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Note I.-"YOUR MISSION.”
I am not perfectly certain of the authorship of this poem. It appeared anonymously in a Charleston newspaper, and was never claimed by its modest author. In the South it was variously attributed to Mrs. Browning, J. R. Thompson, Mrs. Preston, and Paul Hayne. I am sure that neither of the three last wrote it; and the credit was given to the first because of the combined strength and pathos of the poem, and its applicability to the war in Italy. I do not think either reason strong enough to warrant the belief ; and while I desire to pluck no leaf from the wreath that will to all time adorn the brow of THE GRAND WOMAN, I still think some “mute inglorious Milton” from the South will yet place himself in the goodly company of the poets by acknowledging its authorship.
Note II.-THE BURIAL OF LATANE
is only a metrical narration of facts, as they occurred. In General Jeb Stuart's celebrated tour to the White House, round the rear of McClellan's army-known as the PAMUNKEY
RAID—Captain Latané was killed in a skirmish. The following extract from a private letter to Mr. Thompson, from a lady who was present, tells the story in better language than any
I “Lieutenant Latané carried his brother's dead body to Mrs. Brockenbrough's plantation, an hour or two after his death. On this sad and lonely errand he met a party of Yankees, who followed him to Mrs. Brockenbrough's gate, and stopping there, told him that as soon as he had placed his brother's body in friendly hands, he must surrender himself prisoner.
Mrs. Brockenbrough sent for an Episcopal clergyman to perform the funeral ceremonies, but the enemy would not permit him to pass. Then, with a few other ladies, a fair-haired little girl, her apron filled with white flowers, and a few faithful slaves, who stood reverently near, a pious Virginia matron read the solemn and beautiful Burial Service over the cold, still form of one of the noblest gentlemen and most intrepid officers in the Confederate army. She watched the sods heaped upon the coffin-lid, then sinking on her knees, in sight and hearing of the foe, she committed his soul's welfare, and the stricken hearts he had left behind him, to the mercy of the ‘All-Father.' "
The anecdote of Napoleon keeping post to reprove a sleeping sentinel was changed by General Jackson to fit the mould of his grander soul. When his brigade' came up to Manassas, the men were so worn down by the toilsome march
that they threw themselves on the ground, and without eating even, slept as they fell. The Adjutant, in speaking of a picket detail, mentioned their condition. "No!!” said the noble Jackson, “Let them sleep, and I will watch the camp to-night.”
Note IV.-A POEM THAT NEEDS NO DEDICATION.
The incident suggesting this poem—the burning of Luna by the sea-robber, Hasting—is to be found in Milman's History of Latin Christianity. Its applicability I leave to the reader.
Note 1.-" THERE'S LIFE IN THE OLD LAND YET.”
In a recent letter Mr. Randall informs me that it was not until this poem had been written several months that he saw Massey's “ Old England,” in which a similar refrain occurs. Mr. Howard has ably used the same theme.
Note VI.-" THE WAR CHRISTIAN'S THANKSGIVING »
was written on the occasion of a governmental thanksgivingday, about the end of '63. It was never published except on slips for local distribution; and even that was done before the author himself was apprised of it.
Note VII.-A WORD WITH THE WEST
was published in Richmond on the occasion of General J. E. Johnston's leaving to take command of the Western Department at the end of 1862.
Note VIII.-" NEWLY WROUGHT IN THE FORGES OF
A magnificent Toledo blade, bearing the mark of the royal manufactory, had just been brought from Spain, and presented to General Johnston by a gentleman of Alabama.
Note IX.-“ MURMUROUS PINES.”
General Johnston was the commander of the Virginia army at the “ Battle of Seven Pines,” and gained much honor with the people of the State for his conduct of the affair. He was badly wounded on the first day, when the command devolved upon General R. E. Lee.
Note X.-BEAUREGARD'S APPEAL
was for the plantation bells only to melt into cannon; but at once numbers of the churches offered theirs. Some of these latter that were accepted and not used, have recently been returned to their owners by the United States officers.
The sister poem to this, called forth by the same proclamation, was never acknowledged. It has a ring and fire that make it somewhat remarkable that this modest but valuable contribution to the bell-fund was never placed at the right door,