30 Southern Historical Society Payers.
horse was equipped with a perfectly new English bridle and martin- gales of soft, yellow leather; I lost no time in transferring them to my own horse. I swapped saddle pouches, too, as the captured one was also new. One side of the pouch was empty, the other side contained nothing but a book, which, upon examination proved to be the diary of Lieutenant John A. McQueen. The diary was fre- quently referred to and discussed by General Butler and Colonel Aiken and myself during the next day, as we had opportunity on the march. These words were written in the diary: ' It was heart- rending to see the wanton destruction of property and the insults visited upon the defenseless women and children of Columbia by our Union soldiers. I did all I could to prevent it, but was powerless.' " Butler's old brigade was commanded by Colonel Hugh K. Aiken, and on the morning of the 24th of February, 1865, General Butler, being then at Kellytown, directed Colonel Aiken to take a regiment and proceed down the east bank of the creek and ascertain if any portion of Sherman's army had crossed into Darlington county. Colonel Aiken selected the Fifth South Carolina Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Davis. This gallant old regiment had been cut to pieces, so that only about 300 men answered to roll-call. On the road to DuBose bridge Colonel Aiken met a picket body of men commanded by Lieutenant John A. McQueen, and led the charge with Colonel Davis by his side, and it being dark the men got into close quarters, and Colonel Aiken was captured with Sergeant Heighler, but jerked the reins out of the hand of the Yankee who held them, escaped, rode up to Colonel Davis and dismounted, but was hit immediately by one of the parting shots of the enemy, and cried out: " Davis, I am dying, catch me." His nephew and courier, young Willie Aiken, caught him as he fell, and his death was instantaneous. Thus ended the career of the gallant Hugh K. Aiken, colonel of the Sixth South Carolina Cavalry. In this night charge, as Colonel Zimmerman Davis drew near the enemy, he saw that the two men in the road ahead of him were officers and both firing pistols, their last shot passing through his hair at less than five paces. He fired at them once as they approached, and again as he went rushing by; he struck the one nearest to him a severe blow with the muzzle of his pistol and pulled the trigger at the same instant, severely wounding Lieu- tenant John A. McQueen, who was taken by the Confederates to the house of Mr. DuBose, uhere he showed Dr. Porter's letter and was treated with the utmost kindness. As soon as Dr. Porter heard of it he was at once by his side, and could not have been more tender