This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘  on ahead of the column to see if I could hear anything of General Baker, and at that early hour I found the road filled with stragglers, all reiterating and confirming the news of yesterday. Nothing could be heard of the general. The column came up in about an hour, was halted, horses fed, and men got breakfast. About the time we were ready to move again a solitary horseman rode up to the depot, in whom I recognized General M. W. Ransom. He dismounted and hitched his horse, while I went forward to meet him. He confirmed the reports of General Lee's surrender, having himself been there and witnessed it. I told of my situation, the reported occupation of Raleigh by Sherman, and that, surrounded by the enemy as I was, I hardly knew what to do with the stores and men under my charge. He replied that he knew nothing of Sherman's position, but hardly thought he was in Raleigh, and that, being a paroled soldier, he could not give me any advice in the premises; but that his brother, General Robert Ransom, was at his house, only about four miles away, and, as he was not paroled, I could consult him. This I concluded to do, and countermanding the orders to resume the march, we mounted and rode off. We found General Robert Ransom at his house (he was home on sick furlough), and I entered at once into the matter which had brought me to his presence. General Matt Ransom was present, but took no part in the discussion. After some reflection, General Robert remarked that under the circumstances he could see no good in holding out longer; explained the difficulties of reaching Johnston if Sherman occupied Raleigh, and that he thought it best to remain where I was, and send a flag of truce to Sherman at Raleigh, offering to surrender upon the same terms accorded Lee's army. At the conclusion of General Robert's remarks, General Matt, forgetful of the fact that he was paroled and could give no advice, sprang to his feet, and exclaimed with flashing eye and extended arm: “Never! Under no consideration surrender until there is a force in your front sufficient to compel it. But what am I doing! I am a paroled prisoner and have no right to speak in this manner,” and walked out of the room. There was that in his manner, looks, and ringing tones, which settled the question for me, and bidding both “good-bye,” mounted my horse and rode back to Warrenton Junction. Upon arriving there I found a considerable number of the men in a state of disquietude and disorder, amounting to almost total demoralization. They had broken into one of the cars containing supplies of food, were wantonly wasting the supplies, and were preparing to break open other cars. Springing from my horse ’
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.