I am sure that I am not disposed to apologize for any of General Sherman's wrong doing, but to be candid, I never thought that Columbia, South Carolina
was burned at the instance and by order of him. I remember it was the windiest day, I thought I ever saw. While on the march, I had to hold my hat on my head with one hand nearly all day. My honest opinion is that in the confusion incident on such an occasion, that fire broke out either by intent or accident of someone and that owing to the great confusion and the unusual high wind, the fire became uncontrollable and hence the result and beside General Sherman in his autobiography which I read a few years ago gives an account of the burning of Columbia. He disdains having authorized or countenanced anything of that sort and says he personally put forth all the effort in his power to arrest the flames on that fatal day.
We continued our march on toward Charlotte without much disturbance from the
enemy. Before we reached that point, we had to cross a river and our
pontoon train had not overtaken us. So there was one place we could ford,
known as Land's Ford. So we went somewhat out of our way to get
across the river. Just before night, we came to the stream. It was said to
be three quarters of a mile wide there. We marched across and was wet and
cold when we reached the other side (this was February). Some places
the water was up to the waist, at other places not so deep.
We finally reached Charlotte and from there by railroad train to
Greensborough, Raleigh (the capital of the state) and on to a little
place on the Neuse River called Kinston, where we encountered part of
Sherman's Army and had a considerable skirmish fight in which I was slightly
wounded and but for a heavy leather haversack strapped to my shoulder and
hanging by my side. I would have been, perhaps mortally wounded. That old
war haversack is now hanging up in a back room of my house.
Another incident, I will relate, which occurred on this skirmish line. Some
time during the winter, two young men, who had been brought in as Yankee
prisoners, and who expressed a willingness to take the oath and join our
army, rather than remain prisoners of war. So they took the oath and joined
my company. They gave their names as Allen and Jones and were from New York
State. Our picket line was in a swamp with thick undergrowth and while the
Yankee picket line was not far away, we could not see whether it was a mere
picket line or a line of battle.
Sometime during the day, an order came to me (I was in command of our
picket line) to send a man up a tree to ascertain the strength of the
enemy's line. At first, I hesitated to obey that order, although it was
from Brigade headquarters. Because I knew if the enemy should happen to spy
a man in or up a tree, they would be sure to shoot him at once, and while I
wanted neither to disobey orders, nor force a man to go up a tree, there and
then without his consent. I called the men up who were not on duty and
informed them of the order, stating also that I did not desire to force any
man to do so, without his consent, but made this proposition: that if any
of them would volunteer to go up a tree A Yankee for to see, I would
relieve him from further duty that day and he could go back to the
regimental camp and rest. And to my great surprise and somewhat to my
gratification, one of my Yankee soldiers volunteered and went up the tree,
but no new discovery was made and fortunately for him at least he was not
fired on while up the tree. Not very long after that, both the Yankees
disappeared from whom we never heard till this day.
Soon after this, the army was transferred by rail back to Smithfield Station
by way of Raliegh and then marched to near Bentonville where our last battle
was fought on Sunday the 19th of March, 1865.
General Joseph E. Johnston had again been placed in command of the army.
Which event, the soldiers hailed with much enthusiasm. And here we
encountered a heavy force of the enemy. We had barely gotten into line when
the Yanks charged us, but we repulsed them and they fell back to their
breastworks. And it being our time to assault, at them we went with the
Rebel Yell and when we had gotten within 50 yards of their works,
they broke and we drove them some distance. Night soon came on and that
engagement was the closing chapter of the long and bloody struggle, so far
as fighting in the Army of Tennessee was concerned.
Colonel Harry T. Toulmin of the 22nd Alabama Regiment and now one of the District Federal Judges of Alabama, commanded the brigade that day. Colonel
George D. Johnston had been promoted to Brigadier General and the regiment was commanded the last few months of the war by Major N. B. Rouse (?).
This was the first pitched battle we had since the Nashville fight in
December and the soldiers were so discouraged, it was with some difficulty
that the men could be inspired to charge the Yankee breastworks. But that
day, as if in desperation, they made a most splendid charge and sent the
enemy flying from the field. General E. W. Petters (?), now of the U.S. Senate from Alabama, received a severe flesh wound in the leg leading his
Brigade that day.
One of my mess mates, Private Jim Wilson of whom I have written in a previous chapter, was killed that evening by one among the last guns fired
by the enemy. In the charge that afternoon and just as the enemy were
leaving their works, I was hit on the left leg by the fragment of an
exploded bomb shell from the enemy's cannon, which broke my leg below the
knee and came very near costing me my life and from which I have not
recovered to this day, and it lacks one month of being 41 years ago.
I was sent to the hospital in a few days at Charlotte and was there when
terms of peace were agreed upon between Generals Sherman and Johnston at
Greensboro, North Carolina on the 26th day of April 1865. 
The above narrative history of the 25th Alabama Infantry has been given
alone from my memory and while some things may not be absolutely correct,
but I have written about the various incidents as I remember them. With no
intention whatever to indulge in any invidious distinctions as to any man or
company of the regiment.
While much of this narrative applies mostly to my own company and myself, it
is because I remember more distinctly those things which occurred under my
immediate and personal observations. And while I claim for myself and
company, equal loyalty and patriotism and courage as other companies and
individual members of the regiment. I do not claim superiority over any of
My information was that during the interval from the Battle of Bentonville
to the surrender at Greensboro, owing to the depleted ranks of the army, the
companies and regiments were consolidated. As to these details, I was not
informed. I will add a supplement to these narratives with short sketches
of men and events which were not remembered while writing the above
 There is no report in the Official Records from the regiment, brigade, or division, and the only official sources of information are what can be
gleaned from the reports of General S. D. Lee of operations from November 2nd to December 17th, 1864 (Official Records, Serial 93, pages 686-690), General A. P. Stewart's report of operations from November 29th, 1863 to January 20th, 1865. A much more full statement can be had from the History of the 10th South Carolina Regiment, by Colonel C. Irvine Walker, for he was with Manigault's Brigade in Johnson's Division with Deas' Brigade, of which the 25th Alabama was a part.
From these sources, it is learned that on the 29th of September 1864, the command crossed the Chattahoochee River, went as far north in Georgia as Snake Creek Gap, there had a heavy skirmish with Sherman; then went to Gasden, Alabama, reaching there the 20th of October, remained there getting clothing, shoes, and other supplies; leaving there the 22nd, and arriving at Florence on the 1st of November, and drove the enemy out, inflicting a loss of about 40 on the enemy. They remained at Florence until the 20th of November, when the regiment with the whole army set out for Nashville, coming in touch with the enemy at Columbia, Tennessee. The enemy evacuated Columbia on the night of the 27th, and the 25th Alabama, as a part of Lee's Corps helped take possession on the 28th. There was some skirmishing and cannonading with the enemy who had halted and fortified on the opposite side
of Duck River. The casualties were light.
On the 29th of November, the regiment with it's division (Johnson's) was detached from it's (Lee's) Corps, and with Stewart's and Cheatham's Corps crossed the Duck River some miles above Columbia, and reached Schofield's rear at Spring Hill that evening. This gave Hood a fine opportunity to
crush his foe as he had him surrounded. But strange to say after the hard march and well planned and executed scheme, no advantage was taken of it, and the enemy permitted to pass out in sight and hearing of the Confederates bivouacked along the pike over which the enemy were passing. No one would assume the blame. Hood charged it upon Cheatham, but Cheatham denied.
Stewart's report shows that Hood's order to him was a strange one under existing conditions. It has been said later, by some who claim to know, that drunkeness was the cause. If so, what a fearful account must be rendered some day by those in high and responsible places allowing the
gratification of vicious appetite, to blast the cause of a whole people; send to death thousands of brave men; rob an army of most of its able generals and create thousands of wives into widows and more thousands of children from parentage to orphanage.
The next day, Hood rushed his army on after the enemy; struck them in their strong fortifications at Franklin; hurled his army upon their ramparts, to gain the loss of 6 generals killed, 6 wounded, 1 captured; with nearly 2,000
brave men killed; and a total loss of about 7,000. Major E. H. Armisted of the 22nd Alabama was wounded.
Johnson's division was in the battle, and lost 127 killed, 424 wounded, and 36 missing. Of the Deas' Brigade, lost 13 killed, 101 wounded, and 5 missing (Official Records, Serial 93, page 691).
The enemy evacuated on the night of the battle, falling back to Nashville,
followed by the Confederates on the evening of December 1st. The enemy were
partially besieged in Nashville from the 2nd to the 15th of December. General Thomas, commanding the Federal forces by the latter date had secured all the reinforcements of all kinds needed for an aggressive campaign. He
attached, without vigor the right wing, but hurled heavy forces on the left with great vigor and succeeded in turning the left. The 25th, with its brigade, and finally with its division, had been detached, and sent from the centre to the left to the aid of Stewart, whose report does not reflect credit upon the part taken by Johnson's division. But it is hard to believe
that soldiers who had always been so true could have failed in this juncture, and there must have been causes unseen by Stewart. Walker's History of the 10th South Carolina Regiment shows the command did as usual in the discharge of its soldierly duties.
The disaster of this day required a change of the entire line, and during the night the army moved about one mile to the rear establishing a new line, beginning at once to fortify. The next morning a very vigorous assault was made which was successfully repulsed, and with great slaughter to the enemy on the right occupied by Lee's corps. About the middle of the afternoon a break was made with apparently little resistance, somewhere toward the left of the center, and such was the formation of the lines that this gave the enemy easy access to the Franklin pike, the only line of retreat left to the
Confederates. Soon the lines from left to center were broken, and that part of the line fleeing in confusion.
General Edward Johnson was captured, as seen by a report of General A. J. Smith (Official Records, Serial 93, page 437), and other reports show that very many of the division was captured. Walker's History of the 10th South Carolina Regiment, shows that the command was nearly surrounded before they knew anything had gone wrong.
The army continued its retreat, enduring severe weather with scant clothing,
many barefoot, with a much larger number with shoes so worn as to be little protection to the feet, many without a blanket, leaving quite commonly bloody tracks, the blood cut by the frozen ground as the poor barefooted fellows trudged along in the way for safety. The Tennessee River was
reached, and Christmas Day, December 25th, 1864, was spent on the banks of the river awaiting the laying of the pontoon bridge. The crossing took place the 26th and 27th of December, and the march for Misssissippi, where the thread of the story is resumed by the writer.
 Cleburne was not commander of the division, but General Ed. Johnson.
 On April 9th, 1865, by order of General Johnston, there was a reorganization of the army at Smithfield, North Carolina; and the 22nd, 25th, 39th, and 50th Alabama Regiments were consolidated as the 22nd Alabama, Colonel Harry T. Toulmin, and was placed in Brig. General William F. Brantly's Brigade, in Hill's division, of Lee's corps (Official Records, Serial 100, pages 773-774, Serial 98, page 1064).
Deas' Brigade lost in the battle at Kinston, North Carolina, 3 killed and 20 wounded (Official Records, Serial 98, page 1089); and in the Battle of Bentonville, 3 killed, 30 wounded, and 1 missing.
The effective strength of Hill's Division, of which the 25th Alabama was a part, on April 24th, 1865, two days before surrender of Johnston, was 2,442, and aggregate present 2,634 (Official Records, Serial 100, page 839). The strength of the brigade at its last mention as such, was on April 3rd, 1865 (Official Records, Serial 100, page 748), when it had 464 for duty, and aggregate present 516.