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Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 1 6 2 Browse Search
John Bell Hood., Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate Armies 1 1 Browse Search
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with immense locks, and a little bloodhound chained to the lock and lying on watch. The Whig children were told, Martin Van Buren wants to set these dogs on your family. However, I have strayed far afield and must return to the subject of these memoirs. Mr. Davis, on his way to a preliminary caucus at Vicksburg, his first essay in political life, came by the Diamond Place on horseback, en route. He brought a message from his brother that he would expect me at once. The next day Miss Mary Bradford, Mr. Davis's niece, afterward Mrs. Richard Brodhead, of Pennsylvania, came up on horseback, accompanies by a servant-man leading a horse with a lady's side-saddle. The old-fashioned high swung carriage and pair came also to bring my impedimenta, and all in the blue unclouded weather we rode over the rustling leaves through the thick trees to The Hurricane. Mr. Davis was then thirty-six years old, and looked about thirty; erect, well-proportioned, and active as a boy. He rode with
was charming. It had the usual stanzas of poetry, and the ship of state tossing, as it does for all young orators, on a stormy sea, while the statesman addressed took its bearings and brought it safe into port! The speech was, at last, clearly written out in my best hand, and the pages numbered. It was my glorious privilege to be permitted to perpetuate such eloquence! We then prepared our house for a long absence, and commenced our journey to Washington, taking with us our niece, Miss Mary Bradford. We reached Vicksburg in the afternoon of the night that was to bring Mr. Calhoun to us. A numerous company of elegant people, who had come in from forty miles around Vicksburg, were gathered in a public hall. Dr. William M. Gwinn and his handsome young wife were there, and numbers I did not know. The boat was delayed and the guest of the evening did not arrive until the large assemblage were tired out. Then, after rustlings, cranings of necks, and whispered remonstrances at the
to a tent upon the field for surgical aid, having been wounded by a musket-ball when we first went into action. Our regiment remained inactive until evening, and was then ordered to the encampment of the previous night, under the command of Major Bradford. We had seen the enemy retire; but his numerical superiority over us would scarcely admit the supposition that he had finally retreated. After my arrival at our encampment, which was some time after dark, I directed Captain Rogers, with on of the two privates who were reported as missing, and who have since been returned by the enemy, taken prisoners without a wound; and upon all others, both officers and men, I have the pleasure to confer my unqualified commendation. To Major Bradford I offer my thanks for the prompt and creditable manner in which he executed all the orders I gave him, and especially refer to the delicate duty assigned him of restoring order among the files of another regiment when rendered unsteady by the
ient number of pieces of artillery for the equipment of the Army, since, it will be remembered, I had taken with me at the outset of the campaign a large reserve of artillery to use against gunboats. Our losses in killed and wounded in this engagement were comparatively small, as the troops were protected by breast-works. An incident at the time of the rout was reported to me which I deem worthy of mention. When our troops were in the greatest confusion, a young lady of Tennessee, Miss Mary Bradford, rushed in their midst regardless of the storm of bullets, and, in the name of God and of our country, implored them to re-form and face the enemy. Her name deserves to be enrolled among the heroes of the war, and it is with pride that I bear testimony to her bravery and patriotism. Order among the troops was in a measure restored at Brentwood, a few miles in rear of the scene of disaster, through the promptness and gallantry of Clayton's Division, which speedily formed and confron