At City Point
our prison friend, Captain Patterson
, came on board the vessel to see us, and there was a rush to shake hands with him. He said he was glad we were going home.
Notwithstanding all the searching, one man had succeeded in concealing his flag and as soon as we were on the Confederate boat he unfurled it, and a deafening shout rent the air as the boys greeted it.
While in Richmond
I met Colonel Lane
, and was surprised to hear him say, ‘Why, how are you, Company I?’
I told him how astonished I was that he knew me, and he said, ‘I never forget a Twenty-sixth boy.’
My faithful and unselfish friend, ‘Perk’ Miller
, another Caldwell county
boy, who had joined the first company that was formed in Caldwell
, had shared every morsel of comfort with me during our long imprisonment, and was my companion still as we joyfully wended our way to our mountain home.
A part of this journey was on foot, and although we felt in our hearts that we had only to show our pitiful selves to any North Carolina
woman to get the needful food, we both felt like it was begging, and shrank from doing it, so we shared this duty also, taking time about ‘to ask for something to eat,’ which was always cheerfully given.
I was at home one month when Stoneman
made his raid through the county and came to Lenoir
I was in the yard in my shirt-sleeves when I first saw the Yankees
, and might have made my escape, but thinking they were our Home Guard, I deliberately walked around the house in full view of them, and saw my mistake when the guns were pointed at me, and I could only throw up my hands in token of surrender.
I was carried right off, without a coat, and was all night without coat or blanket, and almost frozen.
They issued no rations, but my mother was allowed to supply me with food.
My sister went with my parole to General Gilliam
and begged him to release me, but he refused to do it. This was Easter