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April, 1863.

April, 1

Adjutant Wilson received a letter to-day, written in a hand that bespoke the writer to be feminine. He looked at the name, but could not recollect having heard it before. The writer assured him, however, that she was an old friend, and said many tender and complimentary things of him. He tried to think; called the roll of his lady friends, but the advantage, as people say, which the writer had of him was entirely too great. If he had ever heard the name, he found it impossible now to recall it. Finally, as he was going to fold the letter and put it away, he noticed one line at the top, written upside down. On reading it the mystery was solved: “If this reaches you on the first day of April, a reply to it is not expected.”

The colored gentlemen of the staff are in a great state of excitement. One of the number has been illustrating the truth of that maxim which affirms that a nigger will steal. The war of words is terrible. “Yer d-d ole nigger thief,” says one. “Hush! I ‘ll break yer black jaw fer yer,” says another. They say very few harder things of each other than “you dam nigger.” One would think the pot in this instance [243] would hardly take to calling the kettle black, but it does. They use the word nigger to express contempt, dislike, or defiance, as often and freely as the whites. Finally, the parties to this controversy agree to leave the matter to “de Co'nel.” The accused was the first to thrust his head into my tent, and ask permission to enter. “Dey is a gwine to tell yer as I stole some money from ole Hason. I didn't done it, Co'nel; as sure as I'm a livin‘ I did n't done it.” “Yaas, yer did, you lyin‘ nigger!” broke in old Hason. “Now, Co'nel, I want ter tell you the straight of it.” I listened patiently to the old man's statement and to the evidence adduced, and as it was very clear that the accused was guilty, put him under guard.

The first day of April has been very pleasant, cool but clear. The night is beautiful; the moon is at its full almost, and its light falls mellow and soft on the scene around me. The redoubt is near, with its guns standing sentinel at each corner, the long line of earthworks stretches off to the right and left; the river gleams and sparkles as it flows between its rugged banks of stone; the shadowy flags rise and fall lazily; the sentinels walk to and fro on their beats with silvered bayonets, and the dull glare of the camp-fires, and the snow-white tents, are seen every-where.

Somebody, possibly the Adjutant, whose thoughts may be still running on the fair unknown, breaks forth:

O why did she flatter my boyish pride,
She is going to leave me now;

[244] And then, with a vehemence which betokens desperation,

I'll hang my harp on a willow tree,
And off to the wars again.

From which I infer it would be highly satisfactory to the young man to be demolished at the enemy's earliest convenience.

A large amount of stores are accumulated here. Forty thousand boxes of hard bread are stacked in one pile at the depot, and greater quantities of flour, pork, vinegar, and molasses, than I have ever seen before.

April, 3

An Indiana newspaper reached camp to-day containing an obituary notice of a lieutenant of the Eighty-eighth Indiana. It gives quite a lengthy biographical sketch of the deceased, and closes with a letter which purports to have been written on the battle-field by one Lieutenant John Thomas, in which Lieutenant Wildman, the subject of the sketch, is said to have been shot near Murfreesboro, and that his last words were: “Bury me where I have fallen, and do not allow my body to be removed.” The letter is exceedingly complimentary to the said lamented young man, and affirms that “he was the hero of heroes, noted for his reckless daring, and universally beloved.” The singular feature about this whole matter is that the letter was written by the lamented young officer himself to his own uncle. The deceased justifies his action by saying that he had expended two dollars for foolscap and one dollar for postage [245] stamps in writing to the d-d old fool, and never received a reply, and he concluded finally he would write a letter which would interest him. It appears by the paper referred to that the lieutenant succeeded. The uncle and his family are in mourning for another martyr gone — the hero of heroes and the universally beloved.

Lieutenant DuBarry, topographical engineer, has just been promenading the line of tents in his nightshirt, with a club, in search of some scoundrel, supposed to be the Adjutant, who has stuffed his bed with stove-wood and stones. Wilson, on seeing the ghostly apparition approach, breaks into song:

Meet me by moonlight alone,
And there I will tell you a tale.

Lieutenant Orr, commissary of subsistence, coming up at this time, remarks to DuBarry that he “is surprised to see him take it so coolly,” whereupon the latter, notwithstanding the chilliness of the atmosphere, and the extreme thinness of his dress, expresses himself with very considerable warmth. Patterson, a clerk, and as likely to be the offender as any one, now joins the party, and affirms, with great earnestness, that “this practical joke business must end, or somebody will get hurt.”

April, 4

Saw Major-General McCook, wife, and staff riding out this morning. General Rosecrans was out this afternoon, but I did not see him. At this hour the signal corps is communicating from the dome of the court-house with the forces at Triune, sixteen [246] miles away, and with the troops at Readyville and other points. In daylight this is done by flags, at night by torches.

April, 5

There are many fine residences in Murfreesboro and vicinity; but the trees and shrubbery, which contributed in a great degree to their beauty and comfort, have been cut or trampled down and destroyed. Many frame houses, and very good ones, too, have been torn down, and the lumber and timber used in the construction of hospitals.

There is a fearful stench in many places near here, arising from decaying horses and mules, which have not been properly buried, or probably not buried at all. The camps, as a rule, are well policed and kept clean; but the country for miles around is strewn with dead animals, and the warm weather is beginning to tell on them.

April, 6

It is said that the Third Regiment, with others, is to leave to-morrow on an expedition which may keep it away for months. No official notice of the matter has been given me, and I trust the report may be unfounded. I should be sorry indeed to be separated from the regiment. I have been with it now two years, and to lose it would be like losing the greater number of my army friends and acquaintances.

April, 7

The incident of the day, to me at least, is the departure of the Third. It left on the two P. M. train for Nashville. I do not think I have been properly treated. They should at least have consulted me before detaching my old regiment. I am [247] informed that Colonel Streight, who is in command of the expedition, was permitted to select the regiments, and the matter has been conducted so secretly that, before I had an intimation of what was contemplated, it was too late to take any steps to keep the Third. I never expect to be in command of it again. It will get into another current, and drift into other brigades, divisions, and army corps. The idea of being mounted was very agreeable to both officers and men; but a little experience in that branch of the service will probably lead them to regret the choice they have made. My best wishes go with them.

All are looking with eager eyes toward Vicksburg. Its fall would send a thrill of joy through the loyal heart of the country, especially if accompanied by the capture of the Confederate troops now in possession.

April, 8

Six months ago this night, parching with thirst and pinched with hunger, we were lying on Chaplin Hills, thinking over the terrible battle of the afternoon, expecting its renewal in the morning, listening to the shots on the picket line, and notified by an occasional bullet that the enemy was occupying the thick woods just in our front, and very near. A little over three months ago we were in the hurry, confusion, anxiety, and suspense of an undecided battle, surrounded by the dead and dying, with the enemy's long line of camp-fires before us. Since then we have had a quiet time, each succeeding day seeming the dullest.

Rode into town this afternoon; invested twentyfive [248] cents in two red apples; spoke to Captain Blair, of Reynolds' staff; exchanged nods with W. D. B., of the Commercial; saw a saddle horse run away with its rider; returned to camp; entertained Shanks, of the New York Herald, for ten minutes; drank a glass of wine with Colonel Taylor, Fifteenth Kentucky, and soon after dropped off to sleep.

A brass band is now playing, away over on the Lebanon pike. The pontoniers are singing a psalm, with a view, doubtless, to making the oaths with which they intend to close the night appear more forcible. The signal lights are waving to and fro from the dome of the court-house. The hungry mules of the Pioneer Corps are making the night hideous with howls. So, and amid such scenes, the tedious hours pass by.

April, 10

A soldier of the Fortieth Indiana, who, during the battle of Stone river, abandoned his company and regiment, and remained away until the fight ended, was shot this afternoon. Another will be shot on the 14th instant for deserting last fall. A man in our division who was sentenced to be shot, made his escape.

It seems these cases were not affected by the new law, and the President's proclamation to deserters. Hitherto deserters have been seldom punished, and, as a rule, never as severely as the law allowed.

My parchment arrived to-day, and I have written the necessary letter of acceptance and taken the oath, and henceforth shall subscribe myself yours, very respectfully, [249] B. G., which, in my case, will probably stand for big goose.

General Rosecrans halted a moment before my quarters this evening, shook hands with me very cordially, and introduced me to his brother, the Bishop, as a young general. The General asked why I had not called. I replied that I knew he must be busy, and did not care to intrude. “True,” said he, “I am busy, but have always time to say how d'ye do.” He promised me another regiment to replace the Third, and said my boys looked fat enough to kick up their heels. The General's popularity with the army is immense. On review, the other day, he saw a sergeant who had no haversack; calling the attention of the boys to it he said: “This sergeant is without a haversack; he depends on you for food; don't give him a bite; let him starve.”

The General appears to be well pleased with his fortifications, and asked me if I did not think it looked like remaining. I replied that the works were strong, and a small force could hold them, and that I should be well pleased if the enemy would attack us here, instead of compelling us to go further south. “Yes,” said he, “I wish they would.”

General Lytle is to be assigned to Stanley Matthews' brigade. The latter was recently elected judge, and will resign and return to Cincinnati.

The anti-Copperhead resolution business of the army must be pretty well exhausted. All the resolutions and letters on this subject that may appear hereafter may be accepted as bids for office. They havehowever, [250] done a great deal of good, and I trust the public will not be forced to swallow an overdose. I had a faint inclination, at one time, to follow the example of my brother officers, and write a patriotic letter, but concluded to reserve my fire, and have had reason to congratulate myself since that I did so, for these letters have been as plenty as blackberries, and many of them not half so good.

A Republican has not much need to write. His patriotism is taken for granted. He is understood to be willing to go the whole nigger, and, like the ogre of the story books, to whom the most delicious morsel was an old woman, lick his chops and ask for more.

Wilder came in yesterday, with his mounted infantry, from a scout of eight or ten days, bringing sixty or seventy prisoners and a large number of horses.

April, 11

A railway train was destroyed by the rebels near Lavergne yesterday. One hundred officers fell into the hands of the enemy, and probably one hundred thousand dollars in money, on the way to soldiers' families, was taken. This feat was accomplished right under the nose of our troops.

To the uninitiated army life is very fascinating. The long marches, nights of picket, and ordeal of battle are so festooned by the imagination of the inexperienced with shoulder straps, glittering blades, music, banners, and glory, as to be irresistible; but when we sit down to the hard crackers and salt pork, with which the soldier is wont to regale himself, we can not avoid recurring to the loaded tables and delicious morsels of other days, and are likely at such [251] times to put hard crackers and glory on one side, the good things of home and peace on the other and owing probably to the unsubstantial quality of glory, and the adamantine quality of the crackers, arrive at conclusions not at all favorable to army life.

A fellow claiming to have been sent here by the Governor of Maine to write songs for the army, and who wrote songs for quite a number of regiments, was arrested some days ago on the charge of being a spy. Last night he attempted to get away from the guard, and was shot. Drawings of our fortifications were found in his boots. He was quite well known throughout the army, and for a long time unsuspected.

April, 12

Called on General Rousseau. He referred to his trip to Washington, and dwelt with great pleasuife on the various efforts of the people along the route to do him honor. At Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they stood in the cold an hour and a half awaiting his appearance. Our division, he informs me, is understood to possess the chivalric and dashing qualities --which the people admire. With all due respect, I suggested that dash was a good thing, doubtless, but steady, obstinate, well-directed fighting was better, and, in the end, would always succeed.

W. D. B., of the Commercial, Major McDowell, of Rousseau's staff, and Lieutenant Porter, called this afternoon. My report of the operations of my brigade at Stone river was referred to. Bickham thought it did not do justice to my command, and I have no doubt it is a sorry affair, compared with [252] the elaborate reports of many others. The historian who accepts these reports as reliable, and permits himself to be guided by then through all the windings of a five-days' battle, with the expectation of finally allotting to each one of forty brigades the proper credit, will probably not be successful. My report was called for late one evening, written hastily, without having before me the reports of my regimental commanders, and is incomplete, unsatisfactory to me, and unjust to my brigade.

April, 13

General Thomas called for a moment this evening, to congratulate me on my promotion.

The practical-joke business is occasionally resumed. Quartermaster Wells was astonished to find that his stove would not draw, or, rather, that the smoke, contrary to rule, insisted upon coming down instead of going up. Examination led to the discovery that the pipe was stuffed with old newspapers. Their removal heated the stove and his temper at the same time, but produced a coolness elsewhere, which the practical joker affected to think quite unaccountable.

April, 14

Colonel Dodge, commanding the Second Brigade of Johnson's division, called this afternoon. The Colonel is a very industrious talker, chewer, spitter, and drinker. He has been under some tremendous hot firing, I can tell you! Well, if he don't know what heavy firing is, and the d-dest hottest work, too, then there is no use for men to talk! The truth is, however much other men may try to conceal it, his command stood its ground at Shiloh, and never gave back an inch. No, sir! Every other brigade faltered [253] or fell back, damned if they didn't; but he drove the enemy, got 'em started, other brigades took courage and joined in the chase. At Stone river he drove the enemy again. Bullets came thicker'n hail; but his men stood up. He was with 'em. Damned hot, you better believe! Well, if he must say it himself, he knew what hard fighting was. Why, sir, one of his men has five bullets in him; dam‘ me if he hasn't five! Says he, Dick says he, how did they hit you so many times? The first time I fired, says Dick, I killed an officer; yes, sir, killed him dead; saw him fall, dam me, if he did n't, sir; and at the same time, says Dick, I got a ball in my leg; rose up to fire again, and got one in my other leg, and one in my thigh, and fell; got on my knees to fire the third time, says Dick, and received two more. Well, you see, the firing was hotter'n hell, and Colonel Dodge knows what hot firing is, sir!

April, 15

Since the fight at Franklin, and the capture of the passenger train at Lavergne, nothing of interest has occurred. There were only fifteen or twenty officers on the captured train. A large amount of money, however, fell into rebel hands. The postmaster of our division was on the train, and the Confederates compelled him to accompany them ten miles. He says they could have been traced very easily by the letters which they opened and scattered along the road.

April, 16

Morgan, with a considerable force, has taken possession of Lebanon, and troops are on the way thither to rout him. The tunnel near Gallatin has [254] been blown up, and in consequence trains on the Nashville and Louisville Railroad are not running.

April, 17

Am member of a board whose duty it will be to inquire into the competency, qualifications, and conduct of volunteer officers. The other members are Colonels Scribner, Hambright, and Taylor. We called in a body on General Rousseau, and found him reading “Les Miserables.” He apologized for his shabby appearance by saying that he had become interested in a foolish novel. Colonel Scribner expressed great admiration for the characters Jean Val Jean and Javort, when the General confessed to a very decided anxiety to have Javort's neck twisted. This is the feeling of the reader at first; but when he finds the old granite man taking his own life as punishment for swerving once from what he considered to be the line of duty, our admiration for him is scarcely less than that we entertain for Jean Val Jean.

April, 18

The Columbus (Ohio) Journal, of late date, under the head of “Arrivals,” says: “General John Beatty has just married one of Ohio's loveliest daughters, and is stopping at the Neil House. Good for the General.” This is a slander. I trust the paper of the next day made proper correction, and laid the charge, where it belongs, to wit: on General Samuel. If General Sam continues to demean himself in this youthful manner, I shall have to beg him to change his name. My reputation can not stand many more such blows. What must those who know I have a wife and children think, [255] when they see it announced that I have married again, and am stopping at the Neil with “one of Ohio's loveliest daughters?” What a horrible reflection upon the character of a constant and faithful husband! (This last sentence is written for my wife.)

April, 19

Colonel Taylor and I rode over to General Rousseau's this morning. Returning, we were joined by Colonel Nicholas, Second Kentucky; Colonel Hobart, Twenty-first Wisconsin, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bingham, First Wisconsin, all of whom took dinner with me. We had a right pleasant party, but rather boisterous, possibly, for the Sabbath day.

There is at this moment a lively discussion in progress in the cook's tent, between two African gentlemen, in regard to military affairs. Old Hason says: “Oh, hush, darkey!” Buckner replies: “Yer done no what'r talkin‘ about, nigger.” “I'll bet yer a thousand dollars.” “Hush! Yer ain't got five cents.” “Gor way, yer don't no nuffin‘.” And so the debate continues; but, like many others, leads simply to confusion and bitterness.

April, 20

This evening an order came transferring my brigade to Negley's division. It will be known hereafter as the Second Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.

April, 28

Late last Monday night an officer from Stokes' battery reported to me for duty. I told him I had received no orders, and knew of no reason why he should report to me, and that in all probability General Samuel Beatty, of Van Cleve's division, was the person to whom he should report. I regarded [256] the matter as simply one of the many blunders which were occurring because there were two men of the same name and rank commanding brigades in this army; and so, soon after the officer left, I went to bed. Before I had gotten fairly to sleep, some one knocked again at my tent-door. While rising to strike a light the person entered, and said that he had been ordered to report to me. Supposing it to be the officer of the battery persisting in his mistake, I replied as before, and then turned over and went to sleep. I thought no more of the matter until 11:30 A. M. next day, when an order came which should have been delivered twenty-four hours before, requiring me to get my brigade in readiness, and with one regiment of Colonel Harker's command and the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, move toward Nashville at two o'clock Tuesday morning. Then, of course, I knew why the two officers had reported to me on the night previous, and saw that there had been an inexcusable delay in the transmission of the order to me. Giving the necessary directions to the regimental commanders, and sending notice to Harker and the battery, I proceeded with all dispatch direct to Department Headquarters, whence the order had issued, to explain the delay. When I entered General Rosecrans shook hands with me cordially, and seemed pleased to see me; but I had no sooner announced my business, and informed him that the order had been delivered to me not ten minutes before, than he flew into a violent passion, and asked if a battery and regiment had not reported to me the night [257] before. I replied yes, and was proceeding to give my reasons for supposing that the officers reporting them were in error, when he shouted: “Why, in hell and damnation, did you not mount your horse and come to Headquarters to inquire what it meant?” I undertook again to tell him I had received no order, and as my brigade had been detailed to work on fortifications I was expecting none; that I had taken it for granted that it was another of the many mistakes occurring constantly because there were two officers of the same name and rank in the army, and had so told the parties reporting; but he would not listen to me. His face was inflamed with anger, his rage uncontrollable, his language most ungentlemanly, abusive, and insulting. Garfield and many officers, commissioned and non-commissioned, and possibly not a few civilians, were present to witness my humiliation. For an instant I was tempted to strike him; but my better sense checked me. I turned on my heel and left the room. Death would have had few terrors for me just then. I had never felt such bitter mortification before, and it seemed to me that I was utterly and irreparably disgraced. However, I had a duty to perform, and while in the execution of that I would have time to think.

My brigade, one regiment of Colonel Harker's brigade, and the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, were already on the road. We marched rapidly, and that night (Tuesday) encamped in the woods north of Lavergne. Rain fell most of the night; but the [258] men had shelter tents, and I passed the time comfortably in a wagon. The next morning at daylight we started again, and a little after sunrise arrived at Scrougeville. Here my orders directed me to halt and watch the movements of the enemy. The rebel cavalry, in pretty strong force, had been in the vicinity during the day and evening before; but on learning of our approach had galloped away. We were exceedingly active, and scoured the country for miles around, but did not succeed in getting sight of even one of these dashing cavaliers.

The sky cleared, the weather became delightful, and the five days spent in the neighborhood of Scrougeville were very agreeable. It was a pleasant change from the dull routine of camp duty, and my men were in exuberant spirits, excessively merry and gay. While there, a good-looking non-commissioned officer of the battery came up to me, and, extending his hand, said: “How do you do, General?” I shook him by the hand, but could not for the life of me recollect that I had ever seen him before. Seeing that I failed to recognize him, he said: “My name is Concklin. I knew you at Sandusky, and used to know your wife well.” Still I could not remember him. “You knew General Patterson?” he asked. “Yes.” “Mary Patterson?” “Yes; I shall never forget her.” “Do you recollect a stroll down to the bay shore one moonlight night?” Of course I remembered it. This was John Concklin, Mary's cousin. I remembered very well how he devoted himself to one I felt considerable interest in, while [259] his cousin Mary and I talked in a jocular way about the cost of housekeeping, both agreeing that it would require but a very small sum to set up such an establishment as our modest ambition demanded. I was heartily glad to meet the young man. He looks very different from the smooth-faced boy of ten years ago. I was slightly jealous of him then, and I do not know but I might have reason to be now, for he is a fine, manly fellow.

At Scrougeville-how softly the name ripples on the ear!-we were entertained magnificently. Above us was the azure canopy; around us a dense forest of cedars, and in a shady nook, a sylvan retreat as it were, a barrel of choice beer. The mocking-birds caroled from the evergreen boughs. The plaintive melody of the dove came to us from over the hills, and pies at a quarter each poured in upon us in profusion; and such pies! When night threw over us her shadowy mantle, and the crescent moon blessed us with her mellow light, the notes of the whip-poor-will mingling with the bark of watch-dogs and the barbaric melody of the Ethiopian, floated out on the genial air, and, as stretched on the green sward, we smoked our pipes and drank our beer, thoughts of fairy land possessed us, and we looked wonderingly around and inquired, is Scrougeville a reality or a vision? I fear we shall never see the like of Scrougeville again.

On the morning of the 26th instant I received a telegram ordering our immediate return, and we reached Murfreesboro at two o'clock P. M. same day. [260]

I had not forgotten the terrible scolding received from the General just before starting on this expedition; in fact, I am not likely ever to forget it. It had now been a millstone on my heart for a week. I could not stand it. What could I do? At first I thought I would send in my resignation, but that I concluded would afford me no relief; on the contrary, it would look as if I had been driven out of the army. My next impulse was to ask to be relieved from duty in this department, and assigned elsewhere; but on second thought this did not seem desirable. It would appear as if I was running away from the displeasure of the commanding general, and would affect me unfavorably wherever I might go. I felt that if I was to blame at all in this matter, it was in a very slight degree. The General's language was utterly inexcusable. He was a man simply, and I concluded finally that I would not leave either the army or the department under a cloud. I, therefore, sat down and wrote the following letter:

Murfreesboro, April 27, 1863.
Major-General W. S. Rosecrans, Commanding Department of the Cumberland:
Sir-Your attack upon me, on the morning of the 21st instant, has been the subject of thought since. I have been absent on duty five days, and, therefore, have not referred to it before. It is the first time since I entered the army, two years ago, as it is the first time in my life, that it has been my misfortune to listen to abuse so violent and unreasonable [261] as that with which you were pleased to favor me in the presence of the aids, orderlies, officers, and visitors, at your quarters. While I am unwilling to rest quietly under the disgrace and ridicule which attaches to the subject of such a tirade, I do not question your right to censure when there has been remissness in the discharge of duties; and to such reasonable admonition I am ever ready to yield respectful and earnest attention; but I know of no rule, principle, or precedent, which confers upon the General commanding this Department the right to address language to an officer which, if used by a private soldier to his company officer, or by a company officer to a private soldier, would be deemed disgraceful and lead to the punishment of the one or the dismissal of the other. Insisting, therefore, upon that right, which I conceive belongs to the private in the ranks, as well at to every subordinate officer in the army who has been aggrieved, I demand from you an apology for the insulting language addressed to me on the morning of the 21st instant.

I am, sir, respectfully, Your obedient servant, John Beatty, Brig.-General

I sent this. Would it be regarded as an act of presumption and treated with ridicule and contempt? I feared it might, and sat thinking anxiously over the matter until my orderly returned, with the envelope marked “W. S. R.,” the army mode of acknowledging [262] receipt of letter or order. Fifteen minutes later this reply came:

Headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Murfreesboro, April, 1863.
my dear General-I have just received the inclosed note, marked “Private,” but addressed to me as commanding the Department of the Cumberland. It compromises you in so many ways that I return it to you. I am your friend, and regretted that the circumstances of the case compelled me, as a commanding officer, to express myself warmly about a matter which might have cost us dearly, to one for whom I felt so kindly. You will report to me in person, without delay.

W. S. Rosecrans, Maj.-General Brig.-Gen'l John Beatty, Fortifications, Stone river.
P. S.-It might be well to bring this inclosure with you.

The inclosure referred to was, of course, my letter to him. The answer was not, by any means, an apology. On the contrary, it assumed that he was justifiable in censuring me as he did, and yet it expressed good feeling for me. It was probably written in haste, and without thought. It was not satisfactory; but I was led by it to hope that I could reach a point which would be.

I obeyed the order to report promptly. He took me into his private office, where we talked over the [263] whole affair together. He expressed regret that he had not known all the circumstances before, and said, in conclusion: “I am your friend. Some men I like to scold, for I don't like them; but I have always entertained the best of feeling for you.” Taking me, at the close of our interview, from his private office into the public room, where General Garfield and others were, he turned and asked if it was all rightif I was satisfied. I expressed my thanks, shook hands with him, and left, feeling a thousand times more attached to him, and more respect for him than I had ever felt before. He had the power to crush me, for at this time he is almost omnipotent in this department, and by a simple word he might have driven me from the army, disgraced in the estimation of both soldiers and citizens. His magnanimity and kindness, however, lifted a great load from my spirits, and made me feel like a new man; and I am very sure that he felt better and happier also, for no man does a generous act to one below him in rank or station, without being recompensed therefor by a feeling of the liveliest satisfaction. I may have been too sensitive, and may not, probably did not, realize fully the necessity for prompt action, and the weight of responsibility which rested upon the General. There are times when there is no time for explanation; great exigencies, in the presence of which lives, fortunes, friendships, and all matters of lesser importance must give way; moments when men's thoughts are so concentrated on a single object, and their whole [264] being so wrought up, that they can see nothing, know nothing, but the calamity they desire to avert, or the victory they desire to achieve. Nashville had been threatened. To have lost it, or allowed it to be gutted by the enemy, would have been a great misfortune to the army, and brought down upon Rosecrans not only the anathemas of the War Department, but would have gone far to lose him the confidence of the whole people. He supposed the enemy's movements had been checked, and was startled and thrown off his balance by discovering that they were still unopposed. The error was attributable in part possibly to me, in part to a series of blunders, which had resulted from the fact that there were two persons in the army of the same name and rank, but mainly to those who failed to transmit the order in proper time.

April, 29

Our large tents have been taken away, and shelter tents substituted. This evening, when the boys crawled into the latter, they gave utterance, good-humoredly, to every variety of howl, bark, snap, whine, and growl of which the dog is supposed to be capable.

Colonel George Humphreys, Eighty-eighth Indiana, whom I supposed to be a full-blooded Hoosier, tells me he is a Scotchman, and was born in Ayrshire, in the same house in which Robert Burns had birth. His grandfather, James Humphreys, was the neighbor and companion of the poet. It was of him he wrote this epitaph, at an ale-house, in the way of pleasantry: [265]

Below these stanes lie Jamie's banes.
O! Death, in my opinion,
You ne'er took sic a blither'n bitch
Into thy dark dominion.

April, 30

This afternoon called on General Thomas; met General R. S. Granger; paid my respects to General Negley, and stopped for a moment at General Rousseau's. The latter was about to take a horseback ride with his daughter, to whom I was introduced. [266]

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