to say nothing of the impropriety of occupying one of Mrs.
S——'s beds with such foot gear.
A negro man was summoned, the situation explained to him, and he guaranteed relief.
After dragging me around the room two or three times, encouraged by the cheers of my comrades, who enjoyed the fun more than I did, he succeeded in getting them off, and I slept with General Mahone
for the first and last time in my life.
The next morning, Mrs.
S—— sent us up a box of paper collars, the first I had ever seen, and with one of them on, my face and hands clean, head combed, and sum of the mud off of my clothes, I appeared the next morning in fair comparison with any of my comrades.
After breakfast, bidding farewell to our kind hostess and daughters, and seeking the others of our party, who had found homes in different houses in the village, we renewed our journey.
After riding some ten miles, we separated, General Mahone
and myself with him to his home at Clarksville
, and Patterson
, Ben Harrison
turning their horses' heads towards Petersburg
We reached Clarksville
that night, after a forced march, and after a hot supper, which Mrs. Mahone
prepared for us after our arrival, I went to bed, more dead than alive.
I had undergone not only all the fatigue of the retreat, but my Rosinante was the roughest riding animal I ever backed, and riding him rapidly two long days, had used me up. This was on Saturday night succeeding the surrender.
It seemed as if the events of a lifetime had been crowded into that short week.
It was almost impossible to realize the changes I had seen in that time, and now the marvel of looking at General Mahone
sitting down in peace, playing with his children, whom one week before I had left at the head of his ragged veterans in fierce and hopeless fight, was more than I could take in.
Sunday, I was too sick to get up, but, with the kindly ministrations of Mrs. Mahone
, I was on my feet Monday morning, and after breakfast, Blakemore
and I, the last of the ‘Paladins’ of our little group who had left Appomattox
together, renewed our journey.
We travelled together about half a day, when he turned off to go to his aunt's, Mrs.
J——, in Mecklenburg county, Virginia
, and I took the road for Louisburg, N. C.
, where my wife and children had been refugeeing.
I had no companion for the balance of that day, reached Ridgeway
about night, and found hospitable quarters at an old friend and college mate's, Dr.