Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
Previous Issue Next Issue
Previous Page Next Page
0 matches

Text for Page 105 [07-13-1862]

              95
                                Beaufort

[newspaper clipping: first column]
ted by and almost impervious to water.  We have
passed living ones growing in the fields, where, under
the tropical noontide, they seem appropriate enough.
One would hardly be surprised at seeing a lion
emerge from the jungle of young palmetto-leaves
by the wayside, or a striped, saber-toothed tiger, but
nothing of the kind occurs.  All is sultriness and
tranquillity.
   At a house once tenanted by the overseer of the
plantation, now by a negro ex-driver, retained as
subordinate to our agent, we were mounted, Mr.
Ruggles upon a horse, myself upon a mule, whose
accouterments were of a most primitive descrip-
tion.  The saddle consisted of a bag partially filled
with cotton, the bridle was a halter, the blinkers a
pair of old book-covers, from which the sun and
rain had shriveled up the leather until it looked like
some extraordinary fungus growing out to the ani-
mal�s ears amid a web of knotted string.  It needed
some dexterity to ride that mule, for the slightest
swerving affected the length of the stirrups.  I
consider I did very well; I only came to the ground
twice.
   Down a grove of orange trees, where the green
globes peeped out from between the thick leaves
with such ample autumnal promise as to make one�s
mouth water involuntarily, through new cotton-
fields and past fresh woods, we rode, my companion
satisfying himself that industry was the rule and a
goodly promise of a crop toward.  The geography
of the inland (the minor ones are but portions of
St. Helena) may be stated as follows:  Interior
woods, girdled by plantations, consisting almost ex-

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
clusively of cotton and corn-fields, with houses on
the sea-board or shores of the rivers or inlets.  A
road circumscribes the island, and one runs across it.
   It would swell an already lengthy letter beyond
reasonable limits to narrate all I witnessed in that
morning�s journey.  Suffice it to say that the ne-
groes were everywhere civil, obliging, and indus-
trious � full, also, of confidence in the Yankees.
They brought us tribute of ripe figs and a fine wa-
termelon � eaten, as usual, under the shade of a
live-oak, in company with its donor and a select in-
stallent of his children.  He, a man of forty and
upward, was born in a cabin hard by, had been
once to Charleston, oftener to Beaufort; his massa
was �very hard man � nebber gave him �nuff to
eat� � and that was his story.
   I will close with a suggestive picture.  A deserted
house, at least a hundred and fifty years old, in
whose wainscoted rooms Uncle Toby might have
whistled �Lilliburlero� with perfect consistency,
or Col. Esmond sat reading The Spectator; and,
five minutes further from it, a little family church,
in the rear of which is absolutely the most enormous
live-oak I have ever seen, its branches, fringed with
pendant gray moss, literally covering the small
churchyard, where, perhaps, a dozen of the Sama
and Fripp families lie buried.  In that church a 
dozen negro children, boys and girls, and a
�Yankee� U. S. agent, spelling-book in hand,
teaching them.  Mr. Ruggles is a busy man, but he
finds leisure for the self-imposed addition to his
duties.  Verily, the Yankees have not invaded this
portion of Dixie for nothing!

[Gunn�s diary continued]
peculiarity, a glass cylinder of large
diameter, open at top and bottom, intended
to be placed over a candle, to keep it from
flickering, as the heat necessitated the
keeping open of windows and doors, day and
night.
   14.  Monday. Loafing.  To Rice and
Hay at Hickox�s.  Rambling about with
the first : to Morrow�s � a bathe off a
bath house in the river, of which Morrow had
the key.  A proposition to ride out to Port
Royal Ferry rendered abortive by some
acquaintance of Hickox�s having gone off
with the chaise we had intended using.               
  •  
Loading content ...