Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/337

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Last Days of the Southern Confederacy. 331

The behavior of many of the old family servants was very marked in the care and great solicitude shown by them for their masters during this trying period. As an amusing instance of this, I will tell this incident:

An old lady had a very bright, good-looking maid servant, to whom some of the Union officers had shown considerable attention by taking her out driving. The girl came in one morning and asked her old mistress if she would not take a drive with her in the hack which stood at the door, with her sable escort in waiting. Doubtless this was done not in a spirit of irony, but really in feeling for her old mistress.

In another family, on the day the troops entered the city, when all the males had fled, leaving several young ladies with their mother alone, "Old Mammy," the faithful nurse, was posted at the front door with the baby in her arms, while the trembling females locked themselves in an upper room. When the hurrahing, wild Union troops passed along, many straggled into the house and asked where the white ladies were. "Old Mammy" replied: " Dis is de only white lady; all de res' ar' cullud ladies," and she laughed and tossed up the baby, which seemed to please the soldiers, who chucked the baby and passed on.


The ladies of Richmond who bore such an active part on that ter- rible 3d of April, many of whom with blanched faces mounted the tops of their roofs, and with their faithful servants swept off the flying firebrands as they were wafted over the city, or bore in their arms the sick to places of safety, or sent words of comfort to their husbands and their sons who were battling against the flames these were the true women of the South, who had never given up the hope of final victory until Lee laid down his sword at Appomattox. They were calm even in defeat ; and though strong men lost their reason and shed tears in maniacal grief over the destruction of their beautiful city, yet her noble women still stood unflinching, facing all dangers with a heroism that has never been equalled since the days of Sparta.

Sauntering along the street, making a few purchases preparatory to leaving the doomed city, I was suddenly accosted by a friend, who with trembling voice and terrified countenance exclaimed :

"Sir, I have just heard that the Petersburg and Weldon railroad will be cut by the Yankees in a few days. My daughter, who is in