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white man coming ?” The orderly replied, “ There's room for you to pass. The respectable citizen then drew his revolver, threatening to "shoot his damned black heart out." This occasioned an order for his arrest. He drew his revolver, with a similar threat, upon another soldier sent to take him, and was promptly shot down by him. Exit respectable citizen.

Corinth is a bruised and battered village surrounded by stumpy fields, forts, earthworks, and graves. The stumpy fields are the sites of woods and groves cut away by the great armies. The graves are those of soldiers slain upon these hills. Beautiful woody boundaries sweep round all.

There is nothing about the town especially worth visiting ; and my object in stopping there was to make an excursion into the country and visit the battle-field of Shiloh. I went to a livery-stable to engage a horse. I was told of frequent robberies that had been committed on that road, and urged by the stable-keeper to take a man with me; but I wished to make the acquaintance of the country people, and thought I could do better without a companion.

SCENE IN THE WOODS.

297

CHAPTER XLI.

ON HORSEBACK FROM CORINTH.

MOUNTING a sober little iron-gray, I cantered out of Corinth, in a northeasterly direction, past the angles of an old fort overgrown with weeds, and entered the solitary wooded country beyond.

A short ride brought me to a broken bridge, hanging its shaky rim over a stream breast-high to my horse. I paused on its brink, dubious; until I saw two ladies, coming to town on horseback to do their shopping (the fashion of the country), rein boldly down the muddy bank, gather their skirts together, hold up their heels, and take like ducks to the water. I held up my heels and did likewise. This was the route of the great armies ; which whoso follows will find many a ruined bridge and muddy stream to ford.

It was a clear, crisp winter's morning. The air was elastic and sparkling. The road wound among lofty trunks of oak, poplar, hickory, and gum, striped and gilded with the slanting early sunshine. Quails (called partridges in the South) flew up from the wayside ; turtle doves flitted from the limbs above my head ; the woodpeckers screamed and tapped, greeting my approach with merry fife and drum. Cattle were grazing on the wild grass of the woods, and a solitary cow-bell rang.

Two and a half miles from town I came to a steam saw-mill, all about which the forest resounded with the noise of axes, the voices of negroes shouting to their teams, the flapping of boards thrown down, and the vehement buzz of the saw. This mill had but recently gone into operation ; being one of hundreds that had already been brought from the North, and set to work supplying the demand for lumber, and repairing the damages of war.

Near by was a new house of rough logs with the usual great opening through it. It was situated in the midst of ruins which told too plain a story. Tying my horse to a bush, I entered, and found one division of the house occupied by negro servants, the other by two lonely white women. One of these was young; the other aged, and bent with grief and years. She sat by the fire, knitting, wrapped in an ancient shawl, and having a white handkerchief tied over her head. The walls and roof were full of chinks, the wind blew through the room, and she crouched shivering over the hearth.

She offered me a chair, and a negro woman, from the other part of the house, brought in wood, which she heaped in the great open fireplace.

“Sit up, stranger," said the old lady. “I haven't the accommodations for guests I had once ; but you're welcome to what I have. I owned a beautiful place bere before the war, - a fine house, negro quarters, an orchard, and garden, and everything comfortable. The Yankees came along and destroyed it. They did n't leave me a fence, — not a rail nor a pale. If I had stayed here, they would n't have injured me, and I should have saved my house ; but I was advised to leave. I have come back here to spend my days in this cabin. I lost everything, even my clothes; and I'm too old to begin life again.”

Myself a Yankee, what could I say to console her?

A mile and a half farther on, I came to another log-house, and stopped to inquire my way of an old man standing by the gate. His countenance was hard and stern, and he eyed me, as I thought, with a sinister expression. “ You are a stranger in this country ?"

I told him I was. “I allow you 're from the North ?" - eying me still more suspiciously.

“ Yes," I replied ; “ I am from New England."

“I'm glad to see ye. Alight. It's a right cool morning: come into the house and warm."

I confess to a strong feeling of distrust, as I looked at him. I resolved, however, to accept his invitation. He showed me

" OLD LEE'S” ADVENTURES.

299

into a room, which appeared to be the kitchen and sleepingroom of a large family. Two young women and several children were crowded around the fireplace, while the door of the house was left wide open, after the fashion of doors in the South country. There was something stewing in a skillet on the hearth; which I noticed, because the old man, as he sat and talked with me, spat his tobacco-juice over it (not always with accuracy) at the back-log. I remarked that the country appeared very quiet.

“Quiet, to what it was," said the old man, with a wicked twinkle of the eye.

“ You've probably heard of some of the murders and robberies through here."

I said I had heard of some such irregularities.

“I've been robbed time and again. I've had nine horses and mules stole."

"By whom?"

“ The bushwhackers. They've been here to kill me three or four times ; but, as it happened, the killing was on tother side." “ Who were these men ?

“Some on 'em belonged in Massissippi, and some on 'em in Tennessy. They come to my house of a Tuesday night, last Feb’uary. They rode up to the house, and surrounded it, a dozen or fifteen of 'em. 'Old Lee!' they shouted, “ we want ye!' It had been cloudy ’arly in the evening, but it had fa'red up, and as I looked out thro' the chinks in the logs, I could see 'em moving around.

“Come out, Old Lee! we've business with ye!'

* * You've no honest business this hour o' the night,' I says. "Come out, or we'll fire your

house.' " • Stand back, then,' I says, ' while I open the doo'.'

"I opened it a crack, but instead of going out, I just put out the muzzle of my gun, and let have at the fust man.

“* Boys! I'm shot !' he says. I'd sent a slug plumb thro' his body. Whilst the others was getting him away, I loaded up again. In a little while they come back, mad as devils. I did n't wait for 'em to order me out, but fired as: they come up to the doo'. I hit one of 'em in the thigh. After that they went off, and I did n't hear any more of 'em that night."

66 What became of the wounded men ?"

“ The one I shot thro' the body got well. The other died.” “ How did

you

learn ?“ They was all neighbors of mine. They lived only a few miles from here, over the Tennessy line. That was Tuesday night; and the next Sunday night the gang come again. I was prepared for 'em. I had cut a trap through the floo'; and I had my grandson with me, a boy about twelve year old; and he had a gun. We'd just got comfortably to bed, when some men rode up to the gate, and hollah'd, · Hello!' several times. I told my wife to ask 'em what they wanted. They said they was strangers, and had lost their road and wanted the man of the house to come out. I drapped thro' the hole in the floo', and told my wife to tell 'em I wa'n't in the house, and they must go somewhar else.

“• We'll see if he's in the house,' they said. The house is all open underneath, and I reckoned I'd a good position ; but befo'e I got a chance at ary one, they 'd bust in. They went to rummaging, and threatening my wife, and skeering the children. I could hear 'em tramping over my head ; till bimeby the clock struck; and I heerd one of 'em sw'ar, Ten o'clock, and nary dollar yet! After that, I could see 'em outside the house ; hunting around for me, as I allowed. I fired on one. • My God!' I heered him say, he's killed me!' I then took my grandson's gun, and fired again. Such a rushing and scampering you never heered. They run off, leaving one of their men lying dead right out here before the doo'. We found him thar the next morning. He laid thar nigh on to two days, when some of his friends come and took him and buried him." “Why did those men wish to murder

you “They had a spite agin me, because they said I was a Union man."

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