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Chapter 16: the capture and return to Columbia.

About four in the afternoon we sat up in the husks, ate the last of the cornbread the negro had given us, then covered ourselves over to wait for darkness. While we were hidden from view we did not entirely cover our haversack. In a short time we heard voices, and a man said, “There is a haversack: I am going to get it.” As he walked over the husks he stepped on me, but I did not squeal. As he picked up the haversack, he saw Frank's arm and cried, “The barn is full of d-d Yankees.” We heard the click as they cocked their pieces, and thinking it about time to stop further proceedings, we lifted up our heads. “Throw down your arms,” was the next order. We explained that we had performed that sad duty several months before.

After much talk they let us come out. Our captors were Texas rangers, the hardest looking set of men I ever met; dressed more like cowboys than soldiers, armed with sabres, two revolvers each, carbines, besides a lariat hung to the saddle. There were but three of them, and we resolved to make an appeal for one more chance. In the most earnest manner possible we told the story of our long service in the field, our starvation in prison, our long tramp for liberty and our near approach to our lines, and begged them to let us go. I think we made an impression on them, but after

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