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A Letter from the Country // Colonel Charley's Wife // The Black-Eyed Smuggler

Harper's Weekly Text
October 8, 1864, p. 654 (1-4)


A sergeant tells the story of how a colonelís wife saved his company.  A Union party, led by the colonel (then a captain), was scouting for Confederates when it was suddenly trapped on the top of a hill.  The Union soldiers were protected by a large gully that kept the Confederates out, but that also kept the Union men trapped.  The Confederates charged the Union men, who were woefully outnumbered, but the Union menís superior position and shooting rendered them temporarily safe.  The Union men knew that once it got dark, though, the Confederates would be able to sneak up behind them.  The captain asked for a volunteer to run back to camp to get help, a very dangerous mission.  The first one to volunteer was an unpopular young man who kept to himself, and who didnít seem to have any friends.  Though others wanted to go, the captain allowed the young man to go.  From a growing distance, the captain watched the movements of the young man, who, at one point, was compelled to shoot an assailant.  Once help arrived and the Union company was safe, the captain learned that the young man was really a woman, and that she was shot in the arm while fulfilling her mission.  The young woman, the captain further discovered, joined the army after her brother was killed in battle, and after she ran away from a cruel stepmother.  The young woman was already in love with the captain, and soon he learned to love her as well.

Harper's Weekly References


August 17, 1861, p. 515 (4)

Military Background:

"Mrs. Major Reynolds"
May 17, 1862, p. 306 (1)

Letter concerning Mrs. Major Reynolds
May 17, 1862, p. 306 (1)

Portrait of Mrs. Major Reynolds
May 17, 1862, p. 317 (2-3)


"Bertha (who wants to go to WarÖ)"
June 8, 1861, p. 368

"Filling Cartridges at the United States Arsenal"
July 20, 1861, p. 449

"Scenes About Camp"
July 20, 1861, p. 453


"A Suggestion"
August 30, 1862, p. 547 (2-3)


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A Letter from the Country // Colonel Charley's Wife // The Black-Eyed Smuggler





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