The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
When Father was captured, Lee, although long since freed by
Lincoln's proclamation, begged to go to prison with him; when
this was not allowed, he remained nearby and day by day
brought food that he secured by foraging the countryside. One
night Father was suddenly entrained for another hospital and
Lee was not at hand. Father tried frantically to reach him
but, not succeeding, disconsolate, left Lee behind. It was not
until several years after the war that master and servant met
at Atlanta, where Lee still waited for his return, and gave
Father his sword that he had salvaged.
This family of slaves, attached only by the bonds of love,
stayed with us in San Antonio, supported by my father and em-
ployed around our home, until they died off, one by one--fine
examples of those loyal bondsmen who formed such an impor-
tant part of the households of the South; men and women who
took care of the Missus and the children while father and sons
went off to fight for what they thought was right.
From his old comrades, I got thrilling stories of Father as a
fighter. Major Frank Spencer told me how they were lying in
a trench, with the "Yankees" several hundred yards in front
of them. Sniping was going on incessantly. One of the men
in Father's regiment was caught in an effort to escape to the
rear. Father appeared on the scene, lectured the man about
the enormity of his action, and, feeling certain he was really
not a coward but overcome by the emotion of the moment, de-
cided to do something to inspire confidence and bravery in the
timid soldier. Ordering some privates to secure the man, he
mounted the breastworks with them and placed him astride a
branch of a tree immediately in front of the works and in plain
sight of the Northern army. Grasping the man's legs, Father
stood there while he ordered the others back to the trench.
Major Spencer said that for five minutes it looked as if the
whole Union Army was blazing away at the man on the tree and
Father below, but neither was hit, and soon they scurried back
to the trenches. The lesson had been effective. A few minutes
later the Confederates were ordered to charge, and as they
sprang over the breastworks and crossed the intervening space
the one who led them was the man who had been held by Father
on the limb of the tree.
While my father was heavily engaged in the Army of Ten-
nessee, my mother's two brothers, George and William Kemper,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/32/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.