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Some Reminiscences From Men on the
[All the tales of the Civil War have not been written nor told.
Watson's Magazine proposes to publish each month short narratives from those who actually took part in the "War of the '60's." In fighting their battles over,, the old Veteran will be surprised first, then gratified at the eager interest with which their tales are read.
We hope our old Confederate Veterans will send in their recollections; their wartime anecdotes, the history of the foraging tours, their brief romances, and all the data which went to make up the lives of "the Boys in Gray" in '61-'65.-The Editor.]
"A Royal Feed" and Disbandment
Mr. Editor: I should have stated in my last that when Johnston's Army neared the beautiful little city of Hillsboro, N. C., we were halted and lined up in order, and as we entered the city each brigade at its turn was halted for fifteen minutes to be fed by the ladies of this place. Yes, God bless them, they had prepared for us. Every thing you see nowadays at a basket picnic was there that April day, 1865. Also wines and dainties for the sick. I, as many others did, broke ranks and went out on the streets to the houses, and they were full, going in and out from the dining room. Each lady would plead for you to "go in and eat something" of hers. I was called into five or six places and "eat some;" they would "put something" in your haversack, too. When I left there my haversack looked like a stuffed Christmas stocking, and I looked like Santy Claus, for I was stuffed full. The North Carolinians generally were more hospitable and kinder to the soldiers than all others it was ever my pleasure to meet during the unpleasantness.
At Greensboro, as part of the consideration of surrender, we were allowed a pair of mules and wagon to each company, five stands of arms to each regiment or battalion and to be marched in order to our respective states and there be disbanded. No soldier was allowed to receive his parole until disbanded, without a good and sufficient excuse. During the armistice, from
some source, each man drew one silver Mexican dollar.
The boys amused themselves during the armistice in various ways. Trading with Yanks, chuck-u-luck with dice, poker and speculating, as it suited. In one part of the army, for instance, you could buy one of these silver dollars for $500 Confederate money; in another part, you could sell the same for $1,000. In this way I made two dollars and added to the one I drew made me $3.00. I felt rich.
The order was issued to commence the homeward march. Just at this moment our regiment jumped a rabbit, and such a yell. This happening right at that time impressed the colonel of a South Carolina regiment, that they were rejoicing. He wanted an old army box and called his regiment around him. And such a patriotic speech he made. It was an appeal to his men not to rejoice; he was ready to fight on if necessary; he felt like he was at a funeral, etc. He cried like a child.
On the 5th of May we arrived at Salisbury. Here the U. S. government had supplies for us in plenty. Bacon, flour, hard-tack, sugar and old sureenough coffee. Here myself, John H. Almand and two other comrades conceived the idea of making some excuse to get our paroles and shift for ourselves. I hobbled up to our major, told him my feet were blistered, could scarcely walk, and a train was running our direction for ten miles. I got the
parole but, Mr. Editor, at that time my feet were tough as whit leather. I don't know what tales the other boys told, but all of us got paroles, and after filling our haversacks with coffee to aid us en route, we hoisted sails and we four put out alone on our voyage. I herewith give you copy of my parole:
Greensboro, N. C., April 26, 1865. In accordance with the terms of the
Military Convention entered into on the 26th day of April, 1865, between General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate Army, and Major General W. T. Sherman, commanding U. S. Army, in North Carolina, the bearer, Sergt. O. J. Cottle, Cobb Guards, Co. H, 22nd Georgia Battery, has given his solemn obligation not to take up arms against the Government of the U. S. until properly released from this obligation. He is theerfore permitted to go to his home and there remain undisturbed so long as he observes this obligation and obeys the laws in force where he may reside.
M. J. MCMULLEN,
An Old Vet in Oklahoma Was a Good Fighter
I enlisted at Quitman, Miss., in the spring of 1861. Was in the 14th Mississippi regiment, Company D, Adams' brigade, Loring's division, Stuart's corps. My first service was in catching Jayhawkers around Knoxville. I helped in fortifying Bowling Green, Ky. From there we went to Hopkinsville, thence to Fort Donaldson. After one week of fighting we were forced to surrender. I was a prisoner at Camp Douglas from February until September, 1862. Joined the army again in North Mississippi. Was in service near Vicksburg during the winter of '62.
Was at the fight at Jackson; also at Resaca, Ga. Our hardest service was in 1864, while opposing Sherman on his memorable march through Georgia. Some deeds of gallantry of those trying times are still fresh in my memory. At the Dug Gap, in Georgia, Ector's brigade was holding the pass in the mountain. Loring's division, of which I was a member, was nine miles away. A courier came with orders for us to
hurry to the Gap with all possible speed. When within about two miles of the Gap the firing ceased. We naturally supposed that we badly needed, and began to slacken our pace, then a second courier came, urgWhen we reached the Gap we found ing us to hurry on as fast as possible. Ector's men, like Titans, bravely holding their ground. Their ammunition was exhausted and they were rolling huge stones down the pass, and effectually blocking the way against the enemy.
At the battle of Franklin, after a company of Federals had surrendered, Jesse Sumrall was shot in the forehead by a Federal. This renewed the fight. The one who fired the fatal shot was instantly killed, and our enraged men were about to make short work of the captain, but our lieutenant, Alex Trotter, intervened and saved the life of the Federal officer. It was at this battle that we lost our gallant brigadier general, Adams. He and his horse were killed at the same time; he fell over the breast works.
I was at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, in which General Polk was killed. I could relate many interesting incidents of those stirring times. I was with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at the time of his surrender. The old boys who wore the gray are fast passing on to join the mighty throng of comrades that have gone before. The memories of the sixties are still dear, and there is not a true son of Dixie that will ever feel ashamed of the cause for which he
fought so bravely. We, as a matter of fate, had to accept the inevitable; but now, while living in peace in a restored union, the Southland is still most sacred to the Southern heart.
J. S. RHOADS.
A Talk About the Battle of Seven
At the first battle of Manassas, when some of the Confederate army giving way, some one asked: "Where is Jackson?" And one of our colonels, pointing to the left of the railroad, away in front, said, "Yonder he stands, like a stone wall."
ville, seven miles west of Yorktown.
After the battle was over and the
doctors were dressing the wounds of this hero, Davis and Johnson rode up; he pushed the doctor away and said: "Give me ten thousand men and I will be in Washington tonight." Yes, he was right, and if Davis, Johnson and
Beauregard had taken Jackson's advice, The Fourth and Last Chapter of the the war would have ended in sixty days from July 21, 1861.
Six Langley Brothers
There was no army in Washington to defend it; and we dropped our candy right there. Part of the army remained at Manassas Junction and the remainder was sent some ten miles northeast and in sight of Arlington Heights. There we slept, and it snowed and we threw snow balls eight months, and allowed Lincoln, Scott, McDowell and General George General George B. McLendon to muster an army of one hundred and thirty tohusand. This host was landed by water as near Richmond as possible; the most of the army was landed at Yorktown, with Gen. George B. McClellan's headquarters, announced by himself to be in his saddle. Here he met Gen. John B. Magruder, with a small Confederate force that held them in check until Johnson's army could arrive. We broke up camp and marched by way of Fredericksburg to Yorktown; the batttle began at Mechanics
The third chapter closed with Sergeant D. A. Langley, the oldest, who was in command of his company (A), of the 47th Alabama, north of the James river, at Deep Bottom and vicinity. E. B. Langley had recovered from his wounds on 6th of May, and in August found his regiment in the trenches two or three miles north of the river, skirmishing regularly. Between the lines was a field of green corn, which served the men of both lines for roastingears by slying risking sharpshooters. This practice of green corn foraging had been very common with all the soldiers. On one occasion, at another time, an orchard field was in green corn. One of the 14th Alabama, whose name was Wm. H. Clemons, "Bill," as he was usually called, was on picket in the orchard field. He had found an apple and, sitting down by the tree to eat it, was in his jocular mood as usual, when the officer said to him, "Bill, if you don't look out a Minnie ball will
pop you directly." Bill responded, "Captain, you don't reckon they'd shoot a gentleman eating an apple?" So So Bill proceeded with the skirmish and pressing the enemy. They fired a cannon charge of grapeshot at the Rebels in the corn field. A grape shot struck an ear of corn near Bill's face and head, jarring him considerably, the soft corn spattered his face and forehead over. He put his hand up to feel the damage; finding the white corn on his head and face was evidence that his brains were out sure enough. But Bill came out all right and lived in Tallapoosa county, Alabama, until the spring of 1910, and died within twelve miles of the writer.
Field's division of Longstreet's corps kept up a long line of works north of the James. The men were placed at intervals to cover the distance of six to eight miles, reaching to the Darleytown road. We had various attacks, hasty double-quick marches with fighting to hold the forts on our line. Thus we eked out the fall months with continual vigilance, hard picket duty, on light rations. Our winter quarters were near our line of works, where we served until the spring campaigns of '65 opened.
During this time our brothers of the 38th Tennessee Regiment, under Johnson, had been detached with General Hood in command. Cheatham's division was assigned to Hood's command; with it was the 38th Tennessee regiment. Then Hood made his famous march back through Georgia to Franklin, Tenn., where they had a severe battle. James M. Langley, with others of their company was captured. After this Hood went to Nashville, Tenn., and had another severe battle. James M. Langley had been sent with those captured to Camp Douglas. George W. Langley was still with his company, detailed as cook, being somewhat deaf. The Camp Douglas prisoners knew well of the picking of the beef bones, and
the Yankee guard, with his large pistol buckled on, often threatened the boys that he would shoot if they persisted in such.
In September, '64, M. J. Langley had partially recovered from his wounds at East Point, and returned to Johnston's command; was retained in hospital for the invalids, at Hamburg, S. C.
From Nashville Hood's command was transported around southward and back to co-operate with Gen. Johnston in the Carolinas.
In December, '64, wm. T. Langley, the sixth of the boys, volunteered at the age of 16 years; joined Captain Vaughn's company of the Sixth Alabama Cavalry, Gen. Clanton's brigade. He reported to the command at Pensacola, Fla. Their first engagement was at Bluff Springs, Fla., where they clashed with Gen. Wilson's Federal Cavalry; also at Six Mile creek and at Lime creek, and Tuskeegee, Ala. Afterwards, at Columbus, Ga., Clanton's command and service was mostly confined within the state of Alabama, but advanced at far as Newnan, Ga., where they were disbanded at the general surrender in April, '65.
The Virginia Army, under Longstreet, was in poor condition to enter the spring campaign, yet our lines demanded our service. The enemy was still menacing us. Our lines were so thinly manned that when at attack was made we were compelled to rally, by double quick time, to meet the assault. At Fort Gilmer one afternoon, a brigade of negro troops emerged from the woods, a quarter of a mile distant, and had an open old field before they could reach the Fort. They marched in battle line, brilliantly bedecked with war regalia, with bristling bayonets, they kept the step, arms at right shouldershift.. Our boys behind the works held their fire patiently until the darkies got in good range. And just such a medley! A few tried to come nearer; some went to the woods, but some lay