previous next

[228] journeying by themselves or in small parties, wore the Confederate gray, and dispatched the wounded, without mercy, in the name of patriotism and the Union.

We left Knoxville with an escort of four cavalrymen, but finding, when a few miles from town, that they were unprovided with rations for themselves or horses, we sent them back. At this time we gave but little credence to the stories told us of bushwhackers; much less than they deserved, as our experience taught us a few days later. We stopped that night with a Mr. J., one of the few Confederates in this section; but, notwithstanding his southern proclivities, I saw here, for the first time in my life, a practical exhibition of the social equality of the races. We breakfasted early with Mr. J. alone, and recalled to the room a few moments after we had finished, I found my yellow man, Harry, enjoying his meal at the table with our hostess and her children, to all appearance a carefully tended guest. We encountered at this house a singular character in the person of a Mr. W----, of Georgia. Mr. or General W--, as he was called, was an old man, large, fat and shabbily dressed, but an expression of humor and good nature saved his countenance from being repulsive, while his broad forehead and firmly set jaws gave token of courage, accompanied by no ordinary amount of sagacity. He was both scout and spy on his own responsibility. Notwithstanding his age and obesity he had the previous spring travelled from Knoxville to Louisville on foot, evading or deceiving the enemy, and bringing back valuable information. He had been through the enemy's camps at Cumberland Gap and gained accurate information of their numbers, positions, fortifications, batteries, &c., &c., all of which he immediately communicated to the military authorities at Knoxville. He was now on his way to Kentucky--still on foot. We met him a few days afterwards at Barboursville, where he was sent back on some errand to Knoxville by General Smith, and again, six weeks later, at Lexington. Having concluded his business at Knoxville he started for Lexington with a company of cavalry, which was attacked at Big Creek Gap and all the men, with the exception of two or three, either killed or captured. W — was among the number who escaped, and, still afoot, the first to bring the news of the disaster to Lexington. For his services he would receive no remuneration, although they were really valuable, and exceedingly difficult and dangerous. He represented himself as already rich — the owner of a large cotton plantation in Mississippi, and another in Georgia--and doing his work neither for fame nor money, but solely to gratify his own peculiar tastes. Altogether old Mr. W----was a 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 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.
Kirby Smith (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: