Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/334

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near the Henry house. It had been a great victory for our men. The house was just riddled with bullets. I went in to look at it; all along the route, too, for over three miles were the evidences of the indescribable rout; a shapeless, morbid mass of bones and sinews, wood and iron, powder blackened trees, charred bridges. Oh, it was dreadful, dreadful and one of the most terrible pictures of the war. ' '

" My old home of Warrenton saw much of the bloody battling," said Mrs. Semmes. "When General Stuart was defending War- renton the women of the place showed their undaunted heroism. My own sister, Mrs. Payne, who was the wife of Major Rice W. Payne, turned her own home into a hospital for the Confederate wounded. The best rooms in the house were for the soldiers, and when sick and dying they were brought there, and she herself nursed them, making even the little children in the house play the nurse, too, by fanning the soldiers while they slept, and handing them water and so on. Several of her children contracted the fever. Four of the soldiers having died in my sister's home, they were buried with military honors. The children, happily, recovered, but my sister was taken ill and died, a victim to her love for the stricken South.

"Some amusing incidents occurred in Warrenton. When the Yankee soldiers would pass through and ask for food, the ladies growing tired and determined to save all sustenance for our boys in gray, determined to make the enemy pay for food. I had a cousin who was married to a Presbyterian minister by the name of Pollock. He was from Maine and was the tallest, thinest and most cadaverous looking man I ever saw. One day it was reported that my cousin had hidden some Yankee bones in her yard. The union soldiers were trying to gather up all the bones of those who were killed and bury them. A squad of union soldiers marched up to my cousin's house and said to her: 'We hear Madam, that you have a bag of Yankee bones hidden in your house.' She looked at the captain a moment, and answered smartly: 'Yes, I have a bag of Yankee bones here; come with me and I will show it to you.' She led the men into the chicken yard, where her tall, cadaverous husband was engaged in feeding the chickens, and pointing to him, she said: ' There is my bag of Yankee bones. '

"This cousin's name was Elizabeth. One day when she heard that some Confederate soldiers had been wounded at a distance, she mounted her horse to go and aid them. On the way the horse took