Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/152

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coats. When they gathered in large groups they imitated their officers so far as to express disgust at existing generalities, and especially were they disgusted with the man of the Munchausen proclivities.

Your reporter drove out to Trout River, where the encampment had been formed, and a repetition of the scene at Hubbard's Corner was presented—an immense quantity of military stores, piled there awaiting the men who were not coming; hundreds of young men grouped around in utter disorder; very little noise or bustle for so large a gathering, and when the voices of the men were heard in passing through the camp, their tenor was an emphatic and stern condemnation of their officers. Many of the men, in describing the events of the day to your reporter, burst into tears at what they termed their disgrace, and said that they only wanted a man to lead them, and they would go anywhere with him. Judging from the military physique of the greater number, there can be no doubt that, with qualified officers, these men would prove that they did not merit the name they now feared—cowards. The officer in command, when Starr and O'Leary went away, was Maj. Lindsey, but his men declared that they had no confidence in his ability to lead them.

Sitting on a log by the roadside we saw a group of officers, among whom were Col. W. B. Smith, of Buffalo, and Maj. Robert Cullen, both, we believe, brave and accomplished soldiers. Their faith in the success of the movement was gone, as the men were hopelessly demoralized; Col. Smith had arrived that morning. He had started from Norfolk, Westchester County, for Trout River, on Tuesday, in command of 380 men from Buffalo, armed and equipped. His command formed an escort for a train of 130 wagons, loaded with arms, ammunition, and provisions. He had accompanied the wagons to within seven miles of Trout River camp. When the state of affairs existing there became known it was deemed best to send the wagons back to the places from which they came, and where they have been held in secret by friends of the Brotherhood. It was reported that the Government had seized six of the wagons, but the remainder had disappeared.

On the afternoon of the 37th a number of the demoralized Fenians were addressed by Surgepn Donnelly, of Pittsburgh, Pa. He urged them to march to the front again, and by a sudden and unexpected attack they might retrieve in part, at least, their former defeat. He said that he was not a soldier, but if they could not find one to lead them, he would lead them again across the lines, and would do all he could to guide them to success. About forty men fell into rank and followed him for some distance, but, rightly appreciating their insignificance, they melted away among the demoralized crowd again.

On the 27th, and following day, men continued to arrive in Malone from various places. They met with a sorry reception from the mass