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A Great Cerebrator
by [?]

This story is what made me speak of that section a few minutes ago as an outlying country.

The other day Charles L. Seigel told us the Confederate version of an attack on Fort Moultrie during the early days of the war, which has never been printed. Mr. Seigel was a German Confederate, and early in the fight was quartered, in company with others, at the Moultrie House, a seaside hotel, the guests having deserted the building.

Although large soft beds with curled hair mattresses were in each room, the department issued ticks or sacks to be filled with straw for the use of the soldiers, so that they would not forget that war was a serious matter. Nobody used them, but they were there all the same.

Attached to the Moultrie House, and wandering about the back-yard, there was a small orphan jackass, a sorrowful little light blue mammal, with a tinge of bitter melancholy in his voice. He used to dwell on the past a good deal, and at night he would refer to it in tones that were choked with emotion.

The boys caught him one evening as the gloaming began to arrange itself, and threw him down on the green grass. They next pulled a straw bed over his head, and inserted him in it completely, cutting holes for his legs. Then they tied a string of sleighbells to his tail, and hit him a smart, stinging blow with a black snake.

Probably that was what suggested to him the idea of strolling down the beach, past the sentry, and on toward the fort. The darkness of the night, the rattle of hoofs, the clash of the bells, the quick challenge of the guard, the failure to give the countersign, the sharp volley of the sentinels, and the wild cry, “to arms,” followed in rapid succession. The tocsin sounded, also the slogan. The culverin, ukase, and door-tender were all fired. Huge beacons of fat pine were lighted along the beach. The whole slumbering host sprang to arms, and the crack of the musket was heard through the intense darkness.

In the morning the enemy was found intrenched in a mud-hole, south of the fort, with his clean new straw tick spattered with clay, and a wildly disheveled tail.

On board the Richmond train not long ago a man lost his hat as we pulled out of Petersburg, and it fell by the side of the track. The train was just moving slowly away from the station, so he had a chance to jump off and run back after it. He got the hat, but not till we had placed seven or eight miles between us and him. We could not help feeling sorry for him, because very likely his hat had an embroidered hat band in it, presented by one dearer to him than life itself, and so we worked up quite a feeling for him, though of course he was very foolish to lose his train just for a hat, even if it did have the needle-work of his heart’s idol in it.

Later I was surprised to see the same man in Columbia, South Carolina, and he then told me this sad story:

“I started out a month ago to take a little trip of a few weeks, and the first day was very, very happily spent in scrutinizing nature and scanning the faces of those I saw. On the second day out, I ran across a young man whom I had known slightly before, and who is engaged in the business of being a companionable fellow and the life of the party. That is about all the business he has. He knows a great many people, and his circle of acquaintances is getting larger all the time. He is proud of the enormous quantity of friendship he has acquired. He says he can’t get on a train or visit any town in the Union that he doesn’t find a friend.