L. B. (Laughlan Bellingham) Mackinnon.

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to camp every day and sit around. General
Lee's headquarters were about a mile and a
half from our house. Colonel Taylor and a
number of old friends were there, and Dan
could talk fight if he couldn't fight. At last
he insisted that he was ready to join his divi-
sion, and we set out to reach it in an am-
bulance drawn by three mules.

When we came to Hatchers Run we
found that creek very much swollen arid the
bridge not visible, but there were fresh tracks
showing where a wagon had lately gone over.

" That shows well enough where the bridge
is," said Dan, pointing to where the wagon
had left a track close to the water's edge and
visible for a short way under the water.

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" Follow that track/' he commanded our
driver, who was three-quarters of a man, be-
ing too young for a whole man and too old
for a lad, " the mules will find the bridge.
They are the most sure-footed animals in the
world. Just let them have their heads as soon
as they get in the water."

Jerry obeyed instructions. Sure enough,
the mules got along well enough. That is,
for a short distance. Then, splash! down
they went under the water! We could just
see their noses and their great ears wiggling
above the surface as they struck out into a
gallant swim for the opposite shore. Splash!
we went in after them, and mules and am-
bulance were swimming and floating to-
gether. Jerry was terrified, and began to
pray so hard that I got to laughing. All we
could see of the mules were six ears sticking
out of the water and wiggling for dear life,
while our ambulance swam along like a
gondola.

But things changed suddenly. Our am-
bulance was lifted slightly, came down with a
jolt, and wouldn't budge! The mules strained
forward, but to ho good. The ambulance
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wouldn't stir, and their harness held them
back.

" The ambulance has caught on some
part of the bridge," said Dan. i

We were in a serious dilemma. The road
was one in much use, and we pinned our
hopes to some passer-by, but as we waited
minutes seemed hours. No one came. Per-
haps the wagon that had preceded us had
given warning that the bridge was wrecked.
We sat in the ambulance and waited, not
knowing what to do, not seeing what we
could do. By some saplings which stood in
the water we measured the rise of the tide,
and we measured its rise in the ambulance by
my trunk — I was getting wet to my knees.
Finally I sat on top of my trunk and drew
my feet up after me. The situation was
serious enough, and Dan began to look very
anxious — Hatchers Run was always regarded
as a dangerous stream in flood time. Still,
no sign of any one coming. The rain con-
tinued to fall and the water to rise.

"At this rate we are sitting here to
drown," Dan said. "There's but one way
out of it that I can see. From what I know
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of the situation of our army there must be an
encampment near here. Jerry, climb out of
this ambulance over the backs of these hind
mules till you get to that leader. Get on
him, cut him loose, and swim out of this.
Ride until you find an encampment and bring
us help."

But Jerry didn't look at it that way.

" I'm skeered ter fool 'long dat ar mule. I
ain't nuvver fooled 'long er mule in de water.
I kaint have no notion of de way he mought
do wid me. You kaint 'pend on mules, Mars
Dan, ter do jes lak you want 'em ter on dry
land, much less in de water. Arter I git out
dar, cut dat ar mule loose, an' git on him, he
mought take out an' kyar me somewhat I
didn't wanter go. I mought nuvver git ter
no camp, nor nowhar. Mars Dan, ef I go ter
foolin' 'long er dat mule out dar in de water."

The major caught his shoulders, and
turned his face to the stream. " Have you
watched that water rising out there for noth-
ing? " he asked sternly. " We are sure to be
drowned if you don't do as I tell you — ^all
of us."

Between certain death and uncertain
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death Jerry chose the latter, crawled over the
hind mules, got on the leader and rode him
off. He took this note with him:

" Nearest Encampment of any Division,
C. S. A.:
" I am in the middle of Hatchers Run
in an ambulance with my wife. The stream
is rising rapidly and ambulance filling with
water. Send immediate relief.

" Daniel V. Grey,
" Adjutant of the Thirteenth:*

After the boy was gone there we sat and
waited while the water rose. I got very cold
and Dan, who was yet weak from his wound
and confinement, got chilled and stiff. After
more than an hour of waiting we heard from
the woods on the other side a noise as of men
running, and then there came rushing out of
the woods toward us thirteen men of mighty
girth and stature. They were Georgia moun-
taineers who had been sent to our rescue.
When they came to the water they didn't like
the look and feel of it, and evidently didn't
want to get in it.

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" What is we uns to do?*' they called across.

" Something to get us out of this," Dan
hallooed back, " and be quick about it, or we
shall drown."

" How is we uns to git to you uns? "

" Get in the water and swim here."

They talked among themselves, but none
of them seemed disposed to do this.

" Men! " called my husband, " I am hardly
well of a wound, I am stiff and weak. I can
not save my wife, who is up to the waist in
water. Will you stand there and see a
woman drown?"

They seemed ashamed, but none of them
made the move to go in. Then the largest of
them all — he seemed a mighty giant —
stepped forth and took command.

"You say thar's a lady in that am-
bulance? "

" Yes, my wife."

" Wall, Fm blowedl An' she ain't a-hol-
lerin' and a-cryin'? "

" Do you hear her? " asked Dan irritably.
" She's braver than some men I know. But
you can count on it that she is wet and cold.
We are nearly frozen!"
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"Wall, I'm blowed! An' she's right
out thar in the middle er that run, an'
she ain't a-hollerin' and a-cryin'! Tell you
uns what I'll do. I'll swim out there and
bring her back on my back. An' then
I'll swim back agin an' bring you on my
back."

" I can't! " I said. " I'm cold enough to
die now, and I can't get in that water. I'll
die if I do."

The giant gave orders. The men hung
back. Then we heard him roaring like a bull
of Bashan.

" Git into that ar water, ewy man of you
uns, an* swim fur that ar ambulance! I was
put in comman' er this here expuddition, an'
I means ter comman' it. 'Bey orders, you
uns is got ter, or you uns '11 git reported to
headquarters ez I'm a sinner. Git in that
thar water. Furrard! Swim!"

How well I remember the great, good-
natured giant as he swam around our am-
bulance, bobbing up and down, and taking
in our bearings !

" You see, cap," he said, '* all the 1)ridge
is washed away but the sleepers, an' that's
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what you uns is hung on. Unhitch them
mules," to some of his men.

" Now, cap, soon's them mules is loose
we uns '11 lif the ambulance off er this, an*
pull you uns to shore. Jes you uns make
yourse'fs easy, and we uns '11 git you uns out
er this."

The mules unhitched were led to shore,
and then the men pulled the ambulance
safely to land. I don't remember what be-
came of the thirteen mighty men. Nor do I
recall clearly the rest of that cold ride when
I shivered in my clothes, but I remember get-
ting to a house where I was seated in a great
chair close to a blazing fire of hickory logs,
and I remember that when I went to get out
my night-dress I found all the clothes in my
trunk wet, and that when I went to bed I
felt as if I were going to be ill, and that I
rested badly. But the next morning I was
up and on my way again. Again we came to
a swollen stream. This time we could see the
bridge, and it wobbled about. Dan thought it
was safe to drive over. But not I! .Just then
some gentlemen came up behind us and in-
sisted that I was right. So I got out of the
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ambulance and was helped across on some
logs or beams or something which stretched
across the stream underneath the bridge, and
may have been a part of it, but whatever they
were I thought them more secure than an
ambulance and mules and an uncertain
bridge. I made Dan cross this way, too,
though he said it wasn't best for his leg, and
made all sorts of complaints about it. The
ambulance was obliged to cross on the
bridge, and the devoted Jerry drove it, quar-
reling and complaining and praying all the
way. We had not gone much farther before,
lo! here was Stony Creek, swollen to burst-
ing, rushing and furious, and again a hidden
bridge.

" I nuvver seed so much high water befo*
in all my life," said Jerry, thoroughly dis-
gusted, " nor so dang'ous. Water behin* an'
befo'. We all w in a bad way."

There was a wagoner on the bank who
said the bridge was all right and but slightly
under water. I protested, but Dan made
Jerry drive in. I wanted to turn back. But
Dan argued that there was as bad behind us,
and that he must get to camp by the time he
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was due, and after a little the mules found
their footing and kept it, though the water
swished and whirled over the bridge. We
saw a man and a horse swept down the
stream — I thought they might have been
swept by the current off the very bridge we
were crossing. The current was too strong
for the horse; he could do nothing against it,
and had given up. As they passed under a
tree the man reached up, caught a sweeping
branch and swung himself up in the tree; the
horse was drowned before our eyes before we
got across the bridge.

We left the man in the tree, but promised
to send him help. There was a house two
miles from the creek, and to this we drove.
It was full of people; the parlor was full, the
halls were full, and the kitchen and the bed-
rooms were full of men, women, and children.
It reminded me of a country funeral where
pieople are piled up in the halls, on the
steps, and everywhere a person can stand or
sit. Soldiers were always passing to and fro
iii those days and stopping for the night at
any convenient wayside place, and as for not
taking a soldier in — ^well, public opinion made

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it hot for the man who would not shelter a
wayfaring soldier and share the last crust
with him. The house held a large number
of soldiers that night, and in addition a water-
bound wedding-party. On this side the creek
was the groom; on the other side the bride.
The groom had on his good clothes — good
clothes were a rarity then — but he looked
most woebegone.

We told^ the people in the house about
th« man in the tree; and every man in the
house went down to see about him.

They called out to him saying they would
throw him ropes and pull him in, but when
they tried to throw the ropes out to him
they found that he could not be reached in
that way. The tree was too far from the
shore. It was after midnight when they
gave up trying to reach him with ropes.
Then they told him to keep his courage up
till morning, and they made a great bonfire
on the banks, and some of them stood by it
and talked to him all night. First one party
and then another would go out and stand
by the bonfire, and keep it up, and talk to
him. The relieved party would come to the
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house and warm themselves and go back
again. Nobody slept that night. There was
nowhere for anybody to lie down. When
morning came the creek had fallen and they
pulled the nearly frozen man to land.

The next day found us at our destina-
tion, Hicksford.



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CHAPTER XXV

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

While I was at Hicksford I stayed at
General Chambliss's. I was very happy
there. Dan's camp was not far off, and he
came to see me very often and every morning
sent his horses to me. In my rides I used fre-
quently to take the general's little son, Willie,
along as my escort, and one morning, when
several miles distant from home and with our
horses' heads turned homeward, who should
ride out from a bend in the road and come
toward us but two full-fledged Yankees in
blue uniform and armed to the teeth. My
heart went down into the bottom of my
horse's heels, and I suppose Willie's heart be-
haved the same way. We did not speak, we
hardly breathed, and we were careful not to
quicken our pace as we and our enemies drew
nearer and nearer, and passed in that lonely
road a yard between our horses and theirs.
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The Beginning of the End

We did not turn back; we crept along the
road to the bend, until our horses' tails got
well around the bend. Then Willie and I
gave each other a look, and took out at a
wild run for home. We went straight as ar-
rows, and over everything in our way, I had
all I could do that day to stick on Nellie
Grey, who went as if she knew Yankees were
behind— -only in her mind it must have been
the whole of Grant's army. Dan laughed our
" narrow escape" to scorn, and said the two
Yankees were probably Confederates in gQod
Yankee clothes they had confiscated. At
this time Confederates would put on any-*
thing they found to wear, from a :woman's
ipetticoat to a Yankee, uniform, but Dan
never could, icjonvince us that those two Yan*-

kces were not Yankees. .

After this I rebelled less against going
out, as I sometimes had to do, in **Miss
Sally's kcrridge.'V This was an old family
carriage, a great coach of state with the
driver's perch very high. The driver, an old
family negro as venerable and shaky in ap-
pearance as the carriage, attached due im-
portance to his office. He thought no piece
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of furniture on the place of such value as
" Miss Sally's kerridge." He cared for the
horses as if they had been babies. This
part of the country had not been so heavily
taxed as some others in the support of the
two armies, and a little more com than was
usual could be had. Uncle Rube was sure
that his horses got the best of what was go-
ing, and also that everything a currycomb
could do for them was theirs. He himself
when prepared for his post as charioteer wore
a suit of clothes which must have been in the
Chambliss family for several generations,
and an old beaver hat, honorable with age
and illustrious usage. When we were taken
abroad in " Miss Sally's keitidge,*' we were
always duly impressed by Uncle Rube with the
honor done us. On the occasion of a grand
review which took place not far from General
Chambliss's residence, I, with three other
ladies, went in the " kerridge.*' The roads
were awful — ^in those days roads were always
awful. Troops were traveling backward and
forward,, artillery was being dragged over
them, heavy wagons were cutting ruts, and
there always seemed tp.be so much rain*
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Uncle Rube quarreled all the way going
and coming. He sat on his high perch, and
guided his horses carefully along, picking the
best places in the road for " Miss Sally's ker-
ridge," and talking at us.

" It's jes gwine to ruin Miss Sally's ker-
ridgc takin' it out on sech roads as dese hyer.
. . . Nuf to ruin er ox-kyart, dese hyer roads
is, much mo' er fin' kerridge. . . . Well, 'tain'
no use fur me ter say nothin'. . . . Jest well
keep my mouf shut. . . . Monstratin' don' do
er bit er good. . . . When dey git it in dar
haids dey's gwine, dey's gwine, don't kycer
what happens. . . . Ain't gwine heah nothin',
dey ain't, not ontwell dey gits Miss Sally's
kerridge broke up. . . . / say folks orter go
ter ride when de roads is good, and stay at
home when de roads is bad. • . . An' lemme
take kyeer uv de kerridge."

With these intermittent mutterings and
frank expressions of displeasure Uncle Rube
entertained us until we got to the review
stand.

To crown his disgust we were late in
starting back home, and at dark he was lean-
ing forward from his lofty altitude, peering
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into the road ahead and seeking vainly " de
bes' place ter drive Miss Sally's kerridge
along." He said " dar warn't no bes' place,"
and was in despair of ever getting that valu-
able vehicle home in safety. At last the
crash came! Down went one carriage wheel
into a mud-hole! It stuck there, and we were
rooted for the time being. However, I think
Uncle Rube would have got us out but for
some untimely assistance. Bob Lee, the young-
est of the Lees, and Bob Mason (the son
of the ex-United States Minister to France,
whose home was near General Chambliss's)
came riding by. They stopped and shook
hands with us through the carriage window,
and asserted their gallant intention of getting
us out ql our mud-hole. They tried to lead
the- horses . forward,, to pull and: push "the
kerridge " out, but in vain. Then- Bob, to
Uncle Rube's utter amazement and indigna-
tion,. :made him get down, .while he, Bob,
mounted the box. Uncle .Rube;Stood on the
roadside, the picture of chagrin and despair^
"Dar ain't no tellin' what's gwi' happen
now! " he exclaimed. " Mars Bob don' know
how ter manage dem horses no mo'n nothin'.
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Don', Mars Bob! Mars Bob! don' whoop 'em!
Law-aw-dy! "

Bob had gathered the lines in one hand
and with the other was laying the whip on
Rube's pets. The horses, utterly unused to
the whip, plunged like mad. There was an
ominous sound! — our axle was broken, and
we were helplessly stuck in the mud.

" Dar now!" wailed Uncle Rube.
" What I tole you? I said Miss Sally's ker-
ridge gwi' git ruint! and now it's done been
did. It's clean ruint, Miss Sally's kerridge is.
I tole Mars Bob dem horses don't know noth-
in* 'bout a whoop. Dey ain't nuvver bin
'quainted wid cr whpop. I bin er-sayin* an'
er-sayin' all erlong dat de kerridge gwi' git
broke, an' it's done been did. O Lawdy ! '*

Our young rescuers borrowed a cart Jfrom
a farmer near by and got us home in it. I
have forgotten how Uncle Rube managed, if
I ever knew. But I shall never forget the
scene when several hours later we all sat
around the fire in the sitting-room, chatting
over our adventures, and Uncle Rube, hat in
hand, came to the door and made report to
his mistress of the family misfortune. His
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eyes were big as saucers. He laid the blame
thick and heavy on " Mars Bob's " shoulders,
exonerating his horses with great care.

" Dey's sensubble horses ef anybody jes
got de sense ter manage 'em, dey is."

And then Miss Sally, in spite of her
efforts to preserve a gravity befitting the
calamity, broke down like the " kcrridge "
and laughed hysterically.

There was plenty to eat at General
Chambliss's. I always remember that fact
when it was a fact, because it was beginning
to be so pleasant and unusual to have enough
to eat. Hicksford hadn't been raided, and
there were still chickens on the roost, bees in
the hive, turkeys up the trees, partridges in
the woods, and corn in the bams. The bam,
by the way, was new, and the soldiers gave
a ball in it. We all went and had a most de-
lightful evening. I well remember that I
went in " Miss Sally's kerridge," and that
General Rooney Lee and I led off the ball
together. I remember, too, that we had a
fine supper: turkeys, chicken-salad, barbe-
cued mutton, roast pig with an apple in his
mouth, pound-cake,^ silver-cake, cheese-cake
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or transparent pudding, " floating island " or
** tipsy squire"; plenty of bread, milk, sure-
enough coffee — everything and enough of it.
We danced till morning and leaving our gal-
lant entertainers in the gray dawn, went off
to sleep nearly all day.

The next ball was in an old farmhouse
where some of our cavalry were quartered. We
had another good supper — everything good to
eat and plenty of it — ^like the first. There
were no chairs or furniture of any kind, as I
remember, but there were benches ranged
around the barn for us to sit on when resting
during the pauses of the dance. After a
dance with him General Rooney Lee led me
back to the room where the banquet ivas
spread to taste something especially nice
which he liked and which I had not touched
—eating a good thing when you could get it
was a delightful and serious duty in those
days. There was quite a circle around us,
and we were all nibbling, laughing, chatting
away as if there were no such things as war
and death in the land, when a courier in
muddy boots strode across the room to the
general, saluted,. spoke a few words, and the
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general walked aside with him. The music
was enticing, and while the general was en-
gaged with the courier I went back with
some one else to the ballroom and took my
place in the lancers. We were clasping hands
and bowing ourselves through the grand
chain when the dance was interrupted. The
army was to march.

There was great confusion, hurried hand-
shaking, sometimes no hand-shaking at all,
no time for good-bys. The soldiers could not
stand on the order of their going. , I do not
remember how I came to the farmhouse, but
I know that my. husband bundled me imcere-
moniously into a cart with some people.!.
I hardly knew, smd sent nie home, telUcg me
to pack my trunk but not to be disappointed
if .he could not take me with him. I.did not
lie down at all. .1 packed my trunk a$ soon
as I got home, then sat down and waited,
and before long my husband came for me in
an ambulance. His courier, Lieutenant
Wumble, was with him, and the ambulance
was driven by an Irishman named Miles.-
The horses were tied to the back of the am-
bulance, and frequently my husband and
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Lieutenant Wumble rode ahead reconnoi-
tering. It began to rain. " What made you
always start in the rain? " I have been asked
by friends to whom I was relating my cam-
paigns. What I want to know is, what made
it always rain when I started? Let me but
step into an ambulance and immediately it
began to rain. My movements had to be
regulated by the movements of the army, not
by the weather, though really the weather
seemed to regulate itself by mine.

We found the roads worse as we ad-
vanced. The farther' we went the deeper
was the mud. Mud came up to the hubs of
our wheels; the mules could hardly pull their
feet up out of the miry mass in some places.
At last we found ourselves regularly " stuck
in the mud." There was no pushing or pull-
ing the ambulance farther. It was nearly
dark, but fortunately we were near a farm-
house, and at the side of the road where we
got stuck was a stile made by blocks of un-
equal heights set on either side of a plank
fence. These blocks were simply sections of
the round body of a tree which had been
sawed up. On the opposite side of the stile a
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pathway led to the house. The mud-hole in
which our ambulance was embedded was
about ten yards from the stile. My husband
insisted that I be carried bodily to the stile,
and Lieutenant Wumble, who was one of
the most gallant fellows in the world, took
it as a matter of course that he must carry
me. He urged that he had been brought
along to be useful and that Dan had never re-
covered entirely from his wound. But Dan
hooted at the idea! He was very much ob-
liged to the lieutenant^ but really he was
used to this sort of- thing, and understood
lifting ladies about much better than Wum-
ble. It was not altogether brute strength,
but some science that was required. So Dan
stepped out of the ambulance on to ' the
side of the mud-hole, where of course the
ground was not so muddy as in the center
where we were stuck, but where it was
rather slippery, nevertheless. Balancing him-
self nicely, he took me out, but just as he
poised me on his arm with scientific ease and
grace he slipped and fell backward, sprawling
in the mud, and I went over his head, sprawl-


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