Page images

for themselves; but nearly all the personal guarantees, of which we so much boast on our national anniversaries, were borrowed from the mother country.



MRS. PRESTON is a native of Philadelphia, the daughter of Dr. George Junkin who in 1848 removed to Lexington, Virginia, as president of the Washington College, and remained there till 1861. She was married in 1857 to Prof. J. T. L. Preston of the Virginia Military Institute, her sister Eleanor being the wife of Colonel T. J. Jackson of the same institution.

She identified herself with the South, and her "Beechenbrook: a Rhyme of the War" contains the poems, "Stonewall Jackson's Grave" and "Slain in Battle." Her later writings are mostly short poems, many of them religious, articles for magazines, and sketches of travel, all of which breathe forth a sweet and wise influence.

Silverwood, [novel].

Old Songs and New.

For Love's Sake.

Book of Monograms, [travels].


Beechenbrook: a Rhyme of the War.
Cartoons, [poems].

Translated Dies Irae.

Tales and articles for papers [uncollected].


(On the death of Stonewall Jackson, 1863. his last words being, "Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.")

(From Cartoons.*)

What are the thoughts that are stirring his breast?

What is the mystical vision he sees?

"Let us pass over the river and rest

Under the shade of the trees.”

*By permission of author, and publishers, Roberts Brothers, Boston.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Has he grown sick of his toils and his tasks?
Sighs the worn spirit for respite or ease?
Is it a moment's cool halt that he asks
Under the shade of the trees?

Is it the gurgle of waters whose flow
Ofttime has come to him borne on the breeze,
Memory listens to, lapsing so low,

Under the shade of the trees?

Nay-though the rasp of the flesh was so sore,
Faith, that had yearnings far keener than these,
Saw the soft sheen of the Thitherward Shore,
Under the shade of the trees;-

Caught the high psalms of ecstatic delight,—
Heard the harps harping, like soundings of seas,-
Watched earth's assoilèd ones walking in white
Under the shade of the trees.

O, was it strange he should pine for release,

Touched to the soul with such transports as these,— He who so needed the balsam of peace,

Under the shade of the trees?

Yea, it was noblest for him—it was best,

(Questioning naught of our Father's decrees,) There to pass over the river and rest

Under the shade of the trees!



CHARLES HENRY SMITH, or "Bill Arp," the "Country Philosopher," was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and has made a wide reputation by his humorous letters in the Atlanta "Constitution." He served in the Confederate Army as colonel. Since the war, he has served his country

[ocr errors]

still by giving some very sound and good advice in his Country Philosopher" articles, seasoned with much humor; and his sketches of Georgian life are valuable.

[blocks in formation]

Big John had had a little war experience-that is, he had volunteered in a company to assist in the forcible removal of the Cherokees to the far west in 1835. It was said that he was no belligerent then, but wanted to see the maiden that he loved a safe transit, and so he escorted the old chief and his clan as far as Tuscumbia, and then broke down and returned to Ross Landing on the Tennessee River. He was too heavy to march, and when he arrived at the Landing, a prisoner was put in his charge for safe keeping. Ross Landing is Chattanooga now, and John Ross lived there, and was one of the chiefs of the Cherokees. The prisoner was his guest, and his name was John Howard Payne. He was suspected of trying to instigate the Cherokees to revolt and fight, and not leave their beautiful forest homes on the Tennessee and Coosa and Oostanaula and the Etowah and Connasauga rivers. He brought Payne back as far as New Echota, or New Town, as it was called, an Indian settlement on the Coosawattee, a few miles east of Calhoun, as now known. There he kept the author of " Home, Sweet Home" under guard, or on his parole of honor, for three weeks, and night after night slept with him in his tent, and listened to his music upon the violin, and heard him sing * By permission of the author.

his own sad songs until orders came for his discharge, and Payne was sent under escort to Washington.

Many a time I have heard Big John recite his sad adventures. "It was a most distressive business," said he. "Them Injuns was heart-broken; I always knowd an Injun loved his hunting-ground and his rivers, but I never knowd how much they loved 'em before. You know they killed Ridge for consentin' to the treaty. They killed him on the first day's march and they wouldent bury him. We soldiers had to stop and dig a grave and put him away. John Ross and John Ridge were the sons of two Scotchmen, who came over here when they were young men and mixed up with these tribes and got their good will. These two boys were splendid looking men, tall and handsome, with long auburn hair, and they were active and strong, and could shoot a bow equal to the best bowman of the tribe, and they beat 'em all to pieces on the cross-bow. They married the daughters of the old chiefs, and when the old chiefs died they just fell into line and succeeded to the old chiefs' places, and the tribes liked 'em mighty well, for they were good men and made good chiefs. Well, you see Ross dident like the treaty. He said it wasent fair and that the price of the territory was too low, and the fact is he dident want to go at all. There are the ruins of his old home now over there in De Soto, close to Rome, and I tell you he was a king. His word was the law of the Injun nations, and he had their love and their respect. His half-breed children were the purtiest things I ever saw in my life. Well, Ridge lived up the Oostanaula River about a mile, and he was a good man, too. Ross and Ridge always consulted about everything for the good of the tribes, but Ridge was a more milder man than Ross, and was more easily persuaded to sign the treaty that gave the lands to the State and to take other lands away out to the Mississippi.

« PreviousContinue »