of laughter, and derisive cheers for the great rail-splitter Abraham!
Companies were formed upon the spot from among the wealthiest of the youth, and thousands of dollars were spent on their organization, drill, and equipment; indeed, had President Davis so desired, he could have had two hundred thousand volunteers within a month, for any term of service.
At the first whisper of war among these excited crowds, a hundred youths repaired to a lawyer's office, drew up a muster-roll, inscribr of them well educated, we had much quarrelling regarding uniform and general outfit.
Some desired costly attire, and the most expensive rifles; but, upon consulting the State Executive upon the first point, we learned it was the desire of President Davis that all volunteers should be attired in grey flannels and light blue cotton pantaloons — such articles being inexpensive and more adapted for service.
A note from the President to his old friend, our captain, concluded with these words: Th
or make the slightest diversion in his favor; so that, finding the enemy closing in upon him rapidly, he withdrew from Springfield, and was obliged to cut his way through towards Boston Mountain, where McCulloch was reported to be. After hard fighting and infinite toil, this was successfully accomplished, and all were agreeably surprised to find General Van Dorn there — the newly-appointed general — in chief of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
This appointment had been wisely made by President Davis, for there was evidently little unanimity of feeling existing among commanders, but less querulousness, perhaps, on the part of Price, than of many others.
Old Stirling had begun the war without any means whatever, yet had captured ten thousand stand of arms, fifty cannon, hundreds of tents, together with many other things needful to an active army.
No other generals in the department could show half as many proofs of their prowess, though all had done well.
Our sufferings during
councillors bore him, mistakes and bickerings of his Cabinet vex him; State, political, social, or religious deputations pester him with demands, petitions, and a thousand other daily annoyances; yet the poor, pale, hard-working President bore it all with philosophic equanimity.
Putting on his blue flannel overcoat, he would mount his chestnut mare, smoke a cigar, and take a quiet ride, unattended, through the streets in the afternoon, as calmly and unostentatiously as if he were merely Mr J. Davis, proprietor of a two-hundred-acre farm, with a round dozen of bouncing babies.
Heigho! who would envy the poor President?
If a negro were worked a twentieth as much, his master would be imprisoned or fined for inhuman treatment!
After delivering my prisoners at Libby's Tobacco Warehouse — the chief of many such establishments in the city-I endeavored to obtain accommodation at the Spottswood and other hotels, but found it an impossibility, every house being crowded to excess.