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were sent in yawls, to try to rescue him, but all in vain. He soon ceased to holler, and those in search returned. We were a mixed multitude, and no one seemed to know who he was. Some mother wept for a son, or sister for a brother, or perhaps, a wife for a husband, who never knew his fate.

We arrived at Shreveport in afternoon of July 29th, after a wearisome trip of four and a half days. Most of the time, on short rations, caused by a division with the five men, who hurried off without anything to eat on their journey. We were forced to take roasting ears and watermelons, along the river bank, of a night and when the boat would stop for wood; but think that none was taken unnecessarily.

When we arrived in Shreveport, a comrade and I got a small loaf of bread, and set out for Greenwood, a distance of sixteen miles -- intending to walk there that night, but after traveling until 10:00 o'clock, completely exhausting ourselves, J. C. Clinton and I asked permission to sleep on the veranda of a house, which was granted. We then asked how far back to Shreveport, and learned that we had traveled but nine miles, only a little over half our trip accomplished, and we were so weak from starvation and confinement, that we almost despaired of reaching our destination in time for the train, but we arose early and resumed our journey. On the way, we bought and ate some watermelons. All arrived in plenty of time and got aboard.

Gen. [S. B.] Buckner and wife were on the train -- the officer who refused to escape from Ft. Donalson [Ft. Donelson, Tennessee], because the garrison could not escape too, but surrendered with them.

He looked to be forty years old, large portly man; weighed perhaps one hundred and eighty pounds, hair and beard gray, but looked young otherwise. She was a tall lady, looked older than he, except her hair was very black, as well as I remember.

We got off at Marshall, Tex., at 12:00 o'clock, and walked three miles on the Coffeyville road, when we began to divide off into twos (a couple) to get something to eat. N. A. Seale, now Rev. N. A. Seale, and I, went to a house, a little way off, and called for dinner, which was readily granted. We were treated courteously, and asked a great many questions, of where from and where bound, where we belonged, etc., and finally, our names. On learning mine, he inquired more particularly of my parents. He told me he was Judge Mason, and once lived a neighbor to my parents. He passed many compliments on them, and sent his respects to my mother. They gave us a good dinner -- the first time I had eaten at a table, or had a square meal in four months. I will always remember Judge Mason and family with the kindest of feeling for their kindness to us.

After dinner, we resumed our journey, and overtook the rest of the boys -- traveled on till night, and all camped on the roadside, it being the night of July 30th. Next morning, we started early, called for breakfast at a Mr. Knox's house. At the table, I took sick and ate but little. Had fears that I was taking smallpox, as I had been exposed to it for months. Soon as all had eaten, we resumed our homeward march. After a few miles walk, however, I failed, gave out -- told my comrades to go on, not to wait on me. I spread down my blanket, in shade, and lay down, alone, and without friends near me. I

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Life of John C. Porter and Sketch of His Experiences in the Civil War

John C. Porter 1874