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Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places   By: (1838-1900)

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First Page:

CAMPS, QUARTERS AND CASUAL PLACES

BY ARCHIBALD FORBES, LL.D.

NOTE

My obligations for permission to incorporate some of the articles in this volume are due to Messrs. George Routledge and Sons, Mr. James Knowles of the Nineteenth Century , Mr. Percy Bunting of the Contemporary Review , and the Proprietor of McClure's Magazine .

LONDON, June 1896.

CONTENTS

1. MATRIMONY UNDER FIRE

2. REVERENCING THE GOLDEN FEET

3. GERMAN WAR PRAYERS

4. MISS PRIEST'S BRIDECAKE

5. A VERSION OF BALACLAVA

6. HOW I "SAVED FRANCE"

7. CHRISTMAS IN A CAVALRY REGIMENT

8. THE MYSTERY OF MONSIEUR REGNIER

9. RAILWAY LIZZ

10. MY NATIVE SALMON RIVER

11. THE CAWNPORE OF TO DAY

12. BISMARCK BEFORE AND DURING THE FRANCO GERMAN WAR

13. THE INVERNESS "CHARACTER" FAIR

14. THE WARFARE OF THE FUTURE

15. GEORGE MARTELL'S BANDOBAST

16. THE LUCKNOW OF TO DAY

17. THE MILITARY COURAGE OF ROYALTY

18. PARADE OF THE COMMISSIONAIRES

19. THE INNER HISTORY OF THE WATERLOO CAMPAIGN

MATRIMONY UNDER FIRE

The interval between the declaration of the Franco German war of 1870 71, and the "military promenade," at which the poor Prince Imperial received his "baptism of fire," was a pleasant, lazy time at Saarbrücken; to which pretty frontier town I had early betaken myself, in the anticipation, which proved well founded, that the tide of war would flow that way first. What a pity it is that all war cannot be like this early phase of it, of which I speak! It was playing at warfare, with just enough of the grim reality cropping up occasionally, to give the zest which the reckless Frenchwoman declared was added to a pleasure by its being also a sin. The officers of the Hohenzollerns our only infantry regiment in garrison drank their beer placidly under the lime tree in the market place, as their men smoked drowsily, lying among the straw behind the stacked arms ready for use at a moment's notice. The infantry patrol skirted the frontier line every morning in the gray dawn, occasionally exchanging with little result a few shots with the French outposts on the Spicheren or down in the valley bounded by the Schönecken wood. The Uhlans, their piebald lance pennants fluttering in the wind, cantered leisurely round the crests of the little knolls which formed the vedette posts, despising mightily the straggling chassepot bullets which were pitched at them from time to time in a desultory way; but which, desultory as they were, now and then brought lance pennant and its bearer to the ground an occurrence invariably followed by a little spurt of lively hostility.

I had my quarters at the Rheinischer Hof, a right comfortable hotel on the St. Johann side of the Saar, where most of the Hohenzollern officers frequented the table d'hôte and where quaint little Max, the drollest imp of a waiter imaginable, and pretty Fraülein Sophie the landlord's niece, did all that in them lay to contribute to the pleasantness and comfort of the house. Not a few pleasant evenings did I spend at the table of the long dining room, with the close cropped red head of silent and genial Hauptmann von Krehl looming large over the great ice pail, with its chevaux de frise of long necked Niersteiner bottles the worthy Hauptmann supported by blithe Lieutenant von Klipphausen, ever ready with the Wacht am Rhein ; quaint Dr. Diestelkamp, brimful of recollections of "six and sixty" and as ready to amputate your leg as to crack a joke or clink a glass; gay young Adjutant von Zülow he who one day brought in a prisoner from the foreposts a red legged Frenchman across the pommel of his saddle; and many other good fellows, over most of whom the turf of the Spicheren, or the brown earth of the Gravelotte plain, now lies lightly.

But although the Rheinischer Hof associates itself in my mind with many memories, half pleasant, half sad, it was not the most accustomed haunt of the casuals in Saarbrücken, including myself... Continue reading book >>




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