previous next
[209] character to which I have rather alluded than described, for it baffles all of my powers of portrayal in words. About nightfall I took my seat in a car of the train at the Danville depot preparing to start southward with its sad and disappointed human freight. The President and his Cabinet were on the same train. By this time I had become much exhausted by the fatigues of preparation and visits to attached friends for the purpose of leave-taking, and had almost succumbed to the indifference resulting from irremediable loss and disappointed hopes. My fellow-passengers, both male and female, in the crowded car were very much in the same plight. I never knew so little conversation indulged by so large a number of acquaintances together, for we were nearly all acquainted with each other, and, I may say, fellow fugitives driven by the same great calamity and wrong. Very few words were interchanged. Sleep soon overcame most of us. This, I well remember, was my case, for I dropped to sleep before the train started from Richmond and was not aware of its departure when it left. I slept quite soundly nearly all the night through. I believe we did not leave Richmond until pretty late in the night, and when day broke in on us the morning of April 3d we were somewhere in the neighborhood of Burkeville Junction, probably between that place and Roanoke. We stopped at every station on the way, crowds thronging to the train at each to make inquiries, for the bad news in this case preserved its proverbial reputation for fast traveling. Everybody sought to see, shake hands with and speak to the President, who maintained all the way a bold front, gave no evidence by word or appearance of despair, but spoke all along encouragingly to the people.

We reached Danville, on the southern border of Virginia, late in the afternoon of the 3d. The telegraph had, of course, conveyed full intelligence to that little city, and our arrival was anticipated. Its hospitable and noble citizens met us at the depot with carriages and other vehicles of conveyance, and we were conveyed, not to public hotels, but to private residences of the generous citizens of Danville.

The President, I remember, was provided for at the hospitable mansion of Major Sutherland. I had the singular good fortune to fall into the kind hands and home of Mr. Witcher Kean, who, and his most excellent wife, were as noble specimens of Virginia hospitality and large-heartedness as one could ever wish to meet. I can never forget those true-hearted people. Among my many companions under Mr. Kean's hospitable roof, I cannot refrain from mentioning one who belonged to my own profession. I mean the Hon. James D. Halyburton. He had been a United States District Judge for the Eastern district of

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.
Danville (Virginia, United States) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
Big Lick (Virginia, 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.
Witcher Kean (2)
Sutherland (1)
James D. Halyburton (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 3rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: