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- Yankee Girl at Fort Sumter - 1/25 -


A YANKEE GIRL AT FORT SUMTER

BY

ALICE TURNER CURTIS

AUTHOR OF The Little Maid's Historical Series, etc.

Illustrated by ISABEL W. CALEY

PHILADELPHIA 1920

INTRODUCTION

Sylvia Fulton, a little Boston girl, was staying with her father and mother in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, just before the opening of the Civil War. She had become deeply attached to her new friends, and their chivalrous kindness toward the little northern girl, as well as Sylvia's perilous adventure in Charleston Harbor, and the amusing efforts of the faithful negro girl to become like her young mistress, all tend to make this story one that every little girl will enjoy reading, and from which she will learn of far-off days and of the high ideals of southern honor and northern courage.

I. SYLVIA

II. A NEW FRIEND

III. SYLVIA IN TROUBLE

IV. AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

V. ESTRALLA AND ELINOR

VI. SYLVIA AT THE PLANTATION

VII. SYLVIA SEES A GHOST

VIII. A TWILIGHT TEA-PARTY

IX. TROUBLESOME WORDS

X. THE PALMETTO FLAG

XI. SYLVIA CARRIES A MESSAGE

XII. ESTRALLA HELPS

XIII. A HAPPY AFTERNOON

XIV. MR. ROBERT WAITE

XV. "WHERE IS SYLVIA?"

XVI. IN DANGER

XVII. A CHRISTMAS PRESENT

XVIII. GREAT NEWS

XIX. SYLVIA MAKES A PROMISE

XX. "TWO LITTLE DARKY GIRLS"

XXI. FORT SUMTER IS FIRED UPON

CHAPTER I

SYLVIA

"Your name is in a song, isn't it?" said Grace Waite, as she and her new playmate, Sylvia Fulton, walked down the pleasant street on their way to school.

"Is it? Can you sing the song?" questioned Sylvia eagerly, her blue eyes shining at what promised to be such a delightful discovery.

Grace nodded smilingly. She was a year older than Sylvia, nearly eleven years old, and felt that it was quite proper that she should be able to explain to Sylvia more about her name than Sylvia knew herself.

"It is something about 'spelling,'" she explained, and then sang, very softly:

"'Then to Sylvia let us sing, That Sylvia is spelling. She excels each mortal thing, Upon the dull earth dwelling.'

"I suppose it means she was the best speller," Grace said soberly.

"I think it is a lovely song," said Sylvia. "I'll tell my mother about it. I am so glad you told me, Grace."

Sylvia Fulton was ten years old, and had lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for the past year. Before that the Fultons had lived in Boston. Grace Waite lived in the house next to the one which Mr. Fulton had hired in the beautiful southern city, and the two little girls had become fast friends. They both attended Miss Patten's school. Usually Grace's black mammy, Esther, escorted them to and from Miss Patten's, but on this morning in early October they were allowed to go by themselves.

As they walked along they could look out across the blue harbor, and see sailing vessels and rowboats coming and going. In the distance were the three forts whose historic names were known to every child in Charleston. Grace never failed to point them out to the little northern girl, and to repeat their names:

"Castle Pinckney," she would say, pointing to the one nearest the city, and then to the long dark forts at the mouth of the harbor, "Fort Sumter, and Fort Moultrie."

"Don't stop to tell me the names of those old forts this morning," said Sylvia. "I know just as much about them now as you do. We shall be late if we don't hurry."

Miss Patten's house stood in a big garden which ran nearly to the water's edge. The schoolroom opened on each side to broad piazzas, and there was always the pleasant fragrance of flowers in the big airy room. Sylvia was sure that no one could be more beautiful than Miss Patten. "She looks just like one of the ladies in your 'Godey's Magazine,' "she had told her mother, on returning home from her first day at school.

And with her pretty soft black curls, her rosy cheeks and pleasant voice, no one could imagine a more desirable teacher than Miss Rosalie Pattten. There were just twelve little girls in her school. There were never ten, or fourteen. Miss Patten would never engage to take more than twelve pupils; and the twelve always came. Mrs. Waite, Grace's mother, had told Mrs. Fulton that Sylvia was very fortunate to attend the school.

School had opened the previous week, and Sylvia had begun to feel quite at home with her new schoolmates. The winter before, Mrs. Fulton had taught her little daughter at home; so this was her first term at Miss Patten's.

Miss Patten always stood near the schoolroom door until all her pupils had arrived. As each girl entered the room she made a curtsey to the pretty teacher, and then said "good-morning" to the pupils who had already arrived, and took her seat. When the clock struck nine Miss Rosalie would take her place behind the desk on the platform at the further end of the room, and say a little prayer. Then the pupils were ready for their lessons.

"Isn't Miss Rosalie lovely," Sylvia whispered as she and Grace moved to their seats, "and doesn't she wear pretty clothes?"

Grace nodded. She had been to Miss Rosalie's school for three years, and she wondered a little at Sylvia's admiration for their teacher, although she too thought Miss Patten looked exactly like a fashion plate.

Grace was eager to get to her desk. From where she sat she could see the grim lines of the distant forts; and this morning they had a new value and interest for her; for at breakfast she had heard her father say that, although the forts were occupied by the soldiers of the United States Government, it was only justice that South Carolina should control them, and if the State seceded from the Union Charleston must take possession of the forts. With the consent of the United States Government if possible, but, if this was refused, by force.

Grace had been thinking about this all the morning, wondering if Charleston men would really send off the soldiers in the forts. She had not spoken of this to Sylvia as they came along the street facing the harbor, and now as she looked at the distant forts on guard at the entrance of the harbor, she resolved to ask Miss Rosalie why the United States should interfere with the "Sovereign State of South Carolina," which her father had said would defend its rights. "Question time" was just before the morning session ended. Then each pupil could ask a question. But as a rule only one or two of the girls had any inquiry to make. To-day, however, there were several who had questions to ask and Grace waited with what patience she could until it was her turn. When Miss Rosalie smiled at her and called her name, Grace rose and said:

"Please, Miss Rosalie, if Charleston owns the forts, could anyone take them away?"

The teacher's dark eyes seemed to grow larger and brighter, and she straightened her slender shoulders as if preparing to defend the rights of her State.

"My dear girl, who would question the right of South Carolina to control all forts on her territory? We all realize that this is a time of


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