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The National tribune. (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, August 06, 1885, Image 1

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I VOL. IY-N0. 52 -WHOLE ffO. 208;
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End of the Battle of Bentonville, North
Carolina. .
Camping in the Turpentine
The Writer Pays His Respects
To His Comrades.
4TU V. S. INF.
corYmoiiT, 18S5.
Mounting my horse and taking a staff offi
cer I started out into the thick woods toward
the former front and to the right of the road
bo often referred to in search of Milcs's Bri
gade. In riding through this woods I came
to a skirmish-line of men that I assumed to
he Federals, and passed through it. The men
were not more than six yards apart They
paid no attention to me. They stood at " or
der arms," with eyes to the front. After hav
ing passed through the line I looked back
ward at these men, and it seemed to me that
their clothing was
Being convinced that they were Confeder
ates, I decided to run another great risk by
riding through their line again, as I would
soon expect to strike their main line if I
continued to ride forward. I rode hack and
passed very near one of these skirmishers
and scanned him closely. He paid no atten
tion to me. Having passed through this line
I met Gen. Davis and his staff, and told him
that he was riding into the rebel lines. He
replied in. language emphatic, if not polite,
that he was not I repeated the warning,
and he then saw that he was mistaken. He
directed an officer of his staff to call CoL
Cogswell's Massachusetts regiment, then near
at hand, to fire into this line of Confederates.
This was done very quickly, and the latter
disappeared as suddenly, excepting those
who fell under the fire. One poor fellow I
saw, as he reclined against a tree, trying, ap
parently, to utter a dying message to some
loved one at home. The conduct of this line
of Confederates has always been a mystery
to me. They acted as if they had resolved
never to fire another shot in the war believ
ing that it "was no longer justifiable; or they
may have been waiting to be captured. But
by standing at "attention" and neither
shooting or speaking, when Federal officers
were crossing their lines and almost riding
over them, was inexplicable. "Whatever their
motives, I again had occasion to feel grateful
for their forbearance, for I was certainly at
their mercy and could have been killed
without having the least chance to resist.
I failed to find Miles's Brigade, but in
some way they succeeded in finding the
other brigades of the divisions that night.
For my division the day had been one of
most arduous labors, constant watchfulness,
frequent assaults and repulses, to he closed
by being overwhelmed by superior forces
that is, for the First and Third Brigades.
The Second Brigade lost heavily in its as
sault, but was ordered back by Col. Buell
without authority. But the division, by
holding the enemy in check nearly all day,
had enabled Morgan's Division and the
Twentieth Corps to come on the battleground
and take up good positions for defense with
perfect deliberation, and had, therefore, in all
probability, enabled Gen. Slocum to suc
cessfully resist the bold and skillful assaults
of Gen. Johnston's army. It is but just to
Maj.-Gen. H. W. Slocum to give him credit
in managing his defense against Johnston's
attack. Though all official documents and
reports relating to this battle have never
been published, I have reason to believe
that my division never received the credit
to which it was entitled for its conduct in
the battle of Bentonville. It is to be hoped
that when all shall have been made public
some one will be alive to correct the errors.
I received a note from Gen. Slocum shortly
after the battle expressing his entire satis
faction with my conduct and that of my
division during the battle, but it has dis
appeared. Slocum's messenger overtook Sherman be
fore night of March 19. (See his Memoirs,
page 303.) He ordered the Fifteenth Corps
at once towards Bentonville. Hazen's Di
vision arrived late that night On the 20th,
early, the Fifteenth Corps approached a line
of rebel earthworks near Bentonville. Gen.
C. E. Woods was in advance with his di
vision. During the 20th two divisions of
the Seventeenth Corps arrived. Gen. How
ard passed the day in deploying and getting
into position. Gen. Johnston's army on the
20th was in two lines, coming to a point on
the Averysboro and Bentonville road and
diverging so as to embrace Bentonville be
tween them. Slocum's wing faced one of
these lines, and Howard's the other. There
was no fighting of any great consequence on
the 20th. On the 21st Gen. J. A. Mower,
commanding a division of the Seventeenth
Corps, made an attack on the enemy's line,
broke it, and was advancing towards a bridge
over Mill Creek, which was essential to
Johnston's safety in the event of his being
called on to retreat Gen. Sherman did not
desire to push the fighting then, and instead
of supporting Mower ordered him back, at
the same time ordering an attack by a skirmish-line
along the whole rebel front in
order to help Mower in retiring. It is al
most certain that Johnston's army would
have been crushed and captured there on
the 21st if a general attack had been made
by Sherman. But he preferred waiting till
ke could form a junction with Terry and
Schofield, whose forces were at Faison's
Depot and Goldsboro, less than 25 miles dis
tant "All's well that ends well," and it was
perhaps just as well to have received John
ston's surrender at Raleigh some weeks later
as at Bentonville on the 21st of March. Still
uhose of Sherman's army who fought on
(March 19 would have enjoyed the capture of
the rebel army at Bentonville. It is prob
able that the right wing, too, which fought
on the 21st, would have preferred to have
destroyed or captured Johnston there at
Bentonville. This was the
The killed on the 19th of March were 180;
the wonnded, 1,220 ; missing, 515. On the
20th Bix were killed, 90 wounded, 31 miss
ing. On the 21st 37 were killed, 157 wound
ed, 107 missing. Total, 223 killed, 1,467
wounded, G53 missing. Aggregate loss, 2,313.
These figures show that the heavy fight
ing and consequent loss was on the 19h,
wlien Slocum's wing was fighting. I think
the official reports will show that the great
eat losses in killed and wounded were in my
division (the First Division, Fourteenth
Corps), the advance-guard of the left wing.
Gen. Johnston retreated, on the night of
the 21st, over Mill Creek. Sherman's army
started on to Goldsboro on the 22d, and on
the 23d arrived there and formed a junction
with Schofield, who had brought the Twenty
third Corps east from Tennessee; and with
Gen. A. H. Terry, who, after his brilliant
capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, had
marched to Faison's Depot and joined Sher
man. Thus the great march was completed.
The distance from Savannah to Goldsboro
is 425 miles. Five great navigable rivers
were crossed on the line of march viz., the
Edisto, Broad, Catawba, Pedee, and Cape
Fear. There we.re other streams that re
quired pontoon or other temporary bridges.
It was in the rainy season, when the roads
were almost at every point impassable with
out corduroying. "We found no friendly aid
among the inhabitants along the route.
"When sometimes forage was abundant, the
spirit of deviltry among some of our men
prompted them to set fire to it On one oc
casion my division halted to go into camp
at a fine old place near Winnsboro. There
were cribs full of corn, over which I imme
diately placed a guard with orders to protect
it for the use of our army. A cavalryman,
from Kilpatrick's command, went to the
crib in order to get corn for his horse. The
sentinel refused to let him have it without
orders from higher authority; whereupon
the rascal passed around to the rear of the
building, lighted a match, placed it in the
dry hocks of the corn, through a crevice.
In a very few minutes the corn and building
were on fire. It communicated to the man
sion. All was destroyed but the land. It
was in Rockingham and adjoining Counties,
North Carolina, that the great pine forests
were. The art of gathering gum from these
trees was for the fiist time learned by us.
Fer'ful fires raged through these forests at
sonu points, destroying vast quantities of
fine pine timber, and rosin already in store
houses. On one occasion it was far in the
night when I reached camp, the spot having
been designated by Gen. Davis. On ap
proaching it at night I saw that one or two
great pine trees lying on the ground were
still burning; that all the standing trees
were blackened by the fire that had but
partially died or burned out The ground
was black in consequence of the burning of
pine needles and other leaves. Some of our
men were already on the ground and gath
ering limbs of fallen trees for cooking fires.
The flickering flames from the burning
trunks threw a
and forms as they moved about among the
standing but charred trees. Their faces
were black, too. Upon getting into camp
and approaching a fire I observed that all
the faces around me were blackened. I
inquired about my own face, and was told
it was black, too. This was the result of
passing for miles through a dense smoke
arising from burning pine, pitch, tar, turpen
tine and resin. On the same day still more
singular phenomenon presented itself. Near a
little creek was a very tall wooden building,
resembling a small elevator. It had been
filled with rosin. The rosin and, of course,
the building had taken fire, the rosin was
melted, aud flowed down in a running
stream six or eight feet wide across the road,
compelling us to turn out of the beaten
It was in Rockingham County, too, that
Gen. Slocum desired to find a native guide
through the pine forests to Goldsboro. I
succeeded in finding a deserter from a North
Carolina regiment one John Stagdon who
consented to serve in that capacity. Slocum
had a map of the State, and was tracing out
the roads and studying tneir courses with
the view of giving directions to corps com
manders for their march. On oneof the roads
was marked down a house called "Bill
-j ' -jg v-
Jacobs's." Slocum asked the guide the ques
tion, "Do you know the road to Bill
Jacobs's? " "Oh, yes, I know the road. I
have been there. But I doubt if you will
find Bill Jacobs at home. He don't stay at
home much, 'specially at night. He ain't
considered a good Southern man. In fact,
it is dangerous to Bill Jacobs to stay at
home. Bill Jacobs is a nigger." Slocum
had heard enough, and saw that his guide
was laboring under delusion. He quietly
remarked to him: "My friend, this army
is not after Bill Jacobs." The guide was
surprised to learn this. To soothe his feel
ings I afterwards told him that Gen. Slocum
only wished to follow a road that passed by
Jacobs's house, and possibly to camp there.
In due time we arrived at the veritable
" Bill Jacobs's " whose name was on the map,
and I had the pleasure of making his ac
quaintance. He was by vocation a farmer
on a small scale. A bright and active mulatto,
he seemed to be a leader in a settlement of
people known in that State as " free men of
color." All his neighbors for a mile or two
around were reported to me to be negroes,
or people having negro blood. They consti
tuted a community by themselves. Jacobs
manifested great interest in the question of
future Government for North Carolina; that
is, whether it would be governed by the
people of the State, or by the United States.
He very emphatically desired that the people
of North Carolina should be governed by
the United States after the war was over.
No one then seemed to doubt that the war
was practically over, and the Union practi
cally victorious. Poor Stagdon only desired
that, when the war .was over, there would
be a Government that would
to the people of North Carolina. He was
not particular about forms. He asked my
opinion on this point I told him I thought
the United States Government would see
that the people didn't starve, and would
issue rations till they had had time to raise
food for themselves.
And now I close my narrative. I only re
gret that I could not say something express
ive of my kindness and fraternal affection
for every officer and man that I had the
honor to command. More especially would
I have been gratified to write of all officers
who served as members of my staff, and
all men who acted as escorts or orderlies
during those long years of hardships and
dangers. As I have written without any
records to refresh my memory or remind me
of events and incidents, I have necessarily
omitted to mention many persons aud many
circumstances that I would gladly have re
called to mind. I have occasionally referred
to Van Home's History of the Army of the
Cumberland and to Gen. Sherman's Memoirs
for a date, but liave not intended to be par
ticular about dates generally, as it was my
wish to relate in conversational style what I
actually remembered of events in my own
military career.
When I have time I shall endeavor to
correct all errors, and to publish the narra
tive in book form.
It is a gratifying fact that many kind let
ters have been received from comrades in
the late civil war in reference to these recol
lections. It is also gratifying to find men
wherever I go now prosperous and happy
who were my comrades in the marches and
battles described. As examples, I may men
tion the fact that the gentleman who built
and now owns the building in Omaha now
occupied in part as the Headquarters of the
Department of the Platte, was an occasional
orderly of mine during the war. He con
ducts a large business in that part of the
building not rented to the Government I
refer to Mr. A. L. Strong, once a private in
Co. B, 3Gth 111. M't'd Inf.
Among the successful porcelain manufac
turers at East Liverpool, O., is Win. H. Surles,
one of the privates of the 2d Ohio, who was
an orderly with me on the campaign to At
lanta. For meritorious conduct he was rec
ommended to Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary
of War, for a cadetship at the United States
Military Academy at West Point This rec
ommendation was made by Col. A. G. Mc
Cook, myself, Gen. Geo. H. Thomas and
others. This letter of recommendation was
sent by mail, which was captured by Gen.
John II. Morgan's command. A copy of the
letter was made and sent to Mr. Surles,
whether by Morgan's orders or not I cannot
On our arrival at Goldaboxo it was my
misfortune to fall seriously sick. My physi
cian advised my leaving the field for a mouth.
On Surgeon's certificate of disability I ob
tained leave of absence for 30 days. This
severed my connection with Sherman's army.
I never served with it again.
The end.
Jack Follibud (who forgets whore she is
from) : " Holl has no terror for me, Miss Bea
con. I havo lived in Boston."
Tom Anderson and the Great Con
Conduct of Col.
His "Wife Refuses to Believe in
the Report.
Chapter IV.
"The next morning the march was re
sumed at an early hour. The whole army
was in motion on different roads, with the
general understanding that the command
would close in line around the west side of
the fortress that afternoon. The weather be
ing very disagreeable for marching, there
was delay on the roads, but, finally, late in
the afternoon the army commenced closing
in and forming 'its line. The center was
commanded by Gen. Smote ; the left, resting
north, on the river, commanded by Gen.
Waterberry, and the right, resting on an
almost impassable slough connecting with
the river, commanded by Gen. McGovern. In
moving into position the place was found to
be well protected by a heavy abatis and
chevaux-de-frise, from point to point, above
and below the fortress. This seemed impas
sable, and the enemy, seeing our army closing
in around them, kept up a terrible fire on
our advancing columns, causing us very
severe loss in getting into position. It was
at a late hour in the night (when our lines
were only partially formed) that our army
rested, as best they could, in the snow and
sleet; but not a murmur-was heard. The next
morning our lines were advanced to the front
and the impediments removed as much as
possible ; though a severe and deadly fire was
poured upon our men most of the day. Late
in the afternoon an assault was ordered in
the center, and a bloody affair it was ; again
and again our brave fellows moved on the
works, but were as often driven back with
severe loss. About 4 o'clock Gen. Silent came
riding along with an Orderly by his side, his
staff having been sent in different directions
with orders. He came to where Col. Ander
son was sitting on his hoiso watching the en
gagement in the center. Gen. Silent, after
passing the compliments of the day, said to
the Colonel :
" ' Your engagement at Snake Creek (thain
being the name of the creek where the Colo
nel engaged the enemy the day before) was
a rather brilliant affair, as I learn it'
" 'Yes,' said the Colonel ; ' it was my first
attempt at commanding in a battle, but we
had the best of it.'
" ' Yes,' said the General ; ' and now I want
to see if yon can do as well here. I wish
yon to assault the enemy's works in this low
ground on the right, in order to draw some
of his forces away from the center; our
forces are having a hard time of it there.'
" Col. Anderson gave the order at once to
prepare for action knapsacks and blankets
were thrown off, and the assaulting column
formed. The General rode away after saying:
" ' It is not imperative that you enter their
works ; but make the assault as effectual as
you can without too groat a sacrifice of men.'
"The Colonel looked at the ground over
which they must pass and viewed the works
with his glass, but said not one word save to
give the command ' Forward I ' On, on they
went, and as they moved under a torrent of
leaden hail men fell dead and wounded at
at every step ; but they went right up to the
months of the cannon. There they stood
and poured volley after volley into the
enemy, until at last he began to give way,
whun re-enforcements came from the center,
as was desired. The Colonel's force could
stand no longer. Sullenly they fell back to
a strip of woods, when night closed in, and
the battle ceased for the day. Our lines
were much nearer the enemy than in the
"The center held their ground at last, and
all was still. Part of the night was em
ployed in hunting the dead and wounded.
Many were wounded and frozen to death, be
ing left on the ground during the night The
suffering in front of Dolinsburg was some
thing almost indescribable; it snowed,
Bleetcd, hailed and froze during the whole
of the night The troops did not sleep, nor
did they attempt it; they had to form into
squads and walk around trees all night No
fires could be lighted, they were so close to
the enemy's intrenchmonts. Just at day
light the sharp sound of their skirmishers
was heard. They had concluded to move
out on our right and attack us on our
flank and open the way for the escape of
their army. On they came. Our line was
soon formed and our musketry opened.
During the night one- of our batteries had
been brought up and given position on a
slight elevation to the right of Col. Ander
son's center. The enemy opened furiously
on our line, and in a few minutes our bat
tery was knocked to pieces and was charged
by infantry. Here there waa a bloody con
flict ; men fell by the score ; the snow was red
dened by the blood of both patriots and trai
tors. The smoke seemed to hover around the
trees and underbrush as if to conceal the con
tending forces from each other. The flame of
musketry and the red glare of the cannons
lighted up the scene with a lurid tint
Limbs fell from the -trees, and the ground
was mown as smoothly of weeds and under
brush as if by a scythe. Our right was
under orders to hold their position at all
hazards. The battle, dreadful and bloody,
continued. By degrees the troops on the
right of Col. Anderson gave way and abanr
doned the field. At noon but one regiment
besides CoL Anderson's withstood the enemy
thereon therightof our line. They were terri
bly cut up, and, having no food, were nearly
exhausted. Their ammunition was growing
scarce, none having been brought up to this
point for their supply. In this condition
they stood like a wall, under the most gall
ing fire of artillery and musketry, their
comrades falling like grass before the sickle.
At length the enemy's cavalry appeared in
the rear; not in line, but as if observing
the battle with a view of taking advantage
at the proper time of any mishap that
might occur in our lines. Col. Ander
son seeing this, and feeling that his com
mand was now in great peril, conceived
the idea of a bayonet charge on the
line to his front, and so ordered it. His
line moved forward, and in a double-quick,
with a shout, drove the enemy; he being
stampeded by the impetuous assault The
Colonel, being on foot, led his men right up
to the works of the enemy, they having been
driven inside. As he leaped forward on the
line of works, with sword in hand, calling to
his men, ' Come on, my boys,' he fell, as they
then thought, mortally wounded. The ene
my seeing this made a fresh assault and
drove our force back. Col. Anderson was
left on the field, supposed to be dead. The
battle raged all along the line. Our right
was driven and forced under the brow of a
hill. While under this partial shelter a por-
tion of the enemy made their escape through
this unoccupied portion of the field. At this
time our left made a successful assault upon
the works of the enemy, capturing their
outer line and forcing them into their more
narrow limits but more strongly fortified
yrorks. The center had made several in-
effectual assaults, and had lost in killed and
wounded very heavily. Ee-enforcements
came to the right, and a renewal of the assault
all along the line was ordered. To the work
of blood and death the men again came
forward with a heroic will, and for about an
hour the battle was like the long roll on a
thousand drums. The air was filled with
shells; the heavens were lighted up as if
meteors were flying in all directions; the
rumbling of artillery was heard as batteries
changed position, and the loud commands of
excited officers. On and on moved the serried
masses. As the lines opened by the dropping
of the dead and wounded, 'close up, boys,'
could be heard. It was now about dusk. One
grand charge all along the lino, one grand
shout, 'up with the flag, boys!' all was
over, the fortress was our?, and the Stars and
Stripes floated over Dolinsburg. That night,
however, was a night of gloom and sorrow
in our army. Gen. McGovern was killed in
the lost assault Gen. Smote was badly
wounded aud died a few days later. Gen.
Waterberry, a brave and gallant officer, fell
a few weeks later at the battle of Pittskill."
" I remember when Waterberry fell, poor
fellow," said CoL Bush.
"Yes, many a poor fellow lost his life at
Dolinsburg. We captured a great number
of prisoners. Gen. Bertram surrendered the
forces. Many of his leading officers were
killed and wounded, and some made their
escape through the opening in our line on
the right, where Col. Anderson fell."
Dr. Adams asked: " Uncle Daniel, did you
ever hear of him? Was his body found?"
"Yes, Doctor, and the story of that and
his recovery is a very singular one. Peter
searched diligently for him, but failed to
find him; this distressed him so much that
he decided to ask for a leave and return
home, so as to stay a short time with the
family and do what he could to help us bear
the sorrow of the Colonel's supposed death.
After our grief-stricken family could have
the patience to listen to his "recitals, he gave
us the story just as I havo told it to you.
Mrs. Andean, although stricken down with
grief, insisted that her ht was not
killed, or he would have be Qjd among
the slain ; that a man of such marked features
would have been noticed by some one who
did the interring. The Captain insisted that
there could be no doubt but that he was
killed. Time passed on, but little 'Mary
would continually ask, 'If her papa was
dead?' 'Wa3 he shot?' 'Who had killed
him ?' and a thousand other questions which
constantly kept her mother thinking of the
Colonel's fate, and soon she determined to go
in search of him. Peter was leaving for his
regiment, now under command of CoL Eice.
Col. Anderson having been reported as killed,
Eice had been promoted Colonel, and the
regiment had moved with the army in a
southwesterly direction some considerable
distance from Dolinsburg. Still there
had been troops left there, so that it was
perfectly safe to visit the battlefield, there
being no rebel troops in that part of the
country at that. time. I agreed to go with
her, and made all the arrangements neces
sary for the family ;" the farm of Col. David
having been looked after, and our family
school reorganized under Jennie, which had
become demoralized by the news of Col. An
derson's death. In the meantime we bad
heard from CoL David and James, who were
well, and also had letters from Stephen and
Henry; both had joined the army: Ste
phen in an infantry regiment from Ohio,
where he lived, and Henry in a cavalry regi
ment from Michigan, where he had been
employed for a time in surveying for a com
pany ; so at thi3 time I had one son left not
yet in the army, he being my third son,
Jackson, thawas then engaged in railroad
ing in Minnesota. We had not heard from
him for some time, and his mother was
sorely troubled, expecting soon to hear of
the last of the Lyons being in the army.
This,, she thought, was a little more than
ought to be required of any one family."
"So say I, Uncle Daniel," spoke up sev
eral of the listeners.
"True, true; but our country's demands
should be satisfied by her citizens, no mat
ter what they iriay be. Well, Tvhen all wa3
arranged, Mary Anderson and I started. We
went as far we could by cars and boat
and then obtained horses and traveled on
horseback to Dolinsburg. Coming to the
pickets we were halted, and, on telling our
errand, and where we were from, we were
taken to the headquarters of CoL Harden,
who was in command of the po3t We Were
well received and most hospitably treated
by himself and officers. They all sympa
thized with Mrs. Anderson; knew of the
Colonel's gallant conduct in battle, bnt all
thought there was no use of a search for him;
that he was certainly killed in charging the
works near the fort They showed us where
he made the assault. After resting for the
night we started on our search, Capt Day
accompanying us as guide and protector. We
first went to the place where the Colonel
fell, but there was nothing but long trenches,
where the dead had been buried. We passed
over the battlefield, which was mowed down
smoothly by bullets. Limbs of tree3 had
fallen in confusion, furrows were plowed
in the ground by shell, horses' skeletons,
broken muskets, pieces of wagons, parts of
caissons, spokes, ammunition boxes, pieces of
blankets, coat3, pantaloons, parts of tents
everything in pieces, the evidence of a great
contest was marked at every step. Late in
the afternoon, worn out with walking and
the excitement, we returned, very much dis
heartened. We dined on soldier's fare,
which seemed to us delicious. After dis
cussing the battle and the probabilities of
the result of tke war until a late hour,
we retired to the camp cot3 for a night's
rest Next morning wo got ready for a, start
Mary Anderson inquired of Col. Harden
which way the rebels that got through our
lines retreated. He answered her that they
r & s Mlm pfwf
retreated on a road along the river up stream
some 25 miles, and then crossed on a boat
that had come down the river on its way to
Dolinsburg, which was stopped by tie re
treating rebels. Mary said:
" ' Uncle Daniel, I am going to that place
if I can be allowed to do so.'
"I replied: 'This would be a very tire
some and fruitless trip, my child; but if yoa
will be any better satisfied by doing so, I
will make the trip.'
" Col. Harden said he would send a small
escort for protection, though there was no
danger of any force of the enemy, but there
might be some wicked people up there who
might do us harm. He had our horses
brought out, and sent Capt Day and 10
mounted men with us. Soon we were off.
The road was somewhat rough, but very
passable for saddle-horses. When we had
gone some 10 miles we met a colored boy,
some 14 years old, who said he was going to
Dolinsburg. Mrs. Anderson rode on with.
Capt Day. The escort was in front of them
I asked the boy why he was going to Dolins
burg. He said he lived about 10 miles far
ther up the river, and that an old colored,
woman, called 'Aunt Martha,' had senthira
down to see if any soldiers were at Dolins
burg; and if so, to tell them that there was a
Union officer at her house, sick.
" ' Do you know his name ? ' I asked.
"'No, sir; but Aunt Martha calls him
Massa Tom.'
"I trembled aU over. My blood was hot
and cold by turns.
"'When and how did he come there,' I
" He said that the rebels had left him. My
brain was now dizzy, and I told him to turn
his horse and take me to the place. We rode
past the others while they were resting for-a
short time. I told them I would ride on to
the place where the river was crossed, and
would wait there for them. Mary was hear
ing all she could from Capt. Day about the
battle, so she raised no objections. I in
quired of the boy as to the appearance of
the sick officer. He described him as very
pale, black hair, eyes and beard. I could
understand his being pale, and felt sure ifc
was CoL Anderson. I asked the boy if
he ever spoke to him. He said he had
not, but Aunt Martha talked to him aboufa
his wife and little girl and Uncle DanieL
I now was positive it was Tom. I
reeled in my saddle and nearly fell from
my horse. What should I do? I could
not tell Mary, for if it proved not to be him
she would not be able to bear it So I rode
on. Finally we came to the house. It was
some hundred paces from the road, a square
log cabin or hut, occupied by an old colored
woman ('Aunt Martha') and her husband
('Ham'), both over 60 years, I should judge.
The old aunty was in the yard, a smooth,
hard, flat piece of ground, fenced off by alovr
fence, about four rails high, that a man
could easily step over. I saluted her with,
"'How do you do, aunty j do you live
'"Yes, sa, I lives heah me and Ham, my
ole man. WTiat is you, massa? Is you Union
or is you "Sesh"?'
'"Oh! I am a Union man,' I replied.
"'Den I is glad to see you. I'll jes' call
Ham. He runned away when he seed you.
He's feared ; yes, he's dat He isn't gwine
wid de " Sesh" any moV
" ' Well, aunty, have you a Union offices
in your cabin, sick?'
" ' Well, now, massa, I'se jes' got to know
who you is afore I 'fess on dat case.'
"'Well, aunty, I am Daniel Lyon, some
times called "Uncle Daniel."'
" 'Afore God, is dat you, Massa Lyon ? Jes
get offyo' hoss an' wait rite heah; I be back
in a bit'
"She hobbled in, evidently to speak to the
Colonel. I waited quietly until she returned.
Just then the others came in sight, and I
sent the boy to halt them. Aunty came out
so excited that she could hardly speak.
" ' Sho' as you is born'd, dat Massa Tom
knows you; but, sah, he's powerful weak
an' you must exclose who yo' is to him in a
most delicacious manner, or you'U incite
him. He's 'fraid, sah, dat you is a exposter.'
" ' O, no, aunty, I am his uncle and bene
"'Yo' is what?'
"'His uncle.'
" ' No, but de oder t'ing what yon i3?'
"'His benefactor.'
'"Glory to God! Is you? May de Lauct5
shine his light in dis pore house, an' brushv
away de fears ob dis misfortulate fambly.'
" Then she called Ham,
" ' Oh, yo' Ham, come heah.'
"I entered the cabin and beheld CoL An
derson, as pale as death, lying on a poor,
broken-down bed. I knelt by his side upon
the floor and wept aloud. The Colonel could
only whisper. Extending his hand, while
the great tears were rolling down his face,
he asked:
"'Is my wife with yon? Howis my child'?
" He was greatly excited and very weak,
I arose from his bedside and told him who
were coming, and begged him to be calm
Aunty brought some cloths and laid on hii
breast, saying to him :
" ' Now, Massa Tom, yon inns' be still. Don
be like I tole you. You mussent get 'cited
now nuffin of the kine. Jes' see de folks
like yo' allers done. Dey's come a mighty
long ways to fine yo'. Wish dey stay away
'til I cure yo'; but spose it's all rite. De
good Laud he done knowed de bes'. Maybe
de "Sesh" come take him some day afore
long, so de Laud he know what he wants.
Bress de good Laud.'
" I went out to meet the others. Mary si
once asked me what the matter was. I spoke
as gently as I could, and said:
" ' Mary, Tom is still alive.'
" She instantly leaped from her horse and
made for the cabin, and in an instant was ai
the bedside of her husband, covering his
face with kisses and tears. Tom was too
weak to more than whisper 'my dear wife,1
and weep in silence. Old Ham had come in,
and stood in one corner of the room looking
on this scene, with his hands locked together
over his head. He was heard to say over
and over in a low tone:.
" ' De Lord bress dese chillen.'
"Aunt Martha took hold of Mary, saying:
"'Deah Misses, yo' jes' stop dat cryin'.
Yon ought to be 'joiced dat Massa Tom ho
libbin. You ought ter seed him when de
" Sesh " fotched him heah. I tell you dafe
was de time what fotched me down. I done
got rite on my old knees an' axed de good
Laud to spar dis good Massa Tom. I knowed
him the berry minute I laid my eyes on
him. Many's de time I make his bed and
cook his dinnah. I tell you all about dat.
Why, dem " Sesh," when dey fetch Massa
Tom heah in de old wagon, dey des frowed
him out like he been ahog, and tole Ham an
me dat we mus dig a hole and put him in ;
dat we be killed if we don't I done wenti
and looked at him, an' tole Ham dat he wasn'i
dead ; dat he was wa'm an' bredin. So Ham an
me jes' carried him into dis house, an' go6
blankets and kivers.an'wash. him wid wa'm
water, and tookkeeronhim; settedupaUde
time, one or bofe on U3, and kep' him good
an' wa'm, an'y o' see he's done gittfn' well- Da
good Laud heah our prayers, an' he whisper
to pore ole March nr dat he gwine to fetch him
out for some good he gwine to do for us port

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