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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 091 [06-28-1862]

                             James Island.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
scape.  This tree, by the way, is almost invariably
ill drawn as a variety of the palm, which it is, but a
peculiar one.  On first sprouting, its long, narrow
leaves radiate from the end of a stalk like a fan;
then it grows to resemble an insane pineapple, to
develop in time into a tree with the hardest of rough
trunks and leaves, as aforesaid, growing spiky
from the ends of its branches, the whole presenting
a rather cabbageone rotundity of aspect.  Reaching
a line sparsely bordered with pines and other trees,
we presently obtained a view of the Rebel defenses
and village of Secessionville.
   Here, standing on the edge of the earthen parapet
which partially buried some of the trunks of the
growing trees of the hedge, or, from the summit of a
live oak, extemporized into an observatory by
means of a rough ladder, we could command an
excellent view at certainly not more than a mile
and a half�s distance.  In front lay a rushy swamp,
a palmetto or two marked the middle distance, and
beyond was the line of the enemy�s intrenchments,
the Rebel tower, Secessionville, with a flag flying
on its tallest house, and, to the right, Fort Sumter.
Somehow, I failed to observe the latter until my
descent from the tree, when I was taken through a
gap in the adjacent hedge, and bidden look over the
low, marshy ground on the right � nothing else
intervening � to the south-west.  Then the nearness
of the famous fort surprised me.  It rose from the
water-line of the harbor, distinct and massy, ominous
of stern opposition to be encountered and bloody
work to be done before the Stars and Stripes should
supplant their bastard imitator, then flouting the
sunlight.  Opposite, on the further side of the chan-
nel, but just perceptible, behind the sand-hills of
Sullivan�s Island, was Moultrie, and old fort of the
Vauban fashion, and the village of Moultrie-ville.
And outside the harbor bar rode our blockading
fleet, eight or ten steamers, at anchor on the flood of
shimmering water.  An historical picture, worthy
of remembrance.
   When I had last looked on Charleston harbor it
was from the deck of a vessel steaming northward,
when the National flag was alone visible on  Fort
Sumter, and the hostile ones � not the �stars and bars,�
that had not then been invented � all around.  I
wonder under what circumstances I shall enter
Charleston again.
   Apropos of the scene of Major Anderson�s loyalty
and courage (he well be known as Major Anderson
in history), two days ago the flag upon it was ob-
served at half-mast, while guns were fired as in
homage to some deceased Southern celebrity.  Who
is dead, I wonder?
   I have said that the Rebels were quiet until last
night.  Then they threw a few shells at us, and
again this afternoon.  I regret to have to record
some casualties:  Thomas Ireland, of Co. F, 79th
N.Y. (Highland Guard), was killed at 5 p.m. while
working in the trenches.  Corporal Fredrickson, of
Co. A, 7th Connecticut, had his arm broken.  Two
or three others are wounded, but not seriously.
Capt Crusoe of the Engineers, and other of his
fellow-officers, had a narrow escape from a fragment
of a shell which burst near them, demolishing half
a dozen spokes of a gun carriage, and causing the
broken timber to scatter in every direction.  We do
not respond to these demonstrations for the present.
   From Hilton Head comes the news of the arrival
of Mr. Saxton, recently appointed U.S. Governor
of South Carolina, and suite.  At present, that gen-
tleman�s recognized jurisdiction is bounded on the
north by the Rebel fortifications on this island, on
the south and west by �Pull and be d�d creek�

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
(so designated in the maps), and the Charleston and
Savannah Railroad, and on the east [by] the Atlantic
Ocean.  The appointment is a charm[ing] illustration
of our National disregard of Mrs. G[unclear word]s�s axiom in
the matter of cooking hares before we have caught
                                                    June 29 � 10 a.m.
   The mail didn�t go off yesterday, after all; it may
to-day.  Nothing particular to add by way of idle
postscript to an idle letter, unless I insert the ques-
tionable night adventures of an Irishman with whom
I have just conversed on the piazza in front of Gen.
Wright�s headquarters.  I will.
   He belongs to the 3d Rhode Island regiment, and
was on picket duty last night.  Being, as he asserts,
unwell, and, as he admits, a little (?) drunk, he ob-
tained permission to rest awhile, and rambling off in
some confused intention of returning to camp, lost
his way, presently to find a hand laid upon his shoul-
der, and himself a prisoner to three or four Rebel
pickets.  They took him, so he alleges, to Secession-
ville, treating him civilly by the way.  In a guard-
house he was questioned by � a big Dutchman� as to
the number of our forces, to which he replied, vera-
ciously, �about 50,000�  several officers coming to
look at him.  Presently, being left to himself, he
endeavored to escape by getting through a window,
was kicked, bound hand and foot and bundled into a
closet.  Here he lay for an hour or two, the �Dutch-
man� rising occasionally to make sure of his safety.
At length, when the whole party had sunk to sleep,
the Irishman contrived to avail himself of a knife he
had, to cut the cords and set himself at liberty,
making his exit by the window for fear of alarming
the sentinel.  It was a dark, rainy night, and he
made his way over the forms of recumbent soldiers,
along the lines of the Rebel fortifications, through
the swamps and forest, passing unchallenged the
pickets of both armies, until, at daybreak, he reached
the shore of the island and signaled to one of our
gunboats to take him aboard.  That brought him
   The adventure would be a curious one, if credible.
Our present impressions are that the narrator was
exceedingly drunk, that he got astray within the
lines, and being apprehended by the pickets of Gen.
Stevens�s division, partly fudged, partly imagined
the story.  Under which belief we have just put him
in the guard-house.


              The Evacuation of James Island.
From Our Special Correspondent.
                                 Hilton Head, S.C., July 5, 1862.
   I am informed that the Potomac leaves here to-
morrow for New-York, conveying thither a mail, and,
though experience has taught me to place anything
but implicit reliance on such a statement, I shall not
resist the opportunity of adding to the bulk of my
MS. already accumulated in the upper story of the
queer little shanty which here serves for a Post-
Office; particularly as I have nothing else on earth
to do, and am in possession of the fine fallow even-
ing of a deliciously temperate day, with the many
voices of the multitudinous deep moaning outside the
building in which I write, and soothing me to the
task.   Only in a great city could I feel more lonely
and infinitely less tranquil.               
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