Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/40
Southern Historical Society Papers.
(History of the Revolutionary War), and that Captain John Smith, the Virginia explorer, had explored the Susquehanna river as far north as the Wyoming Valley (Harper's Magazine, November, 1860), and who draws so largely on his imagination, and is so much controlled by his prejudices in his "History of the Civil War," cannot be considered an entirely trustworthy historian. But because Mr. Lossing's histories have flooded the North, and are largely accepted as authentic narrations of events, it is due to the Confederates and the cause for which they so long and nobly battled, against such fearful odds, that the truth be made known and Mr. Lossing's misstatements exposed.
It is earnestly to be hoped that the facts presented in this paper will forever set at rest the malicious slander so often repeated against the Confederates, by many who are so willing to believe anything against them, of having authorized the use in military warfare of such atrocious and barbarous missiles as "explosive and poisoned" musket or rifle balls.
Brownsville, Pa., September 1, 1879.
Two Specimen Cases of Desertion.
We by no means excuse or palliate desertion to the enemy, which is universally recognized as one of the basest crimes known to military law; but most of the desertions from the Confederate army occurred during the latter part of the war, and many of them were brought about by the most heart-rending letters from home, telling of suffering and even starving families, and we cannot class these cases with those who deserted to join the enemy, or to get rid of the hardships and dangers of the army. Some most touching cases came under our own observation, but we give only the two following incidents as illustrating many other cases.
A distinguished Major-General in the Western army has given us this incident. An humble man, but very gallant soldier from one of the Gulf States, had enlisted on the assurance of a wealthy planter that he would see that his young wife and child should not lack for a support.The brave fellow had served his country faithfully until one day he received a letter from his wife, saying that the rich neighbor