It was indeed said (but I think in a strain of slander) that Mr. Beauregard looked with an air of great condescension on our noble Treasury building, and promised his fighting followers a share of its contents as soon as it came into his master’s possession. Indeed it was said that Mr. Beauregard promised his men that when they got Washington they should have luxuries for rations, and fight with their pockets filled with silver and gold. And with their expectations firmly fixed on a specie basis, who could doubt as to what the result would be? This was the golden prize Mr. Davis hoped to win with Washington. And with it he saw, or rather thought he saw, England extending to him the right hand of fellowship, and the Emperor of France making him one of his very best bows, and thanking him for the liberty he had taken with the freedom of a people.
These, then, my son, are some of the reasons why we concluded to close the gates of Washington against Mr. Davis and his rebellious people, and to keep them closed by raising a cordon of strong forts around the city.
Concerning the distinguished officer who built the forts.
I have thought it no more than right, my son, to present you with a pleasant, but very exact picture of the distinguished officer of engineers, to whose skill we are indebted for the forts that more than once saved Washington. I do this out of respect to the truth of history, and from an apprehension that there are others, perhaps, higher in rank, who may lay claim to the honor, at some future day. I have also presented you with a more extended and complete portrait of him in the frontispiece of this work. He appears here in his usually calm, meditative mood, with his pipe and Professor Mahan’s last great work on fortifications. He is, I must tell you, my son, a man of large brain, and generous nature, fond of his joke, and very fertile in the art of rearing earthworks. In figure he is Falstaffian, and when on his rounds among the fortifications wears immense canvas-legged boots, and a hat with a high crown and extremely broad brim. Indeed, his figure is what may be called formidable, and there would be no mistaking him were you to meet him on the road. And, notwithstanding his peaceable disposition, and his scrupulous regard for the rights of others, the farmers round about Washington regard him with fear and trembling. In short, my son, his approach near a farm house is sure to send all the children scampering with fear. And even the curs and other domestic animals, seem to have an instinctive knowledge that his visits portend no good to their master’s domicil. It is curious to see those domestic animals how they bark and snap, and then shrink away at his approach, uttering signs of their dislike. In truth, my son, he has a bad reputation among these