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floating over the courthouse.

The boys began to cheer. We formed them
in line double file, and marched around the
courthouse square, cheering and hallooing like
wild men.

I shall never forget the sensation that came
over me when I looked down that line of men,
who had suffered so long and so much, some
cheering, some throwing their hats and others
weeping like children. Poor fellows, it seemed
that their joy had no bounds, and they cheered



104 THE ADVEXTURE3 OF A CONSOrwIPT

until they were so hoarse tlicy were forced to stop.

This was I^Ionday morning the 30th of Sep-
tember, and it marks an epoch in the history of
my life, ^ye reached the Union army none too
soon for our safety. About nine o'clock orders
were given to fall back to Greenville, about
twenty-five miles, and we at once started on the
march. We arrived there on Tuesday morning
and began to make arrangements to enlist and
organize our company for the Union service.

It has not been my purpose in writing this
story too revive any of the animosities of the
Civil War. I thank God that the wounds left by
that struggle are healed. The bloody chasm is
closed, and the tnnnp of the warrior and the
clangor of arms no longer echo on our mountains
or in our valleys. The garments dyed in blood
have passed away, and we live to enjoy the rich
boon of freedom and prosperity, purchased with
the blood of the thousands of patriots who
found their last resting place amid the thunder-
bolts of war, 'neath the whispering pines ni..!
palmettos of the South-land, and that v. c arc
again one Nation, one people, under one flag.
'But few men living to-day have greater v.'rongs
to forgive than myself; but I have tried to for-



. THE ADVENTUPvES OE A CONSCIUPT 10>

give tliem as I hope to be forgiven. All the
characters mentioned in this story are real and
true to name, except the Carroll family.

Edith Carroll is an assumed .name for a real
character. A short time after the close of the
war she was happily married and is now the
mother of a grown-up family, though 1 have
never seen her since tliat midnight parting be-
fore mentioned, on the niglit before my depart-
ure for the Union army. A few years ago I vis-
ited that country where the scenes and incidents
involved in this story took place, >^'carly all
the parties mentioned have passed from earth
into the great unknown. I know of but two or
three besides niyself thai are left. That fatlier
and mother on whose so.uls this great burden of
anguish and sorrow fell heaviest are pe:icefully
sleeping side by side in tlie old clmrchyard on
the hill- side, "in the wlndowless palace of the
dead." Storms may mutter around th.. i lone.
and silent resting-plac' .nd fields run red with
othfi \ ars ; they are i rest. But few of the
f^ вЦ† uds of my youth are there, and only the
iiands of strangers greet lii in my native land.
Those whon-. T loved in childhood arc scattered
here and mere, and many have passed over the
dark river of death and gone from earth forever.





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Online LibraryW. H YounceThe adventures of a conscript → online text (page 6 of 6)