Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/91

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81
Diary of Captain Robert E. Park, Twelfth Alabama Regiment.

remain until I became stronger. The Yankee surgeon coarsely replied that he knew his own business, and that he would not except me from his order. They reported their failure to persuade the surgeon, and spoke bitterly of his heartlessness, and feelingly of their regret at my sudden and compulsory departure. I, too, sincerely regret the harsh, peremptory order, for I loathe the idea of confinement in a Yankee prison, and deeply lament the forced necessity of parting with the unselfish, warm-hearted, glorious women who have so generously cared for me since my capture.

October 14th—About 11 o'clock an ambulance was driven in front of the office, and two Yankees came in to carry me to it. I was not able to walk a step, not with crutches even, and scarcely able to turn over in bed. Many of my lady friends came to bid me good-bye and express their regret at my leaving. They placed a nice lunch in my haversack, and in those of my companions, and, bidding them a reluctant, sorrowful farewell, I was lifted into the ambulance. Farewell, sweet friends, and may Heaven protect you from the ruthless foes by whom you are surrounded.

The pike to Martinsburg was very rough, and I was in constant dread of another hemorrhage from my wound. There was a strong guard of cavalry riding in front, in rear, and on either side of us. They seemed to fear an attack from Mosby. Our halts were frequent, and we did not reach Martinsburg before dark.

When the ambulance stopped in front of the Presbyterian church, of which Rev. Mr. Hughes is pastor, now turned into a hospital, I inquired for Miss Anna L. McSherry of some ladies on the sidewalk. I did this at request of Dr. W., and the ladies promised to tell her of my presence in Martinsburg. I was carried into the church, and placed on some straw beside my friend Captain Hewlett. In a short while the venerable Dr. McSherry, with his accomplished daughter, entered the church, and were conducted to me. They were very kind; gave us some lunch, and some writing paper, envelopes, United States stamps, etc. After my fatiguing ride, I slept well.

October 15—A number of ladies called to see the wounded Confederates, bringing excellent and welcome eatables with them. The Misses H——n took the address of my mother, and promised to write to her by the "underground railway"—i.e., Mosby's men. The South has a few true and tried friends in Martinsburg, but they are greatly outnumbered by the Unionists. The former are of true Old Virginia stock, while the latter are a rather low class of