Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 35.djvu/344
330 Southern Historical Society Papers.
not a mere commonplace sentence. In fact, before our departure, Governor Allen imparted to me a scheme of his of a somewhat surprising nature, and which, at the time, might well have borne the stamp "Confidential." I shall disclose it further on, and it will serve to dispose of some other assertions of a speculative character which have appeared in the Washington Post. Mean- while, I go on with my narrative.
Having no memorandum notes at my disposal at the time I write, I cannot give precise dates, but I believe it was in March, 1865, that Colonel E. Miltenberger, Major Moncure, and my- self left Shreveport on what may have appeared a special mis- sion of some kind. Of us three, Colonel E. Miltenberger alone was invested with an official character, confined, however, to the State of Louisiana, not emanating from the Confederacy as an aggregate of States.
Our path lay through the breadth of Texas, and the news of my passage having preceded me, I was met at every stage of our journey by a deputation of citizens, who came to welcome me ; nor was I allowed to settle any hotel bill, but everywhere was received and considered as the guest of the State. In recalling these incidents, I am only impelled by the desire of conveying to the State of Texas my deep and lasting sense of gratitude for the well-remembered and highly-appreciated court- esy extended me on that occasion.
We travelled by stagecoach, and our progress was slow. At length we reached Matamoras, where we crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico territory. Here we had to wait for steamer to take us to Havana, and at the latter place another delay occurred, when finally we were able to embark on board a Spanish ship, one of a line of steamers plying between Havana and Cadiz, which port we reached after a stormy passage of at least four- teen days.
From Cadiz we went on to Madrid, partly by stagecoach. From Madrid, however, we could travel on by rail to Bordeaux and Paris.
On the last day of our journey, in looking over a newspaper, the first news that met my eye was that of the Duke de Morny's death. It seemed like the irony of fate that the fulcrum so to speak of my efforts should fail me just as I was reaching my