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ENTERED, according to act of Congress, in the year 1868,

BY I. STEBBINS,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut.

PREFACE.

In the summer of 1865, and in the following winter, I made two visits to the South, spending four months in eight of the principal States which had lately been in rebellion. I saw the most noted battle-fields of the war. I made acquaintance with officers and soldiers of both sides. I followed in the track of the destroying armies. I travelled by railroad, by steamboat, by stage-coach, and by private conveyance ; meeting and conversing with all sorts of people, from high State officials to “low-down” whites and negroes; endeavoring, at all times and in all places, to receive correct impressions of the country, of its inhabitants, of the great contest of arms just closed, and of the still greater contest of principles not yet terminated.

This book is the result. It is a record of actual observations and conversations, free from fictitious coloring. Such stories as were told me of the war and its depredations would have been spoiled by embellishment; pictures of existing conditions, to be valuable, must be faithful; and what is now most desirable, is not hypothesis or declamation, but the light of plain facts upon the momentous question of the hour, which must be settled, not according to any political or sectional bias, but upon broad grounds of Truth and Eternal Right.

I have accordingly made my narrative as ample and as literally faithful as the limits of these pages, and of my own opportunities, would allow. Whenever practicable, I have

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stepped aside and let the people I met speak for themselves. Notes taken on the spot, and under all sorts of circumstances, - on horseback, in jolting wagons, by the firelight of a farm-house, or negro camp, sometimes in the dark, or in the rain, — have enabled me to do this in many cases with absolute fidelity. Conversations which could not be reported in this way, were written out as soon as possible after they took place, and while yet fresh in my memory. Idiomatic pecaliarities, which are often so expressive of character, I have reproduced without exaggeration. To intelligent and candid men it was my habit to state frankly my intention to publish an account of my journey, and then, with their permission, to jot down such views and facts as they saw fit to impart. Sometimes I was requested not to report certain statements of an important nature, made in the glow of conversation ; these, not without regret, I have suppressed ; and I trust that in no instance have I violated a confidence that was reposed in me.

I may add that the conversations recorded are generally of a representative character, being selected from among hundreds of such ; and that if I have given seemingly undue prominence to any subject, it has been because I found it an absorbing and universal topic of discussion.

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May, 1866.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER 1.- THE START.

Harrisburg. - First Indications of War.- Reminiscences of Lee's Invasion. On to

Gettysburg. – The Town and its Inhabitants. — The Hero of Gettysburg..Page 17

CHAPTER II. - THE FIELD OF GETTYSBURG.

Cemetery Hill. - Pivot of the Battle and of the War. Culp's Hill. - Rock Creek.
- Cemetery at Sunset. – John Burns. - The Peach Orchard. - Devil's Den and
Little Round Top. — Round Top. – Meade's Head-Quarters. - Woman's Hero-

ism and Humanity. - A Soldier and his Benefactor. - Harvest of Bullets....20

CHAPTER III. - A REMINISCENCE OF CHAMBERSBURG.

Quiet Country. - Ruins of Chambersburg. – Burning of the Town. – Flight of the

Inhabitants. - Escape of the Raiders. – Death of Three Rebels. — Homeless Inhab-

itants. - State Appropriation for their Relief.- No Loss without Gain....... .34

CHAPTER IV. - South MOUNTAIN.

Hagerstown. – Valley of the Antietam. — Boonshoro'. - The Rebels in Maryland.

- View of the Mountain. - The Ascent. - Scene of General Reno's Death.

Reb-

els buried in a Well. – A Mountaineer's Story. - View of Catoctin Valley. — Strong

Rebel Position. - Patriot Graves. - Antietam Valley at Sunset....

40

CHAPTER V.- THE FIELD OF ANTIETAM.

Rebel Line of Retreat. – Keedysville. — Brick Church Hospital. — Porter and his

Reserves. - Banks of the Antietam. - Scenes at the Straw-Stacks. — Unfortunate

Farmers. - Hospital Cemetery. - The Corn Field. - The Old Ploughman. - A

Lesson for Vanitv. - A Soldier's Name. — The Dunker Church. – Sharpsburg.

- Shelter from the Rain. Southern Pronunciation. - Burnside's Bridge. — An-

cient and Modern Heroes. — Antietam National Cemetery. - The Battle...... .44

CHAPTER VI. - Dowx THE RIVER TO HARPER'S FERRY.

Search for a Vehicle. — “Mr. Bennerhalls.” – Mr. Benner without the “halls.” —

Leaving Sharpsburg. – Mountain Scenery. - Capt. Speaker's Narrative. Sur-

render of Harper's Ferry. - Escape of Twenty-two Hundred Cavalry. — Capture

of Rebel Wagon Train. - Morning in Greencastle. — Arrival at the Ferry.....57

CHAPTER VII.- AROUND HARPER'S FERRY.

River and Mountain Scenery. – Maryland Heights. — John Brown's Engine-House.

-- Reminiscence of John Brown. - Political Inconsistency. – Negro from Shenan-
doah Valley. - Folly of Secession...

.64

CHAPTER VIII. - A TRIP TO CHARLESTOWN.

Railroad Passengers. – A Desolated Country. - Farmers and Land. - A Dilapidated

Town. — Meeting an Acquaintance. - Boarding-House Fare. — People and the

Government Policy. - Charlestown Jail and Court-House. - John Brown's Trial.

" His Soul Marching On.” – A One-armed Confederate. - John Brown's Gallows.

- Scene from the Scaffold. - The Church and its Uses ..

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Small Farmers. - Right Ignorant but Right Sharp:--- Sedgwick's Retreat. -- Farms

and Crops. — Views of Emancipation. Poor Whites and Niggers. — The Man

that killed Harrow. — Along the Plank-Road. — Tales of the Old Times. - Chancel-

lorsville Farm. - What was under the Weeds. - Bones for the Bone-Factory.

Chancellorsville Burying-Ground. — Death of Stonewall Jackson... .114

CHAPTER XV.- THE WILDERNESS.

Days of Anxiety, — Inflexible Spirit of the People. — Locust Grove. — The Wilder-

ness Church. - Relics of the Battle. Skeletons above Ground. – Wilderness

Cemetery. - A Summer Shower. — The Wounded in the Fire. — The Rainbow..123

CHAPTER XVI. - SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE.

Elijah “Cut." - Richard " H." Hicks. Poor Whites and the War. - Dead en's

Clothes. — A “Heavy Coon Dog." – Traces of the Battle. – View of the Court-

House. — Grant's Breastworks. - County Clerk. Whites and Blacks in the

County. - Ignorance of the Lower Classes. - The Negro “Fated"..

CHAPTER XVII. - THE FIELD OF SPOTTSYLVANIA.

The Tavern-Keeper's Relics. – A Union Officer's Opinions. — The Landlord's Corn-

field. — Rebel and Yankee Troops. – Scene of the Decisive Conflict. – Graves of

Spottsylvania.- Women“ Chincapinnin."- Leaves from a Soldier's Testament..137

CHAPTER XVIII. -"ON to RICHMOND."

A Bubble Vanished. - Desolate Scenery. – Virginia and Massachusetts. - Ashton. -

Suburbs. Northern Men in Richmond. — Appearance of the City........ 143

CHAPTER XIX.- THE BURNT DISTRICT.

Ruins of Richmond. – Why the Rebels burnt the City.— Panic of the Inhabitants. -

......129

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