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Full text of "Collections of the Georgia Historical Society"

Collections 

of the 

Georgia Historical Society 

Vol. XIV 



The Memoirs of Charles H. Olmstead 

Edited by 

LiLLA Mills Hawes 




SAVANNAH, GEORGIA 
THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



1964 





CHARLES H. OLMSTEAD IN 1890 




INTRODUCTION 

THE Memoirs of Charles Hart Olmstead, written for his 
daughters, gives a charming picture of ante-belkim Savannah 
and a vivid and moving account of Civil War scenes and battles. 

The details of Colonel Olmstead's life are set forth in the 
narrative and will not be repeated here. He died in Savannah on 
August 17, 1926, in his 90th year. He was long associated with 
the Georgia Historical Society and had served it as Curator and 
Vice-President. 

The manuscript was written about 191 2 or 191 3 when Colonel 
Olmstead was a resident of New York City. His literary pur- 
suits, begun in Savannah, were followed in New York. Mrs. 
Marion King in her Books and People (New York, 1954), p. 64, 
gives us this charming picture of him in the New York Society 
Library: "Colonel Charles Olmstead, a gentle moon-faced elderly 
Georgian, spent many hours of his New York winters in the 
Library and told us about the progress of his daughter Florence 
who was just beginning to interest Scribner's in the first of her 
pleasant novels." 

The three daughters for whom the Memoirs were written were, 
like their father, distinguished for their literary talents. Susan 
Olmstead, who gave this manuscript to the Georgia Historical 
Societ^% died in i960. Sarah (Mrs. A. Pratt Adams) was bom 
in 1862 and died September 20, 1950. Florence, author and 
teacher of English and History in the Savannah public schools 
for 50 years, died May 23, 1955, at the age of 80. At the time 
of Mrs. Adams' death, the Savannah Morning News, September 
23, 1950, editoralized her and her sisters, calling them "Savannah's 
most distinguished and beloved daughters" and likefiing them to 



the Bronte sisters for their contributions to the cultural life of 
Savannah. The editorial was reprinted in the issue of May 26, 
1955, on the death of Florence Olmstead. 

Besides the Memoirs the Georgia Historical Society has other 
manuscripts written by Colonel Olmstead, gifts of his daughters. 
They are "Fort Pulaski," published in The Georgia Historical 
Quarterly, I (1917), 98-105; "Savannah in the '40's," ibid., 243- 
52; "Defense of Battery Wagner;" "Return from a Federal 
Prison;" and "Recollections of the Civil War." The unpublished 
sketches will not be published as they are repetitious. 

In addition to the papers listed above Colonel Olmstead wrote 
and published Art Work of Savannah (Chicago, 1893); "Con- 
federate Times and Confederate Men," in Addresses Delivered 
Before the Confederate Veterans Association, of Savannah, Ga. 
(Savannah, 1893), i-io; Re^niniscences of Service ivith the First 
Volunteer Regiment of Georgia, Charleston Harbor in 186^ (Sa- 
vannah, 1879); "The Story of a Rebel," in Addresses, op. cit., 
41-47. With Otis Ashmore he wrote "The Battles of Kettle Creek 
and Briar Creek," in The Georgia Historical Quarterly, X (1926), 
85-125. 

It should be borne in mind that the Me?noirs was written late 
in life and many years after the events they chronicle, which 
would account for any slight discrepancies. The spelling and 
punctuation are Colonel Olmstead's; no changes have been made. 

We are identifying in footnotes members of the Olmstead 
family, several local persons and events and giving certain biblio- 
graphical information where it seems indicated. 

The Mejnoirs was first published in The Georgia Historical 
Quarterly, December 1958 through June 1961. 

LiLLA Mills Hawes 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Charles H. Olmstead in 1890 Frontispiece 

Savannah in 1837 Page 2 

Charles H. Olmstead as Colonel Opposite page 88 

Drawing Opposite page 126 

Drawing Opposite page 137 

Drawing Opposite page 140 

Drawing Opposite page 149 

Drawing Opposite page 157 




Savannah in 1837, Painted by Firmin Cerveau. 
Original at the Georgia Historical Society. 



THE MEMOIRS OF CHARLES H. OLMSTEAD 



You have often asked me, my dear Daughters, to write down 
some of the incidents of my Hfe for your benefit and it has always 
been my intention to comply with the request. Yet somehow year 
after year has slipped away without the thing being done. 

Now however a beginning shall be made; to be added to from 
time to time as opportunity may present. 

I was bom on the 2nd of April 1837 in a house which now forms 
the Southern end of the Screven House on Bull Street. There were 
three houses connected in the rear by a long piazza, though entirely 
distinct in other respects. Two of these were occupied by Cousin 



Susan Piatt as a boarding house and I may add that it was known 
all over the State. Many prominent people from the interior made 
it their stopping place whenever they came to Savannah. With reason, 
too, for Cousin Piatt was a most notable provider and as kindly 
a soul as ever breathed the breath of life. The Southernmost tenement 
was rented jointly by my father^ and Mr Loring Olmstead Reynolds 
his intimate friend and a distant relative. Mr R and his Sister Miss 
Charlotte (afterwards Mrs David Veader,) had the third floor and 
one baggage room in the attic, but all the rest of the house, excepting 
a store on the street floor, was ours. We had two very large rooms 
on the parlor floor, (three windows in the side,) with a spacious 
pantry and store rooms, two bed rooms in the attic, a large kitchen 
and a wood and coal cellar. The yard also was ours with a com- 
modious stable and servants quarters. You see that although we took 
our meals at Cousin Platts, to all intents and purposes our home was 
for ourselves alone. 

In the boarding house were my great aunt Elizabeth Emems, 
(Cousin P's Mother) Auntie Greene with her son Herman D. her 
three daughters Cousins Jennie, Susie and Maggie and the husbands 
and children of the two first named. So many early years were spent 
in very close contact with all of my relatives on Mothers side of 
the house and an affection grew up between us of a very strong and 
enduring character; Cousin Jennie, Cousin Sue and Cousin Maggie 
were more like elder Sisters to me than Cousins. As for dear Auntie 
Greene my own Mother could not have been sweeter to me than she 
was. When I reach the heavenly home one of its greatest joys will 
be the looking into her dear face again. In the dining room the family 
all sat at a table by themselves with two or three close friends, such 
as Miss Charlotte, Mr Reynolds Mr and Mrs Eastman and Mr James 
M Prentice. Father always presided at the head of this table. Auntie 
Greene being his vis-a-vis at the other end. While young enough to 
require the services of a nurse I sat at a little side table near by with 
Peggy (whom you know,) to attend to my wants and I can remember 
the happiness I felt and the sense of promotion when permitted to 
take my seat with the family - it seemed a great step upwards. 

The time will doubtless come when I shall look back upon the 
advancements of later life in much the same light as I now regard 
this trifling incident. Peggy followed me upward, she always stood 
with folded arms right behind my chair with an ear as keen as my 
own for the delightful conversation that was going on all around 



1. Jonathan Olmstead (1798-1854); married in Savannah, April 29, 1835, 
Eliza Hart (1802-1881). 



us. She was not the most elegant of nurses but her loyalty and affec- 
tion were beyond question and through mv whole life they have 
been a possession to me. She was much afraid of vexing my Mother 
yet did not hesitate to interpose between Mother and myself when 
she saw a chance to save me from some merited punishment. 

There were three of us children, as you know, and we all came 
very close together. My eldest Sister Sarah Morris was but a year 
and two months older than I, she having been bom on February 
8th 1836, and there was just about the same interval between my 
youngest Sister and myself, though I cannot recall the date of her 
birth. She was named Harriet Eliza after Auntie Greene and Mother. 
She was said to have been an exceedingly beautiful child with bril- 
liant complexion, large blue eyes and a head covered with masses of 
flat, golden curls. I have always thought your little Sister Neely 
must have resembled her. My recollections of this precious baby are 
very vague; necessarily so for she died from whooping cough when 
I was only four years old. I can remember her putting her sweet little 
arms around my neck to comfort me in some childish sorrow, but 
there comes only a dim vision of her features. No memory of my 
early days is more distinct, however, than that of the night on which 
she died. Auntie Greene took me in her arms in the middle of the 
night out of the little trundle bed in which I slept and carried me 
for a last look at the dying face. Mother was rushing wildly about 
the room in an agony 0/ grief and father following trying to comfort 
and restrain her. It was my first knowledge of death and to this day 
I recall the strange fright that took possession of me as I clung to 
Auntie. It seems so long ago as I write of it— almost as though in 
another age and as the experience of some person other than myself. 
Yet in these later years the thought of meeting that sweet baby again 
before very long, is with me often and always with a certain curiosity 
as to whether I shall know her by intuition. I feel much in the same 
way of your little brother Charlie upon whose face I never looked. 

Between Sarah, (or "Sister" as I always called her,) and myself 
the bond of love became stronger and stronger with every passing 
day. As little children we slept side by side and would talk far into 
the night, as children will, of what we should do when we were 
"grown up." I do believe the tie between brother and sister was 
never a sweeter, purer one. Her's was the truest nature I ever knew. 
Her mind was unusually bright, with good, solid reasoning powers 
yet adorned at the same time with graces of feeling and expression 
that made her sought after in every circle in which she moved. She 
was very witty yet her wit was free from sting, it was never exer- 
cised at the cost of pain to others; indeed it was a sweet and loving 



sense of humor rather than the sharper quality of wit. As a ver\' young 
girl the religious side of her nature was awakened and an exquisite 
conscientiousness in regard to her duty to God and to man became 
the rule and guide of her life. It did not abate the sprightliness and 
animation of manner that always marked her bearing, but imparted 
to it a genuineness and freedom from triviality that won for her 
affection and respect from all who knew her. As she grew older a 
love for music developed and under capable teaching she became 
a fine musician, rather, however, as an interpreter of the composers 
feeling than in brilliant technique, though not wanting in that. This 
gave great happiness to my dear Father who was devoted to the 
art and himself a musician of no mean ability. How often I have 
heard him say as he threw himself on the sofa after a hard mornings 
work "Now daughter go to the piano and play me to sleep" though 
her music seldom had that result, he was wide awake so long as it 
lasted. But I am getting ahead of my story. 

When I was five years old my parents thought Sister was far 
enough along to begin her schooling and accordingly they made 
arrangements to send her to a school kept by Miss Betsv^ Qiurch 
in a long, ram-shackle, one story, wooden building on the North West 
corner of Broughton and Abercom Streets— (where Carsons stables 
stood for many years after). It was intended to keep me at home 
for a year longer but I was thrown into such a passion of grief at 
the thought of being separated from Sister that Father and Mother 
concluded to let me begin my education also and so my first steps 
were taken up the slopes of Parnassus. Miss Church was a rv^pical 
New England school mistress, rather gaunt in form and severe in 
countenance yet with the kindest of hearts. She wore cork-screw 
side curls and her head was always adorned with a cap of spotless 
purity. In the many years in which it was my privilege to know her 
she was always accompanied by a little white poodle dog with a 
blue ribbon around his neck. Of course there were successive genera- 
tions of dogs, but they seemed ever the same to me. While teaching 
in school she sat in a large rocking chair, the scholars ranged before 
her in benches without backs the boys on one side the girls on the 
other. As the youngest and least of her pupils I was placed in a com- 
fortable little chair at her feet and permitted as a great favor to amuse 
myself in the intervals of acquiring knowledge, by looking over a 
basket full of what she called her "curios." I have forgotten what 
thev^ all were excepting two things— one, a button from the coat of 
Captain John Church, an ancestor of the dear old lady's, of whom 
she was vtry proud, a notable figure in colonial days and a great 
fighter in the early wars of New England against the Pequod In- 



dians— the other, a genuine piece of lava from Mount Vesuvius. Upon 
both of these articles Miss Church dilated at length and frequently 
a fact that doubtless impressed them upon my memory. 

I must have been an imaginative child for I can yet recall the 
thrill that went through me at every repetition of the exploits of the 
redoubtable Captain John; in fancy I 

"heard the soldiers ringing shout 
The Pequods wild halloo." 

And the eruptions of Vesuvius were very real to me as my hand 
grasped what had once been molten rock flowing from a fiery 
crater. 

The discipline of the little school was not particularly rigid. I have 
a dim recollection of a strap being used occasionally on the hands 
of some of the larger boys who happened to be unruly, and there 
was the awful punishment of being made to stand in a corner with 
one's face to the wall to contemplate the dreadful results of lapsing 
from the paths of scholastic rectitude. But I had no personal experience 
of either of these having always been a biddable child, amenable to 
rightful authority. One thing our gentle school mistress took special 
pride in— her hand writing. There was a standing desk at one end 
of the room at which we took our turn every day making pot- 
hooks and lines with both "tongue and pen." This was before the day 
of steel pens, so as soon as the school was opened each morning Miss 
Church would haul a sheaf of goose quills from the desk, select one 
with great particularity, and then with a sharp knife, in the presence 
of an admiring audience, would proceed to fashion a pen from it. 
To us it seemed the "ne plus ultra" of mechanical skill. I felt it was 
a point of excellence unattainable by ordinary people, and indeed 
I never have attained it. The bonds of discipline were relaxed while 
all this was going on but as soon as the pen was completed there 
would be a stamp of the foot, a frown and the invariable sentence, 
"Go back to your seats children, what do you mean by crowding 
around me so." Then she would take her place at the desk and set 
the lovliest copies imaginable for every grade— "pot hooks" for be- 
ginners like myself and the most beautiful moral maxims such as 

"Honor and shame from no condition rise. 
Act well your part, there all the honor lies," 

for those highly educated boys and girls who had mastered the in- 
tricacies of writing in "small hand." It was quite astonishing what 
an amount of ink we children managed to accumulate on our little 
persons during the painful process of learning to write. My hands 



were never free from it except on Sundays when my dear Mother 
had scrubbed them with cornmeal— a trying ordeal in the winter when 
they were generally badly chapped. 

The curriculum of the little school was a limited one. Websters 
Spelling Book was its main stay and it must be said we were honestly 
drilled in it. Then there was a very small geography with an ac- 
companying atlas on which the present states of California and Texas 
and the territories of Arizona and New Mexico were portrayed as 
belonging to Aiexico, while over the area covered by Oklahoma, 
Kansas, Nebraska, the two Dakotas, Colorado and Wyoming, was 
sprawled in large letters "Great American Desert" with curious pic- 
tures of Indians hunting the buffalo. We had a "Child's History 
of the United States" three fourths of which was devoted to Ply- 
mouth Rock and kindred subjects, Capt John Church was one of 
the heroes of this book and we were never permitted to forget it. 
Besides these there was the old New England Primer for the younger 
pupils— that quaint old book with its rhymed couplets, "In Adam's 
fall we sinned all," "Young Obadias, David, Josias, all were pious" 
"Whales in the sea Gods voice obey" &c &c. I smile to remember 
that our poetic instinct rebelled against that last rhyme and we al- 
ways pronounced "sea" after the Irish fashion— "say." 

"Whales in the say, God's voice obey." 

About the only other circumstance that remains in my mind in con- 
nection with this school was a vigorous dash that I made for freedom 
one summer afternoon. It was a clear case of "the call of the wild," 
there came upon me an uncontrollable desire to get out of doors 
where the sun was shining, and a sweet breeze blowing, and leaves 
rustling, and boys laughing and shouting, and dogs barking. I said 
to myself "When I count twenty I'll run." Several times my heart 
failed me when Nineteen was reached but at last I shouted "Twenty," 
aloud, made a jump for my hat and was off for the door as fast 
as my little legs would take me. There was a dismayed call from 
Miss Betsy as I went out but the deed was done and nothing but 
her overtaking me by running, which was a physical impossibility, 
would have brought me back. My dear Father understood the situa- 
tion for when confession was made to him that night, with the added 
words "I couldn't help it" he only laughed, though warning me 
against a repetition of such escapades. I often think of that old school 
house and always with a feeling of tenderness. The influences there 
were all good and sweet; the personal touch of the teacher was ever 
with us and what was learned was learned thoroughly and well. I 



dare say there are many old men and women now who share this 
sentiment with me. 

My subsequent teachers were a Miss Lydia Norton and her suc- 
cessor, a Miss Palmer, who kept a school in an old building on the 
North side of President Street a little west of Whitaker. Eliza Phil- 
brick ("Aunt Eliza") and her brother Samuel were pupils here, also 
Charles Davis and his sisters, now of Portland Maine, and, I think, 
Anna Turner, (Mrs Cann,) and George. One of the boys was Norton 
Hooker of whom the rest of us were exceedingly envious. His father 
was interested in Warner's Stables at the Western end of Broughton 
Street; on a large lot connected with this stable every circus that 
came to Savannah pitched its tent and Norton had free entrance to all 
of them. It was a privilege to be on friendly terms with an individual 
so highly favored by fortune and who was actually acquainted with 
the dazzling beings who dashed around the sawdust ring in tights and 
spangles. I never knew what became of this lad but have an impres- 
sion that he died young. From this school I went to the Chatham 
Academy which was then presided over by the brothers Preston, 
Henry K and James— sons of the Reverend Willard Preston who was 
for many years the beloved Pastor of our old Independent Presby- 
terian Church. To both of these gentlemen I owe a debt of gratitude. 
I understand their worth now better than when a child, but even 
then my nature was drawn to them. James Preston doubtless gave 
the bent of my mind toward mathematical studies by his patient and 
timely aid in helping me over difficulties that seemed insuperable to 
me. Sister went to the Academy at the same time but I do not remem- 
ber who her teachers were. We both of us studied French at this 
time under iMr Henri LeCoste whose descendants I believe are still 
in Savannah. I remember the amused look on his face at my pro- 
nunciation of the first French sentence he put before me, "Quand 
les dernier rayons du soleil &c." It must have been awful to make 
him show his feelings for he was scrupulously courteous even to us 
young children. The sessions of the Academy were opened every 
morning by a spelling exercise in which every scholar from the oldest 
to the youngest took part. We all stood up behind our desks as a signal 
was sounded and spelled and defined the words given out by Mr 
Preston. About four columns of the Dictionary we were using was 
the allotted lesson for each day and we went through the book two 
or three times while I was at the school. There is no over-estimating 
the importance of a drill like this, nor do I think anything in the 
modern methods of teaching takes its place. Friday afternoons were 
always devoted to declamations which we all enjoyed, especially 
those boys who were blessed with loud voices and had confidence 



in their oratorical powers. I never was much of a hand at it myself 
though, of course I "spouted" with the rest. One piece we were all 
fond of, Campbells poem on the battle of Hohenlinden, and it was 
repeated so often that Air Henrv K who was somewhat irascible be- 
came quite impatient whenever he heard it. Among the pupils was 
a boy from the West Indies, Bob Campbell, the very embodiment 
of mischief. He was always up to some trick or other and never 
so happy as when he could worry the teacher. One Friday at recess 
he got a number of us together and made the following suggestion 
"Fellows, let's all speak 'On Linden' this afternoon and make old 
Preston mad." The proposition met with hearty approval and that 
afternoon some eight or ten of us were on hand to carry it into ef- 
fect. The first boy called went through the usual sing-song perform- 
ance of "On Linden when the sun was low." Mr Preston looked 
bored but made no sign. With fear and trembling I came next; the 
bored look became a frown but still no lightning from the cloud. 
Then Bob Campbell was called and he came toward the platform, 
his eyes twinkling with fun. Just before he reached it Mr Preston 
rose from his chair, (in front of which the speakers had to stand) 
stretched his hand to a rack on which he kept a choice collection 
of hickory switches, selected a fine supple one and took his seat again. 
The act was so significant that our notable conspiracy came to naught 
then and there. Bob treated the school to "Romans, Countrymen and 
Lovers" or some similar gem instead of "On Linden." He is a wise 
man who knows the psychological moment for a change of front. 

At that time there was no such thing as a long summer vacation. 
We had two weeks holiday at Christmas and one week in the first 
part of May but children were expected to grind away at their 
studies all the rest of the year. 1 am not sure but that too much of 
the limited period for education is devoted to resting in these days. 
My chief friend in boyhood, as he has been all of our lives long, 
was your dear Uncle Mat Hopkins. God bless him, never was there 
a more faithful and truer heart. We were inseparable though on one 
occasion we did have a tremendous fight in which, candor compels 
me to admit it, 1 came off second best. The cause for this "unpleasant- 
ness" has passed from my memory, I had also a spirited encounter 
with "Billy" Elliott one day, on the comer of Bull and South Broad 
Streets, after school. He tells me he has forgotten all about it, but 
it sticks in my mind, probably because this time I was the victor. 
George Turner, Mrs Canns brother was likewise a close friend; he 
was, later on, my room mate at Marietta and a groomsman at my 
wedding. Poor fellow, he yielded up his life at Sailors Creek one 
of the last battles of the Civil War. Isaac Avery was another of the 



boys with whom I was quite intimate and he was also one of my 
groomsmen. During the War he became quite a distinguished Colonel 
of Cavalry and was desperately wounded in some engagement in 
North Georgia, but he pulled through and lived for a long while 
in Atlanta. I believe, though, the wound troubled him to the end of 
his days. He wrote a good history of Georgia that you ought to 
find among my books. ^ Oh! that terrible war; how many of those with 
whom I began life were sacrificed in it— Joe Turner, a first cousin 
of George's at Trevillian Station while fighting under Gen Jeb 
Stuart; Spalding Mcintosh at Sharpsburg while serving on the staff 
of Gen McLaws; Cyrus Carter, a Lieutenant in my own Regiment, 
at Kenesaw Mountain; Ned Stiles, (a brother of Miss Kitty's,) while 
commanding a Regiment in a nameless skirmish in Virginia; John 
Patton a Captain in your Uncle Charles Williams' regiment, at South 
Mountain, (he also was one of the attendants at my wedding, the 
"best man" indeed); John Branch as Adjutant of the 8th Georgia at 
Manassas; Freddy Bliss an officer of the same command, at Gettys- 
burg. A woful list that could be prolonged almost indefinitely. Yet 
time softens all sorrows and regrets and I can think of them all now 
with composure. Had the War spared them, most of them would 
doubtless have passed away ere this. 

Savannah was a very different place in my early days from what 
it is now.^ There was not a paved street in the city and all the roads 
leading out from it were beds of sand that made hard going for 
horses. The city was lighted (?)^ at night by oil lamps— whale oil, 
not kerosene— one at each of the public pumps, our only source of 
water supply. These pumps were located in each of the squares and 
at the intersection of the broader streets; between these radiant 
points Egyptian darkness reigned. I can remember when looking 
South from where the De Soto hotel stands, there was only one 
residence which had just been built by Mr John N Lewis. The second 
was put up by Mr Gauladet, Major Hardees father in law, at the 
North West corner of Bull and Jones Streets. From Harris Street out 
to Gaston stretched a broad open common and at Gaston a dense pine 
forest began which extended straight out into the country. Right 
through the Centre of what is now Forsyth Park was a huge open 
ditch several feet deep with sloping sides that had been cut for the 
drainage of surface water. The White Bluff road crossed it by a 
bridge that stood just where the fountain now is and on its banks 

2. I. W. Avery, The History of the State of Georgia from 1850 to 1881 
(New York, 1881). 

3. Compare this account of Savannah in his childhood with his "Savan- 
nah in the '40's" in Georgia Historical Quarterly, I (1917), 243-52. 

4. The question mark is the author's. 

10 



on either side were magnificent old pine trees, part of the virgin 
forest. This was a great play place for us boys on Saturdays in winter, 
and an ideal place it was, but a short walk from home yet practically 
remote from civilization. It gave to us all the sense of freedom and 
adventure that boys are so fond of, while there was not even the 
shadow of danger there to cause uneasiness to our anxious Mothers. 
We could imagine ourselves in Western wilds and yet be in hearing 
of the clock in the Exchange tower telling us when it was time to go 
home. Our great delight was to make roaring fires of pine-straw 
and to dig ovens in the sides of the ditch in which to cook sweet 
potatoes. I do not think we were ever patient enough to wait for these 
to be thoroughly done; they were generaly eaten half raw but we 
were endowed with appetites and digestions that were indifferent to 
such trifles as that. 

Another favorite resort of ours was Stone's Mill pond about three 
quarters of a mile out on the Central Railroad. There we were not 
quite so safe and I doubt whether our Mothers fully understood 
what we did there. The pond was full of great logs of timber waiting 
to be cut up in the mill and on these we would spend hours poling 
backward and forward with great enjoyment. A Saturday never passed 
there without one or more boys falling into the water, but the mill 
furnaces were handy for drying clothes and "Mum" was the word 
when we got home. 

We gave the names of famous naval ships to our logs and on one 
occasion the "vessel" under my command ran "^wwp" into another 
of which George Turner was Captain. "Board her. Board her" I 
shouted to my crew in approved naval style, and, obeying the order, 
Aleck Drysdale, (able bodied seaman of the forecastle) made a leap 
for the other log. George met the assault at the gangway, so to speak, 
and by a vigorous shove sent the too zealous Aleck headlong into the 
pond. He disappeared for a moment and then arose sputtering out the 
reproachful but not very heroic cry that became a by word with us 
for a long time. "George Turner, that was a ding mean trick." 

Aleck became an Episcopal Minister after he reached manhood. 
He moved to Alabama and I think was in charge of a church at 
Mobile, but I have not heard of him in many years and dare say 
he has joined "the great majority" long ere this. 

It would be a grave omission not to speak of the educational in- 
fluences that were around me at home, exerted as they were by both 
of my parents. My dear Mother was a great lover of poetry. She was 
familiar with many of the plays of Shakespeare and with the poets 
of a previous generation; she had also a sweet voice and a decided 
taste for music though it had never been cultivated. It was her habit 

11 



very often after Sister and I had been tucked away in our little 
trundle-bed, to take her seat by it and tell us the stories of these plays 
and old poems repeating long passages of them from memory and 
singing the songs she knew. These last were mostly of a pathetic 
character and invariably demanded the tribute of our tears. One in 
particular "The Orphan Boy," was my favorite; she may have sung 
it to you when you were little children. She was a most indulgent and 
loving Mother but exacted obedience to her commands and com- 
pliance with such regulations as were established for the family 
government. We could only receive visits from our playmates and 
return them on Friday and Saturday nights; on every other evening 
we had to prepare the lessons for the following day and it was a rare 
thing for either of us to make a failure in school. The same care 
was given to our Sunday School lessons. I had always to recite them 
to Mother before going out to play on Saturdays. Mr Charles Green 
was my teacher in the Sunday School and he often spoke to me in 
after years of what a good pupil I used to be. TTie merit was not mine 
but hers. Your grandfather was a skilled botanist and one of the 
most enthusiastic lovers of plants I ever knew. He knew the habitat 
of every flower that bloomed within miles of Savannah and just at 
what season of the year to go for it. He was Cashier of the old Marine 
Bank and the hours of the Bank were such as to give him the after- 
noons to himself, thus affording ample time for his pet hobby. Almost 
every day found him taking long walks in the woods and I was his 
constant companion on these tramps as soon as I became old enough 
to stand the fatigue of such excursions. Who can overestimate the 
value of this contact of a young, untrained nature with a mind so 
cultivated, sweet and sane as his? I never think of him save with 
reverence and tender love. For nearly fifty-six years he has been in 
his grave yet I dream of him to this day and always awake from 
such slumbers with a softening of the heart and a yearning of soul 
to be with him again. 

Surely God blessed me in my parents. 

Chas. H. Olmstead 
II 

There were some quaint characters in Savannah in those days. 
One very picturesque old gentleman was known as "Cocked Hat 
Sheftall,"^ a Revolutionary soldier of advanced age who lived in 
a low wooden house on the North Side of Broughton Street between 
Whitaker and Barnard. He always wore the old Continental uniform— 

5. Sheftall Sheftall, born in Savannah In 1762 and died there August 
15. 1847. 

12 



blue coat with brass buttons, flapped waistcoat, knee breeches, silk 
stockings and low quartered shoes with huge silver buckles. The old 
cocked hat that topped this costume gave him the soubriquet by 
which he was known. A long piazza stretched across the entire 
front of the house on which the old soldier could be seen every 
day taking his constitutional walk backward and forward. It was 
said, and 1 could well believe it, that he wore out two or three sets 
of planking on this piazza. Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem "The 
Last Leaf" has always reminded me of this Hngering link that con- 
nected me as it were with the very infancy of our country. There 
was a pathos in the queer old figure too that I felt without then be- 
ing able to define, but the poet has done it for me. When the old man 
died the entire military force of the city paraded to do honor to his 
memory. He was buried in the old Jewish Cemetery in the Western 
suburb of Savannah. I accompanied the procession and witnessed 
the interment from the top of the high brick wall that surrounded 
the cemetery. I was of an inquiring turn of mind and was bound to 
see all that was going on if it were within the bounds of possibility 
to do so. Aside from that however I had a real reverence for one who 
had battled with the British in our war for independence. 

Old "Moko" was another very strange person whom I remember 
at that time as impressing me both with interest and awe. She was 
a demented Negress who roamed the streets at will, generally with 
a tailing of small boys behind her at a respectable distance. They 
were fascinated by her personality yet careful not to approach too 
near for she would frequently turn and charge down upon her 
followers with blood-curdling shrieks and wild laughter. It was weU 
upon such occasions to be able to have a good start for rapid retreat. 
"Adoko" was reputed to be a native African but I do not know whether 
that Mas so or not, nor can I vouch for other stories that were told 
about her. She was one of the brown races of Negroes, probably 
with a Moorish or Arabic strain. A most striking figure she makes 
in my memory with her slender form aquiline features, turbaned head 
hooped ear-rings and uncanny demeanor. It was said she had been 
wronged in early life by an officer in Africa and color seems to be 
given to this tale by her frequent exclamation "He promised to give 
me a gold ring, a go-o-old ring. Oh! Wirra, wirra, wirra, whoopee." 
This last word was usually the signal for charge and retreat. 

Your grandfather was very good to Sister and myself in the 
matter of taking us to places of amusements. He was fond of the 
drama and two or three times every winter we went with him to the 
Theatre when specially good plays were being presented. There was 
no such thing then as a traveling dramatic company, except perhaps 

13 



Sol Smith RussePs that went up and down the Mississippi River on 
a flat boat. Stars went from city to city but their support depended 
on local "stock" companies, who remained in one place and were 
individually known to the audiences. Their repertoire was extensive 
and the same play was rarely given two nights in succession. The 
bill for the evening was always a double one, first the serious play 
and then "a roaring farce" as it was called to send people home in a 
good humor. A Mr Forbes was manager of the Savannah Theatre 
for many years— a worthy old gentleman as I remember him, fitted 
by nature for the part of "the heavy father" which he usually took. 
Under his management I saw many of the great lights of the stage 
of the last generation: the elder Booth, and Hackett an unrivaled 
delineator of Sir John Falstaff, Edwin Forrest, Mrs Mowatt, Char- 
lotte Cushman, Charles Mathews the celebrated English comedian, 
and, (I think but am not certain) Macready also an Englishman and 
the most noted tragedian of his day. He was in Savannah but my 
memory of him is not distinct. A subsequent engagement of his in 
New York was the occasion of a dreadful riot at the old Astor 
Place Theatre in New York, begun by over zealous admirers of his 
contemporary and rival, the American actor Edwin Forrest. Miss 
Cushman I saw as Meg Merriles in a dramatised version of Scott's 
novel, Guy Mannering, and a weird looking gypsy hag she was. The 
best tribute I can pay to the power of her acting is to say that it 
really frightened me. Forrest appealed to my childish taste and imagina- 
tion very decidedly, though I should probably have a different 
opinion of him now for he was an actor of the most robustious 
school. Physically he was a man of great power with huge knotted 
muscles and a tremendous voice that he never failed to send out like 
thunder in the climax of a scene. I saw him in several plays: "Spartacus 
the Gladiator," "Metamora" and "Pizarro or the death of Rollo." 
These were all of more or less melo-dramatic character and were 
intensely enjoyed by a part of the audience at least. Sister and I fol- 
lowed every line with thrilled interest and it was no half hearted 
sympathy we gave to the woes of the hero in each of these plays. 
"Spartacus" treated of a gladiatorial revolt in the latter days of the 
Roman Empire; it was based upon historic incident and I believe 
quotations from it are still in use in the school readers of the present 
day. "Metamora" portrayed the red man of the idealist, the "noble 
savage" choke full of fine moral sentiment, instead of the Indian 
as he really is crafty, blood-thirsty and cruel. My favorite of all plays 
was "Pizarro" the scene of which was laid in Peru at the time of the 
Spanish conquest. Oh! it was a grand play, abounding in such splendid 
sentences as this: "The terror of his eagle eye would strike you dead," 

14 



and 1 im quite sure that nothing in these degenerate days half way 
approaches it. Rollo, (of the "eagle eye,") was the Peruvian chieftan 
and in the last act he dashes across a light bridge that spans an awful 
chasm, bearing Cora's child and pursued by brutal Spanish soldiers. 
He reaches the other side in safety, cuts the slender fastenings of 
the bridge and hurls it into the abyss. Then in the very moment 
of triumphant escape he is pierced by a Spanish bullet but rushes 
on to die at Cora's feet rejoicing that he has saved the "ch-e-ild." 

It will strike you at once that this was a remarkably fine play and 
you will not be surprised to know that it was faithfully reproduced 
a short time after in the hay loft of your grandfathers stable by a 
dramatic company consisting of Messrs Hopkins, Turner, Bliss, Olm- 
stead and other noted artists of the same grade with Miss Hattie 
Gladding, (or "Harry" as we used to call her) for an audience. It 
was the custom of this talented troupe to permit the member who had 
seen a play at the theatre to take the principal part in its production— 
indeed it was necessary that this should be so for no one else knew 
anything about it. On this occasion therefore I enacted Rollo. A 
plank was placed over the hole where hay was thrown down to the 
horses, to represent the bridge, and over this I pranced with Freddy 
Bliss on my back, kicking the plank down to the stable below after 
I had crossed. You will have to take my word for it that it was a 
moving spectacle; it satisfied our hearts anyway. 

It is astonishing what an amount of pleasure children draw from 
things of this kind— their vivid imagination enables them to see the 
unseen and fills every gap in their crude performances. I have often 
wished in later life for this faculty of being amused and interested 
by simple things. There are some fine natures that never lose it and 
living is a perennial joy to them but for the most part our ideals and 
wants become so complex that it is more and more difficult to satisfy 
them. I am grateful to realize that in approaching the end of life 
the old childish readiness to be pleased is returning to me. May I be 
a little child indeed in soul and spirit, trusting and loving. 

The first Operas I attended were sung by the Seguin Opera Troupe, 
a company well known in all of the Atlantic States. John Seguin and 
his wife were the leaders and a very interesting couple they were. 
If I remember rightly his voice was a barytone and her's a sweet so- 
prano, though my childish recollection of their quality is uncertain. 
Mrs Seguin was a very pretty little woman, piquant and attractive 
in her manner and a great favorite in Savannah where the company 
sang several winters in succession. The Operas were rendered in 
English so there was no need of a libretto and the music seemed to me 
then the acme of artistic excellence. For these performances Father 

15 



always secured season tickets— the "season" being generally of two 
weeks duration, and while we children were not taken every night, 
we went often enough to make the advent of the troupe each year a 
great occasion for us, a thing to be anticipated with rapturous de- 
light. "The Brewer of Preston" was the first of their repertoire that 
I heard sung. Who was its composer I do not know nor have I ever 
heard of it since. The story dates at the time of the rising of Charles 
Edward, the "Pretender," in Scotland and it turns upon a resemblance, 
approaching identity, of twin brothers. One of these is an officer 
in the English Army, the other a prosperous brewer in the little 
town of Preston. The Officer is absent from his command without 
leave, because of a love entanglement, when orders are received for 
the immediate march of the Regiment to the front. This means ruin 
and disgrace to him and to ward off the danger an old serjeant, his 
devoted friend and servant, prevails upon the brewer to don the 
uniform in his brothers place. The man is the embodiment of peace 
without a spark of heroism in him, yet he comes out of the battle 
that ensues with great honor his brother's horse having run away with 
him straight toward the lines of the enemy. The Regiment had fol- 
lowed with gallantry and enthusiasm and this unexpected charge had 
been largely instrumental in winning victory for the English arms. 
Promotion comes to him for bravery and in addition he is chosen 
to carry the captured standards to the court of the King at London. 
There is a funny scene there, and complications also arise with the 
sweethearts of the two brothers. You will note that there is plenty 
of room for comic situations, my memory of the opera is that it was 
full of them. 

These old time performances seem very crude as I look back upon 
them and make comparisons with the elaborate and splendidly staged 
and sung Operas that it has been my good fortune to attend in these 
later years, but the enjoyment of them was even keener than that of 
the present day. There is a glamour about the stage for children that 
is lost in after life; the critical faculty has no existence in young minds 
and it is good that it should be so. We lose our illusions too soon for 
happiness anyway. 

Well, enough has been said of amusements. I will get on with my 
story. 

Ill 

I thought to have finished speaking of the public entertainments 
visited in my childhood but other memories are coming back to me 
and they shall be jotted down. The circus certainly should not be left 
out, for like every other healthy boy who ever saw one, I was de- 
voted to it and endeavored in leisure moments to master the feats 

16 



of agility seen there. Only a moderate success attended these efforts 
however; I learned to throw a tolerable hand-spring and could stand 
on my head fairly well but there my accompUshment in the acrobatic 
line ended. I was very proud of the abiilty to perform this last feat 
and at recess on the first day of my attendance at the Chatham 
Academy it seemed to me proper to impress the other boys what a 
talented new comer was among them. Accordingly while they were 
engaged in a vigorous game of "hollermeroy" (this spelling is by 
guess,) I retired to a quiet comer, reversed myself, and waited for 
the expected attention. It came, but not exactly as desired; a stinging 
blow from a hard rubber ball sent by the muscular arm of Wallace 
Stiles, fell on that portion of my anatomy designed by nature to 
receive punishment, and knocked me down. There was a great shout 
of laughter from the whole play ground as I scrambled to my feet 
sorely discomfited; but a good lesson had been taught me; there 
were no more attempts to show superiority. Circuses bored your 
grandfather immensely yet he always took me to them and to my 
profound astonishment would frequently sit with closed eyes while 
the fascinating performances were going on, an indifference to such 
wonders that was beyond my young comprehension. When I was 
quite a little fellow, Van-Amberg's Menagerie came to the city and 
pitched its tent in the Common about where Jones Street now is. 
There was a street parade with a big elephant in the lead, the first my 
eyes had ever seen. I followed the procession all around town and 
when it finally returned to head quarters and disappeared within the 
tent my soul was desolate. Tickets had been bought for us to attend 
the show that afternoon but I wanted to see more of it then and 
there, the thought of being separated so long from that elephant 
was insupportable. Making a tour of observation around the tent I 
found a place where no one seemed to be on the watch and where 
my small person could easily slip under the canvas. Trembling at 
my own daring I made the venture and in half a second was inside, 
face to face with an enormous bull dog that had been chained up 
at that exact spot. He made no sound but with a savage glare in his 
eyes was reaching forward to the extreme limit of his tether and his ug- 
ly muzzle was within a foot of my face. I could feel his hot breath and 
sheer terror almost paralyzed me. You may be sure that so soon as 
the power to move returned, I backed out of those premises in much 
quicker order than I had gone in. The dog would probably have 
killed me had his chain been only a little longer. An old English 
sea songs has the lines, 

"There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft 

And keeps a look out for poor Jack" 

17 



and I think some ministering angel must in like manner keep watch 
and ward over children, they are so often in deadly peril and yet 
emerge from it unscathed. 

Cousin Platts boarding house was as well known as any of the 
hotels and in consequence she had many transient boarders among 
the show people who came to the city. To my great delight I was 
told one day that Mr John Robinson the proprietor of a celebrated 
circus, with his wife and son "Jimmie" had taken rooms in the house 
for a week or more. Now "Jimmie" Robinson was a hero to every boy 
in Savannah; every high sounding adjective in the dictionary was used 
to describe him on the bills and posters, and in fact he was one of the 
finest "bare-backed" riders that I ever saw. Had any of us had the 
choice of growing up to be President of the United States or holding 
a place in the circus world like Jimmie Robinson's, there could be no 
doubt which way the decision would have gone. The thought of being 
under the same roof and in the same dining room with this gifted 
person, perhaps of even rising to terms of friendly familiarity with 
him was most alluring and I bragged of it to the other boys who 
were denied such exalted privilege. But alas! disillusion comes to us 
very early in life; the brilliant creature, separated from pink tights, 
satin breech-clout and spangles, proved to be a very ordinary boy 
in everyday attire. Stockily built, coarse features, low language, in- 
nocence of grammar— those were his special peculiarities; they shook 
my faith in the world and when in addition I found out that he could 
neither read nor write I realized that my idol had "feet of clay" 
indeed. 

On one occasion a traveling magician boarded at Cousin Piatt's 
while he was giving his entertainments in the city. Shows of that kind 
were more rare than they now are and the Negro servants were 
much worked up about this man; Mother, going to the breakfast 
table one morning found a lot of the poor darkies gathered around 
the dining room door peering in with the most absorbed attention. 
Peggy was of the number probably the most interested of any of 
them. Mother asked of her. What is the matter Peggy, what are you 
all looking at so? And received this answer "Miss 'Liza I hear say he 
gwine swallow he wife." I never learned whether or not the feat 
was actually performed. A "Professor" of Mesmerism was another 
man of whom I have a vivid remembrance. The so called "science" was 
new at that time and the "Professor" had large audiences at the Theatre 
to listen to his lectures and witness his experiments upon such persons 
as could be induced to come up and be mesmerized. Sister and I were 
too young to be supposed to have an interest in such matters. Never- 
theless our interest ivas very keen, especially so because we saw a 

18 



great deal of what was going on in Cousin Piatt's parlor, where every 
evening an effort would be made to put somebody in the mesmeric 
sleep. Cousin Sue Gladding always proved a ready subject. She would 
drop off to sleep after a few passes from the Professor's hands and 
then answered the various questions that were put to her, involving 
things of which she could have no personal consciousness, in what 
seemed to us a very marvelous way. I never knew whether Cousin 
Sue was actually asleep or "played possum" a little, though at the 
time there were no doubts in my mind and in the light of what 
afterward happened I am inclined to think she was genuinely mes- 
merized. 

One night Mother and Father had gone to the Theatre and we 
children were left in charge of Patience, one of our servants whom 
you will remember in her later life. We were all full of what was 
going on in the house, so, very naturally, we began to play at mes- 
merism. Patience was the subject and Sister made the passes before 
her face in the most approved style. In a few minutes they seemed 
to have been effective for Patience closed her eyes and began to talk 
in the far away manner peculiar to the mesmeric condition, whenever 
we questioned her. It was a most successful game, the "subject" had 
responded beautifully, but when we got tired and wanted to wake 
her up we found it impossible to do so. She would reply whenever 
spoken to but was unquestionably in what we would now call a 
hypnotic state. Both of us were much frightened and poor Sister cried 
bitterly but nothing we could do changed the situation. After what 
seemed an interminable time our parents returned, but they were no 
more successful than ourselves in waking the girl up. She was not 
restored to consciousness until the Professor himself guided Sister's 
hands and instructed her what to do. Very strict orders were given 
us at the time not to indulge in that sort of play any more, but they 
were needless, we had been too badly scared even to desire to repeat 
the experiment. This incident has always convinced me that there is 
a measure of truth in the claims of hypnotists and mesmerists to the 
possession of a power over other minds. Just how far it goes I do 
not know for I have never pursued the subject or made it a matter 
of study. There is a great deal of charlatanry connected with it and 
that has probably prevented the serious investigation of scientific 
minds. On this particular occasion the effect was brought about by 
an innocent little girl who did not dream of having the ability to 
do what she did. It may be added here that three or four years after 
this I attended an exhibition given by one of these traveling "Profes- 
sors" at the Armory Hall. The subject of his experiments was a rice 
field darkey— ignorant and uncouth, who was made to believe that 

19 



he was President of the United States and while in that condition 
gave utterances to expressions (though in his own dialect,) that were 
absolutely inconsistent with any previous knowledge he could pos- 
sibly have had. 

Politics engaged my attention at a very early period of my life- 
much more indeed than they have in later years. Of course I was too 
young to have any recollection of the Presidential Campaign of 1840 
when Wm Henry Harrison and John Tyler were elected, but I do 
remember quite distinctly wearing a little suit adorned with "log 
(cabin" buttons, the cabin being the distinctive badge of the supporters 
of General Harrison; it was considered indicative of his bluff, un- 
raffected manner and his affiliation with common, every day people. 
You will remember that he won the battle of Tippecanoe over the 
Indians of the North West which gave him the soubriquet "Old 
Tippecanoe" as he was affectionately called during the campaign. 

I think father must have been an ardent Harrison man for in "rum- 
maging" in our attic store room I found a little model of a log cabin 
with a miniature barrel of "hard cider" by its door that he had 
■carried in some of the political processions. It was a great find for me. 
I thought it a work of the highest genius and was made superlatively 
tiappy by having it turned over to me as my property "in fee simple." 

Of the next Presidential election, that of 1844, my memory is clear. 
The Whig candidates were Henry Clay of Kentucky and Theodore 
Freelinghuysen of New Jersey, against whom James K. Polk of 
Tennessee and Geo M Dallas of Penna were nominated by the 
Democratic party. 

Father was an "old-line Whig" a fact that necessarily settled the 
point as to which side my sympathies should be given. In the previous 
campaign it was said that Harrison had been literally sung into the 
Presidency and the Whigs attempted to repeat the same tactics now. 
Innumerable songs were written, adapted to popular airs, and at every 
political gathering all over the land they were roared out more or less 
musically by enthusiastic politicians of our side. I learned a great many 
of these songs and could be depended upon to sing them on all oc- 
casions whether invited to do so or not. My favorite was one of which 
the chorus is all that remains in my mind— 

"Hurrah! Hurrah! the coons are rising 
For Harry Clay and Freelinghuysen." 

The word "coon" had a different significance then from that attached 
to it now. It was a name given to the Whigs in derision by their op- 
ponents and accepted by them as an honor. The possibiUty that my 

20 



candidate could be defeated, never entered my head so when the news 
finally came that Mr Polk would be our next President the disappoint- 
ment was too great to be borne without the shedding of many tears. 
Mr Clay was unquestionably the greater man of the two candidates. 
He had a national reputation as a man of statesman like views; his ex- 
perience in matters pertaining to the government was great; he was re- 
cognized in foreign countries as a leader of American thought; and as 
an orator few have ever surpassed him. Mr Polk, on the other hand, 
while a most estimable gentleman was scarcely known outside of his 
native state and it seemed an act of folly on the part of the Democra- 
tic party to pit him against such a giant as Henry Clay. Yet the real 
issue of the campaign did not hinge on the relative merits of the two 
men— a far more important question of broad national policy was in- 
volved, one upon which depended in a marked degree the future 
prosperity of our country and its place among the nations of the world. 
It is true that all this was not clearly understoood at the time, (though 
the passage of years has demonstrated the correctness of the view here 
advanced,) but there was a living question before the country, from 
the proper settlement of which the most beneficent results have flowed. 
It was settled by the placing of Mr Polk in the Presidential chair in- 
stead of Mr Clay. In considering the varied events that have conspired 
to make the United States a world power, the student of American 
history will rank, only second to Jeffersons "Louisiana purchase," the 
election over which I wept so bitterly sixty-six years ago. 

Let me give my reasons for saying this. 

The great state of Texas, formerly a part of Mexico had declared 
its independence of that country and achieved it by successful revolu- 
tion, though Mexico had not formally acknowledged the fact. The 
new republic, the "Lone Star State" as it was called had made applica- 
tion to be admitted into the American Union and it was understood 
that whether the request should be granted or declined depended upon 
the result of this election. The Democratic party favored receiving the 
applicant with open arms, and well it might, for seldom in the history 
of any nation is opportunity offered for the acquisition at one stroke 
of such a commonwealth as the State of Texas. A magnificent empire 
in extent, in resources and in the promise and possibilities of its future. 
The Whig party opposed the admission for several reasons— it declared 
primarily that the act would certainly involve the country in a war 
with Mexico, which still asserted its claim to Texas and was prepared 
to maintain its rights by force of arms. Moreover, the Northern wing 
of the party feared an extension of the domain of slavery and a cor- 
responding increase in the political power of the South. Well, Mr Polk 

21 



was successful and he went into office with a working majority in 
Congress to carry out the views of the party. Texas was admitted and 
the dreaded war with Mexico became an actual fact. It resulted in the 
accession of an immense territory to the United States. Not only was 
Texas added to the Union but, by conquest and purchase, (much as 
in the case of the Philippine Islands,) we also acquired from Mexico 
the country now forming the whole of California, Nevada, Utah and 
Arizona as well as a considerable portion of New Mexico, Colorado 
and Wyoming. A little study of a good map will show what an 
enormous gain this was to us. 

Shortly after the treaty was signed making the transfer and the 
country was fairly in the possession of the United States the discovery 
of gold in large quantities in California led to a great rush of fortune 
hunters to the favored land, the only inhabitants of which previously 
had been a few scattered ranch owners, brotherhoods of Catholic 
Fathers at sundry "Missions" and a native Indian population whose 
simple habits demanded little of life and received no more than they 
demanded. Probably there was never greater or more sudden change 
than that worked by the incoming of this army of seekers after gold. 
The old "Dolce far niente" state of existence passed in a night and 
in its place came bustling activity, tireless energy, keen appreciation of 
opportunity, inflexible will and resolute determination to succeed. 
With these virile qualities were mingled the faults and vices that seem 
ever to obtain when a great body of men is cut loose from the restrain- 
ing influences of home life. There is a return to the ways of primeval 
man in a greater or less degree; the indulgence in habits and passions 
that had been held in subjection by the conventionalities of civiliza- 
tion; self springs into the saddle and rides rough shod over whatever 
opposes it and what was gentle and refined in the nature is lost sight 
of in the exercise of brute strength and force. Yet, in spite of such 
drawbacks, these men did a mighty work. To them and to their suc- 
cessors we owe it that the Pacific slope of our country is now one of 
the garden spots of the world and that we hold a dominating influence 
upon the shores of that great ocean: to them we owe so much material 
advance in the worlds wealth that the very name of their state is asso- 
ciated in the mind with fabulous riches. And that brings me around 
again to the point I started from. None of all these great results would 
have happened had Mr Polk failed of his election. At least they may 
be traced directly to that election. 

It may interest you to know that I saw Mr Clay once and heard him 
speak. He arrived in Savannah by the Central Rail Road and was 
escorted from the depot to the house of Senator John McPherson 
Berrien by a great cavalcade of gentlemen on horseback, who would 

22 



halt every now and then and give cheers for "Harry of the West." 
I saw it all, for indeed in those days there was little going on in a 
public way that escaped my attention. The next day Mr Clay made 
his speech from the top of the porch of the old Pulaski House. I 
listened very attentively because he was my hero, but the subject 
matter must have been too high for me. Not a word of it remains in 
my memory. I do recall his features however very distinctly especially 
an enormous mouth that he opened wide in some of his oratorical 
flights. Senator Berrien, at those house he was a guest, lived on the 
North West comer of Broughton and Habersham Streets. The Senator 
was a most polished gentleman and scholar of whom the community 
was proud and with reason. His youngest daughter was Mrs George 
Anderson whom you know so well. She was one of the most beautiful 
girls I ever knew. Another daughter was Mrs Valeria Burroughs whom 
you may remember as one of the oldest members of the Independent 
Presbyterian Church. Still another daughter was Mrs Bartow the wife 
of Genl Francis S. Bartow who died so gloriously in the first battle 
of Manassas. I had also the privilege of hearing Daniel Webster speak 
on the occasion of his visit to the old town, though I have forgotten 
the date on which he came.^ A platform was built around the Greene 
Monument in Johnson Square and from that he addressed the citizens. 
Of his speech I remember but one thing; speaking of the friendliness 
of New England for the South he said in effect, "We may not be 
hewers of wood and drawers of water for you but we will be hewers 
of ice and catchers of fish." So they are— for a consideration. Webster, 
Clay, and Calhoun formed the triumvirate of the Senate; it has always 
been a great pleasure to me to have seen two of them. A funny little 
incident happened just as Mr Webster stepped out on the C R R 
platform on his arrival in the city. A great crowd had assembled to 
meet him and the Mayor and Aldermen were there to give official 
welcome. An open space was reserved between the Mayor and the 
honored guest and the speech making was about to begin when little 
Herman McNish, Cousin Tom's younger brother, a child of four or 
five, broke away from his nurse, dashed across the opening and held 
up his little hand for a shake, with the cry "Howdy do-o-o Mr 
Webster" uttered in the shrill tones in which he was accustomed to 
talking to his deaf grandmother. Mr Webster seemed surprised but 
took the hand and said kindly "How d'ye do my little man; but how 
did you know my name?" "My gra-a-a-nd mozzer told me" was 
Herman's reply in the same high pitched voice. The crowd laughed 
heartily and then the official reception went on. This little Herman 



6. May 25-28, 1847. 

23 



was an unusually bright child-he was known in the family as 
"Nummy," from his baby pronunciation of his own name. Auntie 
Greene, his grandmother, adopted him as her own after the death 
of her only son Herman and the smart, attractive little fellow by his 
sweet companionship did much to restore the serenity of her mind 
after her sore bereavement. She wanted him to grow up and enter 
the ministry and finding that it pleased her he used to say that was 
what he would do when [he] became a man. One day some one asked 
him "What are you going to be Nummy when you grow up?" He 
answered with great promptitude, "A cir-cus actor" but he added as 
he saw the reproachful look on Auntie Greene's face, "But a minister 
on Sundays, grand-mother." Alas! the promising young life was cut 
short— he died while I was a cadet at the Military Institute from a 
violent fever, the result of an all day tramp in the sun one summer 
with his brother Tom. 

In writing of the Mexican war I am impressed by the smallness of 
the means by which such tremendous ends were attained. The Ameri- 
can armies were small in every battle; indeed I believe that at Contreras, 
Cherubusco and Molino-del-Rey the fights that determined the fate 
of the City of Mexico Gen'l Scott did not have more than 4000 to 
5000 men under his command. The national government called on 
most of the States for only one Regiment, a draft that seems ridicu- 
lously small when compared with the mighty demands of the Civil 
war fifteen years later. Savannah was required to furnish one Com- 
pany to the Georgia Regiment and the Captains of the various volun- 
teer commands met to decide by lot which of them should respond 
to the Governors call. The lot fell upon the "Irish Jasper Greens" of 
which Henry R. Jackson was Captain and John McMahon (who was 
afterwards with me in Fort Pulaski,) First Lieutenant. I went with 
Father to see the Company off on the Railroad, little realizing that in 
later years it would form a part of my own command. 

The Regiment rendezvoused at Columbus Ga and there Capt Jack- 
son was made its Colonel. I do not remember the name of the Lieut. 
Colonel but the Major was your Uncle Charles Williams, then a young 
lawyer in Columbus. Col Jackson and himself became warm personal 
friends; it was the beginning of a family intimacy strong and abiding. 
It may be well here to say something of the character and the career 
of Henry R Jackson. He was considerably my senior but I came to 
know him well and was honored for years by his close friendship. 
Descended from an old Revolutionary family, the best blood of the 
State, on both father's and mother's side was in his veins. Choosing 
the law as his profession he soon became a power at the Bar and in 
due time was made a Judge of the Superior Court. As already stated 

24 



he was Colonel of the Georgia Regiment in Mexico in which capacity- 
he served with ability and honor. Under the administration of Presi- 
dent Buchanan he was "Charge d'affaires" for the United States at 
the Court of Vienna, the highest diplomatic post that our Govern- 
ment then supported in Austria. At the outbreaking of trouble between 
North and South in 1861 he was an ardent advocate of the Southern 
side, and his fiery speeches were potent in moulding public opinion 
in Savannah. Made a General of Brigade in the Confederate Army he 
served for a while in West Virginia, but resigned to accept a Major 
General's position in Georgia when the State troops were being 
rapidly organized after the fall of Fort Pulaski to meet the invasion 
which seemed inevitable, but which did not materialize until two years 
later, and then from the Northern frontier instead of the Southern. 
This danger over, he re-entered the Confederate Army with his old 
rank and served until the end of the war. At the battle of Nashville 
he was made prisoner and held at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, until 
the surrender of Lee and Johnston ended hostilities. Returning to 
Savannah he resumed the practice of law with great success, built up 
a large fortune in a very few years and ended his days in the old town, 
honored and beloved by the entire community. I should mention also 
that during Cleveland's presidency he was the American Minister to 
Mexico. 

To General Jackson more than to any other man with whom I 
have been associated the gift of genius belonged. The processes of his 
mind were brilliant and rapid, his intuitions like lightning, his imagina- 
tion of that vivid character that saw the unseen as with the physical 
eye. His command of language was almost phenomenal, his oratory 
forceful and impassioned, his soul filled with poetic thought and 
feelings. His too were the infirmities of genius— a certain lack on the 
practical side of his nature and a tendency at times to suspicion and 
to moody depression. Yet these were but the motes in the sunbeam, 
for he was a rare man, the soul of honor, kindliness, truth and courage. 
This last quality was most conspicuously displayed in the following 
incident. In the early days of the rush to California when the General 
sat upon the Bench as Judge Jackson, a steamship sailed from New 
Orleans crowded with men enroute, via the Isthmus of Panama, for 
the new El Dorado. She was a wretched craft, poorly manned and 
poorly equipped in every way for such a voyage. For some mysterious 
reason the Captain put into Savannah for supplies, a port many 
hundred miles out of his right course. The passengers, a rough 
tumultuous lot, were outraged and rose in something like mutiny 
threatening to sieze the steamer. The Captain appealed to the Court 
for protection giving the names of the ringleaders of the disturbance. 

25 



Warrants were issued for the arrest of two men and placed in the 
hands of the Marshall of the Court for execution. This worthy went 
down to the dock but finding himself confronted by a crowd of 
resolute angry men, all armed to the teeth, dared not go on board the 
ship but returned to report the state of the case to the Court. Then 
the Judge arose in his wrath, (and I can imagine the flash of his eyes 
as he looked upon the too timid officer,) "Give me the warrants," 
he said, "the Court will execute its own orders." At that he made 
his way to the wharf, walked straight up the gangway into the very 
heart of the riotous crowd, clapped his hands on the shoulders of the 
two ringleaders, saying "You are my prisoners" and alone and unaided 
marched them ashore and delivered them to the officer. I was an eye 
witness of this brave action. 

Referring once more to "politics" in the old town: It may be said 
they were of the red-hot variety as I recall them. The lines between 
the two parties were rigidly drawn and everybody was a partisan on 
one side or the other; there was none of the indifference to these 
matters that characterizes so many otherwise good citizens now-a-days, 
to the detriment of the Commonwealth. 

Every man felt that he had a personal interest in whatever issue 
there was before the people; an election always brought out the full 
vote. Political campaigns, whether municipal, state or national were 
lively affairs while they lasted. The Whigs had their headquarters in 
Lyceum Hall, an old two story, frame building that stood where 
Theus's jewelry store now is, while the Democrats occupied a smaller 
hall on the South West Corner of Barnard and Broughton Streets. 
There was vigorous speaking almost every night and torch light 
processions galore. In addition to the torches these last always carried 
transparencies upon which were inscribed most uncomplimentary 
allusions to the other side. No special care was taken in the selection 
of the language of these inscriptions to observe the proprieties, so 
whenever two rival processions happened to meet at night, Donny- 
brook Fair was childs play to what would happen. 

I was quite a small boy when my first railway journey was made. 
Father had business that called him to Macon and to my great joy 
he planned to take me along with him. A trip around the world now 
would seem a very small matter in comparison with that run of one 
hundred and ninety miles then. I had always envied Sister the glory 
of a visit to Charleston that she had made with Mother two or three 
years before. The dear girl never boasted of her "travels" but I felt it 
had imparted a certain superiority to her and it was a great satisfac- 
tion to me to know that my opportunity had arrived and that I was 
to rise to the level she had attained. 

26 



It was a long days journey. We started at 6 o'clock in the morning 
and did not reach Macon until 6 o'clock in the afternoon— good 
twelve hours. The speed of the train was never more than twenty 
miles an hour and there were long waits at every station. Yet it seemed 
to me we were getting along at a terrific rate. At night fall I could 
scarcely realize that less than a day had put me at such a tremendous 
distance from home. Every detail of that ride is impressed on my 
memory, especially the two eating houses, one at the thirty mile sta- 
tion, where a leisurely and delightful breakfast was served, and the 
dinner house at Number Nine. At the latter I had an awful experience. 
After dining Father had put me on the car and went back himself to 
speak with a friend; the train started without his observing it and he 
was obliged to run quite briskly to catch up with it. I watched him 
in an agony of fright feeling sure that I was about to be carried off 
alone and that I should never see him again. I have been scared many 
times since but never more thoroughly. On the train were two men 
who had a great fascination for me— two prisoners in chains who were 
being carried off by an officer to the penitentiary at Milledgeville. 
I could not keep my eyes from them— they were the first men in that 
condition I had ever seen and I imagined, (without a shadow of 
reason,) that they were regarding me in a very sinster manner. It was 
quite a relief when they got off at Gordon. We stopped while in 
Macon at Washington Hall an old fashioned hotel which was then 
owned and kept by your grandfather Williams, as I have since learned, 
though I have no recollection of him. 

Father's business in the town was at the Marine Bank, a branch of 
the bank of the same name in Savannah, and there were my head- 
quarters made during the day. Our stay was only to be for three days 
but I was very ambitious to write a letter to Mother, and accomplished 
it after much tribulation and vexation of spirit. It was my first effort 
in that line I dare say you may have seen it for your grandmother 
kept it a long while. I think it was among her papers after her death. 
Mr I.e. Plant was the manager of the bank— a kindly, pleasant man, 
who ever after that extended hospitality to me whenever I have hap- 
pened to be passing through Macon, as I did very frequently as a Cadet 
of the Military Institute. His full name was a singular one. Increase 
Cotton Plant; it certainly indicated a New England origin. Mrs Plant 
was a very charming lady, gentle and sweet in her manners and of 
unaffected piety. She was a Hazlehurst from one of the coast counties. 
My recollections of her are all pleasing and those of Mr Plant also. 
It was he who put Wilbum Hall in my charge at the Macon depot 
one night as I was returning to school after the long vacation. Wilbum 
was the prettiest boy you ever saw, clear eyed, rosy cheeked and 

27 



winsome both in appearance and manner; the other boys all fell in love 
with him. He had been promised an appointment to the Naval 
Academy at Annapolis and was going to Marietta for a year first to 
accustom himself to the discipline. At Annapolis his career was bril- 
liant; he graduated at the head of his class and life was full of promise 
for him when the Civil War broke out. Like hundreds of other 
Southern youths he resigned his Commission to enter the Confederate 
service and when that ended in failure his vocation was gone. Had he 
remained in the United States Navy he would probably be high up 
on the list of Admirals today, for there was no more promising officer 
of his rank in the navy. I have often thought that conditions have 
been peculiarly hard for men of his stamp. The rest of us w^hen the 
war ended had only to take up life where we left it, resuming the old 
callings of planter, merchant, doctor, lawyer &c &c but these men 
had cut themselves permanently loose from the profession they had 
been specially educated for and it was particularly hard for them to 
adjust themselves to a new order of things. I have in mind a number 
of them, pathetic figures, drifting almost aimlessly through life, round 
pegs in square holes, yet conscious of powers within themselves that 
under happier conditions would have given them rank, fame and 
fortune. Captain Kennard was one of these for whom I always felt 
the deepest sympathy. He too had resigned from the U S Navy and 
was serving in the Savannah River under old Commodore Tattnall 
when the Federal forces had succeeded in getting command of the 
river with their guns and had thus cut off the communication of Fort 
Pulaski with the city. The Fort was scantily provisioned and to 
Kennard was given the duty of taking down two barges loaded with 
stores, one on each side of his little steamer, while the other Con- 
federate steamers engaged the enemy. He did this in the most gallant 
manner under a heavy fire, delivered the stores at our wharf and 
returned by the road he had come. He displayed qualities that day 
that would have made him a man of rank anywhere, yet after the M'ar 
he never seemed to get along but I always thought in looking upon 
him of the brave true heart that beat beneath his sad exterior. Robert 
Anderson was another of these men; he also was a school mate of mine 
at Marietta and went from there to West Point. Shortly after his 
graduation there he married Miss Sallie Clitz the daughter of a pro- 
minent army officer. He brought his bride to Savannah and I was at 
a wedding reception given to them by the Hartridges. I thought them 
the handsomest couple I had ever seen. Then he went out West, the 
only field for the United States Army in those days, and I believe he 
was in Oregon when Georgia seceded. Of course he resigned at once 
and became a Confederate soldier. His first high rank was as Colonel 

28 



of the Fifth Georgia Cavalry but he was subsequently made a Brigadier 
General and served under General Wheeler in the Johnston-Sherman 
campaign. After the war he was, as you may remember, Chief of Police 
in Savannah, in which position he was very efficient and did good 
service to the ctiy, but it was a small place for one before whom 
such large possibilities had once opened, for he had connections who 
would have assured his advancement in the army. He died in the very 
prime of life a disappointed man. 

I find myself writing of things out of their chronological order- 
thinking of one thing leads me on to another which would probably 
be forgotten if not set down then and there. When about nine or ten 
years of age I developed a passion for climbing, the motto "excelsior" 
seemed unconsciously to have been stamped on my brain for I never 
saw anything high without being seized with a desire to get on top 
of it, a fence, a stone wall, the side of a house, a tree, it made no 
matter what, if there was a way to climb it, I was sure to try it. 
Scarcely a day passed without my coming home with one or two 
rents in my garments from the indulgence of this habit. I was punished 
for it repeatedly and really did try to avoid tearing my clothes, but 
the climbing and the tearing kept on. One Saturday night I came home 
after an arduous day with a nice new suit literally in rags though I 
had no recollection of how it had gotten into that condition. Mother 
and Father had gone out to tea with friends, so the evil hour was 
postponed for me, but I went to sleep with many misgivings as to 
what the morrow would bring forth. I awoke at the crack of dawn 
and a sudden inspiration prompted me to hop out of bed, seize the 
unhappy suit and stuff it between the mattrasses out of sight. Then 
I got in bed once more and slept the sleep of the just until the usual 
time for getting up. Of course there was a great wonderment then 
as to where the clothes could possibly have gone to, also a search for 
them in every direction, during which I calmly awaited developments 
in my night apparel. When Peggy turned the mattrass in making up 
the bed the lost was found. I can see the look of despair on Mothers 
face as she lifted up the jacket and trousers and said to Father "What 
am I do do with this child?" There was a certain humor in the situa- 
tion which he saw— he replied "Well Eliza, whipping doesn't seem 
to do any good; suppose you try making him wear the suit as it is." 
I heard the verdict with mingled emotions, there was a certain sense 
of physical relief, yet also a feeling of shame at appearing thus arrayed 
in the dining room on a Sunday morning. I had it to do however and 
the mortification that it subjected me to worked beneficially in some 
mysterious manner, for while the climbing mania continued it was 
without ruin to my clothing. One very objectionable form of climb- 

29 



ing I took to with avidity— going up the masts of ships. The wharves 
of the city were always hned with sailing ships and it was my delight 
to go on board of these and climb up the rigging until a point was 
reached where there was no longer a rope to hold on to. It was a 
very dangerous thing for a little boy to undertake, a fall to the deck 
would have meant death and a fall overboard, drowning, for I could 
not swim. I was frightened every time I went yet would keep on. 
Father never spoke to me about this but he must have had some 
knowledge of it and I think it was what decided him to send me away 
to school at an unusually early age, that I might be removed from 
such dangers. He had some correspondence with a Mr Hand who had 
a school at a place called Orange Bluff on one of the Florida rivers, 
but he finally concluded that was too far off to send so young a child. 
Then he was approached by Rev Benjamin Burroughs the Pastor of 
the White Bluff Church, who owned and lived in the house at the 
Bluff that the Habersham family have occupied for so many years. 
Mr Burroughs had two sons near my own age that he wanted to 
educate at home and his plan was to take a few boys into his family 
and teach them altogether. He himself was a graduate of Princeton 
(both of college and seminary) so there was no lack of scholarship. 
He was one of a large family, children of an old merchant of the firm 
of Burroughs, & Sturgiss that flourished in Savannah two or three 
generations ago. The boys were Joseph H. William H. Oliver P. 
Henry K and Benjamin and the girls, Catherine, who was the first 
wife of Mr Charles Green, and Elizabeth who married a Dr Law and 
afterwards removed to Cincinnati. Oliver and Henry were Captains 
of the Georgia Hussars at different times, the latter also served one 
or more terms as Mayor of the city. By the way it could safely be 
counted upon that all persons in Savannah named "Henry K" in the 
first half of the last century were Henry Kollock, living monuments 
of the love and reverence entertained in the community for the 
Pastor of our old Independent Church. It was decided that I should 
go out to the Bluff for two or three days to see how I liked it, so one 
Friday afternoon in the Winter previous to my eleventh birthday I 
was sent out and remained until the following Monday. It was my first 
glimpse of real country life and I have never ceased to love it from 
that day to this. Then too the Vernon River took possession of me; I 
had never seen any other river except the Savannah, with its yellow 
muddy waters, and the sparkling blue of the Vernon fascinated me. 
Two or three very happy days were spent at the Bluff and of them 
all Sunday was the best. It was beautiful, crisp cool winter weather 
and the walk of two miles through the woods to the little country 
church was a great delight because of its novelty, especially the taking 

30 



off shoes and stockings to wade a little salt water creek that ran across 
the pathway, (thus avoiding an immense detour of about fifty yards 
to a point where we could have crossed dry shod on a plank). No 
such adventures ever happened on Bull Street. Jimmie and Willie 
Burroughs were my companions, country-bom boys who enjoyed 
initiating a green horn. At the church I was much interested in seeing 
the vehicles in which the congregation had assembled scattered around 
among the trees; the drivers rubbing down the horses; children hunt- 
ing for hickory nuts under a grand old tree that I learned to know 
well in the days that followed; the men all grouped around a spring 
gossiping until the final ringing of the bell called them all in together. 
It was all new to me and charming. Of the sermon of course I remem- 
ber nothing; but the choir, shall I ever forget it? half dozen or more 
stalwart fishermen— all Ritters and Keiffers— crowded into one pew 
and singing with an energy that made up for any artistic defects; the 
volume of sound was appalling. 

When I returned home and made my report it was definitely de- 
termined that in the early summer I should be the first scholar in 
the little school. 

IV 

In reviewing my life nothing strikes me more forcibly than the 
tremendous advances that have been made in the knowledge and 
application of natural laws within the last fifty or sixty years. It is as 
though man everywhere had suddenly awakened to a sense of his 
intellectural powers and was pressing onward to the domination of 
all physical forces after centuries of living almost upon a dead level 
of ignorance concerning them. I cannot better illustrate this than by 
telling of an incident of my boyhood, though the date has passed 
from my mind. I was always fond of witnessing experiments with 
philosophical apparatus while at school, and so when a celebrated 
lecturer upon Natural Philosophy came to Savannah, (I think it was 
Dr Dionysius Lardner), my father took me to hear him. The lecture 
was given in old Oglethorpe Hall on Bryan Street. I found it interest- 
ing in spots only, for the most of it was too deep for me but I did 
much enjoy the various demonstrations that were given with the air 
pump, the electric machine &c &c. Finally the lecturer said "I am 
about to show you the wonderful instrument with which Professor 
Morse has recently sent a message in a second of time from Baltimore 
to Washington." He then called attention to an old fashioned tele- 
graphic machine that was upon a table on our side of the stage con- 
nected by wires strung around the hall to a receiver on the other side, 
and explained the principles of the invention. Then looking down 

31 



into the audience he pointed his finger directly at me and said "Will 
that little boy come up and help me." Much embarrassed by the 
publicity, yet proud of having been selected, I went up on the stage, 
was stationed at the receiver which the Professor instructed me how 
to manage. He then went to the transmitter and sent a message of a 
few words which I received at my end of the line. Thus I was the 
recipient of probably the first telegraphic message ever sent in the 
city of Savannah. The use of electricity before that day was confined 
almost entirely to the laboratory and the lecture platform; now, it 
enters into almost every interest of life; it furnishes light, heat and 
power for untold millions of people; it is the hand-maid of every art 
and science; by it we converse with distant nations, under the seas; 
and most marvelous of all, through its instrumentality we send thought 
pulsating through the air across the broad ocean without the aid of 
any other less subtle medium. And all of this has been done within 
the span of one human life. Really when one considers what has been 
accomplished in the last half century for the convenience and comfort 
of mankind it becomes a serious question how the race got along 
without the thousand and one things that are now counted absolutely 
necessary to civilization. I remember when the longest Railroads in 
the United States were those running from Charleston to Augusta and 
from Savannah to Macon; when the very names telegraph & telephone 
were unknown; when sewing machines and photographs were yet in 
the dim future; when the bicycle and trolley car and automobile 
might have been dreamed of by some wild visionary, (like the writer 
of Mother Shipton's lines,) but had no more tangible existence. And 
yet the world did get on very comfortably without such things and 
it may reasonably be questioned whether the sum of human happiness 
has been added to by these inventions. In commercial life while facility 
of communication almost in an hour with any part of the world has 
greatly broadened the sphere of mans activities it is equally sure that 
it has in large degree increased anxiety and solicitude. My mind leans 
also to the belief that the general tendency of the age, because of 
this ever widening of physical domain, is toward materialism at the 
expense of the spiritual and ethical side of man's nature. This would 
seem the natural result of an awakening to the limitless capacity of 
the intellect; but I regard the tendency as transitory rather than per- 
manent and I believe that with the passage of time there will come 
a juster and truer sense of proportion, a realization that spirit is above 
matter and that man's noblest powers of mind can only be put forth 
in co-ordination with and in subjection to the divine essence breathed 
into him when he became a living soul. It is fascinating to meditate 
upon what the race might become and what it might accomplish under 

32 



such conditions of perfect harmony between every part of its being, 
but the subject is too big to be handled here, neither is it in accord 
with the aim of these memoirs. Since writing the above it has occurred 
to me that the Professor who introduced me to the telegraph could 
not have been Dr Lardner for his lectures, I now recall, were delivered 
in the Theatre. And thinking of him I am reminded that, great scientist 
as he was, he made the coUossal mistake of prophesying that the diffi- 
culties in the way of crossing the Atlantic by steam would never be 
overcome. There used to be among my books "Lardners Lectures 
on Science and Art" and you will find this sage forecast there. 

Early in the summer of 1848 the plan of sending me out to White 
Bluff to "live and learn" in the Burroughs family was carried into 
effect and about the same time Sister was entered as a pupil in the 
school for girls at Montpelier some twelve miles or so North of Macon. 
This celebrated institution was under the direct care of Rt Rev 
Stephen Elliott, Episcopal Bishop of Georgia one of the finest charac- 
ters I ever knew. Of course I was not thrown with him then and had 
I been, my judgment was too immature at that early period of life 
to form any just estimate of him. But he lived until after the war of 
Secession and it was my privilege to be his acquaintance for several 
years after attaining my majority. 

He was a singularly handsome man, very tall, straight as an arrow, 
broad shouldered and imposing in form, with a face in which one 
knew not which most to admire, the classic beauty of features or the 
winning expression of benignity that it habitually wore. Courteous and 
grave in manner yet with a sweet humor that made the humblest feel 
at ease in his presence; a scholar of high rank and above all a noble 
Christian gentleman who adorned the faith he professed. I have always 
thought of him as among the foremost products of our old Southern 
civilization; very much such a man indeed in general character as was 
Robert E Lee. The two were marked by the same simple dignity of 
bearing, the same perfect poise under all circumstances as though 
nothing could shake them from the serene possession of their own 
souls. In the pulpit the Bishop had a certain presence that none will 
forget who ever saw him there; the hearer was impressed at once with 
the sense of a combination in him of intellectual power and deep 
spirituality. He was not an impassioned orator, his delivery being quiet, 
almost conversational in its tone, but there was a scholarly elegance of 
diction, a felicitous choice of words, and a faithful setting forth of 
gospel truth that are tenderly remembered to this day all over the 
State of Georgia. Of his influence upon the young girls who were 
pupils of the Montpelier school it is impossible to speak too highly. 
He made God fearing, duty-loving women of them. It was an in- 

33 



fluence similar in character to that of Arnold at Rugby; the girls were 
made to feel the personal touch of his ripe mind and pious nature and 
through them, in their later role of good wives and faithful mothers, 
his impress has come down to the present generation. Bishop Elliott 
was President of the Georgia Historical Society at the time of his 
death and I remember hearing an address from him to the Society 
delivered in its old hall on Bryan street some two or three years 
after the close of the warJ It was a time of deep depression all over 
the South; the old landmarks had been swept away; almost every 
home was a "house of mourning;" society was in a chaotic condition; 
there seemed no future for our section and something like hopelessness 
was in many hearts. The good Bishop did not minimize the evils under 
which we labored but pointed out that relief from them was to be 
found only in holding fast to the things that are good and true, in 
keeping up the old standards of faith and honor and in resolutely de- 
termining not to swim with any current that would carry us away 
from them. 

In my minds eye I can see him now as he sat in the Presidents chair 
reading this address to a deeply attentive audience; a grand old man, 
a mentor that any community might well be proud of. Among Sisters 
schoolmates at Montpelier were your Aunt Elizabeth Hardee, Bonnie 
Monroe of Macon (afterwards Mrs John M Kell) Miss Kitty Stiles, 
Mrs Fred Habersham, Mrs. Cann, (I think,) Miss Callie Sosnowski, to 
whom Susie went to school at Athens, and many others whose names 
would mean nothing to you, though I have clear memory of them. 
I believe most of them have her in their hearts to this day though she 
has been dead for fifty six years. 

The day of my departure from home for White Bluff is vividly 
in my mind. I arose very early in the morning although the carriage 
was not to come for me until five or six o'clock in the afternoon. 
At first I was all excitement and eagerness to start but as the day 
went on some true idea of what the move meant began to dawn upon 
me. Early in the afternoon "Monday," the faithful Negro who always 
acted as mail carrier and freight agent between the Burroughs place 
and the city, called for my small belongings and as I saw them packed 
away in the wagon there was a sinking of the heart that I was care- 
ful to keep to myself. After all, it was only a little boy of eleven 



7. A Reply to a Resolution of the Georgia Historical Society, Read Before 
the Society at its Anniversary Meeting, February 12th, 1866, by Rt. Rev. 
Stephen Elliott, president of the Society. Published at the request of the 
Society (Savannah, 1866). 



34 



years old who was thus leaving the nest where he had always been 
so tenderly sheltered and cared for and that there should have been 
a slight shrinking when the actual moment came is not surprising. 
At the appointed time the two Burrough boys, Jimmie and WilUe, 
drove up to the door, good byes were said, an I was fairly started 
for four years of life in a family where there awaited me an affection 
that almost equalled that of my dear parents. Our little journey 
ended just about night fall and at the very last minute we came 
near serious disaster. A black thunder cloud had followed us during 
the last mile or two of the drive and as we reached the front of the 
house, which you remember as very close to the river, there came 
a terrific blaze of lightning and a simultaneous crash of thunder 
that was appalling. Our horse was very much frightened and dashed 
straight down the sloping bluff; we should have been in the river, 
horse, carriage, boys and all, in another two seconds but for the 
courage and readiness of Jimmie who never lost his head for a 
moment but with great skill got control of old "State Rights" and 
brought him back again to the level road. The lightning shattered 
an enormous oak tree not very far from us and we three boys were 
so severely shocked that we did not recover from a peculiar numbness 
until the next morning. Later in life I was even closer to death by 
lightning at Fort Pulaski having been thrown down and made 
unconscious for a little while. It is not a pleasant experience and I 
have no desire to repeat it. Both Mr and Mrs Burroughs received me 
with the utmost kindness. She took me in her arms and kissed me as 
I entered the room in which she was sitting. I loved her from that 
moment and her memory will be dear to me so long as I live. In 
spite of the warm welcome a great feeling of loneliness came over 
me when my little room was reached and I cried myself to sleep. 

At that time the Burroughs family consisted of the father and 
mother and the following children: James Powell, who was about 
a year older than I, Richard F Williams, a few months younger, 
and then the girls Rosa Thirza, (whom you recognize of course as 
"Aunt Rosa,") Laura Isabella, and Clara Elizabeth. I thought myself 
a marvel of erudition in pointing out to Mr Burroughs that his 
daughters were all 'nouns of the first declension, ending in a." 

Mrs Burroughs was the daughter of old Mr Richard Williams, 
(who owned Bumsides Island,) and the sister of Mr Tom Williams 
whom you knew in his later years at Montgomery. She was a woman 
of a deep and unaffected piety that governed every action of her 
life; gentle and kind of heart she shed a sweet influence wherever 
she moved. One of God's Saints indeed, whose dear face I hope to 

35 



see again. From neither her nor her husband did I receive a harsh 
word, nor even an impatient one, during the whole of the four years 
of my sojourn with them; they treated me as one of their own sons 
and my own parents could not have been more tender and kind. 
The Burroughs place was really a small plantation though nothing 
was sent to market except the products of the dairy. The fields and 
gardens provided nearly everything that was needed for the support 
of the establishment— corn, potatoes, pease, millet, sugar cane, vege- 
tables of all kinds, melons, fruits &c &c. While from the river there 
was an abundant supply of fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters. Hogs 
Avere raised for the winter supply of meat. A well filled poultry yard 
■was another resource, and a fine herd of milch cows stocked the 
■dairy profusely. The cattle were lorded over by two magnificent 
foulls "Pippit" and "Billy Gibbons," deady rivals who never came 
{together without a clash of arms that was thrilling and awe in- 
:spiring to witness. Roaming over fields known as the Vaucluse plan- 
tation were a number of "marsh tackeys" the name given to a pe- 
culiarly hardy breed of ponies and these furnished elegant mounts 
for boys. Back of the home was a very large yard in which were 
fnany grand old pine trees that must have been part of the virgin 
forest, and on each side of it were the various farm buildings, bams, 
•stables, carriage houses, sugar mill &c. Beyond was the woodland 
and in the shade of the trees the Negro quarters were located. These 
were presided over by two venerable old darlings, Tony and Lisette, 
whose children were Monday, Jim, John, Tony, Caesar, Billy, Phillis 
:and Clarinda. Albert was the blacksmith and carpenter, also the general 
utility man— his wife Jane the laundress and manager of the dairy 
{though in my opinion, at that time, her most important functions 
were the making and setting of ginger cakes; all my spare money 
went to her in exchange for these delicacies). Leah and her daughter 
Emma, another Jane and Onesimus were the house servants and there 
were a number of piccannies whose names I have forgotten. 

The system of government on the place was patriarchal the master 
at the "big house" being not only the fountain of authority, but the 
source of counsel advice and help as well. The Negroes were com- 
fortably clothed housed and fed, proper medical attention was pro- 
vided for them in sickness and the labor required of them was well 
within their powers. I have a very kindly remembrance of these 
humble people who were always good to me, ready to help any of 
us in our sports, responsive to any requests that were made of them. 
Albert, the blacksmith and carpenter, was the possessor of two not- 
.able "coon dogs" and on Friday nights during the winter season, 

36 



when the weather was clear and cold, we boys were permitted to 
go out with him coon and 'possum hunting. Fridays were selected 
because the next day was a holiday and we had no lessons to prepare. 
What joy there was in those excursions, such a sense of adventure 
and freedom in walking the dark woods at night, a little timid per- 
haps when the hooting of owls would break upon the stillness in the 
sardonic manner peculiar to that bird, but not willing to miss it 
for worlds. And then the wild rush through thickets and briars and 
tangled underbrush as the distant baying of the dogs proclaimed 
that the game had been "treed;" everybody excited, everybody whoop- 
ing and yelling, the blood at fever heat in spite of the cold the whole 
body thrilled with an exhilaration that mine has been a stranger 
to for many a long year past. When the tree was reached under 
which the dogs were barking a fire would be built to throw light on 
the situation, and a council of war held to decide how to get at the 
game. If th€ tree happened to be small it would be cut down, but if, 
as was more frequently the case, it was a very large one the solution 
of the difficulty was not so easy. Albert was a very expert climber 
however, and up he would go in a way that always astonished me; 
he attacked the biggest pines, trees around which his arms could not 
go halfway, and somehow or other would worm his way up and 
shake his coonship from the limb on which it had taken refuge. 
As the animal touched the ground the dogs would be upon it and 
a most exciting battle royal begun, for the coon is a savage fighter, 
often more than a match for a single dog; a 'possum on the contrary 
makes no resistance but simulates death and the dogs let it alone. 
Long after midnight the hunt would be kept up and when we crept 
up to our beds in "the wee sma' hours" it may be imagined that we 
were all ready for the deep, dreamless sleep that belongs to youth. 
For quite a long while the Burroughs boys and I had no other com- 
panions, but later we were joined by Aleck Wright, Joe Weed, John 
Ferrill and Bob Campbell. I am not at all sure that my advance in 
studies at this little school, during the four years of my stay there, 
was as great as it would have been in a larger school. I was some- 
what ahead of the other boys and lacked therefore the stimulus that 
competition would have furnished, but I received education in many 
ways that would not have been possible in a city and which have 
been exceedingly useful to me all my life long. I learned to ride and 
drive well, to swim with ease, how to use a gun safely, to work with 
tools, and to find my way through the woods. The powers of observa- 
tion were quickened and a certain self reliance attained, than which 
nothing is more valuable. A love for nature grew and strengthened 

37 



within me. I gained a knowledge of animals and especially of birds. 
All these things while the moral influences about me were high 
and pure. Religion entered largely into the daily life of the Burroughs 
family; prayers were held morning and evening, attendance upon 
the church and weekly prayer meetings was strictly required and we 
were encouraged in learning many of the hymns of the church by 
heart. We used to sing one or another of these every night; they 
have remained by me to this day and have been a comfort and 
blessing to me always. Mr Burroughs took a great deal of trouble 
in teaching me to ride. He was an excellent horseman himself and 
would frequently make excursions about the country visiting the 
more distant parts of his lands, or calling upon his parishioners. On 
such occasions we boys would often ride with him and great fun 
it was for our leader never hesitated about leaving the roads and 
making short cuts through the woods. My special mount was a pony 
named "Whalebone"— no very great beauty but a good goer and 
I was very proud of him especially after your grandfather had sent 
me a fine outfit in the way of saddle, bridle and spurs. I was pro- 
vided with a good gun too. Mr Burroughs had turned over to me 
an old flint-rock "fusee," (fusil,) that was about as long as I was, 
a weapon that had probably seen service in the old French war. 
I admired it greatly, but father thought it rather dangerous for me 
to handle so old a piece so he bought me a beautiful little double 
barrelled fowling piece with powder flask and shot bag to go with 
it and in so doing made me the happiest boy in Chatham County. 
A neighbor of ours was Mr Patrick Houstoun whose plantation, 
"Rosedhu," was about three miles from the Bluff. He was a hneal 
descendant of old Sir Patrick of colonial times, whose grave you 
may have seen in the old South Broad Street Cemetery. He was 
rather a rough diamond but good hearted, a "hail fellow," possessing 
the characteristics that always will attract boys. The finest water- 
melons in the county were grown on that plantation and when the 
right season came around a desire to visit 'Sir" Patrick was pretty 
sure to seize us. A warm welcome was always given and each of us 
would be told to pick out the biggest melon in the pile. We were 
regaled too on molasses and water of a most delightful quality; it 
was different in taste from any brand that I was familiar with and 
was particularly agreeable to my palate. One summer afternoon at 
prayer meeting, which was held at the Manse, I had ensconced myself 
in a seat next a door opening out on the side piazza— (selected be- 
cause out of range of the ministers vision in case of my getting 
sleepy). "Sir" Patrick had similar ideas, and standing just outside 

38 



of the door he whispered to me to let him have the seat. I was willing 
to do so "for a consideration" and sold it to him then and there for 
a bottle of that choice molasses. The debt was honorably paid when 
we next went over to Rosedhu. 

Residing at the upper end of the Bluff was the family of the 
Williams, a daughter of old Mr David Adams of Skidaway and the 
widow of Mr Eben WilUams. She was a woman of simple, dignified 
manner, with aristocratic features that irresistably attracted attention 
in whatsoever circle she happened to be thrown. She must have been 
an exceedingly handsome woman in her youth; as it was, I always 
thought her beautiful for her face was ever the index of a kind and 
loving heart. She was related to the Burroughs boys, (a distant cousin- 
ship, I believe,) who called her "Aunt Alargaret," and pretty soon 
I found myself claiming the relationship also. During the whole of 
my life at the Bluff she was very good to me and I liked nothing 
better than to spend a quiet hour in her httle parlor talking with her 
and overhauling a fine old copy of Hogarths works that happened 
to be among her books. Her family consisted of one daugher, Mar- 
garet, and five sons, Frank, Henry, Edgar, Annello and Eben, all of 
whom have passed away. Looking back, as I am doing now, it startles 
me at times to realize how many of those with whom my life began 
have gone. Kindred and friends one after another have traveled the 
same road until now there are more upon "the other side of the river" 
than on this. I speak of it as a startlmg thought, yet that is scarcely 
the word to describe it, for there has come to me a sense of the 
naturalness of death and of its being only the point of transition 
from one stage of existence to another. Old age gives to me the com- 
forting reflection that though a few more years may be granted me 
I am still not far from the blessed meetings beyond. I must tell you 
of a sad bereavement that was sent upon the Burroughs family while 
I was with them. Little Laura, the second daughter was a very attrac- 
tive child with pretty features, a rich complexion soft eyes and a 
winsome disposition. She was the pet of the household, the very 
last for whom a tragic fate could have been anticipated. Yet it came 
upon her in a moment of time. Her parents had driven out to visit 
some of the church people who lived out on the Montgomery cross 
roads and in their absence the little girls had gone by permission to 
see the Creamer children whose home was on the upper reach of the 
river. Just there the bluff had been badly washed and was almost 
perpendicular. At its foot was a broad stretch of beautiful sandy beach 
and there the children went to play. While digging houses in the sand 
the bluff suddenly caved and fell upon them covering several of 

39 



them more or less. Rosa and Laura were entirely out of sight; the 
former was near the surface however and managing to get one hand 
out was rescued by Eben Williams and the other children but poor 
little Laura could not be found by them and when help arrived she 
was quite dead. I was reading on the piazza of the main house when 
I heard the commotion, and running to see what was the matter 
met a group of the neighbors bearing the dear little body. It was 
the first time the mystery of sudden death had ever been brought 
home to me and the shock of it was very great; it was difficult for 
the mind to accept the fact that the sweet little girl with whom I had 
played and jested but an hour before had ceased to be. 

Leah, the head house servant was about the only one on the 
premises who retained any self possession for we were all in an 
intense state of excitement half beside ourselves with terror and grief. 
She took charge of things however; she hurried "Daddy" Albert off 
to the city, on horseback, for a physician, thinking the poor Mother 
would need one on her return and sent me on another horse to 
ride in haste to recall the parents. While she labored vainly with 
hot blankets and restoratives to bring back animation to the little 
form. I met the rockaway before riding a mile; it came flying, the 
horse on a full run, and the vehicle surging dangerously from side 
to side. Mr Burroughs had already received word of the calamity 
from Albert; he was plying the whip ceaselessly, his face fixed and 
ashy while his wife sat beside him weeping and wringing her hands. 
As they flashed by me he flung out the wailing cry, "O Charles is 
Rosa dead too?" Poor, poor people, how my heart bled to see their 
agony. I bowed over on the horses neck and wept and prayed for 
them as I had never prayed in my life before. Many, many years 
have passed since that unhappy day and the father and mother have 
been long in heaven with their sweet little daughter, but to this hour 
I cannot think of their sorrow without deep emotion. It was a sad 
household that night and for months afterwards yet Time, the great 
healer brings relief for even such wounds— a merciful providence 
that it is so for if sorrow ever retained its first sharpness the cumu- 
lative troubles of life would soon make it not worth living. 

A sister of Mrs Burrough's was Mrs Kingsley Gibbs whose husband 
owned Fort George Island at the mouth of the St John's River 
Florida, and worked it as a plantation. She was kind enough to invite 
Jimmie, Willie and myself to spend one of our Autumn vacations 
there, an invitation that was accepted with cheerful alacrity. I doubt 
if there were ever three happier boys than we were during those two 
months. We carried our guns with us and a plentiful supply of am- 

40 



munition; then a fine boat was put at our disposal, each of us was 
furnished with a pony to ride and three or four little darkies were 
given us as retainers for a time, to their very great deilght. They 
went with us on our hunting trips, took turns with us in rowing, 
carried the game bags &c &c. The truth is we were all "jolly vaga- 
bonds" together without a care in the world and nothing to do but 
to enjoy ourselves. The Island was a beautiful one, semi-tropical in 
its foliage and fronting the sea. There was a magnificent broad beach 
of firm sand about four miles long and this was the gathering place 
of innumerable aquatic birds— gannets, curlews, pelicans, gulls of many 
varieties, sheer waters, frigate birds and others that I did not know. 
Whenever we came upon one of these assemblages it was our custom 
to charge down upon it at full speed yelling like wild Indians. The 
birds would rise in a dense cloud frightened and angry and then such 
squawking and cries I never heard before or since. I do not exag- 
gerate in saying that acres of the beach were covered by the birds. 
Yet it is said that now they have been so hunted and slaughtered 
to supply plumes and feathers for millinery that scarcely one of them 
is to be seen save in the most remote places. At one point back of 
the beach there was a shallow lagoon of brackish water where the 
sea had broken through at some time and filled a hollow in the sand. 
Here one day we saw an alligator of considerable size on the op- 
posite side from ourselves. We let fly at him across the lagoon though 
the guns were only loaded with bird shot. One of these must have 
penetrated the eye, (it could have hurt him in no other way,) for 
he gave a great bellow and lashed the water with his tail. Then we 
three youngsters, fired by a noble ambition, went around to the 
other side of the lagoon, waded in the water nearly up to our middles 
until we were close enough to the 'gator to ensure the loads of shot 
going in wads like bullets, fired in a volley at his head and ran for 
the shore like good fellows. This notable performance was repeated 
two or three times until we were satisfied the prey was dead, when 
we hauled him out on the beach by the tail. He measured nine feet 
in length and why he had not destroyed or badly injured us I cannot 
tell. Certainly our action was foolhardy in the extreme and we were 
soundly scolded for it by Mrs Gibbs. I suppose boys always will take 
risks that grown people would never dream of doing— it's their way 
of gaining experience. In addition to his planting interest Mr Gibbs 
had an extensive saw mill on the Florida main land called "Maypoint 
Mills," that I understand is now quite a considerable place. Here he 
had a store for supplying the wants of the mill hands and when we 
first went to visit him there he said "Boys here's the cracker barrel^ 

41 



there's the butter firkin and there the sugar barrel, help yourselves 
when you want to." Could anything have been more soothing to three 
healthy boys who were always hungry? It goes without saying that 
there was no occasion to repeat the invitation. Mr Gibbs was an un- 
usually quiet man with easy manners and a soft low voice but he 
was brave to an extreme degree as the following facts will demon- 
strate. Some three or four years before our visit in the midst of a 
terrific September gale, a passenger steamer, the "Mutual Safety," 
plying between New Orleans and New York, went ashore in the 
breakers off Fort George Island. Her boats were smashed by the 
waves and there was every prospect of an awful loss of life for the 
steamer was beginning to break up. Mr Gibbs saw the peril the poor 
people were in, and did not hesitate an instant in going to their relief. 
Manning a large boat that he owned with a crew from the plantation 
Negroes, he made his way through the raging surf, in the face of 
the fierce gale, out to the unfortunate vessel and brought boat load 
after boat load in safety to the shore, until every soul on board had 
been rescued. It was a deed of humane daring that could not be 
surpassed, requiring not only cool, uncalculating bravery but a high 
measure of physical strength and nautical skill as well. He guided the 
entire company to his house and kept them there for two or three 
days providing for the wants until arrangements could be made to 
get them away. Mrs Gibbs told me that at night they all slept on 
the floors all over the house like sardines in a box. If course this 
incident did not come under my personal notice "I tell it as 'twas 
told to me" but I did see the beautiful service of silver, suitably en- 
graved, that the grateful passengers sent to their deliverer after they 
reached New York, and I sat often upon a part of the frame work 
of the ship that had been thrown up on the beach. 

Time passed all too quickly on this idyllic island; each day brought 
new pleasures and I remember the entire visit as one of the most 
delightful episodes of my life; there was a spice of romance about 
it that all surroundings helped to foster, and to which my nature 
readily responded. In one of our rambles through a jungle of tropical 
growth that bordered on the beach, we came upon a crumbling old 
tomb built of "tabby," (a concrete of oyster shells and lime,) that 
quite fascinated me. Only a few fragments of the slab that had formed 
the door were scattered about among the dense undergrowth, but 
over the gaping entrance was a stone bearing a coat of arms and, 
if memory serves me, an inscription in Spanish. Peering through the 
gateway we could see naught save the very blackness of darkness 
that we were much too cautious to attempt to penetrate. Perhaps 



42 



it was just as well that a wise discretion was exercised in this regard 
for only a few days afterwards a large cougar was seen on the 
island and it was thought that the old tomb had been its hiding place. 
Dogs were put on its trail but it escaped by swimming over to the 
main land. No one on Fort George knew anything of the history 
of this old structure. Mr Gibbs said that his father who had owned 
the plantation before him was equally ignorant of its origin. It evi- 
dently marked the resting place of one of the early Spanish settlers 
of high degree perhaps of a follower of Ponce de Leon's in his search 
for the fountain of perpetual youth. I have often wished that I had 
made a drawing of the stone with its emblazonment— it would be in- 
teresting to try to trace therefrom the family name of him who lay 
beneath it. 

I recall with pleasure a delightful trip we took on the St Johns 
River one day. Mr Gibbs had occasion to go to Jacksonville on some 
business and availed himself of the opportunity of sailing up in a 
fine brig that had stopped at Mayport Mills en route to the city. 
He invited us to go with him and a charming sail we had of it up 
that beautiful river. We reached Jacksonville just before dark, and 
one of the first things we heard was that there had been a big fire 
there the night previous in which "Mrs Maxey's house was burned." 
She was the mother of Mr Tom Maxey and the grandmother of Mrs 
Bell. I have no definite recollections of the town-it was a quiet enough 
place in those days very different from the thriving city of today. 
Nor can I remember whether we went ashore to sleep or remained 
on board the brig. The next day we returned to Fort George in the 
plantation boat rowed by Mr Gibb's negroes who sang the whole 
way down the river, a distance of over twenty five miles. I believe 
there was even more enjoyment in this way of traveling than in the 
larger craft. We were close down to the surface of the water and 
could better appreciate the great width of the lovely stream. In due 
time the finest vacation comes to an end and whether we three liked 
it or not we had to get back to our studies at the bluff before in- 
clination would have taken us there. I left Fort George and the kind 
people who had been so good to me, with many promises to return, 
which circumstances never permitted me to fulfil. It was a Southern 
home of the old type yet having features peculiar to itself because 
of location. Life there was far away from the rush of the world; 
simple, unaffected, kind and happy I think it more nearly approached 
the ideal than any I have ever known. Let me speak of an incident 
that writing of this visit brings to my mind. Among the pilots and 
towboat captains who were generally congregated at Mayport Mills 



43 



was a certain Captain Willie who was, without exception, the most 
blasphemous and profane man I have ever been thrown in contact 
with. He seemed to exercise a devilish ingenuity in formulating the 
most horrible oaths that fairly made my blood curdle; he frightened 
me with them. Well I came away and certainly did not expect ever 
to hear his foul tongue again, but in the summer of 1863 I was carry- 
ing a force of 500 men under my command down to Morris Island 
in Charleston Harbor to reinforce Battery Wagner. As we drew near 
to the landing place something went wrong in the management of the 
steamer, and I heard in the darkness, from some one near me on the 
hurricane deck, a stream of the most dreadful profanity. It touched 
a chord in memory and walking up to the man, whose face could not 
be seen I asked him, "Isn't your name Willie?" "Yes," he replied 
"but how did you know me?" "/ heard you swear when I was a boy" 
was my reply and it is good to know that it penetrated even that 
thick hide for not another word came from him. 

There is little more to add of my stay in the Burroughs family 
which to the end remained as it began marked by strong affection 
and kindly regard. Its influence upon mind and heart, upon the 
physical and the moral nature, was all for good and I find as I draw 
near the evening of life there comes a clearer perception of the 
blessing it has been to me all my days. It would not do to leave this 
period without telling my one ghost story. I have always been fond 
of hearing and reading tales of the supernatural though without 
one particle of belief in them; many times I have taken part in at- 
tempts to get into communication with "spirits" through the medium 
of table tipping but not once has the table responded and I am forced 
to the conclusion that there must be something in me that disturbs 
the harmony always required by dealers in the occult for the pro- 
duction of such manifestations. On one occasion for a little while I 
thought myself face to face with an appearance not of this world 
and it must be confessed that I was a badly scared boy. All one 
Saturday I had been out hunting on the Vaucluse Plantation and 
just in the gloaming was taking a diagonal cut across a deserted field 
in which was an old tumbed-down overseer's house, standing about 
fifty yards off the road. On the other side of the road was the 
church with its graveyard and near by another private burial place 
of former owners of the Plantation. Under such conditions it was 
not possible for the negroes in that locality to refrain from calling 
the old house haunted and they had told me many stories of strange 
sights and sounds there. These all rushed to my mind as approaching 
nightfall found me near the awful place, I was entirely alone, two 

44 



railes or so away from home and only a little boy of 13 years, 
so it will be forgiven me if confession is made of a beating heart and 
a strong tendency to quicken the pace. Glancing up at a window 
in the gable end of the house it was a relief to see nothing but dark- 
ness but a slight noise induced another look and then to my horror 
I saw the thing. A little old man was standing with his head on one 
side looking gravely down upon me. He wore a high crowned hat 
flaring at the top, a long white beard came down to his knees, his legs 
were spindling the whole figure not more than three feet high, if 
that much, in every line the perfect form of the gnomes I had read 
about in fairy books. Can it be doubted that there was a panic stricken 
boy? My first impulse was to throw up my gun and shoot him, a blind 
instinct of self defence; the next was to run with all the power there 
was left in me; and then the old man tossed his head, stamped with 
his foot and bleated. He was the patriarch of a flock of goats that 
had taken possession of the house. Standing end on to the window 
his body had been hidden in the darkness, his horns made the hat, 
his beard and legs were real and my imagination supplied the rest. 
Had I run away before the explanation I should probably be holding 
the belief to this day that I had been in touch with the supernatural. 

In the latter years of my stay at White Bluff your grandfather 
concluded to buy a house of his own. After considerable searching 
for one that suited to the family requirements he was fortunate 
enough to find the one that the family purchased on the South side 
of Broughton Street two doors east of Habersham. It was thoroughly 
renovated and furnished and a most delightful home it made for us 
all. The house was a large double one, two stories on a high brick 
basement. There was a large yard and a commodious stable and car- 
riage house with bins for feed and a loft for storage. We had several 
fine orange trees in full bearing and a garden that was a joy to each 
of us especially to my dear father whose love for plants and flowers 
seemed to increase with this opportunity for indulging it. An added 
pleasure to the location was that Mr and Mrs Veader, (Miss Charlotte 
Reynolds that was) bought the house next door to us on the Corner 
of Habersham, so we had dear friends as neighbors from the very 
beginning. 

In these congenial surroundings my parents looked forward to the 
evening of their days happily, in the companionship of their children, 
but it was not to be. They certainly were happy there yet the end 
of the family life was nearer at hand than any of us could have 
dreamed. 

45 



In the spring of 1852 my sojourn in the Burroughs household 
came to an end and I am glad to remember that parting from the 
dear people who had watched over and cared for me with tender 
solicitude for four long years, filled me with grief. As I got in the 
carriage to leave the house, Mrs Burroughs kissed me and put into 
my hands a lovely letter expressive of her warm affection, of her 
hope for my future, and full of sweet counsel as to my bearing 
toward God. Surely, when I come to reckon up the blessings that 
have been vouchsafed to me in life I should count the influence and 
love of that gentle lady as among the greatest. She lived only a year 
or two after that and Mr Burroughs died in 1854; neither of them 
more than middle aged. 

After leaving the Bluff I spent two or three months at home before 
being sent off to a larger school. Sister returned from Montpelier 
at the same time so we were all united again and as happy as people 
get to be in this world. The question as to where we should go for 
further education was discussed in family conclave and it was decided 
that Sister should be sent for a year or more to a finishing school 
for young ladies in New Haven Conn, boarding meanwhile in the 
family of Miss Harriet Peck there (a friend of Father's). I may say 
that the arrangement proved an admirable one in every way; the 
school was a particularly thorough one and Miss Harriet kindness 
itself. Sister met, too, a good many of the Professors of Yale Col- 
lege; she lived in a fine literary atmosphere and its stimulating effect 
upon her good mind was very great. Few girls of her age attain a 
higher degree of mental culture. 

I was sent to the Georgia Military Institute that had been recently 
established at A-Iarietta under the Superintendency of Major A. V. 
Brumby an old Army officer from Alabama. He was the father of 
the "Tom" Brumby who was in later years, under Admiral Dewey, 
to open the fight in Alanila Bav that ended in the destruction of the 
Spanish fleet. Tom was born while I was at Marietta and I held him 
in my arms as a little baby many times scarcely realizing that he would 
grow to be a man of national repute. 

Several Savannah boys were already at the Institute and two others 
went up with me, George Turner and Theodore McFarland. On the 
way we stopped one night at Atlanta at a famous old hotel that was 
kept by a Mr Thompson, or "Colonel" Thompson, as he was called 
from one end of Georgia to the other. He was quite a character, 
abounding in a certain rough humor and good fellowship. Finding 
out where we boys were going he entertained us by enlarging upon 
the hard times that were ahead of us; I think however that we were 

46 



not needlessly alarmed. His son Harvey was a Cadet at Marietta at 
that time and he and I became quite good friends later on, though 
he was one class above me. Atlanta was not then the bustling, thriving 
city of the present day; indeed it was a sorry looking place and in my 
mind, for years, it seemed always associated with rain and a super 
abundance of red-clay mud. In the many times I passed through it 
as a Cadet it was generally raining; of course it just happened so and 
the city has as much sunshine and brightness as any other, but that 
was the impression made upon me. I had little thought of what a 
metropolis it would become nor that in a few years I would be com- 
manding a regiment in it's defence on the old red hills that surround 
the town. 

On reaching the Institute at Marietta Major Brumby received us 
kindly and the three of us were assigned temporarily to a room 
occupied by Alexander Butler and Tom Carmody, both Savannah 
boys. The only hazing that I remember was in the form of a mild 
practical joke on our first night in quarters. After "taps" at night 
the rooms were all visited by inspecting officers to see that the Cadets 
were in bed, lights out, water in the buckets in case of fire, &c &c. 
Well— we three green ones were told that a formal standing, military 
salute was required of each occupant of the room as the inspector 
came in. So when he entered on this occasion his lantern shone on 
three small figures standing erect at the "attention," in their shirt- 
tails, with hands raised to the forehead in salute. He snickered a little 
at the sight but recovered dignity and with a gruff military air gave 
the order, "Return to your beds." That was the beginning and end 
of our hazing— it was innocent enough. In fact I cannot recall a single 
instance, during my four years at the G.M.I, of any joke played on 
new Cadets that had in it anything more objectionable than the one 
related; there was nothing to give pain to the body or mortification 
to a sensitive mind; such as we have heard of in latter years at 
West Point and Annapolis. How well I recall the thrill that came 
over me at being awakened by the roll of the drums at the first 
morning's reveillee; it seemed to so emphasize the fact of my having 
begun a military Hfe, and there are few boys who would not find 
a charm in that. It is an inspiring "call" any way especially when made 
upon the bugle. In army life I used to take delight in listening to it 
as it broke out on the crisp morning air, first near by, then farther 
and farther away as regiment after regiment took it up until the notes 
would come like faint echoes, just as Tennyson so beautifully de- 
scribes in his "Bugle Song." 

47 



The G.M.I, was located on a high hill about half or three quarters 
of a mile away from the little town of A4arietta. Beyond the town, 
some three miles or so, old Kenesaw Mountain reared its twin sum- 
mit (a mountain that has many associations in my mind both of peace 
and war; some of my happiest days and some of the most trying were 
passed beneath its shadows.) To the North East was Black Jack 
Mountain, and far off on the distant horizon a faint dark line marked 
the Southern end of the Blue Ridge. Lost Mountain stood out clearly 
against the sky some eight or ten miles to the West while in the 
South East we could see the great rock known as Stone Mountain. 
I had been brought up in the flat country of the sea coast where 
the bluff at Savannah was the only thing in the shape of a hill of 
which I had any knowledge, so the grand outlook from the Institute 
grounds had always a fascination for me to the very end of my stay 
there. 

The buildings of the school were not specially impressive yet my 
memory of them is tender and doubtless the sentiment is shared by 
many old gentlemen through the Southern states who there learned 
the lessons that were to serve us all in such good stead during the 
stormy days of our early manhood. The recitation halls were in a large 
brick building that crowned the summit of the hill and running at 
right angles from this were two streets of frame dormitories, the 
quarters of Companies A and B. The mess hall, cannon-house, com- 
missary, hospital and Professors' house were conveniently grouped 
and in front of all stretched the great parade and camping ground. 

Capt James W Robertson was the Commandant of Cadets at that 
time, and a very striking figure he was too. He was a graduate of the 
Citadel Academy at Charleston and one of the finest looking soldiers 
to be found anywhere; very tall, straight as an arrow, with black 
hair, piercing eyes and graceful carriage. He was the strictest of 
disciplinarians holding everybody under him to rigid accountability 
and not inclined to be at all mealy mouthed when a scolding had 
to be administered. We were all of us very proud of him admiring 
him greatly in that hero-worshiping way that boys are addicted 
to, though the admiration was mingled with considerable awe, espe- 
cially among the youngest set. This was particularly true when we 
were called upon to undergo his scrutiny at the weekly inspection 
of arms and quarters. Woe, then, to the unhappy lad whose gloves 
or belts were soiled, whose shoes lacked the final touch of the brush 
or whose gun betrayed the slightest evidence of rust, inside or out. 
During Capt Robertson's official connection with the Institute he 
married Annie Park who was a first cousin of your Mothers, a very 



48 



sweet and amiable lady whom I came to know well later on. My 
recollection of the wedding is quite distinct because of my having 
been one of a party of Cadets who serenaded the happy pair, and 
to whom a large waiter of wedding cake was sent out. It is needless 
to add that no fragments were left. Mrs Robertson had a sister whose 
name, / think, was Kate. She was the wife of Dr E. M. Allen a dentist 
of the town. The Doctor had known me as a child, having boarded 
at Cousin Platts house in Savannah some years previous to his re- 
moval to the upcountry. He was a genial man and a thoroughly good 
man respected by everyone in the community. As soon as he heard 
of my being in Marietta, he sought me out invited me to come 
frequently to his home and, in fact, was as kind as anyone could be. 
Probably these people have all passed away long since— the Captain, 
who became Colonel Robertson, I met once during the war at the 
siege of Charleston and we spent two or three hours together talking 
of old times. The ladies I saw in Marietta a few years after the war 
when I was making a business trip through North Georgia; but 
since that time I have never heard a word of them. They were of 
the Greensboro, Ga. family of Parks, children of one of your grand- 
mothers brothers. Another family into which I was intimately ad- 
mitted was that of Mr Dix Fletcher who with his wife had formerly 
lived in Savannah and were friends of my parents. Mrs F sang de- 
lightfully; she had a pretty daughter too, Georgia, whom I had 
known as a little child; so there was a double attraction for me at that 
house. Then I was invited frequently out to the home of old Col 
Myers the father of Mr Fred Myers who lived some miles out on 
the Roswell road. It was too far away for social evening visits but 
many pleasant Saturdays and Sundays were spent within those hos- 
pitable walls. The old Colonel was one of the Trustees of the Military 
Institute, so when ever an invitation came from him there was not 
much trouble in getting the necessary leave of absence. Of course 
as time passed my circle of acquaintances in the town enlarged. The 
people were friendly to the Cadets and anyone of them who behaved 
himself at all decently did not lack for social privileges. The Hansells, 
Frasers, Coombs's, Barnards Trenholms, Stewartsons and many more, 
were friends of whom I have warm and pleasant memories. Speaking 
of the Stewartsons brings to mind a funny little incident that hap- 
pened at their house. Jim Screven, (a younger brother of Col John,) 
and I with one or two other Cadets had gone there to visit Harry 
Stewartson one Saturday. At that time there was an Episcopal Conven- 
tion in session in Marietta and Dr Stewartson who was an ardent 
Churchman, was attending it with two or three clergymen who 

49 



were his guests. Well, we boys were in the library having a friendly 
and perfectly innocent game of "Seven up" together when suddenly 
there was the sound of several footsteps in the hall. Harry, a great 
stickler for the conventionalities, jumped up quickly and cried out 
in a frightened voice, "Hide the cards boys, the ministers are coming!" 
At that Screven gathered the whole deck in one swoop, threw them 
on the sofa and sat upon them. In another second the Reverend gentle- 
men were in the room and we all rose to our feet to salute them— all 
except poor Jim who with a face like the setting sun stuck to the sofa 
while beneath his spike-tailed Cadet coatee the cards peeped out on 
every side; he reminded me of an old hen sitting on more eggs than 
she could cover. The ministers saw the humor of the situation but 
made no sign beyond a quiet smile from one to another. They were 
merciful also and after a word or two of inquiry about our respective 
families, went into another room and left us to ourselves. Jim Screven 
was one of the noblest young fellows with whom I was ever as- 
sociated. Simple in his bearing, absolutely unselfish, sweet tempered 
and brave, he would have been a man of mark in the community had 
his hfe been spared. He was drowned only a couple of years later in 
saving Miss Lizzie Richardson (who was afterwards, I believe, Pierson 
Hardees first wife.) The two were sailing off the Screven plantation 
on Whitmarsh Island when a sudden squall capsized the boat. She 
could not swim but Jim supported her until help arrived; before 
he could be taken in however he sank and did not rise again. He had 
received a severe wound in the foot from an adze only a few days 
previously and when the body was found it was evident that the 
opening of this wound had incapacitated him for further effort to 
same himself. He gave his life for her. 

It is not possible for me to overestimate the benefits I derived 
from the four years of training at the Military Institute. I learned 
habits of order regularity and punctuality that have been of the 
greatest service to me all through life. I was taught how to yield im- 
plicit obedience to rightful authority and how to accept responsi- 
bility if it were placed upon me, how to command as well as to 
obey. I learned to love study and to find the highest pleasure in 
the exercise of mental powers. My body developed with the mind. 
At eighteen I had already attained full stature but constant and 
regular exercise with plain food and unbroken hours of sleep made 
me healthy, hardy and elastic, establishing thus the foundation of the 
good health with which God has blessed me for so many years. 

50 



The rules and regulations of this admirable school were based upon 
those established for the government of West Point Military Academy 
and followed them as closely as the different nature of the two in- 
stitutions would admit. The fixing of responsibility for good order 
upon the Cadets themselves was a cardinal feature that was managed 
so as to work with little or no friction. To Cadet Officers far more 
than to Professors was intrusted the discipline of the Corps and the 
strict discharge of this duty was a point of honor with all of them. 
This matter of responsibility ran all through the conduct of affairs. 
In each room, for instance, an "orderly board" was hung over the 
mantelpiece in which were slits for cards bearing the names of the 
occupants of the room. Every Sunday morning an Inspector came 
around— a Cadet Officer— who put the name that was at the top 
of the board down to the bottom and advanced another to the top. 
The Cadet whose name was thus carried up became the Orderly 
of the room for that week and to him the authorities looked for the 
good order of the room in every way. If there were disorder of any 
kind the orderly was reported and a specified number of demerits 
attached to his name unless a sufficient excuse could be given in 
writing. I never knew an orderly to be so reported, however, when 
the fault was in another, that the guilty man did not come forward 
and relieve him by confession of his own shortcoming. To fail to 
do this was considered in the highest degree dishonorable by the 
Corps— it was an unwritten law that was rigidly kept. In the same 
manner the man whose name headed a class list alphabetically, was 
called the "squad marcher"; he formed the class when it assembled 
on the parade ground, called the roll and reported absentees to the 
Officer of the Day, marched the class into the recitation hall and 
there awaited the arrival of the Professor. He was expected to main- 
tain order, meantime, and if anything went wrong he was held 
accountable for it. In the Mess-hall Cadet Officers were at the 
head and foot of each table having the same responsibility put upon 
them. On Sunday mornings when the squads were formed for march- 
ing to the various churches of the village there was always a head 
to each squad— the boys were under authority everywhere. 

Each day at guard-mounting a Cadet Commissioned Officer (al- 
ways a man from the first class) went on duty as "Officer of the 
Day." He received his orders from the Commandant and then had 
charge of the hill until the next morning. He saw that the various 
signals were sounded for roll-calls, parades, class gatherings &c &c. 
Reports of absentees were made to him as well as reports for all 
other delinquencies; he visited all the dormitories repeatedly during 

51 



study hours, saw that the guard was properly posted, looked to the 
putting out of lights and fires after taps, received the reports of 
inspectors and, in a word, he was for twenty four hours the visible 
embodiment of law; the fact that he was one of our own number 
never detracted in the slightest degree from the respect and obedience 
rendered to him. During his tour of duty he was required to be in 
full dress uniform, wearing sword and sash. If a Cadet committed 
an offence for which the punishment was dismission from the In- 
stitute, summary action was never taken— he received a fair trial by 
Court Martial— the court consisting of Cadet officers presided over 
Iby the Commandant. I remember many such courts and took part 
in a number of them, but I have no recollection of a single one in 
-which the justice of its decisions was questioned. I cannot but feel 
that discipline of the character described is the best possible cor- 
rective for the inclination of youth to an over exhuberance and heed- 
lessness. Lads who go through such a course for four years uncon- 
sciously acquire a sense of the obligation that is upon them to respect 
all law. And if in after life they should rise to positions of place and 
power they will be prepared to meet responsibility with firmness 
and intelligence. 

Attendance upon divine services was required once every Sunday. 
We could go to any church we might select but had to attend some- 
■where. Nevertheless it often happened that the sick list would be 
unduly large on Sunday mornings; singular complaints that rarely 
lasted beyond that evening would deplete the church squads greatly. 
The two physicians who had the care of our health were first, Dr 
Slaughter a gentle, kindly old man but without special force of 
character, and afterwards, Dr Connell who was a sort of rough dia- 
mond, good hearted and "easily entreated." The boys found it no 
difficult task to win from either of them a place on the list of those 
•"excused from Church." 

In my senior year at the Institute I was Adjutant of the Corps and 
as such was expected to be in the Commandants office every morning. 
Our Commandant at that time was Captain Thos R McConnell of the 
4th Infantry U.S.A. and one day in looking over the reports he said 
to me, "We had a very large sick list last Sunday Mr Adjutant; have 
the sick call sounded in front of this office next Sunday and tell Dr 
Connell that I will attend to the applicants." Sure enough when the 
call was sounded on that day Captain McConnell appeared with a tin 
cup and iron spoon in one hand and a paper package in the other. 
"Instruct the orderly to bring a bucket of fresh water," he said 
and then waited for the appearance of the invahds. They were marched 

52 



down in due time and formed in front of the door, somewhat sur- 
prised at having the ailments inquired into there. The first man in 
the line was called and stepped up. "What's the matter with you" 
was asked of him, while the rest of the afflicted looked on anxiously. 
"I have so and so," he mentioned, naming the most alarming symptoms 
he could think of. "You are excused" said the Captain, "but you must 
take something for that trouble." With that he dipped up a cup of 
water, put in a heaping spoonful of Epsom Salts from the package 
and gave the dose to the Cadet to drink. It was swallowed with many 
wry faces, and then number two was called. He had listened at- 
tentively to his predecessor and accordingly was prepared to present 
symptoms that were diametrically opposed to those from which 
number one suffered. But it availed him nothing, for him too the 
cup was filled with the nauseous dose and he drained it to the dregs. 
So it went down the line, each fellow trying to invent symptoms 
for which Epsom Salts would be hurtful, but none of them escaped, 
though all were excused from church. The last man— on the extreme 
left— was Duncan Twiggs (my old army friend, and the Judge Twiggs 
whom you know.) The Captains eyes twinkled as Duncan came up for 
he knew the character of the lad and expected a little fun. Well Mr 
Twiggs and how is it with you?" he asked. Twiggs grinned and 
replied "The truth is Captain I've torn my Sunday trousers." "You 
are excused" was the response "but I have here the best remedy 
for that complaint." So the last portion of the Salts was measured 
out and swallowed and the sick list was completed for the day. It 
goes without saying that there was a clean bill of health on the fol- 
lowing Sunday. Capt McConnell was a very fine man, a native of 
Liberty County and a graduate of West Point. He had served in the 
Mexican War with high distinction and was mentioned in orders 
for his bravery at the battle of Molino del Rey, where he was des- 
parately wounded. His carriage always showed the effect of this 
wound and I believe he suffered from it to the end of his days. I 
was thrown very intimately with him and shall always remember 
with gratitude his kindly interest in me. 

At the beginning of my second year I was made a Corporal advanc- 
ing in the third year to Orderly Sergeant and Sergeant Major and 
in the fourth year to the Adjutancy of the Battallion. The first 
Captaincy was offered me but the many privileges attached to the 
Adjutant's Office decided me to take that and I was never sorry for 
it. Familiarity with the many details of garrison life which it taught 
served me in good stead when in January 1861 Savannah troops that 
knew only the a-b-c of military affairs, were thrown into Fort 



53 



Pulaski. Of these various promotions the first was nearest and dearest 
to my heart; the little chevron of gold lace upon my arm seemed a 
badge of glory and I never tired of looking at it out of the corner 
of my eye. The office had advantages too, it relieved me from guard 
duty and in the Company formation my position was always on the 
right of the line, an easy place to march in. One duty it imposed, 
however for which I had very little relish— that of counting out the 
clothes that came in from the laundry every week. They were 
brought in great baskets, (a double horse team load) and put in one 
of the Section rooms of the main building. Then from each bedroom 
a chair was brought, with the names of the occupants upon it, and 
set around in a circle. This being done we poor little Corporals 
attacked the pile and distributed the clothes, (which were all required 
to be marked,) to the various chairs. When the tedious job was 
completed a signal was given on the drum and the orderly of each 
room came up for his chair. It was a primitive way of doing things 
though it answered the purpose in view. I was glad enough when 
further promotion put an end to this task. 

The Fourth of July was always a great day with us, to be observed 
with ardent patriotism. An orator and a reader of the Declaration 
of Independence were selected from the two upper classes respec- 
tively and these two worthies were escorted to the Court House in 
Marietta by the whole Corps with drums beating and colors flying. 
There the oration would be delivered and the immortal "Declaration" 
read to the satisfaction of all concerned; then we would file out into 
the public square and fire a national salute, one gun for each State, 
from the battery of field pieces belonging to the Institute. I have 
a vivid recollection of the grandeur and importance of the orator 
on these occasions for in my Senior year I was the man. I do not 
remember much about my speech except that it was very "spread 
eagly" in character; doubtless the tail of "the British Lion" was 
twisted at a great rate. These gatherings were highly appreciated 
by the country people around who came in crowds to attend them. 
They were particularly impressed by the firing of the cannon— a 
sound, alas! with which many of them were to become far too fa- 
miliar in but a few years. 

The great event of our year was the Commencement ball and not 
for us alone but likewise for all the girls in Cobb County and the 
numerous female relations of Cadets who visited in Marietta during 
the summer. The ball was given in the upper story of the Academic 
building, all of the partitions being taken out so as to form one 
large hall; and a noble room it made for a dance on a summer night 



54 



with its big windows opening out to every point of the compass. 
Recitation rooms were fitted up as dressing rooms for the ladies, a 
fine string band engaged and simple refreshments provided in abund- 
ance. We prided ourselves on the decorations of the ball room though 
I suppose they would be considered simple and inartistic in these more 
sophisticated days. There was always a big chandelier, a wooden 
frame work in which about one hundred bayonets were inserted 
each holding a candle in its shank and the reflection from the polished 
surface of the steel, really gave a fine effect. Similar lights were 
arranged around the walls and they were further adorned with 
wreaths, crossed swords and muskets &c &c. Months before the happy 
occasion every man jack of us had invited some girl as his special 
guest and also engaged at the livery stable in the village the very finest 
horse and buggy obtainable to bring his lady love to the festivities. 
There was one particular horse noted for style and action that we 
were all crazy to get and I secured him at my last ball in July, by 
booking the application in January. 

Looking back up on those happy days I realize that our best 
possession was youth that saw everything through its own golden 
glow; youth that had no knowledge of the cares and anxieties of 
maturer life. There was too a vigorous vitaUty that felt no fatigue 
and enabled us literally to 

"Dance all night 'till broad daylight 

And go home with the girls in the morning." 

In my minds eye, (even now, after all these years with their weight 
of troubles,) I can see the colored band leader, Joe Hewson, standing 
erect on the music platform, his fiddle tucked under his chin, sawing 
away for dear life at "Billy in the low ground" or "Camptown Races," 
while he roars out his orders to the dancers— "Honors to your part- 
ner"— "Sachey all— be sure and swing the lady in the corner"— ^Lemon- 
ade all." I suppose the old always think of their day as the best the 
world ever saw, so allowance must be made for me if I seem to paint 
in too bright colors that halcyon time. Nevertheless, I am ready to 
affirm that no generation of young people ever enjoyed the morning 
of life more than did ours. And, indeed, well that it was so, for there 
was ahead of us all in the very near future, a dark and bloody period 
the shadow of which has scarcely yet entirely passed from the land. 
Too soon were we to assume the responsibilities whose burden would 
have seemed in anticipation too great for us to bear; in less than a 
decade were many of those light hearted dancers to swell the dreadful 
lists of killed and wounded on many a stricken field from the Potomac 

55 



to the Rio Grande. A blessed thing it is for humanity that the veil 
of the future is impenetrable. 

Every summer immediately after Commencement the Corps went 
into camp for two or three weeks and then the instruction was en- 
tirely military. In my senior year the camp was at Catoosa Springs 
a famous resort in those days, up in North Georgia not far from the 
Tennessee line. There was a fine hotel there encircled by broad 
piazzas, one eighth of a mile in their entire length, making a charming 
promenade for lads and lassies. The hotel was full of pretty girls 
from every part of the State and it goes without saying that they 
did not lack for beaux when the ball room was cleared for dancing 
in the evenings. We were given the liberty of that room and the 
piazzas, from Retreat, (which is the sunset parade,) until Tattoo, 
when soldiers young and old are supposed to wrap the draperies of 
their couches about them and go to sleep. It was comical to see the 
rush that was made from the ball room every night when the drums 
sounded the call. The girls did not at first understand being left 
so unceremoniously, but they got used to military ways before the 
camp was struck and rather liked their inconventionality. During my 
four years at the Institute the Corps made various visits to other 
cities— to Atlanta, to the state fair at Augusta and twice to Milledge- 
ville with a view of influencing the Legislature to larger appropria- 
tions. In our second visit to the latter place, after a brisk skirmish 
drill on the Capitol grounds, a number of Cadet officers were invited 
to meet a group of ladies who were assembled in the parlor of the 
old Alilledgeville hotel. There I saw your dear Mother for the first 
time but did not happen to be introduced to her. Robert Stiles pointed 
her out to me as the sister of Fannie Williams to whom Charlie Way 
was engaged. "Bob" Stiles was my room mate for nearly three years 
and a fine fellow he was in every way. He and his brother Henry 
were two of the handsomest men I ever saw, both were tall, a little 
over six feet, but in other respects the very opposite of each other. 
Henry, the elder, being a pronounced blonde, while Robert was as 
swarthy as an Indian, though with clear olive complexion, and black 
hair. Their father, the Hon Wm H Stiles, was "charge d'affaires" at 
the Court of Vienna during the Hungarian Revolution in 1848-49— 
he was a cultivated gentleman, prominent in the political affairs of 
his generation in the State; an orator of more than usual ability, and 
a delightful companion to all who knew him. His sons were with 
him in Vienna and they both returned to America speaking German 
as though it were their mother tongue. Mrs Stiles was one of the 
Mackay family, a sister of Dr Elliott's mother, and a sweeter lady 



56 



never drew the breath of life. In truth, that may be said of all of 
her sisters as well— to know Mrs Elliott was to love her, while the 
names of Miss Sarah and Miss Kate Mackay were synonyms for the 
Charity that "hopeth all things" and that "never faileth." One of their 
brothers was John Mackay who was the class mate and intimate 
friend of Robert E Lee at West Point. I believe he graduated in 
the Engineer Corps and gave promise of great usefulness, but he died 
early. In the summer of 1854 I rose to the second or junior class, and, 
as was customary at the Institute, received a leave of absence during 
the encampment of that year. Bob Stiles invited me very cordially to 
spend it with him at the family place "Etowah Cliffs" up in Cass 
County a courtesy that I was glad to accept. That visit was one 
that I have always looked back upon with the greatest pleasure. The 
house, a most commodious and roomy one was located at the top 
of a cliff overlooking the Etowah River, and there were the lovliest 
people in it. Besides the family proper, were Miss Kate Mackay, Mary 
and Carrie Elliott (the Doctors sisters,) Ned Stiles, the brother of 
Miss Kitty, who was also a Marietta Cadet, and Charlie Golding. Then 
a little later came Mary Anna and Florence Stiles, whom you have 
known as Mrs Habersham and Mrs Woodbridge. Mrs Elliott was 
building a residence near her sisters but meanwhile was occupying 
a two story log house known as the "Parsonage," about two miles 
away. With her were her daughter Leila, afterwards Mrs Fred Haber- 
sham and her sons John Mackay, Percy, Rafe and George. Doctor 
"Billy," our Doctor, was then a student at Harvard University. With 
so many young people thrown intimately together, it was a time of 
great enjoyment and the days slipped away only too fast. The river 
was a source of pleasure to us all; about half a mile from the house 
was an old Indian fish trap where the stream was narrowed by two 
wing dams of stone with an opening in the centre. Through this 
opening the current ran with much swiftness and it was great fun 
for us lads to swim out into the river just above the rapid and let 
the water carry us through like an express train. Or we would all 
pile into a big flat boat, boys and girls together, and float away gather- 
ing muscadine grapes from the vines that covered the trees overhang- 
ing the river. Once some of us took horses and rode several miles 
to visit Saltpetre Cave, one of the curiosities of the County. It was 
the only place of the kind I had ever been in and it interested me 
very much. The opening of the cave was a round hole about fifteen 
feet in diameter from which a pathway sloped downward amid boul- 
ders of rock in considerable depth. Reaching the bottom we found our- 
selves in quite a large vaulted room with passages leading away from 

57 



it in various directions. Bearing lightwood torches we explored sev- 
eral of these for some distance but were afraid to go too far lest we 
should have been lost. It is said that these ramifications extend far 
under the surface and there is a tradition that an Indian girl was once 
lost in them for days but finally came out through a hole on the river 
bank miles away. One of the objects of our trip was to get specimens 
of a very beautiful clay to be found in a certain part of the cave. 
Bob Stiles, who was familiar with the place, led the way and when 
we were face to face with what seemed a solid wall of rock, he said 
"here we are." I could see no opening at first, but it was there at the 
foot of the rock, and just high enough for us to wiggle through on 
our stomachs. We went some twenty or thirty feet in this way and 
finally emerged in a small room where the clay was found. The 
ceiling of this room was hung with masses of bats, that were startled 
by the torches and came flying around our heads in myriads. The 
smell was overpowering and I was glad to get away from them. 
The temperature of the cave is said to be undisturbed by outer 
changes, it remains the same the year round. When we went in from 
the warm sunshine it seemed like entering an ice-box, but after being 
in for t\vo or three hours and accustomed to the cold the return to 
the outer air was very trying because of the sudden accession of heat. 
This cave derives its name from deposits of saltpetre that are found 
in it, which were freely used during the Confederate War in the 
manufacture of gunpowder. 

At the end of my furlough I returned to the Institute and settled 
down to hard study much refreshed by the happy vacation among 
my friends. But the summer that was so full of brightness had a sad 
and terrible ending for me. It was the year of the great epidemic 
of yellow fever in Savannah and my dear sister, who had returned 
home from New Haven was one of its earliest victims. Early in Sep- 
tember I had been several days without letters, and as reports of the 
existence of the fever had reached me I began to be very uneasy 
when a letter reached me saying that Sister had been very ill with 
the dread disease but they thought the crisis was passed. Confirma- 
tion of this came in a telegram from Dr Wildman, the physician. 
The relief was great though only momentary for later in the day 
another dispatch told that her gentle spirit had passed away.^ I also 
received word from my parents not to think of returning to Savannah 
as every one was flying from the city who could and that my coming 
home would only add to their troubles, it was likewise stated that 



8. Sarah M. Olmstead, died September 7, 1854, aged 18 years and 7 
months. 

58 



my father was confined to his bed from anxiety and sorrow. Mrs 
Stiles had heard of our bereavement and sent for me at once to come 
up to Etowah cuffs. I went immediately and found it a precious 
haven of comfort and sympathy. In one week news came that father 
too was no more— he did not have the fever, (though the printed 
lists of the epidemic reported him to have died of it,) but literally 
died of a broken heart.^ Mother told me afterwards that he tried 
to rally and said to her "I must try to live for Charlie's sake," but 
the vital force was gone and I believe he was glad to follow the be- 
loved daughter whose short life had ever been a blessing and joy to 
him— "They were lovely in life and in death they were not divided." 

It would be impossible for me to exaggerate the kindness extended 
to me by the dear family at Etowah Cliffs in that desolate period of 
my life. Everything that loving and tender sympathy could do to 
alleviate my sorrow was done by every member of the household. 
I was ever conscious that I was one of them; their affection encom- 
passed me from morning until midnight and in a thousand ways I 
was made to feel that God had given help according to my need. 
And so my dear children it has been with me in every sore trial 
through which in His providence I have been called to pass -no 
cloud has even been without its silver lining, no burden without 
imparted strength to bear it. I gratefully acknowledge that "goodness 
and mercy" have followed me "all the days of my life"; even my 
faults and imperfections, many and grievous though they have been, 
have not taken from my soul a sense of the Divine love and compas- 
sion and now, in old age, that is my great comfort and exceeding 
joy. I am poor, weak helpless, as we all are, but He is my Father; He 
is our Father— bless his holy name forever and ever. 

I returned to the Institute very uncertain whether or not my career 
there was at an end for with fathers life ended the income, (at least 
the greater part of it,) that had cared for the family wants and I did 
not know if there would be money enough to continue my schooling. 
Then Mr L O Reynolds a distant relative and my fathers closest 
friend, asked of Mother that he might be permitted to defray the 
expense of finishing my education. She accepted his generous offer 
for he loved us all and she knew the affection that prompted the act. 
I may say here that Mr Reynolds died within the next year but in his 
will he provided for the carrying out of this wish. Another of fathers 
friends, Mr I. C. Plant of Macon, made a similar request, and Major 
Brumby the Superintendent of the Military Institute offered me a 
"State Cadetship" whereby I could have earned my own tuition and 

9. Jonathan Olmstead died September 16, 1854, aged 56 years. 

59 



support by pledging myself to teach in the State for two years after 
graduation, but the matter had already been decided for me. Mother 
came to Marietta to join me so soon as she [could] rally sufficient 
strength to travel. Mr Reynolds came with her and upon meeting 
me he hugged me in his arms and wept over me— dear big generous 
hearted man that he was. He was a man of mark in the State— the Presi- 
dent of the Central and South Western Railroads. You have doubtless 
seen in Laurel Grove Cemetery the monument erected to his memory 
by those Roads. Soon after Mothers arrival she too was stricken by 
severe illness and for a time it seemed as though I were to be left 
literally alone. Had she remained in fever-laden Savannah she probably 
would have died, but in the pure, bracing up country air she pulled 
through and recovered her health. 

The next two years were spent in hard study. I had always been a 
willing student but felt now that it was particularly incumbent upon 
me to do my best. It was a special cause for gratification to know 
that while he lived Mr Reynolds never had reason to feel that his 
goodness was misplaced. 

In July 1856 I was graduated— and graduated with honor and the 
pleasure it very naturally gave me was much enhanced by the presence 
of Mother, Aunt Eliza Hardee and Cousin Hattie who all came up 
from Savannah for the occasion. I wonder if there is ever any other 
time in a mans life when he is absolutely confident that "the world 
is 'his' oyster" and he has only to go forward and open it. The future 
looked so bright, shadowed by no misgivings. I felt like a bird about 
to launch out in glorious flight on wings that could never tire. The 
restraints of military discipline which I had borne with patience 
and pride for four years, seemed all of a sudden as shackles to be 
cast aside forever. I was to be my own master from that time on, 
little recking that a man is under the authority of somebody as long 
as he hves. Moreover, I was desparatelv in love and that of itself 
gives a rosy glow to every prospect. Still, there was a tinge of sad- 
ness beneath all this pleasurable excitement. I was leaving a circle of 
friends whose souls were knit to my own by long association and 
kindred thought. I realized that with most of them the parting was 
final— that we should never meet again— and in fact this anticipation 
was fully realized. I found too that the old hill with every feature 
of the landscape around it had become dear to my heart and that I 
hated to leave it. I saw it once again in after years under peculiar 
circumstances which shall be related further on. 

My closest friend at the Institute was John G Patton of Habersham, 
a member of the class below mine, a noble young man, chivalrous, 

60 



brave, and with a certain solidity of character that impressed itself 
upon his rugged face. He was the best man at my wedding three years 
later, and when the war broke out he became a Captain in your Uncle 
Charles William's Regiment. He passed unscatched through the ter- 
rible days fight around Richmond but was killed in the fierce battle 
of South Mountain in the Maryland campaign. In that awful war 
the best and bravest seemed to be taken first. 

Soon after my graduation I put into execution a plan that had been 
eagerly looked forward to for a long time— to wit: the making of an 
extended trip through the Northern States, not only to see a little 
of the world but also with a view to looking up relatives on my 
fathers side of the house. Two of my classmates arranged to go with 
me but failed me at the last moment, for some unknown reason 
though I strongly suspect impecuniosity . The money for my own 
expenses was provided by a savings bank fund that father had started 
for Sister and myself when we were very small children, and added 
to year by year so long as he lived. 

I started from Savannah in the old wheel steamer "Alabama" and 
after an uneventful passage reached New York on the third day. I 
remember being deeply impressed by the beauty of the harbor as we 
sailed in: the forts on Governors Island interested me particularly, 
fresh as I was from military studies, but I hardly dreamed that six 
years later would find me a prisoner in one of them. It is well 
for us all that the gift of looking into the future is not granted to us. 

The old Astor House, that gloomy looking pile on Broadway op- 
posite the lower end of City Hall Park was then considered one of 
the most elegant hotels in New York and I felt much importance in 
writing my name on its register as a guest though it is probable 
the clerk did not take the same view of the matter for he put me 
in a small room on the very top floor and there was nothing in the 
way of an elevator to take me there except my own stout legs. My 
window looked out upon Broadway and my first act was to sit by 
it for an hour or two fascinated by the ceaseless stream of life that 
flowed along the street. At first I thought, like many other new 
comers that there must be something exceptional on foot— it took 
me some time to realize that it was just the ordinary every day 
traffic. There were no cars on Broadway then but an unending line of 
two horse omnibuses meandering along in both directions and car- 
riages and commercial vehicles of every description, all rattling over 
the rough paving stones with a clatter and roaring noise that confused 
me. I did not think my brain would ever get accustomed to it. 

61 



The Astor House did not keep me very long however; immediately 
after dinner I got my bearings from a big map of the city that hung 
in one of the hallways, and set out relative hunting. I had the address 
of Cousin Eliza Hallock's house on Broome Street and went there 
first— indeed it was the only address within my knowledge. The 
door was opened by a sweet looking girl, apparently about 14 or 15 
years old, who looked enquiringly at the tall fellow standing before 
her. "Is this Mrs Hallock's house and are you her daughter?" I asked. 
Receiving an affirmative reply to both of these questions I added, 
"Then you're my Cousin," and went on to explain who I was and 
where I came from. She knew all about the relationship for Sister 
had spent some time with the family three years previous. That was 
my first introduction to dear Emily whom I loved from that mo- 
ment until the end of her life. A gentle affectionate nature was hers, 
self sacrificing and loyal to all who had claim upon her. As the first 
of the family to meet me she seemed to take me specially under her 
wing and it is not saying too much to add that she gave me con- 
fidence and love from the beginning, and extended it to my children 
also in after years. 

Cousin Eliza was delighted to see me— as a little girl she had been 
a special pet of my father's and held him in tender memory. She 
insisted at once upon my coming to them, sent to the hotel for my 
effects and before nightfall I was domiciled in her hospitable home. 
Her family consisted of her husband Dr Robert T. Hallock, Emily, 
Marvin and Waverly the latter a pretty little boy of 4 years. The 
Doctor I never specially cared for; he was a man of intellectual ability 
but brusque in his manner, a very pronounced abolitionist and not 
at all careful of my feelings as a Southerner in expressing his views 
of the extreme wickedness of our part of the country. "Doctor," I 
said to him one day, "You have never been South and really you 
have no knowledge of affairs down there." "Oh!" he replied "it's 
not necessary to go to hell to know that it's hot." He was Cousin 
Eliza's second husband Emily and Marvin being the children of her 
first, who was also a Hallock. The news of my arrival spread rapidly 
among the kinfolks and pretty soon there were so many introductions 
that for a time I found it rather difficult to keep track of the various 
degrees of relationship. Two of my Aunts were then living in New 
York, Aunt Esther West and Aunt Betsy Betts both of them your 
grandfathers own sisters. Aunt Esther's children were John West 
(the father of Cousins Lou and Charlie), Mrs Hallock, Mrs Jane 
Demary, Mrs Mary Miler, A4rs Catherine Stagg and Mrs Laura 
Parker, all of whom received me as though I had grown up among 

62 



them. The Miler children of the next generation were James, Mary, 
Jennie, Josephine and Hamilton. The Staggs were Mary, Helen and 
Tom. Cousin Laura Parker had but one daughter Emily, who was 
a very beautiful girl, a brunette with regular features, rich olive com- 
plexion and a perfect little figure. Cousin Jane Demary was living 
in Chicago at that time and I shall speak of her family later on. Aunt 
Betsy's family consisted of four sons and two daughters Jonathan, 
Samuel, George, Eddie, Sarah and Hepzibah— all grown men and 
women but only one, the first name, married. 

There was quite a jolly time when we of the younger set all got 
together as we did at every possible opportunity. We made little 
excursions to Coney Island, (then a very primitive place,) and else- 
where, danced and played and sang, besides making parties to visit 
all the theatres that were open. I saw Burton the great comedian 
and John Brougham and the Ravels a celebrated troupe of pan- 
tomimists who exhibited at a place called "Niblo's Garden" on Broad- 
way. It was really an exceedingly happy time for me; the Cousins 
were kind and affectionate, my pocket was full of money, ample for 
all reasonable wants, and, best of all, I was in possession of healthy 
vigorous youth. Everything was "coleur de rose" and pessimism an 
unknown word. Aunt Esther, Emily Parker and I made a trip up to 
Ridgefield, Connecticut your grandfathers birthplace, and were the 
guests there of Cousin John Hyatt and his wife Mary, both of them 
rather distant cousins in the blood but very near in the matter of 
cordial kindness. Their son Philip Hyatt, a brilliant young physician 
had been out to Savannah some years before in an advanced state of 
consumption; father and mother had cared for him tenderly and 
now his parents remembering those ministrations could not do too 
much for me. Ridgefield then was not the fashionable summer place 
it has since become. It was a regular old fashioned country town, 
quiet, sleepy and sweet. There was one lone street lined with com- 
fortable old colonial houses, beautiful elms and green grass, while 
in the vicinity, in every direction were typical New England farm 
houses, shingle covered and weather stained, with honeysuckle clamber- 
ing over the little porches and old time flowers straggling about the 
front yards. On one of these farms lived my fathers brother. Uncle 
Seth Olmstead and his wife, dear old Aunt Nancy. On the day I was 
with them the old gentleman although eighty years of age had been 
mowing for hours in the hay field. When he came into the room 
and understood who I was he was deeply affected for he loved my 
father dearly; the old man took me in his arms, held me close to him 
and blessed me. I felt instinctively the tie of blood and have ever 

63 



kept him in loving remembrance. Uncle Seth's son was the Rev Miles 
Olmstead of whom you have doubtless heard your Mother and myself 
speak. He was the writer and compiler of several religious books 
some of which are now in my library. Aunt Esther took me one day 
to see the little farm house in which my grandfather, Samuel Olmstead 
had raised his family of thirteen children; she showed me the room 
in which they had all been born and you may be sure that my 
imagination peopled it at once with the little brood— (all of whom 
then living were old men and women.) The house was old and de- 
serted, it has doubtless long since ceased to exist, but it had an interest 
and fascination for me that few buildings have ever had. Somehow 
I seemed strangely familiar with every part of it— the cellar where 
the winter apples and cider used to be stored, the family sitting room 
and kitchen, the quaint little bed rooms, the garret under the roof 
where the big boys slept. Father had told me so often and so par- 
ticularly of all that I felt myself to have had personal knowledge 
of them as though they had been part of my life. I knew the sur- 
roundings too and the names of some of the families who had lived 
near by, the Keelers, the Picketts, the Goodriches, the Seymours. 
Some of the last named still dwelt in the queer old house they had 
occupied for generations— "Aunt" Biah Seymour, as she was called 
by everyone in the village, and her "darter" Delia. 

Aunt Esther took me to call upon them. We knocked for a long 
time at the front door without response, then went around to the 
kitchen at the back where Auntie told me to remain while she re- 
turned to try and secure entrance at the front. I sat for a while in 
the old room so different from anything I had ever seen at the South. 
Everything in it interested me— the windows with panes of glass 
about 6 by 4 inches, the old time stove, the comer cupboard and its 
display of homely china, the little doorway leading to the woodshed, 
the broad, high backed rocking chairs and their home made cushions 
in which the two old souls had doubtless enjoyed many a comfortable 
nap during the long winter evenings, and the table of common pine 
but with its top scoured to immaculate whiteness. On the table was 
a womans wig and I speculated curiously enough as to who was its 
owner and how she was ever to get possession of it again with me 
sitting there. Pretty soon there was a slight noise from a stair case 
that ran from a corner of the kitchen to the upper part of the house, 
and turning suddenly I saw a picture that has remained indelibly 
photographed on my memory. A very old woman in short petticoats 
stood on one of the upper steps peering over her dress which was 
held up before her as a screen with both hands. Her head was ab- 

64 



solutely as bald as a billiard ball and a very funny sight she was. 
As soon as her eyes lighted on me she wheeled around and hustled 
up the steps with an agility that amazed me. I did not dare to laugh 
but found myself still further immersed in speculation as to the out- 
come. How was she to get the wig? However there must have been 
another source of supply for pretty soon the old lady came down the 
steps again, this time with her dress on and an elegant "Sunday" wig 
on her head. In a moment or so Aunt Esther returned, introductions 
were made and that was the way I came to know "Aunt" Biah. In 
a little while Delia, who had been somewhere on the farm, came in 
and her first action was to seize the wig on the table hide it behind 
her in a shame faced manner and rush out of the room. It must ever 
be counted to me for righteousness that this time too I refrained from 
an explosion of laughter, though it came later when Auntie and I 
were alone together. Delia herself must have been well on toward 
seventy years of age, so it may be judged what an old woman her 
Mother was. She was an old maid of old maids and of the extreme 
New England type that you read of in books. Her speech was full of 
such expressions as "Why I'm scairt to death," "I want to know," 
"Do tell," "Sakes alive," &c and she could ask more prying questions 
in a minute than could be answered properly in an hour. Nevertheless 
she was a kindly soul who insisted on regaling me at once with black- 
berry pie made with molasses. I went to Ridgefield again just after 
the war and found both of these old people still alive and on that 
occasion I quite won Delias heart by demanding another piece of the 
same kind of pie. "Aunt" Biah then was in advanced senility— she 
had the idea that I had been fighting against the United States gov- 
ernment, but her poor old head mixed up the civil war and the 
Revolutionary war, for she asked very hesitatingly, "You b'aint a 
tory, be you?" Cousin John Hyatt was very fond of horses and, 
being rather eccentric also, he loved to wake up the quiet little town 
by unexpected acts, so he took great delight in mounting me on one 
of his blooded horses without a saddle, hoisting Emily Parker up 
behind me with her arm around my waist and starting us to galloping 
up and down the main street. It was quite scandalous and, I dare say 
led to many criticisms and shakings of the head over "such doings." 
More or less distantly I found myself connected with a number of 
people in Ridgefield; among them Rufus Pickett who was a close 
neighbor to the Hyatts. His children were Eddie and Clara both near 
my own age. With these two, Emily and I had delightful drives 
about the beautiful country in a double seated spring wagon; Eddie 
was the driver and was permitted to have the front seat entirely to 

65 



himself while I ensconsed myself between the two girls with an arm 
around each to keep them from falling out. He was a taciturn country 
lad who generally sat with his eyes on the road ahead as though 
oblivious to every thing else but his powers of observation were by 
no means dormant. I said to him one day "Eddie just see how these 
girls are crowding me." He did not crack a smile or turn his head 
but dropped the remark " 'pears as though you liked it," and there 
the conversation ended. Poor fellow, when the war broke out he en- 
listed in one of the Connecticut Regiments and was killed on the 
field of Gettysburg. Clara I saw on my next visit to Ridgefield but 
have never heard of her since. 

One place in the vicinity I was quite anxious to visit but did not 
have the opportunity-a certain hiding place on West Mountain 
known as "Old Mary's Cave," where a forlorn and half demented 
woman had taken up her abode during the Revolutionary war and 
had lived in it until some time in the early part of the last Century. 
"Peter Parley" (which was the "nom de plume" of Mr Samuel Good- 
rich of Ridgefield,) had told a story in one of his books of his having 
been lost with some other boys in a snow storm near West Mountain 
and of old Mary finding them and leading them to the shelter of the 
cave until the storm was over, then starting them home with their 
pockets full of old Continental currency. Mr Goodrich and father 
were friends as boys and he came once to see our family in Savannah. 
I was interested to learn from him that Mary was not a fictitious 
character. Her mind had been unhinged by the death of her lover, 
an officer in the Continental Army. She lived to a great age and was 
at last found dead in her cave. When I was with the Perrys in Ridge- 
field a few years ago I saw West Mountain apparently near at hand 
but the Doctor told me it was farther off than it seemed and I did 
not attempt to go to it. 

From New York as a centre I made a number of trips to other 
cities and places of interest— West Point, Albany, Troy, New Haven, 
Boston &c &c. At Boston in riding from the depot to the old Tremont 
House I climbed up to the top of the omnibus so as to see the town 
and found myself right alongside of Billy Elliott who was then a 
student at Harvard. I wonder if he remembers it. New Haven had 
specially tender claims upon me— it was there that my dear Sister had 
lived for a time and everything about the town seemed associated 
with her, as indeed it still is. I visited Miss Harriet Peck and went 
up into the dainty little room of which Sister had written me such 
full particulars. She had only been gone from me then for two years 
and as I looked upon the spot that had been so dear to her and in 
which she had an innocent pride, a sense of loss overpowered me. 

66 



It has been with me all through my life and to this day I cannot 
think of her without deep emotion. Now, however, there is coming 
to me a realization of the truth that at longest our re-union cannot 
be far off. On returning to New York I found new relatives at Cousin 
Elizas— Emma Ward (Cousin Jane's eldest daughter,) with her hus- 
band and little Kitty, a baby just beginning to run about. They were 
anxious for me to return to Chicago with them so the following 
plan was arranged:— Cousin Eliza and I were to go to Niagara Falls 
together to visit the Symonds family, who were relatives of hers 
but not of mine; then I was to join the Wards at Buffalo and travel 
home with them. My stay at Niagara was very enjoyable, the 
Symonds were the soul of hospitality and did everything in their 
power to make me have a good time. I saw all there was to see, the 
Cave of the Winds, the pathway under the Horseshoe Fall, the rapids 
and the Whirlpool, and I went up in the little steamer "Maid of the 
Mist" up to the very foot of the Falls, a trip that was rather exciting 
and decidedly wet. 

After several delightful days I joined the Wards and we took a 
fine steamer up the length of Lake Erie to Detroit. Here too there 
was nothing in "My prophetic soul" to forecast the summer that was 
ahead of me as a prisoner of war on the shores of that same lake. 
From Detroit the rest of the journey was made by rail and that part 
of the trip took almost as much time as is now required for the entire 
distance from New York. Cousin Jane and Mr Demary then lived 
in a cottage on the extreme edge of the city; beyond was the open 
prairie with only here and there a house visible. Cousins Kate and 
Helen were with them, the latter quite a little child with more mis- 
chief to the square inch in her than the law allows; not that she was 
bad only irrepressible from exhuberant vitality. The Wards had an- 
other cottage in the same enclosure. 

The days were all too short and passed too rapidly on this visit; 
every member of the family was good to me and did all that was 
possible for my comfort and happiness. I took long horseback rides; 
went hunting for prairie chickens with Mr Demary, (without finding 
any,); roamed all over the city; romped with the girls; teased Cousin 
Jane and in a word was so well contented that I should have liked 
to remain there indefinitely. 

One day Mr Ward said to me, "Have you any money at your 
command?" I told him "about Five thousand dollars." "Well," said 
he "just invest it in any land you see about here." I turned the matter 
over in my mind but nothing came of it. Perhaps I may have thought 
him over sanguine. Twenty eight years afterwards I went to look 

67 



where the little cottage had been and found block after block of 
solidly built brick and stone houses while the city stretched for miles 
beyond. The land that Five thousand dollars might have purchased 
was probably up in the millions at the time of my second visit. 

This might be considered one of the lost opportunities for making 
a fortune; yet if the land had been bought the chances are that it 
would have been sold again when the transaction showed a profit by 
One or two hundred per cent. Moreover it might have been confis- 
cated by the United States Government during the Confederate War, 
in which case my financial condition would have been just as. it 
actually was when the war ended— for the money was put in Con- 
federate securities and went "Where the woodbine twineth." Doubt- 
less it was never intended that I should be a rich man, 

Chicago at that time was a different city from the one you know. 
Very few of the streets were paved excepting for a plank roadway 
in the middle with mud "ad infinitum" on each side and the houses 
were for the most part mean and unimposing. Yet the energy and 
belief in the future that have made the city what it is were even then 
strikingly apparent. It had been decided to raise the grade of many 
streets so they were filled in like railroad embankments twelve or 
fifteen feet above the level of the side walks, then the adjoining 
houses were lifted bodily in the air by jack screws, and basements 
built under them. I saw one large hotel in process of being raised in 
this manner, and its business did not appear to be interfered with in 
the least; guests were coming and going as usual while the whole 
"building was on stilts, so to speak. It certainly required no mean 
•engineering skill to accomplish a work of that kind without shaking 
everything to pieces. 

On my return trip to New York I went part of the way through 
Canada, stopping again at Niagara to pick up Cousin Eliza, and from 
thence by the Erie Railroad. Early in November I turned my face 
homeward intending to make the journey by land to see something 
of the country. A young Alabamian named Billy Knox who had been 
at the Georgia Military Institute with me, was my companion. We 
had met accidentally on Broadway and were mutually pleased to 
know that we were to travel together. Now-a-days one gets in a 
sleeper at New York and in twenty four hours afterwards is in 
Savannah; then the journey took three days and nights with many 
stops and changes of cars. The train from the North would reach one 
side of a town, then the passengers would bundle into omnibuses 
and ride through the streets to the other side where another train 
would be waiting, and so on over and over again. There were no 



68 



sleeping berths and the old fashioned stove furnished the only heat 
for the cars. This was replenished spasmodically; at times we were 
half baked and again half frozen. So on the whole it could not have 
been called a very pleasant trip. One night the only seat poor Billy 
could find was immediately in front of the stove, which was cold 
at the time; a little later the porter started a roaring fire, and in one 
of the intense silences that follow the stoppage at a station in the 
middle of the night, my friend called out to me in a lugubrious tone 
of voice "Charlie you needn't stop for breakfast in the morning. I'll 
be. done by that time," a speech that started a roar of merriment in 
the car. It had been arranged before my graduation that I should 
enter the counting room of Brigham Kelly also at the beginning of 
the winter's business so a day or two after reaching Savannah I entered 
their employment. The house was largely interested in shipping and 
the first duty imposed upon me was to go down on the wharf and 
check off a cargo of salt that was being landed from an English 
vessel. I took account of the number of sacks as they came out of the 
hold, (to tally with the record of the Custom House officers,) de- 
livered salt to those M^ho brought orders from the house for it, marked 
and shipped lots that were to be sent to the interior and made myself 
useful in more ways than I had thought possible at one and the same 
time. It was humdrum work, in strong contrast to the free and easy 
life of the few months preceding, but nature has blessed me with the 
disposition to make the best of things and I soon became accustomed 
to the new order. 

Mother and I were boarding at that time with her nieces Cousin 
Jennie Miller and Cousin Maggie Wade in the large house that stands 
on the South West lot of the square comer of Habersham and 
President Streets. We were comfortably fixed, my Cousins were like 
elder sisters to me as they had always been, and I got rapidly in touch 
once more with the circle of old friends from whom my long absence 
at school had separated me. The first winter was made specially happy 
by the presence of my sweetheart who came down from Marietta 
to visit an Uncle and Aunt in Savannah. There was the usual round 
of parties and social gatherings in the old city, to all of which I had 
great delight in escorting her, but as the Spring came on picnics be- 
came the order of the day and to those I could not go, the inexorable 
demands of business forbade. 

Whether this had anything to do with the "debacle" that followed 
I do not know; possibly so, and possibly because of the apparent come 
dowTi in my position from Adjutant of the Corps and head of the 
senior class, to the humble post of wharf clerk and shipper of salt. 

69 



At all events the lady informed me one evening that she had made 
a mistake and that all must end between us. It was a dreadful blow 
that filled my mind with a sort of "Confusement," as the darkies 
say, and my heart with a sarcastic bitterness that was very dramatic 
and that my dear cousins must have found exceedingly wearisome. 
It really did seem to me that the sun would stop shining and the 
heartlessness of people who could keep on talking and laughing over 
trivial things while such dire disaster had come upon me was fearfully 
oppressive and beyond comprehension. Yet, somehow, the sun did 
not go out of business and it was not long before the rally came and 
mv own jest and laughter were as hearty as anybody's. My relations 
with the lady were strained for a time but we remained friends, for 
I always recognised the many estimable points of her character. When 
I last saw her, about twenty years since, in Atlanta, she was a widow 
with a son nearly grown. 

The two years following graduation were busy ones for me. I 
learned how to work and to work hard; the habits of order and 
method that had been drilled into me at the Militan,^ Institute were 
great helps toward advancement, as they have been in everything 
that I have undertaken through life. Promotion and increase of salary 
were given me and I became cashier of the firm with higher pos- 
sibilities ahead. It was necessary to be prudent in the matter of ex- 
penditures but I had enough for all my wants as well as for simple 
pleasures. Books were always a great temptation to me and there was 
probably considerably more spent upon them than should have been. 
Yet to read good books is laying up Capital; they yield the best sort 
of interest on the investment as you, my daughters, have found out 
for yourselves long ere this. I enjoyed going to the theatre also; at 
that time there was an unusually fine actress. Miss Eliza Logan, who 
spent long seasons in Savannah and was a great favorite with all who 
heard her. She was a homely woman, being much too stout for grace 
and plain in feature, but both of these drawbacks were forgotten when 
she acted. I have never seen another woman upon the stage, excepting 
Charlotte Cushman, who could compare with her in dramatic power 
and complete assimiliation with the character she represented. Her 
enunciation was perfect itself, every word was like a pearl and her 
voice had a carrying quality that made it heard with distinctness 
in every part of the house. What marvelous beauty there is in the 
English language when thus spoken. I doubt whether any other equals 
it as a medium for the expression of thought and feeling. There is 
an inclination on the part of some to claim for French a greater power 

70 



to convey subtle differences of meaning, but I am not of those, when 
considering the tvvo languages in their entirety. In each tongue there 
are many words that have no exact equivalent in the other. French 
may perhaps be a more daint\' language, more elegant its lovers may 
say, but there is a terse force, a virile strength, a pliant flexibility, 
a plentiful richness of reasonance in English that easily puts it in the 
first place. To hear it as Eliza Logan spoke it was a joy at the time 
and has been a pleasant memory ever since. Her repertoire included 
such plays as Lucretia Borgia, Adrienne the Actress, Ingomar the 
Barbarian, The Honeymoon, Evadne or the Hall of Statues, and 
others of the same character. They are rarely seen nowadays but I 
thought them very fine, and never tired of them. 

About that time too the Hodgson and Durand Opera Troupe visited 
Savannah every winter giving in English such works as The Bo- 
hemian Girl, The Daughter of the Regiment, The Barber of Seville 
&c. I generally was in an impecunious condition when this company 
left the city; they carried most of my money away with them for 
it seemed impossible for me to resist the temptation of going to hear 
them whenever the doors of the theatre were opened. My standard 
of music was not so high as it has become since I have been familiar 
with the great voices at the Metropolitan. Writing of music reminds 
me of a close friendship I formed about that period with Miss Emma 
Elliott, a young lady from Bath Maine who came out to sing as first 
soprana at Christ Church. I forget where we first met but remember 
distinctly that we were friends very soon, though there was never 
a suspicion of anything else between us. She was an amiable, sensible 
girl, rather large in person, as is usual with girls from that State, 
and with pleasant features that were an index of character, though 
she was not beautiful. Her voice was a full, rich soprano, (clear and 
pure throughout her entire register,) that it was a great pleasure to 
listen to. Schuberts "Barcarole" was the first song I heard her sing 
and its beauty quite entranced me. In Mozarts Twelfth Mass she 
was particularly fine. I always went to Christ Church to hear her 
when that was to be sung. She went out to California a year or two 
before the war, married there, & became the Mother of quite a family, 
but I have not heard of her in many years now and do not know 
whether she is yet in the land of the living. 

In the same counting room with me were J H Graybill and Horace 
Crane, the former being subsequently the father of Mary and Harry 
Graybill; he was rather erratic but I liked him and we went about 
a great deal together. Horace was a few years younger than myself, 
a handsome young fellow with rosy cheeks and dark eyes. He had 

71 



then the same equable, pleasant temperament that you know in him 
now; he has been a much beloved man all his life. He has been a true 
friend to me from that day to this. One whom I hold in warm affec- 
tion. There are few better men or more worthy citizens. He had a 
sister, Julia, a beautiful young girl whom I used to visit quite fre- 
quently. She married Tom Charlton and was the Mother of the 
Charlton tribe with whom you are familiar. Horace's elder brother, 
Willie Crane, went to Virginia with the "Oglethorpes" at the begin- 
ning of the War and was killed at the first battle of Manassas. 

So passed a couple of years in a happy mixture of work and play 
and then I met my fate. The old custom of New Year's visiting used 
to be very generally observed in Savannah. The Ladies always put 
on their best frocks, darkened the parlors from sunlight and lit the 
gas, set out a table of refreshments and then waited for the fray. 
The gentleman, rarely singly and often in groups of six or eight, 
would start in carriages at one end of the city and take it street by 
street until the other end was reached, calling upon every lady of 
their acquaintance within those limits. Some would begin at the Bay 
and work Southward, others at Gaston Street, (then the Ultima 
Thule) and make their way Northward. Where it would not be con- 
venient for the ladies to receive, a basket would be hung on the 
front door knob for cards, but for the most part there was open 
house every where. On New Years day 1858 your Uncle Matt and 
I arranged to go out together. Cousin Maggie Wade lent me her 
rockaway and driver and a field day we made of it. We made about 
one hundred and twenty calls and were in a great state of good 
humored hilarity all day long, though there was nothing beyond 
youth, health and high spirits to account for it. Matt was temperate 
and I, until long after that time did not know the taste of wine or 
liquor. It was one of the happiest days either of us had ever spent. 
I dare say he looks back upon it as such though he had not the same 
reasons for so doing as myself. Just about nightfall we reached the 
house of Charlton Way on Jones Street near the comer of Drayton. 
Your Aunt Fannie was alone in the parlor when we first went in, 
but in a moment a troop of young girls came running down stairs, 
Eva and Corinne Way, one or two of the Walthour girls from Liberty 
County and your dear Mother, then Florence Williams. Once before 
we had been in the same room but it so happened that we did not 
meet; three years previous to this time the Corps of Cadets had given 
an exhibition drill before the Legislature at Milledgeville and at its 
close I went with one or two other officers to speak with friends in 
the parlor of the hotel. Your Mother has since told me that she was 
there and noticed my coming in, but I have no recollection whatever 

72 



of having been introduced. On this New Years day however my heart 
went out to her at once. I felt that she was the one woman in the 
world for me. I can give no reason for this, it was simply so, let those 
who do not believe in love at first sight explain it as they will. I began 
immediately to seek her society and on the 28th of February follow- 
ing she promised to be my wife. She returned to Milledgeville in 
April and later in the summer I followed to ask your Grandmother 
Williams to give her to me. Your Aunt Fannie had told me how 
I would be received and when the important interview came off 
every detail of the dear old lady's bearing had been so accurately 
described in anticipation that, in spite of my trepidation, I could not 
but feel an inclination to smile. She sat in state on the old horse-hair 
sofa, a great turkey-tail fan in her hand, her best cap on her head 
and with an air of dignified composure that would have badly fright- 
ened me had I not already learned the sweet simplicity of her loving 
nature. Outside, the sun was shining and birds singing. I could hear 
your Mother and Kitty Bachelotte laughing and talking together as 
they ran down the front steps leaving me to my fate; longer waiting 
was useless and I plunged at once into the speech I had come to make. 
"You are very young Mr Olmstead;" "Yes, Mrs Williams, but I am 
getting over that every day." "Your means are small." "Yes Ma'am, 
but Florie and I can live on what we will have." I had an answer 
for each half-hearted argument that was advanced. Well, the conver- 
sation ended as such talks generally do when there is no real objection 
to two young people coming together, and that evening I was re- 
ceived by the whole family as one of its prospective members. 

Milledgeville was a charming place to live in those days. It had 
no commercial importance but was the Capital of the State and 
society was made up of the State house officials and old families whose 
roots ran way back to the settling of the town— the Sanfords, Kennans, 
Williamses, Carringtons, Forts, Newells, Ormes, Jarretts, Grieves, 
Du Bignons &c. The heads of most of these families were planters 
whose plantations knew everybody else intimately and well, there 
was a kindly atmosphere of friendliness and good fellowship that was 
exceedingly delightful and all that brought joy or sorrow to one 
household found tender, helpful sympathy in every other. 

In this circle of friends your Grandmother was greatly beloved I do 
not believe she had even an enemy or ill wisher, indeed it was not 
possible to feel anything save affection for her. Simple unwordliness 
and goodness were her predominant traits but with them was united 
a fund of practical every day sense that made her a good manager 
of the property your Grandfather had left at his death in 1854, and 
a most notable housewife. 

73 



I have none but sweet and loving memories of her, she took me to 
her heart as a son from the very first and it has always been a happy 
thought to me that she knew the depth of my love for her. Her sons 
and daughters "rose up to call her blessed" and when she died there 
was but one expression— "a good woman gone to heaven." 

Those were halycon days for me that summer. Your Mother and 
I were happy beyond expression, (for once "the course of true love" 
had "run smooth,"— brothers and sisters took me to themselves as 
though I were already one of them, and as "Florie's beau," I was 
invited everywhere. Some of the old people of the town, I found 
too, had been friends of my own parents in former days and it was 
a great pleasure to me to claim their friendship as an inheritance. I 
made the acquaintance of quite a number of young men who were 
students at Oglethorpe University. Among them Tom Newell who 
married General Colquitt's daughter, and Sidney Lanier who became 
so famous a poet in later years. As a youth he was singularly attrac- 
tive and sweet, with dark hair and eyes and a winning voice that told 
of a refined and delicate nature. It was hard to leave all this and go 
back to the hard grind of the counting room but it had to be done. 
One cannot always live upon the mountain tops. Florie and I had 
not hoped for an early marriage; not until certain advancement that 
I expected in the following year should be realized, but it came to me 
within a month or two and then we fixed upon January 20 1859 as 
the day that should unite us. We were married in the parlors of the 
old home at Milledgeville on that day by Rev William Flynn the 
Pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Your Mothers bridesmaids were 
Kate Fort, Kittie Bachelotte, Hattie Hall, Lizzie Ingraham and one 
other whose name escapes my memory. My "best man" was John 
Patron of Marietta; George Turner, Isaac Avery, Fred Hull and Phil 
Yonge were the other groomsmen. The rooms were filled with the 
many relatives and friends, the back hall and rear piazza with old 
family servants who were loyally devoted to "Miss" Florie. A most 
notable supper was spread by your Grandmother in the big dining 
room in the basement of the old house, to which every one did full 
justice, except perhaps myself. I was too full of happy excitement 
to care for material things, but it was a lost opportunity for Middle 
Georgia had never seen a nobler feast. On the second day after the 
wedding we came down to Savannah where it had been arranged 
that we should board with your Aunt Fannie who with Uncle Charlie 
were kind in every way. But as time passed we felt the need of a 
little home of our own and in the autumn following I rented the 



74 



small house on Jones Street where Sallie was born some years later.^** 
There we lived very happily until the War broke out, and there I 
left your Mother in going into service. In the summer of i860 we 
took a trip North together visiting the relatives in New York and at 
Ridgefield and including Niagara Falls, The Thousand Islands and 
Montreal in our itinerary. The beauty of the Islands was a revelation 
to us and we determined to return to them in the near future but it 
was not until fifty years later that I saw them again and then she 
had passed away. That was a most fateful summer for the United 
States; the differences between the Northern and Southern sections 
of the country had reached an acute state and while no one could 
have foreseen the magnitude of the convulsion that was soon to shake 
the land, still there was grave foreboding everywhere, a feeling that 
we were upon the edge of a volcano. Without going into an elaborate 
account of what those differences were it might be well just here 
to speak briefly of them. They dated as far back as the very begin- 
ning of our government, having their origin in the first Convention 
that met for the drafting of a Constitution. Two parties were then 
developed, the Federalists, who believed in a strong Central govern- 
ment, to which the States should be subordinate, and the Republicans 
whose creed was that the independence of the States had been ac- 
knowledged to each separately by Great Britain and that all power 
should remain with the States excepting such as were parted with in 
express terms to the Central government for the conduct of interests 
that were common to all; such, for instance, as our intercourse with 
foreign countries, the establishment of the post office, the issuance 
of currency &c &c. There was hot debate in the Convention on the 
many delicate questions raised by these opposite views and the session 
was so prolonged that men almost despaired of definite results, but 
at last a Constitution was prepared and submitted to the States for 
adoption. It is a document that has received the praise of the world 
for its wisdom and moderation yet it represents a compromise be- 
tween the extreme views of either side. Certain expressions in it lack 
clear definition of the powers granted and those reserved, yet un- 
doubtedly it was the best possible under the circumstances. The gen- 
eral leaning of the document is toward the views of the Republicans 
and under their construction of it the country rapidly advanced on 
the road to prosperity. Alexander Hamilton was conspicuously the 
leader of the Federalists, and brought to the furtherance of his 
opinions all the resources of his brilliant mind. Thomas Jefferson was 
the exponent of Republicanism. 

10. Sarah Olmstead, later Mrs. A. Pratt Adams; born 1862, died Septem- 
ber 20, 1950. 

75 



The adoption of the Constitution made no change in the two parties, 
which subsequently went by the name of Whig and Democrat in- 
stead of Federal and Republican. The first represented Centralization, 
the latter, States rights and government for the people not for 
classes. Up to i860 the great majority of the Administration at Wash- 
ington had been Democratic and the South as a rule held to the views 
of that party. 

Meanwhile however a new issue was being raised which drew a 
definite line between North and South. When the Revolution ended 
slavery existed in Northern as well as in Southern States. With the 
passage of years it was gradually abolished in the former being found 
uneconomical and not suited to conditions of soil and climate, more- 
over the tremendous immigration from Europe supplied the North 
with the labor necessary for the development of the Country a re- 
source that was practically denied to the South by its semi-torrid 
climate and the disinclination of Europeans to compete with our 
slave population. The old Whig (or Federal) party had been defeated 
so often at the polls that it had ceased to exist but upon its ruins 
a new party was built up having for its avowed object the abolition 
of slavery. Many of the rank and file denied this, but it is only 
necessary to read the utterances of the party leaders to be convinced 
of its truth. The people of the South were denounced as "slave 
drivers" and the Constitution under which we held our property 
was declared "A league with death and a covenant with hell." A so 
called "Underground railroad" was established along the border line 
between the free and slave States by which runaway slaves were 
protected and spirited away from their owners. In a word this party, 
(which took the name that had formerly belonged to the Democrats 
and called itself Republican,) was absolutely and entirely sectional 
and by its acts really waged a quasi warfare against the South. In 
addition a large part of the territory acquired by the Louisiana Pur- 
chase and by the Mexican War— to which the blood and treasure of 
the South had contributed equally with the North— was denied to the 
people of our section, the Central government forbidding that slaves 
should be taken into North of a certain line. In 1856 the Republican 
party put up their first candidate— General Chas Fremont, (who by 
the way was born in Savannah, though he did not belong there). 
He was defeated, but only by a close margin and the campaign had 
been fraught with expressions and declarations that boded evil for 
the South should the parry ever attain to power. In i860 Mr Lincoln 
was put forward as the standard bearer and again there was a heated 
struggle. Great alarm was felt all through our section, it was felt 
that with the Republicans in complete control of the Federal govern- 

76 



ment, having the President, Congress and the Supreme Court with 
them there was no longer safety for the South in the Union. 

Without touching upon the moral question involved in the slavery 
of the Negro, these facts seem indisputable: it had once been common 
to the whole country; the ships and men who brought the African 
to our shores were English and Northern; it came to an end at the 
North because of economic conditions and after a considerable number 
of the slaves had been sold to the South; it represented to the Southern 
people a capitalization of four thousand million dollars and any out- 
side interference with the institution it was believed would absolutely 
upturn and destroy the industrial interests of every State South 
of Mason & Dixon's line. In the history of the world no brave people 
ever accepted conditions like these without doing all in their power 
to avoid them. So when the election resulted in the triumph of the 
Republican party Conventions were called in the various Southern 
States and one after another, as individual States, they formally with- 
drew from the Union, and, later on, were united in a new bond as 
"The Confederate States of America," with Jefferson Davis as Presi- 
dent, Alexander Stephens Vice President, and its Capital at Mont- 
gomery Ala, (subsequently changed to Richmond Va.) 

The right of a State to secede from a Union in which its interests 
are gravely imperilled is one that we believed in implicity— it was not 
definitely stated in the Constitution but no one can read the record 
of the debates in the Convention that framed that document, and 
fail to see that the great body of the delegates recognized it. 

When the Constitution was adopted by the States one or more 
[of] them expressly reserved this right and there can be no question 
that if it belonged to one it belonged equally to every member of 
the Federation. The question has ceased to be any more than Aca- 
demic—it has been settled by the sword and it is scarcely possible 
that it can ever again be reopened. Yet it is well for future generations 
of Southerners to know that their fathers acted as they did from 
a profound sense of right and to avert perils that were not imaginar)'^ 
but ver)^ real. Secession in itself was not an act of war nor was any 
other than a defensive war ever contemplated by the Southern people. 
While for the Northern it was, first and last, a war of invasion to 
bring us back into the Union by force. Much is made by Northern 
historians of our "firing upon the old flag" at Fort Sumter, but, be 
it remembered that the very occupation and retention of Fort Sumter 
by an armed force was in itself an act of war ante-dating the effort 
of the South to recapture it. When South Carolina and the other 
States seceded the United States became in theory a foreign govern- 
ment to them and it was intolerable that a fort built for the protection 

77 



of the principal Southern sea port upon land ceded by the State for 
that purpose alone, should be held by aliens. How long would England 
submit to the domination of the lower Thames by a German fortifica- 
tion? So long as Major Anderson and his garrison held Fort Sumter 
the city of Charleston was under his thumb and the vaunted freedom 
of the State a mockery. There was no other alternative than a resort 
to arms when the demand for surrender was refused. The capture 
of the fort, though availed of to fire the Nonhern heart, inflicted 
no injury upon any part of the United States, interferred with no 
interest beyond Southern limits. Had not war been predetermined 
upon Major Anderson would have been instructed by his government 
to retire from a position that had no military value save as a point 
from which to coerce the South. 

After all that can be said for each side, however, the fact remains 
that the people of both sections were keyed up to the breaking point 
and it is comparatively unimportant which committed the first overt 
act. The South, as has been said, had no thought of offensive war, 
yet nevertheless the probability of having to defend its political 
course by its own strong right arm was freely anticipated from Vir- 
ginia to Texas, and, I am bound to add, with a wild enthusiasm. All 
military commands were recruited to their full limit, new companies 
were formed everywhere and night after night found the drill rooms 
and armories filled with high spirited youth preparing for the in- 
evitable. Despite the gravity of the issue and the forebodings of the 
thoughtful it was a period of exaltation, when, for once, materialism 
went to the wall and considerations of self were lost in patriotic ardor 
and earnest desire for the welfare of the commonwealth. How little 
could any of us have forseen the bitter ending of it all— and yet 
with full knowledge now of the price that Fate exacted of us I am 
glad to have lived in a time when the wiiole body politic had risen 
above all that was low and sordid and met the call of country with 
a cheerful alacrity, an uncalculating zeal a noble courage, that com- 
manded and received the admiration of the world. 

In the early part of i860, (I think it was,) the Adjutancy of the 
First Volunteer Regiment was offered me by Col A R Lawton, who 
was then its commander, and I very gladly accepted it realizing that 
if trouble came the office was one in which I could be particularly 
useful since I had been trained in its special duties at the Military 
Institute. The Regiment then was rather an anamolous organization 
including all the commands in the city excepting the Hussars. The 
Guards and the Chatham Artillery both belonged to it so that it 
was really more of a Legion than a Regiment until it went regularly 
into the Confederate Service when it was put upon the proper basis 

78 



of ten infantry companies. For several months the duties were more 
or less perfunctory. I took part in two or three public parades, trans- 
mitted whatever orders the Colonel wished to give, kept the roster 
of the companies that were detailed for "fire duty," and attended 
several balls and parties in a handsome staff uniform that I was very 
proud of. But on the 2nd day of January 1861 this holiday business 
came to an end. I was at my desk in the counting room busily oc- 
cupied with commercial affairs, when a note was brought to me 
from Col Lawton requiring my "immediate" presence at his office. 
Obeying the command at once I found the Colonel in earnest con- 
sultation with Governor Joseph E Brown. A moment after the latter 
left the room saying "Colonel I have determined upon the step and 
you will carry it into execution," (or words to that effect.) The 
Governor feared that Fort Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah 
River might be seized by United States troops as Fort Sumter had 
been occupied in Charleston harbor and he had arrived at the conclu- 
sion to forestall such action by promptly taking possession with 
Georgia soldiers.^^ 

A number of gentlemen were waiting upon Col Lawton among 
them Capt John W Anderson of the "Blues," Capt John Screven of 
the "Guards," Capt. Joseph Claghorn of the Chatham Artillery, Capt 
Francis Bartow of the "Oglethorpes," Mr Prioleau Hamilton and 
several others whom I did not know. These all stood around con- 
versing in low tones, with grave and serious faces, for indeed it was 
a momentous step without precedent and one that might very justly 
have been called "rebellion." The State of Georgia had not seceded as 
yet, was still an integral part of the Union, and was about to take violent 
possession of property that unquestionably belonged to the United 
States. Still under all the circumstances it was a justifiable act and I 
never heard its wisdom doubted by either Northern or Southern 
writers. 

Col Lawton sat at his desk and formulated at once the rough draft 
of an order for an extraordinary force of three companies, the 
Artillery, the Guards and the Oglethorpes, to proceed at an early 
hour on the following morning by steamer to Fort Pulaski, to seize 
that work. This draft he handed to me to put in shape and distribute 
to the commands interested, which I did without delay, then returned 
to the counting room, handed over my books and papers to the firm 
and began the life of real soldiering. 

Your Mother and I, as you have heard, were then living in the 
little Jones Street house very happily and cosily. When I brought 

11. See his "Fort Pulaski," in Georgia Historical Quarterly (1917), I, 

98-105. 

79 



the news home to her that day she seemed to reaUze far more than 
myself what it meant to us individually. I think she felt from the 
first a prophetic sense of the trials and sacrifices that were before us, 
but she said not a word that was not sympathetic and encouraging 
and at once began the necessary preparations for my departure the 
next morning. How many families like ours there must have been in 
the old town that night, where husbands and sons and brothers were 
elated by a joyous sense of adventure, while wives and mothers and 
sisters hid in their hearts the dim foreshadowings of sorrow and dis- 
aster. 

With the dawn the air was filled with the sound of martial music 
and by eight oclock the commands that had been designated for the 
service were down at the wharf ready to embark on the little steamer 
"Ida" that was to take them to the Fort. Col Lawton was there in 
person and of course the Adjutant had to be with him. We started 
down the river receiving the salutes from every craft we passed 
while the balconies of the various stores and counting rooms over- 
looking the water were filled with people waving their handkerchiefs 
and cheering. What a morning it was for all of us; how full of an 
exhilaration that I have rarely felt since. Yet as I look back upon it 
two very opposite emotions are awakened. One, of amusement at the 
enormous amount of baggage that our little force carried along; the 
other a deep sadness as I remember how many of the gallant young 
fellows who gloried in their manhood on that brilliant winter morn- 
ing were so soon to lay down their lives on the field of battle. 
Fortunate, indeed, it is for us all that the future is a sealed book 
into which we may not look. We reached Cockspur Island in due 
time, the little battallion was formed upon the North Wharf and then 
with drums beating colors flying and hearts swelling we marched 
over the drawbridge, under the portcullis and into the Fort. I can 
shut my eyes and see it all now, the proud step of officers and men, 
the colors snapping in the strong breeze from the ocean; the bright 
sunlight of the parade as we emerged from the shadow of the arch- 
way; the first glimpse of a gun through an open casemate door: one 
and all they were photographed on my mind and will never be for- 
gotten. Once as a little boy I had been with father on an afternoon 
excursion down to the Fort and my imagination had been strongly 
impressed by all that I saw there. Now, as I marched in, that long 
ago visit came back to me and I found myself wondering if it pos- 
sibly be true that I was there as an officer of the garrison to defend 
it against all comers. But there was little time to indulge in reflection. 
My duties as Chief of Staff began immediately and were the more 
arduous because of the fact that, with the exception of one or two 

80 



old Cadets from the Military Institute, none of the officers nor men 
were familiar with the routine duties of garrison life. We soon settled 
down into them however; the men were assigned to quarters in the 
casemates; officers chose their rooms according to date of commis- 
sion; guards were mounted; police squads detailed; the cooking squads 
installed in the kitchens &c &c so that in a day or two order emerged 
from chaos and we began to look around upon our capacity for 
defence. 

The armament of the Fort then consisted of only twenty 32 
Pounders, long naval guns mounted on cast iron carriages and all in 
the casemates. On the ramparts there were platforms for barbette 
guns but no guns were there. The 32 Pdrs, their carriages and chassis 
were stiff and almost unworkable from rust and disuse, there was a 
small supply of powder in the magazines and a fairly good number 
of solid shot but no shells. One company of the garrison had some 
knowledge of light artillery service, but none had experience with 
heavy guns. I incline on the whole to the belief that if a vigorous 
attack had been made upon the Fort by the U S Navy at any time 
within the first month of our occupation it could not have been 
successfully resisted. But in that month neither the garrison nor the 
State authorities were idle— the guns were put in first class order and 
the men habituated to their use, the magazines were replenished and 
strenuous effort put forth for the casting of new and heavier guns 
to increase the armament. 

As time went on the original garrison was replaced by other troops 
until all the companies of the Regiment had gained experience in 
what was required of them. 

I did not remain at the Fort continuously but would go up to the 
city from time to keep "encourant" with what was going on there. 
On one of these visits I attended the first secession meeting that was 
held in Georgia. It assembled in old Masonic Hall on the corner of 
Bull and Broughton Streets but the Hall though packed to its ultimate 
capacity did not hold a tithe of the people who had gathered for the 
occasion— the streets around were filled with cheering thousands; brass 
bands were playing, rockets soaring, bonfires blazing; in fact the old 
town seemed to have gone crazy. Strong Secession resolutions had 
been prepared which were supported by Gen Henr\' R Jackson, 
Capt Francis S Bartow, Col Tom Foreman, (the father of Mrs Robt 
Wayne) and others in impassioned speeches that made the people 
wild. The culminating point of the evening however was when the 
venerable Judge WilUam Law rose to speak. He was known not only 
as a man of pure and stainless life, but also as one of great ability, 
absolutely conservative in temperament and with calm judicious mind 

81 



that could not be thrown off its balance by clamor or prejudice. As 
he came forward on the platform intense silence reigned in the Hall. 
Other speakers had been received with loud acclamations but the 
seriousness of the moment hushed all these now, for it was felt the 
decisive time had arrived and that upon the utterances of this man 
depended whether or not the voice of Savannah should call upon the 
State to withdraw from the Union. Quietly and without attempt at 
oratorical effect the old Judge reviewed the political situation in all 
its bearings; he summed up the dangers that would arise from the 
contemplated action, and on the other hand the wrongs and loss 
of liberty to which the South was exposed bv existing conditions 
were fully portrayed. Warming with this branch of the subject he 
closed by declaring that a free people should not sit passively while 
their rights were being trampled upon. "Therefore," he cried, "There- 
fore, I give to these resolutions my hearty endorsement." Then came 
pandemonium— a wild roar went up from every voice in the hall, 
and its echo came back from the street as men called from the win- 
dows "Judge Law has endorsed the Resolutions." There seemed no 
end to the excited expression of deep feeling; it went on as though 
it would never stop. Men shouted until breath was gone, and hugged 
each other with passionate embraces while upon many faces tears ran 
down of which the shedders were apparently unconscious. I am not 
exaggerating but telling of what I saw and heard in what was probably 
the most thrilling gathering in my Hfe's experience. 

When quiet was finally restored the Resolutions were adopted 
without a dissenting voice, and were read from the balcony to the 
people in the street by your Uncle Charlie Way, who was Secretary 
of the meetings. This, as has been said, was the first Secession meeting; 
its action was published far and wide and I have little doubt that 
its influence upon the movements of the other states was very great. 
Soon after this the Ordinance of Secession was formally passed by 
the State of Georgia. One of the first steps taken by the Legislature 
was the organization of two regular Regiments, one of which your 
Uncle Charles J Williams was Colonel. This Command relieved the 
Volunteer Regiment of the duty of occupying Fort Pulaski and Tybee 
Island until later in the summer when it was ordered to Virginia, 
and the ist Vol Regt again took charge of both posts as well as of 
Thunderbolt, Fort Jackson and Green Island. Meanwhile the Regiment 
was preparing for service in the war. Col Lawton had been made 
a Brigadier General and Col Hugh Mercer became Colonel; W S 
Rockwell was made Lieut Col and C H Olmstead Major. This was a 

82 



very decided promotion for me and beyond question I owed it to the 
opportunity that the seizure of Fort Pulaski gave me for becoming 
known to the officers. 

My first service as a Confederate Officer was at Fort Pulaski to 
which post I went as second in command to Col Hugh Mercer in the 
Spring of 1861. The life there was monotonous with little to do save 
to study Heavy Artillery books and Army Regulations, to drill the 
men at the guns and to perfect them in Infantry tactics. The higher 
officers had likewise to pay close attention to matters pertaining to 
hygiene, the proper preparation of food and the disposal of garbage, 
regard to scrupulous cleanliness in the quarters of the men and to 
their regularity in bathing &c &c. 

Matters like this may sound strangely to you as a part of an of- 
ficer's duty but looking after them most closely at a Mixed Post 
where a large number of men herd together in narrow quarters, is 
absolutely essential to the preservation of health. Even where troops 
are out in the open, attention to such details is of the utmost im- 
portance, indispensible in fact; the efficiency of a command depends 
upon them to a degree you can scarcely imagine. At the Fort Col 
Mercer made them my special charge and it pleases me to remember 
that all through that summer we had no sickness to speak of. 

Every morning there was an inspection of the quarters of each 
Company by its Captain, but on Sundays the Colonel with his staff 
in full uniform took a hand at the business. The battalion was formed 
on the parade and condition of every man carefully looked into, his 
person, his clothing and his arms. Then they would be dismissed 
to the Casemates to await inspection of quarters while the Colonel 
started on an entire round of the Fort beginning with the Quarter- 
Master, Commissary and Ordnance departments, the Hospital and 
the Company kitchens. At that time our cooks were all Negroes and 
it goes without saying that strong measures had to be used to keep 
them up to the mark. If a kitchen did not meet the requirements 
of Authority the Cook was promptly laid over a brass drum and a 
good paddling administered with a shingle while his associates stood 
grinning around. The efficaciousness of this plan is shown by the 
fact that it had to be resorted to only twice that I can remember; 
it broke no bones but ensured clean kitchens. I recommend the method 
to housekeepers with inefficient or careless servants. 

The river was free all that summer and autumn so there was no 
difficulty in the way of getting food supply in plenty from the 

93 



city. Our water was from cement lined cisterns deep down in the 
foundations of the Fort; they were supplied by the rain that fell 
upon the parapets and filtered through to the valleys between the 
Casemate arches and thence by pipes to the cisterns; it was very pure 
and sweet never occasioning any sickness that I was aware of. Con- 
sideration of the question of adding to this supply came perilously 
near causing the loss of my life. Immediately in front of the officers 
quarters was a long colonnade the roof of which was covered with 
metal, and from this leaders ran down some of the columns to dis- 
charge rain water onto the parade. One afternoon during a heavy 
downpour the Colonel and I were sitting in this colonnade discussing 
the subject of increasing the flow to the cisterns as we watched the 
countless gallons of good water going to waste. He said to me 
■"We ought to make some arrangements to save that; suppose you 
catch a little of it Major and let us see how it tastes." Complying 
to his request I stepped into my room picked up a tin dipper and 
had nearly gotten to the door when an undefinable impulse made me 
turn back, go to the washstand again, put down the dipper and take 
up a glass tumbler instead. I call it an "impulse" for there was no 
thought about it; it was just as though some power had guided me 
without volition of my own - as I reverently believe to have been 
the case. At all events, the act saved my life. As I stopped to catch 
in the glass some of the water pouring from the leader, a terrific 
stroke of lightning shattered the flagstaff on the parapet above into 
a thousand fragments, then made its way to the tin roof and down 
the leader tearing up the ground within a foot or two of my body; 
had metal been in my hand instead of non-conducting glass I should 
certainly have been killed. The shock was very great, depriving me 
of consciousness for a while. On coming to I found myself lying 
upon the pavement some ten feet from where I had been standing 
but whether thrown there or whether I jumped and fell is more 
than I can say. A severe stomach trouble came upon me instantly 
and kept me in bed for three or four days but there were no other 
ill results. 

The First Georgia Regulars of which your Uncle Charles J Williams 
was Colonel, was stationed on Tybee Island that summer and I went 
down one day to see him; the last time we ever met. My very dear 
friend, John Patton, was a Captain in that Regiment and him also 
I saw no more; he was killed at South Mountain Maryland in the 
following year. When the Regulars went to Virginia, Tybee was 
garrisoned by Companies from our own Regiment. On one occasion 
I was sent to take a Company of the Guards to relieve the Phoenix 

84 



Riflemen who had been on duty there for some little time. We went 
down in an old steam lighter that used to ply about the harbor, the 
"Robert Habersham," a craft whose engines were pretty well worn 
out. She was of what we used to call "the wheelbarrow pattern" with 
one big paddle wheel at the stern; about as cumbrous and slow a boat 
as could be found. There was no wharf at Tybee so the steamer 
was anchored out in the Roads and the men were rowed ashore in a 
small boat a few at a time. This took quite a while but the Guards 
were all safely landed. Meantime however the afternoon had slipped 
away and when the Riflemen were ready to embark night was 
falling. The tide was running out like a millrace and a strong wind 
blowing in from the ocean caused a heavy sea to rise that made the 
process of embarkation distinctly dangerous. I went out on one of 
the first boats reaching the steamer in safety, as did two or more 
boat loads besides. At last there came a boat in which the men were 
so much alarmed that they lost their heads completely. As they came 
alongside of the steamer they all sprang to their feet each trying to 
get on board first. In an instant the little craft careened, filled with 
water, turned bottom upwards and the men were all struggling in 
the water. Some were saved by ropes thrown from the steamer, 
some were drowned before our eyes, and yet others who were good 
swimmers made for the shore while the boat with one figure clinging 
to its bottom floated off in the darkness toward the sea. Among the 
swimmers was a man named Charles Law who was a perfect duck in 
the water; he had divested himself of his coat and heavy accoutre- 
ments and was easily assured of safety for himself when he heard 
a faint voice calling from the dark in the direction of the boat. 
"Charlie dont leave me." Without a moments hesitation the gallant 
fellow turned his face outward once more, swam out where the voice 
of his friend had called, took place beside him on the bottom of the 
boat and floated with it in the darkness out to the sea, facing what 
appeared to be certain death rather than desert a comrade. Meanwhile 
there were anxious hearts upon the "Habersham" for the prospect 
of getting her started out on the rescue search in time to save life, 
appeared slim enough. The anchor was down, steam was low in the 
boilers the fires nearly out and the old craft at best slow and un- 
wieldy. But willing hands went energetically to work, soon the 
fires were blazing on the grate-bars, the gauge marked rising steam, 
the anchor was lifted, and in a little over half an hour we were under 
headway pointed for the ocean. It was black dark and progress 
necessarily slow and careful for there were no lights or beacons to 
guide the mariner on the Southern coast at that time. Moreover we 

85 



could not go too far out because of the danger of being captured 
by blockading vessels beyond the bar. The keenest lookout failed 
to discover any sign of the missing men and we were upon the point 
of abandoning the search when the moon arose and cast a broad beam 
of light over the surface of the sea. Right in that shining track a black 
speck was visible which, as we approached it, proved to be the boat 
with the two men clinging [to] it. A cherry answer came from Law 
as the two were hailed, but the other man (whose name I have for- 
gotten) was silent, almost exhausted by his long immersion in the 
water. He was of frail physique, unable to swim, and but for the 
comforting and helpful companionship of his friend would certainly 
have perished long before we could reach him. In a few minutes 
both were lifted on board and taken to the warmth of the engine 
room and we made our way back to the anchorage. 

I have always thought this incident unsurpassed as an exhibition of 
unselfish and uncalculating bravery and I am glad that it fell to my lot 
to witness it. Mr Joe Solomons the druggist was on board the Haber- 
sham with me at the time; it would be interesting to know if he re- 
members these details as vividly as I do. For half a mile, as the boat 
floated out, her course was parallel to Tybee beach and at any point in 
that distance Law could easily have swum to shore had he chosen 
to consult personal safety rather than the promptings of his own 
brave and generous heart, but it was a case of "noblesse oblige"— 
a nobility imparted by God which he could not betray. I asked him as 
he sat by the furnace fire drying his clothes, "Law, did you not 
know that if you passed Tybee Point there was no hope for you?" 
"Yes Major," the gallant fellow replied. "I knew that we were as 
good as dead men if we went by there, but I couldn't leave the old 
chap." And so he remained cheering, sustaining, helping, until when 
hope had vanished relief came. 

Shortly after this I went to command the Post at Tybee Island 
and remained there two or three months. Your Uncle Charlie Way 
was stationed there then; he was captain of a batter)'^ of Mountain 
Artillery that it was thought might be useful in repelling boat attacks. 
I cannot recall the regular name of the organisation but it was known 
on the Island as "The Jackass Artillery"— a soubriquet that was bitterly 
resented though vainly so. 

Tybee was my first independent command and I carried to it an 
anxious heart for it was an extreme outpost and news was rumored 
all through the summer that an expeditionary force was being 
formed at the North to attack some point on the Georgia or South 
Carolina coast. The garrison consisted of only a few companies and 

86 



we had but two or three heavy guns in position near the old Martello 
Tower at the Point. The men were camped close by and pickets were 
kept up along the whole length of the beach down to the Southern 
end of the Island. I used to ride that beach at every hour of the night 
and I do not know that I have ever felt more lonely than in the 
performance of that duty. The pickets were about a mile part and 
as I rode from one to the other in the black night, with the bare 
sand dunes on one hand and the rolling waves of the ocean upon the 
other I seemed to be the only person in the Universe. It was necessary 
however to let the men see that they were under supervision. There 
were other nocturnal visitors to the beach besides myself— the men 
of your Uncle's Company captured one night a huge turtle weighing 
something like two hundred pounds that had come out of the sea to lav 
her eggs in the sand. Of course we all had turtle soup and turtle 
steaks galore but the meat was coarse and oily, not comparable 
to that of the smaller species. 

In the early autumn Col Mercer was appointed a Brigadier General 
by the Confederate Government and put in charge of the Military 
District of Georgia while I succeeded him in command of Fort 
Pulaski. 

Not long after this change we heard from the Northern expedition, 
which attacked Pon Royal on the Carolina coast the first harbor 
north of the Savannah River. The firing was very heavy; we could 
hear it very distinctly as it went on for hours and there was high 
hope that the fleet would be repulsed but the Confederates were 
driven from their batteries with a heavy loss in killed and wounded 
the remnant of the garrison retreating to the other end of Hilton 
Head Island where they were taken on board steam boats and carried 
up to Savannah. Port Royal was then held by the enemy until the 
end of the war and became a centre from which many expeditions 
went out to harass the Georgia and Carolina coasts. 

The loss of Port Royal convinced the Confederate Authorities of 
the uselessness of attempting to hold an isolated Island like Tybee 
with the force at their command, against such a naval force as would 
probably soon be sent against it. Accordingly it was determined to 
evacuate the Post and the danger seemed so pressing that the with- 
drawal was made with something like precipitancy, the heavy guns 
not being removed or made useless in any way. After waiting a few 
days and seeing no signs of an advance of the enemy an expedition 
was sent down from the fort, the guns were dismantled, loaded on a 
barge and successfully brought up as an addition to our own arma- 
ment. Not very long after this was done two or three vessels appeared 

87 



off Tybee Point convoying transports loaded with troops some of 
whom we could see with our glasses disembarked upon the Island. 
I was anxious that the tall lighthouse should not be used by the 
Yankees as a point of observation, also that a house that stood at 
Lazaretto Creek, on the Western end of the Island, should not serve 
as a blind for operations against the Fort. That night therefore I 
sent Captain J B Read of the Irish Volunteers with a squad of his 
men over to destroy both of these buildings by fire. He did the work 
faithfully and well; after he had been gone about an hour we saw 
flames bursting from the summit of the lighthouse and its narrow 
windows. At once the gun boats opened fire and began shelling 
the woods, causing us considerable uneasiness for the safety of the 
gallant Captain and his men, but ere many minutes had passed the 
King house at Lazaretto began to bum also and in a short while 
after the little party returned, muddy, smoky and very tired, but 
safe. This expedition called for considerable nerve on the part of 
Captain Read as he could not tell at what moment he might find 
himself in the very middle of the enemy. Had he been discovered noth- 
ing could have saved his party from capture or death. We were dis- 
appointed about the lighthouse however, for although the fire en- 
tirely destroyed all the wood work of the interior the solid brick 
shaft was left standing like a chimney and in two weeks or so the 
enemy had rebuilt the stairway and established a signal station at 
the top.^2 

12. In this connection the following exchange of letters from the files 
of the Georgia Historical Society is of interest. 

San Diego, Cal. 

Aug. 25, 1921 
Georgia Historical Society, 
Savannah, Georgia. 

Please inform me where and under what circumstance was the first U. S. 
flag raised on the State of Georgia in the Civil War. 

The writer was one of the boat crews that landed on Tybee Island from 
the U. S. S. Augusta Sunday, Nov. 25th 1861. When I got to light-house I 
found there was a flag-staff but no hailards. I thought it would be fine to 
have a flag, and returned to the beach and got my boat flag and raised It 
on Tybee Light-house. 

Commander E. G. Parrott brother of the maker [of the] Parrott gun 
comm[and]ed the "Augusta" and Commander Drayton brother of the Gen. 
Drayton who commanded at Hilton Head were present on this occasion. 

I have reason to remember this incident when I returned on board at sun- 
down was put in double irons for 10 days for doing the little trick without 
orders. 

Respectfully, 
Francis McCarten 
520 25th St. 
Late 
U. S. S. Navy 




Charles H. Olmstead as Colonel of the Regiment 
{Courtesy of Alexander A. Lawrence) 



In thinking over what has been written I find my memory much 
at fault as to dates, and there are no records at hand for me to refer 
to. Of the exact time when Col Mercer was made a General I am 
in doubt, but I believe it was in December 1861 that the Regiment 
elected me to Colonel and my commission was sent me. You have 
the document framed with my Adjutants and Majors commissions. 
This advance gave me two steps at once skipping the Lieutenant 
Colonelcy, in which office W S Rockwell remained. Edward Lawton 
had been the Adjutant of Col Mercer. He was a younger brother 
of Gen A. R. Lawton's and one of the most companionable, genial 
men I was ever thrown with. He was almost womanly in the gentle 
refinement of his nature yet at the same time he possessed strong 
will power and resolution as was shown in his short career afterward 
as Adjutant General of his brothers brigade in Virginia. He shared 
my quarters at the Fort and a warm friendship sprang up between 
us which ended only with his death at the battle of Fredericksburg. 
No finer spirit than his yielded up life on that bloody field. The 
vacancy occasioned by the promotion of Edward Lawton I filled 
by the appointment of my dear old friend Matthew H Hopkins to 
the adjutancy. At that time he was an officer of the Guards, stationed 

(Copy) in hand of C. H. Olmstead 
Savannah, Georgia 
Aug. 31, 1921 
305 Gwnnett St East 
Mr. Francis McCarten, 
520 25th Street, 
San Diego, Cal. 
Dear Sir:- 

Mr. Otis Ashmore, the Secretary of the Georgia Historical Society, has 
handed me your letter of the 25th Inst. 

I am specially interested in your account of the placing of a U. S. flag 
on Tybee Light-house, on Nov. 25th 1861, for the reason that at that time 
I was in command of Fort Pulaski and watched from its ramparts, with 
natural anxiety, the landing of a party on the Island from a Federal gun 
boat and the subsequent flying of a flag from the light-house. 

The incident is clearly in my memory, though it happened nearly sixty 
years ago, but I can not recall the exact date, beyond the fact that it 
was in November 1861, and shortly after a Confederate garrison had 
been withdrawn from Tybee. 

It seems highly probable to my mind that you are correct in supposing 
this was the first U. S. flag erected in Georgia during the Civil War, 
though I cannot speak with certainty. The actual taking possession of 
Tybee did not take place until some time later. 

Trusting that the world has used you well through all these long 
years. 

Very cordially yours, 
Chas. H. Olmstead, 
Formerly Colonel 
1st Vol. Reg. of Georgia. 

89 



on Green Island, but he accepted the position, came to me at once 
and from that time until the end of the war we were never separated 
except for a month or so in the Spring of 1864. No man had truer, 
more loyal friend or stauncher comrade in every vicissitude through 
which we passed. All memories of army life are associated with 
him and the tie between us, which was strong before, knit our 
souls together indissolubly. The other staff officers at the Fort were 
Capt Robert Erwin Quarter Master, Capt R. D Walker, Commissary 
and Theodore McFarland Surgeon. The company Captains were 
Jack McMahon, F W Sims, Lawrence J Guilmartin J. H. Stegin 
and M J McAlullen. The latter did not belong to the Regiment but 
volunteered to bring his Company, (the Wise Guards, raised near 
Oglethorpe Ga.) as a reinforcement when the occupation of Tybee 
by the enemy made it tolerably sure that we were to be attacked. 
Then the Quarter Master and Commissary Clerks were Edward Hop- 
kins (Matthews eldest brother) and Ned Drummond. Major John 
Foley was the second in command. I give all these names that you 
may know who were some of the men who stood by me in the hard 
trial that was soon to come upon us. I would like my daughters to 
remember them. 

In the autumn of 1861, Genl Robert E. Lee was in command of 
the Military District of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. He 
had not then attained the great fame that came to him afterward, 
yet his reputation as a brilliant soldier in the Mexican War led 
men to expect large things from him. All over the South he was 
considered the rising man. He came one day to inspect Fort Pulaski 
with a number of Army and Navy men as a staff. I was curious to 
meet him having heard much of his personality from members of 
the Stiles and Mackay families with whom he had been associated 
from his early Cadet days. He was escorted by a Company from the 
wharf to the Fort and I met him at the Sallyport to do the honors 
of the occasion. He would have been recognized any where in the 
world as a man of mark, one upon whom Nature had set the stamp 
of greatness. Tall in stature, straight as an arrow, well knit and 
vigorous in frame yet graceful and easy in movement, a well shaped 
head just beginning to be touched with gray, and a face in which 
kindliness and sweetness of temper blended with firmness of purpose 
and a dignified and grave reserve; he met my highest conception of 
ideal manhood. The impression made upon my mind at the time 
has been confirmed in every statement concerning General Lee's 
personality that I have since read. A great and good man if God 
ever made one. He made a careful inspection of the Fort, gave 
many instructions as to increasing the protection for the garrison 



90 



in the event of a bombardment, and in leaving said to me "They" 
(the enemy) "will make it pretty hot for you with shells, but they 
cannot breach your walls at that distance." I have remembered his 
words particuarly because of subsequent events which proved how 
mistaken they were. The nearest point of Tybee Island was a little 
over seventeen hundred yards, something under a mile; while at 
that time all military writers coincided in stating 800 yards as the 
greatest distance at which walls of good masonry could be breached 
by artillery. But for the first time a fortification was to be subjected 
to the power of rifled guns, a new^ force the power of which was as 
yet unknown. The orders of General Lee contemplated the formation 
of heavy blindages of ranging timber around the entire circuit of 
the fort to guard the casemate doors from fragments of shells, the 
digging of ditches and pits in the parade to catch rolling projectiles 
and the building of sundry traverses, (or mounds of earth) upon the 
parapet to check a flanking fire. All of these instructions were faith- 
fully carried out and they gave unceasing labor to the small garrison 
until the very hour that the bombardment began. Large rafts of 
heavy timber were floated down to us by way of the South channel 
of the river and were brought close up to the Fort by the canal 
which supplied the moat with water. Then the great logs would 
be dragged out upon the bank, slung to the sling carts and trotted 
into the fort by twenty or thirty men at the ropes, there to be put 
in proper shape for the blindages. It was a busy time for all of us— 
every man was at work from early morning until night fall at the 
hardest kind of labor. No one was excused except the sick and the 
guard. Some were bringing in the timber, some digging the ditches 
others building runways to the parapet for the wheel barrows to 
ascend with the earth for the traverses, others again digging that 
earth outside of the fort, and yet others bricking up certain em- 
brasures through which it was thought stray shells might reach our 
Ordnance room and magazine. A ship had been sunk in the river 
just above us by the Confederate Authorities to block the channel; 
she was resting on the bottom with her two upper decks out of the 
water and I went out to her to see if some of the wreckage might 
not be used in the defence. Organising a force for the purpose I 
brought away all the spars that could be handled and all the loose 
chains we could find. The former were placed along the inner side 
of the parapet wall to throw down upon scaling ladders and the 
chains were cut into small pieces and packed into bags attached to 
wooden sabots to be used in lieu of grape and canister shot, of which 
there were none among our supplies. These latter precautions were 



91 



to provide against a possible attack by a storming column. Aside 
from the necessity of every preparation to meet what was coming 
and the obligations upon me as a commanding officer, all this bustle 
and work was very congenial to me and, I believe, to all the officers 
and men of the garrision. I would lie awake at night planning out 
what was to be done on the following day and had ever the con- 
sciousness that the best that was in me was being given. Looking back 
upon it all it is difficult for me to realize that I was then not quite 
twenty five years old, only three years past my grandson's^^ present 
age, but responsibilities were put upon us early in those stirring times. 
Moreover the work that I was doing was simply the carrying into 
practice the things I had always been fond of studying and reading 
about; it was the natural bent of my mind. 

In the month of January 1862 as the enemy seemed tolerably quiet 
on Tybee, I came up to the city by Gen Lawtons permission, to be 
with your Mother at the time of Sallies birth but when that dear 
baby was only two days old word came to me from the General 
that there were signs of some movement on the part of the enemy 
and accordingly I took the first boat to the Fort on the following 
morning. Most fortunate it was that this action was so prompt for 
that was the last uninterrupted trip of the little steamer 'Ida." On the 
very next day as she was making her way down the South Channel 
of the river she was fired upon many times by a battery which the 
enemy had succeeded in erecting on the Marsh at Venus Point on 
the South Carolina shore. Two or three gun boats had also made 
their way into New River a shallow water course on the Carolina 
side and these joined in the attack on the "Ida." The firing was 
heavy and brought us all to the walls of the Fort from whence we 
looked with grave concern upon the cockle shell of a steamer as she 
came flying down the river with shot and shell churning up the water 
around her. Happily her Captain (old Capt Circopeley), had chosen 
the South Channel that morning and a broad expanse of marsh lay 
between him and the enemy. Moreover the tide was low so the body 
of the steamer was hidden from the men at the guns and their aim 
was imperfect. At all events not a shot struck her and she arrived 
at the wharf of Cockspur Island in safety, much to the satisfaction 
of all on board. 

It looked as though the "Ida" were booked to share the fortunes 
of the Fort, for it would have been madness to attempt the return 
to the city by the way she had come; but old Circopeley was 
thoroughly familiar with all the creeks and inlets in that quarter 

13. Charles Olmstead Adams, 1891-1963. 

92 



and had mapped out a course for himself. Just below Fort Pulaski 
Lazaretto Creek runs into Savannah River. It is the stream that makes 
Tybee an island and its upper part connects by narrow channels, 
navigable at high water for vessels of light draught, with St. Augus- 
tine Creek which, in its turn, empties into the Savannah at a point 
considerably above the location of the enemy's battery. By this 
circuitous route Captain Circopeley determined to attempt escape 
and made his arrangements to start at an early hour on the following 
morning when a high spring tide filled all the water courses to the 
brim. Soon after sunrise the old man started from the South wharf 
with a full head of steam in the boilers and the engine putting in its 
best work, (indeed it makes me smile now to remember how that 
walking beam moved; there was a celerity about it that we who 
had been going up and down the river in the old boat for many 
months had never observed before.) 

To enter Lazaretto it was necessary to go far below its mouth 
in order to turn a sand spit that lay there, and to those of the gar- 
rison who were watching from the walls it appeared as though the 
"Ida" were heading straight for the Federal ships off Tybee Point. 
With our glasses we noted a commotion on these vessels; it was an 
anxious moment, for there was every reason to expect that the little 
Confederate steamer would be riddled by the fire of the ships before 
she could make the turn into the creek; she was fairly in range of 
their guns. I have never quite understood why the enemy did not 
open fire, but at all events they did not; possibly the audacity of 
Circopeleys action took them by surprise and they were unable 
to make out what he was after. We stood with hearts in our mouths 
as the little boat went nearer and nearer the guns that might destroy 
her by a single shot. Straight as an arrow she kept her course toward 
them, then there was a sudden turn, at right angles it seemed, a burst 
of speed, and in two minutes the Ida was safely in Lazaretto, hidden 
from the fleet and well on her way to safety. None but a brave and 
determined man could have managed that escape and that Capt 
Circopeley did it gave him the right to be so considered. He was a 
fine old fellow for whose memory I cherish a warm regard. In youth 
he had been coxswain of the barge that carried the young Lieutenant 
of Engineers, Robt E Lee, between the city and Fort Pulaski when 
that work was being built. On the day that General Lee visited us 
and was on his way up from the wharf, the Captain told me after- 
ward, he took his stand by the outer bridge that gave access to the 
demi-lune, and stood there at the attention with his right hand raised 
in salute. The little procession was about to cross the bridge when 

93 



General Lee saw him and came forward with both hands extended, 
a bright smile on his face and the exclamation "Why Francis! Is that 
you?" "Just like I was one of his best friends" said the old Captain. 
"You will tell it to your children," I remarked. "Yes," was the reply. 
"And to my gr-r-r-and children too." It was a little incident but one 
that showed the native kindliness of our great leader. 

We were now definitely cut off, an isolated post, having no com- 
munication with the city except for an occasional messenger who 
would slip through the passageways of the marshes at night to bring 
us a mail. One of these couriers brought me the news of your 
Mother's extreme illness and of the death of your Uncle Charles 
Williams. You can easily imagine how this added to the burden that 
was upon me. 

The question of food supply began to loom up as a very important 
one in the near future, but it soon found satisfactory solution. One 
morning there was the sound of heavy firing up the river— old Com- 
modore Tattnall with his "mosquito" fleet had engaged the battery 
at Venus Point and the gun boats in New River, while one of his 
boats under Captain Kennard dashed straight down for the Fort. 
A barge load of supplies was lashed on either side, both of which 
were brought safely to us removing one source of anxiety. Kennard 
had to return at a slower rate than he came down for the ride was 
against him and fight his way up. I have heard since that this steamer 
was struck several times, but we were too far off to see clearly. His 
action all through that day required resolution and quiet courage 
qualities that he exhibited in a marked degree. I have always felt 
grateful to him for the help he gave at great hazard to himself and 
his officers and crew. 

For the next two months we were literally left to our own devices 
and had nothing to do but to get ready, to the best of our ability 
for the struggle that was rapidly drawing near. The usual drills 
could not be held with the parade ground torn up by ditches and 
pits but there was work enough to keep us all hustling from morning 
until night. In the evening the officers would assemble together 
to discuss the situation while enjoying a quiet smoke and there 
were many theories advanced as to how and when relief and re- 
inforcements might reach us from the Confederate Authorities; it 
was generally felt however that we were permanently blockaded. 
These meetings had nothing gloomy about them though; jest and 
song ran all through them. In imagination I can yet hear Charles 
Umbach's fine voice trolling out 'Bonnie Eloise" or old Capt John 
McMahon giving us "The Cruiskeen Lawn," that jolly Irish song 

94 



of long ago, or perhaps Bill Sims in some rollicking song with a 
lively chorus in which all would join most heartily. On one occasion 
as we were thus assembled and expressing our several opinions, a 
squeaking little voice broke in upon the conversation with the 
memorable words "If Gin'ral Lawton or some other gintleman 
would only build a plank road—" that was as far as the speaker got 
for he was promptly squelched. I suppose, though, the "plank road" 
was to be built across the broad marshes and rivers that separated us 
from the main road. It was a little Irishman that had broken in upon 
us, a man named Wallace, a private in Captain Guilmartins Company, 
who had drawn near to hear what was going on and thought he 
would add his mite to the discussion of ways and means. Wallace 
was a very funny fellow at all times, not intentionally nor consciously 
so to himself, but to those who heard the quaint twist in his ideas and 
language. He had charge of a brass field piece in the demi-lune and 
took great pride in polishing it until it shone like a mirror. I said to 
him one day "Wallace, you keep your gun in fine order." "An' well 
I might yer honor, for me father was a bombardier." From which 
you will see that there is something in heredity. 

All through the months of February and March we saw little or 
nothing of the enemy at the end of Tybee Island nearest the Fort. 
Occasionally one or two men might be seen strolling along the beach 
but during the day time there was no sign of any work going on. 
At night, however, the picket at the South Wharf could hear noises 
near Lazaretto that indicated considerable activity in that direction 
and we now know that the enemy were building, behind the sand 
dunes, the batteries that subsequently breached our walls. I did not 
open fire upon them for the reason that there was nothing to be 
seen to fire at even in the daylight; and it seemed to me a waste of 
ammunition that could not possibly be replaced, in our isolated po- 
sition, to shoot out into the black darkness on the chance of inflicting 
damage on men who were working a mile away behind a natural 
parapet such as the sand dunes afforded. Yet I have always regretted 
this decision. We could not have prevented the construction of the 
batteries, for their erection under the conditions that existed was 
an easy task to any trained engineer officer, as the history of all 
sieges of fortifications sufficiently demonstrates. At most we might 
have earned a few days delay, but I wish that it had been done though 
it could have had no effect upon the final result. 

One Sunday afternoon three of the "boys in blue" came down to 
Kings Point and standing on the ruins of the house that had been 
burned there made defiant and indecent gestures toward the Fort. 

95 



I wanted to get the elevation of our 32 Pounders for that particular 
spot, and accordingly had one of the guns trailed upon the group, 
but without the slightest thought that there would be anything more 
than a scare for the men. But the shot hit the middle man and probably 
tore him to pieces. Through my glasses I could see the two others 
crawling up to the body on hands and knees, and then getting up 
and running away as fast as their legs could take them. It was a very 
extraordinary shot; the probability of its being made again with 
a smooth bore gun at that distance, (a few yards short of a mile), 
is infinitessimally small. 

In one of Marryatt's books he tells of a similar incident when 
a gun was fired from an English ship at a man walking on the beach, 
somewhere on the Spanish coast, and cut him in two. Marryatt speaks 
of it as one of the most remarkable events in his experience with the 
old-fashioned smooth bore Artillery. 

Early on the morning of April loth a sentinel on [the] rampart 
reported that a boat from Tybee, bearing a white flag was ap- 
proaching the South Wharf. It was evident that a summons was 
on its way from the enemy and I realized at once that the hour had 
arrived for which we had been waiting for months. Capt E W Sims 
was sent down to meet the officer who accompanied the flag and 
he soon returned with a formal document demanding the surrender 
of Eort Pulaski "to avoid the effusion of blood" that would follow 
my refusal. The letter stated that in the event of non compliance 
with the demand the enemys batteries would open fire upon us in half 
an hour. You may well imagine that it was a busy half hour for us; 
the assembly was beat and the men posted at the guns, ammunition 
was served, the magazine squads sent to their positions, the surgeon 
and his helpers made ready for the wounded &c &c &c 

Punctually at the expiration of the time limit the first gun of the 
enemy was fired, it's shell bursting high in the air above us, and this 
gave us the first intimation of the exact location of the battery 
of rifled cannon that was to prove our ruin. The response from 
the Eort was immediate our first shot being fired from a 32 Pdr 
under the command of Lieut Henry Ereeman of the Oglethorpe 
Light Infantry, Co B (an elder brother of Mr George Ereeman). 
Soon the firing spread up all along the shore of Tybee Island from 
half a dozen or more batteries that had been masked up to the 
moment they opened, batteries that mounted 13 inch mortars, 10 inch 
Columbiads and 6 inch rifled guns. Erom these last came Parrott 
shells and a peculiar form of shot called the "James projectile." The 
power of these two to cut into and destroy masonry very soon became 



alarmingly apparent. In the very first hour of the firing I saw the 
bricks under one of the embrasures bulged inward by a shot that 
struck the outer wall while it was yet intact; a very disquieting 
fact to one who understood its significance. One after another dur- 
ing the day our guns were dismounted, and when night drew near 
more than half of those that bore upon Tybee Island had ceased to 
be of use to us. I was near one of the casemate 32 Pdrs when a shell 
came through the embrasure and burst under the gun letting it down 
on the chassis like a log. A man named Shaw was handling the sponge 
staff at the time and was terribly wounded; his right arm was taken 
off at the elbow, the left arm and one or two ribs broken, the flesh 
of his body lacerated and his face badly burned by the flame from 
the shell. I did not think it possible for a man to survive the shock 
of such injuries yet this man did and was alive, out in Berrien County, 
many years after the war. When about to leave the fort as a prisoner 
of war two days after the engagement I went into the hospital to 
bid adieu to the wounded. Shaw lay there swathed in bandages, his 
face covered by a cloth. I said, "Shaw old fellow do you know me" 
"It's the Kunnel," he said. "And how do you feel now" I replied. 
The answer was astounding under the circumstances— "Right peert." 
Surely there could be no doubt of the recovery of a man who could 
say that. P^ecover he did, as has been said, and when, after an ex- 
change, the Regiment was reorganized for service he enlisted again 
and did duty as an orderly. 

But to return to my story. After the firing had slackened about 
twilight Adjutant Hopkins and I made the detour of the Fort outside 
to inspect its condition. I think we were both overwhelmed by what 
we saw and that from that moment neither of us expected any other 
result than that which came. The outer wall of the Casemate at the 
South East Angle was entirely shot away revealing the whole in- 
terior; the two casemates on either side were so nearly in the same 
condition that evidently a few hours firing would complete their 
destruction; the parapet wall above the breech was gone and one of 
our 8 inch Columbiads with its muzzle shot off hung trembling on 
the verge as if about to be precipitated into the moat. The most 
alarming part of the situation was that the projectiles that had wrought 
this ruin now had more or less free access in a straight line to the 
traverse that protected our magazine in the North West Angle. 

I cannot remember that Uncle Matt and I said much to each other 
as we looked at what one days work of rifled guns had done for us. 
Probably we each tried to keep up a stout heart and thought the less 
we talked about the matter the better. All through the night a desul- 

97 



tory fire was kept up by the enemy, as they afterward declared 
"to keep the garrison from sleeping," but I think our men were too 
tired to be kept awake by a little thing like that, though individually 
I needed nothing to banish sleep from my eyes. It seemed to me 
that daylight would never come and that I heard the explosion of 
every shell. It was a heavy burden of responsibility for a young man. 

Long before sunrise the roar of Artillery and the crash of falling 
masonry began again and continued without intermission, but our 
power to reply became rapidly less. Only three of the parapet guns 
that bore upon Tybee could be used, and of these only one, a 24 
Pdr Blakely bore upon the particular battery that was working us 
the most harm, and the same state of affairs existed in the casemates. 
During the morning I started with the Adjutant to examine the breach 
from the interior. I was walking a little in advance of him when a 
shell struck the cheek of an embrasure behind me and I turned to see 
him stumbling and falling in the midst of flying bricks, powder smoke 
and mortar dust. It was a bitter moment for I thought he was killed, 
but he rose to his feet, to my great joy, before I could reach him. 
A fragment of brick had entered his eye and he thought the sight had 
gone from it forever. Fortunately such was not the case though I be- 
lieve that the sight of that eye has been impaired all his life, the scar 
is there to this day. 

About two oclock in the afternoon of this second day I heard 
a commotion in the casemates at some distance from me and sent 
Capt Guilmartin to ascertain the cause. He returned with the report 
that a shell had exploded in the passage way to the North West 
Magazine filling the magazine with smoke and lighting it from the 
flame of the explosion. The Ordnance squad who was serving there 
had fled in a panic to the adjoining casemates. 

Then there came to me the conviction that we had reached the 
end, and with anguish of soul that returns to me even now in 
dreams, I ordered the display of the signal of surrender. We were 
absolutely isolated, beyond any possibihty of help from the Con- 
federate Authorities, and I did not feel warranted in exposing the 
garrison to the hazard of the blowing up of our main magazine— 
a danger which had just been proved well within the limits of 
probability and which might now be sprung upon us at any moment. 
There are times when a soldier must hold his position "to the last 
extremity," which means extermination, but this was not one of them, 
there was no end to be gained by continued resistance. That the Fort 
could and would be absolutely destroyed by the fire of the enemy 
was a demonstrated fact and the time in which to do it was theirs 

98 



without any interference from outside, while our own power to 
harm them had been reduced to a minimum. These were the con- 
siderations that moved me and turning them over in my mind as I 
have done a thousand times since, I am still convinced that there was 
nothing else that could be done. At the same time I knew the general 
belief in the invulnerability of the Fort and that the actual facts 
would be long in finding credence in the public mind. This knowl- 
edge added to the sharpness of the pain that filled my soul. I can 
remember feeling that was the end of my career as a soldier, at least 
as an officer, but that I might yet serve the country in the ranks, 
if we ever got back from Northern prisons. 

When the white flag was waved from the wall of the Fort a boat 
put out from Tybee. I sent an officer down to meet it and he soon 
returned accompanied by General Q. A. Gilmore of the Federal 
Army, a fine looking man who made a great name for himself as an 
engineer in the siege of Charleston in the following year. The terms 
of surrender were discussed between us and finally agreed upon and 
signed by both of us. The garrison was to be protected in the pos- 
session of their private baggage and the sick and wounded were to be 
sent to Savannah. All the rest of us were prisoners of war. I wish 
here to put on record the fact that the provision for the sick and 
wounded was flagrantly violated by the Federal Authorities. They 
were not sent up to Savannah; several of them died at Fort Pulaski 
as prisoners of war, whose lives might have been spared had they 
been taken to their homes, while others were sent to prison at the 
North so soon as their physical condition would admit. When this 
matter came to my attention some time later I wrote to Mr Stanton, 
the U S Secretary of War, reciting the terms of the capitulation and 
demanding the release of these men. Stanton referred my letter to 
Genl Gilmore who wrote me that he had been called away from 
the Southern coast and supposed the terms had been carried out in 
good faith. I replied that they had not been carried out at all, that 
it was a matter in which his personal honor was concerned and that 
I looked to him to make the wrong right. There it ended, nothing 
more came from him and the men remained prisoners until the gar- 
rison was exchanged the following autumn. A good many years after 
the war Capt Carter, who had charge of the work in the Savannah 
River, said to me that he would like to arrange a meeting between 
Genl Gilmore and myself but I declined it. 

The first Federal troops that came into the Fort were the men 
of the yth Connecticut Regiment under command of Col Alfred 
H Terry with Joseph Hawley as Lieut Colonel. Both of these men 

99 



occupied distinguished positions in after life. Terry who had been 
a lawyer when the war broke out, definitely adopted the profession 
of arms and became a Major General in the regular army. He com- 
manded in the final assault upon Fort Fisher on the North Carolina 
coast, and some years after was in charge of the operations against 
the Indians in the North West in which Gen Custer's command was 
destroyed. Hawley rose to be a Senator and also Governor of his 
state. Susie and I met him when we were at Lakeville at the reunion 
of the yth in /'88. The officers and men of this Regiment were 
(Courteous and kind to our garrison in the two or three days that 
'we remained at the Fort. 

There comes to my mind rather a dramatic scene when the Con- 
federate officers were all assembled to give up their swords. We 
■were grouped around a table in the Head Quarters room and one 
■after another laid the swords upon it. Many made remarks as they 
did this, but I can only remember that of old Captain McMahon, 
who unbuckled his waist belt and threw it with the sword upon the 
table saying "Take it! I wore it in Mexico." The Federal officer who 
presided at this function was, if I recollect aright, Capt Horace 
Porter, a staff officer at the time, afterwards a General and later still 
U S Minister to France. He it was, you may remember, who dis- 
covered the burial place of Paul Jones our first naval hero and had 
the body removed to this country. He has been much in New York 
■since my residence in the city and I have often felt that I should 
like to meet him again, but the opportunity has never offered. 

On the afternoon of the second or third day after the bombard- 
ment we prisoners were put on the steamer "Ben De Ford," and taken 
over to Hilton Head, in Port Royal Sound preparatory to being 
shipped to the North. In the few days that we were there we were 
in the keeping of the Provost, a Captain Campbell of the 76th 
Pennsylvania a man of kindly feeling who shared his individual 
quarters with me. The officer in command at Hilton Head was 
General Hunter, an uncle, I believe, of Mrs. Willie Gordon. I was 
sent for to his office one day and my sword returned to me with 
a complimentary remark. 

The necessary arrangements being all completed we were finally 
put on board the Steamer "Oriental," Captain Tuzo and started for 
our destination which we found to be Governors Island New York 
harbor. 

The voyage was uneventful, about the only things I remember 
about it being, first, the Captain's extreme devotion to a number of 
lady passengers, and, second, a dense fog that we plunged into during 

100 



the last night of the trip. This lasted until well along in the morning 
when it lifted and we found the Steamer going head on for the 
beach at Long Branch and only a mile or two from the shore. Some 
two or three weeks after this I read in a New York paper of the 
loss of the "Oriental" and I have always wondered whether she would 
have met that fate under a more careful captain. She went ashore 
and was broken to pieces near Cape Hatteras. Of course though I had 
no knowledge of Captain Tuzo's seamanship and my judgement of 
it was doubtless entirely superficial. We were rather harsh critics at 
that time of everyone who wore the blue, as I have learned since in 
regard to many other people. 

Early in the afternoon of the third day the Steamer reached her 
wharf in New York and the Confederate prisoners were transferred 
to a tug to be taken to Governors Island. I shall never forget the 
hearty manner in which a number of little street Arabs who had 
gathered on the wharf shouted out "I wish I was in Dixie," while 
this transfer was being made. It is more amusing to think of now 
that it was to hear at the time. 

Arriving at the Island the officers were carried to barracks inside 
of Fort Columbus and the enlisted men to Castle Williams. In our 
quarters we found already domiciled Col Avery of the 33rd North 
Carolina, and a number of other officers who had been captured 
with him at New Berne. They were pleasant gentlemen with whom 
we affiliated readily, each helping to bear the misfortilnes of the 
other; it did not take long to be on the footing of old friends. Coi 
Loomis the Commandant of the Island then, was quite an old man, 
too old I imagine for field service. He was a martinet in the matter 
of discipline but none of the Fort Pulaski garrison have the right 
to think of him other than as a kindly gentleman carrying out the 
orders that were given him. To our officers he gave the run of the 
Island, within certain limits, between "reveillee" and "retreat," (this 
last being the sun set parade). So between those hours there was 
ample opportunity for exercise and fresh air. At retreat we had to 
go to barracks and remain there. Each of us was given a small 
soldiers cot and mattrass and we were to mess in the mess rooms 
of the garrison, a soldiers ration being allowed to each officer. This 
ration was ample for sustenance but the preparation «f it by the 
garrison cooks left a great deal to be desired. It is quite probable 
however that we would not have been quite so fastidious later in 
the war. After a little while some of us made a much more com- 

101 



fortable arrangement with some of the soldiers' wives who were 
acting as laundry women for the post. We divided up into little 
messes, a woman looking after each and to her the Commissary 
would issue our rations in bulk. She would cook them and spread 
a table for us adding such things as we would authorize her to 
purchase. Of course we paid for her services though the charge 
was moderate. To many of the officers this plan was not open 
because of lack of funds. Our special mess consisted of Capt Robert 
Erwin, Captain Larry Guilmartin, Edward Hopkins and myself. 
Curiously enough I cannot remember if Uncle Matt was with us or 
not but the probabilities are very strong that he was. Mrs Murphy 
of the Emerald Isle, wife of the Post Tailor, was the lady who took 
us in charge and I am sure most of us longed many times afterward 
for the comfort found under her management. 

The Fort Pulaski prisoners were specially fortunate in many mat- 
ters. Commercial relations between Savannah and New York had 
been intimate for many years and there [were] few among us who 
had net some friendly correspondent who was ready to respond to 
a request for help. Mr Andrew Low of Savannah, himself then a 
prisoner in Fort Warren Boston harbor, sent me a draft on Liver- 
pool for ;(^3oo for our joint use— and this at the rate of exchange 
then current netted us between $1500.00 and $1600.00. Cousin Miles 
Olmstead, my Uncle Seth's son, came over to see me one day, as did 
several other of my relatives. He however was the only one who 
was permitted to speak with me as he brought a permit from Wash- 
ington. He asked what he could do for me, and it seemed to me 
that I needed nothing more than something to occupy my mind, 
and also facilities for personal cleanliness. Accordingly I asked him 
for a copy of Davies' Descriptive Geometry and a foot tub, both 
of which he very kindly furnished me; they added immensely to 
my comfort. George Betts sent me a chair, and his mother. Aunt 
Betsey, used to send over some home made cakes and crullers every 
now and then. Then we found a friend indeed in Mr A Neely, a 
Southern gentleman who was living in New York. There was no 
end to his kindness to the Fort Pulaski prisoners; his time and his 
money were freely spent to provide for our wants and there was 
no demand made upon him that he did not endeavor to meet. Your 
little Sister Neely^* was named for him, in recognition of his good- 
ness. He came to Savannah after the war and nothing pleased him 
more than to have the dear little child sent to see him. It will be seen 



14. Florence Neely Olmstead, born 1866; died June 6, 1868, aged 1 year, 
and 8 months. 

102 



that there was really nothing to complain of in our imprisonment 
on Governors Island, beyond the simple fact of being prisoners. I 
think indeed that we were finally sent elsewhere because there were 
so many people over in the city taking a special interest in us that 
it excited unfavorable comment among the "truly loyal." 

Among the various devices we adopted for passing the time, was 
the establishment of a newspaper, "The Dixie Discourser," devoted, 
as its prospectus indicated to setting forth "the benefits of involuntary 
emigration." 

Captain Sims was made the Editor in Chief and the publication 
of the paper simply meant his gathering and arranging the various 
articles contributed by one and another of us and reading them aloud 
some evening in the week. I wrote a lot of doggerel rhyme for the 
first number of which I remember only the following lines: 

"The Dixie Discourser's the name we choose. 
Devoted to Art, politics, the news. 
And such other themes as we may think on. 
From Jeff Davis down to old Abe Lincoln." 

Which goes to show that my estimate of the great Northern war 
President was somewhat different from what it has since become. 
A little fun was poked at everyone in the Discourser. No one was 
spared but each one took the jest made at his expense in great part. 
As a sign of "Advancing Civilization" it was stated in one number 
that "Dr Langren," (a Florida surgeon who had joined us,) "has re- 
cently adopted the plan of removing his trousers before he goes to 
bed." Under the head of "Amusements" the public was informed 
that "Lieut. John Lymans had a tooth pulled yesterday." And there 
was a grave letter purporting to come from Rev Emanuel Heidt, 
a Methodist minister in Savannah, taking good old Capt R. D. Walker 
to task for his devotion to euchre. Old Capt Stegin of the German 
Volunteers was reported as having been over-come by the whiff of 
a good dinner as he passed the "Restaurant de Murphy," &c, &c. 
Trifles all, but they helped to keep up the spirits and prevent despond- 
ency. In addition to studying mathematics I got hold of a French 
book some where and worked a little every day at translating though 
it was rather slow work without a dictionary. I did some drawing 
too and played chess and cribbage with A4atthew, in which games 
I generally came out second best. The all absorbing theme of con- 
versation was the prospect of an exchange of prisoners between 
North and South. Every little rumor on that subject would be nursed 
and magnified as it made the rounds, filling us all with hope until 

103 



its falsity became apparent, when the whole company was im- 
mediately sunk in deepest gloom until a new rumor came along. 
A little orderly attached to the Island Head Quarters used to amuse 
me very much. He was a man who had been in the army thirty 
years or more, spare and angular in form, as erect as though he 
had a ramrod for a spine, neat as a new pin and steeped in army 
manner and tradition. Do you remember Sergt Bagnet in Bleak 
House? Well he was just that kind of a man. He used to bring in 
our letters and papers every morning and he never entered the room 
that some one did not greet him with a jesting question which 
the old fellow invariably took with great seriousness. On one occa- 
sion as he came in the door Sims called out "Well, Orderly, what 
can you tell us about exchange this morning?" The little man halted 
saluted in precise style, put his hands before his mouth with a 
deprecatory cough and replied, ''That is a matter for future con- 
sideration." He was right; we had to wait many a day for any 
definite information on that point. Some time in the late spring 
or early summer another batch of prisoners was brought to Governors 
Island who had been captured in some of the earlier operations around 
Richmond— all of them North Carolinians belonging to Branch's 
Brigade. The officers were bunked in among us and the men sent to 
Castle Williams. 

I speak of these because their coming was the occasion of an 
incident that has always seemed to me a very beautiful demonstration 
of what genuine religion means. Father Peter Wlielan a Catholic 
priest had come down to Fort Pulaski as a volunteer chaplain for 
Captain Guilmartin's Company, "The Montgomery Guards." He was 
a man somewhat past middle age, large in frame, simple in manner 
and, it must be said, untidy in dress. It was his custom to take a walk 
around the ramparts every morning a little before sunrise and as I 
was generally there at the same time we saw a good deal of each 
other and became quite friendly. After we had been prisoners for 
some time Father Peter's one suit of clothes became so decidedly 
shabby that it hurt us all to see him so apparreled. Accordingly 
his measure was taken surreptitiously and sent over to Catholic 
friends in New York who in due time returned an elegant new suit 
for him. That night as he slept the old clothes were hidden away 
and the new ones put in their place by the side of his cot. The old 
man was perfectly delighted with them showing a little harmless 
vanity in their possession that was really touching. Later in the day 
I met him with the old suit on once more, and this was the explana- 
tion of it. He had gone to Castle Williams, which was permitted 

104 



him as a priest, and had there found one of the new arrivals who had 
been captured while swimming a river with only his underclothing 
on. The poor fellow was in wretched condition and to him Father 
Peter had given the new suit. I remonstrated with him for the act 
asking "why not have given the old clothing?" His reply was, "When 
I give for Christ's sake, I give the best." Years afterward with a 
number of the old garrison 1 followed this good old man to his grave 
with a sense of exhultation as I thought of the welcome that awaited 
him from the Master whose spirit he had caught and made the rule 
of his life. 

One of the North Carolina officers I became very intimate with, 
Captain George B Johnston of the 38th N C Regiment. He was a 
man about my own age and, when the war broke out, was an As- 
sistant Professor of Greek at the University at Chapel Hill. He was 
quite tall and well shaped, with a complexion like a girl's, of clear 
red and white, topped by a suit of curly chestnut hair. A most at- 
tractive personality to look at but secondary to the bright intelli- 
gence of his mind and the sweetness of his nature. His Company 
was recruited in the neighborhood of the University and fathers and 
mothers brought their sons and confided them to his care. On the day 
of his capture an unexpected advance of the enemy had penned the 
Company on a peninsular formed by a bend of a river (the Pamunkey, 
I think). He ordered the men to abandon their arms and escape by 
swimming, plunging in himself to lead the way. Reaching the other 
side in safety he found however that only two or three of the men 
had been able, or dar.ed, to follow, and immediately he swam back 
to share whatever fate was in store for "the boys" who had been 
entrusted to his individual oversight. I have heard the act spoken of 
as "Quixotic," but it was the impulse of a brave and noble soul. 
Johnston was a man of deep piety, he told me in fact that if he lived 
through the war it was his intention to enter the ministry. He spoke 
earnestly and often with me upon the subject of my duty as a man 
to make open acknowledgement of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Yet it was done without forcing a decision upon me; it was rather 
as one would drop a seed in the ground to await the germinating 
power of warmth, light and moisture. I beUeve God works upon 
every human heart through the instrumentality of other persons and 
were I called on to name those who most influenced me to become 
a Christian I should speak of dear Mrs Burroughs, George B John- 
ston, and John D Hopkins. The first left deep impression upon my 
nature in tender youth by the loveliness of her own character and 
the faithfulness of her teaching. I remember her looks and her words 

105 



to this day. The second came when I was removed for a time, as it 
were, from the reach of the world and could ponder on what was 
set before me as obligatory upon me as a simple duty. The third, 
when in the course of time I had been restored to wife and child, 
to home and kindred; pointed out that gratitude to God should lead 
me to serve him. 

Johnston had a young wife of whom he never tired of talking; 
she had been a Miss Johnson and he wittily said he had "invited her 
to take 't' with him." I parted from him at Vicksburg when we were 
exchanged later in the year, as will be told, and I never saw him 
again. In the winter of 1864 during the hard retreat from Tennes- 
see, a letter reached me from Mrs Johnston telling of his death. The 
hardships of campaigning in Virginia had broken him down, rapid 
consumption had supervened and the end had come. Before dying 
he had asked her to write and tell me that he "died in the faith." 

It is good for a man to have enjoyed intimacy with a spirit like 
his, to have seen the inner workings of a soul so pure, so gentle yet 
so full of virile strength. I have never spoken much of him to you 
my dear daughters but his memory has been one of the precious 
things hidden away in my heart. 

Toward the middle of the summer rumor reached us in some 
indefinable way that a change was to be made in the disposition 
of the prisoners. How these reports start no one knows— "the grape 
vine telegraph" is the source to which they are generally attributed. 
They are always exaggerated yet often having a grain of truth in 
the bushel of chaff, Hope was high with us that the long looked for 
exchange was at hand; the little orderly beamed with importance as 
we eagerly questioned him, though he never gave information one way 
or the other. 

At last the truth came out; we were to be moved to the prison 
on Johnsons Island in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie. It was a sad ending 
to our hopes, but there was nothing to be done save to face the 
situation with such equanimity as we could muster. We went by way 
of the Erie Railroad in comfortable cars, leaving New York about 
noon on one day and arriving at Sandusky at about the same hour 
in the next. A tug took us over to Johnsons Island where it became 
immediately apparent that conditions were essentially different from 
those that obtained in the old quarters in New York harbor. Landing 
from the tug we were lined up before Col Pierson's office, (the 
Commandant of the Island,) and required to surrender whatever 
money might be in our pockets. It was explained that this would 
be held subject to our checks for such supplies as we might desire 

106 



to buy from the sutler, nevertheless the experience was not a pleasant 
one. Thinking it over since however, I have reached the conclusion 
that it was a precaution which it was proper for the Federals to take. 
No prisoner should have it in his power to bribe the guards who 
may be set over him. What troubled me more than this question of 
money, was being deprived of the sword which had been returned 
to me by Genl Hunter at Port Royal. Col Pierson promised that I 
should have it again should an exchange of prisoners ever be effected, 
but that was the last of it, to my continuous regret. 

We were marched at once into the stockade in which there were 
already something over one thousand Confederate officers most of 
whom had been at Shiloh, at Island No lo, and at other points along 
the Mississippi River. These all saluted us with the cry ''''Fresh fish, 
Fresh fish,^' as we entered the gate, a joke there was no way to take 
except good humoredly. In my little sketch, "The Story of a Rebel,"^^ 
I have told of the details of our life at Johnsons Island and will now 
only repeat a description of our surroundings. A broad stretch 
of water, about three miles across, separated us from the main land, 
pretty effectually precluding all chance of escape even if other 
obstacles could be overcome. The stockade, which was formed of 
stout logs, was some ten or twelve feet high and enclosed several 
acres of ground. Around the outside, ran a gallery overlooking the 
area upon which sentinels were posted day and night, and at the 
corners were small blockhouses containing field pieces or howitzers 
pointing inwards. A double row of two story barrack buildings 
housed the prisoners; framed houses unceiled. The weather boarding 
was of unseasoned lumber which had shrunken so that wind blew 
freely through the cracks. This was pleasant enough in summer time 
but I used to shudder to think what it would be in winter when 
zero weather would come swooping down across Lake Erie from the 
great North land. I am thankful to know that we were spared that 
experience. A soldier's ration was issued to each prisoner; it was 
uncooked and we had to make our own arrangements for rendering 
it palatable. We divided up into messes and took turns at the cook 
pot. I cannot recall having served in this capacity myself more than 
a day or two nor can I remember how the duty was escaped though 
it is quite probable that I was excused in the interests of humanity; 
it was doubtless, for the mess, a case of "One such fun is enough." 
Within the barracks were rough sleeping bunks, one above another, 
in each was a sack of straw and a blanket. A post sutler brougltt 



15. Published In Addresses Delivered Before the Confederate Veterans 
Association, of Savannah, Cki. (Savannah, 1893), 1-10. 

107 



his vvares inside the stockade every day, and from it was possible 
to buy, at pretty steep prices, sundry additions to our personal com- 
fort. We had to respond to a roll call at reveillee in the morning 
and again at the tattoo at night but were undisturbed at other times. 
One of the strictest regulations of the place was that which forbade 
prisoners approaching within twenty five or thirty feet of the outer 
wall; there, what was called "the dead line," was drawn and whoseover 
crossed it did so at the peril of his life for the orders of the sentinels 
were to shoot him down instantly. 

The aimlessness of the life of a prisoner of war is one of the 
first impressions made on the mind of the individual who may be 
called upon to fill that role. What to do with oneself during the long 
and weary hours of the day. At first the case seems hopeless but 
soon occupation is found in unexpected directions, not always of 
the character to which we may have been accustomed but still suf- 
ficing to keep the body healthy and the mind from brooding. 

One Colonel whom I knew, unlike myself, had developed capacities 
as a cook that had been entirely latent until this opportunity offered 
for showing what was in him. A body of officers organized a com- 
pany to conduct a laundry business for their companions in misfor- 
tune. Some carried on the trade of tailoring or watch repairing and 
almost every one within the limits of the stockade dabbled a little 
in the making of rings brooches and other trinkets from soup bones, 
shells, vulcanized rubber &c &c. 

Then there was the never failing resource of the daily papers, 
sold by the sutler, from which we gathered information as to the 
progress of the war. It need scarcely be added that there was endless 
discussion not only of campaigns that were over and done with 
but likewise of plans for the future. We all knew exactly how the 
Confederate Armies should be handled, were very severe in criticisms 
of commanders in the field, dismissing as trifles the difficulties and 
obstacles that they found appalling, and, in a word, manifesting a 
genius for war that, somehow, did not materialize when we were 
once more free and with our respective commands. 

On the day that news came of McClellan's defeat in the seven days 
fight around Richmond we were like a lot of crazy people. For 
several days the newspapers had been withheld from us but the facts 
could not be kept secret forever and when they did reach us we 
were wild with excitement. Not a man failed to see in them the end 
of the war and the near recognition of the independence of the Con- 
federacy. But, as is generally the case, enthusiasm had gotten the 
better of judgement— the war was to last a little longer yet and its 



108 



termination to be far different from what was hoped for. 

A very tragic incident marked the latter part of our stay on John- 
sons Island. A Lieutenant of an Arkansas Regt whose name I have 
forgotten, a quiet inoffensive man, became ill during the night and 
stepped out of his quarters. On his return the sentinel hailed him 
and without waiting for a response shot him dead in the doorway of 
the room. There was absolutely no shadow of excuse for the act, 
it was deliberate murder. The poor fellow was far away from the 
"dead line" and it was plain that he was not trying to escape for he 
was going into the room when the shot was fired and fell with his 
head and shoulders inside. 

I was afterwards told that this particular sentinel had sworn to 
"kill one d-d rebel" before he left the Island but I do not know 
how true the statement was; it came from one of the Federal soldiers. 
All the next day the prison was like a seething pot— men gathered 
in groups talking of the sad event with knitted brows and savage 
hearts, and everywhere there was the expression "we had better die 
like men than be shot down like dogs." A dangerous feeling was in 
the air and it was difficult to say what the outcome would be. Shortly 
after dark Col Avery of North Carolina took me aside and said 
"Colonel, the men are going to make a break for it tonight— we cannot 
stop them so we must lead them." The proposition appeared so wild 
and reckless to my mind that it took my breath away. It could have 
led only to bloody slaughter for hundreds of us with no possible 
chance of escape for the remainder. We were without weapons of 
any kind yet we were to attack a thoroughly equipped force that 
could only be reached by climbing a stockade over which not one 
man in twenty could have made his way had there been no hindrances 
to the attempt. But with artillery firing from the blockhouses and 
the gallery around us lined with infantry, it was the craziest scheme 
ever thought of— indeed there was no thought about it, nothing save 
impulse. Even a success would have found us on an Island three miles 
from shore in one direction and the broad width of Lake Erie on 
the other while almost in hail was the gunboat "Michigan" guarding 
the waters around us. I suggested to Col Avery that before anything 
was decided upon the ranking officers should get together and confer 
freely on the matter. He said that such a meeting had been called 
at the quarters of old Colonel Battle of Mobile. We went there 
together and found some eight or ten assembled, all of them field 
officers carrying grave and anxious faces. Lieut Col Avery of Mem- 
phis was the spokesman for the hot heads; he advocated attack in 
vigorous language. Almost from the beginning, however, it was 

109 



evident that he represented only a small minority and when Q)l 
Battle and Col Quarles in well considered words set forth the exact 
state of affairs and demonstrated the absolute hopelessness of the 
proposed attempt it was unanimously decided that it ought not to be 
made and that we should at once do all in our power to quiet the 
excitement. This was not so difficult a task as it first appeared, for 
sober second thought had come to most of the officers. Col Battle 
wrote a letter to Staunton the U S Secretary of War, setting forth 
the facts of the shooting and asking that an investigation be made 
and the sentinel punished if what we charged were substantiated. 
The letter was signed by all of us who were at the meeting but 
nothing ever came of it; indeed I seriously doubt whether Secretary 
Staunton ever saw it. I do not believe that it ever got beyond Col 
Pierson. I met Col Quarles during the Tennessee campaign in 1864 
when we were both under Genl Forrest operating against the town 
of Murfreesboro. We had a long talk together upon the incidents 
just related and he told me that in all of his war experience nothing 
had ever alarmed him more than the possibility of that wild uprising 
on Johnsons Island. I had not taken it quite so seriously for the friends 
who were immediately about me while outraged by the poor Lieu- 
tenant's death had not shared the frenzied feeling of the Western 
men. But Quarles said the latter were ready to make the charge at 
the drop of a hat and would not have hesitated about it if the higher 
officers had been willing to lead. 

A quaint character among the Pulaski prisoners was Lieutenant 
Theodore Montfort of Oglethorpe Ga. An ideal Georgia cracker in 
general appearance, thin almost to emaciation, hollow in the temple, 
flat chested with sandy hair and beard that were always dishevelled 
he did not make much of a figure as a soldier. But his heart was true 
and brave, his intellect keen and searching. Full of funny stories of 
past experiences and of thoughtful reflection upon current events, 
all sweetened by genial kindliness, it was a pleasure to hear him hold 
forth on any subject. He was a devoted fisherman and no more 
humorous picture arises to my mind than his appearance on the days 
when the water gate was opened and the prisoners allowed to bathe 
in the lake. While others bathed he fished and his "get up" on these 
occasions was unique. An old slouch hat on his head, a shirt and 
soldiers packet covering the upper part of the body, the slim legs 
bare and brogans on the feet, he would gravely wade out to his 
middle in the water and try conclusions with the fish. On one arm 
he carried a basket of bait, (worms dug up around the kitchens,) 
and with the other he wielded the rod and line purchased from the 

110 



sutler. No one ever heard of a fish being caught or of even "a bite" 
rewarding the sportsman's patience but he repeated the performance 
each week with unflagging zeal and seeming enjoyment. Poor Mont- 
fort his health broke down entirely toward the last and he died at 
Vicksburg on the way home. 

Toward the end of September rumors of a general exchange began 
to thicken and take more definite shape. Handbills were freely 
scattered around the prison offering immediate freedom to those 
who would take the "Oath of Allegiance," and we felt assured from 
this that what we had unutterably longed for was close at hand. 
Three men from one of the border states availed themselves of this 
offer and the scorn and contempt that was heaped upon them by 
their former comrades, as they marched out of the gate, must have 
remained a bitter memory for them to the end of their days. At last 
the order came for us to be ready to move on the day following. 
I believe each of us was prepared to start five minutes after the order 
was received but we had to wait with what patience could be mustered 
until the appointed hour. A bright October sky ushered in our last 
morning on Johnsons Island— a "red letter" morning among the many 
of my life. We were ferried across the waters of Sandusky Bay, 
some eleven hundred or more of us, and in the early afternoon were 
all entrained for Cairo Illinois at the junction of the Mississippi and 
Ohio Rivers, from which point we were to take a steamer for Vicks- 
burg where the exchange would be consummated. Our train was not 
one to be proud of in the way of accommodation, made up, as it was, 
of box, platform and cattle cars of varying degrees of age and dirt 
yet that was a trifle to men who were leaving a military prison for 
home. I very much doubt if any engineer ever pulled out from 
Sandusky with such a load of concentrated happiness behind it as 
did the one that tugged away at us and our fortunes. 

The journey to Cairo was uneventful; we reached the town some 
little time after nightfall on the following day and at once went on 
board of the old Steamboat "Henry Chouteau" that was provided for 
the passage down the River. For one I was thoroughly fatigued by 
the long railroad trip, so selecting a soft plank on the deck I stretched 
out upon it, closed my eyes and knew nothing more until awakened 
by the bright sunlight beaming on my face. What a wonderful 
elastic season is Youth and how I should groan over such a hard 
bed now if called upon to occupy it! We were delayed about three 
days at Cairo awaiting the arrival of some ten thousarid Confederates, 
enlisted men, who had been confined at Camps Morton and Douglas. 

The reason for the delay was an entirely satisfactory one yet, 

111 



nevertheless, we were filled with uneasiness until the actual start was 
made; so many plans for exchange had come to naught on one tech- 
nicality or another that we were miserably afraid lest this would 
share the same fate at the last hour. At last, however, the belated 
ones arrived and were embarked, then we were fairly off— quite a 
little fleet of river steamers with one Federal iron-clad bringing up 
the rear like an old hen escorting her brood of chickens. I was never 
quite able to see the necessity of her being there at all for it was very 
certain that none of the prisoners would dream of breaking away 
while on a homeward journey. It was, though, probably the correct 
thing from a military point of view that the fleet should be guarded. 
The trip down the river was wearisome the speed being regulated 
by that of the slowest boat. Moreover, no progress at all was made 
at night, the fleet coming to anchor at dusk and remaining so until 
sunrise in the morning. Quite a number of the men from Camps 
Morton and Douglas were in wretched physical condition and sev- 
eral of them died on the trip. It was pathetic to watch the little burial 
parties who carried these poor fellows ashore for interment each 
morning; the pity of it always filled me with melancholy; to die 
but a step from home and freedom. 

The Commissary arrangements in the Chouteau were rather primi- 
tive—musty hard tack and raw bacon being the ration. No cooking 
places were provided so those who did not like their bacon in that 
shape had to take their turns at the furnace doors and manage as 
best they could there. But this was a minor trouble, we were bound 
for "Dixie" and that fact made everything else bearable. 

Many of the officers who were on our Steamer were from the 
States of Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas and some of them had 
gone into the war from homes located just on the banks of the great 
river on which we were traveling. One of them, a Kentuckian, I saw 
one day in a great state of excitement on the upper deck. His home, 
I was told, was immediately on the other side of a point of land to 
which we were approaching. He had written a letter to his family, 
put it in a bottle and stood ready to throw it on shore as we swept 
by his door. In another moment we were around the point but no 
smiling homestead met the view, no loving wife awaiting a husband's 
return, no little children; nothing save two blackened and ruined 
chimnies where a happy home had stood. The grounds were over- 
grown with weeds and absolute desolation reigned over all. The 
poor man gazed as one distraught then muttering some words that 
I did not catch, fell back in a faint upon the deck. It was a sad 
incident but Alas! in those days there were many similar ones all 

112 



over the land, and toward the end of the war they became so familiar 
as scarcely to excite comment. 

Far happier was the experience of another comrade. As the boat 
swung in near a bold bluff a lady was seen mounted on a spirited 
horse, watching us intently but apparently unable to discern some 
particular one, the object of her search. "Why! It's Tom's wife," 
came from half a dozen voices. "Get up on the wheel house Tom, 
so she can see you." Then when Tom was a little slow in follow- 
ing the suggestion, he was hoisted up by willing hands and stood 
out in bold relief against the sky. There was the wave of a handerchief 
in recognition and then the little woman dropped her head in her 
hands and sobbed for joy. Surely I need not be ashamed to add that 
many other eyes [were] wet with tears. Of course there was no hope 
of having speech with "Tom" but she seemed determined to keep 
near him as long as possible so she galloped along the bank in sight 
of the steamer for a mile or two until further progress was prevented 
by some obstacle and then stood waving adieus until we lost sight 
of her in the distance. Tom was beaming, he had as a certainty knowl- 
edge for which we only hoped as yet. 

At Memphis the flotilla stopped for coal. That City had recently 
been captured by the Federals and blue coated sentinels stood on the 
wharf to prevent any of us from stepping ashore and from having 
communication with the citizens. But some of the latter were not 
to be so debarred. Immediately behind the line of sentinels was a throng 
of the beautiful women for whom Tennessee is so noted. They had 
heard we were coming and were determined to give us a welcome 
whether the authorities liked it or not. They brought baskets and 
boxes filled with choice provisions of every kind— home made biscuits, 
fried chicken, pies, cakes, apples and other fruits all in great pro- 
fusion. But unfortunately there was the line beyond which they 
could not pass and we unhappy ones saw these good things almost 
within reach and yet so far away as to banish the hope of ever en- 
joying them. The situation was desperate, the ladies were about re- 
tiring in despair when one bright-eyed young girl found a solution 
to the difficulty. She put her basket on the ground and then, with 
all the skill of a practiced base ball pitcher, began to hurl the contents 
through the air to the expectant crowd on the decks of the "Chou- 
teau," right over the heads and bayonets of the sentinels they sailed 
and were caught by those for whom they were intended. Instantly 
every other woman began the same tactics and for about ten or fifteen 
minutes there was the liveliest kind of a bombardment amid laughter 
and cheers and clapping of hands and waving of handkerchiefs. The 

113 



sentinels looked on grimly for a while but at last the fun of the 
scene was found too contagious to be resisted and they too broke into 
smiles and laughter. I can recall nothing that ever warmed my heart 
more than this unique greeting from Southern women. One needs to 
have bee« a prisoner in an enemy's country to realize what it meant 
to each of us. 

Just how long our journey lasted I cannot now remember. It seems 
to me to have been of about ten days duration and very monotonous 
days they were. Commerce on the Mississippi was practically non 
existent at the time. Occasionally we would meet a transport laden 
with troops or stores, but not often. For the most part we had the 
river to ourselves and there was little to see save long stretches of 
muddv water and interminable forests of cotton wood trees. We were 
glad enough therefore, when the anchor dropped one evening, to 
learn that the next day would see us at Vicksburg. That historic city 
was then the centre of attraction all over the land. It had just passed 
through a terrific bombardment from Porters Mortar boats but its 
powers of defence were still unimpaired and while they remained so, 
access to the lower river was sealed to the Federals alone. Possession of 
Vicksburg also gave to the Confederates free communication with 
the Trans-Mississippi Department from which Section a large pro- 
portion of the supplies for our armies in the field was brought. The 
value of the City, therefore, was beyond estimation; its fall in the 
following year was a blow from which the South never fully re- 
covered. It will readily be understood with what deep interest 
and strong emotion we watched its bristling fortifications as we drew 
near to the wharf on the following morning. 

The details of the exchange seemed very long drawn out to me 
though they were probablv no more so than was actually necessary— 
a little impatience was pardonable under the circumstances. The Fed- 
eral prisoners who were to be given up for us had been sent to some 
other point and our names were simply checked off against theirs 
on prepared lists, rank for rank. We were called alphabetically and 
as soon as the commissioners were satisfied as to our identity the 
gangAvay was opened and captivity ended. My own name was rather 
low down on the list. I thought it never would be reached, but at 
last it was called, after dark, and with a beating heart I once more 
set foot on Dixie, a free man. The first step was not a fortunate one, 
blinded by the glare of a fire on the bank I missed the solid ground 
and went up to my knees in red Mississippi mud. Scrambling out of 
that I met my dear old Matt Hopkins patiently waiting for me; he 
had come ashore some hours earlier but would not start out to explore 
until I joined him. 

114 



The people of Vicksburg had made every preparation for our 
reception that the state of affairs at that time would permit; the ladies, 
as usual being foremost in the good work; the sick were tenderly 
cared for, the hungry fed and the ragged clothed. Nearly all of us 
came under the second head. It had been a long time since we had 
had a chance at Southern cooking and we were ready to do ample 
justice to the bountiful tables that were spread in various parts of 
the town. The Confederate authorities notified all of us tiiat it 
would be some days before we could leave the City many formalities 
having to be complied with first, and necessary arrangements made 
by the Quarter Master Department for transportation. Rations were 
issued and we made ourselves as comfortable as possible. Several of 
us who hailed from Savannah took possession of a vacant house, hired 
an old darky to cook for us and then sat down for a little period 
of solid enjoyment. Mr. Wm M. Wadley the President of the Central 
Railroad happened to be in Vicksburg at the time and bunked in with 
us. He was considerably older than any of our party, but was a jolly 
good companion who laughed heartily at our experiences and seemed 
to feel 23 young as the youngest. The house was bare of furniture, 
there were simply the walls and floors and our sleeping arrangements 
were made by picking out the first unoccupied spot and curling 
up in it. One of Porters Mortar shells had descended on the roof 
gone through each floor and burst in the cellar thus providing perfect 
ventilation and adding piquancy to the situation. We were certainly 
very happy without reference to surroundings. 

Vicksburg bore many marks of the bombardment in the way of 
partly shattered houses but we learned that the loss of life had been 
very small. When the firing was particularly hot the citizens would 
retire to caves that had been dug in the sides of the hills on which the 
City is built, where they were perfectly safe. I saw a number of these 
caves that had been comfortably fitted up with flooring, carpets, 
furniture, and, in one of them, even a piano. Some ladies with whom 
I conversed told me they had been urged to leave the City when 
the attack became imminent but that they had preferred to remain 
and take the chances which they [were] very glad to have done 
as it had given them quite an unusual experience. 

In due time arrangements for the homeward journey were com- 
pleted and we started in a rather round about route by way of 
Mobile and Montgomery, Ala. At the former place we stopped 
for one night at the Battle House where a young Georgian named 
Butler met us. One of the first things he said to me was "I was at 
the Williams's house in Milledgeville last week and saw Mrs. Olm- 

115 



stead. She was looking very well." This was a great relief to my mind 
for during the whole term of my imprisonment not a line from 
home had reached me and my last news of your dear mother was 
seven months before when she was very ill. Then came the thought 
of the precious little baby daughter whom I had left when she 
was three days old— had she been spared to me? 

For a long time I was afraid to ask about her, dreading what the 
answer might be; but mustering courage at last I put the question 
and anxiety was ended. In my soul I felt that God had been very 
good to me. 

At Macon my dear old mother met me at the depot with Eliza 
Hardee and Mr. Dan Baldwin. I spent that night with them and on 
the next day reached the old homestead in Milledgeville and received 
a welcome that made amends for all the perils, hardships and anxieties 
through which I had passed. But it was a sad household in spite of this 
joyous reunion. Of my four brothers-in-law, brother Charlie had died 
in the previous spring, as has been stated, Gus also passed away, 
succumbing to the hardships of the field in Virginia. Peter was in 
wretched health (he died in the following winter) and Willie had 
been wounded terribly, almost unto death, at the battle of Malvern 
Hill. This was the toll taken from one family by that dreadful war. 

I was the recipient of many courtesies in Milledgeville but could 
not remain there. After a few days I went on down to Savannah 
and reported for duty to Genl Mercer who commanded the military 
District of Georgia. Steps were taken at once to reorganize the Regi- 
ment and we went into service again with the following Field and 
Staff: Colonel C. H. Olmstead, Lieut-Col. W. S. Rockwell, Major 
Martin J. Ford (Vice John Foley resigned), Adjutant M. H. Hopkins, 
Quarter Master, Edward Hopkins, Commissary, Edward W. Drum- 
mond, Surgeon, Wm. H. Elliott, and Chaplain L. Edwd. Axson. 
During the winter Edward Hopkins was sent to North Georgia 
where he died. His place as Quarter Master was filled by the appoint- 
ment of Fred M. Hull. 

Very great changes were apparent in Savannah on my return 
thither. Oglethorpe Barracks, that stood where the DeSoto Hotel 
now is, was the centre of all activities and few men out of uniform 
were seen upon the streets. Commerce was dead; the counting rooms 
on the Bay were for the most part closed or occupied as offices by 
the various military departments. Quarter Alaster Commissary or 
Ordnance. Upon Broughton and Congress streets some stores were 

116 



still open but with depleted stocks and many empty shelves. Coffee, 
tea, the finer sugars and all other table delicacies were not to be had 
for love or money. Only the plainest food was procurable. The pur- 
chasing power of Confederate currency had declined tremendously 
with the tendency still downward. How people got along at all has 
always been a mystery to me. Yet they did and were buoyant and 
hopeful of final success. 

When your mother and the baby joined me a little later Sallie was 
just beginning to walk and it became necessary to find shoes for her. 
Accordingly I measured the size of the little feet on the flap of an 
old cartridge box and cut the soles of a pair of shoes for her from 
that. Cloth from an old pair of trousers of mine furnished the uppers. 
Both your Mother and I were very pleased with our handiwork 
though I dare say it would not be thought of highly now in these 
luxurious days. At all events the shoes kept the precious baby feet 
from cold and wet. I have often wished we had preserved them as 
mementos of those troublous times. 

That winter and indeed until the North Georgia Campaign, the 
Regiment was badly scattered; two Companies were at Fort Jackson 
on the Savannah River,— two at Fort Bartow at Caustons Bluff,— two 
at Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River and four remained with 
me in the lines around Savannah. We were encamped near the 
Catholic Cemetery at Camp "Neely"— so named in honor of the 
good friend whose kindness at Governors Island was so fresh in 
our minds. The winter was comparatively quiet, we went once to 
meet a landing of the enemy on Whitmarsh Island and once again 
as a supporting force to Fort McAllister when that place was attacked 
by the Monitors. As no troops were landed however we were not 
called into action. Major Gallie the commander of the Fort was 
killed in this engagement which resulted in the Monitors being 
beaten off. He was, I think, the grandfather of Florence's friend, 
Julie Trippe, a fine old gentleman who would surely have received 
promotion had he lived. While out in the vicinity of Fort McAlli- 
ster a long continued rainy spell set in and as we were without 
tents we had a decidedly uncomfortable time of it until Captain 
Wetter^^ happened to come along and invited me to march the 
command to the Telfair plantation some five or six miles down the 
road. There we were well sheltered in the bams and plantation 
buildings until ordered to return to the lines. As the warm weather 
began several commands were sent down to the Isle of Hope for 



16. Augustus Peter Wetter who married Mrs. Sarah Alberta Telfair Cobb. 

117 



sanitary reasons, the i8th Battalion, Savh Vol Guards Major Ba- 
singer, the 12th Ga Battalion, Lt-Col H. D. Capers, and the four 
companies of the ist Regiment; the Island being put under my 
command. (Susie and Florence will remember meeting Col. Capers 
with me once, when we were passing through Atlanta). Through 
the kindness of Mr. Goodwin I was given the use of a part of his 
home at the Isle of Hope for my headquarters and your mother 
came down to be with me. Mrs. Goodwin and Annie, then a child 
of 12 or 13 occupied the rest of the house. We had a very happy 
time of it for a few short weeks though they came too soon to an 
end. As the Island was an outpost I was ordered to keep a sharp 
lookout for vessels that might attempt to run the blockade, in or 
out, through Warsaw Sound and Wilmington River. One day I 
received a note from District Headquarters saying that Mr. H. L. 
Schreiner purposed a run for Warsaw in a small craft laden with 
cotton and that I was to permit him to pass out, also to give him 
any assistance in my power. I do not know whether you remember 
Mr, Schreiner or not; he was a German, an amiable easy man, who 
used to keep a book and music store on Congress Street— the very 
last man in the world for deeds of adventurous daring, and I won- 
dered how he had ever brought his courage to the sticking point. 
In a day or two he made his appearance and reported to me. It was 
hard for me to keep a straight face as I looked at him for he had 
gotten himself up in the most approved nautical style for the trip. 
Sweet William in "Black Eyed Susan" or Bill Deadeye in "Pinafore" 
could not have done better. He wore a tarpauUn hat, a pea jacket, 
a low turn down collar with black silk neck handkerchief, the ends 
of which fluttered in the breeze, trousers tight in the hip and flow- 
ing from the knees down and low quartered shoes. Under his arm 
was a long spyglass and he looked an ancient mariner from stem to 
stem; the only incongruity in the "tout ensemble" being a pair of 
gold boned spectacles that topped his nose, through which his 
prominent eyes looked triumphantly into mine. I did not laugh 
for I did not care to wound the innocent vanity of a man in whom 
I felt a warm friendly interest, but in after years we had many 
jokes together over that melo-dramatic costume. Mr. Schreiner did 
not go out after all, but returned to the City with his cotton. Very 
likely his heart failed when he got to the actual point of making a 
start on the dangerous journey. 

One morning in the early part of July we woke up to find that 
our cook with several other servants had run away during the night. 
We afterwards learned that they had taken boat and gone over to 
Skidaway Island from which they had gone on board a Federal 

118 



gun boat that was cruising nearby. Not knowing this, I ordered my 
horse to ride on the road toward the City to see if any trace of 
the fugitives could be found in that direction. While standing by 
"Lady Gray" she kicked at a fly and struck me squarely on the 
knee. The blow was so severe that I fainted for a minute or two as 
the men were carrying me into the house. I thought myself laid up 
for days but in those times minor bodily ills could not be nursed as they 
would be now. Circumstances often demanded that they should be 
disregarded. Later in the morning news came of the fall of Vicks- 
burg, most disturbing, disquieting news, and still later a courier 
brought a dispatch from Headquarters ordering me to march at 
once with the battalions to the City, there to take train for Charles- 
ton. In truth events were crowded together on that particular day. 
Within an hour after the receipt of the order the command was on 
the road plodding along through a terrific thunder storm and in due 
time reached the depot and boarded the cars. Arriving at the termi- 
nal just across the river from Charleston early the next day. We 
remained there awaiting orders until night fall. The courier who 
brought instructions to this effect told of a sudden attack on Morris 
Island at daylight that morning. Under a heavy artillery fire from 
batteries which up to that moment had been masked a heavy Federal 
force had been thrown across Folly Inlet defeating the small Con- 
federate force that guarded the lower end of the island, capturing a 
front and driving the remainder back upon Battery Wagner, a forti- 
fication that stretched across Morris Island about three quarters of 
a mile from its upper or northern end. It was evident that we were 
to be a reinforcement for this fort. Meanwhile we had only to sit 
and wait. The picture of Charleston harbor on that bright July 
day in 1863 remains very vividly in my memory— in the near fore- 
ground the spires and roofs of the City; far off to the left, across 
a shining expanse of waters, Sullivan's Island and historic old Fort 
Moultrie; to the right James Island, Fort Johnson and the low lying 
sand dunes of Morris Island; at the harbors mouth the Federal fleet 
of gun boats and monitors swinging to its anchors; and midway, 
guarding the ship channel, with its three tiers of guns rising one 
above the other from the water, grim Fort Sumter from whose 
barbette batteries all through the day, at regular intervals, came a 
puff of smoke and the roar of a heavy Columbiad. 

About eight or nine o'clock in the evening orders came for em- 
barkation, we went aboard a steamer that arrived at the landing 
nearby and started down the harbor. It was on this trip the incident 
occurred that has already been related: my recognition in the dark, by 



119 



his swearing, of the steamboat captain whom I had known when a 
child. Landing at Cumming's Point, the three battahons formed on 
the beach for the march to Wagner. Just before starting Adjutant 
Hopkins and I had an interview with a much demoraHzed South 
CaroHna officer who was decidely pessimistic in his views and did 
not hesitate to speak of the situation as hopeless. "We have only 
got a handful of men" he said, " and there are nine thousand Yankees 
on the Island who will attack us at daylight with the fleet to help 
them." It was not a very encouraging welcome, yet I think we took 
it "cum grano salis" making due allowances for the speakers nerves. 
I remember however expressing the wish to Matthew that it might 
sometimes be our lot to fight on the main land. 

It was nearly midnight when we marched into the Fort and I re- 
ported to the Commanding Officer, Colonel R. F. Graham of the 
2 1 St South Carolina Regiment. He was very glad to see us for while 
he had force enough to man his artillery we were nearly his entire 
reliance for infantry. He asked the date of my commission, and I 
rather suspected that he was my junior in rank, as subsequently 
proved to be the case, but it was a question that I did not care to 
raise at the time, knowing absolutely nothing of the situation or 
the surroundings. Battery Wagner was an earthwork of bold pro- 
file that stretched across Morris Island at its narrowest part from the 
ocean on the left to Vincent's Creek on the right, facing due South. 

Beginning at the sea there was first a flanking parapet that com- 
manded the approach up the beach, then a face armed with heavy 
guns that looked upon the ship channel, then a salient and finally a 
long curtain reaching to the creek. 

In the black darkness the battalions were guided to their several 
positions and warned to be ready to spring to arms at a moment's 
notice, the ist Regt. on the left, the i8th Ga. in the Salient, and the 
1 2th Ga. on the extreme right. The men formed along the parapet 
where they rested their guns and each laid down to rest in his place 
in line. Capt. Werner of Co I was made the officer of the night, 
but in a few minutes all the rest of us were sound asleep. Matthew 
and I had chosen the top of the parapet for our sleeping place and 
it seemed to me that I had just closed my eyes when a rolling volley 
of musketry out in front awakened me and I heard Werner's voice 
shouting, "Up men! up! the pickets are firing." Springing to my 
feet I could see the picket running rapidly in toward our right, 
while in the dim gray of the morning, a dark column of the enemy 
came up the beach at the double quick cheering as they advanced. 
In an instant the men were ready and a hot fire was poured upon the 
column from the entire front of the fort; yet still it came gallantly 

120 



on, some of their men even reaching the ditch and beginning to 
climb the outer slope of the parapet. But the density of their for- 
mation made them an easy mark and their dead and wounded covered 
the ground. They could not deploy into line because a tongue of 
marsh from Vincent's Creek ran along the right of our position 
far over toward the beach, thus narrowing the approach to about 
one third the length of our front. So into their masses swept a 
storm of Confederate bullets, while the supports to the column 
failed to push forward. Individual men began to drop to the rear and 
soon the entire body was in full retreat— the battle was over. The 
charge had been headed by four companies of the 7th Connecticut, 
many of whom had advanced so far that they could not retire and 
these became our prisoners. It will be remembered that this Regi- 
ment had fought us at Fort Pulaski the year before. 

The Confederate loss was very small. If I remember rightly it did 
not exceed fourteen or fifteen even when the slightly wounded were 
counted. Of these few poor Werner was one, a bullet pierced his 
chest early in the engagement and killed him immediately. We all 
felt his loss for he was a good and true man, simple and unobtrusive 
in his manner, yet faithful in the discharge of every duty that was 
put upon him. My boyhood friend, Fred Tupper, an officer in the 
1 8th Battalion was shot entirely through the body. I bade him "good- 
bye" as he was about to be carried up to Charleston, never expecting 
to see him again. Contrary to all expectations he recovered and en- 
tered service again on the staff of Gen. Taliaferro in the following 
winter. So many instances of this kind I have seen where desperate- 
ly wounded men have pulled through with every chance against 
them, while, in other cases a seemingly trifling injur^'^ has produced 
death. 

The Federal loss was relatively very heavy, the ground in front 
of us was strewn with killed and wounded, some hundreds of them. 
In the absence of reports for definite reference I will not attempt 
to give exact numbers, but to the best of my recollection we buried 
about one hundred of the slain and the wounded were several times 
as many. 

It was a sight that moved my heart to a deep feehng of pity and to 
a sense of the awful horror of war. I met some of those wounded in 
after years and found them genial, warm hearted men, just such 
as would make good neighbors and kind friends. Yet we had been 
trying to kill each other, and that without a spark of personal 
animosity. The illogical, wasteful and wicked characteristies of war 
as a settlement of human differences, impresses itself more and more 

121 



upon my mind as I grow older. Surely the time will come when the 
teachings of Christ will be heeded and an end put to such strife 
forever. I have written elsewhere of the service at "Wagner" and 
will not go into it at any great length now.^' It was most arduous, 
combining hardships and dangers that only those who endured them 
can fully appreciate. I often dream of it even now after forty-nine 
years and the dream is always disturbed and unhappy. 

We remained in the fort one week after the first assault, being 
exposed every day of that time to an unceasing fire from the heavy 
guns of the fleets, which did so much injury to the parapets and 
bomb proofs that it was necessary to work pretty much all night 
to repair them. There was but little rest and it was found during 
the siege that seven or eight days at a time was about as much of 
such service as a body of troops could stand without breaking down. 
At the end of such periods therefore the various commands would 
be sent up to James Island for a short session of rest and refreshment, 
after which they would return to Wagner for another tour of duty. 

On the morning of the 17th day of July (which was the last day 
of our first tour) I was standing at the sally-port watching the in- 
coming of a splendid regiment of infantry, the First South Carolina, 
when I recognized in one of the Captains an old Marietta school 
mate, "Pos" Tatum, as he was familiarly and affectionately known 
by all of us. He was no less delighted to see me than I was to meet 
him— it warmed the heart of each of us. As soon as the Regiment 
had broken ranks he joined me and the two of us sat snugly up 
against the parapet while the heavy firing was going on, talking 
of old times and old friends at the MiHtary Institute. During that 
night our command was sent up to James Island reaching it just 
about day light. We had scarcely gotten ashore when a most ter- 
rific bombardment was opened by the enemy upon the fort we 
had just left. It continued without intermission throughout the 
entire day, with a fierceness that was appalling. There was not a 
moment of time in which the ear was not deafened by the roar of 
the guns and the bursting of huge shells over the devoted battery. 
Great columns of sand would be thrown into the air as the shells 
exploded in the parapets and there were times when Wagner was 
hidden from view entirely by the clouds of battle smoke that settled 
upon it. 

You will readily understand with what anxious hearts this spec- 
tacle was watched by all upon the Confederate side. The Battery in 

17. See his Reminiscences of Service With the First Volunteer Regiment 
of Georgia, Charleston Harbor, in 1863 (Savannah, 1879). 

122 



Charleston was crowded with citizens who could not remain at 
home with this nightly thundering at the outer gate to their fair 
harbor. Yet I do not think there were many misgivings as to the 
final result there. People were stouthearted in those days and did 
not yield readily to fears and forebodings. Just about night-fall 
the cannonade terminated abruptly and a strong Federal column 
emerged from behind the sand hills and charged gallantly upon 
the Confederate lines. It was too dark for us to see them but there 
was a burst of musketry fire from the entire front of Wagner that 
told of the fierce grapple going on there. The issue was seriously 
in doubt for a time for a considerable number of the enemy suc- 
ceeded in effecting a lodgement in a salient where they were so 
protected by traverses from Confederate fire that it was found 
difficult to attack them, but their main body was unable to follow 
up their success. It had met a bloody repartee and was in full re- 
treat down the beach leaving great numbers of their dead and 
wounded behind them. Those who were in the salient held their 
position for a time but were finally made prisoners. Many good men 
gave up their lives on the Confederate side, and among them was my 
friend Tatum. The circumstance of our meeting the day before 
with its revival of old scenes and memories made his death quite a 
shock to me. Alas! there were numbers of the old Marietta boys 
whom that cruel war claimed as its victims. It saddens me to think 
of them even now though the probability is that in the ordinary 
course of events, without a war, most of them would have passed 
away ere this. 

While the defense of Wagner continued (and it lasted fifty-one 
days) every effort was being made by our Commander, Genl. 
Beauregard, to strengthen our inner lines. He was an engineer of- 
ficer of highest rank and how well he discharged this duty is shown 
by the fact that the enemy never got a foothold beyond the out- 
post of Morris Island. Not until the last month of the war when 
Shermans army came from the rear did Charleston fall. New bat- 
teries were erected at every available point and to these were given 
the names of gallant officers who had been killed in the earlier days 
of the siege— Cheves, Haskell, Wampler, Tatum, Simpkins, etc etc. 
It gave grateful recognition to the memory of brave men, yet most 
of us were glad that our own names were not on the list. 

Fort Johnson where we were stationed was made very strong, 
huge bombproofs were built and heavy guns and mortars mounted, 
while a supporting force of infantry was kept close at hand. These 
troops were hidden during the day in the woods so as not to attract 

123 



the enemys artillery fire, but at night they were brought down to 
the vicinity of the shore in readiness to repel any boat attack from 
the fleet. 

Our second tour of duty at Wagner was devoid of special in- 
cident beyond the increasing and unceasing fire from the ships and 
batteries of the enemy which had to be borne all day without much 
abilit)^ on our part to return it. All of our heavy guns were mounted 
on the sea face of Wagner so no response at all could be made to 
Gen. Gilmore's land batteries while against the monitors and the 
great "Ironsides" one lo inch Columbiad was the only gun of 
sufficient calibre to make any impression whatever. This particular 
gun was dismounted several times by shots that wrecked the carriage 
but it was always mounted again, and I believe that it continued 
in service until the end of the siege. The gunner who had charge 
of it at this time was a young South Carolinian named Fraser Mat- 
thews whose cool bravery excited the greatest admiration in all 
who saw him. Again and again he could be seen standing erect 
upon the chassis of the gun while the squad sought shelter behind the 
parapet as the great 15 inch shells of the Monitors came ricochetting 
over the water and burst in the fort. Then with perfect quiet and 
composure he would call the men to attention again, aim the huge 
Columbiad and send its projectile smashing into the sides of the 
ironclads. And this for hour after hour all day long. I never knew 
a man whose courage was of finer quality, and it was with great 
sorrow that I heard, a few years after the war, that he had been 
murdered by negroes over in Beaufort District, a sad ending for 
such a hero. 

The bombardment of the fort continued at night though with 
abated vigor as the fleet invariably retired to its anchorage as dark 
came on. There was opportunity therefore between night-fall and 
dawn to repair the damage that had been done during the day. The 
cavernous holes that had been blown in parapets and traverses were 
filled with sand bags and morning would find us ready for another 
days' poundings; but of rest and sleep there had been little or none. 
When we returned to James Island after this second tour I was 
detached from the Regiment and placed in command of Fort John- 
son, which position I held as long as we remained at Charleston. 
Uncle Mat Hopkins was likewise detached as Post Adjutant and 
we had also the companionship of Johnnie Howard, your Aunt 
Ann's brother, who was the engineer officer in charge of the work 
that was constantly going on there. 

After Wagner was finally taken by the enemy it became, of 
course, a point from which to attack James Island and Fort John- 

124 



son had to undergo its daily ordeal of heavy artillery fire, to which 
our own batteries replied both day and night. The constant roar 
of cannonading we got strangely accusomed to and would sleep 
soundly through it all at night but more than once I noticed that 
the crack of a musket would awaken me when a false alarm would 
be given by a sentinel on the beach, who would mistake a wave for 
a boat and crack away at it. It has always seemed to me that this 
was fairly good proof that the mind is not entirely obUvious dur- 
ing sleep. This indifference to the heavy guns was not shared by 
occasional visitors who had had no chance to get accustomed to 
it. Cousin Charlie West came over from Savannah once to see me; 
when bed time arrived he spread his blanket alongside of mine, we 
told each other "good night" and then I knew nothing until morn- 
ing, but poor Charlie had a woeful tale to tell. He had heard every 
gun that was fired and every shell that had burst. Your Uncle 
Charlie with his Regiment, the 54th Georgia was stationed a few 
miles from me at a place called Manigault's Point and I rode over 
to see him once or twice, but I did not feel easy in absenting myself 
from the Post even for an hour or two, so we did not see very much 
of each other. He was in a skirmish in the vicinity of Secessionville 
—and the Regiment, which was a large one, was kept where it was 
to guard against flank attacks of the enemy, thus he was spared the 
severe service of Wagner. While at Fort Johnson I made the 
acquaintance of a number of attractive South Carolina gentlemen 
of which I have very pleasant memories. Chief among these was a 
Colonel Elliott, a man of most distinguished gallantry, who sub- 
sequently won his way to a Brigardier Generalship by pure force 
of merit. He was one of the Elhotts of Beaufort— I think a cousirj 
of our good friends by that name. I was very much drawn to him 
by the frank courtesy of his manner and a spirit of friendliness 
that was thoroughly genuine. My Chief of Artillery was a Lt.CoL 
Yates of the ist So Ca, and he too was a man to take to. I saw a 
great deal of him in looking after the mounting of guns and other 
work appertaining to his arm of the service. He was a Charlestonian 
and had a good deal to tell me of ante-bellum days in the old town. 
I thought it would be pleasant to follow up the acquaintance after 
the war, but we never met again. Another interesting man. Major 
Ormsby Blanding, was considerably older than myself but he seemed 
to like to talk with me and we frequently conversed far into the 
night. He had been in the famous "Palmetto" Regiment during the 
Mexican war, and of his experiences at that time he never tired 
of talking, nor I of listening. The old gentleman was much chagrined 

125 



by a recent happening that he would dilate upon whenever the 
matter was broached. His woes all centered about two enormous 
rifled cannon that had been brought in by one of the blockade run- 
ners. They were intended to aid in the defence of the harbor and 
were mounted on the Battery where they attracted a great deal of 
attention from military men. Genl Ripley who commanded the Dis- 
trict instructed Major Blanding to prepare cartridges for a trial of 
these guns and the latter in getting ready to do this noticed an un- 
usual formation in the bottom of the base where the cartridge would 
be placed when the gun was loaded. Instead of being cylindrical 
the whole way down it had something of this shape [drawing in the 
manuscript]. The Major says he conceived the idea that this recess 
was intended as an air chamber to lessen the force of the recoil 
when the gun was fired, but he said the General insisted that the 
cartridge bag should be made with a long tail to it to fit the 
smaller chamber also. Obedient to orders the Major did as he 
instructed and when the explosion came the breech of the gun 
was hopelessly cracked. "Now," he complained, "they lay it all to 
me and I can't ride in the streets of Charleston without having 
the boys stick out their tongues and yell after me "there goes 
O. B., 'Old Buster'." It was pretty hard on him, but I found it 
difficult to preserve a sympathetic face as the tale was told. A 
charming young fellow was Captain Mitchell, also of the ist So 
Ca Artillery. He was the son of John Mitchell, the Irish patriot 
and a man of most winsome personality, his features classical in out- 
line, his eyes brilliant and clear, a warm tone to his complexion, and 
a grace of manner that was irresistable. He had charge of a battery 
that was located at the nearest point to Morris Island, from which a 
constant fire was kept up against the enemy's lines. I sat with him 
one night upon the parapet there until long after midnight while he 
told me of his hopes and ambitions. He would be a soldier all his 
life and the reputation he hoped to gain in the war would give him 
high position in the Army of the Confederacy when our indepen- 
dence had been established. He specially desired to be put in com- 
mand of Fort Sumter (even then a glorious ruin) saying that there 
was fine opportunity for distinction there. Poor fellow! he did re- 
main a soldier for the rest of his days, but they were few. Command 
of Sumter was given him and he died there, stricken by a shell as 
he stood in the upper parapet. A very tragic event that took place 
while we were at Fort Johnson was the wreck of the "Sumter." 
This was a steamer engaged in bringing up troops that had been 
relieved from duty at Wagner. It was a service that had to be per- 

126 . 



formed at night to avoid the fire of the enemy, and a code of sig- 
nals was established to pass between the steamer and the forts of the 
inner harbor, since no chances could be taken of having one of the 
Yankee vessels slipping in. The Sumter started from Cummings Point 
crowded with men all looking forward to the relief and rest that had 
been earned by arduous service at the outpost. As the boat drew in 
toward Fort Moultrie a gun was fired and a signal made from the 
Fort but the Captain seemed to have lost his head and made no re- 
sponse. Instantly, the fire of the Fort was opened upon him and 
shot and shell tore through the crowds of men on the steamer's deck. 
The Captain changed her course and essayed to run in between Fort 
Sumter and James Island but the boat soon became a perfect wreck 
rolling and tumbUng about in the waves. Some of the men were 
drowned, some were picked up by boats that put out to their relief; 
others stripped and swam to Fort Sumter and still others came ashore 
at Fort Johnson— the most utterly demoralized men it has ever been 
my fortune to meet. Among them was Captain Matthews, a brother 
of the Fraser Matthews of whom I have spoken. He, like his brother, 
was a man of conspicuous and cheerful gallantry, but as he landed 
on the beach the horror of what he had gone through unmanned 
him entirely; he trembled like a leaf and could scarely speak when 
I addressed him. Daylight had dawned ere the close of this lamen- 
table tragedy. Firing upon both sides stopped for a while as the 
work of rescue went on, but soon it opened again and life savers 
became life destroyers once more. Such is war, aptly described by 
General Sherman as "Hell." That night as Uncle Mat and I were 
sleeping in a little picket tent that we enjoyed together I heard the 
sound of troops passing by and went out to find who they were. 
It proved to be a Regiment that had just been relieved from duty 
at Fort Sumter and was on the march for the interior of the Island. 
As the rear came there were the notes of a fiddle played by a 
soldier in gray, following whom was a singular procession of ghost- 
ly figures arrayed in white, dancing and frolicking like a lot of 
children. These were the men who swam to the fort from the 
wreck that morning; they had landed naked and had been clad in 
hospital night-shirts, the only available clothing. All day they had 
endured the terrific fire that was rained upon Fort Sumter; yet here 
they were as I saw them. Surely there was never better exempli- 
fication of the spirit that animated the Armies of the Confederacy. 
The little tent that Matthew and I occupied at night was very 
scant in its accommodations; its furniture consisted of one cot of 
narrow proportions and a small desk for official papers. By right 
of seniority I took possession of the cot so Mat slept on the ground 

127 



alongside of me and because of the desk there was shelter for only 
the upper part of his body; his legs were out of doors. A sentinel 
was always kept on duty at headquarters to receive any communi- 
cations that might come during the night and to awaken us up in 
case of emergenices. One night I heard someone at the door of the 
tent and called out "Who is there?" The reply came in strong 
Milesian accent "The Sintinel, Y'r 'onor," "What are you doing?" 
"Foldin' in the Adjutants legs out of the rain." Mat was a pretty 
sound sleeper in those days and I do not recall that the process of 
"foldin' " aroused him from his slumbers. A vivid memory comes 
to me of a night attack upon Sumter by the monitors. There was 
not a breath of air stirring and the water of the harbor was like a 
mill pond; an intense stillness was over everything— just one of the 
nights when sound travels indefinitely far. Suddenly the quiet was 
broken by the bellowing of the fifteen inch guns and the roar of 
bursting shell as one iron clad after another opened upon the Fort. 
It was very impressive to us at Fort Johnson as we stood by our 
guns not knowing how soon we ourselves might be engaged. The 
intense blackness of the night would be followed bv flashes from 
the ships like lightning while the peculiar atmospheric conditions 
that prevailed made the roar of the explosions seem continuous. 
I never quite understood why this attack was made as nothing was 
accomplished by it; possibly it was intended to find out whether the 
defensive power of Sumter was good or not. The old Fort appeared 
a perfect ruin but the Yanks ascertained that considerable fighting 
ability was still there. The fleet retired just before dawn and in 
going sent a few shells in our direction, but that was our only 
share in the night's performance. The most formidable of the enemy's 
vessels was a huge iron clad known as the "New Ironsides." Those 
of us who were exposed to her fire at sundr\^ times held her in 
great respect and were always glad to get under cover when she 
was around. At that time she was reported to be the most power- 
ful vessel afloat and I have never seen the statement contradicted. 
Against this leviathan a torpedo attack was planned, its execution 
being committed to Lieut. Glassell of the Confederate Navy. The 
means at his disposal seemed woefully disproportionate to the work 
but in spite of that the attempt came very near being a great suc- 
cess. A little steam pleasure boat was fitted with a long spar at her 
bow to which was attached a percussion torpedo containing a heavy 
explosive charge. Glassell started down the harbor one dark night 
in his little craft which bore the very appropriate name of the 
"David." His crew, I believe, consisted of only two men, the en- 
gineer and one other, though I do not speak with certainty on this 
point. He drew quite near to the Ironsides before he was discovered 

128 



and hailed by a sentinel; his response was a quick order to go ahead 
at full speed straight for the big ship. Unfortunately there was a 
strong ebb tide flowing and it swept the bow of the little craft 
out of her direct course so the blow given was a glancing one; 
moreover it struck the Ironsides just at the point where one of 
her cross bulkheads happened to be located. But for these two hap- 
penings there is little doubt that the great war ship would have been 
sunk where she lay. As it was the shock given to her framework 
was tremendous— she began to leak badly and in point of fact it 
eliminated her from the fighting force of the enemy for a very 
long time. I do not know that she ever fired another gun in Charles- 
ton harbor, certainly she did not during our stay there. Meanwhile 
things were going badly on the "David;" the explosion of the tor- 
pedo sent a great wave over her that put out her fires and washed 
Lieut. Glassell overboard. He managed to reach the bow chains of 
one of the Federal fleet and was m.ade a prisoner of war while the 
David floated helplessly away in the darkness. But the men on 
board of her were plucky and resourceful. Undismayed by the roar 
of the enemy's guns that blazed away at them from every quarter— 
they tore out the lining of the little boat for kindling wood, re- 
lighted the fires, succeeded in getting up steam once more and 
reached the wharf at Charleston in safety. Poor Glassell remained 
a prisoner I believe until the end of the war. There was much 
heated talk in the Northern papers of hanging him as a "pirate," 
but that was the nonsensical utterance of irresponsible parties— the 
authorities knew that his attempt was a perfectly legitimate one in 
warfare. I had been notified, as commander of Fort Johnson that 
his attack on the Ironsides was to be made in order that Glassell 
might receive our protection should circumstances have led him to 
run in under our guns. On the following morning therefore I was 
up by daylight, hoping to find the big ship gone; but to my great 
disappointment there she was still at her anchorage, though it was 
some satisfaction to note that she heeled over almost on her beam 
ends and streams of water were flowing from her scuppers— pretty 
good evidence this gave that she had been seriously injured and 
that it was necessary to keep her afloat by the pumps. As I have 
said there was a comfort in that much but it would have been so 
much better just to see the tops of her masts sticking out of the 
water. 

Battery Wagner was finally evacuated by the Confederates bur 
not until the trenches of the enemy had reached the very edge of 
the moat. The old sand fort had endured a pounding of fifty-one 

129 



days and its defence effectually blocked Gen Gilmores hopes of 
getting possession of the City of Charleston, the one thing for 
which his campaign had been inauguarated. He gained the outpost 
of Morris Island but not one step beyond that; the City remained 
in the hands of the Confederacy until the last months of the war, 
when, as I have already noted, the advance of Gen. Sherman's army 
from Savannah northward necessarily led to its fall— the cause itself 
had failed by that time however. In the latter part of the autumn 
of 1863 we were ordered back to the lines about Savannah, and 
-were encamped in what was then open ground, just back of the 
Alassie School. The Regiment was very much broken up; four 
companies were with me, two other in the Batteries on the Savannah 
River, two at Caustons Bluff where very heavy works had been 
erected, and two at Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River. I was 
very anxious to get the command together and made several appli- 
cations, from time to time, asking that it might be done, but the 
exigencies of the service seemed to forbid, and I had to content 
myself with things as they were— a lesson that a soldier has to learn 
very soon in his career. The winter passed quietly with us. We 
were sent once to meet a force of the enemy that landed on Whit- 
marsh Island though they did not remain there long enough for 
us to get at them. Another expedition was out to Rose Dhu to as- 
sist in quelling a mutiny that had broken out in a part of Col Alfred 
Hartridges Command. I have forgotten what caused the trouble, 
which did not prove to be very serious; it was ended without the 
necessity of using force, very much to my satisfaction for I dreaded 
the possibility of having to fire upon our own men in gray. Two 
-or three of the ring-leaders were court-martialled and punished 
and my connection with the Court as its President led to a rather 
funny incident. My orders from Gen Colston (under whose com- 
•mand we were brigaded) required me to report at the close of 
.each day what the proceedings had developed. After a very busy 
isession I had written out my dispatch to the General and given it to 
Col. Hartridge to have it sent in by his courier who was to start in 
for the City at daylight; then I threw myself on a sofa and went 
off into the soundest kind of a sleep. I had been up for the greater 
part of two nights and had been continuously busy for the whole 
of two days. It was the sleep of exhaustion from which Hartridge 
found it very hard to awaken me, as he did about midnight, to 
give information that made certain changes necessary in the report. 
I got up, opened the dispatch and sat down at the table to write. 
Meanwhile Hartridge began to talk to the courier giving the man 
instructions concerning private business that he wished attended to 

130 



in the City. He was to carry certain articles of clothing to Mrs 
Wayne on Liberty Street, to buy so many pounds of fresh beef 
from such and such a butcher, etc etc; and every word that he 
uttered I wrote down automatically in the dispatch without the 
slightest idea of what I was doing. Then in a minute I was fast 
asleep again. When morning came I awoke with a certain dim sense 
of what had happened yet unable to recall anything clearly. I hur- 
ried to Hartridge who said there was no doubt of my having added 
to the dispatch but what was added he did not know; the courier 
had been gone for some time but possibly might be overtaken by 
a fast rider. Accordingly I roused up Uncle Mat and got him to 
ride "in hot haste" to try to accomplish this. He was very good 
about it and was off in a few minutes but the man had too long a 
start and when Mat finally got to the General's Headquarters he 
was recieved with roars of laughter by the staff; the dispatch had 
been delivered, was even then being pondered over and found in- 
comprehensible. Henry Cunningham, one of the staff made the re- 
mark, "it is a good thing that Col. Olmstead has the reputation for 
sobriety that is his." The incident mortified me no little at the time, 
yet I had to laugh over it too. 

Early in the spring of 1864 I was again detached from regimental 
duty and sent over to Pocotaligo to take command of the 3rd Military 
District of South CaroUna, relieving Gen Wm S Walker who had 
held that position for a long while and was ordered to Virginia. 
I went alone except for my orderly Linskey having been informed 
that Gen Walkers District Staff would serve as mine. I could not 
help feeling a little lonely in being cut off from the officers of the 
Regiment to whom I was bound by so many ties, but the gentlemen 
who met me were very courteous and cordial — none but pleasant 
memories of them remain in my mind. General Walker was a charming 
gentleman, a soldier every inch of him and a man of distinguished 
presence. He had one or two severe fights in the defence of the 
District — gaining a very notable victory over a largely superior 
force, under the live oaks of Pocotaligo. This gave him the sobriquet 
"Live Oak Walker" by which he is generally known and distinguished 
from the brilliant Georgian, Gen Wm H T Walker under whom I 
afterward served. He remained at the Headquarters only one day 
after my arrival and a very busy day it was for me, trying to get 
a grasp of the new conditions in which I was placed. The District 
was a very difficult one for a stranger to leam topographically; it 



131 



embraced the coast line from the Savannah River half way to Charles- 
ton. The railroad between the two cities ran through it and this had 
been the object of repeated attacks by the enemy who held Port 
Royal harbor in strong force. The Combahee and Ashepoo Rivers 
came down to the sea within the District and there were also several 
salt water inlets running far inland. These not only offered facilities 
for attack by an enterprising enemy at various points, but likewise 
increased the difficulty of defence since all the water ways had to 
be guarded and the Confederate force could only be concentrated 
at the last moment when the plan of the enemy had been developed. 
Gen. Walker who had been in command for two years or more had 
drawn up in writing the plans of battle that he had formulated in 
case the enemy landed at one point or another. These plans he very 
kindly turned over to me and they caused much burning of "the 
midnight oil" during my stay at Pocotaligo. They comprehended not 
only the General's idea as to the position of his forces in actual battle 
but likewise the method of concentrating the widely scattered troops 
under varying conditions. At that time every Regiment Battalion and 
Battery that could possibly be spared from coast defence was being 
hurried to Virginia to aid Lee in his death grapple with Grant, or to 
Johnston's army in North Georgia that was facing the advance of 
Sherman from Chattanooga. I found accordingly that the force in 
the 3rd Military District upon which Gen Walkers plans were based, 
had been sadly depleted and that while what he had written gave 
me valuable ideas to study and keep in mind, I had, after all, only 
myself to depend upon. The first thing to do, the imperative thing, 
was to gain personal knowledge of the country to be defended and 
to that my every energy was devoted every day and all day. From 
what I have written of the lay of the land it will be seen that it 
consisted of a series of peninsulas separated by water courses so that 
it was not possible to ride directly from one end of the District 
to the other. I was in the saddle at early morning and would ride 
until night, taking the peninsulas one by one and trying to fix the 
general features of each of them in my mind as clearly as possible. 
I am obliged to say, however, that with increasing knowledge of the 
situation there came greater and constantly growing solicitude. The 
country was so open to attack— up any one of half a dozen avenues 
the enemy might be upon us in a night— our own forces were so 
isolated and scattered, that I could not comprehend why the important 
railroad had not long ago been seized and held; and Gen Lees direct 
communication with the South thus severed. In spite of all this how- 
ever I much enjoyed those long rides through the swamps and under 

132 



the oaks in the beauty of early spring. My headquarters were in the 
residence of a Capt Gregory who was the Engineer Officer of the 
District— a very pleasant gentleman who did all in his power to make 
me feel at home in his house. The quartermaster was a Capt Screven 
a relative of the Savannah Screvens. Then there were two or three 
Charlestonians and a Capt Clark a Georgian whom I had known 
before the war. Altogether we formed a pleasant circle and had 
generally a merry time at the dinner hour when the labors of the day 
were over. I have spoken above at my surprise that the Yankees 
at Port Royal did not pick their opportunities but it probably was 
the result of their over estimating our strength— a mistake that Gen- 
erals are very apt to make. It was the special weakness of Gen Mc- 
Clellan who might readily have captured Richmond in the campaign 
of 1862 had he pushed boldly forward after the battle of Williams- 
burg; but discretion was too deeply ingrained in his mental make up. 
He imagined tremendous armies between himself and the coveted 
city and they kept him from advancing— no less surely than armies 
of flesh and blood would have done. In point of fact the Confederates 
before him were much fewer than his own forces; it was not until 
later that our authorities were able to concentrate for defence; Mc- 
Clellan gave us the time to do it. 

Fortunately I was not called upon to test my ability to defend 
the District. After I had been there a few weeks orders came for 
me to turn over the Command to Brig Gen Thomas Jordan, who was 
sent to take it, and to return myself to the First Regiment which 
was ordered to assemble at Savannah and proceed to join the army of 
Gen Joseph E. Johnston who was then facing General Sherman in 
North Georgia. I obeyed the command with alacrity on the day it 
reached me. It was a great joy to have the ten companies together 
for they made a noble Regiment that any man might have felt proud 
to lead— two companies of the [Irish Jasper] Greens, one of the Ogle- 
thorpe Light Infantry, the Tattnall Guards, German Volunteers, City 
Light Guard, Coast Rifles, Emmett Rifles, Washington Volunteers 
and Irish Volunteers. The Regiment joined the army of Gen Jos E 
Johnston when it was in position to the North and West of Marietta, 
the line stretching across the Western and Atlantic Railroad North 
of Kenesaw Aiountain on the right and covering Lost Mountain on 
the left. We left the train at Marietta where orders were handed me 
to march to the left and join Mercer's Brigade of Walkers Division 
and Hardee's Corps. Genl Hugh Mercer was the father of Col George 
A Mercer, whom you knew in his later life; he was a West Pointer 
a man of cultivation and refinement as well as of undoubted courage, 

133 



a charming gentleman but, I think, rather too old for the vigorous 
requirement of duty in the field. At the beginning of the war he had 
been Colonel of the First Regiment when I was its Major, and when 
promoted to be a Brigadier General was for a long while in command 
of the Military District around Savannah and down the coast. He gladly 
welcomed the Regiment to his Brigade which then consisted of three 
other Georgia Regiments, the Fifty-fourth, Col C H Way, the F'ifty- 
seventh, Col Barkuloo, and the Sixty-third, Col George Gordon, (an 
older brother of the late Genl W W Gordon). Our Division Com- 
mander Major Gen'l Wm. H. T. Walker, (father of Mrs C. C. Schley), 
was an officer of wide spread reputation for dash and couras;e who 
had served with great ability in the Mexican War where he had 
been desperately wounded. The Corps Commander Lieut Gen Wm 
J Hardee was also a Georgian whose name was well known both 
North and South. He was at one time Superintendent of the Military 
Academy at West Point and was the author of the book of Infantry 
Tactics used by both armies; like Genl Walker he had earned fame 
by brilliant service in Mexico. The story is told of him that on one occa- 
sion he met a straggling soldier on the road whom he reproached for 
straying from the ranks. "Who are you" said the soldier. "I am 
General Hardee" replied the Genl. "What! the man who wrote the 
Tactics." "The same." "Well Gin'l you told us a lot about 'Double 
Column at half distance' but you never said nothing about double 
distance on half rations." I don't know how the interview ended but 
the soldier's wit ought to have saved him from any severe punishment. 
Genl Hardee had been with the Western Army from the beginning 
of the war and I believe had taken prominent part in every one of 
its many battles. He too was related to someone you all knew, he 
was the uncle of an old friend Major Chas S Hardee. 

We had, it will be seen, every reason to be satisfied with the leader- 
ship under which we had come and it was specially gratifying to be 
brigaded with Georgians whom we knew. 

Genl Mercer's Staff consisted of his son, Capt George A Mercer, 
Asst Adjutant Genl, Major James Williams and Capt W W Gordon 
Inspectors, Alajor James Stewart, Quarter Master and Capt John I 
Stoddard Aide de Camp. In my service with the Brigade I was thrown 
much and intimately with these gentlemen and there is no memory 
of my association with them that is not pleasant to dwell upon. The 
Brigade was a fine one that we all felt proud to be part of; it did its 
whole duty to the end. 

The 57th Regiment had done service in the Vicksburg Campaign 
with honor to itself. I never got to anything like intimacy with its 

134 



Colonel, but the Lieut Col, C. S Guyton I like exceedingly. He 
was a man of middle size with a face of much refinement, gentle in 
speech yet possessing a resolution of character that never failed him 
in any emergency. 

The service of the other Regiments up to that time had been con- 
fined to the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. Walker's was a 
reserve Division which meant that as a rule it had no fixed place 
in the line of battle but was moved about from point to point as 
occasion might require to strengthen any weak places in the line 
when threatened by the enemy. These changes were generally made at 
night and they involved much loss of sleep marching and counter- 
marching while other commands were resting. The roads too were 
particularly bad, there had been a great deal of rain and the constant 
passage of artillery and transportation trains had cut them up most 
abominably. A small mud-hole in a soft spot would graduallv^ widen 
and deepen through the combined action of falling rain and grinding 
wheels until the entire road bed would be a perfect quagmire in 
which the heavily laden baggage wagons or pieces of artillery would 
sink to the axles. Very often too these bogs extended into the adjoin- 
ing fields as one vehicle after another would drive out in the side 
in the search for firmer ground. The memory of the night marches 
over these roads is like a night mare to me as I think of them; horses 
and men wearied and exhausted, stumbling along, through red clay 
mud and darkness— prolonged waitings every few hundred yards when 
somewhere in front a stalled wagon or broken down caisson would 
block the road and all this with little prospect of rest and refreshment 
in the mornings. Ordinarily on the march the men were lively and 
good natured, full of jest and badinage, often breaking into songs, 
but these night tramps were generally made in moodv silence. I 
remember to have fallen asleep in the saddle often, waking with a 
start and wondering where I was when the order came to move 
on. This is a side of war that histories do not lay much stress upon 
but every old soldier bears it in mind. 

Our Lieut Col. W. S. Rockwell was not much of a horseman, not 
liking much to exercise himself in that way even in bright sunny 
weather, so experience such as I have described was specially trying 
to him. On one miserably rainy disagreeable night we were routed 
out of bivouac and brought out into the road for a march between 
ten and eleven o'clock. Taking my place at the head of the column 
I found the old Colonel there on foot. I tried to remonstrate with 
him for not riding but he replied "No! I am not going to risk myself 
on a horse on a night like this." So, on he trudged through mud and mire 

136 



though by no means adapted by nature for such a promenade. I felt 
very sorry for him, still the choice was his own and nothing could 
be done to help him. After a while we came to a place where the 
road ran along a steep slope and hearing a flop behind me in the black 
darkness I called out, "Colonel! is that you?" There was a brief mo- 
ment of hesitation, then came a rather faint reply in a tone of simulated 
cheerfulness, "Yes, I slipped." Poor old chap, he ought to have been 
comfortably at home in bed that very minute. His zeal to serve 
was all right, but years and figure were too much for him. When 
morning dawned he was missing, to my great uneasiness, for I under- 
stood that the march had been in rather close proximity to the enemy 
and I thought it possible that he might have been picked up by them. 
Accordingly I sent his orderly, Johnnie Counts, on his horse to hunt 
for him on the road we had traveled. An hour or two later Counts 
reported that he had found the old gentleman at a farmer's house, 
seated before a blazing wood fire, bare-footed, one wet sock on each 
andiron, a shoe in each comer of the fireplace and the back of his 
coat stiff with red clay mud from collar to tail. But there was a frying 
pan on the floor before him, a rasher of bacon in one hand, a knife 
in the other, and a bright twinkle in his eye as he thus sat giving orders 
to the household "as one born to command." Later in the day he 
joined us, none the worse for the nights adventure. 

One of our marches carried us out to an advanced position on the 
Burnt Hickory road in front of Kenesaw A4ountain where for about 
a week in company with a Brigade from another Division, we held 
a false line while the real line in our rear was being fortified. The 
orders were to be firm against all skirmishing attacks but to retire 
before a line of battle. We were upon a ridge and the ground in the 
immediate front sloped down into an enormous field of com through 
which a pathway led from the North East comer to the South West 
comer. Beyond was a thick wood that was occupied by a line of Con- 
federate Cavalry whose presence there saved us from the necessity 
of picket duty. On the first day we threw up a light breastwork and 
then, the front being guarded by the Cavalry, enjoyed several days 
of good rest after the long siege of marching. Bright and early one 
morning there was the sudden sound of active skirmishing in the 
wood beyond; it grew heavier and heavier with each passing moment. 
The two Brigades stood to their arms and soon the Cavalry came 
streaming out of the wood riding straight across the field and taking 
position behind us. The edge of the wood became blue with Yankees, 
a battery of their guns was rushed up and a heavy fire was opened 
both of infantry and artillery upon our lines. Just then a little inci- 



136, 



dent happened that I have often laughed over and told about since. 
In the N E corner of the field a belated cavalry-man appeared mounted 
upon a mule— he came out just at the head of the pathu^ay that I have 
described and endeavored to ride straight across to the Confederate 
position but her ladyship the mule saw the pathway leading diagonally 
between the contending forces and chose that for her line of retreat. 
She jogged steadily on while we could see the rider tugging at the 
rein and making vigorous effort to bring her head around to the 
way he wanted to go. It was useless however and now he was brought 
to the notice of the enemy who began firing upon him while shouts 
of laughter went up from their ranks at his unfortunate plight. I have 
often thought since that they did not really want to hit him for when, 
in manly defiance, he rose in his stirrups, faced them and waved an 
old sombrero over his head they gave him a cheer as the mule ambled 
along to a place of safety far to the left. 

While this was going on I was watching the road with much in- 
tentness expecting every moment to see a charging column emerge 
therefrom. The men were all ready and strong up to the point where 
they would have made a noble fight, but it was not intended that 
we should. A voice called and I turned to meet Capt Gordon who 
brought an order for the Regiment to retire. Then I made a tactical 
mistake that I have always been thankful led to no unhappy conse- 
quences. Instead of retiring in line as we should have done, I gave 
the order "By the right of companies to the rear" thus thinning the 
Regiment into a formation of ten companies marching to the rear in 
so many columns, with intervals between them, something like this 
[drawing in the manuscript] My reason for doing this was the sudden 
thought that this formation would present a smaller mark for artillery 
fire, but we no sooner had made the move than it flashed upon 
me that if a shell struck a line it would only kill the two men who 
happened to be at that point, while if it struck the end of one of these 
columns the loss of life would be great indeed. Fortunately we escaped 
this danger as most of the shells went over our heads or between 
the intervals. I have gone into this to show how careful an officer 
should be who has the lives of men in his keeping. His mind should 
always be clear, his wits keen in every emergency. Had disaster 
followed upon my mistake it is probable that no one would ever have 
blamed me for it but I should never have forgiven myself. I remember 
the great admiration I felt for Lieut Col Dargan of the 2 1 st So Caro- 
lina Regt who sprang from his sleep one night when a false alarm 
aroused the garrison of Fort Johnson on James Island, and without 
a seconds delay shouted the command that brought order and atten- 



137 



tion among his men. The afternoon of the day on which we retired 
from our advanced position on the Burnt Hickory road to the main 
lines was an eventful one for the Regiment. Several of its companies 
were sent out under Major Ford as a picket force some hundred yards 
and more to the front. They had scarcely gotten into position when 
they were vigorously attacked by the enemy and until night fall 
the fighting was severe, but their line was held. The loss in killed and 
wounded was heavy but less severe than it would have been but for 
the thick woods which gave more or less shelter to the men. Among 
the wounded was Sergt McGowan of Co A who for so many years 
after the war held the office of Receiver of Tax Returns for Chatham 
County. A ball shattered his arm and ended his days of soldiering. 
My boyhood friend Cyrus Carter (brother of Miss Eliza,) received 
his death wound. I went to the field hospital to see him and found 
that there was no possible hope of saving his life. He was perfectly 
calm and knew his condition, facing the truth like the Christian gentle- 
man that he was. He spoke of his wife and child with infinite tender- 
ness and said the thought of leaving them gave the only pang for him 
in dying. I knelt at his side and prayed with him; the roar of musketry 
in our ears continuously as the petition ascended. An attack in force 
upon our main line was anticipated to follow this hot picket fight, 
so I was compelled to hurry back to mv post bidding adieu forever 
to the friend whom I had known from early childhood; he died 
that night in the hospital in Marietta to which he was removed. Carter 
was a man of deep piety, albeit a little narrow in his denominational 
views; his soul was pure, his heart brave, — a good and true man. 

The fighting ended at nightfall, the attack we looked for was not 
made. For the two or three weeks that followed, the armies of John- 
ston and Sherman were in close contact— it was a continuous grapple; 
fierce fighting on the picket lines and steady artillery fire from 
early dawn far into the night. Every day added its quota to the 
dreadful list of killed and wounded, but on neither side was there 
any evidence of an abatement of the grim determination with which 
the campaign had been conducted from its beginning. 

From Dalton down to Atlanta practically the same tactics were 
repeated over and over again. Johnston would select a line straddling 
the Western and Atlantic Railroad and fortify it with care. Then 
Sherman would deploy his army until he had covered his opponents 
entire front and, this being done, he would then send a corps South- 
ward on one or both of the Confederate flanks. Superior numbers 
enabled him to do this at will and the result necessarily was Johnston's 
retreat to a new position. But these retreats were always made in the 
most masterly way— always with a firm front and without the slightest 

138 



loss of war material. Indeed it has been said that he did not abandon 
even so much as a single wheelbarrow. Sherman would vary the per- 
formance occasionally by savage assaults upon the Confederate lines, 
and in these he invariably met with bloody repulse— at Resaca, at New 
Hope Church, at Kenesaw Mountain, at Smyrna Church and in num- 
erous minor engagements that have not been honored with a specific 
name, but in which as many men lost their lives as in the most 
Sanguinary battle of the Revolution. 

On the night we fell back to the position about Kenesaw Mountain 
the I St Regiment sustained a serious loss in the capture of its senior 
Captain, Yates Levy, (a brother of Mrs Octavus Cohen) and a number 
of the men of his company who formed the Regiments detail on the 
picket line that day some little distance out in front of the main line. 

Major Allen of the 63rd was the officer in command of the picket 
and his orders were to remain in position for a certain time after 
the Brigade had retired and then to withdraw quietly and follow it 
without attracting the attention of the enemy. When Allen joined us 
about day break he brought in the details of the 54th, the 57th and the 
63rd Regiments but not that of the ist. On being asked about them 
he expressed great sorrow and chagrin and said that in some way 
he had lost touch with them in the black darkness of the night and 
had not been able to communicate the order for withdrawal. He also 
said that the orders given to him to preserve quiet, had prevented any 
loud calling to locate the detail and that failing to find Captain Levy 
he had to come in without him when the time was up. It was not a 
satisfactory explanation to me for I felt that the first duty of an 
officer commanding a picket line should be to acquaint himself with 
the location of every part of his force and to keep in touch with it 
by constant visitation, but there was nothing that could be done save 
to accept the fact as one of the unfortunate incidents of war. Captain 
Levy wrote to me some time afterward from the Federal prison on 
Johnsons Island, Lake Erie, to which he had been taken after his 
capture. He said that word had been brought to him by a Confederate 
officer who had recently been taken, that Major Allen had charged 
him and his men with being asleep at their post on the night of the 
capture, giving that as the reason why they could not be found. 
The Captain resented this imputation with considerable heat and re- 
quested me as his commanding officer to defend his reputation by 
bringing charges against Major Allen for neglect of duty. He also 
declared that he would demand personal satisfaction when he got 
out of prison. Allen told me when I spoke to him about this letter 
that he had never made the charge that reached Capt Levys ears; 

139 



and there the matter dropped for reflection convinced me that it was 
the easiest thing in the World for the original accident to have hap- 
pened, taking into consideration the black darkness of the night & 
the dense wood in which the picket was placed. It was only just, like- 
wise, to remember the anxiety of mind that would naturally oppress 
an officer in Major Allen's position, the fear that undue delay in his 
movements might involve the loss of his entire force. 

After a very exhausting night we reached the ground that our Di- 
vision was assigned to, on the South West flank of Kenesaw Mountain, 
and as soon as a halt was sounded the men dropped to the ground 
for rest and sleep. But just then the Engineers wagons drove up with 
intrenching tools and orders were given to begin work at once throw- 
ing up works on our front. There was considerable dilitoriness in re- 
sponding to this order; the men moved with great reluctance ap- 
parently overcome by fatigue; but suddenly there came the booming 
of Sherman's artillery in the near distance and a "change came over 
the spirit of their dreams." The quickening effect of the sound was 
ludicrous in the extreme. The sleepers sprang to their feet, the wagons 
were unloaded post haste and spades picks and axes began to fly 
with great alacrity. A remark of Lieut Everett's, a fine young fellow 
in the 57th, amused me very much. "Boys," he said, "I'm going 
to get a cannon on my plantation when the war ends, there's nothing 
like it to make lazy people work." 

The building of field works became quite an art during the war 
in both Northern and Southern armies. It was really quite wonderful 
how rapidly it was accomplished and with what skill every device was 
used to hinder the onset of an enemy and give protection to the 
defending force. At every position where troops expected to be at- 
tacked these works were put up and would be ready for occupancy 
in a very few hours. A ditch about three feet deep and five or six feet 
in width was dug and the earth thrown out on the side toward the 
enemy to form a parapet leaving a little bench, (or "banquette" as 
it was called) for the men to kneel upon in delivering their fire. 
[Drawing in the manuscript]. Along the crest of the parapet logs were 
ranged upon blocks that lifted them up a few inches and through 
this opening the firing was done, the logs protecting the heads of the 
troops. It was a good protection, too, against the fire of musketry 
but an added danger if the log happened to be struck by a shell. In 
the front of the parapet an "abbattis" was laid consisting of young 
trees stripped of their leaves with the branches sharpened and turned 
outward. In some of the works around Atlanta "tanglements" of wire 
bound the "abbattis" together and increased its efficiency, but in the 

140 



ordinary field works this could not be done as wire formed no part 
of the field equipment. The ditches that were the genesis of these 
works were called "the trenches" and in them when the positions were 
exposed to fire the men lived and slept. 

It will interest you to learn something of how we were fed in those 
days. The army regulations stipulate that rations are to be issued to 
the enhsted men but leave the officers to provide for themselves 
as best they may from their pay. This rule was observed ^ the be- 
ginning of the war but in active campaigning it was found to be 
impracticable, (among the Confederates at least,) for officers to look 
after their wants in this direction. In the first place there were no 
sources of supply to be depended upon and then the daily and hourly 
exigencies of service left an officer no time for his individual house 
keeping. This was certainly true in the long grapple between Johnston 
and Sherman in North Georgia, and none the less so in Gen Lee's 
army. So the Confederate Congress passed a law that rations were 
to be issued to officers as well as to men, and we were "all on a 
footin' " as the old country woman remarked to your Aunt Sue. 
The ration as prescribed by regulations is varied and ample, but 
with us it consisted of corn bread, meat, (generally bacon and some- 
times stringy beef) with a little salt; the coffee, sugar, molasses, beans, 
flour &c that are so alluring in the printed list of rations, were 
conspicuous by their absence. 

From every Regiment men were detailed to form what was known 
as the "cooking brigade" who performed these ministrations in camp 
well to the rear. Corn bread was all they cooked, the meat being 
issued raw for each man in each mess to treat as taste and opportunity 
might permit. The bread was prepared in dutch ovens and each indi- 
vidual "pone" bore the sign manual of the cook who had pressed 
it into shape; the finger prints were plainly to be seen, with transverse 
ridges between, on every one of them. I reflected some times upon 
the degree of cleanliness of these fingers, but it was just as well not 
to let the mind dwell upon that theme too particularly. The rations 
were usually brought up in the Commissary wagons to the main line 
in the dusk of the evening, to avoid the fire of the enemy; then what 
the men did not eat at once was stored away for the next days con- 
sumption in the haversacks, or "war bags" to be brought forth, when 
needed, encrusted with the stale crumbs, fragments of tobacco and 
sand, always to be found in the bottom of these receptacles. "Pretty 
poor fare" you will say, and I am ready to agree with you, but in 
that campaign there was enough of it and the most of us attacked it 
with appetites and digestions that regarded quantity more than quality, 

141 



and knew nothing of what has been very wittily called "The remorse 
of guilty stomachs." The days in front of Kenesaw were the longest 
in the year, in the month of June; dawn came about four oclock 
and the light lasted until nearly eight in the evening. The firing began 
as soon as there was light enough for the gunners to see and all day 
long our line was searched by shot and shell. It will be readily under- 
stood how wearing this was to nerves and what a relief the coming 
of darkness brought. There were many narrow escapes in every one's 
experience, so many indeed that they often passed with no more than 
a moments comment, I remember one occasion particularly when 
my dear friend John Hopkins and myself were very close to death 
without receiving any harm whatever. It was just at dusk after a hard 
day, we thought the firing was over and sat down together on a little 
slope a short distance back of the trenches, lighting a small fire to 
warm our evening repast of "Cush." The blaze attracted the attention 
of one of the enemies batteries and suddenly a rifle shell came hurtling 
through the air struck the slope not three feet from where we were 
sitting and buried itself in the ground. For an instant we breathlessly 
expected the explosion but the shell failed to burst, had it done so, 
doubtless we would both have been killed, or had the ground been 
level then there would have been the same result from the ricochet. 
It is needless to add that the fire was extinguished without delay. 

General Sherman made desperate and repeated attempts to take 
the Kenesaw position by storm but on every occasion he was met 
with a resolution that defeated him. He suffered very heavy loss 
in attack upon Gen Cheathams Division which formed the left of 
our corps; after he had been driven back then the woods through 
•which his columns had charged caught fire and a number of the poor 
-wounded Federals were burned to death— one of the unmitigated hor- 
rors of war. In our Brigade front one day all of our rifle pits, then 
"held by the 63rd Georgia were taken by the rapid advance of a line 
-of battle, many of the men being bayonetted in the pits but the lost 
ground was regained by a gallant counter attack led by our Inspector 
General, Major James Williams. Kenesaw Mountain was held by 
General French's Division and against this a most determined effort 
was made. There was heavy artillery fire, and sharp picket fighting 
along the entire line and we all stood to our arms not knowing where 
the assault would come: to the surprise of all on our side however 
it was against the mountain, decidedly the strongest point in the 
whole Confederate position. From base to summit the dual peaks of 
old Kenesaw were wreathed in smoke and flame from flashing guns, 
Jbursting shells and burning forest. As I watched it there came to me 

142 



a memory of having once before seen the mountain on fire in my 
student days— then simply an interesting spectacle, but now combined 
with the awful sublimity of battle. Failing at every point to break 
the integrity of General Johnston's line the enemy gave us a few days 
of comparative quiet, then General Sherman renewed his old tactics 
of pushing a force Southward, past the flanks of the Confederate army 
to threaten its line of communication. In this there was but one re- 
sponse we had to fall back. The order for this movement came to me 
about eleven oclock at night when the whole command was in the 
profound slumber that blessed our eyes in these days. In a tew 
minutes the Regiment was formed and we filed out onto the road 
to take our place in the Brigade column. The night was dark and the 
little country road narrow, so progress was exceedingly slow because 
of the thousand and one obstructions to a march of troops under such 
conditions. We would go on for a few hundred yards and then halt 
for what seemed an interminable time— then go on again to be halted 
again in a few minutes. I sat on my horse taking little "cat naps," indif- 
ferent to surroundings, when suddenly the sense of being in a familiar 
spot aroused me; we were marching up the rear of the hill on which 
the old Georgia Military Institute was located. It was the school in 
which I had been educated and in which I had spent four happy years. 
Many had been my dreams of the future while there but never had 
there been forecast of such an event as marching with an army corps 
at midnight through this beloved spot. Every inch of its soil every 
brick of its buildings was dear to me and it saddened my soul to be- 
lieve that its destruction was near. It had furnished too many officers 
to the Confederate Army to be spared and Sherman ordered it to be 
burned on the following day. You may be sure that memory was 
busy and that my mind was full of the associations so strangely awak- 
ened. My dearest friend at the Institute had been John Patton of the 
Class of 1857, as noble a young fellow as ever lived, generous, high 
spirited, courageous and loving with an intellect that promised great 
things for his future. He had been the best man at my wedding, and 
I had looked forward to the enjoyment of his friendship while my 
Ufe lasted. And now riding there in the dark there came, with a bitter 
pang, the thought that for nearly two years he had slept in a soldiers 
grave. He was killed in the Battle of South Mountain in Lees invasion 
of Maryland in 1862, being at that time a Captain in your Uncle 
Charles WilUams's Regiment. There were recollections too of many 
others of the old Cadet Corps who had laid down their lives for the 
South, (in almost every battle of the War some of them had perished,) 
and their faces haunted me as I rode through the familiar grounds. 

143 



The retreat stopped at a strong position near Smyrna Church, which 
if I remember aright was a few miles North of the Chattahoochee 
River. Arriving there early in the morning I was instructed to turn 
the Regiment over to Major Ford and assume command of the Brigade 
because of the temporary illness of General Mercer, a duty that I 
assumed with considerable reluctance in my own heart, though there 
was no outward expression of it. The line that we occupied was a 
commanding one having a fine sweep of the country before it ex- 
cepting for a hill that stood a short distance out in our immediate 
front. 

During the day General Walker, the Division Commander rode 
up with the Inspector General of the Corps and ordered me to send 
a Regiment out to seize and hold the hill, saying that General Hardee 
feared the enemy would take it for an artillery position. Of course 
there was no such thing as demurring but I took the liberty of point- 
ing out to General Walker that any troops sent out there would be 
isolated and, moreover that should the enemy put a battery upon the 
hill he could not use it since the summit was within range of the 
musketry fire of our main line. The General said he was aware of 
these facts but that the orders to him were imperative and must be 
obeyed. There is an unwritten law in most military organizations 
composed of several units that their units take turn and turn about 
in any extra services that the command may be called upon for out- 
side of the regular routine and as the First Regiment was then at the 
head of the roster I had to order it out to take possession of the hill, 
though with full realization that the duty before it was perilous in 
the extreme and believing, in spite of Division and Corps Commanders 
that it was a needless risk. The Regiment had scarcely reached its 
post and begun to fortify when a heavy artillery fire was opened 
upon it and in a very few minutes a number of the men were killed 
and wounded. Then there was an abundance of the enemys skirmish 
lines upon either flank and to avoid being cut off and surrounded 
there was nothing for the Regiment to do save to retire to the main 
line. When this was done the enemy rushed a battery to the top of 
the hill as had been anticipated, but we opened upon the gunners 
at once with rifle fire and drove them rapidly away. They left the 
guns standing without a man near them and there they remained 
harmless and silent all the rest of the day and were removed under cover 
of the night. My judgment in the premises had been justified but that 
did not bring back the lives that were lost nor heal the grievous 
wounds that had been inflicted. How many instances of this kind 
there must have been during these long four years of war; how many 

144 



lives recklessly squandered through insufficient consideration before 
the giving of orders! Among the wounded that day was Bobby Lewis 
who was struck by a fragment of shell in the chest. Capt Lachlison 
told me that Bobby thought he was going to die at once and that he 
called in your Uncle Mat Hopkins to pray for him. The request 
embarrassed Mat very much for at that time he was not much given 
to prayer; looking around however he saw his brother John and called 
to him "Oh! John, come here" Which John did and kneeling by the 
wounded man in the midst of shot and shell, prayed earnestly for him. 
That was the kind of a man John Hopkins was; a self controlled, big 
hearted, pure-minded Christian gentleman. One of the great bless- 
ings of my life has been the love of these two brothers for me and 
my love for them. I can not remember when it began but I do know 
that the tie which binds our hearts together is one over which time 
and death have no power. It belongs to that part of our natures that 
is immortal. 

Shortly after the lamentable affair at Smyrna Church the retreat 
of the Confederate army continued. A little North of the Chatta- 
hoochee River we passed through fortifications of great strength 
that had been prepared for us to defend and I remember my deep 
regret that they should have been abandoned without a struggle; 
yet it was unavoidable because of the preponderance of the Federal 
forces. Sherman while engaging Johnstons entire front had pushed 
forward a corps beyond each flank of the Confederate position, 
thus directly threatening our communications with Atlanta. There 
was nothing left for us to do save to get back, and that we did. 
We crossed the River on a pontoon bridge and as we halted for a 
while on the Southern bank I observed Capt Wallace Howard of 
the 63rd Ga. watching the crossing of the troops and gazing with 
melancholy earnestness upon the hills on the opposite side. I made 
some remark to him about our nearing the point, Atlanta, where 
the great battle must be fought. "I don't know" he replied "I don't 
like giving up so much territory, it looks to me like the beginning 
of the end and as though we were going right straight down to the 
Gulf of Mexico." Captain Howard was the father of Jet Howard 
who was a Lieutenant of the police in Savannah after the war. Mrs 
Henry Brv^an was also a daughter of his. He was a man of culture, 
refinement and ability well known in literary circles as the author 
of "The Young Marooners."^^ Hearing his pessimistic talk gave me 
the first real doubts that had ever entered my mind as to the ultimate 

18 Col. Olmstead Is mistaken here; The Younff Marooners was written by 
Francis R. Goulding whose wile was Mary W. Howard. 

145 



success of the Southern Cause. I reflected however that his home 
was in the country occupied by the enemy— a fact that would natur- 
ally explain his low spirits, and the thought cheered me, but he was 
not very far from the truth. The two armies lined the banks of the 
Chattahoochee for several days and by unspoken consent of each 
side there was a general suspension of the heavy picket firing that 
had marked the operations all summer long. The men called out jokes 
to each other across the stream and frequently "Johnny Reb" and 
"Yank" would swim out to meet each other in the middle of the river 
to swap tobacco for sugar or some other delicacy that might be lack- 
ing in the Confederate commissariat. It appeared a harmless inter- 
change of courtesies to me but rigorous orders were issued to have 
it stopped lest it should lead to the discovery by the enemy of certain 
fords across the river by which an advance might be made. 

On one occasion while we were at this position I was detailed as 
division officer of the day with instructions to see to the maintenance 
of this order. The duty involved a constant oversight of a long section 
of the river bank; a miserable, cold Northeast rain storm set in during 
the night and the early mornings found me soaking wet, chilled to 
the bone and fagged out from want of sleep, just the conditions to 
make a man willing to give his head for a cup of coffee, (a stimulant 
that we knew nothing of in our Army.) 

Looking across the river I saw two Yankee soldiers walking along 
with a pole, stretching from the shoulders of one to those of the 
other, from which was suspended a smoking caldron of hot coffee. 
They were on their way to give a little mornings refreshment to their 
line of pickets. I could almost smell the delightful aroma, and a green 
eyed envy took possession of my soul. As all firing had stopped the 
coffee bearers proceeded safely in the performance of their task in 
plain, open sight of less happy mortals on our side of the river, a 
tantalizing illustration of the old song "Thou art so near and yet so 
far." It would have been a great relief to put a bullet through that 
caldron, though I have often thought how mean it was to harbor 
such a feeling. None of us know however how mean we can be until 
an occasion arises for the development of the "Old Adam" in us. 

But now we were approaching the objective point of the Cam- 
paign—the City of Atlanta— and it became apparent to every man, from 
Major General down to the "high private in the rear rank" that de- 
cisive battles were very near. From the Chattahoochee we fell back 
to positions around the devoted city and awaited events with the 
absolute certainty that they could not be delayed for many days. 
In spite of the long retreat the Army was in splendid condition, full 

146 



of confidence in itself and its great leader, Joseph E Johnston, and 
believing that the hour had arrived when his Fabian policy was to 
find ample justification in final victory. And then there came a blow 
to our cause from which it never fully rallied. Our General was re- 
moved from command and the Army given to General Hood. 

The removal of Genl Johnston at the crisis of the Campaign was 
one of the most lamentable events of the entire war. Its effect upon 
the morale of the Army was immediately disastrous; it took the heart 
out of the men for he was their idol and they believed in him in spite 
of the long retreat from Dalton to Atlanta. They knew that Sherman's 
Army was much larger than our own and that the falling back had 
been unavoidable because of the conditions which I have already 
explained. But they had seen every assault of Sherman's repulsed with 
bloody loss and realized that every mile of advance brought him that 
much farther from his base and would add to his discomfiture in the 
event of defeat. They believed that the Generals skill as a strategist 
would find opportunity to deal a fatal blow to his antagonist and that 
the ground was reached where it would be struck. They were prepared 
to follow him to the death and I believe to this day that but for his 
removal Atlanta would not have fallen. 

The causes, or rather, the cause that led to this most unhappy action 
was a difference between President Davis and General Johnston that 
might almost be considered a personal enmity; the two men were both 
high spirited, quick tempered and stubborn in holding to their own 
views, while neither understood the other nor gave him credit for the 
virtues and high qualities that he really possessed. Gen Johnston 
had a grievance from the beginning of the war in relation to his rank 
in the Confederate Army, he claimed that by right he should have 
outranked Genl Lee and Genl Samuel Cooper, the Adjutant General, 
because of his relatively higher position in the old United States Army. 
The fact that this claim was not admitted he attributed, (it was gen- 
erally believed), to President Davis and it so embittered him as entirely 
to prevent his giving to Mr Davis the frank confidence that 
always existed between the latter and Genl Lee. There was probably 
fault on both sides and it is difficult now to say who was most to 
blame though it is quite sure that had friendly good will been present 
between them, no distrust and suspicion in one, nor haughty reserve 
in the other, the battles around Atlanta would not have been fought 
under the leadership of General Hood. Of General Johnstons abilities 
as a military man there was but one opinion in the Confederacy, and 

147 



time has not altered the judgement of his contemporaries. In every 
thing save courage^ where they stood as equals, he was head and 
shoulders above Genl Hood upon whom his mantle was about to fall. 

Hood was a man of the utmost gallantry who had fought nobly 
for the Confederacy on many fields and had been desperately wounded 
more than once— a fine soldier for a subordinate command but lack- 
ing in the mental power and firm grasp of strategic detail that con- 
spicuously marked his predecessor. In Virginia he had led a Division 
with great honor and ability but there are many who think that in 
that his limit was reached; it was probably his reputation as a des- 
perate fighter that brought about his appointment as Commander of 
the Army of Tennessee. He was a tall, handsome man with long yellow 
hair and beard, he wore an artificial leg but, notwithstanding that 
disadvantage, sat a horse magnificently and made a noble appearance. 
Still, whether because the men resented his appointment or because 
he was without personal magnetism, the fact remains that he never 
excited enthusiasm in them. Wherever he rode he was received in 
silence— while the sight of "Old Joe" invariably provoked a storm 
of cheers. 

Gen Johnston in his book says that it had been his intention to attack 
Sherman's left wing which had crossed the Chattahoochee and was 
separated from the rest of the Federal Army by that river and Peach 
Tree Creek. I believe the order for this attack was formulated but the 
receipt of the Presidents telegram stopped its issuance. It is quite 
probable that Genl Hood was made acquainted with this intention 
for he attempted to carry out Gen Johnston's plan, but it took time 
for him to promulgate the order assuming command and to get hold 
of the Army. At least two precious days were lost in M'hich the 
Federal position had become decidedly stronger by the crossing of 
a large body of troops and the chances for our success in the move- 
ment had diminished in direct proportion. On the afternoon of the 
2oth of July the battle of Peach Tree Creek was fought resulting in 
failure for the Confederates as might have been expected under the 
circumstances. A man of only moderate intellectual power, suddenly 
called to execute the plans of a military genius, with an army of 
disappointed discontented men without confidence in their leader, 
under changed conditions from those upon which those plans were 
based, was not the one to command success. 

I do not take it upon myself to pass judgment upon the tactics of 
the battle, my field of observation was too limited to warrant 
my doing that, but all the criticisms I have read concerning them 
indicate the attack was delivered in a half-hearted, hap-hazard dis- 

148 



jointed way. It lacked resolution and likewise proper dispositions for 
the mutual support of the Divisions and Brigades engaged. Our own 
Division advanced over very difficult ground, first through a thick 
wood, then across a boggy valley through which a small water course 
meandered tortuously. It turned and twisted so much that we had to 
wade it two or three times in pressing forward. Indeed we never 
got fairly into action as the attack had failed in other parts of the 
field and the Division was withdrawn before it reached a point of 
close touch with the enemy. 

Shortly after dark a line of battle was formed again in the 
dense woods and it was generally understood amongst us that it was 
for the purpose of a night attack upon the positions we had failed 
to take in the afternoon. We laid down on the ground there in a state 
of expectancy for some hours, but finally received an order to retire 
to bivouac. I must confess to having felt a great sense of relief when 
the order came for the plan seemed to me to promise nothing but 
grave disaster. 

The next day, July 21st, was one of excessive heat and I was so 
overcome by it that I had to report on the sick list. That night 
Hardees Corps made a wide detour, marching through Atlanta and 
out toward Decatur with a view to striking Sherman's left flank that 
was located there. I was unable to sit my horse but rode in the am- 
bulance immediately in rear of the Brigade. In the early morning of 
the 22nd I rejoined the Regiment as the Corps was being lined up for 
battle. Old Gen Mercer made a neat little address telling what he 
expected of us, then the skirmishes were sent to the front and we 
started forward— moving very slowly because of the thick woods. 
It was intended I believe that our line should strike the enemys flank 
somewhat after this fashion [drawing in the manuscript] to envelope 
it both front and rear, but after marching a while there was a sudden 
halt with a great galloping to and fro of staff officers and an entire 
change of direction to the right. I did not understand it at the time 
but was told afterward that because of the density of the woods 
there had been a miscalculation of distance and that instead of bearing 
down on Sherman's exposed flank we were really marching along his 
front and exposing our own flank thus [drawing in the manuscript]. 
I do not know how true this may have been though it is very certain 
that the direction of the march was changed at right angles and that 
the change necessitated so much delay that instead of attacking in the 
early morning as was intended it was late in the day before we finally 
moved forward. We emerged from the woods passed over an open 
space and had begun the ascent of a little slope when the enemy 



149 



opened fire upon us. I was giving orders for the adjustment of the 
regimental line which had been more or less lost in going through 
the wood when a shell exploded in the air above me, a fragment struck 
me in the head and then I knew nothing more until coming to con- 
sciousness in the field hospital at some indefinite time later. That 
morning I had exchanged the light kepi that I had been accustomed 
to wear for a stout felt hat with a broad brim (one of a lot that 
Governor Brown had sent up to the Regiment,) and this hat was 
literally torn to pieces but it probably saved me from a much more 
serious injury. The Division suffered very severely that day. Gen 
Walker, its Commander, was killed and the loss in officers generally 
was particularly heavy. In the First Regiment we lost, among others, 
Capt Screven Turner, a brother-in-law of the two Hopkins boys- 
poor Capt Umback, too, received a wound that disfigured his hand- 
some face and made him an invalid for life— the whole roof of his 
mouth was shot away. Of our color guard two were killed while 
bearing the colors and two others wounded. One of the killed was 
Joe Singer, a Bethesda boy whose gallantry at Fort Pulaski had been 
conspicuous. A pathetic incident was the death of the sons of Mr Wm 
Neyle Habersham— Joe Clay, the elder was shot down by the same 
volley that killed General Walker, on whose staff he had been for some 
time. Willie, the younger, a private in the 54th Georgia, exposed 
himself recklessly after learning of his brothers death, and met the 
same fate. You have doubtless seen the stone in Laurel Grove Ceme- 
tery that marks their resting place. The Confederate attack M^as made 
with great vigor and was successful in the first part of the battle, 
had it been upon the flank, instead of frontal and delivered at an 
early hour it might have proved a great success. But the fates were 
against us; the delay had given time for the bringing up of strong 
reinforcements for the enemy and at nightfall the Southern troops 
were withdrawn. On July 28th Genl Hood attacked again on another 
part of the Federal line and once more met with failure. Thus in eight 
days he had made three ill managed assaults and had nothing to show 
for them but a dreadful list of killed and wounded not to speak of 
loss of confidence in the Army. General Johnston had retreated from 
Dalton to Atlanta yet had he managed so that Sherman should always 
assault his strong positions and always disastrously to himself. Hood 
had demonstrated his claim to be "a fighter" but, alas! he had also 
shown himself lacking in other qualities equally necessary in the make- 
up of an Army Commander. The Army never fully trusted him and 
many a criticism was passed upon him by the camp fires that would 
have made his ears tingle. Of course many of these were unjust but 

150 



the change of commanders had surely been a fatal one for us. I have 
very little memory of the two or three weeks that followed the battle 
of the 22nd July, There must have been some concussion of the brain 
for I find it difficult to recall a single thing except a dreamy recollec- 
tion of having shared a tent with Dr. Elliott. In course of time I came 
to myself and had some thought of applying for a short furlough, 
which would undoubtedly have been granted, but the Bridgade was 
so short of officers that I concluded not to do so. It has always been 
a regret to me that this opportunity to go home was not seized for 
your little brother CharHe had been born in Milledgeville and in 
deciding not to go I lost the only chance of ever seeing him on earth. 
I often think of the dear little face wondering if there will be recogni- 
tion in the heavenly home of the features that I never saw here— 
yet we may be assured that love will find its own there. 

After General Walkers fall his Division was broken up and its 
Brigades assigned to other Divisions. We were honored by being 
placed under General Pat Cleburne who commanded the fighting 
Division, "par excellence," of the Army of Tennessee. He had seen 
the Brigade going into action on the 22nd and had made special 
request that it might be given to him. Gen Mercer was returned to 
his old position on the Georgia coast, and Genl Argyle Smith was 
assigned to the command of the Brigade. He was about on furlough 
recovering from wounds so when I returned to duty I, as Senior 
Colonel, took his place. General Cleburne was a distinguished soldier, 
one of the finest that the war produced upon our side and I have 
always felt that it was a privilege to serve under him. He was an 
Irishman by birth, a man of humble beginnings, having in youth been 
a private in the British Army. When the war began he was a practicing 
lawyer somewhere in Arkansas. Entering the Confederate Army he 
rose rapidly from one rank to another filling each place with honor 
and rising by sheer force of merit. As a Division Commander he had 
no superior; whether he would have been equal to higher command 
can not be said, though none that knew him doubted it. What specially 
struck me about him was his perfect grasp of every detail of his 
Division. When on the march we would go into bivouac at night he 
would sit on his horse until the last Regiment filed off the road— 
that he might know personally the location of every unit of the 
command. In establishing a picket line he always went himself with 
the engineer officer and saw that the rifle pits were well constructed 
and mutually supporting. If there was a halt of some days in any one 
place he invariably utilized the occasion to inspect every musket with 
his own hands and eyes. As a consequence of this constant and careful 

151 



supervision Clebumes Division was always in a state of high efficiency- 
ready for any duty to which it might be called. The Brigadiers under 
him were men of ability and experience, Lowry of Mississippi, Govan 
of Arkansas, Cranberry of Texas, and our own Argyle Smith who 
had the reputation of getting wounded in every fight that he ever 
went into. Altogether it was a Division that one might well be proud 
of belonging to. During the month of August little was done by 
either Army; there was always hot firing on the picket Hnes, but 
the main bodies were resting and recuperating after the sanguinary 
engagements of the previous month. We were on the left of the Army 
guarding the railroad between Atlanta and Macon which was now the 
road over which our supplies came. The enemy were constantly in 
evidence in our front, but one morning ( I think it was on August 
30th) we woke up to find that they had disappeared entirely. Some 
of us went out to visit the camps they had occupied and we were 
much interested to note the ingenuity that had been exercised there 
to make the men comfortable. On one of the little huts was a placard 
bearing the words "Good bye Johnny Reb, we'll see you later"— a 
fact of which none of us had any doubt. 

That night Hood held Atlanta with one of his three Corps and sent 
the other two, Hardee's and Lee's down to Jonesboro, 20 miles South 
on the railroad, to which point Sherman was pushing his right wing. 
That was the explanation of its having left our front. 

We marched all night long and in the dim grey light of the morning 
reached the little town and at once went into position to the West 
of the railroad. It was a misty morning, the air was heavy with 
moisture, and it muffled the sound of the skirmishing that was already 
going on so that it seemed as though an army of wood choppers was 
at work in the distance. As soon as we were in line your Uncle 
Charlie, whose Regiment, the 54th, was next to mine, got his servant 
"Bunkum" to start a fire with the view to getting a little warm break- 
fast. The blaze felt good too to men who had been marching all night, 
so it was quite provoking when in adjusting the line of battle we were 
compelled to move two or three hundred paces to the left and leave 
our cheerful fire to others. However, another was soon started and 
Bunkum in a great state of nervousness had begun making "flip-flops" 
(the name is given to a sort of batter cake that he used to fashion 
for us,)— when suddenly a shell from a Yankee battery fell and ex- 
ploded in the center of the group gathered around the fire we had 
just left. I don't know how many men were killed but I could see 
several of them writhing and struggling and then settling down into 
the quiet of death. It was a pitiful sight that moved us all greatly— 



152 



to poor Bunkum it was a revelation of the horrors of war he had 
never dreamed of; he turned ash-colored, gathered into his arms all 
of the cooking outfit he could reach and ran to the rear as fast as his 
legs could take him, dropping canteens, pans, haversacks etc at every 
step. We did not see him again for several days. All that morning we 
waited, most of the time in line of battle, doing nothing save the shift- 
ing of position sometimes a little to the right, and then to the left, 
while every now and then a man would fall under the fire of the 
enemy's sharp-shooters. It was very trying, much more so than 
positive action would have been, even though it brought us into 
greater danger. At last the order to advance was given and on we 
went; the pace gradually quickening almost to a run. The ground 
before us was a gentle slope down to where the Flint River wound 
its way through the lowlands, — then upward to the works of the 
enemy. 

As the men went forward cheering, a battery of light artillery 
commanded by Captain Beauregard, (a son of the General's,) followed, 
the guns leaping and bounding over the uneven surface of the ground, 
drivers whipping and spurring, horses wild with excitement, cannoneers 
clinging for dear life to their seats on the caissons and ammunition 
boxes— as fine an exhibition of warlike power as could be imagined. 
Again and again at the order ^^ Action Front, ''^ the teams were brought 
around in sweeping curves in the full run, the men leaped to their 
places, the guns were unlimbered and bang! bang!! bang!!! went the 
shells hurtling over our heads. It fascinated me to watch them. Nearing 
the river I happened to strike a boggy place in which my mare sank 
to the saddle flaps and every struggle seemed to sink her deeper. 
Meanwhile the line was advancing leaving me, the Brigade Com- 
mander stuck in the mud. It was an unendurable plight in which to 
remain for a minute under the circumstances, so I climbed over the 
mare's head and pushed forward on foot, hoping that Linsky, my 
orderly, would find Lady Gray and rescue her, which very fortunate- 
ly he did. The Flint was a shallow stream through which the Division 
dashed without trouble, then up to the works from which the enemy 
retreated as we approached. But the fight had gone against us in other 
parts of the field and we were ordered back to the original position. 
Returning over the field through which we had charged I noticed 
where an entire team of the battery horses had been killed by a shell; 
the four of them lay in pairs with the harness upon them just as they 
had been hitched up. 

I spoke of the passage of the Flint as having been made without 
difficulty and so it was for all excepting for Captain Charlie Russell 

158 



of the 54th. As the Regiment got to the bank and looked at the yellow 
water of unknown depth the men hesitated a little before entering 
the stream— noticing this, Russell, who was always inclined to be melo- 
dramatic, waved his sword and shouted "Dont be afraid of a little water, 
men; its only knee deep. Follow me!" Then he stepped in up to his 
neck, having unfortunately found a place where the current had 
washed a hole under the bank. Of course there was a great shout of 
laughter as the men went by on either side of him through the shallow 
water. Gen Henry R. Jackson's Brigade had attacked immediately 
on our right. On his staff— his adjutant general I think— was Joe Hol- 
combe, the son of Mr Thomas Holcombe of Savannah— and one of 
my old school mates at Marietta. Poor fellow, he was desperately- 
wounded. I saw him as he was being brought from the field and it 
grieved me beyond measure to be told that his wound was mortal. He 
died a few hours after. That night Lee's Corps was hurriedly ordered 
back to Atlanta and Hardee's Corps was left alone to face the largely 
augmented forces of the enemy at Jonesboro. Cleburne's Division 
was withdrawn from its position on the extreme left of the army 
and ordered to the extreme right to fill the gap left by Lee, (a 
Division to take the place of a Corps). Just before day break we 
filed into the slight works that Lee had hastily constructed the 
day before and wofully spread out. We were in them— the men 
in single line and about a yard apart. As we left the road to go 
into this position, the field officers all dismounted, giving their horses 
to the various orderlies who were there to receive them. These were 
all in a group together, among them the man "Bonny" of whom you 
have heard your Uncle speak so often. He was mounted on a miser- 
able old nag that he had picked up somewhere, and was leading a 
string-halted charger that belonged to our Brigadier, the bridles of 
the two horses being hitched together by a rein. The movement of 
the troops made a certain amount of noise, though it was done as 
quietly as possible; it attracted the attention of a Yankee battery lo- 
cated some 700 or 800 yards down the road and they opened upon 
us with schrapnel. Fortunately it was too dark for them to see us 
and they aimed too high, but the whistling of the shells overhead 
frightened both orderlies and horses, all of whom made a dash for the 
rear, without standing on ceremony. Bonny was in specially hard 
luck, with his double team, when we last saw him; the string-halted 
horse had gone on one side of a tree, while the other one that he rode 
took the other and the most frantic efforts did not get him on an 
inch. I don't know how he finally got out of the predicament. Bonny 
was as arrant a coward as ever lived though very valiant, whenever 

154 



he managed to get a little whisky. On one such occasion he was 
heard expressing himself to this effect: "Its a good thing as I aint in 
command of this 'ere army:— I'm one of the charging kind." 

The Division was formed in the trenches in the following order 
by Brigades: Cranberry on the right, then Govan, Lowry and Smith, 
The enemy were so close that we could not send out a picket line,, 
in fact an attempt to do so resulted in the capture of a number of the 
men. Everything was quiet for a few hours after we got into position; 
then began a steady firing of both musketry and artillery that lasted 
throughout the day without serious loss to either side. 

In front of Govans Brigade the ground sloped gradually for about 
fifty yards and then dipped suddenly into a valley which could not 
be seen from our works. In this depression a heavy storming column 
of the Yankees was assembled in perfect safety to themselves and 
unknown to us. About the middle of the afternoon there was rapid 
increase of the firing and the Division stood in expectancy of the 
assault that this presaged. It came in an instant upon Govan; the 
attacking column rising suddenly from the valley, rank after rank, 
had but a short rush to make and literally ran over his slender line 
capturing him and most of his Brigade. Thus the Division was pierced 
and had supporting troops promptly poured through the gap so made, 
irretrievable disaster must have befallen Hardee's Corps. But the com- 
mands on either side were under brave and experienced leaders whose 
valor had been tested in numberless fields. Men ready in resource and 
not easily flurried by untoward events. Granberry promptly swung 
back his left wing and Lowry his right, so that any force attempting 
to advance through the gap in our line would have had a deadly fire 
from those two splendid Brigades on both flanks. The attempt was 
not made and night came on without change in the situation. In 
looking back upon those four years of war certain episodes stand out 
in special clearness in my mind; one of them occurred on that fateful 
afternoon. Captain Beauregards battery occupied a place in our 
Brigade front and when the disaster happened to Govan he was 
hurriedly summoned to assist in repelling the anticipated advance 
through the break in the line. The officer who brought the order 
was Major Bob Martin of South Carolina, General Hardee's Chief 
of Artillery. I was standing immediately back of the battery and 
hearing a voice behind me, turned and saw Martin on the crest of a 
ridge that ran in rear of the works and parallel to them. He was an 
unusually handsome man, dressed in a splendid new uniform and 
mounted on a superb blood-bay horse that was rearing and plunging 
with excitement, its nostrils dilated and breast covered with foam, 

155 



while the riders face was aflame with the light of battle. With the 
roar of the combat in my ears and the hiss of bullets above and 
around in every direction, I saw this group in silhoette against the 
sky— it seemed as though I were looking at the God of War himself, 
and the picture has remained with me ever since. 

Hardee's Corps was surely most critically placed when night came 
upon us after two days of unsuccessful fighting Twenty miles away 
from the main body of the army and almost surrounded by a largely 
superior force, the enemy so close we could hear them talking. It 
was vitally necessary for us to get away from so compromising a 
position yet every road was closed to us except the one that leads 
Southward from Jonesboro to Macon. I have read in some accounts 
of the battle that Howard's Corps had been ordered to throw itself 
across the road so as to cut off our retreat absolutely but that it missed 
its way in the darkness of the night in marching through the thickly 
wooded country. However that may be, the road was open and we 
availed ourselves of it. The order to march came about lo o'clock and 
the men moved out as silently as possible. A certain amount of noise 
could not be avoided, and that was accounted for to the enemy by 
sundry calls to the various Regiments to come and draw their rations. 

We got away from the trenches without molestation and marching 
^11 night reached Love joy's Station on the Macon and Western Railroad 
^bout daylight. The memory of that night's march is like a horrible 
dream. I was so tired physically as scarcely to be able to sit on my 
horse, and the mental depression, deep enough because of our own 
failure, was the more profound as the red glare in the Northern 
sky and the sullen rumble of distant explosions told that Hood was 
burning his stores and abandoning Atlanta to Sherman. The long 
campaign had ended in defeat and disaster. 

We remained at Lovejoys for several days fortifying the position 
as strongly as the lay of the land would admit, anticipating the Federal 
army would follow us up. But there was no serious attempt against 
us, a little skirmishing in the picket line and some feeling of our 
lines with schrapnel shells was about the sum total of the fighting there. 
A bullet from one of these shells struck Capt Gordon on the wrist 
one day as we stood talking together. It was a painful wound though 
by no means a dangerous one; not bad enough for an operation and 
just good enough for a furlough which he was glad to get after the 
arduous work we had all been through. 

I cannot remember exactly when the army got together again, or 
how. My impression is that Cheatham's and Lee's Corps which were 
with Hood at Atlanta had retreated Eastward along the line of the 

156 



Georgia Railroad when the city was abandoned and subsequently 
marched across the angle that the two Railroads made to unite with 
Hardee at Love joys. [Drawing in the manuscript.] Finding after a 
while that the Yankees had retired from Jonesboro we advanced and 
took possession of the town again. Sherman was then planning the 
destruction of Atlanta, and his march to the sea. His first step was to 
order the people to leave their homes and go into the Confederate 
lines. The dreadful cruelty of this was that it affected, almost entirely, 
old men, women and children, for the men of fighting age were all 
in the army. We did not dream until then of his intention to bum 
the city. It did not seem possible that such a crime could be committed 
in the Nineteenth Century, and nothing that has since been written 
either by Sherman himself or any of his admirers concerning that act 
of vandalism, furnishes any excuse for it. Under the established laws 
of warfare he had a perfect right to destroy factories, arsenals, etc 
that supplied munitions to Confederate armies in the field but it would 
puzzle any right-minded man to explain the military necessity for 
burning the roofs that sheltered innocent non-combattants. 

The truth is that Sherman, in spite of his genius as a soldier, was 
a vindictive, malignant man to all who called themselves Confederates 
whatever their age or sex. No other proof of this is needed than the 
burning of Atlanta and Columbia and the broad track of desolated 
homes that marked his progress through Georgia. He gave utterance 
to the expression '"''War is Heir and every energy of his being was 
put forth to make it such to women and little babies as well as to men 
with arms in their hands. 

The whole trend of modem civilization is to minimize the horrors 
of war, especially for non-combattants, but this man seemed to delight 
in bringing upon a section of the country that had once been his home 
the most cruel penalties without reference to the need of them for 
military purposes. Sherman and Stanton are the two men for 
whom I find it most difficult to exercise the grace of charity, but I 
am thankful that even for them the bitterness that was once in my 
heart, has passed away. 

A truce of several days was arranged between the two armies while 
the poor people of Atlanta were being driven from their homes and 
received by the Confederates. It was pitiful to see them coming in all 
sorts of vehicles piled up with such household belongings as the owners 
could find transportation for; many, too, tramping along on foot. Yet 
for the most part they seemed to be facing the situation with bravery 
if not with cheerfulness. The various Quarter Masters of the army were 
all busy aiding this exodus and passing the refugees on to the rear 

157 



where, I doubt not, they found unlimited sympathy and such help as 
it was possible to give them at that time. 

One great pleasure the truce brought to me was a visit from your 
dear Mother. A number of ladies seized the opportunity given by the 
temporary cessation of hostilities to come up to Jonesboro to see hus- 
bands, brothers and sons. Your Mother and Aunt Fan were in the 
party and you may be sure that they received the heartiest of wel- 
comes. Unfortunately they did not arrive until the very day before the 
end of the truce so Uncle Charlie and I had but one happy day with 
them. Even in that one we found difficulty in getting away from the 
camp as the orders were out for the march at an early hour the next 
morning, and Gen Cleburne thought his officers ought to be occupied 
in getting their commands ready. It looked blue enough for us until 
your Aunt Fan and Mother went to put the matter before Gen 
Hardee, (whom they both knew,) carrying with them, for purposes 
of bribery, some of the good things they had brought up with them 
to reinforce our commissariat. The General was complaisant enough 
but said, "Ladies, this matter rests with Gen'l Cleburne who is here 
now; let me introduce him." The introduction was made and then 
Gen Cleburne, who was a shy man, found himself in a tight place. 
He started to explain how essential it was to have all officers with the 
Division on that day, but every word of explanation and argument 
was met by gifts of peaches, apples, cakes and other appetising things 
that were piled up in his arms while Gen Hardee stood by roaring 
with laughter. Of course, there was only one ending to the situation, 
the General surrendered at discretion for the first time in his life. On 
the following day the Army started on its march but with what object 
in view none of us smaller men could divine though of course there 
were any number of conjectures. The first stopping place was near 
a little town called Palmetto somewhere to the Westward of Atlanta. 
There, the knowing ones said, we were to take a stand and by being 
a constant menance upon Sherman's flank prevent his further progress 
into Georgia. For a while it seemed as though they might be right, 
the men were put to throwing up field works, drills and inspections 
were of daily occurrence and every effort was made to put the troops 
in first rate condition. At this point our new Brigadier joined us and 
I returned to command of the Regiment. President Davis visited the 
Army while we were at Palmetto: I caught sight of him as he galloped 
along our Brigade front, — a white faced haggard looking man, 
burdened down— I imagined at the time— by the cares and responsi- 
bilities that were upon him. He swept by us surrounded by a crowd 
of Generals and staff officers and I never saw him again until his visit 

158 



to Savannah in 1886, a few months before his death. He made a speech 
while with the Army declaring that it would soon strike a great blow 
for the Southern Cause, but I did not hear him. 

To the best of my recollection we were at Palmetto for eight or ten 
days then orders for the march came and we were off again, this 
time with faces turned Northward. We halted when some twenty miles 
West of Marietta; then everybody said it was preparatory to throwing 
ourselves directly across Sherman's line of communications and so 
forcing him to turn back. I have always wished since that such a course 
had been adopted— success might have attended it, and had failure 
instead it could scarcely have proved more disastrous than the Mad 
Tennessee Campaign upon which we were about to enter. Here I was 
put "out of commission" for a while by an attack of fever. Dr Thomp- 
son the Brigade surgeon said he thought there were symtoms of ty- 
phoid, and he insisted upon putting me in a house. So he found a place 
nearby with a farmer who had kindly consented to take me in, dosed 
me up with medicines and left me for the night. Early the next 
morning he came in to say that the Brigade was moving a little to the 
left though it was not going far and that I must try to make myself as 
comfortable as possible. He told me afterwards that he knew better 
but did not think me in any condition to be moved even though my 
remaining involved almost the certainty of capture and imprisonment. 
All through that day I was in a dreamy, semi-unconscious state of 
which I have little recollection, but at about two o'clock or thereabout 
the sound of skirmishing not far off brought me suddenly to perfect 
clearness of mind. I called to the farmer vigorously and he came 
running into the room. "WTiat is that firing?" I asked. "The Yankees 
fighting with the Cavalry rear guard"— "Where are the infantry?" 
"Oh— they left early this morning." "Where are the Cavalry?" "They 
passed by an hour ago." "By what road?" He pointed it out to me 
from the window. I crawled out of bed, put on my clothes, threw 
my saddle bags over my shoulder and left the house. My feet were 
like lead, my head ached so that I could scarcely see the road, but 
the mind was clear and in my heart was the distinct purpose to die 
on the way rather than be captured. I have always felt that Divine 
Goodness alone brought me safely through that cruel strait. I said, like 
David, "I will lift mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help" 
and the help came in a way that I shall ever remember with a sense 
of gratitude to the Giver of all good. Strength was given me with 
every step and a resolution of purpose that kept me up surprisingly. 
Toward the middle of the afternoon two straggling soldiers overtook 
me and relieved me of the burden of the saddle bags. They were lead- 

159 



ing a young unbroken colt that was as wild as a buck rabbit and they 
offered to put me on him but it would have been worse than walking 
to have attempted to ride such a horse in my weak condition. Just 
about dark we came in sight of the cavalry camp by the bank of a bold 
creek. My two companions evidently did not care to be questioned 
as to how they got possession of the colt for they slipped off into the 
woods at once leaving me to go on alone. An outlying sentinel chal- 
lenged me and then the Corporal of the guard escorted me to the 
headquarters of the General in command who proved to be Genl 
Jackson of Augusta. He received me very kindly and seemed quite 
sorry to see me in the plight I was in, for I was as dirty as a rag man 
from the red clay dust of the ten miles of road I had tramped over, 
and so exhausted that my limbs would scarcely support me. He called 
for a horse, made a couple of men lift me into the saddle, and then 
directed his orderly to ford the creek with me and escort me up to 
a log cabin that was on the opposite bank. The men left me at the 
gate of the little fence that surrounded the house, then I went up to 
the door and knocked. In a few minutes a girl responded to the knock, 
a tall, gaunt woman plainly dressed but rather a pleasant face. She 
looked at me doubtfully as I preferred my request for shelter for the 
night. "I'll ax Dad," she said. "I'm very sick" was my reply "and 
if you don't take me in I'll die." In an instant she seemed to realize that 
this was a case for prompt action: the door was thrown wide open, 
"Come in," she said, and then with a jump, she was at my side and was 
fairly lifting me up the two or three little front steps. Another moment 
and I Avas seated in a big chair, she had taken off my coat and was 
kneeling at my feet to unlace my shoes. Then there was a call to a 
sister from the back part of the premises and the two of them picked 
me up bodily and deposited me in the only bed there was in the room. 
I sank in among the feathers with a sense of rehef and comfort that 
can come to a man only after some such experience as had been mine 
that day. I fell at once into a deep sleep but was awakened to drink a 
great cup of herb tea, boiling hot, that those good Samaritans had pre- 
pared for me. During the night I awoke again, dripping with perspira- 
tion but with every particle of fever gone. There was a flickering 
light from the fireplace and by it, on the floor, in their day dresses, 
those blessed girls were lying side by side fast asleep At a very early 
hour in the morning my special friend aroused me saying she thought 
I had better get up for she was "afeared" there was going to be a 
fight "right thar." She brought me food, another cup of that efficacious 
tea, filled my haversack with provisions for the day and started me on 
my journey with the words "Now honey you had better be a goin' " 



160 



Surely no one ever found a better friend in need. I am ashamed to say 
that her name has gone from my memory entirely. I put it down in 
a note book that I used to carry about me but the book itself was 
lost later on. I trust that her life was a happy one and that God blessed 
her in it as she deserved; there was the spirit of the Master in her 
ministration to me. As I left the house the cavalry who had crossed 
the creek were forming line of battle in front of it while on the other 
side there was the sound of skirmishing in the distance. Inquiring on 
what road the infantry had gone I started off with a very weak pair 
of legs to hold me up but weakness was the only trouble and strength 
began to return as I walked. That day twenty five miles were covered 
and at nightfall my anxieties were ended. I reached a place where 
a part of the army wagon train had gone into camp. The Quarter Mas- 
ter in charge of it was very kind,— he made me a cup of coffee (quite a 
rarity it was in those days) fixed up a bed for me in one of the wagons 
and invited me to ride there on the next day. We started at daylight, 
were on the road all day, and about ten oclock found the bivouac fires 
of the troops just ahead of us in Cedar Valley. It took me some time 
to find my own Regiment, but it was found at last and at midnight 
I crawled under a tent fly where Mat Hopkins and Fred Hull were 
sleeping. You may be sure that they did not object to being waked up 
and that there was great rejoicing over me. Everybody in the Brigade 
had settled down to the assurance of my capture as it was known that 
the enemy were approaching the farm house in which Dr Thompson 
had put me. And captured I undoubtedly would have been had I re- 
mained there another half hour. It remains only to add that from 
that time until the end of the war my health was absolutely perfect, 
not an ache or pain excepting such as cold weather brought to the 
whole army. 

The Northward March was continued as far as Dalton, where a 
Federal garrison of something over 400 men was captured. Forlorn 
looking fellows they looked and I felt sorry for them remembering 
my own feelings as a prisoner of war. At this point we turned squarely 
to the West and made for the Alabama line, a proceeding that mystified 
not a little the wiseacres of the ranks who always know everything. 

At a little town called Alpine, just on the border, the First Regiment 
was detached from the Brigade to convoy a wagon train going down 
to Gadsden Ala. for supplies. It was an uneventful service, discharged 
without seeing or even hearing of an enemy. At Gadsden I had great 
pleasure in meeting General Beauregard to whom I had been intro- 



161 



duced when he was in command of the Georgia and Carolina coasts. 
He was a very distinguished looking man, decidedly French in type, 
(as he had good right to be,) with florid complexion and iron-gray 
hair— a soldier every inch of him and with marked courtesy of speech 
and manner. Without asking any questions, which would have [been] 
manifestly improper, I tried indirectly to get from [him] an inkling 
of the army's destination but he was too wary to walk into any trap 
that could be set for him by a small person like myself. 

The wagon train being loaded the Regiment started Northward 
with it again directly up the slopes of Sand Mountain, a ridge that 
traverses North Eastern Alabama terminating in Lookout Mountain 
near Chattanooga. The ascent was very steep and it was all that the 
teams could do to drag the heavy wagons up. I saw one magnificent 
mule fall dead in the effort. The men of the Regiment were posted 
all along in the specially stiff places to lend a hand in pushing and 
tugging at the wheels— very hard and fatiguing work it was. 

You see from this that soldiers have much to do besides drilling 
and fighting. Reaching the summit we turned Westward again march- 
ing for two or three days along the ridge, then we descended on the 
North side and soon thereafter rejoined the army which by this time 
was well on its way across the State. Our first stopping place was 
at Tuscumbia, a little town on the Tennessee River of which I remem- 
ber very little excepting a great springs of water that gushes from 
beneath a huge rock in the heart of the town. We were here several 
days and learned definitely that the campaign was to be in the State 
of Tennessee. The weather had become quite cold and the bleakness 
of our bivouac on a bare hill side gave promise of what was before 
us. From Tuscumbia the army moved up the river a few miles until 
opposite Florence on the North bank. The whole army was massed 
at this point in large open fields, preparatory to crossing the river on 
a pontoon bridge that had been laid there. The various Brigades and 
Divisions were all in column of fours side by side with only a few 
paces separating the columns— they made a very impressive sight for 
it is not often that one sees an entire army in such close masses. It 
was a bright autumnal Sunday morning, the church bells were ringing 
in the little town and as the commands moved down in succession to 
the bridge, with colors fluttering in the sun light there was a sense 
of exhilaration in being a part of the brilliant spectacle. The pontoons 
were deep in the water as we crossed and the current of the mighty 
river chafed and fretted against them, but all held safely to their 
mooring and there were no mishaps that came to my knowledge. The 
first man I met on the Northern bank was Raleigh Camp an old 
Marietta comrade whom I had not seen since his graduation the year 



162 



before me. He was Lieut Col of a Texas Regiment that had crossed 
just ahead of us and had waited to see me. It was pleasant to meet 
him and have a short talk of old times and old friends but we could 
not be very long together. We parted and I never learned whether 
he survived the campaign or not. At Florence we remained a week 
or more awaiting for supply trains and Gen Cleburne availed himself of 
the opportunity to order a Division Court Martial for the trial of 
sundry offenders against military law. 

There were thirteen members of this courtmartial and I was its 
President— Lieut Col Guy ton of the 57th was the only other officer 
from our Brigade, My reason for mentioning this otherwise unin- 
teresting incident will appear later on. 

While waiting at Florence your Uncle Charlie was taken quite ill 
with what threatened to be pneumonia. His surgeon, Dr Godfrey, 
succeeded in getting him into the house of a private family where 
he received every care and attention, but he was sick a long while, 
indeed his active service ended then. I did not see him again until the 
campaign was over and we were passing through Georgia to join 
Gen Johnston in North Carolina. The orders finally came for the army 
to go forward into Tennessee but to our great disappointment Smiths 
Brigade did not march with it. We were detached and sent to a place 
called Cheathams Ferry some twelve miles or so from Florence to aid 
in getting a supply train across the River. I learned that we were 
chosen for this service because being men from the coast we were 
supposed to have some knowledge of the management of boats. We 
waited for two days at the Ferry before the train arrived on the 
other side of the river and then getting the wagons over gave pretty 
strenuous work for four or five days more, (though there was no 
let up at night)— for the river was a mile broad, the current was 
strong, and two or three old flat boats were the only means of trans- 
portation. At last the job was completed and we were on the march 
once more, but a full week behind the rest of the army. That week 
was the salvation of very many of us for as we advanced news 
came to us of a great battle that had been fought at Franklin with 
terrible loss of life. Cleburnes Division was reported as "cut to pieces." 
There were anxious hearts in our bosoms and anxiety became deep 
and unavailing sorrow when we arrived at Franklin and learned all 
of the sad particulars. Hood had brought Gen Schofield to bay at 
that town and had then made a frontal attack along the entire line- 
over four or five hundred yards of level ground every inch of which 
was swept by artillery and rifle fire. Obstacles on the right and left 
made our men crowd toward the centre where the lines overlapped 
and were six or eight ranks deep in places, a formation that led to 

163 



most dreadful slaughter. A turnpike road led to the centre of the 
enemys position and where it entered the works three batteries of 
artillery were located that poured an unceasing fire of grape and 
cannister upon the advancing Confederates. Along this road our 
Division had charged and just to the left of it Cleburne fell. He was 
leading the Division on foot, (I believe his horse had been killed,) 
and coming to an abbatis of Osage orange immediately in front of the 
works, called out "Come on men! don't let this little brush stop you." 
Then the fatal ball struck him and he fell. Not far from him Genl 
Cranberry of the Texas Brigade went down— he was found dead upon 
his knees with his face in his hands. Every field officer in the Divi- 
sion was either killed or wounded while the loss of the rank and file 
was awful. The Confederates reached the works but could not sur- 
mount them; for hours, far into the night, the opposing forces lay 
firing at each other across the narrow parapet neither side being 
able to advance. Toward midnight Genl Schofield withdrew, leaving 
the field to Hood but the victory was practically with the Northern 
Army. 

We arrived at Franklin on the third day after the battle and I had 
opportunity to examine the ground a little. I saw several of the 
enemys dead still lying in the field and all along the front of the 
works there were little pools of congealed blood in the frozen earth 
where our poor Southern boys had died. In one place the horse of a 
Confederate General lay astride of the parapet where he and his rider 
had been killed. I learned that this was General Adams the com- 
mander of a Mississippi Brigade. Inquiry developed the fact that every 
one of the eleven officers who had sat in the court martial with Guyton 
and myself at Florence, was either dead or desperately wounded. 

It was impossible to avoid the thought that but for the detail that 
sent us to Cheathams Ferry we too would in all probability have 
shared the same fate. One of these officers I had liked exceedingly, 
Lieut Col Young of the Fifth Texas. We had agreed to know more 
of each other if we both lived through the war. He was a Georgian 
by birth, brother of Gen P M B Young an old school mate of mine 
at Marietta. He fell near General Granberry and his poor body was 
almost torn to pieces by bullets. A pathetic story was told me of a 
young Lieutenant in a Tennessee Regiment who had been overjoyed 
at the advance into the State because his "home," which was on the 
outskirts of Franklin, "would be redeemed." He was killed immediately 
in front of his father's door. 

We did not remain long in these depressing surroundings but pushed 
on until the army was rejoined in front of Nashville. The Division 
was entrenched on a ridge from which we had a good view of the 

164 



city and so near to batteries of the enemy that camp fires were 
forbidden on our lines lest they should attract artillery fire. As the 
weather was bitterly cold, the thermometer, far below the freezing 
point, this was a decided hardship but it had to be borne. The death 
of Genl Cleburne brought General Smith to the command of the Di- 
vision, he being the senior Brigadier, and this put me in command 
of the Brigade again a position that I kept until the reorganization 
of the army in North Carolina in April 1865, the last month of the 
War. 

We had scarcely settled down in our places in the lines around 
Nashville when orders came for Smiths Brigade to proceed to the 
vicinity of Alurfreesboro, some twenty five miles or so to the South- 
east, and report to General N. B. Forrest who was operating against 
the garrison in that town. We started out on the march at sun-rise one 
morning and just at dusk were met by a staff officer, when within 
two or three miles of our destination. He directed me to put the men 
into bivouac in a thick cedar thicket at that point where there was 
perfect shelter from the icy wind, good water, and unlimited supply 
of cord wood that had been cut and piled for the Railroad near by. 
It was an ideal place for camping, highly appreciated by all of us for 
the day had been a bitterly cold one with snow fall toward the end 
of it. At one time during the day we had to cross a stream of water 
some three or four feet deep. It would have been cruel, in that weather, 
to make the men wade it so they went over on a Railroad tressle bridge 
that was without flooring or hand-rail, "cooning" it, (as the saying is,) 
on their hands and knees over the ice coated cross-ties. Some of the 
leading files started in the upright position, but did not keep it up 
more than a few steps. It was rather a funny sight and there was much 
laughing and joking over it. 

On the following morning, according to orders that had been given 
me, I left the Brigade in its comfortable camp and went to find Genl 
Forrest to report to him in person. A sleet storm had sprung up during 
the night, driven by a fierce gale and I rode right in the teeth of it, 
unable to see more than a few yards ahead. Poor Lady Gray's mane 
and tail were frozen stiff and my own hair and beard and every 
fold of my clothing were encrusted with ice. When the General's 
Head Quarters were finally reached I had to be helped from the 
saddle, but a blazing fire of great logs, by which the General was 
standing, quickly restored circulation, which was assisted also by a 
"nip" from his flask which he considerately handed me. I had felt 
great curiosity to meet this distinguished man, of whose warlike feats 
many stories had been told by every camp fire in the Confederacy 
from the very beginning of the War. But I had never dreamed of 

165 



ever being under his command— it is always the unexpected that hap- 
pens. The first look at him as he stood there, fully satisfied my pre- 
conceptions of the man; he appeared the born soldier that he was, Six 
feet and over in height, straight as an arrow, black hair, and piercing 
black eyes, a ruddy complexion and an indefinable something in his 
bearing that stamped him as a leader of men. That he had had no 
education to speak of was currently reported and a little order, written 
by himself, that I received from him later on, gave demonstration 
of the truth of this; there was scarcely a word of it that was up to 
the dictionary standard. But what a man he was in all that makes man- 
hood. It was said of him that on every battle field he instinctively 
saw at a glance the weak point of his enemy and then hurled upon 
it all the force at his command, giving blow after blow with a fierce- 
ness that first confused, then demoralized, then routed his opponents. 
Such was his fight at Tishamingo in northern Mississippi when with 
cavalry alone he utterly defeated and drove back to Memphis a force 
considerably larger than his own, consisting of infantry, artillery and 
cavalry. In North Alabama and Georgia he followed a federal raiding 
expedition with grim determination, giving it no rest day or night, 
and finally received its surrender, thus capturing many more men than 
he commanded. At Johnsons Landing on the Tennessee he charged 
down upon a flotilla of steam transports that were lying at the M'harf 
there. His men leaped their horses onto the decks of the steamers 
and took possession of them in that way. I know of but one other 
instance in history of vessels being captured by cavalry; in the early 
wars of the French Republic some ships that happened to be frozen 
in the ice in the Zuyder Zee were picked up by an officer whose name 
has escaped me. All during the war Forrest had been a thorn in the 
flesh to every Yankee General operating in middle and West Ten- 
nessee and the northern parts of A4ississippi, Alabama and Georgia. 
Absolutely fearless, untiring, sleeplessly vigilant, and possessed of native 
military genius of very high order, he seemed to know by intuition 
the plans of the enemy and the best way to thwart them. Whenever 
in independent command, success attended his operations and his 
name was a tower of strength throughout that whole region of coun- 
try. I doubt if he had ever read a book on military strategy or the 
conduct of war but he gave an excellent epitome of the art in his 
answer to a gentleman who asked him the reason for his being always 
so successful. "I always try to get there first with the most men"! 
Whether with "most men" or not, however, he never failed to "get 
there first". Such was the man to whom I was now reporting and 
it will readily be understood that I felt honored in having him for 
a commander. The first question he asked me was "Who is your 



166 



commissary and does he do his duty?" I replied that we had an ex- 
cellent commissars'^ in Capt Ned Drummond who gave us what there 
was to be had. "Well," he said, "there is plenty to eat in this country 
and the men must be well fed; they can't fight on empty bellies." 
For three days the sleet and snow -storm continued and all military 
operations were at a stand. I believe we did a little work in the way 
of tearing up the Railroad between Nashville and Murfreesboro, but 
the weather was so bitter and so many of our men were barefooted 
that not very much of that was demanded of them. During the interval 
I had opportunity to become acquainted with the officers of a Ten- 
nessee Brigade that was also serving with General Forrest. Its com- 
mander was a Col Quarles, a very delightful gentleman whom it was 
a great pleasure to meet. He had lost an arm in one of the earlier 
battles of the \var but that had not kept him from continuing in the 
service. He was a man of fine culture, too, well educated and well read, 
with Shakespeare at his fingers ends. Finding him and talking with him 
by the blazing fires of cedar logs made me forget for a time the hard- 
ships and difficulties of our surroundings. Col Quarles was quite 
prominent in Tennessee politics after the war. I have seen his name 
very honorably mentioned many times and I believe he served his 
State in Congress, but whether in the Senate or House I do not re- 
member. 

When the great storm was over we began to move toward Murfrees- 
boro but were fated to do nothing toward the capture of that town. 
We had just forded a stream that ran betu'een us and the city when 
a tremendous cannonading in the distance was heard. It was in the 
direction of Nashville and there could be no doubt that the great 
battle expected there had begun. 

I thought that we would immediately set out to join the main 
army as a reinforcement even though we could not have reached it 
until far into the night, but no such move was made. I did not under- 
stand the reason for this at the time though reflection has convinced 
me that Gen Forrest kept his force where it was to neutralize the 
Federal garrison in A4urfreesboro that might otherwise have advanced 
to the assistance of Gen Thomas, the Northern commander at Nash- 
ville. Doubtless, too, Forrest was acting under direct orders for 
couriers came to him with dispatches repeatedly during the day. 

It was an anxious time for us all, this listening to the ceaseless roar 
of the guns and giving full play to the imagination as to what might 
be happening to our comrades twenty odd miles away. 

About noon on the second day an ominous change in the direction 
from which the sound of firing came, seemed to indicate that matters 
were going badly for the Confederates. It appeared to be more from 

167 



the South and West and the only possible explanation was that Hood 
had been driven back, as indeed he had been and most disastrously 
defeated. 

Early in the afternoon a courier came riding up at top speed; 
his dispatch was delivered and five minutes thereafter we were on 
the retreat. 

Then began a march that had few parallels in the war for down- 
right hardship and suffering— every circumstance conspired to make 
it such. The country was covered with sleet and snow, the weather 
was bitter. Many of the men of the brigade were absolutely bare- 
footed, while all of them were clad in worn clothing that was three 
fourths cotton; not one in a hundred had an overcoat and added to 
all this was a knowledge of disaster and of the fact thac the Federal 
army was between us and Hood. Everything combined to weigh down 
heart and soul with a deep sense of depression. 1 can not remember 
how late we marched that night but by crack of dawn on the follow- 
ing morning we were on the road again. And what a day that was! 
I saw with my own eyes, again and again, the print of bloody feet 
m the snow and men fell out of the column from whom we never 
heard again. Under any other man than N. B. Forrest there would 
have been no salvation for us for, to all appearances, were were hope- 
lessly cut off from our own army; not only did he know every inch 
of the country, every cross road and bridle path in it, but he was 
likewise possessed of an indomitable spirit whose highest powers were 
always put forth when obstacles seemed insuperable. He, with the 
officers of his staff, dismounted from their horses and gave them to 
sick and disabled men while they trudged along themselves on foot 
through the snow, at the head of the column. Cavalry were sent back 
over the route by which we had come to pick up the barefooted 
and to cheer the weary. No word fell from our leader that did nor 
help to put heart and courage in a man. I had always felt admiration 
for him as a bold and skilful soldier, but this day gave me a revelation 
of the VTa7i that is very pleasant to remember. 

Between one and two oclock that day a courier brought to me the 
note from the General to which reference has been made. In it he 
enjoined upon me to keep my command well closed up and further 
said that we were near a ford over a certain river at a place called 
"Ellicotts Mills," (if my memory is correct,) and that once over, 
a very few miles would put us in touch with the army that was wait- 
ing for us at Columbia. This was good news and it was quickly spread 
amonsf the men, cheering them up greatly, VVe soon reached the river, 
to find it in flood— the ford fully ten feet under water, and no possible 
chance of getting across. Failure here meant a wide detour that added 

168 



eighteen miles to our route. There was no alternative however, and 
we had to make the best of the situation, but it was disheartening 
in the extreme for we were almost at the end of strength. 

It was close on to midnight when the head of the column reached 
Columbia but wearied stragglers were coming up all through the rest 
of the night. I do not remember ever to have been more fatigued 
so as soon as possible I sought my bed which was the soft side of a 
plank on the piazza of a house by the roadside. Billy Elliott shared 
it with me and we slept soundly in spite of adverse conditions. 

Early in the morning the command was formed preparatory to- 
crossing Duck River to join the Division once more. And here oc- 
curred the incident that you have often heard me speak of but which 
must go on this record also for it was one of the most beautifully 
unselfish acts I have ever witnessed. The First Reg't was on the 
right and in its leading file was AUie Shellman, standing on the frozen 
turnpike without shoes, his feet tied up in a lot of old rags. The 
column filled the road and while we were waiting for the order to 
march a cavalry man rode by through the bushes at the side of the 
road. Passing, he happened to notice Shellmans condition and in an 
instant had one foot after another up at the saddle bow, took off his 
shoes and threw them at Allies feet with the remark, "Friend you need 
them more than I do," then galloped away without waiting to be 
thanked. One such incident as this goes a long way toward giving 
a firm faith in the good that is in human nature. 

A day or two after our little force had rejoined General Hood, the 
Army continued its retreat toward the Tennessee River leaving behind 
at Columbia a rear-guard composed of five skeleton Brigades of in- 
fantry and Forrests Cavalry. These were called Brigades but no one 
of them equalled a regiment in strength after the sick and barefooted 
men had been weeded out. General Forrest was given command of 
the whole, the infantry being under General Walthall of Mississippi 
a soldier of reputation and experience, and a very charming gentleman 
as well. Our Brigade was honored by being chosen for this service, 
a fact that I have always looked back upon with pride for it was most 
arduous service calling for all the manhood there was in one— and 
the record is there to show that the call was not made in vain. [Wil- 
liam] Swinton, the Northern historian, in writing of this campaign 
says in effect that Hood owed his salvation to the constancy of his 
rear-guard. All of the baggage was sent to the rear and through the 
stupidity of my orderly, Linsky, my two blankets went with the 
re«;t; so I was left with no other protection in the bitter nights that 
followed, than a worn over-coat that was almost threadbare. During 
the whole of the march to the Tennessee River I slept on the snow 

169 



without any covering whatever— if a series of cat naps through the 
night could be called sleep— I would get my back as close to the fire as 
possible and lose myself for a few minutes until the cold from the 
ground would strike into my bones, then the only thing to do was to 
get up and lie down again on the other side, but always with the back 
to the fire. It was by no means ideal comfort yet the naps were 
probably longer than they seemed. 

We remained at Columbia for three days after the Army had 
marched, guarding the South bank of Duck River and in that time 
Uncle Mat and I were fortunate enough to secure quarters in the 
house of a Mrs Voght. We had a warm room with comfortable beds, 
a very decided contrast to what we had just been through and to 
what was still ahead of us. I can remember feeling as I snuggled down 
in the blankets on the first night and listened to the fierce winter 
wind howling outside, that I would be quite willing to have the war 
come to an end right then and there. 

There were two young ladies in the house, Miss Sallie Voght and 
her cousin, whose name I am not sure of, though I think it was 
Phillips. They were nice, simple girls, full of sympathy for the South- 
ern cause and ready to express it by kindness to Mat and me. We had 
two delightful days with them that are pleasant to remember. They 
played and sang for us though the songs were mostly of the lugubrious 
character brought forth by the stress of the time "The Vacant Chair," 
■"We shall meet but we shall miss him" &c &c. In telling this experience 
once to the Rev iMr Dunlap at Beaulieu, he remarked that he knew 
those two girls very well as they belonged to a church that he had 
charge of at Columbia some time after the war. 

On the third morning news came that Genl Wilson had crossed the 
River both above and below us with a force estimated at 10,000 men. 
This necessitated an immediate falling back on our part, so we bade 
goodbye to our kind friends, receiving from them in our haversacks 
■sundry very welcome additions to the Confederate bill of fare, and 
soon were again on the tramp. The province of a rear guard is to keep 
the enemy from harassing the retreat of the main army and certainly 
no army ever needed to be so guarded more than Hoods for it had 
been most terribly demoralized at Nashville. We marched very slowly 
and whenever the enemy came too near would form line of battle 
faced to the rear. This would oblige him also to deploy from column 
into line and feel his way by throwing out skirmishers, all of which took 
time and caused delay, the thing we aimed at. Things went on thus 
for several days until Qiristmas Eve (1864) when we were put into 
bivouac an hour or so before sunset, in a cedar thicket that reminded 
jme much of the one near Murfreesboro. There was the greatest 

170 



abundance of wood and huge fires were lighted that promised a night 
of a comparative comfort. But at about lo o'clock a staff officer 
brought the order to move and we left the sheltered thicket for the icy 
turnpike road. I can not recall ever, to have been colder, there was a 
strong wind blowing, the temperature was far below freezing and no 
man in the command had any too much clothing on him. We marched 
until midnight and then camped on the summit of a high hill just North 
of the little town of Pulaski. The position had at one time been occupied 
by Federal troops and they had left a number of burrows in the 
ground roofed by a net work of boughs and thatched with broom 
grass. These furnished good protection from the wind and into one 
of them Mat and I crept and managed to sleep a little. At early dawn 
on Christmas morning we were aroused by what seemed to be firing 
in the town behind us but as we marched through the explosions 
were explained. Pulaski had been one of Hood's points of supply and 
now all of the stores were being fed to a huge bonfire in the public 
square— bacon, clothing, boxes of ammunition, &c, all went into the 
blaze. I noticed women and children in their night dresses at the 
windows of some of the houses— many of the former sadly weeping 
and wringing their hands. So the day of "Peace on earth and good 
will to man" was ushered in for us; God grant that none whom I love 
may ever see another like it. We crossed the little river that runs 
by the town, the Elk, I think, and after marching for six or seven 
miles reached a place called Anthonys Hill. Here General Forrest 
had determined to make a stand and his dispositions were made accord- 
ingly. One half of the rear guard continued the retreat with the 
wagon train while the other half (including Smiths Brigade) was 
formed just beyond the crest of an amphitheatre of hills up to the 
centre of which the road ascended. The General notified his various 
commanders in person as to his plans. We were to keep perfectly quiet 
without any demonstration whatever as the enemy came up the slope- 
then as he was nearly up, at a given signal, (two shots in rapid suc- 
cession from a section of artillery that we had with us,) we were to 
charge down upon him "with a yell," from one end of our line to the 
other. Everything was carried out exactly as planned. Our rapid ad- 
vance and exultant yells following as they did a dead silence, took 
the enemy completely by surprise and they fled down the slope in dire 
confusion leaving in our possession a number of prisoners, the horses 
and a fine 12 Pdr Napoleon gun with six coal black horses attached, 
of a Regiment of Cavalry that had dismounted to join in the attack, 
As I came up to this last the color bearer of the ist Regiment 
was sitting astride of it waving the colors like a madman. It was 
no part of our policy to pursue, so after burying the few men who 



171 



lost their lives in this engagement. Gen Forrest continued the retreat. 
TTiat afternoon a thaw commenced and a cold rain set in; the roads 
were rivers of slush as the snow melted, but on we went in the black 
darkness, stumbling along, cold, v/tzry to exhaustion, dead for sleep, 
but the march kept up until midnight when we came up with the other 
half of the rear guard where they had gone into bivouac. Our men 
filed off into the fields to the right and left of the road but there was 
sorry comfort for them— it was cultivated land and the furrows were 
filled with water— they slept as they could on the ridges between. 
So ended our Christmas. 

After the men were placed, Matthew and I looked around forlornly 
for some more attractive bed than a com hill in which to sleep. 
Cruising around in the dark we discovered an ambulance standing 
on the side of the road which no one seemed to have claimed. Into 
this we crept, glad to get a shelter from the steady down pour of rain. 
The vehicle was loaded with sacks of some hard substance— we could 
not tell what— but we curled up on them and tried to sleep. Doubtless 
there was some sleep but it seemed to me that I did nothing but shiver 
the whole night through and long for the morning; there never was 
a colder bed. When day light came we found that we had been sleeping 
on sacks of salt. That day those who had been engaged the day before 
went on with the wagon train while the other half of the rear guard 
remained to face the enemy. They too had a sharp fight with them and 
drove them back; after that we were not molested again. Our last 
bivouac we understood to be very near the Tennessee River and we 
were all glad to realize that the arduous service was drawing to a 
close. A pontoon bridge had been stretched across the river at Mussel 
Shoals and in the night, while it was yet black dark, a staff officer 
came to guide the column to it. He led us off the main road by a path- 
way between two unusually steep hills whose bases met like a letter 
V, a path so narrow that we could only go along in single file. At 
one point we were halted for some reason or other and for quite a 
while those at the head of the column sat there nodding on their 
horses. Suddenly I was aroused by a shout of Whoa! Whoa!! and 
dimly I saw a white object apparently going straight up in the air. 
It was the little pony on which Matthew was riding; for some unex- 
plained reason he had started with a jump right up one of those hills 
and nothing could stop him. Then we heard a dumping fall and pretty 
soon Matthew came disconsolately down with his saddle on his arm. 
The girths had broken and he had slipped off to the ground while 
master pony vanished in the darkness. It was pretty hard luck for my 
old friend— he had lost a good horse, killed at the battle of Jonesboro, 
and now another had run away from him. But when we got to the 

172 



bridge shortly after daylight, there was the gray pony waiting for 
us— he had been stopped in his wild career by the guard stationed 
at that point. 

Smiths Brigade was next to the last command to cross the river 
and in a very few minutes after we were over the great cable was 
loosed from the Northern bank and the ponderous bridge was swung 
by the current over to the Southern side. Hood's disastrous Tennessee 
campaign was at an end. The river had been over the South bank 
and we found it an expanse of the stickiest and deepest mud in which 
countless horses and mules had bogged down and died. Poor things 
the hardships of the service had completely broken them down and 
they had no strength to resist this new complication. The sight made 
me anxious for Lady Gray for she was pretty well used up herself. 
She made one or two steps in the mud and gave a groan that went to 
my heart. I promptly dismounted and led her by the bridle through 
to higher ground and safety. From Mussel Shoals we turned Westward 
and made for Corinth in North Mississippi. Marching was difficult 
for there were many small streams across our path all full to over 
flowing, but we reached our destination in a few days and then the 
army rested. I had not realized how great the fatigue had been all 
through the retreat but in the three days we were at Corinth I did 
nothing but sleep and rest by big fires from morning until morning 
again— happy too in being united to my precious blankets again. 

Once more on the march we turned Southward down the line of 
the Mobile & Ohio R R and as the country was too flooded for men 
on foot to make their way, and we were not in proximity to the enemy, 
the troops marched on the railroad track while mounted officers took 
the dirt roads. This separated the higher officers from the men during 
most of the march but there was no help for it and no untoward 
results followed. I recall one evening shortly before dark when we 
found ourselves on the edge of a huge swamp which was a vast ex- 
panse of water in which we soon lost the road and were very dubious 
as to how we should get through. A guide was found in a countryman 
who lived in a loor cabin at the edge of the swamp; he mounted a 
mule and bade us follow him in single file without straying to the 
right or left. There were some twenty or thirty mounted officers in 
the group and a strange looking procession we made riding silently 
through the dark recesses of the swamp. It was by no means a pleasure 
ride for night was fast approaching, the water on the path was up to 
the horses' bellies while no one knew what untold depths might be 
on either hand, and the whole surface was covered with a thin film 
of ice. About half way we came to a deep creek that ran through the 
swamp though under existing circumstances there was no way to 

173 



distinguish its course from the surrounding expanse of water. Without- 
the guide we would certainly have ridden into this but he led us 
to a bridge on which we crossed in safety though the water was well 
over the flooring. We traveled in this manner for between two and 
three miles but finally reached dry land, for which one of the party, 
at least, felt profoundly grateful. 

A halt was made at luka Mississippi for purposes of rest, reorganizing, 
bringing up stragglers, and the issuance of stores of various kinds to 
supply the need resulting from the wastage of the severe campaign the 
men had been through. I can not remember exactly how long we were 
there but I do recall that it seemed ver)^ pleasant to be free for a time 
from the everlasting marching, and to rest both night and day without 
any popping of musketry from the picket lines. At luka orders came 
for the transfer of the entire army of Tennessee to Smithfield North 
Carolina where we were to be once more under our old leader General 
Joseph E Johnston. A look at the map will show that this involved 
a prett)^ mights^ problem for the Quarter Master department— there are 
many hundreds of miles of distance between the two points and at 
that time the whole railroad system was in a most deplorable condition, 
everything was on its last legs. 

I suppose nothing but dire necessity would have permitted the use 
of railroads at all, for engines were nearly worn out, cars and road 
bed— ditto. 

Every train was run under extremely hazardous conditions the 
only favorable circumstance, so far as safety was concerned, being 
the slow rate of speed at which it crept along. Our Brigade was sent 
by a tortuous route by way of Mobile and Montgomery to Columbus 
Georgia. 

In walking around the streets of Mobile during the few hours 
we were there I met a Lieut Brown an officer of a North Carolina 
battery who had been in prison with me on Governors Island and 
at Sandusky in 1862. He was glad to see me and profuse in his offers 
of service. "Let me do something for you," he said; and then mv per- 
sonal appearance probably caused him to add "Can't I have your wash- 
ing done"? It was kindly meant but I could only reply by telling him 
the story of the Irishman to whom some one wanted to sell a trunk— 
"What will I do with it said Pat?" "Why put your clothes in it to be 
sure." "And me go naked!" was the answer. Perhaps I was not quite 
so badly off as that, for there was a change of vmderclothing in my 
saddle bags, but I was perilously near to it— much nearer than I should 
care to be again. 

At Columbus we waited two or three days for transportation the 
railroads of Georgia being in a worse condition than those of Alabama 

174 



& Mississippi because of Sherman's march through the State. This 
delay enabled me to spend a very pleasant time with your Aunt Mary 
Ann who lived there. Your Uncle Charlie Way was at her house also, 
in very delicate health, not having fully recovered from the attack 
that compelled him to leave the army at Florence. He told me that 
your mother whom I supposed still to be in Milledgeville at the old 
home, had gone down to Savannah to get out ot Gen Sherman's 
way. The news upset me considerably for I had counted on seeing her 
and the two children as we passed through the State. It distressed me 
also to know that now she was shut up in a city held by the enemy 
and that there was no way of communicating with her. But there were 
a great many unpleasant happenings in those days that had simply 
to be borne; there was nothing to be gained by fretting over them; to 
perform the duty of the hour was the only course left to any of us 
and that was so exacting that it helped to dispel harrassing thought. 

It was not to me alone that the news received at Columbus was 
distressing; most of the men of the Brigade had their homes in the 
line of Shermans "March to the Sea" and they heard of the ruthless 
burning of private houses and the robbery of food from helpless women 
and children which characterized that much lauded "March". Hun- 
dreds of the Brigade slipped away from the ranks as we passed through 
Georgia to look after their families, and who can blame them for 
so doing? When we finally reached Augusta on the Eastern border it 
was a sadly depleted Brigade. But more of that later on. 

In going eastM^ard from Columbus we took train as far as Midway 
which place was reached between 1 1 and 1 2 oclock at night. You 
will remember that it is only some two or three miles from Milledge- 
ville, so as soon as the men were detrained and in bivouac I set out 
for your grandmother's house. A man in a cart who was driving that 
way gave me a lift and in due time the familiar corner was reached. 
Everything looked sombre enough, there was not a ray of light from 
that house or any other and not a sound broke the stillness of the 
night— a forlorn sort of homecoming it seemed. I felt some anxiety 
in going up the front steps lest "Boss" the old mastiff that guarded 
the premises might mistake me for a marauder: he was a dog to be 
afraid of but on this occasion made no sign. I knocked several times 
on the front door without getting any response but finally heard 
some one moving about in the hall and then a trembling note in 
Betsey's voice as she demanded "Who's that-" She was glad enough 
to admit me and I went at once to your grandmothers room. The dear 
old lady was sitting up in bed with a big shawl around her, and as I 
came up to her she threw her arms about my neck and wept over me. 
I sat by the bed side a long while talking of your dear mother and 



175 



the children, (Sallie and little Charlie), how she had fled with them 
from Alilledgeville as the Federal army drew near, hoping to find in 
Savannah a safe place of refuge. And now she was there within the 
enemy's lines with no possible chance of communication either way. 

It made my heart very heavy for the clouds seemed dark above me: 
I could see no prospect of being with my dear ones at any time in 
the near future and it was impossible to avoid the reflection that 
there was little hope for the Confederate cause and that I was about 
to enter another campaign from which there might be no return. 

One thing I was more than glad to find at the old home— a trunk 
full of clothing that your mother had sent out from Savannah 
as soon as she arrived there, while communications were still open. 
There was in it a good uniform suit comparatively new and never 
was a suit more needed. My old one had become disreputable to the 
last degree; it was threadbare throughout and there was a broad band 
of scorched cloth from the back of the collar to the tail of the coat, 
and down each leg of the trousers to the heels, the result of my 
snuggling up to the fires during the hard nights of the retreat from 
Tennessee. I have always thought that it was the sight of that suit 
that started the flow of tears from your grandmothers eyes when she 
first saw me. Yet, as with many other women in those sad times, the 
fount of tears was full and it required but little to cause it to over- 
flow. She was alone, with only servants about her, in that great 
house that I had always associated with bright, happy gatherings of 
a large and loving family. Three of her sons had died since the begin- 
ning of the war, two from the hardships incidental to army life in 
Virginia and a third from exposure in Railroad service, while yet a 
fourth had been desperately wounded at Malvern Hill and was even 
then, Cmore than two years after,) in a precarious state of health. 
Of her three daughters only one, your Aunt Sue, lived within reach, 
the other two were in the enemy's lines. But she was a brave woman 
and not again did she yield to feeling during the one day that I was 
privileged to spend with her. My memories of her are all of the tender- 
est; she gave me an affection like that of my own mother and in return 
my heart went out to her with a love that still remains. 

At A4illedgveille Railroad connections stopped so the commands 
marched across to Camack, a station on the Georgia R R where they 
took train for Augusta. 

In passing through Sparta among the people standing on the side- 
walks to watch the troops, I noticed Mr SouUard and his two daugh- 
ters (now Mrs Harry Stoddard and Mrs John West). I halted a little 
while to chat with them for it did my heart good to see Savannah 
people again. From Augusta Northward we were done with Railroads 

176 



and took to marching once more. It distressed me to see how many 
of our men had slipped away from the ranks during the passage 
through Georgia, though I quite well understood and sympathized 
with them for going. When we were nearly up to the North Carolina 
line, Gen Cheatham, who then commanded the corps, sent for me to 
ask an explanation of this falling off in the Brigade numbers. I told 
him that the men had no intention of deserting the colors, but that 
as husbands and fathers they had felt obliged to go to look after their 
families most of whom had lived on the line of Sherman's March 
and were now homeless and destitute. I further said that if he would 
send me back to Georgia I felt confident of being able to return 
to the army with most of the missing ones. The proposition met with 
his approval and he at once instructed his Adjutant General to pre- 
pare an order detailing me for this service. The paper was handed 
me and I started off the same day. This was the first time I had ever 
been brought in contact with Genl Cheatham and it can not be said 
that he made a very favorable impression upon me. He was known 
as a man of great personal bravery, an indomitable fighter and with 
a fine record upon many bloody fields. But he was also reputed 
to be a hard drinker and, upon one occasion at least, in the Tennessee 
Campaign, to have missed a golden opportunity to strike a decisive 
blow, because of this failing. I have no personal knowledge of the 
truth of this charge but it is certainly true that during my interview 
with him there was decided evidence of his being under the influence 
of liquor. As he handed me the order he said with a gravity that was 
ludicrous, "Colonel you go and bring those men back and if you want 
anybody shot just wink your eye" 

I will not enter into all the details of my trip to Georgia suffice 
it to say that I advertised in Augusta, Macon and Columbus papers 
that on certain days I would be in those cities to meet the men and 
lead them back to the colors— and that in a little over two weeks I 
started from Augusta again with five hundred of them behind me. We 
joined the army at a little place called Smithfield in North Carolina 
and were once more under command of our old hero Genl Joseph E 
Johnston. So many of the Regiments Brigades and Divisions had been 
depleted by the exigencies of service that a thorough reorganization 
took place here and in this what remained of the 57th and 63rd 
Georgia Regiments were consolidated with the ist and under its 
Regimental name. I M'as retained as Colonel, Guyton of the 57th was 
made Lieutenant Colonel and Allen of the 63rd, Major. There were 
something over 800 of the rank and file, men who had borne the heat 
and burden of the day, tough, wiry, and hardened by service and 
experienced. They made a Regiment that any man might be proud 

177 



of and I ivas proud, but it never fired another shot, for the war was 

practically at its end. 

We did a lot of marching about after that though exactly to what 
purpose I never knew. Probably our movements had relation to those 
of the enemy, but the armies were not in verv close contact. 

When in the vicinity of Greensboro news came of the capture 
of Richmond and the surrender of General Lee, then we felt, of 
course, that our Cause was hopeless. About the same time we heard 
of the assassination of President Lincoln and I desire to put upon 
record here that no other utterance concerning that crime came to 
my ears than one of horror and reprobation. There was a very general 
feeling in the army that the South had lost in Mr Lincoln a friend 
who would have guarded our section from the malignity of such men 
as Thad Stevens, Edwin M Staunton and Benjn F Butler which after- 
wards found expression in the awful reconstruction period. 

Then came a weeks truce between Generals Johnston and Sherman 
for the purpose of arranging terms for the surrender of our Army. 
I remember that week as one of perfect rest and enjoyment. "Grim 
visaged War" had at last "smoothed his wrinkled front" and we lay 
down at night in security and peace. Dr Elliott and I had a tent fly 
together; we spent our time in reading a volume of Shakespeare that 
he carried in his saddle bags, and in drinking sassafras tea. 

For the first time during my connection with that army a 
ration of sugar had been issued— sassafras bushes were growing all 
around and it was only natural that the two things should have been 
brought together. We were paid off too, in genuine "coin of the 
realm"— two silver dollars to each officer and man from Confederate 
Treasury money that had been hurried out of Richmond when the 
fall of that city seemed inevitable. It was the only pay I received for 
nearly the M'hole of my last year of service and I have often wished 
that these two coins had been kept as mementos. Many did so keep 
theirs, but my needs prevented me from so doing. Genl Sherman had 
offered quite liberal terms to Gen'l Johnston but the authorities at 
Washington thought that in them he had exceeded his powers as a 
military officer, attempting to settle the political status of the seceding 
States. Accordingly the truce Mas declared at an end and the r^vo armies 
were once more in hostile relations. It was very disappointing for 
every one felt that should there be more fighting precious lives would 
be needlessly thrown away. But new terms were offered and accepted 
and finally at Greensboro on the 26th of April 1865 the formal 
surrender took place. The troops were marched to a certain point 
and there laid down their arms. Officers however kept their swords 
and each Regiment retained its colors. You will readily understand the 

178 



mingled emotions that were in my heart. I was weary of war and of 
the long separation from my wife and children; my eyes yearned for 
a sight of the dear little boy who had been born in my absence and 
the thought of returning home to face no more the perils and hard- 
ships of a soldier's calling filled my soul with gratitude to the Giver 
of all good. I was thankful too that life had been spared and that 
a new career could be begun, while I was yet young, and blessed 
with a vigorous and unmutilated body. Yet, nevertheless, it was im- 
possible to avoid a deep feeling of depression as memory brought 
back the high hope and courage with which we had entered the war 
and contrasted also the brilliant successes that had marked the earlier 
stages of the conflict, with the ruin and desolation that had finally 
come upon the South. The faces of many dear friends who had laid 
down their lives for the Cause, were present with me too. I can not 
think of some of them even now without a pang of sorrowful emotion. 
The Regiment marched back to Georgia with its colors flying, and 
disbanded at Augusta. I brought the flags home with me and returned 
them to the Regiment some years afterward when it had been re- 
organized. Every step of the homeward march I made on foot, (poor 
old Lady Gray having given out entirely.) Twenty five to thirty 
miles a day we did day after day without anyone feeling the worse 
for it and I think that shows pretty well the fine physical condition 
we were all in, for it is a good long walk across two States. At 
Augusta I was for a day the guest of the Osborne family and from 
Mrs O I learned with deep grief of the banishment of officers families 
from Savannah and of the death of your little brother. It was a 
bitter blow. I felt glad however to know that your mother had gone 
back to your grandmothers house at Milledgeville, and thither I 
followed on the next day going by way of Atlanta and Macon. It was 
a tedious journey, one that tired me far more than the marching 
had done. We rode in ramshackle old cattle cars seated on boards 
that were stuck through from side to side, and the dust and heat 
were dreadful. But Alilledffeville was reached at last and I held 
my beloved wife and blessed little "Daughter" in my arms. God had 
been good to me and I acknowledged it from the depth of my soul. 



Here my dear children these rambling reminiscences are brought to 
an end: I am glad to have written them for your sakes, for the writing 
has awakened many happy recollections as well as those of more 
sombre hue. I find though that time has softened all pain and made 
brighter the pleasant things of life. I have lived long enough since 



179r 



those four years of strife to leam to believe that the failure of the 
South to establish a separate independence was not an evil. As a section 
we had to pass through deep waters after open warfare ended but 
those unhappy days Hkewise have passed away, and now we are an 
integral part of a great nation honored and respected around the whole 
world. 

CHAS. H. OLMSTEAD. 



180 



INDEX 



ADAMS, Mrs. A. Pratt, See Olmstead 
Sarah (Sallie) 

ADAMS, Charles Olmstead. mention- 
ed, 92n 

ADAMS, David, mentioned, 39 

ADAMS, Gen. John, killed, 164 

ADAMS, Margaret, See Williams, Mrs. 
Eben 

ADRIENNE, the Actress (play) men- 
tioned, 71 

ALABAMA (S.S.), mentioned, 61 

ALBANY, N. Y., Olmstead visits, 66 

ALBERT (servant), mentioned, 36, 40 

ALLEN, Dr. and Mrs. E. M., 49 

ALLEN, MaJ. J.V.H., in command of 
pickets; report, 139-40; in 1st Regi- 
ment, 177 

ALPINE, Ala., mentioned, 161 

ANDERSON, Mrs. George (Georgia 
Berrien), mentioned, 23 

ANDERSON, John W„ Captain of Re- 
publican Blues, 79 

ANDERSON, Maj. Robert, at Fort 
Sumter, 78 

ANDERSON, Gen. Robert H., career, 
28-29 

ANDERSON. Mrs. Robert H. (Sarah 
Clitz), mentioned, 28 

ANNAPOLIS, See U. S. Naval Acad- 
emy 

ANTHONY'S HILL. Tenn., Forrest 
takes stand at, 171 

ARIZONA, mentioned, 22 

AMORY HALL. Savannah, entertain- 
ment at, 19 

ARMY OF TENNESSEE, 1st Regi- 
ment with. 133-178; retreats, 143, 
145; Hood replaces Johnston in com- 
mand, 147-148; mentioned, 151; at 
Tuscumbia and Florence, 162-63; 
defeated at Nashville, 168; at Co- 
lumbia. Tenn.. retreat continues. 
168-169 ; heads for Corinth. 173 ; rests 
at luka ; ordered to North Carolina 
to join Johnston. 174 

ASHEPOO RIVER, mentioned, 132 

ASHMORE, Otis, mentioned, 2 

ASTOR HOUSE, N. Y., 61-62 

ASTOR PLACE THEATRE, N. Y., 
riot at mentioned, 14, 61-62 

ATLANTA, Ga.. description, 47; G.M.I 
cadets visit, 56; mentioned, 138, 145 
147, 158; military works mentioned 
140; campaign. 146-156; Johnston 
could probably have saved city, 147 
battle of, 149-150; railroad to Macon 
mentioned, 152; Hood holds. 152 
evacuation described. 157-158; de- 
struction of. 157 

AUGUSTA. Ga.. railroad terminal, 32; 
G.M.I, cadets visit, 56; Smith's 
Brigade at. 175. 176; mentioned. 177; 
1st Regiment disbanded at. 179 
-AUGUSTA (U.S.S.), at Tybee. 88n 

AVERY. Col. Clark M.. imprisoned at 
Governors Island, 101; at Johnsons 

■ Island, 109 

AVERY, Isaac W., mentioned, 9 ; ca- 
reer. 10 ; groomsman. 74 



AVERY. Lt.-Col. William T.. at Gov- 
ernors Island, 109-110 

AXSON. L. Edward. Chaplain of 1st 
Regiment, 116 

RACHELOTTE, Kitty, mentioned, 73; 

bridesmaid. 74 
BALDWIN. Dan, mentioned, 116 
BARBER of Seville, The (opera), men- 
tioned, 71 
BARKULOO, Col. William, commands 

57th Ga. Regt., 134 
BARNARD family, mentioned. 49 
BARTOW. Francis S„ killed at Ma- 
nassas, 23 ; Captain of Oglethorpe 
Light Infantry, 79 ; in favor of Se- 
cession, 81 
BARTOW, Mrs. Francis S. (Louisa 
' Berrien), mentioned. 23 
BASINGER, MaJ. William S.. com- 
mands Savannah Volunteer Guards 
at Isle of Hope, 118 
BATTERY Cheves, mentioned, 123 
BATTERY Haskell, mentioned, 123 
BATTERY Simpklns, mentioned, 123 
BATTERY Tatum, mentioned, 123 
BATTERY Wagner, mentioned, 44, 
126; activities at, 119-124; descrip- 
tion. 120; captured. 124; evacuated. 
129-130 
BATTERY Wampler, mentioned, 123 
BATTLE, Col. Joel A., at Johnsons 
Island, 109; letter to Secretary Stan- 
ton, 110 ; in Tennessee campaign, 110 
BATTLE House, Mobile, mentioned, 

115 
BEAUREGARD, Gen. Pierre G. T., 
in command of defenses around 
Charleston, 123; mentioned, 153; de- 
scription, 161-162 
BEAUREGARD, Capt. Rene T., men- 
tioned, 153 ; on Brigade front, 155 
BELL, Mrs., mentioned, 43 
BEN DE FORD (Steamer), takes Pu- 
laski prisoners to Hilton Head, 100 
BERRIEN, Georgia, See Anderson, 

Mrs. George 
BERRIEN, John Macpherson, enter- 
tains Henry Clay In Savannah, 22- 
23; description, 23 
BERRIEN. Louisa, See Bartow, Mrs. 

Francis S. 
BERRIEN, Valeria, See Burroughs, 

Mrs. Joseph H. 
BETTS, Mrs. Betsy Olmstead, men- 
tioned, 62, 63; sends food to Olm- 
stead at Governors Island, 102 
BETTS, Eddie, mentioned, 63 
BETTS, George, mentioned, 63; aids 

Olmstead at Governors Island, 102 
BETTS, Hepzibah, mentioned, 63 
BETTS, Jonathan, mentioned. 63 
BETTS, Samuel, mentioned, 63 
BETTS, Sarah, mentioned, 63 
BLACK Eyed Susan (play), mention- 
ed, 118 
BLACK Jack Mountain, mentioned, 48 
BLANDING; MaJ. Ormsby. at Fort 
Johnson, 125-126 



1«1 



BLEAK House (novel), mentioned, 104 
BLISS, Freddy, killed at Gettysburg. 

10; mentioned, 15 
BLOCKADE runners, mentioned, 118 
BOHEMIAN Girl (opera), mentioned, 
71 

"BONNY", Incident concerning:, 154-55 

BOOTH, Junius Brutus, performed In 
Savannah, 14 

BOSTON, Olmstead visits, 66 

BRANCH, John, killed at Manassas, 
10 

BRANCH'S Brigade, Imprisoned at 
Governors Island, 104 

BREWER of Preston (opera), 16 

BROUGHAM, John, performed in New 
York, 03 

BROWN, Governor Joseph E., orders 
seizure of Fort Pulaski, 79 

BROWN, Lt., Incident concerning, 174 

BRUMBY, Major Arnoldus Vander- 
horst. Supt. of G.M.I., 46, 47; offers 
aid for Olmstead's education, 59 

BRUMBY, Tom, mentioned, 46 

BRYAN, Mrs. Henry, mentioned, 145 

BUCHANAN, President James, men- 
tioned, 25 

BUNKUM (servant). Incident concern- 
ing, 152-53 

BURNSIDE Island, mentioned, 35 

BURNT Hickory Road, Confederate 
position, action, 136-38 

BURROUGHS, Rev. Benjamin, school 
described, 30-46; death mentioned, 
46 

BUROUGHS, Mrs. Benjamin (Rosa 
Williams), description. 35-36; death 
mentioned, 46; mentioned, 105 

BURROUGHS, Catherine, first wife of 
Charles Green, 30 

BURROUGHS, Clara Elizabeth, men- 
tioned, 35 

BURROUGHS, Elizabeth (Mrs. John 
S. Law), mentioned, 30 

BURROUGHS, Henry Kollock, men- 
tioned. 30 

BURROUGHS, James, vacation on 
Fort George Island, 40-44 

BURROUGHS, James Powell, men- 
tioned. 31. 35 

BURROUGHS, Joseph H.. mentioned. 
30 

BURROUGHS, Mrs. Joheph H. (Val- 
eiia Berrien), mentioned, 23 

BURROUGHS, Laura Isabella, men- 
tioned, 35; description, death, 39-40 

BURROUGHS, Oliver S., mentioned, 
30 

BURROUGHS, Richard F. William 
(Willie), mentioned, 31, 35; vacation 
at Fort George Island, 40-44 

BURROUGHS. Rosa Thlrza, mention- 
ed, 35. 40 

BURROUGHS, William H.. mention- 
ed. 30 

BURROUGHS, Willie, See Burroughs, 
Richard F. Williams 

BURROUGHS & Sturges, mentioned, 

BURROUGHS School, 33-45 

BURTON. William Evans, performed 
in New York. 63 

BUTLER, , mentioned, 115 

BUTLER, Alexander, attends G.M.I.. 
47 

BUTLER, Gen. Benjamin F., malig- 
nity of, 178 . I. . 



CAIRO. 111., mentioned. 111 

CALIFORNIA, discussion of gold, 22 

CAMACK, Ga., mentioned, 176 

CAMP, Raleigh, Lt. Col. of Texaa 
Regt., 162-63 

CAMP Douglas, mentioned, 111, 112 

CAMP Morton, mentioned. 111, 112 

CAMP Neely, near Catholic Cemetery, 
117 

CAMPBELL, Bob, pupil at Chatham 
Academy, 9, 37 

CAMPBELL, Capt., Provost on Hilton 
Head, 100 

CANN. Mrs. James F., See Turner. 
Anna 

CANNON, rifled. Fort Pulaski first 
fortification subjected to. 91 ; severe 
damage to Fort Pulaski. 96-7 

CAPERS, Lt. Col. H. D.. commands 
12th Ga. Bn. at Isle of Hope, 118 

CARMODY. Tom, attends G.M.I., 47 

CARRINGTON family, mentioned, 73 

CARSON'S stables, mentioned, 5 

CARTER, Lt. Cyrus, killed at Kenne- 
saw, 10; character, 138 

CARTER, Eliza, mentioned, 138 

CARTER, Capt. Oberlln, mentioned, 99 

CASTLE William, at Governors Is- 
land, 101; mentioned, 104 

CAUSTON'S Bluff, batteries, 130 

CEDAR VALLEY, mentioned, 161 

CENTRAL of Georgia Railway, men- 
tioned, 11, 115. 161; trip to Macon 
described. 26-27; L. O. Reynolds, 
president, 60 

CHARLESTON, S. C, railroad termi- 
nal, 32; citizens watch attack on 
Battery Wagner, 122-23; fall of 
mentioned, 130; mentioned, 132 

CHARLESTON Harbor, description. 
119 

CHARLTON, Mrs. Thomas J.. See 
Crane. Julia 

CHATHAM Academy, description of 
school, 8-9; mentioned, 17 

CHATHAM Artillery, unit of 1st Vol. 
Regt. of Ga., 78; ordered to Fort 
Pulaski 79 

CHATTAHOOCHEE River, mention- 
ed, 144, 146, 148; fortifications, army 
retreats across, 145 

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Sherman's 
advance from, 132 ; mentioned, 162 

CHERUBUSCO, Battle of, 24 

CHICAGO, III., visited, streets being 
raised, 68 

CHILD'S History of the United 
States, 7 

CHRIST Church, Savannah, mention- 
ed, 71 

CHURCH, Betsy, description of, 5; 
school, 5-8 

CHURCH, Capt. John, mentlonedv 5, 
6, 7 

CHEATHAM, Gen. Benjamin F., Di- 
vision unsuccessfully attacked, 142; 
commands Corps, character, 177; re- 
treat from Atlanta, rejoins Hardee, 
156-57 

CHEATHAM'S Ferry, Smiths Brig- 
ade sent to, 163; mentioned, 164 

CIRCOPELEY, Capt. Francis, suc- 
cessfully evades enemy Are on 
"Ida", 92-93; encounter with Gen. 
Lee, 93-94 



182:, 



CIRCUSES. 8, 16-18 

CITY Exchange, clock mentioned, 11 

CITY Light Guard, in 1st Ga. Regt., 
133 

CIVIL War, political situation lead- 
ing to. 75-78 

CLAGHORN, John. Capt. Chatham 
Artillery. 79 

CLARK. Capt.. In 3d Military Dist., 
S. C, 133 

CLAY, Henry, candidate for presi- 
dency, 20. 21 ; visit to Savannah. 22- 
23 

CLEBURNE, Gen. Patrick Ronayne. 
career. 151-52; movements of his 
Division, 151-64 ; incident concern- 
ing. 158; Division cut to pieces. 163- 
64; orders Court Martial, 163; at 
Nashville, 164; killed* 164; mention- 
ed, 165 

COAST Rifles, in 1st Ga. Regt., 133 

COCKSPUR Island, mentioned, 80 

COHEN, Mrs. Octavus, mentioned, 139 

COLORADO, mentioned. 22 

COLSTON. Gen. Raleigh Edward, 
mentioned, 130 

COLUMBIA, S. C, destruction men- 
tioned, 157 

COLUMBIA. Tenn.. Army of Tennes- 
see at. 168-69; rear guard at. 169. 
170 

COLUMBUS. Ga.. Smith's brigade at, 
174-75; mentioned, 177 

COLQUITT, Gen. Alfred Holt, men- 
tioned, 74 

COMBAHEE River, mentioned, 132 

CONEY Island, primitive place, 63 

CONFEDERATE States of America, 
formed, 77 

CONFEDERATE States Army, sol- 
diers' relation with federal troops. 

146 
CONNELL, Dr., at G.M.I., 52-53 
CONTRERAS, Battle of, 24 
COOMBS family, mentioned. 49 
COON hunt, description, 37 
COOPER, Gen. Samuel, mentioned. 

147 
CORINTH, Miss., Army of Tennessee 

rests 3.t 1T3 
COUNTS,' Johnnie, orderly to Col. 

Rockwell, 136 
CRANE, Horace, description, 71-72 
CRANE. Julia (Mrs. Thomas J. 

Charlton'*, description, 72 
CRANE, Willie, killed at Manassas, 

72 
CREAMER family, mentioned, 39 
CUMMINGS Point, mentioned, 120, 127 
CUNNINGHAM. Henry, on staff of 

Gen. Colston. 131 
CUSH, army fare. 142 
CUSHMAN. Charlotte, performed In 

Savannah, 14 ; mentioned, 70 
CUSTER. Gen. George Armstrong, 

mentioned, 100 

DALLAS, George M., candidate for 

vice president, U. S., 20 
DALTON, Ga., mentioned. 138, l.iO ; 

retreat from, 147 ; federal garrison 

captured at. 161 
DARGAN. Lt. Col. Alonzo T., Incidfent 

concerning, 137-138 



DAUGHTER of the Regiment. The 

(opera), mentioned, 71 
DAVID (torpedo boat), attack on New 

Ironsides. 128-129 
DAVIES' Descriptive Geometry, men- 
tioned, 102 
DAVIS, Charles, mentioned, 8 
DAVIS, President Jefferson, elected 
President CSA, 77; mentioned, 103; 
removes Johnston from command of 
Army of Tennessee, 147 ; visRs 
troops at Palmetto, 158-9; in Savan- 
nah, 159 
DEMARY, Helen, mentioned, 67 
DEMARY, Jane, mentioned, 62, 63; 

home described, 67 
DEMARY, Kate, mentioned, 67 
DEMOCRATIC Party, mentioned, 26; 

discussed, 76 
DE SOTO Hotel, mentioned, 10, 116 
DETROIT, Mich., Olmstead visits, 67 
DEWEY, Admiral George, mentioned, 

46 
DIXIE Discourser, newspaper at Gov- 
ernors Island, 103 
DRAYTON, Commander Perclval, 

mentioned, 88n 
DRAYTON, Gen. Thomas F., mention- 
ed, 8Sn 
DRUMMOND, Capt. Edward W. 
(Ned), commissary clerk at Fort 
Pulaski, 90; commissary of 1st Reg- 
iment, 116; brigade commissary, 167 
DRYSDALE, Aleck, playmate, career, 

11 
DU BIGNON family, mentioned, 73 
DUCK RIVER, Tenn., mentioned, 169 
DUNLAP, Rev. Mr., mentioned, 170 

EASTMAN, Mr. and Mrs. mentioned, 

3 
18TH BATTALION, Savannah Volun- 
teer Guards, at Isle of Hope, 118 ; at 
Battry Wagner, 120-121 
8TH GEORGIA Regiment, at Manas- 
sas. 10 
ELECTRICITY, usefulness of, 32 
ELK River, Tenn., mentioned, 171 
BLLICOTTS Mills, mentioned, 168 
ELLIOTT, Carrie, mentioned, 57 
ELLIOTT, Emma, singing career, 71 
ELLIOTT, George, mentioned, 57 
ELLIOTT, John Mackay, mentioned, 

57 
ELLIOTT, Leila (Mrs. Fred Haber- 
sham), attended Montpelier School, 
34 ; mentioned, 57 
ELLIOTT, Margaret Mackay (Mrs. 

Ralph E.), mentioned, 56-57 
ELLIOTT, Mary, mentioned, 57 
ELLIOTT, Percy, mentioned, 57 
ELLIOTT, Hate, mentioned, 57 
ELLIOTT, Bishop Stephen, descrip- 
tion and character, 33-34 
ELLIOTT, Brig. Gen. Stephen, men- 
tioned, 12."l 
ELLIOTT. Dr. AVilliam H.. mention- 
ed. 9. 56, ««. 151. 169, 178; at Har- 
vard, 57; Surgeon 1st Regt., 116 
EMERNS, Elizabeth, mentioned, 3 
EMMETT Rifles, in 1st Ga. Regt., 133 
ERIE Railroad, mentioned, 106 
ERWIN, Capt. Robert, Quartermaster 
at Fort Pulaski. 90; Imprisoned at 
Governors Island, 102 



183 



EJTOWAH OHffs. vacation at. 57-59 
EVADNE. or the Hall of Statues 

(play), mentioned, 71 
EVEKETT, Lt. James A., remarks, 

140 
EXCHANGE, See City Exchange 

FALSTAFF, Sir John, mentioned, 14 

FEDERALIST Party, discussed, 75-76 

FERRILL, John, mentioned, 37 

5TH GEORGIA Calvary, mentioned, 
29 

54TH REGIMENT Georgia Volun- 
teers, Infantry, at Manigault's 
Point, 125; in Mercer's Brigade, 134; 
mentioned, 139, 150; movements, 
152ff. 

57TH REGIMENT Georgia Volun- 
teers, Infantry, in Mercer's Brigade, 
134 ; at Vicksburg, 134 ; mentioned, 
139, 103; consolidated with 1st Regt., 
177 

1ST REGIMENT Georgia Regulars, 
organized, 82; at Tybee, then Vir- 
ginia, 84 

1ST REGIMENT of Georgia Volun- 
teers, in Mexican War, 24-25 

1ST VOLUNTEER Regiment of Geor- 
gia, composition, 78; goes into Con- 
federate service ; 78-79 ; at Fort 
Pulaski and around Savannah, 82ff; 
reorganized, officers, 116; scattered, 
117 ; four companies at Isle of Hope, 
118; at Battery Wagner, 120 ff; lo- 
cation of companies, 130; reorgan- 
ized, 133; In Army of Tennessee, 
133-79; mentioned, 134, 169; out of 
communication, 139-40; ordered to 
hopeless position, 144; Maj. Ford 
assumes command, 144 ; heavy loss- 
es, 150; with Cleburne's Division, 
151-2; movements, 152 ff; detached 
for special duty, 161-2 ; at Anthony's 
Hill, 171 ; reorganized, Olmstead 
Colonel, 177; marches back to Geor- 
gia, disbanded, 179; flags kept toy 
Olmstead until reorganization, 179 

1ST SOUTH Carolina Regiment, at 
Battery Wagner, 122; at Fort John- 
son, 125-6 

FLETCHER, Mr. and Mrs. Dix, men- 
tioned, 49 

FLETCHER, Georgia, mentioned, 49 

FLINT River, crossed by Confederate 
troops, 153-4 

FLORENCE, Ala., army at, 162-3; 
mentioned, 175 

FLYNN, Rev. William; performs Olm- 
stead's wedding ceremony, 74 

FOLEY, MaJ. John, second in com- 
mand at Fort Pulaski, 90; resigned 
from 1st Regt., 116 

FOLLY Inlet, mentioned, 119 

FORBES, Mr., manager of Savannah 
Theatre, 14 

FORD. MaJ. Martin J., of 1st Regt., 
116; commands picket, 138; assumes 
command of 1st Ga. Regt., 144 

FOREMAN, Col. Tom, supports Seces- 
sion. 81 

FORREST, Edwin, performed In Sa- 
vannah, 14 



FORREST, Gen. Nathan B., mention- 
ed, 110 ; Smith's Brigade joins, 165- 
9; description, careei", 165-7; retreat, 
168-9; liardships, 168; commands 
rear guard, 169-73 ; at Pulaski, stand 
at Anthony's Hill, 171 ; continues re- 
treat, 172; crosses Tennessee River, 
172-3 

FORSYTH Park, scene of childhood 
games, 10-11 

FORT, Kate, bridesmaid in Olmstead 
wedding, 74 

FORT Bartow, location, 117 

FORT Columbus, on Governors Island, 
101 

FORT family, mentioned, 73 

FORT Fisher, mentioned, 100 

FORT George Island, vacation on, 40- 
44 ; severe gale, 42 ; Spanish ruin on, 
42-43 

FORT Jackson, troops at, 82; location, 
117 

FORT Johnson, defenses strengthen- 
ed, 123-4 ; Olmstead in command, 
activities. 124-30; mentioned. 119, 137 

FORT McAllister, attacked, 117; bat- 
teries 130 

FORT Moultrie, mentioned, 119, 127 

FORT Pulaski, difficulty of provision- 
ing, 28; mentioned. 35, 53, 54, 121, 
150; orders for seizure of, 79; troops 
leave Savannah for, 80; armament, 
81; garrison life, 81-96; Olmstead 
takes command, 87 ; officers, 89-90 ; 
inspected by Gen. Lee, his predic- 
tion, 90-91 ; increased measures for 
defense, 91-92; isolated, 94; surren- 
der demanded, 96; siege of, 90-09; 
severe damage, 96-98 ; surrender, 99 ; 
surrender terms violated, 99; sur- 
render scene, 100 

FORT Sumter, fired on, 77-78; men- 
tioned, 119, 126; fired on, 127, 128 

FORT Warren, mentioned, 102 

4TH INFANTRY, USA, mentioned. 52 

FOURTH of July, celebration at 
G.M.I. . 54 

FRANKLIN, Tenn., battle of, losses, 
103-(;4 

FRASER family, mentioned, 49 

FREEMAN, George, mentioned, 96 

FREEMAN, Lt. Henry, company fires 
first shot at enemy from Fort Pu- 
laski. 96 

FRELINGHUYSEN, Theodore, candi- 
date for vice president of U.S., 20 

FREMONT, John Charles; Republican 
candidate for president, 76 

FRENCH'S Division, USA, holds Ken- 
nesaw Mountain, 142 

GADSDEN, Ala., mentioned, 161 

GALLAUDET, James, residence men- 
tioned, 10 

GALLIE, MaJ. John B., killed, 117 

GAMES. 11, 15, 17, 29-30 

GEOGRAPHY text book. 7 

GEORGIA Episcopal Institute and 
Christ College, See Montpelier 

GEORGIA Historical Society, men- 
tioned, 1, 2; Bishop Elliott's address, 
34 

GEORGIA Hussars, mentioned, 30, 78 



184 



GEORGIA Military Institute, mention- 
ed, 27; description, 46-60; mention- 
ed, 122 ; burned by Sherman's or- 
ders, 143 
GEORGIA Railroad, mentioned, 157, 

176 
GEORGIA regiments, two organized, 

82 
GERMAN Volunteers, mentioned, 103; 

in 1st Ga. Regt., 133 
GIBBS, Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley, visit 

with, 40-44 
GILLMORE, Gen. Quincey A., re- 
ceives surrender of Fort Pulaslci, 
99; later incident mentioned, 99; 
mentioned, 124 ; fails to take 
Charleston, gains Morris Island, 130 
GLADDING, Hattie, mentioned, 15 
GLADDING, Sue, mentioned, 19 
GLASSELL. Lt. William T., com- 
mands torpedo attaclc on New Iron- 
sides, 128-29; captured, 129 
GODFREY, Dr., mentioned, 163 
GOLDING, Charlie, mentioned, 57 
GOODRICH, Samuel, books mention- 
ed, 66 
GOODRICH family, mentioned, 64 
GOODWIN, Annie, mentioned, 118 
GOODWIN, Mr. and Mrs., mentioned, 

118 
GORDON, Col. George, commands 

63d Ga. Regt., 134 
GORDON, Capt. William W., Inspec- 
tor on Mercer's staff, 134 ; brings 
order to retire, 137; wounded, 156 
GORDON, Mrs. William W., men- 
tioned, 100 
GORDON, Ga., mentioned, 27 
GOULDING, Francis R., mentioned, 

145n 
GOVAN, Gen. Daniel C, with Cle- 
burne's Division, 152; at Jonesboro, 
155 
GOVERNORS Island, New York, ac- 
count of imprisonment, 101-106; 
mentioned, 117, 174 
GRAHAM, Col. R. F., commands Bat- 
tery Wagner, 120 
GRANBERRY, Gen. Hiram B., with 
Cleburne's Division, 152; at Jones- 
boro, 155; killed, 164 
GRANT, Gen. U.S., struggle with Lee, 

132 
GRAYHILL, Harry, mentioned, 71 
GRAYBILL, J. H., mentioned, 71 
GRAYBILL, Mary, mentioned, 71 
GREAT Britain, mentioned, 75 
GREEN, Charles, teaches in Sunday 

School, 12 ; mentioned, 30 
GREEN Island, military post on, 82; 

mentioned, 90 
GREENE, Harriet, mentioned, 3, 4, 24 
GREENE, Herman D., mentioned, 3 
GREENE, Jennie, mentioned, 3 
GREENE, Maggie, mentioned, 3 
GREENE. Susie, mentioned, 3 
GREENE Monument, Savannah, Dan- 
iel Webster speaks at, 23 
GREENSBORO, N. C, Johnston sur- 
renders at, 178 
GREGORY, Capt., engineer officer, 3d 

military district of S. C, 133 
GRIEVE family, mentioned, 73 
GUILMARTIN, Capt. Lawrence J., at 
Fort Pulaski, 90; mentioned, 95, 98, 
104; at Governors Island, 102 



GUY Mannerlng (play), mentioned, 14 
GUYTON, Lt. Col. C. S., in 57th «a. 
Regt., 135; officer at court martial, 
163; Lt. Col. of 1st Regt., 177 

HABERSHAM, Mrs. Fred, see Elliott, 

Leila 
HABERSHAM, Joseph Clay, killed, 

150 
HABERSHAM, Mrs. Joseph Clay, see 

Stiles, Mary Anna 
HABERSHAM, William, killed, 150 
HABERSHAM, William Neyle, sons 

killed, 150 
HABERSHAM family, mentioned, 30 
HACKETT, James Henry, performed 

in Savannah, 14 
HALL, Hattie, bridesmaid in Olm- 

stead wedding, 74 
HALL, Wilburn, description, career, 

27-28 
HALLOCK, Mrs. Eliza, Olmstead 

visits, 62-63, 68; mentioned, 67 
HALLOCK, Emily, mentioned, 62 
HALLOCK, Marvin, mentioned, 62 
HALLOCK, Dr. Robert T., mentioned, 

62 
HALLOCK, Waverly, mentioned, 62 
HAMILTON, Alexander, leader of 

Federalists, 75 
HAMILTON, Prioleau, mentioned, 79 
HAND, Mr., school mentioned, 30 
HANSELL family, mentioned, 49 
HARDEE, Maj. Charles S. H., men- 
tioned, 10, 134 
HARDEE. Elizabeth (Eliza), attended 
Montpelier school, 34; mentioned, 60, 
116 
HARDEE. Hattie, mentioned, 60 
HARDEE. Pierson. mentioned. 50 
HARDEE, Lt. Gen. William J.. Corps 
commander, career. 134; story about 
his Tactics. 134; mentioned, 144; in- 
cident concerning, 158 
HARDEE'S Corps, mentioned, 133; 
moves through Atlanta. 149; at 
Jonesboro, 152. 154, 155; critical sit- 
uation, 156; rejoined by other Corps, 
156-57 
HARRISON, William Henry, cam- 
paign in Savannah, elected Presi- 
dent, 20 
HARTRIDGE, Col. Alfred L., mutiny 
in his command suppressed, 130; 
mentioned. 131 
HARTRIDGE family, mentioned, 28 
HAWLEY, Joseph, Lt. Col. 7th Conn. 

Regt, 99; later career, 100 
HEIDT, Rev. Emanuel, mentioned, 

103 
HENRY Chouteau (steamboat), car- 
ries Johnson Island prisoners for 
exchange, 111-14 
HEWSON, Joe, fiddler for G M I 

commencement ball, 55 
HILTON Head Island, S. C, in hands 
of enemy, 87; Pulaski prisoners 
taken to, 100 
HODGSON and Durand Opera Troupe 

perform in Savannah, 71 
HOLCOMBE, Joe. killed. 154 
HOLCOMBE. Thomas, mentioned, 154 
HOLMES, Oliver Wendell, poem men- 
tioned, 13 
HONEYMOON. The (play), mention- 
ed, 71 



185 



HOOD, Gen. John Bell, gl\en com- 
mand of Army of Tennessee, career, 
147-48; unsuccessful attacks around 
Atlanta, 149-50; criticism, 150-51; 
holds Atlanta, 152; abandons Atlan- 
ta, 156; at battle of Franklin, 103- 
64; defeat of Nashville, 167-68; re- 
joined by Olmstead, 169; Tennessee 
campaign ends, 173 

HOOKER, Norton, mentioned, 8 

HOPKINS, Edward, Quartermaster 
Clerk at Fort Pulaski, 90; at Gov- 
ernors Island, 102; Quartermaster of 
1st Regt., death, 116 

HOPKINS, John D.. mentioned. 105, 
142. 150; incident concerning. 145 

HOPKINS. Matthew H., mentioned. 9, 
15. 72. 114. 120. 150. 161, 170, 171; 
Adjutant of 1st Regt. Ga. Vols., 
character of, 89-90; with Olmstead 
Inspects damage to Fort Pulaski, 97; 
wounded, 98; at Governors Island, 
102. 103; Adjutant of 1st Regt.. 116; 
at Fort Johnson. 124. 127-28; carries 
dispatches, 131; incident concerning, 
14.5, 172-73 

HOUSTOUN, Patrick, description, 38- 
39 

HOWARD, Jett, Lieutenant of Savan- 
nah Police. 145 

HOWARD. Johnnie, at Fort Johnson, 

HOWARD, Mary W., mentioned, 145n 

HOWARD, Capt. Wallace, incident 
concerning, 145-46 

HOWARD'S Corps, fails to cut Har- 
dee's retreat. 156 

HULL,. Fred M., groomsman in Olm- 
stead wedding, 74; Quartermaster 
1st Regt., 116; mentioned, 161 

HUNGARIAN revolution, mentioned, 

HUNTER, Gen. David, receives Pu- 
laski prisoners at Hilton Head, 100; 
mentioned, 107 
HYATT. John, mentioned. 63. 65 
HYATT. Mary, mentioned, 63 
HYATT, Philip, mentioned, 63 

IDA (steamboat), carries troops to 
Fort Pulaski, 80; fired on as ap- 
proaches Pulaski, escape, 92-93 

INDEPENDENT Presbyterian Church, 
mentioned, 30 

INGRAHAM, Lizzie, bridesmaid in 
Olmstead wedding. 74 

IRISH Jasper Greens, chosen for Mex- 
ican War. 24 ; two companies in 1st 
Ga. Regt., 133 

IRISH Volunteers, partially destroy 
Tybee lighthouse, 88; in 1st Ga. 
Regt., 1.33 ,, T 

IRONSIDES, see New Ironsides 

ISLE of Hope, under Olmstead's com- 
mand, 117-19 

INV^ENTIONS, changes brought by, 32 

lUKA, Miss., Army of Tennessee rests 
at, 174 

■"JACKASS Artillery," on Tybee Is- 
land. 8(5 

JACKSON. Gen. Henry Rootes. com- 
mands Georgia Regt. in Mexican 
War. 24-25; character, career. 24-26; 
supports secession, 81 ; Brigade at- 
tacks, 154 



JACKSON, Gen. John K., kindness to 
Olmstead, 160 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., visit to, 43-44 

JAMES Island, mentioned. 119. 122. 
137; activities on. 124-30 

JARRETT family, mentioned. 73 

JEFFERSON. Thomas, leader of Re- 
publicans, 75 

JOHNSONS Island, Lake Erie, ac- 
count of imprisonment at. 106-11; 
Confederate prisoner shot, 109-10; 
pi-i.soners exchanged. 111 

JOHNSON'S Landing, Tenn., vessels 
captured by Forrest. 166 

JOHNSTON, Capt. George B., prison- 
er at Governors Island, description, 
105-06 

JOHNSTON, Mrs. George B., men- 
tioned, 106 

JOHNSTON, Gen. Joseph E.. troops 
sent to aid of. 132; faces Sherman 
in north Georgia. 133-.57; army in 
continuous fight, tactics. 13S-39; 
strategic retreat. 14;{, 145, 1!>0; re- 
moved from command; Olmstead's 
comments. 147-48; mentioned. 163; 
resumes command of army of Ten- 
nessee. 174 ; army reorganized. 177 ; 
surrender. 178 

JONES, John Paul, mentioned. 100 

JONESBORO. Ga.. Corps sent to. 152; 
movements around. 152-54; mention- 
ed. 1.56. 172; retaken. 157; troops re- 
main at. 1.5S 

JORDAN, Brig. Gen. Thomas, com- 
mands 3d military district of S. C, 
133 

KEELER family, mentioned, 64 

KEIFFER family, mentioned, 31 

KELL, Mrs. John M., see Monroe, 
Bonnie 

KELLY, Brigham, Olmstead joins 
firm. 69 

KENAN family, mentioned, 73 

KENNARD, Capt. Joel S., career in 
C.S.N., 28; brings supplies to Fort 
Pulaski, 94 

KENNESAW Mountain, mentioned, 
48, 133, 136; battle of mentioned, 
139 : Walker's Division reaches, field 
works built, 140; fighting around, 
142-43; successfully defended by 
French's Division, 142; retreat from, 
143 

KING'S Point, Lazaretto Creek, house 
mentioned, 88 ; mentioned. 95 

KNOX. Billy, account of travel with, 
6S-69 

KOLLOCK, Rev. Henry, mentioned, 30 

LADY Gray (horse), mentioned, 119, 
145, 153. 165. 173. 179 

LAKE Erie, military prison on John- 
sons Island. 106 

LANGREN, Dr.. at Governors Island, 
W?, 

LANIER. Sidney, description, 74 

LARDNER, Dr. Dionysius, perform- 
ance in Savannah, 31-33; prophecy 
about steam navigation, 33 

LAUREL Grove Cemetery, mentioned, 
60. 1.50 

LAW. Charles, heroic action, 85-86 

LAW, Dr. John S., married Elizabeth 
Burroughs, 30 



18« 



L^W, Xudge William, speech support- 
ing: secession, 81-82 

LAWTON, Gen. Alexander R., com- 
mander of 1st Vol. Regt. of Ga., 78; 
orders occupation of Fort Pulaski, 
79; mentioned, 80, 89, 92; promoted 
to Brig. Gen., 82 

L^WTON, Edward, adjutant of lat 
Regrt. Ga. Vols., death at Frede- 
ricksburg, 89 

LAZARETTO Creek, "Ida" escapes 
through, 93 

LEAH (servant), mentioned, 40 

LECOSTE, Henri, teacher, 8 

LEE, Gen. Robert Edward, mention- 
ed, 33, 57, 141, 147; Inspects Fort 
Pulaski, description, 90; instructions 
for defense, predicts fort cannot be 
taken, 90-91; encounter with Capt. 
Circopeley, 93-94 ; troops sent to aid 
of, 132 

LEE'S Corps, sent to Jonesboro, 152; 
ordered to Atlanta, 154 ; retreats, 
rejoins Hardee's Corps, 156-57 

LEVY, Capt. Yates, captured, charges 
against mentioned, 139-40 

LEWIS. Bobby, wounded, 145 

LEWIS, John N., residence mention- 
ed, 10 

LINCOLN, Abraham, candidate for 
President, 76; mentioned, 103; as- 
sassination deplored, 178 

LINSKY, (Orderly), mentioned, 

131, 153, 169 

"LIVE Oak Walker", see Walker. 
Gen. William S. 

LOGAN, Eliza, performance in Savan- 
nah, description, 70-71 

LOOKOUT Mountain, Tenn., mention- 
ed, 162 

LOOMIS, Col., commandant of Gov- 
ernors Island, 101 

LOUISIANA Purchase, mentioned, 76 

LOST Mountain, mentioned, 48, 133 

LOVEJOY'S Station, Hardee's Corps 
reached, 156; Corps reunite at, 157 

LOW, Andrew, prisoner at Fort War- 
ren, financial aid to Olmstead, 102 

LOWREY, Gen. Mark P., with Cle- 
burne's Division, 152; at Jonesboro, 
155 

LUCRETIA Borgia (play), mentioned, 
71 

LYCEUM Hall, mentioned, 26 

LYMANS, Lt. John, at Governors 
Island, 103 

McCARTEN, Francis, letter regard- 
ing raising U. S. flag on Tybee Is- 
land, 88-89n 
McCLELLAN, Gen. George B., defeat 
at Richmond mentioned, 108; weak- 
ness of, 133 
McFARLAND, Theodore, attends G - 
„^-J:' ^^' surgeon at Fort Pulaski. 90 
McGOWAN, Sgt. James J., wounded, 

later career, 138 
Mcintosh, Spaldlng, k l l l e d at 

Sharpsburg, 10 
MACKAY, John, career, 57 
MACKAY, Kate, mentioned, 57 
MACKAY, Sarah, mentioned, 57 
MACKAY family, mentioned, 90 
McLAWS, Gen. Layfayette, mentioned. 



McMAHON, John, 1st Lt. Irish Jasper 
Greens, 24; at Fort Pulaski, 90, 94; 
remarks at surrender of fort, 100 
McMULLEN, Capt. M. J., at Fort 

Pulaski, 90 
McNISH, Herman, greeting to Daniel 

Webster, 23; life, 23-24 
McNISH, Tom, mentioned, 23, 24 
MACON, Ga., Olmstead visits, 27; 
railroad terminal, 32; Olmstead ar- 
rives at, 116; railroad to Atlanta 
mentioned, 152; mentioned, 150, 177 
MACON and Western Railroad, men- 
tioned, 156 
McCONNELL, Capt. Thomas R., com- 
mandant of G.M.I. , 52-53; service 
in Mexico. 53 
MACREADY, William Charles per- 
formed in Savannah. 14 
MALVERN Hill, mentioned, 176 
MANIGAULT'S Point, 5ith Ga. Regt. 

at, 125 
MANILA Bay, mentioned, 46 
MARIETTA, Ga., G.M.I, at, 46-60; 
mentioned. 133, 138, 162; Confed- 
erate troops at, 159 
MARINE Bank, Macon, mentioned, 27 
MARINE and Fire Insurance Bank, 

Savannah, mentioned, 12 
MARRYAT, Frederick, book mention- 
ed. 96 
MARTELLO Tower, Tybee, mention- 
ed, 87 
MARTIN, Maj. Bob, description, 155- 

156 
MASONIC Hall, Savannah, scene of 

secession convention, 81-82 
MASSIE School, Savannah, encamp- 
ment near, 130 
MATTHEWS, Capt., survives wreck 

of steamer Sumter, 127 
MATTHEWS, Charles, performed In 

Savannah, 14 
MATTHEWS, Eraser, bravery, death, 

124 ; mentioned, 127 
MAXCEY (Maxey). Mr. and Mrs. 

Tom, house burned, 43 
MAYPOINT Mills, sawmill on, 41-42- 

mentioned, 43 
MEMPHIS, Tenn.. reception of John- 
son Island prisoners at. 113-14 ; men- 
tioned. 166 
MERCER, Col. George A., mentioned. 
1^3; assistant Adj. Gen. on General 
Mercer's staff. 134 
MERCER. Gen. Hugh. Col. 1st Vol. 
Regt. Ga.. 82; in command of Fort 
Pulaski, 83; appointed Brig. Gen., 
Si, 88; commands military district 
of Ga., 116; career, 133-34; ill 144- 
address to troops, 149; returned to 
Georgia coast, 151 
MERCER'S Brigade, Joined by 1st 
(5a. Regt.. 133; other regiments in. 
staff officers, 134; Olmstead tempo- 
rary commander, 144; commanded 
by Gen. Smith, short of officers. 151 
MESMERISM. 18-20 
METAMORA (play), at Savannah 

Theatre, 14 
MEXICAN War, 22. 24-25. 53, 76. 90, 

125, 134 
MIDWAY, Ga., mentioned, 175 
MILER, Hamilton, mentioned. 63 
MIL.ER, James, mentioned, 63 
MILER, Jennie, mentioned, 63 69 



187 



MIL.ER, Josephine, mentioned, 63 
MILER. Mary, mentioned. "<» , ^„ 
MILER, Mrs. Mary, mentioned, 62 
MILITARY District of Savannah, 

commanded by Mercer, 134 
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga., description. 
73-74 ■ G.M.I, cadets visit, 56; Olm- 
stead' visits. 116, 175-76; Olmstead 
family at. 179 . ■„ , ,. 

MISSISSIPPI Brigade, at Franklin, 

164 
MITCHELL, Capt.. career, death. 126 
MITCHELL. John, mentioned, 126 
MOBILE, Ala., exchanged prisoners 
at. 115; mentioned, 174 , , , 

MOBILE & Ohio Railroad, tracks fol- 
lowed by Army of Tenn., 173 
MOKO (Negress), description, 13 
MOLINO-del-Rey, battle of mention- 
ed, 24, 53 
MONDAY (servant), mentioned, 34 
MONITORS (U.S.N.), attacks on Fort 

McAllister. 117 , . „ ^ 

MONROE. Bonnie, attended Montpe- 

ller school, 34 ^ , i. 

MONTFORT, Lt. Theodore, at John- 
son's Island, description, 110-11 
MONTGOMERY, resort near Savan- 
nah, mentioned. 35 .,,,-. 
MONTGOMERY, Ala., capital of Con- 
federacy. 77; exchanged prisoners 
at. 115; Smith's Brigade, at 174 
MONTGOMERY Guards, at Governors 
Island. 104 , , oo 
MONTPELIER, school for girls, 3,J- 

34 ; mentioned. 46 
MONTREAL. Olmstead visits, 75 
MORRIS Island, mentioned. 44, 126; 
activities on, 119-24; taken by GUI- 
more. 130 ^ . 
MORSE. Samuel F. B., telegraph In- 
vention mentioned, 31 
MOUNT Vesuvius, mentioned, 6 
MOUNTAIN Artillery, at Tybee Is- 
land, 86 . ^ . 
MOW ATT. Anna Cora, performed In 

Savannah. 14 
MOZART'S Twelfth Mass. mentioned, 

MURFREESBORO, Tenn., activity 
around, 167; mentioned. 170 

MURPHY, Mrs.. In charge of officer's 
mess. Governors Island. 102 

MUSSEL Shoals. Forrest crosses Ten- 
nessee River at, 172; mentioned, 173 

MUTUAL Safety (steamboat), wreck 
of, 42 

MYERS, Col., mentioned, 49 

MYERS, Fred, mentioned, 49 

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Cleburne's Di- 
vision at, 164-65; battle of, 167-68 
NATURAL Philosophy, lecture on, 31- 

32 
NEELY, A., aid to Fort Pulaski pris- 
oners at Governors Island, 102 
NEGROES, names and occupations at 

White Bluff plantation, 36 
NEVADA, mentioned, 22 
NEW Bern, N. C, mentioned, 101 
NEW England Primer, mentioned, 7 
NEW Haven, Conn., Olmstead visits, 

60 
NEW Hope Church, battle of men- 
tioned, 139 



NEW Ironsides (U. S. Ironclad), at 
Charleston Harbor, 124; torpedo at- 
tack on. 128-29; damaged. 129 
NEW Mexico, mentioned. 22 
NEW River, gun boats in. 94 
NEW Year's Day. social customs in 

Savannah, 72 
NEW York. Olmstead visits, 61-63; 
67-68, 75; commercial relations with 
Savannah, 102 
NEWELL, Tom. mentioned, 74 
NEWELL family, mentioned. 73 
NIAGARA. N. Y., Olmstead visits, 

67. 68. 75 
NIBLO'S Garden, N. Y., mentioned, 

63 
NORTON. Lydia, teacher, 8 

OGEECHBE River, mentioned, 130 

OLD Mary's Cave, Ridgefleld, Conn., 
story of. 66 

OLD Moko. see Moko 

OGLETHORPE Barracks. Savannah, 
mentioned, 116 

OGLETHORPE Hall, Savannah, men- 
tioned. 31 

OGLETHORPE Light Infantry, men- 
tioned. 72 ; ordered to Fort Pulaski, 
79; Co. B flres first shot at enemy 
from Pulaski, 96; one company in 
1st Regt. Ga.. 133 

OGLETHORPE University, mention- 
ed. 74 

OLMSTEAD. Charles Hart, birth. 2; 
writings, la ; boyhood. 2-31 ; early 
schools, 5-10; at Burroughs' School, 
30-46 ; vacation on Fort George Is- 
land, 40-44; at G.M.I., 46-60; at Eto- 
wah Cliffs. 57-59 ; visits New York. 
61-63; visits Ridgefleld, 63-66; visits 
Niagara. Detroit. 67 ; visits Chicago. 
68; return to Savannah. 68-69; joins 
Brigham Kelly firm, 69; sweetheart 
rejects, 69-70; business career. 69- 
70 ; marriage, 74 ; revisits relatives 
in North, 75; home in Savannah. 74- 
75; Adjutant 1st Vol. Regt. Ga.. 78; 
Major, 82 ; second in command Fort 
Pulaski. 83; almost killed by light- 
ning. 84; in command Tybee Island, 
86-87 ; commands Fort Pulaski. 87, 
88; Colonel, 88; commissions, 89; 
letter relative to raising U. S. flag 
on Tybee, 89n ; visits Savannah, 92 ; 
Inspects damage at Pulaski. 97; sur- 
renders Fort Pulaski. 99; sword re- 
turned. 100 ; imprisonment at Gov- 
ernors Island. 100-06 ; at Johnsons 
Island, 106-11; sword taken, 107; ex- 
change. 111-15; arrives at Macon, 
116; at Milledgeville. 116; resumes 
command 1st Regt., 116; return to 
Savannah, 116; injured, 119; ordered 
to Charleston, 119; at Battery Wag- 
ner, 119-30; commands Fort John- 
son, 124-30; ordered to Savannah, 
activities, 130-31 ; command of 3d 
military district of S. C. ; activities, 
131-33 ; again commands 1st Regt., 
133; with Army of Tennessee, 133- 
178; temporary command of Mer- 
cer's Brigade, 144 ; Gen. Walker's 
order, 144 ; doubts of Southern vic- 
tory, 145-46 ; 111, 149, 159-61 ; hat shot 
up, 150; senior Col. with Cleburne's 



Division, 151 ; resumes command of 
regiment, 158; rejoins regiment, 161 
president of court martial, ltJ3 
again commands brigade, 105 ; re 
joins Hood in rear guard, Iti'J-ia 
visits relatives at Columbus, 17-1; at 
Milledgeville, 175-7(5; rounus up 
brigade, rejoins army, 177 ; again 
Colonel 1st Regt., 177; reflections on 
outcome of war, 179-80; rejoins fam- 
ily, 179 ; death, 1. 

OLMSTEAD, Mrs. Charles Hart, ill- 
ness, 94; mentioned, 115, 116, 118; 
visit to Jonesboro, 158; in Savannah 
with children, 175-76; at Milledge- 
ville, 179 

OLMSTEAD, Charles, Jr., mentioned, 
4 ; birth and death, 151 ; mentioned, 
176, 179 

OLMSTEAD, Eliza Hart, mother of 
Charles H., 3-4; at Marietta, 60; ill- 
ness, 60 ; mentioned, 69 ; at Macon, 
116 

OLMSTEAD, Florence, 1-la, 117, 118 

OLMSTEAD, Florence Neely, men- 
tioned, 102 

OLMSTEAD, Harriet Eliza, birth and 
death, 4 

OLMSTEAD, Jonathan, 3; ,bank cash- 
ier, amateur botanist, 12; death, 59 

OLMSTEAD, Rev. Miles, mentioned, 
64 ; visit to Governors Island, 102 

OLMSTEAD, Mrs. Nancy, mentioned, 
63 

OLMSTEAD, Neely, see Olmstead, 
Florence Neely 

OLMSTEAD, Samuel, homestead de- 
scribed, 64 

OLMSTEAD, Sarah (Sallie) (Mrs. A. 
Pratt Adams), 1; birth, 75, 92; men- 
tioned, 116, 117, 176 

OLMSTEAD, Sarah Morris, descrip- 
tion, 4-5; education, 8; at Montpe- 
lier school, 33-34; goes to finishing 
school, 46; illness and death, 58; 
mentioned, 66 

OLMSTEAD, Seth, description, 63; 
mentioned, 102 

OLMSTEAD, Susan, mentioned, 1, 34, 
118 

OLMSTEAD family, home life, 3-5; 
11-12, 19-20, 29-30; new home, 45-46 

ON Linden (poem), incident concern- 
ing, 9 

ORANGE Bluff, Fla., school mention- 
ed, 30 

ORIENTAL (steamer), takes Pulaski 
prisoners to Governors Island, 100- 
101 

ORME family, mentioned, 73 

ORPHAN Boy (song), mentioned, 12 

OSBORNE family, Olmstead visits, 
179 

PALMER, Miss, school of, 8 

PALMETTO, Ga., Confederate troops 
at, 158-59 

PALMETTO Regiment, mentioned, 125 

PARK, Annie, marriage to J. W. Rob- 
ertson, 48-i9 

PARK family, mentioned. 49 

PARKER. Emily, description. 63; 
mentioned, 65 

PARKER, Mrs. Laura, mentioned. 62, 
63 



PARROTT,. E. G., In command of 

USS Augusta, 88n 
"PARSONAGE," house In Cass cooin- 

ty mentioned, 57 
PATIENCE (servant), mesmerized, 19 
PATTON, Capt. John G., killed at 
South ISIountain, 10, 61, 143; at 
G.M.I., 00; groomsman at Olmstead 
wedding, 74 ; Captain 1st Ga. Regu- 
lars killed 84 
PEACH Tree Creek, battle of, 148-49 
PECK, Harriet, mentioned, 46, 66 
PEGGY (servant), mentioned, 3, 4, 

18, 29 
PEQUOD Indians, mentioned. 5, 6 
PETER Parley, see Goodrich, Samuel 
PHILBRICK, Eliza, mentioned, 8 
PHILBRICK, Samuel, mentioned, 8 
PHILLIPS, Miss, incident concerning, 

170 
PHOENIX Riflemen, stationed at Ty- 

bee, 84-85 
PICKETT, Clara, mentioned, 65, 66 
PICKETT, Eddie, mentioned, 65; kill- 
ed at Gettysburg. 66 
PICKETT, Rufus, mentioned, 65 
PICKETT family, mentioned, 04 
PIERSON, Col., commandant at John- 
sons Island, 106-07 
PINAFORE (operetta), mentioned, 

118 
PIZARRO (play), at Savannah Thea- 
tre, 14, 15 
PLANT, Increase Cotton, description, 
27-28; aids with Olmstead's educa- 
tion, 59 
PLANT, Mrs. Increase Cotton, men- 
tioned, 27 
PLATT, Mrs. Susan, boarding house, 

3, 18, 19; mentioned, 49 
POCOTALIGO, S. C, mentioned. 131, 

132 
POLITICS, 26 

POLK, James K., candidate for Pres- 
idency, 20, 21. 22 
PONCE de Leon, mentioned, 43 
PORT Royal, S. C, captured. 87; har- 
bor mentioned, 132; mentioned, 133 
PORTER, Admiral David D.. bom- 
bardment of Vicksburg mentioned, 
114, 115 
PORTER, Capt. Horace, presided at 
Pulaski surrender, later career. 100 
PRENTICE, James M.. mentioned. 3 
PRESTON, Henry Kollock, teacher, 8, 

9 
PRESTON, James, teacher, 8 
PRESTON, Rev. Willard, mentioned, 

8 
PRINCETON University, mentioned, 

30 
PULASKI, Tenn., Forrest at. bonfire 

of Hood's stores, 171 
PULASKI House, Savannah, mention- 
ed, 23 

QUARLES. Col. William A., at John- 
sons Island, 110; commands a Ten- 
nessee brigade under Forrest, ca- 
reer, 167 

RAILROADS, largest In U. S. In 
South Carolina and Georgia, 32; 
condition of In Alabama, 174: In 
Georgia, 174-75 



189 



RATIONS, Army, how Issued, 141; 
cooking details, 141-42 

RAVELiS, The, performed In New 
York, G3 

READ, Capt. J. B., leads squad to 
destroy Tybee lighthouse, 88 

REPUBLICAN Blues, ordered to Fort 
Pulaski, 79 

REPUBLICAN Party, discussed, 75-76 

RESACA, Ga., battle of mentioned, 
139 

REYNOLDS, Charlotte, see Veader, 
Mrs. David 

REYNOLDS. Loring Olmstead, men- 
tioned, 3; helps with Olmstead's ed- 
ucation, 59; death. 59, 60 

RICHARDSON. Lizzie, mentioned, 50 

RICHMOND, Va., capital of Confed- 
eracy, 77 ; could have been captured 
in 1862, 133; news of capture, 178 

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., visit to, de- 
scription, 63-66. 75 

RIPLEY, Gen. Roswell S., commands 
Charleston district, 126 

RITTER family, mentioned, 31 

ROBERTSON, Capt. James W., com- 
mandant of cadets, G.M.I. ; descrip- 
tion, 48-49 

ROBINSON, Jimmie. mentioned, 18 

ROBINSON. John, circus of, 18 

ROBERT Habersham (steamer), used 
to change command on Tj'bee, 85 

ROCKWELL, William S., Lt. Col. 1st 
Regt., 82, 89, 116; anecdote, 135 

ROSE Dhu plantation, mentioned, 38, 
39. 130 

RUSSEL, Sol Smith, dramatic com- 
pany mentioned, 14 

RUSSELL, Capt. Charles, incident 
concerning, 153-54 

SALTPETRE, cave in Cass county de- 
scribed, 57-58; used during Civil 
War. 58 

SAND Mountain, Ala., mentioned, 162 

SANDUSKY Bay, Lake Erie, men- 
tioned. 106, 111 

SANFORD family, mentioned, 73 

SAVANNAH, in lS40s, 10-11; quaint 
characters in, 12-13 ; amusements, 
13-19; national politics in, 20-23; 
railroad terminal, 32; politics, 26; 
entertainments, 70-71 ; New Year's 
customs, 72 ; citizens cheer troops 
sent to Pulaski, 80; commercial re- 
lations with New York, 102; military 
activities around. 116-19; Olmstead 
returns, description, economic condi- 
tions, 116-17; Olmstead family at, 
175 

SAVANNAH and Charleston Railroad, 
repeated attacks on, 132 

SAVANNAH River, mentioned, 132; 
batteries, 130 

SAVANNAH Theatre, performances 
at. 14, 19 

SAVANNAH Volunteer Guards, in 1st 
Vol. Regt. Ga., 78; ordered to Pu- 
laski, 79; sent to Tybee, 84-85; on 
Green Island, 89-90; at Isle of Hope, 
118 

SECESSION, Southern states secede, 
77-78; convention meets in Savan- 

. nah, description, 81-82; Georgia se- 
cedes, 82 



SEGUIN. John, opera troop, 15-16 

7TH CONNECTICUT Regiment, first 
U. S. troops in Fort Pulaski, 99; 
attack on Battery Wagner, 121 

SEYMOUR, Mrs. Blah, incident con- 
cerning, 64-65 

SEYMOUR, Delia, incident concern- 
ing, 64-65 

SHAW, , wounded, 97 

SHEFTALL, Shetfall, description, 12- 
13; death, 13 

SHELLMAN, Allie, incident concern- 
ing, 169 

SHERMAN, Gen. William T., men- 
tioned, 127, 158, 159; advances, 130, 
132 ; in north Georgia, 133-57 ; un- 
successful attempts to take Kenne- 
saw Mountain, 142 ; pushes forward, 
145; takes Atlanta, l.')6 ; destruction 
of Atlanta, 157 ; character of, 157 ; 
destructive march to sea, 175; John- 
ston surrenders to, 178 

SHILOH, Tenn., captured officers Im- 
prisoned on Johnsons Island, 107 

SHIPTON, Mother, mentioned, 32 

SIMS, Captain Frederick W., at Fort 
Pulaski, 90; mentioned, 95, U(i. 104; 
edits newspaper at Governors Island, 
103 

SINGER, Joe, killed, 150 

63D GEORGIA Regiment, In Mercer's 
Brigade, 134 ; mentioned, 139 ; rifle 
pits captured, 142; consolidated with 
1st Regt., 177 

SKIDAWAY Island, troop servants 
desert to, 118-19 

SLAUGHTER, Dr.. at G.M.I., 52 

SLAVERY, discussed, 76-77 

SMITH, Gen. Argyle. assumes com- 
mand of Mercer's Brigade, 151-52; 
position at Jonesboro, 155; succeeds 
to Division command, 165 

SMITHFIELD, N. C, Johnston at, 

174, 177 

SMITH'S Brigade, sent to Tennessee, 
163 ; detached for special duty, 163- 
164 ; under command of Olmstead, 
165 ; with Forrest, 165-69 ; in engage- 
ment at Anthonys Hill, 171-72; 
crosses Tennessee River. 172-73 ; at 
Mobile, 174; at Columbus, 174-75; 
men desert to look after families, 

175, 177 ; at Augusta, 176 ; marches 
to North Carolina, 176-77; Olmstead 
finds many of missing men, rejoins 
army, 177 

SMYRNA Church, battle of, 139, 144- 

145; defeat at. 145 
SOLOMONS, Joe, mentioned, 86 
SOSNOWSKI, Callie, attended Mont- 

pelier school. 34 
SOULLARD. Mr., mentioned, 176 
SOUTH Mountain, battle of mention- 
ed, 61 
SOUTHERN states, feeling In, 76-78 
SOUTHWESTERN Railroad, L. O. 

Reynolds, president, 60 
SPARTA, Ga., mentioned, 176 
SPARTACUS, the Gladiator (play), at 

Savannah Theatre, 14 
STAGG, Mrs. Catherine, mentioned, 

62 
STAGG, Helen, mentioned. 63 
STAGG, Mary, mentioned, 63 
STAGG, Tom, mentioned, 63 



190 



STANTON, Edwin M., appealed to re 
Pulaski prisoners, 99; re prisoners 
at Johnsons Island, 110; mentioned, 
157; vlndlctlveness of, 178 

STEGIN, Capt. J. H., at Fort Pulaski, 
90; at Governors Island, 103 

STEPHENS, Alexander Hamil- 
ton, elected vice-president of Con- 

STEVENS, Thaddeus, vlndlctlveness 
of, 178 

STEWART, MaJ. James. Quartermas- 
ter on Mercer's staff, 134 

STEWARTSON, Dr., mentioned, 49- 
50 

STEWARTSON, Harry, incident con- 
cerning:, 49-50 

STILES, Eliza Mackay. (Mrs. William 
Henry Stiles), description, 56-57 

STILES, Florence V. (Mrs. Wylly 
Woodbrldge), mentioned, 57 

STILES, Henry, description, 56 

STILES, Kathierine C. mentioned, 10, 
57 ; attended Montpeller school, 34 

STILES, Mary Anna (Mrs. Joseph 
Clay Habersham), mentioned, 57 

STILES. Ned (Edward?), killed in 
Virginia, 10 ; mentioned. 57 

STILES. Robert, description. 56; men- 
tioned. 57. 58 

STILES, Wallace, mentioned, 17 

STILES, William Henry, description 
and career, 56 

STILES family, mentioned, 90 

STODDARD, Mrs. Harry, mentioned, 
176 

STODDARD, Capt. John I., aide on 
Mercer's staff, 134 

STONE Mountain, Ga., mentioned, 48 

STONE'S Mill Pond, scene of child- 
hood g'ames, 11 

STUART, Gen. J.E.B., mentioned, 10 

SULLIVAN'S Island, mentioned, 119 

SUMTER (C.S.S.), tragic wreck of, 
126-27 

SWINTON, William, comment on 
rear-gruard action of Army of Ten- 
nessee, 169 

SYMONDS family, mentioned, 67 

TALIAFERRO, Gen. William B., men- 
tioned, 121 
TATTNALL, Commodore Josiah, men- 
tioned, 28; engages enemy battery, 
94 
TATTNALL Guards, In 1st Regt. Ga., 

133 
TATUM, Capt. "Pos", at Battery 

Wagner, 122; killed, 123 
TELEGRAPH, Invention of, 32, 33 
TELFAIR plantation, mentioned, 117 
TENNESSEE campaign, 159-73 
TERRY. Col. Alfred H., In command 
7th Conn. Regt., 99; later career, 100 
TEXAS, admitted as state. 21-22 
TEXAS Brigade, at Franklin, 164 
THEUS' jcAvelry store, mentioned, 26 
3D MILITARY District of S. C, Olm- 
stead in command, 131-33 ; Jordan in 
command, 133 
38TH NORTH Carolina Regiment, 

mentioned, 105 
33D NORTH Carolina Regiment, men- 
tioned, 101 
THOMAS, Gen. George H., victory at 
Nashville, 167-68 



THOMPSON, Col., hotel in Atlanta. 

46-47 
THOMPSON, Dr., mentioned, 159, 161 
THOMPSON, Harvey, at G.M.I. , 47 
THOUSAND Islands, description, 75 
THUNDERBOLT. Ga., military post 

at, 82 
TISHAMINGO, Miss., Forrest's vic- 
tory at, 166 
TRANS-Misslsslppl Dept., mentioned, 

114 
TRENHOLM family, mentioned, 49 
TRIPPE, Julie, mentioned, 117 
TROY, N. Y., Olmstead visits, 66 
TUPPER, Fred, wounded, 121 
TURNER, Anna (Mrs. James F. 
Cann). mentioned. 8. 9; attended 
Montpeller school. 34 
TURNER. George, mentioned. 8; kill- 
ed. 9; playmate. 11. 15; at G.M.I., 
46; groomsman in Olmstead wed- 
ding, 74 
TURNER, Joe, killed. 10 
TURNER. Capt. Screven, killed, 1.50 
TUSCUMBIA, Ala.. 1st Regt.. at. 162 
TUZO. Captain ; commfinds steamer 

"Oriental." description, 100-101 
12TH GEORGIA Battalion, at Isle of 

Hope, 118; at Battery Wagner. 120 
21ST SOUTH Carolina Regiment, at 
Battery Wagner, 120; mentioned, 137 
TWIGGS, Duncan, at G.M.I. , 53 
TYBEE Island, military post on, 82; 
garrisons on, 84-85; command chang- 
ed, 84-85; Olmstead in command, 86- 
87 ; evacuated, 87 ; enemy fortifies, 
88; lighthouse, partially destroyed, 
88; U. S. flag raised on, 88-S9n ; en- 
emy activities on, 91-92, 95; enemy 
batteries on, 96 
TYLER, John, elected vice-president 
U. S., 20 

UMBACH, Capt. Charles, at Pulaski, 
94 ; wounded, 150 

UNDERGROUND railroad, 76 

UNITED States, politics discussed, 75- 
78; army relations with Confederate 
troops, 146; adoption of Constitu- 
tion, 75-77; right of states to secede, 
77 ; fleet in Charleston harbor. 119 ; 
Military Academy mentioned. 28. 47, 
134 ; Naval Academy mentioned, 28, 
47 ; navy mentioned, 28 

UNIVERSITY of North Carolina, 
mentioned, 105 

UTAH, mentioned, 22 

VAN-AMBERG'S Menagerie, perform- 
ance in Savannah, 17 

VAUCLUSE plantation, mentioned, 36, 
44 

VEADER, Mr. and Mrs. David, men- 
tioned, 3. 45 

VENUS Point, battery engaged, 94 

VERNON River, description. 30 

VICKSBURG, Miss., Johnson Island 
prisoners exchanged at, 114-15; news 
of fall, 119; campaign mentioned, 134 

VIENNA, W. H. Stiles charge d'af- 
faires at, 56 

VINCENT'S Creek, mentioned, 120, 
121 

VIRGINIA, troops sent to, 132; Hood 
In, 148 



in. 



VOGHT. Mrs., quarters Olmstead. 170 
VOGHT, Sallte, Incident concerning. 
170 

"WADE, Maggie, mentioned, 69, 72 

WADUEY, William M., at Vicksburg, 
115 

WALKER. Capt. Robert D., commis- 
sary at Pulaski. 90; prisoner at Gov- 
ernors Island, 103 

WALKER. Gen. William H. T., men- 
tioned, 131 ; commands Division, ca- 
reer. 134; orders to Olmstead, 144; 
killed. 150 

WALKER, Gen. William S., ordered 
to Virginia, description, 131; plans 
for defense of 3d Mil. Dlst. S. C, 
132 

WALKER'S Division, mentioned. 133; 
reserve division. service. 135-36 ; 
brigades reassigned. 151 ; reaches 
Kennesaw Mountain. 140; In battle 
of Atlanta, heavy losses. 149-50 

WALLACE. John, private in Guilmar- 
tin's company, 95 

WALTHALL. Gen. Edward C. com- 
mands Infantry In rear-guard. 169 

WALTHOUR girls, mentioned. 72 

WARD. Emma, mentioned. 67 

WARD. Jane, mentioned. 67 

WARD. Kitty, mentioned. 67 

WARNER'S stables, mentioned, 8 

WARSAW Sound, mentioned. 118 

WASHINGTON Hall. Macon, men- 
tioned. 27 

WASHINGTON Volunteers. In 1st Ga. 

Regt., 133 
WAY. Col. Charlton H. (Charlie), 
mentioned. 56. 72. 74. 152; secretary 
of secession convention. 82 ; at Tybee 
86, 87; commands 54th Ga., at Man- 
Igauit's Point, 125; with Mercer's 
Brigade. 134; at Jonesboro. 158; HI, 
163 ; at Columbus, 175 
WAY, Mrs. Charlton H. (Fannie 
Williams), 56, 72, 73, 74. 158 

WAY. Corlnne, mentioned. 72 

WAY. Eva. mentioned, 72 

WAYNE, Mrs. Robert, mentioned. 81 

WAYNE. Mrs. Thomas S.. mentioned, 
131 

WEBSTER. Daniel, visit to Savannah. 
23 

WEBSTER'S Spelling Book, mention- 
ed. 7 

WEED. Joe, mentioned, 37 

WERNER. Capt. C. at Battery Wag- 
ner, 120; killed. 121 

WEST. Charles, mentioned. 62; visits 
Fort Johnson. 125 

WEST. Mrs. Esther Olmstead. men- 
tioned, 62, 63. 64. 65 

WEST. John, mentioned, 62 

W1EST, Mrs. John, mentioned. 176 

WEST. Lou. mentioned. 62 
WEST Point, N. Y., Olmstead visits, 
66 

WESTERN & Atlantic Railroad, men- 
tioned, 133. 138 

WETTER. Mr. and Mrs. Augustus 
Peter, mentioned, 117 



WHEELER. Gen. Joseph, mentioned, 

29 
WHELAN, Father Peter, incident at 

Governors Island, 104-05 
WHIG Party, mentioned, 26; discuss- 
ed, 76 
WHITE Bluff, school at, 33-45; Pres- 
byterian Church mentioned, 30, 31 
WHITEMARSH Island, enemy lands 

on, 117; enemy sortie. 130 
WILDMAN. Dr.. mentioned. 5S 
WILLIAMS. Annello. mentioned, 39 
WILLIAMS, Charles J., regiment 
mentioned, 10, 61, 143; Major In 
Mexican War, 24; Col. 1st Ga. Reg- 
ulars, 82, 84; death, 94. 116 
WILLIAMS, Mrs. Charles J. (Mary 

Ann Howard), at Columbus. 175 
WILLIAMS, Eben, mentioned, 39, 40 
WILLIAMS. Mrs. Eben (Margaret 

Adams), description. 39 
WILLIAMS. Edgar, mentioned. 39 
WILLIAMS. Fannie, see Way. Mrs. 

Charlton H. 
WILLIAMS. Florence, mentioned. 56; 
description. 72-73 ; marriage to Olm- 
stead. 74 ; see also Olmstead. Mrs. 
C. H. 
WILLIAMS. Frank, mentioned. 39 
WILLIAMS. Gus. death mentioned. 116 
WILLIAMS. Henry, mentioned. 39 
WILLIAMS. MaJ. James, Inspector on 
Mercer's staff. 134 ; successful attack 
on Kennesaw, 142 
WILLIAMS, Margaret, see Williams, 

Mrs. Eben 
WILLIAMS, Peter, death mentioned, 

116 
WILLIAMS, Peter J., mentioned, 27 
WILLIAMS, Mrs. Peter J. (Luclnda 
Parke), description, 73-74; Olmstead 
visits, 116 ; lost three sons In war, 
116, 175-76 
WILLIAMS. Richard, mentioned. 35 
WILLIAMS. Sue. mentioned, 176 
WILLIAMS, Thomas, mentioned, 35 
WILLIAMS, Willie, wounded. 116 
WILLIAMSBURG, Va., battle of men- 
tioned, 133 
WILLIE, Capt.. description. 44 
WILSON, Gen. James H., crosses Ten- 
nessee River, 170 
WISE Guards, at Pulaski, 90 
WOODBRIDGE, Mrs. Wylly, see 

Stiles. Florence V. 
WRIGHT, Aleck, mentioned, 37 
WYOMING, mentioned. 22 

YATES. Lt. Col. Joseph A., mention- 
ed, 125 

YELLOW Fever, Savannah epidemic, 
58 

YONGE. Phil, groomsman in Olmstead 
wedding. 74 

YOUNG. Lt. Col., killed. 164 

YOUNG. Gen. Pierce. M. B.. mention- 
ed. 164 

"YOUNG Marooners. The." mention- 
ed. 145 

ZUYDER Zee. mentioned. 166 



iMfe- 



19'2