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FIRST CONFEDERATE MONUMENT ERECTED IN NORTH CAROLINA. DECEMBER 30TH, 1868. FAYETTEVILLE.
UNCOFFINED on the battle-field,
Those dreamless ones are sleeping,
Unconscious of the memories
Left in hearts that still are weeping -
Weeping for those that never came -
Brothers, and friends, and lovers,
Those gallant ones whose precious forms
Virginia's soil now covers.
Their memory to us is dear;
Virginia too should love them,
For with their blood her fields are soaked,
Tho' now so green above them.
Where they were needed, there they came,
Lee "could not do without them"
And never on a fair fought field
Could foreign valor rout them.
On Tennessean hillsides fair,
Alas, how thick they're lying!
And Pennsylvania's rocky heights
Witnessed their faith undying -
Faith in their cause, which made their wills
So strong they ne'er did falter
In giving life - 'twas all they had -
To lay on freedom's altar.
Beyond the Mississippi's flood,
The grass is o'er them springing,
And 'neath Atlantic's sullen roar,
They hear the mermaids singing.
Do these need stones, to keep their deeds
Fresh in the hearts left behind them?
Alas! alas! the young must learn
While we can still remind them.
Then raise your monumental stone
To tell the grand old story
How splendidly her soldier boys
Fought for the old State's glory!
And let the little children know
The flag their fathers died for,
Teach them the cause they loved in vain,
The principles they tried for.
For is not true, tried patriot love
A corner-stone worth trying,
O'er which to build our country up?
Then not in vain their dying.
And when this day comes yearly round
Get out the flag, and wave it
Above the record of their deeds
Of those who died to save it.
THE town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, although situated amid the piney woods, may be called a picturesque place. It is built on three natural terraces on the Cape Fear River, and the big Clarendon Bridge is the most conspicuous feature in the landscape and the only bridge on the river. Doubtless, the horses, if they could speak, would say the river hill was a very important consideration, as they have to haul all the merchandise brought to Fayetteville up its steep and often muddy though comparatively short ascent, but the inhabitants at large seldom see or think of it. I never saw the river at this point till the day "everybody" went to "see off" the two first companies that were raised in the county to join the Southern army. In my grandfather's day the town was really on the river, and the shabby old dilapidated buildings that still remain were the abode of the elite, but, like the course of empire, it has gradually taken its way westward, and one does not see a single substantial dwelling for half a mile, and not a store is to be seen until the second terrace is reached, nearly a mile from the river. The market is just at the top of this short steep ascent.
The second level extends about half a mile westward where Haymount begins to rise, or "The Hill" as it is called by the town people. The town is intersected by three large creeks, two of which are beautiful, clear and swift running streams, furnishing in ante-bellum days water power for a number of grist mills and three cotton factories. There were besides a carriage manufactory, known all over the
South, besides turpentine distilleries and smaller workshops, which, including two other factories in the vicinity, gave us the notion that Fayetteville was quite a manufacturing town. The corporate limits were at the foot of Haymount, but practically "The Hill" settlement was a part of the town. It was laid off in streets and squares and the residents, my father being one, were almost without exception men doing business in town. Several of our largest dealers and most prominent lawyers lived there, and every morning early, numbers of one-horse rockaways might be seen conveying them down the hill to business, and their daughters to school. The handsome residence surrounded with flowers, immediately to the right as you left behind the town proper, was the home of the late E. J. Hale, editor of the Observer. On the hill were the most beautiful flower gardens and some of the handsomest houses; here also was the United States Arsenal.
The old original Arsenal, counted the handsomest collection of buildings the town could boast of, included three fine residences for the officials. The buildings were all painted cream-color, with brown trimming, and were arranged in a hollow rectangle with the citadel in the center. This was a large oblong three story building with an observatory on each end of the roof. The intervening grounds were laid out with walks and drives and set with grass and evergreens. Large oaks dotted it at intervals. The whole was surrounded by a high wall having a tower at each corner and surmounted by an iron railing. The powder magazines were outside the enclosure, in the rear, at a respectful distance. The Arsenal grounds were one square back from the main street, and fronted at right angles to it toward the east. The ground fell away rapidly to the south and east, giving it a commanding position in the direction of the river, about two miles off. The view
from the citadel was very fine. The town lay at its feet and two very large ponds, they might be called lakes, sparkled in the sun to the south. Altogether we thought it a very pretty place. We brought our visiting friends here. 'Twas our central park on a small scale. But to-day there is not one brick upon another, and one of the chief grudges which the people bear Sherman is for the destruction of their Arsenal.
Before the days of railroads, Fayetteville had a large trade from the western part of the State and upper counties of South Carolina. In my day, however, she had lost all but the turpentine trade of the piney woods country. She had been for many years apparently a finished town. There were no fine public buildings nor elegant houses, no very wealthy people in the place, but there were neat and convenient houses, well furnished, and a great deal of solid comfort. The parlor of one of our well-to-do citizens might be taken as a fair type of the whole house. The people lived well and were whole-hearted in their hospitality. They cared for the destitute and unfortunate at home. Being fifty miles from the railroad, the place was really a large country village, though ranking third as to population among the towns of the State, and took things slow and easy. Wilmington laughed at her being a year behind the fashions, but she did not mind that, caring little for vain display. The place was originally a Scotch settlement, and first called Campbellton, and the comparatively isolated situation which she had held for so many years, tended to preserve the original characteristics of her fathers almost intact in her people to the breaking out of the war. They preferred plain comfort and the education of their children to that feverish striving after display, often with very
slender backing, which is so characteristic of to-day in our fast little railroad towns. They were cautious, economical, industrious, in earnest about everything, and not a little stubborn in their prejudices. They were religious and, considering their means, supported their churches well. Fayetteville was to them the only place in the world really worth living in, and they had a smile of superior pity for the fastness of their neighbors on the railroads who laughed at their old-fashioned notions.
When Secretary Floyd, of Buchanan's Cabinet, moved a quantity of arms and ammunition from Northern arsenals and distributed it among those located at the South, he added to the small quantity of stores in the Fayetteville Arsenal. Then the citizens began to find out for the first time what an arsenal was made for. Previously it had been especially supposed to be mainly useful as a comfortable berth for old Capt. Bradford, who generally held the place of port commander, and kept bachelor's hall in one of the fine houses, having several other old gentlemen as his assistants in taking care of the empty building. We children thought it was a jolly place for fireworks on the Fourth of July. There was a machine shop of some kind run by a thirty-horse power steam engine, but nothing of any great consequence was done. 'Twas but child's play as compared with the work done afterwards by the Confederate Government. Now, however, all was changed; there was a large quantity of arms and ammunition stored here, and suppose towards Christmas, when the negroes were generally supposed to be taken with annual longings to "rise," the munitions of war should prove a temptation too strong for them to resist? Timid people began to ask each other how Capt. Bradford and his old gentlemen were going to guard them. Men's hearts were failing them for looking for those things that were coming
The scent of war was in the air. The negroes might take the infection. The end of all the talk was that a request was sent from some of our citizens to the secretary, asking that a guard of soldiers be sent to protect the Arsenal. The request was complied with, and the people breathed free for a while.
I was a very young miss in my teens, then, but I remember as well as yesterday my impressions on seeing the first real soldiers I had ever beheld, except our post commanders, who always wore citizens' clothes. The morning they arrived we were wending our way down the hill to school, and met them marching up to the Arsenal. There were forty men, including officers. It was a drizzly fall day and they were wrapped in their long overcoats. They were artillerymen, and carried no guns upon their shoulders, and as they walked quietly along without fife or drum I thought they looked very poky and humdrum, not near so martial as our volunteer companies on the glorious Fourth, parading with their gleaming bayonets, gay uniforms and plumed hats, to the music of a band playing "Hail Columbia!" We thought very little more of them at the time, but the day came when they became suddenly invested with a fearful importance in our inexperienced eyes.
The winter wore on, as winters will always, whether men's hearts are heavy or light; the spring came and with it the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, and the proclamation. The character of our people being such as I have described, it is not surprising that like the border people generally they had hitherto hesitated at taking the serious step of separating from the Union, but when
"Abe's proclamation in a twinkle,
Stirred up the blood of Rip Van Winkle,"
they sprang to arms as one man. It will be remembered how North Carolina then went out of the Union without any ceremony, and companies were raised and equipped, and regiments formed, before the State had time for the formal secession, which took place on twentieth of May. Fayetteville had two companies, fully equipped, in Raleigh before that day. We had already two holiday volunteer companies, of not more than forty or fifty men each. They proceeded to fill up their ranks, and soon had over a hundred men each on their rolls. The women were as anxious to do their part as the men, and there was plenty for them to do. The volunteers were to be fitted out, and there were miles of sewing to be done, to get all the needed garments put together. But before we got well started with our needles Governor Ellis sent orders to Gen. Draughan, who commanded the county militia, to call out his men and take possession of the Arsenal, before the authorities at Washington could send in reinforcements. Ah! then there was hurrying to and fro. Monday was the day appointed for the great undertaking. I have forgotten the exact date, but it was about the middle of April. The ladies had been at work fixing up hats for the volunteers. It had been decided that all the superfluous ornaments should be removed from the coats of the old members of the companies, and these garments put on a war footing. They were now to be put to a different use from that for which they were originally made. The fanciful helmets, with their bright colored plumes, were to be exchanged for soft hats. But we thought that soldiers must have a plume in their hats, so it was decided that a black feather would be the correct thing with which to go into real war, and there was a call for contributions of feathers, which came in from the ladies in abundance. It was in the midst of this decoration of hats that the order for our men to take their first march up to the cannon's mouth
was given. It was necessary to go to work after service Sunday to get all the hats ready in time for next day's work. Cartridges, too, could be made by the women, and all hands were busy.
All the county militia were put in requisition for the deed of daring, and early next morning in every direction they were coming in. Young and old, rich and poor, flocked to the place of rendezvous. There was a company of "Home Guards" formed for this special occasion, comprising the citizens over age, and every man in town that could shoulder a gun, except the preachers, was under arms. There was our middle aged physician, who stood at the head of our "faculty," and was generally believed by us to be the first doctor of the age, mounted on a prancing steed, with a feather in his hat, on duty as a staff officer. There was a well known portly old lawyer, pompous but true hearted, marching as private in the ranks by the side of a white haired merchant whose spare form held a heart beating with the resolute blood of the Scots. Bald-headed presidents of banks, and grizzly-bearded clerks walked side by side, resolved to do or die. Few of these old gentlemen probably had shot a squirrel in thirty years, or taken as long a walk as the distance from the rendezvous up hill to the Arsenal, but they swelled the ranks of the mighty army, and doubtless helped to convince the handful of men who held the stronghold that "resistance was useless."
But would there be any resistance on the part of the forty drilled and disciplined soldiers who comprised the garrison? That was a question which filled the hearts of the women with fear, for there was not a house that did not have one or two men in the field that day. Brevet-Major Anderson, the captain of the company, had already resigned his
commission, but had not heard from Washington. He was sick in bed moreover, and Lieut. DeLagnal was in command of the men. The lieutenant's predilections were not so well known. The orderly sergeant had deserted with the intention of joining one of our companies whenever safe opportunity should arrive and was in hiding, some of our young men could doubtless have told where. The relations previously existing between the garrison and townspeople had not become strained since the preparations for war set in. The officers went and came to the hotels as usual, where they boarded with their wives. Of course it would be folly in a handful of men so far from their base, and in the heart of a hostile country, to resist, as eventually they would be obliged to surrender or die.
But should they consider it their duty to destroy the Arsenal or resist its capture, with their superior discipline and their artillery within the shelter of the walls, they might mow down hundreds of our raw militia before they could be overwhelmed by numbers, the artillery of the attacking force consisting of two old iron guns of small calibre which had been used for many years to fire salutes on the glorious days of our republic. My father had died only two months previously, and the brother who had taken his place in the large family was in the ranks with his townsmen. The position of the Arsenal, surrounded with dwellings, with the town close at the foot of the hills, would have necessitated fearful havoc among our houses from the use of artillery. Fayetteville had been burned up twice in the business life of my father, but a common home made fire, though fearful enough in itself, would be rendered a hell with flying shot and hissing shells added to the horrors of the scene. So thought and felt our women on that eventful morning. The men all professed to be confident that the place would be surrendered
on demand by such a large force as we proposed to send up the hill. Nevertheless they looked serious, and probably during the four years of the war never was a morning of greater suspense endured than on the eventful day "when the Arsenal was taken."
The mention of that day excites a smile now in Fayetteville. It appears in the light of a burlesque upon war; but our sufferings were none the less real at the time. I have always regretted that we did not turn out to see our band, twelve hundred strong, as they marched up the hill, but at our house the elders thought it advisable that the women should keep quiet at home, and we missed the imposing sight. There is a very deep cut in the road at the steepest part of the long hill, however, and from the top of the bank on either side a good view of the advancing host was had by the hill people near by, whose terror was overcome by their curiosity. But as we lived more than half a mile further on we saw nothing of it. Doubtless as the Home Guard passed irreverent girls were found to laugh. It is not often in this world that any situation of affairs can be found where school girls will not find something to laugh at. "Dear me! how much fighting can these old men do?" "Do look at old Mr. --- . He looks as if a feather would knock him over !" "Lawyer--- looks as if he thought himself Napoleon himself; and I'll venture to say he's tired half to death now." "Don't you know some of them are scared?" "Goodness! Lucy, let's go home; suppose they should send a volley of shells right over here?" and so on.
But the regiment passed on its way, and arriving at the proper distance, halted and sent in a flag of truce by the hands of the General's staff, demanding the surrender of the Arsenal to the forces of the
State of North Carolina. Lieut. DeLagnal was in command at the time. He observed the proprieties of the occasion with becoming gravity. Gen. Draughan with his staff conducted him under the flag of truce to survey the attacking force, and he was convinced that it was useless for him to contend against such odds. He asked of the captain of the company "how many rounds of ammunition his men had?"
"Three." was the answer.
"Do you consider three rounds sufficient to go into battle with?"
"When that is gone, sir, we'll club our guns."
It was a warm day for the season, and the new soldiers were very thirsty and saw no reason why they should not refresh themselves with a drink of water while waiting to hear whether or no that hour might be their last. But one valiant captain who had worked himself up into the proper frame of mind for the stern realities of war, thought doubtless it was very unsoldierly to be complaining of thirst after so short a walk under an April sun. He sternly informed his men that they did not come there to drink water, but to die. After much parley and what seemed an almost interminable delay on the part of the waiting and anxious women, it was agreed that the Arsenal and all its contents were to be given up to the State troops on condition that the garrison should be allowed to salute their flag before lowering it and should have the liberty of returing to Washington with their baggage in safety. DeLagnal being the only officer available, considered it his duty to stay by them till they were put in charge of the proper authorities. So the Arsenal was taken.
The salute was fired first, the Stars and Stripes were lowered, then our men marched in and raised the State flag and saluted it. The United States troops left the old flag behind when they went away and some of the ladies afterward converted it into a
Confederate flag, when the Stars and Bars had been settled upon. When Col. Childs, with his company of Confederate soldiers, evacuated the place before the march to the sea overwhelmed it, he carried off the old flag, and the final fate of it was to be torn in strips and distributed among his lady friends as mementoes. I have one of them still in my possession.
In the mean time, in our little neighborhood on the very verge of the Hill settlement, half a mile from the Arsenal, and half that distance from the main road, we were cut off from sight of the hill summit by groves of trees, and could not see the flag, nor hear anything that was going on. We were very quiet at our house and tried to go about our usual employment, but the servants were frightened half out of their wits. With wild eyes the middle-aged cook came in.
"Mistis," she cried, with trembling lips, "I hearn them people was gwine ter throw a bum over dat way and one over dis 'er way, befo dey give up de Ars'nal, and I jis come ter tell you I was gwine down in de holler."
We heard afterwards that the gulleys in the hillside were lined that morning with the frightened negroes.
Our nearest neighbor was a near relation, a maiden lady, one of those persons who always look for the worst. The dear old lady was in a terrible state of mind, and we all felt the responsibility of supporting her in the trying hour, although her own status in the contest was not greater than that of her neighbors all round. We had all been accustomed to hear salutes fired on National festivals by our town's people in a slow and deliberate manner, with an interval of several minutes between shots; but when the United States soldiers fired off their thirty-one guns in rapid succession with scarcely a second between, 'twas an awful sound in our ears. We thought
surely it was a broadside mowing down our devoted band. Our excited neighbor seemed to take it for granted that her brother and his son "had rushed into the field and foremost fighting fell" at the first shot, and she began walking up and down her front piazza, wringing her hands, screaming at the top of her voice, "Oh, my poor brother! Oh, my poor John !" She could be heard all over the neighborhood. All the rest of us were as much frightened, but we did not scream.
At length I remembered that the flag could be seen from the house of a neighbor, perhaps three hundred yards off, but out of hearing.
"I'll run over to Mr. W's and see if the flag is up," said I, and away I sped though it was towards the field of battle; and when I put my foot on the high piazza - lo ! the bare flag-staff greeted my delighted eyes.
The lady of the house was seated on the piazza apparently calmly sewing, (she was one of the women who helped to bear the burdens of the world,) but I had no time for a visit to our good friend that day.
"I must run right back," I said, "everybody is frightened nearly to death over our way, and cousin - is almost crazy."
That was the promptest errand I ever did, and
probably among the most acceptable in its results.
So passed that eventful day, at that time doubtless the most anxious that Fayetteville had seen in that generation. Some simple souls imagined the war was over. One old lady remarked that she had seen one war, and hoped never too see another. But the provoking part to us females was to hear, as we discussed the day with our returned braves in the evening, how it had come out that the heads on both
sides had had a private consultation beforehand, and the terms of the surrender had been agreed upon and papers signed in a very friendly manner. The parade of the day had been a mere comedy to set things right at Washington, but of course the rank and file were kept in ignorance of this fact till after all was over.
Lieut. James DeLagnal took his men at once to Washington and handed them over to the department. The other two lieutenants belonging to the company had never been to Fayetteville. They sided with the Union, and we heard that this company was among the regular troops who bore the brunt of the first battle of Manasses, and that it was almost annihilated on that field. DeLagnal was offered commission as captian but declined the honor, and resigning his commission joined the Southern army in Virginia. He behaved with great gallantry at the fatal conflict on Rich Mountain, and was long supposed to have been left among the slain. He dropped out of my record after that, but I believe he survived the war.
After the Arsenal was off our minds for a time, we returned to the serious work of finishing the equipment of our men for the terrible work before them, although the most experienced among us scarcely realized how terrible it was to be, nor the privations they would be called upon to endure in the field, or those we would have to bear at home. The schoolgirls were wild; no use was it to mention books to them; it was their plain duty to sew for the soldiers, and sew they did, though I much fear that some of the work might have been criticised by particular persons. There were dress parade suits and fatigue suits to be made, as well as underclothing suitable to camp life-- tents, haversacks, canteens to be covered, in fact every part of the outfit except the knapsacks, was made by the voluntary labor of the women
They assembled in bees from house to house, where the most experienced ladies could oversee the difficult parts of the work, such as the making of coats which could not be trusted to novices. And when our first two companies left us, we felt that they were as well provided for as soldiers could expect to be, and us girls were proud to feel that we had done our part as well as school-girls could be expected to.
These companies represented in the main our best educated and well-to-do classes. They were among the first to arrive in Raleigh and were both put into the 1st North Carolina Regiment. It was fortunate for Fayetteville that this regiment was sworn in for six months only, as our companies returned home at the end of that time, and the men were scattered among other regiments mostly as officers. Though the town lost heavily of her sons during the war, the loss was probably less than it would have been if so large a number had remained in a single regiment throughout the war.
But woman's work was by no means done when these two companies left us. Other companies were formed more slowly, and there was plenty of work to be done. We became plainer in our notions, howover, as materials began to be less plenty, and were content to send the others off without feathers in their hats or parade suits, and requisitions had to be made on our family supplies of blankets and carpets to supply this needful article, as well as to respond to calls made on the part of destitute companies abroad; and many families in moderate circumstances gave blankets they could have used at home without having too many. I never nestled under my blankets of a cold or rainy winter night but my last thought was for our soldiers under the blue
star-spangled roof of heaven, or the dark and pitiless rain clouds. All through the terrible struggle the women of Fayetteville were ever ready to respond to any call on their time or labor, or means, (so far as they continued to have any,) ever faithful to the cause which they had at heart with all the earnestness of their Scotch blood.
Although not subject to the horrors of actual battle, many of our people endured privations never before dreamed of. Those called "the poor" got along as well as ever probably, as they did not scruple to ask for help; but the suffering was among those families who were accustomed to every comfort, and were above asking or even receiving assistance from others, and many families of this class found great difficulty in procuring the bare necessaries of life. I have known cases in which corn bread formed the sole bill of fare at meals in families accustomed to comfort and even luxury. Imitation coffee often become a luxury out of reach of many unless taken without sugar or cream, especially during the last two years of the war. If a family could afford a slice of meat around for dinner, and home-made molasses at other meals, they considered themselves fortunate, and pitied the poor. The town was never a very good market for fresh meats, butter, etc., but when it became crowded with refugees from down the river and the increase attendant on the many new operatives and officials employed in the new and comparatively extensive works carried on at the Arsenal, these articles became luxuries reserved for those whose wealth still continued available, and they were by no means a large class. New clothes couldn't be thought of by the majority.
What wonderful triumphs of genius were then achieved by the ladies who had been taught good use of their needles, in the "reconstruction" of old dresses, in "making auld claise look as maist as
weels' the new." How garrets were ransacked for
old discarded garments, that were brought out and
surprised by having a fresh lease of life given them
in new characters. What nice bonnets were made
of old black silk dress bodies, trimmed with goose
feathers, and lined with red or blue satin from the
lining of old coat sleeves, hats constructed of old discarded
ones of feathers, trimmed with old coat collars
and cock's plumes cut off the rooster in the yard.
Space fails me to tell of all the shifts that were made
- not that we thought so much of our personal appearance
as in happier times, but women will always
try to "look decent" at least, and young girls will not
often be found too sad to refuse to consider the set
of a dress or the becommingness of a hat. I wish
our women to-day would still remember the lessons
of those days, and practice a part, at least, of the enforced
plainness of "war times." We should then
hear less of mortgages and liens, and the miseries of
the credit system. But through all the privations,
real or relative, not one of us ever thought of the
possibility of giving up. To the bitter end we believed
firmly in the justice and final success of the
cause, and even after the devastations of Sherman's
army we did not lose faith, but thought "some way"
would yet be found out of the difficulty, and the
surrender of Lee came upon us like a thunder clap.
One pleasant evening in April, 1865, we heard that a battalion of cavalry was to pass up the road, and "the girls" in our neighborhood hastened out to the main road with flowers and encouraging smiles. We had little else to bestow, for the rations of our people had been cut down so low by Sherman's requisitions upon our smoke-houses and pantries that the bacon had ceased to go round the family. It was harder still to make ends meet - in many families
they didn't quite meet. At home we always had enough, though it might be plain, but I can't say as much for all our neighbors. But our hearts were as stout as ever; that the war was over had not come into our heads. As we stood dispensing our flowers or passing a word with a lingering soldier, or having a little chat with an officer, somebody came up and told us that news had come that Lee had surrendered. We refused to believe such a story. "Lee surrendered!" "Lee would never surrender." Women are so unreasonable, they can't see what they don't want to see really.
We begged the soldiers not to give up. It could not be possible that the South was really subdued. We wept and wrung our hands. "March on to victory or death!" was our cry. In the midst of our excitement we saw a group of horsemen coming down the road toward town. We ran to meet them, hoping for news, and our hearts fell to the lowest place when we saw Gen. Holmes, Col. Peter Mallett and some other officers riding slowly along towards home. What upon earth was these gentlemen doing here! Gen. Holmes had married in Fayetteville and we had all known him from our earliest years.
Oh, General, we cried, "can it be that Lee has surrendered?"
"Yes," said the old general from a full heart, his voice trembling with emotion. "Yes, all is over. The South is overcome. Fayetteville has no cause to blame herself. She has done her whole duty, and if all people everywhere had done as well, it might have been different."
As they passed on we returned home. We had no more to talk about that evening. The war had ended as we had never believed possible; all the days of agonizing suspense; our wives, mothers, sisters, and sweethearts, had endured, while their loved ones were hourly exposed to deadly danger, the nights of sleepless anxiety, wishing yet dreading for the morning
- all the privations, self-denials, losses, had been in vain. All the precious lives had been sacrificed, and for what? Defeat at last. Desolation met our eyes all around. Want was lurking among us. The earth seemed turned upside down, and chaos seemed to reign.
But not long did Fayetteville lie weeping in the dust. 'Twas not in her nature. She gathered herself up and went to work again. She bought from the United States the millions of brick left in the ruined walls of the Arsenal with which to repair her waste places, and she hath struggled on all these years with adverse circumstances. But to-day all is about to be changed. She is to have very soon a railroad completed to connect her with the high-roads of the nation once more. Modern progress has laid its coal of fire upon her back, and before many years old-fashioned Fayetteville will be no more. It will be simply a common-place, modern, railway town. The young ladies will no longer be behind in the fashions, but daughters of parents in moderate circumstances will be seen fashionably attired in satin bought with money that should have been spent in new sheets and towels for family use. Elegant parlors will be seen in houses where the doors are left carefully closed on bare bedrooms. The lady who used to say (I heard her) that she preferred her friends should know her "old last winter's bonnet had been brought out again," will be superseded by the lady who cannot possibly wear a dress two seasons, therefore has no means to exercise the comfortable, if not showy nor lavish, hospitality which was gracefully exercised by the old bonnet and carefully preserved black silk. The old stage coach in which every child of old Fayetteville has doubtless been turned over in the dead of night, (I have enjoyed that privilege) will be forgotten and her people will be mashed up on fast mail trains.
I have no means at hand for ascertaining the exact loss of life Fayetteville sustained in her sons by the war. As an illustration it may be interesting to give the statistics of one family. Our family connection, which was large, sent eleven men to the war, five of whom were married and, with one exception, had young families. We had but three men left at home amenable to military duty. These were all men with large families depending on their earnings for support. None of them made a cent by the war, only managing to get a living through it. It was perhaps a little remarkable that only three out of the whole number of married men in the connection had fathers-in-law living, and one of these didn't count. These three were volunteers. One died of a wound received at Seven Pines, and lies buried in a pretty village churchyard, and his widow sits in the village church with her sweet sad face still shaded by the widow's veil. Her resolute spirit refused to allow her to remain entirely dependent on her aged father with her four little children, and she taught school and sewed day and night in the endeavor to ease the burdens of his declining years. Her children are all grown now and settled in life. She is not old yet, but her eyesight is nearly gone, and in the enforced idleness of many of her hours doubtless the bitterness of that parting with her young and talented husband is often lived over again. When will the end of these things be? Five in all of our boys died a soldier's death. Two of them were the only children of their mother, and she a widow. One of the survivors limps to-day from a wound received in battle.
During the war there was not a beau left in Fayetteville, and all the assistants the girls had to depend upon when we had tableaux, concerts, charades, &c., to raise money for the hospitals, were the few
officials at the Arsenal and the hospital and those of our soldiers who happened to be at home convalescent on sick leave. The "bomb proof" young gentlemen were all strangers in Fayetteville, if my memory does not fail me, except two, and they were among the six months' men, I think, who had contracted ill-health in the Yorktown Peninsula. But these strangers acquitted themselves handsomely of the onerous duties required of them as gallants to a whole town full of bereaved girls. They were very kind and obliging, ever ready to give us the use of their spare time and their talents in all our undertakings, to serve as best men at the rather mournful weddings, to bear our dead to the graves. We would have been badly off without them perhaps, and we wish to give them due thanks.
In these lines I have tried to give some account of what the war was to a somewhat isolated but not inactive community, and one which I feared would otherwise be neglected in this series. What I have said of her women should not be called egotistical as I was too young to take a woman's part in that troublous time. I only write what I remember of my sister townswomen as I saw them.
I realize that not yet have the anxieties and cares occasioned by the war ceased to sadden the hearts and vex the lives of Southern women. And not till the last of us who remember vividly that mighty struggle is laid to rest will the war be thought of simply as a matter of history, and the bitterness be past. Not till all our disappointed hopes and altered lives, our constitutions battered by the effort to adapt ourselves to a state of society which our education and early training had not fitted us to encounter, not till all are laid under the sod will the bloody shirt be folded away forever and real peace
be given to the land. But though our generation may not realize it, I believe we can see the dawning of a new day, and our children will be better and nobler men and women for all we have gone through, and will be able to understand that the war was not in vain.
IN SEARCHING through the storehouse of memory, I find a few relics which may prove a pastime to those who care to puruse them. I scarcely know where to begin, as so many incidents crowd in on me.
In the early part of '61 when the war clouds were hanging thick and dark about us, and the clarion notes "To Arms! To Arms!" were sounding throughout our dear Southland, every available man felt it his duty to protect his home and fireside, and made ready to leave business and loved ones, and cast his fortunes for weal or for woe, to fight for liberty and sacred honor. The women were brave and indefatigable in their efforts to do all that was possible to help in the cause that was so dear to their hearts. Mothers gave their sons, wives their husbands, sisters their dearly loved brothers, to say nothing of friends innumerable. Our Military Companies, the honored old "Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry" with their motto emblazoned on their flag, "He that hath no stomach to this fight let him depart," with ranks full of tried and true men, and the "LaFayette Light Infantry" in all their beautiful strength were busy getting all things in readiness to leave at a moment's notice, at the call of the Governor. The women, old and young, untrimmed their hats to use the black plumes to trim the soldiers' hats, which was a soft, broad-brimmed black hat, with a gilt band and two black plumes. Our companies volunteered for six months, expecting the war would close by that time. They were both engaged
at the first battle of Bethel on June 10, '61, and in many others from that time until their return home in November, their enlistment expiring at that time. On their return home the ladies had been busy meeting and making long wreaths, designs, and covering hoops of our beautiful pine, with cedar and holly to decorate the Old Market House. The wreaths were festooned from the corner of the Market, to stores across the square, and the entire front on Person street was made beautiful with lovely decorations. A banner was placed across the entire front, with this inscription: "Welcome Heroes of Bethel" in jets of gas. We were more than two weeks, working day and night, getting everything in order. The Military Companies arrived by boat, just about nightfall. They found almost the entire population at the riverbank, anxiously waiting to receive them. They marched up from the river to the Old Market, where they had a grand ovation, speeches, music, etc., etc. - Oh! the grand and happy hearts, and the tears of joy, that were shed over our dear Boys in Grey, who had returned in safety to their loved ones. This was of short duration, however, for every one of them went into the service again, as soon as arrangements could be made, most of them going into the Cavalry, Capt. James McNeill and Capt. James Strange raising the companies, quite a number of them receiving commissions as officers in other companies that were forming: Plow Boys, Scotch Tigers, Starr's Battery, etc. Then it was that the struggle commenced in earnest. We learned to spin, to weave, and knit. Thousands of pairs of socks and gloves were sent from here to the needy soldiers in the field. We cut up our carpets to make blankets for them; we wore homespun dresses and leather homemade shoes. I had a calico dress for State occasions, for which I paid ten dollars a yard, and shoes that cost one hundred dollars a pair. We paid ten dollars a pound for sugar, the same for tea, and later it
could not be bought for any price. As for coffee it was out of the question. We had various substitutes, such as parched rye, also okra seed. These things seem preposterous, but they are nevertheless true. The women were busy from early morn' till dewy eve, writing letters to the soldier boys - trying to supply their needs, preparing boxes of eatables of every kind for them, and striving to cheer and encourage them in their arduous work. There were many wives whose husbands had gone to dare and to die, who could not read or write, and that was our duty and pleasure to write their letters for them, also to read those that were received, and the little love messages and bits of poetry that was written in them would cause a smile many times, such as "Roses red, and violets blue, Pinks are pretty and so are you," and such like.
Our lives were not all spent in work and gloomy forebodings, for we had many pleasures, - "The bitter with the sweet," for frequently our boys would be sent home on various business errands, detached for fresh horses, or to regain their health, after severe sickness. They were always treated like heroes. We gave them all the pleasure and entertainment possible, which was most heartily appreciated. Many times were we called upon to mourn the loss of one of our dear friends, who had fallen with his face to the foe, causing a vacant chair in the home circle - as the years passed by so slowly and our forces were being diminished almost daily, our faith still firm that victory would at last be ours, nor did we cease to believe this, even when the enemy invaded our quiet peaceful homes. - Yes on the 11th of March, Sherman, with his hordes of depraved and lawless men, came upon us like swarms of bees, bringing sorrow and desolation in their pathway. I can never forget the terrible scene on that memorable morning. For days we had been expecting them, and our loved boys in grey had been passing through in
squads, looking ragged and hungry, but yet so brave and grand. We gave them food and clothing, especially shoes and socks, for many of them were bare-footed. The enemy seemed to be pouring in by every road that led to our doomed little town. Our Cavalry were contending every step, fireing and falling back, covering the retreat of our gallant little band, Hardee's forces, with General Wade Hampton, Butler, and others - the scene in our town baffled description, all was consternation and dismay. In less time than I can write this, Sherman's army was in possession of our once peaceful, quiet homes. Every yard and every house was teeming with the bummers, who went into our homes - no place was sacred; they even went into our trunks and bureau drawers, stealing everything they could find; our entire premises were ransacked and plundered, so there was nothing left for us to eat, but perhaps a little meal and peas. Chickens, and in fact all poultry was shot down and taken off with all else. We all knew our silver, jewelry and all valuables would fall into their hands, so many women hid them in such places as they thought would never be found, but alas for their miscalculation! One of my friends had a hen setting, and she took her watch and other valued jewels and hid them in the nest, under the hen - they did not remain long concealed, for they soon found them and enjoyed the joke.
They went into homes that were beautiful, rolled elegant pianos into the yard with valuable furniture, china, cut glass, and everything that was dear to the heart, even old family portraits, and chopped them up with axes - rolled barrels of flour and molasses into the parlors, and poured out their contents on beautiful velvet carpets, in many cases set fire to lovely homes and burned them to the ground, and even took some of our old citizens and hanged them until life was nearly extinct, to force them to tell where their money was hidden; when alas! they had
none to hide. They burned our factories, end we had a number of them, also many large warehouses, filled with homespun, and dwellings, banks, stores and other buildings, so that the nights were made hideous with dense smoke and firelight in every direction. The crowning point to this terrible nightmare of destruction was the burning and battering down of our beautiful and grandly magnificent Arsenal, which was our pride, and the showplace of our town.
On our vacant lot behind our home on Dick street, were a number of Confederate prisoners who had been captured by Sherman's army, and placed there under guard. They numbered about one hundred, I think. They were hatless and shoeless and ragged. I asked Col. A. H. Hickenlooper, the officer who had quarters at our house, if I might go down to see them. He most kindly consented, and said he would go with me for protection. So myself and sister, with a few neighbors and friends, went down. As I was President of our Knitting Society at the time, and we had a large box of socks and gloves on hand, which we were just ready to send away, we took them with us; also all the hats and caps we could find, and distributed them to the prisoners. Notwithstanding our Yankee officer, with us as a protector, we urged our dear boys to be brave, and fight on, that we would win at last. Oh! what a delusion, as it proved. They took all of the horses in town that they could not take away with them and put them in an enclosure on Cool Spring street, and shot them; so they left hundreds of dead horses lying there, there being no way to get rid of them. They were burned, and you may try to imagine the odor, if you can.
They gave us their agreeable company from the 11th to the 14th, when they departed, terror stricken, lest Wheeler's Cavalry should fall upon them. After they left, our hospitals, which had not been very
full were filled to overflowing. They came in with various diseases, and wounds innumerable. Typhoid fever seemed to prevail. We had fine physicians in charge, and every lady in town, who could, gave up her time to nurse and care for the dear brave boys. We gave them medicine, prepared their food, and many times fed them. We took them flowers and wrote letters to their dear ones, who were far away from them, read to them, and did everything possible to cheer and help them. Oh! how sad it was to see them suffer, and pass away so far from those they loved - and during their illness, how they watched and waited day after day, for letters from home that never came. I knew and talked with most of those who are buried in the old cemetery, near the Monument. I can see their sad faces whenever I think of them, some of them so young--mere boys - some mature men. Many times we were present when God took the poor weary soul to Paradise. There was one inmate there who taught us the sacredness of a promise. He was brought in with typhoid fever. He had passed the crisis, and needed a stimulant. The doctor in charge had prescribed a little whisky. This he declined to take, as he had promised his father, on leaving home, he would never taste a drop of liquor while in the army, and no persuasion from doctor or nurses could make that noble, brave fellow break his promise. Even though the doctor made me tell him he would certainly die, if he did not take the stimulant, he said: "Then I must die, for I cannot break my promise." So God took him to Paradise, to rest from his labors, and receive his reward. Years afterward, a near relative traced him to Fayetteville, and he was shown the place where loving hands had laid him, in a sweet quiet resting place, near the beautiful Cross Creek, where the plaintive moan of the dove is heard, and the rippling waters sing a sweet, sad requim to his soul.
There are many others who passed over the river to rest in the shade. They died without a kindred near them, but all that loving hands could do for them was gladly and willingly done. There, 57 brave heroes, who sacrificed their lives for the cause, lie side by side, near the Monument, in the old cemetery, of which we are so proud, it being erected by the noble women of our town in the year 1867, the second one raised to their memory in the South, and the first one in North Carolina, and on the 10th of May, of each year since, we assemble to weave our Laurel Chaplets, to decorate the graves of our beloved heroes, the wearers of the Grey, and place over their green mounds the flag they loved so well, but alas! 'tis furled, -
"Furl it for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead, are lying low."
WHEN North Carolina seceded from the Union and her Governor (Ellis) called for Volunteers, our two Military Companies, "The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry," and the "LaFayette Light Infantry," at once offered their services.
On the day the companies marched away our work commenced. We immediately organized our Soldiers' Aid Association, determining, with the help of God, that no soldier's family should suffer. Our first act was to write to Raleigh, N. C., and ask for a contract to make drawers and shirts. The material was furnished us and we cut the garments, giving them to the soldiers' wives to make.
The Independent and LaFayette companies were sent to Virginia and took part in the memorable battle of Bethel, which occurred June 10th, 1861. Of course our town was filled with mourning and lamentations when the news of the battle reached us, for so many from our midst were there that we could not help thinking that a part of them at least had fallen, Our mourning was soon turned into joy, however, as we heard that we had not lost a single man from either of our companies.
In a few days I left with my mother for our summer home in Wytheville. Va., where I found plenty of work to do, as Floyd's Brigade was quartered near the town. The measles, one of the evils of camp life, broke out. Mrs. Alex. Stuart, a sister-in-law of J. E. B. Stuart, and as noble a woman as he was a great man, and myself rented rooms in the old
Haller House, and sent word to Gen. Floyd that we were ready to take charge of the sick. We had thirty-two cases of measles from the Patrick company at one time. After his command left, the building was turned into a Wayside Hospital and taken charge of by the ladies of the town. As it was right on the railroad, troops were constantly passing, and it was a haven of rest to many a poor, weary soldier. Whenever we received telegrams saying that troops were coming, we were always at the depot with lunch for them.
I returned home with my mother the 1st of October, and then it was that our work for the soldiers commenced in earnest. Every carpet and curtain that was available was turned into blankets, as we felt we must make every effort to have everything in readiness for the winter campaign. We worked then with willing hands and light hearts. With Lee and Jackson as our leaders how could we think of anything but victory? Everything seemed so bright and hopeful. Our six months' troops returned home in November flushed with hope and victory, but they were soon on the field again. My husband was first lieutenant in a Randolph company.
The year of 1862 our hearts were continually cheered with good news from the army, though now and then some brave fellow from our midst would fall in battle. In 1863, however,
and in that year one of the most painful and harrowing deaths that I ever saw occurred at the Wayside Hospital in Wytheville. A Mr. Gregory, of Georgia, having started home sick became worse and stopped there a few hours. Soon after he reached the hospital he was taken with lockjaw. The Rev. F. A. Goodwin, of St. John's Episcopal Church, my pastor, watched with me that night. The unfortunate soldier
was perfectly conscious, and that made it so much more painful for us to see his great agony. Every now and then Mr. Goodwin would repeat passages from the Scriptures and pray for him to try to comfort him, and we could see from his countenance that he understood all that was said. Just as the morning dawned his spirit took its flight and he was freed from all pain and suffering. We closed his eyes and folded his hands with an earnest prayer to our Heavenly Father that his sins might be blotted out and that he might be received in the army of the Good Shepherd. We laid him to rest in the cemetery in that place and I wrote to his mother, giving her an account of his last moments. She seemed very grateful that loving hands performed the last offices for him.
On the 17th of July news was received that a raiding party was making its way towards Wytheville by what is called the Big Sandy Road, led by Lieut.-Col. Powell. That same evening my sister's little boy was so ill that she had just had him baptized. Mr. Goodwin had not left the house more than half an hour when one of the servants ran in and said the Yankees were coming down the hill. I had sprained my ankle the day before and was not able to leave my room. My mother was in the room with me, and my sister brought all of her children and mine in the room with us. There was no gentleman in the house, and the children seemed perfectly paralyzed with fear. To calm them my sister said: "Dear children, we have no one to look to but God; we will seek his protection in prayer." Just as we arose a servant came in crying, "They are fireing into the other room!"
Just then a ball passed through the room which we were in. Of course we were terror-stricken. I seized a towel, pinned it to my crutch and put it out the window, hoping to attract their attention. In a
few moments steps were heard on the stairs. My sister opened the door and said she would like to see the commanding officer. He stepped forward and asked what she wanted. She said: "Sir, I ask your protection. You see my helpless condition - my mother old and infirm, my child in a dying condition and my sister not able to walk. If your men are hungry they will find everything they need in the dining room, or you can take all you wish out of the house. All we ask is a shelter." He replied, with an oath, "My orders are to level this house to the ground. It has always been the headquarters of all the Rebels."
By that time the house was filled with his men. My sister turned and said: "Children, follow me," and she went down the stairs, my mother following, and her little ones clinging to her. My nephew handed me my crutches and just as I reached the door a man snatched them from me, cursing all the time. I would have fallen, but was caught by one of the servants and she and my nephew carried me down stairs. As we got to the hat rack my mother reached out her hand to get her bonnet and shawl. They were taken from her.
In that short space of time they had broken to pieces the elegant parlor furniture, had it piled in the passage as high as the wall, and it was burning. As I was carried by they
I saw them in the parlor breaking the mirrors and glasses. My sister calmly walked out of the house, without once looking back, with her children following. My mother had my little boy by the hand; the others were clinging to the nurse. When I reached the front door they put me down to rest. An Irish soldier picked me up and started to take me to a house across the street; but one of the men said to
him: "We are going to burn that too," so he carried me back of the Methodist church. One of the servants returned to see if she could save anything, and she said they made a fire on each bed. I suppose they thought this necessary, as the house was perfectly fire-proof. They permitted her to take out one small trunk with some of her own clothes and a few of the children's clothes.
My sister's home was just as lovely a spot as was ever seen. It was elegantly furnished with everything that could add to our comfort and enjoyment. Fortunately they did not find the wine cellar. That was in the basement to the end of the passage, filled with choice liquors and wines.
It was no light matter to be turned out of doors at night with eight little children and not a change of clothing. Everything in the world that we had was destroyed. All of the buildings that my brother-in-law used as quartermaster were destroyed, and a good many more buildings. There is no telling how much damage they might have done, but the whistle of the train was heard and some one told them we were expecting troops. Lieut. Powell was shot at our gate jut as he was coming out by a young boy.
My husband was wounded on the 6th of May, 1864, at the battle of the Wilderness, and was captured the 20th. Not hearing from him I wrote to my cousin, who was in the same command. He said he was left with the wounded and he had not heard from him since. After he was captured he wrote me a letter, giving it to a man at Port Royal, Va., to mail, which he did not do until the latter part of July. Just imagine my terrible anxiety, not hearing from him in all that time. But I was compelled to control my feelings as my mother's health was failing rapidly. Indeed she was never well from the time we were turned out of our house in the night. She pined so for her mountain home that with her physician's
advice I started with her and my four children across the country in a carriage. She died just ten days after we reached my sister's. Death, just at that time, seemed a happy release from all the cares and trouble by which we were surrounded. My grief was so great that I could not shed a tear and it did not give away until the latter part of the month, when I received a letter from my husband. When I saw his hand-writing
In October I started home, leaving my little daughter with my sister, who expected to follow me the next month. I took my little ones and my niece, who was a young lady, with me. My sister was taken ill and I did not see my little girl until the following July. My husband, being still a prisoner, was carried with the officers to Morris Island, and was under the fire there for forty-two days, and from there he was taken to Fort Pulaski. How I lived through that winter I cannot tell. After Christmas I applied to Dr. Essington for a situation as assistant matron to the lower hospital. They were bringing the wounded from Fort Fisher, Wilmington and other points. We already had one hospital and were establishing another. I shall never forget the doctor's look of amazement when I applied for the situation. My reply was: "Doctor I don't want any pay, but I must have constant occupation or I will loose my mind." I went every morning at nine o'clock and staid until one, and I always went late in the afternoon to see that the wants of the patients were attended to during the night. I always dressed all the wounds every morning, and I soon found that my grief and sorrow were forgotten in administering to the wants of the sick.
Such patience and fortitude I have never seen. Not one murmur did I ever hear escape their lips.
My Prayer Book was my constant companion. I carried it in my pocket, and many a poor soldier have I soothed and comforted with holy prayers. One day as I entered the hospital I noticed a new face. I made my way to him, as I was struck by his gray hair, and said: "You are too old to be here." He smiled and his answer was quite a rebuke: "One never gets too old to fight for one's home and fireside. I had no sons, so I came myself." He proved to be a Mr. Johnson of Georgia. I made him my especial care, but to no avail. He died on the 8th of March.
Now I will speak of another soldier who died the same day. His name was Sanford, and he was just in the prime of life. It was really pathetic the way he spoke of his wife and home. The surgeon promised him a furlough, and when I went and told him we had written for his wife to come and take him home I shall never forget his expression as he exclaimed: "am I to see my wife and home." Alas! the poor fellow did not live to see his wife again.
On the 10th of March Hardee's men commenced to pass through Fayetteville. It was a day of humiliation and prayer. When I left the hospital I told them they would have to do without me next day as I wanted to do what I could towards feeding some of our hungry soldiers, as we had nothing but bread and meat to give them. My uncle, Dr. Kyle, went with me, and we stood in the store door on Hay street. We soon attracted the attention of a soldier and told him what we wished to do. My uncle, myself and two servants were kept busy the whole day. Three of my neighbors and myself prepared the bread and meat. It was enough to make anybody's heart ache to see the ragged men. One came forward. He looked like a boy of eighteen or nineteen. He had a little iron pot and I said: "Child, you look so tared, why do you carry that iron pot?" and he
answered: "I keep it to cook with." I offered him a twenty-dollar Confederate note for it, with which he bought twenty loaves of bread and divided it among his comrades. When night came on I closed the door with a heavy heart. They were still coming.
About nine o'clock they sent for me to go to the hospital, and the horrible scene I witnessed there I shall never forget. The wounded had been brought in from Longstreet, where a portion of Hardee's men had had an engagement with Sherman's men. I staid with them until just before daylight and did all I could to relieve their wants. Even then I did not hear a single murmur. Such fortitude has
Next morning I had breakfast prepared for some of them, but on reaching the hospital I found only two patients there. Those who were not too ill had been carried away in the ambulances, and the worst cases were sent to the upper hospital. Two ladies of the neighborhood were there with the sufferers.
I had been in the hospital only about a half hour when an officer came up the steps and said: "Ladies, if you have a home and children you had better go to them, as Sherman is entering the town." I finished binding up the arm of a soldier, and when I got to the door I found the street crowded with men. I said to the officer: "Sir, mount your horse and fly;" but he replied, "I will see you safely across the street." He was captured by a Yankee just as we got across the street. I made every effort afterwards to find out the brave officer's name, but was unsuccessful.
I had gone only a little distance when I met one of my servants, who begged me to hurry home, saying they were all "frightened to death." Looking up he street towards the court-house, I saw a Yankee
soldier make a man take off his clothing in the street. When I reached my room at home I sank into a chair and felt that I must give up. My nurse, fortunately, did the best thing for me, placing my little boy in my arms. I then felt I must be brave. I said, "God alone can protect you, my children. He delivered Daniel out of the lion's den, and if we will only look to Him, He will deliver us." In a few moments my cook ran in and said: "O! Miss Annie, they have broken open the smoke-house and are carrying everything off". One of the men came up on the porch and said: Madam; where is your meat? We want meat. I certainly did feel a little triumph when I replied: "I gave the meat to Hardee's men yesterday." He rejoined: "Hardee's men won't want meat or anything else long after we catch up with them." They entered the kitchen and took our dinner that was cooking, with the pans, ovens and all, and they searched my house from top to bottom, taking everything they could carry. My uncle soon got me a guard, and I felt greatly relieved.
It is impossible to write or tell what we endured, and it never will be known until we stand before the judgment seat of God. After the fall of Harper's Ferry the families and workmen were removed to Fayetteville, in consequence of which a number of handsome dwellings were added to the Arsenal grounds. It was a lovely spot, and we justly felt proud of it. But Sherman's torch reduced it to ashes. Fayetteville suffered more than most towns, for we had five cotton factories in the town and one at Rockfish, just a few miles away, and they were all burned to the ground, leaving hundreds of people without work or any means of gaining bread. And as we had been robbed of all we had, we, of course, could not help them. As soon as night came on we
could see fires in every direction, as all the buildings in the country were burned. I can compare it to nothing but what I imagine Hades would be were its awful doors thrown open. But for the kindness of my servants I don't know what would have become of me. They were very faithful. One walked up and down the passage all night. and the other staid on the back porch. Still I was afraid to close my eyes. But for my nurse we would not have had one mouthful to eat. She hid some things in her own room, and in that way saved them.
One morning I had a message from the upper hospital asking me to come. I went up and found that six men had died and been buried in two holes in the yard just wrapped in their blankets. I got there in time to close the eyes of the seventh. Soon after Mayor McLean went out and met the army and surrendered the town. The Federal officers insisted on putting the soldier that had just died in the grave with one of the three, but I would not allow it. I went to the Mayor and got a permit of a coffiin and the hearse. Then Mrs. Guion and myself, with two of the men from the hospital, followed his remains to the place where we had been burying the soldiers.
The next day Sherman's army crossed the Cape Fear River, the bridge having been destroyed by our own forces. Most of the things stolen by the invaders were carried down as far as Wilmington and put on a vessel bound for New York. The vessel was burned just before it reached its harbor, and we had the comfort of knowing that none of our handsome furniture and household treasures reached their destination. Just a few days after Sherman left I went to a few of my gentlemen friends and raised sufficient money to buy twelve coffins and to have thirty graves dug. I had the six bodies in the hospital yard and the others that were buried where they camped disinterred, making twelve in all.
Mayor McLean went with me to the cemetery to select a spot where we could have them all buried together. We could not get a square large enough to hold them all, so he gave us the back part of the cemetery, overlooking Cross Creek, a very pretty situation, with room for all, and a space large enough left to place the monument. Eighteen were buried in a field across the creek and we had them all taken up, and just at sunset Dr. Huske, Rector of St. John's Church, read again the words: "I am the resurrection and the life," the coffins were lowered to their resting place, and the souls of the dead entered into the rest of Paradise until they should arise to meet their Lord and Saviour.
ON THE 8th of March 1865, the vanguard of Johnston's army, consisting of part of Hardee's corps, entered Fayetteville. I was then a schoolgirl, with ardent love for the South and unbounded faith in the final successful termination of her cause, which even the sight of her armies in full retreat from Sherman could not shake. - Only a few detachments and some officers with their staffs came in the first day, but all the next day and the greater part of the night the artillery and infantry of the army of the Tennessee and the defenders of Charleston poured through the place, making an incessant moving panorama of men, horses, cannons and wagons.
First of all came the "galvanized" Yankees, armed with axes, picks and spades to repair and make roads for the passage of the army, - these were northern prisoners on parole, who preferred serving as sappers and miners for the Confederates to confinement in prison. After these came the artillery, then the infantry. We kept the house open and a table spread for the soldiers, and all day long the house was full of them. A good many of them came to get little jobs of sewing or mending done. A party of cavalrymen, I remember, brought their blankets to be fixed after the manner of a Mexican serape--a hole was to be cut in the center just large enough for the head to slip through and the edges bound with braid.
It was on this day that a skirmish was fought at Longstreet, twelve miles from Fayetteville. Kilpatrick's
surprise and defeat on this occasion are matters of history, and need not be narrated here. Toward the close of the day the melancholy line of ambulances came in bearing the wounded, and, to me, the still more melancholy file of prisoners. I would have liberated them all if I could. I had not made the acquaintance of Mr. Sherman's bummers then.
The night of the 10th was clear, with the moon shining brightly. - The columns of infantry continued to march by, looking so worn and ragged, poor fellows, as from time to time a few of them would come in for rest and refreshment. A party of general officers came in and examined a map, looking anxious and low spirited. A party of young men from the Stono Guards, I think, had been with us all day, some of their number being sick. After all was quiet they tied their horses under our windows and we kept guard over them while their masters slept on pallets made on the floor. How sorry we all felt for the poor boys, and have often wondered if they all lived to get home or perished in the single battle that was fought before the surrender. I have them before my mind's eye now as they mounted their horses at our door one short half hour before the first Yankee appeared over the brow of Haymount. Pringle, the Grahams, Ravenel and some others whose names we never learned.
The house where I was staying with my aunt and her family was on Haymount Hill, the western suburb of Fayetteville, situated in full view of the C. S. Arsenal, from which it was separated by a grove of oaks. This Arsenal, Sherman's objective point in visiting Fayetteville, was evacuated on the night of the 10th. On the morning of the 11th Sherman's army entered. The first intimation that we had that the Federals were really in town was by a jet-black negro mounted on a clay-bank horse. He had lost
his hat and his blanket was streaming behind him; he was urging his horse to its utmost speed; his eyes looked as if they would pop out of his head with fright, and at every bound he ejaculated, "Yankees!" "Yankees!"
A few horsemen followed him, firing their pistols, as they retreated, at some Yankee cavalrymen that appeared above the brow of the hill. - I shall never forget my feelings at the sight of the latter as my aunt said solemnly, "Children, they are Yankees." It was like a knell of doom.
Hampton's cavalry were camped west of the town and had not yet passed through, so close were the contending armies together. After this, for an hour or more we saw no more Yankees and the Confederate cavalry passed by, the horses in ranks and every man with his sabre held up over his shoulder, the noise of their harness and accouterments making a sort of rushing sound almost as soon as they came in sight. After these well-ordered ranks came a more disorderly body of cavalry--Wheeler's I presume - many of them ragged, some of them hatless, and most of them with two or more horses. One of them stopped at our gate and asked for a hat, and about fifty, more or less, stopped to see what kind of hat he would receive. Now, the only masculine headgear about the house was a wheat-straw hat, whole but rather the worse for the wettings it had received. I ran and got that; it was received with shouts of "New spring hat from Nassau," "Ain't it pretty, now," "Give it to me," &c. As the soldier received it he waved it around with three cheers, in which he was joined by all the rest. It is needless to say that I retired in confusion.
A blue line now appeared behind the breast-works which formed the outer defense of the Arsenal, which lay to the south of the main street and only 150 yards away. It was undoubtedly the Yankees,
for they fired a few shots at the now scattering columns of Confederates, which were returned. One had the temerity to venture out from behind the breastworks and a Confederate galloped up and took him prisoner in the face of his comrades, who were afraid to fire for fear of hitting him. A demoralized Confederate who had stayed behind to see what he could pick up at the Arsenal rushed frantically through our yard. He was bare-headed and was rapidly divesting himself of everything that could impede his flight; gun, knap-sack and canteen lay strewed on the ground behind him. Our old cook stood in the kitchen door and watched him in his mad career. As he disappeared over the fence she remarked sententiously, "I didn't know that was the way they fit." I hope I may be pardoned that the ludicrous incidents of that sorrowful time seem to stand out at this late day with more distinctness than any other.
Another company of cavalry now approached and my aunt and I ran out to warn them that the Yankees were behind the breast-works to the south of them. Quick as thought they formed in single file and galloped down a street towards the north, every man discharging his pistol as he turned the corner. These were the last of the Confederates, and I have heard that they crossed the Cape Fear River on Sherman's pontoons.
For the space of perhaps a quarter of an hour there was silence, during which we waited. There are few such periods in a life time, and fortunately ours were cut short by the sound of hurrying feet and shouts and imprecations, and a party of miscreants scampered up the walk, ran up the steps and pounded on the door with the stocks of their guns, crying, "Let us in," "Open this door or we'll break it down." My aunt then let them in and they pushed roughly by her, and in an instant spread themselves
over the house, rummaging and ransacking everything.--Shall we ever forget them, these "boys in blue," with their loose jackets, slouch hats, and faces begrimmed with the smoke of camp fires? It seemed as if the lower regions were opened and the fiends turned loose upon us. My aunt said, "Where is your commanding officer? I want protection." "You'll git no protection," said one. "That's played out long ago," grinned another. She then ran out in the street and had the good luck to meet Lieut. McVeach, of Illinois, whom I verily believe was walking ahead of his regiment in order to afford protection to some poor woman who might stand in need of it. He drove the bummers out of the house and they ran into the kitchen where they began ransacking the servants' things and taking what they could find to eat. A negro rushed in, exclaiming, "Oh, Miss Susan, they'se took the dinner mammy's cooking, and dady's Sunday breeches"--and seeing the Yankee officer, he interrupted himself with "but dady don't care."
The main body of Sherman's army now began to pass by in martial array, with flags flying, the field officers on horseback prancing at the head of the column, the soldiers proudly keeping step to the music of the band! and the very first band that went by played "Dixie." This was too much - the drop that over-ran our already brimming cup; one and all we burst out crying, and sat around pouring out floods of tears as if our hearts would break. Lieut. McVeagh must have been one of the men who cannot stand the sight of woman's tears. He did all he could to comfort us, even averring that which he did not believe - that the Southern cause was not lost yet. Finally he desisted in his efforts at consolation and strode up and down the room in despair until his regiment came along, when he left us regretting that he could not stay until a guard was placed. We
at last were able to dry our eyes and look out at the grand military show, the like of which we should probably never see again. A man in a linen duster riding at the head of a troop called out to us, "Gone up the spout." "No, we are not," said my aunt, "hurrah! for Southern rights." In about half an hour an officer came with a guard. My aunt began asking if that was the way civilized warfare was conducted - alluding to the bummers - but he interrupted her saying, "If that's the way you talk, madam, I'll place no guard at this house." The guards did their duty well enough, keeping intruders from the house and never failing to call us when any celebrity passed by, thus: "Here, you people, don't you want to see Gen. Sherman?" or "I say, here's Kilpatrick going along." We had no trouble after this except that a horrid looking man in a red shirt, who had some writing to do, brought his papers and wrote at a table in the house. We did not know he was spying on us until one day he called out, "Look ahere, if Gen. Sherman knew how you people talked he'd burn this house down."
At night we would sometimes hear them bumping about, searching for "hidden treasure," I suppose.
Sherman, as is well known, stopped five days in Fayetteville for the purpose of destroying the Arsenal. Early Monday morning - the third day after he entered the place - we saw a large body of men, seemingly armed with a new kind of weapon, coming from the Arsenal. On closer inspection we saw that each had a fragment of the ornamental wood-work that surrounded the building to make their fires with. Soon the work of breaking down the walls began. Bars of railroad iron were suspended by chains from timbers set up in the shape of an X; with these they battered down the walls, pecking first a small hole which grew larger as they swung the iron against them. There were several such
rams at work simultaneously around the same building.
When the walls were sufficiently weakened the roof would fall in with a loud crash, the bands would strike up and the men would cheer as if they really enjoyed the work of destruction. While this was going on the wagons, cattle, sheep, negroes and camp-followers were passing through, almost in an unbroken stream, such a scene so seldom witnessed. Carriages containing negroes and their "things," piano covers and curtains thrown over horses, bedquilts, looking-glasses, even chairs, on the wagons; negro women dressed in their mistresse's clothes. I saw a negro man with a ladies' hat on trimmed with blue ribbon, another walked off with a velvet cloak on belonging to one of my acquaintances. Each night the sky was lurid with the flames from the burning homestead, but it has passed into a proverb that Sherman's route could be traced by solitary chimneys where happy homes once stood. In town there were sevaral buildings burned besides the factories, namely, the State bank, several large warehouses belonging to a factory company, two dwellings and the office of the Fayetteville Observer. Outside the town, where no guards were placed, the soldiers "ran amuck" through everything. At my uncle's place, four mires from here, they tore up, smashed and stole everything they could lay their hands on; they cut up the parlor carpet into saddle cloths, broke the mirror over the mantel, broke up the clock and the sewing machine, carried off the books from the library, even the family Bible was not sacred; one of them opened it and spread it over a mule's back and rode off on it for a saddle. Finally they finished by tearing up clothing, pamphlets, feather-beds, &c., and pouring peanut oil over the derbis. All the bed-clothes were carried off, except one quilt on which the baby was lying. One miscreant worse than the rest seized that; my uncle's
wife held on to it, but, he being the stronger of the two, jerked it away from her and ran away with it. Of course everything eatable was laid hands on the first thing. A faithful servant was dispatched to town to the house of a friend for something to eat; he brought some meal and a bottle of molasses. The bummers took the molasses from him as soon as he arrived; my aunt made some bread from the meal and as she was cooking it before the fire a scamp sitting by kept spitting over and around it, "Please don't spit into my bread," said my aunt. With that he spat directly into it--the bread intended to feed our hungry little children. The evening they left this place a field officer road by - Burgoss I think-- followed by some men with horses loaded with bacon. My uncle approached him, saying, "Sir, you have taken all my provisions and my family must suffer without anything; will you not leave some of that meat?" Without deigning to reply he turned to one of the men following, "Throw him down a piece." The soldier obeyed with the air of throwing a bone to a dog and they rode off.
I wish to confine myself to my own experience and that of my family, or I might multiply instances like these of the conduct of Sherman's men near Fayetteville, such as hanging men to make them produce their valuables, pouring molasses in pianos, converting bureau-drawers into feed boxes, tying up silk dresses for flour bags, and so on; verily the Yankees are an inventive nation.
One evening we were surprised by a visit from two Confederate officers. How refreshing to our eyes the sight of the grey uniform! They were officers on parole who were permitted to go round among the people to obtain food and other things for their men who were prisoners. With all the provisions Sherman had appropriated in and around Fayetteville it did look as if he might have managed
to feed his prisoners. During the stay of the army my aunt found it necessary to apply to the commissary for meal. She was told to go to a mill about a mile away down town. Taking one of her daughters and a negro boy to bring the meal she set out. In about an hour the boy returned saying we must get some corn and an order from an officer who was stationed in sight of our house. Having procured the corn and order one of my cousins and I returned with the boy to the mill. We had to pass down the principal street of the town, and the familiar scene seemed somehow to have changed and looked unnatural like places seen in dreams.
The town seemed literally boiling over with bluecoats. In every vacant lot they had pitched their tents and were luxuriating in rocking chairs or stretched on carpets in front of them; some were lying full length on the side-walk and would not even draw in their feet for us to pass but lay staring impudently at us as we walked around them into the street.
We got our peck of meal and as we turned homeward we perceived that the Arsenal was in flames. It had all been fired at once and presented a frightful appearance, especially to one whose home lay in its immediate vicinity. Frightened out of our wits we hastened home and began moving out but some officers from Col. Estes' regiment, seeing us from their camp, came and persuaded us it was no use, as they would place a guard in the yard to watch the sparks which were showering in every direction. Gratitude is never out of place, so I take pleasure in mentioning the names of two who were so kind to us on this and other occasions, Capt. J. B. Newton, of Ohio, and W. B. Jacobs. Indiana, although we never made any secret of our opinions. The thanks of the ladies in our neighborhood are especially due to the former, as he spent all the time he could spare from his duties
in going around among them, quieting their fears and seeing if they needed anything.
After all danger of the fire was over and things had quieted down to their normal state, a boy came running to tell us that he saw two men setting our stable on fire. Capt. Carter, from Ohio, had just come in and asked for water to wash. He had been on the roof of a neighbor's house that had caught fire and was so black he could scarcely be told from a "man and brother." He seized the bucket of water that we brought to him and ran to the stable. Sure enough a blue column of smoke was circling up from it. Fortunately he arrived in time to extinguish it or it might have spread to several dwellings.
The next day they broke up their camps and crossed the Cape Fear River. There was a regiment camped in the grove back of our house. - Sherman's body guard they said. The night they left they burned a quantity of corn. They built a large fire in the street - I could point out the spot now - and poured on bag after bag of corn, looking in the firelight like a company of fiends. How glorious the boys in blue appeared, burning up the bread from destitute women and children.
On the night of the 15th they left, and seemed to leave behind them the barrenness of desolation. Some few people had saved their provisions by hiding them or by accident, but the bulk of the population must have suffered if some of the citizens who had managed to save some cotton had not sent a boat to Wilmington and bought provisions - hard-tack and mess-beef - from the Yankees who occupied that city.
The officers of a regiment near us, wishing to have a dinner party, borrowed the dining-room of an old lady who lived near us. They politely invited her to sit down with them. To give an account of it in
her own words: "General," said I, "ain't you going to ask a blessing?" "Well, grandma," said he, "I don't know how; won't you do it for me?" "So I asked a blessing and prayed a short prayer. I asked the Lord to turn their hearts away from their wickedness and make them go back to their homes and stop fighting us, and everything I was afraid to tell them I told the Lord and they couldn't say a word."
One officer offered my aunt $15.00 - Confederate of course - for a homespun dress. He wanted it to carry to his wife to show her what Southern ladies wore.
The soldiers seemed very fond of making presents; "easy come, easy go." Among the things they brought my aunt's little girl were a gilt-edged Bible, a copy of Hiawatha, several other books, a half bushel of ground-peas, a finger-bowl and a large looking-glass For the last we were fortunate enough to find the owner. I knew of their presenting one young lady with a piano.
SHORTLY after the close of the War, in the Fall of 1865, the ladies of Fayetteville, being anxious to honor the remains of the soldiers who were killed in battle and who died in or near the town, and were buried in various localities, succeeded in having them all interred in the old cemetery - historic Cross Creek.
After this was accomplished, they desired to erect a monument to their memory and to that of our brave soldiers in general. They had literally no money, so many plans were discussed as to ways and means of raising the necessary funds, and finally it was decided to act on the suggestion of Miss Maria Spear, to make a Silk Quilt, which could be "raffled." The first meeting for this object was held at Mrs. Jesse Kyle's; after that, on every Friday afternoon the ladies and school girls met with Miss Spear at the residence of Mr. Charles Beatty Mallett, Miss Spear being a member of his household, the beloved and revered teacher of his children, and who, though an English woman, had given her whole heart to the Confederate Cause.
The bits of silk of every hue and of every style were contributed by the ladies, and were skilfully and artistically blended by "Miss Maria" - as she was endearingly known - who designed and drew the pattern for embroidery on every square, no two being alike. There were 3,000 squares, besides the handsome center piece and border. When the quilt was
completed it was an elegant piece of work and deemed worthy to offer to our loved President.
Besides many letters and solicitations for taking "shares," the quilt was exhibited in Wilmington in the store of Col. J. H. Anderson, and Miss Maggie Mallett and Miss Maggie Anderson were appointed a committee to take charge of it, and they were aided and encouraged in getting contributions by Mrs. Armand J. DeRossett and other Wilmington ladies.
The shares were $1.00 each, and finally the Quilt was raffled, the sum of $300.00 being realized; quite an amount in that time of desvastation and ruin.
The Monument was made and erected by Mr. George Lauder, of Fayetteville, N. C.
By some untoward oversight in the selection of inscriptions, no date was carved on it, but I have found through the kindness of his niece, Mrs. James Smith, in Mr. Lauder's ledger this entry: "December 30, 1868, To one Marble Monument to Confederate Dead, also 33 foot stones - these being the stones to the graves around the Monument.
The Quilt was won by Mr. Lewis, of Tarboro, N. C., who afterward presented it to our beloved ex-President, Mr. Jefferson Davis, which action was most gratifying to the makers of the Quilt. When Mr. Davis learned the history of the Quilt he wrote a note of thanks and appreciation to the ladies. Some years after the death of Mr. Davis, his wife presented the Quilt to the Virginia Room of the Confederate Museum at Richmond.
Some of the makers of the Quilt, on discovering this, made petition, and through the interest and efforts of Mrs. J. Allison Hodges, of Richmond, the Virginia Room allowed the Quilt to be transferred to the North Carolina Room, and since the death of Mrs. Kyle, her daughter, Mrs. H. McD. Robinson, kindly gave to Mrs. E. J. Hale the note from Mr. Davis, that it might be preserved with the Quilt in the Museum. Both may be seen there to-day.
During the time of the making of the Quilt, a few ladies, the first being Miss Maria Spear, Mrs. Jesse Kyle, Miss Maggie Mallett, Miss Maggie Anderson, Miss Carrie Mallett, Miss Alice Campbell, Miss Kate McLaurin, Miss Mary Campbell, and Miss Alice Poe, would gather quietly in the early morning and decorate the graves of the soldies, one of the ladies reading a prayer. This was the beginning of the Memorial Association, which has never failed in all the years since 1865, to perpetuate this dear and sacred custom.
This Monument in Cross Creek Cemetery was the first one erected in North Carolina, and one of the very first in the South, the second or third, I think.
"Touch it not, unfold it never
Let it droop there, furled forever,
For its peoples' hopes are dead."
The Conquered Banner.
NO, fold it not away forever
Keep it in our hearts' depth ever,
Love it, keep it for its past;
Take it out some time and wave it,
Think of those who died to save it,
Glory in the blood we gave it,
Bind it with our heart-strings fast.
Take it out sometime and show it,
Let your children early know it,
Know its glory - not its shame.
Teach them early to adore it,
Scorn forever those who tore it,
Tell them how it won a name,
That will mock Time's crumbling finger
And in future ages linger
On the brighest rolls of fame.
Yes, 'tis true, 'tis worn and tattered
And with brave heart blood 'tis spattered
And its staff is broke and shattered,
But it is a precious sight.
'Tis a witness how secession
Threw the glove down to oppression
Scorning at the last, concession,
Giving life blood for the right.
Oh, we cannot, cannot lose it,
(Oh how could the world refuse it?)
Can we let the foe abuse it
Or its history bright?
No, in our hearts deep, deep recesses
Its memory lingers yet, and blesses
Those who for it fought and died.
And we pray the God of Heaven
Who our darling idol's given
And who to us this hope has given
That this prayer be not denied.
In future years some hand may take it
From its resting place and shake it
O'er the young and brave,
And the old spirit still undaunted
In their young hearts by God implanted
Will triumph o'er foes who vaunted
And freedom to the South be granted,
Though now there's none to save.
Though folded now away so sadly
In future years we'll wave it gladly,
In prosperous path we'll tread.
And thousands yet un-born shall hail it,
Tens of thousands never fail it,
For-gotten be the men who wail it -
Hated those that now can trail it -
Oh, can our hopes be dead?
Written at Fayetteville, N. C., 1865 - '66.