Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/53

This page needs to be proofread.
49
An Alabama Heroine

the Yankees h.id lost a box of hardtack (crackers) in the stream of course they got wet but that did not soften them this box of hard- tack General Forrest issued out to the command with his own hands and of which I did not get one, as Captain Ferrell suggested that I "had been given a piece of bread the day before by a young woman."

Our horses were "giving out" and our teams being reduced, and no others to be had, until finally, all the guns and caissons had to be left except one six-pounder smoothbore and one twelve-pounder field Howitzer, and one caisson; with this section and the pick of the horses, we went forward at a somewhat better gait, having eight horses to each piece, but even then over the rough mountain roads with little or no rest and no food except what little scattered fodder the Yankee horses had left in their haste, our horses showed great distress. I had just dismounted and put my horse in the place of one that had gotten very lame in the battery and was leading him rather than to ride, when General Forrest came by and said: "Jones, when we catch them Yankees, you shall have the best horse they have got." At Blountsville the raiders stopped and fed, and issued out their ammunition and rations to their men, then corralled their wagons and set them on fire, our men were gathering up the scat- tered crumbs of crackers.

I remember that early one morning, after the usual delay at a stream, we got the usual order by a courier, "Gen. Forrest says bring up the battery." There was hard firing in front, and spurring and whipping up the poor old jaded horses, we passed through a wooded section. I was riding in advance,, and coming to a farm house on my right (I saw a burning bridge some distance in front), in the front yard I saw a beautiful young woman, who eagerly pointed me to a ford of the creek some distance above the burning bridge. She seemed to take an interest in our success, and "hoped we would catch the Yankees," etc. She had piloted Gen. Forrest to the ford, and had just got back to the yard as I rode up; indeed, I think she was going in at the gate when I first saw her. There was consider- able contrast between her acts and words and some of the women we had met on our march. Some did not know which were Forrest's men nor which the Yankees, and cared less. But we had got over the mountains and were now in a more level country. I found the old cow ford a very rough one, and on riding over my horse bogged in the quicksand, so I had the horses unhitched and taken over, and by hitching to the prolonge rope and the men in the water at the