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I could see no change of consequence in anything, after a two years absence, except the shade trees in the yard had grown wonderfully.

That night, I was taken very sick, again had fears of taking the smallpox, as I had been exposed during my imprisonment. Sent for Dr. Felder next morning, (Aug. 2, 1864) (my first meeting with him). It all proved, however, to be a cold I had contracted while on the boat.

The thoughts of returning, however, soon began to sour the sweets of home. The time rolled away fast, and when my forty-two days had gone, I still was unable to return, and Dr. Felder gave me a certificate of disability for thirty more days -- together I had seventy-two days, which of ten, it took to come and return. The time soon rolled away, and Sept. 26th I again bid farewell to relatives and friends, and was off to the war again.

I employed Abe Gilliland to go with me to Marshall, and bring my horse back home. We arrived there at 12:00 o'clock, the second day. I dismounted in town, and turned my horse over to my friend. I felt sad and lonely indeed. I got directions to the powder mill, as I had acquaintances there, and I could not get a train till morning, and believe I stayed until the second morning, when I bid my friends, Sam Cope and James Robertson goodbye, and went to the depot, where I found that I would have to walk two miles farther, on account of a trestle being broken down. I arrived in plenty of time, and was soon in Greenwood, La. There I took the stage for Shreveport.

I had quite a pleasant time, there were two ladies, Hun Williams, (the dancing master and fiddler) another gentleman, a little boy and myself, inside. The ladies were returning from a visit to Jefferson. They had a basket of nice eatables, and gave a general invitation. I was glad I had been home, and had had enough to eat. Had I been as hungry as we sometimes were, I fear I would have made myself ridiculous. Hun Williams entertained us with his fine music on the violin. We arrived in Shreveport about 3:00 o'clock -- the other passengers stopped at the hotel.

I inquired for Col. Shiver's office. On arriving there, he called for my furlough, which I produced together with the certificate. He remarked that it was all right, and ordered his clerk to give me a pass to the transient camp. He told me he was stopping all, until he got together a number, then he would furnish us transportation.

Arriving at said camp, in the suburbs, I found two of my Company. We remained here about two weeks, when we were ordered to march -- two wagons carrying our baggage. We were divided into three squads (200 in all perhaps) each under command of a Serg't., all under command of a Maj. Shaver. He tried to march us in military order, he in front in a carriage, but failed entirely. He finally quit trying, and we scattered in all directions.

We found the Command a few miles beyond Camden, Ark. I do not now remember the date of our arrival, however, it was sometime in Nov. 1864. The weather was quite cool. We had not before been with the command since Jan. We had been the garrison at the fort, in prison, and at home on furlough, which kept us away nearly a year; during which time, there had occurred the Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and Jenkin's Ferry battles, in which many of the old Reg't, had fallen. For weeks after my arrival, I would think, and inquire of this, that and the other one, the answer would be "He was killed in one of those battles".

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

John C. Porter 1874