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9 CONTENTS. Sunbon n et s News Lovers from Ri ch mon d and Goodbyes Expecta n c y O n Sa y l e r s Creek O n the Battle Field. O n the O utski rt s of A rmies Clean Swept What Wa s Left. Southern Hospitality News from A ppomattox The Carrin gton Home O ld Ties Under the Pines Dist rust Records Two Deaths Comin g Home Paul at Last 1 06 a The st Laid Be Plans Holocaust of Bird Books Be gin n in g o f Ide s Fortun e.

10 (DNTENTS. XXIII. XXIV. Evil Counse l O n e More Blow t o the Confed The O ther Sick Soldier A Ni g ht Ride A n Interrupted Rever y Thin g s A re Better than They Seem Last A ct Sequel to th e Messa g e Departures with and without Goodbyes XXXII. Paul s Home XXXIII. XXXIV. XXXV. First Drive t o Town Followin g an Impulse Payin g Debts XXXVI. XXXVII. XXXVIII. A A Step Up Happy Relea se XXXIX. Glimpses Throu g h the Mails. XL. Reapin g th e Whirlwind XLI. C. M. Miller M.D XLII. Tired Waitin g XLIII. A Chance to Think and Remember XLIV. Mose XLV. O n e More Letter ~ from Ide XLVI. Ma y t ime A mon g th e Birds

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13 PREFA CE Th e author does n ot claim i n vari fidelit able y t o truth i n t h followin e g pa g es O the n contrary. would prefer th at t h e book received fiction be a s With only uch s a n admi xture of fact the a s memories a n d observations of any life will supply. Happenin to g teach within a mi or le t wo of the ld of battlefie Sa y le Creek or Sailor Creek it r s s a s i s g enerally known while the events of those sti rri n g times were still freshly and vividly remembered it wa s easy to imbibe the spirit a n d atmosphere of the p l ace and Many came to hand incidents period. dy made the novelist rea others h the privi well a s le g e I believe of supplyin g from the of fancy realms whatever seems desirable to make a g ood story. The battle one of the fiercest a s well a s one of the last o f the Civil W a r the pas sin g of the two armies in rapid succes sion throu g h that section of Vir g inia and the demoralizin g state of lawlessnes s poverty and sion consequent on the close of the war depres are still ineradicable to many and in usin memories g them for t back he g round of my story those who have lived i n the county throu g h it all think my por t ra y a l of the condition of thin g s not very g reatly e xa gg erated. A t any rate my labor sh all not h ave been in vain if a n y reader shall be led thereby t o appreciate more fully the dire pe rils through which the South both white a n d black passed durin g that transitional p e ri od and t o rea lize with some kin dl y in dul g ence tha t th e deplorable h a rvest of crime which h a s of lat e

14 PREFA CE y ea rs swept over the country i s but th natural e i n ble out evita g h rowt of that upheaval of social condi tion s a n d t o wait with more patient forbearance for ti me s rea djustments. A s we all know there are always emi ssaries of evil ready at hand t o us e for thei r own profit th ose wh o from any cause have their weak side suddenly left unprotected. This wa s the case with the Southern ne g ro. A n d the Southern whites wh o lived throu g h those times declare that it i s only a miracle of g r acious Providence any of the Saxon ra ce a re left to tell th e tale. T HE A UTHO R.

15 We b s o f Wa r CHA PTER I. SUNBONNETS. Ag Whatever March may have borrowed from n i! the latter had nothin lackin g g of i t s own for i t s rst day in the year It balmy sprin wa s a s a s g sunshine could make it and the wheat shimmered fields i smilin n g g reen. A almost Sabbath brooded over the fair n stillnes s rollin g and the hillsides ferti le low alon ounds g the A ppomattox River and Sa y l e r s reek. A lready and were robin trees shrubs g themselves in tender and and matchles s shades da fiodils j o n q ui ls were sprin g in g into si g ht everywhere. and blue and Robins birds wrens sparrows a n d queen of them all the mockin g bird were the busiest of householders ch oosin g for their new sites homes. In short Nature like a little child who havi n wa s g taken a refreshin g nap i i mother n t s s arms i awak s cuin g the lively of t o consciousness i t s re s on si bi li ty t help make the world a happy place o to i ve i n. The browsed in th meadow with cows e soft tinkle of bell and the wise - eyed she p herd do g lay ba skin g i the blinki n sun h i watchfully in s eyes t h e dirce tion of h i alf a dozen and their tribal s hens sheep. chief had their to heads g ether by the down barn di s cussin g i subdued some n voices subject of vast i m 1 '

16 see med to feel somethin g of the hush of nature for W E B S O F W A R port in the kin dom g a llinaceous g whi le a pair of wily g were seizin their opportunit sneak uineas g y t o off in search of a new hidin g place in th e blackberry thicket their nest had been a s p r y e d upon a n d mulcted of i t s treasures t h e day before. A lot of flufi yellow peep peeped drowsily y balls - i n the yard around their imprisoned mother while a hawk watched them g reedily from the lar g e e lm tree. The ne g plowin roes g corn on the eastern for slopes instead of th usual brawlin ood natured of e g g words abuse to th eir lazy they used for wh ip mules a n d spur only snatches of weird reli in g ious melodies response to which the mules jo g ged patiently on a s i f thereby reminded of the comi n g Sabbath rest. Into broodin this g silence a shrill human sound broke cuttin g th e ear like a sacrile g e until one ew kn i t s source. A party of had shed aside their girls da books broken loose from the house a n d were racin down g hill t h e h air an d wi Every sunbonnets ndward. now and then they would pause and repeat their call made by a stron g expulsion of air across th e vocal chords accompanied by the rapid flappin g of the hand on the lips. Throwin g their heads back they sent the sound far up the opposite hill and listenin g they soon h eard the answerin g si g al and another sunbonnet n wa s seen to emer g e from the pines and run down the footpath to meet them at their common trystin g place t h e old ruined mill on * Sa y l e r s Creek. Th e n ame of t h e cre e k h a d n a t ura ll y be en sp e lled Sai lor s un t i l re ce n t l y i n p u lli n down t h e old mi ll t h e ' n ame of th ori e n a l d own e r wa s di scov e re cut i n t o on of e th e ti mbe rs a n d It wa s R Sa from J.. yle r wh i ch n o doubt th e n ame of th e cre ek came. 2

17 W E B S O F W 'A R Y ou ve g ot a n e w bon n e t! wa s th e first exclam an on. A n d it i sn t homespun either! No Cousin Robert runs the blockade y ou kn ow a n d he sent twelve yards of French calico t o mother t make a apiece Mame and In cuttin o dres s for me. g them out mother mana ed save enou g t o g h m for y bonnet. The material beautifull soft wa s y a n d and the fin e color delicate the so g i looked at it rls enviou sly. Theirs were pretti ly checked with narrow stripes of white and black but they were heavy and coa rse in comparison for they were in th plantation woven e loom from the cott brou ht in from the cot on g bales ton belt and use d for clothin g for the neg r oes shirts for the soldiers and dresses a s well for the daintiest la dies of the land. The envy of the g irls however wa s n ot of lon g duration. It wa s a pleasure t o se e pretty thin g s even on somebody else. Wh en did y ou se e Mr. Monnot A bby asked suddenly becomin g aware that Pansy wa s unusually quiet and that Miss Ph e n i e a n d Hazel had strayed ofl down the creek leavin g the of t them wo alone. A sli g ht flush stole into the soft dark ch at e cks t h e questi on. Whereupon A bby cau g ht them be twee n her t wo hands and forcin g the dark eyes t o look up in to h ers said : Tell me Pansy tell me quick what h a s h a p pen ed But Pansy only lau ghed with a happy shyness. A bby put the new sunbonn et on her a g a in and d up into it out peepe of her own. He says this i the way he fell in love s wi th you the first time he detailed to wa s g o out for butter He those sh bri says milk. y g h t pee eyes p in at g 3

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19 CHA P TER II. NEWS FROM RICH M OND. Elmwood the home of the Woodsons wa s on e of the most att ract ive in that corner of Prince Ed ward County. Mr. Woodson wa s a self - made man havin g h a d very little help from the outside in the shapin g of h i mind and character and none what s ever i amassin n g h i A seventeen s t h i s fortune. father who a very arbitrary man had off ered wa s him colle e education culminatin a g g in law with t h e alternative of an independent choice and no further help of any kind from him. Now althou g h education the d hi wa s la s g hest am bi t i on he felt rather a disinclination for the study of la w. A t any rate he did not care to hamper h i s liberty of choice at that a g e. Hence he chose inde p e and nothin n den ce g accepti n g at once a clerkship in a small country store. he did realize that Perhaps n ot h i father s s ulti matum to be literally rried wa s so ca out When. convinced of fact by several hard this experiences he saved h i earnin s g for and went s t wo years t o New O rleans landin g in the city with ten dollars in h i s pocket. B y the time he wa s thirty or less h e owned a small well stocked cotton plantation in Mi s si s si p p i A bout the time he had attained this meas. ure of reward for toil and pluck h i father died and s h i s st epmother would have nobody t o settle up t h e e state but Tom. He return ed t o Vir g inia for that purpose. a s h e 5

20 W E B S O F W A R s upposed temporarily. A s i s usually th e ca se h e foun d himself enta n g led in law busines s and n e ce s si t at ed t o sell h i s Southern propert y at a sacri fice a n d remain where he wa s. He bou g ht in course of time the portion of the farm which should have been h i s by ri g ht and mi g ht have bee n if he had n ot been t oo sturdily independent t o claim it and lived a t t h e old place t o ca re for h i s mothe r while workin g both farms. he married he built and carried When h i mother s home with B it ut took lon him. g er accumulate t o un der the circumstances an d it wa s some y e a rs be fore he felt justified in furnishin g h i s new house a s h desired have it e t o a d lon n this wa s n ot g be fore t h In fact it never quite The e wa s war. completed. roll of oilcloth bou ht cover the two wide airy g to halls above and below unfortunately did not g e t tacked down before the first g fired at Fort un wa s tly it remained rolled up it Consequen a s Sumpter. had come from the depot until the war wa s over. It will not do to be decoratin g one s own house a t such a time Woodson would sa when a n y Mr. y ventured to su on e gg est puttin g it to the for use which intended. M r. Woodson wa s thorou g hly loyal to h i s state and th South but he had opposed sion e seces a n d war with all the influence he pos A ses n d when for sed. Vir g inia it became inevitable he ed how it predict would In consequence of conviction this terminate. h a? i creasin n g dency had taken sion of despon posses 1m. O n the evenin g of the first of A pril 6 5 th e girls had freshen ed themselves up after their adventures at the mill a n d were havin g a g a y old time with Ide Carrin g t on who had stayed to supper. A t that ti me Ide wa s 3 most irrepressible youth 6

21 W E B S 0 F W 21 R wh om n othin g could sober for a n y len g t h of time. A n d a s he wa s the only youn g person in h i s own family he g reatly en joyed be in g made at home i n th e li vely crowd at Elmwood. A t t h e moment h i s own homely fa ce wa s sober e n ou g h but Mis s Phenic a n d the rls t o whom h e wa s chattin g were conti nually brea ki n g out in to me r ri e st lau g h te r. It hard to wa s s ee h ow any could find oh on e j e ct i on to i t yet to Mrs. Woodson it wa s quite evi dent i t wa s g r atin g harshly her husband on s nerves. The youn g people had one out g on th veranda e for a dri n k of water a n d witched be b the moonli y g ht h a d re mained. Every habitué of Elmwood kne w that a bucket of water was neve r mis sin g from i t s place on the table at the sittin g room door thou g h it always emed been just freshly filled se t o have from the sprin g A n d that d of the veranda the e n wa s most. po p ula r spot about th e house throu g hout t h e sum mer. Mr. and Mrs. Woods on sa t within he che win g h i s cud of g loo my thou g hts and be rn oa n i n g the i n com prehensible levity of the youn g peo p le for g et tin g what a ble imp of mischief he himself h verita a d n bee be fore t h e strenuous hardships of indepen den t man h ood ca me upon h im ; sh e knitt in g in terminable stock i n g s o f the war the clothin times cotton for g of h e r household Th busy fin. e g did ers n ot der hin th alert e glance and read y smile which went out t the merr o y the porch yet invariably sounds on came back with stionin an xious que g t her husband Sh o s e face. knew how he Still sh could e n ot ar be t o se e felt. the bri g of her children youth htn ess s o er sh dowed a by th eir father morbid s premonition s. The y will n ever be y oun gbut once a n d it i s h a rd 7

22 W E B S O F W EI R them on at best ow n e ver to kn a n y t hin g i all their n g i r lh ood save th e privati of war on s times sh e would often sa t him o privately. Someti mes s e could g e t h im t o realize this. But this even in g sh e wa s just heavin g a deep si g h over th e n eces sity for checkin g their innocent mirth when a diversion occurred in th e sound of approachin g and three dismounted at the horses soldiers g ate. A battalion of Louisiana artillery had been for some time stationed a s guard at Hi g h Brid g e and many of them had become fre q uent and welcome at Woodson visit ors s Mr. Havin. g responded to the cordial greeti n g of the old people Mr. Breau immediately followed the sound of happy out to the veranda while voices t h e other two down within tell s a t t o th latest e news from the front. It brief enou h wa s g a sin g le item but the fact that the Confederate line had been broken at Peters bur g carried consternation to every heart. When they had told how the had come a voucher news a s for i reliability Woodson exclaimed t s : Mr. It the immediate means evacuati on of Richmond and Petersbur g I m afraid it does. Then what? Th youn e g men shook their cheerily heads a s a s they could murmurin g O nly General Lee know s! Woodson Mr. g ot up abruptly nd went a a For out. lon g time h i measured could be heard s footsteps on the back porch. I have no doubt Marse Bob will pull throu h u s g all ri g ht some way Ser g eant Deme smé announced convincin g ly. I hope so indeed! ej a cula t e d Mrs. Wood s on s

23 W E B S O F W H R listenin g the while with si h a g t her d o husba n s moody footfalls. Her knittin g went needles i and out usual only n a s with a little tch and nervous ca n ow and then a dropped stitch over which sh e would bend with un wonted attention. Molere had followed and soon Breau Lieut. Mr. they all me in gether the ca to g and Ide sobered irls by t h e news. Ser g ea nt Deme smé watched the pairin g off with a sl y gleam of humor. I f there wa s anythin g beyond n obody suspected. That s ri g ht he said emphatically shinin g h i s at the eye s g Don t you try two strin irls. g to your s stick to den he stick to I know You on e bow. you. winkin g h i Here lem me try your s eyes - wisely. fortune? He g ot a Spri g of arbor vitae from the bush near the door and lookin g si i fica n t l at y Mis s Ph enic and Mr. Breau be g an touc i n geach spray of the ever g reen with h i s plump forefin g er He lorve h much leetle e lorv e h e lorve h e not t lorve all he love ; h much e lorve h e lee lorve tle A h for shame Sabin! strin hold on e g n o a n y body lest i t be g ood and stron g. A the Ser s g nt be ea g an a g ain with h i eye the s on t Mr turned to with wo Breau Miss Phenic a protestin g in wi stfulness h i brown and s own orbs to hide a pos sible flush sh e went to the piano and be g an t o sin g : I ve left Ba lmon i a c a lon g ways behind me To better my fortune I ve sed the bi cros g se a ; I m sadly alone not a mind me cre e t ur t o A n d faith I am wretched a s wretched ca n be. Lieut. Molére s fortune had come out Lorve muc apparen tl y to th e infini te satisfacti on of t h e 9

24 W E B S O F W MR ither did oracle Ne th e ha n dsome bla ck. e y e s of th e youn g soldier deny t h soft e i t mpeachmen th ou g h h e g a ve joke for and joke n ot a word scaped e h im t tha a n y o mi n e g ht n ot hear. A t the supper table there wa s further discussion of p endin gevents. The batta lion h a d orders to be ready t o move on fifteen minutes notice with th ree days rations. may be last civilized meal a lon So this our for g t ime the Ser g eant said droppin g h i voice with a s tin g e of melancholy a s i f t list o e n th sympathy of e h i s left han d n ei g hbor. I O

25 CHA PTER III. a n d had been ed from Mrs Woodson summon Mr.. the supper table to old g s e e Me wh down o wa s with a case of colic leavin g Miss Phenic t pla o y perone in a mild more cha Breau wa s tha n way. Mr. content to hold the fort with her in the sittin g room thou g h he con fe s se d bein somewhat ssed t o g depre b y h e r invulnerable li g htheartednes s. Do not y ou feel on e least bi t me - lén - ch ol y t o se e us a ll of your friends g o t o t h t e fron a n d be ki lled? h asked with a e pathet i c droo p o f h i hand s some youn g head. I mi ht g i f I knew sh replied her some e win bri g still unclouded htn es s but y ou may n ot g o and i f you g o y ou ma y n ot be killed. I must hope for th e be st. A n ea g er hope leape d into th e brown eye s. But - i f I should I you will all make hope t h st of e be your time s may for there be n ot many left! interjected Se r geant Deme smé sin pas g throu g h from th porch e an d in t urn g h i d spicuously the other s hea con wa y. Lieut. Moliere h a d lured A bby out into the yard whe re the misty moonli g ht en folded th em in a white radiance. Th e fine black eyes were dee per more i n t penetrable than usual. Yet there wa s a somethin g th ere that i rarely misinter s p ret ed by a woman. ck When I come ba when t h war e i over s ' A bby t urned abruptl away y f rom th e soft g l eam of th e bla ck eye s an d e xcla imed almost petula n tl y : I I

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27 g. W E B S O F W 'A R the tarily t for m t wo involun be n th eir steps t o war(the Gouth re a u h just come with a s order s for all t o be in ca mp not later than nine - thirty m a y have to move any moment. A the low Spoken the lieutenant me at t words be ca once the in act g ofii ce r a n d with alert militar y steps strode into t h house look after e t h i little squad o s leavin g A bby with Ser g eant Deme smé. Do you know somethin g? I believe fortune tell i n g c ome true noddin g si g nificantly toward their mutual friend just disappearin g into the house. That s where you are mistaken A bby blushed makin g no pretence of not understandin g. bendin No g h i tall form to er into her s pe face. Molere all ri ht I answer for him and you g Le m - me try your fortune for him He pulled a twi g from the bush near which they stood. Sh e lo rv e s h e lorve much - watchin g keenly every chance expression of her face sh e lorve lee t le sh e lorv e not at all s h e lorv e sh e lorv e much sh e lorv e little? with h i s fin g er on the last little green point he shook h i s head reproachfully. A h woman i s cruel cruel when he lorve so much! A bby sed her head with a futile eff ort tos t pe o esca the searchin raillery of g h i and murmured s eyes You don t know what you are talkin g about Se r geant De me smé. Don t I then t o B o ba ut tell the truth this d. sure. Reachin g for another spri g Come then let me tell m y fort une for y ou. He lorv e y o u he lorve you much there I ca n g o no farther i t i s t true for jokin oo g. A bby looked u at her companion wonderin p He h ad said it all so solemnly yet h i s face wa s still a I S

28 W E B S O F W H R twi nkle with i t s usual kin dly mi sch i e f th oug h demea th all somewhere in h i s ton e or man n e r she wa s remi n ded of a description he h imself h a d on ce her give n of th e be gin ni n g o f a cre vasse i n h i s own country. But t h e mi nutes were in de ed n umbere d for t h ou g hts like these. A sin g le flash of unutterable yearni n g illumined t h e g enial face in answer t o her questionin g look a n d then the g oodbyes overtook them. A n d some h ow the warm clasp of h i s hand made her for g et th e li g ht jocular words of h i s adi eux. Remember me when y ou pray! Mr. Breau wa s whisperin g t o Miss Phenic a n infinite ple adin g i n t h e h andsome youn g face. A n d Lieut. Molére s bla ck eyes were full of possibiliti es. Th us the y soon all ridin g 0 3 i n the moon li g h t.

29 CHA PTER IV. EXPECTA Ncv. Monday mornin g by break of da the y atmosphere fairly teemin wa s g with electrical rife pos sibilities wit h the wildest rumors of what had taken p la ce h wa s ta kin g place or mi g ht ta ke place any moment in the direct ion of Richmond and Petersbur g. Before the day many wa s hours old much became cer this tain The line broken at Petersbur : wa s g the posi ; tion of the Confederate army bein g no lon g er t e n able the had two cities of sity been neces g iven up to the mercy of the enemy the army movin ; was g slowly cautiously westward. A s a wary little mouse escaped for a moment from the paw of i t s tormentor creeps away under the ca t s very eye yet with so slow timorous apparently hope less a motion a s t o disarm vi g ilance until it can reach some place of safety lment General Lee or concea so s little handful of fearfully gged marched fa soldiers almost within touch of Ge neral Grant s ma g n i fi ce n t l y equipped army of not les s than with e x h a ust le s s resources behind them. A n d yet there were very few either in the army at home who had any doubt of the final escape or and of success Here Lee s an d there on e like army. filled with sandra Mr Woodson wa s Cas li ke fore. bodin g s and all knew that this retreat even if finally successful mea n t ha rdshi p s untold f or the Confed crate s. Be side s the se soldi e rs of th e Southe rn Con feder I S

30 wa rk of th e country th e y were a lso fathers sons W E B S O F W A R a c y were n ot merely soldi e rs patri ots th e bul brothers and lovers. Mrs. Woodson never sa t down to g r i eve a n d dread while there anythin wa s g le ft to do for th e comfort well bein or g of others. Th e smoke house was sti ll prett y well stocked with hams a n d part of a quarter of fresh beef hun g i n the cella r. Two of the lar g est hams were set t o boil and an immense roa st of beef in the oven. For Hi g h - brid g e Fa rmvi lle and Elmwood would i n all probability lie in the pathway of the army a n d t h would glad e soldiers doubtles s be of somethin g t o eat without havin g to cook it. Moreover if army comin on e were g their way th e other would be sure to follow and if the r yea s p r o visions had to g o it should preferably fall into th e h ands of friends rather than foes. M rs. Woodson had time to cook t h e remainder of the beef two more hams a n d a g oodly quantity of bread before the armies g ot there. A bout noon on Tuesday Lucy and Eddie came runnin g in with th e xcited cry e : Th e soldi ers a re comin g l Sure enou g h there wa s a s q uad of g ra y coa ts tin dismoun g at the door. In those days everyt hin g startlin wa s g A n d when. these proved soldiers t be stran o g ers n ot their there an instant Louisiana frie n ds wa s feelin g of the nearer approach of the dread which anticipations had been han g in g over them since Sunday. The however red soldiers themselves appea to be in the hi g hest spirits. We ll whip them yet l they reiterated i n reck les s bravado. Their g ayet y wa s almosé t oo much e ve n for th e I

31 W E B 3 r0 F W74R y o un g p e o ple. Mr. Woods on could n ot forbea r tellin g them he d considere i t ced mispla i n t h e pres ent conditi on of a fl a i rs. They looked surprised but accepted a little t h e re bufl with t olerable g ood na ture only replyin g that if he had be en in ca mp a s lon g a s they had he would find out soldiers were obli g ed t o keep u p their s pi i be able t rf s t o t endure the o hardships of such l a 1 e. If you ca n I suppose it i s very well Mr. Woodson conceded still a trifle un g raci ously and g ye i n them g rom. keenly asked what state they were South Ca rolina wa s the prom p t reply. Yet with a fee lin g of havin g lost ca ste Wi th t h e old g e n t le ma n they rather kept out of h i s way for the t e ma i n de r of their sta y a n d tried to cultivate Mrs. Woodson and the youn g ladies hopin g they would prove les s critica l. The men evidently enjoyed their dinner immensely. Before leavin g the leader of the squad drew Mrs. Woodson aside in a confidential way and sai d : I g ue i s s t secret s n o t o y ou that t h will e troops be comin g gh part throu this of t h country e prett y soon ow and said n soldiers a re t weak o have a silver and n ess for jewelry. He ghed if he thou lau a s g ht it r a rathe g ood joke. O f course are y ou g oin g hide t o ev e r ythin g of the sort before the here armies g e t or more than likely have alrea dy done so He g lan ced si g n i fi ca n tl y around the dinin g room where they happened be much t o as a s t o sa he had oticed there y n wa s much n ot i si n g h t. No r eplied i di ff tly Mrs Woodson n e ren we ve tly. concerned over ha be en t oo grea t h e afia i rs of th e coun t r y t o g i ve much thou ght t o our own. We I 7

32 W E B S O F W A R have n ot a g r ea t deal of silver but what we h ave i s sti ll wh e re i t i s usuall y kept. He drew a li ttle closer a n d spoke a s earnestl y as i f i t h a d be en matt e r of vita l intere st t o himself. I must seriously ur ge y o u t o att end t o th at ma t t e r a t once. Buryin g i s conceded t o be the safest p l a n a n d I noticed a splendid place I rode alon a s g thi in s morn g He described and d then indicate. with h i fin s g er a clump of youn g near pines th e If I had anythin kiln. g hide I should cer t o t a i n l y p ut it there. Bein g a little ofi the roads t h e t r00 p s ma y n ot notice it at a ll. A n d bein g of li m i t e d size t h e deposits will be t h e more readil y t e covered a fterwards. A s he waxed eloque n t on the adva n ta g es of h i s suggesti on M rs. Woodson g azed at him shar p ly curiously de further Hence the but ma n o re sponse. doubt ma n n o i gined he had duly sed her ma impres with h i wisdom and s h i personal s i nterest in her a fia i rs. I stron g ly suspect their lo yalty t o t h e Confcd crate Government i only coat deep muttered s Mr. Woodson with h i most severe expression he s a s watched the party g allopin g li so g ht - heart edly up th e road a n d throu g h the bi ate the g g into woods. Well exclaimed Woodson si Mrs. g hin g a sh s e t urned back into the house a mon g the thousands it could on ly be ex p e ct ed that some should be n ot quite of the ri ght stri pe but I m g lad we haven t come across any like that before. Somethin g about them had rufil e d her fea thers a s well a s those of her husband. A s the day passed without further invasions they p ut them down or stra a s deserters g glers a n d so n ot t be accounted like o for g enuine may soldiers h a wh o could tell p a ct ually Yan kee s p i They e s. 18

33 W E B I? U P W Z I? could n ot t alk them ove r wit h their Louisi a na f rie n ds for the reason th at Saturday they since h a d se en nothin g whatever of Ide Carrin them. g t on reporte d the Battery had n removed bee t o Farmville with t h e exception of a bare g uard the Brid for g e whi ch did n ot include any of their special acquaintance s a n d i f i had they could not have left their post t. Nothin g else broke th y e monoton of t h e lon g da y of waitin g and dull expectancy. A s A bby wa s gettin g a drink of wat e r be fore g o i n g t o bed sh e he rd subdued a mysterious voices be low at the ki tchen door. Sh tiptoed e t a position o di ctly r re ove t h e spe ak and made e rs out that some on e wa s i cret n se con fab with A unt Suky the r Moreove sh could e n ot cook. fail t the harsh raspin o re co gnize g twan g of a voice heard n ot many Yet hours before. could sh tch from either e ca H e r moth e r h ap side. penin g t appear at a near window o sh ed e be ckon for her t o join her. Mrs. Woodson also i n stantly re co g nized t h e voice of the stran g e r but wa s equa lly uns uccessful in di scoverin g the subj ect of con versa ' ti on. However both felt con firmed i n th e i n stin ct ive suspicion of which each h a d been conscious f rom the first with some self reproa ch th a t a s M r. Woodson h a d put it their dinner g uest s we re Con federates only gh the throu thickn of thei r ess uniforms. A s soon therefore a s M rs. Woodson saw t h e dim fi ure g of a man sneakin g off in th alon e sha dows g the roadsi de toward the ne g ro cabi n s sh called e t o Suk and asked her what y th soldier e Ya nkee h ad come back f or sci What er y ou t alki n bout Mi s Su e? I a i n seen n o soj e rs cepi n ti s de rn wha t y o u axed fer dm W

34

35 CHA PTER V. ON SA YLER S CREEK. If deferred maketh the hope heart sick what of the ded anticipation suspen of some dire calamity? Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday were to remember si hin days g g ly for their emptiness The very air one inhaled had rown heavy. g sultr y tously still if holdin porten a s g i breath a t s for st orm. Life itself seemed to Woodson pause. Mr. g ot u p early each mornin g a s wa s h i wont and went s t o se e the stock well fed the were driven up and ; cows milked the daily fed to the and e ; rations fowls gg s gathered O were iven usual for rders in. g th a s e three a day yet all the while with the thou meals g ht : Wh what may happen before those o knows meals are eaten! Mr. Woodson did not pretend to order out t h e plows. Full well he knew that restles s uncertaint y pervaded the cabins a s well a s the house. Miss Phe nie had made one faithful effort to g e t her little school i nto workin order Monday but her g on utter failure discoura ed her from attemptin g g it a g ain. Mr s. Woodson kept the inevitable knit tin g in hand from force of habit and it went on mechanically. A ll the powers of mind and body were straini n g out alon g the and pathwa approachin various roads y s g the h ouse i search of comin n g events. These southside Vir g inia counti es had been shut i n s thus f a r. For while the able bodied men and ma n y under the ag e of full manhood were doin gdut y 2 1

36 W E B S O F W A R i n th army e a n d t h e families at home lea rn i n g e ve? letter in the le ssons of privation a n d endurance sel helpfulness a n d self ial the excitement - den con se quent quick on transition of occupancy from on e army other t o a n wh ich such familiar wa s experience in many alon places g th border e wa s unknown t o There h a d been no fi htin in that section and them. g soldiers especially in lar g e bodies were still a n ov ci O f t h enemy they had seen nothin ty. e g. M Woodson looked out r. on h i s fields cult ivated g. with so much care and tried t o picture them t o h i m self scenes of desolation such a s he had read of i n t h e pathway of Sherman s ruth les s hordes ; Mrs. Woodson wondered if the reckless destroyers would n ot ve undisturbed her settin lea g hens and turkeys a n d Spare old Betsy t h e cow for the sake of her youn calf g! The g irls freque n tly discus sed g ood hidin g pla ces for th and their little after emselves treasures th e should have sed and conjured up Confederates pas phantom dreads in connection with the idea of t e i i na n i n for g a n len y g th of ti me the enemy within s me s. H ow little conception a n y o n e h a d of th lity e re a which wa s immediately before them. O n Wednesday after earnest consultation with h i s wife Mr. Woodson summoned the ne g roes hea ds of families wh o were accustomed to come up for supplies. A fter g i vin g them to understa nd a s clea rly a s pos sible how much and h ow little this pas sin g of th Northern army mi e g ht mean them he t o e x plained that t h stored feed m would e provisions t o the probably safer in heir than where it be t own hands wa s an d proceeded to divide a l portion y of it amon Enou g them. g h left in the wa s smoke house a n d st ore room t o avert th e suspici on that a n y h a d

37 pa ckin g a preserve jar with needles pi ns thread W E B S O F W 'A R been dispose d of. O n e barrel of flour on l y wa s brou ght into the house a n d con verted i nto a lamp nd by a lon sta g table cover. Later in the day some found on e Mrs Woodson. button s etc. which a s sh e said W e mi g ht be sorely bestead for before it would be possible t o renew t h e supply. This with a few little tri n kets and valu ables wa s buried i n a corner of the yard under a rose bush whose supportin frame had succumbed g t o four of ne lect and left it years g a mas s of prickly green the never failin bosom on g of mother earth. There i thin more I must either s on e g do before army g here said ets Woodson Mr. resolutely. to have the cask This wa s of apple brandy rolled down to the river kn ock out the head with h i s own hands a n d roll it in. It wa s early Thursday mornin g when Ide Cart in g t on came for the first time since Monday. He told of a party of soldiers wh o had spent t h e previous i n g ht at h i father s s. A n d do y o know he added with a quizzical u shake of h i close cropped d I firmly believe s hea they were Yankees A owin smile passed round the circle they kn g a s be gan compari n g notes and provin g identity. In answer to the question wh y he supposed them he replied Yankees : They could match any New En g lander livin in g skin and then a g q uestions h i face wed itself s scre up into a comical grimace the Madam evidently r e c n i ze d her kit h and kin. og l f e from the front time that the news this wa s Confederate army h a d reached A melia Court House a n d were slowly movin g in their direction. The count y of A melia wa s on e of thei r closest 2 3

38 W E B S O F W A R n ei g hbors. A new throb of excitement thrilled them a s they thou g ht of General Lee s army with all the friends a n d relatives it contained bein g so near. Yet everyt hin g around them wa s a s quiet a n d peace ful if there had been no cruel war a s g oin g Ide on. persuaded the take a stroll with him down g irls t o toward t h It e wa s th first ti they had e mc creek. been outsi de of the yard since Sunday. A ll the more beautiful appeared the tender sprin green of tree g and Shrub after these of housin days g and the warm mistin g atmosphere grateful to wa s a s t h e g i rls a s to every other g rowin thin g g. When they reached the brow of th e hill from which they were accustomed to si g nal Pansy they stopped and looke d wistfully acros s the intervenin g vale towards the pines from whence they had so often seen her emer e in answer to their g call. voluntarily put her hand to her mouth t o A bby i n send the usual messa e up the suddenly there g hills when broke upon their ears sounds of a very diff erent kind. Somethin g they had never heard before yet could not fail to reco g nize th e boom - m boom - m of ca n non and the still more terrifyin g po p p o p p o p of rapidly firin g rifles. It could have but on e meanin g. There wa s fi g h t i n g s omewhere close at hand. The little g roup stood a moment huddled to g ether with blanched and excited watchin faces eyes g throu g h the g ath erin mist for the flash of the g g uns. It farther wa s n off than the into which they o pines had peeri n a moment been g a g o for the si g ht of a girl s Now the pretty litt le body of woods wa s face. a bedlam of terror. A if were not enou s this g h a g eat blaze of li r g ht burst out upon the sk y a n d a few for moments l swa lowed u rythin p eve g. 24

39 W E B S 'O F W A R could stand Ide i t lon n o g er. I m g oin g over there to s e e h e cried e xcitedly. You all run back home quick! Simultaneously they broke into a wild rum t h e back the way they had down to girls Ide come. ward the creek with boundin the foot g pulses across brid g e and up the opposite hill in the direction of the p ines. Both th Woodson e old place and Mr Locket t s. house were filled with and Ide soldiers cannon. climbed a tree out of ran g e and hidden amon g i t s like a squirrel the whole pa branches g eantry of ba t tle before horrors wa s him. Sheridan s cavalry had made a sudden dash upon Ewell s corps. The rushed into Confederates Lockett house s Mr. and be an firin g g back from the and windows doors. B ut Sheridan by a fierce onslau g ht with overwhelm i n gnumbers succeeded in dislod g in g them from that and the next house also th ou g h the y st ubbom l y di s p u t e d every step. O the whole march from Richmond the South n? e rn army wa s sadl y. hampered and impeded by their ba own gg a g e Not that the car soldiers train. ried with them any of exces s luxurious appliances for their camp life far from it. The truth i s quite a lar g e number of the ambulances were filled with noncombat ants makin g t heir exodus under shelter of the Southern army from the dreaded chan g e of re g i me in the desert ed cities. it which made the ba This wa s gg a g e train so disproporti onate the size of the army constantly to retardin g and i mpedin g i t s movemen ts besides n o ssi ce t at i n a heavier g g uard than could be spared. A g ain and a g ain all alon g the way detachmen ts of th e emy would dash in e n se t fire t o a number of th e 25

40 on ly pos sibility left. W E B S O F W A R ambulan ces wag or on s a n d dash out a g leavin ain g on fla g r a t i on con stern ati on a n d fusion con behin d gh em. Thus sorel y be set t h e Con federates past the mill p on d a n d t h e advance g uar d reached the two brid g es ove r twin branches of Se yler s Creek. The remain i n g divi sion s alas became hopeles sly blockaded in t h deep e cut din lea g them and into t o this con fusion t h emy poured a e en g allin g fire from th two e h ouses of which they h a d g otten pos ses sion. The ln e vitable de struction of the whole corps s eemed t h e Lockett knowin Mr. g the he did easily roads a s surmi sed what had happened from the direction and fie rcen e s s of the firin g. He came out from h i s shel t e r to se e if it would be practicable to g e t across t o t h e Con federate s a n d tell them of the other road over t h e hill. Just then he spied Ide clamberin g down h i s tree with the same idea a n d he would be the better me ssen g e r. Ide needed but little instruction and fleet of foot a n d small of stature he g ot h i sa s mes g e eral t o Gen Ewell without by sendin the Thus mishap. g ba g g a g e t rain by the road he told of the clo gg i n g wa s reli eved and th e army saved from annihilation. O n h i s return Ide stood g a zin g at the si g hts a n d sufferi n g s aroun d him h i s soul sickenin g with h or ror. Then a piercin g cry sounded a moment above th e re st a n d he kn ew somethin g woeful had be fallen h i s brothe r Pa

41 CHA PTER VI. on TH E BA TTLEFIELD. A t th e an g le of t wo roads where t h e firin g had been fiercest the g round wa s thickly strewn with dead dyin g and wounded men and horses piled i n merciles s confusion one upon another. medley Into of sufferin this g Ide had been drawn by t h sound of e h i brother The Confeder s s voice. had sed unable to render the least ates pas on a s si to their wounded sta n ce comrades. Steppin g carefully over and between the e inan Ide peered into pale distorted ea mas ses faces g erly callin h i brother There no s s wa s res ponse name. and t e lad feared momentarily the more he should never hear that voice a g Yet while h i s own ain. sturdy oun heart beav with g wa i burden s so t of s dread e could disre n ot g ard t e piteous crie s for Water l r wate! which g reeted him from all wh o had life utter t o it. Nobody knew any better than he of the sprin g close by in the hollow whe re the water wa s alwa y s cool and clear and a g ourd or t wo handy. But h ow ver busy he mi e g ht be supplyin g demand this a d n glad he to it for those a s wa s do wh had probably o g i their life for the cause he loved than ven n o les s they h i alert youn s g were busier eyes than hands a n d feet searchin g eve face a n d form for some f a miliar lineame n t by Wh l ch t o i den tify h i s brother. A t last he reco i ze d th e colt they had ra ised a t home. It h ad been i lled a n d in fallin g h a d ca u g h t i ts ride r 2 7

42

43 W E B S O F W A R her nd husba until a s Ide e x pressed it s h e h ad h im just where sh wanted him e - meek a sheep a s a s i n the slau hter g pen. A ss mi ght be supposed life in such a hom e was not ideal. Paul wa s glad of an opport unity to esca pe by g oin g into the army only re g rettin g what Ide would need bear t o alone. It wa s n ot hard Ide mi so on a s g ht be supposed. He had a g ood humored way of castin g ofi re and ca at t h e same time resistin g i mposition which h i s brother had n ot A n d then he proud to wa s have a brother in the. Southern army everybody ; wa s i n those days. Still all throu g h the temporary priva tion of companionship sorer than anybody drea med Ide had comforted himself by lookin g forward t o a future when either he would be old enou g h to joi n Paul in the army the war bein or g over h i brother s should return if not covered with the g lory of per s onal ach ievement at least wearin g the common of Then they would have a laurels little victory. farm and home of their own hat he. dead white This t sa w this face had never once entered into h i and it left s calculations h i s life an utt er blank. A Ide beside the still form s sa t roused thus ever and anon from h i gloomy reflecti by the s ons pathetic cry Water! water! listenin g in a dumb uncari n g way to the hisses of the sin shells pas g at intervals over them he sa w one of these shells strike an ambu lance which had been driven aside into t h e woods and either intentionall y or unintentionally allowed self to be left Ide it keen unhampered s eyes behind. by h i s gloomy thou had noted it and supposed g hts it had been abandoned for some reason thou g h in better condition than some which had g one on. A s t h e shell struck a n d burst both horses plun g ed a n d 29

44 W E B S O F W A R fell dead. Th e wa g on cover cau g ht fire and a woma n s ag o n ize d shriek ran g out upon the air. Pa ul shivered a n d opened h i s eyes. Reco g nizin g Ide h e gripped h i s han d feverishly and exclaimed : Go Ide! Go t o her s he s a woman in trouble hurt - n ever mind me ; I m all ri g ht l and shut h i s a e yes g ain. The j o y of owin kn g h i brother s wa s n ot d after dea all nerved Ide to do h i s biddi n g. Hastenin g toward t h e ambula nce whence the cry had come he s a w emer g i n g from the now blazin g concern 3. youn g g i rl strivin g sustain the insensible form t o of her mother Ide quickly relieved her. of her burden and carry i n it a safe distance from the burnin wreck g t o g laid it a on be d of soft pine at a place where it ta gs would be sheltered to some extent by a beetlin g rock. after showin Here g t h youn e g girl the way to t h e b pr h rot fi g a n d promisin g return he went back t o t o h i s er. Ide saw the bri g ht shinin eyes g at him away yards but there a silent wa s hush-h - h on the which lips kept h i m from yieldin g t o the g lad outcry he felt. He quietly picked up h i s second g ourd lyin g on the ground beside h i brother and went down the hill s wonderin g g l When he came back time this adly. Paul motioned to him to pretend to g i ve it to t h e dea d ma n ne xt h i m and while doin g so said t o h i m i n low t ones : Tell me wa s sh e hurt or only scared by the fire a n d shell? Ide told him. Then Paul said with closed and scarce eyes lips movin g at all I I be lieve am all ri g ht n ow only stunned wa s a n d smothered. But I will n ot be taken prisoner 3 0

45 W E B S ' O F W A R and i f I mist ke a n ot th sur e g eon ambul s a n ce i s al ready Be cauti ous! let Do n ot h i m see y o u here. talkin g I am t o me. g oin g crawl d gh t o roun throu the dead until I g e t over yonder behind the hill out of this me s s. Le t me kn ow where the sur g eon f a s tens h i s horse While Ide held the atte n ti on of the only live Ya n kee anywhere near them Paul crawled over behind pile of dead men and then for a a horses li t tle while pretended to be dead the a s a s rest. Wh en Ide sed rer pas nea for furt he r orders Pa ul whispered : Go off er t help the geon and if o sur y ou ca n brin g me a little brandy. Ide g ve him a little partin a g push with h i s foot a s if to s e e if he were entirely dead then with h i s gourd of water made h i s way to the sur g eon wh o wa s already at work amon g h i s own men. How about your rebel men? the sur g eon asked h avi n g tacitly accepted Ide s offer of assista nce b y givin g him somethin g t o do. Most of them dea d I fear Ide replied with a rather woebe g one fa ce. are not much accustomed to sort You this of thin g I g the doctor said lookin ues s g at Ide h alf amusedly. Not much Ide ackn owled g ed. some they were busy to For time t oo ta O n h i s lk. first trip to the sprin g Ide carried a little whiskey t o h i awhile he could not find Then s For brother. him. he heard the low Whist A s Ide pas sed him slowly holdin g h i s head h i g h a s if tryin g not to se e the mutilat e d dead he heard If you will keep h i m busy with h i s head the other wa y f or fifteen minutes n ow I will be out of 3!

46 W E B S ' O F W A R When Ide made h i s ne xt trip he saw Paul on th e ur s g eon horse with a woman in front s of h i m and behind scuddin on e g u p t h hill e towa rd h i s Uncle Tom s.

47 CHA PTER VII. on r u n our sm 'rs or m u ms. It wa s but a pathetic quota of Ewell s g a lla n t corps which reached the rendezvous desi g nated b y Gen. Lee at Rice s. lay restin Hundreds g the round alon on g g Sa y l e r s creek their fig htin all done were g ; thousands pris havin oners g yielded cause gly be s o overwhelmin outnumbered and at such disadvanta g e in positi on there room even die fi wa s n o t o g htin g. In th midst e of the fiercest melee at the twi n brid g when the heroic remnant es wa s con testi n g every inch of i way to reunion with t s t h main army e Col. Weith hea rd and reco g nized h i s dau ghter s cr y knew it must be some unusual terror or distres s which wrun g it from her yet at that moment h e dared not leave h i post fly s t o t her To o do help. so would mean de rn ora li za t i on if n ot utter destruo tion t o h i s whole command. A soon they had driven s a s back the pestilent foe and their near proximity the main army t o gave some assurance of temporary exemption from an no y ance he rode quickly back in the direction from which the cry had come. He wa s fort unate in st umblin g upon Ide at the spri n g wh o g a ve him a ll the i nformation he wanted. It wa s t oward noon when h e reach ed Mr. Wood son s. Excit ed fa ces peered at him from the doors of th e cabins h e passed and from cv window of the house he wa s approachi n g. The oor wa s t a r dil y ope n ed a s it see med t o h i s impatien ce by th e 33

48 W E B S O F W A R old g entleman wh o speedily made h i m welcome when he en q uired for h i s wife and dau g hter that had found refu g e there. A t the sound of her father s voice Hyla spran g t o her feet with a g lad cry all the horror and chill of the war sli p pi n g from her shoulders like a mon strous cloak. Sh e wa s only a child a g ain now with h i s bi g broad Shoulders to h e a r everythin g for her. Mrs. Weith had been delicate for a lon gwhile. In consequence much re had devolved upon H ca y la their only chi lon But a s ld. g her within a s father wa s reach to sh are the burdens and g ive needed e n cour a g e me n t the responsibility had only seemed t o make her more winsomely A he beside s s a t h i s womanly. wife with Hyla on h i lap they told s h i m all they had p a s sed throu g h since li e had put them into the am at Richmond ch r in the driver bula n ce a g g t kee o p with t h Confederate train at all e hazards. commotion at the front door the Some startles group thou into g the soldier hts for s sa But it fety. i ly another batch s on of Confederate i soldiers n rch sea of somethin Poor fami shed fel g t o eat. lows t h e rations which to have met them at were A melia ville. C. Hence they had had st nothin almo g since H. had by some mistake g one t o Burk leavin Richmond g It three days wa s ce r before. fainly a ate forethou ht fortun g of Woodson Mrs s. t o make such ample provision for they came thick a n d fast all that afternoon and sh able e wa s t o su p ply a g o odly number with bread and meat. When that threatened give t o out sh had e fire s kin dled i n ev e ry fireplace i n th e house and th e a she s filled with p ota toes t o roast a n d han d out with salt. Thus man y more wen t grate fully on their wa y. Th e day was far spent. The firin g c on ti n ued 34

49 W E B S O F W A R Spa smodically on the opposite hill a n d C on fede ra t es continued to come and be fed. Towards eveni n g a compa ny of cavalry were p r0 p o si n t o ca mp in the The family were i cli n n t o con g yard. r a t u late over the prospect themselves f havin o g this protection durin the ni ht but g g Weith shook h i s Col. head dubi A skin ously. g for a field g he lass took a rapid urvey of the enemy cam s s p. Look for yourself he said to the Captain. are already tu rnin g the cannon on the house. They For you to remain here destruction for yourself means and the ood people of the Woodson g Mrs house.. n ow joine d him in ur g in g the Captain t o move ofi immediately which he did. A few later a squad moments of Yanke e s came ridin g up in tipsy do threatenin to shoot brava g Mr. B ut t h twili ht fallin and thou e Woodson. g wa s g g h they had no doubt been sent expres sly t o find out i f there were any about they did ven Confederates n ot ture into the house. A fter thi s Col. Weith be g an to g row restless. He que stioned Mr. Woodson clos ely a s to the river fords and t h e different roads throu g h the country. Paul Carrin g ton i s h ere i f yo and he can g o to ether g h all the e i and {buts of kn ows n s this art of the country far er than I bett M W r. a dde d to the in formation he h a d to g i ve. Paul wa s about to be off but promptly si g nified h i s readi n e ss t o wait. Hyla and h e r moth er h a d followed anxi ously t o the porch. They clun g t o th eir loved on e a s if t h ey could not let him g o. While Paul with on e h un g r y look turn ed t h e an g le of the porch out of si g ht a n d gri ppi n g th e raili n g wi th a fierce tension compres sed h i s lips and strove to bani sh from h i s mind a p e r siste n t pict ure. 35

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