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[156] left the church. I have often thought since then that moment must have been the most trying one in Mr. Davis's remarkable career. Yet, whatever his feelings, and they must have been excruciating, his self-control was perfect, and he withdrew from the sacred edifice with a quiet grace and dignity that was not only superb, but well calculated to disarm suspicion and allay excitement. I can see now his lithe, erect, stately figure as it disappeared down the aisle, and I shall never forget it, for it was the last time I ever saw him. His withdrawal was so quiet that the service was in no wise interrupted, and I believe it would have been concluded in the usual way but for what followed. Hardly had Mr. Davis disappeared than the sexton came in again and spoke to General Joseph R. Anderson, who at once went out. This made people look up and shoot inquiring glances at each other. Then the sexton came again, and the excitement became manifest. But when the sexton appeared the fourth time, all restraint of place and occasion yielded, and the vast congregation rose en masse and rushed towards the doors. I sat still for a moment, wondering and withal listening to the preacher's earnest appeal to the people to remember where they were and be still. Good Dr. Minnigerode, he might just as well have tried to turn back the waters of Niagara Falls. Something had happened; and the congregation knew it without being told, and nothing could have kept the people in the church. At any rate nothing did, and I went along with the crowd, excited and alarmed. If the scene in the church was all excitement, outside the vast crowd that thronged the spacious church porch and the pavement beyond was standing for the most part in dumb, bewildered silence. I shall never forget the first thing which met my eyes as I gained the open street. Just across the street in a large house there were a number of government offices, and before these, in the middle of the street, were several piles of government documents burning their way to destruction. I think these burning papers were the first intelligent intimation the people had of what was occurring. They told me, as they told others, and it was pathetic to see that crowd melt away, too full of forebodings and anguish to express the surprise and despair which possessed every mind.

I have no recollection how the rest of that Sunday was spent, but I do remember that before it closed there was a widespread impression that the rumors and fears of the early morning were false. When my father's friend, Dr. Harrison, came home that night he told us it was a false alarm; that there had been a crisis, but it was

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