Archive for April, 2010

Duel at William and Mary

April 30, 2010

We learn by a gentleman from Virginia, that the college of William and Mary, at Williamsburg, is completely broken up, and the system of education there, fro the present at least, entirely discontinued.

“The circumstances of this extraordinary affair are as follows: — In consequence of a difference between two of the students, a Mr. Lee, of Norfolk, and a Mr. Yates of Fredericksburg, a duel was fought, in which the latter was wounded.

Tucker House (Image from

For this gross violation of the rules of the College, they both expelled, which so enraged all the rest of the Collegians, that they assembled, went to the church, broke and destroyed all the windows, cut down the pulpit, tore out all the leaves of the bible and gave them to the wind — from thence they proceeded to the house of Judge Tucker (whose opinions have of late been so often quoted in Congress)professor of law in the University, broke all his windows, pelted his house, abused him, and then each repaired to his own home.

Judge Tucker (Image from Wikimedia)

The Judge it is said, has resigned his office of Professor, in consequence of the outrage — and thus dies one of the oldest and wealthiest seminaries of learning in the United States of America.

These may be considered as some of the blessed effects of the modern system of religion; for party politks, instead of science, appear long since to have been the primary objects of instruction in that University; and from that soul source have flowed many of the heretical doctrines of the present day.”

The Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Apr 21, 1802

From the William and Mary News and Events:

Hobson to publish St. George Tucker law papers
by Ann Gaudreaux | February 25, 2010

Tucker arrived in Virginia from Bermuda in 1771 and entered the College of William & Mary in 1772 where he studied general academics in the schools of natural and moral philosophy. He then read law under George Wythe, and was admitted to the bar of county courts in 1774 and of the General Court in 1775. His law career was interrupted by the American Revolution, but after the war he established a busy practice in the county courts around Petersburg. By the mid-1780s he was attending the superior courts in Richmond. Tucker succeeded Wythe as Professor of Law in 1790, and in 1804 he was promoted to the Virginia Court of Appeals. In 1813, he accepted President James Madison’s appointment as a U.S. District Court judge. There Tucker also sat with Chief Justice John Marshall on the U.S. Circuit Court for Virginia. He tendered his resignation in 1825, two years before his death.

Tucker conducted his law classes in between judicial sessions, basing his course around William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. He took great care to point out the differences between English law and Virginia and American practice, which required modifying or discarding Blackstone at many points. Tucker incorporated his lecture notes into his edition of Blackstone, published in 1803, entitled Blackstone’s Commentaries: With Notes of Reference, to the Constitution and Laws, of the Federal Government of the United States; and of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

***Read the whole article at the link above. Pretty interesting.

Hoisting the Flag in the Golden State

April 29, 2010

Read about the Bear Flag: Virtual Museum of San Francisco

[From The Californian of November 29th, 1846 — an early number of the American newspaper first published in California — we extract the following verses, written in commemoration of events which culminated in the acquisition of the Golden State.]
For “The Californian.”


Soft o’er the vale of Angeles
The gale of peace was wont to blow,
Till discord raised her direful horn
And filled the vale with sounds of woe.

The blood-stained earth, the warlike bands,
The trembling natives saw with dread;
Dejected labor left her toil,
And Summer’s blithe enjoyments fled.

But soon the avenging sword was sheathed,
And mercy’s voice by Stockton heard;
How pleasant were the days which saw
Security and peace restored.

Ah! think not yet your trials o’er;
From yonder mountain’s hollow side,
The fierce banditti issue forth
When darkness spreads her curtain wide.

With murderous arms and haggard eyes,
The social joys away they fright;
Sad expectation clouds the day,
And sleep forsakes the fearful night.

Now martial troops protect the robbed,
At distance prowl the ruffian band,
Oh, confidence! that dearer guard,
Why hast thou left this luckless land.

We droop and mourn o’er many a joy,
O’er some dear friend to dust consigned;
But every comfort is not fled:
Behold another friend we find.

Lo! Stockton comes to grace the plan,
And friendship claims the precious prize, —
He grants the claims, nor does his heart
The children of the vale despise.


The Golden Era – Jul 13, 1862

USS Levant (Image from


The New York Commercial gives the following extracts from a letter received here from an officer now on board the U.S. ship Levant, who was on board the U.S. frigate Savannah, Commodore Sloat, when that officer took formal possession of California. It affords the most particular account yet published of this conquest.

Commodore John Sloat (Image from wikimedia)

Off Mazatlan, Aug. 10, 1846.}

I wrote you from Monterey on the 6th of July, or shortly after, giving you a detailed account of the occurrences at that place. Fearing, however, that you may not have received it, I forward it to you by this opportunity, which will probably be the last communication you will receive from me, being now homeward bound.

On the 6th of July all was bustle in the cabin of the Savannah; some four or five men were busily employed writing letters, proclamations, &c., preparatory to taking possession of California. It was long after the witching hour of midnight ere I was enabled to catch a troubled repose, as all was to be prepared by six o’clock the following morning, which came as bright and beautiful as a July day of our own favored island. At 6 A.M. Capt. Mervine came on board to receive orders, and at 7 he left with a summons to the military commandant of Monterey to surrender the place forthwith to the arms of the United States, and also a similar summons to the military Governor for the surrender of all California.

At 9 A.M. of the 7th of July the expedition started from the Savannah, composed of the boats off the Savannah, Levant and Cyane, and landed without opposition at the m?le. The force was then marched up a short distance to the custom house, where a concourse of the inhabitants were assembled. Here the marines and men were halted, and the proclamation read to the multitude by Rodman M. Price, Esq., purser of the Cyane, in a loud and distinct manner, which was received with three hearty cheers by those present. The flag of the United States was then hoisted by acting Lieut. Edward Higgings, immediately after which a salute of 21 guns was fired by the Savannah and Cyane.

The custom house was then turned into a barrack for the United States forces, and every thing settled down quietly.

Communications were immediately dispatched to commander Montgomery, of the Portsmouth, at St. Francisco, at which place, and at Zanonia, the United States flag was hoisted on the morning of the 9th; and before ten days had elapsed, the whole of California, North of Monterey, was under the flag of the United States, much to the apparent satisfaction of the people, who hope it will last, knowing how much better they will be off under the Government of the United States.

On the 16 of July Captain Stockton arrived, too late, however, to participate directly in taking possession of California.

On the 29th Commodore Sloat gave up the command to Commodore Stockton, hoisted his flag on board the Levant, and sailed for the United States via Mazatlan and Panama, and we hope to reach the United States in all November.

Daily Sentinel And Gazette (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Oct 2, 1846

In the above book (Google book LINK,) you can read correspondence from Robert F. Stockton. Here is an excerpt:

Page 18

The New-Orleans Piscayune of the 25th Aug. says:

“From information received at Alvorado, it would appear that the Californians were not taken by the Squadron under Commodore Sloat. But that American citizens located in these Provinces, combined with the disaffected Mexicans, declared themselves independent of the Central Government, and raised the flag of the United States, and declared obedience to their country.”

This version does not appear to be identical with the rumor brought here from Havanna by the Rev. Cutter M’Leon, and next by a vessel from Kingston, Jamaica, whither it was conveyed by the  During, more than a month ago.

This version of the correspondence is confirmed by a Spanish letter to the U.S., written in the city of Mexico on the 8th Aug. It is given as news.

Daily Sentinel And Gazette (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Sep 10, 1846

Robert F. Stockton

Image from (Google book LINK):

More Colonial Homesteads and Their Stories
By Marion Harland
Publisher    G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1899


An American naval officer, grandson of Richard Stockton (q.v.). He was born at Princeton, N.J., studied for a time at Princeton, and in 1811 became a midshipman in the United States Navy. He joined Commodore Rodgers on the frigate President in 1812, was for a time an aide to the Secretary of the Navy, took part in the defense of Baltimore, and was promoted to be lieutenant in September, 1814.

In 1815 he distinguished himself in the Algerine War on board the Spitfire. He returned to the United States in command of the Erie in 1821, and in the fall of the same year sailed in the Alligator for the African coast, where he negotiated successfully for the land upon which the American Colonization Society founded Liberia (q.v.).

During the early part of the Mexican War he commanded the Pacific Squadron. To his energy, and that of General Fremont, with whom he cooperated, was largely due the success of the American operations on the coast. He captured Los Angeles and San Diego, fought several battles, organized a civil government for California, and installed Fremont as Governor, relinquishing the command to Shubrick in 1847.

He resigned from the navy in 1850, and was a United States Senator from New Jersey in 1851-53. Having resigned in 1853, he was for some time president of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company.

Consult Life and Speeches of Robert Field Stockton (1856).

The above biography is from the following book:

The New International Encyclopæeia, Volume 18
Editors: Daniel Coit Gilman, Harry Thurston Peck, Frank Moore Colby
Publisher:    Dodd, Mead and company, 1909

The Rowin’ Rowes: Whiskey, Shotguns and Stones

April 28, 2010

Originally, this was going to be a “Hump Day Humor” post because this article was so absurd it made me laugh. But… as I starting looking for more information about this father, daughter, and other family members, it seemed they didn’t need a laugh, they needed Alcoholics Anonymous and Anger Management Classes.


William Rowe and Elsie Rowe, Of Dry Run, Have Suit In City Court Today

Father and daughter supplied the sensation in city court this morning when William Rowe and his 20 year-old daughter, Elsie of Dry Run were arraigned before Justice Richard Duffeffy on the charge of being drunk and disorderly.

The two were found guilty and fined $10 and costs each. The father went to jail while the girl’s fine was paid by a younger brother due to the fact that the girl is the unwedded mother of two small children.

The pair were arrested by Deputy Sheriff Charles E. Cushwa Sunday afternoon after Mrs. Mary Host and Harold Mills had telephoned headquarters that Elsie and her father threatened them with a shotgun. Mrs. Host said she had called at the Rowe home for her husband.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 1, 1927

News From Neighboring Counties

Hagerstown — George William Rowe, 50, farmer residing in the Dry Run district near Clearspring, was stoned to death early Tuesday night, allegedly by his niece, Elsie Rowe, 25, and nephew, George Rowe, 15, following an argument.

The young pair was arrested Tuesday night about 9 o’clock at their home by Deputy Sheriff Emmert Daley, and after questioning, are reported to have admitted the fatal attack.

Gettysburg Times – Jun 1, 1933

Two Released After Probe Of Death Of George Rowe

Jury Unable to Determine Cause of Death of Dry Run Man — Inquest Held at Clearspring

That George Rowe, 45, came to his death from unknown causes during a fight with his niece, Elsie Rowe, 25, in the Dry Run section the evening of May 20, was the verdict of a coroner’s jury investigating the death at Clearspring yesterday afternoon. George T. Prather was foreman of the jury of inquest presided over by Magistrate Charles Kreigh, acting coroner.

Elsie Rowe and her brother, George Rowe, 15, arrested the night of the fatal mishap by Deputy Emmert Daley, were ordered released. Further action, if any, will be taken by the November grand jury when facts in the case will be presented to them.

Dr. Ralph Stauffer and Dr. D.A. Watkins, physicians who performed an autopsy over Rowe’s body, testified that Rowe suffered no fractures or other injuries in the fight which could have caused death. The only fracture found by the physicians was a broken shoulder.

John Irvin testified that he saw the youth and young woman chase Rowe from their home, stoning him as they gave pursuit. He also said he saw them in a clinch before the elder Rowe fell to the road. Another witness said he saw the woman drag Rowe to the side of the road.

Rowe, who had been living on the Clyde Ankeney farm, visited the younger Rowes in the early afternoon of May 30. They consumed liquor during the afternoon, the woman said, and about 7 o’clock they engaged in an argument which subsequently led to the alleged fight.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Jun 2, 1933

Man Held In Shooting Of His Nephew

Thirty-two year old George William Rowe of Clear Spring Route One was charged with assault yesterday after his nephew, Charles Wilbur Rowe, 27, was shot early Saturday morning.

State Trooper Richard Myers said George is accused of firing a shotgun at Charles at the height of a family argument.

Charles’ left arm was badly injured by the blast and a number of pellets lodged in the forearm.

The shooting took place at Charles’ grandfather’s house at Fairview in the Clear Spring section.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Jan 29, 1951


George William Rowe


George William (Short) Rowe, 56, of Rt. 2, Clear Spring, died suddenly Friday morning at his home.

He was a life resident of Clear Spring district, a son of the late Anna Mae Smith and William Rowe.

He was a retired employe of the Mummert Canning Factory of Big Pool, Md. He was a veteran of World War II.

He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Elsie Sites of Stewartstown, Pa.

Arrangements will be announced later by the Thompson Funeral Home in Clear Spring.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Jul 20, 1974



Mr. Denton Faith and Mr. William Rowe put out a large potato patch on Mr. Samuel Rowe’s farm.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Jul 13, 1917


Dry Run, Feb. 20

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Rowe were callers with Mr. William Rowe and family Sunday.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Feb 26, 1930

William K. Rowe

William Kreigh Rowe, Clear Spring Route One, died at the Washington County Hospital yesterday afternoon after an illness of one day, aged 71 years.

He was born in Dry Run, the son of late Samuel T. and Catherine Dickerhoff Rowe.

He spent his entire life at farming. In his later years he had a small orchard.

He is survived by daughters, Mrs. Elsie Sites, Four Corners, Md.; Mrs. Lucy Atherton, Mercersburg Route 5; sons, George W., Clear Spring Route One; John F., Hagerstown; sisters, Mrs. Jane Wempe and Mrs. Mary Hoover, Hagerstown, and Mrs. Lucy Holderman, Harrisburg; also five grandchildren.

The body was removed to the Suter Funeral Home. Funeral announcements later.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Feb 14, 1951

1910 Census


1920 Census


1930 Census

Rain-Slick Fairview Brings Death To Five

[Excerpt]…a woman was killed in Clear Spring Saturday night when she ran into the path of a car….

The sixth victim was Mrs. Lucinda Vonorsdale, 51, of Main St., Clear Spring, who was killed when she ran into the path of a car Saturday night….

Mrs. Vonorsdale was born at Dry Run, Md., a daughter of the late William Rowe. She had been a lifetime resident of the Clear Spring area and a member of the Clear Spring Church of God.

She leaves sisters, Mrs. Elsie Sites, of Hagerstown, Mrs. Edna Reigel of Clear Spring; brothers, Frank Rowe of Hagerstown and George Rowe of Big Pool.

The Body was taken to the Thompson Funeral Home in Clear Spring. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Sep 13, 1965

John F. Rowe Sr.

John F. Rowe Sr., 64, of 440 Salem Ave., died Wednesday afternoon at the Washington County Hospital. He was born in Clear Spring, the son of William and Anna May Smith Rowe. He had been employed as a painter for the Jamison Cold Storage Door Co. for 35 years.

His is survived by his wife, Sarah May Long Rowe; daughters, Mrs. Mary F. Jorden of Waynesboro, Mrs. Anna M. Garlock of Leitersburg, Mrs. Nancy L. Eichelberger of Shepherdstown and Miss Linda L. Rowe of Waynesboro; sons, John F. Jr. and Jeffrey L. both at home; sister, Mrs. Elsie Sites of Stewardstown, Pa; brother, George W. Rowe of Big Spring; 8 grandchildren.

Services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Rouzer-Gerald N. Minnich Funeral Home. The Rev. Michael L. Jones and the Rev. Daniel J. Barnhart will officiate; burial will be in the Cedar Lawn Memorial Garden.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home this evening from 7 to 9.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Jun 7, 1974

Image from Find-A-Grave

Samuel T. Rowe

Samuel T. Rowe died at his home at Dry Run at 5:30 o’clock yesterday morning of heart disease at the age of 80 years.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, George and William, both of near Clearspring; daughters, Mrs. Harry Hoover, Wilsons; Mrs. A.G. Haldeman, Harrisburg and Mrs. E.H. Wempe, this city; 18 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

Funeral on Saturday leaving the home at 1:30 o’clock with services in the Lutheran Church at Fairview at 2 o’clock by Rev. W.C. Huddle; interment in cemetery adjoining.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 12, 1932

Mrs. Gettie Rowe

Mrs. Gettie Ruth Rowe died Friday evening at 6:45 o’clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. B.H. Wempe, 615 Salem avenue, aged 85 years.

She was a member of the Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church at Fairview.

Surviving are: Daughters, Mrs. B.H. Wempe, Mrs. H.D. Hoover, Western Pike; Mrs. A.H. Haldeman, Harrisburg, Pa.; son, William Rowe, Clearspring; brothers, James Dickerhoff, Kansas and Simon Dickerhoff, this city. Twenty-five grandchildren and ten great grandchildren also survive.

The body may be viewed at the Kraiss mortuary.

The funeral service will be held Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the Mt. Tabor Church. Service by Rev. Luther L. Hare. Interment in cemetery adjoining.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Oct 15, 1937

Woman Hurts Wrist In Fall Off Ladder

Sarah Jane Wempe, 600 block Salem Avenue, fell off a ladder yesterday while washing windows and fractured her right wrist. She was treated at Washington County Hospital and discharged.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Dec 15, 1950


Mrs. Sarah Jane Wempe

Mrs. Sarah Jane Wempe, 80, of 388 Key Circle, died at Washington County Hospital Tuesday after a four-day illness.

Born at Dry Run, she was the daughter of Samuel and Gettie R. (Dickerhoff) Rowe. She had spent her entire life in this area.

Mrs. Wempt was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Surviving are a daughter, Miss Margaret A., at home; son, Joseph F., Hagerstown; five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Requiem mass will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) May 5, 1965

“Maggie and Jiggs”

April 28, 2010

The Sunday School picnic held last Saturday at City Park was a decided success. There was a good attendance from both schools. The children as well as the older folks were entertained with games, peanut scrambles for the tots, wheelbarrow race, tug of war, treasure hunt, marshmallow eating contest, balloon blowing contest, and others.

“Maggie and Jiggs” were cartoon characters. Read about them at The Holloway PagesBringing Up Father,  where I found the above image.

The most interesting game was “Maggie and Jiggs.” A dummy representing “Jiggs” was placed in a sitting posture on a bench, while the women stood at a distance, with rolling pins in hand. One at a time they threw the rolling pins at “Jiggs.” The idea was to knock his hat off, but few did the trick. There were many wild and wicked throws by the women, making it exciting as well as interesting.

Then of course, the picnic lunch was a most enjoyable feature, as everyone knows a good appetite always accompanies an outdoor lunch, especially after spirited baseball games, between Shiloh and Chewsville. The Shiloites are highly elated having won both games. The day was very warm, but everyone had a pleasant and enjoyable time.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 2, 1930

The Union Pyramid

April 27, 2010

TO BE READ ASCENDING or descending:

Heaven sent,
Ruling our land,
With cautious hand,
Maintain   thy   stand;
No    crawling    partisan:
Firm,  genial, earnest  man,
Striving   our   land   to   save,
Great  patriot,  true  and  brave,
Quenched    by   thy   patriot    fire,
Base   faction’s   baleful   lights  expire
Making   the  nation   hopeful  of    futurity,
By  exercising  thy  great  power  with  purity,
Our country’s trust,  midst hours  of perils sent;
All good men  pray for thee,  O upright  President!

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) Feb 1, 1863

Civil War: The Seceshers

April 26, 2010

[Written for the Golden Era.]





Adown on the “banks of Muddy Creek”
There tottered an old man, gray and weak.
Tottered and stumbled and mumbled and grumbled,
While down in a coon-skin pouch he fumbled
With shaky fingers, eager to close
On the stove he carried to warm his nose;
An ingenious stove, for by all that’s hot,
The fuel it burned was “rifle-shot.”
His eyes were red and his lips were blue,
“Like angels’ visits,” his teeth were “few
And far between,” while his entire demeanor
Would have been improved had his face been cleaner.
An ancient flint-lock gun he “toted,”
Small at the breech, with the muzzle bloated
And shaped like a bell; the ramrod was thick,
Being whittled down from a hickory stick,
And from this description it is plain to see
The old man was a genuine “F.F.V.”
Behind him straggled his corps d’ armee,
All armed, like their general, cap a pie,
And each — but the leader, who bore the flag —
Had under his arm a five-gallon keg.
Anon they stumbled, anon they fell,
Altogether they looked particular — well,
Never mind their looks; their number was six — still
I must say they appeared to have gone “through the mill!”
The leader, observing the sun in the west,
Commanded a “hawit,” and then ordered a rest,
Then, “smiling” benignantly, wiped his blear eyes,
And seating his poor decripit old rump
On the edge of a rotten palmetto stump,
Thus he begun to soliloquize,
After the fashion of “Charles de Moor.”

When he enters L.H. — Act third, scene four.


“I reckon I’ll squat here awhile, for I feel
Kinder gone in!
My toes is sore ‘nd my jints is almost
Racked in twice!
I would ax some on yez to stan’
Treat, but I knows yez all fagged
Out, ‘nd dead broke.”

Secesher, No. 2 hands the General his keg. at which act of devotion, his commander again “smiles” affectionately at his heroic band, soon, however, relapsing into meloncholy.

“How scrumptious is yonder settin’ sun!
‘Twas onct my favoryte wish to see it set from
Washington, (mournfully) ’twas an idle thought —
A boyish progek!”

Secesher No. 3. — “You bet!”

Secesher General — Regretfully. — “O, days of corn-doggers! O, tubacker-fields of my youth — the time when I was called ‘Bub!’ Will ye never more come back? Never more exhale the sweet fragrance of fried middlin’ an’ hominy, to refrest this yere hungerin’ stumick?”

Secesher No. 2. — “Nary!”

Secesher General — “Shill I never see no more cracklin’ bread? Hev I done eat my last baked possum? Must I never again ply the jovial whip and urge the lazy nigger to his work! O hoe-cakes! — Must I — I — but I’m’er gettin’ wus — I feel — that — I am — indeed peggin’ out! Kernel — your flip — per” (the heroic band gather anxiously around their dying leader) “take this — chaw er tobacker — remember ’twas my partin’ gift — Leftenant — this tickler is yours — and you, Seceshers, go and devote what remains of life to usefulness and — Uncle Sam — bury me in my native sile — I — I — I die! (Dies, kerflummuc.) Tableaux.


A Dirge, to be sun in chorus: Air, “We’re a Band of Brothers.

We’re a band of bold Seceshers,
We’re a band of bold Seceshers,
We’re a band of bold Seceshers from the Aligator State,
But we’re coming to our senses,
Yes, we’re coming to our senses,
Yes, we’re coming to our senses since we’ve seen our leader’s fate.

Final Tableaux. Body of Secesher General C.
Palmetto Flag half-mast. Raise Stars and Stripes.
Benediction by Dr. Scott. Slow curtain.

Edwin Forrest - McKean Buchanan - Yankee Locke

NOTE. — This play is copy-righted, and will soon be produced simultaneously at San Andreas and Peoria. Plagiarists and “unscrupulous managers” will be persecuted to the extent of the law. I will also state positively, that I have not disposed of copies to Edwin Forrest, McKean Buchanan* and Yankee Locke.


*Mckean Buchanan was an American Shakespearean Actor. Only link I could find was to the above image on ebay.

NOTE: The following  “remarks” were actually above this “dramatic poem” in the paper:


“We are glad to see that Mr. Gunter has resumed his pen.” An unpublished remark by the editors of several papers who use my articles without giving credit. — L.G.


R. Bon. — “What does Gunter charge per line?”

Bus. Man. — “He doesn’t write that way. His terms are, $100 for every brilliant thought.”

R. Bon. — “That’s rather exorbitant — but — never mind — engage him.”

“Ludwig Gunter, Prentice and Parson Brownlow must be bought.” — J. Davis to his Secretary of Finance.

That Functionary, despairingly. — “It can’t be done.”

J.D. — “Then entreat them as gentlemen to let us alone.

Funct., weeping.— “They haven’t got no gentlemenly feelinks about ’em!”

“Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho!ho! he! he! he!” — Complimentary ejaculations emitted by President Lincoln during his perusal of — The Last of the Seceshers.”

Hamlet in perplexity to the players. — “The Mobled queen — the mobled queen.” —

Polonius, who has been reading ‘L.G.’s’ Inst. in the ‘wings’ — inadvertently: “The Last of the Seceshers” is good, my lord” — recovering himself — “the mobled — the mobled, Seceshers is good, my lord.”

I might append volumes of similar occurrences to prove the wild enthusiasm possessing the public mind regarding my writings, did I not think the above as amply sufficient and conclusive evidence to my readers as it is to myself. — L.G.

The Golden Era – Jan 19, 1862


The following palpable hit at the war correspondence, telegraphic and otherwise, came from Vanity Fair, and will be relished by those who are tired of the emptiness of the greater part of the news from the seat of war:

WASHINGTON, Anytime, 1861.

Dear Vanity: Affairs remain pretty much in statu quo.

My statement that the “future was big with something” was a forgery. My letters have been tampered with. Perhaps it might be better, hereafter, for you to have all your correspondence written in your back office, as the Tribune does.

That, however, is a circumstance to which I will not at present refer. This letter, at all events, shall be authentic and truthful.

Upon my honor!

John Minor Botts - Harpers Weekly - May 1864

I have just had a long talk with John Minor Botts, whose imitations of my letters have produced so much laughter among readers of the Tribune. I am not angry with John.

His correspondence is such an evident burlesque of mine, that nobody could imagine for a moment that he meant to mislead any one.

He has given me some very important information concerning affairs in the rebellious districts.

There are no rebel soldiers in Virginia, and those are only a mob of half-starved, half-naked wretches, who always run away. In fact they have all run away, and John says that he thinks some of them are still running.

General Beauregard, of whom you may have heard, is half-starved and half-naked like the rest. He lately run away from Richmond to Manassas Gap, where the poor wretch was obliged to erect heavy batteries, for fear the Federal troops should march upon him.

It is by such cowardly acts as these that the rebels have lost the respect of the whole Cabinet and army.

Old Abe has no longer hesitated to avow his contempt for the entire Confederacy.

General Scott says that if this sort of thing continues eight or ten months longer, he will call out fifty thousand more volunteers, and fortify Washington and Alexandria so that they will be perfectly safe from any attack.

As for me, I knit my noble brows, fold my arms across my manly chest, and chew a good deal more tobacco than usual.

But I say nothing.

Botts tells me that the rebel army is headed by a fellow named Jackson, a brother of the assassin of Ellsworth.

An engagement is expected to occur somewhere, shortly.

Nothing seems to be known, however, on any subject.

Our picket-guards were all shot, last night, by a party of rebel scouts, supposed to be brothers of Jackson, the assassin of Ellsworth.

Professor Lowe’s plans have all gone up.

Mrs. Lincoln is well. The report that she took paregoric, habitually, is unfounded.


Image from the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable

Three Secession spies were discovered in the basement of my tent last night. I put up a new gallows and turned them off this morning, in the presence of my gallant Zoozoos and several invited guests, among whom were some of the belles of Washington.

The poor devils died easily and gamely. — They were said to be brothers of Jackson, the assassin of Ellsworth.

Botts tells me that affairs in Virginia are very unsettled. He stayed three months in Richmond, and commerce is so dead there that grass grows in the principal streets. In fact, he pastured a cow for some weeks right in front of his street door.

The negroes, he says, are kept busy all the time, quelling insurrection among the whites. The Tribune has engaged Botts as a regular correspondent, to take the place of Harvey, who has been rewarded by a fat foreign mission. Abe says that if Governor Pickens will come on to Washington, he will give him the consulate of St. Petersburg. There is another man, applying for that post now, who will probably get it. His name is Jackson, and he is said to be a brother of the assassin of Ellsworth.

Scott informs me, unofficially, that he is very desirous that the rebels shall remove all their batteries and camps from Virginia. If they persist in keeping them there, he will not send a single Northern soldier into the State.

As I write, forty thousand Massachusetts troops are defiling past my camp. They are returning from a furlough granted them in order that they might enjoy a regular old-fashioned Fourth-of-July clam-bake at home.

They are now intended for the defense of Washington.

They were assaulted, during their march through Baltimore, by a mob, headed by two ruffians named Jackson, supposed to be brothers of the assassins of Ellsworth.

Picket Guard - 1862

A brilliant little affair took place near Cloud’s Mills the other night. Three of my Zoo-zoos were out on picket duty, and were attacked by forty of the rebel cavalry. The boys bravely stood their ground until assaulted, when each retreated in a different direction, but in good order.

They picked up three hundred stand of arms, and cannon, flags, musical instruments, etc., in great quantities, which the rebels dropped in their flight. One Minnie rifle, encrusted with gold and precious stones, bore the name of Jackson, a rebel farmer living in the neighborhood. The boys were especially anxious to catch him, as he had been known to maltreat the Union men in the rebel army, and he is, also, a brother of Jackson, the assassin of Ellsworth.

And besides, he is said to carry a very costly gold watch, and a good deal of pocket money.

I have just learned that Botts is not to be trusted. His washer-woman tells me that among the dirty linen he sent her was a Secession flag that he had used. I suspect him of collusion.

A messenger has this moment arrived with intelligence that Botts has been detected in the act of setting fire to the President’s wheat-field, in front of the White House. I have issued an order for his arrest. He will be confined in Fort McHenry.

The fire is extinguished, but the wildest excitement prevails.

One hundred thousand more volunteers will be called immediately, to insure the safety of Washington.

People are very much blamed by everybody.

Nothing is known.

I think that something will happen.

Bianca is ironing a dozen clean havelocks for me.

My men are shaving themselves and blacking their boots, previous to a forward movement.

The newspaper correspondents are holding a meeting with closed doors, no gentlemen being admitted. Their object is to give advice to me and General Scott, and to have their statements of facts agree, for once.

I am partially intoxicated.

A mysterious stranger, with a slouched hat and a long black cloak, has been arrested for trying to bribe Old Abe to recognize the Confederate Government. At first, he was supposed to be only a hero in one of Ned Everett’s or Ned Buntline‘s blood-and-thunder novelettes, but it has since been discovered that he is a brother of Jackson, the assassin of Ellsworth. He is safely handcuffed, and I am


The Golden Era – Jan 19, 1862

Our Union’s Future I Implore

April 23, 2010



Once, upon an evening dreary,
While I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a mean and direful
Felony of the Southron corps —
Upon me slumbers stilly settle,
Disturbing naught the spirit’s mettle,
Continued with those thoughts to nettle —
Nettle my spirit’s very core;
“‘Tis but dreaming” oft I muttered,
“Settled upon my spirit’s core,
Only this and nothing more.”

“Oh, most surely I remember,
“‘Tis the last day of December,
“And that I am still a member
Of the Union I adore.
Vainly, thus I tried to waken,
Ev’ry measure I had taken,
Still my soul was horror-shaken —
Shaken for the land of yore;
For the good and glorious Union
Which our fathers formed of yore
Christening it with their heart’s gore.

And I fell to dreamful dozing;
Past and Future, thus disclosing,
Nerved me — swerved me into seeking
What I never sought before;
“Spirit one, or spirits seven,
“Come to me from Hell or Heaven,
“Only to my ken be given;
“Further knowledge, I implore,
Only to my sight be given
“Our Union’s Future I implore,
“This I asked and nothing more!”

Then, methought the air grew denser,
Perfumed from an unseen censer,
And a shadow ghostly gliding
Through the partly open door,
Cried, “Mortal, list to a confession
“Of the dying Year’s progression —
“Through the past annual session
“Sitting on Columbia’s shore,
To the Union you adore.

“List, I’ll read to you the reason
Why was born the darkest treason
Of devil sire and dusky dam;
Who, Union’s trouble gloating o’er,
Wildly chased a mad ambition,
Hoping for its full fruition
In their child’s future condition —
The fiendish, base-born Blackamoor;
Hoping in the full fruition
Of Tartarean Blackamoor
Learned in Plutonian lore.

“Davis, Beauregard, Toombs and Yancey!
A kingly bauble caught their fancy;
They wrought together, each one hoping
To claim the crown, and sceptered store;
But Abram cried, “Haste to repent thee,
Drop the power that Satan sent thee,
And pray the people for nepenthe!”
They laughed to see the Eagle soar,
With wrathful mien of majesty;
They mocked to see the Eagle soar,
And answered proudly “Nevermore!”

This last word was uttered gasping,
While his hands were wildly grasping
The seraphic scented air; then he
Vanished to return no more;
Vanished as the mystic token
Twelve at midnight had been spoken;
Then the silence was unbroken
Till through the half ope’d door
Came the New Year’s stately shadow;
Gliding through the open door,
Benediction, ah, it bore!

And I bent to it with reverence,
Heart rejoicing at the sev’rance
From the Old Year’s ghost so direful,
Dyed with fratricidal gore —
while “Prophet!” said I “will this Nation,
The best and greatest since Creation,
Fall before this dark temptation,
Dwell in Hades’ dismal shore?
Will it cease to be a beacon
To the oppressed of every shore?”
Quoth the Shadow “Nevermore.”

“But as gold tried in the fire,
Like an eaglet rising higher,
And as winnowed wheat prepared
For the Master’s garnered store,
Shall the Union’s second birth be,
And then will all the earth see
The glory of true Liberty —
Greater than ’twas e’er before;
And the people treasure freedom
With a care ne’er known before,
That it may suffer nevermore.”

With these words the shadow vanished,
From my eye-lids sleep was banished,
But the happy heartfelt blessing
Of its promise, still did pour
Oil upon the waters troubled
For my country’s danger, doubled
Of my soul, where fear’s had bubbled
By Tatarean Blackamoor;
And I prayed that back to Tartarus
Banished be the Blackamoor,
To return here nevermore!

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California)  – Jan 5, 1862


The beginning of the original poem by Edgar Allan Poe:

Civil War – Apronstrings Guards

April 22, 2010


Now, while our soldiers are fighting our battles,
Each at his post to do all he can,
Down among rebels and contraband chattels,
What are you doing, my sweet little man?

All the brave boys under canvas are sleeping;
All of them pressing to march with the van,
Far from the homes where their sweethearts are weeping;
What are you waiting for, sweet little man?

You with the terrible warlike moustaches
Fit for a colonel or chief of a clan,
You with the waist made for the sword-belt and sashes,
Where are your shoulder-straps, sweet little man?

Bring him the buttonless garments of woman!
Cover his face lest it freckle and tan;
Muster the Apronstrings  Guards on the Common:
That is the corps for the sweet little man.

Give him for escort a file of young misses,
Each of them armed with a deadly rattan;
They shall defend him from laughter and hisses
Aimed by low boys at the sweet little man.

All the fair maidens about him shall cluster,
Pluck the white feathers from bonnet and hat,
Make him a plume like a turkey wing duster:
That is the crest of the sweet little man.

O, but the Apronstrings Guards are the fellows!
Drilling each day since our troubles began;
“Handle your walking sticks!” “Shoulder umbrellas!”
That is the style for the sweet little man.

Have we a nation to save? In the first place,
Saving ourselves is the sensible plan;
Surely the spot where there’s shooting is the worst place
Where I can stand, says the sweet little man.

Catch me confiding my person with strangers!
Think how the cowardly Bull Runners ran!
In the brigade of the Stay-at-home Rangers
Marches my corps, says the sweet little man.

Such was the stuff of the Malakoff takers;
Such were the soldiers that sealed the Redan;
Trucelent housemaids and bloodthirsty Quakers,
Brave not the wrath of the sweet little man!

Yield him the sidewalk, ye nursery maidens;
Sauve qui peut! Bridget, and right about, Ann!
Fierce as a shark in a school of menhadens,
See him advancing, the sweet little man.

When the red flails of the battle-field rangers
Beat out the continent’s wheat from the bran,
While the wind scatters the chaffy Seceshers,
What will become of our sweet little man?

When the brown soldiers come from the borders,
How will he look while his features they scan?
How will he feel when he gets marching orders
Signed by his lady-love? sweet-little man!

Fear not for him, though the rebels expect him —
Life is too precious to shorten its span;
Woman her broomstick shall raise to protect him;
Will she not fight for the sweet little man?

Now, then, nine cheers for the Stay-at-home Rangers!
Blow the great fish-horn and beat the tin pan!
First in the field that was furthest from danger,
Take you white feather plume, sweet little man!

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California)  – Jan 4, 1863

Mrs. Grammar’s Ball

April 21, 2010


Mrs. Grammar she gave a ball
To the nine different parts of speech;
To the big and the small,
To the short and the tall,
There were pies, plums and puddings for each.

And first little Articles came,
In a hurry to make themselves known —
Fat A, An and The,
But none of the three,
Could stand for a minute alone.

Then Adjectives came to announce
That their dear friends the Nouns were at hand —
Rough, Rougher and Roughest,
Tough, Tougher and Toughest,
Fat, Merry, Good-natured and Grand.

The Nouns were indeed on their way —
Ten thousand and more I should think;
For each name that we utter —
Shop, Shoulder and Shutter
Is a Noun, Lady, Lion and Link.

The Pronouns were following fast
To push the Nouns out of their places;
I, Thou, You and Me,
We, They, He and She,
With their merry, good-humored old faces.

Some cried out “Make way for the Verbs!”
A great crowd is coming in view —
To bite and to smite,
And to light, and to fight,
To be, and to have, and to do.

The Adverbs attend on the Verbs,
Behind them as footmen they run;
As thus: “To fight badly,
They runaway gladly,
Shows how fighting and running were done.

Prepositions came — In, By and Near,
With Conjunctions, a poor little band,
As “either you or me,
But neither them nor he” —
They held their great friends by the hand.

Then with a Hip, hip, hurrah!
Rushed Interjections uproarious —
Oh, dear! Well a day!
When they saw the display.
Ha! ha!” they all shouted out, “glorious!

But, alas, what misfortunes were nigh!
While the fun and the feastings pleased each,
They pounced in at once
A monster — a DUNCE,
And confounded the nine parts of speech.

Help, friends! to rescue! on you
For aid Noun and Article call —
Oh give your protection
To poor Interjections,
Verb, Adverb, Conjunction and all!

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) – Jan 22, 1865


Image from:

Title: American Dancing Master, and Ball-Room Prompter: Containing About Five Hundred Dances
Author: Elias Howe
Publisher: E. Howe, 1866
Google Book LINK

Comet Quirls, The Civil War and Mark Twain

April 20, 2010

C.Q. — San Francisco. — It strikes us that you are rather severe and somewhat profane, but as your titular appellation is significant of eccentricity, the following verses may be considered permissible. Still, in the almost unlimited license accorded you, you should not allow yourself to forget that satire, to meet with unqualified acceptance, must not only be keenly pointed but delicately clothed. It is a dangerous weapon at all times, and, even though deftly handled and well thrust, is more provocative of noxious than beneficial effects.

If the convex ellipsis of your orbit should hereafter bring you in contact with “political surfaces,” we implore of you to glide over them more easily and return at once to the “illimitable space” and “nebulous matter” nature has so generously provided for the range and aliment of “opaque bodies.”

For this once, portentous Comet, you are permitted to plow the alluvium of this sublunar sphere, and “flirt dirt” in our eyes without restraint, but we warn you if you ever concuss the North American Continent again, that there will ensue an extensive conflagration (in our grate) and a prodigious “flare up” among the powers that be. Sail in.

General Winfield Scott (Image from



General Scott, went to Europe,
Doughty hero he!
Turned around, came right back,
Nothing that to me.
Many battles, has he fought,
For his country bled;
John Crapeau, put a flea,
In his ear, ’tis said.
Said he, Scott, run right home,
Jonathan advise;
To obey, great John Bull,
Sacre! — or he dies.
Scott came home, out of breath,
Told his little tale;
Jonathan, hamed his horns,
In just like a snail.
Mason went, Slidell too,
What a jolly game;
Uncle Sam, eat his words,
Sabe all the same.
That to me, nothing is,
But I’d like to know;
If the blockade, is a sham,
Is the Government dough?
Washington, soldiers guard,
Precious city that;
Uncle Sam’s, getting poor,
They’re getting fat.
“Shoulder arms!” harmless fun,
March two steps ahead;
Traitors none, march right back,
Stack arms, go to bed.
Full of spunk, every man,
Fiercely they have sparred;
At the South, (in a horn,)
Is’nt it d’n’d hard?
Pen is mightier, than the sword,
That’s why Sumpter fell;
Powder’s foul, ink is good,
Russell catches h_ll.
Brigand Greely, has resigned,
Spills his country’s flag;
Then he tries, to mop it up,
With his Tribune rag.
Abe is sound, Scott is wise,
Everybody’s true;
Wont somebody tell the rest,
What the de’l to do.
600,000 men in arms,
Eager for the fray;
Going to fight, by-and-by,
Yes! — but not to-day.
Forward movement’s been the talk,
For six months or more;
Still they stick, fast as mud,
To Potomac’s shore.
Gasconade, who’s afraid?
Hunky Uncle Sam;
Spend his money, he don’t care,
A continental d__n.

The Golden Era – Jan 26, 1862

Secretary of War (Image from

I am not certain if the following “satire” is the article being referenced above, but the Mercury was a rival paper, and this was printed in the Golden Era, so I think, perhaps it is the correct one.


In the “Table Talk” of the N.Y. Sunday Mercury, “the ignorant and presumptuous civilian who presumes to criticise the manner in which our military affairs are being conducted,” is severely and properly rebuked:

“War is a science that never associates itself with such commonplace objects as frock-coats and stove-pipe hats; in fact, recent observation inclines us to believe that it is almost exclusively composed of brass buttons and conical moustaches, with now and then a shoulder-strap, and a cap shaped like a dislocated thimble. As we have said before, the civilian does very well in his way; but it is simply absurd to imagine that he knows anything about the customs of war. Suppose, for instance, a body of ten thousand Union troops in Virginia should come suddenly upon a rebel battery of three guns and fifty men, what should be done? — With the ignorance peculiar to his class, the civilian would unhesitatingly respond, that the ten thousand Union troops should immediately walk over and take the battery.

Miserable stupidity! Suicidal imbecility! Fiendish abolitionism! That would be a nice way to do it, indeed! Would the fellow have another “On to Richmond?” War is a profound science and requires long study and experience. In such a case, as we have hypotheticated, the only true military plan of proceeding is as follows:

Upon observing the rebel battery of three guns and fifty men, the Union troops must at once retire to their tents, and place pickets in good places to be shot. The regiments must then have an election for colonels, and the commander must write to Secretary Cameron for instructions concerning the treatment of slaves. They must then reconnoitre in force for six days running, retiring back across any river in the neighborhood, and losing as few men as possible. (Mem. Be very particular in this matter — always retire across the river.) The next four months must be occupied with reviews and balloon ascensions, interspersed here and there with reports from the sanitary committee. A reconnoisance in force must next be essayed, to be followed by a return to camp. Everything being now ready, the whole force must advance upon the battery by the most difficult route discoverable, and if the battery is still there, it will be brilliantly captured, provided the fifty rebels have not been reinforced.

The national “situation” is supposed to be worth about two million a day, and may be defined thus: The Army of the Potomac enjoys good health, and reconnoitres in force as often as possible — besides producing one review a week and several balloon ascensions. The Army of Western Virginia also reconnoitres in force often enough to keep its anxious relatives posted in a knowledge of its existence. The Army of the West remains true to the spots that gave it birth. Fortress Monroe, Hatteras Inlet, Fort Pickens and Port Royal are still ours, and our great-grandchildren will probably behold Charleston and Pensacola in our possession.

Such being the “situation,” it becomes civilians to mind their own business, and put their trust in brass buttons. As one of our intelligent contemporaries justly remarks, the advance of the Union troops in Virginia and elsewhere is merely a question of time, though the answer to said question may be a matter of eternity. Let us have patience and wait a few years. This miserable rebellion is destined to be terribly overthrown in the end —


“What is to be will be, as what has been was.”

The Golden Era – Jan 26, 1862



When Davis Jeff takes Washington, and we take New Orleans,
We then will have his cotton, and he will have our beans;
The cotton we will offer up, to John Almighty Bull,
And he will cotton to us close, unmindful of our “wool.”

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

We’re kinder marching down that way, our steps are slow and sure,
We may not be as fast as some, but we shall long endure;
Once let us get there, mighty John, we’ll seize on every nig,
And you shall have the lot dear John, at your own honest fig.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You’re going to be sick.

Don’t forget the past, dear John, the past of Bunker Hill,
The past that makes you sorry, John, the past that makes us thrill;
That stuff is in the Union yet, don’t pull hard on the bits,
T’would make us mighty stubborn John, and we should give you fits.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

This civil war among ourselves, is but a canker rash,
Don’t think because of it, dear John, we’re going all to smash;”
We’ll all come round again bimeby, unto that good old tune,
“Yankee Doodle keep it up,” until the day of doom.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You’re going to be sick.

A foolish lover’s quarrel this, it touches not the heart,
In this our deepest bitterness, you cannot make us part;
Don’t come between us, dearest John, unless you wish to see,
The flashing eyes and brawny arms, of our old Liberty.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

Don’t storm and rave because we choose, to stone our harbors in,
The Stars and Stripes you know, dear John, have always war’d to win;
And if you pick a muss with us, we’ll leave you so stone blind,
The British Lion never more, would “whistle down the wind.”

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You’re going to be sick. —

Don’t let your love of lucre, John, confound your love of right,
Your spindles may get empty, John, but keep your morals bright;
For Uncle Sam has got a rod, in pickle still for you,
And with it on your back he’ll brank, the red, white and blue.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

You got a touch in ’76, that brought you to your knees,
You got another lick in ’12, that rather made you sneeze;
Don’t touch our Eagle’s tail, dear John, for if you do I know,
You’ll never come to time again, or need a cotton blow.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You know you would be sick.

The Golden Era – Feb 2, 1862



The white-sleeved mowers had slain the grass,
In straight swathes over the hedge it lay;
And the farmer’s daughter — a buxom lass —
Was busy making the hay.

A clashing of hoofs rang down the road,
Shyly she glanced and dropped her head;
Her flaxen tresses in sunshine flowed,
Her cheeks were opaline red.

With covert glances, her bashful eyes
Assaulted the hedge to question my halt;
I pushed through the gap with drawn surprise,
To challenge the modal fault.

“Why do you toil in the fields, my girl?
There are lighter tasks for such slender hands,
This is the labor of brawny churls,
For maidhood are silken bands.”

“My brothers,” she said, “have gone to the wars,
My father is short of harvest men —
I’m fond of the scents of these severed straws,
And winds that flirt in the glen.”

Then thrusting the tines of her shining fork
Deep into the windrow’s fragrant side;
Slowly she passed on her prosal walk,
Wrapped in her duty’s pride.

The clover-heads fell in fragrant showers,
Like hearts they were crushed beneath her feet;
And stooping to kiss them, the sultry hours
Proclaimed the sacrifice n-eet.

War ravels the warp of the social web,
The brothers the brunt of the battle must bear,
And the gentle sisters rise in their stead
The thews of the fathers to spare.

At night, when the cavalry dashed along,
The clover was tented upon the plain;
And the soldiers saw that the sweet and strong,
Were twins in the country’s pain.

The rallying bugles gustily blew,
The rifted flowing of fretted plumes,
To a snowy cluster suddenly grew
In the path of the crimson blooms!

“Inhale the incense of womanly souls,
The pledge,” said the Leader, “of mothers and wives;
Swear to respond when the reveille rolls,”
“We swear,” they cried — “with our lives!”

The riderless horses neighed in the road,
A clangor of spurs swept the hedge to the West;
When the soldiers their steeds again bestrode,
Red tokens were on each breast.

The spur has fallen from many a foot,
Dumb is the tongue of many a mouth;
But the tokens they bore are taking root
In the fields of the flaming South!

When rural maidens the harvests glean,
That the men look to the Nation’s need;
Dismay will come to the foe who shall deem
Its furrows will ever lack seed.

O! the hempen sinews of stalwart sons,
Commingle with maidhood’s silken bands;
And there is no lacking of steady guns
To blazon Freedom’s commands.

The crimson clover is in the mow,
The crop our sabres are cutting is red;
And the swathes they are leaving are worthy, I trow,
For Saxon maidens to spread.

The Golden Era – Nov 23, 1862

Union Flag (Image from


[Conjointly and alternately written.]


A grander flag, a brighter land,
Than ours was never waved or tried;
From traitor heart and traitor hand,
He will redeem them — God.

The stars that gleam amid the blue,
The stripes that stream athwart the white,
Will never know dishonor’s hue,
When flying o’er the Right.

The standard bent will backward spring,
To smite the powers that seek its fall,
And to a craven halt will bring
The foes who spread its pall —

Or lue their vision to behold,
In radiant lines, the memories
That sanctify each graceful fold;
And call them to their knees.

The arm of valor Freedom nerves,
The torch, the spark of Honor flames;
Attack is lost, for it but serves
To garner Union aims!

The glory of our hallowed past,
Resistless flows, from sea to sea,
To guide the brave, who gather fast,
To fight for Liberty.

March on we must, still great, still strong,
To consummate our grand desire;
Despite the mailed host of Wrong
And Rubicon of fire!

Our dead may cumber field and ford,
Our wounded bleed at every door;
But never will we sheathe the sword,
To fight Rebellion more.

Essay us well, who deem us weak,
Our sense of all our blessings test;
The tongue need not of purpose speak —
We sacrifice our best.

Clothed in our righteous cause we fight,
Not for a transient renown;
But that the World may know our might;
Chains fall at Freedom’s frown.

Our past its fields of glory had,
Our cannon thundered Triumph’s peal;
And till it makes the present glad
We ply the naked steel.

O, God, forgive the blood we shed,
To crush the power that claims our life;
We strive to strike Oppression dead
Forever, in this strife.

Scan not the storm to see the wreck,
The staunch old ship will breast it through;
And all the dimmed stars will fleck
The Future’s tranquil blue.

And all mankind in unity,
Will shout their triumph, unto Time
To echo through Eternity;
and make our acts sublime.

Swing wide the doors to tender Peace!
She comes with aspect all serene;
And where the crimson volleys cease
She strews the evergreen.

And thus, for Honor, Justice, God!
Immortal Truth, record the deed!
Our patriots draw their Country’s sword;
And charge for Freedom’s meed.

The Golden Era – Dec 14, 1862

William Andrew Kendall – aka  Comet Quirls:


Title: Mark Twain’s Letters: 1872-1873
Volume 5 of Mark Twain papers, Mark Twain
Authors: Mark Twain, Edgar Marquess Branch, Michael B. Frank, Kenneth M. Sanderson
Editor: Edgar Marquess Branch
Publisher: University of California Press, 1997
pages 8-11
Google Book Preview LINK


More from the same book, excerpted from a letter to Olivia Clemens:

And this from Samuel Clemens:

And this, of which I was unable to find the letters referred to since this book is preview only:

I am curious about the libel reference.


And from the following, record of Comet Quirl’s death:

San Francisco municipal reports Fiscal Year 1875-6, Ending June 30, 1876 LINK

As you can see, Comet Quirls died with 55 cents to his name, probably money borrowed or given to him.