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Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete by U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

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--fine old churches, ancient fortifications, a Roman gateway, etc.
--the days slipped by very quickly, though the incessant rains
somewhat interfered with our enjoyment.

For three or four days all sorts of rumors were rife as to what was
doing in Paris, but nothing definite was learned till about the 9th;
then Count Bismarck informed me that the Regency had been overthrown
on the 4th, and that the Empress Eugenie had escaped to Belgium. The
King of Prussia offered her an asylum with the Emperor at
Wilhelmshohe, "where she ought to go," said the Chancellor, "for her
proper place is with her husband," but he feared she would not. On
the same occasion he also told me that Jules Favre--the head of the
Provisional Government--had sent him the suggestion that, the Empire
being gone, peace should be made and the Germans withdrawn, but that
he (Bismarck) was now compelled to recognize the impossibility of
doing this till Paris was taken, for although immediately after the
surrender of Sedan he desired peace, the past few days had made it
plain that the troops would not be satisfied with anything short of
Paris, no matter what form of Government the French should ultimately

The German army having met with no resistance whatever in its march
on Paris, its advance approached the capital rapidly, and by the 14th
of September the royal headquarters moved by a fine macadamized road
to the Chateau Thierry, and on the 5th reached Meaux, about
twenty-eight miles from Paris, where we remained four days awaiting the
reconstruction of some railroad and canal bridges. The town of Meaux
has a busy population of about 10,000 souls, in peaceable times
principally occupied in manufacturing flour for the Paris market,
having a fine waterpower for the many mills. These were kept going day
and night to supply the German army; and it was strange to see with
what zeal Frenchmen toiled to fill the stomachs of their inveterate
enemies, and with what alacrity the mayor and other officials filled
requisitions for wine, cheese, suits of livery, riding-whips, and even
squab pigeons.

During our stay at Meaux the British Minister Lord Lyons, endeavored
to bring about a cessation of hostilities, to this end sending his
secretary out from Paris with a letter to Count Bismarck, offering to
serve as mediator. The Chancellor would not agree to this, however,
for he conjectured that the action of the British Minister had been
inspired by Jules Favre, who, he thought, was trying to draw the
Germans into negotiations through the medium of a third party only
for purposes of delay. So the next morning Lord Lyons's secretary,
Mr. Edward Malet, returned to Paris empty-handed, except that he bore
a communication positively declining mediation; which message,
however, led no doubt to an interview between Bismarck and Favre a
couple of days later.

The forenoon of September 19 the King removed to the Chateau
Ferrieres--a castle belonging to the Rothschild family, where
Napoleon had spent many happy days in the time of his prosperity.
His Majesty took up his quarters here at the suggestion of the owner,
we were told, so that by the presence of the King the magnificent
chateau and its treasures of art would be unquestionably protected
from all acts of vandalism.

All of the people at headquarters except the King's immediate suite
were assigned quarters at Lagny; and while Forsyth and I, accompanied
by Sir Henry Havelock, of the British army, were driving thither, we
passed on the road the representative of the National Defense
Government, Jules Favre, in a carriage heading toward Meaux.
Preceded by a flag of truce and accompanied by a single, companion,
be was searching for Count Bismarck, in conformity, doubtless, with
the message the Chancellor had sent to Paris on the 17th by the
British secretary. A half-mile further on we met Bismarck. He too
was traveling toward Meaux, not in the best of humor either, it
appeared, for having missed finding the French envoy at the
rendezvous where they had agreed to meet, he stopped long enough to
say that the "air was full of lies, and that there were many persons
with the army bent on business that did not concern them."

The armies of the two Crown Princes were now at the outskirts of
Paris. They had come from Sedan mainly by two routes--the Crown
Prince of Saxony marching by the northern line, through Laon and
Soissons, and the Crown Prince of Prussia by the southern line,
keeping his right wing on the north bank of the Marne, while his left
and centre approached the French capital by roads between that river
and the Seine.

The march of these armies had been unobstructed by any resistance
worth mentioning, and as the routes of both columns lay through a
region teeming with everything necessary for their support, and rich
even in luxuries, it struck me that such campaigning was more a vast
picnic than like actual war. The country supplied at all points
bread, meat, and wine in abundance, and the neat villages, never more
than a mile or two apart, always furnished shelter; hence the
enormous trains required to feed and provide camp equipage for an
army operating in a sparsely settled country were dispensed with; in
truth, about the only impedimenta of the Germans was their wagons
carrying ammunition, pontoon-boats, and the field-telegraph.

On the morning of the 20th I started out accompanied by Forsyth and
Sir Henry Havelock, and took the road through Boissy St. George,
Boissy St. Martins and Noisy Le Grand to Brie. Almost every foot of
the way was strewn with fragments of glass from wine bottles, emptied
and then broken by the troops. There was, indeed, so much of this
that I refrain from making any estimate of the number of bottles,
lest I be thought to exaggerate, but the road was literally paved
with glass, and the amount of wine consumed (none was wasted) must
have been enormous, far more, even, than I had seen evidence of at
any time before. There were two almost continuous lines of broken
bottles along the roadsides all the way down from Sedan; but that
exhibit was small compared with what we saw about Brie.

At Brie we were taken charge of by the German commandant of the
place. He entertained us most hospitably for an hour or so, and
then, accompanied by a lieutenant, who was to be our guide, I set out
ahead of my companions to gain a point on the picket-line where I
expected to get a good look at the French, for their rifle-pits were
but a few hundred yards off across the Marne, their main line being
just behind the rifle-pits. As the lieutenant and I rode through the
village, some soldiers warned us that the adventure would be
dangerous, but that we could probably get to the desired place unhurt
if we avoided the French fire by forcing our horses to a run in
crossing some open streets where we would be exposed. On getting to
the first street my guide galloped ahead to show the way, and as the
French were not on the lookout for anything of the kind at these
dangerous points, only a few stray shots were drawn by the
lieutenant, but when I followed, they were fully up to what was going
on, and let fly a volley every time they saw me in the open.
Fortunately, however, in their excitement they overshot, but when I
drew rein alongside of my guide under protection of the bluff where
the German picket was posted, my hair was all on end, and I was about
as badly scared as ever I had been in my life. As soon as I could
recover myself I thought of Havelock and Forsyth, with the hope that
they would not follow; nor did they, for having witnessed my
experience, they wisely concluded that, after all, they did not care
so much to see the French rifle-pits.

When I had climbed to the top of the bluff I was much disappointed,
for I could see but little--only the advanced rifle-pits across the
river, and Fort Nogent beyond them, not enough, certainly, to repay a
non-combatant for taking the risk of being killed. The next question
was to return, and deciding to take no more such chances as those we
had run in coming out, I said we would wait till dark, but this
proved unnecessary, for to my utter astonishment my guide informed me
that there was a perfectly safe route by which we might go back. I
asked why we had not taken it in coming, and he replied that he had
thought it "too long and circuitous." To this I could say nothing,
but I concluded that that was not quite the correct reason; the truth
is that early that morning the young fellow had been helping to empty
some of the many wine bottles I saw around Brie, and consequently had
a little more "Dutch courage"--was a little more rash--than would
have been the case under other conditions.

I rode back to Brie by the "long and circuitous" route, and inquiring
there for my companions, found Havelock waiting to conduct me to the
village of Villiers, whither, he said, Forsyth had been called to
make some explanation about his passport, which did not appear to be
in satisfactory shape. Accordingly we started for Villiers, and
Havelock, being well mounted on an English "hunter," and wishing to
give me an exhibition of the animal's training and power, led the way
across ditches and fences, but my horse, never having followed "the
hounds," was unsafe to experiment with, so, after trying a low fence
or two, I decided to leave my friend alone in his diversion, and a
few moments later, seeing both horse and rider go down before a ditch
and high stone wall, I was convinced that my resolution was a
discreet one. After this mishap, which luckily resulted in no harm,
I hoped Sir Henry would give up the amusement, but by failure
becoming only the more determined, in a second effort he cleared the
wall handsomely and rode across-country to the villages. Following
the road till it passed under a railway bridge, I there thought I saw
a chance to gain Villiers by a short-cut, and changing my course
accordingly, I struck into a large vineyard to the left, and
proceeding a few hundred yards through the vines, came suddenly upon
a German picket-post. The guard immediately leveled their rifles at
me, when, remembering my Rezonville experience of being taken for a
French officer because of my uniform, I hastily flung myself from the
saddle in token of surrender. The action being rightly interpreted,
the men held their fire, and as my next thought was the King's pass I
reached under my coat-skirt for the document, but this motion being
taken as a grab for my pistol, the whole lot of them--some ten in
number--again aimed at me, and with such loud demands for surrender
that I threw up my hands and ran into their ranks. The officer of
the guard then coming up, examined my credentials, and seeing that
they were signed by the King of Prussia, released me and directed the
recovery of my horse, which was soon caught, and I was then conducted
to the quarters of the commandant, where I found Forsyth with his
pass properly vised, entirely ignorant of my troubles, and
contentedly regaling himself on cheese and beer. Havelock having got
to the village ahead of me, thanks to his cross-country ride, was
there too, sipping beer with Forsyth; nor was I slow to follow their
example, for the ride of the day, though rather barren in other
results, at any rate had given me a ravenous appetite.

Late that evening, the 20th, we resumed our old quarters at Lagny,
and early next day I made a visit to the royal headquarters at
Ferrires, where I observed great rejoicing going on, the occasion for
it being an important victory gained near Mendon, a French corps of
about 30,000 men under General Ducrot having been beaten by the Fifth
Prussian and Second Bavarian corps. Ducrot had been stubbornly
holding ground near Mendon for two or three days, much to the
embarrassment of the Germans too, since he kept them from closing a
gap in their line to the southwest of Paris; but in the recent fight
he had been driven from the field with such heavy loss as to render
impossible his maintaining the gap longer. The Crown Prince of
Prussia was thus enabled to extend his left, without danger, as far
as Bougival, north of Versailles, and eventually met the right of the
Crown Prince of Saxony, already at Denil, north of St. Denis. The
unbroken circle of investment around Paris being well-nigh assured,
news of its complete accomplishment was momentarily expected;
therefore everybody was jubilant on account of the breaking up of
Ducrot, but more particularly because word had been received the same
morning that a correspondence had begun between Bazaine and Prince
Frederick Charles, looking to the capitulation of Metz, for the
surrender of that place would permit the Second Army to join in the
siege of Paris.

Learning all this, and seeing that the investment was about
completed, I decided to take up my quarters at Versailles, and
started for that place on the 22d, halting at Noisy le Grand to take
luncheon with some artillery officers, whose acquaintance we had made
the day of the surrender at Sedan. During the meal I noticed two
American flags flying on a couple of houses near by. Inquiring the
significance of this, I was told that the flags had been put up to
protect the buildings--the owners, two American citizens, having in a
bad fright abandoned their property, and, instead of remaining
outside, gone into Paris,--"very foolishly," said our hospitable
friends, "for here they could have obtained food in plenty, and been
perfectly secure from molestation."

We arrived at Versailles about 7 o'clock that evening and settled
ourselves in the Hotel Reservoir, happy to find there two or three
American families, with whom, of course, we quickly made
acquaintance. This American circle was enlarged a few days later by
the arrival of General Wm. B. Hazen, of our army, General Ambrose E.
Burnside, and Mr. Paul Forbes. Burnside and Forbes were hot to see,
from the French side, something of the war, and being almost beside
themselves to get into Paris, a permit was granted them by Count
Bismarck, and they set out by way of Sevres, Forsyth and I
accompanying them as far as the Palace of St. Cloud, which we,
proposed to see, though there were strict orders against its being
visited generally. After much trouble we managed, through the "open
sesame" of the King's pass, to gain access to the palace; but to our
great disappointment we found that all the pictures had been cut from
the frames and carried off to Paris, except one portrait, that of
Queen Victoria, against whom the French were much incensed. All
other works of art had been removed, too--a most fortunate
circumstance, for the palace being directly on the German line, was
raked by the guns from the fortress of Mont Valerien, and in a few
days burned to the ground.

In less than a week Burnside and Forbes returned from Paris. They
told us their experience had been interesting, but were very reticent
as to particulars, and though we tried hard to find out what they had
seen or done, we could get nothing from them beyond the general
statement that they had had a good time, and that General Trochu had
been considerate enough to postpone a sortie, in order to let them
return; but this we did not quite swallow. After a day or two they
went into Paris again, and I then began to suspect that they were
essaying the role of mediators, and that Count Bismarck was feeding
their vanity with permits, and receiving his equivalent by learning
the state of affairs within the beleaguered city.

From about the 1st of October on, the Germans were engaged in making
their enveloping lines impenetrable, bringing up their reserves,
siege guns, and the like, the French meanwhile continuing to drill
and discipline the National Guard and relieving the monotony
occasionally by a more or less spirited, but invariably abortive,
sortie. The most notable of these was that made by General Vinoy
against the heights of Clamart, the result being a disastrous repulse
by the besiegers. After this, matters settled down to an almost
uninterrupted quietude, only a skirmish here and there; and it being
plain that the Germans did not intend to assault the capital, but
would accomplish its capture by starvation, I concluded to find out
from Count Bismarck about when the end was expected, with the purpose
of spending the interim in a little tour through some portions of
Europe undisturbed by war, returning in season for the capitulation.
Count Bismarck having kindly advised me as to the possible date,

Forsyth and I, on the 14th of October, left Versailles, going first
direct to the Chateau Ferrieres to pay our respects to the King,
which we did, and again took luncheon with him. From the chateau we
drove to Meaux, and there spent the night; resuming our journey next
morning, we passed through Epernay, Rheims, and Rethel to Sedan,
where we tarried a day, and finally, on October 18, reached Brussels.



On reaching Brussels, one of the first things to do was to pay my
respects to the King of Belgium, which I did, accompanied by our
Minister, Mr. Russell Jones. Later I dined with the King and Queen,
meeting at the dinner many notable people, among them the Count and
Countess of Flanders. A day or two in Brussels sufficed to mature
our plans for spending the time up to the approximate date of our
return to Paris; and deciding to visit eastern Europe, we made Vienna
our first objective, going there by way of Dresden.

At Vienna our Minister, Mr. John Jay, took charge of us--Forsyth was
still with me--and the few days' sojourn was full of interest. The
Emperor being absent from the capital, we missed seeing him; but the
Prime Minister, Count von Beust, was very polite to us, and at his
house we had the pleasure of meeting at dinner Count Andrassy, the
Prime Minister of Hungary.

From Vienna we went to Buda-Pesth, the Hungarian capital; and thence,
in a I small, crowded, and uncomfortable steamboat, down the Danube
to Rustchuck, whence we visited Bucharest--all who travel in eastern
Europe do so--and then directing our course southward, we went first
to Varna, and from that city by steamer through the Black Sea to

We reached the Turkish capital at the time of Ramadan, the period of
the year (about a month) during which the Mohammedans are commanded
by the Koran to keep a rigorous fast every day from sunrise till
sunset. All the followers of the Prophet were therefore busy with
their devotions--holding a revival, as it were; hence there was no
chance whatever to be presented to the Sultan, Abdul Aziz, it being
forbidden during the penitential season for him to receive
unbelievers, or in fact any one except the officials of his
household. However, the Grand Vizier brought me many messages of
welcome, and arranged that I should be permitted to see and salute
his Serene Highness on the Esplanade as he rode by on horseback to
the mosque.

So, the second day after arrival, the Grand Vizier drove me in a
barouche to the Esplanade, where we took station about midway of its
length an hour or so before the Sultan was to appear. Shortly after
we reached the Esplanade, carriages occupied by the women of the
Sultan's harem began to appear, coming out from the palace grounds
and driving up and down the roadway. Only a few of the women were
closely veiled, a majority of them wearing an apology for veiling,
merely a strip of white lace covering the forehead down to the
eyebrows. Some were yellow, and some white-types of the Mongolian
and Caucasian races. Now and then a pretty face was seen, rarely a
beautiful one. Many were plump, even to corpulence, and these were
the closest veiled, being considered the greatest beauties I presume,
since with the Turk obesity is the chief element of comeliness. As
the carriages passed along in review, every now and then an occupant,
unable or unwilling to repress her natural promptings, would indulge
in a mild flirtation, making overtures by casting demure
side-glances, throwing us coquettish kisses, or waving strings of amber
beads with significant gestures, seeming to say: "Why don't you
follow?" But this we could not do if we would, for the Esplanade
throughout its entire length was lined with soldiers, put there
especially to guard the harem first, and later, the Sultan on his
pilgrimage to the mosque.

But as it was now time for His Serene Highness to make his appearance
the carriages containing his wives drove off into the palace grounds,
which were inclosed by a high wall, leaving the Esplanade wholly
unencumbered except by the soldiers. Down between the two ranks,
which were formed facing each other, came the Sultan on a white
steed--a beautiful Arabian--and having at his side his son, a boy
about ten or twelve years old, who was riding a pony, a diminutive
copy of his father's mount, the two attended by a numerous
body-guard, dressed in gorgeous Oriental uniforms. As the procession
passed our carriage, I, as pre-arranged, stood up and took off my
hat, His Serene Highness promptly acknowledging the salute by raising
his hand to the forehead. This was all I saw of him, yet I received
every kindness at his hands, being permitted to see many of his
troops, to inspect all the ordnance, equipment, and other military
establishments about Constantinople, and to meet numbers of the high
functionaries of the Empire.

Among other compliments tendered through his direction, and which I
gladly accepted, was a review of all the troops then in Stamboul
--about 6,000--comprising infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

They were as fine looking a body of soldiers as I ever saw--well
armed and well clothed, the men all large and of sturdy appearance.

After the review we attended a grand military dinner given by the
Grand Vizier. At the hour set for this banquet we presented
ourselves at the palace of the Grand Vizier, and being ushered into a
large drawing-room, found already assembled there the guests invited
to meet us. Some few spoke French, and with these we managed to
exchange an occasional remark; but as the greater number stood about
in silence, the affair, thus far, was undeniably a little stiff.
Just before the dinner was announced, all the Turkish officers went
into an adjoining room, and turning their faces to the east,
prostrated themselves to the floor in prayer. Then we were all
conducted to a large salon, where each being provided with a silver
ewer and basin, a little ball of highly perfumed soap and a napkin,
set out on small tables, each guest washed his hands. Adjacent to
this salon was the dining-room, or, rather, the banqueting room, a
very large and artistically frescoed hall, in the centre of which
stood a crescent-shaped table, lighted with beautiful silver
candelabra, and tastefully decorated with flowers and fruits. The
viands were all excellent; cooked, evidently, by a French chef, and
full justice was done the dishes, especially by the Turks, who, of
course, had been fasting all day.

At the close of the banquet, which consisted of not less than fifteen
courses, we withdrew to a smoking-room, where the coffee was served
and cigarettes and chibouks offered us--the latter a pipe having a
long flexible stem with an amber mouthpiece. I chose the chibouk,
and as the stem of mine was studded with precious stones of enormous
value, I thought I should enjoy it the more; but the tobacco being
highly flavored with some sort of herbs, my smoke fell far short of
my anticipations. The coffee was delicious, however, and I found
this to be the case wherever I went in Constantinople, whether in
making calls or at dinner, the custom of offering coffee and tobacco
on these occasions being universal.

The temptations to linger at Constantinople were many indeed, not the
least being the delightful climate; and as time pressed, we set out
with much regret on the return journey, stopping a few days at
Athens, whence we made several short excursions into the interior.
King George and Queen Olga made our stay in Athens one of extreme
interest and exceeding pleasure. Throwing aside all ceremony, they
breakfasted and dined us informally, gave us a fine ball, and in
addition to these hospitalities showed us much personal attention,
his Majesty even calling upon me, and the Queen sending her children
to see us at our hotel.

Of course we visited all that remained of the city's ancient
civilization--the Acropolis, temples, baths, towers, and the like;
nor did we omit to view the spot where St. Paul once instructed the
Athenians in lessons of Christianity. We traveled some little
through the country districts outside of Athens, and I noticed that
the peasantry, in point of picturesqueness of dress and color of
complexion, were not unlike the gypsies we see at times in America.
They had also much of the same shrewdness, and, as far as I could
learn, were generally wholly uneducated, ignorant, indeed, except as
to one subject--politics--which I was told came to them intuitively,
they taking to it, and a scramble for office, as naturally as a duck
to water. In fact, this common faculty for politics seems a
connecting link between the ancient and modern Greek.

Leaving Athens with the pleasantest recollections, we sailed for
Messina, Sicily, and from there went to Naples, where we found many
old friends; among them Mr. Buchanan Reed, the artist and poet, and
Miss Brewster, as well as a score or more of others of our
countrymen, then or since distinguished, in art and letters at home
and abroad. We remained some days in Naples, and during the time
went to Pompeii to witness a special excavation among the ruins of
the buried city, which search was instituted on account of our visit.
A number of ancient household articles were dug up, and one, a terra
cotta lamp bearing upon its crown in bas-relief the legend of "Leda
and the Swan," was presented to me as a souvenir of the occasion,
though it is usual for the Government to place in its museums
everything of such value that is unearthed.

From Naples to Rome by rail was our next journey. In the Eternal
City we saw picture-galleries, churches, and ruins in plenty, but all
these have been so well described by hundreds of other travelers that
I shall not linger even to name them. While at Rome we also
witnessed an overflow of the Tiber, that caused great suffering and
destroyed much property. The next stage of our tour took us to
Venice, then to Florence--the capital of Italy--for although the
troops of the King of Italy had taken possession of Rome the
preceding September, the Government itself had not yet removed

At Florence, our Minister, Mr. Marsh, though suffering with a lame
foot, took me in charge, and in due course of time I was presented to
King Victor-Emmanuel. His Majesty received me informally at his
palace in a small, stuffy room--his office, no doubt--and an untidy
one it was too. He wore a loose blouse and very baggy trousers; a
comfortable suit, certainly, but not at all conducing to an ideal
kingliness of appearance.

His Majesty's hobby was hunting, and no sooner had I made my bow than
he began a conversation on that subject, thrusting his hands nearly
up to the elbows into the pockets of his trousers. He desired to
learn about the large game of America, particularly the buffalo, and
when I spoke of the herds of thousands and thousands I had seen on
the plains of western Kansas, he interrupted me to bemoan the fate
which kept him from visiting America to hunt, even going so far as to
say that "he didn't wish to be King of Italy, anyhow, but would much
prefer to pass his days hunting than be bedeviled with the cares of
state." On one of his estates, near Pisa, he had several large herds
of deer, many wild boars, and a great deal of other game. Of this
preserve he was very proud, and before we separated invited me to go
down there to shoot deer, adding that he would be there himself if he
could, but feared that a trip which he had to take to Milan would
interfere, though he wished me to go in any event.

I gladly accepted the invitation, and in two or three days was
notified when I would be expected at the estate. At the designated
time I was escorted to Pisa by an aide-de-camp, and from there we
drove the few miles to the King's chateau, where we fortified
ourselves for the work in hand by an elaborate and toothsome
breakfast of about ten courses. Then in a carriage we set out for
the King's stand in the hunting-grounds, accompanied by a crowd of
mounted game-keepers, who with great difficulty controlled the pack
of sixty or seventy hounds, the dogs and keepers together almost
driving me to distraction with their yelping and yelling. On
reaching the stand, I was posted within about twenty' yards of a
long, high picket-fence, facing the fence and covered by two trees
very close together. It was from behind these that the King usually
shot, and as I was provided with a double-barreled shot-gun, I
thought I could do well, especially since close in rear of me stood
two game-keepers to load and hand me a second gun when the first was

Meantime the huntsmen and the hounds had made a circuit of the park
to drive up the game. The yelps of the hounds drawing near, I
cautiously looked in the direction of the sound, and the next moment
saw a herd of deer close in to the fence, and coming down at full
speed. Without a miss, I shot the four leading ones as they tried
to run the gauntlet, for in passing between the stand and the fence,
the innocent creatures were not more than ten to fifteen paces from
me. At the fourth I stopped, but the gamekeepers insisted on more
butchery, saying, "No one but the King ever did the like" (I guess no
one else had ever had the chance), so, thus urged, I continued firing
till I had slaughtered eleven with eleven shots--an easy task with a
shot-gun and buckshot cartridges.

The "hunt" being ended--for with this I had had enough, and no one
else was permitted to do any shooting--the aide-decamp directed the
game to be sent to me in Florence, and we started for the chateau.
On the way back I saw a wild boar the first and only one I ever saw
--my attention being drawn to him by cries from some of the
game-keepers. There was much commotion, the men pointing out the game
and shouting excitedly, "See the wild boar!" otherwise I should not
have known what was up, but now, looking in the indicated direction, I
saw scudding over the plain what appeared to me to be nothing but a
halfgrown black pig, or shoat. He was not in much of a hurry either,
and gave no evidence of ferocity, yet it is said that this
insignificant looking animal is dangerous when hunted with the spear
--the customary way. After an early dinner at the chateau we returned
to Florence, and my venison next day arriving, it was distributed among
my American friends in the city.

Shortly after the hunt the King returned from Milan, and then honored
me with a military dinner, his Majesty and all the guests, numbering
eighty, appearing in full uniform. The banqueting hall was lighted
with hundreds of wax candles, there was a profusion of beautiful
flowers, and to me the scene altogether was one of unusual
magnificence. The table service was entirely of gold--the celebrated
set of the house of Savoy--and behind the chair of each guest stood a
servant in powdered wig and gorgeous livery of red plush. I sat at
the right of the King, who--his hands resting on his sword, the hilt
of which glittered with jewels--sat through the hour and a half at
table without once tasting food or drink, for it was his rule to eat
but two meals in twenty-four hours--breakfast at noon, and dinner at
midnight. The King remained silent most of the time, but when he did
speak, no matter on what subject, he inevitably drifted back to
hunting. He never once referred to the Franco-Prussian war, nor to
the political situation in his own country, then passing through a
crisis. In taking leave of his Majesty I thanked him with deep
gratitude for honoring me so highly, and his response was that if
ever he came to America to hunt buffalo, he should demand my

From Florence I went to Milan and Geneva, then to Nice, Marseilles,
and Bordeaux. Assembled at Bordeaux was a convention which had been
called together by the government of the National Defense for the
purpose of confirming or rejecting the terms of an armistice of
twenty-one days, arranged between Jules Favre and Count Bismarck in
negotiations begun at Versailles the latter part of January. The
convention was a large body, chosen from all parts of France, and was
unquestionably the most noisy, unruly and unreasonable set of beings
that I ever saw in a legislative assembly. The frequent efforts of
Thiers, Jules Favre, and other leading men to restrain the more
impetuous were of little avail. When at the sittings a delegate
arose to speak on some question, he was often violently pulled to his
seat and then surrounded by a mob of his colleagues, who would throw
off their coats and gesticulate wildly, as though about to fight.

But the bitter pill of defeat had to be swallowed in some way, so the
convention delegated M. Thiers to represent the executive power of
the country, with authority to construct a ministry three
commissioners were appointed by the Executive, to enter into further
negotiations with Count Bismarck at Versailles and arrange a peace,
the terms of which, however, were to be submitted to the convention
for final action. Though there had been so much discussion, it took
but a few days to draw up and sign a treaty at Versailles, the
principal negotiators being Thiers and Jules Favre for France, and
Bismarck on the part of the Germans. The terms agreed upon provided
for the occupation of Paris till ratification should be had by the
convention at Bordeaux; learning of which stipulation from our
Minister, Mr. Washburn, I hurried off to Paris to see the conquerors
make their triumphal entry.

In the city the excitement was at fever heat, of course; the entire
population protesting with one voice that they would never, never
look upon the hated Germans marching through their beloved city. No!
when the day arrived they would hide themselves in their houses, or
shut their eyes to such a hateful sight. But by the 1st of March a
change had come over the fickle Parisians, for at an early hour the
sidewalks were jammed with people, and the windows and doors of the
houses filled with men, women, and children eager to get a look at
the conquerors. Only a few came in the morning, however--an
advance-guard of perhaps a thousand cavalry and infantry. The main
column marched from the Arc-de-Triomphe toward the middle of the
afternoon. In its composition it represented United Germany--Saxons,
Bavarians, and the Royal Guard of Prussia--and, to the strains of
martial music, moving down the Champ Elysees to the Place de la
Concorde, was distributed thence over certain sections of the city
agreed upon beforehand. Nothing that could be called a disturbance
took place during the march; and though there was a hiss now and then
and murmurings of discontent, yet the most noteworthy mutterings were
directed against the defunct Empire. Indeed, I found everywhere that
the national misfortunes were laid at Napoleon's door--he, by this
time, having become a scapegoat for every blunder of the war.

The Emperor William (he had been proclaimed German Emperor at
Versailles the 18th of January) did not accompany his troops into
Paris, though he reviewed them at Long Champs before they started.
After the occupation of the city he still remained at Versailles, and
as soon as circumstances would permit, I repaired to the Imperial
headquarters to pay my respects to his Majesty under his new title
and dignities, and to say good-bye.

Besides the Emperor, the only persons I me at Versailles were General
von Moltke and Bismarck. His Majesty was in a very agreeable frame
of mind, and as bluff and hearty as usual. His increased rank and
power had effected no noticeable change of any kind in him, and by
his genial and cordial ways he made me think that my presence with
the German army had contributed to his pleasure. Whether this was
really so or not, I shall always believe it true, for his kind words
and sincere manner could leave no other conclusion.

General von Moltke was, as usual, quiet and reserved, betraying not
the slightest consciousness of his great ability, nor the least
indication of pride on account of his mighty work. I say this
advisedly, for it is an undoubted fact that it was his marvelous
mind that perfected the military system by which 800,000 men were
mobilized with unparalleled celerity and moved with such certainty of
combination that, in a campaign of seven months, the military power
of France was destroyed and her vast resources sorely crippled.

I said good-bye to Count Bismarck, also, for at that busy time the
chances of seeing him again were very remote. The great Chancellor
manifested more joy over the success of the Germans than did anyone
else at the Imperial headquarters. Along with his towering strength
of mind and body, his character partook of much of the enthusiasm and
impulsiveness commonly restricted to younger men, and now in his
frank, free way be plainly showed his light-heartedness and
gratification at success. That which for years his genius had been
planning and striving for--permanent unification of the German
States, had been accomplished by the war. It had welded them
together in a compact Empire which no power in Europe could disrupt,
and as such a union was the aim of Bismarck's life, he surely had a
right to feel jubilant.

Thanks to the courtesies extended me, I had been able to observe the
principal battles, and study many of the minor details of a war
between two of the greatest military nations of the world, and to
examine critically the methods followed abroad for subsisting,
equipping, and manoeuvring vast bodies of men during a stupendous,
campaign. Of course I found a great deal to interest and instruct
me, yet nowadays war is pretty much the same everywhere, and this one
offered no marked exception to my previous experiences. The methods
pursued on the march were the same as we would employ, with one most
important exception. Owing to the density of population throughout
France it was always practicable for the Germans to quarter their
troops in villages, requiring the inhabitants to subsist both
officers and men. Hence there was no necessity for camp and garrison
equipage, nor enormous provision trains, and the armies were
unencumbered by these impedimenta, indispensable when operating in a
poor and sparsely settled country. As I have said before, the only
trains were those for ammunition, pontoon-boats, and the field
telegraph, and all these were managed by special corps. If
transportation was needed for other purposes, it was obtained by
requisition from the invaded country, just as food and forage were
secured. Great celerity of combination was therefore possible, the
columns moving in compact order, and as all the roads were broad and
macadamized, there was little or nothing to delay or obstruct the
march of the Germans, except when their enemy offered resistance, but
even this was generally slight and not very frequent, for the French
were discouraged by disaster from the very outset of the campaign

The earlier advantages gained by the Germans may be ascribed to the
strikingly prompt mobilization of their armies, one of the most
noticeable features of their perfect military system, devised by
almost autocratic power; their later successes were greatly aided by
the blunders of the French, whose stupendous errors materially
shortened the war, though even if prolonged it could, in my opinion,
have had ultimately no other termination.

As I have previously stated, the first of these blunders was the
acceptance of battle by MacMahon at Worth; the second in attaching
too much importance to the fortified position of Metz, resulting in
three battles Colombey, Mars-la-Tour, and Gravelotte--all of which
were lost; and the third, the absurd movement of MacMahon along the
Belgian frontier to relieve Metz, the responsibility for which, I am
glad to say, does not belong to him.

With the hemming in of Bazaine at Metz and the capture of MacMahon's
army at Sedan the crisis of the war was passed, and the Germans
practically the victors. The taking of Paris was but a sentiment
--the money levy could have been made and the Rhine provinces held
without molesting that city, and only the political influences
consequent upon the changes in the French Government caused peace to
be deferred.

I did not have much opportunity to observe the German cavalry, either
on the march or in battle. The only time I saw any of it engaged was
in the unfortunate charge at Gravelotte. That proved its mettle good
and discipline fair, but answered no other purpose. Such of it as
was not attached to the infantry was organized in divisions, and
operated in accordance with the old idea of covering the front and
flanks of the army, a duty which it thoroughly performed. But thus
directed it was in no sense an independent corps, and hence cannot
be, said to have accomplished anything in the campaign, or have had a
weight or influence at all proportionate to its strength. The method
of its employment seemed to me a mistake, for, being numerically
superior to the French cavalry, had it been massed and manoeuvred
independently of the infantry, it could easily have broken up the
French communications, and done much other work of weighty influence
in the prosecution of the war.

The infantry was as fine as I ever saw, the men young and hardy in
appearance, and marching always with an elastic stride. The infantry
regiment, however, I thought too large--too many men for a colonel to
command unless he has the staff of a general--but this objection may
be counterbalanced by the advantages resulting from associating
together thus intimately the men from the same district, or county as
we would call it; the celerity of mobilization, and, in truth, the
very foundation of the German system, being based on this local or
territorial scheme of recruiting.

There was no delay when the call sounded for the march; all turned
out promptly, and while on the road there was very little straggling,
only the sick falling out. But on such fine, smooth roads, and with
success animating the men from the day they struck the first blow, it
could hardly be expected that the columns would not keep well closed
up. Then, too, it must be borne in mind that, as already stated,
'campaigning' in France--that is, the marching, camping, and
subsisting of an army--is an easy matter, very unlike anything we,
had during the war of the rebellion. To repeat: the country is rich,
beautiful, and densely populated, subsistence abundant, and the
roads--all macadamized highways; thus the conditions; are altogether
different from those existing with us. I think that under the same
circumstances our troops would have done as well as the Germans,
marched as admirably, made combinations as quickly and accurately,
and fought with as much success. I can but leave to conjecture how.
the Germans would have got along on bottomless roads--often none at
all--through the swamps and quicksands of northern Virginia, from,
the Wilderness to Petersburg, and from Chattanooga to Atlanta and the

Following the operations of the German armies from the battle of
Gravelotte to the siege of Paris, I may, in conclusion, say that I
saw no new military principles developed, whether of strategy or
grand tactics, the movements of the different armies and corps being
dictated and governed by the same general laws that have so long
obtained, simplicity of combination and manoeuvre, and the
concentration of a numerically superior force at the vital point.

After my brief trip to Versailles, I remained in Paris till the
latter part of March. In company with Mr. Washburn, I visited the
fortifications for the defense of the city, and found them to be
exceptionally heavy; so strong, indeed, that it would have been very
hard to carry the place by a general assault. The Germans, knowing
the character of the works, had refrained from the sacrifice of life
that such an attempt must entail, though they well knew that many of
the forts were manned by unseasoned soldiers. With only a combat
here and there, to tighten their lines or repulse a sortie, they
wisely preferred to wait till starvation should do the work with
little loss and absolute certainty.

The Germans were withdrawn from Paris on the 3d of March, and no
sooner were they gone than factional quarrels, which had been going
on at intervals ever since the flight of the Empress and the fall of
her regency on the 4th of September, were renewed with revolutionary
methods that eventually brought about the Commune. Having witnessed
one or two of these outbreaks, and concluding that while such
turbulence reigned in the city it would be of little profit for me to
tarry there, I decided to devote the rest of the time I could be away
from home to travel in England, Ireland, and Scotland. My journeys
through those countries were full of pleasure and instruction, but as
nothing I saw or did was markedly different from what has been so
often described by others, I will save the reader this part of my
experience. I returned to America in the fall, having been absent a
little more than a year, and although I saw much abroad of absorbing
interest, both professional and general, yet I came back to my native
land with even a greater love for her, and with increased admiration
for her institutions.

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