in the van struck up, “John Brown
's body lies mouldering in the ground, but his soul goes marching on.”
The other bands took up the tune and the soldiers joined in the song; and such a volume of triumphant music has seldom waked the midnight echoes of any town.
The next day the pursuit was halted and our brigade bivouaced in the rear of the Confederates
, several miles from Appomattox Court House.
It was rumored that Lee
was surrendering and the brigade waited in eager anxiety for certain information.
Late in the afternoon General Hamblin
was seen coming towards the camp, his splendid black horse on the dead run, his hat in his hands, his cheek bloody where he had failed to escape the limb of a tree, and as soon as his voice could be heard he shouted, “Lee
And then what a tumult broke out among the troops.
Cheers, shouts, laughter, hats and countless other things flung into the air. Some were too affected to cheer and stood with tears running down their faces.
The excitement communicated itself to the animals.
The mules brayed, the horses neighed and the author's dog leaped up and with his fore paws on his breast barked joyously.
It seemed as though all nature was glad.
It meant to us all, no more fighting, no more long, weary marches, home, friends, peace, a saved country, a triumphant flag.
But the 6th Corps was not permitted to see the surrender of the Confederate Army.
It was marched back through Farmville
and thence to Burksville Junction on Richmond
to Danville railroad.
There the 121st received the 400 drafted men and substitutes that had been promised it, and the officers that had been holding commissions for over a year were mustered into the service.
Lieutenant Colonel Cronkite