Of all my childhood memories of the war between the North and South, nothing remains so vivid as the words "Roll him in the river," which were spoken by a tall, angular old woman, as she rushed up to a squad of soldiers who were rolling a large box down the river bank.
This incident occurred at Grand Glaize on a beautiful Sunday afternoon early in May, 1861, when the storm cloud of war was beginning to burst over our Southland.
Excitement was high and the hot heads who staid at home were revelling in the notoriety of the occasion.
A week previous to this well remembered day, a stranger made his way unobserved into our little town and upon being questioned refused to give any information regarding himself or his intentions. Of course, he was immediately arrested as a spy, but as nothing definite could be proved, it was decided that he should be caged and sent to Abraham Lincoln. "But before being shipped, he must be "marked," some one suggested. So carrying out this suggestion, half of his beard and half of his hair were shaved off, leaving one side of his face and head perfectly smooth. He was then placed in a large box and put in a prominent place for exhibition until the next boat passed. To the children of the town, he was an object of terror, and all were glad that he had been caught before he had time to do any harm to the Southern Army.
Thus on the day mentioned, a great crowd of people, including our company of soldiers, the Glaize Rifles, in their bright new uniforms lined the bank of the river on each side of the landing to greet and bid farewell to the Jacksonport Guards who were leaving that day for the battle fields of Virginia.
On hearing that a Yankee was boxed ready to be shipped to Lincoln, the Jacksonport Guards begged that he might be put on their boat that they might hang him to the jackstaff before sundown, and without waiting for the consent of the ones in charge, some of them rushed up the street to get the cage, coming back rolling it with the poor old fellow inside as though it were a bale of cotton.
Among those who had come to bid the last farewell to the ones leaving for the sake of their country, was an old lady whose only son and child was leaving her that day and whom she never expected to see again.
No wonder she cried out, "Roll him in, roll the Yankee in, if it was not for such as he, my son would not be leaving me today."
The caged Yankee was carried to Memphis and there offered his liberty, but enjoying his notoriety, he refused it and was taken as far as Cairo in his box.
Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, Appomattox C.H.,
April 10, 1865. General Order No. 19.
After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitide, the army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the survivors of so many hard-fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them, but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would compensate for the loss that must have attended a continuance of the contest. I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. By the terms of agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the conciousness of duty well performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His blessings and protection. With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you and affectionate farewell.