Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/222

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

are you, Johnny?" spoken in condescending style, was sufficient introduction.

During the day a line of men came single file over the hill near the camp, each bearing on his shoulder a box of "hard-tack" or crackers. Behind these came a beef, driven by soldiers. The crackers and beef were a present from the Federal troops near, who, knowing the famishing condition of the surrounded army, had contributed their day's rations for its relief. All honor to them. It was a soldierly act which was thoroughly appreciated.

The beef was immediately shot and butchered, and before the animal heat had left the meat, it was impaled in little strips on sticks, bayonets, swords and pocket knives, roasting over the fires.

Though numbers of the enemy visited the camps and plied the men with all sorts of questions, seeming very curious and inquisitive, not an unkind word was said on either side that day. When the skirmishers under McRae entered the camp of the battalion, their enthusiastic descriptions of driving the enemy and being driven in turn failed to produce any effect. Many of the men were sobbing and crying, like children recovering from convulsions of grief after a severe whipping. They were sorely grieved, mortified and humiliated. Of course they had not the slightest conception of the numbers of the enemy who surrounded them.

Other men fairly raved with indignation, and declared their desire to escape or die in the attempt; but not a man was heard to blame General Lee. On the contrary, all expressed the greatest sympathy for him and declared their willingness to submit at once, or fight to the last man, as he ordered. At no period of the war was he held in higher veneration or regarded with more sincere affection, than on that sad and tearful day.

In the afternoon of Tuesday the 11th, the little remnant of the army remaining was massed in a field. General Gordon spoke to them most eloquently, and bid them farewell. General Walker addressed his division, to which Cutshaw's battalion was attached, bidding them farewell. In the course of his remarks he denounced fiercely the men who had thrown down their arms on the march, and called upon the true men before him to go home and tell their wives, mothers, sisters and sweethearts how shamefully these cowards had behaved.

General Henry A. Wise also spoke, sitting on his horse and bending forward over the pommel of his saddle. Referring to the surrender, he said: "I would rather have embraced the tabernacle of death."