Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/192
184 Southern Historical Society Papers.
seen the tree upon which this good man was hanged in the meadow of the Rev. James Morrison, and an uncontrollable desire seizes me to see his judge dangling at the end of a rope from one of its limbs. But Hunter has gone to his reward, having died in March, 1886.
It is said as the Federal army under Hunter, shattered and starv- ing, was passing through Lewisburg on its disastrous retreat from Lynchburg, the Rev. Mr. Osborne, a Federal chaplain, called at the residence of Rev. Dr. McElhenny, pastor of the Presbyterian church in that place, and related the circumstances attending the murder of Mr. Creigh. Dinner coming on, he was pressed by the Doctor to join in a family meal. The chaplain declined, declaring that since that atrocious murder he could not " consent to break bread under a Southern roof."
TOLD IN VERSE.
This incident has been so beautifully and fully told in verse by the wife of General F. H. Smith that this story would be incomplete without its reproduction:
" He lived the life of an upright man,
And the people loved him well; Many a wayfarer came to his door,
His sorrow or need to tell, A pitying heart and an open hand,
Gave succor ready and free; For kind and true to his fellow-man
And a Christian was David Creigh.
" But o'er his threshold a shadow passed,
With the step of a ruffian foe; While in silent words and brutal threats
A purpose of darkness show; And a daughter's wild, imploring cry
Called the father to her side His hand was nerved by the burning wrong,
And there the offender died.
"The glory of autumn had gone from earth,
The winter had passed away, And the glad spring-time was merging fast,
Into summer's ardent ray, When a good man from his home was torn
Days of toilsome travel to see And far from his loved a crown was worn,
And the martyr was David Creigh.