January 17, 1863, page 42 (1)
We illustrate on pages 40 and 41 "The War in the
On the left hand, we see some of our Union troops passing
through a Border State town. Not a store is open; no vehicles are encountered by them in
their march, there is no hurry and bustle of business; all seems to bear evidence of the
rebels having hastily left and taken with them every sign of life. One might fancy that
not a soul had remained, until some of the concealed inmates, seeing that our errand is
not plunder, or murder, or cruelty, emerge from cellars and other hiding-places, and
gather courage to beg, in heart-rending tones of despair, for something, be it ever so
little, to appease their gnawing hunger. Our gallant soldiers, though not provided with
more than sufficient for themselves, can not witness such suffering, nor listen to that
plaintive appeal without responding to it. Each gives all he can spare, and blessings are
invoked upon their kind hearts. Oh! It is pitiful to see the little children clutch at the
hard crust and devour it as eagerly as if it were the daintiest morsel, and delicate
women, hitherto accustomed to every luxury, now bereft of every thing but a few rags
scarce enough to cover them. But the soldiers power to alleviate their distress in
very limited, and the best they can do goes a very little way. They march on with their
memory full of what they have just seen, and the cries of misery ringing in their ears.
On the right hand are the ruins of one of the houses of a
town that has been recently bombarded. Others are also visible which have escaped complete
destruction, but still bear mournful evidence of what they have undergone. Scarcely a
window is left in any of the dwellings; and the church-spire is pierced with many a hole.
It looks almost like the ghost of a town- mere spectre of what it once was. In the
fore-ground we see a mother and her two children mourning over a body they have just
found, which she recognizes as that of her husband. She came forth from the place of
concealment where he so carefully put her and the little ones, while he thought he would
go and try to save a few of the things most necessary to their comfort, and the first
object which meets her gaze as she ventures out, after the noise of firing has ceased, is
that lifeless form. There he lies among the smouldering ruins, for the first time deaf to
the sound of his wifes loved voice. The children call upon his name in vain; no
answer comes from those dead lips and, frightened at the silence, they shrink timidly
together, awe-struck, unable to comprehend why their father lies so quiet and motionless.
They look to their mother for comfort, and a heart-broken wail of anguish is the only
sound which greets their ears. Fragments of shell are lying all around them, and there is
scarcely any thing left which they can recognize, and which could tell them that this
was once their happy home.
In the corner above this a guerrilla raid is
representedthe dread and horror of all the peaceful inhabitants of the
countrywho lay waste all within their reach, and bear away every thing of value on
which they can lay their hands; who commit murder indiscriminately in order to obtain
their object; and to whom an act of cruelty and outrage is a good joke. To cause the
innocent to suffer, to perform deeds of unparalleled atrocity and wickedness, is their
On the opposite corner a party of rebel cavalry is seen
approaching, and men, women, children, and negroes are all flying from their home to the
friendly woods for protection. The men would willingly stay and defend their homes to the
very last; but cui bono? Do we not hear daily of cases in which Union men have been
seized, tied with ropes, and at the point of the bayonet obliged to join the rebel army?
In the lower corners the work of destruction still goes
on. The left shows us a town being shelled. Once lively and prosperous, it will soon be
nothing but a heap of smoking ashes. The handsome houses which once rose so proudly in air
will soon be leveled to the ground. Hardly a trace of their former grandeur will be found
in the blackened, unsightly ruins.
On the other side a bridge is burning; with each plank
which falls helplessly into the water go the chances of communication from side to side.
It is the same with railroads; one after another is destroyed, and in a country so vast as
this, without such means of facilitating intercourse between one distant part and another,
the work of progress and civilization ceases, education is neglected, and all advancement
At the bottom is a planters late residence; now
there is no sign of life there save a few birds flitting about, an occasional bat, and
some rats who may have their own way there undisturbed. Some human bones lying about would
seem to tell of some tragedy having been enacted there, but no living voice remains to
relate how it is that the place looks so desolate, and why the grass is allowed to grow in
the path, and the garden untended and full of weeds.
Here it is, in the Border States, that the real sufferers
of the war are to be found. We, in our comfortable homes, can hardly form an idea of the
acute distress which it entails upon the people of that section.
God grant that this terrible rebellion, with all its
fearful consequences, may speedily be crushed; that our beloved country may once more be
restored to peace and prosperity; that the awful work of destruction and of wasting lives
may cease; and that the wail of newlymade widows and orphans may be heard no more