‘  be for their liberty. If I don't come and bear my part, they will believe me to be a coward. And I shall not know whether I am or not. I have just got to go and stand my chances.’His reply was, ‘In your situation I would probably feel the same way about it.’ So I wrote my resignation, dating it May 1, and McPherson gave me leave of absence, and did everything possible to make my going easy and comfortable. I never saw him again after our sad parting on the dock, for, as he had foreseen, he was ordered East, and, having been made a major-general and won high distinction, was killed at Atlanta in July, 1864. My resignation was duly accepted, and notice reached me in August, before the mails to the South through Kentucky were entirely discontinued. We sailed on May 1 in the Golden Age, crossed the Isthmus on the 14th, and arrived in New York on steamer Champion on the 24th, having lost two days in a severe gale. We landed early, and had intended remaining in New York for a day or two, but while we had been upon our journey, events had been in progress. President Lincoln had called for 75,000 troops. All of the border states had refused to furnish troops, and had taken part with those which had seceded, and a small Federal army had been collected at Washington. On the night before our arrival a part of this force was marched across into Virginia, and occupied Alexandria. Col. Ellsworth, commanding the leading regiment, had entered a hotel and torn down a secession flag from its roof. The proprietor, Jackson, had shot Ellsworth dead as he came downstairs, and had been killed himself. My wife and I were shopping in Canal Street about noon, when a man rushed into the store and shouted out this news. The excitement which this caused, and the hostility to all Confederates evident in general conversation, warned me that if I were known to be a resigned officer on my way to enter the Confederate Army I might encounter trouble. We cut short our shopping and decided to leave for Louisville by the first train. Kentucky was endeavoring to take a position of neutrality in the conflict, and through that state we could
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.