« AnteriorContinua »
recover from the palsy of their fright, in due time, some of them daughters Myrtle had flung the knife away from of rich people, some poor girls, who her, and was kneeling, her head bowed came with the same sincerity of purand her hands crossed upon her breast. pose as herself. But not one was her The audience went into a rapture of match in the facility of acquiring knowlapplause as the curtain came suddenly edge. Not one promised to make such down ; but Myrtle had forgotten all but a mark in society, if she found an the dread peril she had just passed, opening into its loftier circles. She and was thanking God that his angel was by no means ignorant of her natu– her own protecting spirit, as it seemed ral gifts, and she cultivated them with to her — had stayed the arm which a the ambition which would not let her passion such as her nature had never rest. known, such as she believed was alien During the year she spent in the to her truest self, had lifted with dead- great school, she made but one visit liest purpose.
She alone knew how to Oxbow Village. She did not try to extreme the danger had been. “She startle the good people with her acmeant to scare her, - that 's all,” they complishments, but they were surprised said. But Myrtle tore the eagle's feath- at the change which had taken place ers from her hair, and stripped off her in her. Her dress was hardly more colored beads, and threw off her painted showy, for she was but a school-girl, but robe. The metempsychosis was far too it fitted her more gracefully. She had real for her to let her wear the sem- gained a softness of expression, and an blance of the savage from whom, as ease in conversation, which produced she believed, had come the lawless im- their effect on all with whom she came pulse at the thought of which her soul in contact. Her aunt's voice lost recoiled in horror.
something of its plaintiveness in talk“Pocahontas has got a horrid head- ing with her. Miss Cynthia listened ache," the managing young ladies gave with involuntary interest to her stories it out, “and can't come to time for the of school and schoolmates. Master last tableau.” So this all passed over, Byles Gridley accepted her as the not only without loss of credit to Myr- great success of his life, and detertle, but with no small addition to her mined to make her his sole heiress, if local fame, — for it must have been act- there was any occasion for so doing. ing; and “was n't it stunning to see Cyprian told Bathsheba that Myrtle her with that knise, looking as if she must come to be a great lady. Gifted was going to stab Bella, or to scalp her, Hopkins confessed to Susan Posey that or something ?”
he was afraid of her, since she had As Master Gridley had predicted, been to the great city school. She and as is the case commonly with new- knew too much, and looked too much comers at colleges and schools, Myrtle like a queen, for a village boy to talk came first in contact with those who with. were least agreeable to meet. The Mr. William Murray Bradshaw tried low-bred youth who amuse themselves all his fascinations upon her, but she with scurvy tricks on freshmen, and the parried compliments so well, and put vulgar girls who try to show off their off all his nearer advances so dextergentility to those whom they think less ously, that he could not advance beyond important than themselves, are excep- the region of florid courtesy, and never tions in every institution; but they make got a chance, if so disposed, to risk a themselves odiously prominent before question which he would not ask rashthe quiet and modest young people ly, believing that, if Myrtle once said have had time to gain the new schol- No, there would be little chance of ar's confidence. Myrtle found friends her ever saying Yes.
WHEN the first wave of patriotism
After receiving a certificate of fitness rolled over the land at the out for the work from medical authority, it break of the late Rebellion, fathers and was discouraging at last to be denied the mothers were proudly willing to send consent of parents. However, some forth sons and daughters to take their favored ones went forth, and, returning part in the struggle. The young men home in a few months, brought back were speedily marshalled and marched such accounts of satisfaction in finding to the scene of action'; but the young themselves of use, and of their enjoywomen were not so fortunate in getting ment in ministering to our suffering off to places in the hospitals before the soldiers, that at length the prejudices first ardor of excitement had cooled. which withheld consent were overcome, Indeed, all hospital organization was in and one of the last of those who went such an imperfect state that no definite was allowed to take part in the most plan could be made for ladies desiring interesting duties to which the war to enter upon the good work.
called women. Then came grave doubts from sage I have often thought that one day of heads as to the propriety and expe- hospital employment, with its constant diency of young women's going at all. work and opportunities, was worth a One said that they would always be year of ordinary life at home, and I restanding in the way of the doctors; member with thankfulness how many another, that they would run at the times I was permitted to take the place first glimpse of a wounded man, or cer- of absent mothers and sisters in caring tainly faint at sight of a surgical instru- for their sons and brothers. It seemed ment; others still, that no woman's to me that we women in the hospitals strength could endure for a week the received our reward a hundred-fold in demands of hospital life. In fact, it daily sights of patient heroism, and exwas looked upon as the most fanatical pressions of warm gratitude, and that folly, and suggestions were made that we did not deserve mention or rememat least a slight experiment of hospital brance in comparison with the thouhorrors ought to be
de before start- sands at ome whose zeal never weaing on such a mad career. According- ried in labors indirect and unexciting, ly, in Boston, a few who cherished the until the day of victory ended their project most earnestly began a series work. of daily visits to the Massachusetts. No place in the country could have General Hospital. To the courtesy been better adapted to the uses of a and kindness of Dr. B. S. Shaw and hospital than the grounds and buildthe attending surgeons, - especially ings belonging to the Naval Academy Dr. J. Mason Warren, — these novices at Annapolis, enclosed on two sides, as were indebted for the privilege of wit- they are, by an arm of the Chesapeake nessing operations and being taught Bay and the river Severn, and blessed the art of dressing wounds. The with a varied view, and fresh, invigoratomission of fainting on the part of the ing breezes. At the opening of the war new pupils rather disappointed general General Butler landed troops at this expectation; and though the knowl- point, thus communicating with Washedge gained in a few weeks was super- ington without passing through Baltificial, yet for practical purposes the more. The Naval School was immenurses were not deemed totally incom- diately removed to Newport, where it petent.
remained until after the close of our national troubles. The places of the self in the most watchful superintendyoung students preparing for the naval ence of all departments of the hospital; service were soon filled by the sick no details were too minute for his care, and wounded of the volunteer armies. no plan too generous which could tend
The city of Annapolis is old and to the comfort of the suffering. Absoquaint. Unlike most of our American lute system and punctuality were excapitals, it gives a stranger the im- pected to be observed by all who came pression of having been finished for under his military rule. The reveille centuries, and one would imagine that bugle broke the silence of early dawn. the inhabitants are quite too content- Its clear notes, repeated at intervals ed to have any idea of progress or im- during the day, announced to the surprovement. The Episcopal church, de- geons the time for visits and reports, stroyed by fire a few years since, has and to the men on duty — such as the been rebuilt; but even that is crowned guards, police, nurses, and cooks with the ancient wooden tower rescued the time for their meals. One of the from the flames, and preserved in grate- most original of the Doctor's plans was ful memory of Queen Anne, who be- the establishment of a stretcher corps. stowed valuable gifts on this church of At one time there was daily to be seen her namesake city.
upon the green in front of head-quarWithin easy access of all the con- ters a company of men, ward-masters, veniences of a city, and with excellent nurses, and cooks, performing the most railroad facilities, the hospital grounds surprising evolutions, playing alternatewere perfectly secluded by surround- ly the parts of patients and nurses, ing walls. As one entered through studying by experiment, under the eye the high gates, an indescribable repose and direction of skilful surgeons, the was felt, enhanced by the charm with most comfortable method of conveying which Nature has endowed the spot, the helpless. In this way the stretcher in the abundant shade, evergreen, and corps acquired an amount of skill and fruit trees, and rose-bushes, holly, and tenderness which was brought into other shrubbery. The classical naval good use when the long roll on the monument, formerly at the Capitol in drum summoned them to meet an apWashington, has within a few years proaching transport, bringing either the been removed, and with two others — wounded from the last battle-field, or one of which perpetuates the memory the emaciated victims who had been of the adventurous Herndon — stands held as prisoners of war at the South. here. The wharf built for the embar- Shortly after Dr. Vanderkeift came to kation of the Burnside Expedition in the hospital, he invited “Sister Tyler” 1861 is also here. About sixty brick to take the head of the ladies' departbuildings, comprising the chapel, post- ment. She will always be remembered office, dispensary, and laundry, with as identified with the war from the very long rows of tents stretched across the beginning. She was the only woman grassy spaces, afforded accommodation in Baltimore who came forward on the for patients varying from five hundred 19th of April, 1861, when the men of to twenty-two hundred in number. our Massachusetts Sixth were massa
In the summer of 1863, Dr. B. A. cred in passing through that city. She Vanderkeift was appointed surgeon in insisted upon being permitted to see charge of the U. S. General Hospital, the wounded, and with dauntless devoDivision I., at Annapolis, more fre- tion, in the face of peril, had some of quently called the Naval School Hos- them removed to her own home, where pital. Dr. Vanderkeift, from his un- she gave them the most faithful care common energy of character, bis large for many weeks. These men were but experience, and rare executive ability, the first few of thousands who can was admirably fitted for his position. never forget the kindness received from By day and night he never spared him- her hands, the words of cheer which
- NO. 118.
came from her lips. Until within ten ical tranquillity was the best way in months of the closing events of the which to meet them. Though exceedwar, she was constantly engaged in ingly inconvenient, there was rarely hospital service, and then only left for 'any serious result attending them. OcEurope because too much exhausted casionally a lady would be fortunate to continue longer in the work. “Sis- enough to evade the loss of a valuable ter Tyler” had supervision of the hos- man by sending him into the city on an pital, and of the fourteen ladies who errand, or by keeping him out of sight had a subdivision of responsibility rest while an inspection was going on. In ing upon each of them. Their duties this way my chief of staff, as I used to consisted in the special care of the call a certain German youth, was kept wards assigned them, and particular a year in the hospital. His efficiency attention to the diet and stimulants; and constant interest in the patients they supplied the thousand nameless made him a valuable auxiliary in my little wants which occurred every day, little department; and I know that his furnished books and amusements, wrote services were appreciated by others for and read to the men, — did every than myself, for one of the chief surthing, in fact, which a thoughtful tact geons advised me to keep him by all could suggest without interfering with means, even if hiding him in the icesurgeons or stewards.
chest were necessary. Dr. Vanderkeift wisely considered The regular supplies from the comnourishing diet of more importance missary were comparatively plentiful, than medicine. There were three de- but fell short of the demand, both as partments for the preparation of low to quantity and variety. The Chrisand special diet, over each of which a tian and Sanitary Commissions met lady presided. The cooks and nurses, this want in great measure, providing throughout the hospital, were furnished good stimulants, dried fruits, butter, from the number of convalescent pa- and various other luxuries. But with tients not fit to go to the front. They the utmost delight were received boxes. made excellent workers in these posi- packed by generous hands at home. I tions, learning with a ready intelligence shall ever feel indebted to many Boston their new duties, and performing them friends for their laborious care and muwith cheerful compliance; but they nificent contributions. One of them, often regained their strength too rap- Mrs. James Reed, has now entered idly, and the whole order and conven- upon the full reward of a life rich in ience of kitchens and wards would be noble impulses and kindly deeds. Her thrown into wild confusion by a stern cordial sympathy for those languishing mandate from Washington, that every in distant hospital wards was manifestable-bodied man was to go to his regi- ed in sending gifts of the choicest and ment. No matter what the exigency of most expensive home luxuries. the case might be, these men were de- A gentleman well known in England, spatched in haste. Then came a new as well as our own country, for his training of men, some on crutches, some friendly patronage of art, was never forwith one hand, and all far from strong. getful of our warriors in their dreary When the ladies remonstrated at hav- days of suffering. Many a cheery mesing such men put on duty, they were sage did he send in letters, and never told that feebleness must be made good without liberal “contents.” His name by numbers, and it was no uncommon was gratefully associated by the men thing for four or five crippled men to with bountiful draughts of punch and be employed in the work of one strong milk, fruits, ice-cream, and many other one. These changes made wild confu- satisfying good things. His request sion for a few days, but gradually we was never to allow a man to want for began to consider them a part of the anything that money could buy; and fortunes of war, and to find that a sto- thoughpeanuts and oranges " - of which he desired the men should have than the most sound and robust condiplenty --- were not always the most ju- tion at the time of their becoming prisdicious articles of diet, the spirit of his oners has no foundation. Language command was strictly obeyed.
fails to describe them on their return Mrs. Alexander Randall, who lived from the most cruel of captivities. Ignear the hospital at Annapolis, was ex- nominious insults, bitter and galling ceedingly kind in sending in timely threats, exposure to scorching heat by delicacies for the men. Fruits and day and to frosty cold at night, torturflowers from her own garden in lavish ing pangs of hunger, - these were the profusion were the constant expres- methods by which stalwart men had sions of her thoughtful interest. I re- been transformed into ghastly beings member especially one morning when with sunken eyes and sepulchral voices. a poor boy who was very low could not They were clothed in uncleanly rags, be persuaded to take any food; many many without caps, and most without tempting things had been suggested, shoes. Their hair and beards were but with feeble voice he said that some overgrown and matted. The condition grapes were all that he cared for. It of their teeth was the only appearance was early in the season, and they could of neatness about them: and these not be bought. But just at this mo- were as white as ivory, from eating ment Mrs. Randall opportunely sent in bread made of corn and cobs ground some beautiful clusters. The coun- up together. A piece of such bread tenance of the dying boy brightened four inches square daily, with a morsel with delight as he saw them. They of meat once a week and a spoonful made his last moments happy, for with- of beans three times a week, had been in half an hour he turned his head on their food for several months. Some the pillow, and with one short sigh were too far gone to bear the strain was gone.
of removal from the steamer; nine The large basketfuls of rosy apples died on the day of arrival, and one from this lady were hailed with the ut- third of the whole number soon folmost delight by those allowed to eat lowed them. Roses, which had linthem. “ I have wanted an apple more gered through the mellow autumn, were than anything," was often the eager wreathed with laurel and laid upon reply, as they were offered to those their coffins as they were carried into who had recently come from a long the beautiful little chapel for the fucaptivity; and as they were distributed neral services, before they were laid in through the wards, not the least grati- the government cemetery, about a mile fying circumstance was the invariable from the hospital. It is a lovely place, refusal of the ward-masters and nurses with many trees surrounding its gento take any. Their diet was not sump- tle slopes; and here thousands sleep, tuous, and apples were a great luxury with their name, rank, company, and to all; but they would say, "No, thank regiment inscribed upon wooden slabs. you, let the men who have just come But “ Unknown” is the only sad record have them all.”
on many a headboard. These were On the 17th of November, 1863, the men who died either on transports, or steamer New York came in, bring- who when brought to us were too much ing one hundred and eighty men from impaired in mind to remember anyLibby Prison and Belle Isle. Most thing, — for the loss or derangement of these were the soldiers who had of mental faculties was no uncommon fought at Gettysburg. Never was there occurrence.
When the first cases of an army in the world whose health and starvation were brought under treatstrength were better looked after than ment, the doctors prescribed the lightour own; the weak and sick were always est diet, mostly rice, soup, and tea. By sent to the general hospitals ; and the experiment it was proved that just idea that our men were ever in other as many died in proportion under this