Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/109

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n-pt-ati-d dispatches at last left no room for doubt of the awful dis- aster.

Then came the breaking of some of the bonds which held the gov- ernment together, and some- who had followed to this point, seeing that they could be of no real service, and might be an incumbrance, sought the President to express their profound grief, and seek his advice for their own actions. These he received with his quiet dig- nity, advised them with warm friendship, and set them free to private life and duties.

Then I saw for the first time the man. His record as soldier, leg- islator, and ruler of what was for four years a powerful nation, is a part of the history of the country, North and South, and need not be touched on here.

At Greensboro, under his orders through Colonel William Preston Johnston, A. D. C. , I made up a team of wagons, with supplies and ambulances for baggage, and after a short stay, took the road for Charlotte, N. C., where Cabinet meetings were held, and communi- cation kept up with Johnston's army and others, still in the field.

When the truce between Johnston and Sherman expired, the- line of march was taken up for Abbeville, S. C. , and finally to Washing- ton. Ga., where the closing scenes of the Confederate Government came on 4th May, 1865, with the winding up of the last remaining department that of the Treasury.

Courage, fortitude, and all hope had not, however, left the head of the government, for the intention was to reach the Trans-Missis- sippi Department, rta Florida and Cuba, and carry on the war for independence until the great river could be crossed again.


All along the route the various bureaus of the departments had been abandoned, and the President left Washington, Ga., with a por- tion of his staff. Colonel F. R. Lubbock, A. D. C., ex-Governor of Texas; Colonel John Taylor Wood, A. D. C. ; Colonel William Preston Johnston, A. D. C. ; also Colonel Thorburn, a naval adju- tant, Captain Given Campbell and eight scouts, my train, with its juartermaster and a small following. Hon. John H. Reagan, Post- ^ter-General and Acting Secretary of the Treasury, and myself ^ht up with the party next morning at sunrise, after traveling all night.

Up*to Washington, Ga., the march had no sign of a retreat, and made leisurely day by day. An escort of cavalry was furnished