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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHIN
D. C., NOVEMBER 26, 1881. i 3 For The National TninuNn. WATCHING. Soft UirouRli the trees summer breezes arc sighing, Sweet breathe the perfumes from meadows fresh shorn. Far in the wctt sunset colors nrc clymff ; 'Neath a green shade Mis n maiden forlorn. Stealthily over her iwiliftht is creeping, Kobhinff her hair of its bright golden hue. Drawn bv the darkness the star-eyes come peeping Slily through rents in their canopy blue. Burdened with fears, she yet lingers, in sorrow, Watching her dear one's return, all in vain. Vainly she hopes he may come on the morrow; Ne'er shall she greet him, though long she remain. Yonder he lias, where the wild tide of battle Fiercest rolled over the death-heavy sod, Lies where lie fell 'mid the musketry's rattle, Prone on the earth at the beck of his God. On his dead fnee the calm starlight is beaming O'er hi still form breathe the winds soft and low; While in the distance the camp-fires are gleaming, Tinting his cheeks with a bright, ruddy glow. Thus sits the maiden, her sad vigil keeping, Watching for one who shall come never more ; Thus lies her hero, so peacefully sleeping After life's feverish visions are o'er. CAPTURE OF FORT HARRISOiN j HOW THE REBELS FAILED TO RETAKE IT. By Brevet Brigadier-General Cecil Clay in Philadelphia Times. Some lime ago there was, published in The Weekly Times an account of the attempt which General Lee made at the suggestion of General Gordon, who was entrusted with its execution, to break through the lines of our army before Petersburg at a'point not far from Appomattox river, so as to effect a lodgment between the bulk of General Grant's forces and City Point, and roll the army up from its right flank. As a tactical movement this was not a bad one, but at the time General Gordon attempted to put it in execution it was too late for any permanent re sult to come from it. Fort Steadman was taken by a night attack and held for a few hours, but the enemy were soon driven from it and our lines re-established as before. The idea of this movement, however, was not a new one. It had suggested itself to some one as early as June, 1SG4, and came within an ace of being put to severe practical test. On the 24th day of that month the right of General Grant's lines before Petersburg resting on the Appomat tox river, was held by the First division of the Eighteenth Corps. This division contained three brigades, each of which in turn occupied the front line of works for twenty-four hours at a time. On the day mentioned the front line was held by the Third brigade, composed of the Fortieth Massachusetts, Twenty-first Connecticut, Ninety-second New York, One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania, and Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania. I was serving in the latter regi ment as a captain ; the division was commanded by General George J. Stannard, of Vermont, and the brigade by Brevet Brigadier-General Guy V. Henry, an officer of the Kegulars, who was Colo nel of the Fortieth Massachusetts. There was no lack of "fight" about either of these com manders. This front line of work consisted of a strong rifle-pit, made by digging a deep and moderately .wide ditch, the earth from which was thrown out upon the side next the enemy and made into a parapet. Inside the ditch on the same side was a wide banquette of proper height for the men to stand upon and fire over the par apet ; while in the rear face were dug at intervals recesses in which the officers accommodated them selves, spreading over the top shelter tents to keep off the sun or rain. A short distance in front of this line was a string of skirmish pits or French pits, that is to say, a lot of small de tached pits; a few yards apart, dug for the accom modation of the skirmish line and made so as to be commanded by the fire of the works in the rear. They were dug about ten feet square by running an inclined plane from the surface of the ground at the rear to the depth of some three feet in front, and throwing up the earth as a breast work. In each of these pits were three or four men. The enemy's front line was in fair rifle range, and the intervening space was covered with a growing crop of oats, high enough to afford con siderable cover. The night of the 23d passed in quietness, but on the morning of the 24th, just as we were be ginning to think about breakfast, we were sud denly roused from our meditations by a great roar of artillery and the horrid shrieking and whistling of missiles of all sorts, which flew just over our heads, plunged into the bank behind us, smashed the top of our parapet, knocked down our shelter tents and scattered dirt and dust by the tubfull all over us, but, very fortu nately, little death and not much destruction. When we recovered from our momentary astonish ment we found the enemy had concentrated the fire of forty guns upon the small front held by our brigade. Any one who has "been there" knows what that means. Forty guns concen trated on the front of one brigade ! Why the air was perfectly blue. There was a continuous roar, shriek, and whiz ; fragments of shell flew in every direction. Crash, bang! and a big feller knocks down as much earth as an Irishman would throw out of a cellar in a day. The second and third lines of works Trcre on higher ground than the front line, but behind them the ground sloped off again to a ravine, running -7mn TrHOT'fl fllO TM Tfv ml 111 liir. ..: collected the cooks of the various regiments and all the cooking of the division was done there. Just as the firing began it happened that two Con necticut men were marching along toward brigade headquarters, carrying between them a large mar ket basket containing the breakfast for General Henry and his staff mess. A shell hit the basket and away went beefsteak, bread and bacon in every direction. There was no breakfast at brigade headquarters that morning. All the shots that went over the rise of the ground behind us pitched into the cooks' ravine, and there was soon a frantic exodus of detailed men and darkies looking out for a safe place. Anticipat ing a heavy assault as the sequence to this artil lery fire the teams were loaded and dispatched to the rear, so that there was no chance to get any fresh rations, and General Henry had to wait until dinner-time for his breakfast. I fared bet ter than most of them. After the affair was all over I saw my faithful African, old "Trince," coming along the pit from the covered way, covered with dust and dirt, but bearing in triumph a well-filled basket and an odorous coffee-pot. '"'Why, Prince," I exclaimed, "why in the world didn't you bring my breakfast up here? "What have you been doing all this while? Breakfast should have been ready an hour ago." u Of course, sir," poor Prince replied, with wide expanded eyes, " I knowed you would want your breakfast. Youse 'bliged to have your break fast, but you have no idea how dcy was a chunkin down yonder. Everybody had done left and gone away 'cept me and anoder man." After continuing half an hour or so the fire stonncd as suddenly as it began. We were ex pecting a charge and the men at once sprang to their feet and began peering over the parapet, while all along the line was heard the click, click, click ! click ! click ! of musket locks. The rebel skirmish line came tumbling out over their Avorks and disappearing in the oats, advanced rapidly to our skirmish pits. The men Avho occupied these offered little resistance and allowed the enemy to enter them, but once in they turned on them and said: "Come in, Johnny ! " The call was re iterated by the men on the Avorks and in a feAV minutes Ave had disposed of the AAiiole of the skir mish line, some four hundred or five hundred men of Hagood's South Carolina brigade; we could count but thirty-six Avho got back over the enemy's works. This Avas the end of that affair no other troops folloAved the skirmishers and in a little while things h1 settled doAvn to their normal condition. It seems that General Lee imagu-ed that, to aid General Grant in his reaching out to our left, Ave must haAre Aveakened the right of our line and that he might possibly be able to break through next the river and double us up. He had all his available troops massed opposite us that morn ing. Hagood's brigade Avas to adArance as skir mishers and Hoke's division Avas to follow. Hoke, hoAvever, made a mess of it in some A-ay, did not start in time and the Jhing fell through. Hoke Avas an obstinate man. At any rate his division did not charge that day. We had developed too much force; Ave had three lines of Aorks all Avell manned. I think Hoke's division had not been remodeled within a month before, Avhen it consist ed of four brigades, containing, according to the names of their commanders, the folloAAing regi ments respectively : Hagood's, the Seventh, EleAr enth, Twenty-first, Twenty-fifth, and Twenty seventh South Carolina; Colquitt's, the Sixth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, TAventy-seventh, and Twenty-eighth Georgia; Clingman's, the Eighth, Thirty-first, Fifty-first, and Sixty-first North Carolina, and Martin's, the Seventeenth, Forty second and Sixty-sixth North Carolina. What other troops Avere to aid Hoke I do not knoAV, but for such a movement there should have been more, and as General Lee Avas there he probably had others, as many as he could spare from his right. In December, 1SG3, the Fifty-eighth Pennsyl vania regiment Avas in North Carolina. General Butler issued an order under the terms of Avhich, should the regiment re-enlist three-fourths of its men by January 1, 18G4, it should be granted a furlough of thirty days within thirty days from that date and go home as a veteran regiment. The men accordingly re-enlisted, but on one pre text and another had been refused their furlough ; had been through the spring campaign from North Carolina to Bermuda Hundred; then through the Cold Harbor slaughter and from that to Petersburg, and now Avere beginning to feel dissatisfied. The chance of a Avhack at the enemy cheered them up on the morning of the 24th of June it Avas seldom Ave got a fair chance at them, Ave standing on the defensive and they Avere quite disappointed because Hoke did not come out. That day Ave received our six months overdue furlough and the disappointment Avas forgotten. Three months from that Ave did re ceive a visit from Hoke's division and were able to give it a Avarm reception. On the 29th of September, 1SG4, the First divi sion, Eighteenth Corps, stormed Fort Harrison. I do not propose now to give an account of this affair, although I have never seen any account of it in print except a personal narrative published by me in the Germantown Telegraph in 187G. It is necessary to say something about it, hoAvever, so as to explain Avhat folloAs. Fort Harrison Avas a strong eartlnvork Avith an eighteen feet parapet and deep ditch. Its shape Avas three sides of a square, the fourth side open so as to be com manded by the next line in rear. It mounted eleA'en guns on barbette. In the next line, and someAvhat to the (our) right of Fort Harrison, Avas Fort Gilmer, a Avork equally strong. Both these forts Avere known to us as at Chapin's Farm, a few miles beloAv .Richmond on the north side of the James. Among the papers published by the Southern Historical Society is an article upon the attack on Fort Gilmer, in which the at iter says he believes there Avas an eartlnvork some Avhat nearer the river called Battery Harrison, and thinks it mounted several guns. "Of this the Federals took possession ;" and he then goes on to describe the attack on Fort Gilmer, because that failed, and so left him some cause for self gratulation. We crossed the James on the night of the 28th of September and attacked the enemy on the morning of the 2f)th. The First division, Eighteenth Corps, assailed Fort Harrison, Avhile the attack on Fort Gilmer Avas entrusted to Gen eral Birney and Avas a failure. Our division marched three-quarters of a mile through open ground, straight up to Fort Harrison and into it. That the "taking possession" Avas not such a simple affair, may be understood Avhen I say that in the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, Avhich I com manded in the attack the guiding regiment of the division there Avas one hundred and ten men killed and wounded out of a total of tAvo hundred and twenty-six present. The first three men on the parapet were Private Copeland, of Company F, who was shot through the head and killed; Lieutenant Johnson, who was shot through both arms, but Avas, nevertheless, the first man in and got another shot in the breast; and I, who carried in the first color on the Avork, the blue State flan of the One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Pennsyl vania, whose color-bearer 1 . 1 .nrU kiiUd, and got three shots in me also G-nenl Onl. who commanded the Corps, Avas von mlt. I in Hi lpf. and of our three brigade c i it :?r ' ' was killed, one Avounded, and the lit. i. Cohuu -. n. Roberts, of the One Hundro! and Thirl -i. nfch Ncav York, commanding oik !.:!: -de, coMpe led to return to the sick bed frou wJi h u had r sen to take a gallant part in th frdx. V is oi o of taking possession" some tii ing. However, there is no (' take possession, and it Avas ' Hoke's division Avas sent to a There Avas a good deal of moud the day Ave took Foi . b -oii. .i.u'oy- Vltlg fchat wo lid u;m -"Sita" us that .ti Tnettt in K'loh 1 iarrtson . mt Avas hammering away mercil .- ' v on the extr- ne left beyond Petersburg, and :. had all r ,,.)re than he could do to resist hi .i. ;.t .1 had lei he lines north of the James nc. erytr ) le fended as to numbers. Wh .), fheielon-.it i as known that avc had crossed he nvcr and i id already captured Fort Harris -m, h re was consternation in the capital. V apki.ei soon Ave might make our app -aiicc at th : of the city. Home guards i ' ull th-r- , by courtesy could be called s l-tu were ord out and sent forth to the li'i . ind wur.i at w -?s o d r.ts sent to General Lee of the g- uy cf the oitu.1 tion. There Avas, in truth, cat ' - -.!,xrm. Hid Birney massed a division and mefsji it ui Foi t , Gilmer, that, too, Avould hav hands, and then any sort of co ), his forces and ours Avould h: variegated troops back upon t ney had his oavu ideas on the in. by sending one colored regim Gilmer. When that Avas an two, and then a white regin of course, remained Avith th AAras no going ahead on tin Our division, after taking Fo tOAvard the riArer and capt minor Avorks, but the comma ' ' General Ord Avas Avounded, al ' o M v i ' B t ;,.i H VM " tta , d Ik - . .. ,.': . : v and 1 i ' f n the ..:aon. rii"-'CV- 'ill ", -t , ,. hea il iK.gau v.x) ,i. manders Avere hors da combat, of the diAision devolved colonel of a NeAv York i . nothing Avas to be expected ii . advanced no further, thereft v to establish ourselves in the so as to be able to hold them General Ord having beer Weitzel took command of tli General Weitzel had been av. . Arming at Fortress Monro- Avas in progress, he Avas ordei ler to take the fastest boat h at once to the front. This -Chapin's Farm after the figlr i over, but in time to prepare ' day. The capture of Fort Hi . of such a large body of troo -mond Avas felt by the enemy to Lee determined to attempt ' h fort by assault. Ol the mo .' f conn, yonr . i of . qui' irv ?J S"t ' . a : .1 . a We k tM v-v:i Ue , ii'h L"' rial a iV (T 3 ,t 1 '"rat j i ..i . o f 1 !!' '" d . 'H ' ii h VV is l a i tin . :t - i au'i Jirt"ut J !' to K -l- 'e j ere u rei. na, - '..? fi " lid r.i V. lie ( 31 September Hoke's division av.- irou,; Petersburg and Lee himseli lir-ttd r: Meantime our men had not b i i d! night succeeding the fight -r, W Avith such tools or apologies .: :os ;e had and a sort of riile-pit w s i.fu. the rear or open face of Fo" Lr:xLtf.a 1 i( K. Mr. 0t le AVwlk -d v wi;lii 'je ' .dUuSS . iiis .. . Cfc :t- . so lie )ge r-.-' he - L ITS the men lay three or four le - o$ ridges AA'ere scattered along i j iear .it that there should be no lack .f ,; -ui enemy advanced in columi .t..d b-id over a slightly descending r iii i -fort. The division came on . rinc oiL with their swords drawn, . battle-flags flying. As soo range our men beccan firiiur rnjs gutt nj jl- it n if - .ad in lt)v. vmi iuv.ii ali" xi5 !, v .- 2J - .d- Avere m the pits, Avith the i . m f'n ing the pieces and handing f Leiu to t: front, kept up a tremendous i. j riir ; nothing could stand, let a adv.'- - the fire opened the men a?- v .ui shout " an amiable Aveakness," an -i long j tr eh v.i en 1)AV, guff's dis- mn the :'3 0f i of dust plainly to be seen. hrowri up -oaif tance on the hither side of ' if awlvai.r marked the impact of the ' lis r; -i., . head of the oncoming ma-ss reach. 1 .t fire and then ! It seem? of it in cold blood, that mc in the slaughter of their fe ties of the Avar as carried c our part, had almost invar tacking party; uoav Ave a f and had a chance to retail feet ually. Away Avent or, men, officers, and battle-fla ' : :i"l i,o" nig AiU h - . ted -a, bu ti.i .( tssi- a offei. i vr on y irHf n :' at- on :h if . ive y 'i ' ' . t ef--'aiion. d ' - .-ent ii ')' n.4tj a - uld stand that Avithering fire. ;iLc-ra s mo; , the front, flags Avaved and the rowtl, fos mui'" i: -oon became, struggled to get ? to csr - , but there Avas no standing the . .et. an. ! - v, liole mass fell back in confusioi A bin-ond t '. (i ,-v met the same fate, but anima . 1 by the : General Lee, the division u de still a L.ue of er at- tempt, but only to break t'te rear ugt n, thor oughly used up. Several 1 . dred pri...u were taken and a number of ' u ale-flags, while the ground Avas corered Avith t! c- k iii..d and v.-anded. We had made a great slauht. r, and Fort Harri son Avas still ours, not to l(i again en,? !.; red. The loss on our side Avas tribu table to the fire of th lu.'tll and v u. ly at antederate uohoats juaxd, oui division in the river General commander, lost an arm, a id there wei !. ; 'iaps, a hundred other casualties 'li.t confnierat-' loss Avas probably ten times th... While a Avagon filled Ai i .-(ttridges -& haing unloaded just in the rea i cur men tl, ii Kiiitd or v.. -SOf t'.u - u , ' : - d SIX ded ded irge the rith s of mules attached to it were and one man lost his leg. T mules Avere horrible. D there Avas one poor confe( leg, who used his musket its aid Avent limping to t shots Avere fired at him, Avhile many of the men cheered him on, anxious to see him get safely aAvay. Looking around occasionally to see that no one Avas after him, he finally disappeared Avith out further mishap. It Avas about noon when the first charge Avas made, and Avhile the fighting Avas in progress rain began to fall and continued to pour down all night, making the situation of the men in the trenches miserable enough, and that of the poor Avounded men detestable. Our men, hoAvever, could afford to laugh at their discom forts. Hoke's division had visited us and found us at home. "DIXIE." Dan Emmett, the minstrel, says that he wroto the song Dixie as a "Avalkaround" for Bryant's company in New York in 1859. On Saturday night Bryant asked him to make something that could be uscvi after one rehearsa', as it must go on Monday night, and during Sunday he wrote the son:. The catch Avords. " I Avish I Avas in jjixie," Avere taicen irom an expression common among circus men Avhen cold Avc.it her caught them in the North, the Avoid "Dixie" being ap plied to the South in rather a confused allusion to Mason and Dixon's line. The song became popular almost in an instant, and Emmett sold the right to use it to other companies and finally disposed of the copyright, but his total receipts from it Avere less than $800. At the breaking out of the Avar the South appropriated the air, and for a time it Avas not heard at the North, but Emmett says that after Lee's surrender Lincoln asked a band to play it at Washington, saying, "If atc have captured the rebel commander we have captured the rebel tune as Avell." It Avas not for some time after this, however, that it be came popular again. -i-v 1 1 -, HOME FOR DISABLED VETERANS. Thanks to the unflagging energy of General W. S. Kospcrans and his colleagues, the worn-out veterans of the late Avar, of Avhom alone ninety one are known to be scattered in alms houses in California, the gallant old soldiers are now in a fair way to have a home. The m ost glorious local monument to our murdered President would un doubtedly be the founding of a home for his veteran and disabled comrades of the war of the Union. We understand that the net proceeds of the street raihvays and ferries for Thanksgiving Day are to be given to this excellent purpose. If Garfield Avere alive uoav, and could dictate his wishes, there is no question but that he would scorn the greatest bronze or marble monument ever erected compared to the perpetuation of his name and fame in connection with a home for our soldiers. San Francisco News Letter ONE OF EARTH'S NOBLEMEN. When the Cyprian aais Avrecked on the coast of Wales a lew weeks ago, the tAvo hundred peo ple Avho stood horror-stricken along the shore saAv an act of heroism rarely witnessed under any cir cumstances. The captain, John A. Strachan, of Liverpool, had told those on board that everyone must look to himself. Most of the creAv had dropped overboard, and Captain Strachan also prepared to leap into the billoAvs. He tied a life belt about his Avaist and mounted the rail. At that moment he noticed the pale face of a boy peering from below decks. The lad was a stoAv aAvay. A feAV hours ago he was a sneak, an un worthy thing, a miserable pilferer of pmileges ; but noAV the skipper only remembered he Avas a human being, to be saved if possible, at any rate not to be left behind. Without a word Captain Strachan unbuckled the life-belt from his AA-aist and lashed it ship-shape upon the little stoAv aAvay, bidding him save himself. "I can SAAim," said the captain, "take the belt." Over the side Avent the stowaway, lifted upon the surf like a cork; OA-er the side Avent the captain, trusting, like the good brave fellow that he was, to his strength, enfeebled Avith long watching and anx iety. But swimming was impossible in such a sea. The boatswain, struggling for his own life, caught at the captain, who Avas still making headway, and both went down, never to be seen again ; Avhile the little stowaway, Avith the good captain's life-belt about his Avaist, Avas flung upon the Welsh coast, battered about, but alive to tell the story of his strange fate and his kind friend's heroism. A DARING FEAT. A daring feat in navigation Avas performed re cently by Captain James Hart, a Yankee skipper, now in the employ of the Chilian government. More than a year ago the iron screw steamer Pi mac Avas Avrecked by the Peruvians. The burned and sunken hulk was left in the harbor at Calioa. Last month Captain Hart raised the hulk, re paired the engines and steamed soutlnvard to Yalparaiso, a distance of 1,558 miles. Every par ticle of Avoodwork had been burned from the Eimac and her ribs shone like those of a mega therium's skeleton. The deck beams were cracked and twisted as if they had been thin iron Avires. Very heaA-y Aveather Avas encountered, and as the vessel Avould dip into the seas or they Avould strike her abeam the water Avould rush into the hold, threatening to swamp her at any moment. All hands, from captain to cook, Avere wet through the entire trip. Several of the damaged deck beams broke through the straining of the sides and one day the remains of the bridge tumbled into the hold, carrying Avith it the binnacle and the Avheel Avhich had been temporarily fixed up. STONEWALL JACKSON FRIGHTENED. Governor Jackson, of West Virginia, relates the folloAving anecdote : I recollect asking " Stonewall," Avho Avas my cousin, if he had CA-cr been frightened in Avar. He said yes, once he had been considerably under a sense of fear. It Avas in the City of Mexico. A chest containing a large sum of money had been put in Lieutenant Jackson's charge, and to be perfectly secure of it he ordered it carried to his headquarters, in an old abbey or convent, and laid down there alone in the room with it to sleep, a sentinel walking the corridor outside. He had been there in bed only a feAV minutes, and was getting drowsy, when he distinctly heard some thing under his bed, which lifted up as if a man was secreted there. Jackson said he leaped out of bed and drew his sword and examined the bed and the room in vain. Jackson then sup posed he had been possibly dreaming and resumed his bed. Just as he Avas thinking it Avas all a mistake his bed lifted again, plainly, and Avith some force. He started forth a second time, sword in hand, and behold! nothing Avas there. "This time." said he, "I was scared, indeed, till my attention was called to a shouting outside in the street, and then I found that it was an earthquake passing under the City of Mexico that had lifted my bed up and given me such apprehensions." A tunnel has been cut through an extinct A'ol canoe in Ncav Zealand. It is three thousand yards in length. CLEANING OUT THE SUTLER. The army sutler was the soldier's best friend and Avorst enemy. He was looked upon as an extortioner, and therefore an enemy, and yet ho Avas regarded as a friend Avho stood between the soldier and hunger. There were occasions Avhen regimental wagons could not "get there," bub it Avas only on rare occasions that the sutler's Avagons could not pull through. It is true he asked a big price for his cake, cheese, and canned goods, but lie had taken big risks in following the regiment. All things considered, the sutler did not deserve the reproach bestowed upon his call ing. He ran risks Avhich only brave men take, and his expenses sometimes devoured his profits, large as U103- seemed. Very few of them made any great amount of money, and scores of them Avere financially "busted" by raids and robberies. From first to last the sutler was considered fair game for any one Avho could beat him, and when he could not be tricked he could be cleaned out. This latter process Avas the darkest mystery in army life. No one seemed to plan or to lead, and yet all seemed to understand. At a given moment, Irom twenty-five to one hundred men would suddenly appear at the sutler's tent, or hut, and go through him like a hurricane. The blow fell so quickly that there Avas no dodging it, and the guards arrived too late to make an arrest or save anything. At the remount camp at Pleasant Valley, in 1865, thirty men fell upon the sutlers cabin about fiATe minutes after roll-call. It was a stout log hut, securely barred and bolted, and contained $700 dollars Avorth of stores. The clerk, a young man of nineteen, slept Avithin, armed with two revolvers. There Avas a grand yell, a crash, and all Avas over. In five minutes from the first alarm a guard Avas on the spot, but too late. The only articles left in the hut Avould not have sold for $50. The clerk Avas outside in his night clothes, robbed of his arms and cash, and cheeses, bags of nuts, boxes of candy, and cases of tobacco and canned goods had disappeared as if taken up by the Avind. A strict search of camp was at once begun, but not so much as a nickel's worth of the stolen property could be discovered. A hundred men Avere suspected and questioned, but not one could be held responsible. It Avas like the SAvoop of a haA'k, and as full of deadly ven geance. In 18G2, in Richardson's brigade of infantry, a sutler Avas cleared out at noon, in the midst of four thousand men Avith their eyes open, and $1,000 Avorth of goods secreted in camp so well that only a dozen penholders could be found by the searchers. Twenty men did the business in about two minutes, and not one of them could be identified. Detroit Free Press. A TERRIBLE POSSIBILITY, Mr. Park Benjamin, an ex-naA'al officer and an accomplished scientist, has Avritten a sketch Avhich ought to wake up the American people to a sense of their naval and military weakness. The story purports to be a forecast of AAiiat is Aery likely to take place. For some slight or offense, Spain declares Avar against the United States, and four Spanish iron-clads are thereupon sent to the port of NeAV York. The Franklin, our A'ery best war-ship, engages the Salamanca, but the guns of the Spanish vessel tear the American all to pieces before the shot from our OAvn vessel can reach her armored antagonist. Finally, tlie invading fleet get into position outside of Coney Island, and deliberately shell New York, in four days making the city a heap of blazing ruins. The object of Mr. Benjamin is to bring home viAidly to the American people that while they have an extensive sea coast and rich and populous cities liable to capture, they have no naA-y, nor have they any large guns. A very modest naval force Avould require five years to build and get in readiness. To construct the machinery necessary to make an Armstrong or Ivrupp gun, would require eighteen months of time. The largest guns Ave could put in position Avould be ineffective for a greater distance thau three miles; but the Spanish vessel Avould carry guns Avhich could shell NeAV York at a distance of eleven or twelve miles. Mr. Benjamin's statements are borne out by the official reports of our leading naA-al and military authorities. But the American people pay no heed. Democracies are proverbially short-sighted, and never realize peril until it comes. Every school-boy knows that potentially Ave are the greatest naval and military poAver on earth, but the average American cannot realize that it takes time to create an army and naA-y, or to construct great guns, and that an unarmed giant is at the mercy of a seven-year-old boy, armed Avith a pistol. Nothing but some fearful disaster, like the capture of NeAV York by some contemptible naval poAver, will make our people realize the situation. Demorest's. IN THE JAWS OF DEATH. The case of President Garfield recalls the fact that many persons in the Avorld s history have be come Avell after their physicians and friends had given them up. Pichard I of England had a fever in Palestine Avhich the physicians said Avould kill him ; but he got back to his own country aliA-e and well. William HI of England Avas al Avays sick, and Avas three times given up bj his doctors, but he finally died from the effects of a fall. 1 lis ancestor, William of Orange, who found ed the Dutch republic, Avas shot through the neck and face by an assassin; but recoA-ered to the amazement of every one. Charles O'Connor, the Avell-known New York hrwyer, Avas pronounced hopelessly sick by his physicians, but he recover ed and is noAV a Avell man, although he had read his obituaries in all the morning papers. But the most curious case Avas that of Cardinal Ben tivoglio. He AAras supposed to haA-e died of quin sy, and the physicians that served him had left the room; but the cardinal's pet monkey appear ed upon the scene, and taking his masters red hat, put it on his head and began to admire it self in the mirror, chattering and making such absurb grimaces that the moribund cardinal burst into a violent tit of laughter, which broke the quinsy and his life Avas saved. It now appears that President Garfield never had a chance for his life. He Avas mortally Avounded on that fa tal Second of July, and no human skill could do him any good afterwards. It is one of the mysteries of nature why the Omnipotent should permit so much needless suffering. From Dem orcsVs Monthly for December.