Sunday, February 21, 2010

Three Letters from Captain Charles R. Doran, of the 18th Field Artillery, France (1918)

BANNER-DEMOCRAT, Sept 14, 1918
An Interesting Letter from Capt. Charles Doran.--Hon. J. Martian Hamley is in receipt of a letter from Charles R. Doran, on the firing line in France. Charley has lately been promoted to Captain, which we are all gratified to hear.
August 13, 1918.
My Dear Friend:--It has been sometime since I have written you, but everything has been coming our way fast and furious. Our experiences have been numerous in the last month. We took up our position just one month from tonight, and I shall never forget that night, July 13th. I was leading a battery into position about 11:20 p.m. when an aeroplane flew over our position and dropped two calcium flares that lit up the terrain for several hundred yards. They opened up on us in about fifteen minutes, which was the starting of their big offensive that was a failure. We were in the open without cover. All we could do was to stay there and take it. It lasted until 10:20 next morning. It they shot one shell in the little valley we were in they must have sent over two thousand. Big pieces were falling all around us every few seconds. We had to wear gas masks most of the time as about every fourth shell seemed to be gas. We can tell them by their explosions. After it had quieted down a little I took the horses out and managed to get them to a safe place. When we did get our guns to working, well, we did a little shooting. It was not long before we had them on the run.
I have seen what real war is, and I can say we are in a great campaign. We crossed the Marne river four days later and kept in the fight for a couple of weeks. We have been taken out for a rest. I had quite an experience on the way back to our rest billets. We started out about 10 p.m. to go back. I was passing through a small town about ten kilometers from the front. This was about 12 o'clock and enemy planes had been very active during the night. I passed a cross road just before I entered the town and a guard told me that planes had been bombing the place every half hour. I had not gone very far before I heard one over us and about a minute later they started coming. He dropped five in about ten seconds, and I rode around just as the last one hit and saw the sparks flare up into the streets and thought sure he had made a hit in my column. you can imagine my feelings at this moment. They had just missed the tail end of my battery. We arrived at our billets the next morning at 6:30 in good order.
I have just returned from a trip to Paris, having been given two days leave to go in and purchase equipment, as I lost everything but what I had on the night of the 14th. A shell hit the escort wagon containing my bedding roll and my clothes, leaving the clothes on my back. I managed to get enough from the other officers to equip me until I could get to a place to purchase what I needed. I had a great time trying to buy what I wanted in Paris, as my French is very poor. I did not get to see much of the city, as my leave was too short. However, I visited Napoleon's tomb, the Eiffel Tower and the beautiful parks. I received my promotion as Captain last week and have taken over the command of a battery, the hardest and biggest job in the army. I have 224 men, 140 horses, 6 officers, 4 big gun cassions (sic), numerous wagons and supplies of all kinds to take care of and be responsible for. I have handled this battery before, so I am familiar with every one in it. I believe I can hold down the position, shall do my best. So far everything has been running smoothly. How is everything at home? I would live to get back for a little while. We are all satisfied over here and eager for the fight, as we know what it is. The French say we are wonderful fighters, and our boys have shown them what they can do. Write me when you can. Remember me to my friends, and with my very best wishes to yourself and family.
Your friend, Charles R. Doran, Captain, 18th Field Artillery.

A letter was received by Hon. J. Martian Hamley on Monday of this week from Captain Charles R. Doran.
France, October 2, 1918.
Mr. Dear Martin--
I have just received your letter written September 9, 1918. I was glad to get some real news from home.
We are driving the Huns back again. This is the third offensive I have been in the last two months. I had the pleasure of being in command of a battery in the St. Mehiel offensive, firing for eleven hours without a pause. Since that time I have been on the Colonel’s staff as Regimental Adjutant. It is a very good position, but any of us would rather be in command of a battery as we are in the real fight then. I am getting along fine with my work, everything is going good with our regiment.
I wish you could see this town we are located in. There is not a house that has the roof on it or the walls intact, and if they were not built of stone there would not be a sign of the place left. There is not enough of shelter above the ground and we are obliged to live in dugouts. The first night we were here it rained and I had woke up the next morning to find all my bed clothes wet. I managed to find another place that morning without mushrooms growing all over the walls and ceiling and moved in. We have some experiences but don’t mind it at all. You never hear any of the men kick while they are at the front, no matter how hard it is. The minute we are relieved they start kicking about different things and always want to get back in the fighting.
I saw four balloons shot down the other day. It was a pretty sight to see, but I don’t imagine it was pleasant for the observers. They had to jump out and trust to luck that the parachute would work. Not only this, but they were being shot at with machine guns by the aviators that shot the balloons down. I was close to one of them and saw the observer when he landed. He was scratched up a little when he came down through the trees.
Everything must be pretty quiet in Lake Providence now with all the boys gone to war. We will all be back before long. I give them another year. After the spring drive it will be over. I hate to think of spending the winter over here. It is getting cold already, and I am getting out behind the walls of a ruined church today to keep warm.
What has become of Newt Hill? I hear he and Jake Leach were the only ones left, and since Jake has gone I am wondering about Newt.
We have had lots of interesting experiences we would like to write about, but the censor rulings are very strict, so will have to save them until we get home.
The big guns are starting to open fire as I write and I guess we are going to put something over on the Hun this afternoon.
The Colonel has been looking things over today and I see him returning. I am satisfied he has something for me to do.
Give my best wishes to all of the people at home.
Your friend, Charles R. Doran, Captain,
18th Field Artillery, U.S.A. American Expeditionary Forces.

Base Hospital, No. 35. France, Nov. 9, 1918.
Mr. Dear Martian-- I received you letter of Oct. 10. I have not been able to write very much since I have been here. I was wounded on Oct. 5th at Mountfoucon by a high explosive shell, three wounds in my back and one in my left hip. My wounds are healing fine. Ever since I have been in the hospital I have been suffering with stomach trouble, which has caused me to have chills and fever. I have lost thirty pounds since I have been here, and am down to skin and bones. The doctors took blood tests this morning to try to determine what was causing the chills and fever, and I am sure they will have them checked before long, and as soon as my wounds are healed I will be able to get up. The nurses and doctors do everything in the world they can for us.
Getting wounded hit me hard. My Colonel wrote me a letter, which I am enclosing, stating that if I could return by the last of Nov. he would recommend me for promotion to Major. I will not be able to return to my regiment in time, so I will lose out. If it was not for a general order he could recommend me while I am here, but the order states that we are dropped from the rolls of our organizations after we are in the hospital ten days. So we are not considered with the organization until we return, I will be here until the first of the year, it will be sometime before I can regain my strength after I get up.
I was sorry to learn that Mr. Guenard and Major Amacker passed away.
It looks like it will be along time before the war is over. We will know tomorrow at noon.
I cannot write more now, but will let you hear from me again. Please remember me to your dear family and to all my friends, and express to them my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
Your friend,
Charles R. Doran, Captain,
18th Field Artillery, U. S. Army.

The Colonel’s letter follows:
My Dear Captain-I, and all the other officers of the regiment, were very glad that you came out so well, and hope that you will be back, because if you are here before the end of the month, I think I can have you promoted. We are still doing business at the old stand. To date we have 75 casualties in the regiment. We are very anxious to hear about Lieut. Edwards, who was wounded the same day you were.
Very sincerely,
Albert S. Huber, Colonel,
18th Field Artillery.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Presentation of the Service Flag

The following verses were written by request by Mr. S. B. Kennedy for the Presentation of the Service Flag at the Methodist Church, on July 28, 1918. It was recited by Mrs. H. W. Kennedy, when she presented the Service Flag to the church, which was accepted by Major A. K. Amacker.

We are gathered here together to perform a duty grand,
For our gallant boys in khaki, serving now their native land.
Some are in the camps a-training, some are on the soil of France,
Fighting ‘neath our country’s banner, as the North and South advance:
Fighting for the cause of justice, with the nations o’er the sea,
That Democracy may triumph, and the world be fair and free.
See how proudly hangs that banner!--see the red, the white, the blue,
See the stars that on it glisten, for our soldier boys so true.
Every star that on it shimmers, in the field of spotless white,
Represents a son of some one, who is proud to do his mite.
Four and twenty stars are on it, and for every star so fair,
There’s a boy to answer for it, over here, or over there.
Let us call the roll a moment, as we gather here tonight.
In God’s sacred, earthly temple, in His place of holy light.
David Amacker! I hear him--far across the rolling wave--
Hear his voice--he answers “present”, mid ten-thousand comrades brave.
Walter Lee!--where are you, Walter? “Here” he says, in accents strong,
As he stands among his messmates, in that brave and gallant throng.
Norwood Lee! He answers “present”, and before his voice is still,
There’s another answering “present”--tis our noble Ammons Hill.
Out upon the ocean--somewhere--out upon the surging sea,
Edward Newman answers “aye sir”, with a sailor’s laugh and glee.
While within the heavens soaring, like an eagle in his flight,
Ernest Newman flies an airplane, almost-almost--out of sight.
There’s the youngest brother Clarence, training in the camps today,
Knowing not the day the summons calls him to a land away.
Three sons--and the greatest pleasure that a widowed mother had--
Given up, but given by her, willingly, ‘tis true, but sad.
And as long as mothers like her give their only sons to fight,
Freedom’s cause will ever triumph, for they know that cause is right!
There’s another mother present, and the proudest of her joys,
Is that she too has two soldiers, in the person of her boys.
Isaiah Garrett, a lieutenant, and his younger brother, too,
Both are ‘neath the colors serving, both are to their country true.
Henry Goodrich, in whose bosom glows that never dying spark,
Filled with learning and ambition, he will surely make his mark.
When the cry came ringing southward--”answer to your country’s call!”
There was one who answered nobly, ‘twas our home boy, Otto Hall.
William Bell and Baker Bass, young and strong, with youth aglow,
Baker Bass has crossed the waters, William’s waiting but to go.
Tommy Powell, somewhere landed o’er the ocean--no one knows;
But he’s ready, bravely ready, to combat our nation’s foes.
Now the Mitchell boys have answered, Eugene, Jess, and C. B.,
Two are in the country serving, one is “somewhere” o’er the sea.
Gallant boys! There’s M. G. Dyess, and young Easley, volunteer.
Waiting not ‘till called and drafted, answering nobly “I am here.”
Joseph Powell, strong and handsome, of the bravest and the best,
Serves today his country’s colors, in the far-off golden West.
J. Y. Whitten, Richard Miller, Andrew Jackson Wyly, too,
Stand in readiness to answer--stalwart soldiers, brave and true.
G. C. Martin’s on the ocean, maybe he’s in France tonight,
But where’er he is, he’s ready for his country’s cause to fight.
I have called the roll of honor, of each boy so brave and true,
Now I give this banner to you, it belongs to all of you.
For, while mothers' hearts are bleeding, and while fathers’ thoughts are sad.
Let each think, with pride and pleasure, that they have a soldier lad.
Let us hang this banner proudly, let it wave, unfettered, free,
For it represents our heroes on the land, or on the sea.
May the God who reigns in heaven guide them onward through the fight,
Bring them home once more in safety--this our fervent prayer tonight.
And as long as Freedom’s banner waves in glory to the breeze,
There’s no foe can ever harm it, when it waves o’er boys like these.
May our country live and prosper, as today, throughout all time.
And the Stars and Stripes float o’er us, spotless, fearless, and sublime!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

From the Banner-Democrat Newspaper, June 29, 1922

Captain R. N. Rea has an interesting letter running in the “Confederate Veteran”, which will take about four issues of the magazine to complete, giving in detail his reminisces of his experiences and what came under his observation in the Civil War. The first installment of his article has been highly complimented and Captain Rea has received many letters from old veterans who wore the gray praising the article and who say they are anxiously waiting for the other installments to appear. [The copy of this article from the Confederate Veteran, 1922., is below]
August 1922, Confederate Veteran, pages 287-89

It was not long before I was off. I stepped over the breastworks into the public highway and marched rapidly to the picket line and was very soon between the lines of the two great western armies. I continued marching right down the road until near daylight, and, feeling that I was not far from the enemy's picket line, I thought it prudent to get into the woods, and when daylight came, I saw that I did not make this move any too soon. I was on a hill, and a small stream was at its base running bright and clear. On the opposite hill many small smokes began to ascend heavenward, and I noticed a narrow, well-used pathway running to the branch, and in a few moments a string of Yankees came down that path with their camp kettles for their ration of water ; and they kept this up during the entire day. It was not my business to capture or shoot soldiers; what I wanted was information. If it had been otherwise, I could have done some business then and there. I now had my business and directions well fixed in my mind. When night came, we recrossed the road in single file, using the utmost care. Halting my men at a point which I could recognize in the distance, I selected one man to go with me, instructing the others to remain in that exact spot until I returned; and if I did not return by the following night they were to return to our army and report to General Sears.
I slipped right through the picket line and very soon was on the bank of the Chattahoochee River, not more than a quarter of a mile above the railroad bridge, the point of my destination. On either bank of the river there was plenty of cane stubble, and I soon sought its protection. While resting in this, I saw a very large force repairing the railroad bridge; no soldiers of any consequence on the Atlanta side of the river and not many on the other side. I had now what I was sent out to secure, and immediately bade adieu to the old Chattahoochee and returned to my men without accident. I was tired, and we lay down to sleep, but by daylight we began our return to Atlanta. After moving slowly and cautiously through the woods, we came to an opening of about fifty acres, where all at once, we heard laughing and talking between men and women. I ordered my men to lie down while I reconnoitered. Upon moving up to the edge of the field, I saw a double log house in the center of the field. On the south side a white woman was washing Yankee uniforms, while, under a cherry tree on the north side, I saw four women entertaining fifteen Yankee soldiers, one of whom had a little girl in his lap, playing with a silver watch. To complete the picture, their arms and cartridges boxes were leaning against the log house. I reported this scene to my men, and that I intended to capture the whole lot. I then marched them to the south side of the field and directed them in a whisper to deploy as skirmishers and to lie down. The following instructions were impressed upon each man, that upon my waving my hand they were to begin crawling up to the house, to preserve their alignment, and to keep this movement up until I waved to them to charge. On reaching the house, I wanted half of them to go to the right and half to the left. I then drew my side arms and we began our long crawl, reaching the corner of the small yard without detection. I was watching the old woman, but she was too busy with her soapsuds to see me. Giving the signal, we bounded forward and around the house, and, before our friends in blue could move from their seats, we had fourteen of them prisoners. One tall fellow, however, made a break for liberty, and, as he passed his stack of guns, he caught one and ran into the door of the house. I was right behind him with cocked pistol. As he reached the door, he
brought his piece to his shoulder, aiming it right at Grantham of my company. In an instant I fired and killed him, then Г jumped over him. We never stopped, but made an immediate rush for the friendly cover of the bushes, leaving their arms leaning against the old log cabin. We reached Atlanta about nine o'clock the following night, delivered our prisoners, and, at the same time, I made a verbal report to General Sears.
The next day General Hood began moving his army to the left, leaving our brigade before Atlanta and stretching out our line until the men were thirty feet apart, and very soon the great battle of Jonesboro was fought. Every command in the army was engaged in this battle. In themeantime our brigade, after leaving a few men in the entrenchments, was in the city destroying the government and railway property. At 2 A.m our brigade left Atlanta at a rapid gait, and just as we were leaving the suburbs the explosion of the magazines shook the city from center to circumference. As we marched along the streets, it seemed that every woman and child in Atlanta was standing in the doors or yards with sad faces and in tears. About four o'clock next evening we succeeded in swinging clear around the army and took our position at Lovejoy, on the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, and very soon all of the Confederate troops that had been engaged in Jonesboro took their position in line with us. The campaign was at an end, and Sherman and his army'took possession of Atlanta. In a few days an armistice often days was agreed upon by our commanders, and Sherman began to depopulate the city, thé women and children being sent out on every train, loaded oш flat cars and box cars—one of the saddest scenes that I saw during the war. The world knows what followed.
I had been detailed as adjutant, and was acting in that capacity, but our captain having been captured in the battle I was promoted to captain and assigned to that duty. At the expiration of ten days, hostilities were resumed, and Hood's; Tennessee campaign was now inaugurated. We left Lovejoy Station without an incident, the Federal army in our front making no effort to attack us. After a day's journey, we were halted by the roadside for review. Our regiment was on the extreme right of the army, and, on account of the narrow space in our front, I had a perfect view very close to those who were to make the inspection. We knew that the President would be present, and I was very anxious to see him. I had seen him upon the plains of Manassas in 1861. Very soon General Hood and the President came riding slowly, side by side, with a large staff in the rear. Upon looking at the President, I was surprised. Time had made a great change in hie appearance. I now saw a man whose face was very sad, hie countenance old, and his body thin and weak, yet he sat on his steed with grace and ease, making a fine figure. I never saw him after this.
In the campaign we passed over the same ground that we we had fought over, and I never saw a living thing, scarcely a house, no fences or anything that would indicate that the country had been inhabited; but I saw in their stead beautiful fields of waving grass. The desolation was complete in all details. When we reached Allatoona Pass, our division was selected to attack the fort, which was commanded by General Corse. In less than five minutes after our entrance into this battle, every field officer in the regiment lay upon the field dead, together with two hundred and fifty others. We fell back under the protection of a hill and fired upon the fort all day. While this battle was being fought, General Sherman, with his signal corps, was on the top of Kenesaw Mountain, and he singaled to General Corse: "Hold the fort, for I am coming." This is the origin of the beautiful song of that name. We retreated about sundown, leaving our dead upon the field .of battle and a surgeon to care for our wounded.
I shall pass over the long, fatiguing march to Columbia and its incidents. We crossed Duck River ten miles above Columbia, and the other two commands crossed the river in front of the town, with Schofield's army before them and pressing them with energy. Before Hardee and Cheatham's Corps could get across Duck River, our corps, commanded by Stewart, was over and very near Spring Hill, where we halted in line of battle and remained near the Spring Hill and Columbia Pike all night long, sleeping upon our arms. General Schofield's army passed on to Franklin just before day, with our army in full pursuit. It was said by our company wag that they stopped with us to light their pipes. We actually pushed them so close that they shot the teams in their army wagons, and finally they abandoned everything in order to reach Franklin. We reached the renowned little capital of Williamson County nearly as soon as the Federal army, and General Hood made immediate preparations for attacking them. It took some time for all the army to come up and take the positions assigned to them, and, as I remember it, the battle began about 3 P.m. on November 30, 1864. The army was massed into columns of'brigades. This formation brought the army in close touch, and I was in a position to see everything of importance that was transpiring, prior to the battle. It was a clear, pleasant day and the men were in finer spirits than I had seen ¿hem for a long time. All of the generals in the army, their .-Staffs, and every field officer, sat upon their horses near us ;0nd in their proper places. Such an inspiring scene was good to look upon.
We had seen that the assault was to be made in columns of brigades. In an instant every band in the army began playing /'Dixie," and our heavy skirmish line advanced and captured the exterior works in front of Franklin. This success acted like a charm upon the men. On they went into the very jaws of death, with Hood's army at their heels, and in a few seconds your humble servant found himself in a living hell. I tried hard to keep a level head, but scarcely knew what to do. I was close up to the breastworks when the thought occurred to me that there was more danger in returning, so I continued until I fell into the big long ditch outside the breastworks. I then got close up to the works so that the Yankees could not bring their pieces to bear upon me. It was now dark, or nearly so, and I stuck hard and fast to my position. The ditch was now full of men, dead, living, and wounded. If I ever prayed earnestly in my life it was then. It seemed to me that the Federals had concluded to kill every man in that ditch. They began enfilading us and to shoot us in every way they could, and I really believe that they killed seven-eighths of us. I am unable to tell you how I escaped, but it was the happiest time of my life when I was finally able to get out from under that pile of .dead and wounded men.
It was about 1 A.M., and a fierce gale was blowing, and it was freezing cold. I was stiff and could hardly walk. Looking over the breastworks, I saw an old ginhouse and a dead Confederate general just in front of me. Of course, the Federals had retreated. I was a little dazed and began looking about. It seemed to be dark, very dark. Soon I began to see lights appear, and the battle field began to show signs of life ; little fires were started here and there, a few lanterns began to shine, and a few people began to move around. Finally there were many persons visible, and very soon thereafter the citizens of Franklin, including the women and children, were on the battle field, seeking relatives who had fallen. I myself sought a friendly fire, and by the time I was somewhat restored to, a little comfort, it was daylight and I saw before my eyes
at least one-fourth of the army of Tennessee lying dead and wounded. Such a sight I never before beheld, and I know that I shall never see another. In sadness and regret, I will only say that during the day after this great battle we collected all of those dead heroes and buried them, eight deep, in long trenches on either side of the Franklin and Columbia Pikes. All of our field officers, the generals and their staffs, rode into this battle on horseback, and six generals were killed there, more general officers than in any battle of the war, not exceping Gettysburg.
It was extremely cold, and when we left Franklin we made fast time to Nashville. We formed our lines and fortified ourselves, and it began snowing until the whole country was deep in snow. General Schofield's army was now heavily reënforced by Gen. George Thomas, and soon after this the Union army advanced on us from Nashville. After two days of fighting and maneuvering, they carried our thin line of gray by assault, and quickly our army was in full retreat and making the best defense it could. But there were too many for us to turn the tide. We could only sting them, and we stung them hard and often; and many times they were only too glad to get away from the Johnnie Rebs of old. I passed near my old Colonel (then general) Sears, who was looking sterner than I ever saw him. An ambulance was near him, and he was sitting on his old roan horse, Billy, with his field glasses to his eyes, looking directly at the Federals ; in an instant a shell took off his leg and at the same time killed the old horse that he had ridden during the entire war. Will you believe me when I tell you that that gallant old man stood upon one leg and said, " Poor Billy," with tears running rapidly down his cheeks. We placed him in the ambulance standing near the scene, and I told him good-by and hurried on to the rear. I never expected to see him again, and you can scarcely realize my surprise whe'h I received an affectionate letter from him, in which he said that he was living in Oxford, and was then professor of mathematics in the University of Mississippi.
On our arrival at Franklin, my shoes had fallen from my feet, and I was now barefooted in the deep snow, with a hostile army pressing. I do not think now that I regarded it with any degree of great misfortune at that time, but I did not get a pair of shoes until we reached Tupelo, Miss., having marched all the way from Franklin, Tenn., to that place in my bare feet, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles. I certainly came near freezing to death. I had no blanket, nothing but my sword and pistol. This part of my life as a soldier is so sad that I do not care to describe the retreat of the army from Nashville to Tupelo. General Hood succeeded in taking his army across the rivers of Harpeth, Duck, Shoals Creek, and Tennessee, which latter we crossed just above Florence, Ala. Three gunboats were shelling us as we crossed on our pontoon bridge to the Tuscumbia side of the river. They might as well have shot popguns at us, as we got over without a single casualty.
On our arrival at Tupelo, General Hood, at his own request, was relieved and his entire army was furloughed for ten days. Having secured transportation for my men and myself, we got on the top of a box car (on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad) and, after having ridden one hundred and thirty miles in very cold weather, disembarked at Marion, where we were at home once more.
It was now January, 1865. Our little "leave of absence" had soon expired, and every man of my small company reported to my regiment at Mobile, Ala. We belonged to the division of Gen. S. G. French, made up of Sears's Mississippi Brigade, which was composed of the 4th Mississippi, Col. Adair commanding; 35th Regiment, William S. Barry, colonel commanding; 7th Mississippi Battalion, Lieut. Col. Jones commanding; 39th Mississippi and 46th Mississippi Regiment, William H. Clark, colonel, killed at Allatoona, Ga.);Cockrell's Missouri Brigade, and Ector's Texas Brigade. I am proud to have been a member of this division; there was none better.
We were now in camp four miles from the city of Mobile, and very near the beautiful shell road leading down to the bay, and we were having a most delightful time. We were also a part of the "Army of the Gulf," with Maj. Gen. Dabney H. Maury in command. In the following March, General Canby began his operations against Mobile with a large force, and our pleasant surroundings and associations were broken up forever. We were ordered across the bay to Blakely, and on our arrival our regiment, the 46th Mississippi, was ordered on picket duty four miles from the army, where we remained until the first day of April. Captain Winston, a son of ex-Governor Winston, of Alabama, supported us with his fine cavalry company. He and I became warm personal friends. General Canby's cavalry drove in our pickets on April l, 1865, and immediately our regiment was in line.. However, we retreated across a field planted in oats, tearing down the fence and making good strong vidette pens, with Captain Winston's cavalry on-our left. These dispositions took a little while to complete, and in the meantime, all was silent. Captain Hart, who was in command of the regiment, suggested that I go out in front and see what the Federals were doing. Taking a gun out of the hands of one of my men, I proceeded to comply with his request. I had gone parallel to the public road, but was in the woods and perhaps a quarter of a mile in front of my regiment. I finally came to a small, high hill, which I cautiously ascended. Looking intently down at the base of the hill, there sat a Federal cavalryman, with his right leg thrown across the pommel of his saddle. In some way his leg had gotten mixed up with the bridle reins and, in his excitement, he was endeavoring to right it and to bring his piece to bear on me, but I was too quick for him. I gave him the contents of my gun and immediately disappeared over the hill. He never did fire his piece, and it is very probable that I killed him. I was back to my regiment and in line none too soon, for in a few minutes a heavy line of skirmishers advanced from the cover of the woods, and we were at our old trade once more. We had the advantage, because they had to cross an open field, and soon we repulsed them. But they came again in greater numbers. I was wounded in the right hand and left leg, and my friend, Captain Winston, sent me a horse, and in the midst of the fighting my men put me in the saddle. J ust after I was mounted, a large body of cavalry, with drawn swords, came down the road, riding in squadrons of fours at full speed. My horse knew his business, and I thought he was flying. It was the first time I had ridden horseback during the entire war. Captain Winston's little negro boy, Jim, was a good second, right behind me. I was in a good deal of pain and realized that I was in a tight place. I unbuckled my sword belt and let it fall across the back of my saddle, and the weight of my pistol balanced my sword, both staying with me to the end. I then ran my hand and arm through the McClellan saddle and lay down flat on the horse and took the consequences. They kept on coming, shooting and yelling like a lot of demons, and amid all this excitement I could hear the little negro boy say: "Go it, massa! They are about to get us." I thought so too, but I could do nothing, as I was not able to stop my horse. On we went like a prairie fire and finally came to Cockrell's brigade, which had stacked arms parallel to the road, and the men were off a little distance eating dinner. The Federal cavalry
did not pay the least attention to them, but kept right on after me and Jim. In a short time, we met a cavalry company square in the road, and they took to their heels and fled. The Yankee force pursued me with fury and determination, and did not quit until forced to return by our cannon at Blakely. On my arrival inside our lines, I was sent directly to the division hospital, and the surgeon, Dr. Norman, took me into -his own tent and dressed my wounds. Before giving me a dose of morphine, he asked if I did not want a furlough. I replied that I did. "Well," he said, ''take this and you will go to sleep for several hours, and I will write out your leave, sign it, and, by the time you wake up, I will have it approved by the officers here and all ready for you. The boat will be in about that time, and you can go over to Mobile, get General Maury to approve, and you can then go home immediately." Dr. Norman accompanied me to the steamboat, and I never again saw or heard of him. The boat landed us in Mobile, and I went immediately to General Maury's headquarters, where his adjutant general signed my leave. I left for home at eight o'clock P.m., on wounded furlough. Shortly after, the Confederacy passed away. I was duly and regularly paroled by General Canby, major general, U. S. A., at Meridian, Miss., on the 9th day of April, 1865, and my life as a Confederate soldier was at an end.

An error was made in the date of his surrender as given by Capt. R. N. Rea in his article in the August Veteran, pages 287-89, which should have been May 9, 1865, instead of April 9. On calling his attention to this, Captain Rea sends his old parole, with the date of May 9, to show that the error was through inadventence—but it is such little slips that count against a contributor, for the editor does not always catch them. All who write for the Veteran should verify dates especially, and be just as careful in other respects to give "a plain, unvarnished tale."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1845 Carroll Watchman newspaper!

I am so thrilled... I just stumbled across almost the complete 1845 year's worth of the Carroll Watchman newspaper! I have been looking sooooo long for any digital free online newspaper articles and I am totally blown away... I am in the process of trying to save parts of the newspaper right now as images and put into book form....
If ANYONE knows of any other online historical newspapers for the Northeast Louisiana area, I would be ever so grateful to know about it. My books starts with newspapers just after the Civil War (1866, various newspapers, and not a continuous list)and my microfilm ends in 1928. Please contact me by a "Comment" at the bottom of this blog if you have any information concerning this subject. THANKS, Sandy