HOW IT WAS;
FOUR YEARS AMONG THE REBELS.
BY MRS. IRBY MORGAN,
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.
PUBLISHING HOUSE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH.
BARBEE & SMITH, AGENTS, NASHVILLE, TENN.
Entered, according to Act of Congress,
in the year 1892,
BY MRS. IRBY MORGAN
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
gives an inside view of things during the war by a truthful,
patriotic, great-hearted woman, whose keen observation and
kindly soul are reflected in its pages. It is refreshing,
after the deluge of dry official reports of campaigns and
battles and the unhappy contentions of so many surviving
heroes as to where to locate the glory of victory and the
shame of defeat, to hear a woman's voice telling the story
of that awful time in her own way, which is very straightforward,
circumstantial, and realistic. I mean realistic not in the
nude and vulgar realism of a class of modern novels equally
inane and indecent, but realistic in the sense that events
are narrated with simple truthfulness. There is no partisan
coloring or melodramatic flourish. Mrs. Morgan tells what
she saw and heard during those "Four Years with the Rebels"
in a colloquial style that suits the theme and charms the
Morgan is a Southern woman, and the throb of her womanly
heart is in every line. The splendid courage of the soldiers
of the Confederacy finds part of its explanation in the
intense devotion, unfailing fortitude, and sublime self-sacrifice
of the women of the South. The sons and husbands of such
women could not be cowards. Even in a case in which cowardice
might be in the blood or the nerves, the inspiration of
woman's sympathy and the traditions of a people where
courage is hereditary, and among whom true chivalry yet
lingers in this materialistic and sordid age, the constitutionally
timid were swept into the current and carried forward
on the crest of the fiery waves of war.
worthy of notice that Mrs. Morgan, writing more than a
quarter of a century
after the war, expresses no doubt of the righteousness
of the Southern cause. Whatever may be said of the people
of the South, and whatever may be the ultimate verdict
of the world, it is uttering nonsense to say that their
hearts were not in the struggle. Men do not die and women
do not suffer, as the men and women of the South died
and suffered, for a cause that is not dear to them. Had
not the hearts of the men and women of the South been
in the cause, the Confederacy would have collapsed with
its first serious reverse. The leaders of the South did
not drag the Southern people into the war any more than
did the leaders of the North drag the Northern people
into it. They had been drifting into its vortex for two
generations, and what had been long dreaded and foretold
came in 1861.
has been effected, and reconciliation has been so greatly
advanced that hopeful patriots of all sections indulge
the expectation that the time is not far off when the
last note of sectional discord will be hushed, and the
last sectional politician will be buried deep with his
face downward. But it may be said here, as it has been
said before, that if it is insisted that, as a condition
of perfect reconciliation, the Southern people shall acknowledge
that the boys in gray fought and died for a cause they
believed to be wrong, the trumpet of the last judgment
will sound before they will make the shameful concession.
They were defeated, but they made a good fight for what
they believed to be a just cause. They died for their
convictions, and no Southern man or woman will seek to
fix upon their memories the blot of insincerity Neither
will any true man or woman of the North seek thus to smirch
the memory of our dead heroes. The women of the two sections
who still mourn for their dead who sleep where they fell
may clasp hands in a sacrament of sorrow and forgive on
both sides, but they cannot forget.
the bounds of Mrs. Morgan's personal acquaintance in
Nashville and elsewhere
she is well esteemed as a lady of the highest social respectability
and Christian virtues. Beyond that circle is the general
public, to whom I commend these pages with these "Introductory
Words," with the belief that they will greatly enjoy their
perusal, and with the hope that, having yielded to the
urgent request of her family and friends in giving this
book to the press, the author may be rewarded by a large
measure of success.
O. P. FITZGERALD.
March 4, 1892.
HOW IT WAS.
of Nashville for weeks before the fall of Fort Sumter were
greatly excited, as the whole country was watching and waiting
coming events. Fort Sumter fell; and no one can describe
the excitement but one who witnessed it, and every one commenced
planning and trying to do something to aid the South.
were beating, fifes playing, the boys coming in troops
to enlist for the war, and anxious fathers and mothers
could be met at every point. All were earnest and anxious,
as few had anticipated the result of the wrangling the
country had had for years; and now war was upon us, and
we totally unprepared for it.
old guns and muskets to be found were brought into requisition,
and many consulted as to how to use them, how they could
be remodeled, etc., and we of the South were in a dilemma
what to do; but we went on the presumption, "where
there's a will there's
a way," to get us out of difficulty, and the result proved
K. Stevenson and others formed a company to gather war
materials, and my husband, Mr. Irby Morgan, was selected
by him to go to New Orleans, Louisville, and other points
to get sulphur and other material for making caps.
Samuel D. Morgan took great interest in the cap factory,
and it was a success, for in a short time they were making
thousands. Mr. Morgan brought home two of the first perfect
caps, and requested me to keep them as souvenirs of the
war. The caps that were used at Manassas and Bull Run
were made in our cap factory of the material bought by
my husband. After this factory had proved a success, Mr.
Morgan and others were sent to hunt wool to make clothes
for our soldiers, and he went to Texas and other points
and bought four hundred and fifty thousand pounds and
had it shipped to Nashville, and from here he took it
to factories in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and East
Tennessee to be made in Confederate gray. He went to the
factories and got the cloth, and the last he procured
Gen. Rody had to send an escort to guard the wagons, and
he delivered to the department in Atlanta five hundred
thousand yards of Confederate gray
which he had had made
at a cost of seventy-five cents a yard, when it was selling
in the market at five dollars a yard. After he returned
from Texas, then our work began.
Terry's gallant command from Texas came through the marshes
of Louisiana, in water and mud almost waist deep, and
most of them took severe colds, and by the time they got
to Nashville a number were sick. To add to their troubles,
the measles broke out among them. Hospitals were hurriedly
fitted up, and they were soon crowded. The citizens were
greatly distressed, and the ladies went in troops to see
them, to take delicacies, and to do all to alleviate their
sufferings. Miss Jane Thomas, Mrs. Felicia Porter, and
many others were untiring in their attentions; but the
hospitals were so crowded and uncomfortable that a number
decided to take them to their homes and nurse them. A
great many were young, petted darlings at home, and of
course they were wretched. I took Capt. Rice, a grand
old man who lived on Trinity River on a large farm; also
Frank Roan, Capt. Hunter, and Frank Kibbe, all four from
Texas, and Levi Jones, of East Tennessee. All were very
ill with measles and terrible coughs, and we sent for
our family physician and did all we could for them, sitting
up and nursing for two
months. I hired a nurse
and got the boys from the store to help sit up with them.
Capt. Hunter was delirious for two weeks, and Capt. Rice
as ill as could be to live, and we watched and waited
as tenderly as possible. After two months Capt. Hunter
got strong enough to join his command, so did Frank Roan
and Kibber; that left me with Levi Jones and Capt. Rice.
Dr. Atchison told me he thought Capt. Rice would die.
I was much distressed, for I had become greatly attached
to the old man. I went to him and said: "Captain, you
are very sick; I fear you will not get well." He said,
with a great deal of earnestness and quiet dignity: "Madam,
I am an old man. I have plenty at home, a large farm,
negroes, no wife nor children, and the boys were all leaving,
and I loved them and could not stand to see them go without
me, and I thought a country that had done so much for
me I ought to fight for it." I said: "My dear old friend,
you must try to think of a better land, to which you are
fast hastening. Look to God for help. We have done all
we can for you; now beg God to help you to be ready to
meet him." He said: "I have always been charitable, have
ever been kind to my negroes, and old Master will deal
kindly with me. I have no fears." And just as the glorious
sun rose the old man's
spirit took its flight,
I hope to a better world. We buried him at Mt. Olivet.
gone now but Levi. He seemed delighted with his surroundings;
would come into my room and would sit for hours with the
children and myself and tell me about his mother, sisters,
and brothers, and wish he was at home with them. He said
he wished he was at home so he could go to the singing
school. He was tired of the war. He reverted to the singing
school again and again, and said they made the prettiest
music he ever heard, indeed they were powerful singers.
One day I said I thought the fresh air would do him good:
"I will have the carriage ready, and I want you to take
a ride." He was delighted, and observed that he thought
it would do him "a power of good." As he crossed the bridge
he saw his first steamboat; and he was charmed, and told
me when he got home that he thought "it was such a good
idea, houses floatin' on water, and a feller could fish
all the way down." He got to looking well and ate heartily,
and I said "Levi, I expect soon they will call on you
to join your command." He said: "Yes; I am looking any
day to be sent for, but I am powerful weak." He screwed
up his courage enough to appoint a time to join his regiment,
but when the fatal day arrived he came
to my room with a handkerchief
bound around his jaws. I asked him what was the matter.
He said his tooth was killing him it was aching so bad.
I got him camphor, laudanum, and warm cloths to apply,
and he sat with his head bent down in his hands and rocked
and moaned and, as I thought, oblivious to all surroundings;
but all of a sudden he looked up with his keen, black
eyes, and said: "When I go home, I am going to send you
a barrel of apples and sweet taters." I thanked him, and
said he was very kind; and then he would rock and moan
again, seeming in great agony. After being silent for
some time, he raised his head again and said: "Miss Morgan,
California must be a great country. Sweet taters grows
thar an trees, and weighs sixty pounds." I told him I
thought it wonderful. He was just nineteen, and could
I have done so, I would have sent him home to his mother
to be happy. After his toothache was cured he could find
no other excuse, so finally, with great reluctance, he
joined his command.
startling event was the battle of Ball's Bluff, in which
Col. Erasmus Burt, brother-in-law of Mr. Morgan, lost his
life. He was Auditor of the State of Mississippi, and raised
a splendid regiment around Jackson, sons of the best and
most influential families, and went to Virginia to the seat
of action. They had a terrific fight there, and Col. Burt
killed Col. Baker, of Oregon, and a whole regiment of Federals
fired on him, and as Col. Burt fell, mortally wounded, his
regiment yelled and charged like demons, killed and drove
into the Potomac two thousand seven hundred men, and it
was called at the time by the Federal papers: "The Ball's
Bluff Disaster." Col. Burt was promoted for his bravery,
but it came too late, as he died the next day. This was
early in the war, and a company was detailed to escort his
remains to Jackson. He was beloved by all, for he was a
brave soldier and a Christian gentleman. He left a widow
and eight children with no protector, so Mr. Morgan moved
them to Alabama near relatives.
day it was announced that Gen. Beauregard and Father Ryan
would give a talk on the war, at Masonic Hall, so we went
to hear them. This was soon after the battles of Bull
Run and Manassas, and they had a great deal that was encouraging
to say. After the lecture was over we went up to the platform
and were introduced to them, and expressed pleasure at
hearing them give so encouraging accounts of our prospects.
Gen. Beauregard spoke of the battles of Manassas and Bull
Run, and said the Federals were so demoralized that if
we had been prepared to pursue them we could have gone
to Washington and dictated terms of peace. He asked my
husband if he was related to Gen. John T. Morgan, and
he told him he was his brother. He said we ought to be
proud of him, for at a critical time in the battle he,
by his strategy, helped to turn the tide in our favor.
We told him that Nashville had made the caps that fought
those battles. I never will forget Father Ryan's noble
countenance, so full of love and gentleness. He had long
hair, a handsome face, and every inch a man and poet,
and his love for our South land beamed forth in every
look and trembled in ever word he uttered.
had been fighting at Fort Donelson for days, and we would
hear very distressing accounts from them: our boys in
water knee-deep, and such
terrific fighting it
was fearful to contemplate, and such overwhelming numbers
to contend with. But almost every day we would hear of
deeds of valor and bravery, and we felt that our noble
boys could not be whipped. They were outnumbered and had
to succumb, and only those know, who went through these
exciting times, what the news of the fall of Fort Donelson
report was that the army was falling back and would make
a stand at Nashville. Some said they would fight in Edgefield;
others, that they would fall back and fight on the other
side of the river. By the next morning the streets were
filled with soldiers, wagons, army stores, and artillery
wagons being prepared to send South, and the excitement
was at fever heat, and pandemonium seemed to reign.
news was from an old friend, Mrs. Stubbs, who said Gen.
Albert Sidney Johnston was at her home; had come there
to rest, and everything was being done for his comfort.
I prepared a waiter of delicacies, and was soon on my
way to her house. When I arrived, she insisted on my seeing
him, but I said I wouldn't think of intruding. She took
the waiter to him, and in a little while came back with
a message from the general that he would like to see me.
my arm, and almost
before I knew it I was in Gen. Johnston's presence. He
expressed great regret at having to fall back. I told
him I hoped he would not think it presumption, but I was
anxious to know if he intended making a stand at Nashville."My
husband intends to take us South if the army does fall
back; but if it is not proper to answer, don't hesitate
to decline. I am anxious to know, for we will have to
make some few prepara before leaving home." He said: "You had better
get ready and start in the morning." I looked at that
noble face and massive head, and saw sorrow and care depicted
there, and I have never forgotten him. That careworn face
is fresh in my memory. I have met Mrs. Stubbs many times
since the war, and she loved to dwell on the time Gen.
Johnston was at her house, and she, as many others would
have done, considered it a great honor to entertain so
brave a man. I went home, and soon after saw Drs. McTyeire
and Summers, knowing they were as anxious as we to get
away with their families. But by night the rumor was all
over town that the army would make a stand, and every
one who could shoulder a musket must help to defend Nashville
to the last ditch. My husband thought it best for us to
go, and he would stay and fight if necessary. So we started
leaving, I called up my two faithful servants, husband
and wife, Henry and Martha Brown by name, told them to
take the keys, use wood, coal, and contents of the larder,
and take good care of the house and everything in it;
and faithfully they performed their part. They buried
my China, packed at night my carpets to my mother in Nashville,
carried my furniture, piece at a time, to the houses of
different friends, and stayed as long as they were allowed.
The Federals wanted to make a hospital of the house, when
our friends, Mr. Dick White and family, moved in and kept
it for us till the close of the war. Martha and Henry
went to Washington with President Johnson's family, Martha
as maid in the "White House," and Henry as a trusted servant;
but he died a few months after going there. I mention
all this to show the fidelity of the old servants. They
had been with us many years, and "Mammy Martha" was dearly
beloved by us all. I packed my trunk, took my nurse Ella,
and children, and my little son, ten years old, to drive
the barouche, and we started to old friends in Fayetteville,
leaving Mr. Morgan there to await coming developments.
We traveled with sad hearts, thinking of the dear ones
left behind who could not follow us.
soon showed that instead of making a
stand the army was
retreating, and the roads were filled with every kind
of vehicle of which the imagination could conceive. Artillery
wagons, ambulances, furniture wagons, carts, and every
kind of conveyance to which a horse could be hitched.
They were driving, lashing, yelling, and galloping, and
my little children and myself in the midst of them. We
got to Murfreesboro after dark, but found that the army
had beaten us there and all the hotels were filled. There
we were in the crowded street, not knowing where to go
or what to do, when I heard my old hackman's voice, Frank
Eakin, for he had waited on me in that capacity for many
years whenever a hack was needed. Never did a voice sound
so sweet! for I was much fatigued, and more worried in
mind than body. He ran up and said: "Is that you, Miss
Julia?" And I said: "Yes; what is left of me." He said:
"I will take you out to Miss Julia Eakin's [Miss Julia
Spence, now], and Miss Myra Eakin is there - just come
all the way from New York - got there this evening." So
I gladly followed Uncle Frank until we got to Mrs. David
Spence's house, and there received a hearty welcome, and
we all sat up till late that night, bemoaning the fortunes
of war. Early in the morning old Frank had everything
in readiness, trunks securely
strapped, harness adjusted,
etc., and many directions to my son how to drive to prevent
an accident. Then, after Mrs. Spence had prepared us a
sumptuous lunch, we bade them good-bye, thanking God for
having such kind friends raised up to us in our hour of
on and on, and I thought our journey would never end. The
children would say they heard cannonading, and I would imagine
a thousand things were happening, and Mr. Morgan among them,
and I felt wretchedly. Just as we rode into Shelbyville
the children exclaimed: "There comes papa, on a horse, riding
as fast as he can!" I strained my eyes to see, but the dust
was so bad that objects directly in front could hardly be
distinguished; but sure enough, their keen eyes were not
mistaken, for on he came at a rapid gait to catch up with
us, and we were all so delighted we forgot how tired we
were; and the children's tongues let loose, and such a Babel
of voices you never heard, all trying to talk at once, telling
our hairbreadth escapes from being run over by so many wagons.
We spent the night in Shelbyville, and next day started
to Fayetteville to stay with an old friend, Dr. Robert McKinney.
Mr. Morgan went on to Atlanta to attend to government business.
we arrived at Fayetteville, we found a
large portion of Johnston's
army there, and they continued to come for several days.
We met at the doctor's house Gen. John C. Breckinridge,
an old friend of the family; Gen. Forrest; Dr. Kelley
(or rather Col. David Kelley), then on Gen. Forrest's
staff; and Gen. Bowen and wife, of Gen. Price's army of
Missouri. We heard the fight at Fort Donelson discussed
from every point, and I came to the conclusion that our
soldiers had done enough to stop and not fire another
gun. I heard Gen. Forrest tell of the execution of our
sharpshooters, and after the battle he said he counted
sixty killed in one place, and called on Col. Kelley to
know if that was the number. He said their execution was
wonderful and fearful to contemplate, the number killed
was so great. Gen. Bowen was a splendid specimen of manhood,
and his wife was charming. They spent a week at the doctor's,
and we had a pleasant time going to see the soldiers drill.
Soon the army left for Corinth and Shiloh. I learned that
Gen. Bowen was killed at Shiloh, and his wife returned
Mr. Morgan left he gave me a box of gold containing $12,000,
and told me to take good care of it: we might need it.
I told Mrs. McKinney, and we discussed the danger of keeping
it in the house, for we felt very anxious about it, as
were servants going
in and out all the time. We thought and planned as to
the safest disposition that could be made of it. There
was a large rosebush directly under the window of her
bedroom; so we decided to dig up the rose, divide it,
and send a piece of it to a neighbor who was anxious to
have some of it, and while the servant went to deliver
the rose to our friend we slipped the box in the hole
and planted back what was left of the rose, gave it a
good pounding and profuse watering, and it scarcely wilted,
it was so well managed.
in Fayetteville six weeks, then Mr. Morgan came and took
us to Lookout Mountain to Mr. Aldehoff's Seminary, where
we boarded and sent the children to school. Several Nashville
girls were here at the seminary. We had a delightful time
roaming over the mountains, for the scenery was magnificent;
and every afternoon I would take my children and a troop
of boys and girls - for both sexes attended the school
- and we would walk for miles, feasting our eyes on the
beautiful mountain azaleas, holly, and laurel, and many
lovely wild flowers which were rare to us, and we would
all go back with our hands and aprons full of the sweet
blooms. The air was so cool and bracing it seemed we would
never tire of these excursions. I was so
charmed with the beautiful
flowers and shrubs, and so confident we would whip the
Yankees and get home by fall or spring at the least, and
acting on the presumption, I got some of the mountain
women to go with me to select plants to take back to Nashville.
I walked, looked, and admired, and tied a piece of white
string on one, red and black on others, so I would know
them when I got ready to take them up. I planned that
I would take up enough native soil to insure success when
I removed them, and I was so delighted with the idea of
procuring so many novelties I would walk for miles hunting
them. But alas! the time never came for them to be transplanted,
for after that too much of stern reality occurred to fill
the heart and mind, and made me forget the beautiful wild
flowers. In our strolls we would often come in contact
with the residents, and would have long chats with them.
They seemed well satisfied with their surroundings. Most
of them had been reared there, knew but little of the
outside world, and were contented and happy. I asked them
how they lived, as most of the men were in the army; and
they told me they dug calamus, ginseng, and angelica,
and gathered huckleberries, blackberries, and dewberries,
raised chickens and hogs, and they got on finely. They
polite, and credulous
to a degree that astonished me, and seemed ready to believe
all the marvelous tales that could be conceived of. I
felt so sorry for them, seeing how ignorant they were;
and then I thought they were happier than we were, with
no aspirations in life, and thankful for what they had.
the children came in and told me that Gen. John H. Morgan's
command had just come and were encamped just down the
hill; and in a day or two Gens. John H. Morgan and Basil
Duke, hearing we were there, came up to see us. Mr. Aldehoff
and wife treated them so kindly that they were delighted
with their visit. Mrs. Aldehoff was a descendant of Gov.
Sevier, and a splendid woman, and her husband a most enthusiastic
soon heard we were related to Gen. Morgan, and they came
in numbers to see us; and as I had learned most of the
patriotic war songs, I would play, and the children and
soldier boys would gather around and would make the welkin
ring with "Dixie," "Bonny Blue Flag," "Maryland," "She
Comes, She Comes." She did not come, but, to judge from
the singing, we were very happy in the anticipation. Among
the boys was one named Hughes Hopkins, a son of a Presbyterian
minister, and the brightest, jolliest fellow I ever met.
formed quite an attachment
for the children, and would come up nearly every day to
see us. He was highly educated, could quote poetry by
the hour, and he was so entertaining we all loved to hear
him. One day he was telling us some of his trials on the
Potomac, and he said that they were very hungry and had
their skillets frying bacon, and were waiting for it to
get done when the Federals opened fire on them, and a
head of a soldier was blown in their skillet and spoiled
all their sop. I told him it was horrible in him to speak
so lightly of death. He laughed and said that it was the
evil of war, and a fellow gets hardened and used to anything.
came for them to move, and he came to say good-bye. He
had a splendid form, straight as an arrow, had a pleasant
though homely face, and on one cheek was a long scar.
He extended his hand, and said: "Good-bye, madam. You
have been kind to me, and I thank you, and if I never
meet you again, for I may be killed [I felt like crying,
his voice was so pathetic], have me decently buried, and
please, ma'am, furnish money to have masses said for my
soul. I think I will make a pretty corpse." I asked what
his good father would say to hear him talk so, and he
gave a hearty laugh, raised his hat, and bounded down
the hill like a deer. That was the last I ever saw of
him. I do not know whether the poor fellow was killed
kept very busy with my children, for my faithful nurse
I brought with me was taken sick. She was the only daughter
of Peggy Lapsley, of Nashville. Her mother came to me
the morning I left home, and asked me to take her South,
as I could do a better part by her than she could. She
relieved me of a great deal of care with my children,
day and night. Ella was a bright mulatto, very handsome
and intelligent, and I felt in my exile she was more than
a servant to me. She almost felt like one of my family,
for they were devoted to her, she was so tender and gentle
to the little ones. She grew worse day by day, and the
physician from Chattanooga pronounced her very ill, and
he feared I would have to lose her. She became so nervous
that the noise of the children worried her, and I thought
it best to have her moved to the house of a poor white
family who lived near the seminary, and for a sum of money
the mother and daughter promised to devote all their time
to her, wait on her faithfully, and sit up with her. I
prepared all her meals, had them sent to her, and went
every day and stayed with her as much as possible, and
would go after supper
to see if she had every
attention. The school children and mountain woman, seeing
our distress, became greatly interested in her, and often
after school the children would gather flowers and take
them to her. And she was always so grateful. She lived
six weeks, and as she was growing weaker she said: "Miss
Julia, I want to ask a favor of you. I know I am going
to die, and I feel perfectly resigned, but I hate to leave
you and the children." I asked what favor it was she wished,
for I would do anything for her. She said: "Please take
all my little trinkets to my mother - breastpin, locket,
and some of my hair - and tell her to meet me in heaven."
I promised to do all she asked, and wanted to know if
that was all. She said: "No, there is one thing more.
Miss Julia, I hate to ask you, but I want you to shroud
me. I don't want strangers to do it." I told her I would
do anything for her, as she had been faithful and true
to me and mine, and that I would stay by her till the
end. She died two days later, and I got a nice coffin
and shroud and laid her out tenderly, and as she was lowered
in the grave I felt that one of my best friends had left
me. We had her buried on the mountain, and the school
children came in a procession and covered her grave with
flowers. We had a fence built
around her grave, and
as long as we stayed there her grave was bright with fresh
flowers. When I got back to Nashville, I sent for her
mother to deliver Ella's treasures to her, but learned
that she too had passed to her eternal home, dying near
the same time her child did. I go through all this detail
to show the devotion of Southerners to their slaves.
were anxious to see the sun rise on the mountain, for
we had heard what a magnificent sight it was, so we got
up quite a party and started early, and we were repaid,
for a more glorious sight was never beheld. We were so
high above the surrounding country that we appeared, in
the dreamy, misty morning, as if we were in fairyland,
with the floating, feathery clouds around us. After the
sun threw his light in all directions the fleecy clouds
began to dispel and the grand old Tennessee appeared like
a silver band winding its course placidly along, and cars
looked like tiny carriages. As I looked on this grand
river I felt like shouting and praising God and saying,
"Thou, O Lord, art worthy to receive glory and honor,"
for such magnificence in scenery I never beheld. We had
been on the mountain six months, and had spent the time
very pleasantly. We had made many friends among the
boys and girls, who
were from the best families of East Tennessee and different
sections of the country. But the time came for us to leave,
as the Federals were thundering their artillery all around
Chattanooga, and the reverberations on the mountains were
came up to Chattanooga and carried us down to Marietta,
Ga., and procured board at the Kennesaw Hotel, and sent
to Alabama for his old father and sister and family, consisting
of Mrs. Col. Burt and six children. Her two oldest sons
had gone into the army. He got a farm close to town, bought
three negro boys for her, and had his old father to manage
the place. We brought her two daughters in town to go to
school with our girls, and they all started to Mr. Benedict,
an Episcopal minister, who had a fine school in Marietta.
My husband had finished his government business and had
joined the army, going with his brother's command, Gen.
John T. Morgan's, the Fifty-first Alabama Regiment, as a
private. Gen. Clemens and Hon. George W. Jones, two old
friends, came to me and told me that it was a shame for
Mr. Morgan to go, as he was over forty-five; he could be
so much more useful at other points, as good business men
were badly needed, and he could do more for the cause by
staying in Atlanta than by enlisting as a private.
They and other friends
wrote to Richmond to his brother-in-law, Judge William
P. Chilton, Member of Congress, and Meredith P. Gentry,
to state the case; and the next mail brought back a commission
as quartermaster of a division, with headquarters at Atlanta.
I was delighted, and sent it to him; but it was returned
posthaste to Richmond, he declining to accept it.
at a crowded hotel, but I got Mr. White, the proprietor,
to give me a private table in the dining room for my family
and a few friends, among them Mary Gentry, daughter of
Meredith P. Gentry, Mr. Fred Shepherd, of Nashville, and
Mr. Sandy Shepherd, from Memphis. The latter gentleman
was there looking after the interest of his bank. We sent
to Charleston and bought a sack of Java, and I got my
nurse, Nancy, to make us good coffee on my stove in my
room. We fared better than most of them at the hotel tables,
for they had parched wheat and rye for coffee; and old
friends coming and going soon learned where to get a cup
of pure coffee, and Nancy was often kept busy to supply
the demand. Judge Caruthers, Judge Marchbanks, Gov. Neil
S. Brown, my old teacher, Dr. C. D. Elliot, and many others
got their cup as long as it lasted. Dr. Elliot would say:
"Julia, my child, I am going up to the front
to look after the boys,
and must have my coffee to take with me; my supply is
out." His knapsack was always filled for him, and he would
go off with a glad heart to try and comfort the soldier
boys. He was as much devoted to them as he was to his
old Nashville Academy pupils, and that was saying a great
deal, for he had been a faithful teacher and friend to
hundreds of girls scattered all over the South.
was my courier, always on the alert to get startling news.
After the battle of Murfreesboro she came up early one
morning and told me the house was filled with wounded
soldiers. Their destiny was Atlanta, as they had hospitals
there and none at Marietta at that time. The poor fellows
had heard that a great many Nashville refugees were there,
and as the train stopped they slipped off in the dark
and came to the hotel and sent word to us that they wanted
to see the Nashville ladies; but just at the time most
of them had left. I got up though, and as soon as I dressed
I went down to see them. I went from room to room, and
found twenty- seven poor fellows - some terribly wounded
- shot in the legs and arms, and one had his eye put out.
Different parts of the brave boys' bodies felt the effects
of the Yankee bullets. I went in one room, and found Dr.
Shelby County, shot
through the eye, the ball coming out of the back of his
neck, and it was strange that it did not kill him. His
hair was very long, all bloody, and dried to his face,
and all caked with blood around his eye, or the socket,
as the eye was gone. I felt sick at heart, but went to
work with my nurse to assist me. I had warm water brought,
and with a soft cloth bathed the bloody hair until I could
remove it from the wounded part, got a pair of scissors,
and soon made the poor fellow more comfortable by cutting
off his long, matted hair, and a more grateful man I never
saw. He was in a fearful condition, but as I looked at
the poor, sightless eye and pleased face I felt repaid
for my efforts; and he told me he felt more comfortable
and so thankful to me. I did not take time to hunt help,
but went from room to room. The wounded men were all dirty,
hungry, and bloody. My heart would give a big bound as
I looked eagerly into each face, thinking maybe some of
our Nashville boys were among them. I found Capt. Jackson,
from the Hermitage, Capt. Lynn and Mr. Herran, from near
Memphis, and others, whose names, after the lapse of so
many years, I have forgotten, but all in the same condition:
dirty, bloody, and hungry. As fare was high at the hotel,
and most of the poor fellows were without
money, I sent Nancy
out, bought light bread, butter, and eggs, and had strong
coffee made in my room, and we went to work cooking, and
in a little while had enough prepared for them to eat
to satiety. The next thing to be done was to get them
some clothes. I started and hunted up all the Nashville
ladies at the other hotel, and those boarding in town,
and also called on the ladies of Marietta to help us.
I had a hundred yards of pressed flannel my husband had
bought to use in case of an emergency, as goods were getting
very scarce; but when such scenes of distress were brought
to me, my first impulse was to help relieve, so I got
the ladies together and we cut out and made up as long
as the cloth held out, and what I lacked others furnished.
Hurrying and sewing for several days, we got all supplied
with flannel shirts, drawers, and undershirts, and as
"cleanliness is next to godliness," they felt nearer heaven
in clean beds, and new underclothes, and good women around
them ministering to their wants, than they had in some
time before. In the meantime we sent for Drs. Steward
and Setz, and they did all they could for their comfort.
Mr. White, the proprietor, came to me and said: "I am
a poor man and am not able to feed them, but will let
them stay until places can be provided for
them." I told him I
would see to their being fed, and I did; and had them
well fed, too. I put on my bonnet and started out to hunt
homes in private families for them, and I had good success.
Mrs. Gen. Hansel took four; Mrs. Col. Atkinson, four;
Mrs. Brumby, three; Mrs. Dennead, three; and so on until
all had comfortable homes provided, and I felt happy to
know that they would be so well cared for. Most of the
ladies sent their carriages for them, and they went with
thankful hearts. As they were the first wounded soldiers
who had stopped in Marietta, they all fared sumptuously,
and Dr. Setz and dear old Dr. Steward visited them regularly
and did all in their power to alleviate their sufferings.
Some of the boys were extremely ill from their wounds,
as erysipelas set in. I got a home for two country boys
who were badly wounded, with an old lady and gentleman
who had no children. Two days after, the old lady sent
for me to come to see her on important business. I hurried
down, called for her, and she said: "You must move those
boys from my house, I can't stand them." I asked what
on the earth was the matter. She told me her place and
all she had was about to walk off with, as the soldiers
called them, "graybacks." The neat housekeep
was in despair. Allusion to these pests is not very
delicate, but they
were common in the army, where so many were crowded together
they could not help getting them on their clothing. It
made no difference how neat and cleanly they were, they
were all in the same category, liable to the "pests."
I said: "Please don't move them; one has high fever now
and is delirious, and the other is too sick to be disturbed."
I got some one to help her clean her house; then sent
for a negro barber and told him I would pay him well if
he would help me. He asked me what I wanted done, and
told him to get a large kettle, heat water, then get a
big tub, soap, and towel. He got every thing in readiness
and attempted to take one of the soldier's clothes off,
and I was waiting to hear the result. The negro came out
puffing and blowing, and said: "I can't do anything with
him. He fit me and scratched, and tried to bite me." I
told him that was a small matter, not to give up, but
to go and hire a strong man to help him, for I told him
it must be done. He went off for assistance, and in a
little while was back with help. After waiting quite a
time, and hearing a big fuss in the room, he came out
and said: "Missus, I done soap him and scrub him good,
and now he is done dress up nice." I thanked him and told
him to go through the same process with the other one.
He did so, and had
no trouble with him.
He came and told me he had finished them both, and I then
directed him to cut their hair. This was accomplished,
and he sent for me to come in and see how well he had
done his work. Strange to say, the delirium was relieved,
fever cooled, and they began to improve from that bath.
The next thing was to look after their clothing. They
each had a suit of Confederate gray, and as clothes were
so scarce and hard to get, I could not think of throwing
them away. I had them all taken out in the yard and told
the barber to go right off and get an old darky to come
and wash them. He soon brought an old woman, and, for
a stipulated price, she undertook the job. She looked
at the clothes, and said: "Missus, dem's powerful 'ceitful
t'ings, dey hides in ebery seam and crack. You has to
bile dem all day and all night, and den dey ain't dead."
I told her to "bile 'em all day and all night," just so
she got them clean. "But, missus, dat ain't all; you has
to get the hottest flatiron, and iron in all de seams."
I told her I would leave it with her, just so she got
them all right, and she worked over them faithfully until
they were clean and nice, and hung up for future use.
down the next day, and the boys looked like new men, and
the old lady was bright and
cheerful, and I felt
happy at my success. Some of the women of the present
day may think it would have been more suitable for men
to attend to these things. But where were our men? Most
of them were tramping through mud and dirt, rain and cold
fighting battles, many lying on the cold ground wounded,
and others passed to "that bourn whence no traveler returns."
No, when duty led the Southern women, we did not stop
to consider if the thing necessary to be done was elegant
or delicate, but could we do ought to alleviate suffering,
and cool a parching brow, or make a bed softer to the
maimed and shattered limbs of our dear ones. Many of them
had loving kindred thinking and praying for darling husbands,
brothers, and sons. I thought I had my country charges
all settled and happy, but in a few days I was sent for
to come as quickly as I could: they wanted to see me.
I went down and was received at the door by the old lady.
She was very kind, and told me her boys were doing finely,
but were somewhat nervous. I walked in and asked if they
wished to see me about anything important. They said "Yes,"
in a low, confidential way, and continued, "I believe
the old lady wants to kill us, as she has a loom in the
next room, right against the partition at the head of
our bed, and she has been
weaving for two days,
and late last night, and says she has a good deal more
to do before she finishes her cloth." I told them I would
make it all right; I knew the old lady was good and kind,
and I knew too she didn't mean to annoy them. They said:
"Yes, she is good to us; gives us plenty that is nice
to eat, and talks kindly to us, but that rattle, rattle,
rattle [said in a wail] will kill us; we can't stand it."
I had a talk with the old lady, and she promised to postpone
the weaving, and seemed sorry that she had annoyed them.
They stayed with her until they were well enough to join
their regiments. Two days before they left the servant
came in and announced two soldiers in the parlor; said
they wanted to see me, and I immediately went in. They
looked neat, fresh, and cheerful in their suits of gray
that the old regress had "biled all day and all night,"
and to my astonishment, each one had a fiddle under his
arm. They said they were going away and thought they would
play some for the children and myself; said they were
considered "powerful good players" at home. I thanked
them for their thoughtfulness, called the children in,
then they tuned and tuned, and finally started off on
some jigs, and they played all the country breakdowns
you ever heard. The more and louder they played, the
more numerous became
their audience. The children and servants in the hotel
came in numbers, until they had a crowd of attentive listeners.
As the excitement increased, the louder they played, until
they seemed in perfect ecstacy. After they had played
all they knew, we all thanked them, bade them good-bye,
and it was the last I ever saw or heard of them. On shaking
their hands in farewell I felt touched, for the poor fellows
had paid what they conceived to be the greatest compliment
in life: given me the benefit of what they imagined fine
wound proved more serious than we thought it would at first.
Col. and Mrs. Atkinson and Miss Annie were as kind and attentive
as possible, and tried in every way to alleviate his sufferings.
Erysipelas set in, and he had raging fevers and was delirious.
I went to see him as often as possible, and I feared he
would die; but by faithful nursing he began to show signs
of recovery, and after some time he was well enough to ride,
and Miss Annie would bring him in her carriage to see me,
and soon rumor had it that when the captain left he would
leave his heart in Marietta.
Gen. Hansel had Dr. Lowe and Mr. Herron from Shelby County,
Tenn. I mention these three particularly, for they all
had erysipelas, raging fevers, and this in connection
with their bad wounds gave us much anxiety for their recovery;
but the beautiful surroundings of Mrs. Hansel's home,
and kind treatment, soon had them on the road to health.
Lynn, of Tennessee, was badly wounded
He came hobbling in
one morning on crutches, and told me his leg was in a
terrible condition, and he feared amputation would be
necessary. He said he hated to ask me, but he would be
so thankful if I would take off the bandage and see what
I thought of it. The doctors then were scarce and in great
demand all the time. He was wounded just below the knee
on the underside of the leg. I got my servant to get me
some hot water, Castile soap, and some old linen rags,
removed the bandage, and found the place in a frightful
condition. His leg was swollen large enough for two, and
the cloths had dried and hardened on it until I wondered
how he endured it at all. I washed it carefully, saturating
the soft linen with some soothing solution the doctor
had given him. After the bandage was readjusted he felt
much relieved, and I told him to come to me every day
and I would dress it for him. He was very grateful, and
after the close of the war I got a letter of thanks from
him saying I saved his leg. I think that a mistake, but
I certainly made him feel more comfortable. By the most
tender care of the ladies of Marietta, and the best medical
skill, they all got well and rejoined their regiments.
Marietta, up to that time, had known but little of the
horrors of war; so the first wounded soldiers they nursed
them a little insight
in it. Soon after this hospitals were established there.
Then the work commenced in earnest. We had at this time
quite a colony of Nashvillians: Dr. A. L. P. Green, wife
and daughter, Mr. Matt McClung and wife, Miss Patty Anderson,
Mr. Ike Lytton and family, Mr. Jess Thomas and family,
Mr. Tom Marshall and wife, Mrs. Avent, Miss Bettie Childress
and her sister, Miss Ann Patterson, Miss Frank Anderson,
Gen. Clemmons, Hon. George W. Jones, Mr. Sandy Shepherd,
Mr. Fred Shepherd, and many others too numerous to mention,
and all great workers. Some one or other of them were
always finding objects of distress, and their necessities
were always supplied.
John. Overton was there and was as bighearted then as
he is now, running up to the army and then back again,
speaking words of comfort to the boys at the front and
the poor wounded ones in the rear. But enough. I could
fill a volume with acts of heroism and devotion to our
Confederacy. To sum it all up, we had our hearts and hands
full. At this time most of the Nashville ladies were at
the two hotels. At the Kennesaw House, where we boarded,
the saintly Mrs. A. L. P. Green would appoint one day
in each week for fasting and prayer for our beloved cause,
would try to say "thy
will be done," but am afraid we had a mental reservation,
"but let us whip the Yankees." Now the sick and wounded
came in numbers, and we were all kept busy trying to minister
to their necessities and to the alleviation of their pains.
In a short time the town became so crowded many of the
Nashville people moved to other points. That left us almost
alone at the hotel. Mr. and Mrs. White, the proprietors,
were very kind to us, and helped in many ways in caring
for the sick and wounded soldiers. The house was full
of strangers, coming and going all the time. A family
stopped there for awhile that interested me very much.
It consisted of Gov. Baylor, of Arizona; Col. Baylor,
his brother, our former Minister to Austria; and the Governor's
and colonel's brother and sister, Eugene and Fanny Courtney
Baylor. Gov. and Col. Baylor were delightful company,
and Fanny and Eugene splendid musicians, and every night
Mary Gentry and myself got them to play for us. Fanny
sung the Scotch songs with much pathos, and some of Eugene's
compositions were wonderful. He was only twenty years
old, but was wonderfully gifted in music. My girls got
him to teach them many pieces of his own composition.
I did not think then that these friends we were making
in after years make
a name for themselves, for they were so modest and unassuming;
but Eugene has lived to be a great composer of music,
and Fanny an authoress of considerable note.
occasions trains of soldiers came down the road, and we
learned that on account of some accidents they had nothing
to eat in twenty-four hours. We were all greatly excited,
and I went around from one boarder to another and got
their consent to give up their breakfast and let the soldiers
have it. I told Mr. White, the landlord, our decision,
and he agreed to it. I dispatched my nurse to make coffee,
and in a little while big and little, white and black
were carrying dishes out to the train to feed the soldiers.
We took everything in the eating line we could lay our
hands on, and as fast as one pot of coffee was emptied
I would send for another. It was a long train, and it
took a good deal to satisfy the famished occupants. Soon
the news got out in town, and a rumor to the effect that
there was a trainful of starving soldiers was circulated,
and here they came, women and children running, with their
faces red from excitement - some with provisions, others
directing servants with large waiters, baskets, bundles,
and any way it could be brought in a hurry. The soldiers
ate like they were starved; and when the
whistle blew, such
scrambling and grabbing as there was to take what was
left with them.
bountifully fed and were happy, and with many thanks and
loud cheers they were gone; but still tired and almost
breathless women continued to come with their donations,
and were much disappointed when they found the train had
moved off. This was a memorable day in Marietta, but we
felt well repaid in going without our breakfast to see
the enjoyment depicted in the faces of our soldier boys.
In a short time gamblers and rough characters began to
come in such numbers that it made it disagreeable for
us, but Mr. Morgan was in the army and I thought I would
try to stand it, as I was anxious to keep as near the
front as possible. Almost every day there were disturbances
among these characters, and it made me very watchful.
One night I sent my little son to see if supper was ready.
The dining room was next to the office, and as he was
a favorite in the house, some one called him in the office
to speak to him; and this time it happened to be the marshal
from Atlanta, and he took him in his lap and was talking
to him when a gambler, who supposed he had come up to
arrest him, fired on the marshal, killing him, the ball
going just above my son's head, and as the marshal fell
Bob rolled over on
the floor. You can
imagine my feeling when some one came up and told me.
I was almost frantic, and ran downstairs, but met one
of my friends leading Bob to my room. He was as white
as a sheet and frightened almost to death. Mr. Fred Shepherd
begged me to let him take the children and myself and
go to the other hotel, but I told him I would go in my
room, lock the door, and not let any one in. I thanked
God for preserving my child's life, for it was a narrow
escape. I got my nurse and children in my room and locked
the door and awaited results with fear and trembling,
for we heard that a mob was after the gambler and intended
to hang him. And such an uproar in the streets and hotel
was fearful. I waited an hour listening to every sound,
almost afraid to breathe. In a short time I heard screams
and the sound came nearer and nearer, and some one commenced
shaking my door as if they would break it down. I said:
"Who is there?" Mrs. White, the proprietor's wife, said:
"It is I. For God's sake come down, Mrs. Morgan. They
have cut Mr. White all to pieces, and I can't get any
one to come and help me." The children were attached to
Mr. White, who was kind to them and would often assist
them in their lessons, as he was a fine mathematician.
So I asked them if they would be afraid
for me to leave them,
and they all said no - to go and help Mr. White and they
would stay with Nancy, the nurse, who promised me faithfully
not to open the door at all. So I started, but in the
meantime Mrs. White had gone back to her husband, and
with a prayer for help and protection I ran down the hall
and one pair of steps, then another hall until I got to
her door, and I said, "Open quickly;" for I was so badly
frightened I could hardly stand on my feet. We were soon
in the room and the door again locked. The doctor had
been sent for, but could not be found, and I told Mrs.
White that something must be done or he would bleed to
death. We sent the servant to the drug store, got sticking
plaster, and washed off the blood to see where he was
cut and found five wounds, and as she would wipe off the
blood I would draw the wounds together with sticking plaster.
In the morning the doctor came, examined him, and found
the wounds were not dangerous, and said we had done what
was necessary. He got well in a few weeks, but his face
was badly scarred, and as long as we stayed at the hotel
they did all they could for our comfort, for they felt
grateful for my help in their hour of need.
A FEW weeks
after that I was sitting in my room and a gentleman was
announced. I looked up, and who should I see but Capt. St.
Clair Morgan? I said: "My old boy, I am so glad to see you,
where did you come from?" He said: "I came down from the
front to get my boys some shoes; they are almost barefooted."
We had a long talk. He said he believed his company was
the bravest one in the whole army. He had raised a company
of Irish in Nashville, and it did his heart good to see
the devotion of these men to him. He said he believed any
one of them would die for him. After talking for some time,
he bade me good-bye; said he had to hurry to accomplish
his business. The next morning I took the children, as it
was my custom, on the front porch to see the cars pass.
I saw St. Clair on the train loaded down with shoes. He
had strings around his neck and on his arms, and he looked
like a bundle of shoes. He was remarkably handsome, and
in the strength of his young manhood he was a pleasant picture
to look upon. He said in a stentorian
voice, "Cousin, I got
my shoes for my boys;" and waving a farewell, he was soon
lost to view. It was the last time I ever saw him. By
this time there were more fights, and the wounded came
down in numbers. I went to the hospitals almost every
day, always fearing I would find some of our Nashville
boys among the wounded. The ladies of Marietta, and we
"refugees," as we were called, did all in our power for
the poor boys. I went to the hospital one day to take
some delicacies, and as I passed in I was attracted by
what I thought the handsomest face I had ever seen. I
stopped and spoke to its owner. He looked fresh and ruddy
and so young. He had beautiful, laughing brown eyes, and
to look at him one would think he was in perfect health.
He tried to be cheerful and bright, and seemed anxious
to talk. I asked him where he was wounded, and he answered:
"Shot through the knee, and the doctor says he fears he
will have to amputate my leg; and," he continued, "if
they do cut it off, it will almost kill mother and father."
I asked him where they lived, and he said in Mississippi.
He told me in the conversation that he was an only child;
was just twenty-three, and before he enlisted he had entered
on the practice of law, after having received an education
at Harvard or Yale - I have forgotten which - and said
name was Lieut. Nelson.
I learned enough to know he was a mother's darling. I
stayed with him sometime and felt loath to leave him,
but told him I would come again soon. He said: "Please
come: I feel so lonely and wretched." I felt anxious about
him and went back early in the morning: and saw from his
face that he had suffered greatly in the night. He told
me they had decided to amputate his leg at 12 o'clock
that day. I could hardly keep the tears back to see the
look of despair on his face when he told me he was afraid
he would die, and seemed always to be thinking of the
agony it would give his beloved parents, and said: "What
will they do without me!" He seemed deeply affected, and
I tried to speak words of comfort to him, but I felt faint
at heart. I went home, and waited until 4 o'clock, that
beautiful face haunting me every moment. I put on my bonnet
and hurried to see him, and found the operation had been
performed. And O, such a change! He looked haggard and
pale, his pulse beating rapidly and breathing with difficulty.
He knew me, pressed my hand and held it for some time.
I tried in every way to make him feel that he was not
alone; that a sympathetic friend was by his side, and
he seemed much gratified. I told him to look to God for
help; that he alone could save. He
listened eagerly, and
when I had finished said: "Amen." And in a few minutes
he lost consciousness, and I saw he was sinking rapidly.
I thought of that poor father and mother so far away,
who would never look on the face of their beautiful soldier
boy again, and my heart went out in loving sympathy to
her as only a mother's heart can. I stayed as long as
I could with him, and went weeping home. He died at 8
o'clock that night, and the next day he was gently lowered
in a soldier's grave, where he will rest until the trumpet
shall shall sound at that great and final day. After that
many sad scenes were witnessed among the sick and wounded.
I read every day in the Chattanooga Rebel the list
of killed and wounded, and trembled as I did so, fearing
some one dear to us would be among them.
with friends and relatives, constantly hoping to have news
from dear ones exposed to danger. One day I received a letter
from Richmond, Va., from Mary Valentine, a cousin of mine,
telling me that my nephew, Felix Hicks, was with her and
was quite a hero, as he had been in a Northern prison for
some time. He, with many others, had been captured in one
of the battles - I forget which one, for I write from memory
- and had been in close confinement, so when an exchange
of prisoners was proposed there was great rejoicing. After
our boys had boarded a vessel and started to meet the prisoners
to be exchanged they found out there was some trouble at
Washington about it and no more exchanges would be made
then. The boys were turned back to wait results. They were
furious, and went to work to make plans for escape. It was
agreed that at a given signal they were to seize the guards,
disarm and secure them, and make the pilot and engineer
do the rest. There were quite a number of prisoners on board.
succeeded in their
plans, and by threats and intimidations made the pilot
and engineer take them near Norfolk and land them.
made their way to the swamps and stayed there two or three
days, living on anything they could beg or find to eat.
The Federals heard of their escape, and shelled the woods
in every direction. After staying together for several
days, they thought it best to separate and try to make
their way back to the army. So they started, each one
looking out for himself. Felix traveled at night until
he thought it safe to appear in daylight. He made his
way to Richmond, and when he got to Mr. Valentine's he
was ragged, dirty, foot-sore, and nearly exhausted. The
girls took him in hand and soon had him provided with
new clothes and kept him until he was able to travel.
He then started to Marietta to see us and stay a little
while before rejoining his command. We felt proud of our
beardless boy, and enjoyed every minute of his stay with
us. The young people all had merry times together. Felix
had a fine voice, and he regaled us with many beautiful
songs, some he learned in prison. But the sad time came
when he had to leave us and return to his regiment, which
was then in Mississippi. The next day Col. Randle McGavock
came to say
good-bye. He looked
so bright and hopeful and every inch a soldier. He too
went to Mississippi. Several weeks after this I received
a letter from Felix, saying: "After a few more fights
Gen. Forrest says that he will give me a furlough of ten
days, and I will come to see you all. I can hardly wait,
but must exercise patience." We looked anxiously forward
to the time when we would see him again. It seemed almost
like one of my children coming, and in our exile we felt
that these bonds of affection were strengthened. But instead
of the visit I received a letter from Capt. Matt Pilcher
saying: "Felix was killed today, gallantly fighting for
his country. A braver boy I never saw. How my heart goes
out to his father and mother, for he was their idol! We
are paying dearly for our liberty in giving up so many
sad news was that Col. Randle McGavock was killed, valiantly
fighting near Raymond, Miss.; also Capt. Tom Cooke. My heart
sunk in gloom, and I asked God for help in these dark hours.
These were trying times, and I hope never to see the like
came that preparations were being made to fight at Chickamauga.
I knew most of the Calvary would be there. Gen. John T.
Morgan's command and Wheeler's Division had already gone
up. My husband was with the cavalry in his brother's command,
and I felt miserable. The battle was fought, and such
slaughter and carnage was fearful to relate. Both sides
suffered terribly. I scarcely ate or slept, and the suspense
was maddening. The intelligence came that Capt. Jackson
was killed. We felt this loss deeply, for we were greatly
attached to him. He had won our hearts by his gentlemanly
bearing, and he was so handsome and brave. His brother,
Col. Jackson, was at Marietta on parole, having been captured
at Vicksburg when that place surrendered. He
and many others were
waiting to be exchanged, and were in camp near Marietta.
Col. Atkinson and himself went up to get the captain's
remains to bury in Marietta. After hunting over the field,
they found the poor fellow lying on a blanket with straw
under his head; badly wounded, but still alive. They took
him to Ringgold; but he was exhausted from loss of blood,
and they had no time to attend to his wounds. He never
rallied, but died in a few hours after getting him there.
They brought his body to Marietta and buried him. Since
the close of the war his remains have been removed to
Nashville, and now rest at the "Hermitage," near Gen.
Andrew Jackson's tomb. The next day my nurse came up and
said a wounded soldier was in the parlor on a cot, and
wanted to see me. I wondered who it was, and hurried down,
and found Gen. Gregg, of Texas, in a bad condition. He
had his face and head bandaged, and seemed in great pain,
but he told me he wanted to see me to tell me about Capt.
St. Clair Morgan's death. He said: "He was my devoted
friend. I loved him and he was brave to recklessness.
He was a friend of my boyhood days, and in the war we
were much together. In one of our engagements, on making
a terrific charge, Capt. St. Clair was galloping on ahead
of me, cheering as he went. And as we came
back from the charge
I saw a form I thought I knew. Hurriedly jumping down,
I raised up the head and saw it was my dear friend. A
bullet had entered his forehead and gone through his brain.
He died with his face to the foe. He was as brave and
daring as any man I ever saw, and had a heart as tender
as any woman's." I felt greatly shocked, for it had been
but a short time before that when I saw him, so bright
and handsome, with his load of shoes on his way to make
his boys comfortable. Now he was still in death, waiting
to be placed in a soldier's grave in a strange place.
standing one day on the portico watching for the cars to
come in, and as the train stopped I saw an aged couple alight,
and come feebly up the steps; and just then some friend
greeted me. I heard some one say: "Is this Mrs. Morgan?"
I said: "Yes." She threw her arms around my neck and wept
as though her heart would break, and said, "I am Capt. Jackson's
mother, and this is his father," pointing to a venerable-looking
old gentleman. I took them to my room, and after she composed
herself, she told me, in a trembling voice, that Capt. Jackson
had written to them of his being wounded and the kind friends
he had met. They had tried and tried to get a pass to come
out to see him, and at last succeeded.
started from the "Hermitage" in a buggy, had their trunk
stolen, and after many difficulties got to Cartersville,
and there learned that their son had been killed and buried
at Marietta. They felt that they must come on and hear
all they could about their darling boy. I told them all
sojourn with us, and
sent word to Col. and Mrs. Atkinson that they had arrived;
and in a little while the colonel's carriage was at the
door, and they were soon conveyed to Mrs. Atkinson's residence.
never forget Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. She had a sweet, resigned
face, and, for an old lady, was beautiful. And he was
a dignified, venerable-looking man. They are indelibly
impressed on my mind.
me she was born in the North, but was devoted to the South,
and the dearest treasure of her heart had died battling
for its rights. After spending several days in Marietta,
and learning all they could of the death of their boy,
they came to bid us good-bye. Ah! how my heart went out
in sympathy to those weary old pilgrims whom we would
never see again until we meet around our Father's throne.
We can teach our children to venerate this noble pair,
and to love and admire their brave son, who died defending
his country. We were watching and waiting to hear news
from other loved ones. We had those who were very dear
to us in the cavalry. We heard of them destroying a long
train of wagons for the enemy. Then again, they would
be miles away, giving them trouble in another direction,
seemed they were everywhere,
watching to see where they could strike a decisive blow.
Exciting events were occurring every hour, rumors of fights
and news of friends killed or wounded.
a paper was handed to me stating that a terrific fight
had taken place, near Farmington, Tenn., between four
thousand Confederate cavalry and six thousand Federals.
Many were killed and wounded, and among the number was
Irby Morgan, of Nashville, mortally wounded. I was almost
frantic with grief. My anxiety was terrible.
few hours Lieut. Minot, of Gen. John T. Morgan's command,
came in a buggy, sent by Mr. Morgan, to tell me to hurry
to him. He was on Sand Mountain, and was badly wounded,
but alive. The lieutenant told me they had a severe fight,
and Capt. Allen, of Mr. Morgan's company, was shot down,
and so disabled he could not move. He begged Mr. Morgan
not to leave him, and said that he would rather die than
be taken prisoner. So Mr. Morgan ran back and was endeavoring
to support the captain off the field. Encumbered with
his heavy weight, besides his pistol, musket, and cartridge
box, his movements were slow. He had gone only a short
distance, when he felt a stinging pain in his side, and
found the Yankees
had discovered his
design, and were firing on him from all sides, and a ball
struck him in his right hip. It was a miracle he was not
killed. He had just reached some cedar trees when he received
the wound, but in his excitement he did not think he was
much hurt. When he got under cover, he looked down and
found the blood gushing out of the top of his cavalry
boot, and said to Capt. Allen: "Old fellow, I feel faint,
I will have to lay you down, I can't struggle any farther."
He laid him down as best he could, and some one saw him
and carried him beyond danger of the enemy.
had tied his horse near where he attempted to save the
captain, so after he was wounded he crawled to his horse,
and led the faithful steed along until he got to the surgeon's
stand. Then he fainted from loss of blood. His brother
got his surgeons to take charge of him. They laid him
across some logs, examined his wound, and found his hip
shattered and the ball lodged near his spine. They probed
and probed, but could not get it out. By that time he
was in a dead faint, and they thought they could never
bring him to life again. But after using restoratives
he opened his eyes. After consultation they decided the
ball could not be removed without injuring
the spine. His brother
put him on a horse and got Mr. Jim Copeland, of Nashville,
and Lieuts. Minot and Hyat to ride on each side of him,
he being in the center of the column. When he got to Cornersville,
an old friend let him have a buggy and harness. They made
it secure with ropes and strings, and then got a pillow
and put him in the buggy. He could not sit down, so had
to kneel on the pillow which was placed in the foot of
the conveyance and hold on to the dashboard to steady
himself. And when too weary of this position, he would
be turned and would rest his head on the seat. The horse
became frightened at something and began to rear and plunge
and kick. Mr. Morgan, seeing the danger he was in, crawled
up on the seat. The horse gave another plunge, and he
went over the back of the buggy. Fortunately, he had presence
of mind enough to roll over into a ditch, and the cavalry
did not trample him to death. His companions found him
and took him into a cornfield, made a fire and kept him
as comfortable as possible until morning, when they started
for the Tennessee River. He had a horror of being taken
prisoner, and would endure any pain to go on with the
finally got to Sand Mountain, where he met Mr. Jordan,
who kept a public house. He
was left there until
I was sent for, but had every attention and much kindness
shown him. After getting settled and feeling happy that
he was out of the way of the Federals, he sent Lieut.
Minot for me.
an infant only a few weeks old, but Dr. Steward told me
to go: that I would be better off than to remain in the
excited state I was in. I sent for his old father, got
a trusty nurse; and when Mr. and Mrs. Tom Marshall heard
of it, they came from Cartersville and took charge of
my children at the hotel. Several of my friends, among
them Rev. John Bryson, went with me to Rome. Then I got
a wagon, and in all traveled two hundred and fifty miles.
Mr. Morgan terribly wounded, pieces of bone working out,
and pieces of his clothing that the ball had carried in
worked out too. He also had a raging fever. I watched
anxiously day and night for several weeks. One morning
he said: "Cheer up. I believe I shall yet pull through,
but it was a narrow escape." He gradually grew better;
and when I knew all danger was over, it occurred to me
that cover for our beds was scarce and hard to get, so
I determined to hunt around among the mountain women,
and see if I could not buy some homemade worsted counterpanes
and blankets. I got
some at twenty-five dollars apiece, and they did good
at Mr. Jordan's six weeks, and then decided to travel
slowly until we reached Marietta. We got a wagon and put
a feather bed in it, and made the horses almost walk until
we got to Gadsden, and stopped there to rest, for Mr.
Morgan was very weak and greatly fatigued with the trip.
We spent the night, and in the morning he was much better.
was a party of persons going out to see Black Creek Falls,
and he insisted that I should go too, as I would never
have the opportunity again. So I went, and enjoyed it
so much. I was delighted with the view. Black and Clear
Creeks unite several miles above the falls, and empty
over a precipice of eighty feet. As the sun throws its
bright rays on the torrent as it dashes over the falls,
it is a grand sight. Under the falls there was a platform
erected, and I learned that Wheeler's cavalry had had
a dance there a few nights before. From the number of
peanut hulls I saw they must have had a jolly time with
the country girls. After feasting our eyes on the grand
scenery, we went back, and all decided we had been repaid
for our trip. The next morning we started for Marietta,
and felt almost as if we were
going home, for we
had so many kind friends there, and we had many to welcome
us back. Gen. Bate hobbled out on his poor shattered leg,
and his face beamed with pleasure at seeing his old friends
again. We found our children well, and all charmed with
our dear, faithful friends, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, for
their unremitting kindness to them during our absence.
that Gen. Streight intended to make a raid on Georgia, and
great apprehension was felt as to the result. The next report
was that Gen. Forrest, with three hundred and fifty men,
had, with a ruse, captured seventeen hundred Yankees. We
learned of the brave girl who jumped on behind Gen. Forrest
on horseback, and went to show him the ford of the river
where his soldiers could cross; how he arranged his men
in companies, making it appear that soldiers were advancing
from every direction, so that Gen. Streight thought he was
surrounded with great numbers. Gen. Forrest gave him a certain
time to surrender or he would open his batteries on them.
They did surrender; and when they learned the small force
that had captured them, they were greatly chagrined and
mortified. We heard that they were to be taken to prison
at Andersonville. I felt sad to hear it; for although we
were delighted at the brave daring of our much-loved general,
we had heard such terrible accounts from our boys in
Northern prisons, of
suffering and privations, half fed and clad, with sickness
and often death, suffering from the rigors of a Northern
climate. I thought, "With everything North to eat and
wear, if our boys suffer so, what can we do with our limited
means to render prisoners comfortable?" and I wished them
back with their friends. We were more than willing to
provide for them, but what did we have, shut in from the
whole world, and most of the men in the army? But we gave
our prisoners the best we had, and were always more than
willing to exchange.
came up one morning and said: "Gen. Forrest and Mr. George
W. Jones wish to see you." I hurried down, and was delighted
to meet them; and as Gen. Forrest's wonderful capture
was the theme of every fireside, it was doubly interesting
to listen to him narrate his wonderful maneuvers, for
it would give me something to always remember and repeat
with pride. He went into detail, and gave to me an accurate
account of the encounter, and I found the report to be
pretty correct. I told him what he already knew, how proud
we all felt of him, and asked him many questions on the
situation of the South. I asked him if he considered this
his most brilliant achievement, and he said: "No. The
raid I made in
I captured so many in town and the courthouse, I consider
the brightest feather in my cap." He went on to tell me
that in Murfreesboro, in July, 1862, he captured the whole
garrison: eighteen hundred men, six hundred head of horses
and mules, forty wagons, six ambulances, four pieces of
artillery, and twelve hundred stand of small arms. This
was done by a force equal in numbers to the Federals captured.
"The military stores taken by me in this affair were valued
at $1,000,000." When I looked into his calm face and clear
gray eye I could hardly realize the pent up force that
was smoldering there. But woe to the coward or straggler!
They had better meet the enemy than to encounter him.
After he left I had quite a levee, for the ladies came
in troops to hear what their brave chieftain had to say.
You can't imagine in this day how excited and enthusiastic
the women became. The news of victory was like an electric
spark that set us all on fire.
friends were now all scattered in every direction, and
when we would get letters, which were few and far between,
we would send them all around to the rest. We corresponded
with a good many of our soldier boys, and we were often
enabled to send them news of their
friends. I have many
of these letters now, and they are precious relics.
received a letter from Dr. McTyeire, from Butler Lodge,
Ala., where he was with his family. He wrote: "John and
myself expect to raise a large lot of cowpeas. Let Bob
come down, and I will teach him to plow. We hope we will
succeed, for this will be my chief dependence for a living.
Little did I think when my father died, and a few old
servants cared for the place, that I would ever feel thankful
to have it for a retreat for my family. My wife and children
are bearing their exile so cheerfully." He told me that
he was the only white man left in the neighborhood, as
all the others were in the army, and he spent his time
preaching and looking after the widows and children, and
working on his farm. We received letters from Dr. Summers,
Dr. A. L. P. Green, Col. Samuel D. Morgan, Gen. John H.
Morgan, and many others. I have them now, and often take
them out and read them to my children and grandchildren.
But I am digressing.
was still weak, suffering from his wounds. He was put on
the retired list. The crowd was surging in our direction,
the hotels were crowded with gamblers and bad characters,
drinking, carousing, coming and going. Food was getting
scarcer and cooking worse. To sum it up, confusion reigned.
One day Col. John. Savage came to me and said they had changed
the name of the hotel. I asked him the new name, and he
said: "H--l and hash house, instead of Kennesaw Hotel."
I told him that was a fearful name, but he went off laughing
heartily. The time had come when we had to make a change.
Houses were hard to get; we were in a sad dilemma; we did
not know what to do. Fortunately, we heard of a house for
sale, furnished complete throughout, everything to be sold.
It was a convenient place, with large rooms and a good many
of them. We were pleased with it, so bought and moved into
it at once, as the family occupying it were anxious to go
South. In a short time Col. Samuel D. Morgan heard of our
move, and wrote
to me to try to get
a house near us, as he was anxious to get his family together.
After many trials we succeeded in getting a house next
to us, the Episcopal church intervening. He wrote to Dr.
Robert Williams and family, and with his granddaughters,
the Misses Cheney, they came to Marietta and went to housekeeping.
About that time the contents of the trunk I brought from
Nashville were nearly exhausted, and it was almost an
impossibility to get goods for clothing. Some ran the
blockade and got goods from Memphis and some of the Atlantic
ports, but they were the fortunate few that succeeded.
The girls needed clothes and had to have them, so I got
a bolt of hickory stripe made by our factories. I will
describe it for the benefit of the girls of to-day: It
was pin-striped, blue and white, made of fine thread,
heavier than gingham. I made a dress each for my two girls
and two nieces. The style of make was a yoke, full sleeves,
sash of the same, and four folds stitched on the bottom
of the skirts. Two of the dresses were headed at the top
of the fold with red and two with white cord, and when
they were done I thought them beautiful.
decked out in them and felt so independent in their Southern-woven
dresses, and proud too that they were Southern girls.
among their best dresses,
and as they were satisfied and pleased, I was happy to
see them contented. The next serious question was where
to get food, as our family was very large and the house
crowded all the time with friends; so our supplies had
to be considerable, and it gave us much cause for worry.
There were an old gentleman and lady of Northern birth
who had lived there for many years, and had shown us much
kindness. They had a nice place near town, and raised
quantities of vegetables and had nice fruits, and they
were thoughtful and kind, often sending us baskets of
fresh vegetables, honey, and fruits. We persuaded them
to sell us everything we needed in that line. We always
had a cordial welcome to their home, and many nice dinners
we have eaten with them. We needed meats and many things
the old gentleman couldn't supply, so Mr. Morgan sent
for him and got him to consent to go up and down the road
to get supplies. He got us flour, two barrels of molasses,
cowpeas, hams, meal, and many other necessaries. Besides
these articles, he bought beef cattle that were poor,
and Mr. Morgan got Joe, my faithful servant boy, to boil
bran, cowpeas, and corn together and give them all they
could eat, and we soon had a lot of fine beeves to kill.
I had a good receipt for corning beef, and I succeeded
finely in keeping it, and
we made many a soldier
boy's heart glad by dividing with him. We raised chickens,
or attempted to do so, and we had a time, as our
place was near the depot. We were fortunate enough to
get a good cow, had a little garden, and some fig trees
were on the place which bore an abundance of luscious
fruit. This was a new sight to us, fig trees bearing,
but we soon learned to think them great delicacies. We
considered ourselves very fortunate in having so many
of the necessaries of life, and it made us happy to divide
with those who couldn't get these things. Meat was a great
item in housekeeping and it was hard to get, as the army
consumed so much. In a short while Col. Samuel D. Morgan
got a letter from John H. Morgan, saying: "I will soon
be married to Miss Mattie Ready, of Murfreesboro, Tenn."
We had had no intimation of any such thing, and were greatly
surprised to hear it. When Gen. Basil Duke and he came
to see us on Lookout Mountain, I thought he was too much
absorbed in the war to think of marrying; but he did take
unto himself a wife, and came down to Marietta to see
us all, his uncle's family and ours. We were delighted
to see him again, for he had by his bravery, dash, and
brilliant achievements distinguished himself, and we felt
he was a deserved hero, and we delighted.
in honoring him. When
he came with his pretty young wife, we thought a handsomer
couple could not be found. He had a magnificent figure,
was remarkably handsome, and was every inch a soldier.
He was kind and pleasant to every one he met, and I think
had more personal magnetism than any one I ever knew.
The citizens toasted and feasted them and made their ten
days' stay delightful. We had then a little baby six months
old, named Cornelia Hunt, the middle name for him. He
loved children, but was especially fond of this little
curly-headed one that bore his name, and would always
call for her when he came. During their stay in Marietta,
they rode frequently on horseback, and many times we would
watch them with interest and think how distinguished they
looked. He often talked to us about the war, and one night
we all gathered around him, the children all excitement,
wanting to catch every word, and asked him to tell us
of some of his daring deeds. He related many incidents
that had occurred since he started out, but after a lapse
of thirty years many of them have escaped my memory. But
one incident I recall. He said he heard a long train would
leave Louisville on a certain day filled with clothes
for the soldiers and army stores of all kinds and in large
made a dash into Kentucky,
and by traveling day and night met the train just beyond
Mammoth Cave. His daring soldiers dashed up and stopped
the train. He said it was the longest one he ever saw,
not only filled with army stores, but a great many ladies
going to Nashville, some to join their husbands and others
to meet their sweethearts, for the Federals were having
a nice time in Nashville. When the train was drawn up,
he said he never saw such consternation depicted on faces.
One old lady ran up to him and begged him not to kill
her; told him to take all she had, but spare her life.
He remarked that it made him feel embarrassed to be regarded
as a murderer of helpless women and children - a man who
had always been proverbial for his gallantry to ladies;
but such horrible tales had been told about him that they
were prepared to meet a brigand, and they regarded him
as a monster in human guise. He said his soldiers and
himself ran from car to car and escorted the women and
children out, placed them where they would be out of danger,
and then went to work to destroy and burn up everything,
he taking time to run out and reassure the ladies that
they should not be hurt. Some of them begged him piteously
for their trunks, but he told them he was sorry that his
time was too limited to
show them such courtesies.
Some laughed at the ludicrous position they were in, and
others rained down imprecations on his head. The soldiers
made a complete wreck of everything, and with a military
salute and profound bow bade the ladies farewell, jumped
on their horses, and were gone. That train was a great
loss to the Federals, and as such large stores of clothes
and army supplies were burned, it retarded their progress
for several days.
visit was as drawing to an end, he was much impressed
with the kindness shown him by all, and said his visit-would
not be soon forgotten. He came to say good-bye to us,
and I made him promise to keep us posted as to his movements,
and he said he would send us Videttes from every
point he made a raid. This little paper was edited by
Major Gano, of his command - just a small sheet, inferior
paper, and published hastily, but gave the welcome news
of his movements. I have some of them now; but they are
old, ragged, and worn. The last one we got was from Hartsville,
Tenn., telling of his fight and captures there. Not long
after that he was captured by the Federals and taken to
a Northern prison, and as all are familiar with his capture
I will not recount it, but a letter written to his uncle
describing his feelings and thoughts while imprisoned
thrilled us at the time.
on to tell his different plans for escape. He described
the dogs in the prison yard, and how ferocious they were,
and knew he would have to pass these brutes to get out of
the inclosure. And many hours he would roll from side to
side on his cot, and try to think of some way to get them
off his track; but it seemed that all schemes failed. He
said he felt that to have gotten them out of his way he
would have eaten them. He made his escape from prison one
dark night when the rain was pouring down in torrents, and
succeeded in crawling by the guard, hardly breathing until
all danger was past. After his death a good many of his
command were stationed near Marietta with Wheeler's Division.
They would come in often to see us. Many of them I had met
on Lookout Mountain. Among them were Drs. Joe and Charlie
Tidings, surgeons in John H. Morgan's command. They were
very kind to us, and gave me a case of medicines, with instructions
how to use them in case of emergency, for physicians were
so much in demand, caring for the sick and
wounded, that it was
often with difficulty that they could be found when needed.
They were kind and attentive to Mr. Morgan in his weakened
condition. The ball in his side could not be removed,
and it gave him continual pain, pressing against his spine.
The surgeons told him that after awhile a sack would gradually
form around the ball, but not to entertain any hope that
it could ever be extracted. He is now an old man, many
long years have elapsed since those stirring and sorrowful
times, and the ball is often still a reminder of those
days of strife and bloodshed.
so many cares now, I could not go to the hospitals as
often as I wished, but whenever I could find time I would
prepare waiters of delicacies, and the girls would help
me take them. They would wait at the doors and I would
go through and distribute them to the poor, desolate,
homesick boys, and my heart would bound with pleasure
to see the grateful look of appreciation on their poor,
sunken faces; and they would tell me how good everything
tasted after eating so much old light bread and soup.
Capt. Jim Barnes and Capt. Ed Douglass, of Nashville,
came from East Tennessee with rheumatism, and stayed with
me two months, until they got well enough to join their
army was still falling back and fighting almost all the
time, for they contested every foot of ground from Dalton
to Atlanta, though against overwhelming numbers. Such
deeds of bravery and valor were never surpassed; but were
shared by Wheeler, Cheatham, Dibrell, Morgan, and indeed
all, for it would be hard to discriminate, they all fought
that Col. Terry Cahal, one of our Nashville boys, was
badly wounded. They were in a fight, and he leaped over
the fortifications and wrested the colors from the enemy,
and in his effort to get back was shot. I had him brought
to my home, where I could watch him. He was telling me
of the fight with great exultation, and said that he did
not mind being hurt to get their colors. His wound was
not as serious as it was at first thought to be. He was
considered brave and daring almost to recklessness.
being so near the army' was now crowded all the time,
and our house filled to overflowing. It was very elastic,
and we could always find room for one more. One night
we had as guests Gen. John M. Bright, Gov. Neil S. Brown,
Judge Marchbanks, Dr. C. D. Elliott, Rev. John Bryson,
Col. Robinson, Col. Terry Cahal, and Dr. John B. McFerrin.
We had two mattresses on
most of the beds, so
we would take one off of each and spread them around in
different rooms, parlor included. Our family was large,
so with these guests added it looked like a small hotel.
I had to put Dr. McFerrin in the bed with a very fleshy
man, and expressed my regrets, but he said: "Don't worry,
sister, for this is good sleeping; better than I have
been used to, for I have been lying on the ground in camp
with the boys." The all- absorbing theme was the removal
of Gen. Joe Johnston. Many thought that President Davis
had committed the error of his life, for Gen. Johnston
had only to command and the soldiers obeyed, never questioning
a move, for they had implicit confidence in him. And the
soldiers would often say: "What old Joe does is all right.
He knows what he is about." With Gen. Hood they had some
fears; but their ardor for the cause was so great that
they did not stop to cavil, but rushed with impetuosity
to accomplish all they were ordered to do. They often
said, afterward: "If old Joe had been left in command,
Gen. Sherman would never have got to the ocean." President
Davis was terribly censured, but his conduct since then
for thirty years has refuted all charges and calumny imputed
to him at the time. When I think of that grand character,
sometimes seeming almost isolated,
censured by the South
for what they conceived an error of judgment, and calumniated
all over the North, I wonder that that proud spirit of
that weak body did not succumb. But he was so deeply imbued
with the idea of sovereignty of the States that he died
battling for what he conceived to be the bulwark of the
South, these rights.
many changes were taking place on all sides. The school
our girls had attended, taught by Mr. Benedict, was given
up, and we were greatly worried as to where we would send
them. Mr. Jesse Thomas, of Nashville, came to Marietta;
and knowing how competent Miss Kate Thomas was as a teacher,
we begged her to take a class. She timidly shrank from
anything of the kind, but after a good deal of persuasion
we got her to consent to open a school. Col. Samuel D.
Morgan sent his granddaughters, Mr. Lytton his girls,
four went from our home, and from the ladies of Marietta
she had many applications. Many a glad mother had reason
to thank Miss Kate for the training of her daughters in
gentle, ladylike deportment, and classic and text-book
have daily visits from some of our boys. Hardly a day would
pass but what we would see some familiar face. Gens. Cheatham
and Bate, Capts. Joe Phillips and Van McIver, Maj. James
W. Thomas, Lieut. George Lytton, Capt. Matt Pilcher, Mr.
Jim Buckner, Capts. James Cooper, Capt. John Morton, Collins
Bright, and many others too numerous to mention. Gen. Frank
Cheatham, "Our Frank," as the boys called him, would run
in occasionally. He was always jolly, but often looked weather
beaten, with faded clothes and bronzed face. The boys would
say: "We will go anywhere old Frank orders us, even were
it in the cannon's mouth." He reminded me of an old Roman
soldier, so dignified when commanding his troops; but when
not on duty, he was a genial companion. We felt proud of
our Tennessee boys, but had an especially tender place for
the "Rock City Guards," as they were boys we had known all
our lives; but all knew that they had a welcome at our home,
and whenever they could get leave of absence for a
few days, would slip
down to Marietta, and we would spend happy hours together,
and many a little entertainment the girls would get up
for their pleasure, and such hunting of clothes and decking
out was right laughable. My husband's wardrobe was drawn
on until he could sometimes scarcely find a change of
clothes, white shirts particularly, and handkerchiefs.
Pieces of ribbon and anything were used for cravats; but
the boys had a merry time, anyway, and old Marietta would
resound with their enthusiastic songs: "Bonnie Blue Flag,"
"Dixie," "My Maryland," and many others I have forgotten.
They would often wind up with "Home, Sweet Home," and
the tears would gather in their eyes. They would have
for refreshments, popcorn, sorghum candy, gooberpeas,
and sometimes cake, and all kinds of fruits. How they
would enjoy it, after eating hard bread and bacon, and
sometimes beans and cowpeas for days! When they would
start back, I would fill their canteens with buttermilk
and sorghum molasses, give them a piece of corned beef
and some beaten biscuit, and they would feel rich and
friend, Gen. John M. Bright, had a son not quite fourteen
years old, who gave him great uneasiness. He was well
grown for his age,
looked older than he
was; and as his brothers were in the army, he was anxious
to go too, but his father thought it best for him to stay
in Lincoln County with his family. But news came that
John Massey, a splendid young man, and others, of Fayeteville,
had been shot by order of a Federal general for bushwhacking.
John was of an impetuous disposition, and his father determined
to get him out of the lines, for fear he would be killed.
He finally succeeded, and sent him to Chapel Hill, N.C.,
to school, paid his tuition in advance, and in talking
to me about him congratulated himself on the good arrangements
he had made for him, and that a great trouble had been
lifted off him. After a few weeks Johnny appeared at my
door, carpetbag in hand, greeted me, and was overjoyed
to see us. I in return was delighted to see him, for I
loved him very dearly. His mother had been one of my cherished
friends for years. I expressed great surprise, and asked
him how he got here. He said: "Well, Aunt Julia, I couldn't
study, and I worried and worried the teacher until he
gave my money back. If he had not done it, I would have
run off, for I intend to join the army." He opened his
valise and commenced pulling out clothes, and said: "See
what I have brought you all." He had a thin summer coat
for Mr. Morgan,
and a handsome meerschaum
pipe, and something for the children and myself, and he
presented them with a beaming face. I told him that I
was very sorry he had spent his money. "Your father was
here last week and told me that his family were having
a hard time at home in the lines, and needed that money."
He looked very sorrowful for a few minutes, but in a little
while after I heard his merry laugh with the children,
and I went in and asked him what he intended to do. He
said that in a few days he intended to go up to the army,
but I knew that his father would not consent to it for
a moment, for he was entirely too young. I consulted Mr.
Morgan, and we decided that he should not go, and told
him so, and also informed him that he had to start to
school, which he reluctantly consented to do. The next
morning we entered him, and we had a merry time watching
John to keep him from running off. His father was urging
him all the time to stay and try to improve his time,
and insisted on us controlling him as we would our own
boy. I had my seven children, two nieces, and John, making
ten young people in all, and my hands and heart were full
of anxieties and cares. My husband was still feeble. He
hobbled around on crutches, and gave me all the assistance
he could in managing the children and household.
my faithful servant, worked my garden, and we had a quantity
of nice, fresh vegetables, plenty of milk and butter,
meat, flour, and so on; but our soap gave out, and we
could not buy it. We were in a dilemma - war times, and
no soap. A friend of my husband told him that they had
at the commissary department a large lot of refuse grease,
and said that if we would send for it we could have it.
So we did send, and got the grease, and also a quantity
of wood ashes from friends. I called Joe up, and asked
him if he could make an old fashioned lye hopper. So we
went to work, run the lye down, and began on our soap.
In a few days we had four barrels of fine lye soap, but
my eyes were nearly smoked out. I was proud of my success,
and made enough to last me till the close of the war.
wondered that we had nothing stolen, as there were so
many coming and going all the time, colored and white.
I will mention a fact that astonished every one. The morning
I left Nashville I hastily gathered up six or seven dozen
knives, forks, and spoons, small and large, with my name
on them. I used them constantly in the house and kitchen
- for I had no others - never losing a single piece, and
when I came back to Nashville I brought them all home
was remarkable how
little stealing-was done, especially in provisions, for
so many were on short rations.
say that we should never forget the negroes, for they
were faithful and industrious, and seemed to face their
responsibilities. Many said to me: "De las' promise I
made old master was, I would take good care of missus
and de chilluns." And faithfully did they keep their promise.
When news would come that an old or young master was killed,
they would weep with the family pure tears of affection.
I would hear the old mammies tell of the different ones
of the children that they had "nussed," and now they were
big soldier boys, and had gone to fight for their country,
and in letters these boys would write home there were
always messages of love for their "dear old mammy." And
when the brave boys gave up their lives and were fortunate
enough to be sent home, those black mammies were among
the first to show the last tender love and respect for
their beloved dead. They were always proud of "our white
folks," as they called them, and were ever ready to do
their bidding and attend to every want. I do not remember
a single act of lawlessness on their part during the war.
I have a warm place in my heart for the negroes, and can't
help but feel
grateful to them for
their unremitting fidelity to us during the long struggle.
was now falling back slowly but surely, and we would hear
of thrilling deeds of daring on the part of our brave
boys led by our faithful and chivalrous Gen. Dibrell:
making a dash where the enemy least expected them, killing
and capturing many. His command were devoted to him. The
boys would (different ones) get leave of absence, and
would nearly always come down to spend a few days among
Nashville friends. It did our hearts good to see them
eat. Many, many times when they would be in a hurry to
start back I would make them go out and help the girls
churn, so they could take their canteens full of fresh
buttermilk; and what a frolic they would make of it!
often came asking us to send or buy for them articles
of clothing, and particularly shoes, and often they did
not fit, but would have to be worn. You must not suppose
for a moment that we were the only workers, for many others
were doing as much and more than we. But I started out
to tell what I saw, heard, and did, and I was kept so
busy that I didn't have time to know what others were
were the most cheerful persons we
would see. They would
come with their clothes faded, ragged, and drawn up from
rain and exposure until the tops of their socks were showing,
and we would never hear a murmur or complaint from them.
Neil Brown came in to see us. He looked so weather-beaten
that I scarcely recognized him. I gazed at his handsome,
bronzed face only a beardless boy - and thought him the
picture of bravery, and he looked as if the word "fail"
never entered his vocabulary, although it appeared dark
to us. You would see often perfect caricatures among the
poor fellows, but if it made them sensitive, they didn't
show it. They seemed merry and light-hearted, and I would
often look at them and wonder that in the midst of so
many uncertainties how they could be bright; for who knew
but that before the week was out some of them would be
still in death. I could hardly restrain my tears before
them, and would often leave them to conceal my emotions.
Many of these dear ones I had known from childhood, and
in our exile they felt very near to us. With how much
pleasure did we contribute to their wants and try to make
their stay with us pleasant! And when we would bid them
good-bye, it was often their last farewell on earth.
I WAS suffering
great apprehension every day about my seven-year-old boy,
for fear he would be killed. I had made him an artillery
suit, and he would tell every one that he belonged to Capt.
John Morton's battery, and he really thought he was a soldier.
He had a dozen little boys he would drill, and called them
his company. They would march up and down the street, and
frequently during the day you could hear "hep, hep," stepping
to the music of drums and tin horns, or anything that came
handy that they could make a noise with. Sometimes tin pans
and sticks would be a substitute for lack of something better.
He was a sprightly little fellow, and the soldiers nearly
ruined him. He called old and young by their first names
- John or Tom, or whatever it might be. I would reprove
him, and he would say: "They told me to call them that."
It all did very well for awhile, and amused us, but he began
to think he was monarch of all he surveyed, and acted accordingly.
He would run off from home and I would hear of him riding
behind one of the soldiers in one direction,
and a little while
after he would be seated up beside the driver on an artillery
wagon sailing another way. I would send runners to hunt
him, would bring him home and punish him; but often the
temptation to be with the soldiers would overcome him,
and he would start again. He would listen to them talk,
and he would tell us marvelous tales. He had no idea of
numbers and his hundreds of killed and wounded would swell
up into the thousands. To sum it all up, he was fast getting
to be a regular newsmonger, and was as well known as any
boy in Marietta. He knew persons I had never heard of,
and would yell out, "Howdy, Bill," maybe to some settled
man, or one with gray hairs. But to top the climax, Mr.
Fred Shepherd came leading him in one day, and told me
if I didn't want a dead boy I would have to keep him at
home. He said: "I just pulled him out from under a car
that was oscillating, ready to start. His whole bag of
marbles had tumbled out and had rolled under the cars,
and he started right after them, and I happened along
just in time to save him." It was such a narrow escape
that it made me tremble , and I thought: "What shall I
do with him?" I was almost in despair. I had whipped him,
put him to bed, tied him to a chair, and would often bribe
him to be good. He had quite a contempt
for girls, and thought
it a great insult to be called like them. So I thought
over every mode of punishment, and concluded I would put
a hoop skirt on him and a dress with a long train. I said:
"My son, I have tried to have a nice boy, but he is so
bad and runs away so much I will have to make a little
girl of him." He wailed, but I persisted, and took my
chair for the evening and stayed with him. In a short
while several persons came up to my room, and he would
run behind the door, pulling his train after him. He would
stay still for some time, until his curiosity would get
the best of him and he would peep out. Some of the ladies
got a glimpse of his hoop skirt, and laughed heartily,
and asked me what on earth was the matter with the child.
I told them I had made a girl of him to keep him at home;
that he ran away and behaved so badly. Then he would scream
and cry and try to explain, but I persisted; and late
in the evening he got so tired of the room he ventured
out in the hall to see what was going on among the children,
but as soon as he spied them he came flying back and they
after him to know what was the matter. But "Sallie," as
I called him, got in first, trail and all, and slammed
the door and said: "Please, ma'am, take them off, and
I will never run off again." It did break him of this
habit of running off,
but in after years I had cause to regret it; for the name
followed him to Nashville, and more than one fight resulted
from his being called by that name. And whenever they
did dare to utter that name they would prepare to get
out of his way, for rocks would fly in the cause. But
after he grew up to manhood the name seemed to have a
fascination for him, for his partner for life was called
were tightening each day. Fights occurred constantly below
Dalton, the troops stoutly contesting every inch of ground.
We would hear startling rumors every hour of the nearness
of the enemy. Now and then Gen. Frank Cheatham would run
in for an hour or two. We had great confidence in him, and
looked up to him as one of our bravest leaders. He was so
sympathetic and kind to the boys that they almost idolized
him, and the soldiers would often say to me: "Why, old Frank
is one of the boys." But in battle they obeyed him implicitly.
As the army was falling back now daily, Mr. Morgan was in
great trouble about us; he didn't know whether to send us
farther south or to let us remain in Marietta. He had his
old father and his sister and family on a little farm living
comfortably, and as we were well fixed in Marietta and the
children at school, he concluded the best thing to do in
the event of the enemy getting to Marietta, was to let us
remain quietly in the lines and he would go farther South.
In the meanwhile the excitement was getting to fever heat,
the children shared
with the older ones in this terrible nervous strain, they
became so excited that study was out of the question.
My nieces went out to stay a few days with their mother,
never dreaming of any trouble. The enemy were advancing,
and soon old Kennesaw resounded with the roar of artillery.
We would go out at night and listen to the reverberation
of that old mountain, knowing that every shot was the
death knell of some dear one. O the tension was fearful!
How my heart would go out to our dear boys and the loved
ones at home! But all we could do was to bow our heads
in prayer and beg God to help us all and sustain us by
his grace. Nearer and nearer the sounds would come, the
excitement increasing. I never will forget the day the
news came that Gen. Polk was killed. He was greatly beloved
by all, not only for his bravery, but for his pure Christian
character. The next startling information was that the
enemy were in a few miles of the town in overwhelming
numbers, and were advancing rapidly. The scene beggared
description - the town was almost in a frenzy of excitement.
Our house was crowded with soldiers, as the army was almost
in the town. The boys begged Mr. Morgan to take us South,
and he said he had moved his family so much he didn't
see how he could go farther; but
that boom, boom, boom
got to be every minute, resounding from hilltop to hilltop.
We could see the smoke from the firing. O it was a grand
but awful sight! We could do nothing but walk, talk, and
wait, feeling that some great calamity was impending.
We could hear nothing from Sister Lucy and family, and
knew by that time that the enemy were near her house,
and we thought of the girls, the old father and daughter
in their helpless condition, and we were miserable. We
knew the old man could do nothing to protect them, and
our hands were equally powerless, we were nearly crazy.
information we could glean was that our army was fighting
as few ever fought, and falling on all sides. About 11 o'clock
we saw an ambulance stop at the gate, and my first thought
was that some dear one, wounded or dead, had been brought
to us. We ran to see who it was, when sister and girls bounded
out, then the old father and three negroes, all in a pitiful
condition. Their clothes were muddy, bedraggled, and saturated
with water. They told us the Federal batteries were planted
so that they swept the house, and shell after shell was
sent crashing and shrieking through the house. At intervals
they tried to get their precious clothes, and succeeded
and tied them up in bundles and then started to run. A shell
would burst near them and they would drop their treasures
and cry awhile, then at an interval seize them and start
running until they got far enough to feel safe from the
shells. It commenced raining, and they were in a deplorable
condition. Gen. John T. Morgan, her brother, with his command,
had been for several days around and in her house, as she
knew many of them; but he had taken part of his troops and
around in another
direction to meet the enemy, leaving part of his command
with Wheeler's Brigade. When they returned to where Wheeler's
troops were stationed and heard of the sad plight the
family were in, the boys were furious; they believed it
premeditated cruelty on the part of the Federals. They
jumped on their horses and in the midst of flying shells
rode up to where the helpless family were in the woods
near their house. The enemy in passing had raided the
house,. and as they could not carry off the things, had
deliberately ripped open feather beds and had the contents
flying in every direction; had knocked in the heads of
several barrels of molasses and did all the damage they
could. After they left our boys went into the house and
saved what things they thought most essential for the
family and that could be hurriedly moved; brought ambulances
enough to carry the family and what was left of their
belongings to Marietta. Some of the boys laughed and said
the last things they saw were ducks, chickens, and turkeys
struggling in molasses and feathers. After hearing of
the treatment they had received, we were terribly frightened,
and begged to be taken farther South. The soldiers told
Mr. Morgan they would help us in every way to get ready
for a hasty departure, so he telegraphed a friend in Augusta
get us a place. He
succeeded in renting half of a house on the Sand Hills,
near Augusta. After we decided to go there was no time
to lose, so the soldier boys went to work, helped to take
down the beds and furniture, and we got things packed
up in a short time. Maj. Cummings kindly let us have cars
enough to hold our things. Gen. John M. Bright, Col. Terry
Cabal, Capt. Collins Bright, Jim Buckner, and many of
the Rock City Guards came in and went to work. Such a
hurry and confusion there was then, all anxious to see
us start. By this time pandemonium reigned in the streets
- soldiers, wagons, artillery wagons, drivers shouting
and hurrying, and the "tramp, tramp, tramp" was heard
in every direction, all falling back as fast as possible,
going to Atlanta to make a stand. We were soon in readiness,
all of our small possessions packed in the cars. Mr. Morgan,
his father and sister with her family, the children and
myself, and our faithful Joe got on the car and started
to Atlanta. On arriving in that city, we were in such
a crowd we had to wait some time before we could push
through. Every little while some kind friend would come
in and speak a word of encouragement and offer to render
some assistance. Maj. John Bransford was also among our
friends who volunteered his services.
worn out from work and anxiety, and so tired waiting, and
were almost famished for water. It was very scarce, as hundreds
of soldiers and people from every direction were thirsty
too, and were begging for it on all sides. I don't know
when I ever felt so gratified in all my life as when old
Dr. Hudson, of Nashville, came up with a tin bucket of cool,
fresh buttermilk. He told me that he had walked for some
time trying to find this milk for the children and myself;
had offered to buy it, and finally he succeeded in begging
this bucketful. I thought it the most delicious milk that
I had ever tasted. We all enjoyed it and thanked the old
gentleman most heartily. We looked and wondered how he had
squeezed through that surging mass, and felt grateful beyond
expression for his kindness. It was indeed the cup of cold
water given to the thirsty.
Atlanta, Mr. Morgan sent his father, sister, and her little
children to Alabama, and we started with our family and
two nieces to Augusta, and thence to the Sand Hills, a
lovely suburb of
Augusta, and we were
fortunate enough to rent half of a house owned by two
sisters, Mrs. Edgar and Miss Carmichael, nieces of Dr.
Paul F. Eve, of Nashville. They gave us a warm welcome
to a delightful home. We had five large rooms and were
pleasantly situated, and remained with them until the
war closed. Mrs. Edgar, sister, and two boys just returned
from the Virginia Military Institute occupied the other
half of the house. We never had kinder friends than they
were, and the friendship has been continued since the
short time there was a call for ladies, men, boys, and
girls to come to the Arsenal to help make cartridges,
and as they were needed, the girls from Augusta and the
Sand Hills (mine among the number) responded. The girls
were patriotic, and didn't shrink from doing anything
to help the cause so near to our hearts. They didn't ask,
"What can I do?" but, "What must I do?" willing to have
work assigned them. They went every day and worked faithfully
for several weeks, and for some time after this. They
would bring home as a souvenir a cartridge they had helped
make, and the patriotic Southern blood burned proudly
in their veins as they would tell how faithfully they
had labored for their country.
work at the Arsenal went steadily on, and to increase the
interest and hasten the work, they began to pay from fifty
cents to $1 a day. The girls were too patriotic to take
any money for their services, but the little boys thought
that they would make a little money for themselves, and
at night on their return they would compare notes and have
a big counting, and they thought themselves very rich.
I overheard a conversation between Johnny Bright and my
little son. He told him that he had saved up $30, and
he would show them all what he intended to do with it.
And on being pressed to know what he had on hand, said:
"I am going to run off and join the army." I walked in
and said: "Well, young man, what will your $30 buy? You
need shoes and a hat now, and your money won't buy you
a pair of shoes." For by that time the money had depreciated
so that everything brought fabulous prices. He looked
crestfallen, and did not say anything again for some time
about going. I do
not give dates of
occurrences, for after thirty years, and writing from
memory, many facts as well as dates have been forgotten.
weeks after my encounter with John Bright we sent our
two daughters and two nieces to Eatonton, Ga., to school
to Mrs. Jane T. H. Cross, an old Nashville teacher, who
had opened a large school there. Other Nashville girls
attend the same school, and our girls boarded with Mr.
Jesse Thomas's family. A few days after they left, Mr.
Allen Washington, wife, and five children came from Marietta,
and remained with us until he could secure them a home
elsewhere. Mr. Washington was in the government clothing
department, and he was kept pretty busy securing clothing
for our needy boys. Among others from Nashville who took
a prominent part in this department were Maj. V. K. Stephenson,
Mr. George O'Bryan, Mr. George Cunningham, and Mr. Tom
Massengale. Mr. Washington would run down every few days
to spend a day and night with his family, and after several
efforts he finally secured them a home. After they left
I commenced my work again in the hospitals. I found them
crowded with our wounded boys, and more coming in every
day. I offered to help in any way I could, and they told
that it was hard
work for them to get enough for all to eat, and if I would
help prepare food for them it would be a great blessing.
So I told them that I would cook two days in each week
for the gangrene hospital. They sent me out a number of
hams and sacks of flour, and I got Joe to build up a fire
under a large kettle I had, and we would boil a number
of the hams at once. While they were cooking, we would
make up a large lot of beaten biscuit, and the ladies
of the Sand Hills were very kind in making frequent donations
of delicacies, and the next morning I would start with
the nice things, just as happy as I could be to feel that
I could minister to the sufferers. Joe would take the
express and I the barouche, often well packed, and I would
go in and out to help distribute, always looking for our
Nashville boys. In these many journeys made, my heart
was gladdened when I could see the look of pleasure and
gratitude on many pinched and suffering faces. Many bandages
did I remove, and would wash and dress the wounds, for
the surgeons were so rushed it was impossible to pay the
attention that cases really needed. Often letters would
have to be written to the absent loved ones at home, some
the last love greetings they would ever get from their
soldier boys. O the horrors of war! I hope
I will never have
to pass through such heartrending scenes again. If I could
remember all the sad sights I witnessed during the four
years I was South, it would fill a large volume, for I
was in the midst of it from the time I left Lookout Mountain
till the close of the war.
IN a few
weeks we had a colony of Tennesseeans on the hill. Col.
E. W. Cole, Mr. Tom Massengale, Mr. Gerry Pearl, Maj. Cunningham,
all with their families, and many others too numerous to
mention. We were all kept busy, and it seemed to me that
the Southern women thought nothing too difficult to undertake,
always feeling that where there was a will there was a way
out of all difficulties. I went one day to see Mrs. Col.
Cole, who was a big- hearted, thoroughgoing woman, and loyal
to her country. On entering the room I heard a peculiar
noise, and I asked what it was. She told me it was silkworms
feeding; and sure enough there they were, feasting on leaves.
She said: "The soldiers, many of them my friends, need silk
handkerchiefs, and I have already woven quite a number."
And when she showed me the results of her labor, I was astonished.
were developing so fast that the crisis seemed almost
upon us. We were almost in the throes of death, and fighting
desperately was the order of the day. Many more wounded
brought to Augusta,
and among them Capt. Collins Bright. He was badly wounded,
gangrene had set in, and he was in a pitiful condition.
He sent me word he was there, and I went in immediately
to see him. My husband told me before starting that I
must use every effort that I could to get permission to
bring him home with me, so we could nurse and give him
that attention he could not receive at the hospital. Capt.
Bright said his destination was another point, but he
heard that we were near Augusta, so he begged to be taken
there. The officers had given orders that none should
be taken to private houses, as many were already scattered
in different directions, and some tarried longer than
the officials thought necessary. I begged hard and long
before I could gain their consent to remove him. Then
certain conditions were imposed that I thought rather
hard. They were to this effect: That I must come in every
morning at 9 o'clock and report his condition. I gladly
consented, and with his servant's (Ira) help got him in
the carriage and we both started home happy. I got directions
from the doctor what to do, and upon examination found
he was wounded above the knee on the underside of his
leg, and a large hole was there where the flesh had been
shot away. When I looked at the lacerated, angry-looking
leg, I felt faint
and turned away, but only for a moment, for he was suffering
intensely. I went to work, and with Ira's assistance,
bathed and dressed it. He suffered agonies, for the leaders
in the leg could be plainly seen where the flesh was torn
out. He was unable to move himself, and he was weak and
feverish. I had to obey orders and be at the hospital
not later than 9 o'clock to report his condition. I went
for a week and found it exceedingly irksome, and began
to feel that it was a farce. One morning I found quite
a number of young doctors in the office, looking gay and
jolly. They were laughing and talking, and seemed to be
having a good time. I said: "Gentlemen, I want to see
Dr. Paul F. Eve." They told me that he was not in, and
didn't know where he could be found, as he was going all
the time from one hospital to another. I said to them
that if I could see him I knew he would put a stop to
all this foolishness, coming to report every day that
my soldier had not run off, when he was too weak to turn
in his bed. They laughed and said: "Madam, you have earned
your soldier; and you needn't come any more." And they
went on to tell us the difficulties they had to contend
with; so many being absent and would not report to them,
and asked me to please let them know every now
and then how the
captain was getting on, and "if you need medical assistance,
we will gladly respond." I thanked them heartily, and
bowed myself out, and went home feeling greatly relieved.
I nursed him faithfully for nearly three months, and then
he was able to rejoin his command.
a box was sent me from Col. Samuel D. Morgan, by a trusty
friend, containing twelve thousand dollars in gold, and
he said I must take care of it for him; for he was afraid
it might be stolen, and added that both his family and
ours might need it before the war was over. After keeping
it for awhile I felt very uneasy about having such a large
sum in my possession, so decided to send it back. I was
so uneasy I couldn't sleep for fear some one would rob
us. It was returned to Madison, Ga. In a little while
it came back to me, and he said I must keep it, for he
felt it was more secure in my hands. I was in a sad dilemma,
not knowing what to do. I now had his $12,000 and $7,000
of our own in gold, besides watches and gold trinkets
the boys had left with me for safe-keeping. I would lie
awake at night and try to devise some means of safety
- some secure place to hide it - and the more I thought
the more I was troubled; for the servants were
sharp, keen set.
I worried daily, and finally took my friend, Mrs. Edgar,
in whose house we lived, into my confidence, and we decided
to bury it in the cellar. I got her to send her servants
on errands a long distance from the house, and I told
mine to take my children to walk. Then we had to hurry.
I took part of the gold and ran to the cellar and hid
it behind some boards and ran back for the rest. When
I got in the cellar I locked the door inside. It was a
long room running the length of the house, and had been
used for years for sawing and stacking wood and for coal;
but after locking myself in I found to my consternation
that I had forgotten to bring the mattock for digging
the hole to deposit it in. I wondered what I would do.
I was afraid to go out for fear some one would see me
and thereby excite suspicion. The only light I had was
from windows with iron bars let in, so it was close and
I became so excited and warm; for I imagined every minute
some one would come and get in the door. I looked around
and saw hanging on the wall an old rusty sword, so as
quickly as I could I climbed up on a stack of wood and
got it down, and on examination found I could dig with
it, and my next thought was where the hole should be.
I had selected a place before bringing the gold, but was
afraid the keen-eyed servant boy might
see fresh clay dug
up and suspect something, so I decided that would not
do. There was a long road in the center where the boy
at different times had sawed wood, and I noticed that
where the wood-horse stood there was a large pile of sawdust.
I moved it out of the way and commenced to dig my hole.
It was some time before I got to the hard clay, and when
I did reach it I thought I would never get out enough
dirt to make the hole deep enough. But I worked and perspired,
got out of breath, but was afraid to stop to rest, for
there was no time to lose. I would dig awhile, then grabble
the clay out with my hands, and by sheer perseverance
I finally got it sufficiently deep to hold the gold. I
groaned in agony over my blistered hands. Every few minutes
would glance at the door and windows to see if any one
was near, and I believe that if I had seen eyes peering
through the windows I would have dropped on the floor
from sheer excitement. But the gold was put in, and then
I threw the clay on top, and with the help of a maul,
which I found near by, I soon had the dirt mauled and
packed in tight until it was as firm as the ground. What
remaining pieces of clay I saw I gathered up in my skirt,
threw it carefully behind the wood, piled the sawdust
up and mauled that, and then got some loose dust and scattered
it over so it looked as if
nothing had disturbed
it; then put the wood-horse back just over the gold. I
made my exit as soon as possible, and secretly watched
to see if the boy who sawed the wood noticed anything
amiss in his workshop, but he went along as usual with
his duties, piling up the sawdust over the buried treasure.
When the war closed, it was returned to Col. Samuel D.
Morgan. I would hesitate to go through the same ordeal
again, as I almost suffocated.
continued daily, and we would hear heartrending descriptions
of the sufferings of our brave boys, fathers, and husbands.
The slaughter was terrible, and often the enemy's forces
numbered three or four to our one. Look at them at the siege
of Vicksburg, in the trenches, for weeks holding the gunboats
at bay! Look at them at Port Hudson and all down the Mississippi,
having chills and fever until they looked like hickory leaves
and were almost reduced to skeletons! Chills would seize
them, followed by burning fevers, and they would take quinine
without measuring it, and as soon as the fever would pass
off, to use their expression, "they would get up and go
for the Yankees again." Look at Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga,
Franklin, and our brave army in Virginia, in all the numerous
battles - indeed in fights everywhere! Whole regiments would
form a solid line, and would be mowed down; and in a second
almost a solid front would be presented again to share the
same fate; and often there would hardly be left enough to
form a corporal's guard.
We would hear from
every division in the South of deeds of daring and bravery
that could not be surpassed, and this accomplished by
men with short rations and poorly clad. Talk about Washington
at Valley Forge? Their sufferings could not surpass that
borne by our brave boys, half clad and often barefooted
because shoes could not be procured, many times their
feet so swollen from weary marches and hard leather that
they would have to wrap them in rags, often leaving traces
of blood on the snows of Western Virginia; but in the
midst of these distresses pressing on to meet the enemy.
Talk about the Spartans at Thermopylś the charge of the
brave six hundred? We had our Greeks and brave Scotch
Highlanders, or their equals, in our dear Confederacy.
I often thought, when our generals had to contend with
such overwhelming numbers, that they might have exclaimed
in anguish of spirit, as Wellington did at Waterloo: "O
for night or Blucher!" But the Federals had the world
to draw on for their Bluchers, but we the lifeblood of
our little Confederacy. And in thinking of the difference
in numbers, you will pardon me if I digress for a few
minutes and mention a little fact that struck me so forcibly
lately and will carry out my statement in regard to their
overwhelming forces. From the pension list,
thirty years after
the war, we find they are paying more persons than we
had soldiers in the field. I saw the list of enlisted
men given a short time since, and it was over two millions,
and we had six hundred thousand valiant troops from our
beloved South, our husbands, sons, and brothers fighting
for home and dear ones. The Government is paying Federal
pensions to the uttermost parts of the earth almost -
Australia, New Zealand, and every country in Europe -
for their army was made up of recruits from everywhere.
Any one who would fight for money was sent against us.
I have done our soldiers great injustice, for instead
of contending with three to one, they had six and eight
to one of ours. Was such a thing ever heard of in the
world's history? and just to think it lasted four long
years with all our privations and sufferings, and then
not whipped, but had to succumb to brute force. I think
the United States ought to feel proud of the soldiers
of the South, and be willing to accord them the place
of honor in history they so richly deserve. We can challenge
the world, and say: "Show us their equals in honor, integrity,
bravery, and gallantry shown our women under all circumstances."
were hard to get, but we succeeded in finding a faithful,
good woman, a negro from Virginia, who cooked for us, and
with our faithful servant, Joe, who was invaluable, we got
on very comfortably. Joe was the quickest, smartest negro
I ever saw - always ready and willing for any emergency.
I had to send him to Augusta almost every day, and I was
very uneasy, so afraid he would be forced to work on the
fortifications or to move cotton, for they were stacking
it in the streets preparing to burn it if the enemy came.
They had tried to get him several times, but he had eluded
them by some cunning device. It was difficult to get hands
to work, for they would hide in the day, but at night the
churches would be crowded. They had a revival of religion
started when we first got to Augusta, and it lasted for
months. One night the officers heard of this meeting, and
made a raid on the male portion, and got a good many hands
for their work, but Joe jumped out of the window and made
his escape. The next morning he laughed and told me about
said he was too smart:
they couldn't "ketch?" him. One day I had occasion to
send him to Augusta for something that was greatly needed,
and I noticed him before starting working at his arm.
He had bandaged it up tightly, and was preparing to put
it in a sling. I asked him what he was doing. He said:
"Miss July, my arm is broken, and you know I can't work."
I was greatly amused, and for a week after that, whenever
he had to go to the city, these same preparations had
to be made. He always started off with a stick, and when
an officer came in view he hobbled along, leaning on his
stick, arm and leg both disabled. But one day they got
him. He was a fine singer and celebrated jig dancer, and
cut the pigeon wing to perfection, and his great desire
to show off to his colored friends was the means of his
capture. He saw a platform in the street, and with his
crippled leg and bandaged arm mounted it and commenced
a lively jig, singing in a loud voice, "Carve dat 'possum
to de heart;" and just as he finished and was about to
descend with great difficulty the officer laid hold of
him and said: "I have been watching you for several days,
and you are a slick rascal, but I have got you now and
will put you to work." He tried to beg off, and told them
all his white folks were sick and he was their only dependence,
and he had just come
in for the doctor. But all his pleading was without avail;
they would listen to no excuse, and put him to work to
pile cotton, and gave him some hands to help him. They
had to straighten some cotton that was bulging out of
line and stack it. So he went to work very cheerfully,
proved a good worker, went all down the line and adjusted
it, and when this was finished, he found a long row of
wagons, and he had to examine them (a self-imposed task).
He would crawl under and out again until he got out of
sight of the cotton, and then he fairly flew home, but
it was late when he got there. He laughed immoderately
when he told us how he had got ahead of them again, and
I said he would have many sins to answer for in the stories
he had told, but thought if he would not make himself
so conspicuous he would fare better. I had to keep him
at home for some time, afraid to send him to town, and
it was a great deprivation to me, and particularly so
to him, as he was missing so much fun and I his valuable
services, but he bore his imprisonment very cheerfully.
Capt. Charlie Ewing, of Nashville, and several other boys
just from the front, came to see me at this time and told
me there was a great revival of religion in the army,
and that Dr. John B McFerrin, Bishop Quintard, and many
preachers of all
denominations were taking part in the meetings; that the
bishop had confirmed a number of the boys, and many of
them were greatly concerned about their soul's salvation.
They said Dr. D. C. Kelley, then Col. Kelley, had regular
prayer meetings, and that Gen. Forrest attended them.
Col. Kelley was on Gen. Forrest's staff, and he had great
influence over the general, and when he got in a towering
rage Col. Kelley could by talking to him soothe and quiet
him in a few minutes He had confidence in his colonel,
for he had seen him tried many times and knew him to be
fearless and brave, and he had great admiration for a
brave man. I was delighted to hear such good news, for
when the sun would rise in the morning we could not tell
ere the day closed how many mothers' darlings would be
giving up their lives for the land they loved so well.
Johnnie Bright, and my little son were greatly annoyed because
they did not have new clothes, and I had resorted to patching
to make them presentable. Two nephews of the lady whose
house we rented had just returned from school, and had plenty
of military clothes, consisting of nice jackets and an innumerable
number of white linen pants, and my boys felt they were
sadly neglected, and I fear they looked with envious eyes
on the cadets' fine clothes. I had some of the Confederate
gray left, and I told Johnnie I would have him a suit made,
and he was delighted with the idea. I gave him the cloth
and told him to go to Augusta to a certain tailor, have
it cut, and get him to furnish the trimmings and make it.
I had bought him a hat and shoes, and he only needed the
suit to make his wardrobe complete. He went off in a glee,
for clothing was hard to get then at any price. Every day
for a week he would go in to see how the suit, or rather
the making of it, was progressing. On Saturday he came home
decked in his finery,
and O such a sight it was! He had made a full colonel's
uniform, with a general's cap and gilt braid, stars and
tassels, and to sum it all up, I never saw as much tinsel
on one uniform in my life. And this was the secret of
so many trips to town, giving directions about the trimmings,
as I afterward learned. When I saw him, I was so convulsed
with laughter I could hardly speak for some time; and
when all joined in the laugh, he stood considerably abashed
at his reception. It was some minutes before I could speak
to so grand a gentleman, but ventured at last to ask him
what his outfit cost. I had given him a large bill to
have changed to pay the tailor, and he handed me a few
"shinplasters," all he had left. He said a piece of the
goods was left, and he thought it a pity to have any of
it wasted, so he just had the cap made. His conscience
began to hurt him some, for he had the new hat I had just
bought him, and he thought an apology necessary. I ventured
to ask so august a personage what his cap had cost, and
he said he got it cheap, as trimmings were so high: he
got it made for $50. Our currency had depreciated greatly
by this time, and everything was scarce and hard to get.
Johnnie was not quite fifteen, had grown up like a weed,
was tall and handsome and we thought he looked elegant
in his suit,
although he had not
earned his stars and bars. He was now more determined
than ever to go to the army, and he worried us so much
we finally gave a reluctant consent. We got him some pins,
needles, and thread, packed his clothes, fixed him a nice
lunch, and he bade us an affectionate farewell. He went
to town, walked around a few hours, and began to get a
little homesick; so he came back, he said, to spend one
more night with the children, and he would certainly start
in the morning. The children were delighted at his return,
as they were greatly attached to him. I told him to tell
his father that we were all opposed to his going, and
he said: "Aunt Julia, you rest easy: I will make it all-right
with pa." The next morning he really started, and a few
days afterward I got a letter from him saying: "A soldier
offered me five hundred dollars for my suit, but I wouldn't
take a thousand for it." The letter was filled with Latin,
with the translation above the lines. That was for the
benefit of the children, for he loved to be thought an
oracle by them. In his wanderings he had gotten a little
smattering of Latin, and he used it on all occasions.
Dear Johnnie, we all loved him, and we will never see
his like again. We all missed him after he left, and had
many a merry laugh at his expense. He went through the
and died soon after.
I never saw him again, but even now I often think of the
generous, handsome, merry, rollicking boy.
few days some friendly face from the army would slip out
to see us for a day and night. Often they were sent to
the rear on important business. One morning we heard there
were sixty or seventy soldiers (some Tennesseeans) in
jail, and were to be shot for desertion; for it was deemed
necessary by the officials to make examples of some of
them to prevent utter demoralization to the whole army.
I learned that Albert Gentry, son of Hon. Meredith P.
Gentry, was among the number. Col. Gentry was then at
Richmond, was a member of Congress, and was considered
a great orator. I had heard from Albert's sister that
he had been left at home on a farm in Tennessee, and that
he had slipped off without their knowledge and had joined
the army. He was only sixteen years old, but well grown.
His father and sister were friends of ours, and we were
greatly distressed at hearing of the trouble the boy was
in, and I determined to do all in my power to save him
from so sad a fate. I decided to go in immediately and
see what could be done, for ladies could do more than
men in cases like this. They were like the importunate
widow: would persevere and take no denial. I
went to see the officer
who granted permits for persons to visit the jail, but
he persistently refused to let any one see them. I returned
home very sad and dispirited. My husband wrote to Col.
Samuel D. Morgan and Judge William P. Chilton and asked
them to do what they could for him. Col. Morgan wrote
to President Davis to ask his help. I went again to Augusta
and begged to be permitted to see my friend's son, but
with no better success. I was almost in despair. There
was a Gen. Roberson from Texas whom I had met in Marietta.
He had been very kind to Sister Lucy Burt when the Federals
bombarded their house, and had rendered them valuable
assistance in their flight. He was afterward badly wounded
- had three ribs broken by a cannon ball - and I had been
visiting him and taking him delicacies. The thought occurred
to me that maybe he might have some influence, so I went
to him and he gave me some encouragement, and told me
to call again the next day, and in the meantime he would
see what could be done, and said he would gladly do all
in his power to help me. I went home with a lighter heart.
On applying to him the next day, I found he had secured
the permit, and after thanking him for his kindness and
promptness, I hurried to the jail. I presented my paper
with a good deal of
trepidation - for
I had worried so much over the case I confess I was somewhat
nervous - but to my surprise, I was promptly admitted.
I called for Albert Gentry. The guard said he would be
down in a few minutes, and in the meantime I took a survey
of his abode. I looked up and saw a good many heads and
eyes peering through the grated bars at me, and such a
noise above. They had a fiddle, and were playing, singing,
dancing, and such stamping of feet I never heard. I thought,
"Poor, young, thoughtless creatures, dancing on the brink
of eternity," and I felt sick at heart; but in a little
while the noise ceased, for they soon found out a lady
IN a short
time Albert came in, and I told him who I was. I had never
seen him before, but let him know that I was a friend of
his father and sister, and I was greatly distressed at his
situation. He asked me many questions, and I told him that
from a recent letter I had heard that his father was sick
and had left Richmond for some other point in Virginia,
and his sister had gone home thinking he was there. He told
me that he had heard nothing from them in a long time, and
had got tired and slipped out and joined the army. I asked
him what he was put in jail for, and he commenced sobbing,
and said for desertion, but he did not intend to desert.
He joined the army to fight, but wanted to do so for Tennessee,
and did not want to be sent to South Carolina. He, boy-like,
wanted to defend his own State, and he heard Forrest's cavalry
were going to Tennessee, so he left his own command and
went to Gen. Forrest, and they arrested him. I asked him
if he knew that they were sentenced to be shot in three
or four weeks, for a good many others were in jail for
the same thing. He
said he had heard their fate. After telling him I was
trying to do all I could for him, I arose to leave. He
begged me to come to see him again, and thanked me for
my efforts and seemed to appreciate them. All the time
I was talking, anxious eyes were peeping at me through
the small windows. I asked Albert if I could do anything
for him, and he said: "Yes, ma'am; please bring me something
to eat." The other prisoners heard the request, and they
yelled out: "Bring us some too; and some tobacco." I told
them that I would remember them; and such shuffling and
pushing each other aside to see me, and impress on me
to be sure to bring them something! Poor boys, how sorry
I felt for them, such merry, rollicking fellows under
such circumstances! I stopped in Augusta and told some
gentlemen friends about the tobacco, and they promised
to have it ready in the morning. I hurried home, started
to cooking, and prepared a large basket of as many nice
things as I could collect. I took Joe and started off
early the next morning with my basket loaded with supplies
for the unfortunates, and got the tobacco on my way to
the jail. When I got there, I called for Albert, and told
him to take the basket and tobacco and go up and distribute
the things among the boys. I waited
until he came back,
and he said that they sent many thanks to me for my kindness;
that it was the best eating they had had in a long time,
and they said that when I came again to please remember
them. I told them I would not forget them. I went in for
nearly a week, and always carried my basket well filled.
no news came from Richmond. The enemy was tearing up the
railroads and breaking the connection everywhere. The
mails were very irregular, and every two or three days
Cousin Sam Morgan would write and want to know if anything
had been done for the boy. In sheer desperation, I went
to Gen. Roberson and told him he must help me. He said
that he had worried a good deal over the case, and thought
that he had found a solution to it. "At least I hope;
but don't be too sanguine, for you might be disappointed.
I will send a special courier to South Carolina to Gen.
Johnston and state the case to him, and I think he will
help us." He sent the messenger, and in a few days he
came back with the good news that Albert was released.
I soon had him with us with a leave of absence for ten
days, and then he was to join his command. He had been
in prison long enough to be very dirty, and his clothes
were in a bad condition' and he looked pitiful. I looked
and mended what few
clothes he had, and supplied him with all he needed. Before
his time was out he looked rested and cheerful; but I
watched for the day of his return, and I had him all ready,
clothes packed, a good lunch ready, and told him good-bye.
while after he left, his father came - had heard of his
son's trouble and came to Augusta to see about him. I
never saw any one more grateful than he was for saving
his son. He wept like a child when we told him what we
had to contend with to get him released. He said that
he thought his boy was at home on the farm, never having
heard he had joined the army.
being sorely pressed on all sides. Every man that could
shoulder a musket was needed, and all in the jail were let
out, I am glad to say, without a one being shot. But it
gave them a good scare that lasted the rest of the war.
They needed this example, for many of them were very much
demoralized with the long, tedious marches, poor food, and
scant clothing. They commenced to think they had the world
to fight. I wonder sometimes that they persevered as long
as they did without complaining.
I received a message from a lady I had known in Marietta.
She and her husband had been very kind to us while there.
She asked me to please come over the river to Hamburg
to see them. Her husband was very sick, and was so anxious
to meet me. This place was in South Carolina, just across
the river from Augusta. I went over, and found her husband
with a hard chill. The bed he was on shook, the rigor
was so great. They were in extreme poverty, having left
Marietta when the enemy was near, and were not
able to bring many
of their things with them. The fat, jolly man had fallen
off until I hardly recognized him. His face had turned
from a very red to a pale color. He had been a generous
eater and drinker, and the vintage had been short in South
Carolina, and his purse shorter; so to sum it all up,
he was in a pitiful condition. I did what I could to help
them, and then said good-bye. I didn't hear anything from
or about them in three or four weeks. The conscript officers
were after every man that could fire a gun, and my friend's
husband was among the recruits taken up. He came to Mr.
Morgan in great distress, and asked him to write a note
to Dr. Paul F. Eve, stating his inability to do service.
He said he knew Dr. Eve was his friend, and anything he
would write him would have its influence. He was very
patriotic, but he didn't like the smell of gun powder.
My husband told him he was not a member of the medical
board, and he didn't see how he could write him a paper
of disability. He had a holy horror of going into the
army if there was any way to prevent it, and had his heart
set on the note, and said: "Write anything you think will
help me, and I believe Dr. Eve will release me." Mr. Morgan
still declined, not knowing what to state; but he would
take no denial. So the note was
written to this effect:
"Dr. Eve: Having known this gentleman and family
intimately for eighteen months while in Marietta, I think
that I can safely say that I do not think he is good for
anything in the world." He read it over, and said: "O
my friend, I will never forget you while I live. I thank
you most heartily." I think that he was the first man
I ever knew who thanked another for calling him a fool.
Dr. Eve was a man of keen perceptions, and saw the joke
and enjoyed it immensely. He gave him a letter of disability,
and as long as the doctor lived he laughed over this funny
crowds of sick and wounded soldiers in Augusta, and going
up Green and Broad Streets any pleasant day you would see
the sidewalks thronged with them, getting the fresh air
and enjoying the sunshine, many looking pale and haggard,
but cheerful and bright, and if there was any fun to be
had, they were always ready to enjoy it.
was a noted belle, of Augusta, that could be seen frequently
on the streets. She had a magnificent form and graceful
carriage, and as she came with her stately walk she always
attracted attention. A friend told me that he was standing
on the pavement one day as she passed, and he noticed
a pale, cadaverous, ragged soldier looking eagerly at
her, and saw a merry twinkle in his eye. The lady had
on a dress with a very long train to it, and as she turned
the corner she looked back, and gave her skirt a slight
pull. The soldier, still looking intently at her or the
train, now said: "Go on, marm, it's a comin'. It's jest
turnin' the corner." She blushed and hurried on.
Of course there was
a hearty laugh, in which my friend joined. He said it
was ludicrous in the extreme. They were so full of fun
that an occasion like that was irresistible.
Samuel Morgan was restless with nothing to do but watch
and await coming events; and as he was quite an artist,
he conceived the idea of carving some pipes and pipestems
as souvenirs for his children, grandchildren, and friends,
to while away idle moments. There was a quantity of soft,
white stone near where he lived, and he got this and carved
beautiful designs and polished them highly, and they were
very artistic. He made pipes of this stone and carved
fishes on them that were perfectly executed, and many
pipestems that had various devices on them. One had a
likeness of my husband, with rod in hand, pulling out
a five-pound trout. There was the man, rod, line, and
fish, and you could almost imagine the sheen on the scales
of the fish. They were highly prized not only as works
of art, but for his sake. I mention and describe so minutely
for a purpose that I will tell later on.
were drawing in closer in every direction. I was kept
so busy with family affairs and soldiers coming and going
that I didn't get to the hospital as often as I had formerly
done. It was
a great deprivation,
for in going I often found many that I knew. Letters were
written by me, as on former occasions, to loved ones at
home bearing messages from dying boys to their mothers
and sisters. I have letters now in response to some of
these, full of anguish and sorrow; but such were the cruel
issues of the war.
of the South were as brave as the men, and there was no
menial office that they would not perform if it was to
alleviate suffering. My husband was still at home with
the Minie ball in his side, and at times suffered agony
with it. He consulted several surgeons in regard to his
joining his command, and they told him that if he rode
horseback he would run the risk of being paralyzed.
was advancing rapidly, and everything was at fever heat.
News came that Gen. Sherman was coming, like the Duke
de Alva in the Netherlands, with torch and sword, burning
as he came, for he was having a triumphant march, gaining
great victories over helpless women and children, for
our forces were scattered in every direction. Gen. Hood
in Tennessee, Gen. Joe Johnston in the Carolinas, Gen.
Lee's army in Virginia, and our cavalry trying to fight
the enemy everywhere The Federals had such overwhelming
our fatigued and
broken-down soldiers could not defend all the weak points,
and they were contending for every foot of ground, and
whenever they could make a stand they would fight. Sherman
advanced to attack Augusta, and every man that could shoulder
a musket was urged to help defend the place. Mr. Morgan
was restless, and he said at last that he would take the
chances and go. Col. Stoner, of John H. Morgan's command,
got him a good horse, and Drs. Joe and Charlie Tidings,
surgeons of the same command, promised me that if he was
killed or wounded they would look after him especially.
Joe brought "Dixie" out, and after telling us good-bye,
he mounted, and in a few minutes was lost to our view.
That was as dark a day as I spent during the war. Hope
seemed all gone for a few hours, for when I thought of
the sacrifices made by our people, and the privations
they endured, I wondered how they could be unrewarded.
The soldiers still hoped that something would happen to
turn the tide of battle in our favor. They were the last
ones to give up, and "Onward!" was their cry. There was
severe fighting going on fifteen or twenty miles from
Augusta, in South Carolina.
bulletin announced that Gen. Sherman had burned Columbia,
S. C., and that many persons
had perished in the
flames. And news followed this speedily that the Federals
were in sight of Augusta, and that they were burning everything
in their reach. You could hear anything and everything
that was horrible. Alas! much that we heard was too true,
and we looked upon Gen. Sherman as a monster in human
shape, and now that the grave has closed over him he will
have a big account to settle for his treatment of the
South in her last struggles.
morning after my husband left, some one came in and told
me that they saw my little son running in the direction
of Augusta with his gun on his shoulder. He said that
he was going in the trenches to help defend Augusta. Fortifications
were being thrown up, and every preparation was being
made to save the place, and every man and boy was eager
to help. There was a crowd going in to report for duty.
I called Joe and told him to run as fast as his feet could
carry him, and bring my little son back before he was
lost in the mass of men. I was so excited I walked the
yard, straining my eyes in the direction of the city.
He was gone two hours, and it seemed an interminable time
before I saw Joe coming with him. He said that he had
hunted a long time, and finally saw him, and had to force
him to come, by telling him
141 that he would
take him in his arms and carry him whether or not. This
would have been a terrible insult to a soldier, so he
followed Joe home very reluctantly. I took his gun and
told him not to touch it again without my consent, and
if he did I would break it all to pieces, for he might
have had his head blown off and no one would have known
whose child he was in that great crowd. He saw from the
mood I was in that I was prepared to do what he would
have thought the greatest calamity of his life, for he
prized his gun more than anything he possessed. My threat
had the desired effect, for he stayed at home closely
heard no news from Mr. Morgan, and I felt restless and
miserable all the time. There was rumor of a fight, and
many were supposed killed and wounded, but we had no way
of learning the real truth. One night about 10 o'clock
I heard the rattle of wheels, and then a vehicle stopped
at my front door. I took a light and ran out and saw Drs.
Joe and Charlie Tidings. I said: "Where is Mr. Morgan?"
They replied: "In the ambulance." They told me not to
be alarmed, he was hurt, but they hoped not seriously,
and then lifted him out carefully and brought him in the
house. They then told me that twenty miles from Augusta
they had met a large force of Gen. Sherman's
cavalry, and as they
were making a double-quick charge Mr. Morgan's horse got
his leg in a sand hole. The horse fell on him and nearly
killed him, and but for the prompt assistance of his friends,
who jumped down and lifted the horse off, he would have
been dead in a little while. They got him to the rear
as soon as possible. He had a violent contusion of the
hip, and was badly bruised all over; but if he had no
internal injuries, they thought that he would pull through
all right. They remarked: "It is God's providence that
he wasn't killed, for where he fell eighty were killed
and wounded." They remained all night, examined him in
the morning, and gave me explicit directions what to do
for him, and bade us good-bye. That was the last that
I ever saw of those two good men, but I will always feel
grateful to them for their kindness to me and mine during
the war. Mr. Morgan was confined to his bed for some time,
and when he did get up he had to use crutches for many
days after this we got a letter from Col. Sam Morgan,
saying that the enemy was near Blackwell, S. C. He was
living there with his daughter, having gone there when
Sherman took Marietta. He said that he would send all
of his family to our house, and for me to do the best
that I could with
them. I went to the car at the stated time of arrival
with my carriage at their service, but after consultation
with his daughter, found that room could not be made for
all, for my family was large and so was theirs, and our
rooms were limited. So they decided that it was best to
remain in the car until further arrangements could be
made. I took his four granddaughters out with me, and
left the others in the car. They soon decided to go up
to Madison, Ga. I kept the four girls for awhile, and
two days after two nieces of my husband ran over from
Montgomery to spend a few days, not dreaming of the disasters
that were so soon to come upon us. I had now my old kinsman's
four granddaughters, four nieces (two of them lived with
us), and my two daughters - ten girls - and a merrier,
jollier crowd never got together. They did not brood over
troubles like the old people, and I was glad to see them
so happy. Now how they were to sleep was the next question,
and they told me to leave it all to them and they would
girls left in a short time, fearing they might be cut
off from their home. The girls told me that they were
compelled to have some clothes laundered. I sent all around
to hire a washerwoman, as my servant was sick, and I
was afraid for her
to undertake it; but no negro could be got for love or
money, as they were all too much excited looking for the
Yankees. The girls were in a sad dilemma, and none of
them had ever tried the washtub. They had a long consultation,
and came to the conclusion that if Joe would bring the
water and set the kettle to boiling, they would roll up
their sleeves and play the Biddies. So Joe very promptly
had the pot boiling, adjusted the tubs and washboards,
and such scrubbing, laughing, and chattering you have
not heard in some time. They made a regular frolic of
it, and every now and then they would call on Joe for
more water or some other service. He danced attendance
on them through it all. It was a ludicrous sight. I have
laughed over it many times. They finally got through the
first and last washing they ever did in their lives, and
they all joined in and soon had the clothes ironed. All
pronounced it a success, but it left blisters on their
hands. I may not get the dates of certain events just
at the right time, for in thirty years I have forgotten
many things that transpired. In a short time the girls
went to Madison, to their grandfather, and mine returned
to Eatonton to school.
the news came that Gen. Lee had
the next day it was confirmed. We both wept like children.
The next news was that Gen. Sherman had taken Augusta,
and he had sent a detachment of soldiers to the Sand Hills
to take possession of the arsenal near us. In the course
of the day I heard a noise, and on looking out, saw sure
enough a long line of blue coats, drums beating, banners
waving, negroes running, shouting, yelling, looking like
lunatics just escaped from the asylum. Among the number,
my cook ran by me, with her white apron tied to the end
of a broomstick, shouting and cheering at the highest
pitch of her voice, jumped the fence, and was gone. Joe
walked out into the yard with the children, and said:
"I am so mad with them fool niggers. If they are free,
they are free, but not to make fools of themselves." He
said: "Now, if you please, look at the poor, white trash
them niggers is running after. If they was in the gutters
they wouldn't pick them up, unless they wanted them to
fight for them. I tell you now they won't get dis nigger.
And I thank God I know who my friends are." I agreed with
him, that he had some sense and reason, and the other
poor, silly creatures did not know what they were doing.
I told him that he was my only dependence, and he must
stay and cook supper
for us. He readily
consented, and went to work as if nothing had happened.
dark, Celia, my cook, came back, utterly exhausted and
said that she was tired almost to death, but still she
went to work to pack up her clothes. I went to her room
and asked her what she intended to do. She said: "I am
packing up all my things, for I am going to start to Virginny
to-morrow, to see my children." I told her that I did
not blame her for wanting to find her children, but if
she started she would have to walk most of the way, as
the railroads were torn up in every direction. I liked
the negro, she had been faithful and trustworthy, and
I told her that if she would wait until I went to Nashville
I would pay her way to Richmond. She looked undecided
and I said: "Don't you believe me? Did I ever tell you
anything but the truth?" She said: "No, ma'am, but, missus,
is I free?" I told her yes, to put her clothes away and
behave herself. I did not want to see her start and maybe
die in a fence corner by herself. She seemed perfectly
satisfied. But in a few days was taken quite sick from
the effects of the tramp after her deliverers. She grew
worse, and I sent to Augusta for Dr. Joseph Eve, and he
pronounced her very ill. She had been a delicate negro
before this, and the
added fuel to the fire, and in a few days after, we found
that she would not recover. By the time I got through
with doctors' bills and funeral expenses, I found I had
paid out many dollars in gold for the poor, simple creature.
had to depend on Joe for everything - we made him both
maid and waiting boy, and he proved competent and willing,
for faithfully he performed his part.
morning the children came running in, and, said: "Papa,
papa! A whole lot of Yankees are coming up the front walk."
And they all began crying and begging him not to go out,
for they thought his time had come to be captured. He
told them that he would go out to meet them, for he could
not help himself. So he started, followed by the children
and myself. He walked clown a short distance in advance,
and I heard him say: "Why, howdy, boys? We thought you
were Yankees coming to arrest me."
consisted of Gen. Basil Duke, Dr. Robert Williams, a son-in-law
of cousin Sam Morgan, Charlton, Richard, Calvin, and Key
Morgan. These were all the Lexington Morgans left, as
John H. Morgan and Thomas, his brother, had been killed
some time before this. There was quite a large party of
them, including servants.
The latter had on
blue clothes, and the children had mistaken them for Federals.
They said: "We have just left President Davis. We cut
across the country and made for your house, and we want
to stay here until we can send to Augusta and see what
Gen. Sherman's terms of surrender will be. If favorable,
we will have to take the oath and go home; if not, we
will get on our horses, and try to cross the Mississippi
River, then into Texas and Mexico." After consultation
it was agreed that Dr. Williams should go in to see the
Federal authorities. In the meantime I was running back
and forth trying to find them something to eat.
fed the horses, and then I pressed them into service,
and with Joe to help, we soon had dinner ready for them.
I had strong coffee and tea made, and when it was all
ready they sat down and did full justice to it. Then the
pipes were called for. We had enough tobacco, but not
enough pipes and stems to go around, so we called Joe,
and submitted the case to him, and he said that in a little
while he could fix some cob pipes. He had some stems.
He came back in a short time with those he had made, but
still they lacked some; so Mr. Morgan called on me for
my beautifully carved stems and pipes. I
gave them up rather
reluctantly, as I had set my heart on keeping them as
specimens of art, but I soon gladdened the hearts of those
who were anxious to smoke. They were all restless, and
all were looking eagerly for Dr. Williams's return, but
he did not get back till late in the afternoon, and brought
the good news that the terms were honorable. In a short
time their horses were saddled, and I brought out their
treasures I had in safekeeping for them for some time.
They consisted of watches and other gold trinkets, and
bars of silver they had gotten in Richmond when paid off
as soldiers. They went to Augusta, took the oath, and
then started for their homes.
the stems and pipes with the nicotine in them from the
smoking they did that memorable day of agony, and they
have never been used since.
time the Federals were all over the country, and we learned
that when Marietta was burned, our home there was untouched,
as the general in command took it for headquarters, and
had a flag stretched across the front of the house, and
I suppose that saved it. We did not care to stop in Marietta.
Our hearts were yearning for home and loved ones, and
"Onward to Nashville!" was the cry.
Morgan went in advance of us to see what arrangements
he could make for taking us home and in a little while
he wrote to my nephew to bring us on. We soon had everything
in readiness, and bade our Georgia friends farewell with
sad hearts, for they had greatly endeared themselves to
us by their kindness during our sojourn with them.
going by Madison, where we were joined by Cousin Sam Morgan
and family, also our girls, who had come over from Eatonton
to meet us on our way to Nashville, and among others who
composed the party were John H. Morgan's widow and little
daughter and Miss Alice Ready. While passing up the road
we saw signs of Gen. Sherman's work; he did it well and
thoroughly. It had been raining a great deal, and on the
clay hills were many tents filled with women and children,
with mud and slush all around, and heaps of ashes, and
smokeless chimneys standing as lone sentinels in the devastated
and waste places. Many Confederate soldiers were wending
their way home on foot to take up the thread of life.
They were ragged, tired, weary, and sore-footed, with
the glint still in their eyes. In looking at them, I thought
of a little verse I had seen in early life.
see a man:
do not see his shabby dress,
see him in his manliness,
see his ax, I see his spade,
see a man that God has made.
such a man before you stand,
him your heart, give him your hand,
praise your Maker for such men.
make this old world young again.
like giving each one my hand and bidding them "Godspeed."
All needed the ax and spade when they did get home to
build up demolished houses; and, Phoenix-like, they rose
from their ashes, built up their homes, planted crops,
and have given many millions to educate white and colored,
and are paying a greater part of the pensions to Union
soldiers. They are, in short, astonishing the world, all
going to show that the Scotch, Irish, Huguenot, and Cavalier
blood cannot be kept down. If Gen. Sherman's idea had
been carried out, which was, as fast as we were turned
out of our homes, to bring in those from the North and
colonize, we would now have been no better than Russian
serfs; but the old man made suggestions and nursed his
wrath to keep it warm. Another one of his ideas was to
give the negroes the torch and sword and let them burn
and slay as they chose, but the enlightened nineteenth
century would never
have submitted to
the warfare of the Dark Ages on this American Continent.
If he had a kind word to say, or one of encouragement
to his fallen brother, no one ever heard it. How different
with heroic Gen. Grant! He had the elements of a brave
man and a heart that could feel for the infirmities of
others. Look at him at Appomattox Courthouse when Gen.
Lee surrendered! Behold the two men! Gen. Lee stately,
upright, standing in his physical beauty, and on looking
at him Gen. Grant doubtless felt he was in the presence
of his peer, "a foeman worthy of his steel." Gen. Lee,
conscious of dignity, rectitude, gallantry, chivalry,
and a pure Christian character, stood and faced his conqueror.
Did Gen. Grant show any exultation over his fallen foe?
No, he was too magnanimous for that. I have been told
that a casual observer could not have decided who was
the victor or the vanquished from their faces, as both
looked sad. Gen. Grant, as he conceived in line of duty
to impose such humiliation on so brave and great a man,
doubtless felt sad. Gen. Lee, feeling he had struggled
with his brave army as few men ever did, by having to
contend with privations and hardships almost unheard of,
overwhelming numbers, and after having done all that a
man could do in fighting for
just and righteous
cause, to have to succumb. He felt almost crushed and
broken-hearted, but did he give up the battle of life?
Not he! He went to work again and died in the harness.
I believe that history will give him the place of the
greatest and best man that ever trod this American Continent.
What did Gen. Grant do? He spoke kind words to his vanquished
brother and tried to heal dissensions, and his last plea
in life was for peace. We cannot but feel pleasure in
contemplating such a man. I have often tried to imagine
the return of our valiant soldiers to their homes after
an absence of four years. When they left them peace and
plenty reigned; farms with cattle on every hilltop, and
in valleys long rows of cabins filled with happy inmates,
and everything to make the heart glad. But now desolation
seemed to reign. Homes burned, cattle gone, forests cut
down, fences torn down, and negroes freed. Nothing left
but helpless wife and children, and some of the poor fellows
with legs, and some with arms gone, and many almost shot
to pieces; the same proud spirit with the will to work,
but physically disabled.
ever hear one say that he was ashamed of his wounds? No.
Napolean's "Legion of Honor" were never prouder of their
scars than were these old veterans; and their faces would
light up when
they would give the
accounts of the battles where they were maimed and mutilated
for life. We have heard of a very few truckling, pusillanimous
spirits that have gone North, and for filthy lucre's sake
have sold their manhood, and have said that they were
ashamed of the part that they had taken in our struggle.
All the harm that I wish them is that they will never
pollute the soil of our "Sunny South" with their unhallowed
feet. And I know that brave Northern soldiers can have
only contempt for such craven spirits.
we of the South ever to see one of her brave veterans
suffer? It would be a shame and a blot on the escutcheons
of our fair land to permit it. Although many years have
passed, and very little has been done, everything points
to the time when they will be cared for. Look at the efforts
of our few noble women in securing the Confederate Home.
They commenced with very little encouragement, and have
plodded patiently and perseveringly until I am rejoiced
to say that their untiring efforts are being crowned with
success. God bless them in their holy undertaking! and
may their efforts stimulate our men that fortune has smiled
upon since the war, and impel them to take some of their
hundreds of thousands, and even millions, and make the
old veterans' hearts glad! Many of them are
going down the other
side of the hill, and are weary and worn, straggling with
penury and want. If I had the power, I would pension every
one of them, and not give it as doling out charity, but
let them feel that they had earned it and had a right
to it. Go on, grand women of the South, in your hallowed
work, and don't give up until your end is accomplished.
Our men are too chivalrous not to give aid when they see
the efforts of their mothers, sisters, and wives trying
to do what duty ought to impel them to perform. When your
noble work has been carried through, and after "life's
fitful dream is o'er," take your children and spread flowers
over their graves, and never let them forget the brave
heroes that sleep their last sleep in the land they loved
so well as to lay down their lives defending it. So impress
it on their young minds that when we go to give an account
of our stewardship the story shall be repeated to the
children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, so that
"Old Mortality" shall not have to come along to scrape
off the moss and mold to read the inscription on the tombstones
that mark the resting place of our noble dead.
AS we passed
through Marietta I looked to see the homes of friends who
had shown us so many delicate attentions, and had been so
good nursing our brave boys. But there, too, the work of
Gen. Sherman was well done, as there was nothing left in
many cases but heaps of bricks and ashes.
to Chattanooga, and such a desolate, dreary looking place
it was, for it had been raining, and the red clay was
shoe deep. It had been the center and distributing point
for the Federals, and crowds of troops were still there,
besides thousands who had taken up temporary abodes. My
nephew was trying to get our baggage. The children were
worn out and crying, but we all started to walk to the
hotel, which was a short distance off. Joe headed the
procession with two of the children in his arms; the rest
of us, plunging along, would slip in mudholes, and such
scrambling as we would have to keep from falling; and
to add to the trouble, it was one of the darkest, gloomiest
nights that I ever saw, and the depot and surroundings
were poorly lighted. We finally reached the
and weary, and went to our rooms, were we ate our lunch
from a basket that I had brought with us.
being much refreshed from our night's rest, we started
the next morning for Nashville. My baby and the next one
were especially devoted to Joe, and wanted him with them
all the time. He amused them continually, and I told him
to stay in sight, so if I wanted anything I could call
him, and he promised to do so. The cars were filled with
Federal soldiers, walking up and down and watching every
movement. They spied Joe standing by the children and
ordered him out, and when the children saw him start,
they began to yell and scream, and would not be pacified
for some time. I told the soldiers that I had tried to
get a maid, but did not succeed, and that Joe was almost
indispensable to me, for the little ones were attached
to him, and they were very tired, and I needed him to
help me. Several of the Federals came and sat down near
the children and began to talk to them. The train stopped
for a few minutes, and the children spied some blackberries,
and turned and said: "Lankees, get me some berries." And
before I had hardly heard their request, two of them stepped
off and got a handful. In the meantime the cunning Joe
watching an opportunity
to get back, and in a little while he walked in with a
bucket of water, which he politely handed to the ladies
first, and then to the soldiers, and then he said something
to the children and started to go out, as he found that
they were watching him so closely. They screamed at him,
and said: "Joe, come back and look at them Lankees." They
were so intent in watching the "bluecoats" that they got
all around them to laughing. Many of the passengers were
refugees returning home. Many of them had left dear ones
behind under the sod. They were depressed and tired with
delays, so the children, Joe, and "the Lankees" helped
to relieve the monotony, and Joe, by his kind attentions
to all, was allowed to come back to his pets.
reached Nashville, and I went to my sister's and stayed
until we could get possession of our house. Then I learned
of the many changes that had taken place in the four years.
Many were in deep mourning for dear ones killed in the
numerous battles fought. Many of the old citizens had
passed away, while others had spent months in the prisons
for not taking the oath, and large sums of money had been
extorted from the citizens to support idle negroes and
poor white people who had followed the Federals here.
had received very few letters, and those unsatisfactory,
while away, as all had to be submitted to the military
authorities for inspection. I learned that the old Academy,
my dear Alma Mater, had been stripped of everything,
and my mind reverted to my childhood and to the eight
happy years that I had spent there; to the cabinet of
curiosities, containing shells from all parts of the world,
and many rare specimens of art; to the immense library,
and the numbers of pianos. All these accumulations of
years were packed up and sent North to enrich some Yankee
officers' families. The old empty house was left standing
as a monument of one of the largest and most successful
female schools in the South, and Dr. C. D. Elliot, as
Principal, was much beloved, and was considered a prince
moved into our house and kept it from being turned into
a Federal hospital. We had to pay a large sum of money
before we got our house released from the Freedman's Bureau,
and thanks to our old servants, found most of our furniture
scattered around among different friends, where they had
placed it for safe-keeping before going to Washington.
we had been home several days, a number of the girls'
friends came to see them. They
were upstairs having
a jolly time, all talking at once, when the doorbell rang.
I went to open it, and there stood eight or ten Federal
soldiers on the porch. I began to tremble, and was greatly
startled, and thought: "What have I said that could have
been reported to them, and maybe cause my arrest?" For
from the time of my arrival I had tried to be very prudent
in expressing myself, and felt all the time that I was
almost in purgatory. Down South we had had full scope,
and now that we were almost too full for utterance we
had to bridle our tongues, and it was a great deprivation.
We were advised that if we did talk, to close our doors
and watch the keyholes. Well, there I was, confronting
all those soldiers. I at last ventured to ask what they
wanted. They were so engaged looking up at the pretty
girls (for by this time every window was filled with heads,
eager to see what was the matter) that they scarcely noticed
me. I waved my hand to the young folks, and they immediately
left, and then I got the soldiers' attention and asked
them again what they would have. They all seemed in great
glee, and said that they had been in the army a great
while and had been paid off to go home, but hated to go
back without seeing something of the ladies of the South,
and they wanted me to board them for two
or three weeks, and
said that they would pay me well. You can imagine my disgust,
in the frame of mind that I was in then, but I had to
present a smiling face and tell them that it was impossible,
as I had a very large family, and that all of my rooms
were full; but they still insisted. I told them that there
were many hotels and boarding houses, but they seemed
determined to force themselves on us. While they talked
I scanned them closely, and saw that they were dressed
very conspicuously and had on a good deal of "pinch back"
jewelry. They were very anxious to make an impression,
and I wanted so badly to tell them my opinion of them,
and I was really afraid that they would force themselves
on us anyway; but they finally left, though they seemed
greatly disappointed, and not in a good humor.
every night murders were committed, and we on the east
side were almost afraid to leave our homes after dark.
On the bridge and down the avenue many were assaulted
and robbed; and it behooved all the Rebels to be very
quiet, as Nashville was still full of troops, and none
of us felt very safe. One day we heard that Gen. Joseph
Wheeler had been knocked down and badly beaten the night
before for no other reason than that he had been an "accursed
Mr. Morgan was furious,
for he was much attached to Gen. Wheeler, as were all
of his command. No notice had been taken of the cowardly
assault by the authorities, so we determined to try to
find out the truth. After hunting nearly all the morning,
we heard that he was at a house on High Street. So we
went and rang the bell, and a lady answered. We asked
if Gen. Wheeler was there, and she said: "Yes; in a room
upstairs." We found him in bed and badly bruised and beaten.
He said that he had had no warning of any danger, and
that before he knew it he was on the ground, and a burly
soldier pounding him, and he a small man and totally unarmed,
not prepared in any way to defend himself. He told us
that only a few had been to see him. To tell the whole
truth, people at that time did not know what to do or
how to act. We expressed great sympathy to our noble friend,
stayed with him some time, and were very sorry that we
were unable to give the ruffian his deserts.
long months passed, fraught with bitterness and uneasiness.
The people of the South felt that they were overcome but
not conquered, and many a bitter pill they had to swallow,
submitting to the inevitable.
time that I ever saw our brave hero,
Gen. Forrest - a
little while before his death-was at a large barbecue
given by my husband. He was faint and weak then, and had
to be supported on the grounds, but was anxious to meet
many of his old comrades for the last time on earth. Since
then many more have gone over the river, where they rest
under the shade of the tree of life. The great reunion
will come some day, when the long parted will meet, and
the sword of the Christian warfare will be laid down,
and eternal rest will be theirs.
Joe of our war experience is still with us, having been
with us almost constantly during and since the war. Not
long since we had his likeness taken, that each child
and grandchild should have one of our faithful old friend.
He often relates thrilling episodes of his experience
during the rebellion, and still clings to his "white folks."
now old and gray-headed, and we sit by the fire and tell
our children and grandchildren of the deeds of daring
heroism and bravery of our dear soldiers who sleep on
many a hilltop and valley. They died defending a cause
that they felt to be just. I teach the children to hate
war and all its horrors, and to love peace; but to always
love and reverence the memory of our brave soldiers,
and when all prejudices
and animosities shall have been buried our heroes' stars
will blazen forth in the galaxy of fame with a brightness
and effulgence that may have been equaled, but never surpassed
in the world's history.
a few of the many letters we received during the war. They
are given to show how we commenced arming our soldiers for
the four years' fight. Many of our guns, made to carry Minie
balls, were manufactured at our little gun factory in Nashville.]
To Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War.
Sir: I am satisfied of your disposition to comply
with Tennessee's request, so far as it is consistent to
do so under the circumstances.
of the patent facts, both of the scarcity and pressure
for arms, I have conceived the idea of converting all
the rifles in Tennessee of sufficient weight into as nearly
as possible a uniform length and uniform caliber, and
adopting for their use the Minie ball. This use of the
Minie ball explains all of the difference between the
effectiveness of modern rifles and the Tennessee or Kentucky
gun. By this scheme I am fully warranted in saying that
all our deficiencies may be supplied.
do you think of it? I am ready and willing to be
devoted to its accomplishment.
Awaiting your answer I am your obedient servant,
MONTGOMERY, 14 1861.
To Hon. L. P. Walker,
Sir: The inclosed letters will explain the nature
of my business with you. Tennessee is without arms, and
has no other hope of getting them than out of the abundance
represented to be in the possession of the Confederate
Government. By the late act of the Tennessee Legislature
it was determined to raise fifty-five thousand troops,
twenty-five thousand to be at once under the control of
the Confederate Government, and the balance, thirty thousand,
to be held as reserve for contingencies. There is no mistake
about the raising of the required number, or one hundred
thousand, if necessary, but we have no arms to place in
the hands of this gallant host of Rebels, and the question
arises where shall the supply come from? It is in my judgment
of the very highest possible importance that a wise, timely,
prompt, liberal, confiding line of policy be adopted toward
that people, not that they are likely to backslide from
this position, which has been a source of so much rejoicing
to us all, by no means, but that she may realize for herself
in the hour of her need the fact that your foresight had
prepared you for every event, controlled by human agency,
and that you are ready and willing to fulfill your promises
have undertaken this great revolution unprepared, unadvised,
and without a comprehensive view of the whole ground was
to have been guilty of great folly, and it is at this
particular juncture of equal importance, with reference
to moral effect, that Tennessee's estimate of this great
movement shall suffer no injury at your hands.
could possibly have an interview with you, I could give
you many good reasons, not properly to be undertaken by
letter. I am expected to telegraph the substance of the
result of my conference with you on this subject, to headquarters,
at Nashville, during to-day. Any communication you may
be pleased to address me will reach me at once at the
office of Messrs. Chilton & Yancey.
Awaiting your reply, I am your obedient servant,
To Hon. W. P. Chilton Montgomery.
Morgan, who is just starting to Louisville, Ky., on public
business, requested me to enclose to you these
caps as the first make of Nashville. They are making millions
now of the same sort. Mr. M. bought the copper in Orleans,
and other fixings, and says please attend to his request
per his express to you from Orleans.
C. D. SANDERS.
NASHVILLE, May 4, 1861.
Irby: Since writing you to-day, suggesting the removal
of the Harper's Ferry machinery to Nashville, it has occurred
to me that if the scheme meets favor at the hands of President
Davis, that in order to have it here in the quickest possible
time, that if you could do so consistently, that you might
tender your services, go at once to Gov. Seldon with the
proper credentials, and get his consent for its removal
out of reach of accident. If Richmond should be taken
- and that is highly probable, or, at least, the attempt
probable - the first act of the invaders would be to destroy
every machine or tool with which arms could be made. If
this would not be done, Lincoln would show a great want
of judgment in conducting the war.
S. D. MORGAN.
To Irby Morgan, Esq., care of Hon. W. P. Chilton, Montgomery,
Sir: Since writing you yesterday, I have received
by express, without any advices, an Enfield rifle, which,
I presume, has been sent me by Judge Chilton. It is the
most superior arm for a soldier I have ever seen. I do
not think it can be improved. It is simple, strong, and
can have them made
here just as good as the sample, and I can find all the
material necessary right in our own city. Every piece
of machinery necessary can be contracted for here also,
as well as at any other place in the world, and, if need
be, I can certainly get as many workmen from England as
I want, or even from Yankeedom.
send you samples of our caps by express to-day.
S. D. MORGAN.
NIGHT OF APRIL
To Irby Morgan.
Irby: In the hurry of business, I forgot this evening
to ask you to whose care I should address any communications
to you whilst in New Orleans. Bear in mind, I shall address
you, if need be, to the care of Perkins & Co. Perkins
is full of zeal and energy, and will make you an able
adjunct in your purchases, and, if need be, have your
checks cashed by the banks (and which, by the way, they
should do at par, as we are preparing to defend Louisiana
and New Orleans more than ourselves).
you should see the Governor even if you have to go to
Baton Rouge, for he certainly must have to spare
some munitions or arms for the purpose we want them. We
shall be forced, if possible,
to dislodge the troops
from Cairo. To do this we should have more arms and ammunition,
and especially some field artillery, which, it seems to
me, will not be as valuable to Louisiana as to Tennessee.
Perkins can attend to forwarding by railroad anything
you may purchase. See if good blankets can be had, the
number, etc., and telegraph me, as we may probably have
to order some. Look also for good shoes suitable for soldiers.
Keep me well advised of your movements.
S. D. MORGAN.
JOHN H. MORGAN.
To Irby Morgan.
Sir: In a few days I leave for Knoxville. I shall
remain a few days, previous to making another long trip.
I hope the uniforms I ordered are complete.
like very much to have one thousand more of the same kind
made at once, if possible. My men are in want of clothing,
and I will be prepared to pay for what you have furnished.
I have now upon my rolls 4,000 men, but how long they
will let them remain with me I cannot tell. My last trip
from Kentucky was quite successful. Carefully destroying
all rail communication from Franklin to Nashville, every
bridge and trestle
being burned, which
I am satisfied is the cause of the Federals not having
advanced farther as yet. They are camped on and near the
Cumberland. Now, from Nashville to near Carthage, my advanced
regiment is encamped in a few miles of them. We are taking
prisoners every day: yesterday, 160; to-day, 50. Since
leaving the army, one month since, have captured 1,000
and paroled them.
understand the movements of our army, am fearful that
we are going to enact the same programme as last winter,
fall back all the time. This portion of Tennessee
is worth all the rest of the State to us, containing all
that our army requires. Half the proper exertions in getting
provisions are not being made, and instead of falling
back (at present) we ought to push forward, and consume
and send back all the provisions and stock in this portion
of the State, for the enemy are not prepared at this time
to give battle, and if we would only advance twenty-five
miles, they would certainly fall back; but it really seems
to me that our generals are always preparing to fall back,
as the enemy approaches, and will not rest until they
get a big river between them.
to-day applied to be permitted to take my crowd across
into Kentucky, and to break up all
their army and Louisville, which will certainly prevent
the advance of their army until the rivers rise, and can
supply themselves by transports. A large army cannot be
subsisted upon the country. Nearly all the cavalry should
be sent into Kentucky and completely destroy all communication
by rail and pike, and at the same time be relieving the
South of at least ten thousand men, who are feeding upon
her very vitals at present.
Yours very truly,
JOHN H. MORGAN,
Colonel Commanding Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS, HARTSVILLE, August 24.
To Irby Morgan.
Sir: Before I left Knoxville I wrote you to have me
made 500 more uniforms of same quality as the others.
My command has grown so rapidly that I will have to get
you to have made 500 more, being 1,000 Have them done
as soon as you can. My men are nearly out of clothes.
Have them made full size, and very strong. Our service
is very hard upon clothes. I shall depend upon you furnishing
me 1,000 uniforms, and have them made up as soon as possible.
We have had a succession of brilliant affairs for the
last six or
eight days. You will
see an account in the paper I send. The newspaper is edited
and published in my command. I send my reports in printed
form to Richmond. We are enjoying ourselves very much.
These people are the most loyal I ever met, and treat
us like princes. The ladies are both beautiful and clever.
The railroad from Franklin, to within eight miles of Nashville,
is completely destroyed.
above Gallatin we burned, and it cannot be opened in less
than three months. All the frame work was burned, and
the rock fell in, and is still burning. It is a slate
rock containing coal. We destroyed every bridge. The Yankees
have gone up the road, and are now using the other one
by Springfield. It is a great blow to them. Gen. Nelson
passed up the middle pike, day before yesterday, with
a portion of his command, to Bowling Green.
satisfied they are leaving Nashville and preparing to
make a stand at Bowling Green. We have been in this place
some ten days. You can see how far we are in the advance
of our whole army. Have had as many as five thousand Federals
between us and the army since we came here, but the result
has been that we have accomplished more than any division
of our Western army.
found the people out of heart and spirits; they had given
up all prospects of being relieved. They are now all wide-awake
and are joining the army rapidly. I am getting from fifty
to sixty men per day from Kentucky, and without any assistance
from Richmond. Nearly every gun, and all my equipments,
we captured from the Federals. I send to-day to Knoxville
Gen. Johnson and his officers, whom we captured.
my love to cousin, and tell her to kiss the little ones
to see you in Madison soon.
JOHN H. MORGAN.
Colonel Commanding Brigade.
P. S. - You can let the editors of Atlanta see my proclamation.
October 6, 1862.
Uncle Sam: I have just returned from a very fatiguing
trip in the mountains, where I have been impeding the
retreat of Gen. Morgan from Cumberland Gap, and consequently
did not hear with certainty of the death of poor Sam until
my arrival at this place. Allow me to mingle my grief
with yours in this sad bereavement, so sudden, so severe
that I can scarcely realize it. You have this consolation:
that your gallant son died in the
discharge of his
duty, with his face to the foe. His last words were: "Tell
my father that I died for my country."
as you well know, entered my command as a private. His
unassuming bravery and strict attention to his duty soon
elevated him to rank of lieutenant, and soon after to
that of captain. His impartial justice and attention to
the wants of his men rendered him very much beloved, and
deeply do they mourn his loss. How sad that a career which
opened so brightly should have been so suddenly checked
by the base treachery of a foe who fired after the token
of surrender was given.
Duke informed me that he, has already written to you,
giving you the particulars of his death, and I will not
therefore recount them. I write simply to testify my love
and appreciation of Sam's worth, and to assure you that
long will his memory be cherished with affection.
Your sincere friend,
JOHN H. MORGAN.
June 24 1862.
Irby: I wrote you the other day from Chattanooga in
reference to purchasing cloth for my men, and before I
left there - through mistake, I suppose - the cloth came
to my address. I sent it back to you, as I desire to have
you attend to having
it made up. Please
have it worked up by the measure sent as rapidly as possible,
and also let me know when I shall send money, and how
much. Remember me very kindly to Cousin Julia and your
very interesting little girls and boys.
J. H. MORGAN.
Sir: I send you by express $5,500, which you will
take care of for me, if you please. It is too much trouble
to carry about, and any expenditures you make for my command
can be taken from it. As soon as the uniforms are complete,
please send them up with account of all expenses, and
I will then give orders for any others I may require.
Give my love to cousin and the children.
Very truly yours,
J. H. MORGAN,
P. S. - Paper very scarce. We will start for Kentucky
in a few days, and we will be heard from.
LETTER ON HIS WAY TO JOIN THE ARMY
GRIFFIN, GA., August 18 1864.
To Mrs. Irby Morgan, Augusta, Ga.
Aunt Julia: I arrived at this place Sunday at 1 o'clock,
in which I found pa and Collins doing well. Collins is
improving very fast. His wound has been very severe. The
gangrene ate a tremendous
hole in his leg,
but I think it has been killed out. I think it will take
three or four months before he can walk on his leg. Mr.
Southgate, of Nashville, died; John Shooks, of Fayetteville,
died; Major Miller's leg was taken off. There are two
hundred wounded in Griffin now. There are a great many
of the Lincoln County boys here. One just from there told
me Hal McKinney has taken the oath. I never once thought
that it was Hal. Willie McEwin came out. We had five brigades
of cavalry in Sherman's rear, between Dalton and Chattanooga.
They passed though Marietta and burned part of it. A great
many commissary stores also were burned. On my travel
I saw a great many Yankees that our men had captured.
One of them came up to me and asked me for something to
eat. He told me that if I would give him something to
eat he would give me a housewife. I told him that I wanted
to see him starve awhile first. When I reached Macon,
he asked me again, and I gave him a piece of corn bread;
then he gave me the housewife. It was the prettiest I
ever saw. He said that he hated to give it up, and I told
him that I hated to give up my bread. I am very sorry
I left my blanket, but I can use Collins's. He will not
be able for service in four or five months. General Cheatham
is here on a furlough to get
married, I am informed.
John Bryson is here. Mr. Mar left this morning. Tell the
girls that Collins is looking very anxiously for a letter
from them every day. The boys here are trying to persuade
me not to go in the army. I tell them I have started and
I will not back out. Willie McEwin and James Wood are
going with me. Willie McEwin is going to the same company
to which I am going. The people are expecting a raid here
every minute. They have burned the bridge ten miles above
Griffin, and are now destroying the railroad. Companies
have been sent out to drive the invading party back. There
is no more news concerning the army as far as I can ascertain.
Capt. Tully is out from Tennessee. He brings no news concerning
the family. Collins, I think, will be able to get about
in five or six weeks, as the symptoms of the gangrene
have ceased. Pa's health is good. When you write, direct
your letter to the Eighth Tennessee, care of Col. Anderson,
Company E, Atlanta. Write soon. Tell the girls to write
to me; but if they don't want to write don't ask them.
Collins sends his love. Give my love to the family.
The last wishes of your friend, JOHN M. BRIGHT, JR.
P. S. - Tell Uncle Morgan I looked for him in Macon,
but couldn't find him. I will proceed to the front to-morrow.
FROM ONE OF MY WOUNDED SOLDIERS.
IN CAMP NEAR SHELBYVILLE, TENN., February
To Mr. Irby Morgan and family.
and Much Esteemed Friends: Ere this you doubtless
think I have forgotten you, but far from it. I would have
written to you before this time had I had an opportunity
of delivering the package you intrusted to my care. Immediately
on my arrival I made inquiries and ascertained that Wheeler's
command had moved forward, destination unknown. Since
then the weather has rendered the roads almost impassable.
In a few days I will avail some opportunity to send or
take it to the proper one. I met Mr. Herron this morning.
He looks well. Mr. Brooks is now in my tent. He is quite
well, and sends kindest wishes and regards. The general
health of the troops is good. I learn the small-pox is
prevalent in some regiments. I hope it will not get around
among ours; if it does, I will light out, or be inclined
to do so. Light out is the Rebel term of skedaddle. From
the present signs of the times, I judge that as soon as
the weather admits we will have a fight here. From accounts
the enemy moved thirteen divisions from Murfreesboro a
short time ago. The weather, though, stops their movements
anxious for the conflict, I would not
care if it remained
so for some time to come. We occasionally hear cannon
on the front. It is supposed to be cavalry skirmishing.
I heard several this morning. I learn that our regiment
and the 13th are to be consolidated. I dislike it very
much, though the 13th is a good regiment, or the remainder
of one. After the consolidation it will still remain the
of our brigade, a company that formerly belonged to our
regiment, have been transferred to Forrest's and are to
be mounted. They left this morning for Franklin to join
Forrest's command. This will be news to Stoveall and Walker.
This is about all the news in camp. I never before saw
camp so dull, nothing transpiring to break the dull monotony.
I have several times wished that I had not left the pleasant
little place, Marietta, when I did. My entire trip was
gloomy and unpleasant, the trains were very much crowded.
I got a seat to Chattanooga by playing a very badly wounded
leg on the passengers. From Chattanooga I secured a double
seat, and kept it too, by the same game. I suffered a
great deal, apparently, from my wounded leg.
at Tullahoma one day. The next day I took the train for
Shelbyville, and found the conductor an old friend and
acquaintance. I got a seat
in the baggage car,
and got to Shelbyville about dark. It was snowing hard.
I had to walk about three miles to camp in mud knee deep,
and since have not been out of sight of camp, except the
day of review of our division before Joseph E. Johnston.
Not being on review, I got good sight of him. His appearance
is fine, his intellectual capacities are in prominent
features, and at once revealed to scrutinizing eyes, and
I think is equal to the times and emergencies. He says
that our corps is the most imposing he ever reviewed.
They are drilled, disciplined, and will fight.
please remember me to all my inquiring acquaintances and
friends. Tell Mr. Frazier I will write to him if ever
anything of interest transpires.
going to report for duty in the morning, unless my arm,
where I was inoculated, grows worse. The only duty we
have is to guard two conscript regiments in our brigade,
to keep them from deserting. Poor soldiers.
With great respect I remain yours truly,
JOHN H. LYNN.
CAMP NEAR CHATTANOOGA,
TENN., July 16 '63.
Morgan: My kind and esteemed friend, it may seem ungrateful
that I had not heretofore
receipt of your very kind letter of the 22d of May. The
only excuse I offer is simply this: We were then lying
at Shelbyville, and one could write nothing of interest,
and even now cannot do much better than to relate old
and stale incidents. As for the particulars of the fate
of Vicksburg, you are possibly better acquainted with
of Charleston is reported as truth, yet nothing to confirm
the report. Therefore I still have hope that the South
can yet boast of one Gibraltar. On or about the 24th of
June we were then in front of Shelbyville working on the
fortifications. About that time Col. Morgan's "Regiment
of Cavalry" moved in near the works about one-half mile
from our encampment, but from the push of work I did not
get a chance to go and see him, as I would like to have
done. On the night of the 26th we got orders to cook rations.
About sunrise on the 27th we were formed, not knowing
where we were going, to the front or rear. We struck the
pike, moved by the left flank, to the rear, in retreat.
This day was a hot, sultry one. As we passed through Shelbyville
we saw every indication of retreat. Union families were
seen peeping through windows exuberant with glee; other
families of Southern sympathy were in great distress
and gloom. I then
thought of yourself and family, feeling as if every foot
we moved would prolong your banishment from your once
pleasant and happy home. We marched all day in the rear
of the army, and night found us seven or eight miles from
Shelbyville, worn-out and sick. During the night the rain
fell in torrents, and the only shelter was trees. On the
28th we arrived at Tullahoma, cooked four days' rations
on the 29th, and moved to the front on pickets three miles
from the line of fortifications - just our brigade - the
enemy showing evidence of fight. We occasionally heard
a bullet pass. It seemed they were advancing, but slow
and cautious. On the 30th the First Kentucky Cavalry had
drawn back to our line of skirmishers, and reported the
enemy in force two hundred yards from us. We remained
thus until after sunset, when a report from a rifle in
our front, then a volley which we didn't answer, expecting
the enemy wanted to advance his lines. At dark all was
quiet as death. We laid down upon our arms with sad feelings,
thinking that the dawn of July 1st would usher us on a
field of death and carnage. About 10 o'clock we are aroused
from sleep and move to the rear, it having been ascertained
that Rosey had evaded us by the right flank, and was endeavoring
to get to the mountains before we could. We marched all
night and until noon
of the 2d. We halted at Alizonia, nothing unusual but
the heat, and a great many cases of sunstroke. The 3d,
at daylight, we move. through Winchester, stopping within
two miles of town to rest in the heat of the day. Before
we got seated the cavalry were skirmishing in Winchester.
We pushed on, got to Cowan Station at 3 or 4 o'clock,
formed line of battle, and lay without any further molestation.
The 4th day of July we made an early start over the mountains,
the enemy's cavalry still pushing us closely until we
crossed the mountain and Tennessee River. We were then
more secure, all the wagons safe in camp at Shell Mound
Springs, which is large enough to float a large boat,
and very cold. On the 5th we crossed one mountain, climbed
another, and camped on the mountain thirteen miles from
this place. On the 6th we got on the railroad, arriving
here to learn of the fall of Vicksburg. The troops do
not seem so much affected by the intelligence as would
be supposed. The consolation is: the gallant con duct
of the heroic garrison, and the hardships they underwent
before the place surrendered, and the loss the enemy sustained
there. It has cost them more than it can be worth, as
it does not insure them the free navigation of the Mississippi
River. Well, we are lying under the summit of old Look
but do not expect
to remain, as we have got work to do, and the sooner the
better for us. There is no doubt that the enemy will find
it easier to recruit since our late reverses.
Morgan, I expected Mr. Pettit or Walker to bring me some
clothes that my friend, Mrs. Glover, has made for me,
but I was disappointed. John Walker certainly forgot it.
If you will have them at the hotel at your room, a friend
of mine, Mr. Pratt, will bring them to me. He left this
morning for Atlanta. Will return Saturday, when he will
step off the train to get the package. He would not have
time to find Mrs. Glover's house. If you will attend to
this request, it will greatly oblige me. Mr. Lowe is driving
around camp in good health; Brooks "ditto." I see Lowe
occasionally; he is on some detail duty. There is not
much sickness at present among the troops, though a great
deal of playing off. I have a notion of playing rheumatism
for a few days' leave of absence. Bragg says a man is
not a good soldier unless he can play off. Tell Fannie
I have waited patiently for an answer to a letter written
last winter. I am afraid the good people of Marietta are
forgetting the situation of their beloved country. I learn
they have balls often, and are enjoying the gay frivolities
of times of peace. Well, I guess it may be all right,
as the first night
I was at home in Kentucky I passed at a ball for a few
hours, forgetting we were at war, and enjoyed myself beyond
description. Give friends, one and all, my kindest regards,
and write soon. Remember me to yourself and family.
Your true friend,
J. H. LYNN,
Company E, 154th Tennessee Regiment, T. V.
pages we give a portion of the contents of one number
of a little paper called The Vidette, which was
occasionally issued by Gen. Morgan's men while on their
rapid march. This copy was printed at Hartsville, Tenn.,
August 24, 1862; and we reproduce it here, thinking it
may be of interest to some of the old soldiers and many
of the sons of those gallant men who gave their lives
in the defense of the Southern cause.]
MORGAN'S VISIT TO GALLATIN AND THE JUNCTION
- HIS FIGHT WITH GEN. R. W. JOHNSON.
MORGAN, with a portion of his command, marched in the
direction of Gallatin, on the 19th inst., and learning
that the enemy was moving into the place he ordered Capt.
Hutchison with his company to cut them off from Nashville
by destroying the bridge, which he did.
Morgan moved early on the morning of the both to engage
the Federals, whom he thought gallant enough to meet him.
But what was our surprise to learn on reaching Gallatin
that the cowards had contented themselves with visiting
distress and misery upon the citizens of that town. These
hirelings of the North had arrested every
male citizen of the
town that could be found. The gray haired grandfathers,
fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons were torn away from
their families because they had fed, or talked with, or
seen Morgan and his men. The heartrending appeals of the
distressed ones mourning for those who were hurried in
the dead hour of night, on foot, to a distant prison,
without crime, brought tears to the eyes of many a stout
heart besides Morgan's. If Morgan stays his hand when
the invader treats our citizens thus, and tries still
to abide the rules of civilized warfare, our consolation
is that there is a God who looks deep into the heart,
who will bless the noble patriot for his forbearance,
while he will as surely curse the foul persecutors of
quiet men, women, and children. Gen. Morgan could have
swept more than one hundred and sixty of them that day
from the face of the earth; but no, he captured them.
He would not yet turn a deaf ear to their appeals, notwithstanding
that they had murdered two of our men in cold blood after
they had surrendered, and the cries of those who had appealed
in vain were still ringing in his ears. Take care, invaders!
I heard a humble minister of the gospel who had witnessed
your proceedings say that he hated you now with a bitter
Morgan pursued the enemy, who had left
about 11 o'clock
the night previous on foot, toward Nashville, skirmishing
on the right and left, killing about twenty, capturing
one hundred and sixty and a few of the stolen negroes,
and releasing fifty or more of the citizens of Gallatin.
When within nine miles of Nashvile, in an advance movement made by Company A upon
a stockade where a force of the enemy were posted, Lieut.
James A. Smith, of Company A, and Capt. Gordon E. Niles,
former editor of this paper, fell at their posts. Long
will they live in the memory of their associates in arms,
with whom they nobly battled for Southern rights. Their
monument is more imperishable than marble. Gen. Morgan,
'tis said, when a large body surrendered, exclaimed: "Why
don't you fight?" No wonder; for that was the feeling
of all: disappointment at not getting a chance at men
who would attack unarmed citizens and surrender to armed
troops. But the basest of all was Col. Heffernan's order
to them to kill all the prisoners if attacked by the Confederates.
Morgan, according to previous arrangement, moved back
with his command to Gallatin, after destroying another
bridge, more effectually cutting off the communication
between Nashville and Louisville. Early on the following
(the 21st while preparing
to leave Gallatin, our scouts and pickets brought news
of the advance of the enemy from toward Hartsville, and
soon Gen. Johnson appeared with his forces in sight of
town. Gen. Morgan moved his command out of town to meet
the enemy. (How unlike the invaders, who take shelter
when convenient!) Gen. Morgan gave the gallant Texas boys
under Maj. Gano the privilege of opening the fight with
the advance of the enemy, which they did in elegant style.
Maj. Gano led them forward, while his men poured the contents
of their trusty guns into the ranks of the enemy, driving
them back under a heavy fire. Upon the left Capts. Castle,
Bowles, Castleman, Jennings, and Lieut. White led their
companies forward in splendid style under command of Col.
Duke, spreading dismay through the right wing of the enemy's
ranks; while Capts. Desha, Breckinridge, McFarland, Jones,
and Lieut. Lea upon the right, pushing on in gallant style,
drove back the enemy's left. Gen. Morgan was seen upon
all parts of the field, his voice and presence giving
strength to his troops and weakening his foes. Col. St.
Leger Grenfell, on the right, cheered on the brave Southrons.
Maj. Gano, leading a charge across a field, had his horse
killed under him, and the brave Capt. John M. Huffman
nobly did his
duty upon every charge
until a Minie ball fractured his left arm near the shoulder,
thus disabling for a time a gallant soldier. After driving
the enemy back some three miles from the town, routing
them alternately from field and pasture, Gen. Morgan turned
back his command to look after the dead and wounded, and
after making ample preparation for the interment of the
dead and giving attention to the wounded of both friends
and foes, and learning that the enemy had formed again
some three miles from town, Gen. Morgan advanced to meet
them. Throwing Col. Duke with two companies on the right
of the pike, Maj. Morgan the left, while Maj. Gano with
four companies went forward upon the road, led by the
general in person. The enemy fled and divided. Col. Duke
followed a heavy force that rallied at Cairo and gave
battle. He charged them with his gallant braves, and I
have been informed that the firing was as heavy for a
short time on the limited field as on the fatal day at
Shiloh: but the enemy was routed, and Gen. Johnson captured.
The central division pursued another body of the enemy
to a ford on the Cumberland River, and firing upon the
rear guard killed one horse. The casualties of the day
were: In Morgan's command, 8 killed and 12 wounded; in
the enemy's ranks, 63
killed (6 since died),
about 100 wounded and 200 captured.
between the casualties of the South and North can be easily
accounted for: the patriot who fights in defense of his
country is nerved to a steady arm under any circumstances.
The subjugator, who would conquer in order to play the
despot, or fights for hire, trembles for his life. Again,
the interposition of divine aid has always been for the
DEFENDERS OF JUST RIGHTS, and never with the invader,
who battles for subjugation. My firm conviction is that
before the South is subjugated there will be none left
in the North but women and children. The North could stop
the war; the South can continue it as long as the North
wishes. Gen. Morgan is here and will remain as long as
he chooses, and when he leaves he will take the road to
the place of his destination.
HEADQUARTERS MORGAN 'S BRIGADE,
HARTSVILLE, TENN., Aug. 22, 1862.
officer in command calls the attention of all officers
and men to the Proclamation issued this day. At the same
time he desires to place upon record in Brigade Orders
his high sense of
the gallantry and
devotion shown by all ranks during the two arduous days
of service. Soldiers, your commanding officer is proud
of you, and thanks you from his heart.
commanding officer having thought it to be to the interest
of the service that a corps of guides or scouts should
be organized for the more regular and efficient discharge
of this most important duty, has ordered that a corps
of sixteen men be raised from the several companies under
his command, to be commanded by Lieut. Brady, of Company
M, who will select the men most suitable for the service,
and present them to the acting brigade general for his
Brady is hereby withdrawn from Company M, and appointed
chief of this newly raised corps, with rank of second
officers are requested for the future to grant no passes
or leave of absence except to such soldiers as exhibit
their arms in perfect order. The safety of the brigade
may often depend upon the state of its arms, and too much
attention cannot be paid by regimental officers to this
most important duty.
Captain of the Day.
By order of G. St. L. Grenfell.
from Nashville show that Johnson's men were picked, and
that they have been a month picking and drilling men and
horses to take Morgan. Send your refuse next time; your
picked men fail.
REPORT from Nashville last night confirms the statement
that Bragg has whipped Buell and captured most of his
forces, and that Nelson is trying to find his way out
from Nashville with two thousand infantry and two hundred
men, en route for Gallatin, said: "Morgan's
men can destroy bridges, but they can't stand fire."
men, en route for the guardhouse, said:
"Johnson was a fool for attacking Morgan."
Northern generals have come to the conclusion that their
troops are giving their parole to get out of service.
You need not talk any more about volunteers when you can't
keep those you already have in the field according to
your own showing, and if you force back the paroled soldiers
as you threaten to
do, you force them to certain death if captured. So think
twice before you act on that.
the Southern women think every man good-looking that stands
up nobly for his rights. Won't Morgan have a pretty lot
of boys? They improve every trip. We heard a lady complimenting
St. Leger. Some of the rest of us will come in soon for
were pleased to see Gen. Forrest yesterday. He looks to
be in the enjoyment of excellent health, and happy as
you could expect so noble a patriot, enjoying the good
news that crowds upon us from every quarter. I thought
as I looked upon the manly forms of Forrest and Morgan
that nothing could excel that picture except the groups,
everywhere to be seen, of our lovely countrywomen. They
excel all that the universe contains. Untiring in their
efforts, beautifully flushed with the rosy tinge inspired
by patriotic zeal, their warm hearts pouring out to God
unceasing prayers for our success, O what can equal the
women of the South? They are the noblest works of God.
I must leave this dull sanctum to look once more upon
HEADQUARTERS MORGAN 'S REGIMENT,
HARTSVILLE, August 22, 1862.
To Gen. Cooper, Adjutant General, Richmond.
I beg to confirm my dispatch of the 20th inst., announcing
the result of yesterday's expedition.
consisted of my own regiment (seven hundred strong) and
a squadron of Texas Rangers, numbering about one hundred
men, that returned that day worn-out to Gallatin.
o'clock P.M. I received information from one of my friendly
scouts that the enemy's cavalry was encamped on the roadside
between Castalian Springs and Hartsville, a distance of
only twelve miles from my camp. Judging from the fact
that they had halted by the roadside, I concluded that
they intended to march at night or possibly early in the
morning, and I made my preparations accordingly, dispatching
scouts upon whom I could depend to bring me positive information
as to the enemy's movements.
my column was on the move, and as the advanced guard reached
the head of the town my pickets came galloping in, followed
by my principal scout, who reported that he was closely
pursued by a large body of cavalry. Not wishing, on account
of the inhabitants, to make
Gallatin the scene
of our contest, I advanced my column, and was greeted
on reaching the Hartsville pike by a heavy fire from that
direction. I dismounted two leading companies to fight,
and threw them into the woods on the left of the road.
The enemy increased the fire, and I gradually had my whole
began at 6:30 o'clock and was maintained without much
advantage on either side - the enemy having, perhaps,
rather the best of it at first - until about 8:30 o'clock,
when they began to fall back, and my men to redouble their
efforts. At 9:30 o'clock I had driven them four miles,
and was preparing for a final charge, when a flag of truce
was brought proposing an armistice, in order to bury their
dead. My reply was, that I could entertain no proposition
except unconditional surrender.
then that the troops were commanded by Brig. Gen. Johnson.
During the parley, the enemy had formed into line of battle,
and were evidently ready to defend themselves from any
my forces into three divisions, leading one myself in
the direction which I thought Gen. Johnson had taken.
Maj. Morgan had five companies under his orders on my
left. Lieut. Col.
Duke, on my right,
had three companies and his advanced guard.
delay was occasioned by the nonarrival of my gallant Texas
Rangers, who formed part of the body under my own immediate
orders. They had been separated from their horses during
the preceding fight, and had not been able to recover
them in time to come to the front. On their arrival, we
marched on in the direction of the enemy, and Col. Duke's
Division coming within sight, advanced at a canter and
opened fire. Gen. Johnson's forces, being on a good pike,
retreated for some time faster than my men, who were on
difficult ground, could follow; but after a pursuit of
some two miles they were overtaken and compelled to fight.
They were dismounted and formed behind their horses. The
position that they had selected was a very good one, especially
as they considerably outnumbered Col. Duke's force, which
was the only one opposed to them, Maj
Morgan and my own attachment in the eagerness of pursuit
having taken too far to the left.
Duke reports that on perceiving that the enemy had halted,
he formed his three companies and the advanced guard into
columns of squadrons, reserving the regular distances
betwixt each so as to be able to form into line at command
attack. This was
done with admirable precision and coolness by his men,
and nothing could exceed their gallantry.
was formed under the brow of a hill, and my men were drawn
up above them, so that their fire told with effect on
my line, whilst that of the attacking party went over
their heads. After a very sharp engagement of about fifteen
minutes they broke and ran.
Johnson, his adjutant general, Capt. Turner, Maj. Winfrey,
and a number of privates were captured, but the main body
escaped to the hills through the woods and high corn,
making for the Cumberland River.
ended an action in which my command, not exceeding seven
hundred men (one whole company being in the rear with
prisoners), succeeded in defeating a brigade of twelve
hundred chosen cavalry sent by Gen. Buell expressly to
take me or drive me out of Tennessee, killing and wounding
some one hundred and eighty, and taking two hundred prisoners,
including the brigadier general commanding, and the greater
part of the regimental officers.
in both actions amounted to five killed, eighteen wounded,
and two missing. Amongst the wounded was Capt. Huffman,
who had his
arm shattered by
a ball whilst leading gallantly on his brave Texas Rangers,
a small body of men commanded by Maj. Gano, of whom I
cannot speak too highly, as they have distinguished themselves
ever since they joined my command, not only by their bravery,
but by their good, soldier-like conduct.
my officers and men my best acknowledgments are due. Nothing
but hard fighting carried them through.
personal staff I am deeply indebted. Col. St. Leger acting
adjutant general, ably supported me; Capt. Llewellen,
my quartermaster, and Capt. Green Roberts, who acted as
my aide-de-camp, were most active and fearless in carrying
my orders, and the captains of companies were cool and
collected in the performance of them.
Col. Duke led on his regiment, if possible, with more
than his usual gallantry, and contributed by the confidence
with which he has inspired his men to insure the success
of the day.
Col. Duke makes particular mention of the cool and determined
manner in which Lieut. Rogers, commanding advanced guard,
Capts. Hutchinson, Castle, and Lieut. White, respectively
commanding the three companies composing his
in fact, the conduct of both officers and men deserves
the highest praise.
every assistance from the patriotism and zeal of the neighboring
citizens, amongst whom Maj. Duffey and Capt. R. A. Bennet
also to report that I have received a dispatch from Gen.
Forrest stating that he has encamped within eight miles
of me with a reŽnforcement of eight hundred men, but no
artillery. The want of this arm cripples my movements
and prevents my advance with that certainty of effect
which a battery would afford.
are daily and hourly arriving. The population seems at
last to be thoroughly aroused, and to be determined on
shortly, general, to be able to report further successes;
and rest assured that no exertion on my part shall be
wanting, and that no sacrifices on that of my officers
and men will prevent our giving as good an account of
the enemy as our small numbers will admit of.
I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, general,
your most obedient servant,
JOHN H. MORGAN,
Colonel Commanding Cavalry, C. S. A.
P. S. - This morning I received positive information
as to Gen. Nelson's
intentions and movements. He is retreating from Nashville
to reŽnforce Bowling Green, at the head of fifteen hundred
infantry, two hundred cavalry, and twelve cannon. It is
evident that the intention of the Federals is to attempt
the defense of the line at Bowling Green and Lebanon.
J. H. M.
LOCKE'S HOTEL Aug. 19, 1862.
having claims against the quartermaster are notified to
present them for settlement immediately.
D. H. LLEWELLYN,
Quartermaster, C. S. A.
HARTSVILLE, August 22,1862.
having property in their possession captured from the
enemy will deliver it to me at Locke's hotel.
D. H. LLEWELLYN,
Assistant Quartermaster, C. S. A.
HEADQUARTERS MORGAN'S BRIGADE,
HARTSVILLE, August 22, 1862.
Your gallant bearing during the last
two days will not
only be inscribed in the history of the country and the
annals of this war, but is engraven deeply in my heart.
zeal and devotion on the 20th at the attack of the trestlework
at Saundersville, and of the Springfield Junction stockade,
your heroism during the two hard fights of yesterday have
placed you high on the list of those patriots who are
now in arms for our Southern rights.
cut off betwixt Gallatin and Nashville, a body of three
hundred infantry totally cut up or taken prisoners, the
liberation of those kind friends arrested by our revengeful
foes for no other reason than their compassionate care
of our sick and wounded, would have been laurels sufficient
for your brows. But soldiers, the utter annihilation of
Gen. Johnson's brigade, composed of twenty-four picked
companies of regulars, and sent on purpose to take us,
raises your reputation as soldiers, and strikes fear into
the craven hearts of your enemies. Gen. Johnson and his
staff, with two hundred men, taken prisoners, sixty- four
killed and one hundred wounded, attests the resistance
made, and bears testimony to your valor.
victories have not been achieved without loss. We have
to mourn some brave and dear comrades. Their names will
remain in our
breasts; their fame
outlives them. They died in defense of a good cause. They
died, like gallant soldiers, with their front to the foe.
and men, your conduct makes me proud to command you. Fight
always as you fought yesterday, and you are invincible.
JOHN H. MORGAN,
Colonel Commanding Cavalry.