their arrival at our post, and escorting them to their Union quarters.
Later I was detailed, with a guard of fifty men and an officer, to conduct about 300 commissioned officers, ranking from colonel to second lieutenant, to New Orleans for exchange.
I am free to confess that this service was infinitely more congenial to me than shooting them would have been.
My sympathy came quickly to the surface when the ranking officer seized my hand, and with quivering lips thanked me for the solicitude I had manifested for their comfort during the night trip to New Orleans; adding ‘that it was a continuation of the uniform kindness and consideration that had been extended to them on the island.’
According to a provision in Jefferson Davis
' ‘Proclamation,’ if captured, I would have been ‘reserved for execution
That ‘Proclamation’ of Jeff. Davis
, promulgated on the twenty-third day of December, 1862, is a piece of the most villainous writing that has ever been brought to my notice.
And I believe it to be an historical fact that the author of it died ‘without a country.’
By a singular fatality, the close of the ‘War of the Rebellion
’ found me, after many changes of location, on duty on the desolate island where I first landed more than three years before.
But in our department there were still loose and ragged ends of the rebellion that required special attention; and the ‘well-seasoned’ Seventy-fourth Regiment, U. S. C. I., was one of the regiments retained to perform duties with which it had become familiar, and for which no regiment was better equipped.
Patriotism, loyalty are words which were not flippantly spoken by the men of my command; but by their devotion to duty they exemplified
their loyalty and patriotism most happily.
With strangely mixed emotions we read our orders to ‘proceed to New Orleans and prepare for muster-out.’
The sands of Ship Island
were not watered with my tears.
But when, on the twenty-first day of November, 1865, we received our honorable discharge from the service and our final pay, and I had performed my last official duty—distributed about $200 company savings, giving each man his share—and then took each man bv the hand and said a last good-by, something snapped.