previous next
[355] then questioned as to many a detail of Sherman's last movements. “We have been in perfect ignorance,” said Grant, “of all these things; you have brought me the first authentic news. How about Kilpatrick .” And I told him how, a few nights before, this officer had been surprised in bed, and his staff all captured; how he fled to the swamp, rallied his men, and, returning, chased Wade Hampton completely from the road. Grant and Ord both laughed heartily. “And this, then, was the disaster to Sherman's army, of which the rebels had been boasting so loudly. I expected just exactly as much,” said Grant.

Kilpatrick had, in fact, a most laughable adventure with a narrow escape, however, for life. He was at Sherman's headquarters the day after the surprise, and I heard him telling how he was chased, and his staff captured and put up stairs in a house, where they remained while he rallied his men in the swamp, and surprised Hampton in return, and to more purpose, too, than he himself had been surprised. He lost a couple of hundred of prisoners, however, and some horses. But Kilpatrick kept his ground and lived to lead his dashing cavalry on many another field. “How do the men seem off for shoes and for coats?” asked Grant. I replied, if suffering, there was no complaint. At that moment a fierce and sudden cannonade commenced at some point on the enemy's line. An officer was called and ordered off to see what it meant. “It is one of the usual make-believes that we are having daily,” said Grant. I asked if an engagement was expected. He replied it was quite possible at any hour; but his own opinion was that Lee at that very moment might be getting ready to try and escape from Richmond, and that this thundering cannonade was one of his preparatory ruses to attract attention. The correctness of his opinion was proven in a few days, when Lee and his whole army fell back from Richmond, only to be captured at Appomattox Court-House. Grant mentioned that the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, was there from Washington, and would visit him that evening, and suggested that he should take charge of my other papers and turn them over to him. He was then kind enough to ask about my own personal experiences, especially my life in prison, and if I, too, confirmed the horrible tales of suffering that had met his ears daily. I gave him a list of what we had to eat for months, told him that the prisoners were in rags, that not a single garment had ever been given to them since their capture, and some of them had been in the enemy's hands for eighteen months. He expressed his sorrow; surprise he had none; and added that their sufferings would soon be over, as he believed the war would very

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (1)
Wade Hampton (South Carolina, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
U. S. Grant (6)
Billy Sherman (3)
Kilpatrick (3)
Fitz Lee (2)
Benjamin Stanton (1)
Ord (1)
Wade Hampton (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: