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(This file was produced from images produced by the Wright
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Transcriber's Note:

The author states in the Appendix "The book which our
readers have just completed perusing, is filled with many
errors; too many, in fact, for any literary work to
contain."

Only the very obvious errors have been corrected.



THE TRIALS

OF

THE SOLDIER'S WIFE:


A TALE OF THE

SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION.



BY ALEX. ST. CLAIR ABRAMS.




ATLANTA, GEORGIA:

1864.


Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1864,

BY THE AUTHOR,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Confederate States
for the Northern District of Georgia.




DEDICATION

TO

COLONEL JOHN H. JOSSEY.

Of Macon, Georgia.


MY DEAR SIR--

Accept from me the dedication of this little work as a token of
appreciation for the kind friendship you have ever displayed towards
me. Wishing you all the happiness and prosperity that can fall to
mortal man, believe me.

Your Friend,

THE AUTHOR.




PREFACE.


The plot of this little work was first thought of by the writer in the
month of December, 1862, on hearing the story of a soldier from New
Orleans, who arrived from Camp Douglas just in time to see his wife
die at Jackson, Mississippi. Although the Press of that city made no
notice of it, the case presented itself as a fit subject for a
literary work. If the picture drawn in the following pages appears
exaggerated to our readers, they will at least recognize the moral it
contains as truthful.

Trusting that the public will overlook its many defects, the Author
yet hopes there will be found in this little book, matter of
sufficient interest to while away the idle hour of the reader.

ATLANTA, April 20th, 1864.




THE TRIALS

OF

THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.

CHAPTER FIRST.

THE "CRESCENT CITY"--THE HUSBAND'S DEPARTURE.


Kind reader, have you ever been to New Orleans? If not, we will
attempt to describe the metropolis of the Confederate States of
America.

New Orleans is situated on the Mississippi river, and is built in the
shape of a crescent, from which it derives the appellation of
"Crescent City." The inhabitants--that is, the educated class--are
universally considered as the most refined and aristocratic members of
society on the continent. When we say aristocratic, we do not mean a
pretension of superiority above others, but that elegance and
etiquette which distinguish the _parvenu_ of society, and the vulgar,
but wealthy class of citizens with which this country is infested. The
ladies of New Orleans are noted for their beauty and refinement, and
are certainly, as a general thing, the most accomplished class of
females in the South, except the fair reader into whose hands this
work may fall.

It was in the month of May, 1861, that our story commences. Secession
had been resorted to as the last chance left the South for a
preservation of her rights. Fort Sumter, had fallen, and from all
parts of the land troops were pouring to meet the threatened invasion
of their homes. As history will record, New Orleans was not idle in
those days of excitement. Thousands of her sons came forward at the
first call, and offered their services for the good of the common
cause, and for weeks the city was one scene of excitement from the
departure of the different companies to Virginia.

Among the thousands who replied to the first call of their country,
was Alfred Wentworth, the confidential clerk of one of the largest
commission houses in the city. He was of respectable family, and held
a high position in society, both on account of his respectability and
the elevated talent he had displayed during his career in the world.
He had been married for about five years, and two little children--one
a light-eyed girl of four summers, and the other an infant of two
years--were the small family with which heaven had blessed him.

After joining a company of infantry, and signing the muster roll,
Alfred returned home to his wife and informed her of what he had done,
expecting that she would regret it. But the patriotic heart of his
wife would not reproach him for having performed his duty; so heaving
a sigh as she looked at the child in her arms, and the little girl on
her fathers knee, a tear trickled down her flushed cheek as she bade
him God-speed. The time that elapsed between his enlistment and
departure for the seat of war, was spent by Alfred Wentworth in
providing a home for his family, so that in the event of his being
killed in battle, they should not want. Purchasing a small residence
on Prytania street, he removed his family into it and concluded his
business in time for his departure.

The morning of the twenty-second of May broke brightly over the
far-famed "Crescent City." Crowds of citizens were seen congregating
on Canal street to witness the departure of two more regiments of
Orleanians. The two regiments were drawn up in line between Camp and
Carondelet streets, and their fine uniforms, glistening muskets and
soldierly appearance created a feeling of pride among the people. They
were composed principally of Creoles and Americans, proper. The
handsome, though dark complexions of the Creoles could be seen lit up
with enthusiasm, in conversation with the dark-eyed Creole beauties of
the city, while the light-haired and fair-faced sons of the Crescent
City were seen mingling among the crowd of anxious relatives who
thronged to bid them farewell.

Apart from the mass of volunteers--who had previously stacked their
arms--Alfred Wentworth and his wife were bidding that agonizing
farewell, which only those who have parted from loved one can feel.
His little bright-eyed daughter was clasped in his arms, and every
minute he would stoop over his infant and kiss its tiny cheeks. Marks
of tears were on the eyelids of his wife, but she strove to hide them,
and smiled at every remark made by her daughter. They were alone from
the eyes of a curious crowd. Each person present had too much of his
own acquaintances to bid farewell, to notice the speechless farewell
which the soldier gave his wife. With one arm clasped around her, and
the other holding his daughter, Alfred Wentworth gazed long and
earnestly at the features of his wife and children, as if to impress
the features of those loved ones still firmer in his mind.

"Attention, battalion!" rang along the line in stentorian tones, and
the voices of the company officers calling "fall in, boys, fall in!"
were heard in the streets. Clasping his wife to his heart, and
imprinting a fond, fond kiss of love upon her cheeks, and embracing
his children, the soldier took his place in the ranks, and after the
necessary commands, the volunteers moved forward. A crowd of their
relatives followed them to the depot of the New Orleans, Jackson and
Great Northern Railroad, and remained until the cars were out of
sight. After the troops had entered, and the train was slowly moving
off, one of the soldiers jumped from the platform, and, embracing a
lady who stood near, exclaimed:

"Farewell, dearest Eva! God bless you and the children--we shall meet
again." As soon as he spoke, Alfred Wentworth sprang into the cars
again and was soon swiftly borne from the city.

Mrs. Wentworth remained standing where her husband had left her, until
the vast crowd had dispersed, and nothing could be seen of the train
but a thin wreath of smoke emerging from the tree-tops in the
distance. Calling the colored nurse, who had followed with the
children, she bade her return home, and accompanied her back to her
now lonely residence.




CHAPTER SECOND.

THE WIFE AND CHILDREN--A VISITOR


The weeks passed slowly to Mrs. Wentworth from the departure of her
husband; but her consciousness that he was performing his duty to his
country, and the letters he wrote from Virginia, cheered her spirits,
and, in a measure, made her forget his absence.

She was alone one evening with her children, who had become the sole
treasures of her heart, and on whom she lavished every attention
possible, when the ringing of the bell notified her of the presence of
a visitor. Calling the servant, she bade her admit the person at the
door. The negro left the room to do her mistress' bidding, and shortly
after, a handsome gentleman of about thirty-five years of age entered.

"Good morning, Mrs. Wentworth," he said, on entering the room. "I
trust yourself and children are in good health."

Mrs. Wentworth rose from her chair, and, slightly inclining her head,
replied: "To what circumstance am I indebted for the honor of this
visit, Mr. Awtry?"

"Nothing very particular, madam," he replied; "but hearing of your
husband's departure, I thought I should lake the liberty of paying a
visit to an old acquaintance, and of offering my services, if you
should ever need them."

"I thank you for your kindness; and should I _ever_ need your
services, you may depend upon my availing myself of your offer;
although," she added, "I do not think it likely I shall stand in need
of any assistance."

"I rejoice to hear it, my dear madam," he replied; "but I trust," he
continued, on noticing the look of surprise which covered her
features, "that you will not think my offer in the least insulting;
for I can assure you, it was only prompted by the most friendly
motives, and the recollections of past days."

Mrs. Wentworth made no reply, and he continued: "I hope that, after an
absence of five years, the memory of the past has been banished from
you. With me things have changed materially. The follies of my youth
have, I trust, been expiated, and I am a different man now to what I
was when I last saw you."

"Mr.



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