This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
“  not eat!” The “poor soldiers” replied: “No, we didn't eat; we are not dogs. Permit us to say we are satisfied it would be an injustice to the canine race to call you one; you deserve to lose another mare; you are meaner than the language at our command will express.” The man fairly trembled. His face was pale with rage, but he dared not reply as he would. Recovering himself, and seeing an odorous name in the future, he attempted apology and reparation for the insult and complete reconciliation. “Oh! come in, come in! I'll have something cooked for you. Sorry the mistake occurred! All right! all right, boys, come in!” --pulling and patting at the “boys.” But the boys wouldn't “go in.” On the contrary they staid out persistently, and, before they left that gate, heaped on its owner all the contempt, disdain and scorn which they could express; flung at him all the derisive epithets which four years in the army places at a man's disposal; pooh poohed! at his hypocritical regrets, and shaking off the dust of that place from their feet, pushed on to the city, the smoke of which rose to heaven. At 11 A. M. of the same day two footsore, despondent and penniless men stood facing the ruins of the home of a comrade who had sent a message to his mother: “Tell mother I am coming.” The ruins yet smoked. A relative of the lady whose home was in ashes and whose son said “I am coming” stood by the survivors. “Well, then,” he said, “it must be true that General Lee has surrendered.” The solemnity of the remark, coupled with the certainty in the minds of the survivors, was almost amusing. The “relative” pointed out the temporary residence of the “mother” and thither the survivors wended their way. A knock at the door startled the mother, and with agony in her eyes she appeared at the opened door exclaiming, “My poor boys!” --“are safe and coming home,” said the survivors. “Thank God!” said the mother, and the tears flowed down her cheeks. A rapid walk through ruined and smoking streets, some narrow escapes from negro soldiers on police duty, the satisfaction of seeing two of the “boys in blue” hung up by their thumbs for pillaging, a few handshakings, and the survivors found their way to the house of a relative, where they did eat bread with thanks. A friend informed the survivors that day that farm hands were needed all around the city. They made a note of that and the name of one farmer. Saturday night the old blankets were spread on the parlor floor. Sunday morning, the 16th of April, they bid farewell to the household and started for the farmer's house.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.