Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diary of Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle: Wednesday, June 24, 1863

Lawley being in weak health, we determined to spend another day with our kind friends in Winchester. I took the horses out again for six hours to graze, and made acquaintance with two Irishmen, who gave me some cut grass and salt for the horses. One of these men had served and had been wounded in the Southern army. I remarked to him that he must have killed lots of his own countrymen; to which he replied, “Oh yes, but faix they must all take it as it comes.” I have always observed that Southern Irishmen make excellent “Rebs,” and have no sort of scruple in killing as many of their Northern brethren as they possibly can.

I saw to-day many new Yankee graves, which the deaths among the captives are constantly increasing. Wooden, head-posts are put at each grave, on which is written, “An Unknown Soldier, U.S.A. Died of wounds received upon the field of battle, June 21, 22, or 23, 1863.”

A sentry stopped me to-day as I was going out of town, and when I showed him my pass from General Chilton, he replied with great firmness, but with perfect courtesy, “I'm extremely sorry, sir; but if you were the Secretary of War, or Jeff Davis himself, you couldn't pass without a passport from the Provost-Marshal.”

SOURCE: Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, Three Months in the Southern States: April-June, 1863, p. 236-7

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