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[second edition ] 

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co. aytch; 


First Tennessee Regiment; 




• Quaeque ipse miserima vidi, 
Et quorum pars mayna fui.' 








Eighteen years ago, the first edition of this book, "Co. H., 
First Tennessee Regiment," was published by the author, Mr. 
Sara. R. Watkins, of Columbia, Tenn. A limited edition of 
two thousand copies was printed and sold. For nearly twenty 
years this work has been out of print and the owners of copies 
of it hold them so precious that it is impossible to purchase 
one. To meet a demand, so strong as to be almost irresistable 
the Chattanooga Times has printed a second edition of 2000 
copies, which to soldiers of the Army of the Tennessee and 
the Army of the Cumberland, between whom many battles 
were fought, it will prove of intense interest, serving to re- 
call many scenes and incidents of battle field and camp in 
which they were the chief actors. To them and to all other 
readers we respectfully commend this book as being the best 
and most impersonal history of any arrhy ever written. 

The Chattanooga Times. 
Chattanooga, Tenn., Oct. 1, 1900. 













12 10 



"Co. Aytch." — This week's Herald contains the last num- 
ber of "Co. Aytch" that will be published in the paper. The 
generals, and President, and Vice-President, and other high 
officials have published their accounts of the war, but Sam Wat- 
kins is the first high private who has written up the common 
soldier side of the matter. In big, gilt-edge books, the general, 
the President, and the Vice-President, tell about their plans, 
their battle, their retreats, their measures, and their ideas, and 
not a word about what the poor, sore-footed, hungry, and naked 
soluier felt. 

In "Co. Aytch" we see the old "webfoot," dressed in a 
dirty, greasy, gray suit — or rather non-suit — a cotton blanket 
thrown across his shoulder, and fastened under his cartridge- 
box belt ; a greasy, dirty haversack hanging down — very thin and 
flabby; with shoes of untanned leather. There he goes, foot- 
sore, tired, and hungry, but chipper and sassy, and ready for the 

In "Co. Aytch" we see this same "webfoot" in camp, cook- 
ing his rations — corn meal bread, corn meal coffee, corn meal 
soup, blue beef, with not an eye of grease on it. He lies down 
on the cold ground, in an old thin blanket, and shivers through 
the night. 

In "Co. Aytch" we hear this "webfoot" talking to his com- 
rades, cheering their drooping spirits, discussing the situation, 
defending the general, hoping for final victory, and a glorious 
return home to father, mother, and sweetheart. 

In "Co. Aytch" we see this same "webfoot," hungry, ragged, 
dirty, and footsore, "on the battle's perilous edge," the light of 
victory in his eye, a gun with a gleaming bayonet in his hands, 
springing forward like a deer, a ringing shout upon his lips, 
rushing up to the breastworks, behind which belch Napoleon 


guns and volleys of musketry; see him cross the abattis at a 
bound ; see him as he stands upon the enemy's ramparts, shouting 
victory ! 

In "Co. Aytch" we see this same "webfoot" shot down by a 
minnie ball, and lying cold and stark in death, and thrown into 
a common shallow grave, unhonored, unknown, and unsung, far 
away from fond loved ones. 

In "Co. Aytch" we see other soldiers, driven by hunger, 
stealing hogs, others deserting and going home. All this w T e see 
in "Co. Aytch." 

Every old soldier, and every son of an old soldier, should 
have a copy of it. — Columbia Herald. 


CHAPTER I— Retrospective. 

We are one and undivided 9 

The bloody chasm 11 

Eighteen hundred and sixty-one.... J2 

Camp Cheatham 13 

On the road 15 

Staunton 16 

Warm Springs 16 

Cheat Mountain 19 

Sewell Mountain 21 

Romney 22 

Standing picket on the Potomac 25 

Schwartz and Pfifer 27 

The court-martial 27 

The death watch 29 

Virginia, farewell 30 


Shiloh 31 


Corinth 36 

Rowland shot to death 40 

Killing a Yankee sharpshooter 41 

Colonel Field 42 

Captain Joe P. Lee 43 

Corinth forsaken 43 

CHAPTER IV— Tupelo. 

Tupelo 44 

The court-martial at Tupelo 45 ■« 

Raiding on roastingears 46 

CHAPTER V— Kentucky. 

We go into Kentucky 47 

The battle of Perryville 49 

The retreat out of Kentucky 54 

Knoxville 58 

Ah, Sneak 59 «■ 

I jine the cavalry 6C 


Murfreesboro 61 

Battle of Murfreesboro 63 

Robbing a dead Yankee 66 


Shelbyville 67 

A foot race 67 

Eating mussels 68 

Poor Berry Morgan 69 

Wright shot to death with musketry 70 

Dave Sublett promoted 71 

Down Duck River in a canoe 74 

Shineral Owledowsky 75 

CHAPTER VIII— Chattanooga. 

Back to Chattanooga 76 

Am visited by my father 76 

Out a larking 78 

Hanging two spies 79 

Eating rats 80 

Swimming theTenn. with roasting- 
ears 81 

Am detailed to go foraging 81 

Please pass the butter 82 

We evacuate Chattanooga 84 

The bull of the woods 84 

The wing of the " A.ngel of Death".. 87 


Battle of Chickamauga... 

After the battle 

A night among the dead. 




CHAPTER X— Missionary Ridge. 

Missionary Ridge 94 

Sergeant '1 ucker and Gen. Wilder .. 95 

Moccasin Point 96 

Battle of Missionary Ridge 97 

Good-bye, Tom Webb 100 

The rearguard 101 

Chickamauga Station 102 

The battle of Cat Creek 103 

Ringgold Gap 104 


Gen. Joe Johnston takes command.. 106 

Commissaries 110 

Dalton 110 

Shooting a deserter 111'. 

Ten men killed at mourner's-bench 111 

Dr. C. T. Quintard 112 

Y's, you got my hog 113 

Target shooting.. 116. 

Uncle Zack and Aunt Daphne 117 

Red tape 118 

I get a furlough 120 

CHAPTER XII— Hundred Days' 

Rocky Face Ridge 122 

Falling back 124 

Battle of Resacca 125 

Adairsville octagon house 128 

Kennesaw line 130 

Detailed to go into enemy's lines 130 

Death of General Leonidas Polk 133 

General Lucius E. Polk wounded.... 133 

Dead Angle 135 

Battle of New Hope Church 144 

Battle of Dallas 14=s 

Battle of Zion Church 146 

Kingston 147 

Cassville 147 

On the banks of the Chattahoochee. 148 
Removal of Gen. Joe E. Johnston... 149 
Gen. Hood takes command 150 


Hood strikes 152 

Killing a Yankee scout 152 

An old citizen 154 

My friends 156 

An army without cavalry 157 

Battle of July 23nd, 1864 158 

The attack 158 

Am promoted 163 

28th of July at Atlanta 164 

I visit Montgomery 164 

The hospital 166 

The Capitol 167 

Am arrested 169 

Those girls 170 «■ 

The talisman 170 

The brave Captain 171 

How I got back to Atlanta 172 

The death of Tom Tuck's rooster. ... 173*- 
Old Joe Brown's pets 175 



CHAPTER XIII— Continued. 

We go after stoneman 17(i 

Bellum l.ethale 178 

Deatb of a Yankee Lieutenant 181 

Atlanta forsaken 183 


Battle of Jonesboro 184 

, Deatli of Lieut. John Whittaker 186 

Then comes the farce 188 

Palmetto 191 

Jeff Davis makes a speech 193 

Armistice only in name 194 

A SCOUt .' 195 

What is this Rebel doing here? 196 

Look out, boys 197 

Am captured 198 


Gen. Hood makes a flank movement 201 

We capture Dalton 202 

A man in the well 208 

Tuscumbia 808 

En route for Columbia 201 

chapter XVI— Battles in Tennessee. 

Columbia 206 

A Masco 207 

Franklin 208 

Nashville 212 


The last act of the drama 219 

Adieu 221 




About twenty years ago, I think it was — I won't be certain, 
though — a man whose name, if I remember correctly, was Wm 
L. Yancy — I write only from memory, and this was a long time 
ago — took a strange and peculiar notion that the sun rose t in the 
east and set in the west, and that the compass pointed north and 
south. Now, everybody knew at the time that it was but the 
idiosyncrasy of an unbalanced mind, and that the United States 
of America had no north, no south, no east, no west. Well, he 
began to preach the strange doctrine of there being such a thing. 
He began to have followers. As you know, it matters not how 
absurd, ridiculous and preposterous doctrines may be preached 
there will be some followers. Well, one man by the name of (I 
think it was) Rhett, said it out loud. He was told to k 's-h-e-e." 
Then another fellow by the name (I remember this one because 
it sounded like a graveyard) Toombs said so, and he was told to 
"sh-sh-ee-ee." Then after a while whole heaps of people began 
to say that they thought that there was a north and a south ; and 
after a while hundreds and thousands and millions said that 
there was a south. But they were the persons who lived in the 
direction that the water courses run. Now, the people who lived 
where the water courses started from came down to see about it, 
and they said, "Gents, you are very much mistaken. We came 
over in the Mayflower, and we used to burn witches for saying 
that the sun rose in the east and set in the west, because the sun 
neither rises nor sets, the earth simply turns on its axis, and we 
know, because we are Pure(i)tans." The spokesman of the 
party was named (I think I remember his name because it 



always gave me the blues when I heard it) Horrors Greeley ; and 
another person by the name of Charles Sumner, said there ain't 
any north or south, east or west, and you shan't say so, either. 
Xow, the other people who lived in the direction that the water 
courses run, just raised their bristles and continued saying that 
there is a north and there is a south. When those at the head of 
the water courses come out furiously mad, to coerce those in the 
direction that water courses run, and to make them take it back. 
Well, they went to gouging and biting, to pulling and scratching 
at a furious rate. One side elected a captain by the name of 
Jeff Davis, and known as one-eyed Jeff, and a first lieutenant by 
the name of Aleck Stephens, commonly styled Smart Aleck. 
The other side selected as captain a son of Nancy Hanks, of 
Bowling Green, and a son of old Bob. Lincoln, the rail-splitter, 
and whose name was Abe. Well, after he was elected captain, 
they elected as first lieutenant an individual of doubtful blood 
by the name of Hannibal Hamlin, being a descendant of the 
generation of Ham, the bad son of old Noah, who meant to curse 
him blue, but overdid the thing, and cursed him black. 

Well, as I said before, they went to fighting, but old Abe's 
side got the best of the argument. But in getting the best of 
the argument they called in all the people and wise men of other 
nations of the earth, and they, too, said that America had no 
cardinal points, and that the sun did not rise in the east and set 
in the west, and that the compass did not point, either north or 

Well, then, Captain Jeff Davis' side gave it up and quit, 
and they, too, went to saying that there is no north, no south, no 
<-;i-t. no west. Well, "us boys" all took a small part in the 
fracas, and Shep, (he prophet, remarked that the day would 
come when those who once believed thai tlie American continent 
had cardinal points would be ashamed to own it. Thai <la\ has 
arrived. America lias no north, no south, no east, no west ; the 
sun rises over the hill- and sets over the mountains, the compass 
just points up and down, and we can laugh now at the absurd 
notion of there being a north and a south. 

Well, reader, let me whisper in your e;tr. I was in the row. 


and the following pages will tell what part I took in the little 
unpleasant misconception of there being such a thing as a north 
and south. 


In these memoirs, after the lapse of twenty years, we pro- 
pose to fight our ''battles o'er again." 

To do this is but a pastime and pleasure, as there is nothing 
that so much delights the old soldier as to revisit the scenes and 
battle-fields with which he was once so familiar, and to recall the 
incidents, though trifling they may have been at the time. 

The histories of the Lost Cause are all written out by "big 
bugs," generals and renowned historians, and like the fellow 
who called a turtle a "cooter," being told that no such word as 
cooter was in Webster's dictionary, remarked that he had as 
much right to make a dictionary as Mr. Webster or any other 
man ; so have I to write a history. 

But in these pages I do not pretend to write the history of 
the war. I only give a few sketches and incidents that came 
under the observation of a "high private" in the rear ranks of 
the rebel army. Of course the histories are all correct. They 
tell of great achievements of great men, who wear the laurels of 
victory ; have grand presents given them ; high positions in civil 
life; presidents of corporations; governors of states; official 
positions, etc., and when they die, long obituaries are published, 
telling their many virtues, their distinguished victories, etc., 
and when they are buried, the whole country goes in mourning 
and is called upon the buy an elegant monument to erect over the 
remains of so distinguished and brave a general, etc. But in 
the following pages I propose to tell of the fellows who did the 
shooting and killing, the fortifying and ditching, the sweeping 
of the streets, the drilling, the standing guard, picket and videt, 
and who drew (or were to draw) eleven dollars per month and 
rations, and also drew the ramrod and tore the cartridge. Par- 
don me should I use the personal pronoun "I" too frequently, 
as I do not wish to be called egotistical, for I only write of what 
I saw as an humble private in the rear rank in an infantry regi- 



ment, commonly called "webfoot." Neither do I propose to 
make this a connected journal, for I write entirely from mem- 
ory, and yon must remember, kind reader, that these things 
happened twenty years ago, and twenty years is a long time in 
the life of any individual. 

I was twenty-one years old then, and at that time I was not 
married. Now I have a house full of young ''rebels," clustering 
around my knees and bumping against my elbow, while I write 
these reminiscences of the war of secession, rebellion, state 
rights, slavery, or onr rights in the territories, or by whatever 
other name it may be called. These are all with the past now, 
and the North and South have long ago "shaken hands across 
the bloody chasm." The flag of the Southern cause has been 
furled never to be again unfurled ; gone like a dream of yester- 
day, and lives only in the memory of those who lived through 
those bloody days and times. 


Reader, mine, did you live in that stormy period ? In the 
year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-one, do you remem- 
ber those stirring times ? Do you recollect in that year, for the 
first time in your life, of hearing Dixie and the Bonnie Blue 
Flag ? Fort Sumter was fired upon from Charleston by troops 
under General Beauregard, and Major Anderson, of the Federal 
army, surrendered. The die was cast; war was declared; Lin- 
coln called for troops from Tennessee and all the Southern 
states, but Tennessee, loyal to her Southern sister states, passed 
the ordinance of secession, and enlisted under the Stars and 
Bars. From that day on, every person almost was eager for the 
war, and wo were all afraid it would be over and we not be in 
the fight. Companies wore made up, regiments organized; left, 
left, left, was heard from morning till night. By the right 
flank, file left, march, wore familiar sounds. Everywhere <'<>uld 

be seen Southern cockades made by the ladies and our Bweel 
hearts. And some who afterwards became Union men made the 
most, fiery secession speeches. Flags made by the ladies were 
presented to companies, and to hear the young orators tell of 


how they would protect that flag, and that they would come back 
with the flag or come not at all, and if they fell they would fall 
with their hacks to the field and their feet to the foe, would 
fairly make our hair stand on end with intense patriotism, and 
we wanted to march right oif and whip twenty Yankees. But 
we soon found out that the glory of war was at home among the 
ladies and not upon the field of blood and carnage of death, 
where our comrades were mutilated and torn by shot and shell. 
And to see the cheek blanch and to hear the fervent prayer, aye, 
I might say the agony of mind were very different indeed from 
the patriotic times at home. 


After being drilled and disciplined at Camp Cheatham, 
under the administrative ability of General R. C. Foster, 3rd, 
for two months, we, the First, Third and Eleventh Temiessee 
Regiments — Maney, Brown and Rains — learned of the advance 
of McClelland' s army into Virginia, toward Harper's Ferry 
and Bull Run. 

The Federal army was advancing all along the line. They 
expected to inarch right into the heart of the South, set the 
negroes free, take our property, and whip the rebels back into 
the Union. But they soon found that secession was a bigger 
mouthful than they could swallow at one gobble. They found 
the people of the South in earnest. 

Secession may have been wrong in the abstract, and has be3ii 
tried and settled by the arbitrament of the sword and bayonet, 
but I am as firm in my convictions to-day of the right of seces- 
sion as I was in 1861. The South is our country, the Xorth is 
the country of those who live there. We are an agricultural 
people ; they are a manufacturing people. They are the de- 
scendants of the good old Puritan Plymouth Rock stock, and we 
of the South from the proud and aristocratic stock of Cavaliers. 
We believe in the doctrine of State rights, they in the doctrine 
of centralization. 

John C. Calhoun, Patrick Henry, and Randolph, of Roan- 
oke, saw the venom under their wings, and warned the North of 


the consequences, but they laughed at them. We only fought 
for our State rights, they for Union and power. The South fell 
battling under the banner of State rights, but yet grand and 
glorious even in death. Now, reader, please pardon the digres- 
sion. It is every word that we will say in behalf of the rights 
of secession in the following pages. The question has been long 
ago settled and is buried forever, never in this age or generation 
to be resurrected. 

The vote of the regiment was taken, and we all voted to go 
to Virginia. The Southern Confederacy had established its 
capital at Richmond. 

A man by the name of Jackson, who kept a hotel in Mary- 
land, had raised the Stars and Bars, and a Federal officer by the 
name of Ellsworth tore it down, and Jackson had riddled his 
body with buckshot from a double-barreled shot-gun. First 
blood for the South. 

Everywhere the enemy were advancing; the red clouds of 
war were booming up everywhere, but at this particular epoch. 
I refer you to the history of that period. 

A private soldier is but an automaton, a machine that works 
by the command of a good, bad, or indifferent engineer, and is 
presumed to know nothing of all these great events. His busi- 
ness is to load and shoot, stand picket, videt, etc., while the offi- 
cers sleep, or perhaps die on the field of battle and glory, and his 
obituary and epitaph but "one" remembered among the slain, 
but to what company, regiment, brigade or corps he belongs, 
there is no account ; he is soon forgotten. 

A long line of box cars was drawn up at Camp Cheatham 
one morning in July, the bugle sounded to strike tents and to 
place everything on board the cars. We old comrades have got- 
ten together and laughed a hundred times at the plunder and 
property that we had accumulated, compared with our subse- 
quent scanty wardrobe. Every soldier had enough blankets, 
shirts, pants and old boots to last a year, and the empty bottles 
and jugs would have Bel up a first-class drug Btore. In addition, 
every one of as had his gun, cartridge-box, knapsack and three 
day-' rations, a pistol on each side and a long Howie knife, thai 


had been presented to us by William Wood, of Columbia, Tenn. 
We got in and on top of the box cars, the whistle sounded, and 
amid the waving of hats, handkerchiefs and flags, we bid a long 
farewell and forever to old Camp Cheatham. 

Arriving at Nashville, the citizens turned out en masse to 
receive us, and here again we were reminded of the good old 
times and the "gal we left behind us." Ah, it is worth soldier- 
ing to receive such welcomes as this. 

The Rev. Mr. Elliott invited us to his college grove, where 
had been prepared enough of the good things of earth to gratify 
the tastes of the most fastidious epicure. And what was most 
novel, we were waited on by the most beautiful young ladies 
(pupils of his school). It was charming, I tell you. Rev. C. 
D. Elliott was our Brigade Chaplain all through the war, and 
Dr. C. T. Quintard the Chaplain of the First Tennessee Regi- 
ment — two of the best men who ever lived. (Quintard is the 
present Bishop of Tennessee). 


Leaving Nashville, we went bowling along twenty or thirty 
miles an hour, as fast as steam could carry us. At every town 
and station citizens and ladies were waving their handkerchiefs 
and hurrahing for Jeff Davis and the Southern Confederacy. 
Magnificent banquets were prepared for us all along the entire 
route. It was one magnificent festival from one end of the line 
to the other. At Chattanooga, Knoxville, Bristol, Farmville, 
Lynchburg, everywhere, the same demonstrations of joy and 
welcome greeted us. Ah, those were glorious times ; and you, 
reader, see why the old soldier loves to live over again that happy 

But the Yankees are advancing on Manassas. July 21st 
finds us a hundred miles from that fierce day's battle. That 
night, after the battle is fought and won, our train draws up at 
Manassas Junction. 

Well, what news ? Every one was wild, nay, frenzied with 
the excitement of victory, and we felt very much like the "boy 
the calf had run over." We felt that the war was over, and we 
would have to return home without even seeing a Yankee soldier. 


Ah, how we envied those that were wounded. We thought at 
that time that we would have given a thousand dollars to have 
been in the battle, and to have had our arm shot off, so we could 
have returned home with an empty sleeve. But the battle was 
over, and we left out. 


From Manassas our train moved on to Staunton, Virginia 
I [ere we again went into camp, overhauled kettles, pots, buckets, 
jugs and tents, and found everything so tangled up and mixed 
that we could not tell tuther from which. 

We stretched our tents, and the soldiers once again felt that 
restraint and discipline which we had almost forgotten en route 
to this place. But, as the war was over now, our captains, 
colonels and generals were not "hard on the boys;" in fact, had 
begun to electioneer a little for the Legislature and for Congress. 
In fact, some wanted, and w r ere looking forward to the time, to 
run for Governor of Tennessee. 

Staunton was a big place; whisky was cheap, and good 
Virginia tobacco was plentiful, and the currency of the country 
was gold and silver. 

The Stiite Asylums for the blind and insane were here, and 
we visited all the places of .interest. 

Here is where we first saw the game called "chuck-a-luck,"' 
afterwards so popular in the army. But, I always noticed that 
chuck won. and luck always lost. 

Faro and roulette were in full blast ; in fact, the skuni hail 
begun to come to the surface, and shoddy was the gentleman. 
By this, I mean that civil law had been suspended; the ermine 
of the judges had been overridden by the sword and bayonet. 
!>: other words, the military had absorbed the civil. Hence the 

gambler was in his glory. 


One day while we were idling around camp, June Tucker 
sounded the assembly, ami we were ordered aboard the cars. We 
pulled out for Millboro; from there we had to foot it to Bath 

Alum and Warm Springs. We went over the Allegheny Moun- 
ts ins. 


I was on every march that was ever made by the First Ten- 
nessee Regiment during the whole war, and at this time I cannot 
remember of ever experiencing a harder or more fatiguing 
i! Kirch. It seemed that mountain was piled upon mountain. 
Xo sooner would we arrive at a place that seemed to be the top 
than another view of a higher, and yet higher mountain would 
rise before us. From the foot to the top of the mountain the 
soldiers lined the road, broken down and exhausted. First one 
blanket was thrown away, and then another; now and then a 
good pair of pants, old boots and shoes, Sunday hats, pistols and 
Bowie knives strewed the road. Old bottles and jugs and vari- 
ous and sundry articles were lying pell-mell everywhere. Up 
and up, and onward and upward w T e pulled and toiled, until we 
reached the very top, when there burst upon our view one of the 
grandest and most beautiful landscapes we ever beheld. 

Nestled in the valley right before us is Bath Alum and 
Warm Springs. It seemed to me at that time, and since, a 
glimpse of a better and brighter world beyond, to the weary 
Christian pilgrim who may have been toiling on his journey for 
years. A glad shout arose from those who had gained the top, 
which cheered and encouraged the others to persevere. At last 
we got to Warm Springs. Here they had a nice warm dinner 
waiting for us. They had a large bath-house at Warm Spring*. 
A large pool of water arranged so that a person could go in any 
depth he might desire. It was a free thing, and we pitched in. 
We had no idea of the enervating effect it would have upon our 
physical systems, and as the water was but little past tepid, we 
stayed in a good long time. But when we came out we were as 
limp as dishrags. About this time the assembly sounded and 
we were ordered to march. But we couldn't march worth a 
cent. There we had to stay until our systems had had sufficient 
recuperation. And we would wonder what all this marching 
was for, as the war was over anyhow. 

The second day after leaving Warm Springs we came to 
Big Springs. It was in the month of August, and the biggest 
Avhite frost fell that I ever saw in winter. 

The Yankees were reported to be in close proximity to us, 


and Captain Field with a detail of ten men was sent forward on 
the scout. I was on the detail, and when we left camp that 
evening, it was dark and dreary and drizzling rain. After a 
while the rain began to come down harder and harder, and every 
one of us was wet and drenched to the skin — guns, cartridges 
and powder. The next morning about daylight, while standing 
videt, I saw a body of twenty-five or thirty Yankees approach- 
ing, and I raised my gun for the purpose of shooting, and pulled 
down, but the cap popped. They discovered me and popped 
three or four caps at me ; their powder was wet also. Before I 
could get on a fresh cap, Captain Field came running up with 
his seven-shooting rifle, and the first fire he killed a Yankee. 
They broke and run. Captain Field did all the firing, but every 
time he pulled down he brought a Yankee. I have forgotten the 
number that he did kill, but if I am not mistaken it was either 
twenty or twenty-one, for I remember the incident was in almost 
every Southern paper at that time, and the general comments 
were that one Southern man was equal to twenty Yankees. 
While we were in hot pursuit, one truly brave and magnanimous 
Yankee, who had been badly wounded, said, "Gentlemen, you 
have killed me, but not a hundred yards from here is the main 
line." We did not go any further, but halted right there, and 
after getting all the information that we could ouf of the 
wounded Yankee, we returned to camp. 

One evening, General Robert E. Lee came to our camp. 
Hi- was a fine-looking gentleman, and wore a moustache. He 
was dressed in blue cottonade and looked like some good boy's 
grandpa. I felt like going up to him and saying good evening. 
Uncle Bob! I am not certain at this late day that I did not do 
so. I remember going up mighty close and sitting there and 
Listening to his conversation with the officers of our regiment. 
1 1<- had a calm and collected air about him, 1 1 is voice was kind 
and tender, and hi- eye was as gentle as a dove's. His whole 
make-up of form and person, looks and manner had a kind of 
gentle and soothing magnetism about it that drew every <>nc to 
hi in and made them love, respect, and honor him. I fell in love 
with the old gentleman and felt like going home with him. I 


know I have never seen a finer looking man, nor one with more 
kind and gentle features and manners. His horse was standing 
nipping the grass, and when I saw that he was getting ready to 
start I ran and caught his horse and led him irp to him. He 
took the reins of the bridle in his hand and said, 'thank you, my 
son," rode off, and my heart went with him. There was none 
of his staff with him; he had on no sword or pistol, or anything 
to show his rank. The only thing that I remember he had was 
an opera-glass hung over his shoulder by a strap. 

Leaving Big Springs, we marched on day by 'day, across 
Greenbrier and Gauley rivers to Huntersville, a little but 
sprightly town hid in the very fastnesses of the mountains. 
The people live exceedingly well in these mountains. They 
had plenty of honey and buckwheat cakes, and they called butter- 
milk "sour-milk," and sour-milk weren't fit for pigs; they 
couldn't, see how folks drank sour-milk. But sour-kraut was 
good. Everything seemed to grow in the mountains — potatoes, 
Irish and sweet ; onions, snap beans, peas — though the country 
was very thinly populated. Deer, bear, and foxes, as well as 
wild turkeys, and rabbits* and squirrels abounded everywhere. 
Apples and peaches w r ere abundant, and everywhere the people 
had apple-butter for every meal ; and occasionally we would 
come across a small-sized distillery, which we would at once 
start to doing duty. We drank the singlings while they were 
hot, but like the old woman who could not eat corn bread until 
she heard that they made whisky out of corn, then she could 
manage to "worry a little of it down ;" so it was with us and the 

From this time forward, we were ever on the march — 
tra"mp, tramp, tramp — always on the march. Lee's corps, 
Stonewall Jackson's division — I refer you to the histories for 
the marches and tramps made by these commanders the first 
year of the war. Well, we followed them. 


One evening about 4 o'clock, the drummers of the regiment 
began to beat their drums as hard as they could stave, and I saw 
men running in every direction, and the camp soon became one 


scene of hurry and excitement. I asked some one what all this 
hubbub meant. He looked at me with utter astonishment. I 
saw soldiers running to their tents and grabbing their guns and 
cartridge-boxes and hurry out again, the drums still rolling- and 
rattling. I asked several other fellows what in the dickens did 
all this mean? Finally one fellow, who seemed scared almost 
out of his wits, answered between a wail and a shriek, "Why, 
sir, they are beating the long roll." Says I, ''What is the long 
roll for?" "The long roll, man, the long roll ! Get your gun ; 
they are beating the long roll!" This was all the information 
that I could get. It was the first, last, and only long roll that I 
ever heard. But, then everything was new, and Colonel Maney, 
ever prompt, ordered the assembly. Without any command or 
bugle sound, or anything, every soldier was in his place. Tents, 
knapsacks and everything was left indiscriminately. 

We were soon on the march, and we marched on and on 
and on. About night it began to rain. All our blankets were 
back in camp, but we were expected every minute to be ordered 
into action. That night Ave came to Mingo Flats. The rain 
still poured. We had no rations to t*at and nowhere to sleep. 
Some of us got some fence rails and piled them together and 
worried through the night as best we could. The next morning 
we were ordered to march again, but we soon began to get hun- 
gry, and we had about half halted and about not halted at all. 
Some of the boys were picking blackberries. The main body 
of the regiment was marching leisurely along the road, when 
bang, debang, debang, bang, and a volley of buck and ball came 
hurling right through the two advance companies of the regi- 
ment — companies II and K. We had marched into a Yankee 

All at once everything was a scene <>t' consternation and 
confusion : no one Beemed equal to the emergency. We did not 
know whether to run or stand, when Captain Field gave the 

command to fire and charge the hushes. We charged the 
bushes and Baw the Yankees running through them, and we 
fired on them ae they retreated. I do not know how many Van 

were killed, if any. Our company (II) had one man 


killed, Pat Hanley, an Irishman, who had joined our company 
;it I Jhattanooga. Hugh Padgett and Dr. Hooper, and perhaps 
one or two others, were wounded. 

After the fighting was over, where, O where, was all the 
fine rigging heretofore on our officers ? They could not be seen. 
Corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, all had torn all the 
fine lace off their clothing. I noticed that at the time and was 
surprised and hurt. I asked several of them why they had torn 
off the insignia of their rank, and they always answered, 
"Humph, you think that I was going to be a target for the Yan- 
kees to shoot at ?" You see, this was our first battle, and the 
officers had not found out that minnie as well as cannon balls 
were blind ; that they had no eyes and could not see. They 
thought that the balls would hunt for them and not hurt the 
privates. I always shot at privates. It was they that did the 
shooting and killing, and if I could kill or wound a private, why, 
my chances were so much the better. I always looked upon 
officers as harmless personages. Colonel Field, I suppose, was 
about the only Colonel of the war that did as much shooting as 
the private soldier. If I shot at an officer, it was at long range, 
but when we got down to close quarters I always tried to kill 
those that were trying to kill me. 


From Cheat Mountain we went by forced marches day and 
night, over hill and everlasting mountains, and through lovely 
and smiling valleys, sometimes the country rich and productive, 
sometimes rough and broken, through towns and villages, the 
names of which I have forgotten, crossing streams and rivers, 
but continuing our never ceasing, unending march, passing 
through the Kanawha Valley and by the salt-works, and nearly 
back to the Ohio river, when we at last reached Sewell Moun- 
tain. Here we found General John B. Floyd strongly en- 
trenched and fortified and facing the advance of the Federal 
army. Two days before our arrival he had charged and cap- 
tured one line of the enemy's works. I know nothing of the 
battle. See the histories for that. I only write from memory, 
and that was twenty years ago, but I remember reading in the 


newspapers at that time of some distinguished man, whether he 
was captain, colonel or general, I have forgotten, but I know 
the papers said "he sought the bauble, reputation, at the cannon's 
mouth, and went to glory from the death-bed of fame." I 
remember it sounded gloriously in print. Xow, reader, this is 
all I know of this grand battle. I only recollect what the news- 
papers said about, it, and you know that a newspaper always 
tells the truth. I also know that beef livers sold for one dollar 
apiece in gold ; and here is where we were first paid off in Con- 
federate money. Remaining here a few days, we commenced 
our march again. 

Sewell Mountain, Harrisonburg, Lewisburg, Kanawha 
Salt-works, first four, forward and back, seemed to be the "pro- 
gramme of that day. Rosecrans, that wiley old fox, kept Lee 
and Jackson both busy trying to catch him, but Rosey would not 
be caught. March, march, march; tramp, tramp, tramp, back 
through the valley to Huntersville and Warm Springs, and up 
through the most beautiful valley — the Shenandoah — in the 
world, passing towns and elegant farms and beautiful residences, 
rich pastures and abundant harvests, which a Federal General 
(Fighting Joe Hooker), later in the war, ordered to be so sacked 
and destroyed that a "crow passing over this valley would have 
to carry his rations." Passing on, we arrived at Winchester. 
The first night we arrived at this place, the wind blew a perfecl 
hurricane, and every tent and marquee in Lee's and Jackson's 
army was blown down. This is the first sight we had of Stone- 
wall Jackson, riding upon his old sorrel horse, his feet drawn up 
as if his stirrups were much too short for him, and his old dingy 
military cap hanging well forward over his head, and his nose 
erected in the air, his old rusty sabre rattling by his side. This 
i- the way the grand old hero of a hundred battles looked. His 

Bpiril i- yonder with the blessed ones that have gone before, hut 
his history is one that the country will ever he proud of, and his 
memory will be cherished and Loved l>\ the old Boldiers who fol- 
lowed him through the war. 


Our march to and from Romney was in midwinter, in the 


month of January, 1862. It was the coldest winter known to 
the oldest inhabitant of these regions. Situated in the most 
mountainous country in Virginia, and away up near the Mary- 
land and Pennsylvania line, the storm king seemed to rule in all 
of his majesty and power. Snow and rain and sleet and tempest 
seemed to ride and laugh and shriek and howl and moan and 
groan in all their fury and wrath. The soldiers on this march 
got very much discouraged and disheartened. As they marched 
along icicles hung from their clothing, guns, and knapsacks ; 
many were badly frost bitten, and I heard of many freezing to 
death along the road side. My feet peeled off like a peeled 
onion on that march, and I have not recovered from its effects to 
this day. The snow and ice on the ground being packed by the 
soldiers tramping, the horses hitched to the artillery wagons 
were continually slipping and sliding and falling and wounding 
themselves and sometimes killing their riders. The wind 
whistling with a keen and piercing shriek, seemed as if they 
would freeze the marrow in our bones. The soldiers in the 
whole army got rebellious — almost mutinous — and would curse 
and abuse Stonewall Jackson ; in fact, they called him "Fool 
Tom Jackson." They blamed him for the cold weather; they 
blamed him for everything, and when he would ride by a regi- 
ment they would take occasion, sotto voce, to abuse him, and call 
him "Fool Tom Jackson," and loud enough for him to hear. 
Soldiers from all commands would fall out of ranks and stop by 
the road side and swear that they would not follow such a leader 
any longer. 

When Jackson got to Romney, and was ready to strike 
Banks and Meade in a vital point, and which would have 
changed, perhaps, the destiny of the war and the South, his 
troops refused to march any further, and he turned, marched 
back to Winchester and tendered his resignation to the authori- 
ties at Richmond. But the great leader's resignation was not 
accepted. It was in store for him to do some of the hardest 
fighting and greatest generalship that was done during the war.. 

One night at this place (Romney), I was sent forward with 
two other soldiers across the wire bridge as picket. One of 



them was named Schwartz and the other Pfifer — he called it 
Fifer, but spelled it with a P — both full-blooded Dutchmen, and 
belonging to Company E, or the German Yagers, Captain Harsh, 
or, as he was more generally called, "God-for-dam." 

When we had crossed the bridge and taken our station for 
the night, I saw another snow storm was coming. The zig-zag- 
lightnings began to flare and flash, and sheet after sheet of wild 
flames seemed to burst right over our heads and were hissing 
around us. The very elements seemed to be one aurora borealis 
with continued lightning. Streak after streak of lightning 
seemed to be piercing each the other, the one from the north and 
the other from the south. The white clouds would roll up, 
looking like huge snow balls, encircled with living fires. The 
earth and hills and trees were covered with snow, and the light- 
nings seemed to be playing "King, King Canico" along its crust- 
ed surface. If it thundered at all, it seemed to be between a 
groaning and a rumbling sound. The trees and hills seemed 
white with livid fire. I can remember that storm now as the 
grandest picture that has ever made any impression on my 
memory. As soon as it quit lightning, the most blinding snow 
storm, fell that I ever saw. It fell so thick and fast that I got 
hot. I felt like pulling off my coat. I was freezing. The 
winds sounded like sweet music. I felt grand, glorious, pecul- 
iar; beautiful things began to play and dance around my head, 
and T supposed I must have dropped to sleep or something, when 
I fell Schwartz grab me, and give me a shake, and at the same 
time raised his gun and fired, and yelled out at the top of In- 
voice, "Here is your mule." The next instant a volley of min- 
nie balls was scattering the snow all around us. 1 tried to walk, 
but my pants and boots were stiff and frozen, and the blood had 
ceased to circulate in my lower limbs. But Schwartz kepi on 
firing, and at every fire he would yell out, "Yer is ver mooll" 
Pfifer could not speak English, and I reckon he said "Here is 

your mule" in Dutch. About the s; time we were liailed 

from tline Confederate officers, af full gallop right toward us, 
not to shoot. And as they galloped up to ns and thundered right 

across the bridge, we discovered if was Stonewall Jackson and 


two of his staff. At the same time the Yankee cavalry charged 
us, and "\ve, too, ran back across the bridge. 


Leaving Winchester, we continued up the valley. 

The night before the attack on Bath or Berkly Springs, 
there fell the largest snow I ever saw. 

Stonewall Jackson had seventeen thousand soldiers at his 
command. The Yankees were fortified at Bath.. An attack 
was ordered, our regiment marched upon top of a mountain 
overlooking the movements of both armies in the valley below. 
About 4 o'clock one grand charge and rush was made, and the 
Yankees were routed and skedaddled. 

By some circumstance or other, Lieutenant J. Lee Bullock 
came in command of the First Tennessee Regiment. But Lee 
was not a graduate of West Point, you see. 

The Federals had left some spiked batteries on the hill side, 
as we were informed by an old citizen, and Lee, anxious to cap- 
ture a battery, gave the new and peculiar command of, "Soldiers, 
you are ordered to go forward and capture a battery ; just piroute 
up that hill; piroute, march. Forward, men; piroute care- 
fully." 1 The boys "pirouted" as best they could. It may have 
been a new command, and not laid down in Hardee's or Scott's 
tactics ; but Lee was speaking plain English, and we understood 
his meaning perfectly, and even at this late day I have no doubt 
that every soldier who heard the command thought it a legal and 
technical term used by military graduates to go forward and 
capture a battery. 

At this place (Bath), a beautiful young lady ran across the 
street. I have seen many beautiful and pretty women in my 
life, but she was the prettiest one I ever saw. Were you to ask 
any member of the First Tennessee Regiment who was the pret- 
tiest woman he ever saw, he would unhesitatingly answer that 
he saw her at Berkly Springs during the war, and he would 
continue the tale, and tell you of Lee Bullock's piroute and 
Stonewall Jackson's charge. 

We rushed down to the big spring bursting out of the moun- 
tain side, and it was hot enough to cook an egg. Never did I 



see soldiers more surprised. The water was so hot we could not 
drink it. 

The snow covered the ground and was still falling-. 

That night I stood picket on the Potomac with a derail of 
the Third Arkansas Regiment. I remember how sorry I felt 
for the poor fellows, because they had enlisted for the war, and 
we for only twelve months. Before nightfall I took in every 
object and commenced my weary vigils. I had to stand all 
night. I could hear the rumblings of the Federal artillery and 
wagons, and hear the low shuffling sound made by troops on the 
march. The snow came pelting down as large as goose eggs. 
About midnight the snow ceased to fall, ami became quiet. Now 
and then the snow would fall off the bushes and make a terrible 
noise. While I was peering through the darkness, my eyes 
suddenly fell upon the outlines of a man. The more I looked 
the more I was convinced that it was a Yankee picket. I could 
see his hat and coat — yes, see his gun. I was sure that it was a 
Yankee picket. What was I to do? The relief was several 
hundred yards in the rear. The more I looked the more sure I 
was. At last a cold sweat broke out all over my body. Turkey 
bumps rose. I summoned all the nerves and bravery that I 
could command; and said: "Halt! who goes there?" There 
being no response, I became resolute. T did not wish to fire and 
arouse the camp, but I marched right up to it and stuck my 
bayonet through and through it. It was a stump. I tell the 
above, because it illustrates a part of many a private's recollec 
tiona of the war; in fact, a part of the hardships and suffering 
thai they go through. 

One secret of Stonewall Jackson's success was thai lie was 
such ;i stricl disciplinarian, lie <li<l his duty himself and was 
ever at his post, and he expected and demanded of everybody to 
do the same thing, lie would bave n man sh..t at the drop of a 

hat, and drop it himself. The first army order that was ever 

read to n- after being attached to his corps, was the shooting to 
death by musketry of two men who ha. I atopped on the battlefield 

to carry off a wounded comrade. It was read to us in line of 

battle at Winchester. 



At Valley Mountain the finest and fattest beef I ever saw was 
issued to the soldiers, and it was the custom to use tallow for 
lard. Tallow made good shortening if the biscuits were eaten 
hot, but if allowed to get cold they had a strong taste of tallow 
in their flavor that did not taste like the flavor of vanilla or 
lemon in ice cream and strawberries ; and biscuits fried in tal- 
low were something upon the principle of 'possum and sweet 
potatoes. Well, P lifer had got the fat from the kidneys of two 
hind-quarters and made a cake of tallow weighing about twenty- 
five pounds. He wrapped it up and put it carefully away in 
his knapsack. When the assembly sounded for the march, 
Pfifer strapped on his knapsack. It was pretty heavy, but 
Pfifer was "well heeled." He knew the good frying he would 
get out of that twenty-five pounds of nice fat tallow, and he was 
willing to tug and toil all day over a muddy and sloppy road for 
his anticipated hot tallow gravy for supper. We made a long 
and hard march that day, and about dark went into camp. 
Fires were made up and water brought, and the soldiers began 
to get supper. Pfifer was in a good humor. He went to get 
that twenty-five pounds of good, nice, fat tallow out of his knap- 
sack, and on opening it, lo and behold ! it was a rock that 
weighed about thirty pounds. Pfifer was struck dumb with 
amazement. He looked bewildered, yea, even silly. I do not 
think he cursed, because he could not do the subject justice. He 
looked at that rock with the death stare of a doomed man. But 
he suspected Schwartz. He went to Schwartz's knapsack, and 
there he found his cake of tallow. He went to Schwartz and 
would have killed him had not soldiers interfered and pulled 
him off by main force. His eyes blazed and looked like those 
of a tiger when he has just torn his victim limb from limb. I 
would not have been in Schwartz's shoes for all the tallow in 
every beef in Virginia. Captain Harsh made Schwartz carry 
that rock for two days to pacify Pfifer. 


One incident came under my observation while in Virginia 


that made a deep impression on my mind. One morning, about 
daybreak, the new guard was relieving the old guard. It was a 
bitter cold morning, and on coming to our extreme outpost, I saw 
a soldier — lie was but a mere boy — either dead or asleep at his 
post. The sergeant commanding the relief went up to him. and 
shook him. He immediately woke up and seemed very much 
frightened. He was fast asleep at his post. The sergeant had 
him arrested and carried to the guard-house. 

Two days afterwards I received notice to appear before a 
eourT-martial at nine. I was summoned to appear as a witness 
against him for being asleep at his post in the enemy's country. 
An example had to be made of some one. He had to be tried for 
his life. The court-martial was made up of seven or eight offi- 
cers of a different, regiment. The witnesses all testified against 
him. charges and specifications were read, and by the rules of 
war he had to be shot to death by musketry. The Advocate- 
< reneral for the prosecution made the opening speech. He read 
the law in a plain, straightforward manner, and said that for a 
soldier to go to sleep at his post of duty, while so much depended 
upon him, was the most culpable of all crimes, and the moel 
inexcusable. 1 trembled in my boots, for on several occasions 
1 knew I had taken a short nap, even on the very outpost. The 
Advocate-General went on further to say, that the picket was the 
sentinel that held the lives of hi* countrymen and the liberty of 
his country in his hands, and it mattered not what may have 
been his record in the past. At one moment he had forfeited 
hifi life to his country. For discipline's sake, if for nothing 
else, you gentlemen that make up this court-martial find the 
prisoner guilty. It is necessary for you to be linn, gentlemen, 
for upon your decision depends the safety of our country. \\ hen 
lie had finished, thinks I to myself, "Gone up the spout, Bure; 
we will have a first-class funeral here before night." 

Well, ;i- to th«- lawyer who defended liim, 1 cannot now 
remember his speeches; but. he represented ;i fair-haired boy 

leaving his home and family, telling his father and aged mother 

and darling little sister farewell, and spoke of his proud step. 

though ;i mere boy, going to defend his country and his loved 


ones; but at one weak moment, when nature, tasked and taxed 
beyond the bounds of human endurance, could stand no longer, 
and upon the still and silent picket post, when the whole army 
was hushed in slumber, what wonder is it that he, too, may have 
fallen asleep while at his post of duty. 

Some of you gentlemen of this court-martial may have sons. 
may have brothers; yes, even fathers, in the army. Where are 
they to-night? You love your children, or your brother or 
father. This mere youth has a father and mother and sister 
away back in Tennessee. They are willing to give him to his 
country. But oh ! gentlemen, let the word go back to Tennessee 
that he died upon the battlefield, and not by the hands of his own 
comrades for being asleep at his post of duty. I cannot now 
remember the speeches, but one thing I do know, that he was 
acquitted, and I was glad of it. 

"the death watch." 

One more scene I can remember. Kind friends — you that 
know nothing of a soldier's life — I ask you in all candor not to 
doubt the following lines in this sketch. You have no doubt 
read of the old Roman soldier found amid the ruins of Pompeii, 
who had stood there for sixteen Hundred years, and when he was 
excavated was found at his post with his gun clasped in his skele- 
ton hands. You believe this because it is written in history, f 
have heard politicians tell it. I have heard it told from the 
sacred desk. It is true; no one doubts it. 

Xow, were I to tell something that happened in this nine- 
teenth century exactly similar, you would hardly believe it. 
But whether you believe it or not, it is for you to say. At a. little 
village called Hampshire Crossing, our regiment was ordered to 
go to a little stream called St. John's Run, to relieve the 14th 
Georgia Regiment and the 3rd Arkansas. I cannot tell the 
facts as I desire to. In fact, my hand trembles so, and my feel- 
ings are so overcome, that it is hard for me to write at all. But 
we went to the place that we were ordered to go to, and when we 
arrived there we found the guard sure enough. If I remember 
correctly, there were just eleven of them. Some were sitting 
down and some were lying down ; but each and every one was as 


cold and as hard frozen as the icicles that hung from their hands 
and faces and clothing — dead! They had died at their post of 
duty. Two of them, a little in advance of the others, were 
standing with their guns in their hands, as cold and as hard 
frozen as a monument of marble — standing sentinel with loaded 
guns in their frozen hands! The tale is told. Were they true 
men ? Does He who noteth the sparrow's fall, and numbers the 
hairs of our heads, have any interest in one like ourselves;! 
Yes; He doeth all things well. Not a sparrow falls to the 
ground without His consent. 


After having served through all the valley campaign, and 
marched through all the wonders of Northwest Virginia, and 
being associated Avith the army of Virginia, it was with sorrow 
and regret that we bade farewell to "Old Virginia's shore," to 
go to other fields of blood and carnage and death. We had 
learned to love Virginia ; we love her now. The people were 
kind and good to us. They divided their last crust of bread and 
rasher of bacon with us. We loved Lee, we loved Jackson; we 
loved the name, association and people of Virginia. Hatton. 
Forbes, Anderson, Gilliam, Govan, Loring, Ashby and Schu- 
maker were names with which we had been long associated. We 
hated to leave all our old comrades behind us. We felt that we 
were proving recreant to the instincts of our own manhood, and 
that we wore leaving those who had stood by us on the march 
and battlefield when they most needed our help. We knew the 
7th and 14th Tennessee regiments; we knew the 3rd Arkansas, 
the 14th Georgia, and 42nd Virginia regiments. Their names 
were as familiar as household words. We were about to leave 
the hones of doe Bynum and Gus Allen and Patrick Manly. 
We were about to bid farewell to every lender association that 
we had formed with the good people of Virginia, and to our old 
associates among the Boldiers of the Grand Army of Virginia, 
Virginia, farewell! Away hack yonder, in good old Tennessee, 

our home- and loved ones are being robbed and insulted, OUT 

fields laid waste, our cities sacked, and our people slain. Duty 
a~ well as patriotism calls as back to our native home, to try and 


defend it, as best we can, against an invading army of our then 
enemies ; and, Virginia, once more we bid you a long farewell ! 



This was the first big battle in which our regiment had ever 
been engaged. I do not pretend to tell of what command dis- 
tinguished itself; of heroes; of blood and wounds; of shrieks 
and groans; of brilliant charges; of cannon captured, etc. I 
was but a private soldier, and if I happened to look to see if I 
could find out anything, "Eyes right, guide center," was the 
order. "Close up, guide right, halt, forward, right oblique, left 
oblique, halt, forward, guide center, eyes right, dress up prompt- 
ly in the rear, steady, double quick, charge bayonets, fire at 
will," is about all that a private soldier ever knows of a battle. 
He can see the smoke rise and the flash of the enemy's guns, and 
he can hear the whistle of the minnie and cannon balls, but he 
has got to load and shoot, as hard as he can tear and ram car- 
tridge, or he will soon find out, like the Irishman who had been 
shooting blank cartridges, when a ball happened to strike him, 
and he halloed out, "Faith, Pat, and be jabbers, them fellows are 
shooting bullets." But I nevertheless remember many things 
that came under my observation in this battle. I remember a 
man by the name of Smith stepping deliberately out of the 
ranks and shooting his finger off to keep out of the fight ; of 
another poor fellow who was accidentally shot and killed by the 
discharge of another person's gun, and of others suddenly taken 
sick with colic. Our regiment was the advance guard on Sat- 


urday evening, and did a little skirmishing; but General Glad- 
den's brigade passed us and assumed a position in our immediate 
front. About daylight on Sunday morning^ Chalmers' brigade 
relieved Gladden's. As Gladden rode by us, a courier rode up 
and told him something. I do not know what it was, bul I 
heard Gladden say, ''Tell General Bragg that I have as keen a 
scent for Yankees as General Chalmers has." 

On Sunday morning, a clear, beautiful, and still day. the 
order was given for the whole army to advance, and to attack 
immediately. We were supporting an Alabama brigade. The 
tire opened — bang, bang, bang, a rattle de bang, bang, bang, a 
boom, de bang, bang, bang, boom, bang, boom, bang, boom, bang, 
boom, bang, boom, whirr-siz-siz-siz — a ripping, roaring boom. 
bang! The air was full of balls and deadly missiles. The 
litter corps was carrying off the dying and wounded. We could 
hear the shout of the charge and the incessant roar of the guns, 
the rattle of the musketry, and knew that the contending forces 
were engaged in a breast to breast struggle. But cheering news 
continued to come back. Every one who passed would be 
hailed with, "Well, what news from the front?" "Well, boys, 
we are driving 'em. We have captured all their encampments, 
everything that they had, and all their provisions and army 
stores, and everything." 

As we were advancing to the attack and to support the 
Alabama brigade in our front, and which had given way and 
were stricken with fear, some of the boys of our regiment would 
laugh al them, and :isk what they were running for, and would 
commence to say "Flicker! flicker! flicker!" like the bird called 
the yellow-hammer, ''Flicker! flicker! dicker!" A- we advanced, 
on the edge of the battlefield, we s;iw a big f;it colonel of the 

23rd Tennessee regiment badly wounded, whose name, if 1 re- 
member correctly, was .\lati. Martin. He said to us, "Give 'em 
boys. That'.- right, my brave Firsl Tennessee. Give 'em 
Hail Columbia!" We halted but ;i moment, and said I, 

"Colonel, where are you wounded?" He answered in a deep 

base voice, "My sou, I am wounded in the arm, in the leg, m thi 
head, in the body, and in another place which I have a delicacy 


in mentioning." That is what the gallant old Colonel said. 
Advancing a little further on, we saw General Albert Sidney 
Johnson surrounded by his staff and Governor Harris, of Ten- 
nessee. We saw some little commotion among those who sur- 
rounded him, but we did not know at the time that he was 
dead. The fact Avas kept from the troops. 

About noon a courier dashed up and ordered us to go for- 
ward and support General Bragg's center. We had to pass over 
the ground where troops had been fighting all day. 

I had heard and read of battlefields, seen pictures of battle- 
fields, of horses and men, of cannon and wagons, all jumbled 
together, while the ground was strewn with dead and dying and 
wounded, but I must confess that I never realized the "pomp and 
circumstance" of the thing called glorious war until I saw this 
Men were lying in every conceivable position; the dead lying 
with their eyes wide open, the wounded begging piteously for 
help, and some waving their hats and shouting to us to go for- 
ward. It all seemed to me a dream ; I seemed to be in a sort of 
haze, when siz, siz, siz, the minnie balls from the Yankee line 
began to whistle around our ears, and I thought of the Irishman 
when he said, "Sure enough, those fellows are shooting bullets !" 

Down would drop first one fellow and then another, either 
killed or wounded, when we were ordered to charge bayonets. 
I had been feeling mean all the morning as if I had stolen a 
sheep, but when the order to charge was given, I got happy. I 
felt happier than a fellow does when he professes religion at a 
big Methodist camp-meeting. I shouted. It was fun then. 
Everybody looked happy. We were crowding them. One more 
charge, then their lines waver and break. They retreat in wild 
confusion. We were jubilant ; we were triumphant. Officers 
could not curb the men to keep in line. Discharge after dis- 
charge was poured into the retreating line. The Federal dead 
and wounded covered the ground. 

When in the very midst of our victory, here comes an order 
to halt. What ! halt after to-day's victory % Sidney Johnson 
killed, General Gladden killed, and a host of generals and other 
brave men killed, and the whole Yankee army in full retreat. 



These four letters, h-a-l-t, O, how harsh they did break upon 
our ears. The victory was complete, but the word "halt" turned 
victory into defeat. 

The soldiers had passed through the Yankee camps and 
saw all the good things that they had to eat in their sutlers' 
stores and officers' marquees, and it was but a short time before 
every soldier was rummaging to see what he could find. 

The harvest was great and the laborers were not few. 

The negro boys, who were with their young masters as 
servants, got rich. Greenbacks were plentiful, good clothes 
were plentiful, rations were not in demand. The boys were in 

This was Sunday. 

On Monday the tide was reversed. 

Xow, those Yankees were whipped, fairly whipped, and 
according to all the rules of war they ought to have retreated. 
But they didn't. Flushed with their victories at Fort Henry 
and Fort Donelson and the capture of Nashville, and the whole 
State of Tennessee having fallen into their hands, victory was 
again to perch upon their banners, for Buell's army, by forced 
marches, had come to Grant's assistance at the eleventh hour. 

Gunboats and transports were busily crossing Buell's army 
all of Sunday night. We could hear their boats ringing their 
bells, and hear the puff of smoke and steam from their boilers. 
Our regiment was the advance outpost, and we saw the skirmish 
line of the Federals advancing and then their main line and 
then their artillery. We made a good fight on Monday morning, 
and I was taken by surprise when the order came for us to 
retreat instead of advance. But as I said before, reader, 8 
private soldier is but an automaton, and knows nothing of what 
ie going on among the generals, and I am only giving the chron 
!<•]<■- of little things ;m<l events that came under my own observa- 
tion as I saw them then and remember them now. Should you 
desire to find oul more about the battle, I refer you to history. 

One incident I recollect very well. A Yankee colonel, 
riding a line gray mare, was silling on his horse looking at. our 
advance as if we were on review. W. II. rushed forward and 


grabbed his horse by the bridle, telling him at the same time to 
surrender. The Yankee seized the reins, set himself back in 
the saddle, put the muzzle of his pistol in W. H.'s face and fired. 
About the time he pulled trigger, a stray ball from some direc- 
tion struck him in the side and he fell off dead, and his horse 
becoming frightened, galloped off, dragging him through the 
Confederate lines. His pistol had missed its aim. 

I have heard hundreds of old soldiers tell of the amount of 
greenback money they saw and picked up on the battlefield of 
Shiloh, but they thought it valueless and did not trouble them- 
selves with bringing it off with them. 

One fellow, a courier, who had had his horse killed, got on 
a mule he had captured, and in the last charge, before the final 
and fatal halt was made, just charged right ahead by his lone 
self, and the soldiers said, "Just look at that brave man, charg- 
ing right in the jaws of death." He began to seesaw the mule 
and grit his teeth, and finally yelled out, "It arn't me, boys, it's 
this blarsted old mule. Whoa ! Whoa !" 

On Monday morning I too captured me a mule. He was 
not a fast mule, and I soon found out that he thought he knew 
as much as I did. He was wise in his own conceit. He had a 
propensity to take every hog path he came to. All the bom- 
basting that I could give him would not make him accelerate his 
speed. If blood makes speed, I do not suppose he had a drop of 
any kind in him. If I wanted him to go on one side of the road 
he was sure to be possessed of an equal desire to go on the other 
side. Finally I and my mule fell out. I got a big hickory 
and would frail him over the head, and he would only shake his 
head and flop his ears, and seem to say, "Well, now, you think 
you are smart, don't you?" He was a resolute mule, slow to 
anger, and would have made an excellent merchant to refuse bad 
pay, or I will pay your credit, for his whole composition seemed 
to be made up the one word — no. I frequently thought it would 
be pleasant to split the difference with that mule, and I would 
gladly have done so if I could have gotten one-half of his no. 
Me and mule worried along until we came to a creek. Mule 
did not desire to cross, while I was trying to persuade him with 


a big stick, a rock in his ear, and a twister on his nose. The 
caisson of a battery was about to cross. The driver said, "I'll 
take your mule over for yon." So he got a large two-inch rope 
tied one end around the mule's neck and the other to the caisson, 
and ordered the driver to whip up. The mule was loth to take to 
the water. He was no Baptist, and did not believe in immer- 
sion, and had his views about crossing streams, but the rope 
began to tighten, the mule to squeal out his protestations against 
such villainous proceedings. The rope, however, was stronger 
than the mule's "no," and he was finally prevailed upon by the 
strength of the rope to cross the creek. On my taking the rope 
off he shook himself and seemed to say, "You think that you are 
mighty smart folks, but you are a leetle too smart." I gave it 
up that that mule's "no" was a little stronger than my deter- 
mination. He seemed to be in deep meditation. I got on him 
again, when all of a sudden he lifted his head, pricked up his 
ears, began to champ his bit, gave a little squeal, got a little 
faster, and finally into a gallop and then a run. He seemed all 
at once to have remembered or to have forgotten something, and 
was now making up for lost time. With all my pulling and see- 
sawing and strength I could not stop him until he brought np 
with me at Corinth, ^Mississippi. 



Well, here we were, again "reorganizing," and after our Lax 
discipline on the road to and from Virginia, and after a big bat- 
tle, which always disorganizes an army, what wonder is it thai 
BOme men had to be shot, merely for discipline's sake? And 


what wonder that General Bragg' s name became a terror to de- 
serters and evil doers ? Men were shot by scores, and no wonder 
the army had to be reorganized. Soldiers had enlisted for 
twelve months only, and had faithfully complied with their vol- 
unteer obligations; the terms for which they had enlisted had 
expired, and they naturally looked upon it that they had a right 
to go home. They had done their duty faithfully and well. 
They wanted to see their families ; in fact, wanted to go home 
anyhow. War had become a reality ; they were tired of it. A 
law had been passed by the Confederate States Congress called 
the conscript act. A soldier had no right to volunteer and to 
choose the branch of service he preferred. He was conscripted. 

From this tims on till the end of the war, a soldier was 
simply a machine, a conscript. It was mighty rough on rebels. 
We cursed the war, we cursed Bragg, we cursed the Southern 
Confederacy. All our pride and valor had gone, and we were 
sick of war and the Southern Confederacy. 

A law was made by the Confederate States Congress about 
this time allowing every person who owned twenty negroes to 
go home. It gave us the blues ; we wanted twenty negroes. 
Xegro property suddenly became very valuable, and there was 
raised the howl of "rich man's war, poor man's fight." The 
glory of the war, the glory of the South, the glory and the pride 
of our volunteers had no charms for the conscript. 

We were directed to re-elect our officers, and the country was 
surprised to see the sample of a conscript's choice. The conscript 
had no choice. He was callous, and indifferent whether he had 
a captain or not. Those who were at first officers had resigned 
and gone home, because they were officers. The poor private, 
a contemptible conscript, was left to howl and gnash his teeth. 
The war might as well have ended then and there. The boys 
were "hacked," nay, whipped. They were shorn of the locks of 
their glory. They had but one ambition now, and that was to 
get out of the army in some way or other. They wanted to join 
the cavalry or artillery or home guards or pioneer corps or to be 
"valler dogs," or anything. 

[The average staff officer and courier were always called 


"yaller dogs," and wore regarded as non-combatants and a nui- 
sance, and the average private never let one pass without whist- 
ling and calling dogs. In fact, the general had to issue an army 
order threatening punishment for the ridicule hurled at staff 
officers and couriers. They were looked upon as simply "hang- 
ers on," or in other words, as yellow sheep-killing dogs, that if 
you would say "booh" at, would yelp and get under their master's 
heels. Mike Snyder was General George Maney's "yaller dog," 
and I believe here is where Joe Jefferson, in Rip Van Winkle, 
got the name of Rip's dog Snyder. At all times of day or night 
you could hear, "Wheer, hyat, hyat, haer, haer, hugh, Snyder, 
whoopee, hyat, whoopee, Snyder, here, here," when a staff officer 
or courier happened to pass. The reason of this was that the 
private knew and felt that there was just that much more load- 
ing, shooting and fighting for him ; and there are the fewest num- 
ber of instances on record where a staff officer or courier ever 
fired a gun in their country's cause; and even at this late day, 
when I hear an old soldier telling of being on some general's 
staff, I always think of the letter "E." In fact, later in the 
war I was detailed as special courier and staff officer for General 
Hood, which office I held three days. But Avhile I held the office, 
in passing a guard I always told them I was on Hood's staff, and 
ever afterwards I made those three days' staff business last me 
the balance of the war. I could pass any guard in the army by 
using the magic words, "staff officer." It beat all the counter- 
signs ever invented. It was the "open sesame" of war and 

Their last hope had set. They hated war. To thei r minds 
the South was a great tyrant, and the Confederacy a fraud. 
They were deserl ing by thousands. They had no love or respect 
for General Bragg. When men were to be shot or whipped, the 
whole army was marched to the horrid scene to see a poor trem- 
bling wretch tied to a post and a platoon of twelve men drawn 
up in line to put him to death, and the hushed eoniniand of 
"Ready, aim, lire!*' would make the soldier, or conscript, 1 
should say, loathe the very name of Southern Confederacy. 
And when some miserable wret eh was to be whipped and branded 


for being absent ten days without leave, we had to see him kneel 
down and have his head shaved smooth and slick as a peeled 
onion, and then stripped to the naked skin. Then a strapping- 
fellow with a big rawhide would make the blood flow and spurt 
at every lick, the wretch begging and howling like a hound, and 
then he was branded with a red hot iron with the letter D on 
both hips, when he was marched, through the army to the music 
of the "Rogue's March." It was enough. None of General 
Bragg's soldiers ever loved him. They had no faith in his 
ability as a general. He was looked upon as a merciless tyrant. 
The soldiers were very scantily fed. Bragg never was a good 
feeder or commissary-general. Rations with us were always 
scarce. No extra rations were ever allowed to the negroes who 
were with us as servants. No coffee or whisky or tobacco were 
ever allowed to be issued to the troops. If they obtained these 
luxuries, they were not from the government. These luxuries 
were withheld in order to crush the very heart and spirit of his 
troops. We were crushed. Bragg was the great autocrat. In 
the mind of the soldier, his word was law. He loved to crush the 
spirit of his men. The more of a hang-dog look they had about 
them the better was General Bragg pleased. Not a single soldier 
in the whole army ever loved or respected him. But he is dead 

Peace to his ashes ! 

We became starved skeletons ; naked and ragged rebels. 
The chronic diarrhoea became the scourge of the army. Corinth 
became one vast hospital. Almost the whole army attended the 
sick call every morning. All the water courses went dry, and. 
we used water out of filthy pools. 

Halleck was advancing ; we had to fortify Corinth. A vast 
army, Grant, Buell, Halleck, Sherman, all were advancing on 
Corinth. Our troops were in no condition to fight. In fact, 
they had seen enough of this miserable yet tragic farce. They 
were ready to ring down the curtain, put out the footlights and 
go home. They loved the Union anyhow, and were always op- 
posed to this war. But breathe softly the name of Bragg. It 
had more terror than the advancing- hosts of Halleck's army. 



The shot and shell would come tearing through our ranks. 
Every now and then a soldier was killed or wounded, and we 
thought what "magnificent" folly. Death was welcome. Ilal- 
leck's whole army of blue coats had no terror now. When we 
were drawn up in line of battle, a detail of one-tenth of the army 
was placed in our rear to shoot us down if we ran. No pack of 
hounds under the master's lash, or body of penitentiary convicts 
were ever under greater surveillance. We were tenfold worse 
than slaves ; our morale was a thing of the past ; the glory of war 
and the pride of manhood had been sacrificed upon Bragg's 
tyrannical holocaust. But enough of this. 


One morning I went over to the 23rd Tennessee Regiment 
on a visit to Captain Gray Armstrong and Colonel Jim Niel, 
both of whom were glad to see me, as we were old ante-bellum 
friends. While at Colonel Mel's marquee I saw a detail of 
soldiers bring out a man by the name of Rowland, whom they 
were going to shoot to death with musketry, by order of a court- 
martial, for desertion. I learned that he had served out the term 
for which he had originally volunteered, had quit our army and 
joined that of the Yankees, and was captured with Prentiss' 
Yankee brigade at Shiloh. He was being hauled to the place of 
execution in a wagon, sitting on an old gun box, which was to be 
his coffin. When they got to the grave, which had been dug the 
day before, the water had risen in it, and a soldier was baling it 
out. Rowland spoke up and said, "Please hand me a drink of 
that water, as I want to drink out of my own grave so the boys 
will talk about it when 1 am dead, and remember Rowland." 
They handed him the water and he drank all there was in the 
bucket, and handing it hack asked them to please hand him a 
little more, as he had heard that water was very scarce in hell, 
and it would he the last he would ever drink. He was then 
Carried to the death post, and there he hegan to cut up jack gen 
'•rally. He began to curse Bragg, Jeff. Davis, and the Southern 
Confederacy, and all the rebels at a terrible rate lie was sim- 
ply arrogant and very insulting. I felt that he deserved to die. 


He said he would show the rebels how a Union man could die. 
I do not know what all he did say. When the shooting detail 
came up, he wont of his own accord and knelt down at the post. 
The. Captain commanding the squad gave the command, "Ready, 
aim, fire!" and Rowland tumbled over on his side. It was the 
last of Rowland. 


In our immediate front, at Corinth, Mississippi, our men 
were being picked off by sharpshooters, and a great many were 
killed, but no one could tell where the shots came from. At one 
particular post it was sure death. Every detail that had been 
sent to this post for a week had been killed. In distributing the 
detail this post fell to Tom Webb and myself. They were bring- 
ing off a dead boy just as we went on duty. Colonel George C. 
Porter, of the 6th Tennessee, warned us to keep a good lookout. 
We took our stands. A minnie ball whistled right by my head. 
I don't think it missed me an eighth of an inch. Tom had sat 
down on an old chunk of wood, and just as he took his seat, zip ! 
a ball took the chunk of wood. Tom picked it up and began 
laughing at our tight place. Happening to glance up towards 
the tree tops, I saw a smoke rising above a tree, and about the 
same time I saw a Yankee peep from behind the tree, up among 
the bushes. I quickly called Tom's attention to it, and pointed 
out the place. We could see his ramrod as he handled it while 
loading his gun ; saw him raise his gun, as we thought, to put a 
cap on it. Tom in the meantime had lain flat on his belly and 
placed his gun across the chunk he had been sitting on. I had 
taken a rest for my gun by the side of a sapling, and both of us 
had dead aim at the place where the Yankee was. Finally we 
saw him sort o' peep round the tree, and we moved about a little 
so that he might see us, and as we did so, the Yankee stepped out 
in full view, and bang, bang ! Tom and I had both shot. We 
saw that Yankee tumble out like a squirrel. It sounded like 
distant thunder when that Yankee struck the ground. We 
heard the Yankees carry him off. One thing I am certain of, 
and that is, not another Yankee went up that tree that day, and 
Colonel George C. Porter complimented Tom and I very highly 


on our success. This is where I first saw a jack o' lantern 
(ignis fatui). That night, while Tom and I were on our posts, 
we saw a number of very dim lights, which seemed to be in 
motion. At first we took them to be Yankees moving about with 
lights. Whenever we could get a shot we would blaze away. 
At last one got up very close, and passed right between Tom and 
I. I don't think I was ever more scared in my life. My hair 
stood on end like the quills of the fretful porcupine ; I could not 
imagine what on earth it was. I took it to be some hellish 
machination of a Yankee trick. I did not know whether to run 
or stand, until I heard Tom laugh and say, "Well, well, that's a 
jack o' lantern." 


Before proceeding further with these memoirs, I desire to 
give short sketches of two personages with whom we were identi- 
fied and closely associated until the winding up of the ball. 
The first is Colonel Hume R. Field. Colonel Field was born a 
soldier. I have read many descriptions of Stonewall Jackson. 
Colonel Field was his exact counterpart. They looked some- 
what alike, spoke alike, and alike were trained military soldiers. 
The War Department at Richmond made a grand mistake in not 
making him a "commander of armies." He was not a brilliant 
man ; could not talk at all. He was a soldier. His conversation 
was yea and nay. But when you could get "yes, sir," and "no, 
sir," out of him his voice was as soft and gentle as a maid's when 
she says "yes" to her lover. Fancy, if you please, a man about 
thirty years old, a dark skin, made swarthy by exposure to sun 
and rain, very black eyes that seemed to blaze with a gentle Lus- 
ter. I never saw him the least excited in my life. Eis face 
was a face of bronze. His form was somewhat slender, hul 
when you looked at him you saw at the first glance thai this 
would be a dangerous man in a ground skuffle, a foot race, or a 
fight. There was nothing repulsive or forbidding or even dune 
ineering in his look*-. A child or a dog would make up with him 
on first sight, lie knew not what fear was, or the meaning of 
the word fear, lie had no uerves, or rather, lias a rock or tree 


any nerves ? You might as well try to shake the nerves of a 
rock or tree as those of Colonel Field. He was the bravest man, 
I think, I ever knew. Later in the war he was known by every 
soldier in the army ; and the First Tennessee Regiment, by his 
manipulations, became the regiment to occupy "tight places." 
He knew his men. When he struck the Yankee line they felt 
the blow. He had, himself, set the example, and so trained his 
regiment that all the armies in the world could not whip it. 
They might kill every man in it, is true, but they would die game 
to the last man. His men all loved him. He was no disciplina- 
rian, but made his regiment what it was by his own example. 
And every day on the march you would see some poor old ragged 
rebel riding his fine gray mare, and he was walking. 


The other person I wish to speak of is Captain Joe P. Lee. 
Captain Henry J. Webster was our regular captain, but was 
captured while on furlough, sent to a northern prison and died 
there, and Joe went up by promotion. He was quite a young 
man, about.twenty-one years old, but as brave as any old Roman 
soldier that ever lived. Joe's face was ever wreathed in smiles. 
and from the beginning to the end he was ever at the head of 
his company. I do not think that any member of the company 
ever did call him by his title. He was called simply "Joe Lee," 
or more frequently "Black Perch." While on duty he was 
strict and firm, but off duty he was "one of us boys." We all 
loved and respected him, but everybody knows Joe, and further 
comment is unnecessary. 

I merely mention these two persons because in this rapid 
sketch I may have cause occasionally to mention them, and only 
Avish to introduce them to the reader, so he may understand more 
fully my ideas. But, reader, please remember that I am not 
writing a history at all, and do not propose in these memoirs to 
be anybody's biographer. I am only giving my own impres- 
sions. If other persons think differently from me it is all right, 
and I forgive them. 


One morning a detail was sent to burn up and destroy all 



the provisions and army stores, and to blow np the arsenal. The 
town was in a blaze of fire and the arsenal was roaring- and pop- 
ping and bellowing - like pandemonium turned loose as we 
marched through ( Jorinth on the morning of the evacuation. 
We bade farewell to Corinth. Its history was black and dark 
and damning. Xo little speck of green oasis ever enlivened the 
dark recesses of our memory while at this place. It's a desert 
that lives only in bitter memories. It was but one vast grave- 
yard that entombed the life and spirit of once brave and chival- 
rous men. We left it to the tender mercies of the Yankees 
without one tear of sorrow or regret, and bade it farewell 



We went into summer quarters at Tupelo. Our principal 
occupation at this place was playing poker, chuck-a-luck and 
cracking graybacks (lice). Every soldier had a brigade of lice 
on him, and I have seen fellows so busily engaged in cracking 
them that it reminded me of an old woman knitting. At first 

the boys would go off in the woods and hide to louse themselves. 
but that was unnecessary, the ground fairly crawled with lice. 
Pharaoh's people, when they were resisting old Moses, never 

enjoyed the curse of lice more than we did. The hoys would 
frequently have a Louse race. There was one fellow who was 

winning all the money ; his lice would run quicker and crawl 

faster than anybody's lice. We could not understand it. If 
some fellow happened to catch a fierce-looking Louse, he would 
call on Dornin for i race* Dorniu would come and always win 


the stake. The lice were placed in plates — this was the race 
course — and the first that crawled off was the winner. At last 
we found out D.'s trick ; he always heated his plate. 

Billy P. said he had no lice on him. 

"Did you ever look ?" 


"How do you know then?" 

"If ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise," said Billy. 

"Why, there is one crawling on your bosom now." 

Billy took him and put him back in his bosom and said to 
the louse, "You stay there now; this makes the fourth time I 
have put you back, and if I catch you out again to-day I'll martyr 

Billy was philosophic — the death of one louse did not stop 
the breed. 


At this place was held the grand court-martial. Almost 
every day we would hear a discharge of musketry, and knew that 
some poor, trembling wretch had bid farewell to mortal things 
here below. It seemed to be but a question of time with all of 
us as to when we too would be shot. We were afraid to chirp. 
So far now as patriotism was concerned, we had forgotten all 
about that, and did not now so much love our country as we 
feared Bragg. Men were being led to the death stake every day. 
I heard of many being shot, but did not see but two men shot 
myself. I do not know to what regiment they belonged, but I 
remember that they were mere beardless boys. I did not learn 
for what crime or the magnitude of their offenses. They might 
have deserved death for all I know. 

I saw an old man, about sixty years old, whose name was 
Dave Brewer, and another man, about forty-five, by the name 
of Rube Franklin, whipped. There was many a man whipped 
and branded that I never saw or heard tell of. But the reason I 
remembered these two was that they belonged to Company A of 
the 23rd Tennessee Regiment, and I knew many men in the 

These two men were hung up by the hands, after having 



their heads shaved, to a tree, put there for the purpose, with the 
prongs left on them, and one hand was stretched toward one 
prong and the other hand to another prong, their feet, perhaps, 
just touching the ground. The man who did the whipping had 
a thick piece of sole-leather, the end of which was cut in three 
strips, and this tacked on to the end of a paddle. After the 
charges and specifications had been read (both men being stark 
naked), the whipper "lit in" on Rube, who was the youngest. 
T da not think he intended to hit as hard as he did, but, being 
excited himself, he blistered Rube from head to foot. Thirty- 
nine lashes was always the number. JSTow, three times thirty- 
nine makes one hundred and seventeen. When he struck at all, 
one lick would make three whelps. When he had finished Rube, 
the Captain commanding the whipping squad told him to lay it 
on old man Brewer as light as the law would allow, that old man 
Brewer was so old that he would die — that he could not stand it. 
He struck old man Dave Brewer thirty-nine lashes, but they 
were laid on light. Old Dave didn't beg and squall like Eube 
did. He j-e-s-t did whip old man Dave. Like the old preacher 
who caught the bear on Sunday. They had him up before the 
church, agreed to let him off if he did not again set his trap. 
"Well," he said, "brethren, I j-e-s-t did set it." 


At this place General Bragg issued an order authorizing 
citizens to defend themselves against the depredations of sol- 
diers — to shoot them down if caught depredating. 

Well, one day Byron Richardson and myself made a raid 
on an old citizen's roastingear patch. We had pulled about all 
the corn that we could carry. I had my arms full and was 
about starting for camp, when an old citizen raised up and said, 
■"Stop there! drop that corn." He had a double-barreled shot- 
gun cocked and leveled a1 my breast. 

"Come and go with me to General Bragg's headquarters. 
I intend to take you there, by the living ( lo<] !" 

I was in for it. Directed to go in front, I was being 

marched to Bragg's headquarters. I could see the devil in the 


old fellow's eye. I tried to beg off with good promises, but the 
old fellow was deaf to all entreaty. I represented to him all of 
our hardships and suffering. But the old fellow was inexorable. 
I was being steadily carried toward Bragg's headquarters. I 
was determined not to see General Bragg, even if the old citizen 
shoi me in the back. When all at once a happy thought struck 
me. Says I, "Mister, Byron Richardson is in your field, and if 
you will go back we can catch him and you can take both of us 
to General Bragg." The old fellow's spunk was up. He had 
captured me so easy, he no doubt thought he could whip a dozen. 
We w r ent back a short distance, and there was Byron, who had 
just climbed over the fence and had his arms full, when the old 
citizen, diverted from me, leveled his double-barrel at Byron, 
when I made a grab for his gun, which was accidentally dis- 
charged in the air, and with the assistance of Byron, "we had the 
old fellow and his gun both. The table was turned. We made 
the old fellow gather as much as he could carry, and made him 
carry it nearly to camp, when we dismissed him, a wiser if not 
a better and richer man. We took his gun and bent it around a 
black jack tree. He was at the soldiers' mercy. 



After being thoroughly reorganized at Tupelo, and the 
troops had recovered their health and spirits, we made an ad- 
vance into Kentucky. We took the cars at Tupelo and went to 
Mobile, from thence across Mobile Bay to Montgomery, Ala- 
bama, then to Atlanta, from there to Chattanooga, and then over 
the mountains afoot to the blue-grass regions of Kentucky — the 


dark and bloody ground. Please remember, patient reader, that 
I write entirely from memory. I have no data or diary or any- 
thing to go by, and memory is a peculiar faculty. I find that I 
cannot remember towns and battles, and remember only the little 
things. I remember how gladly the citizens of Kentucky re- 
ceived us. I thought they had the prettiest girls that God ever 
made. They could not do too much for us. They had heaps 
and stacks of cooked rations along our route, with wine and cider 
everywhere, and the glad shouts of "Hurrah for our Southern 
boys !" greeted and welcomed us at every house. Ah, the boys 
felt like soldiers again. The bands played merrier and livelier 
tunes. It was the patient convalescing ; the fever had left him, 
lie was getting fat and strong; the old fire was seen to illuminate 
his eyes; his step was buoyant and proud; he felt ashamed that 
he had ever been "hacked ;" he could fight now. It was the same 
old proud soldier of yore. The bands played "Dixie" and the 
"Bonnie Blue Flag,'' the citizens cheered, and the ladies waved 
their handkerchiefs and threw us bouquets. Ah. those were 
halcyon days, and your old soldier, kind reader, loves to recall 
that happy period. Mumfordsville had been captured with five 
thousand prisoners. New recruits were continually joining out- 

Camp Dick Robinson, that immense pile of army stores, had 
fallen into our hands. We rode upon the summit of the wave 
of success. The boys had got clean clothes, and had their face- 
washed. I saw then what I had long since forgotten — a "cock 
ade." The Kentucky girls made cockades for us, and almost 
every soldier hail one pinned on his hat. But stirring events 
wen- hastening on, the black cloud of battle and war had begun 

then to appear much larger than a man's hand, in fact we could 
see the lightning Bash and hear the thunder roar. 

We were at Elarrodsburg ; the Yankees were approaching 
Perryville under General Buell. The Yankees had been dog- 
ging our rear, picking up our stragglers and capturing some oi 
our wagon trains. 

This i!<K>d time that we were having was too good to last 
We were in an ecstasy akin to heaven. We were happy; the 


troops were jubilant ; our manhood blood pulsated more warmly ; 
our patriotism was awakened ; our pride was renewed and stood 
ready for any emergency ; we felt that one Southern man could 
whip twenty Yankees. All was lovely and the goose hung high. 
We went to dances and parties every night. 

When General Chalmers marched to Perryville, in flanking 
and surrounding Mumfordsville, we marched the whole night 
long. We, the private soldiers, did not know what was going on 
among the generals. All that we had to do was march, march, 
march. It mattered not how tired, hungry, or thirsty we were, 
.ill that we had to do was to march that whole night long, and 
every staff officer who would pass, some fellow would say, "Hey. 
mister, how far is it to Mumfordsville?" He would answer, 
''live miles." It seemed to me we traveled a hundred miles 
and were always within five miles of Mumfordsville. That 
night we heard a volley of musketry in our immediate front, and 
did not know what it meant, but soon we came to where a few 
soldiers had lighted some candles and were holding them over 
the body of a dead soldier. It was Captain Allison, if I remem- 
ber rightly, of General Cheatham's staff. He was very bloody, 
and had his clothes riddled with balls. I heard that he rode on 
in front of the advance guard of our army, and had no doubt 
discovered the Yankee picket, and came galloping back at full 
speed in the dark, when our advance guard fired on and killed 

We laid down in a graveyard that night and slept, and when 
we awoke the sun was high in the heavens, shining in our faces. 
Mumfordsville had surrendered. The next day Dr. C. T. Quin- 
tard let me ride his horse nearly all day, while he walked with 
the Avebfeet. 


In giving a description of this most memorable battle, I do 
not pretend to give you figures, and describe how this general 
looked and how that one spoke, and the other one charged with 
drawn sabre, etc. I know nothing of these things — see the his- 
tory for that. I was simply a soldier of the line, and I only 
write of the things I saw. I was in every battle, skirmish and 


march that was made by the First Tennessee Regiment during 
the war, and I do not remember of a harder contest and more 
evenly fought battle than that of Perryville. If it had been two 
men wrestling, it would have been called a "dog fall." Both 
sides claim the victory — both whipped. 

I stood picket in Perryville the night before the battle — a 
Yankee on one side of the street, and I on the other. We got 
very friendly during the night, and made a raid upon a citizen's 
pantry, where we captured a bucket of honey, a pitcher of sweet 
milk, and three or four biscuit. The old citizen was not at home 
— he and his whole household had gone visiting, I believe. In 
fact, I think all of the citizens of Perryville were taken with a 
sudden notion of promiscuous visiting about this time ; at least 
they were not at home to all callers. 

At length the morning dawned. Our line was drawn up 
on one side of Perryville, the Yankee army on the other. The 
two enemies that were soon to meet in deadly embrace seemed 
to be eyeing each other. The blue coats lined the hillside in 
plain view. You could count the number of their regiments by 
the number of their flags. We could see the huge war dogs 
frowning at us, ready at any moment to belch forth their fire 
and smoke, and hurl their thunderbolts of iron and death in our 
very midst. 

I wondered why the fighting did not begin. Never on 
earth were our troops more eager for the engagement to open. 
The Yankees commenced to march toward their left, and we 
marched almost parallel to our right — both sides watching each 
other's maneuvers and movements. It was but the lull that 
precedes the storm. Colonel Field was commanding our bri- 
gade, and Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson our regiment. About 
12 o'clock, while we were marching through a corn field, in 
which the corn had been shocked, they opened their war doga 
upon us. The beginning of the end had come. Here is when 1 
Captain John F. Wheless was wounded, and three others, whose 
names I have forgotten. The battle now opened in earnest, and 
from <nie end of the line to the other seemed to be a solid sheet 
of blazing -moke and fire. Our regiment crossed a stream, be- 


ing preceded by Wharton's Texas Rangers, and we were ordered 
to attack at Once with vigor. Here General Maney's horse was 
shot. From this moment the battle was a mortal struggle. Two 
lines of battle confronted us. We killed almost every one in the 
first line, and were soon charging over the second, when right 
in our immediate front was their third and main line of battle 
from which four Napoleon guns poured their deadly fire. 

We did not recoil, but our line was fairly hurled back by 
the leaden hail that was poured into our very faces. Eight 
color-bearers were killed at one discharge of their cannon. We 
were right up among the very wheels of their Napoleon guns. 
It was death to retreat now to either side. Our Lieutenant- 
Colonel, Patterson, halloed to charge and take their guns, and 
we were soon in a hand-to-hand fight — every man for himself — 
using the butts of our guns and bayonets. One side would 
waver and fall back a few yards, and would rally, when the other 
side would fall back, leaving the four Napoleon guns ; and yet 
the battle raged. Such obstinate fighting I never had seen be- 
fore or since. The guns were discharged so rapidly that it 
seemed the earth itself was in a volcanic uproar. The iron 
storm passed through our ranks, mangling and tearing men to 
pieces. The very air seemed full of stifling smoke and fire 
which seemed the very pit of hell, peopled by contending de- 

Our men were dead and dying right in the very midst of 
this grand havoc of battle. It was a life to life and death to 
death grapple. The sun was poised above us, a great red ball, 
sinking slowly in the west, yet the scene of battle and carnage 
continued. I cannot describe it. The mantle of night fell 
upon the scene. I do not know which side whipped,- but I know 
that I helped bring off those four Napoleon guns that night, 
though we were mighty easy about it. 

They were given to Turner's Battery of our brigade, and 
had the name of our Lieutenant-Colonel, Patterson, and our 
color-bearer, Mitchell, both of whom were killed, inscribed on 
two of the pieces. I have forgotten the names inscribed on the 
other two pieces. I saw these very four guns surrendered at 
Missionary Ridge. But of this another time. 


The battle of Perryville presented a strange scene. The 
dead, dying, and wounded of both armies, Confederate and Fed- 
eral, were blended in inextricable confusion. Xow and then a 
cluster of dead Yankees and close by a cluster of dead Rebels. 
It was like the Englishman's grog — 'alf and 'alf. Xow, if you 
wish, kind reader, to find out how many were killed and wound- 
ed, I refer you to the histories. 

I remember one little incident that I laughed at while in 
the very midst of battle. We were charging through an old 
citizen's yard, when a big yellow cur dog ran out and commenced 
snapping at the soldiers' legs — they kicking at him to keep him 
off. The next morning he was lying near the same place, but 
he was a dead dog. 

I helped bring off our wounded that night. We worked 
the whole night. The next morning about daylight a wounded 
comrade, Sam Campbell, complained of being cold, and asked 
me to lie down beside him. I did so, and was soon asleep ; 
when I awoke the poor fellow was stiff and cold in death. His 
spirit had flown to its home beyond the skies. 

After the battle was over, John T. Tucker, Scott Stephens., 
A. S. Horsley and I were detailed to bring off our wounded that 
night, and we helped to bring off many a poor dying comrade — 
Joe Thompson, Billy Bond, Byron Richardson, the two Allen 
boys — brothers, killed side by side — and Colonel Patterson, who 
was killed standing right by my side. He was first shot through 
the hand, and was wrapping his handkerchief around it, when 
another ball struck and killed him. I saw W. J. Whittorne 
then a strippling boy of fifteen years of age, fall, shot through 
the neck and collar-bone. He fell apparently dead, when I saw 
him all at once jump up, grab his gun and commence loading 
and firing, and I heard him say, "D — n 'em, I'll fight 'em as 
long as I live." Whit thought he was killed, bul he la living yet. 
We helped bring off a man by the name of Hodge, with his under 
jaw shot off, and his tongue lolling out. Wo brought oil' < 'ap- 
tain Lute B. Irvine. Lute was shot through the Lungs and was 
vomiting blood all the while, and begging us to lay him down 

and lot him die. But Lute is living yet. Also, Lieutenant 


Woldridge, with both eyes shot out. I found him rambling in 
a briar-patch. About fifty members of the Rock City Guards 
were killed and nearly one hundred wounded. They were led 
by Captains W. D. Kelley, Wheless, and Steele. Lieutenant 
Thomas H. Maney was badly wounded. I saw dead on the bat- 
tlefield a Federal General by the name of Jackson. It was his 
brigade that fought us so obstinately at this place, and I did hear 
that, they were made up in Kentucky. Colonel Field, then com* 
manding our brigade, and on his fine gray mare, rode up almost 
face to face with General Jackson, before he was killed, and 
Colonel Field was shooting all the time with his seven-shooting 
rifle. I cannot tell the one-half, or even remember at this late 
date, the scenes of blood and suffering that I witnessed on the 
battlefield of Perry ville. But its history, like all the balance. 
has gone into the history of the war, and it has been twenty 
years ago, and I write entirely from memory. I remember 
Lieutenant Joe P. Lee and Captain W. C. Flournoy standing 
right at the muzzle of the Napoleon guns, and the next moment 
seemed to be enveloped in smoke and fire from the discharge of 
the cannon. When the regiment recoiled under the heavy firing 
and at the first charge, Billy Webster and I stopped behind a 
large oak tree and continued to fire at the Yankees until the regi- 
ment was again charging upon the four jSTapoleon guns, heavily 
supported by infantry. We were not more than twenty paces 
from them ; and here I was shot through the hat and cartridge- 
box. I remember this, because at that time Billy and I 
were in advance of our line, and whenever we saw a Yankee rise 
to shoot, we shot him ; and I desire to mention here that a braver 
or more noble boy was never created on earth than was Billy 
Webster. Everybody liked him. He was the flower and chiv- 
alry of our regiment. His record as a brave and noble boy will 
ever live in the hearts of his old comrades that served with him 
in Company H. He is up yonder now, and we shall meet again. 
In these memoirs I only tell what I saw myself, and in this way 
the world will know the truth. !STow, citizen, let me tell you 
what you never heard before, and this is this — there were many 
men with the rank and pay of general, who were not generals ; 


there were many men with the rank and pay of privates who 
would have honored and adorned the name of general. Now, I 
will state further that a private soldier was a private. 

It mattered not how ignorant a corporal might be, he was 
always right ; it mattered not how intelligent the private might 
be (and so on up) ; the sergeant was right over the corporal, 
the sergeant-major over the sergeant, the lieutenant over him, 
and the captain over him, and the major over him, and the 
colonel over him, and the general over him, and so on up to- 
Jeff Davis. You see, a private had no right to know anything; 
and that is why generals did all the fighting, and that is to-day 
why generals and colonels and captains are great men. They 
fought the battles of our country. The privates did not. The 
generals risked their reputation, the private soldier his life. 
!No one ever saw a private in battle. His history would never 
be written. It was the generals that everybody saw charge 
such and such, with drawn sabre, his eyes flashing fire, his nos- 
trils dilated, and his clarion voice ringing above the din of 
battle — "in a horn," over the left. 

Bill Johns and Marsh Pinkard would have made Generals 
that would have distinguished themselves and been an honor to 
the country. 

I know to-day many a private who would have made a good 
General. I know of many a General who was better fitted to be 
excused from detail and fights, to hang around a camp and draw 
rations for the company. A private had no way to distinguish 
himself. He had to keep in ranks, either in a charge or a re- 
treat. But now, as the Generals and Colonels fill all the posi- 
tions of honor and emoluments, the least I say, the better. 


From Perryville we went to Camp Dick Robinson and drew 
three days' rations, and then set fire to and destroyed all those 
great deposits of army stores which would have supplied the 
South for a year. We ate those rations and commenced our re- 
treat out of Kentucky with empty haversacks and still emptier 

We supposed our general and commissaries knew what 


they were doing, and at night we would again draw rations, but 
Ave didn't. 

The Yankee cavalry are worrying our rear guards. There 
is danger of an attack at any moment. No soldier is allowed 
to break ranks. 

We thought, Avell surely we will draw rations to-night. 
But we didn't. We are marching for Cumberland Gap; the 
country has long ago been made desolate by the alternate occu- 
pation of both armies. There are no provisions in the country. 
It has long since been laid waste. We wanted rations, but we 
did not get them. 

Fourth day out — Cumberland Gap in the distance — a great 
indenture in the ranges of Cumberland mountains. The scene 
was grand. But grand scenery had but little attraction for a 
hungry soldier. Surely we will get rations at Cumberland Gap. 
Toil on up the hill, and when half way up the hill, "Halt !" — 
march back down to the foot of the hill to defend the cavalry. 
I was hungry. A cavalryman was passing our regiment with 
a pile of scorched dough on the pummel of his saddle. Says I, 
"Halt ! I am going to have a pattock of that bread." "Don't 
give it to him ! don't give it to him !" was yelled out from all 
sides. I cocked my gun and was about to raise it to my shoul- 
der, when he handed me over a pattock of scorched dough, and 
every fellow in Company H made a grab for it, and I only got 
about two or three mouthfuls. About dark a wild heifer ran 
by our regiment, and I pulled down on her. We killed and 
skinned her, and I cut off about five pounds of hindquarter. In 
three minutes there was no sign of that beef left to tell the tale. 
We ate that beef raw and without salt. 

Only eight miles now to Cumberland Gap, and we will get 
rations now. But we didn't. We descended the mountain on 
the southern side. No rations yet. 

Well, says I, this won't do me. I am going to hunt some- 
thing to eat, Bragg or no Bragg. I turned off the road and 
struck out through the country, but had gone but a short distance 
before I came across a group of soldiers clambering over some- 
thing. It was Tom Tuck with a barrel of sorghum that he had 


captured from a good Union man. He was selling it out at five 
dollars a quart. I paid my five dollars, and by pushing and 
scrouging I finally got my quart. I sat down and drank it ; it 
was bully; it was not so good; it was not worth a cent; I was 
sick, and have never loved sorghum since. 

Along the route it was nothing but tramp, tramp, tramp, 
and no sound or noise but the same inevitable, monotonous 
tramp, tramp, tramp, up hill and down hill, through long and 
dusty lanes, weary, wornout and hungry. No cheerful warble 
of a merry songster would ever greet our ears. It was always 
tramp, tramp, tramp. You might, every now and then, hear 
the occasional words, "close up ;" but outside of that, it was but 
the same tramp, tramp, tramp. I have seen soldiers fast asleep, 
and no doubt dreaming of home and loved ones there, as they 
-tapered along in their places in the ranks. I know that on 
many a weary night's march I have slept, and slept soundly, 
while marching along in my proper place in the ranks of the 
company, stepping to the same step as the soldier in front of me 
did. Sometimes, when weary, broken down and worn out, some 
member of the regiment would start a tune, and every man would 
join in. John Branch was usually the leader of the choir. He 
would commence a beautiful tune. The words, as I remember 
them now, were, "Dear Paul, Just Twenty Years Ago." After 
singing this piece he would commence on a lively, spirit-stirring 
air to the tune of "Old Uncle Ned." Now, reader, it has beer 
twenty years ago since I heard it, but I can remember a part of 
it now. Here it is: 

"There was an ancient individual whose cognomen was Uncle Bdward. 
Be departed this life long since, long since. 
He had no capillary substance on the top of his cranium. 
The place where the capillary substance ought to vegetate. 

His elicits were as long as the bamboo plscatoriul implement of the Southern 

Be had no oculars to observe the beauties of nature. 
He had DO nssitled formation to DMttlcate b±8 dally rations, 
So he had to let his daily rations pass by with impunity." 

Walker ( ioleman raises the tune nf •' I'se a gwine to jine the 
rebel band, a fightin' for my borne." 

Now, reader, the al><»vo is all I can now remember <>f that 
very beautiful and soul-stirring air. Bui the boys would wake 


up and step quicker and livelier for some time, and Arthur Ful- 
ghum would holloa out, "All right; go ahead!" and then would 
toot! toot'! as if the cars were starting — puff! puff! puff! and 
then he would say, "Tickets, gentlemen; tickets, gentlemen." 
like he was conductor on a train of cars. This little episode 
would he over, and then would commence the same tramp, tramp, 
tramp, all night long. Step by step, step by step, we continued 
to plod and nod and stagger and march, tramp, tramp, tramp. 
After a while we would see the morning star rise in the east, and 
then after a while the dim gray twilight, and finally we could 
discover the outlines of our file leader, and after a while could 
make out the outlines of trees and other objects. And as it 
would get lighter and lighter, and day would be about to break, 
cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, would come from Tom Tuck's rooster. 
[Tom carried a game rooster, that he called ''Ted" for Confed- 
eracy, all through the war in a haversack.] And then the sun 
would begin to shoot his slender rays athwart the eastern sky, 
and the boys would wake up and begin laughing and talking as 
if they had just risen from a good feather bed, and were per- 
fectly refreshed and happy. We would usually stop at some 
branch or other about breakfast time, and all wash our hands 
and faces and eat breakfast, if we had any, and then commence 
our weary march again. If we were halted for one minute, 
every soldier would drop down, and resting on his knapsack, 
would go to sleep. Sometimes the sleeping soldiers were made 
to get up to let some general and his staff pass by. But when- 
ever that was the case, the general always got a worse cursing 
than when Noah cursed his son Ham black and blue. I heard 
Jesse Ely do this once. 

We march on. The scene of a few days ago comes unbidden 
to my mind. Tramp, tramp, tramp, the soldiers are marching. 
Where are many of my old friends and comrades, whose names 
were so familiar at every roll call, and whose familiar "Here" is 
no more ? They lie yonder at Perryville, unburied, on the field 
of battle. They lie where they fell. More than three hundred 
and fifty members of my regiment, the First Tennessee, num- 
bered among the killed and wounded — one hundred and eighty- 



five slain on the field of battle. Who are they ? Even then I 
had to try to think up the names of all the slain of Company H 
alone. Their spirits seemed to be with us on the march, but we 
know that their souls are with their God. Their bones, to-day. 
no doubt, bleach upon the battlefield. They left their homes, 
families, and loved ones a little more than one short twelve 
months ago, dressed in their gray uniforms, amid the applause 
and cheering farewells of those same friends. They lie yonder ; 
no friendly hands ever closed their eyes in death; no kind, gen- 
tle, and loving mother was there to shed a tear over and say 
farewell to her darling boy ; no sister's gentle touch ever wiped 
the death damp from off their dying brows. Noble boys ; brave 
boys ! They willingly gave their lives to their country's cause. 
Their bodies and bones are mangled and torn by the rude mis- 
siles of war. They sleep the sleep of the brave. They have 
given their all to their country. We miss them from our ranks. 
There are no more hard marches and scant rations for them. 
They have accomplished all that could be required of them. 
They are no more; their names are soon forgotten. They are 
put down in the roll-book as killed. They are forgotten. We 
will see them no more until the last reveille on the last morning 
of the final resurrection. Soldiers, comrades, friends, noble 
boys, farewell ! we will meet no more on earth, but up yonder 
some day we will have a grand reunion. 


The first night after crossing Cumberland Gap — I have for- 
gotten the date, but I know it was very early in the fall of the 
year; we had had no frost or cold weather, and our marches nil 
through Kentucky had been characterized by very dry weather, 
it not having rained a drop on us during the whole time — about 
four o'clock in the morning it began to snow, and the next morn- 
ing the ground was covered with a deep snow, the trees and 
grass and everything of the vegetable kingdom still green. 

When we got back to Knoxville we wen- the lousiest, dirti- 
est, raggedest looking Ivelx-ls you ever saw. T had been shot 
througli the hat and cartridge-box at Perryville, and had both 
on, and the clothing I then had on was all that I had in the 


world. William A. Hughes and I were walking up the street 
looking at the stores, etc., when we met two of the prettiest girls 
I ever saw. They ran forward with smiling faces, and seemed 
very glad to see us. I thought they were old acquaintances of 
Hughes, and Hughes thought they were old acquaintances of 
mine. We were soon laughing and talking as if we had been 
old friends, when one of the young ladies spoke up and said. 
"Gentlemen, there is a supper for the soldiers at the Ladies' 
Association rooms, and we are sent out to bring in all the soldiers 
we can find." We spoke up quickly and said, "Thank you, 
thank you, young ladies," and I picked out the prettiest one and 
said, "Please take my arm," which she did, and Hughes did the 
same with the other one, and we went in that style down the 
street. I imagine Ave were a funny looking sight. I know one 
thing, I felt good all over, and as proud as a boy with his first 
pants, and when we got to that supper room those young ladies 
waited on us, and we felt as grand as kings. To you, ladies, I 
say, God bless you! 

ah, "sneak." 

Almost every soldier in the army — generals, colonels, cap- 
tains, as well as privates — had a nick-name ; and I almost believe 
that had the war continued ten years, we would have forgotten 
our proper names. John T. Tucker was called "Sneak," A. S. 
Horsley was called "Don Von One Horsley," W. A. Hughes was 
called "Apple Jack," Green Rieves was called "Devil Horse." 
the surgeon of our regiment was called "Old Snake," Bob Brank 
was called "Count," the colonel of the Fourth was ealled "Guide 
Post," E. L. Lansdown was called "Left Tenant," some were 
called by the name of "Greasy," some "Buzzard," others "Hog," 
and "Brutus," and "Cassius," and "Caesar," "Left Center," and 
"Bolderdust," and "Old Hannah ;" in fact, the nick-names were 
singular and peculiar, and when a man got a nick-name it stuck 
to him like the Old Man of the Sea did to the shoulders of Sin- 
bad, the sailor. 

On our retreat the soldiers got very thirsty for tobacco 
(they always used the word thirsty), and they would sometimes 
come across an old field off which the tobacco had been cut and 


the suckers had re-sprouted from the old stalk, and would cut off 
these suckers and dry them by the fire and chew them. "Sneak" 
had some how or other got hold of a plug or two, and knowing 
that he would be begged for a chew, had cut it up in little bits of 
pieces about one-fourth of a chew. Some fellow would say. 
"Sneak, please give me a chew of tobacco." Sneak would say, 
"I don't believe I have a piece left," and then he would begin to 
feel in his pockets. He would pull that hand out and feel in 
another pocket, and then in his coat pockets, and hid away down 
in an odd corner of his vest pocket he would accidentally find a 
little chew, just big enough to make "spit come." Sneak had 
his pockets full all the time. The boys soon found out his in- 
uendoes and subterfuges, but John would all the time appear as 
innocent of having tobacco as a pet lamb that has just torn down 
a nice vine that you were so careful in training to run over the 
front porch. Ah, John, don't deny it now ! 


When we got to Charleston, on the Hiwassee river, there 
we found the First Tennessee Cavalry and Ninth Battalion, 
both of which had been made up principally in Maury county, 
and we knew all the boys. We had a good old-fashioned hand 
shaking all around. Then I wanted to "jine the cavalry." 
Captain Asa G. Freeman had an extra horse, and I got on him 
and joined the cavalry for several days, but all the time some 
passing cavalryman would make some jocose remark about " 1 1 ere 
is a webfoot who wants to jine the cavalry, and has got a bayonet 
on his gun and a knapsack on his back." I felt like I had got 
into the wrong pen, but anyhow I got to ride all of three days. 
I n -member that Mr. Willis B. Enibry gave me a five -pound 
package of Kallickanick smoking tobacco, for which I was very 
graft t'ul. I think be was quartermaster of the First Tennessee 
Cavalry, and as good a man and as clever a person as T ever 
knew. None know him but to love him. I was told that, he 
was killed by a lot of Yankee soldiers after be had surrendered 

to them, all the time begging for his life, asking them please not 

kill him. Bui Ee that noteth the sparrow's fall doeth all things 

well. Not one ever falls to t he gr< >u ml with His consent. 




We came from Knoxville to Chattanooga, and seemed des- 
tined to make a permanent stay 'here. We remained several 
months, but soon we were on the tramp again. 

From Chattanooga, Bragg's army went to Murfreesboro. 

The Federal army was concentrating at Nashville. There 
was no rest for the weary. Marches and battles were the order 
of the day. 

Our army stopped at Murfreesboro. Our advanced outpost 
was established at Lavergne. From time to time different regi- 
ments were sent forward to do picket duty. I was on picket at 
the time the advance was made by Rosecrans. At the time men- 
tioned, I was standing about two hundred yards off the road, 
the main body of the pickets being on the Nashville and Mur- 
freesboro turnpike, and commanded by Lieutenant Hardy Mur- 
free, of the Rutherford Rifles. 

I had orders to allow no one to pass. In fact, no one was 
expected to pass at this point, but while standing at my post, a 
horseman rode up behind me. I halted him, and told him to go 
down to the main picket on the road and pass, but he seemed so 
smiling that I thought he knew me, or had a good joke to tell me. 
He advanced up, and pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket, 
handed it to me to read. It was an order from General Leonidas 
Polk to allow the bearer to pass. I read it, and looked up to 
hand it back to him, when I discovered that he had a pistol 
cocked and leveled in my face, and says he, "Drop that gun ; you 
are my prisoner." I saw there was no use in fooling about it. 
I knew if I resisted he would shoot me, and I thought then that 
he was about to perform that detestable operation. I dropped 
the sun. 


I did not wish to spend my winter in a Northern prison, 



and what was worse, I would be called a deserter from my post 
of duty. 

The Yankee picket lines were not a half mile off. I was 
perfectly willing to let the spy go on his way rejoicing — for such 
he was — but he wanted to capture a Rebel. 

And I had made up my mind to think likewise. There I 
was, a prisoner sure, and no mistake about it. 

His pistol was leveled, and I was ordered to march. I was 
afraid to halloo to the relief, and you may be sure I was in a 
bad fix. 

Finally says I, "Let's play quits. I think you are a sol- 
dier; you look like a gentleman. I am a videt; you know the 
responsibility resting on me. You go your way, and leave me 
here. Is it a bargain V 

Says he, "I would not trust a Secesh on his word, oath, or 
bond. March, I say." 

I soon found out that he had caught sight of the relief on 
the road, and was afraid to shoot. I quickly made up my mind. 
My gun was at my feet, and one step would get it. I made a 
quick glance over my shoulder, and grabbed at my gun. He 
divined my motive, and fired. The ball missed its aim. He 
put spurs to his horse, but I pulled down on him, and almost 
tore the fore shoulder of his horse entirely off, but I did not cap- 
ture the spy, though I captured the horse, bridle and saddle. 
Major Allen, of the Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiment, took 
the saddle and bridle, and gave me the blanket. I remember 
the blanket had the picture of a "big lion" on it, and it was al- 
most new. When we fell back, as the Yankee sharpshooters 
advanced, we left the poor old horse nipping the short, dry grass. 
J saw a Yankee skirmisher run up and grab the horse and give a 
whoop as if he had captured a Rebel horse. But they continued 
to advance upon us, we firing and retreating slowly. We had 
several pretty sharp brushes with them that day. I remember 
that they had to cross an open field in our front, and we were 
lying behind a fence, and as they advanced, we kept up firing, 
and would run them back every time, until they brought up a 
regiment that whooped, and yelled, and charged our skirmish 


line, and then we fell back again. I think we must have killed 
a good many in the old field, because we were firing all the time 
at the solid line as they advanced upon us. 


The next day, the Yankees were found out to be advancing. 
Soon they came in sight of our picket. We kept falling back 
and firing all day, and were relieved by another regiment about 
dark. We rejoined our regiment. Line of battle was formed 
on the north bank of Stone's River — on the Yankee side. Bad 
generalship, I thought. 

It was Christmas. John Barleycorn was general-in-chief . 
Our generals, and colonels, and captains, had kissed John a lit- 
tle too often. They couldn't see straight. It was said to be 
buckeye whisky. They couldn't tell our own men from Yan- 
kees. The private could, but he was no general, you see. But 
here they were — the Yankees — a battle had to be fought. We 
were ordered forward. I was on the skirmish line. We 
marched plumb into the Yankee lines, with their flags flying. 

I called Lieutenant-Colonel Frierson's attention to the Yan- 
kees, and he remarked, "Well, I don't know whether they are 
Yankees or not, but if they are, they will come out of there 
mighty quick." 

The Yankees marched over the hill out of sight. 

We were ordered forward to the attack. We were right 
upon the Yankee line on the Wilkerson turnpike. The Yankees 
were shooting our men down by scores. A universal cry was 
raised, "You are firing on your own men." "Cease firing, cease 
firing," I hallooed ; in fact, the whole skirmish line hallooed, and 
kept on telling them that they were Yankees, and to shoot ; but 
the order was to cease firing, you are firing on your own men. 

Captain James, of -Cheatham's staff, was sent forward and 
killed in his own yard. We were not twenty yards off from the 
Yankees, and they were pouring the hot shot and shells right 
into our ranks ; and every man was yelling at the top of his 
voice, "Cease firing, you are firing on your own men ; cease fir- 
ing, you are firing on your own men." 

Oakley, color-bearer of the Fourth Tennessee Regiment, ran 


right up in the midst of the Yankee line with his colors, begging 
his men to follow. I hallooed till I was hoarse, "They are Yan- 
kees, they are Yankees ; shoot, they are Yankees." 

The crest occupied by the Yankees was belching loud with 
fire and smoke, and the Rebels were falling like leaves of autumn 
in a hurricane. The leaden hail storm swept them off the field. 
They fell back and re-formed. General Cheatham came up and 
advanced. I did not fall back, but continued to load and shoot, 
until a fragment of a shell struck me on the arm, and then a 
minnie ball passed through the same, paralyzing my arm, and 
wounded and disabled me. General Cheatham, all the time, was 
calling on the men to go forward, saying, "Come on, boys, and 
follow me." 

The impression that General Frank Cheatham made upon 
my mind, leading the charge on the Wilkerson turnpike, I will 
never forget. I saw either victory or death written on his face. 
When I saw him leading our brigade, although I was wounded 
at the time, I felt sorry for him, he seemed so earnest and con- 
cerned, and as he was passing me I said, "Well, General, if you 
are determined to die, I'll die with you." We were at that time 
at least a hundred yards in advance of the brigade, Cheatham all 
the time calling upon the men to come on. He was leading the 
charge in person. Then it was that I saw the power of one man, 
born to command, over a multitude of men then almost routed 
and demoralized. I saw and felt that he was not fighting for 
glory, but that he was fighting for his country, because he loved 
that country, and he was willing to give his life for his country 
and the success of our cause. He deserves ;i wreath of immor- 
tality, and a warm place in every Southron's heart, for his brave 
and glorious example on that bloody battlefield of Murfree-boro. 
Yes, his history will ever shine in beauty and grandeur as a 
nana- among the brightest in all the galaxy of leaders in the his- 
tory of our cause. 

Now, another fact I will Btate, and that is, when the private 

soldier was ordered to charge and capture the twelve pieces of 
artillery, heavily supported by infantry, MEaney's brigade raised 
a whoop and yell, and swooped down on those Yankees Like a 


whirl-a-gust of woodpeckers in a hail storm, paying the blue- 
coated rascals back with compound interest; for when they did 
come, every man's gun was loaded, and they marched upon the 
blazing crest in solid file, and when they did fire, there was a 
sudden lull in the storm of battle, because the Yankees were 
nearly all killed. I cannot remember now of ever seeing more 
dead men and horses and captured cannon, all jumbled together. 
than that scene of blood and carnage and battle on the Wilkerson 
turnpike. The ground was literally covered with blue coats 
dead; and, if I remember correctly, there were eighty dead 

By this time our command had re-formed, and charged the 
blazing crest. 

The spectacle was grand. With cheers and shouts they 
charged up the hill, shooting down and bayoneting the flying 
cannoneers, General Cheatham, Colonel Field and Joe Lee cut- 
ting and slashing with their swords. The victory was complete. 
The whole left wing of the Federal army was driven back five 
miles from their original position. Their dead and wounded 
were in our lines, and we had captured many pieces of artillery, 
small arms, and prisoners. 

When I was wounded, the shell and shot that struck me, 
knocked me winding. I said, "O, O, I'm wounded," and at the 
same time I grabbed my arm. I thought it had been torn from 
my shoulder. The brigade had fallen back about two hundred 
yards, when General Cheatham's presence reassured them, and 
they soon were in line and ready to follow so brave and gallant a 
leader, and had that order of "cease firing, you are firing on your 
own men," not been given, Maney's brigade would have had the 
honor of capturing eighteen pieces of artillery, and ten thousand 
prisoners. This I do know to be a fact. 

As I went back to the field hospital, I overtook another man 
walking along. I do not know to what regiment he belonged, but 
I remember of first noticing that his left arm was entirely gone. 
His face was as white as a sheet. The breast and sleeve of his 
coat had been torn away, and I could see the frazzled end of his 
shirt sleeve, which appeared to be sucked into the wound. I 


looked at it pretty close, and I said "Great God !" for I could see 
his heart throb, and the respiration of his lungs. I was filled 
with wonder and horror at the sight. He was walking along, 
when all at once he dropped down and died without a struggle or 
a groan. I could tell of hundreds of such incidents of the battle- 
field, but tell only this one, because I remember it so distinctly. 


Tn passing over the battlefield, I came across a dead Yankee 
colonel. He had on the finest clothes I ever saw, a red sash and 
fine sword. I particularly noticed his boots. I needed them, 
and had made up my mind to wear them out for him. But I 
could not bear the thought of wearing dead men's shoes. I took 
hold of the foot and raised it up and made one trial at the boot 
to get it off. I happened to look up, and the colonel had his 
eyes wide open, and seemed to be looking at me. He was stone 
dead, but I dropped that foot quick. It was my first and last 
attempt to rob a dead Yankee. 

After the battle was over at Murfreesboro, that night, John 
Tucker and myself thought that we would investigate the con- 
tents of a fine brick mansion in our immediate front, but between 
our lines and the Yankees', and even in advance of our videts 
Before we arrived at the house we saw a body of Yankees ap- 
proaching, and as we started to run back they fired upon us 
Our pickets had run in and reported a night attack. We ran 
forward, expecting that our men would recognize us, but they 
opened fire upon us. I never was as bad scared in all my whole 
life, and if any poor devil ever prayed with fervency and true 
piety, I did it on that occasion. I thought, "I am between two 
fires." I do not think that a flounder or pancake was half as flat 
as I was that night; yea, it might be called in music, low flat. 




It is a bad thing for an army to remain too long at one 
place. The men soon become discontented and unhappy, and 
we had no diversion or pastime except playing poker and chuck- 
a-luck. All the money of the regiment had long ago been spent, 
but grains of corn represented dollars, and with these we would 
play as earnestly and as zealously as if they were so much 
money, sure enough. 


One of those amusing episodes that frequently occur in the 
army, happened at this place. A big strapping fellow by the 
name of Tennessee Thompson, always carried bigger burdens 
than any other five men in the army. For example, he carried 
tw r o quilts, three blankets, one gum oil cloth, one overcoat, one 
axe y one hatchet, one camp-kettle, one oven and lid, one coffee 
pot, besides his knapsack, haversack, canteen, gun, cartridge-box, 
and three days' rations. He was a rare bird, anyhow. Tennes- 
see usually had his hair cut short on one side and left long on the 
other, so that he could give his head a bow and a toss and throw 
the long hairs over on the other side, and it would naturally part 
itself without a comb. Tennessee was the wit and. good nature 
of the company ; always in a good humor, and ever ready to do 
any duty when called upon. In fact, I would sometimes get out 
of heart and low spirited, and would hunt up Tennessee to have a 
little fun. His bye-word was "Bully for Bragg; he's hell on 
retreat, and will whip the Yankees yet." He was a good and 
brave soldier, and followed the fortunes of Company H from the 
beginning to the end. 

Well, one day he and Billy Webster bet twenty-five dollars, 
put up in Bill Martin's hands, as to which could run the faster. 
John Tucker, Joe Lee, Alf. Horsley and myself were appointed 


judges. The distance was two hundred yards. The ground was 
measured off, and the judges stationed. Tennessee undressed 
himself, even down to his stocking feet, tied a red handkerchief 
around his head, and another one around his waist, and walked 
deliberately down the track, eyeing every little rock and stick 
and removing them off the track. Comes back to the starting- 
point and then goes down the track in half canter ; returns again 
his eyes flashing, his nostrils dilated, looking the impersonation 
of the champion courser of the world ; makes two or three appar- 
ently false starts; turns a somersault by placing his head on 
the ground and flopping over on his back ; gets up and whickers 
like a horse; goes half-hammered, hop, step, and jump — he says. 
to loosen up his joints — scratches up the ground with his hands 
and feet, flops his arms and crow r s like a rooster, and says, "Bully 
for Bragg; he's hell on a retreat," and announces his readiness. 
The drum is tapped, and off they start. Well, Billy Webster 
beat him one hundred yards in the two hundred, and Tennessee 
came back and said, "Well, boys, I'm beat ; Billy Martin, hand 
over the stakes to Billy Webster. I'm beat, but hang me if I 
didn't outrun the whole Yankee army coming out of Kentucky ; 
got away from Lieutenant Lansdowm and the whole detail at 
Chattanooga with half a hog, a fifty pound sack of flour, a jug 
of Meneesee commissary whisky, and a camp-kettle full of brown 
sugar. I'm beat. Billy Martin, hand over the stakes. Bully 
for Bragg ; he's hell on a retreat." Tennessee was trying bluff. 
He couldn't run worth a cent; but there was no braver or truer 
man ever drew a ramrod or tore a cartridge than Tennessee. 


Reader, did you ever eat a mussel ? Well, we did, at Shel- 
byville. We were camped right upon the bank of Duck river, 
and one day Fred Dornin, Ed Voss, Andy Wilson and I went in 
the river mussel hunting. Every one of us had a meal Back. 
We would feel down with our feet until we felt a mussel and then 
dive for it. We soon filled our sacks with mussels in their shells. 
When we got to camp we cracked the shells and took out the 
mussels. We tri«<l Irving them, but the longer they fried tin- 
tougher they got. They were a little too large to swallow whole. 


Then we stewed them, and after a while we boiled them, and then 
we baked them, but every flank movement we would make on 
those mussels the more invulnerable they would get. We tried 
cutting them up with a hatchet, but they were so slick and tough 
the hatchet would not cut them. Well, we cooked them, and 
buttered them, and salted them, and peppered them, and battered 
them. They looked good, and smelt good, and tasted good ; at 
least the fixings we put on them did, and we ate the mussels. I 
went to sleep that night. I dreamed that my stomach was four 
grindstones, and that they turned in four directions, according 
to the four corners of the earth. I awoke to hear four men yell 
out, "O, save, O, save me from eating any more mussels !" 

"poor" berry morgan. 

One of those sad, unexpected affairs, that remind the living 
that even in life we are in the midst of death, happened at Shel- 
by vi lie. Our regiment had been out to the front, on duty, and 
was returning to camp. It was nearly dark, and we saw a black 
wind cloud rising. The lightning's flash and the deep muttering 
thunders warned us to seek shelter as speedily as possible. Some 
of us ran in under the old depot shed, and soon the storm struck 
us. It was a tornado that made a track through the woods be- 
yond Shelby ville, and right through the town, and we could fol- 
low its course for miles where it had blown down the timber, 
twisting and piling it imevery shape. Berry Morgan and I had 
ever been close friends, and we threw down our blankets and 
were lying side by 3ide, when I saw roofs of houses, sign boards, 
and brickbats flying in every direction. Nearly half of the town 
was blown away in the storm. While looking at the storm with- 
out, I felt the old shed suddenly jar and tremble, and suddenly 
become unroofed, and it seemed to me that ten thousand brick- 
bats had fallen in around us. I could hear nothing for the roar- 
ing of the storm, and could see nothing for the blinding rain and 
flying dirt and bricks and other rubbish. The storm lasted but 
a few minutes, but those minutes seemed ages. When it had 
passed, I turned to look at "poor Berry." Poor fellow ! his head 
was- crushed in by a brickbat, his breast crushed in by another, 
and T think his arm was broken, and he was otherwise mutilated; 


It was a sad sight. Many others of our regiment were wounded. 
Berry was a very handsome boy. He was what everybody 
would call a "pretty man." He had fair skin, blue eyes, and 
fine curly hair, which made him look like an innocent child. I 
loved Berry. He was my friend — as true as the needle to the 
pole. But God, w 7 ho doeth all things w r ell, took his spirit in the 
midst of the storm to that beautiful home beyond the skies. I 
thank God I am no infidel. We will meet again. 


I saw a young boy about seventeen or eighteen years old, 
I iv the name of Wright, and belonging to General Marcus J. 
Wright's brigade, bhot to death with musketry at this place. 
The whole of Cheatham's division had to march out and witness 
the horrid scene. Now, I have no doubt that many, if not all. 
would have gone without being forced to do so, but then you 
know that was Bragg's style. He wanted always to display his 
tyranny, and to intimidate his privates as much as possible. 
The young man was hauled in a wagon, sitting on his coffin, to 
the place where the grave was to be dug, and a post was planted 
in the ground. He had to sit there for more than two hours, 
looking on at the preparations for his death. I went up to the 
wagon, like many others, to have a look at the doomed man. He 
had his hat pulled down over his eyes, and was busily picking at 
the ends of his fingers. The guard who then had him in charge 
told me that one of the culprit's own brothers was one of the 
detail to shoot him. I went up to the wagon and called him, 
"Wright !" He made no reply, and did not even look up. Then 
I said, "Wright, why don't you jump out of that wagon and 
run ?" He was callous to everything. I was sorry for him 
When the division was all assembled, and the grave dug, and the 
post set, he was taken out of the wagon, and tied to the post. 
He was first tied facing the post, and consequently would have 
been shot in the back, but was afterwards tied with his back to 
the post The chaplain of the regiment read a chapter in the 
Bible, Hang a hymn, and then all knelt down and prayed. 
General Wright went up to the pinioned man, shook hands with 
him, and told him good-bye, as did many others, and then fee 


shooting detail came up, and the officer in charge gave the com- 
mand, "Ready, aim, fire !" The crash of musketry broke upon 
the morning air. I was looking at Wright. I heard him almost 
shriek, "O, O, God !" His head dropped forward, the rope witli 
which he was pinioned keeping him from falling. I turned 
away and thought how long, how long will I have to witness these 
things ? 


While at Shelbyville, a vacancy occurring in Captain Led- 
better's company, the Rutherford Rifles, for fourth corporal, 
Dave Sublett became a candidate for the position. Now, Dave 
was a genius. He was a noble and brave fellow, and at one time 
had been a railroad director. He had a distinguished air 
always about him, but Dave had one fault, and that was, he was 
ever prone to get tight. He had been a Union man, and even 
now he always had a good word for the Union. He was sin- 
cere, but eccentric. The election for fourth corporal was draw- 
ing nigh. Dave sent off and got two jugs of spirits vini fru- 
menti, and treated the boys. Of course, his vote would be solid. 
Every man in that company was going to cast his vote for him. 
Dave got happy and wanted to make a speech. He went to the 
butcher's block which was used to cut up meat on — he called it. 
Butchers' Hall — got upon it amid loud cheering and hurrahs of 
the boys. He spoke substantially as follows : 

"Fellow Citizens — I confess that it is with feelings of diffi- 
dence and great embarrassment on my part that I appear before 
you on this occasion. But, gentlemen and fellow-citizens, I 
desire to serve you in an humble capacity, as fourth corporal of 
Company I. Should you see cause to elect me, no heart will 
beat with more gratitude than my own. Gentlemen, you well 
know that I was ever a Union man : 

" 'A union of lakes, and a union of lands, 
A union that no one can sever; 
A union of hearts, and a union of hands, 
A glorious union forever.' 

[Cheers and applause.] 

"Fellow-citizens, I can look through the dim telescope of 



the past and see Kansas, bleeding Kansas, coming like a fair 
young bride, dressed in her bridal drapery, her cheek wet and 
moistened with the tears of love. I can see her come and knock 
gently at the doors of the Union, asking for admittance. [Wild 
cheering.] Looking further back, I can see our forefathers of 
the revolution baring their bosoms to the famine of a seven 
years' war, making their own bosoms a breastwork against the 
whole hosts of King George III. But, gentlemen, as I before 
remarked, I desire to ask at your hands the high, distinguished 
and lucrative office, my fellow-citizens, and for which I will ever 
feel grateful — the office of fourth corporal in your company." 

Now, Dave had a competitor who was a states' rights demo- 
crat. If I mistake not, his name was Frank Haliburton. Now, 
Frank was an original secessionist. He felt that each state was 
a separate, sovereign government of itself, and that the South 
had the same rights in the territories as they of the North. He 
was fighting for secession and state rights upon principla 
When Sublett had finished his speech, Frank took the stand and 
*aid : 

"Gentlemen and Fellow-Citizens — I am a candidate for 
fourth corporal, and if you will elect me I will be grateful, and 
will serve you to the best of my ability. My competitor seems to 
harp considerably upon his Union record, and Union love. If I 
mistake not, my fellow-citizens, it was old George McDuffie that 
-food up in the senate chamber of the United States and said, 
'When I hear the shout of "glorious Union," methinks I hear the 
shout of a robber gang.' McDuffie saw through his prophetic 
vision the evils that would result, and has foretold them as if by 
inspiration from above. 

"Fellow-citizens, under the name of Union our country is 
invaded to-day. 

"These cursed Yankees are invading our country, robbing 
ova people, and desolating our land, and all under the detestable 
and damning name of Union. Our representatives in congress 
have been fighting them for fifty years. Compromise after com- 
promise has been granted by the South. We have use<l every 


effort to conciliate those at the North. They have turned a deaf 
ear to every plea. They saw our country rich and prosperous, 
and have come indeed, like a gang of robbers, to steal our prop- 
erty and murder our people. But, fellow-citizens, I for one am 
ready to meet them, and desire that you elect me fourth corporal 
of Company I, so that I can serve you in a more efficient man- 
ner, while we meet as a band of brothers, the cursed horde of 
Northern Hessians and hirelings. I thank you for your atten- 
tion, gentlemen, and would thank you for your votes." 

Well, the election came off, and Dave was elected by an 
overwhelming majority. But the high eminence of military 
distinction enthralled him. He seemed to live in an atmosphere 
of greatness and glory, and was looking eagerly forward to the 
time when he would command armies. He had begun to climb 
the ladder of glory under most favorable and auspicious circum- 
stances. He felt his consequence and keeping. He was detailed 
once, and only once, to take command of the third relief of camp 
guard. Ah, this thing of office was a big thing. He desired to 
hold a council of war with Generals Bragg, Polk, Hardee, and 
Kirby Smith. He first visited General Polk. His war metal 
was up. He wanted a fight just then and there, and a fight he 
must have, at all hazards, and to the last extremity. He became 
obstreperous, when General Polk called a guard and had him 
marched off to the guard-house. It was then ordered that he 
should do extra fatigue duty for a week. The guard would take 
him to the woods with an ax, and he would make two or three 
chops on a tree and look up at it and say: 

"Woodman, spare that tree; touch not a single bough; 
In youth it sheltered me, and I'll protect it now." 

He would then go to another tree; but at no tree would he make 
more than two or three licks before he would go to another. He 
would hit a limb and then a log ; would climb a tree and cut at a 
limb or two, and keep on this way until he came to a hard old 
stump, which on striking his ax would bound and spring back. 
He had found his desire ; the top of that stump became fun and 
pleasure. Well, his time of misdemeanor expired and he was 



relieved. He went back and reported to Colonel Field, who 
informed him that he had been reduced to the ranks. lie drew 
himself up to his full height and said : "Colonel, T regret ex- 
ceedingly to be so soon deprived of my neAv fledged honors that I 
have won on so many a hard fought and bloody battlefield, but 
if I am reduced to the ranks as a private soldier, I can but ex- 
claim, like Moses of old, when he crossed the Red sea in defiance 
of Pharaoh's hosts, *0, how the mighty have fallen !' " He then 
marched off with the air of the born soldier. 


"Ora pro nobis." 

At this place, Duck river wended its way to Columbia. On 
one occasion it was up — had on its Sunday clothes — a-booming. 
Andy Wilson and I thought that we would slip off and go down 
the river in a canoe. We got the canoe and started. It was a 
leaky crait. We had not gone far before the thing capsized, 
and we swam ashore. But we were outside of the lines now, and 
without passes. (We would have been arrested anyhow.) So 
we put our sand paddles to work and landed in Columbia that 
night. I loved a maid, and so did Andy, and some poet has said 
that love laughs at grates, bars, locksmiths, etc. I do not know- 
how true this is, but I do know that when I went to see my sweet- 
heart that night I asked her to pray for me, because I thought 
the prayers of a pretty woman would go a great deal further "up 
yonder" than mine would. T also met Cousin Alice, another 
beautiful woman, at my father's front gate, and told her that 9he 
must pray for me, because, I knew I would be court-martialed as 
soon as I got back; that I had no idea of deserting the army and 
only wanted to see the maid I loved. It took me one day to g<> 
to Columbia and one day to return, and I stayed at home only 
one day, and went back of my own accord. When I got buck to 
Shelbyville, I was arrested and carried to the guard-house, and 
when court-martialed was sentenced to thirty days' fatigue duty 
and to forfeit four months' pay at eleven dollars per month, mak 
ing forty-four dollars. Now, you see how dearly I paid for that 
trip. But, fortunately for me, General Leonidas Polk ha* 


issued an order that very day promising pardon to all soldiers 
absent without leave if they would return. I got the guard to 
march mo up to his headquarters and told him of my predica- 
ment, and he ordered my release, but said nothing of remitting 
the fine. So when we were paid off at Chattanooga I was left 
out The Confederate States of America were richer by forty- 
four dollars. 


General Owleydousky, lately imported from Poland, was 
Bragg's inspector general. I remember of reading in the news- 
papers of where he tricked Bragg at last. The papers said he 
stole all of Bragg's clothes one day and left for parts unknown. 
It is supposed he went back to Poland to act as "Ugh ! Big In- 
dian ; fight heap mit Bragg." But I suppose it must have left 
Bragg in a bad fix — somewhat like Mr. Jones, who went to ask 
the old folks for Miss Willis. On being told that she was a very 
poor girl, and had no property for a start in life, he simply said, 
"All right; all I want is the naked girl." 

On one occasion, while inspecting the arms and accoutre- 
ments of our regiment, when he came to inspect Company H he 
said, "Shentlemens, vat for you make de pothook out of de 
sword and de bayonet, and trow de cartridge-box in de mud ? I 
dust report you to Sheneral Bragg. Mine gracious!" Ap- 
proaching Orderly Sergeant John T. Tucker, and lifting the flap 
of his cartridge box, which was empty, he said, "Bah, bah, mon 
Dieu ; I dust know dot you ish been hunting de squirrel and de 
rabbit. Mon Dieu ! you sharge yourself mit fifteen tollars for 
wasting sixty cartridges at twenty-five cents apiece. Bah, ball, 
mon Dieu ; I dust report you to Sheneral Bragg." Approaching 
Sergeant A. S. Horsley, he said, "Vy ish you got nodings mit 
your knapsack ? Sir, you must have somedings mit your knap- 
sack." Alf ran into his tent and came back with his knapsack 
in the right shape. Well, old Owleydousky thought he would 
be smart and make an example of Alf, and said, "I vish to in- 
spect your clodings." He took Alf's knapsack and on opening it, 
what do you suppose was in it ? Well, if you are not a Yankee 
and good at guessing, I will tell you, if you won't say anything 



about it, for Alf might get mad if he were to hear it. He found 
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, Crudeii's Concordance, Mac- 
auley's History of England, Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cosset, Les 
Miserables, The Heart of Midlothian, Ivanhoe, Guy Mannering. 
Rob Roy, Shakespeare, the History of Ancient Rome, and many 
others which I have now forgotten. He carried literature for 
the regiment. He is in the same old business yet, only now he 
furnishes literature bv the car load. 



Rosecrans' army was in motion. The Federals were ad- 
vancing, but as yet they w r ere afar off. Chattanooga must be 
fortified. Well do we remember the hard licks and picks that 
we spent on these same forts, to be occupied afterwards by 
Grant and his whole army, and we on Lookout Mountain and 
Missionary Ridge looking at them. 


About this time my father paid me a visit. Rations were 
mighty scarce. I was mighty glad to see him, but. ashamed to 
let him know how poorly off for something to eat we were. We 
were living on parched corn. I thought of a happy plan to get 
him a good dinner, so I asked him to let us go up to the colonel's 
tent Says I, "Colonel Field, I desire to introduce you to my 
father, and as rations are a little short in my mess, I thought you 
alight have ;i little better, and could give him a good dinner.'' 
"Yes, w says Colonel Field, "I am glad to make the acquaintance 
of your father, and will be glad to divide my rations with him. 


Also, I would like you to stay and take dinner with me," which 
I assure you, O kind reader, I gladly accepted. About this time 
a young African, Whit, came in with a frying-pan of parched 
corn and dumped it on an old oil cloth, and said, "Master, din- 
ner is ready." That was all he had. He was living like our- 
selves — on parched corn. 

We continued to fortify and build breatworks at Chatta- 
nooga. - It was the same drudge, drudge day by day. Occari ion- 
ally a Sunday would come; but when it did come, there came 
inspection of arms, knapsacks and cartridge-boxes. Every sol- 
dier had to have his gun rubbed up as bright as a new silver 
dollar. W. A. Hughes had the brightest gun in the army, and 
always called it "Florence Fleming." The private soldier had 
to have on clean clothes, and if he had lost any cartridges he was 
charged twenty-five cents each, and had to stand extra duty for 
every cartridge lost. We always dreaded Sunday. The roll 
was called more frequently on this than any other day. Some- 
times we would have preaching. I remember one text that I 
thought the bottom had been knocked out long before: "And 
Peter's wife's mother lay sick of fever." That text always did 
make a deep impression on me. I always thought of a young 
divine who preached it when first entering the ministry, and in 
about twenty years came back, and happening to preach from the 
same text again, an old fellow in the congregation said, "Mr. 
Preacher, ain't that old woman dead yet ?" Well, that was the 
text that was preached to us soldiers one Sunday at Chattanooga. 
I could not help thinking all the time, "Ain't that old woman 
dead yet ?" But he announced that he would preach again at 3 
o'clock. We went to hear him preach at 3 o'clock, as his sermon 
was so interesting about "Peter's wife's mother lay sick of a 
fever." We thought, may be it was a sort of sickly subject, and 
he would liven us up a little in the afternoon service. 

Well, he took his text, drawled out through his nose like 
"small sweetness long drawn out:" "M-a-r-t-h-a, thou art 
w-e-a-r-i-e-d and troubled about many things, but M-a-r-y hath 
chosen that good part that shall never be taken from her." Well, 
you see, O gentle and fair reader, that I remember the text these 



long gone twenty years. I do not remember what he preached 
about, but I remember thinking that he was a great ladies' man, 
at any rate, and whenever I see a man who loves and respects the 
ladies, I think him a good man. 

The next sermon was on the same sort of a text : "And the 
lx)rd God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam and took out of" — 
he stopped here and said e meant out of, that e, being translated 
from the Latin and Greek, meant out of, and took e, or rather 
out of a rib and formed woman. I never did know why he ex- 
paciated so largely on e; don't understand it yet, but you see, 
reader mine, that I remember but the little things that happened 
in that stormy epoch. I remember the e part of the sermon more 
distinctly than all of his profound eruditions of theology, dog- 
mas, creeds and evidences of Christianity, and I only write at 
this time from memory of things that happened twenty years ago. 

"out a larking/' 

At this place, we took Walter Hood out "a larking.' 1 The 
way to go "a larking" is this: Get an empty meal bag and 
about a dozen men and go to some dark forest or open Held on 
some cold, dark, frosty or rainy night, about five miles from 
camp. Get some one who does not understand the game to hold 
the bag in as stooping and cramped a position as is possible, to 
keep perfectly still and quiet, and when he has got in the right 
fix, the others to go off to drive in the larks. As soon as they get 
<>ut of sight, they break in a run and go back to camp, and go to 
sleep, leaving the poor fellow all the time holding the bag. 

Well, Walter was as good and as clever a fellow as you ewer 
saw, was popular with everylxxly, and as brave and noble a f el low- 
as ever tore a cartridge, or drew a ramrod, or pulled a trigger, 
hut was the kind of a boy that was easily "roped in" to fun or 
tight or anything that would come up. We all loved him. Poor 
fellow, he is up yonder — died on the field of glory and honor. 
Ho gave his life, 'twas all he had, for his country. Peace to his 
memory. That night wo went "a Larking," and Walter held the 
hag. I did not see him till netx morning. While 1 was gulping 
down my coffee, as well as laughter, Walter came around, looking 
sort of sheepish and shy like, and I wa.s trying to look as solemn 


as a judge. Finally he came up to the fire and kept on eyeing 
me out of one corner of his eye, and I was afraid to look at him 
for fear of breaking out in a laugh. When I could hold in no 
longer, I laughed out, and said, "Well, Walter, what luck last 
night ?" He was very much disgusted, and said, "Humph ! you 
all think that you are smart. I can't see anything to laugh at in 
such foolishness as that." He said, "Here ; I have brought your 
bag back." That conquered me. After that kind of magnani- 
mous act in forgiving me and bringing my bag back so pleasantly 
and kindly, I was his friend, and would have fought for him. I 
felt sorry that we had taken him out "a larking." 


I can now recall to memory but one circumstance that made 
a deep impression on my mind at the time. I heard that two 
spies were going to be hung on a certain day, and I went to the 
hanging. The scaffold was erected, two coffins were placed on 
the platform, the ropes were dangling from the cross beam above. 
I had seen men shot, and whipped, and shaved, and branded at 
( ^orinth and Tupelo, and one poor fellow named Wright shot at 
Shelbyville. They had all been horrid scenes to me, but they 
were Rebels, and like begets like. I did not know when it would 
be my time to be placed in the same position, you see, and "a 
fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind." I did not know what 
was in store in the future for me. Ah, there was the rub, don't 
you see. This shooting business wasn't a pleasant thing to think 
about. But Yankees — that was different. I wanted to see a 
Yankee spy hung. I wouldn't mind that. I would like to see 
him agonize. A spy ; O, yes, they had hung one of our regiment 
at Pulaski — Sam Davis. Yes, I would see the hanging. After 
a while I saw a guard approach, and saw two little boys in their 
midst, but did not see the Yankees that I had been looking for. 
The two little boys were rushed upon the platform. I saw that 
they were handcuffed. "Are they spies ?" I was appalled ; I 
was horrified ; nay, more, I was sick at heart. One was about 
fourteen and the other about sixteen years old, I should judge. 
The ropes were promptly adjusted around their necks by the 
provost marshal. The youngest one began to beg and cry and 



plead most piteously. It was horrid. The older one kicked 
him, and told him to stand up and show the Rebels how a Union 
man could die for his country. Be a man ! The charges and 
specifications were then read. The props were knocked out and 
the two boys were dangling in the air. I turned off sick at heart. 


While stationed at this place, Chattanooga, rations were 
very scarce and hard to get, and it was, perhaps, economy on the 
part of our generals and commissaries to issue rather scant 

About this time we learned that Peniberton's army, sta- 
tioned at Vicksburg, were subsisting entirely on rats. Instead 
of the idea being horrid, we were glad to know that "necessity is 
the mother of invention," and that the idea had originated in the 
mind of genius. We at once acted upon the information, and 
started out rat hunting ; but we couldn't find any rats. Presently 
we came to an old outhouse that seemed to be a natural harbor f < >r 
this kind of vermin. The house was quickly torn down and out 
jumped an old residenter, who was old and gray. I suppose 
that he had been chased before. But we had jumped him and 
were determined to catch him, or "burst a boiler.'' After chas- 
ing him backwards and forwards, the rat finally got tired of this 
foolishness and started for his hole. But a rat's tail is the last 
that goes in the hole, and as he went in we made a grab for his 
tail. Well, tail hold broke, and we held the skin of his tail in 
our hands. But Ave were determined to have that rat. After 
hard work we caught him. We skinned him, washed and suited 
him, buttered and peppered him, and fried him. He actually 
looked nice. The delicate aroma of the frying rat came to our 
hungry nostrils. We were keen to eat a piece of rat: our teeth 
were on edge; yea, oven our mouth watered to eat a piece of rat 
Well, after a while, he was said to be done. I got. a piece of cold 
• •oni dodger, laid my piece of the rat on it, eat a little piece of 
bread, and raised the piece of rat to my mouth, when I.happoned 
to iliink of how that rat's tail did slip. T had lost, my appetite 
for dead rat. I did not eat any rat. It was my first ami Inst 
effort to eat dead rats. 



The Tennessee river is about a quarter of a mile wide at 
Chattanooga. Right across the river was an immense corn-field. 
The green corn was waving with every little breeze that passed ; 
the tassels were bowing and nodding their heads ; the pollen was 
flying across the river like little snow-drops, and everything 
seemed to say, ''Come hither, Johnny Reb; come hither, Johnny ; 
come hither." The river was wide, but we w r ere hungry. The 
roastingears looked tempting. We pulled off our clothes and 
launched into the turbid stream, and were soon on the other bank. 
Here was the field, and here were the roastingears; but where 
was the raft or canoe ? 

We thought of old Abraham and Isaac and the sacrifice : 
"My son, gather the roastingears, there will be a way provided.'' 

We gathered the roastingears ; we went back and gathered 
more roastingears, time and again. The bank was lined with 
green roastingears. Well, what was to be done ? We began to 
shuck the corn. We would pull up a few shucks on one ear, and 
tie it to the shucks of another — first one and then another— until 
we had at least a hundred tied together. We put the train of 
corn into the river, and as it began to float off we jumped in, and 
taking the foremost ear in our mouth, struck out for the other 
bank. Well, we made the landing all correct. 

I merely mention the above incident to show to what ex- 
tremity soldiers would resort. Thousands of such occurrences 
were performed by the private soldiers of the Rebel army. 


One day I was detailed to go with a wagon train way down 
in Georgia on a foraging expedition. It was the first time since 
I had enlisted as a private that I had struck a good thing. ISTo 
roll call, no drilling, no fatigue duties, building fortifications, 
standing picket, dress parade, reviews, or retreats, had to be 
answered to — the same old monotonous roll call that had been 
answered five thousand times in these three years. I felt like a 
free man. The shackles of discipline had for a time been un- 
fettered. This was bliss, this was freedom, this was liberty. 


CO. ii., II lis 1' TENNESSEE UECil.ME.NT. 

The sky looked brighter, the birds sang more beautiful and 
sweeter than I remember to have ever heard them. Even the 
little streamlets and branches danced and jumped along the peb- 
bly beds, while the minnows sported and frollicked under the 
shining ripples. The very flocks and herds in the pasture looked 
happy and gay. Even the screech of the wagons, that needed 
greasing, seemed to send forth a happy sound. It was fine, I 
tell you. 

The blackberries were ripe, and the roadsides were lined 
with this delicious fruit. The Lord said that he would curse the 
ground for the disobedience of man, and henceforth it should 
bring forth thorns and briars ; but the very briars that had been 
cursed were loaded with the abundance of God's goodness. T 
felt, then, like David in one of his psalms — "The Lord is good, 
the Lord is good, for his mercy endureth forever." 


For several days the wagon train continued on until we had 
arrived at the part of country to which we had been directed. 
Whether they bought or pressed the corn, I know not, but the old 
gentleman invited us all to take supper with him. If I have 
ever eaten a better supper than that I have forgotten it. They 
had biscuit for supper. What ! flour bread ? Did my eyes de- 
ceive me? Well, there were biscuit — sure enough flour bread — 
and sugar and coffee — genuine Rio — none of your rye or potato 
coffee, and butter — regular butter — and ham and eggs, and tur- 
nip greens, and potatoes, and fried chicken, and nice clean plates 
— none of your tin affairs — and a snow-white table-cloth and 
napkins, and white-handled knives and silver forks. At the 
bead of the table was the madam, having on a pair of golden 
-|.«ct;ic]('s, and at the foot the old gentleman. He said grace. 
And, to cap the climax, two handsome daughters. I know that 
I had never seen two more beautiful ladies. They had on little 
white aprons, trimmed with jaconet edging, and collars as clean 
and white as snow. They looked good enough to eat, and 1 think 
at that, time I would have given ten years of my life to have 
kissed one of them. We were invited to help ourselves. Our 
plates were soon filled with the tempting food and onr tumblers 


with California beer. We would have liked it better had it been 
twice as strong, but what it lacked in strength we made up in 
quantity. The old lady said, "Daughter, hand the gentleman 
the butter." It was the first thing that I had refused, and the 
reason that I did so was because mj plate was full already. 
Now, there is nothing that will offend a lady so quick as to refuse 
to take butter when handed to you. If you should say, "No, 
madam, I never eat butter," it is a direct insult to the lady of the 
house. Better, far better, for you to have remained at home that 
day. If you don't eat butter, it is an insult ; if you eat too much, 
she will make your ears burn after you have left. It is a regu- 
lator of society ; it is a civilizer ; it is a luxury and a delicacy 
that must be touched and handled with care and courtesy on all 
occasions. Should you desire to get on the good side of a lady, 
just give a broad, sweeping, slathering compliment to her butter. 
It beats kissing the dirty-faced baby; it beats anything. Too 
much praise cannot be bestowed upon the butter, be it good, bad, 
or indifferent to your notions of things, but to her, her butter is 
always good, superior, excellent. I did not know this charac- 
teristic of the human female at the time, or I would have taken 
a delicate slice of the butter. Here is a sample of the colloquy 
that followed : 

"Mister, have some butter ?" 

"Not any at present, thank you, madam." 

"Well, I insist upon it; our butter is nice." 

"O, I know it's nice, but my plate is full, thank you." 

"Well, take some anyhow." 

One of the girls spoke up and said : 

"Mother, the gentleman don't wish butter." 

"Well, I want him to know that our butter is clean, any- 

"Well, madam, if you insist upon it, there is nothing that I 
love so well as warm biscuit and butter. I'll thank you for the 

I dive in. I go in a little too heavy. The old lady hints in 
a delicate way that they sold butter. I dive in heavier. That 
cake of butter was melting like snow in a red hot furnace. The 


old lady Bays, "We sell butter to the soldiers at a mighty good 

I dive in afresh. She says, "I get a dollar a pound for that 
butter," and I remark with a good deal of nonchalance, "Well, 
madam, it is worth it," and dive in again. T did not marry one 
of the girls. 


One morning while sitting around our camp fires we heard 
a boom, and a bomb shell passed over our heads. The Yankee 
army was right on the other bank of the Tennessee river. Bragg 
did not know of their approach until the cannon fired. 

Rosecrans' army is crossing the Tennessee river. A part 
are already on Lookout Mountain. Some of their cavalry scouts 
had captured some of our foraging parties in Wills valley. The 
air was full of flying rumors. Wagons are being packed, camps 
are broken up, and there is a general hubbub everywhere. But 
your old soldier is always ready at a moment's notice. The 
assembly is sounded ; form companies, and we are ready for a 
march, or a fight, or a detail, or anything. If we are marched a 
thousand miles or twenty yards, it is all the same. The private 
soldier is a machine that has no right to know anything. He is 
amachine that moves without any volition of his own. If Edi- 
son could invent a wooden man that could walk and load and 
shoot, then you would have a good sample of the private soldier, 
and it would have this advantage — the private soldier eats and 
the wooden man would not. 

We left Chattanooga, but whither bound we knew not, and 
cared not; but we marched toward Chickamauga and crossed at 
Lee & Gordon's mill. 


On our way to Lafayette from Lee & Gordon's mill, 1 
remember a ludicrous scene, almost, bordering on sacrilege. 
Rosecrans' army was very near us, and we expected before three 
• lays elapsed to be engaged in battle. In faet. we knew there 
must be a fight or a foot race, otic or the other. We eould smell 
as it were, "tin- Wattle afar off." 


One Sabbath morning it was announced that an eloquent 
and able LL. D., from ]STaskville, was going to preach, and a? 
the occasion was an exceedingly solemn one, we were anxious to 
hear this divine preach from God's Holy Word; and as he was 
one of the "big ones," the whole army was formed in close col- 
umn and stacked their arms. The cannon were parked, all 
pointing back toward Chattanooga. The scene looked weird 
and picturesque. It was in a dark wilderness of woods and 
vines and overhanging limbs. In fact, it seemed but the home 
of the owl and the bat, and other varmints that turn night into 
day. Everything looked solemn. The trees looked solemn, the 
scene looked solemn, the men looked solemn, even the horses 
looked solemn. You may be sure, reader, that we felt solemn. 

The reverend LL. D. had prepared a regular war sermon 
before he left home, and of course had to preach it, appropriate 
or not appropriate; it w r as in him and had to come out. He 
opened the service with a song. I did remember the piece that 
was sung, but right now I cannot recall it to memory; but as 
near as I can now recollect here is his prayer, verbatim et liter- 
atim : 

"Oh, Thou immaculate, invisible, eternal and holy Being, 
the exudations of whose effulgence illuminates this terrestrial 
sphere, we approach Thy presence, being covered all over with 
wounds and bruises and putrifving sores, from the crowns of our 
heads to the soles of our feet. And Thou, O Lord, art our der- 
nier resort. The whole world is one great machine, managed 
by Thy puissance. The beatific splendors of Thy face irradiate 
the celestial region and felicitate the saints. There are the most 
exuberant profusions of Thy grace, and the sempiternal efflux of 
Thy glory. God is an abyss of light, a circle whose center is 
everywhere and His circumference nowhere. Hell is the dark 
world made up of spiritual sulphur and other ignited ingredi- 
ents, disunited and unharmonized, and without that pure bal- 
samic oil that flows from the heart of God." 

When the old fellow got this far, I lost the further run of 
his prayer, but regret very much that I did so, because it was so 
grand and fine that I would have liked very much to have kept 


such an appropriate prayer for posterity. In fact, it lays it on 
heavy over any prayer I ever heard, and I think the new trans- 
lators ought to get it and have it put in their book as a sample 
prayer. But they will have to get the balance of it from the 
eminent LL. D. In fact, he was so "high larnt" that I don't 
think any one understood him but the generals. The colonels 
might every now and then have understood a word, and maybe 
a few of the captains and lieutenants, because Lieutenant Lans- 
down told me he understood every word the preacher said, and 
further informed me that it was none of your. one-horse, old- 
fashioned country prayers that privates knew anything about, 
but was bang-up, first-rate, orthodox. 

Well, after singing and praying, he took his text. I quote 
entirely from memory. "Blessed be the Lord God, who teaches 
my hands to war and my fingers to fight." Now, reader, that 
was the very subject we boys did not want to hear preached on — 
on that occasion at least. We felt like some other subject would 
have suited us better. I forget how he commenced his sermon, 
but I remember that after he got warmed up a little, he began to 
pitch in on the Yankee nation, and gave them particular fits as 
to their geneology. He said that we of the South had descended 
from the royal and aristocratic blood of the Huguenots of 
France, and of the cavaliers of England, etc. ; but that the Yan- 
kees were the descendants of the crop-eared Puritans and witch 
burners, who came over in the Mayflower, and settled at Ply- 
mouth Rock. He was warm on this subject, and waked up the 
echoes of the forest. He said that he and his brethren would 
fight the Yankees in this world, and if God permit, chase their 
frightened ghosts in the next, through fire and brimstone. 

About this time we heard the awfullest racket, produced by 
some wild animal tearing through the woods toward us, and the 
cry, "Look out! look out! hooie! hooie! hooie! look out!" and 
there came running right through our midst a wild bull, mad 
with terror and fright, running right, over and knocking down 
the divine, and scattering Bibles and hymn books in every direc- 
tion. The services wore brought to a close without, the doxology. 

This Bailie brave chaplain rode along with our brigade, 08 


an old string-haltered horse, as we advanced to the attack at 
Chickamauga, exhorting the boys to be brave, to aim low, and to 
kill the Yankees as if they were wild beasts, lie was eloquent 
and patriotic. He stated that if he only had a gun he too would 
go along as a private soldier. You could hear his voice echo and 
re-echo over the hills. He had worked up his patriotism to a 
pitch of genuine bravery and daring that I had never seen 
exhibited, when fliff, fluff, fluff, fluff, fluff, FLUFF— a whir. 
a boom ! and a shell screams through the air. The reverend 
LL. D. stops to listen, like an old sow when she hears the wind, 
and says, "Remember, boys, that he who is killed will sup to- 
night in Paradise." Some soldier hallooed at the top of his 
voice, "Well, parson, you come along and take supper with us." 
Boom ! whir ! a bomb burst, and the parson at that moment put 
spurs to his horse and was seen to limber to the rear, and almost 
every soldier yelled out, "The parson isn't hungry, and never 
eats supper." I remember this incident, and so does every 
member of the First Tennessee Regiment. 


Presentment is always a mystery. The soldier may at one 
moment be in good spirits, laughing and talking. The wing of 
the death angel touches him. He knows that his time has come. 
It is but a question of time with him then. He knows that his 
days are numbered. I cannot explain it. God has numbered 
the hairs of our heads, and not a sparrow falls without His 
knowledge. How much more valuable are we than many spar- 

We had stopped at Lee & Gordon's mill, and gone into 
camp for the night. Three days' rations were being issued. 
When Bob Stout was given his rations he refused to take them. 
His face wore a serious, woe-begone expression. He was asked 
if he was sick, and said "No," but added, "Boys, my days are 
numbered, my time has come. In three days from to-day, I 
will be lying right yonder on that hillside a corpse. Ah, you 
may laugh; my time has come. I've got a twenty dollar gold 
piece in my pocket that I've carried through the war, and a silver 
watch that my father sent me through the lines. Please take 



them off when I am dead, and give them to Captain Irvine, to 
give to my father when he gets back home. Here are my cloth- 
ing and blanket that any one who wishes them may have. My 
rations I do not wish at all. My gun and cartridge-box I expect 
to die with." 

The next morning the assembly sounded about two o'clock. 
We commenced our march in the darkness, and marched twenty- 
five miles to a little town by the name of Lafayette, to the relic I' 
of General Pillow, whose command had been attacked at that 
place. After accomplishing this, we marched back by another 
road to Chickamauga. We camped on the banks of Chicka- 
mauga on Friday night, and Saturday morning we commenced 
to cross over. About twelve o'clock we had crossed. No sooner 
had we crossed than an order came to double quick. General 
Forrest's cavalry had opened the battle. Even then the spent 
balls were falling amongst us with that peculiar thud so familiar 
to your old soldier. 

Double quick ! There seemed to be no rest for us. Forrest 
is needing reinforcements. Double quick, close up in the rear ! 
siz, siz, double quick, boom, hurry up, bang, bang, a rattle de 
bang, bang, siz, boom, boom, boom, hurry up, double quick, 
boom, bang, halt, front, right dress, boom, boom, and three sol- 
diers are killed and twenty wounded. Billy Webster's arm was 
torn out by the roots and he killed, and a fragment of shell 
buried itself in Jim McE win's side, also killing Mr. Fain King, 
a conscript from Mount Pleasant. Forward, guide center, 
march, charge bayonets, fire at will, commence firing. (This is 
where the LL. D. ran.) We debouched through the woods, fir- 
ing as we marched, the Yankee line about two hundred yards off. 
Bang, bang, siz, siz. It was a sort of running fire. We kept 
u [» a constant fire as we advanced. In ten minutes we were face 
to face with the foe. It was but a question as to who could load 
and shoot the fastest. The army was not up. Bragg was not 
ready for a general battle. The big battle was fought the next 
day, Sunday. We held our position for two hours and ten 
minutes in the midst of a deadly and galling tire, being enfiladed 
and almost surrounded, when General Forrest galloped up ami 


said, "Colonel Field, look out, you are almost surrounded; you 
had better fall back." The order was given to retreat. I ran 
through a solid line of blue coats. As I fell back, they were 
upon the right of us, they were upon the left of us, they were in 
front of us, they were in the rear of us. It was a perfect hor- 
nets' nest. The balls whistled around our ears like the escape 
valves of ten thousand engines. The woods seemed to be blaz- 
ing ; everywhere, at every jump, would rise a lurking foe. But 
to get up and dust was all we could do. I was running along 
by the side of Bob Stout. General Preston Smith stopped me 
and asked if our brigade was falling back. I told him it was: 
He asked me the second time if it was Maney's brigade that was 
falling back. I told him it was. I heard him call out, "Atten- 
tion, forward!'' One solid sheet of leaden hail was falling 
around me. I heard General Preston Smith's brigade open. It 
seemed to be platoons of artillery. The earth jarred and trem- 
bled like an earthquake. Deadly missiles were flying in every 
direction. It was the very incarnation of death itself. I could 
almost hear the shriek of the death angel passing over the scene. 
General Smith was killed in ten minutes after I saw him. Bob 
Stout and myself stopped. Said I, "Bob, you wern't killed, as 
you expected." He did not reply, for at that very moment a 
solid shot from the Federal guns struck him between the waist 
and the hip, tearing off one leg and scattering his bowels all over 
the ground. I heard him shriek out, "O, O, God !" His spirit 
had flown before his body struck the ground. Farewell, friend ; 
we will meet over yonder. 

When the cannon ball struck Billy Webster, tearing his 
arm out of the socket, he did not die immediately, but as we 
were advancing to the attack, we left him and the others lying 
where they fell upon the battlefield ; but when we fell -back to 
the place where we had left our knapsacks, Billy's arm had been 
dressed by Dr. Buist, and he seemed to be quite easy. He asked 
Jim Fogey to please write a letter to his parents at home. He 
wished to dictate the letter. He asked me to please look in his 
knapsack and get him a clean shirt, and said that he thought he 
would feel better if he could get rid of the blood that was upon 



him. I went to hunt for his knapsack and found it, but when I 
got back to where he was, poor, good Billy Webster was dead. 
He had given his life to his country. His spirit is with the good 
and brave. No better or braver man than Billy Webster ever 
drew the breath of life. His bones lie yonder to-day, upon the 
battlefield of Chickamauga. I loved him ; he was my friend. 
Many and many a dark night have Billy and I stood together 
upon the silent picket post. Ah, reader, my heart grows sick 
and I feel sad while I try to write my recollections of that 
unholy and uncalled for war. But He that ruleth the heavens 
doeth all things well. 



Sunday morning of that September day, the sun rose over 
the eastern hills clear and beautiful. The day itself seemed to 
have a Sabbath-day look about it The battlefield was in a 
rough and broken country, with trees and undergrowth, thar 
ever since the creation had never been disturbed by the ax of 
civilized man. It looked wild, weird, uncivilized. 

Our corps (Polk's), being in the engagement the day before, 
were held in reserve Reader, were you ever held in reserve of 
an attacking army? To see couriers dashing backward and 
forward ; to hear the orders given to the brigades, regiments and 
eompanies; to see them forward in line of battle, the battle- Hags 
waving; to hear their rharge, and then to hear the shoek of l>;it 
tie, the shot and shell all the while si/./.ing, and zipping, and 
thudding, and sereaming, and roaring, and bursting, and passim: 
right over your heads ; to see the litter corps bringing back the 


wounded continually, and hear them tell how their command 
was being cut to pieces, and that every man in a certain regiment 
was killed, and to see a cowardly colonel (as we saw on this 
occasion — he belonged to Longstreet's corps) come dashing back, 
looking the very picture of terror and fear, exclaiming, "O, men, 
men, for God's sake go forward and help my men ! they are 
being cut all to pieces ! we can't hold our position. 0, for God's 
sake, please go and help my command !" To hear some of our 
boys ask, "What regiment is that? What regiment is that?'* 
He replies, such and such regiment. And then to hear some 
fellow ask, "Why ain't you with them, then, you cowardly 
puppy ? Take off that coat and those chicken guts ; coo, sheep ; 
baa, baa, black sheep ; flicker, flicker ; ain't you ashamed of your- 
self ? flicker, flicker ; I've got a notion to take my gun and kill 
him," etc. Every word of this is true; it actually happened. 
But all that could demoralize, and I may say intimidate a sol- 
dier, was being enacted, and he not allowed to participate. How 
we were moved from one position to another, but always under 
fire; our nerves strung to their utmost tension, listening to the 
roar of battle in our immediate front, to hear it rage and then 
get dimmer until it seems to die out entirely ; then all at once it 
breaks out again, and you think now in a very few minutes you 
will be ordered into action, and then all at once we go double- 
quicking to another portion of the field, the battle raging back 
from the position we had left. General Leonidas Polk rides up 
and happening to stop in our front, some of the boys halloo out, 
"Say, General, what command is that which is engaged now?" 
The general kindly answers, "That is Longstreet's corps. He is 
driving them this way, and we will drive them that way, and 
crush them between the 'upper and nether millstone.' ' Turn- 
ing to General Cheatham, he said, "General, move your division 
and attack at once." Everything is at once set in motion, and 
General Cheatham, to give the boys a good send-off, says, "For- 
ward, boys, and give 'em h — 1." General Polk also says a good 
word, and that word was, "Do as General Cheatham says, boys." 
(You know he was a preacher and couldn't curse.) After 
marching in solid line, see-sawing, right obliqueing, left oblique- 



ing, guide center and close up; commence firing — fire at will; 
charge and take their breastworks ; our pent-up nervousness and 
demoralization of all day is suddenly gone. We raise one long, 
loud, cheering shout and charge right upon their breastworks. 
They are pouring their deadly missiles into our advancing ranks 
from under their head-logs. We do not stop to look around to 
see who is killed and wounded, but press right up their breast- 
works, and plant our battle-flag upon it. They waver and break 
and run in every direction, when General John C. Breckin- 
ridge's division, which had been supporting us, march up and 
pass us in full pursuit of the routed and flying Federal army. 


We remaiued upon the battlefield of Chickamauga all night. 
Everything had fallen into our hands. We had captured a great 
many prisoners and small arms, and many pieces of artillery and 
wagons and provisions. The Confederate and Federal dead, 
wounded, and dying were everywhere scattered over the battle- 
field. Men were lying where they fell, shot in every conceivable 
part of the body. Some with their entrails torn out and still 
hanging to them and piled up on the ground beside them, and 
they still alive. Some with their under jaw torn off, and hang- 
ing by a fragment of skin to their cheeks, with their tongues 
lolling from their mouth, and they trying to talk. Some with 
both eyes shot out, with one eye hanging down on their cheek. 
in fact, you might walk over the battlefield and find men shot 
from the crown of the head to the tip end of the toe. And then 
io see all those dead, wounded and dying horses, their heads and 
tails drooping, and they seeming to be so intelligent as if they 
comprehended everything. T felt like shedding a tear for those 
innocent dumb brutes. 

Header, a battlefield, after the battle, is a sad and sorrowful 
sighl to look at. The glory of war is but the glory of battle, the 
shouts, and cheers, and victory. 

A soldier's life is not a pleasant one. It is always, at best, 
"lie of privations and hardships. The emotions of patriotism 
and pleasure hardly counterbalance the toil and suffering that he 


has to undergo in order to enjoy his patriotism and pleasure. 
Dying on the field of battle and glory is about the easiest duty a 
soldier has to undergo. It is the living, marching, fighting, 
shooting soldier that has the hardships of war to carry. When 
a brave soldier is killed he is at rest. The living soldier knows 
not at what moment he, too, may be called on to lay down his life 
on the altar of his country. The dead are heroes, the living are 
but men compelled to do the drudgery and suffer the privations 
incident to the thing called "glorious war." 


We rested on our arms where the battle ceased. All around 
us everywhere were the dead and wounded, lying scatterd over 
the ground, and in many places piled in heaps. Many a sad and 
heart-rending scene did I witness upon this battlefield of Chick- 
amauga. Our men died the death of heroes. I sometimes think 
that surely our brave men have not died in vain. It is true, our 
cause is lost, but a people who loved those brave and noble heroes 
should ever cherish their memory as men who died for them. 
I shed a tear over their memory. They gave their all to their 
country. Abler pens than mine must write their epitaphs ; and 
tell of their glories and -heroism. I am but a poor writer, at 
best, and only try to tell of the events that I saw. 

One scene I now remember, that I can imperfectly relate. 
While a detail of as were passing over the field of death and 
blood, with a dim lantern, looking for our wounded soldiers to 
carry to the hospital, we came across a group of ladies, looking 
among the killed and wounded for their relatives, when I heard 
one of the ladies say, "There they come with their lanterns." I 
approached the ladies and asked them for whom they were look- 
ing. They told me the name, but I have forgotten it. We 
passed on, and coming to a pile of our slain, we had turned over 
several of our dead, when one of the ladies screamed out, "O, 
there he is ! Poor fellow ! Dead, dead, dead !" She ran to 
the pile of slain and raised the dead man's head and placed it on 
her lap and began kissing him and saying, "O, O, they have 
killed my darling, my darling, my darling ! O, mother, mother, 
what must I do! My poor, poor darling! O, they have killed 



him, they have killed him !" I could witness the scene no longer. 
I turned and walked away, and William A. Hughes was crying, 
and remarked, a O, law me; this war is a terrible thing." We 
left them and began again hunting for our wounded. All 
through that long September night we continued to carry off our 
wounded, and when the morning sun arose over the eastern hills, 
the order came to march to Missionary Ridge. 



After retreating from Chickamauga, the Yankees attempted 
to re-form their broken lines on Missionary Ridge. We ad- 
vanced to attack them, but they soon fell back to Chattanooga. 
We knew they were in an impregnable position. We had built 
those breastworks and forts, and knew whereof we spoke. We 
stopped on Missionary Ridge, and gnashed our teeth at Chatta- 
nooga. I do not know what our generals thought; I do not 
know what the authorities at Richmond thought, but I can tell 
you what the privates thought. But here we were on M issionary 
Ridge and Lookout Mountain, looking right down into Chatta- 
nooga. We had but to watch and wait. We would starve thorn 

The Federal army had accomplished their purpose. They 
wanted Chattanooga. They laughed at our triumph, and 
mocked at our victory. They got Chattanooga. "Now, where 

:irc you, Johnny Reb? What are you going to do about it? 
You've got. the drj grins, urn't you \ We've got the key ; when 
the proper time comes we'll unlock your doors and go in. You 
are going to starve U8 out, eli ! We are not very hungry at 


present, and we don't want any more pie. When we starve out 
we'll call on you for rations, but at present we are not starving, 
by a jug full ; but if you want any whisky or tobacco, send over 
and we'll give you some. We've got all we wanted, and assure 
you we are satisfied." 

The above remarks are the supposed colloquy that took 
place between the two armies. Bragg, in trying to starve the 
Yankees out, was starved out himself. Ask any old Rebel a8 to 
our bill of fare at Missionary Ridge. In all the history of the 
war, I cannot remember of more privations and hardships than 
we went through at Missionary Ridge. And when in the very 
acme of our privations and hunger, when the army was most 
dissatisfied and unhappy, we were ordered into line of battle to 
be reviewed by Honorable Jefferson Davis. When he passed by 
us, with his great retinue of staff officers and play-outs at full 
gallop, cheers greeted them, with the words, "Send us something 
to eat, Massa Jeff. Give us something to eat, Massa Jeff. I'm 
hungry ! I'm hungry !" 


At this place the Yankee outpost was on one side of the 
Tennessee river, and ours on the other. I was on the detail one 
Sunday commanded by Sergeant John T. Tucker. When we 
were approaching we heard the old guard and the Yankee picket 
talking back and forth across the river. The new guard imme- 
diately resumed the conversation. We had to halloo at the top 
of our voices, the river being about three hundred yards wide at 
this point. But there was a little island about the middle of the 
river. A Yankee hallooed out, "O, Johnny, Johnny, meet me 
half way in the river on the island." "All right," said Ser- 
geant Tucker, who immediately undressed all but his hat, in 
which he carried the Chattanooga Rebel and some other Southern 
newspapers, and swam across to the island. When he got there 
the Yankee was there, but the Yankee had waded. I do not 
know what he and John talked about, but they got very friendly, 
and John invited him to come clear across to our side, which 
invitation he accepted. I noticed at the time that while John 
swam, the Yankee waded, remarking that he couldn't swim. 


The river was but little over waist deep. Well, they came across 
and we swapped a few lies, canteens and tobacco, and then the 
Yankee went back, wading all the way across the stream. That 
man was General Wilder, commanding the Federal cavalry, and 
at the battle of Missionary Ridge he threw his whole division of 
cavalry across the Tennessee river at that point, thus flanking 
Bragg' s army, and opening the battle. He was examining the 
ford, and the swapping business was but a mere by-play. He 
played it sharp, and Bragg had to get further. 


Maney's brigade fortified on top of Lookout Mountain. 
From this position we could see five states. The Yankees had 
built a fort across the river, on Moccasin Point, and were throw- 
ing shells at us continually. I have never seen such accurate 
shooting in my life. It was upon the principle of shooting a 
squirrel out of a tree, and they had become so perfect in their 
aim, that I believe they could have killed a squirrel a mile off. 
We could have killed a great many artillery men if we had been 
allowed to shoot, but no private soldier was ever allowed to shoot 
a gun on his own hook. If he shot at all, it must be by the order 
of an officer, for if just one cartridge was shot away or lost, the 
private was charged twenty-five cents for it, and had to do extra 
duty, and I don't think our artillery was ever allowed to fire a 
single shot under any circumstances. Our rations were cooked 
up by a special detail ten miles in the rear, and were sent to us 
every three days, and then those three days' rations were gen- 
erally eaten up at one meal, and the private soldier had to starve 
the other two days and a half. Never in all my whole life do I 
remember of over experiencing so much oppression and humilia- 
tion. The soldiers were starved and almost naked, and covered 
all over with lice and camp itch and filth and dirt. The men 
looked sick, hollow-eyed, and heart-broken, living principally 
upon parched corn, which had been picked out of the mud and 
dirt under ihe feet of officers' horses. We thought of nothing 
I 'in starvation. 

The battle of Missionary Ridge was opmcd from Moccasin 
Point, while we were on Lookout Mountain, but 1 knew nothing 


of the movements or maneuvers of either army, and only tell 
what part I took in the battle. 


One morning Theodore Sloan, Hog Johnson and I were 
standing picket at the little stream that runs along at the foot of 
Lookout Mountain. In fact, I would be pleased to name our 
captain, Fulcher, and Lieutenant Lansdown, of the guard on thi* 
occasion, because we acted as picket for the whole three days' 
engagement without being relieved, and haven't been relieved 
yet. But that battle has gone into history. We heard a Yan- 
kee call, "O, Johnny, Johnny Reb !" I started out to meet him 
as formerly, when he hallooed out, "Go back, Johnny, go back ; 
we are ordered to fire on you." "What is the matter ? Is your 
army going to advance on us ?" "I don't know ; we are ordered 
to fire." I jumped back into the picket post, and a minne ball 
ruined the only hat I had ; another and another followed in quick 
succession, and the dirt flew up in our faces off our little breast- 
works. Before night the picket line was engaged from one end 
to the other. If you had only heard it, dear reader. It went 
like ten thousand wood-choppers, and an occasional boom of a 
cannon would remind you of a tree falling. We could hear 
colonels giving commands to their regiments, and could see very 
plainly the commotion and hubbub, but what was up, we were 
unable to tell. The picket line kept moving to our right. The 
second night found us near the tunnel, and right where two rail- 
roads cross each other, or rather one runs over the other high 
enough for the cars to pass under. We could see all over Chat- 
tanooga, and it looked like myriads of blue coats swarming. 

Day's and Mannigault's brigades got into a night attack at 
the foot of Lookout Mountain. I could see the whole of it. It 
looked like lightning bugs on a dark night. But about mid- 
night everything quieted down. Theodore Sloan, Hog Johnson 
and myself occupied an old log cabin as vidette. We had not 
slept any for two nights, and were very drowsy, I assure you, 
but we knew there was something up, and we had to keep awake. 
The next morning, nearly day, I think I had dropped off into a 
pleasant doze, and was dreaming of more pretty things than you 


ever saw in your life, when Johnson touched me and whispered, 
"Look, look, there are three Yankees; must, I shoot?" I whis- 
pered hack "Yes." A bang; "a waugh" went a shriek. He 
had got one, sure. Everything got quiet again, and we heard 
nothing more for an hour. Johnson touched me again and 
whispered, "Yonder they come again; look, look!" I could not 
see them ; was too sleepy for that. Sloan could not see them, 
either. Johnson pulled down, and another unearthly squall 
rended the night air. The streaks of day had begun to glimmer 
over Missionary Ridge, and I could see in the dim twilight the 
Yankee guard not fifty yards off. Said I, "Boys, let's fire into 
them and run." We took deliberate aim and fired. At that 
they raised, I thought, a mighty sickly sort of yell and charged 
the house. We ran out, but waited on the outside. We took a 
second position where the railroads cross each other, but they 
began shelling us from the river, when we got on the opposite 
side of the railroad and they ceased. 

I know nothing about the battle ; how Grant, with one wing, 
went up the river, and Hooker's corps went down Wills valley, 
etc. I heard fighting and commanding and musketry all day 
long, but I was still on picket. Balls were passing over our 
heads, both coming and going. T could not tell whether 1 was 
standing picket for Yankees or Rebels. I knew that the Yan- 
kee line was between me and the Rebel line, for I could see the 
battle right over the tunnel. We had been placed on pickel :it the 
foot of Lookout Mountain, but we were five miles from that place 
now. If 1 had tried to run in 1 couldn't. I had got separated 
from Sloan and Johnson somehow; in fact, was waiting either 
for ;m advance of the Yankees, or to be called in by the captain 
of the picket. [ could see the blue coats fairly lining Missionary 
Ridge in my read. The Yankees were swarming everywhere. 
They were passing me all day with their dead and wounded, 
back to Chattanooga. No one seemed to notice me; they 
were passing to and fro, cannon, artillery, ;in<l everything. I 

\;i- willing to be taken prisoner, but U0 one seemed disposed to 
do it. I was afraid to look at them, and I was afraid to hide. 
for War some one's attention would be attracted toward me. 


wished I could make myself invisible. I think I was invisible. 

I felt that way anyhow. I felt like the boy who wanted to go to 

fhe wedding-, but had no shoes. Cassabianca never had such 

feelings as I had that livelong day. 

S;ty. captain, say. if ye1 my task be done? 

And yet the sweeping waves rolled on. 
And answered neiiiie; yea nor nay. 

About two or three o'clock, a column of Yankees advancing 
to the attack swept right over where I was standing. I was 
trying to stand aside to get out of their way ; but the more I tried 
to get out of their way, the more in their way I got. I was car- 
ried forward, I knew not whither. We soon arrived at the foot 
of the ridge, at our old breastworks. I recognized Robert 
Brank's old corn stalk house, and Alf Horsley's fort, an old log 
house called Fort Horsley. I was in front of the enemy's line, 
and was afraid to run up the ridge, and afraid to surrender. 
They were ordered to charge up the hill. There was no firing 
from the Rebel lines in our immediate front. They kept climb- 
ing and pulling and scratching until I was in touching distance 
of the old Rebel breastworks, right on the very apex of Mission- 
ary Ridge. I made one jump, and I heard Captain Turner. 
who had the very four Napoleon guns we had captured at Perry 
ville, halloo out, "Number four, solid !" and then a roar. The 
next order was, "Limber to the rear." The Yankees were cut- 
ting and slashing, and the cannoneers were running in every 
direction. I saw Day's brigade throw down their guns and 
break like quarter horses. Bragg was trying to rally them. I 
heard him say, "Here is your commander," and the soldiers 
hallooed back, "here is your mule." 

The whole army was routed. I ran on down the ridge, and 
there was our regiment, the First Tennessee, with their guns 
stacked, and drawing rations as if nothing was going on. Says 
I, "Colonel Field, what's the matter ? The whole army is rou'.ed 
and running; hadn't you better be getting away from here? 
The Yankees are not a hundred yards from here. Turner's 
battery has surrendered, Day's brigade has thrown down their 
arms; and look yonder, that is the Stars and Stripes." He 
remarked very coolly, "You seem to be demoralized. We've 



whipped them here. We've captured two thousand prisoners 
and five stands of colors." 

Just at this time General Bragg and staff rode up. Bragg 
had joined the church at Shelbyville, but he had back-slid at 
Missionary Ridge. He was cursing like a sailor. Says he, 
"What's this ? Ah, ha, have you stacked your arms for a sur- 
render?" "No, sir," says Field. "Take arms, shoulder arms, 
by the right flank, file right, march," just as cool and deliberate 
as if on dress parade. Bragg looked scared. He had put spurs 
to his horse, and was running like a scared dog before Colonel 
Field had a chance to answer him. Every word of this is a 
fact. We at once became the rear guard of the whole army.* 

I felt sorry for General Bragg. The army was routed, and 
Bragg looked so scared. Poor fellow, he looked so hacked and 
whipped and mortified and chagrined at defeat, and all along the 
line, when Bragg would pass, the soldiers would raise the yell, 
"Here is your mule;" "Bully for Bragg, he's h — 1 on retreat," 

Bragg was a good disciplinarian, and if he had cultivated 
the love and respect of his troops by feeding and clothing them 
better than they were, the result would have been different. 
More depends on a good general than the lives of many private.-. 
The private loses his life, the general his country. 


As soon as the order was given to march, we saw poor Tom 
Webb lying on the battlefield shot through the head, his blood 
and brains smearing his face and clothes, and he still alive. He 
was as brave and noble a man as our Heavenly Father, in 1 1 i ~ 
infinite wisdom, ever made. Everybody loved him. He was a 
universal favorite of the company and regiment; was brave and 
generous, and ever anxious to take some other man's place when 
there was any skirmishing or fighting to bo done. We did not 
wish to leave the poor fellow in that condition, and A. S. Ilors 
ley, John T. Tucker, Tennessee Thompson and myself got a 
litter and carried him on our shoulders through that livelong 

•I rrmombor of Genera] Mane; meeting Gary. I do doI know who Gar) 
wan, lint Maney and Gary seemed to be very kIh'1 to hoc each oth«>r 
Ehrery time I tiiink of tiuit retreat I think of Gary. 


night back to Chickaniauga Station. The next morning Dr. J. 
E. Dixon, of Deshler's brigade, passed by and told us that it 
would be useless for us to carry him any further, and that it was 
utterly impossible for him ever to recover. The Yankees were 
then advancing and firing upon us. What could we do? We 
could not carry him any further, and we could not bury him, for 
he was still alive. To leave him where he was we thought best. 
We took hold of his hand, bent over him and pressed our lips to 
his — all four of us. We kissed him good-bye and left him to 
the tender mercies of the advancing foe, in whose hands he would 
be in a few moments. No doubt they laughed and jeered at the 
dying Rebel. It mattered not what they did, for poor Tom 
Webb's spirit, before the sun went down, was with God and the 
holy angels. He had given his all to his country. O, how we 
missed him. It seemed that the very spirit and life of Com- 
pany H had died with the death of good, noble and brave Tom 

I thank God that I am no infidel, and I feel and believe that 
I will again see Tom Webb. Just as sure and certain, reader, 
as you are now reading these lines, I will meet him up yonder — 
I know I will. 


When we had marched about a mile back in the rear of the 
battlefield, we were ordered to halt so that all stragglers might 
pass us, as we were detailed as the rear guard. While resting on 
the road side we saw Day's brigade pass us. They were gunless, 
cartridge-boxless, knapsackless, canteenless, and all other mili- 
tary accoutermentsless, and swordless, and officerless, and they 
all seemed to have the 'possum grins, like Bragg looked, and as 
they passed our regiment, you never heard such fun made of a 
parcel of soldiers in your life. Every fellow was yelling at the 
top of his voice, "Yaller-hammer, Alabama, flicker, flicker, 
flicker, yaller-hammer, Alabama, flicker, flicker, flicker." I felt 
sorry for the yellow-hammer Alabamians, they looked so hacked, 
and answered back never a word. When they had passed, two 
pieces of artillery passed us. They were the only two pieces 
not captured at Missionary Ridge, and they were ordered to 


immediately precede us in bringing up the rear. The whole 
rear guard was placed under the command of the noble, gener- 
ous, handsome and brave General Gist, of South Carolina. I 
loved General Gist, and when I mention his name tears gather in 
my eyes. 1 think he was the handsomest man I ever knew. 

Our army was a long time crossing the railroad bridge 
across Chickamauga river. Maney's brigade, of Cheatham's 
division, and General L. E. Polk's brigade, of Cleburne's divis- 
ion, formed a sort of line of battle, and had to wait until the 
stragglers had all passed. I remember looking at them, and as 
they passed I could read the character of every soldier. Some 
were mad, others cowed, and many were laughing. Some were 
cursing Bragg, some the Yankees, and some were rejoicing at 
the defeat. I cannot describe it. It was the first defeat our 
army had ever suffered, but the prevailing sentiment was 
anathemas and denunciations hurled against Jeff Davis for or- 
dering Longstreet's corps to Knoxville, and sending off Generals 
Wheeler's and Forrest's cavalry, while every private soldier in 
the whole army knew that the enemy was concentrating at Chat- 


When we arrived at Chickamauga Station, our brigade and 
General Lucius E. Polk's brigade, of Cleburne's division, were 
left to set fire to the town and to burn up and destroy all those 
immense piles of army stores and provisions which had been 
accumulated there to starve the Yankees out of Chattanooga. 
Great piles of corn in sacks, and bacon, and crackers, and mo- 
lasses, and sugar, and coffee, and rice, and potatoes, and onions. 
and peas, and flour by the hundreds of barrels, all now to be 
given to the flames, while for months the Rebel soldiers had been 
stinted and starved for the want of these same provisions. It 
was enough to make the bravest and most patriotic sonl that ever 
tired a gnu in defense of any cause on earth, think of rebelling 
against the authorities as they then were. Every private soldier 
knew these Btorefl were there, and for the want of them we lost 

onr cause. 

Header, I ask yon who yon think was to blame '( Most of 


our army had already passed through hungry and disheartened, 
and here were all these stores that had to be destroyed. Before 
setting fire to the town, everv soldier in Manev's and Polk's 
brigades loaded himself down with rations. It was a laughable 
looking rear guard of a routed and retreating army. Every one 
of us had cut open the end of a corn sack, emptied out the corn, 
and filled it with hard-tack, and, besides, every one of us had a 
side of bacon hung to our bayonets on our guns. Our canteens, 
and clothes, and faces, and hair were all gummed up with mo- 
lasses. Such is the picture of our rear guard. IS^ow, reader, if 
you were ever on the rear guard of a routed and retreating army, 
you know how tedious it is. You don't move more than ten feet 
at furthest before you have to halt, and then ten feet again a few 
minutes afterwards, and so on all day long. You haven't time 
to sit down a moment before you are ordered to move on again. 
And the Yankees dash up every now and then, and fire a volley 
into your rear. Now that is the way we were marched that live- 
long day, until nearly dark, and then the Yankees began to 
crowd us. We can see their line forming, and know we have to 


About dark a small body of cavalry dashed in ahead of us 
and captured and carried off one piece of artillery and Colone! 
John F. House, General Manev's assistant adjutant-general. We 
will have to form line of battle and drive them back. Well, we 
quickly form line of battle, and the Yankees are seen to emerge 
from the woods about two hundred yards from us. We promptly 
shell off those sides of bacon and sacks of hard-tack that we had 
worried and tugged with all day long. Bang, bang, siz, siz. 
We are ordered to load and fire promptly and to hold our posi- 
tion. Yonder they come, a whole division. Our regiment is 
the only regiment in the action. They are crowding us; our 
poor little handful of men are being killed and wounded by 
scores. There is General George Maney badly wounded and 
being carried to the rear, and there is Moon, of Fulcher's bat- 
talion, killed dead in his tracks. We can't much longer hold our 
position. A minnie ball passes through my Bible in my side 



pocket. All at once we are ordered to open ranks. Here comes 
one piece of artillery from a Mississippi battery, bouncing ten 
feet high, over brush and logs and bending down little trees and 
saplings, under whip and spur, the horses are champing the bits, 
and are muddied from head to foot. Now, quick, quick; look, 
the Yankees have discovered the battery, and are preparing to 
charge it. Unlimber, horses and caisson to the rear. !N"o. 1 
shrapnel, load, fire — boom, boom ; load, ablouyat — boom, boom. 
I saw Sam Seay fall badly wounded and carried to the rear. I 
stopped firing to look at Sergeant Doyle how he handled his gun. 
At every discharge it would bounce, and turn its muzzle com- 
pletely to the rear, when those old artillery soldiers would return 
it to its place — and it seemed they fired a shot almost every ten 
seconds. Fire, men. Our muskets roll and rattle, making 
music like the kettle and bass drum combined. They are 
checked ; we see them fall back to the woods, and night throws 
her mantle over the scene. We fell back now, and had to strip 
and wade Chickamauga river. It was up to our armpits, and 
was as cold as charity. We had to carry our clothes across on 
the points of our bayonets. Fires had been kindled every few 
yards on the other side, and we soon got warmed up again. 


I had got as far as Ringgold Gap, when I had unconsciously 
fallen asleep by a fire, it being the fourth night that I had not 
slept a wink. Before I got to this fire, however, a gentleman 
whom I never saw in my life — because it was totally dark at the 
time — handed me a letter from the old folks at home, and a good 
suit of clothes. He belonged to Colonel Breckinridge's cavalry, 
and if he ever sees these lines, I wish to say to him, "God bless 
you, old boy." I had lost every blanket and vestige of clothing, 

Pt those I had on, at Missionary Ridge. I laid down by the 
fire and went to sleep, but how long I had slept I knew not, when 
I felt a rough hand grab me and give me B shake, and the fellow 
ssiid, "Are you going to sleep here, and let the Yankees cut your 
throat?" I opened my eyes, and asked, "Who arc yon \ n He 
politely and pleasantly, yet profanely, told me that he was Gen 
era! Walker (the poor fellow was killed the 22nd of July, at 


Atlanta), and that I had better get further. He passed on and 
waked others. Just then, General Cleburne and staff rode by 
me, and I heard one of his staff remark, "General, here is a ditch, 
or gully, that will make a natural breastwork." All I heard 
General Cleburne say was, "Er, eh, eh !" I saw General Lucius 
E. Polk's brigade form on the crest of the hill. 

I went a little further and laid down again and went to 
sleep. How long I had lain there, and what was passing over 
me, I know nothing about, but when I awoke, here is what I 
saw: I saw a long line of blue coats marching down the rail- 
road track. The first thought I had was, well, I'm gone up now, 
sure ; but on second sight, I discovered that they were prisoners. 
Cleburne had had the doggondest fight of the war. The ground 
was piled with dead Yankees ; they were piled in heaps. The 
scene looked unlike any battlefield I ever saw. From the foot 
to the top of the hill was covered with their slain, all lying on 
their faces. It had the appearance of the roof of a house shin- 
gled with dead Yankees. They were flushed with victory and 
success, and had determined to push forward and capture the 
whole of the Rebel army, and set up their triumphant standard 
at Atlanta — then exit Southern Confederacy. But their dead 
were so piled in their path at Ringgold Gap that they could not 
pas3 them. The Spartans gained a name at Thermopylae, in 
which Leonidas and the whole Spartan army were slain while 
defending the pass. Cleburne's division gained a name at Ring- 
gold Gap, in which they not only slew the victorious army, but 
captured five thousand prisoners besides. That brilliant victory 
of Cleburne's made him not only the best general of the army of 
Tennessee, and covered his men with glory and honor of heroes, 
but checked the advance of Grant's whole army. 

We did not budge an inch further for many a long day, but 
we went into winter quarters right here at Ringgold Gap, Tun- 
nel Hill and Dalton. 





General Joseph E. Johnston now took command of the 
army. General Bragg was relieved, and had become Jeff Davis' 
Avar adviser at Richmond, Virginia. We had followed General 
Bragg all through this long war. We had got sorter used to his 
ways, but lie was never popular with his troops. I felt sorry for 
him. Bragg's troops would have loved him, if he had allowed 
them to do so, for many a word was spoken in his behalf, after 
he had been relieved of the command. As a general I have 
spoken of him in these memoirs, not personally. I try to state 
facts, so that you may see, reader, why our cause was lost. T 
have no doubt that Bragg ever did what lie thought was best. He 
was but a man, under the authority of another. 

But now, allow me to introduce you to old Joe. Fancy, if 
you please, a man about fifty years old, rather small of stature, 
but firmly and compactly built, an open and honest countenance, 
and a keen' but restless black eye, that seemed to read your very 
inmost thoughts. Tn his dress he was a perfect dandy. Me ever 
wore the very finest clothes that could be obtained, carrying out. 
in every point, the dress and paraphernalia of the soldier, as 
adopted by the Avar department at Richmond, never omitting 
anything, even to the trappings of bis horse, bridle and Baddle. 
His hat was decorated with a star and feather, his coat with 
every star and embellishment, and he wore a bright new sash, 
big gauntlets, and silver spurs. Tie was the very picture of a 

But he found the army depleted by battles; and worse, yea. 
much worse, by desertion. The men were deserting by tens and 
hundreds, and I might say by thousands. The morale of the 
army was gone. The spirit of the soldiers was crushed, their 

hope gone. The future was dark and gloomy. They would no* 

D ALTON. 107 

answer at roll call. Discipline had gone. A feeling of mis- 
trust pervaded the whole army. 

A train load of provisions came into Dalton. The soldiers 
stopped it before it rolled into the station, burst open every car, 
and carried off all the bacon, meal and flour that was on board. 
Wild riot was the order of the day; everything was confusion 
worse confounded. When the news came, like pouring oil upon 
the troubled waters, that General Joe E. Johnston, of Virginia, 
had taken command of the Army of Tennessee, men returned to 
their companies, order was restored, and "Richard was himself 
again." General Johnston issued a universal amnesty to all 
soldiers absent without leave. Instead of a scrimp pattern of 
one day's rations, he ordered two days' rations to be issued, being- 
extra for one day. He ordered tobacco and whisky to be issued 
twice a week. He ordered sugar and coffee and flour to be is- 
sued instead of meal. He ordered old bacon and ham to be 
issued instead of blue beef. He ordered new tents and mar- 
quees. He ordered his soldiers new suits of clothes, shoes and 
hats. In fact, there had been a revolution, sure enough. He 
allowed us what General Bragg had never allowed mortal man — 
a furlough. He gave furloughs to one-third of his army at a 
time, until the whole had been furloughed. A new era had 
dawned ; a new epoch had been dated. He passed through the 
ranks of the common soldiers, shaking hands with every one he 
met. He restored the soldier's pride; he brought the manhood 
back to the private's bosom ; he changed the order of roll-call, 
standing guard, drill, and such nonsense as that. The revolu- 
tion was complete. He was loved, respected, admired; yea. 
almost worshipped, by his troops. I do not believe there was a 
soldier in his army but would gladly have died for him. With 
him everything was his soldiers, and the newspapers, criticising 
him at the time, said, "He would feed his soldiers if the country 

We soon got proud ; the blood of the old Cavaliers tingled in 
our veins. We did not feel that we were serfs and vagabonds. 
We felt that we had a home and a country worth fighting for, 
and, if need be, worth dying for. One regiment could whip an 



army, and did do it, in every instance, before the command was 
taken from him at Atlanta. But of this another time. 

Chaplains were brought back to their regiments. Dr. C. T. 
Quintard and Rev. C. D. Elliott, and other chaplains, held 
divine services every Sabbath, prayer was offered every evening 
at retreat, and the morale of the army was better in every re- 
spect. The private soldier once more regarded himself a gen- 
tleman and a man of honor. We were willing to do and die and 
dare anything for our loved South, and the Stars and Bars of 
the Confederacy. In addition to this, General Johnston ordered 
his soldiers to be paid up every cent that was due them, and a 
bounty of fifty dollars besides. He issued an order to his troops 
offering promotion and a furlough for acts of gallantry and 
bravery on the field of battle. 

The cloven foot of tyranny and oppression was not discern- 
ible in the acts of officers, from general down to corporal, as 
formerly. Notwithstanding all this grand transformation in 
our affairs, old Joe was a strict disciplinarian. Everything 
moved like clockw r ork. Men had to keep their arms and cloth- 
ing in good order. The artillery w r as rubbed up and put in good 
condition. The wagons were greased, and the harness and 
harnestrings oiled. Extra rations were issued to negroes who 
were acting as servants, a thing unprecedented before in the 
history of the war. 

Well, old Joe was a yerker. He took all the tricks. He 
was a commander. He kept everything up and w r ell in hand 
I Ii-» lines of battle were invulnerable. The larger his command, 
the easier he could handle it. When his army moved, it was ;i 
pic ure of battle, everything in its place, as laid down by scien- 
tific military rules. When a man was to be shot, he was shot 
for the crimes he had done, and not to intimidate and cow the 
living, and he had ten limes as many shut as Bragg had. He had 
seventeen shot at Tunnel Hill, and a whole company at Rocky- 
face Ridge, and two spies hung at Ringgold Gap, but they were 
executed for their crimes. No one knew of it except those who 
had to take part as executioners of the law. Instead of the whip 
ping post, he instituted the pillory and barrel shirt. (let BrUtUfl 

DALTON. 109 

to whistle the barrel shirt for you. The pillory was a new-fan- 
gled concern. If you went to the guard-house of almost any 
regiment, you would see some poor fellow with his head and 
hands sticking through a board. It had the appearance of a 
fellow taking a running start, at an angle of forty-five degrees, 
with a view of bursting a board over his head, but when the 
board burst his head and both his hands were clamped in the 
bursted places. The barrel shirt brigade used to be marched on 
drill and parade. You could see a fellow's head and feet, and 
whenever one of the barrels would pass, you would hear the 
universal cry, "Come out of that barrel, I see your head and feet 
sticking out." There might have been a mortification and a 
disgrace in the pillory and barrel shirt business to those that had 
to use them, but they did not bruise and mutilate the physical 
man. When one of them had served out his time he was as good 
as new. Old Joe had greater military insight than any general 
of the South, not excepting even Lee. He was the born soldier ; 
seemed born to command. When his army moved it moved 
solid. Cavalry, artillery, wagon train, and infantry stepped the 
same tread to the music of the march. His men were not al- 
lowed to be butchered for glory, and to have his name and a 
battle fought, with the number of killed and wounded, go back 
to Richmond for his own glory. When he fought, he fought for 
victory, not for glory. He could fall back right in the face of 
the foe as quietly and orderly as if on dress parade ; and when 
his enemies crowded him a little too closely, he would about fact- 
and give them a terrible chastisement. He could not be taken 
by surprise by any flank movement of the enemy. His soldiers 
were to him his children. He loved them. They were never 
needlessly sacrificed. He was always ready to meet the attack 
of the enemy. When his line of battle was formed it was like a 
wall of granite. His adversaries knew him, and dreaded the 
certain death that awaited them. His troops were brave; they 
laughed in the face of battle. He had no rear guard to shoot 
down any one who ran. They couldn't run ; the army was 
solid. The veriest coward that was ever born became a brave 
man and a hero under his manipulation. His troops had the 


utmost confidence in him, and feared no evil. They became an 
army of veterans, whose lines could not be broken by the armies 
of the world. Battle became a pastime and a pleasure, and the 
rattle of musketry and roar of cannon were hut the music of 
victory and success. 


Before General Joseph E. Johnston took command of the 
Army of Tennessee, the soldiers were very poorly fed, it is true, 
but the blame was not entirely attributable to General Bragg;. 
He issued enough and more than enough to have bountifully fed 
his army, but there was a lot of men in the army, generally de- 
nominated commissaries, and their "gizzards," as well as fingers, 
had to be greased. There was commissary-general, then corps 
commissary, then division commissary, then brigade commissary, 
then regimental commissary, then company commissary. Now, 
you know were you to start a nice hindquarter of beef, which 
had to pass through all these hands, and every commissary take 
,i choice steak and roast off it, there would be but little ever reach 
the company, and the poor man among the Johnnies had to feast 
like bears in winter — they had to suck their paws — but the rich 
Johnnies who had money could go to almost any of the gentle- 
men denominated commissaries (they ought to have been called 
cormorants) and buy of them much nice fat beef and meal and 
flour and sugar and coffee and nice canvassed hams, etc. I have 
done it many times. They were keeping back the rations that 
had been issued to the army, and lining their own pockets. But 
when General Johnston took command, this manipulating busi- 
ness played out. Rations would "spile" on their bands. 
Othello's occupation was gone. They received only one hundred 
and forty dollars a month then, and the high private gol plenty 
to eat, and Mr. Cormorant quit making as mueli money as he 
had heretofore done. Were you to go to them and make com 
|)laint, they would say, "I have issued regular army rations to 
your Company, and what is left over is mine." and they were 

mighty exacl aboul it. 


We wenl into winter quarters at Dalton, and remained 

D ALTON, li] 

there during the cold, bad winter of 1863-64, about four months 
The usual routine of army life was carried on day by day, with 
'not many incidents to vary the monotony of camp life. But 
occasionally the soldiers would engage in a snow ball battle, in 
which generals, colonels, captains and privates all took part. 
They would usually divide off into two grand divisions, one line 
naturally becoming the attacking party, and the other the de- 
fensive. The snow balls would begin to fly hither and thither, 
with an occasional knock down, and sometimes an ugly wound, 
where some mean fellow had enclosed a rock in his snow ball. 
It was fun while it lasted, but after it was over the soldiers were 
wet, cold and uncomfortable. I have seen charges and attacks 
and routes and stampedes, etc., but before the thing was over, 
one side did not know one from the other. It was a general 
knock down and drag out affair. 


One morning 1 went over to Deshler's brigade of Cleburne's 
division to see my brother-in-law, Dr. J. E. Dixon. The snow 
was on the ground, and the boys were hard at it, "snow balling." 
While I was standing looking on, a file of soldiers marched by 
me with a poor fellow on his way to be shot. He was blindfolded 
and set upon a stump, and the detail formed. The command, 
"Ready, aim, fire !" was given, the volley discharged, and the 
prisoner fell off the stump. He had not been killed. It was 
the sergeant's duty to give the coup d'etat, should not the pris- 
oner be slain. The sergeant ran up and placed the muzzle of his 
gun at the head of the poor, pleading, and entreating wretch, his 
gun was discharged, and the wretched man only powder-burned, 
the gun being one that had been loaded with powder only. The 
whole affair had to be gone over again. The soldiers had to re- 
load and form and fire. The culprit was killed stone dead this 
time. He had no sooner been taken up and carried off to be 
buried, than the soldiers were throwing snow balls as hard as 
ever, as if nothing had happened. 


Ar this place (Dalton) a revival of religion sprang up, and 


there was divine service every day and night. Soldiers became 
serious on the subject of their souls' salvation. In sweeping the 
streets and cleaning up, an old tree had been set on fire, and had 
been smoking and burning for several days, and nobody seemed 
to notice it. That night there was service as usual, and the 
singing and sermon were excellent. The sermon was preached 
by Rev. J. G. Bolton, chaplain of the Fiftieth Tennessee Regi- 
ment, assisted by Rev. C. D. Elliott, the services being held in 
the Fourth Tennessee Regiment. As it was the custom to "call 
up mourners," a long bench had been placed in proper position 
for them to kneel down at. Ten of them were kneeling at. this 
mourners' bench, pouring out their souls in prayer to God, ask- 
ing Him for the forgiveness of their sins, and for the salvation 
of their souls, for Jesus Christ their Redeeemer's sake, when the 
burning tree, without any warning, fell with a crash right across 
the ten mourners, crushing and killing them instantly. God had 
heard their prayers. Their souls had been carried to heaven. 
Hereafter, henceforth, and forevermore, there was no more 
marching, battling, or camp duty for them. They had joined 
the army of the hosts of heaven. 

By order of the general, they were buried with great pomp 
and splendor, that is, for those times. Every one of them was 
buried in a coffin. Brass bands followed, playing the "Dead 
March," and platoons fired over their graves. It was a soldier's 
funeral. The beautiful burial service of the Episcopal church 
was read by Rev. Allen Tribble. A hymn was sung, and prayer 
offered, and then their graves were filled as we marched sadly 
liiick to camp. 


Dr. C. T. Quintard was our chaplain for the First Tennes 
Bee Regiment during the whole war, and he stuck to us from the 
beginning even onto the end. During week days he ministered 
to us physically, and on Sundays spiritually, lie was one of 
the purest and best men I ever knew. Fie would march and 
carry his knapsack every day the same as any soldier. He had 
one text he preached from which T remember now. It was "the 
flying scroll." lie s;iid there wms n flying scroll continually 

DALTON. 113 

passing over our heads, which was like the reflections in a look- 
ing-glass, and all of our deeds, both good and bad, were written 
upon it. He was a good doctor of medicine, as well as a good 
doctor of divinity, and above either of these, he was a good man 
per se. Every old soldier of the First Tennessee Regiment will 
remember Dr. C. T. Quintard with the kindest and most sincere 
emotions of love and respect. He would go off into the country 
and get up for our regiment clothing and provisions, and wrote 
a little prayer and song book, which he had published, and gave 
it to the soldiers. I learned that little prayer and song book off 
by heart, and have a copy of it in my possession yet, which I 
would not part with for any consideration. Dr. Quintard's 
nature was one of love. He loved the soldiers, and the soldiers 
loved him, and deep down in his heart of hearts was a deep and 
lasting love for Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, im- 
planted there by God the Father Himself. 

y's you got my hog ? 

One day, a party of "us privates" concluded we would go 
across the Conasauga river on a raid. We crossed over in a 
canoe. After traveling for some time, we saw a neat looking 
farm house, and sent one of the party forward to reconnoiter. 
He returned in a few minutes and announced that he had found 
a fine fat sow in a pen near the house. Now, the plan we 
formed was for two of us to go into the house and keep the 
inmates interested and the other was to toll and drive off the 
hog. I was one of the party which went into the house. There 
was no one there but an old lady and her sick and widowed 
daughter. They invited us in very pleasantly and kindly, and 
soon prepared us a very nice and good dinner. The old lady 
told us of all her troubles and trials. Her husband had died 
before the war, and she had three sons in the army, two of whom 
had been killed, and the youngest, who had been conscripted, 
was taken with the camp fever and died in the hospital at At- 
lanta, and she had nothing to subsist upon, after eating up what 
they then had. I was much interested, and remained a little 
while after my comrade had left I soon went out, having made 


up niy mind to have nothing to do with the hog affair. I did 
not know how to act. I was in a bad fix. I had heard the gun 
fire and knew its portent. I knew the hog was dead, and went 
on up the road, and soon overtook my two comrades with the 
hog, which had been skinned and cut up, and was being carried 
on a pole between them. I did not know what to do. On look- 
ing back I saw the old lady coming and screaming at the top of 
her voice, "You got my hog! You got my hog!" It was too 
late to back out now. We had the hog, and had to make the 
most of it, even if we did ruin a needy and destitute family. 
We went on until we came to the Conasauga river, when lo and 
behold! the canoe was on the other side of the river. It was 
dark then, and getting darker, and what was to be done we did 
not know. The weather was as cold as blue blazes, and spit- 
ting snow from the northwest. That river had to be crossed 
that night. I undressed and determined to swim it, and went in. 
but the little thin ice at the bank cut my feet. I waded in a 
little further, but soon found I would cramp if I tried to swim 
it. I came out and put my clothes on, and thought of a gate 
about a mile back. We went back and took the gate off its 
hinges and carried it to the river and put it in the water, but soon 
found out that all three of us could not ride on it ; so one of the 
party got on it and started across. He did very well until he 
came to the other bank, which was a high bluff, and if he got off 
the center of the gate it would capsize and he would get a duck- 
ing. He could not get off the gate. I told him to pole the gate 
up to the bank, so that one side would rest on the bank, and then 
make a quick run for the bank. He thought he had got the gate 
about the right place, and then made a run, and the gate went 
under and so did he, in water ten feet deep. My comrade, 
Fount C, who was with me on the bank, laughed, I thought, 
until he had hurt himself; but with me, I assure you, it was 
a mighty sickly grin, and with the other one, Barkley J., it was 
anything but a laughing matter. To me ho seemed ;i hero. 
Barkley did about to liberate me from a very unpleasant posi- 
tion. Ho soon returned with the eanoe, and we crossed the river 
with the hog. We worried and tugged with it, and got it to camp 
just before daylight. 

DALT0N. 115 

1 had a guilty conscience, I assure you. The hog was 
cooked, but I did not eat a piece of it. I felt that I had rather 
starve, and I believe that it would have choked me to death if I 
had attempted it. 

A short time afterward an old citizen from Maury county 
visited me. My father sent me, by him, a silver watch — which 
I am wearing to-day — and eight hundred dollars in old issue 
Confederate money. I took two hundred dollars of the money, 
and had it funded for new issue, 33 1-3 cents discount. The 
other six hundred I sent to Vance Thompson, then on duty at 
Montgomery, with instructions to send it to my brother, Dave 
Watkins, Uncle xlsa Freeman, and J. E. Dixon, all of whom 
were in Wheeler's cavalry, at some other point — I knew not 
where. After getting my money, I found that I had $133.33 1-3. 
I could not rest. I took one hundred dollars, new issue, and 
going by my lone self back to the old lady's house, I said, 
"Madam, some soldiers were here a short time ago, and took 
your hog. I was one of that party, and I wish to pay you for 
it. What was it worth ?" "Well, sir," says she, "money is of 
no value to me ; I cannot get any article that I wish ; I would 
much rather have the hog." Says I, "Madam, that is an impos- 
sibility; your hog is dead and eat up, and I have come to pay 
you for it." The old lady's eyes filled with tears. She said 
that she was perfectly willing to give the soldiers everything she 
had, and if she thought it had done us any good, she would not 
charge anything for it. 

"Well," says I, "Madam, here is a hundred dollar, new issue, 
Confederate bill. Will this pay you for your hog?" "Well, 
sir," she says, drawing herself up to her full height, her cheeks 
flushed and her eyes flashing, "I do not want your money. I 
would feel that it was blood money." I saw that there was no 
further use to offer it to her. I sat down by the fire and the 
conversation turned upon other subjects. 

I helped the old lady catch a chicken (an old hen — about 
the last she had) for dinner, went with her in the garden and 
pulled a bunch of eschalots, brought two buckets of water, and 
cut and brought enough wood to last several days. 


After awhile, she invited me to dinner, and after dinner I 
sat down by her side, took her old hand in mine, and told her the 
whole affair of the hog, from beginning to end ; how sorry I was. 
and how I did not eat any of that hog ; and asked her as a special 
act of kindness and favor to me, to take the hundred dollars ; that 
I felt bad about it, and if she would take it, it would ease my 
conscience. I laid the money on the table and left. I have 
never in my life made a raid upon anybody else. 


By some hook, or crook, or blockade running, or smuggling, 
or Mason and Slidell, or Raphael Semmes, or something of the 
sort, the Confederate States government had come in possession 
of a small number of Whitworth guns, the finest long range gun? 
in the world, and a monopoly by the English government. They 
were to be given to the best shots in the army. One day Captain 
Joe P. Lee and Company H went out to shoot at a target for the 
gun. We all wanted the gun, because if we got it we would be 
sharpshooters, and be relieved from camp duty, etc. 

All the generals and officers came out to see us shoot. The 
mark was put up about five hundred yards on a hill, and each of 
us had three shots. Every shot that was fired hit the board, bnt 
there was one man who came a little closer to the spot than any 
other one, and the Whitworth was awarded him; and as we just 
turned round to go back to camp, a buck rabbit jumped up, and 
was streaking it as fast as he could make tracks, all the boys 
whooping and yelling as hard as they could, when Jimmy Web- 
ster raised his gun and pulled down on him, and cut the rabbit'-^ 
head entirely off with a minnie ball right back of his ears. He 
was about two hundred and fifty yards off. It might have been 
an accidental shot, but General Leonidas Polk Laughed von 
heartily at the incident, and I heard him ask one of his staff it* 
the Whitworth gun had been awarded. The staff officer re- 
sponded that it had, and that a certain man in Colonel Farquhar- 
son's regiment — the Fourth Tennessee — was the successful con- 
testant, and I heard General Polk remark, "I wish I had 
another gun to give, I would give it to the young man that ahol 
the rabbit's head off." 

DALTON. 117 

None of our regiment got a Whitworth, but it has been sub- 
sequently developed that our regiment had some of the finest 
shots in it the world ever produced. For instance, George and 
Mack Campbell, of Maury county ; Billy Watkins, of Nashville, 
and Colonel H. It. Field, and many others, who I cannot now 
recall to mind in this rapid sketch. 


While at this place, I went out one day to hunt some one to 
wash my clothes for me. I never was a good washerwoman. I 
could cook, bring water and cut wood, but never was much on 
the wash. In fact, it was an uphill business for me to wash up 
*'the things" after "grub time" in our mess. 

I took my clothes and started out, and soon came to a little 
old negro hut. I went in and says to an old negress, "Aunty, I 
would like for you to do a little washing for me." The old crea- 
ture was glad to get it, as I agreed to pay her what it was worth. 
Her name was Aunt Daphne, and if she had been a politician, 
she would have been a success. I do not remember of a more 
fluent "conversationalist" in my life. Her tongue seemed to be 
on a balance, and both ends were trying to out-talk the other — 
but she was a good woman. Her husband was named Uncle 
Zack, and was the exact counterpart of Aunt Daphne. He 
always sat in the chimney corner, his feet in the ashes, and gen- 
erally fast asleep. I am certain I never saw an uglier or more 
baboonish face in my life, but Uncle Zack was a good Christian, 
and I would sometimes wake him up to hear him talk Christian. 

He said that when he "fessed 'ligin, de debil come dare one 
nite, and say, 'Zack, come go wid me,' and den de debil tek me 
to hell, and jes stretch a wire across hell, and hang me up jes 
same like a side of bacon, through the tongue. Well, dar I hang 
like de bacon, and de grease kept droppin' down, and would 
blaze up all 'round me. I jes stay dar and burn ; and after while 
do debil come 'round wid his gun, and say, 'Zack, I gwine to 
shoot you,' and jes as he raise de gun, I jes jerk loose from dat 
wire, and I jes fly to heben." 

"Fly ! did you have wings ?" 

"O, yes, sir, I had wings." 


"Well, after you got to heaven, what did you do then ?" 

"Well, I jes wont to eatin' grass like all de balance of de 

"What ! were they eating- grass ?" 

"O, yes, sir." 

"Well, what color were the lambs, Uncle Zack ?" 

"Well, sir, some of dem was white, and some black, and 
some spotted." 

"Were there no old rams or ewes among them ?" 

"No, sir ; dey was all lams." 

"Well, Uncle Zack, what sort of a looking lamb were you ?" 

"Well, sir, I was sort of specklish and brown like." 

Old Zack begins to get sleepy. 

"Did you have horns, Uncle Zack ?" 

"Well, some of dem had little horns dat look like dey was 
jes sorter sproutin' like." 

Zack begins to nod and doze a little. 

"Well, how often did they shear the lambs, Uncle Zack ?" 

"Well, w-e-1-1, w — e — 1 — 1 — ," and Uncle Zack was fast 
asleep and snoring, and dreaming no doubt of the beautiful pas- 
tures glimmering above the clouds of heaven. 


While here I applied for a furlough. Now, reader, here 
commenced a series of red tapeism that always had characterized 
the officers under Braggism. It had to go through every offi- 
cer's hands, from corporal up, before it was forwarded to tin 1 
next officer of higher grade, and so it passed through every offi- 
cer's hands. He felt it his sworn and bound duty to find some 
informality in it, and it was brought back for correction accord- 
ing to his notions, you see. Well, after getting the corporal's 
consent and approval, it goes up to the sergeant. It ain't right ! 
Some informality, perhaps, in the wording and spelling. Then 
the lieutenants had to have a say in it, and when it got to the 
captain, it had to bo read and re-read, to see that every "i" was 
dotted and "t" crossed, but returned because there was one word 
that he couldn't make out. Then it was forwarded to the 
colonel. He WOnld snatch it out of yonr hand, grit his teeth, 

DALTON. 119 

and say, tk D — n it;" feel in his vest pocket and take out a lead 
pencil, and simply write "app." for approved. This would also 
be returned, with instructions that the colonel must write "ap- 
proved" in a plain hand, and with pen and ink. Then it went 
to the brigadier-general. He would be engaged in a game of 
poker, and would tell you to call again, as he didn't have time to 
bother with those small affairs at present. "I'll see your five 
and raise you ten." "I have a straight flush." "Take the pot." 
After setting him out, and when it wasn't his deal, I get up and 
Avalk around, always keeping the furlough in sight. After read- 
ing carefully the furlough, he says, "Well, sir you have failed to 
get the adjutant's name to it. You ought to have the colonel and 
adjutant, and you must go back and get their signatures." After 
this, you go to the major-general. He is an old aristocratic fel- 
low, who never smiles, and tries to look as sour as vinegar. He 
looks at the furlough, and looks down at the ground, holding the 
furlough in his hand in a kind of dreamy way, and then says, 
"Well, sir, this is all informal." You say, ''Well, General, what 
is the matter with it V He looks at you as if he hadn't heard 
you, and repeats very slowly, "Well, sir, this is informal," and 
hands it back to you. You take it, feeling all the while that yon 
wished you had not applied for a furlough, and by summoning 
all the fortitude that you possess, you say in a husky and choking 
voice, "Well, general (you say the "general" in a sort of gulp 
and dry swallow), what's the matter with the furlough?" You 
look askance, and he very languidly re-takes the furlough and 
glances over it, orders his negro boy to go and feed his horse, 
asks his cook how long it will be before dinner, hallooes at some 
fellow away down the hill that he would like for him to call at 4 
o'clock this evening, and tells his adjutant to sign the furlough. 
The adjutant tries to be smart and polite, smiles a smole both 
child-like and bland, rolls up his shirt-sleeves, and winks one eye 
at you, gets astraddle of a camp-stool, whistles a little stanza of 
schottische, and with a big flourish of his pen, writes the major- 
general's name in small letters, and his own — the adjutant's — 
in very large letters, bringing the pen under it with tremendous 
flourishes, and writes approved and forwarded. You feel re- 



lieved. You feel that the anaconda's coil had been suddenly 
realxed. Then you start out to the lieutenant-general ; you find 
him. He is in a very learned and dignified conversation about 
the war in Chili. Well, you get very anxious for the war in 
Chili to get to an end. The general pulls his side-whiskers, 
looks wise, and tells his adjutant to look over it, and, if correct, 
sign it. The adjutant does not deign to condescend to notice 
you. He seems to be full of gumbo or calf-tail soup, and does 
not wish his equanimity disturbed. He takes hold of the docu- 
ment, and writes the lieutenant-general's name, and finishes his 
own name while looking in another direction — approved and 
forwarded. Then you take it up to the general ; the guard stops 
you in a very formal way, and asks, "What do you want V You 
tell him. He calls for the orderly ; the orderly gives it to the 
adjutant, and you are informed that it will be sent to your 
colonel to-night, and given to you at roll-call in the morning. 
Xow, reader, the above is a pretty true picture of how I got my 


After going through all the formality of red-tapeism, and 
being snubbed with tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee, I got my fur- 
lough. When it started out, it was on the cleanest piece of paper 
that could be found in Buck Lanier's sutler's store. After it 
came back, it was pretty well used up, and looked as if it had 
gone through a very dark place, and been beat with a soot-bag. 
But, anyhow, I know that I did not appreciate my furlough 
half as much as I thought I would. I felt like returning it to 
the gentlemen with my compliments, declining their kind fa- 
vors. I felt that it was unwillingly given, and, as like begets 
like, it was very unwillingly received. Honestly, I felt as if I 
had made a bad bargain, and was keen to rue the trade. I did 
not know what to do with it; but, anyhow, I thought I would 
make the best of a bad bargain. I got on the cars at Dalton — 
now, here is a thing that I had long since forgotten about — it was 
the first first-class passenger ear that I had been in since I had 
been a soldier. The conductor passed around, and handed me a 
t icket with these words on it : 

DALTON. 121 

"If you wish to travel with ease, 
Keep this ticket in sight, if you please; 
And if you wish to take a nap, 
.lust stick this in your hat or cap." 

This was the poetry, reader, that was upon the ticket. The 
conductor called around every now and then, especially if you 
were asleep, to look at your ticket, and every now and then a 
captain and a detail of three soldiers would want to look at your 
furlough. I thought before I got to Selma, Alabama, that I 
wished the ticket and furlough both were in the bottom of the 
ocean, and myself back in camp. Everywhere I went some one 
wanted to see my furlough. Before I got my furlough, I 
thought it sounded big. Furlough was a war word, and I did 
not comprehend its meaning until I got one. The very word 
"furlough" made me sick then. I feel fainty now whenever I 
think of furlough. It has a sickening sound in the ring of it — 
'•furlough! 1 ' "Furloch," it ought to have been called. Every 
man I met had a furlough ; in f act, it seemed to have the very 
double-extract of romance about it — "fur too, eh ?" Men who 
• I knew had never been in the army in their lives, all had fur- 
loughs. Where so many men ever got furloughs from I never 
knew ; but I know now. They were like the old bachelor who 
married the widow with ten children — he married a "ready- 
made" family. They had ready-made furloughs. But I have 
said enough on the furlough question ; it enthralled me — let it 
pass; don't want any more furloughs. But while on my fur- 
lough, I got with Captain G. M. V. Kinzer, a fine-dressed and 
handsome cavalry captain, whom all the ladies (as they do at 
the present day), fell in love with. The captain and myself 
were great friends. The captain gave me his old coat to act 
captain in, but the old thing wouldn't act. I would keep the 
collar turned down. One night we went to call on a couple of 
beautiful and interesting ladies near Selma. We chatted the 
-iirls until the "wee sma' hours" of morning, and when the young 
ladies retired, remarked that they would send a servant to show 
us- to our room. We waited ; no servant came. The captain 
and myself snoozed it out as best we could. About daylight the 
next morning the captain and myself thought that we would ap- 
pear as if we had risen very early, and began to move about, and 



opening the door, there lay a big black negro on his knees and 
face. Now, reader, what do you suppose that negro was doing? 
You could not guess in a week. The black rascal ! hideous ! 
terrible to contemplate! vile! outrageous! Well, words cannol 
express it. What do you suppose he was doing '( He was fast 
asleep. He had come thus far, and could go no further, and 
fell asleep. There is where the captain and myself found him 
at daylight the next morning. We left for Selma immediately 
after breakfast, leaving the family in ignorance of the occur- 
rence. The captain and myself had several other adventures, 
but the captain always had the advantage of me; he had the 
good clothes, and the good looks, and got all the good presents 
from the pretty young ladies — well, you might say, "cut me 
out" on all occasions. "That's what makes me 'spise a fur- 
lough." But then furlough sounds big, you know. 



When I got back to Dalton, I found the Yankee army ad- 
vancing; they were at Rocky Face Ridge. Now, for old Joe's 
generalship. We have seen him in camp, now we will see him in 
action. We are marched to meet the enemy; we occupy Tur- 
ner's Gap at Tunnel Hill. Now, come on, Mr. Yank — we are 
keen for an engagement. It is like a pienie; the soldiers are 
ruddy and fat, and strong; whoop! whoop! hurrah! come on, 
Mr. Yank. We form line of battle on top of Rooky Pace Ridge, 
and here we are face to faee with the enemy. Why don't you 
unbottle your thunderbolts :ind dash us to pieces I Ha! here it 
comes: the br>om of cannon and tbe bursting of a shell in our 


midst. Ila ! ha ! give us another blizzard ! Boom ! boom ! 
That's all right, you ain't hurting nothing. 

"Hold on, boys/' says a sharpshooter, armed with a Whit- 
worth gun, "I'll stop that racket. Wait until I see her smoke 
again." Boom ! boom ! the keen crack of the Whitworth rings 
upon the frosty morning air ; the cannoneers are seen to lie 
down; something is going on. "Yes, yonder is a fellow being- 
carried off on a litter." Bang! bang! goes the Whitworth, and 
the battery is seen to limber to the rear. What next ? a yell ! 
What does this yell mean % A charge right up the hill, and a 
little sharp skirmish for a few moments. We can see the Yan- 
kee line. They are resting on their arms. The valley below is 
full of blue coats, but a little too far off to do any execution. 

Old Joe walks along the line. He happens to see the blue 
coats in the valley, in plain view. Company H is ordered to fire 
on them. We take deliberate aim and fire a solid volley of min- 
nie balls into their midst. We see a terrible consplutterment 
among them, and know that we have killed and wounded several 
of Sherman's incendiaries. They seem to get mad at our audac- 
ity, and ten pieces of cannon are brought up, and pointed right 
toward us. We see the smoke boil up, and a moment afterwards 
the shell is roaring and bursting right among us. Ha ! ha ! ha ! 
that's funny — we love the noise of battle. Captain Joe P. Lee 
orders us to load and fire at will upon these batteries. Our En- 
fields crack, keen and sharp ; and ha, ha, ha, look yonder ! The 
Yankees are running away from their cannon, leaving two pieces 
to take care of themselves. Yonder goes a dash of our cavalry. 
They are charging right up in the midst of the Yankee line. 
Three men are far in advance. Look out, boys! What does 
that mean ? Our cavalry are falling back, and the three men 
are cut off. They will be captured, sure. They turn to get 
back to our lines. We can see the smoke boil up, and hear the 
discharge of musketry from the Yankee lines. One man's horse 
is seen to blunder and fall, one man reels in his saddle, and falls 
a corpse, and the other is seen to surrender. But, look yonder ! 
the man's horse that blundered and fell is up again ; he mounts 
his horse in fiftv vards of the whole Yankee line, is seen to lie 



down on his neck, and is spurring him right on toward the solid 
line of blue coats. Look how he rides, and the ranks of the blue 
coats open. Hurrah for the brave Rebel boy ! He has passed 
and is seen to regain his regiment. I afterwards learned that 
that brave Rebel boy was my own brother, Dave, who, at that 
time was not more than sixteen years old. The one who was 
killed was named Grimes, and the one captured was named 
Houser, and the regiment was the First Tennessee Cavalry, then 
commanded by Colonel J. H. Lewis. You could have heard the 
cheers from both sides, it seemed, for miles. 

John Branch raised the tune, in which the whole First and 
Twenty-seventh Regiments join in : 

"Cheer, boys, cheer, we are marching on to battle! 
Cheer, boys, cheer, for our sweethearts and our wives! 
Cheer, boys, cheer, we'll nobly do our duty. 
And give to the South our hearts, our arms, our lives. 
Old Lincoln, with his hireling hosts, 
Will never whip the South, 

Shouting the battle cry of freedom." 

All this is taking place while the Yankees are fully one 
thousand yards off. We can see every movement that is made, 
and we know that Sherman's incendiaries are already hacked. 
Sherman himself is a coward, and dares not try his strength 
with old Joe. Sherman never fights; all that he is after is 
marching to the sea, while the world looks on and wonders: 
•'What a flank movement!" Yes, Sherman is afraid of minnie 
balls, and tries the flank movement. We are ordered to march 

"falling back." 

Old Joe knows what he is up to. Every night we change 
«.nr position. The morrow's sun finds us face to face with the 
Yankee lines. The troops are in excellent spirits. Yonder are 
<mr "big guns," our cavalry — Forrest and Wheeler — our sharp- 
shooters, and here is our wagon and supply train, right in our 
midst. The private's tread is light — his soul is happy. 

Another think movement. To-morrow tinds us face to face. 
Well, you have come here to fight us ; why don't you come on ? 
We are ready; always ready. Everything is working like clock 
work; machinery is all in order. Come, give us a tilt, and let 


us try our metal. You say old Joe has got the brains and you 
have got the men ; you are going to flank us out of the Southern 
Confederacy. That's your plan, is it ? Well, look out ; we are 
going to pick off and decimate your men every day. You will 
be a picked chicken before you do that. 

What? The Yankees are at Resacca, and have captured 
the bridge across the Oostanaula river. Well, now, that's busi- 
ness ; that has the old ring in it. Tell it to us again ; we're fond 
of hearing such things. 

The Yankees are tearing up the railroad track between the 
tank and Resacca. Let's hear it again. The Yankees have 
opened the attack ; we are going to have a battle ; we are ordered 
to strip for the fight. (That is, to take off our knapsacks and 
blankets, and to detail Bev. White to guard them. ) Keep closed 
up, men. The skirmish line is firing like popping fire-crackers 
on a Christmas morning. Every now and then the boom of a 
cannon and the screaming of a shell. Ha, ha, ha ! that has the 
right ring. We will make Sherman's incendiaries tell another 
tale in a few moments, when — "Halt! about face." Well, 
what's the matter now ? Simply a flank movement. All right ; 
we march back, retake our knapsacks and blankets, and com- 
mence to march toward Resacca. Tom Tucker's rooster crows, 
and John Branch raises the tune, "Just Twenty Years Ago,'' 
and after we sing that out, he winds up with, "There Was an 
Ancient Individual Whose Cognomen Was Uncle Edward," and 

"The old woman who kept a peanut stand, 
And a big policeman stood by with a big stick in his hand," 

And Arthur Fulghum halloes out, "All right ; go ahead ! toot, 
toot, toot! puff, puff, puff! Tickets, gentlemen, tickets!" and 
the Maury Grays raise the yell, "All aboard for Culleoka," while 
Walker Coleman commences the song, "I'se gwine to jine the 
rebel band, fightin' for my home." Thus we go, marching back 
to Resacca. 


Well, you want to hear about shooting and banging, now, 
gentle reader, don't you ? I am sorry I cannot interest you on 
this subject — see history. 



The Yankees had got breeches hold on us. They were ten 
miles in our rear ; had cut off our possibility of a retreat. The 
wire bridge was in their hands, and they were on the railroad in 
our rear; but we were moving, there was no mistake in that. 
Our column was firm and strong. There was no excitement, but 
we were moving along as if on review. We passed old Joe and 
his staff. He has on a light or mole colored hat, with a black 
feather in it. He is listening to the firing going on at the front. 
One little cheer, and the very ground seems to shake with cheers. 
Old Joe smiles as blandly as a modest maid, raises his hat in 
acknowledgement, makes a polite bow, and rides toward the fir- 
ing. Soon we are thrown into line of battle, in support of 
Polk's corps. We belong to Hardee's corps. Now Polk's corps 
advances to the attack, and Hardee's corps fifty or seventy-five 
yards in the rear. A thug, thug, thug ; the balls are decimating 
our men ; we can't fire ; Polk's corps is in front of us ; should it 
give way, then it will be our time. The air is full of deadly 
missiles. W T e can see the two lines meet, and hear the deadly 
crash of battle ; can see the blaze of smoke and fire. The earth 
trembles. Our little corps rush in to carry off our men as they 
are shot down, killed and wounded. Lie down ! thug, thug ! 
General Hardee passes along the line. "Steady, boys !" (The 
old general had on a white cravat; he had been married to a 
young wife not more than three weeks). "Go back, general, go 
back, go back, go back," is cried all along the line. He passes 
through the missiles of death unscathed ; stood all through that 
storm of bullets indifferent to their proximity (we were lying 
down, you know). The enemy is checked; yonder they fly, 
whipped and driven from the field. "Attention ! By the right 
Hank, file left, march! Double quick!" and we were double 
([nicking, we knew not whither, but that always meant fight. 
We pass over the hill, and through the valley, and there is old 
Joe pointing toward the tank with his sword. ( lie Looked like 
the pictures you see hung upon the walls). We cross the rail 
i<»ad. Hallo..! here comes a cavalry charge from the Yankee 
line. Now for it ; we will see how Yankee cavalry fight, We 
are not supported ; what is the matter ? Are we going to be 


captured ( They thunder down upon us. Their flat-footed 
dragoons shake and jar the earth. They are all around us — we 
are surrounded. "Form square! Platoons, right and left 
wheel ! Kneel and fire !" There we were in a hollow square. 
Tin- Yankees had never seen anything like that before. It was 
something new. They charged right upon us. Colonel Field, 
sitting on his gray mare, right in the center of the hollow square, 
gives the command, "Front rank, kneel and present bayonet 
against cavalry." The front rank knelt down, placing the butts 
of their guns against their knees. "Rear rank, fire at will; 
commence firing." Now, all this happened in less time than it 
has taken me to write it. They charged right upon us, no doubt 
expecting to ride right over us, and trample us to death with the 
hoofs of their horses. They tried to spur and whip their horses 
over us, but the horses had more sense than that. We were 
pouring a deadly fire right into their faces, and soon men and 
horses were writhing in the death agonies ; officers were yelling 
at the top of their voices, "Surrender! surrender!" but we were 
having too good a thing of it. We were killing them by scores, 
and they could not fire at us ; if they did they either overshot or 
missed their aim. Their ranks soon began to break and get con- 
fused, and finally they were routed, and broke and ran in all 
directions, as fast as their horses could carry them. 

When we re-formed our regiment and marched back, we 
found that General Johnston's army had all passed over the 
bridge at Resacca. Now, reader, this was one of our tight 
places. The First Tennessee Regiment was always ordered to 
hold tight places, which we always did. We were about the last 
troops that passed over. 

Now, gentle reader, that is nil I know of the battle of Ro- 
sacea. We had repulsed every charge, had crossed the bridge 
with every wagon, and cannon, and everything, and had nothing 
lost or captured. It beat anything that has ever been recorded 
in history. I wondered why old Joe did not attack in their 
rear. The explanation was that Hood's line was being enfiladed, 
his men decimated, and he could not hold his position. 

We are still fighting; battles innumerable. The Yankees 



had thrown pontoons across the river below Resacca, in hopes to 
intercept us on the other side. We were marching on the road ; 
they seemed to be marching parallel with us. It was fighting, 
fighting, every day. When we awoke in the morning, the firing 
of guns was our reveille, and when the sun went down it was our 
"retreat and our lights out." Fighting, fighting, fighting, all 
day and all night long. Battles were fought every day, and in 
one respect we always had the advantage ; they were the attack- 
ing party, and we always had good breastworks thrown up dur- 
ing the night. 

Johnston's army was still intact. The soldiers drew their 
regular rations of biscuit and bacon, sugar and coffee, whisky 
and tobacco. When we went to sleep we felt that old Joe, the 
faithful old watch dog, had his eye on the enemy. No one was 
disposed to straggle and go back to Company Q. (Company Q 
was the name for play-outs). They even felt safer in the regu- 
lar line than in the rear with Company Q. 

Well, as stated previously, it was battle, battle, battle, every 
day, for one hundred days. The boom of cannon, and the rattle 
of musketry was our reveille and retreat, and Sherman knew 
that it was no child's play. 

To-day, April 14, 1882, I say, and honestly say, that I sin- 
cerely believe the combined forces of the whole Yankee nation 
could never have broken General Joseph K. Johnston's line of 
battle, beginning at Rocky Face Ridge, and ending on the banks 
of the Chattahoochee. 



We had stacked our arms and gone into camp, and had 
started to build fires to cook supper. I saw our cavalry falling 
back, I thought, rather hurriedly. 1 ran to the road and asked 
them what was the matter ? They answered, "Matter enough ; 
yonder are the Yankees, are you infantry fellows going to make 
a stand here?" I told Colonel Field what had boon told U> me, 
and he hooted at the idea; but balls that had shucks tied to their 
tails were passing over, and our regiment was in the rear of the 
whole army. I could hardly draw any one's attention to the 


fact that the cavalry had passed us, and that we were on the out- 
post of the whole army, when an order came for our regiment to 
go forward as rapidly as possible and occupy an octagon house 
in our immediate front. The Yankees were about a hundred 
yards from the house on one side and we about a hundred yards 
on the other. The race commenced as to which side would get 
to the house first. We reached it, and had barely gotten in, 
when they were bursting down the paling of the yard on the 
opposite side. The house was a fine brick, octagon in shape, and 
as perfect a fort as could be desired. We ran to the windows, 
up-stairs, down-stairs and in the cellar. The Yankees cheered 
and charged, and our boys got happy. Colonel Field told us he 
had orders to hold it until every man was killed, and never to 
surrender the house. It was a forlorn hope. 

We felt we were "gone fawn skins," sure enough. At every 
discharge of our guns, we would hear a Yankee squall. The 
boys raised a tune — 

"I'se gwine to jine the Rebel band, 
A fighting for my home" — 

as they loaded and shot their guns. Then the time of — 

"Cheer, boys, cheer, we are marching on to battle! 
Cheer, boys, cheer, for our sweethearts and our wives! 
Cheer, boys, cheer, we'll nobly do our duty, 
And give to the South our hearts, our ams. our lives." 

Our cartridges were almost gone, and Lieutenant Joe Car- 
ney, Joe Sewell, and Billy Carr volunteered to go and bring a 
box of one thousand cartridges. They got out of the back win- 
dow, and through that hail of iron and lead, made their way back 
with the box of cartridges. Our ammunition being renewed, the 
fight raged on. Captain Joe P. Lee touched me on the shoulder 
and said, "Sam, please let me have your gun for one shot." He 
raised it to his shoulder and pulled down on a fine-dressed cav- 
alry officer, and I saw that Yankee tumble. He handed it back 
to me to reload. About twelve o'clock, midnight, the Hundred 
and Fifty-fourth Tennessee, commanded by Colonel McGevney, 
came to our relief. 

The firing had ceased, and we abandoned the octagon house. 
Our dead and wounded — there were thirty of them — were in 


strange contrast with the furniture of the house. Fine chairs, 
sofas, settees, pianos and Brussels carpeting being made the 
death-bed of brave and noble boys, all saturated with blood. 
Fine lace and damask curtains, all blackened by the smoke of 
battle. Fine bureaus and looking-glasses .and furniture being 
riddled by the rude missiles of war. Beautiful pictures in gilt 
frames, and a library of valuable books, all shot and torn by 
musket and cannon balls. Such is war. 


The battles of the Kennesaw line were fought for weeks. 
Cannonading and musketry firing was one continual thing. It 
seemed that shooting was the order of the day, and pickets on 
both sides kept up a continual firing, that sounded like ten thou- 
sand wood-choppers. Sometimes the wood-choppers would get 
lazy or tired and there was a lull. But you could always tell 
when the old guard had been relieved, by the accelerated chops 
of the wood-choppers. 


One day our orderly sergeant informed me that it was my 
regular time to go on duty, and to report to Captain Beasley, of 
the Twenty-seventh. I reported to the proper place, and we 
were taken to the headquarters of General Leonidas Polk. We 
had to go over into the enemy's lines, and make such observa- 
tions as we could, and report back by daylighl in the morning. 
Our instructions wore to leave everything in camp except our 
guns and cartridge-boxes. These were to be carried, but, under 
no circumstances, to be used, except in case of deatli itself. We 
were instructed to fall in in the pear of our relief guard, which 
would go out about sunset; not to attract their attention, but to 
drop out one of two at a time; to pass tin- Yankee picket as best 
we could, even if we had to crawl on our bellies to do so; to go 

over in the Yankee lines, and to find oul all w mid, without 

attracting attention, if possible. These were OUT instructions. 

You may he sure my heart heat like a muffled drum when I 
heard our order-. 


I felt like making ray will. But, like the boy who was 
passing the graveyard, I tried to whistle to keep my spirits up. 
We followed the relief guard, and one by one stepped off from 
the rear. I was with two others, Arnold Zellner and T. C. 
Dornin. We found ourselves between the picket lines of the 
two armies. Fortune seemed to favor us. It was just getting 
dusky twilight, and we saw the relief guard of the Yankees just 
putting on their picket. They seemed to be very mild, inoffen- 
sive fellows. They kept a looking over toward the Rebel lines, 
and would dodge if a twig cracked under their feet. I walked 
on as if 1 was just relieved, and had passed their lines, when I 
turned back, and says I, "Captain, what guard is this ?" He 
answered, "JSTien bocht, you bet," is what I understood him to 
say. "What regiment are you from?" "Ben bicht mir ein 
riefel fab bien." "What regiment is your detail from V "let 
du mem got Donnermetter stefel switzer." I had to give it up 
— I had run across the detail of a Dutch regiment. I passed 
on, and came to the regular line of breastworks, and there was 
an old Irishman sitting on a stump grinding coffee. "General 
McCook's brigade, be jabbers," he answered to my inquiry as to 
what regiment it was. Right in front of me the line was full 
of Irish soldiers, and they were cooking supper. I finally got 
over their breastworks, and was fearful I would run into some 
camp or headquarter guard, and the countersign would be de- 
manded of me. I did not know what to do in that case — but I 
thought of the way that I had gotten it hundreds of times before 
in our army, when I wanted to slip the guard, and that was to 
get a gun, go to some cross street or conspicuous place, halt the 
officer, and get the countersign. And while standing near Gen- 
eral Sherman's headquarters, I saw a courier come out of his 
tent, get on his horse, and ride toward where I stood. As he 
approached, says I, "Halt! who goes there?" "A friend with 
the countersign." He advanced, and whispered in my ear the 
word "United." He rode on. I had gotten their countersign, 
and felt I was no longer a prisoner. I went all over their camp, 
and saw no demonstration of any kind. Mght had thrown her 
mantle over the encampment. I could plainly see the sentinels 


on their weary vigils along the lines, but there was none in their 
rear. I met and talked with a great many soldiers, but could 
get no information from them. 

About 2 o'clock at night, I saw a body of men approaching 
where I w T as. Something told me that I had better get out of 
their way, but I did not. The person in command said, "Say, 
there! you, sir; say, you, sir!" Says I, "Are you speaking to 
me?" "Yes," very curtly and abruptly. "What regiment do 
you belong to?" Says I, "One hundred and twenty-seventh 
Illinois." "Well, sir, fall in here ; I am ordered to take up all 
stragglers. Fall in, fall in promptly!" Says I, "I am in- 
structed by General McCook to remain here and direct a courier 
to General Williams' headquarters." He says, "It's a strange 
place for a courier to come to." His command marched on. 
About an hour afterwards — about 3 o'clock — I heard the assem- 
bly sound. I knew then that it was about time for me t<> be 
getting out of the way. Soon their companies were forming, 
and they were calling the roll everywhere. Everything had 
begun to stir. Artillery men were hitching up their horses. 
Men were dashing about in every direction. I saw their army 
form and move off. I got back into our lines, and reported to 
General Polk. 

He was killed that very day on the Kennesaw line. Gen- 
eral Stephens was killed the very next day. 

Every now and then a dead picket was brought in. Times 
had begun to look bilious, indeed. Their cannon seemed to be 
getting the best of ours in every fight. The cannons of both 
armies were belching and bellowing at each other, and the 
pickets were going it like wood-choppers, in earnest. We were 
entrenched behind strong fortifications. Our rations were 
cooked and brought to us regularly, and the spirits of the army 
wen- in good condition. 

We continued to change position, and build new breast- 
works every night. One-third of the army had to keep awake 
in the trenches, while the other two-thirds slept. But every- 
thing was so systematized, that we did not feel the fatigue. 



General Leonidas Polk, our old leader, whom we had fol- 
lowed all through that long war, had gone forward with some 
of his staff to the top of Pine Mountain, to reconnoiter, as far 
as was practicable, the position of the enemy in our front. 
While looking at them with his field glass, a solid shot from the 
Federal guns struck him on his left breast, passing through his 
body and through his heart. I saw him while the infirmary 
corps were bringing him off the field. Pie was as white as a 
piece of marble, and a most remarkable thing about him was, 
that not a drop of blood was ever seen to come out of the place 
through which the cannon ball had passed. My pen and ability 
is inadequate to the task of doing his memory justice. Every 
private soldier loved him. Second to Stonewall Jackson, his 
loss was the greatest the South ever sustained. When I saw 
him there dead, I felt that I had lost a friend whom I had ever 
loved and respected, and that the South had lost one of her best 
and greatest generals. 

His soldiers always loved and honored him. They called 
him ''Bishop Polk." "Bishop Polk" was ever a favorite with 
the army, and when any position was to be held, and it was 
known that "Bishop Polk" was there, we knew and felt that 
"all w T as well." 


On this Kennesaw line, near Golgotha Church, one evening 
about 4 o'clock, our Confederate line of battle and the Yankee 
line came in close proximity. If I mistake not, it was a dark, 
drizzly, rainy evening. The cannon balls were ripping and 
tearing through the bushes. The two lines were in plain view 
of each other. General Pat Cleburne was at this time com- 
manding Hardee's corps, and General Lucius E. Polk was in 
command of Cleburne's division. General John C. Brown's 
division w r as supporting Cleburne's division, or, rather, "in 
echelon." Every few moments, a raking fire from the Yankee 
lines would be poured into our lines, tearing limbs off the trees, 


and throwing rocks and dirt in every direction; but I never saw 
a soldier quail, or even dodge. We had confidence in old Joe, 
and were ready to march right into the midst of battle at a mo- 
ment's notice. While in this position, a bomb, loaded with 
shrapnel and grape-shot, came ripping and tearing through our 
ranks, wounding General Lucius E. Polk, and killing some of 
his staff. And, right here, I deem it not inappropriate to make 
a few remarks as to the character and appearance of so brave 
and gallant an officer. At this time he was about twenty-five 
years old, with long black hair, that curled, a gentle and attract 
ive black eye that seemed to sparkle with love rather than chiv- 
alry, and were it not for a young moustache and goatee that he 
usually wore, he would have passed for a beautiful girl. In his 
manner he was as .simple and guileless as a child, and generous 
almost to a fault. Enlisting in the First Arkansas Regiment 
as a private soldier, and serving for twelve months as orderly 
sergeant; at the reorganization he was elected colonel of the 
regiment, and afterwards, on account of merit and ability, was 
commissioned brigadier-general ; distinguishing himself for con- 
spicuous bravery and gallantry on every battlefield, and being 
"scalped" by a minnie ball at Richmond, Kentucky — which 
scar marks its furrow on top of his head to-day. In every bat- 
tle he was engaged in, he led his men to victory, or held the 
enemy at bay, while the surge of battle seemd against us ; he 
always seemed the successful general, who would snatch victory 
out of the very jaws of defeat. In every battle, Polk's brigade, 
of Cleburne's division, distinguished itself, almost making the 
name of Cleburne as the Stonewall of the West. Polk was to 
Cleburne what, Mnrat or the old guard was to Napoleon. And, 
at the battle of ( Ihickamauga, when it seemed that the Southern 
army had nearly lost the battle, General Lucius E. Polk's 
brigade made the most gallant charge of the war, turning the 
tide of affairs, and routing the Yankee army. General Polk 
himself led the charge in person, and was the firsl man on top of 
the Yimkce breastworks ( vide < teneral I >. II. II ill's reporl of the 
battle of Chickamauga >, and in every attack he had the advance 
guard, and in every retreat, the rearguard of the army. Why? 


Because General Lucius E. Polk and his brave soldiers never 
faltered, and with him as leader, the general commanding the 
army knew that "all was well." 

Well, this evening of which I now write, the litter corps 
ran up and placed him on a litter, and were bringing him back 
through Company H, of our regiment, when one of the men 
was wounded, and I am not sure but another one was killed, 
and they let him fall to the ground. At that time, the Yankees 
seemed to know that they had killed or wounded a general, and 
tore loose their batteries upon this point. The dirt and rocks 
were flying in every direction, when Captain Joe P. Lee, Jim 
Brandon and myself, ran forward, grabbed up the litter, brought 
General Polk off the crest of the hill, and assisted in carrying 
him to the headquarters of General Cleburne. When we got to 
General Cleburne, he came forward and asked General Polk 
if he was badly wounded., and General Polk remarked, laugh- 
ingly: "Well, I think I will be able to get a furlough now." 
This is a fact. General Polk's leg had been shot almost entirely 
off. I remember the foot part being twisted clear around, and 
lying by his side, while the blood was running through the litter 
in a perfect stream. I remember, also, that General Cleburne 
dashed a tear from his eye with his hand, and saying, "Poor 
fellow," at once galloped to the front, and ordered an immediate 
advance of our lines. Cleburne's division was soon engaged 
Might coming on, prevented a general engagement, but we drove 
the Yankee line two miles. i 

''dead angle/' 

The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments will 
ever remember the battle of "Dead Angle," which was fought 
June 27th, on the Kennesaw line, near Marietta, Georgia. It 
was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of 
the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought dur- 
ing the whole war. Our regiment was stationed on an angle, a 
little spur of the mountain, or rather promontory of a range of 
hills, extending far out beyond the main line of battle, and was 
subject to the enfilading fire of forty pieces of artillery of the 


Federal batteries. It seemed fun for the guns of the whole 
Yankee army to play upon this point. We would work hard 
every night to strengthen our breastworks, and the very next 
day they would be torn down smooth with the ground by solid 
shots and shells from the guns of the enemy. Even the little 
trees and bushes which had been left for shade, were cut down 
as so much stubble. For more than a week this constant firing 
had been kept up against this salient point. In the meantime, 
the skirmishing in the valley below resembled the sounds made 
by ten thousand wood-choppers. 

Well, on the fatal morning of June 27th, the sun rose clear 
and cloudless, the heavens seemed made of brass, and the earth 
of iron, and as the sun began to mount toward the zenith, 
everything became quiet, and no sound was heard save a pecker- 
wood on a neighboring tree, tapping on its old trunk, trying to 
find a worm for his dinner. We all knew it was but the dead 
eah a that precedes the storm. On the distant hills we could 
plainly see officers dashing about hither and thither, and the 
Stars and Stripes moving to and fro, and we knew the Federals 
were making preparations for the mighty contest. We could 
hear but the rumbling sound of heavy guns, and the distant 
tread of a marching army, as a faint roar of the coming storm, 
which was soon to break the ominous silence with the sound of 
conflict, such as was scarcely ever before heard on this earth. 
!r seemed that the arch-angel of Death stood and looked on with 
outstretched wings, while all the earth was silent, when all at 
once a hundred gains from the Federal line opened upon us. and 
for more than an hour they poured their solid and chain shot. 
grape and shrapnel right upon this salient point, defended by 
our regiment alone, when, all of a sudden, our pickets jumped 
into our works and reported the Yankees advancing, and almosl 
at the Bame time a solid Line of blue coats came up the hill. I 

discharged mv gun, and happening to look up, there was the 
beautiful flag of the Star- and Stripes Haunting righl in my 
uid I heard John Branch, of the Rock City Guards, com- 
manded by Captain W. I'. Kelly, who were next Company II. 
Bay, "Look at that Yankee flag; shoot that fellow; snatch that 


flag out of his hand !" My pen is unable to describe the scene 
of carnage and death that ensued in the next two hours. Col- 
umn after column of Federal soldiers were crowded upon that 
line, and by referring to the history of the war you will find 
they were massed in column forty columns deep; in fact, the 
whole force of the Yankee army was hurled against this point, 
but no sooner would a regiment mount our works than they 
were shot down or surrendered, and soon we had every "gopher 
hole" full of Yankee prisoners. Yet still the Yankees came. 
It seemed impossible to check the onslaught, but every man was 
true to his trust, and seemed to think that at that moment the 
whole responsibility of the Confederate government was rested 
upon his shoulders. Talk about other battles, victories, shouts, 
cheers, and triumphs, but in comparison with this day's fight, 
all others dwarf into insignificance. The sun beaming down 
on our uncovered heads, the thermometer being one hundred and 
ten degrees in the shade, and a solid line of blazing fire right 
from the muzzles of the Yankee guns being poured right into 
our very faces, singeing our hair and clothes, the hot blood of 
our dead and wounded spurting on us, the blinding smoke and 
stifling atmosphere filling our eyes and mouths, and the awful 
concussion causing the blood to gush out of our noses and ears, 
and above all, the roar of battle, made it a perfect pandemonium. 
Afterward I heard a soldier express himself by saying that he 
thought "Hell had broke loose in Georgia, sure enough." 

I have heard men say that if they ever killed a Yankee 
during the war they were not aware of it. I am satisfied that 
on this memorable day, every man in our regiment killed from 
one score to four score, yea, five score men. I mean from 
twenty to one hundred each. All that was necessary was to 
load and shoot. In fact, I will ever think that the reason they 
did not capture our works was the impossibility of their living 
men passing over the bodies of their dead. The ground was 
piled up with one solid mass of dead and wounded Yankees. I 
learned afterwards from the burying squad that in some places 
they were piled up like cord wood, twelve deep. 

After they were time and time again beaten back, they at 
last were enabled to fortify a line under the crest of the hill, 



only thirty yards from us, and they immediately commenced to 
excavate the earth with the purpose of blowing up our line. 

We remained here three days after the battle. In the 
meantime the woods had taken fire, and during the night- and 
days of all that time continued to burn, and at all times, every 
hour of day and night, you could hear the shrieks and screams 
of the poor fellows who were left on the field, and a stench, so 
sickening as to nauseate the wdiole of both armies, arose from 
the decaying bodies of the dead left lying on the field. 

On the third morning the Yankees raised a white flag, ask- 
ing an armistice to bury their dead, not for any respect either 
army had for the dead, but to get rid of the sickening stench. 
I get sick now when I happen to think about it. Long and deep 
trenches were dug, and hooks made from bayonets crooked for 
the purpose, and all the dead were dragged and thrown pell 
mell into these trenches. Nothing was allowed to be taken off 
the dead, and finely dressed officers, with gold watch chains 
dangling over their vests, were thrown into the ditches. Dur- 
ing the whole day both armies were hard at work, burying the 
Federal dead. 

Every member of the First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee 
Regiments deserves a wreath of imperishable fame, and a warm 
place in the hearts of their countrymen, for their gallant and 
heroic valor at the battle of Dead Angle. No man distinguished 
himself above another. All did their duty, and the glory of 
one is hut the glory and just tribute of the others. 

After we had abandoned the line, and on coming to a little 
Stream of water, I undressed for the purpose of bathing, and 
after undressing found my arm all battered and bruised and 
bloodshol from my wrist to my shoulder, and as sore as a blister. 
I had shot one hundred and twenty times that day. My gun 
became bo bo1 thai frequently the powder would flash before I 
could ram home the hall, and I had frequently to exchange my 
gun for thai of a dead comrade. 

Colonel II. K. Field was loading and Bhooting the Bame as 

any private in the ranks when he fell off the skid from which he 

mooting right over my shoulder, shot through the head. 1 


laid him down in the trench, and he said, "Well, they have got 
me at last, but I have killed fifteen of them; time about is fair 
play, I reckon." But Colonel Field was not killed — only 
wounded, and one side paralyzed. Captain Joe P. Lee, Cap- 
tain Mack Campbell, Lieutenant T. H. Maney, and other offi- 
cers of the regiment, threw rocks and beat them in their faces 
with sticks. The Yankees did the same. The rocks came in 
upon us like a perfect hail storm, and the Yankees seemed very 
obstinate, and in no hurry to get away from our front, and we 
had to keep up the firing and shooting them down in self- 
defense. They seemed to walk up and take death as coolly as 
if they were automatic or wooden men, and our boys did not 
shoot for the fun of the thing. It was, verily, a life and death 
grapple, and the least flicker on our part, would have been sure 
death to all. We could not be reinforced on account of our 
position, and we had to stand up to the rack, fodder or no fod- 
der. When the Yankees fell back, and the firing ceased, I never 
saw so many broken down and exhausted men in my life. T 
was as sick as a horse, and as wet with blood and sweat as I 
could be, and many of our men were vomiting with excessive 
fatigue, over-exhaustion, and sunstroke; our tongues were 
parched and cracked for water, and our faces blackened with 
powder and smoke, and our dead and w r ounded were piled indis- 
criminately in the trenches. There was not a single man in 
the company who was not wounded, or had holes shot through 
his hat and clothing. Captain Beasley was killed, and nearly 
all his company killed and wounded. The Rock City Guards 
were almost piled in heaps and so was our company. Captain 
Joe P. Lee w r as badly wounded. Poor Walter Hood and Jim 
Brandon were lying there among us, while their spirits were in 
heaven; also, William A. Hughes, my old mess-mate and friend, 
who had clerked with me for S. F. & J. M. Mayes, and who had 
slept with me for lo ! these many years, and a boy who loved me 
more than any other person on earth has ever done. I had just 
discharged the contents of my gun into the bosoms of two men, 
one right behind the other, killing them both, and was re-load- 
ing, when a Yankee rushed upon me, having me at a disadvan- 



tage, and said, "You have killed my two brothers, and now I've 
got you." Everything I had ever done rushed through my 
mind. I heard the roar, and felt the flash of fire, and saw my 
more than friend. William A. Hughes, grab the muzzle of the 
gun, receiving the whole contents in his hand and arm, and 
mortally wounding him. Header, he died for me. In saving 
my life, he lost his own. When the infimary corps carried him 
off, all mutilated and bleeding he told them to give me "Flor- 
ence Fleming" (that was the name of his gun, which he had put 
on it in silver letters), and to give me his blanket and clothing. 
Ee gave his life for me, and everything that he had. It was 
the last time that I ever saw him, but I know that away up 
yonder, beyond the clouds, blackness, tempest and night, and 
away above the blue vault of heaven, where the stars keep their 
ceaseless vigils, away up yonder in the golden city of the New 
Jerusalem, where God and Jesus Christ, our Savior, ever reign, 
we will sometime meet at the marriage supper of the Son of 
God. who gave His life for the redemption of the whole world. 

For several nights they made attacks upon our lines, but 
in every attempt, they were driven back with great slaughter. 
They would ignite the tape of bomb shells, and throw them over 
in our lines, but, if the shell did not immediately explode, they 
were I In-own hack. They had a little shell called hand grenade, 
but they would cither stop short of us, or go over our heads, and 
were harmless. General Joseph E. Johnston sent us a couple 
of <hevaux-de-frisc. When they came, a detail of three men 
had to roll them over the works. Those three men were heroes. 
Their names were Edmund Brandon, T. C. Dornin, and Arnold 
Zellner. Although it was a solemn occasion, every one of us 

lonvulsed with laughter at the ridiculous appearance and 
actions of the detail. Every one of them made their wills and 
.-aid their prayers truthfully ami honestly, before they under- 
took the task. I laugh now every time I think of the ridiculous 
appearance of the detail, but to them it was no Laughing matter. 
I will say that they were men who feared not, nor faltered in 

their duty. They were men, and bo-day deserve the thanks of 

the people of the South. That night about midnight, an alarm 


was given that the Yankees were advancing. They would only 
have to run about twenty yards before they would be in our 
works. We were ordered to "shoot." Every man was halloo- 
ing at the top of his voice, "Shoot, shoot, tee, shoot, shootee." 
On the alarm, both the Confederate and Federal lines opened 
with both small arms and artillery, and it seemed that the very 
heavens and earth were in a grand conflagration, as they will 
be at the final judgment, after the resurrection. I have since 
learned that this was a false alarm, and that no attack had been 

Previous to the day of attack, the soldiers had cut down 
all the trees in our immediate front, throwing the tops down 
hill and sharpening the limbs of the same, thus making, as we 
thought, an impenetrable dbattis of vines and limbs locked to- 
gether ; but nothing stopped or could stop the advance of the 
Yankee line, but the hot shot and cold steel that we poured into 
their faces from under our head-logs. 

One of the most shameful and cowardly acts of Yankee 
treachery was committed there that I ever remember to have 
seen. A wounded Yankee was lying right outside of our works, 
and begging most piteously for water, when a member of the 
railroad company (his name was Hog Johnson, and the very 
man who stood videt with Theodore Sloan and I at the battle of 
Missionary Ridge, and who killed the three Yankees, one night, 
from Fort Horsley), got a canteen of water, and gave the dying 
Yankee a drink, and as he started back, he was killed dead in 
his tracks by a treacherous Yankee hid behind a tree. It mat- 
ters not, for somewhere in God's Holy Word, which cannot lie, 
He says that "He that giveth a cup of cold water in my name, 
shall not lose his reward." And I have no doubt, reader, in my 
own mind, that the poor fellow is reaping his reward in Eman- 
uel's land with the good and just. In every instance where we 
tried to assist their wounded, our men were killed or wounded. 
A poor wounded and dying boy, not more than sixteen years of 
age, asked permission to "crawl over our works, and when he had 
crawled to the top. and just as Blair Webster and I reached up 
to help the poor fellow, he, the Yankee, was killed by his own 



men. In fact, I have ever thought that is why the slaughter 
was so great in our front, that nearly, if not as many, Yankees 
were killed by their own men as by us. The brave ones, who 
tried to storm and carry our works, were simply between two 
fires. It is a singular fanaticism, and curious fact, that enters 
the mind of a soldier, that it is a grand and glorious death to 
die on a victorious battlefield. One morning the Sixth and 
Ninth Regiments came to our assistance — not to relieve us — 
but only to assist us, and every member of our regiment — First 
and Twenty-seventh — got as mad as a "wet hen." They felt 
almost insulted, and I believe we would soon have been in a 
free fight, had they not been ordered back. As soon as they 
came up every one of us began to say, "Go back ! go back ! wo 
can hold this place, and by the eternal God we are not going to 
leave it," General Johnston came there to look at the position, 
and told us that a transverse line was about one hundred yards 
in our rear, and should they come on us too heavy to fall back 
to that line, when almost every one of us said, "You go back and 
look at other lines, this place is safe, and can never be taken." 
And then when they had dug a tunnel under us to blow us up, 
we laughed, yea, even rejoiced, at the fact of soon being blown 
sky high. Yet, not a single man was willing to leave his post. 
W'licn old Joe sent us the two die vanx-de-f rise, and kept on 
sending us water, and rations, and whisky, and tobacco, and 
word to hold our line, we would invariably send word back to 
pest easy, and that all is well at Dead Angle. I have ever 
thought that is one reason why General Johnston fell back from 
tlii- Kennesaw line, and I will say to-day, in 1882, that while 
we appreciated his sympathies and kindness toward us, yet we 
did not think hard of old Joe for having so little confidence in us 
;it that time. A perfeel hail of minnie halls was being contin- 
ually poured into our head-logs the whole time we remained 
here. The Yankee- would hold up small looking-glasses, so that 
our strength and breastworks could be seen in the reflection in 

the glass; and they also had small mirrors on the butts of their 

guns, so arranged thai they could highl up the barrels of their 
guns by looking through these glasses, while they themselves 


would not be exposed to our fire, and they kept up this continual 
firing day and night, whether they could see us or not. Some- 
times a glancing shot from our head-logs would wound some one. 

But I cannot describe it as I would wish. I would be 
pleased to mention the name of every soldier, not only of Com- 
pany H alone, but every man in the First and Twenty-seventh 
Tennessee Consolidated Regiments on this occasion, but I cannot 
now remember their names, and will not mention any one in 
particular, fearing to do injustice to some whom I might inad- 
vertently omit. Every man and every company did their duty. 
Company G, commanded by Captain Mack Campbell, stood side 
by side with us on this occasion, as they ever had during the 
whole war. But soldiers of the First and Twenty-seventh Regi- 
ments, it is with a feeling of pride and satisfaction to me, to-day, 
that I w r as associated with so many noble and brave men, and 
who were subsequently complimented by Jeff Davis, then Presi- 
dent of the Confederate States of America, in person, who said, 
"That every member of our regiment was fit to be a captain" — 
his very words. I mention Captain W. C. Flournoy, of Com- 
pany K, the Martin Guards ; Captain Ledbetter, of the Ruther- 
ford Rifles ; Captains Kelly and Steele, of the Rock City Guards, 
and Captain Adkisson, of the Williamson Grays, and Captain 
Fulcher, and other names of brave and heroic men, some of 
whom live to-day, but many have crossed the dark river and are 
"resting under the shade of the trees" on the other shore, wait- 
ing and watching for us, who are left to do justice to their 
memory and our cause, and when we old Rebels have accom- 
plished God's purpose on earth, w r e, too, will be called to give an 
account of our battles, struggles, and triumphs. 

Reader mine, I fear that I have wearied you with too long 
a description of the battle of "Dead Angle," if so, please pardon 
me, as this is but a sample of the others which will now follow 
each other in rapid succession. And, furthermore, in stating 
the above facts, the half has not been told, but it will give you a 
faint idea of the hard battles and privations and hardships of 
the soldiers in that stormy epoch — who died, grandly, glorious- 
ly, nobly ; dyeing the soil of old mother earth, and enriching the 


same with their crimson life's blood, while doing what? Only 
trying to protect their homes and families, their property, their 
constitution and their laws, that had been guaranteed to them 
as a heritage forever by their forefathers. They died f< >r the 
faith that each state was a separate sovereign government, as laid 
down by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution 
of our fathers. 


We were on a forced march along a dusty road. I never 
in my whole life saw more dust. The dust fairly popped undei 
our feet, like tramping in a snow-drift, and our eyes, and noses, 
and mouths, were filled with the dust that arose from our foot- 
steps, and to make matters worse, the boys all tried to kick up a 
"bigger dust." Cavalry and artillery could not be seen at ten 
paces, being perfectly enveloped in dust. It was a perfect fog 
of dust. We were marching along, it then being nearly dark, 
when we heard the hoarse boom of a cannon in our rear. It 
sounded as if it had a bad attack of croup. It went, "Croup, 
croup, croup." The order was given to "about face, double 
quick, march." We double quicked back to the old church on 
the road side, when the First Tennessee Cavalry, commanded 
by Colonel Lewis, and the Ninth Battalion, commanded by 
Major James II. Akin, passed us, and charged the advance of 
the Federal forces. We were supporting the cavalry. We 
heard them open. Deadly missiles were flying in every direc- 
tion. The peculiar thud of spent balls and balls with shucks 
tied totheir tails were passing over our heads. We were ex- 
pecting that the cavalry would soon break, and thai wo would bo 
ordered into action. But the news came from the iron;, that 
the cavalry were not only holding their position, but were driv- 
ing the enemy. The earth jarred and trembled: the fire fiend 

Beemed unchained; wounded men were coming from the front. 
! asked the litter corps, "Who have yon there?" And one an- 
swered, "Captain Asa (!. Freeman." I asked if he was dan- 
gerously wounded, and he simply said, "Shot through both 
thighs," and passed on. A.bou1 'Ms time we heard the whoops 


and cheers of the cavalry, and knew that the Yankees were 
whipped and falling back. We marched forward and occupied 
the place held by the cavalry. The trees looked as if they had 
been cut down for new ground, being mutilated and shivered 
by musket and cannon balls. Horses were writing in their death 
agony, and the sickening odor of battle filled the air. Well 
well, those who go to battle may expect to die. An halo ever 
surrounds the soldier's life, because he is ever willing to die for 
his country. 


We are ordered to march to Dallas. 

Reader, somehow the name and character of General John 
C. Breckinridge charms me. That morning he looked grand 
and glorious. His infantry, artillery, and cavalry were drawn 
up in line of battle in our immediate front. He passed along 
the line, and stopping about the center of the column, said, 
''Soldiers, we have been selected to go forward and capture yon 
heights. Do you think we can take them ? I will lead the at- 
tack." The men whooped, and the cry, "We can, we can," was 
heard form one end of the line to the other. Then, "Forward, 
guide center, march !" were words re-repeated by colonels and 
captains. They debouched through the woods, and passed out of 
sight in a little ravine, when we saw them emerge in an open 
field and advance right upon the Federal breastworks. It w r as 
the grandest spectacle I ever witnessed. We could see the smoke 
and dust of battle, and hear the shout of the charge, and the roai 
and rattle of cannon and musketry. But Breckinridge's division 
continued to press forward, without wavering or hesitating. 
We can see the line of dead and wounded along the track over 
which he passed, and finally we see our battle flag planted upon 
the Federal breastworks. I cannot describe the scene. If you, 
reader, are an old soldier, you can appreciate my failure to give 
a pen picture of battle. But Breckinridge could not long hold 
his position. Why we were not ordered forward to follow up 
his success, I do not know; but remember, reader, I am not 
writing history. I try only to describe events as I witnessed 


We marched back to the old church on the roadside ; called 
Xew Hope church, and fortified, occupying the battlefield of the 
day before. The stench and sickening odor of dead men and 
horses were terrible. We had to breathe the putrid atmosphere. 

The next day, Colonel W. M. Yoorhies' Forty-eighth Ten 
nessee Regiment took position on our right. Now, here were 
all the Maury county boys got together at New Hope church. 
I ate dinner with Captain Joe Love, and Frank Frierson filled 
my haversack with hardtack and bacon. 


The 4th day of July, twelve months before, Pemberton had 
surrendered twenty-five thousand soldiers, two hundred pieces 
of artillery, and other munitions of war in proportion, at Vicks- 
burg. The Yankees wanted to celebrate the day. They thought 
it was their lucky day ; but old Joe thought he had as much right 
to celebrate the Sabbath day of American Independence as the 
Yankees had, and we celebrated it. About dawn, continued 
boom of cannon reverberated over the hills as if firing a Fourth 
of July salute. I was standing on top of our works, leveling 
them off with a spade. A sharpshooter fired at me, but the ball 
missed me and shot William A. Graham through the heart. He 
was as noble and brave a soldier as ever drew the breath of life, 
and lacked but a few votes of being elected captain of Company 
H, at the re-organization. He was smoking his pipe when he 
was shot. We started to carry him to the rear, but he remarked 
"Boys, it is useless ; please lay me down and let me die." I 
have never in my life seen any one meet death more philosoph- 
ically. He was dead in a moment. General A. J. Yaughan. 
commanding General Preston Smith's brigade, bad bis fool shol 
off by ;i cannon ball a few minutes afterwards. 

It -reined that both Confederate and Federal armies were 
celebrating the Fourth of July. I cannot now remember a more 
seven- artillery duel. Two hundred cannon were roaring and 
belching like bine blazes. It was but a battle of cannonade all 
day long. It Beemed as though the Confederate and Federal 
cannons wore talking to each other. Sometimes n bull passing 


over would seem to be mad, then again some would seem to be 
laughing, some would be mild, some sad, same gay, some sorrow- 
ful, some rollicking and jolly; and then again some would 
scream like the ghosts of the dead. In fact, they gave forth 
every kind of sound that you could imagine. It reminded one 
of when two storms meet in mid ocean — the mountain billows of 
waters coming from two directions, lash against the vessel's side, 
while the elements are filled with roaring, thundering and light- 
ning. You could almost feel the earth roll and rock like a 
drunken man, or a ship, when she rides the billows in an awful 
storm. It seemed that the earth was frequently moved from its 
foundations, and you could hear it grate as it moved. But all 
through that storm of battle, every soldier stood firm, for we 
knew that old Joe was at the helm. 


Here General Johnston issued his first battle order, that 
thus far he had gone and intended to go no further. His line 
of battle was formed ; his skirmish line was engaged ; the artil- 
lery was booming from the Rebel lines. Both sides were now 
face to face. There were no earthworks on either side. It was 
to be an open field and a fair fight, when — "Fall back !" What's 
the matter ? I do not know how we got the news, but here is 
what is told us — and so it was, every position we ever took. 
When we fell back the news would be, "Hood's line is being 
enfiladed, and they are decimating his men, and he can't hold 
his position." But we fell back and took a position at 


Our line of battle was formed at Cassville. I never saw 
our troops happier or more certain of success. A sort of grand 
halo illumined every soldier's face. You could see self-confi- 
dence in the features of every private soldier. We were confi- 
dent of victory and success. It was like going to a frolic or a 
wedding. Joy was welling up in every heart. We were going 
to whip and rout the Yankees. It seemed to be anything else 


than a fight. r rho soldiers were jubilant. Gladness was de- 
picted on every countenance. I honestly believe that had a 
battle been fought at this place, every soldier would have dis- 
tinguished himself. I believe a sort of fanaticism had entered 
their souls, that whoever was killed would at once be carried to 
the seventh heaven. I am sure of one thing, that every soldier 
had faith enough in old Joe to have charged Sherman's whole 
army. When "Halt !" "Retreat !" What is the matter ? Gen- 
eral Hood says they are enfilading his line, and are decimating 
his men, and he can't hold his position. 

The same old story repeats itself. Old Joe's army is ever 
face to face with Sherman's incendiaries. We have faith in old 
Joe's ability to meet Sherman whenever he dares to attack. The 
soldiers draw their regular rations. Every time a blue coat 
comes in sight, there is a dead Yankee to bury. Sherman is 
getting cautious, his army hacked. Thus we continue to fall 
back for four months, day by day, for one hundred and ten days, 
fighting every day and night. 


Our army had crossed the Chattahoochee. The Federal 
army was on the other side; our pickets on the south side, the 
Yankees on the north side. By a tacit agreement, as had ever 
been the custom, there was no firing across the stream. That 
was considered the boundary. It mattered not how Large or 
small the stream, pickets rarely fired at each other. We would 
stand on each bank, and laugh and talk and brag across the 

One day, while standing on the banks of the ( 'hattahoochee, 
a Yankee called out : 

"Johnny, O, Johnny, O, Johnny lob." 

Johnny answered, "What do you want i" 

"You are whipped, aren't you \" 

"\'o. The man who says that is a li;ir, a scoundrel, and a 

"Well, anyhow, doc Johnston is relieved of the command." 

"What C 


"General Joseph E. Johnston is relie\Ped." 

"What is that you say ?" 

"General Joseph E. Johnston is relieved, and Hood ap- 
pointed in his place." 

"You are a liar, and if you will come ont and show your- 
self I will shoot you down in your tracks, you lying Yankee 

"That's more than I will stand. If the others will hands 
off, I will fight a duel with you. Now, show your manhood." 

Well, reader, every word of this is true, as is everything in 
this book. Both men loaded their guns and stepped out to their 
places. They were both to load and fire at will, until one or 
both were killed. They took their positions without either try- 
ing to get the advantage of the other. Then some one gave the 
command to "Fire at will ; commence firing." They fired seven 
shots each ; at the seventh shot, poor Johnny Reb fell a corpse, 
pierced through the heart. 


Such was the fact. General Joseph E. Johnston had been 
removed, and General J. B. Hood appointed to take command. 
Generals Hardee and Kirby Smith, two old veterans, who had 
been identified with the Army of Tennessee from the beginning, 
resigned. We had received the intelligence from the Yankees. 

The relief guard confirmed the report. 

All the way from Rocky Face Ridge to Atlanta was a battle 
of a hundred days, yet Hood's line was all the time enfiladed 
and his men decimated, and he could not hold his position. Old 
Joe Johnston had taken command of the Army of Tennessee 
when it was crushed and broken, at a time when no other man on 
earth could have united it. He found it in rags and tatters, 
hungry and heart-broken, the morale of the men gone, their 
manhood vanished to the winds, their pride a thing of the past. 
Through his instrumentality and skillful manipulation, all these 
had been restored. We had been under his command nearly 
twelve months. He was more popular with his troops day by 
day. We had made a long and arduous campaign, lasting four 


months ; there was^iot a single day in that four months that did 
not find us engaged in battle with the enemy. History does 
not record a single instance of where one of his lines was ever 
broken — not a single rout. He had not lost a single piece of 
artillery; he had dealt the enemy heavy blows; he was whipping 
them day by day, yet keeping his own men intact ; his men were 
in as good spirits and as sure of victory at the end of four months 
as they were at the beginning; instead of the army being de- 
pleted, it had grown in strength. "lis true, he had fallen back, 
but it was to give his enemy the heavier blows. He brought all 
the powers of his army into play; ever on the defensive, 'tis 
true, yet ever striking his enemy in his most vulnerable part. 
His face was always to the foe. They could make no movement 
in which they were not anticipated. Such a man was Joseph 
E. Johnston, and such his record. Farewell, old fellow! We 
privates loved you because you made us love ourselves. Hardee, 
our old corps commander, whom we had followed for nearly 
four years, and whom we had loved and respected from the be- 
ginning, has left us. Kirby Smith has resigned and gone home. 
The spirit of our good and honored Leonidas Polk is in heaven, 
and his body lies yonder on the Kennesaw line. General 
Breckenridge and other generals resigned. I lay down my pen ; 
I can write no more; my heart is too full. Reader, this is the 
saddest chapter I ever wrote. 

But now, after twenty years, I can see where General 
Joseph E. Johnston made many blunders in not attacking Sher- 
man's line at some point. He was better on the defensive than 
the aggressive, and hence, bis peccare in hello vov licet. 


It came like a flash of lightning, staggering and blinding 
every one. It was like applying a lighted match to an immense 
magazine. It was like the successful gambler, Hushed with con- 
tinual winnings, who staked his all and lost. It was like the end 
of the Southern Confederacy. Things that were, were not. It 
was the end. The soldier of tlie relief guard who brought us 
the news while picketing on the banks of the Chattahoochee, 
remarked, by way of imparting gently the information — 


"Boys, we've fought all the war for nothing. There is 
nothing for lis in store now." 

"What's the matter now?" 

"General Joe Johnston is relieved, Generals Hardee and 
Kirby Smith has resigned, and General Hood is appointed to 
take command of the Army of Tennessee." 

"My God ! is that so ?" 

"It is certainly a fact." 

"Then I'll never fire another gun. Any news or letters 
that you wish carried home \ I've quit, and am going home. 
Please tender my resignation to Jeff Davis as a private soldier 
in the C. S. Army." 

Five men of that picket — there were just five — as rapidly 
as they could, took off their cartridge-boxes, after throwing down 
their guns, and then their canteens and haversacks, taking out 
of their pockets their gun-wipers, wrench and gun-stoppers, and 
saying they would have no more use for "them things." They 
marched oif, and it was the last we ever saw of them. In ten 
minutes they were across the river, and no doubt had taken the 
oath of allegiance to the United States government. Such was 
the sentiment of the Army of Tennessee at that time. 





General John B. Hood had the reputation of being a fight- 
ing man, and wishing to show Jeff Davis what a "bully" fighter 
he was. lights in on the Yankees on Peachtree creek. But that 
was "I give a dare" affair. General William B. Bate's division 
gained their works, but did not long hold them. 

Our division, now commanded by General John C. Brown, 
was supporting Bate's division ; our regiment supporting the 
Hundred and Fifty-fourth Tennessee, which was pretty badly 
cut to pieces, and I remember how mad they seemed to be, 
because they had to fall back. 

Hood thought he would strike while the iron w r as hot, and 
while it could be hammered into shape, and make the Yankees 
believe that it was the powerful arm of old Joe that was wielding 
the sledge. 

But he was like the fellow who took a piece of iron to the 
-hop, intending to make him an ax. After working for sonic 
time and failing, he concluded he would make him a wedge, and. 
failing in this, said, ''I'll make a skeow." So he heats the iron 
red-ho1 and drops it into the slack-tub, and it went s-k-e-o-w, bub- 
ble, bubble, s-k-e-o-w, bust. 


On the night of the 20th, the Yankees were (Hi Peachtree 
creek, advancing toward Atlanta. I was a videl that night, on 
the outpoel of the army. I could plainly hear the moving of 
their army, even the talking and laughing of the Federal sol- 
diers. I was Standing in an old sedge held. About midnight 

everything quieted down. I was alone in the darkness, left to 

watch while the army slept. 'l'h'' pale moon was on the wane, 
a little yellow a re, emitting but a dim light, ami the clouds were 


lazily passing over it, while the stars seemed trying to wink and 
sparkle and make night beautiful. I thought of God, of heaven, 
of home, and I thought of Jennie — her whom I had ever loved, 
and who had given me her troth in all of her maiden purity, to 
be my darling bride so soon as the war was over. I thought of 
the scenes of my childhood, my school-boy days. I thought of 
the time when I left peace and home, for war and privations. 
I had Jennie's picture in my pocket Bible, alongside of a braid 
of her beautiful hair. And I thought of how good, how pure, 
and how beautiful was the woman, who, if I lived, would share 
my hopes and struggles, my happiness as well as troubles, and 
who would be my darling bride, and happiness would ever be 
mine. An owl had lit on an old tree near me and began to "hoo, 
hoo, hoo are you," and his mate would answer back from the 
lugubrious depths of the Chattahoochee swamps. A shivering 
owl also sat on the limb of a tree and kept up its dismal wailings. 
And ever now and then I could hear the tingle, tingle, tingle of 
a cow bell in the distance, and the shrill cry of the whip-poor- 
will. The shivering owd and whip-poor-will seemed to be in a 
sort of talk, and the jack-o'-lanterns seemed to be playing spirits 
— when, hush ! what is that ? listen ! It might have been two 
o'clock, and I saw, or thought I saw, the dim outlines of a Yan- 
kee soldier, lying on the ground not more than ten steps* from 
where I stood. I tried to imagine it was a stump or hallucina- 
tion of the imagination. I looked at it again. The more I 
looked the more it assumed the outlines of a man. Something 
glistens in his eyes. Am I mistaken? Tut, tut, it's nothing 
but a stump ; you are getting demoralized. What ! it seems to 
be getting closer. There are two tiny specks that shine like the 
eyes of a cat in the dark. Look here, thought I, you are getting 
nervous. Well, I can stand this doubt and agony no longer ; 1 
am going to fire at that object anyhow, let come what will. I 
raised my gun, placed it to my shoulder, took deliberate aim, 
and fired, and waugh-weouw, the most unearthly scream I ever 
heard, greeted my ears. I broke and run to a tree near by, and 
had just squatted behind it, when zip, zip, two balls from our 
picket post struck the tree in two inches of my head. I hallooed 



to our picket not to fire that it was "me," the videt. I went 
back, and says I, "Who fired those two shots?" Two fellows 
spoke up and said that they did it. Xo sooner was it spoken, 
than I was on them like a duck on a june-bug, pugnis ef calcibus. 
We "font and fit, and gouged and bit," right there in that picket 
post. I have the marks on my face and forehead where one of 
them struck me with a Yankee zinc canteen, filled with water. 
I do not know which whipped. My friends told me that I 
whipped both of them, and I suppose their friends told them 
that they had whipped me. All I know is, they both run, and I 
was bloody from head to foot, from where I had been cut in the 
forehead and face by the canteens. This all happened one dark 
night in the month of July, 1864, in the rifle pit in front of 
Atlanta. When day broke the next morning, I went forward 
to where I had shot at the "boogaboo" of the night before, and 
right there I found a dead Yankee soldier, fully accoutered for 
any emergency, his eyes wide open. I looked at him, and I said, 
"Old fellow, I am sorry for you ; didn't know it was you, or I 
would have been worse scared than I was. You are dressed 
mighty fine, old fellow, but I don't want anything you have got, 
but your haversack." It was a nice haversack, made of chamois 
skin. I kept it until the end of the war, and when we surren- 
dered at Greensboro, N. C, I had it on. But the other soldiers 
who were with me, went through him and found twelve dollars 
in greenback, a piece of tobacco, a gun-wiper and gun-stopper 
and wrench, a looking-glass and pocket-comb, and various and 
sundry other articles. I came across that dead Yankee two days 
afterwards, and he was as naked as the day ho came info the 
world, and was as black as a negro, and was as big as a skinned 
horse. lie had mortified. I recollect of saving, "I'gh, Ugh," 
and of my hat being lifted off my head, by my hair, whicl 3fo od 

up like the quills of the fret ful porcupine. 1 1 e -eared Mi" 
when dead than when livinjr. 

ax (ii.ii CITIZEN. 

Bui after the little unpleasant episode in the riil, | . i 
went back ami look my stand. When nearly day, I -i ■ the 


bright and beautiful star in the east rise above the tree tops ? and 
the gray fog from off the river begun to rise, and every now and 
then could hear a far off chicken crow. 

While I was looking toward the Yankee line, I saw a man 
riding leisurely along on horseback, and singing a sort of hum- 
drum tune. I took him to be some old citizen. He rode on 
down the road toward me, and when he had approached, "Who 
goes there ?" He immediately answered, "A friend." I 
thought that I recognized the voice in the darkness — and said I, 
"Who are you ?" He spoke up, and gave me his name. Then, 
said I, "Advance, friend, but you are my prisoner." He rode 
on toward me, and I soon saw that it was Mr. Mumford Smith, 
the old sheriff of Maury county. I was very glad to see him, 
and as soon as the relief guard came, I went back to camp with 
him. I do not remember of ever in my life being more glad to 
see any person. He had brought a letter from home, from my 
father, and some Confederate old issue bonds, which I was 
mighty glad to get, and also a letter from "the gal I left behind 
me," enclosing a rosebud and two apple blossoms, resting on an 
arbor vita? leaf, and this on a little piece of white paper, and on 
this was written a motto (which I will have to tell for the young 
folks), "Receive me, such as I am; would that I Avere of more 
use for your sake. Jennie." Now, that was the bouquet part. 
I would not like to tell you what was in that letter, but I read 
that letter over five hundred times, and remember it to-day. I 
think I can repeat the poetry verbatim et literatim, and will do 
so, gentle reader, if you don't laugh at me. I'm married now, 
and only write from memory, and never in my life have I read it 
in book or paper, and only in that letter- — 

"I love you, O, how dearly, 

Words too faintly but express; 
This heart beats too sincerely, 

E'er in life to love you less; 
No. my fancy never ranges, 

Hopes like mine, can never soar: 
If the love I cherish, changes, 

'Twill only be to love you more." 

Xow, fair and gentle reader, this was the poetry, and you 
see for yourself that there was no "shenanigan" in that letter ; 
and if a fellow "went back" on that sort of a letter, he would 



strike his "mammy." And then the letter wound up with. 

"May God shield and protect von, and prepare von for what- 
ever is in store for yon, is the sincere prayer of Jennie." You 
may be sure that I felt good and happy, indeed. 


Reader mine, in writing these rapid and imperfect recol- 
lections, I find that should I attempt to write up all the details 
that I would not only weary you, but that these memoirs would 
soon become monotonous and uninteresting. I have written 
only of what I saw. Many little acts of kindness shown me by 
ladies and old citizens, I have omitted. I remember going to 
an old citizen's house, and he and the old lady were making clay 
pipes. I recollect how they would mold the pipes and put them 
in a red-hot stove to burn hard. Their kindness to me will nevei 
be forgotten. The first time that I went there they seemed very 
glad to see me, and told me that I looked exactly like their son 
who was in the army. I asked them what regiment he belonged 
to. After a moment's silence the old lady, her voice trembling 
as she spoke, said the Fourteenth Georgia, and then she began 
to cry. Then the old man said, "Yes, we have a son in the 
army, lie went to Virginia the first year of the war, and wt 
have never heard of him since. These wars are terrible, sir. 
The last time that we heard of him, he went with Stonewall 
Jackson away ii]) in the mountains of West Virginia, toward 
Romney, and I did hear that while standing picket at a little 
place called Hampshire Crossing, <>n a little stream called St. 

John's linn, he and eleven others froze to death. We hav< 

never heard of him since." He go1 up and began walking n| 

and down the room, his hands crossed behind his back. I 
buckled on inv knapsack to go back to camp, and 1 shook hands 

with the two good old people, and they told me good-bye, and 

both -aid. "God bless yon, God bless you." I -aid the same to 
them, and said, "I pray God to reward yon, and bring your son 
-ale home again." When I gol back to camp I found cannon 

and caissons moving, and I knew and felt that General Hood 
going to strike the enemy again. Preparations were going 


on, but everything seemed to bo out of order and system. Men 
were cursing, and seemed to be dissatisfied and unhappy, but 
the army was moving. 


Forrest's cavalry had been sent to Mississippi ; Wheeler'? 
cavalry had been sent to North Carolina and East Tennessee. 
Hood had sent off both of his "arms" — for cavalry was always 
called the most powerful "arm" of the service. The infantry 
were the feet, and the artillery the body. Now, Hood himself 
had no legs, and but one arm, and that one in a sling. The most 
terrible and disastrous blow that the South ever received was 
when Hon. Jefferson Davis placed General Hood in command 
of the Army of Tennessee. I saw, I will say, thousands of mei: 
cry like babies — regular, old-fashioned boohoo, boohoo, boohoo. 

Now, Hood sent off all his cavalry right in the face of 9 
powerful army, by order and at the suggestion of Jeff Davis, 
and was using his cannon as "feelers." O, God ! Ye gods ! I 
get sick at heart even at this late day when I think of it. 

I remember the morning that General Wheeler's cavalr\ 
filed by our brigade, and of their telling us, "Good-bye, boys, 
good-bye, boys." The First Tennessee Cavalry and Ninth Bat- 
talion were both made up in Maury county. I saw John J. 
Stephenson, my friend and step-brother, and David F. Watkins 
my own dear brother, and Arch Lipscomb, Joe Fussell, Captain 
Kinzer, Jack Gordon, George Martin, Major Dobbins, Colonel 
Lewis, Captain Galloway, Aaron and Sims Latta, Major J. H. 
Akin, S. H. Armstrong, Albert Dobbins, Alex Dobbins, Jim 
Cochran, Rafe Grisham, Captain Jim Polk, and many others 
with whom I was acquainted. They all said, "Good-bye, Sam, 
good-bye, Sam." I cried. I remember stopping the whole com- 
mand and begging them to please not leave us; that if they did. 
Atlanta, and perhaps Hood's whole army, would surrender in ; 
few days ; but they told me, as near as I can now remember 
"We regret to leave you, but we have to obey orders." The 
most ignorant private in the whole army saw everything that 
we had been fighting for for four years just scattered like chaff 



to the wind-. All the Generals resigned, and those who did not 
gn were promoted; colonels were made brigadier-generals, 
captains were made colonels, and the private soldier, well, he 
. don't you see? The private soldiers of the Army of 
Tennessee looked upon Hood as an over-rated general, but Jen 
! lavis did not. 

i:\TTI.l-. OF JUXV 22, l s f-4. 

( lannon halls, at long range, were falling into the city of 
Atlanta. Details of citizens put out the fires as they would 
occur from the burning shells. We could see the smoke rise and 
hear the shells pass away over our heads as they went on toward 
the doomed city. 

One morning Cheatham's corps marched out and through 
the city, we knew not whither, but we soon learned that we wen 
going to make a flank movement. After marching four or five 
miles, we "about faced" and marched back again to within two 
hundred yards of the place from whence we started. It was a 
"flank movement^" you see, and had to be counted that way an\ 
how. "Well, now as we had made the flank movement, we had 
in and take the Federal lines, because we had made a flank 
movement, you see. When one army makes a flank movement 
it is courtesy on the part of the other army to recognize the rlanh 
movement, and to change his base. Why. -ir. if you don'1 rec 
ognize a flank movement, you ain't a graduate of West Point 
Flood was a graduate of West Point, and so was Sherman. Bui 
unfortunately there was Mynheer Dutchman commanding < M<- 
Pherson had gone to dinner) the corps that had been flanked, 
ami he couldn't -peak English worth a cent lie. n<> doubt, had 

on board mein lager beer, so goot as vat never va-. I Bweitzer, 
meiii (Jot, yoo 1 m-t . Bang, bang, bang, goes our skirmish line 
advancing to the attack. Elans, vsA fer ish dot shooting mil 
mein left wing? I-h dot der Repels, Elans? 


The plan of battle, ae conceived and put into action bv 
.il Cleburne, was one of the boldest conceptions, and. at 


. Qe of the most hazardous that ever occurred ir 
during the war. but it only required nerve and pluck 

pry it out. and General Cleburne was equal to the occasion 

Yankees had fortified on two ranges of hills, leaving a gap 
in their breastworks in the valley entirely unfortified and un 

••Ted. They felt that they could enfilade the valley between 
the two lines so that no troop would or could attack at this weak 
point. This valley was covered with a dense undergrowth 01 
- and bushes. General Walker, of Georgia, was ordered tc 
. the extreme right, which he did nobly and gallantly 
giving his life for his country while leading his men, charging 
their breastworks. He was killed on the very top of their works 
In the meantime General Cleburne's division was marching b\ 
the right flank in solid column, the same as if they were march 
S Long the road, right up this valley, and thus passing between 
the Yankee lines and cutting them in two. when the command 
by the left flank was given, which would throw them into line 
of battle. By this maneuver. Cleburne's men were right upon 
their flank, and enfilading their lines, while they were expecting 
an attack in their front. It was the finest piece of generalship 
and the most successful of the war. 

Shineral Mynheer Dutchman says. "Hans, mein Got ! meir 
Got ! vare ish Shineral Mackferson, eh i Mein Got ! mein Got ! 
I shust pelieve dot der Eepel ish cooming. Hans, go cotch dei 
filly colt. Xow. Hans, I vants to see vedder der filly colt mid 
stand fire. You get on der filly colt, und I vill get pehind dei 
house, und veu you shust coome galloping py, I vill say TJ-o-o-h,' 
und if der filly colt don't shunip. den I vill know dot der filly 
colt mid stand fire." Hans says. "Pap. being as you have tc 
ride her in the battle, yet get on her. and let me say book.'" 
Well, Shineral Mynheer gets on the colt, and Hans gets behind 
the house, and as the general comes galloping by. Hans had go: 
an umbrella, and on seeing his father approach, suddenly open.- 
the umbrella, and hallowing at the top of his voice b-o-o-k! 
b-o-o-h .' B-O-O-H ! The filly makes a. sudden jump and ker-nop 
wn Mynheer. He jumps up and says. "Hans. I alvays 
know 1 dot yon vas a vooL Yon make too pig a booh; vy. yov 



said booh loud enuff to scare der ole horse. Hans, go pring oul 
der ole horse. Der tarn Repel vill be here pefore Mackfersoi 
gits pack from der dinner time. I shust peleve dot der Repel 
ish flanking, und deni tarn fool curnells of mein ish not got sense 
enuff to know ven Sheneral Hood is flanking. Hans, bring mil 
der old horse, I vant to find out vedder Mackferson ish gol pack 
from der dinner time or not." 

We were supporting General Cleburne's division. Out 
division (Cheatham's) was commanded by General John C 
Brown. Cleburne's division advanced to the attack. I was 
marching by the side of a soldier by the name of James Gal- 
breath, and a conscript from the Mt. Pleasant country. I never 
heard a man pray and "go on" so before in my life. Tt actually 
made me feel sorry for the poor fellow. Every time that oui 
line would stop for a few minutes, he would get down on hir 
knees and clasp his hands and commence praying. He kepi 
saying, 4l O, my poor wife and children! God have mercy on 
my poor wife and children! God pity me and have mercy oi 
my soul!" Says I, "Galbreath, what are you making a fool of 
yourself that way for? If you are going to be killed, why yoi 
are as ready now as you ever will be, and you are making every- 
body feel bad; quit that nonsense." Be quit, but kept mum- 
bling to himself, "God have mercy! God have mercy!" Cle- 
burne had reached the Yankee breastworks; the firing had been 
and was then terrific. The earth jarred, and shook, and trem- 
bled, at the shock of battle as the two armies met. Charge 
men! And I saw the Confederate flag side by side with tin 
Federal flag. A courier dashed up and said, "General Cleburne 
has captured their works — advance and attack upon his imme- 
diate left. Attention, forward!" A discharge of cannon, and 
a ball tore through our ranks. I heard Galbreath yell OUt, "0, 
God, have mercy on my poor SOUl." The ball had cut hi- body 
nearly in two. Poor fellow, lie bad gone to liis reward. 

We advanced to tlie attack <>n Cleburne's immediate left. 

Cleburne himself was leading 128 in person, so that we would 
not fire upon his men, who were then inside the Yankee line 
IN- BWOrd wa8 drawn. I heard him Bay, "Follow me, bovs.'' 


He ran forward, and amid the blazing fires of the Yankee guns 
was soon on top of the enemy's works. He had on a bob-tail 
Confederate coat, which looked as if it had been cut out of a 
scrimp pattern. (You see I remember the little things). We 
were but a few paces behind, following close upon him, and soon 
had captured their line of works. We were firing at the flying 
foe — astraddle of their lines of battle. This would naturally 
throw us in front, and Cleburne's corps supporting us. The 
Yankee lines seemed routed. We followed in hot pursuit ; but 
from their main line of entrenchment — which was diagonal tc 
those that we had just captured, and also on which they had 
built forts and erected batteries — was their artillery, raking us 
fore and aft. We passed over a hill and down into a valley 
being under the muzzles of this rampart of death. We had 
been charging and running, and had stopped to catch our breath 
right under their reserve and main line of battle. When Gen 
eral George Maney said, "Soldiers, you are ordered to go for- 
ward and charge that battery. When you start upon the charge 
I want you to go, as it were, upon the wings of the wind. Shoot 
down and bayonet the cannoneers, and take their guns at all 
hazards." Old Pat Cleburne thought he had better put in a 
word to his soldiers. He says, "You hear what General Maney 
says, boys. If they don't take it, by the eternal God, you have 
got to take it!" I heard an Irishman of the "bloody Tinth," 
and a "darn good regiment, be jabbers," speak up, and say, 
"Faith, gineral, we'll take up a collection and buy you a bat- 
thery, be Jasus." About this time our regiment had re-formed, 
and had got their breath, and the order was given to charge, and 
take their guns even at the point of the bayonet. We rushed 
forward up the steep hill sides, the seething fires from ten 
thousand muskets and small arms, and forty pieces of cannon 
hurled right into our very faces, scorching and burning our 
clothes, and hands, and faces from their rapid discharges, and 
piling the ground with our dead and wounded almost in heaps. 
It seemed that the hot flames of hell were turned loose in all 
their fury, while the demons of damnation were laughing in the 
flames, like seething serpents hissing out their rage. We gave 


one long, loud cheer, and commenced the charge. As we ap- 
proached their lines, like a mighty inundation of the river Ache- 
ron in the infernal regions, Confederate and Federal meet 
Officers with drawn swords meet officers with drawn swords, and 
man to man meets man to man with bayonets and loaded guns, 
The continued roar of battle sounded like unbottled thunder. 
Blood covered the ground., and the dense smoke filled our eyes, 
and ears, and faces. The groans of the wounded and dying rosc 
above the thunder of battle. But being heavily supported by 
Cleburne's division, and by General L. E. Poflk's brigade, 
headed and led by General Cleburne in person, and followed by 
the First and Twenty-seventh up the blazing crest, the Federal 
lines waver, and break and fly, leaving us in possession of their 
breastworks, and the battlefield, and I do not know how many 
pieces of artillery, prisoners and small arms. 

Here is where Major Allen, Lieutenant Joe Carney, Cap 
tain Joe Carthell, and many other good and brave spirits gave 
their lives for the cause of their country. They lie to-day, wel- 
tering in their own life's blood. It was one of the bloody battles 
that characterized that stormy epoch, and it was the 22nd of 
July, and one of the hottest days I ever felt. 

General George Maney led us in the heat of battle, and nc 
general of the war acted with more gallantry and bravery during 
the whole war than did General George Maney on this occasion 

The victory was complete. Large quantities of provisions 
and army stores were captured. The Federals had abandoned 
their entire line of breastworks, and had changed their base. 
They were fortifying upon our left, about five miles off froir 
their original position. The battlefield was covered with their 
dead and wounded soldiers. I have never seen so many battle- 
flags left indiscriminately upon any battlefield. I ran over 
twenty in the charge, and could have picked them up every- 
where; did pick up one, and was promoted to fourth corporal foi 
gallantry in picking up a flag on the battlefield. 

On the final charge that was made, I was shot in the ankle 
and heel of my foot. I crawled into their abandoned ditch, 
which then seemed full and running over with our wounded 


soldiers. I dodged behind the embankment to get out of the 
raking fire that was ripping through the bushes, and tearing up 
the ground. Here I felt safe. The firing raged in front; we 
could hear the shout of the charge and the clash of battle. While 
I was sitting here, a cannon ball came tearing down the works 
cutting a soldier's head off, spattering his brains all over m\ 
face and bosom, and mangling and tearing four or five others 
to shreds. As a wounded horse was being led off, a cannon ball 
struck him, and he was literally ripped open, falling in the ver\ 
place I had just moved from. 

I saw an ambulance coming from toward the Yankee line, 
at full gallop, saw them stop at a certain place, hastily put a 
dead man in the ambulance, and gallop back toward the Yankee 
lines. I did not know the meaning of this maneuver until after 
the battle, when I learned that it was General McPherson's dead 

We had lost many a good and noble soldier. The casuaL 
ties on our side were frightful. Generals, colonels, captains 
lieutenants, sergeants, corporals and privates were piled indis- 
criminately everywhere. Cannon, caissons, and dead horses 
were piled pell-mell. It was the picture of a real battlefield. 
Blood had gathered in pools, and in some instances had made 
streams of blood. 'Twas a picture of carnage and death. 


''Why, hello, corporal, where did you get those two yellow 
stripes from on your arm ?" 

"Why, sir, I have been promoted for gallantry on the bat- 
tlefield, by picking up an orphan flag, that had been run over 
by a thousand fellows, and when I picked it up I did so becaus' 
I thought it was pretty, and I wanted to have me a shirt made 
out of it." 

"I could have picked up forty, had I known that," said 

"So could I, but I knew that the stragglers would pick 
them up." 

Reader mine, the above dialogue is true in every particular 


As long as I was in action, fighting for my country, there was 
no chance for promotion, but as soon as I fell out of ranks and 
picked up a forsaken and deserted flag, I was promoted for it 
I felt "sorter" cheap when complimented for gallantry, and tin 
high honor of fourth corporal was conferred upon me. I fell 
that those brave and noble fellows who had kept on in the charge 
were more entitled to the honor than I was, for when the bal 
struck me on the ankle and heel, I did not go any further. And 
had I only known that picking up flags entitled me to promotion 
and that every flag picked up would raise me one notch higher 
I would have quit fighting and gone to picking up flags, and b\ 
that means I would have soon been President of the Confederate 
States of America. But honors now begin to cluster around 
my brow. This is the laurel and ivy that is entwined around 
the noble brows of victorious and renowned generals. I hon- 
estly earned the exalted honor of fourth corporal by picking U] 
a Yankee battle-flag on the 22nd day of July, at Atlanta. 


Another battle was fought by Generals Stephen D. Lee an< 
Stewart's corps, on the 28th day of July. I was not in it 
neither was our corps, but from what I afterwards learned, the 
Yankees got the best of the engagement. But our troops con 
tinued fortifying Atlanta. No other battles were ever fought 
at this place. 


Our wounded were being sent back to Montgomery. My 
name was put on the wounded list. We were placed in a box- 
car, and whirling down to West Point, where we changed cars 
for Montgomery. The cars drew up at the depot at Montgom 
ery, and we were directed to go to the hospital. When we got 
oft" the cars, little huckster stands were everywhere — apples 
oranges, peaches, watermelons, everything. T know that I never 
saw a greater display of eatables in my whole life I was par- 
ticularly attracted toward an old lady's stand; she had bread. 


fish, and hard boiled eggs. The eggs were what I was hungry 
for. Says I: 

"Madam, how do you sell your eggs ?" 

"Two for a dollar/' she said. 

"How much is your fish worth ?" 

"A piece of bread and a piece of fish for a dollar." 

"Well, madam, put out your fish and eggs." The fish were 
hot and done to a crisp — actually frying in my mouth, crackling 
and singing as I bit off a bite. It was good, I tell you. The 
eggs were a little over half done. I soon demolished both, and 
it was only an appetizer. I invested a couple of dollars more, 
and thought that may be I could make out till supper time. 
As I turned around, a smiling, one-legged man asked me if I 
wouldn't like to have a drink. Now, if there was anything that 
I wanted at that time, it was a drink. 

"How do you sell it ?" says I. 

"A dollar a drink," said he. 

"Pour me out a drink." 

It was a tin cap-box. I thought that I knew the old fel- 
low, and he kept looking at me as if he knew me. Finally, he 
said to me: 

"It seems that I ought to know you." 

I told him that I reckon he did, as I had been there. 

"Ain't your name Sam ?" said he. 

"That is what my mother called me." 

Well, after shaking hands, it suddenly flashed upon me 
who the old fellow was. I knew him well. He told me that 
he belonged to Captain Ed. O'Neil's company, Second Tennes- 
see Regiment, General William B. Bate's corps, and that his 
leg had been shot off at the first battle of Manassas, and at that 
time he was selling cheap whisky and tobacco for a living at 
Montgomery, Alabama. I tossed off a cap-box full and paid 
him a dollar. It staggered me, and I said : 

"That is raw whisky." 

"Yes," said he, "all my cooked whisky is out." 

"If this is not quite cooked, it is as hot as fire anyhow, and 
burns like red-hot lava, and the whole dose seems to have got 
lodged in my windpipe." 


I might have tasted it, but don't think that I did. All I 
can remember now, is a dim recollection of a nasty, greasy, 
burning something going down my throat and chest, and smell- 
ing, as I remember at this day, like a decoction of red-pepper 
tea, flavored with coal oil, turpentine and tobacco juice. 


I went to the hospital that evening, saw it, and was satis- 
fied with hospital life. I did not wish to be called a hospital 
rat. I had no idea of taking stock and making my headquar- 
ters at this place. Everything seemed clean and nice enough, 
but the smell ! Ye gods ! I stayed there for supper. The 
bill of fare was a thin slice of light bread and a plate of soup, 
already dished out and placed at every plate. I ate it, but it 
only made me hungry. At nine o'clock I had to go to bed, and 
all the lights were put out. Every man had a little bunk to 
himself. I do not know whether I slept or not, but I have a 
dim recollection of "sawing gourds," and jumping up several 
times to keep some poor wretch from strangling. lie was only 
snoring. I heard rats filing away at night, and thought that 
burglars were trying to get in; my dreams were not pleasant, 
if I went to sleep at all. I had not slept off of the ground or in 
a house in three years. It was something new to me, and I 
could not sleep, for the room was so dark that had I got up I 
could not have found my way out. I laid there, I do not know 
how long, but I heard a rooster crow, and a dim twilight began 
to glimmer in the room, and even footsteps were audible in the 
rooms below. I got sleepy then, and went off in a doze. I had 
a beautiful dream — dreamed that I was in heaven, or rather, 
that a pair of stairs with richly carved balusters and wings, and 
golden steps overlaid with silk and golden-colored carpeting 
came down from heaven to my room; and two beautiful damsels 
kept peeping, and laughing, and making faces at me from the 
first platform of these steps; and every now and then they would 
bring out. their golden harpB, and sing me a sweet ami happy 
song. Others were constantly passing, but always going the 
same way. They looked like so many school-girls, all dressed 


in shining garments. Two or three times the two beautiful 
girls would go up *the stairs and return, bringing fruits and 
vegetables that shined like pure gold. I knew that I never had 
seen two more beautiful beings on earth. The steps began to 
lengthen out, and seemed to be all around me; they seemed to 
shine a halo of glory all about. The two ladies came closer, and 
closer, passing around, having a beautiful wreath of flowers in 
each hand, and gracefully throwing them backward and forward 
as they laughed and danced around me. Finally, one stopped 
and knelt down over me and whispered something in my ear. 
I threw up my arms to clasp the beautiful vision to my bosom, 
when I felt my arm grabbed, and "D — n ye, I wish you would 
keep your d — n arm off my wound, ye hurt me," came from the 
soldier in the next bunk. The sun was shining full in my face. 
I got up and went down to breakfast. The bill of fare was 
much better for breakfast than it had been for supper ; in fact, 
it was what is called a "jarvis" breakfast. After breakfast, I 
took a ramble around the city. It was a nice place, and mer- 
chandise and other business was being carried on as if there was 
no war. Hotels were doing a thriving business; steamboats 
were at the wharf, whistling and playing their calliopes. I 
remember the one I heard was playing "Away Down on the 
Sewanee River." To me it seemed that everybody was smiling, 
and happy, and prosperous. 


I went to the capitol, and it is a fine building, overlooking 
the city. When I got there, I acted just like everybody that 
ever visited a fine building — they wanted to go on top and look 
at the landscape. That is what they all say. Now, I always 
wanted to go on top, but I never yet thought of landscape. 
What I always wanted to see, was how far I could look, and 
that is about all that any of them wants. It's mighty nice to 
go up on a high place with your sweetheart, and hear her say. 
"La! ain't it b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-1," "Now, now, please don't go 
there," and how you walk up pretty close to the edge and spit 
over, to show what a brave man you are. It's "bully," I tell 



you. Well, I wanted to go to the top of the capitol — I went ; 
wanted to go up in the cupola. Now, there was an iron ladder 
running up across an empty space, and you could see two hun- 
dred feet below from this cupola or dome on top. The ladder 
was about ten feet long, spanning the dome. It was very easy 
to go up, because I was looking up all the time, and I was soon 
on top of the building. I saw how far I could see, and saw the 
Alabama river, winding and turning until it seemed no larger 
than a silver thread. Well, I am very poor at describing and 
going into ecstacies over fancies. I want some abler pen to 
describe the scene. I was not thinking about the scene or the 
landscape — I was thinking how I was going to get down that 
ladder again. I would come to that iron ladder and peep over, 
and think if I fell, how far would I have to fall. The more I 
thought about going down that ladder, the more I didn't feel 
like going down. Well, I felt that I had rather die than go 
down that ladder. I'm honest in this. I felt like jumping off 
and committing suicide rather than go down that ladder. I 
crossed right over the frightful chasm, but when forbearance 
ceased to be a virtue, I tremblingly put my foot on the first 
rung, then grabbed the top of the two projections. There I 
remained, I don't know how long, but after awhile I reached 
down with one foot and touched the next rung. After gettina 
that foot firmly placed, I ventured to risk the other foot. It- 
was thus for several backward steps, until I come to see down — 
away flown, down, down below me — and my head got giddy. 
The world seemed to be turning round and round. A fellow 
at the bottom hallooed, "Look up! look up, mister! look up!" 
I was not a foot from the upper floor. As soon as I looked at 
the floor, everything got steady. I kept my eyes fixed on the 
top of the building, and soon made the landing on terra firma 
I have never liked high places since. I never could bear 
t.. go up-stairs in ;i house. I went t<> the capitol at Nashville, 
lasl winter, ;ui<1 McAndrews wanted me to go up in the cupola 
with him. He went, and paid :i quarter for the privilege. I 
staid, and — well, it' I could estimate its value by dollars — I 
would say two hundred ;md fifty million dollars is what T made 
by staying down. 



The next day, while the ferryboat was crossing the river, I 
asked the ferryman to let me ride over. I was halted by a 
soldier who "knowed" his business. 

"Your pass, sir!" 

"Well, I have no pass !" 

"Well, sir, I will have to arrest you, and take you before 
the provost marshal." 

"Very well, sir; I will go with you to the provost or any- 
where else." 

I appear before the provost marshal. 

"What command do you belong to, sir ?" 

"Well, sir, I belong to Company H, First Tennessee Regi- 
ment. I am a wounded man sent to the hospital." 

"Well, sir, that's too thin ; why did you not get a pass ?" 

"I did not think one was required." 

''Give me your name, sir." 

I gave my name. 

"Sergeant, take this name to the hospital and ask if such 
name is registered on their books." 

I told him that I knew it was not. The sergeant returns 
and reports no such name, when he remarks : 

"You have to go to the guard-house." 

Says I, "Colonel (I knew his rank was that of captain), 
if you send me to the guard-house, you will do me a great 
wrong. Here is where I was wounded." I pulled off my shoe 
and began to unbandage. 

"Well, sir, I don't want to look at your foot, and I have nc 
patience with you. Take him to the guard-house." 

Turning back I said, "Sir, aye, aye, you are clothed with 
a little brief authority, and appear to be presuming pretty heavy 
on that authority; but, sir" — well I have forgotten what I did 
say. The sergeant took me by the arm, and said, "Come, come, 
sir, I have my orders." 

As I was going up the street, I met Captain Dave Buckner, 
and told him all the circumstances of my arrest as briefly as 1 



could. lie said, "Sergeant, bring him back with me to the pro- 
vost marshal's office." They were as mad as wet hens. Their 
faces were burning, and I could see their jugular veins go 
thump, thump, thump. I do not know what Captain Buckner 
said to them, all I heard were the words "otherwise insulted 
me." But I was liberated, and was glad of it. 


I then went back to the river, and gave a fellow two dollars- 
to "row me over the ferry." I was in no particular hurry, and 
limped along at my leisure until about nightfall, when I came 
to a nice, cosy-looking farm house, and asked to stay all night. 
I was made very welcome, indeed. There were two very pretty 
girls here, and I could have "loved either were 'tother dear 
charmer away." But I fell in love with both of them, and 
thereby overdid the thing. This was by a dim fire-light. The 
next day was Sunday, and we all went to church in the country. 
We went in an old rockaway carriage. I remember that the 
preacher used the words "O, God," nineteen times in his prayer. 
I had made up my mind which one of the girls I would marry. 
Now, don't get mad, fair reader mine. I was all gallantry and 
smiles, and when we arrived at home, I jumped out and took 
hold the hand of my fair charmer to help her out. She put her 
foot out, and — well, I came very near telling — she tramped on a 
cat. The cat squalled. 


But then, you know, reader, that I was engaged to Jennie 
and I had a talisman in my pocket Bible, in the way of a love 
letter, against the charms of other beautiful and interesting 
young ladies. Uncle Jimmie Rieves had been to Maury county, 
and, on returning to Atlanta, found out that I was wounded 
and in the hospital a1 Montgomery, and brought the letter to 
me; and, as I am married now, I don't mind telling you what 
was in the letter, if you won't laugh at me. You Bee, Jennie 
was my sweetheart, and here ifi my sweetheart's letter: 

My Dour Sum.:— I write to tell fOV that I 1"\«' yon y>'t. and you aloQi ; .nil 


dav by day I love vou moro, and pray every night and morning for your s.ife 
return home again. My greatest grief is that we heard you were wounded and 
in the hospital, and I cannot be with you to nurse you. 

We heard of the death of many noble and brave men at Atlanta; and the 
death of Captain Carthell, Cousin Mary's husband. It was sent by Captain 
January; he belonged to the Twelfth Tennessee, of which Colonel Watkins 
was lieutenant-colonel. 

The weather is verv beautiful here, and the flowers in the garden are m 
full bloom, and the apples are getting ripe. I have gathered a small bouquet, 
which I will put in the letter; I also send by Uncle Jimmie a tobacco bag, and 
a watch-guard, made out of horse hair, and a woolen hood, knit with my own 
hands, with love and best respects. 

We heard that vou had captured a flag at Atlanta, and was promoted for it 
to corporal. Is that some high office? I know you will be a general yet, because 
I always hear of your being in every battle, and always the foremost man in 
the attack. Sam, please take care of yourself for my sake, and don't let the 
Yankees kill you. Well, good-bye, darling, I will ever pray for God's richest 
and choicest blessings upon you. Be sure and write a long, long letter— I 
don't care how long, to your loving and sincere JENNIE. 


When I got back to the Alabama river, opposite Mont- 
gomery, the ferryboat was on the other shore. A steamboat 
had just pulled out of its moorings and crossed over to where I 
was, and began to take on wood. I went on board, and told 
the captain, who was a clever and good man, that I would like 
to take a trip with him to Mobile and back, and that I was a 
wounded soldier from the hospital. He told me "All right 
come along, and I will foot expenses." 

It was about sunset, but along the line of the distant hori 
zon we could see the dark and heavy clouds begin to boil up in 
thick and ominous columns. The lightning was darting to and 
fro like lurid sheets of fire, and the storm seemed to be gath- 
ering ; we could hear the storm king in his chariot in the clouds, 
rumbling as he came, but a dead lull was seen and felt in the 
air and in nature ; everything was in a. holy hush, except the 
hoarse belchings of the engines, the sizzing and frying of the 
boilers, and the work of the machinery on the lower deck. At 
last the storm burst upon us in all its fury ; it was a tornado 
and the women and children began to scream and pray — the 
mate to curse and swear. I was standing by the captain on the 
main upper deck, as he was trying to direct the pilot how to 
steer the boat through that awful storm, when we heard the 
alarm bell ring out, and the hoarse cry of "Fire! fire! fire!" 
Men were running toward the fire with buckets, and the hose 
began throwing water on the flames. Men, women, and chil- 
dren were jumping in the water, and the captain used every 


effort to quiet the panic, and to land his boat with its passengers, 
but the storm and lire were too much, and down the vessel sank 
to rise no more. Many had been saved in the lifeboat, and 
many were drowned. I jumped overboard, and the last thing 
1 saw was the noble and brave captain still ringing the bell, as 
the vessel went down. He went down amid the flames to fill a 
watery grave. The water was full of struggling and dying 
people for miles. I did not go to Mobile. 


When I got to Montgomery, the cars said toot, toot, and I 
raised the hue and cry and followed in pursuit. Kind friends. 
I fear that I have wearied you with my visit to Montgomery, 
but I am going back to camp now, and will not leave it again 
until our banner is furled never to be again unfurled. 

I, you remember, was without a pass, and did not wish te 
be carried a second time before that good, brave, and just pro- 
vost marshal ; and something told me not to go to the hospital 
I found out when the cars would leave, and thought that I would 
get on them and go back without any trouble. I got on the 
cars, but was hustled off mighty quick, because I had no pass. 
A train of box-cars was about leaving for West Point, and I took 
a seat on top of one of them, and was again hustled off; but I 
had determined to go, and as the engine began to puff, and tug. 
and pull, I slipped in between two box-cars, sitting on one part 
of one and putting my feet on the other, and rode this way until 
1 got to West Point. The conductor discovered me, and had 
put me off several times before I got to West Point, but I would 
jump on again as soon as the cars started. When I got to West 
Point, ;i train of cars started off, and I ran, trying to get on. 
when Captain Peebles reached out his hand and pulled me in, 
and I arrived safe and sound at Atlanta. 

On my way hack to Atlanta, I got with Dow Akin and 
Billy March. Billy .March had been shot through the under 
jaw by :i minnie hall at the octagon house, hut by proper atten- 
tion and aursing, he had recovered. Conner Akin was killed 
;it the octagon house, ami Dow wounded. When we u'ot back 


to the regiment, then stationed near a fine concrete house (where 
Shepard and I would sleep every night), nearly right on our 
works, we found two thirty-two-pound parrot guns stationed in 
our immediate front, and throwing shells away over our heads 
into the city of Atlanta. We had just begun to tell all the boys 
howdy, when I saw Dow Akin fall. A fragment of shell had 
struck him on his backbone, and he was carried back wounded 
and bleeding. We could see the smoke boil up, and it would be 
nearly a minute before we would hear the report of the cannon, 
and then a few moments after we would hear the scream of the 
shell as it went on to Atlanta. We used to count from the time 
we would see the smoke boil up until we would hear the noise, 
and some fellow would call out, "Look out boys, the United 
States is sending iron over into the Southern Confederacy ; let's 
send a little lead back to the United States." And we would 
blaze away with our Enfield and Whitworth guns, and every 
time we would fire, we would silence those parrot guns. This 
kind of fun was carried on for forty-six days. 


Atlanta was a great place to fight chickens. I had heard 
much said about cock pits and cock fights, but had never seen 
such a thing. Away over the hill, outside of the range of 
Thomas' thirty-pound parrot guns, with which he was trying 
to burn up Atlanta, the boys had fixed up a cock pit. It was 
fixed exactly like a circus ring, and seats and benches were ar- 
ranged for the spectators. Well, I went to the cock fight one 
day. A great many roosters were to be pitted that day, and 
each one was trimmed and gaffed. A gaff is a long keen piect 
of steel, as sharp as a needle, that is fitted over the spurs. Well, 
I looked on at the fun. Tom Tuck's rooster was named South- 
ern Confederacy; but this was abbreviated to Confed., and as 
a pet name, they called him Fed. Well, Fed was a trained 
rooster, and would "clean up" a big-foot rooster as soon as he 
was put in the pit. But Tom always gave Fed every advan- 
tage. One day a green-looking country hunk came in with a 
rooster that he wanted to pit against Fed. He looked like a 


common rail-splitter. The money was soon made up, and the 
stakes placed in proper hands. The gaffs were fitted, the roos 
ters were placed in the pit and held until both were sufficiently 
mad to fight, when they were turned loose, and each struck at 
the same time. I looked and poor Fed was dead. The other 
rooster had popped both gaffs through his head. He was a dead 
rooster ; yea, a dead cock in the pit. Tom went and picked up 
his rooster, and said, "Poor Fed, I loved you ; you used to crow 
every morning at daylight to wake me up. I have carried you 
a long time, but, alas ! alas ! poor Fed, your days are numbered, 
and those who fight will sometimes be slain. Now, friends, 
conscripts, countrymen, if you have any tears to shed, prepare 
to shed them now. I will not bury Fed. The evil that roosters 
do live after them, but the good is oft interred with their bones. 
So let it not be with Confed. Confed left no will, but I will 
pick him, and fry him, and dip my biscuit in his gravy. Poor 
Fed, Confed, Confederacy, I place one hand on my heart and 
one on my head, regretting that I have not another to place on 
my stomach, and whisper, softly whisper, in the most doleful 
accents, Good-bye, farewell, a long farewell." 

"Not a laugh was heard— not even a joke- 
As the dead rooster in the camp-kettle they hurried; 
For Tom had lost ten dollars, and was broke, 
In the cock-pit where Confed was buried. 

"They cooked him slowly in the middle of the day, 
As the frying-pan they were solemnly turning; 
The hungry fellows looking at him as he lay, 
With one side raw, the other burning. 

"Some surplus feathers covered his breast, 

Not in a shroud, but In a tiara they soused him; 
He lay like a "picked chicken' taking his rest. 
While the Rebel boys danced and cursed around him. 

"Not a few or short were the cuss words they said, 
Vet, they spoke many words of sorrow: 
As they steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead. 
And thought what'U we do for chicken to-morrow V 

"Lightly they'll t:ilk of the Southern Confed. that's gone, 
And o'er his empty earrass Upbraid lilm: 
Bui nothing he'll reek, If they let him sleep on, 
In the place where they have laid him. 

"Badly and slowly they laid him down. 

Prom the field of fame fresh nnd gory; 
They ate ofl his tlesh, and ttartw away his booes, 

Ami then left them alone in their glory." 


When, cut, slash, bang, debang, and here comes a dash of 
Yankee cavalry, right in the midst of the camp, under whip and 
spur, yelling like a band of wild Comanches, and bearing right 
down on the few mourners around the dead body of Confed 
After making this bold dash, they about faced, and were soon 
out of sight. There was no harm done, but, alas ! that cooked 
chicken was gone. Poor Confed ! To what a sad end you have 
come. Just to think, that but a few short hours ago, you was 
a proud rooster — was "cock of the walk," and was considered 
invincible. But, alas ! you have sunk so low as to become food 
for Federals ! Requiescat in pace — you can crow no more. 


By way of grim jest, and a fitting burlesque to tragic 
scenes, or, rather, to the thing called "glorious war," old Joe 
Brown, then Governor of Georgia, sent in his militia. It was 
the richest picture of an army I ever saw. It beat Forepaugh's 
double-ringed circus. Every one was dressed in citizen's clothes, 
and the very best they had at that time. A few had double- 
barreled shot-guns, but the majority had umbrellas and walking- 
sticks, and nearly every one had on a duster, a flat-bosomed 
"biled" shirt, and a plug hat; and, to make the thing more ridic- 
ulous, the dwarf and the giant were inarching side by side; the 
knock-kneed by the side of the bow-legged ; the driven-in by the 
side of the drawn-out; the pale and sallow dyspeptic, who 
looked like Alex. Stephens, and who seemed to have just been 
taken out of a chimney that smoked very badly, and whose diet 
was goobers and sweet potatoes, was placed beside the three 
hundred-pounder, who was dressed up to kill, and whose looks 
seemed to say, "I've got a substitute in the army, and twenty 
negroes at home besides — h-a-a-m, h-a-a-m." Now, that is the 
sort of army that old Joe Brown had when he seceded from the 
Southern Confederacy, declaring that each state was a separate 
sovereign government of itself; and, as old Joe Brown was an 
original secessionist, he wanted to exemplify the grand prin- 
ciples of secession, that had been advocated by Patrick Henry, 
John Randolph, of Roanoke, and John C. Calhoun, in all of 


whom he was a firm believer. I will say, however, in all due 
deference to the Georgia militia and old Joe Brown's pets, that 
there was many a gallant and noble fellow among them. I 
remember on one occasion that I was detailed to report to a cap- 
tain of the Fourth Tennessee Regiment (Colonel Farquharson. 
called "Guidepost") ; I have forgotten that captain's name. He 
was a small-sized man, with a large, long set of black whiskers. 
lie was the captain, and I the corporal of the detail. We were 
ordered to take a company of the Georgia militia on a scout. 
We went away around to our extreme right wing, passing 
through Terry's mill pond, and over the old battlefield of the 
22nd, and past the place where General Walker fell, when we 
came across two ladies. One of them kept going from one tree 
to another, and saying: "This pine tree, that pine tree; this 
pine tree, that pine tree." In answ r er to our inquiry, they in- 
formed us that the young woman's husband w T as killed on the 
22nd, and had been buried under a pine tree, and she was nearly 
crazy because she could not find his dead body. We passed on, 
and as soon as we came in sight of the old line of Yankee breast- 
works, an unexpected volley of minnie balls was fired into our 
ranks, killing this captain of the Fourth Tennessee Eegiment 
and killing and wounding seven or eight of the Georgia militia. 
I hallooed to lay down, as soon as possible, and a. perfect whizz 
of minnie balls passed over, when I immediately gave the com- 
mand of attention, forward, charge and capture that squad. 
That Georgia militia, every man of them, charged forward, and 
in a few moments we ran into a small squad of Yankees, and 
captured the whole "lay out." We then carried back to camp 
the dead captain and the killed and wounded militia. I had 
seen a great many men killed and wounded, but some how or 
other these dead and wounded men, of that day, made a more 
serious impression on my mind than in any previous or suhse 
quent battles. They were buried with all the honors of war, 
and I never will forget the incidents and scenes of this day as 
1 < • 1 1 tr ;is I live. 


One morning our regiment wns ordered to march, double- 


quick, to the depot to take the cars for somewhere. The engine 
was under steam, and ready to start for that mysterious some- 
where. The whistle blew long and loud, and away we went at 
break-neck speed for an hour, and drew up at a little place by 
the name of Jonesboro. The Yankees had captured the town, 
and were tearing up the railroad track. A regiment of Rebel 
infantry and a brigade of cavalry were already in line of battle 
in their rear. We jumped out of the cars and advanced to 
attack them in front. Our line had just begun to open a pretty 
brisk fire on the Yankee cavalry, when they broke, running 
right through and over the lines of the regiment of infantry 
and brigade of cavalry in their rear, the men opening ranks to 
get out of the way of the hoofs of their horses. It was Stone- 
man's cavalry, upon its celebrated raid toward Macon and An- 
dersonville to liberate the Federal prisoners. We went to work 
like beavers, and in a few hours the railroad track had been 
repaired so that we could pass. Every few miles we would find 
the track torn up, but we would get out of the cars, fix up the 
track, and light out again. We were charging a brigade of cav- 
alry with a train of cars, as it were. They would try to stop 
our progress by tearing up the track, but we were crowding them 
a little too strong. At last they thought it was time to quit that 
foolishness, and then commenced a race between cavalry and car? 
for Macon, Georgia. The cars had to run exceedingly slow and 
careful, fearing a tear up or ambuscade, but at last Macon 
came in sight. Twenty-five or thirty thousand Federal pris- 
oners were confined at this place, and it was poorly guarded and 
protected. We feared that Stoneman would only march in, 
overpower the guards, and liberate the prisoners, and we would 
have some tall fighting to do, but on arriving at Macon, we found 
that Stoneman and all of his command had just surrendered tc 
a brigade of cavalry and the Georgia militia, and we helped 
march the gentlemen inside the prison walls at Macon. The} 
had furnished their own transportation, paying their own way 
and bearing their own expenses, and instead of liberating any 
prisoners, were themselves imprisoned. An extra detail was 
made as guard from our regiment to take them on to Anderson- 


ville, but I was not on this detail, so I remained until the detail 

Macon is a beautiful place. Business was flourishing like 
a green bay tree. The people were good, kind, and clever to us. 
Everywhere the hospitality of their homes was proffered us 
We were regarded as their liberators. They gave us all the good 
things they had — eating, drinking, etc. We felt our conse 
quence, I assure you, reader. We felt we were heroes, indeed ; 
but the benzine and other fluids became a little promiscuous 
and the libations of the boys a little too heavy. They began to 
get boisterous — I might say, riotous. Some of the boys got to 
behaving badly, and would go into stores and places, and did 
many things they ought not to have done. In fact, the whole 
caboodle of them ought to have been carried to the guard-house. 
They were whooping, and yelling, and firing off their guns, just 
for the fun of the thing. I remember of going into a very nice 
family's house, and the old lady told the dog to go out, go out, 
sir! and remarked rather to herself, "Go out, go out! I wish 
you were killed, anyhow." John says, "Madam, do you want 
that dog killed, sure enough?" She says, "Yes, I do. I dc 
wish that lie was dead." "Before I could even think or catch my 
breath, bang went John's gun, and the dog was weltering in his 
blood right on the good lady's floor, the top of his head entirely 
torn off. I confess, reader, that T came very near jumping out 
of my skin, as it were, at the unexpected discharge of the gun. 
And other such scenes, I reckon, were being enacted elsewhere 
but at last a detail was sent around to arrest all stragglers, and 
we were soon rolling back to Atlanta. 

"bellum LET II a I. k." 

Well, after "jugging" Stoneman, we go back to Atlanta 
and occupy our same old place near the concrete house. We 
found everything exactly as we bad lefl it, with the exception 
of rhe increased number of graybacks, which seemed to hav< 
propagated a thousand fold since we left, and they were crawl- 
ing about like ants, making little paths and tracks in the dirt 
;i- tliev wiggled and waddled about, hunting for ye old Rebel 


soldier. Sherman's two thirty-pound parrot guns were in the 
same position, and every now and then a lazy-looking shell 
would pass over, speeding its way on to Atlanta. 

The old citizens had dug little cellars, which the soldiers 
called "gopher holes," and the women and children were crowd- 
ed together in these cellars, while Sherman was trying to burn 
the city over their heads. But, as I am not writing history, I 
refer you to any history of the war for Sherman's war record in 
and around Atlanta. 

As John and I started to go back, we thought we would 
visit the hospital. Grea t God ! I get sick to-day when I think 
of the agony, and suffering, and sickening stench and odor of 
dead and dying; of wounds and sloughing' sores, caused by the 
deadly gangrene ; of the groaning and wailing. I cannot de- 
scribe it. I remember, I went in the rear of the building, and 
there I saw a pile of arms and legs, rotting and decomposing; 
and, although I saw thousands of horrifying scenes during the 
war, yet to-day I have no recollection in my whole life, of eve: 
seeing anything that I remember with more horror than that 
pile of legs and arms that had been cut off our soldiers. As 
John and I went through the hospital, and were looking at the 
poor suffering fellows, I heard a weak voice calling, "Sam, O, 
Sam." I went to the poor fellow, but did not recognize him at 
first, but soon found out that it was James Galbreath, the pooi 
fellow who had been shot nearly in two on the 22nd of July. I 
tried to be cheerful, and said, "Hello, Galbreath, old fellow, I 
thought you were in heaven long before this." He laughed a 
sort of dry, cracking laugh, and asked me to hand him a drink 
of water. I handed it to him. He then began to mumble and 
tell me something in a rambling and incoherent way, but all I 
could catch was for me to write to his family, who were living 
near Mt. Pleasant. I asked him if he was badly wounded. 
He only pulled down the blanket, that was all. I get sick when 
I think of it. The lower part of his body was hanging to the 
upper part by a shred, and all of his entrails were lying on the 
cot with him, the bile and other excrements exuding from them, 
and they full of maggots. I replaced the blanket as tenderly 


as I could, and then said, "Galbreath, good-bye." I then kissed 
him on his lips and forehead, and left. As I passed on, he kept 
trying to tell me something, but I could not make out what he 
said, and fearing I would cause him to exert himself too much. 
I left. 

It was the only field hospital that I saw during the whole 
war, and I have no desire to see another. Those hollow-eyed 
and sunken-cheeked sufferers, shot in every conceivable part of 
the body ; some shrieking, and calling upon their mothers ; some 
laughing the hard, cackling laugh of the sufferer without hope 
and some cursing like troopers, and some writhing and groaning 
as their wounds were being bandaged and dressed. I saw a 
man of the Twenty-seventh, who had lost his right hand, another 
his leg, then another whose head was laid open, and I could see 
his brain thump, and another with his under jaw shot off; ir 
fact, wounded in every manner possible. 

Ah ! reader, there is no glory for the private soldier, much 
less a conscript. James Galbreath was a conscript, as was also 
Fain King. Mr. King was killed at Chickamauga. He and 
Galbreath were conscripted and joined Company H at the same 
time. Both were old men, and very poor, with large families 
at home ; and they were forced to go to war against their wishes, 
Avhile their wives and little children were at home without the 
necessaries of life. The officers have all the glory. Glory is 
not for the private soldier, such as die in the hospitals, being 
eat up with the deadly gangrene, and being imperfectly waited 
on. Glory is for generals, colonels, majors, captains, and lieu- 
tenants. They have all the glory, and when the poor private 
wins battles by dint of sweat, hard marches, camp and picket 
duty, fasting and broken bones, the officers get the glory. The 
private's pay was eleven dollars per month, if he got it ; the 
general's pay was three hundred dollars per month, and he al 
Avays got his. I am not complaining. These tilings happened 
sixteen to twenty years ago. Men who never fired a gnn, noi 
killed a Yankee during the whole war, are to-day the heroes of 
the war. Now, 1 tell yon what I think about it: I think that 
those of ns who fought as private soldiers, fought as mueh fo? 


glory as the general did, and those of lis who stuck it out to the 
last, deserve more praise than the general who resigned because 
some other general was placed in command over him. A gen- 
eral could resign. That was honorable. A private could not 
resign, nor choose his branch of service, and if he deserted, it 
was death. 


General Hood had sent off all his cavalry, and a detail was 
made each day of so many men for a scout, to> find out all we 
could about the movements of the Yankees. Colonel George 
Porter, of the Sixth Tennessee., was in command of the detail 
We passed through Atlanta, and went down the railroad foi 
several miles, and then made a flank movement toward where 
we expected to come in contact with the Yankees. When we 
came to a skirt of woods, we were deployed as skirmishers. 
Colonel Porter ordered us to re-prime our guns and to advance 
at twenty-five paces apart, being deployed as skirmishers, and 
to keep under cover as much as possible. He need not have told 
us this, because we had not learned war for nothing. We would 
run from one tree to another, and then make a careful recon- 
noiter before proceeding to another. We had begun to get a 
little careless, when bang! bang! bang! It seemed that we had 
got into a Yankee ambush. The firing seemed to be from all 
sides, and was rattling among the leaves and bushes. It ap- 
peared as if some supernatural, infernal battle was going on 
and the air was full of smoke. We had not seen the Yankees 
I ran to a tree to my right, and just as I got to it, I saw my com- 
rade sink to the ground, clutching at the air as he fell dead. I 
kept trying to see the Yankees, so that I might shoot. I had 
been looking a hundred yards ahead, when happening to look 
not more than ten paces from me, I saw a big six-foot Yankee 
with a black feather in his hat, aiming deliberately at me. I 
dropped to the ground, and at the same moment heard the re- 
port, and my hat was knocked off in the bushes. I remained 
perfectly still, and in a few minutes I saw a young Yankee 
lieutenant peering through the bushes. I would rather not have 


killed him, but I was afraid to fire and afraid to run, and yet I 
did not wish to kill him. He was as pretty as a woman, and 
somehow I thought I had met him before. Our eyes met. He 
stood like a statue. He gazed at me with a kind of scared ex- 
pression. I still did not want to kill him, and am sorry to-day 
that I did, for I believe I could have captured him, but I fired, 
and saw T the blood spurt all over his face. He was the prettiest 
youth I ever saw. When I fired, the Yankees broke and run, 
and I went up to the boy I had killed, and the blood was gushing 
out of his mouth. I was sorry. 


One morning about the break of day our artillery opened 
along our breastworks, scaring us almost to death, for it was the 
first guns that had been fired for more than a month. We 
sprang to our feet and grabbed our muskets, and ran out and 
asked some one what did that mean. We were informed thai 
they were "feeling" for the Yankees. The comment that was 
made by the private soldier was simply two words, and those 
two words were "O, shucks." The Yankees had gone — no one 
knew whither — and our batteries were shelling the woods, feel- 
ing for them. "O, shucks." 

"Hello," says Hood, "Whar in the Dickens and Tom 
Walker are them Yanks, hey? Feel for them with long-range 
'feelers.' " A boom, boom. "Can anybody tell me whar them 
Yanks are ? Send out a few more 'feelers.' The feelers in the 
shape of cannon balls will bring them to taw." Boom, boom, 

"For the want of n nail, the shoe was lost, 
For the want of a shoo the horse was lost, 
For tbe wanl of a horse the general was lost. 
For the want of a general the battle was lost." 

Forrest's cavalry bad been sent off Bomewhere. Wheeler's 
cavalry had beer senl away yonder in the rear of the enemy i< 
tear iip the railroad and cut of their supplies, etc., and we had 
to find out the movements of the enemy by "feeling for them" 
by shelling the Vacanl woods. The Yankees were at that Hint 
twenty-five mile.- in our rear, "a hundred thousand strong," a1 


a place called Jonesboro. I do not know how it was found out 
that they were at Jonesboro, but anyhow, the news had come 
and Cheatham's corps had to go and see about it. 

Stewart's corps must hold Atlanta, and Stephen D. Lee'. : 
corps must be stretched at proper distance, so that the word 
could be passed backward and forward as to how they were get- 
ting along. As yet it is impossible to tell of the movements of 
the enemy, because our cannon balls had not come back and 
reported any movements to us. We had always heard that can- 
non balls were blind, and we did not suppose they could see tc 
find their way back. Well, our corps made a forced march for 
a day and a night, and passed the word back that we had seen 
some signs of the Yankees being in that vicinity, and thought 
perhaps, a small portion — about a hundred thousand — were 
nigh about there somewhere. Says he, "It's a strange thing yov 
don't know; send out your feelers." We sent out a few feelers 
and they report back very promptly that the Yankees are here 
sure enough, or that is what our feelers say. Pass the word up 
the line. The word is passed from mouth to mouth of Lee's 
skirmish line twenty-five miles back to Atlanta. Well, if that 
be the case, we will set fire to all of our army stores, spike all oui 
cannon, and play "smash" generally, and forsake Atlanta. 

In the meantime, just hold on where you are till Stewart 
gets through his job of blowing up arsenals, burning up the army 
stores, and spiking the cannon, and we will send our negro bo\ 
Caesar down to the horse lot to see if he can't catch old Nance, 
but she is such a fool with that young suckling colt of hers, that 
it takes him almost all day to catch her, and if the draw-bars 
happen to be down, she'll get in the clover patch, and I don't 
think he will catch her to-day. But if he don't catch her, I'll 
ride Balaam anyhow. He's got a mighty sore back, and needs 
a shoe put on his left hind foot, and he cut his ankle with a 
broken shoe on his fore foot, and has not been fed to-day 
However, I will be along by-and-by. Stewart, do you think you 
will be able to get through with your job of blowing up by day 
after to-morrow, or by Saturday at twelve o'clock ? Lee, pasE 
the word down to Cheatham, and ask him what he thinks the 



Yankees are doing. Xow, Kinlock, get my duster and um- 
brella, and bring out Balaam. 

Xow, reader, that was the impression made on the private's 
mind at that time. 



Stewart's corps was at Atlanta, Lee's corps was between 
Atlanta and Jonesboro, and Cheatham's corps, then numbering 
not more than five thousand men — because the woods and roads- 
were full of straggling soldiers, who were not in the fight — 
was face to face with the whole Yankee army, and he was com- 
pelled to flee, fight, or surrender. This was the position and 
condition of the grand Army of Tennessee on this memorable 

If I am not mistaken, General Cleburne was commanding 
( heatham's corps at that time. We expected to be ordered into 
action every moment, and kept see-sawing backward and tor 
ward, until I did not know which way the Yankees were, or 
which way the Rebels. We would form line of battle, charge 
bayonets, and would raise a whoop and yell, expecting to he 
dashed right against the Yankee lines, and then the order would 
be given to retreat. Then we would immediately re-form and 

be ordered to charge again a mile Off ai another place. Then we 

would march and countermarch backward and forward over tin 
-nine ground, passing through Jonesboro away over the hill, and 
then back through the town, first four forward and hack; your 


right hand to your left hand lady, swing half round and balance 
all. This sort of a movement is called a "feint." A feint is 
what is called in poker a "bluff," or what is called in a bully a 
"brag." A feint means anything but a fight. If a lady faints 
she is either scared or in love, and wants to fall in her lover's 
arms. If an army makes a feint movement, it is trying to hide 
some other movement. 

"Hello, Lee, what does Cleburne say the Yankees are doinc 
.at Jonesboro ?" 

"They are fanning themselves." 

"Well, keep up that feint movement until all the boys fainl 
from sheer exhaustion." 

"Hello, Stewart, do you think you will be able to burn up 
those ten locomotives, and destroy those hundred car loads of 
provisions by day after to-morrow ?" 

"Lee, ask Cleburne if he feels feinty ? Ask him how a fel- 
low feels when he feints ?" 

Cleburne says : "I have feinted, feinted, and feinted, until 
I can't feint any longer." 

"Well," says Hood, "if you can't feint any longer, you had 
better flee, fight, or faint; Balaam gets along mighty slow, but 
I'll be thar after awhile." 

At one o'clock we were ordered to the attack. We had tc 
pass through an osage orange hedge that was worse than the 
enemy's fire. Their breastworks were before us. We yelled, 
and charged, and hurrahed, and said booh ! booh ! we're coming, 
coming, look out, don't you see us coming ? Why don't you let 
us hear the cannon's opening roar. Why don't you rattle a few 
old muskets over there at us ? Booh ! booh ! we are coming 
Tag. We have done got to your breastworks. Now, we tagged 
first, why don't you tag back? A Yankee. seems to be lying on 
the other side of the breastworks sunning himself, and raising 
himself on his elbow, says, "Fool who with your fatty bread ? 
W-e are too o-l-d a-birds to be caught with that kind of chaff. 
We don't want any of that kind of pie. What you got there 
wouldn't make a mouthful. Bring on your pudding and pound- 
cake, and then we will talk to ye." 



General Granberry, who, poor fellow, was killed in the 
butchery at Franklin afterwards, goes up to the breastworks, 
and says, "Look her, Yank, we're fighting, sure enough." 

Meynheer Dutchman comes out, and says, "Ish dot so ? 
Vel I ish peen von leetle pit hungry dish morning, und I yust 
gobble you up for mein lunch pefore tinner dime. Dot ish der 
kind of mans vot I bees !" 

Now, reader, that is a fine description of this memorable 
battle. That's it — no more, no less. I was in it all, and saw 
General Granberry captured. We did our level best to get up 
a fight, but it was no go, any way we could fix it up. I mean 
no disrespect to General Hood. He was a noble, brave, and 
good man, and we loved him for his many virtues and goodness 
of heart. I do not propose to criticize his generalship or ability 
as a commander. I only write of the impression and sentiment 
that were made upon the private's mind at the time, and as I 
remember them now. But Atlanta had fallen into the hands 
of the Yankees, and they were satisfied for the time. 


At this place we built small breastworks, but for what pur- 
pose I never knew. The Yankees seemed determined not to 
fight, no way we could fix it. Every now and then they would 
send over a "feeler," to see how we were getting along. Some- 
times these "feelers" would do some damage. I remember one 
morning we were away over a hill, and every now and then here 
would come one of those lazy-looking "feelers," just bouncing 
along as if he were in no hurry, called in military "ricochet.'" 
They were very easy to dodge, if you could see them in time 
Well, one morning, as before remarked, Lieutenant John Whit- 
taker, then in command of Company II. and myself were sitting 
down eating breakfast out of the same tin plate. Wo were sop- 
ping gravy (.tit with some cold corn broad, when Captain W. < '. 
Flournoy, of the Martin Guards, hallooed out, "Look out, Sam; 
look! look!" T jusl turned my head, and in turning, the can- 
non ball knocked my hat off, and Btriking Lieutenanl Whittaker 
full in the side of the head, carried away the whole of the Bkull 


part, leaving only the face. His brains fell in the plate from 
which we were sopping, and his head fell in my lap, deluging 
my face and clothes with his blood. Poor fellow, he never 
knew what hurt him. His spirit went to its God that morning. 
Green Eieves carried the poor boy off on his shoulder, and, after 
wrapping him up in a blanket, buried him. His bones are ac 
Jonesboro to-day. The cannon ball did not go twenty yard? 
after accomplishing its work of death. Captain Flournoy 
laughed at me, and said, "Sam, that came very near getting you 
One-tenth of an inch more would have cooked your goose." I 
saw another man try to stop one of those balls that w r as just roll- 
ing along on the ground. He put his foot out to stop the ball 
but the ball did not stop, but, instead, carried the man's leg off 
with it. He no doubt to-day walks on a cork-leg, and is tax 
collector of the county in which he lives. I saw a thoughtless 
boy trying to catch one in his hands as it bounced along. He 
caught it, but the next moment his spirit had gone to meet its 
God. But, poor John, we all loved him. He died for his coun- 
try. His soul is with his God. He gave his all for the country 
he loved, and may he rest in peace under the shade of the tree 
where he is buried., any may the birds sing their sweetest songs, 
the flowers put forth their most beautiful blooms, while the gen- 
tle breezes play about the brave boy's grave. Green Eieves was 
the only person at the funeral; no tears of a loving mother or 
gentle sister were there. Green interred his body, and there it 
will remain till the resurrection. John Whittaker deserves 
more than a passing notice. He was noble and brave, and when 
he was killed, Company H was without an officer then command- 
ing. Every single officer had been killed, w r ounded, or cap- 
tured. John served as a private soldier the first year of the 
war, and at the reorganization at Corinth, Mississippi, he, W. 
J. AVhitthorne and myself all ran for orderly sergeant of Com- 
pany H, and John was elected, and the first vacancy occurring 
after the death of Captain Webster, he was commissioned brevet 
second lieutenant. When the war broke out, John was clerking 
for John L. & T. S. Brandon, in Columbia. He had been in 
every march, skirmish, and battle that had been fought during 


the war. Along the dusty road, on the march, in the bivouac 
and on the battlefield, he was the same noble, generous boy : 
always, kind, ever gentle, a smile ever lighting up his counte- 
nance. He was one of the most even tempered men I ever 
knew. I never knew him to speak an unkind word to anyone. 
or use a profane or vulgar word in my life. 

One of those ricochet cannon balls struck my old friend, 
X. B. Shepard. Shep was one of the bravest and best soldiers 
who ever shouldered a musket. It is true, he was but a private 
soldier, but he was the best friend I had during the whole war. 
In intellect he was far ahead of most of the generals, and would 
have honored and adorned the name of general in the C. S. A 
He was ever brave and true. He followed our cause to the end 
yet all the time an invalid. To-day he is languishing on a bed 
of pain and sickness, caused by that ball at Jonesboro. The 
ball struck him on his knapsack, knocking him twenty feet, and 
breaking one or two ribs and dislocating his shoulder. He was 
one of God's noblemen, indeed — none braver, none more gener 
oils. God alone controls our destinies, and surely He whe 
watched over us and took care of us in those dark and blood} 
days, will not forsake us now. God alone fits and prepares for 
us the things that are in store for us. There is none so wise a? 
to foresee the future or foretell the end. God sometimes seems 
afar off, but He will never leave or forsake anyone who puts his 
trust in Him. The day will come when the good as well as evil 
will all meet on one broad platform, to be rewarded for the deeds 
done in the body, when time shall end, with the gates of eternity 
closed, and the key fastened to the girdle of God forever. Par- 
don me. reader, I have wandered. Hut when my mind reverts 
to those scenes and times, I seem to live in another ago and time 
and I sometime think that "after us comes the end of the uni- 

I am not trying to moralize, T am only trying to write a 
few scenes and incidents thai eatiie under the observation of a 
poor old Rebel web-fool private soldier in those stormy days ;md 

times. Histories toll the greal farts, while I only tell of the 
minor incidents. 

J0NESB0R0. 189 

But on this day of which I now write, Ave can see in plain 
view more than a thousand Yankee battle-flags waving on top 
the red earthworks, not more than four hundred yards off. 
Every private soldier there knew that General Hood's army 
was scattered all the way from Jonesboro to Atlanta, a distance 
of twenty-five miles, without any order, discipline, or spirit to 
do anything. We could hear General Stewart, away back yon- 
der in Atlanta, still blowing up arsenals, and smashing things 
generally, while Stephen D. Lee was somewdiere between Love- 
joy Station and Macon, scattering. And here was but a de- 
moralized remnant of Cheatham's corps facing the whole Yan- 
kee army. I have ever thought that Sherman was a poor 
general, not to have captured Hood and his whole army at that 
time. But. it matters not what I thought, as I am not trying 
to tell the ifs and ands, but only of what I saw. In a word, we 
had everything against us. The soldiers distrusted everything. 
They were broken down with their long days' hard marching — 
were almost dead with hunger and fatigue. Every one was tak- 
ing his own course, and wishing and praying to be captured. 
Hard and senseless marching, with little sleep, half rations, and 
lice, had made their lives a misery. Each one prayed that all 
this foolishness might end one way or the other. It was too 
much for human endurance. Every private soldier knew that 
such things as this could not last. They were willing to ring- 
down the curtain, put out the foot-lights and go home. There 
was no hope in the future for them. 


From this time forward until the close of the war, every- 
thing was a farce as to generalship. The tragedy had been 
played, the glory of war had departed. We all loved Hood ; ho 
was such a clever fellow, and a good man. 

Well, Yank, why don't you come on and take us ? We are 
ready to play quits now. We have not anything to let you have, 
you know ; but you can parole us, you know ; and we'll go home 
and be good boys, you know — good Union boys, you know ; and 
we'll be sorry for the war, you know ; and we wouldn't have the 



negroes in any way, shape, form, or fashion, yon know; and the 
American continent has no north, no south, no east, no west — 
boohoo, boohoo, boohoo. 

Tut, tut, Johnny; all that sounds tolerable nice, but then 
you might want some favor from Uncle Sam, and the teat is too 
full of milk at the present time for us to turn loose. It's a 
sugar teat, Johnny, and just begins to taste sweet ; and, besides, 
Johnny, once or twice you have put us to a little trouble; we 
haven't forgot that; and we've got you down now — our foot is 
on your neck, and you must feel our boot heel. We want to 
stamp you a little — "that's what's the matter with Hannah.'" 
And, Johnny, you've fought us hard. You are a brave boy; 
you are proud and aristocratic, Johnny, and we are going to 
crush your cursed pride and spirit. And now, Johnny, come 
here ; I've something to whisper in your ear. Hold your ear 
close down here, so that no one can hear: "We want big fat 
offices when the war is over. Some of us want to be presidents, 
some governors, some go to congress, and be big ministers to 
'Urup,' and all those kind of things, Johnny, you know. Just 
go back to your camp, Johnny, chase round, put on a bold front, 
flourish your trumpets, blow your horns. And, Johnny, we 
don't want to be hard on you, and we'll tell you what we'll do 
for you. Away back in your territory, between Columbia and 
Xashville, is the most beautiful country, and the most fertile, 
and we have lots of rations up there, too. Now, you just go up 
there, Johnny, and stay until we want you. We ain't done 
with you yet, my boy — O, no, Johnny. And, another thing, 
Johnny ; you will find there between Mt. Pleasant and Colum- 
bia, the most beautiful country that the sun of heaven ever 
shone upon; and half way between the two places is St. John's 
Church. Its tower is all covered over with a beautiful vine of 
ivy: and, Johnny, you know that in olden times it was the cus- 
tom ti. cut wine a wreath of ivy around the brows of victorious 
generals. We have no doubt that many of your brave generals 
will express a wish, when they p:iss by, to be buried beneath the 
ivy vine that shades bo gracefully ami beautifully the wall of this 
grand '•!'! church. Ami. Johnnv. von will find a land of beautv 


and plenty, and when you get there, just put on as much style 
as you like ; just pretend, for our sake, you know, that you are 
a bully boy with a glass eye, and that you are the victorious army 
thai has returned to free an oppressed people. We will allow 
you this, Johnny, so that we will be the greater when we want 
you, Johnny. And now, Johnny, we did not want to tell you 
what we are going to say to you now, but will, so that you'll feel 
bad. Sherman wants to 'march to the sea, while the world 
looks on and wonders.' He wants to desolate the land and burn 
up your towns, to show what a coward he is, and how dastardly, 
and one of our boys wants to write a piece of poetry about it. 
But that ain't all, Johnny. You know that you fellows have 
got a great deal of cotton at Augusta, Savannah, Charleston. 
Mobile, and other places, and cotton is worth two dollars a 
pound in gold, and as Christmas is coming, we want to go down 
there for some of that cotton to make a Christinas gift to old 
Abe and old Clo, don't you see ? O, no, Johnny, we don't want 
to end the war just yet awhile. The sugar is mighty sweet in 
the teat, and we want to suck a while longer. Why, sir, we want 
to rob and then burn every house in Georgia and South Caro- 
lina. We will get millions of dollars by robbery alone, don't 
you see V 


"Hark from the tomb that doleful sound, 
My ears attend the cry." 

General J. B. Hood established his headquarters at Pal- 
metto, Georgia, and here is where we were visited by his honor, 
the Honorable Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate 
States of America, and the Right Honorable Robert Toombs, 
secretary of state under the said Davis. Xow, kind reader, 
don't ask me to write history. I know nothing of history. See 
the histories for grand movements and military maneuvers. I 
can only tell of what I saw and how I felt. I can remember 
now General Robert Toombs' and Hon. Jeff Davis' speeches. 
I remember how funny Toombs' speech was. He kept us all 
laughing, by telling us how quick we were going to whip the 



Yankeefe, and how they would skedaddle back across the Ohio 
river like a dog with a tin oyster can tied to his tail. Captain 
Joe P. Lee and I laughed until our sides hurt us. I can remem- 
ber to-day how I felt. I felt that Davis and Toombs had come 
there to bring us glad tidings of great joy, and to proclaim to us 
that the ratification of a treaty of peace had been declared be- 
tween the Confederate States of America and the United States. 
I remember how good and happy I felt when these two leading 
statesmen told of when grim visaged war would smooth her 
wrinkled front, and when the dark clouds that had so long low- 
ered o'er our own loved South would be in the deep bosom of the 
ocean buried. I do not know how others felt, but I can say 
never before or since did I feel so grand. (I came very near 
saying gloomy and peculiar). I felt that I and every other 
soldier who had stood the storms of battle for nearly four long 
years, were now about to be discharged from hard marches, and 
scant rations, and ragged clothes, and standing guard, etc. In 
fact, the black cloud of war had indeed drifted away, and the 
beautiful stars that gemmed the blue ether above, smiling, said, 
"Peace, peace, peace." I felt bully, I tell you. I remember 
what I thought — that the emblem of our cause was the Pal- 
metto and the Texas Star, and the town of Palmetto, were sym- 
bolical of our ultimate triumph, and that we had unconsciously, 
nay, I should say, prophetically, fallen upon Palmetto as the 
most appropriate place to declare peace between the two sec- 
tions. I was sure Jeff Davis and Bob Toombs had come there 
for the purpose of receiving the capitulation of and to make 
terms with our conquered foes. I knew that in every battle wo 
had fought, except Missionary Ridge, we had whipped the Yan- 
kees, and I knew that we bad no cavalry, and but little artillery, 

;md only two corps of infantry at Missionary Ridge, and from 
the way Jeff and .Bob talked, it was enough to make us old pri- 
vate soldiers feel that swelling of the heart we ne'er should feel 
again. I remember that other high dignitaries and big bugs, 
then the controlling spirits of the government at Richmond, 
visited us, and most all of these high dignitaries shook hands 
with the boys. Tt was all hands round, swing the corner, and 

J0NESB0R0. 193 

balance your partner. I shook hands with Hon. Jeff Davis, 
an<l he said howdy, captain; I shook hands with Toombs, and he 
said howdy, major; and every big bug that I shook hands with 
put another star on my collar and chicken guts on my sleeve. 
My pen is inadequate to describe the ecstasy and patriotic feel- 
ing that permeated every vein and fiber of my animated being. 
It was Paradise regained. All the long struggles we had fol- 
lowed the Palmetto flag through victory and defeat, through 
storms and rains, and snows and tempest, along the dusty roads, 
and on the weary marches, we had been true to our country, our 
cause, and our people; and there was a conscious pride within 
us that when we would return to our homes, we would go back 
as conquerors, and that we would receive the plaudits of our 
people — well done, good and faithful servants ; you have been 
true and faithful even to the end. 


•'Sinner come view the ground 
Where you shall shortly lie." 

I remember that Hon. Jeff Davis visited the army at this 
place, and our regiment, the First Tennessee, serenaded him. 
After playing several airs, he came out of General Hood's 
marquee, and spoke substantially as follows, as near as I can 
remember : 

"Soldiers of the First Tennessee Regimena 1 : — I 
should have said captains, for every man among you is fit to be 
a captain. I have heard of your acts of bravery on every battle- 
field during the whole war, and 'captains,' so far as my wishes 
are concerned, I to-day make every man of you a captain, and I 
say honestly to-day, were I a private soldier, I would have no 
higher abmition on earth than to belong to the First Tennessee 
Regiment. You have been loyal and brave; your ranks have 
never yet, in the whole history of the war, been broken, even 
though the army was routed ; yet, my brave soldiers, Tennessee- 
ans all, you have ever remained in your places in the ranks of the 
regiment, ever subject to the command of your gallant Colonel 
Field in every battle, march, skirmish, in an advance or a re- 


Treat. There are on the books of the war department at Rich- 
mond, the names of a quarter of a million deserters, vet, von. 
my brave soldiers, captains all, have remained true and stead- 
fast. I have heard that some have been dissatisfied with the 
removal of General Joe E. Johnston and the appointment of 
General Hood ; but, my brave and gallant heroes, I say, I have 
done what I thought best for your good. Soon we commence 
our march to Kentucky and Tennessee. Be of good cheer, for 
within a short while your faces will be turned homeward, and 
your feet will press Tennessee soil, and you will tread your 
native heath, amid the blue-grass regions and pastures green of 
your native homes. We will flank General Sherman out of 
Atlanta, tear up the railroad and cut off his supplies, and make 
Atlanta a perfect Moscow of defeat to the Federal army. Sit- 
uated as he is in an enemy's country, with his communication- 
all cut off, and our army in the rear, he will be powerless, and 
being fully posted and cognizant of our position, and of the 
Federal army, this movement will be the ultima thule, the grand 
crowning stroke for our independence, and the conclusion of 
the war." 


About this time the Yankees sent us a flag of truce, asking 
an armistice to move every citizen of Atlanta south of their 
lines. It was granted. They wanted to live in fine bouses 
awhile, and then rob and burn them, and issued orders for all 
the eitizens of Atlanta to immediately abandon the city. They 
wanted Atlanta for themselves, you see. 

For weeks and months the roads were tilled with loaded 
wagons of old and decrepit people, who had been hunted and 

hounded from their homes with a relentless cruelty worse, yea. 
much worse, than ever blackened the pages of barbaric or sav- 
age history. I remember assisting in unloading our wagons 

thai General Hood, | r fellow, had kindly sent in to bring ou1 

the citizens of Atlanta to a little place called Rough-and-Beady, 

abotll half way between Palmetto and Atlanta. Every day I 
would look on at the suffering of delicate Ladies, old men. and 


mothers with little children clinging to them, crying, "O, 
mamma, mamma," and old women, and tottering old men, whos< 
gray hairs should have protected them from the savage acts of 
Yankee hate and Puritan barbarity; and I wondered how on 
earth our generals, including those who had resigned — that is 
where the shoe pinches — could quietly look on at this dark, 
black, and damning insult to our people, and not use at least 
one effort to rescue them from such terrible and unmitigated 
cruelty, barbarity, and outrage. General Hood remonstrated 
with Sherman against the insult, stating that it "transcended 
in >tndied and ingenious cruelty, all acts ever before brought 
to my attention in the dark history of war." 

In the great crisis of the war, Hardee, Kirby Smith, Breck- 
inridge, and many brigadiers, resigned, thus throwing all the 
responsibility upon poor Hood.* 

I desire to state that they left the army on account of rank. 
O, this thing of rank! 

Many other generals resigned, and left us privates in the 
lurch. But the gallant Cheatham, Cleburne, Granberry, Gist. 
Strahl, Adams, John C. Brown, William B. Bate, Stewart, 
Lowery, and others, stuck to us to the last. 

The sinews of war were strained to their utmost tension. 


At this place I was detailed as a regular scout, which posi- 
tion I continued to hold during our stay at Palmetto. It was a 
good thing. It beat camp guard all hollow. I had answered 
"hear" at roll-call ten thousand times in these nearly four years. 
But I had sorter got used to the darn thing. 

i^ow, reader, I will give you a few chapters on the kind of 
fun I had for awhile. Our instructions were simply to try and 
find out all we could about the Yankees, and report all move- 

One dark, rainy evening, while out as a scout, and, after 

*In the Southern army the question was, who ranked? Not who was the 
best general, or colonel, or captain— hut "who ranked?" The article of rank 
finally got down to corporals: and rank finally bursted the government. 


traveling all day, I was returning- from the Yankee outposts at 
Atlanta, and had captured a Yankee prisoner, who I then had 
under my charge, and whom I afterwards carried and delivered 
to General Hood, lie was a considerable muggins, and a greal 
coward, in fact, a Yankee deserter. I soon found out that 
there was no harm in him, as he was tired of war anyhow, and 
was anxious to go to prison. We went into an old log cabin 
near the road until the rain would be over. I was standing in 
the cabin door looking at the rain drops fall off the house and 
make little bubbles in the drip, and listening to the pattering on 
the clapboard roof, when happening to look up, not fifty yards 
off, I discovered a regiment of Yankee cavalry approaching. I 
knew it would be utterly impossible for me to get away unseen, 
and I did not know what to do. The Yankee prisoner was 
scared almost to death. I said, "Look, look !" I turned in the 
room, and found the planks of the floor were loose. I raised 
two of them, and Yank and I slipped through. I replaced the 
planks, and could peep out beneath the sill of the house, and see 
the legs of the horses. They passed on and did not come to the 
old house. They were at least a half hour in passing. At last 
the main regiment had all passed, and I saw the rear guard 
about to pass, when I heard the captain say, "Go and look in 
that old house." Three fellows detached themselves from the 
command and came dashing up to the old house. I thought, 
"Gone up, sure," as I was afraid the Yankee prisoner would 
make his presence known. When the three men came up, they 
pushed open the door and looked around, and one fellow said 
"Booh I" They then rode off. Rut that 'T>ooh !" I was sure 
T was caught, but T was not. 


I would go lip to the Yankee outpost, and if some popinjay 
of a tacky officer didn't come along, we would have a good time. 
One morning I was sitting down to eat a good breakfasl with 
the Yankee outpost. 'I hey were cavalry, and they were mighty 

clever and pleasant fellows. I looked down the road toward 

Atlanta, and not fifty yards from the outpost, I saw a body of 


infantry approaching. T don't know why I didn't run. I 
ought to have done so, but didn't. T staid there until this body 
of infantry came up. They had come to relieve the cavalry. 
Ir was a detail of negro soldiers, headed by the meanest looking 
white man as their captain, I ever saw. 

In very abrupt words he told the cavalry that he had come 
to take their place, and they were ordered to report back to their 
command. Happening to catch sight of me, he asked, "What 
is this Rebel doing here?" One of the men spoke up and tried 
to say something in my favor, but the more he said the more the 
captain of the blacks would get mad. He started toward me two 
or three times. He was starting, I could see by the flush of his 
face, to take hold of me, anyhow. The cavalrymen tried to 
protest, and said a few cuss words. The captain of the blacks 
looks back very mad at the cavalry. Here was my opportunity, 
now or never. Uncle negro looked on, not seeming to care for 
the cavalry, captain, or for me. I took up my gun very gently 
and cocked it. I had the gentleman. I had made up my mind 
if he advanced one step further, that he was a dead man. 
When he turned to look again, it was a look of surprise. His 
face was as red as a scalded beet, but in a moment was as white 
as a sheet. He was afraid to turn his head to give a command. 
The cavalry motioned their hands at me, as much as to say, 
""Run, Johnny, run." The captain of the blacks fell upon his 
face, and I broke and ran like a quarter-horse. I never saw or 
heard any more of the captain of the blacks or his guard after- 

"look out, boys/'' 

One night, five of us scouts, I thought all strangers to me, 
put up at an old gentleman's house. I took him for a Catholic 
priest. His head was shaved and he had on a loose gown like a 
lady's dress, and a large cord and tassel tied around his waist, 
from which dangled a large bunch of keys. He treated us very 
kindly and hospitably, so far as words and politeness went, but 
we had to eat our own rations and sleep on our own blankets. 

At bedtime, he invited us to sleep in a shed in front of his 


double log cabin. We all went in, lav down, and slept. A lit- 
tle while before day, the old priest came in and woke us up, and 
said he thought he saw in the moonlight a detachment of cavalry 
coming down the road from toward the Rebel lines. One of our 
party jumped up and said there was a company of cavalry com- 
ing that way, and then all four broke toward the old print's 
room. I jumped up, put on one boot, and holding the other in 
my hand, I stepped out in the yard, with my hat and coat off — 
both being left in the room. A Yankee captain stepped up to 
me and said, "Are you No. 200?" I answered very huskily 
"Xo, sir, I am not." He then went on in the house, and on 
looking at the fence, I saw there was at least two hundred Yan- 
kee cavalry right at me. I did not know what to do. My hat, 
coat, gun, cartridge-box, and knapsack were all in the room. I 
was afraid to stay there, and I was afraid to give the alarm. I 
soon saw almost every one of the Yankees dismount, and then I 
determined to give the alarm and run. 1 hallooed out as loud 
as I could, "Look out, boys," and broke and run. I had to jump 
over a garden picket fence, and as I lit on the other side, bang! 
bang! bang! was fired right after me. They stayed there hut 
a short time, and I went back and got my gun and other accou- 


When 1 left tli»' old priest's house, it was then good day — 
nearly sun up — and I had started back toward our lines, and 
bad walked on about, half a mile, not thinking of danger, when 
four Yankees jumped out in the middle of the road and said. 
"Halt, there! O, yes, we've got you at last." I was in for it. 
What could I do? Their guns were cocked and leveled at me. 
and if I started to run, I would be shot, BO I surrendered. In 
a vry shorl time the regiment of Yankee cavalry came up. and 
the first greeting I had was, "Hello, you ain't \o. 200, are you ?" 

I was taken prisoner. They, I thought, seemed to 1* very 

gleeful about it, and I had to march righl back by the old priest'* 

liou-e, and tiny carried me to the headquarters of General Ste- 
phen William-. A- BOOB as lie <a\v me. lie -aid. "Who have you 


there — a prisoner, or a deserter ?" They said a prisoner. From 
what command ? No one answered. Finally he asked me what 
command I belonged to. I told him the Confederate States 
army. Then, said he, "What is your name?" Said I, ''Gen- 
eral, if that would be any information, I would have no hesi- 
tancy in giving it. But I claim your protection as a prisoner 
of war. I am a private soldier in the Confederate States army, 
and I don't feel authorized to answer any question you may 
ask." He looked at me with a kind of quizical look, and said. 
'"That is the way with yon Rebels. I have never yet seen one of 
you, but thought what little information he might possess to be 
of value to the Union forces." Then one of the men spoke up 
and said, "I think he is a spy or a scout, and does not belong to 
the regular army." He then gave me a close look, and said, 
"Ah, ah, a guerrilla," and ordered me to be taken to the provost 
marshal's office. They carried me to a large, fine house, up- 
stairs, and I was politely requested to take a seat. I sat there 
some moments, when a dandy-looking clerk of a fellow came up 
with a book in his hand, and said, "The name." I appeared 
not to understand, and he said, "The name." I still looked at 
him, and he said, "The name." I did not know what he meant 
by "The name." Finally, he closed the book with a slam and 
started off; and said I, "Did you want to find out my name ?" 
He said, "I asked you three times." I said, "When ? If yon 
ever asked me my name, I have never heard it." But he wa- 
too mad to listen to anything else. I was carried to another 
room in the same building, and locked up. I remained there 
until about dark, when a man brought me a tolerably good sup- 
per, and then left me alone to my own meditations. I could 
hear the sentinels at all times of the night calling out the hours. 
T did not sleep a wink, nor even lay down. I had made up my 
mind to escape, if there was any possible chance. About three 
o'clock everything got perfectly still. I went to the window, 
and it had a heavy bolt across it, and I could not open it. I 
thought I would try the door, but I knew that a guard was sta- 
tioned in the hall, for I could see a dim light glimmer through 
the key-hole. I took my knife and unscrewed the catch in 



which the lock was fastened, and soon found out that I could 
open the door; but then there was the guard, standing at the 
main entrance down stairs. I peeped down, and he was quietly 
walking to and fro on his heat, every time looking to the hall. 
I made up my mind by his measured tread as to how often he 
would pass the door, and one time, after he had just passed, I 
came out in the hall, and started to run down the steps. About 
midway down the steps, one of them cracked very loud, but I 
ran on down in the lower hall and ran into a room, the door of 
which was open. The sentinel came back to the entrance of the 
hall, and listened a few minutes, and then moved on again. I 
went to the window and raised the sash, but the blind was fast- 
cued with a kind of patent catch. I gave one or two hard 
pushes, and felt it move. After that I made one big lunge, and 
it flew wide open, but it made a noise that woke up every senti- 
nel. I jumped out in the yard, and gained the street, and, on 
looking back, I heard the alarm given, and lights began to glim- 
mer everywhere, but, seeing no one directly after me, I made 
tracks toward Peachtree creek, and went on until I came to the 
old battlefield of July 22nd, and made my way back to our lines. 




After remaining a good long time at Jonesboro, the news 
came that we were going to flank Atlanta. We flanked it. A 
flank means "a go around." 

Yank says, "What you doing, Johnny?" 

Johnny says, "We are flanking." 

Yank says, "Bully for you !" 

We passed around Atlanta, crossed the Chattahoochee, and 
traveled back over the same route on which Ave had made the 
arduous campaign under Joe Johnston. It took us four months 
in the first instance, and but little longer than as many days in 
the second, to get back to Dalton, our starting point. On our 
way up there, the Yankee cavalry followed us to see how we 
were getting along with the flanking business. We had pon- 
toons made for the purpose of crossing streams. When we would 
get to a stream, the pontoons would be thrown across, and 
Hood's army would cross. Yank would halloo over and say, 
"Well, Johnny, have you got everything across ?" "Yes," would 
be the answer. "Well, we want these old pontoons, as you will 
not need them again." And they would take them. 

We passed all those glorious battlefields, that have been 
made classic in history, frequently coming across the skull of 
some poor fellow sitting on top of a stump, grinning a ghastly 
smile; also the bones of horses along the road, and fences burned 
and destroyed, and occasionally the charred remains of a once 
fine dwelling house. Outside of these occasional reminders we 
could see no evidence of the desolation of the track of an invad- 
ing army. The country looked like it did at first. Citizens 
came out, and seemed glad to see us, and would divide their 
onions, garlic, and leek with us. The soldiers were in good 
spirits, but it was the spirit of innocence and peace, not war and 



Where the railroads would cross a river, a block-house had 
been erected, and the bridge was guarded by ;i company of Fed 
erals. But we always flanked these little affairs. We wanted 

bigger and better meat. 


When we arrived at Dalton, we had a desire to see how the 
old place looked; not that we cared anything about it. but we 
just wanted to take a last farewell look at the old place. We 
saw the United States flag flying from the ramparts, and thought 
that Yank would probably be asleep or catching lice, or may be 
engaged in a game of seven-up. So we sent forward a physi- 
cian with some white bandages tied to the end of a long pole. 
He walked up and says, "Hello, boys !" "What is it, boss ?" 
"Well, boys, we've come for you." "Hyah, ha; hyah, ha ; hyah, 
ha ; a hee, he, he, he ; if it ain't old master, sho." The place 
was guarded by negro troops. We marched the black rascals 
out. They were mighty glad to see us, and we were kindly dis- 
posed to them. We said, "Now, boys, we don't want the Yan- 
kees to get mad at you, and to blame you ; so, just let's get out 
here on the railroad track, and tear it up, and pile up the cross- 
ties, and then pile the iron on top of them, and we'll set the thing 
a-fire, and when the Yankees come back they will say, 'What a 
bully light them nagers did make.' ' (A Yankee always says 
"nager"). Reader, you should have seen how that old railroad 
did flop over, and how the darkies did sweat, and how the per- 
fume did fill the atmosphere. 

But there were some Yankee soldiers in a block-house at 
Ringgold Gap, who thought they would act big. They -aid 

that Sherman had told them not to <• e out of that block-house, 

any how. Hut General William I!. Bate begun to persuade tin 1 
gentlemen, by Bending a lew four-pound parrot "feelers." Ah! 
those feelers! 

They persuaded eloquently. They persuaded effectually — 

those feelers did. The Yanks soon surrendered. The old place 

looked natural like, only it seemed to have a botI of gra 
loneliness about it. 



On leaving Dalton, after a day's march, we had stopped for 
the night. Our guns were stacked, and I started off with a 
comrade to get some wood to cook supper with. We were walk- 
ing along, he a little in the rear, when he suddenly disappeared. 
I could not imagine what had become of him. I looked every- 
where. The earth seemed to have opened and swallowed him. 
I called, and called, but could get no answer. Presently I 
heard a groan that seemed to come out of the bowels of the earth ; 
but, as yet, I could not make out where he was. Going back to 
camp, I procured a light, and after whooping and hallooing for 
a long time, I heard another groan, this time much louder than 
before. The voice appeared to be overhead. There was no tree 
or house to be seen ; and then again the voice seemed to answer 
from under the ground, in a hollow, sepulchral tone, but I could 
not tell where he was. But I was determined to find him, so I 
kept on hallooing and he answering. I went to the place where 
the voice appeared to come out of the earth. I was walking 
along rather thoughtlessly and carelessly, when one inch more, 
and I would have disappeared also. Right before me I saw the 
long dry grass all bending toward a common center, and I knew 
that it was an old well, and that my comrade had fallen in it. 
But how to get him out was the unsolved problem. I ran back 
to camp to get assistance, and everybody had a great curiosity to 
see "the man in the well." They would get chunks of fire and 
shake over the well, and, peeping down, would say, "Well, he's 
in there," and go off, and others would come and talk about his 
"being in there." The poor fellow staid in that well all night. 
The next morning we got a long rope from a battery and let it 
down in the well, and soon had him on terra firma. He was 
worse scared than hurt. 


We arrived and remained at Tuscumbia several days, await- 
ing the laying of the pontoons across the Tennessee river at 
Florence, Alabama, and then we all crossed over. While at 
Tuscumbia, John Branch and I saw a nice sweet potato patch, 


that looked very tempting to a hungry Rebel. We looked all 
around, and thought that the coast was clear. We jumped over 
the fence, and commenced grabbling- for the sweet potatoes. I 
had got my haversack full, and had started off, when we beard. 
"Halt, there." I looked around, and there was a soldier guard. 
We broke and run like quarter-horses, and the guard pulled 
down on us just as we jumped the fence. I don't think his gun 
was loaded, though, because we did not hear the ball whistle. 

We marched from Decatur to Florence. Here the pontoon 
I nidges were nicely and beautifully stretched across the river. 
\Y< walked over this floating bridge, and soon found ourselves 
on the Tennessee side of Tennessee river. 

In driving a grat herd of cattle across the pontoon, the 
front one got stubborn, and the others, crowding up all in one 
bulk, broke the line that held the pontoon, and drowned many 
of the drove. We had beef for supper that night. 


"And nightly we pitch our moving tent 
A day's march nearer home." 

How every pulse did beat and leap, and how every heart 
did throb with emotions of joy, which seemed nearly akin to 
heaven, when we received the glad intelligence of our onward 
march toward the land of promise, and of our loved ones. The 
cold November winds coining off the mountains of the north- 
west were blowing right in our faces, and nearly cutting ns in 

We were inured to privations and hardships; had l>ocn upon 
every march, in every battle, in i-vrvy skirmish, in every ad- 
vance, in every retreat, in every victory, in every detent. We 
had laid under the burning heat of a tropical sun; had made 
the cold, frozen earth our bed, with no covering save the blue 
ean«.|»y of heaven; had braved dangers, had breasted floods: 
had -ecu our comrades slain upon our right and our left hand; 
had heard guns thai carried death in their missiles; had heard 
the shout- of the charge; had seen the enemy in full retreat and 

flying in every direction: had heard the shrieks and groans of 


the wounded and dying; had seen the blood of onr countrymen 
dyeing the earth and enriching the soil; had been hungry when 
there was nothing to eat ; had been in rags and tatters. We had 
marked the frozen earth with bloody and unshod feet ; had been 
elated with victory and crushed by defeat; had seen and felt 
the pleasure of the life of a soldier, and had drank the cup to its 
dregs. Yes, we had seen it all, and had shared in its hopes and 
its fears; its love and its hate; its good and its bad; its virtue 
and its vice; its glories and its shame. We had followed the 
successes and reyerses of the flag of the Lost Cause through all 
these years of blood and strife. 

I was simply one of hundreds of thousands in the same fix. 
The tale is the same that every soldier would tell, except Jim 
Whitler. Jim had dodged about, and had escaped being con- 
scripted until "Hood's raid," he called it. Hood's army was 
taking up every able-bodied man and conscripting him into the 
army. Jim Whitler had got a position as overseer on a large 
plantation, and had about a hundred negroes under his surveil- 
lance. The army had been passing a given point, and Jim was 
sitting quietly on the fence looking at the soldiers. The con- 
scripting squad nabbed him. Jim tried to beg off, but all 
entreaty was in vain. He wanted to go by home and tell his 
wife and children good-bye, and to get his clothes. It was no 
go. But, after awhile, Jim says, "Gentlemen, ay, Ganny, the 
law!" You see, Jim "knowed" the law. He didn't know B 
from a bull's foot in the spelling-book. But he said, the Jaw. 
Xow, when anyone says anything about the "law," every one 
stops to listen. Jim says, "Ah, Ganny, the law" — (laying great 
stress upon the law) — "allows every man who has twenty negroes 
to stay at home. Ah, Ganny!" Those old soldiers had long, 
long ago, forgotten about that old "law" of the long gone past ; 
but Jim had treasured it up in his memory, lo! these many 
years, and he thought it would serve him now, as it had, no 
doubt, frequently done in the past. The conscript officer said, 
"Law or no law — you fall into line, take this gun and cartridge- 
box, and march!" Jim's spirits sank; his hopes vanished into 
air. Jim was soon in line, and was tramping to the music of 


the march. He staved with the company two days. The third 
day it was reported that the Yankees had taken position on the 
.Murfreesboro pike. A regiment was sent to the attack. It was 
Jim's regiment. He advanced bravely into battle. The min- 
nie balls began to whistle around his ears. The regiment was 
ordered to fire. He hadn't seen anything to shoot at, but he 
blazed away. He loaded and fired the second time, when they 
were ordered to retreat. He didn't see anything to run from, 
but the other soldiers began to run, and Jim run, too. Jim had 
not learned the word "halt!" and just kept on running. He 
run, and he run, and he run, and he kept on running until he 
got home, when he jumped in his door and shouted, "Whoopee, 
1 ilmda ! Aye, Ganny, I've served four years in tJie Rebel army." 


"This is my own, my native land." 

Once more the Maury Grays are permitted to put their 
feet upon their native heath, and to revisit their homes and 
friends, after having followed their tattered, and torn, and bat- 
tle-riddled flag, which they had borne aloft for four long years, 
OH every march, and in every battle that had been fought by th; 
Army of Tennessee. We were a mere handful of devoted 
braves, who bad stood by our colors when sometimes it seemed 

that God himself had forsaken us. But, parents, here are your 

coble and brave sons; and, ladies, four years ago you gave us 
this Bag, and we promised you "That we would come hack with 
the flag as victors, or we would come nol al all." We have been 


true *<> our promise and our trust. On every battlefield the flag 
that you entrusted to our hands has been borne aloft by bravo 
and heroic men, amid shot and shell, bloody battle, and death. 
We have never forsaken our colors. Are we worthy to be called 
the sons of old Maury county? Or have we fought in vain? 
Have our efforts been appreciated, or have four years of our 
lives been wasted, while we were battling for constitutional gov- 
ernment, the supremacy of our laws over centralization, and 
our rights, as guaranteed to us by the blood of our forefathers 
on the battlefields of the Revolution % It is for you to make up 
your verdict. If our lives as soldiers have been a failure, we 
can but bow our heads on our bosoms, and say, "Surely, foui 
years of our lives have been given for naught, and our efforts 
to please you have been in vain." 

Yet, the invader's foot is still on our soil, but there beats 
in our bosoms the blood of brave and patriotic men, and we will 
continue to follow our old and war-worn and battle-riddled flag 
until it goes down forever. 

The Maury Grays, commanded by Captain A. M. Looney, 
left Columbia, four years ago, with 120 men. How many of 
those 120 original members are with the company to-day ? Just 
twelve. Company H has twenty members, but some of this 
number had subsequently enlisted. But we twelve will stick 
to our colors till she goes down forever, and until five more of 
this number fall dead and bleeding on the battlefield. 


When we arrived in sight of Columbia, we found the Yan- 
kees still in possession of the town, fortified and determined to 
resist our advance. We send forward a "feeler," and the 
"feeler" reports back very promptly, "Y r es, the Yankees are 
there." Well, if that be the case, we'll just make a flank move- 
ment. We turn off the main turnpike at J. E. R. Carpenter's, 
and march through the cedars, and cross Duck river at Davis' 
ferry, on pontoon bridges, near Lowell's mill. We pass on, 
and cross Rutherford creek, near Burick's mill, about three 
o'clock in the afternoon. We had marched through fields in 


the heavy mud, and the men, weary and worn out, were jusi 
dragging themselves along, passing by the old Union Seminary, 
and then by Mr. Fred Thompson's, until we came to the Rally 
Hill turnpike — it being then nearly dark — we heard some skir- 
mishing, but, exhausted as we were, we went into bivouac. The 
Yankees, it seems to me, might have captured the whole of us. 
But that is a matter of history. But I desire to state that no 
blunder was made by either Generals Cheatham or Stewart. 
neither of whom ever failed to come to time. Jeff Davis is 
alone responsible for the blunder. About two hours after sun 
up the next morning we received the order to "Fall in, fall in, 
quick, make haste, hurrah, promptly, men; each rank count 
two; by the right flank, quick time, march; keep promptly 
closed up." Everything indicated an immediate attack. When 
we got to the turnpike near Spring Hill, lo! and behold! won- 
der of wonders ! the whole Yankee army had passed during the 
night. The bird had flown. We make a quick and rapid march 
down the turnpike, finding Yankee guns and knapsacks, and 
now and then a broken down straggler, also two pieces of how- 
itzer cannon, and at least twenty broken wagons along the road. 
Everything betokened a rout and a stampede of the Yankee 
army. Double quick ! Forrest is in the rear. Now for fun. 
All that we want to do now is to catch the blue-coated rascals. 
ha! ha! We all want to see the surrender, ha! ha! Double 
quick! A rip, rip, rip; wheuf; pant, pant, pant. First one 
man drops out, and then another. The Yankees are routed and 
running, and Forrest has crossed Harpeth river in the rear of 
Franklin. Hurrah, men! keep closed up; we are going to cap- 
ture Schofield. Forrest is in the rear; never mind the straggler 
and cannon. Kerflop we come against the breastworks at 


"The death-angel gathers its last harvest." 

Kind reader, right here my pen, and courage, and ability 
fail me I shrink from butchery. Would to God T could tear 
the page from these memoirs and from my own memory. It 


is the blackest page in the history of the war of the Lost Cause. 
It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was 
the finishing stroke to the independence of the Southern Con- 
federacy. I was there. I saw it. My flesh trembles, and 
creeps, and crawls when I think of it to-day. My heart almost 
ceases to beat at the horrid recollection. Would to God that I 
had never witnessed such a scene ! 

I cannot describe it. It beggars description. I will nor 
attempt to describe it. I could not. The death-angel was there 
to gather its last harvest. It was the grand coronation of death. 
Would that I could turn the page. But I feel, though I did so, 
that page would still be there, teeming with its scenes of horror 
and blood. I can only tell of what I saw. 

Our regiment was resting in the gap of a range of hills in 
plain view of the city of Franklin. We could see the battle- 
flags of the enemy waving in the breeze. Our army had been 
depleted of its strength by a forced march from Spring Hill, 
and stragglers lined the road. Our artillery had not yet come 
up, and could not be brought into action. Our cavalry was 
across Harpeth river, and our army was but in poor condition to 
make an assault. While resting on this hill-side, I saw a cou- 
rier dash up to our commanding general, B. F. Cheatham, and 
the word, "Attention !" was given. I knew then that we would 
soon be in action. Forward, march. We passed over the hill 
and through a little skirt of woods. 

The enemy were fortified right across the Franklin pike, 
in the suburbs of the town. Right here in these woods a detail 
of skirmishers was called for. Our regiment was detailed. 
We deployed as skirmishers, firing as we advanced on the left of 
the turnpike road. If I had not been a skirmisher on that day, 
I would not have been writing this to-day, in the year of our 
Lord 1882. 

It was four o'clock on that dark and dismal December day 
when the line of battle was formed, and those devoted heroes 
were ordered forward, to 

"Strike for their altars and their fires, 
For the green graves of their sires, 
For God and their native land." 


As they marched on down through an open field toward the 
rampart of blood and death, the Federal batteries began to open 
and mow down and gather into the garner of death, as brave, 
and good, and pure spirits as the world ever saw. The twi- 
light of evening had begun to gather as a precursor of the coin- 
ing blackness of midnight darkness that was to envelop a scene 
so sickening and horrible that it is impossible for me to describe 
it. "Forward, men," is repeated all along the line. A sheet of 
fire was poured into our very faces, and for a moment we halted 
as if in despair, as the terrible avalanche of shot and shell laid 
low those brave and gallant heroes, whose bleeding wounds at- 
tested that the struggle would be desperate. Forward, men ! 
The air loaded with death-dealing missiles, j^ever on this earth 
did men fight against such terrible odds. It seemed that the 
very elements of heaven and earth were in one mighty uproar. 
Forward, men ! And the blood spurts in a perfect jet from 
the dead and wounded. The earth is red with blood. Tt runs 
in streams, making little rivulets as it flows. Occasionally there 
was a little lull in the storm of battle, as the men were loading 
their guns, and for a few moments it seemed as if night tried to 
cover the scene with her mantle. The death-angel shrieks and 
laughs and old Father Time is busy with his sickle, as he gathers 
in the last harvest of death, crying. More, more, more! while his 
rapacious maw is glutted with the slain. 

But. the skirmish line being deployed out, extending a little 
wider than the battle did — passing through a thicket of small 
locusts, where Brown, orderly sergeant of Company B, was 
killed — we advanced on toward the breastworks, on and on. I 

had made up my mind to die — felt glorious. We pressed for- 
ward until I heard the terrific roar of battle open on our right. 
Cleburne's division was charging their works. I passed on un- 
til I gol to their works, and got over <>n their (the Yankee-' ) side. 
Bui in fifty yards of where 1 w:is the scene was lit up by fires 

that seemed like hell itself. It appeared to l>e but one line of 
streaming fire. Our troops were upon one side of the breast- 
works, and the Federals <>n the other. I ran up on the line oi 
works, where our men were engaged, head soldiers tilled the 


entrenchments. The firing was kept up until after midnight. 
and gradually died out. We passed the night where we were. 
But when the morrow's sun began to light up the eastern sky 
with its rosy hues, and we looked over the battlefield, O, my 
God! what did we see! It was a grand holocaust of death. 
Death had held high carnival there that night. The dead were 
piled the one on the other all over the ground. I never was sc 
horrified and appalled in my life. Horses, like men, had died 
game on the gory breastworks. General Adams' horse had his 
fore feet on one side of the works and his hind feet on the other, 
dead. The general seems to have been caught so that he was 
held to the horse's back, sitting almost as if living, riddled, and 
mangled, and torn with balls. General Cleburne's mare had her 
fore feet on top of the works, dead in that position. General 
Cleburne's body was pierced with forty-nine bullets, through 
and through. General Strahl's horse lay by the roadside and 
the general by his side, both dead, and all his staff. General 
Gist, a noble and brave cavalier from South Carolina, was lying 
with his sword reaching across the breastworks still grasped in 
bis hand. He was lying there dead. All dead! They sleep 
in the graveyard yonder at Ashwood, almost in sight of my 
home, where I am writing to-day. They sleep the sleep of the 
brave. We love and cherish their memory. They sleep be- 
neath the ivy-mantled walls of St. John's church, where they 
expressed a wish to be buried. The private soldier sleeps where 
he fell, piled in one mighty heap. Four thousand five hundred 
privates! all lying side by side in death! Thirteen generals 
were killed and wounded. Four thousand five hundred men 
slain, all piled and heaped together at one place. I cannot tell 
the number of others killed and wounded. God alone knows 
that. We'll all find out on the morning of the final resurrec- 

Kind friends, I have attempted in my poor and feeble way 
to tell you of this (I can hardly call it) battle. It should be 
called by some other name. But, like all other battles, it, too, 
has gone into history. I leave it with you. I do not know who 
was to blame. It lives in the memory of the poor old Kebel 


soldier who went through that trying and terrible ordeal. We 
shed a tear for the dead. They are buried and forgotten. W< 
meet no more on earth. But up yonder, beyond the sunset and 
the night, away beyond the clouds and tempest, away beyond 
the stars that ever twinkle and shine in the blue vault above us, 
away yonder by the great white throne, and by the river of life, 
where the Almighty and Eternal God sits, surrounded by the 
angels and archangels and the redeemed of earth, we will meet 
again and see those noble and brave spirits who gave up their 
lives for their country's cause that night at Franklin, Tennessee. 
A life given for one's country is never lost. It blooms again 
beyond the grave in a land of beauty and of love. Hanging 
around the throne of sapphire and gold, a rich garland awaits 
the coming of him who died for his country, and when the horo- 
loge of time has struck its last, note upon his dying brow, Justice 
hands the record of life to Mercy, and Mercy pleads with Jesus, 
and God, for his sake, receives him in his eternal home beyond 
the skies at last and forever. 


A few more scenes, my dear friends, and w T e close these 
memoirs. We march toward the city of Nashville. We cam}) 
the first night at Brentwood. The next day we can see the fine 
old building of solid granite, looming up on Capitol Hill — the 
capitol of Tennessee. We can see the Stars and Stripes flying 
from the dome. Our pulse leaps with pride when we see the 
grand old architecture. We can hear the bugle call, and the 
playing of the bands of the different regiments in the Federal 
lines. Xow and then a shell is thrown into our midst from 
Fort Negley, but no attack or demonstrations on either side. 
We bivouac on the cold and hard-frozen ground, and when w< 
walk about, the echo of our footsteps sound like the echo of a 
tombstone. The earth is crusted with snow, and the wind from 
the northwest is piercing our very bones. We can see our 
ragged soldiers, with sunken cheeks and famine-glistening eyes 
Where were our generals? Alas! there were none. Not one 
-ingle general out of Cheatham's division was left — not one. 


General B. F. Cheatham himself was the only surviving general 
of his old division. Nearly all our captains and colonels were 
gone. Companies mingled with companies, regiments with reg- 
iments, and brigades with brigades. A few raw-boned horses 
stood shivering under the ice-covered trees, nibbling the short, 
scanty grass. Being in range of the Federal guns from Fort 
Negley, we were not allowed to have fires at night, and our thin 
and ragged blankets were but poor protection against the cold, 
raw blasts of December weather — the coldest ever known. The 
cold stars seem to twinkle with unusual brilliancy, and the pale 
moon seems to be but one vast heap of frozen snow, which glim- 
mers in the cold gray sky, and the air gets colder by its coming; 
our breath, forming in little rays, seems to make a thousand lit- 
tle coruscations that scintillate in the cold frosty air. I can tell 
you nothing of what was going on among the generals. But 
there we were, and that is all that I can tell you. One morning 
about daylight our army began to move. Our division was then 
on the extreme right wing, and then we were transferred to the 
left wing. The battle had begun. We were continually mov- 
ing to our left. We would build little temporary breastworks, 
then we would be moved to another place. Our lines kept on 
widening out, and stretching further and further apart, until it 
was not more than a skeleton of a skirmish line from one end to 
the other. We started at a run. We cared for nothing. Not 
more than a thousand yards off, we could see the Yankee cavalry, 
artillery, and infantry, marching apparently still further to our 
left. We could see regiments advancing at double-quick across 
the fields, while, with our army, everything seemed confused. 
The private soldier could not see into things. It seemed to be 

what like a flock of wild geese when they have lost their 
leader. We were willing to go anywhere, or to follow anyone 
who would lead us. We were anxious to flee, fight, or fortify. 
I have never seen an army so confused and demoralized. The 
whole thing seemed to be tottering and trembling. When, 
Halt! Front! Right dress! and Adjutant McKinney reads us 
the following order: 

"Soldiers : — The commanding general takes pleasure in 
announcing to his troops that victory and success are now within 


their grasp; and the commanding genera] feels proud and grati- 
fied that in everv attack and assault the enemy have been re- 
pulsed ; and the commanding general will further say to his 
noble and gallant troops, 4 Be of good cheer — all is well.' 

"General John B. Hood, 
"Kin look Falconer, "General Commanding. 

"Acting Adjutant-General." 

I remember how this order was received. Every soldier 
said, "(), shucks; that is all shenanigan," for Ave knew that we 
had never met the enemy or fired a gun outside of a little skir- 
mishing. And I will further state that that battle order, an- 
nouncing success and victory, was the cause of a greater demor- 
alization than if our troops had been actually engaged in battle. 
They at once mistrusted General Hood's judgment as a com- 
mander. And every private soldier in the whole army knew 
the situation of affairs. I remember when passing by Hood, 
how feeble and decrepit he looked, with an arm in a sling, and a 
crutch in the other hand, and trying to guide and control his 
horse. And, reader, I was not a Christian then, and am but 
little better to-day; but, as God sees my heart to-night, I prayed 
in my heart that day for General Hood. Poor fellow, I loved 
him, not as a General, but as a good man. T knew when that 
army order was read, that General Hood had been deceived, and 
that the poor fellow was only trying to encourage his men. 
Every impulse of his nature was but to do good, and to serve his 
country as best he could. Ah ! reader, some day all will be well. 
We continued marching toward our left, our battle-line 
getting thinner and thinner. We could sec the Federals ad- 
vancing, their lilne coats and banners flying, and could see 
their movements and hear them giving their commands. Onr 

regimenl was ordered to double quick to the extreme lctt 

wing of the army, and we had to ]>a<s up a steep hill, and 
the dead grass was wet and as slick as iilnss, and it was with 

the greatest difficulty that we could get up the steep hill 

side. When we got to the top, we, ;is skirmishers, were ordered 

to deploy -till fnrth( i to the left. Hilly Carr and J. E. .lone-. 
two ;i- brave Boldierg a- ever breathed the breath <»t life -in fact, 


it was given up that they were the bravest and most daring men 
in the Army of Tennessee — and myself, were on the very ex- 
treme left wing of our army. While we were deployed us 
skirmishers, I heard, "Surrender, surrender,"' and on looking 
around us, 1 saw that we were right in the midst of a Yankee 
line of battle. They were lying down in the bushes, and we 
were not looking for them so close to us. We immediately 
threw down our guns and surrendered. J. E. Jones was killed 
at the first discharge of their guns, when another Yankee raised 
up and took deliberate aim at Billy Carr, and fired, the ball 
striking him below the eye and passing through his head. As 
soon as I could, I picked up my gun, and as the Yankee turned 
I sent a minnie ball crushing through his head, and broke and 
run. But I am certain that I killed the Yankee who killed 
Billy Carr, but it was too late to save the poor boy's life. As I 
started to run, a fallen dogwood tree tripped me up, and I fell 
over the log. It was all that saved me. The log was riddled 
with balls, and thousands, it seemed to me, passed over it. As 
I got up to run again, I was shot through the middle finger of 
the very hand that is now penning these lines, and the thigh. 
But I had just killed a Yankee, and w r as determined to get 
away from there as soon as I could. How I did get back I 
hardly know, for I was wounded and surrounded by Yankees. 
One rushed forward, and placing the muzzle of his gun in two 
feet of me, discharged it, but it missed its aim, when I ran at 
him, grabbed him by the collar, and brought him off a prisoner. 
Captain Joe P. Lee and Colonel H. K. Field remember this, as 
would Lieutenant-Colonel John L. House, were he alive ; and 
all the balance of Company H, who were there at the time. I 
had eight bullet holes in my coat, and two in my hand, beside 
the one in my thigh and finger. It was a hail storm of bullets. 
The above is true in every particular, and is but one incident of 
the Avar, which happened to hundreds of others. But, alas ! all 
our valor and victories were in vain, when God and the whole 
world were against us. 

Billy Carr was one of the bravest and best men I ever 
knew. He never knew what fear was, and in consequence of 


his reckless bravery, had been badly wounded at Perryville. 
.Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, the octagon house, Dead Angle, 
and the 22nd of July at Atlanta. Jn every battle he \v;is 
wounded, and finally, in the very last battle of the war, surren- 
dered up his life for his country's cause. Xo father and mother 
of such a brave and gallant boy, should ever sorrow or regret 
having born to them such a son. He was the flower and chiv- 
alry of his company. He was as good as he was brave. His 
bones rest yonder on the Overton hills to-day, while I have no 
doubt in my own mind that his spirit is with the Redeemer of 
the hosts of heaven. He was my friend. Poor boy, farewell ! 

When I got back to where I could see our lines, it was one 
scene of confusion and rout. Finney's Florida brigade had 
broken before a mere skirmish line, and soon the whole army 
had caught the infection, had broken, and were running in every 
direction. Such a scene I never saw. The army was panic- 
stricken. The woods everywhere were full of running soldiers. 
Our officers were crying, ''Halt ■! halt!" and trying to rally and 
re-form their broken ranks. The Federals would dash their 
cavalry in amongst us, and even their cannon joined in the 
charge. One piece of Yankee artillery galloped past me, right 
on the road, unlimbered their gun, fired a few shots, and galloped 
ahead again. 

1 1 nod's whole army was routed and in full retreat. Nearly 
every man in the entire army had thrown away his gun and 
accouterments. More than ten thousand had stopped and al- 
lowed themselves to be captured, while many, dreading the hor- 
rors of a Northern prison, kept on, and T saw many, yea. even 
thousands, broken down from sheer exhaustion, with despair 
and pity written on their features. Wagon trains, cannon, 
artillery, cavalry, and infantry were all blended in inextrieahl • 
confusion. Broken down and jaded horses and mules refused 
to pull, and the badly-scared drivers looked like their eyes would 
pop out of their heads from fright. Wagon wheels, interlock- 
ing each other, boob clogged the road, and wagons, horses and 
provisions were left indiscriminately. The officers soon became 
effected with the demoralization of their troops, and rode on in 


dogged indifference. General Frank Cheatham and General 
Loring tried to form a line at Brentwood, bnt the line they 
formed was like trying to stop the current of Duck river with a 
fish ner. I believe the army would have rallied, had there been. 
any colors to rally to. And as the straggling army moves on 
down the road, every now and then we can hear the sullen roar 
of the Federal artillery booming in the distance. I saw a 
wagon and team abandoned, and I unhitched one of the horses 
and rode on horse-back to Franklin, where a surgeon tied up my 
broken finger, and bandaged up my bleeding thigh. My boot 
was full of blood, and my clothing saturated with it. I was at 
General Hood's headquarters. He was much agitated and af- 
fected, pulling his hair with his one hand (he had but one), 
and crying like his heart would break. I pitied him, poor fel- 
low. I asked him for a wounded furlough, and he gave it to 
me. I never saw him afterward. I always loved and honored 
him. and will ever revere and cherish his memory. He gave 
his life in the service of his country, and I know to-day he w r ears 
a garland of glory beyond the grave, where Justice says ''well 
done,'' and Mercy has erased all his errors and faults. 

I only write of the under strata of history ; in other words, 
the privates' history — as I saw things then, and remember them 

The winter of 1864-5 was the coldest that had been known 
for many years. The ground was frozen and rough, and our 
soldiers were poorlv clad, while many, yes, very many, were 
entirely barefooted. Our wagon trains had either gone on, we 
knew not whither, or had been left behind. Everything and 
nature, too, seemed to be working against us. Even the keen, 
cutting air that whistled through our tattered clothes and over 
our poorly covered heads, seemed to lash us in its fury. The 
floods of waters that had overflowed their banks, seemed to laugh 
at our calamity, and to mock us in our misfortunes. 

All along the route were weary and footsore soldiers. The 
citizens seemed to shrink and hide from us as we approached 
them. And, to cap the climax, Tennessee river was overflow- 
ing its banks, and several Federal gunboats were anchored just 
below ^[ussel Shoals, firing at us while crossing. 


The once proud Army of Tennessee had degenerated to a 
mob. We were pinched by hunger and cold. The rains, and 
sleet, and snow never ceased falling from the winter sky. while 
the winds pierced the old, ragged, graybaek Rebel soldier to his 
very marrow. The clothing of many were hanging around 
them in shreds of rags and tatters, while an old slouched hat 
covered their frozen ears. Some were on old, raw-boned horses, 
without saddles. 

Hon. Jefferson Davis perhaps made blunders and mistakes, 
but I honestly believe that he ever did what he thought best for 
the good of his country. And there never lived on this earth 
from the days of Hampden to George Washington, a purei 
patriot or a nobler man than Jefferson Davis; and, like Marius, 
grand even in ruins. 

Hood was a good man, a kind man, a philanthropic man. 
but he is both harmless and defenseless now. He was a poor 
general in the capacity of commander-in-chief. Had he been 
mentally qualified, his physical condition would have disquali- 
fied him. His legs and one of his arms had been shot off in the 
defense of his country. As a soldier, he was brave, good, noble, 
and gallant, and fought with the ferociousness of the wounded 
tiger, and with the everlasting grit of the bull-dog; but as a 
general he was a failure in every particular. 

Our country is gone, our cause is lost. "Actum est dr Re- 




On the 10th day of May, 1861, our regiment, the First 
Tennessee, left Nashville for the camp of instruction, with 
twelve hundred and fifty men, officers and line. Other recruits 
continually coming in swelled this number to fourteen hundred. 
In addition to this, Major Fulcher's battalion of four companies, 
with four hundred men (originally), was afterwards attached 
to the regiment; and the Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiment 
was afterwards consolidated with the First. And besides this, 
there were about two hundred conscripts added to> the regiment 
from time to time. To recapitulate : The First Tennessee, 
numbering originally, 1,250; recruited from time to time, 150; 
Fnlcher's battalion, 400 ; the Twenty-seventh Tennessee, 1,200 : 
number of conscripts (at the lowest estimate), 200 — making the 
sum total 3,200 men that belonged to our regiment during the 
war. The above I think a low estimate. Well, on the 26th 
day of April, 1865, General Joe E. Johnston surrendered his 
army at Greensboro, North Carolina. The day that we 
surrendered our regiment it was a pitiful sight to behold. If 
I remember correctly, there were just sixty-five men in all, in- 
cluding officers, that were paroled on that day. Now, what 
became of the original 3,200 ? A grand army, you may say. 
Three thousand two hundred men ! Only sixty-five left ! Now. 
reader, you may draw your own conclusions. It lacked just 
four days of four years from the day we were sworn in to the 
day of the surrender, and it was just four years and twenty- 
four days from the time that we left home for the army to the 
time that we got back again. It was indeed a sad sight to look 
at, the old First Tennessee Regiment. A mere squad of nobh 
and brave men, gathered around the tattered flag that they had 
followed in every battle through that long war. It was so bul- 
let-riddled and torn that it was but a few blue and red shreds 


that hung drooping while it, too, was stacked with our guns 

Thermopylae had one messenger of defeat, but when Gen- 
eral Joe E. Johnston surrendered the Army of the South there 
wet-,' hundreds of regiments, yea, 1 might safely say thousands, 
that had not a representative on the 26th day of April, 1865. 

Our cause was lost from the beginning. Our greatest vic- 
tories — Chickamauga and Franklin — were, our greatest defeats. 
Our people were divided upon the question of Union and seces- 
sion. Our generals were scrambling for ''Who ranked." The 
private soldier fought and starved and died for naught. Our 
hospitals were crowded with sick and wounded, but half pro- 
vided with food and clothing to sustain life. Our money was 
depreciated to naught and our cause lost. We left our homes 
four years previous. Amid the waving of flags and handker- 
chiefs and the smiles of the ladies, while the fife and drum were 
playing Dixie and the Bonnie Blue Flag, we bid farewell to 
home and friends. The bones of our brave Southern boys lie 
scattered over our loved South. They fought for their "coun- 
try" and gave their lives freely for that country's cause; and 
now they who survive sit, like Marius amid the wreck of Car- 
thage, sublime even in ruins. Other pens abler than mine will 
have to chronicle their glorious deeds of valor and devotion, 
in these sketches I have named but a few persons who fought 
side by side with me during that long and unholy war. In 
looking hack over these pages, I ask, Where now are many whose 
names have appeared in these sketches? They are up yonder, 
and are no doubl waiting and watching for those of us who are 
left behind. And, my kind reader, the time is coming when 
we. too. will lie called, while the archangel of death is beating 

the long roll of eternity, and with us it will he the last reveille 

God Himself will sound the "assembly" on yonder beautiful and 

happy shore, where we will again have a grand "recon federa- 
tion."' We shed a tear over their tlower-st rewn graves. We 
live after them. We love their memory yet. I hit one genera 
'ion passes away and another generation follows. We know 
nnr loved and brave soldiers. We love them yet. 

fl'it when we pass away, the impartial historian will render 


a true verdict, and a history will then be written in justification 
and vindication of those brave and noble boys who gave their all 
in fighting the battles of their homes, their country, and their 

"The United States has no North, no South, no East. n< 
West." "We are one and undivided/' 


My kind friends — soldiers, comrades, brothers, all: The 
curtain is rung down, the foot-lights are put out, the audience 
has all left and gone home, the seats are vacant, and the cold 
walls are silent. The gaudy tinsel that appears before the foot- 
lights is exchanged for the dress of the citizen. Coming genera- 
tions and historians will be the critics as to how we have acted 
our parts. The past is buried in oblivion. The blood-red flag, 
with its crescent and cross, that we followed for four long, 
bloody, and disastrous years, has been folded never again to be 
unfurled. We have no regrets for what we did, but we mourn 
the loss of so many brave and gallant men who perished on the 
field of battle and honor. I now bid you an affectionate adieu. 

But in closing these memoirs, the scenes of my life pass in 
rapid review before me. In imagination, I am young agair 
to-night. I feel the flush and vigor of my manhood — am just 
twenty-one years of age. I hear the fife and drum playing 
Dixie and Bonnie Blue Flag. I see and hear our fire-eating 
stump-orators tell of the right of secession and disunion. I see 
our fair and beautiful women waving their handkerchiefs and 
encouraging their sweethearts to go to the w y ar. I see the mar- 
shaling of the hosts for "glorious war." I see the fine banners 
waving and hear the cry everywhere, "To arms! to arms!" 
And I also see our country at peace and prosperous, our fine 
cities look grand and gay, our fields rich in abundant harvests, 
our people happy and contented. All these pass in imagination 
before me. Then I look and see glorious war in all its splen 
dor. I hear the shout and charge, the boom of artillery and 
the rattle of small arms. I see gaily-dressed officers charging 
backwards anel forwards upon their mettled war horses, clothed 


in the panoply of war. I see victory and conquest upon flying 
banners. I see our arms triumph in every battle. And, O. 
my friends, I sec another scene. I see broken homes and broken 
hearts. I see war in all of its desolation. I see a country 
ruined and impoverished. I see a nation disfranchised and 
maltreated. I see a commonwealth forced to pay dishonest and 
fraudulent bonds that were issued to crush that people. I see 
sycophants licking the boots of the country's oppressor. I see 
other and many wrongs perpetrated upon a conquered people. 
But maybe it is but the ghosts and phantoms of a dreamy mind, 
or the wind as it whistles around our lonely cabin-home. The 
past is buried in oblivion. The mantle of charity has long ago 
fallen upon those who think differently from us. We remember 
no longer wrongs and injustice done us by any one on earth. 
We are willing to forget and forgive those who have wronged 
and falsified us. We look up above and beyond all these petty 
groveling things and shake hands and forget the past. And 
while my imagination is like the weaver's shuttle, playing back- 
ward and forward through these two decades of time, I ask my- 
self, Are these things real ? did they happen ? are they being 
enacted to-day? or are they the fancies of the imagination in 
forgetful reverie ? Is it true that I have seen all these things ? 
that they are real incidents in my life's history? Did I sec 
those brave and noble countrymen of mine laid low in death and 
weltering in their blood I Did T see our country laid waste and 
in ruins '. Did I see soldiers marching, the earth trembling 
and jarring beneath their measured tread ? Did T see the ruins 
of smouldering cities and deserted homes? Did \ see my coin 
rades buried and see the violet and wild flowers bloom over theii 
graves I Did I see the flag of my country, that T had followed 
SO long, furled to be no more unfurled forever? Surely they 
are but the vagaries of mine own imagination. Surely niv tan 

cies are running wild to-night. But, hush! I now hear tin 
approach of battle. That low, rumbling sound in the west ie 

the roar of eannmi in the distance. That rushing sound is th< 

tread of soldiers. Thai quick, lurid glare is the Hash that pre 

cedes the cannon's roar. And listen! that loud report that 


makes the earth tremble and jar and sway, is but the bursting 
of a shell, as it screams through the dark, tempestuous night. 
That black, ebon cloud, where the lurid lightning flickers and 
flares, that is rolling through the heavens, is the smoke of battle; 
beneath is being enacted a carnage of blood and death. Listen ! 
the soldiers are charging now. The flashes and roaring now 
are blended with the shouts of soldiers and confusion of battle. 

But, reader, time has brought his changes since I, a young 
ardent, and impetuous youth, burning with a lofty patriotism 
first shouldered my musket to defend the rights of my country. 

Lifting the veil of the past, I see many manly forms, bright 
in youth and hope, standing in view by my side in Company H, 
First Tennessee Regiment. Again I look and half those form? 
are gone. Again, and gray locks and wrinkled faces and clouded 
brows stand before me. 

Before me, too, I see, not in imagination, but in reality, 
my own loved Jennie, the partner of my joys and the sharer of 
my sorrows, sustaining, comforting, and cheering my pathway 
by her benignant smile; pouring the sunshine of domestic com- 
fort and happiness upon our humble home; making life more 
worth the living as we toil on up the hill of time together, with 
the bright pledges of our early and constant love by our side 
while the sunlight of hope ever brightens our pathway, dispell 
ing darkness and sorrow as we hand in hand approach the valley 
of the great shadow. 

The tale is told. The world moves on, the sun shines as 
brightly as before, the flowers bloom as beautifully, the birds 
sing their carols as sweetly, the trees nod and bow their leafy 
tops as if slumbering in the breeze, the gentle winds fan our 
brow and kiss our cheek as they pass by, the pale moon sheds 
her silvery sheen, the blue dome of the sky sparkles with the 
trembling stars that twinkle and shine and make night beautiful, 
and the scene melts and gradually disappears forever.