As Time Stood Still

 

What Anne Kendrick Walker had to say about the Eufaula Confederate
Hospitals in her book, "Backtracking in Barbour County"
page 204 and 205

"These were the things they talked of.

But as Grierson's cavalry swept on, General Wilson, at his
headquarters in Macon, had received what Sherman called a 1. Parcel," which
had come 'through rebel territory and, which
General Johnston had seen was carefully guarded.  It was the news of
Johnston's surrender of all the forces under his command.

The "parcel" contained Orders 65 and 66, signed by order of General Sherman.
"The war is over," he wrote.

At last it was true.  And as Wilson read the news, official copies
of,Sherman's orders were dispatched to intercept General Greirson.
The news was trekking through, but the countryside through which Grierson's
cavalry marched had not heard it.  Horsemen, so we are told, dashed from one
plantation to another, warning of the approach of the cavalry.  A young
woman had just opened the gate that led into 'the road, and rushed back to
the house to barricade it.  Old men hid in the swamps.  The negroes drove
the cattle and hogs.

But youthful couriers were flying along the road from Eufaula to Clayton,
bearing a flag of truce.  We are told they drew rein at the Cunningham house
and from there sped through the night; and that they returned to Eufaula and
were sent back. . . And now, in the early dawn, the advance guard of the
cavalry saw them.

And thus 'the Blue Coats marched into the town on April 29, 1865.  Thus they
reached the summit of the western hill, from where they could see the far
spires of the churches.  We have General Grierson's report of how his
command appeared that day - . . "the horses well-fed, the men fit and ready
for any movement. . ."

The street down which they came was lined with gardens, the white houses,
with their green shutters, a-flutter with hoop-skirted ladies in faded
muslins.  Great news was on their lips, which trembled at the costly price
of it.  A granddaughter of General Hunter, Mrs. Serena Hoole Brown, tells us
in her account of that day just how the town looked.

It was like a hospital, for the upper floors of the stores were filled with
ill and wounded soldiers.  "As far down as the bluff." The private homes
were like hospitals ... the houses on the hill,
on Eufaula and Randolph Streets.  The old O'Harro house, a large hotel, was
a hospital, and the two-story wooden court house was a separate ward for
commissioned officers.  "Old Mrs. Bailey was in charge'".

The large wooden two-story house on the bluff, at the foot of Broad Street,
was the ward for "the blood-poison cases-the gangrenous cases" Extension
sheds for the patients were erected on land running south from Broad.  The
silk and wounded had been sent to Eufaula from the Army of Tennessee and
also the Army of Virginia ' and "those who had lived in the neighborhood
before the War."

There was hardly a home where lint bandages were not being made the day that
General Grierson marched in for the purposes of destruction and General
Lucas was hurrying on to join him.  Every day had found 'the women of
Eufaula nursing the soldiers, sending their servants on foraging expeditions
for eggs and chickens, and seeing to it that the surgeons and physicians
were supplied with instrmunents, chloroform, morphine, quinine and such
stores as were necessary.  Dr. Hamilton M. Weedon, who was in charge of the
hospital on the bluff, depended upon the efforts of the heroic women to
supply him with a very excellent
healing salve, so Mrs. Brown's account tells us, made of alder pitch and
blooms.

Long before Grierson marched in, these women "had melted
their,brass candlesticks and andirons when the call had come for
more cannon."

So now they saw him pass.

But he could put up his sword.  And the marching cavalrymen had no use for
their sabers.  We are told that Grierson and his staff were entertained at
dinner by Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Pope.  Colonel Farge found himself an
unexpected guest.  Other towns-people met them.  And the granddaughter of
General Hunter in her account of that day wrote that "Grierson was a
gentleman." "His men deported themselves without committing any depredation.
The officers ordered the whiskey to be removed.  The heads of the barrels
were knocked off; the contents poured out."

 

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11/04/2009 Last updated

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