Experiences of I.N. Rainey in the Confederate Army
Isaac Nelson Rainey

The following manuscript was found in the Tennessee State Archives, Manuscript Division.  It caught my attention because an Isaac Nelson Rainey is my 4th great grandfather.  He was the great grandfather of the I.N. Rainey below who was obviously named for him although the younger Isaac apparently was not aware of it.  This makes Isaac my 2 cousin, 3 times removed.

Isaac Nelson Rainey

The picture above appeared in Isaac's obituary in the Memphis Commerical Appeal 25 June 1937.  "Colonel" was an honorary title conferred at Confederate reunions.  He was a private.  His body was taken by train back to Columbia, Maury Co., Tennessee where he was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.  Isaac married Maria Berry Brown, widow of James W. McKinney about 1884 in Memphis.  They had one daughter, Garnett E. Rainey born Mar. 1885  She married Roy W. Ryden about 1908.  Roy attended the Naval Academy and obtain the rank of rear Admiral in the construction corps. 

After his wife Maria died in 1915, Isaac retired and lived with the Rydens.  They had two children, Garnette E. born about 1918 and Roy W. Jr. born about 1919.  They are the grandchildren he wrote this account for.  About four years before his death he moved back to Memphis and lived with his step daughter, Mrs. C. K. Lewis, wife of a doctor.  A year before his death he suffered a broken hip from a fall and was bed ridden.

Enfield rifle

Tennessee State Archives   Manuscript Division  AC No. 1662



This is a narrative of some of my adventures, personal observations and experiences during my two years and fifty one days of service in the Army of the Southern Confederacy during the war between the States in 1861 to 1865.

I have no notes, but the events are so impressed upon my memory that it seems as thought they happened yesterday. So vivid are they that the faces, features, expressions of some are yet clear in my mind's eye. I have made few attempts to give exact dates, and these I glean mostly from the histories.  Nor have I, except generally, given the sequence of the occurrences, because I could not.  But every statement is true actually.  Though I confess that I have used "poetic license" in my description of physical surroundings of two incidents but as the reader will be unable to detect them, I am sure it will do no harm nor make any difference.

I have written these pages for my grandchildren.  I hope they may read them with interest and may pass them on to their own children on some happy day in the future.


April 26, 1925
Newport, R. I.
My 81st Birthday

I.N. Rainey Tenn. Civil War Questionaire


My father, Winfield Scott Rainey, was born in Machlenburg County, Va. on June 9, 1818.  He was the son of Jesse G. (Green) Rainey and Sarah E. (McKinney) Rainey.  He had one sister younger than he, Sarah E., who married Sam'l McLean of Marshall County, Tennessee, and reared a large family.

When my father was about 7 years of age his father with his family moved from Virginia to a farm in Maury County, Tenn. about 6 miles from Columbia.  His parents died in his early youth and are buried near what was their home.

He attended for his education "the little red country schoolhouse".  Afterward, graduated at Jackson College, then a noted institution at Columbia.  Then studied law and practiced his profession in Columbia from 1840 to 1893.  He died at our home in December, 1893, age 75 years, 6 months.

My mother was Mary Theressa Minter, born at Columbia, Kentucky, on February 22, 1821.  Her father was William Minter, and her mother was Miss Waggoner of Kentucky.  About 1833 Wm. Minter moved from Columbia, Kentucky to Columbia, Tennessee with his family of 7 daughters and one son (Wm. Garnett Minter, who died at 21 and is buried at Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee).  One daughter died at 17 and is buried at Memphis.  The others all married and had large families.  Grandfather Minter brought with him a cotton and wollen spinning mill, the motive power of the treadmill variety.  (How's that, you kids of these days of steam and electricity?)  I remember so well when I was allowed to drive the Old blind horse.  What a big boy I was!  The mill grew; steam was applied in time. Now a fine big mill of many bales per day capacity has evolved from that modest little one-horse driven mill in Columbia.

William Minter at one time owned many acres in what is now the most choice portion of the corporate limits of Columbia.  He educated his younger daughters at what is now the noted Diocesan Episcopal school, the "Columbia Institute" at Columbia.  My mother and Aunt Lou (Goodwin) received their diplomas with the first graduating class of that Institution in about 1840.

My parents had 10 children-- 8 sons and 2 daughters, namely; William Garnett, born June 1842; Joseph Minter born December 1843; Isaac N. born April 6, 1845; George and Jesse G. (twins) born January 29, 1847; Scott - Walter - Horace born April 9, 1850; Mary Lou born July, 1859; then Sally who died at 5, in 1867.  Scott died in 1867 in his 19th year.  Walter died in 1871 in his 19th year.  Jesse died at Sherman, Texas at about 35, leaving 4 young sons.  He was a lawyer, a judge on the bench.  Joseph Minter a cotton man, died in 1916, age 72.

I write this in February 1925.  Today, five of us, all old people, are alive.  Garnett of St. Petersburg, Florida, is 82.  The writer is near 80.  George, of Terrel, Texas is 77.  Horace in Columbia, Tennessee is 75.  Mary Lou (Mrs. Gant) at Columbia is 66.

My father was very proud of his 8 boys -- prouder of his two girls who came along at the tag end of the family.  My parents were very anxious for a girl as the arrival of boys rather monotonous.  They rightly believed that boys were the better for having a sister to love and protect.  They thought of adopting a girl; father went so far as to visit orphan asylums with that view if he could find a nice little girl to suit.  But along came a real little sister and made us all happy.

My father's means were none too plentiful with the heavy burden of his large family.  We had a nice home "Woodland" -- a large two and one-half story house on a small farm just one mile from the courthouse in Columbia.  Had about 25 negroes, more than could be used on the farm.  These were "family negroes" of which both my father and my mother each had a few when they were married.  My father would never buy nor sell a slave.  He believed that slavery was right.  I have often heard my mother say that she did not.  Our negroes were devoted to their "white folks".  Will say in passing, that after the Civil War several of them refused to leave "Mars Scott" and "Miss Mary", stayed with them until they died and were buried by "our white folks".  The younger ones settled around Columbia.  Today, their second generation, if in trouble, appeal to the Raineys for help and counsel, and are sure to get sympathy.

We worked on the farm -- plowed, hoed, took care of the stock.  I remember when six of the little brothers, age from 10 to 15, would go into the cornfield with our hoes and "bring up" our six rows.  If the little fellow got behind the larger ones helped him out.  We had plenty of fun too.  We had a fish pond on our place full of cat and sun perch, another on the neighboring farm.  You may well believe we pa???? ???d them freely.  I was more than once punished for swimming and fishing on Sunday, which was against the family law.  I remember so well (Was it yesterday?) one Sunday afternoon Joe and I slipped off, went to our neighbor's pond.  We had a long string of perch which we strung and put in the water intending to go over and "catch tomorrow" and take home.  Along came our negro man Peter on his way to his "wife's house" on the Rankin farm.  Pete said: "Gimme them fish!"  When we demurred, he said, "If you don't give 'em to me I'll tell Miss Mary".  He got 'em.  Each of us had some "head" of stock it was his duty to feed and look after, a horse, cow or calf.  In this we were kept strictly to our duty.  Negligence was punished.  When 12 years old we were each given a shotgun-muzzle loaders.  We didn't know what a cartridge was, and oh how we did slaughter woodpeckers, jaybirds, doves, etc.  In that day the conservation of insect-eating birds was never thought of.  I have often wondered since why our father, a sensible man, allowed such wanton destruction of these good friends of man.

One little incident and I shall close this phase of my young days.  (This yesterday too?)  When my brother Garnett was about 13, one day he wanted his pony; he asked me to assist in catching him.  We saw the pony and a young mule up in the grove about 200 yards from the house.  Garnett caught the pony and was bridling him, when the young mule, turned suddenly and playfully kicked at the pony.  His heel struck Garnett in the center of the forehead.  I screamed, and Harriett, our cook, came running to us and carried the boy in her arms to the house.  He bears a deep scar unto this day in his 83rd year.

My father saw to it that we had the advantage of good schools -- such as they were.  No big public grade schools then as now.  I was a delicate child, was taught at home by mother until 11.  At eleven she sent me to a large girls' school -- the "Columbia Atheneum", which allowed a few little boys.  I attended this school for about 18 months, when my father built a schoolhouse (in 1857) on the home place, hiring teachers who boarded at our house.  Garnett taught us for about six months.  Some of our neighbor boys attended our school.  For a while we all went to Jackson College.  None of us had a better education than the common school afforded, with the exception of brother Garnett.  The war interferred.

My father impressed on his boys these "don'ts":  "Don't tell a lie"; "Don't steal"; "Don't defraud your neighbor"; "Don't contract a debt that you have not good reason you can pay"; "Don't fail to pay your debts"; "Don't drink"; with a little less degree of emphasis, "Don't use Tobacco".

Only two of the eight sons ever touched liquor, brother Joe and myself, and we never to drunkenness.  I think all but brother Garnett and Horace used tobacco.  My father chewed and smoked tobacco, he told me, since his seventh year until probably until 1860.  One night six of us little fellows were around the big table in mother's room getting our lessons or reading.  Mother was putting the inevitable patch on a pair of Joe's trousers.  Pa was reading the Nashville newspaper.  (Was this picture photographed on my heart and brain 65 years ago or yesterday?)  Suddenly Pa rose from his chair, reached to the mantelpiece, took two pipes, a plug of chewing and a long roll of smoking tobacco therefrom and threw them into the blazing wood fire.  Mother exclaimed: "Mr. Rainey, what are you doing?"  He answered: " Mary, look around that table!  I've been setting them a bad example!  I'll never touch tobacco again."  And he never did.  After a while the children left for bed; I read on.  Mother suggested that it was bedtime, but like a certain little boy of my acquaintance, I begged to read "just this page".  After a little mother asked me: "Nelson, does Joseph use tobacco?"  I answered, "No ma'am! and looked her straight in the eye.  She found tobacco crumbs in his trousers pocket; she knew I was lying.  Joe did chew tobacco, and I was the only one that knew it.  He and I were close chums and confidents and I just couldn't give him away.  When I said "No!" Pa looked hard at me -- neither ever mentioned the matter to me.  After a while I looked at Mother.  A big tear dropped down from her dear, kind eyes.  That broke my heart.  I cried myself to sleep.  Thirty years after, the year of her death, she and I were talking of the old days, the dear old times, when she said: "Nelson, you never told me but one story; I should not have asked you that question."  We both knew the allusion.  Only those few words covered the case.  Most men think their mother's the best. But I have often wondered if there were ever many so kind, so gentle, so unselfish as my dear mother was?  Her of blessed memory?

I could write many pages of the, to me, interesting events and incidents of my childhood and youth vividly remembered by me, but I must hasten on to a part of my life to record which was the prime reason for writing this narrative.  But I must insert one paragraph which I left out in its proper place:

We Raineys were always proud of our record as good men and citizens.  The eight sons all lived to man's estate and there was not a bad man among them.  They settled, made their homes from Chicago to Texas. Wherever they lived they were respected as good neighbors and honest citizens.  None of them ever aquired large fortunes nor made a fuss in the world, but each lived his quiet life and paid his way in a creditable manner and honorably -- not on did a dishonorable deed.

The dark and bloody days of 1861 - 65 approached.  The threat of secession of the Southern states from the Union was made good.  On that eventful, fateful day, April 12, 1861, Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, S. C. was fired upon.  "The shot heard around the World" was spent.  The signal for war between the South and the North was given.  On that day I was just 16 years, 6 days old.

In our community the boys were enlisting for the war; they were eager for war.  They were full of enthusiastic patriotism.  How few of them understood or appreciated why or what it was all about.  I know that neither Joe nor I did, yet we enrolled our names on the roster of one of the three companies raised in Columbia on that day.  Joe 17 the December before; I just 16.  Pa having more sense than we, ordered our names erased from that roll.

My father was an ardent secessionist.  Until about 10 years before the war he had been a "Whig". If I understand, the whig was about the equivalent to a Republican of this day.  Then the two great parties were the Whigs and Democrats.  "Republican" had not been applied to one of the great parties.  About 10 years before the war he lined up with the Democrats, the party of the South.  When the question of secession of Tennessee from the Union came he voted for it with his whole honest soul.

When President Lincoln called for 75 thousand soldiers to be used in the subduing of the South, Tennessee refused her quota.  Then our people became more enthusiastic than ever.  There were more volunteers, more companies formed.  Joe and I became restless.  We thought of slipping off with the first company that left Columbia.

One morning Pa called his boys around him.  "Boys", he said, "We are going to have a war, a big one. It may last for years.  I want you to take your part in it; and you shall when you are old enough.  But I want you all to promise me not to go without my consent.  Will you make me the promise?  I dedicate my boys to the cause when they are needed and old enough."  We of course promised him this.

A little later individuals began to appear in public wearing long knives made of horseshoe files, knives as long as their arms.  They were very brave "with their mouths"; strutted around full of braggadocio -- their cry "Just let 'em come; I can whip a dozen of the cowardly Yankees!" was the tenor of their cry.  We noticed that none of these long knife braves volunteered.  No, they, when the Yankees did come, joined the Yankees and were meaner, behind the Union blue, than any real yankees that invaded our country.  An instance: After the Union Army came they established a garrison at Columbia.  A man by the name of Jimmerson raised a company of "home-made Yankees" as we called them.  One day brother George and I were near the house when up came a "Captain" J with a squad of about ten men in blue and demanded to see Mrs. Rainey.  I told him Mother was in her room dressing and would be out soon.  Rudely, he said: "I can't wait, must see her now".  George and I ran up the front steps, through the hall and squared ourselves in front of her door.  Just then Mother opened her door with "What do you want Bob?"  Very grandly: "I am Captain Jimmerson".  Mother said quietly:  " I knew your mother before you were born. Don't you feel ashamed of yourself for your behavior? Your mother is I know, to see you with that coat on."  Captain J. then took off his hat, which he had not before removed and said in a subdued and polite way:  "I am ordered to search this house for firearms."  Mother said, "Certainly; go with him Nelson.  I said, "There is only one firearm in this house; I'll take you to it".  I took him upstairs to my room straight to the washstand drawer from which I extracted the piece of ordnance -- a little smooth-bore self cocking pistol six inches long -- could be bought for 75 cents new.  Bob took it up, looked at it, dropped it, with "Is that all you have?"  I said "Yes, we gave our six shot guns to the boys in the army."  With that he turned, called his men and left.  While going down the front pavement I called to him: "Bob, don't you want the pistol?"  He called back "Oh H--l" and left.  Jimmerson was one of the long-knife fellows.

As I take my pencil this morning I am reminded that this is the 104 anniversary of my mother's birthday, February 23, 1925.  I am sitting in my room at 16 Greenough Place, Newport, Rhode Island.  Why I am here will develop in my narrative.

Not all of our better class of people were for secession.  Some were honestly for the Union.  Some were time servers and waited to see "Which way the drop would fall".  I give one notable case: Judge Brown (Brown was not is name) was a highly respected citizen, both he and his estimable wife and several children.  During the excitement incident to the bombardment of Fort Sumter this man spoke to the people.  He was a judge on the bench, of influence and high in the regard of his fellow citizens.  He urged the boys to volunteer.  He said:  "I do not ask you to go;  I ask you to come;  I want to raise a company, follow me."  This man had a son, a handsome boy of about my age.  One day he and I were standing on the street when by us dashed his handsome sister with a Yankee officer.  The boy actually cried with rage as he said to me:  "The idea of my sister riding with a Yankee."  He cried.  This boy later enlisted in a Confederate company.  In a few weeks he was "captured" near the town.  It developed afterward that his father had induced him to "come in", to desert.  When our section was invaded Judge B. flopped over to the Federals, became their adviser on local affairs; was appointed judge of the court during reconstruction times.  His four sons received political offices and sucked government sap for 50 years after the war.  The judge chose the strong side, therefore the right one.  Some of our friends and neighbors were honestly "Union" in their convictions, inoffensively so and never lost our respect.  Others were the reverse, were dirty informers and were cause of trouble and persecution for their neighbors who were Confederates.

Grandpa Minter lived with us.  He was a Whig and a Union man.  He thought there was no salvation for a Democrat. Because of difference of opinion so portent at that time, there was unarmed truces between Grandpa and my father.  They were fond of each other, good friends, but political enemies.  But when our state was invaded, the old man's sentiments changed.  He became and was during the war, until his death in August '63 as staunch and good a friend as the South had.  He gave sympathy and encouragement to our soldiers, freely of his own all means and sent 13 grandsons to the war.  This was the way with our Great Lee and many of our best citizens.  Against secession, the dissolution of the Union; but when choice had to be made were loyal to the South and espoused the cause.

In December 1861, just 18 on the 2nd of that month, Joe enlisted in Company E 48th Reg. of Tennessee Infantry, commanded by Colonel Voorhies.  I went to the station to see the boys off.  As I walked down the platform with Joe I heard a lady, one of the large crowd say, alluding to me "Surely that child is not going; he looks like a girl".  (I suppose I did.  I was delicate and palefaced).  I had on a military cap; Mother made us all gray military caps.  It was the fashion.  The lady had offended my boyish pride-- Don't look like a girl now do I? 

Pa sent one of our negro men, Pointer, along with Joe to wait on him and cook.  How many armies had private soldiers with servants?  There were hundreds in our army. 

Our regiment went into camp in Kentucky.  Admiral Foot of U. S. Navy in conjuction with General Grant's land forces were making strenuous efforts to open up the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland rivers to further the United States' efforts to invade the South.  Among other strongholds opposing them was Fort Donelson on the Cumberland.  Voorhies' regiment joined the forces defending Donelson.  On February 15, 1862 Fort Donelson surrendered to Grant.  The 48 Reg. was among the prisoners and was sent to Camp Douglas near Chicago for incarceration.  There they stayed six or seven months and were exchanged.  I must tell you an incident that happened in the prison, showing how foolhardy a foolish boy can be.  The United States government made an effort to persuade the boys to take oath of allegiance to the United States; as a reward to be released from prison and sent home at the government's expense.  Some very few of them did take the oath and went home.  These were regarded with contempt, as deserters by the rest.

One day it was reported that Judge Cooper of Tennessee would address the Tennessee Boys on the subject of taking the oath.  Joe said to some of the boys:  "I know Judgec Cooper, have seen him at my father's house, etc.  When he gets on the stand I'm going to yell for Jeff Davis!"  The 48 Tennessee was drawn up at the stand.  Judge Cooper introduced by and officer in blue.  At the introduction Joe yelled "Hurrah for Jeff Davis!"  Several officers charged at the line and demanded "Who said that?"  Not a boy chirped.  A six pound cannon was brought up and trained on the line.  Now said the officer,  "I give you five minutes to tell who yelled!"  Not a boy spoke.  At about the forth minute Joe stepped out with "I did!"  He was sentenced and confined in the underground dungeon for 21 days.  One day just after the war Joe and I were walking on the pavement in Columbia.  Someone called "Hello Joe, wait!"  Joe waited.  It was Bill P.  Bill held out his hand.  Joe refused the hand, but he gave Bill P. a berating far beyond anything I ever heard before.  I didn't know before that Joe has a vocabulary so rich in epithet and other words.  Bill P. was one of those who took oath in prison.

The Federal troops overran Tennessee; captured Nashville.  One morning Pa was aroused at about 2:00 o'clock.  Col. Scott of the 4th La. Cavalry told him that he understood my father knew the country along Duck River, on which was Columbia, and that he wanted his guidance to the several bridges on the river which he was instructed to burn to retard the enemy on his march south from Nashville.  Pa went with them and several of the bridges were destroyed.

Money was scarce with us about that time and I had been clerking in a hardware store for some little time.  One afternoon Laws White came into the store much excited and said to me: "Nelse, the Yankees are coming!  They are on the Major Brown place across the river."  I got permission and he and I ran about half a mile to the bluff above the town.  On the other side we saw a skirmish line of blue coats about one-fourth mile of us.  White jumped on a long and yelled at them in language not very nice, calling them ugly names.  One of those fellows got behind a stump, took aim and shot at us.  That was the first shot fired at Columbia, the first angry bullet I ever heard.  I dodged down behind the log.  White put away from there.  I suppose he did for I saw him no more for a week.  I had not been behind my log long when an unorganized band of town boys 50 strong came galloping up and from behind boulders for an hour wasted many shots from shot guns and hunting rifles.

The Confederate government had no munition plants to supply its troops with guns and ammunition to begin with.  I have seen companies armed with shot guns, contributed by citizens.  I have seen companies armed with flintlock muskets used in war with Mexico in 1846, some perhaps used in war with England in 1812.  Later on we had munition factories and made captures from the enemy.

The next morning the Federals managed to cross the bridgeless river and took possession of the town.  About 8 A.M. a friend came out and warned my father to get away.  An informer had kindly reported his part in destroying the bridges.  He was proclaimed an outlaw and squads sent in all directions to apprehend him.  He had a pair of fine Claybank horses which he had put to a light buggy.  He drove out to Mt. Pleasant turnpike.  About six miles out he met a squad who stopped and asked him if he knew W. S. Rainey?  If he had seen him this morning?  Pa said:  "I saw him in town on yesterday."  "Well we are after him and are going to get him too" their officer said, and galloped off.  He as an exile for several months, but managed to communicate with Mother.  Slipped in a few times, piloted through the pickets by Mother's faithful house servant, Emeline.  Only Mother and the servant knew of these visits, not even the children.  One day an officer rode out and told Mrs. Rainey that if her husband would come in and take the oath the ban of outlawry would be removed.  He refused to take the oath.  After several months more he was sent word to come in anyhow without conditions.  He came home and was not molested.  But he never took that oath.

Shortly after Joe enlisted brother Garnett did.  He had a shrunken leg since his babyhood, was unfit for active service in the field.  He was employed in hospital service for a year, when his health failed and he received his discharge.  He studied law and in 1865 went to Memphis.

I was the oldest of the boys left at home.  I still retained my clerkship in the hardware store of S. N. Frierson & Co.  My small salary was useful to Mother in paying expenses.  Mr. Frierson was called on to take the oath, but he was too "sick" to come to town so I was alone in the store for three weeks at one interval during Federal occupation.  One day the Confederates captured the town which proved good medicine for Mr. F. for he got well enough to come to town that day.

Our forces suddenly left and again there was Federal occupation.  Gen'l Negby of Penn. became commandant.  He was more exacting and tyrannical than his predecessors; gave our people a great deal of trouble.  He would grant no request to man or woman without the demand that the grantee take the oath.  One day he demanded of Mother that she appear at his office and take the oath.  She positively refused and demanded to know his right to exact of her.  She never took it.

If Negby heard of a particularly fine horse he would send for the owner and demand that he must take the oath or his horse would be confiscated.  It was believed that Negby sent these confiscated horses to his own farm in Pennsylvania.  He heard of a very fine and noted horse, the property of a horse breeder in the country, a Mr. Thomas.  He sent six soldiers to bring in that horse.  Thomas usually kept his horse haltered in the stable.  He heard of the raid and turned the horse out into the lot.  The soldiers came.  Said Thomas,  "There he is, go and get him."  That horse killed two of the men.  The others went back without him.

Our place was perhaps the prettiest as to situation and woodland beauty in the near vicinity of the County Seat, Columbia.  A grove of 10 acres of fine birch, poplar, elm and hickory trees.  The officer commanding the garrison usually had his quarters in this grove, some 300 yards from our house.  I must do them credit that they were very kind and considerate to Mother.  She never asked the officers to the house, and during their whole occupation none ever forced himself  across the threshold.  Mother was given a  guard  two young  Kentucky boys.  They drew a dead-line around the house and yard and if a soldier dared to cross it, he was arrested and told to do so no more.  They were faithful to their trust.  They slept in the stable and every day Mother sent them something nice from her table.  They became attached to Mother and the children; and when they left they went to tell Mrs. Rainey goodbye.  Mother told me one of them fairly blubbered.  They were only boys.

One day our friends left in a hurry.  Gen'l Forrest captured Columbia and neighborhood after some fighting.  He threw up breastworks on the hill overlooking the town along the souther line of our place.  Those works are perfectly good yet -- also the places where his big guns were planted to command the enemy fort on another hill three-fourths mile away.

When the Yankees left we rushed up to their camp to see what we could find.  Where their bakery was we found many loaves of freshly cooked bread and several boxes of hard-tack crackers.  These helped out Mother's food supply.  The boys found old harness, one or two saddles, much debris of an abandoned camp.  Brother Scott "found" a fairly good horse tied up in a "hollow" not far away.  No one knew better than he how that horse got there.  That horse proved useful on the farm.

In the preceding pages I have tried to tell something of the condition of affairs around us up to the spring of 1863 when I enlisted.  My father had for sometime promised to let me go when an opportunity occurred to get me into a good company.  He had bought a good horse for me.  Old mammy spun the black and white mix to be woven into cloth for my clothes.  A neighbor wove the cloth.  Mother made my jacket and trousers, and army overcoat with caps.  Had a pair of good strong boots made by Edwards the shoemaker (Edwards is alive yet over 90).  Pa had a "McClelland" saddletree (part of the spoil of that Yankee camp) nicely covered, all ready for war when the time should come.  General Thomas threatened an  invasion of lower Middle Tennessee from Nashville.  Gen. Van Dorn who had captured Grant's rallying point, at Holly Springs, Mississippi and destroyed millions of dollars of supplies had remained in Mississippi.  In early March 1863, he marched into Tennessee to face the Federal General Thomas; Maj. Gen'l Wm. H. ("Red") Jackson commanding a division in Van Dorn's corps of cavalry encamped near Columbia.  On the night of March 18, 1863 Captain Wm. F. Taylor commanding Co. A, 7th Tenn. Cavalry with my cousin George A. Stovall sargent of said Company spent the night with us.  Pa arranged with them that I join Taylor's Company.  He sent for my horse.  On the afternoon of March 10, 1863, this month 62 years ago, I rode out to camp which was among the very fine forest trees in the grove front of the residence of Andrew Polk just opposite old St. John's Church, Ashwood.  Captain Taylor administered to me the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America and I became a soldier sixteen days before my 18th birthday.  I weighed 111 pounds, was the youngest and smallest member of my company.  How proud I was to be a soldier!  To take a man's place in the great conflict!  I resolved then that I would never do an act that my good father and mother would be ashamed of, that my own selfrespect would not approve, that might besmirch our family name.

Just before the Civil War there was a cavalry company in Memphis called "The Memphis Light Draggoons".  The membership was composed of young men of respectable social standing, educated, mostly college men.  Such men as now and have always composed the "Chickasaw Guards" of Memphis).  I don't suppose there was another company in the Confederate service of higher grade material.  I was fortunate to be associated with such men for company mates.  The company belonged to the 7th regt. Tenn. Cavalry, but was and had been on special duty as escort to Maj. Gen'l Jackson commanding division.  Had been on this duty for a year when I joined.  Gen. Jackson was proud of "My Company" as he called his escort.  Later on when we were in Mississippi near Vicksburg, Gen'l Forrest ordered Jackson to "send that Company back to its regiment."  Jackson refused, saying "I can't spare my company.  There's not a man in it I would not trust with a verbal message as would a staff officer!"  Jackson kept is company.  On the 22nd we marched to Spring Hill 11 miles on Nashville Pike, and went into camp.

I wish to say here that the incidents of my soldier life happened more than 60 years before this day on which I am recording them March 1, 1925.  I write them from memory. Though so long ago, my memory of them is as clear as though they occurred yesterday.  I can give few exact dates, nor can I give exactly the sequences of the happenings.  But I think I am nearly right.

We were kept fairly busy at Spring Hill situated in one of the fairest sections of Middle Tennessee.  We had fine pastures of bluegrass and clover.  Our horses got slick and fat.  We were drilled some almost every day.  On the second day after we arrived General Jackson took the company to one of the level fields to put us through the sabre exercise.  I never handled a sabre before.  I was very, very "green"; so was my mare Kate.  I must tell you about Kate.  She was 5 years old , gentle tractable, but nervous and fiery.  A sorrel, with small white star in forehead, both hind legs "stockinged" nearly to the knees.  Of medium size, could "run like a deer."  When we had camp races Kate generally won the race.  She became later much attached to me.  A thousand horses  might be passing; I could dismount and as long as I was in sight she would stand; out of sight she would call me -- "All right Kate" I would satisfy her.  I have been on her beside a firing battery.  Every nerve and muscle in her quivered, but she would not flinch at the explosions.

To get back to the sabre drill: We went through the manuel.  Finally we were ordered to charge.  On we went at full run -- Kate ahead of them all, she just didn't want to stop.  Finally she did stop; we went back to join the others, Captain ordered company to form.  Just then I noticed my saddle blanket had slipped.  I got down to adjust it, which was a breach of discipline.  The General rode up to me wrothy (first we had ever met).  "What are you doing sir?"  "My blanket slipped sir!"  By _____ sir!"  the next time SADDLE your horse before you leave CAMP sir"  I expected to be taken out and shot.  In fact I knew it.  I knew him better afterward and to love him.  It was my good fortune to come in friendly contact with him many times and also in some tight places.

Almost daily we passed compliments with Mr. Yank.  Their scouts made raids in our direction.  Some or all of us would go out to meet them.  We seldom passed shots.  One of the other party turned tail.  On about our fourth day a detail of about ten of the company rode up towards Franklin.  We had gone about 5 miles when we saw on a rise in a big field on our left ten or twelve blue coats about 200 yards distant.  Some 200 yards ahead of us was a big farm gate the opening from the field to the pike.  Both parties made for the gate.  Our friends in blue got there just one second ahead of us and all got through save one.  There was some mutual pistol firing.  I did not fire for just as we started on the mad run for that gate my bridle rein broke and it took all my attention and effort to control my fiery Kate.  But a few words partially pacified her which showed her tractability.  But I got there in time to hear Mage say: "Come on doggone you" as he collared his prisoner.  That was my first under fire.

One morning we were aroused by yells and the galloping of horses.  A Yankee scouting party had invaded our camp and ran right through us.  I think they were lost and as much surprised as we were.  I am sure they were not nearly as much startled and scared.  In half an hour we were half a mile up the pike after them.  But it was a wild goose chase.

In this camp I very soon made aquaintance with the closest friend the soldier has -- a close and clinging friend.  I was never during my 2 years' service without him.  He had letters on his back.  The boys said they were "I. F. W."  I leave, Oh ye readers, to guess his distinguished name. 

Now for my real "baptism of fire":  One morning we were in the saddle at daybreak.  I do not remember the exact time, but perhaps 10 days after we went to Spring Hill.  We went at a trot the 10 miles to within a mile of Franklin.  General Van Dorn with his escort; General Jackson with his escort just behind.  Van D's escort with ours formed a line of battle at a trot.  As we were forming I saw my first dead soldier lying right in our line.  A Confederate soldier in gray.  At once we were ordered to advance.  The ground was at the since celebrated ginhouse (famous as part of the great battle ground of Franklin in November 1864).  The ground had been cleared of timber.  Great piles of logs and brush occupied it.  At once we were under fire.  We drove the enemy out of their camp.  I remember the campfires and preparation for breakfast.  Skillets and coffee pots on the fires -- the fleeing bluecoats.  About a mile we went when we got into an ambush.  The order was given to "fall back" which we did in short order.  We were soon reformed and ordered to charge again, then ordered to halt and "open order".  Here came Stark's 28th Miss. Reg. between the two companies.  They drove the enemy to his stonghold in Franklin.  Our company climbed one of the numerous hills around Franklin, saw Stark enter the town, make a charge and come out again in short order, repulsed.  Our company lost one man killed and six horses.  Big Jim McKnight, our flag-bearer, had his flagstaff cut in two and pummel of saddle shot off.  The language he use, loud and strong is not in the dictionary.  Poor Eddie Stark, just 17, not a soldier was visiting one of the boys in our camp was killed.  He had insisted on going into the fight.

That night Capt. Taylor sent for me to report at his tent.  Said he "Nelse I want you to go home and ask your father to get you another horse!"  "Why Captain, Kate is a good horse!"  " I know she is -- too good.  She will kill you some day.  You are a new soldier and I watched you in the fight today.  I think you are all right, but your mare is not.  She took those log and brush heaps like a deer.  She'll bounce you off some day."  Said I, "I'll go Captain, but Pa won't get me another horse."  I had breakfast at home next morning.  I gave Pa Capt. T's message.  He looked at me in surprise.  "She's a good horse!"  I explained.  "You tell your Captain that my boys can ride.  I taught them myself.  I'll not get you another horse!"  I kept Kate.  A better, more satisfactory cavalry horse soldier never had. 

Dr. Peters was a practicing physician in and around Spring Hill -- a man of about 50, he had a family of sons and daughters; he married a young and handsome widow, rather gay I suppose.  I had often seen Gen'l Van Dorn and other dashing young officers on their fine horses riding with her.  Dr. Peters and Van Dorn seemed to be good friends.  But it seems that Peters grew jealous.  Van Dorn's quarters and office were at the big fine home of Major Marrin Chears in Spring Hill.  One morning Peters rode up to the side gate of the yard, went into the house and to the "General's office".   He asked the General for a pass through and beyond our pickets toward Nashville.  Van Dorn wrote the pass, handed it to Peters and turned again to his desk.  Peters shot him in the back of his head, killing him instantly.  A most cowardly and dastardly assassination.  Peters sneaked down to his horse and galloped off, using the pass so foully obtained to go through our outposts and then on to the Federal lines into Nashville.

After the Civil War Dr. Peters was tried in the Civil Court for murder.  As is too often the case he was cleared by the jury on the ground of justifiable killing.  Surely his conscience punished him.  I knew Peter's daughter, a young girl at school at Columbia Atheneum.  An hour after the murder Capt. Moorman Jackson's adjutant sent for me.  He asked if I knew Miss Peters.  He gave me a letter with instructions to ride rapidly and deliver to her at once.  I rode the 11 miles in 1 1/2 hours -- saw Miss Peters and delivered the note.  You may rest assured I did not tarry.  It was to inform her of the killing.  This young girl was a Roman Catholic.  She went to a Convent and became a nun.

Nothing unusual or out of routine happened at Spring Hill after this.  If my recollection does not fail me we left camp there about the 7th of June for Mississippi.  We went direct to Canton and went into camp.  The next morning all of our horses lay dead -- all these horses were bred in Tennessee.  Some of our men were in the habit of turning their horses loose to graze after unsaddling.  An old cavalry horse will come back at feed call to the tree at which he is unsaddled.  I had fortunately kept Kate tied to her tree.  The horses were tired and hungry and had eaten ravenously of "sneezeweed" which grew plentifully around -- poisonous to horses.  The native horses will not eat it.  The next day the infantry of Gen. Jos. E. Johnston's Army began to arrive up from Natchez and Baton Rouge.  He was preparing to relieve Pemberton then besieged at Vicksburg.  Joe's regiment was among the first to pass.  And he among the first that I saw.  You can imagine how glad we were to see each other after 18 months' separation.  How much we had to talk about -- questions to ask and answer.  Col. Russian ("Uncle Nat") an old family friend who lived near Canton found us and nothing would do but we must spend the night with his family.  We both got leave.  "Aunt Carrie" gave us some mighty good "grub", home stuff that a soldier always enjoys.  The army camped near Canton for about a week and then marched towards Vicksburg.

Not far from Big Black River some 18 miles from Vicksburg our Infantry engaged in a considerable battle at Raymond "among the magnolias."  We were near but not in the battle;  we rode through the forest of very large magnolias, some of them 100 feet high, very large in girth -- all in full bloom and with long Spanish moss pendant from the branches, a novel sight to my Tennessee eyes.  The fragrance was almost sickening.  We soon reached the river over which the engineers were preparing to throw a pontoon bridge.  The infantry were encamped nearby, ready to cross over the next morning, July 4th.  Joe and I spent some hours together.  He pointed out a large pond from which his company precured drinking water.  Joe declared he could "feel tadpoles slipping through his teeth when he drank".

The next morning a courier dashed up to General Johnston bringing information that Pemberton had surrendered to Grant.  Vicksburg and his army.  And on the 4th of July at that.

Johnston at once moved his army to Jackson and fortified that place all around except on the S. E. at the Pearl River ford.  We encamped near this ford within city limits.  The next morning I was detailed with others and wagons to go a few miles out of Brandon after corn.  There our government had accumulated several large pens of corn for the use of the army.  My Kate had a case of distemper on so I borrowed a very small mole black mule from Frank Treadwell.  We were ready to start -- my donkey protested against leaving camp.  It took me some ten minutes to persuade him that it was best to move on.  The wagons and the others were out of sight.  When I got to the ford I had another stiff fight with my obstinate Bucephalus but finally persuaded him to enter the water about girth deep.  In the middle of the stream he stopped and refused to move.  I actually lifed him up between my spurs and shook him.  Then he lay down in the deepest part, wet me all over.  I was angry clear through.  I drew my pistol and fired every shot into the air; for I was afraid the water would spoil my load.  We did not have brass waterproof cartridges, as in these days.  The explosions so startled my steed that he jumped up and made for the bank.  There I mounted and he made off without demur.  I determined to gallop him all the way as it was his fault that we were behind our party.  We had gone a few miles when just ahead I spied a big fine white house -- sitting on the long portico were several young girls.  I determined to favor them with the delectable sight of a handsome soldier and also how gracefully he could ride.  I put my animal at a little faster gate, sat erect, to dash by in style -- and alas; just in their front my mule struck his fore-feet into the sand and stopped dead.  Do you ask what I did?  I went gracefully over his head.  Fortunately it was a sandy road and I didn't have far to fall.  Pride and I both fell.  Pride was hurt but I was not.  I mounted at once.  The obstinate brute chose this occasion to have another fit of sulks.  Those girls showed no sympathy whatever.  They tittered and tittered and tittered.  This of course soothed and put me in happy good humor.  To this day I have not been able to determine how long it took me to get away from there.  An hour, a day or a week.  I then thought the latter was about the length of time.  But perhaps my discomfiture at the time caused me to overestimate the time.  At last I got away from there.  At last I got to Brandon.  I sold that mule to a denizen of the town for $200.00 with which trade my friend Treadwell was well pleased.

A day or two afterward I was one of a detail of ten under our 3d Lieut.  Certain ordered to picket the road some 10 miles out toward Vicksburg.  That afternoon Nat Holmes a boy of about my age (a new recruit) went out to a farmhouse to have some biscuits cooked.  The house was just beyond our videttes -- 1/4 mile.  We engaged to call for the biscuits the next morning.  We asked permission to go; but Lt. Certain said he could spare only one of us to go, adding "Holmes you go."  I rode out to the Vidette post and Holmes went through.  Sargt. Rawlings in charge of the post said "Be careful Nat."  We stood looking at him as he went.  About 300 yards we saw him meet two horsemen in shirtsleeves.  They wheeled, one on each side of Nat and rode off with him.  We lost poor Nat that day.  That night Lt. Certain sent Charlie Smither and me to picket a point where two roads crossed, about a mile from our camp.  It was raining hard, the night very dark.  We sat on our horses where the roads crossed, Smither facing N.W., I facing S.W.  Torrents of rain poured down; it was so dark that, though only a few feet apart, we could not see each other.  In front we could see at a distance burning farm houses, the work of our friends, the enemy.  Afar off an occasional shot from a picket's rifle.  It was weird and scarry to two lone boys out there alone, friends a mile away, enemies we knew not how near.  Suddenly I heard my companion exclaim: Halt! d___ you!"  A stranger had run against Charley's horse.  Questioned, he said he belonged to the Infantry; had gone out foraging and had become lost in the darkness.  I took him to the big road, directed him to keep it straight to our camp.  I wonder which was the more scared, that fellow or we.  It could not have been that fellow. Smither and I have often wondered if he could have been a stray wandering Yankee.  Might have been; he never reached our camp.

Our detail was soon called back to Jackson.  Next day the bluecoats had possession of the territory on which had been our camp.  Water for man and beast was very scarce -- the river miles away.  Next day after our return to Jackson, I was on a detail to drive stray cattle into the few ponds along the roads and to shoot them so their rotting bodies would pollute the water.  Seemed cruel but the enemy had to be retarded and inconvenienced.  All night and day the town was shelled.  We became so accustomed to the roaring shells that we paid little attention to the bombardment.  One day I was sent with a dispatch to an officer on the breastworks.  As I galloped along several shells passed over.  I was going along a lane-like street.  An old man was standing in his door of a small, old brick house.  A shell burst overhead.  I paid no attention.  The old man said "That's right soldier; don't you be skeered!  t'haint no danger in them things.  I was in the Mexican war and I know!"  Just then a six pound shot struck the corner of his house.  The old man lit out.  Last I saw of him he was going at an eighty mile clip down the street.

Sherman assailed the works around Jackson.  A bloody battle ensured and he was repulsed with considerable loss.  (Some months afterward we went back to Jackson and saw many bones of carelessly buried bodies protruding above the ground).  The next morning Sherman reinforced, made an assult all along the Confederate line, but all was silent.  Johnson had planted fake guns, left campfires burning, but had evacuated during the night.  General Jackson with his escort was the last to leave.  Just as Sherman's victorious (?) troops mounted and came over the works on the other side we left by the only open side of the ford.

Will say here that brother Joe's regiment was in the battle of J_____.

Johnston's army marched to Demopolis, Ala.  Sherman with cavalry and infantry went thru Miss. to Meridan.  Gen'l Jackson's cavalry harrassed the rear of Sherman's force.  Hardly a day passes that we did not come in contact with them in some mor or less severe skirmish.  I recall little of the details of the march up to Meridian.  I remember near Sanderdale, Miss. we were standing mounted facing a force about equal to our company passing a few shots.  Lum Pruden whose knee touched mine as we stood in line received a ball through that leg.

At a certain place 100 yards from two log houses full of the enemy who were shooting at us, we were mounted, along a rail fence.  Hindy Watt was on a big rough haired pony, we boys called that pony "Elephant" because shaped like one.  The "Elephant" got a ball in the knee, and collapsed.  Hindy called to his brother Craft; "Craft!"  "Craft!"  (They were Irish) just like a crow says "Caw, Caw!"  I can see and hear Hindy's distress call as he went down.  Just then big Jim McKnight (Jim was not afraid of man nor -- anything else) rode up to me and said:  "Nelse, the General wants me to find out how many are in them cabins.  Come go with me!"  We galloped around those cabins, had shots fired at us but got back safely.  (Years after Jim cam in the store at Memphis to see me with a few toddies aboard.  He told to a gullible audience how "me and Nelse rode clear around Sherman's army.")  On the strength of our report, the General ordered up a regiment to charge and take those cabins.  The regiment came up and advanced;  but under a heavy fire wavered;  showed indications of retreat.  Billy Shouse one of my classmates rushed to the head of the column, seized the regimental flag and called to that wavering body of men to "come on!"  They did go on and captured the cabins and several of the defenders.  That night we spent at these houses.  There were several dead lying around which the prisoners buried.  The wounded were cared for.

Sherman did not stay long at Meridan.  Almost at once he turned and marched back to Canton.  Nothing special occurred, in which I was personally concerned until we encamped about ten miles from Canton and in 5 miles of the village of Sharon on the Canton road.

Now, I have not mentioned that I had on occassion cultivated the acquaintence of the family of Mrs. D. who had some charming daughters;  incidentally became acquainted with serveral families in Sharon.  Mrs. D. lived on her plantation near Sharon.

That night Corporal Fairborn and I agreed that we would like to ride ahead to see Mrs. D's family.  We asked Capt. Taylor's permission.  The Captain said we would have to consult the General.  He consented with the proviso that we act as advance videttes of the command.  This caused us to nesitate a little but finally we agreed.  We were off the next morning at sunrise.  We rode along cautiously, for there was none between us and the other fellows, and they were not far off.  We came to the big farm gate that led up to her house two hundred yards up through a grove of large forest trees.  We decided it was best that Fairborn should stay at the big gate, while I rode up to the house.  I came to the yard gate and called but got no answer.  Again, no response. I then dismounted and went into the house, the front door of which was side open.  What a sight met my eyes.  Dresser drawers pulled out, their contents scattered all over the floor.  One or two trunks opened, contents thrown out -- a scene of devastation and robbery.  Upstairs the same.  I picked up some papers that might be valuable, a pair of girl's shoes, etc.  Fairborn and I rode on.  In the suburb of Sharon we saw that it was Miss Carrie Divine.  She told us that her mother had with her girls, come to the village the day before fearing the ?alucr?.  Her brother Tom who was home from the Virginia army on furlough had a wagon at the door to move them, when he was captured.  We could not tarry as we were on duty so we rode on.  As we rode through the town a young girl who recognized me, called me to the fence and said; "Mr. Rainey a hundred Yankees have gone out to Mr. Gilmore's place to rob him!"  Gilmore was a wealthy planter 1 1/2 miles from the village.  I reported this to Corp. F.  He galloped back some two miles to report to Capt. Taylor while I chatted to the young lady and others.  They said that the last of the Yankees had passed not half an hour before.  So we were not very far behind them.  After a while Capt. Taylor in command of our and another company came galloping up.  He said to me:  "I understand that you know this country.  Can you lead us to Gilmore's?"  "Yes sir, I have been there."  "You and Fairborn ride ahead at a trot 200 yards ahead of the command."  We had gone about half a mile when F. said "My G___" look there!  shoot!"  There were four bluecoats spread across the narrow forest lined road not more that 50 yards ahead.  I jerked my carbine from its "boot" aimed and pulled the trigger.  The cap "popped".  Another cap and I fired.  Fairborn said, "Stay here.  I'll report."  There I stood and fired four shots at those four Yanks -- they shooting at me and I didn't have sense enough to get behind one of the plentiful big trees.  Then up came the command at a fast trot;  F. joined me and the Capt. motioned us to go ahead, thus putting us at the head of the column.  In an instant we were in a hornet's nest.  The Yanks led us into a kind of ambush.  We had passed three wagons loaded with plunder.  I remember one had a pet bear tied behind.  We had just passed the wagons when Lieut. Crump, one of General J's staff officers forged up to me and said:  "Rainey lend me a pistol!"  These were the last words he ever spoke.  I handed him one of my pair of "English Bull dogs" new ones.  He dashed just in front of me and in an instant both he and his horse fell dead.  A ball had struck his horse in the forehead, passed through and into Crump's jugular vein, killing both man and horse instantly.  My mare leaped over both and fell on their nose.  She had been shot in the "breast" or upper part of the left fore leg.  The ball passed through striking my wooden stirrup, grazing my boot heel.  As the Captain passed me he said "Go to the wagon train, " which was on the Canton road a mile away.  I cut across the fields, Kate barely able to hobble along, stumbling every few yards.  I was in the large sedge field.  About 100 yards ahead was a farm road running diagonally across the field to a gate into another field.  Suddenly 12 or 15 Yankees appeared with several led horses making for the gate.  The horses were spoils frm the Gilmore place.  They saw me, I saw them.  They couldn't spare the time to "fool" with me.  I could neither fight nor run.  There we were.  Each willing to let the other fellow alone to go his own way.  I know I was.  They went on; so did I.  As I neared the village I came to the rear of a cottage.  I saw a girl standing on the back steps anxiously toward the scene of the firing.  It proved to be Miss Carrie Divine.  She had a servant to bathe and clean Kate's wound.  Brought me out some ham sandwiches which I could not swallow.  I remember so well the nausea that I felt.  Here I will say that during my two years of service I was often under fire but seldom was it that I did not experience that nausea after, in a more or less degree.

Miss Carrie suggested that I leave Kate with her until she got well of her wound.  This I was glad to do.  So I walked over to the wagon train and borrowed a horse from the quartermaster.  In the meantime our boys had gone on to the Gilmore house, captured about 20 of the raiders and rescued considerable of the plunder they had prepared to appropriate.  It seems that Gilmore had killed one of them on the doorstep of his fine home;  they in turn had shot him.  They got away with several fine horses, some of which I no doubt saw in the field mentioned.  The next day we marched down to Canton where we went into camp, staying in Canton five weeks.  Our company quarters were in an old brick Presbyterian church.  Each fellow had a pew for his bunk.  There was the regulation gallery so often seen in oldtime churches.  We were by no means idle.  We were often called out to repel Mr. Sherman's raiding parties up into the rich country around us.  We went out frequently after them, but few notable incidents happened.  One day the General with his escort went out about 5 miles toward's Ball's Bluff.  The General stopped and called for a detail of 6 or 8 men.  I was one of this detail.  He put us in charge of a young boyish 3d Lieutenant, with instructions to go to the brow of a certain hill, to keep close watch for the enemy's advance.  Not to fight, but fall back if they showed aggressiveness.  We went to the point described.  The road beyond dipped down in a steep decline.  Away down yonder a half mile we could see the pickets of the enemy.  They wasted a few shots at us which we did not return.  There was a rail fence parallel with the road.  We saw three men galloping toward us up and on the other side of the fence.  They got within 50 yards and called to us.  We thought they said "Halt!  Halt!"  We all gave them one volley.   The young Lieut. said "Fall back!"  which he did

That summer we luxuriated in fruits -- peaches, figs, watermelons, etc.  The first big fig tree I ever saw was there.  A lot of us went to that fig tree to get some of the luxuriant crop.  Under that tree we discovered a grave.  We investigated and learned that a negro had been hung by some soldiers from that tree and buried under it.  Which reminds me:  One day Gen'l Jackson, his staff and escort were marching along the road in the country.  A middle aged negro accosted the General.  "Well what is it?" said the General.  I  sho is glad to see you all.  I been waitin' for you!"  Said Jackson, "What can I do for you."  "I want you to take my ol' mistis and give her a hunnerd lashes."  "Anything else?"  "Yes, master, I want you to burn her house down!"  The General sent for Taylor.  "Captain have this negro hung!"  Then some private instructions.  Captain T. called Adam Holmes a negro the "Captain" of the 45 negro servants of the company, and  told him to "take this nigger down in the woods and give him a good thrashing".  I saw it.  Adam and the two other Negros cut heavy hickory switches, stripped him naked and gave him an unmerciful hiding.  "You want your old mistis beat do you?"  "We are whippin' yer for lyin'!"  "Whip him for lying again!"  The victim deserved the chastisement, but how cruel the black punishers were.  It showed the innate savagery of the race.

Not long after a crime against military law was committed by a negro.  He was tried by a military court and sentenced to be hung.  I was on the detail to hang him.  Three men from our company and three from Ruffin's Co. the provost guard of the division.  We carried him some distance from camp for the execution.  I recognized that negro as the one that received the thrashing.  I walked away;  I just could not look on.

I often suffered with homesickness.  I wonder if any creature, boy, man, girl or woman ever suffered with that disease "Nostalgia,"  (I prefer the word "Homesickness")  as does the mother-loving soldier boy?  It had been raining all day and most of us were in our bunks (pews) trying to while away the time with a nap.  I was blue, had on a severe cast of the blues;  how I wanted to see mother!  Was lying on my side trying to sleep with the hope that I might dream of her, when I felt something drop on my head.  Then another clod of plaster fell on me.  My pew was just under the edge of the gallery.  Some mischievous boys were dropping plaster on me.  I asked them to stop it. They dropped more.  Aggravated past endurance I applied an epithet so insulting that no man would fail to resent.  At once I heard steps decending the stairs.  I knew the determined step, the jingling spurs on Bob Carnes' boots;  I knew Bob well enough to believe something was about to happen.  I felt desperate too.  I drew my sabre from the scabbard near me and prepared "to repel boarders".  Bob cam straight at me, picked up my carbine from the corner, clubbed and raised it.  Looked straight into my eyes with is big brown ones (I can see his face now, with the fire in his big eyes).  "If you were anyone else I'd brain you!"  With that he turned, put the gun carefully in its corner and left.  The reaction came.  I cried.  I am not ashamed to say it.  I believe I cried for two hours.  I was nothing but a boy, a tender-hearted boy.  My only experience out in the big world, my short six months' service with big rough men.  What a relief those tears were to me.

Night came on, I heard "food call", I paid no attention.  After a little I heard a soft voice say:  "Nelse I know you were not feeling well, so I drew your corn and fed your mare."  Thanking him, I broke again and had another cry.  It was Bob.  Of all the men, and I loved them all, I loved Bob Carnes the best;  I believe he loved me too.  The next day he beckoned to me from around the corner of an outbuilding.  He had a small watermelon which he divided with me.  Neither of us ever reminded the other of the episode.  Good old Bob!  He died not long after the war.

During all this time at Canton I did not neglect my friends at Sharon.  Every few days I rode the 7 miles to see them.  They were always good and kind to me, aways made me welcome.  I saw also, often my friends the Rosseaus.  They had a pretty adopted daughter Blanche that I was fond of.  I had many pleasant hours with them.  These rides and visits frequently caused me to be late at rollcall.  Somehow I managed to get to camp -- almost every time just in time to be too late to answer to my name called out by Sargt. Mitchell.  He would look at me with a grin as he put his book in this pocket just as I dismounted.  One day I said "John, how many extra duties have you got charged against me?"  He counted up:  "Only sixteen!  I''ll cut that to eight, but you've got to serve 'em.  I'll see to that!  You fellow that run around after the girls always get into trouble.  Serves you right!"  I served them too.

About September 1st, we went into camp at Jackson.  I recall little of the details of our stay there.  We frequently rode out on the road in the direction of Vicksburg.  Sometimes came in contact with raiding parties of the enemy.  At times we passed shots with them.  One incident stands out in my memory.  We had gone out in the neighboorhood of Clinton 8 miles from Jackson and made a "waterhaul"; that is they turned and ran from us.  We turned to go back; had gone a mile or two when suddenly from our front came several cannon shots, balls flying around us.  They had flanked us and planted a battery and were sending shells and solid shot right in our faces.  I remember that a solid 6 pound shot rolled along the whole length of the company as slowly and as gently as a socky ball within one or two fee of our horses' legs.  A light deflection of that ball would have crippled several of our horses.  We heard skirmishing to the right of our front but rode on.  Suddenly as we turned a slight ben in the road we spied a line of bluecoats line across the road.  Whether waiting for us or for what reason they left by the left flank without firing a shot.  So did we, which tells the tale.

One night I was detailed just at dark to report to Agt. Moorman.  He gave me a dispatch to the commandant at Canton for "prompt delivery."  That meant an all night ride.  I didn't mind that in the least.  Besides I was going Sharon-wards.  As the Major handed me the dispatch, he asked me if I would do him the personal favor to deliver a letter to a young lady at Canton?  Of course I would.  Then I told him I was glad to take the trip as I had a girl friend at Sharon  myself.  As I was turning away he called me back, wrote something on a slip of paper and handed it to me with "You may need this."  It was leave of absence for three days.  Several times after that I made that trip with three days written leave in my pocket.  Maj. Moorman married his young lady.  After the war Maj. Moorman served as Adjt. General of the United Confederate Veterans until his death more than 30 years after.

Autumn was on us.  Winter was approaching.  We broke camp at Jackson and went into winter quarters at Clinton eight miles out on Vicksburg road.  Here the Yankees did not let us alone.  They were always raiding us.  Almost every day we were in the saddle.  One afternoon our company was deployed along a ten foot "cut" on the railroad.  We were ordered to dismount.  We waited there for some hours.  Night, dark night came on.  Still we waited, we knew not for what; the private soldier never knows.  Some of us made effort to sleep, for we were very tired.  Desultory firing of skirmishers or scouts in the near distance down the railroad could be heard.  I spread my overcape on the ground and lay down under Kate's nose.  I had just gotten to sleep when we were startled, ("startled" sometimes is equivalent to "scared") by a volley from the railroad cut.  Some of our Yankee friends had crept up the cut in the darkness and very unkindly disturbed our slumbers.  Before I was fairly awake Kate had dragged me 50 feet.  But a few words quieted her.  In a few minutes we were in the saddle and after them, but our chase was fruitless.  I remember as we got out into the road two ambulances passed with wounded soldiers.  Their groans and screams were pitiful.

I still kept up the habit of using a three day leave for the purpose of visiting my friends at Sharon.  I got to Mrs. Divine's just as the sun went down.  At supper little Sallie of 12 told me an interesting piece of news.  The night before a "nice looking gentleman" stopped with them.  He rode up with a led horse.  Sallie met him at the door.  She rushed back to her mother with:  "Mother a gentleman wants to stay with us.  Please let him stay!  He's such a nice looking gentleman!"  Of course, at this appeal to her hospitality Mrs. Divine consented.  At supper the gentleman asked if they could inform him as to Gen'l Jackson's headquarters?  Mrs. Divine said:  "They are at Canton."  Little Sallie said:  "No mother I believe they have moved; for Nelse has not been to see us for more than a week!  The gentleman looked up suddenly and said: "Nelse, Nelse!  I expect I know that young man.  Nelse, What?"  One of the other girls replied, "Mr. Nelse Rainey!"  "I thought so, he's my son."  with a twinkle in his eye.  "What do you know about him?"

Pa said afterward that he didn't know he had such a "good" and "sweet" son until he heard little Sallie's panegyrie of him.  Sallie at this date is an old woman of 74, unmarried.

Pa was on his way to see me and bring me a horse.  It seems that he took one road going down to Jackson; I another coming up, so we missed each other.  He stayed the night with my mess and was waiting for me; of course it was a joyful meeting.  He told me that as he entered the camp some rascally fellow greeted him with:  "Come down out of that hat!  I see your legs hanging down!"  My father always wore the regulation tall silk hat.  I think until after the Civil War I never saw him wear any other.  Just before this I noticed my mare Kate was becoming more and more unsafe to ride, because her leg was weak and she very often stumbled.  I swapped her to Payson Mitchell for a good bald-face sorrell which afterward did me good service.  More of him later.  I begged my father to sell the horse he brought but he thought it better to leave him in Miss. in case I should need him.  So he and I rode to Crawfordsville a few miles down the railroad where he left the horse with a planter whom he knew.

Early one night there was an alarm, the bugle called "boots and saddle."  We rode from our quarters down into a "bottom" not far away, where we were ordered to dismount.  There we waited until just before daybreak, every fellow trying to get what sleep he could on the ground.  My station was near a big fire where Fayette and another servant of our mess were cooking something.  I was awakened by loud talking and quarreling at the fire.  I heard Fayette say: "No you won't:  My master wouldn't take a thousand dollars for me!"  At that instant, I saw a white man put a pistol to Fayette's head and fire, and dash off.  At the shot I jumped up and took after the fellow calling to him to halt!  At the second shot I stepped into ice-cold water and sand high upon my ankles.  It was very dark in the umbra of the bushes and the fellow got away.  He was one of the wagon drivers.  He deserted to the Yanks.  Fayette was shot directly through the temples.  The ball put out both of his eyes.  Good old Fayette.  He was might good to the boy soldier.  He did me so many favors and services.  One day in Memphis, and old blind negro led by a boy came in to "see" me.  Of course he got his dollar.

In the meantime:  Gen'l Jackson's quarters with his staff were in a house on a hill about a 1/4 mile away.  My second shot had hardly sounded, when from the hill we heard Henry Farmer's bugle sound the alarm.  Then came galloping of a cavalcade.  The Gen'l, staff and bugler came at top speed to inquire as to the supposed attack.  The matter was explained to him by our Captain.  He sent for me and questioned me.  He approved and commended me for what I did, and for my promptness of action.  "Those shots were 'one' 'two' 'three' as though from one gun!  But I tell you young man," with a twinkle in his eye, "You raised merry H___".  We were soon ordered to camp without further adventure.

We spent Christmas day 1863 and January at Clinton.  The people in the neighborhood were nice to us and there were some mighty pretty girls.  We were sometimes at parties to which they were invited.  I so well remember on party:  We were sitting in the "big room", each fellow by a girl.  In the part was a skittish would-be fascinating old maid, on the shady side of 40;  not overburdened with beauty.  The room was illumined with one ill-smelling coal-oil lamp.  Suddenly that lamp went out.  Why or how no one inquired or card.  That ancient spinster exclaimed:  "Now boys is the time to kiss the girls!"  All acted at once.  I think every fellow in that room got a kiss; every girl got kissed with the exception of the O.M. and myself.  I happened to be sitting with her and I just couldn't.

In February we moved down to Benton near Yazoo City where we remained until about the middle of March.  I remember one morning at Benton we awoke with 8 or 10 inches of snow on us which was very soon dissipated by the action of a warm sun.  The next day it began to rain.  Rain and cloudy.  For 18 we did not see the sun and we and our effects suffered with mildew.  With the exception of an occasional raid of our neighbors from Vicksburg we were in the main unmolested and had little excitement while at Benton.  One day my cousin Sargt. George Stovall, a man some 10 years older than I asked me to take a ride with him.  We rode about ten miles to the plantation of Mrs. Sharpe, the mother of his wife.  Here I saw a boy of 9 years of age, the grandson of Mrs. Sharpe.  This boy, John Sharpe Williams, afterwards became and was until two years ago a U.S. Senator of National repute; was considered one of the most eloquent and forcible members of the Senate.  He always spoke and fought for the South and its interests.

About this time President Jefferson Davis came to Mississippi to review and investigate the Miss. department.  Our company was chosen to go to West Point, Miss. to excort him from the railroad station. The cavalry of the department concentrated at West Point.  I think, but am not sure, that Gen. Joe Wheeler commanded.  The cavalry was reorganized; new assignments and promotions made.  The colonel of the 7th Tennessee was promoted.  Our Capt. Taylor being the senior captain, in the shuffle, became Lieut. Colonel; in our Co. 1st Lt. Sneed became captain; Watkins 1st Lt.; Certain 2nd Lt.; Ord. Sgt. Mitchell promoted to 3d Lieut.;  Woodward to Ord. Sargeant; private Jim Jones to 2nd Lt. on the staff, etc.

with enthusiasm, the others with regret.  I thought it a shame to run from three men so I wheeled and gave them one more shot.  One of them said "Nelse stop that you d___ fool".  I recognized the voice of Will Harris.  He, Billy Shouse and Bob Carnes had been sent on a scout to ascertain the number of the enemy force and were returning when we saw them.  In the meantime that young Lt. was the first to get back.  He reported to the General: "The enemy advance in force and I (notice that "I") at once fell back, I regret to report that one of my party was captured by the enemy!"  As we four rode back we chatted and laughed at the incident  Harris said:  "I tell you old fellow that ball of yours whizzed mighty close to my head!"


In April -- I'm not sure of the day,  our division started on the march to join Joseph E. Johnston's army in Georgia.  We went by way of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where we halted for some days.  We camped at Eastport, a manufacturing suburb across the Black Warrior River.  There as some infantry encamped here, Walthall's Brig. in which was the 48th Tennessee Reg.  I was glad to spend some of my time with Joe.

We joined the army on the railroad running direct from Chattanooga to Atlanta, at Rasacca 50 miles south of the former place.  Atlanta was a point about the center of the Confederacy and its activities and the objectives of the Federals under Sherman who was advancing from Chattanooga.  The two armies had been in contact for some days before we joined them and were eyeing each other; the two strong and able leaders Johnston and Sherman like two duelists playing for points and the advantage.

Jackson't cavalry faced the enemy in the rear of our army.  There was not a day that we did not come in contact with their advance pickets; not a day that we were not under fire.  On the second day after we arrived Tell Selden and I were detailed to ride with our General.  There was heavy picket firing in the direction of the enemy's right front.  The General and his staff rode toward the firing at a good pace until we came to a point where two regiments of cavalry were massed.  There Jackson order to dismount and deploy in line of battle.  He took the lead on the right and ordered the advance.  At once we were under heavy fire, the heaviest I ever experienced, save once afterward.  Selden and I rode close to our General.  I tell you those bullets whizzed swift and fast around us!  Seldon and I raised our carbines and got in several shots.  The enemy were all mounted and held their ground until we got within 100 feet of them, then broke and fled.  Just then we came to a rail fence.  The Gen'l's fine black went right over;  much to my surprise my bald-face sorrel went over too, right beside him.  The General said: " A fine jump!  Why! your horse is shot!"  I looked down and saw the blood streaming down his leg.  It did not seem to discommode him, so I went on.  When I had the time to examine the wound, (I certainly didn't then) I found the shot, I think a pistol ball, had entered the "breast" exactly where Kate was shot.  The ball was never extracted.  The Yankess  made several stands at bay until we could see the "whites of their eyes" but they were kept on the run for several miles.  Selden captured a Brig. General as he came off with his Sabre.

Johnston fell back slowly; fortified at several places -- Cassville, Adairsville, Cartersville, but for his own reasons, he refused the gage of battle which Sherman offered him.

Then on down to Kennesaw, where a battle was fought (Kennesaw Mountain is 25 miles from Atlanta).   On a clear day from the top could be seen the spires of the churches and public buildings, the tin roofs glittering in the sunshine.  The mountain is several hundred feet high, isolated, though there are several peaks, in the near distance like those in view from Ancon Hill.  Garnett and Roy may understand what I mean.  The elevation is some higher than that of Ancon Hill.  To the north is a broad plain running back from the mountain for some miles.  The Confederates fortified the hill with a fort with heavy guns on the top.  We had lines of breastwooks near to and running parallel to the length of the mountain.  I was sent with a communicaton to the officer in command of the works on top.  From that elevation I saw part of the blood battle of Kennesaw Mountain.  That in the immediate front for the line of battle was several miles long.  I make no attempt at description, I was standing with a group of officers who were watching a certain battery which was bombarding the hills from a distance of perhaps a mile.  Her Sherman accomplished a feat which before had ben thought impossible for field guns.  Several shells burst over our heads.  We would see the flash of the gun, the shell would burst over us before we heard the report of the gun!  A wonder to me then.

Sherman assaulted our whole line but was repulsed with heavy loss, 2500 history says.  Confederates lost less than 1000 -- a brother of your Daddy's mother was killed in this battle on the Federal side -- my brother, Joe's, Loring's brigade was engaged. 

One day, just before we reached Kennesaw our company was marching along a road.  We were ordered to halt -- what for, a private never knows -- then to dismount.  We waited for some time.  I hd in my saddle pocket a copy of "David Copperfield" in which I was interested, so I mounted a rail fence and sat just where the rails crossed and became absorbed in David's adventures.  A Yankee battery about a mile distant began firing in our direction, perhaps at us.  I saw a solid shot coming in my direction.  That ball came right at me.  No use in dodging so I awaited my fate.  It struck the bottom rail exactly under me, went through the rail and burrowed two feet into the ground.

Johnston went on to Atlanta and heavily fortified that place and a line some 7 miles long.  We went into camp on extreme right of the Army.  From that time until the fall of Atlanta there was continuous musketry and cannonading.  We had much riding and courier duty to perform.  Joe's Brigade was stationed on the extreme left.  We on the right seven miles apart.  I found time to ride across and see him every few days.  Our cook usually fixed up for me a bucket of cooked peas, some biscuits or other food for the poor ill-fed boy in the trenches.  We sometimes drew rations of tobacco and whiskey -- I always managed to convey mine to Joe.  One day I made my customary visit to him.  I remember I gathered for hm a bucket of dewberries that day from a field near the road.  I hitched my horse 1/4 mile from the breastworks and walked in a stooping position up to them to prevent my head from being struck by a stray bullet, several of which I heard sing past.  I found Joe issuing rations to his company.  On a blanket, a much soiled one, were several small heaps of bread and meat, one for each member.  A moderate chuck of cornbread, unshortened, cooked the day before, and a small piece of boiled lean beef.  Joe looked them over; if one pile had just a little more in it than the average, he'd pinch off a bit and add to a smaller -- all this time the boys looked on with interested, hungry eyes.  Then he picked up a heap in his not too clean hand and gave it to the owner of the name he called.  They had not had a satisfying ration for days.  They were tired, badly fed, dirty with the yellow clay of the trenches, yet not one of them thought of giving up;  if ordered would have charged Sherman's whole army.

Then Joe and I sat down and had a chat.  He told me he had just returned from the rifle pits where he had spent 3 hours.  He was so small, so tired, so hungry looking, his hands, face and clothes caked with yellow clay.  Is it any wonder that I cried when I left him?  I am not at all ashamed of the fact.

On the staff was a Lieutenant Ewing.  He and General Jackson knew each other in the U.S. Army before the war.  Jackson was a captain of artillery -- Ewing a sub-lieutenant.  Jackson resigned from U.S. Army, Ewing stayed on.  Ewing quarreled with his Colonel, knocked him down, deserted and came to General Jackson, who appointed him on his staff as "division drillmaster" as he was an expert swordsman.  He was an Irishman, bold and reckless.  When such a man was needed for special service, Ewing was sent.  I went with him on a wild ride once.  He seemed to like me and acquried the habit of calling for me.  One day just before Kennesaw, Johnston sent Jackson word to find Sherman's extreme right.  Jackson gave the task to Ewing.  Three men were detailed from our company to ride with him.  Ewing asked for me in addition to the others.  We rode out some miles in direction of the enemy's right flank.  We had neared a small stream, the banks of which were somewhat precipitous on our side and thickly lined with shrubbery growth.  On the other side was a considerable valley.  We heard brass bands and saw a mass of about 10,000 bluecoated soldiers going into cap 1/4 mile away.  We concealed ourselves in the bushes and had a good view of them.  It was a beautiful sight.  They moved as though on parade as they took their places for the camp.  They showed they were well disciplined.

We had found what we came for.  We mounted and started back.  We had gone about a mile when at the yard gate of a cabin near the road we espied three cavalry horses tied.  Ewing at once ordered the charge.  We were too late.  They were mounted and away about 100 feet ahead of us.  I should have mentioned this episode in its place:  On the staff was Capt. Sykes, a most estimable gentleman of Columbus, Mississippi.  Ewing didn't like him and one day called him a coward and otherwise grossly insulted him.  The quarrel resulted in a challenge to the duel by Ewing.  Sykes chose our Captain as second.  They went out one morning at sunrise -- Sykes but a ball through Ewing's body.  He recovered, however.  At once he went to Sykes and apologized, saying: "Sykes, you are a d___ sight braver man than I thought you !"  I heard this conversation.

Another adventure I omitted in its proper place.  Near Cartersville above Kennesaw I was ordered to report to Brig. Genral Ainsby of the Infantry.  He was "officer of the day" and I was to ride with him as courier.  It is the duty of O. of D. to see that the commanding general's orders are carried out.  We rode along the line of new breastworks being thrown up at a point where a road was being opened up through the  forest for artillery.  He told me to ride to Col. _____ and ask him to send a detail for fatigue duty due from his regiment and for me to guide them.  He advised that I leave my horse and go on foot as bullets from skirmishers were flying rather thickly.  I got the detail of ten men and we started.  We had gone a short distance when the enemy began to shell the woods with grapeshot.  My! How thick they did fall!  We took shelter in a shed, for cattle, I think.  It was riddled.  One of the poor boys of our squad was killed while we were under the shelter.  But we could not wait, and under my guidance the rest of them were prevailed on to move along to our objective, the new road.  I turned them over to the engineer in charge.  I enjoyed my experiences of that active day, during which I learned much of the working of the machinery of a big army in the field.  Toward night General A. told me to report back to my captain.  He thanked me for my service, took my name and promised to make requisition for me the next time he was on the same duty.  Some days after he asked that I be detailed with him again, and I spent another day with him.

The members of our company were well bred self-respecting men, and not addicted to foul language as is too often the case with soldiers and sailors.  A few of them would drink sometimes, but seldom to drunkenness.  Regarding this, I must record a seriocomic incident that happened at Marietta on the march down.  Henry B. one of my messmates, and amicable and lovable fellow, on Sunday went up town.  He came back with a few "shots" of "pine-top" in his system.  The boys said pine-top whiskey would kill a man 100 yards away.  Soon Henry's condition began to show its consequences.  He leaned against a tree and this solilloquized:  "Drunk! here I am drunk!  No doubt my poor girl is at home now prayin' for my poor soul and here I am drunk like a fool on Sunday."  Henry denies, not that he was drunk, but that he said that.  The boys declared that he did.  After the war Henry married his girl and reared a family of fine boys and girls.

I find it necessary to go back to incidents I failed to note in their proper order.  I write from memory -- have no notes and must be excused if I fail to give the incidents in their proper sequence.

The battle of New Hope Church was fought on May 27.  I was sent with a message to an officer somewhere near New Hope.  Message delivered and too far to go back, I begged shelter at a farm house within half a mile of the church.  About daylight there was a heavy cannonading and musketry.  I got up, dressed and saddled my horse.  I knew Joe's command was in it.  Cannon shot and bullets were flying thick over and about the house.  The farmer, his wife and two pretty daughters were much alarmed.  One of the girls ran to me and begged me to save her and threw her arms around me.  I didn't object to that but it was embarrassing especially as mammy and pappy were looking on.  I told them to go inside the big log house.  I galloped toward the church and met wounded soldiers walking away from the battle.  The very first man I noticed was Joe sitting in the church yard on a flat tombstone.  He looked tired.  He said his company had just come in from the line of fight for a rest.  That he had fired forty rounds.  As we sat "spat" struck the stone, then another and another.  I said:  "Joe let's get away from here!"  "Oh what's the use?  One place is as good as another!"  Just then the company was called to "fall in" and I left him.

About the time I was given a written message for General Johnston whose quarters "were near the old church about 10 miles back which we had passed that day."  I started just before sunset.  Found the church.  It was very dark.  Forest all 'round.  Incessant picket firing in front and on the left.  I followed the road bearing to the left.  That road brought me back to the church.  I rode the whole night through in that circle.  Did not see a soul.  As daylight approached I caught sight of what I thought was smoke.  Cautiously I approached that smoke, was halted by a sentinel.  A few words elicited the information that the goal I had been hoping for throughout that long and lonesome night had been reached.  I delivered my paper to the adjutant expecting a reprimand for the delay but none came. 

Nothing discourages an army more than continual retreat without a fight.  But Johnston's army had loyal confidence in their leader.  The army believed that when the right time came and not till then that he would offer battle to Sherman and whip him to a finish.  But the people and especially the politicians were clamoring and urging the President to order battle.  The day came in July, when the able and beloved Joseph E. Johnston was removed, deposed, and Lt. General Hood put in command; much to the regret and dissatisfaction of every man in our army; much to the satisfaction of Sherman, who, it is said remarked:  "I would rather this had happened than to be victor in a battle."  General Hood was a game fighter, but not the strategist compared with his predecessor.  On July 22 he attacked and was defeated by Sherman;  on July 24 he was again defeated in the blood battle of Peach Creek;  and again on July 28.  From this time disaster followed.

On the morning of the 28th I started on my usual seven mile ride to see Joe.  Had gone about half the distance when I met Joe's brigade at a "quick" march to the extreme left of our lines.  I rode along with them until they were halted and deployed in line of battle.  Just then a courier rode up to me:  "Orders are to report to camp at once."  Company saddled up for the march with three days' rations."  I hurriedly shook Joe's hand in good-bye and galloped off for camp.  I had gone only a few hundred yards before I heard the battle roar, and Joe was in it.  We were gone ten days and you can imagine how uneasy I was on Joe's account.  We were almost literally in the saddle every hour of that ten days -- night and day.  We were so tired and sleepy.  The men would sleep erect in the saddle.  We believed our horses slept as they walked.  The Federals were attempting to destroy the railroads at and near Rome and Newnan and our cavalry was after them.  They moved rapidly and we seldom came in contact with them.  We met them at Newnan and there was a brisk fight.  I was on duty with the General that day.  I was very near him standing in the street of the village when (where they came from no one asked;  I know we didn't stop to inquire) a squad of Yankees (10 or 12) dashed at us.  The General rode right at the one in advance.  Keeled over both man and horse, his big black fairly leaping over them.  To this day I don't know how I got out of that tangle, but I did;  that is my horse toted me off.  He knew the big black;  they had leaped fences together; perhaps he thought it was a game of "follow my leader."  The object of the expedition accomplished,  Sherman's purpose foiled, we returned to camp near Atlanta.  At first chance I rode across to hunt up Joe.  Up to that hour I did not know his fate; Whether he had survived that bloody battle and defeat.  How happy I was to see him alive and well.  He told me his tale.  The brigade with the rest had assaulted and gone over five lines of earthworks, being thinned and weakened by heavy losses in killed and wounded, at the sixth line they were repulsed and had to retreat.  The Brigade lost three fifths of those engaged, killed or wounded.  Joe had his gun shot from his hand and two bullet holes through his clothes, but his flesh received no scratch.  I asked him how far he went.  "To the top of the last line!"  I asked him if he were scared.  "Scared!  I once made a hole in the ground and got in it, but had to get  out and go with the boys!"  His company lost half of its men.  This was the third of Hood's bloody defeats.

We moved camp to Eastport, a railroad junction nine miles from Atlanta.  The next morning we saddled up for the march;  were in saddle and ready as the big red sun ball appeared on horizon.  Sergeant Woodward called me to report to the General.  I can in this long after, see the General's big red face., his heavy red mustache and goatee, his eyes, his every feature, hear his voice, as he gave me my instructions:  "Have you a good horse?" "Yes sir!"  "How are you?  are you in good condition?"  with a twinkle in his eye.  " Yes sir!"  He handed me a folded paper.  "I wish General Hood to have this without delay.  Ride!  do not spare your horse!  I galloped that nine miles to Atlanta, I think in less than an hour -- the sentry at the ten halted me;  I reported to the adjutant.  General Hood sent for me; asked as to my and my horse's conditions.  He told his orderly to see that the horse was well fed and that I had some breakfast.  That was a mighty good cup of coffee I had, a rare treat in those days.  I was handed a written dispatch for General Jackson to be delivered  "without delay" to him at Jonesboro.  I caught up with them near Jonesboro just at sundown.  Jonesboro is 28 miles from Atlanta.  I had ridden 46 miles that day.  We had supper.  I was tired and soon asleep.  It seemed only a few minutes after, I found it was 9:00 o'clock when someone shook and whispered to me.  It was Lt. Jim Jones of the staff.  He said in a low tone:  "Rainey, are you game for an all night ride?  I want you!  How's your horse?"  I investigated and found my sorrel all right.  He had eaten two bundles of fodder and ten ears of corn, even the coos and asked for more.  Jim said "Ride light and meet me at my quarters.  Speak to no one!"  We rode away from camp.

Jim told me that the Federals threatened a raid in the rear to destroy the railroad and cut off army supplies.  Griffin, 28 miles from Jonesboro, was an important base of supplies and he was on a secret mission to warn the officer in command there to prepare for contingencies.  We rode across country avoiding roads.  We had gone about 10 miles and diverged toward the railroad when we saw fires along the line.  We dismounted and crept through the bushes to within perhaps 200 feet.  The Yankees were tearing up the railroad.  One hundred of them would line along the road and turn it over, ties and irons.  Made a great piles of ties and piled the rails on top and set the piles on fire causing the rails to bend and become useless.  We went on a few miles and came to a station where a train load of corn and several large pens of corn had been burned, a native told us about an hour before.  Here, about midnight, we stopped a short while and fed our horses on the scattered corn.  Soon after we got to Griffin -- our message delivered, we started.  All along we had heard picket firing.  We were approaching near the scene of road destruction when we heard heavy firing.  Our cavalry attacked the marauders and drove them back.  When in a few miles of Jonesboro we were passing through a big sedge field.  In the dim, uncertain light of the halfmoon we saw some yards away two horses approaching at a trot.  Two Yankees of course.  I said "Jim, shall we run or fight?"   His answer, "We won't run from two of them was followed by "Halt! halt!" and two quick shots from Jim's pistol.  The two "Yanks" came on.  We saw they were two horses that were pasturing in the field.  We saw they were two fine slick horses, no doubt hidden in this field to avoid appropriation by the armies.  They followed us to town.  As we rode along we speculated about them.  Jim claimed the big one -- I the other.  If we didn't appropriate them some other soldier would.  Why not we?  As we were going through the village those horses jumped a yard fence.  They were at home.  We got to camp just as the sun was rising.  I had ridden from sunup to sunup with only about three hours out of the saddle, one hour's sleep, rode 93 miles.  It didn't hurt me;  I was "as hard as nails;" but my sorrel was a wonder.

Breakfast, and hour or two of sleep, and we were in the saddle again about 8 a.m.  We started on a road running parallel to the railroad.  At a short distance from the town we saw several dead bluecoats.  A gray soldier had one crotched against a small tree endeavoring to pull off his boots.

The second station below Jonesboro is Lovejoy.  Arrived at the latter place, our company was deployed at and near the depot house.  My station was just at the corner.  We faced the railroad.  We had hardly taken our places when a long train of boxcars came at a fast rate, halted at the station and each car disgorged a load of soldier.  One of the first to reach the ground was brother Joe.  It was his regiment of several hundred men.  They deployed quickly in line of battle, Joe's position just in front of my stand.

It seems that the Federal General McCook was on a raid in Atlanta's rear purporting to destroy the railroad.  He had a force of 3000 cavalry.  Jackson feeling unable to cope with them had made requisition for infantry.  The infantry in center, cavalry on each flank, the advance was ordered.  McCook dismounted, was at stand some 300 yards in front.  General Jackson was in command of our forces.  He took his stand near me.  Joe called to me:  "Nelse, come or go into the fight with me!"  I had wished that I could.  I spoke to the General.  "I ask leave sir to go into the fight with my brother who stands there!"  "Are you on duty sir?"  "Yes sir."  "Keep your station sir!"

Our boys advanced.  In three minutes the battle was on.  Such a roar;  The musketry was so heavy that for a time except for the explosion of the Federal cannon no individual shot could be distinguished.  I saw Milt Voorhies come limping out of the battle shot in the ankle.  I asked him as to Joe?  "Joe's all right.  Last time I sw him he was shootin' every jump and yellin'."  Sergeant Woodward called to me and pointed down the railroad.  One hundred yards distant where a country road crossed, a squad of 5 or 6 Yankees were endeavoring to set fire to a pile of rails they had placed on the track.  We galloped toward them.  They at once ran away after a volley at us.  After scattering the rails we returned to our stations at the depot house.  Those Yanks had taken advantage of the excitement and boldly slipped in to do their work.

The depot house was not a very large structure, a "boxhouse" of rather think material.  Bullets and grapeshot riddle it.  There must have been 500 holes in it.  We noticed that most of them struck high up near to and in the roof.  That showed that in a battle the majority of shots are too high; fortunately for us, for none of us were hurt.

After awhile the firing in the front ceased.  Getting permission, I galloped down to see after Joe.  As I rode through the woods I saw several dead men, mostly wearing blue.  One poor Yankee lay by a log.  He raised himself on his elbow and looked up at me.  He was a ghastly sight.  He had a hole in his throat I could have put my fist in.  One horrible, horrified look, and he fell dead.  I see him yet.  I found Joe just beyond a line of rail breastworks, and others, amusing themselves with the actions of a drunken Yankee; he was limber -- drunk, couldn't stand.  He said when they dismounted for the fight, he was horseholder.  Another fellow gave him a bottle of whiskey to take his place in the fighting line.

Joe said they came near the rail works and rushed them.  The enemy didn't stay long, but fled.  He mounted the rails to go over when a big Dutchman wheeled and shot at him in the face, but fortunately missed him.  But not fortunate for the Dutchman, -- as he turned to run Joe bored a bullet through him.  He fell dead.  The only one of the enemy that he knows he killed.  He was a good marksman, fired hundreds of shots at them, but was never sure of his man before.  I asked him long after if he was sorry he had killed that man.  "Yes" he said, "but I feel no remorse.  It was a fair fight.  He tried to kill me."

I do not know how many men we lost in this fight, but not many I think.  A member of Joe's company was badly wounded and carried to the depot house.  He died that night.  His name was Chas. Hall of Mt. Pleasant, near Columbia.  He was a relative of R. A. Parker of Memphis.

The Federals were forced to retreat.  Our cavalry pushed them for five miles; that is we followed them that far when night overtook us.  They made several stubborn stands, at times the fighting was heavy.  At one time General stood near a fence.  I was close by.  The fighting was in a cornfield just in front and near us.  Bullets were flying think and fast.  A shell burst not 30 feet just overhead.  I saw my General's big head sink down into his shoulders.  I thought it strange that big brave man should shrink from anything.  But 'twas enough to make anybody shrink.  I did so myself.  At one place the road had a fence on both sides. this lane was the egress from the cul de sac in which was a force of the enemy.  The 4th Texas of Ross' brigade was in this lane.  The Yanks made a bold, brace dash, slashing right and left with their sabres and  won through.  It was a brave thing to do.  It was the only time I ever witnessed the use of the sabre in fight.

We passed a log home; just in front was a bursted and dismounted 6 pounder; very close to it was a dead bluecoat.  The explosion we supposed must have killed him.

We camped that night at a cross-roads where there was a cornfield which we invaded to get corn for our horses, incidentally for ourselves.  In the field, in the dark, we stumbled over several bluecoats, and a few wounded for whom we did the best we could.

On the blacksmith's bench lay a young officer.  He had a small blue hole in the center of his breast which was uncovered.  It had not bled an ounce of blood.  Any soldier knew it was a mortal wound.  He had a clear-cut, highbred face and fine brown eyes; a handsome young man about 25.  Capt. Sneed and the other officers were around him.  He said he had never approved of the invasion of the South;  deprecated the war for its subjugation, etc.  Capt. Sneed asked him:  "If that is the case why have you not left the army?"  I shall never forget the indignant flash of that boy's eyes. (I see them now)  as he answered:  " Youn insult me Sir!  Can you believe me a traitor?"  He had raised himself on his elbow, with the remark he fell back exhausted.  Some mother's boy, wounded t the death far away from her.  We buried him the next morning our men standing at respectful attention, officers with hats off.

Sherman made a flank movement in force which resulted in the bloody battle of Jonesboro.  It was a drawn battle, the Confederates retaining possession of the field.  The next day our General with his staff rode over the battlefield.  It was a dreadful and ghastly sight.  The dead lay think on all sides.  I believe there were a thousand bodies in sight.  Our dead had been collected and deposited in one place for burial; put in piles like railroad ties.  Long shallow, flat-bottomed ditches about three feet deep and 50 feet long were dug in which the bodies were laid as close together as possible.  As the bodies were brought up the were searched and examined and an officer carefully noted any marks of identification in a book.  Many a poor boy was put out of sight that day whose mother's grief was enhanced because she never knew his fate.  On another part of the battlefield squads in blue were performing the same office for their dead and caring for their wounded.

This was the last notable battle of what is known as the "Atlanta Campaign".  Sherman continued to make raids and flank movements with which Hood could not cope nor prevent.  Oh, that Johnston could have remained in command!  I firmly believe that he would have eventually defeated Sherman.  And so believed ever soldier in our army.

The end came.  Hood gave up Atlanta to the tender mercy of his opponent.  How tender that mercy was, how exercised, history tells.

Sherman started on his devastating march through Georgia and on to the sea.

Hood commenced his march to Tennessee, his objective point Nashville, to tackle Thomas and Buell.

We experienced the usual routine of the march, uneventful, except quite a battle at Altoona, until we reached the Tennessee River at Florence, Ala.  At this point and at Bainbridge just below, our army crossed on pontoon bridges.

I think I have not before said that Jackson with his cavalry was the rear guard of the army on the Atlanta Campaign.  For some days we remained at the river, our camp being at Tuscumbia, Ala. watching for any force that might come up in our rear.  Then we crossed the north side and followed the infantry which had moved on to the Tennessee line.

We got to a point about fifty miles northeast of Florence and went into camp.  The next morning I was ordered to report to General Forrest who was further east, about two miles on Florence and Columbia turnpike.  I reported and was told to ride with the special courier on duty that day.  I did not know any member of Forrest's escort.  I thought, and was delighted to find that the other courier was Dick Keeble of Columbia whom I knew well.  After three or four miles Forrest told Keeble and me to take to the right of the road about 200 yards and ahead keeping parallel with the road; to throw down the cross fences for him to follow; and ahead of him 200 yards.  At the second fence that we threw down I left my sabre, the only weapon I had.  (I must explain:  the night before someone had feloniously appropriated my belt, sabre, scabbard and a pair of mighty fine revolvers, kindly and consideratly leaving my bare sabre.  I started on this expedition with it as my only weapon.

Today, Friday March 20, 1925, is the sixty-second anniversary of my enlistment in the army of the Southern Confederacy.

To resume where I left off yesterday:  We were trotting through a skirt of open woods when suddenly two Yankee scouts appeared before us.  They turned to fly.  We called "Halt! halt!" but they kept on the run.  One went to the right with Keeble after him, his pistol barking at every jump.  The other straight ahead -- I after him.  I had no pistol to "bark", but my voice did in orders to halt!  Suddenly, he turned and rode back towards me.  Then I began to get scared.  He had a gun, I had no weapon, not even a pocket knife.  To my surprise (need I say agreeable surprise?) he dismounted and handed me his gun.  Now I don't believe in "kickin' a feller when he's down," but I couldn't help jibing that fellow.  Said I, "You're a nice fellow to surrender to me, for I have no arms!"  He looked ashamed and said: "If I'd'er knowed it you wouldn't 'er got me."  "But I've got you now, so come on!"  I trotted back with him and turned him over to the guard.  Keeble had already turned in his man.  I took my prisoner's gun -- a wellkept "Springfield" infantry rifle.  I have that gun yet.  I charge my grandson Roy to keep same as long as he lives.  Perhaps he may have a fine boy some day to care for it after him.

General Forrest then told us to turn down into the pike and go ahead at a trot.  We had gone perhaps half a mile.  We came to a long, open, barren glade, hidden from our view until very near, by a fringe of "black jack" and post oaks.  Suddenly we saw, lined along the inner edge of that glade a vast aggregation, about a million of Yankees.  They were as high, as they stood mounted, as the forest trees in the background.  They stayed perfectly quiet, make no attempt to intercept us; were no doubt waiting to ambush the column.  Keeble was riding a mustang; could turn around in a tincup.  He wheeled around and dashed back, leaving poor me there on my awkward old sorrell.  After a long, long time I got him around.  I have not said that these Yanks were not more than 50 yards to our left.

Here came forrest and his 90 men at a fast trot as was his way, not asking as to the odds against him, but coming.  As we came to the glade again, not a soldier in blue was to be seen.  But we could see the rear of the column ahead at a run.  Within a quarter of a mile we came to the Foust house.  (Foust's was a small "Springs" about 25 miles of Columbia well-known and patronized by the people of that town.  I had been there at times).

The enemy had built a high rail fence just in front of the house.  Forrest didn't stop, but charged right up to the fence, our men firing through and over it at the other fellows crouched behind.  I fired the load in my captured gun, loaded and fired three more times while we stood there.  We had one man killed, three wounded and several horses.  It got a little too hot and the General order us to fall back.

Now I wish to ask the modern soldier what army in the world today has a Lieutenant General who would lead 90 men in a charge like that?  I think even then none but Forrest would.

We fell back 200 yards, reformed; the charge was ordered again, and we dashed at the fence again, at a full run, not a Yankee was to be seen.  They had fled.  Then the column went back up the pike for a mile and halted.  By this time the sun was down.  The dusk of night was approaching, bright starts peeped through the foliage of the forest trees.  We could hear afar the crackling of skirmish guns in the direction  from which we had come that morning about a mile away.  We rode 100 yards up in the weeds and were ordered to dismount.  I was fourth man in the count, horse-holder.  As the others dismounted, a fat, lubberly boy next asked me to take his place, which I did with alacrity.  We went down to the road and deployed along same in the bushes.  The skirmishing approached nearer and nearer.  Soon the head of a column of cavalry loomed in the light of the stars.  After about 50 had passed, the order was given to fire.  We poured a volley into them; then all was still as death.  We fell back to our horses, but almost at once went down to the road again.  Soon here they came again, at a trot this time.  Another volley and they divided again.  All was still.  A man rode out into the road.  I ordered him to halt.  He paid no attention.  I fired at him.  Said he:  "What the h___ do you mean?"  I explained.  Said he should have heeded -- didn't blame me.  I expected a reprimand, but for some reason didn't get it.  It was one of the lieutenants of the company investigating a third time the same tactics.  A volley.  This time they came at a gallop, firing into our position.  Balls came pretty thick, but none of us was hurt.  We found no dead, no wounded bluecoats; carried off we supposed; but 16 dead horses lay in the road.  The force we ambushed was a regiment followed close by our cavalry.

We camped that night near the Foust house.  Early the next morning General Forrest handed me a dispatch to be delivered to General Jackson at or near Pulaski 30 miles S.E. of the point we then were.  Was instructed to be cautious as the country between was apt to be infested with Union scouts.  During the day I was warned twice by citizens of their proximity.  I twice met up with and was "captured" by Confederate scouts.  I proved my identity by showing my papers which were endorsed by the office in command.  By one of the parties was held for an hour drawn up with them across the road expecting an attack by the Yankee scouts.  I reached Jackson at Pulaski just at night, tired after a strenuous and exciting day.  Just before I left that morning for my ride to Pulaski I cut on the stock of my captured gun:  "N. R. Nov. 64".  In fact, to be exact, it was Nov. 23, 1864.  Events crowded thick and fast during the next 30 days -- made history.

On the next morning we marched direct to Columbia 28 miles.  We encamped on the Granville Pillow place on Bigbee creek.  The federals had possession of Columbia, and brother George and I could not get home to see our parents and the children.  I neglected to say in the proper place that my brother George, just younger than I, came to us at Pend Spring, Ala. not far above Florence.  He enlisted in our company, not yet 18, and made a good soldier to the end.

When George and I got to camp that night we heard that our division of cavalry would cross Duck River at Lillard's mill 20 miles above Columbia, on the next day.  Our Uncle Sam'l McLean (his wife Aunt Sarah was my father's sister) had a big plantation in the bend of the river 1/2 mile of the ford.  I suggested to George that we ride up the river that night to see Aunt Sarah and join the force next day.  The captain readily gave his permission and we started about 9 o'clock.  We knew the way well. So often we, since childhood had ridden to Marshall county to spend happy days with "Aunt Sarah and Uncle Sam:, who always made us welcome.  We reached the house about 2 P.M.  We decided we would go to the stable, feed our horses and sleep in the corn crib.  Any old soldier will appreciate and understand why we just from a long campaign and march were not in condition to get between Aunt Sarah's clean sheets.  Then we decide we had better inform him of our intention.  We rode up to the house and made our presence know.  He came to the door, greeted us cordially saying:  "Glad to see you, boys.  Feed your horses and come in and go to bed.  You know where to go."  I said:  "Uncle Sam, we are not fit to sleep in the house.  We will sleep in the corn crib".  Aunt Sarah, still in bed, called through the hall:  "You boys don't be so foolish!  Come in and go to bed!  Scott Rainey's boys shan't sleep in a corn crib on this plantation:  I answered: "Aunt Sarah, we will come in, but if there is any trouble you'll be to blame."  So we had a good rest and sleep: a fine breakfast.  That morning as I led my horse from the stable he limped badly; had a "run-round" on his hoof and was useless.  So here I was a campaign ahead of s with no horse.  Uncle Sam who always had plenty of good horses had none now.  The two armies had requistioned every one, except an old broken down plug entirely unfit.  He would have willingly supplied me.  George left me and joined the command, participated in the strenuous events around Franklin and Nashville.

I walked (rather than ride that sorry old plug of Uncle Sam's) 3 miles over to "Uncle" Will McLean's with the hope of procuring a horse.  He had none.  There had been at Farmington a village 4 miles away, a fight in which several Confederate soldiers were killed and wounded -- 10 killed.  There is a monument at Farmington erected to these ten soldiers with their names carved thereon.  An uncle of your grandmother Rainey (my dear wife) named Leonidus Richmond was in that fight.  He was never seen afterward.  It is supposed that he was wounded, carried to some farmhouse and died.  When I got to "Uncle Will's" there were three wounded soldiers in the "office" in the yard, in charge of a Lieutenant.  I reported to him and stated my condition.  " I can give you some duty," said he.  "I detail you to nurse these wounded men."  One of them died the next day.  Who knows but he was Leonidas Richmond?  The others being slighly wounded left in a few days.  I stayed on at Uncle Will's contented perhaps (note that I say perhaps, because he had a mighty pretty daughter Sallie).  Sunday came and I went to church with her in the family buggy.  Service over I brought up the buggy and was helping Sallie in when a voice said:  "Wait young man!"  I looked up and saw a gentle man in a high hat on horseback with a led horse.  "Drop that young lady and get on this horse."  It was my father who had come after me, from home, 20 miles.  Sallie asked my father to go home with them to dinner; so I turned Sallie over to a waiting willing beau and mounted the horse that my father brought.  Salle married a Memphis man; died recently leaving grandchildren.

While I was in this locality the bloody battle of Franklin, Tenn. was fought 1/19/1864.  Brother George was there.  Brother Joe, fortunately for him perhaps, was at home on 10 days furlough though his regiment was engaged.  Then came the series of battles around Nashville in all of which Hood was defeated.  Joe and George were in it all.  Then the retreat south from Nashville.  The army stopped around Columbia.  My company camped on the Warfield place 3 miles out.  Capt. Sneed gave George and me permission to spend our nights at home.  In the family of Mrs. Martin our near neighbor were three mighty pretty girls.  With them we spent much of our time.  Today I was looking at a little prayer book that one of those girls gave Uncle Joe when he enlisted in the army.  He carried it through his term of service.  Some members of my company I took to see these young ladies.  One came to our house uninvited; a man I did not like much.  I took him to see the girls.  He fell in love.  He came night after night, lived with us.  Mother tired of him; the girls detested him.  One day Capt. Sneed said:  "Rainey, do you know where F.T. is?  He has been away from camp a week."  I then did a mean thing, but I believe yet I was justified.  I told the Captain exactly the state of the case.  "I'll fix him", he said.  With that he wrote and handed me this order:  "You are detailed and will at once arrest and bring to camp any member of this company you find at night, absent without leave.  J. W. Sneed, Capt."  I went home - found that T. had gone to Mrs. M's to supper.  After my supper I bucked on my belt with sabre and pistols and went over.  Asking the young ladies to excuse us, I took him to one side and asked him if he had leave.  "No."  Then showed him the order.  I took him to camp.  Were not bothered by him any more.  The girls were curious.  I told them the Captain sent for him.  Desperate remedy, but a riddance.

By Mother's request, I invited several of my messmates to spend the night of Christmas Eve '64 with us; Bob Carnes, Billy Shouse, Rod Clarkson and Payson Mitchell.  The Yankees were in town, the skirmish lines between us and the courthouse.  The next morning we were up, our horses saddled at daybreak; at the breakfast table at 6 o'clock.  I sent my young brother Jesse to watch for us.  Mother had put in our saddle bags a generous supply of sandwiches.  We were all ready.  Jesse came running in excited with:  "They re just coming through the big gate!"  which was 300 yards away.  We rushed out to our horses; parents and children followed.  As I kissed Mother "goodbye" she said:  "Nelson, I hve all the time believed my boys would come back to me safe, but I am afraid now!"  (She had not seen us in danger before).  I can see her dear anxious face now after 60 years.  Mother," I said, "I can easily stay; look yonder!"  We could see their bobbing heads 200 yards away as the galloped up the road.  Mother pushed me away with, "My boys couldn't do that!"  Bless her!  she would rather have seen me shot, than desert.

We galloped out the back way.  We stopped on the hill 200 yards away and saw them in the yard.  Instead of firing at us these good fellows actually waved their hats at us.  This compliment we cordially returned.  They did not even go into the house.  They spoke kindly to the children and rode off laughing.

From the hilltop we rode east over to the Pulaski Pike across which was our skirmish line.  My brother Joe stood in the middle of the pike shooting as fast as he could load at the opposing line between him and the public square.  Coincidentally, I was reminded of and it may be of interest to you that read these lines for me to relate an adventure of years before in which Joe was one of the actors.  Joe was a little more than six -- I about five.  At this far off time I remember the incident well.  We lived in town then.  One day Joe and I determined to run away from home.  Where, we didn't know, but we were going.  So, we each made up a little bundle, threw same over the shoulder on a stick and put off.  Mother missed us and sent Emeline, her house servant, to find us.  She caught us four squares away as we were crossing the pike and led us back to Mother.  Joe was on this Christmas morning standing on almost the very spot where Emeline stopped us, a soldier, defending his home town.

Hood gave up the position;  his army started on the retreat south to the Tennessee River.  Jackson's Cavalry as usual, facing the pursuing Yankees in our rear.

I have not yet said, that my father gave me a fine 3 year old filly "Betty" too young for service, but strong and well broken.  She was of a stock which for several years my father had bred for his own use.  He said that his colts "came broken".  Many's the time we little boys would mount our one and two year old colts without bridle or saddle, and put them to speed;  a sport the colts enjoyed as much as we did.

Our company moved leisurely on to Richland Creek of considerable size, some 15 miles or so of Columbia.  About 1/2 mile from the creek, the pike ran over an elevation down to the creek;  then up on the other to an elevation about the same distance.  The two elevations the edges of a saucer, the bridge the bottom.  We got orders to burn this bridge.  We piled fence rails on both ends and set fire to them.  Our cavalry all this time was gallopin' over the bridge, taking position on the south elevation.  A Federal battery of 6 pounders took position on north eminence and were firing over our heads at the cavalry beyond us.  About the time we got the rail piles well lighted the Yankees charged our position on the bridge, our cavalry firing over our heads at them.  Co. A, 7th Tenn. Cav. got away from that bridge.  We had to, and in a hurry.  As we went up the hill we were about to pass a broken down supply wagon.  I saw on the ground some long bars of white Confederate soap and a brand new frying pan.  I coveted that frying pan and incidentally a bar of that soap.  I did something of which only a fool boy in bravado would do.  The "eyes of the world" were on me.  I got down, grabbed the frying pan in one hand, a bar of soap in the other, mounted Betty and fairly flew up that hill.  She showed her breed that day.  The Yanks were not more than 200 fee behind us firing as they came and actually laughing at my predicament.  Our men made a charge just then and drove them back, probably saving me from being shot.  They couldn't have caught me.  The boys said that Betty ran so fast, her tail stuck straight out; didn't get normal for a week.  I found the company in line and dismounted on the brow of the hill, in good view of the Yankee battery three-fourths mile away on the other hill.  The officers were standing some fifteen feet in front watching the battery.  I asked George to hold my mare which was rather restless after her run.  George stood in front of her as she stood beside his staid-quieter horse.  I stepped in front with the line of officers.  We were interested in seeing several of the six pound conical shot coming toward us whirling in the air.  I said to 1st Lieut. Henry Watkins:  "Lieutenant, if you will move this way you can see better."  I have since felt, indirectly of course, I was the cause of poor Watkin's death.  He stepped over about six feet and stood close beside me.  In a few minutes we saw a shot coming.  It struck his sabre scabbard crushing it against his leg, shot tearing every bone in it.  He was carried to Pulaski and died that night.  We all loved him. 

The ball that hit Watkins struck the ground behing him, ricochetted and cut off the leg of George Rainey's horse close to the shoulder.  George was standing in front of my horse instead of his own or he too would have been killed.  He mounted Watkin's horse.  Just then we moved off; the poor maimed horse hobbling behind.  One of the boys rode back and put a merciful ball through his head.

That night we camped near Pulaski.  The next morning early I was sent with a message to General Armstrong commanding a brigade.  I made for camp, but found everyone gone, skirmishing on edge of the town.  I let Betty out and made for the bridge across Elk River.  As I reached the bridge, the Yanks reached the bluffs just over, and were firing on me and others.  I think I was the last man that crossed on the bridge, for it was burning, and my horse's tail was scorched.  I looked back and saw men leap their horses into, and swim across the swift current, swollen by recent rains.  I found the escort drawn up on the open plane (a mile square) exposed to the fire of the fellows on high ground on the Pulaski side, but Armstrong came up, charged and drove them away.

Then the hard march commenced.  The weather was very cold -- rain, half sleet, then a snow half sleet on the rocky frozen roads.  We all suffered.  The infantry more than all.  Not half of those boys had blankets, very few with over coats.  More than half without shoes, their feet tied up in gunny sacks or old cloth.  We have all read in history that Washington's barefoot soldiers left "bloody tracks on the ground".  I saw such instances, plenty of them, on this retreat.  The boys were hungry too, all hungry.  At one place, our company commissary officer, Billy Eanes, found a pen of fairly fat hogs.  We had a day's ration of port which we ate raw -- everything to wet to make a fire.  At a cabin I parched corn in an old shovel.  George and I lived on that for two days.  Were those ragged, barefooted, hungry infantry soldiers discouraged?  Not a bit of it!  'Twas all in the game with them.  A merry jolly set they were!  Not one  word of complaint from them.  An emphatic cuss word at times, but no complaint.

At _____  Bluff they stopped to rest.  Mr. Yank came a little too close; with a snarl they struck at him, result, a sharp battle in which Mr. Yank was badly licked.  I so well remember the 3 fine 12 pound brass Parrot guns and caissons and teams of fine horses, as captured trophies of this battle.  My brother Joe was in this fight.  Said he never "enjoyed one more in his life".

Then, on down to Tenn. River -- Jackson, as always, the rear guard of the army, continually skirmishing with the enemy advance; the escort often under fire.  We reached the river which was very high, at night, a dark night.  The infantry had already crossed over on the pontoon bridge, and most of our cavalry.  I regret I cannot remember where this bridge was;  I think, however, at Bainbridge.

General Jackson, staff and escort were among the very last to cross.  A regiment of cavalry was left to hold the enemy back;  we could hear the firing as we went over.  It was a scarry passage.  The night was very dark; the black, rushing, roaring current only a few inches under us.  My young mare was in terror of the strange proceeding, but as I led her along I talked to her and succeeded in soothing her.  We had hardly gotten to the other bank when the small detail of men left for the purpose succeeded in cutting the ropes, though under a charge by the enemy.  The chain of pontoons swung along the bank on our side without the loss of a beat.  We went into Mississippi and early in January went into camp at Verona.

About this time brother Joe made application to join the cavalry.  He got complimentary endorsement from his company, regimental and brigade officers, as to his record as a faithful soldier.  He presented his papers to General Forrest in person.  The General read the papers.  Joe said Forrest looked "clear through" him and said:  "Mr. Rainey, you are the kind of man I want.  I am just sending two men to the infantry for punishment.  I'll exchange them for you."  So, Joe "jined the cavalry"; was taken in our company.

On January 11th the members of the company got furloughs for 30 days.  We three, Joe, George and I, went to Kemper County, Miss. to spend ours with our friends, the Rousseaus.  "Uncle Nat" had sold his plantation in Madison County and move to Kemper.  Our hosts were very kind to us and saw to it that we had a good time.  Their pretty, adopted daughter, Blanche, contributed much to our pleasurable entertainment.  Besides, there were several pretty country girls around us.  There was a beaver colony on the creek near.  The Neighbors trapped a beaver one day and sent it to "Aunt Carrie".  She had it baked.  I ate a piece of it.  I did not like its musky flavor.  I must tell of an amusing incident that happened on day which resulted in a joke on George and me;  a hearty laugh, born of ridicule by those mischievous girls I mention.  One morning a party of us went fishing near an old mill with an "overshot" wheel.  The overshot wheel has become extinct in these days of electricity and the turbine.  We first visited and explored the big mill house which had been for some years abandoned.  We climbed the rickety stair to the second floor.  At once our eyes rested on two pairs of heavy shoes, two pairs of dingy trousers lying by the big covered corn-bin.  For some time depredation had been made on the country 'round by a supposed band of thieves, the people believed composed of deserters from our army; perhaps from both armies.  Here was the solution of the mystery of the clothes and shoes; two of that wicked band were hiding in the big corn bin.  It behooved us as brave soldiers and honest men to capture them.  Which we proceeded to do.  I picked up a bar of rusty iron; George raised the lid; I stood by with the bar raised ready to brain the bloody miscreants at the least resistance.  But I didn't strike.  Nothing to strike;  the bin was empty.   Our half dozen girls had been standing in a terrified group in the farthest corner of the room.  But at the denouncement, they quickly recovered into the normal.  (Some seiners changed clothes in the mill -- were up the creek seining).  How they did laugh at our brave but futile effort to protect them.  Girls  ??? ??? ?????? the helpless failure of the male.

Uncle Mat gave Joe a fine horse.  My young mare had shown that her immaturity was not equal to the hard service demanded of her.  Uncle Nat had a big white horse for which I swapped Betty.  When the 30 day furlough expired, Joe and George returned to Verona.  I was having a good time and concluded to stay longer.  No, I was not in love with one of the girls; I was just having a good time.  At last I started for camp.  On the second day I was passing a farm house near the road where an old man was plowing in the garden.  I was struck with the alertness and beauty of his fine young horse.  He called to me: "Want to trade that horse?"  His fine looking active horse for my plug?  In ten minutes I was on his horse, mine to his plow.  In about two miles I was passing through a little village when an old gray whiskered man standing in the door of the only store called to me:  "Where did you git that horse, son?"  I told him in what manner I had become possessed of him.  "Why the ___ old scoundrel!  That horse has the "Glanders" and he knows it!  Go and make him trade back."  (Now Glanders is a disease of the head and nose perculiar to horses.  Very contagious.  Might have endangered every horse in my company).  I rode back to the owner and demanded my horse.  Said he:  "A trade's a trade."  "Not in this case!" said I.  "You old rascal, you know this horse has glanders."  He still demurred.  I unsaddled; pointed to my horse at the plow.  "Take him out," I demanded.  He did so and I went on.  I hated to give up that fine easy gaited high stepping horse.

I got back to camp at Verona on March 11, just 30 days past due.  I reported to the Captain.  He met me with his familiar, good natured grin; tried to be sever but he couldn't.  I remember so well the kind face as he said:  "You had 30 days, why did you stay 60?"  I told him the exact truth of the matter.  He said in answer:  "It was not soldier-like and I should send you under arrest to the General.  But you have been a good boy and a good soldier.  Let it pass this time."

One day at Verona I neted two men, strangers to me, who were under guard.  I found they were the elders of five brothers who were on the company roll.  Their family were wealthy planters of the beautiful Verona neighborhood.  These two had been absent for months from the command without leave.  They had been arrested at home that day.  I do not know how or whether they were punished.  I do know that after the war they became wealthy merchants in Memphis.  Their families to the third generation are there yet, respected people.  The other three stayed with us to the end.  The youngest was the individual I arrested at Mrs. Martin's at Columbia.

There were three men in our company that did not "belong".  They were not of the class with the rest.  They were "common", uneducated.  Nailer one day rode out of camp and never came back.  After the war Nailer came to me and asked me to recommend him for a situation he had applied for.  "Nailer", said I, "I can never endorse a deserter."  Said he:  "Well, I was tired of it and I just quit."  "I know you did.  We were all tired but we stuck.  A deserter can't be trusted."  Kilgore was a better man.  He volunteered on a secret and hazardous mission.  He was assassinated while on this duty.  Fruman, the third undesirable man, I shall mention later.

In late March we went to Greensboro, Ala., a beautiful rich section.  About this time the Federal General Wilson was preparing to invade Alabama with a large force of cavalry.  His object was the capture of Selma, the munition shop, and other factories essential to the carrying on of the war by the Confederates.

Our cavalry was in need of fresh horses.  For this reason and also for the purpose of preventing Wilson's invaders from appropriating them, details were sent out over the country to gather up serviceable horses of which there were many.  Third Lieut. Certain was in charge of one contingent of which I was a unit.  Payson Mitchell and I worked together.  On the first day we were riding by a farm house of considerable pretension, and saw in the lot a beautiful blood-bay mare.  I knocked and was met at the door by a sour faced middle-aged woman.  I told her our errand and why; that we must have that horse;  that we were gathering up all the horses in the country, etc.  "I don't care whose horses you take just so you don't take mine, and you shan't have her!  I'd rather the Yankees would have her!"  "Madam, have you sons in the army?"  Said she, "My two sons came home and are hidin' out now, where you won't ketch 'em!"  Before that I had felt something like a thief.  But now I had no qualms.  We took the mare and told the woman to go to Marion Certain's Headquarters and get pay for her.  He gave her my old gray and $1100.00 to boot for the mare. 

We went to another nice, clean looking farm house.  Were asked in by a nice looking woman;  with her was a pretty young girl.  She said;  "Bessie set chees for the gentlemen."  She said she had "no horses now but one old mule."  "Do you know" she said "a soldier man named "Fruman" she described him and we knew him to be the third undesirable member of our company mentioned in a previous paragraph.  "Yes, we know him."  Then she said:  "This man Fruman came here and said he had a furlough and didn't know whar to go.  I invited him to stay with us.  He rode out with Bessie most every day, her on her pony and he made love to her.  When he left he told Bessie she'd see him again, a nasty stinkin' scoundrel!  He come here yistidy and took Bessie's pony, that's what he did!"  This was one of the most despicable acts we ever heard of.  When we got back to Marion we told this to the boys, of mean act.  They all got together that night and in chorus repeated the speech of the old lady beginning,  "He told Bessie she'd see him agin, etc. in contemptuous tones.  The next morning Fruman was missing.  We never saw im again.  He had deserted.

I secured another fine mare, a dappled gray, the proper of a Mr. Rogers near Marion.  While  negotiating for her, he insisted that I stay at his house.  Spent two nights with him and was treated with kindness.  Said he was willing to give up "Pidgeon" (her name) as the army needed her.  When I left he insisted on giving me a quantity of fine tobacco of his own raising.  I carried "Pidgeon" back for brother George.

The details reported back to company camp with several good horses;  all of us well mounted now.  Wilson had arrived, our cavalry on the move.  One morning Lt. Ewing of the staff, "Daredevil Ewing" came down to camp and told me he wanted me to ride with him.  (I have mentioned Ewing on a former page).  In the neighborhood of Marion we came near a force of the enemy.  Instead of getting away from there that quick Ewing rode right toward them.  We got within 100 yards of a column of several regiments.  A squad took after us but we easily evaded them, the few shots they sent after us passing over us.  A column, perhaps a regiment of our force was just entering the town of Marion.  We came up at rear of the column.  To pass it we put our horses to the gallop.  A short way up someone made an exclamation of derision at Ewing (certainly not at poor little me tagging behind).  Ewing checked his horse, turned and walked him back along the line looking every man in the face. Then up on the other side to the head of the column.  Not a man in that line of several hundred men had a word to say, at least he didn't say it.

Before I leave Ewing I want to say that one day some years after the war in Memphis a seedy individual called to see me.  After a little I remembered him as Ewing.  Poor fellow, he was nothing but an adventurer, no home, no occupation.  He asked me for a dollar.  Little like "Daredevil Ewing" of the army.

After some days we moved on down toward Tuscaloosa on the Tombigbee.

One day we were halted on the road; why these halts the private never knows.  But we were soon to find out why this time.  I so well remember that some of the boys and I were playing "mumble the peg".  Suddenly we heard a volley just ahead of us.  We were ordered to mount and we moved slowly down the road.  On a low flat place we saw two dead soldiers lying side by side with their hats over their faces.  On the little tree at their heads was pinned a sheet of paper on which was in large letters:  "Shot for desertion!"  In our command was an Alabama Brigade many of whom lived in that section.  Several had gone home and had not returned.  General Forrest had promulgated the order that any man caught away from his command without written permission would be shot.  An Uncle and his nephew who lived nearby had ventured to their home, and had been caught and arbitrarily ordered to stand before a firing squad.  This without trial, by Forrest's stern will.  I have always believed that episode was a black spot in the record of that great and able soldier.

We had an active time during the next several days.  Every day we saw and had a brush with Wilson's men. 

One day about a dozen of us were at a point where two roads crossed.  What duty we were on I cannot recall.  We were all dismounted.  One of the roads curved rather abruptly to our right.  The surroundings were thickly forested.  A squad of bluecoats came around that curve and were amoung us, much to our startled surprise, more to theirs.  They wheeled and put back.  Our squad mounted in haste and were after them.  I noticed and remember yet, the celerity with which brother George mounted, the wheel of his horse as he mounted.  He and I proved the metle and speed of our newly aquired horses in that chase.  George and Clad Selden were neck and neck in the race just ahead of me.  They overhauled the bluecoats in the rear of the squad.  He leveled his pistol at Selden not ten feet from him.  George forged up to him, caught that Yank by the collar and yanked that Yank out of the saddle, he falling heavily to the ground, his pistol exploding in the air, and his horse following his fleeing friends.  We followed them to their outposts, and then we put back in a hurry.  Forty or more years later, 1907 or 1908 I was in a cotton room in Memphis.  Had made a purchase.  The salesman, Clad Selden, Jr. said:  "Mr. Rainey, I have often heard my father speak of the time when you saved his life."  I disclaimed any such act of balor.  Clad's explanation, gleaned from his father (then dead) called to my mind the circumstance noted above.  I hastened to give brother George full credit for same where credit was due.

This was a sample of our daily experience during that strenuous campaign in Alabama during March 1865.  Our company was not essentially a fighting company, though probably we were under fire oftener, individually and as a company, than any other one company in our division.  Formerly, we were armed with carbine, pistol and sabre.  Later, with only pistol and sabre.  Our principal duties were courier riding and dispatch carrying.  Often on a battlefield we had to deliver orders from our General to officers on the most dangerous part of the field.  Sometimes on a duty, the performance of which took long rides of several days.  I was once on such a duty that took four days.

The General was proud of "my company" as he termed his escort.  He knew each member and respected their intelligence and deportment.

I must here mention an instance which showed his regard for the men and the kind and considerate heart of that old graduate of West Point though saturated with the disciplinary ideas imbibed there.  One afternoon four of us were ordered to report to the General.  He, Lt. Henry Martin, and one other staff officer, we four and the General's orderly rode some miles to the quarters of General Ross commanding the Texas Brigade.  Here the party of officers played poker until about 2 o'clock A.M.  The game closed, but the General's horse was gone.  Of course we four, feeling no responsibility, spent the long hours of waiting in a good healthy "snooze".  But Major General Wm. H. Jackson, commanding division of Cavalry C.S.A. was mad;  mad clear through.  He said nothing to us four, but somehow he blamed us;  but we didn't feel guilty, it was his Orderly's business to look after the horse.

The next morning the General issued an order to our Captain that each Morning a man should be detailed to ride with him, (in addition to the usual detail of one or two for courier duty) to hold his horse.  Henry Bragg, the first detail for this purpose, reported.  At end of the day we asked him what he did.  "All I did" he said, "Was to carry his satchel with his whiskey bottle in it;  but I won't do it any more!"  (The General, like all those old time officers, liked his dram; tho I never saw him drunk).

That night the boys held an indignation meeting.  With only one exception, and he did not vote, every man pledged himself not to respond to the call.  The exception was Jimmy Jackson, a boy whom we all loved, the 18 year old brother of the General, (a member of my mess).  He was so worried that he cried, but he endorsed us.

The next man detailed was Bob Carnes, another of my messmates.  He refused to report.  The Captain got orders to have the company fully equipped to report at his quarters.  The General was on his fine horse, which had been recovered.  He rode in front and said:  "Gentlemen":  (They were gentlemen and he knew it.)  "Why this rebellion?  Why do you not obey my orders?"  Our spokesman, (strangely I have forgotten who, but I think Ike Ayers) said:  "General, we all love and respect you.  If you order us to follow you to h___ we will do so.  But we are soldiers, not orderlies.  We respectfully request you to rescind that order."  The General with the well known kindly twinkle in his eye said:  "I appreciate and respect your attitude in this matter.  I recind the order, and regard you with none but kindly feeling in doing so."  Good "Old Jack", as we loved calling him, had the love of every man in our company.

One day I was riding on a rather isolated road on my return from some duty.  I met a good looking soldier who asked me if I knew where Jackson's escord was camped.  I told him I was a member of that company and was on my way to its camp.  "Do you know", he asked, "Nelse Rainey?"  "I do", said I, "that's my name."  He then told me he was William Lewis, my cousin from Austin, Texas, whom I had never before seen; a son of my mother's sister.  A curious happening for him to make that inquiry of me of the thousands in the army.  Wm. Lewis and his brother Bailey, not yet seventeen, were members of the 4th Texas Cavalry (enlisted mostly from the famous Texas Rangers; of Ross' brigade, Jackson's Division.  Bailey was a regular young daredevil.  Once in Nashville, which was full of Union soldiers, Aunt Lou Goodwin saw him ride past her gate in a blue uniform.  He had the temerity to salute her and call her name.  He was in Nashville as a spy.  This happened during the time of Hood's disastrous defeats there in December 1864.

At last came the time when Wilson captured Tuscaloosa.  Effort was made by the Federals to capture the bridge across the Tombigbee.  Our cavalry mad stout resistance but we were not strong enough.  The fact is Wilson outnumbered us four to one.  Wilson's policy seemed to divide our force by making demonstrations at many different points at once.  That at Tuscaloosa was an important one.  General Forrest called on the cadets of Alabama State M. Academy, situated at Tuscaloosa for aid.  Those splendid braves youngsters responded eagerly and promptly.  They met the invaders like veterans.  I saw several hundred of them march up and take their stand at and on the bridge.  Mounted cavalry charged them and went through them, capturing them and the bridge.  Cadets fired several volleys but the Federals none.  To the credit of the splendid officer in command of the latter (so we heard at the time) he told his men not to fire on the boys, but to use the sabre, not to strike unless necessary and then only with the flat of the sword.  He did not use them as prisoners of war but gave them some good fatherly advice:  to still continue at school, get good educations and fit themselves as good citizens.  He complimented them on the brave fight they had made etc.  Now this made the boys mad.  Not the advice, on no, but that "We had been treated as babies, when we had fought as soldiers."  Result: 50 of them enlisted and fought bravely to the end -- about two weeks.

The scene of activities drifted Selma wards.  On April 2, 1865 Wilson assulted the works of the city's defense; carried the city and vast stores of supplies, munition plants and other factories.  The last of any importance remaining in our department.

This hastened the end.  During the first days of May negotiations for the surrender of Forrest's command to General Denby, U.S. Commisioner for the purpose, were completed.  Forrest's command was concentrated at Gainsville, Ala. for the purpose of issuing to each soldier a written parole.  Four fifths of the soldiers objected to giving up.  I saw many big bearded fellows actually crying with vexation.  Many a gun and pistol was smashed against a tree.  Many left without their paroles.  Some mounted their horses and made for Mexico to join Maximillian because the U.S. was threatening his expulsion.  We lay in camp without much show of discipline, restless and almost desperate.

I shall mention an incident; with some reluctance; not much to the credit, but certainly not to the disgrace of my dear brother Joe.  I give it a measure, to show what was and had been, since our childhood, his attitude towards me.

One day during our idle waiting at Gainsville I missed Joe.  My inquiries led to the information that he had "gone over to town with Bill Holman."  Now I didn't like this information, for I didn't much like Bill Holman.  There was a bridge across the Tombigbee that led over to the town. Close to our end of the bridge was a fine spring.  Over the spring were trees -- hanging from the trees was a grape vine swing.  Joe and Holman were at this swing.  Holman in it.  I felt some mortification when I saw my brother in the condition that two drinks of "pinetop" would throw anyone.  After some little play, Holman suddenly said:  "Come on, Joe, let's go over to town and get another drink."  "All right, Bill, " said Joe.  "come on."  Then I put in:  "No you won't Joe; you're going to camp with me!"  Holman exclaimed: "Don't pay any attention to that little fool, Joe, come on!"  Then I got mad.  "Bill Holman, you dry up!"  If you don't, I'll knock your head off!"  Then up spoke Joe, the Joe with the protective instinct of the good old times:  "Yes he will Bill Holman!  And if he can't do it, I can!  Come on Ike; I don't like him anyhow!"  On the way to camp, Joe got so sick he lost all of his "pinetop".  I cried.

On May 11, 1865 our paroles were issued.  Mine is Number 42 and reads as follow:

"Isaac N. Rainey, Residence Columbia, Tenn.  Occupation, student.  He is permitted to return to his home with one horse.  He is not to be molested by United States Authorities as long as he does not take up arms against the United States and obeys the laws of the State in which he resides.

E. S. Denby,  Brig. Genl.
United States Commissioner."

The next day Joe, George and I, with several other Tennesseans started for our home.

We stayed at home, worked the farm.  During the summer Joe went to Memphis.  On January 20, 1866, I went to Memphis where I lived until December, 1915.  From that date to the present, You are as familiar with my adventures as am I.

The confederate states had a total enrollment of 600,000 soldiers from 1861-1865.  No organization until after the secession of the thirteen states.  Had no recognition abroad;  no established currency or monetary system: no credit abroad.  Had no arms, no foundries; no munition plants; no army and navy; no organized military except the militia of the several states.  No reserve supplies to draw on; no money nor credit with which to buy new.

The United States had total enrollment of 2,750,000.  Had an organized army and navy fully armed and equipped.  Munition plants, factories, supplies of all kinds.  The best monetary system in the world and consequent credit with every nation in the world.  The U.S. had the best up to date arms in plenty.

The Confederate States equipped its soldiers as best it could.  Whole companies started out armed with shot guns supplied by the citizens.  Other companies with flintlocks used in the war with Mexico in 1846; some used in the war with England in 1812; and yet we were victors in two fifths of the engagements, with and average of only three fifths of men engaged, compared with those of the U.S. in the respective battles.

I cannot finally leave the subject of the Civil War of 1861-65 without paying tribute to the best and truest soldier of the war; the women of the South.  The woman of any war as for that.  The mothers of soldiers, the wives, sweethearts, that dear old loving Aunt of the soldier -- they had their hard and cruel time, too.  The soldier is in the field amid scenes of excitement and change.  The woman is at home anxious; full of worry as to his comfort, condition, his fate.  Never a bullet strikes down a soldier that it does not go straight to the hear of some loving woman. She wonders:  "Where is my loved one today?"  She lies awake at night thinking of him.  In many, many cases that loving woman's husband, or son is struck down that day, buried in an unknown grave; she nver knows his fate.  And yet that woman would not call her soldier home from his duty.  Far from it.  She encourages him to stay; to fight on in the just and good cause in which both he and she are enlisted.  My mother of blessed memory, the mother of four sons in the Confederate army was one of these.  My wife died in the faith.   She never quit fighting in the cause.

And now, on this, my last page; a few words which I hope the reader may earnestly ponder.

When I went into the Confederate army, I, like thousands of young soldiers, hardly knew, or at least did not appreciate the causes of the war.

Unfortunately much of the world believes that the South was fighting to maintain and perpetuate the institution of slavery.  I am afraid this is taught in the schools my grandchildren attend.  But this is not the case.  Most emphatically not.  I have not space to detail the causes, but the main cause was the denial of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution; the main one among others, the right of the State for cause and grievances to secede from the Union by vote of the people.  Thirteen of the Southern states seceded.  The North invaded our country to force us back.  Hence we fought.  We fought for our States' rights and Independence for four long and weary years, bravely, against odds, but were overcome.

The wisdom acquired during my 80 years teaches me that the results of the war were for the best.  The separation of the two sections of our great country would have been unfortunate.  Now we live under one strong, invincible Union.

I have given several anecdotes, all of which are of incidents under my personal observation; but here I desire to not one which may interest the reader -- one related to me by my younger brother, chief actor in it.  My brother was a strong and burly young man and never avoided a cscrap if occassion required him to act.  Thus he told it to me:

A few years after the Civil War he was in Philadelphia.  One night while there, he went to see the splendid "Panorama of the Battle of Gettysburg."  He was looking on with interest when he heard a blatant voice haranguing an audience of several men standing near him.  Said he "Pshaw!  this wasn't any battle.  You orter seen the battle of Franklin.  That was a battle.  We was behind breastworks; the ____ cowardly scoundrels charged us and we just mowed 'em down, and they fell back.  The ___ cowardly thieves come agin and we just mowed 'em down.  The ___ dirty cowards come at us nine times;  we mowed the ----- cowards down, and then they quit."  My brother became much wrought up.  He addressed the man's audience:  "Gentlemen, I take it that you were soldiers in the war."   "All of us" said one of them.  Said brother "Do you believe that soldiers who would charge breastworks and driven back, are mowed down time after time; yet would try it the ninth time are cowards?"  "No
 said the spokesman.  "I'll be d__d if we do!"  " I don't mind" said brother "his calling the Confederate soldiers cowards, for you who fought them know they were not cowards.  But I had brothers in that battle; he applied epithets to them that I cannot tolerate;  I intend to slap his jaw!"  With that he walked to the fellow and gave him an upper-cut on the jaw which keeled him over.  A big Irish policeman, on duty in the the tent who had been standing by all the time, said:  "Byes!  Byes!  None O' that!  Or I'll have to run ye in!"   He then sidled up to brother and said:  "Hit 'im agin!  If ye don't I'll run ye in anyhow!"  When Brother struck the fellow the others applauded, but the fellow sneeked out of the tent without a word.

In any war the true, honest, fighting soldier repects the men who are fighting him; their bravery and prowess, he admires.  You can set it down as an axion -- the braggart is never brave.

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