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Title: How the Flag Became Old Glory

Author: Mrs. Emma Look Scott

Illustrator: A. C. Valentine

Release date: January 20, 2009 [eBook #27853]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by K Nordquist, Emanuela Piasentini and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


How the Flag became Old Glory


The MacMillan Company


MACMILLAN & CO., Limited


Old Glory
Red, white and blue—it tells its own story— But Spring, Who made it and named it Old Glory?—

John Trotwood Moore.




New York

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1912,

Copyright, 1915,

Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1915.

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


The author acknowledges her indebtedness to the following authors and publishers for their courtesy in allowing the use of copyright material: to Mr. Wallace Rice for “Wheeler’s Brigade at Santiago”; to Mr. Charles Francis Adams for “Pine and Palm”; to Mr. Will Allen Dromgoole for “Soldiers”; to Mr. John Howard Jewett for a selection from “Rebel Flags”; to Mr. John Trotwood Moore for “Old Glory at Shiloh”; to Mr. Henry Holcomb Bennett for “The Flag Goes By”; to Mr. Clinton Scollard for “On the Eve of Bunker Hill”; to P. J. Kenedy and Sons for “The Conquered Banner” by Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan; to David MacKay for “Death of Grant” by Walt Whitman; to J. B. Lippincott Company for “The Cruise of the Monitor” by George H. Boker; to B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, publishers of Timrod’s Memorial Volume, for [vi] “Charleston” by Henry Timrod; to the Century Company for “Farragut” by William Tuckey Meredith; to Mr. Harry L. Flash and the Neale Publishing Company for “Stonewall Jackson” by Henry Lynden Flash; to Mr. Will Henry Thompson and G. P. Putnam’s Sons for “The High Tide at Gettysburg”; to Mr. Isaac R. Sherwood and G. P. Putnam’s Sons for “Albert Sidney Johnston” by Kate Brownlee Sherwood; to Mrs. Benjamin Sledd and G. P. Putnam’s Sons for “United” by Benjamin Sledd. An extract from “Home Folks” by James Whitcomb Riley, copyright, 1900, is used by permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company. The poems, “Lexington” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Building of the Ship” and “The Cumberland” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Yorktown” by John Greenleaf Whittier, “Fredericksburg” by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, “Kearny at Seven Pines” by E. C. Stedman, and “Robert E. Lee” by Julia Ward Howe are printed by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. [vii]


The Flag Goes By 1
Old Glory 3
In the Light of the Old North Church 19
Lexington 23
On the Eve of Bunker Hill 27
The Flag of Fort Stanwix 31
The Knight of the Sea 39
Where the Stars and Stripes Unfurled 51
The Surrender of Burgoyne 56
The Yoke of Britain Broken 57
Yorktown 60
From the Other Side 62
The Star-Spangled Banner 66
The Defense of the Crescent City 68
The Civil War 77
Charleston 79
Fredericksburg 81
Civil War 82
’Round Shiloh Church 84
Albert Sidney Johnston 91 [viii]
Old Glory at Shiloh 96
The Flag of the Cumberland 100
The Cumberland 104
The Monitor 107
The Cruise of the Monitor 110
The Night of Chantilly 114
Kearney at Seven Pines 120
The Cavalry Charge 122
An Immortal Twain 125
Stonewall Jackson 132
The High Tide at Gettysburg 133
United 138
Old Heart of Oak 140
Farragut 151
Pine and Palm 154
The Conquered Banner 157
The Conquered Banner 159
Death of Grant 162
Robert E. Lee 164
Old Glory on the Island 166
Wheeler’s Brigade at Santiago 170
Soldiers 172





HATS off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky;
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped ordered lines,
Hats off!
The colors before us fly!
But more than the flag is passing by.
Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State.
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips.[2]
Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land’s swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverent awe;
Sign of a Nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor—all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.
Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Henry Holcomb Bennett.


WHILE every American citizen recognizes the significance of the term “Old Glory” as applied to the national flag, when and where and by whom the nation’s emblem was christened with this endearing and enduring sobriquet is a matter of historic interest less understood.

In the early epoch-making period of the nation’s history William Driver, a lad of twelve years, native of Salem, Mass., begged of his mother permission to go to sea. With her consent he shipped as cabin boy on the sailing vessel China, bound for Leghorn, a voyage of eighteen months.

On this first voyage the courageous spirit of the youth manifested itself in a determination to disprove the words of the ship’s owner, made to him at the beginning of the voyage: “All boys on their first voyage eat more than they earn.”

In appreciation of the mettle shown by the [4] lad, the owner presented him, upon the return from the cruise, with twenty-eight dollars in silver, besides his wages of five dollars per month. He carried the money to his mother, who wisely admonished him to do the very best he could under every circumstance, a charge he never forgot.

His intrepid spirit brought the youthful mariner rapid and deserved promotion. His eighteenth year found him master of a vessel. Those were hazardous days upon the sea, and more than once his ship was subjected to indignity and outrage incident to seafaring of that period. But throughout a long career as master of a merchantman the Stars and Stripes was never lowered from the masthead nor sullied by defeat or by dishonor.

Captain William Driver. Captain William Driver.

The sailor, of all men, venerates his nation’s flag. To him it is the visible and tangible token of the government he serves, and in it he beholds all the government’s strength and virtue. To William Driver, therefore, the Stars and Stripes typified the glory of the land and of the sea. And seeing his nation’s symbol float dauntless [6] and triumphant above stress of every encounter and happening upon the deep enkindled the inherent love in his heart for it to enthusiastic ardor, and in thought he called the flag “Old Glory.”

A simple incident, but fraught with unread meaning, gave the name into the nation’s keep, albeit its formal christening and national adoption was not to come until the soil beneath its folds should be deep-dyed with the blood of conflict between the land’s own countrymen.

Original Flag.

Photo of Original Flag.
“Old Glory.”

In 1831, as master of the brig Charles Daggett, about to set sail for a voyage around the world from Salem, Mass., Captain Driver was presented by the citizens with a large bunting flag in commendation of his services upon the sea and his well-known love for his country’s emblem. This flag, when presented, was rolled in the form of a triangle, and the halyards bent. A young sailor, stepping forward, said: “In ancient times, when an ocean voyage was looked upon with superstitious dread, it was the custom on the eve of departure to roll the banner in form of a triangle. When ready and bent like this, a priest stepped [8] forward and, taking the banner in his hand, sprinkled it with consecrated water and dedicated it to ‘God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,’ turning the point of the triangle upward at the name of each, thus calling on that sacred unity of Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier to bless the national emblem and prosper the voyagers and their friends. The flag thus consecrated was then hoisted to the masthead.”

With glistening eyes the captain watched the hoisting of the flag; and as it fell into position at the masthead of his ship and the colors unfurled to the breeze, he shouted: “I’ll call her Old Glory, boys, Old Glory!”

Cheer after cheer rent the air. The signals of departure were sounded, the cables were cast off, and the good ship set sail for foreign ports.

This was the ninth and most memorable voyage made by Captain Driver. From the island of Tahiti he rescued the suffering descendants of the mutineers of the English ship Bounty, and at risk of grave considerations turned his vessel from her outlined course and returned them to their beautiful and longed-for home, Pitcairn, [9] in the waters of the South Pacific, the settlement of an island, which marks one of the memorable events of English naval history.

Captain Driver made his last voyage around the globe in command of the Black Warrior. At the masthead flew his Salem flag, Old Glory, to which he never referred but by that loving pseudonym.

He left the sea in 1837 to become a resident of Nashville, Tenn. He carried Old Glory with him as a sacred relic, carefully deposited in a heavy, brass-bound, camphorwood sea chest that had accompanied him on all his voyages. On legal holidays, on St. Patrick’s day (which was his own birthday), and on days of especial celebration in the Southern city Old Glory was released from confinement and thrown to the light from some window of the Driver residence or hung on a rope across the street in a triumphal arch under which all processions passed.

At the outbreak of the civil strife Captain Driver avowed his Union sympathies and stood openly for his convictions in the face of business losses, arrest, and threatened banishment. [11]

The Chest The Chest in which “Old Glory” Rested.

Just after the secession of the State he daringly flaunted his Old Glory flag from his window; then, fearing its confiscation (which his action had rendered liable), he procured a calico quilt of royal purple hue, and with the aid of two neighboring women sewed it up between the coverings and hid the quilt in his old sea chest.

Again and again the house was searched by Confederate soldiers for this flag, but without success.

Under the purple Old Glory rested. The flag of the Confederacy waved above the Capitol; and Nashville, in pride, prosperity, and splendor, basked in the promise of ultimate victory to the Southland.

But to a rude awakening this fancied security was foredoomed. Suddenly, like the breaking of a terrific thunderclap above the city, came the awesome cry: “Fort Donelson has fallen!”

Fort Donelson fallen meant Nashville’s subjection. Terror-stricken, the people rushed wildly in every direction, and the most ill-founded reports in the excitement gained ready credence. It was announced that General Buell would [12] speedily arrive and open his batteries from across the river, and that gunboats would lay the city in ruins. Some of the citizens urged the burning of the city, that no spoils might be left to the enemy.

The fine suspension bridge across the Cumberland was fired. The commissaries were thrown open, and vast quantities of public stores, amounting to millions of dollars, were distributed among the inhabitants or destroyed. The archives of the State were hurriedly conveyed to Memphis. In the mad desire to escape an impending doom of whose nature they were wholly ignorant, residents vacated their houses and left priceless furnishings a prey to the invading army. On foot, on horseback, by wagon, by any available means that best favored their flight, the crowds surged out of the conquered city.

Notwithstanding the apprehensions of speedy hostilities, it was a week later before General Buell was encamped in Edgefield, opposite the city. To him the mayor formally surrendered Nashville. A proclamation was issued assuring the inhabitants of protection in person and property. [13]

Up the Cumberland steamed fifteen transports and one gunboat—General Nelson’s wing of the Union army. From the levee came the clamor and shouts of men, the rattle of musketry, and din of many feet. The Sixth Ohio was the first regiment to land. Captain Driver was an interested observer of the scene. “Now,” said he, “hath the hour of Old Glory come!”

Lieutenant Thacher, of the Sixth, with a squad of soldiers, left the regiment and escorted Captain Driver to his home, a few blocks distant. They wrested Old Glory from its hiding place and, with the old mariner bearing the flag in his arms, quickly rejoined the regiment.

Up the hill, amidst rattle of drum and sounding trumpets, passed the bluecoats to the Capitol. There a small regimental flag was being hoisted. Suddenly a hush fell upon the waiting victors. The figure of Captain Driver appeared high against the dome of the Statehouse. The strains of “The Star-Spangled Banner” burst upon the ear; and amid cheers and cries of “Old Glory! Old Glory!” that echoed to the distant hills the old sea flag unfurled and floated above the top [15] most pinnacle of the Capitol of Tennessee. And thus Old Glory received her formal christening.

Capitol of Tennessee Amid cheers and cries of “Old Glory! Old Glory!” that echoed to the Distant hills the old sea flag unfurled and floated above the topmost pinnacle of the Capitol of Tennessee.

Swarming over the city, bent on various quests, went the victorious Federals. Not so the old sailor. The revered flag, flaunting the colors so joyously above his head once more, was far too weather-beaten, he feared, to withstand long the stiff breeze blowing about the elevated site. Torn to ribbons it must not be, howsoever good the cause.

Quietly he watched and waited about the grounds until after nightfall, when, under cover of the darkness, he again ascended the dome, rescued his beloved old flag, and swung in its place a big merino one that had figured as a campaign flag in 1840, when “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” was the slogan of the Whig Party. He then carried Old Glory to his home and laid it tenderly away in the old sea locker so long dedicated to its use.

Very gradually thereafter the pleasing appellation, Old Glory, made its impress upon the speech of the populace, until, in the later nineties, the [16] “Hoosier Poet” was moved to expression in verse:

Old Glory, the story we’re wanting to hear,
Is what the plain facts of your christening were,
For your name, just to hear it,
Repeat it and cheer it, s’tang to the spirit
As salt as a tear.
And seeing you fly and the boys marching by,
There’s a shout in the throat and a blur in the eye
And an aching to live for you always or die;
And so, by our love for you floating above,
And the scars of all wars and the sorrows thereof,
Who gave you the name of Old Glory?

James Whitcomb Riley.

But to the query the sealed lips of the old seaman answered not. For him had come the higher summons.

Captain Driver’s death occurred in Nashville in 1886. At the head of his grave, in the old City Cemetery, stands a unique monument of his own designing. Upon an old tree trunk, in stone, appears a ship’s anchor and cable. At the top of the anchor is inscribed the beloved pseudonym of his heart’s own coinage, above him here, even[17] in his last sleep: “His ship, his country, and his flag—Old Glory.” About his body when placed within the casket was wrapped a United States flag.

A few years prior to his death Captain Driver placed his Old Glory flag in the hands of his elder daughter, Mrs. Roland, of Wells, Nev., who was then on a visit to him, saying brokenly as he resigned it: “Take this flag and cherish it as I have done. I love it as a mother loves her child. It has been with me, and it has protected me in all parts of the world.”

Worn and faded and tattered, this flag is still in the possession of Mrs. Roland; and in her far Western home it is displayed on patriotic occasions and the story of its naming repeated. Another, presumably the Whig flag herein mentioned, and that, as has been shown, also flew over the Capitol of Tennessee, was sent by Captain Driver, upon request, to the Essex Institute, of Massachusetts. Some confusion has of late arisen in the public mind regarding the identity of the two flags, it having been generally believed that the original Old Glory was the flag in the Massachusetts[18] Institute. This impression is, however, doubtless erroneous.

Notwithstanding a somewhat brusque address and a marked individuality of speech and action, Captain Driver was a man of warm and kindly nature. Although a stanch Unionist, he lent a ready and willing hand to the suffering ones of the South. He married the first time Miss Martha Babbage, of Salem, Mass. For his second wife he espoused a Southern woman, Sarah J. Parks, of Nashville, Tenn. Two of his sons bore arms in the Confederate service. One of these gave his life for the “lost cause.”

It remained for yet another conflict after the civil strife to bring the name Old Glory into general and popular use, for the blended ranks of the Blue and the Gray opposed a common foe. When the North and the South joined hands against a foreign power and floated the Stars and Stripes above the emblem of Spain upon the island of Cuba, the flag of the Union became Old Glory to every man of the nation. [19]


“History points no struggle for liberty which has in it more of the moral sublime than that of the American Revolution.”

THEY were a godly people, these revolutionary fathers of ours. They prayed as they thought; and they fought as they believed and prayed. They sought no quarrel with the mother country; they asked only independent action, considering themselves full grown in point of knowledge of their needs and desires, although but infants in age as compared with other subjects of Great Britain.

When, therefore, Old England announced, “You shall pay taxes!” the colonists demurred.

“We are not represented in your Parliament; we have no voice in your councils!”

“But you must pay taxes,” she commanded.

They replied, “We will not.”

“I will compel you,” retorted she.[20]

The Old North Church. The Old North Church.

“If you can,” was the answer.

A British fleet then sailed into Boston harbor, and British soldiers swarmed over Boston town. This action enraged the citizens. It angered the “Sons of Liberty,” whose name is self-explanatory and whose slogan was “Liberty or Death,” and inspired them to more vigorous efforts toward freedom from Britain’s power. The “Minute Men” were organized and stood ready to the summons, ready at a minute’s notice to leave forest, field, or fire [21]side, to take up arms in defense of their liberties and their rights.

The spirit of dissension ran rife; and petty altercations between the British soldiers and the citizens were of daily occurrence. A trivial happening brought about the Boston Massacre. A “Son of Liberty” and a British soldier disputed the right of way of a street passage.

“Stand aside,” said the one.

“Give way,” said the other.

Neither would yield. Blows followed. Rocks flew. The soldiers marshaled and fired into the crowd. Several citizens were killed. The town was ablaze with excitement. And the governor had finally to withdraw the troops from Boston.

When antagonism had abated in degree, King George devised new measures of taxation and stirred ill feeling again. Boston brewed British tea in the ocean. England disliked the taste of it. The people were declared Rebels; and the charter of Massachusetts was annulled by Parliament. Ten thousand British soldiers then came over. Boston Neck was seized and fortified. The colonists were to be forced into obedience. [22]

Then from Lexington and Concord the signals of revolt were sounded—

“They were building well for a race unborn,
As the British plowed through the waving corn,
For the birth-pang of Freedom rang that morn.”

The Battle of Bunker Hill that followed was but the natural sequence. Defeated though the patriots were in this their first real battle, it was a defeat that spelled for them ultimate victory. This they recognized dimly, but certainly, as they knew that they had gone into battle with a prayer on their lips for themselves, for their homes, and their country. Their hearts were fired anew for freedom. Their arms would be strengthened to their desires. As the lights from the belfry of Old North Church revealed to Paul Revere the route the British were to take against them in the memorable beginnings at Lexington and Concord, so the light from the Great Book above its chancel rail would direct them the way they should go. [23]

The Battle of Lexington. The Battle of Lexington.


With one impulse the colonies sprung to arms; with one spirit they pledged themselves to each other, “to be ready for the extreme event.” With one heart the continent cried, “Liberty or Death!”


SLOWLY the mist o’er the meadow was creeping,
Bright on the dewy buds glistened the sun,
When from his couch while his children were sleeping,
Rose the bold rebel, and shouldered his gun.
Waving her golden veil
Over the silent dale,
Blithe looked the morning on cottage and spire;
Hushed was his parting sigh,
While from his noble eye,
Flashed the last sparkle of liberty’s fire.

On the smooth green, where the fresh leaf is springing,
Calmly the first-born of glory have met,
Hark! the death-volley around them is ringing!
Look! with their lifeblood the young grass is wet!
Faint is the feeble breath,
Murmuring low in death,—
“Tell to our sons how their fathers have died; [25]
Nerveless the iron hand,
Raised for its native land,
Lies by the weapon that gleams at its side.
Over the hillsides the wild knell is tolling,
From their far hamlets the yeomanry come;
As through the storm-clouds the thunderburst rolling
Circles the beat of the mustering drum.
Fast on the soldier’s path
Darken the waves of wrath,
Long have they gathered and loud shall they fall;
Red glares the muskets’ flash,
Sharp rings the rifles’ crash
Blazing and clanging from thicket and wall.
Gayly the plume of the horseman was dancing,
Never to shadow his cold brow again;
Proudly at morning the war steed was prancing,
Reeking and panting he droops on the rein;
Pale is the lip of scorn,
Voiceless the trumpet horn,
Torn is the silken-fringed red cross on high;
Many a belted breast
Low on the turf shall rest,
Ere the dark hunters the herd have passed by.
Snow-girdled crags where the hoarse wind is raving,
Rocks where the weary floods murmur and wail,
Wilds where the fern by the furrow is waving,[26]
Reeled with the echoes that rode on the gale;
Far as the tempest thrills
Over the darkened hills
Far as the sunshine streams over the plain,
Roused by the tyrant band,
Woke all the mighty land,
Girded for battle, from mountain to main.
Green be the graves where her martyrs are lying!
Shroudless and tombless they sank to their rest,
While o’er their ashes the starry fold flying
Wraps the proud eagle they roused from his nest!
Borne on her Northern pine,
Long o’er the foaming brine,
Spread her broad banner to storm and to sun;
Heaven keep her ever free,
Wide as o’er land and sea,
Floats the fair emblem her heroes have won!

O. W. Holmes.

The Battle of Bunker Hill. The Battle of Bunker Hill.


The consequences of the battle of Bunker Hill were greater than those of any ordinary conflict. It was the first great battle of the Revolution, and not only the first blow, but the blow which determined the contest. When the sun of that day went down, the event of independence was no longer doubtful.


June 16, 1775

'TWAS June on the face of the earth, June with the rose’s breath,
When life is a gladsome thing, and a distant dream is death;
There was gossip of birds in the air, and the lowing of herds by the wood,
And a sunset gleam in the sky that the heart of a man holds good;
Then the nun-like Twilight came, violet vestured and still,
And the night’s first star outshone afar on the eve of Bunker Hill:

There rang a cry through the camp, with its word upon rousing word;
There was never a faltering foot in the ranks of those that heard. [29]
Lads from the Hampshire hills and the rich Connecticut vales,
Sons of the old Bay Colony, from its shores and its inland dales;
Swiftly they fell in line; no fear could their valor chill;
Ah, brave the show as they ranged a-row on the eve of Bunker Hill.
Then a deep voice lifted a prayer to God of the brave and the true
And the heads of the men were bare in the gathering dusk and dew;
The heads of a thousand men were bowed as the pleading rose,—
Smite Thou, Lord, as of old Thou smotest Thy people’s foes!
Oh, nerve Thy Servants’ arms to work with a mighty will!
A hush, and then a loud Amen! on the eve of Bunker Hill!
Now they are gone through the night with never a thought of fame,
Gone to the field of a fight that shall win them deathless name;
Some shall never again behold the set of the sun,
But lie like the Concord slain, and the slain of Lexington,[30]
Martyrs to Freedom’s cause. Ah, how at their deeds we thrill,
The men whose might made strong the height on the eve of Bunker Hill.

Clinton Scollard.


TRITE but true is the old adage that necessity is the mother of invention. The first flag that flew over an American fort was constructed from an “ammunition shirt, a blue jacket captured from the British, and a woman’s red petticoat.”

The garrison at Fort Stanwix (Fort Schuyler) had no flag; but it had possession of the fort despite the siege of twenty days against it by the British; and it had five British standards taken from the enemy. So it improvised a flag and, with cheers and yells befitting the occasion, ran the British standards upside down upon the flag mast and swung the Stars and Stripes above them. The redcoats looked, and, it is safe to assert, laughed not, as to them the humor of the situation was not appealing. But if they were lacking in the sense of humor, these sons of Old [32] England were not lacking in persistence, and they besieged the fort with steady determination.

Fort Stanwix stood at the head of navigation of the Mohawk River and was an important feature in the plan of General Burgoyne to cut off New England from the southern colonies and thus control the whole country. Embarking upon this expedition, he had instructed his army: “The services required are critical and conspicuous. Difficulty, nor labor, nor life are to be regarded. The army must not retreat.” As he advanced down the Hudson he swept everything before him. Ticonderoga, Mount Defiance, Whitehall, Fort Edward, each in turn fell: and he now anticipated no successful resistance to his forces.

At the beginning of General Burgoyne’s invasion a force of Canadians, Hessians, New York Tories, and Indians commanded by General St. Leger had been sent against Fort Stanwix. The post was held by General Gansevoort with some seven hundred and fifty men. They were ill supplied with ammunition and had few provisions. To Burgoyne defeat seemed here impossible. The siege had, however, been anticipated by the [33] garrison, and the men had determined to hold out to the last extremity.

Word was surreptitiously conveyed to Colonel Willett within the fort that General Herkimer would set out with eight hundred volunteers to reënforce him and that a successful sortie might be made against the besiegers by acting in conjunction with General Herkimer’s forces. This sortie was to be made when a certain signal was given. But the best-laid plans, as we all have doubtless learned by experience, are not always dependable.

St. Leger in this case learned of Herkimer’s advance and sent the savages under his command to intercept and ambuscade him. A terrible hand-to-hand combat ensued in which a hundred and sixty of the colonists were killed and the loss to the Indians was as great. General Herkimer’s horse was shot under him and he himself wounded severely in the leg. Notwithstanding his agony he insisted upon being placed with his back against a tree for support, and therefrom he continued to direct the battle. In the heat of the contest he lighted his pipe and smoked. [34]

The further advance of the Americans to the succor of the fort was prevented, but Colonel Willett, in ignorance of this, made his sally from the fort at the hour appointed. Marvelous to state, the British were taken wholly by surprise and, having no time to form, fled. The Americans took possession of their supplies and their standards, as before mentioned, and retired to the fort.

Failing to shell or starve them out, St. Leger then began efforts to induce a surrender. Two of his American prisoners were compelled to write letters to the commandant at the fort, exaggerating the strength of the enemy and urging, in the name of humanity, a surrender. To this Gansevoort returned no answer. St. Leger then tried another plan.

A white flag appeared before the garrison. Two British officers were blindfolded and admitted to the fort. They were courteously received and, when they were seated, were proffered refreshments. One of the officers then presented the message of General St. Leger, which was in substance a threat, couched in polite language, that if the fort was not surrendered, the [35] Indians would be turned loose upon the country, and not only the men but all the women and children would be tomahawked. Not one should escape. But if the garrison would capitulate, not only would these evils be averted, but none of the garrison should be injured or made prisoners.

Colonel Willett arose. “I consider, Sir,” said he, “the message you bring a degrading one for a British officer to send and by no means reputable for a British officer to carry. I would suffer my body to be filled with splinters and set on fire, and such outrages are not uncommon in your army, before I would deliver this garrison to your mercy. After you get out of it, never expect to enter it again unless you come as a prisoner.”

Provisions were running low, and some uneasiness became manifest in the fort. Colonel Willett, observing this, assured the men, “I will make a sally in the night, if compelled by lack of supplies, and cut our way through the besiegers or die in the attempt.” The siege had now continued more than twenty days, when to the surprise of the garrison it was suddenly raised. [36] This was due, it shortly appeared, to a ruse of General Arnold; Arnold the valiant, Arnold the traitor.

Among the prisoners of Arnold was a young half-witted fellow who was condemned to death. His sorrowing mother never ceased her pleading with General Arnold for her son’s life. Accordingly one day he proposed to her this expedient: That her son, Hon Yost by name, should make his way to Fort Stanwix and in some way so alarm the British that they would raise the siege. Eagerly the old mother promised this should be done and offered herself as hostage for the fulfillment of the mission. To this Arnold would not consent, but retained another son in her place.

Before starting on his errand, Hon Yost’s clothing was riddled with bullets to indicate escape from the Americans. Reaching the camp of the Indians, he told in a mysterious way of a premeditated attack upon them and aroused their fears. St. Leger heard of his arrival and questioned him. To St. Leger he related a touching story of his capture and miraculous escape from execution, and by signs, words, and [38] [37] gestures made it appear that he was an emissary of Providence to aid in their preservation. Canadians, Hessians, all became uneasy. When he was asked the number of the Americans about to descend upon them, Hon Yost pointed to the leaves of the trees to indicate a legion. In his efforts to terrorize he was ably seconded by a young Indian who had accompanied him. Panic seized the camps. In vain St. Leger strove to allay the frenzy. The result was precipitate flight.

Hon Yost When he was asked the number of the Americans about to descend upon them, Hon Yost pointed to the leaves of the trees to indicate a legion.

It is given by one authority that St. Leger was himself becoming as apprehensive of his red-faced allies as he was of the enemy he was fighting.

The fears he had sought to instill in the minds of the garrison were now returned upon his own head.[39]


(Our First European Salute)

INSEPARABLY connected with the Stars and Stripes must ever be the name of John Paul Jones.

The “Untitled Knight of the Sea,” the Duchess de Chartres—mother of Louis Philippe, afterward King of France; and granddaughter of a high admiral of France—was fond of calling him. For albeit John Paul Jones was of Scotch peasant ancestry, his associates were people of the highest intellect and rank. In appearance he was handsome; in manner prepossessing; and in speech he was a linguist, having at easy command the English, French, and Spanish languages. His surname was Paul. The name Jones was inherited with a fine plantation in America.

The call of the sea was strong to the lad and of its dangers he had no fear. An old seaman [40] one day watched him handle a fishing yawl in a heavy storm and thought he could never weather the squall. “That is my son, John,” said his father calmly. “He will fetch her in all right. It is not much of a squall for him.” The man complimented the boy and offered him a berth on his ship then bound for America, little dreaming that in so doing he would carry to the New World the Father of the American Navy.

Studious and ambitious, the boy devoted his leisure moments to acquiring the most intricate knowledge of his profession and soon held positions of command. When the news of the battle of Lexington reached him, he offered his services to Congress. He was made First Lieutenant of the Alfred, and over this ship hoisted the first emblem shown on an American naval vessel. The design of this flag was a pine tree with a rattlesnake coiled at the roots and the motto, “Don’t tread on me,” on a background of yellow silk.

June 14th, 1777, was made notable in American annals by the resolution passed by Congress for a new flag. Embodied in the resolution the name of John Paul Jones appears thus: [41]

“Resolved—That the flag of the Thirteen United States of America be Thirteen Stripes, alternate Red and White; that the Union be Thirteen Stars on a Blue Field; Representing a New Constellation:

“Resolved—That Captain John Paul Jones be appointed to command the ship Ranger.”

Paul Jones’ remarks upon the resolutions were significant: “The flag and I are twins; born the same hour from the same womb of destiny. We cannot be parted in life or in death. So long as we can float we shall float together. If we must sink, we shall go down as one.”

Before the Ranger was launched, Jones was informed that he was to be the bearer of most important news to France. This news was the daily expected surrender of Burgoyne, the surrender that was so powerfully to affect the result of the war for independence. As to his fitness for conveying such a message, Lafayette attested thus: “To captivate the French fancy, Captain Jones possesses, far beyond any other officer in your service, that peculiar aplomb, grace of manner, charm of person, and dash of char [42]acter,” a compliment better understood when it is remembered that an alliance with France against Great Britain was then sought by Congress.

The Ranger lay in the harbor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, ready for sailing, and Jones with his own hands raised the flag to the masthead, the first American flag to fly over a man-of-war. Jones had already brought credit to the American navy by the capture of prizes in American waters; now he was to serve his country’s interests off the coast of England.

The tang of autumn was in the air when he set sail for France. Fulfilling his mission at Nantes, Jones set out for Brest, where the fleet of France was anchored. Would the Stars and Stripes, the symbol of the New Republic across the sea, be recognized by salute? The question was in every mind aboard ships, and the answer eagerly awaited in the United States. A note couched in the diplomatic and elegant terms of which Paul Jones was master, was sent by him to the admiral of the French fleet, inquiring whether or not the flag would receive recognition. “It will,” came [43] back the answer. With that the Ranger glided gracefully through the fleet of ships; and Old Glory, in all the radiance of her new birth and coloring, waved response from the masthead to her first salute from European powers. We, even after the long lapse of intervening years, feel still the thrill of her exultation.

Two months later the alliance between America and France was signed. The Duchess de Chartres became greatly interested in the young naval officer; and, having it in her power to advance his interests, she one day at a dinner presented him with a fine Louis Quintze watch that had belonged to her grandfather, saying, “He hated the English; and I love the Americans.”

Paul Jones’ response to the gift was as graceful as had been the presentation. “May it please your Royal Highness, if fortune should favor me at sea, I will some day lay an English frigate at your feet.” Two years later he did this and more.

France had promised Jones a new ship better suited to his capabilities than the Ranger. But diplomatic affairs between nations move slowly, [44] and in this case the waiting became tedious. Jones had exhausted the pleasures of court circles to which he had been admitted and he longed for the life of the sea. He finally preferred his request directly to the king and shortly afterward was given, not the great sea monster he had been led to expect, but an insignificant looking craft called Le Duras. In compliment to Dr. Franklin’s magazine of the name and in humorous comment of the ship’s appearance, he renamed it the Bon Homme Richard, meaning the Poor Richard. But with the Poor Richard, as with the human form, the spirit which animated it was the controlling power; and the valor of Paul Jones was to send the name of the Bon Homme Richard ringing down through the ages of all time.

As Captain Jones of the Ranger, he had captured the Drake, in a big sea fight, and surprised England; and now, as Commodore Jones, he was to win distinction as the greatest of naval heroes.

Off the English coast at Flamborough Head, he sighted an English fleet. The flagship was [45] the Serapis, in command of Captain Pearson. As the Bon Homme Richard approached the Serapis, Captain Pearson raised his glass and remarked: “That is probably Paul Jones. If so, there is work ahead.”

The salute affectionate between the vessels, after the formal hail, was a broadside. Then they fought, fought like fiends incarnate, clinched in each other’s arms, in the death grapple, fought without flinching and, be it said, to the glory of the American navy and the credit of the English. The Bon Homme was on fire and sinking. Captain Pearson, noting the situation, called, “Have you struck your colors?”

Above the smoke and din of the conflict, Jones’ voice answered, “I have just begun to fight, Sir.”

He then lashed his ship to the Serapis, and stood, himself, at the guns.

“Shall we be quitting, Jamie?” he said in banter to a Scotchman at his side.

“There is still a shot in the locker, Sir,” replied the Scot.

“I thought,” said Captain Pearson afterward, “Jones’ answer to me meant mere bravado. [46] But I soon perceived that it was the defiance of a man desperate enough, if he could not conquer, to sink with his ship.”

The Bon Homme Richard’s sides were shot away; her prisoners loose; her decks strewn with the dead and dying; the Alliance, her companion ship, had turned traitor and fired into her. When the fight seemed well-nigh lost, a well-directed blow brought disaster to the Serapis, and she hauled down her colors. As Captain Pearson surrendered his sword, Commodore Jones remarked, “You have fought heroically, Sir. I trust your sovereign may suitably reward you.” To this Captain Pearson returned no answer.

The wonderful combat on the sea became the talk of all Europe. Paul Jones’ name was honored wherever spoken. Contrary to court etiquette, he was invited to occupy apartments in the palace of the Duke and Duchess de Chartres. While he was there, a banquet was tendered him. During the progress of the dining, he called an attendant to bring from his apartment a leather case. This when it was opened disclosed a sword. Turning to the duchess, the commodore asked [48] if she recalled his promise to lay a frigate at her feet one day? “Your Royal Highness perceives,” he went on, “the impossibility of keeping my promise in kind. The English frigate proved to be a 44 on two decks; the best I can do toward keeping my word of two years ago, is to place in your hands the sword of the brave officer who commanded the English 44. I have the honor to surrender to the loveliest woman the sword surrendered to me by one of the bravest of men,—the sword of Captain Richard Pearson, of his Britannic Majesty’s late ship the Serapis.”

Paul Jones “I have the honor to surrender to the loveliest woman the sword surrendered to me by one of the bravest of men.”

The Royal Order of Military Merit with the title of Chevalier and the gift of a gold-mounted sword were conferred upon him by the king of France. Upon returning to America, he was given the rank of Head of the Navy.

Remarkable as was the career of Paul Jones, the winds did not always set in his favor. Many times was his life bark driven through the waters of bitter disappointment. But “all that he was, and all that he did, and all that he knew, was the result of self-help to a degree unexampled in the histories of great men. [49]

The flag of the Ranger, saluted by the French fleet, was transferred by Jones to the Bon Homme Richard, and, says he, in his journal as given by Buell, “was left flying when we abandoned her; the very last vestige mortal ever saw of the Bon Homme Richard was the defiant waving of her unconquered and unstricken flag as she went down. And as I had given them the good old ship for their sepulcher, I now bequeathed to my immortal dead the Flag they had so desperately defended, for their winding sheet.” Here was: “the only flag,” says one, “flying at the bottom of the sea, over the only ship that ever sunk in victory.”[1]

And everywhere,
The slender graceful spars
Poise aloft in the air
And at the masthead
White, blue, and red,
A flag unfolds, the Stripes and Stars.
Ah, when the wanderers, lonely, friendless,[50]
In foreign harbors shall behold
That flag unrolled,
’Twill be as a friendly hand
Stretched out from native land,
Filling his heart with memories
Sweet and endless.


[1] In Preble’s “History of the Flags of the United States,” it is given that when the Bon Homme Richard was sinking the flag was transferred to the Serapis, and was afterward presented by the Marine Committee to James Bayard Stafford of the Bon Homme Richard for meritorious services.[51]


BURGOYNE was in the enemy’s country. He was cut off from reënforcements. His very efforts to separate the colonies now recoiled upon his own armies. He could neither advance nor retreat with safety. For two weeks the opposing armies had stood opposite each other without fire. In desperation the British general now hazarded another battle. After a sustained and terrible struggle Burgoyne went down in defeat. His best and bravest officers were lost and seven hundred of his men were killed. General Frazer, beloved by every British soldier and respected by those opposed to him, had fallen at the hands of one of Morgan’s riflemen, of whom it was said, they could strike an apple in mid-air and shoot out every seed.

On the American side Benedict Arnold, although divested of his command, had ridden to [52] the front of his old regiment and became “the inspiring genius of the battle.” He charged right into the British lines and received a severe wound. He received also the disapproval of General Gates and the reprimand of Congress. The battle raged furiously until nightfall, when the proud Briton who had boasted “the British never retreat” fled under cover of the darkness. He gained the heights of Saratoga, where he found himself completely hemmed in by the Americans. With but three days’ rations between his army and starvation, he was forced to surrender. While he was holding consultation with his officers concerning this, a cannon ball passed over the table at which they were sitting, and, no doubt, hastened their conclusions.

Colonel Kingston was detailed to confer with the American general on articles of capitulation. He was conducted blindfolded to General Gates and with him arranged the formalities. The morning of October 17, seventeen hundred and ninety-one British subjects became prisoners of war. They marched to Fort Hardy on the banks of the Hudson and, in the presence of Generals [53] Morgan, Wilkerson, and Lewis, laid down their arms. The eyes of many of the men were suffused with tears; others among them stamped upon their muskets in anger.

The colors had been preserved to the British army through the foresight of General Riedesel, who had handed them to his wife for safe-keeping. To the credit of the victorious Americans, it is said, they showed no disrespect to the defeated foe. “General Gates,” wrote Lieutenant Ansbury, one of the captured officers, “revealed exceeding nobleness and generosity toward the captives, commanding the troops to wheel round the instant arms were grounded. And he, himself, drew down the curtains of the carriage in which he was sitting, as the troops passed him in returning.”

For the formal surrender of General Burgoyne to General Gates a marquee had been erected near the latter’s old quarters. To this came the British general and staff in full court dress. General Gates appeared in plain clothes with nothing to indicate his rank. As the two generals advanced to greet each other, General Burgoyne [55] removed his hat and extending his sword, said, “The fortunes of war, General Gates, have made me your prisoner.” General Gates, not to be outdone in polite address, returned the sword and replied, “I shall always be ready to bear testimony that it has not been through any fault of your Excellency.”

General Burgoyne The Surrender of General Burgoyne.

The generals and their officers then sat down to a table improvised of boards laid across barrels and dined together most amicably, but on very frugal fare. General Burgoyne took occasion to compliment the discipline of the American army. He then proposed a toast to General Washington. General Gates then drank to the health of the king. High above the marquee the Stars and Stripes waved gloriously in triumph of the day of first formal military unfurling. The turning point of the war of the Revolution was come, this October day, 1777. [56]


October 17, 1777

BROTHERS, this spot is holy! Look around!
Before us flows our memory’s sacred river,
Whose banks are Freedom’s shrines. This grassy mound,
The altar, on whose height the Mighty Giver
Gave Independence to our country; when,
Thanks to its brave, enduring, patient men,
The invading host was brought to bay and laid
Beneath “Old Glory’s” new-born folds, the blade,
The brazen thunder-throats, the pomp of war,
And England’s yoke, broken forevermore.

You, on this spot,—thanks to our gracious God,
Where last in conscious arrogance it trod,
Defied, as captives, Burgoyne’s conquered horde;
Below, their general yielded up his sword;
There, to our flag, bowed England’s battle-torn;
Where now we stand, the United States was born.

General John Watts De Peyster.


THE final scene in this stupendous drama of American Freedom was enacted in Virginia.

In September, 1781, Washington began a three weeks’ siege against Yorktown, held by the British under Lord Cornwallis. Finding himself there completely surrounded by both land and water, Cornwallis was forced to surrender.

Now was the yoke of Great Britain at last broken. Seven thousand English and Hessian soldiers and eight hundred and forty sailors laid down their arms and became prisoners of war.

The formal ceremony of surrender was to take place in an open field the last day of October. Thousands of spectators assembled to behold the detested Cornwallis surrender the army they had hated and feared.

The Americans, commanded by General Washington in full uniform, and the French troops, [58] under Count Rochambeau, were drawn up in two lines. At length a splendid charger issued through the gate, bearing not the hated Cornwallis as expected, but General O’Hara. So overcome was Lord Cornwallis with the consciousness of his defeat by the “raw Americans,” that, feigning illness, he refused to appear.

The British troops in new uniforms, in striking contrast to the worn and faded garb of the colonists, followed the officer with colors furled. Coming opposite General Washington, O’Hara saluted and presented the sword of Cornwallis. A tense silence pervaded the assembly. General Washington motioned that the sword be given to General Lincoln. Apparently forgetful of the indignities heaped upon him by the British at Charleston, the latter returned the sword to General O’Hara, remarking as he did so, “Kindly return it to his Lordship, Sir.”

“Ground arms” came the order from the British officers. The troops complied sullenly; the humiliation felt by them in their defeat was everywhere apparent.

The next day the conquered army marched out [59] of Yorktown between the American and French troops. Their fifers, with a brave show of humor, played, “The World’s turned Upside Down.” Washington had directed his soldiers to show no disrespect nor unkindness to the defeated troops. But the remembrance of “Yankee Doodle,” as played by the Britons in their times of conquest, in taunting derision of the Americans, proved too much for the latter to endure without return, when supreme occasion such as this offered. To the strains of “Yankee Doodle Do,” from American fifes, Lord Cornwallis and his army bade adieu to the scenes wherein they had once marched as conquerors.

In thanksgiving to God was voiced the nation’s exultation. Congress adjourned the sessions and the members repaired to church to give thanks; business was suspended in all places. Throughout the land the voice of the people was raised in a mighty chorus of prayer and praise to the Almighty.[60]


FROM Yorktown’s ruins, ranked and still,
Two lines stretch far o’er vale and hill:
Who curbs his steed at head of one?
Hark! the low murmur: Washington!
Who bends his keen, approving glance
Where down the gorgeous line of France
Shine knightly star and plume of snow?
Thou too art victor, Rochambeau!

The earth which bears this calm array
Shook with the war-charge yesterday;
Plowed deep with hurrying hoof and wheel,
Shot down and bladed thick with steel;
October’s clear and noonday sun
Paled in the breath-smoke of the gun;
And down night’s double blackness fell,
Like a dropped star, the blazing shell.
Now all is hushed: the gleaming lines
Stand moveless as the neighboring pines;
While through them, sullen, grim, and slow,
The conquered hosts of England go;[61]
O’Hara’s brow belies his dress,
Gay Tarleton’s troops ride bannerless;
Shout from the fired and wasted homes,
Thy scourge, Virginia, captive comes!
Nor thou alone: with one glad voice
Let all thy sister States rejoice:
Let Freedom, in whatever clime
She waits with sleepless eye her time,
Shouting from cave and mountain wood
Make glad her desert solitude,
While they who hunt her, quail with fear;
The New World’s chain lies broken here!




THE year 1812 witnessed our second war with Great Britain. In an effort to prevent emigration from her shores England claimed the right to seize any of her subjects upon any vessel of the high seas. America denied her right to do this on American ships. Disagreement broke into open rupture. War with the mother country was again declared.

The doughty American seamen would not wait for attack upon them, but went forth aggressively against the squadron of the British. Oddly enough, considering the condition of the poorly equipped navy, they were remarkably successful and captured more than two hundred and fifty prizes. The following year, however, the British gained the ascendency, and in 1814 came in with sea force and land force and sacked and burned [63] the Capitol at Washington and all public buildings except the patent office.

They then proceeded against Baltimore. The land troops were almost in sight of the city of their desires, when they were halted and held in check by American troops under General Sticker, whose name, it may be said, meant as it sounded, and who effectually prevented their further advance. But the fleet on the waters sailed into the bay of Baltimore and up to Fort McHenry at the mouth of the Patapsco River, in the determination to bombard the fortress and compel entrance to the city in that way. The British admiral had boasted the fort would fall to his hand an easy prey.

Prior to this, Dr. William Beane, a citizen of Baltimore and a non-combatant, had been captured at Marlboro and was held a prisoner on one of the vessels of the British fleet. To secure his release, Francis Scott Key and John Skinner set out from Baltimore on the ship Minden flying a flag of truce. The British admiral received them kindly and released Dr. Beane; but detained the three on board ship pending [65] the bombardment of the fort, lest in their return to land the intentions of the British might be frustrated.

Francis Scott Key From sunrise to sunset they watched the shot and shell poured into the fort and noted with infinite joy that the flag still flew.

Thus from the side of the enemy they were constrained to witness the efforts of destruction urged against the protecting fortress of their own city. From sunrise to sunset they watched the shot and shell poured into the fort and noted with infinite joy that the flag still flew. Through the glare of the artillery, as the night advanced, they caught now and then the gleam of the flag still flying. Would it be there at another sunrise? Who could tell! Suddenly the cannonading ceased. The British, despairing of carrying the fort, abandoned the project. In the emotion of the hour and inspiration born of the victory, Key composed the immortal lines now become our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The flag is preserved in the museum of Washington and is distinctive in having fifteen stripes and fifteen stars, one of the very few national flags with this number. [66]


OH, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming;
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thro’ the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?[67]
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream;
’Tis the star-spangled banner; oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that land who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and wild war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Francis Scott Key.


UPON every recurrence of January the eighth, the city of New Orleans dons gala attire and shouts herself hoarse with rejoicing. She chants the Te Deum in her Cathedrals; and lays wreaths of immortelles and garlands of roses and sweet-smelling shrubs upon the monument of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square.

“The Saviour of New Orleans,” the inhabitants called Jackson in the exuberance of their gratitude for his defense of the city, and their deliverance from threatened peril, that fateful day of January, 1815. From capture and pillage and divers evil things he saved her, and the Crescent City has not forgotten.

Neither indeed has the nation become unmindful of his great achievement, but upon each succeeding anniversary of the battle of New Orleans—that remarkable battle that gloriously ended the War of 1812, and restored the national pride [69] and honor so sorely wounded by the fall of Washington—celebrates the event in the chief cities of the United States.

During our second clash of arms with England, the Creek War, wherein the red man met his doom, brought Jackson’s name into prominence. At one bound, as it were, he sprang from comparative obscurity into renown.

In 1814 he was appointed a major general in the United States army, and established his headquarters at Mobile. He repulsed the English at Fort Bowyer, on Mobile Point, and awaited orders from Washington to attack them at Pensacola, where, through the sympathy of the Spaniards who were then in possession of the Florida peninsula, they had their base of operations.

Receiving no orders from Washington, he became impatient of delay, and upon his own responsibility marched his troops against Pensacola and put the British to flight. “This,” says Sumner, “was the second great step in the war in the Southwest.”

Washington had been captured and her princi [70]pal public buildings burned, and New Orleans, the Crescent City, would now, it was thought, be the next point of attack by the British.

To New Orleans, therefore, “to defend a defenseless city, which had neither fleets nor forts, means nor men,” came Jackson.

His entrance into the city was quiet and unostentatious and so devoid of the pomp and pageantry of a victorious general as to cause question in the minds of some as to whether or not this was the man expected. His dress was plain in the extreme, and bore upon it no insignia of rank; yet those there were, of insight, who saw in his every aspect the man of power.

From eye and posture and gesture emanated a certain indefinable force that attracted men to him, and created in them an enthusiasm for his cause. Old and young who came under his influence were ready to do his bidding.

To the terrified women and children of New Orleans who appealed to him for protection from the enemy, he replied:—

“The British shall not enter the city except over my dead body. [71]

His words and his presence inspired confidence. And when his flag was run up above his headquarters in Royal Street a sense of security was felt by the inhabitants.

The conditions about him, however, were far from promising, and to a less determined spirit than that of Jackson would have been appalling.

The troops under him were few in number and poorly equipped for battle. The Crescent City was ill equipped for defense. The governor and the Legislature were at loggerheads.

As was his way in a crisis, General Jackson took matters into his own hands.

He placed the city under martial law and made every man a sailor or a soldier compelled to the restrictions and the rules governing the army.

He was aware that his action was open to severe censure, but in the face of the object to be attained he held this as of little consequence.

While engaged in examining a situation for a fortification in one direction, the British effected a landing in another. They had captured the [72] American flotilla guarding the entrance to Lake Borgne and were making ready to advance upon the city.

This information brought consternation to the inhabitants but not to the indomitable Jackson. Obstacles to him were but objects to be overcome. He swung his troops into line and went out to meet the enemy. The advance was checked by a sharp engagement with little loss to either side.

He then set the little schooner Carolina, in the Mississippi, to bombarding the levee where the British gunners had taken refuge. With her guns continuously roaring she kept the Britishers at bay for three whole days, when she succumbed to their heavy fire and exploded. Her entire crew escaped with the exception of one man killed and six wounded.

On the field of Chalmette, a few miles below New Orleans, the opposing armies threw up intrenchments from the same soft ooze and mud, so close they now stood to each other. From an upper room of the McCarte mansion house—the home of a wealthy Creole—General Jackson [73] surveyed the operations of the enemy; and directed the movements of his own troops.

December the 28th an advance was made by the British on the American lines but without significant results. On New Year’s Day another attack was made.

In the interim between these assaults went out an order from General Jackson to Governor Claiborne that involved the general for years thereafter in legal complications with the Louisiana Legislature. News was borne to General Jackson on the field that the Legislature was preparing to capitulate New Orleans in the belief that the city would be captured.

“Tell Claiborne,” said the irate Jackson, “to blow them up.”

Later, he wrote to Governor Claiborne, in case the report was true, to place a guard at the door of the legislative hall and keep the members in it; where they could, he satirically remarked to a friend, have full time to make some wholesome laws for the State without distraction from outside matters.

Through mistake in the execution of the order,[74] the enraged lawmakers were kept outside of the assembly hall instead of in it, and the session was broken up.

At break of dawn that memorable day of January 8th, 1815, the British were prepared to attack.

Jackson and his valorous volunteers were ready. A pygmy force were they against a mighty one! Raw recruits contending against the trained veterans of Wellington’s army, led by the gallant Pakenham!

The signal rocket went up.

The long red lines advanced over the field.

But to what a fate!

“Don’t shoot till you can see the whites of their eyes!”—Jackson had instructed.


When the smoke cleared, British soldiers, dead and dying, thickly strewed the ground.

Intrenched behind their barricades of cotton bales and sand and mud, the Americans were scarcely touched.

The murderous fire went on.

The British columns reeled and broke.[75]

General Pakenham heroically waved his troops forward and fell, wounded to death.

General Gibbs, second in command, was struck down.

General Keane was disabled.

The leaders were fallen! The troops were disordered.

In the distance the red lines receded.

Jackson had won.

In less than thirty minutes the unequal conflict had ended, save in the silencing of the guns, which required two hours to accomplish.

Never in the annals of history has such a victory been recorded.

The loss to the English was two thousand killed, wounded, and captured. The American loss was but eight killed and thirteen wounded.

General Jackson marched his victorious troops into New Orleans, where he was received with the wildest enthusiasm.

The whole country applauded and rejoiced.

Andrew Jackson had become the Hero of the Nation.[76]

At Ghent, two weeks before the battle, the Treaty of Peace between England and the United States had been signed; but the ship bearing the news had not then reached this country.

But—Jackson had finished the war—had “finished the war in Glory![77]



THE War between the States in 1861 was one of the most terrible conflicts known to modern times.

Many causes led up to it, chief among which was a difference in the interpretation of the Constitution by the people of the North and of the South. The slavery question was also a point of dispute; and several minor causes brought about a dissension in the two sections that resulted in the gigantic struggle of friend against friend, brother against brother, father against son.

The early engagements of the contending forces were ones of signal victory to the South. The disunion of the nation was so seriously threatened as to bring grave concern to the Federal government. As the weeks and months wore away, [78] victory perched above the banner of the Federals, and the climax was reached in the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, after four years of deadly strife.

Both sides fought valiantly. Both won; in that the glory of the Republic was to stand henceforth supreme among foreign nations, the greatness of the combatants to receive a recognition never to be effaced.

Through a perspective of fifty years of peace, the heroism displayed on either field by those engaged therein is, to the most partisan observer, silhouetted upon the mental vision in glowing lines of light. Justly we term it “Our most Heroic Period.”

Not the least remarkable of this aftermath, transcending all experiences of other nations, is the brotherhood, the kindly feeling of sympathy and understanding, that after the passage of but half a century now binds the once warring sections in indissoluble bonds of unity. [79]


CALM as that second summer which precedes
The first fall of the snow,
In the broad sunlight of heroic deeds,
The city bides the foe.

As yet, behind their ramparts, stern and proud,
Her bolted thunders sleep,—
Dark Sumter, like a battlemented cloud,
Looms o’er the solemn deep.
No Calpe frowns from lofty cliff or scaur
To guard the holy strand;
But Moultrie holds in leash her dogs of war
Above the level sand.
And down the dunes a thousand guns lie couched,
Unseen, beside the flood,—
Like tigers in some Orient jungle crouched,
That wait and watch for blood.
Meanwhile, through streets still echoing with trade,
Walk grave and thoughtful men,
Whose hands may one day wield the patriot’s blade
As lightly as the pen.[80]
And maidens, with such eyes as would grow dim,
Over a bleeding hound,
Seem each one to have caught the strength of him
Whose sword she sadly bound.
Thus girt without and garrisoned at home,
Day patient following day,
Old Charleston looks from roof and spire and dome,
Across her tranquil bay.
Ships, through a hundred foes, from Saxon lands
And spicy Indian ports,
Bring Saxon steel and iron to her hands,
And summer to her courts.
But still, along yon dim Atlantic line,
The only hostile smoke
Creeps like a harmless mist above the brine,
From some frail floating oak.
Shall the spring dawn, and she, still clad in smiles,
And with an unscathed brow,
Rest in the strong arms of her palm-crowned isles,
As fair and free as now?
We know not; in the temple of the Fates
God has inscribed her doom:
And, all untroubled in her faith, she waits
The triumph or the tomb.

Henry Timrod.


Dec. 13, 1862

THE increasing moonlight drifts across my bed,
And on the church-yard by the road, I know
It falls as white and noiselessly as snow.
’Twas such a night two weary summers fled;
The stars, as now, were waning overhead.
Listen! Again the shrill-lipped bugles blow
Where the swift currents of the river flow
Past Fredericksburg: far off the heavens are red
With sudden conflagration: on yon height,
Linstock in hand, the gunners hold their breath:
A signal-rocket pierces the dense night,
Flings its spent stars upon the town beneath:
Hark! the artillery massing on the right,
Hark! the black squadrons wheeling down to Death!

Thomas Bailey Aldrich.


"RIFLEMAN, shoot me a fancy shot
Straight at the heart of yon prowling vidette;
Ring me a ball in the glittering spot
That shines on his breast like an amulet!”

“Ah, Captain! here goes for a fine-drawn bead,
There’s music around when my barrel’s in tune!”
Crack! went the rifle, the messenger sped,
And dead from his horse fell the ringing dragoon.
“Now, rifleman, steal through the bushes, and snatch
From your victim some trinket to handsel first blood;
A button, a loop, or that luminous patch
That gleams in the moon like a diamond stud!”
“O, Captain! I staggered, and sunk on my track,
When I gazed on the face of that fallen vidette,
For he looked so like you, as he lay on his back,
That my heart rose upon me, and masters me yet.[83]
“But I snatched off the trinket,—this locket of gold;
An inch from the center my lead broke its way,
Scarce grazing the picture, so fair to behold,
Of a beautiful lady in bridal array.”
“Ha! Rifleman, fling me the locket!—’tis she,
My brother’s young bride, and the fallen dragoon
Was her husband—Hush! soldier, ’twas Heaven’s decree,
We must bury him there, by the light of the moon!
“But hark! the far bugles their warnings unite;
War is a virtue,—weakness a sin;
There’s a lurking and loping around us to-night;
Load again, rifleman, keep your hand in!”

Charles Dawson Shanly.

[2] The above has been sometimes entitled “The Fancy Shot.” It appeared first in a London weekly and is commonly attributed to Charles Dawson Shanly, who died in the late seventies.[84]


WITHIN Shiloh Church that fateful day of 1862, no sound of song or praise was heard. But all without the leaden missiles rang and sang in chorus of red death. Green blades of grass, dew-tipped, sprang up to greet the sun that April morn, but ere night fell were bowed to earth with weight of human blood. Ne’er before had little church looked out on such a scene. Ten thousand homes and hearts of North and South were there made desolate; and twice ten thousand men gave up their lives. The world looked on and wondered.

Albert Sidney Johnston, the hero of three wars, had staked his life and cause that April day, for victory or defeat.

He met—both.

It was recognized by both the Northern and Southern armies that Johnston was a formidable antagonist. That he was a man of most magnetic personality as well as a brave officer. [85]

Where he led men followed.

The Black Hawk War made his name familiar throughout the country. In the War with Mexico he won distinction.

As he reviewed his troops at Shiloh, he beheld on every side his friends of other days, and men who had served under him on other fields.

When the War between the States came on, Johnston was a brigadier general in the United States Army; and although he was offered any position he might desire with the Federal government, he resigned to cast his lot with the South, and against the land of his ancestry, for he was a son of Connecticut. Texas had been his home, and to the Lone Star State he felt his allegiance due.

Disappointment, as pertained to his life ambitions, had often before waited upon his footsteps when the thing desired seemed ready to his grasp. Yet, seeing his duty clearly, he did it.

To his sister by marriage, when she, in surprise at his action in resigning, wrote him in California, [86] where he was then stationed, he replied that he was deeply sensible of the “calamitious condition” of the country; and that whatever his part thereafter regarding it, he congratulated himself that no act of his had aided in bringing it about; that the adjustment of the difficulties by the sword was not in his judgment the remedy.

Secession was to him a grievous thing.

Arriving at Richmond from the West, General Johnston was given the command of the Western Department of the Confederacy.

From September to February, 1862, he held the line against heavy odds at Bowling Green, Ky., when he retreated to Corinth, Miss., where he assembled his entire army and attacked Grant at Shiloh Church near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.

In the flush tide of a great victory, he was struck by a Minie ball and expired in a few moments.

He rode a magnificent black animal called “Fire-eater.” On horseback General Johnston appeared to distinct advantage. The masterly manner in which he sat his horse attracted the [87] attention of the commander in chief of the army, Thomas J. Rusk, during the Texan Revolution, and procured him the appointment of adjutant general over several eager aspirants for the position.

As he passed along the lines to the front of the troops at Shiloh, he raised his hat and cried out,

“I will lead you!”

To this the men responded with a mighty cheer and quickened movement, albeit they knew he was leading many of them to death.

Hard up the slopes they pressed.

Nor shot, nor shell, nor falling men deterred them.

The summit was reached. The Federals were in retreat. A little apart from the others, a fine target for the deadly marksman, the figure of General Johnston on “Fire-eater” was plainly visible.

His clothing was torn in places. His boot sole was slashed by a ball, but he himself was uninjured.

In his countenance was reflected a satisfaction of the day’s results. [88]

General Johnston From the last line of the retreating Federals a bullet whistled back, whistled back and cut him down.


The wisdom of his decisions had been proven; his judgment justified.

From the last line of the retreating Federals a bullet whistled back, whistled back and cut him down, did its fatal work in the very moment in which he felt the conviction that success now lay with the Confederate cause.

His death seemed for a time to paralyze the further efforts of his troops, to whom his presence had been a continual inspiration.

General Beauregard took command.

Night fell and the battle was stayed.

The Federals had been driven to the banks of the Tennessee River, where the gunboats afforded but meager protection.

From Nashville, General Buell arrived before daybreak with the needed reënforcements. Lew Wallace came in. Grant assumed the offensive; and the afternoon of the second day of the hard-fought contest the final victory swept to the Federals.

What would have been the result to the Confederate cause had the great leader not fallen that first day, who can say? [90]

“In his fall, the great pillar of the Southern Confederacy was crushed,” says Jefferson Davis in his Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, “and beneath its fragments the best hope of the Southland lay buried.[91]


I HEAR again the tread of war go thundering through the land,
And Puritan and Cavalier are clinching neck and hand,
Round Shiloh church the furious foes have met to thrust and slay,
Where erst the peaceful sons of Christ were wont to kneel and pray.

The wrestling of the ages shakes the hills of Tennessee
With all their echoing mounts athrob with war’s wild minstrelsy;
A galaxy of stars new-born around the shield of Mars
And set against the Stars and Stripes the flashing Stars and Bars.
’Twas Albert Sidney Johnston led the columns of the Gray,
Like Hector on the plains of Troy his presence fired the fray;
And dashing horse and gleaming sword spake out his royal will
As on the slopes of Shiloh field the blasts of war blew shrill.[92]
“Down with the base invaders,” the Gray shout forth the cry,
“Death to presumptuous rebels,” the Blue ring out reply;
All day the conflict rages and yet again all day,
Though Grant is on the Union side he cannot stem nor stay.
They are a royal race of men, these brothers face to face,
Their fury speaking through their guns, their frenzy in their pace;
The sweeping onset of the Gray bears down the sturdy Blue,
Though Sherman and his legions are heroes through and through.
Though Prentiss and his gallant men are forcing scaur and crag,
They fall like sheaves before the scythes of Hardee and of Bragg;
Ah, who shall tell the victor’s tale when all the strife is past,
When, man and man, in one great mold, the men who strive are cast?
As when the Trojan hero came from that fair city’s gates,
With tossing mane and flaming crest to scorn the scowling fates,[93]
His legions gather round him and madly charge and cheer,
And fill besieging armies with wild disheveled fear;
Then bares his breast unto the dart the daring spearsman sends,
And dying hears his cheering foes, the wailing of his friends,
So Albert Sidney Johnston, the chief of belt and scar,
Lay down to die at Shiloh and turned the scales of war.
Now five and twenty years are gone, and lo, to-day they come,
The Blue and Gray in proud array with throbbing fife and drum;
But not as rivals, not as foes, as brothers reconciled;
To twine love’s fragrant roses where the thorns of hate grew wild;
Aye, five and twenty years, and lo, the manhood of the South
Has held its valor staunch and strong as at the cannon’s mouth,
With patient heart and silent tongue has kept its true parole,
And in the conquests born of peace has crowned its battle roll.[94]
But ever while we sing of war, of courage tried and true,
Of heroes wed to gallant deeds, or be it Gray or Blue,
Then Albert Sidney Johnston’s name shall flash before our sight
Like some resplendent meteor across the somber night.
America, thy sons are knit with sinews wrought of steel,
They will not bend, they will not break, beneath the tyrant’s heel;
But in the white-hot flame of love, to silken cobwebs spun,
They whirl the engines of the world, all keeping time as one.
To-day they stand abreast and strong, who stood as foes of yore,
The world leaps up to bless their feet, heaven scatters blessings o’er;
Their robes are wrought of gleaming gold, their wings are freedom’s own,
The trampling of their conquering hosts shakes pinnacle and throne.
Oh, veterans of the Blue and Gray who fought on Shiloh field,
The purposes of God are true, His judgment stands revealed;[95]
The pangs of war have rent the veil, and lo, His high decree:
One heart, one hope, one destiny, one flag from sea to sea.

Kate Brownlee Sherwood.


SPRING on the Tennessee; April—and flowers
Bloom on its banks; the anemones white
In clusters of stars where the green holly towers
O’er bellworts, like butterflies hov’ring in flight.
The ground ivy tips its blue lips to the laurel,
And covers the banks of the water-swept bars
With a background of blue, in which the red sorrel
Are stripes where the pale corydalis are stars.

Red, white and blue! O spring, did you send it,
And Flowers, did’st dream it for brothers to rend it?
Spring on the Tennessee; Sabbath—and morning
Breaks with a bird note that pulses along;
A melody sobs in the heart of its dawning—
The pain that foreshadows the birth of a song.
Art thou a flecking, brave Bluebird, of sky light,
Or the sough of a minor wove into a beam?
Oh, Hermit Thrush, Hermit Thrush, thou of the eye bright,
Bird, or the spirit of song in a dream?
“Our country—our country!” Why, birds, do you sing it?
And, woodland, why held you the echo, to ring it?[97]
Spring on the Tennessee; hark, Bluebird, listen!
Was that a bugle note far up the bend,
Where the murk waters flush and the white bars glisten,
Or dove cooing dove into love notes that blend?
And Wood Thrush, sweet, tell me,—that throbbing and humming,
Is it march at the double quick or wild bees that hum?
And that rumble that shakes like an earthquake coming—
Tell me, O Hermit Thrush, thunder or drum?
O birds, you must fly from the home that God gave you!
O flowers, you must die ’neath the foot that would save you!
Out from the wood with the morning mist o’er it
A gray line sweeps like a scythe of fire,
And it burns the stubble of blue before it,—
(How their bugles ring and their cannon roar it!)
In Dixie land we’ll take our stand,
And live and die in Dixie!
Out from the deep wood clearer and nigher,
The gray lines roll, and the blue lines reel
Back on the river—their dead are piled higher
Than the muzzle of muskets thund’ring their peal:[98]
In Dixie land we’ll take our stand,
And live and die for Dixie!
Noon on the Tennessee; backward, still driven
The blue lines reel, and the ranks of the gray
Flash out with a fierceness that light up the heavens,
When the thunders of night meet the lightnings of day.
Noon and past noon—and this is the story
Of the flag that fell not, and they call it Old Glory:
It flapped in the air, it flashed with the blare
Of the bugles so shrill and so true,
It faced quick about and steadied the rout
And halted the lines of blue.
And the boom-boom-boom of the maddened guns
Roared round it thick and fast,
And dead-dead-dead sang the learing lead
Like hail in the sheeted blast,
And up and around it, surge and swell,
Rose the victor waves of the rebel yell,
And Grant’s grim army staggered, but stood,
With backs to the river and dyed it with blood
In the shuttle of thunder and drum;
And they cheered as it went to the front of the fray
And turned the tide at the sunset of day,
And they whispered: Buell is come![99]
Spring on the Tennessee; April—and flowers
Bloom on its banks; the anemones white
In clusters of stars where the green holly towers
O’er bellworts, like butterflies hov’ring in flight.
And the ground ivy tips its blue lips to the laurel
And covers the banks and the water-swept bars
With a background of blue, in which the red sorrel
Are stripes where the pale corydalis are stars.
Red, white, and blue—it tells its own story—
But, Spring, Who made it and named it Old Glory!

John Trotwood Moore.


THE Confederate frigate, Merrimac, newly arisen from her briny bath in the Norfolk Navy Yards, with her sides new coated in an almost impenetrable mail of iron and rechristened the Virginia, steamed slowly down the river May 8th, 1862, to Newport News, where the Cumberland, the Congress, and the Minnesota of the Union fleet lay at anchor.

The crews of the latter vessels were taking life leisurely that day, and were indulging in various pastimes beloved of seamen. The Merrimac as she hove in sight did not look especially belligerent. Indeed she appeared “like a house submerged to the eaves and borne onward by the flood.”

Notwithstanding her somewhat droll appearance, the Merrimac had herself well in control and was not on a cruise of pleasure bent, as the navies well knew. [101]

With steady determination she came on, until within easy distance of the Congress, a vessel which gave her greeting with a shot from one of her stern guns, and received in response a shower of grape.

Broadsides were then exchanged, resulting in fearful slaughter to the crew of the Congress and damage to the guns. An officer of the Congress was a favorite brother of Captain Buchanan of the Merrimac. But such relation effected naught in the exigencies of war.

Before the Congress could recover herself, the Merrimac headed for the Cumberland. The fires of the Cumberland, as she approached, had no effect upon her armored sides.

Into the Cumberland she ran her powerful iron prow, crashing in her timbers and strewing her decks with the maimed, the dead, and dying.

Again she turned her attention to the Congress, remembering also the frigate Minnesota with her fiery baptisms. Upon the Congress she soon forced a surrender. The Minnesota found refuge in flight.

Her work upon the Cumberland was complete. And albeit the vessel had been rammed and was [103] sinking, her men ascended to the spar deck and fought till the waters engulfed them. The last shot was fired from a gun half submerged in the water.

As the ship settled to the bottom she careened slightly and then righted herself; and the flag, as if defying the fate that threatened its destruction, still flew above the masthead.

The Cumberland And the flag, as if defying the fate that threatened its destruction, still flew above the masthead.

There, close to the waves—her colors almost touching the water—the captain, who was absent from his ship, found his flag upon his return. A harbinger as it proved of the issue that was to be.[104]


AT anchor in Hampton Roads we lay,
On board of the Cumberland, sloop of war;
And at times from the fortress across the bay
The alarum of drums swept past,
Or a bugle blast
From the camp on the shore.

Then far away to the south uprose
A little feather of snow-white smoke,
And we knew that the iron ship of our foes
Was steadily steering its course
To try the force
Of our ribs of oak.
Down upon us heavily runs,
Silent and sullen, the floating fort;
Then comes a puff of smoke from her guns,
And leaps the terrible death,
With fiery breath,
From each open port.[105]
We are not idle, but send her straight
Defiance back in a full broadside!
As hail rebounds from a roof of slate,
Rebounds our heavier hail
From each iron scale
Of the monster’s hide.
“Strike your flag!” the rebel cries,
In his arrogant old plantation strain.
“Never!” our gallant Morris replies;
“It is better to sink than to yield!”
And the whole air pealed
With the cheers of our men.
Then, like a kraken huge and black,
She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp!
Down went the Cumberland all awrack,
With a sudden shudder of death,
And the cannon’s breath
For her dying gasp.
Next morn, as the sun rose over the bay,
Still floated our flag at the mainmast head
Lord, how beautiful was Thy day!
Every waft of the air
Was a whisper of prayer,
Or a dirge for the dead.[106]
Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas!
Ye are at peace in the troubled stream;
Ho! brave land! with hearts like these,
Thy flag, that is rent in twain,
Shall be one again,
And without a seam!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


TWO old Spanish ships had, prior to the sinking of the Cumberland, met a like fate at the hands of the Confederates; and the signal success of the Merrimac now augured well for the break of the blockade.

The South was greatly elated. The North was disquieted.

Twenty-four hours later the trend of events was changed.

There appeared in Hampton Roads a strange new craft, called the Monitor. It was unlike any vessel before seen, having a revolving round tower of iron, that enabled the gunners to train the guns on the enemy continuously, without regard to the position of the ship. The hull had an “overhang,” a projection constructed of iron and wood, as a protection against rams.

The inventor and builder of this little giant was John Ericsson.[108]


“The master mind that wrought,
With iron hand, this iron thought.
Strength and safety with speed combined.”

The vessel had been launched in less than a hundred days after the laying of the keel, in an effort of the Federal government to have her in service before the completion of the Merrimac (the Virginia.)

The new warship attracted the attention of the navies of Europe and brought about a change in the construction of war vessels.

As if indignant at the actions of the Merrimac in preceding her, and in attacking the Union fleet, the Monitor bore down upon her like some live thing bent upon retribution, and at once engaged her in a terrific encounter.

With the hope born of confidence in the strength of the Confederate ironclad, and her ability to overpower completely the Union flotilla, boats filled with sight-seers had gone out from Norfolk, but with the first terrible onset of the armored combatants speedily made their way back to safety.[109]

In this battle of the waters two old Naval Academy comrades fought on opposite sides, Lieutenant Green and Lieutenant Butt, both well-known names.

For five long awful hours the strength of the two iron monsters was pitted against each other for supremacy on the seas, without apparent serious injury to either vessel.

At last the Merrimac ended the gigantic contest by turning her prow and withdrawing to Norfolk.[110]


Hampton Roads, Virginia, March 9, 1862

OUT of a Northern city’s bay,
’Neath lowering clouds, one bleak March day,
Glided a craft,—the like I ween,
On ocean’s crest was never seen
Since Noah’s float,
That ancient boat,
Could o’er a conquered deluge gloat.

No raking masts, with clouds of sail,
Bent to the breeze or braved the gale;
No towering chimney’s wreaths of smoke
Betrayed the mighty engine’s stroke;
But low and dark,
Like the crafty shark,
Moved in the waters this novel bark.
The fishers stared as the flitting sprite
Passed their huts in the misty light,
Bearing a turret huge and black,
And said, “The old sea serpent’s back[111]
Carting away,
By light of day,
Uncle Sam’s fort from New York bay.”
Forth from a Southern city’s dock
Our frigates’ strong blockade to mock,
Crept a monster of rugged build,
The work of crafty hands, well skilled—
Old Merrimac,
With an iron back
Wooden ships would find hard to crack.
Straight to where the Cumberland lay
The mail-clad monster made its way;
Its deadly prow struck deep and sure,
And the hero’s fighting days were o’er.
Ah! many the braves
Who found their graves
With that good ship beneath the waves.
Flushed with success, the victor flew,
Furious, the startled squadron through;
Sinking, burning, driving ashore,
Until the Sabbath day was o’er,
Resting at night,
To renew the fight
With vengeful ire by morning’s light.[112]
Out of its den it burst anew,
When the gray mist the sun broke through,
Steaming to where, in clinging sands,
The frigate Minnesota stands,
A sturdy foe
To overthrow,
But in woeful plight to receive a blow.
But see! beneath her bow appears
A champion no danger fears;
A pigmy craft, that seems to be,
To this new lord that rules the sea,
Like David of old
To Goliath bold—
Youth and giant, by scripture told.
Round the roaring despot playing,
With willing spirit helm obeying,
Spurning the iron against it hurled,
While belching turret rapid whirled,
And swift shots seethe
With smoky wreathe,
Told that the shark was showing his teeth.
The Monitor fought. In grim amaze
The Merrimacs upon it gaze,
Cowering ’neath the iron hail,
Crashing into their coat of mail,[113]
They swore, “this craft,
The devil’s shaft,
Looked like a cheese box on a raft.”
Hurrah! little giant of ’62! Bold Worden with his gallant crew
Forces the fight; the day is won;
Back to his den the monster’s gone,
With crippled claws
And broken jaws,
Defeated in a reckless cause.
Hurrah for the master mind that wrought,
With iron hand, this iron thought!
Strength and safety with speed combined,
Ericsson’s gift to all mankind;
To curb abuse,
And chains to loose,
Hurrah for the Monitor’s famous cruise!

George H. Boker.


IN March, 1862, McClellan set out from Washington to capture the Confederate capital. At Yorktown he was held in check for a month by an inferior force of Confederates. It was the last of May before he reached Fair Oaks (Seven Pines), seven miles from Richmond. The Confederates here attacked him, and a furious battle of two days’ duration ensued, when the Confederates were driven back. A notable event of this engagement was the appointment of General Robert E. Lee, as commander in chief of the Confederate armies; in place of General Joseph E. Johnston, who was severely wounded.

One of the most conspicuous figures of this battle of Fair Oaks was General Philip Kearney.

In the words of Stedman:—

“When the battle went ill, and the bravest were solemn:—
He rode down the length of the withering column,
His sword waved us on and we answered the sign.”


“Kearney was the bravest man and the most perfect soldier I ever saw,” said General Scott. “A man made for the profession of arms,” says Rope. “In the field he was always ready, always skillful, always brave, always untiring, always hopeful, and always vigilant and alert.”

He distinguished himself in the War with Mexico, and lost an arm while he was leading cavalry troops in close pursuit of the retreating Mexicans, at the battle of Churubusco, when they retreated into the city of San Antonio itself.

Mounted upon his great gray steed, “Monmouth,” he spurred through a rampart, felling the Mexicans as he went. A thousand arms were raised to strike him, a thousand sabers glistened in the air, when he hurriedly fell back, but too late to escape the wound which necessitated the amputation of his left arm.

At Churubusco ended the spectacular career of the celebrated San Patricios battalion of Irish deserters, who deserted to the American army on the Canadian border and afterwards deserted to the Mexicans from the Texan border, fighting against the American in every Mexican war [116] battle of consequence from Palo Alto to Churubusco. After capture the leaders and many of the men were court-martialed and shot; their commander, the notorious Thomas Riley, among the latter. The survivors were branded in the cheek with the letter “D” as a symbol of their treachery.

General Kearney resigned from the army in 1851 and made a tour of the world. He then went to France and fought in the war of that country against Italy. At Magenta, while he was leading the daring and hazardous charge that turned the situation and won Algiers to France, he charged with the bridle in his teeth.

For his bravery he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor, being the first American thus honored.

When the Civil War cloud burst, he came back to the United States and was made brigadier general in the Federal army and given the command of the First New Jersey Brigade.

His timely arrival at Williamsburg saved the day for the Federals.

In the engagement at Fair Oaks,[117]

“Where the red volleys poured, where the clamor rose highest,
Where the aim from the thicket was surest and nighest,”

there was no charge like Kearney’s.

“How he strode his brown steed! How we saw his blade brighten,
In the one hand still left,—and the reins in his teeth!”

General Oliver O. Howard lost his right arm in this battle. When the amputation was taking place, he looked grimly up at General Kearney, who was present, and remarked, “We’ll buy our gloves together, after this.”

At Chantilly, a few days after the second battle of Bull Run, wherein he forced the gallant Stonewall Jackson back, he penetrated into the Confederate lines and met his death.

The Confederates had won. The dusk had fallen and General Kearney was reconnoitering after placing his division.

“He rode right into our men,” feelingly relates a Confederate soldier, “then stopping suddenly, called out,[119][118]

“‘What troops are these?’”

General Kearney “What troops are these?”

Some one replied, “Hays’ Mississippi Brigade.”

He turned quickly in an attempt to escape. A shower of bullets fell about him. He leaned forward as if to protect himself, but a ball struck him in the spine. He reeled and fell.

Under the white flag of truce, General Lee sent his remains to General Hooker, who had the body transported to New York, where it was interred with becoming honors.

“Oh, evil the black shroud of night of Chantilly,
That hid him from sight of his brave men and tried.”



SO that soldierly legend is still on its journey,—
That story of Kearney who knew not how to yield!
’Twas the day when with Jameson, fierce Berry, and Birney,
Against twenty thousand he rallied the field.
Where the red volleys poured, where the clamor rose highest,
Where the dead lay in clumps through the dwarf oak and pine,
Where the aim from the thicket was surest and nighest,—
No charge like Phil Kearney’s along the whole line.

When the battle went ill, and the bravest were solemn
Near the dark Seven Pines, where we still held our ground
He rode down the length of the withering column,
And his heart at our war cry leapt up with a bound.
He snuffed like his charger, the wind of the powder,—
His sword waved us on and we answered the sign;
Loud our cheer as we rushed, but his laugh rang the louder,[121]
“There’s the devil’s own fun, boys, along the whole line!”
How he strode his brown steed! How we saw his blade brighten,
In the one hand still left,—and the reins in his teeth!
He laughed like a boy when the holidays heighten,
But a soldier’s glance shot from his visor beneath.
Up came the reserves to the mellay infernal,
Asking where to go in,—through the clearing or pine?
“O, anywhere! Forward! ’Tis all the same, Colonel!
You’ll find lovely fighting along the whole line!”
Oh, evil the black shroud of night of Chantilly,
That hid him from sight of his brave men and tried!
Foul, foul sped the bullet that clipped the white lily,
The flower of our knighthood, the whole army’s pride!
Yet we dream that he still,—in that shadowy region
Where the dead form their ranks at the wan drummer’s sign,—
Rides on, as of old, down the length of his legion,
And the word still is “Forward!” along the whole line.

Edmund Clarence Stedman.


WITH bray of the trumpet
And roll of the drum,
And keen ring of bugle,
The cavalry come.
Sharp clank the steel scabbards
The bridle chains ring,
And foam from red nostrils
The wild chargers fling.

Tramp! tramp! o’er the greensward
That quivers below,
Scarce held by the curb bit
The fierce horses go!
And the grim-visaged colonel,
With ear-rending shout,
Peals forth to the squadrons
The order: “Trot out!”
One hand on the saber,
And one on the rein,
The troopers move forward
In line on the plain.[123]
As rings the word, “Gallop!”
The steel scabbards clank;
As each rowel is pressed
To a horse’s hot flank;
And swift is their rush
And the wild torrents flow,
When it pours from the crag
On the valley below.
“Charge!” thunders the leader;
Like shaft from the bow
Each mad horse is hurled
On the wavering foe.
A thousand bright sabers
Are gleaming in air;
A thousand dark horses
Are dashed on the square.
Resistless and reckless
Of aught may betide,
Like demons, not mortals
The wild troopers ride.
Cut right! and cut left!
For the parry who needs?
The bayonets shiver
Like wind-scattered reeds.
Vain—vain the red volley
That bursts from the square,[124]
The random-shot bullets
Are wasted in air.
Triumphant, remorseless,
Unerring as death,—
No saber that’s stainless
Returns to its sheath.
The wounds that are dealt
By that murderous steel
Will never yield case
For the surgeon to heal.
Hurrah! they are broken—
Hurrah! boys, they fly!
None linger save those
Who but linger to die.
Rein up your hot horses
And call in your men,—
The trumpet sounds, “Rally
To colors!” again.
Some saddles are empty,
Some comrades are slain
And some noble horses
Lie stark on the plain:
But war’s a chance game, boys,
And weeping is vain.

Francis A. Durivage.


IT is a coincidence worthy of note, and heretofore unremarked by historians, that, as in the hour of birth of the National Flag there was given to posterity the name of a great Revolutionary hero, the hour of birth of the Confederate Battle Emblem immortalized the name of a hero of the Confederacy.

At four o’clock in the afternoon of that hard-fought battle of Manassas (Bull Run), July 21, 1861, the Federals were thinning out the lines in gray. Now they were directing their efforts against the wings of Jackson and Beauregard. Jackson’s solemn visage was growing more solemn; Beauregard was anxiously scanning the landscape beyond, in the hope of discovering the approach of badly needed reënforcements.

Over the hill a long line was seen advancing. The day was hot and dry and not a leaf stirred in the dust-laden air. Clouds of smoke and grime [127] enveloped the advancing troops and obscured their colors. General Beauregard raised his glass and surveyed them critically.

General Beauregard General Beauregard raised his glass and surveyed them critically.

He then called an officer and instructed him to go to General Johnston and inform him that the enemy was receiving reënforcements and it might be wise for him to withdraw to another point. Still, he was not fully assured that the coming troops were Federals! The flag hung limp and motionless and could not be accurately discerned.

If these were Federals the day was surely lost. But if they were Confederates there was a fighting chance to win.

He determined to hold his position, and called out,

“What troops are those?”

No one could tell. Just then a gust of wind spread the colors. The flag was the Stars and Bars—General Early’s brigade, not a moment too soon.

“We must have a more distinct flag,” announced General Beauregard vehemently, in infinite relief: “One that we can recognize when we see it.[128]

In that instant was conceived the Confederate Battle Flag, used thereafter throughout the Civil strife.

After the battle, the design—St. Andrew’s Cross—was submitted by General Beauregard, and, approved by General Joseph E. Johnston, was adopted by the Confederate Congress.

“Conceived on the field of battle, it lived on the field of battle, and was proudly borne on every field from Manassas to Appomattox.”

The Confederates were routed and running in disorder. General Jackson was standing immovable. General Bee rode to his side. “They will beat us back!”

“No, Sir,” replied Jackson, “we will give them the bayonet.”

General Bee rode back to his brigade. “Look at Jackson,” said he, “standing there like a stone wall. Rally behind him.” With this his brigade fell into line.

Early’s troops arrived and formed. The Federals were beaten into a tumultuous retreat that never slacked until Centerville was reached.[129]

From that day the name “Stonewall” attached to Thomas Jonathan Jackson and was peculiarly appropriate as indicating the adamantine, unyielding character of the man.

The motto of his life was: “A man can do what he wills to do,” and in his resolves he depended for guidance upon Divine leading. He tried always to throw a religious atmosphere about his men; and out of respect to his feelings, if for no other reason, they often refrained from evil. His mount was a little sorrel horse, that the men affirmed was strikingly like him as it could not run except towards the enemy.

The ardent love of his troops for him made the tragedy of his death the more deplorable. Mistaking him for the enemy as he was returning from the front, in the gathering darkness at Chancellorsville, May, 1863, his own men shot him,—shot him down with victory in his grasp.

The whole country was horror-struck. Friend and foe alike paused in sympathy at such a situation.

To the Southern cause it was more than the taking off of a leader; it was an irreparable loss. [130] By his death was left a gap in the Confederate ranks that no one else could fill.

Prior to the breaking out of the war Jackson had been unknown, but in the two years of his service he accomplished more than any other officer on his side. He saved Richmond from early fall by keeping the Union forces apart, until he was joined by Lee, when together they drove McClellan from within a few miles of the Confederate Capital and cleared the James River of gunboats.

In his report from Chancellorsville, General Robert E. Lee pays tribute to the illustrious officer thus:—

“The movement by which the enemy’s position was turned and the fortune of the day decided, was conducted by the lamented Lieutenant General Jackson, who, as has already been stated, was severely wounded near the close of the engagement Saturday evening. I do not propose here to speak of the character of this illustrious man, since removed from the scene of his eminent usefulness, by the hand of an inscrutable but all-wise Providence. I nevertheless desire to pay the [131] tribute of my admiration to the matchless energy and skill that marked this last act of his life, forming as it did a worthy conclusion of that long series of splendid achievements which won for him the lasting love and gratitude of his country.

“R. E. Lee.

General S. Cooper,
“Adjt. and Insp. Gen. C. S. Army,
“Richmond, Va.”


NOT midst the lightning of the stormy fight,
Nor in the rush upon the vandal foe,
Did Kingly Death with his resistless might
Lay the great leader low.

His warrior soul its earthly shackles broke
In the full sunshine of a peaceful town;
When all the storm was hushed, the trusty oak
That propped our cause went down.
Though his alone the blood that flecks the ground,
Recalling all his grand heroic deeds,
Freedom herself is writhing in the wound
And all the country bleeds.
He entered not the Nation’s Promised Land,
At the red belching of the cannon’s mouth
But broke the House of Bondage with his hand,
The Moses of the South!
O gracious God! not gainless is the loss;
A glorious sunbeam gilds thy sternest frown,
And while his country staggers neath the Cross,
He rises with the Crown.

Henry Lynden Flash.

Gettysburg High Tide at Gettysburg.


A CLOUD possessed the hollow field,
The gathering battle’s smoky shield:
Athwart the gloom the lightning flashed,
And through the cloud some horsemen dashed,
And from the heights the thunder pealed.

Then, at the brief command of Lee,
Moved out that matchless infantry,
With Pickett leading grandly down,
To rush against the roaring crown,
Of those dread heights of destiny.
Far heard above the angry guns
A cry across the tumult runs,—
The voice that rang through Shiloh’s woods
And Chickamauga’s solitudes,
The fierce South cheering on her sons!
Ah, how the withering tempest blew
Against the front of Pettigrew!
A Khamsin wind that scorched and singed
Like that infernal flame that fringed
The British squares at Waterloo! [134]
A thousand fell where Kemper led;
A thousand died where Garnett bled:
In blinding flame and strangling smoke
The remnant through the batteries broke
And crossed the works with Armistead.
“Once more in Glory’s van with me!”
Virginia cried to Tennessee;
“We two together, come what may,
Shall stand upon these works today!”
(The reddest day in history.)
Brave Tennessee! In reckless way
Virginia heard her comrade say:
“Close round this rent and riddled rag!”
What time she set her battle-flag
Amid the guns of Doubleday.
But who shall break the guards that wait
Before the awful face of Fate?
The tattered standards of the South
Were shriveled at the cannon’s mouth,
And all her hopes were desolate.
In vain the Tennesseean set
His breast against the bayonet;
In vain Virginia charged and raged,
A tigress in her wrath uncaged,
Till all the hill was red and wet. [136]
Above the bayonets, mixed and crossed,
Men saw a gray, gigantic ghost
Receding through the battle-cloud,
And heard across the tempest loud
The death-cry of a nation lost!
The brave went down! Without disgrace
They leaped to Ruin’s red embrace;
They only heard Fame’s thunders wake,
And saw the dazzling sun-burst break
In smiles on Glory’s bloody face!
They fell, who lifted up a hand
And bade the sun in heaven to stand;
They smote and fell, who set the bars
Against the progress of the stars,
And stayed the march of Motherland!
They stood, who saw the future come
On through the fight’s delirium;
They smote and stood, who held the hope
Of nations on that slippery slope
Amid the cheers of Christendom.
God lives! He forged the iron will
That clutched and held the trembling hill!
God lives and reigns! He built and lent
The heights for freedom’s battlement
Where floats her flag in triumph still! [137]
Fold up the banners! Smelt the guns!
Love rules. Her gentler purpose runs.
A mighty mother turns in tears
The pages of her battle years,
Lamenting all her fallen sons!

Will Henry Thompson.


ALL day it shook the land—grim battle’s thunder tread;
And fields at morning green, at eve are trampled red.
But now, on the stricken scene, twilight and quiet fall;
Only, from hill to hill, night’s tremulous voices call;
And comes from far along, where camp fires warning burn,
The dread, hushed sound which tells of morning’s sad return.

Timidly nature awakens; the stars come out overhead,
And a flood of moonlight breaks like a voiceless prayer for the dead.
And steals the blessed wind, like Odin’s fairest daughter,
In viewless ministry, over the fields of slaughter;
Soothing the smitten life, easing the pang of death,
And bearing away on high the passing warrior’s breath.[139]
Two youthful forms are lying apart from the thickest fray,
The one in Northern blue, the other in Southern gray.
Around his lifeless foeman the arms of each are pressed,
And the head of one is pillowed upon the other’s breast.
As if two loving brothers, wearied with work and play,
Had fallen asleep together, at close of the summer day.
Foemen were they, and brothers?—Again the battle’s din,
With its sullen, cruel answer, from far away breaks in.

Benjamin Sledd.


TO the Navy is ascribed the larger shares in the Civil War, of overcoming the prowess of the South. “The blockade sapped the industrial strength of the Confederacy.”

A powerful factor in this blockade was David G. Farragut. Farragut was a Southerner by birth—a Tennessean—and fought, as it were, against his own hearthstone. Yet, when it is considered that from early youth he was in the marine service of the government and by arms upheld the national flag, and when it is remembered with what reverence the seaman regards the flag under which he serves, his choice is not surprising.

Scenes wherein men fought and died for the Stars and Stripes and often with their dying breath expressing adoration of the nation’s emblem were common experiences of his life.

In his memoirs is related a pathetic story of a youth’s death from accidental shooting. “Put [141] me in the boat,” implored he of his comrades, “that I may die under my country’s flag.” Another, a young Scotchman, who had a leg cut off in battle, cried out mournfully, “I can no longer be of use to the flag of my adoption,” and threw himself overboard.

The necessity of choosing between the North and the South brought Farragut many sleepless nights and forced him between the fires of censure from the South and doubt of his fealty from the North, as it was recognized that the Southern man, as a rule, felt that his first allegiance was due to his State.

When he was but a lad of seven years, Farragut lost his mother and was adopted by his father’s friend, that fighting old Commodore David Porter, who was destined to raise both his adopted and his own son to become admirals in the United States Navy.

For little Dave Farragut the sea had always a wonderful fascination, and at the age of twelve he was made a midshipman on the Essex, a warship of 1812. The Essex one day captured a whaling vessel, and Captain Porter placed David in charge [142] to steer her across the Pacific. The captain of the whaler, when clear of the Essex, thought to regain his vessel from the boy, by countermanding his orders. He threatened to shoot any sailor who dared to disobey him. Right here, the mettle that was to make Farragut the head of the American navy and the idol of the American people manifested itself. He repeated his order at first given; and when the mutinous captain appeared from below decks where he had gone for his pistols, he was told by the youthful commander that he would have to stay below or be thrown overboard. He chose the former.

To this same dauntless spirit, the Federal government owed the blockade of the lower Mississippi and the closing of the ports of Mobile Bay, that inflicted such injuries upon the Confederacy as to hasten the end of the war. “With ports closed,” says an authority, “the Southern armies were reduced to a pitiful misery, the long endurance of which makes a noble chapter in heroism.”

The lower Mississippi was controlled by the Confederates. Possession of the river and the [143] capture of New Orleans could be accomplished only by running the forts situated below the city some seventy miles. To run the forts with wooden vessels and escape destruction from the armed vessels of the Confederacy in the Mississippi was a hazardous undertaking. Farragut believed he could do this. In December, 1861, he wrote to a friend: “Keep your lips closed and burn my letters. Perfect silence is the first injunction of the Secretary. I am to have a flag in the gulf, and the rest depends upon myself.”

In March he again wrote, “I have now attained what I have been looking for all my life—a flag—and having attained it, all that is necessary to complete the scene is a victory.” The victory he was soon to have.

At two o’clock the morning of April 24, 1862, the signal for the start for the forts was given. In a few moments the thunderous roar of batteries and guns broke upon the air. The river became a mass of writhing flame.

“The passing of Forts Jackson and St. Phillips was one of the most awful sights and events I ever saw or expect to experience,” says Farragut. [144] Rafts of cotton were set on fire by the Confederates and came down the river, scattering disaster as they came. One of these caught the Hartford, Farragut’s flagship, and set it on fire. So high rose the flames that even the courageous commander was for the moment daunted and exclaimed, “My God! is this to end this way!” By the expeditious use of the hose the flames were controlled.

The strong barriers across the river were broken. By repeated and desperate efforts the Confederate boats were sunk or disabled. The levee at New Orleans was gained. The Crescent City was taken.

Thus was accomplished a feat in naval warfare reckoned without a parallel in naval history, except in that of twenty-four months later in Mobile Bay. In compliment to his exploit the rank of rear admiral was conferred upon Farragut. Of the fleet, as subordinate officers, were Dewey and Schley, a future admiral and a rear-admiral.

To his home, the victorious commander addressed the following letter: [145]

“My dearest Wife and Boy.

“I am so agitated I can scarcely write, and I shall only tell you that it has pleased Almighty God to preserve my life through a fire such as the world has scarcely known.”

When the ships lay safely at the levee with but one of the squadron lost, Farragut by note requested the mayor of New Orleans to remove the Confederate flag and to surrender the city formally. In curt terms the doughty mayor refused to do so, stating there was not in the city of New Orleans a man who would take down that flag. Then ensued a most unique correspondence between the two, through which Farragut made himself misunderstood to the extent that it was rumored that it was his intention to turn the guns on the city. At the expiration of forty-eight hours, however, an officer of the fleet removed the offending flag and hoisted the Stars and Stripes over the city hall.

To injure purposely the defenseless, as in turning the guns on the city, was not in keeping with the nature of David Farragut as revealed in history. Power combined with gentleness [146] were the marked traits of his character. This gentleness had its finest reflex in his delicate attentions to his invalid wife. In the presence of her continuous suffering his warrior nature was laid aside, and his chivalric kindness shone forth in acts of rare devotion and tender care.

When he was asked one day, as to his feelings during a battle in seeing men fall writhing upon every side, he answered, “I thought of nothing but the working of the guns; but after the battle, when I saw the mangled bodies of my shipmates, dead and dying, groaning and expiring often with the most patriotic sentiments upon their lips, I became faint and sick. My sympathies were all aroused.” Markedly noticeable in his letters is the absence of self-elation over his victories. There are, rather, a rejoicing in the advancement of his cause and gratitude to the Almighty for preservation. In this we read anew the lesson of true greatness.

Just prior to entering into the noted action of Mobile Bay, he wrote his son respecting his views of duty and death. “He who dies in doing his [148] duty to his country, and at peace with his God, has played out the drama of life to the best advantage.” Shortly after this was penned, the Hartford was steaming into Mobile Bay, under the heavy fire of guns of Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, in the execution of a naval feat that attracted the attention and admiration of the whole civilized world.

The Battle of Mobile Bay. The Battle of Mobile Bay.

At the mouth of the bay the two islands upon which the forts stood were less than a mile apart. The passage had been strewn with torpedoes by the Confederates, and only a narrow strip of water was left clear. Through this strip went Farragut’s fleet: the Tecumseh first, the Brooklyn next, the Hartford third. Suddenly the prow of the Tecumseh lifted: she veered and sank. The Brooklyn backed and held Farragut’s ship directly under the guns of Fort Morgan. Shot and shell hurtled in the air. The smoke grew dense. The fire from the cannons lit the heavens. Men shouted and fell.

“What’s the matter!” called Farragut.

“Torpedoes,” some one answered.

Never a profane man, he now gave vent to an [149] oath, and cried out, “Full speed, Jouett. Four bells, Captain Drayton.”

The Hartford steamed to the front. The torpedoes crackled under her as she sped on; but the forts were passed. And high in the rigging of his ship, in full view of the enemy and imminent danger of the fiery missiles, was seen Farragut, whence he directed all the ships’ maneuvers. An officer, observing him standing there, feared lest a shot would cause his fall, and carried a rope and lashed him to the mast.

In maddened fury the ironclad Tennessee plunged straight at the Hartford. All the fleet bore down upon the Confederate ship. And crowding together, the Lackawanna, needing room, struck the flagship by accident, and came near striking the commander. Against the Tennessee every Federal ship now redoubled her efforts, until, battered and bruised and despairing, she struck her colors.

The captain of the Tennessee was Buchanan, the same who commanded the Merrimac in her fight with the Monitor in Hampton Roads. “The Tennessee and Buchanan are my prisoners, [150]” wrote Farragut home. “He has lost a leg. It was a hard fight, but Buck met his fate manfully.”

Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines surrendered and Farragut’s fierce conflicts were at an end. Nearly so was his path of life. Congress honored him with the rank of admiral, the highest honor to be conferred. America and foreign nations extended him the most distinguishing courtesies. And then—the unseen Pilot steered his course across the unknown sea unto the harbor of the city Eternal.[151]


FARRAGUT, Farragut,
Old Heart of Oak,
Daring Dave Farragut,
Thunderbolt stroke,
Watches the hoary mist
Lift from the bay,
Till his flag, glory-kissed,
Greets the young day.

Far, by gray Morgan’s walls,
Looms the black fleet.
Hark, deck to rampart calls
With the drums’ beat!
Buoy your chains overboard,
While the steam hums;
Men! to the battlement,
Farragut comes.
See, as the hurricane
Hurtles in wrath
Squadrons of clouds amain
Back from its path![152]
Back to the parapet,
To the gun’s lips,
Thunderbolt Farragut
Hurls the black ships.
Now through the battle’s roar
Clear the boy sings,
“By the mark fathoms four,”
While his lead swings.
Steadily the wheelmen five
“Nor’ by East keep her.”
“Steady,” but two alive:
How the shells sweep her!
Lashed to the mast that sways
Over red decks,
Over the flame that plays
Round the torn wrecks,
Over the dying lips
Framed for a cheer,
Farragut leads his ships,
Guides the line clear.
On by heights cannon-browed,
While the spars quiver;
Onward still flames the cloud
Where the hulls shiver.[153]
See, yon fort’s star is set,
Storm and fire past.
Cheer him, lads—Farragut,
Lashed to the mast!
Oh! while Atlantic’s breast
Bears a white sail,
While the Gulf’s towering crest
Tops a green vale,
Men thy bold deeds shall tell,
Old Heart of Oak,
Daring Dave Farragut,
Thunderbolt stroke!

William Tuckey Meredith.

August, 1864.



Charles Francis Adams in address before Chicago Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, June 17, 1902.

I NOW come to what I have always regarded—shall ever regard as the most creditable episode in all American history,—an episode without a blemish,—imposing, dignified, simple, heroic. I refer to Appomattox. Two men met that day, representative of American civilization, the whole world looking on. The two were Grant and Lee,—types each. Both rose, and rose unconsciously, to the full height of the occasion,—and than that occasion there has been none greater. About it and them, there was no theatrical display, no self-consciousness, no effort at effect. A great crisis was to be met; and they met that crisis as great countrymen should.

That month of April saw the close of exactly [155] four years of persistent strife,—a strife which the whole civilized world had been watching intently. Then, suddenly, came the dramatic climax at Appomattox, dramatic I say, not theatrical,—severe in its simple, sober, matter-of-fact majesty. The world, I again assert, has seen nothing like it; and the world, instinctively, was at the time conscious of the fact. I like to dwell on the familiar circumstances of the day; on its momentous outcome; on its far-reaching results. It affords one of the greatest educational object lessons to be found in history; and the actors were worthy of the theater, the auditory, and the play.

A mighty tragedy was drawing to a close. The breathless world was the audience. It was a bright, balmy April Sunday in a quiet Virginia landscape, with two veteran armies confronting each other; one game to the death, completely in the grasp of the other. The future was at stake. What might ensue? What might not ensue? Would the strife end then and there? Would it die in a death-grapple, only to reappear in that chronic form of a vanquished but indomi[156]table people, writhing and struggling, in the grasp of an insatiate but only nominal victor?

The answer depended on two men,—the captains of the contending forces. Think what then might have resulted had these two men been other than what they were,—had the one been stern and aggressive, the other sullen and unyielding. Most fortunately for us, they were what and who they were,—Grant and Lee. Of the two, I know not to which to award the palm. Instinctively, unconsciously, they vied not unsuccessfully each with the other, in dignity, magnanimity, simplicity.[157]


LIKE several other poems of renown, “The Conquered Banner” was written under stress of deep emotion.

Abram J. Ryan (Father Ryan) had been ordained as a Catholic priest. Shortly after his ordination he was made a chaplain in the Confederate army.

When the news came of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox he was in his room in Knoxville, where his regiment was quartered.

He bowed his head upon the table and wept bitterly.

He then arose and looked about him for a piece of paper, but could find nothing but a sheet of brown paper wrapped about a pair of shoes. Spreading this out upon the table, he, “in a spirit of sorrow and desolation” as expressed in his own words, wrote upon it “The Conquered Banner.”

The following morning the regiment was ordered [158] away, and the poem upon the table was forgotten. To the author’s surprise it appeared over his name, in a Louisville paper, a few weeks later, having been forwarded to the paper by the lady in whose house he had stopped in Knoxville.

The poem was widely copied, and was read at gatherings throughout the South with ardor and often with tears.

As an expression of sorrow without bitterness it is considered a fine example.[159]


FURL that Banner, for ’tis weary;
Round its staff ’tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it—it is best;
For there’s not a man to wave it,
And there’s not a sword to save it,
And there’s not one left to lave it
In the blood which heroes gave it;
And its foes now scorn and brave it;
Furl it, hide it—let it rest!

Take that Banner down! ’tis tattered;
Broken is its staff and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered,
Over whom it floated high.
Oh, ’tis hard for us to fold it,
Hard to think there’s none to hold it,
Hard that those who once unrolled it
Now must furl it with a sigh!
Furl that Banner—furl it sadly;
Once ten thousands hailed it gladly,
And ten thousands wildly, madly,
Swore it should forever wave—[160]
Swore that foeman’s sword could never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever,
And that flag should float forever
O’er their freedom or their grave!
Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low;
And the Banner—it is trailing,
While around it sounds the wailing
Of its people in their woe.
For, though conquered, they adore it—
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it!
Weep for those who fell before it!
Pardon those who trailed and tore it!
But, oh, wildly they deplore it,
Now who furl and fold it so!
Furl that Banner! True, ’tis gory,
Yet, ’tis wreathed around with glory,
And ’twill live in song and story
Though its folds are in the dust!
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages—
Furl its folds though now we must.[161]
Furl that Banner, softly, slowly;
Treat it gently—it is holy,
For it droops above the dead;
Touch it not—unfold it never;
Let it droop there, furled forever,—
For its people’s hopes are fled.

Abram Joseph Ryan.


AS one by one withdraw the lofty actors
From that great play on history’s stage eternal,
That lurid, partial act of war and peace—of old and new contending,
Fought out through wrath, fears, dark dismays, and many a long suspense;
All past—and since, in countless graves receding, mellowing
Victor and vanquished—Lincoln’s and Lee’s—now thou with them,
Man of the mighty day—and equal to the day!
Thou from the prairies?—and tangled and many veined and hard has been thy part,
To admiration has it been enacted!

Walt Whitman.

The humblest soldier who carried a musket is entitled to as much credit for the results of the war as those who were in command.

U. S. Grant.

U. S. Grant. U. S. Grant.



A GALLANT foeman in the fight,
A brother when the fight was o’er,
The hand that led the host with might
The blessed torch of learning bore.

No shriek of shells nor roll of drums,
No challenge fierce, resounding far,
When reconciling wisdom comes
To heal the cruel wounds of war.
Thought may the minds of men divide,
Love makes the heart of nations one,
And so, thy soldier grave beside,
We honor thee, Virginia’s son.

Julia Ward Howe.

Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee.



MEN who have had grave differences and looked at each other coldly and passed with unsmiling faces have, when some calamity threatened, sprang shoulder to shoulder and spent their united strength in defense of a common cause.

Thus in the Spanish-American spurt of war,—serious enough, too serious, alas, in some aspects; but great in some of its beneficent results. In that call, “To Arms!” was laid to rest—forever forgotten—the old enmity between the North and the South, engendered by the Civil Strife.

On the island of Cuba, the trenches of the United States Army were five miles in extent and in shape of a horseshoe. Above the trenches, five curving miles of Stars and Stripes gleamed.

To the United States prisoners, confined in the [168] prison, within sight of these flags, but under the flag of Spain, the waving emblems before their eyes brought daily hope and courage.

In full vision of the men in the trenches fluttered the flag of Spain; above their heads Old Glory flew,—the sheltering Stripes and Stars.

As night came down, and land and shimmering sea was bathed in the white light of the sub-tropics, the strains of the “Star-Spangled Banner” were borne upon the air and fell away softly, as if coming from across the water. Every man uncovered and stood with silent lips, and eyes fixed upon Old Glory until the last echoing note died in the distance, then turned again to duties; but upon his face was stamped the deeper understanding of the meaning of it all—of Flag, and Home, and Country.

Eyes fixed on Old Glory. Every man uncovered and stood with silent lips, and eyes fixed on Old Glory.

Thus from the shores of a tropic island, fighting together for the flag of the nation, both Blue and Gray gained a new and happier viewpoint; and looking back across the warm and shining waters of the Gulf Stream, each knew that all was good, and said:[169]

“Lo! from the thunder-strife,
And from the blown, white ashes of the dead,
We rise to larger life.”
“There is a peace amid’st the shock of arms,
That satisfies the soul, though all the air
Hurtles with horror and with rude alarms.”
“That clarion cry, My country! makes men one.”



'NEATH the lanes of the tropic sun
The column is standing ready,
Awaiting the fateful command of one
Whose word will ring out
To an answering shout
To prove it alert and steady.
And a stirring chorus all of them sung
With singleness of endeavor,
Though some to “The Bonny Blue Flag” had swung
And some to “The Union For Ever.”

The order came sharp through the desperate air
And the long ranks rose to follow,
Till their dancing banners shone more fair
Than the brightest ray
Of the Cuban day
On the hill and jungled hollow;
And to “Maryland” some in the days gone by
Had fought through the combat’s rumble
And some for “Freedom’s Battle-Cry”
Had seen the broad earth crumble.[171]
Full many a widow weeps in the night
Who had been a man’s wife in the morning;
For the banners we loved we bore to the height
Where the enemy stood
As a hero should
His valor his country adorning;
But drops of pride with your tears of grief,
Ye American women, mix ye!
For the North and South, with a Southern chief,
Kept time to the tune of “Dixie.”

Wallace Rice.


SO many, many soldiers
At reveille fared forth;
Such ready, willing soldiers,
From sunny South and North.

So many gallant soldiers
At noon to face the fight;
So many weary wounded
Home-dreaming in the night.
So many quick to answer
To drum and bugle sound;
So many war-scarred sleepers
On death’s white-tented ground.
O soldiers, silent soldiers,
Calm-sleeping in the sun,
Beneath one happy flag again,
God rest you, every one.
Of every human difference
Great Time, the high priest, shrives;
While Southern winds are telling
The fragrance of brave lives.[173]
Beneath the Southern willows,
In slumber folded deep,
O soldiers, brothers, every one,
God’s peace attend your sleep.

Will Allen Dromgoole.

Our battle-fields, safe in the keeping,
Of Nature’s kind, fostering care,
Are blooming,—our heroes are sleeping,—
And peace broods perennial there.
All over our land rings the story
Of loyalty, fervent and true;
“One flag, and that flag is Old Glory,”
Alike for the Gray and the Blue.

John Howard Jewett.

Printed in the United States of America.

Transcriber’s Note:

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