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[155] less compared dates of commission, they were somewhat taken aback at the question, and hesitated what answer to make. Whereupon Mr. Davis upbraided them with ignorance, reproached them with unchivalrous conduct in hunting down women and children, and finally declared with the air and manners of a braveo, that they could not have caught him but for his desire to “protect his women and children.” “How would you have prevented it, Mr. Davis?” said Colonel Pritchard. “Why, sir, I could have fought you or eluded you.” “As for fighting us, we came prepared for that,” replied the Colonel; “it would have saved us some trouble, and, doubtless, you a good deal; but as for eluding us, I don't think your garb is very well adapted to rapid locomotion.”

In relation to this statement I wish to say, with whatever of emphasis I can give my words, that I was present at the time Mr. Davis and Colonel Pritchard recognized each other, as was also Governor Lubbock, and that there is not one truth stated in this whole paragraph. Colonel Pritchard did not come up for some time after Mr. Davis was made a prisoner. When he rode up there was a crowd, chiefly of Federal soldiers, around Mr. Davis. He was standing and dressed in the suit he habitually wore. He turned toward Colonel Pritchard and asked: “Who commands these troops?” Colonel Pritchard replied, without hesitation, that he did. Mr. Davis said to him: “You command a set of thieves and robbers. They rob women and children.” Colonel Pritchard then said: “Mr. Davis, you should remember that you are a prisoner.” And Mr. Davis replied: “I am fully conscious of that. It would be bad enough to be the prisoner of soldiers and gentlemen I am still lawful game, and would rather be dead than be your prisoner.” I have often since thought and spoken of this scene and colloquy. I cannot have forgotten the substance of it. I think I repeat very nearly, or quite the words used. Not one word was said by Mr. Davis about fighting or eluding our pursuers. Not one word was said by Colonel Pritchard about saving any trouble. Not one word was said about Mr. Davis' garb, for there was nothing in his dress or appearance to call for such a remark. Not one word was said by Mr. Davis about “protecting his women and children.” He only pointed to the fact that they were being robbed. I doubt if Colonel Harnden had then reached where we were; but of this I do not profess to know. I only know that a few moments before his men were fighting Colonel Pritchard's, on the north side of the creek, near which we had camped, and that few or none of the men from the other side of the creek had then reached us. And I do not think General Wilson can have had the

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Jefferson Davis (11)
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