Then he laid the luscious fruit cautiously upon the seat and departed. Ten minutes after, the peaches were all lying by the track. It was a foolish act, but I could not help it. To eat one, I felt, would have choked me to death. No other incident marred the journey, and we reached its close by railway at sundown that evening. All along, however, mute yet powerful witnesses met us of the scourge that had swept over the land. Road-iron twisted like ribbons about the telegraph poles was the first sign of destruction. Below Chester began the ‘desolation of desolation.’ Not a fence or house or living animal where once I had remembered such happy homesteads and pleasant farms embowered in orchards and gardens. A chimney here, a blackened ruin there, the silence as of death, attested the pathway of the destroyer. One wondered where all the former dwellers in these homes had gone. Where were their cows and chickens, and hogs, and cattle? We knew afterwards that every living creature had been sacrificed to the Molock which the invaders worshipped. What could not be used was left to decay and pollute the air upon the very thresholds that had sheltered them. At my grand-aunt's, Mrs. Barkeley, of Rocky Mount, whose fine old mansion was Sherman's headquarters when his army crossed the Catawba into Lancaster, the great American chieftain gave his pledged word that nothing should be damaged on these premises. Hardly had he ridden out of sight when his well-disciplined (?) soldiers plundered the house, the occupants of which were three old, decrepid, helpless women, one a cripple; and not satisfied with their luck, destroyed the green-house, piled up dead animals within it, and with deliberate energy dragged the decaying bodies of two horses into the front colonnade of the residence. This is the very climax of dastardly invention in the annals of a march which will forever disgrace the nineteenth century. Overwhelmed by these painful scenes, and the privations and distress which followed, Mrs. Barkeley died suddenly two weeks after General Sherman's self-invited visit—as truly murdered as if she had been the victim of his sword. And this is the man that the South is urged to honor, to shake heartily by the hand ‘across the bloody chasm!’ It is, doubtless, our duty as Christians to forgive him, and pray that he may have a ‘saving sense of his sins.’ But let us at least maintain our self-respect. As I once heard a distinguished minister say: ‘We must entertain the love which is benevolence towards our enemies; but we are not called upon to bestow upon them the love which is ’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
General Ewell at First Manassas .
Colonel Campbell Brown 's reply to General Beauregard .
The Merrimac and the Monitor ���Report of the Committee on Naval Affairs.
Report: [to accompany bill H. R. 244 .]
Official reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of Colonel Bryan Grimes , of Fourth North Carolina .
Operations of detachment from Cashtown to Williams -Port���report of Major Charles Richardson .
From the Rapidan to Spotsylvania Courthouse .
Report of General R. S. Ewell .
Report of General A. L. Long , from 4th to 31st of May , 1864 .
Evacuation of Richmond .
Reunion of the Virginia division Army of Northern Virginia Association.
Orations at the unveiling of the statue of Stonewall Jackson , Richmond, Va. , October 26th , 1875 .
Governor Kemper 's address.
The battle of Honey Hill .
Battle of Chickamauga .
Report of Brigadier-General B. R. Johnson .
Letter from General Hagood on recapture of a flag.
The cavalry affair at Waynesboro .
General Sherman 's method of making war.
Letter from Colonel Stone .
Gleanings from General Sherman 's despatches.
The Wee Nee Volunteers of Williamsburg District, South Carolina , in the First ( Gregg 's) Regiment���Siege and capture of Fort Sumter .
The Kilpatrick - Dahlgren raid against Richmond .
Statement of Lieutenant Bartley , of the United States signal corps .
The Confederate account.
Authenticity of the Dahlgren papers.
The opening of the lower Mississippi in April , 1862 -a reply to Admiral Porter .
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