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10. He's not here—and not here !—What wild hopes flash
through My thoughts as foot-deep I stand in this dread dew, And cast up a prayer to the blue, quiet sky!— Was it you, girl, that shrieked? Ah! what face doth lie Upturned toward me there, so rigid and white ! O God, my brain reels!—'Tis a dream! My old sight
11. Is dimmed with these horrors--My son ! oh, my son!
Would I had died for thee, my own, only one !
12. HE WAS YOURS, TOO ; HE LOVED YOU? Yes, yes, you're
right! Forgive me, my daughter : I'm maddened to-night! Don't moan so, dear child : you're young, and your
years May still hold fair hopes—but the old die of tears ! Yes, take him again ! ah !-don't lay your face there! See, the blood from his wound has stained your loose
13. How quiet you are !-Has she fainted ?-her cheek
Is cold as his own.-Say a word to me,-speak!
14. I'll sit by my children until the men come
To bury the others, and then we'll go home !
LIV.-REMINISCENCES OF JOHN BROWN.
A. H. QUINT. 1. Our regiment was in a few days sent forward to occupy Harper's Ferry alone. It was an honorable post, and we were welcomed with joy. To see tears rolling down many a cheek at the sight of the old flag, was a pleasant sight after the sullen hate of the other places where we had been. Here remaining for some weeks, with our own colonel as commandant of the post, even after the bulk of the army had come, we had opportunities to visit every memorable spot. The famous Jefferson Rock was there ; but few visited it, while many curiously examined every place famous for John Brown's footsteps.
2. The massive and beautiful bridge which he had held, over the Potomac, was in ruins. Southern vandals had destroyed it. But the place of his guard was remembered. The spot where he had stopped, and then, not wisely, released, the railway train ; the arsenal held by him at first, the ruins of the very muskets once at his disposal, now lying in heaps where our own troops afterward fired the building to keep them from rebel hands; the rock in the river where one of his men was barbarously shot in crossing ; the mountain woods where another hid till driven out by hunger,-all these, numerous citizens were ready to show.
3. But chief in interest was the engine-house where his final and useless defense took place. I recognized it from the pictures then published. It has two double doors, each wide enough for the entrance of a fire-engine,-thick, massive doors. There still remain, unaltered, the several holes made through the brick walls to enable the besieged to fire on their assailants. Former spectators showed where the few United States soldiers unhesitatingly advanced to batter in the doors, and where companies of holiday soldiers had wisely hid out of danger of the rifles, contenting themselves with preventing escape till men of some courage should dare a capture.
4. All the arsenal buildings were worthy of inspection, but the long lines of noble shops were mainly in ghastly ruins; the very trees of that once beautiful spot, scorched to death, cast the shadows of their leafless limbs upon the blackened walls. One of them, still retaining a roof, I shall always remember as the place where our Northern regiment met to worship, while the roar of thunder and the flash of lightning were the accompaniments to the old psalms which rolled through the long structure. But, by some chance, the only building of that vast series which still remains uninjured, is the engine-house which John Brown made his fortress; and over it still wave the green trees, unhurt. Is it a prophetic emblem?
5. Our regiment, by and by, crossed the Potomac. It was by the same ford, unused for many years, till now reopened, by which the Virginia troops departed for Cambridge in 1775. On the Maryland Heights opposite we bivouacked for weeks. Yet, by the providence which seemed to follow us, we were in the fields and snug by the house of the first man who met John Brown, when, under an assumed name, he was looking for a farm to occupy, preparatory to his peculiar purpose.
6. From him, whose heart was unlocked by the same key as the Charlestown landlords,* I gathered full accounts of their conversation, and how a farm, mentioned by this man as he and Brown stood at the gate before us, was taken. Brown had made a favorable impression, as well as his sons; my informant “never saw any thing out of the way in him," though Brown would never enter his house. The farm was two or three miles off, and there is nothing peculiar there. The people were mystified by Brown's movements, he said. Some peculiar articles which he had, they thought were some kind of divining tools. Brown laughed when he heard of it ; they were surveying implements.
7. The last spot I saw in this connection was the schoolhouse where the arms were hid. One night, going out with our adjutant, who was taking particular care on that occasion in stationing our picket-guard, about three-fourths of a
* The landlord was a Mason or Odd Fellow, and refused to give information until he was approached with the secret signs of his order.
mile from our guard we came to the building referred to. It is smaller than any of our country school-houses ; like even dwelling-houses here, it is of logs, with a layer of mud of equal thickness alternating with each log, save at the corners.
8. A respectable farmer in New England furnishes better accommodations for his pigs. The roof is now partly destroyed, it having been set on fire. The floor is nearly all gone. Under the floor the arms had been concealed, and there also was hidden one of the men, while his enemies were searching the woods, and even entering the house. It was from this building that Brown dismissed the school one day, to take possession. It is a quiet place, half a mile from the Potomac, with nothing habitable near save the huts of boughs which rebel soldiers had since occupied and abandoned.
9. If I were asked the impression made upon my mind as to opinions in these localities, I should say that while John Brown was and is called a fanatic, he was and is respected. He was made, by the trial and execution, a hero. The daring exhibited in his attempt, the manliness he showed on his trial, the calmness with which he met death, made a lasting and deep impression. The local effect was powerful. On our march to Charlestown, stopping for a few moments at a house by the way, I pointed out the path to some soldiers crowding in for water, that I might appease the needlessly frightened family.
10. While waiting till all were satisfied, some conversation took place with some of the inmates, who were secessionists, in the course of which the mistress of the house said frankly, “ We do not dare direct our servants as you spoke to those soldiers.” I had merely and pleasantly pointed out a path away from the lawn, and I asked her, “Why?" “We are afraid of them. We have not dared order them since old John Brown's affair. The servants have always said since, “Well, somebody's coming like old John Brown, yet.' Such is the general feeling in that vicinity. Nor did the slaves hesitate to express their delight at our presence. Shame on the miserable business our army had, to send back fugitives !
11. Nor did residents there attach only a local importance to the transactions of that time. They felt-and I feel with them—that thence dated this war. The South trembled on seeing that its pet system had no safe foundation. Its Enceladus was under the volcano, and the heavings were too perilous. From that date it began to arm. All over the slave-country military companies were formed. Its Wises began to plot. Its Floyds began to steal.
12. And therefore, when the war began, the South was ready, while the unconscious North, which had disapproved the raid, and supposed it had thereby satisfied the slavepower,' was totally unprepared. Thank God, it is so no longer. The free North is pouring down its sons by hun-. dreds of thousands—in no war to abolish slavery, it is true, but none the less to insure its doom. Had the South remained loyal, slavery would still have been protected. It is now too late. And if our government be wise, besides its immense armies, in the fear of the Southern heart John Brown's ghost is worth a hundred thousand men.
LV.—THE PATRIOT SPY.
FRANCIS M. FINCH.
1. To drum beat and heart beat
A soldier marches by ;
There is courage in his eye;
In a moment he must die.
2. By star-light and moon-light
He seeks the Briton's camp,
And the arméd sentry's tramp;
His silent wanderings lamp.