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General Lee's last camp.

Buckingham, Va., Dec. 27, 1901.
When the Confederate forces on the 8th day of April, 1865, were retreating and the Federal forces pressing hard in pursuit from Amelia Courthouse to Appomattox, a piece of ordnance, which it became necessary to abandon in order to hasten their progress, was left by the Confederates concealed in a bottom off from the public road not far from Curdsville, and remained there for a time after the war. A rear guard was left to cover the line of retreat taken by the Confederates, and when this guard reached the old McKinney place (where Governor Mc-Kinney was born and raised), one of the Confederate soldiers slipped off his boots and climbed a large oak tree (which stands now at this point covered with mistletoe), to reconnoitre, when a bullet from a Federal gun cut off a twig just above his head and he came down and went; nor did he stand on the order of his going, but went at once, dropping from the limb of the tree astride his horse, leaving his boots on the ground.

When the old place, owned by Mr. William D. Jones, was reached by the Federal army, the soldiers learned from the negroes that a barrel of brandy was concealed under the front porch, and they imbibed freely of this and committed many acts which were a shame on them. There was a beautiful parlor in this home, and they took the feather beds and ripped them up on this floor and poured molasses on the feathers and stirred the mess up together. Some member of the household had a $20 note in ‘greenbacks’ (as we called the currency then), and they gave it to a wounded Confederate soldier to keep, and he pulled off his boot and laid the note in the bottom of his sock, but he was searched, and the money taken from him.

Many of the people of this vicinity took refuge in a nearby mountain until both armies had passed. On the return march the Federal forces spent a night at a place called ‘New Store,’ [209] which is owned by Mr. Louis D. Jones, and many of the Federal officers spent the night at Mr. Jones' house. General Nelson A. Miles was one of the officers in charge, and he made his men behave as they should. Meanwhile General R. E. Lee had taken another route leading toward Richmond, and passing through this village with only his personal attendant, he was recognized by a lovely lady, who went out and asked the privilege of shaking his hand. General Lee only went two miles further when, night coming on, he decided to camp in a piece of woods on the place then owned by a widow, Mrs. Martha Shepherd. When his tent was made and Mrs. Shepherd learned of the fact that this distinguished soldier was preparing to camp so near her, she sent an invitation for him to spend the night at her house, which was declined with thanks. This was the last camping ground of this distinguished commander and the legislature of Virginia should appropriate a suitable sum to erect a monument to mark the spot. A small stone has been prepared to mark this place, but it should be marked by a splendid shaft such as we have at this place.

The News Leader is informed that Mr. Haskins probably is mistaken. We are told that General Lee's last camp was in a grove nearly opposite the main gate of ‘Windsor,’ the home of his brother, Carter Lee, in Powhatan county, near Five Creek Mills, twenty-five miles from Richmond. It is further said that when he received pressing invitations to go to the house General Lee declined, saying he preferred to spend his last night before going home sleeping in a tent among his comrades.

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R. E. Lee (3)
Martha Shepherd (2)
Carter Lee (2)
Louis D. Jones (2)
W. W. Haskins (2)
Mills (1)
Nelson A. Miles (1)
Mc-Kinney (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
William D. Jones (1)
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December 27th, 1901 AD (1)
April 8th, 1865 AD (1)
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