Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/178

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178 Southern Historical Society Papers.


The next day we had another sitting, and he discussed the generals of our war. He spoke most highly of Forrest, whom he had closely observed, and declared to be the greatest soldier the war produced. You know how keenly he felt that the Virginians had known so little of him in our war. His strongest desire was to be identified with Virginia. 'Twas this caused him to agree to go to Congress, and up to the last he often expressed his wish to live in Virginia.


One day during his canvass for Congress, Mrs. Johnston, meeting me on Main street, said : "Can you tell me where my husband is?" I went at once and found him, and said: "The handsomest and brightest woman in Richmond is looking for her husband."

There is but one woman in Richmond who answers that descrip- tion, and she is my wife. I'll go to find her at once."

Some time after I heard he had been laid up by an accident to his leg, and went to see him. He was sitting in the parlor with his leg extended over a chair. His wife was by him, and affected to triumph over him in his crippled condition. I said: "That is very ungrate- ful in you so to treat the husband who loves and admires you as he does," and then told her the above incident. She said : "You old goose you, do you let him fool you in that way? Don't you know he said that to you knowing you would come and tell me? "

He joined heartily in the laugh, as he always did when she raised one at his expense.


You remember that ten years or so ago Mrs. Johnston was very ill for many weeks at the White Sulphur. The General nursed her with the tender care of a mother. He never left her except to get a hurried meal, from which he hastened back to her sick chamber. Mrs. James Lyons was an active and constant friend, and so soon as Mrs. Johnston began to improve in health she insisted that the General should relax his anxious watch, and induced him to take the air for an hour or two every day. But he would never go far from their cottage door, but sat upon a fallen tree on the lawn in sight and sound of it, and conversed with a friend. On these occasions he talked all the time, and all he ever said was full of strong conviction and good sense.