porch, where was deposited, on an old pine table, the elegant rosewood case. General Warren stood up, looking much as if about to be married, and Dr. Young, standing opposite with a paper in his hand, so resembled a clergyman, that I fully expected him to say, “Warren, will you have this sword to be your lawful, wedded wife?” But instead, he only read how the citizens of Cold Spring, desirous of showing their appreciation of the patriotism, etc., had procured this sword, etc., in token of, etc., etc. To which the General, looking, if possible, still more as if in the agonies of the altar, replied from a scrap of notepaper, the writing whereof he could not easily read. The whole took about five minutes, at the end of which he drew a breath of great relief, and remarked, “The execution is over; now won't you come in and eat something?” The spread consisted of roast beef, baked ham, bread, assorted pickles, laid out on a table with newspapers for a cloth. The generals fed first and were accommodated partly with chairs and partly with a pine bench, borrowed from a neighboring deserted schoolhouse. While some ate, the rest were regaled with a horse-bucketfull of whiskey punch, whereof two or three of the younger lieutenants got too much, for which I warrant they paid dear; for the “Commissary” whiskey is shocking and the water, down near the river, still worse. All this took place in full view of the hills, across the river, on and behind which were camped the Rebels; and I could not help laughing to think what a scattering there would be if they should pitch over a 20-pound Parrott shell, in the midst of the address! But they are very pleasant now, and the pickets walk up and down and talk across the river. And so we got in our grain car and all came home. . . .
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
I. First months
IV . Cold Harbor
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