Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 34.djvu/37
Prison. Remmiscen ses. 29
be mentioned. They declined to give me any information. I never knew who they were. There was a mystery about them. They could not have come for my sake alone. But this I know, they were angels of mercy.
I made known to the authorities my wish to go to Gettysburg, and while there to avail myself of the opportunity of getting a new suit. The authorities of the hospital, through Col. Dwight, conferred on me a great honor the honor of personal confidence absolute confidence. They gave me a free pass to Gettys- burg, with the sole condition that I present it at the Provost office there and have it countersigned. I went alone, unat- tended. The fields and woods were open to me. They some- how knew I know not how that I could be trusted; that my honor was more to me than my life.
On my way to town I called by the Eleventh Corps Hospital, to which General Armistead had been taken, to see him. I found that he had died. They showed me his freshly made grave. To my inquiries they gave me full information. They told me that his wound was in the leg; that it ought not to have proved mortal ; that his proud spirit chafed under his im- prisonment and his restlessness aggravated his wound. Brave Armistead ! The bravest of all that field of brave heroes ! If there be in human hearts a lyre, in human minds a flame divine, that awakens and kindles at the heroic deeds of man, then his name will be borne in song and story to distant times.
I had my pass countersigned at the Provost office. It gave me the freedom of the city. There were many Federal officers and soldiers in the city. It was a queer, incongruous sight to see a rebel lieutenant in gray mingling in the crowd, and ap- parently at home. They could see, however, many of the prin- cipal citizens of the town cordially accosting, and warmly shak- ing by the hand, that rebel. I met so many old friends that I soon felt at home. As I was walking along the main street, a prominent physician, Dr. Horner, stopped me and renewed the old acquaintanceship. He pointed to a lady standing in a door not far away, and asked me who it was. I gave the name of Afiss Kate Arnold, a leading belle of the college days. He said, "She is my wife and she wants to see you." There was a mu- tually cordial meeting. While standing in a group of old