J. E. CARRAWAY

Captain, Co. B

19th Louisiana Infantry, CSA

2 Sep 1840 - 2 Feb 1930

Oakwood Cemetery, Section L, Honey Grove, Fannin Co., Texas



REMINISCENCES OF THE CIVIL WAR

1861 - 1865

ESPECIALLY OF COMPANY B,

NINETEENTH LOUISIANA REGIMENT

TRUTHS TOLD AFTER FIFTY YEARS, BY CAPTAIN J. E. CARRAWAY

Today, we have been ruminating, or, in other words, "chewing the cud", of the past, and in doing so have trodden the walks from childhood, or from our earliest recollections to the present day; and more especially have we ruminated over the trials and hardships which we took part in from April 1861 to April 1865, and in reflecting upon these trying and perilous days many things have been made fresh to our memory. So much so that we feel almost driven to the task of putting in print some of our own observations. We have never known a reminiscence of the late war to emanate from the pen of an old soldier. I care not whether he wore the blue or the gray, but what was read with much interest by all of his kind. But as time elapses fewer of these are seen. Yet no doubt locked in the memory of most all who took active part in the war could be found a true story of his own personal experiences. And in this we propose to relate some of our own, and propose to relate facts as best we can remember them.

We begin this in April on which date thirty-six years ago we joined the Confederate army, which too in a month of as many or more historic events than any one of the twelve which it takes to constitute the year. It was in this month we fought our first battle, which was that of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862. Since which time thirty-six years have passed. But even this long period has failed to blot from our memory many things which took place on those two bloody days of battle. We hear the cries and groans of the wounded, we hear the roar of the cannon, and the rattle of musketry. We see the upturned faces of the dead, we hear the orders of those in authority, we hear the cry for help and for water, we hear messages homeward sent, we see the blood-stained earth. We see, and camp with arms stacked on a victorious field, on the night after the first day's battle. We see great heaps of quartermasters' and commissary stores, captured by our army, under General Albert S. Johnston. A walking cane, growth of young hickory, cut from the spot on which Johnston fell, is now in my possession, and cherished as a relic of two days' battle. These are some of our recollections of the first day's battle. We had gained a victory, and the truth of the assertion often made upon the stump by excited politicians, that one Southern man was equal to half a dozen Yankees, had been verified, and we washed the smoke from our faces, and the powder from our blackened lips, and slept the sweet sleep of the victorious, and dreamed of battles yet to be fought and victories gained. But on the second day what do we remember, what did our eyes behold? Ere the sun of that beautiful spring morning spread its glittering rays upon that blood-stained battleground, but the advance of an army of reinforcements under Gen. Buell, again the dash of couriers and the boom of cannons and the roar of musketry mingled with the yells of the opposing lines, and with the groans of the wounded and dying, our men inspired by the victory of the day before, made charge after charge against an army double the strength of our own, until by brute force, we were compelled to retreat toward Corinth, or to breastworks, which we had built just east of that little city in Feb'y 1862. This battle, remember reader, was in April 1862, and it was on the ninth day of April, 1865, or three years later, when at Appomattox Courthouse in Va. the white flag was unfurled and held high by the strong arm of a Federal Officer in the army of Gen. Grant, and demanded the surrender of the Confederate forces under Gen. Lee, which was paramount to demanding the surrender of the entire Confederate army. This was the most memorable event in the war. I dare say that the ninth day of April never rolls over the head of a Confederate soldier that he does not think of Appomattox Courthouse. Ask him to describe his feelings, and he will say, "I cannot". And I will not attempt to describe mine.

So long a time reader is likely to make questionable man's memory, but before concluding this story I propose telling you of various occurrences which from their very nature would indelibly impress one's recollection. We will not attempt to give in detail all that we hold in memory which occurred between 1861 and 1865. Time and opportunity forbid. Beside old soldiers are growing fewer each day, and those who have been born and grown to manhood since those days are not expected to read these reminiscences with the same interest that one would who had shared in its trials and hardships. I might give you many more events that have occurred in April, but it was not my object to do this. But it was in this month, as we have said, that we joined the Confederate army. Our company was composed of 113 men and of this number not exceeding one half dozen were over twenty-five years of age. And of the 113 the whereabouts of only six or eight is known to us. Of this number three are living in Fannin County, Texas, whose names are T. H. Lawrence of Bonham, T. M. Spurlin, Tulip, and Jack Richards, of Elwood. Two of whom wear the scars, the scars of battle, and all of them that of time. The others are scattered from the coast to the north boundary line of Mo.: one buried here and one yonder. Some died from natural causes, while most of them met death on the battlefield, and in garb of a soldier were laid in bloody graves, there to remain until the resurrection morn when they will be called to listen to the welcome plaudit "well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the kingdom of thy God".

We were in the army nearly a year before we scented Yankee gun powder; had been buffeted from post to pillow, in obedience to orders until we had about concluded all that was necessary to constitute a soldier was to lie in camp, tell yarns, eat hard tack, and answer roll call. We had often been in hearing of the enemy's big guns, but until the battle of Shiloh we knew nothing of the absolute realities of war. On joining the Confederate army we were ordered to Tangiphahoa, station some fifty miles above New Orleans, on the New Orleans and Jackson R.R. where a drill ground and camp of instructions had been established. Here and in this coast country we remained until sometime in February 1862, when Simon Boliver Buckner got into trouble at Ft. Donalson, and we were ordered to reinforce him. Orders to draw and cook three days' rations, and to be in readiness to move at a moment's notice, was hailed with delight. At this time we were at New Orleans, and in only a short time we were ordered into line and marched to the depot, where we were going was unknown to any in the line, but our little belongings were soon packed in a boxcar, and we its owners in the same. The day was spring-like and a quiet rain was falling and soon the train pulled out, pointing towards Yankeedom, whither we were anxious to go.

As I had before said we had been told from the stump by excited political speakers that one Southern man could whip a half a dozen Yankees, and we the ten companies which composed the 19th. LA. Regiment of infantry, believed all we were told, and made to feel our importance. We thought of nothing but victory for our army up to this time had not met defeat. On we headed northward, in boxcars, without stoves, seats or other conveniences.

In twelve or fifteen hours we reached Grand Junction in Northern Mississippi, here we met a fearful snow storm and it was night, and a change of cars ordered which delayed us several hours. A detail was made, and a transfer of baggage began, were I to say it was cold, I would be using a term too mild to express the condition and suffering of our men. Up to the hour of our departure from New Orleans we had not seen ice, not even a frost, so mild was that coast climate. Then just imagine the poor condition of our men to stand the cold. While the transfer of our baggage was being made, the men were standing shoe-mouth deep in snow, with the wind blowing through their thin clothing and with aching feet. Piled near the R.R. and parallel with it was a pile of telegraph poles (for there was no telephone in those days). Soon these were set on fire, necessity required it. Some of you who may read this may possibly call to mind some period during your soldier life when the want of comfort would drive you to the same extreme. Those poles stretched along the road a hundred yards or more, and were soon aflame from one end to the other. The snow gradually gave way to the heat, and as I write I can see the old boys standing with water streaming from their eyes because of the smoke, with one side scorching while the other was freezing. Soon the transfer of baggage was completed and the men ordered to take passage in the boxcar again, with no means of heating, with wet and dripping feet. Many were the curses that this special occasion brought upon the Yankee army, the invaders of Southern soil. But thousands of poles had gone up in smoke and flame, but on we went hoping to reach Donalson and render the assistance that might be required of us. We had served under Buckner before, and can now see his dark eyes, bronzed face and high cheek bones, ready to do duty wherever required, and as we went, frequently you could hear a loud daring rebel, "three cheers for Buckner" ring out from these freezing and suffering Confederate soldiers. But at Corinth, Miss., we met the news that Donalson had surrendered. Here we halted and stripped the old boxcars of our little belongings, and marched north from the town sufficiently far to get wood and a suitable camping place, and were the only troops at that time anywhere in that section of the country, and no enemy nearer than Ft. Donalson. There was no municipal law in force, the doors of business houses open, and business being transacted as in time of peace. Few, very few restraints were thrown around our men, and they were largely permitted to do as they pleased, provided they were fortunate enough to get a pass from the Captain. With the Colonel's approval, to pass the camp guard, which were kept out night and day, not that we were expecting the enemy, but in obedience to army regulations. This was the condition of things in that little city in February 1862. Matters went on this way for a few days. We little knew the shape the campaign was taking, and little did we care. We had struck a quiet little village and a generous, hospitable people. About this time a train loaded with troops came in, on the Memphis and Charleston road, which proved to be a regiment of regulars composed exclusively of Irish, who had been quartered at Pensacola, Florida, before secession, and had been commanded by Col. Braxton Bragg. By this time many of our men had taken sick and suffered greatly from what was then known as influenza, now called the grippee. Pneumonia became more or less prevalent, and many deaths occurred in consequence of the change of climate, from the extreme South to that of North Mississippi. Among these was a dear brother yet in his teens, who at his country's call had gone forth to battle for home and Southern rights. Whose grave was marked by a plain headboard upon which was engraved by a pocket knife, in the hand of a comrade, the initials of his name, the letter of his company and number of his regiment. I saw him breathe his last and I alone was with him, but it was war, and this was one of the trials of a soldier. I described this my brother's grave with the engravings thereon to a trusted and true friend of mine, now a practitioner of medicine in Honey Grove, Texas, who looked long and carefully for it a few years after the war, but time had obliterated and destroyed all evidence of one who a few short months before had bid adieu to mother and home with the hope of soon returning.

But we must refrain, for as we write recollections crowd upon us. But I must go back to the regiment of Irish, to whom I had already referred and than whom no braver regiment of soldiers ever marched to battle. These regulars had been subjected to the most rigid military discipline. They had not been accustomed to such privileges as are usually awarded to volunteers. Soon after they had established quarters they began to visit and familiarize themselves with the town, and especially with that portion of it where high life could be easily had. What liquor they had used before coming to Corinth had been issued as other rations. Their liberation having been so long restrained, they at once showed a disposition to indulge freely in strong drink the greatest enemy of the Irishman, and while under the influence of too much booze would indulge in loud hallooing and louder swearing. Buckner received a full share of cursing for surrendering Donalson, and Abe Lincoln for not having more sense than to plunge the United States into war. Soon it became necessary to proclaim martial law, to close the saloons, and restrict the soldiers of many privileges, which our friends, the Irish, up to this time had so much enjoyed.

Capt. Sharp of the 16th Louisiana Regiment, which by this time had arrived, was appointed Provost Marshal. The Captain was a man about thirty years old, of perfect symmetry and to say he was fearless would not describe his bravery. He had more than once before the war been engaged in deadly combat with his fellowman, and while fearless he was kind and generous, and was the man to acceptably fill the office of Provost Marshal. By this time many troops had arrived, yet the town and entire camps for a few days were quiet and went on so for a few days and nights. Still at length the stillness of the midnight was disturbed. Pandemonium reigned and the sleeping officers and men were ordered from their slumbers into line, and the cause of the warwhoops investigated. Our Irish comrades were found almost to a man drinking or drunk, and I can here assure you it took means more foul than persuasion to quiet them. Rough usage proved the only successful means. A large unoccupied brick storehouse was in use as a guardhouse. One after another was carried hither and usually by force. The question, "where did you get your whiskey?" was asked one after another, but not one would give away the source from which it came, and as a further punishment and with the hope of obtaining facts and all the facts connected with the drunkenness and midnight disturbances Capt. Sharp ordered each man bucked and gagged, which was done in short order and at last. Not until a late hour the following day were the facts ascertained. The saloon men, upon closing their doors, let the barrels and casks remain in the same position which they had occupied while in use. These positions were known to the patrons of the saloon, and at a dark hour and in the stillness of the night these dear lovers of the overjoyful stealthily crawled under the floor of the saloon, with camp kettles and with a brace and bit, and bored through the floor and into the barrel, and the barrel having in it rather more than the kettles would hold, they undertook to drink the overflow and save the kettles for future use. The overflow being enough to make all hands drunk, drunk, drunk.

No attack had yet been made upon the breastworks which we had fallen back to, after the battle of Shiloh. But the sounds of the guns each day on the picket lines revealed the facts that they were slowly advancing, and each day a larger detail was made for picket duty. It is now May, and hourly artillery firing and skirmishing can be heard, and at a forgotten date in this month my regiment was moved to the front, and within a half mile of the picket line it was halted under the brow of a hill near a deep ravine, The wing of the regiment to which my company belonged, which was the right, was left in reserve. Maj. Winins, a prominent attorney of Shreveport, La. before the war (and who afterward was killed by a minieball at the battle of Missionary Ridge in 1863) was in command.

While the left wing moved to the front. It was yet before noon and no duty was expected of the reserve wing, before night, when we expected to go to the front and relieve the wing now on duty. Notwithstanding we were something like a half mile in rear of the picket, we could occasionally hear the whistle of a minieball. The Orderly Sergeant of my company was named Vickers, John Vickers, who was raised in Bienville Parish, La., and came of a wealthy and aristocratic family, whose father was the owner of many slaves, and John believed the object of the war was more for the purpose of destroying the system of slavery then existing in the South, than for the purpose of forcing back into the Union the Seceding States. And I entertained largely his views. The two wings of the regiment had not long been separated, and as we did not expect to be called on to do any duty before night, Vickers and myself concluded to go forward to the picket line and make some observations, if possible. So without authority from the Major we picked up our muskets loaded with ball and three buck shots and moved to the front. These old muskets had been of the flint and steel variety, but were now percussion. On reaching the line of our men we discovered that just where they were located there was no firing except by the enemy, and they not in view, not even the smoke of their guns could be seen, yet bullets rained around us. But our men had received orders not to fire until the command was given or to make noise of any kind that would expose their position, which seemed at that time to be the main object the enemy had in view. And while we were standing there protecting ourselves as best we could, listening to the zig, zig, of the bullets as they fell around us, a big old turkey gobbler came running from the direction of the enemy and passed within a few feet of us. More muskets than one was pointed at it, but knowing the duty of a soldier to obey orders, not a gun was fired. One of the boys threw a stick at him as he was passing out of sight in the brush and said in rather a low tone "Shore dam you".

Time as we have said is calculated to make doubtful man's recollections, hence I don't remember whether I suggested to Vickers or he to me that we go to the right along the line to a point where heavy skirmishing was going on, and it matters little at this late date which did, but the proposition was accepted. The direction we took was South and ere we had gone very far we came in contact with an old fashioned worm fence (the only kind in use in those days), which ran east and west across our pathway. We halted and took a view eastward, and as we did this we discovered another fence running north and south, the south end leading in the direction of and passing just a few feet east of a little cabin, which we were now in a hundred yards or so of. Here our picket line stopped so far as infantry was concerned. A brigade of cavalry during the forenoon had passed through the old field and crossed the string of fence last described, the panels had been thrown back two and two. Any old soldier can tell you how this is done. This old cabin was tempting us. It occurred to two inexperienced and indiscreet soldiers that it would afford a first class position to sharp-shoot from as the heavy firing which we have alluded to seemed only a short distance east of that point. Now in order to reach the line of fence running north and south we must still go east along the line already encountered. But we were determined to make that effort, so started in a stooping position, and had only gone a short distance when in front and a little to the left of the direction in which we were going, I discovered a man crouched behind a stump holding his gun in a shooting position and his attention was directed east, which was the direction we were going. He was dressed in blue and was expecting the enemy at any moment. I cocked and threw my gun to my face. At this moment he discovered us and hallowed, "Don't shoot, I am one of Forest's men." At the same instant another said, "Don't shoot; we belong to Forest's cavalry." Vickers' attention was drawn to the latter man. We had all the advantage of them and did not want to kill them. Yet we felt certain they were Yankees. At the same time I knew that a great many of Forest's men wore blue jeans. Besides our men only a few days before through mistake had fired into each other. All of this came instantly to my mind, yet we did not propose to take any chance on these two fellows until we were thoroughly satisfied as to who they were. We ordered them to lay down their guns and come to us, which they did without hesitation, and in a few moments we satisfied ourselves that we had at bay our own men, and permitted them to take up their guns. At this moment a thundering volley was fired in our front, and lead fell like hail around us. We had been talking too loud. We could see nobody, and after this volley a deathly stillness prevailed. About this time our blue jeans men concluded they would go back under the brow of the hill where they had left their horses. Vickers and myself were again alone and near the broken fence running in the direction of the little cabin, and started in the direction of the coveted location. We reached the fence and were stooping along on the west side of it and looking in the direction from which the last fire came. Suddenly a volley was fired at us. We dropped upon our knees each in separate locks of the fence and began to return the fire. This position we held until we had fired eight or ten shots each. By this time we hardly knew which of the boys we were, dust, splinters, bark, and dirt were thrown in our eyes. It seemed that the whole Yankee army had concentrated their fire on us. One said to the other, "We can't stay here", let's run to the little cabin which was some distance yet away, and further from our command, yet no nearer the enemy. This agreed, our heels flew until the cabin was reached, and in doing so we exposed ourselves to a line of Yankee skirmishers at least a half mile in length along the woods which skirted the old field. Seeing us enter they turned loose upon the cabin from every quarter. It being almost impossible for us to escape under such a galling fire, we too began to fire as fast as we could load, and shoot, the little old house was hit from its foundation log to its comb. They came in ones and twos and dozens, and occasionally one would pass through a crack and strike the wall on the opposite side. We by this time fully realized the perilous condition which we have voluntarily crowded ourselves into, and the sad mistake we had made. But the little old rail fence which we have described as passing a little east of the cabin helped also to protect us. The cabin proved to be an old abandoned stable. In it was a large trough, one half of a large post oak log, which would have held several barrels of corn. This trough lay flat upon the ground, with mouth upward, overhead were a few log joists. On these were lain an old- fashioned puncheon floor, in the northeast corner of which a hole had been cut some three feet or more in size, which had been used in the days of its usefulness, for storing away oats and fodder. We were so far away from our picket line we were liable to be cut off and captured as well as killed. Seeing the difficulties by which we were now so completely surrounded, an exceedingly brief council was held, and for our protection a plan of action was agreed upon. Vickers agreeing to climb up in the loft, as by this means he could command a better view, without in the least interfering with his service as a sharpshooter. The plan was executed as quickly as made, and John ascended to the puncheon loft. I continued to fire from the ground floor. Our position had been accurately located by the smoke from our muskets, and Vickers' first fire from the loft gave evidence that our tactics had been changed, and the change had only been made a few seconds and only a few shots fired by us, when I heard a bullet glance a log just above the loft, and roll down on the puncheon floor. At this I told Vickers to change his position and to lie down, otherwise they would hit him. He did lie down, but continued to fire from the same crack, for a few moments, when I distinctly heard a bullet strike him, and his last exclamation was "Oh". This cry was doubtless heard by the enemy, from the fact that an unearthly yell rang for a distance along their line. I looked instantly up and saw the head of my comrade hanging over the edge of the little square through which he had ascended, and instantly the blood from his pure brave heart began to drip from the loft above to the ground floor upon which I stood. My feelings I cannot describe. There are but few, if any, living whoever realized such. If so I dare say his memory is fresh to this good day.

My first impulse was to get back to my command. I started from the stable and the thought presented itself that he might only be wounded. Had I not better take chances a little longer, examine and know the true condition of my comrade before leaving him? I would then be in a position to answer any questions that might be asked by his brothers, Bill or Frank or any of his friends in the regiment. With this thought I whirled around and walked underneath where my comrade lay. I reached up and pulled him down, and he fell in my arms, the warm though dead body of a true friend, and a brave and unflinching soldier, who only a few short months ago was so bravely doing that which from honest convictions he had conceived to be his duty. Yet such are facts, and by superhuman efforts I dragged and laid him in the old log trough with no eye to witness save that of an all-seeing God. I can yet in my imagination feel the warm blood from his bosom as it soaked through my gray jacket, and felt warm upon my over-fatigued body. I called him but silence made the response. I opened his bosom and looked for the fatal wound which was found over the region of the heart. I gazed for a moment upon his lifeless form and said, "In God's name is this war?" I was then in position as I thought to answer such questions as might be asked me. I started again to leave the old stable, but my gun had been left leaning against the wall, I again turned back amid the rattle of bullets, which all this time had kept up an incessant patter. I picked up my gun and asked God for both speed and protection, as I made my way back to my command. He gave me both. I made the swiftest tracks of my life. The whiz of bullets followed by oaths and commands to halt until I was well out of the old field, and once more protected by heavy timber. Two hours or more had elapsed since I left my command. I was now with it and reported the death of my friend, who was one of the most poplar men in the regiment. After being asked various questions by his brothers and friends, I was asked if I had saved his money and company roll book. This was the first time it had entered my mind. I had got neither nor thought of either. His two brothers, Bill and Frank, went to Major Winins, and insisted that he take the reserve wing of the regiment, and if possible recover the dead body of their brother, that they might give it a burial. I was sent for and asked my views as regarded the possibility of doing so. I made a statement to the Major and gave it as my opinion that it could not be done without the sacrifice of more men, for the advance would have to be across a field for several hundred yards. But the appeal was so strong every man urging the Major, until he at last consented to make the effort. The enemy had all the advantage, and as I had predicted resulted in failure and in the loss of more men.

The Vickers boys had carried a Negro boy with them into the army to do their cooking and such other things as might become necessary. His name was Dick, who was a square set, heavy bodied Negro, about twenty years of age, and was strongly attached to his young masters, and in turn they confided in him. It was known that frequently, on going to the front that John, should his two brothers be on the same detail, left his money with Dick. This time it was not known what he had done. After a day or two, Dick who was left in the rear with the wagon train, in charge of Quartermaster Captain Jack Hodges, who when last heard from was doing an insurance business in Houston. Capt. Hodges in the beginning of the war was a member of our company, and was its first Orderly Sergeant, but was promoted to quartermaster early in the war, with the rank of Captain, such position he held to the close of the war, with much credit himself and satisfaction to the regiment, and if alive today is between sixty-five and seventy years old.

Dick, hearing of the death of his young master, came to the front to ascertain facts and particulars. On his coming Frank and Bill learned the fact that their dead brother had left his money, or in fact their money (for they were equally interested) with their trusted servant. While it was only Confederate money, it was all we had and supplied our wants in its way. But the roll book was gone.

Though I who was expected to supply the place of Vickers, being next in rank, could make a duplication of the missing roll book. The brothers then insisted upon Dick going into the Yankee lines and get the body of his young master. But no sort of inducement would he accept. Remember this is in May 1862 of which we write.

In a few days and about the twenty-ninth of May, 1862, we abandoned the breastworks and Corinth, and destroying such baggage as could not be conveniently moved, hung Abe Lincoln in effigy, and turned the little hamlet over to those who were seeking the overthrow of the Confederate government, and marched southward. A stronghold had been abandoned, and new strategy resorted to. The once strong army once under the command of Gen. A. S. Johnston was sent almost to every point in the compass, so great was the growing demand for troops, Mobile, Ala. being the destination of our command. At this place I was elected and commissioned Lieutenant because of the promotion of our former Captain having been promoted to Major of the regiment. These gallant officers were doomed not long to fill the honorable and merited positions to which they had been promoted. Each of them found death where they sought it, on a victorious field of battle, each falling at the battle of Chickamauga. Butler was the only officer in the brigade who dared to enter the charge horseback. His neck was broken by a grape-shot, and in pitching forward at the instant of death his sword fell several feet nearer the enemy. Capt. Bruton was shot through the upper portion of the left breast by what I shall always believe was a pistol ball. I last saw him lying under a tree on the battlefield. But he lingered only a few days, and the life of another one of the best and bravest men in the Confederate army was gone. But I must desist. I can't further personate or particularize. The period of four years is most too long for me to cover the entire ground.

I have stated to you that I was commissioned at Mobile, Ala., in 1862. Soon after this I was detached from my command. My business was such that I was authorized to visit any point in the Confederate States, except I was not authorized to go West of the Mississippi River. I visited many of towns and cities of the Confederacy. Some of them however I was more anxious to leave than I was to visit. For instance, in 1863 I visited Gen. Bragg's headquarters, which was some three miles south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. When I had shown him papers in my possession, and asked for further orders, I was told I need not do further duty under the orders which I held and had been traveling under, that my command then in Alabama, had been ordered to Chattanooga, and was expected to arrive in two or three days, or that I might go to Chattanooga that night and take the train and meet my command on the road. I concluded to do the latter. All the evening while at the general headquarters I had listened to heavy cannoning in the direction of Chattanooga, but thought it was far beyond. So myself and two other Lieutenants, with whom I had been operating all belonging to the same command, and having been away from it for sometime, concluded we would go into town, and take the first train going south. We had forgotten when we came up that we got off the train three miles south of town, and when we got in we were told that only one train was likely to go south that night, and they had no schedule time. About this time a twelve pound shell bursted in ten feet of the hotel door, where we were talking. We were then told that the Yankees for days had been building a fort and planting some heavy guns on the north side of the city, at a distance of some two miles, and that the city was virtually under siege. We were tired as well as disappointed. We had slept but little for two days and nights. So we made application of the proprietor of the hotel for places to sleep. He at once turned to conduct us to rooms, and as we passed along we noticed on the doors and other conspicuous places notices announcing the fact that they were not responsible for life or property. On the latter we were disposed to take chances, but in reality we were a little anxious about our lives. Tishamingo was the name of the hotel, an elegant three-story brick, but was now mainly without furniture or other comforts. There were three of us, and we applied for a room with two beds, but one bed to the room was the best we could do. My two companions, after reaching the third story, stopped in the first room they came to. This of course left me to take a room alone, but joining my friends and without undressing, I at once lay down. The landlord pulling the door to as he left the room. Shells from the Yankee forts continued to fall, one here and one yonder over the city. Being overcome by fatigue and want of rest, I dropped off to sleep, how long I don't know, but the loud bursting of a shell seemingly under me, aroused me from my slumbers. I sprang to my feet, fearing and believing the hotel had been hit, and would possibly catch fire. I reached for the doorknob, but behold, that on the inner side had been broken off, and I as it were locked in prison. But as I had not lost my voice, concluded that my delivery lay in loud hallowing. I called my companions in the adjoining room, and at last concluded that possibly that I was the only living inmate of the house. But even this had no tendency towards stilling my voice. Until at last a straggling soldier in the street below came to my relief. I opened the door of my traveling companions' room, hallowed at the top of my voice, but when the tomb claims them they will not be more deaf to the appeals of man. Not until I succeeded in dragging them from the comfortable bed upon which they were sleeping and announced the fact that the house was on fire and the town full of Yankees, could I get their consent to leave the beleaguered city. But at last they did, and we made tracks in the directions of the point where we left the train the evening before. On visiting General Bragg's headquarters, but before reaching the point we could hear a low rumbling noise, sounding like a fearful storm in the distance. But nearer and nearer it came until we were in close proximity and in a moment a train with a tarpaulin spread over the headlight came slipping in like a thief at the hour of midnight. This tarpaulin was spread to hide it from the view of the Yankee forts. We stepped aside and bid her Godspeed on her dark and stealthy mission. On we went until we had reached the point where we had left the train the evening before, and waited for the return of the dark transport which we had met. And as the night was giving away and grey streaks in the east announced the coming of another day, we heard the quiet rumbling of the returning car, a short stop was made, and we took passage South to again rejoin our command, which had met countermanding orders, and back we went to Jackson, Miss., and was assigned to duty under Gen. Joe Johnston.

Reader, I have not, nor cannot tell you all. This is the summer of 1863. Gen. Johnston was organizing for the purpose of relieving the army under Gen. Pemberton, at Vicksburg, but the Yankees held the Mississippi River with their gunboats on the west, while on the east the approaches to the city impregnable by men and heavy artillery. So much so Gen. Johnston regarded the undertaking as being hazardous. Yet his army was on the Big Black, a small stream only a short distance east of Vicksburg where the surrender took place on July 4, 1863, after which our General in his usual quiet way began a counter march and reached Jackson on the midnight on the night of the 7th, and took position behind earthworks which were made in the beginning of the war. The weather was very hot, and extremely dry. Yet we were dogged by the enemy all the way. And on the morning of July 8th, their pickets were in easy reach of our breastworks, and rapid firing was kept up by both artillery and small arms until Sunday morning July 12th when they made a daring and determined charge upon our works, and such slaughter I never beheld before or since. Long before this attack all of the timber and underbrush had been cut down for one quarter of a mile in front of our works. A very fine but abandoned brick residence stood out in front of our works, which the day before the Yankees had taken shelter behind, and were doing deadly work with their Whitworth rifles. We charged and captured the residence. Its occupants had not long been gone, and the mansion seemed not to have been entered since its abandonment. Talk about splendor -- but within these magnificently furnished rooms it was to be seen, which I will not attempt full to describe. The floors, all of them, were elegantly carpeted. These were taken by our men and cut into blanket size. The large and costly mirrors were broken, and each soldier pocketed a piece that he might afterwards behold his own half-starved features and ragged clothes. The splendid library was filled with costly books of almost every variety. These we took, each appropriating to his own use such as he chose. A piano, as costly perhaps as any ever placed upon the market, sat in a lonely and well-lighted and curtained room. Now what must be done with this ? destruction awaited it. If not done by our men, it would be by the Yankees in whose hands it seemed doomed sooner or later to fall. For the house must be destroyed by us and the walls torn down in order to prevent the enemy from sheltering behind it and dealing death to our men. This became a necessity. And while we the command that had made the charge and capture the home of the aristocrat (for no other ever indulges in such splendor) were debating the matter between ourselves, a swarthy Creole, a member of the 5th Company of the Washington Artillery, proposed that it be turned over to his battery as most of them were musicians, all of them French. This was at once agreed to and when night came and the earth was enveloped in darkness, and the view of the unerring Yankee sharpshooter was lost sight of, these Frenchmen went to the torn and battered walls of the but a few hours ago elegant mansion, picked up and carried into their own fort, made of cotton bales, this beautiful and costly musical instrument. And while the air was made dense by the explosion of the enemy's shells on the early morning of the 12th just prior to the onslaught and roar of battle, these daring little Frenchmen (in their fort disguised from view by thoroughly piling brush on and about it) made music such as but few ever heard, until the charging line of the enemy were well out in the open, in front of the works as described. It was evident that they contemplated making the attack. Orders had gone along the line that not a shot should be fired except by the pickets, until the command was given. As I have said most of our batteries had been masked, hence the enemy were at a loss as to our strength or our ability to withstand an attack. So on they came. A regular line could not be kept, because of the thick brush over which they had to charge. But when within two hundred yards of our works the command "fire" was given. The rattle of musketry began. From the fort, which but a few moments before had been dispensing such soul-stirring music, belched forth fire and smoke, and roads were made of grape and canister, from the fort to and past the advancing line of the enemy. Such slaughter in so short a time was never known on earth. Soon we could see a few retreating forms and as the smoke of battle passed away under that scorching July sun, as far as your eye could reach, signals of surrender waving of hands, hats or handkerchiefs was the signal, as they lay behind logs, stumps and such other objects, as might afford them protection. Not another gun was fired. And with the exception of forty or fifty we had killed and captured an entire division. The roar of guns hushed. Our men poured over the breastworks, the object being to take charge of the surrendered, collect their arms, and be of such service as we could to the wounded. Among these was a captain, a middle-aged man, a stout and nervy fellow, who was seriously hurt. As I neared him he asked what command we were of. I said, "We are members of General Gibson's brigade." "What regiment?" "Nineteenth Louisiana" "Whose Division?" "General Breckenridge's" "Where is the surgeon of your regiment?" I said, "There he is sir", and pointed to Dr. Philson, our assistant who had followed us on the field and was only a few steps away, "Please call him to me." I did so, saying "Come this way doctor, here is a man who wants to see you." He instantly came to where I stood by the side of the wounded captain, and said, "What can I do for you?" The wounded man raised himself gently on his left elbow, for he had fallen on his face. Raising his eyes he said "Doctor, my name is Hunt, and I am a Kentuckian, and am captain of a company from the same state, and as you know belong to the Federal army. I enlisted at the outbreak of the war, have been engaged in a number of battles, and never received a scratch before. But now doctor, I am wounded, and I fear dangerously, and have by the cruel fate of war, as you see fallen into the hands of my enemy, whom I hope and consider is magnanimous. Now, doctor, I have a family, a wife and four children whom I love and am anxious to live for. I want you to deal with me honestly, deal with me as you would have me deal with you under like conditions." Dr. Philson was a wiry, active fellow, and nothing gave him more pleasure than to visit a field hospital after a battle and aid in the hewing of flesh and sawing of bone. But I could see that in this instance his usual bitter hatred was giving way to sympathy. He said "All sir, what is it you would have me do?" "Please examine me, doctor, I am suffering, and if there is no chance for me, say so. I am shot in the stomach, and I fear I shall never recover". The doctor cautiously and carefully examined the poor fellow, after which he said "Captain, I feel sure you can never recover. Your wound is a mortal one". At this the Captain, without the least excitement or expression of fear, replied that he very much feared the truth of what the doctor had said. Running his hand into his pocket, still resting on his elbow, he drew forth his purse containing a considerable amount of green-back and handed it to the doctor, then he took from another pocket a beautiful gold watch, and placed it also in his hands. Then he asked the doctor if he would write down his wife's name and address. This being done he requested that the watch and purse in some safe way be conveyed to his family. This the doctor faithfully promised to do. At this moment the litter bearers came up and the Captain was moved inside of the breastworks. I never saw or heard of him any more, but have always hoped he recovered.

Soon another prisoner asked what command we were of, and being told that we belonged to the 19th Louisiana Regiment, he asked if Company B of that Regiment did not have an Orderly Sergeant killed in an old house east of Corinth, Miss. in 1862. I told him we did, he said "I don't know who killed him. I saw two fellows go in the cabin and I know one of them was killed, but the other made his escape under a galling fire." I looked at the man with amazement and asked him many questions. He told me they camped at the cabin the night after the killing, and told of the Sergeant being laid out in the trough. I asked what disposition, if any, they made of his body. He said they did not disturb him. But when I told him I was the man who was with him, he ran his hand in the breast pocket of his blue jacket and drew forth the long missing roll book, which still wore the blood stains of the long dead Sergeant. Can you conceive of my astonishment? But I had met more than once the same enemy. His name I for a long time remembered but it is gone now. He and others who were captured with him told me the names upon that roll book were as familiar in the Yankee company to which they belonged as it was in our own as the rebel roll was called for their amusement almost daily.

I distinctly remember that we abandoned Jackson on the night of July 13th. The Yankee lines were in such close proximity to our own. Gen. Johnston being anxious to make the retreat as quietly as possible and hoping to get at least the night march without being pursued. For this reason we drew the artillery by hand across Pearl River, more than a mile in the rear of the position which we had been holding, before hitching the teams, and the march was made to Brandon, Miss., where we remained for a short time. From this point we went back to Tennessee and took active part in the fighting and campaigning of 1863. I was an eye witness to the battle fought above the clouds [Lookout Mountain, GA] on Nov. 23rd, 1863. We were on picket duty in the valley just below and to the right of the battlefield. We could see the charges made by the opposing lines as they wavered to and fro. The mountaintop was made dense with smoke and the air hideous with the cries and groans of the wounded. It was a grand yet solemn sight to behold. And at a late hour of the night, ere the battle ceased, the moon which was shining brightly was suddenly enveloped in darkness as if to show the powers of heaven upon the cruelties of war, and the painting of the earth below red with the blood of human lives. The battle at last hushed. Adjutant Ben Braughton of our regiment visited the picket line, having brought and almost whisperingly delivered orders to fall back. We took up the line of march east, and at the break of day we were ascending the west side of Missionary Ridge, which with its projecting rocks was difficult to do, and not without our lines becoming frequently disordered. Yet by sunup we had reached its summit, after which we halted and about-faced, which gave us a view from the mountaintop of the beautiful far stretching valley below. The width of this valley was not less than two miles, while as to its length running north and south we have no idea. But soon our view was completely obstructed by a dense fog which is common in the valleys of Tennessee, in the fall season. But soon the sun made its appearance above the mountaintop, and as suddenly as it appeared the fog gave way.

Gen. Longstreet who with his division from Va. and who had rendered such valuable assistance at the battle of Chickamauga, and who had been with us since the last named battle until about this time, had been ordered to Knoxville, East Tennessee. This left our army now commanded by Gen. Braxton. Bragg was very weak compared to that of Gen. Grant, at Chattanooga only three or four miles distant, where the Federal army had fled after their defeat at Chickamauga. The blood from their bleeding wounds had been staunched (sic) and their army rested, and recruited, were ready now to strike our weak and emaciated, poorly clad and poorly fed army. Gen. Bragg was fully cognizant of the weakness of his own army as well as of the strength of that of his enemy, and strategy was regarded by him as his best means of defense. This being necessary he ordered the line in single file which gave it the appearance of an army twice its real size. Then came an order for each company to build breastworks equal to its front, and all this was done while the dense fog hung between us and the enemy. But the greatest difficulty confronting us just at this moment was procuring of picks, spades, and other implements to enable us to build the breastworks which we had been ordered to do. Nothing of the kind could be commanded, and if ever such things were possessed by our army they were far away with the wagon trains. You know it is said, and truthfully too, that "necessity is mother of invention", and that "necessity knows no law". The face of the mountaintop which is described as Missionary Ridge was covered with rocks of almost every conceivable shape and size. The necessity for work was palpable to all, and at length the idea was conceived that we could soon carry and pile rocks in our front and in this way make works sufficiently strong to resist the attack of the Federal infantry, and in only a little while we had these erected high enough that kneeling behind them we could be fairly well protected. We had no fears of the enemy's field pieces, from the fact they could not elevate the mouths of their guns sufficient to reach the lofty position which Gen. Bragg had chosen from which to give battle. While our infantry were building works and otherwise arranging for battle the planting of our batteries along the mountaintop was going on.

Now old soldiers remember that we are now about to engage in a battle which Barnes the historian describes as the most picturesque battle of the war, and almost in the same breath claims that the Federal army captured Missionary Ridge without the fire of a gun. This certainly is the only battle of which history speaks where a battle was fought and victory won without the fire of a shot. Yet history with all of its untruth is taught the children in public schools in the South, whose fathers and brothers were slain there. Ah! Consistency: From our lofty position as the fog disappeared could be seen the lines of the advancing foe, at first a dark object in the distance, but as they advanced we observed seven lines of battle well equipped, with flying colors, and sparkling bayonets. There we stood both out of danger and out of reach, and for the time nothing to do, but make observations, and here I can endorse one statement made by Barnes which is true as regards the picturesqueness of the view and grandeur of the scenery, to describe which I shall not attempt to do, further than to say it was indescribable.

To see those seven strong, well-equipped lines of battle advancing upon the single file of half-starved and poorly fed Confederate soldiers who were in readiness upon bended knees to receive with eager determination pictured in the face of each. Yet on they came, and after they came in sight our pickets were called in while theirs marched a few yards in front of their lines without resistance until not more than a mile lay between the opposing armies, when every piece of artillery on the mountain began rapid firing and the shells could be seen bursting in their front, in their midst, and above and around them. Yet they came on as if the rebel shells were but play things. But on nearer approach our artillery men substituted grape and canister. These created confusion and scattered their dead over the ground. Great swaths were cut through their lines which would cause them to waver, yet they would close and continue to advance until the first two front lines had been repulsed. Falling back their places were supplied by others yet unbroken. Not a gun had yet been fired by our infantry, nor had any guns been fired by the enemy, except their pickets. They by this time had crossed the open valley which I have attempted to describe. Which without tree or underbrush, hence their movements from our position could be seen as far as the eye could reach. But the foot of the mountain had been reached which placed them near enough that orders were given to the infantry to fire, and the rattle and roar of musketry was heard and was responded to by the Federal's long range rifles. It was now past noon and the battle as it were seemed just begun. The uneven mountainside had to be climbed by the enemy, and as I said by our own as it advanced in the early morning of the same day. Frequently confused and broke their advancing lines. This gave our downhill shots only a better chance, and many were the blue coats that dotted the mountainside. All this time our artillery had not been idle, but were fired with all possible rapidity tearing limbs from the trees and piling in heaps the dead enemy. Yet on they came. Imagine yourself on the steepest house firing directly down its slopes and you can form some little idea of the position held by the two armies. It was the strong against the weak. We could no longer hold them in check, and for a while at different places along the line the Rebs and the Yanks were engaged in hand to hand combat, guns were clubed, bayonets used and the artillery swabs instead of their being used in driving home the charge the empty guns were hurled in the face of the enemy until the line was enveloped in smoke. When Day's brigade broke, which by some has been described as a stampede, and which I will not in the name deny. Here as I have before stated Maj. Winins who was in command of our regiment was killed (hit by a minieball in the neck which failed to stagger him yet he was in ten minutes, even walked away from the line of battle a few steps to the rear) and the remains of the gallant Winins was all that was left to us. At this command of the regiment fell into the willing and gallant hands of Capt. Pierson who was the senior Captain of the regiment. In this battle for the first time since the war began had the command of my company devolved upon me, having served before in the capacity of Lieutenant.

When Capt. Pierson saw Day's brigade give way, saw the inevitable, and ordered our regiment to retreat. By this time other movements of the command could be seen, and as you must know it was in excitement and confusion, that we made tracks east and down the opposite side of the mountain, which was free from timber except a few fruit trees which stood in an old abandoned orchard. This was the first time Capt. Pierson had ever commanded the regiment in battle, and feeling anxious that no charge of cowardice or other act of indiscretion be charged against him, commanded his regiment ere it had retreated more than one hundred yards from in the rear of the position from which we had been fighting, to rally. At this many of the old regiment halted, but halted in confusion.

By this time looking westward you could see the blue coats swarming to the top of the ridge, and emptying their guns into our halting squads or on our retreating backs, with telling effect. It was here, halting in obedience to the command of Capt. Pierson I was shot down on the rocky mountain. How many moments I may have lain there in a stunned and insensible condition I don't know, though not many I am sure, but on coming to my senses I was lying flat on the ground, my left side from shoulder to foot was paralyzed, but my right side I could command control of. I could think of nothing, only that I had been wounded on the left side, and I thought in the breast I could feel no wound, nor was I suffering any pain. I had no baggage save blanket, a canteen, haversack, and sword, which old sword today hangs in my house and bears the initials C.S.A., it was made at Atlanta, Ga. As I lay there in this almost half conscious condition, four of my men threw a folding litter on the ground beside me and placed my helpless body on it. Shot was raining around us, raining a perfect whirlwind of dust and dirt. These true friends had not borne me far ere Andrew Davis, one of the bearers, fell with his back broken. He never uttered a word. This dropped me by the side of my dying companion, and my shoulder was resting on his left arm. Each moment I felt better and had come perfectly to myself. The other three boys who risked their lives for me, and had tried to prevent my falling into the hands of the enemy, bid me farewell, and turned their eyes and footsteps in the direction of our now indeed fleeing army. I called to Davis, but he never spoke. By this time, on top of the mountain, a full line of Federal infantry had formed, and began to advance firing as they did go. By this time I had located my wound. It was a crease in the back of my neck. A minieball in its mercy cutting about one half of it depth and went on its death dealing mission. I at once knew that my wound need not be necessarily fatal. Only a few days before an order was read announcing the fact that there would be no more exchange of prisoners. I almost despaired of my life under the galling fire that was coming from the advancing foe. There was no hope for my escape, for the shot seemed to be carrying away every thing around me. To lie still was death. Away up North I could see the horrible Yankee prison with ambulances each day bearing away for burial some brave Southern soldier. I could see smallpox and cruelty, and starvation there. With these horrible reflections I determined, if possible, to make my escape. It could be only death in either instance. So by an effort I arose to my feet. I knew the direction my command had gone, and also the one I wanted to go, but at first my legs were tottery and refused to lead me in that direction. The last rebel out of sight, not a soul in view except those who were seeking my life. I continued my efforts to get away, and each moment I felt I was getting better control of myself and was making my way to the rear though the Yankees seemed to be gaining on me, though they were only in a walk. I had on a sack overcoat, how I came in possession of it I cannot now say. I had not gone more than two hundred yards when in crossing a ravine I saw standing not far from me, in a sort of hillside ravine the horse of our dead Major, who seemed to be waiting patiently for the coming of his master. I walked up to and climbed on his back, and made my way eastward. I went too far to the right, hence missed my command, which crossed the Chickamauga on pontoons, which I missed by going too far east, when I discovered that I was off my route, had to turn back up the river and reach the pontoons in time to cross before they were destroyed. Some time after dark I reached the wagon trains which had stopped to feed their teams. By this time I was suffering a great deal of pain, and I discovered my neck was swelling very fast. I dismounted from the Major's horse and walked to where Captain Hodges was sitting on a camp stool, looking up he said "Great God, the boys reported you killed". My old friend T. H. Lawrence, who I have told you lived in Bonham, told me afterward that he saw me the instant I was hit, saw the hair fly from my head, saw me fall and reported me killed. I must not forget just here to tell you that historian Barnes told another truth when he stated that the Federal army captured all the artillery of Gen. Bragg, and turned them upon our panic stricken lines. What a reversal of things was this. Yet it is both truth and history. I stayed with Capt. Hodges that night, went to the hospital at Marietta, Ga. and was away from the command until I recovered from my wound.

The battle of Missionary Ridge was fought Nov. 24, 1863, and since telling you what I have, you will hardly wonder how I so well remember the date. From this date there was no more campaigning until February or March 1864, when the Dalton campaign was begun, which was the most noted of the war. Gen. Bragg had by this time been superseded by Gen. Johnston, and from the opening of this campaign there was not a single day for days and weeks that some portion of our army was not engaged.

The enemy following closely upon our heels as we retreated until we crossed the Etawah River and burned the bridge behind us. After this for some days not a gun was heard. This was near the middle of May and a few days' rest was needed. Days and nights we had been on the march crossing the Etawah, as I have stated, we halted and rested for a few days. We remained undisturbed so long to almost conclude that an armistice had been declared. From this bivouac, on the morning of May 23 [1864], we took up the line of march in a northwesterly direction. The regimental and company commanders had orders to allow no straggling. Several times during the day the company rolls were ordered called. With other evidence of discipline led us to know that instead of an armistice or peace the enemy was not far away, and another battle was imminent. At dark on this day's march we halted in a region heavily timbered, guns were stacked and the roll called. In the northwest a dark cloud was rising, with thunder and lightning indicating a storm. Such preparation we were able to make for our protection was begun. Not a tent in the regiment, or brigade for that matter, but we must if possible keep the three days' rations dry. That which we had in our haversacks must be cared for. No man had more than one blanket, and ordinarily two men slept together. Quick as possible blankets were stretched. Under each of these two men with their haversacks crept with only one blanket to lie on or cover with. But the weather was pleasant. The storm was approaching, and soon the rain descended in torrents. Such thunder and lightning, the very heavens seemed to be at war. But with the morning came a clear sky and bright sunshine. Ere this hour however we had resumed our march, still in a northwesterly



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We could seldom see a Yankee, but were firing at the smoke of their guns and at random. After being in this position for some time one of the men just in front of me told me to come to where he was lying behind a big log. I said "what for", he said "come and I will show you". But after a moment's hesitation I ran from my position to his, when he said "Look yonder at the breastworks." I looked and behold we were within seventy-five yards of a line of log works to which the Yankee pickets had retreated. I surveyed the situation as best I could from the crouched position which I occupied. Our men were falling here and there along the line, and cries for help heard. About this moment Paul Lawrence, a member of my own company, fell only a few feet from me, with the cry "Oh, my thigh is broken", quick as lightning a tall brawny sergeant by the name of Platt ran to and raised and took him in his arms with the broken limb dangling, carried him to the rear. I did not see Paul for months. He is now and has been for years a practicing physician at Haughton, La. It did not take me long to realize the fact that this line of log works was built in crescent shape. This subjected us to an infiltrating fire. I saw at once that the trees and logs behind which we were trying to shelter afforded us poor protection. I called a man to me and sent word to Maj. Austin, who was still further in the rear, a statement of the perilous position we were in. In turn Austin informed Gen. Gibson who we had left with the brigade at New Hope church. Soon the messenger returned with orders to hold the position. This resigned us to our fate. We thought of nothing, nor could we do anything, but fight, fight, fight.

Some of our men seeing our position, instead of trying to shelter behind trees, were lying flat on the ground, from which position a thoroughly drilled skirmisher can load and shoot as fast as if standing. This position we held some twenty or thirty minutes, when immediately in our front and only a short distance in this almost concealed line of works we could distinctly hear the movements of a battery. The clicking of the heavy iron wheels told that it was only a little ways from us. We could hear the cluck of the drivers as well as the conversation of its gunners. They were in easy range of our sharpshooters, but completely out of sight. Suddenly they halted, and the report of a twelve pounder rang out upon the air. It was the first piece of artillery we had heard for days. Little did we know for the moment the object of that single shot. But another moment and we knew it was a signal for attack. For ere the roaring of the big gun had ceased to vibrate upon the air a full line of battle rose from behind the works, which all along we thought only concealed a line of skirmishers. A deadly volley from long-range Enfield rifles was fired into us. At this they came over the works with a yell and charged. Our picket's safety lay in retreat.

I have told you that the country was heavily wooded. Besides this there were ravines and undulations. Our little battalion fell hurriedly back until we had crossed the first ravine, when we halted, about-faced, waited until they were in plain view, when we again fired into them. The result was a charge from the Yankee line. Again we fell back until another place suitable to make a stand was found, when as before we halted and fought again in this way. The battalion continued to retreat toward the point where we had left our command with blankets spread on the brush heaps in the yard at New Hope church. Not knowing what the main line had been doing this long time, for we had left them near the hour of noon, and now it is mid-evening.

Reader, just here please be kind enough to permit me for a moment to digress from my subject and say to you that during the retreat of this skirmish line the hard-shell views which I had entertained from my boyhood became very much strengthened if not absolutely confirmed. It came about in this way. I have before told you that it was not only a privilege but the duty of a sharpshooter to protect himself. On one occasion when Maj. Austin commanded a halt there was no object very near me which afforded much protection. The most suitable was a charred stump not exceeding eight inches in diameter and four feet in height. This I stepped in rear of and just at that moment it was hit by a minieball about the right height to put my light out, and at once I was constrained to thank God for the protection the old stump had afforded me. Then this thought was crowded from my mind by another which said "If the stump had not been there I might not have been."

Back to my subject. Ere we were aware of our nearness to our line of battle our artillery opened fire upon the enemy. Think for a moment of our situation, the enemy firing into us from the rear with our own big guns firing in the front. But we were in a hollow, our own men at the church occupying an elevated position while the enemy behind us occupied a similar position. Here we lay for a few moments when because of the enemy's further advances our artillery hushed until we had time to fall back behind the main line of battle, which it seemed from the time we had left them had closely employed their time building breastworks. Here I must tell you, instead of returning to my command in health with full control of myself, I returned being born upon a litter, carried by the strong arms of four of my company. A minieball had creased through my left foot, and I fell helpless upon the field. What I know of the battle of New Hope church from this time further than that the battle began in cold earnest is what I have read or been told. History says this battle was fought May 25th 1864. But my recollection has been that it was on May 24th.

Here our division was commanded by Gen. Stuart. The memory of this battle is peculiarly interesting to me, because it marks an epoch in the history of Stuart's division, which has ever been pointed to as a memorial of historic valor. Stuart's old roan was seen all along the line. His quiet way enlisted the love of the division, and they begged him to go back fearing he might be killed. Gen. Johnston sent to him to know if reinforcements were needed. His answer was, "My troops will hold this position", which they did. There are many episodes connected with this battle which I might tell, but will only refer to a few. One of these took place in Fenner's Louisiana battery. Three brothers handled one gun. The oldest was rammer. He was shot down, and the second brother took his place. In a short time he was shot dead, and the third brother took his place, and in a few minutes he was shot, but stood at his post until relieved by a comrade.

A beautiful poem was written concerning this in war times. The troops composing Stuart's command in this battle were Stovall's Georgia brigade, Clayton's and Baker's Alabama brigade, Gibson's Louisiana brigade, and Brown's Tennesseeans, with one brigade from Stevenson's division, and Austin's battalion. The Federal report of that evening's fight showed a loss of near two thousand men in killed and wounded. Our loss was not so great from the fact our position was such that most of the enemy's shot passed over us. From prisoners taken we were told that the Federal forces opposing us was commanded by Gen. [Joseph] Hooker. No more persistent attack or determined resistance was made at any time during the war. A meeting story was told me by a Confederate soldier who was on the field after the battle, of two little boys members of the Federal army who were found where one of their batteries had been planted, which looked to be about fourteen years of age, with hands clasped cold in death. They presented the appearance of twin brothers and in death's embrace their spirits had taken flight away from mother and home in the front of battle.

From here I leave the army for a hospital at Atlanta, Ga., but for want of transportation sufficient to supply the unusual heavy demand I was several days in route.

My suffering was very great. My foot was badly swollen, beside I had been unable to procure even so much as a dose of morphine or opiate of any description that night to alleviate my sufferings. Beside I had no nourishment that my feverish condition could tolerate save a few cups of Confederate coffee. This was made from sweet potatoes, which had been cut, dried and parched. It was poor, but it was the best and all that could be had. On reaching the hospital I was placed in the house with other wounded. Dr. Hawthorne who was in charge, aided by an assistant, examined my wound, and told me an operation would have to be made. But at that time there was too much inflammation and swelling. Suffer, oh, how I did suffer! The bones of my foot were so shattered, I was given such treatment as the good doctor had at his command. He seemed interested in me from the beginning, though not more so than he was in others in his charge. For he was a patriot and had the Confederate cause at heart. From day to day I lay in that suffering condition. The floor of the house on which I lay was springy, so much so that the trot of a dog or cat across it gave me pain. I complained of this to the doctor. On entering the army, my father who lives until this good day at Bonham, Fannin County, Texas, at the ripe age of eighty-four, had given me and my brother, who as I have told you was buried at Corinth, Miss., a Negro boy whose name was Shed, and by the aid of this Negro and one of the nurses in the hospital I was placed upon a litter and carried to a tent only a few steps away, with all their tenderness and care. It seemed to me I could not stand it. But after a time I reached my former composure and lingered on for a few days with the best nursing and treatment before the inflammation and swelling subsided sufficient to subject me to an operation. At length one morning Dr. Hawthorne told me not to eat anything for breakfast, as he thought at some hour between that time and noon he would do something for my foot. This was good news for me, for I well knew I could never get well without an operation. I was laid on a table on which no doubt hundreds of operations had been performed. And when came two assistants were with him. They began to administer chloroform which I had often seen done, but knew nothing by experience of its effect. I was posted as to the resorts of the surgeons when they wished to know how completely a patient was under the influence. When I had inhaled for a few seconds I felt that my breath was shortening and that to submit to its complete influence would only make it necessary to dig another hole in the ground, and the loss of another Confederate blanket. For a blanket made both coffin and shroud for a Confederate soldier. I turned my head from the funnel which was being held over my mouth and nose, and without a word the assistants who stood at my head replaced it. I said nothing, but breathed as short and seldom as I could, until at last they began to prick and pinch my flesh. I knew and expected as much. I did not want to die, but to the contrary was anxious to live and to do the latter. I decided it would not do to take more anesthesia and as I thought my mind was fully made up, and it was. But when the knife of the surgeon was applied to my flesh I could no longer fain insensibility. My wound was too sensitive, but in flinching more was ordered given. I told him not to give me more, but I would prefer the operation with all the suffering it might entail, and asked one of the assistants to press my wounded limb to the table, and without further chloroform I stood the operation, which the doctors said was three-quarters of an hour long. From the city of Atlanta or from my little tent, for it was small, with only one bunk in it save my own, and room for my Negro. I could hear in the distance like far off thunder, the sound of cannon. Each few days I could tell it was getting nearer. At Tenneshaw and Altoona, Johnston had halted and was contesting every inch of ground. He had and was being driven by Gen. Sherman who was commanding seven full army corps. While under Johnston there were in number only three, when in reality they had only the strength of one. However he was never driven from a position even with the great odds against him, except by a flank movement. Heard demonstrating the fact that another flank movement had been made as well as that the enemy was gradually nearing Atlanta, the metropolis of Georgia. A general unrest had seized the city and the inhabitants were beginning to flee to points less exposed. Every few days the railroads by Grierson's or other marauding bands of Yankee cavalry were being cut and every conceivable thing that an enlightened and determined people engaged in war could think of was being done. My wound by this time was somewhat improved, yet I had not been able to sit up. I had very little care given me by the hospital nurses, for only such as were unable to do active field duty were engaged as such. Dr. Hawthorne and my Negro were about the only attendants I had. In rear of my tent stood a bois d'arc tree near enough that when the wind blew from the south, I could hear the scraping of its stormy branches. In this tree each night, from the time I had entered the little tent it had been the custom of a mockingbird to quarter, and in the sound of the groaning, suffering and dying inmates of the hospital, would chirp its song of merriment. I often had it driven away, but it soon would return. But as the fighting got nearer and nearer the bird seemed to partake of the fear of the inhabitants. I could frequently hear him light in the tree and after a few minutes fly away without a chirp. It seemed to foresee the doom of fire and forgot what was in wait for that beautiful city, and by degrees it ceased to visit its accustomed haunts, after which when night came the absence of the bird and now its musical and uninteresting chirping disturbed me as much as did its first song.

I have before told you of the very great aversion I had for prison life. I felt sure that Atlanta would be attacked in a few days, and judging what would be from what had been, was sure it sooner or later would fall into the hands of the enemy. There is such a thing as getting into a powerless condition, and I concluded that such was mine. I could see no possible way for me to escape. I slept but little and day and night I pondered over my condition. My physician would come in and ask how I had slept, dress my wound, leave a few morphine powders and leave me to the care of my Negro, and my own meditations. The food we got was scant and common. I longed for a change. But should it come I could not hope for better fare or better attention. It was the best that our own government could afford, and it became my duty to bear all without complaint. One night while I was lying pondering over my condition, and at an unusual hour Dr. Hawthorne entered my tent and asked how I felt. I did not feel but little improved. He felt my pulse, looked at me a minute and started out. I said "What is your hurry doctor, what is the matter?" He turned and came to the side of my cot, and said "Well Captain, I have just received orders to go through the hospital and get the names of those who are able for transportation, and send all such tomorrow to the hospital at Macon." I said "Well what do you think of me and my condition, don't you think I am able to go?" He said "I hardly know, you have not sat up any yet." And with this he turned to go again. I said "What is going to be done with those who are unable, are you going to let them stay here and fall in the hands of the damn Yankees?" "Oh we will take care of them. They will all be sent to the Medical College Hospital here in Atlanta sometime tonight or early in the morning." Two or more hours later an ambulance was driven to the door of my tent and by the aid of Shed the driver and one other I was placed aboard. Two or three others were in the vehicle. None of them knew where they were to go, nor did I. But hope clung to me and I hoped to be unloaded at the depot, that I might be ready to take the train to Macon. But instead, just as day was breaking, we were unloaded in front of the Medical College Hospital in Atlanta, which was no longer being used for the purpose of making doctors, but for nursing patients. Suffering greatly I was carried in and lain near the door. Ere long a doctor and sergeants with book and pencil came round to take the names of those who had been transferred during the night. I being the first one reached my name and rank was asked. I said "What do you want with my name?" To this the little hatchet-faced, batter-brained dude wearing the uniform of an assistant surgeon said "I am here in discharge of my duty, don't ask me any questions." I said, "You little impudent cuss, if I could stand on my feet I would learn you how to approach a gentleman." He did not know my rank, while I did his. He went to the next cot, took the name of the occupant, and went on and on the very same way until another department was reached and he was lost sight of.

I could hear the boom of the cannon north of the city, and each moment the horrors of prison life grew greater and greater. But how was it possible for me to make my escape? So far as I knew there was not a soul in the city whom I had ever seen. There was not a living soul upon whom I could rely for assistance except my Negro who had been faithful to me throughout the war. He had often had opportunity to escape to the Yankees' lines, but never manifested the slightest disposition to do so, and seemed to dread as much as I the thought of falling into their hands. While I was thus lying and reflecting upon the gloomy and unpleasant surroundings an ambulance stopped in front of the hospital. I had no money to offer, but at this moment the thought struck me that possibly I might induce the driver to take me to the depot. Shed called him up to me, and I stated to him my condition and wants. He consented to take me, but how was I to get in the vehicle? The Negro and driver could not carry me down the high steep steps. I could not see or conceive of any way to get out of the house. At last I concluded to make the Negro take a cotton pillow off the cot where I was lying and place it under my wounded foot, then placing his hand under the pillow raise my limb from the bed. Then I slipped off the cot on my hands, the Negro squatting and carrying my limb, as I slipped along on my hands after him. I struggled down the steps in this way, and out to where the ambulance stood, and the Negro assisted by the driver helped me in and drove slowly to the depot. A train was standing pointing in the direction of Montgomery, Ala. I asked no questions, but here I found help aplenty and was put aboard the car. I had hardly gotten myself in a comfortable position before the conductor came through and told me he would be compelled to put me off, as he had positive orders not to allow any soldiers to go over the road, for they were hourly expecting Grierson's cavalry to cut the road. His duty was to obey orders, and my determination was not to fall into the hands of the Yankees, if I could help it. The conductor had barely left the car and before I had time to get off the train started. Suspense does not describe my condition for a little while, or until the train had cleared the city limits. Then I began to feel hopeful that the conductor had lost sight of me. He had not, but told me during the day that I did as he would have done. I thanked him for his kindness.

I never saw the little fool doctor any more. But, oh, my craving for morphine! I had not had a dose since I had left the little hospital tent, where for a week I had been under its influence.

On we went without encountering any cut railroad or Yankee cavalry, and reached Montgomery in due time. And from the train was carried to the hospital where I received the kindest attention during my stay. But a few days and the battle of Atlanta was fought, and lost. That railroad center was surrendered to the army under Gen. Sherman. The man who said that war ______ to kill, he did not say burn, but in his tracks stood evidence to that. He also favored the fagot as ashes was all that was left of that proud city and its thousands of happy homes. I remained in Montgomery until in August 1864, and becoming able to hobble on crutches.

I made application for sixty days' leave of absence, which was granted. When I visited acquaintances of my Father in Lownds Co., Miss. After its expiration I joined my command, which from the time I had left had seen hard service. Many of them I never saw any more, and after hard service around Mobile and Spanish Fort we surrendered in May 1865 to U.S. Gen. Canby at Meridian, Miss.

(Signed) J. E. Carraway

Ex-Capt. Co. B

19th Louisiana Regiment



Here ends the narrative of Captain J. E. Carraway.






[Attached note of Dan Hembree.]

Before and as a boy of high school age, I was well acquainted with Captain Carraway, or as much so as it was possibly then for a boy to know a man of his age. The Captain has written this account of some of his experiences in The War Between the States, in a form and manner far different from the terms used by him in the telling of these and other experiences of the war in general conversations.

I have seen the wounded foot countless times, as when the Captain became excited in his telling, he would pull his shoe off and show me the foot. I never did see the place where he was wounded in the neck, as he always in telling of it, plus placed his hand at the spot and said "here".

At his request I polished the sword referred to with wet ashes until it glittered, and earned the praise of the captain, and another round of stories. These story-telling sessions for the most part took place in the evenings of summer days sitting on the east side of his gallery at 604 Hickory Street, Honey Grove, Texas. One such session ended with the Captain carried away in the telling of a story in answer to a question of mine, standing up and letting forth with a full rendition of the Rebel Yell, this scared me almost out of my wits and brought the neighbors and his three daughters on the run to find out if someone was in mortal pain. That yell wild in its full force, and shocking in its strength, should have been enough to stop a Yankee army dead in its tracks, or put them to full flight as it did me. His three daughters, Annie, Jennie, and Bettie, all old maids with whom he made his home, always made me promise not to start the Captain talking about the war as he always got excited, that promise lasted until they went back in the house and the Captain and I could get started on the subject. Having been raised on stories from that war from my own people, and much read on the subject, I was able to ask the necessary questions that would keep the Captain in fine fiddle on the subject, not that he was ever in need of tuning, just in need of an audience, and I was always happy to provide that. So on those summer evenings I gained a firsthand knowledge of the feelings of an old veteran of that war, and I hope helped make his last years more pleasant, for I know they added to my younger ones.

James E. Carraway was born in Lownds County, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 1840 and died at Honey Grove, Texas Feb. 2, 1930. He came to Lamar County, Texas, in 1865, and lived in Lamar and Fannin counties the rest of his life.

On Sept. 13, 1923, he made application for a Confederate pension, this application was approved on Sept. 27, 1923. Pension Number - 39327. T. H. Lawrence, who saw Capt. Carraway wounded at Missionary Ridge, signed the pension papers attesting to the fact of his service. Although he was at various time acting Captain of his company, he was never commissioned a Captain, for he gives his highest rank in the pension application as that of a 1st. Lieutenant.



Editors note: From a description of J. E. Carraway's father as being age 84 at the time of the writing of this narrative, and assuming that his father is the Rev. Oats Carraway 1815-1904, buried in the same section of Oakwood Cemetery, it is determined that this chronicle was composed in the year 1899. This document came from the files of Dan Hembree [now deceased] and was dated 20 Aug 1977, the day that Mr. Hembree apparently typed it. Mr. Hembree's files were sold at estate sales and are no longer in one place. Some misspelled words have been corrected. [ ] Brackets indicate insertions made by the editor for better clarification.












©Ron Brothers, All Rights Reserved, 2000

June 18, 2000



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