Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/174
162 Southern Historical Society Papers.
This is the high testimony of a man who had followed closely the fortunes of the Confederate cause in its death throes, and who ad- hered until the last feeble nucleus of an organization had dissolved, In the close of a private communication recently received from him he says, referring to the imputations against President Davis and his connection with the government money: "I have no word of commendation for his accusers. Mr. Davis was never with the specie train a single day during our connection with it."
We contribute this as a subject which has never been referred to in any written records of the war, and it possibly contains a more succinct history of the route pursued by the heads of the govern- ment after the 3d of April than any yet given.
We have ever regarded the safe transit of this treasure through so large an area of country as a tribute to the honesty and law- abiding spirit of the Southern people. It will not be forgotten that the region through which it passed, with its little guard of forty boys, was filled with stragglers and unofficered bands of scattered and suffering soldiers men knowing all the pangs of hunger and destitution of clothing and utterly hopeless of the success of their cause, yet men who obeyed through their sense of right when no law existed, and kept their hands free from the stain of robbery while boxes of this treasure lay in their midst, with only the lives of its slender little bodyguard between them and its possession.
(The coin belonging to the Richmond banks was upon the same train, but on a different car. It was under the charge of the offi- cers of the banks, we believe. EDITOR CONFEDERATE COLUMN.)
Dr. John W. Harris was born in Augusta county, Virginia, July 16, 1848. His father was Dr. Clement R. Harris, M. D., surgeon in charge of the gangrene ward in Dellivan Hospital, at Charlottes- ville, Va. His mother was Eliza McCue, of Scotch descent. His early boyhood was spent near Brandy Station, Culpeper county, Va. This home was broken up by the war. In 1863-' 64 he en- tered the Confederate States service from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va., enlisting with Mosby. He could, in his vivid and versatile manner, tell of his experience with this com- mand, which was varied and oftentimes savored of hairbreadth es- capes. In January, 1865, he received from his congressman the appointment as midshipman in the Confederate States Navy. He