« 前へ次へ »
his native woods and fields, which, de- volunteer force; and the New England spite the laxity of the game-laws, was contingent was, doubtless, not behind tolerably abundant. It was, however, the others. One heard of sculptors, almost wholly practice with the shot- poets, and Latin scholars serving as prigun, and upon wild geese and ducks, vates. Possibly the French army, in quails, partridges, squirrels, and the the Franco-Prussian War, may have like--most of the larger game having furnished a parallel; but probably the been exterminated with the Indians. number thus accomplished was smaller Dr. Holmes, in a famous
than supposed. At the beginning, a scribes the old “Queen's arm" as form- large proportion of the officers, espeing a common chimney ornament; but I cially those of lower rank, were about doubt if, in the country districts, one of the same social standing as their man in fifty had ever used a rifle or a men; but the traditions and actual exmusket in his life. Indeed, the historic perience of training, and the respect for weapon is spoken of as being in a dam- authority, wnich has always characteraged condition. If 'Zekiel, however, ized the New England race, despite cercould not have given Huldah an exhi- tain apparent instances to the contrary, bition of his prowess with the long- prevented insubordination. In the ranged arm, as his countrymen of the Middle and Western States, I believe, South and West might still have done- there was more difficulty, and their shooting must, at least, have amusing stories were told. There was equalled Robin Hood's; they ased to much conning of tactics and drill-mandrive nails into trees, and hit squirrels uals on the part of the newly-appointand rabbits in the eye, to
save the ed officers, and he who had practical skins, at incredibly long distances with experience imparted to him who had their pea-rifles-the root of the matter
not. Within and without the camps was undoubtedly in him. With respect there were arduous and unwonted exto military drill and discipline, a tradi- ercises; but good-humor prevailed, and tion of training and training-days lin- several varieties of the American joke gered at that time in the country, and are said to date from those weeks of there was the proverbial sprinkling of toil. Musketry-practice, not carried to colonels, majors, and captains; but it too fine a point, came in due course; seemed to me that the holders of the also, though sometimes elsewhere, the titles had gained them at some remote donning of uniforms, the oft-pictured period, when a different order of things cap (of French origin), and the darkhad prevailed. In the larger centres blue coat and the light-blue trousers I am aware that there were regular that have become historic. Then the volunteer organizations of a good de- different regiments moved southward gree of efficiency.
by land or sea. Whichever the route, Coming like Cincinnatus from the they were liable to rough usage before plough, or from the factory, the ware- reaching front. In one notable inhouse, and the commercial or profes- stance a land-going force, while still unsional office, and even from schools and armed, was almost as severely handled colleges, these excellent citizen-soldiers by the mob in a disaffected town as at were first hived in camps for instruc- a later date by the enemy; and those tion in the rudiments of war. Literally who travelled by sea-in fleets of misthey were of all sorts and conditions. cellaneous craft, hastily chartered, and It is said that no other modern army often mere river-boats suited only for ever had in its ranks so much talent inland waters-had a full share of danand even genius as this first American ger, discomfort, and even disaster. Yet
the experience was inspiriting and are usually futile, especially the momemorable. The scenes of departure tives of collective bodies of inen. That were enthusiastic; rather more noisy the New Englander did not leave his than those which speed our parting bat- farm or his business to redress the talions, Africa-bound in much better wrongs of the negro, need hardly be vessels, but of the same tenor and tem- said; any more than that the British per. There were speeches, exhorta- soldier in the present campaign is chieftions, prayers, music, laughter, and the ly actuated by a wish to prevent the inevitable tears; yet all was taken, I ills which may befall native races in think, somewhat lightly, at least in the South Africa if the rule of his country earlier departures. Before the finalsex- is overthrown. Probably few abolitionodus a good many furloughs had been ists were in the Northern army. Anigranted, and many families had enjoyed, mosity towards his Southern brother mostly for the first time in their lives, was never a characteristic of the averthe spectacle of their men-folk in some- age
in New England, though thing other than civilian dress; uni- aroused strongly enough when the naforms being then a comparative rarity tional property and its custodians at in the land, and even so important a Charleston were assailed. He desired personage as the railway conductor to make money out of him if possible; frequently undistinguished in this way and he had comparatively few social from his fellow-mortals. Now, I under- relations with him, his successive mistand it is different. A later stage of grations, or emigrations, being towards the conflict, of course, brought home the West. the actualities of war; the news of Again, military glory was not meeting armies and the universal tale factor, for the reason hinted at; of losses by death, capture, or disease,
was immersed in business-enterand of disablement by wounds, with prises with which “grim-visaged war" the return of men, injured or otherwise would have interfered. Nor can the out of action.
fascination of wearing gilt buttons, as About this time appeared a number alleged by certain Southern historians, of memoirs celebrating the virtues of be admitted. Therefore, for these and certain young men of remarkable piety other reasons, he must be credited with and promise who had been cut off early patriotism. He fought for his country, in the campaign. These works, usually to preserve the Union, his Empire, as somewhat thin volumes, adorned with his opponent with equally strong purhandsome portraits of the perished pose fought to bring about its dismemheroes (in uniform), drew so exalted a berment, and also, no doubt, for the inpicture of their characters that one stitution of slavery, upon which to him would have thought them more fitly en- the stability of his world seemed to listed in the Church militant than in the rest. All this, however, may be said to army of the flesh. Some of these youth- apply to the whole North. But, happily ful Bayards and Havelocks were of for themselves, both sides have long such tender age as to be merely drum- since buried the hatchet, or, what is the mer-boys; and in all cases one could not same in effect, have joined together in but deplore, their untimely removal. using it upon a foreign adversary. The The representatives of the arts who fell very phrases, preserration of the Union, in the earlier battles also had their ele- right of secession, and so forth, are outgists, and together there was much sor- worn and forgotten, though the issues row in many households.
were not wholly unlike those now at Attempts to analyze human motives stake in the British Empire, a racial
problem being involved in the later as the four years of fighting,-an unshakin the earlier conflict.
en optimism as to the result. I doubt The land of Lowell and Longfellow, if, from the first, the most timorous of Emerson and of Holmes, Whittier, person in the six states, if any timorous and Hawthorne, with its bright skies there were, ever dreamed for a moment and clear-flowing rivers, its ranges of of a possible incursion and occupation rock-ribbed hills and mountains, aus- by a Southern force. Temporary checks tere of outline and usually clothed with they may have expected.
Of course, the forests that still approach near to saddened and darkened homes, the etermany of its larger towns, was changed nal blight of war, were many; but in no single feature by the war. No losses for the most part were bravely new military works broke the familiar borne. "Yot painlessly,” sang Whitlines of the landscape. Its peaceful, tier, elm-shadowed seats of learning were disturbed by no sieges, bombardments
Not painlessly does God recast
And mould anew the nation. and rude assaults; and no captain, or colonel, or knight in arms, was called There were, however, few material on in Miltonic verse to respect the resi- hardships; no women and children toildence or the person of poet or professor. ing in the fields perforce; no battleThroughout the land scholastic and wrecked towns; no burned homesteads academic life, as well as farming and and deserted farms or plantations; 10 business, pursued their wonted course, blockaded ports; no makeshifts for and several forms of intellectual activ- clothing and articles of common use; no ity especially flourished. The vogue of servile race unsettled by the hope of the lecture, for instance, was then at its freedom; no starvation. Emerson could height and perhaps its best, and other be as cheerful and philosophical as ever, entertainments abounded. Returned Lowell as humorous and caustic, the soldiers, injured or invalided, and com- Autocrat of many breakfast-tables as monly in uniform, were much in evi- sprightly, Longfellow as serene. Hawdence; and all kinds of charitable enter- thorne, the dreamer, lately returned prises and organizations connected with from Europe, and perplexed and disilthe needs of the land and sea forces lusioned by the calamity which had bewere at work. Patriotic demonstra- fallen his land of untrammelled suntions by no means ceased with the first shine, had left it for another. levy of troops. All the chief national Of course political unanimity did not holidays were utilized, the Fourth of reign in the extreme Eastern States any July lending itself conveniently, though more than elsewhere. History, and at perhaps not logically, to the purpose. least one novel, record the existence in That the day which celebrates the polit- the North of the politically disaffected ical separation of a daughter from a person. The novel, using the prevailparent state should have been found to ing vernacular, called him a copperhead. have lessons against any further divi- The vernacular, however, was wrong; sion of the state thus separated, argues for the reptile so named strikes secretly an elasticity of function. Possibly it and silently, while the Southern symmay yet serve as a landmark of inter- pathizer, as I knew him, was, in most national re-union, should that fortunate cases, a rather outspoken and somefate be in store for English-speaking times noisy person, who vented his peoples.
opinions on all possible occasions. ProhOne feature notably marked the spirit ably there were others who did not. In of the New England people throughout any case, unlike his political counter
part in the South, he was in small danger of bodily harm, at least in New England. As a rule, he contented himself with severe criticism of the methods of the government and the leading generals in carrying on the war. A parallel might be drawn in connection with current events here, but comparisons are invidious. Moreover, persons of the class, notwithstanding their disaffection, were not infrequently found as volunteers in the Northern army.
But if the inhabitants of the Puritan Peninsula went to war with avidity, so to speak, when it was seen to be unavoidable, they returned to civil pursuits with even more satisfaction. The quiet merging of the great citizen force into the mass of the people, as it is called, has been accounted not less surprising than their original enrolment. But men had grown weary of fighting. In no long time the whole momentous experience-a campaign carried on by hundreds of thousands and spread over half a continent-had slipped into the past. Pictures of war in endless variety they had seen; men marching, voyaging, camping; toiling in trenches, bridging and fording rivers, threading forests and climbing mountains; and fighting everywhere-in woods, in swamps, on mountain-tops, in ships, boats, forts, and farmhouses. It was a phantasmagoria of life and death; but they had seen enough, and, for the most part, were glad to banish the dream. In many cases it seemed to fade without their will. Indeed, numbers of undoubted heroes suffered from a provoking inability to describe their most picturesque experiences, and caused the regret that graphic powers do not necessarily go with soldiership. Others of less authentic valor sometimes supplied the deficiency. Descriptions, however, were not wanting, as vivid and perhaps as convincing as the vaunted methods of the Realist, for the war correspondent had been busy from the first.
The veterans were not the only persons willing and even anxious to forget. Throughout the North, and especially in the cities and towns of New England and other Eastern States, many, after the final submission of the foe, turned as if with a sudden revulsion to other things. They had been patriots while the need lasted, or seemed to last; they had supported and toiled for the Union with the rest, perhaps had used the party watchwords and shibboleths; and had been glad of victory. But victory won, decisively and completely, a distaste for all connected with the war seemed to fall upon them. It had been noble, virtuous, exemplary, the cause of union and freedom; but, after all, it had been a civil war, politically and in the eyes of the world. An English nation fallen out with itself-Marston Moor and Naseby over again after two hundred years--and on Republican soil! It was, doubtless, inevitable, this national re-moulding, a burden shifted upon their shoulders by the more callous, slave-trafficking centuries; but the ordeal once over it were best forgot. They left patriotism, now somewhat staled, and the labors of reconstruction to the politician, and sought brighter fields. Some made money inordinately in the era of commercial activity and speculation that followed peace. Others, whom Roger Ascham might have called “better-feathered spirits," especially the younger ones, found nepenthe and refreshment in literature and art, and in the ästhetic revival of the latter half of the century. A great many rediscovered Europe and its possibilities as an extended pleasure-ground. Passionate, and other, pilgrimages were made to old-world shrines, and for a space Paris became a Mecca. Mr. Henry James, in particular, discovered England and its upper classes, with their value in the way of affording international episodes. New England itself was discovered by Mr. Howells, who, coming from the
West by way of Venice, found in Bos. ton and its cultivated society, and in the homely people of the outlying country districts, an unworked vein of material for his carefully studied pictures. His refined Harvard heroes, as some will remember, were of a younger generation, addicted to "hopping back and forth over the Atlantic," and little interested in the war their elders had waged, except for its artistic and spectacular effects. In later life they may have had experience of their own in the recent naval and military enterprises of their country.
Perhaps in comparing Old with New England in the momentous question of war, I am forcing slight resemblances. The one, although the only English-founded colony bearing the name of the older state, is now merely the small corner of a nation, while the other is the centre and heart of an empire. Both, however, are to-day as they have always been alike in the readiness of their citizens to go anywhere and do anything in the way of fighting, and both abound in more or less appropriate memorials to those who have fallen on far-distant fields.
A. G. Hude.
Enough to answer England's slanderous son,
And brand his calumny,