a race with the enemy (April 3-22, 1865）
explanatory note.-There is hardly anything in this chapter but will easily explain itself.
The war was virtually over when we left our sister, though we did not know it, and the various raids and forays alluded to in the journal were really nothing but the march of victorious generals to take possession of a conquered country.
Communication was so interrupted that we did not hear of the fall of Richmond
till the 6th of April, four days after it happened, and no certain news of Lee
's surrender reached us till the 20th, eleven days after the event, though we caught vague rumors of it on the 19th.
Chunnennuggee Ridge, to which allusion is made in this chapter and the preceding, is a name given to a tall escarpment many miles in length, overlooking the rich prairie lands of South-East Alabama
On top of this bluff the owners of the great cotton plantations in the prairie made their homes, and for some five or six miles north of the town of Union Springs
, about midway between Montgomery
, the edge of the bluff was lined with a succession of stately mansions surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens, very much as the water front of a fashionable seaside resort is built up to-day.
The writer had frequently visited this delightful place with her cousin, Miss Victoria Hoxey
(Tolie of the diary), who had a married sister living there.
April 3, Monday.
All of us very miserable at the thought of parting.
goes with us as far as Wooten
's, on her way to Gopher Hill
, so sister and the children are left alone.
Brother Troup has been ordered to Gen. Wofford
's command in North Georgia
, and this separation adds to her feeling of loneliness, but she and the children will soon join us in Washington
, so it won't matter so much.
The ride to Albany
was very unpleasant, the sun scorching hot, the glare of the sand blinding, and Mrs. Meals
with a headache.
Mr. George Hull
writes that the Georgia R. R.
will be open for travel by the last of this month, and so our visits to Cuthbert
will just fill in the interval for Mett and me. We can then go home by way of Atlanta
It is something to think we will be able to go all the way by rail and won't have to undergo that troublesome wagon ride again across the country.
Up early and at the depot.
accompanied us as far as Smithville
We had to wait five hours there for the train to Cuthbert
The hotel was so uninviting that we stayed in the car, putting down the blinds and making ourselves as comfortable as we could.
, who is stationed there, was very kind and attentive.
He paid us a call in our impromptu parlor, and made some of his hands bring in buckets of water and sprinkle the floor to cool it off a little.
Just before the train arrived on which we were to leave, there
came one with 1,100 Yankee prisoners on their way from Anderson en route
, to be exchanged.1
The guard fired a salute as they passed, and some of the prisoners had the impudence to kiss their hands at us-but what better could be expected of the foreign riff-raff that make up the bulk of the Yankee
If they had not been prisoners I would have felt like they ought to have a lesson in manners, for insulting us, but as it was, I couldn't find it in my heart to be angry.
They were half-naked, and such a poor, miserable, starved-looking set of wretches that we couldn't help feeling sorry for them in spite of their wicked war against our country, and threw what was left of our lunch at them, as their train rattled by, thinking it would feed two or three of them, at least.
But our aim was bad, and it fell short, so the poor creatures didn't get it, and if any of them noticed, I expect they thought we were only “d-- d rebel women” throwing our waste in their faces to insult them.
I am glad they are going to be exchanged, anyway, and leave a climate that seems to be so unfriendly to them, though I think it is the garden spot of the world.
If I had my choice of all the climates I know anything
about, to live in, I would choose the region between Macon
The railroad from Smithville
runs into the “oaky woods” beyond Smithville
, which are more broken and undulating than the pine flats, and the swamps are larger and more beautiful on account of the greater variety of vegetation.
They are a huge mosaic, at this season, of wild azaleas, Atamasco lilies, yellow jessamine, and a hundred other brilliant wild flowers.
My taste may be very perverted, but to my mind there is no natural scenery in the world so beautiful as a big Southern swamp in springtime.
It has its beauty in winter, too, with the somber cypress, the stately magnolias, the silvery bays, and the jungle of shrubs and vines, gay with the red berries of holly and winter smilax.
The railroad from Smithville
is lined on both sides with saw mills, getting out lumber for the government, and they are destroying the beauty of the country.
girls and Capt. Greenlaw
were at the depot to meet us. Mr. Joyner
has bought an old hotel here for his family to refugee in, and it really makes a very pleasant residence, though not to compare with their pretty home in Atlanta
, that the Yankees
Cousin Bolling's hospital has been moved here from Americus
, and he and his little stepson, Brown Ayres
, are boarding with the Joyners.
, of Virginia
, and Capt. Graybill
, of Macon
, are also members of the household.
In these days,
when everybody is living from hand to mouth, and half the world is refugeeing, most people who are fortunate enough to possess homes have very heterogeneous households.
The village seems to be very gay. We found an invitation awaiting us for to-morrow night and the gentlemen in the house proposed a theater-party for this evening, to see the amateurs, but it is Lent, and I am trying to do better in the way of refraining from worldly amusements and mortifying the flesh, than I did in Montgomery
last spring, so we spent the evening at home.
April 5, Wednesday
Just before daylight we were awakened by a lovely serenade, and I gave myself a sore throat trotting over the house bare-footed, hunting for flowers to throw to the serenaders.
Mett and Mary
had all that were in the house in their room, and would not give the rest of us any. Their finest bouquet lodged in the boughs of a spreading willow oak near the window, and then we had the laugh on them.
The girls were busy all day getting ready for Miss Long's wedding.
I might take more credit to myself for keeping Lent if I had anything to wear, but my one new dress isn't made up yet, and everything else I have is too frazzled out to wear.
and Capt. Graybill
, both pretending to be good Episcopalians, urged me to go, but that unfinished dress was a powerful support to my conscience.
I fixed Metta
up beautifully, though, and she was very much admired.
Her hair that she lost last fall, from typhoid fever, has grown out curly, and her head is frizzled beautifully all over, without the bother of irons and curl-papers.
Metta says she never saw more elegant dressing than at Miss Long's wedding, which is a great credit to the taste and ingenuity of our Southern girls in patching up pretty things out of all sorts of odds and ends.
, an acquaintance of Garnett
's, dined here, and five of Cousin Bolling's patients called in the afternoon.
One of them, Capt. Guy
, had had a curious experience with a minie ball that knocked out one tooth and passed out at the back of his neck without killing him. I laughed and told him he was certainly born to be hanged.
Another poor fellow, with a dreadfully ugly face, had six battle scars to make him interesting.
A report has come that the Yankees
have taken Selma
, and a raid is advancing towards Eufaula
, so that puts a stop to our Chunnennuggee trip.
I can't say that I am disappointed, for I don't want to turn my face from home any more, but Mett was anxious to make the trip, and I thought it would be mean not to go with her.
April 6, Thursday
brought his flute and spent the morning.
He is red-headed and ugly, but very musical, and such jolly good company that one can't help liking him. I don't know when I
have met a person that seemed so genial and altogether lovable, in a brotherly sort of way. .. . I took a long walk through the village with Capt. Greenlaw
after dinner, and was charmed with the lovely gardens and beautiful shade trees.
On coming home, I heard of the fall of Richmond
Everybody feels very blue, but not disposed to give up as long as we have Lee
. Poor Dr. Robertson
has been nearly distracted since he heard the news.
His wife and five little children are on a farm near Petersburg
, and he don't know what is to become of them.
April 7, Friday
spent the day here and brought me the biggest bouquet of the biggest red roses I ever saw; I couldn't help laughing when he threw it into my lap. He calls me “cousin,” because he says we both have such red heads that we ought to be kin. There is something in his easy, good-natured way of laughing and joking about everything that reminds me a good deal of Fred.
And he has the sweetest way in the world of carrying flowers about with him, and slipping them into your work basket, or throwing them into your lap, or laying them on your handkerchief — no matter where, but I can always tell when he has been about by finding a full-blown rose, or a sprig of wild honeysuckle, or a bunch of swamp lilies, or some other big bright flower lying around among my things.
It rained most of the day, but was not too wet for many callers, and another long walk in the afternoon through this pretty little town.
female colleges have been turned into hospitals, one of which is under Cousin Bolling's charge.
The news this evening is that Montgomery
has gone, and the new capital of the Confederacy
will be either Macon
, or Athens, Georgia
The war is closing in upon us from all sides.
I am afraid there are rougher times ahead than we have ever known yet. I wish I was safe at home.
Since Brother Troup has been ordered from Macon
our chance of getting a government wagon is gone, and the railroad won't be finished through to Atlanta
for a week or ten days yet. If ever I do get back home again, I will stay there till the war is over.
April 8, Saturday
Cousin Bolling has returned from his visit to Americus
, Lizzie, Mett, and I went to the depot to meet him and hear the news, then took a walk through Lovers' Lane, a beautiful shady road that runs through woods so thick as to make solid walls of green on either side.
It is intersected with other roads as white and shady as itself, with all sorts of wild flowers blooming on the ground and climbing over the trees.
This is indeed one of the loveliest villages I ever was in, but it has one most unromantic drawback; it is awfully infested with fleas.
They are like an Egyptian plague, and keep you wriggling and squirming in a perpetual struggle against the vulgar impulse to scratch.
Everybody is talking about the gloomy aspect of affairs.
spent the morning as usual,
and the more I see of him the better I like him for his bright, cheery disposition.
Among those who called in the evening, was a Mr. Renaud
, of New Orleans, whom I liked very much.
He has that charming Creole
accent which would make it a pleasure to listen to him, even if he were not so nice himself.
April 9, Sunday
I went to worship with a little band of Episcopalians, mostly refugees, who meet every Sunday in a schoolhouse.
It is a rough place, with very uncomfortable benches, but beautifully situated in a grove just at the entrance to Lovers' Lane.
The services were conducted by old Mr. George
, who used to come out to the Tallassee plantation
, as far back as I can remember, and hold mission services for father's and Mr. Nightingale
's negroes, sometimes in Uncle Jacob's cabin, sometimes in the little log chapel on Mr. Nightingale
's Silver Lake place. He teaches in the little schoolhouse all the week to support his family — a full baker's dozen-and holds church services on Sundays for the refugees and soldiers of the faith that have stranded here.
He has spent his life in mission work, laying the foundation of churches for other men to build on. There is something very touching in the unrewarded labor of this good man, grown gray in the service of his God.
The churches he builds up, as soon as they begin to prosper, ask the bishop for another pastor.
He wore no surplice, and his threadbare silk gown was, I verily believe, the same that he used to wear in the old plantation
It was pathetic to see him-his congregation still more so. It consisted mainly of poor wounded soldiers from the hospitals, especially in the afternoon, when there were no services in the other churches.
They came, some limping on crutches, some with scarred and mangled faces, some with empty sleeves, nearly all with poor, emaciated bodies, telling their mute tale of sickness and suffering, weariness and heartache.
I saw one poor lame fellow leading a blind one, who held on to his crutch.
Another had a blind comrade hanging upon one arm while an empty sleeve dangled where the other ought to be. I have seen men since I came here with both eyes shot out, men with both arms off, and one poor fellow with both arms and a leg gone.
What can our country ever do to repay such sacrifice?
And yet, it is astonishing to see how cheerful these brave fellows are, especially Cousin Bolling's patients, who laughingly dub themselves “The blind brigade.”
I went to the Baptist Church with the Joyner girls at night.
Metta and I were more amused than edified during the sermon by hearing ourselves discussed in whispers by some people directly behind us. Two of them got into a dispute as to which was the best looking, but we could not hear how they decided it. One of them suggested that we were twins, and this gave me a good laugh on Mett, who is so much younger and better-looking than I, that the comparison was not at all flattering to her.
April 10, Monday
The day was largely taken up with callers.
When there is nothing else to do, we amuse ourselves by sitting at the windows and looking into the streets.
's house is between the post office and the quarters of the provost guard, and just beyond the latter is a schoolhouse, so we are never at a loss for something to amuse us. The fashionable promenade of the village is up and down the street that runs in front of the house, but I like better to walk in the woods, which are very beautiful around here.
The tableaux club met at Mrs. Joyner
's in the evening.
Metta and I will not be in Cuthbert
long enough to take part in the entertainment, but were admitted to the rehearsal.
After the rehearsal some one suggested that we should go out serenading.
There were several good voices in the party, and after calling at one or two private houses, somebody said it would be a good idea to go and cheer up the soldiers in the Hood Hospital
, which was but a block or two away, with some war songs.
The poor fellows were so delighted when they heard us that all who were able, dressed themselves and came out on the terraces, while others crowded to the windows and balconies.
They sent a shower of roses down on us, and threw with them slips of paper with the names of the songs they wished to hear.
We gave them first:
Cheer, boys, cheer, we march away to battle,
which pleased them so much that they called for it a second time.
Then some one struck up “Vive l'amour,” and Mett gave an impromptu couplet:
Here's to the boys in Confederate gray,
Vive la compagnie,
Who never their country nor sweethearts betray,
While the soldiers were clapping and shouting the chorus, two good lines popped into my head, and when the noise had subsided a little, I sang:
Here's a toast to the boys who go limping on crutches,
Vive la compagnie,
They have saved our land from the enemies' clutches,
I waved my hand at a group of brave fellows leaning on crutches, as I finished, and a regular rebel yell went up from the hospital grounds.
Flowers were rained down from the windows, and I never was so delighted in my life — to think that my little knack of stringing rhymes together had served some good purpose for once.
The soldiers clapped and shouted and rattled their crutches together, and one big fellow standing near me threw up his battered old war hat, and cried out:
“Bully for you!
Give us some more!”
and then I added:
Here's death to the men who wear Federal blue,
They are cowardly, cruel, perfidious, untrue, etc.
But after all, it looks as if the wretches are going to bring death, or slavery that is worse than death, to us. We may sing and try to put on a brave face, but alas!
who can tell what the end of it all is to be?
April 1, Tuesday
I slept all the morning and was only wakened in the afternoon by Mary Joyner
pulling at my feet and telling me to get up for dinner.
I like Mary
Her manner is abrupt, but she is generosity itself.
Her devotion to the sick and wounded soldiers is beautiful.
Often she will go without her dinner and always denies herself any special delicacy that happens to be on the table, in order to take it to one of the hospitals.
Almost every mail brings her grateful letters from the soldiers she has nursed, or from the wives and sweethearts of those who will never need her services again.
I love to hear her tell about her experiences in the Atlanta hospitals
during the siege.
Some of them are very funny, but more of them are sad. She was called “the hospital angel” in Atlanta
, and well deserved the name.
The Cuthbert Thespian Corps gave Richelieu
at the theater this evening, for the benefit of the hospitals.
acted the part of De Mauprat, and I dressed him for the occasion in the velvet cloak I bought from Mrs. Sims
, and sleeves of crimson silk that had been the trousers of a Turkish costume that sister wore at a fancy ball in Columbus
before the war. I didn't go to see the play because I am keeping Lent.
April 12, Wednesday
Breakfast so late that visitors began to call before we had finished.
In the evening, Mr. Renaud
and Mr. Jeffers
is a wonderful mimic, and sings a comic song so well that I told him I wondered how he ever escaped being a vagabond.
had got leave to start for Virginia
in the morning, and was having a farewell party of gentlemen in his room, whom he seemed to be entertaining chiefly on tobacco and “straws.”
After a while they joined us in the parlor, and Mr. Jeffers
introduced each one as he came in, with a happy little rhyming couplet on his name or occupation.
Altogether, it was one of the brightest, wittiest things I ever heard, though I am sorry to say that some of the company gave evidence of having indulged too freely in “straws,” with the usual seasonings.
says that my little rhyme about the boys on crutches did the sick soldiers more good than all his medicines.
Some poor fellows who had hardly noticed anything for a week, he says, laughed and clapped their hands like happy children, as they lay on their beds and listened.
He says they have been talking about it ever since.
April 13, Thursday
Slept away the morning as usual, and spent the afternoon returning calls, as that seems to be the fashionable time for visiting in Cuthbert
The tableaux club met at Dr. Jackson
's in the evening and after rehearsal we went to serenade the soldiers at the Hill Hospital
, as it would seem like
slighting them to pass them by after serenading the others.
But they knew we were coming and so things didn't go off with the warmth and naturalness of our other visit.
They had prepared an entertainment for us, and brought us some lemonade made with brown sugar
and citric acid.
It was dreadful stuff, but the dear fellows were giving us the best they had, and, I am afraid, depriving themselves of supplies they needed for their own use. While we were drinking, somebody led off with a verse of the “Confederate toast” and then looked at me, and I added one that I felt half-ashamed of because I had made it up beforehand and felt like an impostor, but couldn't help it when I knew beforehand what was coming:
Here's to the Southern rebel, drink it down;
Here's to the Southern rebel, drink it down;
Here's to the Southern rebel,
May his enemies go to the--
I came to a sudden stop at the last word and the soldiers, with a laugh and a yell, took up the chorus and carried it through.
Then we amused ourselves for some time answering each other with couplets, good, bad, and indifferent-mostly indifferent.
My parting one was:
Hurrah for the soldiers who stay on the Hill;
They have fought, they have suffered, they are full of pluck still.
April 15, Saturday
A new rumor, that the Yankees
are at Glenville
, advancing on Eufaula
, but those
best qualified to judge seem to think this move only a feint, and that their real destination is Columbus
We seem to have been followed all winter by storms and floods and Yankee panics.
We are not much disturbed by this one, however, as we expect to leave for Macon
on Monday, anyway.
and Mr. Renaud
called in the afternoon, but I was frizzing my hair and the other girls were asleep, so none of us went downstairs to see them.
came again in the evening, but he was either sick or in love, for he didn't laugh and tease as usual, and kept asking for sentimental songs.
April 16, Easter Sunday
The brightest, loveliest day I ever beheld, and our little schoolhouse of a chapel was well-filled, considering how few Episcopalians are here.
Twelve females and not a single male received the communion.
went with me to the afternoon service while the other girls were taking their nap, and we had a pleasant stroll afterwards through the woods.
On the way home we met Cousin Bolling's servant, Jordan
, who told me that Jenny
and Julia Toombs
were at the hotel with their father and had sent for Mett and me to come and see them.
They had passed through Cuthbert
on the morning train from Eufaula
, but they had not gone fifteen miles beyond it when the boiler to their engine burst, and they had to come back on the afternoon train and spend the night here.
We went immediately to the hotel and had a grand jubilee together.
April 17, Monday.
Up early, to be ready for the train at seven.
met us at the depot, where Capt. Greenlaw
, Mr. Renaud
, and a number of others came to see us off. When the train arrived from Eufaula
it was already crowded with refugees, besides 300 volunteers from the exempts going to help fight the Yankees
All sorts of wild rumors were flying, among them one that fighting had already begun at Columbus
, and that a raid had been sent out towards Eufaula
Excitement on the train was intense.
At Ward's Station, a dreary-looking little place, we picked up the train wrecked yesterday, with many of the passengers still on board.
They had spent the night there in the cars, having nowhere else to go. Beyond Ward
's, the failure of this train to appear had given color to all sorts of wild rumors about the advance of the Yankees
into South-West Georgia
The excitement was intense all along the route.
At every little station crowds were gathered to hear the news, and at many places we found a report had gone out that both our train and yesterday's had been captured.
The excitement increased as we approached Fort Valley
, where the Muscogee
road (from Columbus
) joins the South-Western
, and many of the passengers predicted that we should be captured there.
At the next station below Fort Valley
, our fears regarding the fate of Columbus
were confirmed by a soldier on the platform, who shouted out as the train slowed down, “Columbus
gone up the spout!”
Nobody was surprised, and all were eager to hear particulars.
I was glad to learn that our poor little handful of Confederates had made a brave fight before surrendering.
The city was not given up till nine last night, when the Yanks slipped over the railroad bridge and got in before our men, who were defending the other bridge, knew anything about it. We had not enough to watch both bridges, and it seemed more likely the attack would be made by the dirt road.
Then everybody blundered around in the dark, fighting pretty much at random.
If a man met some one he did not know, he asked whether he was a Yank or a Reb, and if the answer did not suit his views he fired.
At last everybody became afraid to tell who or what they were.
It was thought that our forces had retired towards Opelika
When we reached Fort Valley
the excitement was at fever heat.
Train upon train of cars was there, all the rolling stock of the Muscogee Road
having been run out of Columbus
to keep it from being captured, and the cars were filled with refugees and their goods.
It was pitiful to see them, especially the poor little children, driven from their homes by the frozen-hearted Northern Vandals, but they were all brave and cheerful, laughing good-naturedly instead of grumbling over their hardships.
People have gotten so used to these sort of things that they have learned to bear them with philosophy.
Soldiers who had made their escape after the fight, without surrendering, were
camped about everywhere, looking tired and hungry, and more disheartened than the women and children.
Poor fellows, they have seen the terrors of war nearer at hand than we. As our train drew up at the depot, I caught sight of Fred in the crowd.
He had been in the fight at Columbus
, and I concluded was now on his way to Cuthbert
to find Metta and me. I called to let him know that we were on board, but he did not hear me, and before I could make my way to the opposite window, the train moved on a few hundred yards and he was lost in the crowd.
I was greatly disturbed, for it was said that the train we were on was the last that would be run over the South
-Western Road. While I was in this dilemma, Col. Magruder
and Marsh Fouche
came out of the crowd and hailed me. They said they were on furlough and trying to make their way to Uncle Fouche's plantation in Appling County
I told them my troubles, and they went to hunt up Fred for me, but must have gotten swallowed up in the crowd themselves, for I never saw either of them again.
At last I sent for the conductor to unlock the door so that I could get out of the car and begin a search on my own account.
Just as I had stepped out on the platform Fred
himself came pushing through the crowd and sprang up beside me. He said that some of the passengers who had come with us from Cuthbert
, happened to hear him say that he was going to South-West Georgia
to get his sisters, and told him that we were there.
From Fort Valley
we traveled without interruption to Macon
, where the excitement is at its climax.
are expected here at any moment, from both north and south, having divided their forces at Tuskegee
, it is said, and sent one column by way of Union Springs
, and another through Opelika
and West Point
I saw some poor little fortifications thrown up along the line of the South-Western
, with a handful of men guarding them, and that is the only preparation for defense I have seen.
We are told that the city is to be defended, but if that is so, the Lord
only knows where the men are to come from.
The general opinion seems to be that it is to be evacuated, and every preparation seems to be going forward to that end. All the horses that could be found have been pressed for the removal of government stores, and we had great difficulty in getting our baggage from the depot to the hotel.
's nephew, Robert Scott
, was at the train to take us out to Lily's, but Fred thought it best for us to stay at the hotel, as he wants to leave in the morning by the first train over the Macon
Mulberry Street, in front of the Lanier House
, is filled with officers and men rushing to and fro, and everything and everybody seems to be in the wildest excitement. ... In the hotel parlor, when I came from Lily's, whom should I find but Mr. Adams
, our little Yankee preacher!
I used to like him, but now I hate to look at him just because he is a Yankee.
What is it, I wonder, that makes them so
different from us, even when they mean to be good Southerners!
You can't even make one of them look like us, not if you were to dress him up in a full suit of Georgia
I used to have some Christian feeling towards Yankees, but now that they have invaded our country and killed so many of our men and desecrated so many homes, I can't believe that when Christ
said “Love your enemies,” he meant Yankees.
Of course I don't want their souls to be lost, for that would be wicked, but as they are not being punished in this world, I don't see how else they are going to get their deserts.
April 18, Tuesday
The first train on the Georgia R. R., from Atlanta
, was scheduled to run through to-day, and we started off on the Macon
& Western so as to reach Atlanta
in time to take the next one down, to-morrow.
There was such a crowd waiting at the depot that we could hardly push our way through, and when the ladies' car was opened there was such a rush that we considered ourselves lucky to get in at all. Jenny
and Jule were with us, and we were fortunate enough to get seats together.
Fred and Mr. Toombs
had great difficulty in getting our trunks aboard, and were obliged to leave us to look out for ourselves, while they attended to the baggage.
Many people had to leave theirs behind, and some decided to stay with their trunks; they contained all that some poor refugees had left them.
The trains that went out this morning were supposed to be the
last that would leave the city, as the Yankees
were expected before night, and many predicted that we would be captured.
There was a terrible rush on all the outgoing trains.
Ours had on board a quantity of government specie and the assets of four banks, besides private property, aggregating all together, it was said, more than seventeen million dollars-and there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 passengers.
People who could not get inside were hanging on wherever they could find a sticking place; the aisles and platforms down to the last step were full of people clinging on like bees swarming round the doors of a hive.
It took two engines to pull us up the heavy grade around Vineville, and we were more than an hour behind time, in starting, at that.
Meanwhile, all sorts of rumors were flying.
One had it that the road was cut at Jonesborough
, then, at Barnesville
, and finally that a large force of the enemy was at Thomaston
advancing toward the road with a view to capturing our train.
I never saw such wild excitement in my life.
Many people left the cars at the last moment before we steamed out, preferring to be caught in Macon
rather than captured on the road, but their places were rapidly filled by more adventurous spirits.
A party of refugees from Columbus
were seated near us, and they seemed nearly crazed with excitement.
Mary Eliza Rutherford
, who was always a great scatter-brain when I knew her at school, was among them, and she jumped up on the seat, tore
down her back hair and went off into regular hysterics at the idea of falling into the hands of the Yankees
Such antics would have been natural enough in the beginning of the war, when we were new to these experiences, but now that we are all old soldiers, and used to raids and vicissitudes, people ought to know how to face them quietly.
Of course it would have been dreadful to be captured and have your baggage rifled and lose all your clothes, but if the Yankees
had actually caught us, I don't think I would have gone crazy over it. So many sensational reports kept coming in that I finally lost patience and felt like saying something cross to everybody that brought me a fresh bit of news.
Before we left Macon
, Mr. Edward Shepherd
gave me the worst fright I almost ever had, by telling me that my trunk and Jenny Toombs
's had been thrown out of the baggage car and were lying on the track, but this proved to be a false alarm, like so many others.
Then somebody came in and reported that the superintendent of the road had a dispatch in his hand at that moment, stating that the enemy was already in Barnesville
The statement seemed so authoritative that Fred went to Gen. Mackall
himself, and was advised by him to continue his journey, as no official notice had been received of the cutting of the road.
At last, to the great relief of us all, the train steamed out of Macon
and traveled along in peace till it reached Goggins's Station, four miles from Barnesville
, where it was stopped by some
country people who said that the down train from Atlanta
had been captured and the Yankees
were just five miles beyond Barnesville
waiting for us. A council was held by the railroad officials and some of the army officers on board, at which it was decided that the freight we were carrying was too valuable to be risked, although the news was not very reliable, having been brought in by two schoolboys.
There was danger also, it was suggested, that a raiding party might mistake such a very long and crowded train, where the men were nearly all forced out on the platforms, for a movement of troops and fire into us. I confess to being pretty badly scared at this possibility, but the women on board seemed to have worked off their excitement by this time, and we all kept quiet and behaved ourselves very creditably.
While the council was still in session, fresh reports came in confirming those already brought, and we put back to Macon
, without standing on the order of our going.
, a friend of the Toombses, who had joined us at Macon
, lives only fifteen miles from the place where we turned back.
She was bitterly disappointed, and I don't blame her for nearly crying her eyes out. Mr. Adams
undertook to administer spiritual consolation, but I don't think Helen was very spiritually-minded towards Yankees just at that time.
Excited crowds were waiting at all the stations as we went back, and the news we brought increased the ferment tenfold.
The general impression seems to be
that the Yanks are advancing upon Macon
in three columns, and that they will reach the city by tomorrow or next day, at latest.
We came back to the Lanier House
, and Fred hopes to get us out by way of Milledgeville
, before they arrive.
When our train got back to Macon
, the men on board had gradually dropped off on the way, so that I don't suppose there were more than 200 or 300 remaining of all that had gone out in the morning.
The demoralization is complete.
We are whipped, there is no doubt about it. Everybody feels it, and there is no use for the men to try to fight any longer, though none of us like to say so.
Just before we reached Macon
, the down train, which had been reported captured, overtook us at a siding, with the tantalizing news that we might have got through to Atlanta
if we had gone straight on. The Yankees
were twelve miles off at the time of its reported capture, and cut the road soon after it passed.
There was an immense crowd at the depot on our return, and when I saw what a wild commotion the approach of the Yankees
created, I lost all hope and gave up our cause as doomed.
We made a brave fight but the odds against us were too great.
The spell of invincibility has left us and gone over to the heavy battalions of the enemy.
As I drove along from the station to the hotel, I could see that preparations were being made to evacuate the city.
Government stores were piled up in the streets and all the horses and
wagons that could be pressed into service were being hastily loaded in the effort to remove them.
The rush of men had disappeared from Mulberry St. No more gay uniforms, no more prancing horses, but only a few ragged foot soldiers with wallets and knapsacks on, ready to march-Heaven knows where.
and staff left early in the morning to take up their new quarters either in Augusta
, and if we had only known it, we might have gone out with them.
I took a walk on the streets while waiting to get my room at the hotel, and found everything in the wildest confusion.
The houses were closed, and doleful little groups were clustered about the street corners discussing the situation.
All the intoxicating liquors that could be found in the stores, warehouses, and barrooms, had been seized by the authorities and emptied on the ground.
In some places the streets smelt like a distillery, and I saw men, boys, and negroes down on their knees lapping it up from the gutter like dogs.
Little children were staggering about in a state of beastly intoxication.
I think there can be no more dreary spectacle in the world than a city on the eve of evacuation, unless it is one that has already fallen into the hands of the enemy.
I returned to the hotel with a heavy heart, for while out I heard fresh rumors of Lee
No one seems to doubt it, and everybody feels ready to give up hope.
“It is useless to struggle longer,” seems to be the common cry, and the poor wounded men go
hobbling about the streets with despair on their faces.
There is a new pathos in a crutch or an empty sleeve, now, that we know it was all for nothing.
They began to evacuate the city [Macon] at dusk yesterday, and all through the night we could hear the tramp of men and horses, mingled with the rattle of artillery and baggage wagons.
was very averse to spending the night in Macon
, and we were all anxious to push ahead to the end of our journey, but it was impossible to get a conveyance of any sort.
, Jule's devoted, spent the evening with us, and as they are both very musical, we tried to keep up our spirits by singing some of the favorite war songs, but they seemed more like dirges now, and we gave up and went to our rooms.
We got to bed early, knowing we must be at the depot betimes in the morning, to secure seats on the train for Milledgeville
, and had just thrown ourselves on the bed, when Jenny
and Jule came running in, frightened out of their wits, declaring that a man and his wife were quarreling in the room on one side of them, and a party of drunken men on the other, trying to open their door.
They can beat any girls I know stirring up imaginary scarecrows, from a ghost to a burglar, and we tried to laugh away their foolish fears, but as we failed to pacify them we gave up our room to them and took theirs.
We heard nothing more of either drunken men or domestic broils, and were so tired that we slept like
logs till some time way in the night, we were wakened by a terrific thunder storm.
A bolt struck one of the lightning rods of the hotel and made such a fearful crash that many of the guests, suddenly roused from their sleep, took it for a Yankee shell, and for a time the wildest excitement prevailed.
told me afterwards that he never jumped so far in his life as when roused by that thunderbolt, which, in his first bewilderment, he mistook for the explosion of a shell.
He didn't want to be killed in his bed now, he said, after going through the whole four years of the war. I had been awake some time, listening to the rain, when the shock came, and knew what it was, but I am just as much afraid of thunder and lightning as of Yankee bombs, and when that bolt struck, Mett and I flew across the corridor in our nightgowns to find the Toombs girls.
We had some funny experiences, for it seems to me that everybody at the hotel was running round promiscuously in the corridors, but we were all too much excited to notice each other's dress-or rather, undress.
Once, in my haste, I knocked at the wrong door, and it was some time before we could find the girls.
and Jule had made for their father's room at the first alarm, and thinking they had found it, Jenny
bolted in and called to a man in bed whom she took for her father.
The man was either too drunk or too much of a gentleman to wake, and kept his eyes shut till Jenny
made her escape.
When we got back to their room, we all four piled into bed
together and stayed there till morning, but none of us slept much.
We were up almost by daylight, and even then found others starting to the depot ahead of us. There was great difficulty in getting transportation for baggage, and we had to foot it ourselves.
were expected every minute, and as this was our very last chance to escape, there was a great rush to get on board the train.
Brother Troup had not been able to carry out his order to join Gen. Wofford
, and sent our trunks to the station on a government wagon, and Gen. Cobb
gave Mr. Toombs
transportation for it on one of his cars, as far as Milledgeville
We gratified a pretty girl from Montgomery
, and her escort, by taking their baggage to the station with ours.
We saw one overloaded team take fright at a car whistle and run away, scattering the trunks piled up on it, and bursting some of them open — a serious misfortune in these times, when none of us have clothes to spare.
We did not wait at the hotel for breakfast, but started off on foot with cold biscuits in our hands, which were all we had to eat. We reached the depot at least an hour before the schedule time.
Three long trains, heavily laden, went down the South-Western
, and Brother Troup got aboard one of them.
I am glad he will be with sister in these trying times.
There were enough people and baggage still at the depot to load a dozen trains, and the people scrambled for places next the track.
, a friend of Fred's, was
there, trying to get aboard one of the outgoing trains.
Fred introduced him, but we soon lost each other in the crowd.
The poor fellow is just up from a spell of typhoid fever, and looked as thin and white as a ghost.
He said Harry Day was left behind sick, in Macon
When the Central
train backed up, there was such a rush to get aboard that I thought we would have the life squeezed out of us. I saw one man knock a woman down and run right over her. I hope the Yankees
will catch him. Fred and Mr. Toombs
had to give their whole attention to the baggage, but we girls are all good travelers, and having legs of our own, which our trunks had not, we pushed our way successfully through the crowd.
I was assisted by Mr. Duval
, one of Cousin Bolling's patients whom I met in Cuthbert
, and the four of us were comfortably seated.
Nearly all our companions on yesterday's wild-goose chase towards Atlanta
were aboard, and we also found Mrs. Walthall
, going to Washington
to visit Gen. Toombs
's family, and Mrs. Paul Hammond
, on her way to Augusta
Many people had to leave their baggage behind, and others still were not able to find even standing room for themselves.
was on board, and Mr. Toombs
introduced him to me. He looked at me with a half-embarrassed expression and poked out his hand with no pretense at cordiality.
Whether this was due to resentment at father's political stand, or merely to preoccupation about his own rather precarious affairs, I could not tell.
He is a
regular Barebones in appearance, thin, wiry, angular, with a sallow complexion and iron-gray hair.
His face wears an expression of self-assertion rather than obstinacy and I couldn't help thinking how well he would have fitted in with Cromwell
He had on a rusty, short-tailed black alpaca coat that had a decidedly home-made set. He looked “Joe Brown
,” every inch of him, and if I had met him in Jericho
, I would have said, “There goes Joe Brown
But when we reached Milledgeville
, he heaped coals of fire on my head by offering us his carriage to drive to the hotel in. Every horse, mule, and vehicle in the place had been “pressed” for removing the government stores that had been shipped from Macon
; there was not even an ox-cart or a negro with a wheel-barrow to be hired, and the hotel full a mile away, and the sun blazing hot. Still, I declined at first, for I could not make up my mind to accept a favor from a man whose political course I respected so little, but the Toombses piled in and the governor himself courteously insisted that the rest of us should follow, or he would send the carriage back, he said, if it was too crowded.
Mett and I then got in, and Mrs. Walthall
climbed in after us. I felt rather ashamed of myself for all the mean things I have said about the old governor, but I couldn't help laughing at Mrs. Walthall
, who overwhelmed him with gracious speeches, and then, the minute his back was turned, shook her fist at him out of the window, and added in an undertone:
“But I would help to hang you to-morrow, you old rascal!”
This is politics, I suppose, with the s
At the hotel we found all our traveling companions, who had come out from Macon
, with a number of other fugitives, and while waiting for Fred and Mr. Toombs
to hunt up conveyances, we amused ourselves getting acquainted and exchanging experiences with our fellow sufferers.
Among the ones I liked best, were Mrs. Young
and Dr. Morrow
, from Marietta
introduced us to her escort, Col. Lockett
, an old bachelor, but as foolish about the girls as if he was a widower.
Our pretty girl from Montgomery
was there, too, but I did not learn her name, and a poor little Mrs. Smith
from somewhere, with a sick, puny baby that everybody felt sorry for. Mrs. Howell
and Mrs. Wardlaw
, mother and sister of Mrs. Jefferson Davis
, were also among the unfortunates stranded at that awful Milledgeville Hotel
was a stout old lady with a handsome, but rather determined face, and pretty, old-fashioned gray curls falling behind her ears.
pointed her out to me as the housekeeper, when he saw me wandering about in search of a clean towel, but I told him I had been at the Milledgeville Hotel
before and he couldn't make me believe that anybody connected with it could show a pound of superfluous flesh — a stroke of wisdom on my part that saved me from committing a dreadful faux pas
. Afterwards, when we met in the parlor, she lost no time in letting us all know that she was the president's mother-inlaw, and then went on to pay her compliments to everything and everybody opposed to Jeff Davis
, Gov. Brown
coming in for the lion's share.
, her daughter, had a good voice, and her sweet singing helped to make the time pass a little less tediously, but there her individuality seemed to end. Capt. Thomas
, a young officer traveling with them, was charming; I don't know how we would have got through that “long, weary day” without him.
After we had waited a long time, Fred and Mr. Toombs
came in and reported that it was impossible to get a conveyance of any kind to Mayfield
It was all they could do to get our baggage hauled from the depot and we would probably have to spend the night where we were.
Every conveyance in town had been “pressed” for removing government stores-where?
is supposed to be the next objective point of the enemy, and Milledgeville
is directly on the road from there to Macon
The panic has extended here, and everybody that can get out of the way is preparing
Their experience with Sherman
's army last winter naturally doesn't make these people long for another visit.
Fred had engaged a two-horse wagon for one thousand dollars, but while he was having our trunks put on it, a government official came up and “pressed” it. As we couldn't help ourselves, we resolved to make the best of the situation, so we went to our room to get a little rest and make ourselves presentable before dinner-time.
We had engaged a large room with two beds so that we girls could all be together, but when we entered, our hearts sank, accustomed as we are to war-time fare.
There was no slop tub, wash basin, pitcher nor towels, and the walls on each side of the beds were black with tobacco spit.
The fireplace was a dump heap that was enough to turn the stomach of a pig, and over the mantel some former occupant had inscribed this caution:
“ One bed has lice in it, the other fleas, and both bugs; chimney smokes; better change.”
Prompted by curiosity I turned down the cover of one bed, and started such a stampede among the bugs that we all made for the door as fast as our feet would carry us and ordered another room, which, however, did not prove much better.
Our next step was to make a foray for water and towels.
The only water supply we could find was in a big washtub at the head of the stairs, where everybody stopped to drink, those who had no cups stooping down and lapping it up with
their hands, or dipping in their heads.
There was but one chambermaid to the whole establishment, and she was as hard to catch as the Irishman
Both Fred and Mr. Toombs
were off, hunting for conveyances, so we had to shift for ourselves.
We tried to ring a bell that hung in the passage, but Sherman
's angels had cut the cord.
A young captain who was watching our maneuvers, advised us to cry “Fire!”
as the surest way of getting water brought.
Just at this time, Fred's boy, Arch, came up and we made him shovel some of the dirt out of our room and bring up fresh water in a broken pitcher we found there.
After making ourselves as decent as circumstances would permit, we went down to the dining-room.
There was literally nothing on the table but some broken crockery, the remains of Sherman
's little teaparty, but one of the black waiters promised to get us a nice dinner if we would “jest have de patience to deviate back to de parlor” and wait a little while, till he could get it ready.
He was so polite and plausible that we “deviated,” and after more than half an hour, went back to the dining-room, where we exercised our patience for another half-hour, when, at last, he came bustling in with some ham and eggs and raw corn bread.
I looked about on my plate for a clean spot on which to deposit my share, and, finding none, dabbed it down at random, and went for it, dirt and all, for I was desperately hungry.
Soon after dinner Mr. Toombs
came in to say that Gov. Brown
provided him with a conveyance for himself and daughters and they were to start at once.
After the Toombses left, Mrs. Walthall
asked Mett and me to share her room, as she was afraid to stay by herself, and we, too, were glad of a companion.
Late in the afternoon we went out and saw the Georgia
cadets on dress parade in front of the capitol
. Mrs. Walthall
and Col. Lockett
joined us there, with several gentlemen that we had met at the hotel, and we had a fine time.
Among the cadets we recognized Milton Reese
, Tom Hill
, and Davy Favor, from Washington
, and as soon as the drill was over, we went into the capitol
with them and saw the destruction the Yankees
The building was shockingly defaced, like everything else in Milledgeville
There don't seem to be a clean or a whole thing left in the town.
The boys told us that the cadets are so hot against the governor for not ordering them into active service that they had hung him in effigy right there in the capitol
His son is among them, and the boys say the governor won't let them fight because he is afraid Julius
might get hurt.
The truth is, they ought all to be at home in their trundle beds, Julius
with the rest, for they are nothing but children.
When we returned to the hotel, Fred met us with the joyful news that he had found a man with a miserable little wagon and two scrubby mules hid out in the woods, who had agreed to take us to Mayfield
for twenty-five hundred dollars, provided Fred would get his team exempted
He (Fred) went at once to Col. Pickett
, who granted the exemption, and we could be off as early in the morning as we chose.
We spent part of the evening in the hotel parlor, trying to be cheerful by the light of a miserable tallow dip, but soon gave it up and came away to our room.
April 20, Thursday.
I went to bed about eleven last night, but never slept a wink for bedbugs and cockroaches, to say nothing of the diabolical noises in the streets.
All night long, as I lay awake, I was disturbed by the sound of men cursing and swearing and singing rowdy songs in and around the hotel.
About two o'clock, in the midst of this pandemonium, a string band began to play under our window, and it seemed to me I had never heard such heavenly music in my life as this was, in contrast with the vile noises I had been listening to. About eight o'clock in the morning our wagon was at the door and we bade a joyous farewell to Milledgeville
It was only a shabby little covered cart, with the bows so short that if we attempted to sit upright the cover rested on our heads and the sun baked our brains through it. Fred and Arch had to walk, the wretched team being hardly able to carry Mett and me and the trunks.
We traveled at the rate of about two miles an hour and a cost of one hundred dollars a mile.
The day was intensely hot, and the dust stifling.
I tried to relieve the poor mules by walking up some of the worst hills, but the blazing sun got the better of
my humanity and I crawled into the wagon again.
We crossed the Oconee
on a pontoon bridge, where the fat old ferryman now acts as toll-collector.
About a mile beyond the river we turned off and traveled to Sparta
by a different road from the one we had followed last winter.
It was longer, but better than the other, not being so much traveled, and we hoped to get rid of some of the dust; but in this we were disappointed, for we were mixed up all day in an endless succession of wagon trains, soldiers, and refugees, that made us wonder who there was to go by the other road.
After the first few miles we were so tired that we took off our hats and lay down in the wagon to take a nap. When we waked we found that both hats and a basket containing all our toilet articles
, had jolted out and been lost.
So many people had passed us that Fred said it was no use to try to get them back, but I made Arch take one of the mules out of the wagon and go back to look for them, and, as much to my surprise as delight, he recovered the basket.
I was so glad to see it that I forgot to grieve over the hats.
Besides my brush and comb and tooth-brush
, it contained all the leaves of my journal that I have written since leaving home last winter, which I had torn out of the book on the stampede from Macon
, fearing my trunk might be lost.
What a mess there would be if it had been found by some of the people I have been writing about!
When I once got it back I hardly took my hands off it again all day. At noon
we dined on a dirty biscuit apiece that we had brought from Milledgeville
, for we could buy nothing to eat along the road.
The country seems to have pretty well recovered from the effects of Sherman
's march, so far as appearances go; the fields are tilled and crops growing, but people are still short of provisions, and nobody wants to take Confederate money.
The rumors about Lee
's surrender, together with the panicky state of affairs at home, have sent our depreciated currency rolling down hill with accelerated velocity.
Between six and seven in the evening we reached Sparta
, and found one hotel closed and the other full of smallpox.
We didn't like to impose on the hospitality of the Simpsons again, and Col. Lockett
, who had secured lodging for Mrs. Walthall
at a private house, advised us to go on to Culver
's, where we had stopped to change horses last winter, but our sorry little team was too broken down to carry us any farther.
While we were standing in the street discussing what had best be done, a nice-looking old gentleman called Fred aside, and insisted that we should go to his house.
He had heard Col. Lockett
call us by name, he said, and being a great friend and admirer of father's, declared that Judge Andrews
's children should never want for a lodging as long as he had a roof over his head.
He gave his name as Harris
, and said there was not a family in Sparta
but would be proud to entertain us if they knew who we were, so great was their love and respect for our father.
made me feel good to hear that, for his being such a strong Union man has made father unpopular in some parts of the State
I hate the old Union myself, but I love father, and it makes me furious for anybody to say anything against him. It would seem as if a good many people about here quietly shared his opinions, or at any rate, respected them, for Mr. Soularde
and several others came up as soon as they learned our name, and invited us to their houses, and said it would always be a pleasure to them to entertain any of Judge Andrews
We were so tired of being pounded and jolted in our dusty little cart that we preferred walking to Mr. Harris
's, in spite of the disreputable appearance we made, hatless and gloveless and dirty as we were.
We met the Simpson girls on the way, with Jenny
and Jule, and they invited us to go home with them, but Mr. Harris
had the first claim, and to tell the truth, I had taken a liking to him before I had known him ten minutes, and would not, on any account, have missed the pleasure of a nearer acquaintance.
When we reached his home my anticipations were more than realized.
It was a large white house in the midst of a beautiful garden, where roses of all sorts were running riot, filling the air with fragrance and the earth with beauty.
On the colonnade were a number of guests whom the hospitality of our host had brought together, and among them we were delighted to meet again our fellow travelers, Mrs. Young
and Dr. Morrow
met us with such a warm, motherly welcome that I felt like throwing myself on her breast, but remembering how dirty and draggled out I was, I practiced the Golden Rule
, and did as I would be done by. We were shown at once to a beautiful, clean room, with plenty of water and towels, and oh!
the luxury of a good bath!
But when I went to get out some clean clothes, I found that among other things, I had lost my keys and could not get into my trunk.
I borrowed what I could from Metta, but her things don't fit me, and I made a comical appearance.
I was too hungry to care, however, after starving since Monday, and such a supper as we had was enough to make one forget all the ills of life.
Delicious fresh milk and clabber, sweet yellow butter, with crisp beaten biscuits to go with it, smoking hot waffles, and corn batter cakes
brown as a nut and crisped round the edges till they looked as if bordered with lace.
It was a feast for hungry souls to remember.
After supper we went into the parlor and had music.
We tried to sing some of our old rebel songs, but the words stuck in our throats.
Nobody could sing, and then Clara Harris
played “Dixie,” but it sounded like a dirge.
The house was so full that Mrs. Harris
was obliged to crowd us a little, and Mrs. Morrow
shared our room with Mett and me. We had a funny time talking over our experiences.
She says that the charming captain fell dead in love with me at Milledgeville
was so struck with my appearance that he couldn't rest till he found out my name.
He asked her all sorts of questions about me, and I almost laughed myself hoarse at the extravagant things she told him. And she didn't know me, either, any better than he did, but that only made it the more amusing.
April 21, Friday.
That delicious clean bed in Sparta
I never had a sweeter sleep in my life than the few hours I spent there.
Fred said we must be off at daylight so as to reach Mayfield
in time for the train, with our sorry team, so we bid our hosts good-by before going to bed in order not to rouse them at such a heathenish hour.
But about two o'clock in the morning the whole town was roused by a courier who came in with news that the Yankees
were in Putnam County
, only twelve miles off. It is absurd for people to fly into a panic over every wild rumor that gets afloat, but I was glad the courier came, for three o'clock was the hour appointed for us to start, and I was sleeping so soundly that I am sure I would never have waked in time but for him. The moon had just risen as we moved out of Sparta
, and I walked with Fred in the pleasant night air till day began to dawn.
We tried to get breakfast at Culver
's, and again at Whaley
's, the only public houses on the way, but were refused at both places, so we had to satisfy ourselves with the recollection of Mrs. Harris
's good supper and a crust of stale bread that I found in Arch
We reached Mayfield
nine and had to wait an hour for the cars to start.
had got there before us. She said that she could find no shelter the night before, and had to sleep out under the trees with her little children.
She is a sensible woman, and didn't seem disposed to make a martyr of herself, but I felt ashamed for Georgia
Our other companions joined us at Mayfield
, and the Toombses brought the general with them.
I was glad to see him safe thus far, out of Yankee clutches, but I would not like to be in his shoes when the end comes.
He brought confirmation of Lee
's surrender, and of the armistice between Johnston
Alas, we all know only too well what that armistice means!
It is all over with us now, and there is nothing to do but bow our heads in the dust and let the hateful conquerors trample us under their feet.
There is a complete revulsion in public feeling.
No more talk now about fighting to the last ditch; the last ditch has already been reached; no more talk about help from France
, but all about emigration to Mexico
We are irretrievably ruined, past the power of France
to save us now. Europe
has quietly folded her hands and beheld a noble nation perish.
God grant she may yet have cause to repent her cowardice and folly in suffering this monstrous power that has crushed us to roll on unchecked.
We fought nobly and fell bravely, overwhelmed by numbers and resources, with never a hand held out to save us. I
hate all the world when I think of it. I am crushed and bowed down to the earth, in sorrow, but not in shame.
No! I am more of a rebel to-day than ever I was when things looked brightest for the Confederacy
And it makes me furious to see how many Union men are cropping up everywhere, and how few there are, to hear them talk now, who really approved of secession, though four years ago, my own dear old father — I hate to say it, but he did what he thought was right — was almost the only man in Georgia
who stood out openly for the Union
We found the railroad between Mayfield
and Camack even more out of repair than when we passed over it last winter, and the cars traveled but little faster than our mule team.
However, we reached Camack in time for the train from Augusta
, and as we drew up at the platform, somebody thrust his head in at the window and shouted: “Lincoln
's been assassinated!”
We had heard so many absurd rumors that at first we were all inclined to regard this as a jest.
Somebody laughed and asked if the people of Camack didn't know that April Fools' Day was past; a voice behind us remarked that Balaam's ass wasn't dead yet, and was answered by a cry of “Here's your mule!”
But soon the truth of the report was confirmed.
Some fools laughed and applauded, but wise people looked grave and held their peace.
It is a
terrible blow to the South
, for it places that vulgar renegade, Andy Johnson
, in power, and will give the Yankees
an excuse for charging us with a crime which was in reality only the deed of an irresponsible madman.
Our papers ought to reprobate it universally.
About one o'clock we reached Barnett
, where I used to feel as much at home as in Washington
itself, but there was such a crowd, such a rush, such a hurrying to and fro at the quiet little depot, that I could hardly recognize it. The train on our Washington branch
was crammed with soldiers; I saw no familiar face except Mr. Edmundson
, the conductor.
There is so much travel over this route now that three or four trains are run between Washington
daily, and sometimes double that number.
We looked out eagerly for the first glimpse of home, and when the old town clock came into view, a shout of joy went up from us returning wanderers.
When we drew up at the depot, amid all the bustle and confusion of an important military post, I could hardly believe that this was the same quiet little village we had left sleeping in the winter sunshine five months ago. Long trains of government wagons were filing through the streets and we ran against squads of soldiers at every turn.
Father met us at the depot, delighted to have us under his protection once more, and the rest of the family, with old Toby
frisking and barking for joy, were waiting for us at the street gate.
Mary Day isn't able to walk that far yet, but we met her in the
She is not exactly pretty, but what I should call picturesque-looking, and her eyes are beautiful.
Oh, what a happy meeting we all had, and how beautiful home does look, with the green leaves on the trees and the Cherokee
roses in full bloom, flinging their white festoons clear over the top of the big sycamore by the gate!
Surely this old home of ours is the choicest spot of all the world.
The first thing we did after seeing everybody and shaking hands all round with the negroes, was to take a good bath, and I had just finished dressing when Mrs. Elzey
called, with Cousin Bolling's friend, Capt. Hudson
, of Richmond
He was an attache of the American
legation in Berlin
while Cousin Bolling was there studying his profession, and they have both come back with the charming manners and small affectations that Americans
generally acquire in Europe
, especially if they have associated much with the aristocracy.
People may laugh, but these polished manners do make men very nice and comfortable to be with.
They are so adaptable, and always know just the right thing to say and do.
says the general is coming to Washington
with the rest of his staff, to remain till something is decided, and we begin to know what is before us.