the Confederate Government was liberal, in and beyond its means, in the care of its sick and wounded soldiers.
I had permission and authority to make requisitions, at my own will, for money in any amount, and, when money would not buy the necessary supplies, to draw for cotton yarns
and snuff, with which I rarely failed to get what I wanted.
But as the months wore on; as the casualties of the siege daily increased; as the hospitals and cemeteries were being constantly filled; as the recruits became fewer and fewer; as the food, gathered and bought or impressed, came in more and more slowly from broken and badly equipped roads; it became evident that our struggle was against hope.
The deserters, gaunt and hungry—God help and forgive them, for they had been men and soldiers and patriots once—began to creep away under cover of night, and our attenuated lines could no longer be held.
On the morning of the 2nd of April, 1865 (my quarters then were on Washington street, on the south side, just opposite to the present residence of Mr. Bangley
P—— came galloping down from the direction of Turnbull
's farm, the headquarters of General Lee
, and reining up in front of my office, informed me that General A. P. Hill
had been killed, and that our lines were broken on the Dinwiddie
He would give me no specific information, however, said he had no orders for me, and hurried on to the front on the Jerusalem plank road.
He did not tell me—(it was about 11 A. M.）—that General Lee
had left his headquarters, nor of the fierce fighting at Fort Grigg.
I was soon made fully aware of the situation on the west of the city by one of my assistant surgeons, who having constituted himself a scout, proceeded, without my command, to reconnoiter about a mile up Cox road. He returned with great precipitancy, and, I might say, with haste unbecoming his rank, and informed me that the Yankees
were advancing their lines as far as the Whitworth house
, now the lunatic asylum, and, swinging around their left, were threatening to encircle the city.
There soon came tidings from the hospital at the fair grounds (now West End Park
), that things were very unpleasant in that vicinity, and that surgeons and attaches were compelled to resort to the leeward of the large trees, to protect themselves from the enemy's random bullets, whilst the convalescents were disposed to go, and not to stand on the order of their going.
About two o'clock my orders came to leave the city, and to take with me as many surgeons, hospital attaches, servants, &c., as could