Chapter XXXI

COTTON BURNING.

1.  Now it came to pass in those days when the Confederates saw that the "Yankees" would take Memphis,

2.  They sent men into all the regions round about to burn all the cotton they could find.

3.  And many people had their cotton in old houses, and desert places, and caverns, and in cellars.

4.  And when Braxton, whose surname is Bragg, heard of this, his wrath was kindled, and sent a band of soldiers to cast all these people into prison, and to burn their houses, and destroy all their goods.

5.  Then was there great distress, such as was never known in Dixie before: for the people had no corn, nor had they meat, or coffee, nor sugar, and their supply of raiment was not a little scanty.

6.  And they murmured against Braxton and Jefferson, and were sore vexed.

7.  And they sent messengers to Jefferson, saying, We pray thee protect us from cotton burning for it is all we have left of our living.

8.  For our young men are gone to war, and thy Generals have sent and taken away our guns and pistols, and left us no arms for defence,

9.  And the Federals have come to Memphis, and offer us gold and silver for our cotton; let us, we pray thee, sell them a little cotton of this crop of 1862, that we may buy bread that our little ones may eat thereof and not die.

10.  But Jefferson was wroth, and sent unto them saying, Whosoever shall sell a Yankee a pound of cotton, shall surely be put to death.

11.  Now, there dwelt in the land of Mississippi, and in the Northern part thereof, a family named Byron;

12.  And Mr. Byron was a man of moderate means, and his far was small, but he was a good man and just, for he feared God, hated the devil, and would not touch ardent drink.

13.  And Mr. Byron had two sons, who had attained to manhood, and two daughters that were lovely maidens, and several smaller children.

14.  Now, when the Rebellion broke out, and many cunning men and eloquent orators were urging the people to fight against the government of their fathers, these two sons of Mr. Byron joined the Confederate army, and were sent to Virginia.

15.  And the elder of them died of a fever, and was buried in the soil of old Virginia far away from home and loved ones;

16.  And the younger son was slain in the battle of Shiloh, and his father went to the battle ground to seek for him, bu he could not find him;

17.  And Mr. Byron was vexed in mind and broken hearted, and returned home in great despair;

18.  And he fell sick of a fever and a broken heart, and died, and was buried in his own garden;

19.  And as all their cotton for the former year had been burnt, and their few negroes, had fled to Memphis, they had nothing with which to purchase the necessaries of life;

20.  And when the mother and the two girls saw that the father and his two sons were dead, and there was none to labor for them.

21.  They determined to raise some cotton:  and they went out and labored in the fields, and with their soft, little delicate hands, they handled the hoe, and did chop down the weeds, and dig about the roots of the cotton.

22.  And the Lord blessed them, and sent them showers of rain, and their cotton grew, and became white in the patch.

23.  And when it was autumn, they picked it out, ad put it in bags, and then made ready to go to Memphis to sell it, any buy meat;

24.  And the mother and her eldest daughter harnessed up their two horses, and put their cotton bags into the wagon, and drove on the road to Memphis;

25.  Now, the distance was two score and two miles, and they drove on the way two days, and when they were only two miles away from the city, behold the guerillas came, and fell upon them, and burned up their cotton, and broke their wagon, and spoke harshly unto them.

26.  And these women turned their footsteps homeward, sorrowing greatly because they had lost their cotton.

CHAPTER XXXII

FEDERAL CONQUEST OF WEST TENNESSEE

1.  When General Grant had take Memphis, he left a strong force in the city, and placed pickets all around it;

2.  And he took with him many men, and marched into all the surrounding country, and seized upon all Confederates that he could find;

3.  And his soldiers spread through all the country in West Tennessee and North Mississippi, and they took many horses, and mules, and much cattle, and corn and other valuables from such as sympathized with Jefferson and the South.

4.  And they destroyed the railroads and burned down the bridges, and seized all the towns, and left soldiers at each to hold them in subjection.

5.  And the Confederates were at Holly Springs, which is a city of no mean repute, in North Mississippi, two score and ten miles from Memphis;

6.  And Gen. Veatch went forth to capture the; and he led a mighty host with him, and they encamped upon the brink of a river, which is called "Cold Water;"

7.  And the Confederates sent out spies, and they saw where Gen. Veatch was, with all his hosts;

8.  They returned and brought word to those that sent them, and they were all alarmed, and arose and fled deeper down in "Dixie."

9.  Then Gen. Veatch arose and marched his forces into Holly Springs, and seized upon it, and placed a garrison there.

10.  Then were the Confederates at Tupola, in Mississippi, said they gathered there from all points, Beauregard, and Bragg, and Polk, and many other rebels of high degree.

11.  And when the summer had well-nigh passed away, Braxton, whose surname is Bragg, determined upon a grand stoke.

12.  So he marched his men to Chattanooga, in East Tennessee, and thence north into Kentucky.

13.  And when the people of Kentucky saw that the rebels were coming, they were greatly alarmed, and they sent all the men they could raise, to meet the invader and drive him off.

14.  And they went forth to meet him, and they fought a great battle, and filled the country with mourning.

15.  And the Federals claimed the victory, but the rebels said that they had the best of the fight.

16.  And Gen. Bragg gave up the invasion of Kentucky, and marched back his mighty army into Middle Tennessee, and went into winter quarters near Murfreesboro.

17.  And Gen. Sherman remained at Memphis, and he commanded that the guards should allow no one to pass out of the city, who had not taken an oath to support "Uncle Abe" and the North, against Jeff. Davis, and "rhe rest of mankind."

18.  And many of the people were sore vexed, for they wished to come into Memphis, and to smuggle out goods to sell to the people in the South at enormous prices.

19.  And there were Jay-hawkers in those days, and they robbed men and women of their money, and silver-plate, and their horses and mules.

CHAPTER XXXIII

CONTRABANDS

1.  And it came to pass in these days, that Abraham, whose surname is Lincoln, sent forth a proclamation into all the Provinces, States, Territories, Cities, and part of the country,

2.  Declaring that the negroes of all those who had taken up arms against the government, were free, and had a right to leave their masters;

3.  Moreover, he commanded his Generals, and Captains of hundreds, and Captains of fifties, and all that were in command, and all soldiers to protect such negroes as should runaway from their masters, and come to their lines.

4.  Then did the sable sons of Ham, that had never been in bondage, arise and leave their masters, and they fled to the Federal camps for protection.

5.  And some of them took with the their wives and little ones, and rejoicing in their freedom, they left the cotton fields and plantations of their masters.

6.  And these were called contrabands.

7.  And they collected at St. Louis, and Cairo, and Memphis, and Nashville, and at many other places, in thousands;

8.  And they had no homes, and no money, and no friends, and they and their wives, and children began to be in want.

9.  Then were the Federal commanders obliged to feed them; so they ordered rations to be dealt to the every day.

10.  And still they continued to come from all parts of the South.

11.  And the abolitionists rejoiced because the negroes ere mad free, "for," said they, "the year of Jubilee is come."

12.  And certain went unto the President saying, why not put all able-bodied negroes in the army, and cause them to fight against their masters and for their own freedom?

13.  And the thing pleased Abraham, and he commanded them to put the United States uniform upon the negroes, and to give them guns, and to teach them military tactics.

14.  And when Jefferson heard these things, his wrath was kindled; and he said, as my soul liveth will I be revenged for this.

15.  And he commanded his men, and all Confederates everywhere, and all "Secesh" throughout the South, to slay every negro found with arms against white men.

16.  And the war progressed, and there were skirmishes and battles; and cities were plundered, and towns were burned, and the land was made to mourn because of the desolations of war.

17.  And Jefferson and Abraham were bitter enemies one to the other, and they ceased not continually to vex each other.

CHAPTER XXXIV

FAIR OAKS.--EFFORTS TO TAKE RICHMOND

1.  Now while George, who is also called Little Mac, was chief over the armies of Abraham, a great host was gathered together before Richmond, a walled city of Confederates.

2.  And the people said, surely will terror seize upon the city, and trembling take possession of it;

3.  Surely will the Rebels flee away, and Richmond be filled with emptiness.

4.  Thorns shall spring up in her streets, and satyrs shall dance there; for the countenance of George will desolate the place.

5.  Now the army of George was encamped upon the banks of a stream, the name of which is Chickahominy.

6.  And a great storm arose insomuch that the Chickahominy was like unto a great river.

7.  And while the soldiers did eat and drink in their tents, there came a great body of Rebels from the Rebel camp, even from the cap of Lee.

8.  Then began a great battle, and continues until the setting of the sun.

9.  And the next day was the Sabbath day, and the Rebels came forth with a mighty host to overwhelm the Yankees.

10.  But the hosts of George were brave, and they fell with great fury upon their enemies, and drove them back even at the point of the bayonet.

11.  Four times did the Rebels fly before the bayonets of the North.

12.  And many were killed, and many were sorely wounded upon the field.

13.  And the name of the battle was called Fair Oaks, because of the trees that grew thereabout.

14.  Now after many days had passed, the people clamored, saying, why hath not George taken the city, and why sitteth he idle in his tent.

15.  And George's friends were wroth, and answering, said, ye civilians, ye are fools and know not military art.  Hath not George wisdom, and is he not a great General even as Napoleon was great?

16.  But when other many days had passed, Abraham grew restless and said unto George privily, My son, why goest thou not against these Richmondites?

17.  George answered and said unto Abraham, wait, So Abraham waited.

18.  Now while Abraham waited and George waited and the people waited, behold Lee waited not, but came forth from his strong places with a mighty army,

19.  Gathered from all parts of Dixie and led by mighty men, even such as Jackson, and Hill, and Longstreet.

20.  And when the month of June was well nigh ended, Lee's army fell upon the camp of George.

21.  And on the twenty-seventh of the month, and on the day that is called Thursday, a battle was fought even from mid-day until the sun set.

22.  That battle was called the battle of Mechanicsville, and in it many were slain, and the army of George fell back five miles.

23.  When the sun rose on Friday, the battle was renewed.  And the battle that day was called the battle of New Bridge, and great numbers were slain, and the army of George crossed the Chickahominy.

24.  On the next day, which is called Saturday, many were slain, and the army of George retreated across the swamp which is called White Oak.

25.  On the next day, which was the Sabbath day, were two mighty battles fought, and the army of George continued to retreat.

26.  On Monday, which was the thirtieth, was another battle fought, and behold the army of George continued to retreat.

27.  On Tuesday the fight continued until noonday even until the gunboats on the river, which is called James, put an end to the fight.

28.  And George rested himself after his much fighting and much retreating, and behold Abraham cometh up to the camp and revieweth the troops.

29.  And Abraham spake unto George, saying, My son, what wilt thou now do.

30.  And George opened his mouth and gave answer saying, Oh, Abraham, it is seemeth good to thee, methinks I will wait a little while.

31.  And Abraham laughed and said, verily thou puttest me in mind of a little anecdote.

CHAPTER XXXV

HOLLY SPRINGS

1.  Now is those days, it came to pass that Holly Springs, in the tribe of Mississippi, had become a rebel stronghold.

2.  Holly Springs was a goodly town in North Mississippi;

3.  It was noted for its schools, and churches, and its stores of wine, and oil, and silk, and scarlet, and fine linen.

4.  And the people had much gold and silver, and they dealt in cotton, and hemp, and flax, and lambs' wool, and young negroes.

5.  And they believed in Jeff. Davis and the South, and ceased not day and night, to curse Lincoln and all the "Yankees."

6.  And Gen. Van Dorn stationed a great army there, and made fortifications and a trench round the city.

7.  And the people from all the regions round about, sent to him corn and provender for men and beast, and bade him God-speed.

8.  And he sent into all the country, and collected corn, and fodder, and potatoes, and his men lived on the fat of the land.

9.  And Gen Villipegue joined himself to him, and brought all his forces to Holly Springs, and they made a covenant together to fight in the same cause.

10.  When Gen. Grant, who was at Lagrange, with a host of Hoosiers, Suckers, Buckeyes, and Wolverines, heard of these things,

11.  His wrath was kindled within him, and he determined to smite the rebels.

12.  And he marched forth toward Holly Springs with a great army.

13.  And when he was yet a great way off, certain Secesh spies came to Holly Springs and told the rebel Generals, that the "Yankees" were coming.

14.  Then did they pull up stakes and "skedaddle" deeper down in Dixie for they feared to meet Grant in deadly conflict.

15.  And the people of Holly Springs were alarmed, seeing their protector was gone;

16.  And they sat in sackcloth and ashes, and wept, and refused to be comforted;

17.  For, said they, we will fall into the hands of these "Yankees," and they will slay us, and our wives, and little ones, and spoil our goods, and carry away our negroes.

18.  And Gen. Grant marched into Holly Springs, and raised the Federal Flag, and caused the people to submit to the saws of Uncle Samuel.

19.  Now all the rest of the acts of General Van Dorn and of General Villipegue, are they not written in the future chapters of these Chronicles?

20.  And they led their men a great way from Holly Springs, and joined themselves to Sterling, whose surname is Price, a mighty man among the rebels.

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