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MRS. RICHARD LEDBETTER

By Mrs. K.D. Goodbar, of Charleston

Mrs. Richard Ledbetter is now past seventy years of age. She is a ruddy-cheeked, sunny-natured old lady, whose perfect health is a fair sample of the blessings vouchsafed to those who take a cheery view of life under any and all circumstances. She is always to be met with the re-union of Confederate soldiers which occures annually on or about August 2, near Charleston, Arkansas, which is a notable gathering, sometimes bringing as many as ten thousand people together. Her liveliest memories cluster about the circumstances of a long and wearying journey, which she and a Mrs. Graham made together, during the troublous war times. They rode horseback, entirely without other escort, from a point in Sevier county to Montgomery county, Arkansas, and back again, a total distance of about three hundred miles. Mrs. Graham went for the purpose of nursing a wounded husband, but Private Graham had stepped his last to the drumbeat, and his widow was left only the mournful consolation of a visit to his grave.

Young Mrs. Ledbetter left Mrs. Graham at this point and went on alone, ten miles further, to visit her parents, after which they retraced together the long and dangerous journey.

Both going and coming there seemed an ample opportunity for undesirable adventures, but fortunately they met none of the enemy, and the well-known, undeviating hospitality of the South, afforded them all the shelter and assistance needed. Once only did native intuition, or a special providence, seem to intervene in their behalf when they were led to make a wide detour from the main road, and upon rejoining the highway, were told of a large body of Federals, about 500 in number, having passed in the interim. They thus missed an encounter which would have been unpleasant and detaining, to say the least.