ; 

And through the branches fell the light in slender golden blooms, 
To sanctify the Violet, the Soldier s Epitaph. 

I asked the General of the Mackerel Brigade, the 
other day, what kind of a flower he thought would 
spring above my head when I rested in a soldier s 
sepulchre ? and he said "A cahhage !" my boy he 
said " A cabbage !" Yours, inversely, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER XIVIII. 

TREATING CHIEFLY OF A TERRIBLE PANIC "WHICH BROKE OUT IN 
PARIS, BUT SUBSEQUENTLY PROVED TO BE ONLY A NATURAL EF 
FECT OF STRATEGY. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Juno 1st, 1S62. 

IT is my belief my solemn and affecting belief, my 
boy, that our once distracted country is destined to 
be such a great military power hereafter, that an 
American citizen will be distinguishable in any part of 
the world by his commission as a brigadier. Even Con 
gressmen will answer to the command of " Charge 
mileage !" and it is stated that sons of guns in every 
variety are already being born at the West sons of 
" Pop" guns, my boy. 

The last time the General of the Mackerel Brigade 
was here, he was so much pleased with the high state 
of strategy developed at the War Office, that he 
visited all the bar-rooms in Washington, and ordered 
the tumblers to be at once illuminated. 

"Thunder !" says the general to Colonel Wobert 
Wobinson, of the Western Cavalry, as they were 
taking measures to prevent any possible mistake by 



334 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

seeing the enemy double, " this war is making great 
tacticians of the whole nation, and if I wanted my 
sons to become Napoleons, I d put them into the War 
Office for a week. My sons ! my sons !" says the 
general hysterically, motioning for a little more hot 
water, " why are you not here with me in glory, in 
stead of remaining home there, like ripe plums on 
the parent tree." 

"Plums ! plums !" says Colonel Wobinson, thought 
fully. " Ah ! I see," says the colonel, pleasantly, 
" your sons are damsons." 

The general eyed the speaker with much severity 
of countenance, my boy, and says he : 

" If you have any sons, my friend, they are proba 
bly fast young men, and take after their father at 
the approach of the enemy." 

The general is rather proud of his sons, my boy, 
one of whom wrote the following, whk;h he keeps 
pinned against the wall of his room : 

POOR PUSSY. 

"We count mankind and keep our census still, 
"We count the stars that populate the night; 

But who, with all his computation, can 
Con catty nations right? 

In all the lands, in zones of all degrees, 

No spot im-puss-able is known to be; 
And sure, the ocean can t ignore the Cat, 

Whose capital is C. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 335 

Despise her not; for Nature, in the work 

Of making her, remembered human laws, 
And gave to Puss strange gifts of human sort; 

Before she made her paws: 

First, Puss is like a soldier, if you please ; 

Or, like a soldier s officer, in truth ; 
For every night brings ample proof she is 

A fencer from her youth. 

A model cosmopolitan is she, 

Indifferent to change of place or time; 
And, like the hardy sailor of the seas, 

Inured to every climb. 

Then, like a poet of the noble sort, 

"Who spurns the ways of ordinary crews, 
She courts the upper-storied attic salt, 

And hath her private mews. 

In mathematics she eclipses quite 

Our best professors of the science hard, 
When, by her quadrupedal mode, she shows 

Her four feet in a yard. 

To try the martial simile once more: 

She apes the military drummer-man, 
"When, at appropriate hours of day and night, 

She makes her ratty plan. 

She is a lawyer to the hapless rat, 
"Who strives in vain to fly her fee-line paws, 

Evading once, but to be caught again 
In her redeeming claws. 



Then turn not from poor Pussy in disdain, 
Whose pride of ancestry may equal thine; 

For is she not a blood-descendaut of 
The ancient Catty line? 



336 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

Speaking of strategy, my boy, you will remember 
that Company 3, Regiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, 
started for an advance on Richmond last week, and 
were within ten miles of that city. Subsequently 
they made another forced march of five miles, leaving 
only fifteen miles to go ; and on Tuesday, a messen 
ger came in from them to Captain Villiam Brown, 
with the intelligence that the advance was already 
within twenty-five miles of the rebel head-quarters. 

" Ha !" says Villiam, "the Confederacy is doomed; 
but I must curb the advancing impetuosity of these 
devoted beings, or they ll be in Canada in a week. I 
think," says Yilliam, calculatingly, " that a retreat 
would bring us to the summer residence of the South 
ern Confederacy in less time." 

Here another messenger came in from the Rich 
mond storming party, and, says he : 

" The advance on Richmond has failed in conse 
quence of the shoes furnished by the United States 
of America. 

" Ah !" says Yilliam, hastily setting down a goblet. 

" Yes," says the chap, mournfully, " them air shoes 
has demoralized Company 3, which is advancing back 
to Paris at double-quick. Them shoes," says the 
chap, " which was furnished by the sons of Revolu 
tionary forefathers by a contractor, at only twenty- 
five dollars a pair for the sake of the Union, has caused 
a fatal mistake. They got so ragged with being ex- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 337 

posed to the wind, that when Company 3 hastily put 
them on for an advance on Richmond, they got the 
heels in front and have been going in the wrong direc 
tion ever since." 

" Where did you leave your comrades ?" says Vil- 
liani. 

" At Joneses Court House," says the chap. 

"Ah !" says Villiam, " is that a healthy place ?" 

"No," says the chap, "it s very unhealthy I was 
drunk all the time I was there." 

" I see," says Yilliam, with great agitation, " my 
brave comrades are in a tight place. Let all the 
newspaper correspondents be ordered to leave Paris 
at once," says Villiam to his adjutants, " and we ll 
take measures for a second uprising of the North." 

When it became generally known, my boy, that 
Company 3, Regiment 5, Mackerel Brigade, were 
falling back across Duck Lake, there was great agita 
tion in Government circles, and the general of the 
Mackerel Brigade prepared to call out all persons 
capable of bearing arms. 

" The Constitution is again in danger," says the 
general, impulsively, " and we must appeal to the 
populace." 

"Ah !" says Villiam, " it would also aid our holy 
cause to call out the women of America. For the 
women of America," says Villiam, advisedly, " are 
capable of baring arms to any extent." 

15 



338 OKPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

"No !" says the general. " Woman s place in this 
war is beside the couch of the sick soldier. Thun 
der !" says the general, genially, " it s enough to make 
us fonder of our common nature to see the devotion 
of women to the invalid volunteer. As I was pass 
ing through the hospital just now/ says the general, 
feelingly, " I saw a tender, delicate woman acting 
the part of a ministering angel to a hero in a hard 
ague. She was fanning him, my friend she was 
fanning him." 

"Heaven bless her!" says Villiam, with streaming 
eyes ; "and may she never be without a stove when 
she has a fever. I really believe," says Villiam, glow 
ingly, " that if woman found her worst enemy, even, 
burning to deatli, she would heap coals of fire upon 
his head." 

Villiam s idea of heaping coals of fire, my boy, is 
as literal as was the translation of Enoch. 

On learning of the repulse from Eichmond, all the 
Southern Union men of Paris commenced to remem 
ber that the rebels are our brethren, and that this 
war was wholly brought about by the fiendish aboli 
tionists. 

"Yes !" says a, patriotic chap from Accomac, sip 
ping the oath loyally, " the Abolitionists brought 
this here war about, and I have determined not to 
support it. Our slaves read the Tribune, and have 
learned so much from military articles in that paper 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 339 

that the very life of the South depended upon separ 
ation/ 

In fact, my boy, notwithstanding the efforts of 
Captain Villiam Brown to tranquillize public feeling 
by seizing the telegraph office and railroad depot, 
telegraphing to everybody he knew for. reenforce- 
ments, the excitement was steadily increasing, until 
word came from Company 3, Regiment 5, Mackerel 
Brigade, that no enemy had been in sight at all. 

When the intelligence was brought to the General 
of the Mackerel Brigade, and as soon as the band 
had finished serenading him, he called for a fresh 
tumbler, and says he : 

" I may as well tell you at once, my children, that 
this whole matter is simply a part of my plan for 
bringing this unnatural war to a speedy termination. 
Company 3 retired by my design, and and in fact, 
my children/ says the general, confidingly, " it s 
something you can t understand it s strategy." 

Perhaps it was, my boy perhaps it was ; for there 
is more than one reason to believe that strategy means 
military shoes with the heels in front. 

Yours, cautiously, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



, LETTER XLIX. 

NOTING THE ARCHITECTURAL EFFECTS OF THE GOTHIC STEED, PEGASUS, 
AND DESCRIBING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE S SANGUINARY ENGAGE 
MENT WITH THE RICHMOND REBELS. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 8th, 1862. 

ONCE more, my boy, the summer sun lias evoked 
long fields of bristling bayonets from the seed sown 
in spring tents, and the thunder of the shower is 
echoed by the roar of the scowling cannon. Onward, 
right onward, sweeps the Sunset Standard of the 
Kepublic, to plant its Hoses and its Lilies on the soil 
where Treason has so long been the masked reaper ; 
to epitaph with its eternal Violet the honored battle- 
graves of the heroic fallen, and to set its sleepless 
Stars above the Southern Cross in a new Heaven of 
Peace. 

In my voyage down the river, to witness the great 
battle for Kichniond, I took my frescoed dog, Bologna, 
and my gothic steed, Pegasus. The latter- architec 
tural animal, my boy, has again occasioned an optical 
mistake. Being of a melancholy turn, and partaking 
somewhat of the tastes of the horrible and sepulchral 
German Mind, the gothic charger has peregrinated 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 341 

much in a churchyard near Washington, frequently 
standing for hours in that last resting-place, lost in 
profound mortuary contemplation, to the great admi 
ration of certain vagrant crows in the atmosphere. 
On such occasions, my boy, his casual pace is, if pos 
sible, rather more rcquiescat in "pace" than on ordi 
nary marches. I was going after him in company 
with a religious chap from Boston, who is going down 
South to see about the contrabands being born again, 
when we caught sight of Pegasus, in the distance. 
The sagacious architectural stallion had just ascended 
the steps leading into the graveyard, my boy, and 
presented a gothic and pious appearance. The relig 
ious chap clutched my arm, and says he : 

" How beautiful it is, my fellow-sinner, to see that 
simple village church, resting like the spirit of Peace 
in the midst of this scene of war s desolation." 

" Why, my dear Saint Paul," says I, " that s my 
gothic steed, Pegasus." 

"Ahem!" says he. "You must be mistaken, 
my poor worm ; for I can see half way down the 
aisle." 

" The perspective," says I, " is simply the perspec 
tive between the hind legs of jthe noble creature, and 
his rear elevation deceives you." 

" Well," says the religious chap, grievously, " if 
you ever want to do anything for the missionary 
cause, my poor lost lamb, just skin that horse and 



342 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 



and let me have his frame for a numble chapel, 
wherein to convert contrabands." 




EEQUIESCAT IN "PACE." 

ARCHITECTURAL VIEW OP THE GOTHIC STEED, PEUASUS REAR ELEVATION. 

On my way down the Potomac to Paris, my boy, 
with Pegasus and the intelligent dog Bologna, I met 
Commodore Head, of the new iron-plated Mackerel 
fleet, who was taking his swivel Columbiad to a 
blacksmith, to have the touch-hole repaired. The 
Commodore met with a great disappointment at 
Washington, my boy. He ordered the great military 
painter, Patrick de la Roach, to paint him a portrait 
of Secretary Welles, Cabinet size. When the picture 
came home, my boy, it was no larger than a twenty- 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 343 

five-cent piece, frame and all ; and the portrait was 
hardly perceptible to the naked eye. 

"Wedge my turret !" says the Commodore, in his 
iron-plated manner, " I wouldn t give a Galena for 
such a picture as that. What did you make it so 
small for, you daubing cuss ?" 

" Didn t you want it Cabinet size ?" says the artist. 

" Batter my plates ! of course I did," says the 
Commodore. 

"Well/ says the artist, earnestly, "if you ever 
attended a Cabinet meeting, you d know that that 
is exactly the Cabinet size of the Secretary of the 
Navy/ 

The Commodore related this to me, my boy, in the 
interval of naval criticisms on the gothjc Pegasus, 
whom he pronounced as incapable of being hit at 
right angles by a shell as the Monitor. "Explode my 
hundred-pounder !" says the Commodore, admiringly, 
" I don t see any flat surface about that oat-crushing 
machine. Perforate my armor, if I do !" 

A great battle was going on upon the borders of 
Duck Lake when we reached Paris, my boy, and on 
ambling to the battle-field with my steed and my dog, 
I found the Mackerel Brigade blazing away at the foe 
in a thunder-storm and vivid-lightning manner. 

Captain Villiam Brown, mounted on the geomet 
rical steed Euclid, to whom he had administered a 
pinch of Macaboy to make him frisky was just re- 



344 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

ceiving the answer of an orderly, whom he htsr sent 
to demand the surrender of a rebel mud-work in 
front. 

"Did you order the rebel to surrender his incen 
diary establishment to the United States of Amer 
ica ?" says Villiam, majestically returning his canteen 
to his bosom. 

" I did, sire/ says the Orderly, gloomily. 

" What said the unnatural scorpion ?" says Villiam. 

"Well," says the Orderly, "his reply was almost 
sarcastic." 

" Ha !" says Villiam, " what was t ?" 

" Why/ says the Orderly, sadly, " he said that if 
I didn t want to see a dam fool, I d better not go into 
a store where they sold looking-glasses." 

"Ah!" says Villiam, nervously licking a cork ; 
" that was sarcastic. Let the Orange County How 
itzers push to the front/ says Villiam, excitedly, 
"and we ll shatter the Southern Confederacy. Hello !" 
says Villiam, indignantly, "Who owns that owda- 
cious dog there ?" 

I looked, my boy, and behold it was my frescoed 
canine, Bologna, who was innocently discussing a 
bone right in the track of the advancing artillery. I 
whistled to him, my boy, and he loafed dreamily 
toward me. 

The Orange County Howitzers thundered forward, 
and then hurled an infernal tempest of shell and can- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 345 

ister into the horizon, taking the roofs off of two 
barns, and making twenty-six Confederate old maids 
deaf for life. At the same instant, Ajack, the Mack 
erel sharpshooter, put a ball from his unerring rifle 
through a chicken-house about half a mile distant, 
causing a variety of fowl proceedings. 

" Ah !" says Yilliam, critically, " the angels will 
have to get a new sky, if the artillery practice of the 
United States of America keeps on much longer/ 

Meantime Company 2, Begiment 5, Mackerel Brig 
ade, was engaging the enemy some distance to the 

/ 

right, under Captain Bob Shorty; and now UK ro 
came a dispatch from that gallant officer to Villiam, 
thus : 

" The Enemy s Multiplication is too much for my 
Division. Send me some more Democrats. 

" CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY/ 

"Ah!" says Yilliam, "the Anatomical Cavalry 
and the Western Centaurs are already going to the 
rescue. Blue blazes !" says Villiam, cholerically, 
" Why don t that blessed dog get out of the way ?" 

I looked, my boy, and, behold ! it was my frescoed 
canine, Bologna, calmly reasoning with a piece of 
army beef, in the very middle of the field. I whistled, 
my boy, and the intelligent animal floated toward me 
with subdued tail. 

The obstruction being removed, the Anatomicals 
15* 



346 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

and the Centaurs charged gloriously under Colonel 
Wobert Wobinson, and would have swept the South 
ern Confederacy from the face of the earth, had not 
the fiendish rebels put a load of hay right in the 
middle of the road. To get the horses past this ob 
ject was impossible, for they hadn t seen so much 
forage before in a year. 

"Ah !" says Villiam, contemplatively, "I m afraid 
cavalry s a failure in this here unnatural contest. 
Ha !" says Villiam, replacing the stopper of his can 
teen, and quickly looking behind him, " What means 
this spectacle which mine eyes observe ?" 

A cloud of dust opened near us, and we saw Cap 
tain Samyule Sa-mith rushing right into head 
quarters, followed by Company 6, having an aged 
and very reliable contraband in charge. 

"Samyule, Samyule," says Villiam, fiercely, "ex 
pound why you leave the field with your force, at this 
critical period in the history of the United States of 
America ?" 

" I m supporting the Constitution," says Samyule, 
breathlessly, "I m a conservative, and ." Here 
Samyule tumbled over something and fell flat on his 
stomach. 

" By all that s blue \" says Villiam, frantically, 
"why the thunder don t somebody shoot that un 
natural dog !" 

I looked, my boy, and beheld it was my frescoed 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 347 

canine, Bologna, who had run between the legs of 
the fallen warrior, with the remains of a captured 
Confederate chicken. I whistled, my boy, and the 
faithful creature angled towards me with mitigated 
ears. 

" I m supporting the Constitution," repeated Sam- 
yule, rising to his feet and examining a small, black 
bottle to see if anything had spilt, " I m a conserva 
tive, and have left the field to restore this here mis 
guided contraband to his owner, which is a inoffensive 
rebel. War," says Samyule, convincingly, " does not 
affect the Constitution." 

"Ah !" says Villiam, "that s very true. Take the 
African chasseur to his proper master, and tell him 
that the United States does not war against the rights 
of man/ 

Now it happened, my boy, that the withdrawal of 
this force to carry out the Constitution, so weakened 
the Advance Guard, that the Southern Confederacy 
commenced to gain ground, and Villiam was obliged 
to form Company 3, Kegiment 5, in line immediately, 
for a charge to the rescue. He got the splendid corps 
to leave the distillery where they were quartered, for 
a few minutes, and says he : 

" There s beings for you, my nice little boy \ 
Here s veteran centurions for you." 

" Yes," says I, admiringly. " I never saw so many 
red noses together before, in all my life." 



348 ORPHEUS C. KERB .PAPERS. 

" All !" says Villiam, dreamily, <{ there s nary red 
about them, except their noses. And now/ says 
Villiam, " you will see me lead a charge destined to 
cover six pages in the future history of our distracted 
country/ 7 

" Soldiers of the Potomac !" says Villiam, draw 
ing his sword, and hastily sharpening it on the left 
profile -of his geometrical steed, "your comrades are 
engaging nine hundred and fifty thousand demoralized 
and routed rebels, and you are called upon to charge 
bayonets. Follow me." 

Not a man moved, my boy. Many of them had 
families, and more were engaged to be married to 
the women of America. They were brave but not 
rash. 

Yilliarn drew his breath, and says he : " The United 
States of America, born on the Fourth of July, 1776, 
calls upon you to charge bayonets, Come on, my 
brave flowers of manhood !" 

Here a fearless chap stepped out of the ranks, and 
says he : " In consequence of the heavy dew which 
fell this morning, the roads is impassable." 

Villiam remained silent, my boy, and drooped his 
proud head. Could nothing induce those devoted 
patriots to strike for the forlorn hope ? Suddenly, a 
glow of inspiration came over his face, he rose in his 
saddle like a flash, waved his sword toward the foe, 
and shouted 



ORPHEUS C. KKRR PAPERS. 349 

" I know you now, my veterans ! The day is hot, 
yonder lies our road, and my peerless Napoleons/ 
said Villiam, frenziedly : 

"COME AND TAKE A DRINK \" 

In an instant I was "blinded with a cloud of dust, 
through which came the wild tramp and fierce hurrahs 
of Company 3, Regiment 5, Mackerel Brigade. The 
appeal to their finer feelings had carried them by 
storm, and they charged like the double-extract of a 
compound avalanche. I was listening to their cheers 
as they drove the demoralized foe before them, when 
a political chap came riding post-haste from Paris, 
and says he : 

" How many voters have fallen ?" 

Before I could answer him, my boy, the triumphant 
Mackerels came pouring in, just in time to meet the 
General of the Mackerel Brigade, who had just rode 
up from a village in the rear, with an umbrella over 
his head to keep off the sun." 

" My children," says the general, kindly, as their 
shouts fell upon his ears, " you have sustained me 
nobly this day, and we will enjoy the thanks of our 
grateful country together. I thank you, my children." 

Here the political chap threw up his hat, and says 
he : " Hurroar for the Union ! My fellow-beings," 
says the political chap, glowingly, " I announce the 
idolized General of the Mackerel Brigade for Presi 
dent of the United States in 1865." 



350 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" All !" says Yilliam he would have said more, 
but at that moment his horse s legs became entangled 
in something, and both horse and rider went to grass. 
I looked, my boy, and behold, it was my frescoed 
dog Bologna, who had run against the geometrical 
steed of the warrior in pursuit of an army biscuit. I 
whistled, my boy, and the docile quadruped shrunk 
toward me with criminal aspect. 

And so, the unblest cause of treason has received a 
decisive blow. The end approaches ; but I can t say 
which end, my boy I can t say which end. 

Yours, martially, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER L. 

REMARKING UPON A PECULIARITY OP VIRGINIA, AND DESCRIBING 
COMMODORE HEAD S GREAT NAVAL EXPLOIT ON DUCK LAKE, ETC. 

"\VASIIINGTOX, D. ., Juno 15th, 1S62. 

EARLY in the week I trotted to the other side of 
the river on my gothic steed Pegasus, and having lent 
that architectural pride of the stud to a thoughtful 
individual, who wished to make a sketch of his facade, 
I took a branch railroad for a circuitous passage to 
Paris, intending to make one stoppage on the way. 
The locomotive was about two-saucepan power, my 
boy, and wheezed like a New York Alderman at a 
free lunch. First we stopped at a town composed of 
one house, and that was a depot. 

"What place is this ?" says I to my fellow pas 
senger, who was the conductor, and was reading the 
Tribune, and was swearing to himself. "It s Mul 
ligan s Court-House, the Capital of Sally Ann 
County," says he, and again took out the bill I had 
paid my fare with to see if it was good. 

I took another branch road here, and we snailed 
along to another town, composed of a wood-pile. 



352 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

" What place is this ?" says I to my fellow-traveller, 
the brakeman. " It s Abednego Junction, the capi 
tal of Laura Matilda County/ says he, sounding my 
quarter on his seal ring to make sure that it was 
genuine. Now, as London, the city I was going to, 
happened to the capital of Anna Maria County, my 
boy, I made up my mind that the sacred soil had as 
many metropolises as railways. 

" Virginia," says a modern Southern giant of intel 
lect, "is one grand embodied poem." 

I believe him, my boy ; for, like a poem, Virginia 
appears to have a capital at the commencement of 
every line. 

Beaching London, and brushing past a crowd of 
our true friends the contrabands, whose cries of 
anguish upon hearing that I had brought them no 
plum-pudding, were truly harrowing, I pushed for 
ward to the new Union paper, the London Times, 
with whose editor I had business. 

Just as I entered the office, my boy, there rushed 
out in great rage an exasperated southern Union 
man. Having no gun about the house to pick off 
our pickets as they came into town, he borrowed a 
barber s pole and stuck it out of the window, pro 
claimed himself an oppressed Unionist, had a meet 
ing of his family to elect him to the United States 
Congress from Anna Maria County, and made a 
thrilling Union address to two contrabands from his 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 353 

back-stoop. He wound up this great speech, my boy, 
by saying : 

" Young men, it is your duty to fight for the Union, 
which has caused us all so many tears. If any young 
man s wife would fain dissuade him, let him say to 
her, in the language of the poet, 

" I could not love thee, dear, so much, 
Loved I not Honor more I " 

This touching peroration was sent in manuscript 
to the London Times, and this is the way it appeared 
in that intellectual American journal : 

" Young hen, it is your duty to fight for the Onion, 
which has caused us all so many tears. If any young 
man s wife would fain dissuade him, let him say to 
her, in the language of the poet : 

" I could not love thee, dear, so much, 
Loved I not Hannah More. " 

When the southern Union man read this twistifi- 
cation, he put his paper where his wife couldn t see 
it (she being a very jealous woman), and went out to 
cowhide the editor. He cowhided him, by frantically 
placing the cowhide in the editor s hands, and then 
running his back repeatedly against the weapon. Ty 
pographical eiTors have a unique effect in reports 
of killed and wounded, my boy ; but they knock the 
Promethean blaze out of eloquence. 

Having transacted my business with the editor, and 



354 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

read a dispatch, just received from a Gentleman of 
Eminence, stating that Beauregard, who was at Oko- 
lonna, had a force of 120,000 men ; but that Halleck 
would probably succeeed in putting the entire 80,000 
to flight before Beauregard could return from Kich- 
mond ; though it was currently reported that the 
rebels were sixty thousand strong, and General Pope 
must be expeditious if he wanted to capture the whole 
10,000 before General Beauregard got back from the 
Shenandoah valley ; I turned to the editor, and 
says I : 

" How does newspaper business pay now, my gifted 
Censor ?" 

He sighed, as he shoved a demijohn further under 
his desk, and says he : 

" There s only one newspaper in the world that pays 
now, sonny : 

" What s that ?" says I. 

" The Paris Pays," says he. 

I left him immediately, my boy. Ordinary de 
pravity don t affect me, for I have known several 
Congressmen in my time ; but I can t stand abnor 
mal iniquity. 

Arriving at Paris I found that a recent shower had 
made Duck Lake navigable, and Commodore Head 
was preparing his fleet to attack a secession squadron, 
which- some covert rebel had built during the night 
for the purpose of annoying the Mackerels in Paris. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 355 

" Batter my plates !" says the commodore, clioler- 
ically, " I could capture that poor cuss easily, if I 
only had a proper pilot." 

As Duck Lake is only about four yards wide at a 
freshet, my boy, your ignorance may suggest no suffi 
cient reason for a pilot in such a case ; but you are 
no martial manner, my boy. 

Luckily the man for the place was at hand. On 
Wednesday, a glossy contraband, in a three-story 
shirt-collar, and looking like a fountain of black ink 
with a strong wind blowing against it, came into Paris, 
and surrendered* to Captain Yilliam Brown. 

" Ha !" says Yilliam, replacing the newspaper that 
had just blown off from two lemons and a wicker flask 
on the table, " what says our cousin Africa ?" 

" Mars r Vandal," says the faithful black, earnestly, 
" I hab important news to combobicate. I knows all 
de secrets of de rebel Scratchetary of the Navy. True 
as you lib, Mars r Vandal, so help me gad, I se de 
coachman of de pirate Sumter." 

"Ah !" says Villiam, cautiously, " tell me, blessed 
shade, what has a coachman got to drive on board a 
vessel ?" 

The true-hearted contraband modestly eyed a won 
der of the insect kingdom which he had just removed 
from his hair, and says he : 

" I drove de ingine, mars r." 

That was enough, my boy. Having learned from 



356 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

this intelligent creature what the rebel Secretary was 
going to have for dinner next Sunday, and what the 
Secretary s wife said in her letter to her mother, 
Villiam ordered him to act as pilot on the Mackerel 
Fleet. 

And now let me draw a long breath before I at 
tempt to describe that terrific and sanguinary naval 
engagement, which proved conclusively what Europe 
may expect, if Europe bother us with any more bigodd 
nonsense. 

Having ballasted with mortar, my boy, to seem 
more naval, the unblushing commodore mounted his 
swivel-gun at the bow of the Mackerel Fleet, and 
selected for his gunner and crew a middle-aged Mack 
erel chap, whose great fondness for fresh fish made 
him invaluable for ocean service. 

" Crack my turret !" says the commodore, as the 
Fleet pushed off amid the cheers of Company 4, 
Kegiment 1, Mackerel Brigade ; " I ll take that craft 
by compound fracture. Belay the starboard ram 
there, you salamander, and take a reef in the grating. 
Up with the signal two strips of pig iron rampant, 
with a sheet of tin in the middle/ 

All this was splendidly performed by the crew, my 
boy, who trimmed the rudder, did the rowing, and 
tended the gun all at once. The craft fairly flew 
through the water in the direction of the rebel craft, 
whose horse-pistol amidship still remained silent. 



ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 357 

It was an awfully terrific and sublime sight, my 
boy. I shall never forget it, my boy, if I live till I 
perish. 

The faithful colored pilot sat in the stern of the 
Fleet, examining some silver spoons which he had 
found somewhere in the Southern Confederacy, and 
we could see the noble old commodore mixing some 
thing that steamed in the fore-sheets. 

Two seconds had now passed since our flotilla had 
started, and the hostile squadrons were rubbing against 
each other. We were expecting to see our navy go 
through some intricate manoeuvre before boarding, 
when the Mackerel crew accidentally dropped a spark 
from his pipe on the touch-hole of the swivel ; and 
bang ! went that horrid engine of destruction, send 
ing some pounds of old nails right square into the 
city of Paris. 

Simultaneously, four-and- twenty foreign Consuls 
residing near Paris got up a memorial to Commodore 
Head, protesting against any more firing while any 
foreigners remained in the country, and declaring 
that the use of gunpowder was an outrage on civil 
ized warfare and the rights of man. They tied a 
stone to this significant document and threw it to 
Commodore Head, who instantly put the Mackerel 
crew on half rations and forbid smoking abaft the 
big gun. 

Meanwhile the enemy had wounded our brave pilot 



358 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

on the shins with his oar, and exploded his horse- 
pistol in an undecided direction, with such dreadful 
concussion that every glass in Commodore Head s 
spectacles was broken. 

It was at this dreadful crisis of the fight that the 
gay Mackerel crew leaned over the side of our fleet, 
placed one hand on the inside of the enemy s squad 
ron, and with the other, regardless of the shower of 
old-bottles and fish-bones flying about him, deliber 
ately bored a small hole, with a gimlet, through the 
bottom of the adversary. At about the same moment 
the commodore touched off the swivel-gun at the 
enemy s rudder, and threw one of his boots against 
the rear stomach of the rebel captain. 

This sickening carnage might have lasted five min 
utes longer, had not the Confederate squadron sunk 
in consequence of the gimlet-hole. Down went the 
doomed craft of unblest treason, and in another 
moment the officer and crew of her were in the water, 
which reached nearly to their knees, imploring our 
fleet not to let them drown. 

Oh, that sight ! the thrilling yet terrifying and 
agonizing grandeur of that dreadful moment ! shall 
I ever forget it ever cease to hear those cries ring 
ing in mine ears ? I m afraid not, my boy I m 
afraid not. 

The Commodore rescued the sufferers from a wa 
tery grave ; and having been privately informed by 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 359 

them that the South might be conquered, but never 
overcome, brought them ashore by the collars. 

Need I describe how our noble old nautical sea-dog 
was received by the Mackerel Brigade ? need I tell 
how the band whipped out his key-bugle and played 
all the triumphant airs of our distracted country, and 
several original cavatinas ? 

But, alas ! my boy, this iron-plate business is tak 
ing all the romance out of the navy. How different 
is the modern from 

THE ANCIENT CAPTAIN. 

The smiles of an evening were shed on the sea, 
And its wave-lips laughed through their boardings of foam ; 

And the eyes of an evening were mirrored beneath 
The shroud of the ship and her home. 

And as Time knows an end, so that sea knew a shore, 

Afar in a beautiful, tropical clime, 
Where Love with the Lifo of each being is blent, 

In a soft, psychological Rhyme. 

Oh, grand was the shore, when deserted and still 
It breasted the silver-mailed hosts of the Deep ! 

And like the last bulwark of Nature it seemed, 
Twixt Death and an Innocent s sleep. 

But grander it was to the eyes of a knight, 
"When clad in his armor he stood on the sands, 

And held to his bosom its essence of Life 
An heiress of titles and lands. 

Ah } fondly he gazed on the face of the maid I 
And blush-spoken fondness replied to his look ; 

"While heart answered heart with a feverish beat, 
And hand pressed the hand that it took. 



360 ORPHEUS c. KERR PAPERS. 

" Fair lady of mine," said the knight, stooping low, 

" Before I depart for the banquet of Death, 
I crave a new draught from tho fountain of Life, 
Whose waters are all in thy breath. 

" The breast that is filled with thine image alone, 

May safely defy the dread tempest of steel ; 
For while ail its thoughts are of love and of thee, 
What peril of Self can it feel?" 

He paused ; and the silence that followed his words, 
Was spread like a Hope, twixt a Dream and a Truth ; 

And in it, his fancy created a world 
Wrought out of the dreams of his youth. 

Then shadows crept over the beautiful face 

Turned up to the sky in the pale streaming light, 

As shadows sweep over the orient pearl, 
Far down in the river at night. 

"You re going," she said, " whore the fleets are in leash, 
Where plumed is a knight for each wave of the sea; 
Yet all the wide Ocean shall have but One wave, 
One ship and One sailor for me 1" 

He left her, as leaveth tho god of a dream 

The portals that close with a heavier sleep ; 
And then, as he sprang to the shallop in wait, 

The rowers pushed off in the Deep. 

When a captain leaves his lady-fair nowadays, my 
boy, he s not an economical man if he don t destroy 
his life-insurance policy, and defer making his will. 
Yours, navally, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTER II. 

GIVING DUE PROMINENCE ONCE MORE TO THE CONSERVATIVE ELE 
MENT, NOTING A CAT-AND-DOG AFFAIR, AND REPORTING CAPTAIN 

BOB SHORTY S FORAGING EXPEDITION. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 23d, 1862. 

NOT wishing to expire prematurely of inanity, my 
boy, I started again last Sunday for Paris, where I 
took up my quarters with a dignified conservative 
chap from the Border States, who came on for the 
express purpose of informing the Executive that 
Kentucky is determined this war shall be carried on 
without detriment to the material interests of the 
South, otherwise Kentucky will not be answerable 
for herself. Kentucky has married into the South, 
and has relations there which she refuses to sacrifice. 
What does the Constitution say about Kentucky ? 
Why, it don t say anything about her. " Which is 
clear proof," says the conservative chap, violently, 
" that Kentucky is expected to take care of herself. 
Kentucky/ says he, buttoning his vest over the 
handle of his bowie-knife. " Kentucky will stand no 
nonsense whatsomever. 

16 



362 OKPHEUS C. KEBR PAPERS. 

I have much, respect for Kentucky, my boy ; they 
play a good hand of Old Sledge there, and train up a 
child in the way he should go fifty better ; but Ken 
tucky reminds me of a chap I once knew in the Sixth 
Ward. This chap hired a room with another chap, 
and the two were engaged in the dollar-jewelry 
business. Their stock in trade was more numerous 
than valuable, my boy, and a man couldn t steal it 
without suffering a most painful swindle ; but the 
two dilapidates were all the time afraid of thieves ; 
and at last, when a gentleman of suspicious aspect 
moved into the lower part of the house, and flavored 
his familiar conversation with such terms as " swag," 
"kinchin," and "coppers," the second chap insisted 
upon buying a watch-dog. The first chap said he 
didn t like dogs, but if his partner thought they d 
better have one, he would not object to his buying 
it. The second chap bought a sausagacious animal 
in white and yellow, my boy an animal covered 
with bark that pealed off in large pieces all night 
long. The first chap found he couldn t sleep much, 
and says he : 

"If you don t kill that ere stentorian beast we ll 
have to dissolve pardnership." 

His partner took a thoughtful chew of tobacco, and 
says he : 

" That intelligent dorg is a defending of your prop 
erty as well as mine, and if we put up with his strains 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 363 

a little while longer, the chap clown stairs will under 
stand the hint and make friends/ 

With that the first chap flamed up, and says he : 

" I sold a breast-pin to the chap down stairs the 
other day, and found out that he considers the dollar- 
jewelry business the same by nature as his own. I m 
beginning to think we misjudged him, and I can t 
have no dog kept here to worry him. Our lease of 
these here premises don t say anything about keeping 
a dog," says the chap, reflectively, " nor our articles 
of pardnership, and I refuse to sanction the dog any 
longer." 

So the dog was sent to the pound, my boy, and 
that same night the burglarious gentleman down 
stairs walked off with the dollar-jewelry, in company 
with the first chap, leaving the poor second chap to 
make himself uselessly disagreeable at the police-office, 
and set up an apple-stand for support. 

Far be it from me, my boy, to say that certain 
Border States are like the first chap ; but if Uncle 
Sam should happen to be the second chap let him 
hold on to the watch-dog. 

Speaking of dogs, I must tell you about a felis-itous 
canine incident that occurred while I was at Paris. 
Early one morning, the Kentucky chap and I were 
awakened by a great noise in the hall outside our 
door. Presently an aged and reliable contraband 
stuck his head into the room, and says hr* : 



364 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

"I golly, mars r, dar s a big fight goin on in dis 
yar place/ 

At the word, my boy, we both sprang up and went 
to the door, from whence we beheld one of those oc 
currences but too common in this dreadful war of 
brother against brother. 

Face to face in the hall stood my frescoed dog, 
Bologna, and the regimental cat Lord Mortimer, eye 
ing each other with looks of deadly hatred and em 
bittered animosity. High in air curved the back of 
the enraged Mortimer, and his whiskers worked with 
intense wrath ; whilst the eloquent tail of the infu 
riated Bologna shot into the atmosphere like a living 
flag-staff. 

"Oh-h-li ! How-now ?" ejaculated Bologna, throw 
ing out his nose to reconnoitre the enemy s first line. 

" Sdeath. ! Sdeath !" hastily retorted Mortimer, 
skirmishing along in his first parallel with spasmodic 
clawing. 

And now, my boy, commenced a series of scientific 
manoeuvres that only Russell, of the London Times, 
could describe properly. Lord Mortimer advanced 
circularly to the attack in four columns, affrighting 
the air with horrid yells of defiance ; and I noticed, 
with a feeling of mysterious awe, that his eyes had 
turned a dreadful and livid green, whilst an expres 
sion of inexpressible bitterness overspread his coun 
tenance. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 365 

Fathoming the enemy s plan at a glance, Bologna 
presented his front and rear divisions alternately, to 
distract the fire of the foe ; and then, by a rapid and 
skillful flank movement, cut off a portion of Lord 
Mortimer s tail from the main body. 

This reminded me of General Mitchell s tactics, 
my boy. 

Here the conservative Kentucky chap wanted to 
stop the fight. Says he : 

" Mortimer will be forever alienated if he loses any 
more of his tail. I protest against the dog s teeth," 
says he ; " for they ll render future reconciliation be 
tween the two impossible. Let him use his paws 
alone," says the conservative chap, reasoningly, " and 
he won t injure Mortimer s constitution so much. 

" You re too late with your talk about conciliation, 
my noble Cicero/ says I. " It s the cat s nature to 
show affection for his young ones, even, by licking 
them, and Mortimer will never be convinced that Bo 
logna cares for him until he has been soundly licked 
by him." 

"Ah well," says the Kentucky chap, vaguely, 
" let hostilities proceed." 

Finding that the enemy had cut off a portion of 
his train in the rear, Mortimer quickly massed his 
four columns and precipitated them upon the head 
of Bologna s two front divisions, succeeding in de- 



366 ORPHEUS C. KE1UI PAPEUS. 

stroying a bark half launched, and driving him back 
four feet. 

" Hurroar for Mortimer !" says the Kentucky 
chap ; and then he burst into the Conservative Vir 
ginia National Anthem : 

" John Smith s body lies a-mouldering in the grave, 
Twas him that Pocahontas risked her father s wrath to save ; 
And unto old Virginia certain Chivalry she gave, 
That still go scalping on !" 

"Calm your exultation, my impulsive Catiline/ 
says I, " and behold the triumph of Bologna. 

Undaunted by the last claws of the foe s argument, 
my boy, the frescoed dog hurled back the torrent of 
invasion, and, with a howl of triumph, charged head 
long upon Mortimer s works, routing the foe, who 
retreated under cover of a cloud of fur. 

I looked at the conservative Kentucky chap, my 
boy, and I could see by his expression that it would 
be useless for me to ask of him a contribution toward 
rewarding Bologna with a star-spangled kennel. He 
still felt neutral, my boy 

I had intended to remain in Paris all the week ; 
but on receiving a telegraphic dispatch from the Gen 
eral of the Mackerel Brigade to attend a Strawberry 
Festival he was about to give in this city, I hastened 
hither. For I am very fond of the gay and festive 
strawberry, my boy, on account of its resemblance to 
one of the hues in our distracted banner. 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 367 

The Strawberry Festival was given in an upper 
room at AVillard s, and the arrangement of the fruit 
would have provoked an appetite in a marble statue. 
At short intervals around the table were strawberries 
in fours, supported by pedestals of broken ice, which 
was kept in position by a fluid of pleasing color, and 
walled in by a circular edging of thin glass. Strips 
of lemon and oranges garnished the rich fruit, and 
from their midst sprang up a dainty mint plant, and 
a graceful hollow straw. 

When the festival was in full operation, my boy, 
the General of the Mackerel Brigade arose to his 
feet, and waved his straw for silence. Says he : 

" My children, though this strawberry festival is 
ostensibly for the purpose of encouraging fruit cul 
ture by the United States of America, it has yet a 
deeper purpose. The democratic party/ says the 
general, paternally, " is about to be born again, and 
it is time to make preparation for the next Presiden 
tial election in 1865. I must go to Albany and 
Syracuse, and see the State Conventions ; after which 
I must attend to the re-organization of the party in 
New York city. Then I go to Pennsylvania to do 
stump duty for a year ; and from thence, to " 

Here a serious chap, who had taken rather too 
much Strawberry Festival, looked up, and says he : 

" But how about the war all that time ?" 

" The war ! the war I" says the general, thought- 



368 OKPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

fully. " Thunder !" says the general, with such a 
start that he spilt some of his Festival, " I d really 
forgotten all about the war !" 

" Hum !" says the serious chap, gloomily, " you re 
worth millions to a suffering country you are." 

"Flatterer!" says the general blandly. 

" Yes," says the chap, " you re worth millions 
with a hundred per cent off for cash." 

In vino ver-itas is a sage old saying, my boyj and I 
take it to be a free translation of the Scripture phrase, 
" In spirit and in truth." 

Our brigadiers are so frequently absent-minded 
themselves, my boy, that they are not particularly 
absent-minded by the rest of the army. 

Upon quitting the Strawberry Festival I returned 
post-haste again to Paris, where I arrived just in time 
to start with Captain Bob Shorty and a company from 
the Conic Section of the Mackerel Brigade on a forag 
ing expedition. We went to look up a few straw- 
beds for the feeding of the Anatomical Cavalry horses, 
my boy, and the conservative Kentucky chap went 
along to see that we did not violate the Constitution 
nor the rights of man. 

" It s my opinion, comrade," says Captain Bob 
Shorty, as we started out " it s my opinion, my 
Union ranger, that this here unnatural war is getting 
worked down to a very fine point, when we can t go 
out for an armful of forage without taking the Con- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. - 369 

stitution along on an ass. I think/ says Captain 
Bob Shorty, " that the Constitution is as much out 
of place here as a set of fancy harness would be in 
a drove of wild buffaloes/ 

Can such be the case, my boy can such be the 
case ? Then did our [Revolutionary forefathers live 
in vain. 

Having moved along in gorgeous cavalcade until 
about noon, we stopped at the house of a First Fam 
ily of Virginia who were just going to dinner. Cap 
tain Bob Shorty ordered the Mackerels to stack arms 
and draw canteens in the front-door yard, and then 
we entered the domicil and saluted the domestic 
mass-meeting in the dining-room. 

" We come, sir," says Bob, addressing the vener 
able and high-minded Chivalry at the head of the 
table, " to ask you if you have any old straw-beds 
that you don t want, that could be used for the cav 
alry of the United States of America." 

The Chivalry only paused long enough to throw a 
couple of pie-plates at us, and then says he : 

" Are you accursed abolitionists ?" 

The conservative Kentucky chap stepped hastily 
forward, and says he : 

No, my dear sir, we are the conservative ele 
ment." 

The Chivalry s venerable wife, who was a female 
Southern Confederacy, leaned back a little in her 
16* 



370 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

chair, so that her little son could see to throw a tea 
cup at me, and says she : 

" You ain t Tribune reporters be you ?" 

" We were all noes and no ayes. Quite a feature 
in social intercourse, my boy. 

The aged Chivalry caused three fresh chairs to be 
placed at the table, and having failed to discharge 
the fowling-piece which he had pointed at Captain 
Bob Shorty, by reason of dampness in the cap, he 
waved us to seats, and says he : 

" Sit down, poor hirelings of a gorilla despot, and 
learn what it is to taste the hospitality of a Southern 
gentleman. You are Lincoln hordes," says the Chiv 
alry, shaking his white locks, " and have come to 
butcher the Southern Confederacy ; but the Southern 
gentleman knows how to be courteous, even to a van 
dal foe." 

Here the Chivalry switched out a cane which he 
had concealed behind him, and made a blow at Cap 
tain Bob Shorty. 

" See here," says Bob, indignantly, " I ll be" 

" Hush !" says the conservative Kentucky chap, 
agitatedly, " don t irritate the old patriarch, or 
future amicable reconstruction of the Union will be 
out of the question. He is naturally a little pro 
voked just now," says the Kentucky chap, sooth 
ingly, "but we must show him that we are his 
friends." 



ORPHEUS C. KEBR PAPERS. 371 

We all sat down in peace at the hospital board, 
my boy, only a few sweet potatoes and corn-cobs 
being thrown by the children, and found the fare to 
be in keeping with the situation of our distracted 
country I may say, war-fare. 

" In consequence of the blockade of the Washing 
ton Ape," says the Chivalry, pleasantly, "we only 
have one course, you see ; but even these last-year s 
sweet potatoes must" be luxuries to mercenary mud 
sills accustomed to husks/ 

I had just reached out my plate, to be helped, my 
boy, when there came a great noise from the Mack 
erels in the front door-yard. 

" What s that ?" says Captain Bob Shorty. 

" 0, nothing," says the female Confederacy, taking 
another bite of hoe-cake, " I ve only told one of the 
servants to throw some hot water on your reptile 
hirelings." 

As Captain Bob Shorty turned to thank her for 
her explanation, and while his plate was extended, to 
be helped, the aged Chivalry fired a pistol at him 
across the table, the ball just grazing his head and 
entering the wall behind him. 

" By all that s blue," says Captain Bob Shorty, 
excitedly, " now I ll be" 

" Be calm now, be calm," says the conservative 
Kentucky chap, hastily, " don t I tell you that it s 
only natural for the good old soul to be a little pro- 



372 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

voked ? If you go to irritate him, we can never live 
together as brethren again/ 

Matters being thus rendered pleasant, my boy, we 
quickly finished the simple meal ; and as Captain 
Bob Shorty warded off the carving-knife just thrown 
at him by the Chivalry s little son, he turned to the 
female Confederacy, and says he : 

" Many thanks for your kind hospitality ; and 
now about that straw bed ?" 

The Virginia matron threw the vinegar-cruet at 
him, and says she : 

" My servants have already given one to your scor 
pions, you nasty Yankee." 

" Of course/ says the venerable Chivalry, just 
missing a blow at me with a bowie-knife, " of course, 
your despicable Government will pay me for my 
property !" 

" Pay you !" says Captain Bob Shorty, hotly, 
" now I ll be" 

" Certainly it will, my friend," broke in the con 
servative Kentucky chap, eagerly, " the Union troops 
come here as your friends ; for they make war on 
none but traitors." 

As we left the domicil, my boy, brushing from our 
coats the slops that had just been thrown upon us 
from an upper window, I saw the Chivalry s children 
training a fowling-piecs from the roof, and hoisting 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 373 

the flag of the Southern Confederacy on one of the 
chimneys. 

And will it be possible to regain the love of these 
noble people again, my boy, if we treat them consti 
tutionally ? We shall see, my boy, we shall see. 
Yours, for further national abasement, 

ORPHEUS C. KERR. 



LETTEE LIL 

DESCRIBING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, A SPECIALITY OF CONGRESS, A 
VENERABLE POPULAR IDOL, AND THE DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED 
BY CAPTAIN . SAMYULE SA-MITH IN DYING. 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., June 25th, 1862. 

How beautiful is Old Age, ray boy, when it neither 
drinks nor swears. There is an oily and beneficent 
dignity about fat Old Age which overwhelms us with 
a sense of our crime in being guilty of youth. I 
have at last been introduced to the Venerable Gam 
mon, who is all the time saying things ; and he is a 
luscious example of overpowering Old Age. He is 
fat and gliding, my boy, with a face that looks like a 
full moon coming out of a sheepskin, and a dress 
indicating that he may be anything from a Revolu 
tionary Forefather to the patriarch of all the Grace 
Church sextons. I can t find . out that he ever did 
anything, my boy, and no one can tell why it is that 
he should treat everybody in offi.ce and out of it in 
such a fatherly and fatly condescending manner ; 
but the people fairly idolize him, my boy, and he is 
all the time saying things. 

When I was introduced to the Venerable Gammon 



ORPHEUS C. KKllLt PAPERS. 375 

he was beaming benignantly on a throng of adoring 
statesmen in the lobby of Congress, and I soon dis 
covered that he was saying things. 

"Men tell us that this war has only just com 
menced/ says the Venerable Gammon with fat pro 
fundity, " but they are wrong. War is like a stick, 
which has two ends the end nearest you being the 

BEGINNING." 

Then each statesman wanted the Venerable Gam 
mon to use his pocket-handkerchief ; and five-and- 
twenty desperate reporters tore passionately away to 
the telegraph office to flash far and wide the comfort 
ing remarks of the Venerable Gammon. 

Are we a race of unsuspecting innocents, my boy, 
and are we easily imposed upon by shirt-ruffles and 
oily magnitude of manner ? I believe so, my boy I 
believe so. 

Speaking of Congress ; I attended one of its sittings 
the other day, my boy, and was deeply edified to ob 
serve its manner of legislating for our happy but dis 
tracted country. 

The " Honorable Speaker" (ne Grow) occupied the 
Chair. 

Mr. PODGERS (republican, Mass.) desired to know 
if the tax upon Young Hyson is not to be moderated? 
Speaking for his constituents he would say that the 
present rate was entirely too high to suit any grocer 

Mr. STAGGERS (conservative, Border State) wished 



376 ORPHEUS c. KERR PAPERS. 

to know whether this body intended to legislate for 
white men or niggers ? His friend, the pusillanimous 
scoundrel from Massachusetts, chose to oppose the tax 
on Young Hyson because to use his own words it 
would not " suit a negro, sir " 

Mr. PODGEES thought his friend from the Border 
State was too hasty. The phrase he used was "any 
grocer." 

Mr. STAGGERS withdrew his previous remark. We 
were fighting this war to secure the Constitution and 
the pursuit of happiness to the misguided South, and 
he accepted his friend s apology. 

Mr. FIGGINS (democrat, New Jersey) said that he 
could not but notice that everything all the Honor 
able gentlemen had said during this session was a 
fatal heresy, destructive of all Government, degrading 
to the species, and an insult to the common sense of 
his (Figgins ) constituents. His constituents de 
manded that Congress should set the country at 
rights before Europe. It would appear that at the 
least imperious sign from Europe, the American knee 
grows 

Mr. JUGGLES (con., Border State) desired to inquire 
of the House whether the great struggle in which we 
are now engaged is for the benefit of the Caucasian 
race or the debased African ? His friend, the puling 
idiot from New Jersey, had seen fit to remark that 
the American negroes 



ORPHEUS C. KEKR PAPERS. 377 

Mr. FIGGINS denied that he had spoken at all of 
negroes. He was about to say, that at the slightest 
behest of Europe " the American knee grows flexible 
to bend." 

Mr. JUGGLES wished it to be understood that he 
was satisfied with his Honorable friend s explanation. 
Be would take something with the Honorable Gentle 
man immediately after adjournment. 

Mr. CHUNKY (rep., New Hampshire) was anxious 
to inquire whether it was true, as stated in the daily 
papers, that General McDowell had been ordered to 
imprison all the Union men within his lines on sus 
picion of their being Secessionists, and place a guard 
over the property of the Secessionists, on suspicion of 
their being Union men ? If so, he would warn the 
Administration that it was cherishing a viper which 



would sting it : 



The roso you deftly cull-cd, man, 
May wound you with its thorn, 
And" 



Mr. WADDLES (Union, Border State) protested 
against the decency of a Constitutional body like 
Congress being insulted with the infamous and se 
ditious abolition doggerel just quoted by his friend, 
the despicable incendiary from New Hampshire. We 
were waging this war solely to put down treason, and 
not to hear a rose, the fairest of flowers, mentioned in 
the same breath with the filthy colored man 



378 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

Mr. CHUNKY was sorry to observe that his Honor 
able friend had misunderstood his language. The 
line he had used was simply this : 

" The rose you deftly cull-ed, man" 

Mr. WADDLES was glad that his valued friend from 
New Hampshire had apologized. He had only taken 
exception to what he considered a fatal heresy. 

That was enough for me ; my boy, and I left the 
hall of legislation ; for I sometimes become a little 
wearied when I hear too much of one thing,, my boy. 

I mentioned my impression to the Venerable Gam 
mon., and says he : 

" Congress is the soul of the nation. Congress/ 7 
says the Venerable Gammon,, with fat benignity,, " is 
something like a wheel, whose spokes tend to tire" 

He said this remarkable thing in an overtowering 
way, my boy, and I felt myself to be a crushed infant 
before him. 

Early in the week, I took my usual trip to Paris, 
and found Company 3, Kegiment 5, Mackerel Brig 
ade, making an advance from the further shore of 
Duck Lake, for sanitary reasons. It was believed to 
be detrimental to the health of the gay Mackerels to 
be so near a body of pure water, my boy, for they 
were not accustomed to the element. 

" Thunder !" says the general, brushing off a small 



ORPIIKl S C. KT.RR PAPERS. 

bit of ice that had adhered to his nose, " they ll be 
drinking it next." 

Captain Samyulo Sa-mith was ordered to command 
the advance ; but when he heard that the Southern 
Confederacy had two swivels over there, he was sud 
denly taken very sick, and cultivated his bed-clothes. 

When the news of the serious illness of this valiant 
officer got abroad, my boy, there was an immediate 
rush of free and enterprising civilian chaps to his bed 
side. 

One chap, who was an uncombed reporter for a 
discriminating and affectionate daily press, took me 
aside, and says he : 

" Our paper has the largest circulation, and is the 
best advertising mejum in the United States. As soon 
as our brother-in-arms expires/ says the useful chap, 
feelingly, "just fill up this printed form and send it 
to me, and I will mention you in our paper as a prom 
ising young man." 

I took the printed form, my boy, which I was to fill 
up, and found it to read thus : 

" BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LATE . 

" This noble and famous officer, recently slain at 

the head of his (I put the word bed in this 

blank, my boy), was born at - - on the day of 

, 1776, and entered West, Point in his yoar. 

He won immortal fame by his conduct in the Mexican 



380 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS. 

campaign, and was created brigadier-general on the 

of , 1862." 

These printed forms suit the case of any soldier, rny 
boy ; but I didn t entirely fill this one up. 

Samyule was conversing with the chaplain about 
his Federal soul, when a tall, shabby chap made a 
dash for the bedside, and says he to Samyule : 

"Fm agent for the great American publishing 
house of Kushem & Jinks, and desire to know if you 
have anything that could be issued in book-form after 
your lamented departure. We could make a hand 
some 12mo book/ says the shabby chap, persuadingly, 
" of your literary remains. .Works of a Union 
Martyr Eloquent Writings of a Hero Should be 
in every American Library Take it home to your 
wife Twenty editions ordered in advance of publica 
tion Half-calf, $1. Send in your orders." 

Samyule looked thoughtfully at the publishing 
chap, and says he : 

" I never wrote anything in my life." 

" Oh I" says the shabby chap, pleasantly, " any 
thing will do your early poems in the weekly jour 
nals anything." 

"But," says Samyule, regretfully, " I never wrote 
a line to a newspaper in all my life." 

" What !" says the publishing chap, almost in a 
shriek " never wrote a line to a newspaper ? Gen- 



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 381 

tleman," says the chap, looking toward us, suspic 
iously, " this man can t be an American." And he 
departed hastily. 

Believing, my boy, that there would be no more 
interruptions, Samyule went on dying ; but I was 
called from his bedside by a long-haired chap from 
New York. Says the chap to me : 

" My name is Brown Brown s Patent Hair-Dye, 
25 cents a bottle. Of course," says the hirsute chap, 
affably, " a monument will be erected to the memory 
of our departed hero. An Italian marble shaft, stand 
ing on a pedestal of four panels. Now," says the 
hairy chap, insinuatingly, " I will give ten thousand 
dollars to have my advertisement put on the panel 
next to the name of the lamented deceased. We can 
get up something neat and appropriate, thus : 
_ ~ 4. 



WE MUST ALL DIE; 

BUT 
BROWN S DYE IS THE BEST. 



"There!" says the enterprising chap, smilingly, 
" that would be very neat and moral, besides doing 
much good to an American fellow-being." 

I made no reply, my boy ; but I told Samyule 
about it, and it excited him so that he regained his 
health. 



382 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 

"If I can t die/ says the lamented Samyule, 
" without some advertising cuss s making money by 
it, I ll defer my visit to glory until next season." 

And he got well, my boy he got well. 

I was talking to the chaplain about Sarnyule s ill 
ness, and says the chaplain : 

" I am happy to say, my fellow-sinner, that when 
our beloved Samyule was at the most dangerous crisis, 
he gave the most convincing proof of realizing his 
critical condition." 

" How ?" says I, skeptically. 

" Why," says the chaplain, with a Christian look, 
" when I told our beloved Samyule that there could 
be little hope of his recovery, and asked him if his 
spiritual adviser could do anything to make his pas 
sage easier, he pressed my hand fervently, and be 
sought me to see that he was buried with a fan in 
his hand." 

Can it be, my boy, that the soul of a Mackerel will 
need a fan in another world ? Let us meditate upon 
this, my boy let us meditate upon this ! 
Yours, seriously, 
_ , ORPHEUS C. KERR. 






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