| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
THE MOCK FUNERAL
All sorts of ways were invented to carry help across
from Maryland to the Confederate states; and you may be
sure the officers had to keep their eyes wide open day and
One day, on a train, as innocent a looking thing as a
lunch basket with a sandwich and a doughnut plainly in
 sight, was found to be filled with bright brass buttons, on
their way to ornament the Confederate soldiers' coats.
But one of the strangest plots for carrying help was by
means of funeral processions. One day a very sober
looking procession started out from Baltimore over the Long
Bridge, into Virginia.
Everything appeared all right. There was the hearse
with the coffin within; then came the carriages, their
curtains closely drawn to hide the mourners from the people
on the streets; the drivers all looked solemn as owls, and
to all appearances, it was a very respectable looking funeral
The first sentry at the Bridge, feeling that a funeral
procession, of all things, should be allowed to go on its sad way
without being interfered with, let it pass—although, as he
said afterwards, it did flash across his mind that even this
might be but another Confederate scheme.
The next sentry on the route, was not so easily fooled.
Perhaps he had learned that even funeral processions in
those times were suspicious. Stepping forward as the hearse
approached, he called "Halt!"
Instantly he caught a look upon the driver's face that
told him that something was wrong.
"Open the hearse!" demanded the sentry. The hearse
was opened and the coffin dragged out. But by this time,
the mourners in the carriages had learned that their plot
 was discovered; and when the sentry turned to look at
them, they were scrambling out of their carriages, and running
back to the city just as fast as ever they could go.
On opening the coffin, it was found packed full of
muskets, which at that time would have been very acceptable
to the Confederate army.
One of the ways the Confederates in Maryland had of
getting messages across the river, was by means of kites
and balloons. When kites were used, they were made of
oiled silk, that the rain might not spoil them, nor the water,
should they chance to fall into the river. The bobs of the
kites were made of letters and newspapers, fastened on just
as you boys fasten the bobs to your kites to-day.
When the wind was in the right direction, these kites
were sent up, their strings cut, and across the river they
would fly, falling somewhere on the Virginia shore. Some
one was always on the watch for these kites; and when
the wind turned, back would come the kite laden with letters
and papers from the South.
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