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Bivouac of the Dead.



THEODORE O'HARA, son of an Irish exile, was born in Danville, Kentucky, and educated at St. Joseph Academy, Bardstown, where he taught Greek to the younger classes while finishing his senior course. He read law, was appointed clerk in the Treasury Department at Washington, 1845, and on the outbreak of the Mexican War entered the army as a soldier, rising to be captain and major. At the close of the war, he returned to Washington and practised law. He was afterwards editor of the "Mobile Register," and of the Frankfort "Yeoman," in Kentucky, and was employed in diplomatic missions. He was a colonel in the Confederate Army, and after the war, settled in Georgia. On his death the Kentucky Legislature passed a resolution to remove his remains to Frankfort and lay them beside the soldiers whom he had so well praised in his "Bivouac of the Dead;" and there he rests, the soldier bard, among the voiceless braves of the Battle of Buena Vista. This poem was written for the occasion of their interment; and it has furnished the lines of inscription over the gateways of several military cemeteries.


The Old Pioneer.


(In Memory of the Kentuckians who fell at the Battle of Buena Vista, Jan. 28, 1847.)

The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tattoo;
No more on Life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.

On Fame's eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,

And Glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead.

No rumor of the foe's advance

Now swells upon the wind;

No troubled thought at midnight haunts Of loved ones left behind;

No vision of the morrow's strife

The warrior's dream alarms;

No braying horn nor screaming fife
At dawn shall call to arms.

Their shivered swords are red with rust,
Their plumèd heads are bowed;
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.

And plenteous funeral tears have washed The red stains from each brow,

And the proud forms, by battle gashed, Are free from anguish now.

The neighing troop, the flashing blade, The bugle's stirring blast,

The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
The din and shout, are past;

Nor war's wild note nor glory's peal
Shall thrill with fierce delight
Those breasts that never more may feel
The rapture of the fight.

Full many a norther's breath has swept
O'er Angostura's plain,-

And long the pitying sky has wept
Above its mouldered slain.

The raven's scream, or eagle's flight,
Or shepherd's pensive lay,
Alone awakes each sullen height

That frowned o'er that dread fray.

Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground,
Ye must not slumber there,

Where stranger steps and tongues resound Along the heedless air.

Your own proud land's heroic soil

Shall be your fitter grave:

She claims from war his richest spoil-
The ashes of her brave.

Thus 'neath their parent turf they rest,
Far from the gory field,

Borne to a Spartan mother's breast
On many a bloody shield;

The sunshine of their native sky
Smiles sadly on them, here,
And kindred eyes and hearts watch by
The heroes' sepulchre.

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead!
Dear as the blood ye gave;
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave;
Nor shall your glory be forgot

While Fame her record keeps,
Or Honor points the hallowed spot
Where Valor proudly sleeps.

Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanished age hath flown,
The story how ye fell;

Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight, Nor Time's remorseless doom,

Shall dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your deathless tomb.

FOURTH PERIOD. 1850-1894.


History of Florida.


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GEORGE RAINSFORD FAIRBANKS was born in Watertown, New York, but settled in Florida at St. Augustine in 1842 and identified himself with his adopted state. From 1860 to 1880 his home was at Sewanee, Tennessee, and he has been on the Board of Trustees of the "University of the South' since 1857. During the war he served as major in the Confederate army, 1862–65. In 1880 he returned to Florida and has since made his home in Fernandina. His " History of Florida" is considered the best history of that state, and is written in a clear and interesting style.


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History and Antiquities of St. Augustine.

(From History of Florida.*)

His true Indian name was As-se-se-ha-ho-lar, or Black Drink, but he was commonly called Osceola, or Powell. He belonged to a Creek tribe called Red Sticks, and was a half-breed. He removed to Florida with his mother when a child, and lived near Fort King [three miles east of Ocala]. At the beginning of the Florida war he was about thirty* By permission of the author.

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