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Title: Recollections of the Civil War
Author: Morrow, Maud E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           Transcriber’s Note

Italic text has been surrounded by _underscores_. Some corrections have
been made to the original text. They are listed in a second
transcriber’s note at the end of the book.



                             THE CIVIL WAR

                      FROM A CHILD’S POINT OF VIEW


[Illustration: 1862]



                             THE CIVIL WAR


                             MAUD E. MORROW


                             LOCKLAND, OHIO
                             JOHN C. MORROW

                          The 43d O. V. I. and
                        to all who were engaged
                    in the battle of Corinth, and to
                      every boy who wore the blue,
                            these pages are
                     respectfully and patriotically
                            dedicated by the

                           PREFACE OR APOLOGY

When one writes a book, a preface is in order. Mine shall be by way of
explanation. The only apology I have to offer for writing this little
personal pronoun “I” story is the very simple one that it is true. It
has been said that “we never talk so well as when talking of ourselves.”
Be that as it may, in telling my own story, I can tell it only in the
first person. It is a story that is very dear to me, probably much more
so than it will ever be to any one else. In writing it I have lived it
all over, and it has been so real to me that I have seemed to be again
within hospital walls, peopled by those whom I have called up from the
shadows of the past. In fancy, my mother, whose name is interwoven as a
golden thread throughout the fabric of the story, has been with me, and
I have almost felt the “touch of a vanished hand” and heard the “sound
of a voice that is still.” Page after page has been written beneath her
picture on the wall, and as I have lifted my tear-blinded eyes with
yearning gaze to her sweet face, the brown eyes have looked lovingly
down upon me as though smiling approval upon my work. Oh, that I had
undertaken it while she was yet with me!

It may be questioned that I have written from memory—or it may be a
matter of surprise that I have remembered so well. While my mother lived
this period in our lives was often talked of and its memory kept green.
My father, being ill in the second story of the hospital, knew little or
nothing of the experiences I underwent at Corinth, but was more familiar
with what took place at Jackson. Five or six letters written by my
mother to friends in the North have been carefully preserved. They were
mostly hurriedly written and contain only brief allusions to our doings,
but from them I have gathered dates and hours of arrival and departure,
and by them my memory has been refreshed on several points. But for the
most part I have been entirely dependent upon my own memory. I have
written only of scenes and events that I remember best. Many of them are
as clear to me as the happenings of yesterday, while some half-faded
memories have struggled vainly for utterence and have necessarily been
forever consigned to oblivion. There is a possibility that I may be
mistaken in a few of my statements, but it must be remembered that it is
a long and dusty bridge over which I have traveled to reach and gather
them up.

As this is not a story of fiction, I have given the names of all that I
remember who were in any way connected with it, in the hope that there
are yet some of the number living who will read my little narrative and
recognize their own part in it. Should such be the case, my joy at
hearing from any or all of them could not be expressed. I have written,
that there might be a record of the facts, that my sister and brothers
might become familiar with them, and because I love to dwell upon the
incidents of my “army life,” as I sometimes term it. Lastly, I have
written that it might be as a memorial to my brave, courageous mother,
who, with her own hands, ministered so tenderly to the sick and wounded
with whom she was brought in close contact. Whether this ever reaches
the public eye is a question. Should it be so fortunate, I ask the
public to read with kindly criticism, remembering that it is the story
of the child told in the language of the adult.


1862-1899. The line between the dates represents a bridge as it were of
thirty-seven planks, and each plank a year. It takes but a single stroke
of the pen to make the little bridge of ink representing the years; but
can I measure the smiles and tears, the joys and sorrows, that are
crowded into each year? Can I retrace my steps, passing on the way the
graves that have opened and closed on some of earth’s best and dearest
treasures, and gather from the past a few memories that the corroding
cares of life and the ever onward-rushing “flood of years” have not
wholly obliterated from my mind? I can but try, and in so doing I feel
constrained to cry out,

           “Backward, turn backward, O, time in your flight,
             Make me a child again just for tonight.”

But alas! this and my hungry heart-cry of

             “Mother, come back from that echoless shore,”

are alike vainly uttered. Having long had this in mind, I now for the
first time give to the world a simple little story of the early part of
my life. It is a story of the war without much war in it. My first
recollections of the Civil War (which I always thought very uncivil) are
of the days of ’61, after Sumter had been fired upon, when each night
one of the neighbors would come into our home, and she and my parents
would discuss the prospects of war, which at first though a cloud no
bigger than a man’s hand, was even then lowering darkly upon us. We
didn’t get the newspapers daily then as we do now, but whenever one
could be obtained, my mother would read the news aloud, while I lay in
my trundle bed, listening and cowering with fear. Who shall say that
children do not enter into the spirit of current events? I had all a
child’s fear of war, and that fear hung over me, for a time, as a dark
cloud, for I thought the battles would be fought at our very doors.


                              THE JOURNEY

IN September, 1862, my father, Dr. Coridon Morrow, offered his services
to his country, and was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the 43d O. V. I.
His first work was at the battle of Corinth, Miss., which occurred on
the 4th and 5th of October. Soon after the battle, owing to bad water
and change of climate, he was taken dangerously ill, and wrote my mother
an almost illegible scrawl, begging her to come to him at once. We had
broken up housekeeping at our home in the village of Bainbridge, Ohio,
and gone to Aberdeen, on the Ohio river, to spend the winter with

It was almost an accident that I was taken on this never-forgotten
journey. There were four children of us; two were taken and two were
left. I was at this time but little more than eight years old, my baby
sister, blue-eyed Mary, but five months. At first thought, it seemed
that my mother could take but one, the baby, but here I made the plea of
my life to be allowed to go, promising to be good and to help after we
should get there. There was little time for parley, and the question was
soon settled in my favor. We started on Friday, October 31st, leaving
the little brother and sister to the care of kind friends in the little
brown cottage, on the banks of La Belle Ohio. The river being at a low
stage, no boats were running, and we were compelled to go by stage-coach
to Georgetown, where we took supper and remained till 3 o’clock the next
morning, when we were hurriedly aroused from our slumbers, and without
waiting for breakfast, we took another stage-coach which conveyed us to
Bethel. After a hurried breakfast there, we took passage in a four-horse
omnibus which bore us to Cincinnati. I remember many of the incidents of
this ride: how we stopped to take in passengers, some of whom were women
going into the city with their Saturday marketing; and I can yet recall
the appearance of the stout old gentleman who, with cane in hand,
occupied the seat opposite me.

Arrived at Cincinnati, my first impression of that great city was that
we would be run over and crushed by some of the numerous vehicles which
were constantly crossing and recrossing the crowded streets, and through
which we slowly threaded our way to the Henrie House. At this hotel I
had my first experience with waiters. Soup was served as the first
course at dinner, and while looking leisurely about me, a waiter came
along and removed my plate of soup, which I had barely tasted. I do not
remember what followed, as I had lost all interest in the dinner, and I
have never yet become reconciled to the loss of that plate of soup.

We could not get a train out of the city until 5 o’clock in the evening.
There were a number of guests in the parlor of the hotel, among them a
sweet-faced lady who sought to entertain and amuse me. There was also a
young man in the custody of officers of the law, though for what offense
I am unable to say. His mother, a sad looking little woman, was there to
bid him goodby. He played on the piano and sang beautiful songs for the
entertainment of those in the room. “All things come to him that waits,”
and as we waited, this long afternoon came to an end. We were taken to
the depot in a cab, and this little ride cost my mother one dollar. We
traveled all night, reaching Odin, Ill., about daylight, where we
remained until Monday evening, waiting for a train over the Illinois
Central railroad.

Odin at that time comprised the hotel, postoffice and depot. There was a
long board walk leading from the hotel to the depot, which I traversed
many times during our enforced stay, scraping acquaintance with the
telegraph operator, giving him my history, past, present and future so
far as I knew it. The country here was one vast expanse of prairie land,
and the wind raged ceaselessly. Many long trains passed over the road on
Sunday, bearing troops to the South. I stood on the little upper porch
of the hotel, counting the cars and watching the trains until they
passed beyond my vision. At this distant day I remember the appearance
of the room we occupied, even to the position of the bed and stove, and
in my mind’s eye I can see my baby sister lying asleep on the bed, and
my mother sitting in a rocking chair near the center of the room,
engaged in conversation with a lady from Mound City, Mo., who, like
ourselves, was waiting for a train.

An amusing incident comes to my mind as I speak of this lady. She was a
later arrival than ourselves, and had not yet heard the gong. As it
sounded the call to supper, she threw up her hands in alarm, exclaiming,
“Mercy on us, what is that!” My mother told her what it meant, when with
a sigh of relief, she said, “Why, it’s enough to raise the dead.”

On Monday evening, November 3, after we had partaken of supper by
lamplight, the long waited for train arrived, which we hailed with joy
after our long, and to my mother, wearisome, delay. Soon after stepping
aboard I fell asleep, and knew no more until 4 o’clock in the morning.
Having reached Cairo, Ill., at the confluence of the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers, we left the train, and in the semi-darkness of the
early morning, we were hurried down the bank and on board the steamer
City of Alton, a magnificent floating palace of the Mississippi, which
conveyed us to Columbus, Ky., a distance of twenty miles. We were landed
at the foot of a long line of steep bluffs.

Here occurs the first break in my memory of this journey. I only know
that it was completed by rail, and that we traversed the entire length
of the State of Tennessee, from north to south, and that I was a very
tired little girl when we arrived at Corinth, at 8 o’clock on the night
of November 4th. We were met at the depot by an ambulance, and driven to
the Corona College Hospital, a mile distant from the town.

As we neared the building and surrounding battle-field, a horrible odor,
as of burning flesh, greeted our nostrils, which the driver informed us
was caused by the burning of horses and mules killed in the late battle.

In the latter part of our journey we had fallen in with a Mrs. Dr.
Blaker, whose destination was the same as our own, and who had come to
minister to a sick or wounded husband. We entered the hospital together,
and were first shown into the Medical Director’s room, where the records
were examined. It took but a few moments for Mrs. Blaker to learn that
her husband was dead and buried. I can hear her wails of distress yet.
We were more fortunate, and were soon ushered into the room occupied by
my father and several other sick officers. The hospital was crowded, and
there was no extra room for us. Another cot was brought in, an army
blanket hung as a screen, and thus we spent our first night in a
southern hospital.

                        CORONA COLLEGE HOSPITAL

IT stood in the midst of the historic battle-field and surrounding
encampment. Prior to the war, it was known as The Corona Female College.
It was a large, three-story structure of brick, with portico in front
supported by massive pillars, and never was hospital more conveniently
located with reference to battle-field. To me it was the Castle
Beautiful, and even now, as I attempt to write of it, the memories of
that time come thronging and surging through my brain, with such
forceful rapidity, each clamoring for utterance, that I scarce know how
to take up the tangled threads of warp and woof, and weave them into a
smooth and readable story. The building was also known by the names of
General Hospital and Seminary Hospital.

With the happy freedom of childhood I roamed about at my own sweet will,
and I have given the “cup of cold water” to more than one poor sick or
wounded soldier, as he lay on his bed of pain. There was one in
particular, whose room was opposite our own: the door was mostly open,
and he would frequently call to me to come and talk to him or hand him a
drink of water. The first day we were in the building, I made the rounds
of our ward on the second floor, with a lady nurse, Mrs. Penfield. I
afterward called down her wrath upon my head by asking her if she had a
field full of pens. One scene of that day’s visit arises vividly before
me now, and I can draw a pen picture of the white-faced soldier I saw,
propped up in bed with the nurse combing his hair, and bathing his face
and hands.

I became familiar with scenes of sadness and suffering, with the sight
of pale faces, crutches and armless sleeves, and, ever and anon a stiff
form wrapped in a blanket would be carried to the dead house, thence to
a soldier’s grave.

The hospital continued crowded, and we occupied the room with the
officers several weeks. They were Captain Hensler, of Peoria. Ill.;
Captain Armstrong, Lieut. Watt and several others whose names I can not
recall. My mother cooked by a large, open fireplace, and shared all she
had with these sick men. There was plenty of raw material, but it was so
poorly prepared by the negroes about the place that the men could not
eat it with any relish. A colored woman, who had been a slave, brought
provisions to our room each morning, and her one theme was, “It’s mighty
good.” Captain Hensler convalesced rapidly, and with tears in his eyes,
he told my mother he owed it all to the nourishing food she prepared for

Lieut. Watt and I became great chums. While in this room I wrote a
letter to my teacher at home, which he addressed for me, and upon
learning that the teacher was a young lady, he laughingly asked me if I
thought there would be any chance for him. This letter was read to the
school, and for a few days I was quite famous in my native town.

My baby sister and I soon became great favorites in camp and hospital.
On the night of our arrival the baby cried, and the word went around
from room to room: “There’s a baby in the house. Where did it come from?
Bring it in.” And in due time she was taken into the rooms where there
were no contagious diseases. The men were much cheered by her presence,
and one of the doctors said it was “quite a treat to hear a baby cry.”
Dr. Robins, the surgeon in charge of our ward, would carry her about the
room at each visit he made, sometimes taking her down stairs into the
hall and out into the grounds about the building, I following wherever
he went. The doctor called her his “little rosebud.” One day she
scratched his face until the blood came, and he bore the marks several
days. I can see him now, a slight, fair-haired young fellow, and,
strange as it may seem, after the lapse of all these years, I can hear
the very sound of his voice, as, upon entering the room, he would throw
back his head and laughingly call out “Where is my Little Rosebud?” He
told us of the friends he left at home, but alas! for them, he died the
following summer of smallpox, in Memphis, Tennessee.

                                IN CAMP

OVER the roadway leading from hospital to camp, I have doubtless
traveled many miles. The large space was thickly dotted with white
tents, temporary homes of the brave defenders of our country. Here I
became familiar with martial music. I returned with “taps” and arose
with “revielle,” and to this day the sound of fife and drum stirs every
drop of patriotic blood in my veins and takes me back to the days of
camp life at Corinth.

              “Whenever I hear the fife and the drum
                And the bugles wildly play,
              My heart is stirred like a frightened bird,
                And struggles to break away:
              For the tramp of the volunteers I hear
                And the Captain’s sharp command,
              Left! left! left! he is near,
                And drilling his eager band.”

Here we met brave, grand Mother Bickerdyke, who was such a tower of
strength to her “boys,” and indeed, to all who came in touch with her.
She had a large tent in the midst of the encampment, where she prepared
nourishing food and dispensed hospital stores. When she learned our
situation, that my mother prepared food with but a few poor cooking
utensils, for ourselves, a nurse and the officers in our room, she
immediately invited us to come to her tent for all the cooked food we
needed. It fell upon me for the most part to carry it, not only for
ourselves, but for some of the other inmates of the hospital. I made
countless trips up and down the long, winding stairway, and many nights
I could not sleep for tired and aching limbs, but I made no complaint. I
was keeping my promise of being useful and was serving my country. My
mother, however, saw that it was too much for me, and called a halt on
it to some extent. We had a nurse, an artilleryman, whose name was Cole,
but unlike “Old King Cole,” he was not a “jolly old soul.” He growled
and grumbled constantly, and in these days we would call him a “kicker.”
One day I started from the tent with more than I could carry, a glass of
cherry preserves fell, the glass was broken and contents spilled. The
next day, Cole was sent with me to assist in carrying our dinner. As we
passed the cherries still lying in the dust, Cole growled out, “Just
look at them good cherries; you ought to be made get down and lick ’em
up.” I regretted the loss of the cherries as much as Cole, but I did not
feel called upon to “get down and lick ’em up.” Cole meant well,
however, and was a brave soldier, and if living I would like to know
where he is today, for we took many walks together, from Mother B.’s
tent up to the big brick house.

Mother B. had an assistant, whose name was Frank Williams, from St.
Paul, Minn. He had been sick, and not being able for field service, was
detailed for hospital duty. He and I were great friends, and he often
came to our room and talked with my parents. He was a Christian, and
sometimes had prayers in our room. One day I entered the tent, when to
my dismay I found it full of men, and a prayer meeting in progress. I
was about to beat a hasty retreat, when my friend Frank very kindly
invited me to come in, found a seat for me, and put in my hands a little
leaflet bearing upon its white surface the hymn beginning, “Just as I
am, without one plea.” A chaplain conducted the services; my friend and
some of the other soldiers offered prayer. I was the only child present.
I have no recollection of any woman being there, although Mother B. or
one of the lady nurses may have been. That prayer meeting was indelibly
impressed upon my childish mind, and even now stands out clear cut and
in bold relief, over every other prayer meeting I have ever attended.
And, let me be where I may when “Just as I Am” is sung, the mingled joys
and sorrows of the long years vanish as it were, and again I am a little
child in that prayer tent on a Southern battle-field, and again I hear
those bearded men singing as with one voice:

                 Just as I am: without one plea,
                 But that Thy blood was shed for me
                 And that thou bidds’t me come to Thee,
                 Oh Lamb of God! I come, I come.


ONE of our fellow townsmen, Mr. Nathan W. Crooks by name, now a resident
of Washington C. H., Ohio, was in camp at Corinth at this time. Escorted
by him, my mother and I made the tour of the battle-field. Mr. Crooks
carried my little sister in his arms, and to this day, upon occasion,
introduces her to friends as the little girl he carried all over the
battle-field of Corinth, with the accent on the _inth_. We visited the
R. R. cut where my father held his emergency hospital, with shot and
shell screaming and bursting all around him; we stood within the
enclosure of Fort Robinet, where brave Col. Rogers of the Texas Brigade
fell, and was buried with his colors. And little I reck’d the day would
come when I would thrill with patriotic pride at the recollection of
having stood on the parapet of this historic fort, with “Old Glory”
floating proudly in the breeze above me, while at my feet, in the trench
surrounding the fort, lay friend and foe, buried in one common grave. As
one has fittingly written of them, “They sleep, and glory is their

I have wandered all over this field of battle. My playground was that
portion occupied by the 14th Wisconsin during the fight, and of the many
minnie balls, grape and cannister I picked up on this memorable spot,
but one battered minnie ball remains.

Mr. Crooks had been my Sunday school teacher at home, and the morning he
and some of the other “boys” left for the war, I heard my teacher in the
public school offer up prayer in behalf of the “brave boys who had gone
forth to defend their country’s honor.” As her words fell upon my ears I
little dreamed that in a few short months I would follow, and meet with
these same “boys.”

After we had been in the hospital some little time my mother invited Mr.
Crooks to dinner, and Oh, what a dinner that was! at least Mr. Crooks
said it was the first white man’s meal he had eaten since he left home.
My mother cooked a portion of it by the fireplace, Mother Bickerdyke
made a generous contribution, and the cook of the officers’ mess donated
a very fine pudding. The butter—but the less said about it the better—at
least in regard to its age and strength. It was of the canned variety,
but Mr. Crooks thought it better than no butter at all, and promising to
come again another day, jovially walked off with a can of it under his
arm. He kept his word and visited us a number of times at the college
hospital. Years after the war was over he told us that the mere mention
of our father’s name called up visions of an old gray army blanket given
him by our father as they were parting on one occasion, when but for it
his bed would have been the cold, bare earth, his covering the canopy of


JUST as my father recovered sufficiently to walk about a little, he was
seized with a violent attack of inflammatory rheumatism, and lay
helpless for several weeks. During this time we had four men nurses who
assisted my mother in caring for him. They were ward-master Gilmore,
Cole, the artilleryman before spoken of, Thomas Terrie, a Scotchman, and
Thomas Enslow, from one of the New England States. The latter two were
my devoted friends, and gave me little trinkets and keepsakes.

The room adjoining ours was occupied by an old Quaker lady and her son.
The mother’s name was Ann Roman, the boy’s Isaac. He was wounded, and
she had come to take him home, but he was not able to travel, and a
furlough could not immediately be secured. They were detained several
weeks and we became great friends. They were the first Quakers I had
ever seen, and “auntie” Roman’s Quaker garb and quaint “thees” and
“thous” were a novelty to me, and I sometimes addressed her in her own
dialect, much to her amusement. Isaac suffered much from his wound, and
was a little inclined to be cross, while I was greatly inclined to be
noisy. Many times in trying to suppress a laugh I would giggle, and
“auntie” would say, “Thee had better go into the hall, where thee can
give vent to the giggles;” and fearing a scolding from Isaac, I always
went. But Isaac grew better, and through a plea made by Mother B. to
Gen. Grant, then at Memphis, a furlough was secured, and mother and son
went to their home at Old’s Post Office, Washington County, Ohio. I have
their address yet, written in my little cramped hand, on a faded bit of
blue paper, at auntie’s dictation. After their departure we were given
their room, which we occupied during the rest of our stay in the

While here I had a severe attack of quinsy, and was very sick for
several days and nights. I had a burning fever, and in my delirium would
cry out for water from the “cool well” on the bank of the river, in far
away Ohio. The water at Corinth was not satisfying. It had to be boiled
before drinking, and the tin fruit can on the window ledge outside was a
familiar “institution.” Everything which had no particular name was
called an “institution.” A place where cooking was done was called a
“shebang,” and I was always running across one. In one of my morning
rambles I came upon a little bake shop where bread and pies were made
for the camp. A man was sitting on the steps, who at once entered into
conversation with me. Learning that I was there with my parents, he went
in and got a pie which he told me to take to my mother. It became so
common for me to come home carrying something good to eat, that about
the hospital they called me “The little forager.”

My mother and I took supper with the officers in their mess room one
evening. I came to their door just at their supper hour. They invited me
to remain. With the sublime confidence of childhood I took a seat at the
table with them. There were a number of them and they had a man cook. My
mother coming to look after me, was invited to partake of the evening
meal in such a cordial manner that she could not but accept. I remember
that there was no fork at my plate and I was too timid to make it known,
but one of the officers soon noticed my dilemma and the omission was
promptly supplied. I do not know the names of any of these men, but I
know they were gentlemen and soldiers, and I have never forgotten their
gallant and courteous treatment of my mother and myself.

                             SUNDAY IN CAMP

THERE is of necessity in a large camp more or less stir and activity on
the Sabbath day, even when no battle is on, but even here there seemed
to be a difference between it and other days. There was a hush and
stillness in the air that seemed to proclaim, “It is the holy Sabbath
day.” Religious services were held by chaplains and pious soldiers.
There were several lady nurses, and they occupied a tent near the
college building. Their names were: Miss Adaline Williams, Miss Babcock,
Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. Yates. Mrs. Penfield did not remain long, as
there seemed to be some friction between her and the other ladies.
Always a welcome visitor to this tent, I was in and out all day Sunday,
but with one restraint. I was told that I must not talk or ask
questions, as that was their day for writing letters to friends in the
North. They had leather portfolios, which they used as writing desks on
their laps. Miss Williams and my mother became great friends, and I was
very fond of her. I made many visits with her and for years the little
red-backed books she gave me from the Christian Commission supplies were
counted among my treasures. My life on Sundays was about the same as on
other days. I visited the big “shebang” three times a day, wandered
around from tent to tent, and sat for hours on the steps of the portico
wishing for companionship of my own age, myself and sister being the
only children in the hospital and entire encampment.


THE scene changes. We were now ordered to turn. We “moved” in an
ambulance, my father being taken on a cot, and were given quarters in
the Tishomingo Hotel. The old Tishomingo House! Can I ever forget it?
The historic, dilapidated old hotel through which a cannon ball passed
during the progress of battle. We were given a large, cheerless room in
the second story; the floor was bare, the four large windows were each
guiltless of blind or curtain.

Our bed consisted of two cots placed together, with an army blanket to
each for covering. The nights were cold, and we would have suffered had
not my mother arisen through the night and replenished the fire. There
was a large stove in the room and we had a plentiful supply of wood. The
hotel was used as a hospital, although it was not full at this time,
there being a number of vacant rooms. I remember but one nurse here, a
Miss Johnson. We were great friends, and I spent as much time in her
room as in our own. I frequently took walks with her about town. I went
with her one morning to call on Dr. Norman Gay and family, of Columbus,
O., who had roomed for a time at the hotel, but who afterward rented
furnished rooms in a private house in another part of the town. On our
way we passed the Iuka House and several sutlers’ stores. I had not been
long in the Tishomingo House until I made the acquaintance of the cook,
a curly-headed young fellow whose name was John Storms, of Ohio.

Part of the time we took our meals in the dining room with the doctors
and officers. By “we” I mean my mother and myself; my father not being
able to leave the room his meals were carried to him. At other times we
all took our meals in our own room. Those who ate in the dining-room
were: Dr. Gay, wife and son, Dr. Spicer, Dr. Huntington, Captain
Pemberton, Chaplain Estabrook, Miss Johnson, ourselves and many others,
comers and goers, whose names I can not now recall.

Across the railroad and directly opposite the hotel was another
encampment, and reveille and lights out were again daily and nightly
sounds. Gen. Hunter had his headquarters in a large white house not far
away, and night after night I have sat on the upper porch listening
entranced to the regimental band, as it played Hail Columbia, Star
Spangled Banner, Red, White and Blue, Rally round the Flag, and America.
Each night this band would play from dark until bedtime, and I could not
be induced to leave my post until the last note died away in silence.
Many events come to my mind as I write of this time. One day a man was
brought in who had been accidentally shot through both thighs. While
sitting on the floor of a box car a jolt dislodged a musket from where
it was standing. As it fell, it was discharged, and the man being in
direct range, the ball passed through both limbs. Amputation was decided
upon as a forlorn hope of saving his life. Not knowing the time fixed
upon for the operation, I passed down the stairway leading through the
Medical Director’s room, which was also the operating room, and there,
on the operating table, under the influence of chloroform, white and
lifeless-looking, surrounded by the doctors, lay the poor fellow
undergoing the awful ordeal of having both legs taken off. Sick at
heart, I hurried on and delayed my return until I felt sure the
operation was well over with. But alas! the hope of saving his life was
a vain one, as he died a few days later.

While here we one day received a visit from our old friend Frank
Williams, of the Seminary Hospital.

He came to tell us goodby, as he expected to leave with Mother
Bickerdyke in a few days for La Grange, Mississippi.

A few days later he sent a friend to have my picture taken at the little
gallery built up against one end of the hotel, and authorized him to
spare no expense in securing it. Photography was not then the fine art
it is today and this picture was an excellent sample of the old time
ambrotype and was placed in the handsomest case the establishment
afforded at a cost of $4.00. By this time the agent of my friend had
fallen in love with me, and wished a picture for himself, which with the
consent of my parents, he secured at a cost of $2.50. Some months later
both these pictures were given my father at Memphis, but were one night
stolen from his tent with all the contents of his satchel.

Should the thief ever see these lines, repent, and return the pictures,
he will receive my full and free forgiveness and everlasting gratitude.

I never saw my old friend after the day he called to bid us goodby, but
received several letters from him after returning home, and then all
knowledge of him ceased. He has doubtless passed into the Great Beyond
long ago.

There were a great many refugees or contrabands in Corinth. President
Lincoln’s proclamation of Emancipation had not yet been issued; yet the
slaves were practically free. Some of them had quarters near the hotel.
Among them was a quaint old couple known as Uncle Sandy and Aunt Katy
with whom we became well acquainted. Aunt Katy did washing for us and
was frequently in our room.

My mother bought a large piece of homespun cotton cloth of her such as
was used by the slave women for dresses and aprons. After Aunt Katy had
tasted of freedom, she thought “Massa Linkum” a grand man, and the best
friend the slave had.

My mother one day asked her what she thought the “Yankees” looked like
before she saw them. “Well, hunny,” said she, “I thought they was some
kind of wild animals with ho’ns on their heads and they would eat me
up,” and then she laughed until her fat sides shook as she realized what
kind of an animal the Yankee really was.

Uncle Sandy told us that when he first entered within the Union lines he
ate so much he became very sick and thought he was going to die, and
that the only reason he hated to die was because he could never eat any

From among the children of the refugees I organized and taught a school
on the upper veranda of the Tishomingo, which was situated at the
crossing of the Memphis & Charleston and the Mobile & Ohio railroads.
The pupils were all girls, some older and some younger than myself, and
so far as I have ever been able to learn to the contrary, this was the
first crude, little contraband school organized in the great state of
Mississippi, and humble though it was, I feel very proud of my share in
it. I taught them the alphabet, and how to make a few figures. Our text
books were the heads of newspapers, and cards with figures numbering the
rooms, which we tore off the doors. Many trains passed our open air
schoolroom daily, and each whistle that pierced the air was a signal to
suspend lessons, and teacher and pupils alike would scramble to the
front, and leaning far over the rotten railing, would wave and cheer at
the blue-coated soldiers being borne onward to victory or defeat, life
or death, God alone knew.

But the time came all too soon when the Tishomingo House was ordered
evacuated, as it was to be again used for hotel purposes. We received
instructions to go to Jackson, Tennessee, sixty miles north, and one
sunny Sabbath morn we boarded the train for that place, and it was many
a day before I ceased to regret my dusky pupils and playmates.

It was with sad hearts we left Corinth. We had been here so long it had
become like home to us, and we were much attached to the place, the
nurses, and our soldier friends. But the fortunes of war are many and
varied, and there is no sure abiding place in the army.


SOME of the happiest days of my childhood were spent in Jackson,
magnolia-clad, holly-decked Jackson.

I remember the journey very well. We went in a box car, my father on his
cot. We had nothing for seats but some boxes. There were armed soldiers
on our train. We passed little squads of soldiers at intervals along the
roadside, some of whom with stacked arms were engaged in cooking by
their campfires. Sometimes the train would stop a few minutes, and some
of the “boys” would come up and talk to us.

Arrived at Jackson, we were taken in an ambulance to hospital No. 2,
where they were too full to receive us. We were invited to dinner,
however, and were then assigned quarters in a large hotel called the
Manassas House. The hotel property was owned by a Mr. Tolliver. There
were two landlords or proprietors, Hotellen and Wilcox by name. There
was no landlady but a housekeeper known as Irish Mary. There was also an
Irishman employed as a “handy man,” whose name was Mike.

Jackson was a beautiful little city situated between two railroads. It
contained many handsome residences set back in well kept grounds. It was
in possession of the Union troops. Gen. Sullivan was in command. Col.
Lawler had his headquarters near the hotel. The 103d Illinois and other
regiments were in camp here. There were two large brick hospitals, known
as No. 1 and No. 2, situated on opposite sides of the town. Dr.
Haversett was in charge of both. Miss Adaline Williams had been sent
here from Corinth and was assigned to duty in No. 1, where I made daily
visits passing on the way two huge piles of cannon balls stacked up in
pyramidal form.

                              THE MEASLES

WHILE in the Manassas House we had many pleasures and some sorrow. In
room No. 19 “Little Rosebud” and I had measles, which nearly cost us our
lives. We took it of one of the colored chambermaids, who died before we
got well. We could see the negro quarters from the back window of our
room, and my mother propped me up in bed with pillows, one Sunday
afternoon, that I might see poor Ann placed in a common road wagon and
hauled away for burial. Little Rosebud’s life was despaired of several
times, it being thought one night that she could not live until morning.
We had many kind friends during this time of trial.

Dr. Huntington came over from Hospital No. 2 several times each day to
attend us, and to him my parents always gave the credit of having saved
my sister’s life.

While we were sick, our former nurse, Thomas Torrie, came to see us.
When he first entered the room I knew him, but soon after, the fever
arose, and I became delirious. He was a very religious man and my
parents asked him to pray with them. I remember yet the impressions of
that hour. It seemed to me that we were all in an old barn, with long,
dusty cobwebs hanging from the high rafters, and as I saw the three
kneeling not far from my bed, they seemed afar off, and the tones of the
prayer sounded faint and distant to my fever-thickened ears. A few days
later our friend Thomas visited us again and found us much improved. The
fever had left me, my mind was clear and I was able to talk to him. He
loaned me a stencil plate, ink and brush, and I amused myself by marking
the hotel linen with his name. I made a rapid recovery, but alas! my
voice was gone, and for weeks I spoke only in whispers.

                          THE STOLEN PRESERVES

ABOUT the time of our recovery, the housekeeper, “Irish Mary,” took the
measles and was quite sick for some days. She had been in the habit of
giving out the linen and towels for the bedrooms and always carried the
key to the linen closet, a large wardrobe which stood in one end of the
hall. During her illness each lady boarder looked after the supplies for
her own room, and would obtain the key when anything was needed. One day
a doctor’s wife, an intimate friend of ours, came to our room in great
excitement, saying she had found a large jar of peach preserves in the
wardrobe, and that she “was going to have some of them.” She rushed down
stairs to the dining room, secured a saucer and spoon, returned and
dipped out a bountiful supply. By this time several other ladies had
“caught on,” and they all swarmed about that jar as flies around a
molasses barrel. One lady with a “down-east” accent, who always said
“gude” for good, ate her portion, smacked her lips and said, “My, but
they are gude!”

I do not mention these ladies’ names, but it is not because I have
forgotten them. I remember their names and faces distinctly, and should
they ever see this word picture they will readily recognize themselves
and their part in it. It is needless to say that I came in for my share
of the “stolen sweets.”

                         THE THREATENED BATTLE

IN my visits to the City Hotel and other places it was my delight to
scale the “breast works” that barred the way, built of huge bales of
cotton belonging to northern speculators. Cotton, which had long reigned
king in the South, was now “Uncle Sam’s” servant and was made to do his

Vast quantities were stored away in warehouses and depots, awaiting
shipment, when one night the cry went around, “The rebels are coming,
the rebels are coming.” The cotton was seized by the military
authorities, piled up in the form of a wall around the most exposed
parts of the town and earth thrown over it. The soldiers worked all
night in constructing these fortifications. Ah! how well I remember the
night. We were awakened near the hour of midnight and told to prepare to
fly at a moment’s warning, as the rebels were rapidly advancing on
Jackson. We packed our few belongings, and after listening a while with
bated breath, lay down again with our clothes on and slept securely till
morning. With the morning’s dawn preparations were made for a mighty
battle. Artillery was planted in different parts of the town, three
lines of battle were formed, one of them being drawn up in front of the
hotel, and there the soldiers stood all day, their bayonets flashing and
glittering in the sunlight. The greatest excitement and enthusiasm
prevailed; officers and orderlies on horseback went dashing by, here,
there and everywhere, but the battle was never fought, for the rebels
never came. Four days later, on the 20th of December, the same troops,
headed by Earl Van Dorn, a dashing young cavalry officer, entered Holly
Springs, Miss., surprised and captured the Federal forces, which they at
once released on parole, fired the Union stores, blew up the arsenal and
paymaster’s quarters, and gained such a victory withal, as to set all
their hearts adancing, and all their flags aflutter. It was a great day
for the people of Holly Springs, and they yet speak of it as the
“glorious, glorious twentieth.”

                          CHRISTMAS IN JACKSON

FOR a time we “fared sumptuously every day,” but there came a time when,
owing to burned bridges and blockades, communication was entirely cut
off with Cairo, Ill., which was our base of supplies, and the fare
became very scant. For several days we had no coffee, but in some manner
the landlord managed to secure 50 pounds, for which he paid $50.00.

On Christmas Day, 1862, our breakfast consisted of tea, bread, and
pickled pigs’ feet; dinner the same with the addition of dried apple
pie. In the afternoon we went, by invitation of Major Winn, to Bolivar,
twenty-eight miles south of Jackson. I shall never forget the pleasure
of that little war-time excursion. We stayed two hours and watched the
boys in camp getting supper. One little fellow was making hash in a camp
kettle near the railroad track where our train stood. He stirred it with
a bayonet; it was very thin, and he said he didn’t know whether to call
it hash or soup, but that he could thicken it with cotton, which was
stacked up in great walls all about him. I can hear his merry, ringing
laugh yet. My father’s regiment was in camp here, and we met his
Colonel. That Colonel is now Brigadier General Wager Swayne, of New York
city, and I often wonder if Gen. Swayne remembers that Christmas
afternoon of 1862 as well as I do.

If the ride down to Bolivar was memorable, the return trip was even more
so. There was supposed to be some danger of our train being fired into,
and no lights were allowed. Part of the way lay through the woods, and
our phantom train glided along in darkness and silence, for neither
whistle was blown nor bell rung as we made the perilous little run
through the enemy’s country. With a child’s confidence I knew and felt
no fear. We arrived safely at the hotel at 8 p. m. and went immediately
to the dining room, where we had some more pigs’ feet and dried apple
pie. We didn’t hang up our stockings that Christmas Eve. There was
nothing to put in them, unless it were minnie balls, and they were
needed far worse in the muskets at that time.

                            THE DINING ROOM

IN the large dining room of the hotel were eight tables, and there was a
black waiter for each table. We ate at what was known as the Colonel’s
table, and Tom was our waiter. He was as black as the “ace of spades,”
but the very pink of politeness. I became so familiar with his “formula”
or bill of fare, that I can repeat it now. In times of plenty it was,
“Roast beef, roast pork, co’n beef, or meat pie.” Also, “beef-steak or
po’k-steak.” If one chose the former, Tom would ask, “Well done or

Many times there was such a rush for the dining room that it almost
amounted to a mob, and both doors leading into it were kept locked.
Several trains arrived at noon, and emptied themselves of passengers
into the Manassas House, and many times a lot of hungry soldiers came
pouring in just as dinner was ready. On one occasion a revolver was
fired in the mad rush for entrance. The regular boarders were instructed
to knock at the rear door, and my timid little tap was responded to as
promptly as that of the wearer of gold cord and glittering shoulder

                         INMATES AND INCIDENTS

THERE were many Northern people at the hotel, and among them we formed
pleasant friendships and acquaintances, and visited around from room to
room. Those whom I most distinctly remember were Dr. De Forest, wife,
and little daughter, of Troy, Ohio; Mr. James Leighton and wife, of
Vermont; Captain Ford and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Munn, Mrs. Captain Birch,
Mrs. Webb, and “Camp” Dick Robinson, of Kentucky. There were a number of
cotton speculators here. Several Jews by the name of Levi from
Cincinnati, a Mr. Coan and a Mr. Cohn, from Columbus, Ohio, and
Colonels, Majors, Captains and Lieutenants galore. We also met a Dr.
Mitchell and wife, of Illinois, who boarded at the City Hotel. Much of
the time I was the only child about, and was petted and spoiled to my
heart’s content.

The water supply at Jackson was very scant, and there was not enough for
domestic purposes at the hotel. There was a well in the yard, but its
supply was soon exhausted. The negroes would haul it in barrels from the
Forked Deer river, and many times I have watched them loading up the
empty barrels, and then unloading them full of water upon their return.

By a strange coincidence my mother was now within a few miles of her
father’s unknown and unmarked grave, he having died and been buried on
the banks of the Forked Deer many years before, when she was a child too
small to remember him. A sad rendering of the words, “So near and yet so

Many incidents occurred at the hotel, amusing and otherwise. A little
newsboy called Johnny was a frequent visitor, and a great favorite with
the ladies. I saw him one afternoon select several one dollar bills from
a handful of paper money. These he folded very carefully and then drew
his knife blade right through the center. Several of the ladies
remonstrated with him, but he only laughed, saying each piece was worth
fifty cents.

“Camp” Dick Robinson, so called from the Union soldiers having camped on
his land in Kentucky, was an eccentric character. He occupied room No.
23, and seemed to think the world in general and the hotel in particular
were made for his especial accommodation. One day, having written a
letter and lacking an envelope, he came out into the hall in a towering
rage, shouting at the top of his voice: “I want an envelope. Can’t I
have an envelope? Why can’t I have an envelope?” Several doors were
opened, heads thrust out, and the much needed envelope supplied. Later
on No. 23 was used as a prison. A female spy was arrested and confined
in this room a week or more. Her meals were carried to her and a guard
stood at the door, musket in hand, night and day.

One Saturday night a lady arrived, and the next morning took her sewing
and descended to the parlor, where she occupied herself with her work
until some one reminded her that it was Sunday.

Another day two ladies from New Orleans, both young and fair, dressed in
deep mourning, stopped for dinner and to await a train. They had with
them a beautiful boy, about my own age, with long, yellow curls. They
called him Percy. They remained but a few hours, but Percy and I played
together on the veranda, and as they left, he cried for me to kiss him
goodbye, and after he was gone, I cried because I wouldn’t.

                      FEEDING THE “BOYS” FROM HOME

ONE dark, dreary morning, when the rain was pouring down in torrents, a
lot of soldiers took refuge in the lower hall of the Manassas House. I
soon learned that there were four “boys” from home among them, that they
had been out all night, were cold, wet, and hungry, and to my mind,
hunger was the worst of all. To me, in those days, a soldier was greater
than a king, and is yet for that matter, and I felt that something must
be done. I went to my mother, that never-failing refuge in all my
childish sorrows and perplexities, and with tearful eyes appealed to her
for advice and help. With a smile she said, “Can you not go to Brown,
and ask him for something for ‘our boys?’” For it was useless to think
of feeding them all, in the then depleted state of the hotel larder.
Brown was the steward, and the one being among all the hotel people of
whom I stood in awe. But to Brown I went, and, to my delight, he gave me
all that was left from breakfast. To the best of my recollection, that
lunch consisted of bread, meat and cheese.

I divided it as best I could among the four, whose names I herewith
give: George Harmon, V. K. Kelley, Wesley Jackman and J. A. Tulleys. A
sorry picture they made, with the water dripping from their faded blue
overcoats in little puddles on the floor, the little girl standing in
their midst, with sorrow in her heart, because she could not obtain food
for the other poor men looking wistfully on. Perhaps not one of the
living members of the quartet will remember this little episode in his
army life, but that rainy morning’s scene has never faded from my
memory. George Harmon has been “mustered out” and lies, awaiting the
“bugle call” to the “General Assembly,” in a country graveyard a few
miles from town. James A. Tulleys[1] is a prominent citizen of Red
Cloud, Nebraska. The other two are citizens of this place and I see them
almost every day.

Footnote 1:

  Mr. Tulleys answered the “roll call” January 21, 1901.

                        A DAY AT THE CITY HOTEL

OUR friends the De Forests, after boarding for a time at the Manassas,
removed their quarters to the City Hotel.

They had taken under their protecting wing a little yellow girl by the
name of “Mandy.” She was sent one day to invite my mother and another
lady to spend the day at the City Hotel. Mandy and I had traveled the
road many times, and we put our heads together and determined to take
them by way of the long line of cotton defences, instead of the open
street, as we could just as well have done. Imagine their discomfiture
and our glee as they faced the frowning wall over which they had to
climb as best they could. How we laughed and shouted as we scaled the
“works” with the agility of young monkeys.

The low-ceiled parlor of the City Hotel, with its dark, large-figured
Brussels carpet, is yet a familiar feature to me, as we gathered in it
after dinner and listened to Mrs. Dr. Mitchell relate how they used to
go to church in a wagon drawn by an ox team, at her girlhood’s home in

                            VAGRANT MEMORIES

I OFTEN think of how recklessly I wandered around alone at Jackson. I
became familiar with its streets, and if the years have not made too
many changes in its appearance, were I there today, I could go right to
the Manassas House and Hospital No. 1. No. 2 I did not become so
familiar with, as I was there but once. There was a little white house
in the cut some distance up the Memphis & Charleston railroad, where
lived a family by the name of Clark. I went there many times to play
with the children. We would walk the railroad ties until we saw the
trains coming, when we would leap upon the porch and wave our
handkerchiefs and hats at the soldiers as they passed rapidly by, the
track being but a few feet from the house. The trains were mostly made
up of box cars, which were literally alive with soldiers inside and out,
who would wave their caps and give us cheer upon cheer in return for our
salute, doubtless taking us for little “rebels.”

As I recall and write these trivial events, those old, sweet days seem
very near, and I have but to close my eyes to fancy that as a little
child I am again running through the long hall of the Manassas to the
upper piazza, watching for George, the hotel clerk, as he came from the
postoffice, it having been prearranged between us that whenever there
was a letter for us from Ohio, he was to hold it up so I could see it,
otherwise I was to know there was none. The postoffice, now in charge of
the military, was in the depot and in full view of the hotel, and the
railroad ran parallel with both. I almost lived on the veranda and saw
every train that passed.

There was a large encampment in the open space across the railroad, and
opposite the hotel. Lieutenant Pease, one of the boarders, had a
telescope, which he would adjust properly for me and I would spend hours
looking through it, watching the soldiers, as they performed their daily
camp duties. I could see them cooking, washing and hanging their clothes
to dry. Many times we have witnessed drill and dress parade from the
veranda. Lieutenant Pease was a tall, dark, quiet gentleman, a great
reader and a great friend of mine. The first copies of Frank Leslie’s
Illustrated Magazine and Ballou’s Monthly I ever saw were given me by
him, and I can yet recall some of the stories I read in them.

                           CORINTH WAR EAGLE

THERE was published in Corinth a paper called _The Corinth War Eagle_.
Its editor and publisher was a patriotic young man from the North, whose
name was Elbridge Dwight Fenn. I remember him distinctly, although I did
not see him while at Corinth, but later on at Jackson, where he was
largely in evidence. His name and handsome physique would have fitted
him to figure as the hero in a two-volume novel. I saw him frequently at
the City Hotel. He was full of life and spirits. I saw him one day
dancing about the upper corridor with a looking glass under his arm, the
lady boarders and chambermaids looking on in great glee. On the day of
the expected battle, Fenn was seemingly everywhere. While a number of us
were standing on the balcony at the Manassas viewing the troops as they
stood in battle array, he came dashing up with a red sash tied about him
from shoulder to waist, mounted on a coal-black horse. One of the ladies
called to him, saying, “When are the rebels coming, Fenn?” Raising his
arm high in air, he shouted, “Never!” and rode away as rapidly as he had
come. We brought a copy of the _War Eagle_ home with us, and after many
years, when it was almost worn out, I cut the least worn articles from
its columns, and they adorn the pages of my war scrapbook. The issue I
have bears the date of September 18, 1862. There is a flag at the head
of the editorial column, and the motto is, “Be just and fear not.”

Among the articles I have preserved is an account of a visit to the
hospital, written by the editor himself; also complimentary references
to the 17th and 7th Ill. regiments; Harmony Among Regimental Officers,
Flag Presentation to the 17th Wisconsin, an Irish regiment, with
speeches by the Chaplain and Captain. The paper also contains several

                              THE SUTLERS

THE Sutler was an institution of the army. It is useless to describe
him. Every old soldier knows him. There were two of “him” here, Patrick
and Keene by name, who kept a store in a small room adjoining the hotel;
in fact, it was built against it and a step from the veranda led into
the store. How clear and familiar it all is to me today, the counter on
one side of the room, the little stove and bench on the other. I made
many visits to the little store and was always kindly received by its
gentlemanly proprietors. Mr. Patrick wore a cap and always had it on
whether indoors or out, and when not busy, mostly sat on the counter. On
New Year’s Day, 1863, Mr. Keene gave me a pocket handkerchief. I have
owned since then many dainty creations of lace and embroidery, called by
courtesy handkerchiefs, but none that ever gave me such real pleasure as
did that large square of coarse cotton cloth, with a border of blue
stars all around it, and in each corner an eagle with shield and stars.
But in coming home I left it on the train, much to my regret. While in
Jackson we secured a 64-pound cannon ball which we were very anxious to
bring home with us, but finding it impossible to do so my mother left it
in care of Messrs. Patrick and Keene, expecting my father to send it
another time, but after leaving Jackson he never returned, and thus we
lost our much prized relic.


WHILE at the Tishomingo in Corinth we acquired a boy 17 years old, black
and raw-boned. His name was Dan Weaver. I do not know how we got him,
but having once gotten him we had him. Having learned that where we were
he was always sure of something to eat, he was determined to stay with
us. We took him to Jackson and he became a part of us. He made himself
useful about the hotel, and assisted my mother in taking care of the
baby. He would sit with her in his arms and sing by the hour, and
sometimes in his earnestness the big tears would flow down his black,
shiny cheeks. His favorite song was “Dixie” and over and over and again
he would sing,

                 Away down south in the land of cotton,
                 Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,
                 Look away, away, away.
                 In Dixie’s land
                 I’ll take my stand.
                 And live and die a “secesh” man.

But the “secesh” part of it was a huge joke with Dan, and was but a bit
of ironical humor on his part. There was nothing Dan wouldn’t do for
“Little Missy,” as he always called me. I had developed a mania for
collecting empty cigar boxes, and he would scour the town and camp to
secure them for me. I was very proud of my collection, and I had them of
every size and shape, stacked up on either side of the bureau until they
reached the top of the looking-glass. I fully expected to bring them
home with me, and was bitterly disappointed when emphatically informed
that I could not do so. Since then an empty cigar box has always had a
peculiar charm for me, and I never see one or inhale the pungent odor of
cedar and tobacco combined but the interior of No. 19 appears before me,
and I wonder who fell heir to my beloved boxes.

Dan was a good boy in the main, but in an evil hour he learned to play
cards. He came home one day very angry with a colored comrade, who had
not played fair with him, as he thought. He took “Little Rosebud” up and
began to sing to her as usual, when suddenly the song ceased, his anger
was too much for him, and he almost hissed forth the words, “I’ll eat
him up blood raw widout a bit o’ salt.”

Poor, ignorant, black Dan’s roaming about town and card-playing were
suddenly cut short. He was attacked with inflammatory rheumatism, and
lay helpless and suffering on a cot in our room many days and nights, my
dear, patient mother caring for him as best she could, until so worn out
that she was compelled to have him removed to the negro quarters. His
groans were piteous to hear, and sleep was almost unknown while he
remained in our room.


FAREWELL to Jackson, sunny Jackson—that is it was sunny when the sun
shone, but as dark and dreary as can be imagined when it rained—the very
name is dear to me yet, and the memories that cluster around it are
dearer still. When I review my four months’ experience in the Sunny
South I feel that the memory of it is something to be proud of. I saw no
fighting, but there were skirmishes all around us, and many prisoners
were brought in. Some of the saddest sights I saw were prisoners being
marched through the streets in the rain, wading through the mud, the
water dripping from their faded butternut suits. Many days we heard
heavy cannonading which indicated that battles were being fought in
close proximity.

The time came when we must return to our home in the North. My father
having recovered sufficiently to rejoin his regiment at Bolivar, left
some days before we did. On the last Sunday of our stay a young soldier
by the name of Frank Moss, whose home was in Aberdeen, Ohio, whither we
were going, called on my mother and sent messages of love by her to his

One morning in February we bade farewell to the scenes that had become
so dear to us, and turned our faces homeward. On the train with us was a
wounded officer. His hurt was in the leg, and he was on a cot in one
corner of the car. His wound was very painful, and as the train jolted
he seemed to suffer much and was very cross and irritable. His wife was
with him. When we reached the bridge which had been burned a few weeks
before, we had to stop and transfer mail and passengers. We crossed the
Obion on the ties of the new and unfinished bridge. A soldier carried
me, another carried “Little Rosebud,” while still another led my mother.
The bridge was very high, and they told us the water was many feet deep
at this point. A few days previous the man who led my mother had told a
lady while crossing, just how deep it was (eighty feet) and she became
so faint and frightened at the knowledge, that he found it almost
impossible to convey her safely over. While crossing I asked the man who
carried me, in a whisper, how much he thought I weighed. “Oh, about a
ton,” was his laughing reply, and the next time I spoke after clearing
the bridge, my voice had returned and I spoke aloud for the first time
since my recovery from the measles.

When we arrived at Columbus we found there would be no boat until the
next day. We remained all night at the hotel, trying in vain to sleep on
a hard, relentless bed. The boat came in next day, but the wind was
blowing a gale, and the Captain refused to go further. The boat was a
small, box-like affair, called the Rob Roy, top-heavy and in danger of
capsizing in a high wind. All day we remained at the hotel, and all day
the boat remained tied up at the landing. I read Ruth Hall within while
the wind raged without, and the huge waves washed the shore. At
nightfall the captain sent word to the hotel for the passengers to come
on board, and should the wind lull through the night, he would start.
But the wind didn’t lull, and we remained tied up all night.

I lay on a narrow wooden bench with our carpet bag for a pillow, while
my poor, tired mother passed another sleepless night sitting on a hard,
uncomfortable chair, with the baby in her arms. All the large boats had
gone north, and the Rob Roy was the only one plying between Columbus and
Cairo. It had no conveniences whatever, neither ladies’ cabin nor
staterooms, and no facilities for cooking and eating. How well I
remember that comfortless night, how one of the boat’s crew dropped a
heavy wooden bucket of water on the bare floor, making a terrific crash.
I thought the boiler had burst, and we were on our way to the bottom.
Then anon, the blaze of the lamp, hung high on the side of the little
square cabin, shot out at the top of the dingy chimney, and I sat up on
my bench bed and screamed out, “Take it down, take it down.”

Morning dawned at last, calm and clear, and we were soon plowing the
yellow Mississippi, with the dark Missouri forests on our right. As we
neared Cairo my mother called me on deck to view the “meeting of the
waters.” To me, as I recall it now, it resembled a bias seam running
across from shore to shore. At Cairo my mother debated long whether to
continue the homeward journey by river or rail, having a presentiment of
an accident in either case, but finally decided in favor of the latter.

We had nothing to eat since our lunch on the Rob Roy, brought from the
hotel, until we reached Centralia, Ill. Just after nightfall the train
stopped in front of an eating house, my mother called for coffee and
lunch, which were handed through the car window. We ate and drank
hurriedly, and even then the train was moving as the empty dishes were
handed back to the waiter, and we settled down for a night’s steady

Throughout this journey there had always been some one to arrange a seat
for my comfort, and this part of it was no exception to the rule. I was
soon sound asleep and knew no more until rudely awakened by a loud
crash, and by being thrown violently to the floor. My mother was thrown
forward on her knees, while the baby struck the seat in front. The
accident had happened. Consternation and excitement prevailed, but it
was soon learned that the track had been torn up and our train wrecked.
It was 4 o’clock in the morning, but was yet quite dark. Examination by
the light of lanterns showed that the engine, baggage, mail and express
cars had plunged down an embankment 40 feet deep. Our car became
uncoupled from the one in front, which was all that saved it from a like
fate. Even then it was so tilted toward the edge of the precipice that
it was with difficulty we could get out.

We sat on a log and waited for dawn and the righting up of our car. The
engine caught fire and burned up. The engineer was killed outright, and
the fireman so badly hurt that he died a few days later. “Little
Rosebud” came home with blood on her dress that dripped from his wounds
as he was carried through our car. We were in Indiana when the accident
happened, and it was supposed to have been the work of “copperheads” or
rebel sympathizers. We were about seventy-five miles from Cincinnati,
and four miles from the nearest station, to which the conductor walked
and telegraphed to the city for help. We sat for hours in the coach with
nothing to eat. The train men, with bandaged heads, and arms in slings,
passed in and out rehearsing the accident and trying to cheer us as best
they could. Late in the afternoon an engine came out from the city, and
we were soon speeding along, getting hungrier each mile.

There was a gentleman on the train who was very kind to us. He, too, had
been south, speculating in cotton and was now returning to his family in
Cincinnati. He tried at every station where we stopped to get something
for us to eat, but strangely enough, nothing could be obtained, not even
a cup of coffee, which my mother so much needed, she being nearly
exhausted from loss of sleep and lack of food. The gentleman at last
secured some small cakes of maple sugar, some of which he gave to me,
keeping the others for his two little girls, whose home, he said, was at
the Burnett House, and who had never even heard of maple sugar. He
laughingly told me to read the signs on the restaurants as we passed,
and try to think I was having something good to eat.

As we rolled into the great city, the lights were gleaming everywhere,
and the newsboys were crying the accident on the streets. We went
immediately to the Henrie House. It was Saturday evening, and we feared
we would have to stay until Monday, but were informed by the clerk that
the steamer Marmora would start in a very few moments. There was no time
for supper, and we hurried down to the boat. A lunch was hastily
prepared for us, of which we partook sparingly, and at the regular
supper we did ample justice to the meal. We traveled all night without
knowing it, so soundly did we sleep, and on Sunday morning, February 22,
1863, we walked up the snow-clad banks of the Ohio, shivering with the
cold, and wishing ourselves back in the sunny clime of the beautiful


YEARS after these events, when white-winged peace hovered o’er all the
land, while conning my geography lesson at school, and trying to fix in
my mind that the city of Constantinople is situated on the Sea of
Marmora, that night of hunger came back to me vividly, and the
stern-wheel steamer Marmora, with her lights reflected in the broad
bosom of the Ohio, loomed up before me with a reality never to be

The dear mother who made that long, and in those days perilous, journey,
with the care of two little children, has gone to her reward, borne to
her last resting place by six honored and respected soldiers of the
community. The father for whose sake the journey was made still lingers
on the shores of Time. “Little Rosebud,” the pet of the hospital, is a
happy wife and mother, while the writer fills an humble sphere at home,
and writes her name today just as she did thirty-seven years ago.

My little story is done. It is but a faint and feeble outline of those
far off-days, and but a slender thread that connects me with The Great
Rebellion. But such as it is, I dedicate it to the G. A. R. in general
and the “boys” of Corinth in particular, and to my dear sister who as an
infant in arms, could know nothing of this period in her life and mine.

Boys who wore the blue, you have long been gray. Many of your ranks have
already “crossed the river, and are resting under the trees,” not in
wall tents or Sibleys, but

                  “In those low green tents
                  Whose curtain never outward swings.”

And when for them and you the “long roll” is sounded, commanding all the
vast armies to “turn out” and “fall in” for the last Grand Review, and
you stand in serried ranks before the Great Commander, Oh! may you all
be able to sing as in one grand chorus,

                 “Just as I am, without one plea,
                 But that Thy blood was shed for me
                 And that Thou bidds’t me come to Thee,
                 Oh! Lamb of God! I come, I come.”

Nathan W. Crooks, prominently identified with the early portion of this
history, died at Washington C. H., O., on May 6, 1900.

Wesley Jackman, one of the four hungry “boys from home” whom I fed at
the Manassas House, Jackson, answered the final call on August 6, 1901,
just three days before the last pages of this book went to press.


                           Transcriber’s Note

Some corrections have been made to the original text, including
normalization of the punctuation. Further corrections are listed below:

              prounoun -> pronoun
              magnificen tfloating -> magnificent floating
              nade -> made
              the the rebels -> the rebels
              cummunication -> communication
              famaliar -> familiar
              throuh -> through
              editoral -> editorial

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