Anna Moffett's Civil War - 12
Pleasant to "Refugees." - Readers will remember that Sherman, as he advanced towards Atlanta, came upon a cotton factory where four hundred young Georgian women & girls were employed; & that deciding cotton weaving in Georgia to be contraband of war, he sent the whole four hundred to the North. Louisville papers, soon after this occurrence, announced that there were in that city &
Nashville one thousand five hundred banished women & children in a destitute condition. Of course, the cotton weavers & other helpless banished women were to be supported somehow, but the Yankees are not the sort of people to support any one in idleness, except (for the present) runaway negroes. So, in Louisville, these women - the sisters, wives, & daughters of Confederate soldiers - "were advertised to be hired as servants, to take the place of the large number of negroes liberated by the military authorities & which liberated negroes, says the Louisville paper, "are now gathered
in large camps throughout Kentucky, where they are fed in idleness & viciousness at the expense of the loyal tax payers." The following notice was also published by the authorities:
"Notice - Families residing in the city or country, wishing seamstresses or servants, can be suited by applying at the refugee quarters, on Broadway, between Ninth & Tenth. This is sanctioned by Captain Jones, Provost Marshal."
What a delight it is to have friends in Liverpool We have been given such a boost in moral. I'm sure our relatives, the Halls, will have been involved.
Anyway, here are the details. On October 18th, St. George's Hall in Liverpool (we went there when we were visiting them) staged a three day even called the Southern Prisoners' Relief Fund. It raised over £20,000. Here is what the papers had to say about it.
The Southern sympathizers in England have given a statue to Stonewall Jackson, and a sword to Capt. Semmes. They are now about to open a bazaar at Liverpool for the relief of Confederate prisoners. There is a relief fund already, with large contributions, but a strong effort is to be
made to increase it. Among its lady patronesses is one Princess, Her Imperial Highness the Princess Murat, (daughter of Napolean) with a long list of Marchionesses, Countesses and other titled and untitled ladies, the wives of two members of Parliament and several blockade-running
millionaires. The committee consists of ladies from eight Southern States. John Bull is expected to put his fat fist very deep in his capacious breeches pockets on this occasion.
This next one is from the New York Times.
The bazaar was inaugurated in the presence of a vast number of visitors, including the elite of our town and neighborhood, and many distinguished persons from all parts of the country. So far the success of the undertaking has exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the committee of management; for not only was there a brilliant gathering, but sales were effected with marvelous rapidity, and the fair saleswomen were kept busily at work throughout they day. The cause itself is one at which it is well-high impossible to cavil, while the attractions were such that, apart from benevolent feelings, one was impelled to the building where they were set forth, and once there, it was hard to leave. The arrangements generally were, in one word, admirable; and while the splendid hall was, for the greater part of the day, filled to repletion, there was no jostling or confusion, and the comfort of the visitors was studied in every possible way. The promoters, one and all, entered heart and soul into the work; they vied with each other in their efforts to attract and to please, and the result was emphatically - success.
On gaining access to the hall, and taking one's stand at its northern extremity, we could not but be struck by the varied and animated picture presented to the view. The ladies in charge of the different stalls where attired in elegant costumes, each had on a silken scarf, on which was inscribed in gilt letters the name of the Southern State within which (if we may so express ourselves) the wearer's jurisdiction lay, and, fitting hither and thither among the vast throng assembled, the fair saleswomen plied the self-imposed vocation with equal zeal and discretion. They were right cordially seconded in their exertions by the members of the Southern Club, each of whom had affixed to his breast a small silver ornament, on which were the words Aide toi et Dieu t'aidera, to each authorized person a distinctive duty was assigned, and that duty was in every case efficiently discharged.
The honorable Secretary, Mr. James Spence, was unflagging in his exertions, so that all the preconcerted arrangements might be fully carried out, and Mr. Priolai (from Charleston) and other gentlemen, rendered most efficient service. The stalls were absolutely crowded, not only with
rich and costly articles, but with those of a cheaper and more unpretentious character, and these, the exquisite taste with which the hall was decorated, and the fine proportions of the structure
itself, produced a coup d'il of the most elaborate and chastened description. The mirrors placed at either end of the ball reflected its appearance, the general effect being very rich and brilliant.
Among the visitors were His Worship the Mayor, (Charles Mozley, Esq.;) Right Hon. Lord Campbell and Stratheden, Hon. Mr. Mason, (Confederate States Minister,) Sir Henry de Hoghton, Bart.; Mr. A.J.B. Beres 3rdHope, Mr. John Laird, M.P.; Mr. J. Aspinall Turner, M.P.; Mr. Robert Hutchinson, and each of these gentlemen made extensive purchases.
Mr. W.T. Best played from 3 to 4 o'clock on the grand organ a selection of music from some of the great composers, in his usual brilliant style, and the fine tones of his magnificent instrument added considerably to the pleasure of those present. Mr. and Mrs. Henri Drayton, too, gave one of their always-attractive drawing-room entertainments in the small concert-room, and Master Willie Pape in the evening gave one of his exquisite plane-torte recitals. From 4 o'clock, Steathee's fine band was stationed in the orchestra, and played delightfully. Mr. Frank Toole, of London fame, and the brother of the great comedian, had a tent appropriated to his use, for the purpose of exhibiting a veritable mermaid, and enabling his visitors to see the busy port of Liverpool at a glance; and from the roars of laughter which every now and then emanated from his quarters, it is fair to presume that, even
if those by whom he was surrounded felt themselves "sold," they, at the same time, heartily enjoyed the sell, and thought it cheap at the rate of one shilling per head.
A noteworthy feature was the raffling. It is intended that upwards of 600 raffles shall be held during the continuation of the bazaar. Each raffle is entered in a ledger, and the result is attested and signed by two members of the committee, while the subscribers have tickets of their number given to them, so that the winners of prizes can claim their property at any time.
The dining-rooms were largely patronized, and the arrangements in this, as in other departments, were perfect, and redounded greatly to the credit of Mr. Bliss, the manager of the Southern club. The success of the bazaar will be best understood when we state that, in money taken at the
stalls, and in season tickets, and, on the first day, the handsome sum of £3,170 has been realized - the largest amount ever, we
understand, taken in Liverpool at a similar gathering in one day. On the 19th, the amount netted was nearly £2 300. About 1,700 visitors passed into St. George's Hall in the course of one day, and that in spite of the unfavorable state of the weather.
A very handsome sword is on view at the Virginian stall, and which is to be presented to Gen. Lee as a memento of the bazaar. The Weapon is were beautifully chased, and the scabbard is tastefully mounted in gold. Upon one side of the sword is inscribed the following: "Presented to Major-Gen. Robert C. Lee, from the Virginian Stall of the Southern Bazaar at Liverpool, Oct 18, 1864." At the same stall there are several portraits of Confederate Generals, and among others is that of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson at prayers before the battle in which he received his mortal wound.
A raffle for a Shetland pony excited a good deal of interest during the day. The donor is Peter Tait, Esq., of Limerick, and his handsome present realized no less than £125, obtained by the sale of 250 half-sovereign tickets. The pony was brought into the hall by Mr. Tait's coachman, and its paces shown as well as they could be in the midst of the crowd. Mr. H.O. Brewer, of Mobile, was the fortunate winner, and he immediately represented it to the committee, and another raffle-list was at once opened, about half the required number of tickets being speedily disposed of through the united exertions of Mr. Brewer, Mr. Oldershaw and M. Perser. At this rate, the pony will prove worth its weight in current coin to the committee. Another specimen of the animal creation raffled for was a tailless Manx cat, ugly enough and black enough to have convicted any old Lancashire woman of witchcraft two or three centuries ago.
On the 20th the total receipts were £2,108 - making an aggregate for the three days of £7,548. The proceeds of the bazaar, it must be remembered, are in addition to the private subscriptions toward the relief fund which have been in course of collection for some time past. On the 20th the committee received from Glasgow no less than £676 8s., collected through the zeal and perseverance of Miss Mcleish and Miss Mcnutt, assisted by Mr. James Smith, of Mississippi, from whom a valuable donation of goods has also been received. The contributions in money, cotton and tobacco toward the fund represent something like £8,000, and with the handsome sum derived from the bazaar, the committee may hope finally to obtain at least $20,000. The little Shetland pony brought in about £100, which was divided between North Carolina and Mississippi.
In the course of yesterday the Southern Bazaar was visited by a larger number of persons than on any previous occasion. Up to yesterday the charge for admission was half a crown, and yesterday the charge having been reduced to one shilling, an immense number of people flocked to St.
George's Hall, and indeed at an early hour in the afternoon the crowd was so great within the hall that it was thought advisable to refuse further applicants for entrance. The doors were, therefore, closed,
and were reopened only at rare intervals. Several thousand persons were, in this way, unable to obtain ingress to the hall, and were much disappointed. But it was, no doubt the wisest policy, on the part of the promoters of the bazaar, to refuse admission rather than have the convenience and safety of the public endangered within the hall. The total amount of visitors, on payment and season tickets, was about 5,000, and the sales amounted to $2,151.
The return for each day's sale has been as follows: First day, £3,170; second, £2,271; third, £2,451; fourth, £2,151; total, £10,050. The subscriptions have amounted to £9,000, bringing the grand total to £19,050. The stalls have now necessarily been much impoverished, but still there is a large quantity of goods remaining on hand. It has, therefore, been determined to reopen the bazaar to-day, when there will be an auction of the articles on hand. In order, however, to avoid the fearful rush of visitors which occurred on the only shilling day, it has been decided to raise the price of admission to-day to half a crown.