but sent on the flag to Gen. Wilson
, who was at some distance in the rear.
As soon as he received it he rode forward and halted his forces, but claimed that the place had been captured, as his leading troopers had penetrated our lines by literally a few yards when they were brought to a halt.
resisted this claim, saying that the armistice should have been enforced as soon as the flag of truce had reached the advance, and that even when it was put in force resistance was still possible.
The Confederate troops were withdrawn from the earth works, a single Federal regiment only, the 17th Indiana cavalry, was allowed to come into the city, and a long discussion of the question of the capture of the city took place, lasting up to a very late hour of the night, and finally it was agreed that the question should be left open for settlement by the higher military authorities, so that a few days later the paroles of all Confederate soldiers in Macon
were made out in conditional form, it being stipulated that if the capture of the city should be declared by competent military authority to be valid, rendering the garrison prisoners of war, the parole should be binding, otherwise of no effect.
So far as I know, that question has not to this day been settled!
For myself, individually, the temporary recognition of a state of truce or armistice had the odd result that in the small hours of the night of the arrival of the enemy I found myself in command of a squad of cavalry of the Indiana
regiment riding round to post these men as sentries at the various ordnance works and warehouses of ordnance stores, by agreement with Maj. McBirney
, Chief Ordnance Officer on Gen. Wilson
's staff, he and I acting under orders from Generals Wilson
, with a view to safe-guarding the city from possible disaster by fire or explosion.
What are one's feelings now in recalling these long by-gone days of the Civil War
?—days of such activity and physical and mental strain, of poor and insufficient food, discomfort, fatigue, turmoil and danger, but of youth and hope, and the infectious ardor of spirit caught from a whole people united as brothers in a common cause.
As one's mood changes from day to day, that far distant past, with its great events and one's own little