affect me long, and my vexed spirit soon yielded to the consolation of an excellent egg-nogg
Egg-nogg is an American drink which chiefly comes into notice at Christmas time, and in the good old days scarcely a house in Virginia was without a large bowl of this beverage standing in the hall on Christmas-day from morning till nigChristmas-day from morning till night for all to help themselves at. It consists of eggs beaten up with sugar, milk, and the indispensable ingredient of whisky or brandy.
It is very agreeable to the taste, and has the dangerous property of concealing its strength under the guise of an innocent softness of savour, thus exerting its intoxicating influence on the inexon the following day by the happy return of the waggons which had been despatched in charge of couriers to Loudoun County for provisions to furnish forth our Christmas dinner.
The presence of some scouting Yankee cavalry on the road had delayed our messengers; but though too late to do honour to the Christian feast, not the less
eneral Hampton, General Lee, and President Davis, urging me to go on a mission for the Government to England, I at last yielded to their wishes, hoping to be back for the spring campaign.
My commanding officer had in the mean time urgently requested that my rank should be raised to that of Colonel, and the day before my departure I had the gratification of receiving my promotion from the hands of the President.
After a tedious journey of four days and four nights, I reached Wilmington on Christmas-day; and while the heavy guns were roaring at the first bombardment of Fort Fisher, I ran the blockade in the late Confederate war-steamer Talahassee, arriving in England, after a circuitous route by the West India Islands, in the month of February 1865.
There I was saved the grief of being an eyewitness of the rapid collapse of the Confederacy, and the downfall of a just and noble cause.
Lee's glorious army is no longer in existence: the brave men who formed it have, after innumerabl