Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for John C. West–A Texan in Search of a Fight.

John C. West–A Texan in Search of a Fight.

May 24, 2013

John C. West–A Texan in Search of a Fight.

Sunday, May 24th.

Left Richmond yesterday about 6:30 o’clock a. m. Found a number of the Texas Brigade and a few of my regiment on the cars and soon became acquainted with them. The trip was monotonous, as usual, until we reached Gordonsville, where the crowd was so great that twenty of us had to stand on the platform. General J. E. B. Stuart was aboard and appeared to be very fond of ladies and flowers. He is of medium size, well formed, fair complexion, blue eyes, whiskers and mustache of sun-burnt reddish color, usually accompanying fair skin. I had quite a pleasant time on the platform watching the attempts of the proscribed to get a seat in the cars and their repulse by the provost guard. The cars were for the accommodation of ladies and commissioned officers. I never knew soldiers of any grade to be put in the same category with women before. I happened, however, to meet Tom Lipscomb, my old college classmate, who is now a major, who managed to get me in under his wing. We had a long talk about Columbia and old college days. He informed me that Lamar Stark, my wife’s brother, was a prisoner confined in the old capitol in Washington city. We reached Mitchell’s Station at 4 o’clock p. m.; walked five miles, a hot walk, to camp on the Rapidan, near Raccoon Ford. My regiment, the Fourth Texas, has a delightful camping place in a grove of large chestnut trees, on a hillside. We have no tents and the ground is hard and rocky, but we are all satisfied, and one day’s observation has led me to believe that no army on earth can whip these men. They may be cut to pieces and killed, but routed and whipped, never! I called on Colonel B. F. Carter this morning and had quite a pleasant interview. He is a calm, determined man, and one of the finest officers in the division. To-day was the regular time for inspection and review. One barefooted and ragged hero came to Colonel Carter’s Tent with the inquiry, “Colonel, do you want the barefooted men to turn out today?” to which the Colonel replied negatively, with a smile. I went out to the review which took place in an open field about 600 yards from camp. There were some ladies on horseback on the field. Their presence was cheering and grateful. They were all dressed in black, as were more than two thirds of the women in the Confederacy. On returning to camp I called on Major Bass, of the First Texas, and gave him $25.00, which I had received for him from Lieutenant Ochiltree, at Shreveport, Louisiana, to be handed to Bass if I did not need it.

I received two haversacks to-day, miserably weak and slazy, made of thin cotton cloth. I have only taken a change of underwear, towel, soap and Bible and Milton’s Paradise Lost. I have sent all the rest to Richmond with my carpet sack, to be left at Mrs. Mary E. Fisher’s, on Franklin street, half way between Sixth and Seventh.

I wrote a letter to mother and one to wife to-day and read the 104th Psalm. I opened to it by chance, and it contained just what I felt.

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