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Title: Memoirs of a Veteran Who Served as a Private in the 60's in the War Between the States - Personal Incidents, Experiences and Observations
Author: Hermann, Isaac
Language: English
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[Illustration: Yours truly, I. HERMANN]



Personal Incidents, Experiences and Observations

Written by


Who Served in the Three Branches of the Confederate Army

Atlanta. Ga.:
Byrd Printing Company

Copyright 1911
By I. Hermann
All rights reserved


The following reminiscences after due and careful consideration, are
dedicated to the young, who are pausing at the portals of manhood, as
well as womanhood, and who are confronted with illusory visions and
representations, the goal of which is but seldom attained, even by the
fewest fortunates, and then only by unforeseen circumstances and
haphazards, not illustrated in the mapped out program for future
welfare, greatness and success.

Often the most sanguine persons have such optimistic illusions, which,
unless most carefully considered will lead them into irreparable errors.
Even the political changes, often times necessary in the government of
men, are great factors to smash into fragments the best and most
illusory plans, and cast into the shadow, for a time being at least, the
kindliest, philanthropic and best intentions of individual efforts,
until the Wheel of Fortune again turns in his direction, casting a few
sparks of hope in his ultimate favor, and which is seldom realized.

If the reader of the above has been induced to think and carefully
consider, before acting hastily, the writer feels that he has
accomplished some good in the current affairs of human events.



Entering the post-office for my daily mail, I noticed in the lobby,
hanging on the wall, a beautiful, attractive and highly colored
landscape and manhood therein displayed in its perfection, gaudily
dressed in spotless uniforms; some on horseback, some afoot, with a
carriage as erect and healthful demeanor that the artist could
undoubtedly produce; he was at his best, setting forth a life of ease
and comfort that would appeal to the youngster, patriot and careless
individual, that therein is a life worth living for. Even the social
features have not been omitted where men and officers stand in good
comradeship. Peace and repose, and a full dinner pail are the
environment of the whole representation.

It is the advertisement of an army recruiting officer, who wants to
enlist young, healthy men for the service of the executive branch of our
National Government, to defend the boundaries of our territory, to
protect our people against the invasion of a foreign foe, to even
invade a foreign land, to kill and be killed at the behest of the
powers that be, for an insult whether imaginary or real, that probably
could have been settled through better entente, or if the political
atmosphere would have thought to leave the matter of misunderstanding or
misconstruction to a tribunal of arbitration.

The writer himself was once a soldier; the uniform he wore did not
correspond with that of the picture above, it was rather the reverse in
all its features. He enlisted in the Confederate service in 1861, when
our homes were invaded, in defense of our firesides, and the Confederate
States of America, who at that time, were an organized Government.

Usually an artist, when he represents a subject on canvas, uses a dark
background, to bring forth in bright relief, the subject of his work.
But I, not being an artist, reverse the matter in controversy, and put
the bright side first.


When in 1861 the Southern States, known as the Slave States, severed
their connection with the Federal Government and formed a Confederacy of
their own, which under the Federal Constitution and Common Compact,
they had a perfect right to do, they sent Commissioners, composed of
John Forsyth, Martin J. Crawford and A. B. Boman to Washington, with
power to adjust in a peaceable manner, any differences existing between
the Confederate Government and their late associates. Our Government
refrained from committing any overt act, or assault, and proposed
strictly to act on the defensive, until that Government, in a most
treacherous manner, attempted to maintain by force of arms, property,
then in their possession and belonging to the Confederate Government,
and which they had promised to surrender or abandon. But on the
contrary, they sent a fleet loaded with provisions, men and munitions of
war, to hold and keep Fort Sumter, in the harbor of South Carolina,
contrary to our expectations, and as a menace to our new born Nation.

Then, as now, there were State troops, or military organizations, and
being on the alert, under the direction of our Government, and under the
immediate command of General Beauregard, they fired on the assaulting
fleet to prevent a most flagrant outrage, and after a fierce conflict,
the Fort was surrendered, by one Capt. Anderson, then in command.

Abraham Lincoln, the then President of the United States, called out
75,000 troops, which was construed by us as coercion on the part of the
Federal Government, so as to prevent the Confederates from carrying out
peaceably the maintenance of a Government already formed. To meet such
contingency President Jefferson Davis called for volunteers. More men
presented themselves properly organized into Companies, than we had arms
to furnish. Patriotism ran high, and people took up arms as by one
common impulse, and formed themselves into regiments and brigades.

The Federal Government, with few exceptions, had all the arsenals in
their possession. We were therefore not in a condition to physically
withstand a very severe onslaught, but when the Northern Army attempted
on July 21, 1861, to have a holiday in Richmond, the Capital of the
Confederate States, we taught them a lesson at Manassas, and inscribed a
page in history for future generations to contemplate.

[Illustration: So Mounting a Stump, I Proceeded to Introduce Myself.]


The Federal army under General Scott consisted of over 60,000 men, while
that of General J. E. Johnston was only half that number. Someone asked
General Scott, why he, the hero of Mexico, had failed to enter Richmond.
He answered, because the boys that led him into Mexico are the very ones
that kept him out of Richmond.

The proclamation of Abraham Lincoln calling out for troops was responded
to with alacrity. In the meantime, we on the Confederate side, were not
asleep; Washington County had then only one military organization of
infantry called the Washington Rifles, commanded by Captain Seaborn
Jones, a very gallant old gentleman, who was brave and patriotic. The
following was a list of the Company's membership, who, by a unanimous
vote, offered their services to the newly formed Government to repel the
invader: (See Appendix A.). Their services were accepted, and they were
ordered to Macon, Ga., as a camp of instructions, and for the formation
of a regiment, of which the following companies formed the
contingent--their names, letters, and captains. (See Appendix B.)

J. N. Ramsey, of Columbus, Ga., was elected Colonel. We were ordered to
Pensacola, Fla., for duty, and to guard that port, and to keep from
landing any troops by our enemy who were in possession of the fort,
guarding the entrance of that harbor. This was in the month of April,
1861. From Pensacola the regiment was ordered to Northwestern Virginia.
The Confederate Capital was also changed from Montgomery, Ala., where
the Confederate Government was organized, and Jefferson Davis nominated
its President, to Richmond, Va.

About the middle of May, the same year, twenty-one young men of this
County, of which the writer formed a contingent part, resolved to join
the Washington Rifles, who had just preceded us on their way to
Virginia. We rendezvoused at Davisboro, a station on the Central of
Georgia Railway. We were all in high spirit on the day of our departure.
The people of the neighborhood assembled to wish us Godspeed and a safe
return. It was a lovely day and patriotism ran high. We promised a
satisfactory result as soldiers of the Confederate States of America.

At Richmond, Va., we were met by President Davis, who came to shake
hands with the "boys in gray", and speak words of encouragement. From
Richmond we traveled by rail to Staunton, where we were furnished with
accoutrements by Colonel Mikel Harmon, and which consisted of muskets
converted into percussion cap weapons, from old revolutionary flint and
steel guns, possessing a kicking power that would put "Old Maude" to
shame. My little squad had resolved to stick to one another through all
emergencies, to aid and assist each other and to protect one another.
Those resolutions were carried out to the letter as long as we continued
together. We still went by rail to Buffalo Gap, when we had to foot it
over the mountains to McDowell, a little village in the Valley of the
Blue Ridge. Foot-sore and weary we struck camp. The inhabitants were
hospitable and kind, and we informed ourselves about everything in that
country, Laurel Hill being our destination.

An old fellow whose name is Sanders, a very talkative gentlemen, told us
how, he by himself ran a dozen Yankees; every one of us became
interested as to how he did it, so he stated that one morning he went to
salt his sheep in the pasture--all of a sudden there appeared a dozen
or more Yankee soldiers, so he picked up his gun, and ran first, and
they ran after him, but did not catch him. We all felt pretty well sold
out and had a big laugh, for the gentleman demonstrated his tale in a
very dramatic way.

The following morning, we concluded to hire teams to continue our
journey, which was within two days march of our destination. We passed
Monterey, another village at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, about
twelve miles from McDowell. We crossed the Alleghany into Green Brier
County, passed Huttensville, another little village at the foot of Cheat
Mountain, from there to Beverly, a village about twelve miles from
Laurel Hill, where we were entertained with a spread, the people having
heard of our approach. We camped there that night, and passed commandery
resolution upon its citizens, and their kind hospitality. The following
day we arrived at Laurel Hill, where the army, about 3,000 strong, was
encamped. The boys were glad to see us, and asked thousands of questions
about their home-folks, all of which was answered as far as possible.
The writer being a Frenchman, a rather scarce article in those days in
this country, elicited no little curiosity among the members of the
First Georgia Regiment. Sitting in my tent, reading and writing, at the
same time enjoying my pipe, I noted at close intervals shadows excluding
the light of day--looking for the cause, the party or parties instantly
withdrew. Major U. M. Irwin entered; I asked him the cause for such
curiosity, he stated laughing, "Well, I told some fellows we'd brought a
live Frenchman with us. I suppose those fellows want to get a peep at
you." I at once got up, mounted an old stump, and introduced myself to
the crowd: "Gentlemen, it seems that I am eliciting a great deal of
curiosity; now all of you will know me as Isaac Hermann, a native
Frenchman, who came to assist you to fight the Yankees." Having thus
made myself known, I took the privilege to ask those with whom I came in
contact their names, and what Company they belonged to, and thus in a
short time I knew every man in the Regiment. We were now installed and
regularly enrolled for duty.


Laurel Hill is a plateau situated to the right of Rich Mountain, the
pass of which was occupied by Governor Wise, with a small force.

In the early part of July, General McClelland, in command of the Federal
troops, made a demonstration on our front. Our position was somewhat
fortified by breastworks; the enemy came in close proximity to our camp
and kept us on the Qui-vive; their guns were of long range, while ours
would not carry over fifty yards. Picket duties were performed by whole
companies, taking possession of the surrounding commanding hills. Many
shots hissed in close proximity, without our being able to locate the
direction from which they came, and without our even being able to hear
the report of the guns. Very little damage, however, was done, except by
some stray ball, now and then. It was the writer's time to stand guard,
not far in front of the camp, his beat was alongside the ditches. In
front of me the enemy had planted a cannon. The shots came at regular
intervals in direct line with my beat, but the shots fell somewhat
short, by about fifty to seventy-five yards. I saw many hit the ground.
When Lieutenant Colonel Clark, came round on a tour of inspection, I
remarked, "Colonel, am I placed here as a target to be shot at by those
fellows yonder. One of their shots came rather close for comfort." He
said, "Take your beat in the ditch, and when you see the smoke, tuck
your head below the breastworks"--which was three and one-half feet deep
the dirt drawn towards the front, which protected me up to my shoulders.
For nearly two hours, until relieved, I kept close watch for the smoke
of their gun, which I approximated was about a mile distant, and there I
learned that it took the report of the cannon eight seconds to reach me
after seeing the smoke, and the whiz of the missile four seconds later
still; this gave me about twelve seconds to dodge the ball--anyhow, I
was very willing when relief came, for the other fellow to take my
place. In the afternoon, minnie balls rather multipherous, were hissing
among the boys in camp, but up to that time there was no damage done,
when a cavalryman came in and reported that some of the enemy was
occupying an old log house situated about a half mile in front of us,
and it was there through the cracks of that building came the missiles
that made the fellows dodge about. General Garnett, our Commander,
ordered out two companies of infantry, who, taking a long detour
through the woods placed themselves in position to receive them as they
emerged from the building, and with two pieces of artillery, sent balls
and shells through their improvised fort. Out came the "Yanks" only to
fall into the hands of those ready to give them a warm reception.

On that evening, three days rations were issued. At dark it commenced
drizzling rain; we were ordered to strike camp, and we took up the line
of march to the rear, when I learned that the enemy had whipped out
Governor Wise's forces on Rich Mountain and threatened our rear. We
marched the whole of that night, only to find our retreat to Beverly
blockaded by the enemy who had felled many trees across the road, the
only turn pike leading to that place.

We had to retrace our steps for several miles, and take what is known as
mountain trail, leading in a different direction, marching all day. The
night again, which was dark and dreary multiplied our misgivings. The
path we followed, was as stated, a narrow mountain path, on the left
insurmountable mountains, while on the right very deep precipices; many
teams that left the rut on account of the darkness, were precipitated
down the precipices and abandoned. Thus, after two nights and one day of
steady marching, we arrived at Carricks' Ford, a fordable place on the
north fork of the Potomac River. The water was breast-deep, and we went
into it like ducks, when of a sudden, the Yankees appeared, firing into
our column. They struck us about and along the wagon train, capturing
the same, while the advance column stampeded. We lost our regimental
colors, which were in the baggage wagon, in charge of G. W. Kelly, who
abandoned it with all the Company's effects, to save himself.

Colonel Ramsey, in fact all our officers were elected on account of
their cleverness at home. This being a strictly agricultural country,
the men and officers knew more about farming than about military
tactics. Colonel Ramsey was an eminent lawyer of Columbus, Georgia. He
gave the command, "Georgian, retreat," and the rout was complete. It was
a great mistake that the Government did not assign military men to take
charge in active campaigns; many blunders might have been evaded and
many lives spared at the beginning of the war.

One half of my regiment was assigned as rear guards and marched
therefore, in the rear of the column behind the wagon train. We were
consequently left to take care of ourselves the best we could. General
Garnett was killed in the melee. Had we had officers who understood
anything about military tactics, these reminiscences might be told

As soon as we heard firing in our front, we at once formed ourselves
into line of battle, in a small corn patch across the stream, on our
immediate right, at the foot of a high mountain. It seemed to have been
new ground and the corn was luxuriantly thick. The logs that were there
were rolled into line, thus serving as terraces, and also afforded us
splendid breastworks. We were hardly in position, when artillery troops
appeared and crossed the ford, not seventy-five yards from where we were
in line, seeing them, without being seen ourselves. Major Harvey
Thompson, who was in Command of our forces, which were not over four
hundred and fifty strong, seeing some men making ready to fire, gave
orders not to fire, as they were our own men crossing the stream, and
thus lost the opportunity of making himself famous, for it proved to be
the enemy's artillery in our immediate front. Had he given orders to
fire and charge, we could have been on them before they could possibly
have formed themselves into battery, captured their guns, killed and
captured many of their men, and would have turned into victory what
proved to have become a disastrous defeat.

Thus being cut off from our main forces, who were in full retreat, and
fearing to be captured, we climbed the mountain in our rear, expecting
to cut across in a certain direction, and rejoin our forces some
distance beyond. Thus began a dreary march of three days and four nights
in a perfect wilderness, soaked to the bone and nothing to eat, cutting
our way through the heavy growth of laurel bushes, we had to take it in
Indian file, in single column.

Many pathetic instances came to my observation; some reading testaments,
others taking from their breast-pocket, next to their heart, pictures of
loved ones, dropping tears of despair, as they mournfully returned them
to their receptacle. An instance which impressed itself forcibly on my
mind, was the filial affection displayed between father and son, and in
which the writer put to good use, the Biblical story of King Solomon,
where two women claimed the same child, but in this instance neither
wanted to claim. It was thus: Captain Jones found a piece of tallow
candle about one inch long in his haversack, and presented it to his
son, Weaver, saying, "Eat that, son, it will sustain life;" "No, father,
you eat it, I am younger than you, and stronger, and therefore can hold
out longer." There they stood looking affectionately at each other, the
Captain holding the piece of candle between his fingers. So I said,
"Captain, hand it to me, I will divide it for you." Having my knife in
hand, I cut it lengthwise, following the wick, giving each half, and
passing the blade between my lips. It was the first taste of anything
the writer had had in four days.


When night overtook us, we had to remain in our track until daylight
would enable us to proceed. When at about nine o'clock A. M. word was
passed up the line, from mouth to mouth--"A Guide! A man and his son who
will guide us out of here." Then Major Thompson, who was in front sent
word down the line for the men to come up. The guides sent word up the
line to meet them half way, that they were very tired, so it was
arranged that Major Thompson met them about center, where the writer
was. The guides introduced themselves as Messrs. Parson, father and son.
The senior was a man of about fifty years, rather ungainly as to looks,
and somewhat cross-eyed, while his son was a strong athletic young man,
about twenty-three. They said they were trappers, collecting furs for
the market. It must be remarked that that country was perfectly wild,
and uninhabited, for during all this long march I had not seen a single
settlement, but it contained many wild beasts, such as bears, panthers,
foxes, deer, etc. He related that a tall young man by the name of Jasper
Stubbs, belonging to Company E, First Regiment, Washington Rifles, came
to his quarters very early this morning, inquiring if any soldiers had
passed by, saying he found a nook under a projecting rock where he stood
in column the night before, and to protect himself from dew, he lay down
to rest, and fell asleep. When he awoke, it was day and he found his
comrades gone, and that he was by himself. The surface of ground or
rock, was a solid moss-bed, consequently he could not tell which way our
tracks pointed, and he happened to take the reverse course which we
went, and thus came to where the Parsons lived. Stubbs was missing, thus
proving that the men's story must be true. It must also be remembered
that the majority of the people in Western Virginia were in sympathy
with the enemy, and thus possessed of many informers or spies, who would
give information as to our whereabouts and doings.

A conference was held among the officers as to what was best to be done.
Parson claimed to be in sympathy with the South, and he knew that we
would not be able to carry out our design, and that we would all perish,
so he put out to lead us out of our dilemma. Major Thompson was for
putting the Parsons under arrest, and force them to lead us in the
direction we first assumed, or perish with us. Parsons spoke up and
said, "Gentlemen, I am in your power; the country through which you
propose to travel is not habitable, I have been raised in these regions,
and there is not a living soul within forty miles in the direction you
propose to go, and at the rate you are compelled to advance, you would
all perish to death, and your carcasses left for food to the wild beasts
of the forest." The conference was divided, some hesitated, others were
for adopting Major Thompson's plan, when the writer stepped forward,
saying, "Gentlemen, up to now, I have obeyed orders, but I for one,
prefer to be shot by an enemy's bullet, than to perish like a coward in
this wild region." Captain Jones tapped me on the shoulder, remarking;
"Well spoken, Hermann, those are my sentiments--Company E, About Face!".
Captain Crump, commanding Company I, from Augusta, Ga., followed suit,
and thus the whole column faced about, ready to follow the Parsons.

The writer made the following proposition: That Mr. Parson and son be
disarmed, for both carried hunting rifles; that I would follow them
within twenty paces, while the column should follow within two hundred
yards, thus in case of treachery they would be warned by report of my
gun, that there is danger ahead. These precautions I deemed necessary in
case of an ambush. Addressing myself to our guides, I said, "Gentlemen,
you occupy an enviable position; if you prove true, of which I have no
doubt myself, you'd be amply rewarded, but should you prove otherwise,
your hide is mine, and there is not enough guns in Yankeedom to prevent
me from shooting you." At this point, a private from the Gate City
Guards, whose name is Wm. Leatherwood, remarked, "You shall not go
alone, I will accompany you." I thanked him kindly, saying I would be
glad if he would. Thus we retraced our steps, following our leaders,
when after about three miles march we struck a mountain stream, in the
bed of which we waded for nine miles, the water varying from knee to
waist deep, running very rapidly over mossy, slippery rocks, and through
gorges as if the mountains were cut in twain and hewn down. In some
places, the walls were so high, affording a narrow dark passage, I don't
believe God's sun ever shone down there. I was so chilled, I felt myself
freezing to death in mid summer, for it was about the 17th of July;
darkness was setting in, and I had not seen the sun that day, although
the sky was cloudless, when to my great relief we came to a little
opening on our left, the mountain receding, leaving about an acre of
level ground, with a luxuriant growth of grass. Our guides said they
lived within a quarter of a mile from there. I said, let us rest and
wait for the rest of the men. When after a little rest, I started again,
I was too weak to make the advance, although provisions were in sight. I
had to be relieved, and some others took my place, while I lay exhausted
on the grass. Happily some of the men had paper that escaped humidity;
loading a musket with wadding, they fired into a rotten stump, setting
it on fire, and by persistent blowing, produced a bright little flame,
which soon developed into a large camp fire, around which the boys dried

Parson proved himself a noble, patriotic host. After a couple of hours,
he sent us a large pone of corn-bread, baked in an old-fashioned oven. I
received about an inch square as my share,--the sweetest morsel that
ever passed my lips. It was sufficient to allay the gnawing of my empty
stomach,--it had a strange effect on me, for every time I would stand
up, my knees would give way and down I went otherwise I felt no

It was a remarkable fact that every man was able to keep up with our
small column and we did not lose a single man up to that time.


The next morning Mr. Parson drove up two nice, seal fat beeves,--to get
rations was a quick performance, and the meat was devoured before it had
time to get any of the animal heat out of it, some ate it raw, others
stuck it on the ramrod of their gun and held it over the fire, in the
meantime biting off great mouthfulls while the balance was broiling on
his improvised cooking utensil. Mr. Parson also brought us some meal,
which being made into dough was baked in the ashes, and thus we all had
a square meal and some left to carry in our haversack.

Mr. Parson was tolerably well to do, he owned some land, raised his
truck, had a small apple orchard, and indulged in stock-raising. He
owned several horses and some of the officers bought of him. The writer
feeling badly jaded, also concluded he would buy himself a horse, and
paid his price, $95.00 for a horse, but Major Thompson, being of a timid
nature, was afraid that too many horsemen might attract attention,
refused to let me ride by the wagon-road, so Mr. Parson said there was a
mountain path that I could follow that would lead in the big road some
few miles beyond, but that I would have to lead the animal for about a
couple of miles, when I would be able to ride. Dr. Whitaker, a worthy
member of my Company, and a good companion, offered me his services to
get the animal over the roughest part of the route. I accepted his
offer, and promised that we would ride by turns, so I took the horse by
the bridle and led him, Whitaker following behind, coaxing him along.
The mountain was so steep I had to talk to keep the horse on his feet,
but nevertheless he slipped several times and we worried to get him up
again. We made slow headway; the column had advanced, and we lost sight
of it, and were left alone, worrying with the horse, who finally lost
foothold again, and rolled over. The writer was forced to turn loose the
bridle to keep from being dragged along into the hollow. The horse
rolled over and over, making every effort to gain his feet, but to no
avail, until he reached the bottom, where he appeared no bigger than a
goat. I felt sorry for the poor animal, so I went down, took off his
saddle and bridle, placed them on a rock, and left him to take care of
himself. I rejoined Dr. Whitaker. Relieved of our burden, we followed
the trail made by the column. About sunset we caught sight of them, just
as they crossed Green Brier River, a wide, but shallow stream. At that
place the water was waist deep in the center, running very swift, as
mountain streams do, over slippery moss-covered rocks. When center of
the river, I lost foot hold and the stream, swift as it was, swept me
under, and in my feeble condition I had a struggle to recover myself. I
lost my rations, which were swept down stream, a great loss to me, but
undoubtedly served as a fine repast for the fishes which abounded in
those waters.

The column continued its line of march, passing a settlement, the first
dwelling I had seen in five days. I called at the gate; receiving no
answer, I walked into the porch; the door being ajar, I pushed it open
and found an empty room, with the exception of a wooden bench, and an
old-fashioned, home-made primitive empty bedstead, with cords serving to
support the bedding that the owners had hurriedly removed before our
arrival. I called again. Presently a young woman presented herself.
After passing greetings of the day I asked, "Where are the folks?" She
said, "They are not here," (the surroundings indicated a hasty exit). I
said, "So I see. Where are they?" She said she did not know, undoubtedly
not willing to divulge. "Who lives here?" "Mr. Snider." "And you don't
know where he is?" "No, he heard you all were coming, and not being in
sympathy with you all, he left." "Well, he ought not to have done so,
nobody would have harmed him or hurt a hair on his head. He is entitled
to his opinion, as long as he does not take up arms against us." So I
recounted the accident that had befallen me, and wanted to replenish my
provisions. I asked if I could buy something to eat. She said, "There
are no provisions in the house", "Well, I hope you would not object to
my making a fire in this fire-place to dry myself." She said she had no
objection. It must be remembered that the fire-places in those days were
very roomy indeed. I found wood on the woodpile, and soon had a roaring
fire. It was late in the evening, and I intended to pass that night
under shelter, for I was chilled to the bone. In moving the bench in
front of the fire, on which to spread my jacket to dry, I noticed a pail
covered, and full of fresh milk, "Well, you can sell me some of that
milk, can't you?" She said, "You can have all you want for nothing." I
thanked her and said I wish I had some meal and I could well make out.
She said, "I will see if I can find any", and presently she returned
with sufficient to make myself a large hoe-cake. I baked the same on an
old shovel. While it was baking my clothes were drying on my body,
affording a luxuriant steam bath. I had a tin cup. I drank some of the
milk and had a plentiful repast. I handed her a quarter of a dollar to
pay for the meal, which she accepted with some hesitancy. All at once
the girl disappeared and left me in charge. It was most dark, when
someone hollowed at the gate; recognizing the voices, I found them to be
two men of my Company, viz., G. A. Tarbutton and J. A. Roberson. I met
them and invited them in. To tell the truth, I did not much like the
mysterious surroundings of those premises, especially as the girl asked
me not to divulge that she let me have some meal.

My comrades and self took in the situation; we conferred with one
another and agreed to spend the night under shelter in a warm room, a
luxury not enjoyed in some time and not to be abandoned. They had
informed me that the Column had encamped less than a quarter of a mile
beyond and they had returned to this place in search of some Apple Jack.
We concluded to take it by turns, while two of us are asleep, the third
will stand guard and keep up the fire, for the reader must know that
notwithstanding the season, the nights were very cold in those mountain
regions and were especially so with wet garments on.

The following morning my comrades left, but before leaving we disposed
of the milk in the pail. I remained in the hope of again seeing my
charming hostess, and induce her to sell me some provisions for my
journey along. I saw in the woods, some old hens scratching, and I
thought I might persuade her to sell me one. Presently she came with a
plate of ham, chicken and biscuits which she offered me. I accepted, and
not wishing to embarrass her, did not ask any questions. Presently, old
man Snider appeared. He was a fine looking specimen of manhood, had a
ruddy complexion and appeared physically Herculean. After exchanging a
little commonplace talk, he followed me to where the boys camped. He was
seemingly astonished to see so many gentlemen among the so-called savage
rebels. I asked him if he could induce his daughter to bake me a
chicken, he answered, "I suppose I could." "What will it be worth?"
"Half a dollar" he guessed. I gave him the money and he said he would
bring me the chicken, which he did, and it was a fine one, well cooked.

The people in that thinly populated section of the country lived a very
primitive life, they were mostly ignorant. They did their own work, had
plenty to live on, owned no negroes and were very kind-hearted after you
got acquainted. They had strange notions about the Rebels, thinking we
were terrible fellows. The original settlers of Northwestern Virginia
were Dutch, a very simple and hard-working honest people.

At about three o'clock in the afternoon, having had a long rest, we
again took up the line of march by short stages, still under the
guidance of one of our guides, and from that day on, we continued our
march, passing Cheat Mountain, Allegheny Mountains, until finally we
reached McDowell. Coming down Cheat Mountain, the boys were treated to a
strange sight, especially those who were raised in a low country and who
had never seen any mountains, for in those days there was not much
traveling done, and the majority of the people did not often venture
away from their homes.

The little village of Huttensville lies just at the foot of Cheat
Mountain, a mountain of great altitude. The houses below us did not
appear to be larger than bird cages, but plainly in view, first to the
right and then to the left, as the pike would tack, the mountain being
very steep. It was a lovely day, the sun had risen in all its splendor,
when as if by magic, our view below us was obscured by what seemed to be
a very heavy fog, and we lost sight of the little village. Still the sun
was shining warm, and as we were going down hill it was easy going, and
as we approached the village, the veil that had obscured our view lifted
itself and the people reported to have experienced one of the heaviest
storms in their lives, the proof of which we noticed in the mud and
washouts which were visible, while we who were above the clouds did not
receive a single drop.


At McDowell we formed a reunion with the rest of our forces, who in
their flight made a long detour, passing through a portion of Maryland
adjoining that part of West Virginia. The following evening we had dress
parade and the Adjutant's report of those who were missing. The writer
does not remember the entire casualties of that affair, but found that
his little squad of twenty-one were all present or accounted for.

My friend, Eagle, from whom we hired teams to carry us to Laurel Hill
was present and he came to shake hands with me while we were in line; he
was glad to see me. A general order to disband the regiment for ten days
was read, in order to enable the men to seek the needed rest. Mr. Eagle
came to me at once, saying, "I take care of you and your friends, the
twenty-one that I hauled to Laurel Hill, at my house. It shall not cost
you a cent", a most generous and acceptable offer. I called for my
Davisboro fellows, and followed Mr. Eagle to his home, where he
entertained us in a most substantial manner. He was a man well-to-do, an
old bachelor. The household consisted of himself and two spinster
sisters, all between forty and fifty years of age; and a worthy mother
in the seventies, also a brother who was a harmless lune, roving at will
and coming home when he pleased, a very inoffensive creature; his name
was Chris. The mother, although for years in that country, still could
not talk the English language. Untiringly and seemingly in the best of
mood, they performed their duties in preparing meals for that hungry
army. Chris got kinder mystified to see so many strangers in the house.
He walked about the premises all day, saying, "Whoo-p-e-ee Soldiers
fighting against the war", and no matter what you asked him, his reply
was, "Whoo-o-p-e-ee, Soldiers fighting against the war-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

At the expiration of the ten days leave, we bade our host good-bye. We
wanted to remunerate him, at least in part, for all of his trouble in
our behalf, but he would not receive the least remuneration, saying, "I
am sorry I could not have done more." We rendezvoused in the town, but a
great many were missing on account of sickness, the measles of a very
virulent nature having broken out among the men, and many succumbed from
the disease. We were ordered back to Monterey and went into camp. The
measles still continued to be prevalent and two of my Davisboro comrades
died of it, viz., John Lewis and Noah Turner, two as clever boys as ever
were born. I felt very sad over the occurrence. Their bodies were sent
home and they were buried at New Hope Church.

General R. E. Lee, rode up one day, and we were ordered in line for
inspection, he was riding a dapple gray horse. He looked every inch a
soldier. His countenance had a very paternal and kind expression. He was
clean shaven, with the exception of a heavy iron gray mustache. He
complimented us for our soldiery bearing. He told Captain Jones that he
never saw a finer set of men. We camped at Monterey for a month. During
all this time, when the people at home became aware of our disaster,
they at once went to work to make up uniforms and other kinds of wearing
apparels. Every woman that could ply a needle exerted herself, and
before we left Monterey for Green Brier, Major Newman, who always a
useful and patriotic citizen, made his appearance among the boys, with
the product of the patriotic women of Washington County. Every man was
remembered munificently, and it is due to the good women of the county
that we were all comfortably shod and clothed to meet the rigorous
climate of a winter season in that wild region.


While still in camps at Monterey, the Fourteenth Georgia Regiment, on
their way to Huntersville, with a Company of our County, under command
of Captain Bob Harmon, encamped close to us. The boys were glad to meet
and intermingled like brothers. A day or so after we were ordered to
move to Green Brier at the foot of the Allegheny and Cheat Mountains,
the enemy occupying the latter, under general Reynolds.

Our picket lines extended some three miles beyond our encampment, while
the enemy's also extended to several miles beyond their encampment,
leaving a neutral space unoccupied by either forces. Often
reconnoitering parties would meet beyond the pickets and exchange shots,
and often pickets were killed at their posts by an enemy slipping up
through the bushes unaware to the victim. I always considered such as
willful murder.

It became my time to go on picket; the post assigned to me was on the
banks of the River, three miles beyond our camps. The night before one
of our men was shot from across the River. Usually three men were
detailed to perform that duty, so that they can divide watch every two
hours, one to guard and two to sleep, if such was possible. On that
occasion the guard was doubled and six men were detailed, and while four
lay on the ground in blankets, two were on the lookout. The post we
picked out was under a very large oak; in our immediate rear was a corn
field the corn of which was already appropriated by the cavalry. The
field was surrounded by a low fence and the boys at rest lay in the
fence corners. It was a bright starlight September night, no moon
visible, but one could distinguish an object some distance beyond. I was
on the watch. It was about eleven P. M., when through the still night, I
heard foot-steps and the breaking of corn stalks. I listened intently,
and the noise ceased. Presently I heard it again; being on the alert,
and so was my fellow-watchman, we cautiously awoke the men who were
happy in the arms of Morpheus, not even dreaming of any danger besetting
their surroundings. I whispered to them to get ready quietly, that we
heard the approach of someone walking in our front. The guns which were
in reach beside them were firmly grasped. We listened and watched, in a
stooping position, when the noise started again, yet a little more
pronounced and closer. We were ready to do our duty. I became impatient
at the delay, and not wishing to be taken by surprise, I thought I would
surprise somebody myself, so took my musket at a trail, crept along the
fence to reconnoiter, while my comrades kept their position. When
suddenly appeared ahead of me a white object, apparently a shirt bosom.
I cocked my gun, but my target disappeared, and I heard a horse
snorting. On close inspection, I found that it was a loose horse
grazing, and what I took for a shirt bosom was his pale face, which
sometimes showed, when erect, then disappeared while grazing. I returned
and reported, to the great relief of us all. Heretofore, men on guard at
the outpost would fire their guns on hearing any unusual noise and thus
alarming the army, which at once would put itself in readiness for
defense, only to find out that it was a false alarm and that they were
needlessly disturbed. Such occurrences happened too often, therefore a
general order was read that any man that would fire his gun needlessly
and without good cause, or could not give a good reason for doing so
would be court-martialed and dealt with accordingly. Therefore, the
writer was especially careful not to violate these orders.

[Illustration: A Picket Shot While on Duty, Nothing Short of Murder.]

At another time it became again my lot to go on vidette duty. This time
it was three miles in the opposite direction in the rear of the camp in
the Allegheny, in a Northwesterly direction, in a perfect wilderness, an
undergrowth of a virgin forest. It was a very gloomy evening the clouds
being low. A continual mist was falling. It was in the latter part of
September. We were placed in a depressed piece of ground surrounded by
mountains. The detail consisted of Walker Knight, Alfred Barnes and
myself. Corporal Renfroe, whose duty was to place us in position, gave
us the following instructions and returned to camp: "Divide your time as
usual, no fire allowed, shoot anyone approaching without challenge."
Night was falling fast, and in a short while there was Egyptian
darkness. We could not even see our hands before our eyes. There was a
small spruce pine, the stem about five inches in diameter, with its
limbs just above our heads. We placed ourselves under it as a protection
from the mist, and in case it would rain. All at once, we heard a
terrible yell, just such as a wild cat might send forth, only many times
louder. This was answered it seemed like, from every direction. Barnes
remarked "What in the world is that?" I said, "Panthers, it looks like
the woods are full of them." The panthers, from what we learned from
inhabitants are dangerous animals, and often attack man, being a feline
species, they can see in the dark. I said, "There is no sleep for us,
let us form a triangle, back to back against this tree, so in case of an
attack, we are facing in every direction." Not being able to see, our
guns and bayonets were useless, and we took our pocket knives in hand in
case of an attack at close quarters. The noise of these beasts kept up a
regular chorus all night long, and we would have preferred to meet a
regiment of the enemy than to be placed in such a position. We were all
young and inexperienced. I was the oldest, and not more than
twenty-three years old. Walker Knight said, "Boys, I can't stand it any
longer, I am going back to camp." I said, "Walker, would you leave your
post to be court-martialed, and reported as a coward? Then, you would
not find the way back, this dark night, and be torn up before you would
get there. Here, we can protect each other." Occasionally we heard dry
limbs on the ground, crack, as if someone walking on them. This was
rather close quarters to be comfortable, especially when one could not
see at all. There we stood, not a word was spoken above a whisper, when
we heard a regular snarl close by, then Barnes said, "What is that?" I
said, "I expect it is a bear." All this conversation was in the lowest
whisper; to tell the truth, it was the worst night I ever passed, and my
friend Knight, even now says that he could feel his hair on his head
stand straight up.

My dear reader, don't you believe we were glad when day broke on us? It
was seemingly the longest night I ever spent, and so say my two

The country from Monterey to Cheat Mountain was not inhabited, with the
exception of a tavern on top of the Allegheny, where travelers might
find refreshments for man and beast. The enemy often harassed us with
scouting parties, and attacking isolated posts. To check these
maneuvres, we did the same; so one evening, Lieutenant Dawson of the
Twelfth Georgia Regiment, Captain Willis Hawkins' Company from Sumter
County, and which regiment formed a contingent part of our forces at
Green Brier River, came to me saying, "Hermann, I want you tonight." He
was a fearless scout, a kind of warfare that suited his taste, and he
always called on me on such occasions. And after my last picket
experience, I was only too willing to go with him, as it relieved me
from army duty the day following, and I preferred that kind of
excitement to standing guard duty.

We left at dark, and marched about four miles, towards the enemy's camp
to Cheat River, a rather narrow stream to be a river. A wooden bridge
spanned the stream. We halted this side. On our right was a steep
mountain, the turn pike or road rounded it nearly at its base. The
mountain side was covered with flat loose rocks of all sizes, averaging
all kinds of thickness. By standing some on their edge, and propping
them with another rock, afforded fine protection against minnie balls.
In this manner we placed ourselves in position behind this improvised

The mot d'ordre was not to fire until the command was given. We were ten
in number, and the understanding was to fire as we lay, so as to hit as
many as possible. At about ten o'clock P. M. we heard the enemy crossing
the bridge, their horses's hoofs were muffled so as to make a noiseless
crossing, and take our pickets by surprise. They came within fifty yards
of us and halted in Column. Lieutenant Dawson commanded the man next to
him to pass it up the line to make ready to shoot, when he commanded in
a loud voice, "Fire!" Instantly, as per one crack of a musket, all of us
fired, and consternation reigned among the enemy's ranks; those that
could get away stampeded across the bridge. We did not leave our
position until day. When we saw the way was clear, we gathered them up,
took care of the wounded and buried the dead--several of our shots were
effective. On the 3rd of October, they made an attack on us in full
force, and while they drove in our pickets, we had ample time to prepare
to give them a warm reception.

The following is a description of the battle ground and a description of
our forces:

On the extreme right, in an open meadow, not far from the banks of the
river, was the First Georgia Regiment, lying flat on the grass; to the
immediate left and rear was a battery of four guns, on a mount
immediately confronting the turn pike, and fortified by breastworks, and
supported by the Forty-fourth Virginia Regiment, commanded by Colonel
Scott; further to left, across the road was a masked battery, with
abatis in front, Captain Anderson commanding, and supported by the Third
Arkansas Regiment and the Twelfth Georgia Regiment, commanded by
Colonels Rusk and Johnston respectively. As the enemy came down the
turn pike, the battery on our left, commanding that position, opened on
them, the enemy from across the river responded with alacrity, and there
was a regular artillery duel continuously. Their infantry filed to their
left, extending their line beyond that of the First Georgia, they
followed the edge of the stream at the foot of the mountain. We detached
two Companies from the Regiment further to our right, to extend our
line. They were not more than two hundred yards in front. The balance of
the regiment lay low in its position; the order was to shoot low, and
not before we could see the white of their eyes.

The enemy would fire on us continually, but the balls went over us and
did no damage. While maneuvring thus on our right, they made a vigorous
attack on Anderson's battery, but were repulsed with heavy loss. Late in
the afternoon they withdrew. Our casualties were very small, and that of
the enemy considerable.

Colonel Ramsey, who, early that morning went out on an inspection tour,
dismounted for some cause, his horse came into camp without a rider, and
we gave him up for lost, but later, a little before dark, he came in
camp, to the great rejoicing of the regiment, for we all loved him.
General Henry R. Jackson was our commander at that time, and soon
afterwards was transferred South.

The enemy had all the advantage by the superiority of their arms, while
ours were muzzle loaders, carrying balls but a very short distance;
theirs were long range, hence we could not reach them only at close
quarters. A very amusing instant was had during their desultory firing.
The air was full of a strange noise; it did not sound like the hiss of a
minnie-ball, nor like that of a cannon ball. It was clearly audible all
along the line of the First Georgia; the boys could not help tucking
their heads. The next day some of the men picked up a ram rod at the
base of a tree where it struck broadside, and curved into a half circle.
It was unlike any we had, and undoubtedly the fellow forgot to draw it
out of the gun, fired it at us, and this was the strange sound we heard
which made us dodge. A few nights later, a very dark night, we sent out
a strong detachment, under Command of Colonel Talliaferro to cut off
their pickets, which extended to Slavins Cabin (an old abandoned log
house). To cross the river we put wagons in the run; a twelve inch plank
connected the wagons and served as a bridge. On the other side of the
river was a torch bearer, holding his torch so that the men could see
how to cross. The torch blinded me, and instead of looking ahead, I
looked down. It seemed that the men with the torch shifted the light,
casting the shadow of a connecting plank to the right, when instead of
stepping on the plank, I stepped on the shadow, and down in the water I
went (rather a cold bath in October) and before morning, my clothing was
actually frozen. In crossing Cheat River Bridge, the road tacked to the
left, making a sudden turn, which ran parallel with the same road under
it. The head of the column having reached there, the rear thinking them
to be enemies, fired into them. Haply no one was hurt before the mistake
was discovered, but the enemy got notice of our approach by the firing,
and had withdrawn, so the expedition was for naught. We were back in
camp about eight o'clock the following morning.

At the latter end of the month Colonel Edward Johnson concluded to
attack General Reynolds in his stronghold on Cheat Mountain.

The Third Arkansas Regiment, under command of Colonel Rusk, was detached
and sent to the rear, taking a long detour a couple of days ahead, and
making demonstrations, while the main force would attack them in front.
Colonel Rusk was to give the signal for attack. Early in the night we
sent out a large scouting party to attack their pickets, and drive them
in. Lieutenant Dawson was in command. Early that day we started with all
the forces up Cheat Mountain, a march of twelve miles. During the
progress of our march the advance guard having performed what was
assigned them to do, returned by a settlement road running parallel with
the turn pike for some distance, when of a sudden, balls were hissing
among us and some of the men were hit. The fire was returned at once,
and flanker drawn out whose duty it was to march on the flank of the
column, some twenty paces by its side, keeping a sharp lookout. I
mistook the order, and went down into the woods as a scout, the firing
still going on, and I was caught between them both. I hugged close to
the ground keeping a sharp lookout to my right. When I recognized the
Company's uniform, and some of my own men, I hollowed at them to stop
firing, that they were shooting our own men, when they hollowed, "Hurrah
for Jeff Davis," when from above, Colonel Johnson responded, "Damn lies,
boys, pop it to them," when Weaver Jones stuck a white handkerchief on
his bayonet and the firing ceased. Sergeant P. R. Talliaferro was hit
in the breast by a spent ball. Weaver had a lock of his hair just above
his ear cut off as though it had been shaved off. One man was wounded
and bled to death, another was wounded and recovered. Such mistakes
happened often in our lines for the lack of sound military knowledge.

The man that bled to death was from the Dahlonega Guards. He said while
dying, that he would not mind being killed by an enemy's bullet, but to
be killed by his own friends is too bad. Everything was done that could
be done for the poor fellow, but of no avail.

The column advanced to a plateau, overlooking the enemy's camp. We
placed our guns in battery, waiting for the Rusk signal, which was never
given; we waited until four o'clock P. M. and retraced our steps without
firing a gun. We saw their lines of fortification and their flags flying
from a bastion, but not a soul was visible. We thought Reynolds had
given us the slip and that we would find him in our rear and in our camp
before we could get back, so we double quicked at a fox trot, until we
reached our quarters in the early part of the night.

Colonel Rusk came in two days afterward, and reported that his venture
was impracticable. Cold winter was approaching with rapid strides and
rations were not to the entire satisfaction of our men. The beef that
was issued to us, although very fine, had become a monotonous diet, and
the men longed for something else, they had become satiated with it, so
I proposed to Captain Jones that if he would report me accounted for in
his report, that I would go over to Monterey and McDowell on a foraging
expedition, and bring provisions for the Company. He said he would, but
I must not get him into trouble, for the orders were that no permits be
issued for anyone to leave camp and that all passes, if any be issued,
must be countersigned by Captain Anderson, who was appointed Commander
of the post. We still were without tents for they were captured by the
enemy at Carricks Ford, and we sheltered ourselves the best we could
with the blankets we had received from home. The snow had fallen during
the night to the depth of eight inches, and it was a strange sight to
see the whole camp snowed under, (literally speaking). When morning
approached, the writer while not asleep, was not entirely aroused. He
lay there under his blanket, a gentle perspiration was oozing from every
pore of his skin, when suddenly, he aroused himself, and rose up. Not a
man was to be seen, the hillocks of snow, however, showed where they
lay, so I hollowed, "look at the snow." Like jumping out of the graves,
the men pounced up in a jiffy, they were wrestling and snowballing and
rubbing each other with it. After having performed all the duties
devolving upon me that afternoon, I started up the Allegheny where some
members of my Company with others, were detailed, building winter
quarters. Every carpenter in the whole command was detailed for that


When some three miles beyond camps, I noted a little smoke arising as I
approached. I noted that it was the outpost. My cap was covered with an
oil cloth, and I had an overcoat with a cape, such as officers wore;
hence the guard could not tell whether I was a private, corporal or a
general. I noticed that they had seen me approach. One of them advanced
to the road to challenge me, but I spoke first. I knew it was against
the orders to have a fire at the outpost on vidette duty so I said, "Who
told you to have a fire? Put out that fire, sirs, don't you know it is
strictly prohibited?"--"What is your name--what Company do you belong
to, and what is your regiment?" all of which was answered. I took my
little note book and pencil, and made an entry, or at least made a bluff
in this direction, and said, "You'll hear from me again." I had the poor
fellow scared pretty badly, and they never even made any demand on me to
find out who I was. They belonged to Colonel Scott's regiments. The
bluff worked like a charm, and I marched on. When about six miles from
camp, I was pretty tired, walking in the snow and up-hill. I saw
General Henry R. Jackson, and Major B. L. Blum, coming along in a
jersey wagon. The General asked me where I was going,--it was my time to
get a little scared. I answered that I was going on top the Allegheny
where they built winter quarters. "Get in the wagon, you can ride, we
are going that way." I thanked them; undoubtedly the General thought
that I was detailed to go there and to assist in that work. This is the
last I saw of General Jackson in that country.

Among the men I found Tom Tyson, Richard Hines, William Roberson
(surnamed "Crusoe"). I spent the night with them in a cabin they had
built and the following morning I took an early start down the mountain
toward Monterey. It had continued to snow all the night and it lay to
the depth of twelve inches. I could only follow the road by the opening
distance of the tree tops, and which sometimes was misleading. I passed
the half-way house, known as the tavern, about 9 o'clock A. M. Four
hundred yards beyond, going in an oblique direction at an angle of about
45 degrees, I saw a large bear going through the woods; he was a fine
specimen, his fur was as black as coal. I approximate his size as about
between three hundred and four hundred pounds. He turned his head and
looked at me and stopped. I at once halted, bringing my musket to a
trail. I was afraid to fire for fear of missing my mark, my musket being
inaccurate, so I reserved my fire for closer quarters, the bear being at
least fifty yards from me, and he followed his course in a walk. I was
surprised and said to myself,--"Old fellow, if you let me alone, I
surely will not bother you."

I watched him 'till he was out of my sight. My reason for not shooting
him was two-fold; first, I was afraid I might miss him, and my gun being
a muzzle loader, the distance between us was too short, and he would
have been on me before I could have reloaded, so I reserved my fire,
expecting to get in closer proximity. I was agreeably surprised when he
continued his journey. When I came to Monterey that afternoon, I told
some of its citizens what a narrow escape I had. They smiled and said
"Bears seldom attack human, unless in very great extremities, but I did
well not to have shot unless I was sure that I would have killed him,
for a wounded bear would stop the flow of blood with his fur, by tapping
himself on the wound, and face his antagonist, and I could have been
sure he would have gotten the best of me."

From Monterey I went over to McDowell, fourteen miles, to see my friend
Eagle and his brother-in-law, Sanders, he that made the twelve Yankees
run by running in front of them. I stated my business and invoked their
assistance, which they cheerfully extended. In about three days, we had
about as much as a four horse team could pull.

Provisions sold cheap. One could buy a fine turkey for fifty cents, a
chicken for fifteen to twenty cents, butter twelve and one-half cents
and everything else in proportion. Apples were given me for the
gathering of them. Bacon and hams for seven to eight cents per pound,
the finest cured I ever tasted.

The people in these regions lived bountifully, and always had an
abundance to spare. Mr. Eagle furnished the team and accompanied me to
camp, free of charge. Money was a scarce article at that time among the
boys; the government was several months in arrear with our pay, but we
expected to be paid off daily, so Mr. Eagle said he would be responsible
to the parties that furnished the provisions, and the Company could pay
him when we got our money; he was one of the most liberal and patriotic
men that it was my pleasure to meet during the war.

Four days later, Captain Jones received our money. I kept a record of
all the provisions furnished to each man, and the captain deducted the
amount from each. I wrote Eagle to come up and get his money; he came,
and received every cent that was due him.

But I must not omit an incident that occurred when near our camp with
the load of provisions. I had to pass hard by the Twelfth Georgia
Regiment, which was camped on the side of the turn pike, when some of the
men who were as anxious for a change of diet as we were, came to me and
proposed to buy some of my provisions. I stated that they were sold and
belonged to Company E, First Regiment, and that I could not dispose of
them. Some Smart-Aleks, such as one may find among any gathering of men,
proposed to charge the wagon and appropriate its contents by force.
Seeing trouble ahead, I drew my pistol, when about a dozen men ran out
with their guns. Eagle turned pale, he thought his time had come, when a
Lieutenant interfered, asking the cause of the disturbance, which I
stated. He said, "Men, none of that, back with those guns." He mounted
the wagon and accompanied us to my camp, which was a few hundred yards


Once later, I was called out for fatigue duty. I said, "Corporal, what
is to be done?" He answered, "To cut wood for the blacksmith shop." I
replied, "You had better get someone else who knows how, I never cut a
stick in my life," he said, "You are not too old to learn how." This was
conclusive, so he furnished me with an axe, and we marched into the
woods, and he said he would be back directly with a wagon to get the
wood and he left me. I was looking about me to find a tree, not too
large, one that I thought I could manage. I spied a sugar maple about
eight inches in diameter. I sent my axe into it, but did not take my cut
large enough to reach the center, when it came down to a feather edge
and I did not have judgment enough to know how to enlarge my cut by
cutting from above, so I started a new cut from the right, another from
the left, bringing the center to a pivot of about three inches in
diameter, as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar; finally, by continuous
hacking, I brought it to a point where I could push it back and forth.
The momentum finally broke the center, but in place of falling, the top
lodged in a neighboring tree, and I could not dislodge it. I worked
hard, the perspiration ran down my face, my hands were lacerated, I
finally got mad, and sent the axe a-glimmering, and it slid under the
snow. After awhile my corporal came for the wood; "Where is the wood?" I
showed him the tree; "Is that all you have done?" I could not restrain
any longer, I said, "Confound you, I told you I did not know anything
about cutting wood." "Where is the axe?" We looked everywhere but could
not find it; it must have slid under the snow and left no trace, so he
arrested me and conducted me before Colonel Edward Johnson, a West
Pointer, in command of the post. He was at his desk writing; turning to
face us, he addressed himself to me, who stood there, cap in hand, while
the Corporal stood there with his kept on his head. "What can I do for
you?" I said, looking at the Corporal. "He has me under arrest and
brought me here." Looking at the corporal the Colonel said, "Pull off
your hat, sir, when you enter officers' quarters." (I would not have
taken a dollar for that). The Corporal pulled off his cap. "What have
you arrested him for?" The Corporal answered that I was regularly
detailed to cut wood for the blacksmith shop, and that I failed to do my
duty, and lost the axe he furnished me. "Why did you not cut the wood?"
said the Colonel. "I tried," said I, "I told him that I had never cut
any wood and did not know how; where I came from there are no woods.
Look at my hands." They were badly blistered and lacerated. The Colonel
cursed out the Corporal as an imbecile, for not getting someone who was
used to such work. I told the Colonel how hard I had tried and what I
had done. The Colonel smiled and said, "What did you do with the axe?";
"When the tree lodged and I could not budge it, I got mad and made a
swing or two with the axe, and let her slide; it must have slid under
the snow, and we could not find it." "What have you done for a living?"
"After I quit school, I clerked in a store." "Can you write?" "Oh, yes!"
"Let me see." "My hand is too sore and hurt now." "Well, come around
tomorrow, I may get you a job here."

Next day I called at his quarters, and he put me to copying some
documents and reports, which I did to his satisfaction. I had warm
quarters and was relieved from camp duties for a little while.

This brings us to about the middle of December, and we were ordered to
Winchester. Colonel Johnson with his Regiment and a small force, was
left in charge of the Winter Quarters on the Allegheny, so I took leave
of him to join my Company.

Colonel Johnson, while a little brusk in his demeanor, was a clever,
social gentleman, and a good fighter, which he proved to be when the
enemy made a night descent on him and took him by surprise. He rallied
his men, barefooted in the snow, knee-deep, thrashed out the enemy and
held the fort; he was promoted to General and was afterwards known as
the Allegheny Johnson.

My Command having preceded me, I went to Staunton, where I met J. T.
Youngblood, Robert Parnelle and others from my Company. I also met
Lieutenant B. D. Evans of my Company, just returned from a visit from
home. We took the stage coach from Stanton to Winchester through Kanawah
Valley. We passed Woodstock, Strasburg, New Market, Middletown, and
arrived at Winchester in due time. General T. J. Jackson in command, we
had a splendid camp about a mile to the left of the city. The weather
had greatly moderated and the snow was melting. The regiment had
received tents to which we built chimneys with flat rocks that were
abundant all around us. The flour barrels served as chimney stacks, and
we were comfortable; rations were also good and plentiful, but hardly
were we installed when we received orders to strike camps. The men were
greatly disappointed; we expected to be permitted to spend winter there.
We took up the line of march late in the evening, marched all night and
struck Bath early in the morning, took the enemy by surprise while they
were fixing their morning meal, which they left, and the boys regaled
themselves. The Commissary and Quartermaster also left a good supply
behind in their rapid flight, and we appropriated many provisions,
shoes, blankets and overcoats; from Bath we marched to Hancock, whipped
out a small force of the enemy, and continued our force to Romney where
we struck camps. Romney is a small town situated on the other side of
the Potomac River. General Jackson demanded the surrender of the place,
the enemy refused, so he ordered the non-combatants to leave, as he
would bombard the town. Bringing up a large cannon which we called "Long
Tom" owing to its size, he fired one round and ordered us to fall back.
All this was during Christmas week.

On our return it turned very cold and sleeted; the road became slick
and frozen, and not being prepared for the emergency, I saw mules,
horses and men take some of the hardest falls, as we retraced our steps,
the road being down grade. This short campaign was a success and
accomplished all it intended from a military standpoint, although we
lost many men from exposure; pneumonia was prevalent among many of our
men. We have now returned to Winchester. The writer himself, at that
time, thought that this campaign was at a great sacrifice of lives from
hardships and exposures, but later on, learned that it was intended as a
check to enable General Lee in handling his forces against an
overwhelming force of the enemy, and being still reinforced and whose
battle cry still was "On to Richmond." It was for this reason that
General "Stonewall" Jackson threatened Washington via Romney and the
enemy had to recall their reinforcements intended against General Lee to
protect Washington.

The men from the Southern States were not used to such rigorous climate
and many of our men had to succumb from exposure. My Company lost three
men from pneumonia, viz:--Sam and Richard Hines, two splendid soldiers,
and brothers, and Lorenzo Medlock. The writer also was incapacitated.
There were no preparations in Winchester for such contingencies, so the
churches were used as hospitals. The men were packed in the pews wrapped
in their blankets, others were lying on the nasty humid floor, for it
must be remembered that the streets in Winchester were perfect lobbies
of dirt and snow tramped over by men, horses and vehicles. While there
in that condition I had the good fortune to be noted by one of my
regiment, he was tall and of herculean form, his name was Griswold, and
while he and myself on a previous occasion had some misunderstanding and
therefore not on speaking terms, he came to me and extended his hand,
saying: "Let us be friends, we have hard times enough without adding to
it." I was too sick to talk, but extended my hand, in token of having
buried the hatchet. He asked me if he could do anything for me. I shook
my head and shut my eyes. I was very weak. When I opened them he was
gone. During the day he returned, saying: "I found a better place for
you at a private house." He wrapped me in my blanket and carried me on
his shoulders a distance of over three blocks. Mrs. Mandelbawm, the lady
of the house, had a nice comfortable room prepared for me, and Griswold
waited on me like a brother, he was a powerful man, but very overbearing
at times, but had a good heart. Mr. Mandelbawm sent their family
physician, who prescribed for me. He pronounced me very sick, he did not
know how it might terminate. It took all his efforts and my
determination to get well after three weeks struggling to accomplish
this end. My friend came to see me daily when off duty.

The regiment's term of enlistment will soon have expired, for we only
enlisted for one year. The regiment received marching order, not being
strong enough for duty. Through the recommendation of my doctor and
regimental color, I was discharged and sent home. The regiment had been
ordered to Tennessee, but owing to a wreck on the road they were
disbanded at Petersburg, Va., and the boys arrived home ten days later
than I.

In getting my transportation the Quartermaster asked me to deliver a
package to General Beaureguard as I would pass via Manassas Junction.
When I arrived I inquired for his quarters, when I was informed that he
had left for Centreville, I followed to that place, when I was told he
had left for Richmond. Arriving at Richmond I went at once to the
Executive Department in quest of him and should I fail to find him,
would leave my package there, which I did. This was on Saturday evening,
I had not a copper in money with me, but I had my pay roll; going at
once to the Treasury Department, to my utter consternation, I found it
closed. A very affable gentlemen informed me that the office was closed
until Monday morning. I said, "What am I to do, I have not a cent of
money in my pocket and no baggage," for at that time hotels had adopted
a rule that guests without baggage would have to pay in advance. I
remarked that I could not stay out in the streets, so the gentleman
pulled a $10.00 bill out of his pocket and handed it to me saying, "Will
that do you until Monday morning, 8 o'clock? When the office will be
open, everything will be all right." I thanked him very kindly. Monday I
presented my bill which was over six months in arrears. They paid it at
once in Alabama State bills, a twenty-five cent silver and two cents
coppers. I did not question the correctness of their calculation. I took
the money and went in quest of my friend who so kindly advanced me the
$10.00. I found him sitting at a desk. He was very busy. I handed him a
$10.00 bill and again thanked him for his kindness; he refused it
saying: "Never mind, you are a long ways from home and may need it." I
replied that I had enough to make out without it, I said that I
appreciated it, but didn't like to take presents from strangers; he
said, "We are no strangers, my name is Juda P. Benjamin." Mr. Benjamin
was at that time Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederate States. He
was an eminent lawyer from the State of Louisiana, he became later on
Secretary of War, and when Lee surrendered he escaped to England to
avoid the wrath of the Federal Officials who offered a premium for his
capture. He became Queen's Consul in England and his reputation became
international. No American who was stranded ever appealed to him in
vain, especially those from the South. It is said of him that he gave
away fortunes in charity.

I came back to Georgia among my friends who were proud to see me. Having
no near relations, such as father or mother, sisters or brothers to
welcome me, as had my comrades, my friends all over the County took
pride in performing that duty, and thus ended my first year's experience
as a soldier in the war between the States.


Notwithstanding the arduous campaign and severe hardships endured during
my first year's service, I did not feel the least depressed in spirit or
patriotism. On the contrary the arms of the Confederacy in the main had
proven themselves very successful in repelling the enemy's attacks and
forcing that government continually to call new levees to crush our
forces in the field.

Those measures on the part of our adversaries appealed to every patriot
at home and regardless of hardships already endured. Hence the First
Georgia Regiment although disbanded as an organization, the rank and
file had sufficient pluck to re-enter the service for the period of the
war regardless as to how long it might last. Possessing some hard
endured experience, many of them organized commands of their own, or
joined other commands as subalterns or commissioned officers.

The following is a roll of promotion from the members of the Washington
Rifles as first organized.--See Appendix D.

The foregoing record proves that the Washington Rifles were composed of
men capable of handling forces and that it had furnished men and
officers in every branch of service in the Confederate States Army, and
had been active after their return home from their first year's
experience in raising no little army themselves, and what I have
recorded of the Washington Rifles may be written of every Company
composing the First Georgia Regiment.

The State of Georgia furnished more men than any other State, and
Washington County furnished more Companies than any other County in the

Such men cannot be denominated as rebels or traitors, epithets that our
enemies would fain have heaped upon us. If the true history of the
United States as written before the war and adopted in every
school-house in the land, North, South, East and West, did not
demonstrate them as patriots, ready and willing to sacrifice all but
honor on the altar of their country.

On the first of May, 1862, Sergeant E. P. Howell came to me saying:
"Herman, how would you like to help me make up an artillery Company? I
have a relative in South Carolina who is a West Pointer and understands
that branch of the service. The Yankees are making tremendous efforts
for new levees and we, of the South, have to meet them." "All right,"
said I, "I am tired after my experience with infantry, having gone
through with 'Stonewall's' foot cavalry in his Romney campaign." The
following day we made a tour in the neighborhood and enlisted a few of
our old comrades in our enterprise. We put a notice in the Herald, a
weekly paper edited by J. M. G. Medlock, that on the 10th day of May we
would meet in Sandersville for organization, and then and there we
formed an artillery Company that was to be known as the Sam Robinson
Artillery Company, in honor of an old and venerable citizen of our

General Robinson, in appreciation of our having named the Company in his
honor presented the organization with $1,000.00, which money was applied
in uniforming us.

The following members formed the composite of said Company, and Robert
Martin, known as "Bob Martin" from Barnwell, S. C., was elected Captain.
See appendix E.

The writer was appointed bugler with rank of Sergeant.

That night after supper, it being moon-light, Mr. A. J. Linville a North
Carolinian, a school teacher boarding at my lodging proposed to me as I
performed on the flute, he being a violinist, to have some music on the
water. He then explained that water is a conductor of sound and that
one could hear playing on it for a long distance and music would sound a
great deal sweeter and more melodious than on land. The Ogeechee River
ran within a couple of hundred yards from the house. There was on the
bank and close to the bridge a party of gentlemen fishing, having a
large camp fire and prepared to have a fish-fry, so Linville and myself
took a boat that was moored above the bridge and quietly, unbeknown to
anybody paddled about 1¼ mile up stream, expecting to float down with
the current. Although it was the month of May the night was chilly
enough for an overcoat. Linville and myself struck up a tune, allowing
the boat to float along with the current, the oar laying across my lap.
Everything was lovely, the moon was shining bright and I enjoyed the
novelty of the surroundings and the music, when an over-hanging limb of
a tree struck me on the neck. Wishing to disengage myself, I gave it a
shove, and away went the boat from under me and I fell backwards into
the stream in 12 feet of water. To gain the surface I had to do some
hard kicking, my boots having filled with water and my heavy overcoat
kept me weighted down.

When reaching the surface after a hard struggle my first observation was
for the boat which was about 50 yards below, Linville swinging to a
limb. I called him to meet me, and he replied that he had no oar, that I
kicked it out of the boat. The banks on each side were steep and my
effecting a landing was rather slim. I spied a small bush half-way up
the embankment, I made for it perfectly exhausted, I grabbed it, the
bank was too steep and slippery to enable me to land, so I held on and
rested and managed to disembarrass myself of the overcoat and told
Linville to hold on, that I was coming. I could not get my boots off, so
I made an extra effort to reach him anyhow, as the current would assist
me by being in my favor, so I launched off. I reached the boat perfectly
worn out. I do not think I could have made another stroke. After a
little breathing spell and by a tremendous effort I hoisted myself into
the boat, but not before it dipped some water.

On our way I picked up my discarded overcoat and a piece of a limb which
served as a rudder to guide the boat to a successful landing, and thus
ended the music on the water.

We went to the house, changed our clothes and returned, mingling with
the fishermen and kept all the fun we had to ourselves. They all made a
fine catch and there was fish a plenty for all. Linville and myself
enjoyed the repast, as the physical exercise we had just undergone
sharpened our appetite.

A few days later we rendezvoused at Sandersville, and the Company left
for Savannah, our camp of instruction. Under the tuition of Jacobi,
leader of the band of the 32nd Georgia, W. H. Harrison's Regiment, I
soon learned all the calls and commands.

While thus engaged the Company had a gross misunderstanding with Capt.
Martin, who, before coming in contact with the members of his command,
was an entire stranger to them. Most all were ignorant of military
duties, but strictly honest and patriotic citizens. Capt. Martin was a
strict disciplinarian and putting the screws on rather a little too
tight placed him into disfavor with the men, who petitioned him to
resign, otherwise they would prefer charges against him. Thus matters
stood when I returned to camp. Martin was tried before a board and
exonorated. To revenge himself upon those who were active in his
persecution he reduced those that were non-commissioned officers to
ranks and appointed others in their stead; and to make matters more
galling, appointed a substitute, a mercenary as orderly Sergeant over a
Company of volunteers, who solely served their country through
patriotism. Ned Irwin, when elevated to the position he was, proved
himself a worthy tool in the hand of his promoter. Men could not express
an opinion on hardly any subject without being reported, he would sneak
about in the dark, crouch behind a tent evesdropping and make report as
unfavorably as he could to bring the individual into disfavor. He made
himself so obnoxious that he did not have a friend in the whole Company,
and when he died at Yazoo City, you could hear freely expressed the
following sentiment: "Poor old Ned is dead, thank God this saves some
good men of having to kill him."

When I returned to camp I presented myself before Capt. Martin who
examined me as to my proficiency as a bugler. I said, "Captain, there
has been quite some changes made since I have been away," he said, "Yes,
the men have accused me of speculating on their rations." I said I was
very sorry that such a state of affairs existed among officers and men,
where harmony ought to prevail; he said he insisted that those charges
be substantiated and demanded a court martial, who on hearing the facts
cleared him of any criminality, so he punished the leaders of the gang
by reducing them to ranks.

Capt. Martin, however, proved himself a capable officer in handling
artillery and the men finally came to love him on account of his
efficiency and fairness.

While in camp of instructions in Savannah, the Government furnished us
with six brass pieces (2 Howitzer and 4 Napoleon) with the necessary
accoutrement and horses and we were ordered to Bryan County in support
of Fort McAllister. We went into camp by the side of the Ogeechee River,
about three miles this side of the Fort, which camp we named "Camp
McAllister." The fort was an earth structure, strongly constructed with
redoubts and parapets. The magazine underground was strongly protected
by heavy timbers, and so was what we called bomb-proof, for the men not
actually engaged, but who were ready to relieve those who were, or
became disabled under fire and exposure, and compelled to be at their
post of duty. Short reliefs were necessary, for it is hard work to
manage heavy seige guns, but the heaviest in that fort were only of
forty-two caliber. For some time nothing of importance worth to
chronicle happened; the boys attended to their regular camp life duty,
roll calls and drills; those off duty went fishing along the river

The country surrounding was low, flat, marshy and replete with malarial
fever, so that we had to remove our camp several miles further up the
river, but still within close call of the fort. This new camp was called
"Camp Arnold," in honor of Doctor Arnold, on whose land we stationed.
One morning I was ordered to blow the call, only one man, Sergeant Cox,
reported. All the rest of the command were down with chills and fever.
There was no quinine to be had, owing to the blockade, such medicines
being considered by our adversaries as contraband of war. Men tried
every remedy possible, even drank cottonseed tea, at the suggestion of a
country physician by the name of Dr. Turner, who pronounced it as a good
substitute (it was in taste if not in efficiency). The writer was also
stricken with the disease, and was sent to Whitesville Hospital, about
thirty miles from Savannah on the Central of Georgia Railroad. Dr.
Whitehead was in charge of the same, and Madam Cazzier and her daughter
from New Orleans were matrons. During my fever spells I would rave
sometimes and not having been in this country over three years in all,
my friends predominated over the English language. Madam Cazzier, who
spoke French also, took a great interest in me; in fact, she was
strictly interested in all the patients, but she seemed to be a little
partial to myself, and spent some time by my bedside when the fever was
off, and would tell me what I said during my delirium. She nursed me and
devoted on me a motherly care, for which I shall always remain thankful.
My recuperation was rapid, and I soon felt myself again.

One morning it was announced that General Mercer of Savannah, and the
Board of Inspectors were to come on a round of inspection, when we heard
heavy firing, the sounds coming from the east. Presently we heard that
the enemy with a large fleet was attacking Fort McAllister. General
Mercer and his Board had come up from Savannah on a special train. He
called for all convalescent, able to fight to volunteer to go to the
front. I presented myself; I was the only one. We cut loose the
locomotive and one car and went flying to Savannah at the rate of a mile
a minute, crossed the City in a buss at full speed to the Gulf Depot,
now known as the S. F. & W., just in time to board the train to Way
Station, twelve miles from Savannah. An ambulance carried us to the
Fort; the whole distance from the hospital to the Fort was about
fifty-two miles. We changed conveyances three times and arrived at
destination in less than two hours. Capt. Martin was in charge of a
Mortar Detachment, so I reported to him for duty, but my place had been
taken, and the detachment was complete, hence he had no use for me. I
learned that Major Galley, the Commander of the Fort, had been killed by
the first shot from the enemy's guns, which penetrated a sixteen foot
embankment, knocked off the left hand trunnion of a thirty-two pounder,
and struck the Major above the ear, and took off the top of his head, so
Captain Anderson, of the Savannah Blues, took command. Captain Martin
sent me up the River to a band about half a mile to the rear, which
position placed me at a triangle point to the Fort and the gun boats. I
was instructed to notice the effect of our shots on the enemy's boats. I
kept tally sheets as to the hits between the belligerent points. From my
observation I counted seventy-five hits by the guns of the Fort, and one
hundred and seventy-five hits by those of the boats, which raised a
cloud of dust equal to an explosion of a mine. Their caliber being three
hundred and seventy-five pounders, and fifteen inches in diameter, while
our shots merely made a bright spot where they struck the heavy
armoured vessels and ricochet beyond. While thus observing I noted a
strange move of one of the boats, suddenly I saw an immense flash, and a
splash in the river a couple of yards in front of me. The water being
very clear, we noted a large projective at the bottom of the stream,
evidently aimed at me, as it was in direct line, as I sat on my horse;
undoubtedly they must have taken me for a commanding officer and thus
paid me their res-- I mean disrespect.

A concourse of people in the neighborhood gathered to observe this
unequal artillery duel of five armoured gun boats and eleven wooden
mortar boats hidden behind a point below the Fort, sending their
projectiles like a shower of aerolites into and around the Fort.
Undaunted, the boys stood by their guns, having the satisfaction to
notice one of the armoured vessels break their line and floating down
the River, evidently having been struck in some vital part, and thus
placed hors de combat. This bombardment continued from early morning
until near sundown, when the enemy withdrew, we giving them parting
shots as they steamed down to their blockade station, lying in wait for
the Nashville, a blockade runner, who plyed between Nassau, and any
Confederate Port, which it might enter with goods, easily disposed of
at remunerative prices. The Fort was badly dilapidated, our breastworks
had been blown to atoms, the guns exposed to plain view, all port holes
demolished, the barracks injured by fire, which the boys extinguished
while the battle was raging; in fact, had a cyclone struck the Fort in
its full majestic force, it could not have been worse. However, that
night we pressed into service all the negroes on the rice plantations.
Spades, shovels and pick axes were handled with alacrity; baskets, bags
and barrels were filled, the enfeebled portions of the Fort were
reinforced by working like Trojans all night long, and the Fort was
again placed in a presentable condition.

Early the following morning, when the enemy again appeared, undoubtedly
to take possession, as the Fort would have been untenable in the
condition they left it the previous evening, we opened fire on them, but
they had seen what had been done during the night, saw at once that we
were not disposed to give up; they withdrew without even returning our
fire, and the boys would remark, they are treating us with silent

For awhile we enjoyed repose and the luxuries of the season at the
Southern sea-coast, hunting squirrels, rabbits and fishing, getting
leave of absence to visit home for a few days, when one day the report
reached us that the enemy effected a landing at Killkanee, some distance
below us and to our right. The battery was called out and we took up the
line of march to meet the enemy. We camped that night near a church,
when we were informed that the enemy's demonstration was against a small
salt works, an enterprising citizen having erected a small furnace with
a half a dozen boilers, in which he boiled sea water to obtain salt,
which, at that time, was selling at a dollar a pound by the hundred
pound sack. The Company returned to camp.

About ten days later word came late one afternoon that the enemy is
making for Pocotalico, a small station on the Savannah and Charleston
Railroad, intending to burn a long range of trestle on said road. Two
detachments were sent to that place by post haste, arriving in time to
place themselves in position, in as quiet a way as possible. At about
ten o'clock P. M. we heard a very noisy demonstration to our right,
through the marshes of the swamps; many torches became visible. They
undoubtedly expected the place to be unprotected; when they came within
full range we sent canister and schrapanel into the ranks; they fell
back in confusion, leaving dead and wounded behind. This expedition
started out from Beauford, S. C., then in possession of the enemy. One
dark night the tide being up, the Nashville loaded with cotton attempted
to run the gauntlet of the blockaders. On the turn of the river just
opposite the Fort, the River Ogechee being about a mile wide, the vessel
run aground on a sand bank, and was unable to extricate itself. The
enemy being on the lookout, spied her position and came within firing
distance; the Fort fired at them furiously, but they paid no attention
to us, but concentrated their fire on the steamer Nashville with hot
shots and soon had her in flames. The crew jumped overboard and swam
ashore like ducks. The steamer was burned and completely destroyed. I
was again taken with chills and fever and sent home by way of Dr.
Whitehead's hospital. Sergeant Hines also came home to recuperate, when
one morning I suggested to have an egg-nog. Cousin Abe was a merchant
before the war, and still kept a store at Fenns Bridge, but the store
had but few remnants in it. He only kept such goods as people were
willing to dispose of in the way of exchange, for something else, and
among his stock, he had a barrel of corn whiskey. I said, "Bill, if you
furnish the eggs, I will furnish the sugar and whiskey; my chill will be
on at eleven o'clock; we have an hour yet and kill or cure, I'm going to
drink nog. It may help me." Dr. Whitehead had supplied me with a vial of
Fowler's Solution, which was nearly exhausted, and which had done me no
good. Sergeant Hines came up, brought a dozen eggs and we made a nog. At
ten thirty A. M. I took the first goblet, he made it tolerably strong. I
replenished and enjoyed the contents, and as we were sipping it quietly,
I looked at my watch and was surprised to see it was fifteen minutes
past eleven and no chill. We slowly finished the third glass, I felt the
effects of it somewhat, but we were not intoxicated. At twelve o'clock
the dinner bell rang at the house, and it was the first time in two
weeks that I was able to partake of that meal, the chills always
interfering. I never had another chill in twenty years thereafter, hence
I never became a prohibitionist. I believe the abuse of whiskey is
wrong, while its proper use is right. Sergeant Hines and myself, after a
few days longer among our friends, returned to our camp.


The following incident caused a rupture of friendship between Lieutenant
Evan P. Howell and myself, which made military service unnecessarily
harder on me, owing to our respective ranks. One night, it was on a
Saturday, I had occasion to get up, it was late. I passed the sentinel
on post number one, and recognized William Tolson on duty. I passed the
usual greeting of "Hello! Bill, how do you do," "O, Ike, I'm so sick.
I've one of the hardest chills on me I ever had." "Why don't you call
the Corporal of the Guard, and get relief?" He replied, he wished I
would call him, so I called "Corporal of the Guard, post number one."
Corporal William O'Quinn came up to see what's up. I said, "Corporal,
Tolson is sick and ought to be relieved." Presently the Corporal
returned from headquarters, saying the officers are all gone over to
Patterson, they were having a dance at the Quartermaster's, Major
Cranston, and there is no one at headquarters but Dr. Stevenson who is
drunk, and I can't get any sense out of him. When I told him that one
of the men were sick, he said "You see that puppy, is he not the finest
you have ever seen?" having reference to a small dog he fondled.
Finding out that I can't get any relief, I came back, so I told Tolson
to go in and I would stand guard in his place. Tolson was a good
soldier, he was a native Englishman, and when he got over his chill he
was loud in his denunciation as to his treatment, so he was punished for
having spoken derogatory about the officers and condemned to wear ball
and chain for twenty-four hours. This was the first time that I knew
there was such a thing as a ball and chain in camp for the punishment of
man. The following Monday night, the writer having found out all about
the particulars and the doings at the Quartermaster's, wrote up a
program of intoxication at Granston Hall, Saturday night, March 1863. I
treated the matter more of a burlesque than otherwise, and wound up in
these words: "That's the way Confederate whiskey goes, pop goes the
Government." Captain Martin was off and Lieutenant Howell was in
command. Lieutenants Bland and Roberson laughed over the matter and took
it good naturedly. W. N. Harmon was the only man in the Company who saw
me write the article, and when finished I read it to him. He pronounced
it a good joke and asked me what I was going to do with it. I said, "I
am going to stick it up on the big pine where general orders are posted,
so that the men can read it after reveille call," so he made some
lightwood pegs, and we went together and posted it. The article was not
signed, and was written in a round handwriting. The men enjoyed it and
laughed a great deal over it, when Sergeant Fulford came up and tore
down the paper, and carried it to the officer's tent. They inquired,
what is the matter, what are the men laughing about. He presented the
paper. Lieutenant Howell, after reading it, got raving mad, while
Lieutenants Roberson and Bland took it good naturedly. Lieutenant Howell
was determined to find out the author, so during the day he took up the
men by fours and swore them on the Bible, if they knew who wrote the
paper. I was at the station on that day and was absent. When I returned
to my mess, they told me what was going on, and that Lieutenant Howell
was trying to find out who wrote that article, so I said, "Bill,"
meaning William Harmon, "He took up the wrong men; if he had called on
me I would have saved him that trouble". He answered, "Well, what will
you do?" "Well, you don't believe that I would swear to a lie?" I got up
saying, "I will satisfy his curiosity," and up to his tent I went. He
was sitting in a chair smoking. "Good evening Lieutenant," says I. "I
understand that you are very anxious to know who wrote that paper
Sergeant Fulford submitted for your inspection. I can give you all the
information you require." Lieutenant Howell at once brightened up and
became all smiles. "You know--who did it?" "Your humble servant." In a
twinkling his countenance changed. He became pale with rage, working
himself into a passion, and very peremptorily ordered me to stand at
attention. I at once planted my heels together to form a perfect angle,
placed my little fingers along the seams of my pantaloons, my arms
extending at full length, my body erect, facing my superior officer. I
humbly remarked, "Will that do?"--"What did you do it for?"--"You had
your fun, am I not entitled to have some?"--"You made false charges; you
said we drank Government whiskey. I want you to understand what liquor
we drank we bought and paid for it." "Well, Lieutenant, I have not
accused anybody; not even mentioned a single name, but if the cap fits
you, you can wear it. I have nothing to retract." By that time, Howell
was surely mad. "I-I-I reduce you to ranks! I put you on double duty for
thirty days and to wear ball and chain." "Is that all?" "Lieutenant, I
volunteered in the Confederate army to do my full duty, as I always have
done, in regard to duty; you only can put me on every other day, but
when it comes to degrading me by making me wear ball and chain, I give
you fair notice that I will kill any man who attempts to place the same
on my limbs," and I made my exit, going to my mess-mates. "Well, how did
you come out?" the boys asked me. I related what had passed between
Lieutenant and I. William Harmon, then said, "Did you tell him that I
helped you stick it up?" I said, "No, I shouldered the whole
responsibility. What good would it do to implicate you?" "Well you shall
not be the only one to do double duty," and off he went to tell
Lieutenant Howell that he also had a hand in it, and consequently he was
also condemned to double duty for thirty days. "Did he also tell you to
wear ball and chain?" Harmon said "No."

That night, I slept, as the saying is, with one eye open. I had my
pistol within easy reach, and my sabre by my side. No attempt however,
was made to chain me. The following morning I was called for guard duty.
I took my post, carrying my sabre across my neck, bear fashion. My post
was in full view of the officers' headquarters. When Lieutenant Howell
sent Sergeant Hines to me to tell me if I didn't carry my sabre at
"Carry Sabre," he would keep me on four hours instead of two. Having
been the bugler of the Company I was never instructed how to carry
sabre. "Sergeant, can't you teach me how?" Hines remarked, "I know you
know better how to handle a sabre than anyone in camp. I have seen you
and Hoffman fight at Laurel Hill. I tell you, I have been on duty all
night and I would like to go to sleep. This may be fun to you, but not
to me, just now." I said, "Well Bill, go ahead," so I carried my sword
to suit his Excellency, the commanding officer.

Later in the day J. J. Sheppard came to me saying, "Ike, Lieutenant
Howell told me that I was appointed bugler in your place." "Well, sir, I
congratulate you on your promotion." "He said for me to ask you for the
bugle." I said, "All right Sheppard," I took the bugle and broke it in
halves and handed it to Sheppard. He looked astonished--I remarked,
"That instrument is private property and belongs to me, my money paid
for it, and I have a right to handle it as I please, not meaning any
disrespect to you, Sheppard." The following day, word came in camp for
volunteers to handle siege pieces in Charleston, S. C. The enemy making
heavy demonstration against that City. The Company sent men they could
spare, among whom I formed a contingent part. My detachment was placed
in the battery in charge of a heavy siege gun. The people of that City
treated us royally and brought us plenty of provisions besides what we
got from the commissary. We remained there a couple of weeks. The whole
business turned out to be a fiasco, and we returned back to our camps.
It was one of the most pleasant periods I have enjoyed during the whole
war. I was again called on duty when I remarked, "This comes around
pretty often." The Sergeant remarked, "You have to finish your
sentence." I at once went to headquarters and met Lieutenant Howell and
said, "Do you intend to make me finish the penalty you imposed on me?"
"To be sure, I do," was his reply. "Well, you can't do it after you
accepted my services for Charleston," and I demanded a court-martial
before I would finish it. Afterwards Sergeant Hines came from
headquarters, saying, "Howell said, Ike got me," "I have no right to
inflict a continuance of punishment after accepting his services in some
other direction, but confound him, I'll get even with him." Thus matters
stood, when some fine day the ball and chain was missing, no one knew
what became of it, but somewhere in the middle of the Ogeechee River
some two hundred yards below Camp Arnold, it may be found now, having
rested there these forty six years.

On the eighth of May we were ordered to Mississippi. We went by the way
of Columbus, Ga., arriving there about three o'clock P. M. The ladies
had prepared a fine spread for us at the depot. The men were hungry.
Capt. F. G. Wilkins being mayor of the City, Mayor Wilkins was Captain
of the Columbus Guards, Company B, First Regiment, Georgia Volunteers,
and on his return home, after his severe experience of one year's
military service, he preferred civil service as more congenial to his
feelings. He was a brave and fearless soldier. At Carricks Ford, he and
twelve of his men got mixed in with the Yankees, who at that time wore
also grey uniforms. They were Ohio troops. Captain Wilkins on seeing
his dilemma, formed his men into line, then into column making them go
through evolutions, and manual of arms, and marched them to the rear,
and out of the Yankee columns without being suspicioned or receiving a
scratch. Such coolness is not often exhibited on a danger line, and
Captain Wilkins reached Monterey long before any of the Regiment did,
and saved himself and his men a great deal of hardship.

When alighting from the train and seeing all those good things prepared
for us, I at once took my position. A lady remarked, "Help yourself." I
took hold of a piece of fowl, and as I was about to take a bite, someone
struck me on the arm with such force that the piece of fowl dropped out
of my hand, and someone said, "Those things are not for you." It was
Mayor Wilkins. He was glad to see me, and said, "I have something better
for you, boys. How many of the First Georgia are here? Get them all
together and follow me." We were about a dozen of the old Washington
Rifles. He conducted us to a room where we met a committee of gentlemen.
After the usual shaking hands and introductions, we passed into another
chamber. I never beheld a more bountiful and artistically prepared
spread. Provisions arranged on a revolving table, shelved to a pyramid,
and loaded with delicious wines. In a corner of the room was a table
covered with case liquors of every description, and some fine cigars. I
was astonished, I had no idea such delicacies could have been gotten in
the whole Confederacy. We surely did enjoy the hospitality of that
Committee. Mayor Wilkins introduced me to a Mr. Rothschild, saying, "I
want you to take good care of him, he is a splendid fellow." Turning to
me he said, "Hermann, I want you to stay all night with this gentleman,
he will treat you all right." I said, "Captain Wilkins, I can't leave
camps without a permit, and myself and Captain Howell are not on such
terms as for me to ask him for any favors." "Well, I'll arrange that,
you come along." Captain Wilkins said to Howell, "I want Ike to go home
with my friend here," designating Mr. Rothschild. Captain Howell said,
"You'll have to be here by seven o'clock, A. M. The train will leave at
that time." Mr. Rothschild spoke up, saying, "I'll have him here on
time." I was royally treated; the lady of the house and daughter played
on the piano and sang. I joined in the chorus 'till late in the night,
when I was shown to my room, nicely furnished, a nice clean feather bed
and all the requisites for comfort, but I could not sleep, I did not lay
comfortable. The two years service I had seen, made a feather bed rather
an impediment to my repose, having become accustomed to sleep out doors
on the hard ground, with my knapsack as a pillow, so I got up, put my
knapsack under my head and lay by the side of the bed on the carpet, and
slept like a log the balance of the night; so soundly, that I did not
hear the negro boy who was sent to my room to blacken my boots, open the
door, but I heard a noise like someone slamming the door and I heard
someone running down stairs. I heard many voices talking, and someone
coming up stairs, opening the door very unceremoniously, I looked--there
was Mr. Rothschild,--greatly astonished and laughing, he could hardly
talk. Finally he said, "What in the world made you lay on the floor." I
explained to him that being no longer used to sleeping on a bed, I could
not rest until I got on the hard floor. Then he told me he had sent up a
boy to blacken my boots, who had scared them all by telling them that
the man up stairs had fallen off of the bed and lay dead on the floor. I
took my ablution, and went down to breakfast, all enjoying that I was
still able to do justice to the meal that my kind host and hostess set
before me. After many thanks and good byes to Mr. and Mrs. Rothschild
and the family, Mr. Rothschild and myself went down to the train, which
was in waiting. Everything was soon ready and we departed for Mobile,
Ala. At Greenville, Ala., I met General W. H. T. Walker for the first
time. Martin's battery was assigned to his brigade. Captain Martin was
promoted to Major, and Chief of Staff of General Walker's brigade, and
Lieutenant Evan P. Howell, by right of seniority, took his place as
Captain. From Mobile, we went to Jackson, Miss., one section of two
cannons were left behind under charge of Lieutenant Robson. The balance
arrived at destination at about three o'clock P. M., May 12th, 1863. We
unloaded the pieces at once, and all the accoutrements, all the horses
and harnessed them up without the loss of any time, took up the line of
march towards Raymond Springs. The weather was very warm and the road of
red clay was very dusty for men marching in columns. The dust would rise
like clouds of ashes at every step. It must be remembered that it was
ration day, but we had no time to draw any. As we advanced, we met
General Gists' Brigade just out of a fight with General Grant's forces,
who landed at Port Gibson, on his forward move to Vicksburg. General
Gist had several prisoners. Among them was a Captain. I spoke to him and
asked him about the strength of Grant's army. Of course, I did not
expect a truthful answer. He replied, "If you'll keep on in the
direction you are going, you will meet him. He is not so very far, ahead
of you, and when you do meet him, you will think he has more than enough
to eat you all up." Well, he did tell the truth, and it has been our
misfortune all through the war to fight against many odds. We kept
advancing, when of a sudden the command was ordered to halt. We formed
ourselves into battery, and I was placed in charge of a detachment.
General Walker ordered me to follow him. About two hundred yards ahead
the road took a sudden turn around the bluff, which commanded a straight
stretch of about a mile. General Walker ordered me to unlimber my gun
and place it in position, so as to command that road, and ordered me to
fire into any cavalry that might appear. At the further end of my view
was a water mill. I remarked, "General, had I not better let them
advance somewhat, so as not to waste too much ammunition?" "You must use
your own judgment," said he. Looking about me, I saw no infantry in
close proximity, so I ventured to ask him where my support was. He
answered, "Support Hell!--If they charge you, fight them with the hand
spikes, don't you never leave this post," and left.

Mr. James F. Brooks acted as my No. 1. I asked him if he had made his
will, if not, he had better, as we were there to stay. We watched with
all our eyes, we saw no enemies. Just about dark, we were ordered to
limber up, and double quick to the rear, for about a mile, the enemy
having taken another route and we were in danger of being cut off. Weary
and footsore, having marched about ten miles that afternoon, we retraced
our steps within about three miles of Jackson, hungry and thirsty, we
marched on, large oaks bordered the road at places and the roots
protruded above the surface of the ground; having on a pair of shoes,
left foot number six for a number 8 foot, while my right shoe was a
number 10 brogan, I crammed cotton in shoe number 10 to prevent too much
friction and cut off the end of number 6 to avoid the painful sensation
of being cramped, but misfortunes never come single--the night became
dark and it threatened to rain. I stumbled over one of those protruding
roots and tore off half of my unprotected toe nail on my left foot, a
most excruciating and painful sensation. I did not swear, because I was
speechless. I mounted the caisson, our horses were jaded, had had no
food nor water that day, but managed to get into camp. Dr. Stewart, our
surgeon was left at Jackson, with a few of our command who were sick. W.
J. Bell was our ambulance driver. He drove me to Dr. Stewart's camp to
dress my wound that night. I was all O. K. next morning, when the ball
opened after day break. Our pickets announced the enemy's advance. The
skirmishes then came into play and kept the advance at some bay for some
time, our forces placing themselves in position to receive them in due
form. We were five thousand strong, while the enemy numbered twenty-five
thousand. At about eleven A. M. orders came from our right to left to
fall back, and we gradually withdrew, putting on our prolongs, and
firing occasionally as we retraced our steps. When the fight first
opened I was in the rear, as stated, on account of my foot, but after
being dressed and hearing the firing, I made for the front, and reported
to Captain Howell for duty, while he was in line of battle on the
extreme left. He said his detachment was complete, to report to the
next. Having only four pieces of artillery in action, two under charge
of Lieutenant Robson not having yet arrived, they were placed along the
front about two hundred yards apart, all had full working force. I
retraced my steps and so reported to the Captain, saying, "Well,
Captain, there being no use for me here, I shall go to the rear to
protect myself and watch the progress of the fight, should there be any
casualties in the Company I'll take their place--no use for me to be
here unless I can be of some service." Up to that time the skirmish line
was still contending for every inch of the ground. Captain Howell says
to me, "You stay here, and act as my orderly. I'm hoarse anyhow, and you
have a good voice and can repeat my orders and commands," so I was
installed by the side of the Captain. The ground on which we stood was a
gradual incline, while that of the enemy was about on a level with us,
leaving a sort of a basin or valley between both lines. It was a novel
sight to see our skirmishers contending every inch of the ground before
an overwhelming force, to see them load and fire, and gradually falling
back, facing the advancing foe. When suddenly they emerged from the
woods, where they were concealed, and advanced in platoon form, sending
their deadly missiles into our thin skirmishers ranks. I said, "This is
more than our men can stand, let me throw a shell over their heads,
into their ranks." He answered, "Do so, but don't shoot our men." "No
danger," said I. I depressed the bridge of my piece, raising the muzzle
about four fingers. No. four pulled the laniard. It had a good effect,
and resulted in stopping their advance, and thus enabled our skirmishers
to come in. My fire also gave them our position and distance. They at
once formed a battery in front of us. I aimed a second shot at a white
horse. Captain Howell watching its effect. I being behind the gun, the
smoke prevented me from so doing, when he said, "You got him." I soon
found out that I had done some damage and that my range was accurate,
for they centered their fire of several pieces against my own. One of
their shots passed over my gun and knocked off its sight, passed between
the detachment, striking the caisson lid in the rear and staving it in,
and thus preventing us for a few minutes in replying. We had to break it
open with the hand spikes to get ammunition. They undoubtedly thought
that we were irreparably silenced, and paid their respects to some other
part of our line, but we resumed business again, and they came back at
us. I saw a ball rolling on the ground, about six feet to my right. It
seemed to be about the same caliber as ours. It rolled up a stump,
bouncing about fifteen feet in the air. I thought it was a solid shot
and wanting to send it back to them through the muzzle of our gun, I ran
after it. It proved to be a shell, as it exploded, and a piece of it
struck my arm. It was a painful wound, but not serious. Another ball
struck a tree about eight inches in diameter, knocked out a chip, which
struck my face and caused me to see the seven stars in plain day light
and very near got a scalp of Captain Howell, who stood behind that tree.
Orders came for Captain Howell to fall back. He asked me to inform Major
Martin, who was in command of the piece at the extreme right, that he
was falling back. I had to traverse the whole front of our line. I took
the color bearers' horse, a fine animal. We named him Stonewall. The
enemy's fire was rather high, as they came up the incline and the balls
rattled through the tree tops like hail. It commenced raining very hard.
I dismounted and took it afoot. On my way passing the third section, Sim
Bland, who acted as number 6, and whose duty it was to carry the
ammunition from the caisson and to hand it to No. 2 who inserts it in
the muzzle of the gun, while No. 1 rammed it home. As I crossed him at a
trot, I remarked, "Sim, this is hot time." Before he could reply, a
solid cannon ball had struck him. Poor fellow, he did not know what hit
him, for he was dead. His whole left side entirely torn to pieces.

The enemy was now advancing more rapidly, as our whole line had given
away. On my return I found my horse also shot down. I was trying to save
the body of Bland, but couldn't get the assistance needed. I went
through his pockets and took what he had therein and gave it to his
brother, Lieutenant Bland. The enemy pushed me so close I had to take to
the woods in my immediate rear, the trees of which somewhat protected me
from the enemy's fire. About a hundred yards further I found Sergeant
Newsome with his gun and a detachment, trying to make for the public
road leading to Jackson. He had managed so far to drive his command
evading the trees of the forest, when suddenly he was confronted by a
plank fence which stood perfectly erect, not a plank missing and about
five feet high. He ordered the horses cut out of the harness, and was
about to abandon his guns, when I hollered, "No Sergeant, don't do it!
Ride through between the posts, they are wide enough apart, knock down
the planks." I put myself in action and kicked against the planks, when
the whole panel fell over, carrying several others with it, for all the
posts were completely rotten at the ground, and thus I saved this piece
of artillery and probably the men. We reached the road and marched in
column. It was raining hard and every man was soaked to the skin. The
column halted, having fallen back about a half a mile, firing as they
went, when again we formed in line of battle. I was very tired, and sat
down by the road side. When called again into action, I found that I
could not use my arm, and that the leaders of my leg had contracted at
my groins. The enemy had again outflanked us, and the men lifted me on a

The horses stalled. The road being very muddy, the men had to assist at
the wheel to pull the carriages out of the mud, by using all their
efforts, so I had to get down, for I felt that after all the gun would
have to be abandoned, and I did not care to be taken prisoner, but
General Joseph E. Johnston made a stand a little further on, until the
Yankees outflanked him again. Major Martin happened to be just passing
me on his horse. I begged him to take me behind him, as I could not
walk. He answered, "It is impossible, we are going to make another
stand. Get in the ambulance." When the ambulance came in sight, it was
full to overflow with wounded and dying. The Major again rode up. I said
"Major Martin, can't you get me out of my difficulty," he replied,
"Hermann, do the best you can to take care of yourself. If they capture
you, I will have you exchanged as soon as possible." Poor consolation, I
thought, but I was determined not to be taken if I possibly could help
it, so I started towards Jackson, taking the edge of the woods, first on
account of the mud, then as somewhat of a protection from the bullets.
My locomotion was slow, from eight to ten inches was the longest strides
I was able to make, and this with excruciating pains. Presently our
forces rushed past me and formed again into line of battle, thus leaving
me between both lines, the bullets coming from either direction, when
again I entered our line. This maneuvre happened three times before I
reached Jackson, in a stretch of three miles. It was then four o'clock
p. m.


When we reached Jackson the previous day I noted a flat by the side of
the railroad bridge. I was thinking to cross Pearl River by that means,
so I started to the right towards the railroad bridge. On my way down
the street a lady was standing over a tub of whiskey with a dipper in
her hand. She said to me, "Poor fellow, are you wounded?" I said, "Yes."
She dipped up a dipper full of whiskey, which I drank. It had a good
effect on my shattered nerves and did not cause me the least dizziness.
It was the medicine I surely needed. On arriving at the River, I found
the flat was gone, the railroad bridge was the only chance left me to
cross. I crawled up the embankment and found that the cross ties were
too far apart for me to step it, owing to my contracted leaders, so I
concluded to "coon it" on my hands and knees on the stringers, holding
onto the rail.

The bridge is a long one and very high, Jackson being built on a high
bluff. When about half way across I heard a great deal of noise and
reports of fire arms; I heard bullets whizzing by. Finally bullets were
hitting the trestle beneath me and in front of me. Looking back I saw
at a distance of about four hundred yards a force of the enemy, which I
judged to be about half a regiment, coming up the lowlands in a flank
around Jackson. My first impulse was, can I make it across, or must I
surrender? I concluded to take the chances, and continued to cross.
Bullets were striking beneath me, and in front, splinters were flying.
One ball hit the rail about six inches in front of my hand. They were
gaining on me fast, when at last I reached the other side, laying myself
flat on the track, I rolled over, down about an eighteen foot
embankment. Thus being protected from the enemy's bullets, I entered the
swamp not far beside the road leading to Branton, I noted a large hollow
poplar tree. It must have been four or five feet in diameter. I crawled
in, I felt faint and weak, had not eaten anything that day. I must have
fainted; when presently I heard the sound of artillery and musketry to
my right across the river and the noise of an empty wagon coming from
towards Branton. I took a reconnoitering look, and saw Jackson on fire
and a wagon driven by a negro, holding the lines over four splendid
mules, coming towards the city. I took my stand in the road, pistol in
hand. The following conversation ensued:

"Halt. Where are you going?"

"To Jackson. Marse Richard sent me to fotch his things. He is afraid the
Yankees would cotch him."

"How will you get across?"

"Goes on the flat, sah."

"There is no flat now."

"Yes there is, and Marse Richard----"

"Turn the head of the mules towards Branton, or you are a dead
Negro"--aiming at him as I spoke. He exclaimed, "Don't shoot Marster,
I'll do as you say." He turned the mules towards where he came from. I
crawled behind in the wagon, pistol in hand, and at a gallop all the way
for twelve miles. We entered Branton in the early part of the night. The
people were still up at the Hotel. The excitement ran high about the
enemies capturing Jackson. Branton was a nice little village. The negro
proved to be a run-away. Had stolen the team from the quartermaster and
running with it to the enemy. The lady of the hotel came to me saying,
"Are you wounded?" I stated my condition, and she sympathized with me,
saying, "Poor fellow, I expect you need something to eat." I surely
did, for I was more dead than alive, after having passed such an
eventful day. I ate a hearty supper. I was given a shirt. She bandaged
my arm, which was smarting badly. She furnished me a room and a bottle
of mustang linament to rub myself. My clothes which were full of mud
were washed and dried by a large fire. The following morning, I felt
really refreshed. It is unnecessary to say that I slept well that night.
At an early hour that morning, the alarm of "The Yankees are coming.
They are only four miles from here and Johnston is retreating towards
Canton." Everybody that could get away, left. The quartermaster had an
old broken down horse, which he tendered me for having saved his fine
team, and I left the town on horse back, thanking my hostess for all her
kindness. About two miles from Branton I met up with three men from my
Company, viz, A. P. Heath, Jackson O'Quinn and Harmon Fields. They were
not in the fight, having been on the sick list and not fit for duty, so
we traveled together for some distance. We reached a settlement, which
from appearance, belonged to well-to-do people. The gentleman of the
premises was standing at the gate leading to the house. I said to my
comrades that I would have to rest and recuperate until I got well, so
I addressed myself to the proprietor, "Sir, can you take care of a
wounded Confederate?" He put his hand in his hip pocket in quick motion,
as if to draw a pistol, but instead drew a small slate and pencil,
handed it to me with a motion to write my request, which I did. He
rubbed it out and wrote swiftly in a scholarly style, "Nothing I have is
too good for a Confederate soldier. Walk in--all of you." His name was
Williams, unfortunately deaf and dumb, but very intelligent. His family
consisted of a wife and two daughters, and all seemed to be well
educated and comfortably situated. They were very solicitous in their
attentions to us. The girls played on the piano while I entertained the
old man, by writing on his slate my experience of the previous day. He
looked at me in wonder, and occasionally took hold of my hand and shook
it. I remained his guest for nearly a week, until we located our
Company, and where to meet it. I got entirely well, my arm was healing
nicely, under the care of Mrs. Williams. Our forces had located at
Canton. He sent us mule-back through Pearl River Swamp to the Canton
road, while I rode my horse. He refused to take any remuneration for
anything he had done for us, so I sent back my horse with a note and
begged him to accept the same and thanking them all for what they had
done for us.


The following day I entered camp with my comrades among great cheers,
all having thought me dead or a prisoner. Major Martin asked me how I
got through. I told him I took his advice and did the best I could. I
related to him the incidents that I met with. He said, "Well, I
congratulate you. I don't believe one in a thousand would have escaped."
"I was glad I was the one." We were ordered to strike tents at Canton,
and we retraced our steps again towards Jackson, a distance of between
twenty and twenty-five miles. It was one of the hottest days of the
season. The road bed being red clay. Our forces now amounted to about
eight thousand men, and marching in column with artillery, wagon train
and all the paraphernalia appertaining to a moving army, raised such
intense dust that it was impossible to recognize one's file-leader in
his immediate front. Every step of every individual raised clouds of
dust, which lay ankle deep. It was actually suffocating. Men and horses
would gasp for breath. The men occasionally would expectorate large
lumps of clay that settled in their throats, and no water to be had. We
didn't pass a single stream of any kind. It was a forced march to get
in the enemy's rear and to cut off reinforcement and supplies for
Grant's invading forces onto Vicksburg. The enemy was also making back
to Jackson on the Clinton Road which ran nearly parallel to the Canton
Road, and we could see their advance by the column of dust to our right.
Just before dark a very heavy rain and thunder storm set in. It was
preferable to the previous conditions of the weather, although it put us
half leg deep in sticky red mud. It got so dark we could not see
anything and the rain continued pouring down in all its fury. It was nip
and tuck as to which army would reach Jackson first. We got there just a
little ahead of the enemy in time to occupy the ditches which now were
nearly knee deep in water. In that condition we passed the night,
expecting to be attacked momentarily. Men were detailed long in the rear
to cook rations for the men in the ditch, which were issued along the
line, and consisted of corn bread cooked (a la hate) and a piece of fat
bacon. A very amusing incident happened to one of my comrades, W. A.
Grimes, who early on our march, and before the dust got so dense, had to
step aside for some reason, and being detained while the column kept
onward, threw him some distance behind his command. The State of
Georgia had sent her troops some shoes; the description of my draw I
have already stated, and some white wool hats. Grimes put his name on
the front of his hat in large capital letters, and as he hurried to
catch up with his command, someone hollowed as he passed, "How are you
Bill Grimes?" Grimes stopped in surprise to see who knew him in some
other command. Others took up the word all along the line of "How are
you Bill Grimes?" Grimes hurried on, on his way, the perspiration
running down his face, which had the appearance of being covered with a
mask. He could not account for his sudden popularity until he pulled off
his hat to wipe off his face. He saw his name on his hat and quickly
turned it wrong side out. His name had passed all along the column
faster than he could travel and passed Howell's Battery long before he
caught up with it. Early in the morning the enemy made demonstrations
all along our line and was repulsed. It had quit raining. The artillery
kept up a desultory fire for eight days and nights. The enemy's forces
were at least three to our one and therefore, could relieve each other,
while we were obliged to be kept continually on duty, and consequently
became exhausted, my eyes were blood shot, men loaded and fired
mechanically, and when so exhausted that I couldn't stand any longer, I
dropped beside one of the pieces and in a jiffy, was asleep. I couldn't
even hear the report of the guns within a few feet of me. The strain was
more than my physique could stand. I got sick and unconscious, and when
I came to myself, I was in Yazoo City in a private house, snugly fixed,
and a kindly lady by my bedside, whose name was Mrs. Lyons. She cried
for joy to see me recover my senses. I asked her where I was and how
long I had been there. She said just a week. I asked her what place it
was and she said "Yazoo City." I shall always remember gratefully the
kind treatment I received from that worthy family, and when after a
week's convalescence, I took my leave with many thanks. The lady said
she hoped that her brother who was in the Virginia army would in case of
sickness receive the attention that she would bestow on any Confederate
soldier. Such was the spirit that prevailed throughout the Confederate


I rejoined my command at Morton station on the M. & O. Railroad. The
object of the second fight at Jackson, as I understood it, was to get in
the rear of the investing army of Vicksburg under General Grant. General
Joseph E. Johnston expected a reinforcement, sufficient so as to cut off
supplies from the invading army, and to attack it in the rear, while
General Pemberton might make a sortie and attack it in the front, and
thus save Vicksburg from capture. Our reinforcement never came. We then
moved to Vaughn Station and thus hung in the rear of Grant, but not
strong enough to venture an attack, unless in concert with General
Pemberton who was defeated at Big Black and bottled up in Vicksburg, his
stronghold. A very sad incident happened in our camp. Lieutenant Ruben
Bland, a very kind officer and beloved by all his men, died. His brother
Sim, as stated, was killed at the first fight at Jackson. They were very
much attached to each other and brooding over his misfortune, some
thought he took opium with suicidal intent, others thought otherwise.
The writer was sitting on a box on the railroad platform, smoking his
pipe. Close to the platform stood the Company's ambulance. In passing me
Lieutenant Bland remarked, "Well, Ike, you seem to enjoy your pipe," I
answered, "I do, I smoke the pipe of peace," he smiled and said, "Yes,
everything looks peaceable here, I believe I am going to take a nap in
this ambulance." About a quarter of an hour after, Quinten Dudley who
was Hospital Steward, had cause to get some medicine out of the medicine
chest that Dr. Stewart kept in the ambulance. He immediately gave the
alarm that Lieutenant Bland was dead. I could not believe it. I jumped
off the platform into the ambulance, and there lay Lieutenant Bland
stretched out in full length, his face purple. Dr. Stewart, who at once
was on hand opened an artery on top of his head. He bled freely. He
tried to get up artificial respiration by working his arm back and
forth, but to no avail. Bland was dead beyond recovery and mourned by
every member of the Company.

It was on a very warm June day when I concluded to have a general
cleaning up. It must be remembered that we lost all of our personal
effects, which we destroyed to keep them from falling into the enemy's
hands, and our wardrobes only consisted of what we carried on our backs
and filth begot what we called "creepers", and one not used to such made
him feel most miserable, so I took a camp kettle which also served for
our culinary purposes to boil my clothes in, and while they were drying
in the sun, I crept into the bushes in the shade and fell asleep. During
my repose some miscreant stole my shirt, and for several weeks I did not
have a shirt on my back, so one day it came to my knowledge that Gen. W.
H. T. Walker, our Division Commander, having been promoted, and Colonel
Claude Wilson, was appointed as Brigadier General in his place, offered
a reward of thirty days furlough and a fine saddle horse to ride during
the war to any man that would carry a dispatch to General Pemberton who
was then besieged in Vicksburg. I told Sergeant Hines if any man needed
a furlough I did, in the fix I was in. I believe I will go and offer my
services. He laughed and said, "Well, good luck old fellow." So I
started to headquarters which were in an abandoned farm house, about a
quarter of a mile distant from where our battery was in camp. I walked
to the sentinel who halted me. I want to see Gen. Walker. "You can't get
in." "Call the officer of the guard," says I, which he did and the
Lieutenant came up. I stated to him that I wanted to see Gen. Walker.
"Follow me," says he, which I did. There were at least from twenty to
twenty-five officers of all grades sitting in a large room, engaged, it
seemed to me, in social conversation. I walked straight up to General
Walker and stated my business, and what I had heard he offered to any
man who would successfully carry a dispatch to General Pemperton at
Vicksburg. "I thought, if any man needed a furlough, it was I." Opening
my jacket which was closely buttoned, although it was a hot day in July,
I displayed my nakedness. "I have not even, as you see, a shirt to
wear." It raised a giggle among some of the officers, while others
looked upon me in sympathy. I stated how I lost that only shirt I
possessed. Just at that time entered Major Martin. Recognizing me, he
said, "Hermann, you here?" He seemed rather surprised. I stated the
object of my visit. He turned to General Walker, saying, "General, I
stand sponsor for this man. He belongs to my battery, and he is one of
the best." I inclined my head in recognition of the compliment paid me,
and he extended me his hand. In the meantime, General Walker called me
and said, "You see that small trunk in yonder corner. Therein is my
wardrobe. I believe I have three shirts therein; that is all I have--I
divide--go and get you one. We are about the same size. I hope it will
fit you." I made for the little hairy trunk, no bigger than a good hand
valise and slightly oval, opened the lid, saying, "Beggars ought not to
be choosers. I will take the first I come to," which was a clean white
shirt, with cuffs and collars attached. Off went my jacket in the
presence of the company; into the garment I went, feeling a thousand per
cent. better. I said, "Well, General, I've heard of some stepping into
other men's shoes, but never before have I known of a high private
slipping into a General's shirt at one jump." This brought a big laugh
from the assembly, the General joining heartily. I thanked him and
extended my hand in token of my appreciation. He remarked, "You are
surely welcome, come around tomorrow at eleven o'clock A. M., and we
will talk matters over." He asked, "Have you ever been to Vicksburg."
"No Sir." "Do you know anything about the country around, and about the
City?" "This is my first experience in these diggins." "How would you
manage?" "I'll be governed by circumstances as they present themselves."
After a pause he repeated, "Come around tomorrow at eleven o'clock." I
gave the military salute and started towards the door, when he called me
saying, "Do you ever drink anything?" I answered, "General, this is a
strange question. Why didn't Jack eat his supper? I've not seen a drop
since we left Jackson," and I stated how I got that. He laughed and
said, "Go in that room," indicating the door with his index finger. "You
will find a table in there with liquors, I think a good drink will do
you good." One invitation was sufficient. I stepped into the next room,
and there I beheld a round table loaded with all kinds of bottles,
containing different liquors, some labeled different kinds of whiskies,
brandies, gin, schedam, schnapps, etc. I took the square bottle of
schedam and poured me out a stiff drink, thanked the General and
departed for my camp, but not being in the habit of drinking, I felt the
effects of the liquor. I felt somewhat, what I may call buoyant, and in
for any fun. I met Sergeant W. H. Hines. He said, "Ike, what luck?" "The
best in the world," tapping myself on the breast. "You see that shirt,
this once was General Walker's, now it's mine." I told him all that
passed at headquarters. The next day I reported as directed. The General
said, "Well, Hermann, the jig is up. While we were talking about the
matter yesterday, Pemberton surrendered, and I therefore do not need
your services." I said, "well, I wish he had held out until some other
day than the fourth of July." The General said, "Yes."

As I started to camp, the General said, "Well, Hermann I thank you
anyhow for your offer and you shall have a furlough all the same. I give
you two weeks. I hope you will have a nice time." Major Martin who was
present said also, he hoped I would have a nice time. I replied, "Major,
I have not a cent of money, how can I have a nice time. We have not been
paid off since we left Savannah. Have you some money? If so I would like
to borrow until I get mine from the Government." He said, he had a fifty
dollar bill. If it would do me any good, I could have it. He handed me
the bill which was then worth about two or three dollars in specie. Such
was the depreciation of our currency. I went into the interior about ten
miles from camp. The people were downcast. They did not know what would
become of them. Jackson, the capital of the State, in the hands of the
enemy. Vicksburg, a large and well fortified city and defended by a
large army had surrendered and its defenders taken prisoners. The people
were in despair, not knowing what evil awaited them. I soon found out
that camps among the boys was the more congenial place for me, so after
an absence of three days I returned.


So one good afternoon, J. B. Thomas, a good clever comrade and good
soldier, and myself took a stroll and incidentally looking for something
to eat. We passed a vegetable garden, a luxury we seldom enjoyed. On the
side of the pailings were some squashes. Thomas remarked, I wish I had
some of them. I said, "Well, slip one of those palings and get a few,
I'll be on the watch out." No sooner said than done. Thomas gathered
about a dozen the size of my fist. He stuck them in his shirt bosom. I
gave him the alarm that the lady was watching him. As he looked up he
saw her at the other end of the garden. He started through the opening
he had made quicker than a rabbit could have done when pursued by
hounds. Thomas is a man of small stature and very short legged, but he
split the air to beat the band. We were both in our shirt sleeves, no
vests, only wore pants confined around the waist by a belt, the squashes
were bobbing up and down in his shirt, as he progressed and the
proprietress after him. Finally the squashes lifted the shirt out of his
confines and down came the squashes rolling on the ground. Thomas did
not stop, but casting a regretful side glance at his booty, he sped on
to camp, while his garment was floating to the breeze, caused by his
velocity. When the woman reached the spot where the squashes lay
scattered, she stopped, looking after the fleeing individual and sending
a full vocabulary of invectives after him. I who had followed leisurely
caught up while she gathered her squashes into her apron. I remarked,
"Madam, you seem to have spilled your vegetables." "No, it was not me
that spilled them, it's that good for nothing somebody, there he
runs--he stole them out of my garden." I said, "He ought not to have
done it, if I knew who he was I would report him." She said, "I would
not have minded to give him some if he had asked me for them, but I
don't like for anybody to go into my garden and take what belongs to
me." Poor woman, she had no idea that within a few days after our
departure, the enemy would appear and not only appropriate the needful,
but would destroy all the rest to keep her from enjoying any of it. She
offered me some of the squashes which I accepted with thanks. I carried
them to Thomas, saying she would have given you some if you had asked
for them. Thomas replied, he wished he had known it.


The fall of Vicksburg ended the Mississippi Campaign, and our troops
were ordered to join the Army of Tennessee. All had left with the
exception of the Mississippi Regiment and our battery who were awaiting
transportation. Our commissary had also gone ahead of us and so we were
left to "root hog or die." We had to eat once in awhile any how. Quinton
Dudley and myself took a stroll to the commissary of the Mississippi
Regiment. I learned that his name was Coleman. Passing through the
building which was an old wooden railroad warehouse about a hundred feet
long and forty wide, Quinton picked up a piece of rock salt from a large
pile. Captain Coleman saw him put something in his haversack. In a brisk
manner, said, "What is that you have taken?" He showed him a piece of
salt the size of a hen egg. "Put it back," he hollowed at him. Quinton
threw it back on the pile very much humiliated. On our leaving the
building, I spied on the platform at the other end of the warehouse a
large hogshead full of smoked meat of all descriptions, there were
sides, shoulders and hams. They looked very enticing for hungry men like
we were. We went to camp and reported how that Captain had caught
Quinton who was very timid and did not like to be caught in the act.
Others felt different about such. We were entitled to a living while in
the field on duty. Some suggested that we go and charge the commissary
and get some rations. I said, "That would bring on some trouble. Maybe
we might get some of that meat by strategy," so we planned that W. N.
Harmon should take ten men around and about the warehouse, while I would
engage the Captain in conversation, during which time Harmon and his men
would help themselves to rations. I awaited an opportune moment when
Captain Coleman was at the other end of the building from where the
hogshead of meat stood. Entering by that end, I walked squarely up to
the Captain, extending my hand. "How do you do, Captain Coleman? I'm
very glad to meet you, it is an unexpected pleasure. How long since you
have heard from home?" He looked at me in surprise, holding onto my
hand. I heard some meat drop on the ground. I knew the meat was flying
campwards. "Well," said Capt. Coleman, "you have the advantage of me."
"Don't you know me?" says I? He replied, "Well, your face is familiar to
me, but I can't place you. Are you not from Emanuel county, Georgia?"
"No, but I have some kinfolks in Georgia with my name." "Well, then I am
mistaken and beg your pardon." "We have a lake on the Ogeechee River
called Coleman's Lake. I went there often for fishing, and was sure you
were one of the Colemans that lived there when at home. You favor them
very much." "Well, said he, they may be some kin to me." By that time,
between thirty and forty pieces of meat had changed hands. The next
morning transportation came, and we loaded the cars which carried us to
the Tennessee Army, then under the command of General Bragg, who was
then retreating, leaving Tennessee to the tender care of the Federals,
under command of General Rosencrantz. Our forces took a stand around and
about Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga. We struck camp some distance
from the main forces after unloading the train and watering and feeding
the horses. The boys took a swim in the river, a luxury not realized for
many days past. I was detailed to cut underbrush in the woods to assist
stretching ropes to corral our horses. I was not quite as green in
handling an axe by this time as I was in Virginia, when I was detailed
to cut wood for the blacksmith shop. I was again taken sick with risings
in my ear. I suffered as only those who ever suffered with such
affliction knew how to extend their sympathy. The pains were simply
excruciating and threw me into hot fever. We were ordered to strike
camps. We marched that forenoon until eleven o'clock. The sun was
shining in full force. I could no longer keep up. I stopped by the
roadside and lay down, waiting for the Company's baggage wagon to come
along. Lorenzo Stephens was the driver. After awhile he appeared on
foot. One of the rear axles of his wagon having broken, he therefore
hurried forward to get some assistance. In the meantime, the ambulance
came along in charge of the Company surgeon. He had me picked up and
placed in it. He said I had high fever and gave me some medicine, and as
we passed the station of a railroad, the name of which I did not know, I
was put on the train with others and sent to the Atlanta Hospital, in
charge of Dr. Paul Eve, of Augusta, Dr. Rosser being in charge of my
ward. I was suffering terribly, both of my ears were discharging
corruption. Through suffering and hardship, my general health was giving
away. I needed rest and time to recuperate. Medicines were hard to get,
and I was slow in recovering my strength. One day Dr. Rosser asked me if
I would like to have a furlough. He thought it would help me. I said,
"Yes, the best in the world, as soon as I can gain a little strength,"
so he and Dr. Eve came to my cot the following morning, and after
examining my condition, departed. Dr. Rosser came again in the afternoon
and handed me a thirty days furlough. I was very grateful to him. He was
a perfect gentleman, hard working and sympathetic. I came home to my
foster mother, Mrs. Jas. L. Braswell, under whose care I soon gained

[Illustration: "Madam, have you spilled your vegetables?" I enquired.]


Before leaving the hospital I requested Dr. Rosser to inform my Captain
of my whereabouts and of my physical condition, which he promised he
would do, and I have no doubts he did. While at home I also corresponded
with some of my comrades. I enjoyed my furlough at Fenns Bridge among my
friends. Colonel Sol. Newsome, Hudson W. Sheppard, Bennett Hall, W. J.
Lyons, Daniel Inman and others, who came after their mail and
incidentally brought their fishing tackle and guns to fish and hunt in
the Ogeechee river and swamp, in the meantime discussing the ups and
downs of the men in the field. The above named citizens were all slave
owners and above the requisite age for military duty. It was quite a
pastime for me to hear them discuss among themselves the politics of
that day, for be it understood they were not exactly a unit in sentiment
as regards secession. They were about equally divided; some for the
union, while those who differed brought some of the most convincing
arguments to my mind to bear on the situation, and although young in the
cause of politics, I was obliged to take sides with them, as a matter
of right, as we saw it. Those who opposed did not question our right,
but differed as to the policy pursued. They contended that we were wrong
in judgment as the sequel had proven. In fact, we were not prepared for
such tremendous onslaughts as we had to meet, and we believed and had
reliance on our so-called friends across Mason and Dixon line, which
proved to be as bitter as the rankest abolitionists. One morning, Mr.
Brantley came up and brought the Georgian, a county news paper, saying,
"Hermann, your name is in this paper." I said, "Is it?" "Listen."

"The following men are absent from their Commands without leave, and
should they not immediately report for duty, they will be reported as
deserters: J. J. Sheppard, I. Hermann and others whose names I have
forgotten. It was signed Captain Evan P. Howell, commanding battery. I
said, "Gentlemen, it is a lie, and here is the proof, showing my sick
furlough from Dr. Paul Eve." Mr. Lyons then spoke up, "Well, what are
you going to do about it?" I walked into cousin Abe's store, took a
sheet of paper and addressed, Mr. J. N. G. Metlock, Editor of the
Sandersville Georgian,"

    "My dear sir:--

    In perusing your previous issue I noted Capt. Evan P. Howell's
    advertisement, which among others I was named as one absent
    without leave, and should I not report immediately to my
    command, he would publish me as a deserter. Now in simple
    justice to myself, I wish to inform Capt. Howell, as well as
    the public, that his statement is false, that I have a furlough
    granting me leave of absence and that under no consideration
    would I be away from my command,

    Very respectfully,
    I. Hermann.

    At Home.

    P.S.--Please forward copy of your next issue to Captain Howell
    and charge expenses to me."

I returned to my friends and said, "Gentlemen, this is my reply, and
when my time is up, I shall report, either to Dr. Paul Eve, or Captain
Howell." Colonel Sol Newsome tapped me on the shoulder, saying, "Hurrah,
Hurrah for you, Hermann." In a few days later, Sergeant W. H. Hines, and
four men of my Company came to arrest me. I said to them, "You can't do
it as long as I have authority to remain here," and showed them my
furlough, which lacked about two weeks of having expired. They were all
glad I was properly fixed and so expressed themselves. They were also
glad of the opportunities they had to call upon their respective
families, which they would not have had otherwise.

From Fenns Bridge I went to Macon to spend a few days with a cousin who
lived there. As I walked the street one named Colson who belonged to the
Provost Guard came up saying, "Ike old fellow, I have orders to arrest
you." "What for, Colson?" He answered, he did not know. "Who gave you
the orders?" He said "Major Roland." "Let us go up and see him." We
walked up from Cherry Street to Triangular block, where Roland, who was
commander of the Post, had his headquarters. The room was full of men
and officers, among whom I recognized Captain Napier, who had lost a
limb in Virginia; the rest were all strangers to me. Major Roland
addressed himself to me "What can I do for you?" "You had me arrested."
Colson was standing there; I looked at him; he said "You gave me the
orders." "What is your name?" "Isaac Hermann." Roland brightened up;
"You are the fellow I was after; you are reported as a deserter." I
pulled my furlough, which was somewhat dilapidated from constant wear
and tear; he scrutinized it closely, handing it back to me, saying,
"This paper is forged; some brother countryman fixed it up for you."
"You are a liar," I said. Quick as lightning he grabbed and drew his
sword, which was lying on the table, exclaiming as he faced me, "I am an
officer." In the meantime I executed a half about, drawing my pistol,
saying: "I am a private; if you make a move I'll put daylight through
you." And there we stood, facing each other for a few seconds, when one
of the officers in the room approached me, saying in a whisper, "Put up
your pistol, I am your friend." "Who are you?" "I am Paton Colquitt,
Colonel of the 46th Ga. Reg't., stationed at Charleston, S. C., I am on
my way to my command, but intend now to remain to see you out." I
extended my hand and he shook it heartily. Major Roland looked very
pale; the rest of the company present looked on with interest. Roland
ordered a Sergeant and four men as a guard to escort me to the guard
house. I said "I'll die first, right here, before I'll march through
Macon, guarded like a horse thief. I have not done anything to be
arrested for; I am known in Macon and will not submit to any such
indignity." Colonel Colquitt stepped up to the table, saying, "Will you
take me as sponsor for this gentleman, to report at any place you may
designate, without a guard?" Roland could not refuse, so trembling he
wrote me (a billet de logement): "To the Officer in Command at the
Calaboose: Admit the Bearer. By order of Major Roland, Commanding
Provost Post, Macon, Georgia." Before calling at the prison I passed to
where my cousin lived. I stated what had happened, so that she would not
look for me, as I was stopping at her house. She was much distressed and
feared personal harm would befall me. I reassured her the best I knew
how and requested her to let me have a blanket, if she could spare one,
so that I could sleep on it that night. I rolled the blanket, tied the
ends together with a string and drew it across my shoulder. On the way I
thought of the threat Captain Howell made at Bryant County, Camp Arnold,
when Sergt. Hines reported to me what he said, that he would get me yet.
I was mad; I was honor bound to report at the calaboose. Col. Colquitt
was my sponsor, I could not go back on him. Finally I arrived at the
prison, an old building, about 25 by 40; it might have been used as a
stable. I presented my ticket for admittance, the officer looked at it,
read it, then looked at me and smiled, and said, "Well, this is
unusual." I disengaged myself of the blanket, as he unlocked the door.
The room was packed with men, among them some Yankees, or some in
Federal uniforms. As the door was locked behind me one of the inmates
hollowed. "There is a new comer, he must sing us a song;" I remarked, I
rather felt like fighting than singing just now, when a big strapping
fellow presented himself, with his coat off, saying, as he put himself
in a fighting attitude, "Here is your mule;" I answered as I hit him,
"Here is your rider." I struck him such an unexpected blow that it
stunned him, when he said he had enough, as I was to double him. He
apologized, saying he was just funning; I answered and said, "I meant
it, and you believe it now; I am obliged to you for having given me this
opportunity, for I have been badly treated." I need not say that I was
respectfully treated by the rest of the inmates. And while room to lay
down was at a premium, I had all I needed for that purpose. The
following morning at the break of day, my name was called at the wicket;
I answered. The door swung open and there stood Col. Colquitt, smiling.
"Well, you are a free man"; "How did you do it!" "Ask me no questions
and I'll tell you no lies." I said, "Let me get my blanket I borrowed on
the way." He answered: "The train that will carry me to my regiment will
leave in half an hour, and I have done what I intended before going; I
wish I had a thousand men like you, and I would walk through Yankeedom."
I thanked him heartily for what he said and did, promising never to
forget it, and I never have. We walked some distance together, the
atmosphere was chilly, and I proposed to him if he would accept a treat
from me in the way of a drink; he said, "With great pleasure." We found
a place on our way to the depot, which was not very far, as the
Calaboose was situated a little back of the Brown House, and we drank a
drink of as mean potato whiskey, the only kind the men had, at one
dollar a dram, that was ever distilled.


As matters now stood, I was determined not to return to my Company until
I was entirely recovered to my usual health. So I reported to Dr. Green
in charge of the Floyd House Hospital for treatment. He asked me what
was the matter with me; I told him I did not know. He stripped me and
made a thorough examination, and when he got through he said, "You have
an enlargement of the heart, and ought not to be exposed." He prescribed
for me, and I reported to him daily until my furlough had expired. I
felt a great deal better and was about ready to return to my command,
but Dr. Green advised me not to do it yet awhile. I said, "My furlough
is out;" He said, "That does not make any difference, you are under my
charge for the present." In the meantime Major Roland was removed as
Commander of the Post at Macon and Col. Aiken was appointed in his
stead. While in the Hospital I made myself useful, and Dr. Green
appointed me General Ward-Master. My duties were to look over the entire
wards and see that those under me did their duty, and that all inmates
were properly attended to. One good morning Sergt. Haywood Ainsworth
came to me, saying, "Ike I have in my possession a letter for the
Commander of the Post, Col. Aiken, from Capt. Evan P. Howell; he is
giving you the devil; he sent me after you. If you go with me to the
command I will not deliver it." I said, "Haywood, do you know what he
writes in that letter?" "No, not exactly, but it is very severe." "I'd
like to see what he says." "Have you seen Col. Aiken; does he know you?"
No. "I will tell you what we will do; you give me the letter and I will
deliver it myself; you can see that I do it, he will not know me from
you, as he does not know either of us." Ainsworth laughed and says,
"Well as you say." So we both marched up to the Provost Marshal's
office. Col. Aiken was sitting in a chair at his desk. I walked up to
him, gave him the military salute, handed him the letter and took my
position behind his chair, looking over his shoulder as he read the
letter. Capt. Howell did not at all times write a very legible hand for
one not used to his writing; hence I being used to it, got through
before the Colonel did, I took a little step to my left and rear,
awaiting Col. Aiken's orders. "Sergeant, where is the man?" asked he.
"He is in the Floyd house hospital, in charge of Dr. Green." "Is he
sick." "I suppose so." "Then he is under proper authority, I can do
nothing in this case, as it stands. You go and see Dr. Green and ask him
if Hermann is well enough to be discharged and go to camp. If so and he
refuses to go, come to me and I will give the necessary assistance
required." I thanked him, saying, "Col. I do not think there will be any
necessity for me to trouble you further," and Haywood and myself left,
laughing all the way. Sergt. Ainsworth then said, Well Ike, you are a
good one, I know you won't give me away. I said, You surely do not think
that of me. Oh no! I have all confidence in you. Well, what are you
going to do? I will go back with you; I shall face the gentleman and
tell him what I think of him. What was in the letter, what did he say?
He stated in the letter that I was a very desperate character; that I
left in time of battle; that he had used all his efforts to get me back
to my command, and had failed. To please give Sergt. Ainsworth all
necessary assistance to accomplish that object. Continuing, I said,
Haywood, you like to go home; so do I. Suppose we go to Washington
county for a few days, say until Friday. You living in town put a notice
in the paper, stating that you will return to our camp which is now at
Dalton, and will take pleasure in forwarding anything that may be sent
to the boys from their friends and families. Sergt. Ainsworth said, That
is a good idea. I said, Well I will meet you at Tennille Friday on the
night train. But before we go, I must have the approval of Dr. Green,
under whose charge I now am; so we went to see Dr. Green: I stated to
him that I would like to return to my command. He said, You are not well
enough to do camp duty. I said, Well, under circumstances as they are, I
am willing to take my chances. I stated to him the facts as they were,
in the presence of Sergt. Ainsworth, who coincided to everything I said.
Then I remarked, Doctor, you have been very kind to me, and done me lots
of good, for which I am very grateful, but I can't rest under such
imputation; I intend to straighten matters out. So he said, Well, if I
can do anything for you or be any service to you, let me know what it is
and I will be glad to do it. I said, All I want is for you to give me a
statement under what condition I placed myself under your care, and the
date of my admittance and discharge, and your opinion as to my present
condition for active service. He said he would do that, he would make a
statement and have it ready in an hour. In the meantime Sergt. Ainsworth
and myself took a stroll through the city. I told my relatives and
friends good bye. We returned to the hospital, they were all sorry I
left them. Doctor Green gave me the papers I required, I put them in my
pocket unopened. He said, If there is anything else you need, let me
know. I thanked him very kindly, and we left for Washington county.
Sergt. Ainsworth said to me, Dr. Green seems to think a great deal of
you; he seems to be a perfect gentleman. I said, Yes, everybody who
comes in contact with him likes him; he is a very conscientious Doctor
and is very attentive to his business. Friday night I took the train at
Davisboro; I had about a dozen boxes for the boys in camp, under my
charge at Tennille. Sergt. Ainsworth met me with as many more boxes, and
we travelled to Dalton; it took us two nights and a day to get there. It
was Sunday morning early, when we reached camp. The boys were all glad
to see us, we delivered our trust and there was plenty of good things to
eat in camp, in consequence of our forethought. During my absence from
camp Dr. Stewart was transferred and Dr. Beauchamp took his place. I had
never seen him before, so I at once reported to him, gave him my papers
from Dr. Green and he at once relieved me from active duty. Then I
stated to him why I had returned to camp, and the feud that existed
between Capt. Howell and myself, and what he had done and said. So I was
determined to face the worst. I walked about that day among the boys in
camp, all of whom were my friends; if I had an enemy in camp outside of
Capt. Howell, I did not know it. About four o'clock p. m. I bethought
myself since I was not arrested after the awful charges having been made
against me, I had probably better report my presence, although every one
in camp, Captain included, knew I was there. So I just met Sergt. Hines,
being very intimate with him, I said, Bill, you want to have some fun?
Come with me, I am going to report at headquarters; since all that
hullabaloo I am still unmolested. The officers quarters were about one
hundred yards up on a ridge from where the pieces were parked. Capt.
Howell was sitting in front of his tent. I gave him the salute, saying,
Well, here I am. He answered, I thought I never would see you again. I
said probably you would not, if it had not been for some d----d lies
written to Col. Aiken, Provost Marshal at Macon. Who wrote them? Capt.
Evan P. Howell, Comdg. Battery. If you think that I am afraid of powder
and ball, try me ten steps. Do you mean it as a challenge? You are an
officer; I am a private; it is for you to construe it as you see fit.
I'll have you court-martialed and shot. I dare you to do it. In the
meantime Sergt. Hines was swinging to my jacket and we withdrew. So
Hines said, If I had known that you would get mad that way I would not
have come with you. So I remarked, I wanted you to come and be a
witness, as to what should pass between him and me. A half hour later
Sergt. Hines came to me, saying, Ike, you are on duty tonight. By whose
orders? Capt. Howell's. I said, It is not a rule to put a man on guard
duty who had passed two nights in succession without sleep, he might
fall asleep on his post. However, I did not come here to do duty, I
merely came to see what punishment Capt. Howell would inflict on me, as
he stated that I deserted; and again, I am relieved from duty by Dr.
Beauchamp. Sergt. Hines made his report. I saw Capt. Howell hastily walk
over to Dr. Beauchamp's quarters and expostulated with him as to my
ability of doing duty, thus impugning the Doctor's capacity as a
physician, he who after a thorough examination having passed on my
condition; I heard Dr. Beauchamp speaking in a loud voice: "Capt.
Howell, if you would attend to your duty as faithfully as I do mine you
would get along better with your men." Howell replied that he would
have me examined by a Board of Physicians. That's all right, that is
exactly what Hermann asked me to have done and I have already set him
down to meet the Board at Dalton on next Wednesday. In the meantime Dr.
Beauchamp treated me and I reported to him daily, when able to be up; if
not he came to my quarters.

[Illustration: "I am a private--if you make a move I'll put daylight
through you."]


Wednesday came, the day I was to report before the Board; I was not
feeling as well as I had a day or so previous. I went to Bell, our
ambulance driver, saying Joe, I have to meet the Board today at Dalton,
you will have to carry me there. He answered he could not do it as he
had orders from Capt. Howell to have the ambulance ready for him, as he
wanted to make a social call, so I said no more. Dr. Beauchamp who saw
me walking about in camp, came to me saying, I thought you were going to
Dalton today. I said I would go but Mr. Bell said the Capt. engaged the
ambulance to go on a social call; I thought that vehicle belonged to
your department and is intended for the sick only. So it is, says the
Doctor, and I am going to see about it. I said, Doctor, I do not feel
well enough to walk three miles and back today. In a few minutes Joe
Bell drove up with the ambulance, saying, Ike, get ready, I will drive
you to town. So I went before the field Board of Surgeons and
Physicians. Dr. Beauchamp had sent in his report of me, and I was
pronounced unfit for active duty and discharged from service on account
of ill health. This action took me from under the jurisdiction of Capt.
Howell, greatly to my relief. I thanked the Board, saying, Gentlemen, I
enlisted for the war, and at times I am able to do some duty. There are
other duties besides standing guard, camping out and shooting. I am
willing to do anything I am able to do. About that time Major Martin
came in, undoubtedly sent there by Capt. Howell. After speaking to the
Doctors he turned to me, we shook hands and he said, Well Hermann, take
good care of yourself, I hope you will recover and get entirely well;
you have been badly treated, I am sorry to say. Good bye. We again shook
hands, he mounted his horse and departed at a gallop. The Board gave me
an order to report to Gen. E. K. Smith, who was then in Atlanta, doing
post duty. He asked me how long I had been on the sick list, and I
replied about three months. He said, Can you do any office work; I
answered I did not know to what kind of work he would assign me to. He
said, Can you write? I told him yes; so he put me to copying some
documents, which I did to his satisfaction. The desk at which he put me
to work was breast high and I had to stand up. The following day I was
suffering so I could not do anything, and I had no more medicine. The
next day I felt worse. Dr. G. G. Crawford called in the office; he was
in charge of the fair ground hospital. General Smith said, Doctor, what
is the matter with this man; since yesterday, he seems to be suffering
very much. Dr. Crawford spoke to me and asked what my complaint was. I
told him I was suffering in my chest, and I was trying to write at that
desk and grew worse. He said, You are a Frenchman! I said Yes. He said
he could tell it from my brogue. And he then talked French to me and
told me he studied medicine in Paris, and having lived there myself our
conversation grew interesting to both of us. So he turned to General
Smith and said General, I think I can help him considerably, even if I
can't cure him. So General said, "Hermann, you go with Dr. Crawford, he
will take charge of you." And we left together for the fair ground
hospital, a temporary institution, built of wood, roughly put up,
consisting of several wards, whitewashed in and out. I found Dr.
Crawford to be a perfect gentleman and very interesting and we got along
like brothers; he was very kind to me. Under his treatment I recuperated
wonderfully and in a couple of weeks I thought I was entirely cured. I
made myself as useful as possible, still continuing my course of
medicine. Dr. Crawford appointed me to the same position I held under
Dr. Green at the Floyd hospital at Macon, and he was well pleased with
my work, as well as the inmates of the hospital.


General Bragg was removed from the command of the army of Tennessee and
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston appointed in his place early in the Spring of
1864. The campaign opened and Gen. J. T. Sherman commanded the Federal
forces. His sanguinary and uncivilized warfare on the defenseless is a
matter of history. His careless application of the torch, destroying by
fire whatsoever he could not carry off, leaving the old and decrepit,
the women and children to perish in his wake as he marched through
Georgia, and reducing to ashes everything within his reach, within a
scope of territory fifty miles wide by over three hundred miles long.
Johnston's army consisted of only about half the strength of that of his
antagonist, consequently he adopted tactics by which he reduced
Sherman's army every time that General would make an attack. Joseph E.
Johnston acted all along on the defensive, but was ever ready to inflict
severe punishment. When General Sherman would force his lines of
defense, thus General Johnston generally ceded ground. While his defeats
were actual victories, as the cemeteries along the line of his march
indicate. The hospitals were filling up with sick and wounded;
provisions became scarce, especially as our territory became gradually
contracted. So Dr. Crawford came to me one morning, saying, "Hermann, I
want to send you out on a foraging expedition. Do you think you can buy
up provisions for the hospital? I just drew my allowance of $10,000.00;
it wont buy much at present prices." Yes, I can try and make it go as
far as possible. What do you say? I remarked, Doctor, I will try and do
my best. So he gave me two packages of newly struck Confederate money,
all the way from $1,000.00 to $5.00 bills, more money than I had ever
had in my possession, and I was actually afraid to carry such sums
around with me, although I knew it was not of much value. I also wanted
all the linen, lint and bandages that I could get. I came to Washington
county where I was known; I put a notice in the weekly paper edited by
J. M. G. Medlock, setting forth my mission, and that I would gladly
receive any contribution for the sick and wounded at the fair ground
hospital in Atlanta, under the charge of Dr. Geo. G. Crawford, of the
army of Tennessee, and that I would pay the market price to any who did
not feel able to contribute the same free of charge; that I would
publish all contributions in the Central Georgian. I wrote to the
Central Railroad Company's office at Savannah, asking them to kindly
spare me two box cars, one at Bartow and one at Davisboro, on a certain
day, when I would load them with provisions for the hospital. The
officials kindly offered me the cars free of charge. It was on Thursday
I came to Bartow. Mr. Sam Evans, the agent, gave me all his assistance,
and provisions commenced to rolling in. Mr. Warren from Louisville, Ga.,
sent me four horse wagon loads of flour from his mill, free of charge.
Mr. Tarver, a large planter, brought me a heavy load of meats, chicken,
eggs, butter, etc. Mr. B. G. Smith also brought me a hogshead of hams,
shoulders and sides, the meat all nicely smoked, and 100 pounds of leaf
lard, chickens, eggs and sweet potatoes, in fact the farmers of that
section, all well to do people and slave owners, vied with each other as
to who could do the most. I filled up the car that day with the choicest
provisions which did not cost me a nickel. Many poor women would bring
me the last chicken they had, and when I wanted to pay for the same
refused to take the money, and regretted they could not do any more.
They unraveled all the old linen table cloth and brought me bags full of
lint and bandages. That night I forwarded the car under special
instructions by Mr. Evans that it contained perishable goods, labeled
for the hospital in Atlanta. The following day I went to Davisboro, Ga.
W. C. Riddle, Simon Thomas, Daniel Inman, Ben Jordan, Syl Prince, Daniel
Harris and others in that neighborhood proved themselves as generous and
patriotic as the people of Bartow and filled my car to overflowing with
all kinds of provisions, with the exception of one instance; in regard
to his worthy family I will withhold his name. He was a well to do
farmer and had a profession. He was a hot secessionist and made speeches
to that effect. On the day of receiving he came up in a fine buggy, with
a bushel of sweet potatoes. I said to him, What are they worth? He
answered, "Four dollars," I think is what they are selling at. I paid
the money and he departed, and that was all the money on the debit side
of the $10,000.00. The same was published as stated in the Georgian. I
returned to Atlanta with the last car of provisions and when I alighted
from the car the hospital convalescents actually carried me on their
shoulders and would not let me walk. Dr. Crawford looked on me in wonder
when I returned my account and gave him back the $10,000.00 minus $4.00,
and said, Well that gives me money to fix up my hospital as it should
be. He bought sheets and mattresses and had the hospital renovated and
made as comfortable as money could make it. Under Dr. Crawford's
treatment I again became strong and the paroxysms of pain gradually gave
way and became less frequent until I really considered that I was a well
man again.


My cousin in Macon gave a little social entertainment and sent me an
invitation. I showed the same to the Doctor, and he said, Well go, I
give you 48 hours. The following morning I hurried to the Quartermaster
with my furlough for transportation by placing my permission on his
desk. The train just blew the signal for departure; I picked up the
transportation and in my hurry left my furlough on the desk. Between
Atlanta and Griffin the guards passed through the coaches to inspect all
papers of the passengers. When they came to me I found my transportation
in my side pocket minus my forty-eight hours leave of absence. I
explained how it might have happened, and hoped they would let me
continue, but I was requested to get off at Griffin, which I did, and
asked the guard to conduct me to the Provost Marshal, so that I might
explain, and he could inform himself, never doubting but that he would
wire and inform himself of the correctness of my statement and let me
proceed. Instead, he told me he had heard such statements before and
informed the guard to be especially vigilant in regard to me, so I was
conducted to an old livery stable that served as a prison. This was in
Dec. 1863. I spoke to my guard if there was not a way by which I could
communicate with Dr. Crawford in Atlanta; he said he did not know. I
said, Please tell the Provost to write to Dr. Crawford about me.
Presently one of the guards brought me a broom, saying, It is a rule
when a new comer comes to make him sweep out the calaboose. I said, Well
this time you will have to break your rule. Do I understand that you
refuse to comply? I certainly do. He went to the Sergt. of the Guard and
made his report as to what passed between us. The Sergt. came at once,
saying I understand you refuse to sweep out the calaboose. I certainly
do; is it for this which I am arrested? He said, Do you know the
penalty, sir? No, and I don't care, was my reply. He remarked, You'll be
bucked and gagged for two hours. I again said, "You'll have a nice time
doing it." He answered. Not so much talk; pull off your overcoat. I
said, If I do I'll make you feel sorry for it. All this occurred while I
was standing before the fire place, with my hands behind me. In front of
me about five feet distance, stood a wooden bench. The Sergeant stood
between me and it. Calling for the guard to come up, they asked him if
they should bring their guns. He said no, only one bring his gun. They
came up. When the Sergeant put his hand on me as if to unbutton my coat.
I had moistened the knuckles of my fingers by passing them between my
lips, concentrated the muscles' tension and struck the Sergeant over the
bridge of his nose, sending him sprawling backward over the bench, his
head hitting the pavement, and I had to dodge to avoid his heels hitting
me under the chin. The man who had the musket made a lunge at me.
Fortunately I had a memorandum book in my side pocket which he hit and
dented the leaves of it half way through. I grabbed at the gun and
caught it just at the curve of the bayonet, close to the muscle, and
jerked it out of his hands. I made moulinets, holding the gun by the
barrel and bayonet, and drove the whole guard, consisting of twelve men,
before me. One of them stopped at the rack, close to the door, which was
open, to reach for a gun, when I hit him with the butt end on the arm,
just below the shoulder, and sent him to the ground, falling as he went
in the middle of the street. The exit of the men out of the guard house
was so hasty it attracted the attention of the populace so that in a
very short space of time a crowd had assembled before the door, looking
askance as to what had happened, among which was a Lieut. Colonel,
judging from the ensign he wore. Advancing to me, who stood quietly at
the entrance, at parade rest, he, undoubtedly thinking that I was the
sentinel, asked me what was the matter, what are the casualties. I
simply remarked, Nobody hurt on my side, Colonel. What is all this
assemblage here doing? So I explained to him what had happened and the
cause of it. He asked me where were the guards. I pointed out some of
them in the crowd; they gradually approached. He asked some of them to
lead him to the Provost Marshal, whose name was Capt. Willis, which
gentleman (pardon the expression) he berated to the utmost, telling him
that he was not fit for a hog herder much less to be in command of human
beings, who ever heard of bucking and gagging in the Confederate Army. I
am going to report you to the proper authorities, and he ordered him to
send me back to Atlanta by the next train, so that I might prove my
assertion. The train from Macon to Atlanta was due within half an hour,
so I was sent back under guard of a Lieutenant and four men with loaded
muskets, with orders to shoot should I make an effort to escape. Luckily
in my school days, which were close to an army post, I went twice a
week to the armory to take lessons in boxing and sword exercise, and
while I do not profess to be an expert in those sciences, they served me
tolerably well in the above stated instance, and others through which it
has been my misfortune to pass. Arriving in Atlanta, I was conducted to
the Provost Marshal. The Lieutenant in command of the guard handed him a
letter which the Provost read, after which he looked at me, standing in
the middle of the room, and said, Well Lieutenant, I'll take charge of
the prisoner; you can go back by the next train. The Lieutenant saluted
him and he and his guard departed. It was between four and five o'clock
in the afternoon. There were two more men at the office at their desks,
and they soon left the room, leaving me and the Provost by ourselves.
Turning to me he said, You belong to Walker's Brigade? I said, Yes,
Howell's Battery. He said, Well I thought I knew you. He said, Well you
got in a h----l of a scrape. I answered that I did not know that a man
losing his furlough was so criminal. He looked up at me in surprise,
saying, This is not what you are charged with; you are charged with
striking a superior officer; do you know the penalty? Yes, shot if found
guilty. What did you do it for? About that time I had been eyeing my
questioner all along, I thought I knew him but I could not place him. He
was Capt. Beebee of a South Carolina Regiment. I answered him thus,
"Well, Captain, I fought for the rights of the Confederacy for the last
three years and thought five minutes for myself was not too much." I
explained to him all of the circumstances leading to my present
condition. He exclaimed, "My God, why did you not kill him?" I said I
did my best, I only got one lick at him and I give him a good one. He
said Go over to the quartermaster's and see if you find your papers; if
not I will give you some that will carry you through. I ran across the
street, asking the quartermaster if I did not leave my furlough on his
desk that morning. He opened a drawer and handed me my paper. I thanked
him and reported my find to Capt. Beebee, who said, I know you are
alright, you can go. We shook hands and I went my way to the fair ground
hospital for the night to make a new start in the morning. Dr. Crawford
seeing me said, I thought you had gone to Macon. I answered that I had
gone a part of the way and was brought back under guards. How was that?
So I recounted to him all the circumstances and illustrated with a
musket the picture of the guard getting out of my reach. Dr. Crawford
laughed till he cried. Well you had a time of it, said he. I sure did,
and half of my permit is out. He said, Well go and stay as long as you
like it, but not too long. He wrote me another permit and I again made
for the train leading to Macon. This time the guard did not come aboard
inspecting papers, but the train on arriving at Griffin was entered by
the guards and papers were shown. I was sitting by the window of my
coach when I heard some one say "Sergt. there is the fellow, the same
fellow," pointing at me. I had not noticed the Sergt. at first as I was
looking above and beyond him, and I saw him standing right close beside
the train, in front of the window. I put out my head to speak to him; he
had a bandage around his forehead and both of his eyes were inflamed and
discolored. I said to him, Sergt. are you hurt? He did not reply, so I
said, I am sorry for you, the next time you want to have some fun in the
bucking, gagging line you try some one else who likes that kind of sport
better than I do. The train departed and nobody even looked at my papers
that day. I arrived at Macon a day after the feast, but had a pleasant
day anyhow.


Before the battle of Resaca Dr. Crawford was ordered to move his
hospital further into the interior, so he located at Vineville, a suburb
of Macon. He pitched his buildings in front of Mr. Burrell Jordan's
premises and sent me again on a foraging expedition. I came again home
to Washington County, expecting to make headquarters at the home of Mr.
Benjamin G. Smith, where I was always welcome. Mr. Smith however, at
that time seemed to be very much disturbed and not in his usual pleasant
and cheerful mood. I asked him the cause of his troubles; he handed me a
slip of paper just received from Lieut. Stone, recruiting agent at
Sandersville, to be sure and report without fail at Sandersville on the
following Thursday to be mustered into service. Mr. Smith was a widower;
his wife had died a couple of years previous, leaving him an only
daughter about four years old. Mr. Smith was the owner of about one
hundred slaves and a very large plantation. He remarked to me, Hermann,
I do not mind going to the front, but what is to become of my dear
little Jenny among all those negroes; this is more than I can stand. Mr.
Smith was a great benefactor to the indigent widows and orphans, and
soldiers' families. He contributed unstintedly to the wants of those at
home whose male persons were at the front fighting the battles of their
country; in fact he ran his whole plantation in their interest, making
thousands of provisions which he distributed among them as they stood in
need and without remuneration. This was the period of the war when
everybody able to bear arms was called to the front, and the saying was,
"The Government is robbing the cradle and the grave." Sherman was
advancing; Johnston was falling back; the people were clamorous for a
test fight, General Johnston could not see the advantage of the same and
still kept retreating. The battle of Kennesaw mountain was hotly
contested, with severe punishment to the enemy but Johnston withdrew and
thus fell back to the gates of Atlanta. Referring again to Mr. Smith, I
told him I thought I had a solution to his troubles. I said, Carry your
little girl to Mrs. Francis, your sister; she will take care of her.
This is only Tuesday, we will run up to Macon tonight, and I will plead
your cause before Governor Brown, who had established his headquarters
there. I think it worth a trial anyway, you can't lose anything by it
anyhow. This was about 3 o'clock p. m. He at once gave orders to his
cook to boil a ham and make biscuits and that night about midnight we
took the train to Macon, Ga. We took breakfast at my cousin's and
repaired to the Governor's headquarters. I saw the Governor in front of
a table, examining some papers. I said, This is Governor Brown? He said
Yes, what will you have? I introduced myself, stating that I was a
member of Howell's Battery, and that on account of disabilities was
relieved from duty and assigned by Dr. Crawford as foraging agent. I
related the condition of Mr. Smith and his surroundings, saying, That
man is worth as much at home as a regiment at the front. The Governor at
once wrote on a sheet of paper, handing it to Mr. Smith, said, Hand this
to the enrolling officer. It was an exemption from military duty. We
took our leave, thanking the Governor. Mr. Smith was so overcome with
the fact that I had never seen such emotion displayed by a man; tears
ran down his cheeks; his thoughts concentrated on his "Sis" as he called
his little daughter Jenny.

Mr. Smith lived to a ripe old age. He was of a very benevolent
disposition. He was a religious man but not a fanatic, quick answering
and very charitable. Many now prosperous and substantial citizens owe
their start in life to his munificence. He was as gentle as a woman but
as firm as a rock in his convictions. In his death Washington County has
sustained an irreparable loss and the State a true and loyal citizen.


General Joseph E. Johnston was removed from command and General John B.
Hood was appointed in his stead. Dr. Crawford was ordered to remove to
Montgomery, Ala. In reference to the battle of Resaca I omitted to state
that I received a letter from my friend B. S. Jordan, whom I had
appointed as local agent to forward supplies for the general hospital,
that his brother, Jas. P., a Capt. in the 57th Ga. Regt., and a dear
friend of mine, was dangerously wounded. I at once set out in quest of
him and found him lying on a pallet on the platform of the depot. He was
suffering, but when he saw me he brightened up. I said, poor fellow, are
you wounded badly? He said, Yes, and indicated the place. Now I have to
refer to a little incident that transpired at the time when Capt. Jordan
had organized a Company and was about to leave for the front: This was
in 1862. When I had already experienced one year's service in the 1st
Ga. Regiment. I said, Well, James, don't you let me hear of you being
shot in the back. He was indignant. Never, replied he, emphatically. But
when he indicated his wound, I remarked at once: Shot in the back, as I
expected. Suffering as he was, he laughed heartily and said I want to
explain; I said, No explanation is necessary, the evidence is before me.
He remarked, Yes, but I want to explain how it was done. I said
evidently by a musket ball in the hands of a Yankee, and so I teased him
until he nearly forgot all about his wound, which was in the fleshy part
of his hip. Captain James P. Jordan was of a noble and chivalrous
disposition and his Company had seen much hard service. He explained
that they were ordered forward on a double quick to charge the enemy in
their immediate front, when owing to some obstructions his Company got
out of line, turning towards them to align them a ball had struck him
and he was carried to the rear. I carried him to the Vineville hospital.
Dr. Crawford extracted the ball, and when his Uncle Burrell heard of his
being there he had him removed to his home and well taken care of.

It must be remembered matters were getting very squally; every available
man and boy was called to the front. The battle of Atlanta was fought
and lost at a great sacrifice to both sides, on July 21st, 1864, Gen. W.
H. T. Walker on our side, General McPherson on the Federal side, were
both killed. The City was sacked and laid into ruins as a result of the
most uncivilized warfare. General Hood changed his tactics, and after
the engagement at Jonesboro he swung to Sherman's rear, expecting by
that move to cut off Sherman's supplies and reinforcements, and Sherman
having now no army in front to oppose him marched through the length of
Georgia by rapid strides to the sea, Savannah being his objective


The prisoners at Andersonville, amounting to many thousand, owing to
their Government refusing to exchange them, preferring to let them die
in their congested condition rather than to release those of ours,
caused untold hardships on those unfortunate fellows. Their own
Government even refused to furnish them with the requisite medical
relief and medicine which became unobtainable on account of the close
cordon of blockaders guarding our ports of entry. It must be remembered
that while we on the Confederate side had only seven hundred thousand
available men, in round numbers, in every branch of the service, our
adversary had, according to statistics, two million, seven hundred
thousand men in the field, and while we had exhausted all our resources
they still had the whole world to draw from. Neither were they
particular then, as now, as to what kind of emigrants landed in Castle
Garden or Ellis Island, but they accepted the scum of the world, paying
fifteen hundred dollars bounty as an incentive to enlist in their army.
Such were the conditions in the latter part of 1864. General Wheeler's
Cavalry was the only force that swung close to Sherman's flanks, thus
keeping his columns more compact and preventing them from doing more
depredations than they did. Even as it was, they lived on the fat of the
land, and as stated, wantonly destroyed what they could not carry along,
to the detriment of the defenceless women and children.

Dr. Crawford was ordered to remove his hospital to Montgomery, Alabama.
I was out foraging; I was at Davisboro, Station No. 12, Central R. R.
when a train load of the Andersonville prisoners stopped at the station.
The train consisted of a long string of box cars. Davisboro was not then
the prosperous little city it is now; it consisted of only one dwelling
and outhouses usually attached to a prosperous plantation, and a store
house; it was owned by Mrs. Hardwick, the great grandmother of our now
Congressman, T. W. Hardwick, an elderly widow lady, who for the
accommodation of the railroad kept an eating house where the train hands
would get their meals as the trains passed on schedule time. Curiosity
led me to approach the train, which was heavily guarded by sentinels
stationed in the open doors and on top of the cars, with loaded muskets,
to prevent escapes, when I heard the grand hailing words of distress
from an inmate of the car. Being a Mason, I demanded what was wanted,
when some one appealed to me, "For God's sake give me something to eat,
I am starving to death; somebody stole my rations and I have not eaten
anything for three days." Being meal time I at once run in the dining
room of the Hardwick House, picked up a plate with ham and one with
biscuits, and ran to the train, called on the man in Masonic terms, and
handed him the provisions that I had wrapped up in a home made napkin,
bordered with indigo blue. It was seven o'clock p. m. and one could not
distinguish the features of an individual; it was a starless, foggy
night. After the train left I entered the house and excused myself for
the rudeness of taking the provisions as I did. Mrs. Hardwick not having
been in the dining room at the time I explained to her that my
obligations were such that I had to render assistance to any distressed
Brother Mason; he applying to me as such; "I am now ready to pay you for
all the damages I did," and this was her reply: "I don't charge you
anything honey, I am glad you did it." But not so with her housekeeper,
Miss Eliza Jackson, who berated me for everything she could think of,
saying, "They had no right to come here and fight us; you are nothing
but a Yankee yourself," etc., etc. Miss Jackson was a long ways beyond
her teens, so I said, "Miss Liza, you are mad, because owing to the war
your chances for marriage have greatly diminished, especially with the
disposition you have." Those present enjoyed her discomfiture.

Usually when troops were about to be ordered in transit, they were
issued three days rations, all of which were often walloped out of sight
at one square meal on account of its meagerness; undoubtedly that is
what happened to my Masonic Brother; he received his rations and someone
stole them. I myself often ate at one meal what was intended to last me
three days and trusted for the future. I never felt any remorse of
conscience to get something to eat, if I could; I felt that the people
for whom I devoted my services in those days owed me a living, and when
the authorities failed to supply it, I took it where I could find it.


I rejoined Dr. Crawford and he sent me out again. I took the train to
Greenville, Alabama, and walked about eight miles to Col. Bowens', who
was an uncle of Mrs. John George. Mrs. George was a niece of Mrs.
Braswell, where I boarded. She came to spend many days with her Aunt
while I was with the family; her home was only about three miles
distant. She married Mr. George and moved to Butler County, Alabama. Mr.
Bowen, her uncle, furnished me with a horse and I rode out to see them.
Butler county is a sort of an out of the way place, and that country had
not been overrun with soldiers, and provisions were plentiful. When I
hollowed at the gate she recognized me at once and was overjoyed; she
took me around the neck and kissed me. George ran out saying, "Mollie!
Mollie! What are you doing." She said, "Never mind that is home folks."
Poor woman, she was so overcome to see someone from home that she
actually cried for joy. They were a happy family. I gave them all the
news about their people, as I had just come from there. I stated my
business and both of them set in the following day to assist me in my
duty. Butler county, where they lived was a very hilly country, but
tolerably thickly settled, and provisions came in by the quantities. I,
with the assistance of my host and hostess, filled a single box of eggs
six by three feet long and three feet high. We stood every one on its
end with alternate layers of bran and sawdust and carried them over a
very rough road to Greenville, together with a great many chickens and
shipped them to the hospital, and we only lost three dozen eggs by
breakage. One morning we heard the report that the enemy, in great
force, was approaching. People were leaving the city. With the exception
of a small garrison there was no defense. Dr. Crawford had to abandon
the city, removed all that were in condition to get away, but there were
about a half a dozen men who were too sick to be removed. The enemy came
into the city soon after we left. Dr. Crawford remarked to me that
evening, "Herman, I am going to send you back to take charge of the
hospital and those poor fellows that I could not get away." I demurred,
saying that I did not care to be taken prisoner. He said, "Listen; In
all civilized warfare the medical department is exempt from
molestation." I said, "From the way this war is waged it is not
altogether civilized, but I am under your orders; I'll do what you want
me to do." He said, "I'll take it as a great favor; I can't abandon
those poor fellows, some one has to take care of them and administer to
their wants." He said he did not know where he would locate but wherever
he went I must come back to him. I was then about nine miles from
Montgomery. It was late in the evening, and I took it afoot back. When
passing through Macon on my way to Montgomery, I passed a night with my
cousin, Mrs. Wurzbourg, whose husband was exempt from military duty on
account of physical infirmity. My jacket which I wore was threadbare,
and even (holy). He presented me with one of his blue flannel sack
coats. I had previously been able, through Dr. Crawford, to get enough
cloth for a pair of pants and vest. It was blockade goods which the
Government had purchased, and it was of a coarse textile, and of a light
blue cast, and thus I was fairly decently clothed. In those days the
Confederate grey was very much lacking, and men, as well as women, had
to wear anything, of any color they could get hold of. So after leaving
Dr. Crawford, to return to the hospital at Montgomery, I stopped over at
a cottage. The proprietor had a watch repair and jewelry shop in
Montgomery, who owned a small plantation about six miles from the city.
He had left the city for lack of business, and now lived at his country
home. He was an Englishman, his wife was French. This book being written
entirely from memory, after a lapse of about a half a century, I can't
remember the names of those people, but they were very kind and
hospitable. After supper we repaired to their little parlor. The house
was well kept, and proved that the mistress of the same knew how to
manage a home and make it comfortable. There was a piano, and I asked
the lady, (talking French to her), if she would kindly play a little. So
she asked me if I could sing some French songs; I said a few. She at
once repaired to the instrument, and asked me what will you have. I of
course called for the Marseillaise, which she performed to perfection.
So she asked me to sing; I started the melody of

    Adieu Patrie
    France Cherie
    Ou Chaque jour
    Coulait si pure
    Mon helvretie
    Douce et jolie
    Pays d'Amour
    O ciel d azure
    Adieu, Adieu!

Having finished that stanza I noticed she had quit playing and was
crying; so I remarked, "Madam, had I known that my singing would have
had such an effect I surely would not have sung." By way of explanation
she remarked that her first husband was a composer and that the song I
sang was his first effort and he received a prize on it. Oh those were
happy days she said! Her husband talked very kindly to her and the
general conversation turned on France and of days gone by. She had lived
in Paris and knew many business houses that I knew and I passed a most
pleasant night. The following morning I sat down to a substantial
country breakfast. We had hardly finished when the negro servant ran in,
saying, "Master the Yankees are coming. They are here." Looking up the
road, sure enough, a few hundred yards beyond where the road turned,
they were in view. I at once, on the first impulse, jumped into a
closet. Hardly was I in, closing the door, when I thought of this being
the first place they would examine. I opened the door, and not knowing
where to go I went into the back yard, between the house and the smoke
house. Hardly had I done so when a dozen or more Yankees left their
column entered the house very boisterously. Being dressed somewhat like
they were, in blue, lacking but the brass buttons, I entered the back
door, unconcernedly, mixing among them without being detected or
noticed. Some of the men had placed their guns in the corner of the
room; when of a sudden my hostess run in by the back door, crying, "My
God! They are taking all of my meat." I don't know what impelled me but
I seized a gun from the corner, ran out of the back door, brought my
weapon from a trail to a support, and ordered the two men to throw back
the hams each of them had in their grasp, one of which acted at my
command, and the other said, What in the h----l you got to do with it.
Before I could reply his comrade said to him, "Throw it down, don't you
see he is a safe guard;" he threw down the hams. I took the cue from
what the Yankee said, although it was the first time I had heard of a
safe-guard. The door of the dwelling wide open, those in the house saw
me walk the post back and forth, made their exit and left the house, and
as long as I was guarding, no more Yankees tarried on the premises; they
came, looked about and left the premises as soon as they saw me standing
guard, until the whole column had passed. My host came to me saying,
Well, they are all gone, thank God, I said no, the rear guard has not
passed. The dwelling house was constructed close to the ground, leaving
only about a foot space in front while the rear end was about two and a
half feet from the ground. I took my gun and crawled under the house.
Presently there came what I thought to be about a regiment, and several
stragglers. Finally I came from under the house. I gave my hostess the
gun I'd taken, telling her, If I do not call for it it shall be yours.
My host took my hands, shook them heartily, saying, "You are a hero;" I
laughed, saying, Well, I saved your bacon; Good bye; I am much obliged
to you for your kind hospitality, and if it had not been for those
fellows we would have had a good time. I started on my philanthropic
errand, not knowing if I would find the sick men dead or alive. I had
gone but a few hundred yards when I met a Federal soldier marching
hastily to catch up. He said, Are they far ahead; I said, No, about five
hundred yards or a quarter of a mile. You are going the wrong way, said
he. I answered, I am not going far, I lost something. Further on I met
two more, who like the first, took me for a Federal. One said, Comrade
you are going the wrong way. I said, I am not going far. How far behind
are we? I said, Not far, a few hundred yards. And so within about one
and a half mile I met a dozen stragglers, walking to catch up, all
comparatively asking the same questions, and to which I replied alike.
When about four hundred yards in front of me, and about alike in the
rear of the last straggler I saw four horsemen, riding abreast, holding
their carbines by the barrel and resting the butt on their thighs. I
recognized them as Confederates. I walked up to them, asking, What
troops do you belong to? Harvey's Scouts of Forrests' Cavalry, was their
reply. Are there any others behind? Yes. How far? The rear of the
enemy's column is about two miles ahead of you, said I, and there are
about a dozen stragglers, some with guns, and some have none; they are
separated several hundred yards apart, some single and some in pairs; if
you spur up you can catch the whole gang; I'll tell those men ahead of
me to hurry up. Where is Capt. Harvey? You'll find him in the Exchange
Hotel, in town. They at once put spurs to their horses and galloped on,
and I followed my course towards the city. I met the reinforcements some
little distance ahead of me, and reported what I had seen and told their
advance scouts. They all went at full speed, and later, I saw the whole
gang of stragglers brought in. I asked Capt. Harvey what had become of
the inmates at the hospital. He said he did not know for he had just
arrived that morning. I went to the hospital, found things in rather bad
shape and the inmates gone. After careful investigation I heard that the
Ladies Relief Association had taken care of the sick and that they were
well provided for.


Dr. Crawford followed General Hood's army and established headquarters
at Corinth, Miss. I followed at once, as soon as I could locate him. I
bought what provisions I could along the stations. At Columbus, Miss.,
some Federals who came there to tear up the track fired in the train as
we passed; several of the passengers were wounded but General Forrest
appeared at that moment on the scene and routed the enemy, killing and
wounding quite a number of them, and thus preventing the wreckage of the
railroad track. The car I rode in was riddled with bullets, but I
escaped unhurt; several of the passengers had a close call.

While at Corinth I was deputized to carry a message to the front, this
side of Franklin, Tennessee. I arrived in time where General Beauford's
men had a brush with the enemy. A stray bullet hit me in the thigh, and
for a time I thought I was seriously hurt. I was close to a little
stream of water. I had my leg tied above the wound with my handkerchief
and put it in the running stream. A surgeon came to probe my wound, but
trembled like a man having the palsy, and I told him he must not touch
me any further; he could hardly put his probe in the hole made by the
bullet. After a while I was picked up and sent to the rear where I was
cared for by Dr. Crawford, who was very sorry and regretted having sent
me. My wound was doing so well and there was no inflammation taking
place, and by keeping cold applications on it I was able to be about in
less than two weeks. Dr. Crawford said I did the best thing that could
be done by keeping inflammation down by putting my leg in the stream.
The wound did so well that he would not bother it to extract the ball,
and so I still carry it as a memento of the war. While at Corinth the
ladies of Washington county sent me a box. The battle of Franklin was
fought and a victory dearly bought. Two weeks later the battle of
Nashville was fought, and General Hood's magnificent army nearly
annihilated. They came through Corinth the worst conditioned men I ever
laid my eyes upon. There I met Lieut. John T. Gross of this County and
Capt. Joe Polhill of Louisville, Ga., and about twenty of their command.
They were hungry and in rags; I said, "Boys, you are in a bad fix."
Capt. Polhill said, "Ike, can you tell me where I can get something to
eat; I am starved." I said I had just heard that there was a box in the
depot for me, let us see what is in it. I took the crowd up to the
hospital and all got something to eat. The hospital wagon went to the
depot and got the box. It was a large box, and was filled to the top
with clothes and eatables. Lieut. Gross, who was barefooted, I supplied
with a pair of broken shoes. Many of the provisions were cooked. I took
out some checked shirts and knit socks and a pair of pants and jacket
and divided the rest among the boys, who were all from Jefferson and
Washington counties, and even to this day Capt Polhill declares I saved
his life. He is still one of the Vets. and a useful and honored citizen
of Louisville, Ga.

Corinth at that time when I saw it, was only a railroad station with an
improvised station house or warehouse. A few chimneys here and there
indicated where had previously stood some houses. It is not far from the
Tennessee river, about ten miles from Shiloh, where Albert Sidney
Johnson, from Texas, was killed and General Beauregard saved the day.
During my convalescence I walked over some of the battle ground. Being
tired I sat down on a log. There were two logs touching each other
lengthways. They had been large trees, about two and a half to three
feet in diameter. Playing on the ground with my crutch I unearthed a
bullet; presently I scratched up another. I noted that the logs were
riddled with bullets. I picked up over one hundred pounds of musket
balls in a space not over twenty-five feet square. How any escaped such
a shower of lead in such a small place can't be possible. Undoubtedly
those logs had served as a protection behind which those brave fellows
sent forth in the ranks of their adversaries a similar amount of death
dealing missiles.


This brings us towards the last part of December, 1864. When General
Hood planned his campaign to the rear of General Sherman, instead of
following General Johnston's tactics and thus leaving the balance of the
State of Georgia to the tender mercies of our adversaries, who had no
mercy or respect for age nor sex, but wantonly destroyed by fire and
sword whatever they could lay their hands on, save the booty and relics
with which they were loaded. Howell's battery, on account of their
horses being exhausted, could not follow General Hood's army into
Tennessee, and were ordered to Macon to recruit. This Company had seen
arduous service from Chickamauga to Atlanta, including Jonesboro. After
the battle of Chickamauga, one of the hardest contests of the war, in
which the confederate forces were successful, Howell's battery had the
honor to open the battle from the extreme right, on the 18th day of
September, 1863. On the 19th, which was on Saturday, the fight was
progressing furiously, with no results, both armies holding their own,
but on Sunday morning our forces centered their attack on the enemy's
center, charged through their lines and rolled them back in complete
disorder, and the victory was ours. General Bragg rested his forces for
a few days and renewed the fight around Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain
and Missionary Ridge. He found the enemy well fortified and ready. The
battle was a sanguinary one; Howell's battery besides losing two pieces
of artillery, which were recovered in the evening and returned to us,
lost in wounded, Leonidas Hines, Frank Bailey and Corporal Braswell, and
captured James Mullen, John S. Kelley, John Tompkins and John Braswell.
That night General Bragg withdrew as quietly as possible and went into
camp at Dalton, where we spent in winter quarters. At Macon they did
provost duty under direction of General Howell Cobb. The writer drifted
back through Alabama expecting to rejoin Dr. Crawford as soon as he
would locate, and being intercepted by Federal troops I reported to the
nearest Confederate post, which proved to be General Beaufort from
Kentucky, a cavalry officer at Union Springs, Alabama. General Abe
Beaufort was of colossal stature and an able officer, so I reported to
him for duty until I could join my proper command. He said, Have you a
horse? We are cavalry. I said, No, but I expect to get one the first
fight we get into. He laughed and said, Well, you can hang around here.
I stayed at his quarters several days. One day he seemed to be worried
more than usual; I ventured to say, "General, You seem to be worried
over something." He said, "I have enough to worry about; there is
General Forrest at Selma; I have sent him two couriers and neither of
them have reported; I don't know what became of them, whether they have
been captured, killed or run away. I want to hear from General Forrest
so that we can act in concert of action." The Federals who held
possession of Montgomery under General Wilson's corps d'army, who later
captured President Jefferson Davis in Irwin County, Ga., during the
several days of my hanging around at General Beaufort's Headquarters, he
asked me how long I had been in the service. I said, "I joined the first
Company that left my county and the first regiment that left my State."
How long had you been in this country before the war broke out? I
answered that I came to Georgia direct from France in the Fall of 1859,
about sixteen months before I enlisted. I found in this country an ideal
and harmonious people; they treated me as one of their own; in fact for
me, it was the land of Canaan where milk and honey flowed. In the
discussion of the political issues I felt, with those that I was in
contact with, that they were grossly imposed upon by their Northern
brethren and joined my friends in their defence, and so here I am,
somewhat worsted, but still in the ring. I said, General I have an idea;
I think I can carry a dispatch that will land. I have in my possession
at home my French passport. I can write for it and use it by going
squarely through their lines, as being an alien. I can change my clothes
for some citizens clothes. After a little reflection General Beaufort
said, "Hermann, you are an angel; it's the very idea." So we arranged to
write at once for my pass. It came in due time. The lady of the house
where the General kept his quarters furnished me with a suit of jeans
cloth, but begged the General not to send me for fear I might meet with
reverses. But the General said, He is all right, he can work the scheme.
That night I started about ten o'clock, on horseback, with two escorts.
It was a starlight night. We passed for some distance through a dense
swamp. The General cautioned me to be careful and on the lookout, an
admonition I thought entirely unnecessary. He said the enemy's camp was
about twelve miles distant, and that they had a company of scouts out
that night, and so had we, but as we journeyed along at a walk the
lightning bugs were so thick as to blind a fellow and the swamp so dark
that we could only designate the road by the distance and open space of
the tree tops and the stars. We did not however, meet any of the scouts.
On emerging from the swamp I noticed on my right a small farm cottage
and a dim light through the cracks of the door. I dismounted, knocked at
the door. At first no one answered. I knocked again when a lady's feeble
voice answered, Who is there? A friend, was the reply. Open the door
please. The door opened and there stood in front of me an old lady of
about seventy, I judged, nearly scared to death, trembling from head to
foot. To re-assure her I said, Madam, we are Southerners don't be
frightened, we won't do you any harm. Can you tell me how far it is from
here to the enemy's camp? She answered very excitedly that she had
nothing to do with the war, she is only a lone woman and we can't cheat
her out of many years. You all have stolen all my meat and did not leave
me a mouthful of corn or meat, and I am left here to starve to death. I
said, But we are Confederates; but I noticed the woman did not believe
me, undoubtedly owing to my brogue, as there were thousands of
foreigners in the federal army. I lit a match and scrutinized the ground
and noted the doors of the outhouse wide open, houses empty and the
ground churned into dust by the horses hoofs. Undoubtedly we were not
far from the enemy, as they were there that day and looted the premises.
I bid the lady good night and joined my escort who waited for me in the
road. As I was about to mount my horse I perceived ahead of me through
the limbs of the trees, a bright light. The lady was still standing in
the door, and I asked her what that light was we saw ahead of us. She
said they were the negro quarters about a quarter of a mile ahead, and I
thanked her and we moved a little forward and held consultation as to
what was best to do, whether they should return to camp leading my horse
back and I to take it afoot or whether we had better go together to the
quarters, probably they might get a few potatoes and some buttermilk,
for be it understood that we belonged to the hungry army where rations
became very scarce, for as a rule the Confederate soldier respected
private property and often suffered hunger rather than appropriate
property belonging to others. They concluded they might buy something to
eat from the darkies. The negroes in those days, as before the war,
always had a surplus of provisions. They were well fed, in fact most of
them made their own provisions with the exception of meat, their owner
allowing them patches and giving them time to cultivate the same for
their own use or to sell with their master's permission, which was
generally only a matter of form or respect.

[Illustration: The Capture of the Federal Cavalrymen.]


In keeping my eyes to the front watching the light, we came to an open
field on the right. On the left of the road was a dense forest. I noted
some one crossing the light and heard some one screaming and hollering
like negroes carousing. Presently the same person recrossed and I
thought there must be some Federals about there and we stopped to
consult. I concluded that I would take it afoot and reconnoiter while my
escort would enter the woods where we stood and wait for me until I
returned. I took the darker side of the road along the woods until I
arrived close to the premises, and I circumvented the place. I noted a
double pen log house with a large chimney at one end and a rousing
lightwood fire in it. A step over fence about five rails high surrounded
the yard in which stood a very large oak tree, the limbs of which hung
low, a little above a man's head. To those limbs were hitched three
splendid horses. In the house were three Federals, enjoying their
surroundings. The house had a front and back entrance and the fire in
the chimney cast its light some distance, front and rear, around the
premises. I hurried back to my comrades and made my report as above,
and I suggested a line of action as follows: We will leave our horses on
the road side, about two hundred yards this side the house. One of us
will enter the back side as I enter the front, and one of you follow me;
Are you willing. If you do as I say we will capture those fellows
without firing a shot. The youngest of the escort was a young man of
about 19 years; the other was 21 years old. The younger said, General
Beauford told us to obey your orders, and I am ready to do what you tell
me to do. I said, Bravo, my boy. The other one was silent, I remarked,
what do you say? He tried to answer but his teeth chattered and he was
trembling so he could hardly speak. I said, What is the matter with you,
are you scared? He said, No, I am excited. You must compose yourself. If
you follow my advice and do exactly what I say and we will capture those
fellows without firing a gun, but there must be no wobble, or they may
turn the joke on us. I told the youngest to hold his gun ready for use
and to make a detour around the house and face the back entrance, and I
would give him time to get in position, and as I enter the front door he
must enter the back door, and we must get the drop on them, otherwise
they might get it on us. I told the other fellow to follow me and do as
I do and not to fire unless I do. I carried a couple of colts pistols.
As we entered the negro women and the men were sitting on benches before
the fire, when I exclaimed, surrender! in the meantime covering them
with my pistols and the guns of my comrades. They jumped as if lightning
has struck them. "Unbuckle your weapons or you are dead men; be quick
about it." My orders were executed with alacrity and we marched them out
of the house. In the far end of the house I spied a plow line hanging
from a nail in the wall. I appropriated the same and we unhitched the
horses and walked to where ours were. Not a word was spoken by either of
us. The horses were brought forward and the prisoners mounted. The plow
line served to pinion their legs under the animals below. All this was
done as quickly as possible. When the prisoners realized that we were
but three, one of them commenced being obtrusive and talking loud and
abusive. I cautioned him and his comrades that unless they moved along
quietly and not talk above a whisper we would be compelled to leave them
by the roadside, for some one, unknown to us, to bury them. My
admonition had a good effect, and our cavalcade advanced in a lope, one
leading the horses, the prisoners were riding by the bridle reins, and
I and the other man closing up the rear. I was fearful of meeting some
of their scouting parties, of which General Beaufort advised me of on
our departure, but it seemed that they were in some other direction from
us, for we noted the firmament in every direction lit up by an aurora
borealis from the burning houses those miscreants set afire. When
arriving close to our pickets we halted. I sent one of my escort in
advance to announce our arrival so as not to be fired into, as it was
only day break and still too dark to be recognized. I rode at once to
General Beaufort's headquarters to report. He was still in bed; the
guard admitted me. He said, I thought you were on your way to Selma. I
said, General, I met with an accident and came back. An accident said
he! So I stated that accidentally I captured three Federals and got me a
horse at my first opportunity. He got up and dressed, had the prisoners
brought before him and commenced questioning them but they were very
reticent and evaded many of his questions. General Beaufort was very
anxious to find out the strength of his adversary in his immediate front
and their destination. I suggested that I change my clothing for the
uniform of one of the prisoners who was my size, and ride in their line.
He said, That is a very dangerous business; if you are trapped they
will hang you. I said, I am in for the war; life as it is is not worth
much, I'll take the chances. So that night after midnight I passed again
our videttes, in company with two escorts who accompanied me for company
sake for a few miles, when they returned to camp and I went it alone.
After passing the cottage of the old lady where we sought information,
the previous night, I put my horse at full speed and passed the negro
quarters. No one was astir and I continued my course for about three
miles when I saw some obstruction in the road on the brow of the hill.
Halt, was the command. I halted, at within about seventy-five yards. Who
comes. A friend. Seeing that I was alone I was asked to advance. As I
approached I noted that there was a rail fence across the road, behind
which were two sentinels, their muskets pointing at me. I remarked as I
crossed the fence, Didn't I have a race; those four rebels run me clean
to nearly where I am. My horse was steaming wet. I said, You see that
fire yonder; we set the gin house afire when the rebels came up and gave
me a hot chase. The sentinels were all excitement and kept their eyes to
the front. I had dismounted and placed myself in line with them. I could
have killed them both but that was not my object. Finally, seeing no
one coming, I said they must have gone back. I mounted my steed and
slowly rode up, in a walk, where I saw what I thought was the main camp,
but it was only what was known as the grand guard of about a half a
regiment of cavalry. Taking in the surroundings at a glance I noted the
horses hitched in the corners of the fence along the road and the men
some lying, some sitting on improvised seats around their camp fire. I
at once rode to an empty corner in the fence and hitched my horse and
walked to a fire where most of the men were lying down, seemingly
sleeping. There lay one empty blanket on the ground and I laid myself
down on it, facing the fire, which felt pretty good, for I was chilled,
the night being cold. As I pretended to take a nap some fellow gave me a
hunch with his foot, saying, Hello comrade, you are lying on my blanket.
I grunted a little and turned some further when he pulled the blanket
from under me. This seemingly roused me, and I was wide awake. I
stretched out my arms as if I were yawning, addressing myself to the men
next to me, "This is a terrible life to lead. Where are we going? To
Savannah. I heard some say Savannah. That is in Georgia, a long ways
from here; I am afraid some of us will never get there; I heard that
there is an army of fifteen thousand rebels ahead of us within fifteen
miles of here." He answered, That would not amount to much with what we
have. I thought I would stretch as far as I could reasonably do so, for
General Beauford's force was only 1,500 strong. You say that would not
amount to much with what we have to oppose them? He said Wilson's Corps
amounts to nearly 25,000. O, not that much. He commenced to enumerate
different regiments, the number of cannon, etc., etc. All at once I
heard the bugle blast "Call to Horse," and everything was active. What's
the matter I said, seeing everybody catching their horses? He answered,
Did you not get three days rations? I said, Yes. Well we are going to
advance. I run to my horse and mounted. I felt that I had to advise
General Beauford of this move, and not to pass the picket post that I
did coming in I took down the railroad track which run parallel the
wagon road some distance, but to my surprise there was a vidette post
there of two sentinels. They halted me, saying, You can't pass. I
remarked that they will be relieved in a few minutes, that our forces
are advancing. There being a nice spring of water in sight, just to the
left of the road I wanted to fill my canteen full of water. The road
being very dusty I suggested that I would fill theirs if they wished me
to in the meantime. I'll be back in a few seconds. So they handed me
their canteens and I put the spurs to my horse. Further on I turned to
the left into the wagon road and post haste and at full gallop rode into
our camp, which was twelve miles ahead of me. The cap which I had
borrowed from one of our prisoners was a little too big for my head and
in my haste to reach camp blew off. I did not stop to pick it up, but
reached camp in about three quarters of an hour. It still being a little
before day a bullet passed me in close proximity and I knew that I was
close to our lines. I stopped and held up both hands. The bad
marksmanship of the sentinel saved me from being shot. I at once rode up
to the General's quarters, was admitted by the sentinel and made my
report. He was still in bed, but he got up and ordered two companies of
Col. Armistead's Regiment to the front and deployed into a skirmish
line. In less than an hour we heard the firing. All the forces were
astir, and we withdrew towards West Point, Georgia, thus giving the
enemy the right of way. The General asked me if I held any commission. I
said, Yes, high private in the rear ranks. Well, I'll see that you will
be promoted when I make my report to the war department. I need a
hundred men just like you.


That evening I donned my disguise as a citizen, and advanced, as before,
to go through their lines as an alien. I rode as before as far as my
judgment would permit to prevent the capture of my escort, when I took
it afoot to carry out the program first suggested. I walked about four
miles and day was breaking. As two nights previous, the country
indicated depredations by fires. When I again, as the night before, saw
obstructions in front of me, I walked within twenty-five or thirty paces
up to it when I was commanded to halt and challenged as to who comes
there, their muskets pointing at me. I said, "Me no speaky English, je
parle Francais." Where are you going? Me no stand English. They made me
a sign to sit down by the side of the obstructive fence, after having
let me cross their barricade. About fifteen minutes later an officer
with the relief guard came up. Who's that you got there? How did he get
here? They answered I walked up. He is a foreigner and can't speak our
language. Turning to me he said, where are you going? "Je ne
comprenspas, je parle francais." So he made me signs to following him,
which I did. He conducted me to a large camp fire where I saw several
men guarding others and recognized them to be Confederates. This was the
first time I felt my danger; I was afraid that there might be some among
the prisoners that might have seen me before and might recognize me.
However my fears were without cause as I did not know any of them. About
eight o'clock a. m., the Provost Marshall General came around and
addressed himself to me. Who are you, said he. As before, I said je
parle francais. Oh, you are a Frenchman. Well, I will get some one that
can speak to you. He ordered one of the guards to go to a Canadian
Company and ask the Captain to send him a man that could speak French
and English. Presently a young soldier presented himself. The Provost
took him aside and I pretended not to notice them. They stepped to
within a few paces of me; when I heard the Provost say to him, Pump him.
I thought, He will be welcome to all he will get out of me. He stepped
up to me and talked to me in French. I appeared to be so glad to meet
one I could talk to, that I did not give him an opportunity to ask me a
single question. I told him how I came here in the fall of 1859, pulling
out my passport which he scrutinized and handed over to the Provost,
who in turn looked at the same. I told him that I made a mistake coming
here, that the people made it very unpleasant to me because I would not
enlist; that I had to leave Georgia, and I am now on my way to New
Orleans, which I heard the port was open so as to see the French consul
to assist me back to France; that I am tired of this land where people
murder each other. During all of our conversation the Provost said, What
does he say. My interlocutor explained and then they all would laugh.
Finally I said that I was hungry, that I had had nothing to eat in 24
hours. So the Provost said, Boys, can you fix up something for him among
you, and they all contributed some from their rations and filled my
haversack full of substantial food, and besides contributed $10.00 in
money. I thanked them and started off, after being told that I could go,
but as I was apparently green I asked my questioner how far I was from
New Orleans and if there were any more places where I might be delayed,
when the Provost intervened with his, What did he say? Which after being
explained to him, he said, I had better give him a pass, they might take
him up on the other end of the line, and so he wrote on a slip of paper,
"Pass the bearer through the line," and signed his name in such
chirography that I could not read it. I arrived into Montgomery late
that afternoon, and reported, as per previous arrangement with Col. Paul
to Judge Pollard, whose daughter he married, and told that family how
the boys were getting along. Judge Pollard was a stately old gentleman
of great prominence in that section of the country. He received me in
his large library and we had quite a long conversation over the
situation. I told him that I was directed to him with the understanding
that he would provide me with a horse so that I might continue my
journey to Selma. He shook his head and said I'll see what can be done,
but I don't believe there is a horse to be got within ten miles of here;
the Yankees stole every horse and mule they could lay their hands on,
and sure enough he was unable to furnish me with an animal, but thought
I might, by making a long detour beyond the flanks of the enemy's
columns, be able to proceed. That morning one of the ladies presented me
with a tobacco bag, made out of a piece of pink merino, and the initials
of my name embroidered on it with yellow silk and filled with smoking
tobacco, and a shaker pipe stuck in it. It was quite a novelty and was
highly appreciated. After having partaken of a substantial breakfast I
bid my host and his family good bye, visited my friends Faber,
Lewellen, Coleman and other acquaintances of the city, all of which had
their tales of woe and sufferings to account at the hands of the enemy.
I departed for Selma on foot. I was weary and depressed. I heard that I
was again in close proximity to the enemy who routed Forrest from that
city and came within a fraction of either killing or capturing him. He
was surrounded by four troopers who demanded his surrender, when he
threw his saber, spurred his horse and ran the gauntlet among a shower
of bullets. I heard that in the melee he received a saber cut in the
face. I felt sick at heart and physically worn out and took a rest and
wended my way to Col. Bowen, who was glad to see me and offered me all
the comforts to recruit my strength. I remained there nearly a week. I
really did not know where to report to, General Beauford being on the
retreat before Wilson's corps who came from via Pensacola, Florida. I
was surrounded on every side, so I concluded to retrace my way back to
Montgomery but when a few miles from Greenville as I emerged from a long
lane at the end of which the road turned into a forest I noted some
Federal soldiers. I came within a very short distance of them before
seeing them; my first impulse was to run back, but I was tired, it
being a warm day and nothing to protect me from the bullets, having an
open lane where they might play at my fleeing figure. I concluded to
give up on demand, but on close approach, seeing that they were negro
troops I regretted not having taken chances, however great, of escape,
especially when I was asked to surrender my arms, which consisted of a
couple of colts 6 inch pistols, one of which I carried in a scabbard
buckled around me and the other in the belt of my pants, which were
tucked in my boot legs. In unbuckling my belt I contracted my body
allowing the one in my pants to slide down my leg into my boot and thus
only surrendered one of them. The other I carried on as I marched. The
friction of the barrel on the ankle of my foot gave me excruciating
pains but I continued on until I could feel the blood on the inside of
my boot. There were other prisoners, among them General Pillow and his
son, George. Arriving in Montgomery we were locked up in the Lehman
Brothers building which had served as a shoe factory for the Confederate
Government. I intended to use my weapon at the first opportunity I saw
to gain my liberty. That night I asked for a doctor to dress my wounded
foot. He came and asked me how that happened. My socks adhered to the
wounds and the pains it gave me were unbearable. I told him I had
snagged myself. He dressed my wound and I felt relieved to a great
extent. The next morning I sent word to my friend Faber to come to see
me and he did so. I said to him to see if he could not get me a parole,
after he had told me that he had had some Yankee officers quartered at
his house, saying that they were all Western men and seemed to be clever
fellows. He promised to use his influence. Presently he returned with an
officer and I was turned out on parole, but to report every morning at
nine o'clock. The following morning I reported, when the officer
commanded one of the men to take charge of me and lock me up. I thought
the jig was up, that probably I had been reported by some one and that I
might fare the worst for it. There were fifty prisoners; we were all
called out to form into line and from that into column, and marched up
the hill to the capitol, where we received some salt pork and hard tack
to last us three days. We were informed that we would be sent to Ship
Island, a country of yellow fever, close to New Orleans in retaliation
of Andersonville, there to take the chances to live or die; undoubtedly
they would have preferred the latter. About one o'clock p. m. a courier
rode up to the capitol, followed by another. Presently we were informed
that the war was over, that General Lee had surrendered and that Lincoln
was assassinated and instead of being sent to Ship Island we were to be
paroled under promise not to take up arms again against the United
States, until properly exchanged. This brings us up to the early part of
June 1865, or latter part of May.


Thus it will be noted that while the war was over in the East, we of the
Western army didn't know it and were still fighting, all communication
between the two armies being cut off. My friend Faber, who was one of
the most popular citizens of Montgomery was afterwards elected Mayor of
the City. The following morning I prepared to wend my way back to
Georgia. My foot was inflamed and gave me pain, so I said to a Yankee
Sergeant who was in waiting on some of the officers there if he could
not manage to get me some piece of a horse to ride as I was a long ways
from home and in a crippled condition. He said, Yes, if I would give him
my watch, which was an open faced, old fashioned English lever,
generally called bulls-eye. I acquiesced. We marched down one of the
main thoroughfares. We halted before an establishment which was used as
a guard house and previously had served as a store. In its front on the
sidewalk was a cellar. The Sergeant asked them to bring out that horse,
and in the meantime asked me for the watch. Thinking of him as a clever,
sympathetic soul, owing to his prompt offer of assistance, I
unhesitatingly handed him my watch. They having entered the cellar,
they lifted out of its confines a frame of horse so poor that six men
took him bodily and placed him on the sidewalk. He was actually nothing
but skin and bones; I was astonished that life could have existed in
such a frame. I said, Is this the best you can do for me? He said, I
promised you a horse for your watch and here he is, and he left me. The
men were amused at my discomfiture. I finally concluded that a bad ride
is better than a good walk and I made the best of a bad bargain. I asked
the men if they could get me a bridle and saddle. They answered that
they had none, so I made me a halter out of the rope around his neck,
pulled off my coat as padding on either side of his sharp backbone so as
to serve me as a saddle and asked the man next to me to give me a lift,
and there I was, mounted, representing the picture of Don Quixote to
perfection. I urged the horse forward and the men hollered Whoa! which
command he was only too eager to obey, I eventually got away from that
place and took the Eufaula route homeward. It was four o'clock in the
afternoon and I was only four miles from my starting point. The animal
had neither eat nor drunk anything while in my possession and from his
looks probably not in several days previous. I saw as I passed along at
a snail gait, a corral by the side of the road, with all kinds of
contraband. There were negroes, women and children, cattle of all
description and a quantity of mules and horses, all encircled by a large
rope and guarded by sentinels. I passed a soldier about a half mile from
this place. I said to him, What troops are those on the right hand side
up the hill? He said they were cavalry. I concluded to ride up, that
probably I might induce the officer to exchange animals with me so as to
enable me to get along, for I came to the conclusion to abandon my steed
and take a bad walk in preference to a bad ride. As I approached the
camp I noticed a man sitting on a camp stool, his back towards me, his
feet propped up against a large tree, reading a newspaper and seemingly
greatly preoccupied as he did not hear my approach. He was in negligee,
it being a very warm day; he wore nothing but his pants and a spotted
white blouse shirt and was bareheaded. I left my horse by the side of a
stump and slid off, approaching within a respectful distance in his
rear, I said, Good evening. He jumped like he had been shot. I said
excuse me sir, I did not mean to scare you. So he peremptorily said,
What will you have? I answered, Are you the commander of these troops?
He said, Yes; what will you have? I answered that I was a paroled
prisoner on my way home; that I was crippled and had a long ways to go.
The horse I got I bought from one of the Federals for a silver watch. It
took me a whole day to get from the City to where I am; that I had
noted, coming along, a corral with many loose horses and mules and I
ventured to see if he would not be kind enough to furnish me with a
better mount than the one I possessed. He replied, What country are you
from? I am from France. How long have you been in the army? Ever since
the war started. Were you forced into the army or did you volunteer? I
volunteered sir. And you have been fighting us for over four years and
now come and ask me for a favor? You need not grant it; good bye. And
off I hobbled to where I left my horse taking him by the mane I led him
up to the stump and was about to mount when the officer commanded me,
Come back here, said he, I like your style. You are the first one I've
met but what was forced into the army. Tell the officer in charge of the
corral to exchange animals with you. I remarked, Colonel, a written
order from you might have a better effect. He laughed, got up and walked
into his tent and when he returned he handed me a slip of paper
addressed to Capt. Ledger, and read as follows: Exchange animals with
the bearer; Col. York, Com'd'g 7, Indiana Cavalry. I thanked him, gave
the military salute and retraced my steps towards the corral. I
presented my note to the Capt. in charge; he said, Pick out the one you
want. There were some excellent animals but many were galled and not
serviceable for any immediate use. I spied a medium sized, plump mule.
She was in excellent order, and as I was short in funds I thought I
could tether her out to eat grass and thus progress without having to
buy food. So I took the mule. I asked him if he would furnish me with a
saddle and bridle, and he let me have nearly a new Mexican saddle and
bridle and I was once more in good shape. Capt. Ledger asked me where I
was going. I said, Home, in Georgia. Which way? I am on my way to
Eufaula. So he said, I believe I'll ride a piece of the way with you. He
had his horse caught, which was a magnificent animal. Riding along side
by side I remarked, Captain that is a splendid horse you are on. He
said, Yes, I have a pair, you could not tell one from the other; they
are spirited animals but perfectly gentle. Their owner must have prized
them highly; some of the men picked them up. That's a new name for
stealing, said I. He remarked, I suppose so, but if I could find out
their owner I am going to return them to him; I am making some effort
towards it. I said, Well sir, it does me good to hear you say so, and to
know that there are some men of feeling, and gentlemen among your army.
He said, Well, war is war. It is true that many acts were committed
unnecessarily harsh, but I am glad it is over and I hope we will all be
friends again. He stopped, saying, Well, I have ridden far enough, and I
am going back. We shook hands, he wished me a safe journey and cantered
back to his camp. It was already late and I proceeded as far as Fort
Browder and stopped over night with Mr. Tom Wells. His wife was also a
Georgian and a kinswoman of the Braswell family.


The following morning after bidding my host good bye I took the road to
Union Springs. On my way I caught up with General Pillow, who was riding
in a carriage drawn by two fine mules, and his son George, who was
riding horseback. I said, Hello! On your way home? He answered, Yes.
What route are you going? We are trying to make Union Springs for
tonight; father is not very well and we are making short stations. I
remarked, I am surprised they left you your horse. He said, They left us
our side arms and let father have his carriage and mules and me my
horse. I rode up to the carriage, shook hands with the old General,
whose head was as white as snow, congratulated him on his good luck of
being able to keep his outfit. He said, Yes, it was more than I
expected. We traveled together for several miles when we were met by
five men, one of which, a rather portly fellow, remarked, Boys, if this
is not Sal, I'll be hanged. And he advanced and took my mule by the
bridle, saying, This mule belongs to me, you will have to get off. I
said, I reckon not, drawing my pistol. He said, The Yankees stole that
mule from me. I said, Well, I got her from the Yankees, but she cost me
a watch worth about thirty dollars. I stated facts as they were, saying,
I am on my way to Eufaula and I am crippled and can't walk, and I shall
ride there if it costs me my life. So General Pillow interfered, saying,
Gentlemen, this is a Confederate soldier on his way home; he is crippled
and can't walk. I will pay you for the mule to end the matter. What kind
of money? Confederate, of course, I have no other. Well, that is not
worth a curse. That is all I've got. The men were still standing in
front of me and occasionally touched the reins, when I cocked my pistol,
saying, Turn that bridle loose, I am going to Eufaula on this mule.
After that I do not care what becomes of it; I expect to take the boat
there for Columbus. He answered, I tell you what I'll do; here is a gold
chain; I suppose it is worth as much as your watch. I will give you that
chain and you'll leave the mule with the hotel man and I'll get her
there. So I said all right, when General Pillow remarked, Gentlemen,
undoubtedly you are in search of stock; suppose you were to find any
that belongs to somebody else, which it would be pretty apt to be, and
the owner would come and claim it; would you turn it over to him? The
spokesman hesitated, then said, I don't know if I would or not. I said,
well, our arrangement suits me; what is the hotel keeper's name? He told
me but I have forgotten it. So we arrived at our destination about one
hour by sun and stopped all night at the house of Major Pemberton, a
friend of General Pillow's. George and I occupied the same bed. He
proved to be an excellent companion and we recounted many incidents to
one another. After breakfast we parted company. I took the route to
Eufaula, Ala., by myself, leaving General Pillow and his son with our
host, with whom they proposed to stay for a few days, before continuing
their homeward journey, which was near Franklin, Tenn. I arrived at
Eufaula at about three o'clock p. m. and inquired for the hotel, whose
proprietor I found sitting in a chair in front. Is this the hotel? Yes
sir. A soldier on his way home? Yes sir. This is a good mule you have
got; will you sell her? I said, How much will you give me for it? He
remarked, I have only Thirty-Five Dollars, in Mexican silver and some
Confederate money that nobody takes about here. I'll give you the
Mexican dollars for the outfit. You will also give me my dinner and fill
my haversack with provisions to last me home? Yes, I'll do that too.
What time will the boat leave for Columbus? At four o'clock. Well, I
have time to take dinner. I turned the mule over to him, he had me
served something to eat and paid me thirty-five Mexican silver dollars.
I took the chain, which was not gold but galvanized brass, and said, I
am glad I have made connection with the boat, I will get home sooner.
Handing the proprietor the chain, I said, There is a gentleman who may
call for me; you tell him I made connection and went on. This chain
belongs to him and I want him to have it. All right, said he. The boat,
according to schedule, left for Columbus with me aboard. In Columbus I
met Dr. Mullin, a friend of Dr. Crawford's, but could get no information
as to his whereabouts. From Columbus I traveled to Atlanta. The sight
that met my view was sickening. Instead of a nice little city, for it
must be remembered that Atlanta at that time was not the cosmopolitan of
this day, it could not have had over seven or eight thousand
inhabitants; there it lay in ashes, the work of vandalism. The brick
chimneys marked the places where comfortable shelters used to stand. Its
inhabitants fled from the approaching foe, fearing even a worse fate at
the hands of such unscrupulous barbarians. From Atlanta I followed in
the wake of Sherman's army towards Macon, and had it not been for my
trade with the hotel keeper of Eufaula to have my haversack filled, I
could not have existed to the end of my journey. As already stated, the
Country for miles in every direction was sacked and burned. I say this
much for the New England civilization, of these days, that in no
country, civilized or uncivilized, could such barbarism have excelled
such diabolical manifestation. I arrived in Macon at dusk, intending to
pass the night at my cousin's. In front of the Brown House came an
ambulance, said to contain President Jefferson Davis. They traveled at a
good trot, surrounded by a body of cavalry which I was informed were
Wilson's men, Macon being in the hands of that General to whom General
Howell Cobb surrendered that city. I was sick at heart at our entire
helplessness and complete prostration. I called on my relatives who were
glad to see me again among the living. They were much depressed at the
condition of things, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. I met
Mr. Kaufman, General Cobb's orderly, as I was about to leave for what I
called home. I stated that if there was a chance for me to get something
to ride it would greatly facilitate my locomotion. My ankle, although
still sore was healing nicely. Mr. Kaufman said, I will sell you my
horse, I have got nothing to feed him on. I said, I will give you all
the money I got for the mule, having given them already the history of
my itinerary from Montgomery to Macon. He accepted my offer and I was
again in a traveling condition. All along my route devastation met my
view. I could not find sufficient corn to give my horse a square meal.
Wherever I found a green spot I dismounted to let my horse eat grass. I
traveled at night as well as in the day time and arrived at my
destination about 10 o'clock a. m. the next day.


Conditions there were not as bad as I had seen along the line of march,
although they were bad enough. Mr. and Mrs. Braswell received me as if I
had been one of their own family. I found the premises badly
dilapidated, fences down everywhere and everything in disorder, the
negro men gone, following the yankee army, the negro women and children
were still left to be taken care of by their Master and Mistress. Before
leaving the Yankees started to set the premises on fire but the servant
intervened and begged for their good master and mistress and they
desisted in their intentions. I asked if old Sallie could wash my
clothes I had on, and if I could borrow something to put on while mine
was in process of cleaning, for the enemy had stolen my trunk and its
contents and I had no change of garments. Mr. Braswell was of very
corpulent stature, fully six feet high, weighing about 250 pounds, while
I, in my emaciated condition only weighed 135. One of his garments would
have wrapped twice around me. At 12 o'clock dinner was announced, and I
was surprised at the good and substantial meal that was served. The
menu consisted of fried ham and eggs, corn bread, biscuits, butter and
honey. I said, "folks, you ought not to complain; if you had gone
through where I have and seen what I have seen you would feel like you
live like royalty, for I have seen women and children scratch in the
ground for a few grains of corn for sustenance where the enemy's horses
were camped and fed." Mr. Braswell then explained how he managed when he
heard of the enemy's approach. He took his cattle, horses and mules and
everything he could move, deep in the Ogeechee swamp, leaving only a few
broke down around his premises which the enemy, General Kilpatrick's
cavalry, shot down and left for the buzzards. Mrs. Braswell asked me
what I was going to do. I said I did not know; I was in hope to meet
Cousin Abe Hermann, but you say he was taken prisoner. Do you know where
they carried him to? They answered, No, that Cousin Abe was drafted and
went, as a sutler in General Rube Carswell's regiment and was captured
by the enemy and that they had heard nothing from him, direct. Then Mr.
Braswell said, As long as I've got a mouthful I will divide with you. We
are poor and I don't know how to begin with the new order of things, all
the hands having left me. After telling Mrs. Braswell about her kindred
in Alabama and of my ups and downs during that afternoon, I spent a
sleepless night, ruminating in my mind as to what to do. The future
looked dark, the country was ruined. Wherever I cast my eyes, conditions
looked the same. The following morning after breakfast I approached Mr.
Braswell, saying, My friend, I can't accept your proposition to be an
extra burden to you in your already impoverished condition. He said,
What are you going to do? I said, The next time you hear from me I will
be in a position to make a support, or I will be a dead cock in the pit.
I am going to leave this morning. I left for Sandersville, where I met
many friends. While there I heard of some of the boys having picked up
an abandoned Confederate wagon. There were about fifteen that claimed a
share in it. The next day I went to Milledgeville and stopped this side
at Mr. Stroters, who had run a distillery during the war. I said, Mr.
Stroter have you any whiskey on hand? He said, Yes, one barrel, I had it
buried. Can I get about five gallons? He said, Yes. What will you take
for it? Five dollars a gallon, in Yankee money, the Confederate money is
no good now. I said, I'll take five gallons if you have a keg to put it
in. I have no money of the description you want, but I will leave you my
horse in bond.

Early in the morning I proceeded on my way to Macon, carrying the five
gallon keg of whiskey on my shoulder. The journey was a long one,
thirty-two miles, with a burden and it being summer time was no small
undertaking. I arrived however, in East Macon the following day. I
entered the woods in search of a clay root where I could hide away my
burden. I found a large tree that was blown down, leaving a big hole,
where I placed my keg and covered it with leaves. I marked the place so
as to find it when wanted. I also carried a canteen full of liquor under
my coat, and walked towards Macon. On the way I met a Federal in deep
study. I passed him a step or two, then stopped and said, Say! He
turned, saying, you speak to me? I said, Yes, would you like to have a
drink? He said, Yes, the best in the world. I tell you how you can get
this canteen full. If you bring me out a mule this side the sentinel I
will give you this canteen full. He remarked, You'll wait yonder until I
return. I waited over an hour, when I saw him come on a small mule. The
exchange was quickly effected, and I rode back to Milledgeville and left
the mule at Stroters. After eating a hearty meal I returned on foot to
Macon, I repeated the same tactics, brought back three mules and sold
over one hundred drinks at $1.00 a drink, paid Stroter my debt and
returned to Washington County, left my stock with my friend B. S. Jordan
to tend his crop, who at that time had a negro plowing an old steer. I
said, Ben, Work your crop, for I do not know how long you can keep them.
I returned to Sandersville in quest of the boys who claimed the captured
Confederate wagon, and to purchase it. They agreed if I would bring each
a wool hat from Savannah on my return I could have the wagon, which I
agreed to. Major Irwin gave me an old set of gears and I was ready to
carry freight from Sandersville and Washington County to Savannah for a
living, for let it be known that Sherman in his vandalism tore up the
Central railroad all the way from Macon to Savannah, Ga., and for eight
months after the surrender I continued wagoning hauling freight back and
forth, taking the weather as it came, rain or shine, cold or warm.


My first journey as wagoner to Savannah was a successful one. There was
still some cotton through the country that escaped the Sherman
depredators. Mr. W. G. Brown let me have two bales. Mr. Pinkus Happ let
me have one. My tariff was $5.00 per 100 pounds, and the same returning.
I took the Davisboro road from Sandersville, having only two mules
hitched to the wagon. I had sent word to Mr. Jordan to meet me with my
horse and mule still in his possession. The road was heavy for it was a
rainy season and to make it lighter pulling I concluded to have a four
mule team. So we put the harness on the horse and mule and hitched them
in the lead. About that time a negro I knew, named Perry, came up and
made himself useful. I said, Perry, what are you doing? Nothing, Marse
Ike. How would you like to wagon for me at $15.00 a month and rations?
Very well, said he. Well, jump in the saddle, I am on my way to
Savannah. It was about four o'clock p. m. Perry took hold of the line
and cracked his whip, when the horse, whose other qualities, except a
saddle horse I did not know, commenced to kick in a spirited manner, so
as to skin his legs with the trace chains in which he became entangled,
I had to unhitch him. Mr. John Salter was present and saw the whole
proceeding. I remarked, Well. I am sorry for that for I had expected to
have a four horse team, and now can have only a spike team. Salter said,
Hermann, what will you take for this horse? You say he is a good saddle
horse? I never straddled a better one. What will you give me? He said he
had no money but had two bales of cotton under his gin house and I could
have it for the horse. How far do you live from here? Two miles only.
All right, the horse is yours. Perry, let us go and get the cotton. Mr.
Salter led the way where the cotton was. We loaded the same and drove
that night to the Fleming place and camped. The trip was uneventful. We
made the journey to Savannah in four days. There was a firm of cotton
factors named Bothwell and Whitehead doing business in the City, and
they were my objective point. However, before arriving into the city,
about thirty miles this side, I met men wanting to buy my cotton. They
offered me from fifteen to fifty cents per pound. I did not know what
the value was; I knew that before the war started it brought about eight
cents. However, I drove up to the firms office on Bay street. I saw Mr.
Bothwell; after the usual greeting I said, What is cotton selling at?
It brought .62½ this a. m., but I think I can get more than that if it
is good cotton. To make matters short I got .65 per pound and the two
bales Salter let me have for my horse weighed 600 pounds a bale, netting
me $720.00. I bought me another mule and now I was again fully equipped
and made the voyage regularly every week. I took a partner, as the
business was more than I could attend to by myself; his name was Solomon
Witz. He would engage freight during my absence, and we sometimes made
the trip together. The country was forever in a state of excitement. New
edicts appeared from time to time from Washington, D. C., Congress
promulgated laws to suit their motives, and notwithstanding the
agreement between General Lee and General Grant at Appomattox that the
men should return, build up their waste places and not again to take up
arms until properly exchanged and they should not be molested as long as
they should attend to their daily avocations, Congress established what
was then known as the Freedmen's Bureau, seemingly for the protection of
the negroes, as if they needed any, as their devotion to their master
and their behavior at home while every white man able to bear arms was
at the front fighting for their homes and firesides, leaving their
families in the hands of their slaves whose devotion was exemplary, was
not that a sufficient guarantee of the relationship between slaves and
masters? The attachment was of the tenderest kind and a white man would
have freely offered his life for the protection of his servants; but
that condition did not suit our adversaries. Although we thought the war
was over, it was not over and more terrible things awaited the Southern
people. Emissaries of every description, like vultures, surnamed carpet
baggers, for all they possessed could be enclosed into a hand bag,
overran this country to fatten on the remnants left. School mams of the
far East, of very questionable reputation, opened what were called
schools, presumably to teach the negroes how to read and write, but
rather to inculcate into their minds all sorts of deviltry, embittering
their feelings against their former owners and life long friends, urging
them to migrate for unless they did they would still be considered as
bondsmen and bondswomen, thus breaking up the kind relation existing
between the white man and the negro. And all this under the protection
of the Freedmen's Bureau backed up by a garrison of Federals stationed
in every town and city throughout the Southern States. In fact the
South was made to feel the heels of the despots. Military Governors were
appointed. All those who bore arms or aided or abetted in the cause of
the South were disfranchised, the negro was enfranchised and allowed the
ballot, with a military despot at the helm and negroes and carpet
baggers, and a few renegades such as can be found in any country, as
legislators. The ship of state soon run into shallow waters and was
pounded to pieces on the reeves of bankruptcy. Taxes were such that
property owners could not meet them and they had the misfortune to see
their lifelong earnings sacrificed under so called legal process, of the
hammer, for a mere song. These were the actual conditions in the days of
the so called reconstruction. Bottom rail on top, was the slogan of
those savage hordes. Forty acres and a mule, and to every freedman,
Government rations, was the prelude of legislation. Men who took up arms
in defense of their sacred rights could not be expected to endure such a
state of affairs forever, the women and children must be protected. The
garrisons were gradually withdrawn; the carpet baggers remained and
ruled; negroes formed themselves into clubs and organizations under
their leadership, when as an avalanche all over the Southern states
appeared the K. K. K.'s, called the Ku Klux Klan, or the Boys Who Had
Died at Manassas, who have come back to regulate matters. Terror struck
into the ranks of the guilty and of the would be organizers and the
country soon resumed its normal state, Governors fled and Legislators
took to the bush. But I am deviating from my subject.


On the following trip to Savannah I met G. W. Kelley and Dr. G. L.
Mason, on the same errand, viz. hauling cotton to market. After having
disposed of the same we reloaded our teams in merchandise, which was
easily disposed of, as the country was in need of everything that could
add to the comfort or even necessities of the people. The country being
in the condition it was, we were glad to travel together for company's
sake. So in the evening we left and camped about twelve miles out of the
city. As a rule one of the party ought to have been on guard, but such
was not the case that night. About midnight I awoke and found two of my
mules gone. I noted also that the line with which they were attached had
been cut with a sharp knife. Following the tracks they led back into the
city. So I left my partner at Savannah on the lookout while I went my
way back to Sandersville, minus two mules. I managed to buy two more
mules to fill out my team. I had to take what was offered to me, at any
price, my partner, after remaining several days at Savannah, recognized
one of the mules in charge of a negro. He called for the police and had
the negro arrested. There being no legal judge, the case was carried
before a captain of one of the military companies stationed there. The
negro proved by a confederate that this mule was in his possession long
before my partner claimed it was stolen, thus setting up an alibi,
without proving as to where he got her from. My partner failed to get
the mule and had to pay about $8.00 costs for his trouble, which was all
the cash he had with him. Later the firm received a bill for $5.00 more
cost but I paid no attention to it and never heard of it any more.

Under the advice of their instructors, the blacks were going and coming.
The road to Savannah was traveled by them at night as well as by day.
Most of them were making for the cities. Savannah was the goal for those
in this section. One evening on my way I stopped my team within eighteen
miles this side of the City. Mr. Guerry, who was a fairly well to do
farmer for those days and conditions, near to whose domicile I camped,
buying some corn and fodder from him to feed my team, also such
provisions for myself as he had for sale. At break of day we had left on
our weary journey; on my return a day or so afterwards I passed his
premises and to keep from walking I had bought me an extra mule. As I
rode up I noticed Mr. Guerry and three of his sons in a pen, ready to
kill hogs. It was on a Friday, in the month of December, 1865. It was a
clear, beautiful, cold day. I greeted them, Good morning, gentlemen,
this is a beautiful day to kill hogs. Without noticing my greeting, one
of them said, "This is the fellow," when the old fellow picked up his
gun from the fence corner and raising the same exclaimed, "You are the
d----d fellow that took off our cook." I was completely taken by
surprise, and the first word I spoke I said, "You lie", and I jumped off
my mule and drew my pistol. My neighbors say they saw her follow your
wagon the day after you camped here the night before. I said, In fact we
caught up with a negro woman about two miles from here carrying a large
bundle on her head, and she asked my driver if she could put her
incumbrance on the wagon. I said, No, my mules have all they can pull,
and are jaded already. In fact that was all the words that passed
between her and me and up to about 10 o'clock a. m. she was either
walking in front or behind the team, carrying her luggage. I did not
know where she came from nor where she was going. I supposed she was on
her way to Savannah, like the rest of them. I guess you see them pass
here daily. He said, some of my neighbors told me they saw her behind
your wagon. Just at that moment Messrs. L. D. Newsome and Seaborn
Newsome and Alex Brown drove up, hauling cotton to Savannah. I was glad
to see them. Hello boys, you of Washington County come in good time.
Here are some fellows accusing me of stealing their negro cook. They
said at once, Oh, no! You got hold of the wrong fellow. We know him, he
comes from our county and would not do such a thing. He is a Confederate
soldier and fought all through the war. Then I said, Mr. Guerry, let us
reason together. You have always treated me clever when I passed here. I
have never entered your yard. I always paid you for what you sold to me.
The negroes are free and they are thought to migrate. I had no rights to
stop the woman on her journey, but had I known that she was your servant
I would have talked to her and advised her to go back where she belongs.
Mr. Guerry seemed to regret his hasty words and begged my pardon, and
insisted on all of us, to go into the house for refreshments. We finally
shook hands and parted good friends.


A rainy season soon set in; the streams were overflowing, and the road
became bad and hard, to travel. On arriving at the Ogeechee river at
Summertown I found that it had deborted its banks and was at least a
quarter of a mile wide. I struck camp, waiting for the water to recede.
The following day Geo. W. Kelley drove in sight. He also had a load of
five bales of cotton and he struck camp. But it continued to rain and
the river instead of receding became wider and deeper. The cotton market
was declining rapidly and we were anxious to reach the market. I
suggested to Mr. Kelley that I would take the tallest of the mules and
sound the width of the current. The mule walked in the water up to the
banks, neck deep, when he began to swim, I guided him when again he
struck foothold. I rode to the end of the water, in parts only breast
deep. I retraced my steps and reported my investigation. We held counsel
together and concluded that by using prolongs we could hitch the eight
mules to one wagon and while the rear mules would be in mid stream the
front ones would be on terra firma and pull the team across. We sent to
Mr. Coleman who lived close by, for ropes. We cut saplings, laid them
on top of each wagon, fastened the ends tight to the wagon body so as to
prevent the current from washing off any of the cotton while the wagon
would be submerged in midstream during the crossing. Our plan proved to
be a successful one, and thus we forded the Ogeechee river without the
least accident. We repeated the same tactics for the remaining wagon. We
reached Savannah in due time, sold the cotton and bought merchandise for
other parties, and I received pay going and coming. On returning I
concluded to cross the river by the upper route, at Jenkins Ferry, to
avoid recrossing the river as per previous method. We struck camp at
dark close to the river bank. I told Perry to feed and water the team
while I would examine the ferry flat. Presently Mr. Stetson from
Milledgeville, drove up and also struck camp. I considered the flat a
very shabby and a dangerous affair to cross on with a heavy load and so
reported, but Mr. Stetson thought it all right. The following morning at
break of day the ferryman was on hand as per arrangements that evening.
Stetson and his men hurried up so as to get across first and thus gain
time. My man Perry also hurried faster than was his wont to do, for he
was usually slow in his movements, when I cautioned him to take his
time and go slow and let the other wagon cross first. It was well that I
did so, for the flat went down nearly midstream, and if the front mules
had not had foot hold in time the whole business would have drowned.
Stetson's damage in merchandise was considerable. He was loaded with
salt, cutlery and general merchandise. When I saw that no personal
damage was done I bid them good bye to take another route by a twenty
mile detour, via. Louisville, and crossed the river at Fenn's Bridge.


The Central road was being rebuilt from Savannah and we met the trains
at its terminals, thus shortening the distance of our journeys. The
train had reached Guyton, thirty miles this side of Savannah and was
advancing daily until completed to Macon. It was early in the spring
when I met the train at station No. 6, a flat country. It had rained
nearly daily for a week; the roads were slushy, I had on a heavy load;
we had traveled the whole day long until dark. It was hard to find a dry
knob to camp on, until finally we came to a little elevation. I said
Perry we are going to stop here. He guided the team into the woods a few
paces and unhitched, while I was looking for a few lightwood knots to
build up a fire. Everything was wet and it was hard to kindle up a
blaze. When suddenly there arrived on the scene an ambulance pulled by a
team of four splendid mules and thirteen Federal soldiers alighted. They
took the grounds on the opposite side of the road. I thought to myself,
Now I am into it. Perry was on his knees, fanning up the damp pine
straw, when one of those fellows called, Heigho, you black fellow, come
here. I said to Perry in an undertone, Attend to your business. When
the same fellow called again, Hello you negro, I told you to come here,
did you hear me? accompanying his remarks with the coarsest words. Perry
answered, My boss told me to tend to my business. D----n you and your
boss, too, was his reply. As he had completed the sentence, I being
close by the side of my wagon, reached up and took my Spencer in hand,
bringing it from a trail to a support. I stepped to the center of the
road, saying, D----n you some too. This is not the first time I have met
some of you at odds, and I am ready for the fray, if it has to be.
Everything was quiet, not a word was uttered. I still remained standing
in the road, watching any move they might make, when one of them spoke,
saying, Will you let me come to you? He spoke in a very conciliatory
tone. I said, Yes, one at a time. He came to me unarmed, and said, Let
us have no trouble; don't pay any attention to that fellow, he is
drinking. There is plenty of room here for all of us, without any
friction. I said, Well, if your friend is drunk, take care of him. I am
able to take care of myself. He returned to his camp and I to mine. I
heard him say to his comrades, That fellow won't do to fool with. By
that time Perry had succeeded in having a rousing fire and we went to
work on the culinary department. Our meals were simple, a little fried
meat and corn bread and water from out of a ditch. Presently one of the
Federals hollered over, "Say, Johnnie, don't you want some coffee?" I
answered, "No, it has been so long since I tasted any I have forgotten
how it tastes." He said, We have a plenty and you are welcome to it if
you will have it. I said I have no way to make coffee if I had any. So
one of them came over with some parched coffee and offered it to me. I
declined it, for I had no mill to grind it, nor any vessel to stew it
in. They insisted, bringing over all of the paraphernalia for the
brewing of coffee and I must admit that it was enjoyed by Perry, as well
as myself, it being the first that had passed my lips in four years.
After our meal was completed they came over, one after another and sat
around the fire. The conversation became general and I found them to be
very congenial company. One brought me a whole haversack full of green
coffee, saying, Have it, we have a sack of over a hundred pounds. I
thanked them saying, This is quite a treat. And what seemed to be a
disagreeable affair in its incipiency terminated most agreeably. It
having become late I suggested that we take a night cap and retire. I
passed around the jug and each returned to his respective quarters.
However I slept, as the saying is, with one eye open. Early in the
morning we fed the mules, rekindled the fire, drank a warm cup of coffee
and ate a bite or so. We harnessed two of our mules, two of which in the
lead were of small size, when one of the Federals proposed to swap
mules. I said, Your mules are worth a great deal more than mine, and I
have no money to pay boot. We don't want any money said another, we want
you to have the best team on the road, by swapping your two lead mules
for those tall black ones of ours you will have a real fine team. They
then said they were on their way to Augusta to report to the
quartermaster there, that they had receipted for four mules and a sack
of coffee to be delivered to the quartermaster in Augusta. The mules in
their possession were not branded as government mules but were picked up
and a mule is a mule, so we deliver the number of heads is all that is
required. To tell the truth I feared a trap, but while I was talking
with one of them the others changed the lead mules for two of theirs and
off they drove in a lope, singing, Old John Brown Lies Buried in the
Ground, etc. We trudged along, Perry and I elated over our good luck,
when Perry said, Well Marse Ike, your standing up to them made them your


I had rented the store house from Mr. Billy Smith where he and Slade had
done business before the war, in Sandersville, and opened up business in
heavy and family groceries. In the meantime my team was making the trip
between Sandersville and the Central terminal, which had not
considerably advanced, owing to the demoralized condition of labor. So I
concluded at this particular time it would accelerate matters by hauling
a load of merchandise with my team; hence I drove through all the way to
Savannah. While there, on passing Congress street, I met an old friend
named Abe Einstein, of the firm of Einstein and Erkman, wholesale
drygoods merchants. He was speaking to one Mr. Cohen from New York, who
had just arrived by steamer with a cargo of drygoods. He wanted to
locate in Augusta, but owing to the Federals having torn up that branch
of the railroad at Millen the Augusta trains run no further than
Waynesboro. Hence he was trying to fill in the gap with teams. Mr.
Einstein told him that I had a splendid team and that I would be a good
man for him to employ. So he asked me if I would haul a load for him. I
replied I would if he would pay me enough for it. He said, How much can
you pull at a load? I said, My mules can pull all that the wagon can
hold up. What do you ask? Four hundred dollars. Whiz, I did not want to
buy your team, I only wanted to hire it. I said to him, Well, that is my
price. I said, You fellows up North tore up the road, you ought to be
able to pay for such accommodations as you can get. He studied over the
situation a little. Turning to Mr. Einstein, Do you know this man; can I
rely on him? Mr. Einstein replied, Perfectly reliable, I stand sponsor.
He said, I tell you what I'll do, I'll pay you down $200.00 and Mr.
Einstein will pay you $200.00 when you return. Mr. Einstein agreed to
it, so I said, That is satisfactory, I shall deliver so many boxes as
you put on to the agent, take his receipt for the same and Mr. Einstein
will pay me $200.00 due. I had, to my regret, had to discharge my
teamster Perry, owing to the neglect of duty, and engaged another named
Bill Flagg. He was an old conscientious negro, very religiously
inclined. We loaded our team and followed instructions. On arrival at
Waynesboro, I never had been there before, so I inquired for the depot
and found an improvised little house beside the railroad track and a man
claiming to be the railroad agent. I have a load of goods here for
Augusta. Put them in the car, said he. I said, count the boxes and make
me out a receipt. He said all right. After my business with the agent
was concluded, I asked him to show me the Louisville route, which he
pointed out to me, with several explanations as to the right and left
intervening roads. Waynesboro was at that time, as it is now, the county
site of Burke county, a town of about 1000 inhabitants. It has greatly
improved since and is quite a prosperous city of some importance now.

Before we got out of the incorporation a detachment of Federal troops
surrounded my team and ordered my driver to dismount. I was a few paces
behind my wagon and I hurried to the front. One of the soldiers had hold
of my mules' bridle and ordered my driver to dismount. I said to my man,
If you dismount I will kill you; you sit where you are, you are under my
orders. I ordered the trooper to let go my mule. He turned loose the
bridle, but held his position with others in front of the team. The
commotion brought together the balance of the garrison and some
citizens. I remarked right here, I'll sell out; you shall not deprive me
of the means to make an honest living. So the Captain remarked, We are
ordered to take up all Confederate property. I said, I have no
objection for you to take up Confederate property, but this is my
individual property and your action is highway robbery, which I do not
propose to submit to. There is a way to prove those things; I am a
citizen of Sandersville and have been wagoning for a living. There is a
garrison of troops in my town and if this is Confederate property they
have had a chance to confiscate it long ago. He said, What is your name?
I answered, I. Hermann, Sandersville, Washington County, is my home. He
pretended to make a note of it and told me to drive on. I was glad to
have gotten out of that scrape. On reaching home Flagg came to me,
saying, Boss, I have to quit you. What is the matter, Bill? said I, have
I not always treated you right. Oh yes, but I am afraid of you. How so
Bill? I am afraid some day you might get mad with me and kill me: Any
man that can stand before a whole company of Yankees like you and keep
them from taking his team, is a dangerous man. You must get you another
man. I said, all right, Bill. When Perry heard that Bill Flagg had left
my employment he came to me, asking to be re-instated and promising to
be more attentive to his duties. So I took him back and he remained with
me for several years.


The railroad track had advanced considerably, and in the Fall of the
year, 1866, had reached Bartow, No. 11. My partner for some time had
taken charge of the team while I attended to the store. Once he came
home badly bunged up and a knife cut on his cheek. I said, What has
happened? He said he had some difficulty with the Agent and they double
teamed on him. So I remarked, Well, you can send Perry without you
going. I wrote to the agent asking him to deliver to the bearer, Perry,
a load of my merchandise then in his possession, to check off the same
and send me a list. We had at that time two car loads on the track for
the firm. When Perry returned he failed to bring the list, his wagon
being loaded with corn and every sack ripped more or less. I said, How
come you to accept merchandise in that condition. He answered, the sacks
were allright when I took them out of the car, it was after they were
loaded one of them fellows, a white man named Smith, run around the
wagon and cut the sacks and I spilled lots of corn. I picked up some of
it and put in that sack, indicating a sack ¾ full. I said, Do you know
the man; would you recognize him again if you were to meet him? Oh yes,
Marse Ike. Saturday morning I took charge of the team and my partner
remained at the store. I took dinner and fed my mules at my friends' Mr.
B. G. Smith, to whom I stated the facts as told to me. He said, be
careful, don't be too hasty. I said, Right is right and I don't want
anything but my rights, and those I am going to have before I return.

We arrived at our destination about four o'clock p. m. The Sherman
contingency had burned the warehouse as they did all the others along
their march. Consequently the railroad Company used passenger cars on
the side track to transact their office work, while freight cars served
as a warehouse until discharged of their contents. As I entered the
office car a young man met me. I remarked, Are you the agent? He said,
No, Mr. Mims is at Parson Johnson's house. What is your name? My name is
Smith. Then you are the scoundrel that mutilated my goods, and I
advanced. He run out of the door and slammed it to with such force that
he shattered the glass panel into fragments. When I came out to where
Perry was, he said, That's the fellow that cut the sacks, there he goes.
Well Perry build a little fire by the side of this car for here we will
camp until some one returns to deliver us the freight. The sun had set
below the horizon and it had begun to get night, when Mr. Tom Wells, an
acquaintance of mine, approached me. He was an employee of the railroad
company also. Well Ike, old fellow, how are you getting along? All right
Tom, how are you? I am all right. What brought you here, said he? I said
business, I have goods here if I can find an agent to deliver them. I
heard you came here for a difficulty, said he. I remarked, It seems I am
already in a difficulty, I can't get any one to deliver me my goods.
Well, I will tell you, Mr. Mims is a perfect gentleman. I am glad to
hear it. Do you know him? No, I have never seen him, but up to now I
can't have the same opinion of him that you have. I have not been
treated right and I came here for justice. He said, Well, let me tell
you; there are about forty employees here, hands and all, and they will
all stick to him, right or wrong. I said, I came here to see Mr. Mims
and I intend to stay here until I do see him, if it takes me a week.
Well Ike, if you promise me that you will not raise a difficulty I will
go after him and introduce you to each other. I said, Tom, there are
other ways to settle a difficulty without fighting if men want to do
right. Well I will go for him; I know Mr. Mims is going to do what is
right, and you too. Mr. Mims came presently, and a whole gang following
him. I said, Mr. Mims, it seems you and my partner had a difficulty. I
do not know the cause and I do not care to know. He said you fellows
double teamed on him and he got worsted in the fight. To avoid a
recurrence of the difficulty I sent my driver to you and a note. You
ignored my note and sent me a load of corn with all the sacks ripped
open, more or less, with a knife in the hands of one of your employees.
I berated my man for accepting goods in that condition and he stated to
me how all of it was done. I am now here to see what can be done about
it. I have never done you any injury to be treated in that manner. He
said, Mr. Hermann, I am sorry it happened. I will see that it will not
be done again. I said, Have you discharged the fellow who did it? He
answered, No, not yet. I said, Well, I demand that it be done now. And
what about the damage I sustained. He remarked that the road would run
to Tennille by next Wednesday, a distance of 25 miles, and he would
forward my two car loads of freight free of charge from Bartow to
Tennille. I said that was satisfactory. I wanted to load my wagon; he
said, we do not deliver goods at night. I answered that if he had been
at his post of duty on my arrival I would have had plenty of time to
load and be on my way back, and I wished to load up at once for the
morrow being Sunday I did not want to be on the road. He delivered the
merchandise and Perry and I passed Sunday with my friend B. G. Smith,
who was glad matters passed off as they did. Monday morning we took an
early start and by twelve o'clock I was at home. That was my last trip
as a wagoner, but not as a soldier, as the sequel will show.


When the commanding officers of the Confederate army surrendered and
stacked arms the rank and file expected that the terms of the cartel
promulgated and agreed upon would be carried out to the letter. The men
laid down their arms in good faith, feeling as General R. E. Lee
remarked in his farewell address to them, that under present unequal
condition it would only be a waste of precious lives to continue the
struggle. The following were the terms of the agreement entered into
between General Grant and General Lee: The officers and men to return to
their homes and remain there until exchanged and not to be disturbed by
the United States authorities so long as they observe their paroles and
the laws in force in their respective states.

But the fellows who directed the ship of state and who were invisible on
the firing line became invincible, when the South lay prostrated. The
first order was from Secretary Staunton, for the arrest of our
commanding officers. This order, however, was resented by General Grant
as contrary to the cartel and should not be executed. This caused a
rupture between the two and the order was finally rescinded. The next
step was to disperse all State authority and appoint a military
Governor. General Wilson acted in that capacity in Georgia. The same
year, 1865, negroes were proclaimed free and military garrisons
established in every town, city or village throughout the South. Under
the superintendence of those militaries the Freedmen's Bureau was
established, forcing negroes to migrate from one place to another, thus
breaking up the good relationship still existing between Masters and
servants. The bureau was seemingly gotten up for the protection of the
blacks, as if they needed any protection, they to whom we owed so much
for their good behavior during the time when every available man able to
bear arms was at the front, leaving their families in charge of the
negroes. The gratitude of our people was or ought to have been
sufficient guarantee in that line. Such harmonious condition did not
suit the powers that be, there was venom in their heart for revenge, and
punitive measures were concocted. Never were captives bound tighter than
the people of the South. Is it a wonder that the men of the South became
desperate and used desperate remedies to oust more desperate diseases?
The carpet baggers made their exit. The negroes' mind had been
prejudiced under the auspices of those vultures. They were forced into
societies, one of which was the Rising Sun. Some called it The Rising
Sons. God only knows what ultimate result they expected to obtain. Drums
and fifes were heard in every direction at night times. The woods were
full of rumors that the negroes are rising. Men in towns made ready for
emergencies, every one on his own hook; no organization for defense, in
case harsher measures should be needed. When the author of this sketch
took up the idea of a reunion of his comrades and inserted a call in the
county's weekly, calling on the members of Howell's Battery for a social
reunion, their wives and children, when other veterans suggested why not
make it a reunion for all the veterans of the County. I was only too
glad for the suggestion and changed the call to include all veterans of
the county, and on the day specified there was the greatest reunion
Washington County ever had. It was estimated that eight thousand people
participated. There were over one hundred carcasses besides thousands of
baskets filled to overflow with eatables and delicacies. The object of
the meeting was stated to form an artillery company as a nucleus or
rallying head and to meet organization with organization not as a
measure of aggression but as a protection. The author was elected
Captain. Under his supervision he built an armory and eventually the
State furnished him with two pieces of artillery. The day he received
the guns he had a salute fired. The boys in the rural districts had not
forgotten the sound of artillery and the town was filled with
enthusiasm. Some of the negro leaders called on me to know what all that
means, I told them it was to teach their misguided people that we can
play at the same game and if they don't stop beating their drums and
blowing fifes in the night time when honest people are at rest I would
shell the woods. This admonition had a splendid effect and the people of
Washington have lived in peace ever since. The author resigned his
commission in the year 1881, when Honorable Alex Stephens was Governor
of Georgia. And Washington County has the honor of having inaugurated
the first reunion of Confederate veterans. The citizens of Washington
County and Howell's Battery presented the author with a gold headed
ebony cane, beautifully carved, as a memorial and their regard for him
as a citizen and a soldier. Being taken by surprise I had to submit to
the caning.

The South passed seemingly through the chamber of horrors of the Spanish
Inquisition and punishments administered by degrees. First robbing the
owners of their slaves, of their justly acquired property, after they,
(the North), received from the Southern farmer its full equivalent in U.
S. money. Second, in the promulgation of the Civil Rights Bill, in
April, 1866. Third, in forcing the Southern people to accept the 14th
and 15th amendment to the Federal Constitution, not as a war measure, as
Abraham Lincoln claimed, when issuing his proclamation to free the
negroes, but as political measures to perpetuate themselves in power.

Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and North Carolina
refused to accept those conditions and in consequence were not admitted
into the Union until 1868, although paying enormous taxes without
representation, and finally had to submit in self defence. Virginia,
Texas and Mississippi held out until 1870 before they succumbed to the
thumb screw.


In writing the foregoing reminiscences I came near omitting an incident
that unless inserted would make them incomplete. In 1868 I went to New
York, via. Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a long journey by rail, on
account of many disconnections and lay overs. On arriving at Greenville
the South Carolina Legislators had adjourned in Columbia and boarded the
train enroute for Washington, D. C. to see General Grant inaugurated as
President of the U. S. The body at that time was composed of a mongrel
set of coal black negroes, mulattoes and carpet baggers. Cartoosa, a
mulatto, was then Treasurer of the State. A negro named Miller was
General in chief of the S. C. militia of State troops. They came
prepared to have a regular holiday. They carried large willow baskets
full of the best provisions and champagne by the quantity, all at the
expense of the State of South Carolina. On arriving at Aqua Creek, which
was about 5 o'clock p. m., we took the boat up the Potomac and were
furnished with dinner. When the bell rang, one of the South Carolina
Legislators, a coal black negro, took his seat at the table when one of
the waiters, also a negro, whispered in his ear. He replied in a very
boisterous manner that his money was as good as any white man's. The
waiter reported to the Purser, who took the would be gentleman by
putting two fingers in his collar, lifted him up and gave him a kick
that sent him reeling into the engine room. The white carpet baggers
seemed not to have noticed this little side show. However the black
brute continued his boisterous remarks and abusing the white race, and
that he, a South Carolina representative had his dignity grossly
insulted and that he was going to report the incident to General Grant
on arrival. When an old gentleman who must have been between 65 and 70
years of age could not stand his abuse any longer, although the balance
of the passengers were amused at his discomfiture took a pistol from his
coat side pocket, shoved it near the negro's face and remarked, I stood
that abuse as long as I intend to; one more word and I'll send you to
hell where you belong, you black brute. The representative, seeing that
this man meant what he said, kept mum. The South Carolina delegation
undoubtedly made a report at headquarters of the above incident, for in
the winding up of President Grant's inaugural address he expressed the
following sentiments: That he hoped that white and black races would
conform to the situation and that by mutual good conduct would maintain
the peace and harmony so necessary for both races, or words to that

Arriving in New York I took in the City. It was my first trip there
since I had landed at Castle Garden from the four masted schooner, The
Geneese, nearly ten years previous. I visited the large firm and
emporium of H. B. Claflin & Company and spoke to Mr. Bancroft. I gave
him a statement of my commercial standing, such as it was, and asked for
his advice, as it was my first attempt as a dry goods merchant. My means
being very limited I wanted to make them reach as far as possible. He
treated me very courteously and furnished me with a salesman, whom he
introduced as Mr. McClucklan. On our way to the basement he asked me,
What State? I said Georgia. D----n Georgia. I stopped at once, looking
him squarely in the face I said, You can't sell me any goods, I am going
for some one not prejudiced against my State, and started back, when he
exclaimed, Hold on, you misconstrue me; I have been a prisoner at
Andersonville and I hate the name of Georgia. I do not mean to say that
there are no good people in Georgia, like everywhere else. Noting a
keystone that I wore on my watch chain he said, I see you are a Mason?
So am I, displaying a square and compass pinned on the lapel of his
coat. We can talk together, said he. If it had not been for a brother
Mason I don't think I'd be here today, I think I would have died of
starvation. He told me of his transit from Andersonville to the Coast.
When the train stopped at a country station, the name of which he did
not know but he knew it was on the Central railroad, he gave the words
of distress. It was a dark night, he could hardly have expected anybody
to answer it, but someone did and before the train left some one brought
him enough fried ham and biscuit to last him several days. So I said, It
was wrapped in a home made napkin with blue borders. He looked at me
with astonishment, saying, So it was; what do you know about it. I said,
I am the fellow, and told him what I did and that Mrs. Hardwick
commended me for it and would not take any pay and that the station was
Davisboro. The man was beside himself. He hugged me, tears ran down his
cheeks; he acted like a crazy fellow. He said, You can't buy any goods
today, you are my guest. He ran to Mr. Bancroft to get excused, saying
that I was an old friend and that he wanted to get off that day. He
hired an open carriage and we drove over the whole city, showing me
everything worth seeing. He carried me around to a fine restaurant and
ordered an elaborate dinner, spent his money with the most lavish hand,
regardless of my protestations, for he would not let me spend a copper.
The following day I made my purchases. It is useless to say that he
dealt squarely with me and with his advice and experience I made what
small capital I had purchase me a very decent stock of merchandise.


Again when President Lincoln in 1863 issued his edict to the Commanding
Generals in their respective territory to proclaim all the negroes free,
as a war measure, as he claimed, he attempted on a large scale what John
Brown failed to make a success of on a small scale, namely to create a
servile insurrection, and thus exposing the helpless and defenceless to
the rapacity of semi-savage hordes. But it failed, as all other attempts
in that line have failed, thus again proving the good relationship
existing between the masters and their servants. Compare the situation
now with that of the ante-bellum days. When a white emissary from the
North hired a horse and buggy from the proprietor of the hotel in
Sandersville, Washington County, Georgia, and left with the same for
parts unknown, he was finally located in Florida and captured and
brought back and put in jail. The lock of the jail was so rusted for the
want of use that it took the assistance of a locksmith to open the door
to let him in. How is it now? A commodious building has had to be
erected to accommodate the masses who trample under foot the laws of
their country; the jails and chaingangs are full to overflowing, with
the perpetrators of crimes. Those are the results of the so called
reconstructionists. Lynching was an unknown quantity in those days;
there was no necessity for it. The laws of the country were
administered, justly and loyally. Courts met at regular periods and
often adjourned the same day for the want of patronage. Some say we are
progressing. That is true, but in the wrong direction. Retrogressing is
the proper word to apply, especially in morality.


Another illustration worthy of mention in connection with the others is
related here. A friend of mine named John J. Jordan, wounded at
Vicksburg, Miss., one of the cleverest and inoffensive beings, owned
several slaves by heritage. Among them was one John Foster, a mulatto.
He was an accomplished carpenter and very active. His master gave him
his own time and he was comparatively free all his life, he was devoted
to the Jordan family and was a very responsible negro, however, his
newly made friends the carpet baggers filled his brains with such
illusions that he became a leader among the negroes, making speeches and
made himself very obnoxious to those who were his friends from infancy.
All at once Foster disappeared. He was gone a couple of years when his
former master received a letter from him, dated New York, begging
assistance to enable him to return to Washington County. Notwithstanding
his master's impoverished condition, the money was sent him and Foster
came back entirely reformed. He had no more use for the Yankees, his
short stay among them cured him. What a pity the authoress of Uncle
Tom's Cabin did not take John Foster under her protecting wings. What a
lost opportunity! What a fine additional illustration that picture would
have made to her already fertile imagination as the sequel will show.

One day John Foster came to my house to see me. Good day, Marse Ike,
said he, I thought I'll come to see you it has been a long time since I
sawn you, and the following conversation took place: Where have you been
John? I've been to New York. How do you like New York? I don't like it
at all, let me tell you Mass Ike, those Yankees are no friends of the
negroes. Well John I could have told you so before you went. Mass Ike,
let me tell you what they've done. They told me I could make a fortune
in the North, that I could get four and five dollars a day by my trade
as a carpenter. Who told you so? Why John E. Bryant and his like of
carpet baggers. Well did you not get it? I got it in the neck, I tell
you what they did. I left here with right smart money, Marse John let me
pay him for my time and got nearly three hundred dollars that I saved. I
went to New York, and after looking around the city for a few days I
commenced hunting work, but wherever I went they shook their heads, for
no. I spent the whole winter there without striking a lick until I
spent all my money. I finally applied at a shop where a dutchman was
foreman, I was willing to work at any price for I had to live but do you
know what they did? No John, I don't. Well they every one of them, and
they worked twenty-five hands, laid down their tools and walked out of
the shop declaring that they would not work by the side of any damned
negro, and the boss had to discharge me. No, Marse Ike, the Yankees are
no friends to we colored people, only for what they can cheat us out of.
I worked all my life among white folks here at home and it made no
difference, I tell you Marse Ike, the people of the South are the
negroes friends. Well John, you did not say so before you left here. No,
I did not appreciate what the people here done for me until I went
North. Well, John, you ought to go among your people and disabuse their
minds and tell them what you know from personal experience. I am doing
that Marse Ike every day. I have not long to stay here below, I have
contracted consumption from exposure and am hardly able to do a day's
work. I am taking little jobs now and then. Well John, if you stand in
need of anything come to see me. You will always find something to eat
here and some clothes to wear. John died six months later.


Before concluding these reminiscences I take pleasure however in stating
that Capt. Howell and myself met after the surrender and after a
thorough understanding agreed that honors were easy and by mutual
consent to bury the hatchet and eventually became warm friends. A little
incident, however, is worth relating here. I was a delegate to a
Governatorial Convention from Washington County. Capt. Howell also was a
delegate from Fulton County, the vote was very close. We were each for
the opposing candidate, the convention lasted for several days and could
not agree. Capt. Howell came to see me, stating that he was a committee
of one appointed by the caucus to come to see me and influence me to
change my vote and vote for their candidate. I said "Capt. what did you
tell them?" He said, "I said I doubt very much that my influence would
have any effect, darn him I could not do anything with him when I had
the power to control him and I am satisfied that my mission will be in
vain." I said, "you spoke well, Captain, go back and report failure."


I would be derelict in my duty and the gratitude I feel towards the
noble women of the South who shared the brunt of misery while their
loved ones were at the front suffering the hardship and rigors of camp
life, and were fighting the battles for what they deemed their most
sacred duty. With aching heart and burning tears she bade her dear ones
God speed and a safe return, shouldering all the responsibilities of
providing for those who were left behind and not able to provide for
themselves. Did they stop at that? Many delicacies and garments were
sent to the front by them to cheer those in the field. They organized
wayside homes for those soldiers who were in transit. They visited the
hospitals and administered to the sick and wounded. They organized the
ladies' relief association and in every way imaginable added to the
comfort of those who shared the brunt of battle. The Confederate
veterans felt grateful to their wives, daughters and kinswomen who
banded themselves together under the name of U. D. C. They have
proclaimed in songs and stories the righteousness of the Confederate
cause and even at late date forced our adversaries to admit that the
cause we fought for was right and the Courts so hold it. Would it be
too much to ask the United Confederate Veterans to see that enduring
monuments of imperishable material be erected in the capital of every
Southern State to perpetuate the memory and the fidelity of those noble

[Illustration: "I've stood that abuse as long as I intend to; one more
word and I'll send you to hell, where you belong--you black brute."]

Sparta heroism was tame indeed in comparison with that of Southern
women, especially those who were left in the wake of the invading armies
amidst the ruins of a once happy home. It is a half a century that has
elapsed since the thunder of Fort Sumter shook this hemisphere. New
generations have appeared on the scene, fraternization is progressing
slowly, but surely, the past is relegated gradually to the rear and the
States again assert their rights, as they see it. Therefore it behooves
the National administration to see to it that equal rights to all and
special privileges to none, is its duty to enforce so as to maintain
this nation the greatest nation on the globe. The sections must get
together and look to the wants and needs of their associates and as far
as lies in their power assist in bringing relief. Thus past differences
will vanish and brotherly love will again prevail and this United States
of America will forever be united to stand in bold relief the model
government in the world.



    Capt., S. A. H. Jones.
    1st Lt., J. W. Rudisill.
    2nd Lt., B. D. Evans.
    3rd Lt., W. W. Carter.
    Ensign, C. M. Jones.
    1st Sergt., E. P. Howell.
    2nd Sergt., G. W. Warthen.
    3rd Sergt., J. M. G. Medlock.
    4th Sergt., A. D. Jernigan.
    5th Sergt., P. R. Taliaferro.
    1st Corpl., W. J. Gray.
    2nd Corpl., A. T. Sessions.
    3rd Corpl., W. H. Renfroe.
    4th Corpl., John R. Wicker.
    Color Bearer, J. T. Youngblood.
    Surgeon, B. F. Rudisill.


    Allen, G. R.
    Arnaw, James
    Bailey, J. W.
    Boatright, B. S.
    Barnes, A. S.
    Barnes, M. A.
    Barwick, W. B.
    Brantley, J. E.
    Brown, Jos. M.
    Collier, Ed.
    Curry, David
    Curry, S. K.
    Curry, J. S.
    Curry, J. H.
    Cullen, S. E.
    Cullen, W. A.
    Cullen, E. W.
    Commings, G. E.
    Clay, W. S.
    Cason, G.
    Cason, W.
    Cook, A. T.
    Dudley, J. A. Q.
    Dudley, W. H.
    Durden, M.
    Fulghum, J. H.
    Fulford, T. B.
    Fulford, S.
    Flucker, M. R.
    Gray, W. B.
    Grimes, W. B.
    Gilmore, J. N.
    Gilmore, T. J.
    Gilmore, S. M.
    Gilmore, E.
    Godown, James
    Gaskin, J.
    Haines, S. S.
    Haines, C. E.
    Haynes, T. H.
    Hines, W. H.
    Hines, A. C.
    Hines, S.
    Hines, R.
    Hicklin, A. F.
    Hicklin, W. P.
    Hermann, I.
    Honard, W.
    Jordan, N. J.
    Jordan, J. T.
    Jordan, J. J.
    Jones, W. H.
    Jones, S. B.
    Kinman, W. H.
    King, Jas. R.
    Kitrell, G.
    Knight, W. G.
    Kelley, G. W.
    Knight, W. K.
    Lamb, I.
    Layton, J. H.
    Lawson, W. H.
    Lewis, W. H.
    Lewis, W. B.
    McCroon, J. J.
    Medlock, E.
    Morgan, John H.
    Mason, G. L.
    Matthews, W. C.
    Massey, S. N.
    McDonal, J. J.
    McDonald, A.
    Newsome, J. J.
    Newsome, J. K.
    Orr, T. A.
    Peacock, G. W.
    Parnell, R. J.
    Pittman, W. H.
    Roberts, J. B.
    Parker, W. J.
    Roberson, W. G.
    Roberson, J. A.
    Robison, R. T.
    Robison, W. R.
    Rodgers, L.
    Riddle, A. M.
    Rawlings, C.
    Rawlings, W. H.
    Renfroe, J.
    Stanley, J. S.
    Scarboro, A. M.
    Stubbs, J. N.
    Smith, J. C.
    Smith, J. P.
    Smith, J. H.
    Smith, W. H.
    Smith, John H.
    Slate, S. L.
    Solomon, H.
    Sheppard, J. J.
    Spillars, J.
    Tarver, F. R.
    Trawick, A. J.
    Trawick, J. T.
    Tyson, T. L.
    Tookes, C. C.
    Tarbutton, G. A.
    Turner, N. H.
    Veal, R. H.
    Whitaker, G. W. H.
    Whiddon, B.
    Whiddon, M. M.
    Warthen, T. J. W.
    Wall, C. A.
    Wall, W. A.
    Waitzfelder, E.
    Wagoner, W. H.
    Wessolonsky, A.
    Wicker, T. 0.
    Watkins, W. E.


The Newnan Guards, A.--Capt. Geo. M. Harvey.
The Columbus Guards, B.--Capt. F. G. Wilkins.
The Southern Rights Guards, C.--Capt. J. A. Hauser.
The Oglethorpe Light Infantry, D.--Capt. J. O. Clark.
The Washington Rifles, E.--Capt. S. A. H. Jones.
The Gate City Guards, F.--Capt. W. F. Ezzard.
The Bainbridge Independents, G.--Capt. J. W. Evans.
The Dahlonega Vols., H.--Capt. Alfred Harris.
The Walker Light Infantry, I.--Capt. S. H. Crump.
The Quitman Guards, J.--Capt. Jas. S. Pinkard.
J. N. Ramsey of Columbus, Ga., was elected Colonel.


1st. Lt. John W. Rudisill became Capt. of Compy. C. 12 Ga. Battalion.
2nd. Lt. Beverly D. Evans became Col. 2nd. Ga. State troops.
3rd. Lt. W. W. Carter became Capt. Compy. G. 49 Ga. Regiment.
Ensign C. M. Jones became Capt. Compy. H. 49 Ga. Regiment.
1st. Sergt. E. P. Howell became Capt. of Martins Battery.
4th. Sergt. A. D. Jernigan became Capt. Compy. H. 49 Ga. Regiment.
5th. Sergt. P. R. Taliaferro became Capt. Compy. E. 32nd. Ga. Regiment.
1st. Corporal W. J. Gray became 1st. Lieut. Sandersville Artillery.
2nd. Corp. A. T. Sessions became Lieut. Compy. B. 12 Ga. Battalion.
3rd. Corp. W. H. Renfroe became Lieut.
4th. Corp. J. R. Wicker became Lt. 32 Ga.
Private G. R. Allen became Lt. 57 Ga.
Private James Arnau became Lt. 49th Georgia.
Private B. S. Boatright became Lt. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private James M. Brown became Lt. 5th Georgia Reserve.
Private M. R. Flucker became Orderly Sergt. 12th Georgia.
Private T. J. Gilmore became Lieut. Martins Battery.
Private Wesley Howard became Corp. Martins Battery.
Private J. T. Jordan became Col. 49th Georgia Regiment.
Private W. H. Jones became Lt. 32nd Georgia Regiment.
Private S. B. Jones became Capt. 8th Georgia Cavalry.
Private James R. Kinman became Lieut. Company B. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private W. G. Knight became Sergt. Company B. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private Isaac Lamb became Lt. 53rd Georgia.
Private W. H. Lawson became Capt. 5th Georgia Reserve.
Private W. C. Matthews became Capt. 38th Georgia Regiment.
Private J. J. Newsome became Capt. Company E. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private Geo. W. Peacock became Lt. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private J. B. Roberts became Capt. Company D. 49th Ga. Regiment.
Private W. J. Parker became Capt. Cobbs Legiose.
Private W. G. Robson became Lt. Martins Battery.
Private J. A. Robson became Sergt. Company B. 12th Ga. Bat.
Private H. T. Robson became Sergt. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private J. N. Stubbs became Sergt. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private J. C. Smith became Lt. 12th Georgia Bat.
Private H. Soloman became Capt. 14th Georgia Regiment.
Private G. A. Tarbutton became Capt. Hillards Legion.
Private G. W. H. Whitaker became Capt. 12th Ga. Bat.
Private Benj. Whiddon became Capt. 5th Georgia Reserve.
Private T. O. Wicker became Adjt. 28th Georgia Regiment.
Private W. E. Watkins became Sergt. Company B. 12th Georgia Bat.


    Robert Martin, known as Bob Martin, from Barnwell, S. C., was
    elected Captain.

    Evan P. Howell, 1st Lt.
    W. G. Robson, 2nd Lt.
    Reuben A. Bland, 3rd Lt.
    H. K. Newsome, 1st Sergt.
    S. J. Fulform, 2nd Sergt.
    W. H. Hines, 3rd Sergt.
    J. B. Warthen, 4th Sergt.
    W. H. Dudley, 5th Sergt.
    W. M. Cox, 6th Sergt.
    Haywood Ainsworth, 7th Sergt.
    W. B. Hall, 1st Corp.
    W. B. O'Quinn, 2nd Corp.
    W. F. Webster, 3rd Corp.
    J. E. Cullin, 4th Corp.


    H. Allen
    A. C. Hines
    J. F. Bailey
    J. D. Hardy
    J. F. Brooks
    Gabe Kittrell
    W. A. Brown
    J. E. Johnson
    B. L. Bynum
    A. R. Lord
    W. T. C. Barnwell
    M. B. Cox
    R. W. Cullen
    J. Curry
    R. Dixon
    R. E. Caudell
    W. E. Doolittle
    J. E. Ellis
    Geo. T. Franklin
    E. T. Ford
    S. M. Gilmore
    J. A. Godown
    W. N. Harmon
    Gabrill S. Hooks
    V. A. Horton
    C. Howell
    J. J. Hadden
    Ben Jones
    R. E. Jackson
    T. M. Lord
    J. E. Mullen
    H. C. Lord
    J. W. Massey
    J. J. O'Quinn
    S. B. Pool
    N. Raifield
    Wm. F. Sheppard
    W. L. Stephens
    G. W. Thomas
    W. H. Toulson
    F. A. McCary
    J. C. Waller
    D. G. McCoy
    F. M. Loden
    J. B. Oxford
    J. H. Pittman
    H. L. Skelley
    J. F. Salter
    W. A. Smith
    J. P. Thomas
    R. Tompkins
    D. B. Tanner
    J. H. Veal
    J. J. Waller
    T. Webster
    Simeon Bland
    J. Armstrong
    Henry Achord
    C. Blizzard
    T. J. Brooks
    J. J. Braswell
    T. M. Barnwell
    W. B. Barwick
    H. L. Cox
    T. C. Cullen
    A. Dixon
    R. L. Campbell
    E. D. Chaplen
    J. C. Durham
    B. O. Franklin
    H. Ford
    W. R. Gilmore
    T. J. Gilmore
    W. A. Grimes
    G. W. Webster
    T. J. Hamilton
    Geo. D. Warthen
    W. H. Horton
    Lawson Taylor
    W. C. Howard
    All Armstrong
    L. W. Hines
    W. D. Bodiford
    Red Jones
    W. J. Brooks
    J. Jackson
    B. S. Braswell
    F. A. Lockman
    W. J. Bell
    John L. Laymade
    J. N. Bentley
    N. A. Lord
    S. B. Cox
    W. J. Massey
    E. W. Cullen
    W. Oxford
    T. A. Curry
    F. Posey
    J. H. Coleman
    G. B. Rogers
    D. F. Chambers
    J. F. Sheppard
    T. C. Doolittle
    J. P. Smith
    A. E. Erwin
    W. C. Thomas
    H. Fields
    J. F. Tompkins
    B. Garner
    H. T. Thompson
    E. T. Gilmore
    W. Waller
    R. A. Godown
    T. C. Warthen
    Isaac Herman
    J. Wood
    H. J. Hodges
    T. R. Gibson
    R. H. Hales
    A. P. Heath

      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious punctuation errors were corrected.

The use of quotation marks is inconsistent. The text has been
transcribed as printed.

Hyphen removed: breast[-]works (p. 84), horse[-]back (p. 7),
light[-]wood (p. 90), look[-]out (pp. 42, 52), out[-]flanked (p. 107),
quarter[-]master (p. 111), re[-]inforcement (p. 116), turn[-]pike (p.

Space added: "carpet[ ]baggers" (p. 234), turn[ ]pike (p. 60).

Space removed: "knap[ ]sack" (p. 98).

The following variant spellings occur and have not been changed:
"Allegheny" / "Alleghany", "a. m." / "A. M.", "p. m." / "P. M.", "sabre" /

P. 14: "Allaghany" changed to "Alleghany".

P. 17: "missel" changed to "missle" (the whiz of the missile).

P. 48: "picketc" changed to "pickets" (they drove in our pickets).

P. 77: "rendezvoued" changed to "rendezvoused" (we rendezvoused at

P. 87: "fiften" changed to "fifteen" (fifteen minutes past eleven).

P. 104: "enables" changed to "enabled" (enabled our skirmishers to come

Pp. 119, 121, 222: "Pemperton" changed to "Pemberton".

P. 128: "statue" changed to "stature" (Thomas is a man of small

P. 154: "decripid" changed to "decrepit" (leaving the old and decrepit).

P. 158: "paroxisms" changed to "paroxysms" (the paroxysms of pain).

P. 166: "hunded" changed to "hundred" (one hundred slaves).

P. 167: "run" changed to "ran" (he ran his whole plantation).

P. 180: The song in French has not been edited except for adding spaces
in the words "Mon helvretie" and "O ciel".

P. 210: "run" changed to "ran" (ran the gauntlet).

P. 211: "excrutiating" changed to "excruciating" (gave me excruciating

P. 246: "paraphernelia" changed to "paraphernalia" (all of the
paraphernalia for the brewing of coffee).

P. 246: "pssed" changed to "passed" (passed my lips).

P. 254: "wright" changed to "right" (right or wrong).

P. 260: "as" changed to "and" (as a citizen and a soldier).

P. 268: "anti-bellum" changed to "ante-bellum" (the ante-bellum days).

P. 270: "where-ever" changed to "wherever" (but wherever I went).

P. 280: "Batalion" changed to "Battalion" (2nd. Corp. A. T. Sessions
became Lieut. Compy. B. 12 Ga. Battalion).

P. 282: "Batt" changed to "Bat" (Private G. W. H. Whitaker became Capt.
12th Ga. Bat.).

P. 282: "Adgt" changed to "Adjt" (Private T. O. Wicker became Adjt. 28th
Georgia Regiment).

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of a Veteran Who Served as a Private in the 60's in the War Between the States - Personal Incidents, Experiences and Observations" ***

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