Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Paroled at Vicksburg

Posted in Genealogy, Memory by Andy Hall on July 4, 2018

From 2010:
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Sunday marked the 147th anniversary of the end of the siege of Vicksburg. One of the Confederate soldiers taken prisoner that day was 26-year-old William C. Denman (1836-1906), a private in Company B, 30th Alabama Infantry. William Denman grew up with four younger siblings in Calhoun County, Alabama, where his widower father, Blake Denman, was a well-to-do farmer. The elder Denman was a slaveholder. William enlisted in the 30th Alabama on March 5, 1862. The regiment served in the western theater and, as part of S. D. Lee’s Brigade, saw action in several skirmishes. It suffered heavy casualties at Champion’s Hill (May 16, 1863), where it suffered 229 killed, wounded and missing — roughly half its numbers. Retreating in the face of Union General Grant’s army, Confederate forces including the 30th Alabama withdrew into Vicksburg, where they were quickly trapped between the Federal army to the east and the Federal Navy on the Mississippi. As part of S. D. Lee’s brigade, the 30th Alabama was assigned the defense of the Railroad Redoubt, one of the strong points in the Vicksburg defenses. The fort was overrun in a bloody assault on May 22, but eventually recaptured after Confederate troops regrouped and counterattacked.

After a hard siege lasting several weeks, the Confederate general commanding at Vicksburg, John C. Pembeton, surrendered his force to Grant on July 4. Private Denman, along with about 18,000 other Confederate soldiers, was paroled a few days later.Grant described this process in his memoir:

Pemberton and his army were kept in Vicksburg until the whole could be paroled. The paroles were in duplicate, by organization (one copy for each, Federals and Confederates), and signed by the commanding officers of the companies or regiments. Duplicates were also made for each soldier and signed by each individually, one to be retained by the soldier signing and one to be retained by us. Several hundred refused to sign their paroles, preferring to be sent to the North as prisoners to being sent back to fight again. Others again kept out of the way, hoping to escape either alternative. . . .

As soon as our troops took possession of the city guards were established along the whole line of parapet, from the river above to the river below. The prisoners were allowed to occupy their old camps behind the intrenchments. No restraint was put upon them, except by their own commanders. They were rationed about as our own men, and from our supplies. The men of the two armies fraternized as if they had been fighting for the same cause. When they passed out of the works they had so long and so gallantly defended, between lines of their late antagonists, not a cheer went up, not a remark was made that would give pain. Really, I believe there was a feeling of sadness just then in the breasts of most of the Union soldiers at seeing the dejection of their late antagonists.

The 30th Alabama, like several other surrendered units from Vicksburg, was reorganized a short while later, and it appears that Denman continued with this reconstituted regiment. (The reorganization of these units using men who had been paroled became a subject of dispute between Union and Confederate forces, which the following year caused the Union to suspend almost all parole for captured Confederate soldiers.) In January 1864, Denman transferred to a cavalry regiment, in which he remained to the end of the war.

After the war Denman married Sarah Crankfield (1847-1932), of South Carolina. They lived in Alabama and Louisiana before settling in Marion County, Florida in 1875. There they farmed and, in their later years, operated a boarding house. They had ten children together, but only two survived to adulthood. In 1900 Denman applied for a pension based on injuries received in the war, claiming he was “incapacitated for manual labor” as a result of eating pea bread, an ersatz bread made of ground stock peas and cornmeal, during the siege of Vicksburg. It resulted, Denman claimed, in chronic gastritis and bilious dyspepsia. He died in 1906.

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Grant’s Poisoned Chalice

Posted in Leadership, Memory by Andy Hall on March 17, 2011

Bloggers really are a shameless bunch, snatching an idea from one of their colleagues, and running off on a new tangent with it.

Keith Harris, who blogs at Cosmic America, got the ball rolling this time by posting a video clip of Grant author Joan Waugh, discussing the persistent rumors of drunkenness that swirled around Grant throughout the war and after. Waugh’s own position on the subject is not entirely clear, but she describes the sort of “default” position taken by many historians — that his drinking didn’t interfere with his abilities “when it counted,” — and follows up by explaining that she admonishes her students to be “mature about judging our presidents and other leaders,” recognizing their human foibles, and asking rhetorically whether Lincoln, after suffering through a series of failed Union generals, would “appoint a raging drunk to lead the Union army?”

Professor Brooks D. Simpson, himself a Grant biographer, takes strong exception to the notion that Grant only drank when nothing much was going on. He outlines three specific occasions when Grant had what appears to have had serious alcohol-related incidents when engaged in active military operations, one of which — a fall from his horse at New Orleans in October 1863 — put him effectively out of action for weeks. “When you are a general in command of an army,” Simpson writes, “something important is always going on, and it would be bad business for a general to assume a lull in the fighting to relax before being surprised. Think Shiloh.”

Simpson doesn’t discuss Grant’s drinking at Chattanooga, but it was attested by Ambrose Bierce, at the time a staff officer under General William Babcock Hazen. Bierce thought well of Grant, but as Simpson himself noted in a 2007 piece for the Ambrose Bierce Project, the writer chafed mightily at the fatuous accolades and near-deification of the man that followed Grant’s death in July 1885. Among the things that stirred Bierce’s ire — and it didn’t take much, truly — were the general’s eulogists who built complex rationalizations around his imbibing or, worse, averred he never touched the bottle. A few months after Grant’s passing, Bierce set out his own, utterly unapologetic perspective on the subject:

For my part, I know of nothing in great military or civic abilities incompatible with a love of strong drink, nor any reason to suppose that a true patriot may not have the misfortune to be dissipated. Alexander the Great was a drunkard, and died of it. Webster was as often drunk as sober. The instances are numberless. When the nation’s admiration of Grant, who was really an admirable soldier, shall have accomplished its fermentation and purged itself of toadyism, men of taste will not be ashamed to set it before their guests at a feast of reason. . . .

My own observation – take it for what it is worth – is that it was some time afterward. As late as the battle of Mission[ary] Ridge (November 25,1863) it was my privilege to be close to him for six or seven hours, on Orchard Knob – him and his staff and a variable group of other general and staff officers, including Thomas, Granger, Sheridan, Wood and Hazen. They looked upon the wine when it was red, these tall fellows – they bit glass. The poisoned chalice went about and about. Some of them did not kiss the dragon; my recollection is that Grant commonly did. I don’t think he took enough to comfort the enemy- not more than I did myself from another bottle but I was all the time afraid he would, which was ungenerous, for he did not appear at all afraid I would. This confidence touched me deeply.

Many times since then I have read with pleasure and approval the warmest praises of Grant’s total abstinence from some of the gentlemen then and there present.

Such virtues as we have
Our piety doth grace the gods withal.

These gentlemen were themselves total abstainers from the truth.

One wonders whether, 125 years after his death, the fermentation of Grant’s legacy in this regard is even yet accomplished. Not quite yet, for some.

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Bierce excerpt from David J. Klooster and Russell Duncan, eds., Phantoms of a Blood-Stained Period: The Complete Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce (University of Massachusetts, 2002). Image: Chromolithograph of a painting by Thure de Thulstrup, “Battle of Chattanooga” (depicting the Battle of Missionary Ridge) of the Chattanooga Campaign. Library of Congress.

“Possessed of an irascible temper, and naturally disputatious.”

Posted in Leadership, Memory by Andy Hall on September 16, 2010

Over at KNOXVILLE 1863, the novel, Dick Stanley has a couple of posts up on Confederate General Braxton Bragg. They paint a picture of a man who was decidedly not popular, either with his men or with his fellow senior officers. He was a prickly man, very much caught up in protocol and form. In his own memoir, Ulysses S. Grant echoes some of their impressions of the man — honest, industrious, and decidedly formal with colleagues. Grant goes on to repeat an anecdote about Bragg from the prewar Army which, accurate or not, vividly captures Bragg’s obsession with procedure:

Bragg was a remarkably intelligent and well-informed man, professionally and otherwise. He was also thoroughly upright. But he was possessed of an irascible temper, and was naturally disputatious. A man of the highest moral character and the most correct habits, yet in the old army he was in frequent trouble. As a subordinate he was always on the lookout to catch his commanding officer infringing his prerogatives; as a post commander he was equally vigilant to detect the slightest neglect, even of the most trivial order.

I have heard in the old army an anecdote very characteristic of Bragg. On one occasion, when stationed at a post of several companies commanded by a field officer, he was himself commanding one of the companies and at the same time acting as post quartermaster and commissary. He was first lieutenant at the time, but his captain was detached on other duty. As commander of the company he made a requisition upon the quartermaster–himself–for something he wanted.

As quartermaster he declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed on the back of it his reasons for so doing. As company commander he responded to this, urging that his requisition called for nothing but what he was entitled to, and that it was the duty of the quartermaster to fill it. As quartermaster he still persisted that he was right. In this condition of affairs Bragg referred the whole matter to the commanding officer of the post. The latter, when he saw the nature of the matter referred, exclaimed: “My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarreled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarreling with yourself!”

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Mrs. Grant’s Donation

Posted in Leadership, Media by Andy Hall on July 20, 2010

Rusty Williams, over at My Old Confederate Home blog, makes a great find: President Grant’s widow, Julia Dent Grant, made a $25 donation to the Confederate Soldier’s Home in Austin. Sure enough, the Galveston Daily News of March 15, 1889, confirms:

Aiding the Confederate Home

New York, March 14 — Secretary Oliver Downing of the New York Citizen’s committee, to aid the National Confederate Soldier’s home at Austin, Tex., has received a letter from General Alfred Pleasanton containing money. Another letter from Mrs. Grant incloses [sic.] a check for $25. The letter is as follows:

Oliver Downing, Secretary, Etc. — Dear Sir: General Grant’s kindly feelings toward the southern people, though they were once his enemies, is Mrs. Grant’s reasons for sending the inclosed check. She wishes you success in your efforts.

Fred D. Grant, for Mrs. Grant

200 Dozen Quails, Larded and Roasted. . . .

Posted in Leadership by Andy Hall on July 15, 2010


President Grant reads his Second Inaugural Address at the East Front of the Capitol, March 4, 1873. Seated, bareheaded, to Grant’s immediate left is Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, who had run against Grant the previous November. Image: Library of Congress.

In the U.S. presidential election of 1872, Ulysses S. Grant coasted to an easy victory, with 55% of the popular vote and 286 electoral votes, more than a hundred more than needed to win the White House. Washington prepared for a grand inaugural, the first for a president reelected in peacetime since Andrew Jackson. Trains to Washington was swarmed with “inauguralists,” carrying with them only enough hand luggage to accommodate a couple of nights’ stay in the city. But that first week of March 1873 proved to be bitterly, bitterly cold. The president’s speech, delivered on the East Front of the Capitol, was mercifully short at just 1,338 words.


Grant’s inaugural procession marches up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. Image: Library of Congress.

But the preparations, months in the making, proceeded apace. The correspondent from the Titusville, Pennsylvania Herald got a sneak peek at the ballroom under construction a few days before the big event:

The ball room, with its sixty chandeliers is nearly completed; the arched ceiling being one mass of crimson and gold ornaments, on a back ground of white muslin. The bases of the arches that span the building and in support the roof, some thirty in number, are covered with a framework running up some twenty feet, and coming to a point at the top, not unlike the gable ends of the ancient buildings of Nuremberg. The woodwork m painted in imitation of columns, the colors used being light brown and yellow. On tho space at the top are painted patriotic legends, such as ”Pro Bono Publico,” “Ecce Homo,” etc. At the back of these the sides of the ball room are covered with white muslin so that the decorations stand out in bold relief.

The designs for the ends of this room are also very elegant. The one at the north end will represent an arch supported by columns, under which a [illegible] ground of red, white and blue will bear the names of Grant and [Vice President-elect Henry] Wilson. The whole finished off with the coat of arms of the United States, banners, festoons, gas-jets, transparencies, etc. The design at the opposite (south) end is not so elaborate, but still very neat. From a red Maltese cross in the center will radiate festoons of the national colors, bearing appropriate inscriptions in frames of laurel and gold. Looking down the immense hall, tbe effect produced is very beautiful.

The planned menu was no less grand. From the Waikato Times (New Zealand), 15 July 1873:

Presidential Bill of Fare — The grand “inauguration ball” in honor of President Grant, was given at Washington on the 5th inst., and if the assembled|guests consumed all the supper provided for them they must hare got almost satisfied by the close of the entertainment, and let us hope comfortable on the morning of the 6th inst. The following is the list of things, which, according to the New York Herald, of the 2nd inst., had been forwarded from that city to Washington in preparation for what it terms ” the grand blowout:” — 10,000 fried oysters; 8,000 scalloped oysters; 8,000 pickled oysters; 65 boned turkeys of 12lb each, 150 roast capons, stuffed with truffles; 15 saddles of mutton, about 10lb each; 40 pieces of spiced beef, 40lb each ; 200 dozen quails, larded and roasted; 100 game pates, 50lb each; 300 tongues, ornamented with jelly; 30 salmon, baked; Montpelier butter; 100 chickens; 400 partridges; 25 bears’ heads, stuffed and ornamented; 40 pates de foie gras, 10lb each; 2,000 head cheese sandwiches; 3,000 ham sandwiches; 3,000 beef tongue sandwiches; 1,500 bundles of celery; 30 barrels salad; 2 barrels lettuce; 350 chickens boiled for salad; 1 barrel of beets; 2,500 loaves of bread; 8,000 rolls; 21 cases Prince Albert crackers; 1,000lb butter; 300 Charlotte russes, 1½lb each; 200 moulds white jelly; 200 moulds blanc mange; 300 gallons ice cream, assorted; 200 gallons ices, assorted; 400lb mixed cakes, 150lb large cakes, ornamented; 60 large pyramids, assorted; 25 barrels Malaga grapes; 15 cases oranges; 5 barrels apples; 400lb mixed candies; 10 boxes mums; 200lb shelled almonds; 300 gallons claret punch; 300 gallons coffee; 200 gallons tea; 100 gallons chocolate; besides “oil, vinegar, lemons, and trimmings of all sorts.” The cost of this feast had not vet been estimated, but for the baking and preparing alone $10,000, and for the hire of the dishes $5,200 (with breakage and damage to be made good) had been paid. The supper would of course have been a little more bountiful, but that unfortunately the Americans are at present clothed in sackcloth, and engaged in rigidly observing the Lenten fast.

Despite such a vast and remarkable menu — and really, who wouldn’t be proud to lay out “25 bears’ heads, stuffed and ornamented” for a few thousand of your closest friends — the inaugural ball didn’t go well. Learning a lesson from his first inauguration, where the space allotted had been insufficicient for the crowds, a cavernous temporary structure was built on Judiciary Square. It was magnificently outfitted and decorated (above), but lacked one critical feature: it had no heat. On the evening of the ball, the mercury dropped to four degrees below freezing. A strong wind rippled through the huge building as guests put on their overcoats and bundled up against the chill. Hundred of canaries, brought in to sing and chirp happily, dropped to the bottom of their cages, frozen.


President Grant’s second inaugural ball, March 5, 1873. Library of Congress. The artist discretely omitted the fur coats, overcoats and hats donned by the attendees to keep out the cold. Image: Library of Congress.

Reflecting Grant’s own emphasis on civil rights, the inaugural committee had insisted that the ball be opened to all, “without distinction of race, color or previous condition.” But news reporters recorded disdainful descriptions of well-dressed African American couples, and commented on Naval Academy midshipmen dancing with “the wives of colored congressmen.” The dancing for all, to be sure, was enthusiastic; everyone took regular turns on the dance floor to keep the blood flowing in the deep winter chill. Little of the food was touched, and it soon congealed into a cold mess. Party-goers swarmed the hot coffee, tea and chocolate, which soon were exhausted. The guests, who’d purchased tickets at $20 each (about $370 today), had almost all gone home by midnight.

The Boston Daily Globe reported on March 7 that the ball had posted a net loss of $20,000.

h/t: Suzy Evans, Lincoln’s Lunch.

Paroled at Vicksburg

Posted in Genealogy, Memory by Andy Hall on July 5, 2010

Sunday marked the 147th anniversary of the end of the siege of Vicksburg. One of the Confederate soldiers taken prisoner that day was 26-year-old William C. Denman (1836-1906), a private in Company B, 30th Alabama Infantry. William Denman grew up with four younger siblings in Calhoun County, Alabama, where his widower father, Blake Denman, was a well-to-do farmer. The elder Denman was a slaveholder. William enlisted in the 30th Alabama on March 5, 1862. The regiment served in the western theater and, as part of S. D. Lee’s Brigade, saw action in several skirmishes. It suffered heavy casualties at Champion’s Hill (May 16, 1863), where it suffered 229 killed, wounded and missing — roughly half its numbers. Retreating in the face of Union General Grant’s army, Confederate forces including the 30th Alabama withdrew into Vicksburg, where they were quickly trapped between the Federal army to the east and the Federal Navy on the Mississippi. As part of S. D. Lee’s brigade, the 30th Alabama was assigned the defense of the Railroad Redoubt, one of the strong points in the Vicksburg defenses. The fort was overrun in a bloody assault on May 22, but eventually recaptured after Confederate troops regrouped and counterattacked.

After a hard siege lasting several weeks, the Confederate general commanding at Vicksburg, John C. Pembeton, surrendered his force to Grant on July 4. Private Denman, along with about 18,000 other Confederate soldiers, was paroled a few days later.Grant described this process in his memoir:

Pemberton and his army were kept in Vicksburg until the whole could be paroled. The paroles were in duplicate, by organization (one copy for each, Federals and Confederates), and signed by the commanding officers of the companies or regiments. Duplicates were also made for each soldier and signed by each individually, one to be retained by the soldier signing and one to be retained by us. Several hundred refused to sign their paroles, preferring to be sent to the North as prisoners to being sent back to fight again. Others again kept out of the way, hoping to escape either alternative. . . .

As soon as our troops took possession of the city guards were established along the whole line of parapet, from the river above to the river below. The prisoners were allowed to occupy their old camps behind the intrenchments. No restraint was put upon them, except by their own commanders. They were rationed about as our own men, and from our supplies. The men of the two armies fraternized as if they had been fighting for the same cause. When they passed out of the works they had so long and so gallantly defended, between lines of their late antagonists, not a cheer went up, not a remark was made that would give pain. Really, I believe there was a feeling of sadness just then in the breasts of most of the Union soldiers at seeing the dejection of their late antagonists.

The 30th Alabama, like several other surrendered units from Vicksburg, was reorganized a short while later, and it appears that Denman continued with this reconstituted regiment. (The reorganization of these units using men who had been paroled became a subject of dispute between Union and Confederate forces, which the following year caused the Union to suspend almost all parole for captured Confederate soldiers.) In January 1864, Denman transferred to a cavalry regiment, in which he remained to the end of the war.

After the war Denman married Sarah Crankfield (1847-1932), of South Carolina. They lived in Alabama and Louisiana before settling in Marion County, Florida in 1875. There they farmed and, in their later years, operated a boarding house. They had ten children together, but only two survived to adulthood. In 1900 Denman applied for a pension based on injuries received in the war, claiming he was “incapacitated for manual labor” as a result of eating pea bread, an ersatz bread made of ground stock peas and cornmeal, during the siege of Vicksburg. It resulted, Denman claimed, in chronic gastritis and bilious dyspepsia. He died in 1906.

Q. How Old was General Hood at Gettysburg?

Posted in Media, Memory by Andy Hall on June 26, 2010

A. Thirty-two.


Hood as portrayed by (l. to r.) Patrick Gorman in Gettysburg (1993) and Gods and Generals (2003), Levon Helm in In the Electric Mist (2009) and himself in real life (c. 1865).

Picking up a thread of an idea from David Woodbury at Of Battlefields and Bibliophiles, I’ve been thinking about how film and television typically portrays Civil War figures. Most often they’re depicted substantially older than they really were. I’m not necessarily speaking of the actor’s actual age versus character’s (because actors routinely play much younger characters), but more generally his apparent age — how he’s made to look. It’s easy to see why this would be the case. When an actor portraying a Civil War figures actually is about the right age for the character, it’s often jarring for the viewer, to whom it doesn’t “feel” right even if, in fact, it is. Matthew Broderick was 25 or 26 when he shot Glory; his character, Robert Gould Shaw, was exactly that age at the time of the events depicted in the film. Nonetheless, although the actor and the role were perfectly matched for age, it still didn’t “look right” for a lot of people, and probably harmed the overall public reception of the movie. People just couldn’t see someone that young, in that role. (Being known at the time primarily for his role as as Ferris Bueller didn’t help.)

But this just highlights something that we might easily forget — the vast majority of these men, from private to general, were very young by modern standards. At the beginning of the war, Ulysses S. Grant was 39. George Meade was 45. George McClellan was 36. George Pickett was 36. James Longstreet was 40, as was John George Walker. Stonewall Jackson was 37. William Tecumseh Sherman was 41, and so on. Robert E. Lee was 54, the “old man,” not just because of the senior position he held, but because he was, by the standard of the day, objectively and factually old.

There are lots of exceptions, of course — Albert Sidney Johnston was nearly 60 when he got plinked at Shiloh — but still it amazes me how young these men were when so much rested on their shoulders.

Update: Argghh! Dimitri Rotov has stolen a march on me on this very topic over at Civil War Bookshelf.

Encounters with Grant at Chattanooga

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Hall on June 16, 2010


Grant (l.) and his staff on Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 1863. Library of Congress photo.

One of the great firsthand accounts of Texas troops in the Civil War is Val C. Giles’ Rags and Hope: Four Years with Hood’s Brigade, Fourth Texas Infantry, 1861-1865 (Mary Lasswell, ed.). The account of Sergeant Valerius Cincinnatus Giles is important to me personally because he served in the same regiment, the Fourth Texas, as one of my relatives. More significant still, Giles’ time is the unit matches my uncle’s almost exactly, from the formation of the unit to each man’s being taken prisoner during the Chattanooga campaign — Giles in late October 1863; my uncle about three weeks later. It seems likely that much of what Giles saw and did and heard was shared by other men in the regiment, including my relative.

Giles was captured during a confused skirmish in the early morning hours of October 29. After running smack into a big, burly German private of the 136th New York in the dark, Giles and about twenty of his comrades were rounded up and marched back behind Union lines.

We were marched back and halted near General Hooker’s headquarters. By that time it was daylight, and the whole earth appeared covered with bluecoats. I was a Sergeant at that time, and the only noncommissioned officer in our squad. I was ordered to report to General Hooker, and was escorted to headquarters, between two muskets. Hooker was rather a pleasant-looking man, and returned my salute like a soldier. Then he began to interrogate me. He asked me a hundred questions and wound up by saying that I was the most complete know-nothing for my size he had ever seen.

That evening we started to Chattanooga under a heavy guard. We crossed the Tennessee River about four miles below Lookout Mountain. Near the middle of the bridge we were halted and formed in one rank on each side, to let some General Officers and their escorts pass. General Grant and General Thomas rode in front, followed by along train of staff officers and couriers. When General Grant reached the line of ragged, filthy, bloody, starveling, despairing prisoners strung out on each side of the bridge, he lifted his hat hat and held it over his head until he passed the last man of that living funeral cortege. He was the only officer in that whole train who recognized us as being on the face of the earth. Grant alone paid military honor to a fallen foe.

Grant doesn’t mention this encounter with Giles and his fellows in his memoirs, but he does mention encountering Confederate troops in the field, apparently that same day:

In securing possession of Lookout Valley, Smith lost one man killed and four or five wounded. The enemy lost most of his pickets at the ferry, captured. In the night engagement of the 28th-9th Hooker lost 416 killed and wounded. I never knew the loss of the enemy, but our troops buried over one hundred and fifty of his dead and captured more than a hundred.

After we had secured the opening of a line over which to bring our supplies to the army, I made a personal inspection to see the situation of the pickets of the two armies. As I have stated, Chattanooga Creek comes down the centre of the valley to within a mile or such a matter of the town of Chattanooga, then bears off westerly, then north-westerly, and enters the Tennessee River at the foot of Lookout Mountain. This creek, from its mouth up to where it bears off west, lay between the two lines of pickets, and the guards of both armies drew their water from the same stream. As I would be under short-range fire and in an open country, I took nobody with me, except, I believe, a bugler, who stayed some distance to the rear. I rode from our right around to our left. When I came to the camp of the picket guard of our side, I heard the call, “Turn out the guard for the commanding general.” I replied, “Never mind the guard,” and they were dismissed and went back to their tents. Just back of these, and about equally distant from the creek, were the guards of the Confederate pickets. The sentinel on their post called out in like manner, “Turn out the guard for the commanding general,” and, I believe, added, “General Grant.” Their line in a moment front-faced to the north, facing me, and gave a salute, which I returned.

The most friendly relations seemed to exist between the pickets of the two armies. At one place there was a tree which had fallen across the stream, and which was used by the soldiers of both armies in drawing water for their camps. General Longstreet’s corps was stationed there at the time, and wore blue of a little different shade from our uniform. Seeing a soldier in blue on this log, I rode up to him, commenced conversing with him, and asked whose corps he belonged to. He was very polite, and, touching his hat to me, said he belonged to General Longstreet’s corps. I asked him a few questions—but not with a view of gaining any particular information—all of which he answered, and I rode off.