Thursday, August 14, 2014

the last book I ever read (Shelby Foote's The Civil War, Volume One, excerpt three)

from The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume One: Fort Sumter to Perryville by Shelby Foote:

Later in the week, while southern outpost riders once more gazed across the Potomac at the spires of Washington, the wounded were brought to Richmond to be cared for—-including Rob Wheat, who had put his case on record. The ladies turned out with an enthusiasm which sometimes tried the patience of the men. Asked if he wanted his face washed, one replied: “Well, ma’am, it’s been washed twenty times already. But go ahead, if you want to.” Prisoners came to Richmond, too, where a three-story tobacco warehouse had been hurriedly converted into a military prison. From the sidewalk, citizens tried to bribe the guards for a glimpse at a real live Yankee: especially New York Congressman Alfred Ely, who had strolled too near the scene of battle just as the lines gave way and was discovered trying to hide behind a tree. President Davis sent him two fine white wool blankets to keep him warm in the warehouse prison, and the people in general approved of such chivalry. They felt that they could afford to be magnanimous, now that the war was won.

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