There are heroines on our north Arkansas border without laurels on their brows, and martyrs "in whose hands are no palms" that went throught physical hardships, isolation and distress and to whom our late war is as a terrible dream.
The smoke from the charred ruins of their only earthly habitations-the terror-stricken faces of the homeless, starving children, are singularly confused now-but the time was when these same privations whetted the edge of their mental natures, until their ingenuity and invention were almost unsurpassed.
Hundres of miles from a railroad or telegraph, and menaced by a lawlessness that lived by terrorism to women and children, these heroines were made self-reliant through danger and inbured with a courage rarely equaled.
The cultivation of land, or a scanty living from the hills and valley of this border, was made through much difficulty by women and children. It was in the spring and summer of '64 that Mrs. Parker, (now living in Boone county, Ark.,) made with the assistance of her little boy, a good corn crop for that day and time. The yoke of steers with which Mrs. Parker trudged early and late, were taken from her time and again, but through persistent appeals to the federal officers she was allowed to keep them until her corn was "laid by."
After day of watching and working the crop was gathered and stored away in a pen (Mrs. Parker had made it herself of rails in the woods.)
But as the scarcity of food demanded a more thorough investigation on the part of the enemy, this noble woman dug with her own hands a hole in which she placed a hogshead that held twelve bushels of corn.
From the pen in the woods she carried the corn, shelled it and filled the hogshead, which she covered so dextrously with dirt and leaves that even she had some difficulty in finding her buried treasure.
In spite of the stories circulated by a traitorous tenant who had shared her bread and partaken of her kindness, Mrs. Parker kept the corn unmolested until Confederates came home "in the gloom of defeat."
And during the spring peace was made. Small allowances from the underground hogshead were issued to the starving neighbors by this kind-hearted woman.
Jealously did she guard this "trust fund" and not a grain was squandered or lost, but went as a blessing to succor the perishing at her door.
"One velvet jacket came out triumphant at the end of the war, having done heroic duty for five girls of the family on all festive occasions.
"If there were two girls in the family, we went out singly, in order that the same dress might do double duty. We borrowed, loaned, patched, lengthened, shortened, turned and twisted our garments until there was nothing left of them.
"A RICHMOND belle at a party, usually the gayest of the gay, was asked why she was not dancing. "dancing," she said, "Good heavens, I am only too thankful that I can breathe. I don't even dare to laugh for fear I should burst this girl's dress to pieces and it is all she has.
"In the absence of men, the women undertook their duties, and many a fine crop was planted and harvested by them.
"Two Georgia women did what no other woman in the world has been credited with-cleaned out a well, and did it well."