CHAPTER LI

Lake Providence.

1.  Now Clinton's soul clove to the union, but he abhored the sound of disunion.

2.  Moreover he loved his school, and did not wish to leave it.

3.  And he said nought to give offence to any man, for he knew that the people would not suffer a lover of the Union to abide with them.

4.  Now it came to pass, that when the people heard of the great battle of Manassas, they rejoiced exceedingly, because the Confederates had prevailed against the Yankees.

5.  Then the people told Clinton, that the war would soon end--that Washington would fall before Peter, whose surname is Beauregard, and that many of the Free States would come over to the South.

6.  And it came to pass, that many who had been Union men, now hated the Union and loved King Jefferson, and went forth with him to battle.

7.  But it soon came to pass that the Federals pressed the Rebels sore; Bowling Green, a walled city, Forts Henry and Donelson, mighty fortresses, and Nashville, also a walled city, fell, and the rebel army went back in haste to the provinces of Alabama and Mississippi.

8.  Then did Jefferson send out a proclamation into all the South, commanding the Governors of the States to enrol and send forth a vast army.

9.  And it came to pass, that the Federals smote Columbus, and overcame it, and New Madrid and Island No. 10.

10.  Then went there a mighty rumor through all the land, that the Yankees were coming to Memphis, and great fear fell upon the people.

11.  And the people of Arkansas, were sore vexed, and they said one to another, "Let others do as they may, but as for us, we will die rather than have the Yankees rule over us."

12.  Then did Jefferson send forth a commandment for all that loved the South to gird on their sword and prepare to smite the Yankees.

13.  And Clinton was afraid to abide longer in Lake Village, lest he should be forced to fight the King Jeff.

14.  So he departed from that country, and went into Lake Providence, in the province of Louisiana.

15.  And when he was come to Lake Providence, he showed letters that the people of Lake Village had given him;

16.  And the letters spake well of him and said, that he was an excellent teacher of youth, and a good citizen.

17.  And when the people read the letters and saw that he had a goodly face, they said "he is a good man and true, and they took him to their houses and put meat before him;

18.  And they gave him water to wash his feet, and some parched corn, and bade him welcome to their town.

19.  And they made up a school for him, and he taught their children, and mingled not in public affairs.

20.  But soon the people of Lake Providence also began to make ready to go forth against the Yankees.

21.  And they besought Clinton to join himself unto them, and to go forth with them to battle.

22.  But Clinton said, "Nay; I pray thee have me excused," and this vexed the people, and they uttered threats against him.

23.  And when they were ready to go forth, they went up the mighty river to Memphis, and thence to Corinth.

CHAPTER LII

Startling intelligence.

1.  Now this company had not been many days at Corinth, when word came to Lake Providence,

2.  Behold Beauregard hath evacuated Corinth, and gone further toward the South.

3.  Then were the people sore distressed; for, they said, "these Yankee invaders are taking from us all our country.

4.  But the papers said that Beauregard was a great General, and acted with great wisdom in retreating with his hosts.

5.  Notwithstanding, the people did not believe it, and feared that the Southern Confederacy would soon be no more

6.  About this time a messenger came down the river, and said that Fort Pillow must surely fall;

7.  Because a mighty army had surrounded it, and a fleet of mighty ships with iron armor were on the river, and were even then pouring upon the rebel fort, a storm of cannon balls and bombshells;

8.  Then the people laid aside their work, and thought of nothing else, but of Fort Pillow and then the approach of the dreaded foe.

9.  And for the space of seven days, there was no news from that direction, for few boats were now running on the great river.

10.  And the people greatly wondered what had become of gunboats, for more that two score of them had gone up the river

11.  And one answered and said, "Never mind our gunboats,--they will take care of themselves, and of Memphis too!"

12.  Now it came to pass, on a certain day about this time, at the third hour of the evening, of the selfsame day,

13.  That a smoke was descried in the distance, up the river, and soon the chimneys of two streamers were discernable;

14. Then did the population, men, women, children and negroes, assemble at the wharf-boat impatient to hear the news.

15.  And when the boats drew near, by the aid of the telescope, their names were read, and they were found to be the Paul Jones and the gunboat Earl Van Dorn!

16.  And they were making great haste.

17.  And a certain planter lifted up his voice and said.  What aileth the Van Dorn?

18.  For her sides are pierced in many places, and her ensign is hanging in shreds, and her wheel-house is bored through and through!

19.  And the multitude cried out, "What's the news?"

20.  And the captain of the Paul Jones, lift up his voice, and said, "Memphis is fallen--is fallen!  The Bluff City is this day, in the hands of the blue coats!"

21.  The did the people curse and swear, and ceased not day and night to damn the Abolitionists, and Abe Lincoln, and all that dwell beyond the line, surnamed Mason and Dixon's.

22.  And they mourned for Memphis, and said, "Alas!  that great city! that mighty city! that city of cotton and molasses."

23.  And they smote upon their breasts and refused to be comforted.

24.  And the people asked any questions of the men on the gunboats, and the men said,

25.  "All our gunboats are lost, but the Van Dorn and we alone are left to tell thee."

26.  Moreover, they said that the Federal gunboats had chased them, and were even then not far behind!

27.  So saying, the Van Dorn departed in haste for the sluggish waters of the Yazoo.

CHAPTER LIII

Sensation.

1.  Now it came to pass when the boats were out of sight, that a prominent Secesh planter stood upon a hogshead of molasses, and cried out,

2.  "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

3.  And when the people saw that he spake in real Secesh style, they gave him the greater heed.

4.  And he said, The Southern Confederacy is a "goner," and no mistake;

5.  For now these blue coats have taken Memphis, and their gunboats are on this river, and some of them will be here before the settling of the sun.

6.  And they will batter down our town, and burn our houses, confiscate our negroes, and carry away all our goods!

7.  And great fear fell upon all present, and they ran to their houses, and fell to work, packing up their goods, and money, and silver plate.

8.  And many of them fled into the country.

9.  But behold the sun went down and rose again may times, and the gunboats came not;

10.  And the people said, peradventure, they will not come at all; but as they began thus to speak, behold they were even then in sight.

11.  And they came along down the river, and did not so much as whistle a salute to the little town, where Clinton lived

12.  An behold they were going to Vicksburg, a rumor had gone forth that the rebels had built great walls about that city, and were determined to defend it to the last.

13.  And when the Federal gunboats came near to the city, they threw great shells at it; but the rebels were too many in number for the Federal force;

14.  So the gunboats returned, and left Vicksburg, and the people rejoiced, saying, "Vicksburg cannot be taken!"

CHAPTER LIV

The Escape

1.  Now it came to pass that Clinton greatly desired to depart from the Southern country and go again to live among his own kin, even the dwellers of the North.

2.  But King Jefferson had many spies in that region called Vigilance Committees, and it became necessary for Clinton to keep a watch over his mouth and a guard upon his tongue.

3.  He determined, that if he must fight, he would fight for, but not against the Union.

4.  And as there could be no more schools in that region, Clinton was lonely and sad, and sighed to escape from the tyranny to which he was subjected.

5.  And when the gunboats passed by, he stood upon the shore and made signals for them to stop, but not knowing him or his designs, they would not stop.

6.  And he sought to obtain a small ship commonly called a skiff, and to make his escape to Memphis, so that he might come within the Federal lines.

7.  But the skiffs were all taken away or destroyed, and he could not effect his purpose.

8.  And it came to pass that, while he was yet teaching the youth of Lake Providence, a recruiting officer came along, and conscripted Clinton; 

9.  But Jefferson had commanded that any teacher, who had a score of scholars or more, should not be required to go forth to battle contrary to his will.

10. And Clinton was released from conscription, because he had more than a score of scholars.

11. And one came privately unto him, and said, "O Clinton, make haste and get thee away from Lake Providence!

12. "For thou art a Northern man, and as thou hast not gone in to the army, the people suspect that thou art a Union man;

13. "And thou art no longer safe in 'these diggins!'  Therefore, I beseech thee, arise and flee."

14. Then was Clinton greatly afraid, lost the Secesh should press him into the army, or cast him into prison to die of neglect.

15. And now when Clinton no longer taught the youth, behold he was conscripted again;

16. And seeing that he could no more plead exemption, he resolved to make his escape to the Federal lines.

17. And Clinton arose and left Lake Providence, and went into a desert place, hard by the brink of the great river, that he might get upon a Federal ship, if any, should pass that way.

18.  But the eyes of the spies were upon him, and he could not make his escape.

19. And Clinton fled to the woods, because the time was close at hand, when he must go to the rebel army;

20. And he stood upon the river, and called to all the Federal boats he saw passing, and made signs for them to stop, but they would no.

21. And he was three days and nights among wolves, and panthers, and other wild beasts, for he feared the rabid Secesh more than they,

22. And Clinton's heart sank with him, when he saw that the boats would not heed his signals, and that in a few days he must be in the rebel army.

23. Then he arose and returned to Lake Providence, and behold there were many Rebel soldiers there.

24. Now, it was told to Clinton, "behold a certain man is here, who is going to Vicksburg in a buggy."

25. And Clinton approached the man, and said, "May I go with thee to Vicksburg?"

26. And fearing to journey alone, the man was glad to have Clinton to go with him.

27. And Clinton went with him in his buggy, and the guards let them pass;

28. And Clinton left all his goods at Lake Providence, and went to Vicksburg, and when they arrived near the city,

29. He turned aside to the Federal fleet, that was exchanging prisoners, and the man rode in the buggy to Vicksburg.

30. And Clinton made his escape, and lives at the North to this day.

CHAPTER LV

Southern Divines

1.  And it came to pass in those days of Secession and civil discord, that few persons in all the South, failed to mingle in the noisy strife.

2.  Judges, who sat upon the bench, and in whose hands property, reputation, and even life itself, were often placed, became noisy politicians, and urged the people to destroy the government whose Constitution they had sworn to support.

3.  And reverened divines, whose mission was one of peace, and whose treasure ought to have been laid up in heaven, laid aside their holy calling.

4.  And, instead of pointing penitents to a throne of Devine Grace, they preached Secession, and urged men to quit not their sins, but the Union.

5.  They ceased to preach Christ and Him crucified, and failed not to preach Secession, Jeff. Davis, and the South.

6.  And not a few of these sons of Levi were so much incensed against Abraham and the Abolitionists of the North, that they laid aside their sacred calling.

7.  And they came down fro their pulpits shut up their churches, abandoned their spiritual flocks, gathered up their guns and marched away to fight for Secession and the South.

8.  And some of them became captains, and some majors, and some colonels, and one of them, who in times of peace with a Bishop, became a Major-General in the rebel army.

9.  Then did the cause of Zion languish, iniquity in high places abounded, and the love of many waxed cold.

10.  And hundreds of churches remained closed; the voice of devotion arose not from their altars, and the owls sat on their eaves, and hooted up to the rising moon.

11.  Preachers left their circuits, and learned the use of carnal weapons, and often engaged in mortal strife.

12.  And it came to pass that those who remained at home and continued to preach to their people, observed all the fasts and thanksgiving days appointed by Jeff. Davis.

13.  Now, when the Federals took Nashville, and New Orleans, and Memphis, the preachers who were in these cities, were fearful to pray for the Southern Confederacy.

14.  But they would not pray for "Uncle Abraham," or the Government of the United States.

15.  And when the President proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, and all the friends of the Union came together to praise the Lord for success in battle, these Southern divines came not.

16.  And although Holy Writ commands to pray for "Kings, and all that are in authority, and even for our enemies," still, no Southern minister lifted up his voice in prayer for any one in authority in the North.

17.  Nor would they have anything to do with Federal chaplains, even of the same order, nor regard them as members of the Christian Church.

18.  And a spirit of bitterness sprang up between them, and between churches of the same faith and they spake evil one of another, and sinned before the Lord.

19.  Oh! that men would cease to practice the rude arts of war! and learn to live in peace!

20.  Then would the earth blossom as the rose, and the solitary places would be made glad.

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