Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

Barbara Frietchie

Mcclellan was ordered to take his army back to Washington by water; and Lee, advancing, fought another Union force, first at Cedar Mountain and then at Bull Run, where he won two brilliant victories, thus forcing the remainder of those troops to retreat and join McClellan. By this time the people in the North were so frightened that they felt the need of a larger army. Lincoln, therefore, called for more men, who eagerly volunteered, singing the new song: "We're coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more!"

Encouraged by success, Lee now crossed the Potomac River and marched into Maryland, his army singing "Maryland, my Maryland!" for the Confederates felt very sure that people there would now desert the Union to side with them. They were disappointed, however, and McClellan, having found a copy of Lee's orders, set off after him, and met him at Antietam, where a terrible battle was fought. Here many men lost their lives, but neither army won a real victory, though Lee soon after returned to Virginia.

On his march with Lee toward Antietam, Stonewall Jackson rode through Frederick, Maryland, where the Union flags had been hauled down for fear of the anger of the Confederate army. Still, there was one old woman, Barbara Frietchie, who wished to show her love for the Union, and a famous story is told of how she kept the stars and stripes proudly floating from her attic window.

Barbara Frietchie


When the Confederate soldiers came marching through the town they saw the flag, we are told, and, raising their guns and aiming carefully, broke the flagstaff; but Barbara Frietchie quickly grasped the falling pole and held it firmly upright, defiantly bidding the soldiers shoot her, if they must, but spare their country's flag. The story says that they could not resist this appeal, that Stonewall Jackson himself rode under the flag with bared head, and that his army followed silently, not a man venturing to insult the banner which the old woman so gallantly defended.

Barbara Frietchie's patriotism made every one feel proud of her, and our poet Whittier has told her story in a beautiful poem which you will like to read.

Although McClellan had received orders to follow Lee and meet him in another battle, there was considerable delay. The Northern people, who eagerly read the war news published in the newspapers, grew very impatient, and now asked that another, less cautious, general should be put in command of the Army of the Potomac. General Burnside was therefore chosen, and he immediately attacked the Confederates who were intrenched at Fredericksburg. Here, in spite of the great courage they showed, the Union troops were beaten with great slaughter.

During this battle the Union army tried to storm the hill where a battery stood, and were mowed down like ripe grain by the deadly fire poured upon them by the Con-federates intrenched behind a big stone wall. Six times the Union soldiers tried to dislodge their foes, but all in vain. The news of this awful battle, and of the loss of life it occasioned, caused great mourning throughout the country. When it reached Washington, Lincoln, who suffered keenly whenever he heard of loss of life and defeat, bitterly cried: "If there is any man out of perdition that suffers more than I do, I pity him!"