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Danville (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 37
nd, he said that we accomplished grand results, and that the failure to annihilate McClellan's army was due chiefly to the fact that when General Lee took command there were at headquarters no maps of the country below Richmond, and it was then too late to procure them, and that our army moved all the time in ignorance of the country and with guides who, for the most part, proved themselves utterly inefficient. He said that General Lee's object in the retreat from Petersburg was to reach Danville, and then to unite with Johnston and crush Sherman before Grant could come up. After General Johnston's surrender, his object was to reach the Trans-Mississippi department and see if he could rally the forces there. And this he believes he could have accomplished, as he knew every swamp along his proposed route, but he was turned aside by information that a band of robbers were about to attack his family, who were traveling on a different line. He gave deeply interesting details of
Mississippi (United States) (search for this): chapter 37
Is Mr. Davis at home? The grounds are pointed out as running down to the station, the large vineyard of Scuppernong grapes forming a pleasing contrast to the sighing pines around, and soon the large yard, shaded by live-oaks, is seen, and the dim outlines of the cottages and mansion, as we hurry along the road to the house of a relative on the beach, several hundred yards below. But I was greatly disappointed to learn that Mr. Davis had received a summons to his plantation up on the Mississippi river, and had left several days before. I had, however, a very pleasant time—gazing on the beautiful Gulf, breathing its salt breezes, dipping in its brine, catching fish every morning for breakfast, making some very pleasant acquaintances, etc.—and made a most enjoyable visit to Beauvoir, where Mrs. Davis and Miss Winnie entertained me in most agreeable style. The House and Grounds. At this and subsequent visits I had ample opportunity of seeing the house and grounds. The house i
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 37
peration, he said: They supplemented each other, and, together, with any fair opportunity, they were absolutely invincible. He defended Jackson against the statement made by some of his warmest admirers (even Dr. Dabney in his biography) that he was not fully himself in failing to force the passage of White Oak swamp to go to the help of A. P. Hill at Frazier's Farm. He said that he thought that a careful study of the topography would show that Franklin's position was the real obstacle to Jackson's crossing. He spoke warmly of the magnificent fight which A. P. Hill, afterwards supported by Longstreet, made that day—a battle which he witnessed—and told some interesting incidents concerning it. Early in the day he met General Lee near the front, and at once accosted him with Why, General, what are you doing here? You are in too dangerous a position for the commander of the army. I am trying, was the reply, to find out something about the movements and plans of those people.
France (France) (search for this): chapter 37
and sovereign States could not be in rebellion. You might as well say Germany rebelled against France, or that France (as she was beaten in the contest) rebelled against Germany. He said that oncFrance (as she was beaten in the contest) rebelled against Germany. He said that once in the hurry of writing he had spoken of it as the civil war, but had never used that misnomer again. He spoke of many of our generals and of the inside history of some of our great battles and celations of the Confederacy, and of how near we were several times to recognition by England and France. He spoke in the highest terms of praise of Captain Bullock's Secret Service of the Confederacy, after inviting Mr. Slidell, the Confederate commissioner, to have Confederate vessels built in France, and assuring him that there would be no obstacle to their going out afterwards, went square bac of Mr. Dayton, the United States Minister), and refused to allow them to go out. When he was in France, after the war, the Emperor sent him word, that If he desired an interview with him he would be
Eureka, Humboldt County, California (California, United States) (search for this): chapter 37
ise, its heroic struggle, its sad fall, when compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. He seemed thoroughly familiar with the minutest details of all the Departments of the Government. He gave some very interesting details of experiments made while he was Secretary of War, on the question of whether to cast guns hollow or to bore them out from solid castings, and spoke of the laudable pride with which Rodman sought him when he had prepared some cannon-powder, and exclaimed, Eureka, eureka! He gave a very interesting account of some experiments made by Professor Bartlett, of West Point, under his direction, on the proper size and shape of bullets. The experiments failed, but last year at Beauvoir he got to thinking over it, and thought that he discovered the cause of the failure. He at once wrote to Professor Bartlett, giving him his theory, but received from him a very kind reply, in which the Professor said that he was now too old and infirm to make new exper
Montgomery (Alabama, United States) (search for this): chapter 37
m he would be glad to grant it. But, said the grand old chief of the Confederacy, I wanted no interview with the man who had played us false, and so I promptly replied that I did not desire it. He spoke of General Lee's high opinion of the ability of General Early as a soldier, and of his own emphatic endorsation of that opinion, and said many other things of deep interest which I may not write now. He and his family were evidently deeply touched by the grand ovation accorded him at Montgomery, Atlanta, Savannah, etc., last spring, and I assured him that if he would accept the invitation which I bore him from Governor Lee to be present at the laying of the corner-stone of the Lee monument next October we would give him in the last capital of the Confederacy a welcome equally as warm —an ovation fully as imposing. He could not promise so long ahead what he could do, in view of his declining years and uncertain health, but said, There is no place I would rather visit than Richmon
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 37
ll, the Confederate commissioner, to have Confederate vessels built in France, and assuring him that there would be no obstacle to their going out afterwards, went square back on his word (because of certain representations of Mr. Dayton, the United States Minister), and refused to allow them to go out. When he was in France, after the war, the Emperor sent him word, that If he desired an interview with him he would be glad to grant it. But, said the grand old chief of the Confederacy, I wantee of seeing at his home, eating with at his table, and mingling in free social intercourse with the great statesman, the peerless orator, the gallant soldier, the stainless Christian gentleman, the devoted patriot, whom, with one voice, the Confederate States called to be their chief, who never betrayed their trust, but who was true in war, and has been true in peace—who did not desert during the war and has not deserted since. What true Confederate—what true citizen of any section of the co
Gulf of Mexico (search for this): chapter 37
brac and pretty ornaments, many of which are the products of the deft fingers and good taste of Mrs. Davis and her accomplished daughters. Books, carefully selected from standard authors, adorn the tables or grace the shelves. In a word, the stranger who knew nothing of the occupants would have only to glance through the rooms to see at once that this is an abode of culture, refinement, and taste. The grounds are ample, the live-oaks and their hanging moss are very beautiful, the Gulf of Mexico laves the beach in front of the house, and is certainly one of the most beautiful sheets of water that the sun shines upon. The grounds are certainly very beautiful as they are, but are capable of great improvement, and one could not repress the wish that our honored Confederate chief had the means of taking them all that his cultivated taste would suggest. And yet it is a source of gratification to old Confederates that our great leader has this quiet retreat, where, away from the r
West Point (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 37
avis loves to talk of his home, the Gulf coast of Mississippi and its advantages, his pictures, his books, questions in English literature, science, the arts, etc., in all of which he is perfectly at home and talks charmingly; his cadet life at West Point and the men he knew there, who were afterwards famous; the Mexican war and his services, of which he speaks very modestly, but the brilliancy of which all the world knows; his services in the United States Senate and as Secretary of War, and tht from solid castings, and spoke of the laudable pride with which Rodman sought him when he had prepared some cannon-powder, and exclaimed, Eureka, eureka! He gave a very interesting account of some experiments made by Professor Bartlett, of West Point, under his direction, on the proper size and shape of bullets. The experiments failed, but last year at Beauvoir he got to thinking over it, and thought that he discovered the cause of the failure. He at once wrote to Professor Bartlett, gi
West Point (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 37
A visit to Beauvoir—President Davis and family at home. by J. Wm. Jones. Richmond, Va., August 1st, 1886. A trip from Richmond to Beauvoir, by the Richmond and Danville route to Atlanta, the Atlanta, West Point and Montgomery to Montgomery, and thence by the Louisville and Nashville railway, is quick and comparatively comfortable, even at this season. Leaving here at 2 A. M. on Thursday we reached Beauvoir—a flag station on the Louisville and Nashville, half-way between Mobile and New Orleans—at 4:40 P. M. Friday. The first questions asked are, Where is Mr. Davis's house? Is Mr. Davis at home? The grounds are pointed out as running down to the station, the large vineyard of Scuppernong grapes forming a pleasing contrast to the sighing pines around, and soon the large yard, shaded by live-oaks, is seen, and the dim outlines of the cottages and mansion, as we hurry along the road to the house of a relative on the beach, several hundred yards below. But I was greatly d<
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