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‘ [107] and making my way to them, calling my bugler as I went, I had him sound the assembly, and bade them fall in with their several commands at once. The better and nobler instincts of good soldiers coming to their assistance, they soon quieted down and readily fell into line. I then addressed them as best I could; told them all the news I could learn; of my conference with the two generals; that we had food enough for a week at least, and in that time felt sure something would be done, either by the arrival of General Baker, or in some other way, which would enable us either to continue or close our services as Confederate soldiers in an honorable way. That I proposed now to move on to Ridgway, halt and call a council of officers; and urged them to be men a little longer and trust me, and I would do for them the best I could. My emotions choked my utterance; many of the men wept with me, and all promised implicit obedience to my orders. The column was soon formed and marched to Ridgway, where we arrived about noon. Hastily calling the officers together for consultation, we concluded to send an engine and tender up the road as near Raleigh as possible, and ascertain, if we could, whether Sherman was there or not. An engine on the track, already fired up, was seized, and as many men, armed with Enfield rifles, as could be were put aboard and in charge of Lieutenant Blount, of Tenth North Carolina troops, with orders to go as near Raleigh as he deemed safe, and if he found the enemy in occupation, to return with the best speed possible, burning the most important bridge on the road in his rear. The engine was about to move off, when the president of the road, who lives here, stepped up, and in an authoritative tone, ordered the men off, and the engineer not to move an inch. I renewed my former order, which the president again forbade, denying my authority to impress his rolling-stock in such service. Remonstrances proving unavailing, I directed a sergeant, with a file of men, to remove him into the railroad office and keep him under guard, which being done, the engine moved off up the road. In the consultation with the officers it was decided that if upon the return of Lieutenant Blount, General Baker had not come up or been heard from, another meeting should be called for definite action. At 5 P. M. news came that General Baker and staff were coming, and about 6 P. M. they rode up. Upon his arrival the president of the road was set at liberty, and he at once made complaint to the general; but he endorsed all I had done, and then saying he would make his headquarters with the president, they rode off together. Soon after, he called a council of the officers, from which I returned about 9:30 P. M. With few dissenting votes it was ’

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