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drawn from the fortifications on the south side of the town all the men that in his judgment could possibly be spared. To this improvised force were added that day some six boat-loads of troops which General Grant had sent from the Army of the Potomac. These troops went at once to Fort Stevens.
With the troops coming from Grant, there was force enough to save the capital; but I soon saw that nothing could possibly be done toward pursuing or cutting off the enemy, for want of a commander. General Hunter and his forces had not yet returned from their swing around the circle. General Augur commanded the defenses of Washington, with A. McD. McCook and a lot of brigadier-generals under him, but he was not allowed to go outside. Wright only commanded his own corps. General Gillmore had been assigned to the temporary command of those troops of the Nineteenth Corps just arrived from New Orleans and all other troops in the Middle Department, leaving Wallace to command Baltimore alone. But there was no head to the whole. General Halleck would not give orders, except as he received them from Grant; the President would give none; and until Grant directed positively and explicitly what was to be done, everything was practically at a standstill. Things, I saw, would go on in the deplorable and fatal way in which they had been going for a week. Of course, this want of head was causing a great deal of sharp comment on all sides. Postmaster-General Blair was particularly incensed, and indeed with real cause, for he had lost his house at Silver Springs. Some of his remarks reached General Halleck, who immediately wrote Mr. Stanton the following letter:
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, WASHINGTON, July 13, 1864.
HON. E. M. STANTON,
SECRETARY OF WAR.
Sir: I deem it my duty to bring to your notice the following facts: I am informed by an officer of rank and standing in the military service that the Hon. M. Blair, Postmaster-General, in speaking of the burning of his house in Maryland, this morning, said, in effect, that the officers in command about Washington are poltroons; that there were not more than 500 rebels on the Silver Springs road, and we had 1,000,000 of men in arms; that it was a disgrace; that General Wallace was in comparison with them far better, as he would at least fight. As there have been for the last few days a large number of officers on duty in and about Washington who have devoted their time and energies, night and day, and have periled their lives in the support of the Government, it is due to them, as well as to the War Department, that it should be known whether such wholesale denouncement and accusation
by a member of the Cabinet receives the sanction and approbation of the President of the United States. If so, the names of the officers accused should be stricken from the rolls of the Army; if not, it is due to the honor of the accused that the slanderer should be dismissed from the Cabinet. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
The very day on which Halleck wrote this letter, we had evidence that the enemy had taken fright at the arrival in Washington of the troops sent by Grant and were moving off toward Edwards Ferry. It was pretty certain that they were carrying off a large amount of cattle and other plunder with them. By the end of another day, there seemed no doubt that Early had got the main body of his command across the river with his captures. What they were, it was impossible to say precisely. One herd of cattle was reported as containing 2,000 head, and the number of horses and mules taken from Maryland was reported as about 5,000. This, however, was probably somewhat exaggerated.
The veterans, of course, moved out at once to attempt to overtake the enemy. The irregulars were withdrawn from the fortifications, General Meigs marching his division of quartermaster's clerks and employees back to their desks; and Admiral Goldsborough, who had marshaled the marines and sailors, returning to smoke his pipe on his own doorstep.
The pursuit of Early proved, on the whole, an egregious blunder, relieved only by a small success at Winchester, in which four guns and some prisoners were captured. Wright accomplished nothing, and drew back as soon as he got where he might have done something worth while. As it was, Early got off with the whole of his plunder.
One of the best letters Grant sent me during the War was at the time of this Early raid on Washington. When the alarms of invasion first came, Grant ordered Major-General David Hunter, then stationed at Parkersburg, West Virginia, to take direction of operations against the enemy's forces in the Valley. Hunter did not come up to Mr. Stanton's expectations in this crisis, and when I reached Washington, the Secretary told me to telegraph Grant that, in his opinion, Hunter ought to be removed. Three days later, I repeated in my despatch to Grant certain rumors about Hunter that had reached the War Department. The substance of them was that Hunter had been
ing directly away from our main army. Hunter acted, too, in a country where he had no friends; whilst the enemy have only operated in territory where, to say the least, many of the inhabitants are their friends. If General Hunter has made war upon the newspapers in West Virginia, probably he has done right. In horsewhipping a soldier he has laid himself subject to trial; but, nine chances out of ten, he only acted on the spur of the moment, under great provocation. I fail to see yet that General Hunter has not acted with great promptness and great success. Even the enemy give him great credit for courage, and congratulate themselves that he will give them a chance of getting even with him. U.S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
NCLE TOMMY DOWELL and Uncle Luther Dowell were twins only in age and patriotism. In everything else they were as different as black and white or hot and cold. Uncle Tommy was short, and puffy, and bald of head, with a reminiscent twinkle in his blue eye, and a certain sprightliness in his step that quite belied his age. Also, he had two good, stout, stubby legs, although they were a bit bowed and stiff, so that he thumped smartly with his heels when he walked.
What Uncle Tommy lacked of reaching nature's standard of a man, Uncle Luther He was gaunt and stooping, and so spare that one almost expected to hear him rattle in his old blue clothes like withered peas in a pod. Fine trouble lines mapped his forehead, and his beard was thin and gray. When he walked, he lurched at every step
and bore heavily on his cane, for he had left his good right leg on the bloody slopes at Chickamauga, and for nearly thirty years he had stumped painfully about on a wooden leg.
Uncle Tommy was bluff and prosperous. He lived in a comfortable house in West Alden, and when all of his children came home for Thanksgiving dinner, Uncle Tommy's wife put all the spare leaves in the diningtable and carved two turkeys.
Uncle Luther had a little one-story shop, across the county line in the adjoining town of Amery, where he soldered leaky milk pans and tinkered clocks. It was next the lane, in the farther corner of his son Jonathan's land, and he made up his own bed and cooked his meals in the little room in the rear. He seemed at least twenty years older than Uncle Tommy, and he had become querulous and quavery, so that Jonathan and his thrifty wife groaned under the responsibility of looking after him.
And that shows how two brothers, who have been boys together, men together, and soldiers together, may drift apart. For years Uncle Tommy and Uncle Luther had not met, except at gatherings of old soldiers, and these were not pleasant meetings. For the two little towns, albeit they lay out on the wide Minnesota prairie, with only an imaginary line between them, could not agree. It was the kind of dissension that grows rank and strong in little communities where there are few outside interests to occupy the intervals of attention. And the old soldiers took it up, and fought it out as valiantly as they had marched on Vicksburg. They might have had a Grand Army post, with reminiscent camp-fires, and they might have had Fourth of July celebrations and Memorial Day parades; but as certainly as Uncle Tommy led the hosts of West Alden in one direction, Amery and Captain Enoch Bradley could be depended upon to march in exactly the opposite direction. As for Uncle
Luther, he always followed Uncle Tommy's procession, wherever it might lead. Again and again the old soldiers of the two towns met in the interests of harmony. Uncle Tommy would come to preside, and Uncle Luther would second the motions, and then they all would slump off into the quagmire of dissension. At such times the fires of a stirring past would blaze up in Uncle Luther's faded eyes, his stooped shoulders would stiffen back, a faint flush would steal into his cheeks, and he would nod his old gray head as if in time to martial music that none but he could hear. Sometimes the tears came up to his eyes, and the boy who was fortunate enough to hear him talk thrilled with the quick pride of strife, and longed to shoulder a carbine and march away to the music of fife and drum.
For two years the towns had held Memorial Day services, but they had been mournfully dispirited. Uncle Tommy, by sheer force of character, had been marshal of the day, and Uncle Luther and a few stragglers from Amery had marched with the parade; but Captain Enoch and his supporters stood by with gloomy forbearance, and offered no word of encouragement. There was really little need of Memorial Day services, except in the abstract. The cemetery, where the discord of the two towns was buried, lay on a bare prairie knoll, set around with precise rows of spindling cottonwoods that languished half the summer with thirst and whipping winds and dust and it contained no soldiers' graves. But Uncle Tommy's parades marched up the road to the cemetery gate and back again, and Uncle Luther
"Where he soldered leaky milk pans and tinkered clocks.”
felt that the country's dead, wherever they might lie, had been honored.
On the third year the old soldiers met again, thoroughly determined to be harmonious. In ten minutes' time Uncle Tommy was thumping on the pine table with his cane, and several of the other old soldiers were clinging to Captain Enoch's coat-tails, while the two men glared and threatened. And then Captain Enoch executed a well-planned flank movement, routed Uncle Tommy, and ran
up the Amery colors. A few minutes later his faction, acting with the right of might, had decided upon all the important features of the parade. And to further rout Uncle Tommy and his retainers, they appointed Uncle Luther to the honored position of marshal of the day.
At first Uncle Luther was dumb with astonishment. He had as good right to be marshal as Uncle Tommy. They had be
longed to the same regiment, and both had reached the rank of corporal, Uncle Luther on one leg and Uncle Tommy on two. But Uncle Luther always had deferred to Uncle Tommy as if he had been an older brother, and it seemed to him hardly short of sacrilege to appear as Uncle Tommy's rival. So he struggled to his feet, and held up a lean finger to catch Captain Enoch's eye.
"I rather have Tommy have the place," he faltered;" he's better fitted for it than I be."
But Uncle Tommy was storming down the
"Keep it," he roared, and he went out, slamming the door after him.
Uncle Luther followed him a few steps, wistfully, and then he dropped back in his seat, and listened dumbly while Captain Enoch and the exultant revolters planned the details of the parade.
"It's Amery's turn this year," gloated Captain Enoch.
Uncle Luther walked up the road alone. His step was brisker than usual, and there was a brighter gleam in his eye. He could not help feeling proud that he had been honored. There were other men in Amery who would have served better in his place-he knew that well enough, for he was old, and he
didn't walk easily-but he was glad with the joy of appreciation. For so many years he had been an unnoticed, crippled tinker, and when at last recognition came to him, even at the expense of his more fortunate brother, he could not help exulting.
"Well, I fought fer it," he mumbled; "an' I bled fer it. I'd a-given both my legs, if necessary-they know that." Then, after a pause, he said aloud: "But I wisht Tommy'd got it."
He opened the door of his little shop, and went in. His eyes swept the familiar disorder of the room, the rusty tools hanging on the wall, the blear-faced old clocks, the pots and pans, all the toys of a second childhood. He was glad to be at home again, for he was worn out and trembling with the unwonted excitement of the meeting. Outside, the sun shone on the green prairies, and there was warm, puddly dust in the road; but Uncle Luther's blood was thin and cold, and he shivered in the damp interior of the shop. So he brought his soldering brazier from the corner and stirred the coals into a bright glow. Then he bent over to warm his hands.
Jonathan Dowell came down the lane between his prosperous fields, on his way to town. Little Dick was with him. When Uncle Luther saw them, he went to the door and beckoned.
"Several of the other old soldiers were clinging to Captain Enoch's coat-tails."
"Come in, Jonathan, come in," he called. His face shone with pride, and he told with feverish eagerness of the new honor which the day had brought him.
"Nonsense," interrupted Jonathan, testily; "don't you know, father, that you're gettin' too old an' feeble to take part in such things? You ain't able to walk to the graveyard an' back, an' you're only stirrin' up trouble between the
UNCLE LUTHER DOWELL'S WOODEN LEG.
Uncle Tommy'll never forgive
"I know it," he faltered; "I know it, Jonathan. Tommy'd ought to have it. told 'em so. I said Tommy'd ought to have it." Í
The end of the lane was the end of Dick's little world, and he turned and loitered back, humming a tune to himself, as a child will. Uncle Luther stood in the doorway, and watched him wistfully. Of a sudden he recalled how Uncle Tommy had looked when they were boys together.
"Jus' like Tommy, exactly," he said, half aloud, gazing fondly at the little fellow. Then he bent over stiffly and beckoned.
"Come see gran'pa," he said, smiling enticingly.
nearer, glancing from the candy to his grandthe stick like a wizard's wand, and lured father's wrinkled face. Uncle Luther waved Dick nearer and nearer until a dirty little hand closed over the candy. Then he reached out slyly and cautiously, and gathered Dick in his arms.
"Ain't you goin' to kiss
But the little boy wriggled
"Dick crossed his hands be
Dick crossed his hands behind his back, and looked at Uncle Luther soberly. He was a sunnyhaired little fellow, with blue eyes and puckery red lips, and he stood full in the bright May sunshine.
Uncle Luther regarded him seriously. **I told 'em I didn't want to march," he said protestingly. I said Tommy'd do it better'n I cod: bat Captain Enoch, ner any of 'em, wouli't sten to me. Don't go 'way, Dicky, don't go 'way, an' leave gran pa." beseechingly.
But the tle boy was edging away: be dis't understand, and be was afraid.
"Ike't go "way." said Uncle Laber. are: "come a Bee whas gracije's got for City." He turned, and brolled painfully armes this sug He got races.
and make a
and send its cheery comfort stealing up
The dusk of evening came down, and filled the corners with shadows. And presently a glow that was not all in the brazier began to illumine the center of the room. A thin, wavering mist of smoke curled up around the old man, and crept silently along the dingy ceiling.
A moment later there was
a sharp burst of flame,