previous next

[175] the trail of Sherman's march to the sea. The Eleventh Texas, of which he was a member, was, he says, on rear guard at Branchville, S. C., and at Raleigh, ending its career at what was then known as Durham's Station.

The last shot, as described by Mr. Sadler, was fired in North Carolina, near Durham, after the preliminaries for the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston to General William T. Sherman had been arranged. The Eleventh Texas was a part of General Harrison's Brigade, and had dwindled from a full regiment down to only 105. Describing his experience at Durham, Mr. Sadler says:

We had been on rear guard for three or four days and nights, and on the morning of April 26, 1865, just at dawn of day, a scout came into camp. They had found a barrel which contained some gallons of apple jack and had put some in a water bucket and the balance in a wash tub.

We had camped along a hedge row, into which we had crawled to sleep. We were not up when the scout came in and called out “Apple jack!” but we were very soon out, and before the cups had gone around the outer pickets fired. Of course, we could not pour the jack out; it was too rich for Yanks. So we drank it in a hurry, and mounted our horses. The enemy was on us, and the scrap began. We divided our command into two squadrons — about fifty men each. The squadron next to the enemy would stay in line until the enemy would charge. Each man would empty one six-shooter, then fall back behind the other squadron and take a position. We were more or less exhilarated—probably more than less. The enemy came up vigorously, swift, and strong, in charge after charge—for we did not have to wait long for them. Business was good.

In the course of an hour there developed a third squadron, which was more than exhilarated, fairly lubricated; for, when a squadron would fire, which would always check the enemy, the lubricated squadron would countercharge, and sometimes in close six-shooter range. The enemy came in right along, seemed to be looking for business, and we did not have to wait long at any time until ten or eleven o'clock.

My squadron took a position behind a small field on the left-hand side of the road—the field was, say 150 or 200 yards wide. We were on a hillside, six miles from Chapel Hill. We had waited longer than usual, when a Yank hallooed on the other side of the field:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William T. Sherman (2)
David M. Sadler (2)
Yanks (1)
Joseph E. Johnston (1)
Carter H. Harrison (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 26th, 1865 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: