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[376]

Incidents of Grierson's raid.

While several of the Union scouts were feeding their horses at the stables of a wealthy planter of secession proclivities, the proprietor looking on, apparently deeply interested in the proceeding, suddenly burst out with: “Well, boys, I can't say I have any thing against you. I don't know but on the whole, I rather like you. You have not taken any thing of mine except a little corn for your horses, and that you are welcome to. I have heard of you all over the country. You are doing the boldest thing ever done. But you'll be trapped, though; you'll be trapped; mark me.”

At another place, where the men thought it advisable to represent themselves as Jackson's cavalry, a whole company was very graciously entertained by a strong secession lady, who insisted on whipping a negro because he did not bring the hoe cakes fast enough.

On one occasion, seven of Colonel Grierson's scouts stopped at the house of a wealthy planter, to feed their jaded horses. Upon ascertaining that he had been doing a little guerilla business upon his own account, our men encouraged him to the belief that, as they were the invincible Van Dorn cavalry, they would soon catch the Yankees. The secession gentleman heartily approved of what he supposed to be their intentions, and enjoined upon them the necessity of making as rapid marches as possible. As the men had discovered two splendid carriage horses in the planter's stable, they thought, under the circumstances, they would be justified [377] in making an exchange, which they accordingly proceeded to do.

As they were taking the saddles from their own tired steeds and placing them on the backs of the guerrilla's horses, the proprietor discovered them, and at once objected. He was met with the reply that, as he was anxious that the Yankees should be speedily overtaken, those after them should have good horses.

“All right, gentlemen,” said the planter; “I will keep your animals until you return; I suppose you'll be back in two or three days at the farthest. When you return you'll find they have been well cared for.”

The soldiers were sometimes asked where they got their blue coats. They always replied, if they were travelling under the name of Van Dorn's cavalry, that they took them at Holly Springs of the Yankees. This always excited great laughter among the secessionists. The scouts, however, usually wore the regular “secesh” uniforms.

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