xt78sf2m6b7p https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt78sf2m6b7p/data/mets.xml Coffin, Charles Carleton, 1823-1896 1866  books b92e470c61866a2009 English Hurst & Co. : New York Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. United States --History --Civil War, 1861-1865 --Campaigns. United States --History --Civil War, 1861-1865 --Personal narratives. Four years of fighting. A volume of personal observation with the Army and Navy from the first battle of Bull Run to the fall of Richmond text Four years of fighting. A volume of personal observation with the Army and Navy from the first battle of Bull Run to the fall of Richmond 1866 2009 true xt78sf2m6b7p section xt78sf2m6b7p 

a volume of






author of " winning his way," " following the flag," " my days and nights on the battlefield," etc., etc.



2 21915 





Following the Flag.

Four Years of Fighting.

My Days and Nights on the

Battlefield. Winning His Way.

Price, postpaid, joc. each, or any three

books for $1.25



New York 

This volume, though historic, is not a history of the Rebellion, but a record of personal observations and experiences during the war, with an occasional look at affairs in general to give clearness to the narrative. The time has not arrived for the writing of an impartial history of the conflict between Slavery and Freedom in the United States. Reports of military operations are incomplete; documents in the archives at Washington are inaccessible; much material remains to be gathered before the patient historian can sift the wheat from the chaff. More than this, the war of ideas is not yet ended. Defeated Rebels in some parts of the South are bent on exterminating the African race. Few of those lately in rebellion plead guilty of having committed a crime; taking up arms against the government they consider to have been a blunder only. We are, therefore, too near the great events to render proper judgment upon questions in which our principles and sympathies have been enlisted.

The chapter concerning the Confederate Cotton Loan may seem to be out of place in a volume of which so large a portion is given to narrative, but I trust that it will be acceptable to the general reader, inasmuch as it reveals the efforts of the Rebels to array all Europe against the United States in the late struggle. The correspondence in my possession was picked up in the streets of Richmond, and will be of value to the future historian. The chapter in question is but an outline of the operations of the Confederates abroad.

In looking over the sheets as they came from the press, several errors relative to the organization and formation of troops in battle have been detected, which, however, will appear in but a few volumes.   Undoubtedly there are others, and the


writer will esteem it a favor to be put right wherever he is in the wrong. Few official reports of regimental and brigade officers have been published, while the reports of division and corps commanders are only general in their statements. The true history of battles cannot be given till the history of regiments is written.

My stand-point as an observer is that of one whose instincts from early childhood have been on the side of Freedom. I have ever believed that Civil Liberty is the birthright of all men, and from the firing upon Sumter to the close of the contest had full faith that the people, under God, would subdue the Rebellion, and give freedom to the slave.

The four years have been worth a century of ordinary life; for in the mighty contest Right has triumphed over Wrong, and the human race, with a clearer perception of Truth and Justice as the sure foundation of government, is moving on to a higher civilization.

C. C. c.

Boston, May, 1866.



beginning of the conflict.

Afteb four years of war our country rests in peace. The Great Rebellion has been subdued, and the power and authority of the United States government are recognized in ail the States. It has been a conflict of ideas and principles. Millions of men have been in arms. Great battles have been fought. There have been deeds of sublimest heroism and exhibitions of Christian patriotism which shall stir the hearts of those who are to live in the coming ages. Men who at the beginning of the struggle were scarcely known beyond their village homes are numbered now among

" the Immortal names That were not bora to die " ;

while the names of others who once occupied places of honor and trust, who forswore their allegiance to their country an* gave themselves to do wickedly, shall be held forever in abhorrence.

It has been my privilege to accompany the armies of the Union through this mighty struggle. I was an eye-witness of the first battle at Bull Run, of Port Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, Memphis, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Fort Sumter, Wilderness, Spott-sylvania, North Anna, Hanover Court-House, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, and Five Forks. I was in Savannah soon after its occupation by Sherman on his great march to the sea, and watched his movement " northward with the sun." I walked the streets of Charleston in the hour of her deepest humiliation, and rode into Richmond on the day that the stars of the Union were thrown in triumph to the breeze above the Confederate Capitol.

It seems a dream, and yet when I turn to the numerous note-books lying before me, and read the pencilings made on the march, the battle-field, in the hospital, and by the flickering camp-fires, it is no longer a fancy or a picture of the imagination, but a reality. The scenes return. I behold once more the moving columns,   their waving banners,   the sunlight 


gleaming from gun-barrel and bayonet,   the musket's flash and cannon's flame. I hear the drum-beat and the wild hurrah! Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Meade, Burnside, Howard, Hancock, and Logan are leading them; while Sedgwick, Wadsworth, McPherson, Mansfield, Richardson, Rice, Baker, Wallace, Shaw, Lowell, Winthrop, Putnam and thousands of patriots are laying down their lives for their country. Abraham Lincoln walks the streets of Richmond, and is hailed as the Great Deliverer,   the ally of the Messiah!

It will be my aim in this volume to reproduce some of those scenes,   to give truthful narratives of events, descriptions of battles, incidents of life in camp, in the hospital, on the march, in the hour of battle on land and sea,   writing nothing in malice, not even toward those who have fought against the Union. I shall endeavor to give the truth of history rather than the romance; facts instead of philosophy; to make real the scenes of the mighty struggle through which we have passed.

On the 11th of June, 1861, I left Boston to become an Army Correspondent. The patriotism of the North was at flood-tide. Her drum-beat was heard in every village. Men were leaving their own affairs to serve their country. The stars and stripes waved from house-top and steeple. New York was a sea of banners. Ladies wore Union rosettes in their hair, while gentlemen's neck-ties were of " red, white, and blue." That family was poor indeed who could neither by cloth nor colored tissue-paper manifest its love for the Union. The music of the streets   vocal and instrumental   was " Hail Columbia " and " Yankee Doodle." Everywhere,   in city and town and village, in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia,   there was the same spirit manifested by old and young, of both sexes, to put down the Rebellion, cost what it might of blood and treasure.

Baltimore presented a striking contrast to the other great cities. It was dull and gloomy. The stars and stripes waved over the Eutaw House, from the American newspaper office, where the brothers Fulton maintained unswerving loyalty. A few other residents had thrown the flag to the breeze, but Secession was powerful, and darkly plotted treason. There was frequent communication with the Rebels, who were mustering at Manassas. Business was at a standstill. The pulses of trade had stopped. Merchants waited in vain for customers through the long summer day. Females, calling themselves ladie daintily gathered up their skirts whenever they passed ' ,an oSiee.r.jor.soldier wearing the army blue in the streets, and 


manifested in other ways their utmost contempt for all who supported the Union.

General Butler, who had subdued the rampant Secessionists by his vigorous measures, had been ordered to Fortress Monroe, and General Banks had just assumed command. His head-quarters were in Fort McHenry. A regiment of raw Peunsylvanians was encamped on the hill, by the roadside leading to the fort. Officers and soldiers alike were ignorant of military tactics. Three weeks previous they were following the plough, or digging in the coal-mines, or smelting iron. It was amusing to watch their attempts at evolution. They were drilling by squads and companies. " Right face," shouted an officer to his squad. A few executed the order correctly, some faced to the left, while others faced first right, then left, and general confusion ensued.

So, too, were the officers ignorant of proper military phrases. At one time a captain, whose last command had been a pair of draft-horses on his Pennsylvania farm, on coming to a pit in the road, electrified his company by the stentorian order to " Gee round that hole."

It was a beautiful evening, and the moon was shining brightly, when I called upon General Banks. Outside the fort were the field batteries belonging to the Baltimore Artillery which had been delivered up to Governor Hicks in April. The Secessionists raved over the transaction at the time, and in their rage cursed the Governor who turned them over to the United States authorities. Soldiers were building abattis, and training guns   sixty-four pounders   to bear upon the city, for even then there were signs of an upheaval of the Secession elements, and General Banks deemed it best to be prepared for whatever might happen. But the Rebels on that day were moving from Harper's Ferry, having destroyed all the property of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in the vicinity.

Passing on to Washington I found it in a hubbub. Troops were pouring in, raw, undisciplined, yet of material to make the best soldiers in the world,   poets, painters, artists, artisans, mechanics, printers, men of letters, bankers, merchants, and ministers were in the ranks. There was a constant rumble of artillery in the streets,   the jarring of baggage-wagons, and the tramping of men. Soldiers were quartered in the Capitol. They spread their blankets in the corridors, and made themselves at home in the halls. Hostilities had commenced. Ellsworth had just been carried to his last resting-place.   The bodies of Winthrop and Greble 


were then being borne to burial, wrapped in the flag of their country.

Colonel Stone, with a number of regiments, was marching out from Washington to picket the Potomac from Washington to Point of Rocks. General Patterson was on the upper Potomac, General McClellan and General Rosecrans, with Virginia and Ohio troops, were driving the Rebels from Rich Mountain, while General McDowell was preparing to move upon Manassas.

These were all new names to the public. Patterson had served in the Mexican war, but the people had forgotten it. McClellan was known only as an engineer, who had made a report concerning the proposed railroad to the Pacific, and had visited Russia during the Crimean war. General Wool was in New York, old and feeble, too far advanced in life to take the field. The people were looking up to General Scott as the Hercules of the hour. Some one had called him the " Great Captain of the Age." He was of gigantic stature, and had fought gallantly on the Canadian frontier in 1812, and with his well-appointed army had marched in triumph into the City of Mexico. The events of the last war with England, and that, with Mexico, in which General Scott was always the central figure, had been rehearsed by the stump-orators of a great political party during an exciting campaign. His likeness was familiar to every American. It was to be found in parlors, saloons, beer-shops, and in all public places,   representing him as a hero in gold-embroidered coat, epaulets, chapeau, and nodding plume. His was the genius to direct the gathering hosts. So the people believed. He was a Virginian, but loyal.   The newspapers lauded him.

" General Scott is watching the Rebels with sleepless vigilance," was the not unfrequent telegraphic despatch sent from Washington.

But he was seventy-five years of age. His powers were failing. His old wound troubled him at times. He could walk only with difficulty, and it tired him to ride the lew rods between his house and the War Department. He was slow and sluggish in all his thoughts and actions. Yet the people had confidence in him, and he in himself.

The newspapers were filled with absurd rumors and statements concerning the movements and intentions of the Rebels. It was said that Beauregard had sixty thousand men at Manassas. A New York paper, having a large circulation, pictured Manassas as an impregnable position; a plain commanded by heavy guns upon the surrounding hills!    It is 


indeed a plain, but the " commanding" hills are wanting. Rumor reported that General Joseph E. Johnston, who was in the Shenandoah valley, destroying the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and burning the bridges across the Potomae, had thirty thousand men; but we now know that his whole force consisted of nine regiments, two battalions of infantry, three hundred cavalry, and sixteen pieces of artillery.

It was for the interest of the Rebels to magnify their numbers and resources. These exaggerations had their effect at the War Department in Washington. General Butler proposed the early occupation of Manassas, to cut off communication by rail between Richmond and upper Virginia, but his proposition was rejected by General Scott. The troops in an* around Washington were only partially organized into brigades. There was not much system. Everybody was full of zeal and energy, and there was manifest impatience among the soldiers at the inactivity of the commander-in-chief.

The same was true of the Rebels. They were mustering at Manassas. Regiments and battalions were pouring through Richmond. Southern women welcomed them with sweetest smiles, presented them with fairest flowers, and urged them on to drive the " usurper" from Washington. Southern newspapers, from the commencement, had been urging the capture of the Federal capital. Said the Richmond Examiner, of April 23d:    

"The capture of Washington is perfectly within the power of Virginia and Maryland, if Virginia will only make the effort by her constituted authorities. Nor is there a single moment to lose. The entire population pant for the onset.....

*' From the mountain-tops and valleys to the shores of the sea, there is one wild shout of fierce resolve to capture Washington City, at all and every human hazard.   That filthy cage of unclean birds must .and

will assuredly be purified by fire.....It is not to be endured that

this flight of abolition harpies shall come down from the black North for their roosts in the heart of the South, to defile and brutalize the

land.....Our people can take it,   they will take it.   and Scott the

arch-traitor, and Lincoln the beast, combined, cannot prevent it. The just indignation of an outraged and deeply injured people will teach the Illinois Ape to repeat his race and retrace his journey across the borders of the free negro States still more rapidly than he came; and Scott the traitor will be given the opportunity at the-same time to try the difference between Scott's tactics and the Bhang-hae drill for quick movements.

" Great cleansing and purification are needed and will be given to that festering sink of iniquity,   that wallow of Lincoln and Seott.    the desecrated city of Washington ; and many indeed will be the car- 


casses of dogs and caitiffs that will blacken the air upon the gallows before the work is accomplished.   So let it be."

General Beauragard was the most prominent of the Rebel commanders, having been brought before the public by the surrender of Fort Sumter. Next in prominence were the two Johnstons, Joseph E. and Albert Sydney, and General Bragg. Stonewall Jackson had not been heard from. Lee had just gone over to the Rebels. He had remained with General Scott,   his confidant and chief adviser   till the 19th of April, and was made commander of the Rebel forces in Virginia on the 22d. The Convention of Virginia, then in session at Richmond, passed the ordinance of secession on the 17th,   to be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection five weeks later. Lee had therefore committed an act of treason without the paltry justification of the plea that he was following the lead of his State.

Such was the general aspect of affairs when, in June, I received permission from the War Department to become an army correspondent.


abound washington.

In March, 1861, there was no town in Virginia more thriving than Alexandria; in June there was no place so desolate and gloomy. I visited it on the 17th. Grass was growing in the streets. Grains of corn had sprouted on the wharves, and were throwing up luxuriant stalks. The wholesale stores were all closed; the dwelling-houses were shut. Few of the inhabitants were to be seen. The stars and stripes waved over the Marshall House, the place where Ellsworth fell. A mile out from the city, on a beautiful plain, was the camp of the Massachusetts Fifth, in which were two companies from Charleston. When at home they were accustomed to celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill. Although now in the enemy's country, they could not forget the day. They sat down to an ample collation. Eloquent speeches were made, and an ode was sung, written by one of their number.

" Though many miles away

From home and friends to-day,

We're cheerful still; For, brothers, side by side We stand in manly pride, Beneath the shadow wide

Of Bunker Hill." 


Boom   boom   boom was the quick report of far-distant cannon. What could it be? A reconnoitring party of Ohio troops had gone up the Loudon railroad. Had anything happened to them? There were eager inquiries. The men fall into line, prepared for any emergency. A few hours later the train returned, bringing back the mangled bodies of those who fell in the ambuscade at Vienna. .

I talked with the wounded. They were moving slowly up the road,   a regiment on platform cars, pushed by the engine. Before reaching Vienna an old man stepped out from the bushes making signs and gestures for them to stop.

" Don't go.   The Rebels are at Vienna."

" Only guerillas, I reckon," said one of the officers.

General Schenck, who was in command, waved his hand to the engineer, and the train moved on. Suddenly there were quick discharges of artillery, a rattling fire of small arms, and unearthly yells from front and flank, within an hundred yards. The unsuspecting soldiers were riddled with solid shot, canister, and rifle-balls. Some tumbled headlong, never to rise again. Those who were uninjured leaped from the cars.   There was great confusion.

"Lie down! " cried some of the officers.

"Fall in! " shouted others.

Each did, for the moment, what seemed best. Some of the soldiers fired at random, in the direction of the unseen enemy. Some crouched behind the cars; others gained the shelter of the woods, where a line was formed.

"Why don't you fall into line?" was the sharp command of an officer to a soldier standing beside a tree.

" I would, sir, if I could," was the reply, and the soldier exhibited his arm, torn by a cannon shot.

They gathered up the wounded, carried them to the rear in blankets, began their homeward march, while the Rebels, eleven hundred strong, up to this moment sheltered behind a woodpile, rushed out, destroyed the cars, and retreated to Fairfax.

When the news reached Alexandria, a portion of the troops there were hastily sent forward; they had a weary march. Morning brought no breakfast, noon no dinner. A Secessionist had fled from his home, leaving his flocks and herds behind. The Connecticut boys appropriated one of the cows. They had no camp utensils, and were forced to broil their steaks upon the coals. It was my first dinner in the field. Salt was lacking, but hunger gave the meat an excellent seasoning.   For table and furniture we had the head of a 


barrel, a jack-knife, and a chop-stick cut from a hazel-bush.

Congress assembled on the 4th of July, and the members availed themselves of the opportunity to visit the troops. Vallandigham of Ohio, who by word and act had manifested Iiia sympathy for the Rebels, visited the Second Ohio, commanded by Colonel McCook, afterwards Major-General. I witnessed the reception given him by the boys of the Buckeye State. The officers treated him courteously, but not cordially. Not so the men.

"There is that d   d traitor in camp," said one, with flashing eyes.

"He is no better than a Rebel," said another. "He helped slaughter our boys at Vienna the other day," Baid a third.

"Let us hustle him out of camp," remarked a fourth.

" Don't do anything rash. Let us inform him that his presence is not desired," said one.

A committee was chosen to wait upon Vallandigham. They performed their duty respectfully. He heard them, and became red in the face.

" Do you think that I am to be intimidated by a pack of blackguards from northern Ohio?" he said. " I shall come to this camp as often as I please,   every day if I choose,   and I give you notice that I will have you taken care of. I shall report your insolence. I will see if a pass from General Scott is not to be respected."

Turning to the officers, he began to inquire the names of the soldiers. The news that Vallandigham was there had spread throughout the camp, and a crowd was gathering. The soldiers were sore over the slaughter at Vienna, and began to manifest their hatred and contempt by groans and hisses.

" If you expect to frighten me, you have mistaken your man. I am ashamed of you. I am sorry for the honor of the State that you have seen fit to insult me," he said.

" Who has the most reason to be ashamed, you of us, or we of you?" said one of the soldiers. "We are here fighting for our country, which you are trying to destroy. What is your shame worth? You fired at us the other day. You helped kill our comrades. There isn't a loyal man in the country whose cheek does not redden with shame whenever your name is mentioned," was the indignant reply.

Vallandigham walked into the officers' quarters. The soldiers soon had an effigy, labelled " Vallandigham the traitor," hanging by the neck from a tree. They riddled it with bullets, then took it down and rode it on a rail, the flfers 


playing the " Rogues' March." When Vallandigham left the camp, they gave him a farewell salute of groans and hisses. A few of the soldiers threw onions and old boots at him, but his person was uninjured. He did not repeat his visit. He was so cross-grained by nature, so thorough a traitor, that through the session of Congress and through the war he lost no opportunity to manifest his hatred of the soldiers.

It was past sunset on the 9th of July, when, accompanied by a friend, I left Alexandria for Washington in an open carriage. Nearing the Long Bridge, an officer on horseback, in a red-flannel blouse, dashed down upon us, saying: " I am an officer of the Garibaldi Guard; my regiment has mutinied, and the men are on their way to Washington! I want you to hurry past them, give notice to the guard at the Long Bridge, and have the draw taken up." We promised to do so if possible, and soon came upon the mutineers, who were hastening toward the bridge. They were greatly excited. They were talking loud and boisterously in German. Their guns were loaded. There were seven nations represented in the regiment. Few of them could understand English. We knew that if we could get in advance of them, the two six-pounders looking down the Long Bridge, with grape and canister rammed home, would quell the mutiny. We passed those in the rear, had almost reached the head of the column, when out sprang a dozen in front of us and levelled their guns. Click    click   click went the locks.

" You no goes to Vashington in ze advance! " said one.

" You falls in ze rear! " said another.

"What does this mean?" said my friend, who was an officer.   " Where is your captain ? " he asked. The captain came up.

"What right have your men to stop us, sir? Who gave them authority?  We have passes, sir; explain this matter."

The captain, a stout, thick-set German, was evidently completely taken aback by these questions, but, after a moment's hesitation, replied,   

"No, zur, they no stops you; it was von mistake, zur. They will do zo no more." Then approaching close to the carriage, he lowered his voice, and in a confidential tone, as if we were his best friends, asked, " Please, zur, vill you be zo kind as to tell me vat is the passvord? "

" It's not nine o'clock yet. The sentinels are not posted. You need none."

A tall, big-whiskered soldier had been listening. He could speak English quite well, and, evidently desiring to apologize 


for the rudeness of his comrades, approached and said, " You see we Garibaldians are having a time of it, and   "

Here the captain gave him a vigorous push, with a " Hush! " long drawn, which had a great deal of meaning in it.

" I begs your pardons for ze interruption," said the captain, extending his hand and bowing politely.

Once more we moved on, but again the excited leaders, more furious than before, thrust their bayonets in our faces, again saying, " You no goes to Vashington in ze advance." One of them took deliberate aim at my breast, his eyes glaring fiercely.

It would have been the height of madness to disregard their demonstration. They had reached the guard at the Virginia end of the bridge, who, at a loss to know what it meant, allowed them to pass unchallenged.

Now that we were compelled to follow, there was time to think of contingencies. What if our horses had started? or what if in the darkness a soldier, grieving over his imaginary wrong, and reckless of life, had misunderstood us? or what if the loyal officers of the regiment remaining at Alexandria had given notice by telegraph of what had happened, and those two cannon at the Washington end of the bridge had poured their iron hail and leaden rain along the causeway? It was not pleasant to think of these possibilities, but we were in for whatever might happen; and, remembering that God's providence is always good and never evil, we followed our escort over the bridge. They halted on the avenue, while we rode with all speed to General Mansfield's quarters.

" I'll have every one of the rascals shot! " said the gray-haired veteran commanding the force in Washington. An hour later the Garibaldians found themselves surrounded by five thousand infantry. They laid down their arms when they saw it was no use to resist, were marched back to Alexandria, and put to the hard drudgery of camp life.

The soldiers had an amusing story to tell of one of their number who went into the lager-beer business, the sale of beer being then allowed. A sutler put a barrel on tap, and soon had a crowd of thirsty customers. But the head of the barrel was exposed in the rear. A soldier spying it, soon had that end on tap, and was doing a thriving business, selling at five cents a glass from his end of the barrel. He had a constant run of custom. When the crowd had satisfied their thirst, one of the soldiers approached the sutler.

" What do you charge for a glass?" he asked. 


" Ten cents."

^ "Ten cents! Why, I can get just as much as I want for five."

"Not In this camp." " Yes, sir, in this camp." "Where, I should like to know?" " Right round here."

The sutler crawled out from his tent to see about it, and stood transfixed with astonishment when he beheld the operation at the other end of his barrel. He was received with a hearty laugh, while the ingenious Yankee who was drawing the lager had the impudence to ask him if he wouldn't take a drink!

Virginia was pre-eminently the land of a feudal aristocracy, which prided itself on name and blood,   an aristocracy delighting to trace its lineage back to the cavaliers of Old England, and which looked down with haughty contempt upon the man who earned his bread by the sweat of his brow. The original " gentleman " of Virginia possessed great estates, which were not acquired by thrift and industry, but received as grants through kingly favor. But a thriftless system of agriculture, pursued unvaryingly through two centuries, had greatly reduced the patrimony of many sons and daughters of the cavaliers, who looked out of broken windows and rickety dwellings upon exhausted lands, overgrown with small oaks and diminutive pines. Yet they clung with tenacity to their pride.

" The Yankees are nothing but old scrubs," said a little Virginia girl of only ten years to me.

A young lady was brought to General Tyler's head-quarters at Falls Church to answer a charge of having given information to the enemy. Her dress was worn and faded, her shoes were down at the heel and out at the toes. There was nothing left of the estate of her fathers except a mean old house and one aged negro slave. She was reduced to absolute poverty, yet was too proud to work, and was waited upon by the superannuated negro.

" You are accused, madam, of having given information to the enemy," said General Tyler.

The lady bowed haughtily.

"You live in this old house down here?"

" I would have you understand, sir, that my name is De-laney. I did not expect to be insulted! " she exclaimed, indignantly. Words cannot describe her proud bearing. It was a manifestation of her regard for blood, gentility, name, and 


her hatred of labor. The history of the Rebellion was in that reply.

Virginia was also the land of sirens. A captain in a Connecticut regiment, lured by the sweet voice of a young lady, went outside of the pickets to spend a pleasant hour; but suddenly the Philistines were upon him, and he was a captive. Delilah mocked him as he was led away. Walking along the picket line on the 12th of July, I found a half-dozen Connecticut boys under a fence, keeping close watch on Delilah's mansion.

" There is a girl over there," said one of them, " who enticed our captain up to the house yesterday, when he was captured. Last night she came out and sung a song, and asked a lieutenant to go in and see her piano and take tea; but he smelt a rat, and was shy. To-night there are four of us going to creep up close to the house, and he is going in to see the piano."

The trap was set, but the Rebels did not fall into it.

The pickets brought in a negro, one of the first contrabands who came into the lines of the army of the Potomac. He was middle-aged, tall, black, and wore a checked cotton shirt and slouched hat. His boots were as sorry specimens of old leather as ever were worn by human beings. He came up timidly to head-quarters, guarded by two soldiers. He made a low bow to the General, not only with his head, but with his whole body and legs, ending the salaam with a scrape of his left foot, rolling his eyes and grinning from ear to ear.

"What is your name?" asked the General.

" Sam Allston, sah."

"Who do you belong to?"

" I belongs to Massa Allston, sah, from Souf Carolina." "Where is your master?"

"He be at Fairfax; he belong to Souf Carolina regiment, sah."

" How came you here? "

" Why, ye see, General, massa told me to go out and buy some chickens, and I come right straight down here, sah."

"You didn't expect to buy them here, did you?"

"No, sah; but I thought I would like