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Full text of "My story of the civil war and the Under-ground railroad"

Book iS^74 

Copyrigtit}^^. -^ /^K ^"^ 

COPYRIGHT DEPOSm 



J 



My Story of the Civil War 

and the Under-ground 

Railroad 



By M. B. Butler. ^ 

First Lieutenant Co. A 44th Ind. 




Price $1.50 



Published By 
The United Brethren Publishing E^ablishment 

E. C. Mason, Agent 

Huntington, Indiana 

1914. 






Copyrighted by Benjamin M. Butler, 1914- 
Salem Center, Indiana. 



AUG 21 n'4 



CI.A380263 '^^ 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait of M. B. Butler. Late 1st Lieut. Co "A" 
44 Reg. 

M. B. Butler, 1st Orderly of Co. "A" page 33 

May, standing in the door " 52 

"0 May don't cry so" " i^q 

Jack, the Slave Boy " 205 

Lew's escape from the "Battle Ax" "230 

Florence entreats Mrs. Layman "to save her". " 240 

Prentiss comes < ' qa^ 



CONTENTS 



Introduction Page 2 

Dedication ^ 

Chapter I 
My Story of the Civil War and the Underground 

Railroad ^ 

Chapter II 
Going to Camp 12 

Chapter III 

May 20 

Chapter IV 

In Camp 27 

Chapter V 

In Camp 34 

Chapter VI 
Home on Furlough 44 

Chapter VII 
Leaving for the Front 

Chapter VIII 
Henderson, Kentucky 

Chapter IX 
Green River and Calhoun 67 

Chapter X 
Green River and South Carleton 71 

Chapter XI 
South Carleton and Calhoun ''"^ 

Chapter XII 

From Calhoun to Fort Henry 84 

Chapter XIII 

From Fort Henry to Fort Donelson 

Chapter XIV 
The Roar and Smoke of Battle 

Chapter XV 
The Battle of Donelson 1^3 



53 

59 



92 
99 



Chapter XVI 

After the Battle 109 

Chapter XVII 

The Victory 117 

Chapter XVIII 

Home on Sick Furlough 126 

Chapter XIX 

At Home .133 

Chapter XX 

Convalescing 140 

Chapter XXI 

Recovery and Return to Duty 145 

Chapter XXII 

Guerrillas 150 

Chapter XXIII 

With Company "A" 157 

Chapter XXIV 

The Buell Campaign 163 

Chapter XXV 

The Buell Campaign 169 

Chapter XXVI 

The Buell Campaign 174 

Chapter XXVII 

The Underground Railroad 179 

Chapter XXVIII 

Curtis, The White Slave Boy 184 

Chapter XXIX 

Jack, the Slave Boy 204 

Chapter XXX 

The Buell Campaign 214 

Chapter XXXI 

Perryvi lie Battle 220 

Chapter XXXII 

The Buell Campaign 228 

Chapter XXXIII 

Florence 234 

Chapter XXXIV 
The Close of the Buell Campaign 250 



Chapter XXXV 

The Stone River Campaign 257 

Chapter XXXVI 

The Stone River Battle - First Day 263 

Chapter XXXVII 

The Battle -Second Day 270 

Chapter XXXVIII 

Stone River— Third and Last Day 274 

Chapter XXXIX 

After the Battle 279 

Chapter XL 

The Spence Hospital 285 

Chapter XLI 

The Hospital— "George" • • 294 

Chapter XLII 

The Hospital 300 

Chapter XLIII 

Aunt Rose 309 

Chapter XLIV 

The Hospital- Farewell 318 

Chapter XLV 

Starting for Home 326 

Chapter XLVI 

TheGaltHouse 331 

Chapter XLVII 

Home 334 

Chapter XLVIII 

The Reunion 317 

Chapter XLIX 

Anna the Slave Girl 352 

Chapter L 

Memorial Addre&s at Ontario 377 

Chapter LI 
In Memoriam 389 



A TRIBUTE TO THE AUTHOR 



How strange and mysterious are the providences 
of Our Heavenly Father. That the author of this vol- 
ume, at the close of the preparation of the manuscript 
for his book which he so much desired to see printed 
and bound, should be called to leave the unfinished 
work, is one of the intricate problems of life and death, 
which we are unable to solve. How similar however as 
compared with the great mystery surrounding the clos- 
ing scenes of the life of Moses, who after carrying the 
great responsibilities of leadership, and enduring the 
hardships and heartaches incident to the exodus and 
journeys, of the children of Israel, was not permitted 
with them to enter the promised land, but was taken 
onto Mount Pisga and with superilluminated vision per- 
mitted to behold the land flowing with milk and honey. 
And while all following generations have been left to 
wonder why he was not permitted to realize the desire 
of his heart, it has taught them the great lesson of sub- 
mission to Him who knov/s and does best. After all 
how fitting that the obituary of the author should be 
the closing chapter of his book. After passing through 
the dangers of childhood, and in the hours of manhood 
witnessing and enduring suflfering while in the service 
of his country which cannot be described, and still sur- 
viving to reach and pass the eightieth mile stone of life 
and in this volume give to his life long acquaintances 
and friends the opportunity of learning with him many 
of the experiences of a soldier in the ranks, and give 
them an insight into the lives and sufferings of the poor 
slaves in their cruel bondage or flight for liberty, we are 
certain that the reader will say how fitting that the 
Master drew the curtain and closed the earthly scenes 
of this useful life at the proper time, as he did that of 
Moses. Shall we not all take courage and thank God 
who gave His son to die for us, that Jesus Christ has 
said "Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy 



laden and I will give you rest," that to the Christian 
toiler there is rest after labor, and to the Christian sol- 
dier there is victory after conflict. That the readers of 
this volume may live so as to meet the Great Captain of 
our salvation, in peace, and enjoy his favor forever is 
the prayer of the Publisher, 

E. C. Mason. 
Huntington, Ind., July 16th, 1914. 




M. B. BUTLER 
Late 1st Lieut. Co. "A" 44 Reg. 



INTRODUCTION. 



So many books have been written on the war of the 
Rebellion, that at first thought, another on the same 
subject might seem unnecessary and of no interest. Yet 
what is there of the unwritten history of the 
two and three-quarter millions of brave men who 
gave up all for their country and for our country? 
What is there of their dark and anxious hours, 
their secret meditations, their silent tears at the 
midnight watch, and their anxious hearts aching 
for victory, country and home? Perhaps that explains 
why we find a fascination in each new tale of experi- 
ences, in the dull monotony of drill and camp routine, 
of the wear and tear of exhausting marches through 
heat, blinding dust, rain and sleet, and through hail and 
drifting snow, of the dash and dangers of skirmish and 
picket-line and of the roar, shock and smoke of battle. 

We feel that this volume should possess a new in- 
terest from the fact that it is written from the ranks, of 
things one could feel as well as see — and not by higher 
officers on horse, well fed and comfortably bedded, or 
by war correspondents looking through a glass, neither 
of whom could sympathetically appreciate a tithe of the 
trials and hardships of a private soldier's life. 

For more than three years preceding the war, I ac- 
quired the habit of keeping a diary, and from the day I 
enlisted, gave it special care and attention. On reaching 
home the last time it was laid by and hardly referred to 
until one year ago when I began to copy and re-write, 
as I then supposed, for my grand-children. But in do- 
ing this it grew into a larger and more interesting vol- 
ume than I had anticipated.. Since its completion I 
have been urged by so many to offer it to the public, 
that I have finally concluded to do so. 

I cannot very well eliminate my little love story or 
the little girl, from this volume. It would spoil it for 



every old soldier. She must have a place in my book, 
as she later becarae the best part of my life, until death 
separated us. 

I sincerely regret that I could not bring in every 
member of Co. "A" to whom I owe a debt of gratitude 
for their many acts of kindness that will never be for- 
gotten and can never be paid in this world. But to do 
this would fill many volumes, so I have confined myself 
only to these incidents which came under my personal 
observation. 



DEDICATION. 



To the Boys of Company "A" of the 44th Indiana, the 
living and the dead, this book is lovingly dedicated. 
Captain — C. F. Kinney. 
First Lieutenant — E. O. Rose, 
Second Lieutenant — Birge Smith, 
Orderly— M. B. Butler. 



COMPANY 

Arnold, Nicholas 
Aumend, James 
Benedict, John W. 
Barr, Chas. H. 
Bennett, Wm. 
Brooks, Samuel 
Butler, Thos. 
Bates, Caleb J. 
Belcher, Ziba 
Burch, Joseph W. 
Bigler, James 
Burgett, John 
Brooks, Francis 
Beard, Henry W. 

Clink, Chas. 

Culp, Miles T. 

Carlin, Wm. C. 

Carlin, John 

Crow, John T- 

Cleveland, Spencer J. 

Cox, Solomon M. 

Dotts, Jesse 

Dotts, Wm. 

Dotts, Jacob 

Eckhart, John 

Ewing, James B. 

Ewing, Albert H. 

Ewers, Adolphus 



ROLL CALL. 
Field, Henry 
Fegley, John 
Grant, Marion 
Grant, Harrison 
Griffith, Lewis 
Green, Marcina 
Gilbert, John 
Goodrich, David O- 
Hall, Leander 
Hyatt, Thos. C. 
Humelbaugh, Wm. 
Hurlbert, Chas. F. 
Heller, Emanuel 
Hutchins, John R. 
Heller, Daniel 
Hall, John 

Imhoof, John 
Jackman, Joseph 

Kinner, John W. 

Lewis, Newell P. 

Lords, Joseph F. 

Lords, Henry O. 

Lutz, John 

Merriman, James H. 

Milves, Joseph 

Moffett, Thos. R- 

McMinn, Wm. 

Miller, Chas. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 



Munday, Jasper 
Oberst, Christopher 
Parrott, John M. 
Powers, Stephen A. 
Ryan, John Sr. 
Ryan, John Jr. 
Ryan, Stephen 
Ryan, Michael 
Ryan, James 
Rosser, Wm. 
Robins, Benson K. 
Raison, Robert 
Stealy, John 
Stealy, Christopher 
Sage, Alonzo B. 
Swambaw, Frederick 
Snyder, Seymor P. 
Sailor, Allen M. 
Sowle, David 
Showalter, Joshua 
Scoles, Wm. 



Strong, George W. 
Sowers, Nelson A. 
Scovill, Onius D. 
Scoville, Hanibal 
Swain, Richard 
Sines, Simon M. 
Twichell, George W. 
Tiffany, Davis J- 
Tinsley, Samuel 
Throop, Orange 
Thompson, John 
Twichell, Henry 
Ulam, John 
VanAuken, James 
VanCleve, George 
Wright, Wm. W. 
West, Henry 
West, Joshua 
Wilks, Robert 
Yenner, Wm. 



'MY STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR AND THE 
UNDER GROUND RAILROAD. 



Chapter I. 
Ours was a very silent breakfast on the 5th of Sep- 
tember, i86i- At the table on my right was Prentiss, 
my only brother, older than I by three years; next to 
him sat his young wife, and at the head of the table, op- 
posite me, our mothe-, looking pale and worn. She had 
passed a sleepless night for Prentiss had told her, on 
our return from the village, late the evening before, that 
I had enlisted for three years and must leave that morn- 
ing. 

She only pretended to eat, realizing that was my 
last breakfast under the old roof, for a long time and 
perhaps the very last. Once or twice, she tried to speak 
but her voice failed her and as I felt the tears coming 
into my own eyes, I arose from the table and passed 
into the next room. Mother immediately followed and 
after one or two painful efforts, said in broken tones, 
"Prentiss tells me you have enlisted." I could not speak, 
could only answer by a half conscious nod. 

Her head was resting on her hand while her tears 
were falling rapidly. As soon as I could speak I said, 
"O, mother, mother don't, do not greive so. I did not 
know, I did not realize that you would suffer so. In 
my zeal to serve and save our country I had forgotten 
my duty to you. Forgive me, mother. I should have 
told you many weeks ago of my intentions." I could 
say no more, my heart was too full. 

"I have expected it for a long time," she said, "and 
have been looking forward with dread to this hour. O, 
Marion, how can I? How can I give you up, and still I 
know I must. If my own blood and my own life would 
satisfy our country's needs, how willingly would I make 
the sacrifice." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 7 

"Have you thought how much it means to you? 
Have you carefully counted the cost, the dangers, the 
privations, the hardships and sufferings, you must en- 
dure? The giving up of home and friends and all the 
possibilities of the future for perhaps an unknown grave. 
There may be months of suffering from burning fever 
and painful wounds, or in the prison pen, where only 
God can reach to pity, to save and comfort you- Have 
you the moral courage to endure all this for your 
country?" 

I was walking the floor, dashing the tears from my 
eyes, and could only say, "O, mother." But her words 
flowed on like a torrent and she continued, "Marion, 
can you stand erect and face the storm and shock of 
battle? Can you obey orders, when it means to charge 
the enemies' lines and works against storms of balls, 
shells, grape, and canister?" 

"I speak of these things at greater length that you 
may be prepared to do your duty without a murmur or 
complaint." "But, O, Marion, my dear son, it's not on 
account of all this I fear for you." She hesitated, the 
tears started from her eyes and her voice gave way. 

"What is it mother? Speak on. Tell me all. Tell 
me the worst you fear and dread that I may be stronger 
and on my guard." 

"O the vices, the profanity, the gambling. I would 
rather a thousand times you'd fall in battle in the line 
of duty, than to have you return home a victim of vice 
and vicious habits, a drunkard and a gambler. O my 
son, that would kill me, it would kill me." 

I sprang to her side, knelt at her feet, put my arms 
gently around her neck as her head was bowed down 
on her hands, kissed her, and then controlled my voice 
to speak. "Don't mother, don't grieve so. I can't stand 
it. I would rather fight all the Rebels in every battle 



8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

in this Civil War and endure all that you have pictured 
out before me than see you suffer so." 

"Forgive mie," she said, as she raised her face to 
mine. "I will try to be brave and bear it, as you must 
be brave and bear so much." 

With the tears running down my face I said, 
"Mother, I now promise you, not in my strength, but 
by the help of Him whom you so early taught me to 
love, obey and reverence, that no act of mine shall ever 
cause you to blush with shame. You have been a good, 
kind and faithful mother, and since father died you have 
had a double care. To part with you now with the un- 
certainty of ever returning, is the greatest trial and 
hardest battle I shall have to fight. It is not from a 
sudden impulse that I go. Ever since the first gun was 
fired on Fort Sumpter and more especially since the hu- 
miliating defeat of our army at Bull Run, I have felt that 
I must go, and only for your sake have deferred so long. 
I am young, healthy, stout and unmarried. Why should 
I not go? Your father and father's father were both 
through the Revolution. They did all they could to give 
us a good government. Why should I not help to de- 
fend it and save it? Mother, I am proud of the patriotic 
blood that coursed through your veins and father's, 
which was so generously transmitted to us. And now 
I submit to you, — if you were in my place unmarried as 
I am, young and healthy, could you stay at home? 
Wouldn't you go?" 

I was walking the floor. Slowly and tremblingly 
she arose to her feet and throwing her arms around my 
neck said, "Yes, my son, you may go. I know and feel 
that I can trust you." 

"Then, mother, with your permission and blessing I 
will go cheerfully." 

As the conveyance drove up to the door she took 
both my hands in hers and said as she looked me in the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 9 

face, "Yes my son, go and may God bless and keep you ; 
and do not forget that morning, noon and night your 
mother is praying for you." 

I kissed her tenderly and sprang into the wagon 
with my brother, my cousin, Stephens Wright, who 
had enlisted with me the night before, and Lewis, a near 
neighbor's son who had not yet enlisted. With a long 
hilly road before us we could not reach town before 
noon. Prentiss, Stephens, Lewis, and Wright kept up 
quite a brisk conversation mostly concerning the war 
and its probable results- Prentiss made the statement, 
"I firmly believe that we shall save the Union in the end 
but the conflict will be long and severe, and I pray God 
that in this great struggle for supremacy, slavery may 
be destroyed." 

I listened to their conversation for an hour or so 
as we moved slowly along over the rough stony road, 
but could take no part. . My feelings had been too deeply 
stirred during the morning and my heart was too sore. 
Mother's last words were continually ringing in my ears, 
while I was thus thinking to myself, "If I should be- 
come so low, debauched and degraded as some men I 
had seen, I would richly deserve the bitterest contempt 
of every vile cur in the land, for I could have no excuse." 
As I was thus musing, we reached the hotel barn at a 
quarter to eleven, giving us an hour to look around be- 
fore dinner. 

We soon met Captain Crosswait, a veteran of the 
Mexican War, with whom I had a slight acquaintance. 
He greeted me with a hearty hand-shake, I then pre- 
sented to him my young friend who had just left the 
Academy to enlist in our Company. The Captain gave 
him a cordial welcome, and invited us to his office where 
young Lewis put down his name on the roll. 

We all went to the hotel for our dinner, as it was 
not quite ready I stepped up to the desk, took the Bible 



10 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

that mother gave me, from my pocket and with pen and 
ink wrote on the fly leaf her parting words, and signed 
my name in full. 

An hour after dinner the parting from my brother 
and cousin at the barn was a severe trial. The mist 
gathered in my eyes and my voice trembled, while giv- 
ing them the messages to deliver to my friends. My 
brother seeing that I was liable to break down, took me 
by the arm and led me away a few steps out of hearing. 

"Is there anything you wish to say to me in confi- 
dence before we part, or to speak more plainly, have 
you formed any attachment that you would wish me to 
know?" 

"Thank you Prentiss for your kindness and inter- 
est. Yes, a word to you would relieve my mind. You 
remember May? You have seen her often. She is as 
good as she is beautiful. She is very young, not yet sev- 
enteen and will attend the Academy next term. She is 
a warni friend of mine. I claim nothing more- Be kind 
to her, Prentiss. She has no mother and all her sur- 
roundings are not congenial. I shall write her as soon 
as I reach camp." 

"Well," said Prentiss, "I have not been indifferent to 
your partiality to May. She is a noble girl and more of 
a woman at less than seventeen than many women at 
forty. I notice, too, that she is very shy and cautious 
and possesses much more tact and real true beauty, 
grace and dignity than one girl in a hundred." 

"I thank you, Prentiss. You must have looked at 
her through my eyes. I fear several others may have 
the same opinion." 

"Don't worry, Marion. I'm a close observer and 
can assure you, the regard is by no means all on your 
side." 

"Well, Prentiss, if I live to get home and she lives, 
I'll." — I did not finish the sentence. We had reached 
the barn. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMiPANY "A." n 

"Now, boys, good-bye. We have played together 
from childhood and we three have always been brothers 
and never have been separated before. This leaving 
home for what I knew I must meet in the future.— 
tearing one's self away from so many kind friends with 
such warm hearts, requires more nerve than to stand up 
before a battery of Rebel guns. Good-bye boys, drive 
on- I can't stand it any longer." They soon were out 
of my sight. 



GOING TO CAMP. 



Chapter II. 

After the boys left us Lewis and I felt quite alone 
and wandered around town dropping into the groceries, 
shops and stores and in nearly every one we found a few 
volunteers who seemed to be inclined to knot together 
in twos and threes. All very reticent. There was no 
hilarity, no boistrous conversation. In fact I was much 
surprised at the quiet character of each little group and 
then I said to myself, "Perhaps the boys may feel much 
as I do : maybe they are thinking of the pleasant homes 
they have left, of the many warm friends they may never 
meet again, of the future possibilities, long cherished, 
but now annihilated, of father's last farewell, mother's 
last message and embrace and sisters' tears and sobs, 
as the doors closed.". O, there was enough to think 
about, and I, myself, thought how I wanted to be all 
alone where I could commune with myself and my God, 
where I might, unobserved, indulge in a few tears, just 
to ease that little ache in my heart. I loved my home 
and friends as my life, and to part from them thus, was 
a hard and cruel necessity. Duty and love of country, 
were the only incentive. The adventure and thirteen 
dollars per month promised, could not be considered, 
as against the sacrifice. 

We spent an hour or so witnessing a drill on the 
east side of the public square by the Captain and an e.K- 
Mexican soldier, and then a long time watching the 
farmers pour into town from all directions until the sun 
dropped behind the hills. At eight P. M. our recruits 
numbered about forty. At nine we went to the hotel 
where the boys were gathered and were then fixing their 
blankets on the floors for their first bivouac. Thus end- 
ed my first day as a soldier, the longest and most excit- 
ing I ever w^itnessed. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A" 13 

Going out after breakfast we found the town filling 
up with teams and people from the country. Twenty 
more recruits came in early, making in all, about sixty- 
Some ten good teams and wagons lined up along the 
Main street, one being loaded with provisions. 

The public square and main streets were full of peo- 
ple, who were there to bid their sons, husbands and 
friends farewell. For thirty or forty minutes the scene 
was truly heart rending, exceeding anything I ever wit- 
nessed. Parents parting with their boys, young wives 
with their husbands, sisters giving the parting kiss, in 
tears, and somebody's sister parting with somebody's 
brother and if his arm did steal gently around her neck 
or waist no one made remarks. All were sad and every 
heart was full of sorrow. 

IVTbre pathetic than all, was a mother of fine and 
cultured appearance, parting with her son, the last and 
youngest of three. Her husband and two eldest had en- 
listed in the same company and regiment. The father 
was killed in his first battle, one son escaped and the 
other was captured. And now, God pity her, she was 
giving her youngest, and all she had, to her country. 
Who on earth could give more? 

Only a few steps from her, was a young wife, part- 
ing from her husband, a fine manly fellow about twenty- 
three or four years of age. Close by were two lovely 
girls parting with their betrothed. I think I never saw 
more anguish, real deep heartbreaking agony than was 
manifested by these two girls. Their sobs at parting 
melted my heart and a flood of tears paid tribute to their 
sorrow. "O, I can't stand it any longer," I thought to 
myself, turned around, walked to the wagons, climbed 
into the one designated, and took my seat by the side of 
Lewis. 

My heart and head were full and while I was think- 
ing over what I had witnessed the last thirty minutes. 



14 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

one of the boys called my name and asked, "Where are 
you at and where are you going?" Before I could gath- 
er my senses sufficiently to answer, the teams started 
and we bade farewell to Angola. 

In looking around I found our load consisted of 
eight, including the driver, two strangers in the back 
seat, Al and Jim in the next, Lewis and I in the third 
from the rear and "Jap" on the high seat with the driver. 
Al and Jim were brothers, both fresh from school. Both 
seemed cultured and refined in their appearance and 
when I learned thair names I knew I had seen their 
father often. He was quite well known over the county 
as an ardent union man, and radically opposed to slav- 
ery and the saloon- Of course, he had some enemies. 
When our train reached the crossing east of the little 
village of Pleasant Lake, we found a large gathering of 
mien, women and children, who were there to greet us, 
and another load of provision which dropped into line 
and moved along with us. 

Al, Jim, Lewis and I formed a group by ourselves 
and soon were engaged in discussing the war and its 
different phases. 

Lewis asked the questions, "Do you think, boys, 
that the agitation of slavery by the north, brought on 
the war, or in other words, are the Abolition Agitators 
responsible?" 

"Not in the least," said Al. "The agitation of the 
slavery question has mostly been induced by the south 
asking and demanding more and more, each session of 
Congress. The interest of the two systems, free and 
slave labor, are directly opposite. You remember Lin- 
coln's words, 'A house divided cannot stand. A govern- 
ment cannot exist half slave and half free.' " 

"No," said Jim, "the war was inevitable, it had to 
come. Southern supremacy and the arrogant rule of the 
slave power could not be suffered by the Almighty any 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 15 

longer. The hypocrisy of this nation in claiming to be 
a free government, while holding four million souls in 
chains, was an insult to heaven and a menace to our 
Christian civilization." 

"Is it not a fact," said Lewis, "that the southern 
states could not longer compete with the push, energy 
and intelligence of the free states, and when they lost 
Kansas and Nebraska, slavery was doomed, unless they 
can win in this contest, and succeed in founding a slave 
holder's empire?" 

A voice from the back seat, "Don't you believe, 
beys, the nigger is the cause of the war?" 

"Whew," said Jim, "Did the negroes fire on Fort 
Sumpter on the 12th of last April? Did the slaves call 
conventions and pass ordinances of secession? Did they 
loot cur national treasury, plunder our arsenals and at- 
tempt to assassinate President Lincoln on his way to 
Washington?" 

"Well," responded the voice, "A good many Aboli- 
tionists went down south and stole their niggers and ran 
them to Canada." 

"Is it not a fact," said Jim, "that since the passage 
of the Fugitive Slave Law, more free negroes have been 
stolen and sold into slavery than have actually been stol- 
en and made free? My dear Sir, please read an article 
entitled the 'Era of Slave-Hunting,' by Horace Greely, 
in which he shows plainly that there were very many 
men both north and south who made it their special busi- 
ness to capture free negro citizens, men, women and 
children, and rush them into slavery? 

"The Kentucky Yeoman, a Democratic pro-slavery 
organ, said not more than two years ago, that 'the work 
of arresting fugitives had become a regular business 
along the border line between the slave and free states 
and many of those engaged in this business were not at 
all particular as to the previous condition of those ar- 
rested- 



i6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Well," said the voice, "I'm not going to fight for 
the nigger. Father says, and he swears by Jefferson, 
that when this gets to be a nigger war, I had better come 
home. He thinks the north ought to, and will, rise up 
and stop it." 

Lewis, quite indignant at this remark said. "You. 
sir, ought not to have enlisted in the Union Army ; your 
place is farther south. You'll get this kind of stuff shot 
out of you in less than three months." 

"This is a war," said Al, "to save the Union and to 
save those who are trying to destroy it. Not waged by 
the government for conquest, is not a war to liberate 
the slaves, but those of us who live through it, will find 
that it may be absolutely necessary to abolish slavery 
in order to save our government-" 

"Well," said Jim, "I have not a single doubt as to 
the final result. I have faith in God and that notwith- 
standing our unrighteousness He will have mercy and 
save us, not with, but from our great national sin. He 
will not side with the oppressor." We heard no more 
from our friend in the back seat. He and his partner 
had found a pack of cards and were entertaining them- 
selves, occasionally using large adjectives to give em- 
phasis. 

We were now well along in the next county with 
hard clay level roads and moved forward rapidly. .The 
day was pleasant, the sun not too warm to be uncomfort- 
able and the boys generally enjoying themselves; son^e 
singing John Brown, the Star Spangled Banner and Red 
White and Blue, while others were talking and laughing 
at some ones' funny story. .On reaching Waterloo our 
train halted on the main street for a few minutes, while 
a large crowd of men, women and children greeted us 
with warm hearted cheers. 

Only a short stop here and our wagons moved on to 
Auburn, the county seat, where our teams were cared 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 17 

for and we were most cordially received by the patriotic 
citizens, who escorted us to seats under a large bowery. 
The chairman called the meeting to order, made a few 
remarks and then introduced Rev. Ward, a fine appear- 
ing man with dark brown hair, full medium height and 
size, fascinating eyes and good, clear, soft voice that not 
only charmed but held his audience spell bound for thir- 
ty minutes. I had heard many welcome addresses, but 
few that excelled this. It came from the heart and reach- 
ed the heart of all those who heard it. 

He paid a very high tribute to Abraham Lincoln 
and his type of patriotism as compared with the infa- 
m.cus treasonable sectionalism of John C. Calhoun and 
his successors. He explained the cause of the war as he 
}ielieved every soldier should understand, why he was 
called upon to defend his country. He spoke of the so- 
called right to secede and claimed that no such right 
ever did or can exist. 

"Is one state greater than all the other states? Is 
a part of a government greater than the whole?" he 
asked. "If one or more states can lawfully secede, then 
counties may secede from states and townships from 
counties and our government will be bound only by a 
rope of sand-" 

In closing, he turned to the boys and addressed 
them in melting tones of love that warmed their hearts 
and brought tears from their eyes. 

I wish I could reproduce the last half of the address 
and photograph the faces that responded to the senti- 
ments expressed. 

As soon as he closed the boys crowded around and 
shook him by the hand showing their appreciation of 
his rem?.rks. 

We were then conducted to two large tables, load- 
ed with everything good and substantial, and all being 
hungry, ate heartily and were filled. After rising, the 



i8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Captain proposed three cheers for the loyal ladies of the 
village, which was responded to with a will and three 
more rousing cheers for the citizens. 

As we climbed into the wagon, Jim said he didn't 
know which was better, the dinner or the address. 

Lewis thought he could have lived through to camp 
without the address, but would have collapsed without 
the dinner. 

"The spirits of the boys seemed to be softened down 
by the address and dinner," said Al, after an hour on the 
road. "Their minds have turned into a purer channel." 
And so it was. We heard very little profanity, and no 
cards, so far as we could see, had yet been introduced. 
The conversation became general, and the kindliest feel- 
ing prevailed. 

We were all very ignorant of military organiza- 
tion and tactics. We knew nothing of platoons, squads, 
companies, regiments, battallions, brigades etc. We 
knew as little of the duties of company officers, especi- 
ally Lieutenants and Non-commissioned officers. 

Many questions were asked, but few were answered, 
fcr all alike were ignorant. Tif thought he would 
rather be a Sergeant than anything else. 

Jim asked, "What is a Sergeant's duties?" 

"Well," said Tif, "their duty is to assist the surgeons 
during battle in caring for the wounded." 

"How many sergeants in a company?" asked Lewis. 
Some one answered "nine." 

"How many companies in a regiment?" was asked. 

Another answered "ten." 

"Thunder," said Jim, "If it takes ninety sergeants 
to hold the wounded while two surgeons chop off their 
legs and arms during a battle, we must look a little out 
to provide wooden pegs to walk home on." 

And this let us down where we indulged in a hearty 
laugh. This was really the first hearty laugh I had in- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 19 

dulged in since leaving home, which seemed many days 
ago. 

From this on the conversation was lively and cheer- 
ful, all taking a part which shortened up the distance 
fully one-half. 

"Here is Spy Run," I said, "which has borne that 
name since August 20th, 1794.. Near here, on this creek 
below, the Indians were severely chastised by Gen. 
Wayne on that date. I have made this crossing several 
times and am glad to say that we are near our journey's 
end." 

And cuite soon after passing ever a ridge, the city 
was plainly visible, then the wide open common on the 
north, the river and bridge — a turn to the left — a turn to 
the right — then across the old canal, then one turn to the 
right again and we stopped our procession in front of an 
old warehouse where we all got out, glad to be on the 
ground and straighten out our limbs. Rough board ta- 
bles were soon provided, running the whole length of the 
building, on which our cooked provisions, brought with 
us, were soon loaded. We made coffee enough for sev- 
enty hungry men and when this was ready we helped 
ourselves to anything we liked, roast chicken, boiled 
beef, biscuit and butter, pie. cake and all kinds of sauce 
and jellies. It was a real picnic supper. We reached 
our quarters about sundown and when supper was over 
and our things packed away it was time to arrange our 
beds for the night. So much had been crowded into the 
last two days, that they seemed the longest I ever had 
experienced- I find that days are frequently measured 
by events as well as hours and minutes. 



MAY. 

Chapter III. 

To treat the subject of this chapter fairly, we must 
go back a few winters when the school master boarded 
around and taught from forty to sixty scholars for six- 
teen or eighteen dollars per month. 

My school that winter was six miles from home, if 
I went direct, but if I went by the way of May Gordon's 
home, it was seven. 

The Gordons, quite early, located some two miles 
from us, which made them quite near neighbors. There 
were three little girls in the family, Marg, May and 
Floss. In three or four years from their arrival the 
mother's health failed and after a long illness, she passed 
away. 

As soon as I thought it would be proper I called on 
the little girls for a play and visit, as had been my habit 
for a long time, having always received a warm welcome 
from the mother and children. 

I found them, on this occasion, clustered together 
in the little play house I had helped them build, all feel- 
ing very sad. May was sobbing while the others were 
trying to comfort her. 

I picked her up in my arms as I had done a hundred 
times before and carried her out to see the birds and 
gather some wild flowers, but every minute or two she 
v^rould sob and the tears start from her eyes. 

"Dcn't grieve so, my little girl, will you tell me your 
trouble?" 

"My mother said, before she went away, that she'd 
com.e for me some day, if I'd be a good girl. I've tried 
so hard to be good and she hasn't come yet and I am 
so lonesome and tired waiting." 

"But May, would you go away and leave me? Do 
you know that I would grieve for you just as you are 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 21 

now grieving for your mother, and feel just so very, very 
lonesome? I couldn't live if you'd go away." 

"Why Marion, do you love me so much?" 

"Yes, May, better than all the little girls and boys 
in this great big world of ours." 

"O, I am so glad of that ; now I'll not cry any more. 
I didn't know that anybody loved me but mother, no one 
has told me so but you. Mother always kissed me when 
she said she loved me and then I knew it-" 

"There, Marion, I'm glad you did that! now I know 
it, but I guess you had better not any mere, it might not 
be proper for you. I know you love me now, and I'll 
try and be so good and happy." As I started to go home 
May clung to my neck 'til I promised I'd com.e back the 
next day. And I -continued my visits as often as I could 
for a year or so until the father married a widow with 
one child, a daughter about May's age ; then he soon sold 
his place and bought a larger one out of our neighbor- 
hood. 

I had seen but little of the family since they left, 
'till I commenced my school; then I would walk an ex- 
tra mile to call on the girls, visit a few hours and pass on. 

May, from a child, was really my favorite; she was 
so cheerful, gentle and kind, and moved around the house 
with so much ease and dignity, that I could not help 
watching her to the amusement of her sisters. 

One Sunday at the latter part of my term, when the 
days had gotten longer and warmer, I started earlier 
from home and called at Mr. Gordon's home. May was 
not in and no one knew where she'd gone. 

Then I thought I'd cut across the woods and fields 
and save some travel. As I reached the edge of the 
wood, there within a step was May, leaning her head 
against a tree robbing 'till her whole body rhook. Her 
grief was so intense that she did not hear me 'till I spo'KC 
her name. 



22 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"May, what is the matter with my little girl? Are 
you in trouble? Can't I help you, Miay? Won't you tell 
me?" She raised her face and smiling through her tears, 
said: 

"O, you can't help me, Marion; I wish you could." 

"Tell me, May, and I will try." 

"You remember," she said, "you got father's con- 
sent for me to go to the Academy next term. He has 
recently changed his mind and a half hour ago told me 
that I couldn't go." 

"Do you know why, May?" 

"Yes, I think I do, but if you will excuse me, Marion, 
I would rather not tell. O, I was so disappointed, that 
I came out here where all alone I could cry away my dis- 
appointment- But I am glad you came, it has made me 
feel better to tell you. You were so kind to intercede 
for me." 

"Now, my little girl, dry your eyes. I will see your 
father. I will go to the house around on the north side 
of the arbor and you take the path down by the spring, 
wash the tear stains off and you'll see that this school 
business will be settled all right. 

I had to go quite a distance to get around a brush 
fence, and met Mr. Gordon close by the arbor. We 
shook hands and sat down. I commenced quite ab- 
ruptly. 

"How about May, Mr. Gordon? I suppose you will 
send her to the Academy as you intended?" He looked 
at me and smiled. 

"Aren't you taking quite an interest in my little girl, 
for a young fellow?" 

I saw he was not offended and I knew his weak 
points and intended to storm them first. 

"Yes, Mr. Gordon, I am, but not in the sense that 
some might infer from your words. I do feel a deep 
interest in May and all young peoole and when I find 
one possessing the very rare natural ability and possibil- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 23 

ities of May, I cannot help but feel that it is just criminal 
for a parent to neglect to give the opportunity when they 
are as able as you are." 

"I know I did promise you, but she is so useful at 
home that my wife can't spare her." 

"Fxire a girl, then, and give your own child an equal 
chance with her step-sister." 

"No hired girl can fill her place-" 

"Then hire two," I said. 

"You speak plainly." 

"I know that, Mr. Gordon, but I must speak and 
speak plainly. It's for your good and some day you will 
thank me for it, I know you wish to stand well with 
your neighbors. Every one does, and they are begin- 
ning to notice how you discriminate. Last Saturday at 
the sale I heard Davis telling a crowd of twenty or more 
how you are making a cultivated lady of one member of 
your family and a drudge of May. I took the matter up 
for you and told Davis his talk was all 'suds.' That 
you sent Marg three terms and that May will commence 
next term and go not less than three terms, and more if 
she wishes. That shut off his wind and the 'blow gun' 
left." 

"Well, well," said Gordon, "I'm glad you told him 
that. I'll show him myself and shut off his wind, too, if 
I have to use my fist and hire a dozen girls." 

"Then May shall go, you mean?" 

"Yes, Sir, I promise you that May shall go next 
term." 

"All right, Gordon; now one more word before I 
go." I hesitated a little. 

"Speak on; don't be afraid." 

"I just want to tell you, that you have a jewel in 
your house and don't know how rich it is-" 

"Why, what do you mean, May?" 

"Yes, I mean May. If you will give her the oppor- 
tunity you are able to do she will grow into such a wo- 



24 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

man as every one will love and honor. You will be 
proud of her and I shall be proud, too, that I had the 
honor of playing with her when she was a child and little 
girl." 

I started to go. 

"Won't you stay to dinner?" he asked. 

"No, thank you, not today; perhaps next time." 

"Call any time. Always welcome." 

As I reached the gate I saw May come out of the 
arbor. My! My! I didn't know she was there. She 
must have heard every word. She may think I put it 
on pretty thick, but I didn't; but thought I — she'll be 
happy, though. Child as she seems, she sometimes 
makes my heart thump. 

After another week in school, I went home Friday 
evening. Sunday after an early dinner I started back 
to my district. This being my last week, I must call at 
Mr- Gordon's. 

May was in the garden wearing a neat dainty white 
straw hat with her rich brown, glossy hair in a large 
braid hanging down below her waist. She saw me be- 
fore I did her and with the freedom of a child ran to the 
gate to meet me and held out both hands, which I took 
in both of mine just as I always had done. 

"O, Mister." 

"Stop," I said, "you rogue, don't you ever call me 
Mister again. Just call me what you did when you were 
a little tot and I a great big, awkward boy, when we 
played in the barn and orchard, you made me carry you 
on my neck, called me your horse and tried to make me 
drink out of the pig trough." 

Then she gave a ringing laugh and said, in a shy 
low tone : 

"You never seemed awkward to me, Marion." 

"Now, what is it, my little girl, since you have dis- 
covered my name?" 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 25 

"I was so afraid you wouldn't come, I wanted so 
much to thank you for what you did for me. Father 
seems kinder. He says I may go three terms anyway 
and as many more as possible. I'm so glad and happy, 
and I owe it all to you. I guess it's always you, Marion." 

"Stop, you little flatterer, before I box your ears." 

"Well, it's all true," and she gave me a look with 
those dark blue eyes that was worth more than a king's 
crown. 

"Come, Marion, let's go in." 

I did so and found both her sisters in the parlor- 
"Now, girls," I said, "my school will be out next Satur- 
day; I give you a cordial invitation. Will you com.e?" 

"I'm sorry, said Marg, "that it's so soon. Floss and 
I have enjoyed your calls so much." And she gave a 
sly glance at May. 

"Yes," said Floss, a miss of twelve, "Marg and I will 
miss your visits. It will be very lonesome here now Sun- 
day afternoon." 

We passed a very pleasant two hours and as I bade 
them good-bye May followed me down the walk to the 
gate v^'hen she said, in her shy low tone : 

"Marion, I'll not be here to see you again for I go 
en Tuesday and now I wish I could make you listen to 
me while I try to tell you how thankful I am for what 
you have done for me." 

"O, May, don't mention it. Don't I know that it has 
been more pleasure to me than to you, and 'twould be 
selfish for me to accept thanks when really I'm the one 
that gets the most enjoyment out of it." 

"O, but I owe you so much. I can never forget at 
what risk you saved my life when I was a child and al- 
most lost your own." 

"Now, May, please don't. I'm as glad as you are, 
that your future looks brighter. What I did for you long 
ago, any one could have done. It just happened that I 
v^'as close by." 



26 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Yes, but there were a dozen older than you, closer 
by and they were too frightened to move. There are 
some things, Marion, that I can't forget and don't you 
ever forget that I shall always remember them." 

"I'll never forget my little girl and if at any time 1 
can help you, will you let me know. May?" 

"I surely will. Good-bye, Marion-" 

She flew into the house and I did not see her again 
for more than eighteen months. 



IN CAMP. 

Chapter IV. 

We were quite a jolly family in the old war-house. 
The Captain with two or three others started for home 
early the next morning, to raise more men to fill out the 
company and before leaving, issued his first order, put- 
ting the camp under military discipline, drill hours were 
ordered and guards detailed to inclose the camp while 
none were to leave without a pass. But the duties were 
not heavy, a light guard, two hours on and eight off, and 
a small detail to police the grounds was stationed. There 
was much leisure to read the dailies, discuss the war 
news and tell stories. 

A recruit from Williams County, Ohio, by the name 
of Knox, who claimed to have had some experience, as- 
sumed the duty of drill master. He was a man of fine 
personal appearance, dressed well and was sufficiently 
vain to enjoy the distinction. 

In the afternoon a few of us procured passes and 
visited Camp Allen, occupied by the 30th Indiana Regi- 
ment, now almost full. 

We watched them for nearly an hour drilling by 
companies, then all the com.panies were formed in bat- 
talion and for a half hour this drill was intensely inter- 
esting. Then the battalion moved across the open plain 
by the front in a symmetrical line, as if all were inspired 
by the same motive and came to a halt in perfect order 
for dress parade ; it was a rich treat, and marvelous to us. 

Camp Allen lay west of the city, in a large bend in 
the river, nearly inclosing four or five acres of ground. 
The drill and parade ground was on the north, an open 
common, very smooth and level. There was one row of 
barracks on the west side of the camp ground close to 
the river, fronting the east, and one row attached to the 
north end of this, running to the east, fronting south. 



28 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Each barrack, I judge, was about twelve by twelve 
feet, built of inch lumber with board roof and floor and 
each was provided with box bunks, filled with straw. 

Then came the Sabbath the first in camp and the 
third day from home and farm. "How long the days are, 
I thought, how old will I be when my term of service 
expires, should I live through, if every day should be as 
long as the three last seemed. I wonder if I am missed 
at home. I wonder if they would know me now." 

I spent nearly the whole day in writing letters, long 
cheerful ones, and perhaps an hour or so reading the war 
news. About ten A. M. Knox took about thirty of the 
boys to the College grounds and gave them an hour's 
drill. At five P. M. religious services were held by Rev. 
Mof^itt, an enlisted man from Angola, at nine, taps and 
lights out. 

The next day, Monday, I got my first daily which 
said "Confederates defeated at Brownville, Va., Gen. 
Polk occupies Columbus, Ky. A detachment of Rebel 
forces attempting to cross the Potomac, repulsed with 
heavy loss." Well, I hope all would be accomplished 
before we reached the front, I distinctly remember ever, 
hearing mother say when I was a little fellow that I vv^as 
the most unselfish boy she ever saw. 

Knox and a Captain in the 30th had been working 
with our boys to get ihem to enlist in his company, tell- 
ing them that our regiment could not be filled before 
spring. Knox claimed he was offered a commission if 
he would enlist in our company, but from recent develop- 
ments realized he had no chance. 

He was offered a Lieutenancy in the 30th Regiment 
if he would furnish thirty men from our company On 
learning this about fifteen of us boys got together and 
quietly elected a comimittee of five to draw up a protest, 
which by signing, each one agreed to remain with us. 

To draw up the paper, our scribe went off by him- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 29 

self, when nearly through, on turning around was face 
to face with Mr. Knox. 

"Excuse me," said he, "you handle a pen nicely and 
write a beautiful hand. From the size of your man- 
uscript I infer you are writing up the Civil War." "Do 
you know," said he, "that very many who can write well 
a few words or lines, can't make as nice a page as you 
do, so plain and as easy to read as print." 

"I thank you, Mr. Knox, for the compliment," said 
our scribe, "and will excuse you at once as I wish to fin- 
ish my work without further interruption." 

"Just one word," said he in a very pleasant and al- 
most irresistible manner, "When can your committee 
meet me at my room?" 

"Any time, Sir," said the scribe, "but not today." 
Say at two P. M. I'll send you word." 
"All right, Mr. Knox. Good day." 
The balance of the committee were seated behind 
a pile of lumber and heard the conversation and as soon 
as the Drill Master was out of hearing, they all had a 
hearty laugh. 

"Well," said one, "that fellow has plenty of cheek, 
and if as persistent in everything else, ought to make a 
good soldier." 

"Yes," said Al, "he might, if he had as much brains 
as cheek-" 

By working very quietly, nearly all the boys were 
induced to sign our protest, and as the days passed by 
none of them left us to join the 30th Indiana. 

The next morning early we left the old ware-room 
for Camp Allen where we went into the barracks assign- 
ed to us, and soon after getting our quarters nicely po- 
liced the Captain came riding into camp on his spirited 
black horse. 

After a cordial greeting he ordered us to form and 
follow him. He led us by the shortest route to the com- 
mon on the north side of the city, where we found forty 



30 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

recruits, enough to fill up our company. They then 
formed with us and we marched back to Camp through 
the business part of the city with a full martial band and 
our company flag unfurled. 

As soon as practical our committee called on the 
Captain at .his quarters and handed him our package 
marked "Private," which he opened soon after we left 
and it was well for Mr. Knox that he was absent. The 
Captain had a furious temper and when excited was like 
a small tornado. The next day he sent for Knox and 
after giving him a good lecture, ordered him to enlist in 
another regiment. The advice was taken and the next 
we heard from him he had enlisted in a company from 
his own state. 

The Captain had been recommended for Lieutenant 
Colonel of our Regiment and we had received orders to 
hold an election for company officers. Captain, First and 
Second Lieutenants, and Orderly Sergeant. From al- 
most the first day in Camp, I had been acting as orderly, 
had called the roll, drawn and divided the rations, made 
all the details and company reports. 

For several days the boys had been anticipating an 
election and had freely discussed the persons whose 
names seem.ed to be the most prominent as candidates. 

Several of the boys called on me early in the morn- 
ing and urged me to be a candidate for Second Lieuten- 
ant. I refused on the grounds that Birge expected the 
nomination, and that I knew nothing of the duties and 
really did not feel competent. 

"It dcn't matter to us, how or what you feel." they 
said, "we want your consent to accept and we'll look 
after the rest." 

"Well now, boys, it really won't do," I said. "You . 
know who has set his heart on this place from the time 
of his enlistment and he will be sorely disappointed and 
feel hurt if he doesn't get it- I enlisted to serve in the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 31 

ranks and have never had any ambition beyond being a 
private soldier in this war for the Union." 

"We can't help what he expects," said they, "we 
were not consulted and now have a right to choose." 

"Well, boys, I thank you sincerely, and will think 
the matter ever and let you know at one o'clock." 

Hardly had the boys gone when a message came 
from Eirge to call and see him. As I entered his barrack 
I found him quite sick. His face was flushed with fever 
and the hand he extended was hot. 

"Did you wish to see me?" I asked. 

"Yes, I have heard that you are a candidate for Sec- 
ond Lieutenant." 

"I am not. The boys had just gone from me when 
your message came. They did urge me to consent. At 
first I refused and finally told them I would let them 
know at one o'clock." 

"O," said Birge, the tears starting from his eyes, "if 
you will refuse to accept and do what you can lor me I 
will remember you with gratitude. I want the position, 
have expected it, was promised it and my health is such 
that I can't stand the service in the ranks. In fact with 
my health, I should not have enlisted to serve as a 
private." 

"Well, Birge, let me say in all kindness that I think 
you ought not to have enlisted at all. Your health hard- 
ly warrants you in going into the ranks or accepting a 
Lieutenancy. You cannot fill either place in justice to 
yourself or <^our country- And I don't think any one had 
any right to promise you or me an office in this com- 
pany. Ihe boys should have the right to choose their 
own officers. But, Birge, I don't think tha* your only 
motive was a commission and the higher wages that in- 
spired you to enlist. I would despise any man whose 
heart did not burn with patriotic emotions at such a time 
as this." 



32 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"O, do not misunderstand me. I wanted to go, my 
heart aches to serve my country, my father and two 
brothers are at the front now and I would rather die for 
my country, if that would help save it, than to live and 
see it destroyed. I thought," he continued, "that I might 
serve as Second Lieutenant and survive. If I were only 
healthy and strong like you, I would be willing, yea glad, 
to serve in the ranks and equally proud of the honor." 

"Now, Birge, let me put your heart at rest. I en- 
listed to serve as a private, anywhere, and to do any- 
thing and everything possible that my country shall de- 
mand, and bless your heart, Birge, I will not accept the 
place you covet so much." 

With tears in his eyes, he bade m.e good-bye. I re- 
turned to my quarters, feeling better for the sacrifice, 
and when the boys appeared for my answer, I soon con- 
vinced them that I would not feel justified in accepting 
their kind offer. 

The three men that enlisted, expecting commissions, 
were not disappointed. All were elected, and the boys 
gave me ninety-seven of the one hundred votes, for or- 
derly. From this time commenced my duties as Orderly 
Sergeant in earnest. 




M. B. BUTLER 
1st Orderly of Co. "A' 



IN CAMP. 

Chapter V. 

To give, in full, the necessary qualification and du- 
ties of an orderly sergeant would take more time and 
space than I can spare. His fitness depends much on 
his natural disposition and power of self-control. To 
succeed well he must be well stocked with good common 
sense and be able at all times and under all circum- 
stances to govern himself, and if able to do this, he will 
gain and hold the confidence and respect of every man 
in the company. His language must be pure and his 
heart and hands clean. 

In short, he must be a gentleman, and if a consist- 
ent Christian he always will be a gentleman, and this 
will add wonderfully to his usefulness and qualifications. 

He must always be kind but not inconsistently in- 
dulgent, always dignified but not arrogant. 

He has a hundred men to study and a hundred men 
to serve, all his equals, and many of them may be his 
superiors, intellectually. 

His office, so important to the company, must not 
m,ake him feel his superiority The position is given 
him by the boys and he owes it to them, to be faithful, 
kind, patient, and cheerful. He must be willing to share 
equally with them in their hardships and privations and 
when necessary be the first to encounter danger. 

He must have their respect, love and sympathy or 
his place will be a hard one; altogether the orderly has 
more to do than all the other officers in the company, 
and unless very careful and prudent, he will be blamed 
the most. But he is nearest the boys if fitted for this 
place and patient and discreet he can do more for them, 
than any other officer and all the boys will stand by 
him to the very last, even unto death. 

At reveille, no matter at what hour, he must call 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 35 

the roll. He must report all sick in quarters and all un- 
fit for duty, to the surgeon. Make his morning report 
to the adjutant, detail camp guards, and make all furth- 
er details as called for by the adjutant. Drawing and 
dividing rations is the most difficult of all his duties. 
I usually took three men with me to the quarter 
master's, to draw rations for every man, reported pres- 
ent in camp, for that day. We had ten messes. No. 
one, seven men; No. two, twelve; No. three, seven; No. 
four, thirteen; No. five, twelve; No. six, ten; No. seven, 
eight; No. nine, eleven; and No- ten, ten. The orderly 
is provided with a tin cup and butcher knife and with 
these two articles must divide all the rations equally 
per capita to each mess, etc. To No. one, seven one- 
hundredths, to No. two, twelve one-hundredths, and so 
on. It was very easy to understand, but not very easy 
to execute. 

We drew beef at this time, bony meat, flanky meat, 
good roasts, poor roasts, round steak and shoulder steak. 
Now we had to cut and divide equally to each mess so 
that each man would have his full share of each kind of 
meat. We couldn't weigh, we guessed. With bacon 
and salt pork it was less difficult. 

Sugar, rice, coffee and beans, we measured in a tin 
cup qnd then guessed. Crackers, hardtack, we counted, 
and potatoes, when we got them, we divided by guess. 
At drill, the orderly must get out the company, call 
the roll, be able to account for every man absent, then 
take his place at the head of the company. 

The boys were getting quite proficient in squad drill 
but as yet had had but little experience in company drill. 
The captain and first lieutenant had been trying for a 
few days to move the company forward by the front but 
in going a few steps we warped out of line and soon got 
as crooked as a worm fence. But now they had con- 
ceived a new plan to hold the boys in line and were 
quite confident it would work. They asked me what I 



36 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

thought of the plan. "Good," I said, "of course, it will 
work, can't help it." "Tomorrow morning said. Captain, 
I will go dovC'n town and buy a quarter inch rope long 
enough to reach from one extreme of the company to 
the other, place each end in the hand of the file leaders 
and then keep them up to the line and I knew it will 
work-" 

"Yes, it will work," said our first lieutenant, "I 
wonder we didn't think of that before." 

"Of course, it will work, said I, "and just think how 
sensible and simple it is. It will make it so easy for 
you and the boys, too, and will obviate all necessity of 
swearing and that's worth more than the rope." 

"I have been so disgusted," said the captain, "with 
the company drill, that I often wish I were back on the 
old farm. The other day when you and I were having 
so much trouble trying to make the boys move by the 
front and just when they got into the mixup, that cap- 
tain of Co. H of the 30th stood over on the left, leaning 
against a tree, laughing to split." 

"Well," said Lieutenant, "it is laughable, I could 
hardly help it." 

"Not for me," said the captain, "I felt like swear- 
mg. 

"I believe our boys must be dumb," said the lieu- 
tenant. . "I know I understand the drill as well or better 
than Captain Jones of the 30th, and still without any ap- 
parent effort, his company moves off like a machine- 
Yesterday I watched his company, stood where the cap- 
tain couldn't see me and I was surprised. He moved 
his company rapidly by the flank, then without a halt 
gave the order, 'Left face, by the front, march,' and they 
moved full twenty rods in a perfect line, then the com- 
mand 'Left wheel,' then the command "About face Right 
wheel' and each time they went around like a gate, and 
it's strange," continued the lieutenant, "that captain is 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 37 

only an ordinary fellow and very illiterate, I confess, I 
don't understand why we have such luck." 

"Well" said the captain, "if he is illiterate, his boys 
are sharp enough to make it up." 

"You are too easy, Captain, use more authority, 
make them, obey orders." 

"Or in other words," said Captain, "swear a little 
harder." 

"O, No no. You're more awkward at that than the 
boys are in the drill, they say you need more practice." 

I was a member of the commissioned officers' mess, 
which gave me special opportunities and I learned some- 
thing new every day. The idea of using a rope to keep 
the boys in line, would never have got through my thick 
head, I couldn't see why it wouldn't work, but I hoped 
they would be careful and not let anybody see them. I 
went to bed thinking about the rope and the drill and 
dreamed that it was a grand success and brought forth 
astonishing results, and my dreams hardly ever failed. 

As early as possible I formed the company and 
took them to the north and west side of the field into an 
L covered by a dense hedge, brought the company to a 
front and turned them over to the captain, who pulled 
the rope out of his pocket, tied a knot in one end and 
handed it to me, walked down the line, dressed up the 
company, ordered them to stand with elbows at touch, 
drew on the rope, tied another knot and handed it to 
the file leader on the left- 

"Now, boys," said the captain, "there is no reason 
why you can't move in line by the front. The file lead- 
ers must keep their eyes on some object straight ahead 
of them and be sure to guide neither to the right nor 
left." Some of the boys smiled, and I thought I heard 
Wright laugh. 

"Attention, company," commanded the captain, 
"Left, left, left, be ready at the word, left. Left, by the 
front, forward march." And we started, but not all to- 



38 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

gether. The line expanded, making the rope too short. 
pulHng the file leaders around in front. The boys see- 
ing the trouble crowded together, the rope slackened, 
dropped to the ground, two boys got their feet fast in 
the rope and in trying to save themselves fell headlong 
to the front and without an order, all came to a halt. 
Then the boys laughed. "Attention," commanded the 
captain, and the boys quieted down. 

"Now close up. right dress. Already, mark time. 
Left, left, all ready at the command Left, left — Company 
forward by the front, march." 

This time we did better, kept our line for perhaps 
two rods, then as before, the line expanded, shortening 
the rope, pulling the file leaders to the front, then to 
remedy the mistake, the boys again crowded together, 
the rope dropped, half the company walked over it, and 
three or four came down in a heap. 

Again they halted without an order and the woods 
rang ^yith their laughter. 

The captain was warm and the lieutenant overcome 
with heat. 

"I think I know why the company contracts and 
expands," said the lieutenant. 

"Well, out with it. This is a mighty hot place and 
I'm getting hotter every minute-" 

"You see," said the lieutenant, "the file leaders have 
no guide. We want two stakes in front of each, directly 
in line with the right and left file leader, just the same. 
Captain, as you used to use in lining off for laying a 
fence. 

"I see, I see," said the captain, "should have 
thought of that before. Lieutenant, you're a prodigy. 
If you get killed in battle I'll have you brought home 
and put into the National Museum. I had forgotten 
that you had made a specialty of engineering. Orderly, 
dress up the company. Lieutenant, step down the line 
in front of the company, count your steps, go to the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 39 

front, twenty rods or so, plant one set of stakes on the 
right and left the same distance, then go twenty rods or 
so farther and plant your other two stakes in line with 
the left and right file leaders." I saw several of the boys 
smile and was sorry to hear Wright snicker again, for 
I had set my heart on this project and was so sure 
'twould work, that to fail would be a great disappoint- 
ment. 

When the lieutenant returned, the captain said, 
"We're all ready now, and boys, if you don't make it 
this time, it's your fault. Right dress, keep elbows at 
touch, mark time. Left, left. Be ready at the word. 
Left, left, company forward by the front, march." At 
the word march, all started, as one man and for four 
rods or more we kept a perfect line, then for some reas- 
on the line expanded till I was pulled around in front, 
and then contracted till the rope fell to the ground with 
the result more disastrous than either time before. 
Three men caught their feet and fell and two m.ore fell 
ever them and they were all in a pile. "Halt," said the 
captain, but the command was unnecessary, for the 
whole company was convulsed with laughter. The cap- 
tain and lieutenant tried to look sober at first and I was 
afraid by the pucker of "Cap's" mouth he might 
swear but he didn't, for in a minute they both laughed 
as heartily as the rest of us. 

"Orderly, take the company to camp," said Cap. I 
did so, feeling much better for a hearty laugh. 

And it did all the boys good, too, for I don't believe 
they'll ever have as much real fun during their whole 
three years of service. But what of my dream! It is 
like a broken pitcher. I shall place very little confidence 
in my dreams hereafter- 

I had worked very hard all day and being tired 
crawled into my bunk and dropped to sleep while the 
captain and lieutenant were out. It must have been 



40 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

about ten o'clock when I was awakened by hearing an 
earnest conversation in a low tone. 

"Well what shall we try next, Cap? I'm collapsed, 
either you and I don't Know enough to drill a company 
or our boys are too dumb to learn." 

"I fear your first proposition is too true. Why this 
boy Wright can take this company and make that front 
movement in perfection in one hour. I have watched 
him and I know. Just a day or two ago he had out a 
squad of forty men and I was surprised when he march- 
ed them by the front in perfect order, then while on the 
move gave the command — left wheel — then about face, 
right wheel, and 'twas all done in a jiffy as well as Co. 
H of the 30th can do it." 

"Why didn't you turn over the company to him 
today?" 

"Because I'd had humiliation enough for one day. 
It might have done you good. My conceit has all been 
knocked out of me and I guess yours has gone down 
several degrees. I will say further, Lieutenant, we have 
given the tactics no study. How much have you? 
Hardee lies here on our table and we hardly look at it, 
much less study it. Wright is studying that book every 
minute when off of duty and I tell you he's a cracker- 
jack." 

"Your'e blue tonight. Cap, and all off. Don't tell 
me that fellow of hardly ordinary ability and no culture 
can excell one of wide experience with a college educa- 
tion. 

"He cannot," said Cap, "in conceit, I'll confess. I 
was too conceited myself, and supposed I knew enough 
to drill a company just by glancing over Hardee's tac- 
tics; but for conceit. Lieutenant, you'll take the plum- 
We can't denend en what we learned in school or col- 
lege, we must study it cut here for ourselves or resign." 

"I am actually disgusted and sick. As I came in 
from our drill today, I passed through the quarters of 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 41 

the 30th and that cussed second lieutenant yelled out, 
loud enough for all in camp to hear, 'Hello, Captain, did 
you get your boys all corralled in?' " 

"What did you say. Cap? Didn't get mad and 
swear at him?" 

"O no. One wouldn't get mad and swear as hot as 
I was, but if I'd been near enough I would have kicked 
the little cuss out of camp." 

"And been court-marshalled?" said Lieutenant. 

"Yes and been court-marshalled, but I've got it 
fixed now. On my way in I called on Nelson, the West 
Point cadet, and offered him the first vacancy that oc- 
curs in our company and he put his name down on my 
roll." 

"But that vacancy would of right go to the one 
next in rank," said Lieutenant. 

"Can't help that now, it's done. He refused to ac- 
cept when it was offered to him." 

"Well, it don't seem hardly right," said Lieutenant, 
"under the circumstances, perhaps it's for the best, for it 
will give us a great advantage in our company drills." 

As I quietly turned over in my bunk, I said to my- 
self, "How nicely and easily that was done. An order- 
ly-sergeant's right to promotion transferred without his 
knowledge or consent to one outside and unknown to 
the company. All done cuietly with the best of inten- 
tions and no doubt for the good of the service," and 
just then all became quiet and I dropped to sleep again. 

Nelson made his appearance quite early. A fine 
looking fellow about twenty-five years of age, hardly 
medium height, quick and muscular, light hair, hand- 
some eyes, a very clear penetrating voice and although 
fresh from West Point, there was no affectation or in- 
dication of superiority. 

On our way to the drill grounds, he asked "What 
:"•• t'-e troubl-^. Orderly?" 

"Nothing serious, if you understand the drill and 



42 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

have confidence in yourself, the boys will soon have con- 
fidence in you." 

On reaching the field, I halted the company, brought 
them to a front. Nelson then stepped four or five paces 
in front of the center- He showed us how to stand with 
our weight on the right foot. "Take a medium step, 
each one try to keep in line before we start and w.;en 
you move, be sure that each one of you feel the touch of 
the elbows next to you and if you will try to co-operate 
with me, tomorrow, we will march across this field by 
the front." 

He held a cane horizontally in front of him and 
gave the order "Attention company — mark time — Left, 
left, all be ready at the word march — left, left, company 
by the front, forward march. 

He walked backwards, keeping step by the motion 
of his cane, perhaps twenty rods and when he 'ordered 
"Halt" there was neither curve nor kink, for the line 
was almost a perfect one, and the boys were delighted. 
He then moved forward even with better success, walk- 
ing at the head of the company. Then while moving. 
gave the command "Right wheel" then "About face — 
"Left vvheel, then "By the front," and the whole thing 
that seemed so difficult, yesterday, was accomplished in 
less than two hours. 

As we were about to leave the field, he said "Boys, 
you have far exceeded my expectations and if you will 
get out here by one thirty, we will go across this field 
by the front." 

We were there promptly and did go across the 
field several times by the front and did it as nicely as 
Co. H of the 30th. 

The experience of our captain and first lieutenant, 
I found, was not unusual. All the new company offi- 
cers had the same trials, to begin with, but like them, 
finally mastered the drill. But it was quite evident to 
all that Nelson was the best drill master in the regiment. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 43 

Cur first death in the company occurred that night. 
A very robust young man by the name of Brooks, some 
twenty-two years of age, had been aiung only a few 
days and was not supposed to be at all dangerously ill. 

His death, so sudden and unexpected, cast a gloo.n over 

the whole company. 

Eight companies were mustered in today. Tliree 

men refused to muster and were drummed cut of camp. 

And tvv^o were rejected out of our company on account 

of physical unfitness. 



HOME ON FURLOUGH- 



Chapter VI. 

Lewis and several others returned to camp last 
night from their visit home and with furloughs in our 
pockets four others and myself took the same team and 
wagon and started for home at four a. m. We stopped 
at the Sours' Hotel, five miles out on the plank road, to 
feed our team and get breakfast, and then made one 
more stop for feed and dinner, reaching home at eight 
o'clock in the evening. 

I was warmly received and glad to find mother 
feeling well and looking cheerful. I had written her 
and May twice every week, Thursdays and Sundays. 
In May's last letter she stated that on account of scarlet 
fever, the school had closed for a few weeks and she 
had returned home. 

I spent a very pleasant hour with my folks and then 
went to my room, tired, sleepy and glad to have one 
more night's rest in my clean soft bed. 

The next day, Sunday, bright and beautiful, we all 
went to church. A precious privilege to one who had 
spent several weeks in camp. I received many invita- 
tions, after church, to go home with some of our neigh- 
bors but to me there was no place like home. I could 
not think of losing a single hour from the home circle, 
which I knew now how to appreciate, better than ever 
before. 

My room and bed were so inviting that I retired 
quite early and dropped to sleep with a pair of dark blue 
eyes watching over me. 

Another bright and beautiful October day, and an 
appointment to meet a friend, ten miles from home, 
called me out early." 

At six thirty I was ready and said to Prentiss, "I'm 
going to Hart's Comers and on my return will call on 
May and be at home at or about dusk." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 45 

I parted with my friends and started back at half 
past nine. As I approached Prescott's house, which is 
back from the road nearly twenty rods, out tripped May, 
tied up lor a walk. O my ! How she had grown in the 
last eighteen months- I drove up close to the fence, 
jumped out, put down the top, drew my hat down over 
my face and with by back toward her, stood 'till she 
opened the gate, then I turned around quickly and said 
abruptly, "Will you ride with m.e. Miss Gordon?" For 
an instant she seemed completely dazed and the blood 
rushed to her face, then impulsively she gave me both 
her hands, as she always did. 

"O Marion, this is too, too good to be true. It is 
such a surprise. How came you here? Where have 
you been? When did you get home?" 

"Well, May, it will be just a little too, too good if 
you'll just step into the buggy and ride with me to your 
home and then I'll answer all your questions unless you 
prefer to walk." 

"O yes, no, I forgot, I'll get in, would rather ride. 
I'm so glad you came." 

"I got home Saturday evening. Yesterday I went 
to church and this morning started from home very 
early to meet a friend some three miles down the road 
and thought on my way back I'd call on May Gordon. 
Now I'm accounted for, but how does it happen that I 
rick you up in the road here some three miles from 
home?" 

"I have been here a week," she said, "you certainly 
remember Arthur Prescott, he received a very danger- 
ous wound and was sent home some four weeks ago and 
was the next day taken down with fever and for two 
weeks or more has been lying at the point of death. 

He has been so very sick and his mother is so frail 
and worn out and I was so sorry for her and Arthur, 
that I felt I must come and help them. Yesterday the 



46 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

doctor prcncunced him out of danger and as they have 
help now, I concluded to go home." 

"O yes, I remember Arthur well. He went to school 
to me, when I taught at Hurley's Corners. He is not 
only a very fine young man but possesses rare mental 
ability." 

I don't know why it was but my temperature sud- 
denly droped several degrees, as I thought over my own 
words and what mignt be to me an irretrievable loss. 

"Say, May," and my voice took a minor key, "if I 
should be brought home very sick with a wound or fever 
cmd mother should be very frail like Mrs. Prescott and 
I should be so dangerously sick like Arthur, would you 
feel so very sorry for mother and me that you would 
come and help us?" 

She had dropped her head and was silent a moment 
and then raising her eyes to mine looked me in the face, 
as if to read the very thoughts of my heart, and asked 
in a lew earnest tone, 

"Will you send for me, Marion?" 

"Yes, I will send for you, May.' 

"Then I will come-" 

"And you will not forget this promise. May?" 

"I will not forget this promise, Marion." 

Then the small lump, which I had felt in my throat 
left entirely and my voice became natural. 

"Well, May, I have made quite a discovery today," 

"What have you discovered, pray?" 

"That you were glad to see me and you can't denv 
it." 

"You almost crushed my hand," she answered 
"and I fear I shall not recover from it for many months.* 

"I hope you won't till I return if I ever do." 

"W^hy, Marion, you were always so good and kind 
when we were children and played together." 

"To atone for the loss of your hand and the pain I 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 47 

have caused you, for which I am very sorry, I have 
brought you a present, the best of the kind I could find 
in the city," and I handed her the package. 

"A Bible! Just what I've wanted but never ex- 
pected one so nice, it is really the finest I ever saw. O. 
I thank you so much, you are almost better than a broth- 
er, though I never had one so I don't know. It has al- 
ways seemed to me since I was a little girl as though 
ycu ought to have been my brother." 

Well, May, I'm mighty glad I ain't." 

"Why, Marion, how can you? Hew ungrateful to 
a wculd-be sister. Did you know," she said, as though 
v/ishing to get off from thin ice, "that this book is not 
esteemed very highly and sometimes meets with ridicule 
in our home since my mother died and the new mother 
came into our home." 

"I have heard so," I said. "I remember your moth- 
er, just as she looked and appeared, when I used to play 
with you girls. Tell me about her. May — I could not 
help but reverence her then." 

"O, I shall never forget my mother. The memory 
cf her goodness and kindness is the one bright spot in 
all my past life and how much I have missed her, no 
vords can tell- I remember well how she used to take 
us three little girls into her room and read to us from 
her Bible and then we would all kneel down around her 
while she prayed for us. And it seemed to me, then, as 
if she was just talking to God, who was right there in 
the room and then I felt sure I could feel His Divine 
presence, which I did so long to enjoy while I lived or 
rather I wanted more to go right along with her to 
Heaven. And I remember, too, so well the day she died 
how we three crowded around her bed and just almost 
as her life was going out, she pointed upward with her 
trembling hand and in a loud whisper said, 'See, see, 
children, the Savior has come.' " 



48 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

May bowed her head and for many minutes we rode 
in silence, and then when she could command her voice, 
she resumed, "You remember that large Bible in our 
parlor?" 

"Yes," I said. 

That is my mother's. I say "is," because it is so 
closely identified with her life, that we girls always call 
it hers, and every time we open it, we think of her, as 
not being dead but living and loving, as when here. 

"All the rest of my mother's religious books have 
been put away in closets and infidel and spiritualistic 
books and papers fill the case. 'The Banner of Light' 
i", paramount to all else." 

"May, I thank you sincerely for what you have re- 
vealed of yourself, today. Had I not held your confi- 
dence and respect you could not have talked so freely 
of your mother and yourself. Your respect and confi- 
dence are a most potent incentive and will help me to 
live a life above temptation and reproach. 

"You will notice. May, when you get home that I 
have marked a great many passages in the New Testa- 
me;nt that I so much like to read." 

"O, I am glad of that. When you get back to the 
army and pick up your Bible we may both be reading 
the same verses at the same time." 

I had paid no attention to my horse and found, 
when too late, that I had gone far beyond the corner 
where I should have turned and must go full two miles 
farther to reach Gordons. 

"May, I do feel proud of you, you have done so well 
in your studies and have acquired so much that you 
didn't p^et out of books." 

"But I owe very much of it to you, Marion. Father 
changed wonderfully after your talk with him and has 
been very kind and indulgent since-" 

"But, May, you don't understand me. You have 
grown in more ways than one. There is a very decided 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 49 

improvement that you owe me nothing for. When you 
came down the walk and stood at the gate, I noticed 
the change and it fairly made me tremble." 

"Don't you know, Marion, that it is very wicked to 
flatter," she said smiling. 

"Well, May, I haven't seen you before today, for 
eighteen months and you remember I called you my 
little girl then, I would hardly dare do that now. And 
just how ycu have made the transition from a little girl 
to a fine p^raceful woman in so short a time is a prob- 
lem I can't solve." 

"Don't try, Marion, it might unfit you for your 
duties in cam.p, too much mental labor might unbalance 

you." 

"O, see yonder is the little gate. Do you remember 
my last words, when I parted with you there, more than 
eighteen months ago?" 

"I really feel anxious about you, Marion, your mem- 
ory and imagination are much too active, an alarming 
symptom, of — dementia ; dividing rations among so 
many men and looking after all the details will, I fear, 
get you off your base. And now since we are here at 
rr,y home, let me admonish you that my new mother 
keeps a big book and any action on your part not strict- 
ly in line with the latest and most approved forms of 
decorum will be written down and remembered against 
you." 

"Say, May, I long since learned that she doesn't 
like me very well." 

May laughed heartily. "I guess I know that better 
than you. It's not you, however, but your tight laced 
theology; but let's change the subject, put the horse in 
the barn — feed and go to the house for dinner." 

We found the family at the dinner table, and room 
for us. Then May and I went into the parlor and took 
our old seat on the couch. I felt depressed, I could not 
come to see her again, I must go back to camp in a few 



50 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

days and I felt, too, that I might have mistaken grati- 
tude for affection. 

She is young and she might refuse me, and it would 
almost break her heart to do so but she v/ould if she felt 
she ought, though it might be with tears- I know what 
I will do. A happy thought came into my mind. Yes, 
I'll have that settled before I leave. My depression left 
me and the minutes and hours slipped away too rapidly. 

I asked her about her school and studies and of our 
mutual acquaintances that had enlisted. 

She replied, "All the young men that have honored 
me with their friendship, are gone or going soon and 
those that are too indifferent to the demands of their 
country to make the sacrifice, are unworthy of my es- 
teem." 

"May, I am glad you said that without premedita- 
tion for I know it came from the heart." 

As I arose to go I said, with a little quaver in my 
voice, "May, I cannot call on you again as every hour 
will be full of business till I must go back. 

"But I have one request to make before I go. Will 
you be honest with yourself and answer it as your own 
heart and your own interest prompts?" 

Most surely, Marion, I will. Please, ask it." 

"Will you pledge me that you will make no en- 
gagement without first letting me knov/?" 

She smiled, "Marion I'm not a ripe plum anxious to 
drop into every open mouth. In all seriousness, I can- 
not give so important a subject any thought or consid- 
eration while the civil war lasts. I am not ready. I will 
make you the pledge and I will keep it, too, Marion." 
"Now what else," she asked. 

"Will you write me, at least, once every week," I 
asked. 

"Yes, I will write you every Sunday and Wednes- 
day, unless sick, and will you do the same, Marion?" 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A" 51 

"I will and if you don't receive my letters regularly 
and promptly, charge it to uncertain mails." 

Then she said, as she placed her hands in mine, "If 
it will encourage and help you to know that I honor you 
for the sacrifice you are making, rest assured that this 
is true, and if it will lighten your burdens and give you 
courage to bear patiently your hardships, privations and 
sufferings, please remember that I shall follow you with 
deepest interest and sympathy .through all your cam- 
paigns and battles and do not forget that every morning 
and night, I shall pray our Father to bless and keep you 
safe, that you may return to us-" 

Her voice broke, the tears started from her eyes. 
She could say no more. I raised both her hands to my 
hps, I cculd not say good by, but turned round and left 
May standing in the door. 




I could not say good bye, but turned and left her standing in 
the door. 



LEAVING FOR THE FRONT. 



Chapter VII. 

I went down the walk to the little gate where my 
horse was hitched, climbed in my buggy and started for 
home without once looking back, in a mental condition 
hard to analyze or explain but conscious that not until 
now had I realized in full the sacrifice I was making 
for my country. 

Could I have looked, that evening, through an up- 
per windov/ I might have seen a young girl on her knees 
with her iace bathed in tears and heard these very 
words, "Dear Lord, watch over and protect him from 
all danger and evil, and help me to be patient and faith- 
ful through the dreadful years to come." 

I reached home at dusk, retired early to my room 
and bed, and dropped to sleep repeating to myself, "Do 
not forget that I shall pray our Father to bless and 
keep you safe that you may return to us." 

The most of my furlough I spent at home and all 
my leisure hours with mother, whom I treated with the 
tenderest consideration. She had become wholly recon- 
ciled and talked cheerfully of the future, urging me to 
be brave and patient, to bear all and endure all without 
a murmur. She spoke of her father's seven years' ser- 
vice in the Revolution, and how he often suffered from 
cold and hunger, but notwithstanding this he was proud 
that he did what he could for his country and so will 
you be, my son, and so shall I feel proud that I had a 
son to give. 

On the morning of the 14th she bade me good-by 
as pleasantly as though I would return in a few days, 
and that evening at 8 p- m I reached camp and assum- 
ed again the duties of orderly. I soon learned, the next 
morning, that the regiment had been filling up fast and 
that our company had made rapid progress in drill while 



54 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

I was absent, now being second to none, not even Co. 
H of the 30th. 

A few of our boys were very anxious to get into 
and see a battle. 

They were seated in front of my barrack one day 
reading an account of a fierce engagement in the middle 
west, and two of them declared, in very emphatic lan- 
guage, that it was an outrage to hold us here while so 
much fighting was going to waste. 

One was Jack, the regimental flag-bearer, of Co. C 
and might have been a Giant Killer, for ought I knew. 
He stood full six feet high and weighed one hundred 
and eighty pounds, finely formed, only twenty years of 
age and from his appearance and talk, as brave a man 
as ever carried a flag or fired a gun. 

The other, we will call Mr. Gun Smith, nearly fifty, 
but stout and wiry and no braver man trod the soil. 
These two represented about ten of the bravest men in 
our regiment. 

And I said to myself, "If we ever get into a battle, 
and I sincerely hope it will not be necessary, I'll watch 
these two men who know no fear. They seem to feel 
so different from what I do that I have no confidence 
ir. myself." 

Al, Lewis, Jim and Bense heard the boasting and 
when the crowd had disappeared, came in to my bar- 
rack. 

"Well, boys," I said, "what do you honestly think 
of these fellows? They seem to be honest and feel brave 
and I wish I had some of the sand they are throwing 
away. We will make this an experience meeting, for 
the inexperienced, and I wish you would express your 
minds freely. I will be the first to confess to you that 
I do dread a battle and if the Rebellion should be put 
down before we get to the front I shall be more pleased 
than disappointed, but I shall try to do my whole duty 
in an emergency." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 55 

"You spoke my mind," said Jim- "I'm naturally 
timid and have no thirst for blood and a battle to me 
seem.s a terrible thing, but I enlisted to serve my coun- 
try and shall do my duty under all circumstances or die 
trying. Jack will throw his flag and run the first volley 
and Gunsmith will not get close enough to see the 
smoke." 

"Well," said Lewis, "no one has heard me say that 
I was anxious to get into a battle, I'm net. I dread it. 
But if v/e do, I'll stay by the line to the very last. Like 
Jim, I'll do my duty or die trying." 

"I cculd not say it any better," said Al. "I think 
we all feel about the same. A man is naturally a cow- 
ard and dreads a violent death, such as being torn to 
pieces v.'ith ball or shell. We are all made of the same 
clay, and if we are not needed I shall be more than sat- 
isfed. I expect to do my duty, however, if to do it 
means to die." 

■ 1 have done no boasting," said Bense. "I'm not 
brave iilie Jack or Gunsmith. I think and know that I 
dread the awtul carnage of battle, but i tnougnt this. 
all over before I enlisted and shall stay by you boys, as 
long as i have any hair on my head." 

"Well, boys, I am glad you have expressed your 
minds so freely. I have heard so much blowing from 
these two fellows and a few others like them, that I 
began to fear that I was the only one that really dread- 
ed a battle. I shall watch Gun Smith and company C 
can watch Jack." 

Yesterday, Sunday, was a very pleasant day for me. 
About nine a. m. Brother Prentiss, Cousin Stevens and 
J. C. Bodley and wife drove into camp. As soon as I 
could, I got excused from duty and spent the balance 
ci the day with them. 

I showed them our methods of housekeeping, our 
beard bunks fastened to the wall and at noon, we gave 



56 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

them a soldiers' dinner of boiled beef, beans, rice, bak- 
ers bread and coffee. We had no butter or milk, but 
plenty of sugar. Then at three o'clock we attended 
dress parade, which seemed to interest them very much. 
From the parade we drove to the hotel where we visited 
till a late hour and in the morning they left for horre. 

Another pleasant day was the next Sunday. Moth- 
er reached camp about nine. I took her to the hotel 
where I remained with her till she started home. Her 
visit was a surprise to me for I had not expected to see 
her again, but she had heard that our regiment would 
be crdered to the front soon and she said she must see 
me once more. It is better that we cannct lift the veil 
and look into the future. As she pressed my hand at 
parting, she noticed the tears running down my face and 
• only said. "Good-bye. Be brave, my boy, and God will 
keep you." 

On the 20th we received our guns, the Springfield 
rifles, and our uniforms and on the 22nd our colonel, 
Hugh B. Reed, reecived orders to get ready and report 
our regiment for duty. So on the 23rd of November, 
i36i, I called the roll of our company at four thirty a. 
rr. and at seven thirty the regiment was in line- It never 
made a better display of war than en this occasion as 
it m.arched through the city to the station. 

Never thereafter were all the officers and men in 
line at the same time. The imposing scene was witness- 
ed by thousands, who thronged the streets on either side 
and many hearts were aching as fathers, mothers and 
wives rushed in to bid their loved ones farewell. At the 
depot we were formed in a hollow square to receive a 
beautiful flag, donated by the patriotic ladies of the city. 

The presentation was by Mayor Randall, responded 
to by our adjutant, Charles Case. At eleven a. m. the 
regim.ent got aboard, and the train pulled out of the de- 
pot 'mid the cheers of thousands of people, for the seat 
of war. 



I 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 57 

We reached Indianapolis at three a. m. on the 24th 
after fitteen hours ot conhnement in tne cars. The train 
was very heavily loaded and a good portion of the way 
ran very slow. We remained in the cars till daylight 
when the regiment formed and marched to camp Reed, 
named after our colonel, and for the first time went into' 
tents. In the afternoon Lieutenant Rose and I went 
nearly to the Insane Hospital for straw for our beds 
and brought back to our tent all we could carry. 

Our brave flag-bearer was in a sad state of inebria- 
tion all the way from camp and would frequently pass 
through the whole length of the train and in language 
too profane to repeat, declared that "This flag shall nev- 
er trail in the dust. I'll carry it till I die." 

At ten o'clock p. m- on the 26th the regiment took 
a train on the Terre Haute and Vincennes railroad for 
Evansville. which we reached at twelve m. on the 27th. 
On our arrival here we were agreeably surprised 
to find a bountiful dinner awaiting us at the Mar- 
ket House, furnished by the good people of that city. 
We put up our tents as soon as possible, but had 
for our beds the cold frozen ground. I think I never 
sufi^ered more from the cold than I did that night. It 
was like sleeping on a cake of ice. Lieutenant Birge 
and I procured a skiff and crossed over the Ohio to the 
"Old Kentucky Shore" the first time I ever planted my 
feet on the soil of a slave state. I picked up a few small 
shells to send home to my friends. 

On returning to camp I found a large package of 
letters and among them was one from May, cautiously 
and discreetly written, but the more I looked it over the 
more I could read between the lines. She wrote she was 
m school again but her interest in the war had not abat- 
ed in the least and with her daily, she could keep in 
close touch with all the movement of our armies. 

Our sick list grew rapidly from sleeping on the 
damp frozen ground. I went to the city and sat up with 



58 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

the two Grant boys, who had the measles and one of 
them was very dangerously sick. 

Our next move was to Henderson, Kentucky, which 
is located on the opposite side and down the river. The 
regiment started quite early and marched down on the 
Indiana side, reaching the landing opposite Henderson 
about three o'clock p. m. that day. I was left with a 
detail to load our regimental supplies on a small steam- 
er. The supplies were all delivered on the bank and 
had to be carried down and onto the boat- My help was 
mostly convalescent boys thai were hardly able to 
m.arch. I think I never worked harder in my life than I 
did from six o'clock a. m. till six o'clock the next morn- 
ing, when we got the last box on the third steamer load 
and jumped on ourselves. 

On reaching Henderson, we passed through the city 
out to a beautiful grove about one mile, where we found 
the regiment quartered in their tents. 



HENDERSON, KENTUCKY. 

Chaptr VIII. 

When our regiment reached the landing it was 
ferried over the river, then formed and marched through 
the city with its martial music and colors flying, but 
met a very cool reception. Not a single cheer to greet 
the boys that were sacrificing so much— a most un- 
friendly reception and we soon realized that we were in 
an enemy's country. 

Henderson county is very rich. It is reported that 
she has more than four thousand slaves and ranks only 
second in the state for number. A good negro is hired 
out for from two to three hundred dollars per year, the 
owner paying all doctor bills and clothing. 

Negro stock was down one- third or more now and 
no sales. The last auction sale was witnessed by a few 
of our boys who happened to be in the city, the second 
day after reaching there. 

Gov. Magoffin and all the state officers allied them- 
selves with the Confederate cause, and the state militia, 
enlisted under the pretense to protect the citizens of 
the state and preserve order, had been turned over by the 
governor, with their arms and mustered into the Confed- 
erate service. The executive and state officers, howev- 
er, did not represent the majority of the people. Som.e 
nine weeks after the surrender of Fort Sumpter, Ken- 
tucky gave an aggregate vote for the Union of 92,365 
against 36,995 secession in voting for her representatives 
in the Thirty-Seventh Congress, while at that time not 
a federal soldier stood upon her soil- 

The governor's attitude at the time can be more 
clearly understood by -oferring to his letter addressed 
to Abraham Lincoln in behalf of the Comonwealth of 



6o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Kentucky and the response by the president dated a few 
days later, August 24th, 1861.. His treasonable utter- 
ances encouraged the Confederacy to send in her rebel 
forces and now the Union and Confederate armies were 
maneuvering for position and preparing for battle while 
thousands of her citizens were joining each army and 
no doubt, some of the most destructive battles would be 
fought on her soil. 

The Legislature convened September 3rd but was 
not fully organized till the 5th when Magoffin submit- 
ted a message based on the assumption of Kentucky's 
proper and perfect neutrality between the beligerents 
north and south of her; complaining that she had suf- 
fered in her commerce and prosperity, from the acts of 
either; but more especially that a Federal force had re- 
cently been organized and encamped in the heart of that 
state without his permission. 

This message elicited no sympathetic response from 
the Legislature fresh from the people and imbued with 
Union sentiments. On the contrary the House six days 
thereafter resolved, seventy-one to twenty-six, that the 
governor be directed to order by proclamation the Con- 
federate troops encamped on the soil of that state to de- 
camp immediately. 

I herein copy from my diary the last one of the res- 
olutions referred to: 

"Resolved, That we appeal to the people of Kentucky 
by the ties of patriotism and honor, by the ties of com- 
mon interest and common defense, by the remembranc- 
es of the past and by the hopes of the future national ex- 
istence to assist in expelling and driving out the wanton 
invaders of our peace and neutrality, the lawless invad- 
ers of our soil." 

The five resolutions were adopted in the House by 
sixty-eight to twenty-six votes and in the Senate by 
twenty-six to eight. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 6i 

Magoffin promptly vetoed them. The Legislature 
as promptly passed them over his veto by an overwhelm- 
ing majority. 

The governor's adherence to the Confederacy di- 
vided the people of the state, neighborhoods, families 
and severed long-standing freindships, in many sections 
producing feuds that might last a generation. 

The position taken by the Legislature to hold their 
state neutral and quietly let an enemy destroy their gov- 
ernment was quite unworthy of patriotic statesmen and 
resulted in Kentucky's being the Battle Ground of the 
Rebellion. 

My excessive lifting and over-work at Evansville 
brought on hemorrhoids which confined me to my tent 
for nearly two weeks and for several days, when the 
worst, to a cot in the big regimental hospital tent. 

Our surgeon, Martin, v^^as a loyal man but utterly 
opposed to any interference with slavery- He thought 
that it would be perfectly right to use the militia to re- 
turn a runaway slave to his master but a flagrant act to 
secrete or help one to escape. And, perhaps, of the two, 
he would have let the Union slide, if to save it, slavery 
must be abolished. But he had many noble qualities 
with his few faults, a big kind generous heart was one 
of them- 

Three slaves escaping from their master were mak- 
ing for the river, and had nearly reached our camp when 
looking back over the level country they saw their mas- 
ter in hot pursuit. They separated; two of them took 
to the woods and one of them passed through our quar- 
ters and entered the large hospital tent, where I was 
lying. As he came through the door, he cried out, "For 
the love of God save me, O hide me, Massa, my master, 
coming with his gun. O do, for the Lard Almighty's 
sake." This plea was too pathetic for the big hearted 
doctor, who had just finished emptying a large box of 
hospital underwear. He at once ordered the runaway 



62 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

to jump into the box. The doctor then laid back the 
boards and was busily packing the clothing on top when 
the master rushed in and inquired: 

"Have you seen my three boys come along the road 
or come in camp?" 

"What three little boys?" asked the doctor. 

"No, no full grown, running away." 

"Why don't you let them run, they'll get enough 
after a while. The woman where I boarded in Rome 
City, Indiana, had a boy about fifteen — " 

"Say, Mistar, I don't care for Rome or Rome City. 
Did you see my three men?" 

"Three niggers, do you mean?" 

"Yes, three niggers." 

"Yes, I saw three niggers running like the very 
devil, but supposed they were chasing a rabbit. Are 
they yours?" 

"Yes, they're mine. Which way did they go?" 

"Some devilish abolitionist coaxed them off, don't 
you think?" 

"Yes, I wish they were all hanged. Which way did 
they go?" demanded the planter. 

"I wish so, too, if it hadn't been for them, we v/culd 
have had no war." 

"You're right. Which way did they go?" 

"Come here to the door," said the doctor- "Can you 
see that tall walnut, beyond this pieec of low timber? 
Well, they were making in that direction." 

"What, not that way. That's towards home." 

"Can't help that," said the doctor. "They're sharp 
and thought you'd take to the river and they probably 
thought best to secrete till night and then cross." 

"Think I could get the colonel to detail fiifty or a 
hundred men to help me catch them?" 

"Perhaps," said the doctor. "You just wait here 
half an hour and I'll find out; but we have no horses 
and the boys won't walk." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 63 

"Wait," said the planter, "no, I'll go myself. You 
said the walnut tree?" 

"Yes, you will be safe to take that course," said 
the doctor, knowing full well that the darkies went in 
an opposite direction. 

Now the doctor was happy, as all men are, when 
they do a noble, generous act. He gave his runaway 
some food and a canteen of hot coftee, piled a lot of 
straw around him, in the box and nailed down the cover 
on top, leaving plenty of air-holes and marked the box. 
"James Watson, M. D., Evansville, Ind. Hospital stores. 
This side up. Ship with care. Valuable." 

"And the box and its precious ireight, worth before 
the war ten or twelve hundred dollars, was carried care- 
fully to the landing, placed on the boat and reached Dn 
Watson that evening- 
After all was accomplished, the doctor turned to 
me and said: 

"Now, Orderly, if you ever peach on me I'll give 
you something more painful and harder to cure than 
Eemorrhoids." 

I laughed heartily as I said : "Doctor, if there's any- 
thing worse, I don't want it, and I assure you I'll keep 
mum." 

Only a few days after this occurrence four free ne- 
groes were stolen from the neighborhood. Two of them, 
a father and son, were land holders, the father escaped 
but the three men were taken south and probably sold. 
The father offered his and his son's farm to any one who 
would rescue them. 

The army could be used to recapture a drove of 
stolen hogs by the Confederates or to capture and return 
a slave found in our camps, but the condition was such 
that we could not re-capture these freemen stolen by 
and for Confederates to put into slavery. Is it to be 
wondered at, that a God of Justice withheld speedy vie- 



64 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

tory to us while we were so tender of the slave holder's 
rights and forgetful of the natural rights of man? 

Since reaching the enemy's country our duties were 
multiplying. Ten picket guards from each com.pany 
must be detailed every morning and about the same 
number for camp guard, a police squad to clear up the 
camp, a squad to go to the river to unload steamers, and 
these details must be so made that no favoritism is 
shown and that no one should serve on any detail, only 
in regular rotation which was not always easy to do if 
there were many sick. Our sick list was large. We had 
twenty absent sick in hospital and an average of four or 
five in camp every day excused from duty. 

Our rations now consisted of hard-tack, bacon, salt, 
side pork, beans, rice, sugar, coffee and a new food had 
just been issued to us called decimated vegetables. The 
boys called it desecrated vegetables. When first thrown 
into a kettle it looked some like potato tops and pump- 
kin vines. The first day we drew the stuff a picket de- 
tail engaged one of the boys who remained in camp to 
get up a good breakfast and have it ready when they 
returned the next morning. As the time approached he 
hung his three-pail kettle over the fire half full of water. 
Then he broke up and threw in a whole cake, enough 
for fifty men. It soon absorbed all the water and com- 
menced to sv/ell and burn. He then ran to the spring 
and dashed in another pail of water, then he took two 
pails and asked one of the boys to come and help him. 
When he returned he put in another pail of water and it 
began to run over- Then he got another kettle and his 
helper began to dip out and the cook continued to pour in 
water. The helper dipped out till he had two more ket- 
tles full and still it must have more water and more ket- 
tles and the boys kept on till they had every kettle in 
the company full of soup and said they lost enough to 
feed twenty men. I think I can safely vouch for this for 
the boys told it and I'm satisfied they were all as hon- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A" 65 

est as George Washington and perhaps entitled to more 
credit. I think this food would be very economical for 
the government to furnish the army. One cake would 
make all the soup a thousand men would want. We 
found it very satisfying and it made excellent filling. 
We wanted but one meal. 

One day our regiment marched through town on 
every main street and our appearance at no time or 
place brought forth a single cheer. All were mute ex- 
cept fifty or sixty colored and white boys, who were lo- 
cated on a fence and as we passed by, one of the biggest 
boys, I should judge about fourteen, said to the crowd 
around him: "I'll tell you, boys, there's some men that 
ain't afraid of nothing'. " 

I thought the boy unconsciously hit it about right 
for I knew one fellow in the rank that wasn't afraid of 
"Nothin'. " 

The weather for several days had been very disa- 
greeable, snow, rain and sleet. Our regiment was as- 
signed to the "Division" commanded by General Thom- 
as J. Crittenden, his headquarters now being at Calhoun, 
Kentucky, on Green River about forty miles from here 
in an easterly direction and to the 13th Brigade com- 
manded by Charles Cruft. Our brigade consited of the 
17th Kentucky, Colonel J. H. McHenry; the 25th Ken- 
tucky, by James W. Shackelford; the 31st Indiana by 
Colonel Charles Cruft and our's, the 44th Indiana, by 
Hugh B. Reed. On the whole, our stay at Henderson 
had been pleasant notwithstanding nearly all the people 
had been unfriendly They had regarded us as intruders 
on their soil sent there in violation of the rights of the 
state and the constitution. "Lincoln is a tyrant, a usur- 
per and represents sectionalism." Nature had done 
very much for the people around Henderson. The coun- 
try was beautiful, a fine healthful place, rich soil and 
good water. We all liked it. 

On the evening of the first day of January, 1862, 



66. IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

we received orders to pack and get ready, and each pre- 
pare four days' rations in our haversacks, sixty rounds 
of ammunition in our boxes, and be ready to start on 
the morning of the second. Two companies, G and K, 
struck tents and moved down to Henderson and re- 
mained there until further orders. 



GREEN RIVER AND CALHOUN. 

Chapter IX. 

Reveille at five o'clock a. m. and roll call followed 
immediately. At noon the tents were all down, rolled 
up and loaded on wagons. Next the packing of knap- 
sacks, with two blankets, closely folded, change of un- 
derwear, socks, a few trinkets, then the haversack with 
four days' rations, was a new experience to us. How 
could we pack in a small haversack food enough to last 
one for four days? Raw bacon, hardtack, coffee, sugar, 
salt, some cooked beans packed in a small tin can. All 
of this in so small a space required time and skill. Also 
a tin cup with a wire bail so that it could be held over 
the fire for boiling coffee. These two articles we tied on 
our haversacks. 

When all was ready we put on our overcoats, cart- 
ridge boxes with sixty rounds, rubber blankets, knap- 
sacks, haversacks and canteens full of water, then shoul- 
dered our guns and if we found our loads too light to 
march easily through the mud, half knee deep, we could 
take a part of some sick boy's load- 

At one thirty p. m. the order was given to fall in 
and Company A took her place at the front of the eight 
companies with our wagon train in the rear. For some 
three miles the road was passably good, considering the 
recent heavy rains, then we came to a heavy timbered 
land and red clay soil and for four days we walked 
through this red mortar, in many places half knee deep 
and every day but one through rain, sleet and snow. 

Our wagons were very heavily loaded and the 
teamsters were frequently compelled to double teams to 
get through the low swampy places and up some of the 
worst hills. 

When we came to a halt for the night, our tents 
were unloaded and pitched, generally while raining hard. 



68 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

on the dryest ground we could find and a fire started 
as soon as possible. 

The second night was a hard one, it had rained and 
snowed all day, our clothes were wet through, our pants 
covered with mud to our knees and our feet wet and 
cold. 

Each mess built a big fire in front of their tents 
and dried their clothing as much as possible, patiently 
accepting the condition as inevitable, without a murmur 
or complaint. 

On this short campaign we soon found that our 
quarter-master. Dr. George W. McConnell, was master 
of the situation and just the man for the time and place. 
He did everything that he possibly could to make the 
boys comfortable. As soon as we would halt for the 
night he would confiscate and bring in straw to fill our 
tents and anything else, that was needed to prevent ex- 
posure and suffering, if it could be found in the enemy's 
country. 

Our people at home know very little about mud. 
It takes the red clay mortar of Kentucky to stick to 
one's shoes and clothing. It will stick to the clothing 
until worn off and to the shoes till scraped off with a 
knife. The first day we moved only six miles, the sec- 
ond only eight and the last two about thirteen each and 
reached Calhoun about three o'clock p. m. in time to put 
up our tents, gather some bushes to lie on and some 
wood for fires to dry our clothing. 

It was a relief, indeed, to unload my knapsack, cart- 
ridge box, canteen, haversack, (which was now very 
light) and gun- The second day, it seemed to me, that 
my shoulders were cut down to the bone and the next 
morning they were so sore that to move with my load 
was, every minute, extreme torture. 

The village of Calhoun may have had before the 
war, from two to three hundred population, but now, 
very few citizens were to be seen. The country immedi- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 69 

ately surrounding the town was very flat, only a few 
teet above the river at high water, and the soil a heavy 
red clay. Bayous make back from the river and fill the 
swamps during the winter and spring and all together it 
looks like a very unhealthful location for an army to en- 
camp on. We spent the first two days fixing up our camp, 
ditching around our tents and policing the grounds. 
Soon after getting our camp in good order a first lieu- 
tenant in the regiment took his pen and wrote in a large 
bold hand, on a sheet of paper, "No admittance except 
on business," and pinned it on his tent. In less than an 
hour every tent in his company had the same sign over 
the entrance of their tents. Nothing was said by any 
of the beys and this was a silent rebuke that made him 
chafe for several days. 

The third day of our march, about noon, our regi- 
ment halted for an hour or more and while I was eat- 
ing my lunch this same lieutenant came along and sat 
down by me. 

"Are you tired, Lieutenant?" I asked. 
"Tired, I should say yes, but not only tired but com- 
pletely disgusted with this red clay mortar. Look at 
my boots and pants; just put them on new at Evans- 
ville and now I'm mud to my hips and it will never come 
off' till I wear it off. I'm tired of this kind of service 
and won't stand it much longer, I'll resign and go home. 
"Shall I give you one word of advice. Lieutenant, and 
will you take it kindly?" 

"Yes, if given kindly. Now what is it?" 
"Dont' ever make that remark so your boys will 
hear it. I assure you I'll not tell them- You must re- 
member that you enlisted many of them and urged them 
by all the eloquence you possessed to leave home, friends 
and families and enlist with you, and I remember hear- 
ing you tell while in camp that you used this expression 
on one occasion, that brought down the house, 'We'll 



70 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

fight them till hell ireezes over and then fight them on 
the ice," 

"O I just said that — to get up a little enthusiasm." 

"Well, Lieutenant, that place has not frozen over 
yet and you just stick to the service and the boys you 
enlisted till every button on your coat is shot off. Some 
of your boys are sick and many of them are getting dis- 
couraged and they need all the encouragement you can 
give them." 

We were interrupted here and the conversation 
changed. 

The weather was very unfavorable to health. It 
rained nearly every day and the sick list was growing 
fast. Co. A had thirty very sick in the hospital, ten in 
camp unfit for duty and several more complaining. It 
was said that we had six thousand soldiers here and that 
more than twelve hundred of them were in the various 
hospitals sick. They were sheltered from the storms 
but some of the buildings were very unsanitary, old va- 
cant houses, long abandoned bar-rooms, one church and 
a Masonic hall. I visited our boys as often as possible 
and found many of them very sick, lying on rough army 
blankets spread over a small amount of straw with over- 
coats or knapsacks for pillows and one or two blankets 
over them. 

Some of the boys were too sick to recognize their 
best friends and others were quite delirious. But not 
from one did I hear a complaint. How the parents and 
friends of these boys would have suffered had they 
known how loathsome these hospitals were and how 
destitute of those things necessary for the sick. 

The doctors and nurses were doing all they could 
to alleviate suffering. The prevailing diseases were 
pneumonia, typhoid fever and camp disease. The un- 
sanitary buildings, the water and swampy location add- 
ed daily to the number of sick and increased the fa- 
tality. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COIVIPANY "A." 71 

Our boys got the impression that they were to go 
into winter quarters here so they built fire places in 
their tents with stick chimneys outside, plastered over 
with red clay- By this means they could dry out their 
tents and blankets. 

Only a few days after reaching here our first lieu- 
tenant, tired of the service and disgusted with the con- 
ditions at Calhoun, sent in his resignation, which, if 
accepted, would cause a vacanacy in our company, 
GREEN RIVER AND SOUTH CARLETON. 
Chapter X. 

On the 14th of January, 1862, we reecived an order 
to "await an order to move" and on the morning of the 
15th received the order. Tents were taken down, rolled 
up and loaded on the wagons. Knapsacks were packed, 
canteens, haversacks and cartridge boxes filled and when 
all ready our regiment took its place in the brigade 
and started for South Carleton, in an easterly direction, 
up and by the river some twenty miles, but not so far 
across the country. 

I was left with a guard detail to go with the boats, 
and at three p. m. "Mattie Cook" with six flat boats 
lashed to her, followed by the Hattie Gilmore, all heav- 
ily loaded with army supplies, and a few soldiers for 
guards, left the landing at Calhoun — and we were all 
glad. 

We reached South Carleton about dusk and soon 
found our regiment, which had just arrived. 

There were so many empty buildings our tents were 
not needed, and Company A took possession of a large 
frame building on the main street. We found the doors 
all locked, but the boys used a rail instead of a key and 
went in at the front door- The building had been used 
for a drug store and doctor's ofBce and everything of 
value had been removed except one skeleton, which hung 
by the neck in one of the back rooms. This, of course, 
we had no use for and it was not disturbed. 



72 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

I ate a little hard tack and raw bacon, wrapped my 
blanket around me, climbed on one of the counters and 
got some sleep. 

South Carleton is nicely located some fifty feet or 
more above the river and the landing is reached by a 
diagonal cut, from the main street, along the side of the 
rocky bluff to the water's edge. 

The rain had not abated and the mud was as staple 
here as in Calhoun, only the country is more rolling and 
better drained. Soon alter our teams began to haul sup- 
plies from the landing- Main street was a sea of mud 
and as it became thinned up by the heavy rains, it 
moved down the street to the cut, then dashed over the 
bank a torrent of mud into the river below changing it 
from Green to "Red" River. 

From what little I saw of the village, I judged there 
were houses enough in South Carleton to accommodate 
three or four hundred population, but the citizens were 
so alarmed at the approach of the Yanks that they near- 
ly all of them took their personal effects, locked theii 
houses and left. 

We remained in the store room till the 19th of Janu- 
ary, when we went into camp about one mile south of 
town, in a piece of wood-land, a beautiful location for 
a camp. In the afternoon Lieutenant Rose and I went 
about one mile after straw for our tent and on returning 
to camp I found a large bundle of letters, several from 
home and two from May. 

One was a reply to my Calhoun letter, in which I 
mentioned the unsanitary condition of our hospitals and 
the terrible suffering of the sick; in closing, she said: 

"In our comfortable homes, with everything we 
need, I fear that we forget the sacrifices and sufferings 
of our boys. We do not comprehend a tithe of their pri- 
vations, exposures and hardships. From your descrip- 
tion, the accommodations for the very sick are so much 
worse than I supposed, that I almost go wild with anx- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 73 

iety for the friends I have in the service and sit for hours 
and wonder what can be done to make conditions bet- 
ter. Remember that you have many friends here that 
are all the time anxious for you ,and for their sakes, as 
well as yours, do try and be careful of your health. 
From one of your best friends, 

Your Httle Girl— May." 
A few words from a letter just received from a 
friend, living near Mr. Gordon's. After giving me some 
of the unimportant neighborhood gossip, closed by say- 
ing: 

"It is currently reported that Miss May Gordon is 
engaged to Arthur Prescctt. Everybody speaks very 
hig'-!ly of him and seem to think that she can never do 
better." 

'I doubt it myself, but I dcn't believe a word of it, 
she vv^ould have written me. Not a word of it is true.' 
All of this and more ran through my head as I took the 
leltei and wrote on the back ci the envelope, ''The last 
paragraph all false," and put it in my inside pocket. 

Buckner's army was at Bov/ling Green and an ad- 
vance of his force was anticipated, so every available 
rr.an was detailed to chop, dig trenches and build forti- 
f:calicns. The timber was thrown outward, the limbs 
cut off and sharpened and when there was an open space 
left, ycung saplings were cut off the right length, driven 
dovN/n, leaning outward about forty-five degrees, and 
then sharpened to a point with an ax and shaving knife. 
Nelson and I were set to work making ax handles, 
of which there seemed to be a greater demand than we 
could supply, and many others were kept at the same 
work for two days- 

On the evening of the third day after this alarm 
was received I was ordered to take nine men with me 
and go south about three miles through a dense forest 
to the fork of the road, then divide into two equal 
squads and guard each road eighty rods beyond the 



74 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

junction. We were given an old-fashioned perforated 
lantern, and a piece of candle about four inches long, 
which we lighted and started, but we had scarcely 
reached the road at the edge of the wood when the rain 
began to pour down and darkness became intense, as 
we entered the timber. After a long, silent, gloomy 
walk, by the aid of our little lantern, we found the fork 
of the road. 

I left four men at this point and took five down the 
left hand branch eighty rods, as near as I could guess 
and stationed and instructed them, then returned and 
with the remaining four went along our road about the 
same distance. By this time, it was raining so hard 
we each found a large tree and hugged up close to it 
for shelter, then I blew out my light. Dave was near- 
est me, not more than four feet to my right, but I could 
see nothing of him nor the tree. Oh my, how dark! 
Not a loud word was spoken and not a sound CQuld be 
heard but the fast falling rain drops as they pitilessly 
poured down through the forest, drenching us to the 
skin. 

Full three hours or more had passed. I was chilled 
through and so sleepy that I could scarcely stand erect 
and only by the sheer force of will could I keep myself 
from getting down by the root of the tree and yielding 
to the demand for sleep. The rain came from the east 
so we stood on the west side of our respective trees for 
better protection. 

In raising my eyes and looking to the west, I dis- 
covered a small light, no larger than a candle, and called 
Dave over to me. I was wide-awake enough then ; for 
just an instant, I felt a slight chill creap up my spine and 
run over the back of my head. 

"You see it, Dave. How far is it?" 

"I should say about sixty rods, and seems to be in- 
termittant sometimes flashing quite bright and then go- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 75 

ing out. It is slowly coming our way and oscilates up 
and down like a lantern." 

"That can't possibly be a spy out such a night as 
this, Dave." 

"It's just the time for such work, Orderly; see it has 
stopped, now it moves this way." 

By this time the four boys were all standing around 
my tree, quite excited but very quietly watching. 

"If it's a spy," said Hyat, speaking very low, "let's 
be ready, and if he don't halt, fill him full of balls; but 
look, he has started for our camp-" 

We stood in the rain and watched this singular 
light 'till it slowly disappeared. Then we got under our 
respective trees and patiently watched and waited, ex- 
pecting that we might hear a gun from some of the 
guards. But we heard none and anxiously waited. 

"There it comes," said Mike, "is moving this way 
and will likely take this road," but in a short time he 
seemed to be coming back en the same line that he took 
before. 

"Now, boys, you watch this road," I said, "and 
Dave and I will go about thirty rods west and if possi- 
ble get on his line of march." We each took our gun 
end started out, one holding on to the other's coat and 
after running against numberless trees and staggering 
like drunken men through the dense darkness, we stopp- 
ed at what we thought was the proper position and then 
the light seemed to be some forty or fifty rods directly 
to our front. It would frequently stop two or three mJn- 
utes, then move toward us slowly. 

"Now, Orderly," said Dave, "it's coming directly 
on this line. You watch the light, my gun is all ready 
and you be sure and order a halt when it gets within 
twelve or fifteen feet, not before and if he don't halt I'll 
blow a hole through him bigger than this candle." 

"Don't shoot, till I order him to halt, and I'll not 
order till he gets within ten feet so that we can see by 



76 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

his own light who and what he is. Be sure and hold on 
for we have all the advantage." 

"Just as you say, Orderly, I'd rather wait till I see 
him." 

This conversation was carried on in a low tone and 
then we sat still, waiting patiently, as the light ap- 
proached very slowly, sometimes for a minute or two 
disappearing entirely, then appearing a little nearer us. 
Occasionally it would seem to jump ahead several rods 
and then apparently stand still. "Be careful, Dave, don't 
shoot till I halt," I whispered, "the whole camp will be 
cut here. Now it's coming fast." 

Dave raised his gun. The light flashed in our faces 
as I said "Halt" and went out entirely. 

"Where is it? What in thunder is it," asked Dave. 
"It came so quickly I couldn't shot." 

"It's well you didn't, Dave. I was afraid you would. 
The light is a 'jack-o-lantern.' I never saw one before 
and more than half believed them to be a fiction, but I 
guess there's no myth about this." 

"No," said Dave, "this was a dead sure thing, but 
where is it now?" 

"It has disappeared. We have broken its circuit 
and it will hardly appear on this line again tonight." 



SOUTH CARLETON AND CALHOUN. 



Chapter XI. 

Dave and I went back to the road and found the 
boys quite excited. They heard me say "Halt" and saw 
the Hght distinctly as it hashed up in our faces at the 
time, but no gun was fired, and the light went out. Then 
I told them of the experience of an old soldier in Bona- 
part's army in France. How he and a comrade were 
cut on a picket, right in the face of the enemy, in a low 
swampy country, on a dark rainy night and the same 
light appeared to them, coming slowly nearer and nearer 
from toward the enemy and when within two or three 
reds as they supposed, he gave the order to "Halt" and 
his comrade fired. The whole brigade rushed out and 
when they learned the trouble, put them under arrest 
and cnly their ignorance of the "jack-o-lantern" saved 
them from punishment. 

"Now, boys, this has roused and warmed us up and 
I am glad it happened, for I'm afraid, I was so chilled 
through, that I should have fallen asleep before long; 
and now I'm, going to run my chance, with your consent, 
r.nd strike a light." 

We all got up in a huddle, one of the boys held an 
oil cloth over me, one took the candle out of the lantern 
and I found a dry place on my clothing and commenced 
striking matches but they seemed to be all damp and 
none gcod. I kept on, however, till I had used fify or 
more, all with the same result, "Well, boys, our destiny 
hangs on this match, for this is the last one," and this 
one was good and caught, so that we lighted our candle. 
I then locked at my watch and 'twas just four a. m, and 
the rain still pouring down. 

One of the boys remarked that "if Buckner or any 
one of his subordinates move on us such a night as this 



78 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

they don't know enough to go in out of the rain and 
much less to command an army. Let's build a small fire," 
and we all consented. 

The boys found a large hollow tree and pulled out 
some dry punky wood with which we started a fire, un- 
der a large tree. And to this little beginnig we added 
fuel until we had a rousing fire. The other five boys 
saw the fire and came over. They were wet like us and 
completely chilled through, but at the very first sight 
of fire we began to feel warmer. 

At seven o'clock, while it was yet quite dark in the 
woods, we started for camp, where we found sornle good 
fires and soon dried out our clothing. In a few days we 
heard that Buckner's army commenced a movement on 
South Carleton but on account of the impassable roads, 
it was compelled to return. Jack and Gun Smith seem- 
ed to be disappointed, but it didn't worry me any. 

There were a few men, and only a few, who occa- 
sionally found a little fault at the division of rations, but 
I never blamed them. Their duties were hard and I 
wondered at their patience. 

At South Carleton I had so much to do that one morn- 
ing, I called on the second sergeant and asked him to 
dravy^ and divide the rations. It was really this sergeant's 
duty to do this but I never called on him before. This 
he undertook cheerfully and when nearly through, some 
one objected to the division of beef and charged him 
with partiality, which raised his dander and he jumped 
up and commenced to pull off his coat. I heard the troub- 
le and stepped in and said, "Boys, we'll not have any 
trouble over a little matter of this kind. I've gotten 
through with my work now and I will finish this job. 
John, (I said in a low tone) you have done well, just as 
well as I could, but the only difference is, I pay no at- 
tention to their fault-finding and hold onto my temper." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 79 

It ran along for several days and grew worse in- 
stead of better, and one man in particular, was continu- 
ally dissatisfied with the rations his mess received- He 
was much older and had had so much more experience, 
that it worried and chafed me. 

One day I called him out to one side and said, "Com- 
rade, you were in the Regular Army once were you 
not?" 

"Yes, I put four years." 

"Well that gave you a rich experience. You saw a 
good deal of service in that time and it's no boy's play 
in. that army." 

"You may bet your bottom dollar that everything 
always runs as smooth as a clock." 

"Now, comrade, you know I'm almost snowed un- 
der with duties and have been since we have so many 
sick to look after but the dividing of rations bothers me 
more than all my other duties. In fact, it worries me 
because I'm not able to give satisfaction. You know, 
comxade, that it is a very difficult job to divide some of 
our rations accurately between so many men and no 
two messes have the same number." 

"O yes, I realize it's not easily done." 
"Now, I have been thinking if I could only get you 
to help — sit right down by my side, and advise, or for 
instance take right hold and help me divide the rations, 
that it will satisfy the boys and relieve me of this worry 
which I find is wearing on me more than my other 
work." 

"All right. Orderly, I'll do all I can to help you and 
I guess we both can make it." 

So the next morning Comrade was on hand and our 
beef was unusually poor. We had some steak, some 
poor bony boiling pieces and several pieces of ribs and 
flank and one good surloin roast. 

I asked Comrade to divide the meat to make ten 



8o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

piles and do the best he could, while I divided the other 
rations. When we got through I looked it over and 
said, "You've done well, better than I could do for that 
meat was a tough proposition." 

Then I commenced to call off and two messes re- 
fused to accept their beef, a few sharp words and insin- 
uations followed, when Comrade jumped to his feet, 
pulled off his coat and began to get his fists in good 
fighting trim, when I said, "Boys, don't let's have any 
trouble; I'd rather eat all this meat than have any hard 
feelings." 

But Comrade was not easily quieted. He tried to do 
the very best he could and no one could have done bet- 
ter- He turned to the boys and said, "I'll have nothing 
more to do with the rations, if you starve. Our orderly 
\zs, all the time, done as well or better than any one 
else could or would have done and if I hear any one find- 
ing fault hereafter, I'll dust their jacket or they will mine.' 

From that time on we had no trouble in dividing 
rations, and right here I will say, that notwithstanding I 
made many mistakes the boys all treated me with the 
kindliest consideration from the very beginning of my 
services as orderly. 

Early in the morning we received orders to pack 
everything and get ready to move, and all day wo work- 
ed, even till midnight to get everything on the steamers 
and barges. Our destination, we heard, was Calhoun, 
the "Slough of Despond." 

When all through Nelson and I were at the land- 
ing, I was very tired and sleepy. He lay down at the 
base of a huge pile of boxes containing army crackers, 
or hard tack; but I concluded to go higher and climbed 
nearly to the top, found a good place out of the wind, 
wrapped my blanket and rubber around me and soon 
dropped to sleep. About five o'clock in the morning, 
the boat hands commenced loading boxes of hard tack 
and began at the bottom of the pile. I did not hear them 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 8i 

or awaken till my foundation gave way, then I realized 
I was going head first some where, through a box fac- 
tory. When the workmen dug me out, they expected 
to find me badly injured but I was not, and felt well 
rested by the good night's sleep, and comfortable bed. 

The regiment marched across the country. I went 
by the barges in charge of our company's supplies, and 
reached Calhcun at noon. 

At the landing, I met an old friend whom I had not 
seen since we left Camp Allen. He belonged to Com- 
pany B and was living at Gordon's when he enlisted. 

"Well, Simons, this is a good surprise. How in the 
kingdom came you here?" 

"You remember I was taken sick at Camp Allen 
and was furloughed home and now I am here all ready 
to report for duty." 

"Well, come with me, John, and tell me all the news- 
Did you see any of my folks?" 

Yes, I met your brother at Gordon's, the day before 
I left. He stayed there till dusk and here's a package 
of letters, and he sends lots of love." 

"All right, John, I thank you. By the way, how are 
they at Gordon's, they're old friends of yours and old 
acquaintances of mine." 

"They're all well but May, she was poorly a week 
or so and left school, but better when I left." 

"Did she quit on that account?" I asked. 

"She said not. She said she concluded to take a 
vacation. She says she can't take much interest in her 
studies while the war lasts." 

"Has she any near friends in the army, John?" 

"Well, now I don't know. I asked her that question 
one day, how many — and she held up both hands with 
her fingers open and smiled." 

"Is there any one there now except their own fam- 
ily, John?" 

"None but Arthur Prescott, he had been there about 



82 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

a week when I left — is just able to go around on 
crutches." 

"Well, John, I just learned from a friend in the 
neighborhood, that May and Arthur were engaged. Did 
you hear that report?" 

"Yes, I heard that gossip." 
"Did you see anything that confirmed it?" 
"Well hardly on her part. She is so kind and good 
to everybody especially every soldier, that it's hard to 
tell. I saw Arthur look at her several times as though 
he could say his prayers to her. By the way, she hand- 
ed me a letter to give you- Maybe you're one that she 
is anxious about." 

"I'm only one of a great many, John- She has a great 
many friends." 

"That's true, Marion. She is a good friend to ev- 
erybody and more especially to the poor and friendless." 
As John left me I opened May's letter first, from 
which I quote one paragraph: 

"A few days ago father and I called on Arthur and 
brought him home to stay with us for a brief time, while 
his mother is visiting her sister in Michigan. Although 
improving, he suffers a good deal from his wound but 
is very patient, and when I see him now so helpless and 
think how robust he was when he enlisted and that now 
he is likely to be a criple for life, I can hardly keep back 
the tears. O this cruel, cruel war! I cannot do justice 
to myself, in my studies, while I have so many friends 
in the service and have laid by my books for a while, 
go through my daily routine of house work, mechani- 
cally, and then read my dailies." 

My brother's letter was full of love and affection 
and I herewith quote from it, a postscript hastily written 
at Mr. Gordon's. 

"I found John Simons at Gordon's. He promised to 
call on you. I had an interesting visit with May and 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 83 

found her the same bright, generous girl she was when 
a child. To her natural beauty and grace she has added 
culture and refinement. As far as she has gone she is 
very thorough, a great reader and thinker. In short 
she is thoroughly posted on war, the position, condition 
and movements of both armies. She prizes the book 
you gave her very highly, and asked me many questions 
about you and then at last said : 

"I do feel a deep interest in your brother, you re- 
member we were playmates and when I was but a 
child he saved my life and in doing so almost lost his own, 
and now if he should be taken sick or wounded I would 
be helpless to aid one to whom I owe so much. I have 
never been able to express my gratitude to him as I 
would like- He would never listen to a word and that 
is why I take the liberty to talk so freely to you; and 
here as her voice began to waver, she gave me her hand 
but did not look up or say good by as she left me and 
passed from the parlor up a flight of stairs to a room 
above. 

Yours Affectionately, 

PRENTISS." 

I sat for a long time in a deep study and said to my- 
self, "A generous, noble girl. God bless May Gordon. 
She is crucifying herself for her friends." 



FROM CALHOUN TO FORT HENRY. 

Chapter XII. 

On reaching Calhoun our regiment went in camp on 
the same ground we left on the 15th of January and each 
mess of Co. A was now using the same fiire plaee and 
chimjiey they had built. When making my last monthly 
report I found that we had thirty-five sick in hospital, 
ten excused from duty, and had lost five by death, re- 
ducing our number of available men to fifty. Eight of 
the sick were in Evansville, five in South Carleton and 
twenty-two at this place. We also had eight more that 
were really unfit for duty but refused to go to the sur- 
geon to be excused, fearing that he might order them to 
the hospital. The resignation of our first lieutenant was 
rejected, but as he had been sick since reaching there 
on the I St of February, he was granted a leave of ab- 
sence and started for home immediately. 

It rained here nearly every day, making the roads 
and streets almost impassable. There w^ere heavy army 
wagons, cavalry and artillery constantly moving along 
the main street, mixing the thin mortar with all kinds 
of filth and slops from the houses, and straw and ma- 
nure from the stables. 

Hogs lived in the streets and wallowed through the 
mud. They were so poor and thin that when the sun 
shone they were almost transparent except for the heavy 
coat of red clay that stuck to their bristles- Half starved, 
long eared and long legged hounds vied with the hogs 
in filth. Old houses, uninhabited, sheds, stables, log 
shacks, filthy pig pens, old wagons, boxes, barrels and 
wood piles decorated the main streets on either side. 

Was it any wonder that we had so many sick in our 
company, was it not a greater wonder that we were not 
all in a hospital or covered over deep down under this 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 85 

red clay? A hard battle would be much less fatal than 
to remain here. I don't mean to complain, it might have 
been necesasry to occupy this place, I am just giving 
the terrible condition and results. 

February 7th, all the sick that were able were or- 
dered to be sent to Evansville, where they can have good 
healthful surroundings and care. I had just returned 
from a visit to our sick that were not able to be moved 
and who were to be left in Dr. Rerick's care. Most all 
v;ere cases of typhoid fever. Many were in a stage of 
stupor, a few opened their eyes and tried to greet me 
with a smile. I went to young Stealey's bed, spoke to 
him a few tim.es and tried to rouse him, but he was past 
recognizing any one. His home was near Angola. See- 
ing these boys of ours in such a low reduced condition, 
lying on rough blankets with a little straw under them, 
v,'ith nothing but an overcoat or knapsack under their 
heads and most of them covered with bed sores, made 
m.y heart sick. If they were only at home some of them 
might recover, but there, with those surroundings, there 
was little hope. 

That morning, the 8th, we received orders to move, 
and as soon as possible everything was packed and 
loaded on the little side-wheel steamer "Nettie Gill- 
more." At one a. m. we bade Calhoun a long farewell 
and moved down Green River. 

The water was excessively high, overflowing the 
low lands and extending back through the swamps a 
long distance, bringing into the channel large amounts 
of down timber and filling the river with drift that re- 
sembled an endless raft floating down the current; on 
account of this, our steamer ran down about five miles 
and tied up at a landing. The night was cold with a 
strong north wind and as there was no chance for the 
boys to rest and keep warm on the boat they all got off 
and built fires, using the barrel staves, corded up along 



86 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

the river, which burned well but was rather expensive 
fuel for the owner- 

At seven a. m. on the gth we again started down 
the river, stopping at Spotsville, where we changed 
from the "Nettie Gillmore" to the "Baltic," a large stern 
wheeler, and from there on we had no trouble with drift 
wood, although the river was full. A vast amount of 
valuable property was going down the river into the 
Ohio — fences, millions of rails, chicken coops, pig pens, 
corn cribs, hay and stacks of fodder and now and then, 
a good sized log house. 

We reached Evansville about dusk, passed on and 
stopped at Henderson, Kentucky, a half hour and 
reached Paducha at eight a. m. on the loth. Here was 
an ocean of water, the whole country was flooded, the 
water up to the second story of the business houses 
along the river. The town, too, was full of water and 
the people were navigating some of the streets with 
beats and rafts. Our boys said they saw pigs looking 
at them through the second story windows, while dogs, 
cats and poultry were running around on top of houses. 
Here were more steamers congregated together than 
I ever saw before, lying along the bank, with volumes 
cf black smoke rolling up from their tall chimneys and 
puffs of white steam, vanishing in the air. 

Among them was one queer looking little thing, a 
gun boat probably, for our protection, compared with 
the other steamers looked like a little banty rooster. The 
boys called it a "mud turtle," a sort of a cross between 
a sub-marine fort, a dredging machine and coal barge. 
It's unlike anything in the fleet and to obviate asking 
questions, we called it a gun boat. 

We stopped at Paducha nearly an hour then the 
whole fleet commenced to move, the "Baltic" dropping 
in about the middle of the column, accompanied by our 
little gun boat running along on the right of our f^eet 
as though our safety depended on her. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 87 

Every steamer seemed to be loaded down to the wa- 
ter with infantry, artillery, cavalry, army wagons, mules, 
horses, army supplies of all kinds and all the parapher- 
nalia of war, and as the fleet turned up the Tennessee, 
we knew positively then, that we were bound for Fort 
Kcnry, ninety miles up the river, an agreeable change 
to us, from the poison mud and putrid water of Calhoun. 

It was a beautiful day. The soft mellow breeze 
came down from> the south where the robins sing and 
the roses bloom all winter. The rocky bluffs on the one 
side of t',-e river and the wild unbroken forest on the 
other, furnished me a variety of interesting scenery to 
keep me on deck all day- 

Occasionally here and there a log cabin cropped out 
from a small clearing occupied by some "squatter" fam- 
ily. A half dozen half dressed children, the wife and 
mcther poorly clad and the lord of the shack and ranch, 
sitting under the shade with his gun and two or three 
dogs at his feet. 

And occasionally at landings, we passed a few small 
towns or cluster of houses, where a group of negro chil- 
dren, a few white lads and lasses and a few old gray 
headed men and women had congregated and witnessed 
a sight such as they never saw before. Our boys would 
give ringing cheers for the Union, Lincoln and the old 
flag but we heard no response. 

In advance of us were seven gun boats, the Cin- 
cinnati, St. Louis, Carondalet, Lexington, Tyler and 
Conestoga. The Cincinnati being Commodore Foot's 
flag ship. 

The fleet landed two brigades of troops on the west 
side of the river and three en the east about four miles 
below the fort. Those on the west side were to advance 
and cut off any reinforcements from the new fort, being 
built on that side, while those on the east, under Gen. 
McClernand, would work their way through the woods 



88 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and swamps to gain the rear of the enemy, and storm 
the fcrt, if ordered. 

As Charles Carleton Coffin was on the Cincinnati 
with Ccmmcdore Foot and was an eye witness, we will 
let him describe, in his graphic way, the bombardment 
cf Fort Henry. 

"Commodore Foot had prepared his instructions to 
the officers and crews of the gun boats several days be- 
fore. They were brief and plain. 

"The four iron clad boats, the Essex, Carondalet, 
St. Lcuis and Cincinnati will keep in line. The Cones- 
toga, Lexington and Tyler will follow the iron clads 
and throw shells over those in advance." 
To the commanders, he said: 
"Do just as I do." 
Addressing the crews, he said: 

"Fire slowly and with deliberate aim. There are 
three reasons why you should not fire rapidly With 
rarid fxreing there is always a waste of ammunition. 
Ycui range is imperfect and your shots go wide of the 
ir.arh and that encourages the enemy; and it is desira- 
ble net to heat the guns. If you fire slowly and delib- 
e:"tely, you will keep cool yourselevs and make every 
shot tell." 

With such instructions, with all things ready, deck 
cleared for action, guns run out, shot and shell brought 
up from the magazines and piled on deck, confident of 
success, and determined to take the fort or go to the bot- 
tom, he waited the appointed hour. 

The gun boats steamed up slowly against the cur- 
rent, that the troops may have time to get into position 
in rear of the Rebel intrenchments. They take the chan- 
nel on the west side of the island. The Esesx is on the left 
of the battle line nearest the island. Her commander 
is William D. Porter, who comes from good stock. It 
was his father who commanded the Essex in the war 
with Great Britain in 1813 and who fought most gal-. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 89 

lantly a superior force, two British ships, the Phebe and 
the Cherup in the harbor of Valpraiso. 

Next the Essex is the Carondalet, then the Cincin- 
nati, the flag ship, with the brave commander on board, 
and nearest the western shore, the St. Louis. These are 
all iron plated at the bows. Astern is the Lexington, 
the Conestoga and the Tyler. 

The boats reach the head of Panther Island and the 
fort is in full view. It is thirty-four minutes past twelve 
o'clock. 

There is a flash and a great creamy cloud of smoke 
at the bow of the Cincinnati. An eight inch shell screams 
through the air. The gunners watch its course. Their 
practiced eyes follow its almost viewless flight. Your 
watch ticl^s fifteen seconds before you hear from it. You 
see a puff of smoke, a cloud of sand thrown up in the 
fort and then hear the explosion. The commanders of 
the other boats remember the instructions. 'Do just as 
I do' and from each vessel a shell is thrown. All fall 
within the fort or in the encampment beyond, which is 
in sight. You can see the tents, the log huts, the tall flag 
staff. The fort accepts the challenge and instantly the 
twelve guns which are in position to sweep the river, 
open upon the advancing boats. The shot and shell 
plow furrows in the stream and throw columns of wa- 
ter, high in the air. 

Another round from the fleet. Another round from 
the fort. The air is calm and the thunder of the can- 
nonade rolls along the valley, reverberating from hill to 
hill. Louder and deeper and heavier is the booming 
till it becomes almost an unbroken peal-' 

There is a commotion in the Rebel encampment. 
Men run to and fro. They curl down behind the stumps 
and the fallen trees to avoid the shot. Their huts are 
blown to pieecs by the shells. You see the logs tossed 
like straws into the air- Their tents torn into paper 
rags. The hissing shells sink deep into the earth and 



go IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

then there are sudden upheavals of sand with smoke and 
flames as if volcanoes were bursting forth. The parapet 
is cut through. Sand-bags are knocked about. The air 
is full of strange, mysterious, hideous terrifying noises. 
There are seven or eight thousand Rebel soldiers in 
the rifle-pits and behind the breat works of the encamp- 
ment in line of battle. They are terror stricken. Officers 
and men alike lose all self-control. They run to escape 
the fearful storm. They leave arms, ammunition, tents, 
blankets, trunks, clothes, books, letters, papers, pictures 
— everything. They pour out of the entrenchments into 
the road leading to Dover, a motley rabble. A small 
steam boat lies in the creek above the fort. Some rush 
on board and steam up the river with utmost speed, oth- 
ers in their haste and fear plunge into the creek and sink 
to rise no more. All fly except a brave little band in 
the fort. 

The gun boats move straight on, slowly and stead- 
ily. Their fire is regular and deliberate. Every shot 
goes into the fort. The gunners are blinded and smoth- 
ered by clouds of sand. The gun carriages are crushed, 
splintered and overturned- Men are cut to pieces. Some- 
thing unseen tears them, like a thunderbolt. The fort 
is full of explosions. The heavy rifled gun bursts, crush- 
ing and killing those who serve it. The flag staff is 
splintered and torn as by intensest lightning. 

Yet, the fort replies. The gunners have the range 
of the boats and nearly every shot strikes the iron plat- 
ing. They are like the strokes of sledge-hammers, in- 
denting the sheets, starting the fastenings, breaking 
the tough bolts. The Cincinnati receives thirty-one 
shots, the Essex fifteen, the St. Louis seven and the Car- 
ondalet six. Though struck so often, they move on. 
The distance lessens. Another gun is knocked from its 
carriage in the fort, another, another. There are signs 
that the contest is about over, that the Rebels are ready 
to surrender. But a shot strikes the Essex between the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 91 

iron plate. It tears through the oaken timbers and into 
one of the steam boilers. There is a great puff of steam. 
It pours from the port holes and the boat is enveloped 
in a cloud. She drops out of the line of battle. Her 
engines stop and she floats with the stream- Twenty- 
eight of her crew are scalded, among them her brave 
commander. 

The Rebels take courage, they spring to their guns 
and fire rapidly and wildly, hoping and expecting to 
disable the rest of the fleet, but the commodore does not 
falter, he keeps straight on as if nothing had happened. 
An eighty pound shell from the Cincinnati dismount? 
a gun, killing or wounding every gunner. The boats 
are so near that every shot is sure to do its work. The 
fire of the boats increase, while the fire of the fort di- 
minishes. Coolness, determination, energy, persever- 
ance and power win the day. The Rebel flag comes 
down and the white flag goes up. Cheers ring through 
the fleet. A boat puts out from the St. Louis. An offi- 
cer jumps ashore, climbs the torn embankment, stands 
upon the parapet and waves the Stars and Stripes. Hur- 
rah ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! You hear it echoeing from shore 
to shore." 

In one hour and twelve minutes from the firing of 
the first gun the fort, which the Rebels maintained could 
protect the Tennessee, surrendered ; opening up water 
communication into the heart of the Confederacy. This 
was Thursday and should have been a day of thanks- 
giving, for that victory from a military standpoint, was 
of national importance and should have inspired the 
hearts of the discouraged, the doubtful and the disloyal 
to greater devotion for their country. 

At nine p. m. the whole fleet of transports assem- 
bled around the captured fort and celebrated the victory 
with martial music, patriotic speeches and cheers from 
ten thousand boys in blue. 



FROM FORT HENRY TO FORT DONELSON. 



Chapter XIII. 

Very soon after the surrender of the fort, the gun 
boats were run back down the river to Cairo for repairs- . 
Commodore Foot was also there looking after the com- 
fort and care of the men scalded on the Essex, the re- 
pairing of the boats and reporting to the war depart- 
ment, the surrender of Fort Henry. 

On the Sunday following, when the bell rang for 
service, the Commodore was present. The minister be- 
ing absent, he stepped into the pulpit, read a chapter, 
offered prayer and preached from the text, "Let not your 
hearts be troubled, ye believe in God; believe also in 
me." 

He exorted his hearers net only to believe in God, 
but to believe also in His Son and accept the Lord Jesus 
Christ as their personal Savior. 

He, like Gen, O. O. Howard, lived what he believed 
and lived it every day. Had we had more such men in 
command cf cur armies, less mistakes would have been 
made and more victories won. 

Before leaving Calhoun, our brigade had been trans- 
ferred from Buel's to Grant's army and attached to Gen. 
Lew "Wallace's division, a portion of which, including 
our brigade, was ordered to Donelson by the Cumber- 
land. 

At eleven p. m. after celebrating the victory, at Fort 
Henry with patriotic speeches, martial music and cheers, 
the fleet of transports moved down the Tennessee to 
Paducha which we reached som.etime during the early 
morning. I dated three letters "On the Baltic," one to 
mother, one to Prentiss and one to May. 

I kept nothing back, but expressed my mind freely 
and plainly of the conflict pending. 

I wrote mother that our fleet would leave Paducha 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 93 

within a very brief time and move up the Ohio then up 
the Cumberland to Fort Donelson, which the Rebels call 
the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy." 

In closing I said, "We shall capture the fort but it 
will involve a hard fight and cost many lives. Whether 
I survive or not, rest assured, dear mother, that I shall 
try to do my whole duty and that I have never forgotten 
your parting words. To be plain and honest with you 
I must say that I contemplate the awful carnage that 
must ensue, with feelings of dread- Yet I feel no fear, 
I am not afraid, and this condition of mind seemingly 
so contradictory, I cannot explain, but I have strong 
faith that I shall survive. Remember me, as you prom- 
ised- Your affectionate son. 

MARION." 
. .In closing my letter to Prentiss, I said "you have 
always been a kind, indulgent, generous elder brother. 
If you could read my heart now, you would know that 

it is full of love and gratitude to you, 

Your affectionate brother, M." 

My letter to May was written under proper re- 
straint. I could not take the liberty to say what was in 
my heart, but all my words were carefully chosen and 
warm with the strongest regard, and I knew she could 
read much between the lines. I told her of the import- 
ant victory at Fort Henry. "And now with the capture 
of Fort Donelson, we not only reach the heart of the 
Confederacy by two waterways but it will eventually 
make it possible to open the Mississippi to the Gulf, thus 
cutting the Rebellion in two. Better several thousand 
fall than lose Donelson. Nashville will be surrendered 
soon after we capture the fort. 

Be patient and don't worry, my little girl, I feel con- 
fident I shall pass through unharmed. Remiember me 
as you promised. 

Your best friend. 

MARION." 



94 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

At four thirty p. m. on the 12th day of February, 
our twelve steamers and our Httle teller or signal boat, 
cut loose and were soon in line, the Baltic taking its 
place, the sixth from the front. 

Soon after starting, I sat down on the upper deck 
by myself when my old friend John Summers came up 
and sat down by me. 

"Well, John, how is the health and how^ are you, 
anyway?" 

"My health has improved wonderfully. I like this 
ride on the river." 

"What's the news from home. Anything from 
Gordons?" 

"Here is a letter from Marg, that may interest you 
somie." 

I took it readily and read it through hastily as the 
body of the letter was quite important ; then my eye 
. caught a brief postscript signed by Marg, which said : 
"You see Marion often, you say. He's an old friend of 
our family, especially of May. Tell him that she will 
probably leave us next fall as her marriage is set for 
October i. Arthur has received a nice little fortune 
from his Uncle Arthur. But that of course had no in- 
fluence with May. I asked May to write Marion but 
she seemed indifferent. Marg." 

For a moment the blood left my head and face and 
I felt dizzy, then controlling myself and voice, I said, 
"John, Marg never wrote that letter, there is something 
materially wrong here. The whole letter is a fraud. 
What does it mean? I can't conceive who would forge 
her name. What object could any one have?" 

"I'd almost swear that it is Marg's handwriting, 
but I'll write her again and if possible find out." 

"Do so, John, but please don't mention me in your 
letter at all. Will you give me this letter, I wish to 
keep it. It will be a great favor- I'll find out the au- 
thor, if I live to get home." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 95 

"Yes," said John, "keep it and when I get another 
we'll compare." 

As John walked away I looked it over carefully. 
It's a good imitation, I thought. I loked at the envel- 
ope. The stamp was stuck on carelessly, nearly bot- 
tom side up and the folding in bad taste. I then took 
a pen and ink and wrote on the envelope, "A forgery" 
and placed it in my inside coat pocket, out of my sight, 
but I could not put it out of my mind. May indifferent. 
No, that gives the whole scheme away." 

"Bless her heart. It's all false. If there was one 
word of truth in her engagement, she would have writ- 
ten me as she promised. It doesn't fit in well with what 
she told Prentiss a few days ago. Well, I have plenty 
to think of for the next few days." 

Before reaching Smithland, at the mouth of the 
Cumberland, we met other transports loaded with 
troops, which turned around and dropped in our rear, 
making fifteen in all. The five gun boats having gone 
on in advance. 

These transports as they moved up the Cumberland 
with banners flying over the crowded decks, glittering 
with burnished arms, gay with uniforms, enlivened by 
numerous martial bands made a grand imposing spec- 
tacle, long to be remsembered by those who witnessed it- 
The Captain and I had been on deck most of the 
time since leaving Paducah, watching the flee^, and the 
scenery along the river and the drift, too, as it came 
down the stream and passed by us so rapidly, when all 
of a sudden he became deathly sick. I took him below 
and called in Dr. Martin, as soon as possible, and while 
helping what I could, I was taken in the same way; so 
awfully sick I was frightened. I thought I would turn 
inside out and that everything but my boots would come 
up through my throat. 

As soon as the Captain could speak, between his 



g6 IN TnE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

convulsions he cried out, "Oh Doctor, I'm poisoned. O 
dear I never was so sick." 

"Hold me, Doctor," I cried, "I'm boiling over. I ve 
got the cholera." 

"Cholera," said the Captain, "is it cholera. Doctor?" 

"Stop your noise, I say, you'll have everybody 
down here that's on deck. Here take this. Captain, 
and he gave him a spoonful of medicine and then gave 
me the same and when he went out he said, "Now keep 
quiet, boys, don't be alarmed, you'll feel better soon." 

"Say, Orderly, do you think this is chorela?" 

"Well, I don't know Cap. I never felt so sick be- 
fore." O dear, what pain and my stomach began to 
heave and cramp and that started Cap off again. "I be- 
lieve it's cholera. We caught it at Calhoun. The hogs 
were all dying with it there." "Say, Cap, do you sup- 
pose a man could catch hog cholera?" 

Before Cap could answer he began to heave and 
just then the doctor came with some more medicine and 
gave each of us a big dose. 

"Say, Doctor, do you suppose we caught the chol- 
era from those hogs at Calhoun," I asked. 

"Shut up, you gosling. Keep off the deck and quit 
looking down on the water and you'll be all right." 

"Keep off the deck. I'm sure I saw the doctor 
smile. Sea sick, I thought, and on the Cumberland. 
How poetic, and I soon dropped asleep from the effects 
of opiates, I had taken and I did not wake up till roused 
by the cannonading up the river. 

I jumped out of my bunk and began to dress as the 
doctor came in. 

"Well," said the doctor, "how do you like the ef- 
fects of standing on deck and looking down on the wa- 
ter for two or three days? Don't do it again just as we 
are expecting a battle." 

"Say, Doc, can't you pump me full of wind or saus- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 97 

age or something, I feel as hollow and empty as a beer 
barrel." 

"Ill give you more capsicum to stop up your 
mouth." 

The regiments of our brigade were landing and I 
started to go when the doctor stopped me. 

"Where are you going, Orderly?" 

"I'm going down to the company." 

"You can't, you're not able. You can't make the 
march." 

"Well, Doc, I'll try, and I can make it, I must go." 

"If you are bound to try it, I'll fix you up a dose." 

So he poured some brandy in a glass, put in some 
water, quinine and capsicum, stirred it up and got it 
down, but 'twas an awful dose. I got on the ground as 
soon as possible and although I felt weak, I felt well. 
The captain stayed on the boat, got a furlough and start- 
ed for home on the first steamier. 

We soon had our tents a camp equipage unloaded 
from the boat and piled up, and as they were to be left 
there, it was necessary to detail some one to guard them- 
We had three sick boys that I knew could not make the 
march and one of them was Jim. I called them up to 
the goods and told them what I wanted, and Jim re- 
fused to remain. He was taken sick at Calhoun and 
had been sick all the way on the steamer. 

"No, no," said Jim, "I will not stay. I'm going 
with the boys." 

"Jim, you can't go, you're not able. It's impossible 
for you to make the march, stay here and take care of 
yourself. Why won't you stay?" 

"Because if the company goes, I'm going." 

The surgeon was close by and I called him. "Say. 
Doc, I wish you would persuade Jim to stay here, he's 
been sick for several weeks." 

"Jim, my dear fellow," you're unable to make that 
march through the rain and thick mud." 



g8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Dr.," said Jim, and he spoke slowly and calmly, 
"you can put me under arrest and court martial me for 
disobeying orders, but if Co, A goes, I'm going." 

"Jim, I don't like to see you go, I wish you'd stay 
but God bless you, my boy, and if you will go let me 
give you a good stimulant," and he fixed him the same 
that he did me, only a larger dose. 

The transports reached the landing while I was 
asleep, sometime in the forenoon, I judge. The gun 
boats had passed on up the river and perhaps it was 
noon or after when the Carondalet tossed the first shell 
into the Rebel works. The deep and heavy roar of the 
first gun echoed over the hills of Tennessee and down 
the valley of the Cumberland. It awakened the Rebel 
hosts and gave inspiration to the Union army- 



THE ROAR AND SMOKE OF BATTLE. 



Chapter XIV. 

As the bridage formed, our regiment took its place 
on the extreme left which threw us in the rear. For a 
short ditsance our road ran to the west then mostly 
south and southwest. We were all heavily loaded, knap- 
sack, with two blankets, haversack, canteen, cartridge 
box with sixty rounds, and gun. It had rained almost 
incessantly for the last two days and nights and the clay 
road was soon mixed into thin mortar, by the column 
in front, deep enough to go over the army shoe and fre- 
quently one would plunge into the thin mud to the 
knees. We soon crossed a swampy ravine, then climb- 
ed along a steep hill, cut out by the heavy rains down 
which ran a strong current of thin slush and muddy wa- 
ter, then a level swampy tract of mire, another steep 
hill, a creek to wade, another and another hill to climb 
and swamp bottoms to wade through, with little varia- 
tion 'till we reached the south branch of the Fort Henry 
road, some nine miles or more from the landing. 

About three p. m. we passed a cleared field and log 
house, on our right near the road, and near the base of 
a large hill on our left. 

The log house was Gen. Grant's headquarters. And 
over and beyond the bluff on our left the fort, we con- 
cluded, from the heavy artillery firing, and just over the 
bluff not very far, was a constant roar of musketry, pro- 
ceeding probably from our forces charging the enemy's 
entrenchments. 

We reached our position, two or three miles south 
west of Dover about dusk, in a blinding snowstorm. 

I think I never saw it snow harder in Indiana. We 
were nearly exhausted carrying our heavy loads through 
the rain and mud. We were all wet through and hun- 



loo IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

gry, our feet were wet and our pants covered nearly to 
the hips with mud. We had just halted when Jim gave 
out entirely and would have fallen full length to the 
ground had not the boys caught him. They found a 
place for him to sit down, wrapped a blanket around 
him and called Surgeon Martin- 

"Jim, my boy," said the doctor, "I was afraid of 
this. I should have compelled you to stay on the steam- 
er. Can you swallow this brandy and water?" 

"I'll try," said Jim feebly. 

"Jim," continued the surgeon, "you've done your 
whole duty. You'll die here before tomorrow night if 
you stay. I can't take care of you. You must go back 
to the landing. Who will you have go with you?" 

"Al and Dave," he replied. 

And while the boys were getting ready, the doctor 
wrote, 
"Dear Dr. Vincent: 

"I send you the bravest and best boy I ever knew. 
A hero. Be very sure that he has immediate care and 
the best you can give ; save him if you can. He's worth 
a dozen ordinary men. Yours in haste, 

"W. W. Martin, Surg. 44 Ind. Regt." 

And this note he folded and handed to the boys as 
they started to take Jim back to the "Baltic-" 

We stacked arms and made a hasty lunch of raw 
bacon and hard tack, as we were now near the enemy's 
picket line, it was impossible to build fires to make cof- 
fee or dry our clothing, so we stood around in small 
groups, silently eating our dry lunch while the damp, 
fast falling snow was spreading a cold wet mantle over 
us. 

We had scarcely finished eating when the adjutant 
ordered me to divide the company into two reliefs, the 
first to go on picket immediately and the second to re- 
lieve the first at midnight. 

This was a hard problem. I felt that I understood 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." loi 

their condition and realized how they must suffer 
throughout the night, from fatigue, their damp clothing 
and wet cold feet and when the company was formed, 
I said "boys, count off and divide equally; the half that 
desires, from now till twelve, follow me and the half 
that remains shall relieve at midnight. The left of the 
company followed promptly. The officer of the day took 
us full a hundred rods to the base of "Bald Knob Moun- 
tain" when we deployed and formed our line. We were 
instructed to do no firing unless attacked by the enemy. 
At midnight the right of the company came out and 
relieved all but me. Our second lieutenant was unable 
to go on duty, hence I remained with the second relief. 
The night was long and tedious and will never be for- 
gotten by the boys that were there. Some cut a few 
bushes, lay down and got a little rest, but in the morn- 
ing they were covered with six inches of snow. Others 
sat down, leaned against a tree or stood on their feet, 
they could choose their accommodations. Sleep was 
impossible. 

On the last round made by the officer of the day 
we went back with him, hungry, wet, sleepy, exhausted 
and shivering with the cold. Then we ate our little 
lunch of hard tack and raw bacon and when scarcely 
through, an order came for each company to cord their 
knapsacks by the side of the road, nearby and detail two 
men to guard them. I detailed Wright and two others, 
as those three were completely exhausted and sick. 
Some time during the day Wright was sent to the hos- 
pital boat at the landing and died soon after. 

Our long roll was beaten, which made cold shivers 
run up the back, the company formed, roll was called, 
the second lieutenant took command and I went to my 
place with my gun, and our regiment dropped in on the 
left of the brigade. 

The wood was full of soldiers as far back as we 



102 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

could see, on either side of the road and thousands of 
men in front- 
As soon as our brigade began to move, all the men 
in front very kindly gave us the right of way and did 
not seem to envy us at all, as we passed on by them 
along the south branch of the Fort Henry road towards 
the front, where the incessant and heavy roar of mus- 
ketry and artillery sounded like an approaching tornado. 
Our brigade had marched a half mile when the front 
began to climb a long steep hill, and when about half 
way up, shell came thick and fast from a rebel battery, 
on our left, screaming and screeching like a thousand 
mad demons, through the air close over the road. The 
boys ducked their heads and ran across the exposed 
place, which was about ten rods. When Company A 
reached that point we not only ducked our heads but 
humped over and ran as close to the ground as possible. 
I felt that every shell was aimed at me. 

Passing to the top of the hill we soon met ambulances 
and wagons loaded with wounded; from one, blood 
was dripping through the box. Wounded men were 
straggling along the road to the rear, with bandaged 
arms and hands and legs and heads; faces covered and 
beards loaded with clotted blood. Men carrying a ban- 
daged broken arm and others using their guns for 
crutches and sticks for canes, while only at a short dis- 
tance to the front and right was the roar and smoke and 
rush of battle. 



THE BATTLE OF DONELSON. 

Chapter XV. 

As you sail up the Cumberland and approach the 
"Bend" you will pass a high bluff on the right at the crest 
of which is a high embankment built of earth, running 
all around it, with many angles. 

Near the foot of the bluff are two embankments, 
one above the other, called the "Water Batteries." They 
are manned by seventeen heavy guns. Two of them are 
large and will throw an iron bolt, weighing one hundred 
and twenty-eight pounds, while most of the others are 
thirty-two-pounders. The guns can be turned down 
stream and their fire concentrated on a single gun boat. 
Now pass up the river one mile and you reach the 
landing and the little village of Dover, clustered around 
the "Bend" at the foot of the bluff. First is an open 
space, or public square, some sixty rods, along the river 
and perhaps thirty rods back. To your right is a large 
amount of army supplies piled up, which covers nearly 
one-tenth of the open space. 

Crossing the square to the south you enter the only 
main street, the Clarksville road, which runs in a south- 
erly direction. Follow this road, please, up and over the 
long hill to the ridge for nearly a half mile and you 
reach the Rebel out-works: — a trench, at this point, 
twelve feet wide and four deep, with all the dirt thrown 
outward, and at this crossing is their draw bridge. 

This big trench describes a circle, outside of which 
is the abatis, a thick growth of timber fallen outward, 
with every limb cut off and sharpened to a needle point. 
The Clarksville road continues along this ridge in a 
southerly direction and is quite an important factor dur- 
ing the battle- Now from the draw bridge cast your eye 
to the south, southwest, west and northwest and if it 
was not for the intervening swamps, bluffs and patches 



104 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

of timber, your eye would cover much of the battlefield. 
To the right is a deep gulch leading to the south, and 
beyond another high ridge running parallel, which com- 
mands the road and drawbridge. 

As the front of the brigade reached the Clarksville 
highway it filed to the right along the road, and when 
the rear passed this point, our whole brigade line was 
under the fire of the Rebel skirmish line, only a short 
distance to our left and covered by a dense growth of 
underbrush. 

Company A had just made the turn when I heard a 
ball strike John, who was next behind me. I turned 
around, took his gun and asked, "Are you badly hurt, 
John?" "Yes," he said, "the ball has gone plum through 
me." He was leaning forward, with his hands over his 
bowels, but never lost a step ; unbuttoned his clothing, 
ran his hand around him, felt no wound, looked on his 
hand for blood, discovered none and said, "No, Order- 
ly, I ain't hurt. I'm just skeared a little, that's all; give 
me my gun." He was hurt, however. The ball struck 
him a quar ler of an inch forward of the hip bone, on 
the left side following around the abdomen, burning the 
skin and coming out on the opposite side from where 
it entered. Had a coal of fire or red hot iron been drawn 
around auickly it would have hurt no more nor left a 
more positive mark. 

Under this fire the brigade must have moved one 
hundred rods or more. The balls flew thick but they 
flew high, some were wounded, but none seriously. 

The brigade came to a halt, and left face in the 
open, where there was only a few scattering trees. Here 
I looked for Gun Smith but did not see him. Perhaps 
he had been wounded or killed by the skirmish fire. 

The enemy was in heavy force 'down the slope in 
front covered by a thick growth of oak grubs, loaded 
vidth last season's yellow leaves, the color of the Con- 
federate butternut uniform. We had just reached our 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 105 

position and fronted the enemy when, instantaneously 
a heavy volley of musketry struck us ; where I stood, 
at our feet, farther to the left and especially to the right 
about the middle. A few were killed by this volley and 
Captain Cuppy was fatally wounded. 

Our brave flag bearer dropped the flag and ran to 
the rear- The adjutant and m.ajor rode around him and 
drove him back under their drawn swords. The firing 
then became general and during some little confusion 
in his company Jack slipped out and we never saw him 
again. For thirty minutes or more we loaded and fired 
as fast as possible, it seemed to me much longer. Time 
rrxves slowly when engaged in a deadly conflict; even 
Eve minutes is a long time to stand under fire. In our 
left we had no support and our right was driven back. 
Our regiment stood alone for ten minutes. The enemy 
was coming around us on our right and extending their 
line to flank us on our left, and our only course was to 
fall back to save our regiment from capture. 

In falling back through the woods. Company A 
v,-ent straight back to the rear. Vve were alone and 
c uite confused as to where or which way to go. Look- 
ing off to the right we saw a body of cavalry, dressed 
in blue overcoats; they beckoned us to halt, and as we 
cid so t':ey spurred their horses up to within fifteen 
rods and fired. We gave them one round, em^ptied a 
few saddles and then we scud like a flock of quails for 
a thick undergrowth nearby. In reaching our covert, 
we found that Orange had received a very bad wound 
through the shoulder and that John had been hit again. 
A spent ball struck him in the fleshy part of the hip and 
v/as buried under the skin. He pressed his finger by 
the ball and forced it out. We then followed the ridge 
to the southwest and soon passed down the bluff near 
our field hospital, where we left Orange, then crossing 
"Bloody Brook" we discovered our regiment on a high 
elevation in an open field and hastened to them. And 



io6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

here our second lieutenant,, being sick and exhausted, 
left us for the field hospital. 

From all that we could see and learn, up to this 
hour, two-fifteen p. m., the enemy had been successful, 
in forcing our whole line from right to left and so en- 
couraged were they that Gen- Pillow telegraphed Nash- 
ville, "On the honor of a soldier the day is ours." 

So, flushed with success, the enemy resolved to cap- 
ture a battery, just beyond the gulf, that commanded 
the Clarksville road ot the draw-bridge. 

From our elevated position the battery was in plain 
sight and we could di-tinctly see the Rebel column 
march up the gulch, step over the brook, form under 
the shelter of the bluff, face to the right and commence 
the perilous charge. 

We saw them plainly as they climbed the steep 
long hill, with confident and magnificent bearing, up 
and up, sure of success and from our point of view, I 
trembled for the result. Only tv/enty or thirty rods 
more and the battery would be lost; the infantry rolled 
a volley of balls at their heads and shoulders as they 
rose above the crest, then every piece of artillery seem- 
ed to leap high in the air as they belched forth great 
volums of fire and smoke and canister, through the ad- 
vancing column. 

The officers tried to rally their men while the guns 
were being reloaded, and got within four rods of the bat- 
tery when a more destructive fire of canister tore 
through their depleted staggering ranks and hurled them 
to the bottom of the gulch, where under shelter they re- 
organized their line, rested a few minutes and charged 
up the hill again, into the very jaws of death, and met 
a concentrated fire of musketry and artillery that swept 
them back over the crimsoned snow, down the hill to 
the brook below. The survivors tarried only a moment 
and moved down the cove leaving their dead, wounded 
and dying on the ground. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 107 

A grand simultaneous charge is ordered on the whole 
Rebel line and at three-thirty p. m. we take our place 
on the extreme left of our brigade, move forward down 
the hill cross "Bloody Brook," file left at the base of the 
long ridge occupied by the heavy Rebel force to a point 
about half way between the two extremes of an im- 
penetrable swamp filled with water on the left. 

Here we halt and right face. I look over the posi- 
tion with some concern, look back and behind us, at the 
swamp full of water six or eight feet deep, a hedge row 
of bush too thick for a rabbit to get through. 

A good place to put a regiment of cowards, but 
my, oh my, to put us in here with only one way to get 
out and that by the front, it's do our duty or die, or do 
our duty and die. 

We wait, all is still. O, this awful suspense ! this 
inexpressible dread, that makes the heart sick and the 
blood chill in every artery and vein. What are my 
thoughts at this time, you ask? The same as one going 
down in the water the last time : home, friends, all those 
I love best; of Him who died for me. Never faith and 
hope in Him so precious as now. 

Dave stands in close touch on my right, his gun in 

his right hand, with his left he is resting a portion of 

his weight on a hickory grub that stands between us. 

A single gun and the ball cuts off the grub close 

below his hand. He partially drops to his knees ; a 

Rebel yell, a flame of fire along the crest and blinding 

smoke leaps down the hill, a crash and roar, a rain of 

balls around and over us, that "hiss" and "sing" and 

"ping" and "thew" like great swarms of bees- They 

mow the grubs in front and over our heads as a scythe, 

while the little limbs, leaves and bark cover our faces. 

We hear a command, loud, plain and clear. 

"Fix bayonets: Charge bayonets: Forward: Fire: 

March!" 



io8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

We fire and struggle slowly up the hill against a 
storm of balls and load and fire rapidly and low. We 
try to keep our line that we may not shoot one another, 
as we push our way over and between the rocks, through 
the grubs and fallen brush and thick choking smoke 
that rolls down the bluff and fire low and fast till we 
reach the crest and Rebel line, when the bayonets come 
in play. 

We reach it but we find only a long line of dead, 
dying and wounded. We step carefully around and 
over them, follow closely the flying enemy down along 
the Clarksville road nearly to their draw-bridge where 
as they bunch here to cross, the battery which they 
failed to capture, throws grape and canister through 
their ranks and fills the road with dead. 

Had they held their guns down as we did not one 
of us could have reached the crest. 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 



Chapter XVI. 

It would be very presumtuous for one in the ranks 
to attempt a description of the battle of Fort Donelson 
farther than he could see for himself. Then more than 
likely, few if any others in the line, no matter where 
located would be able to identify it with what they saw. 

I have read carefully our colonel's report of our en- 
gagement in the forenoon and our charge up the bluff 
in the afternoon and must say that it is very difficult 
lor me to reconcile his description with mine. 

But this is not his fault nor mine; he saw from one 
standpoint, and I from another. He sat on his horse 
while I was actively engaged in the ranks. 

I have only tried to tell, in the easiest, briefest, 
plainest and most natural way possible, what was real 
to me, what I saw then and what I can see now when- 
ever I close my eyes. 

We knew from the heavy artillery fire and constant 
roar and crash of musketry, that the whole line from 
one extreme to the other, was engaged in the charge, 
but the forest, thick undergrowth, and powder smoke 
confined our vision to a very narrow limit. 

After driving the enemy inside their earthworks, 
we returned to our position on the ridge about dusk and 
tcck a few minutes rest- We were all well nigh ex- 
hausted from the intense nervous strain all day, loss of 
sleep and lack of food. Such had been the excitement 
and rush that we had eaten nothing since the early 
morning and then only a little hard tack and raw bacon. 

During the middle of the day the sun cut the snow 
in the most exposed places but as night approached the 
northwest wind commenced to blow hard and the night 
became intensely cold. Our blankets which we needed 
very much were back a mile or so with our knapsacks. 



no IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and we were compelled to put in the night without them. 

We had rested perhaps ten or fifteen minutes when 
an orderly handed me an order which I read to the boys. 

"Company A for picket duty, one-half the company 
from seven to twelve and the other half from twelve to 
five a. m. An officer with each relief. Signed by 
A'd'j't." 

"Boys," I said, "all that prefer the first relief take 
your place on my right and all that prefer the second, 
take your place on the left." This divided the company 
so equally that no change was made. I then took the 
first relief and followed the officer of the day. He de- 
ployed and stationed us about ten steps back from the 
Clarksville road, where the timber was quite thick and a 
large and thick grove of undergrowth, which was a par- 
tial shelter from the cold northwest wind. Our orders 
were to stand still, make no noise to draw a fire and not 
fire unless absolutely necessary. 

I took my place about midway between the two 
extremes of the company, by a large white oak tree, on 
the west side of which and reclining against it. was a 
confederate soldier, who that day had fought his last 
battle. He might have been placed in that position by 
some comrade, on the west side that he might watch the 
going down of the sun, while his life was going out. 

He looked to be about forty years of age. I won- 
dered if he had a home, a wife and children. If he really 
at heart endorsed the Confederate cause. Where did he 
live? . What was his history; were they anxiously 
awaiting his return? Will he be missed? And I won- 
dered, too, if I was missed at home- Did they think and 
speak of my birthday, the fifteenth of February. O, yes, 
no doubt, it was spoken of in the morning at the break- 
fast table, at noon, and at the evening meal. I struck a 
match, in the shadow of my tree, and it was just nine- 
forty-five, the time for mother to retire and she was 
thinking of me while on her knees as she promised. Did 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." m 

they know that the anniversary was celebrated here by 
the roar of artillery, the crash of musketry and the shed- 
ding of blood? Not yet, neither did they know how 
much I suffered from the cold, exhaustion, loss of sleep 
and hunger, and I'm glad they did not. Minutes seemed 
like hours, how slowly they passed on that winter night. 

Though so tired and suffering, my thoughts were 
busy, and I frequently called to mind May's last words, 
especially this: "And if it will light your burdens, and 
give you courage to bear patiently your hardships, pri- 
vations and sufferings, please remember that I shall 
follow you with deepest interest and sympathy, through 
all your campaigns and battles. And do not forget that 
every morning and night I shall pray Our Father to 
bless and keep you safe that you may return to us." 
But notwithstanding the warmth of these words the 
most noble, unselfish, patriotic girl and the firm belief 
that I was not forgotten by any of my friends at home, 
I would have given all the kingdoms and crowns of 
earth, had I possessed them, for one undisturbed night's 
rest and sleep in a good warm bed. 

I looked at my watch again, it was just ten o'clock 
and then I saw a fiash, another and another, and three 
monstrous shells came screaming through the air from 
r. Rebel battery inside the earthworks. Scarcely had 
they exploded in the forest close by, tearing, splintering 
and crushing the limbs and trunks of trees, when more 
shell started out on their mission of death and destruc- 
tion. 

Our picket line was immediately scattered and as 
there was no safety or security in any one place, we 
rushed from one point to another to avoid the bursting 
shell. From ten o'clock p. m. of the 15th till five-thirty 
a. m. of the i6th we were kept on the constant run and 
well warmed up with our violent exercise. 

As soon as the firing stopped our regiment collect- 
ed and formed in line a few steps west of the Clarks- 



112 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

ville road where we could take a little rest and eat a 
lunch of hardtack and raw bacon. What next, we won- 
dered- A charge on the enemy's works was suggested 
by many and discussed quite fully as we stood there pa- 
tiently waiting. 

At seven the long roll, and a sudden chill, then the 
regiment lined up and was all ready to move. 

tim A •{• >!• tXt A •?• A •% tit •?• t% "J* ^ •{• »|« •!• •!• ^ ^ "J* ^ 

Again we wait for the order "Forward March," 
"Charge !" and while we wait the heart is on double du- 
ty, pumping blood and throbbing with anxious expec- 
tancy. But hark! listen to the sharp ring and clatter of 
a horse's feet coming rapidly over the frozen road from 
towards Dover and within ten rods of the right of Com- 
pany A the orderly takes off his hat, swings it in the 
air and shouts out, as clear as the notes of a bugle, "The 
fort has surrendered, Hurrah! Hurrah!" and goes on by 
us at a furious speed along the line which takes it up 
and shouts, "The fort has surrendered. Hurrah! Hur- 
rah !" As the cheering reaches the further end of the 
column it sounds like a mighty wind threshing the for- 
est. When too hoarse to shout, the boys take off their 
hats, throw them in the air, some laugh and some laugh 
till they cry, others shake hands and hug and kiss each 
other. 
^4.^.^^^^^^i{.4i^^ 4" 4* 4* 4* 4* 4" 4- "f 4" 

When all through and sobered down, we were all 
warm and quite rested from the nervous strain and 
formed our regim.ent again. 

Soon, Gen. Grant rode up from the rear and gave 
the order to our colonel, "Forward." Our regiment be- 
ing on the extreme left threw us in front and we fol- 
lowed densely. 

When we got within twenty rods of the draw- 
bridge our company was ordered to halt, and men were 
detailed to remove the dead Confederates out of the 
road, that were cut down yesterday. Many had been 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 113 

trampled upon and their clothing frozen to the ground. 
Passing the earthworks, were hundreds of cartridge 
boxes and broken guns on either side of the road, that 
had been thrown away by the Confederates in their 
haste to reach the river, and as we entered the little vil- 
lage of Dover, we found on the public square next the 
river, and in the streets, from thirteen to fifteen thou- 
sand prisoners, a haggard, disappointed, worn out, 
homesick crowd of men, all more to be pitied than 
blamed, for they had been sorely deceived by their lead- 
ers. They had not the least idea of losing a battle, much 
less being made prisoners of war. 

They had been told by their leaders that the Yan- 
kees were cowards and that a regiment of southern sol- 
diers could easily whip a brigade of "Northern Mud- 
sills." But here at Donelson they m:et their equals. 
Men that were brave as they, physically and intellectu- 
ally their superiors, much more cool, and could shoot 
better by half than they, with all their boasting. 

Their clothing was of all colors and make. Some 
v/ere dressed in blue, some in gray, but mostly in but- 
ternut yellow and dirty brown- Many had their blan- 
kets wrapped around them, made from old and new 
cuilts, and others made from old and new carpets. 

Our first business was to gather and cord the guns, 
and as the 44th Indiana was the first to enter the vil- 
lage, men were detailed from it to do this work, and 
while it was being done I walked down to the lower end 
of the square, where I found a young Confederate, all 
alone, reclining on some baled hay. 

"Well, Johnny," I said, "You look lonesome here 
all alone. Are you sick?" 

"Yes, I'm sick, worn out and homesick." 

"Well, that's a good deal for one fellow, as young, 
as you. Is there anything I can do to help you?" 

"Yes, very much. Can you tell me what will be 
done with us?" 



114 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"I can and will most cheerfully. You will be sent 
north and put in comfortable barracks, the same as we 
occupied, and draw the same rations and have the same 
care if sick," 

"And then tried for treason and hung or shot." 
I could not help but smile at the boy's sincerity and 
asked the question, "Who told you that falsehood?" 
"Our officers told us that, before the battle." 
"And they told you the Yanks were cowards, too." 
i "Yes, and that you would run, the first volley." 

*'Well, you found that to be a lie, which they told 
you to make you fight, that if captured you would all 
be shot or hung." 

"Yes, they repeatedly told us that." 
"Well, that's the bigger lie of the two, for we some- 
times run the same as you when we can't do better. Your 
Mixfficers are liars. I have told you the honest truth, have 
seen a great many prisoners in our camps and know 
that they have the same fare and treatment of our own 
boys. So don't be alarmed, you will be used well- What 
have you in this bundle, please?" 

"Our regimental flag. Our flag bearer was killed 
and I was ordered to take his place." 
"Vv'ill you give it to me, please?" 
"Yes, most certainly. I have no more use for it." 
"Thank you, my boy. Now, may I ask you one 
fuestion and answer, if you desire?" 

"I notice your speech is so different from all these 
prisoners, that I have talked with, that I'd almost take 
you to be one of us. A Yank, as they call us." 

"Well, I'm more of a Yank than a South Carolinian. 
My mother was from Massachusetts and a graduate 
from one of her best colleges. I owe all my culture to 
her through discipline." 

"Well, my dear boy, you ought not to be in the 
Rebel army. Your mother certainly did not advise you 
to enlist." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 115 

"O no. She did all she could to save me, but it was 
enlist or hang on the end of a rope, and I chose the for- 
mer, which is I find but little better," 

"Well, my boy, you are out now, honorably, and 
when you get up north take the oath of allegiance and 
remain there, till the war is over. And if you should 
find no other way to get out, enlist in a Union regiment 
and then you will have a government and not a slave 
holder's aristocracy to fight for. And should you con- 
clude to do this, your mother will be proud of a son 
that will defend the old flag." 

"I know she would be glad, for she loves her coun- 
try and her flag and I will think over seriously what you 
have said- I would rather die than go back in the Con- 
federate service." 

"Well, my boy, I believe you can find some way ta 
keep out and now I will bid you good bye." 

"Good bye," he said, as he shook my hand at part- 
ing. 

As I started back to the landing, I met our colonel 
and handed him the flag, and a little further on met my 
old friend Siminons. 

"Well, John, I see you got through all right." '• 

"Yes, three balls passed through my clothing, in 
that charge but none of them touched the skin." 

"You were lucky. Many a brave man went down! 
in that charge, but not so very many in our regiment 
on account of their wild and high shooting. I have won- 
dered how so few were hit for we were within less than 
twenty feet when they fired their last volley ; but further 
to our right it was a terrible bloody contest and many 
were killed with the bayonet on both sides, I learn." 

"Yes, I heard the same and have talked with sev- 
eral that were further down the line, and they said it 
was too horrible to talk about. But they said they 
finally broke through the Rebel line and then the Rebels 



ii6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

went down the road like a drove of sheep." 
"Any news from home, John?" 

"I have received two more letters from Marg sincQ 
I saw you last, and I begin to think that you're right in 
calling them frauds. And here they are, you may have 
them. By the way, do you hear from May?" 

"Yes, John, I get usually two letters a week." 
"And she says nothing about the matter?" 
"Nothing, John. Neither have I to her. I will keep 
these two letters and if I live to get home, we will find 
jDUt who is responsible for this forgery." 

I looked them over carefully and found them about 

"the same as the preceding ones. The writing a good 

imitation but the folding, stamping and dictation not 

Marg's- I wrote across them "Forged," and placed them 

with the others. 



THE VICTORY. 



Chapter XVII. 

On the third day, up to four or four- thirty p. m. im- 
mediate victory for us seemed very doubtful. Encour- 
aged by their success in the forenoon, their resistance 
became more desperate. After twelve m. our whole 
right, left and center, which had suffered so severely in 
th forenoon, were reorganized and when all ready, a 
grand and simultaneous charge was made on the whole 
length of the Confederate lines and breastworks and by 
dusk they were forced to yield their strong positions. 

All through the night our brave boys held the 
ground they had so nobly won, while the Rebel batter- 
ies, located on elevations above them, hurled down 
shells and grape through the forest, ravines and gorges, 
so that there was no place of safety within our lines. 
The branches of the trees were torn from their trunks 
by solid shot and the truks often splintered from top 
to bottom. 

While we were being chased from, one position to 
another to find shelter from bursting shell, the Confed- 
erate officers met in council at General Floyd's head- 
c uarters- Nearly all the officers were there. They had 
wen a victory in the forenoon, as they supposed, and 
lost it in the last grand charge, and that made them sad 
and down-hearted. 

It was reported here now that we had nearly fifteen 
thousand prisoners, sixty-five pieces of artillery, some 
of them of the largest calibre, eighteen thousand small 
arms and quite a large amount of army supplies. 

But all of this is small compared with the import- 
ance of the positions acquired. The loss of the Tennes- 
see and Cumberland rivers to the Confederacy was one 
of the most serious things to overcome. It was made up 
of hills and bluffs, narrow valleys and deep gorges, and 



ii8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

impenetrable swamps, with here and there commanding 
heights that bristled with cannon constantly throwing 
shot and shell among our men, wherever assembled- 

All these commanding positions of the enemy were 
carried by storm. On the last grand charge, our brave, 
hungry and exhausted regiments, swept up the long 
steep hills, over and between the rocks, through the 
thick undergrowth in the face of sheets of flame and 
amid tempests of balls. 

When gaps were made in their ascending ranks, 
they were closed up and stepping carefully over the dead 
and wounded, they pushed resistlessly on, keeping their 
lines as best they could and with bayonets on, firing, 
carefully, low and as fast as possible, till they reached 
the crest and then with a reserved load, hurled the en- 
emy from their positions. 

From the early morning of the last day till dusk it 
was a struggle for supremacy. The enemy knew that 
they must gain their victory that day, if at all. 

Our boys that were engaged in this struggle were 
mostly young, inexperienced, not inurred to the hard- 
ships of war and to most of them it was their first battle. 
Up to the night of the fourteenth it had rained for sev- 
eral days continuously, and on the night of the four- 
teenth the snow fell to the depth of six inches. 

The lines were changed so often back and forth that 
scarcely any of the troops could reach their knapsacks 
to get their blankets and hence there was great suffer- 
ing from cold, hunger and loss of sleep. Not a single 
tent did I see erected to break the wind and storm, nor 
a single fire to make coffee and cook a meal. 

No- rations reached us from the landing as was an- 
ticipated and all we had was the few hardtack in our 
haversacks and a very small supply of bacon. 

Only a few of the wounded could be removed from 
the field while the battle lasted. Many were frozen to 
death that no doubt, except for the enemy's shells. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 119 

would have been saved. On the morning of the six- 
teenth many of the wounded, with frozen hands and 
feet, were carried to the hospitals but faint and v/eak 
from loss of blood and a long night of untold suffering, 
they soon died. Very few survived. If all of these 
could only have written in full their sufferings for just 
that night, it would help us to estimate the cost of this 
slave-holders' rebellion. All that could be moved were 
tuken to the landing and put on board the hospital 
steamer. 

Net only were our wounded to be provided for but 
the thousands that were taken sick from exposure and 
exhaustion, they, too, must be taken care of. The killed 
and fatally wounded are but a small fraction of the fa- 
talities of a battle. 

Then add to what I have mentioned the wounded 
and sick of the Confederate army and the thirteen thou- 
sand prisoners left on our hands- O, a battle is expen- 
sive! It devastates and destroys. Its cost cannot be 
estimated in dollars and cents, but in pain and anguish, 
in dying groans, in precious blood, and in heart rending 
shrieks from men, torn and lacerated with shell and 
grape and canister. 

As one goes over this battle-field and sees the dead 
and thinks how they may have suffered, then the suffer- 
ings of the wounded and sick and then stops to think 
that perhaps this is only one of four or five hundred bat- 
tles that may be fought, he will be better prepared to 
arrive at this war's stupendous cost. 

The surrender of Donelson gave the Rebel govern- 
ment their first hard blow. It was really the first and 
most important victory the Union army had gained. 
The northwest portion of the Confederacy had received 
a severe puncture. General Johnston was forced to 
evacuate Bowling Green and it compelled the surrender 
of Columbus and middle Tennessee. Nashville could 
not stand alone and hence fell into our hands. 



120 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

On Sunday morning, the sixteenth, while we were 
throwing our hats and hugging each other, rejoicing 
over the victory, the Rebels at Nashville were having a 
jolly time, too. Pillow's message of Saturday noon, of 
which I have spoken, set them wild with delight. The 
newspapers threw out their bulletins with a freedom un- 
parelelled. 

"The Enemy Retreating! Glorious Result! Our 
Boys Following and Peppering their Rear! A Com- 
plete Victory! ! 

Just as the devout people were fairly seated in the 
churches and the choirs rendering their first anthem, a 
horseman dashed through the main streets of Nashville 
shouting "Fort Donelson has surrendered and the Yanks 
are coming." A panic seized them. The churches were 
emptied and men, women and children rushed from 
their houses into the streets. They looked for the Yan- 
kees to pour in upon them and murder, pillage and burn. 
Strong men trembled, women were wringing their hands 
and children found relief in tears. 

It was nearly noon when Floyd and Pillow arrived 
en a steamer and Gen. Floyd soothed them with a 
speech, declaring that the enemy had forty thousand and 
they only ten thousand effective men. 

Hew strange, that we should have captured from 
t/.irteen to fifteen thousand and some two brigades 
made their escape- 
As Gen. Johnston's army retreated from Bowling 
Green, they went right on through the city. The people 
expected they would stop and defend them, and the cap- 
ital of the state, but they did not. It was a wild night 
in Nashville. Two unfinished gun boats were set on 
fire and destroyed. Rebel store houses were thrown 
open to the poor people and the Zollicoffer bridge that 
cost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was cut 
down and ruined. This bridge belonged to the daughters 
of the late General Zollicoffer, who was killed by Col. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." i2i 

Fry at Mill Springs. The daughters begged and prayed 
them to spare the bridge, but all of no avail. The peo- 
ple were seized with a panic and demented with fear. 
The farmers in the surrounding country, for miles, were 
frightened and bunched their slaves and sent the poor 
creatures farther south. Such was the condition that 
millions of dollars worth of property belonging to the 
Confederacy and people were destroyed, including all 
the army supplies which were stored there to be drawn 
upon as needed. 

This victory, so expensive in blood and suffering, 
thrilled the hearts of all loyal people at home and gave 
our sick, wounded and discouraged soldiers new inspir- 
ation. 

The gun boats and transports came up the river to 
the landing with bands of martial music and flags and 
banners flying. The gun boats and field artillery fired 
a grand salute that made the hills and forests of Rebel- 
dom tremble and cheered the hearts of the sick, wound- 
ed and dying. 

At four-thirty p. m. our regiment marched back to 
the woods where our knapsacks were corded, built some 
fires and made coffee, the first since we left the Baltic. 
After coffee and supper, we cut bushes and made our 
beds and as I lay down that night upon my bed of 
bushes, I felt for the first time in my life that I had 
passed the limit of my endurance- 

At or about midnight it commenced to rain and soon 
began to pour down. This compelled us to get up and 
roll our blankets and put them in our knapsacks to keep 
them dry. 

At two a. m. the rain was pouring down in torrents, 
I called the roll, formed the company, took our place in 
the regiment and brigade and moved along the Fort 
Henry road to the west. 

Dover and Fort Henry are twelve long miles apart 



122 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and the road winds around, over and between the clay 
hills, and we necessarily mixed mud every step. 

Occasionally a solitary clearing and farm house 
greeted the eye but most of the country over which we 
passed was wild, hilly and worthless and bore but few- 
marks of civilization. Our column halted once to snatch 
a lunch and take a few minutes rest, then struggled on 
and on through rain and mud till we reached a point 
about a mile from the fort about two p. m. 

The next day after reaching here I went down to 
the fort with Aumend and saw the destruction made by 
the gun boats. Gun carriages were overturned and 
knocked to splinters, wheels riddled and scattered all 
over the enclosure and the ground inside and out plowed 
up with shell. 

The Rebel camp must have been a scene of chaos, 
for everything that belonged to officers and men were 
left in hot haste, cooking utensils and rations were 
scattered over the ground. Officers' clothing, mattress- 
es, looking glasses and musical instruments were aban- 
doned. Had the brigade reached the Dover road in time, 
they would have bagged the eight thousand Rebel troops 
and reduced the defense at Donelson. 

Since the battle we had a large sick list in the com- 
pany, the weather was against us, as it rained nearly 
every day and we were compelled to drink surface wa- 
ter. 

I was excused fromi duty the third day after reach- 
ing here and ordered to the hospital tent for treatment, 
v/here I remained till the fourth of March, all the time 
getting worse. My tongue was full of large cracks, dry 
as a husk and so sore that I could eat but little. 

Late in the afternoon of the fourth of March "Uncle 
John," Charley, George and I were sent to the river in 
an ambulance and ordered to go on board the Ohio, a 
hospital boat, which was the third from the landing- 
It was dark and when passing from the second boat to 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 123 

the Ohio, on the engine decks, I fell between the two 
vessels but caught my right arm around a post and hung 
while the water was rushing through, close under my 
feet in mad fury. A fireman chanced to see me and 
caught and pulled me in. He saved my life. In a few 
seconds more I should have gone down into the rapid 
current and been listed among the "unknown dead." 

We found the boat loaded down with sick, many 
very sick, all crowded together on the floors, covering 
all the space. We were the last ones on and very for- 
tunately for us, that we were able to walk around and 
care for ourselves. 

Soon after four p. m. the Ohio left the landing and 
moved down the river. We found a good place on the 
engine deck, out of the way, and made ourselves quite 
comfortable. We had no idea where we were going and 
were much surprised to find ourselves at the landing at 
Evansville at seven a. m. on the sixth. 

Charley and I were at the stern of the steamer and 
seeing our surgeon. Dr. Rerick, we called to him and 
he came aboard, helped us off and took us to the hotel 
where he was stopping. George and Uncle John were 
at the front and were taken immediately to the Marine 
hospital, where George died in three or four days. 

On reaching the hotel Dr. Rerick examined us quite 
thoroughly and said, "Boys, you should be in the hospit- 
al in bed, under treatment now- Your tongue and whole 
appearance indicate typhoid. I'll see what can be done. 
Every building in the city is full of sick and wounded 
and many have been quartered in private houses. Stay 
here till I return." 

He was gone full two hours and on his return, said 
he cculd find no place and we must stay at the hotel till 
something could be done for us. * 

I was just able to walk around and could not keep 
still, so I went to one of the convalescent hospitals, only 
a few rods away on the same street, and found Lewis 



124 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and several others of the boys who were brought from 
South Carleton and Calhoun. I found the boys doing 
well and would be ready for duty soon. 

Lewis told me that Jim was in the Marine hospital 
and as it was only a short distance I walked over, and 
as I entered the room he greeted me with a smile. I 
took him by the hand and said, "Jim, I'm glad to find 
you alive, for I hardly expected to see you again." 

"I have been very sick, Marion. I came near dying 
before I reached here and my recovery is by no means 
certain." 

"Well, you are better now, are you not?" 

"O yes, much better. I have had the best of care 
here, and gaining now, they tell me, but it seems so slow 
and I get so lonesome. O if I can only get back to the 
company, every man is needed so much and I have been 
able to do so little. How much I thought of you and 
all of the boys while the battle was going on. And at 
noon that day when we heard you were all driven back 
and defeated, hope almost died, but when the news 
reached here of the surrender, I wanted to get up and 
shout and throw my hat as I heard you all did. I may 
never be able to return, Marion, I sometimes feel and 
fear that I will not. If I never return, will you tell the 
boys that I tried very hard to do my whole duty. Will 
you surely tell them, Marion?" 

"Yes, Jim, God bless you, I will tell thecn, but they 
all know it now. You almost gave your life in trying 
to do what many stout and well men failed to endure." 

As I looked at his pale face and sunken eyes, the 
tears canue so fast I could hardly restrain them but suc- 
ceeded in saying, "Jim, you must not talk any more, you 
are tiring yourself out. I must go now." 

"You are sick, too, Marion, you look very poorly, 
you tried to keep me on the steamer when you should 
have stayed there yourself. I am not sorry, Marion, that 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 125 

I tried, though it may cost me my life. Are you really 
sick?" 

"No, Jim, just worn out and exhausted. I will be 
better soon with rest and sleep," 

As I took his hand at parting he said, in his feeble 
voice, "Good, bye, Marion, and don't forget my message 
to the boys and tell them, whether I live or die, I have 
gained the "victory." 

As I left the hospital my face was moist with tears 
and I said to myself, "Yes, Jim, you have. There are 
few such as you, but those few shall wear crowns and 
yours will be rich with jewels." I felt that I should nev- 
er see Jim again in this world and I never did. He, like 
more than half a million noble boys, laid down his life 
for his country, and his only regret was that he had 
done so little. 

I managed, but I hardly know how, to reach the ho- 
tel. I was not sick, O no, but just so tired and weak; 
and I couldn't sit or lie still long enough to rest. 



HOME ON SICK FURLOUGH. 



Chapter XVIII. 

At this time no man in this state, or any of the loyai 
states, was more earnest and devoted to the Union and 
"the interests of the soldiers than our own "War Gov- 
ernor," Oliver P. Morton. Anticipating the needs of the 
army, in the event of a battle at Donelson, he gathered 
hospital supplies, ordered transports, secured all the 
nurses he could find and doctors that he could press into 
the service and while the battle was raging, his boats 
reached the landing five miles below and imm.ediately 
after the surrender, moved up to Dover- 
He ordered that all the Indiana soldiers must be 
locked after, and removed to points where the very best 
hospital accommodations could be provided, and all able 
to travel, of the sick and wounded, that could not be ac- 
commodated should be sent to their homes. 

Dr. Rerick had just returned as Charley and I en- 
tered the hotel and said. "Boys, I have been through ev- 
ery hospital in the city and find them all full of sick and 
wounded. There is no place here for cases like yours 
that need immediate treatment and care, under Governor 
Morton's order: you wall start for home tomorrorw morn- 
ingat nine-ten a. m. from the depot. I secured your 
tickets at government rates, and here they are." We 
handed him the money and thanked him for his kind- 
ness. 

Charley and I occupied the same bed and neither of 
us slept but little. I know I must have had considerable 
fever for I dreamed of carrying heavy loads through the 
deep mud and climbing long high hills where the rocks 
were so thick and large that I could not reach the top. 
My sleep gave me no rest and as soon as it became light 
I was glad to leave my bed and go down stairs. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 127 

The doctor went with us to the station and in part- 
ing said: "Now, boys, you must get home as quickly 
as possible. You ought to be in bed now." 

Our train was long and loaded with sick and wound- 
ed soldiers. I sat in the seat with one of our brigade a 
few minutes, who received six wounds from the last vol- 
ley, as we reached the top of the bluff. 

Another of our brigade in our car, received a ball 
through the upper part of the nose, passing through un- 
der the brain coming out on the left side of the neck and 
as he turned, in falling, another ball entered the other 
side of the neck and came out through his mouth. He 
lay at the top of the bluff, that freezing cold night of the 
15th till past midnight when he came to himself partially. 
In a semi-conscious condition he found the road and fol- 
lowed it down to Dover where the enemy put him in a 
building with some other prisoners. His head was well 
bandaged, nothing of his face being visible but his eyes- 
Ke was in a fair way to recover from his wounds. 

I was too stupid to pay much attention to the pas- 
sengers in our car and when we changed at Indianapolis 
and Salem Crossing I did it quite mechanically.' I re- 
member, however, that I was very anxious to get home 
where all would be quiet ; then I could rest and sleep. 
I was not conscious of being sick, suffered no pain, but 
so very tired and could not rest. 

We reached our station at nine-twelve a. m., strang- 
ers, without money. No one knew or noticed us and we 
were too proud to beg, or even ask any one to trust us 
for a ride home. We walked over the main streets of 
Kendallville hoping to see a familiar face, or even one 
that would ask us who we were and how far we had to 
go. but we found none and started off on foot along the 
road to Indian Lake. 

At noon we began to stagger and faint and stopped 
at a farm house to rest. After asking some questions, 
as to our company and regiment, they told us that they 



128 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

had two cousins in company B ; that one died at Calhoun 
and the other was home on sick furlough. They kindly 
invited us to eat with them and then one of the family 
drove us on our road three or four miles. 

We reached the Corunna road and could go no far- 
ther, sat down on a fallen log and rested till William 
Hayward came along, when we climbed in his wagon 
and rode within four miles of my home. 

At ten o'clock the next morning I opened the door. 
Mother was ironing and as I stepped over the threshold 
she heard me and sprang to my side, threw her arms 
around m|y neck and exclaimed "O Marion, what a sur- 
prise. But you are sick; you look sick." 

"No, mother, I'm not sick, just tired to death; I 
want to lie down. Just fix my bed here where I can see 
you iron." I took off my shoes, coat and vest and before 
lying down, I said, "Mother, if I should be much sick 
will you send for May?" 

"Yes, Marion, we will surely send for her whether 
you are much sick or not-" 

As soon as I felt the bed and soft flannel blanket 
over me I yielded to the inevitable. I was at home. O 
how good it seemed. There would be no noise or con- 
fusion now. I could rest and sleep. But my head was 
hot and my temples began to throb with pain. My 
tongue was dry, coated and very sore, and my eyes re- 
fused to close. Mother fixed my pillow and bathed my 
face and head in cold water. Prentiss sent for the doc- 
tor and at the best he could not reach me till well to- 
ward night. My mind began to wander and created 
strange delusions and from this time on I was delirious 
for many days, at times not knowing my own mother or 
brother and would frequently call for them when they 
were at my bed. 

If I slept at all it only exhausted me, for I was car- 
rying heavy loads, through the deep mud or making that 
awful climb up the bluff and as I would nearly reach the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 129 

top a heavy cloud of smoke and flame of fire would roll 
ever and hurl me to the bottom. 

Then, too, I worried over an immeasurable loss of 
some kind, though quite indefinite, in which May was 
in some way involved. 

My head was full of fantastic halluciantions. Every- 
thing seemed to have its duplicate, even I myself was 
double. If my head throbbed with pain, it was the other 
fellow and not I. 

I was sufficiently conscious to know that some 
skillful nurse took my head from the pillow and show- 
ered it with cold water and then wiped it dry with a 
smooth towel, pressed and rubbed my temples with a 
soft hand and so gently done that the pain would leave 
me and I would get a few minutes refreshing sleep. 

The doctor came in the evening and found me very 
delirious, much excited and hard to manage. He watch- 
ed me closely for some time, then felt my pulse, took my 
temperature and gave me a dose of medicine. He went 
into the next room and said to Prentiss and mother : : . . 

"His fever is very high- I never saw a worse tongue. 
He ought to have been in bed more than two weeks ago. 
It is a complete physical break-down. I wonder that he 
ever reached home. You must indulge him as far as 
prudent and if possible he must be kept quiet or he will 
soon wear out. All these delusions are real to him and 
he is simply living over and over in an intense degree, 
the exciting scenes and hardships and sufferings endured 
during the battle. He was not one to give up till he had 
passed his limit. Continue the water when his fever 
runs high. I will be in tomorrow." 

For some time the medicine was given every half 
hour and the water was used as ordered. On the next 
morning the fever was down and I was quite sane. I 
knew that mother was by me and I asked, "Mother, did 
you send for May?" 

"We did send for her, Marion, she's here. She has 



130 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

been bathing your head and gave you the last dose of 
medicine- Perhaps you did not recognize her." 

"Oh yes, but there are two May Gordons, this one 
is engaged to Arthur Prescott." 

"Why, no, Marion," said mother. "Why do you 
think so?" 

"You will find a large package of letters in my in- 
side coat pocket written by Marg that will explain all, 
give them to her and send her home, and bring my little 
girl May. She wore short dresses and her rich dark 
brown hair in two long braids down her back. It's the 
one, mother, I used to play with when we were children, 
the one I always called my little girl." 

"O, yes," said mother, "I remember her- I had for- 
gotten that there were two Mays in the same family. It's 
all my mistake, I will send this one home at once and 
have the other one brought. Just be patient, Marion, it 
will not take long." 

I must have dropped off to sleep for it seemed that a 
long time passed before I roused up sufficiently to ask: 
"Mother, did you send, and hasn't she come yet?" 
For an answer, the door opened gently and in glided 
my May. She kneeled down by my pillow and pressed 
a kiss on my forehead and I felt a tear fall on my face. 
For just a moment she could not speak. 

"Marion," and her voice trembled some. "I told you 
I'd come. I'm here now and I'll stay till you get well. 
Won't you try to sleep and rest? Won't you try to get 
well?" 

"Put down your head, May." I ran my hand down 
over the long braids that hung down her back. "Yes," I 
said. "Let me see your eyes, May. The same dark blue 
and when you laugh, they're black. This is the little 
girl that followed me down to the gate and said so shy- 
ly, 'I came down here to bid you good bye, for I'll not be 
here when you call again.' Is it the same little girl, 
May?" 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 131 

"Yes, the same, the very same, Marion." 

"And you'll not take wings and fly away and leave 
me?" 

"No, Marion, I'll stay till you get well." 

"Then if you'll stay I'll live, and get well; never 
fear." 

Then she put two fingers on my lips and said, "No 
more talking, now you must go to sleep and rest." 

"Delicious tyranny," I said, but made no more ef- 
fort to talk. As she got up to get my medicine, I no- 
ticed she was in short dress and then I closed my eyes 
and was satisfied. 

She gave me my medicine, bathed my head in cold 
water, used a soft towel and then with her hands rubbed 
my forehead and temples till I fell asleep. There must 
have been something very potent in those soft hands 
for I slept nearly all night and was only conscious when 
some one gave me medicine and occasionally a spoonful 
of nourishment. I did not hear any Rebel guns nor climb 
the bluff. 

The doctor came about nine a. m. the third day and 
brought counsel and assured me he was a Union man 
and asked if he should bring him in. 

"O yes," I said, "if he's loyal, but I want no Rebels 
here while I'm sick." 

They both sat down by my bed and asked some 
questions as to the location of pain, looked at my tongue 
and took my temperature. They then passed into the 
next room and talked over my case and asked mother 
many questions. After dealing out the medicine my 
doctor sat down by my bed and after watching me 
closely, said "Marion, you can help me in your treatment. 
Keep your mind, if possible, off from everything excit- 
ing. Don't worry or fret. Try to sleep and rest all you 
can. Will you try?" 

"Yes, doctor, I will try." But in a few hours my 
fever rose very rapidly and I became almost unmanage- 



132 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

able. I rose up in the bed and declared that Prescott 
should not marry wy wife, I would protest at the very 
altar. That May Gordon would never consent and he 
must not coerce her into such an alliance." 

Exhausted, I lay down and May placed her hands 
on my hot forehead, commenced to rub my temiples, then 
the pitcher of water was brought and she showered my 
head till the throbbing ceased and while pressing and 
rubbing my head and temples with her hands she told 
me in her low musical voice that Marg never wrote those 
letters. They were all forged and May will never marry 
Prescott, she has told him she could not and putting her 
hand in her pocket she took out the letters and showed 
them to me one by one, how I had endorsed them with 
pen and ink as being all forgery. "Do you remember, 
Marion, telling May at the gate long ago that you'd 
never forget your little girl and that you on another time 
long time after asked her to promise you that she would 
make no engagement, without letting you know? May 
has kept that promise and will never violate it," and 
thus she talked on and on in her way, in her naturally 
rr.usical voice till the pain left my head and I fell into lux- 
urious sleep and my last conscious thought was that 
God's best angel was hovering over me. 



AT HOME. 

Chapter XIX. 

From this time on for nearly thirty days 1 took litvle 
note of time. The doctor came to see me every day and 
the neighbors were very good and kind. Sometimes my 
fever would run very high and my head would be full 
of fanciful delusions. I was wading through the deep 
mud, carrying heavy loads, climbing long steep hills or 
fretting or worrying over May's engagement. I spoke 
to the May that was present kindly, but denounced her 
duplicate and false. These delirious spells were made brief 
by someone who gently showered my head in water and 
rubbed my temples till I'd drop to sleep. 

At last the fever left me and the crisis came. It was 
then a question of vitality; could I rally? 

All was still inside the house and out. No one from 
outside was admited except the doctor. Mother, May 
and Prentiss were my watchers and nurses. 

I lay for days in a dead calm, in perfect painless 
rest and wholly indifferent to recovery. There was no 
response to food or stimulants. I felt that to live re- 
quired an effort and that I had no incentive. 

During my delirium,, the false statements in those 
letters were, to me, a reality. The delirium had gone 
but the delusion remained. As I did not refer to them 
after my fever left me, May and the rest of the family 
had no idea that I believed them. May's labor of love 
for me I supposed was actuated by gratitude. I felt then 
I could not live if she left me and I could not wound her 
by protesting against her engagement. 

So with my brain fogged with that delusion I bare- 
ly existed, I did not live. The days passed and there was 
no improvement. One day mother and May were both 
in my room. Mother looked sad and worn and pale and 
May's eyes showed plainly that she had been weeping. 
The doctor entered very quietly into my room and sat 



134 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

down by my bed. He looked at me a long time before 
asking any questions. Mother told him that I had no 
pain and slept well and seemed to rest, but that they had 
to force me to eat and take stimulants. Then he spoke 
to May and she followed him into the next room. 

"May, do you notice there has been no improvement 
in our patient since his fever left him?" 

"We know it," said May, "it's killing his mother, 
Prentiss and — and me." 

"I have done all I can with medicine. There's no 
disease now. He'll simply lie there and die unless we 
can rouse him. I cannot keep him alive many days. 
Have you those letters, May, that he referred to so of- 
ten?" 

"Yes, here they are, I have kept them in my pocket. 
Read them, doctor. 

He sketched the material portion through and then 
turned to May and said: 

"I ought to have read these letters before, I see the 
trouble now. You remember his delusion. May, what 
he said when he was delirious?" 

"O yes, I remember well. 'Twas this — O May, how 
could you engage yourself to Arthur and not let me 
know?' Then I'd get the letters and show him his own 
writing on the back and he'd read it and smile and say, 
'O yes, I'd forgotten, or I remember now,' but in a short 
time the same delusion would return. Then I'd say, 
'Marion, I'm not engaged to Arthur, these letters are 
forged, my sister never wrote them, she told me so,' then 
he'd make the same reply: 'O yes, May, I'd forgotten,' 
and so hour after hour while his fever was high I would 
work with him. But when his fever left him, as he did 
not repeat it I supposed the delusion had left him en- 
tirely." 

"May, you know that he loves you better than his 
own life, and if your heart responds to his love, you on- 
ly can make him live." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 135 

"O tell me what I can do, Doctor. I would willingly 
die to save him." 

"The letters and his own words convince me that I 
am correct. You see, May, when he made those en- 
dorsements on the back of the letters he was sane and it 
shows that he had perfect confidence in you. But when 
the fever came on the statements in those letters induced 
the delusion and when his fever left him the delusion re- 
mained and with him it is a reality and only you can 
break the spell and make him live." 

"Tell me what to do, doctor. My heart is full and 
almost breaking." 

"I will go in with you and ask the mother to step 
out. I will give him a strong stimulant and have a short 
talk with him and when I step out do just what your 
heart prompts. Dont' be afraid, if you love him, to tell 
him so, plainly. Let him know that if he makes no ef- 
fort to live, he will destroy your happiness, and don't 
smother your feelings. I will be in the next room and 
wait and watch the result-" 

As the doctor and May entered, the doctor admin- 
istered the stimulant and then said: 

"Marion, don't you know that it is wicked, suicide 
for you to lie here and die, you can get well. There's no 
disease now. It all depends on you. Will you not make 
the effort? May is here and will give you the incentive. 
Dont' answer me, please, save your strength. You can 
and must live." 

The doctor had scarcely closed the door when May 
sprang to the bed, dropped on her knees and sobbed as 
though her heart would break. Her whole frame shook 
with emotion and she was bathing my face with her 
tears. 

I succeeded in getting my right hand out from un- 
der the blanket and placed it on her head and mustered 
strength to say, "Don't, May, O don't cry so, you fright- 




'0 May, don't cry so." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 137 

en me. What can I do? I would rather that every tear 
was a drop of my own blood than have you suffer." 

She made several attempts before she could speak 
and then said: 

**0, Marion, dont' you know that I love you more 
than my own life? That I would die for you if that 
would make you live? O why will you lie here and die 
when the doctor says you can live and get well? O Ma- 
rion ! why will you break my heart and destroy my hap- 
piness?" and her tears were flowing like rain down her 
face and over mine. 

The spell that bound me was breaking away. The 
delusion was gone and hope revived. 

"Don't, May; don't cry so; I can't bear to see you 
suffer. Tell me what to do." 

"Live for me, your mother and Prentiss." 
...."Does it matter so much to you, May?" 

"Yes it does matter. I shall never know another 
hour of happiness. It would kill me- It would kill m.e." 
"But your engagement to Arthur, How can you?" 
"O Marion, I'm not engaged to Arthur. You can- 
not believe that." 
"Those letters." 

"I got those letters from your pocket and when I 
caw that you had written across them these words, 'All 
forged,' I didn't suppose you'd believe them after your 
fever left you." 

"Let me see them. May." 
"Yes, that's my writing. All forged. May?" 
"Yes, Marg never, never wrote them, she has told 
me so," 

"Then, May, you're not engaged to Arthur?" 
"O Marion, no. How could you think so and I not 
tell you, the best friend I ever had, save my own dear 
mother?" 

"Then you do not love him. May?" 

"No Marion, I had to tell him that I could not love 



138 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

him. That my heart and all I had to give was given to 
another, unasked. I pitied him and honor him but I 
can never love him. I was very, very sorry for him and 
told him so." 

"You say, May, that you had given your heart to 
another unasked. To whom. May?" 

"O must I tell you again, Marion?" 

"Yes, May, I must hear it again from you own lips. 
It will give me an incentive to live for you and that 
means life for me." 

"Then I'll tell you again, Marion, but you must lis- 
ten and keep still, not a question or a word. It is you — 
you, Marion- O so long, since I was a child. I thought 
you knew, had read it in my face. No, you must keep 
still and listen. I was in the arbor when you had that 
talk with father. I remember every word you said. I 
thought I loved you before, but then I resolved to fill 
the measure you made for me. I have studied, toiled 
and worked and tried so hard to grow into such a girl 
and woman as you would love and honor. And you, Ma- 
rion, have been my inspiration. Wont' you try to live 
for me, since you compel this confession and since I've 
worked so hard to win you?" 

"Yes, May, I'll live now. Your words would put 
life in me if I were a mummy." 

"All those letters, Marion, were forged by Arthur's 
sister. He knew nothing of it; he would have scorned 
so mean an act.' I can't tell you how grateful I was after 
I'd read those letters to find your endorsement on the 
back. Your 'faith in me increased my love more than I 
can tell, for they were a very clever imitation. Marion, 
you have been very blind or you would have known that 
I loved you from a little girl, ever since you saved my 
life. But it is too bad, though, since I have worked so 
hard and so long to win you, that you compelled this 
confession. But I'm glad and happy over the result." 

"Well, May, I guess I'm glad and happy ,too. My 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 139 

heart's at rest now, and I'll get well, never fear. If I had 
been twice dead, your words would have put new life 
in me-" 

"Not another word, Marion, you must rest and have 
some nourishment. No, no — no more talk from you. 
The doctor has given me absolute power and you must 
obey." 

I slept like a child all night. A few times I was 
awakened and given a little stimulant and food. The 
sun was shining through the window when I awoke. I 
heard the spring birds. They had gathered near my 
window to give me a serenade. Their music was en- 
chanting. Then I heard a ringing laugh. "That's May," 
I said. "The first laugh I've heard from her since she 
came. 'Tis richer, sweeter and more assuring than the 
music of the birds." My heart was full of gratitude and 
I said to myself, "God bless May Gordon." 

Soon, mother, Prentiss and his wife and May came 
in. I greeted them with a smile. How bright and en- 
couraged they looked. What a difference in their appear- 
ance in so short a time- How stupid in me to relax all 
effort to live, I thought, when to live gives others so 
much joy and happiness. 



CONVALESCING. 



Chapter XX. 

Tvlay was my constant companion and nurse now. I 
watched her with keen interest as she tripped in and out 
of my room, but O how imperative in her orders. A 
real autocrat, she was. I called her a little tyrant. "No 
talking, Marion," shed say, "absolute rest and quiet." 
The windows were let down from the top and the soft 
spring air floated into the room. I iilled my lungs to 
the utmost that I might get more and richer blood. 

It was nearly five p. m. May had just brought me 
in a small bowl of broth and crackers, and while I was 
eating the doctor slipped in the room unobserved for sev- 
eral minutes until he spoke. 

"Well, well, I declare," said the doctor, " I never 
saw such a change in so short a time. The last tonic I 
I administered did wonders for you, my boy. You should 
be grateful to me all your life." 

"O, I'll be grateful to you, doctor, for your kindness 
and skill, but as to that last tonic you gave me, you are 
all at sea. It was too thin, too thin- I would have died 
on such dope as that." 

"Yes, I know, you tried to die, and were so deter- 
mined that I became alarmed. I was afraid it would 
ruin my practice, so I called in our little friend here. 
Yours was a heart trouble I couldn't control with my 
remedies and your delusions stuck to you like grim 
death." 

"Yes, doctor, those delusions seemed very real to 
me and even now they do. O, how tired I'd get wading 
through the thick mud, carying heavy loads, and climb- 
ing the bluff. Then the roar of musketry so near and 
the thick choking smoke and the hot flash of the Rebel 
guns, almost in our faces, seemed to go through my 
head and make me wild with pain." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 141 

"It was your fever, Marion. You were burning up 
v/ith fever when you reached home. Your system was 
so thoroughly charged with malaria and you were so 
completely worn out and exhausted, that your recovery 
was quite a doubtful problem to me for many days, but 
now if you are careful you'll get out of this bed soon." 
"Doctor," I said, "I want the best tonics you've got; 
something that will give me strength." 

The doctor smiled and dealt out more medicine and 
gave May strict directions as to my diet. 

"Be careful," he said, "that he don't over-eat now, 
and keep out callers. I see he is inclined to talk too 
much. Don't admit any one at present." Then he 
turned to me and said : 

"Marion, I want you to keep quiet and obey orders. 
If ycu fail to obey your nurse here, I'll give you the bit- 
terest dose you ever took-" 

The days and nights passed by in luxurious sleep 
and pleasant dreams, and hope grew strong. Every day 
I w-ould note some little gain in strength. I'd use my 
arms and limbs all I could in bed, for they seemel al- 
most useless. 

The doctor missed one day and as he came in was 
v.^as much pleased with my appearance. 

"Well, doctor, it seems good to see you again, and 
I'm really glad to see you're here. I wish to suggest a 
more tolerant administration. I have always lived in 
a Republic and generally had my own way, but now I 
find myself a subject of a despotic government. My lit- 
tle autocrat here will let me speak only when I say please 
and then only a few words." 

"Dont think, sir, that I shall make any change. You 
are doing so well nov.- that in a izw days I shall turn the 
case over to May entirely. And you mind and obey or- 
ders. No mutiny here, sir. My orders are, no company ; 
nc excitement; no war talks; very little talking even with 
ycur own attendants: absolute rest, quiet pnd sleep, 



142 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

nourishing food and fresh air. May can read to you 
something light, a few minutes at a time, but mind you, 
nothing of the war." 

So I yielded gracefully to the discipline and May 
read to me short light sketches and poetry, which broke 
the monotony and kept me from talking. Her voice was 
soft and musical and would frequently put me to sleep. 

One day, after I had gained considerable strength, 
I said, "Miss Autocrat, will your Highness please let 
me say just a few words and I will promise to stop 
when I feel the least bit tired?" 

"Yes, my lord, if you will not tire yourself and let 
me do most of the talking-" • 

"Will you forgive me, May? I see now that I doubt- 
ed the promise you made me. I did not when sane but 
I had read those letters over and over and knew them all 
by heart and while I did not believe the statement as to 
your engagement, as you already know, yet it did worry 
me, for I couldn't understand who could or would do 
such a mean thing. My fevered brain did not reason." 

"After your fever left you, Marion, you never alud- 
ed to the letters. O why did you not ask me?" 

"Feeling so certain that you were engaged to Ar- 
thur, I could not muster the strength to mention the sub- 
ject to you. It was a real fact to me, remember." 

"O, Marion, I thought you knew. How strange. I 
tried so hard to hide my love, but the day you met me 
at Mr. Prescott's I was off my guard. It was a surprise 
to me and I thought wou saw my love so plainly, that 
you concluded best not to see me again before you went 
away. I feared that was the reason and spent some 
sleepless nights, but you said you would explain if you 
ever reached home and I trusted you and waited." 

"I'll tell you now. May. You were young and I was 
afraid that perhaps your gratitude might influence you 
then. It was your love, May, and not gratitude that my 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 143 

heart demanded and, too, my life was uncertain and I 
felt it would be wrong to tie you." 

"Tie me, Marion? You tied me when I was a child 
with a cord I never could have broken, when you saved 
my life and almost lost your own, O I was but a child 
then, but I remember how I laid awake nights and cried 
and prayed as a child can pray, that if you died I might 
die, too, and be buried by your side. It was a child's 
love then, as I grew up I loved you as a girl, ond now 
Marion I love you as a woman. Now you'll be good and 
try to live, won't you?" 

"Yes, May, God helping me I'll live and if He spares 
me till this cruel war is over I'll dedicate my life to you, 
and now to Him who has given you to me- I never told 
you. May, that when I took that risk to save your life, 
that it seemed to me you were clinging around my heart 
and though boy as I was, I felt that in some way, I 
didn't understand then, that you were a part of my des- 
tiny. And you remember how I called you my little girl 
from, that time on." 

"O yes, and I remember how I liked that name, 
even when I was a big girl. And now, Marion, as we 
dedicate our lives to each other, let us also dedicate our- 
selves and all we have and are to Him, who has so rich- 
ly blessed us." 

It was not necessary to talk more, we understood 
each other. May indicated that I must rest. She brought 
me some quail broth, a little milk, a litle tender meat of 
the quail and I ate all she would let me and then she sat 
down and read to me till I fell asleep. 

When I awoke, in the morning, the sun was shin- 
ing in my window and I heard another clear musical 
laugh, such as only can be indulged in when the heart 
is free and happy, and soon May came quietly in and 
asked : 

"How's my invalid, this morning?" 

"Hungry as a bear." 



144 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"What will your lordship have?" 

"Tell Prentiss to kill a fat ox. I must have more 
than toast, crackers and broth and I'm going to sit up 
today, so get the big rocker ready." 

One morning a week or so later, as I was resting in 
my big rocking chair, May came in from the field, hei 
face flushed and beautiful, with her hands full of wild 
flowers, and held them up before me. 

"See, Marion, aren't they beautiful?" 

She noticed soon that I was looking at her and not 
the flowers. "Here, Marion, look at these, I'm not a 
posey." 

"Yes, May, more lovely to me than Eve in the Gar- 
den of Eden." 

"Why, Marion," she said blushing. "Don't you rec- 
ollect that I told you once that it was very wicked to 
flatter?" 

"Yes, but it's not wicked to tell the truth." 

"O how naughty you are. If you don't behave bet- 
ter, I'll take you out riding Saturday-" 

"O, but you'll take me out tomorrow," I said. 

"I'm afraid not. We'll see." 



RECOVERY AND RETURN TO DUTY. 

Chapter XXI. 

The whole family were consulted and finally gave 
their consent and at eight o'clock a. m. we started on 
cur ride. 

"Well, May, this bracing spring air and you, are do- 
ing me good," I said, after riding a half mile. "You 
must do the driving, singing and laughing, and I'll do 
the talking. That morning after you all thought me 
better, I heard you laugh in the dining room and it fair- 
ly made my nerves tingle." 

"Well, Marion, there was no laughing in your home 
for many weeks. The last few days before the change 
we were in the very depths of despair. I am sure your 
m.other spent most of several nights on her knees, and I 
tried to pray but could only sob and weep." 

"The desire of your heart was answered, May; how 
stupid of me to harbor that delusion." 

"No, Marion, I'm the one that was stupid and all 
to blame. When the doctor, in a few words, made it so 
plain, I saw it clearly and I am thankful that it was not 
altogether too late." 

"Could you have detected that forgery, May?" 

"No, I could not- I have Marg's writing at the 
house and I have compared them several times and I'm 
not able to comprehend how you detected the fraud so 
quickly." 

'*In the first place. May, to help me, I had confidence 
in you. The writing was so perfect in its imitation that 
I could hardly detect any difference. I had received two 
letters from Marg. The difference was more in the fold- 
ding and placing the stamps. I knew Marg was very 
methodical. She has just one way to do a thing and that 
is always the best way. There was also a decided dif- 
ference in the method of expression. This I caught at a 



146 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

glance but when I read the paragraph in the first letter 
which said, 'I have tried to get May to write Marion 
and tell him of her engagement but she seeems perfectly 
indifferent,' I confess I was staggered; only my faith in 
you, May, caused me to make that endorsement on that 
first letter. I knew Marg was truthful and would not 
make that statement unless actually true. I knew Ar- 
thur to be a noble young man and soon to come into pos- 
session of a nice property and I knew, too, that ever so 
much wealth would have no influence over my little girl. 
Altogether I was in a serious muddle. It worried me a 
good deal, May, though I did not believe it. You know 
I never mentioned it in my letters." 

"And that seemed so strange to me- How quickly I 
could have relieved your mind and saved you that wor- 
ry, at least." 

"I thought of that, May, and then I thought that to 
write you would almost be an acknowledgment that I 
believed it and I just said to myself, 'No, my little girl 
never deceived me and she never will, I know I can trust 
her.' " 

"You know now, Marion, that I had no heart to give 
him. I had to tell him so before he would yield the suit, 
but it was with tears in my eyes and sorrow in my 
heart- I treated him with such delicate and kindly con- 
sideration that he said he would respect and honor me 
as long as he lived. His sister was the author of those 
letters, while she at the same time was pretending to be 
such a warm friend of mine. I don't know yet how she 
managed to get John's letters when they were addressed 
to Marg, for she never received a single letter from him 
and never wrote him." 

This ride did me so much good that we rode out 
every day when pleasant. I gained rapidly in flesh and 
strength and had no need of a doctor and medicine. Fresh 
air, exercise and nutritious food was all I needed. May 
was my constant companion in all my rides and walks 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 147 

and we enjoyed to the fullest extent the last of the May 
days as they passed so rapidly by. 

On the first of June I took May to her home. She 
had been with us since the evening of the day I reached 
home. 

As she got ready to leave the house, mother said to 
her: "I shall miss you. May. It will be lonesome here. 
You seem very near to me. May I love you as a daugh- 
ter?" 

"O I'm so glad if you can love me," said May "You 
remember I lost my mother when a child and I have of- 
ten felt the need of one so much," and as she gave her 
parting kiss she said, "good bye, mother." 

During my sickness and delirium the battle of Shi- 
loh was fought, but as the doctor insisted that all war 
news should be kept from me, I knew but very little of 
the battle until I was able to ride out. Our regiment 
was engaged two days, the sixth and seventh of April, 
and our loss in killed and wounded was very heavy. 

Lewis received a bad wound in the hand and reach- 
ed home about the fourteenth. Soon, fever set in and 
he, too, was in a critical condition. His sickness was 
kept from me till I was able to be around- After May 
left me, and Lewis and I were able to leave home we drove 
over the county and visited all the boys that were home 
on furlough and had gotten within four miles of Jim's 
home when we learned that he was dead and buried. . He 
was brought home from the Marine hospital while I was 
sick. He was taken down again with fever and lived on- 
ly a few weeks. 

I now had only about thirty days to recruit my 
strength and it was quite necessary to toughen myself 
and develop all the muscle possible, for I knew there 
were many hardships yet for me, so I walked or rode in 
the saddle every day when not actually needed at home. 
Strange as it may seem, I was anxious to get back to 
the company. I felt that I was needed and that it was 



148 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

my duty to return as soon as I could safely do so. 

I will not tire the reader with an extended account 
of my home-leaving this time. My folks and the doctor 
were afraid I had not sufficiently recovered my strength 
to endure the service, but I assured them that I would 
try and be more careful. 

I had called on May often since she left us and the 
last day but one before I started back I gave her the 
whole day. 

As I was about to bid her good bye she placed both 
her hands in mine and said, "Nothing can come between 
us now, Marion." 

"No, May, nothing but death, a.-tl that can separate 
us but a short time." 

Then she added, "Whether you live to return or 
fall in battle or die in hospital, you are mine and I feel 
that I shall have a right to carry your image in my heart 
every day while I live and the knowledge that I love 
you and that we all love you and are praying for you 
may compel you to live when to die would seem gain 
to you." 

Mother was cheerful and hopeful and when she said 
good bye there was hardly a tremor in her voice. 

"Mother," I said, "I shall carry the httle Bible you 
gave me and if I should never return, remember tha4: 
ycur last message will be found within that book in my 
pocket." 

I left home at eight a. m. on the ninth of July and 
parted with Prentiss at the station from which Charley 
and I started home on foot, burning up with fever and 
mere or less delirious. 

I reached Indianapolis at five a. m- on the tenth and 
reported immediately at the adjutant general's office, 
where a squad of fifteen convalescents were put in my 
charge with orders to report at Louisville, Ky., which 
place we reached at two a. m. on the eleventh with our 
train quite heavily loaded with returning soldiers. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 149 

On reaching the depot at such an early hour, we 
quartered ourselves in and around the building on bales 
of cotton and soon dropped to sleep. Soon a large po- 
lice force came in and drove us out. We then went into 
some empty cars on a side track off some distance, and 
locked the doors. The police followed us and again or- 
dered us out. We asked them kindly to excuse us and 
told them, that we had concluded to stay. They still 
persisted with threats of arrest, then two or three very 
wicked boys in our squad finally ordered them to go to 

. I didn't put down the name of the place in my 

diary, for a good many people choose to go there every 
year and it might give offence. No doubt most of those 
police were on their way, too, for they left us and we 
secured a few hours rest and a little sleep. 



GUERRILLAS. 



Chapter XXII. 

Our train loaded with soldiers returning to their re- 
spective regiments left Louisville for Nashville at eight 
a. m. on the tvi^elfth inst. and ran twenty miles without 
interruption, to Union Junction, a station only. 

Surrounding this station was an old cleared field 
which had been abandoned for many years and had 
grown up to a dense growth of blackberry bushes, and 
while the conductor and operator were busy receiving 
and sending out despatches, all our boys left the cars 
and busied themselves picking and eating this fruit- This 
was a lucky hit for us. The berries were dead ripe and 
the largest and sweetest I ever tasted. 

The rumor was quite current among the boys that 
John Morgan was approaching Louisville with a heavy 
force of cavalry and that all the troops congregated 
there would be held for the protection of the city, which 
had given the boys such a cool and unfriendly reception 
the night before. None were anxious to be held here to 
protect Rebels and their property. 

Our train left the Junction about dusk and ran back 
to the Louisville arsenal where we were all armed with 
Belgian rifles .We had very few comjmissioned officers 
with us and I was ordered to take command of all the 
men in our car. It was about nine-thirty p. m. when the 
train moved out of the station and went back on the 
same road to the junction. I had had very little sleep 
since leaving home and being tired, I lay down on a 
bench and soon dropped to sleep. I was enjoying pleas- 
ant dreams when suddenly awakened by a heavy volley 
of musketry. The train, I found, had been stopped in a 
deep cut. All the soldiers in the front cars had been or- 
dered out and were engaged with a blood thirsty gang of 
guerillas near by, who made it their business to tear up 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 151 

railroad tracks, burn bridges, kill and torture men with 
Union sentiments and prey on small bodies of our troops. 
They never took a prisoner nor showed any mercy 
to their victims. Soon as we heard the volley we threw 
back the door of our cattle car and leaping to the ground 
with our Belgians ready loaded, went back to the end 
of the cut and formed our company. We climbed up the 
steep hill on the left of the train, then marched over on 
the other side across the bridge spanning the cut, till we 
reached the rear of the batallion that was then engaged, 
then filed to the left and took our position, as ordered, 
on the left. It was quite dark. We could see nothing 
in front but a line of fire and could keep our own posi- 
tions only by observing the sheet of flame on our right- 
It was no easy job for me to keep our boys in line, 
they were so eager to finish the disagreeable job as soon 
as possible. It is difficult to hold men to a fixed line, 
in a skirmish, even in daylight, but much more difficult 
in the dark. I was more afraid the boys would shoot one 
another than I was of the enemy's guns, for I soon per- 
ceived that they were shooting high. I walked along the 
rear of the line and told the boys to be sure and hold 
down their guns and shoot low and while I was trying 
to keep the line one fellow sprang out of ranks and start- 
ed for the rear. "Halt," I said. 

"O I'm wounded, sir, I feel the blood." 
"Where?" I asked, and I put my hand where he in- 
dicated and could feel the warm blood. "Go to the train," 
I said, "and bandage it, it's only a flesh wound." 

I perceived in a few minutes we were moving for- 
ward. Every time a man would load and fire 
he would take a step or two forward and some 
were so much more eager than others that I found to 
keep forty or fifty men in line during a skirmish on a 
dark night was all the business I wanted without using 
my own Belgian. 

As we advanced the enemy seemed to fall back and 



152 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

when we reached the farther side of the field about sixty 
rods from where we started, the enemy ceased firing. The 
captain commanding then ordered us to hurry back to 
the train, fearing that the enemy might cut us off. 

On entering our car, I discovered our wounded boy, 
recHning on a bench looking quite pale, from loss of 
blood. 

"Weil, my boy," I asked, "are you much hurt?" 
"Not seriously ; I've lost quite a bit of blood and feel 
a little faint. 

Just then the surgeon came in and made an exam- 
ination. The ball had passed through the coat, vest and 
shirt and cut a gash about three inches long through the 
flesh just below the nipple. 

"Well, my boy," said the surgeon, "a miss is as good 
as a mile, but that was a close call. Had you stood 
square to the front that shot would have finished you." 
The doctor closed the wound with three strips of ad- 
hesive plaster, then put a strong bandage around his 
chest and advised him to keep still- 
As near as I could learn eight or ten of our men 
were wounded but none of them seriously and I could 
not find that any v/ere killed. A battle in the dark is 
for some reason a dread to me. I'm willing that anyone 
may have all the fun and adventure, if they will excuse 
me. 

When all the wounded were cared for it was just one 
o'clock a. m. Then an order came for me to select five 
men from our car and precede the train on the track 
through a dense woods for three or four miles. This 
was no doubt to prevent an ambush; a very good idea 
for those on the train, but it was a little like taking the 
cat's paw to poke chestnuts out from a pile of hot coals. 
I asked for five volunteers and if I had accepted 
them, I could have had all in the car, except our wound- 
ed boy. We started on and when we reached the timber 
it was intensely dark and continued so until we reached 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 153 

the open country, then we halted till the train caught up, 
and then climbed in.. The train ran back to the Junc- 
tion, took on some more soldiers and started back. Just 
before reaching the little village of New Albany while 
looking out of the window I lost my hat and as the train 
came to a full stop in the village, I jumped off, went in- 
to a store and while fitting myself with a new hat the 
train started on and left me in a thoroughly Rebel coun- 
try. 

I could see at once that they were by no means 
friendly, but I was well armed. I had a good six shoot- 
er in my belt and my Belgian loaded, with bayonet on. 
I sat down close to a store building on the main street, 
where none could get behind me and kept a close watch 
of all in front. 

I could hear them occasionally speak contemptuous- 
ly of the Yanks that were invading their state and of 
Lincoln as a tyrant and ursurper. 

When spoken to, I answered them courteously and 
paid no attention to their treasonable utterances. About 
three o'clock p. m. the train came back from the scene 
cf the night's skirmish. They found the guerillas' camp 
abandoned, and several dead horses and brought back 
one "bushwhacker" that was mortally wounded and left 
en the field. He was a citizen of this same village and 
four of our boys took a stretcher and carried him to his 
own home. 

Our train ran back to Louisville, where we marched 
to the barracks, got our dinner and then marched 
through the southern part of the city to Preston's grove 
about two miles east of the depot. 

Here in this beautiful grove, we went into camp 
about one thousand soldiers, if one can call it camping. 
We had no tents, no blankets and no cooking utensils. 
The days were hot but the nights were damp to lie on 
the ground. Our meals were easily and quickly gotten. 
A piece of bacon stuck on a stick, held over the fire till 



154 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

well toasted, a tin cup of coffee and hardtack was all we 
wanted, as it was all we could get. I did not feel all 
alone, for Tom, of our company, was with me, and I se- 
lected a tree with a thick heavy top to lie under to pro- 
tect ourselves from the heavy dew. 

Close by us every night two Irish Catholics bunked 
and toward morning their legs would cramp and then 
they would jump up and dance around and swear 
that the witches and devil had gotten into their legs. I 
tried to tell them that it was the damp ground and damp 
air that caused the cramp but they knew it was the devil. 
I was glad I was not the priest that had to pardon their 
sin of profanity, for in that they were proficient. 

Tom and I would usually get up at four o'clock and 
walk around and get warm, for neither of us were dress- 
ed for lying on the bare ground. 

Today, the sixteenth of July, I w^rote three letters, 
but said nothing to my friends as to our camp accommo- 
dations for I knew they would only worry for fear I 
would get sick again. 

On the seventeenth we moved our quarters from 
Preston's Woods to the old fair ground buildings, where 
we were under shelter from rain and dew and could sleep 
on a floor, which is a real luxury for a soldier. We also 
had a good well of water, plenty of shade and with all a 
beautiful place. 

July twentieth. Sabbath at home but not regarded 
here by a great many. After attending to my duties, 
which kept me quite busy, as I was captain, first and 
second lieutenant over one hundred men, I spent the 
balance of the time in reading and writing letters. The 
commissioned officers had all left us but one captain, 
who commanded the convalescent regiment. 

This fair ground was occupied by General Buck- 
ner's army for a long time and the Preston, whose park 
we occupied, is a wealthy citizen of Louisville and now 
commands a brigade in Buckner's army. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 155 

And right here I made my first acquaintance with 
the gray-back. I saw a small squad holding skirmish 
drill on a soldier's coat as he stood with his back to the 
sun. 

They look something like a mud turtle only not so 
large. They have a sharp prod on the end of their tail 
to push with and forty or fifty feelers to tickle with, 
just to let one know where they are. 

They are very unstable and fickle and much in- 
clined to malicious trespass. They are tropical in their 
natures, always hunting for the hottest place and some 
of our boys say they wish they were in — it. Fifteen 
hundred are as many as one soldier is able to pasture at 
the same time. While they are not profane themselves, 
yet they do make the boys swear more than any other 
animal. 

Sabbath again and I feel somewhat lonesome 
though surrounded by a thousand men, but I find a mul- 
titude is not always company- 

On the thirty-first we were ordered to the city ar- 
senal where we turned over our Belgians, then to bar- 
rack No. I where we got a good supper, then to barrack 
No. 2 for lodging. The night was intensely hot, the bar- 
rack crowded and the air vicious. I much prefer the 
open air to a bunk in an oven with a large crowd. 

August I, 1862. We went back to No. i for break- 
fast then to the arsenal and drew Belgian rifles, then 
boarded a train, bade Louisville good bye and started 
for Nashville at seven a. m., one hundred eighty-six 
miles, reaching there at six p. m. We remained there till 
Sunday, the third, and then took a train on the Nashville 
and Chattanooga railroad and reached Stevenson, Ala- 
bama, one hundred twelve miles, at eight o'clock p. m. 

Climbing and riding over the Cumberland moun- 
tains was a rich experience to me- I had never seen any 
mountains before- All the hills, knolls and bluffs along 



156 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

the rivers were mere mole hills compared with the Cum- 
berlands. 

Our train was loaded inside and out and as the day 
was very hot I took my place on top with twenty others. 
After passing Murfreesboro fifteen or twenty miles, our 
car uncoupled from the train and we were left for a full 
half hour in a thick wood. Here was a good chance for 
the guerillas, but lucky for us none happened to be near. 
On a little farther the tender jumped the rail and all the 
cars up to ours followed. O what a bumping and jump- 
ing, scarcely one of the boys was left on the train when 
it stopped. From Murfreesboro on to Stevenson I count- 
ed seventeen wrecked trains and parts of trains piled up 
along the sides of the railroad and every car in our train 
had been well riddled with bullets, showing plainly the 
work of the guerillas. 



WITH COMPANY A. 

Chapter XXIII. 

Stevenson, Alabama, is an old town and before the 
Civil War laid its blighting hand upon it, might have 
been a business center. 

One large building, a hotel, stood out quite promi- 
nently, on a slight elevation, some twenty rods north of 
the station. Not many months since there had been 
some good residences, with beautiful lawns, gardens, 
shrubbery and shade trees. Most of the dwellings were 
now used for officers' and soldiers' quarters and for stab- 
ling horses. The shade trees were being cut and used 
in building fortifications. Wide, deep trenches had been 
cut through gardens and yards where flowers once 
bloomed and shrubbery and lawns flourished. 

Streets and sidewalks once tread, by master and 
slaves, and mistress and maid, were now crowded with 
army wagons, artillery, cavalry and batallions of armed 
soldiers. 

The church so quietly nestling at the foot of the 
hill, surrounded by a few evergreens, where the people 
assembled on the Sabbath day but a short time ago to 
listen to treasonable sermons advocating war, as a pa- 
triotic duty, was now empty with broken windows and 
doors gone. 

The bell still hung in the steeple, its tongue spoke 
no language, its musical tones had been succeeded by 
the fife and drum, the rattle of musketry and the roar o! 
artillery. 

A large army was quartered in and around the town 
and in every direction I went or looked were prepara- 
tions for War, Cruel Relentless War- The prayers of 
the seceeders were being answered. 

Tired with my wandering around the town, I came 
back to the station and began to write, but seeing an old 



158 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

paper lying uder my seat, I picked it up and found it to 
be "The Southern Presbyterian Review" of January 14, 
1 86 1, and on the first page was a sermon from Rev. Dr. 
Thornwell, Prof, of Theology in the Presbyterian Sem- 
inary of Columbus, S. C, from which I took the time to 
copy one paragraph only. He says: "Our slaves are our 
solemn trust and while we have a right to use and direct 
their labors, we are bound to feed, clothe and protect 
them, to give them the comforts of this life and to intro- 
duce them to the hopes of a blessed immortality. They 
are moral beings and it will be found that in the 
culture of their moral natures we reap the largest re- 
ward from their service- The relation itself is moral 
and in the tender affections and endearing sympathies it 
evokes, it gives scope for the most attractive graces of 
human character. Strange as it may sound to those who 
are not familiar with the system, slavery is a school of 
virtue and no class of men have furnished sublimer in- 
stances of heroic devotion than slaves in their loyalty 
and love to their masters. We have seen them rejoice 
at the cradle of the infant and weep at the bier of the 
dead and there are few among us who have not drawn 
their nourishment from their generous breasts." 

If such was the teaching from those who called 
themselves appointed of God to preach "the Gospel of 
Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men" was it at all sur- 
prising that so many people of the slave states tore down 
the old flag and rushed like a mad torrent into the Re- 
bellion? 

That secession was inaugurated without cause 
must ever be the verdict of history. And history will 
forever hold John C. Calhoun, R. Barnwell Rheet, Right 
Rev. Bishop Elliott, Rev. Dr. Thornwell, Davis, Tombs, 
Breckenridge and many other statesmen, editors, minis- 
ters, numbers of the slave-holding forum, bar and pulpit, 
responsible for all the suffering, bloodshed, devastation, 
and desolation which have come to our country. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 159 

We received lodging on the first floor of the station 
and left Stevenson on the six a. m. train for Bridgeport, 
Ala., where we found some of our regimental teams 
loaded down with supplies for camp. We followed along 
on foot and reached Company A in time to eat dinner 
with the boys who greeted us so warmly that I felt no 
longer among strangers, but almost among my own kin- 
dred and at home. 

Nearly all the company looked well and all seemed 
to be well pleased with the location, which was certain- 
ly very pleasant and healthful. The company had now 
sixty-one present, and an aggregate membership of sev- 
enty-nine, some being recruits that had come since I left. 

In the afternoon I called on the 29th Indiana and 
found the two Sabin boys, the two McGowen boys, My- 
letus and Irenus, and Captain and E- G. Melendy. 

Our camp was located on a gentle slope one mile 
west of the Tennessee and one and a half miles south of 
Battle Creek and about five miles north of the Alabama 
line, at the base of what was called here, the Blue Hills. 

About thirty rods up quite an incline, was a small 
cave which would permit a person to enter for ten or 
twelve feet, which was as cold as an ice house and out 
from which poured a fountain of ice cold water some 
three feet wide and several inches deep. 

The current was very strong and the brook went 
dancing and sparkling and singing down across the val- 
ley to the Tennessee. 

What a beautiful place for a model home ! Here 
we had a steep rocky mountain on the west reaching to 
the clouds, bold and precipitous to protect from heavy 
winds, a prodigal supply of pure water that could be 
piped to the top of the buildings, a rich and fertile valley 
for a mile to the front, reaching down to the river and 
magnificent mountain scenery beyond. 

Our tent was only a few rods from the house of a 
planter who had quite a number of slaves and early on 



i6o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

my first morning there I watched some of them as they 
came out of their quarters and started to their unpaid 
toil. There were five in this gang, three women and 
two men. One was a girl of about fifteen, quite tall, 
from all appearance purely white, straight as an arrow 
and who walked with a grace and dignity not excelled 
by our own girls up north. 

Each garment worn by the three women probably 
cost the planter thirty cents and the men were dressed 
as cheaply, all being barefooted and all working from 
early morning till late at night for a bare existence, with 
no apparent motive, encouragement or inspiration. 

Well, I thought to myself, as they passed by, you 
can now begin to sing, on the sly, that good old Meth- 
odist hymn, "Our Bondage Here Shall End, By and By 
— by and By." 

I found our captain there with the company, the on- 
ly commissioned officer present. I had net seen him 
since we parted on the Baltic at the landing below Don- 
elson. He and the first lieutenant reached the company 
at Shiloah a day or two after the battle and made the 
march with the boys from Corinth to our present camp, 
where the first lieutenant, v/hile on picket, in front of 
the enemy was wounded by a mysterious discharge from 
his ov/n revolver, the ball passing through his left hand. 

His resignation was immediately handed in and ac- 
cepted, this time without hesitancy. On the morning 
I left for Nashville he left camp for home. 

Our second lieutenant, though delicate in health, 
was with us at Donelson and in action two days with 
the boys at Shiloah, but being physically unequal to the 
hardships and exposure, yielded to the inevitable. After 
the battle he went to the hospital and was compelled 
to tender his resignation. 

The next day but one after reaching the company 
the captain informed me that a vacancy would occur in 
the regiment in a short time and by date of commission 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." i6i 

and rank he would be entitled to fill the place and in 
that case he must leave the company and the one now 
recommended for first lieutenant would soon be com- 
missioned captain. 

"How shall we arrange this matter, orderly, be- 
tween you and Nelson?" 

"You will have to fill out and send on the recom- 
mendation to the governor, will you not?" I asked- 

"Yes, that will be my duty." 

"Very well, Captain, just suit yourself and the com- 
pany and I will be satisfied. I did not enlist for a com- 
mission or salary. Nelson and I will have no trouble 
over this matter." 

So a thing that had worried the captain for some 
time was very easily adjusted. He was able to make his 
promise good to Nelson and maintain his friendly rela- 
tions with me. 

Our picket duty was now heavy, as General Bragg, 
commanding a large force, occupied Chattanooga and 
his picket line commanded the river on the opposite side 
in plain sight of our line. 

Every day men were detailed to work on the forti- 
fications commenced by General Michell and frequently 
the whole regiment would be ordered across the Ala- 
bama line for picket duty. From nine a. m. until four 
p. m. the days were excessively hot, the sun poured 
down into the valley and it was so shut in by the moun- 
tains that scarcely any breeze could be felt. 

On the 17th of August, 1862, our company was or- 
dered en picket duty, close to the river opposite the ene- 
my's reserve. About ten a. m. a large sealed package 
from Gneral Buel, directed to General Bragg was hand- 
ed to our captain by an orderly, with orders to deliver 
the same to the officer in command on the enemy's side. 
As soon as the skiff reached our landing Auraend and I 
stepped in with the captain and under the protection of 
our white handkerchief, we reached the enemy's lines 



i62 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and handed the ofiicer our packige, whicJi was immedi- 
ately forwarded to Bragg- We visited with the John- 
nies some two hours. They spoke of Buel very highly 
as being a fine gentleman and a good general, and 
seemed well pleased with his manner of conducting the 
war, but Grant and Sherman and in fact all the rest of 
our best and most successful generals were butchers and 
brutal ; however, they did concede that McLelland was 
equally as pacific and considerate of their rights as Buell. 

When the orderly returned we were handed another 
large sealed package from Bragg directed to Gen. Buell- 
We then bade them good bye and returned to our re- 
serve, forwarding the package as directed. This was on 
the 17th of August, 1862, remember, and on the 19th 
most of Braggs' army was on our side of the river, five 
or six miles above. 

On the morning of the 20th quite early we received 
an order to pack our knapsacks, keeping out our blank- 
et and rubber, and be ready to move on notice, in light 
marching order. Everything packed in our knapsacks 
was to be left. 

At ten p. m. of this same day we were ordered to 
form our company, very quietly and take our place in 
the regiment and brigade. The night was very dark and 
it was with great difficulty that we could find our posi- 
tion and as we moved to the north and reached the 
bridge that crosses Battle Creek we found it covered 
with green corn stalks, then we surmised a retreat. 

At two a, m. on the 21st we went in camp in a thick 
wood near Jasper and about eight a.m . passed through 
the little town to the north and soon discovered that the 
whole Rebel army had crossed the river to our side since 
the 17th, and what the sealed packages that passed be- 
tween Buell and Bragg had to do with this move, we 
were not prepared to express an opinion, or why Buell 
did not use his artillery and sink the whole Rebel army 
in the river while crossing is a problem for the historian. 



THE BUELL CAIvIPAIGrv 



Chapter XXIV. 

After passing through Jasper some three miles, the 
front, McCook's corps, caught up with the enem.y's rear 
and a lively skirmish ensued. It was now about twelve 
m. when the whole column came to a halt, giving us a 
chance to eat our lunch, fill our canteens, and lay down 
under the shade. 

When I first reached the regiment the army was on 
half rations, now we drew only quarter, with very strict 
orders not to forage from the enemy. But notwithstand- 
ing the orders, we had a nice fat mutton for supper. 

I said to Gilbert, "be careful ; the orders are very 
strict, if caught it will be a serious matter. We can't 
save you." 

"Well," said Gilbert, "I think a soldier ought to 
have the right to defend his own life. We were just 
crossing the field and molesting nothing, when this sheep 
started after me on a full run and chased me into a fence 
corner, with her mouth wide open and Iknew from her ac- 
tions she was going to bite — and I struck her with my 
gun and accidentally killed her. But wasn't that choice 
mutton, orderly? Didn't you like it?" 

"Yes, very fine, but be careful and don't let any of- 
ficer see you violate the commands of General Buell." 

As night approached the firing increased for an hour 
or so and then subsided to ordinary skirmish and picket 
firing all night. From six a. m. on the morning of the 
22nd for two or three hours there were rather exciting 
times in front, and judging from the strictness of the or- 
ders that came back to us, a general engagement seemed 
imminent, but towards noon the firing quieted down and 
at one p. m. the head of our column, McCook's command, 
came counter marching back by us and at seven p- m. 
we dropped in the column and moved back through Jas- 



i64 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

per and bivouacked in the same woods that we occupied 
the night before. 

On the morning of the 23rd our column left the Bat- 
tle Creek and Jasper road and took another leading 
southwest and west and northwest and reached the ex- 
treme of the valley on Sunday evening, the 24th, 

This valley from the pass down for four or five 
miles, will average a quarter to a mile wide with very 
productive soil and quite thickly settled. 

Very few, if any, slaves were owned by these peo- 
ple and I was told by a very intellegent refugee, who 
walked along with me nearly all day, that the people of 
these valleys and mountains were intensely loyal. All 
the men, he said, had been compelled to leave their 
homes, to keep out of the Rebel army and were now 
hiding and secreting themselves in the mountains. They 
had signal stations where they signaled their families 
in the valleys and communicated with them nearly every 
day. He further stated that he had not slept in a house 
or bed since the war began and was now a member of 
the Grape Vine Telegraph Company, organized for the 
protection of these people against squads of Rebel cav- 
alry and murderous gangs of guerillas. All along our 
march up the valley hundreds of these people came into 
our column for protection. 

We reached the extreme of the valley, at the foot of 
the mountain a little before sundown and soon Company 
A was ordered on picket duty. Here I remained on duty 
till two a. m. close by a mountain stream which during 
the rainy season might be called a river, but now only 
a small brook. 

On one side of the stream, at a bend, tons of small 
cobble stone had been washed up on the bank. I felt 
of them and found them to be very warm for they had 
been exposed to the sun all day, so having no blanket 
with me, I concluded to dig out some of the cobble and 
make my bed for the balance of the night. I fixed a 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 165 

stone for a pillow and lay down in the trough I had 
formed and it was a very warm and comfortable bed, 
though not quite as soft as mine at home. 

When we got back to the company Nelson and I 
went to a cabin and bought a corn pone- I ate of it 
quite freely for my breakfast and in a couple of hours 
it made me very sick. 

At daylight the front of our column began to climb 
the mountain. At nine a. m. our regiment started. We 
soon came to a field on our left about five acres covered 
with army supplies, which had been set on fire and was 
well nigh consumed ; army wagons and tents and every- 
thing that could be dispensed with to lighten the wag- 
ons and relieve the teams. It took two and sometimes 
three teams to one wagon to raise the grade and then 
frequently one man to each wheel. 

Occasionally there would be a level place of ten, 
twenty or thirty rods, then. a rocky stairway to climb, 
with a perpendicular rise, every four, six or eight feet of 
from eight to twenty-four inches. This condition con- 
fronted us continually until we reached the summit 
about dusk, and then we moved on over a tolerably good 
road till twelve m. It was called three miles from the 
base to the summit on the east side and we were from 
ten a. m. till dusk making the climb. 

The summit was a little rolling, covered with scat- 
tering timber and clean from; undergrowth. 

It looked to me as though the vegetable deposit had 
been burned off for the last hundred years, leaving the 
soil thin and poor. 

We reached the foot of the mountain on the west 
side at noon and found the descent much easier, not so 
rocky and steep. It was called twenty-two miles over 
by this pass. 

And there near the road was another stream of ice 
cold water pouring out from under the rock, nearly as 
large as the one mentioned at our camp. 



i66 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

The country here near the mountains was level, 
quite thinly settled and poorly farmed but as we moved 
on a few miles it was much better and quite rich especi- 
ally in stock and poultry- Our boys were all partial to 
fat poultry and I don't believe that one of them was ever 
a Methodist preacher. 

Our captain was now acting lieutenant-colonel ana 
riding a horse, Nelson acting captain in command of the 
company and I first lieutenant. 

,We were still getting but one-fourth rations and for- 
bidden to forage from the enemy under a heavy penalty, 
but our boys had keen appetites. 

We had thirty or forty expert foragers and they 
were organized in reliefs of three and five, taking their 
regular turns with strict rules that must be observed 
with pass-words and signals. 

Orders from Buell were very strict and were read 
to us every other day. The following is a copy of the 
one Nelson read to us that morning at roll call: 

"Order No. 44. Company officers will be held strict- 
ly responsible for the conduct of the men under their 
command, and under no circumstances will they be al- 
lowed to loiter, and if any soldier is found foraging from 
the enemy the officer or officers in command shall im- 
mediately put such soldier under arrest and report him 
to the general commanding. 

Signed by the Adjutant. 
By order of Don Carlos Buell, General Com'd." 

After reading all were still for a minute, then one 
of the boys spoke, "By gimany, ain't that a corker?" 

The order was surely a corker and had a very salu- 
tary effect on the boys the fore part of the day, but along 
toward night the poultry began to show and when we 
went in camp, there were some thirty chickens. 

The boys were a little more prudent and careful 
than usual to keep them quiet. The poultry was dress- 
ed and cooked in places not visited by Buell's orderlies 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 167 

and divided up among the boys so that none went 
hungry. 

We had some boys in our company with wonderful 
endurance. They could march all day and at night can- 
vass the country for two miles around camp, bring in a 
small beef, mutton or hog which was dressed and cut up 
before they came in. Each mess got a share and Nelson 
and I were careful not to offend by refusing. They all 
enjoyed the adventures as well as the diet. 

The third day after leaving the mountains, toward 
evening, every third man was carrying one or two chick- 
ens and occasionally a nice turkey- Buell's orderly rode 
along from the rear to the front and as he passed us the 
poultry, then a little noisy, attracted his notice. 

He took out his pass book and asked Nelson the 
company and regiment. Nelson responded promptly, 
"Company G, 13th Kentucky," which by the way was 
the third regiment to the front. 

In a half hour the front filed to the right and we 
went in camp and some of our boys took all the poultry 
and ran to a thick grove close by. Neither Nelson nor 
I wore straps nor carried a sword at this time. Soon we 
sav/ the same orderly coming and Nelson skipped out. 

"Who commands this company," he asked. 

"Captain S. I. Due,' was answered. 

"Where is he now?" 

"Has just gone to Buell's headquarters." 

"Off he rode and soon returned and asked, "Has 
your captain returned?" 

"Not yet, sir," said Hutchins. 

"Say, young man, you're just the fellow I saw car- 
rying one turkey and two chickens." 

"I don't know how he could,'* said Bense, "he car- 
ried a sick man's gun, cartridge box and gun besides his 
own load." 

"Where is the sick man? I want to see him." 

Miller, a thin pale looking fellow, but all muscle, 



i68 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

good for a mile run after a sheep or hog, got up very 
feebly and replied in a faint minor tone : 

"I'm the sick fellow, sir, and I'm, played out, can't 
you give me a furlough and let me go home?" 

"Where is your first lieutenant?" 

"He's just gone out on picket," 

"Where's your second lieutenant?" 

"Haint got any." 

"One of you boj^s told me that this was Company 
G, 13th Kentucky" 

"No, sir," said Nick, *'that vv'as one of company G's 
boys that happened to be with us then." 

"Why didn't you make the correction then?" 

"Thunder, supposed you wanted him." 

"Now look here, boys, this is a serious matter. I 
know that you are the very boys that had thirty-eight 
chickens and one turkey less than one hour before we 
went into camp." 

. ."Well, by thunder, orderly," said Mike, get off your 
horse and search our quarters and I'll agree to eat all 
you'll find. We haven't seen a chicken today except 
those carried by the 13th Kentucky and 6th Ohio." 

The orderly turned to Hutchins and said: "You are 
the fellow that had the turkey and this company had the 
chickens, but I must say that you are the slickest lot of 
liars in the army of Ohio." 

He put spurs to his horse and rode off. I took no 
part in the controversy, it was a delicate matter, but I 
was completely stunned by the prompt answer to every 
question by a lot of boys who would scorn to tell a lie 
or do anyone a personal injury. The play could not 
have been better acted out if it had been all committed 
and planned in advance. And Miller, who could run like 
a greyhound, played his part so well, I turned and walk- 
ed off for my face would betray them. 



THE BUELL CAMPAIGN. 



Chapter XXV. 

The next evening after a long hard dusty day's 
march, we went in camp on the right, in a nice thick 
grove of young timber. The boys were ail tired and glad 
to lie down. I had made all my details for guard and 
picket duty and while I was resting, the planter, living 
on the opposite side of the road and a little to the east, 
came into camp and asked for guards to guard his bees. 
We referred him to the adjutant, who was near by. 

Our adjutant had been detailing guards to protect 
Rebels and their property, until protection to men in 
open rebellion against the government seemed no longer 
to be wise or prudent- He said to the planter, "Stran- 
ger, our boys have had a hard march through the deep 
dust with scarcely any water, this hot day. 1 don't like 
to compel this extra duty. I hardly think your bees 
v;ill be disturbed." 

"I can't risk them, sah. If you can't send them I'll 
see the general." 

The adjutant turned to Nelson and asked if he could 
furnish men to guard this man's bees. 

'"Yes, perhaps, if they will volunteer, but I don't 
feel like compelling men as tired as ours are now to 
guard the property of Rebels." He then spoke to the 
beys and asked them if four would volunteer to guard 
this planter's bees. "Yes," they said, and John, Josh, 
Bense and Lu stepped out. "We'll go. We ain't tired." 

"How many swarms of bees have you, Mr. Plant- 
er?" 

"I have forty, sah." 

"All right, I'll see that they are there on time-" 
"Thank you, sah," said the planter. 
At eight p. m. I went with the guards and found the 
forty hives as the planter represented, sitting close to 



lyo IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

a tight board fence covered with a narrow board roof 
and open on the east side, in plain view of the house- As 
I left I said: "Boys, arrange the time to suit yourselves. 
From eight to four a. m. is only eight hours — just two 
hours each, but that's rather tough after such a hard 
day's march." 

"Pshaw," said John, "we don't mind it. We rather 
like this job." 

"Be careful, boys," 1 said, "don't let any one, not 
even the owner, come inside this park." 

"All right," said John, "we'll take good care of these 
bees, you bet." 

I was up early the next morning and found the 
woods full of bees and was puzzled to know what it 
meant. I thought I saw a part of a wrecked hive up to- 
wards the general's and followed along the path through 
the grove and found a portion of a hive and kept on and 
there seemed to be more and more and the air was full 
of bees. Within two rods of the general's horses were 
two wrecked hives and his horses were in a perfect pan- 
ic; four darkies were fighting bees and trying to quiet 
the horses. 

I hurried back to our quarters and waked up Nel- 
son. "Nelson, I'm afraid our boys have got their foot in 
it, this time. I feel uneasy; see the bees and broken 
hives are scattered all along the path to the general's 
horses and it takes four darkies to hold them." 

"Well," said Nelson, "you watch. They'll slip out, 
never fear. Don't be alarmed." 

The boys came in, in a few minutes, and close upon 
their heels was the old planter, puffing and almost out 
of breath- He was too excited to talk plain but was yet 
able to swear profusely. 

"Good morning," I said, but he paid no attention to 
my salutation, but just kept on with the most absurd 
and malignant profanity that he knew how to use. 

"Hold on, stranger, just cool off if you please. I 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 171 

wish to inform you, sir, that such profanity is not al- 
lowed here. You are talking to gentlemen. Now please 
don't forget who you are addressing." 

"Wei, your D guards stole ten swarms of my 

bees last night. Excuse me. but I'm so mad I can't help 
it and I want my bees." 

"You can have your bees," said Nelson. "All you 
have to do is to catch them." 
"I want my pay for them." 

"Will you take the oath of allegiance?" Nelson 
asked. 

"D your oath of allegiance." 

I spoke to Nelson in a low tone but loud enough 
lor him to hear. "I think we had better arrest and take 
hirr. along." 

"O ho, no, I beg your pardcn. I'll ccol down and 
quii; swearing." 

The guards who had all the time been listening, 
carr.e up close and Nelson asked : 

"John, do you know anything about this honey be- 
ing taken last night?" 

"Net until I came in camp and saw the bees. My 
trick came off first-" 

"Josh, do you know anything about it?" 
"Only what I've heard here. My trick was second." 
"Gilbert, what have you to say, sir?" 
'I was on, from twelve to two and I know a heap." 
"Well, out with it." 

"The beat is about fifteen reds long and I walked 
slowly up and down and when on about half an hour, I 
thought I heard something down at the lower end of the 
hives. I found two of the general's hostlers and drove 
them away and shut the gate. I supposed that would 
end it." 

"Well, Lu, when were you on and what did you 
see?" 



172 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"I was on from two till four and the first time I 
went down, I found four hives gone and three of the 
general's hostlers after some more. I drove them off 
with my bayonet and told them if they came there again 
I'd blow a hole through them, and I supposed they were 
gone for good, but just before I left I discovered that 
ten hives were gone." 

"Well, Mr. Planter, I think it's quite plain where 
your honey has gone and now if you will go along with 
me I'll show you." And then I took him along the path 
to near the general's tent and counted ten hives that had 
been wrecked. 

"Well, well, Colonel," said the planter, "I was sure 
those guards stole my honey. Tell them I beg pardon." 
"You know where they went now, and you can tell 
the general you want your pay." 

We had no evidence who took the honey but we do 
know that Company A had honey to throw at the birds. 
As I returned Nelson said, "We had sharp ones at 
West Point but none that could equal our boys in get- 
ting out of a tight place. I don't blame the boys- I wish 
they had taken more from the old Rebel. The old man 
has two sons in a guerilla gang, so one of his darkies told 
me while you were gone." 

This was a great country for choice peaches and the 
trees were loaded down with delicious fruit. 

The next morning we were passing by a large or- 
chard in which were guards, stationed inside of the in- 
closure. The front of the column had filed to the right 
on another road running due north. Ten of our boys, 
when they noticed the guards, very quietly slipped on 
their bayonets and before Nelson or I noticed the move, 
leaped the fence and started after the guards, who had 
their haversacks full and ran across to the opposite side. 
Our boys had saved some travel and brought in all the 
peaches we wanted. 

After we left the mountains the boys had lived high, 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 173 

notwithstanding the orders of Buell, 

The next day about four p. m. Company A was well 
loaded with poultry. Buell's orderly came along and 
ordered Colonel ►Stoughton to put every man under ar- 
rest that had any poultry. All the boys except Lu heard 
the order and dropped their birds and when the colonel 
rode back he found none. But Lu not hearing the or- 
der, held on to his turkey and the colonel ordered him 
under arrest. And then said to him privately, "You go 
back and settle the whole bill with the planter, it's mak- 
ing a dangerous mus. The boys went in a little heavy. 
Have you got any money?" the colonel asked- 

"Yes, said Lu, "I have a twenty dollar bill." 

"Well, that's plenty. Make the planter give you a 
receipt in full before you pay a cent. Settle the best you 
can and report to me and we'll all chip in." 

So Lu went back to the planter's house under guard. 
The guards stood at the door with bayonets fixed while 
he went in the house to settle. After considerable fig- 
uring and sparring as to the amount of damage, Lu of- 
fered to pay fourteen dollars and no more, and laid 
down his twenty dollar bill on the table, while a cavalry 
officer was present, wrote out the receipt and the planter 
made his X witnessed by the officer. Then the planter 
counted out the change in Confederate script, which Lu 
refused. But the planter insisted that it was all he had 
and that it was worth more than our money, Lu parley- 
ed with him until he got tired, picked up his twenty dol- 
lar bill and receipt and leaped through the open door, fol- 
lowed by the guards, yelling, "Halt! Halt! or we'll 
shoot." Lu knew they wouldn't and slipped in the 26th 
Kentucky, where he remained till the planter got tired 
hunting for him. 

The next day Lu made his report to the colonel and 
after telling him how he settled for the whole company 
and got a receipt in full, the colonel enjoyed a hearty 
laugh. 



THE BUELL CAMPAIGN. 



Chapter XXVI. 

On the morning of the and of September, 1862, I 
was quite sick and remained in the ambulance all day. 
We went in camp within four miles of Murfreesboro, 
and the next day made the march through the town and 
beyond a mile or so where we went in camp for the 
night. Going to our surgeon for medicine soon after, he 
said, "I shall send you and two of your boys down town 
to the hospital, you're not fit to make the march tomor- 
row. In a day or two, when you get rested get transporta- 
tion and meet the regiment in Nashville." The boys and 
I had a good supper and each a good bed and night's 
rest and a splendid breakfast. In the morning we felt 
so much better that we concluded to go to Nashville 
that day. 

I went to the post quartermaster for transportation. 
He gave me a card directed to Colonel Hayes command- 
ing the post. I crossed the railroad then climbed the 
elevation to the officer's tent, saluted the guard, showed 
him my order and he passed me in. 

As I entered the tent the colonel turned around from 
his desk. I took oft my hat with my left hand and sa- 
luted him with my right. Then I told him that two oth- 
ers and myself were left at the hospital last night with 
orders to procure transportation and report at Nashville 
ar, scon as able. 

He looked at me in a savage manner and said, 
"Young man, take your hand off from that chair and 
stand up in the position of a soldier." 

I obeyed most promptly but was somewhat con- 
fused. 

"Now go on and tell me what you want," the colonel 
commanded. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 175 

I repeated the same thing again, but in my confus- 
ion placed my left hand on the chair. 

"Take your hand off that chair, sir, and stand as I 
told you, in the position of a soldier." 

Of course, I obeyed. I was there alone, sick and 
nearly exhausted by many days march through exces- 
sive heat and thick choking dust. I repeated for the 
third time what I wanted and was warm enough to 
stand up in the position of a soldier. 

He then wrote an order on the post commissary for 
transportation for three- When I reached Captain 
Brown, the commissary, I found him a jolly man. As 
he returned my salute, he said: "Sit down. You look 
tired and sick. What can I do for you?" 

I handed him the order and he handed m.e three 
tickets. I then related my experience with Colonel 
Hayes. 

"Nothing new. Just like him," he said. "He is a 
regular and acts as if a volunteer was entitled to no more 
consideration than a mule. I have been hoping for some 
time that some soldier would slap his face or knock him 
down. I have frequently had all I could do to keep from 
it and would walk away for fear that I might do so." 

I succeeded in getting my two sick boys on the ten 
a. m. train and we reached the city at two p. m. where 
we found some sixty boys of our regiment, who being 
unable to march were sent through on the train from 
Battle Creek ; all quartered quite near the station. Clark, 
our quartermaster sergeant, was in command of the 

squad. 

Here I had a good chance to rest until the 7th of 
September, when our teams reached us at eleven a. m. 
We then loaded everything belonging to the regiment, 
and drove out to the northeast about two miles, where 
we met the army and fell into our respective places, 
marched back through the city, crossed the Cumberland 
on the trustle bridge and march about five miles on 



176 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

the Louisville and Nashville pike and went in camp. 

For many days the \veather had been extremely hot, 
no rain to even lay the dust and water was difficult to 
get except from artificial pools made by the planters for 
their stock and this was warm and filthy. 

The lime-stone pike was ground into fine flour by 
cavalry, artillery and army wagons. This dust was 
light, covering the army shoe and in ten minutes after 
the army began to move a thick heavy cloud of limestone 
dust, which we all had to breathe, enveloped our column 
from front to rear, while our tongues and lips were 
parched with thirst. Those having weak lungs were the 
first to suffer seriously. William McMin was the first. 

On the loth we reached Michelville and on the nth 
about sunrise, crossed the Kentucky line and camped in 
a nice walnut grove where we remained till the morning 
of the 13th. The country here was full of guerillas, very 
rich, beautiful and fertile, but entirely destitute of hogs, 
sheep, cattle and poultry, so our boys subsisted on quar- 
ter rations, and Buell's order. No. 44, was wholly unnec- 
essary- 

On the 13th the heat was oppressive, with not a 
particle of wind to move the dust, which was like a 
thick dark cloud through which we were compelled to 
move, while suffering intensely all the time from thirst. 
Looking off to the right, over the level country, was 
another cloud of dust. The Rebel army was now up 
even with us, only one or one and a half miles to the 
east, they, too, were raising dust on the road, running 
parallel with ours. 

We marched only twelve miles and went in camp 
on the bank of "Blind, Sinking, or Lost River," within 
three miles of Bowling Green. 

This stream at this place came out with great force, 
into a deep gulch full forty feet below the surface and 
ran rapidly down the gulch full fifty rods and then en- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 177 

tered a cave some three rods wide at the base and twen- 
ty or more feet to the arch above. 

There was now the old ruins of a still built under 
the cave many years ago. The water was very cold and 
delicious and a luxury to us after marching so many 
days through the dust with parched tongues and burn- 
ing thirst. 

While here I called on the 2gth Indiana and found 
the McGowens, the Sabins and several others from Steu- 
ben county. 

I was quite anxious to see Bowling Green, for I had 
heard it described very minutely some five years ago by a 
Miss Quincy, a slave woman, who stopped with us four 
days while making a race for liBerty. With her was a 
Miss Florence Belmont, about eighteen years of age, a 
white slave, beautiful and cultured, whose sufferings, 
until she made her escape, would soften a heart of stone. 

We remained in camp here till four p. m, on the i6th 
v/hen we marched down through the city and with no 
trouble I located the home where Miss Quincy was born, 
and where she served her master faithfully till he died, 
but when she learned that she must soon be sold at a 
public sale with her master's estate she started for Can- 
ada. 

Yes, there stood the mansion, in the same direction 
and at about the same distance, she described — ten rods 
back from the street, the horse barn, the poultry park, 
the well-kept lawn, the maple trees in front, all filled 
the description she gave. I was not surprised that when 
she left, she left in tears. It was a beautiful place, a 
model home. 

We encamped on the opposite side of Baron river 
and left very early, without rations for breakfast, dinner 
or supper and had nothing to eat till three a. m- on the 
i8th, when our wagon train caught up with us. 

On the morning of the i8th we began to move at 
sunrise and when we reached Bells Tavern, we discov- 



178 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

ered we were only a few hours behind the rear of Bragg's 
army. He came in from the east at the Tavern and our 
column came to a halt and our front began skirmishing 
with the enemy's rear. 

We probably moved about ten miles in all day and 
at night lay down on our arms, ready for action any 
minute. 

On the 19th it was "Forward, by column, Halt. 
Form line of battle. Throw out a skirmish line. For- 
ward by the front. Halt for skirmishers to drive back the 
enemy's line. Forward by the front and at dusk halt for 
the night and lay on our arms. All day of the 20th we 
were held in line of battle and ordered to draw three 
days' rations on a one-quarter issue, while we could hear 
the heavy cannonading at Murfordsville where nearly all 
of Bragg's army was compelling the surrender of six 
thousand men, who were trying to hold the fort till 
Buell would rescue them . 

Lu was excused from the line about nine p. m. It 
VN^as very dark. He went to the left and rear some eighty 
reds and found a cow yard built of railroad ties, climbed 
the fence, felt around and found a cow tied. He was 
hungry, milk was good enough for him. so with one hand 
he held his canteen and with the other reached under 
the cow, and instead of getting hold of the milk depos- 
itory, grabbed another man's hand that at that instant 
was reached in under, from the other side. The other 
fellow jumped and yelled murder and climbed over the 
fence and when he came to theline declared he had seen 
a ghost. Lu got his canten full of milk and declared 
that the other fellow was Johnny Newman of Com- 
pany H- 



THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. 



Chapter XXVII. 

As the Underground Railroad and a very few of its 
passengers will be mentioned in two or three of the suc- 
ceeding chapters in this volume, it will perhaps be well 
to give a brief description of that singular secret, and to 
many, mysterious mode of transportation. 

It is very certain that this company was not a for- 
mal organization, with officers of different rank, a regu- 
lar membership and a treasury from which to meet ex- 
penses. A terminology it is true, sprang up in connec- 
tion with the work of the road and one could hear of 
stations, keepers, agents and even presidents; but these 
titles were all figurative terms with other expressions 
from the convienent vocabulary of steam railways; and 
v/hile they were useful to save circumlocution, they 
commended themselves to the friends of the slave by 
helping to satisfy the minds of the public. 

The work and expense was all voluntary and on 
every line there was a clear understanding between the 
operators that nothing, not even sickness and death, 
should interfere with transportation. Each family had 
near friends, who in an emergency, could immediately 
give the aid and cheerfully bear a portion of the burden 
in this labor. 

The system was organized in an early day and grew 
as rapidly as the public sentiment became educated on 
the subject of slavery. For more than sixty years pre- 
ceding the great Civil War, all the legislation touching 
this question was dictated and controlled by the slave 
states. Such was the agitation and discussion of all 
these issues then ; (compromises and fugitive slave laws) 
that the slaves, though apparently dumb, heard much 
and understood more than their masters knew; and 
while their chains were being more tightly riveted, they 



i8o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

were patiently listening to the mad talk ol their masters 
as they were constantly demanding laws that would 
compel the return of their property and punish more 
surely and severely all those who assisted in any way in 
their escape. So as more stringent laws were passed, 
forbidding one from giving food, clothing and warmth 
to a poor, oppressed, shivering soul at the door or even 
a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus, these under- 
ground lines grew and multiplied, starting out from ev- 
ery border slave state. The Ohio was no impediment, 
for in secret coves and bends were canoes and skiffs 
owned and used by free negroes to aid the more unfor- 
tunate. As the lines extended the number of operators in- 
creased until more than five thousand families were en- 
gaged in this labor of love. 

Considering the kind of labor performed, the ex- 
pense incurred and the danger involved, one must be 
impresesd with the unselfish devotion to principle, of 
these men and women thus engaged. 

There was for them no outward honor, no material 
recompense, but instead such contumely and seeming 
disgrace as can now scarcely be comprehended. Never- 
theless, they were rich in faith and courage and their 
hospitality was equal to every emergency. They cheer- 
fully gave aid and comfort to the down-trodden and, des- 
pised and oppressed, expecting no honor, reward or favor 
from the unfriendly and prejudiced. As we now recol- 
lect, they were often treated with contempt and de- 
nounced by the pro-slavery party here in the north as 
Black Abolitionists and Nigger-thieves; while it was 
verily true that not one per cent of the operators ever 
crossed the line of a slave state or conversed with a 
slave while in the service of his master- 
Neither did they all belong to the Abolition party, 
only a small minority in the middle west and west and 
you would be very much surprised if now you should 
learn that some of your oldest and best neighbors and 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." i8i 

friends were once operators of the Underground Rail- 
road who respected your opinions so much that they 
never broached the subject to you, while you denounced 
the humanitarian work, in which they were engaged as 
mere reprehensible than horse stealing — yes, it was nig- 
ger stealing. Are we now satisfied with the verdict of 
history? 

It was not deemed wise or prudent by the operators 
en the secret lines to meddle with slavery where it ex- 
isted or entice or abduct slaves from their masters. This 
was generally done by free negroes and slaves and quite 
frequently by the sons of slave holders, who had been 
educated in the free states. 

Such was John Fairfield, born in Virginia, the son 
of a very wealthy slave-holder, who piloted away many 
hundred slaves to Canada. This same John Fairfield 
came to our station late in the fall of 1856 with twenty 
men, four women and four children. They were hotly 
pursued for many days and finally reached a cave in the 
mountains, familiar to him, where he kept them se- 
creted while the pursuers fired the forest and searched 
the country for weeks. 

-Neither Whittier in his poems nor Harriet Beecher 
Stowe in her novels, imagined a more picturesque inci- 
dent than the crossing of the Detroit river by Fairfield 
with his gang of twenty-eight rescued souls, singing. 
"I'm on my way to Canada where colored men are free" 
and when they reached the promised land and all kneeled 
down and thanked God for their deliverance from bond- 
age, Fairfield exclaimed, "Now this one scene has doub- 
ly paid me for risking my life, my liberty and my for- 
tune for God's very poorest of the poor." 

The first slaves that he abducted belonged to his 
father, the next lot to his uncle and after that he trav- 
eled all over the slave states and when he found a cruel 
and brutal master, he relieved him of his slaves. No 



i82 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Abolitionist raised and living in the north could equal 
him in his hatred and denunciation of slavery. 

At his majority he inherited a fortune from his 
mother, which he assured us, he had dedicated, with his 
life, to his Master. He regarded the fortune as blood 
money as it came from the sale of a large plantation of 
slaves. He had been shot at several times and at that 
time there was a reward of five hundred dollars offered 
for his body. Up to that time he assured me that he had 
never lost one fugitive. 

Running north through the state cf Indiana from 
the Ohio river, we had three main lines with many cross 
sections, joining them together so that either could be 
selected or if headed off on one, the engineer could cross 
ever to another. 

The eastern line, on which our station was located, 
started from Cincinnati passing through Richmond, 
Winchester, Portland, Decatur, Fort Wayne, Kendall- 
ville, Salem Station, Orland, Coldwater, ending at Bat- 
tle Creek, Michigan. 

The middle route started from four different points 
en the Ohio — Lawrenceburg, Madison, New Albany and 
Leavenworth, converging at Indianapolis then en 
through Westfield, Logansport, Plymouth, South Bend, 
Niles. Mich-, to Battle Creek. The western route started 
from Evansville, passing through Vincennes, Terra 
Haute, Bloomingdale, Crawfordsville, Darlington, La- 
fayette, Rennsalaer, South Bend, here converging with 
the middle line and ending at Battle Creek. 

From Battle Creek, Mich., there were two main 
lines used, one leading northeast through Lansing to 
Flint, Mich., and from thence directly east crossing the 
St. Clair river at Port Huron to Sarnai, Canada. The 
other more frequently used, ran directly east through 
Jackson, Ann Arbor to the Detroit river, crossing at 
Windsor, Canada. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." lis 

Not one of all these operators or families that I ever 
met, or knew, was in any sense disloyal to the govern- 
ment. None that I ever heard of joined the "The 
Knights of the Golden Circle" and none, I am sure, gave 
aid and encouragement to the Rebellion, but on the con- 
trary they were among the first to rush to arms to save 
our Union from disruption and cur flag from disgrace. 

Of the lines in other states I have little knowledge, 
but have been told that they were run on the same plan 
as ours. The stations in our state were, if convenient, 
placed from ten to fifteen miles apart, so that when the 
roads were good, thirty miles could be driven in one 
night, if bad, the conductor would stop at a by-station. 
The conveyance was a double carriage or two horse 
wagon, whichever was the most convenient. 



CURTIS, THE WHITE SLAVE BOY. 



Chapter XXVIII. 

I am indebted to John Fairfield for the early history 
of Curtis. 

On the morning of the loth of October, i8 — , two 
young men, aged respectively twenty-two and twenty- 
four, sat in an office located on one of t>.e main business 
streets of the city of Mobile, Ala. The one dressed in a 
plain though clean and neat working suit, was John 
Ward, a machinist and engineer, the owner of the of- 
fice, and the foundry and machine shop on the opposite 
side of the street. The ether was John Fairfield, a na- 
tive of the little village cf Camden, Va., the same village 
where his early friend Ward was born and raised. These 
two young men had attended the same schools and grad- 
uated from the same New England college and were 
close friends. 

"Here, Fairfield," said Ward, "is an interesting item 
in the Morning Gazette. Let me read. It shows the 
status of our civilization:" 

Executor's Sale of Slaves. 
Ey, and in conformity with an crder of the Circuit 
Ccurt of Mobile County, Ala., I will oft"er for sale and 
sell to the highest bidder on Wednesday, the loth day 
cf October, i8 — , at 2 o'clock p. m., at Arthur 
Schrimpff's slave market in Mobile, Ala., all the slaves 
belonging to the estate of Enos Brown, deceased, con- 
sisting of the following named servants: 

Tom, aged 45; Martha, aged 40; husband and wife. 
Susan, aged 20; Tip, aged 17; Edna, aged 23, and her 
boy aged 4. To be sold for the benefit of creditors and 
heirs of the estate. 

SAMUEL RANDALL, Executor. 
"Susan and Tip are children of Tom and Martha," 
continued Ward, "and this Edna is the same Edna that 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 185 

was owned by Colonel Dryer just two miles south of our 
village. You must remember her, John. She was white 
and very handsome. 

"Yes, I remember her well and wondered why he 
sold her," said John. "She was certainly very beauti- 
ful." 

"This boy of four," continued Ward, "is the Col- 
onel's own son. The event made trouble and he sold 
her and his own child to appease the wrath of his out- 
raged wife. This is only one phase of our boasted civ- 
ilization. Last Sunday Edna called on me here and begged 
of me to buy her and her child. I don't think I ever 
passed through a more affecting scene. Her plea was so 
pathetic that it would have melted a heart o? stone." 

"I finally said: If I were able, Edna, I would buy 
you both and set you free.j But if you desire me to do 
so I will raise enough money to buy your boy, educate 
him as a machinist and engineer and at the age of 24, I 
will set him free. This I promise to do for your sake, 
if you wish." 

"O, I do, I do, John. It matters little as to my fate 
if I can rest assured that Curtis will be cared for through 
his childhood and grow up a good useful, free and hap- 
py man." 

Her gratitude expressed in words and tears I shall 
never forget. I have now got the money and shall keep 
my promise with Edna. As I feel now it will be the 
best investment I ever made." 

"God will reward you in the next world, if not in 
this," said Fairfield- "I will look after the mother in my 
way — which you understand. In a few months she shall 
have a home." 

The two young men went to the hotel and after din- 
ner walked down the street to the slave market where 
already a mixed throng was filling the large salesroom, 
smoking, spitting, joking and swearing, according to 
their respective ideas of propriety, while the men and 



i86 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

women that were to be sold sat in a group in one cor- 
ner with sad faces and hearts filled with horror and des- 
pair. 

"The breaking up of this family," said Fairfield, on 
one occasion, long after, when he called on us, "was a 
scene too sad for me to think of or talk about. Separat- 
ed for life without any hope of meeting again in this 
world." 

Edina and her boy were the last placed on the plat- 
form and were offered separately. 

The bidding on the mother was sharp and rapid, 
starting at nine she was soon struck off to one Warren 
Haunch, of Hebron, Ala., for nineteen hundred dollars. 
The next and last was her child, Curtis, sold to John 
Ward for three hundred and fifty dollars. He took the 
boy by the hand and led him back to his office. 

ait •?• ^ 1^ ^ »it tit ^ •?• •!• ^ t^ »!• •J* •J* ^ ^ •!• t^ t^ •!• t^ 

Four years had passed when John Ward and Curtis, 
a fine lad now of eight, was again in the sales room. 
It was empty. Midway between the two extremes on 
the west side was a large platform called the auction 
block, reached by two or three steps. Here Curtis stop- 
ped, looked at the platform a moment, then sprang up 
the steps and surveyed the large room for some time. 

"John," he said, "I have been here before." 

"What makes you think so, Curtis?" 

"Because. Because, I remember that I stood right 
here on this very spot when there was a great lot of men- 
This big room was full- A big fat man with a long stick 
in his hand kept saying, 'one hundred, one ten, one twen- 
ty, one fifty, two hundred and so on, and then said, sold 
to John Ward. And then John, a beautiful lady in black 
with such handsome eyes full of tears pushed through 
the crowd, caught and wrapped her arms around me, 
hugged and kissed me and then handed me to you." 

"Sometimes I dream of her, John, and think I see 
her looking just as she looked then. One night I dream- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 187 

ed that she held her face close down to mine and kissed 
me as she did here. And I thought I felt her tears fall 
en my face, and it awakened me. Then I looked and 
looked, but she had gone." 

"Who was she, John? Do you know?" 

"Yes, Curtis, that fine handsome lady was your 
mother. I would have brought her with you, but I was 
poor then. I pitied her so much that I bought you to 
please her,' 

"O I am so glad you bought me to please her. Do 
you know where she is, John?" 

"Yes, Curtis, I know where she is." 

"Will I ever see her agian?" 

"Yes when you get older and get your trade learned 
v/ell. If you are a good boy and study and work good, 
I intend that you shall go to your mother." 

"Does everybody have to be sold, John?" 

"O, no, my boy, not everybody." 

"Does God want folks sold?' 

"O, no, no, Curtis, He don't want anyone sold." 

"Then why was my mother sold away from me?" 

"I'll tell you, Curtis, when you get older. You'll 
then understand, that it's because men are wicked and 
not because God wants them sold-" 

"O, I'm so glad you're not wicked, John, so you'll 
not sell me. I'll study and work hard and learn my trade 
so I can go to my mother sonae time." 

This promise the boy made good, for at the age of 
twenty few young men were better equipped with a 
thorough business education than he. He was thorough 
in English and could speak and write the French equally 
well. His tutor, the foreman and manager of the plant, 
an educated Frenchman, spared no pains in fitting the 
boy for a successful machinist and engineer. 

About this time the manager, Warren Van Warren, 
was threatened with lung trouble. The doctors and Mr. 
Ward advised him to take a trip across the ocean and 



i88 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

visit his old home in France. As advised, he went, leav- 
ing Curtis to take his place. This he did so well that 
at the end of two months Mr. Ward presented him with 
a purse containing three hundred dollars. 

A few days after this occurrence while Curtis was 
busily engaged on a new engine which he himself expect- 
ed to run to Washington with a long train loaded with 
gentlemen who were to call on the president and visit 
congress, a boy handed him a note requesting him to re- 
port at the office immediately. 

We can hardly judge of his surprise when entering 
the door of his own bed room to find Van Warren, his 
faithful tutor and friend, lying on a couch apparently 
in the last stage of the White Plague. 

. . Curtis rushed to him, dropped on his knees and bur- 
ied his face in his hands. 

"O, Van, my dearest friend and benefactor," cried 
Curtis, "la it so bad as this?" 

"Don't, Curtis, my dear boy, ycu make it harder for 
me to part from you and John." 

"Is there no hope, then?" asked Curtis, as the tears 
rained down his face. 

"Yes," said the dying man, "hope of immortality, of 
eternal life, of rest in Heaven. Just think, my dear boy, 
there will be no nights of pain and anguish there, nor 
death, nor sickness, nor tears- No separation of mother 
from, child, nor slavery, nor slaves, nor masters. All 
washed in His blood will stand equal before the Lamb." 

"O, Van," cried Curtis, "if I knew that mother was 
there I feel now that I would rather go with you. It 
will be so lonesome here.*" 

"Hush, my boy, no, no, John needs you. He is in 
deep trouble. You must cheer him up. In putting up 
and stocking this plant after the fire he made a heavy 
loan. His creditor is a shylock and pressing him hard. 
You must take my place and help him through the 
crisis." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 189 

"I will do all in my power, Van." 

"Curtis, my dear boy, do you know where you moth- 
er is?' 

"No. That she was sold when I was is all the 
knowledge I have of her." 

"John just requested me to tell you that she is alive 
and free, living in Windsor, Canada — a milliner and 
dressmaker and can be easily found. She goes by the 
name of Edna Dryer. 

"Now give me some of that wine. Curt, that I 
brought from the old home where I was born, among the 
beautiful vine-clad hills of France. But all was changed. 
My friends were all dead or gone and I hurried back 
here to die with you, my dear boy- Since you came to 
live with John I've been a better man because I've had 
some one to love and some one to love me. A little 
more wine, Curt. I am weak. Open my valise and hand 
me that package wrapped in tissue paper. This I have 
saved for you. It contains one thousand dollars in notes 
on the Bank of England. This, remember, you are to 
keep for an emergency. When it comes. If it should, 
dent' forget your mother. Do you understand?" 

"Yes, my dear friend, I understand." 

"One thing more, Curt, hand me out those two re- 
volvers I bought for you in Paris. Keep them in mem- 
ory of me, but never use them only in self-defense. Only 
in the same emergency that you will need the money." 

"I am so glad my strength was spared to reach you. 
Now take my hands in yours, my dear boy, they are 
feeling cold and see it's getting dark. Now good bye, 
my dear Curt, I'm going home.' 

Without a struggle, in a moment he was gone. 

John Ward and Curtis and all the operators in the 
plant occupied the seats reserved for the friends at the 
funeral and followed this faithful Disciple of his Lord 
and Master to the grave- 
In one of the most beautiful cemeteries near the city 



igo IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

stands a modest granite shaft on which is inscribed, 
"Sacred to the memory of Warren VanWarren, born 
among the sunny hills of France in 1800, died February 
25, 1851-. 

Then lower down on the shaft was this simple trib- 
ute : "I was an orphan and he loved me." 

From this time on Curtis became foreman and man- 
ager of Ward's manufacturing plant." 

One Saturday morning nearly three years later Cur- 
tis received a note from Mr, Ward saying: 

"This is your twenty-third anniversary. Shut down 
the plant. Give the boys a holiday and you call at the 
ofiice." 

When Curtis reached there he found Mr. Ward 
walking the floor looking pale and haggard. 

"You're in trouble, John," said Curtis. "Why have 
you kept it all from me? Let me bear some of your bur- 
den, my good master. I have not forgotten and never 
will, what you have done for that poor orphan boy you 
picked up at the auction some nineteen years ago. I 
v/ould be very ungrateful should I now refuse to sacri- 
fice everything I have for you." 

"Stop, Curt, my dear boy. The sacrifice demanded 
by the shylock who holds my notes and bond, is greater 
than you can make." 

I sold the plant to him one week ago. Everything 
well understood. I agreed to give him your services 
one year free. Now in this letter just received, he says 
he wants the plant and will take it at my price, but im- 
poses a condition that if I accept I violate the promise 
I made your mother. Curt, do you understand?' 

"Yes, sir, I understand. If you are driven to the 
wall make the sale, John, and allow the pound of flesh. 
I will look out for myself." 

"My man will be in on the 7 p. m. train and will 
meet me here at 8,' said Ward. "The afternoon is yours. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 191 

Be brave, cool and discreet. You wear a heavy beard 
and have a good razor. Your transom is sHghtly open 
from your room to this office ; so is mine. I opened them 
slightly to ventilate the rooms. We must now part here. 
Curt received the extended hand of his master, and tried 
to say good-bye, John, his lips moved, the tears started 
to his eyes, but he could not speak. 

He heard his master say, "You have been a good and 
faithful boy over a few things, God grant that you may 
always be as faithful over many.' 

Curtis turned around and left the room. Thus part- 
ed master and slave-" 

Curtis went to his room, washed the tear stains 
from his face and as soon as he could command himself 
went to the plant, put everything in order, called on the 
foreman of each department and gave directions as to 
their work for Monday. After eating a late dinner he 
went to his room, locked his door, lay down on the couch 
while his mind was working hard. 

"Now I know," he said to himself, "why Van War- 
ren gave me that money and revolvers and why he spoke 
of an emergency, a time when I might need both. And 
I know why John told him to tell me where my mother 
lives and why John said 'be brave, cool and discreet.' 
All is plain now. His buyer will not take the plant un- 
less he can own me body and soul. God helping me I 
could have died for John but I will die rather than be 
this shylock's slave." 

His mind now clear, he went at his work. First he 
adopted a new name, Elmer C. Bassett, disguised his 
hand and fastened his card on his suit case. He had for 
years worn gray, now fortunately he had just recently 
purchased a suit of plain dark brown and a black plush 
hat instead of the panama he had generally worn. His 
underwear was all carefully packed in his suit case. His 
English bank notes he placed carefully in a belt Van 
Warren gave him and he buckled that around his waist. 



192 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

He had nearly all of the three hundred dollars given him 
by Ward and that arranged in small bills and change he 
would carry in his pockets. 

A few days after Van Warren's death he purchased 
a silit of tan worn by the planters of Louisiana and lower 
Arkansas, which he had never worn out of his rooms, 
this he would wear. He next looked over his map and 
marked his route. He would not go directly north but 
would start west and let those hunting, pass. He thought 
'twould be beter to be behind than ahead, to follow rath- 
er than be followed- 

So he made arrangements with a trusty, free negro, 
driving for a livery, to be at a point in the city one block 
away at nine that evening with a good team and closed 
cab, and await his coming. When all arrangements 
were made he went to an early supper and on returning 
used his razor and removed his heavy black beard and 
put on his planter's suit and packed the brown one in 
his case. Then looking in the glass wondered how any 
cne could know him, as he hardly knew himself. He 
placed his revolver which had done such good service 
in target practice in his belt and the two given him by 
Van Warren in his hip pockets, then sat down and rest- 
ed. 

At eight o'clock to a minute Mr. Edward Murray 
was at the office and after a few minutes of preliminary 
talk approached the business set for the hour. 

"I thought," said Ward, "that you were satisfied 
with my offer." 

"I was, sir, till I found that I could secure no man to 
fill the place of your foreman and have concluded to drop 
the whole project unless you include the boy Curtis." 

"You remember, Mr. Murray, that I positively re- 
fused to sell him. I offered you his services for one year 
'free and will even call it two and if you insist will call 
it three, surely in that time you can find a suitable man." 

"That is certainly very liberal, but it won't do. I 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 193 

must own the man that runs that plant. I now make 
you one offer. It must and shall be final." 

"I will add one thousand dollars to the purchasf.- 
money and you make me out a bill of sale of Curtis ; ac- 
cept if you wish or refuse and I foreclose." 

John Ward fairly groaned at the hardness of the 
man's heart. He got out of his chair and Curtis heard 
him walk the floor for fully five minutes- Then he heard 
him sit down heavily as if weak and exhausted by the 
strain. 

"Mr. Murray, you could not have struck me a hard- 
er or more cruel blow. If I were not powerless, twenty 
thousand could not buy that boy. It is the last pound 
of flesh. I accept your offer. Please write out the bill 01 
sale, I can't but I'll sign." 

In thirty minutes more the business was all com- 
pleted and they both went to the nearest notary public 
to acknowledge papers. 

At 9:15 when Curtis heard Murray's ultimatum and 
heard Mr. Ward say "It's the last pound of flesh, I ac- 
cept your offer" he passed quietly out of the back door, 
with his suit case in his hand, a refugee, and an exile. 
He went directly to the corner designated and entered 
the cab. 

Mr- Ward came back to his office and walked the 
floor till the sun lighted up the Sabbath morning. 

Sunday at 10:00 a. m. Murray was at the plant and 
finding one department foreman inquired for Curtis. He 
told Murray that Curtis attended church in the forenoon 
and evening in the eastern part of the city and often 
stopped between services with friends. He called at 
Ward's hotel, but that gentleman had been suddenly tak- 
en sick and he could not see him- 

On Monday morning the whistle announced the 
opening of the plant and when Mr. Murray arrived ev- 
erything was running at its full capacity. He inquired 
for Curtis, all said that he must certainly be there, but 



194 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

none remembered having seen him. At noon Munay 
called at the hotel but the doctor instructed the nurse 
to admit no one. By this time he was satisfied that Cur- 
tis had gone and cursed himself for his own neglect. He 
sent telegrams to all cities, railroad stations and hotels 
along the routes usually taken by runaways. Then he 
went to the printing office and ordered a thousand or 
more bills struck off offering $500 reward for his appre- 
hension. 

Curtis was rather different in appearance than the 
person described. His age and height was nearly cor- 
rect, also the color of eyes and hair, but the beard and 
dress had wrought a remarkable change. Had he met 
Curtis in the road at that time in a covered cab with a 
black driver and a servant he would not have known him. 
The livery took Curtis out some fifteen miles north- 
west of the city and reached a station just in time to take 
a train for Meridian, some one hundred and thirty miles 
north of Mobile. On reaching the hotel with a colored 
servant, a free negro boy whom he had hired, he regis- 
tered under his new name, Elmer C. Basset, and servant. 
Hence hereafter we will observe the change in name. 
He and his servant after breakfast boarded a train for 
Jackson, Miss., reaching there, he called for room and bed 
for himself and bed for his servant. From Jackson he 
and servant took a train for Monroe, Louisiana, his ser- 
vant all the time taking care of the baggage. From this 
point he concluded to abandon the railroads and travel 
by liveries from town to town always selecting colored 
drivers and covered cabs- By traveling in this way with 
a colored servant he knew he would be regarded as a 
gentleman of wealth traveling over the country on bus- 
iness or for pleasure. In this way he reached St. Louis 
where he with his servant put up at one of the best ho- 
tels and here while he was registering his name, Elmer 
C. Bassett and servant, he for the first time read his own 
hand bill. After reading it through he did a very bold 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 195 

thing. He called for the landlord and asked a private 
interview with him. When in the room with closed 
doors he took out the bill and said, "I have a warrant 
for that fellow and would like your aid, so far as this at 
least, make inquiries and should you hear of him, send 
a telegram to Mason and Brown, care of Gait House, 
Louisville, Ky., and if the information assists us in his 
capture I will guarantee you one hundred dollars." 

"Fm not in that line, much," replied the landlord, 
but if I was, I'd make for Vincennes or Evansville, 
where you will f^nd Abolitionists as thick as maggots in 
a dead boss. Them are the places the niggers run for. 
They are put in some hole and kivered up till we get 
tired out looking for them. That's been my experience." 

The advice was taken and he and his boy went 
across southern Illinois by rail and livery to Vincennes 
where he found a great many French and as he could 
talk and write the language as well as a native born he 
soon felt at home. 

At the hotel where he registered for dinner he saw 
a hand bill hanging on the hook. He asked the clerk in 
French if they had found that fellow yet. 

He replied in the same tongue, "No not around here 
and I don't care a damn if they never find him." 

"You have some Abolitionists in the city, I learn," 

said Basset- 

"Well I guess we have. Here is one," pointing to 

himself. 

"Direct me to one of the best men of that stamp you 
have in the city, please." 

The clerk took a card and wrote in French, "Wm. 
VanDuzen, No. 238 44th St., near the railroad crossing." 

Bassett called at the house immediately. Finding 
the gentleman at home, he asked for a private talk which 
resulted in the discovery that this same man was a 
heavy investor in the U. N. D. G. R., and operator and 
manager at Vincennes. 



196 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

After hearing Bassett's story in brief VanDuzen 
said, "You must keep shady here for a few days as you 
are advertised in all the dailies from the south and in 
every restaurant, barber shop, saloon and hotel hangs 
your hand bills, except where an outraged people have 
torn them down. I have plenty of room and enough to 
eat for men of your color ,but by zands you're whiter 
than I am. Don't let my wife see you or she'll be afraid 
that they will arrest me." 

The next morning by Bassett's request VanDuzen 
examined all the hotel registers in the city- He discov- 
ered that two men registered for dinner at the San-Ma- 
dill House four days preceeding, one by the name of 
Murray, of Mobile, and the other was Gosner, Dept. U. 
S. marshal from St. Louis, Mo. For a few minutes Bas- 
sett felt his hair stand up straight and a few light chills 
run up his spine, but remembering V/ard's words, "Be 
cool, brave and discreet," he showed no agitation. That 
evening a half dozen of the m.ost influential citizens of 
the city, all French, called on Mr. VanDuzen and were 
conducted to Mr. Bassett's room, one by one as they 
came in and were introduced to him as members of the 
U. N. D. G. R. association, some of whom were native 
Frenchmen. 

One of the older men said "we'll stand by you, boy. 
Stay here a few days and rest while they tire themselves 
out." His home here was very pleasant as hardly a day 
but he had company and while not engaged otherwise 
had access to a library consisting of French and English 
history and literature. 

. .On the sixth evening Mr- VanDuzen sent the fol- 
lowing telegram to Mr. Martin : 

"Are there any wild geese at Richmond? Ans. : 
"There was a few days ago. They've gone north." 

. . So on the night of the seventh day Elmer C, Bas- 
sett stepped in one of the coaches of the U. N. D. G. R. 
and started for Richmond, the Quaker City of Indiana. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 197 

Nearly all the way across the state Bassett was con- 
veyed, always in the night express, without one cent of 
cost, neither could he get one of them to accept pay. 
Everything was free to him. 

In due time, very early one morning, our fugitive, 
not from justice, but from a national crime of injustice 
and oppression, reached Mr. Martin's house where he 
met a most hospitable welcome. After a good breakfast 
he was shown to his room and being quite exhausted 
slept soundly till 5 o'clock p. m-, when Mr. Martin en- 
tered his room and informed him that the U. S. marshal 
and another gentleman were in the city while he was 
sleeping so soundly. 

"I think," said Mr. Martin, "I will take thee on the 
midnight express to my sister's, Mrs. Layman's, who 
lives a very quiet life in the city of Cincinnati and I as- 
sure thee that thee will be welcome there as here. I 
think there is no danger there now, and when the geese 
go south I will send thee word." 

In introducing Bassett to his sister, Mr. Martin 
said, "This boy is an orphan. He will tell his own story. 
He needs a quiet home for a few weeks where he will 
not be disturbed by the gaze of inquisitive strangers." 

"We welcome him to our home and our hearts," said 
the kind Mrs. Layman, and then invited him to follow 
her to his room. Before they parted he said, "I cannot 
accept your hospitality until I tell you who and whac I 
am. It is right and proper that you knov/. I am an or- 
phan, yea more, a poor and nameless waif, born in shame 
of a slave mother. I am the son of her master, sold by 
him, my own father, when a helpless infani, with my 
mother, dooming us to lives of hopeless and degrading 
bondage-" Then in language more graphic and pathet- 
ic than the author can command he described the scene 
at the auction sale, of his dreams of his mother that had 
haunted him during his short life and pronounced the 
highest eulogium of his tutor and benefactor, Warren 



igS IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

VanWarren, and closed by paying a glowing tribute 
to his master, John Ward, who bought him, through 
pity for his mother, and had treated him more as a son 
than serf. When he got through so pathetic was his 
story and so eloquently detailed that Mrs. Layman was 
weeping and his own eyes were moist with tears. 

"Mrs. Layman," he continued, "I cannot remain 
here and feel at home, be contented and happy unless 
you allow me to pay the regular price charged for board 
in your city." 

"Well," said the good lady, "thee will be very wel- 
come if thee pays, and after hearing thy story thee would 
be welcome if thee did not pay, so we will endeavor to 
make thee feel at home." 

"Our family is small," said the lady. "It consists 
of myself and daughter Ruth, Mr. Lawrence Bellmont 
and his twin sister Florence. They have lived with me 
several years attending school and college, except dur- 
ing vacation. They are fine young people and very dis- 
creet. We have very little company and thee will meet 
no strangers unless thee choose- I will introduce thee 
to my family as a very dear friend and my brother.' 

The next morning as Elmer entered the dining room 
neatly clad in a well fitted dark brown suit, his face 
smoothly shaven, showing a clear skin, almost trans- 
parent, wth a very slight Spanish tint, eyes a handsome 
brown that seemed to be smiling, a physique, a perfect 
nmodel for the sculptor, Florence thought him to be the 
most manly man in appearance she had ever met. She 
was studying French and during the breakfast remarked 
that her lessons bothered her to give the correct accent 
and inflection. 

"If you will bring your books home this evening, 
Miss Bellmont, I may be able to help you. I learned 
the French when very young and was thoroughly drill- 
ed for several years by a master of the tongue. I have 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 199 

been compelled to write, read and speak it as much as 
the English-" 

"I certainly will be very glad to accept your kind 
offer, Mr. Bassett," said Florence. 

From this time on Elmer and Florence occupied one 
table over their French books while Lawrence and little 
Ruth occupied another with their studies, under the eyes 
of the good matron of the house, while Dame Fate was 
busy in her loom weaving webs. Elmer's days were 
spent in his room with drafting instruments and card- 
board, but the days seemed long as he waited for the 
evening when he could assist his fair pupil in studying 
the language he loved. 

He had been in the family about four weeks when 
he received a letter from Mr. Martin saying that the sky 
seemed clear now, and that perhaps it would be safer to 
come to Richmond. He passed the letter to Mrs. Lay- 
man, who noticed that his hand trembled and that he 
had suddenly grown pale. 

"We shall miss thee very much,'^ said the lady, "our 
house will seem very empty and the children I know 
will grieve." 

He did not venture a reply but went directly te his 
room, threw himself upon the couch and lay for an hour 
motionless. 

During the supper hour he was unusually reticent, 
his eyes had lost their sparkle, his face was slightly pale, 
and he did not even look at Florence when she asked 
him a question. Later in the evening while the family 
were all in the back parlor Elmer sat by the stand on 
which lay the family Bible open at the Lord's prayer. 
As he glanced it over he said : 

"I often feel, when I hear the Lord's prayer read or 
repeated with such careless indifference as is frequntly 
done by ministers and congregations, that it is more of 
mockery than acceptable worship." 



200 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Will you please read it for us, for I agree with 
you," said Mrs. Layman, 

"I will," he said in a few minutes, "if you desire it." 
He passed into the next room and for a few minutes 
they heard him walking the fiocr. When he returned 
his face was very pale and his eyes very sad- He took 
the open book in his left hand and stood for a moment 
with his head slightly raised, never glancing at the page. 
He began: 

"Our Father v/ho art in Heaven" — 

His intense feeling seemed to add passion to the 
words. When he had finished every face was moist, 
little Ruth was weeping and Florence's eyes were filled 
with tears. 

The room was silent for a moment then Mrs. Lay- 
man spoke and said, "I never heard that prayer before. 
I never before understood its meaning. Mr. Bassett, I 
thank you." 

Then Florence spoke with much feeling, "I, too, 
thank you. Your reading calls to my mind so vividly the 
anguish and suffering of our Lord in the Garden and 
his last words on the cross. Mr. Bassett bowed to her, 
arose from his chair, said good night, and quietly left 
the room. 

When in a few minutes Mrs. Layman and Florence 
were alone, the rest of the family having retired. Flor- 
ence asked, "Mother, what mystery hangs over Mr. Bas- 
sett? He was so sad tonight. I could hardly look at 
him without shedding tears. Has he passed through 
great sorrow? O how I pitied him tonight-" 

"Yes, my dear. He told me the story of his life 
when he first came. It was sad, very sad indeed, and I, 
too, have pitied him, but tonight he was unusually des- 
pondent, perhaps more so on account of a letter received 
today from my brother, saying that he could leave here 
now safely." 

"Leave her now? What, leave Cincinnati?" said 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 201 

Florence, as she staggered towards the couch and 
would have gone to the floor had not the good matron 
caught and supported her. With the aid of a restora- 
tive she soon revived, then burying her face in the pil- 
low sobbed as though her heart would break. 

"My dear child, these tears will do thee good. 
They'll ease thy heart. Do not be ashamed of them." 

"O Mother Layman, what have I done? O how can 
I ever look you or him in the face again? O how foolish 
I have been. I began from the very first to pity him, I 
thought 'twas pity because at times he seemed — he was 
so sad, as tonight. O wretched, foolish girl. I did not 
knew 'twas love instead of pity, not till now. What will 
you and what will he think of me should he know that I 
had given my heart and affections to him in one short 
mcnth unasked?" 

"Florence, my dear child, t!:ee is not to blame for 
wrat thee did not know and for what thee could not 
help. He is worthy of thy love, dear child, and is suffer- 
ing with thee. Now you must retire. You're real ill. 
I am concerned for thee." 

Sabbath morning Florence did not appear at break- 
fast- S;he felt that she could not meet Mr. Bassett. Her 
experience was so new, so sudden that she must have 
time to master this passion and gain some self-control. 

After breakfast Mr. Bassett invited Mrs. Layman to 
his room. He was walking the floor and seemed much 
e::cited. "My dear Mrs. Layman, I have no mother to 
counsel me. What shall I do? Will you advise me?" 
Then he confessed his love for Florence and said he 
thought he ought to go away at once. "How can I offer 
myself to her? You know my history. I dare not offer 
my love. Tell me, dear lady, shall I go?" 

"No, no," she said. "Stay and tell her who and what 
you are as you told me and keep nothing back." 

"O how can I tell her? She will spurn me from 



202 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

her presence. I am not worthy to tie her shoes, only as 
a slave." 

"My dear boy," said the lady, "thou art very blind, 
blind as a man. Thee must go and do as I tell thee 
Florence is ill; she may yet be very ill-" 

He walked the floor for a few minutes, then gave 
her his big warm hand and said, " I thank you, dear 
Mrs. Layman. You are right. I will go. When may I 
see her?" 

"I will tell her to meet thee in the back parlor as 
soon as the family leaves for church. She is too ill to 
go with us." 

At a quarter to ten Florence was there waiting, try- 
ing to still her throbbing heart. She heard the family 
leave the house and heard Elmer come down the stairs, 
enter the room and close the door behind him. When 
she raised her eyes to his there was no more trembling. 
She was master. It was the supreme moment of fier 
life and her heart leaped with joy. 

He stood for a moment and with some hesitation 
asked: "Miss Florence, may I come in?" 

The request was so irrelevant that she could not 
keep from laughing as she replied: 

"Why, Mr. Bassett, if my eyes do not deceive me 
you are already in the room." 

"O yes, so I am, but may I stay?" 

"Mrs. Layman owns the house," said Florence, smil- 
ing, "and is now at church. I am sure she will have no 
objection." 

"And may I sit with you on the couch?" 

"If you insist on sitting here with me, I assure you 
I'll not run away-" 

Two precious hours passed in which the histories of 
two lives were revealed, in which the future happiness 
of two hearts were involved, when they heard through 
the open transom the family enter the front parlor. And 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 203 

quite scon two gentlemen were admitted, one having a 
very coarse heavy voice. 

As soon as Elmer heard him speak, he whispered to 
Florence, "Murray, of Mobile and the U. S. marshall." 
He instantly sprang to his feet, ran lightly to his room, 
snatched his suit case and his three revolvers and at his 
return Florence was there with her long black hooded 
cloak which she wrapped around him, tied her thick 
vail over his face, seized his suit case with one hand and 
with the other led him through the rear door into a 
back alley which they followed to the nearest livery sta- 
ble where they entered a cab and reached the station in 
time for the west bound train, 

Florence little thought then as she bade Mr. Bas- 
sett farewell that she, too, would leave that same station 
in the near future, a slave, a fugitive, flying from home, 
friends and country to a strange land that she might es- 
cape a degradation which her soul abhorred. 

Her absence was not noticed by the family as she 
returned in time to assist Mr- Murray and the marshal 
in searcing the house and premises. 

Some three weeks after this event he reached our 
station. I sat up nearly all night eagerly listening to 
the story cf his life, which I have tried to tell, but he 
repeated but very little that was said in that back par- 
lor. I wondered why. 

About one month after reaching Canada he wrote 
ir.e and I here quote one short paragraph. 

"The next day after reacing Windsor I found my 
mother, the same beautiful lady dressed in black, only 
older, that I saw in my dreams, who placed her face on 
mine and moistened it with her precious tears. She is 
beautiful yet and very happy new. One week ago I 
passed the examination and now hold a position as en- 
gineer on a passenger at seventy dollars per month." 



JACK THE SLAVE BOY. 



Chapter XXIX. 

On the morning of the twentieth of September, 
1862, I was ordered back to the wagon train, a half mile 
or more in the rear, to look after our company wagon 
and when through with my business, as it was excess- 
ively hot and scarcely a breath of air stirring, I walked 
out some sixty rods away from the teams and noise, 
where all alone, I could take a good rest and write up 
my diary, which for the last day or two had been neg- 
lected. 

I had finished writing and was resting comfortably 
when a fine looking young man, very plainly and cheap- 
ly dressed in citizen's clothes came from the rear, walk- 
ing very leisurely and quite cautiously, I thought. He 
bowed to me, and said, "good morning, soldier," very 
pleasantly. 

I responded as kindly and said, "sit down, my friend, 
here under the shade. You are tired out, I see, and very 
warm." 

"Yes, sir, I am completely exhausted for I have 
walked a long way, and some of the time very fast to 
get in the rear of this army and if you please, while I 
am resting, may I ask a few questions?" 

"Most certainly, sir, I will give you all the informa- 
tion I can consistently." 

"Did you pass through Murfreesboro on your march 
here?" 

"Yes, we came in from the east, I think, then north 
on the main street then filed left and went in camp some 
distance northwest of town, perhaps a mile or more." 

"How large a place, please?" 

"From what I saw I would guess eight or ten hun- 
dred." 

"The county seat, is it not?" 




He bowed to me and said "Goodmorning. " 



2o6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Yes. I think so, for I noticed the court house in 
the center of a large public square." 

"How far from and what direction from Nashville?' 

"Thirty miles southeast on the pike." 

Then he remained silent for several minutes, tak- 
ing off his hat and using it for a fan, while I watched 
him very closely. I was sure I had seen that same face 
somewhere and some time. 

"Do you expect a battle here?" was his next ques- 
tion. 

"We have been expecting a battle here for the last 
forty-eight hours. That's a problem I can't solve-" 

"One more question, please, if I may ask.' 

"You may, sir, I shall be as pleased to answer you." 

"Have you any idea how far north this army will 
go? 

"No, my friend, that's another problem. I really 
wish I knew. I would like to look over the Ohio once 
more and see just a little patch of God's free country, 
Indiana, my own state, where practically we know noth- 
ing of the blighting curse of slavery. 

He raised his eyes to mine just a moment and sad 
the look and smile, he gave me and just that moment I 
was sure I had seen him. The same eyes, mouth, fore- 
head and chin, and same sad expression, when forcing a 
smile, a face and smile that one would never forget. No 
child would refuse him its hand, no good woman her 
friendship, confidence and compassion. I waited some 
time for him to speak and as he did not I ventured to 
ask. "Were you not bom and raised or educated in the 
north? You do not speak like the people here." 

"I was born about fifty miles south of Covington, 
in this state, near a little town called Hampton, or 
Hampton Center. What education I have, I got in high 
school and college in Cincinnati." 

"Did you say Hampton Center?" I asked so eagerly 
that he noticed it and asked: 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A.- 207 

"Were you ever there? It's a lovely place." 
"No, I was never there but several years ago. I met 
a person from there," and again asked, as eagerly, "How 
long since you left there?" 
"A litle over five years." 

"Now there was no longer any question who he was 
and why he interested me so much, and I had only one 
more question to ask: 

"Do you live in this neighborhood, are you a citi- 
zen of this locality?" 

"A citizen," he exclaimed, as he arose to his feet, 
and his voice naturally soft and musical, became hard 
and his face severe. "A citizen." he again repeated, with 
a bitter laugh. "I am a citizen of no place, state or na- 
tion : I have no country, no home but the grave. I have 
not a friend in the wide world that can reach and help 
me, and for five years, it has seemed to me. at times, 
that God himself had forsaken me-' 

He then turned and gave me a searching look, as 
though he would read my very thoughts, and said : 

"You are from the north," and with some hesitancy, 
in a low soft and pleading voice, that touched my heart 
with pity, "O. can I trust you, soldier, can I trust you? 
I need a friend." 

I took his hand in mine and pressed it hard, and 
when I saw that same sad smile and the tears, starting 
from his eyes, I said, "I know you, now, my dear boy. 
and upon my honor you can trust me. Tell me your 
troubles and I will help you all I can." 

"O, 'tis a long sad story and should have been writ- 
ten in blood. For five long years, an eternity to me, 
I've been a slave, whipped and driven like an ox. by a 
low. illiterate brute, cruel and destitute of human sym- 
pathy, heart and soul. Please, excuse me now, you are 
from the north and cannot believe me." And he got up 
and walked back and forth, dashing the tears from his 
eyes. 



2o8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"O, my dear sir, I do believe you, every word. Tell 
mie now of your escape, and leave the rest till you are 
more composed, I think I can even help you some in that. 
He looked at me but did not then understand my mean- 
ing. 

"Yes, I've told you the solemn truth, a slave for 
five years, 'till the night of the i6th when with a little 
help from a free colored man, I made my escape. The 
brute that calls himself my master is now hunting me 
v/ith men and dogs and guns, but not this way. I start- 
ed north for the Ohio, but when I heard the cannonad- 
ing I turned this way and came around in the rear of 
your army. I swam a lake, waded up and down creeks, 
through swamps and forests, the north star being my 
compass, with scarcely any food and very little rest or 
sleep, since I left and you are the only white man I have 
dared to notice." 

"And now, my boy," I said heartily, as I put my 
hand on his shoulder, "Yau are absolutely safe. All the 
bloodhounds in REBEL HELLDOM can't touch you 
here, only you must watch and keep with our boys." I 
took off my haversack, opened it and handed it to him, 
here — help yourself, it's the same as we have and much 
more tolerable than hunger. And while you are eating 
and resting, I will tell you a sad and true story, and if 
it interests you, please do not interrupt me. 

"For years before this Slave Holders' Rebellion be- 
gan, my mother's house was a home and refuge for all 
runaway slaves, who chanced to come through on that 
route. We fed and sheltered scores of them and then 
took them on to other stations. I heard their tales of 
wee and suffering, till my heart would almost bleed. 
We kept a memorandum of each one, as full and complete 
a history as we could get from them. Their names, ages, 
residences, color, for they were not all black, some as 
white as you and I, and this memorandum would make 
a good sized volume. They were from this state. Mis- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 209 

souri, Tennessee, Alabama and some from as far south 
as Mobile. We carried on a correspondence with two 
of them, until I left home and my brother will continue 
it. 

One was a young man from Mobile, an engineer and 
machinist, as white as I am, the other a young lady from 
this state, about eighteen years of age, purely white from 
all appearances, cultured and refined. A student in art 
and music, and very beautiful. With one more term in 
college, she would have graduated. 

It was very early one morning, the fore part of Oc- 
tober, I think, for the maple leaves had been touched 
with an early frost, slightly tinting them with scarlet 
and gold, that a close covered carriage stopped in front 
of our house with two ladies closely veiled, who were 
shivering with the cold and well nigh exhausted with 
many successive nights of hard travel. 

As soon as possible a hot breakfast was served and 
then mother took them to her room and snugly tucked 
them in bed. All that day the house was kept very still, 
while they slept and rested and not until the third day 
did they hardly leave their bed and room for they had 
gone to the very limit of their endurance. On the after- 
noon of the third day I wrote up their histories, as they 
gave it me, but can only tell you now, of the younger 
one, in whom I felt a deeper interest, as she had suffered 
more. And, I ought not to attempt to reproduce her 
sad story and can only do it in brief. At first, she hesi- 
tated long, but finally said : 

"How can I talk of myself and my suffering, for the 
last few months? I could not to others, but the kind- 
ness of you and your family to me and my companion in 
exile has so completely won my confidence and grati- 
tude, that to refuse you, would be very ungrateful." 

She raised her dark blue eyes to mine, just an in- 
stant and made an attempt to smile, but O, how sad the 
smile, and sadder yet the eyes. 



210 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

At first, she talked easily and quite naturally, 
though with considerable effort, of her early life, her 
luxurious home, of her kind and indulgent parents, of 
her years in school and college, of her twin broth- 
er, her constant companion and protector, whom 
she loved as her life, of Free Papers, always 
kept in a large safe, of the sudden death of 
her father, the funeral and burial and when she began 
to speak of the arrest, the imprisonment, the auction sale 
and separation, she arose to her feet, began to walk the 
floor and wring her hands and moan, for her suffering 
was more than she could bear and her very heart seemed 
breaking- I would have stopped her then but could not 
speak, could only wait, and listen and tremble. For an 
instant, she clasped her hands over her forehead, then 
as suddenly dropped on her knees and with her arms 
extending upward she cried out, as if in utter despair: 
"Oh, mother! mother! why has God left us to suf- 
fer so? Oh, my God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken 
us? Is it not enough. Dear Lord, Is it not enough? 

Then, He answered her, with a flood of tears that 
rushed like a torrent from eyes that had so long been 
dry, and in their great abundance, she found relief. 

When she became calm and as soon as I could 
speak I said: "Florence, you must not — 

"Florence, Florence," John repeated, "Oh do you 
mean my sister? Florence, do you. Oh, do you mean 
her?" 

"Why, yes, John. Mean that it was and is your 
sister. She is alive and free." 

For many minutes John could not speak, while glad 
tears bathed his face, then he turned partially around 
and with uncovered head and eyes lifted reverently up- 
ward, uttered this simple prayer: 

"Dear Lord, I thank Thee that Thou hast forgiven 
me of my hardness of heart and lack of faith, and this 
day granted me this greatest of all blessings." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 211 

When sufficiently composed to talk he asked: 
"Could and did my sister tell you more?" 

"O. O yes, I went out as requested for half an hour 
and when I returned she told me the whole sad story 
very rapidly, as fast as I could write it down. She was 
bid off by a low, vile brute," said John, "to be his mis- 
tress and she said, as she parted with mother: 'mother, 
I can die, but I can not and will not submit. I will be 
no man's mistress. We knew she would not take her 
own life but would lay it down in defense of her honor 
and purity. Can you tell me how she made her escape?" 

"Oh, yes, I remember that quite well. She was tak- 
en from the sale to the station and seated in the middle 
of the car. The train was wrecked as it approached Cov- 
ington and her buyer was killed with one or two others, 
but she was not seriously hurt. She passed over the 
river to Cincinnati with others and found her way to 
Mrs. Layman's, where you and she lived when you were 
attending college. Mrs. Layman's brother, from Rich- 
mond, Indiana, was there visiting his sister and took her 
that night home with him on a night express. From 
there with a lady from Bowling Green she came through 
to our place on the Under Ground Railroad, and now 
she has a good home and a good husband in Canada* 
And, by the way, John, I have a letter here from her, 
addressed to my brother, which he forwarded to me. 
You may take and keep it. And you must write her at 
once, and don't forget to give her my best wishes. She 
suffers, oh, so much for you and your mother. 

"Can you tell me anything of mother?" 

"No, Florence was the first one sold, as you no 
doubt recollect, and she has no knowledge of you or 
your mother and that adds to her suffering. 

"I heard that day, soon after I was sold that mother 
was bought by a wealthy planter living at Murfreesboro. 
That's the reason why I was so anxious to find out the 
size and location of the place. And now, I truly thank 



212 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

God for what I've heard today and that He led me to 
you. Of late my heart has been so bitter and hard, at 
times, that I could not even look up to Him. 

"Sometimes I felt like charging God with my deg- 
radation and taking my own life, then I'd see my moth- 
er's face as I last saw it, when she threw her arms 
around my neck and kissed me for the last time, bath- 
ing my face with her tears, as she said, 'Be patient, my 
dear boy, remember that God is only a little step from 
you, only just above the storm. Put your trust in Him, 
my dear boy.' Her face that I saw then and the words 
she uttered, has saved me many times from self-destruc- 
tion. Do you think I can be captured here among so 
many men, and would you advise me to go on to Canada, 
as I first intended?" 

"No, John, they will not find you here, and will not 
make any attempt. Do as I said, and keep with the 
boys. Your name — Lawrence J. W. Belmont — no one 
shall know, but me, and I will introduce you to my 
friends as Jack Hale, of Richmond, Indiana. If you are 
a good man with horses, I believe I can find a good place 
at once with our present brigade commander. General 
Hawkins- He wants a good steady fellow and will pay 
good wages; then, too, this war cannot last very much 
longer and when the Rebellion is crushed out every 
slave will be free, and then you can look for your moth- 
er." 

"What shall I call you?" he asked. "You know me 
almost as well as I know myself, but I do not even know 
your name." 

"The boys call me Marion, and the name has no Mr. 
attached to it. Just Marion.' 

"Now, I must go back to the line," I said. "I have 
been gone too long and until you get to work, I will di- 
vide rations with you. Here is my card. Jack, keep it 
and you can find me most any time." 

Soon after dinner I took Jack to General Hawkins' 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 213 

tent and introduced him as Jack Hale of Richmond. The 
general asked him many questions and was well satis- 
fied with his answers and hired him at fair wages. 

"Call and see me, Jack, whenever you can and don't 
ever again doubt or forget the Friend, your mother 
taught you to love." 

"No, Maricn, I shall thank Him every day that He 
led me to you. How strange,' he continued, "that among 
the whole army, you are the only one that knows aught 
of my sister, or our family, and I was led to you the first 
one. This letter you gave me, is like a voice from the 
heavenly world, for I had counted her as dead. I knew 
she would mutiny against her fate and die to defend her 
honor." 

As I turned to leave him, he grasped and pressed 
my hand and said, "good-bye, Marion. May God bless 
ycu-" 



THE BUELL CAMPAIGN. 



Chapter XXX. 

On Sunday morning the twenty-first of September, 
1862, we had reveille at three a. m .with orders to bo 
ready to march and after standing in line for an hour, 
received another order, to "await orders," so we stacked 
arms and remained by our guns till four p. m. 

We were held here long enough, in plain hearing of 
the battle of Mumfordsville, Ky-, for 'Bragg to capture 
Gen. Wilder and his six thousand men. Why Buell did 
not move up and crush the enemy at this place, is yet 
to be answered by the historian. 

At four p. m. cur brigade began to move and about 
nine p. m. we passed through Mumfordsville, close by 
the fort and fortifications and it was sufficiently light 
for us to see some of the destructive effects of the battle. 

The railroad and wagon bridges that spanned Green 
River were burned by Bragg and we were compelled to 
lord. How far we marched after four p- m. I am unable 
to say, but it was a forced march, we thought, and we 
did net halt until two a. m. of the 22nd, rested for a 
short tim^e and then moved forward fifteen miles and 
went in camp six miles north of Bacon Creek. 

No more orders were issued by Buell to prohibit 
foraging from the enemy, for in all this country not a 
duck, chicken or pig was left by the enemy. Our ra- 
tions were very short and the water loaded with death. 
Wherever we found a spring or brook of water, we also 
found the enemy's dead horses and mules. And this wa- 
ter naturally pure and good, was so charged with putrid 
animal matter, we could not drink it. 

On the 23rd we broke camp at four a. m. and march- 
ed thirty-two miles, passing through Elizabethtown, 
the home of General Hawkins, from which he was driv- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 215 

en by Rebel citizens, on account of his Union sentiments, 
early in the war. 

The general rode at the head of our company all 
day and when we reached the center of the town, he or- 
dered the column to halt, then faced the hundreds of cit 
izens, who had gathered there to witness our army pass 

He addressed them as friends, neighbors. Rebels 
and traitors. To his friends, he said : "I know you would 
have given me your aid cheerfully, but for fear of the 
shot gun and halter. He said in part: 

"Where are now the cowardly assassins that drove 
me and ether loyal men from their homes, their families 
and friends because we loved our country and our flag? 
They tied the noose and threw the rope over the lim.b 
and then we dared them to place it around our necks. 
We called them base cowards and Rebels. All in the 
Rebel army today, desolating our lovely state and trying 
to overthrow the best government God ever gave to man. 

Please tell them for me that Almighty God will pur- 
sue and consume them unless they fall on their knees 
and beg for mercy-" 

No doubt the general had many friends there for 
while he was speaking, I saw quite a number shedding 
tears. We had found him to be a kind officer and noble 
man. 

When he finished speaking we gave three cheers for 
General Hawkins. He then turned to our band and ask- 
ed them to play America, which they did with a will, till 
we were far out of town. We camped six miles to the 
north at ten p. m., having been on our feet eighteen 
hours, and you may well remark that we were tired, 
thirsty and hungry. 

A thirteen mile march the next day brought us to 
Muldrough's Hill, A small mountain peak,, strongly 
fortified, commanding the Ohio at the mouth of Salt 
river and the surrounding country. Here we rested for 
three hours. 



2i6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Lewis had been sick for three days and the surgeon 
ordered him to the ambulance- He had eaten nothing 
for the time and of course was faint and weak. I suc- 
ceeded in getting three good apples during our day's 
march, built a small fire and toasted them very carefully 
and thoroughly for him. It was the widow's mite, all 
I had, but it met his wants and I was glad when he told 
me that it was actually the best meal he ever ate. 

We broke camp here at six p. m., crossed Salt river 
en a pontoon and marched up the Ohio on the Kentucky 
side some three miles, and camped. I soon after met 
Jack and pointed over to the north- "There, Jack," I 
said, "I've got my wish : just over on the other side is 
God's country. Will you cross and strike for Canada 
hcv/? You will find plenty of friends over there." 

"O no, Marion. I have found many friends here 
and shall stay with the army and devote the rest of my 
life, if necessary, in looking for mother. I must know 
where she was taken and what has been her fate. Not 
a day nor an hour but she is on my mind and every 
night I dream of her. Sometimes, that I have found her 
and she beckons me to come, but I cannot reach or get 
cuite to her. One night I dreamed I saw her just as 
she Icoked when she threw her arms around Florence's 
neck and bade her farewell. O how many times I have 
viEbed that it was all nothing but a dream. We were 
so happy in our beautiful home, mother, Florence and I. 
Though sister is safe, I can never enjoy one hour of hap- 
piness till I find mother. I must find her." 

Jack's heart was too full to talk more and. he turned 
and left me. 

On the 25th of September we made ten miles up 
the river and halted at two p. m. and rested till seven, 
all desperately hungry, as for several days we had drawn 
less than quarter rations, but fortune favored the pa- 
tient. A supply wagon just ahead of our company lost 
off a box of hard tack and in falling, was broken and the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 217 

crackers all lay in the road. We gathered all we could 
end divided them around and each man got five or six- 

We reached Louisville at one a. m. on the 26th and 
camped a short distance v^^est of the city. 

I expected to find a large package of letters here, 
but found only two, one from Prentiss and one from 
May. While reading I could hardly keep back the tears. 
This was probably on account of being tired, worn out 
with hard marching, loss of sleep and rest and by no 
means attributable to home-sickness. 

In moving around I came across my old frier.d 
John Simmons, from near Gordons. He had been sick 
for some time and had been sent here to meet his regi- 
ment. As we were about to separate I asked, "John, 
how did you address your letters to Marg?" 

"Why she told me to address them, to Box 22 only. 
She wrote me first and invited the correspondence." 

"That accounts for it, John. Every one of those 
letters were written without the knowledge or consent 
of Marg. She never wrote one of them nor received 
one of those directed to Box 22." 

"Well, well, is that possible, but I began to mistrust 
that something was out of joint, as she seemed so very 
anxious that I tell you of May's engagement. By the 
way, I'm informed that you are the lucky fellow. Well, 
I'm glad for your sake. She is the best and kindest 
hearted girl I ever knew aand I might add more but I see 
you are quite to vain of your good fortune now." 

Two acquaintances from home, now members of the 
74th Indiana, called on me here, and I enjoyed their 
visit very much- When gone I answered my letters and 
I think none of the pages were blotted with tears. 

We stayed at that camp less than two days, and 
while there General Davis shot and killed General Nel- 
son in the Gait House ; the particulars of the quarrel we 
had not yet heard. Then we moved south of the city, 



2i8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

two or three miles, and went in camp, where we remain- 
ed till October 14th. 

The next day after reaching our new camp. Jack 
called to see me and I was surprised at his changed ap- 
pearance and it was not by any means his new suit of 
clothes. 

As he walked through the crowd where I stood, I 
noticed that many turned to look at him. We shook 
hands and walked off by ourselves where we sat down 
under the shade. 

"Jack, I am proud of you," I said, "and was just 
thinking of you and wondering if, in your better condi- 
tion, you had forgotten me." 

Not until I forget my mother and sister." 

"Have you written her yet?" 

"O yes, the same afternoon and evening I met you, 
a long letter. I told her of you and told her that you 
knew me from the first by my resemblance to her and 
told her how thankful I was that she escaped a fate a 
thousand times worse than death, and that I should not 
rest till I found mother; that I learned the day of the 
sale that she was bought by a wealthy planter, living 
at or near Murfreesboro, and that as soon as safe I 
should go there and find her.' 

"Of course, you have not heard from your sister 
yet?" 

"No, but I think I will soon and that will be the 
next thing to seeing her. Had I known of her escape I 
could have borne my own degredation with less agony. 
When I hear from her you shall read the letter, for I 
owe this happiness to you." 

"No, not to me. Thank God and not me. You 
were correct in saying that 'He led you.' " 

"Yes, I believe it now, and hope I shall never doubt 
again-" 

^'How do you like your place, John?" 

"Another thing to thank you for, I'm a bankrupt. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 219 

I can never pay what I owe." 

"Do someone else a good turn, Jack. You owe me 
nothing but your good will. It cost me nothing. Don't 
let it burden you. But how do you like the general and 
your w^ork?" 

"The general is a grand big hearted man and I like 
the work, for I'm very fond of good horses.'' 

"Does he know your history, or mistrust?" 

"He did not mistrust, but since I found him so 
friendly I thought that he might sometime befriend me, 
should I get in trouble. "When I told him of the suffer- 
ings of my mother and sister and myself, when we were 
arrested by the sheriff and thrust in jail and sold at auc- 
tion, he jumped to his feet and struck the table with his 
fist and exclaimed, 'My God! is it possible. I've lived 
in a slave state all my life and I've witnessed things 
that made my blood boil but I believe in all my life noth- 
ing equal to this. And did that brute buy you? I know 
him, he's a rebel and worse, a guerilla. He was one of 
the gang that was determined to hang me, and if I could 
see him now I would shoot him quicker than I would a 
mad dog." 

"Yes, you can depend on me; that scoundrel is a 
coward and a sneak, and the sooner some one shoots 
him, the better for the country." 

"Well, Jack, I guess you're safe." 

"I feel so, Marion, and you can hardly realize how 
much taller I am and how much more like a man I feel 
than when I first met you." 

"I notice the difference, Jack, and as I told you once 
before I am proud of you- You resemble Florence more 
than you did." At the mention of her name the tears 
started from his eyes and he said: 

"There is no bitterness in my heart now. As I hope 
to be forgiven for my impiety and lack of faith, I am 
now trying hard to forgive those who brought this great 
affliction on our family." 



PERRYVILLE BATTLE. 



Chapter XXXI. 

The regiment broke camp here at Louisville on the 
morning of October i, 1862. Aumend and I were left 
to look after the loading of our company's goods and 
supplies, then followed along with the teams to the city, 
where I paid out my last cent Ttr two loaves of bread 
and a small aniounc of dried beef. It was tV'C p. m. as 
we left the city and took the Bardstown Pike and walk- 
ed along leisurely as I had been quite poorly for several 
days. The road was full of army wagons, cavalry, artil- 
lery and infantry ; a thick cloud of dust filled the air and 
the sun shone intensely hot. 

Our army was joined by many new regiments at 
Louisville, as we marched through, that had seen no 
service as yet. Their knapsacks were packed full with 
extra suits, two blankets and rubber and very likely 
many things brought from home, very nice and conven- 
ient for a soldier, but all added bulk and weight. We 
could tell a new regiment by their knapsacks and before 
we stopped for the night we saw quite a number of them 
lying outside the road, and occasionally a soldier, over- 
come with heat, under a shade tree. 

As night approached, Aumend stopped at a farm 
house and asked the family if he and his lieutenant, 
whom he said was not very well, could lie under their 
porch where they would not be exposed to the dew. The 
man of the house replied : "No, but if you and your lieu- 
tenant belong to the Union army, you can both have 
the best bed in the house and your supper and break- 
fast." 

In the morning, we got up quite early and thought 
we would leave before breakfast, but no, the lady in- 
sisted we stay and have a good warm breakfast. We 
appreciated their kindness and I tried to thank them but 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 221 

they replied, that they had only done their duty and 
what they had conferred, was a pleasure to them- We 
want you to understand that the Union soldiers have 
some friends in Kentucky. 

We started along the pike but the road was so 
crowded with supply trains, artillery, infantry and cav- 
alry that it was slow and difficult traveling. About ten 
a. m. we began to hear cannonading in front and while 
we were not alarmed, as it was almost a daily occurence, 
we quickened our step and reached our regiment about 
dusk. 

The firing had stopped and the paymaster was with 
our regiment and by nine a. m. on the 3rd all our boys 
present had signed the roll and received their money. 

We left our camip at three p. m. on the 3rd and soon 
caught up with the enemy's rear guard, consisting of a 
regiment. Company A and F were deployed as skir- 
mishers, in the woods on either side of the road and for 
an hour or more the "Johnnies" made a lively defense 
and we a big racket if nothing more ; then they fell back 
and our column followed, crossing Salt river and camp- 
ing near its bank. 

On the 4th and 5th we made but little progress as 
we skirmished with the enemy's rear guard, who was 
holding us back in order to save their heavy train of 
supplies which had been gathered while passing through 
Kentucky and Tennessee. 

On the 6th and 7th we marched some thirty miles. 
Through the middle of the day the sun shone very hot, 
the dust in a heavy cloud covered us and the water 
gathered from pools among the rocks along the creeks, 
partially dry, was thick with animal life and vegetable 
filth. 

On the night of the 7th we camped on the banks of 
"Rolling Fork Creek" tired and out of rations. 

Early on the morning of the 8th of October we 
heard heavy cannonading to the north or northeast, the 



222 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

roar sounded much like the Niagara at a distance, as no 
single gun could be distinguished. 

I had nothing in my haversack to eat but a halt 
dozen soda crackers bought of our sutler, so I stepped 
into a shanty close by and asked the lady if she would 
sell me a small piece of bacon- She replied that she had 
but little. I took out of my pocket a silver quarter and 
asked her to cut off what she could for the money. She 
locked at the silver and then at the bacon and finally 
the silver won and she cut off a piece about two or three 
inches thick. I never stopped to look at it till I cut 
off some for my lunch and then found under a thin 
layer of lean a spoonful or so of large well matured 
worms. Well, I thought to myself, that poor woman 
never saw them, or she would have charged me more, 
but to me they were a dead loss, for I took my knife and 
scraped them off very carefully. 

At nine a. m. our regiment took its place in Criten- 
den's corps, VanCleve's division and General Hawkins' 
brigade, and started on a forced march for Perryville. 
The heavier the cannonading the faster the boys push- 
ed along and this is as strange as true. No matter how 
great the dread of battle, an army will almost run to get 
into it and frequently run faster to get out. 

As we approached our position the smoke in a thick 
dark heavy cloud filled the forest in front and covered 
the entire field. 

We reached our position, a high ridge covered with 
timber, but clean from undergrowth, at eleven a. m. 
Some sixty rods to the front a thick body of timber ob- 
structed our view of the battle, now raging in all its 
barbaric fury. To our left, a short distance, was Crit- 
tenden's headquarters and just a few rods beyond was 
General Buell's. 

The attack was opened in the early morning by the 
enemy on the Thirty-sixth brigade. Col. Dan McCook 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 223 

commanding, which had biouvacked for the night on a 
small creek two and a half miles from the town. 

Mitchel's and Sheridan's divisions (Phil's) came to 
his support and the enemy was repulsed handsomely- 
Our line of battle as formed about noon had Gilbert's 
corps in the center, McCook's to his left, Crittenden's 
to his right. Thomas was with Crittenden's corps. A 
cavalry reconnoissance was made toward Perryville. 
McCook reporting to Buell was ordered to make a dem- 
onstration in full force toward Chaplin river to ascer- 
tain the position and strength of the enemy in front. 
During his absence one of his divisions, Rousseau's, had 
advanced the right of his line a half mile to get some wa- 
ter for which the boys were suffering. The Rebels 
opened on this advance some twenty pieces of artillery 
and Rosseau brought up the rest of his division direct- 
ing Simmons' and Leonard's batteries to return the ene- 
my's fire. McCook on his return advanced Jackson's 
division to a new line, supporting Rosseau. 

About three-thirty p. m. his whole line was attacked 
by Harde with three Rebel divisions under Cheatham, 
Buckner and Anderson — some sixteen thousand men. 
Then it was that McCook sent his orderly to Buell ask- 
ing him to send Crittenden's corps and attack the Rebel 
left, and no response. This was the third time that Mc- 
Cook was refused support by Buell. The attack was 
made on McCook's extreme left, Jackson was killed the 
first fire. Terrill's brigade, nearly all new men, was 
driven back and McCook's left turned. The infantry 
reached the batteries, parted in the rear and there Ter- 
rill, while trying to rally his men, fell mortally wounded. 

McCook being hard pressed then sent to Gilbert for 
reinforcements, and sent a request to Sheridan asking 
him to protect his right. Starkweather's brigade check- 
ed the enemy's advance at the left supported by Stone's 
and Bushe's batteries. Several assaults were met and 
repulsed until the ammunition of troops and batteries 



224 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

was exhausted, when they fell back to their original line, 
renewed their supplies and plunged into the fight again. 

Meantime, M;cCook's right had become engaged in 
Rosseau's front, the enemy under Anderson, a full di- 
vision, charging on Lytle's and Harris' brigade. They 
were met and held back until the brigade also exhausted 
their ammunition and fell back on a line with Stark- 
weather- Lytle's brigade was driven still further back 
and the enemy's advance was checked by canister fired 
by Sloan's battery. 

Reinforcements from Gilbert came up, Gooding's 
brigade of Mitchell's division and the Fifth Wisconsin 
battery. Stedman's brigade from Schoepft's division al- 
so came up and with these fresh troops the enemy was 
decisively repulsed from McCook's front. 

When the assault on McCook was heaviest, Sheri- 
dan was attacked in the advanced position he had won 
early in the morning. He withdrew his troops to a bet- 
ter position on the original line and opened on the ene- 
my with musketry and canister. He also being hard 
pressed called on Gilbert for support. 

Gilbert sent him Carlin's brigade from Mitchel's di- 
vision, and this fresh brigade charging the enemy drove 
them into and through Perryville, capturing two cais- 
sons and fifteen wagons loaded with ammunition, with 
their guard of one hundred and thirty-eight men. 
Sheridan drove another line of the enemy but could not 
pursue, as that would uncover McCook's right. Wag- 
oner's brigade of Wood's division became engaged also 
on the right of Mitchel's division but the brunt of the 
day's battle was borne by McCook's corps and most of 
the loss. 

When night fell, yes when it was altogether too 
late, Buell made preparations for a general engagement 
on the next day, directing Thomas to strike the enemy's 
front and left flank at daybreak, a thing which Critten- 
den insisted on doing with his corps at twelve o'clock 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 225 

noon, to save McCook's corps from being slaughtered. 
Twenty-nine thousand Union troops including Critten- 
den's corps were ready, waiting and eager to go in and 
save McCook. Had Crittenden been allowed to charge 
the Rebel left and rear as he was anxious to do, and as 
McCook expected would be done, the whole Rebel army 
could have been crushed before three o'clock p. m. Total 
Union loss in killed, wounded and missing, four thou- 
sand, three hundred and forty-eight, a little under six- 
teen per cent. The whole Rebel army was engaged with 
a total loss of seven thousand. 

Immediately on reaching our position on the ridge, 
Company A was ordered on duty in an open field close 
up to the wood not far from the enemy's left, where 
they deployed, formed a skirmish line and lay down. I 
was ordered to take one man with me and take a posi- 
tion close up to the wood at the crest of the hill, near the 
enemy's left, about one-half mile in front of the ridge in 
the northeast corner of the field. 

Tom and I approached the position cautiously un- 
der cover of the hill, along a fence running parallel with 
the enemy's line. Our instructions were to watch close- 
ly for any extension of the enemy's left in that direction 
and in case we made such discovery to move in at once. 
We lay down on the leaves close to the fence that in- 
closed the timber on that side. It was a long afternoon 
as we lay watching and waiting and listening to the con- 
stant roar of not less than one hundred pieces of artil- 
lery, which shook the trees and made every leaf quiver 
with the vibrations. The smoke filled the forest and 
we could see but a short distance into the thick wood. 

As it approached sunset, while the battle raged 
more fiercely, if possible, a riderless horse came dashing 
through the forest from the field, leaped the fence and 
as we said 'whoa,' he came up close to us and gave a 
pathetic neigh, and after a few minutes of petting, he 
got over his fright and seemed to feel that he had fallen 



226 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

among friends. Soon after dark the fireing stopped and 
he lay down as close to us as he could get and remained 
quiet all night. The horse was a dark chestnut sorrel, 
well bred, about eight years old and in fine condition. 
The saddle, bridle, saddle bags and revolvers were new 
and the very best. 

It was a long night and we were too near the enemy 
to speak loud and in a position too dangerous to risk 
sleep. At four-thirty we got up to go in and the horse 
followed us close behind. 

On the morning of the gth Buell ordered a forward 
movement of the whole army by the front as if he ex- 
pected to capture the Rebel army, but it was too late, 
as at Murfordsville, he lost his opportunity. 

As ordered, the army began to move on Perryville 
quite early, in line of battle. The country was quite 
hilly, swampy, patches of timber and open fields. While 
one portion of the line had an open field, another would 
be climbing fences, and another going through swamps, 
briar patches and crab apple bushes. The line was by 
no means symmetrical and somewhat resembled our 
first company drill in Camp Allen though on a much 
larger scale. 

We were all day making this grand military display 
and did not reach the village till dusk. This tomfoolery 
of moving so far over such a rough country by the front, 
gave the enemy ample time to get their heavy supply 
train out of our reach. The battle field was covered with 
their dead and every building, barn and shed was full 
of their wounded and sick- 

These are three questions that puzzled the boys in 
the ranks: 

First — Why did Buell let Bragg cross the Tennes- 
see? 

Second — Why did he hold his army at Cave City 
long enough for Bragg to capture Wilder and his six 
thousand men? 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 227 

Third — And why did Buell refuse to let Crittenden 
reinforce McCook, when he could have swung his whole 
corps en the enemy's left and crushed it at a single 
blow? 

As much as our boys dreaded a battle, they were 
anxious to have it over vi^ith as soon as possible and es- 
pecially were anxious to utilize every advantage, when 
the fatalities could be lessened. 

Our boys were very tired. Not a wink of sleep the 
previous night and scarcely any rations. The day's 
march by the front was exhausting, and the night was 
getting cold. 

I felt more weary when I found my blanket and 
rubber had been stolen and said to Gilbert: 

"I hardly know how to put in this cold night unless 
I stand on my feet and walk around." 

"Will you stay right here, till I get back?" he 
asked. 

"Don't do that; I'll get along some way." 

"Will you stand here so I can find you?" 

"Yes, I'll stay here, but don't — " 

John came back in twenty minutes and handed me 
two new blankets and rubber, 

"O Gilbert, how could you do that?" 

"Just so easy, no trick at all." 

"How will the other fellow get along this cold 
night?" 

"Let him do as I did, take another fellow's blankets. 
It's just none of your business. You wrap and curl up 
and take a good night's sleep and don't lie awake think- 
ing about the other fellow." .... 



THE BUELL CAMPAIGN. 

Chapter XXXII. 

On the loth of October we marched six miles and 
on the nth while we were eating our breakfast, heavy 
firing commenced on our left and we were hurried in 
line of battle and moved forward by the front for nearly 
a mile and stacked arms. We had done this so often 
since we left Battle Creek that it had banished all dread. 
It was a pleasant change from hard marching and the 
boys rather liked it. 

We stood by our guns, each with a chip on his shoul- 
der, ready for a fight, for more than an hour, and the 
enemy never came near us- We then went back to our 
position, held in the morning. 

The day before as we were moving along, Gilbert 
saw a patch of Irish potatoes some distance ahead on the 
left near the road on a side hill. 

He leaped the fence, ran forward and commenced 
digging potatoes out with his hands. Buell came along, 
stopped his horse and ordered him out. Gilbert stood 
with his back to the road, his head down — could look 
back between his legs, and knowing v/ho it was, kept 
on digging. 

The next time Buell spoke hard and sharp. Gilbert 
kept on digging, but yelled back, 

"You go to ," and Buell started. 

The country here was very rich, quite level, large 
plantations, good buildings and fenced along the high- 
ways with lime stone rock. Our rations were short, our 
boys hungry and constantly on the lookout for turkeys, 
pigs, chickens and sheep, but everything had been clean- 
ed up by the enemy in advance. 

John R — and Lu seeing a large farm house off a 
mile, visited the premises. In this portion of tlie state 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 229 

very few white men were visible. Every able bodied 
man was in the rebel army. 

The boys approached the house from the rear. John 
stood guard behind a small coop where he could watch 
the house and Lu started for a large smoke house. The 
door was locked ,but a small window on one side was 
covered with a board, which he tore off. The window 
was small, but he could get in through a small hole and 
get out through a smaller one. 

He had just got his head and shoulders through the 
window, when a bouncing, nicely dressed girl came out 
of the house with a small ax in her hand after him, and 
he'd got just where he couldn't get in or out in a hurry. 
As the girl was passing the coop John sprang behind her 
and wrapped his long giant arms around her arms and I 
knew she was his prisoner. Lu succeeded in getting 
through the opening, where he found a fine lot of sugar 
cured hams and shoulders. Lu selected hams and 
dropped them out through the window. He then must 
get out and carry them to the woods full forty rods, be- 
fore John could let his girl loose. 

She struggled hard at first and then tried to give an 
alarm, but he placed one hand over her mouth and said, 
"If you keep quiet, you'll not be hurt." 

"Will you let me go, then?" she said. 

"No, not yet," said John, "you intended to kill that 
boy with your ax." 

"Not if he'd got out and gone off." 

"But he couldn't get out, he was fast in the window 
and you intended to kill him." 

"No, I just intended to frighten him. Won't you 
please let me go now?" 

"No, not till he gets those hams to the woods. We 
want some of them. You are keeping them for rebel of- 
ficers. 




Lew could get in through a small hole and get out through a 
smaller one. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 231 

"Give me your name before I let you go." 

"Sarah Rayner." 

"Where is your father?" 

"He's judge of the county court-" 

"But where is he, tell me before I let you go." 

"He's a Colonel in Bragg's army. 

"Where are your brothers?" 

"They're with father." 

Tell your father, Sarah, if he lives to get home, 
that we have taken this meat for the boys that left their 
homes and came down here to put down this rebellion 
and save THEIR government, that they are trying to 
destroy, and that we will crush out all this treason if it 
takes ten million more men and ten years to do it. Now 
Sarah, there goes the last load, and I'll tell our hungry 
boys, while they're eating these choice hams, how glad 
I am that I m.ade your acquaintaance. You may go to 
the house now." 

Our company had sugar cured ham for a number 
of days. 

On the 1 2th I was put in charge of the rear guard 
with one ambulance to pick up any that might become 
exhausted and sick. We were close to the rear of the 
rebel army and while passing an old log barn, we dis- 
covered three Johnnies unarmed, and ordered them to 
come in the road. We found them to be real objects of 
pity, completely worn out, discouraged, ragged, foot 
sore and hungry. They tried but couldn't walk, so I 
stopped the ambulance and ordered them to climb in. 
At noon we divided our rations and gave them from our 
small allowance, an equal share, aand wondered, as we 
did it, if the rebels ever treated our men as kindly. 

On reaching Danville on the 13th the enemy had 
gone and a halt was made, so that the enemy could get 
their heavy train out of the way. 

At dusk Company "A" went out on picket some 
three miles from camp, remaining all night and started 



2.32 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

at nine a. m. and reconnoitered all day, going one mile 
beyond Stanford, then back to our camp and at eleven 
p. m. moved with the division- 

From the 13th to the i8th we reconnoitered and 
skirmished every day, trequently a general engagement 
seemed veery probable and at such a time our whole 
army would be formed in line of battle, which would take 
from three to four hours, and by that time the enemy's 
heavy train would be safely out of the way, then a forced 
march till we caught up and the battle line farce would 
be repeated. 

On the 1 8th of October I believe our company suf- 
fered more from heat, thirst, dust and exhaustion than 
any day since August 20th. We were well in the rear. 
For a long time the earth had been parched with drowth, 
vegitation scorched as if by fire. All the running streams 
dried up, the stagnant water in the pools, accessable to 
the army along the rocky channels of the brooks, was 
entirely consumed by those in front. The march was 
forced ; every step was into the red clay dust nearly over 
the shoe, ground fine as flour, as light as dry ashes, not a 
breath of air to move it out of our road, a sun tropical in 
heat from nine a. m. to four p. rru, and a burning thirst 
with not a drop of water to moisten the lips, throat and 
tongue. Only those that were in the rear can realize 
what the boys suffered that day. On reaching camp, 
only six men besides myself of Company "A" were 
present to stack arms, and not more than eighty of the 
regiment. The rest dropped out and came in during the 
night. I should have fallen out had I been in the ranks, 
and I fear, had I consulted my own feelings only, I would 
have dropped down and died to have obtained relief and 
rest. Such was my exhaustion and thirst. 

The day before reaching Crab orchard, I was or- 
dered to go back and urge forward our wagon train, as 
our regiment was entirely out of rations- It was very 
slow traveling, as the road was blockaded with trains. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 233 

Not till ten p. m. did I reach the little town that we pass- 
ed through at noon. I could get no further, and lay 
down on a pile of lumber, close to the road, and dropped 
to sleep. At one a. m. I waked up and not ten feet from 
me was our company wagon. As soon as the train began 
to move I got on with the driver and rode until heavy 
firing of musketry commenced in front. I then jumped 
off and made my way down the slope to the front just 
as our. regiment started for the skirmish line. The skir- 
mish was quite heavy and lasted about an hour, then the 
enemy tell back as usual and we followed. 

From the 19th to the 23rd of October we lay at 
and near "Wild Cat," and had a good chance to look 
over the battle field where Zolicoffer was defeated Oc- 
tober 21, one year before. 

The "Wild Cat Hills" are small mountain peaks. 
They could hardly be called mountains and yet were too 
rugged for hills. They were covered with chestnut tim- 
ber and our boys lived fat on chestnuts. 

The enemy had gone on through the pass and must 
be met again somewhere and scon, but it must be by 
Brell's successor. The whole army v/as discouraged 
and de.-noralized and anxious for a change. 



Chapter XXXIII. 



FLORENCE. 

On the morning of the 20th of October, 1862, while 
at Wildcat, I climbed one of the big hills to look at "Man 
Rock" — the fact of which is about eight by twelve feet. 
When the rock was in a semi-liquid condition, as the 
story goes, a giant was thrown into the stone back down- 
The outlines of this singular figure is quite plainly dis- 
cernable, only the lower portion of the left arm and the 
upper part of the head is very obscure. While looking 
and wondering at this singular freak of nature. Jack 
made his appearance and extended his hand. 

"Well, Jack," I said, "you have good news I know 
by your smiling face and sparkling eyes." *'Yes, Marion, 
I have just received this letter from Florence, for which 
I have you to thank, and now you can read and copy 
a part or all. You can hardly realize what this letter is 
to me after five years of separation, and all the time 
isupposing her to be dead, or suffering a degredation 
worse than the torture of the inqusition. O, Marion, my 
heart is too full to talk. How I ought to thank God 
every day and hour of my whole life." 

"Yes, Jack, I too do feel thankful for you and hope 
that in His goodness, our Heavenly Father may guide 
you to find your mother." 

THE LETTER. 

Windsor, Canada, Box 299. 
Oct. 10, 1862. 
My Dear Brother Lawrence: 

O, how can I tell you in words of my gratitude to 
God and my joy, when I received yours of the ist inst., 
from which I learned that you were not only alive but 
again free. 

When the letter was handed me I knew your writ- 
ing. I could not open it. My hands trembled and the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 235 

tears blinded my eyes- We were sitting by the lamp, 
our twins, my husband and I, and I exclaimed, "O, my 
brother Lawrence is alive and free, O, thank God." The 
twins seemed alarmed, jumped in my lap and both threw 
their little arms around my neck. "O, mamma, don't 
cry," Little Florence asked, "Does letters make every- 
body cry so? ' When I became more composed I asked 
husband to open and read. He did read a page or so, 
then his handkerchief went to his face, his voice failed, 
his eyes were blinded and as he handed the package 
back to me, he said, "I can't, you must read it." 

I took it then and read till I came to your graphic 
description of the scene or tragedy, as you called it, in 
the parlor, when our own father's nephews came in with 
the sheriff and arrested and put handcuffs on our wrists. 
Then I broke down again and began to sob and weep. 
The twins both sprang into my lap again and began to 
cry, which made it so much harder for me. Finally 
Lawrence said, "Mamma, don't-less-let-any-more-letters- 
come-in-this-house." This was said so honestly and so 
seriously, that I said "Lawrence, I'll try and not cry any 
mere." I don't wonder that your letter was blotted with 
tears, and I am not surprised that you could not describe 
t-e scene at the jail, when we were torn from each other 
and roughly thrust into separate criminal cells. 

Neither can I describe that awful day, the auction 
sale, although I saw much more than you. Do you re- 
miember, how our own dear mother stood like a statute, 
her agony too deep for tears. The fountain of her soul 
^ad well nigh dried up, till she saw that I had been bid 
off by that beast in human shape, against whom my soul 
revolted as from an hyena, and when I threw my arms 
around her neck for the last time, a long farewell em- 
brace, then for the first time since the tragedy began, O, 
bow the tears rushed to her eyes and how she wept. 
When I look back to that scene and think of the suf- 



236 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

ferings of our dear mother, as I saw her then, I look 
further back through the centuries and see One, Our 
Dear Savior, suffering on the cross for us, and only 
through His sufferings, death and blood have I become 
reconciled. 

You ask to know more of the sale and you especial- 
ly want a full history of me since I stepped on the auc- 
tion block. O, brother, all this would fill a good sized 
volume ; I can only tell it in brief. There is much I durst 
not think of now and may never be able to tell- 

You must have seen some of the hand bills and prob- 
ably some of the papers, which were sent broadcast all 
over the slave states and remember how they represent- 
ed me in a close fitting union suit of thin, orange colored 
gause, the very same you saw on me as I stood on the 
block. This cut, which was intended to draw the crowds 
w^as made from a photograph taken of me in the jail a 
few days after our confinement, as soon as the suit 
could be provided. Neither my birth, education, social 
standing nor culture saved me from the same low brutal 
treatment accorded to every female that goes on the 
block. 

It was a great gathering of speculators in immortal 
souls. Buyers from New Orleans, Memphis and Natchez 
were there for prey, and like hungry wolves, thirsted 
for my very blood. 

O, God, when I think of that hour as I stood before 
that gaping crowd of hyenas, I blush with shame for the 
country of my birth and my heart bleeds for the thous- 
ands that suffer every day as you and mother and I have 
suffered. Will God spare the nation now through this 
revolution, or will He consume it with fire? 

I had never witnessed an auction sale of slaves and 
never, never knew or conceived the depths of human de- 
pravity till that day. When the auctioneer began to 
harangue the crowd and point out the many fine qual- 
ities of the piece of merchandise then on the block, in 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY ''A." 237 

language too lude and too loathsome for me to mention 
and the buyers began to crowd around me, all with a 
freedom so base and so low that no liberty of such a 
vulgar character would have been respected in the ex- 
amination of horses, mules or swine, I cried out in my 
anguish of soul and prayed that Almighty God would 
avenge our wrongs and the wrongs of all those suffering 
from the curse of human slavery. Then my heart re- 
lented and was filled with pity, and my prayer was, 
"Father, forgive them; they know not what they do." 

I heard one buyer tell another, in answer to the 
question, "What's she worth?" "She's worth twenty, and 
will bring five more in New Orleans or Natchez, except 
for one thing." 

"Well, please, what's that. I'm here to bid. I came 
from Orleans just to bid on her. 

"Can't you see at a glance, man. Too much spirit, 
see how she scorns this crowd, how she holds her head, 
beautiful as a Greek goddess, but she'll never break; 
she'll not bear the harness; don't buy it for yourself, and 
if to sell, you can't guarantee. I've tried such and always 
lost; too high bred." 

"Thank you, sir, I guess you're right, and I'll let her 
slide." 

So, brother, on account of my high breeding I was 
snapped up by the very worst and lowest and most con- 
tem.ptable brute of the whole throng, and when a man 
offered him two hundred dollars for his bid, he replied, 
"No, thank you, I bought her for my own use-" But 
God had not forgotten me, and ordered it for the best. 

As soon as sold I was taken in the house and resum- 
ed my clothing and took a good extra suit, and was per- 
mitted to take your's, mother's and father's photographs, 
and when unobserved, secured my six shooter Colt's re- 
volver and thrust it in my pocket. I also took a good 
satchel, handkerchiefs, some underwear and a good 
heavy shawl and thick veil. Thus provided we, my buyer 



238 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and I, started for the train just as you stepped on the 
block. I never knew who bought you or mother, or 
where either of you went. 

We were just in time to get on the train, and as 
we entered, my buyer took me to the middle of the car 
en the right hand side, indicated the seat and sat down 
by my side. I soon discovered that he was well loaded 
with liquor and silly drunk. 

Soon after being seated he put his arms first around 
my shoulders, then around my waist. I did not resist or 
resent the insult, but when he asked me if I couldn't 
give him a pleasant smile and be sociable, 1 answered 
very pleasantly, "Please, do excuse me tonight, I am 
feeling very sick and very tired. I hope I will feel 
better tomorrow." "O, yes," he said, with a sickly 
smile, exhaling in my face a volume of tobacco and 
whiskey perfume, "you will feel better tomorrow, when 
ycu get rested and see what a pleasant home I have for 
you." Then he asked, "Will 3'ou remain here in the seat 
alone for a few minutes, as I have two friends in the 
back end of the car I wish to see on important business." 
"O, yes, with pleasure," I answered. While he and his 
friends were jolly over their wine, I was busy laying 
plans for my escape. As the whistle blew for Covington, 
he arose from his seat and started for me, just as the 
train ran through a switch telescoping and killing him 
and his two companions. I was thrown violently for- 
v-ard, bruised slightly but not injured. The car was a 
wreck, and we could not get out until help arrived, and 
bv that time there were sufficient conveyances to take us. 
Nearly all in my car lived across the river, and when 
asked where I belonged, I said in Cincinnati- 

Before I was helped out I took the precaution to pull 
my thick veil down so that I am sure no one saw my 
face. I secured my satchel and passed over the river 
and went directly to the old college, and as I passed along 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 239 

that old familiar street that you and I traveled so much, 
my heart seemed bursting with grief, and I was over- 
whelmed with sorrow, but my walk was erect and my 
step firm and steady. 

I entered Mrs. Layman's by a side door. She and 
Ruth were alone in the back parlor. I then raised my 
veil, dropped on my knees at Mother Layman's feet and 
cried out, "Oh, for the love of Jesus, save me, oh, hide 
me, for I am flying for my life from a degredation that I 
can never live to endure. 

They had heard of our great sorrow, and like our 
ov/n mother, she took me in her arms and held me as 
she would a child. I could not shed a tear, could only 
sob. And oh, my heart was so full of anguish I thought 
'twould burst. 

As soon as I could speak plainly, I said, "Mother, I 
cannot stop long, can and will you help me on to Can- 
ada?" 

"Thee will be safe with us," said Mother Layman. 

"Oh no, no. Every time the door opens, I shall ex- 
pect an officer to arrest me. I cannot sleep or eat. Broth- 
er Lawrence and I lived here so long, they will mistrust 
I am here with you." 

"But the buyer was killed, you say, and how will 
they know, but we'll see ; come with me now daughter. 
My brother from Richmond, Indiana, is here ; he, too, is 
a Friend, and I'll consult him." 

And she took me to an upper room, drew down the 
curtains and fixed the bed- "Now lie down, daughter, for 
I know thee is very tired." Then she soothed and car- 
ressed me, till my sobbing ceased and my heart felt eas- 
ier and more at rest, still every time I heard the least 
noise on the street, I'd jump and almost rise to a sitting 
posture. 

"Now. thee must rest. No one can hurt thee here 
with "s. Wp have no boarders now and no company, 
and v.'e will keen the house still. Oh, how we suffered 




*0 Mother Layman for the love of Jesus save me, hide me." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A" • 241 

with thee all," she continued, "when we heard of thy 
trouble. Our hearts were full of sorrow for thee, and 
Ruth, my poor girl, I thought her heart would break. I 
held her in my lap nearly all day and night, and she'd 
keep saying between her sobs, 'Oh, if he only knew, if 
I'd only answered him, but it was almost train time and 
he had to go, and now mother, he can never know.' 4" 
•^ •^ •^ "But I must not tell thee more, Florence, 
thee has too much trouble now." 

"Send Ruth to me. Mother Layman." 

As the door opened I said "Come here, my dear sis- 
ter, I want to see you.. When I entered your home I was 
so frightened and excited that I thought of no one's suf- 
ferings but my own and my own safety. . . Come to me, 
Ruth." 

She came timidly, dropped on her knees, pressed her 
face down deep into my pillow and sobbed out, 

"Oh, I do feel so sorry for thee, Florence, for thy 
mcther and for — for John." 

"Yes, Ruth, I understand all, and in my own great 
sorrow, I had almost forgotten yours." 

"Has mother told thee? Has she told thee my secret? 
Oh, Florence, I'm so glad thee knows-. O, how I suffer- 
ered; when I heard all I thought my heart would break. 
I should never see him again and could never tell him. Q 
Florence, he will never know," she sobbed. 

I put my arms around this dear girl's neck and called 
her my little sister again, and said:. "Ruth, I love you 
and John loves you and John .knows, I told him on the 
train going home." 

"But how did thee know, Florence, I never told 
thee." 

"Oh, Ruth, my dear sister, I read it in your face and 
knew it months ago, and had not John been blind, he too 
would have known.. One who has loved as I have, and 
been loved as I have been by a good and noble man can- 
not be deceived.'" 



242 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

*Oh, Florence, who do you mean?" 
"Can you not guess, Ruth? 

"Is it Mr, Bassett, oh, I don't wonder, Florence, he 
was so good and kind." 

"Yes, I'll tell you, Ruth, it is Mr. Bassett." 
"Where is he now? Where does he live?" 
"Oh, I don't know, Ruth, I may never see him 
again in this world, but I know I shall meet him in the 
next." 

"Oh, I'm so, so sorry for thee, Florence, can nothing 
be done?" 

"Nothing, I fear, I shall trust God and wait His 
time." "But my dear Ruth, have you thought of the 
•change that has taken place. Have you stopped to think 
how poor John is now, of his degraded condition and 
that he is nothing but a slave?" 

"Florence, he is not degraded by any act of his, if 
he is poor and friendless and a slave, so was our Mas- 
ter, friendless and forsaken and poor. No, Florence, 
I Icve him all the more now in his suffering, than when 
surrounded by many friends and much wealth." 

"Then take courage, Ruth, he is young and healthy, 
patient and smart and will escape-. It's only a question 
cf time. I shall pray God that such fidelity as yours be 
rewarded. They cannot hold him long. Have courage 
sister, and be faithful to him." 

Just then the mother entered with toast and tea 
and as I felt hungry for the first time since our arrest, 
I ate quite a hearty supper and felt rested. 
"How does thee feel now, Florence?" 
"Oh, much better, in trying to help Ruth and give 
her courage, I have helped myself more. In my own 
suffering I had almost forgotten others." 

"Well Ruth does look heartened, how is it, daugh- 
ter?" 

"Florence has sjiven me hor>e. and courage and I 
shall be faithful and bide my time." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 243 

"Now Florence, I have something to tell thee, my 
brother is in now. We're all Friends, you know, shall 
I call him in?" 

"Oh yes, do, I should like to go as soon as pos- 
sible." 

In a few minutes he came in. A kind fatherly man 
about fifty years of age, and after the introduction and 
a few questions, he turned to Mrs. Layman and said: 

"I believe, sister, it will be safer and wiser to take 
the one o'clock express. Very few leave the city at 
that hour and we shall have few stops and reach our 
settlement early. I will engage a sleeper and she will 
feel more secure and rest better with us." 

So it was decided, and at the appointed hour Mrs. 
Layman, her brother, Ruth and I went to the station. 
I cannot describe the parting- Mother Layman kissed 
me time and again, and Ruth, how my heart ached for 
her. poor girl, she flung her arms around my neck and 
sobbed, till the train had almost stopped and then she 
said at parting: "I will be patient, dear sister, and faith- 
ful unto death." 

As I lay dwon in my berth, I thought, now every tie 
is severed and I am an exile. Soon the rocking of the 
train put me to sleep. When we reached the station 
near Mr. Martin's, a team was in waiting and we soon 
reached his home and a home in truth it was to me. I 
found myself in a large Quaker settlement all alike so 
kind and good that sometimes I could hardly speak. 
They assured me that I was safe, but detectives 
had been for some two weeks in the neighborhood offer- 
ing a big reward for a runaway from Bowling Green, 
who had been kept secreted. They expected to send her 
forward that night, or the next, on the underground 
railroad and I might take my choice, go or stay. 

"I would rather go if safe," I said. "Is there dan- 
ger of capture, Mr. Martin?" 



244 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

He smiled and said: "Very little danger, Florence, 
we are so thoroughly organized now, that we have lost 
none for many years. We had a little trouble once along 
in fifty-four or five. It was a young man from Mobile, 
a machinist and engineer, they chased us for four miles 
and in that time he shot every horse and wounded three 
of them and the fourth got away. He was certainly 
the best and bravest man I ever saw." 

"You say from Mobile, a machinist and engineer and 
was he pure white?" 

"Yes, was as white as I am and much handsomer. 
So Rebecca thought." 

"Now, Michael, I did not say that of him. I said 
he was the finest looking man I ever saw, except thee," 
and Michael laughed heartily- 

I could hardly control my voice, but asked, "did 
they capture him?" 

"No, no, he carried three revolvers and could use 
both hands as well as one. They concluded ihey could 
net take him alive and none of them cared to die just 
to capture his body." 

"Do you remember his name?" I managed to ask, 
though my voice trembled some. 

"Was thee connected in any way with the Under- 
ground railroad at that time, Florence? ' and he laughed 
till his face became rosy. 

"Not then, Mr. Martin, but you know I have made 
a large investment in stock now." 

"Well, since thee is a stockholder now, I will tell 
thee. His name was Elmer C. Bassett and he got through 
to Canada all right, for I got a letter from him dated 
from Windsor." 

"From your description I think I saw him at your 
sister's, as my brother and I were boarding with her 
at that time," I said, turning my face partially around. 

"Wife, won't thee get that letter of Bassett's and 
we'll give it to Florence." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 245 

"Here, Florence, put this in thy pocket- Sometime 
he may be able to help thee to a situation, and maybe 
very soon after thee gets through." Then he gave an- 
other hearty laugh and his humor was so contagious 
that I, too, laughed for the first time since our arrest. 

"I will not be giddy with thee any more, I see thy 
heart is very sad and sore, but thee must cheer up or 
thee will get sick from so much sorrow and trouble. 
God will take care of thee, my dear child, never fear. 
Every hair of thy head is numbered and none shall fall 
to the ground unnoticed. He will care for thee, only 
ask Him every day and He will answer thee. 

"Now, Florence, our society will have some sport 
tonight. Brother Mansfield, and three Friends, well 
armed, will start from his house with a covered car- 
riage at seven-thirty. You and Rebecca watch the road 
running north, one will be disguised as the runaway 
from Bowling Green and we expect they will soon be 
followed by three or four cowardly sneaks on horses." 

"Then at nine-thirty I will take thee and Miss 
Quincy, the colored lady, and two good men with me 
in my covered carriage. We shall be well armed also 
so thee need have no fear. My dark bays can outrun 
them. I know them all and do not fear them. We will 
start south and drive three miles and turn to the right 
and drive west eight miles and then turn north, if not 
interrupted, and drive 'til daylight. 

Thee must eat a good supper, Florence, and don't 
be disturbed, it will be only just a little sensation to at- 
tract thy mind from a great sorrow, and when thee gets 
■ through and writes me, Florence, I promise that I will 
give thee a full history of Brother Mansfield's adven- 
ture." 

As the evening approached, we noticed some little 
stir on the street and at seven-thirty a close covered 
carriage came quite lesiurely from Mr. Mansfield's sta- 
bles, driven up to the house, and it was quite noticeable 



246 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

that one was dressed like a woman. They all climbed 
in and started down the gravel pike- 

V/e waited at the window for nearly an hour, when 
four horsemen rode by on the run. We could not fol- 
low them far on the account of the darkness. Now, 
says Mr. Martin, get ready and we'll try the dark bays. 
So in thirty minutes I climbed in the carriage and took 
a seat by the side of Miss Quincy with Mr. Martin and 
his two friends in front. 

I found my companion very kind and intelligent. 
She had seen much of slavery and knew its horrors. She 
herself had had a kind master, but on his death she, 
with his estate, was advertised for sale. 

About five a. m. we stopped at our first station and 
after a warm breakfast, bid Mr. Martin and his two 
Friends farewell. 

I cannot now take time to describe our journey 
irorr. here on, only to say that we traveled nights and 
were secreted through the day. Much of the way the 
reads were bad and the rides tiresome, but the people 
were all so very kind that my heart was full of gratitude 
to Gcd for His goodness to me in my great sorrow. We 
reached Marion's home in the northeast corner of In- 
r isna, early in October, at three a. m., after a long hard 
nig' t's drive of some thirty mJles, over a very rough 
rca '• 

We were chilled through and I was so nearly ex- 
hausted that I could hardly stand en my feet. The 
mother and her boys, Prentiss and Marion, were soon 
ur, t'^e team provided for, a warm fire blazing in the 
stove and in an hour we sat down to a hot breakfast. 
Then it was nearly daylight, and the mother took us 
to her own room and snugly tucked us up in a good 
warm bed, oh, so very tired, that we slept all day long 
^nd did not wake up till the mother brought us in some 
toast and egg, crackers, cheese and tea. 

I sDoke then of going on. and the mother said: 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 2\j 

"The boys say you must not go. How can you, you are 
new both exhausted and sick. You must rest and sleep. 
We will keep the house still and no one shall disturb 
you, till you are able to travel." Oh, like my own moth- 
er she seemed to me. 

We hardly left our room and bed till the third day 
and then we dressed, ate some dinner and felt much bet- 
ter. That afternoon Marion showed me his memoran- 
dum, which he had very carefully kept of all the runa- 
ways passing through on that line. It was all indexed. 
I ran my eyes down through the letter "B" and my eye 
caught the name "Bassett, machinist and engineer. Mo- 
bile, Ala." I turned to page forty-seven and there I 
read his history. Much of it was familiar and much 
new to me. I was afraid I could not explain my agita- 
tion to Marion, so after I read this one memorandum, I 
laid the book down, bathed my face and felt able to con- 
trol my voice when he came in. 

After being seated he said so kindly, "Now, Miss 
Florence, do you feel that you can add to my volume, 
or will it be too painful for you? It will be very inter- 
esting to us and may be at some time of great use and 
interest to others." I glanced at his face just a moment 
and then I knew his heart was full of sympathy for me. 
I did not know how to commence my sad story, how 
could I tell it, and still to refuse this family so small a 
favor would, I felt, be very ungrateful- I had hardly 
shed a tear since our arrest and sometimes, I thought, 
when I looked back over the past few months, that my 
heart would surely break. 

But with an effort I began and passed on through 
our early history quite readily, till I reached the day of 
burial and then I glanced at him ,the tears were raining 
down his face, I could go no further. My heart. I thought 
was breaking then. I dropped on my knees and prayed, 
but do not know now the words I used. 



248 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Very soon I felt that my prayer was answered for 
my eyes became like two fountains, as the tears fell, 
almost in streams to the floor and then my heart found 
instant relief. 

Marion was alarmed and tried to stop me, but as 
socn as I could speak I said: "Please leave me here a 
half hour alone, then I can talk, I feel so much better 
now. The pain is all gone." When he returned I re- 
peated our full history as rapidly as he could write it 
down. 

You say in your letter and I had almost forgotten 
it, that when you made your escape, you started north 
towards the Ohio, but hearing the firing at Mumfords- 
ville, you turned back and reached the rear of the Un- 
ion arm.y and the first man you spoke to, at any length, 
was Marion, and he knew you almost from the first. 
Oh, how thankful I am that I furnished him that history 
and how grateful I feel to him and his family. Remem- 
ber me to him, I am corresponding with Prentiss and 
■vvrcte him the letter you mention. 

And, too, do not fail to write Ruth at once, if you 
have not. She is accomplished, beautiful, good and no- 
ble. I have received msny letters from her and have 
her last photograph, I love her as a sister and I know 
you have not changed and will not. But to go on and 
finish this long letter, I will only say further that we 
remained with this kind family till the evening of the 
fourth day and parted with them in tears. 

Marion and his cousin, Stephens, the only person 
outside of the family admitted to our room, took us to 
Coldwater, Michigan, on as dark a night as I ever saw, 
reaching there at four a. m- Here we remained through 
the day and on the third morning from that arrived in 
Canada where there is no traffic in immortal souls. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 249 
Tonight, my dear brother, I shall remember you 
en my knees and ask God to lead and guide you that 
ycu may find our dear mother. With much love from 
husband and little Florence and Lawrence, I am., ever 
your sister. FLORENCE BASSETT. 



THE CLOSE OF THE BUELL CAMPAIGN. 



Chapter XXXIV. 

"Well, well, Jack, what a letter and what an experi- 
ence for a girl of eighteen. Had she been a Polander, 
fleeing from Russian oppression, the whole country 
would have received her with open arms and extended 
sympathy without stint. But what was she, nothing but 
an American slave, that was all — a 'nigger.' What an 
hour of torture she must have passed, on the block. I 
don't wonder that the dealer in immortal souls thought 
^at she looked with scorn and contempt on that gang 
of speculators in Mesh and blood. This letter it; a much 
more complete description than she gave me. She talked 
as fast as I could write and frequently she would get 
very pale and her voice tremble and almost break. 

"And now, John, since you have gained your free- 
dom, you have not forgotten little Ruth en her knees, 
when she said she'd bide her time till death." 

"No, no, Marion, not as long as I can remember my 
mother and sister. I wrote her a short letter from Mum- 
fordsville and told her I was alive and free and that in 
a few^ days I would write in full and I did so at Louis- 
ville. Both letters were long in getting through and I 
just received her answer a few days since. And now 
she's happy, poor girl. I can never forget Ruth, who 
was so faithful to me through my years of degradation, 
poverty and shame. 

"And now my mother next, Marion. As soon as the 
rebel army can be driven from Murfreesboro, I shall be- 
gin my search and if I find her alive" — and Jack turned 
around to hide his tears and walked away. 

We left the "Wild Cat Hills" at ten a. m. on the 
23rd of October and marched eight miles to Mount Ver- 
non. On Saturday, ihe next day but one, we reached 
and passed through Summerset and camped one mile 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 251 

south in a thick wood. It had rained ail day till five p. 
m., when it commenced to snow and continued all night. 
The timber was mostly basswood, highland elm, yellow 
poplar and walnut. The leaves were yet as green as in 
August and soon loaded down with snow. 

About eleven p. m. the limbs began to break and fall 
and our boys lying on the ground, covered with snow, 
were all routed up and from that time till morning were 
compelled to watch and run from place to place to save 
themselves from being crushed with heavy limbs. Jake 
Dctts was overlooked and while sound asleep, a yellow 
poplar limb, full eight inches through, fell across him. 
The limb was very crooked and a large bend fell over 
him, the ends going down into the soft ground, held him 
snugly to the earth. The boys got an axe and cut off 
the limb on either side of him, before he could be re- 
leased. We had no sleep or rest from eleven till morn- 
ing and all wet through to the skin. This was on the 
night of the 25th of October, pretty good for the "Sunny 
South." 

We lay in camp all day the 26th and made but a 
short march on the 27th as the roads were terrible. On 
the 28th we marched twelve miles over very rocky, 
rough and muddy roads, crossing Fishing Creek and 
along the edge of Zollicoffer's battle ground at Mill 
Springs, where he was killed by Colonel Fry and, his 
army defeated January igth last. 

After Zollicoffer's defeat at Wild Cat Camp, Gen. 
A. S. Johnston ordered him to Mill Springs on the Cum- 
berland. Zollicoffer took position on the north bank of 
the river with the enemy in front and the river behind. 

When Gen. Geo. H. Thomas, commanding a con- 
siderable force, learned this, he began his march on Zol- 
licoffer and thereupon Gen. George B. Crittenden (Con- 
federate) ordered the latter to build pontoons and re- 
cross the river, but before this could be done Thomas' 
advance was upon him. In the night of January 18th- 



252 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

20th the entire confederate force was put in motion and 
just as the early dawn of the winter morning broke they 
came on our cavalry pickets, two miles in front of the 
Union camp. The cavalry fell slowly back and the loth 
Indiana Infantry, Colonel Manson, formed to receive 
the attack. The 40th Kentucky (Union) soon came to 
his support and these two regiments held the enemy at 
bay till out of ammunition, when the gth Ohio and 2nd 
Minnesota took their places. 

Zollicoffer, mistaking the 4th Kentucky for a con- 
federate regiment, rode up to Col. Fry and ordered him 
to stop firing on his own troops. 

An aide to Zollicoffer came up and noticing Fry's 
federal uniform, began firing on him. Col. Fry returned 
fire and shot Zollicoffer through the heart. Manson or- 
dered the ist and 2nd East Tennessee Infantry to take 
position to the left of the 2nd Minnesota and then a 
heavy fire caused the right flank of the rebel line to give 
way. The gth Ohio charged with bayonets on the rebel 
left, the Minnesota regiment continuing to pour a hot fire 
into the center, and the whole rebel line gave way, re- 
treating to Beach Grove, where Critten (Rebel) was en- 
trenched. Thomas followed up and secured a brilliant 
victory, our first complete success in the war. General 
Zollicoffer's loss was deeply felt in Tennessee, more es- 
pecially in Nashville. He had held important offices in 
the state and served two years in congress. He was 
very highly respected as a citizen but not an efficient 
general. 

On the 31st of October we reached Columbia and 
here we met our company wagon, with our knapsacks 
containing our extra clothing left at Battle Creek. In 
all our marching through dust and heat we had no 
change of underwear, since August 20th. All our un- 
derwear was so stiff with dirt from perspiration that 
they would almost stand alone and as we threw them in 
a pile, they were so full of life, no doubt, they soon ran 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 253 

away. We had no chance to bathe and no kettles in 
which to heat water to kill vermin (graybacks). 

Clink and two others of our boys, who had been 
sick, came with the wagon train. 

We moved through Glasgow and Scottville and 
crossed the Tennessee line November 7th, through Gal- 
latin on the 8th, and lay in camp near the town over the 
gth. A town that we found to be thoroughly rebel. 

On the loth we crosed the Cumberland and reached 
the Nashville and Lebanon Pike and learned for the first, 
that Buell had been superceded by General Rosecrans, 
w^hich caused great rejoicing from the men that carried 
the gun. 

The name of the army had also been changed from 
the "Army of the Ohio" to "Army of the Cumberland." 

And right here the grand foot race under Buell real- 
ly ended. Since leaving Louisville, our regiment had 
marched three hundred and sixty miles on straight lines, 
besides, the crooks and turns, skirmishing and forming 
lines of battle, in forty days and with only six days rest 
by the way, much of the time skirmishing. 

Since leaving Battle Creek on August 20th seven 
hundred miles, and it's estimated that the total distance, 
if all were included, would even reach nine hundred 
miles, and all this time the boys had been without shelt- 
er of any kind, with only one blanket apiece, no change 
of underwear and on one-quarter rations. 

The boys had not only marched through dust and 
heat, rain and mud, done picket duty skirmishing, con- 
stantly since leaving Bell's Tavern, but no matter how 
tired, hungry and exhausted, had been compelled by 
Buell's orders to guard property of rebels in the rebel 
army. 

We rested here near the pike till the 15th, when 
Gen. Hawkins was ordered to move our brigade south 
about eight miles to Rural Hill, which we reached at 
dusk in face of the enemy and as we halted, formed in 



254 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

hollow square, stacked arms and lay down by our guns. 
On the 17th about three p. m. it began to rain and poured 
down till midnight. During this heavy shower, one reg- 
iment that had remained behing joined us, long after 
dark and quartered in a log barn to the front and left, 
thoroughly soaked and their guns wet. 

About four a. m. on the morning of the i8th a body 
of rebel cavalry made a charge on the south side of our 
square where we had one small piece of artillery. Most 
of our men were sound asleep and the first thing that 
awakened them was the crash of rebel guns and for a 
short time it was lively work snatching guns out of the 
stack in the darkness and tumbling into line. But the 
line charged upon soon gave them a volley or two that 
made them whirl and go behind the big log barn for 
shelter, and here they met a volley they had not reckoned 
on and soon fled across an open field. Eight or ten went 
out of their saddles and several horses were killed. They 
fell back a half mile or so. Soon our whole brigade was 
formed in line of battle and moved forward by the front 
toward the enemy and remained in that position till three 
p. m,, when we went back to the hill, formed our hollow 
square and this time each man had his gun by his side. 
At four a. m. of the 19th we repeated the movem.ents of 
the 1 8th. About the middle of the day we could hear 
plainly the enemy in the wood forming their line and giv- 
ing the command forward and by the front; heavy firing 
began in the rear, (at Lavergn, no doubt, only a short 
distance), and they soon left us in a hurry to protect 
their rear. 

We remained in line of battle till three p. m. and at 
four started back toward the Lebanon Pike. 

Heavy black clouds began to roll up from the west 
and soon the rain began to pour down. The mud was 
half knee deep and as we soon reached a dense forest it 
added to the midnight darkness. O, what a march that 
was. The boys will not soon forget it, and still they got 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 255 

some fun out of it. It was imposible to keep step and 
keep a company in marching order. The darkness was 
so dense, the mud so deep and sticky, they would run 
against each other and frequently one fellow would get 
a foot fast in the mud and fall and then, perhaps, one or 
two more fall over him and go headlong splashing into 
the soft sticky mud. 

Company "A" was at the front of the brigade and I 
think we had probably struck the very worst section of 
road, along a creek bottom, when without warning a 
heavy volley of musketry was fired into the rear regi- 
ment, which was immediately responded to and then an- 
other from the guerrillas. The column came to a halt, 
an orderly came from the rear to the front with an order 
to counter-march on double quick. Nelson was in com- 
mand of the company and I was near the rear, perhaps 
four paces to the left, in the mud half knee deep. The 
company turned abruptly to the left and started back 
on the double quick, ran against and knocked me down 
in the thin mud and some ran over and two more fell 
on me, and for a few minutes I thought I would surely 
drown in the mud, for my head and face was covered, 
in fact I was all under mud and water. I pulled myself 
out as soon as possible and felt much as though I had 
been pulled through a barrel of soft soap. We,— they, I 
mean — succeeded in reaching the rear of the column 
just as the enemy ceased firing. I think I was the only 
one dangerously wounded. 

We reached the Lebanon Pike on Mill Creek near 
the Hermitage at two a. m. on the 20th. 

When it became light and the boys caught sight of 
me they hooted and laughed. They said I looked as if 
I had been dipped in a barrel of tar. I was completely 
covered from head to foot, they to their hips with black 
muck, I stood in the sun till thoroughly dry and got 
the most of it off. 

Here we lay in camp till the 26th when we marched 



256 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

about six miles and went in camp about three miles east 
of Nashville on the Murfreesboro Pike, While here I 
went to Nashville, visited the State House, looked over 
the fortifications surrounding it and then went to hos- 
pital No. 13 where I found two of our boys that were 
sent here from Battle Creek, one had been very sick but 
now was able to walk around the room; the other (Sco- 
ville), was shot through the hip at Shiloah and will al- 
ways be a sufferer from the wound. I then went to hos- 
pital No. 12 to see Lords but I was too late, he died the 
22nd of the month before. He was a fine, noble fellow, 
a good, conscientious man and good soldier. How sad 
that he should have died heire away from home and 
friends ! 

When I got back to the camp ground I left, I found 
that our regiment had moved four miles further down 
the pike towards the front, just beyond the insane asy- 
lum grounds. We spent the next day in policing our 
camp. 

There seemed, now, to be more life, interest, energy 
and discipline in the army which could be felt as well 
as seen. While duties were increased there seemed to be 
motive, system and purpose and there was no more 
guarding rebel property. 

As the enemy was close in front, large picket guards 
were sent out and foraging parties, consisting of several 
regiments with artillery and a long train of wagons for 
forage. The enemy protested against our taking their 
property and frequently sharp skirmishing ensued which 
was liable, at any time, to bring on a general engage- 
ment. 

On the second of December, 1862, Gen. Rosecrans 
held a grand review of his whole army on the asylum 
grounds. His appearance and affable manner pleased 
the boys and inspired them with confidence. 



THE STONE RIVER CAMPAIGN. 

Chapter XXXV. 

On the third day of December, I v/as taken with 
what the doctor called pleurisy and the next day taken 
to the big regimental hospital tent. I shall always re- 
member Dr. Rerick, our surgeon, for his kindness to me, 
in doing everything possible to alleviate my suffering. 
He insited that I could not recover in a tent where ev- 
erything was so damp and no fire — bundled me up, or- 
dered an ambulance and sent me back to Nashville in 
company with our captain, (Ac't. Lt. Col.) who was 
starting for home on a detail to arrest deserters, but 
more especially to make his position secure. 

I was taken to hospital No. 2 on College Hill. Here 
I had a good bunk and warm room and in a few day-r, 
began to move around. But O how hungry. While suf- 
fering so much pain, I had no desire for food, but now 
I felt as though I could eat a whole ox. 

The dining hall was some eighty feet in length in 
the second story of a large building close by, reached 
by a long, broad stairway, and as soon as able I went 
there for my meals with all the convalescents, all as 
hungry as a pack of Russian wolves, survivors of a long 
famine. 

To get to the first table, it was necessary to secure 
a place on the stairs a full half hour before meal time 
and wait. At first I did not feel able to do that and took 
my chance with the second table. 

Our diet was mostly light bread, New Orleans mo- 
lasses and cofTee. Ocasionally it was beef soup, bread 
and coffee. None of us complained of the quality, but 
the quantity was vitally short. We all left the table hun- 
gry with never a morsel left. Perhaps it was better, for 
we certainly did not overeat and appreciated our meals. 

One day I was walking around the yard just after 



258 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

eating my dinner and on the east side of the dining hall 
three or four colored laborers were getting theirs. They 
had boiled fresh pork, rice, light bread and beans. I 
stood and looked at their dinner and it was not race prej- 
udice but pride that kept me from asking them for some 
of it — their dinner. I had no money to buy with and was 
too proud to beg. 

On the afternoon of the 24th I saw our regimental 
teams go by the hospital toward the city and feeling 
that I must go back to the company, I went to the sur- 
geon in charge and asked for my discharge, on the 
grounds that I wished to return to the regiment with 
our teams now in the city. 

He refused very abruptly. "Can't do it.' 

"Will you please tell me why, surgeon?" 

"I must follow instructions. You are not able for 
duty yet. The army will begin to move on Murfrees- 
boro tomorrow or next day and you are in no condition 
yet. No place for invalids." 

"I know, surgeon, that what you say is true in most 
cases, but my case is an exceptional one; I feel that I 
am needed and I must go back to the company. If you 
cant' give me a discharge I must go without." 

"You make a plain case," said the surgeon, "and I'll 
give you a discharge, but, my boy, I am afraid you'll 
give out." 

With my discharge I was at the pike in time for the 
wagon. I felt well but was weak. In fact I had hard 
work to climb into the wagon. 

We reached the camp, which had been moved back 
two miles, at four o'clock p. m. 

As per orders we spent Thursday the 25th in getting 
ready, and while busy around camp, Jack made me a 
short call. 

"Well, Jack," I said, "if we are successful in driving 
the rebel army out of Murfreesboro, you may find your 
mother." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 259 

"Yes, it's possible, but I conceive it's no small un- 
dertaking. In all probability she goes by her present 
master's name and I shall have to depend more on the 
colored people than the white. If she is alive, no doubt, 
some few colored people will know her, but if the army 
is driven out, the man who claims her, may also leave, 
too, so I am not very sanguine. The general says if we 
are susccessful and he survives, he'll render m.e all the 
aid he can, and one in his position will have more influ- 
ence than I can possibly have." 

"If I survive the battle, John, I will help you all I 
can. 

"Don't say if you survive, Mraion. I cannot part 
with you. I shall feel that I am all alone in the world." 

"I am more afraid of breaking down and of disease 
than I am of bullets. I feel now that this campaign, with 
the excitement, fatigue and nervous tension during a 
long hard battle will be more than I can endure, but, 
John, I shall try to do my whole duty." 

"Well, Marion, if you should be wounded or get 
sick, send me word, if possible, and I will get to you, if I 
can." 

"I will, John, thank you. I know you would help 
me if in your power." 

On Friday morning the 26th of December, we were 
in line early. And just here let me remark that it's not 
my intention to give the movements of the whole army; 
I have neither time oor room to record anything except 
what came under my personal observation; all the rest 
w^ill be left to the war correspondents, several of whom 
were with us. 

Gen. Crittenden moved his corps consiting of 
Woods, Palmer and Van Cleve's divisions, forward on 
the Murfreesboro pike. Palmer's in advance. 

We had marched but a short distance till we were 
confronted by the enemy who seemed to be in consid- 
erable force and resisted every forward step and by night 



26o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

we had the enemy back to Lavergne. Our brigade bi- 
vouacked not far from the village and company "A" 
went on picket out about a half mile from the camp. 

On Saturday morning the 27th as we got up within 
some eighty rods of the village a heavy skirmish fire was 
opened on our column with musketry and one piece of 
artillery. We pressed forward slowly, but the skirmish- 
ing was kept up till two p. m. before they fell back. 
When we reached the village we found that it was nearly 
all consumed by fire, during our engagement. 

Our division, Van Cleave's, moved on through the 
place, filed to the left and marched about three miles 
and camped on Stewart's Creek, over the Sabbath, as 
Rosecrans would not violate the Sabbath day. 

On Sunday morning our company was ordered out 
on picket. The boys had put over a kettle of beans, 
which were not done. I asked if I might stay and finish 
cooking them and when done take them out to the boys. 
I told them I knew just how to cook beans ; that in that 
branch I was an expert. "All right," the boys said, 
"we'll put you on trial once." So I went at the fire and 
in due time they began to crumble and mush up and that 
was the way mother cooked beans. She cooked them 
till done; I never liked raw beans. 

When I reached the reserve, I sat the kettle down 
and said, "Now, boys, here are some beans cooked right, 
they'll melt in your mouths. They are thoroughly done." 

Before I reached the, post, ten or twelve of the boys 
had slipped out and struck a rich lot of poultry on a 
nearby plantation, bringing with them a five-pail kettle. 
There were forty, all nice, large and very fat. When I 
got there, they were all in the kettle, over a hot fire. 

Later, as the reliefs came in they helped themselves 
to chicken and as they would dip in their cups for broth 
and tasted of it, they all declared it to be the best and 
richest broth they ever drank. "Boys, be a little care- 
ful," I said, "don't be too fresh, it's as rich as castor oil. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 261 

and now here's the beans and you needn't be afraid of 
them, they're cooked done," Big John stuck his spoon 
down about three inches and struck hard pan. 

"Yes, they're done, Marion, solid as a brick to with- 
in two inches of the top. All burned to a coal." 

"Did you stir them while they were cooking?" some 
of them asked, and they all laughed. So then and there 
I lost my reputation as a cook and all of my conceit. The 
boys that drank most freely of the broth were excused 
most frequently from the ranks. 

On Monday morning the 29th we were in line early 
and the enemy was waiting to receive us and met us with 
a heavy line of skirmishers and it was almost like a bat- 
tle all day long, for there was no time but that some 
portion of our line was hotly engaged. We went in camp 
early and again our company went on picket, but the 
boys excused me from cooking the beans. 

A few minutes after we reached our post a darkey 
came to Lu and told him that his massa wanted four or 
five of the boys to come and take supper with him, as 
they had two roast turkeys. Lu seletced his four and 
followed the colored man nearly a mile. The road was 
very level so that a person could see a long distance. 
But Lu was not to be caught in a trap so he had one of the 
boys stand where he could see down the road and not 
be seen at the house. The master was very gracious, the 
supper was all ready and the boys sat down to a table 
loaded with substantial and luxurious food, and as the 
master began to carve the turkeys, the guard rushed in 
and shouted, "the guerrillas are coming, hurry, boys, 
hurry up.' Lu snatched one stuffed turkey by the legs 
and Gilbert the other, and out they went, leaving their 
hats, and they had no time to waste. They ran along the 
road a short distance, then leaped the fence and cut 
across the woods to our station. The master was 
short his two stuffed turkeys and the boys their hats. 



262 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Tuesday, the 30th, we began to move early to the 
front along the pike. The head of the column threw out 
skirmishers on either flank and kept pushing back the en- 
emy till we reached our positon about sundown on the 
left of the pike not far from Rosecrans' .headquarters, 
which was on the only elevation near, that commanded 
the field. 

We were very tired, had had but little sleep for three 
days and all the time subject to the highest nervous 
strain. Nelson and I cut some hazel bushes and weeds 
and made our bed on the right of the pike, where we 
went to sleep, little dreaming that the ground right there 
would be covered with the wounded and dead of both 
armies before another sunset. 



THE STONE RIVER BATTLE— FIRST DAY. 

Chapter XXXVI. 

Murfreesboro is situated on the Nashville and Chat- 
tanooga railroad and Nashville pike, some thirty miles 
southeast of the capital. 

Stone River, named after an early settler, is formed 
here by the union of two streams a little above. It is 
remarkably crooked, with a rapid current and so far as 
I saw it, the channel was cut through the solid rock with 
precipitous banks from five to fifteen feet. 

On the night of December 30th, 1862, the two armies 
bivouacked within a short distance of each other with 
the river partially between them. The lines were not 
c uite parallel. Their left and our right were much near- 
er together than cur left and their right, but at the cen- 
ter they were perhaps five hundred yards apart. 

Gen. Bragg commanded the confederate force while 
Pclk and Harde were second in command. 

McCraven, Cheatem, Breckenridge, Withers and Pat 
Cleburn commanded divisions and Wheeler, Wharton 
and Pegram commanded the cavalry. 

General Crittenden's corps was formed on the left 
of the Nashville pike, with orders to cross the river early 
on the morning of the 31st. General Van Cleve's divis- 
ion was to cross at the lower ford and advance against 
the rebel general, Breckenridge. General Wood was to 
support Van Cleave on the right, crossing the river at 
the upper ford and Gen. Palmer was to engage the en- 
emy in his front. Next in the center was Thomas' corps 
and on his right McCook's, with his extreme right to- 
wards the enemy. The battle line in all was nearly, if 
not quite, nine miles in length, so that the writer can 
only give a very limited and brief description of that 
portion of the battle which he saw and in which he was 
actively engaged. 



264 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Early on the morning of the 31st General Van Cleve 
initiated the execution of this plan by moving his divis- 
ion towards the left and the 44th regiment being on the 
extreme left, brought us as we came to a halt, immediate- 
ly in front of Rosecrans' headquarters. 

He and his staff were standing in front of the build- 
ing listening to the firing that had just commenced on 
our extreme right. The general turned to us, v/alked 
down our line and back and talked to the boys in a very 
cordial manner. He said the battle now pending would 
be a hard one and hoped that every man would try to do 
his duty. 

"Boys, be careful ," he continued, "and don't get ex- 
cited. Keep cool, keep your guns down and be sure and 
shoot low. Hardly one gun in a hundred is effective." 

The firing increased rapidly on the right and the 
plan of Bragg was understood. He had taken the initi- 
ative and hurled his left on our right in a desperate 
charge, such as the confederates could make. The roar 
of artillery and the rattle and crash of musketry, coming 
nearer and louder was like a raging tornado coming 
through the forest and begat an indescribable dread as 
to the result. 

We stood still as if frozen to the ground and turned 
our eyes in that direction. It was nearly or quite six 
a. m., only sufficiently light, that we could see dimly 
across the large cotton field. As far as the eye could 
reach through the hazy morning light, our struggling line 
was breaking, falling back in squads, companies and 
sometimes whole regiments, to a new line formed under 
a deadly fire. They seemed to check, but could not stop 
the tidal wave. 

An aide dashed in from the right, his horse covered 
with foam. He handed the general a note. It was read 
and handed to Garische; answered and handed to the 
aide. Scarcely had he gone when another aide came 
with another message; the general looked it over 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY '*A." 265 

and gave the order "Mount." Garische took his 
place at the general's side and they went like the wind 
across the cotton field, into the battle smoke, into the 
very jaws of death. 

A desperate effort was being made to check the 
charge. Numerous batteries were being planted on the 
slight elevations along the pike as our column was or- 
dered towards the left. We had moved not more than 
a half mile when heavy firing opened in our rear and we 
came to a sudden halt, and stood till our front, which had 
crossed the ford came countermarching back on the 
double quick and we fell in and followed for nearly a 
mile to where Wheeler's Cavalry had captured our bag- 
gage train. Wen we reached the train, the artillery and 
infantry preceeding us had just opened on the enemy. 
With the reinforcements that had arrived, the contest 
was short and decisive. As the cavalry turned, in re- 
treat, the Parrott guns poured canister through their 
batallion leaving horses and riders scattered over the 
field. 

Perhaps we were engaged and remained here ten min- 
utes, then moved back on the pike, on double quick about 
a half mile ; came to a halt and right front, moved for- 
ward in line of battle ; first through a cedar chopping, 
then into and across an open field perhaps eighty or a 
hundred rods across, going over quite a high ridge, 
which we paralleled with our line, then down a slope to 
a high cedar rail fcuice next a piece of thick young tim- 
ber, clean and clear of undergrowth. This fence was let 
down in gaps every fifteen feet and when ready all 
passed through, formed our line and dropped fiat on the 
ground. 

The enemy was in heavy force, fifteen rods in front, 
behind temporary breastworks, hastily built of old logs 
and the wood on the right was full of rebel infantry with 
a battery of artillery. 

We were already flanked on our right and had hard- 



266 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

ly touched the ground when the rebel yell was respond- 
ed to by a heavy volley of musketry from the front, and 
cannister, grape and musketry from the right. We were 
in a slaughter pen and while our line was steady and 
cool, firing low and as rapidly as possible, it was evident 
that we could not hold the position many minutes. Very 
fortunately for us the enemies' balls flew high, from 
three to ten feet over us, or every man in our line would 
have been killed or wounded. We pressed the ground 
hard and I am quite sure my impression could have 
been seen for some time thereafter. 

Fred Swambaugh lay close on my right and Lu on 
his right. How long it was after the engagement began. 
I'm unable to say, as seconds seemed minutes and min- 
utes hours, when Fred was struck by a ball, in the back. 

Nelson ordered Lu and me to take him back. To 
lie still, we were compartively safe; to get up seemed 
certain death. We obeyed the order, however, raised 
Fred to his feet, for his lower limbs were paralyzed; he 
threw his arms around our necks and we carried him 
back through the gap and up the slope, three abreast; 
a splendid target for every rebel in either line. Their 
balls struck and tore the gravel on either side, whipped 
around our feet, legs and heads and whistled and 
"pinged" close to our ears, harmlessly, while an invisi- 
ble omnipotent hand shielded us as we carried our heavy 
burden up that long hill, to and over the crest out of 
range, where we stopped to get our breath, Fred then 
bore his weight on his feet. The effort exhausted me 
for I had not yet recovered my strength since my last 
sick spell. 

When partially rested, I said to Lu, "You go on 
with him, for I must go back." I passed back over the 
ridge to an exposed point, stopped a few seconds, pulled 
my hat down over my forehead, dropped my head and 
ran down the slope to meet our line just as they were 
rushing through the gaps. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A.' 267 

Our whole line was soon in full retreat up the slope 
and over the hill, with the rebels crowding in on either 
flank. Exhausted as I was, I fell behind and as I gained 
the summit, the regiment had obliqued to the right and 
was way ahead of me. 

I was out of breath and stopped a moment. I could 
run no more. The ridge and slope was covered with 
our retreating troops in disorder and confusion. A panic 
seemed inevitable and Rosecrans rode through from 
left to right, giving the order: "Form behind the turn- 
pike, boys." This gave them all one purpose and they 
seemed to act in concert. 

I saw I could not reach our regiment as the rebels 
would cut me off, so I obliqued to the left and started 
down the slope on a good fast walk and slow run and 
when perhaps half way down a shell came so close to my 
head that the pressure knpcked me over. A little stun- 
ned but still conscious, I did not stop to pick up my 
rubber and blanket but obliqued more to the left till I 
reached a heavy line behind the grade of the pike, anx- 
iously waiting to receive the enemy. 

As we were falling back, the rebel line was 
hastily forming for another grand, and as they 
supposed, final charge, to crowd our right wing 
into the river. In the morning our line stood 
at a right angle with the pike. During the 
day it had been turned back like a gate upon its hinges 
till it stood parallel. Soon the rebel column, symmetri- 
cally formed and compact, was ready. The artillery on 
both sides was wheeled into line and then from a hun- 
dred cannon leaped flames of fire and clouds of smoke 
and volcanic thunderings significant of the last great day. 
The crashing and shrieking of solid shot and bursting 
shell, whir of grape and canister, thick volumes of smoke 
that enveloped both armies, wounded and dying men 
and mangled horses, dismantled cannon and shattered 



268 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

caissons, the frantic career of riderless horses between the 
Hnes, all conspired to create a scene of indescribable and 
horrible sublimity. 

No language could picture it, no genius could paint 
it: No one person could see but a small portion of this 
magnificent panorama of barbaric warfare, none able to 
comprehend a tithe of its volume, power and terrible 
grandeur; but all who did hear it and all who did see it," 
though every nerve of the body was twice dead, could 
not help but feel it. 

In our own line, no voice was heard but that of com- 
mand. Men fell all around us and against and on each 
other, cut and gashed and torn with fearful wounds, but 
we heard no outcry or complaint while wounded horses 
moaned with more than human pathos. 

The enemy's charge, the last desperate one for the 
day, struck an iron wall they did not and could not break 
and, completely exhausted by their numerous frenzied 
efforts, fell back to the woods and gave up the struggle 
for the day. 

Tired, hungry and completely worn out with the last 
four days of exhausting excitement and loss of sleep, I 
began to look for a place to spend the night. My blanket 
and rubber were gone and the ground was freezing hard. 
After a long search, I found a large rock, some ten feet 
long, rent through the center and the opening filled with 
leaves and cedar boughs. It stood at the southwest side 
of a cedar thicket, exposed to the sun all day and felt 
warm. Shivering and cold, I crawled in and in a short 
time became warm and slept for a few hours. 

NOTE : — And right here I must mention as an act 
of simple justice, that early in the morning I found three 
of our boys sick, Simon M. Sines, Jacob Dotts and Wil- 
liam Rosser. I took them to the surgeon, who examined 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 269 

and excused them, when I ordered them to the company- 
wagon. As we reached the ridge the boys, each with his 
gun, caught up with company "A" and took his respect- 
ive place in the ranks and remained in line, under fire 
during the three days' battle. 



THE BATTLEh-SECOND DAY. 

Chapter XXXVII. 

I must have rested some and slept soundly the fore 
part of the night, but the latter part was broken and dis- 
turbed, for the night was very cold. The rock where I 
lay was just on the edge of the field, covered with 
wounded and dead and only a short distance from a log 
building used for a field hospital. 

I either dreamed or imagined that I could hear the 
wounded shouting, screaming and calling for help. It 
was sufficiently real, however, so that at four a. m. I 
roused up and was chilled through and shaking with the 
cold. 

I started and ran thirty or forty rods as well as I 
could over the frozen ground and then walked till I got 
comfortably warm. I found some of our boys packed to- 
gether like sardines, sound asleep and did not disturb 
them, but going back to the log building, looked through 
the window and saw the surgeons, still at w^ork ampu- 
tating limbs and dressing wounds. There was no rest 
for them since the battle commenced. The floor was 
covered with wounded, and the suffering no tongue or 
pen can tell. Almost faint from what I saw I passed 
around and on the back side were scores of arms and 
legs corded up along the side of the building. I had pa- 
per and envelopes in my pocket and wrote two letters 
by the light of the window, and directed them. Dated 
January ist, 1863, four-thirty a. m.. Battlefield Stone 
River ; simply, "Alive and well, prospects of final victory 
good." These I took to the regimental postmaster and 
placed them in his basket. 

This was New Year's Day, I said to mjself, with 
the "happy" left off. To call it a happy New Year would 
be a mockery to the hundred thousand men of both ar- 
mies lying on the frozen ground, ten thousand of whom, 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 271 

were probably dead and many times that number wound- 
ed, mangled and torn, in the various hospitals. 

Our right wing reached out from the pike five miles 
or more the morning before and as it was pushed back 
one quarter of a circle, how many fell wounded in the 
fields, and woods and ravines and cedar swamps, to suf- 
fer alone, freeze and perish for want of warmth and care, 
ALL ALONE. 

And what of the homes made desolate, the v/ives 
made widows, children orphaned and the fathers and 
mothers whose hearts will bleed for those slain here yes- 
terday. 

How many of those now unharmed of both armies 
will see another New Years Day? How many will see 
another sunset? Who shall atone for this sacrifice, for 
all this suffering? Can those who urged and advocated 
state's rights and secession, stand before God and justify 
their action, can they plead their innocence when moth- 
ers, widows, fathers and orphans cry to heaven for help 
in their sorrow? 

During the night General Rosecrans reorganized 
his army and at six a. m. Van Cleave moved his division 
across the river to the point started for on the morning 
of the 31st with our brigade commanded by General Fife 
on the extreme left and our regiment on the left of the 
brigade. 

Our position was about sixty or seventy rods in 
front of the lower ford, on the enemy's side, and directly 
fronting his extreme right. Between us and the enemy 
was an open level field nearly eighty rods across termi- 
nating at the base of a long ridge partially broken into 
small hills, covered quite thickly with white oak timber 
and quite clean and clear of undergrowth. 

Immediately in front of our line and as far to the 
right as I could see, was a narrow uncultivated strip of 
ground some two rods wide with last year's opening 



272 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

grass and weeds, a few low bushes eind a few large white 
oak trees. 

In the rear was the river cut down through the rock 
with perpendicular banks from three to twelve feet, ex- 
cept at the ford where the bank gives away on the ene- 
my's side permitting the stream to widen nearly two 
hundred feet, reducing the depth of water to from one 
to two feet. But where the banks were full the channel 
was narrow, the current swift and the water at this time 
from four to five feet deep. 

There were numerous small elevations that crowned 
the river on our side, all around the bend and from this 
position then held on the enemy's side there was a grad- 
ual descent, back across the open field to the ford. 

We reached our position a little before sunrise, 
formed our line and lay down, sheltered from the obser- 
vation of the enemy by a narrow strip of low bushes, 
weeds and grass. 

Four men were detailed from each company as skir- 
mishers, being deployed out some six rods in front along 
an old fence. We could have no fire and hence were 
compelled to eat hard tack and raw bacon. The enemy 
in heavy force across the plain on the hills could be 
plainly seen passing back and forth among the trees, as 
soon as sufficiently light. 

Soon after sunrise the firing between our skirmish- 
ers and the enemy's opened and became quite brisk and 
quite often balls from their best muskets whistled close 
over our heads. 

At ten a. m. a battery opened on our line from the 
enemy; one gun directly in front sending their shell 
screaming through the air close over our heads, explod- 
ing twenty rods in our rear. We watched them with a 
good deal of interest and concern. We could see a puff 
of smoke across the plain, hear plainly the shell pass 
over us, an explosion in the rear and another puff of 
sm.oke and a heavy crash and roar in front. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 273 

If the enemy had learned our exact position and 
shortened the fuse it would have robbed us of our en- 
joyment. 

Occasionally a heavy artillery duel would break out 
from a half mile to two, three or four miles to the right, 
lasting a half hour or so and then quiet down at that 
point and soon commence again near by or further off, 
with the same threatening indications, and thus the long 
anxious hours, that seemed like days and weeks, dragged 
along as we watched the shell and the sun, that seemed 
not to move. Can any one enjoy lying on the cold frozen 
ground from early morning, through an almost endless 
day, watching screaming fiends Hy close over their heads 
and not wish the sun to hasten down and hide his face 
in darkness? 

Darkness came at last and the firing ceased. Many 
of our supply wagons had been captured and our rations 
were short. No fires, no coffee. Raw bacon and hard 
tack and a bed for the night on the frozen ground. But 
what of the morrow, who can tell? 



STONE RIVER— THIRD AND LAST DAY. 



Chapter XXXVIII. 

The third day, Friday, was opened about sunrise, 
with a heavy artillery duel along our line, each army 
trying to find the other's weakest point where they 
could strike the hardest and most effective blow. 

When this subsided, a heavy skirmish fire began, 
extending from one extreme to the other of both armies, 
which continued without abatement till two p. m, when 
all became still; a calm that always begets dread during 
a battle, as some threatening catastrophe in nature, a 
cyclone, tornado or earthquake, etc. 

We watched with eager expectation for some move- 
ment or sign. Nothing was heard by us from either 
side except the occasional tooting of an engine at Mur- 
freesboro. 

Ours was but a single brigade line, no support visi- 
ble to us. A river that we could neither jump nor climb 
its precipitous banks, running around us on the right 
and rear, with only a narrow ford, a heavy body of the 
enemy's cavalry on our left, in an open field in plain 
sight and Breckenridge with his rebel hosts in front. 
From all indications the final struggle, the last act 
in this great drama was to be played right here in the 
bend. 

Just at three-thirty p. m. a single gun was fired at 
Murfreesboro. We looked across the open plain to the 
ridge beyond. There was a sudden movement among 
the trees, the enemy was hurrying to and fro; they were 
all alive; the hill was covered; the wood was full. Le- 
gions of rebels were forming in squads, companies and 
regiments, and soon came pouring down from the hill, 
in countless numbers upon the plain, formed in column 
of division, compact and powerful, a heavy line parallel 
with ours. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 275 

Their batteries were wheeled in line and concurrent- 
ly with their heavy column began the movemerft How 
symmetrically they moved, as if inspired by one motive 
and one mind! Their muskets gleamed and shone in 
the clear evening sunlight, like burnished brass and pol- 
ished silver. Their regimental flags exulted over our 
first day's disaster as they fluttered haughtily in the 
breeze. They moved forward like an irresistable tidal 
wave, with magnificent daring as if to victory rather 
than slaughter and defeat. 

Pale and resolute were the faces that watched this 
threatening charge and as it came nearer and still near- 
er, the lips turned white and bloodless and, whether ac- 
knowledged or not, there were anxious hearts, a sicken- 
ing dread of what might soon come, of what the next 
few minutes might bring forth; only felt but not ex- 
pressed. 

In a second one might exchange worlds, or worse 
perhaps, be severely wounded, torn and mangled; left 
on the field while life in agony would go out, slowly but 
surely, drop by drop, alone on the battle field freezing 
and dying where none could reach to help, none to hear 
a dying message but the pitying "Lamb of God." 

An order was given, "Lie down," and all dropped 
at and hugged the earth. The enemy fired not a single 
gun till they got within ten or twelve rods, when they 
gave the "Rebel Yell," which was folowed by volley 
after volley of musketry and artillery which created a 
scene that cannot be described, can only be comprehend- 
ed by those who have heard and felt the roar and shock 
of battle. 

Their solid line of seething flame. 

Leaped through the clouds of drifting smoke. 

And filled the air with bursting shell 

Canister, grape and murderous hail. 

The regiment to our right jumped to their feet as 
the rebels gave their yell, and I believe that one-half 



276 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

fell to the ground as if cut down by a scythe. Our boys 
kept their places snug to the earth and none were hit 
that I saw, but the storm that passed over us was like 
hail from a heavy black cloud or more like the rushing 
through the air of countless swarms of mad bees. Our 
boys fired only a few volleys and checked this tidal wave 
for a few minutes when an order was given to fall back, 
which Nelson and I did not hear. As we sprang to our 
feet, it seemed to me that I could have caught my hands 
full of balls by holding them over my head in position, 
in a few seconds. The massed rebel column had got 
within fifteen or twenty feet of us when we turned and 
started to run, obliquing to our right. For perhaps 
twenty feet I kept up with Nelson, then requested him 
to go on, as the thick powder smoke filled and hurt my 
lungs; I then walked as fast as I could, still obliquing 
jnore to the right, more out of range. 

Regarding my chances of getting off the field as not 
one in ten thousand, all fear left me and I walked quite 
deliberately, every second expecting to feel a ball strike 
me in the back and wondering why they did not, as they 
were singing around my head and ears. After obliquing 
as much to the right as I could, on account of rebel cav- 
alry I pushed forward on a rapid walk straight to the 
front toward an old log building near the river, and 
turing my eyes to the left gave me a clear view of the 
heavy compact rebel column, moving forward in their 
mad frenzied charge down the slope behind our retreat- 
ing single line, facing the concentrated fire of seventy 
pieces of artillery planted around the bend belching forth 
long red sheets of flame and smoke and shell and grape 
and canister and seventy volumes of artificial thunder 
that shook the earth and made the air tremble with the 
vibrations. 

So short was the line, so concentrated the guns and 
so rapid the firing, that the roar was like the bursting 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 277 

forth of a long pent up volcano or an hundred thunder- 
storms merged into one. The smoke rolled up in great 
clouds and covered the sun. The air was full of invisible 
messengers of death, gravel, stones and sand were fly- 
ing in all directions from the ground as it was being 
plowed with balls, grape, canister and bursting shells, 
and on my left under the smoke I could see scores of 
the enemy falling, dragging a shattered limb, holding a 
tern arm, covering some ghastly wound about the head 
and face, all struggling to escape the deadly peril, 

I succeeded in reaching the log building near the 
river and about thirty rods below the ford, surrounded 
by several large trees. I stood under its shelter for a few 
minutes watching the terrible struggle of the compact 
rebel column pressing forward down to slaughter and 
death. If the Great Judgment Day be more terrible than 
all that, I wonder not that the wicked fear and tremble. 
As a heavy body of cavalry came charging up from my 
right, our own guns planted above the ford, turned their 
muzzles toward the cavalry and the grape and canister 
came pouring through the trees immediately over my 
head, I moved more behind the building and there a 
volley from the rebel cavalry struck like hail, against 
the house and I started for the river, jumped down its 
precipitous bank into the ice cold water, nearly to my 
arms and then forced my way, under the cover of the 
rock, against the rapid current to the ford, then crawled 
on my hands and knees up the steep made slippery with 
blood and water, into our line, which I had just made 
when a heavy line of our infantry, on the double quick 
crossed the ford and deployed down along the river bank 
and opened fire on the rebel line. 

The enemy expected in this grand charge to crush 
our left wing and put our whole army to route. But 
when they entered the bend in massed and compact col- 
umn under a front and enfolding fire on short range with 
canister from seventy pieces of artillery and a large force 



278 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

of infantry, Breckenridge's magnificent army melted 
away and lay dead and dying on the field and the sur- 
vivors fled in panic to Murfreesboro. The victory for the 
day was complete, and I thanked God it was ours. 

The stars and stripes were planted on the enemy's 
works and our army bivouacked, undisturbed on the bat- 
tle field. I remained near the ford till the enemy fled 
and then finding my clothing, that was wet nearly to my 
arms, was freezing stiff, I started to the pike, well to 
the rear, as fast as I could walk, where I found a large 
fire built of cedar rails and stood near and around that, 
till my clothes dried out and I got warm. About ten p. 
m. I went back down the pike near the center and find- 
ing an old cotton house, where some of our boys had a 
good fire, I went in and spent the balance of the night. 



AFTER THE BATTLE. 



Chapter XXXIX. 

Saturday morning the sun rose clear and beautiful 
and kindly lighted up a gory battlefield covered with the 
dead of both armies. Some portions of the field had 
been fought over two or three times and hence the Blue 
and Gray lay side by side for they met the same unkind- 
ly fate. If there was any bitterness and hatred a few 
hours since it did not separate them now, for we could 
see them here lying, frequently one upon another. 

All the confederate dead and wounded were left on 
our hands. The dead to bury and the wounded to care 
for. All the enemy's wounded that were able to be 
moved were taken by them to Murfreesboro during the 
battle and those unable were left in their field hospitals. 
The panic that seized the survivors of Brecken- 
ridge's command on the left last evening became almost 
general, when they reached town. Even the citizens 
were badly frightened and left in great haste, expecting 
the Yanks to pour down and like barbarians or their own 
guerrillas destroy, kill and burn. 

Those that did go having slaves, took them or took 
all they could find. This kind of chattle property was 
not afraid of Lincoln's boys and many hid in barns, 
stables, outbuildings and behind fences till their masters 
were gone, then reported to our army. A great many 
thousand dollars worth of human cattle were lost to 
their masters. Very ungrateful they were, they must 
have known that they were not their own. for their 
masters had invested their money in them. 

The three days battle, especially the first and third, 
was very fatal and destructive to both armies. On the 
left the confederates were so sanguine of success that 
they rushed headlong into a trap that Rosencrans had 
set for them, facing the fire, in massed column, of sev- 



28o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

enty pieces of artillery and a heavy infantry fire and now 
it is estimated that two thousand were killed in less than 
twenty minutes besides many that were wounded. Hun- 
dreds were torn to pieces, heads, legs, arms and portions 
of the body gone. I started to go over the field, but 
turned back, the sight being too awful for m.e. 

I then walked back to the center and went over to 
the right, across a portion of the cotton field where the 
fighting was most desperate on the first day, from day- 
light till four p. m., and here I saw horrors of a battle- 
field, a sight I shall never forget as long as I live. A 
great many of the confederate dead had been brought 
together for burial, laid down in a long column close 
side by side with a deep wide trench, already prepared, 
at their feet. There were men representing all ages, 
from sixteen to sixty. I looked sometime at one boy, 
whose left shoulder and nearly half of his chest was torn 
away, the one next to him^ some older, one-half of his 
head had been carried away as smoothly as though ac- 
complished by a surgeon's saw and knife. The remain- 
ing part of the skull was as white and clean as an ivory 
cup. Another closeby disemboweled and many with one 
or more limbs gone, but the great majority here were 
killed with musket balls, through the head, face, bowels, 
chest and limbs. We could trace the wound by the blood 
that had oozed out through the clothing. Many of these 
poor men, no doubt, might have been saved with imme- 
diate care and probably very few, if any, that we saw 
were in any way responsible for this unholy war. 

If Jefferson Davis and all who led in the advocacy 
of state's rights and southern supremacy, could have 
been put in the ranks and carried a gun with these in- 
nocent men and boys, in one battle like this and in one 
campaign and suffer as they had suffered from heat and 
dust and cold and hunger and exhaustion, one campaign 
and one battle lasting three days would have been suffi- 
cient. The fighting was desperate over this field as one 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A" 281 

could readily see by walking over it. One battery here 
lost eighty horses, which lay scattered over the held. In 
one place were three horses killed by one single shell 
and piled in a pitiable heap. Wagons, horses in harness, 
horses with saddles, cannon and caissons, gun and cart- 
ridge boxes, canteens and haversacks, could be seen in 
every direction. The earth, too, was torn and ploughed 
with shell and grape and canister and some of the trees 
were almost limbless and the trees splintered from top 
to bottom. 

Some little time before dusk Lu and I took another 
walk over a portion of the field on the right. We had 
gone but a short distance when a cavalry officer rode in 
from the left crossing our line and stopping his horse, 
just to the right, not far in front. Lu was on my right 
and hence would pass next and close to the rear of the 
house. The rider leaped off, took off two heavy blankets 
from his saddle, turned quarter way around and laid 
them almost in Lu's hands for they scarcely touched the 
ground till he had them under his coat under his left 
arm. Lu never missed a step and kept right on as 
though it was all arranged for, and no unusual thing. 

As soon as I could safely speak, I said "O Lu, how 
could you do that?" 

"O easy enough. Didn't you see me?" 

"Yes, I saw you but I never should have thought 
of it and couldn't do such a thing." 

"Just simply because you've had no practice." 
"But Lu, you have a good blanket." 

"I had a good blanket but gave it to a sick boy last 
night and nearly froze, besides one of these is for you." 

"But what will that poor fellow do, this cold night, 
just think." 

"O just let him do the thinking. I'm thinking of 
you and me. He must look out for himself just as I 
have." 



282 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"You needn't but any more, take this blanket and 
have one good warm night's rest. Say, Marion, with all 
your common sense, we've got lots of boys that will 
sleep well on a full stomach, while you freeze and starve." 

"Well, Lu, I'll accept the blanket with thanks. 
What you say is quite true, for I should have gone hungry 
and slept cold many a night more than I have, except 
for the kindness of you boys." 

About dusk our company went out a mile or so on 
picket and about ten o'clock a couple of our boys 
brought in a contraband, a nice looking young fellow, 
worth before the war, ten hundred dollars. When I 
asked him his name, he scratched his head and asked, 
"Sah, w^hy you wants to know for?" 

"We will have to take you in and turn you over to 
General Rosencranz or President Lincoln and he'll want 
your name." 

"My name, sah, is Andrew Lee Jackson William 
Thompson," and we all laughed heartily. 

"Now you won't send me back?" 

"No, we'll not send you back, but your name is too 
heavy for one man to carry. I'll just write your name 
Lee Thompson and we'll call you Lee." 

"Now, Lee, tell why you ran away, didn't you have 
a good master?" 

"O mighty good, sa'n. Any you beys want a good 
place?" 

"O no not now, but wasn't he good to you?" 
"Sometimes I's mighty onpoplar, specially when h? 

was intoxicated seven or eight days in a week." 

"Lee, ain't you giving us chaff now? Do you know 

how wicked it is to tell lies?" 

"Wal sah, youuns just look at my back." 

And he pulled off his coat and his shirt over his 

shoulders. We all looked. He had been welted or cut 

with a whip from the top of his shoulders down to his 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 283 

hips. I passed my hand over it and it telt more Uke a 
washboard than a human bemg s back. 

"Well, i-,ee, we'll take your word; you needn't go 
back." 

"Bress de Lord, Massa, I'd rather die right here 
than go back." 

Lee was very congenial company and kept us all 
laughing at his crude descriptions of plantation life. 

Again it was Sunday, all the dead were buried Sat- 
urday. If we were to measure time by events it would 
be a month since last Sunday. Each day of the battle 
seemed equal to an ordinary week. 

We learned very recently that we were to have a 
new chaplain in a few days. Our first chaplain failed 
entirely to gain the respect and confidence of the boys. 
He was no mixer and appeared to them to be more of 
an aristocrat than minister. He preached but few ser- 
mons, and while they were logical and argumentative 
yet they did not seem to touch the heart. In fact, the 
boys never made his acquaintance. I have failed to men- 
tion him because I respected his office too much to men- 
tion his failures. 

At ten a. m. our brigade moved down to Murfrees- 
boro and went in camp on the Lebanon pike, a short dis- 
tance out of town to the north. In the evening our com- 
pany was ordered on picket, a mile or so out in a thick 
wood. The night was very dark and we had some 
trouble getting through the tree tops and brush in form- 
ing our picket line and sometime during the night a su- 
peranuated horse aproached the line so stealthily that 
two of the boys fired. This took Clink and I out of the 
line, over logs and through tree tops till we reached the 
first picket. We knew the boys were some excited and 
approached them carefully. It was only a poor starving 
confederate horse turned out to die or browse. 

All our sick and wounded from the field hospital 
able to be moved were now in town, in school houses, 



284 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

cnurcnes, dwelling houses and court house. All build- 
ings emptied by reason of the panic Friday were full. 

we received a sheet authorized by General Rosen- 
c-anz: 

l\o. 01 men engaged in Union army 48,000 

iSiO. killed, wounded and missing . 12,000 

No. of confederates engaged 56,000 

No. killed and wounded 10,000 

Then came losses by regiments, brigades and divis- 
ions, which I omit here. The enemies killed far exceed- 
ed ours and their wounded much less. 

I met John for the first time since we left Nashville. 
He informed me that he met an old colored man who 
knew his mother quite well, and something of her his- 
tory. He described her so minutely that John is sure 
there can be no mistake. He has secured the man to 
help him hunt her up. Could get no trace of her since 
the battle but would remain here till he found her. 



THE SPENCE HOSPITAL. 



Chapter XL. 



On Tuesday night the 6th of January, 1863, I was 
taken with a hard chill at our tent and was reported to 
the assistant surgeon, Dr. Carr, as sick. The boys took 
me to the hospital tent but the weather was so rainy 
and damp that the doctor called an ambulance and sent 
me to the Spence hospital, a half mile or more farther 
along on the Lebanon pike, on the right hand side going 
out of town. 

The plantation belonged to General Spence in Breck- 
enridge's corps, whose command on the enemy's ex- 
treme right was slaughtered and driven from the field in 
panic on Friday evening. 

The general took all his slaves that he could find 
and nearly all his household goods, put them on the cars 
and left sometime during the night. 

The plantation was large, very rich, and the house, 
finish and decorations, indicated the owner to be a man 
of wealth, taste and culture. 

The house was built of brick quite modern, two and 
a half stories high, large rooms and high ceilings. In 
the third story was a large hall and anti room, which 
was furnished and occupied by the Knights of the Gold- 
en Circle. In their panic and haste to get away, all their 
paraphernalia, wardobe, masques, rituals, flag staff, etc.,, 
were left in the room and were confiscated by the boys, 
who were able to climb the stairs. 

The family also left in one of the large parlors, a 
very fine and large looking glass, that must have cost 
several hundred dollars, a fine pianoforte, two or three 
bed steads, a very few chairs and carpets in one or two 
small rooms. 

The cabins for the house servants were built of 
round cedar logs, in rooms about ten by fourteen feet 



286 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and all joined together, and this row of cabins was about 
two rods back of the main building. The field hands 
had their quarters some sixty or seventy rods back. 

Two likely colored boys, eighteen and twenty and 
two small boys about ten and twelve, hid away, and also 
one servant about forty or forty-five whom no one would 
consider belonged to the colored race, very kind and 
motherly, naturally intelligent, and in her speech in- 
dulged in no brogue and was cultured and refined. All 
the boys in the hospital called her Aunt Rose. 

There remained on this plantation besides these few 
colored people one other piece of valuable property, a 
very fine new milch cow. Dr. Martin took possion of 
this cow and arranged with Aunt Rose to take good care 
of her, she to sell the milk to the boys in the hospital at 
ten cents one pint. And no one soldier should have 
more than one pint from any one milking. The doctor 
was to furnish the feed and protect the cow, and Aunt 
Rose was to have the income from the milk. The lady 
was highly pleased with this arrangement and every day 
received good compensation for her labor. 

For four or five days, I was unable to keep still but 
wanted to walk continually and thought I could resist 
and throw off my attack and during these days spent 
much of my time with Aunt Rose in her neat little cabin. 
I learned that she was the slave of Gen. Spence, but of 
her history, she was very reticent as to herself, on every 
other subject she would converse freely and I was much 
surprised to find one in her condition so cultured and 
refined. 

So to draw her out and get her history I told her 
that my mother's house for years was a station on the 
underground railroad, where slaves escaping from op- 
pression found a welcome asylum : were bedded, warmed 
and fed and then taken farther on to a land of freedom. 
That I had driven many and many a night through dark- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 287 

ness and storm, and, I continued, all this was done in 
our Master's name. 

She gave me a smile that I will never forget and 
then said: "He that giveth even a cup of cold water, to 
a thirsty, perishing soul, in the name of Jesus shall not 
lose his reward." "O, Marion, I wish I could answer 
your questions and give you a short sketch of my life, 
but I have never been able to do so. It is so terrible, so 
much out of the ordinary, came upon me so suddenly 
and if I should undertake to tell you now it would unfit 
me for duty to these sick boys. My boys, I call them. 
There is much suffering here in this hospital that I can- 
not add mine to it. So you will excuse me now, will 
you not?" 

"Yes, Aunt Rose, but some time before I leave you 
will tell me, I hope." 

She was all the time busy baking, washing and 
mending for the boys and with all her work and hurry 
she found time to run into the big room where the verv 
sickest ones were and did all she could to help and alle- 
viate pain. 

Before the end of the first week, I became worse and 
told the doctor I had tyhpoid, and asked him if he could 
break it. He didn't dispute me and only said "perhaps." 
Dr. Morgan belonged to the old school, and believed in 
radical treatment, that would either kill or cure. He 
gave me blue mass in mammoth pills and quinine in 
twenty grain doses. 

I was suffering from hemorrhoids and camp disease 
and the blue mass inflamed the disease and produced un- 
told suffering. Dr. Rerick was sick, just able to walk 
around his office. Had he been well I am satisfied I 
should have had milder and much more humane and effi- 
cient treatment. 

For a few days I stayed in the convalescent room 
and lay on the floor on straw, then some of the boys 
from the company made me a lounge formed with slats 



288 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

across the bottom. Dr. Rerick gave me a tick and the 
boys filled this with hay and fixed my bed in the big 
room. One of my blankets was placed over the tick, my 
overcoat fixed for a pillow and I lay down on my new 
bed, with two blankets over me. 

The room was one of the large parlors, about twen- 
ty by twenty feet with the fire place on one side. There 
were eleven cases of typhoid fever and camp disease in 
the room, all very bad and I made the twelfth, with only 
one attendant on duty. The beds were all about the 
same as mine, rough cots, ticks filled with hay, rough 
blankets with neither pillows nor sheets. 

My cot was placed with the head close to the door 
opening into a wide hall and from the hall was a wide 
stairway leading to the story full of sick. The floors 
were all bare and the constant tramping, up and down 
stairs by men wearing big heavy boots made me almost 
wild. They could do no better, but promised to move 
me as soon as possible. 

As my fever increased I soon became delirious, like 
several others in the room and as there was more or less 
picket firing and some cannonading all this filled our 
heads full of conjectures as to the result of an attack by 
the enemy on the camp or hospital. 

One day, I shall never forget. It commenced to 
rain about nine a. m., the water came down in sheets 
and froze to the trees and earth, everything was covered 
with ice and about nine p. m. the wind sprang up from 
the west and soon the large elm trees surrounding our 
building were bending helplessly before the wintry blast, 
throwing showers of broken ice against the building and 
large windows. 

William Keefer, a deaf convalencent of our regi- 
ment, was on duty as nurse. This racket sounded to my 
excited imagination like a heavy body of cavalry riding 
by. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A" 289 

I motioned to William, who came to me at once, and 
I spoke as loud as I could: 

"Are the rebel cavalry going by?" 
. "Yes! Yes! Keep still! Keep still!" 

Soon another gust of wind would bring another in- 
stallment of ice. I'd motion to Bill and ask the same 
question and the answer invariably the same. "Yes, yes, 
keep still! Keep still!" 

And so all night long I kept Bill running back and 
forth across the room and I passed a night of torture 
without sleep or rest. 

The next morning my fever was up and I was wild 
with a throbbing pain in my head, when Aunt Rose came 
in with an empty pail, a clean towel and a pitcher of cold 
water. She lifted my head from the cot, supporting it 
with one hand and with the other she took the pitcher 
and poured on the water and continued to do so until the 
fever was run down and the pain ail gone. Then she 
used the towel, wiped and dried my hair, rubbed my 
temples with her hands till I fell asleep. I slept till three 
p. m., the most refreshing sleep I had had for several 
days and when I opened my eyes. Aunt Rose greeted 
me with a smile. 

I told her that I went to sleep thinking I was at 
home and that mother was nursing me. "Your voice 
sounded like hers and your touch was like hers and that 
is why I called you mother," when I opened my eyes. 

"How can I ever reward you. Aunt Rose, for min- 
istering to me, a stranger?" 

"Have you forgotten, Marion, that pasage in that 
best of all old books, 'As ye did unto the least of these 
my brethren, ye did it unto me.' And it was for your 
mother, too, hoping that some mother might do for my 
children as I have done by you." 

"Aunt Rose, the first time I saw you in your little 
cabin and looked on your face I knew you had passed 
through deep sorrow. When I get well, if I ever do. 



290 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

won't you tell me all about your history and why I have 
so often seen you shedding tears?" 

"There is so much sorrow and suffering around me, 
MJarion, that in ministering to others I can for the time 
forget my own suffering. The wound was so deep and 
the bruise so severe that I durst not raise the mantle for 
others to see. Many would not beleive my sad story 
because so much beyond the ordinary." 

"Aunt Rose, you are good and kind to me ; if I get 
well I will try and help you and then you'll tell me, 
won't you?" 

"Yes, Marion, but have courage, you will get well 
though through great suffering. Your mother is pray- 
ing for you. And Marion as I almost constantly breathe 
forth my prayer to my Heavenly Father that He will 
restore my children to me, I will ask Him in the same 
breath to restore you to your mother. Take courage, 
Marion, don't give up, you will get well. Good by now, 
I will call in often." 

Aunt Rose was much affected and it was with effort 
that she spoke of her children. I wondered who was 
responsible for her suffering, how many children she had, 
if her husband was also sold from her and if her children 
were small. And while I was musing over her unwrit- 
ten history John came in with a wine bottle full of quail 
broth which he took to the kitchen, heated it hot and 
brought it in, crumbled in a few soda crackers and then 
fed it to me as gently and tenderly as a woman. Al- 
though I had very little appetite it tasted quite good, I 
ate what I wanted and the rest he sat away for another 
meal. 

"John," I said, "I'm glad you called. I get very 
lonesome here. The boys are very kind and some of 
them come in every day but they can stay only a few 
minutes as their duties keep them in camp. They di- 
vide up and frequently they come in and stay through 
the night." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 291 

"I will come in as often as I can, Marion, but when 
not engaged I am prosecuting my search for mother. I 
have not been able to learn anything of her since the 
battle. Not even where she was located or the man's 
name that she was compelled to call her master, but ev- 
erything is unsettled yet and I think that in a short time 
many who were frightened away will return, when they 
learn they'll not be butchered by northern barbarians. I 
fear mother will be so broken down by her sorrow and 
look so old and feeble that I shall not know her if I met 
her in the street." 

"Well, she'll know you, John, and I am confident 
you'll find her in town or near here soon, don't get dis- 
couraged." 

John bade me good by and left me, promising to call 
in as often as possible. He looked worried and no doubt 
was somewhat discouraged. 

Good efficient nurses were not found at the front. 
Every able bodied man was needed in the ranks and only 
convalenscents were sent here for nurses, men and boys 
physically unfit for the place. 

Our hospital Steward, Charles Pardy, would remain 
on duty as long as he could stand on his feet. He was 
kind, considerate and so careful in handling us. I was 
suffering with bed sores on my hips, back, shoulders and 
one knee, caused by the fever and rough army blankets. 
Some two weeks after these bed sores made their appear- 
ance and became very bad and painful, large dark blue 
ulcers or blisters developed on my right wrist and were 
very painful. They resembled what I had seen once on a 
person afflicted with blood poison. When the doctor 
lanced one of them, the largest one, he shook his head 
and then I knew the indication was not good. Charley 
dressed my wrist once a day and did it very carefully. 
Once he said when he got through with this tedious job : 

"Marion, you are going to have a long pull and a 
hard one but I believe you can win out and pull through 



292 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

if you'll just keep a stiff upper lip, and experience many 
happy days at home yet." This kind of talk did me more 
good than the doctor's large doses of blue mass. 

The next day I was suffering from hemorrhoids, my 
bed sores and wrist and was feeling a little blue when 
Charley came to my cot and said: 

"Why, Marion, we have carried out four from this 
room that came in some time after you did. You've got 
the tenacity of a cat and you'll make it, only keep a stiff 
upper lip." 

Sometimes my upper lip would almost fail me and 
then I would repeat a parting message referred to, that 
I must live for their sakes, when to die would be gain 
for me. 

I cannot describe the suffering endured by the pa- 
tients in that room or a fraction of that endured by my- 
self. Our building was good and the location healthful, 
but no hospital stores. Not a sheet or pillow or suitable 
underwear, nothing but the coarse rough army flannel 
and the army blankets that we had been using. No ben- 
eficent Christian or Sanitary Commission, no Mrs. Liver- 
more or Mother Bickerdike had reached Murfreesboro 
yet. 

The diet for our room was light baker's bread 
toasted, with hot water poured on and a few times only 
hard tack. Of course, we had hospital tea. 

I had engaged of Aunt Rose one pint of milk a day 
which I had the nurse scald or boil. This I could re- 
tain as nourishment, and nothing else, and by the be- 
ginning of the second month I was so reduced and weak 
that I was compelled to suck this milk through a straw. 
One day John Keefer of Company "C" was brought 
in with his head bandaged. For several days after this 
I became unconscious or too delirious to remember what 
occurred, but was brought to consciousness or aroused 
from my stupor by hearing a man scream and looking 
across the room saw John sitting upright on his cot with 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 293 

his face toward me, a frightful object. 

His head had been shaven clean, was swollen to 
twice its size and had been covered with nitrate of silver 
and was as black as ebony. He was both blind and deaf 
and the doctor was lancing his head. For ten or fifteen 
days he was in this condition and endured untold suf- 
fering. 

Our boys were very kind. Hardly a day but one or 
more would call and see me. 

My old friend, Lewis, kept my friends posted as to 
my condition and would bring me mail and often read 
it to me. 

Our new chaplain, Rev. Roberts, commenced calling 
at the hospital soon after I entered and hardly a day 
passed that he was not in and did all he could to help 
the sick. Aunt Rose never failed to call in once or twice 
a day and frequently sat down on my cot and bathed 
my face and hands. 



THE HOSPITAL— "GEORGE." 

Chapter XLI. 

There were many pathetic deathbed scenes in our 
room, that I can hardly refer to without shedding tears. 

One fine manly boy about twenty years of age whom 
I will call George (not of our company) was brought 
into our room about a month after my admission. 

He had been sick in camp from a severe cold that 
had settled on his lungs but was recovering when a se- 
vere storm drenched his tent, brought on a relapse and 
he was sent here. His condition was very dangerous and 
rendered more critical by his strong convictions that he 
must die. 

The chaplain being present, George said to him: 

"Chaplain, I'm glad you're here. Here is m.y fath- 
er's address on this envelope, will you send him a tele- 
gram. 'To come, to hasten.' I must see him and that 
very soon. My mother can't come but father can and 
will. And Chaplain, will you ask for a return dispatch 
and return here as soon as possible" 

I watched this boy with a good deal of interest. I 
had seen him in the regiment often and his manly ap- 
pearance won my respect. 

He was at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Perryville. all 
through the Buell campaign and in our three days battle 
here. 

I forgot my own suffering for awhile in my deep 
sympathy for him. In about an hour the chaplain re- 
turned with a message from the father. 

"Will come on first train." 

"Chaplain," said George, "I have a premonition that 
I shall not get well, and I feel that I must put my house 
in order. Mother taught me early to pray and I never 
neglected this duty till sometime after I entered the ser- 
vice, and for sometime I have been careless and indif- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 295 

frent and had almost forgotten God and all He has done 
for me." 

"Jesus, the Great Shepherd, has not forgotten you, 
my dear boy, even though you have forgotten Him, 
and as evidence of this fact He is now calling you," said 
the chaplain. 

"O, but will He forgive my unfaithfulness and re- 
ceive me now" 

"If you had become wayward, dissipated and neg- 
lectful, your mother, would she forgive and receive 
you?" 

"O yes, with open arms. She has forgiven me many 
times when I did wrong." 

"Do you think, my dear boy, that your mother is 
better than our Savior, more tender hearted, more com- 
passionate than He who died for, not only his friends. 
but his enemies, for sinners which includes all who feel 
the need of Him, all who feel and realize that they are 
sinners? You know your mother loves you; can't you 
realize that our Savior loves you more than she can, 
since He died to save you?" 

"O Chaplain, I feel now that I am the very chief 
of sinners." 

"I am glad of that, George. There is hope for you. 
He died for just such as you." 

"But, Chaplain, I am confident I knew Him once 
and turned away and have denied Him." 

"So did Peter, turn away and with an oath denied 
Him and you remember with what compassion He look- 
ed on Peter and forgave him?" 

"O yes, I have read that many a time and wondered 
at the magnitude of His love, compassion and mercy." 

"Well, George, He has not changed. Don't you think 
you can trust Him and just fly to His open arms that 
are as ready to receive you as your own mother?" 

"O, you make it very plain, Chaplain, so very plain 
that I feel I can call Him my Savior. He died for sin- 



296 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

ners and that means me. I will believe and trust Him." 

The chaplain then read the simple parable ot tne 
prodigal son and then made a short prayer and as he 
arose from his knees George clasped his hand and said, 
"It's all clear now. I'm ready now, thank God. I'm 
ready now as soon as father comes." 

He lay on the cot next to me and told me of his 
mother and his two sisters and how they would miss 
him as he was the only boy in the family ; then he spoke 
gently of one other, a lovely Christian girl that v/as 
waiting for him. She was an orphan and alone. "I shall 
meet all of these," he said, "for it has been their influ- 
ence and prayers that have held me and made me what 
I am. But father is not of mother's faith. He is very 
skeptical, but a kind and indulgent father and husband." 

He has no confidence in the Bible and Christian 
religion and I feel that I must live till he comes. This 
conversation was carried on at intervals between his 
spasms of coughing and when suffering less from pain. 

He further told me that he was about ready to enter 
college when with his father's consent he enlisted. 

"Are you sorry now, George?" 

"O no, I feel satisfied. I have done what I could 
and in every place have tried to do my duty." 

The surgeon did everything he could to prolong 
his life and the chaplain was incessant in his attention. 
On the morning of the 3rd the chaplain brought in a 
telegram, dated Nashville: 

"Will be in Murfreesboro at twelve m." 

At one p. m. the father opened the door. George 
saw him and cried out, "O, father come here." The 
father rushed across the room and dropped on his knees 
by the cot. George threw his arms around his father's 
neck, who sobbed, while the tears rolled down his face. 

"O George, my dear boy, my dear boy." 

The meeting had quite exhausted George and the 
father was overcome with grief, so they sat in silence 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMiPANY "A." 297 

ior many minutes till George could speak, then he said: 
"Father, I could not die till you came. You have been 
a good father and I have tried to be a dutiful son. I 
wanted to tell you how grateful I am for all your kind- 
ness." 

Then after some hesitation he said: "You know I 
adopted mother's faith instead of yours. Tell me now, 
did I do right?" 

The father's heart was too full, the tears were still 
raining down his face, but as soon as he could speak 
he said: 

"Yes, my boy, you did right. Your mother is rig'at, 
and now I thank God that you have her faith instead of 
mine. Her's fills your heart with peace and rest in this 
ordeal, while mine would have only brought regret and 
despair." 

George's face beamed with joy that was almost 
heavenly. "O I'm so glad, father, that you came. Now 
I can die happy. Chaplain, will you pray with father 
and me that we may meet in Heaven?" 

And the chaplain prayed with a faith and pathos 
that melted the father's heart and seemed to bring 
Heaven down close to earth. 

"One more request, father ; I know my time is 
short." 

"Yes, my son." 

"You know of my affection for Rut"". She is an or- 
phan and alone in the world. Can you and mother take 
her into your home and hearts as a daughter and my 
sisters as a sister, that she may fill the vacant chair?" 

"Yes, George, we will receive her into our home 
and hearts as a daughter and sister and our home shall 
be hers as long as she wills it." 

"Once more, father, and then I am. ready to go." 

"Go on, George." 

"Can and will you promise me, now to meet us all 
in Heaven, that we may be an unbroken family there?" 



298 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Yes, my dear boy, I promise with God's help that 
I'll try every day from this on to meet you all." 

"That's all father, you have made me happy. I am 
ready now. Chaplain, sing 'Jesus Lover of My Soui.' " 

George's anxiety to meet his father and his cough 
had kept him from sleep for hours and my anxiety for 
him and the pain I was suffering, also kept me awake 
till the chaplain commenced to sing and that brcught 
soothing sleep. 

I did not awake to be really conscious till well to- 
wards morning, then the father and chaplain sat close 
by the cot and George was dying. His sun was going 
down, but it was a glorious sunset. For an hour or 
more he could speak only in a whisper, but a smile, 
more of heaven than earth, rested on his face for the 
dear ones at home. 

When the father's arrangements were all m.ade and 
his son's remains placed in the casket he came to my cot. 
took my limp hand in his and said, "Good by, my poor 
boy, may God bless and keep and restore you." It was 
all he could say and he turned and left the room. This 
was only one of thousands of heart rending scenes that 
occurred in the various hospitals at Murfreesboro. 

The next day but one after George's death another 
boy was brought in with congestion and placed on the 
opposite side of the room from me and he, too, felt and 
knew his time was short. I did not recognize him. The 
chaplain sent a telegram. 

"Hasten, your boy is dying." The answer, "I am 
at the station waiting." The next evening but one a 
message from Nashville. "Will be there at twelve to- 
morrow." O how the minutes ran into hours and how 
eagerly this boy looked at the door every time it opened. 
If he could only see his father, he would die happy. 

"Chaplain, if he does not reach here till I am gone, 
tell him how I loved him and mother and my littie broth- 
er and sister. Tell them not to mourn for me, their loss 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 299 

is my gain. And also don't forget to tell him that I am 
glad that I volunteered to give my life for my country." 
And thus he talked till he became unconscious and then 
in his delirium it was of his home, his mother and sister 
and brother. He spoke of the last terrible charge at 
Donelson, of the two days at Shiloh and of the three 
days conflict here and then added, "but we have gained 
the victory, yes, we have gained the victory. But O 
how tired I am, O how tired," and so he talked till he 
fell asleep at eleven-thirty a. m. and his father entered 
the room an hour after. I couldn't witness the father's 
distress and closed my, eyes. 



THE HOSPITAL. 



Chapter XLII. 

John Keefer had recovered his sight and the partial 
use of one ear. Jep, a convalescent, deaf in one ear, oc- 
cupied the bunk next to him. The boys had nothing to 
do but to eat their allowances three times a day and 
spin yarns, of which they were both overloaded. Had 
they confined themselves to the truth, one or two days 
would have exhausted their stock of experiences, but 
when all that was gone over and. become stale and thin, 
then they drew on their imagination and resorted to 
fiction. 

They sat as close to each other as they could get 
and Keefer would put his mouth to Jep's ear and he 
would take in the whole yarn, then Jep would in like 
manner and Keefer would absorb, and this was kept up 
from early morning till late at night. 

This yarn spinning continued for several days until 
all of the very sick, begged for a little rest, but they were 
wound up and could hardly afford to stop to save one or 
two lives. I appealed to the hospital steward but his 
efforts were vain, and he brought in the surgeon and 
told him how they were annoying the rest of the pa- 
tients. 

The surgeon took Jep and sat him on another cot 
and he and the steward carried the cot out in the hall 
and then came back and sat Keefer over on my cot and 
carried his bed out. 

When this was done, the suregon ordered them to 

get up and walk out doors, which neither of them could 

do. "What are you going to do with us?" asked Jep. 

"We have taken your bunks out doors and you must 

^o, too." 

"Why, doctor," said Jep, "are you going to kill us?" 
"That's just what I'm going to do. I would rather 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 301 

kill you two men than have you kill the ten sick boys 
that are just hanging onto life by a thread. They 
begged you to stop your infernal yarns and you v/ouldn't 
and the steward has tried for three days to stop you, 
and you don't obey, now get on your pegs and go along." 

"My Lord, Doctor, I can't walk and I'll die out there 
in the cold before morning. O, I can't go, Doctor." 

Finally Keefer told the doctor to separate them, put 
one on the north and one on the south side of the room 
and they'd keep quiet, and in this way it was settled 
and we got some rest. 

After the death of George I gradually began to get 
worse, my condition more critical. My fever had run 
its course and left me in mortal weakness, as helpless 
as an infant. They gave me a spoonful of wine every 
hour till my stomach refused it, but still the doctor 
forced it down. 

My rough army blankets, already foul from long 
use, were poison to my skin and were cutting away the 
flesh. My wrist and bed sores were painful beyond des- 
cription and every hour was torture. I realized, .too 
that I was fast approaching a condition of stupor, the 
last stage of this disease, and was losing my grip. 

How or why I lived was hard to explain, when so 
many had been carried out that came in since I did. I 
had one great incentive, home and friends that loved me 
and I would try and live for their sakes, when to die 
would have been gain for me. To me then it seemed 
(jelfish to yield and give up the struggle, but notwith- 
standing my good resolution every day a stupor was 
creeping over me. The chaplain, Aunt Rose and some 
of the boys were in every day, and John would frequent- 
ly run in and stay a few minutes in the evening. 

Lewis was faithful in writing to my folks and would 
bring my letters and read them to me but when done I 
would make no requests and drop off into a stupor again. 
It was nearly the first of March that the boys began to 



302 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

lose all confidence in my recovery and then Aunt Rose 
became more constant and vigilant as a nurse, she would 
bathe my face and hands and fix my scalded milk and 
coax me to take my wine and urge me in the most earn- 
est language to live, for my friends and mother. "She is 
watching, waiting and praying for you. I know she is, 
and she will not give you up. Marion, you will and must 
get well. Don't give up. You will try to live, won't 
you, Marion?" 

"Yes, God bless you, I will try and, and if I do get 
well it will be your prayers and mother's and May's that 
will save me." 

She must have stayed with me an hour and her talk 
encouraged and helped me. She said she had called in 
several times each day for the last week and that she 
had not been able to arouse me but once or twice. 
"You are getting better." 

But by morning my courage had left me and my 
whole body was racked with pain. And it was only a 
few days after this, I think the first of March, that the 
doctor came in and tried to arouse me, but I was indif- 
ferent and hardly responded to his effort. He finally 
got me to open my eyes and give attention, and said: 

"Marion, your brother is at Nashville, on his way 
here, rouse up and be ready to go home with him." 

I did enough to ask, "How do you know. Doctor?" 

"He just telegraphed in for a pass and is on his way 
now. The sheriff of your county is with him, coming 
to visit his brother. Rouse up, now, and be ready when 
he comes." 

This did arouse me and I began to think of home 
and renewed my resolution to not give up, but in a 
couple of hours I was as dead as ever and remained so 
till the doctor came in again and urged as before. 

"Marion, wake up. your brother is at Lavergne. 
Have just gotten a telegram from him, will be here in 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 303 

the morning. The railroad's torn up and he will come 
with Sutler." 

"O, Doctor, you told me several days ago that he 
was at Nashville and he's not here yet." 

"That was only this morning, he is coming, but the 
roads are bad. Here is the telegram." 

"We are at Lavergne. Will be there by noon." 
This gave me a stimulant that lasted till the ne.xt 
morning, then the minutes seemed like hours and the 
hours days, and by noon I was as dead as before. 

Then Aunt Rose came in and bathed my face and 
hands, gave me my scalded milk, as soon as she could 
arouse me and then after that a large spoonful of wine. 
"Marion, do you know your brother is in camp and 
will be here in a few minutes, he is eating his dinner now 
but will be in very soon and take you home." 

"O Aunt Rose, I know you would not trifle with me. 
is he really here, is he really here?" 

"Yes, he is in camp now. Cheer up now, you are 
going home with him. Didn't I tell you you'd get 
home?" 

Soon Billy came in with two satchels an.d sat them 
down by my cot and I smelled apples. 
"Whose are those, Billy?" 
"Your brothers," he answered. 
"Where is he and why don't he come?" 
"He'll be here in a few minutes, don't worry." 
I watched and waited, how long every minute 
seemed. The door opened. There stood my brother. 
"O, Prentiss, come here." I used all the strength I had 
and raised my arms. "O come." He looked at me, 'twas 
but a step from the door to my cot. When he saw my 
emaciated condition, he was like a child, he could not 
control himself and cried and sobbed like a child. "O 
Marion, my dear brother, is this you?" and there was 
silence between us, for neither of us could speak. He 




"0 Prentiss come here" 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 305 

had knelt down and put his head on my cot and con- 
tinued to sob. 

I was the first to speak and said, "Don't, Prentiss, 
don't. I am better now. I'll go home with you, don't 
feel so badly. I'm not so bad as I look. I will get well, 
I'll not die now. O, I will get well." 

Aunt Rose sat at the foot of my cot and O, how her 
eyes shone through her tears. She rose, took my hand 
and speaking very low, "Now you'll get well, Marion, I 
know you will and go home to your mother," and left 
very quietly. 

As soon as Prentiss could speak, he said, "Marion, 
rave I done you harm? I'm afraid I have." 

"No, no, Prentiss. Joy never kills. Tell me of 
home, of mother, May and sisters. Tell me all and I'll 
rest and* listen." My apathy was all gone. 

Then he gave me loving messages from all. "That 
they were all watching, waiting and praying for my re- 
turn home," and I then resolved again to live, though it 
might be through greater suffering than I had yet en- 
dured. 

I slept and rested some through the night though it 
seemed long. I could lie in no position except on a raw 
sore as large as one's hand. 

In the morning as soon as I had eaten my milk,, 
Prentiss looked me over and found me in a terrible con- 
dition. He had brought from home some soft linen 
cloths, castile soap and vaseline. Then he took warm 
soft water and carefully bathed me all over, washed and 
cleansed the bed sores and furnished Aunt Rose cloth 
and batting from which she made some nice cushions 
with openeings through them for me to lie on. By night 
my condition was much improved and my stupor did 
not return. 

Some ten days before this I had requested my head 
to be raised so an attendant picked up an overcoat that 
lay on a vacated cot and put it under my head. The 



3o6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

owner had used it for a pillow and died a day or two be- 
fore. This coat was loaded with vermin, and when 
Prentiss drove the comb through my hair the vermin 
tumbled out like ripe berries from the bush, a whole 
handful of them, so many that he stepped to the fire 
place and threw them in and when I heard them crack 
like salt in the fire, I had my first laugh. Then I made 
him let me look at them and to see them scramble 
around in his hand furnished me amusement for an 
hour. I really think, without enlarging, that on this 
first day he caught and burned up enough to have stock- 
ed all the district schools in our state. All this aroused 
me from my stupor, furnished me diversion and kept 
me from thinking of myself and pain. 

My brother bought new blankets and had my old 
■ones boiled and washed, but cotton sheets he could not 
find in town, but Aunt Rose came in with one cotton 
sheet large enough to cover my cot and a small pillow. 
These she had taken off from her own bed and Prentiss 
tried to pay her for them but no, not one cent would 
she take. 

A few days after Prentiss reached me I received a 
line from John saying that he had been thrown from a 
horse and had a broken leg and this was the reason why 
he had not called on me for the last ten days. After 
several days I began to notice that I was gaining some 
strength. I could move my limbs and when the covers 
were raised I could turn from my back to my side with- 
out help and this gave courage. My appetite was better 
and the doctor advised that a small amount of toasted 
bread might be added to my hot milk. I had gotten 
over my stupor and was full of courage but my brother 
knew and so did I realize that my recovery was yet 
uncertain. I had instructed him, in case of my death, 
to take my remains home and loaded him with many 
messages of love. One day a friend of ours, a near 
neighbor by the name of Charles McLain, belonging to 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 307 

an Illinois regiment, looked us up and called at the hos- 
pital, and soon after I ate my dinner Prentiss wished to 
change me and with McLain's help lifted me on my 
blankets and placed me on an unoccupied cot next to 
mine. When my bed was made the boys took me up 
to move me back just as some one opened the door and 
let a current of air strike me, which threw me into a 
chill, a nervous chill. The boys covered me up but this 
did no good, they gave me a double dose of wine and 
filled wine bottles with warm water and placed warm 
brick to my feet and still I shook and chilled. 

Prentiss ran into Dr. M.'s office for help but he was 
in a condition of stupor from benzine or other drug and 
would not move and the boys believed I was dying. 
Prentiss almost groaned in despair as nothing seemed to 
get me warm, but still they worked all the harder and 
before night I was over my chill and yet alive and no 
fever resulted. 

That night I was quite exhausted and Lewis and 
Aumand sat up with me all night and that gave Prentiss 
a rest. 

For a few days my life hung in the balance and it 
was an unsolved problem as to the result. The next 
morning when Prentiss came in I told him not to be dis- 
courag^ed for I felt hungry. 

The doctor had been giving me the strongest prep- 
aration of iron for some time and the dark blue eruptions 
en my wrists were less painful and my bed sores were 
certainly healing. 

About the 5th of April a large bed room, in the sec- 
end story with a fire place, was vacated and Dr. Martin 
very kindly gave us the room. He said I was deter- 
mined to live and he'd give me, from this on, the best 
possible chance. 

In this large room I began to gain and we began 
to talk about going home, began to lay plans and almost 
fix the time, when one day Prentiss was taken very sick 



3o8 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

with malarial fever, and that night, while he and I were 
alone he became raving crazy. He walked the room 
and raved like one mad, until an attendant in an adjoin- 
ing room heard the racket and came in, laid him down 
on a cot and got some cold water and bathed his head 
till he got quiet then got the doctor and in four or five 
days he broke the fever and Prentiss began to mend. 
The doctor was very attentive and the boys and Aunt 
Rose were very kind. Brother was quite well in about 
ten days and again we began to talk of home. 



AUNT ROSE. 



Chapter XLIII. 

One morning early Aunt Rose came to our room 
just as Prentiss had commenced to prepare my break- 
fast. She brought a piece of nicely browned toast, cov- 
ered with scalded milk ,an egg, cooked very rare and a 
good cup of tea. 

"Now, Prentiss, you go down and eat with the boys. 
I'll stay and visit with Marion till you return. I was 
so busy yesterday I didn't call in and have felt badly 
about it all the morning." Then turning to me, she con- 
tinued, "I can see now, Marion, you are gaining a little 
every day. With patience and care you will soon have 
strength so as to go home and make your mother's 
heart glad." 

"Aunt Rose, you have been God's good Angel of 
Mercy to me, ever since I entered the hospital. I don't 
know, I can't understand, why you have been so good 
and kind to a stranger, when there was no possible pros- 
pect of reward. Your devotion has been the very climax 
of mother love." 

"Are you so blind, my dear boy? I have a boy some- 
where, Oh, I don't know where; who was torn away 
from me and sold, five long years ago, — like you, a little 
younger perhaps. Can't you understand how one moth- 
er may feel for another, when both alike are weighed 
down with anxiety and sorrow. I can't tell why it is, 
Marion, but I have thought of your mother so much 
since you entered the hospital. Every cup of cold wa- 
ter, every little act of mercy, every time I bathed your 
head and soothed the pain, it was for her as much as you 
and all cheerfully and freely done and given in Jesus' 
name." 

"O, Aunt Rose, I wish you could see and read my 
heart, that you might know how grateful I am. And, 



310 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

too, I do so wish you could see and know my mother. 
She is good, and kind, and gentle, just like you, and 
when I get home, if I ever do, I'll tell her all you've done 
for her poor sick suffering boy and she will thank and 
bless you in heaven, when you meet. 

"Can you not indicate something we can do for you? 
Now you know the President's proclamation which took 
effect the first day of January, freed every slave, where 
the Union army has control. And you are free, and 
your children also — " 

"And my children are free, too?" 
"Yes, Aunt Rose, if they are within our lines. Do 
you have any knowledge where they are?" 

"Oh, no, I never knew, my heart has been so crushed 
with sorrow that I could not tell my story or ask for 
help. It all came on so suddenly and unexpectedly." 
"I felt and knew the first time I called at your cabin 
that you had passed through great sorrow. You prom- 
ised to tell me when I got able to hear; I am novvr able. 
We may start home the first of next month and possibly 
we might be able to help you. Won't you please tell 
us? If only a little of your history — enough to give us 
a clue — please do." 

"Yes, Marion, I will try." 

And just then Prentiss came in and we both listen- 
ed to 

AUNT ROSE'S STORY. 
"As near as I can remember my mother was as light 
colored as I am, but was the child of a slave-mother and 
under our law, doomed to a life of serfdom. I v/as told 
many times that I was the child of my mother's master 
and for that reason he sold me when I was six years old 
to John W. Belmont, a good man living on a large plan- 
tation at Hampton Center. He and his wife were born 
in Scotland and were very earnest and consistent CTiris- 
tian people. 

"She took me to church and Sabbath school every 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 311 

Sunday, I sat in the same pew with her and always at 
the same table with the family. 

"I did not call her mistress, but by her request called 
her Aunt, so very few, if any, knew that I was a slave. 
"Mr. and Mrs. Beimont had a son, an only child, four 
years my senior named after his father ]ohii VV. As a 
boy he was very diffident and bashful and very much 
devoted to reading and study. He was very kind to me 
from the first, bought me books and seemed delighted 
when he could help me along with my studies. 

"I had been in the family but a short time till he 
and I were the best of friends and when he went away 
to school, my heart always ached till his return. When 
he did return I was the first one he called for, so you 
understand how we grew up, not only to like but to love 
each other from childhood. 

"When I was sixteen my aunt, or rather my mis- 
tress, died and from that time on I took charge of the 
house. When I was a little past eighteen my master 
died, then young John W, came home from college, at 
Cincinnati, and took charge of the plantation. He was 
much like his father, kind and good to his people, who 
almost worshipped him. 

Not many months after he came home to stay I be- 
gan to live with him as his wife, and soon after this re- 
lation began, we both started for Cuba, where he had 
business, from thence to Scotland to visit his father's 
old home and relatives and after a visit of three months 
there, we took a tour over the most of Europe. In all 
our trip and in all our lives together he always intro- 
duced me as his wife, always seeming more contented 
and happy when I was by his side. 

"A few months after our return home, our twins 
were born. We named them Lawrence J. W. and Flor- 
ence B. W. When they were four years old we went to 
New York and while there Mr. Belmont consulted a 
lawyer and had free papers made out for me and the two 



312 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

children. This package was brought home and he, in 
my presence, placed the papers in his large fireproof safe, 
where we thought they were so secure that their exist- 
ence was forgotten. 

Until our children were old enough to send away 
to school, we employed a teacher in our home, then they 
were sent to Cincinnati — first to high school, then to col- 
lege and in one more term they would have graduated, 
when their father was stricken down and died suddenly. 
In response to a telegram, they came home to attend the 
funeral, and the next day — the next day — Oh Marion," 
she sobbed, "I cannot tell of that terrible day. I have 
wanted to so badly, but I cannot now." 

Her voice failed her entirely and she was sobbing 
like a child with her face pressed down on my bed. 

"Aunt Rose," and I spoke to her the second time, 
"don't grieve so, we will not ask you to tell more of that 
sad story, we know all about it, since we know who you 
are. How your husband's nephews robbed the safe of 
the free papers, how you were all seized by the sheriff, 
put in irons, confined in jail and advertised and sold at 
auction." 

"O, Marion, how did you knov7? I never told you, I 
never could tell any one, then how did you know?" 

"Your daughter Florence told us, and brother will 
tell you all." Then Prentiss told her the whole story 
as told by Florence to us, including the horrors of the 
arrest, the auction sale, her escape to Cincinnati, then 
on the underground railroad to Canada, which country 
she reached in safety. And that we had received several 
letters from her, and that she was married to a good 
m^an and had a good home. 

Aunt Rose sat as one in a trance. She scarcely 
moved, and hardly seemed to breathe, so eager was she 
to catch every word and watch every motion of his lips. 
And when he got through, the glad tears were raining 
down her face as she cried out, "Oh, thank God, Flor- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY *"A.'" 313 

ence is safe." And then with head bowed down on my 
bed she responded, "O Lord, I thank Thee that Thou 
hast heard my prayers and remembered me in mercy." 

Then she went to Prentiss, raised his hands to her 
lips and kissed them, came to my bed put her arm under 
my neck and kissed my forehead. 

"Oh, Marion, had I known from the first how good 
and kind you were to my poor girl when she was flee- 
ing for her life, — from a fate worse than death, I should ' 
have taken your mother's place and watched you day 
and night." 

"You did take my mother's place, Aunt Rose, ail 
you could and mother's thanks, when you meet — in 
heaven w^ill add another star to your crown." 

What little we did for your poor homeless girl in 
her race for life and honor, was a pleasure to us and 
cost but very little trouble. It was simply casting our 
bread on the waters. It has returned to me many fold, 
I am your debtor now. Do you think you can hear some 
more good news, or shall we wait another day?" 

"O yes; Now; Now. Can you tell me anything of 
Lawrence, my boy? Can you, Marion, oh, can you?" 

She saw me smile, then sprang to my bed and 
caught my hand again before I could speak. 

"Oh, Marion, can you tell me anything of him? Is 
he alive, alive and free, too?" 

"Yes, he is alive and free and here in camp not 
more than one-half mile away. He has been to see m.e 
many times since I've been sick and once when I was 
in the room below, came very near meeting you at my 
cot, as you had just gone out when he came in; and he 
sat up with me many nights when I was so bad." 

Aunt Rose sprang to her feet again, 

"Oh, Marion, in this house, in that room below! I 
almost met him, my boy. How can this be true? How 
did you know him and he know you? Where did you 
find him and where is he now?" And the slad tears 



314 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

broke loose again and her words came so thick and fast 
I could hardly answer her. 

"He will tell all when he comes, Aunt Rose. He 
was thrown from a horse nearly two months ago but 
gets around nicely now on crutches. 

"When you go down, send up the older of those 
two colored boys that room in one of your cabins and 
I'll send John a message that will bring him to your 
room in less than an hour, where you can meet him 
alone." Aunt Rose kissed my hand and tripped out 
with her face illumed looking twenty years younger. 
"Prentiss, that woman was beautiful once, beauti- 
ful as Florence before that great sorrow crushed her 
heart." 

"Yes, beautiful" — but his answer was merely me- 
chanical, for he commenced to walk the floor, an cid 
habit of his when in a deep study or excited, and I 
knew he was trying to hold himself down but it had to 
come. 

" 'O Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.' 
How many times I've heard that song. How long, oh 
Lord. How long shall this high crime against God and 
this people last. Just think of this poor woman who has 
passed through enough to make the carnal heart a 
smouldering hell and she has treasured up no bitterness, 
no hatred, no revenge. No, her crushed and bleeding 
heart, that has been so trampled on by mercenary 
brutes, is now full of love for all of God's creatures. 
Praying for those daily, whose greed for gold put her 
and her children on the auction block and had them 
sold like horses, mules and swine to fill the pockets of 
miserly heirs and her prayer has been, — 'Father, forgive 
them for they knew not what they did,' " 

Just then the boy came in, I gave him this note: 

"Jack Hale, care of General Hawkins, nth Ky. 

Reg't. — Dear Jack: We have got trace of your mother. 

Come at once. Call at the middle cabin back of our hos- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 315 

pital. A lady is waiting there now who can tell you all 
you wish to know. Come, she is waiting. Yours in haste, 
Marion," 

Just then the chaplain came and greeted us with 
"Why, Marion, I never saw such gain in any one in so 
short a time. Your face is flushed and your eyes 
sparkle. Have you fever?" 

"No fever. Chaplain, thank you, something better." 
Then I went on and told him the whole story of Aunt 
Rose's life, while Prentiss watched at the window for 
Jack. 

"What joy there will be in that little cabin today," 
said he. "It will make the angels in heaven rejoice. 
How much that poor woman must have suffered with 
her intelligence and refinement and then her children 
about ready to graduate from college, seized by the 
sheriff, thrown in jail and sold at public sale, like a herd 
of swine." 

Here the chaplain was interrupted by the arrival 
of Jack in an ambulance, halting close in front of our 
open window. Scarcely had he touched the ground and 
gathered his crutch, when the anxious mother met him. 
And in an instant, we heard, "Oh mother!". "Law- 
rence !" "God be praised." Then all was silent, for 
Aunt Rose was weeping in the arms of her long lost 
son. During this meeting, so sacred, we sat in silence, 
till they passed out of our sight back of the hospital to 
Aunt Rose's cabin, * * * * * 

"Now, Chaplain, since you made me feel a little 
vain by your remarks on my rapid improvement, I pro- 
pose to get out of this bed while you are here and walk 
across this room." 

"No, No," said Prentiss, "not today," 

"Well then let me get up and stand on my pegs." 

With a little help I stood for a moment, the first time 
I'd borne my weight on my feet for months. Then, I 
said, "Get out of the way, don't let me fall, and here 



3i6 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

goes across the room." And I started, with brother and 
Chaplain, one on either side with their hands out- 
stretched. This set me to laughing and I guess I should 
have fallen when I got to the wall but they caught me. 
I stood and rested a moment and then said, "Boys, let 
go, here I go now," and reached the bed and got on 
alone, some tired but a good tired and when covered up 
was ready to rest. 

"Well done," said the chaplain. "I didn't think 
you could stand. In fact, I never expected you to get 
out of that room below, until removed in a casket. But 
honestly, you are the poorest man I ever saw standing 
up or lying down." 

"Yes, Chaplain, I'm poor. There isn't fat enough 
about me to grease a gun patch. But mark you, if noth- 
ing new develops, I'll some day be as good as new and 
ready to start for home in a few days." 

"Not till you are stronger, Marion. You must be 
patient." 

"I shall walk every day now over this room back 
dnd forth." 

"This reunion that's now occuring in the little 
cabin is the best tonic I ever took and I am thankful 
that I have been able to pay in part what Aunt Rose 
did for me when I was helpless and unconscious." 

"She was like a mother to you, Marion, and I don't 
wonder you feel grateful to her. She did all she could 
for all the boys but for some unaccountable reason, she 
seemed to select you as her special charge. One time 
I came in just as she did. You were wild with pain and 
raving. She ran to her cabin, got a pitcher of cold wa- 
ter, took your head off the cot and showered it till the 
pain left you and your raving stopped. Then with a 
soft towel she wiped and dried your hair and as I left, 
you were asleep. Another time I went in and you were 
in a deep stupor, I asked the doctor how you were. He 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 317 

replied, "Nothing can rouse him. He'll not live through 
the night." 

Soon Aunt Rose came in and sat down on your cot. 
She had some linen, a tumbler and pitcher of water, and 
began to moisten your lips and bathe your face and 
hands and gave you a spoonfull of wine. She fussed 
with you till you opened your eyes and smiled and said 
in a whisper, "Why, mother, when did you come?" I 
sat down by her side on the cot and I saw she was shed- 
ding tears. "O, it don't seem to me that he must die. 
If I had him in my cabin I know he'd get well. No, 
Chaplain, I can't give him up and I can't explain why 
I have felt such a deep interest in him since he came. 
He some way puts me in mind of my boy, who was a 
little younger, and may be some mother will do for him 
the same that I am doing for Marion. O, Chaplain," 
she continued, "I have prayed for my children without 
ceasing day and night since they were torn from me. 
Will He hear me?" 

"Yes, Aunt Rose, yours is practical praying and 
your prayers will be answered," and so they have, Ma- 
rion, sooner than I expected and I am glad you have 
been instrumental in helping to bring this blessing 
about. 



THE HOSPITAL— FAREWELL. 



Capter XLIV. 

The chaplain went out promising to return after 
dinner, and soon a boy from the cabin came in with a 
note from Lawrence, saying, "If it will be convenient 
and you feel able, mother and I will call on you about 
three P. M." Prentiss wrote on the same card and 
handed to the boy, "Come by all means and bring your 
mother." 

"Well, Prentiss," I said, "such a day as this has 
never occurred in our lives before, and probably never 
will again. It seems a long time since morning and 
now I just realize how hungry I am." 

"It surely has been an exciting day, one we'll never 
forget, and now it is twelve-thirty and I had forgotten 
dinner. I fear so much excitement will be too much for 
you, Marion." 

"O no, no, don't worry, I feel like a colt today, v.'ith 
a good sharp appetite." As soon as ready I ate my 
scalded milk and toast and half of an egg scalded — 
then turned over on my side and took a refreshing sleep. 
till nearly three P. M., when Aunt Rose and her boy en- 
tered the room. Prentiss introduced himself to Law- 
rence and Aunt Rose came immediately to my bed and 
took my hand in hers, but her heart was too full of joy 
to speak. 

"Dear Aunt," I said, "your prayers are answered 
now. God's richest blessings are certainly falling on 
you." Soon I saw that she wanted to overwhelm me 
with thanks and I said, "No, no, all that we did for you, 
any one could have done, but what you did for me, was 
royal service, all actuated by Divine love. I was a 
stranger and you ministered to me, gave me food and 
drink and if I could have been moved, you would have 
taken me to your little cabin and nursed me there. And 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A.' 319 

now it rejoices my heart to know that without cost or 
trouble to us, we have helped you find your children. 
Then Lawrence came and gave me his hand, and he, 
too, could hardly speak. "God bless you, my boy," I 
said. "This has all turned out better than we expected, 
when we first met at Mumfordsville. The cloud that 
was thick and dark around and over you, has opened 
wide and now all is sunshine. Thank God and not me, 
I am your debtor, Lawrence." 

To change his thoughts to other subjects, I asked, 
"Have you heard from Florence more than once?" 

"O yes, I have received two letters from her since 
the one you copied. I will bring them over and let you 
read them." 

"And have you read them to your mother?" 

"Yes, yes, and they made her happy. Poor mother, 
how she suffered. I now realize that mine was nothing 
compared with hers, but don't you think she has grown 
younger? Before that terrible day, she was handsome, 
once she was as beautiful as Florence." 

"Yes, she looks almost twenty years younger and 
her face shows that she's happy. What will you do now, 
Lawrence?" 

"I sent the colonel's horse and ambulance back and 
sent him a note that I had found mother, or rather that 
you had and that I would stay with her 'till able to 
work." 

"Then I'll see you often. We expect to start for 
home by the fifth or sixth of May, if possible." 

"So soon as that, will you be able?" 

"Yes I believe I will, if careful." 

It would be impossible to reproduce with my pen 
the scene in our room during the hour they remained. 
It was an hour of sweet communion and the reunion of 
this mother and son was more of heaven than earth. 

As they arose to go. Aunt Rose came to my bed 
and as she took my hand in hers to bid me good bye. 



320 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

she said, "I am so glad, Marion, to see you gaining so 
fast. When you were the very worst and the doctor 
said you could not rally, I couldn't give you up, I didn't 
know why, then, but I believe I know now why the 
Lord put it in my heart to take such a special interest 
in you. While you make light of what you did for us, 
your kind hospitality so freely bestowed upon my poor 
girl, when fleeing for her life, was the means of restoring 
my children to me." 

"Yes, Aunt Rose, in doing what was a pleasure to 
us, we did more than we then knew. It has made my 
heart glad that your boy has been restored to you, and 
that's one reason of my rapid gain." 

Every day following this visit, I walked across the 
room, back and forth and when a little tired would lie 
down and rest and then try it again and though but a 
ghost, I could see from day to day, as I used my limbs, 
that I was gaining strength and courage. 

Letters came from home nearly every day, full of 
good cheer, but all admonished me to be careful. My 
bed sores were healing very fast, my wrist was nearly 
well and the last crop of vermin nearly cleaned out and 
what remained, if any, belonged to the infantry. One 
day about half after eleven o'clock. Aunt Rose came 
tripping in like a young girl with a nice piece of squir- 
rel Lawrence had shot and dressed, with a small cup of 
broth. 

"O you are a good mother," I said, "always doing 
for some one. I was just thinking that if I could have 
a little change of diet, such a dinner as this will make 
me, how good it would taste. It is a royal gift and I 
thank you. I do so wish that you and John would go 
home with us, I shall miss you so much. Aunt Rose." 
. . . ."O Marion, my dear boy, you don't know what 
you say. I should like to go and help you get home but 
I could not stay. I have saved, by hard work, a little 
sum and my boy and I, when the war is over, will buy 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 321 

a little home of our own where I'll stay 'till I go to my 
heavenly home." 

The April days had slipped by, when Prentiss came 
in and informed me that my resignation had been ac- 
cepted and on the fifth, we should leave Murfreesboro 
for Nashville, at ten a. m. 

O how my heart thrilled at the prospect of start- 
ing for home, after a confinement for four months in that 
hospital, much of the time entirely helpless, and suffer- 
ing more than my pen can describe. Lawrence soon 
heard of our intention and came in to see me. He hand- 
ed me Florence's letters to read, in which she gave a 
brief history of her life in Canada, a description of her 
home and the people, who were very kind and intelli- 
gent. She taught music, painting and drawing from 
the time she reached there until married. 

And in her last letter she said, "My husband has a 
chance to sell his property here at a big margin, and if 
you succeed in finding mother and the Rebellion is 
crushed out and slavery abolished, it is possible, on ac- 
count of the milder climate, that we may go back to 
southern Ohio or Indiana." 

"Well, John, what are you going to do?" 

"I have not determined yet. When in college, I 
chose the law and studied with that in view. You know, 
Marion, I have friends in Cincinnati, that are anxious 
for me to come back and finish my course and locate 
there." 

"And Ruth is waiting for you?" I said. 

"O yes, bless her kind heart. During my five years 
of serfdom her suffering will never be known, but now 
she is contented and happy. In my second letter writ- 
ten from Louisville, I felt my degradation and poverty 
so keenly that I wrote, she had better forget me. Well, 
I got a letter back that would have melted a heart of 
stone. She has a snug little fortune in her own right 
and in her last letter she wrote that if I succeeded in 



322 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

finding mother, I should bring her there and locate and 
she said further, 'she shall be my mother, too.' " 
. . . ."Well, John, I congratulate you. She is a jewel. I 
know that from Florence's description of her. Stand by 
her, she loved you in your poverty and degradation and 
she'll never love you less in prosperity." 

"You and your family, John, have dropped into my 
life so mysteriously that I don't want to lose you and 
if I live to get home and you get settled, you must write 
to me and give me your address; you have mine now." 
"Marion, you know of my affection for my mother, 
Florence, and Ruth, and you stand next. I shall always 
think of you as my elder brother. Please, don't say, if 
you live to get home, it makes me feel sad. You will 
get home, you have already gone through enough suf- 
fering to kill a whole regiment. Charles Pardy, the 
steward, told me when every one was looking for you 
to die that you had a charmed life, and felt satisfied all 
the time, you'd make it on the last heat, but I tell you 
it was a close shave and a hard one for you. 

"By the way, Marion, I met a Union soldier from 
near Hampton Center, a few days ago. He knew my 
three cousins, who realized so handsomely from my 
father's estate, including the wife and children. One has 
died a horrible death with delirium tremens and the oth- 
er two are gamblers and drunkards and the estate is 
nearly all squandered." 

Verily they are reaping their reward," I said, "and 
the v/rath of the Almighty will follow them." 

Prentiss came in then and John turned to him and 
asked, "Have you read my sister's letter yet?" 

"O yes, that letter ought to be published up North." 
"People would not believe it," said John, "it is so 
out of the ordinary. You boys must not get the impres- 
sion that all slave holders are as brutal as those that bid 
off Florence and me, or as destitute of human sympathy 
and heart as our cousins, who brought such ruin upon 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 323 

us. I am glad to say that many of them are very indul- 
gent. General Spence was very kind to mother, they 
treated her more as a servant than a slave, but the sys- 
tem is all wrong, a sin against God and a curse to slave 
and master." 

"We understand," said Prentiss, "many of the mas- 
ters are much better than the law. Up North, if a man 
should whip a horse to death, he would be punished, but 
here, a master can whip a slave to death and be jus- 
tified." 

After John went out I took my walk around the 
room, more than usual and felt much encouraged. A 
comrade had whittled me out a nice cane from a piece 
of cedar brought from the battlefield, which was a great 
help to keep me from falling. 

May fourth was my last day in the hospital. Many 
of the boys came in to see me and bid me good bye. 
From the first all the boys, without exception, had 
treated me so kindly, that to part from them was a se- 
vere trial and when I took their hand, to say good bye. 
I could hardly control my voice or keep back the tears 
from my eyes. 

About two P. M. Aunt Rose ran in and took a chair 
near my bed. 

"Well, Aunt Rose, I have just been thinking of you 
and have been wondering if you noticed how closely I 
watched you the other morning, when you brought me 
my toast, squirrel, egg and tea. You had taken special 
pains in dressing your hair that morning and it was ar- 
ranged precisely as Florence had hers the afternoon I 
wrrote up her history; then I watched the expression of 
your face and eyes and especially your voice and I al- 
most trembled, thinking of her and John, that possibly, 
yes, only possibly, I had made a discovery and when 
you spoke of your boy a little younger perhaps than I, 
sold from you five years ago, my hope grew strong and 



324 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

then I pressed you hard for your story, which so many 
times you had very delicately refused to tell me." 

"Marion, I wanted to tell you many times, but it 
seemed like thrusting an iron through my heart and 
that morning I felt more determined than ever to give 
my history. How mysterious it all is. Had you denied 
Florence shelter and such very generous hospitality, in 
all probability I should never have found my children." 

"Or had you taken no interest in me. Aunt Rose, 
the same might have been the result." 

"I could not help that. When you were delirious, 
your calls for your mother and one other person, May, 
I think, were so pathetic that you won my heart and all 
the service I could render, and in thus sacrificing, one 
for the other, God has richly blessed us all. 

"But, Marion, I must not tire you with this call, you 
have had too much company today, so I will bid you 
good bye now, and call again in the morning." 

When I laid myself down for the night, my last 
night in the hospital, my hard bed was a luxury indeed, 
as I was tired. I realized that I was surrounded by an 
atmosphere of supreme kindness and sympathy and was 
well content to lie still and watch through the large un- 
curtained window the dark foliage wave to and fro, the 
leaves grow distinct in the light of the rising moon, un- 
till I fell asleep. 

Quite early in the morning after a long refreshing 
sleep, I seemed to hear such lovely strains of music that 
swelled into richer harmony until what seemed to be a 
beautiful orchestra, awoke me. 

I soon discovered that an unusual gathering of my 
old friends, the birds, were giving me a farewell sere- 
nade. The leader of the orchestra sat near my window, 
on an old bough, with her tuneful throat swelled to the 
utmost. She, I recognized, as the very songster that 
had furnished me such exquisite music for the last few 
weeks and on this last morning at the hospital she had 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 325 

gathered all her friends together, to bid me farewell. 

After my breakfast the first to enter was Dr. M — . 
"Well, by jacks, boys, you are going I see. Never 
thought you'd get out of here till you went in a box. But 
you'll make it now unless they kill you on the train. 
Here is some brandy, Prentiss, in case of fright, exhaus- 
tion or accident, use it. Don't let him chill, you are 
changing climates, remember." 

I gave the doctor my hand and said, "You have 
been very kind to me, Doctor, and I thank you. When 
j^ou get home I'll call on you and we'll take a fish on the 
old Feeder Dam." 

Then for a few minutes the room was full of our 
boys, who came in to bid me goodbye. 

The last that entered was the chaplain, Aunt Rose 
and John. I took their hands in mine, but could not 
speak. To Aunt Rose, I could only say, "God bless 
you." 



STARTING FOR HOME. 

Chapter XLV. 

Two of our boys carried me down the broad stair- 
way out of the Spence Hospital, into God's sunshine and 
lifted me carefully into the ambulance, and the team 
started for the station. How the light dazzled my eyes 
and with what zest I filled my lungs with the fresh 
morning breeze ! To one w^ho had been shut in for 
months and seen and experienced the suffering I had 
and then to be welcomed back into such a beautiful 
world on a May morning like this, was enough to fill 
the heart to overflowing with joy and thanksgiving. I 
wanted to sing "Praise God from Whom all Blessings 
Flow," but my voice was too weak and I could hum the 
tune and mentally supply the words. 

We can appropriate to ourselves all that's lovely in 
nature to the full extent of our capacity and yet we have 
not diminished the supply. The supply is prodigal. 
There is enough for all. A millionaire may plant and 
cultivate a garden of choice flowers and trees of tropi- 
cal splendor and still the beggar may get richer enjoy- 
ment from it than he who planted. 

Our train moved out from the station and slowly 
across the river bridge and then in a few minutes reach- 
ed the battle field. We had more or less risk to run 
from Guerrillas and Rebel Cavalry, until we would reach 
Louisville. 

Every few days since the battle we would get re- 
ports of the tearing up of track and the capture of trains, 
so of course, in my condition, I had many apprehensions 
for the safety of our train. We had hardly gone more than 
a mile after crossing the river, when the train stopped 
suddenly and the passengers began to look out of the 
windows and some one cried out "Cavalry coming." I 
wilted down in my seat as though I had been shot. All 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 327 

in the car seemed much excited. Prentiss looked out 
over the cotton field and then spoke, "Don't get excit- 
ed, Marion. They wear the blue." This restored me at 
once but showed me plainly how weak and helpless I 
was. They were a body of scouts, and after conferring 
with the conductor a few minutes, the train moved on. 

There, Prentiss," I said, "On the left is the cotton 
field and farther in that direction than you can see, the 
fighting commenced very early on the 31st. Our line 
then, you see, stood at a right angle with this road. Up 
on that little elevation was Rosencranz's headquarters. 
On the right is the lower ford and across the stream 
from that is where Breckenridge met his Waterloo. And 
over there on the left at the Pike is where we recaptured 
our baggage train. Did you notice any stench as we 
came across the field?" 

"O yes, quite strong, and when I went down the 
I St of March it was too thick to breathe. In fact when 
the wind was from this direction, I could detect the 
same there at the hospital for a month." 

My ride was doing me good. The day was mild 
and pleasant, the scenery beautiful although the country 
was sadly devastated by the war. The trees were out 
in full leaf, the fields green and the little patches of grain 
and clover were waving in the wind. 

"Here is Lavergne almost totally destroyed by fire, 
when we marched through," I said, "and you will no- 
tice from this on to Nashville the terrible effects of the 
war. Fences, buildings and forest have all been des- 
troyed." 

"A deserved retribution," said Prentiss, "but the 
poor fellows who suffer most are least responsible." 

As we approached Nashville the forts and fortifica- 
tions attracted our attention. From Capitol Hill the 
siege guns commanded every street and any army that 
would try to enter the city would be badly cut to pieces. 



328 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

An ambulance at the depot conveyed us to the Se- 
wanna House. Prentiss thought it wise to go no farther 
with me the first day and so secured a room with fire 
and two beds. 

Two colored waiters carried me up a flight of stairs 
to the second floor where I lay down on a soft bed, a 
little tired but better for my ride. A good night's rest 
and a good breakfast of hot milk and toast fitted me for 
another day's ride. 

As we approached Bowling Green I said to Pren- 
tiss, "When we reach the depot look to the northeast 
and see the house and grounds where the colored wo- 
man lived that came to our house with Florence. If 
you remember her description you will identify it at 
once." The train soon pulled in and Prentiss pointed 
out the place, then as we passed Bells Tavern I pointed 
out the road from the right where Bragg came in ahead 
of Buel and at Cave City where we skirmished for two 
days in line of battle while Bragg went on and captured 
Wilder at Mumfordville, "and here," I said, "is where I 
found Jack Lawrence, or John W. Lamont, Florence's 
brother and Aunt Rose's son." 

We passed over the new bridge built by the Engi- 
neer Corps, of pine trees, soon after it was burned by 
Bragg. 

We reached Louisville about 4 p. m. All the pas- 
sengers left the car. Prentiss went to find a bus as he 
expected to take me to a hotel. I was waiting and rest- 
ing easily when a man came in and kneeled down in 
front of me and said, "Get on." 

The movement was so funny that I began to laugh 
and at that time when I began to laugh I couldn't stop, 
so he kept on saying, "Get on," and looked around at 
me so funny that I laughed all the harder. 

I finally managed to sober down enough to say, 
"Wait, what do you want of me?" 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 329 

"I want you to get on my back and I'll take you to 
the Christian Commission Rooms." 

"Well," I said, "My brother has gone after a bus 
to take me to a hotel." 

Well, get on, I'll bus you and then I'll hunt him 
up." 

Then he helped me on my feet and I leaned for- 
ward on his back, wrapped my arms around his neck 
and he his around my legs, took me down the steps and 
started down Broad street on a dog trot. This trotting 
a man down Broadway was too much for me and I com- 
menced to laugh again. 

"Who! Whoa! Say, stop," I said. 

"What's the matter now?" 

"Don't you know you're liable to arrest for carry- 
ing a skeleton along the streets?" 

"Not where it's got life enough to kick." 

That started me laughing again and I didn't stop 
till he sat me down in a nice large room on a clean soft 
cot. 

Prentiss saw him trotting off with me so he went 
to the car, got our baggage, and came to the room. The 
experience was new and rich for me and the hearty 
laugh was more potent than blue mass pills. 

The room was full of sick that were on their way 
home from the front, all lying on clean nice cots with 
cotton sheets and soft downy pillows and plenty of lady 
nurses and men attendants, so that none were neglect- 
ed. It was a Christian Commission indeed, for all 
seemed to be doing the will of the Master. 

How different from the front where only the bare 
necessities could be gotten for well soldiers. 

We remained at this home over night and till 9 a. 
m. the next day when Prentiss got a bus and took me 
to the paymaster's, where I settled and drew my pay 



330 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and fromi here we drove to the Gait House near the 
Ferry. 

I was carried in and placed on an easy couch, cov- 
ered over with a light blanket and soon dropped into a 
delicious sleep. 



THE GALT HOUSE. 



Chapter XLVI. 

I had slept perhaps an hour or so when I was awak- 
ened by a rather confidential conversation carried on by 
two young ladies, school mates, sitting close together 
and talking low. One lived in Danville and one in 
Nashville. 

The first remark that I heard distinctly was this: 
"I know, Mary, I ought not to say it, but to you I must 
speak freely. I am completely discouraged and my 
heart is sick. Our leaders and generals have been claim- 
ing victories every battle. Now just count up. 

Fort Henry surrendered, the key to the Tennessee. 
Fort Donelson, the Gibraltar of the Confederacy at 
12 o'clock m., a victory for us. At 6 o'clock a. m. on 
the next daj', a surrender. 

Shiloah an overwhelming victory the first day. The 
enemy driven into the river. The second day a most 
disastrous defeat for us, our army driven and torn to 
pieces; retreat to Corinth. 

Pen-yville, a victory but our dead and wounded left 
in the hands of the enemy and the Grand Army of the 
South make a graceful retreat. 

President Davis addressed our army at Murfrees- 
boro and told them that they must hold that point at all 
hazards and then the war should be pushed into the en- 
emy's country. The north was already so divided that 
a rebellion was imminent and that our friends were al- 
ready organized to help us. But notice: the Union army 
defeated the first day and crushed. The second day 
nothing done. The first day's victory was not followed 
up. 

The third day Breckenridge led into a trap and two 
thousand of our brave boys torn to pieces with artillery 



332 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

and the whole army panic stricken, men and officers, 
fly from the field." 

*'0 Mary, I don't understand it. I am sick and dis- 
couraged and I fear now that God is against us, and if 
that be so our cause must fail." 

"O stop. Belle, stop! I can't bear to hear you talk 
so. You do seem to make a strong case and I'll admit 
that it sometimes looks dark to me, but you know father 
commands a brigade in Bragg's army and has a good 
chance to know. He says as our President says, the 
north is all divided ; that our secret society, the Knights, 
is organized in almost every township and that there is 
a large influential party opposed to the prosecution of 
the war. This party is controlling Ohio, Indiana and 
Illinois. He says they are now being armed and will 
rise up and strike a blow that will make tyrants trem- 
ble." 

"Well, Mary, they must rise and strike pretty soon 
or we're done for. But I have no confidence in that 
party of kickers in the north. They are a small minor- 
ity and they are made up of cowards. They embraced 
our cause and gave the south encouragement but are 
too cowardly to shed their blood for us or a drop for 
their own government. If our independence depends 
on them our case falls to the ground. Don't you remem- 
ber, Mary, how our leaders told us that one regiment 
of southern soldiers would whip ten regim.ents of 
Yanks? This was a falsehood pure and simple. I can't 
see but that they are just as brave and can endure 
more." 

"Why, Belle, I can't let you talk so. You almost 
provoke me. Such talk gives encouragement to the en- 
emy." 

"Your'e not an enemy but a friend. My heart is 
breaking for our poor boys engaged in this hopeless con- 
test for what our leaders claim is for principle or sacred 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 333 

rights. I fear it's all a myth — all wrong and God will 
overthrow us. But I have unburdened my heart to you 
as I would to no other, and now I must quit talking and 
thinking if I can or I shall go crazy." 

The conversation abated for a minute. I threw off 
the light blanket partially that covered be and raised 
up on my elbow. "Ladies," I said, "I am sorry that I 
have been even an innocent listener to your conversa- 
tion, but I am not an intruder. I was here before you 
and dropped to sleep, but I know it was not intended 
for my ears. But we are not enemies, though I have re- 
signed from the Union army. You see what a skeleton 
I am. I am one of the victims of this slave holders' re- 
bellion. But I am not an enemy. More of your friend 
than any cowardly sneak up north who will not shed a 
drop of blood for their government or for your confed- 
eracy and you would scprn them as you would any cow- 
ard. Their encouragement amounts to nothing only to 
prolong your hopeless struggle. They are only a small 
minority of the millions of loyal men who will lay down 
their lives to save our government. I was at Fort Hen- 
ry, Donelson, Perryville and Stone River and I wish to 
say to you that whoever says your boys are not brave, 
speaks without knowledge. They are brave but the sol- 
diers of the Union army are their equals in bravery and 
their superiors in endurance, as you have noticed. One 
of you remarked that she was afraid God was against 
your cause. He is. The whole nation is being sorely 
chastised and punished for the introduction, protection 
and toleration of slavery. The system comes down from 
the barbarous ages and under our Christian civilization, 
it must go down. All persons who inaugurated this un- 
holy war to perpetuate slavery, to build up a slavehold- 
ers' aristocracy, in this government dedicated to free- 
dom, will meet with signal defeat and disaster. I tell 
you, honestly, God will not let this high crime longer 



334 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

exist. The rank and file of your army are not responsi- 
ble. They are more to be pitied than blamed." 

"You speak plainly," said Mary. "You talk like an 
abolitionist." 

"Yes, I know, but I don't mean to be unkind. Had 
you walked over the battle field of Murfreesboro after 
the battle as I did and counted your own brave boys 
that laid down their l^ves to satisfy the greed of the slave 
power, you would be an abolitionist as I am. They were 
mostly from the laboring class. What interest had they 
in slavery? It was their enemy. I was in the line that 
received Breckenridge's charge on our left and saw the 
two thousand that were torn and mangled with shell and 
grape and canister. What interest had they in a Slave- 
holders' Aristocracy? Not one in one hundred of all 
that were killed on that field ever owned a slave." 

"O but," said Mary, "our chivalry all went into our 
army." 

"Pardon me, but I have seen your chivalry and the 
rank and file, and when you count up your population 
you will find that the rank and file of your army are not 
of your chivalry — your ratio of chivalry to your popu- 
lation is not one to one hundred, that you recognize as 
chivalry. To belong to your chivalry one must own 
slaves and not work at common labor. Is not that true?" 

"Why yes, we must draw the line somewhere. We 
make a distinction," said Mary, "But I see you don't un- 
derstand conditions in the south, and it's hardly profit- 
able to extend." 

"Well I guess you're right, but we can agree on one 
thing." 

"Please, what is that?" said Belle. 
"That slavery and the slave holders' rebellion is 
either right or wrong." 

"Yes," said Belle, "that seems to be a very simple 
proposition." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 335 

"Well," I said, "under our Christian civilization, 
nothing stands unless it's built on the truth. If slavery 
is right, your rebellion will succeed, but if wrong and 
God is against it as one of you fear already, your slave 
holders' aristocracy will be a bubble, your slaves will be 
free, your armies melt away, your fair domain impover- 
ished and as sure as God rules, this will be the ultima- 
tum." 

"Are you not vindictive? Would you not destroy 
us if you could?" asked Mary. 

'"No, my friend, while I speak the truth as I hon- 
estly see it, sincerely, as I believe you are both sincere. 
I would rejoice if you can be saved from destroying 
yourselves. On the part of our government, this is not 
a war for conquest. It is not waged on our part to des- 
troy, but to save, and to save you and the government 
your fathers shed their best blood to create." 

"May I ask you one or two questions c^nd will you 
answer them honestly as you believe?" asked Belle. 

"I will answer honestly if I am able to answer at 
all. Please ask your questions freely?" 

"Is not the north nearly exhausted ^s to men and 
money to go on long with the war?" 

"To the first question let me say: We now have in 
the service nearly one million eight hundred thousand 
men. A million more will be put in during the next year 
if necessary, and if a further necessity exists, three or 
four million more will be raised. Understand, I mean 
if necessary. Not to subjugate and destroy but to save 
the whole country." 

"Now as to the second: If you can get hold of the 
right authority you will find that government bonds go 
up in price with every victory we gain. They are worth 
much more today than any time since the Bull Run dis- 
aster. And one more word, your people should place no 
confidence in the Peace Party of the north. Now I 



336 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

have tried to answer all your questions and hope you 
will believe me sincere, as I do you." 

Belle dropped her head on her hand and was much 
affected. "You may fail in judgment and knowledge," 
she said, "but I cannot doubt your sincerity. But if 
what you say is true, God pity us. Shall we change the 
subject?" 

"If you please," I said. 

Then they drew their chiars up closer and inquired 
what hospital I was in and how long I had been sick and 
what care I had. 

"Spence Hospital, Murfreesboro, where I lay four 
months. My care was as good as could be had at the 
front where so many were wounded and sick, and trans- 
portation short." 

"Well," said Mary, "how you must have suffered. 
You are the poorest mortal I ever saw. I feel sorry for 
ycu if you are a Yank," and I saw by her voice apd the 
expression of her face, that there was no deception. 

"I thank you both for your kindness and sympathy 
and let me say that I would rather be captured by eith- 
er of you than any Johnnies I have yet seen." 

"O what a compliment," said Mary. 

"Yes," said Belle, "we are kind hearted and would 
use you well while you are sick, but as soon as you'd get 
u'ell we'd put out both your eyes, so you couldn't enlist 
again." 

"No need of that, Miss Belle," your eyes would daz- 
zle mine so that I could see nothing else but you." 

And the girls both laughed heartily, and Belle re- 
plied, "I never received such a compliment, not even 
from our chivalry." An oldish gentleman came then 
and asked if they were ready. 

As they both bade me good bye. Belle said, "be a 
good boy, Yank, and don't enlist again." 



HOME. 

Chapter XLVII. 

Prentiss came in soon after my company left. He 
had been to the ferry and learned about the train next 
morning for New Albany and then ran about the city 
some. 

He selected a room for the night and we retired 
early. On the morning of the 8th we crossed the Ohio 
and planted our feet on free soil on the north of the 
Ohio, the boys call it "God's Country." I must say I 
felt a thrill of pleasure when I stood in my own state. 

At Indianapolis we changed trains. Prentiss was 
loaded down with baggage, so I said, "I can walk to the 
train alone," but as usual there was a rush, and when 
half way across the walk a large portly, well dressed 
woman, I'll not say lady, ran square against me and 
knocked me over on the hard pavement. She barely 
looked around, saw me and went on. Then a lady 
sprang to my side, helped me up and commenced to 
brush off my clothes, as Prentiss came. 

The blood was then running down into my shoes. 
It hurt me cruelly so that they had to almost carry me 
into the car. The good Samaritan that helped me up' 
said, "What a burning shame. That woman must be a: 
Rebel without a heart." Prentiss and the lady that 
helped me bandaged my knees and stopped the blood, 
as the train moved out of the station. 

Prentiss took a Pullman and as the train rolled 
along the bruises hurt less and I was rocked to sleep. 

We reached Salem Crossing about 4:30 a. m. The 
morning was cold and the only hotel in town was lock- 
ed. Prentiss found a place out of the wind and a seat 
better than none. I soon chilled. He threw a blanket 
around me; still I was cold. Then he resorted to the 
brandy the doctor made us take, and I think in the ab- 



338 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

sence of a cup of hot milk or coffee, perhaps the brandy 
was the next best thing. 

The house opened about 5:20 and in about an hour 
more we had some breakfast. Prentiss sent a telegram 
to our station that we would be there on the next train 
and at 10 130 a. m. the train rolled in at the depot. Two 
old friends and neighbors, John Emerson and J. C. Bod- 
ley, stepped into the car, lifted me on my feet and made 
a chair of their hands. I thrust my arms around their 
necks and they took me to Grandmother Bodley's house. 
As soon as the door opened and this good woman saw 
me, she burst into tears. "O ! O !" she said, "Is it pos- 
sible that this is Marion?" and her tears ran down her 
face like rain. 

"Don't, Grandma," I said, "I can't stand it to see 
anyone cry. Please don't," and she forced her tears 
back. 

They soon got me some hot milk and toast and then 
I took a good nap for an hour and felt stronger than 
when I left the hospital. 

This good lady who expressed her welcome by the 
tears she shed, was one of God's noble mothers who laid 
her offering on the nation's altar. Her son. Lieutenant 
B., fell mortally wounded shortly after this and died 
alone on the field. 

How deep the wound and how sorely the iron lacer- 
ated her heart, only God and the angels knew. The 
kind hospitality of this family warmed my heart and I 
said to myself then, "How cold Lha world must seem 
to the utterly friendless." 

On the morning of the loth day of May, 1863, at 8 
a. m., a two seated covered carriage was driven up to 
the door by G. A. Bodley, I was helped into the back 
seat, pillows and cushions were placed around and un- 
der me and with Prentiss and Bodley in the front seat, 
we started for home. Only eighteen miles, and home! 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 339 

The day was bright and warm, the first real warm 
spring day in northeastern Indiana, for the season had 
been very backward. How different everything looked 
here. There the forests were out in full leaf and the 
fields were carpeted with green, while here all nature 
had been dreaming. The trees were as barren of foliage 
as in January but the air was pure and bracing and what 
a blessing to be out again in God's warm bright sun- 
shine. 

While I longed to get home, I did dread the first 
meeting. I was so poor and my hair and beard were 
nearly all gone. I believe I should have been perfectly 
safe among the worst starved cannibals. They would 
have run from me, thinking I was but the skeleton of 
some fellow whose bones had already been picked. 

Every mile of road was familiar to me and they 
counted off fast. When we reached the last four cor- 
ners and raised the hill, we met a messenger from home. 
His face was bright and cheerful and as our team stop- 
ped he announced to Prentiss that when he got home 
he'd find a ten pound boy ready to greet him, whose 
birthday will be the loth of May, 1863, 10 a. m. "They 
couldn't wait any longer," he said, "without great incon- 
venience." 

I called the messenger up to me and said, "You hur- 
ry back home and tell mother, though I look very poor 
and bad, I am feeling well and improving every day, and 
say, be sure and tell her that they must do no crying. 
I can't stand it. Don't forget this," and he started back 
with his horse on the lope. 

Mother met me at the door with a smile instead of 
tears. She took both my hands in hers and said, "Ma- 
rion, you really look better than I had expected from the 
letters just received from the boys in camp. With good 
nourishing food and plenty of fresh air, you will get 
your health again." 

Others in the room, neighbors that had called, 



340 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

greeted me cordially, expressing no surprise, talked a 
few minutes and passed out. 

I looked around the room and often towards the 
door. Mother knew what was on my mind and said, 
"She'll be in soon. Give her a little time, Marion. You 
know how kind and affectionate she is and perhaps can 
realize how she has suffered in the last four months. 
But she'll be prepared soon. She has been looking after 
our big boy. He's a fine fellow and you shall see your 
nephew as soon as he's presentable." 

While mother was talking thus the door opened 
from the adjoining room and May entered. At the first 
look the blood left her face and I spoke cheerfully. 

"A smile for a welcome, May, if you are glad to see 
me, and no tears, please," but for a moment it was too 
much for her, poor girl. She kneeled down, placed her 
head on my knee. I stroked her hair to give her a little 
time, then with a desperate effort she raised her face to 
mine, moist with tears, and in a voice full of affection 
said, "Glad to see you; O Marion, I am so glad to see 
you alive, but how you must have suffered." And the 
tears began to start again from her eyes. 

"It is all over now," I said. "Laugh and rejoice, for 
as long as God is willing we'll never be separated again," 



THE REUNION. 

Chapter XLVIII. 

During the months of June, July and August, 1863, 
nearly all the Federal troops were withdrawn from Mur- 
freesboro, only a sufficient number remaining to guard 
the town and care for the sick and convalescent soldiers. 
The most of the citizens who left the place, in panic, on 
that memorable Friday night, had returned to their 
homes, discouraged and impoverished. Since the army 
began to leave times were getting harder, and now the 
first of August, there was neither money nor demand for 
labor. Confederate script circulated by the returning 
fugitives was worthless. Supplies were exhausted and 
provisions were very high. Such was the condition, that 
John felt that he could not remain longer in a Confeder- 
ate community, among a people who were supporting a 
system that had brought sorrow and ruin to his home 
and family, crushed his mother's heart, caused his sister 
to flee for her life and honor, to a foreign land, robbed 
and beggered them and sold them like cattle into degrad- 
ing and hopeless bondage. He felt that some time in 
the future he might forgive, but while retaining his rea- 
son, could never forget. 

On the 17th of August he received a letter from 
Florence dated on the loth stating that "they had sold 
their property in Windsor, Canada, and would move to 
Cincinnati, and that they hoped to reach there by the 
first of September. That Mr. Bassett would buy, build 
or rent a machine shop and desired him to take an inter- 
est in the business, no matter how small. Come at once 
with mother and rent a small house so as to be ready to 
receive us." 

John dispatched a letter by the first mail saying, 
**We will be in Cincinnati on the morning of the 22nd 
of August and be ready for you." 



342 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

John and Aunt Rose had saved from their earnings 
in washing, mending, and for milk sold the boys, some 
four hundred and fifty dollars. 

At five o'clock a. m. on the 22nd they reached Cin- 
cinnati and John being familiar with the city soon rent- 
ed a small furnished house, on the same street and not 
more than eight blocks out from Mrs. Layman's. 

At five o'clock p. m. of the same day they were com- 
fortably situated and had had a good supper in their own 
home. Soon after supper John received a daily and in 
looking through the column of entertainments his eye 
caught one item that brought the blood to his face. 

"Musical entertainment by Miss Ruth Layman and 
her class, at Corinthian Church on North Jarard street. 
All cordially invited. Doors open at 7 :30 p. m. Admis- 
sion 25 cents. Children 10 cents." 

"Mother," said John, "can I go. It's only three 
blocks away and I should like to see Ruth before she 
hears that I'm in the city. She will not recognize me 
in the audience and I will have a good opportunity to 
study her and determine whether in my humble condi- 
tion I can approach her in her own home." 

"Yes, John, go. I can stay here safely and I feel so 
much at home in these cozy rooms, that I shall not be 
lonesome. But you have not forgotten what Florence 
has written of her. How noble she is, and the love and 
affection she has expressed in her letters to you." 

"O, no, mother, I have forgotten nothing. She is 
noble. God bless her, but I cannot forget the years of 
my degradation and my poverty." 

"But remember she told Florence that you were not 
degraded by any act of yours and that she loved you 
more than when surrounded by many friends and abun- 
dant wealth." 

"Yes, mother, she was but a child then, a little girl 
when we became attached. Now she is an accomplish- 
ed woman, beautiful and cultured with no taint in her 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 343 

blood or on her name. She loved me then as a child. I 
was her ideal. I was older. I entered into her sports. 
I taught her many useful things, helped her in her stud- 
ies so that she was at the head of her classes, and petted, 
but not spoiled by her teachers and friends. But now 
while I long to take her in my arms and press her to my 
heart I tremble when I remember her nobility, her beau- 
ty, her culture and her social position." 

"John," said the mother, "don't you know Ruth bet- 
ter than that? One noble as she, can't love as she loved 
you and throw that love away at will. Nothing but 
crime or dissipation on your part could cancel, but net 
destroy that affection. And then her high moral nature 
would compel her to refuse you, as she ought, but in do- 
ing that, her suffering would be greater than yours." 

"Well, mother, I will go tonight and see her for my- 
self, and then I shall be better able to determine my 
course for tomorrow." 

Lawrence bade his mother good bye and passed out 
into the street, leaving her sitting in her rocking chair, 
that she had used for so many years in the little log 
cabin back of the Spence Hospital. In a few minutes 
she arose and went to a small case and took out Flor- 
ence's first letter, which was well worn and blotted with 
tears and read over and over that portion that interest- 
ed her now. And said to herself, out loud, "Yes she is 
noble, but is she more noble than he?" 

John was at the church early. He requested a seat 
in front and about midway between the door and ros- 
trum and watched the people as they eagerly pressed in 
through the door to their seats. The curtain was down. 
Now he thought to himself, I will have a fair view when 
the curtain goes up, but in this he was disappointed, for 
hearing a rustling of silks at the door all eyes were turn- 
ed in that direction, and in came Ruth at the head of her 
class. 

Did she hear his throbbing heart as she passed down 



344 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

the aisle? She looked around but he had turned his 
head in time and she did not catch his eye, or see his 
face. Yes, the child and little girl that followed him and 
Florence to the train that fatal day, when he asked if 
some time in the future she could learn to love him enough 
to be his wife and she dropped her head and cried, but 
could not answer and only answered when she pressed 
his hand good bye, had surely grown and developed into 
a fine graceful and beautiful woman. 

The audience was all in and many standing in the 
aisles, when the curtain was raised. 

Ruth stood at the front of the stage with the pro- 
gramme in her left hand, resting her right on a high 
chair at her side. Why did she cast her eyes over the 
audience and let them rest on Lawrence, 'till their eyes 
met? Did she feel his presence? Yes, though she did 
not know that he was in the citj'. Why did the blood 
surge from heart to brain and then recede for a moment 
and leave her face deathly pale? She knew that he was 
there, and with a mighty effort she became herself again, 
and sang the first solo for John as she never sang before 
or since. When the curtain dropped the house rang with 
applause and the audience called again and again but she 
only thanked them and said she would sing with and 
play for the class, but her voice rang through the audi- 
ence clear and soft, often so pathetic that many were 
shedding tears. All together the concert was a grand 
success. As soon as the programme was finished Law- 
rence passed out through the door, entered the street 
and walked rapidly home in a condition of mind hard to 
analyze. 

The next morning at half past eight John was at the 
door of the back parlor. Mrs. Layman opened it, invit- 
ed him in and asked him to be seated. "No," said he, re- 
moving his hat and making a bow. "This is Mrs. Lay- 
man, I believe. My name is Warren, I am looking for a 
quiet — " He did not finish the sentence for he heard 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 345 

some one rush through the front parlor and raising his 
eyes saw Ruth standing in the door, only for an instant, 
for she flew like a chased and frightened bird into his 
open arms. 

"Oh, John, John," she cried, "perhaps you can fool 
mother but you can't fool me," Then resting her head 
lovingly on his shoulder with her arms around his neck 
and her eyes full of glad tears, she said, "John, I knew 
that you were in the room, at the concert last night, be- 
fore our eyes met. I knew it when I passed down the 
aisle. When the curtain raised my eyes wandered for an 
instant over the audience and almost instantly, rested on 
you. I sang that first solo for you, John, as I never sang 
before. How my heart thrilled and leaped for joy, but 
please now John, unlose your arms and let rae breathe; 
are they not getting tired? We'll just sit on the couch 
while you rest them, and while we rest let me introduce 
you to Mrs. Layman, my mother and your mother." 

Mrs. Layman had been a silent spectator, but as the 
two recoiled from each other's embrace to take a little 
breath she came forward and while her heart was too 
full to speak she gave him a mother's kiss and such a 
welcome that his humiliation was all gone and he felt 
himself a man once more. 

"Thee did not suffer alone, John, we suffered with 
thee and prayed daily for thee and thy deliverance." 

"O, yes," said Ruth, as she looked up into his eyes 
now glistening through the tears," I almost died for thee 
John, and I fear I should, had not Florence given me 
courage to hope that some time you might escape. Moth- 
er can tell thee sometime how she held me on her lap 
all day and night. And oh, how my heart ached for thee. 
It felt empty and dry as a desert. Everything seemed 
dead and the world a great impenetrable void. But 
since I got your first letter, though brief, I have been 
happy and felt that I could wait patiently 'till you could 
find your mother." 



346 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"My dear Ruth," said John, "Florence told me all 
about your suffering and had I realized it during my 
captivity it would have added ten fold to mine. And 
now right here I must make a confession and ask your 
pardon. I felt my humiliation, degradation and poverty 
so keenly since I reached the city that it was with trem- 
bling and foreboding that I called on you. I feared 
when you saw me and remembered all you could not re- 
ceive me into your heart again." 

"John, I abjure you by my love that you never, nev- 
er mention that again." 

"You wrote me once from Louisville, I think, about 
the same thing and had you been here I fear I should 
have boxed your ears. Now promise me never, never, 
to allude to that again. Do you so promise, John?" 

"Yes, Ruth, my dear girl, I promise upon my sacred 
honor, never, never to mention it again. And since you 
and mother Layman have given me such a royal wel- 
come, as neither Prince nor Potentate could receive in 
our country, nothwithstanding all my suffering, during 
my captivity, I am now the happiest man living." 

"John," said Ruth, "In the excessive joy of our first 
meeting we have forgotten the rights and interest of an- 
other. What of your mother and my mother? Where 
is she? Has she no interest in our happiness? Go at 
once and get an easy cab. I have introduced you to 
mine and yours, now take me in a cab and introduce me 
to your mother and we will bring her here to dine with 
us." 

"As you wish," said John, "so it shall be." 

The cab was secured and very soon John and Ruth 
were being driven down the street eight blocks to a neat 
but humble home where Aunt Rose sat looking over 
Florence's first letter. She arose to her feet and bowed. 
John gave the introduction, "Ruth Layman, let me in- 
troduce you to Mrs. Bellmont, my mother and your 
mother." It was enough. Ruth threw her arms around 



IN THE RANKS V/ITH COMPANY "A." 347 

the lady's neck and gave her a daughter's kiss. Yes it 
was enough. Aunt Rose's heart was full, and she wept 
with joy and then said: "I have just been reading Flor- 
ence's letter and every time I read it it increases my love 
for you, my dear daughter. May God bless you my 
children, and help you to be kind and faithful to each 
other. She then accepted the invitation and was seated 
in the cab and driven back to Mother Layman's where 
dinner was waiting. Ruth seated them at the table and 
mother Layman returned thanks. A prayer, full of pa- 
thos and reverent love asking the Father's blessing on 
those who had sfTered and had been so severely wound- 
ed without cause by this sinful world and closed by de- 
vout thanks for their deliverance by the same divine lov- 
ing arm that delivered Israel from bondage. 

After dinner they all took their seats in the back 
parlor, Ruth and John on the couch, the same couch 
where Florence and Elmer sat when Murray and the U. 
S. marshal entered the front parlor. 

Ruth was first to speak, "John, did you notice how 
I seated you at the table? You sat in the same chair at 
the same place where you sat at your last meal and din- 
ner in our house, and mother Rose sat on your left where 
Florence always sat and mother at the head of the table 
as always, and I, then but a young and silly girl, sat at 
your right, as I sat today, and expect to sit while we 
both shall live. We were scarcely half done eating when 
the boy entered and handed you the telegram from moth- 
er Rose announcing your father's sudden death, and re- 
quest to hasten home. It was almost train time when 
you took me by the hand, this hand, John, and led me, 
and on the way asked me if in the years to come I could 
learn to love you and be your wife. You did not know 
then, the pain I felt at parting, that my heart was so full 
I could not answer, yes. I tried, my lips moved, but I 
could not speak. I felt and knew that something terri- 
ble would soon happen to you. O, John, I waited and 



348 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

waited for your's and Florence's return and finally after 
many days that letter from Margaret came and told us 
all. O, how I regretted that I could not and did not tell 
you, Ruth's voice broke and the tears rushed to her 
eyes. 

John placed his arm gently around her and stroked 
her hair and said, "Please don't, don't Ruth. You must 
not think of that any more. Let us thank God that it 
will never occur again to me or any one else in this gov- 
ernment." 

"Pray, let me tell you of a few amusing things that 
occurred during my martyrdom. I got some fun out of 
it, as well as much sorrow." 

"I believe that the man who bought me was, if pos- 
sible, meaner than Mrs. Stowe's 'Legree.' He, Bradley, 
we called him 'Old Brad,' was a bloated, blear eyed, un- 
scrupulous, ignorant coward guerrilla. I was quite well 
dressed when he and I reached the plantation, located 
some two and one-half miles from any neighbors. In an 
hour or so he brought out an old dirty, ragged suit of 
clothes and ordered me to change. I said. No, sir, Mr. 
Bradley, I'll not put them on." 

"You won't hey. You refuse do you?" and raised 
his heavy blacksnake whip to strike. "Stop, you vil- 
lain," I said, "Strike me sir, and you die that second, 
I will work for you faithfully while I am your property, 
but don't you ever dare strike me unless you are anxious 
to die." I stood in a position to have knocked him down 
and could have handled three like him, for he was weak, 
clumsy and a blustering coward," 

"We'll see about this later," 

"Yes, we'll see," I said, "but now I give you fair 
warning never to attempt to strike me. Please don't' 
forget what I say." And after telling me to go and tear 
down that old fence and pile up the rails, he went off 
muttering and sat down under the shade where he could 
watch me. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 349 

I went at the rails with a will. I was stout and 
spry, and rails never flew so rapidly on that plantation 
before. I did more in three hours in that boiling sun 
than any three of his best men would have done. I in- 
tended to show him that I was not, as he thought, an 
ordinary nigger." 

When done he called me and asked, "Do you work 
all the time that way?" 

"Yes, I can work all the time the same way when 
treated like a man and not like a dog." 

"Well just sit down and rest awhile." 

"No, sir, I'm not tired, give me other work. I can 
never sit still when there's anything to do." 

"He gave me some light work around the house and 
I put in the day. He soon learned that I could accom- 
plish more in one day than any hand he had in two, but 
all the time I could see he was w^atching for an oppor- 
tunity to humiliate me. I heard him one day tell a 
neighbor that I was worth three common niggers to 
work but that I must come down and learn my place, or 
he'd break my head. 

"Well, things ran along quite smoothly for a month, 
when one day he called me, gave me an old tin pail 
and ordered me to follow him. I did so about forty or 
fifty rods to a cess pool at the terminus of two drains, 
one drain from the house and the other from the slave 
quarters. The pool was dug down to the rock and the 
fluid then was about three feet deep. I think I never 
saw such a filthy place and never one that gave such a 
vile odor." 

"Now take your pail, get in there and dip that stuff 
out," he ordered. 

"No, sir, Mr. Bradley," I replied, "I'll not get in 
there at all. I'll fasten this pole to the pail and dip it 
out, but will not get in that hole." I knew he had been 
drinking and had planned a scheme in his head and 
watched him closely. 



350 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"You won't, hey?" 

"No, sir, I won't," He stood a few feet behind me 
and as I said no sir, he bounded forward with full force. 
I saw the movement and stepped aside just in time, so 
that he missed me and went head first into the pool. He 
went to the bottom, and such a sight as he was I never 
saw as he got to his feet. The poisonous fluid closed 
his eyes that smarted and burned, his hair and heavy 
shaggy beard all full and bedaubed, he boiled, and bub- 
bled and snorted and swore and ordered me to take his 
hand and help him out." 

"No, Mr, Bradley, I'll not take your hand. Take 
hold of this pole and I'll pull you out." 

"I'll shoot you, you wretch, when I get out," 

"No you won't," I said, "for I'm going to let you 
stay in there all day and night. Lay down there you dog 
and rest." 

"O, let me out. Help me out, please, I'll die here." 

"I handed him the pole then and pulled him out, the 
most pitiable object I ever saw and well sobered for he 
had emptied his stomach thoroughly of applejack." 

"John," he said, "will you go to the house and get 
me some clean clothes?" 

"Yes, sir, Mr. Bradley, I will. Pull off those and go 
to the brook and wash yourself clean and I'll be back 
in a minute. Well, he washed and I helped him dress 
and got him to the house, but I never saw a sicker man. 
The doctor was with him all night and could not account 
for the condition of his stomach and his terrible breath. 
Three days after this he called me in the room and 
asked : 

"John, will you take charge of the men and work 
until I get well?' 

"Yes, sir, Mr. Bradley, I'll do the best I can." 

John had hardly finished his story when a boy came 

in and handed him a telegram, which was dated early 

that morning saying: 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 351 

"We will be at your station tomorrow morning at 
eight o'clock." Signed : Elmer Bassett. 

This was unexpected. "John," said Ruth, go to the 
station and order a bus and tell the driver to bring them 
here. We must participate in this reunion. So fly 
around." 

"Wait a minute, Ruth, I wish to ask you a ques- 
tion ,the same I asked you years ago." He quietly 
placed his arm around her waist and looking deep down 
in her eyes, that he might read the very thoughts of her 
heart : 

"Ruth, dear Ruth, will you be my wife?" 

"Yes, John, I will, and placed her arm around his 
neck. 

"When?" 

Raising her face to his as if expecting a kiss, she 
said : "Tomorrow, as soon as Florence comes." 



352 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"And the King shall answer any say unto them, Veriiy 
I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one ot 
these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto 
me." 

ANNA THE SLAVE GIRL. 



Chapter XLIX. 

At the age of eighteen Anna was a very beautiful 
girl. She had handsome brown eyes, rich dark hair and 
teeth resembling a double row of pearls and through 
her veins coursed some of the best blood of Virginia. 

Mr. Brandon, Anna's master, lived near the little 
village of Camden, Va. He had inherited a large planta- 
tion, well stocked with negroes, mules and fast horses 
and with all was a great sport, and a very reckless m.an. 

He bet on elections, gambled with professionals, 
lost heavily at the races and drank too freely. From 
1850 to 52 he found himself so involved in debt that to 
;save his credit and honor, he was compelled to sell some 
■of his slaves. So Anna and five field hands were sold to 
the agent of Art SchrimpfT & Co., of Mobile, Ala., to fill 
up their stock yards. When the sale was completed 
they were chained, together with a few others picked up 
in the neighborhood, and shipped like a drove of mules 
to Mobile. 

On the opposite side of the street from Mr. Bran- 
don's and some forty rods nearer the village lived the 
Hon. Marshall C. VanCamp and en the next lot to the 
east lived Squire Mason. These two men v;ere very in- 
timate friends, and for years were partners in the real 
estate business. 

Messrs. VanCamp and Mason were Wesleyan Meth- 
odists, from Puritan stock, and regarded the whole sys- 
tem of slavery as wicked and sinful. Anna had been a 
frequent caller at both of these homes and highly re- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 353 

spected and kindly treated by every member. The Van- 
Camps had one daughter, an only child about Anna's 
age, and between the two a warm friendship sprang up 
in childhood and lasted until Irma VanCamp was strick- 
en down with fever and after a week of suffering died 
in Anna's arms. 

The poor girl was then heartbroken and desolate 
and as often as possible called on the bereaved parents 
where she found relief and sympathy. And still anoth- 
er great sorrow followed. Her only friends, the Van 
Camips and Masons sold their business and property 
and located in Mobile, about one month before Anna 
was sold. 

Something like six weeks after reaching Mobile, Mr. 
VanCamp was passing through the slave pens of 
Schrimpff & Co., and off in a dark corner, all alone, he 
saw a girl that resembled Anna, she was crying and sob- 
bing and wringing her hands as if in utter despair. "Why 
Anna, is it possible?" said the judge. "How came you 
here?" 

"Oh, Mr, VanCamp, God has surely sent you to me, 
I am almost dying from sorrow and despair, and my 
heart is breaking. I was sold to pay master's gambling 
debts, and brought to this den by a slave trader in a 
chain gang." Then she dropped on her knees before 
him while a fresh fountain of tears rained down her face, 
and cried out, "Oh, Mr. VanCamp, will you save me. 
Oh, can you buy me? I will serve you so faithfully, 
you and Mrs. VanCamp. You are so good and kind. 
I will work day and night for you as long as I live. I 
will pay you back in faithful service, many times." 

"But, Anna," said Mr. VanCamp, "you know I nev- 
er ow^ned a slave, I can't, it's all wrong." 

"Oh, you need not call me your slave," said Anna, 
"Buy me and let me serve you until I've paid the last 
farthing of cost and then I'll serve you as long as you 
live, if you will give me a home. I can never survive 



354 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

this shame and degredation. Since I came here I have 
been sent to the whipping post twice, and each time was 
stripped of my clothing and given thirty lashes on my 
bare back by a brute because I couldn't eat, and sing 
and dance and laugh with the others. The trader says 
he will stop my crying or kill me. I can't stop. My 
heart would break if I'd stop." 

"Now, Anna," said Mr. VanCamp, "take courage. 
Don't cry any more. You're very sick now. I'll see what 
I can do and be back in an hour." 

The Judge called at the office of Art Schrimpff and 
in a friendly manner said: "Art, what are you doing 
with Brandon's Anna? I just passed through your cat- 
tle pen and found her off by herself in a dark corner 
crying herself to death." 

"I bought her thinking she was a choice piece of 
goods, but 'twas a mistake. She won't eat and cries all 
the time. I've had her whipped twice severely and it 
did no good. I hardly know what to do with her. Buy 
her, Judge, I'll give you a bargain, she's a fine cook." 

"I buy and own a slave,' Art, and shut myself out 
of heaven." 

"I don't know much about heaven," said Art, "but 
I'd like to sell her before she gets there." 

"You'll sell her pretty soon then, for she'll not live 
forty-eight hours in her present condition. She is burn- 
ing up with fever now and so weak she can hardly stand 
on her feet. What is your price?" 

"Well, Judge, you may have her for twelve." 

"No, Art, she may not live with the best of care, a 
week and I'll have the expense of a casket and burial. 
I'll give eight; because I pity the girl and possibly may 
be able to save her life." 

"Call it nine. Judge." 

"No, eight is enough for a girl standing on the edge 
of the grave. Had she been a horse or even a dog, as 
sick as she is, you would have had all the doctors in 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 355 

the city to see her. I tell you, Art, she has cried and is 
in such despair now that her brain is burning up and all 
that you have done for her was to give her sixty lashes 
and threaten to kill her if she didn't stop crying." 

"If you say eight I'll take her home, put her to bed 
and send for our doctor at once. There's not a minute 
to lose." 

"Well take her then, and good luck to you, Judge." 

When the bill of sale was made out and signed and 
the check drawn up and signed, VanCamp went back 
through the slave pen and finding Anna he said kindly: 
"Come, Anna, you are our girl now. I have bought you. 
Come with me." He supported her to the door and with 
help placed her in a cab, but Anna never knew how she 
get cut of that dark room and had no recollection of the 
ride to her new home on East Bay street where she was 
placed on a soft bed in a nice, large, well ventilated 
room. The family physician was there and pronounced 
it a critical case of brain fever, and prescribed absolute 
quiet. 

For many hours and days her delirium lasted. She 
imagined herself in the slave pen or at the whipping 
post and would often get under the blankets to hide 
from the brute who gave her those sixty lashes. She'd 
often beg for Irma to come and get her. "I am dying 
here in this foul den," she would say Come and get me, 
Irma, and let me die in your arms as you did in mine." 

On the eighth day the raving stopped and she closed 
her eyes in natural sleep. When she awoke mother Van- 
Camp was at her side. Their eyes met and Anna return- 
ed her smile. 

"There, there, Anna, don't try to talk, you have 
been very sick, but you are better now. Rest dear child, 
you are at home. This is your home now and shall be 
as long as you live. You are our girl and we need you, 
so rest and sleep and live for us, dear child. We gave 
Irma back to God, and He has given you to us." 



356 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

A week later the judge sat reading in Anna's room 
and she was sitting in the big rocking chair well bols- 
tered up with pillows, and cushions. Mother VanCamp 
came in, stood behind Anna's chair, stroked her hair a 
few minutes and then sat down by her side. 

"Why those tears, Anna? you are certainly gaining 
very rapidly. Don't be discouraged, you will soon be 
well." 

"Oh, yes I know il Aunty, but I was just thinking 
as you came in how good you had been to me, in taking 
me out of that slave pen where I heard nothing but 
whipping, screaming, swearing, fiddling and dancing, 
and how I thought then that God had forgotten and for- 
saken me and all hope was dying and despair was seiz- 
ing my brain when Mr. VanCamp came up to me so un- 
expectedly and spoke so kindly to me, just when I was 
sinking, down lower and lower, he said, "Come, Anna, 
come with me, you are our girl now," and that was al- 
most the last I knew until I came to myself in this room 
in a nice clean bed with you watching over me, and for 
many days I don't know how many, you and he had 
watched over me while my brain seemed to be a big 
ball of fire, burning me up. Through all this you have 
patiently and tenderly nursed me back to life, and now 
Aunty, my heart is so full will you not let me shed a 
few tears as I can express my gratitude in no other way." 

During this brief recital the judge closed his book 
while occasionally a big tear rolled down his face. Aunt 
VanCamp took one of Anna's hands in her's and vidth 
the other stroked her hair and when Anna had ceased 
talking said : 

"There, Anna, dear child, we understand how you 
feel and we know all about how you suffered from your 
old master and mistress, and how you have suffered 
since they sold you, and we well remember, too, when 
our Irma was sick how you sat up with her night after 
night and then did your full work every day, for no one, 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 357 

not even I, her own mother, could handle her as tenderly 
as you. And then, too, we have not forgotten that our 
girl made us promise that should it ever be possible, that 
we must do for you as we would have done for her had 
she lived. In trying to keep this promise, Anna, God is 
blessing us in the same ratio that we are helping you." 

And then as Aunt VanCamp kissed her tenderly, 
she continued : 

"There dear child, we understand all you'd like to 
say but now we are anxious to see a little more rich red 
blood come back in your face, and hear your old mus- 
ical laugh, and hear you sing as you and Irma sang back 
in the old home. What we have done and are doing for 
you is a privilege and you can reward us a thousand 
times in love and affection, so brighten up, dear child, 
and throw off this burden." 

"Oh, I will try. Aunty to cheer up, but you and mas- 
ter have treated me so kindly, so differently, everything 
seems so new and strange, so different from the old life 
that I felt burdened and overwhelmed with obligation, 
and felt that I ought to thank God and you with every 
breath." 

"Anna," said the judge, as he sat down by her side 
and took her hand in his. "It's proper and our duty to 
always thank God for all our blessings, but now you 
must throw off this burden of obligation to us, for our 
sakes and your sake, and live for God, yourself and us. 
We need you to fill the place made void by the loss of 
our dear girl, and now, Anna, let me tell you kindly 
this once, please never call me master. We have but 
one Master. He is mine and yours. Call me Marshall, 
or Mr. VanCamp, or Judge, or Uncle, or Father, which 
ever seems to express your regard for me the best." 

Then Anna slipped her arm around the Judge's 
neck, planted a kiss upon his cheek and said while glad 
tears glistened in her eyes and in inexpressable joy il- 
lumined her pale face: 



358 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"Oh, will you let me love you as your own daugh- 
ter did, and be to you what she was. As I loved her so 
dearly, may I and can I take her place and call you 
Father, and call Aunty VanCamp, Mother, and thus help 
to heal your sore hearts?" 

"Why yes, dear child," they both responded and in 
thus consenting the hearts of these good old people 
were healed of a great sorrow and the effect of this in- 
terview on Anna was truly magical, for in another week 
her laugh was heard ringing through the house and the 
roses were coming back to her cheeks, and each day she 
seemed to grow more beautiful, graceful and useful to 
these old people. 

The most frequent callers at the VanCamp home 
were Mr. Mason and lady, Mr. John Ward who owned 
a foundry and machine shop only a few blocks away, 
and a Mr. Fairfield, an old acquaintance back in Virgi- 
nia, born and raised in the same neighborhood with the 
VanCamps, Masons and Anna. Mr. Fairfield traveled 
in disguise, but these people knew very well to what a 
noble purpose he was devoting his life, energy and for- 
tune. 

Some three weeks after Anna's recovery, Mr. Van- 
Camp presented her with a double locket with a gold 
chain, very rich and beautiful in design and finish, with 
his and Mrs. VanCamp's portraits in the case and on 
the lid was nicely engraved, Anna Elnora VanCamp, 
and on the other was engraved, "From Father and Moth- 
er VanCamp." 

In presenting this he said, "Now, my daughter, you 
have a name of your own and never use the name of 
Brandon, for it was not yours, and it has been disgraced. 

Anna impulsively threw her arms around his neck 
and placed a daughter's kiss upon his forehead and while 
tears of gratitude started from her eyes she replied: 
"Dear father, I will honor the name you have given me 
as long as I live, so help me God." 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 359 

Mrs. Stowe says in Uncle Tom's Cabin, "There are 
in this world many noble fathers and mothers when 
earthly hopes have been laid in the grave, with m.any 
tears, the seed from which spring an affection so warm 
and so strong that it can only be satisfied when healing 
bleeding hearts and soothing the sorrows of the lowly. 
the friendless and oppressed." 

Of such were Mr. and Mrs. Van Camp and of such 
is the kingdom of Heaven. 

Four years had passed and Anna sat in her room 
with her head resting on her hand thinking as she often 
did when alone, comparing the old life with the new. "O 
what peace and happiness," she thought "I have en- 
joyed in this home. If I could always have such a home. 
I'd like to live a thousand years. Just four years ago 
today," she said, "since father VanCamp took me out of 
that foul slave pen. O is this new life real or is it a 
dream? I'm afraid it's too good to last. How long can 
father and mother live? His health has failed in the last 
years. He is quite feeble. Then a thought flashed through 
her mind like an electric current: "O if they should die, 
what then? What then?" This so startled her that she 
sprang to her feet and cried out aloud: "O if they should 
die, God pity me." Just as mother VanCamp entered 
the door, and caught her in her arms. 

"Why Anna, what in the world has excited you so? 
You are trembling like a leaf. Do sit down and tell me 
what it means. If you should die?" 

"O mother, I was dreaming though wide awake. I 
was thinking of the home you had given me, of your 
love and parental care, and how happy I had been for 
these four years, when a thought, not exactly a thought, 
'twas more like a voice, that said, 'If they should die, 
what then?' It so frightened me that I sprang to my 



36o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

feet and spoke out loud as you heard me. What does 
it mean, mother, what can it mean?" 

"Dear Anna, you must quiet down and don't let 
this alarm you. Father has made everything secure for 
you. Don't think of auction blocks or slave pens. He 
has made your free papers. I saw and read them, and 
he has made other provisions for you. All his papers 
are in Squire Mason's hands to be held in trust. I'm 
not at liberty to tell you all, but he has made the same 
provisions for you that he would have made for Irma 
had she lived." 

"O dear mother, don't let me seem ungrateful to 
you. I have for some time been worrying about father, 
he seems so feeble of late. All I can ask or take is my 
freedom when I earn it. A hundred years of my ser- 
vice would not pay you for what you've done for me. I 
was an orphan, a beggar, yea, poorer than the poorest 
beggar. A slave possessing no right, to my body or 
soul, hopeless and helpless when you snatched me out 
of the grave, and brought me here and took me to your 
hearts, made me feel that I was your child and gave me 
a home and more, you gave me love." 

"Yes, Anna, all that is true, but we know that you 
have already earned your freedom, in relieving us of 
every care, so let your mind be at rest now and we will 
drop this subject entirely." 

Anna was no longer harrassed with the dread of 
auction sales and slave pens and cheerfully attended to 
all her duties in the home and rendered valuable assist- 
ance to Mr. VanCamp in the settlement of his business. 

Only a month later, on the first of August, mother 
VanCamp was taken with malarial fever and from the 
first there was such a complication of other troubles 
that the doctors gave no encouragement. And here at 
the sick bed of one very dear to her, Anna devoted her 
best energy day and night until a noble life passed to 
its reward. 



IN THE FANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 361 

"You have truly been an angel of mercy to us 
Anna," said Mr. VanCamp, on returning from the bur- 
ial. "How glad I am that God put it into my heart to 
bring you into our home. I can stay with you only a 
few days longer, I feel that my days are numbered and 
I am anxious to go. I have made all arrangements for 
you, and you are to have a home as long as you like 
with our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Mason, when I am gone. 
And don't mourn for me, daughter, for I shall be better 
off there than here." 

"O father, you must not, I cannot let you go," said 
Anna as she placed her head on his shoulder and wept 
and sobbed like a child. 

"Dear child you must not take on so, I only speak 
of this that when my time for departure draws nigh 
you may also be prepared. It may be many days yet, or 
but very few." 

"God grant that it may be many," said Anna. 

But it was only one short week till Mr. VanCamp 
was stricken with a malignant type of fever and lived 
only a few days. 

Another sad opportunity for Anna to minister to 
one in his last sickness who had saved her from a cruel 
and terrible fate. 

After the burial she locked the VanCamp house and 
went to her new home with Mr. and Mrs. Mason, who 
received her so cordially that it did much to heal a sore 
heart. 

The next day after the burial Squire Mason took 
from his safe the large envelope containing the Van- 
Camp papers on which was written: 

"A. J. Mason, Esq. This package you will open im- 
mediately after my burial in the presence of John Ward 
and Anna Elnora VanCamp and follow the instructions 
herein contained." That evening the three were in the 
Squire's office and the package was opened in the pres- 
ence of all. 



362 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A."' 

The first paper taken out was a letter addressed to 
Anna which she opened and read while tears blinded 
her eyes. After looking it over she read it aloud. 

"Dear • child. Few daughters ever gave so freely 
such unbounded affection and devotion as you have lav- 
ished on mother and me. Every day you filled our home 
and hearts with sunshine, and joy. I am not able to re- 
ward you for such devotion, God alone can do that. I 
leave you with Mr. and Mrs. Mason. Should there be 
any trouble in the settlement of my estate, John Fair- 
field, whom you remember, will assist him and you. 

"May God keep and bless you, my dear child. 

Farewell, 
MARSHALL VANCAMP." 

The second paper in the package was instructions 
directed to Squire Mason and John Ward to which was 
pinned a certificate of deposit in a New York bank, for 
fifteen hundred dollars drawn to Squire Mason and John 
Ward, as trustees. 

The instructions were brief and as follows: 

"I leave my child, Anna, in your care and under 
your protection. I have one near relative back in Vir- 
ginia that would sell his Lord for less than thirty pieces 
of silver. Beware of him. I have arranged with John 
Fairfield to aid you, should you require an attorney. 
Deal with this child as you would by your own daugh- 
ter and God will reward you. 

MARSHALL VANCAMP." 

In the third envelope was a check on the Planters' 
Bank, Mobile, for fifteen hundred dollars, with instruc- 
tions as follows: 

"This check must be endorsed and drawn by Squire 
Mason and John Ward immediately after my burial. 
This is intended to be used in case proceedings are in- 
stituted to deprive Anna of her liberty or the property 
deeded to her. The residue if any, shall be held by you 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 363 

in trust for her benefit until she is secure in her free- 
dom." 

The fourth paper was a warranty deed to Squire 
Mason and John Ward, as trustees of this property of 
Anna E. VanCamp, conveying the home property and 
several other houses and lots on the same street. The 
deed provided that this real estate should be held by 
them in trust for twenty years or less at their option, 
and the net receipts over and above what might be nec- 
essary for her use, should be deposited in a safe bank in 
a free state or in Canada. 

The fifth paper was a draft on a New York bank 
for five hundred dollars, drawn to the trustees of the 
Wesleyan Methodist church to which he and his wite 
belonged back in Virginia. 

The sixth envelope was marked on the outside, 
"Free Papers for Anna E. VanCamp." Anna was the 
first to open the envelope and as she glanced it over she 
exclaimed, "O, O, Father forgot to sign this paper." She 
handed it to Mason and Ward and they looked it 
through and sat for a moment as if dazed. 

"Well," said Ward, "there's no question as to the 
intention, that can be proven by you and Fairfield and 
me. 

"But," said the Squire, "Will the court regard the 
intention?" 

"I fear not," remarked Ward. 

"We can't consult a lawyer here, for this omission 
must not be made known to any person in Mobile." 
"Fairfield," said Ward. 

"Yes, Fairfield," said Mason. "I'll send him a tele- 
gram to be here on the 9 :oo a. m. tomorrow." 

During this brief conversation Anna sat as motion- 
less as if carved from stone. 

"Anna." said Mr. Mason, "don't give up. God bless 
you child, they can't have you, though it should take 
every dollar bequeathed to you to get your freedom." 



364 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Fairfield, with his mulatto servant carrying a suit 
case, arrived on the 9 :oo a. m. train as expected and im- 
mediately crossed over to Squire Mason's office where 
he found all the parties interested. The papers were 
then taken up and carefully examined. 

"Well," said Mr. Fairfield," there is only one serious 
trouble. The Free Papers. Should the court decide 
them void, then Anna is yet the property of the estate, 
and property can't hold property. But, continued Mr. 
Fairfield, this real estate which is very valuable, has 
been wisely conveyed to you as trustees for twenty years 
or a less time at your option, can in my opinion be held 
by you if we succeed in helping Anna with her free pa- 
pers, beyond their reach for a few years, for I tell you 
now that as sure as there is a just God in Heaven, in 
less than ten years every slave will be free." 

"Amen," said Mr. Mason, "I believe and know it." 

"Now," said Mr. Fairfield, "If they commence pro- 
ceedings to recover this property including Anna, shall 
we fight it, or shall I take Anna now immediately to 
Canada before she is attached?" 

"O," said Anna springing to her feet and her voice 
trembling with emotion, "What have I done to involve 
you, the only friends I have in the world, in such trouble 
as this? What have I done that I should be compelled 
to flee like a base, cowardly criminal, in the night or in 
disguise, from my home to some foreign land? Why 
am I liable to arrest and imprisonment, as I am guilty 
of no crime except that I was born of a slave mother, 
that was unfortunate in being white and beautiful?" 

"Must I, the daughter of one who was once a mem- 
ber of Congress and later of the U. S. Senate, and my 
own mother the child of one who was the Governor of 
the great state of Virginia; must I be spirited away in 
the night like a thief from my home and the few friends 
I love as my life, because of my blood?" 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 365 

"People here and in Virginia talk of blood, why, 
sirs, my mother's mother was the daughter of one who 
signed the Declaration of Independence declaring all 
men free and equal before God, and afterwards gave his 
life to make this country free. I feel as though I'd rath- 
er fight than run. I know what it is to be a slave and I 
know how precious freedom is." 

"Anna," said Mr. Fairfield, "I have known you from 
all you have said as to your blood is true. And like 
your ancestors I see you have the nerve. But the safest 
way is always the best and the safest way requires 
nerve. We'll see. You shall never go back into slavery 
again so surely as God spares m.y life." 

John Fairfield appeared here in two characters. On 
the streets and in the slave markets he was a Texas 
planter wearing a broad brimmed hat, a costume of 
homespun and vernacular peculiar to the district he rep- 
resented. His disguise was so perfect in voice and cos- 
tume that not one of his most intimate friends would 
suppose him to be the polished and cultured John Fair- 
field of Virginia. 

After dinner Fairfield disguised as a Texas planter, 
and his servant carrying a suit case called at the pro- 
bate office where he found a lawyer from his own coun- 
ty in Virginia. The lawyer asked to see the will of the 
late Marshall C. VanCamp. 

The clerk shook his head and replied that none had 
been filed. 

"Has there been no action fcr the settlement of the 
estate?" 

"Not any," replied the clerk. "He may have settled 
his own estate." 

"Say, Lawyer," said the planter, "I have a little 
claim against that estate and called to see the Executor 
or Administrator, but as there is none I guess I'm up 
against it. Was there any property left, do you know?" 

"Well," said the lawyer, "I find nothing here. I 



366 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

have heard that he had one girl said to be worth two 
thousand dollars, and some very valuable real estate." 

"Whew, she must be very nice to be worth that." 

"They say she's the prettiest and smartest girl in 
Mobile." 
'Well," said the planter, "I might buy her if forsale. 

"She'll be for sale. I shall get out an attachment as 
soon as I find out where she is. Probably tomorrow." 

Our planter had found out all he wanted to know 
and looking at his watch saw that it was 2 :3o. 

"Come, Jack," said he, "I have an appointment at 
3 :oo and we must go. Bring the case. Jack." 

They started off in an opposite direction and after 
quite a long tramp came in to Squire Mason's through 
an alley, seldom frequented. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mason and Anna were present. Mr. 
Fairfield took off his disguise and then said: "Come into 
the office, draw down the curtain, and lock the doors, I 
have a scheme and I know Anna has the nerve to play 
her part." 

"A writ of attachment and search warrant will be 
gotten out and served tomorrow. This boy Jack of mine 
is not a boy but a girl, the same age of Anna, and as 
white and beautiful as she is, meaning no offense to you, 
Anna. I haven't time now to tell how or where or in 
what condition I found her. I have another 
suit of boy's clothing exactly the same that 
Jack has on, and you Anna will be Jack and Jack will 
be Jim, Mrs. Mason will get a pair of shears and cut 
your hair just as Jim's is cut and Jim will dope you just 
as she is doped, from head to foot. It will never wash 
off with water. When necessary I will furnish you a 
chemical that will erase it entirely. What say you, 
Anna? What say you, Mr. and Mrs. Mason? It is the 
easiest and quickest way out and also safe. I will then 
stay and defend the suit as to the real estate, or furnish 
a lawyer, while the officers are looking for Anna Bran- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 367 

don. Mr. Mason will now give you your free papers so 
that he need not tell an untruth when he says Anna took 
her free papers and left." 

"What do you say, Anna?" 

"The Judge might rule," said Anna, "that the omis- 
sion of the signature was intentional and override alJ 
evidence to prove the intention. I'll do it, Mr. Fairfield, 
and I've got the nerve to play my part. Yes, I'll play 
my part of this joke. Bring the shears, Mrs. Mason." 
A luxurious growth of rich brown hair soon lay on 
the table and the process of shingling was nicely done. 
"Now Jack, take Anna into her room and dope her from 
head to foot and dress her in that suit like yours." 
Anna blushed and hesitated. 

"Jack," said Fairfield, "take Anna into her room and 
shov/ her the scars on your back and shoulders. And 
while they were out Mr. Fairfield continued. I saw 
them the next night after it was done and I never saw 
such a sight before. The overseer gave her forty lashes, 
whipped her till she fainted and fell, then kicked her and 
left her for dead. And she would have died sure enough 
had not a wench, a good old mother, carried her to an 
old cotton house and doctored her wounds till she could 
stand on her feet and walk, then I got her away. This 
happened three months ago and she has been with me 
ever since. As I take Anna and her to Canada we will 
stop at Lexington, Ky., and get her mother, who is on 
a plantation three miles out. I shall have the good old 
mother that nursed Lizzie as soon as I get back from 

this trip." 

"Now Jack," said Fairfield, as they came in, "yo"' 
name hereafter will be Jim, please remember, and your 
name, Anna, will be Jack, representing the same Jack 
that has been with me all over the city, the slave market 
and hotels, carrying my suit case which, by the way. 
contains a bundle of bank notes and valuable papers. Be 
sure and keep it in your hands. And now you go with 



368 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Jim to the back alley and learn how to walk." This 
practice was kept up for two days. 

On the next morning early a Texas planter with a 
boy servant, carrying a suit case called at the Planters' 
Hotel and inquired for Mr. Polk Graham. 

"He is in his room, sir/' said the clerk. 

Will you take my card and say to him that a gentle- 
man from Altoon, Texas, would like to see him a few 
minutes?" 

The clerk bowed and disappeared, and on returning 
said: "The gentleman says he will be pleased to see 
you." 

"Come, Jack," said the planter, "if the clerk will 
please show us the way we'll go to his room." On en- 
tering the room he was received very cordially and in- 
troduced to his two daughters, aged respectively eigh- 
teen and twenty, 

"Mr. Graham, I learn that you are the legal heir to 
the estate of the late Marshall C. VanCamp." 

"Yes sir, I have placed on file in the Probate office 
evidence to that effect. Is there anything I can do for 

you." 

"Well, perhaps," said the planter, "I have a small 
claim which I ought to file, not large, only a couple of 
hundred. How do you find the estate?" 

"Well I find but little as yet. His cash has all 
been disposed of in some way and his real estate, which 
is valuable, has all been deeded to two men to hold in 
trust for twenty years, for the benefit of one Anna El- 
nora VanCamp. We are not able yet to find who she is 
or where she is, but we are quite satisfied that she is the 
Anna Brandon that he bought of Schrimpff some four 
years ago." 

"Well," said the planter, "if he bought her of Art 
Schrimpff he will identify her, he would if he'd sold her 
twenty years ago." 

"No trouble there if we find her. We have issued a 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 369 

search warrant and a writ of attachment and will prob- 
ably bring her in today." 

"Now, Mr. Graham, my business in the city is to 
pick up a few, say two or three handsome girls, from 
eighteen to twenty-four. Have two now near here and 
from what I can learn of this Anna Brandon, she's a 
daisy. Did you ever see her Mr. Graham, and would 
you know her now?" 

"O yes I saw her often at Brandon's and am sure 
I'd know her now. She was a beauty then, and proud 
as Lucifer." 

"Say, pa," said the older daughter, "don't you sell 
her, I want her for a maid. You promised to get me 

one." 

"Well Sate I think she's a little tony for you. She's 
been spoiled by uncle and Aunt and has got too n>any 
airs." 

"That's just the reason I want her. I'd like to take 
her down. I'd soon — " 

"No use talking. Sate, I must sell her. We've got 
niggers enough." 

"What do you call her worth?" asked the planter. 

"She's worth twenty, but I'll take eighteen now." 

"Well, Mr. Graham, if I can help you in any way to 
find her I'll gladly do so." 

"Thank you, Mr. Brown, call again." 

"Come Jack, we must go now. Bring the case." 
They went down through the bar room out into the 
street and made their way to Schrimpff's office. 

"Well, Art, how are you? Take a cigar, a genuine 
Havana. How's your stock now? Show me through. 
I am looking for a few fancy gals, two or three." 

SchrimpfF took him all through his rooms and yards 
but none of his girls suited. They were too old or too 
young. Too dark or too yellow. As they were going 
out SchrimpfF said to Fairfield: 



370 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

"That's a fine boy you've got there. Where'd you 
pick him up?" 

"Over in Kentuck." 

"What's your price?" 

"Not for sale. I can send that boy to New Orleans, 
Austin or Cuba, if necessary, on any kind of business and 
he will do it as well as I can." 

"A fine looking fellow," said Schrimpff. 

"Say, Brown, I expect to have a girl here by tomor- 
row, one I sold over four years ago to VanCamp, she's a 
beauty and for sale." 

"I've heard of her and when you get her in notify 
me at once at the Allen House. Come Jack, we'll go 
now. They went directly to the hotel, got their dinners, 
then made their way to Mason's and came in through 
the alley, from another street. Fairfield took off his dis- 
guise and they all went into Mason's private office, leav- 
ing Jim to receive or dismiss callers. 

"About an hour after you left," said Mason, "an 
officer called on me and read a search warrant and writ 
of attachment. All right, I said, you can search the 
premises and attach anything you find that don't belong 
to me. He went all through the barn and house and 
barn and outbuildings, garden and park, but of course 
found nothing. He then became quite mellow and in- 
quired if I knew Anna Brandon. VanCamp's house ser- 
vant. No, I answered. But I knew Anna VanCamp 
who lived there several years. A mighty fine girl, too. 
She called them father and mother and nursed them 
through their last sickness. She was no servant, how- 
ever. Her mother might have been a slave. Some time 
before Mr. VanCamp died he made out free papers for 
her and placd them in my hands to hold for her in case 
of his death. Right soon after the burial I handed Anna 
her papers and quite a purse and she left. Then he ask- 
ed if I knew where she went. I answered no, but she'll 
probably land up north somewhere, for she had a right 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 371 
smart sum of money and has had plenty of time. He 
had called on Ward before he came here." 

"Well done, Mason," said Fairfield. " We have 
played them an expensive joke, worth by their estimate, 
eighteen hundred dollars. Suit will be brought agamst 
you and Ward to recover the real estate. I don't know 
what they expect to do, but I do know that the mstitu- 
tion of slavery is a bubble, all hollow, and wxU burst in 
le^^s than ten years. A revolution is inevitable and God 
rules. Slavery is doomed. Whom the Gods wish to 
destroy they first make mad." 

At this time Mr. Ward came in, and Mr. Fairfield 
continued: "As I said. Mason, you and Ward will be 
made defendants to a suit to recover Anna's real estate. 
I have employed for you one of the best lawyers I know. 
A friend of mine, John Sherman, living m Ohio. Here 
is his card. Send him a telegram as soon as notice is 
served on you. I will be here if possible but you know 
the harvest is plenty, and laborers are few. Now Jack 
you and Jim pack all of your duds, good, but right quick, 
and when done if you have anything in the old home Mr. 
Mason and Ward will go across with you and open the 
door The key must be left with Mason. Get what 
you will need that belongs to you, that's not bulky and 
pack in these trunks, then Jack mark them plainly, Ches- 
ter Markley, Covington, Ky., valuable. Get a dray and 
both you boys hop on and go to the station and order 
them shipped by express on f^rst train. Hurry up for 
we shall go on the 10:40 tonight." 

While these details were being looked after by Jack 
and Jim, Mr. Fairfield in his disguise was visiting the 
hotels and finally called on Mr. Graham. 

"Thout I'd drop in a few minutes and see if you'd 
found that gal." 

"No we've not found her and that's not the worst of 
it. We learn from that man Mason, one of the trus- 



372 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

tees, that my uncle made her out free papers, put them 
in his hands to hold until his death, and a day or so after 
the burial he handed them to her with a lot of money 
and she skipped out. A clean two thousand gone. My 
uncle was a crank and I question whether I get enough 
out of this estate to pay my expenses." 

"Well, well," said the planter, "I'm awful sorry 
about that gal. I was in hopes you'd found her by this 
time. Take a genuine Havana. She may be hid some- 
where in the city, and if you find her see that you get 
hold of the papers." 

At 10:30 p. m. the bus was at the door. Anna had 
kept up bravely until the parting with Mr. and Mrs. Ma- 
son, then the tears started from her eyes, her lips moved 
but she could not speak, but threw her arms around 
their necks and kissed them both, then shook hands 
with Mr. Ward and climbed into the bus. Mr. Fairfield 
had already procured tickets for himself and two ser- 
vants and at 10:40 they bid Mobile farewell and started 
for Lexington, Ky. 

Our travelers reached Lexington at 10:00 a. m. on 
Sunday and found rooms at a hotel well in the eastern 
portion of the city. Mr. Fairfield engaged a span of good 
drivers and a two seated, closed cab for a twelve or fif- 
teen mile drive to start that evening at five o'clock. 
Aunt Polly, Lizzie's mother, was well known in 
her neighborhood, by the colored people as a good nurse 
and doctor for children. Promptly at the hour the cab 
was driven up to the door, Fairfield took the lines, Lizzie 
sat by his side and Anna took the back seat. They drove 
west into the heart of the city, then south two miles, 
then east four miles, north two miles, then east three- 
fourths of a mile and Lizzie stepped out of the cab and 
walked rapidly toward the slave quarters. When she 
got within twenty rods of Aunt Polly's cabin she met a 
colored girl, handed her a silver dollar and asked her to 
tell Aunt Polly to come out there. "But don't tell any- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 373 

body else. They's a mighty sick child down to Massa 
Havens. Be spry." 

"Yes I'll get her here in a jirk." 

As Aunt Polly approached, Lizzie could hardly con- 
trol her voice, but managed to say : 

"Is you Aunt Polly sure?" 

"Yes sir, I is Aunt Polly." 

"They's got a mighty sick baby down to Massa Ha- 
vens. Come with me mighty fast an you can ride there." 
Anna had changed to the front seat and Lizzie and her 
mother got in the back seat. Then the team was driven 
on a good pace past the plantation to the next corner, 
then turned to the left and on reaching the pike started 
for the east part of the city. As soon as Lizzie was seat- 
ed and the team started she spoke in her natural voice. 
"O mother, don't you know your own Lizzie? I'm your 
girl dressed in boy's clothes on my way to Canada. Then 
she threw her arms around her mother's neck and asked 
her again. Don't you know me, mother. I'm your Liz- 
zie that was sold. Do you know me now?" 

"Yes Lizzie. I knows your voice. Bless the Lord. 
It is Lizzie. Yes it is. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Bless 
the Lord. O how my heart has ached to take you to my 
arms once more." 

The carriage rattled on over the gravel pike back 
to the city while Lizzie told in a brief way the story of 
her crucifixion. 

It was 10:00 o'clock p. m. when they reached their 
rooms and Fairfield told Anna and Lizzie to take Aunt 
Polly to their room and dope her black from, head to 
fcot, cut and shingle her hair and fit this wig. "We 
must have one wench in our gang," he said, "and Aunt 
Polly remember you are a professional cook." 

"That's what I am, Massa." 

"Well, girls, we leave here on the one-thirty a. m, 
train for Covington, so be lively." 



374 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

Aunt Polly scarcely showed any African blood and 
when the girls brought her into Fairfield's room a dark 
brown with a wig and a wide red ribbon around her fore- 
head, she bowed and said, "I is your cook, Massa." He 
indulged in a hearty laugh, which was very unusual for 
him. 

"Well done, girls," said he, "you have learned the 
art and I think I'll keep you in the service." 

Aunt Polly spoke to Lizzie and said, "I'll be glad 
lA^hen you get your own clothes on and that yellow off 
your face so that I shall know you. I should't know you 
now if it wasn't for your voice." 

"Well, mother, I shouldn't know you with your 
voice if I hadn't helped to put on the dope." 

At 1 :2o the bus was at the door and at 1 130 Mr. 
Fairfield, one wench and two yellow boys got aboard, 
reached Covington safely, and crossed over to Cincin- 
nati and went directly to Mrs. Layman's, a Quakeress, 
where the party rested that day. They then took the 
midnight express and reached Richmond, Indiana, where 
they stopped with Mr. Martin, a Quaker. Here the girls 
were both sick and compelled to go to bed. They were 
worn out by loss of sleep and constant anxiety and now 
Aunt Polly made herself useful as a nurse and doctor. 
She gave warm baths, mints, catnip and many bitter 
herbs for a week. The treatment was so radical that 
the girls concluded they were cured. They began to get 
so noisy and unmanageable that Aunt Polly discharged 
them. 

From Richmond, Indiana, they were compelled to 
travel on the underground railroad. This was a slo^v 
and tedious mode of traveling, especially in the month 
of November, for persons so recently from the climate 
of Mobile. 

Before leaving Richmond, Fairfield secured a good 
supply of blankets and wraps, and on the evening of the 
ninth day from Mobile, Mr. Martin drove them to the 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 375 

next station. Then they passed through Winchester, 
Portland, Decatur, Fort Wayne, Kendallville and 
reached our station in Salem township in a blinding 
storm of sleet and snow at 4 :oo o'clock a. m. on the 28th 
of November, 1855, cold, tired and hungry. Although 
we were not looking for company so early in the morn- 
ing and in sud* a storm, we got out as quickly as possi- 
ble, built a roaring fire, cared for them, and in about an 
hour our callers sat down to a good hot breakfast. For 
an hour after breakfast Mr. Fairfield gave us a brief des- 
cription of his trip, the saving of Lizzie from a brutal 
cotton planter, the rescue of Anna, right in the open, and 
the abduction of Aunt Polly. 

He expected when he reached Richmond to take a 
train for Fort Wayne or Battle Creek, thinking he could 
outdistance pursuit, but when the girls became sick he 
knew he must change to the underground railroad. The 
next morning after reaching Richmond he went to the 
station and met a detective looking for Aunt Polly. He 
handed Fairfield a handbill offering for her apprehension 
three hundred and fifty dollars. 

"Quite a large, fine built woman nearly white?" 
asked Fairfield. 

"Yes, she was straight, neat and handsome for her 

age- 

"I believe," said Fairfield, "I saw her at Cmcmnati,. 

at the station and if it was she, she boarded a train. 

How did she get away? Did any one see her escape?'" 

"No, she dropped out of sight all at once on Sunday 
night about half past eight," 

"Have you any trace or track of this woman Polly?" 

"Not a single track," replied the detective. "She's a 
goner and I shall quit when I watch a few more trains, 
and go back to Cincinnati." 

When our company got thoroughly warm and some- 
what rested they all went to bed and slept all day. The 
storm raged while they slept and by night the roads 



376 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

were impassable. Not until the third night were we able 
to move them to the next station. Mr. Fairfield got 
very nervous and anxious to be going but the girls and 
Aunt Polly enjoyed the delay. Anna gave us a full and 
complete history of her life as a slave as the time would 
permit, often being prompted by Mr. Fairfield, who also 
gave his part of the drama. When Anna spoke of Mr. 
and Mrs. VanCamp and how they rescued her when she 
was dying with despair, of their goodness and kindness 
^when she was not only an orphan but hopeless and help- 
less, her voice trembled and tears glistened in her eyes. 
As soon as she recovered from her brain fever they em- 
ployed a private teacher who came to the house daily, 
except Sundays, until Mrs. VanCamp was taken sick. 
As to Lizzie and Aunt Polly their stories would be too 
long for this article. I will add, however, that Mr. Fair- 
field called on us the next October and gave us the 
judge's decision in the case of Graham vs. Messrs. Ma- 
son & Ward. The court ruled that as Anna held free 
papers from Mr. VanCamp the deed to her was good. 
The execution of the free papers by Mr. VanCamp was 
sworn to by the two trustees, and Mr. Mason also testi- 
fied that he handed the papers to Anna and that she had 
left the country. The question of their not being signed 
v/as not brought out in the trial. 



Memorial Address Delivered at Ontario 
by Lieutenant Butler. 

CHAPTER L. 



As we stand at the base of a mountain range how 
soon the mind becomes confused by the immensity be- 
fore us. 

Not until we move away far enough so that the out- 
lines are plainly visible does the mountain rise up in all 
its grandeur and sublimity. 

So also as we move away from the War of the Re- 
bellion by lapse of time, confusion of actions and opin- 
ions, prejudices and hatreds and losses and sufferings 
are left with the past. 

And as blind partisan zeal gives place to a nobler 
patriotism — can we fully comprehend the mighty strug- 
gle for national life and see the clear impressive outlines 
of national action. 

The War of the Rebellion and the causes that pro- 
duced it; the national action and the patriotic devotion 
that subdued it, have been woven into the history of the 
past and these great historical truths will not change 
though we be condemned by them, and by our con- 
science, our country and our God. 

Cost of the war in life and suffering and ruined 
homes and broken hearts and blasted hopes ; in possi- 
bilities nailed to the cross, in public and private prop- 
erty destroyed, and the sudden check to productive la- 
bor and commerce, is far beyond human comprehen- 
sion. 

Why, the bare money cost at that time was esti- 
mated at $6,189,929,908. This amount if in gold will 
load 700 cars; if in silver, 11,200 cars, and make a train 
sixty-five miles long. If in silver dollars and placed one 
upon another it will make a stack or column 8,881 miles 
high — 881 miles higher than the distance through this 



378 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

earth. If in one dollar bills and placed end to end will 
make a belt 683,862 miles, and will go around the earth 
twenty-seven and one-third times. 

The first gun of the Rebellion was fired by the Con- 
federates April 12, 1861. The last engagement fought 
near Barco-chieco, Texas, May 10, 1865, and during these 
four years and one month our armies were engaged in 
5,574 battles, skirmishes and sieges. 

If through ignorance, prejudice, early training, par- 
tisan zeal, cowardice or any such cause, we failed in our 
duty to our country in its darkest hours of peril, let us 
now inhale the patriotic inspiration of this memorial 
day and shed tears of contrition for our sins against our 
government and tears of sorrow for and with those who 
saved for us our country and our flag. 

If there are any here (and I hope there are none) 
who were allied to treasonable conspiracies, organiza- 
tions or circles, giving aid or encouragem.ent, directly, 
indirectly, secretly or openly to the enemies of our coun- 
try, cr who rejoiced at our calamities and the defeat of 
our arm.ies, and wept only and most bitterly among the 
ashes, the debris, and blackened, crumbling ruins of the 
Slave Holders' Confederacy, do not despair now — there 
is mercy for even such as you. 

The Grand Army of the Republic — that saved for 
you your country — is magnanimous and will forgive, 
and in forgiving will commend you to the surer mercies 
of God. 

The doctrine of state rights and southern suprem- 
acy were most insidiously taught all over and through 
the southern slave states for more than sixty years, cul- 
minating in the mightiest rebellion the world ever wit- 
nessed. 

For four long, dark and bloody years the harvest 
■oi' death and devastation rolled on desolating homes and 
filling the land with woe and suffering. 

Happy indeed were the homes where the firesides 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 379 

were not sprinkled with the blood of the slain and no 
martyrs' graves to be kept green by the tears of the 
widow and the orphan. 

For so long had we enjoyed peace, that when the 
f.rst Confederate gun was fired on Fort Sumpter the 
Vvhole nation was paralyzed with the fear and dread of 
v.^ar, and not until the grand army of heroes responded 
to the call for men and more men. did the nation arise 
like a half awakened giant and stagger to the mighty 
conflict. 

At first it was a battle for life and a very grave 
question of national existence — for time to look around 
£nd utilize resources; to take breath and gather strength 
fcr the terrible conflict already on — time to get money 
to inspire national credit; to get supplies of clothing, 
tents, blankets, rations, horses, wagons, arms, ammuni- 
tion, artillery and drilled men to handle it; gunboats 
and efficient crev,7s; a navy to blockade 2,000 miles of 
seaccast and sufficiently efPxient in character to com- 
mand the respect of the civilized world ; time to organ- 
ize and equip net only an arm.y to fight the enemy, but 
tc protect a front of 1,500 miles in extent with all the 
railroads, supply depots and supply trains, and to se- 
cure hospitals and hospital stores for the sick and the 
vounded, and an army of efficient surgeons and nurses 
— time, oh, for more time to create, organize, discipline 
and adjust an army with all the essentials and collaterals 
for war. 

Then as this mad rush and turmoil in meeting 
em.ergencies while the surging waves of war rolled on, 
alternating between success and humiliating defeat, up 
rose the grave and all important question, "What shall 
be done with slavery and the slaves?" For months the 
question hung and none could answer. There was no 
law, no precedent. 

But in due time the greatest, because the wisest of 
them all, Abraham Lincoln, spoke words that thrilled 



38o IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

the loyal north and went ringing around the globe — 
"As the Lord God liveth, if you lay not down your arms 
every slave shall be made free." And from the front 
line of battle, begrimmed with dust and smoke, the 
Grand Army shouted loud and long: 

"As the Lord God liveth, every slave shall be 
made free." 

And from all the camps of rendezvous — 

From all the boys late dressed in blue, 

We're comang, Father Abraham 

Five hundred thousand strong. 

And all the people who loved their country and the 
old flag bowed their heads and responded in one grand 
chorus — Amen ! 

It would not be at all surprising if in the hurly- 
burly, unprecedented and stupendious labor involved, 
requiring millions of money per day, with a treasury 
bankrupt and the credit of the government nearly ruined 
by the uncertainty of the result, that some few irregu- 
larities crept in and some mistakes were made during 
the war. 

The credit of the nation was seriously affected and 
the uncertainty of the result augmented many fold by 
the divided condition of the north. 

Treasonable conspiracies permeated every function 
of the governn\ent and the social fabric of the whole 
country; demagogues were numerous and bold; they 
were loud and vindictive in pronouncing anathamas 
against, the president, and eloquent as expounders of 
the law and constitution. Everywhere their influence 
was felt and did much to retard the successful prosecu- 
tion of the war. 

I am aware that at the present time we have many 
experts in the new school -of political economy who are 
confident that they could have managed the financial 
interests of the government much better than was done 
during those dark, trying and uncertain times. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 381 

But when we contemplate the magnitude of the re- 
bellion so suddenly precipitated upon us, without prep- 
aration on our part to meet it — by an enemy equally 
brave, sanguine and at first better skilled in arms — with 
efficient leaders and all closely bound together by bitter 
prejudices and the mighty cords of conspiracy, I'm of 
the opinion that the more thoughtful and patriotic of 
our people v/ill not indulge in criticisms, but rather 
thank Almighty God that the rebellion was overthrown 
and that organized treason did not destroy the nation 
and murder the hopes of mankind. 

What ever may be the cause of the crisis, the great 
depression in business, the loss to labor and unrest 
among the people, with the wild, mad and fanatical dem- 
onstrations in the last few years, is to be deeply de- 
plored. 

In these crucial times, when war seems to be fer- 
menting all over the world, like the leaven in a measure 
of m,eal, every citizen should be a patriot and stand 
firmly for law and order. Let us hope, Comrades, that 
our beloved country will never again be involved in war. 

Let us trust to the virtue and the intelligence of the 
people and let us hope that that fear of Heaven which 
expells all other fear, and that regard for duty that tran- 
scends all other regard, may influence public men and 
private citizens and lead our country still onward in 
her happy career. 

In the past we have many examples of patriotic de- 
votion. Only one will I recall. 

During our late civil war all England looked on 
with a jealous eye. 

Wait, said she, until your armies are turned loose 
to prey upon your country and your boasted republic 
will be transformed into a military despotism. 

But what was the result? Within three months 
after Lee's surrender a million veteran soliders, many 
of whom had been, for four years, schooled in war, were 



382 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

turned loose and all returned to their homes, each ad- 
justing himself to some useful occupation and profes- 
sion in civil life. 

The armies of the Union, their warfare over, crowd- 
ed edong all the busy avenues and were found in all the 
places of industry and high renown. 

The hand that dropped the musket seized the plow 
— the good right arm that wielded the sabre with such 
destructive force, impelled the saw and plane, the 
swords of the leaders of charging hosts were hung 
against the wall, and many of the boys who carried the 
gun have filled the councils of the nation, and the 
voices of all have been for peace — and all this transfor- 
mation from the volunteer citizen soldier to the civilian 
v>?'ithout jar or discord. 

This is an example of patriotism that astonished 
the civilized world. 

In these perilous times, on this solemn Decoration 
Day, over the graves of our fallen comrades, and under 
the old Fiag, let us pledge anew our sacred allegiance, 
and stand shoulder to shoulder, with elbows at touc'i 
as we did from '6i to '65 by our country now as we did 
lor our country then. 

And if ills there be, bear them patiently and hero- 
ically like men, until in God's good time the people 
shall gather together in their respective places where 
all wrongs in our government should and can be righted 
at the polls. 

It is to honor the memory of our fallen comrades 
that we meet here today. 

We must strew their graves with flowers and 
mingle our tears with those who gave for country more 
than wealth — a husband, a father, a brother, a son. 

We meet to teach our children lessons of patriot- 
ism, the cost of the war of the rebellion and that their 
fathers were engaged in a just and holy cause. 

That they were not adventurers, following the for- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 383 

tunes of war of some king or prince to found an empire, 
but honest, earnest, faithful citizens, who though they 
loved their hemes, their famiHes and friends, loved their 
country more — not soldiers from choice, but from a nec- 
essity that an earnest sense of duty impels. 

That they fought, not to enslave but to free, not to 
destroy but to save, not as the conscripted serfs of a 
czar but as sovereigns of their own free will, for the 
greatest good of the millions that shall follow. 

We meet to teach our children that treason is a high 
crime — a crime against God and man ; that the doctrine 
of state's rights as taught by Calhoun and his Confed- 
erate successors, is odious and treasonable, and that the 
right of a state to secede at will, never did. does not, 
and cannot exist, as a part of a government cannot be 
greater than the whole. 

We meet to teach our children that for them to be 
happy, prosperous and useful, three things are absolute- 
ly essential — to honor God and keep his commandments ; 
to love their country and respect its laws; to love, honor 
and obey their parents. 

We meet that we may not forget our unknown 
dead — the one hundred and forty-eight thousand, many 
of whom were worn out and exhausted by long weary 
marches and successive battles, fell out of ranks and 
their graves are scattered here and there along the Ten- 
nessee, the Mississippi, the Arkansas, the Chattahooche, 
the Rappahanock and the James; all along the sounds 
up from the Gulf on the Atlantic coast and down among 
the bayous of Louisiana, and on the plains of Texas; in 
the deep waters of the ocean and hidden among the deep, 
dark ravines of the Cumberlands and the Ozarks. 

Forgotten! Forgotten, and alone. What of their 
unwritten history, and how shall the obligations of a 
generous republic be conferred. 

Those who died in the dreary hospital after weeks 
and months of suffering from burning fevers and pain- 



384 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

iul wounds — these sufferings, fellow citizens, were for 
you — forget it not. 

What of their unwritten history and how shall the 
obligations of a patriotic people be conferred? 

And those, who in the storm of battle 

Mid cannons' roar and muskets' rattle 

As the foe charged on with cheer and yell 

Like grass before the blade they fell. 

The solid lines of seething flame leaped through 
the clouds of drifting smoke 

And filled the air with bursting shell and grape 

and shot and murderous hail. 

On the battle — field of the dead, the dying, the 
wounded, the friend and the foe. 

No mother's gentle hand to soothe the pain, bind 
up their wounds or stop the flowing blood. 

No wife or sister to wipe away the tears and re- 
ceive the dying message. 

No costly casket; no burial robe; no funeral train: 
no tolling bell ; nc pastoral service : no sacred song. If 
any, 'twas but the cannon's roar and song of shot and 
shell. 

No, nothing of all this, but all kindly though hastily 
gathered together and in their blood-stained garments 
given a soldier's burial. . 

They died for you, fellov*^ citizens, and how shall 
ycur obligations be conferred? 

Thirty thousand died in the prison pens, dens of 
infamy and foulest vaults of hell. 

Language cannot picture, neither can genius paint, 
the suffering and anguish endured and the patriotic de- 
votion of more than one hundred thousand of our com- 
rades who fell into the hands of the enemy. 

But when death and disease was all around and 
among them; when starvation with glaring eyes and 
long bony fingers pointed to the tomb, and scurvey and 
loathsome worms were devouring their flesh and insan- 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 385 

ity and idiocy were threatening to shut out the memory 
of their doom, our heroic comrades refused to take the 
oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy that they 
might be released from their torturing death. 

Starving and dying, they could not desert their 
country and their flag — not among uncivilized nations 
do we find such heartless cruelty to prisoners of war, 
and never, never such patriotic devotion to country. 

Oh, who can ever know of the unwritten history of 
comrades cf ours? 

Who knew of their dark and anxious hours, their 
secret meditations, their silent tears at the midnight 
watch and their aching, anxious hearts for victory, 
country and home? 

Ah, He who tempers the storm to the shorn lamb, 
has written it all. And as with tender eyes, each suffer- 
ing hero saw. He bowed His ear to hear their cry, and 
watched each comrade fall. 

And Many as they fell we hope did see the 
lines in front give way, and just before the last expiring 
breath could hear the shouts of victory all along the 
line, and may per chance see the flag, the dear old flag, 
as it was raised above the rebel works and spread its 
ample folds before the breeze. 

As the cloud of battle rises and gives a better view 

who are these begrimmed with smoke, with headless 

limbless trunks, bleeding, mangled, gashed and torn. 
The dead, the dying, the wounded, the friend and 

the foe. 

Oh, pitying Lamb of God, have mercy and hear 
their dying groans and calls for help and save, for no 
other help is near. 

Monuments have been erected by a grateful repub- 
lic to statesmen and generals of high rank, but those who 
stood on the line of death, the picket line, the skirmish 
line, and the front line of battle, and marched through 
heat and cold and dust and mud and rain and sleet and 



386 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A.." 

snow and hail, are lost and forgotten in history and are 
only known in the great aggregate, "The Army of the 
Republic." 

Oh, if I could I would build a monument for the 
brave boys who carried the gun and would build it on 
an elevation that would overlook the whole united Re- 
public. Its base should be broad and its foundation 
deep. Its shaft of purest granite reaching to the very 
heavens. And then commencing at the base and pass- 
ing upward I would cut a niche for every officer, higher 
and higher on the shaft, as their services and sacrifices 
for their country should indicate. And then at the very 
top, beyond the reach of human vision, where the angels 
ever sing, and near the pearly gates of the New Jerusa- 
lem, I would place the Union soldiers who wore the blue 
and carried the gun. And then around them, among 
them, high over and above them, I would place the loy- 
al women of America. 

The reckless and unscrupulous charges of fraud 
against the old veterans by the unpatriotic cowards, who 
would not have stood within five miles of a battle line 
for $5,000 per minute, taxes one's charity and one's good 
nature to the utmost. 

Let it be distinctly understood that somebody must 
have m.et the enemy on more than 500 hotly contested 
battlefields.. 

Somebody must have answered to roll call at Fort 
Sumpter, Donaldson, Shilo, Port Hudson, Vicksburg, 
Stone River, Perryville, Antietem, Gettysburg, Chicka- 
mauga, Lookout Mountain, Franklin, Atlanta and with 
Sherman all the way to the sea, and with Grant with his 
"on to Richmond" ; through all the battle of the Wilder- 
ness and Fredericksburg and on to Appomattox vic- 
tory, and permanent peace. 

Some one fought these battles, endured the hard- 
ships, privations and dangers, won the victories and 
saved the nation. 



IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 387 

Were they adventurers, paupers, perjurers, robbers 
and frauds? They stood for the Union and like an iron 
wall against an enemy who would have destroyed it, 
until sixty thousand lay dead on the battlefield, until 
more than three hundred thousand died from exhaus- 
tion, disease and wounds and thirty thousand died in 
rebel prisons. 

It is but a waste of time to answer such villainous 
charges. 

Comrades, this is our day. Let our hearts be filled 
with gratitixde to God that we are of those who survive. 

Our day of thanksgiving for the grand results so 
nobly won. 

Ours and our children's day to observe as the years 
roll on, that we may inhale the patriotic inspiration that 
fills the air on Memorial Day. 

Ours and our children's to keep constantly before 
the mind the cost of liberty — the price paid for the sup- 
pression of the rebellion and the preservation of a free 
and independent government. 

Ours to cement those fraternal feelings that exist 
among those who for many weary months and years 
endured the perils and fatigues, the weary marches and 
biouvacs of a soldier's life — who together have breasted 
the storms of shot and shell and shared the privations, 
sufferings and hunger of the prison pen. 

And ours and our children's day to keep forever 
green the hallowed memory of the heroic dead who 
have fallen to save their country from disunion and dis- 
grace. 

And then we know — we know what happy firesides 
they left for the cheerless camp; with what pacific hab- 
its they dared the perils of the field. There is no mys- 
tery, or madness, or chivalry about them — all resolute, 
many bearing for country, conscience and liberty's sake. 



388 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

And we know what all this ceremony means — why 
that all over our broad land on the 30 day of May of 
each and every year a grateful nation stops to weep 
over patriots' graves and freely shed her tears and strew 
their graves with fiowers. 

Our heroic dead, in memory they're living still — 
those honest sons of toil, those who once were called 
the mudsills of the north. 

Why, they gathered patriotic inspiration as they 
gathered flowers among their native hills. 

They inhaled it as the evening zephyrs or the morn- 
ing's gentle breeze. 

They believed in their government and in its most 
essential doctrine, "United we stand, divided we fall." 

They loved their country, lived for it and died for 
it — as they met the enemy on more than 500 hard fought 
battlefields, with wavering results at first, 'tis true. 

They fought them hand to hand and pressed them 
backward foot by foot until at last the rebel hosts lay 
down their arms and fell in line. 

Then as from four million slaves their shackles fell 
in broken links: 

"Freedom from- her mountain height" 

"Unfurled her standard to the air; 

She tore the azure robes of night 

And set the stars of glory there." 

Saved, thank God, a nation's saved. Saved to the 
world and the millions yet unborn — the grandest and 
best government ever known to man. 
"Then cover with flowers the nation's dead; 
Let them bloom o'er their bosoms and wave o'er their 

heads ; 
Let the beauty and fragrance of spring's richest bloom 
Fill the air that we breathe o'er the dead soldier's tomb." 



MARVEN B. BUTLER. 



CHAPTER LI. 

Was born in Grandisle, Vermont, Feb. 15, 1834. ^e 
was one of the five children of Daniel and Mary Butler. 
His father and two brothers, Jesse and Loren, and their 
families came from Vermont and settled in Salem town- 
ship, Steuben county, Indiana, on the farm now owned 
by John B. Parcell, when the deceased was four years 
old. He acquired his education in the Salem and Orland 
schools, and taught school for several years. 

Mr. Butler enlisted at Salem Center, in August, 
1861, in Co. A., 44th Ind. Vol. Infantry, and was assign- 
ed to Crittenden's command and promoted to first lieu- 
tenant, and took part in the battles of Fort Donaldson, 
Perryville, Stone River and many other skirmishes dur- 
ing the Buell campaign. From exposure at Fort Don- 
aldson, his health failed and he was furloughed home, 
sick with typhoid fever, and remained until recovered, 
when he returned to his regiment at Battle Creek, Tenn., 
and suffered a relapse later of typhoid-pneumonia, and 
was nursed back to health by his brother Henry at the 
Spence hospital in Murfreesboro, Tenn.. where he was 
honorably discharged from service May 2, 1863. 

Mr. Butler served the people of Steuben county 
faithfully and well for eight years as recorder, four years 
as auditor and a term in the legislature, and in all of 
his public life was courteous and conscientious in the 
discharge of his official duties. 

He was united in marriage at Angola, Ind., March 
24, 1864, to Miss Harriet Fuller. To this union were 
born three sons, Albert, Benjamin and Harry. Albert 
died in infancy, and Harry Jan. 3, 1899. His entire life 
with the exception of a few years was spent in Salem 
tov/nship. His wife died at their home in Salem Center, 
Jan. 2, 190 1. Religiously he was a Presbyterian, from 



390 IN THE RANKS WITH COMPANY "A." 

early manhood a member of the North Salem church, 
and his life has been a living example of the faith he pro- 
fessed. In his death the son loses a loving, indulgent 
father, the community a i,turdy pioneer and an exem- 
plary citizen, and the church a strong and faith.uil pillar. 

During the last four years of his life he compiled a 
book entitled, "My Story of the Civil War and Under- 
Ground Rail Road," which is now being published. He 
had been in failing health for several months, and it 
was his wish to be taken to the Soldiers' Home hos- 
pital at Marion Ind., for treatment, where he died June 
17, 1914, aged 80 years, 4 months and 2 days. He leaves 
to mourn his departure one sister, Mrs. Susan Bell, one 
son, three grandchildren and a wide circle of relatives 
and friends. 

Funeral services were held at the M. E. church in 
Salem, Sunday, June 21, 1914, Rev. John Humfreys, of 
Angola, officiating, assisted by Rev. E. C. Mason, of 
Huntington. 

The above obituary is copied from the Angola Re- 
publican of July I, 1914. 



THE END 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 



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