Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/29

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15
The Last Charge.

you turn them fellows loose and come with me," and I came. As I looked over my shoulders, as I went down the hill we had charged up, I saw a regiment of Yanks riding by front of line with their carbines slung, and carrying a white flag in the middle of the regiment and gradually expanding around our camp. The battery we had captured was moving back towards their lines, and one fellow said to me as they passed, "Guess you did not keep us very long, Johnny, did you." I followed General Lee down and back the way we came and found Generals R. E. Lee and Gordon and Pendleton and Pickett and Longstreet at the apple tree where General W. H. F. Lee joined his father, and I was told it was all over.

There I was; not a 14th man to be seen, and I felt like I was in a strange land, hungry. Pretty soon Captain Pull Smith who had as you may remember been in charge of the picket line, the night before, and we had not been relieved where we came from rear to front of Lee's army up to me and said: "Moffett, where is the regiment: what are you doing here," all in the same breath, to which I answered "I don't know, do you?" "They say we have surrendered," he said. I said, "Well I am not going to surrender." Just then Gen. R. E. Lee, passed near us and Smith said to him, "General, what is the matter? I am not going to surrender; can't I leave here?" Gen. Lee said, "I have surrendered this army; I cannot give you permission to leave, and captain you ought not to leave; stay with the rest of us." But Bill Smith said, "I am going to get out of here or die, and he did leave and got out and lives to this day, the same brave, daring and every inch a man. He was at the regiment as I came back with those prisoners. I came by where Sam Walker was lying wounded in charge of John Whitmore who said he was mortally wounded. Me died that evening. Near him was James Wilson, our color sergeant, and he too, poor fellow, had seen his last on earth. His beautiful bay mare stood near him, and the colors of our old regiment were furled and leaning against a tree never again to be unfurled. I do not remember who was with him, but I think it was his brother. I knew he was dying; my heart sunk within me when he said to me. "Moffett, it is hard to die now just as the war is over. But it was his