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Bureaus abandoned.

All along the route the various bureaus of the departments had been abandoned, and the President left Washington, Ga., with a portion of his staff. Colonel F. R. Lubbock, A. D. C., ex-Governor of Texas; Colonel John Taylor Wood, A. D. C.; Colonel William Preston Johnston, A. D. C.; also Colonel Thorburn, a naval adjutant, Captain Given Campbell and eight scouts, my train, with its quartermaster and a small following. Hon. John H. Reagan, Postmaster-General and Acting Secretary of the Treasury, and myself caught up with the party next morning at sunrise, after traveling all night.

Up to Washington, Ga., the march had no sign of a retreat, and was made leisurely day by day. An escort of cavalry was furnished [100] at Greensboro, but it was kept generally on parallel roads. From Washington, Ga., the idea was to reach the Trans-Mississippi Department with safety, and by steady traveling, as no speed could be made.

From Danville on I saw the government, with its personnel, slowly but surely falling to pieces. Grief, sorrow, and often indignation was felt and expressed by the immediate party among themselves, but the face of the Great Chief was serene, courteous and kind always, beguiling the tedium of the weary miles with cheerful conversation, reminiscences and anecdotes—as a gracious host entertaining his guests—reviving the spirits, strengthening the hearts and courage of all who were with him.

A horseback ride from Greensboro, N. C., to far Southern Georgia was no holiday excursion, with the dusty roads, weary riding, and generally coarse fare, yet he made it one, in part, in many pleasant ways to those who rode with him, and it will never leave their living memories.

I never heard one hasty or petulant expression escape his lips, yet all knew how his proud heart was suffering, so weighted with anxieties for his beloved people, who had given the pick and flower of their families for the cause.

Admiration, love and intense personal devotion to him grew day by day, until laying down life for him would have been a willing tribute.

With all the weariness of the month's retreat, on the road were found many passing compensations. The people, though they felt and knew that the end of all their hopes was near, were true and hospitable always. Houses flew open to give what meagre cheer they held.


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