Sunday, August 2, 2009

Surgeon McCormicks Narrow Escape

From "A Place to Remember", by Georgia Payne Durham Pinkston.
"One night Lieutenant Powell & Surgeon McCormick, of a Texas regiment, were riding through the woods on the land that is now owned by Mr. Walter Goodwin, when just ahead of them they heard the cry of "Halt!" and the challenge, "Who comes there?". The answer came back, "We are friends, too." Lieutenant Powell said, "We are Confederate soldiers, " and the others said "We are Confederate soldiers also. Where are you going?" Lieutenant replied "To Bill Deeson's." The other said "We will go together."
So they rode on, but the orderly who was with Powell and McCormick, becoming suspicious, lagged behind. One of the soldiers said, "My man, why don't you keep up?" He replied, "I have ridden hard today, and my horse is very tired, but I will be with you." At an opportune moment, the orderly made his escape, leaving Powell and McCormick at the mercy of ten Yankee guerrillas, for such they proved to be.
The road in those days ran right around the Arlington fence and quite close to it and just within the fence, was a thick Cherokee hedge. Just as these men rounded a corner of the fence, a shot was fired and Lieutenant Powell fell from his horse dead. Surgeon McCormick cried out, "Men, don't kill me. I have a wife and children in Texas. In my saddle bags I have $4,000.00 in gold, take it and spare my life." They agreed to do so. McCormick dismounted and precipitately fled through the thick Cherokee hedge. He heard them say, "It will never do to let that man get away." However, he did, to find himself the next morning scratched and bleeding, from contact with thorns, at 'Possum Point', which you will admit, was walking some. His effectual escape made it possible for him to narrate this little war episode.
I will say just here that those (ten) Federal guerrillas were brought here and paid by a citizen of this parish, who was a Northern sympathizer, for the protection of himself and property--a man by the name of Harris, "Horse" Harris, he was called.
Captain Joe Lee's company, belonging to the command of Quantrell, came to Lake Providence. Quantrill/Quantrelle was the famous guerrilla chieftain, whose deeds of daring and devilry made the lives of foes worth nothing when they met, and in whose ranks we find the notorious James Brothers, Jarred Younger, and others, who were the Robin Hoods of our Confederate history. Captain Joe Lee made it his business to capture all ten of these Federal guerrillas, and killed them all, one at a time, and left their bones bleaching in the sun from Hood's Lane to Bayou Macon. And there they stayed for years afterward."

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