Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 107
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Reminiscences of the Old Brigade
death for one bright smile from her, and how I
would like to see her just one more time. So
tired, weary and thinking of her I fell asleep
and dreamed of her, and then I dreamed that
life, and all its turmoil, its joys, and its sor-
rows, had passed; that we had both crossed the
dark and turbid stream of death, and had met
in joy and happiness in the golden paved city
of eternal rest, and there, where the secrets of
all hearts are opened and made known, she
viewed my heart and told me that she never
knew me on earth but we would be happy now,
and we were having a gay old time, and I hugged
her, and then I k-i-s-s-e-d her, and my very
soul overflowed with joy, and then the scene
shifted I discended back to earth, where war,
with its blood and desolation was sweeping. I
saw two hostile armies in battle array, meet
and clash. I mingled in the strife, trying to help
the smaller army; a huge cannon ball from the
enemy's lines cut me in two, and again I was
dead. But instead of going straightway to
heaven, as all good soldiers and true patriots
ought, I had missed my footing and fell slap
into hell; and, oh! how hot. I thought my very
soul was scizzing and being fried and the pain
was so intense, that it awakened me, and I found
that part of my dream was no dream, but was
in truth and in fact a stern reality, for the whole
back part of my clothing was on fire. Of course,
the first thing I did, was to put out the fire and
then after it was out I looked round on the sleep-
ing 5th. What right had they to be sleeping while
I suffering the torments of the damned? Jeff
Davis never intended anything of the sort; and
I determined that they should not. So I squalled
fire, and kept squalling fire until I get them all
awake. There was some talk of damn fools,
straight jackets and lunatic asylums, but I did
not care for that.
You can bet your very last dollar I didn't
go to see my sweetheart with those dilapidated
pants on. No, sir, I never saw her but once
after that, and I had on a bran spanking new
pair. That was the last time I ever saw her, and
this is the last you will ever hear of her, for she
is no longer my sweetheart, but the "others
fellow's," and I'm sorry for it.
And, now [illegible] the Confederacy never
asked me for anything that I did not willingly
give. I believed that my highest and noblest
duty was to my poor bleeding suffering coun-
try. I freely made every sacrifice demanded of
me and offered my life willingly on her altar,
and am only sorry that I was not able to do
more and could not carry her flag to success.
This is the only apology I have to offer for my
acts. But giving is one thing-taking away is
another. Had Gen. Sibley asked me for my
mule, it would have been given. I took my prop-
erty, because under the fire of the enemy, I
had loaned it. I was not present when the order
come to press it, nor did I hear of it for several
hours afterwards. Capt. Wright, to whom the
order was taken, as I belonged to his company,
made the protest. Col. Green heard of it, and
stopped it. I loaned the mule the second time
because I had no use for it, and I thought it
would do more good there. I had no use for it,
because for two weeks after the accident to my
coat-tail and pants, I had either to stand up or
lie down-there was no setting down with me.
Our grand mistake was in not taking Fort
Craig; theirs in not passing us at Paralto, or in
the mountains. They could have captured our
whole outfit but the truth was that, Val Verde
especially and Glorietta gave them such exalted
ideas of our powers, that they were afraid to
We all now rested a month to get our sick
well and cure our sore feet; the 5th at Danna
Anna, the 2nd and 7th at Messilla, and the 4th
at Willow Bar.
I feel that it would be unjust to the cause of
humanity, and to a great and illustrious sol-
dier, and grand and good man, to close this
retreat, without one little tribute to Gen.
E. R. S. Canby, commander of the forces op-
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999, periodical, May 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151406/m1/59/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.