Title: Up the St. John's River
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000022/00001
 Material Information
Title: Up the St. John's River
Physical Description: 311-325 p. : ; 25cm.
Language: English
Creator: Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1865]
Subject: History -- Florida -- Civil War, 1861-1865   ( lcsh )
History -- Jacksonville (Fla.) -- Civil War, 1861-1865   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: Detached from the Atlantic monthly, v. 16, no. 95, September 1865.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00000022
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA0114
notis - AAP9425
alephbibnum - 000133388
oclc - 01698772

Full Text

Up the St. fohn's River.

But soon as his thanks the poor dissonant thing
Began :t bray forth when he strove to sing,
SPoor creature!" quoth Jove, "spite of all my pains,
Your spirit shines out in your donkey strains I
Though plumed like an angel, the ass remains."

So you see, love, that goodness is better than grace.
For the proverb fails in the peacock's case,
Which says that fine feathers make fine birds, too;
This other old adage. is far more true,-
They only are handsoine that handsomely do.


THERE was not much stirring in
the Department of the South ear-
ly in I163, and the St. Mary's pxpe-
dition had afforded a new sensation.
Of course the few officers of colored
troops, and a larger number who wished
to become such, were urgent for fur-
ther experiments in the same line;
and the Florida tax-commissioners were
urgent likewise. I well remember the
morning when, after some preliminary
correspondence, I steamed down from
Beaufort, S. C., to Hilton Head, with
General Saxton, Judge S., and one or
two others, to have an interview on the
matter with Major-General Hunter,
then commanding the Department.
Hilton Head, in those days, seemed
always like some foreign military sta-
tion in the tropics. The long, low, white
buildings, with piazzas and verandas on
the water-side ; the general impression
of heat and lassitude, existence appear-
ing to pulsate only with the sea-breeze ;
the sandy, almost impassable streets;
and the firm, level beach, on which ev-
erybody walked who could get there:
all these suggested Jamaica or the East
Indies. Then the head-quarters at,the
end of the beach, the Zouave sentinels,
the successive anterooms, the lounging
aids, the good-natured and easy Gen-
eral, easy by habit and energetic by
impulse, all had a certain air of South-
ern languor, rather picturesque, but per-
haps not altogether bracing. General

Hunter received us, that day, with his
usual kindliness ; there was a good deal
of pleasant chat; Miles O'Reilly was
called in to read his latest verses; and
then we came to the matter in hand.
Jacksonville, on the St. John's River,
in Florida, had been already twice taken
and twice evacuated; having been oc-
cupied by Brigadier-General Wright, in
March, 1862, and by Brigadier-General
Brannan, in October of the same year.
The second evacuation was by Major-
General Hunter's own order, on the
avowed ground that a garrison of five
thousand was needed to hold the place,
and that this force could not be spared.
The present proposition was to take and
hold it with a brigade of less than a thou-
sand men, carrying, however, arms and
uniforms for twice that number, and a
month's rations. The claim was, that
there were fewer Rebel troops in the
Department than formerly, and that the
St. Mary's expedition had shown the ad-
vantage possessed by colored troops, in
local knowledge, and in the confidence
of the loyal blacks. It was also urged,
that it was worth while to risk some-
thing, in the effort to hold Florida, and
perhaps bring it back into the Union.
My chief aim in the negotiation was
to get the men into action, and that of
the Florida Commissioners to get them
into Florida. Thus far coinciding, we
could hearhly cooperate; and though
General Hunter made some reasonable



1.2 Uf he St.

objections, they were yielded more read-
ily than I-had feared; and finally, be-
fore half our dlogiSaL.ammuniltbn was.
exhausted, the desired permission was.
given, and the thing might beconsidered:
as done.
We were now to leave, as we supposed
forever, the camp which had thus far
been our home. Our vast amount of
surplus baggage made a heavy job in,
the loading, inasmuch as -we thad no
wharf, and everything had to be put on
board by means of flat-boats. It was
completed by twenty-four hours of steady
work; and after some of the usual un-
comfortable delays which wait on mili-
tary expeditions, we were- at 4ast afloat.
I had tried to keep the plan as secret
as possible, and- had requested to have
no- definite orders, until we should be
on board ship. But this larger expedi-
tion was less within my own hands than
was the St- Mary's affair, and the great
reliance for concealment was on certain
counter reports, ingeniously set afloat
by some of the Florida men. These
reports rapidly swelled into the most
enormous tales, and by the time they
reached the New York newspapers, the
expedition was a great volcano about
bursting, whose lava will burn, flow,
and destroy," -" the sudden appear-
ance in arms of no less than five thou-
sand negroes," -" a liberating host,"
-"not the phantom, but the reality, of
servile iiasurrection.? What the under-
taking actually was nay i be best seen
in the instructions"which guided it.l

March 5, z863. .
COLONEL, You will please proceed with your
command, the ist and ad Rsel S. C. Volunteers,
which are now embarked upon the steamers John
AdamsBoston,and Bur ie, to T,-rr..,11i n .PIl .ida.
Relying upon your riLurv .kUIl and ),, Ji-.cnt, [
shall give you no special directions as to your pro-
cedure after you leave Fernandina. I expect, how-
ever, that you %ill o.:.:upy .lIa-kronille. Flor.LI, and
inrrench yourstelve. therr
The i..ii Jl.je.:t of y iur expedition are to carry
thepreelmatinop of freedom to the enslaved ; to call
all loval men ints tile arvi-e .f the United States ;
to orccpy a. much of the Suti : of Florida as possi-
bl- w.ch the forces under %-,ur command; and to
neglect no mhitfonisisest with the ua.._es oi civil-
ized warfare to Me.alceI, hIram. iadd ann..} Lhose
whet are in rtllljun again. the G-.nUrernirart uf the
United States.

H C-3 7,v,

okhn's River. [September,

In due time, after touching at Fer-
nandina, we reached the difficult bar of
-the St. John's,-and- were piloted safely
oyvern -Adirali Dupont-iad furnished
courteous letter of fitroduction,* and
we were cordially received by Com-
tander- Duncan of the Norwich, and
Lieutenant Watson, commanding the
Uncas. Like all officers on blockade
duty,, they were impatient of their en-
forced inaction, and gladly seized the
opportunity for a different service. It
was some time since they had ascended
as high as Jacksonville, for their orders
were strict, one vessel's coal was low,
the other was in infirm condition, and
there were -rumors of cotton-clads and
torpedoes. But they gladly agreed to
escort us up the river, so, soon as oar
own armed gunboat, the-John Adams,
should arrive,-she-being unaccount-
ably delayed. "
We waited twenty-four hours for her,
at'the sultry mouth of that glassy river,
watching the great pelicans which float-
ed lazily on its tide, orsometimes shoot-
ing one, to admire the great pouch, into
which& one of the soldiers could insert
his foot, as into.a boot. -" He hold one
quart," said the admiring experimental-
ist. Hi boy1," retorted another quick-
ly, neber yoe- bring dat quart measure
in my peck o' corn." The protest came
very promptly, and was certainly fair;
for the strange receptacle would have
held nearly a gallon.
We went on shore, too, and were
Truistrg tiiat the blessing of tcr Heavenly Father
will rest upun ),.or noble enterprise,
S. I am yours, sincerely,
BrigG-en., Mil. oGa. Deft. of tke SAut.
Colbnel --", Comdg. Expeditionary Corps, -
PORT ROYAL HARBOR, S. C., March 6, 1863.
SSIR, -I am informed b, M.iin.,rGeneral Hunter
that he is sending Colonel on an important
mission in the southerly part of his Deparitment.
I tave not been made acquaihtid'wlth thfobjects
of this mission, but any assistance taatcosu cran offer
Colonel which will pot ipterfere with your
other dune-. \oi, are authorized ,I. ''e
Re-pecLfull) y.r obad;ent 'r-.snl,
S. F. DLi.oNT,-
Rear-.-d.u. Corm.f. S. Al.4t ?'4. Sq.uad.
To the Senior Oficer present ar the different
P.Ic.:i,.Jing Stations on the Co,ar of Georgia
and Flori . .



Up6 the St. Yaohn's River.

shown a rather pathetic little garden,
which. the naval'officers had laid out,
indulging a dream of vegetables. They
lingered', over the little microscopic
sprouts, pointing them out tenderly, as
if they were cradled babies. I have
often noticed, this touching weakness,
in gentlemen of that profession, on
lonely stations,
We wandered among the bluffs, too,
in the little deserted hamlet once called
"* Pilot Town." The ever-shifting sand
had in- some cases almost buried the
small houses, and had swept around
others a circular drift, at a few yards'
distance, overtopping their eaves, and
leaving each the untouched citadel of
this natural redoubt. There was also. a
dismantled lighthouse, an object which
always seems the most dreary symbol
oathe barbarism of war, when one con-
siders the national beneficence which
reared and kindled it Despite the
service rendered by this once brilliant
light, there-were many wrecks which
had been strown upon the beach, vic-
tims of the most formidable of the
Southern river-bars. As I stood with
my foot on the half-buried ribs of-one
of these vessels, so distinctly traced-
that one might almost fancy them hu-
man, the old pilot, my companion,
told me the story of the wreck. The
vessel had formerly been in the Cuba
trdei and her owner,, art American
me~rwha ,residing \in Havana, had
cbrimtened her for his young daughter.
I asked the name, and was startled to
recognize that of a favorite young cous-
in of mine, beside the bones of whose
representative I was thus strangely
standing, upon this lonely shore.
It was well to have something to re-
lieve the anxiety. naturally felt at the
delay of the! Jihn Adams,- anxiety
both for her safety.ad :for the success
of our enterprise. The Rebels bad re-
peatedly threatened to burn the whole
of Jacksonville, in case of another at-
tack, as they'had -pevit0ssly buried its
miBs and its great hotel.: It-seemed as
if: tho news of our arrival must purely
have: travelled thirty miles by this time.
All day .we watched every smoke that

rose among the wooded hills, and con-
sulted the compass and the map, to see
if that sign announced the doom of our
expected home. the very last moment
of the tide, just Wi time to cross the bar
that day, the missing vessel arrived; all
anxieties vanished; I transferred my
quarters on board, and at two the next
morning we steamed up the river.
Again there was the dreamy delight
of ascending an unknown stream, be-
neath a sinking moon, into a region
where peril made fascination. Since
the time of the first explorers, I: sup-
pose that those Southern waters have
known no sensations so dreamy and so
bewitching as those which this *arhas
brought forth. I recall, in this case,
the faintest sensations of our voyage,
as Ponce de Leon may have recalled
those of his wandering search, in the
same soft zone, for the secret of the
mystic fountain. I remember how, dur-
ing that night, I looked for the first time
through a powerful night-glass. It had
always -seemed a thing wholly incon-
ceivable, that a mere lens iould change
darkness into light; .aind-as I turned
the instrument on the preceding gun-
boat, and actually discerned the man
at the wheel and the officers standing
about him, all relapsing into vague
gloom again at the withdrawal of the
glass, it gave a feeling of childish de-
light. Yet it seemed only in keeping
with the whole enchantment of the
soene ;,and had I been some Aladdlh,
convoyed by geni' or giants, I could
hardly have felt more wholly a denizen
of some world of romance.
But the river was of difficult naviga-
tion ; and we began to feel sometimes,
beneath the keel, that 0pmious, sliding,
grating, treacherous arrest of motion
hilich makes the heart shudder, as the
vessel does., -There was; some solici-
tude about torpedoes, also, a peril
-which became, a formidable thing, one
year later, in :.the- yery, channel where
me found nore. Soon one of our con-
sorts grounded, then another, every
vessel taking its turn, I believe, and
then in tura getting off. uniil the Nor-
wich lay hopelessly) stranded, for that



314 up the St.

tide at least, a few miles below Jack-
sonville, and out of sight of the city, so
that she could not even add to our dig-
nity by her visible presence from afar.,
This was rather a serious matter, as
the Norwich was our main naval reli-
ance, the Uncas being a small steamer
of less than two hundred tons, and in
such poor condition, that Commander
Duncan, on-finding himself aground, at
first quite declined to trust his consort
any farther alone. But, having got thus
far, it was plainly my duty to risk the
remainder with or without naval as-
sistance ; and this being so, the coura-
geous officer did not long object, but al-
lowed his dashing subordinate to steam
up with us to the city. This left us one
naval and one army gunboat; and, for-
tunately, the Burnside, being a black
propeller, always passed for an armed
vessel among the Rebels, and we rather
encouraged that pleasing illusion.
We had aimed to reach Jacksonville
at daybreak; but these mishaps delay-
ed us, and we had several hours of fresh,
early sunshine, lighting up the green
shores of that lovely river, wooded to
the water's edge, with sometimes an
emerald meadow, opening a vista to
some picturesque house, all utterly
unlike anything we had yet seen in the
South, and suggesting rather the Pe-
nbscot or Kennebec. Here and there
we glided by the ruins of some saw-'
mill burned by the Rebels on General
Wright's approach; but nothing else
spoke of war, except, perhaps, the si-
lence. It was a delicious day, and a
scene of fascination. Our Florida men
were wild with delight; and when we
rounded the point below the city, and
saw from afar its long streets, its brick
warehouses, its white cottages, and its
overshadowing trees, -- all peaceful and
undisturbed by flames, it seemed, in
the men's favorite phrase, "too much
good," and all discipline was merged,
for the moment, in a buzz of ecstasy.
The city was still there for us, at any
rate; though none knew what perils
might be concealed behind those qui-
et buildings. Yet there were children
playing on the wharves ; careless men,


7ohn's River. [September,

here and there, lounged down to look
at us, hands in pockets ; a few women
came to their doors, and gazed list-
lessly upon us, shading their eyes with
their hands. We drew momently near-
er, in silence and with breathless atten-
tion. The gunners were at their posts,
and the men in line. It was eight
o'clock. We were now directly oppo-
site the town: yet no sign of danger
was seen ; not a rifle-shot was heard;
not a shell rose hissing in the air. The
Uncas rounded to, and dropped an-
chor in the stream; by previous agree-
ment, I steamed to an upper pier of
the town, Colonel Montgomery to a
lower one ; the little boat -howitzers
were run out upon the wharves, and
presently to the angles of the chief
streets ; and the pretty town was our
own without a shot. In spite of &dr
detention, the surprise had been com-
plete, and not a soul in Jacksonville had
dreamed of our coming.
The day passed quickly, in eager prep-
arations, for defence; the people could
or would give us no definite information
about the Rebel camp, which was, how-
ever, known to be near, and our force
did not permit our going out to surprise
it. The night following was the most
anxious I ever spent We were all tired
out; the companies were under arms,
in various parts of the town, to be ready
for an attack at any moment. My tem- *
porary quarters were beneath the love-
liest grove of linden-trees, and as I re-
clined, half-dozing, the mocking-birds
sang all night like nightingales, -their
notes seeming to trickle down through
the sweet air from amid the blossoming
boughs. Day brought relief and the
sense of ,due possession, and we could
see what we had won.
Jackson'ville was now a United States
post again: the only post on the main-
land in the Department of the South. -
Before the war, it had three or four thou-
sand inhabitants, and a rapidly grow-
ing lumber-trade, for which abundant
facilities were evidently provided. The
wharves were capacious, and the blocks
of brick warehouses along the lower
street were utterly unlike anything we

-- - -

Up the St. John's River.

had yet seen in .that region,,as were the
neatness and thrift everywhere visible.
-It had been built up by Northerni en-
terprise, and much of the property was
owned by4oyal men. It bad been a
greatvrert for invalids, though the Reb-
els had burned the large hotel which
once accommodated them. Mills had
also been burned; but the dwelling-
houses were almost all in good condi-
tion. The quarters for the men were ad-
mirable; and I took official possession
of the handsome brick house of Colonel
Sunderland, the established head-quar-
ters through every occupation, whose ac-
commodating flagstaff had literally and
repeatedly changed its colors. The se-
ceded Colonel, reputed author of the
State ordinanceof Secession,wasa New-
Yorker by-birth, and we found his law-
card, issued when. in practice in Easton,
Washington County, New York. He
certainly had good taste in plAnning
the inside of a house, though time had
impaired its condition. There was a
neat office with ample -bookcjes and
no books, a billiard-table withho balls,
gas-fiatures without gas, and a bathing-
room without water. There was a sep-
arate building for servants' quarters, and
a kitchen with every convenience, even
to a fewjars of lingering pickles. On the
whole, there was an air of substance and
comfort about the town, quite alien from
the picturesque decadence of Beaufort.
;The town rose gradually from the riv-
er, and was -bounded on the rear by a
long, sluggish creek, beyond which lay
a stretch of woods, affording an excel-
lent covert for the enemy, but without
great facilities for attack, as there were
but two or three fords and bridges. This
brook could easily be held against a small
force, but could at any time and at almost
any point be readily crossed by a large
one. North of the town the land rose a
little, between the river and the sources
of the brook, and then sank to a plain,
which had been partially cleared by a pre-
vious garrison. For so small a force as
ours, however, this clearing must be ex-
tended nearer to the town; otherwise our
lines would be too long for our numbers.
. This deficiency in numbers at once

became a source of serious anxiety.
While planning the expedition, it had
Asemed s important to get the men a
foothold ig Flgrida that I was willing
to risk everything for it. But this im-
portant post once in our possession, it
began to show some analogies to the
proverbial elephant in the lottery. To
hold it permanently with nine hundred
men was not perhaps impossible, with
the aid of a gunboat; (I had left many
of my own regiment sick and on duty
in Beaufort, and Colonel Monggomery
had as yet less than one hundred and
fifty;) but to hold it, and also to make
forays up the river, certainly required a
larger number. We came in part to re-
cruit, but had found scarcely an able-
bodied negro in the city; all had been
removed farther up, and we must cer-
tainly contrive to follow them. I was
very unwigling to have, as yet, any
white troops under my command, with
the blacks. Finally, however, being in-
formed, by Judge S. of a conversation
with Colonel Hawley, commanding at
Fernandina, in which the latter had of-
fered to send four companies and a light
battery to swell our force,-in view of
the aid given to his position by this more
advanced post, I decided to authorize
the energetic Judge, to go back to Fer-
nandina and rpnew the negotiation, as
the John Adams must go thither at any
rate for coal.
Meanwhile all definite display of our
force was avoided; dress parades were
omitted; the companies were so distrib-
uted, as to tell for the utmost; and judi-
cious use was made, here and there, of
empty tents. The gunboats and trans-
ports moved impressively up and down
the river, from time to time. The dispo-
sition of pickets was varied each night
to perplex the enemy, and some advan-
tage taken of his distrust, which might
be assumed as equalling our own. The
citizens were duly impressed by our
supply of ammunition, which was really
enormous, apd all these things soon took
effect. A loyal woman, who came into
town, said that the Rebel scouts, stop-
ping at her house, reported that there
were sixteen hundred negroes all over


p6 UPp the St. ~7ohn's Rive'. [September,

the woods, and the town full of them to be in the power of entire -strangers.
besides." It-was of no use to go in. Certainly the men deserved the confi-
Generad inregar had driven them into dence, for there was scarcely an excep-
a bad place Once, and' should not do it tion to their good behavior. I think
agaibf"' "They had lost their captain they thoroughly felt that their honor and
indtheir best surgeon, in the first skir- dignity were concerned in the matter,
nislf, and if the Savannah people want- and took too much pride in their char-
ed the negroes-driven away, they might acter as soldiers, -to say nothing of
come and do it themselves." Unfortu- higher motives, to tarnish it by any
nately,lwe knew that they could easily misdeeds. 1 They watched their officers
come from -Savannah at any time, as vigilantly #ftd even suspiciously, to de-
there was railroad communicatiotnnear- tect any disposition towards compro-
ly all the way; and every time--we heard mise; and so long as- wnpursued a just
the- steam-whistle, the men were- con- course, it was evident that they could
minced of their arrival. Thus we-never be relied on. Yet the spot was pointed
could approach to any certainty as to out-tome where two of-our leading men
their numbers, while they could observe, had seen their brothers hanged byLynch
from the bluffs, every steamboat that as- law; many of them had private wrongs
ended the river. to avenge; and they all had utter dis-
To render our weak force'still more belief in all-pretended loyalty, especially
available, we barricaded the approaches on the part of-the women. One man
to the chief streets by constructing bar' alone *as brought to me in a sort of es-
riers Tor felling trees; It went' to my tort of honor by Corporal Prince Lamb-
heart to sacrifice, for this purpose, sev. ldnf-One of the color-guard, and one
eral of my heautifiul lindens; but it-was 6f our ablest men.-the same who had
no time for .stihetics.' As the giants once -me a speech in camp, reminding
lay on the-ground, still scenting the air his hearers that they had lived under the
with- their abundant bloom, I used to American flag for eighteen hundred and
reiri, up_ my horse and watch the chil- sixty-two years, and ought:to live and
dren playing hide-and-seek among their die under it; Corporal Lambkin now
branches, or seinome quiet cow grazing at introducedihis man, a Germani with the
the foliage. Nothing impresses the highest compliment in .his power: He
mind in war like some occasional object hab tru-colored-ian:heart."- Surround*
or association that belongs apparently ed by mean1 cajoling, insinnating white
to peace alone. .. men, and~women-who were-all that and
Among all these solicitudes, it was worse, I was quite ready to. appreciate
a great thing that one particuflai aax- the quality he thus proclaimed. A col-
lety vanished in a day. -On 7thefor- ored-man heart, in the Rtbel States. is a
mer expedition the men were upon tri4 fair-synonyme for a loyal heart, and it is
al as to their courage; now they were about the only such synonynte. In this
to endure another-test, as to their de- case, I found afterwardas that the man in
meaner as victors. Here were five hun- question, a small grocer, hadibeen an ob,
dred citizens, nearif all white, at the ject of suspicion to their whites from his
mercy of their former slaves.m To some readiness-to lend -money to the negroes,
of these whites it was the last crown- or sell to them on; credit; in which per-
ing humiliation, and they were, or pro- haps. tihetre may have been some mixture
fessed td be, in perpetual fear. .On the of self-interest with benevolence.
other harind, he most intelligent and Iresort to a note-bookof that period,
lady-like woman I saw, the Wife!of a well thumbed and pocket-w rn,'which
Rebel captain, rather surprised rie by sometimes received a fragment of the
saying that it seemed pleasanter to have day's experience.
these men stationed there, whom they
had known all their lives, and who-had .- March 16 1863.- Of course, droll
generally borne a-good character, -than things are constantly occurring. Every


Up the St.

white man, woman, and child is flatter-
ing, seductive, and professes Union sen-,
timent; every black ditto believes that
every white-dittokis a scoundrel, and
ought- to be shot. but for good order
and military discipline. The Provost
Marhl.;and I steer between them as
blandly as wve can.. Such scenes as suc-
ceed each other !: Rush of indignant
Africans. A, white man, in woman's
clothes, has been seen to enter a cer-
tain house, undoubtedly a spy. Fur-
ther evidence discloses the Roman Cath-
olic priest, a peaceful little Frenchman,
in his professional appareL-- Anxious
female enters. Some sentinel.has shot
her cow,by mistake for a Rebel. The.
United States cannot think of paying
the desired thirty dollars. Let her go
to the Post-Quartermaster arid select a
cow from his herd,.- If there is none to
suit her, 4and, indeed, not one of them.
gave a drop of milk, -- neither did hers.)
let her wait till the next lot comes in,--
that is alL-Yesterday's operations-gave
the following: total yield :-Thi;ty 'con-
trabands,' eighteen horses, eleven- cat-
tie, ten saddles and bridles, and one new
army wagon. At this rate,, we shall
soon be, self-supporting caalry. ..-
. Whrye complaints-are- made of- the
soldiers, it almost always turns nut that
the women- have insulted them most
grossly, swearing at them, and the like.
One unpleasant old Dutch woman came
in~ bursting with wrath, and.,told, the
whole narrative of .her blameless life1
diversified with sobs: -
:"' Last JanuaryI ,ran, off two of my
black people from, St., Mary's' to Fer-
nandina,' (sob,)-'then I moved down
there myself, and -at -Lake City- I lost
six women and at boy,,':-sob,) -'then
L'stopped at Baldwin for one of the
wenches to be confined.' (sob,) -'.then [
brought them all here 'to, liv ir-a Chris4
tian country? (sob, sob).- 'Then the
blockheads' [blockades, that is, gun,
boats.} 'came, and they all ran off with
the blockheads,' (sob, sob,-sob,) 'and
left me, an old lady of forty-six, obliged
to work for a living.' (Chaos of sobs,
without cessation.)
But when I found what the old sin-

rohn's River. 317

ner had said to the soldiers, I rather
wondered at their self- control. in not
throttlug her." .

Meanwhile.kskirmishing went on.dai-
ly in the outskirts of the town. There
was-a fight. on- the very first day, when
our men killed, as before hinted, a Reb-
el- surgeon, which was oddly -metamor-
phosed in the Southern newspapers into
thpir killing one of oursr which certain-
ly never happened,. Every day, after
this, they appeared in- small mounted
squads. in the neighborhood,, and ex-
changed shots with our pickets, to which,
the gunboats -would -.-contribute their
louder share, their aim being rather,
embarrassed by the woods and hills.
We made reconnoisances, too, to learn,
the country in different directions, and
were apt to be fired upon during .theee.
Along the farther side of what we call-
ed the Debatable. Land there. was a,
line of cottages, hardly superior to ne-'
gro huts, and almost all. empty, where
the Rebel, pickets resorted, and. from
whose windowsthey fired. By4egrees
all these nests were broken up and de-
stroyed, though it cost some-trouebleto
do-it, and the hottest skirmishing usu-
ally took place around them -
Among these little affairs was one
which-we called ,"Company,.K's Skir-
mish/'. because it brought, out the fact
that this company, which was compos-
ed entirely of South Carolina men, and
had never shone-in drill or discipline,
stood near the head of the regiment for
coolness and courage, the defect of
discipline showing itself only in their ex-
treme unwillingness to halt when once
let loose. It was at this-time that the
small comedy of the Goose occurred. ,-
an anecdote which, Wendell Phillips
has since made. his:own .
One of the advancing line of skir-
mishers, usuallyan active fellow enough,
was observed- to move clumsily and ir-
regularly .It soontappeared-that he had
encountered a fine specimen of the do-
niestic goose; which had surrendered
at discretion. Not wishing to lose.it,
he could yet find no way.to hold it bu;
between his legs; and so he went on,

S18 Up tMe St.

loading, firing, advaticing, halting, al-
ways with the, goose writhing and strug-
gling and hissing in this natural pair
of stocks. Both happily came off un-
wounded, and retired in good order at
the signal, or some time after it; but
I have hardly a cooler thing to put on
record. ,
Meanwhile, another fellow left the field
less exultingly; for, after a thoroughly
courageous share in the skirmish, he
came blubbering to his captain, and
"Cappen, make Casar gib me my
It seemed, that, during some inter-
val of the fighting, he had helped him-
self to an armful of Rebel s2gar-cane,
such as they all delighted ih chewing.
The Roman hero, during another pause,
had confiscated the treasure; whence
these tears of the returning warrior. I
never could accustom myself to these
extraordinary interminglings of manly
and childish attributes.
Our most untiring scout during this
period was the chaplain of my regi-
ment, the most restless and daring
spirit we had, and now exulting in full
liberty of action. He it' was who was
daily permitted to stray singly where
no other officer would have been allow-
ed to go, so irresistible was his appeal,
- You know I am only a chaplain."
Methinks I see our regimental saint,
with pistols in belt and a Ballard ri-
fle slung on shoulder, putting spurs tq
his steed, and cantering away down
some questionable wood path, or re-
turning with some tale of Rebel haunt
discovered, or store of foraging. He
would track an enemy like an Indian,
or exhort him, when apprehended, like
an early Christian. Somnie of our devout
soldiers shook their heads 'sometimes
over the chaplain'% little eccentricities.
"Woffor Mr. Chapman made a preach-
er for? said one of them, as usual trans-
forming his title into a patronymic.
"He 's dd fightingest more Yankee I
eber see int all miy days."
And the criticism was very natural,
though they cotild not deny, that, when
the hour for Sunday service came, Mr.


rohn's River. [September,

F. commanded the respect and attention
of all. That hour never came, however,
on our first Sunday in Jacksonville ; we
were too busy, and the men too scat-
tered ; so the chaplain made his accus-
tomed foray beyond the lines instead.
"Is it not Sunday?" slyly asked an
unregenerate lieutenant.
Nay," quoth his Reverence, waxing
fervid; "it is the Day of Judgment."
This reminds me of'a'raid up the
river, conducted by one of our senior
captains, an enthusiast whose gray
beard and prophetic manner always
took me back to the Fifth-Monarchy
men. He was most successful, that
day, bringing back horses, cattle, pro-
visions, and prisoners; and one of the
latter complained bitterly to me of be-
ing held, stating that Captain R. had
promised him speedy liberty. But that
doughty official spurned the imputa-
tion of such weak blandishments, in
this day of triumphant retribution.
Promise him!" said he, F prom-
ised him nothing but the Day of Judg-
ment and Periods of Danination !"
Often since have I rolled beneath my
tongue this savory and solemn sentence,
and I do not believe that since the days
of the Long Parliament there has been
a more resounding anathema.'
In Colonel Montgomery's hands, these
np-river raids reached the dignity of a
fine art. His conceptions of foraging
were rather more Western and liberal
than mine, and on these excursions he
fully indemnified himself for any undue
abstinence demanded of him when in
camp. I remember being on the wharf,
with some naval officers, when he came
down from his first trip. The Steaiter
seemed an animated hen-coop.:" Live
poultry hung from the foremast shrouds,
dead ones from "the mainmast, geese
hissed from the binnacle, a pig paced
the quarter-deck, and a duck's wings
were seen fluttering from a line which
was wont to sustain duck trousers.
The naval heroes, mindful ot their own
short rations, and taking high views of
one's duties in a conquered country,
looked at me reproachfully, as who
should say, "Shall these things be ?"

1865.s Up the St.

In'a moment or two the returning for-
agers had landed. ,
.." Captain, --,'? said. Montgomery,
courteously, ." would you allow me to
send a remarkably fine turkey for your
use on board ship ?"
."Lieutenant -- ," said Major Cor-
win, may I ask your acceptance of a
pair of ducks for your mess ? "
Never did I behold more cordial re-
lations between army and navy than
sprang into existence at those senten-
ces. So true it is, as Charles Lamb
says, that a single present of game may
diffuse kindly sentiments through a
whole community.
These little trips were called "rest" ;
there was no other rest during those
ten days. An immense amount of picket-
and fatigue-duty had to be done. Two
redoubts were to be built to command
the Northern Valley ; all the interven-
ing grove, which now afforded lurking-
ground for a daring enemy, must be
cleared away; and a few houses must
be reluctantly razed for the same pur-
pose. Colonel Montgomery had the
left of the defensive line, and Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Billings, commanding my,
own regiment, the right. The fort un-
der charge of the former was named
Fort Higginson, and that on the right,
in return, Fort Montgomery. The for-
mer was necessarily a hasty work, and
is now, I believe, in ruins; the latter
was far more elaborately constructed,
on lines well traced by the Fourth New
Hampshire during the previous occu-
pation. It did great credit to Captain
Trowbridge, of my regiment, (formerly
of the New York Volunteer Engineers,)
who had charge of its construction.
How like a dream seems now that
period of daily skirmishes anal nightly
watchfulness! The fatigue was so con-
stant that the days hurried by. I felt
the need of some occasional change of
ideas, and having just received from
the North Mr. Brooks's beautiful trans-
lation of Jean Paul'F "Titan," I used
to retire to my bedroom for some ten
minutes every afternoon, and read a
chapter or two. It was more refreshing
than a nap, and will always be to me


Fo/ns River. 19

one of the most fascinating books in the
world, with this added association. Af-
ter all, what concerned me was not so
much the fear of an attempt to drive
us out and retake the city, for that
would be against the whole policy of
the Rebels in that' region, as of an
effort to fulfil their threats and burn it,
by some nocturnal dash. The most
valuable buildings belonged to Union
men, and the upper part of the town,
built chiefly of resinous pine, was com-
bustible to the last degree. In case
of fire, if the wind blew towards the
river, we might lose steamers and all.
I remember regulating my degree of
disrobing by the direction of the wind;
if it blew from the river, it was safe to
make one's self quite comfortable; if
otherwise, it was best to conform to
Suwarrow's idea of luxury, and take off
one spur.
So passed our busy life for ten days.
There were no tidings of reinforce-
ments, and I hardly knew whether I
wished for them, or rather, I desired
them as a choice of evils; for our men
were giving out from overwork, and the
recruiting excursions, for which we had
mainly come, were hardly possible. At
the utmost, I had asked for the addi-
tion of four companies and a light bat-
tery. Judge of my surprise, when two
infantry regiinents successively arriv-
ed I must resort to a scrap from
the diary. Perhaps diaries are apt to
be thought tedious; but I would rath-
er read a page of one, whatever the
events described, than any later narra-
tive,-it gives glimpses so much more
real and vivid.

"Head-Quarters, _acksonville, March
20, 1863, Midnight. For the last
twenty-four hours we have been send-
ing women and children out of town, in
answer to a -demand by flag of truce,
with a threat of bombardment. [N. B. I
advised them not to go, and the major-
ity declined doing so.] It was designed,
no doubt, to intimidate ; and in our ig-
norance of the "force actually outside,
we have had to recognize the possi-
bility of danger, and work hard at our


Up tke St. fokn's River.

defeinces. At aiy time, by going into the
outskirts, we can'have a skirmish, which
is nothing but fun; but when night
closes.i n over a small and weary gar-
rison, there'sometimes steals into my
mind, like a chill, rhat most sickening
-of all sensations, tht anxiety of a com-
mander. This was the night generally
set for an attack, if any, though I am
pretty well satisfied that they have not
strength to dare it, and the worst they
could probably do is to burn the town.
But to-night, instead of enemies, appear
friends, our devoted civic ally, Judge
S., and a: whole Connecticut regiment,
the Sixth, under' Major Meeker; and
though the latter are aground twelve
miles below, .yet they enable one to
breathe more freely. I only wish they
were, black; but now I have to show,
not only that blacks can fight, but that
they and white soldiers can act in har-
mony together."

That evening the inemy came up for
a recbnhoisaanceiin the deepest dark-
ness, and there were alarms all night.
The next day the Sixth Connecticut got
afloat, and came up the river; and two
days after, to my continued amazement,
arrived a part of the :Eighth Maine, un-
der Lieutenant-Colonel TwichelL This
increased my command to four regi-
ments; or parts of:regiments, half white'
.and, half Mblack. Skirmishing had almost
ceased, eui- defences being tolerably
-coinplete, -and looking from -without
much more effective than they really
were. : We were safe from any attack
by a smallforce, and hoped that the
enemy could not spare a. large one from
Charleston or Savannah. All looked
bright without, and gave leisure 'for
some small anxieties within.
It wasz the first time in the war (so
far as I know) that white and black sol-
diers had served together on regular
duty. Jealousy was still, felt towards
even -theoffcers of colored regiments ;
and any difficult contingency would be
apt to bring -it out. The white soldiers,
just from shipboard, felt a natural de-
sire to stray about the town; and no
attack from an enemy would be so dis-

astrous as the slightest bcollistn bie-
tween them and the black pr6vost-
guard. I shudder, even -now, to. think
of the train of consequences, bearing-on
the whole course of subsequentenational
events, which one such: mishapV might
then have produced; -It is almost im-
possible for us now to remember in what
a delicate balance then-hung the whole
question of negro enlistments, and con-
sequently of Slavery. Fortunately for
my own serenity, :I Had' great faith in
the intrinsic power; of military disci-
pline, and also knew that 'a common
service would soon prodice-iiutual re-
spect among good soldiers ; and so it
.proved. But the first twelve hours'of
this mixed command were to me a wore
anxious period than any outward alarms
-had created. -
Let us resort to the note-book again.

yacksoA'vile, .4marck 2, i863. Itis
Sunday; the bell is ringing for church,
and Rev. Mr. 'F.' from Beaufort, is to
preach. This afternoon our good quar-
termaster establishes a Sunday school
for our little colony of contrabands'
now numbering seventy.
"Sunday Afternoon. -- The bewil-
dering report is confirmed ; and in ad-
dition to the Sixth Connecticut, which
came; yesterday, appears part'-of the
Eighth Maine. .The remainder, with its
colonel, will be.here to-morrow, and, re-
port says, Major-General Hunter. Now
my hope'is that we may go to some point
higher up the river, 'which we can hold
for ourselves. There are two other
points, [Magnolia and' Pilatka,] which,
in themselves, are as favorable~as this,
and, for getting recruits, ibettier-' -So-I
shall hope to be allowed to go.i To take
posts, and then let white 'troops garrl-
son them, that is my programme.
"What makes'the thing more puz-
zling is, that the Eighth Maine has on-
ly brought ten days'" rations, so that
they evidently are not to staiyhere; and
yet where they go, or .why they come,
is a puzzle. Meanwhile we can sleep
-sound o' nights; and if the black and
white babies do not quarrel and pull
hair, we shall do.vety well"


Up the St. 7ohn's River.

Colonel Rust, on arriving, said frank-
ly that he knew nothing of the plans
prevailing in the Department, but that-
General Hunter was certainly coming
soon to act for himself; that it had
been reported at the North, and even
at Port Royal, that we had all been
captured and shot, (and, indeed, I had
afterwards the pleasure of reading my
own obituary in a Northern Democratic
journal,) and that we certainly needed
reinforcements ; that he himself had
been sent with orders to carry out, so
far as possible, the original plans of the
expedition; that he regarded himself
as only a visitor, and should remain
chiefly on shipboard, which he did.
He would relieve the black provost-
guard by a white one, if I approved,.-
which I certainly did. But he said that
he felt bound to give the chief opportu-
nities of action to the colored troops, -
which I also approved, and which he
carried out, not quite to the satisfaction
of his own eager and daring officers.
I recall one of these enterprises, out
of which we extracted a -good deal of
amusement; it was baptized the Battle
of the Clothes-Lines. A white compa-
ny was out scouting in the woods be-
hind the town, with one of my best
Florida men for a guide ; and the cap-
tain sent back a message that he had
discovered a Rebel camp with twenty-
two tents, beyond a creek, about four
miles away; the officers and men had
been diitnctly seen, and it would be
quite possible to capture it. Colonel
Rust at once sent me out with two'hun-
dred men to do the work, recalling the
original scouts, and disregarding the
appeals of his own eager officers. We
marched through the open pine woods,
on a delightful afternoon, and met the
returning party. Poor fellows I nev-
er shall forget the longing eyes they
cast on us, as we marched forth to the
field of glory, from which they were de-
barred. We went three or four miles
out, sometimes halting to send forward
a scout, while I made all the men lie
down in the long thin grass and beside
the fallen trees, till one could not im-
agine that there was a person there. I
voL. xvl.-NO. 95. 21

remember how picturesque the effect
was, when, at the signal, all rose again,
like Roderick Dhu's men, and the green
wood appeared suddenly populous with
armed life. At a certain point forces
were divided, and a detachment was
sent round the head of the creek to
flank the unsuspecting enemy; while
we of the main body, stealing with cau-
tion nearer and nearer, through ever
denser woods, swooped down at last in
triumph upon a solitary farm-house, -
where the family-washing had been
hung out to dry!
It is due to Sergeant Greene, my in-
valuable guide, to say that he had from
the beginning discouraged any high
hopes of a crossing of bayonets. He
had early explained that it was not he
who claimed to have seen the tents and
the Rebel soldiers, but one of the offi-
cers, and had pointed out that our un-
disturbed approach was hardly recon-
cilable with the existence of a hostile
camp so near. This impression had
also pressed more and more upon my
own mind, but it was our business to
put the thing beyond a doubt. Proba-
bly the place may have been occasion-
ally used for a picket station, and we
found fresh horse-tracks in the vicinity,
and there was a quantity of iron bridle-
bits in the house, of which no clear ex-
planation could be given ; so that the
armed men may not have been wholly
imaginary. But camp there was none.
After enjoying to the utmost the fun of
the thing, therefore, we borrowed the
only horse on the premises, hung all
the bits over his neck, and as I rode
him back to camp, they clanked like
broken chains. We were joined on the
way by our dear and devoted surgeon,
whom I had left behind as an invalid,
but who had mounted his horse and
ridden out alone to attend to our wound-
ed, his green sash looking quite in har-
mony with the early spring verdure of
those lovely woods. So came we back
in triumph, enjoying the joke all the
more because some one else was re-
sponsible. We mystified the little com-
munity at first, but soon let out the se-
cret, and witticisms abounded for a day


Up the St. John's River.

or two, the mildest of which was the as-
sertion that the author of the alarm must
have been "three sheets in the wind."
Another expedition was of more excit-
ing character. For several days before
the arrival of Colonel Rust a reconnois-
sance had been planned in the direction
of the enemy's camp, and he finally con-
sented to its being carried out. By the
energy of Major Corwin, of the Second
South Carolina Volunteers, aided by
Mr. Holden, then a gunner on the Paul
Jones, and afterwards made captain in
the same regiment, one of the ten-
pound Parrott guns had been mounted
on a hand-car, for use on the- railway.
This it was now proposed to bring into
service. I took a large detail of men
from the two white regiments and from
my own, and had instructions to march
as far as the four-mile station on the
railway, if possible, examine the coun-
try, and ascertain if the Rebel camp had
been removed, as was reported, beyond
that distance. I was forbidden going
any farther from camp, or attacking the
Rebel camp, as my force comprised half
our garrison, and should the town mean-
while be attacked from some other di-
rection, it would be in great danger.
I never shall forget the delight of that
march through the open pine barren,
with occasional patches. of uncertain
swamp. The Eighth Maine, under Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Twichell, was on the
right, the Sixth Connecticut, under Ma-
jor Meeker, on the left, and my own
men, under Major Strong, in the centre,
having in charge the cannon, to which
they had been trained. Mr. Heron,
from the John Adams, acted as gunner.
The mounted Rebel pickets retired be-
fore us through the woods, keeping usu-
ally beyond range of the skirmishers,
who in a long line white, black, white
-were deployed transversely. For the
first time I saw the two colors fairly
alternate on the military chessboard; it
had been the object of much labor and
many dreams, and I liked the pattern
at last. Nothing was said about the
novel fact by anybody,-it all seemed to
come as matter-of-course ; there appear-
ed to be no mutual distrust among the

men, and as for the officers, doubtless
"each crow thought its own young the
whitest," I certainly did, although do-
ing full justice to the eager courage of
the Northern portion of my command.
Especially I watched with pleasure the'
fresh delight of the Maine men, who
had not, like the rest, been previously in
action, and who strode rapidly on with
their long legs, irresistibly recalling, as
their gaunt, athletic frames and sunburnt
faces appeared here and there among
the pines, the lumber regions of their
native State, with which I was not
We passed through a former camp
of the Rebels, from which everything
had been lately removed; but when the
utmost permitted limits of our recon-
noissance were reached, there were still
no signs of any other camp, and the
Rebel cavalry still kept provokingly be-
fore us. Their evident object was to
lure us on to their own stronghold, and
had we fallen into the trap, it would
perhaps have, resembled, on a smaller
scale, the Olustee of the following year.
With a good deal of reluctance, how-
ever, I caused the recall to be sounded,
and, after a -slight halt, we began to
retrace our steps.
Straining our eyes to look along the
reach of level railway which stretched
away through the pine barren, we be-
gan to see certain ominous puffs of
smoke, which might indeed proceed
from some fire in the woods, but were
at once set down by the men as coming
from the mysterious locomotive battery
which the Rebels were said to have con-
structed. Gradually the smoke grew
denser, and appeared to be moving up
along the track, keeping pace with our
motion, and about two miles distant.
I watched it steadily through a field-
glass from our own slowly moving bat-
tery: it seemed to Mrove when we
moved and to halt when we halted.
Sometimes in the dim smoke I caught
a glimpse of something blacker, raised
high in the air like the threatening head
of some great gliding serpent. Sud-
denly there came a sharp puff of lighter
smoke that seemed like a forked tongue,


322 -

1865.] Up the St.

and then a hollow report, and we could
see a great black projectile hurled into
the air, and falling a quarter of a mile
away from us, in the woods. I did not
at once learn that this first shot killed
two of the Maine men and wounded two
more. This was fired wide, but the nu-
merous shots which followed were ad-
mirably aimed, and seldom failed to
fall or explode close to our own smaller
It was the first time that the men had
been seriously exposed to artillery fire,-
a danger more exciting to the ignorant
mind than any other, as this very war has
shown.* So I watched them anxiously.
Fortunately there were deep trenches on
each side the railway, with many stout
projecting roots, forming very tolerable
bomb-proofs for those who happened to
be near them. The enemy's gun was
a sixty- four- pound Blakely, as we af-
terward found, whose enormous projec-
tiles moved very slowly and gave ample
time to cover, insomuch, that, while
the fragments of shell fell all around and
amongst us, not a man was hurt. This
soon gave the men the most buoyant
confidence, and they shouted with child-
ish delight over every explosion.
The moment a shell had burst or
fallen unburst, our little gun was inva-
riably fired in return, and that with some
precision, so far as we could judge, its
range also being nearly as great. For
some reason they showed no disposition
to overtake us, in which attempt their
locomotive would have given them 'an
immense advantage over our heavy
hand-car, and their cavalry force over
our infantry. Nevertheless I rather
The effect was electrical. The Rebels were
the best men in Ford's command,-being Lieutenant-
Colonel Showalter's Californians, and they are brave
men. They had dismounted and sent their horses
to the rear, and were undoubtedly determined upon
a desperate fight, and their superior numbers made
them confident of success. But they never fought
with artillery, and a cannon has more terror for them
than ten thousand rifles and all the wild Camanches
on the plains of Texas. At first glimpse of the shin-
ing brass monsters there was a visible wavering in
the determined front of the enemy, and as the shells
came screaming over their heads the scare was com-
plete. They broke ranks, fled for their horses, scram-
bled on the first that came to hand, and skedaddled
in the direction of Brownsville."-New York Even-
ing Past, Sept 25, 1864.

- ..' ..

jnn s Xlzver. 323

hoped that they would attempt it, for
then an effort might have been made
to cut them off in the rear by taking up
some rails. As it was, this was out of
the question, though they moved slowly,
as we. moved, keeping always about two
miles away. When they finally ceased
firing, we took up the rails beyond us
before withdrawing, and thus kept the
enemy from approaching so hear the
city again. But I shall never forget
that Dantean monster, rearing its black
head amid the distant smoke, nor the
solicitude with which I watched for the
puff which meant danger, and looked
round to see if my chickens were all
under cover. The greatest peril, after
all, was from the possible dismounting
of our gun, in which case we should
have been very apt to lose it, if the
enemy had showed any dash. There
may be other such tilts of railway artil-
lery on record during the war; but if so,
I have not happened to read of them,
and so have dwelt the longer on this.
This was doubtless the same locomo-
tive battery which had previously fired
more than once upon the town, run-
ning up within two miles and then with-
drawing, while it was deemed inexpedi-
ent to destroy the railroad, on our part,
lest it might be needed by ourselves iri
turn. One night, too, the Rebel threat
had been fulfilled, and they had shelled
the town with the same battery. They
had the range well, and every shot fell
near the post head quarters. It was
exciting to see the great Blakely shell,
showing a light as it rose, and moving
slowly towards us like a comet, then
exploding and scattering its formidable
fragments. Yet, strange to say, no 'se-
rious harm was done to life or limb, and
the most formidable casualty was that
of a citizen who complained that a shell
had passed through the wall of his bed-
room, and carried off his mosquito cur-
tain in its transit.
Little knew we how soon these small'
entertainments would be over. Colo-
nel Montgomery had gone up the river
with his two companies, perhaps to re-
main permanently; and I was soon to,
follow. On Friday, March 27th, I wrote,

324 uP me 3t.

homepi--"Thpg uraside has gone to-
Beaufort for rations, and the John
Adams to Eernmandina for coal; we ex-
pect both back by Sunday. and on Mon-
day I hope to get the regiment off to aW
point farther up,- Magnolia, thirt13fivey
miles, or Pifatka. secenty-five,--either
of which would., be a good post for us.
General Hunter is expectedevery day,
and it is strange h.. has not come."
The very next 'daycamne an official order
recalling the whole expedition, and .for
the third time evacuating Jacksonville.
A council of military and naval offi-
cers was at once called. (though there
was but one thing to be done.) and the
latter were even more disappointed and
amazed than the former. This was es-
pecially the case with the sqniornayal
officer. Captain Steedman. a South-Car-
olinian by birth, but who had proved
himself as patriotic as he was courteous
and able, and whose presence and advice
had beerj of the greatest value to me. He
and all of us felt keenly the wrongful-
ness of breaking the pledges which we
had been authorized to make, to these,
people; and of leaving them to the mer-
cy of the Rebels once more. Most of
the people themselves took the same
view, and eagerly begged to accompany
qs on our departure. They were allow-
ed to bring their clothing and furniture
also. and at once developed that insane
mania for aged and valueless trumpery
which always seizes upon the human
race, I ltie'le, in moments of danger,
With the greatest difficulty we selected
between the essential and the non-es-
sential, and our few transports were at
length loaded to the very water's edge
on the morning of March 29th.-Colonel-
Montgormer. having by this time return-
ed from up-river, %ith sixteen prisoners,
and the fruits of foraging in plenty.
And upon that last morning occurred
an act pn th* part of some of the gar-
rison, inott deeply to be regretted, and
not eaccused,by the natural indig-
nation at. their recall,-an act which,
thrQOgh r the unfortunate eloquence of
one newspaperr correspondent, rang
through the nation,-the attempt to burn
.th1. town. I fortunately need not dwell

T'F. *T /" .

7ohn's River. [September,

much, upon it, as I was not at the time
in command .of the post,-as the white
soldiers frankly took upon themselves
the whole responsibilit),-and as all the
fires were made in the wooden part of,
the cty, whick-was occupied by them,
while none were made in the brirk part,
where the colored soldiers were quar-,
tered. It was fortunate for our reputa-
tion that the newspaper accouans gen-
erally agreed in exculpating us from all
share in thie matter;* anti the single
exception, which one correspondent as-
serted, I could never verily, and do not
believe to have existed. It was stated
by Colonel Rust in his official report, that
some twenty-five buildings in all were
burned, and I doubt if the actual num-
ber was greater; but this was probably
owing in part-to a change of wind, and
did not diminish,, the discredit of the
transaction. It made our sorrow at de-
parture no less, though it infinitely en-
hanced the impressiveness of the scene.
The excitement of the departure was
intense. The embarkation was so la-
borious that it seemed as if the flames
must be-upon us before we could get on
board, and it was also generally ex-
pected that the Rebel-skirmishers would;
be down; among the houses, wherever
practicable, to annoy us to the utmost,
as had been the case at the previous
evacuation. They were, indeed, there,
as we afterwards heard, but did not ven-
ture to molest us. The sight and roar
of the dames, and the rolling clouds of
smoke, brought home to the impressi-
-ble minds of the black soldiers all their
favorite imagery of the Judgment Day;
and those who were not too much de-
pressed by disappointment were excited
by the spectacle, and sang and exhort-
ed without ceasing.
"The colored regiments had nothing at all to
do with it; they behaved with propriety through-
out" -Boston Yournal CorreSndence. ("Carle-
ton ) ,
"The negro troop' tolk no part whate'e in the
perpetration of this \ andalsn." -.Vr.e IJ r Trib-
u ,ne C .. ,,g' e,,, .. i" t .) '
"We kn..- not whether we are most rejoiced or
saddened to observe, by he general concurrence of
accounts, thai the negto-isoldiers had nothing- to do
with the trbaou. acLt.'--BOtio Yournal Edito-
r'ial, April zo, 1863.

1865.] New Art Critic. 570, 325

With heavy hearts -their officers float- ply the scarcity of troops in the Depart-
ed down -the lovely river, which we had ment, and the renewed convictift at
ascended with hopes so buoyant; and head-quarters that we were too few to
from that day to this, the reasons for held -the post alone.- The latter theoqr
ou r-ecall have never been niade pub- was strengthened by the fact that, when
lic. It was commonly attributed to- pro-' General Seymour reoccuped Jackson-
slavery advisers, acting on the rather im- ville, the following -ye ea he- took with
pulsive nature oa .Major-General Hunt- him -twenty thousand tieft instead of
ter, with a view to cut short the career one thousand, and the sanguinary
of the- colored troops, and stop their .battle of Olustee found him with too
recruiting. But it may have been sim- few.


T hs been said that our painters writes that he is equally capable 6f -
erely coiginue tendencies that have quisite things and .gross- impertineates.
bad eir origin in Europe, and just as We give place to Mr. Whistler name
Erglis and French painters are aban- merely to indicate that artists aticipate
doing t ories which they have ex- critics. In the latest literare of Art
iausted, ne re entertaining ihore theo- we do not find positive action, but'
ries as new di series, and repeating a continuation. Mr. Phi 'Gilbert Ham-
discord that abr d has been outgrow n. erton, however, me conditions and
There is some tru in the charge, and covers ground no eated by Ruskin,
we are not alwa s we'enaugh informed and more pract 1. but less eloquent,
to anticipate the next development in defines the r tion of the painter to
the artistic world. WVhi \e are over- Nature and e limitations of imitation.
run by the maggots that h'Wve cran led Ruskin s ndidly opened-the campaign
out of the literary body of Joh Ruskin; for mo rn 4rt, and he has found ser-
the English painters, already e6lanci- vile a ignorant executive officers ; but
pated from the bondage of that p 'er- H erton is an independent officer, who
ful sectarian, are working undernev losses the enemy's country, beats his
fluences, and showing tendencies tha ,'foe in detail, and according to his own
without subverting the truths so el Nethod. Ruskin is superb in his com-
quently expounded by Ruskin, sup e- b .tions; Hamerton exact in hismeth-
ment them. Underthe form of ac tin- od, decarefultoprotecthisrear. There-
uation of the work begun by t great fore tN most usetl books that could
sectarian of English Art cri i sm, we be place in the hands of the American
h4ve a literary) exponent the Teac- Art public t present re Hamerton's
tion ;, and the pictures o r.' Whistler, Painter's amp" and Thoughts
in American almost known on this about Art." -e latter volume is most
side of the Atlanti have been taken carefully consider d, and is the result
by the late "Lonon nFine Arts Quar- of unwearied pract e in the study of
terly Review'1 examples of-this re- Art and Nature. F Mr. Hamerton
action in price. Mr. Whistler has has studied Nature as man indoctri-
been called, .e maria of hlghest genius nated with the ideas' of Ru in; he has
ad .moa daring eccentricity in the generalized about Art as o who has
new s ol; and Tom Taylor amiably emancipated himself from a -ter in
thought; and he has enlarged his iews
a-. ap. t. a n varied reading and familiarity th
gd: aon Art &CBy Philp Gilbert daderto.. by vanedn. I
,.-,nd:.n Ma.c:milan & Co. ancient and modern painting. In so50

326 A New

respects Mr. Hamerton's books may be
taken as the literary proof of a school
which is said to include "many men
of rare gifts and uncommon culture,"
and which, profiting by the reform in-
troduced by Millais, Hunt, and Rosset-
ti, yet also supplements that reform
with a more catholic taste and a less
ascetic manner than were shown by the
immediate agents of the first great rev-
olution in English Art. It follows that
some account of Mr. Hamerton's writ-
ings is called for, and will be welcomed.
He is at once able, useful, and repre-
sentative of the latest tendencies of Art
Mr. Hamerton's first volume, entitled
"A Painter's Camp in the Highlands,"
we regret to say, is not a felicitous in-
troduction to the valuable ".Thoughts
about Art," which give the title to the
second. It is unpleasantly inlaid with
egotism and enamelled with self-con-
sciousness. Mr. Hamerton's critics
cannot withhold attention from so prom-
inent a feature of his book. The ob-
trusiveness of his personality invites at-
tention. He seems not to have learned
the art of existing fully in his work,
without dreaming to speak of himself.
True, any account of a painter's camp
necessarily solicits much consideration
of its occupant; but it dols not follow
that we should be bored with trivial de-
tails, and anecdotes simply flattering to
the personal appearance of the painter.
If Mr. Hamerton proposed to write a
book of gossip, if he were ambitious
of the honors of a Montaigne, he might
tell us how he ties his shoe-strings and
how he shapes his moustache; but
since we know that Mr. Hamerton is a
cultivated gentleman and serious stu-
dent, we regret that he exposes himself
to the charge of being an English snob.
Our simple American Thoreau was en-
dowed with better taste; for, though
he wrote a very detailed account of his
hermit-life on the shore of Walden
Pond, his book is entirely free from vul-
garity. Thoreau knew how to elevate
the, trivial and confer dignity on the
meanest. But Mr. Hamerton, hearty,
healthful, self-reliant Englishman that


he is, contrives to let us know that he
is also a very elegant fellow even in
camp. The personality revealed in Mr.
Hamerton's "Painter's Camp" is very
English; and when we have said this,
we have said all. But let no one be
deterred from making the acquaintance
of Mr. Hamerton even in his Painter's
Camp "; for he is young, he is hearty,
he is interesting, and he is manly.
We know of no books which are the
result of more faithful study and prac-
tical consideration of the painter's func-
tion, and which, at the same time, are
so free from technical jargon. Mr.
Hamerton is preeminently a useful writ-
er on Art4 he is certainly accurate and
comprehensive. Carefully going over
the ground which he occupies with his
Thoughts about Art," we have been
surprised and delighted by the serious-
ness and conscientiousness of his ex-
positions. He spares no pains to make
his reader understand the present con-
dition of Art, and he fairly states and
answers some of the most puzzling ques-
tions that have agitated modern painters
and confused simple students. He at
all times escapes cheap rhetoric and that
facile enthusiasm begotten in some by
the very name of Art. He leaves all
that to the dilettanti, and addresses in a
simple business-like style men who are
not less serious rnd earnest than him-
self. Yet Mr. Hamerton does not write
a bald and meagre style, nor is he in-
sensible to the poetic and imaginative
elements of his theme. He can quicken
a glow and arouse an emotion, when he
writes of the mighty poetry of Turner's
Tdmdraire, or of the mysterious, the
melancholy charm of a portrait opposite
the great Veronese in the Louvre. Mr.
Hamerton's literary skill is considera-
ble; but he does not abound in ver-
bal felicities, nor has he any affluence
of style. He is at all times clear, he
is at all times exact, and he is often a
vigorous writer. Common-sense, pa-
tience, and no ordinary talent for analy-
sis are manifest in every chapter of his
" Thoughts about Art." If we were ask-
ed where the most intelligent, the most
trustworthy, the most practical, and the

AIrt Critic.

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