April 22

Weather pleasant and agreeable this morning, but towards night it began to haze up and now it is sprinkling. A part of the regiment went on picket this morning. Major Chandler is officer of the day; had a dress parade to-night. Lieut. J. A. Hicks is relieved from General W. H. Morris' staff. Most of the line officers have moved over to the new camp.

April 22, 1863

Wednesday. The regiment came back to-day. Have been gone four days. Had some hard marching and lived high on pigs and chickens found by the way. They went up the Pearl River, and captured a small steamer loaded with tar and rosin. They feel fine and to hear them talk one would think this matter of putting down the Rebellion is nothing if only the 128th is given a good whack at it.

April Twenty-Second

The dusk of the South is tender
As the touch of a soft, soft hand;
It comes between splendor and splendor,
The sweetest of service to render,
And gathers the cares of the land.

Above it the soft sky blushes
And pales like an April rose;
Within it the South wind hushes,
And the Jessamine's heart outgushes,
And earth like an emerald glows.
John P. Sjolander

 

Capture of Plymouth, N. C., by Gen. R. D. Hoke, 1864

 

 

April 22, 1864

Friday. We got another start at about daylight and kept going until noon, when we struck bottom and had to be pulled loose again. We could plainly see that the bottom of the river was much nearer the top than when we came up. We stopped at the same landing for wood where the old contraband warned us of trouble on our last trip down. Sure enough, he was here again and with another warning. He said the woods below Cane River were alive with sharpshooters, of which he had warned the boats ahead, and would warn those to come. We heard firing long before we reached Cane River, and as we neared the woods the guns on our boat began a raking fire on each side and kept it up until the woods were passed. It was dark by this time and the boats went little if any faster than the flow of the river. We reached the rapids above Alexandria about 10 p. m., and so far as I know, not a person was hurt on the way.

April 22

April 22, 1878.--Letter from my cousin Julia. These kind old relations find it very difficult to understand a man's life, especially a student's life. The hermits of reverie are scared by the busy world, and feel themselves out of place in action. But after all, we do not change at seventy, and a good, pious old lady, half-blind and living in a village, can no longer extend her point of view, nor form any idea of existences which have no relation with her own.

What is the link by which these souls, shut in and encompassed as they are by the details of daily life, lay hold on the ideal? The link of religious aspiration. Faith is the plank which saves them. They know the meaning of the higher life; their soul is athirst for heaven. Their opinions are defective, but their moral experience is great; their intellect is full of darkness but their souls is full of light. We scarcely know how to talk to them about the things of earth, but they are ripe and mature in the things of the heart. If they cannot understand us, it is for us to make advances to them, to speak their language, to enter into their range of ideas, their modes of feeling. We must approach them on their noble side, and, that we may show them the more respect, induce them to open to us the casket of their most treasured thoughts. There is always some grain of gold at the bottom of every honorable old age. Let it be our business to give it an opportunity of showing itself to affectionate eyes.

Cannes April 22, 1885

Scherer writes that he is going to publish a new volume, in which his recent essay on the Life of George Eliot will be included. You will read it with interest and surprise at the moral judgment.

He is also the great patron of Amiel, whom I read with delight as having a savour of Vinet—with more serious culture and curiosity, and inferior understanding for religion. There is a plot in Arnold's circle to make him known and popular in England. Nobody thought anything of him in his lifetime, at Geneva.

A careful study of my Pall Mall  has left me quite in the dark as to Zulfikar, &c.[255 ] I thought there was a deliberate intention to force us into war, and I did not imagine that there was any way out of it. To my cheap and pacific mind it seemed a disaster not only without remedy, but without even a remote compensation or consolation, in which victory could do us no good, and in which the mere conflict would degrade us to the brutal level of continental powers.

Nothing has so completely puzzled me for the last two years as the hesitation of Russia to re-open the San Stefano question, while we are not only at Cyprus, but in Egypt, and without any moral vantage ground from which we can resist the overthrow of the European Turk. I would willingly give up the whole country from Bulgaria to the Ægean for a few miles of Afghan desert.

But it would be bad policy to give up both and have to fight for existence in India whenever a capricious bell rings at Petersburgh.


[255 ] The Afghan frontier. See Mr. Morley's account of the Penjdeh incident in his "Life of Gladstone," vol. iii. pp. 183-5.