‘You look like it,’ he said.
And I expect that I did. Those of you who were left at Appomattox Courthouse long enough to encounter the rain that wept over our defeat, can bear testimony to the mud and to the exceeding slipperiness of the roads.
On the night before, under a forced march to freedom, our Yankee escort had taken a mischievous pleasure in hurrying us up, and how often I had fallen down, and how often I was ordered to ‘get up, Johnnie,’ with a bayonet inconveniently near my person, I cannot recount.
But this was no time for fooling.
I said: ‘Boys, you are not going to leave me here?’
then said: ‘Did I not tell you not to leave Mahone
Now, you see what has come of it.’
‘Yes, General, but where is your surgeon Wood
‘Oh, that fellow got shot.’
I knew that, because I had seen him grievously wounded, and he had asked me to take charge of his instruments, or watch, I forget which, but the Yankees
had given him an ambulance and driver and two mules, and I suggested that he would have a better chance than I to secure their and his safety, which he did. He reached home safely, I afterwards heard, near Fincastle, Va.
, and lived there many years.
But for myself—I said: ‘May be so, I could not be much worse off than I am.’
‘Are you paroled?’
‘If you are I will take you home with me.’
‘No,’ I said, ‘I and many others, my two friends here amongst them, and sixty men of your old Alabama
brigade, were released last night by my influence, and ordered to report to General F—— to be paroled.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘go down and see General F——, he is about a mile down the road, and tell him to parole you and send you back to me. He says you will have to have a blank parole,’ and turning around asked if anybody had one. Captain Patterson
produced one from somewhere, and then I asked if I could not get another one for Drs
. Field and Smith
, but not another could be found anywhere.
The General then got off his horse, made me mount her, and told me that he would provide some way for me to accompany him by the time I returned, and to hasten to General F ——'s headquarters before he left.
When I reached General F ——'s headquarters, there was no difficulty in finding him, as I think that his was the only tent I saw. Riding up, there was at the door of the tent Captain
P——, a lawyer of Richmond
, who, I think, was General F——'s ordinance officer, though I am not sure of that.
We had been students together at