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[503] to the two boys who were in the Cadet corps of Hardee's command; one sister with the Treasury department, hurrying from point to point to escape capture; the other with me in the interior of North Carolina, whither we had been sent when it was considered unsafe to remain in the possible line of march of Sherman's merciless myrmidons.

So, without friend or family, the noble woman, Roman in fortitude, Spartan in patriotism, met the dreaded enemy face to face when they took possession of the ‘nest of treason’ and wreaked their vengeance upon it with fire and sword and nameless atrocities.

Letters with some hints of these things had come to me, but they were brief and few. The railroads had been destroyed, and mail-service was a mere name. Moreover, the very necessaries of correspondence, pen, ink and paper, were often unobtainable, or of such miserable sort that one dreaded the task of an epistle, however short. I knew, therefore, but little of the particulars which had occurred since our departure, and less, still, of the important events that were thrilling the ears of Christendom, and we in total ignorance within a few score miles of their transaction.

In this hour of darkness and despair I longed to escape from the prison-like solitude surrounding me, and fly to the great centers where I could hear and know all the terrible truths, meet it with courage, and endure, if necessary, with undismayed firmness. But not alone! It is easier to bear afflictions when surrounded by affection and soothed by sympathy. My one thought, the only one which sustained me at this time of trial, was to go home. Nothing would be so hard if I were but there.

But time went on and there seemed no prospect of the fulfilment of this hope. Transportation was impossible. Railroads were destroyed; horses and mules of any worth had been seized by friends or foes; vehicles of all sorts were appropriated or in a state of utter dilapidation. More than all, we were forty miles away from everywhere! Raleigh, Greensboro, Hillsboro, all lay at that distance, more or less.

So the ‘slow, sad days’ dragged on, and hope deferred made the heart sick indeed. The spring fled away and a blazing summer came down, sapping one's very life-blood. In vain I tried to take an interest in the feeble gayeties of the young people of those primitive parts. The soldiers were all at home. One saw at church or at picnics (which was the rural standard of happiness) all sorts of worn gray clothes, alternating with resuscitated black or linen garments

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