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[112] It must be borne in mind we were not cavalrymen, and yet we had been in the saddle seven or eight days, on the go all the time, were completely worn out, and had still before us about sixty miles to travel before reaching our homes. We gladly availed ourselves of this opportunity to change our mode of locomotion. Whedbee and I agreed we should ride ‘turn about,’ with my first go. But ‘all is not gold that glitters,’ and we are often doomed ‘to see our fondest hopes decay.’ I had hardly started before the fear of the thing breaking down took possession of me. The trouble was, compared with the vehicles (caissons and gun-carriages) I had been used to for three years, the frail appearance and elastic motion of the sulky were alarming. I soon yielded the concern to Whedbee, who seemed to take to it better. This was inspiring, and when my turn came again, I claimed the privilege, and accustomed myself to its motions. Whedbee, who lived in the country, left me when I was several miles from home. He was hardly out of sight, when I heard in the direction I was going the booming of cannon, repeated at intervals. It occurred to me at once, that the firing was from the gunboats lying in the river at Hertford, and out of respect to President Lincoln. This was not very comforting; for while there was no reason why I should apprehend trouble or annoyance, I did not fancy facing the music all alone, satisfied as I was of meeting in the town sailors and soldiers from these boats. But seating myself more firmly in my novel vehicle, drawing the reins of my steed tighter, and mustering up courage for the ordeal, I dashed over the bridge and through the main street of the town in fine style. As I expected, the town was filled with sailors and soldiers, but they gave me a cheer as I passed, and shouted, ‘there goes a johnny coming home in the best style yet.’ I realized at once that ‘this cruel war was over,’ and these hearty greetings from quondam foes went a long way towards reconstructing me.

I would commend the example of these their brethren to those of the North who would keep alive the fires of sectional hate more than twenty-five long years after we Southern soldiers have laid down our arms in good faith. I venture to say that none of the men that greeted me so fraternally that April morning are found in the ranks of those who would deny us the right to meet together to commemorate the deeds of valor of our comrades in arms. They, no doubt, like us, look upon the courage and bravery of the ‘boys in blue’ and the ‘boys in grey’ as a common heritage, to be tenderly preserved and proudly transmitted to posterity. No want of loyalty and devotion to our common country, and the one flag that floats

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