$1.75 A YEAR.
HEY told the story between them,—
colonel and Sylvia,—with here and there
word from Les
was by far the vst of
vet it was but
with reluctance a those
of that sad period of her life.
meeting in Mis
“The memory of that entire summer
some terrifying dream to me,’’ she sai
like those weary v
are ill. Before the s
people of the North bore them.
but the war itself had been at
a distance. That summer it
came to us, rolled its tide of
ruin and devastation across
Mississippt and set its iron
n the spring Gen-
eval “Johnston and General
Pemberton were rallying their
forces for the mighty struggle
soon to culminate at Vicks-
burg. was marching
and countermar with
forced collections of food and
forage which often left us
without a day’s provisions in
store, while tl aper money
sometimes given in payment
were our husbands, brothers
and friends, and to which we
gave the warmest allegiance.
General Sherman, of whom
many of the whites and negroes
stood in mortal terror. The
Northern troops, however, did
us no personal harm, but they
foraged and ravaged, consum-
ing what our own army had
““That spring, in conformity
with the request of the Con-
federate government at Ric
mond, we had seeded our
plantations to corn instead of
to cotton, in order to furnish
food for the army. But the
crop never matured ; regiments
of cavalry camped in it; what
was not eaten by the
was trodden down,
negroes, too, had now for. the most part run | were obliged to disperse and forage to escape | boundary of our plantation.
away, and were living in the
“Major Poindexter lost h
on Vicksburg of M:
of his death reached me, so closely
ton rendered. On
escaping through the Northern
Thus far I had borne all our d
ster; but Sylvia’s portion
ident .that she reverted
1 unheal nro
C lonel Seon 's | people, we were almost destitute.
eager question, however, and the curio
surprise of all present impelled her to
account of the circumstances attendit their | and fad succeeded in weaving
pring of 1863 we had felt | work.
and borne the burdens of the war much as the | freedom had te
| s, an old negro whom we called
s that beset us when we | near us I was unable to keep the negroes at | Poindexter, ‘O granny, the Yankees are com- | Uncle Linas. Mis bush of white hair seemed
Indolence and new ideas as to their | ing!” to have grown even whiter since I had last se
privations, and griefs for fallen friends, | long as food lasted.
a 1, as Lester has sa | | Melicent.
you; but although our plantation was only | about the middle of the month the serious illness house, howe
eighteen miles from the besieged city, no tidings | of her father at Jackson compelled her to leave of the horse barns, beyond the negro ¢
was the town me for
ted, until July 4th, when General Pember- |
that evening Lester,
home, bringing me the saddest of all sad tidings.
but that night hope departed from me,
“Lester was attempting to reach. General | was broken into r
Johnston, who was at Jackson, the state capital,
and for whom he had | rooms below.
Pemberton? 's final despatches. He
remained with me an hour only, for every
JANUARY 15, 1903.
5 CTS. A COPY.”
Copyright, 1902, by Perry Mason Company, Boston, Mass,
1x.—AaT Birpsone’s FERRY. GAat Merry Golden Wedding
Gen Unusual Stories by C. A. Stephens
Sylvia. ‘‘When we heard them attacking fhe
high fence in the rear of the house, and sa
| boards and timbers falling, the instinct to fy
before they began on the house took possession
“Raising poor Ruth in my arms, I ran down-
stairs and out by a side entrance to the gardens,
the east end of the mansion, where stond a
and died —death was eyery-| grove of nut-trees and cl OW
and | In March I had procured spin- where! Yet so stifling was the | growing rank and untrimmed. Madam "pois
a ning-wheels and hand-looms, heat that afternoon that I was | dexter made ae to follow with such wraps as
obliged to place my sick child at | she had caught uj
the window ; and by and by, as | “We hid ourselves for the time in the tall corn
she lay looking forth at-a little | | beyond the grove, and here I came upon one of
But after the ‘unin came so | slit in the linen, I heard her ery out to Madam | our family servai
sev or eighty yards of a
s like | coarse cloth, of which we fash
id, “or | ioned clothing.
on of them, although | ‘*Fifty or sixty soldiers in blue were ap-|him. Le was gathering corn ears, to sell to
There were | a few of the older on ‘
remained faithful as | proaching across the fields from the direction of | the Yankee soldiers, he said, and had hitched
Then, poor things, they | the Big Black River, which formed the eastern | up a cart and a mule nearly as yenerable in
appearanceas himself. The
mule, I think, was now the
only living creature about
“It seemed possible that
with this mule and cart we
might reach Jackson; and
having persuaded Uncle
Linas to drop his load of
cgrn ears, we placed Ruth
in the cart, with her fevered
head in Madam Poindexter’s
lap, and then set off by a cart
road through the plantation
to reach Birdsong’s Ferry,
for the Big Pree River had
first of all to A
more forlorn Tittle weaty of
refugees can hardly be imag-
ined—that infirm eart with
its two inyalid occupants,
old Unele Linas leading the
gray mule, and I walking
close behind to give what
aid I could.
‘All the while, too, we
were in great sien
of being iscovered, and p
haps made pri rs by the
Northern soldiers. A regi-
ment of their cay and a
battery of field-guns were
even then crossing the fields
on the northern side of the
plantation, moving eastward
to the river.
“‘For an hour or more we
remained concealed by the
Ruth = suffered exceedingly
from the rough jolting of the
cart, and moaned constantly
for water. it there was
Not more than nD mo) sversnane that I dared allow her to drink.
ets, yet they seemed in fer a time, seeing no more soldiers, we
June that season my sister-in-law, | and I supposed at first that they were in ne cmon from the plantation roads upon the
nt, Lester’s wife, had been with us, but | of food or forage. Instead of coming to the highway and moved toward the ferry, faithful
, they proceeded directly to one | old Linas leading the mule and I direc ing him
rs, how to avoid ruts and washouts; for none of
el de. He died at Jackson a few | which they began instantly to tear down. Still | our roads had been repaired for two year
after city was evacuated by our forces. others appeared and fell upon the negro cabins ght was at hand, and to my greater distress
“Madan Poindexter and I were thus left quite | Instead of searching for food or valuables, they | dense black clouds were rolling upward along
alone in the parish. demolished every structure as soon as they came | the western horizon, portending thunder-
| ‘Little in the way of law or or it. showers.
| prevailed, and many deserters and “This terrified us more than anything el “At last, as darkness was falling, we reached
| were roaming about unrestrained, Our house wen or suffered. ‘Merciful | the ferry, but had hardly begun to descend the
ry night. Often oindexter exclaimed. ‘They | steep bank to the river when a picket cried,
would wake to hear marauders ransacking the | 2 ng everything flat on the earth! What | ‘Who goes there ?
| can be their motive ?” “The man seized Uncle Linas roughly, and
“There was no aid that we could summon. “We could not guess. Yet more of the |asked where he was going. Other soldiers in
Madam Poindexter and I retreated to a wing | infantrymen were coming across the fields every | blue crowded round. ‘Going to a ball, uncle,
“© A MORE FORLORN LITTLE PARTY OF REFUGEES CAN HAR BE IMAGINED.”
ition. of them had mus
moment was now precious to our desperate | of the second story, the door leading to which | minute, and both horse barns and several of the | with the ladies 2” one cried, laughing.
My husband’s aged mother,
Poindexter, was in feeble health, and my Tittle | both
daughter Ruth, who died a w
ill, owing to improper
“Phose who, fortunately,
Stray hogs, mules and ¢
trampled by cavalry.
the roads and at all the barns.
of cavalry shot horses
“Of ow bandied and twenty
more than tw vere no
tion, and these were either old people or
Many of them were ill, and required
attention than I had strength or means to give | evel
them. Fora month ot more our foc had con |o
of green corn and bacon. |
Of clothes, too, particularly for the colored | windows!
sisted almost wholly
wished us to leave all and flee to | we locked and barricaded at night, but we were
Jackson with him, but that seemed impossible.
food and the Vrealfull | or proper food for
sanitary conditions that prevailed about us.
have never seen | hurried visit with the news of my husband’s
war at their doors can have little conception of | death.
the terrible state of things round our plantation.
The fences were everywhere broken down. | desire of life seemed to leave her.
‘ for miles around | told us that the Northern army in i
the fields and crop:
negroes, not |
“J stated my purpose to kson, and
| demanded that they should aid me to cross,
the river. The lieutenant in command now
»proached and questioned me sharply, inti-
will take the house next!’ cried mating that I was probably a Confederate spy,
Madam Poindexter, trembling violently. “They | attempting to carry information to General
will tear it down over our heads. wnt utter | Johnston. He struck a light and looked us
barbarians! What savage vindictiven What | over, but laughed when he saw our decrepit
Madam Poindexter was wholly un- | can we do? mu ale.
All hope for the ane and even the “The explanation of it all is very simple,’’ ‘Old Tecump will be in Jackson long before
Tester had | remarked Colonel Strong, smiling. “The men | she will get there with that mule and cart,’ he
march on) had been detailed to go out and fetch timber, j said to the sergeant who pad stopped us. ‘Let
by the | planks and boards for a floating bridge over the | her go if she is so set o But I’m afraid
y along|next day, but assured us that its approach | Big Bluck River. Our brigade had just reached | you will have a wet night of it, ma’am,’ he
would be a guar nee of protection. But what | the river on our march upon Jackson, and found | remarked to me.
saw | we saw on the following afternoon was not of | that the Confederates had scuttled all the ferry- “Two ses i the male cow n the bank ;
kind to restore confidence. boats and burned every bridge behind them. instead of tl » which we were
“The day was very hot—that moist, clammy | We were obliged to bridge the rive You were | accustomed, there. was a siagatar kind of bridge
‘A even | not in the slightest danger of personal harm, | that lay on the water and rolled and rocked
i-| but no doubt it was alarming. The officer in | under the mule was alarmed, but
and | command ought certainly to have explained to | with a soldier on each side of his head he was
were demolishing the outbuild- | | pulled a
noke-house were already torn
often in great e made by the sledges and
“My poor little Ruth’s sufferings filled us| | was more terrible to us than the sounds of a
ith a solicitude that was the more sad | battle.
was very | because we were finale to obtain medical aid “They
‘Then came that terrible night of Leste
already | Jackson would undoubtedly pas
the planta-| heat at one hundred degrees t
hildren. | fifteen summers in Mississippi had not
more | mated me, Ah, that suffocating heat,
‘where the odor of death, with great swanns | you why they
on flies, which we kept out of the rooms | ings.’” 3 an alarming passage, for at one place
only by nailing linen sheets across the open| ‘I can understand it now, but at the time | a field-gun had broken partly through the bridge ;
Little wonder that people sickened | we had no idea why they were doing it,’”’ said | the water gushed up, and once the cart sank