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Townsend's Diary—January–May, 1865.

From Petersburg to Appomattox, thence to North Carolina to join Johnston's Army.

By Harry C. Townsend, Corporal 1st Company, Richmond Howitzers.
January 1st, 1865, Friday. Lying encamped in winter quarters at Mrs. Dunn's farm, near Port Walthall Junction, and about five miles northeast of Petersburg. The quiet of the military atmosphere remains undisturbed. We are living in the hope of receiving and eating a large New Year's dinner, which the citizens of Virginia promise.

2d. This has been a day of disappointment. Our expected dinner was delayed until patience was exhausted, and then when it came it was of such meagre dimensions that we concluded to give our portion to the other companies of the battalion. We bore our disappointment quite well however under the circumstances.

3d-11th. All quiet. Succession of rains and warm sunny days.

12th. Went to Richmond (on mail pass) and returned on the 13th, finding everything ‘in statu quo.’

14th. All quiet.

15th. Sunday. Heard Mr. Oliver preach this morning. On guard today, and tonight.

16th. Wrote to Mr. E——, things remaining very quiet.

17-20th. No change to record in the aspect of affairs; commenced today repairing some damages in our breastworks, caused by the late heavy rains.

21st. Wrote to mother; cold and rainy; all quiet.

22-25th. No change in the aspect of military affairs.

26th. Employed ourselves in getting a load of wood, which was pretty cold work.

27th. Wrote to——. All remains quiet.

28th. Exceedingly cold. A rumor current in camp that General Jos. E. Johnston has been given command of this army in place of General Lee, who is appointed General-in-Chief: This is supposed to have been done at the request of General Lee, who thinks that [100] he cannot be Commanding General and retain command of this army.

29th. Sunday. All quiet. Captain Anderson, commanding battalion, requested me to act as Sergeant-Major of same, until the 8th, Mr. Blair having received leave of absence until that time. I requested him to get someone else, but he demurred at this, and I therefore consented to the proposition.

30th. Transferred myself to headquarters of battalion; find Lieutenant Falligan, who is acting Adjutant, quite a pleasant gentleman.

31st. All remains ‘statu quo.’

February 1st. Nothing of consequence occurring. Received a barrel of vegetables, etc., from home.

2d. Our slumber disturbed this morning by the quick discharge of musketry, supposing it to be some false alarm we did not arise. Learned afterwards that it was an attack on the enemy's pickets by our forces, who succeeded in capturing a few. Papers of today state that General Lee was on yesterday appointed by the Senate General-in-Chief. Problem. Who will command this army now?

3-4th. All remaining quiet; on the 3rd were paid three months wages ($55), by the quartermaster. Lieutenant Falligan went off on 24 days furlough this morning (3rd), and I am now acting Adjutant of the battalion.

5th. All is quiet today. Remained in camp until evening, when I paid a visit to the company, and afterwards went to hear Mr. Oliver preach.

6th. Received a letter from —— and answered it. The distant booming of cannon this morning broke the reign of quiet which has held us in subjection so long. The firing was quite heavy and rapid, and indicated the progress of a severe fight. Reports state it to be an attempt of the enemy to take possession of Dinwiddie Courthouse, which brings them within striking distance of the Danville railroad. A very improbable rumor states that the enemy have possession of Dinwiddie courthouse.

7th. The papers of today state that it was merely the cavalry of the enemy which attacked our lines at Dinwiddie Courthouse, and that the attack was repulsed with heavy loss. Quite heavy and rapid firing is still maintained in that direction, however, and it is probable that the fight is not over. Wrote to mother.

8th. Still at headquarters, where it is likely I shall be compelled to remain until the 14th instant, as Blair's furlough has been [101] extended five days and I have sent it to him by today's mail. This is not a very pleasant prospect to me, as the loneliness of the place is decidedly disagreeable.

9th. All very quiet. Weather quite cold. Blair not having arrived as yet, I suppose that he has received his extension of leave.

10th. All quiet.

11th. The papers of today have an order from Adjutant General's office announcing the appointment of General Robert E. Lee as General-in-Chief of the Confederate armies. This gives universal satisfaction, and will silence the voice of croakers and dispel, in a great measure, the gloom which has filled the hearts of the people for sometime. Papers of today contain also, notice of the grand indignation meeting held in Richmond to send back a fit answer to Mr. Lincoln's insulting propositions. The lion is at length aroused; let them beware, who have awakened him.

12th, Sunday. All quiet; went to Carlton's church and heard Mr. Oliver preach in the morning; and in the afternoon heard Mr. Gardner at our company church—a bitter cold day.

13th. Wrote to father and also to mother. Nothing of interest transpiring.

14th. Blair returned today, much to my satisfaction, and I was enabled to return to camp.

15-16th. All quiet: A rumor prevalent in camp, imported from Richmond, to the effect that Thomas is marching with his army by way of Fredericksburg. This story bears an air of probability.

17th. All quiet during the day. At about 1:30 o'clock at night the Yankee gunboat in the river threw a shell into our camp, disturbing our slumbers somewhat and causing us to rise and go out to the breastworks, remaining there a short while. As it was not repeated we went to bed again.

19th-21st. All quiet; T. E. and S. B. A. went home on the 20th. Commenced a newspaper arrangement on the same day. Wrote to Examiner on 21st.

22d. The Yankee celebrated this day with a great many salutes, as usual; very pleasant weather. General Pendleton was here to-day, and says that furloughs have been stopped, and that we may expect a fight very soon. Captain P. says that it is supposed that Grant will attempt to open communication with Sherman. Wrote to the Examiner. [102]

23rd. Disturbed by rumor and report of the movement of troops, and the evacuation of Petersburg. It is supposed that these troops are going in the direction of Burkeville or Danville.

24th. Received orders today to hold ourselves in readiness to move at a moment's warning.

25th. Expecting to receive orders to move. Rodes' (now Grymes') Division, was taken from our front today and carried to the right. General Pickett extended his lines so as to cover our front, in addition to his former front.

26-28th. No orders to move as yet. This is owing to the rainy weather, which has prevailed during this time, I suppose.

March 1-8th. All quiet. Unprecedented bad weather prevailing. Sheridan is out on another raid, but this rain will doubtless defeat some of his plans. T. E. and S. B. A returned today. Paid newsboy up to 7th, inclusive. Pickett's division removed from the line.

8-5th. No excitement prevailing; rumors very numerous. Sheridan still riding on a raid. Early whipped and his army scattered. Beautiful weather prevailing, but the roads are still very bad.

16-22nd. All quiet; most strangely beautiful weather (for this season of the year). Roads in very good condition. The question is being asked daily, Why does Grant delay? The opinion is now very general that he is waiting for the development of the campaign of Messrs Sherman, Thomas and Hancock, whose columns are nearly ready to make the co-operating moves which Ulysses deems necessary for the capture of Richmond.

23rd. No change. Election day for members of the Legislature passed off quietly.

24-29th. Still quiet. New York Herald of the 27th received here today, states that President Lincoln has gone to City Point for the purpose of conferring with General Grant and increasing his powers so that he may be authorized to offer terms of capitulation!!! to General Lee and his army when they surrender, which is expected in a very short time. What fools the Yankees are.

30th. Quite a heavy fight occurred in front of Petersburg last night, commencing at 10 o'clock and concluding about 1:30 o'clock. The artillery and musketry were quite loud upon the occasion. Have not heard the result as yet.

31st. All quiet; firing last night found to proceed from an attack made by the enemy upon General Gordon's line in retaliation, I suppose, for his foray upon them a few nights since. [103]

April 1st. All quiet.

April 2d. During morning heavy fight was in progress on the line near Petersburg, which according to the report received resulted rather to our disadvantage. Later in the afternoon we received orders to move to Chesterfield Courthouse. At 9 P. M. started, marched all night through a very muddy country which caused a great deal of baulking by the horses, which were at the best very weak. Arrived at our destination at 8 A. M. on the 3rd, at which time we halted for the double purpose of cooking breakfast and feeding the horses. At 10 A. M. resumed the line of march and halted at 9 P. M. within few miles of Goode's Bridge over Appomattox river. The enemy pressed our rear closely, but were held in check by Mahone's Division. Heard of the evacuation of Richmond.

4th. Marched from daybreak until sunset, crossing the Appomattox river at Goode's Bridge and camping two miles beyond, and within seven miles of Amelia Courthouse. The enemy pressing us hard, we burned the bridge after crossing.

5th. Broke camp at 3 A. M. and marched to within a hall mile of Amelia Courthouse where we struck the main body of the army; found the enemy's cavalry across the railroad, and attempting to dispute our further advance. To our great dismay we found there were no rations for the army which, inasmuch, as we had eaten our last the night previous, was rather interesting intelligence. Received orders to take a road running west of the railroad and parallel with it, also with the road which the main body of the army is to travel. We are to have but a small force of cavalry to guard our line of march, which is I think, a very insufficient force to protect the very large amount of artillery which will accompany our battalion. The battalions of Hardaway, Lightfoot, Lane, Huger, Owen, Leyder and our own comprise the force thus sent, being in all about one hundred guns. Many rumors are afloat of the presence of the Yankee cavalry along the route which it is supposed we will take, and it is evident that our position is not altogether a safe one. We camped at 9 P. M. within five miles of Clementown Mill's Bridge over the Appomattox river.

6th. Marched at 4 A. M.; crossed the Appomattox river, marched through Cumberland Courthouse, and halted at 11.30 P. M., within nine miles of Farmville, having travelled 36 miles in 19 1/2 hours. Such an arduous march as this caused a great deal of [104] straggling on the part of the boys, the majority of whom were completely broken down.

7th. Broke camp at daylight and marched 13 1/2 miles, going through Curdsville and camping 1 1/2 miles beyond New Store, in Buckingham county. Several alarming rumors of the nearness of the Yankee Cavalry are prevalent, and several stories are told of their daring and successful attempts to cut off portions of our artillery and wagon trains. Most of them, however, are doubtless the creation of excited imaginations.

8th. Marched at 1 A. M.; passed through Appomattox Courthouse and halted near Appomattox Station, on the Southside Railroad at 3 P. M. While engaged in making dinner, a brisk skirmishing commenced in our rear, which stragglers reported as caused by an appearance in force of our Yankee pursuers. This information excited some surprise, and we are disposed to be very incredulous in regards to the story, but as the firing continued increasing in intensity and nearness, and stray minies began to whistle painfully near to us, we commenced preparations to give the enemy a befitting reception. We formed our guns in a hollow circle of some 40 feet diameter, presenting ‘war's horrid brazen front’ on all sides to the advancing foe. These latter soon approached, appearing at all sides at the same moment. Although we had no infantry to support us, and nothing more than a few scattered cavalry with us, we determined that we would sell our lives dearly. We loaded with cannister, and as the enemy approached our position (which was a miserable one) we poured a fire into them which completely broke them. They returned to the charge four times and each time were similarly repulsed. This kind of reception did not seem to their liking, and they appeared to have retired for consultation. At this moment, and while we were waiting in expectation of a renewal of the attack, which had dwindled into firing between a few skirmishers, orders were received from General Walker, who commanded us, to withdraw our guns to an adjacent road. We obered orders immediately, covering our retreat by firing into the enemy's position. Arriving at the road, we found an immense quantity of artillery and wagons, which shortly after commenced marching in the direction of Lynchburg. After travelling that road a short distance, we were ordered to countermarch and take a by-path, which led, I know not where. We proceeded on this road a short distance, and were then compelled [105] to retrace our steps a portion of the way, and take another path. When we had gone about five miles down this road, and passed about half a mile beyond Red Oak Church we halted for the night, it being about 2 A. M., and we having marched 23 hours almost without rest.

9th. Moved at 7 A. M., and after a great deal of marching and countermarching over about a mile of the road, on which we camped last night, found out that we were cut off from General Lee.

About this time a courier arrived from General Lee with a dispatch for General Walker. This courier should have arrived last night, but had difficulty in getting through the Yankee cavalry which are around us. The dispatch was in effect: ‘If you can join me with your artillery by daybreak you will be able to do me some service, as I will attempt to cut my way out on tomorrow. If you find it impossible to do so, adopt the means which, in your judgment, shall seem proper under the circumstances. Those in your command who may be in favor of continuing the contest may report themselves to the town of Lincolnton, in Lincoln county, North Carolina, where they may receive further instructions.’

Before the receipt of this dispatch it was resolved as we could not get our guns out of the Yankee meshes in which we were prisoned, we would dismount, spike and bury the pieces, cut down the carriages, disband the companies and disperse the men in small squads, with directions to report at the point indicated in General Lee's dispatch. These resolutions were immediately carried into effect and were the occasion of many solemn and affecting scenes. Our company divided itself into numerous squads, the members of which, with but few exceptions, were actuated by the determination to reach North Carolina if it were possible. The party with which I connected myself was composed of sixteen young men whose names are as follows: Edward G. Steane, of Richmond; Willie T. Eustace, of Louisiana; Harrison Sublett, Richmond; J. B. Ayers, Buckingham; Henry C. Barnes, Richmond; S. E. Ayres, Buckingham; Frank J. Barnes; Richmond; John W. Seay, Buckingham; John W. Todd, Richmond; J. Walker Barnes, Stafford; Willie H. Page, Richmond; Bird G. Pollard, King William; W. P. Gretter, Richmond; O. A. Mosby, Louisa courthouse; Harry C. Townsend, Richmond; James S. Carter. These having elected E. G. Steane as their leader struck out in the directionof James river, intending to cross that and place it between them and the Yankees, purposing [106] thereafter to make for the Blue Ridge Mountains and travel down to North Carolina. After marching through the woods about four miles we halted for the night in an old tobacco barn, which we found deserted and in a very retired spot. It was a very pleasant situation for a camp, having a bountiful supply of wood on all sides, while water was furnished by a pretty little branch which threaded its tortuous way through a shallow ravine and a gravelled bed and through the long grass. The banks of the little streamlet were covered with a luxuriant growth of broom-straw which afforded a most welcome repose for our wearied limbs, and where we could enjoy the freshness of the scenery. The romantic aspect with which the circumstances invested the picture, the noise of the babling water, the happy song of the birds, the delicious temperature of the wind which fanned our cheeks and cooled our brows, and the pleasant thoughts which would spring up despite the many adverse circumstances in our present situation. Here we cooked, washed and made our arrangements for the night.

10th. Arose at sunrise, cooked and ate breakfast and took up the line of march for Colonel Walker's upon James River, at which place we understood that we could obtain transportation across the river. We arrived there in a very short time, and were ferried across by one of Colonel Walker's negroes, whom we paid thirty dollars for the kindness. Before embarking, we made an exchange with some of his other servants of some coffee for two dozen eggs. After gettiug across we took the road for Amherst Courthouse, which was distant about twelve miles. On the road met a great many stragglers whose report was that General Lee had surrendered his whole force to the Yankee Army under General Grant. Colonel L——of the artillery was one of these stragglers, and was not the least demoralized of them. His horse's head was turned toward Richmond, and this was, we supposed, his destination. However, we paid no attention to these rumors, and marched on to within five miles of the Courthouse, when we came to a forked road which puzzled us. To settle the difficulty, we sent out scouts to a neighboring house, at which, we received directions to turn aside from our intended route, as the Yankees were reported to be in possession of Amherst Courthouse. The proprietor of the place advised us to make for Buffalo Springs, some twenty-five miles distant. This gentleman was kind enough to give us eight quarts of meal, which was very liberal, considering that he was, himself, [107] a refugee. We acted upon his suggestion, and leaving the Courthouse road, struck out for the Buffalo River, which we waded, after crossing the South Branch by a log, proceeded about two miles into the country, and stopped for the night at the Wesleyan Church, about five miles E. N. E. of Amherst Courthouse, and about three miles from New Glasgow Station, on the Charlottesville and Lynchburg R. R. Here we were very kindly treated by the citizens of the neighborhood. Rev. Robert Watts loaned us the use of the Church, and sent us an abundant supply of corn bread for our supper. Mr. Wood took our meal, cooked it, and made our coffee, besides accommodating us in several other ways very acceptable. At this place we enjoyed ourselves immensely and slept undisturbed.

April 11th. Marched at 8 o'clock this morning and took the road for New Glasgow. On the route we passed the house of Mr. Maye, at which we obtained some sorghum and had the pleasure of conversing a few minutes with a very patriotic and an exceedingly pretty young lady—his daughter. Passing the house of a Mr. Lipscomb and a Mr. Fletcher, and arrived at New Glasgow, a little village of about twenty-five dwellings and two hundred inhabitants. Here we met countless rumors for our hindrance. Colonel Cabell had just left the place to go to his brother's farm, (twelve miles distant) to remain until he could arrive at some determination regarding his future course. In view of the report that General Lee had surrendered, not only the force present with him, but also all of the stragglers that might have been within twenty miles of him, at the time of the capitulation, he was under the impression that it was his duty to remain in the State until he could learn further particulars. In view of his action, several of our party were of the opinion that it would be better for us to remain in New Glasgow about a day longer in order, if possible, to obtain more information. This suggestion met with a great deal of opposition, and we left the town and marched about a mile before it would be acceded to. It was then agreed to (in order to prevent breaking up the party), and having obtained lodgings at the residence of Mr. Grinnan (a very kind, worthy gentleman) we put up for the night. At New Glasgow, Mr. Pendleton gave us a small quantity of sorghum and Mr. R. A. Coghill a day's rations of meal and bacon. In the country, near Mr. Grinnan's, we obtained a quart of buttermilk. Truly God has thrown our lines into pleasant [108] places, and provided for us upon this march. In addition to a very comfortable lodging place, Mr. Grinnan sent out to us a supper, consisting of eggs, bread and sorghum, which we relished very much.

12th. This morning Mr. Grinnan sent us some eggs for breakfast and, when about to start, a collection of pies and puffs, which was a most unexpected treat. After thanking this hospitable family for the great kindness they had shown us, we started for Buffalo Springs. After marching about a mile, we came to a Mrs. Coleman's, who gave us about twenty pounds of meal and a pint of sorghum (which latter was exactly half of what she had). About two and a half miles further a Mr. Coleman (brother to the lady), gave us two quarts ot sorghum. At Mrs. Wm. Saunders', on Buffalo River, we were given a shoulder of bacon.

After passing this last-mentioned place, we had to ascend some exceedingly high hills, the climbing of which caused us to puff and blow considerably. From this summit a view of great beauty is presented the beholder. Below stretches a short and picturesque valley, through which the waters of the Buffalo distribute themselves, looking like a huge snake lying at ease upon Nature's green carpet. Around, above, are mountains, in all of their grand and varied proportions, with thin cloud-capped heads rising high into the upper firmament. On each side were numerous beautiful residences, which completed the illusion that the scene was apt to produce upon the mind of the traveler, viz: that another Switzerland had strung into existence in this New World of ours. As I gazed upon this picture, involuntarily a sigh escaped me, which was provoked by the thought that would thrust its skeleton head before me. ‘How soon may the hand of war, with all of its blighting influences, change the beauty of this scene into desolation and ruin.’ Turning aside from the contemplation ot this picture; we continued our journey. After going a short distance, we arrived opposite the residences of Dr. James Taliaferro and Mr. William Hill, to both of which places we sent foragers. From the former we obtained half of a middling of bacon, and from the latter, after much persuasion, a canteen of sorghum. We pressed on further, and came to the house of Mr. Taliaferro, who gave us about five pounds of bacon. About a half mile further, we obtained a canteen of sorghum from a gentleman, whose name we did not hear. At about 6 P. M. we arrived at Buffalo Springs, where we obtained sleeping accommodations for the night, and by the kindness of Mr. Turner, the proprietor, [109] had our provisions cooked, and our clothing washed. The only objections we had to the place, was in regard to the sulphur water, which was the principal element which it afforded. It was not very disagreeable to the taste, but was exceedingly repulsive to the organs of smelling. It brought very forcibly to one's remembrance some of the scenes of his ‘wild oats’ days, when rotten eggs were distributed very loosely, and with little regard to the place where they fell. This water was very distasteful to us, and we managed after some time to get some from another spring which was more palatable.

13th. Left Buffalo Springs this morning about 9 o'clock, and shortly after came to a Dr. Smith's, about two miles distant. Here the roads forked, one going to Rope Ferry across the James river, and the other leading over the Blue Ridge Mountains Robinson Gap. This caused quite a division of sentiment in our party, one side being in favor of taking the Rope Ferry road, and the other inclining to the Gap road. At one time permanent division of the party was threatened, neither side being willing to give up their opinions or their conflicting wishes. It was at length decided, however, by a vote of the party to go Robinson's Gap; we then proceeded on our journey, stopping for a resting spell near what was called ‘Pine Mountain Church,’ in the vicinity of which we obtained from a Mr. Jeffries a shoulder of bacon. Passing beyond this place about a half mile we crossed ‘Peddlar Creek,’ a very good sized stream which brought before us visions of mountain trout and pickerel. Several of the party threw in their lines and attempted to draw from this aquatic treasury the supplies necessary for our dinner. But on account of the rapid flow of this little stream and our lack of the ‘tight-line sinkers’ for such waters, this attempt to kidnap some of the finny tribe met with no success. Passing from this place we shortly after arrived at Mr. Samuel Richardson's, whose wife treated us very kindly, offering to provide dinner for the party, and when we declined putting her to that trouble, furnished us with about thirty pounds of flour, some sorghum and bacon. Passing on we commenced the ascent of a very steep and rugged road which led over some very high hills which prefaced the way to Robinson's Gap; when within a mile of the Gap we obtained some meal from a lady. At length we entered the Gap, and of all the rocky roads that it was ever my fortune to travel this surpassed the combination of them; huge boulders would be found now and then [110] filling up the road which was at the best, but a continual layer of stones of every size and shape. At occasional intervals the rushing waters of some mountain streamlet would be found across our path or monopolize the road for some distance. Struggling over the obstacles we at length reached the summit after resting once or twice upon the way. Here we came upon a mountain residence which stood upon the east side of the mountain just where the roads forked in their descent towards the Roanoke valley; selecting the shortest of these roads we commenced the downward trip which led us through a rugged path. It made us consider which was the most difficult, the ascent or descent. The principal characteristic of the road was the steepness and its roughness; a mountain streamlet followed the road in all its windings and crossed it about eight times during a distance of two miles. The mountains seemed loathe to leave us, as they followed the road for two or three miles until we emerged into the broad daylight at the North river just about seven miles east of Lexington. It being nigh on to evening it was thought proper to make a stop for the night, and we were fortunate enough to obtain lodging at a Mr. Laird's, where we were treated very kindly. Mr. Laird tells us we have travelled twenty miles today.

14th. Crossed North River this morning and started for Natural Bridge, followed the tow path along the canal for about three miles and then stopped for the purpose of bathing; this occupied us for about two hours, after which we started upon our march again. Having lost the way we had been directed to take we had to improvise a road by cutting across some coal fields which led us to Mr. James Thompson's house on Buffalo river. Here we found a copy of an order which General Lee had issued to the army of Northern Virginia as follows:

General order no. 9.

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, April 16th, 1865.
After four years of arduous service made by unsurpassed courage and fortitude the army of Northern Virginia has been forced to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles who have been steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them. But feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would compensate for the losses that would have attended the continuance of the contest, I determined [111] to avoid the unnecessary sacrifice of those whose past services had endeared them to their countrymen.

By the terms of the agreement officers and men will be allowed to return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection with unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

This occasioned quite a discussion in the party, some construing the order as including the whole army of Northern Virginia whether they were present or absent, while others understood it as meaning only those who were present at the place of surrender. The former contended that it was our duty to go to Lynchburg and give ourselves up to the Yankee authorities, as we were by the terms of that order undoubtedly included in the surrender. The latter argued that it was absurd to speak of a general surrendering men who were absent from him and beyond the pale of his authority. However neither party being able to convince the other it was finally agreed to separate, nine taking the road towards Lynchburg (J. W. Barnes, W. T. Eustace, S. B. Ayres, T. E. Ayres, S. A. Mosby, J. W. Seay, James T. Carter, F. J. Barnes, Jr., W. P. Gretter) and seven continuing their journey to North Carolina (E. G. Steane, Harrison Sublett, John W. Todd, Henry C. Barnes, Willis H. Page, Byrd G. Pollard, Harry C. Townsend). The party of seven proceeded towards Brady's Furnace, at which point we crossed the Buffalo river; here we found a very large iron furnace, two grist-mills and some government stores. At Mr. Brady's residence we obtained a very good dinner; after partaking of this repast we proceeded on our journey, and after travelling quite briskly through a very picturesque country arrived at the Natural Bridge: our party descended the steep road which leads down under the bridge and had quite a fine view of it. We sat down upon a ledge of rocks immediately under the bridge and spent about an hour in the inspection of this natural curiosity. Some of the boys cut their names upon the rocks and all of us drank of the waters of Cedar creek. When we passed over the bridge several of us obtained pieces of the arbor vitae that is so abundant [112] there. Passing beyond the bridge on the road to Buchanan we stopped for the night at Dr. Arnold's where we were hospitably received and treated.

April 15th. The skies this morning were very sombre, the rain fell in torrents, and made us very loathe to leave the nice beds into which Dr. Arnold's kindness had put us. We were very agreeably surprised by the coming up of five of the party who left us on yesterday. S. B. Ayres, T. E. Ayres, Frank J. Barnes, Jr., J. W. Seay, Jos. T. Carter. Shortly after we separated on yesterday, this other party met General Pendleton, who was returning to his home, being a paroled prisoner of war. He told them they had misinterpreted General Lee's order, that they were not surrendered at all, and it was their duty to go on to North Carolina. This was deemed sufficient by the majority of the party, who immediately retraced their steps, and endeavored to rejoin our party. The other four continued their march to Lynchburg. This action grieved us a great deal, and somewhat surprised us. After an excellent breakfast at Dr. Arnold's, we started on our days march, although with many misgivings. We proceeded about one mile, when we reached the diminutive village of Springfield, where we found a vacant house, which afforded us a hospitable shelter from the almost drowning rains. During our resting spell we had some bread cooked at a Mrs. Heck's, who added to her kindness by a gift of about a gallon of butter milk and a pound of butter, both of which were exceedingly acceptable. About one o'clock we took up our line of march again, as the rain had subsided, reached Buchanan about five o'clock, crossing the James River in a ferry boat, the proprietor charging us $30 for bringing us across, besides speaking to us in a very insolent manner. We had expected to obtain rations and clothing at the quartermaster department at Buchanan, but upon making known our hopes to Captain Duncan, the post quartermaster, he informed us that it would be impossible for him to supply us, as all of his supplies were issued. This rather perplexed us for a short time, as we had depended upon this mode as the basis of our hopes for supper and breakfast, but by the kindness of Dr. Hamilton, we obtained accommodations at his house and at Mr. Wm. D. Crouch and Colonel J. T. Lochbridge's, distributing the party among the three. The citizens of Buchanan are certainly a hospitable set.

April 16th. Left Buchanan, after having the $30 returned to us that we paid for crossing the river (through the kindness of Mr. [113] Crouch) about ten o'clock, and after marching about four miles, sent two ahead to make arrangements for our reception at Botetourt Springs, twenty miles distant. About seven miles from Buchanan some of the party obtained dinner at a Mrs. Waskey's. Having heard that it might be possible to obtain government cloth at Fincastle, we turned aside from the turn pike, about eight miles from Buchanan, and took the road toward that point. Having arrived there about 6 o'clock, we called upon Major Wilson, post quartermaster, in regard to the obtaining of the desired cloth. Mr. Wilson having none, directed us to a Mr. Ammon. This being Sunday, the party were furnished accommodations at the homes of Mr. Wilson, Mr. Miller and Mr. Bowyer, whose kindness and hospitality will ever be remembered. We attended the Presbyterian Church that night and heard the Rev. Dr. Stiles preach, and afterwards spoke to him. Our two couriers went on to Hollins' Institute, and stopped with the Rev. Dr. Seely. Two others were sent on to apprise them of the change of our destination on the part of the main body with directions to wait until Monday afternoon for their coming

April 17th. Fincastle. Went to see Mr. Ammon, who informed ‘the boys’ that although he had no government cloth, he possessed some private stock, a portion of which he sold to those of the party that wished it. As he could not take Confederate money, the boys gave him a check on Purcell, Ladd & Co., for the amount he charging 75 cents per yard. After getting the cloth, the next trouble was to get it made up into suits. This was easily accomplished through the kindness of Mrs. Wilson, and the ‘Fincastle Female Sewing Union,’ who by their promptness, industry and kindness succeeded in making the clothes by 5 P. M. Immediately after this was done, the boys bade adieu to the kind people of the little town whom they will ever remember with grateful hearts, and started towards Botetourt Springs. Before they had gone more than four miles, darkness overtook them, and they were compelled to seek for lodgings, which they obtained at the houses of Mr. Snyder and a Widow Guch, where they were treated kindly and fared exceedingly well. At Botetourt Springs, we waited today for the Fincastle party to return; the hours passed and night came on, and they did not arrive; suppose they stopped for the purpose of having clothes made, and we concluded to wait until tomorrow, and if they did not come, to continue our journey to Salem, as it is [114] possible they have passed to that place by some other road.

18th. The Fincastle party arrived here this morning about 10:30 o'clock; after resting a spell we continued our march in the direction of Big Lick where Major Wilson had agreed to meet us and give us some information in regard to the practicability of getting horses. Arrived at Big Lick about 3 o'clock and obtained lodgings at the houses of Mr. B. T. Tinsley, Mr. Trout and Mr. Thomas. Called upon Gen. T. T. Munford in order to gain some information about the possibility of getting horses from him. He could give us no help unless we joined his command. If we could find any government horses throughout the county we had his sanction to impress them.

19th. Left Big Lick and crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains through a very poor country, inhabited by a very rude and uncultivated people. Obtained dinner for our party at Miss Murray's and the widow Boone's. Passed by Boone's Mills and stopped, half of the party going to Mr. James C. Smith's, the rest going to Mrs. Bowman's and Mrs. Skemberry's, both of whom were Dunkards. These people appear to be a class of honest, well-meaning persons, who however are not very friendly to the Confederate cause. They are opposed to slavery, I believe, and like the Quaker, will not fight. They have some very curious notions and hold some peculiar tenets.

20th. Marched today on what is called the ‘Old North Carolina Road,’ after going some five miles were on account of inclemency of the weather forced to stop. Six of the party obtained a resting place at Mr. James Leftwich's, the others across the river at a Mr. Galloway's, who appears to be a kind and hospitable gentleman and has treated us very generously. The rain continuing all day we were compelled to stop our journey, which rest came in very apropos as it gave us an opportunity of having our clothes washed, &c. Here we remained all the afternoon, receiving excellent fare and meeting with good treatment. At night Mr. Galloway put us into nice feather beds which caused us to forget all our weariness very quickly. At Mr. Leftwich's also the other party were treated very hospitably and found very good fare.

21st. After a good breakfast at Mr. Galloway's and Mr. Leftwich's our party took up the line of march about 7 A. M., Mr. Galloway directed us to reach Mr. Harrison on the south side of Smith river, which was according to his statement about twenty [115] miles distant. Our route for some six miles passed through a dense strip of woods; at length we reached a piece of open country and soon arrived at the house of a Mrs. Wade where we were told that Smith river was twenty-three miles distant. Here we crossed a river of quite respectable size, the name of which we did not learn; having passed on about a mile beyond this river we were told that Smith river was fifteen or twenty miles distant, and still further on we were told twenty-five, by an old country man we met driving an ox cart. Shortly after meeting this last named personage we came to what was called Stony Creek Church where two roads met and crossed; taking the right hand one we passed Capt. Peter Saunders' Iron Furnace and came to the residence of another Mr. Saunders, a shoemaker; we were advised by him to turn off this road which he represented as being much travelled and take a more private one, which he recommended and which would bring us to Smith's river at Mr. Daniel Helm's. The first road we struck after leaving the main road we had travelled all the morning was one which led us up a steep mountainous ascent, the climbing of which caused us to blow not a little. Coming down the hill we attempted to get dinner at a little hut near the foot of the hill, but failed on account of the poverty of the proprietor; he directed us to his father's, a Mr. Young, who, he was very confident, would furnish us with a meal. Following his directions we arrived at Mr. Young's house and asked for something to satisfy our hunger; he was unable to supply us, as his servant had gone to the mill after meal, and he himself was waiting for his return before he could eat; if wewould wait he would supply us very willingly. We went on further and after scrambling over rocks and attempting to walk along the side of a steep hill where was no path, and climbing up high hills and almost running down precipitous descents, we came to the house of Mr. Sam Prillerman; here we obtained dinner, which was very acceptable. We also learned that it is eight miles to Mr. Helms, and the road was a very rough and hilly one; we obtained directions from Mr. Saunders and started off up the road bed higher and still higher until it brought us out upon what is called ‘the Ridge Road.’ This led us after about three miles fast travelling to a Mr. Turner's, where we were directed to Mr. Stephen Turner's, from which point we could find our way to Helms. To our dismay the road to this latter Mr. Turner's led up an exceedingly steep ascent which caused us much puffing and [116] blowing. At the summit we struck the river road again, which we travelled for about one and a half hours when the waning light of day warned us to look for shelter for the night. Sending out scouts, they discovered some houses about a mile distant to which we immediately directed our way. Descending the mountain we crossed a creek by wading and came to the house of a Mr. Dyer's; he had no room for us and directed us to the residence of another of the same name about a mile distant where he knew we could find accommodations. Tile gathering darkness was enhanced by the storm clouds which were threatening us and the occasional rain drops all concurred to hasten our steps. Before we reached our destination quite a shower of rain commenced, and it was, I fear, with very little ceremony that we entered the porch of Mr. Dyer's house. He was in very moderate circumstances and could offer no supper, but furnished us with room on his floor to sleep, the excellence of which we were not long in trying.

22nd Mr. Dyer being unable to furnish us with breakfast, this morning we started out quite early (at about 6 A. M.) for the purpose of procuring one. About our first step brought us to the foot of a very steep hill, near which we obtained breakfast for three of our party, from Mr. Stephen Turner, who but for his scanty stock of provisions would have fed all of us. He directed the remainder of the party to climb the hill and go down to the house of a Mr. Smith, who, he thought, could supply us. Following his directions, we clambered up this almost precipice, and descended to the opposite valley, in one nook of which we found Mr. Smith's house, a rude log hut of a very antique appearance, surrounded by several others of like make and different sizes. Although he appeared to be in reduced circumstances, Mr. Smith professed, and doubtless felt an entire willingness to accommodate the entire party, but was unable to carry out his wishes. He did take, however, three of the party and gave them a very good meal. We were very much amused here by an old Negro woman who assured us that in the day's travel which we had contemplated, we would have nothing more difficult—some ‘moderate hills’ to pass over, at the same time pointing to some of the Blue Ridge mountains, as examples. To our eyes these seemed terribly high and steep, and much beyond our ideas of ‘moderate hills.’ Mr. Smith directed us to the residence of a Mr. Ross, which we were to get by following the course of a creek which passed by the former's house. The remaining [117] six of our party struck out and followed the path along the creek, until it carried us into a thick undergrowth of ivy laurel, etc., whose almost impenetrable thickness offered quite a bar to our further advance. We at length found a log across the creek, and came to a path which led us along a more pleasant road than the one we had just left. Here we witnessed the novel and painful sight of a beautiful young girl and a boy acting as horses to a plough in the field; their horses had been taken by the Yankees. We followed this path for about two miles, sometimes going through a low valley, then again ascending the steep sides of a mountain, then again following the bed of some dried — up stream. We reached Mr. Ross's at length, and found to our dismay that we could obtain no breakfast there, as his cook was sick, and they had no fire at which we could cook anything. However, she very kindly gave us some meal and directed us to another house at which we could have it cooked. We travelled on to that point and found a very kind widow, Mrs. Philpost, who cooked our meal and meat for us, and added something from her own store. She was a very hospitable old lady and seemed to feel a peculiar consideration for soldiers, having lost her husband by the war. After breakfast, we were ferried across the river by the son of the old lady, to whom we paid $12.00. Taking the road to Penn's Store, we travelled it for about six miles, when we stopped at a house at the forks of the road and obtained our dinner. After that rest, reached Penn's Store by six o'clock, where we were received with much greater hospitality than ever before on the route. Mr. Zentmeyer, one of the firm, took eight of us into his house, and would have taken us all, but Mrs. Penn declared she must be allowed to accommodate some of the party. Four of the party therefore stayed at her house, where they were treated as if they were her own children. At Mr. Zentmeyer's, the household seemed to vie with the other as to who should treat us with the greatest consideration and kindness.

23d. Leaving Mr. Zentmeyer's quite early this morning we struck out for Mr. Edward Tatum's from whom we were to obtain direction for our further route. On our way we crossed the North Branch of the Mayo river and passing over the hill struck through the woods by a path, which we thought agreed with the directions of Mr. Zentmeyer; after following this path for a short distance we met a gentleman who informed us we were going directly away from the point to which we were aiming. As he was going in that [118] direction for a short distance he volunteered to act as our guide; we joyfully accepted his proposal and followed him through a by-path which led us over quite a rugged road, at length we came out upon a main road which led us by Mr. Cobb's, Mr. Foster's and Major James Penn's, at this latter point our guide left us after giving us the necessary directions. After going about a mile and a half we came to a point where the road made three forks; we took the central one. Proceeding down this road for a mile and failing to arrive at a church which we were told would be upon this road, two miles from Major Penn's, we came to the conclusion that we had lost the road again. We sent out scouts to find out and their report confirmed our opinions. In order to get ourselves right we were compelled to take another by-path which led us by quite a round — about way to Mr. Edward Tatum's, it being then about 2 P. M. We obtained dinner from him and then started on again for Mr. James Tatum's about seven miles off. We reached the residence of this gentleman without further adventure about 6 o'clock and were very hospitably received; here we were told of a band of deserters which had figured very prominently of late in a number of depredations upon the citizens and passing soldiers; we were cautioned to be careful in our actions and language while passing through the country in which their camp was situated. This is within the bounds of Stokes county, North Carolina, into which State we cross tomorrow. This is the last night we expect to spend in Virginia for some time, ‘It may be for years and it may be forever.’

24th. We crossed the dividing line between the Old Dominion and North Carolina quite early this morning and made our debut before the people of the old North State. Shortly after getting into the State we were hailed by one of the natives with the exclamation, (uttered in evident surprise) ‘Hullo strangers, you're on the back track, aren't you.’ He informed us that he intended to designate ‘The Army’ by that expression. One of our party told him that this was our destination, which piece of information caused his eyes to expand in an expression of bewildering surprise. He was evidently, I think, one of that class of ‘Buffaloes’ with which this portion of this State seems to be infested. The people are Tories or Union men in sentiment and are much greater lovers of the Yankees than of the Confederates. They often attack Confederate soldiers who may be passing through this country and strip [119] them of their valuables. We feared somewhat that the people might be induced to attack our party, as we were so devoid of weapons of defence, but determined to put on a bold front and take the risks. Either because the size of our party intimidated them or because they imagined that a body of men that were bold enough to march through this country which had for so long a time been a terror to all travellers must also be a very troublesome set in a fight, or because they had been too much scattered by the recent defeat which they had sustained, we were not molested on our journey. At about 12 o'clock we arrived at ‘Buck Island Pond’ on Dan river, which is a rapid rocky stream at that point. Here several of the party waded across the water, being in no place more than two and a half feet deep, and finding a boat upon the other side and a good place above the ford to ferry it started for the remainder of the boys. All of them were gotten over without accident or adventure until the last boat full. For this Todd volunteered to act as ferryman, and in one of his fits of mischief nearly succeeded in carrying the boat over some rapids which were just below the landing place. Had not the party (Steane, Page, Ayers) managed to catch the limb of a tree whose branches overhung the rapids they would have received a rather unceremonious introduction to the waters of the Dan and been subjected to an unpleasant wetting. However after a little delay and a little wading out in the deep water the boat was brought safely to land and the voyagers disembarked. As soon as this excitement and hilarity subsided somewhat we started on our way to Danbury again, it being reported about three miles distant; arrived there about 2 P. M., stopped for dinner at the houses of Dr. McCandlish, Mrs. Smith and two others. This little place contains some twelve or fifteen houses, among which is a hotel and a courthouse, it being the county seat of Stokes county. It has a very pretty situation on the summit of a hill with the Dan rolling at its feet. In the process of time and by the addition of some enterprising men it will become a manufacturing town of some importance. After dinner we proceeded about two miles beyond the town and stopped about 6 o'clock at the house of Mr. J. Reveson for the night, where we were most kindly treated. Our host and hostess were of that plain, honest order of nature's creation, that refreshes the eye wherever we may meet it. They were ardently Southern in their feelings, and to judge by their reputation in the country, in their actions. They have three sons in the army. [120]

25th. Left Mr. Reveson's early after an excellent breakfast, and struck out for Germantown, which he reported to be eleven, but which proved to be twelve miles distant. We reached it without any adventure of note about 10 o'clock, six of us stopping at Mr. Rodney's. This place was formerly the courthouse of Stokes County, but when Forsythe was formed out of the latter, the county seat was moved to Danbury, a more central position. It contains about three times as many dwellings as the latter place, a few of which are very pretty; the majority of them, however, have an old and seedy appearance. Left here immediately after dinner and arrived at Bethania, or Housetown, as it is more commonly called, at about six o'clock. Four of our party we left at Mr. Jones', four at Mr. Samuel Stanbers, outs de the town, while the remaining four obtained accommodations in the town. The first two parties fared exceedingly well, the last had rather poor accommodations. The town is settled by Moravians, some of whose doctrines, as we learned, are most singular. They are not allowed to furnish sleeping accommodations to a stranger within the same house in which any of their family or sect are sleeping. No man, however wealthy, is allowed to be without a daily occupation. They seem to be an honest, industrious, sober minded, intelligent people. At Salem they have a Female Institute in progress, which is said to be the finest conducted of its class in the South. We slept in a very neat little school house, and ate at different houses.

26th. Crossed the Yadkin River today at Glenn's Ferry, about nine miles from Bethania and marched on to Yadkinsville, fifteen miles distant. After passing the river about two miles, we reached the residence of Mr. Glenn, a most beautiful place. Here we obtained three canteens full of ‘sorghum beer,’ which was very little more than sweetened water; it was, however, quite cooling and refreshing. We obtained dinner when within eight miles of Yadkinsville, and then continued on our way. When nearly a mile north of the town, we left six of the boys at Mr Tom Philips', and carried the other six on; two of the latter we left at Mr. Nicholson's, two at Dr. Wilson's, two somewhere else in the town.. We were treated well, but the others fared badly.

27th. Started off for Olin early this morning; after going a short distance met a party of North Carolinians, who represented themselves as recently members of Johnston's army. According to their statement, they had been disbanded and told to go home and [121] give up the struggle, as we were going back into the Union. There were reports that not only the troops of the State, but the whole army of General Johnston is being thus disbanded. We have heard this report all along the road from Virginia to this place, but do not intend to accept it as a fixed fact until we obtain some more reliable testimony. When about seven and a half miles from Yadkinsville, we reached the small village of Hamptonville, and passed from that point to Eagle Mills, about the same distance beyond. Here we obtained dinner. Passing on thence, we arrived at Olin near sunset, and obtained accommodations for the night at the houses of Mr. Fulcher, Mr. Word, and another. This is one of the neatest villages we have met upon our route, and contains about two hundred inhabitants. Most of the residents are descendants of Virginia families, and the place reminds me very forcibly of some of the homes in the Old Dominion. The people resemble Virginians more closely than any that I have seen since I crossed the North Carolina line.

28th. Took the road for Island Ford on the Catawba River, which is said to be twenty-two miles distant; when within about nine miles of the ford, obtained dinner at the house of Mrs. Grey. Reached the river about six o'clock, and waded it at points—where several islands afforded resting places. After crossing two of the streams, we supposed that we had completed our job, and started on what we supposed to be the main road to Lincolnton. After proceeding about twenty-five yards, we, to our great dismay, found that more than half of our work remained undone. Two wide and rapid forks of the river, running down between two islands, still remained barriers between us and the main bank. Casting a long look at the rushing waters beneath us, we again undressed, and were soon breasting the first stream This we crossed without difficulty, although it was somewhat deep. When we entered the last fork, however, and were nearing the further bank of the river, we found it quite difficult to stem the current, which was very strong and the water very deep. We all crossed, however, and resumed the line of march; being now nearly dark, we concluded to stop for the night, and sent out scouts for the purpose of procuring accommodations. Six of the party obtained lodgings at the house of a Mr. Abernethy, who proved to be a second edition of Mr. Zentmeyer, of Patrick County. The remaining six, after many rebuffs, found accommodations at a Mr. James', who lived [122] about three miles and a half from the Ford. This gentleman had retired when we arrived, about nine o'clock, but arose, had supper cooked for us, sleeping apartments arranged, and treated us with the greatest hospitality. He is one of the most perfect gentlemen I have met during this march. He informed us that the Yankee forces left Lincolnton on last Sunday morning, and have gone in the direction of Knoxville. He seems to believe the report which we have heard all along our route, of the prevalence of an armistice of sixty days duration between Johnston and Sherman. He thought it very probable that the former has disbanded his army, and the war has ceased for the present. He doubts the truth of French intervention, rumors of which have prevailed along our route of travel, as he has seen no confirmation of them.

29th. Left Mr. James' about eight o'clock, and marched until nearly 2 P. M., when we stopped for dinner. Passing on our route we reached Lincolnton just as the town clock struck ‘five.’ This town seems to be of considerable size and is very pleasantly situated on the top of a high hill, which gives it an atmosphere of a salubrious temperature. The people of the place are the most respectable North Carolinians met during our march in this State. They seem to be very kind, hospitable and intelligent, and certainly treat soldiers very well. They had provisions provided at the Courthouse for passing soldiers, and sleeping accommodations were provided at the houses of different citizens. Six of our party slept at Mr. Johnston's hotel, and six others at Mr. Pillupps'.

We had expected to gain some definite information at this point which could guide our future course, but found no orders awaiting us, nor any officer in command of the place from whom we could learn anything reliable. We learned that Lieutenant Colonel Lane, of the artillery, was stopping in the town, a paroled prisoner, and we applied to him for advice. He complimented us very highly for the spirit of determination and patriotism (as he was pleased to term it) which we had evinced in coming to this place, and applauded our intention of going further on, to place ourselves under the command of General Johnston. He told us, however, that he was reliably informed that General Breckinridge had refused to accept the services of a large number of officers and men who had tendered themselves to him, alleging that he had no authority to receive them. Colonel Lane further stated, upon the same authority, that General Breckinridge had advised all of those men to return to [123] their homes and await the turn of events, saying at the same time that no Confederate government existed now east of the Mississippi River; and if it were not for the position he occupied as ‘Secretary of War,’ he should not think of going to the Trans-Mississippi Department. He, however, would advise us, to go on to Charlotte and endeavor to hear something definite there, and if we could not do so, then to carry out our intention of reporting to General Johnston at Greensboro. Upon further consultation, we determined to adopt this course. We appear to have created quite a sensation here. We are the only Virginians that have been here, and as we have marched on foot so far (455 miles) and still continue to express the determination to join some army that may be fighting for Southern Independence, we have become heroes in the eyes of the people of Lincolnton. Young and old of both sexes seem to look upon us as men ‘of more than mortal mould,’ and to vie with one another in doing us honor. Colonel Lane has talked so extravagantly about us to the people of our patriotic spirit, that he has caused quite a sensation in the little town in regard to us.

30th, Sunday. We expected to go to Charlotte this morning by means of a hand-car, but when we went down to the railroad to make our arrangements we found that none were there, and we could not leave until about 2 P. M., at which time a hand-car was expected down the road. Upon learning this we concluded to make ourselves as easy as possible until then; we made ourselves as respectable looking as we could and went to church, some attending the Methodist others the Episcopal. At the latter we heard the Rev. Mr. Wetmore deliver a passable sermon. After dinner we made ourselves ready for a speedy departure from the town. Two, three, four, five o'clock came, still no car. At 5:30 o'clock our patience was rewarded by the sight of it and we immediately embarked, bidding adieu to Lincolnton and its pretty girls (of which it possessed not a few) and started for the Catawba Railroad Bridge twenty miles distant. At first we found some difficulty in steering our machine, but soon learned the ‘modus operandi’ and got along very handily; we arrived at the bridge without accident at 11 o'clock and slept for the night in an old shed upon the banks of the river.

May 1st. Awaking early this morning we crossed the river in an old fashioned batteaux, which made the experiment of crossing a very doubtful one. However we succeeded in getting across in [124] safety, and after paying the grumbling negro ferry $15.00 (he wanted $65.00), we washed in the waters of the river, and mounting another hand car took the road for Charlotte. After proceeding about three miles we obtained breakfast at a neighboring house by giving a pound of coffee for nine pints of meal, then cooking it ourselves. After breakfast we continued our journey, leaving the hand-car behind us, as it proved to be very cumbersome and a slow moving machine, which did not give enough enjoyment to compensate for the labor. Taking down the railroad afoot we entered Charlotte about 6 o'clock. This town presents quite a pretty appearance; it is ornamented with quite a number of shade trees, a great addition to the natural beauty of the situation. The dwelling houses are examples of taste and beauty, the public buildings are numerous and well situated. Of those citizens that I have seen only a very small minority possess the air of respectability. Of the ladies the same seems to be the rule. The respectable are in the minority, and as well as I can learn are refugees. In sentiment the regular citizens seem to be quite rotten in regard to the Confederacy and our cause. I had not been in the town a half hour before one of them refused to take Confederate money from me. A body of them had attacked a residence of a private citizen that morning and robbed him of some stores which he had bought; their pretense for this was that they were Government stores and they were being hidden by this man for private purposes. They helped themselves freely to soda, coffee, cotton, cloth.

Upon reporting to General Hoke, Commander of the Post, he gave us a letter of introduction to General S. Cooper, Adjt. and Inspector General, C. S. A., who is now staying in the city. Waiting on the latter he informed us that General Johnston had disbanded his army, but that the Confederate army was reorganizing at Augusta, Georgia. If we would wait for two or three days and aid Col. Hoke in the protection of the property of private citizens, he would afford us every facility for going further South. Steane agreeing to that proposal in the name and for the whole party, the General gave us an order to report to Colonel Hoke, whom he directed to supply us with rations and shoes, and to treat us with every possible consideration. The party were very glad to obtain the rations and shoes, but disliked very much to assist in doing guard duty for the protection of such people as the citizens of Charlotte appeared to be. We preferred to go on immediately [125] to Augusta, but upon expressing that idea to Colonel Hoke he declined to allow us to do so, and directd us to remain here. As he was our superior officer we were of course compelled to obey. He designated a point at which he wanted us to do guard duty for the night, and also a place at which we could find sleeping accommodations To this latter point we immediately went and deposited our baggage and made our arrangements for the night, having already had our rations cooked and disposed of. We found that the point which we had to guard was a government stable with a number of horses; we are to supply two posts and stand with loaded muskets, with orders to fire upon anyone who may make any attempt on horses, wagons, &c. Here we kept guard all night which passed without any adventure of note.

2nd. This morning drew two days rations of flour, bacon, rice, coffee and tobacco, and three hundred pounds of salt. The number of guard posts was decreased to one this morning, to be kept up during the day. We learned today that according to Johnston's agreement with Sherman, our little party is included in his surrender, and that we may expect Yankee officers here this evening, who will give us Paroles. This is quite a doleful finale to our attempt to reach the Trans-Mississippi Department. This afternoon about 6.30 o'clock, a train arrived from Salisbury, bringing Major Walcott, of the United States Army, the purpose of whose visit is to parole the officers and men, and take charge of the public property in the name of the Yankee government. He is, I am told, a very gentlemanly looking officer, and does not show many signs of hard service. He created quite a sensation by his coming. He is accompanied by Colonel Lee, of Johnston's army.

3rd. Today has been occupied with the paroling of the officers and men collected about the place, the number of whom will, I suppose, amount to nearly four thousand. Three thousand of these are comprised in a body of Wheeler's Cavalry, which is camped just outside of the town. We expect to receive our papers this evening, and have this place early tomorrow morning, as an escort for General S. Cooper, who hopes to start for Danville at that time. This afternoon waited upon Major Walcott for the purpose of obtaining our paroles. He endorsed upon the list of our names, which we handed him as follows:

These men belong to Lee's army, are not within the terms of agreement between Generals Johnston and Sherman, and, consequently, [126] do not need paroles under it, but can go quietly to their homes, reporting themselves when circumstances require it, as belonging to General Lee's army.

In answer to an inquiry as to whether we were considered as prisoners or no, he answered in the negative, and told us we were at liberty to go wheresoever we might please. In consideration of the fact that Salem, Mobile, Montgomery, Augusta, and, in fact, every point of note along the route to the Trans-Mississippi Department, is in Yankee possession; in view, also, of the orders and advice of General Breckenridge, Secretary of War, which were to the effect that the soldiers should return quietly to their homes and await the turn of future events, we determined to go back to Richmond, and settle down as quietly as possible, until we could find an opportunity for doing our country further service. We will take the train in the morning for Salisbury.

4th. Arose at 4 A. M., and after breakfast, proceeded to the train, which left Charlotte at eight o'clock. Arrived at Salisbury about 5 P. M., having been delayed nearly four hours by the necessity of changing cars when within eight miles of the town. Arriving there, we drew rations of flour, rice, ham, salt for three days, which we had cooked by paying a pair of shoes. We slept in the car at night and enjoyed ourselves very well.

5th. This morning a detachment of Yankee soldiers entered the town for the purpose of taking charge of it. Very shortly after, a division or so of Confederate troops passed through the place with colors flying and bands playing. We left Salisbury at 11 A. M., and passing through Thomasville, High Point, Jamestown, and arrived at Greensboro about 4 P. M. When we arrived at Greensboro, we were informed by Colonel John W. Reily, A. A. G., that it would be necessary for us to obtain our parole here, as Yankee guards would be upon the trains, and would demand our papers. In order to avoid future trouble, he advised us to obtain them here. In obedience to his counsel, we waited upon Captain I. L. Don, Provost Marshal, who furnished us with Paroles. There are quite a number of Yankee troops in the place, who behave themselves very well, and seem disposed to be friendly toward Confederate soldiers.

6th. We left Greensboro at 11 A. M., and changed cars at Cedar Creek, the bridge over which has been burned. Having a drunken [127] conductor in charge of the train, we were detained much longer than we expected, and did not reach Danville until 7 P. M. We found a large force of Yankees camped just outside the town, and a good number of blue coated guards inside the precincts. These, however, treated us very civilly. We placed our baggage in a box car and slept there all uight.

7th. Left Danville at 5 A. M. and arrived at Burkville without any noteworthy adventure. Continued the journey to Petersburg, at which place we arrived about 11 P. M.

8th. At 9 A. M. we took the train for Richmond, where we arrived in about two hours. We were joyfully received.

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