The Diary of Spruce McCoy Baird is held in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. The transcription of the diary was purchased from the Library in 2015. it is valuable to Wendish researchers in that it mentions Serbin and the conditions in the United States in the immediate years following the Civil War. We present to you first his bio followed by the transcript of the diary.
SPRUCE MCCOY BAIRD
Spruce McCoy Baird, jurist and Confederate officer, was born at Glasgow, Kentucky, on October 8, 1814. He taught school there before moving to Texas. He lived at Woodville and San Augustine before beginning his law practice at Nacogdoches. On May 27, 1848, Governor George T. Wood appointed Baird judge of the newly established Santa Fe County, east of the Rio Grande in what is now New Mexico, an area included in the bounds of the Republic of Texas but unorganized until after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo concluded the Mexican War. Baird was unsuccessful in his attempts to set up Texas jurisdiction, for the natives of Santa Fe County were Republican in politics and were opposed to Texas control. Furthermore Baird was opposed by Col. John M. Washington, commanding officer at Santa Fe. When Texas sold her claim to the area as a result of the Compromise of 1850, Baird was left without a job. He stayed in New Mexico, became a member of the bar there, and in 1852 was Indian agent to the Navajos. In 1860 he was appointed attorney general of New Mexico, but in 1861 he was forced to leave the state because of his sympathy with the Confederacy. On March 4, 1862, he was indicted for high treason and his property was confiscated. Baird returned to Texas, where he recruited and commanded the Fourth Regiment, Arizona Brigade, which served throughout Texas, mostly on the northwest frontier. He was paroled in July 1865 and in 1867 moved to Trinidad, Colorado, where he opened a law office. Baird married Emmacetta C. Bowdry of Kentucky in 1848. On June 5, 1872, he died at Cimarron, New Mexico.
Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin
C. R. Wharton, “Spruce McCoy Baird,” New Mexico Historical Review 27 (October 1952).
Clinton P. Hartmann
DIARY OF A JOURNEY
SERBIN BASTROP CO., TEXAS
TRINIDAD, COLORADO TERRITORY.
S.M. BAIRD A .O. 1867
AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED TO HIS BELOVED WIFE AND CHILDREN
I send you this little token of my affection, written hastily, at times snatched from the other business, without reviewing it or making any attempt at correcting either the spelling, punctuation or grammatical construction – – If it will in any degree cheer you and amuse in my absence, my object will be accomplished.
Trinidad, C.T. Oct. 10th 1867
S. M. Baird.
1. June 6th 1867
Left home at Serbin, Bastrop County, Texas. Serbin is a German Colony which settled there some twelve or fifteen years ago. The people are distinguished from other Germans as Wendish, and are from the frontiers of Saxony and …., the capitol or principal town being Bautzen. They are an industrious people and economical people – kind in their disposition and devoted to their church which is Lutheran. They have two churches and the whole population of the colony amounts to some 800 or 1000 men. A good school, taught by their minister the Reverend Mr Killian, in which the dead languages German and French are cultivated – These people, by their industry and frugality, though their lands are not of the best quality, being what are known as post-oak lands, are prospering and many of them growing rich.
My oldest son Andrew Bowdry Baird accompanied me on my first day’s journey as far as the little town of Round Top – some
2. twenty miles from Serbin. The country over which we passed is not materially different from that surrounding Serbin except that embraced by Cumming’s Prairie which is very beautiful – The crops as far as the German settlement extend were in first rate order and promising – whenever negro labor is relied on they are in the woods and many of them apparently lost. Stopped on the road on the headwaters of Cumming’s Creek to noon and take lunch – The place is pretty and shady and refreshing on a hot day – Four boys came with their rods, hooks and lines a fishing. They caught but few fish but fully verified the old adage that “if you swear you will catch a fish for every sentence they severally attend was sounded off at each with an oath. It is mortifying to see the moral cotton of children thus neglected or mis-directed.
Arrived at Round top early in the evening and put up for the night
3. at a German hotel at which a Yankee officer seemed to be boarding. He was non communicative and so were we – He had a disgusting appearance and I trust we did not.
Saw here in Flaker Bulletin that 60,000 pounds of wool had been exported this year from New Mexico and that a larger amount was expected – One evening at Trinidad I heard that that was but a fractional part of the wool annually exported from New Mexico and that the best informed men on the subject estimate it at (at least) 1,000,000 of pounds.
Round Top is a small German town in Fayette County and the LaGrange and Brenham road, fifteen miles from the former and twenty from the latter.
It, like all German towns, is in a prosperous condition.
From this point Bowdry will return home and I will take the
4. stage in the morning for Brenham.
The sky is clear (evening). A gentle breeze is blowing, weather pleasant, and I would be happy, but the journey before me is a long one and I feel sad am starting out and parting with my family, who have been deprived of a home and almost every comfort by the fates of war, – The patience and equanimity with which they have born this misfortune doubly endear them to me. I however leave them in the special care of my good friends and relatives, A. M. Smith, T. J. Smith, Cousin Bettie and G. Waitman and the immediate care at house of Clay & Cousin Dick. Pack and Ben are also close by who I know love their sister and her children – My business is important and I will go ahead through any danger – At any sacrifice of comfort with a full faith that I will be enabled to remedy our misfortunes and make all around me happy and warm.
5. I love my people, not only better than any comfort but better than my life.
Bowdry has kept my spirits up through the day. I learned here from a German, a Juryman, just returned from LaGrange Court that a negro was being tried for maltreating a Bohemian woman.
To be more explicit my notes are the way of today are as follows:
“The country passed over today is very poor – gravelly-postoak land-a portion of the road passes through small prairies. The crops seen after leaving the vicinity of Serbin badly cultivated-a good deal of land idle.
6. June 6th
Bowdry bid me adieu this morning and returned home. I waited at Round Top for the stage until 1O A.M., 1 ½ hours behind time – Met here Mr. Gaither of this vicinity and intelligent gentleman and old settler and nephew of Dr. Gaither of Columbia, Ky and formerly Democratic member from Ky to congress.
On entering the stage found for traveling companions and very agreeable gentlemen Attorney General Walton of the city of Austin, Parson Colsons, Mr Nunn, Dr. Kepm and a “culled population” formerly a slave of the Parson and now traveling under his protection on a visit to her retainer in Houston. Her old master seemed kind to her and I think was bearing her expenses. Mr. Colson is quite a jolly person and not at all hidebound by the pharisaical formalities of religion. He and Dr. Kemp were traveling to Houston as delegates to the Grand Masonic lodge. Genl Walton was on his way to Galveston
7. to attend a suit against Genl Miholds in behalf of the states, involving a large amount in regard to cotton purchases for the state during the war.
We dined at Genl Wilsons, the stage stand, and about sun down arrived at Brenham and stopped at Crumpter’s hotel and took lodging for the night. Crops on the road to Brenham in bad condition and prospect very bad. Brenham was named after Dr. Brenham from Louisville, Ky, and one of the Santa Fe prisoners from Texas in 1841. The word Brenham is German and signifies to burn, and very significantly this unfortunate town has been the victim of four fires since the close of the war. The first known to be a diabolical act of incendiarism of the United States soldiers, and the others were supposed to be so – Each side of the public square has been successfully thus burned down.
8. Took the cars on railroad at ½ past 6 o’clock A.M. passing over a fine country and by the town of Hempstead and arrived at the city of Houston ½ past 11 A.M. Crops all the way in the grass improving. Many of them lost — Called to see Judge Crosby and Tenilo on business in regard to land at Woodville – Directed them that if Dr. Burroughs could not pay for the land to rescind the contract and take a deed from him to Mrs. Baird, C. This business being attended to, went aboard the St. Clair in the evening bound for Galveston – Saw on board Col. Ashbel Smith and Judge Aldharn. Also a young man by the name of Benj. Cooper of LaFayette county. Cousin to Cousin Dick Thomas – formerly a confederate soldier and now on his way home. We agreed to travel together-we wound our way down the tortuous stream of Buffalo Bayou,
9. the boat constantly running into the bank on one side or the other – and finally they ran the Jacob staff into the top of a tree and broke it: but we seemed to get along just as well without it, showing that it was more ornamental than useful – The stream is dull, dark and sluggish and might be well taken for Luther. It, however, is beautifully bordered with magnolias, water oak, and other evergreens for a long way down. Night overtook us shortly after passing Harrisburg and left us the humdrum it through the dark, passing Lynchberg, until we awake in the morning on the out-spreading bay of Galveston. Just above Houston we passed the Eureka Cotton Mills in a beautiful locality – the buildings extensive – frame and painted white – The grounds
10. well laid out and handsome. Everything wearing a clearly fresh and pleasant appearance – There mills are said to be in a flourishing condition – Just below Houston we saw other buildings (brick) for a like purpose in process of erection an extensive scale. It is to be hoped the south will soon raise and spin and weave her own cotton, and be entirely independent of her enemies.
11. June 9th
6 o’clock A.M. at the wharf at Galveston with the usual annoyance of Hotel owners, hackmen, and porters. But as I have no encumbrance baggage, I swing my haversack on my shoulder “a la” “The hunters of Kentucky” and give them all the go by, and this is the right way to travel in these hard times. I went directly to the ticket office on the wharf and young Cooper and myself procured through tickets by steamer to N.O. (New Orleans) and then to St. Louis by rail, and sat down in the office to await the arrival of the Hughes are? but not arrived from Port Lavaca-We pick up a breakfast on the wharf, not wishing to go to a hotel as we may be trotted back immediately on the announcement of the Hughes in sight – It is dinner time and no Hughes. Rumors are afloat as to the
12. cause of her detention when thinking men knew there is no possibility of her having been heard from.
We go up town and dine bountifully at a restaurant and return hot but in a better humor in company of a fresh made acquaintance and fellow passenger, — a Baltimorean, a German by the name of Brawnold. The sun is down and no Hughes – We dutifully shoulder our nap sacks and wend our way to the Island City hotel-where it is announced that the Hughes is coming in — The accommodating proprietor Mr. Pierce sends down and brings back the intelligence that she will not go out until morning at ½ past 6 A.M. so we eat a hearty supper and get a good night’s sleep.
Arise early, settle our bills, wet our whistles
13. with the land lord-strike out and board the Hughes before breakfast ½ past 6 A.M. – Omnibuses, hacks and drays all in a hurry and bustle. And now we are all aboard and who are we first and foremost “here be I” as an Englishman would say and my travelling companions little Ben Cooper. Next-there are twenty three sea turtles aboard all flat of their backs with their faces turned up to the hot boiling sun-their great paddle feet pierced with holes and tied together-some with their eyes closed, others half closed and others wide awake rolling their eyes so tragically, stage like and oratorical frenzy. If the gourmand and epicure of feeling heart could see their misery his “hasty plate” of turtle soup costs these poor creatures he would certainly dispense with that favorite beverage. After the turtles came next in rank the Yankee
14. sea captain clever enough for aught I know: for I never exchanged a word with him – Then there was a lot of Yankees from Brownsville and the Rio Grande, men and their wives, strong minded women of the male persuasion and among them an amazon with short hair, a man’s hat as mostly so, sunburned face and sun burnt back black sack of seedy cloth and dowdy white dress– She was traveling alone and seemed at first to congregate with no one. She looked like she might have a twin sister to Madam Dunway. Another of these “strong minded” had a menagerie of prairie dogs and rabbits, a trifling look husband in U.S.A. uniform and no baby. There were some others of the Yankee school not sufficiently different from Christian women of the French persuasion except that for corn they said “karn”. For water they said “wat-ter” giving these as the sound it takes in “fat” and the mother of a cow they called “gnow” but talking
15. always when they talked at all, and their silence was the exception to the rules, sharp, pest and quick as though they all had crackers to their tongues. This disposes of the Yankee part of the “voyageurs”. At the head of whom I have placed myself and the turtles, that they, the Yankees might have no pretext for saying, we, that is I and the turtles, were prejudiced against them.
And now comes another class of travelers that fall not in competition with either the Yankees or turtles, for rank, but form a separate and independent community. I will mention them as I happen to remember them. Mr. Shanks and children placed under my care by her husband (an old acquaintance) on her way to New Orleans to visit her father, Judge Palmer, formerly confederate depositary of public moneys at San Antonio and who “ingloriously fled”. He lives
16. in luxury now in New Orleans respected by no one. He was originally from New Hampshire. Mrs. Shanks deported herself with all the modesty and propriety of a well raised southern lady, which she is – Then there was a handsome widow by the name of Mrs. R—– commended to my attention in – —- of need by old friend John S. Ford but no occasion required that I should cultivate her acquaintance and I felt not like dancing attendance on handsome widows as my thought were on other subject connected with my own affairs and family. There were also on board several Mexican families from Monterey whose fortune had gone down with the fall of Maximillian and who were “flung the wrath to come” from the triumphant party. As I had passed through this ordeal in our own civil war
17. I sympathize deeply and earnestly with them. There were also several French families from Matamoras, as I thought entitled to no sympathy as they were at best but intruders in Mexico as the Yankees were in the south, and were merely returning home-Then there was a Madam Placido an actress of some celebrity and a native of New Orleans – she had the habit of rolling her eyes about in a theatrical style, similar to the green turtles and seemed to be attended by a man formerly of Arizona of the sporting persuasion, by the name of Jones (not Claude Jones). She also seemed to be fond of sangones. There was also on board a doctor Hale of New Orleans returning from exile or banishment a fine looking man of dark bilious complexion and southern to the core. Also a Mr. Lemon from Georgia and the last I will mention was my traveling
18. companion and roommate the Baltimorean Dutchman Mr Brownold a gentleman in all his bearings. Down below, a corps of Texas cattle with their attendants and now we are underway and at breakfast. We pass the bar and are out at sea, and a gentle sea at that. We have finished breakfast and are all out looking at the sea gulls ever in the wake of a vessel “Just parting from the shore” and straining our eyes to get the last glimpses of the fading and receding shore and church steeples of Galveston. “We run all night-we run all day,” without any change of course, or sail or steam or scenery except that of day for night and night for day, enjoying, however the brilliancy of a Mexico sun set and marine sun rise as the sun at lastly
19. plunged into the sea at eve and hopped out of the sea in the morning brining us up to the 11th June.
This morning we saw in the distance and right ahead of us a small spot just above the surface of the sea which we soon learn from those acquainted with the south, is Ship-shoal light-house. It gradually rises higher and higher until, after an hour or two run we get opposite, when two men in a small boat came out to us to mail letters and get newspapers which are delivered to them by casting them upon the water, after which they pick them up and dry them and read them . From this forward all is monotony until evening when we pass Ship Island light house and sometime after we pass through a
20. mottled or clouded sea having passed however the line where the two tides meet. – that is the rising on advancing, and the falling on receding tides. The time of their encounters is marked by its peculiar calmness and foam and such other drift as the two tides may topper? To be freighted with. Late in the evening the water gradually becomes muddy from the disgorgement of the great Mississippi. The clear and muddy waters are not marked by a line as I have often heard though it may sometimes be as for aught I know. We were warned of our approach to the mouth of the Mississippi before even entering the clouded waters by an occasional log or chunk floating on the water generally bearing one or more sea birds. We also pass through schools of
21. porpoises (some of large size plunging about and plowing the sea in every direction. Often leaping clear out of the water and among them we thought we saw a large shark leap clear out of the water, and I think so yet, though an old sailor said it was a porpoise. The light house and shipping at the mouth are in full view and now the pilot comes aboard and takes the direction of the vessel as we approach the bar over which there is a much greater current than I had supposed or had ever noticed before. The channel is marked by stakes – a large ship is laying off to our left, aground, and waiting to be dragged off and towed up to New Orleans by some propeller or tug-boat. We are now over the bar and fairly in the Mississippi
22. whose banks are surely marked by a narrow strip of grass just above the surface of the water, the muddy sea appearing beyond on every side. We see a large steamer a way off to our right on the open sea, on her way from Mobile. We pass the few shanties and the quarantine station all down in the mud and water surrounded by coarse rush like grass, and mosquitoes, and frogs and snakes and alligators and chills and fevers and death apparently: yet the few inhabitants, as usual in all countries say it’s entirely healthy. And I must say those I saw of them presented no unusual appearance of sickness. The sun is down and the river and the land and the sea are all under our excessive and
23. unbroken shallow-We pass Fort Jackson and St. Philip in the night though I have heretofore seen them in the day time. There is nothing worthy of note about them except that they are said to have been treacherously and mutinously surrendered to the Yankees. We run all night and wake (June 12th) up in the morning in what used to be the bountiful and luxuriant coast of Louisiana, made beautiful by the fine residences and the highly cultivated sugar plantation and sugar factories (houses). But the hand of the destroyer has been here, – The trail of the Vandal– the infamous Yankee, is marked out by the charred walls of the sugar houses and the lone, homeless chimneys of the residences built of frame structure as the trail of the serpent is said to be marked with its slime.
24. The whole coast of the Mississippi ever so beautiful and charming is one continuous scene of desolation from the mouth of the river to New Orleans and from New Orleans to Memphis. In the lower part of the city I noticed the smoked walls of a formerly large and splendid church (Catholic I suppose)–and passing up and down the river a year ago I noted, the broken levies unrepaired , the lone chimneys, fences gone, plantations growing up in young cotton woods and the idle negroes when seen at all hovering round the steamboat landings and railroad stations The former city of Bayou Sara no longer exists – its former site is lonely marked by a few shanties extemporized from the rubbish
25. left by the Vandals. The Yankee incendiaries and plunderers the city of Grand Gulf at which Grant’s army crossed the river to flank Vicksburg is marked by its mines only – not a living soul, nor a house remains there and in this communication I will note that the well authenticated reports and statistics show that during the war these same people who have the presumption to send missionaries to all parts of the world burned within the southern states twelve hundred churches of all denominations The Capitol of Louisiana at Baton Rouge, ever a splendid edifice presents to the view nothing but its cracked and smoked walls. But we are still aboard of the Hughes and at the Levee of New Orleans-we land in a hurry and secure a hack and rush on to the
26. railroad depot just in time to see the train rolling out of sight. We are five minutes too late and return to the hotel and remain till evening. Walked around town a little and called on General Longstreet who expresses radical sentiments at the time not understood by me – Dine-rest till evening and start out on the 7 o clock evening train.
Of our fellow travelers on shipboard we find on the cars my traveling companions, Ben Cooper, Mrs. Brawnolds, the Yankee Amazon and another female from Bryant, Texas who claimed to be a Texan though she was traveling north for her health. We made other agreeable acquaintances on the way from New Orleans to St. Louis and among them a Dutchman from Philadelphia who had been to
27. Mobile to visit his brother. This Dutchman, though not a large man, a fleshy man, made himself worthy of note by his eating a whole meal at every eating station and replenishing between meals from a large basket he had aboard filled with cheese, crackers, oranges, bananas and other things including a bottle of brandy. At one of these stations he ate heartily, and drank twelve glasses of lager beer, returned one hand? And ate and drank again and said he felt first rate. On leaving New Orleans we passed the suburbs of the city in the meantime observing a dredging boat cutting a canal-It was operated by steam and ate its own way through the earth, floating on the water for which it was making the way and soon after passing this boat
28. night overtook us and we consequently could see but little by the way until morning, enough however to know that we passed through a long stretch of low swampy lands, densely covered with trees and undergrowth and densely populated with frogs and mosquitoes for we could hear the former bellow and at one of the stations saw the cattle standing around a smoke raised for their especial benefit in driving off the mosquitoes. We passed up between the river and Lake Pontchartrain and won the shore of the latter but in the darkness we could see but little of it– We also passed over a pretty sheet of water known as Lake Manshee and gradually emerged from the swamp into the piney wood and higher land.
29. The only incident worthy of note during out night ride was the locomotive encountering a negro man laying, fast asleep on the road who was scratched up by the cow catcher and cast to one side, breaking his arm as I heard next morning. The train made a short halt to look after him but I did not know the object of the stoppage at the time. I sat up and lounged in my seat all night and slept by snatches only, as I was desirous of seeing even at night what I could of the country. It seemed to be nearly all the way poor piney woods and sparsely populated. Daylight caught us some distance below the city of Jackson, Mississippi in a poor, worn out country. Farms
30. and houses all in a dilapidated condition and many of them totally destroyed by the Vandal enemy of the Army of the best Government this world ever saw, “so called”. The crop was backward– The cotton not yet chopped out to a stand and the com just above the ground. Some of the cotton burned off but the greater part not yet touched with either plow or hoe. The country hilly the soil originally thin and now much washed craggy points and sided of the hills and deep washed gulley presenting themselves everywhere. They seem almost universally to have adapted the circular or horizontal system of plowing– That is running the rows and furrows round the hills to keep them on a level to prevent the land from washing. It must be very troublesome and tedious in plowing.
31. We arrived at Jackson, Mississippi, breakfast, the noisy gang singing on the steps of the far and fair famed Confederate house nearby, burned by the Yankees, as the train stops at the depot. But I have my lunch aboard and never have the cars when thus provided to forage in railroad Hotels because the whistle generally announces the start about the time the guests get seated. I went out on the platform however and looked around for the city of Jackson, but alas! It is not there – I thought we were merely in the suburbs and that the main city was behind some hill or skirt of timber and on making inquiry was told that the city was burned and that the former site was before and around me. A house with a dome was pointed out to me some distance off
32. as the Capitol or court house, I disremember which. But Jackson, alas! Is not there – It was maliciously and hellishly burned by the army of a people professing to be Christian and our brethren. The site from the hasty and limited survey I was able to make appeared to be rather flat, rising into a slightly hilly and rolling country. The timber being pine, oak, hickory, etc. The Confederate house seen is rebuilt – framed – of a circular of octangular form, some twenty or thirty yards from and east of the railroad and presents a very pretty appearance though a sad monument of the vandalism of the enemy, and made testimonial by their fiendish brutality. The warning scream, or squall or squeak, a hideous noise embodying
33. all these hideous and diabolical sounds and a good deal more coming from what by misnomer is called the Rail Road whistle announces the departure and those who as usual at such places frantically rushed in at the door of the Confederate house, now as frantically rush out, bestowing their parting blessings on the hotel keeper, the Rail Road conductor and, as Lincoln used to say in his rambling proclamations , “whom it may concern, and generally, avowed their finis belief that there was a universal conspiracy between Rail Road men and hotel keepers to defraud travelers of their first and equitable rights in creature comforts, for which they have paid their money and that is just the way it looks to the jaded and hungry traveler though I think otherwise.
34. We are all aboard and off for Grenada as our next objective point-nothing of importance occurring on the road except that the Yankee Amazon of the Madam Danly persuasion, vivid from her opulent torpor, like an anaconda opened her basket and for the first time commenced finding on such things as sausages, cheese and cracker, and oranges. The side of her face was hitherwards so that I could not well avoid seeing the motions of her jaw and the muscles brought into play as she chomped her provender with the quick and fierce manner of all hungry Yankees and I never saw one that was not hungry. For this regard they are like the Indian always ready to eat at another’s expense. In the mean time I had been out at one of the depots foraging myself and having for a few bits
35. of green backs became lawfully possessed of more comfits than my personal wants demanded, commenced distributing them among my mosest railroad neighbors “a la Southern Chivalry” and consequently made a courteous tender thereof to the Amazon who very curtly, but intending to be very polite, gave her head a stiff Yankee jerk intended as a bow or curtsey and replied “No I thank ye, I believe I won’t tick enny. I don’t need enny” About the middle of the afternoon we arrive at Grenada (pronounced by Americans uncouthly “Graynady”. This plan was one of the unfortunate points of the Griessan and other raids and presented satisfactory evidences that the Vandals had been there. The former depot buildings.
36. cars and other Rail Road appurtenances had then and there, these fiends, being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil and silver spoons and other like plunder and not having the fear of God before their eyes, been suitably destroyed. Rail Road iron-car wheels and the iron skeletons of the cars lay in confused heaps on every side. There was on board a Methodist minister, with his family, by the name of Coperton, who had formerly been stationed at this town and who avowed he could scarcely recognize the place by reason of the destruction and desolation there perpetrated by this Army of “the best Government the world ever saw” “so called.” Here the Rail Road forks—0ne prong leading
37. to Humbolt, Tennessee by way of Grand Junction and the other to the same point by way of Memphis-and here most of my railroad acquaintances and myself separated. I took the Memphis prong- And as we dashed for Memphis – passing late in the evening Hernando were I suppose lived my highly esteemed friend Mrs. Oliver upon whom I would have called if could have done so conveniently and without too great a loss of time – After dark we arrived at Memphis and were greatly annoyed (more so than at any other place, though it is too bad at any city) by hack and omnibus men and hotel drummers – I wish they were all “dead or absent” as they are to the traveler a very great nuisance and a disgrace to every city. They are
38. less annoying in New Orleans than any place I have been at. We however worked our way through them and got into the right omnibus and off to the right Hotel (the Overton House) after some trouble. As the omnibus was too much loaded on one side I changed to the other and in so doing unfortunately planted the weight (avoirdupois) of two hundred and ten pounds with the heel of my shoe on the toe of a young Tennessean, who had been one of the “so called”. He gave mouth with some profanity, whereupon I apologized and expressed much sympathy and condolence. Whereupon he apologized for haste of speech and expressed regrets and thereby we became acquainted. Memphis is a beautiful city – On high and dry ground – streets
39. wide and airy and well paved. Buildings in good style and the Overton one of the most agreeable and finest hotels I have ever been in – There was a music school or amateur concert or something of the sort going on up stairs in a house just in front of the hotel. Through the large windows we could see all over the room and he who seemed to be boss of the institute seemed to have “wait for the wagon” “on the brain” while another sawed it on the violin, another fluted it on the flute and another piped on a pipe and all together they did nothing favorable for the musical reputation of the fair Rebel City of Memphis. God bless her! And her truly southern people – Took supper and went to bed. Slept all night – woke
40. June 14th early in the morning, took breakfast and fool – — it down to the railroad depot. After some waiting took the cars for Humbolt. I here should remark that from Grenada to Memphis the country and crop improves in appearance. From Memphis we pass through one of the prettiest countries I have ever seen for a heavy timbered country. The country for some distance out from Memphis is level and laid out in beautiful forms, in a good state of cultivation with good houses. The lands appear to be good. The timber heavy and of every variety common to that altitude (35 degrees north). I had selected this road instead of the road by the Grand Junction at the ticket office in Galveston for two reasons – first, that it is the road of
41. which Beauregard is president and secondly because I wished to pass through Memphis and see that fine city and surrounding country all of which came quite up to my expectations. But I have to lodge a complaint against the accommodations on this road from Memphis to Humbolt. They had the passenger car hooked on so close to the locomotive, that the smoke, ashes and coal dust entered the windows so that when I arrived at Humbolt at middle of the day, 80 odd miles from Memphis, my hair and beard were full of small particles of coal, and ashes and I felt or thought I might be taken for a well smoked ham. This car was furthermore old and smokey and dusty, and ashes with no carpets on the floor. We however arrived at Humbolt at dinner time and were saluted as ever by the barbarous
42. unchristian sound of that grand and universal hotel nuisance – the gong. I wish the man who introduced them to this country was back in China surrounded by all the gongs in the “so called United States in full blast. We here were detained some half hour for the mobile train, which having arrived we boarded and set out on the last stretch for Columbus, Ky. The cars more pleasant – the country not materially changed except that we passed through what I supposed to be the Hatchy swamps of which I have often heard – Cypress is also seen occasionally from New Orleans to Columbus and passing through Tennessee and Kentucky I met with an also familiar acquaintance which I have never seen west of the Mississippi, the yellow poplar. The Tennesseans seemed unanimously
43. embittered against Brawlow and against him with absolute horror. What a farce it is to pretend that he is governor of Tennessee by the votes or will of the people. It is the meanest burlesque on the republican form of government of which Americans have been in former years so justly proud – The port of Ky passed through presented a poor appearance – The soil is thin. We arrived at Columbus, Ky, the scene of operations by generals Polk and Pillow at the commencement of the war and a little below Bellmont on the opposite side when Grant met with his first defeat. Columbus is an insignificant place, confined to a small half moon valley, a portion of which seems subject to overflow it cannot be supported a wealthy and productive back country or else it would be of more importance and better appearance.
44. Kentucky is my native state of which I used to be proud, but her unjustifiable vacillation during the war dampened my ardor for her, and it has not until the present time fully revived although she seems to be taking the right line now. I hope she will often merited penance, by the renewal of good works retrieve her former enviable character. Now with these, as I think, just reflection on my notion I go aboard of the steamboat (laying at the wharf) which plies between Columbus, Ky and Cairo, Illinois in connection with the New Orleans, Memphis and Columbus Rail Road and the Illinois Central, and bid farewell for the present and perhaps forever to “Old Kentucky shore” – We take supper on the boat, and with a sun of two hours we descry the lights of Cairo and soon after land at
45. 9 o clock P.M. At the wharf of that delectable city – —–——– speaking. Aside from the fact that two great rivers happen to unite at this place, and a rail road ends as it it certainly is the most ineligible and disgusting place for human habitation in the world pretending to be on “terra firma”. To look over the levee into the heart of the town one can but imagine that it is built upon the ruins of fallen Babylon: for there is the marsh and pools of stagnate water far below the artificially elevated streets. And there is a fit dwelling place for swamp reptiles, bitterns, etc, but there is no hill for the satyr to dance upon as at Babylon. The city is far below high water mark – an immense levee has been thrown up to protect it against
46. inundation. The streets running back have likewise been elevated to correspond with the levee and to keep the houses and the enterprising denizens out of filthy, stagnant water and mire. The consequence is the water settles in the low grounds between streets and the city is beautifully checkered off with levees and likes. It would be a fine place for raising ducks and not likely adapted to the culture of frogs and mosquitoes. The citizens say it is one of the most healthy places in the world. It is certainly the lower end of Illinois. We had to wait here in the railroad sitting rooms until 12 PM the time of the “great Central” (as it calls itself) starting. We had for our wakeful companions a very polite, “very fine old Irish gentleman” and a very fine old Irish lady and a very fine Cairo alderman and all of them
47. drunk “according to the custom of Cairo.” The car doors were locked except the sleeping car, apparently with a view of forcing the weary travelers into the sleeping cars and the payment of an extra dollar. As one of the brake-men entered one of the ordinary cars. A man from St. Louis made a rush at the door to get in and locate himself for his night ride, but the brakeman slammed the door in his face and locked it to the displeasure of us all for all wished to get our seats and be at rest and devote the three hours of waiting to sleep – But the conductors of the “great Central, as it calls itself were inexorable and we wore away the time with the drunken Irish gentleman and woman and the bonny alderman of Cairo – A stranger
48. had left a carpet bag for a few moments in charge of the old Irish gentleman who seemed to be very proud of his charge but at the same time uneasy that the wrong man would claim it – He consequently addressed us in this wise – “Stranger did you leave this carpet bag under my care? No Sir. However a gentleman left it with me and however I didn’t know but it might be you. I don’t know the man however” And this he must have repeated to various individuals at least a dozen times. At length the right man came and unceremoniously picked up the bag. When the old Irish gentleman cast his eyes upon him and significantly acknowledged “Stranger, I hardly think I may be mistaken but I hardly think that is your bag” Certainly it’s my bag replied the
49. man, I left in your charge – Well however you can have it sir but I thought it was best to be sure” The Old Irish Lady squatted about first in one corner and then in another and at the kind of amen intervals doled out some Irish imprecation upon the Rail Road men for not letting the “people” have train seats in the cars for which they “all had first class tickets at once and bay done wid it” In the mean time we staggered the drunken alderman when the Irish gentlemen approached him and being recognized by each other they had a friendly tussle. They were both by their acquaintances said to be fine clever men but were now on a regular bust and going off on the cars to get sober.
They were well dressed and the alderman’s son as filially bound
50. was following his father seemed to take care of him in a very commendable manner. The doors were opened and we all rush in and off we go. 15th June – Nothing of note transpired during the night except that a black man who seemed to be known to road men came aboard and traveled a short distance – He talked much, muddling up politics and religion, though a democrat and not fanatical. He evidently was trying to make a display of his “hamming” which was however (to use the “old Irish gentle-man’s, expletive nothing but a smattering – nevertheless some of the passengers, not graduates themselves stared with wonder that one head, and that blind could hold as much learning – We gaped – we nodded , – we snored – we slept – — and awoke at daylight high up
51, in the lower part of the very low and flat state of Illinois and still dashing on towards Odin, our present objective point. By farm houses, by small towns numerous through fields, with waving grain though lands and skirts of timber and open prairies we soon arrive at Centralia and a few minutes afterwards at Odin when we change cars and direction for St. Louis and the Mississippi or St Louis and Cincinnati road – The country and towns all along the road are just such as we have indicated above and need no further description – We arrive about ten o clock at east St. Louis and take the omnibus amid the usual din and scrabble of hackmen and hotel drummers, under our through
52. ticket privilege to any hotel or steamboat. As we passed down the wharf I saw the Kate Kinney with her sign up for Omaha and I boarded her and made arrangements for my passage up the Missouri to Kansas City.
And here I will rest a while. The Captain of the Kate Kinney was not ready to sail and consequently proposed that he would take us on board and charge me per/day until he did sail. I accepted the proposition at once and soon found myself in a choice stateroom, – Soon made myself acquainted with the officers of the boat, – found them all clever and accommodating gentlemen and of the Rebel persuasion I turned my money over to the clerk, it being gold and requested him to sell it for me for greenbacks which he did the first time he went
53. up town to much better advantage doubtless than I could have done myself. I was now the first and only passenger on the boat and soon ingratiated myself with the clerk, Capt. Steward and got along well by being polite and kind to all with whom I came in contact. The Captain (Kinney) had but little to do and I had less and we mutually assisted each other by talking about matters and things in general – Among other things talked over was the war – He stated that his boat had been pressed into the service and forced to send up the Yazoo river and was there when Sherman returned from his raid into Mississippi – that the officers brought back gunny sacks full of gold, and silver plate – that they had also collected a large number of negroes
54. from the plantations and that they even encamped or crowded on a space of ground of about four acres mostly on quite as close as they could be packed . That they were without a single exception pure blacks – –that the soldiers perpetrated the most shameful outrages upon them in open day, the oldest not excepted and notwithstanding their entreaties to be let alone. Of these negroes he said mostly every one died from hardships, hunger and maltreatment. After closing his statement and seemingly falling into a reverie he quickly added “This was no war. It was nothing but a great big plunder and robbery”–remained on the boat all day having no important business ashore.
June 16. This morning after breakfast I went down to the Iron Mountain Railroad depot and then down to Carondelet
55. by the RR to see Mrs. Farnsworth and make inquiries about the Mrs. Leittersdorfer, her brothers – I found that they were both out west, Tom at Trinidad and Eugene at Las Vegas. Carondelet is a small hilly, and rather pretty place having nothing about it worth special notice – I returned by the next but am return train to the depot and then up through the heart of the city on 4th street & the finest of the city – I went to some of the hotels or public places because I did not wish to meet any of my acquaintances as I knew they would disturb more or less my quietude on my boat and insist on running round the city for which the weather was entirely too hot and moreover I had a slight rheumatic affliction in my right thigh and had no heart for s—- and gay enjoyments.
56. I purchased me a fine glass and returned to my boat – They all seemed glad to see me (though I had been gone but a few hours) as I was the only company on the boat. I should have remarked that on Saturday it was published in the paper that the railroads congressional committee who were there in St. Louis on their return from Fort Riley, Kz consisting of Ben Wade and others, would attend the Baptist church on Sunday – I had myself contemplated attending the same church but on seeing this declined, because I thought it would look too much like the curiosity which sends people to a monkey show. On this Monday morning passengers began to come aboard – I had been so long to first settle on the boat that I felt like Daniel Boon when he passed of another settler within forty miles
57. of him that is to say I was about to be crowded – While laying at the wharf a boat from the head of Navigation (Fort Benton) and the Missouri river, a way up in Montana landed at the side of us. She was heavily laden with paltries such as buffalo robes, bear skins, dear skins, antelope skins, elk skins, beaver skins etc. etc. And afterwards the Stonewall came and landed just above the latter and next to us. She had a gilded lance projecting horizontally from the Jacob-staff and the bust of the celebrated Dutchman of Sharpsburg standing on it with their words ascending from his mouth tittered on a tin plate “Who’s pin her ven I’sh pin come” Among the passengers there was old gentleman by the name of
58. O’Bryan and wife and daughter and three grandsons, from La. Opposite Nachez – formerly a large planter, shipping annually 1000 bales of cotton – He was a Kentuckian by birth and from Nelson County – He had sold his plantation in La. And purchased another in Clay County, Mo. And was now on his way to his new house – They seemed to be remarkably clever people and in their manners of the fine unstrained and courteous southern school. Mr. A. Bryan said he know of no planter who had made any thing over expenses since the war and he had consequently given up the business himself. Everything is in a stir about the boat as they are loading – The prevailing sentiment among the passengers seems to be southern or conservative.
59. In the evening I went down some distance to see a new boat, said to be the finest on the Mississippi – she is a boat of huge size – I stepped up on the cabin deck and looked down the hall and observed (the only thing about her peculiar. That she had a row of Gothic columns (colonnades) extending the whole length of the hall and each side, apparently one in front of the partition of each stateroom – They looked very pretty, but when I reflected that this was all Yankee ostentation and vulgar attempt at grandeur and display and that it all was probably built with the ill gotten gains of the war, and at the expense of those left destitute I turned from it as from a disgusting pageant and slowly and thoughtfully returned to the boat (my boat).
60. June 18. Last night I walked up town and a considerable distance up and down 4th street, which was brilliantly lighted up and showed to great advantage. The chief object of attraction to idle strollers was a Yankee blacking peddler who had his stand placed on the street near the sidewalk with a lamp, a box of blacking, a brush and a shoe and was giving an interminable on his blacking and the art of blacking shows, which he illustrated and exemplified by interminably blacking his shoe – I soon became disgusted with him also and again returned to my boat, which now had passengers aboard enough to make it cheerful and companionable. This morning a Judge Hughes from Union county, Ky came aboard – We soon became acquainted and were traveling companions from this on as far as
61. Lawrence City, Ks-was also observed a Dutch Doctor from St. Louis by the name of Galland – He was out peddling the patent right to a medicine for rheumatism and bored us soundly as to the extraordinary virtues of his medicine – They are rapidly transferring the barrels, boxes etc. piled up on the wharf in front of us, therein to the boat preparatory to starting this evening – In the meantime there came on board a fine florid old Kentucky gentleman who after looking around requested the clerk to introduce him to me – After some conversation in which he informed me he was a liquor merchant and doing business just in front of the boats, he invited me over to his store and treated
me to some of the best whisky I ever tasted – His name was Chamblin, and if I ever returned that way, I certainly will
62. call on old man Chamblin according to his request. The black smoke is boiling out of our chimneys in clouds – The steam is up – The whistle blows – the bell rings – we are all aboard and off we move passing up in front of the city – St. Louis is now a great, a beautiful, a large city – But to me like all other cities a perfect Babel – a systematic confusion, a regularly confused mass of brick, stain and mortar and human misery and apparent anxiety – Its population is about – ——. There is nothing in city life to my taste, to be compared with that in the outside world, in the grand old forest, in the rural hamlet and districts, on the widespread prairie and towering mountains, livened up by all wildness and freedom of unbridled nature, the growing
63. of chickens, the lowing of cattle the tinkling of bells, the barking of dogs, the singing birds, the mighty rush of a herd of buffalo and even the occasional raid of hostile band of Indians – But we are going and night overtakes us about the mouth of the Missouri – Old man O’Bryan, myself and his son, take a social and quiet game or Eucher and we tum in for the night.
64. June 19. We woke up this morning some distance up the turbid Missouri – nothing to note during the night except that the boat furnished us wretched coffee. In fact, Judge Hughes and myself have held a council over it and pronounce it not coffee at all but we cannot positively say what it is made of. The fare is otherwise very good. The Missouri River, like all the streams issuing from the Rocky Mountains is always muddy, or “riley” as Lincoln would have it in one of his ill timed pauses. When settled the water is good and healthy. There is not much to be seen in ascending the Missouri. The best farms lay back in the country generally – Though in places, particularly at Washington and Hesinan the river hills are beautifully adorned with cottages, gardens and vineyards. It was generally conceded
65. by the passengers that Washington is the most inviting place on the river, as seen from the boat.
At Boonville Capt Kinny left us, it being the place of his residence. The voyage becomes monotonous, as the time lengthens and the distance before us shortens – Everything is common-place and unworthy of even a hasty note, and we will jump an interval embracing the 20th (Thurs), 21st (Friday) – June 21st during which we passed Hills landing, stopping a short time to deliver freight and where I left a note to Maj. Bowdry (father in law) of that vicinity.
We pass Lexington in the evening and on Saturday the 22nd in the evening arrive at Kansas City the terminus of our river voyage.
June 22nd Before arriving at Kansas C. our Dutch Doctor, patent medicine peddler came to Judge Hughes and
66. myself and said he was informed that there was a Dutch hotel in the City of superior quality and class and proposed that we all stop there to which we consented. It is known by its sign as the Franklin House and stuck against the bluff right on the railroad and near the river which even the Judge’s and any my principal reason for stopping there. As we approached it the countenance of the Dutch Doctor brightened as he remarked “Now we gits some tings coot”. We had gotten our evening meal on the boat and fortunately needed no supper. The evening sun beat against the house and the bluff perpendicularly and we found the heat almost unbearable, but we were in for it and had to endure it. The evening was also enlivened by the music of about three billion of mosquitoes, corresponding as near
67. as I could calculate from the number that seemed to be to each square inch numerically with the public debt. From the order in which their bills seemed to be they must just have returned from the shop of the candle maker for they brought blood with pain every “pop”– We retired to our rooms only to find them of the most filthy and disgusting character though the beds seemed to be clean, and after our olfactories became familiarized with the stench, being up stairs and having the doors and windows open and the mosquitos from some cause having returned, perhaps they were sorted by the overwhelming stench, we passed a tolerable night in the Dutch hotel “the Franklin House” – The Doctor and I arose early and went up into the city and the Hill in search of a bath house, which we found, kept under
68. ground by a freed man and tolerably neat – After bathing we returned to our hotel and found breakfast in progress – The prominent object on the table was an immense sausage cooked around in an immense dish, and looked like an immense anaconda, such as I have seen in shows. We had bakers bread and bad coffee, but the Dutch Doctor ate as though he had “cot some ting coot”. As soon as we got through with our share of the sausage consisting of about one coil apiece (more or less) the Judge and I in a fit of deep disgust, paid our fare, shouldered our baggage, bid farewell to the Dutch Doctor and the Franklin hotel and launched out upon the broad bosom of the earth resolved to seek adventures for that day. This was Sunday morning and the cars would not leave for the west
69. until Monday morning. So afoot we struck along the railroad for Wyandotte some three miles off around the bend which the Missouri River here makes and just across the Kansas river – I’m passing along at our leisure, coats off and baggage on our backs, we discussed of matters and things in a desultory manner, but somehow or other the conversation involuntarily would return with imprecations to the Franklin Hotel of Kansas City. We noticed on our way myriads of grasshoppers which in their flight had come in contact with the high and perpendicular embankments in heaps at the foot of these bluffs there to die. We noticed also that they had devoured everything grown in their way, even to the dogfennel and
70. smartweed. Kansas City promises to be a place of importance and the City and the hill is as pretty a place as could be desired. It is improving rapidly. Its inhabitants number some 14,000 to 15,000. It is supported by a fine surrounding country both in Missouri and Kansas as well as by the river trade of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. By the Pacific railroad from St. Louis to this city and thence to Leavenworth and the Union Pacific Railroad E.D. Extending across the plains on what is more commonly known as the smoky hill route and that which I traveled.
A branch of the North Missouri Rail road also extends up the north bank of the Mo River and connects with Kansas City and its converging railroads by a bridge across the Mo River which
71. is now being built. They are also constructing a Railroad from this city by way of Fort Scott designed eventually to connect with the Texas Railroad and Galveston – We passed up the south bank of the Missouri into the valley just above this present city and just below the mouth of the Kansas, where the business port of the city will soon be and where now the depot is and when they have also included a fine and commodious Railroad Hotel. On arriving at the depot we found that we would have to go to Wyandotte to board the Monday morning train. So we continued our walk talking as before, Judge Hughes cursing right out in the open and profane manner the Franklin
72. Hotel of Kansas City and I if not exactly saying Amen at least giving such guaranty as are usually to be heard in and about the Amen comer. The weather was intensely hot and we took divers and sundry rests at such shady places as the surrounding forest trees presented and at length arrive on the bank of the Kansas, bank full muddy and swift! We are paddled over in a yawl and strike for the Hotel situated near the railroad in the City of Wyandotte determined not to be tit as at the Franklin House of Kansas City kept by the Dutchman when we ate a whole coil of the huge anaconda sausage. We deposited out baggage in the clerk’s office and \\alked around to the rival hotel on the hill
73. and reconnoitered it and found it a twin sister, if not a branch of the Franklin House of Kansas City kept by the Dutchman where we ate a coil of the great anaconda sausage and contentedly returned to – —-Hotel where we had left our baggage and took a pleasant room for the balance of the day – and until next morning and found our accommodations every way excellent. The landlady was a Tennessean – We worried through the balance of the hot day and at night went to church (Congregational). A man by the name of Parker preached – Yankee Radical though he touched not politics – His text, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul
74. or what will a man give in exchange for his soul. It was certainly a good text – he read his sermon in the cold, formal lifeless Yankee style and its best feature was its shortness – Judge Hughes and I returned again disgusted and the Judge said he was a d-m-d fool and I granted. He added, he was a d-m-d Yankee and I said Amen. We talked out in the cool night a while to the land lord and lady in the free and easy and lovely southern style and then retired and slept soundly till day break.
June 24th. Monday.
It rained yesterday evening and made the streets muddy and slippery. This morning after breakfast cars arrived from Leavenworth City and had aboard some negro soldiers with white officers. These white negro officers all have a downcast sheepish or anguish look – are respected
75. by no body, not even the negroes. One of them seemed to be a lowland vulgar man and the other seemed to be walking all the time on stilts and under an effort to make a respectable, soldierly expression. The negroes, of course were all stolen property the train is under way and flying up the northern bank of the Kansas or Kaw River. Our flight is too rapid to learn much about the country. It is plain to be seen however that the river bottom is of the best of land but in rather a rude state of cultivation. The grasshoppers for a long way up the river have in many places destroyed the wheat and young corn. We pass many ephemeral, mushroom towns too tedious and unimportant to mention. We arrive about the middle of the day at Lawrence
76. City, made famous by many events and particularly by Quantrell’s celebrated raid. The buildings now seem to be almost entirely of wood and of the Cabin order – Hon. Judge Hughes left me and on we go for Fort Riley and Junction City. Arrive in the evening at Fort Riley where the negroes disembarked and three more miles more bring us to the depot at Junction 139 miles from Wyandotte. We have passed on the way several prongs of the Kansas River but all their names I now cannot call to mind. On the cars nothing worthy of note transpired – The boys as usual ran up and down and cried their “peanuts,” “figs,” “oranges” and newspaper and yellow backed literature. Pilities on boats, and cars and in hotels one not disciplined as in former years. The Radicals seem ashamed to
77. avow their principals and the Democrats say they (the Rads) are too d-m-d fools to talk to and I believe this to be so: for I have never heard one attempt to give a sober man’s reason for any of their diabolical proceedings. They always set out by opening a set of base falsehoods to be facts and no amount of evidence is sufficient to convince them that they are falsehoods and forever they are perfectly incapable by any ordinary channel of reasoning. They all however whenever I have met them have treated me with marked courtesy and are evidently proud of being on familiar terms with any gentleman known to be Southern. At Wyandotte I learned that General Wright in command of
77. (sic) the railroad surveying party on the Smoky-hill and New Mexico route was a few days ahead of me and I had some hope of overtaking him and traveling with him, but on arriving at Junction City found that he was out of my reach. On landing at the depot at Junction City as I stepped upon the platform with my baggage on my own I was accosted by a young man in his shirt-sleeves, his clothes being reasonably clean and his countenance and address pleasant. He asked me if I would like to go to a private boarding house. I replied in the affirmative but that I must see the house first. He then insisted on taking my baggage and conducted me to Mrs. Burroughs. On arriving I was at once unfavorably impressed with the outside appearance of things
78. but requested the young man to show me the room designed for me. Whereupon he opened a door into a back room – there were some four or five tumbled beds in it and from all appearance the sheets and bedding generally had not been washed since the year A.D. It was evidently an Irish establishment and the gem of all the unwashed democracy and ripoff of the railroad employees. It surpassed in filthiness the Franklin Hotel of Kansas City kept by the Dutchman when Judge Hughes and I ate two coils of the great anaconda sausage and for our time the Irish took the premium over the Dutch – that is in filthiness and this adventure led me to the reflection that perhaps filthiness is confined to no one nation and in these cases were certainly
79. common to both Irish and Dutch – the Irish winning. I curtly remarked to the abashed young man (who seemed to understand me fully) as I grasped my baggage that the situation would not suite me and I struck out up main street in search of better quarters. As I passed the store door of a Jewish gentleman by the name of – — with whom I afterwards became acquainted. I made inquiry for the best hotel in the city. He directed me to the Hole House remarking that it was the only decent Hotel in the place which I found to be the case and felt gratified to Mr. – —-for telling me so plain a truth. I arrived at the Hole House and registered my name and my destination with the expression of my desire (also registered) to see anybody from New Mexico.
80. It was not long before I met quite a number of acquaintances both Mexican and Americans. Among them Mr. Kitchen of Las Vegas, Lalos formerly of Mexilla, Musie of Chihuahua and many others. I found the Hole House to be a pleasant and well-ordered place and the chief clerk a young Kentuckian by the name of Lyon and a clever fellow. I also became acquainted at this town with a Col. Hasen of Richmond, Roy County, Mo. He had been a Confederate colonel and appeared to be every way a gentleman. I learned that Giorg Al Giddings of San Antonio, Texas had left here a few days before, having been interested in freighting contract that from some source had failed and we seem to be let which was in a few days
81. secured by the Messr. Kitchens of Las Vegas. Mr Kitchen ordered me every accommodation for my trip to across the plains wherever his train should go. I stayed at Junction City until Friday evening in consequence of the road thence to Salina being out of order from having been submerged. I availed myself of the interval to prepare my outfit for the plains. I purchased me an elegant pair of high topped cavalry boots, soldier’s overcoat and pants, and pair of blankets, butcher knife, trunk, etc. While here I found that a valuable negro which the Government had stolen from me was camped near town with a train but did not see him. Then also met Bishop Laimey of Santa Fe on his return from Rome with
82. a number of attaches and some good hearted sisters of Charity a Religious sisterhood made ever memory noble and worthy of all praise and all gratitude for their disinterested charities during the war – They are practical Christians and not of the Pharisaical order so characteristic of the real Yankees. They, the sisters, fully illustrate St. James definition of religion. He says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the father is this: to visit the widow and the orphans in their afflictions – and keep thyself unspotted from the world” The Yankees and even some people not Yankees, I am sorry to say, hold that religion is to pray hard, sing loud, get all you can, let everyone paddle his own canoe and like the
83. pious old lady, who, when the horses ran away down the mountain road said she, “trusted in God till the breeching broke and there she gave up all hope”. I have known many persons who could not for any consideration be induced to commit a sin knowingly for less than five dollars; others not less than ten and so on – And to sum up the whole matter after long experience & much observation I have deliberately come to the conclusion that mo man has about two hundred and seventy thousand sincere heart feeling worshipers, where God has one (more or less) – The Bishop met me very cordially and pleasantly alluded to the good dinner and pleasant times he had enjoyed in our house in New Mexico. June 26. I was deprived of the pleasure of
84. traveling with him by his intending at that time to travel the Cimmaron route. My business calling me by the Bents Fort route. The little priest (formerly of Albuquerque) tendered me a seat in his carriage – and they all seemed very kind and obliging. The Bishop is a most excellent man and practically a good Christian. At junction a train of movers passed from Johnson County, Texas in-route for Oregon. This evening the train on its being announced that the road was repaired and in running order started through to Salina; but about fourteen miles from town a bridge gave way and some of the freight cars tumbled down, the locomotive and passenger cars escaping on the very brink of the breach in rather a miraculous manner. I was prevented from going on this train by my clothes being out at wash.
85. June 27th This was fortunate and perhaps I was indebted for that good fortune to the indolence of the washer woman for although no one was seriously hurt yet the returning passengers said they had passed a very disagreeable night. June 28 Next day (the road again being declared passable) in the evening the train again started out for Salina. I this time being aboard. We passed some miles from town on a place where the riverbank had given away (fresh) and there lay a locomotive and tender upside down in the river. This had occurred a few days before but without any one being hurt. The engineer now drove very carefully and felt his way at every doubtful place and the consequence was that it was dark
83. (sic) when we arrived at Salina. On arriving, as I had my trunk checked, I left it at the depot and with my portable baggage in company with others to wit (maps Swartz-coffee valise etc.) footed it about a half a mile in the dark up to town and the hotel, if anything about the place be worthy of that dignified and honorable title and I must say that I most decidedly think in the negative. As we passed along the street the stores and shops being lit up presented a lively and city like appearance. And to add still further life there was a traveling theater going on in a frame building house near the hotel at which we stopped. As we passed it the whole house – not only so but the whole town seemed to be melodious by the
84. (sic) music of many voices and on inquiring into the matter we found that the actor and actresses in attempting some city, theatrical and operatic airs (in giving a song) though out of the place in this extemporized rail road town, perhaps or perhaps from a misunderstanding of the matter but so it is they were joined by the whole audience upon almost every key in the gamut from deep bass to alto and with almost every tune to be found in “The Missouri Harmony” to the deep disgust and bitter chagrin of the theatricals. The consequence was the theater adjourned, was informally disrupted or broken up and turned into a free ball in which all the bull whackers as teamsters are here called, took an equal rights post and
85. they danced away the lazing hours of the latter night. The theatrical, good humoredly both men and women leading off in every dance. With the theater and the ball I here close volume first of my diary and narrative, it being the most suitable point for such case as on the next morning I go into camp with parker and remain in camp until my arrival at Trinidad. The balance I will complete as soon as I can, leaving for your devout meditation in the meantime the following, upon which your minds and hearts can safely rest in every trying time and under every trying circumstance until we are again reunited.
86. The Lords Prayer
Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come – Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Unto thee, 0 Lord, do I lift up my soul.
2. 0 my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed; let them be ashamed that transgress without cause.
4. Shew me thy ways, 0 Lord, teach me thy paths.
5. Lead me in thy truth and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; On thee do I wait all the day.
6. Remember, 0 Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy loving kindness: for they have been ever of old.
7. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, 0 Lord.
8. Good and upright is the Lord! Therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9. The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way.
l0. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11. For thy name’s sake, 0 Lord, pardon mine iniquity for it is great.
12. What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him and he will shew them his covenant.
15. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord! For he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16. Turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me! For I am desolate and afflicted.
17. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; oh bring thou me out of my distress.
18. Look upon my affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20. Oh keep my soul and deliver me; let me not be ashamed for I put my trust in thee.
21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
22. Redeem Israel, 0 God, out of all his troubles.