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In these hospitals the wounded and sick rebel prisoners were nursed as tenderly as Union soldiers, and it was sometimes charged that the former were the most tenderly cared for, in the anxiety of Unionists to heap coals of fire upon the enemy's head, while they evinced also that in their holy war hate was not enlisted and love had not been left at home. The Chaplain often spoke touchingly of sick and wounded rebels, who at first repelled his ministrations, but were generally won over by his kind address. Such was the case of a young officer from South Carolina, who had lost both his legs. As the cots of Union and Rebel soldiers were placed promiscuously, the Chaplain some
times knew not which he addressed. He was struck · with the lustrous dark eyes of the young man, who
bore the marks of tender nurture, and to comfort him referred to the reward of the good soldier. “But do you know who I am,” said the prostrate youth. “I suppose a Union soldier.” “No," the other rejoined, “I belong to a South Carolina company.” “Ah!” said the Chaplain, “ I grieve for that. Your cause is at best mistaken. But we take no advantage of your position to reproach you. If you have thought you were in the right, may God forgive you!” The scene ended by the youth asking the Chaplain to stoop over and kiss him, while he threw his arms about his neck.
In a published letter on this topic the Chaplain says:
“In the hospital, no surgeon, no chaplain, recognizes any distinction between Unionists and Rebels. Shame were it if we did! Let our national enemies forget humanity if they will, we cannot, we will not, except first we forget the precepts of that blessed Book which, while it sternly declares
the necessity of war and bloodshed in sin's remission and the world's progress, yet also demands, as the highest of duties, visiting the sick and imprisoned, feeding our hungry enemy, and the forgiveness of every repentant man. May the North, which has answered so nobly when war's dread clarion sounded, listen also and heed and bless those who on suffering beds are dying for their country, or on them expiating their offence, till we whisper, Father, forgive and bless them all!”
The labors of the Chaplain in the hospital furnish a marked parallel with those of his sister Margaret in Italy, which are thus recounted in a letter of the American Consul, Mr. Lewis Cass, Jr., which has not before been published.
“ In the engagements between the Roman and French troops, the wounded of the former were brought into the city and disposed throughout the different hospitals, which were under the superintendence of several ladies of high rank, who had formed themselves into associations, the better to insure care and attention to these unfortunate men. Margaret Fuller took an active part in this noble work, and the greater portion of her time during the entire siege was passed in attendance upon the inmates of the Hospital of the Trinity of the Pilgrims, which was placed under her direction.
“ The weather was intensely hot, and her health was feeble and delicate; the dead and dying were around her in every form of pain and horror, yet she never shrank from the duty she had assumed. Her heart and soul were in the cause for which these men had fought, and all was done that woman could do to comfort them in their sufferings. As she moved among the dying, extended upon opposite beds, I have seen their eyes meet in commendation of her unwearied kindness, and the friends of those who there passed away may derive consolation from the assurance that nothing was wanting to
soothe their last moments. And I have heard many of those who recovered speak with all the passionate fervor of the Italian nature of her whose sympathy and compassion throughout their long illness fulfilled all the offices of love and affection. Mazzini, the chief of the Triumvirate, often expressed to me his admiration of her high character, and the Princess Belgiojoso, to whom was assigned the charge of the Papal Palace on the Quirinal, which was converted on this occasion into a hospital, was enthusiastic in her praise. And in a letter which received not long ago from this lady, who is gaining the bread of an exile by teaching languages in Constantinople, she alludes with much feeling to the support afforded by Margaret Fuller to the republican party in Italy. Here, in Rome, she is still spoken of in terms of regard and endearment, and the announcement of her death was received with a degree of sorrow not often bestowed upon a foreigner, and especially one of a different faith.”
“ If there be movements in the patriot's soul,
From source still deeper and of higher worth,
And in due season send the mandate forth;
WORDSWORTH, Ode to Enterprise.
“And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.”
AR'S stern front occasionally had a feature
of pleasantness, and even its desolations were adorned with a flower. Of the ruins
he writes : “I have always felt a desire to journey abroad and behold the ruins of the Old World. How often we are told that we have no ruins to make the landscape picturesque, no deserted village' to inspire a Goldsmith's poetic strain. But this is true no longer of America ; alas ! sadly untrue will it be before this desolating war, which rebellion has instituted, is ended.”
From these ruins a practical advantage was also. derived.
“A foray, authorized by the proper officials, has just been
made by us upon the ruins of burned Hampton. From them have been brought to our camp boards, stoves, and whatever was needful to preserve our men from suffering, and many a relic of these picturesque ruins and remembrancer of rebel outrage and recklessness will reach in due time our Massachusetts homes. Cruel and wanton was the destruction by Magruder's men of this once thriving and beautiful village; but the deed was done, and those scarred timbers are silent, and many homeless wanderers are eloquent witnesses of the atrocious character of this rebellion.
“ Some of the half-melted or burned articles taken from these ruins look singularly like antiques from Herculaneum or Pompeii. I have a portion of the metal of the noted bell which was given to the ancient Episcopal Church at Hampton, long before the separation of our country from Great Britain. Besides this relic, some odd half-melted coins, and books (one more than a century old), I have been permitted to retain as relics."
“ Beauty for ashes !” exclaims the chaplain : “such is the prophetic promise of Isaiah, when, the spirit of the Lord God being upon him,' he announced the joyous era which was to succeed the then present desolation of Judæa and Jerusalem. I could not but be forcibly reminded of this awhile since, as I trod amid the ruins of Hampton. This once thriving city was burned by the torches of the rebels, and ancient churches, modern school-houses, and once goodly and beautiful dwellings, are now blackened ruins or an indiscriminate mass of ashes beneath the foot of the gazer. As I looked about on these scarred and tottering walls, or the dark and fragmentary mass which strewed the ground, all seemed desolation, and the once fair city is fast becoming a howling wilderness, - a change wrought by traitorous hands. The scene was indescribably mournful. But even there I saw God's promise fulfilled. A beautiful rose, which the