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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 238

              Extract from Tribune letter about Magruder,
who was colonel in command of Fort Adams at
Newport, when I was there, in August 1857.
 See page
227, of
volume 10.

He proved 
a singularly
base traitor
at the out-
break of the
Civil War
�Mr Lincoln,�
said he, 
calling upon
the President,
early in 1861,
�every one
else may 
desert you,
but I never 
will.�  Two
days after-
wards he 
joined the

[newspaper clipping]
				Of course,
the Fort awakens pensive recollections of other times,
and the splendors of the great Magruder before, like
Lucifer, he fell from glory.  Do you remember his
rides, his strides, his military saddle, the orderly riding
behind him, and also behind Miss, when she drove out?
Oh! things have been, Sir, the like of which we shall
not see again�and heaven forbid we should!  Let
those who have gone forth from among us stay in the
pirate�s paradise and true swindler�s heaven, where
they belong, and where, no doubt, they are much more
comfortable than they ever were with us.  Do you re-
member how wildly he charged across this grass-plot,
and how his artillery horses lugged the guns and cais-
sons through these paths and round that sharp corner?
And how quickly we looked on at his rehearsal of
treachery, wondering at the unknown art of War, and
wondering still more whether the commander at the
Fort was good for much, save to receive dinners and
give parades.  And you all know now what he has 
come to.  The minus one of last year was nothing to
his minus, when the true co-efficients were added up.
Are you not sorry now, ladies, that you haunted
his home, and followed his footsteps, and plagued
his poor wife, even?

[newspaper clipping]
  �A correspondent of The Boston Journal furnishes
some facts in regard to Brigadier-General J. B. Magru-
der, C. S. A., commanding at Yorktown and the coun-
try round about:
  �He is especially gorgeous in mess furniture, and extravagant
in his cuisine by which means he has ruined very many young
officers.  He is also somewhat fantastic in respect to personal
adornments.  When he was in Mexico he came out magnificently
in blue trowsers with red stripes of enormous width�the
stripes being in their turn striped with gold.  The officers had
a debating society in the camp, and this is one of the questions
over which they vexed their minds and exercised their oratorical
powers:  Whether John B. Magruder�s trowsers are blue with
red stripes or red with blue stripes?  Tradition does not give the
decision, but I understand that the members of the society
were taken to view the premises.  In one of the battles, he
was directed to send a section of his battery to a designated
point on the field.  So he detached a young second Lieutenant.
Having given the young subultern his orders, he added:
  ��You want a brevet, don�t you?�
  ��Of course, Sir?�
  ��Well, then, let me give you a little advith.  When you get
there don�t you mind whether there�th any Mecthicanth or not�
you fire like the death.  Then they�ll all think you�re a devil of a
fellow�take my advith, and you�ll get your brevet.�
  �The young officer descried no �Mecthicanth,� but he followed
his superior�s advice, got his brevet, and is now in a responsi-
ble position in Washington.  Gen. Magruder was wounded at
Chepultepec, the record says.  So he was.  Struck by a spent
ball.  A cut across the back with a riding whip would have in-
flicted a greater injury.  But the occasion furnished an oppor-
tunity for a separation, and was not to be lost.  Drawing forth
his handkerchief, he treated the wound gently, and of course
elegantly, put on a look of heroism and was evidently about to
call for brandy and water�he had taken the precaution to fill
one of his limber boxes with wines, brandy, cold chicken and
the like before going on the field�when a corporal stepped for-
ward and offered him water from a canteen.  The captain sipped a
little, and handed the appendage back with:
  ��Thank you, corporal; I make you a thargeant on the thpot
for your conthideration!�               
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