been soldiers of steadiness and courage, were straggling and sleeping, unarmed and apparently unconcerned; I attributed it to fatigue and hunger and exhaustion.
of the line seemed to be doing the same thing, colonels, generals
, even lieutenant-generals, and I saw a member of the staff of one of Lee
's most distinguished Lieutenants
throw himself on the gronnd, and swear an oath that he would never draw his sword from its scabbard again; and then I noted that there were more and more small arms thrown aside on the roads, muskets stuck up in the ground by their bayonets, yet, with hundreds, yes, perhaps, thousands of others, I had not entertained for a moment the idea of any surrender of Lee
's army as a whole.
To me, as to every Southron, as to every soldier, as to every man and woman and child of the Confederacy
, it had been the embodiment of courage and fortitude and heroism.
The cause for which it contended was the cause of liberty and truth and right.
God could never suffer those brave batallions to go down, even before might, whose standards had been upheld for so many years by the arms of our heroes; those battle-flags could never trail in dust, which, consecrated and kissed by Southern women, had been baptized in the blood of the truest and best of the earth.
The prayers of a million of Christian men and women, proving their faith by their works of self-abnegation and self-surrender, could not fail to have a hearing above, where the destiny of nations was ordained and determined.
Oh! Comrades, many a heavy hearted man survived the surrender at Appomattox
, and trudged his weary way home, believing, with Napoleon Bonaparte
, that, after all, Heaven was on the side of the heaviest ordnance.
On Saturday afternoon, preceding the fatal morning of Sunday, the 9th of April, my little party was well in the front, keeping pace with some broken sections of artillery belonging to different commands, which, with exhausted ammunition and in crippled condition generally, had been ordered to make for Lynchburg
I came upon Colonel
P——, General Lee
's inspector-general, placing a few infantry troops in position upon a knoll commanding a considerable view of open country, on the left, and riding up to him I asked what command it was. It did not seem to comprise more than two hundred men in all. He replied slowly and sadly: ‘That is what is left of the 1st Virginia regiment, and that is the sole guard of the left flank of the Army of Northern Virginia.’
At a distance, away beyond musket range on the left, there was a body of Federal horse,