Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/223

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213
Detailed Minutiæ of Soldier Life.

There were many heaving bosoms and tear-stained faces during the speaking. A tall, manly fellow, with his colors pressed to his side, stood near General Gordon, convulsed with grief.

The speaking over, the assembly dispersed and once more the campfires burned brightly. Night brought long-needed rest. The heroes of many hard-fought battles, the conquerors of human nature's cravings, the brave old army, fell asleep—securely guarded by the encircling hosts of the enemy. Who will write the history of that march? Who will be able to tell the story? Alas! how many heroes fell!!

The paroles, which were distributed on Tuesday the 11th, were printed on paper about the size of an ordinary bank check, with blank spaces for the date, name of the prisoner, company and regiment, and signature of the commandant of the company or regiment. They were signed by the Confederate officers themselves, and were as much respected by all picket officers, patrols, &c., of the Federal army as though they bore the signature of U. S. Grant. The following is a copy of one of these paroles, recently made from the original:

Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia,
April 10th, 1865

The bearer, Private ——— ———, of Second company Howitzers, Cutshaw's battalion, a paroled prisoner of the Army of Northern Virginia, has permission to go to his home and there remain undisturbed.

L. F. Jones,
Captain Commanding Second Company Howitzers.

The "guidon," or color bearer, of the Howitzers had concealed the battle flag of the company about his person, and before the final separation cut it into pieces of about four by six inches, giving each man present a piece. Many of these scraps of faded silk are still preserved, and will be handed down to future generations. Captain Fry, who commanded after Colonel Cutshaw was wounded, assembled the battalion, thanked the men for their faithfulness, bid them farewell, and read the following:

Headquarters Army Northern Virginia,
Appomattox Courthouse, April 10th, 1865.

General Order No. 9.

After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard-fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have con-