Page:Confederate Veteran volume 05.djvu/417

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amine the lands lying upon and near the line of railroad from the city of Mexico to Vera Cruz, for the purpose of determining whether they were suited to American colonization. We are engaged at this time in the discharge of that duty. We find in the vicinity of this place the most beautiful and, all things considered, the best agricultural country that I have ever seen. The climate is delightful—never hot, never cold, always temperate, always pleasant; the soil richer and more productive than the best of the prairie lands of Mississippi in the Okolona country, yielding large crops of corn, barley, rice, tobacco, sugar-cane, and coffee, with all the fruits of the tropics, and the best that you ever tasted...

"In a calm review of the past I am glad to be able to say that I have nothing to regret but the failure of the revolution. My course was dictated by strong and clear convictions of duty. Had I faltered in following those convictions, it would 'have been at the sacrifice of principle and self-respect. It is better, far better, for me that I should have lost position, fortune, and home and stand here to-day a penniless exile than to have violated principle and forfeited self-respect for these miserable and paltry considerations. I thank God that I did not falter. . . . No; there are no terms or conditions upon which I could ever consent to live in that country, except the independence of the South..

"Where is Forrest, and what is he doing? And where and how is everybody else? for I have heard from hone of our friends since I left Mississippi.

"Give my kind regards to Mrs. Adair, Robbin, Jack, and Forrest, and kiss Mary for me and tell her that it would give me great pleasure to have a romp with her this evening.

"My health is excellent, and I feel that it can not be otherwise in this charming climate. Write me at Cordova, Mexico, and enclose to Henry Denis, Esq., at New Orleans. Denis will forward it to me."


The following paper in pencil manuscript has been preserved by Lieut. Col. S. G. Shepard, and was in his possession at the Nashville reunion. He commanded the Seventh Tennessee Regiment. Archer's Brigade:

Appomattox C. H., April 10, 1865.

Agreement entered into this day in regard to the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to the United States authorities.

1. The troops shall march by brigades and detachments to a designated point, stack their arms, deposit their sabers, pistols, etc., and from thence march to their homes under charge of their officers, superintended by their respective divisions and corps commanders, officers retaining their side arms and their authorized number of private horses.

2. All public horses and public property of all kinds to be turned over to the staff officers designated by the United States authorities.

3. Such transportation as may be agreed upon as necessary for the transportation of the private baggage of officers will be allowed to accompany the officers, to be turned over at the end of the trip to the nearest United States quartermaster, receipt being taken for the same.

4. Couriers and mounted men of the artillery and cavalry whose horses are their own private property will be allowed to retain them.

5. The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia shall be construed to include all the forces operating with that army on the 8th inst., the date of the commencement of negotiations for surrender, except such bodies of cavalry as actually [Here a line of the manuscript is not discernible] of artillery as were more than (20) twenty miles from Appomattox C. H. at the time of surrender, on the 9th inst.

Signed: J. Longstreet, Lieut-Gen.; John Gibbons, Maj.-Gen. Vols.; J. B. Gordon, Maj.-Gen.; Charles Griffin, Bvt. Maj.-Gen. Vols.; W. N. Pendleton Brig.-Gen. and Chief Artillery; W. Merrett, Bvt. Maj.-Gen.

A true copy. V. Latrobe, Lieut.-Col. and A. A. G.; R. H. Finney, A. A. G.

Official. Polk G. Johnson, A. A. A. G.

For Lieut.-Col. Shepard, Commanding Seventh Tennessee.


There was carelessness in direction, but experts traced out the men whose names were misspelled and whose regiments were confused with some other, etc., until finally the letter reached the right man.

The custom then was for a letter to be addressed to the company, regiment, brigade, and division of the army in which the soldier was supposed to be. Mail for a certain division went to the headquarters, was distributed to the brigades and regiments, and by the regimental headquarters to the companies, and by the company officers to the men. The government provided that all letters from the soldiers be forwarded without postage if they bore the frank of the adjutant or colonel. This was a great convenience to the men, because it was almost impossible for them to secure or carry postage-stamps. Packages of papers sent to the boys were more conscientiously delivered than they are in these times. In fact, the postal system of the army was a wonderful thing.

The pathetic side of the letter business occurred when the message of affection and love from sweethearts, sisters, and mothers came to the men who had been shot, maybe fatally wounded, or who were sick in the hospitals. The most trying duty of company or regimental officers was the handling of such correspondence. It required tact, sympathy, and understanding of human nature and a heart full of consideration and tenderness.

Joe Blankenship, Lake Como, Miss.: "I was a member of the Jeff Davis Artillery, from Selma. Ala., A. N. V. John Mitchell, of Tennessee, lieutenant of our company, was my friend. There was not a braver man in Stonewall Jackson's corps. He lost his right arm at Chancellorsville. I have not heard from him since the war. but would like to do so, or to hear from an other member of our battery."

At the suggestion of Comrade S. J. Corley it was declared to be the sense of his camp that the parades of Confederate Veterans heretofore practised at their annual reunions be hereafter abandoned, and that in place thereof a review of the Confederate veterans be arranged for at some convenient and accessible point.