Go to Page | Index | Contents | 38   Return home | Page- | Page+

anything of the kind in months. We pushed ahead, as soon as we had eaten our supper. I do not now remember where we stayed that night, or in fact, anything on the trip worth relating. Our mode of getting something to eat was to stop at the houses and tell them our circumstances, that we were Confederate soldiers, disbanded, with no means, except Confederate money, and were trying to make our way home. Being but three of us, we could easily have stolen enough to have done us, after the fashion of soldiers, but we chose to act honestly, and I do not regret it today.

We met with kind people, who gave us plenty, we did not miss a meal, unless from choice, all the way from Hemstead, home. The longer I live, the more I am convinced that honesty is the best policy. We passed through Madisonville, Palestine, and Kickapoo. Here, I separated from my comrades, and went through Cherokee County to see my relatives. I hesitated somewhat, whether or not to go by, knowing that my uncle was an extreme secessionist. I knew however, that if they did not receive me as cordially as I wished, I could go on my way rejoicing. On arriving, the old gentleman had gone to Van Zandt County. The family received me very kindly.

On the way between here and where I left my comrades, I had to ford the Nueches [Neches] River. I met a boy on horseback there, but he refused to take me across, so I had no time to hesitate, but went right across. As well as I remember, it did not swim me.

I spent three or four days with my relatives; when I again resumed my journey. They sent me on my way to Tyler, a distance of nineteen miles. Again, I became an Infantry man. I walked within two miles of Water's Bluff, on the Sabine River. That night, I camped with Capt. Spratt and his men (a Company from Coffeyville). Next morning we were off before daylight, came to the river by sunrise. The road here, was lined with soldiers, returning home. At the river, a squad, who had a little white pack mule, had driven him into a bog, for amusement, I suppose, and as I passed, they were enjoying themselves finely, at the expense of the little creature. I came on this side a half mile, called for breakfast, ate, and resumed my journey along a road that they directed me; it, however soon played out, to use a common phrase, and left me standing in the woods.

A person in time of peace, in such circumstances, or in such as I was, when I had to ford the river, described above, would be at a great loss, but the military teaches to stop at no obstacle.

I took my course, and traveled through the forest, a distance of five miles, or more, when I stumbled upon a little cabin in the piny woods. I halted and asked for directions to Caliway, which the lady could not give, although the town was not three miles away. I again, went on my course, and made my way there by noon.

I had no thought, until 10:00 o'clock that morning of coming home that day. When I learned that I was within sixteen miles of Simpsonville, which is only ten miles from home, I mended my gait, arrived at

Go to Page | Index | Contents | 38   Return home | Page- | Page+
Life of John C. Porter and Sketch of His Experiences in the Civil War

John C. Porter 1874