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in the rear of the market house was a spot allotted to the old colored ma-ma's,
witli ih,ir bright red bandana turbans, who had a well arranged stove and
Cooking utensils, and was ready to cook anything, and that in royal style.
Often limes we would go through the market and select what we thought we
would fancy for our meal, take it back to one of the ma ma's and direct her to
COOk it. At other times we would simply direct the old cook to get us up a good
meal, and when entrusted with that kind of an order, you can depend upon it
thai a meal was prepared that would tempi the appetite of the most fastidious.

At this time Mobile was ;, very lively town; the soldiers there on furlough,

and the paroled Boldiers passing through from Vicksburg, helped very much to
swell the population. Then ii was the greal store house for the army supplies,
which necessitated quite a number of attaches, and. taken together, it was
much larger in population at that time— .July, 1863— than ever before or


It was in Mobile at that time that I firsl saw a streel car. Royal streel was
one of its principal thoroughfares, and i In' business on this street could have
been classified in about this manner — hotel, clubhouse, restaurant, bar-room —
club house, restaurant, bar-room, hotel— restaurant, bar-room, hotel, club house,
and so on. I do not remember of seeing as many club bouses anywhere else
as I did on this same Royal street. Government was its finest and broadest
street, very much similar to Greene street in Augusta.

A regiment of soldiers could be easily drilled and manipulated within its
boundaries — which I have seen done. Then the shell road leading down the
bay front, to Dog River, was one of the finest drives in the country. Take it
all in all Mobile, at that time, was a lovely city. It was in Mobile that I had
my last good time on two legs ; it was there I spent my twenty-fifth birthday,
and within two months afterwards was lying up on a little pile of pine straw
on the battle-field of Chickamauga with one leg gone. On Dauphin street at
this time it did not have the appearence of war times, owing to the blockade
runners. The stores were filled with dry goods, novelties, and in fact all kinds
of merchandise. One beautiful moonlight night I remember of seeing rive
large steamers, loaded to the guards with cotton, sail right out unmolested by
Fort Morgan's frowning front, with the blockade squadron in full view. They
were loaded with cotton, and it was needed on the outside, and on their return,
if they had gew-gaws and articles that would bring an enormous profit, but
would not aid the prosecution of the war, they were permitted to come in, but
if they had guns, powder, or anything that would materially aid us, it was
contraband and could not enter. It was blockade at sometimes, and at others
it was not — it depended.

After remaining in Mobile some three weeks, until about the 1st of August,
and feeling fully recuperated I returned to my regiment, and found it in the
very same place I had left it — away down in the wilds of Mississippi. It was
nothing after my return until reports came from North Mississippi that the
Federal cavalry were making regular incursions into the country and were
depredating largely; were killing and carrying away all their stock; thai those
who were known to be the slightest in sympathy with the South were having
their houses burned and everything they had destroyed; that a reign of terror
and dismay existed, and relief was greatly needed. Whereupon my brigad< —
McXair's — composed of Kentuckians and Ector's Texas brigade, were ordered
to go up in that part of the country and see what we could do for General
Grierson and his kind. These two brigades had been closely attached during
the whole of the war ; had soldiered together in the trans-Mississippi depart
ment, and had come across together and had been with each other ever rince.
Each had great confidence in the other. When one was in the front, and knew
that it was being supported by the other, they fell reasonably secure. They
felt at least that they would not be deserted, nor woidd assistance be refused
at the proper time, and in time of need.

The Texans called the Arkansians "Josh," and we. the Arkansians, called
them the "Chubs;" and it was heard all along during the march: Hello, Josh,
how are you?" "All right, Chub, hope you are the same." No jealousy,
but the closest and wannest friendship existing.


We were soon aboard of the ears and bound for Oakalona, and then to
.Meridian. Oakalona was a littte town in North Mississippi, on the Mobile &
( Hbio Railroad. [1 was the part of .Mississippi called Egypt, on account of the
greal abundance of corn raised there. It was a sight to behold. Naturally a
prairie country— thai is, acres and acres of beautiful undulating ground, with
a clump of trees here and there, but miles apart, not near enough timber to
furnish rails to fence it in, the lines to distinguish one body of land from
another was generally made by Osage orange hedges or broad avenues.

To have see le of those old farm quarters, one would have thought it a

small town. In the midst of one of these clumps of trees was generally se-
lected for building. The house was one of those two-story square built frames,
with heavy Muted columns running full height, broad veranda running round
all tour sides both top and bottom, the quarters for the farm hands laid off in
r< rows and neatly whitewashed. There was even the little church, neatly
painted, with its belfry and its short steeple pointing heavenwards. The horse
lot, coin cribs, and other out-houses arranged around in perfect regularity.
everything bespeaking peace and plenty. I saw this beautiful country for the
firel time in early summer. The corn would have reached above the head of
an ordinary man in walking through it. I was on the top of a railroad car
riding through tin- country, and from my elevated position had a commanding
view, and as far as the eye could reach, on every side, nothing could be seen
but this \\a\ing s r a of coin, so green that it looked nearly black, and for one
whole day on a railroad train did we ride through this continuous and seeming
endless corn field. That was only one short year preceding the time I now write
of. and oh' what a change. The wand of a magician could not have made
greater or more sudden. One could scarcely realize that he was looking at the
same country. Desolation and ruin held supreme sway. Such sacrifices was
never known before, and it is to be hoped that this, our beloved and prosper-
ous country, will never be called upon to make such again.

<)n arriving at Oakalona we selected a spot on which to locate. I cannot
Bay encampment, for we had no tents to erect, merely our blankets to cover
with — with the broad canopy of heaven above us. There was a small prairie
in front of the little town, and it was the spot on which we located. That we
might break, in a degree, the scorching rays of an August sun, we erected a
Ion- arbor, and by looking around we found, at some considerable distance, a
tew oak saplings w liich furnished boughs sufficient with which to make a cov-
ering for the arbor, and which went far to make it much more comfortable
than oilnrw ise. We remained in and around Oakalona some three weeks with-
out having the slightest skirmish with the enemy. The fact of us being there
bad seemed t" Uave the desired effect, at least for the time-being it relieved the
inhabitants from being raided upon, and having their property and effects de-
stroyed. The whole lime we remained there we did not catch a glimpse of a
il. neither did we hear of them being nearer than Corinth, probably sixty
miles aw a\ .

AIm.ui 1st of September we received orders to report at once to Meridian.
and, with Borne ■ fan to make our preparations for leaving. During

the three weeks we had been lure we had made ourselves fairly comfortable,


besides it was much easier soldiering than we had been accustomed to. 1 low-
ever, all things must have an end, and soon we found ourselves in Meridian.

The ten days we remained at Meridian we had nothing to relieve the
monotony of camp, save the usual guard mounts, morning drill and drese pa
rade at the close of the day. It must have been about the LOth of September
when, at dress parade that afternoon, orders were read out instructing us to
cook up three days' rations and make preparations to march on the morrow.
On return to camp soon everything was hustle and activity; some going for
water, others for wood, some kneading the dough, and rolling the flour out
with a bottle on the clean side of a blanket. Soon the whole camp — it mighl
have been thought — had been converted into a cooking match. About eleven
o'clock we had about completed our task, and were ready to move, we retired
to our pallets wondering where we were going, and what was up. In the early
morn we began to load our effects aboard of the cars, and pulled out.

It was not until the third day that we had learned for certain which was
our first destination. AYe then learned that we were hound for North Georgia,
which, in one sense, was cheering news to me, as I would he permitted to see
once more my friends in Atlanta. Before reaching Atlanta I had already ob-
tained permission, and made my arrangements for stopping off a day or two.
I remained in Atlanta two days and had a most royal time, and concluded to
leave for my command on the night of the loth. My friends had tilled my
haversack with the good things to eat, and had even fortified me against snake
bites and the like, by filling my canteen with good whisky. Bye-the-hye, this
canteen of mine was one of the Federal kind. I had captured it from one at
the. battle of Richmond, Ky., and it held a full quart. About rive o'clock in
the afternoon my friends accompanied me to the Western and Atlantic depot to
see me safely off, wishing me good luck and a safe return. I reached my com-
mand the next day about the middle of the afternoon At that time the road
was in bad condition, and the rolling stock in need of repair, and they did not
make the fast speed that they are noted for now. but crept along at a snail's
pace, stopping frequently and long at a time. I found my command located
directly on the railroad, in the old field at the railroad bridge across the Chick
amauga, about two miles from the railroad station at Ringgold. Everything
indicated that a fight was brewing. The men were rubbing up their guns and
replenishing their cartridge boxes; every train brought more men— portions of
Longstreet's corps. Couriers were hurrying here and there, and as I have said.
it looked as if blood was on the moon.

The 17th of September came forth— a lovely day. During the forenoon
we merely lolled around and speculated upon what was before us. In the af-
ternoon, two or three soldiers anil myself asked permission to go over to
Catoosa Springs, which were about three miles away. We learned that it had
been open for guests in the early summer, and the probabilities were that we
would find some tomatoes, and other late vegetables, and as our bill of tare
did not include a variety, we were of the opinion that something of thai kind
would be palatable, we went over to the springs and found it as we had been
informed. Tomatoes were in ureal abundance, also some cabbage, and other
late vegetables. In the midst of our gathering, thinking how nice they would


go at supper time, we were startled by the report of a cannon in the direction
of our camps.

Snatching up what we had picked and putting them in our haversacks, we
start id hurriedly for camps. There was quite a steep hill that overlooked the
field in which our regiment was camped, and as we reached the top of it, where
we could overlook for quite a distance below, we saw that our regiment was in
line, with guns and knapsacks on as if they were ready for marching. Hasten-
ing on we were soon in line ourselves; we learned that they had been startled
and aruus'd from their inactivity by the cannon shot we had heard. It seemed
that a Federal battery had occupied an eminence just back of Ringgold and
had sent us a salute. That was probably the first gun which culminated in
the battle of Chiekamauga. It proved that some other of our troops had
silenced the battery and driven it off, and that our services were not then
needed, for, after remaining in line until about dark, we were ordered to stack
our muskets and hold ourselves in readiness at a moment's warning. For the
time we turned our attention to the vegetables we had gathered at the springs,
which were quite a relish, and were eaten with great enjoyment. At the usual
time taps were sounded, and soon we had resigned ourselves to the arms of
Morpheus, anil I dare say pleasant dreams, little thinking what a terrible ordeal
awaited us.

On the morrow we were soon astir, and it was not long after until we were
in line marching out and through the little town of Ringgold. From the
movements we all knew that a tight was soon to occur. We would move al 0112;
for a short distance and halt, and about the time you had fairly set down and
had is<>\ yourself into an easy posture, the order would be given — "fall in, for-
ward." and then would move up a short distance and halt again, and so would
it go, consuming as hour or two in making a mile or two, at the same time
you had been on your feet all the time, for you would scarcely sit down until
the line would be in motion again. Of all the disagreeable and perplexing
things such marching is.

So we moved cautiously along, expecting all the time to encounter the
Federals. Occasionally we would hear, either to the right or left, a cannon
shot; then a courier would come galloping by bearing dispatches, and thus it
went until about four o'clock in the afternoon, we left the main road and di-
verged into an open field, where we found our townsman, Captain W"m. S.
Everett, with his battery unlimbered and ready for action. He would occas-
ionally order a shell to he thrown over into a clump of woods. We were told
thai there was a bodj of Federals over in those woods, and that we would be
forced to Charge them. Preparations were soon made; all the surplus were
soon deposited in a pile, and men left to take charge of them. The cartridge
box was brought around in front so as to be easily opened, guns loaded and
-een that they were in proper shape and the order given to charge.

Auay we went across the Chiekamauga, which meandered in and around
everywhere; into the woods we went where we found quite a steep hill, and

was Informed thai at the top of the same the Federals were ready to receive US.
I p the hill we went. e\ p ( ct ing every step to receive their volley, but on reach-
ing the lop we found only one or two dead Federals. It seems that Kobinson's
Texas brigade had preceded us. and, after a small insistence, had driven them


away. After a short rest we resumed our march, and continued it without the
slightest interruption until about 8 o'clock at night when we halted, as we
thought for the night only, thinking that in the morning we would resume our
march until we had formed a junction with General Bragg'a army, whfbh we
thought was in the nighborhood of LaFayette. Little did the most of us think
that we were then resting on the ground that would be hotly contested for the
next two days — that we were then on the battle-field of Chickamauga.

On the morning of the 19th of September, instead of moving out at early
dawn, as we had been accustomed to doing on a march, we lingered around;
no signs of moving; we loitered without anything beyond the usual occurrence
until about eight o'clock, when we were informed that just across the creek—
Chickamauga — (as we were on its banks), there were a body of Federals, and
we must dislodge them. Soon a battery was brought up and unlimbered, the
charge was rammed home and the gunner stood ready to apply the fuse, when
the Adjutant-General of General Bushrod Johnson's brigade came riding up in
a swift gallop, saying: "Hold! don't shoot, they are our friends." Just a few
short moments more and we would have been firing into our own troops had
it not have been for this gallant, daring officer. It seems that he had been told
that they were our enemies, whereupon he rode out near them to learn the
truth, and had penetrated the woods far enough to learn who they were, and
learned that they were a portion of General Bragg'a army, and had come up
in an opposite direction from us during the night, and were there awaiting de
velopments. This was a gallant young man — this Adjutant. Several times
during the day he had been known to do some daring deed. He rode a white
horse, and was a conspicuous mark, and, poor fellow, before the tight was
over met a sad fate — was literally torn to pieces by a shell.

It must have been ten o'clock before the fight began, and that was away
to the right of us — on the extreme right of our army. After the tiring com-
menced it seemed to come gradually, nearer and nearer towards us ; we were
in line and ready, expecting soon that our immediate front would be attacked.
We were in the vicinity of Lee and Gordon's mills, and it was not until about
three o'clock in the afternoon that we were ordered forward, the order was
given: "Rout step; arms at will; do not shoot; hold your tire; friends are in
front, and we are merely going to their support.'' We had to descend a slight
wooded declivity into a bottom, or for some distance a level piece of ground.
Just as we got down into the bottom proper, my tile leader, pointing his finger
at an object in front of us, said: "Look! if that is a Confederate flag it i- the
strangest one I ever saw!"

He had scarcely spoken the words when, just ahead of us, arose a perfect
wall of men, and the next instant there was a deafening report, and we had
received a most galling and deadly volley from the Federal muskets. It seemed
that by some terrible mistake we had marched right up on an ambuscade; that
we were not more than twenty feel from them when they tired into u-. It wax
a most deadly volley; it killed instantly two men from my company and
wounded severely seven, and it was about the per centage of mortality and
wounded in each company throughout the regiment.

As soon as we had recovered from their staggering tire, and had some* hat
composed ourselves, the order was given, "Up and at them." It was now our


time, as we had reserved our fire, and most effectively did we do our work.
I remember thai next to me was a man, the brother of one of the men who had
been instantly killed, and the sight of his dead brother seemed to stimulate
him afresh, and he seemed to delight in seeing our enemies die. We drove
them'back and continued to follow them up, thinking that those on our right
and left were doing the same, but it proved otherwise. We had merely blocked
out the width of our regiment, and our forces on our right and Left had failed
to do likewise.

The Federals had swung around and out us off; thus were we hemmed in;
Federals in our front and rear. We had driven those in our immediate front
quite a distance before we saw the predicament we were in; besides, those we
had been driving had fallen back to a battery of their artillery, and it now be-
gan to play upon us with two or three guns with all their might. They were
shooting solid shot at us. It looked to be the size of an ordinary rubber ball,
about a two pounder, and to see it bound and ricochet over the ground made
one cringe.

When we learned the dangerous situation of ourselves we halted, and be-
gan to counsel together as to the best and safest way out of it. In the mean
time the troops in our rear were coming steadily towards us. We were divided
in our opinions as to who they were. Some insisted that they were Longstreet's
men, and, therefore, our friends; others said that they could distinguish them
plainly, and that they were the Federals. How such a difference of opinion
could arise was owing to the fact that Longstreet's men were uniformed;
wore light blue pants, grey jackets and a regular blue soldier's cap; where, on
the Other hand, the Western troops had no uniform at all, but wore clothes of
all kind and line; and as these troops were so far away that they could not be
unmistakably seen, and the fact of them having uniforms, was why some of
our men thoughl them to be our friends.

There being such a difference of opinion, our Colonel concluded to send
back a Hag of truce, and asked who would volunteer to go. A large six-footer,
bj the name of Page, readily said lie would go; whereupon the Colonel told
him to strip himself of his accoutrements and set his gun aside. Page draw-
ing his ramrod, and the Colonel tying his white handkerchief to it, lie was
soon ready to start A member of my company, by the name of Williams,
said he would accompany him. Unfortunately for Williams, he did not do as
Page did. but took along his gun and accoutrements. We watched them anx-
iously as they neared the body of approaching troops, and when we saw Wil-
liams throw up his hands, as if an act of surrender, and the next moment saw
him fall to the grounc", and Hie manner in which they acted towards Page, we

soon knew who they were. At this the Colonel gave the order to retreat— add-
ing, every man for himself; and, as we turned to leave, the battery which was
in our front, but now in our rear, opened up all four guns with grape, canister

and solid s|i,,i ; and as • ,,f fhose solid balls would ricochet by you. coming in

rather too close proximity, it made one feel as if his back was twenty or more
feet broad. We Anally, with much disorder, escaped capture and succeeded
in finding Once more the body of our troops, of course losing several of our

men s, j wounded, some killed and others captured. Poor Page! we never

heard from him afterwards, supposed that he was sent North to some of their


prison pens and died from — good treatment. Williams was bo badly shol thai
it was necessary to amputate his left leg above the knee; he was afterwards
taken to the rear by our people, and we laid together in the hospital at Atlanta.
By the time we had made good our escape, and had collected together the kid
nauts of our regiment in proper shape, and was ready to make another charge,
it had become so dark that the principal fighting for the day had ceased, and
only the regular patter of the picket's gun, or an occasional volley from some
squad, could be heard.

About night-fall our command was moved up from the vicinity of Lee and
Gordon's mills to about the centre of our line where we stacked arms and rested
for the night. As soon as we had settled for the night two or three of us con-
cluded to go back a short distance and boil a piece of ham (sow belly, as the
boys called it), and eat a biscuit. We had just lighted a piece of wood that
did not seem to burn as rapidly as we thought it should, and it was suggested
that if one of us would kneel down beside it, and give it a blast or two with
our mouth, it would accelerate it. 1 endeavored to get down to it but could
not on account of my cartridge box and other trappings, and had stepped aside
a step or two to relieve myself of them, that I might place myself in a stoop-
ing posture to blow the fire. I had just left the spot where the wood was
feebly burning when a shell came along and swept wood, tire and all away.
Had it have come one moment sooner, or waited a few moments, I would have
had my mouth down at the blaze and would probably had my head torn from
my shoulders. We were not slow in changing our position to where we could
cook our frugal meal, and not be molested in that style.

In the afternoon, just before we ran upon the ambuscade above spoken of,
we were supporting a battery. I am not sure, but think it was our townsman.
Captain Wm. S. Everett. General Bushrod Johnson's brigade had been sup
porting it, and it become so hotly contested that they were forced to fall back,
and for awhile left it unsupported. I remember General Johnson riding up to
where we were, as we came up to the support of this battery, dismounting
from his horse, taking his hat off, showing his bald head which glistened in
the sunshine, and in a very exciting manner exclaimed: "For God's sake.
boys, do not leave me."

We replied that we had come to stay, and, if possible, would do so. We
stayed; but at one time it looked as if we would have to leave. The firing
from the Federals was so deadly that the horses were killed faster than we

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