After church the party was sitting in the parlor chatting when Mr. Benjamin
, who had been called away, entered the room, and, after conversing nonchalantly for a short time, beckoned Dr. Hoge
to follow him to their chamber.
When they were there Mr. Benjamin
said: ‘Dr. Hoge
, I didn't have the heart to tell you before these ladies, something I want to communicate to you.’
He then went on to say that General Lee
's face never revealed what he suffered, ‘but,’ said Dr. Hoge
in relating the incident, ‘I could not refrain from sitting down on the bed and weeping, a habit to which I am not addicted.’
When Mr. Benjamin
set out on his trip southward from Danville
shortly after this, he was asked by Dr. Hoge
if he was not afraid of being captured.
With a significant smile, he replied: ‘I shall never be taken alive.’
remained with the presidential cavalcade until it reached Georgia
, when he separated from his companions.
Up to that time he had passed as a French military officer, having a passport in that language, which he spoke like a native.
He rode a very tall horse, purchased in South Carolina
, and said to be one of the finest in that State.
When he left President Davis
' party he purchased a cart and horse, and, disguised as a pedler, wearing immense green goggles, he worked his way toward the coast.
On one occasion he stopped over night with a gentleman who was acquainted with and who recognized him despite his disguise.
Being the soul of politeness, the host made no sign to show that he had penetrated the incognito of his guest, and that it was
not until the morning, when in bidding him farewell, he unwittingly remarked, ‘Good-by, Mr. Benjamin
,’ that the true state of affairs was exposed.