An Illinois soldier, who was captured at Shiloh, gives the following incident of his visit to Memphis, then in the hands of the Confederates:
“A little good talking, mixed with the requisite amount of ‘cheek,’ secured to Serg. Eddy, well known among the Chicago typos, and myself, the privilege of a walk around town in company with a couple of German home guards, who carried two of Fremont’s ‘needle gun’ for our protection. Our first stopping-place was the ‘Appeal’ office, where we found eight or ten ‘comps,’ and a score or so of ‘secesh’ flags–all hands intensely bitter against the North, ‘secesh’ all over, and every man of them born outside of Dixie. One of them–I forget his name, but shall never forget the man–asked:
“‘Do you find as much Union sentiment as you expected?’
“I answered that I felt sure that such sentiment everywhere existed.
“‘You are mistaken,’ said he; ‘there is not to-day a Union man in Memphis–not one.’
“Glancing at the guards, I saw evident signs of nervousness and anger, and thinking that perhaps, in the heat of debate, we had said too much, and should have a difficulty with them, my friend and I made preparations to leave. Scarcely had the door closed behind us, when one of the guards brought his piece down with a thump on the iron step, exclaiming:
“‘Dare ish no Union sentiment here, eh? O, no! We are all tamd “secesh”! You comes mit me, I shows you. We all lay down our lives for dis Suturn Confederacy. O, yes! We be glad to.’
“We followed the guard to the outskirts of the town, and entered a blacksmith’s shop, where, working at the forge, we recognized a couple of Chicago boys–they, too, belonged to the home guard. A sharp lookout was kept at the front and back doors; presently the coast was announced clear, and then you should have seen us making good time over back fences and through alleys, until we reached the abiding-place of our guide–entering, a buxom German girl placed chairs for us to be seated.
“‘Frau,’ said the guard, as soon as he had recovered sufficient breath to speak. ‘Frau, here is a couple of tamd Yankees; you show dem we is good “secesh,” eh.’ ‘Yes, I show dem;’ and the ‘Frau’ placed a table in the centre of the room, and then disappeared. Presently the hissing of the tea-kettle is heard, and in a few minutes coffee which cost one dollar and twenty-five cents per pound, bread made from flour costing twenty dollars per barrel, and sausages from meat proportionately high, were served up to us. Our haversacks were filled, and then ‘Frau’ grumbled because we would not accept more. They were poor, and we could not rob them. While we were eating, the guards amused themselves by taking the main-springs out of their gun-locks, and burning them in the stove. At we shook hands at our prison-house door, they whispered, ‘We are all tam “secesh.”‘ We made arrangements with these men for a disguise to escape, but before they were again on duty, the ‘show’ was started for a new place.”
Originally posted 2009-06-06 22:16:05.