Page images

to cut off all escape, General Jackson opened his artillery upon the breastworks, and having but in part demolished them, ordered forward the thirty-ninth regiment to carry the place by storm. The van was gallantly led by Col. Williams, Col. Bunch, Lieut.-Col. Benton, and Maj. Montgomery. Amidst a most destructive fire, they pressed to the breastworks, and desperately struggled for the command of the port-holes. But Maj. Montgomery, impatient at the delay, cried out to his men to follow him, and leaped upon the wall in face of the deadliest fire. For an instant he waved his sword over his head in triumph, but the next fell lifeless to the ground, shot through the head by a rifle ball. A more gallant spirit never achieved a nobler death, and the name of the young Tennesseean is preserved as a proud designation by one of the richest counties, as well as by one of the most flourishing cities, in the State whose soil was baptized by his blood!

The breastworks having been carried by storm, the Indians fell back among the trees, brush, and timber of the peninsula, and kept up a spirited contest. But, in the meantime, a portion of Coffee's command, and some of the friendly warriors under their distinguished chief, McIntosh, had swum across the river, fired the village of Tohopeka, and carried off the canoes of the enemy. The followers of Weatherford now became desperate, and from the banks, hollows, and other fastnesses of the place, fought with fury, refusing all offers of quarter. The fight continued in severity for five hours; and the going down of the sun was hailed by the survivors as furnishing them some chance of escape. But the hope was, in the main, deceptive.

Not more than twenty warriors are believed to have escaped, under cover of the night. Among these, strange enough, was the chieftain [Weatherford], whose appellation, “the Murderer of Fort Mims," had formed the watch-word and war-cry of his enemies in this very engagement. Favored by the thick darkness, he floated down the river with his horse, until below the Ameri. can lines, and then reaching the shore, made his way in safety to the highl.nds south of the Tallapoosa.

Weatherford could not consent to fly from the nation; he felt that he owed it, as a duty to his people, not to abandon them until peace was restored. In this state of mind he was apprised that the American commander had set a price upon his head, and refused peace to the other chiefs, unless they should bring him either dead, or in confinement, to the American camp, now at Fort Jackson, near the junction of the rivers. His determination was at once taken in the same spirit of heroism that always marked his conduct. Accordingly, mounting his horse, he made his way across the country, and soon appeared at the lines of the encampment. At his request, a sentinel conducted him to the presence of the commander-in-chief, who was seated in his marquee, in consultation with several of his principal officers. The stately and noble appearance of the warrior at once excited the attention and surprise of the General, and he demanded of the Chief his name and the purpose of his visit.

In calm and deliberate tones, the chieftain said: “I am Weatherford. I have come to ask peace for myself and for my people.”

The mild dignity with which these words were uttered, no less than their import, struck the American commander with surprise. [He hardly knew what to do; but he allowed some parley and Weatherford made a speech, ending thus:] “General Jackson, you are a brave man: another. I do not fear to die. But I rely on your generosity. You will exact no terms of a conquered and help

I am


less people, but those to which they should accede.

You have told us what we may do and be safe. Yours is a good talk and my nation ought to listen to it. They shall listen to it!"

General Jackson acceded to the demands of Weatherford, and assured him of peace and safety for himself and people.



PHILIP PENDLETON COOKE, the elder brother of the bet. ter known John Esten Cooke, was born in Martinsburg, Virginia, and spent his short life happily in his native county, engaged in field sports and in writing stories and poems for the “Southern Literary Messenger” and other magazines. His lyric, “ Florence Vane," has been very popular and has been translated into many languages. He was said to be stately and impressive in manner and a brilliant talker. Philip Pendleton and John Esten Cooke were first cousins of John Pendleton Kennedy, their mothers being sisters.

His death was caused by pneumonia contracted from riding through the Shenandoah on a hunting trip.


Froissart Ballads and other Poems.
John Carpe.
Gregories of Hackwood.

Crime of Andrew Blair.
Chevalier Merlin (unfinished).


I loved thee long and dearly,

Florence Vane;
My life's bright dream, and early,

Hath come again;

I renew,


fond vision,
My heart's dear pain,
My hope, and thy derision,

Florence Vane.

The ruin lone and hoary,

The ruin old,
Where thou didst hark my story,

At even told,-
That spot—the hues Elysian

Of sky and plain-
I treasure in my vision,

Florence Vane.

Thou wast lovelier than the roses

In their prime :
Thy voice excelled the closes

Of sweetest rhyme;
Thy heart was as a river

Without a main.
Would I had loved thee never,

Florence Vane!

But fairest, coldest wonder!

Thy glorious clay
Lieth the green sod under-

Alas the day!
And it boots not to remember

Thy disdain-
To quicken love's pale ember,

Florence Vane.

The lilies of the valley

By young graves weep, The pansies love to dally

Where maidens sleep; May their bloom, in beauty vying,

Never wane, Where thine earthly part is lying,

Florence Vane!

[graphic][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »