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[230]

“ Have any Confederate cavalry passed this way?”

“ Confedrit? What's Confedrit? I don't know what that is.”

“ Have any Yankee cavalry been about here lately?”

“Wall, stranger, you've got me agen. I don't know as if I've seen any Yankee. I don't know what Yankee is, neither.”

We thought the man was pretending ignorance for some purpose of deception, but we found afterwards that, in common with all the intensely ignorant people of this region, he really did not know what Yankee or Confederate meant, though they knew well enough what was meant by Union and Disunion, and used those terms alone to designate the opposing forces. But to return:

Do you know that there is a war going on — that people in this country are fighting?

“Oh, yes; I hearn tell of that.”

“Well, who are fighting, and what are they fighting about?”

“I guess they're fighten about the Union. Some men want to break up the Union, and they're the dis-Union men.”

“What are the people about here? Are they Union men, or dis-Union?”

“I reckon it would be pretty hard to find a dis-Union man about in these parts now. There was a few, but they're all left. Yes, the people here are pretty much all Union men; that's so.”

“What are you?”

“Me? I'm nothina; jes a poor man, who don't do nobody no harm. All the folks knows that. And I hope nobody won't do me none, neither.”

For some little time we had seen a number of men, in blue Kentucky jeans, the common dress of the people, moving to and fro across the mouth of the lane, beyond us, and something more than a hundred yards distant.

“Who are those men,” we enquired, “moving about yonder, at the end of the lane?”

“ I don't know. Boston's right ‘round that turn in the road. Thar's a ‘lection thar to-day. I guess that's people a going thar.”

“Where did you get that gun?” we asked, changing the subject abruptly. “That is a new Springfield musket, and must belong to the United States government?”

“It arn't mine,” came the answer quickly, with a slight tremor of voice; “a Union soldier jes left it at my house, and asked me to take care of it for him till he comed back.”

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