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Fell at the Head of his Division, February 6, 1865.
What shall we say now of our gentle knight?
Whose good blade flashed so far amid the foe?
Of all his knightly deeds what need to tell
That good blade now lies fast within its sheath-
And, like a soldier, met a soldier's death.
We sorrow not as those who have no hope,
For he was pure in heart as brave in deed-
And love be questioned by the hearts that bleed.
And yet O foolish and of little faith
We cannot choose but weep our useless tears—
Would dare to touch him in his brave young years.
Ah! dear bronzed face, so fearless and so bright!
As kind to friend as tho wast stern to foe-
The eager eyes-the flush on cheek and brow.
No more we'll greet the lithe, familiar form
Amid the surging smoke with deaf'ning cheer—
The ringing voice in accents sweet and clear.
*Born in Petersburg, Virginia, January 24, 1832; killed near Hatcher's Run.
a graduate of West Point, served on the frontier, and gained distinction in the Civil War as a cavalry leader. At the time of his death he had risen to the grade of major-general.
He is not dead but sleepeth! Well we know
And pour their music through the courts of God.
And there amid our great heroic dead,
The war-worn sons of God whose work is done!—
Let not our hearts be troubled! Few and brief
And grant Thy servants such a life and death!
ONLY A MEMORY*
"Old times, they cling, they cling."-Owen Meredith.
Still I can see her before me,
The rings on her dainty fingers,
And the sweet young bosom heaving
Is it a wonder I love her?
That through long years of pain,
Howitzer Camp, Yorktown, September, 1861.
*Published in The Southern Literary Messenger, November, 1861, the editor prefacing it with: "Isn't this a little gem? Pity the soldier-poet should have cause to write it."
MARY GREENWAY MCCLELLAND
JOHN MCLAREN MCBRYDE, JR.
GREENWAY MCCLELLAND was born August 5, 1853,
in the straggling little village of Norwood (then called New Market), Nelson County, Virginia, on the James River, about forty miles below Lynchburg, and there spent the first six years of her life. Her parents then moved across the river into Buckingham County, and made their home in Elm Cottage, a picturesque old frame house nestled under the branches of a great spreading elm, and seated high on a bluff overlooking the river, with pretty, rich meadows lying along the banks of the muddy James. Connected with the outside world by only the private ferry and the slow-moving canal-boat, the family led necessarily a quiet, secluded life.
As there was no school in the neighborhood, the girl had to depend for her education solely on home training. Though her father, Thomas Stanhope McClelland, had been educated at Washington College, Lexington, Virginia, and at the University of Virginia. (1829), he had no influence on her writings, and indeed rarely read any of her books. Her mother, however, a woman of unusual culture and literary taste, early perceived her young daughter's talent and took great care in educating her. From a small, wellselected library which she brought from Philadelphia to Virginia on her marriage, she read aloud to her two little girls, first simple tales of childhood, and then, as they grew older, she acquainted them with more serious stories. Of Scott's novels they were particularly fond, and from them Miss McClelland must have received no little inspiration.
At a very early age she began to read for herself and compose stories. Even before she could write, she was accustomed to relate to her admiring sister elaborate tales with complex incidents and many characters, and continue them from day to day with never flagging interest on the part of either useful listener or narrator. As soon as she could use a pencil she began to write short stories for the amusement of herself and of the family. In her mother, to whom she always read her manuscripts, she found ever a kind and judicious critic.
After the marriage of her sister the care and support of the household fell chiefly upon her, and much of her work was planned and actually written while she was engaged in her domestic duties. "Her first experience with type was the appearance, in 1879, of two bits of verse in the columns of a newspaper, one of these written while churning with the left hand, the other composed while pursuing a turkey hen to her hidden nest in the woods."*
Her first published book appeared in 1884. It was a small pamphlet of sixteen pages, ‘Ole Ike's Memories,' a series of narrative poems in negro dialect, sold for the benefit of the Confederate Soldiers' Home, Richmond, Virginia. 'Oblivion,' her first novel, was issued in 1885, and 'Princess,' though written earlier and recast, came out in 1886.
In 1887, feeling the need of a systematic training, she outlined and began a prescribed course of reading, in which she was aided by the generosity of her publisher, Mr. Henry Holt. Besides reading and criticizing her manuscripts, he kindly forwarded from time to time such books as he thought she might need. She sought to show her appreciation by dedicating to him without his knowledge her fourth book, 'Jean Monteith.'
Other novels and tales followed in rapid succession. She became a regular contributor to Lippincott's, Harper's, and the Youth's Companion, and was made one of the editors of Peterson's Magazine. Her circle of acquaintances rapidly widened; and when the railroad replaced the sluggish packet-boat, she made frequent visits to Lynchburg, Richmond, and Philadelphia. Sometimes for several years in succession she spent two or three weeks in Richmond, and in the literary circle of that city made many friends and acquaintances. On one occasion she visited by invitation her publisher, Mr. Holt, in New York.
But she was preeminently a lover of home, and never outgrew her domestic tastes and habits. The death of her mother, in 1893, was a severe blow, from which she never recovered. Her health gave way, and after a lingering illness ending in consumption she passed away at Elm Cottage August 2, 1895, three days before her forty-second birthday. She was laid to rest in the family burying ground overlooking the beautiful valley of the James.
Her character seems to have been altogether exemplary. With a strong sense of duty, she was ready always to do any task that came to hand. Sympathetic and generous, she was quick to aid those in distress, and never refused an appeal for assistance. In the work of younger, struggling writers she took the keenest interest, and
*Charles W. Coleman, Harper's Monthly, 74, 852; and Literature, John B. Alden, publisher, October 13, 1888.
seized every opportunity to lend them a helping hand. In regard to her own writings she was exceedingly modest. She never alluded to them in conversation, and always felt that she could improve on what she had written.
Miss McClelland was a facile and prolific writer. Though her literary productivity extended over a period of only ten years, she wrote during that time nearly twenty novels and sketches. Almost all are romances of love, self-sacrifice, and adventure, with an occasional tendency to introduce problems of divorce, heredity, and spiritualism, as in 'Princess,' 'Broadoaks,' 'Mammy Mystic,' 'Madam Sylva,' and 'Eleanor Gwynn.' In almost every instance, however, the problem is not strongly handled or clearly worked out, and the effect is often inartistic and unpleasant. At times the plot is poorly developed, especially where there is a mystery involved, a concealed identity, or an unsuspected relationship. Like Fenimore Cooper, she inclined to veil the mystery too closely, so that the reader is given too slight a clew to take hold of.
She is at her best in those stories dealing with the lives and manners of the plain country folk whom she saw and knew in her own immediate neighborhood.
'Burkett's Lock,' for example, containing a history of Joe Burkett, the lock-keeper on the James River and Kanawha Canal, and his family of sons and daughters, is a sympathetic, realistic study of the simple, restricted lives of the slow-moving mountaineers. The story is told with simplicity, directness, and a certain amount of dramatic power. It is in many respects superior to 'Oblivion,' a study of the North Carolina mountaineers, which, though it contains some excellent sketches of the mountain folk, with their monotonous, narrow lives, their intense seriousness, quaint flashes of humor, and inveterate love of gossip, is nevertheless weakened by over-sentimentalism and melodrama. Compared with the stories of Charles Egbert Craddock, with which the novel inevitably suggests comparison, it is inferior in descriptive and dramatic power.
The scene of 'Manitou Island' is a great swamp in one of the Southern States. The story, containing as it does two insane characters and one idiot, and culminating in a fearful death-struggle on the dark waters of the swamp, is far from pleasant.
'Mammy Mystic' is somewhat of the same type, with the action taking place on a large plantation in Louisiana, and with its scenes of voudou rites laid in the neighboring bayou. The heroine, Eugénie, is the daughter of a mulatto. When an infant she was substituted for her mistress's child, and was reared in ignorance of her true birth. The story is gloomy, often morbid, and leaves a disagreeable impression on the mind of the reader.