General Herron 1865
THE I*AST DITCH. •Ene Confederacy's I.ast Capital-Strange Scenes at Snreve- port, L.a., in May, 1865. Shreveport was the last capital of the Confederate nation. There were assembled the civil as well as the »«»»7 genius of what was left of the Confed- Iracy intact. There Sterling Price called Tom Reynolds "the pretended Governor of Mississippi, and Dr. overnr , Kavanangh called Reynolds "a J cowardjy deadhead," and Reynolds called Price "a toddy-sipping blusterer. Smith was accused of cottoning to the enemy, both in the staple and the surrender, and gave over the command ot the troops to Simon Bolivar Buckler. Buckner and Price quietly went off to New Orleans to surrender the Department for Smith, and General Herron, appointed by Canby to receive thai surrender, brought them both back on his steamboat, and also Major General Brent, now of Maryland. Herron s steamer was in advance— twenty steamers in all— and as the others were deeply laden with provisions for the starving rebels, he rode ahead over the low water and approached Shreveport on an afternoon in May, 1865. The scene on the levee was so tumultuous that even the rebel commanders shrank back, unwilling to leave the steamer. They knew that Shelby and others had revolted against a surrender, and might attack this unarmed boat, and their own status was uncertain. Shelby was even then drawn up on the prairie west of Shreveport, earnestly debeating an assault on Herron. Price, Buckner and Brent were wall educated, polite men, all of some northern affiliations ; they did not go ashore until next day. Herron's nearest steamer, which contained troops, was nearly a day behind him. In this uncertainty he ordered the band u> play, and drove up to the wharf in the view of full 28,000 armed men looking in wonder at those lonely stars and stripes, and all jabbering in the wildest confusion. "I'll be derned," cried one fellow, "if that ain't Gen. Herron up there !" Herron went ashore, and this man el- howed through the crowd to him. "General, what does this mean? Have we surrendered ?" "Yes, said Herron, "you have surrendered. I have come up to parole you and give you something to eat. ^ My transports will be here pretty soon." The man jumped upon a bale of cotton and made a speech : "Boys, this is General Herron. You've all heard of him in these parts. We've surrendered ! ; [Hazza.] General Herron's here to •issue our paroles and give us transpor- i tatWH home, and Glory be to God ! to give us something to eat. [Immense yells aad cheers.] I propose three cheers for General Herron !" That huge concourse of wild men sws*«£ *«4 shouted and nearly pressed Her"ron of the wharf. A thousand different emotions were expressed in their fases, but chiefly gratitude. Look- ins down from the steamer, sad and apprehensive, and cast anew on the barren strand ot civil life, were the brave old veteran of Mexico, Price and Buckner, the defender of Fort Donaldson, whose accomplishments survived that humiliation. It was the last general scene in the rebellion. Dick Taylor had surrendered at Citronelle, Ala., May 4, and Joe Johnston had surrendered April 26. Herron threw himself with ready diplomacy, upon the confidence and cooperation of the Confederate line officers at Shreveport, and sent for several of them by their soldiers. "I am not acquainted here/ he said, <-and would like you to indicate a suit- aMe building for my headquarters. They told him to take the bank, and led the way up through the town of 15,000 inhabitants, the ragged rebel veterans thronging around and following. "Now, officers," said Herron, "let us help each other to protect the people and guard these streets. Set your own guards to-night, and let us^close this war creditably to both armies." That night, very late, Herron walked out and inspected the town. The late rebel soldiery were doing their duty as faitlifully as if they had been Union regulars. Sleep and security pervaded alfplaces, though the weary truants by hundreds were stretched along the sidewalks and under the trees, dreaming, perhaps, the droiie of old backwood sermons which told of other prodigals, cryin<'- "How many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger ! I 11 arise, and eo unto my .lather. ^ Gen. Herron' says that the Southern Union feeling was better at that moment than it has ever been since. lie be^an the svstematic and long labor ot issuing the paroles in duplicate, whicn required the assistance of the Contcd- <rate captains and adjutants. 1'he distant Missourians were paroled first and .ent home in steamboats. From the farthest points of Texas and Arkansas stragglers came in to get the coveted pass and discharge. Sixty thousand Ln were thus personally described, identified and fed.—First Federal Volunteer in Philadelphia Times.