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Sad Tragedy on
By Col. D.
We were hanging to the rear of
Sherman's army, pretty closely, as
le was moving up the Salkehatchie
river. and had halted his rear columns
at a bridge, I have forgotten the name
rw. It was the first crossing after
leaving the railroad bridge. The river
-was on a rampage and it is impossible
to cross any of the low country
streams at other than regular cross
ings. The swamps being wide, are al
ways causewayed at the bridges. Our
army, of course, had torn up these
causewavs, but the Yankees :had a
Tvay of iaying them down or clearing
oDstructions as fast as ours could
tear them up or place them in the
way. But as this was the only cross
ing for miles up and down the river,
it necessarily caused delay to the
Not being positive which way the
Yankees were going, whether back
towards Charleston or straight a
head to Columbia, we had special
orders to watch Sherman closely, and
report his movements daily.
On account of the condition of the
river, it was impossible to get on his
front, so we were pressing up near
him, in the hope that by some good
opportunity we might cross the
bridge before it was destroyed. We
had been in the swamp all day, dodg
ing about, avoiding scouting parties,
and watching the road the best we
could. While we were in the swamp, a
stranger dressed in Confederate uni
form rode up to us, with as little con
cern as if we had been old friends.
He claimed to be a Texan, saying that
while scouting in Georgia he was cut
off from his command and since had
been kocking about on his own ac
count, andhearing I was leading a
seouting party on the west side of the
river, he determined to join me. Be
ing told at our camp that we had
passed over the day before, and were
no doubt somewhere in the swamp on
Sherman's flank, he rode in the raging
stream and swam across and began
How he ever found our whereabouts
in that tangled morass and water,
with enemies on every side, Heaven
only knows. He was a scout pure
and simple, an expert in tracking, but
not our kind of a man. He disliked
taking any risks a.nd avoided the eta
emy as he would the plague. In
wvatc.hing the enemy from a distance,
&r in concealment, and giving timely
information, he probably was a sue
cess. but 'he was too cautious for our
Late in the evening we came out on
the main road, and started for Sher
man 's rear-guard. At the first house
we came to wye caught a Yankee, who
ihad had some trouble with the inmates
but what it was I never knew. The
family consisted of a very old man,
this wife, and widow:ed daughter,
witen a child or two. What 'he had
done or said, we didn't ask, for the
poor devil was too frightened to tell
the truth, and the old man was in a
towering rage, denouncing all the
Union soldiers with great vehemence,
and this one in particula-r. I rather
suspeeted he had insulted his daugh
ter.'We took tue prisoner up the road
a short distance. and were consulting
as to t'he best way to be rid oft him.
There was a small squadron of our
eavalry in our rear, and wve sometimes
turned our p)riso?'ers over to the caval
ry. as they were always near us. The
Texan volunteered to take him back
and turn him over, as he had had a
hand in his capture. But this made
us suspicious. He had no way to iden
tify 'himfself, only by his word; he
might be a Yankee spy or a deserter,
anti it he. choSe, he could ruin us.
j-ftwever, I think he was all right,
but our talk and actions convinced
him he was in the wrong company, so
he wished to gret free from us.
--Turniing a prisonler over to the
cavar'' was a slang phrase our comn
exr anlation of \'hat became of them.
We really intended to send our
ri.ne:- back to the cavalry, and if
they would not accept him, why, then,
do with him as circumstances pointed
the way. We east lots to see who was
to ace<ompany him back, and it fell
to the lot of a brave soldier from this
county, one who has children and
randehildren -here, so I will not men
is namne. While all were stand
Lfthe road, it beCing (lark by this
hetf! man o was to take him
thvankee sprang at the man with
rhe pistol, grabbed it with both hands,
and turned it back on the man holding
it, just as a wild animal at bay. The
pistol being cocked, and finger on
trigger, the wreneh backward caused
it to explode, the ball penetrating the
breast of our soldier. Then like a
flash. the Yankee sprang away for the
swamp. We all opened on him with
our pistols, but he continued to run
like a frightened deer. It being dai-k
and we in such a hurry to shoot, all
missed him bui one, and he not more
than ten yards distant. Whatever
eventually became of him we never
knew. At a farm house we were told
a Yankee soldier had come in that
'night, with a desperate wound in his
jaw, wanting bandages and some
clean clothing. He left and nothing
more was ever heard of him. We car
ried our man back to the house at
which we had captured the Yankee,
and there he died that night.
The Texan did not like the affair
by any means. He told us he was a
scout, not a bushwhacker and wished
to leave us. But we could not allow
this just then; it was too much risk
to turn a doubtful character loose,
with a wounded prisoner at large.
Next morning we continued up the
road cautiously and about two miles
from the house, at which we had bur
ied our comrade, we heard a horse
galloping up the road in our diree
tion. All dropped out in the bushes
in a moment and then to our great
joy and astonishment Lieut. Hugh L.
Farley, of our regiment, rode up. He
was exceedingly glad to meet with us,
having been hpnting us for a day or
two. Hearing of us at the house of
the tragedy, he rode rapidly to over
take us. Hugh was one of my best
all-around friends in the whole army,
and as game as the gamest. His com
pany was right, and mine left color
company during the whole service,
and we had come to look upon each
other as brothers. He became adju
ta.nt and inspector general of South
Carolina, as well as Stat, historian
after the war. Before he came to us,
'e had been on detached tservice. wit.h
a new organization. But this being
disbanded, he wished to throw his lot
in wit-h us, and we were proud he had
made that choice.
We travelled on up the road, in
great good humor, now having the
lionahearted and relentless Hugh with
us, still keeping a cautious look-out.
A house up on the hill to our left
seemed deserted, yet the front door
stood open, and looked suspicious.
Two of our men crept to the house to
investigate, then hearing a noise up
stairs went in, and brought out one of
the most abandoned looking wretches
I ever saw. He was loaded down with
wori.iless plunder he had secured in
the house and, as usual, was frighten
ed to death at being caught. He told
us that three of his companions had
gone down to the spring house to see
what chanee there would be to get
some milk or something to eat. It is
the stragglers who get the booty, for
soldiers mare'hing in ranks are not al
lowed to leave their command. Hugh
and I guarded the prisoner, while the
other men scattered on either side of
the path leading to tihe spring and
elosed in uon those at the spring.
Our party took the marauders with
out anly trouble and brought them
back to tge one Hugh and I were
guarding. One of them had an axe
tnder is arm,. which I suppose lhe
had picked up in the yard. but for
what we couldn't tell, unless to break
in a door when found locked. They
were a hard looking lot, inoffensive
in appearance, but they began to
plead for their lives like all of those
*aught robbing. \\ !.ad about conl
eluded to take them back. turn them
over to tile cavalry, then make oulr
way thirough the swvamp, swim- the
Salkehiatchie ad get in front of
This5 wais brought about partly by
thlen in ., a well a1. IiurselVes
want ed food. We con tillue1 down tile
path, t hroIughl Seine Scrubby) bushes,
iowadd th ilainl roaZd, back towarids
the cavalry. Whiile mnoving slowly
down thle path, one of tile p)risoners
told us there was a vanguard picket
about tive hundred yards up a settle
nren1t road, that led off from t'he main
road, not far above us. What was his
idea or motive in telling us this,
none of us knows to this day. It
seemued so strange that lhe shIluld put
us On our Har~1d th at we didi not be
to keep our vlry off from the
wI I C I p I j ii oarti I i o gia rd ag(ai Ist
ambush and such men as ourselves,
but we could not understand why
the country should be picketed on the
side where Sherman knew well there
was no army. Farley and I agreed to
ride up the road to see what was in
the story and learn if the road was
really picketed or not. If it was. it
would put an enemy in our rear,
something not to be thought of. Inas
much as we had determined to swim
the river to scout the other side, we
cared nothing about the prisoners and
intended to turn thei loose when once
we were out of danger. Farley was
riding a powerful black charger and
I. a wiry little strawberry roan I had
captured a few days before.
Abot two hundred yards up the
road from the -house we came to a set
tlement road sure enough, turning to
the left just a- the Yankee had told
us and up this we turned. It was a
dull road with limbs and bushes on
either side and we did not apprehend
the least danger. In fact. Farley re
marked "those blamed Yankees are
lying, they had some purpose in
throwing us off the track." Riding
slowly up the hill, thinking if we were
hailed, to turn and make our escape,
we never once dreamed of pursuit.
Then there would be little likelihood
of being shot in that narrow bushy
road. Just as we were about to rise on
the crest of the hill, riding up a long
incline, very steep nea.r the top, we
came upon a dozen or more Yankee
horsemen, lolling about on the right
hand side of the road, lholding the
bridle reins in their 'hands. About
forty yards beyond the crest, were
three videttes, sitting t1h:eir horses,
apparently watching the other way.
To say merely there was excitement
when we rode up, would be expressing
the situation mildly.
I do not know whether Hugh and I
or the Yankees. were worse frighten
ed. but they sprang to t'heir feet and
velled. -Surrender, Surrender,' but
we turned in an instant and started
down the road like the wind. The
three videttes. hearing the racket and
seing our disappearing heads going
through the bushes, made for us, fir
ing as they came. Hugh called to me
in front to lie low on my horse and
give him rein, but tis was a useless
admonition, for I was putting the
rowels into little Strawberry 's roan
flanks. Then Hugh gave a wild yell
to warn our men to be on their guard,
while our horses pulled upon their
bits and as we rushed headlong down
that steep incline, the hot breath
coming like fog from their nostrils,
Farley, with a sarcastic banter, would
call back at t'he onrushing enemy,
"Come on, come on,-you.'' It was
purely dare-devil in him to fire back,
as it was utterly impossible to hit any
one, while riding at such speed. even
if the way wa.s clear.
In the flash of the instant we turn
ed into the main road and I called at
the top of my voice "'Flushed,'' even
before I saw our men, but they under
stood the word and knew the enemy
were upon us. They knew, too, that
every man must take care of 'himself.
and make for the swamp. Our tirst
rush being down a steep hill with
limbs brushing us on either side, pre
vented the enemy from firing upon us
with their carbines, but when we
turned into a smooth stretch of tile
main thoroughfare, with not'hing to
obstruct the vista, they stopped and
brought their carbines into play.
These could kill for a thousand yards
easily. Our hlorses needled no spur or
encourageCment and the way the sho-w
ers of sanld were falling behind us, as
their yighosdug into t!he soft
soil of the road, told us plainly we
were p)ut ting distance rapidly betw~een
u and our foe.
Just as,we came in sight ofI the men.
I called out again "flushed'' but
they, not knowing perhaps what to do
with the .prisoners, did nothing. I
tried to make them understand to
turn the prisoners loose and ride for
the swamp. Now, here was a tragedy
enacted, t'hat caused us all regrets,
it was so whbolly uncalled for, and
could have been 3o easily avoided.
As I have said,. one of the prisoners
had( anl axe under his arm. The man,
whose namre I have said I would never
mnition., for his "blood-lust'' seeing
us comling in suc'h haste, and ill the
exciemiemi ofth menQ h1(11 aving the
prV5~isoers ini etar1ie, rech'ed downVI,
pulled thIe axe from the prisoner's
arm. and. before any one was aware
of hiis Iitnions. they were all four
dead oin the ground. It was no0 lime
then for remonstrance, all of us mak
ing for the great wooded morass.
across the road, where we were soon
lost to our pursuer's.
In the mix-up we lost the Texan
and niever heard of him again. I think
ie was all riIlit, but sul scenes as
he 1;ad wit iiessed ini lile last t wenty~
Why Ihe man dide el ded. ('C-1 ld
perCha s. it bein12 o t h~Ile impjiulse itf
1 tthe moent. w iih t%ie sudden t hirist
fr hi enmy's blood, which lhe
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thought he was about to lose. There opposite shore and then rode down the
i such a thing as '"wander-lust,'' stream, meeting a part of our army on
where a man. who has spent years in its way to the Edisto.
travelling in strange countries and j i_____________
exciting surroundings and then settles She Was Too Quick.
down to a quiet life, will 'hear a call There were three at t.he little table
o the svild upon him, a yearning fo in the cale. a lady and two men.
strang2e lands again. It is the same Suddenly the electrie lig'hts went
with some men. who have lived amid out, and the lady, quickly and noise
scenes of -death and bloodshed for a lesslv. drew back.
log~ time; there will come moments An instant later there was the
of a desire to kill. This man had an smack of a compound kiss. As the
only sister living in New Orleans at electric lights went up each man was
the time and the older men know what seen smiling complaisantly.
that meant, when, by -an order of Gen. "I thought I heard a kiss,'' said
B. F. Butler, federal commander of the lady. "but nobody kissed me.''
tihe Southern metropolis, the women Then the men suddenly glared at
who (lid not yield to the solicitations each other. and flushed and looked
nd salutations of a brutal soldiery, painfumly sheepish-Ceveland Plair
Iwere to be considered a.s "'abanidoned
woe plying1d' H their vocations.
WAe reachedi a point ait the~ riVer
were thecre wereC several Jarere i EETR-FASa
lands. and the river very wi<d n I~TI .Sa
deep. WeO swamH our1 hoerses fromf SUMMEvIR BROS. CO.
.02in toilnd, until we reached the
The NEW SUN No. 2
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A GRAND OPPORTUNITY
To See The Pacific Coast And The
The best and most inexpensive way
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Western country this summer. and
take in the Alaska-Yukon Exposition
opened June 1st, is to "Go as you
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Southern Railway, Danville, Ky., to
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Round Trip Railroadi Rates.
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ected and returning via any ticketing
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SVia Portland, Seattle and 'San
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turning one way vii. Portland and
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Durham .. ........99.75 I
SSpartan(burg .... ....97.45
Columbia ....... ...9890
O'rangeburg ...... ...98.20
Greenwood .. .....- 6.6.5
Rock Hill .. .... ...98.35
Anhderson ......... 96.10
Salisbury ......... 99.75
Charlotte ......... 99.5
Charleston .. .......p9.75
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*Rates quoted f:em other ponts on
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