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Philip Sartorius
Citizen of Vicksburg

Election, Secession, and War

In the presidential election of 1860, four candidates ran: two Democrats, John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky and Stephen Douglas of Illinois; Know-Nothing John Bell of Tenn. and Republican Abe Lincoln. Up to this time, three-fourths or more of the Presidents were Democrats. In this instance you can truly say, those that the gods wish to destroy, first make mad.

Immediately after the election, the governors of the Southern states held a convention, where the secession business was decided on. No doubt, their deliberations were kept profoundly secret. For further information on this subject, I refer you to history of the U.S. Suffice when the first gun was fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., war was declared. Constitutional conventions had been held in eleven Southern states, and one after the other seceded from the Union. A large number of wealthy people were opposed to secession, depicting in graphic pictures the ruin that would result in a contest with the U.S. Their description was almost prophetic.

Volunteers were called for, and all thought it was a picnic, but found it before long a sad reality. The first company raised in our parish was the Madison Infantry. Henry Wirz, M.D., a homeopathic physician, was one of its members. [This was the same Henry Wirz who later became the commandant of Andersonville prison camp. L.B.] He was a Swiss by birth and quite intelligent; he practiced in our family, and I have a memento of his in the shape of a note. The war spirit predominated, patriotism at fever heat, ladies aid societies were formed to furnish the soldiers with clothes, shoes, socks, underwear, whiskey, wine, preserves, and other delicacies, very little the privates received. Concerts, tableaus, and vaudeville performances were given to raise funds for the soldiers, our brave boys, you know. A number of wealthy people bought most all those things from us, with promises to pay. It remained at that; some could not pay, and many ignored our claim entirely.

Travel in War Time

In the early part of 1862, a Confederate gunboat came up and stopped at my woodyard opposite Milliken's Bend, took on some wood, and gave me a check on Major Gen'l Lovell, commander at New Orleans. A Dr. Dancy and I intended to raise a company of artilery and with that view went to New Orleans to see Major Gen'l Lovell to get a battery of guns. That was in April. I had my check with me, but the gen'l could not see us; he had more important business. The Federal fleet, and Gen'l Butler on transports, were coming up the river. We could hear the booming of the cannons at Fort Jackson and St. Phillip, and the following day we could see the masts of the ships as they ascended the river, around the point, fifteen or twenty miles off.

Then commenced a scene almost indescribable. Bales of cotton were cut open and set on fire; hogsheads of sugar were opened, and whoever wanted it could carry it off. Gunboats were set on fire, and hoodlums threw balls and shells overboard. I heard Gen'l Lovell was speaking; I went to hear him. All I remember of that speech is when he said: "We will never surrender," and an hour later he was on a train going north. A heavy rain fell by the time I got back to the river; the streets were overflooded. People caught in the rain were transported in wheelbarrows from one sidewalk to the other, mostly ladies, however. I waded through the water; I wore boots all right. Just as I came to the landing, foot of Canal, Com. Farragut landed under the flag of truth [sic—flag of truce], exclaiming: "For G-d sake, what does this wanton destruction mean?" The way it came that I was there yet there was no train leaving except the one that carried Gen'l Lovell; common people need not apply. At the last moment we were told we might ride on a platform car attached to the gen'l's special. Lafayette Dancy was lucky enough to get his trunk; I had to leave mine at the St. Charles Hotel until after the war.

We sat on that trunk, two lonely refugees and one trunk. I came near forgetting your cousin Assor, who clerked for Stern Bros., He came at the last moment, begging me to take him along. We rode on the platform car until we came to Camp Moore. Uncle Emanuel was there, encamped with his regiment, but we did not dare to leave the car for fear it might start any moment. We were not there long, when a special train arrived, with the militia or home guard, composed ot a number of wholesale merchants. Mr. Simon, of the firm of Simon & Hohn, was cook and comissary. He gave each of us three or four hardtacks; we subsisted on them while there, nearly forty-eight hours. When we left there, we got on a regular train and reached home without any further accident.

War Time Life on the Mississippi

In the following month (May) I had occasion to go to Vicksburg. I went with a friend in a yawl. When we got there, a portion of the Federal fleet came in sight, with troops on transports. Not long afterwards, [May 18, 1862], an officer under a flag of truth [sic] approached in a yawl and demanded in the name of Gen'l Williams, commander of the fleet, the surrender of the city of the mayor, Mr. Laz Lindsey, who referred the messenger to the commander of the post, Gen'l Smith. The demand was made that if Vicksburg did not surrender by 2:00 p.m., the city would be bombarded. We got in our yawl and pulled up the Bend, near where the National Cemetery gate is, to wait events. Sure enough, at about 2:00 p.m. a gun was fired for the purpose of drawing the fire from the batteries of the city, but if they had any, there were very few, and they failed to reply. Gen'l Williams turned tail and left. I am almost sure if he had landed his troops, he could have taken the town, but whether he could have held it, is another thing. But it woke the Conmfederate Gov. up; troops and seige guns were thrown in, and the town strongly fortified.

In 1862, during July and August, a small sternwheel boat plied between Vicksburg and Milliken's Bend. The "Fair Play", carrying arms and ammunition, which were forwarded from there by teams to Monroe for the forts on the Ouachita and Red River. During the latter month, I went to Jackson to bring my neice, the present Mrs. Lena Rose, home from school. A gunboat, or rather a man-of-war, run the forts at Vicksburg, captured the sternwheel...took all the men prisoners, and put guards at each dwelling house, then looted the stores, pressed teams to carry everything valuable on board the ship. what they could not or did not care to take away, they threw on the floor and poured tinctures over them. the guards at our house were two Jewish soldiers from Ohio, and they felt very sorry for us but could afford us no help.

When I arrived at Vicksburg, I was told of what was going on at the Bend, that I could not get home. I took my niece back to Jackson and then returned home. After the departure of the gunboat, a regiment of Confederate troops were sent and camped about two miles from town. Shortly after this, Memphis was captured by the Federals, and a number of so-called gunboats were snet down the river to patrol the banks on each side. These boats were generally sternwheelers, covered on each side, and the pilot house with sheet iron, to protect the men aboard from the bullets fired from the shore, with a pivotal gun in the bow of the boat.

When Memphis was captured, the Confederates saved a nondescript craft, they sent down the river, stopping at the principal landings, ordering all cotton burned. I had eighty bales burned; the river was on fire almost all the way from Memphis to New Orleans with burning cotton bales. Some of the planters carried theirs in the swamps and saved it, some lost theirs and other valuables...miserable renegades pointing them out to thieves of quartermasters who shipped them north. The cotton, of course, the Federal Gov. kept.

Our brave troops, above mentioned, came to town daily and amused themselves firing on the gunboats. It became so annoying that the gunboats gave the people notice to leave, as they were going to burn down the place. We made preparations at once. After we left, the first time the Confederates fired on the boats, they commenced shelling the town, landed troops, chased the Confederates, and burned down the business part of the town. The Confederates were still running when last I heard from them.

The only available place we could get in our emergency was a loft of a ginhouse, infested with rats and snakes, a pile of rotten cottonseed in front. It was fearful, leaving our beautiful cottage we built in 1858. We stretched sheets across, to separate the two families. Ma was expecting to be confined every moment. She was constantly in dread of the Yankee; in each tree she thought she saw a soldier. It was a good thing most women were made of different stuff from what they are made now. Our cottage was used by the Federals for a smallpox hospital and later burned. In about ten days later we obtained a very commodious house on Willow Bayou, and a few days later your brother Assor was born, the tenth Sept., 1862.

On Food, Sherry, and Negroes

To give you an idea what brave men we had, we had a fine iron safe in the store. When we left, we left all the doors open. That night these hoodlums cut a hole in the safe with an ax. It will amuse you to learn how we secured our valuables. In our own storeroom we made a partition behind which we had trunks filled with valuables. We took off the baseboard and put some behind them. Silverware we used at the table, our women put in bags they had fastened under their dresses. In case of an alarm, we kept guard on the top of the ginhouse, who would give the alarm, generally a negro. The negroes, who remained on the plantations, were very kind and faithful; but for them many families would have suffered, whose protectors were from home in the army, and left them in the care of these slaves perfectly contented.

We put bottles of sherry wine in boxes, filled them with dirt and planted parsley. That winter we made eggnog of sherry; it was fine. We had plenty provisions; when in Jackson I bought two barrels of flour for $20 per barrel; flour sold in Vicksburg during the siege for $200 per barrel. We used a great deal of cornmeal. Our women made the finest cupcakes out of it. It required a great deal of labor; the last sifting was through Swiss muslin. We had plenty of eggs, butter, sweet potatoes, bacon of our own make, coffee also; we mixed it with sweet potatoes, cut up in small spheres, parched and ground. We had fish and game, the latter very scarce as it was not safe to fire a gun.

We had a gentleman residing in the same house with us. He was a planter, had a plantation near Milliken's Bend. He moved his negroes and stock with him on the place and left a trusty servant (a joke) on the place, who helped him bury a trunk filled with jewelry and silverware in his garden. We ridiculed the idea of leaving a negro in charge of a small fortune, but our friend, he trusted old John as himself. One morning, when the gentleman rose (his name was Judge Daniel Byrnes; he was at one time judge of a criminal court in New Orleans), his negroes and all the stock was gone. He consoled himself with the idea that, with his valuables in that buried trunk, he could go and live with his Jesuit brothers in Maryland the remainder of his days. But alas! Man proposes and G-d disposes. Good faithful old John had departed to other fields and took that trunk or its contents with him. Some of his negroes who had gone back to the plantation made up a purse and let him go to Maryland, if poorer very much wiser.

Early Experiences in the Confederate Army

In February, 1863, the remainder of the stay-at-homes, composed of planters and merchants, were called in to join their compatriots. I was up to this time exempt, being postmaster. Having no more p.o. or mails, a p.m. was superfluous. On the twenty-third of February, we joined the Fifteenth La. Battalion Cavalry, commanded by Isaac Harrison, as Co. B.

I started out with a gentleman, riding through the swamps from Willow Bayou to Brushy, swimming nearly all the way over floating logs. At Brushy Bayou, we had to swim again to the other side, where I stayed all night with my friend Ed Adams, a druggist at Richmond, La., still living Jan., 1910. [when this memoir was written—L.B.] Next morning, all three of us started for the camp, situated on the Perkins place near New Carthage; we had to swim two more bayous before getting there. That night a blizzard accompanied by sleet came up. My horse, being without shelter and swimming through the cold water the two preceding days, got the lung fever and unfitted him for further service. I had a short while before paid $300 in gold for him and was therefore compelled to purchase another, for which I paid the same price.

We had to furnish our own horses and accoutrement, or march on foot to Monroe and join the infantry. I got my accoutrement from a Yankee deserter. The first or second night, I was put out on guard, way out in the woods, in a pouring down rain, a tree for a shelter, wildcats and coons for company. About midnight, the lieutenant of the guard came. I called him to stop and give me the countersign; he still came nearer without giving the countersign; I raised my rifle and told him if he came any nearer, I would put a hole through him. He gave the countersign all right, but remarked that I would not need to be so emphatic.

Some time after we heard the booming of cannons down the river. We were rushed out to the river; we sent couriers to ascertain the trouble and learned that the Federal gunboat "indianola" was coming up the river, chased by the Confederate ram "Webb." Our battery was stationed behind the levee, and we were dismounted, supporting the artillery and acting as sharpshooters. We kept firing at her as she came up;...the "Indianola" sent some shells over our heads; in a very short time the ram came u-p and rammed her. That ended the fight. All aboard the "Indianola" were taken prisoners and, I think, taken to Monroe. After that we went to Lake st. Joseph to camp. I can't remember whose place; some widow had 1,000 or 2,000 acres clear land.

Reveille was 6:00 a.m.; we had to cook out breakfast; 7:00 a.m. roll call; 8:00 a.m., mount to drill. The first morning we were in eight squads; I was in the second. When the order came to charge, my saddle girth broke and I rolled off my horse, and the six squads passed over me; luckily, none of the horses touched me. I was made steward of our mess. We lived fine while there; we always had plenty eggs, butter, lard, sweet potatoes, etc. The Texas cattle would not eat corn, and grass in winter was scarce. they used to say they were so poor, two men had to hold them up while the butcher knocked them down. I put a piece of beef, salted and peppered, with lots of lard, in a skillet and sweet potatoes all around; it turned out very nice. We slept in negro cabins here; a friend of mine, a planter by the name of Groves, and I slept together. we lay on one pair blankets, each man had one pair, and covered with the other. Our saddles we used for pillows. But I most forgot our fine egg-bread and syrup. I gained eight pounds in four or five weeks.

After being camped there a few days, a detail of fifteen men was called to go to Richmond, La., to watch Gen'l Grant's movements, whose army was camped at Milliken's Bend. One day, while at Richmond, I got a permit to visit my home. I got a skiff and with two or three of my comrads started. At about 9:00 p.m. we reached half way at a house of a friend on Eagle Lake, and call out. Everything looked quiet and dark about the premises, and it was some time before someone answered, and when we made ourselves known, we were invited to come to the house, and, when near, we saw two or three fellows scrawl from under the house in their shirts. they looked rather sheepish, and we had a good laugh at their expense. One was a well-known planter, related by marriage to Gov. Humphreys.

After resting a while, we continued our journey. When we came near the house, I sent a negro to the house to let them know. Directly Ma came to where we were, having to wade with boots on through the overflowed yard and quarters, begging me to return at once, as the Federal cavalery were expected every moment, and had been there several times looking for me. Very reluctantly I bid pooe Ma good-bye and returned to camp. Several times a squad of Federal cavalery would come to the other side of the bayou and fire into the town, no doubt to find what force we had, but we had instructions not to fire on them.


At last, on the morning of the twenty-ninth of March, we heard the reveille and drums beating very plainly in the camp at the Bend and expected something doing. About 2:00 p.m. we saw them coming, with waggons loaded with skiffs. Our sergeant took the waggons to be artillery. Shaking as with a chill, said: "Boys, let's go. there are too many for us." All left but three of us. We said we would not go until ordered by our lieutenant, who was a short distance away with his family. My two comrades, Adams and Simms, went after the officer, Capt. Wells, now at or near Delhi, La. I went behind a log house. Curiosity prompted me to come from behind and see how things looked, and as soon as I came in sight, they fired on me, and I thought my arm was shattered. The gun fell out of my hand, and, after staggering some twenty feet, I fell on my face. The bullets fell around me like rain, and I thought that if the bullet that hit me would not kill me, some stray one would, and I wanted to see the sky when I died. With my remaining strength, I managed to turn over (a feat I could not do for two years without assistance). It was not long before the lieutenant with my two comrads come in the inclosure near me. They had to climb over an eight-foot plank fence. The lieutenant took his field glass to take a peep at the enemy, but went back over that fence quicker than they come. That all three were not riddled by bullets was not their fault.

Not long after this, a squad of infantry come across the bayou, passing by me. I asked them to take me to the house close by. The sergeant said he could not do it, he had to look for Rebels. I told him he would not find any, and besides, would they leave a man to die on the ground? in a matter-of-fact way, showing my conception of what war was. They took pity on me, picked me up, and walked me about ten or fifteen steps when I fainted. They then carried me to the house and put me on a sofa in the parlor. I was told later it was a troop of the Sixteen Illinois Cavalery, the bodyguard of Gen'l Peter Osterhaus's, his division being in advance, that done the shooting. Some years after the war, I met a member of that troop, who was planting in East Carrol Parish. He said he would not be surprised if he was not the man that shot me. (That was Grant's march to Hard Times Landing, down the little Tensaw, to get to Vicksburg in the rear.)

Some hours later, after I was carried in the house, a young excuse of a surgeon of an Indiana reg't came to look after me. He cut my clothes off. The bullet lodged under my skin at the end of my shoulder blade. He had no instruments with him but an old rusty pocket knife. Some of the soldiers that were there said: "Doctor, don't hurt him any more than you can help." He replied: "Oh hell! He is nothing but a d—d Rebel s——b——!" He asked me what office I held. I told him I was a private. He said I lied; no private wore as fine clothes. Later, I was asked how many men we had there, I told him. I was told again I lied; they said we had a large number of troops and artillery. The fact was, it was nearly dusk when a pontoon bridge was completed for the cavalery to come over, and dashing up the road they saw a multitude of people and waggons, which the Yankees took to be rebels with artillery, when it was only a planter trying to get away with his negroes, but I did not argue with them. I knew they would get the straight of it after a while. All the same, I kept my composure and asked the doctor what my chances were. If there was danger of my dying, I begged him to ask the commander of the post to send for my wife, some fourteen miles distant, that I wished to see her before I died. "Well," he said, "your chances are about one in a hundred." The commander did send out an officer next morning, but had to return at night, having lost his way.

The following day, a Kentucky regiment came. Their surgeon was a fine old gentleman. He came in my room smiling, examined my wound, told me there was not the least danger. If I had been wounded on a battlefield, or been put on a marine hospital boat (in the former case, left probably for two days on the ground; and in the latter, conditions were unsanitary and poor accomodations), there was danger of blood poison. He told me exactly how my hand would be, that I would not be able to write with it. He said that all the nerves were severed, except that of feeling remained. If it had been cut, my arm would have to be taken off at the armpit. The old doctor's name was Stevenson. I stayed there until I was allowed to return home.

Ma was coming to visit me the day I was shot, and when about a mile from Richmond she heard the firing, and a negro on the bank of the bayou called to her: "Oh! Missus Sartorus, you can't go to Richmond; the Yankees are there." She had no idea of what had taken place. Of course she returned that night. A negro come to bro. Jacob and told him I had been killed. When asked how he knew, he said he saw an officer with my overcoat and slippers. (They were beautiful beads worked, representing an Arab holding a horse's head by the bridle, sent to me from Germany; I needed these kind in the camp!)

The evening of the following day, after the officer reported his failure to find Ma, an orderly sergeant came to my bed, asking my name and: "Are you a relative of that gentleman on Willow Bayou?" "Yes, he is my brother." "Well, by G-d, I'll bring your wife, except I get killed." By night he got within a mile of our house. A widow lady lived there, a Mrs. Casey. She was told to send word to Ma that night, and next morning they went to Richmond. Until that night, Ma did not know that I had been wounded, and as she entered my room, I had just been lifted out of my bed to change the bedclothes, which were all bloody. Imagine the meeting! The doctor and soldiers were all very kind to me; not a day passed where we did not receive oranges, lemons, coffee, tea, and other things. The sutler of the regiment turned out to be a second cousin of mine. He gave me a pair of slippers.

One day during my sickness, all at once, I became very weak and almost speechless. Ma sent for the doctor in a hurry. I could see he changed as white as a sheet when he looked at me, ran out quick, and returned with some medicine that he gave, and I soon revived. When I left, the old doctor shook hands with us and invited us to his home in Kentucky, and said to me: "I did not wish to express myself when I first came, but I can say now, young man, that you must have the constitution of a horse. Not one in a hundred hardly would have recovered." The bullet came within a sixteenth of an inch of severing the main artery, which meant almost instant death. They had to put a mattress in a skiff and put me on it and brought me home.

Southern Life Under Yankee Occupation

Shortly after arriving home, the Federals had outposts at our house, two Iowa or Wisconsin soldiers. I used to argue with these fellows about which side was right. Aunt Lenche would get angry and grightened besides, telling these soldiers I did not mean what I said or what I was talking about. She certainly was right; I simply acted the fool.

About this time I suffered intensely in my hand from the contraction that took place in my hand. The guard proposed to take me to the Van Buren Hospital on the Marshall Plantation, eight miles distant. They stole a buggy from D. Harding's place, "Tallabeena," and a horse from Mr. Woody, and carried me there. I was treated very kindly, and came in time, as I was in a bad fix. The jolting of the buggy gave me a great deal of pain. I had no need of going to the hospital again. I used a great deal of morphine, however. We were kindly treated by the Federals (squads would pass by our place; none were permitted to enter the enclosure), while our neighbors fared badly. The soldiers would rob the women of their jewelry off their person, broke storerooms open, and destroy what they could not carry away. On expressing our surprise at this difference in our treatment to an officer, he replied that the negroes spoke so highly of us as being their friend, which afforded us this protection. The negroes knew well, also, that while we were there, they would be protected. They feared the Yankees as much as the Rebels. I forgot to mention that when I left Richmond, the doctor gave me a certificate, that I'd never be able to bear arms. On the strength of this I was paroled; otherwise, I would have been sent north and imprisoned.

After the surrender of Vicksburg, the Federals had forts all along the river, using the levee and cotton bales for breastworks. Artillery pointed out the road; there was one at Young's Point, Milliken's Bend, Goodrich's Ld'g, Lake Providence, and others. One morning we were awakened by a noise which sounded either as if cane was burning back of our field or fighting going on there. Of course no one was scared? But aunt and uncle and cousins and maybe the niggers weren't. It turned out that Col. McCullough with his Texans attacked the fort at Milliken's Bend, jumping the broad ditches and breastworks, driving the negroes in the river, many of them pinned through with their own bayonets. A very short time elapsed, attracted by the firing, a gunboat came along, shelling the Texans, four of whom were killed by the explosion of a shell at the end of the lane. All the foregoing fortifications were attacked similtaneously.

We asked for protection from the Federals. They sent us word, if we would move in their lines, they would afford it...Not long after arriving there, a troop of Confederate cavalery came there, a portion surrounded the house, and some rode to the negro quarters, robbing them, even taking the shoes off their feet. I did not get the welcome I expected; some of them must have known who I was. When I came outside the door, there were about twenty-five fellows on horseback pointing their revolvers at me. I actually laughed at them. Here I was with my arm in a sling; it looked too ridiculous. I left them, returned to my room, there found two or three [Confederates] breaking open the drawers of my dresser, stealing two watches, jewelry, and other stuff. Ma cried, and one fellow, six foot, who was considered a respectable planter before the war, living on Bayou Vidal, by the name of Smith, said: "Yes, madam, if the Yankees would rob you, you would not cry." She replied: "No, I would not. The Yankees are our enemies, and we looked for you to protect us." And when I protested, he clubbed his rifle and threatened to brain me. I just then looked out of the window and spied my friend John Lum, who belonged to my mess. I ran out and called him and told him my trouble. He came at once, told everyone to leave the premises, that he was going to report them. If anyone would touch another thing he would have to do it over his dead body, after which all left. Mr. Lum came with them, looking for some of his slaves.

In the Liquor Business in St. Louis

Immediately after this, brother Jacob and family moved to Memphis. I remained some time yet; all our children had the whooping cough. The negroes called it the Yankee cough; every morning the bedsheets were covered with blood. At the same time, an epidemic of dysentery broke out amongst the negroes. I got them all straight, but we lost our little Abe, a bright little fellow two and one-half years old, no doctor to be found anywhere. We buried him in the garden behind the house. After the war we brought his remains to Vicksburg.

After this we would not remain any longer, and concluded to move to St. Louis, where we had a married niece, Betty Hoffheimer. Her husband was in the wholesale liquor business. I was compelled to go to Vicksburg to get a permit. That was the latter part of August, 1863. When I got upon Washington St., the first person I saw was Uncle Emanuel. I thought he was with his regiment, the Twenty-sixth or Twenty-seventh La. He was with them from its organization until the surrender of Vicksburg; he had the tip of one of his fingers shot off by a sharpshooter, while in the trenches. All along Washington St. trenches were dug from corner to corner, where batteries were placed. You will find bronze tablets on each street corner, stating the name of the batteries and command.

I addressed him: "Hello, Manuel, what are you doing here?" He replied: "You have the advantage, your face is familiar, what may be your name?" (I had seen him in his camp about fifteen months before.) I replied: "You're a fool"' when I found he was in earnest I told him; he liked to fainted. "My G-d, Philip, I thought you were dead; I read in the paper that you were killed." (I was reported killed, in the Vicksburg, N.O., and Memphis papers.) He continued: "I did not follow my troop; I was awaiting a chance to hunt Sophie and children and take care of them."

I had to take the oath of allegiance, before I could get the permit. I got it all right and went back, packed up, and was ready to start, when our servants begged me to take them along. I had to go first to M. Bend to the commander of the post, agreeing to take them, and they had to go afterwards to get a permit from him, after being told that I would have a right to sell them when we got to St. Louis. The negroes cried when we left; they knew they lost a friend. When we were hardly out of sight a squad of negro cavalry swooped down on them and plundered them.

The following day the steamer "Sunshine" came along; we boarded her but had to step over a number of wounded soldiers to get into the cabin. At Memphis, the wounded men were taken off. Brother Jake came and took us to his house; we staid some hours, but returned before dark. All our friends and relatives came aboard and were very kind to us, and wanted us to remain there.

We remained at Memphis twenty-four hours and finished our trip. On the boat a fellow came to me and said he was a revenue agt. and had to look through our baggage if we had any contraband goods. I opened one trunk and begged him not to worry us, that my wife was ill and frightened, and handed him a five-dollar gold piece, upon which he left us. At last we reached St. Louis. I should have stated while at Memphis I exchanged my Confederate money for greenbacks, receiving 16cents for a dollar. I had some gold for which I got $1.40 in greenbacks at St. Louis.

When we arrived at St. Louis we were royally received by my niece's husband, Mr. Hoffheimer; we stayed several weeks with them. All of us were taken sick; the doctor pronounced it nervous prostration. I brought two pianos with me, one square and one upright; the latter I took for a debt. I sold them both. I packed a number of articles (the square piano amongst them) in cotton, which the negroes on the place gave me. I got 40 cents a pound for it. Cotton them sold for $1.50 per pound.

As soon as we had recuperated, I rented a house. I then went in partnership with a cigar maker. We rented a store with a space in the rear, where we had ten or twelve cigar makers employed. We were doing well for some time when all at once the tax on cigars were raised out of all proportion, the tax on clean Havana $5 to $22 pr. M. [1000], and on the top of this the cigar makers went on a strike, charging fifty percent more than formerly. This caused a falling off in business to such an extent there was not enough in it to support two families. I sold out my interest.

Mr. Hoffheimer proposed to me to open a liquor store business in Vicksburg; he told me to go there with samples, and see what I could do. My trip was successful beyond all expectations. Southern people, I mean persons who were, for instance, in Vicksburg at the currender, could not do any business without a permit, or purchase more goods than a permit allowed. There were at the time Mr. Winston (Tillie Herman's father); had a clothing and gents' furnishing store. He needed goods and could get a permit to purchase $400 worth of goods. (Those that could do business at all had to bribe the officers, and paid all kinds of money.) Mr. Winston gave me $1,000. I bought $800 worth of goods for him and had the bill made out for $400; it was all right, and Mr. W. was the most grateful man I ever saw.

We were in St. Louis from Sept., '63, to June, '65. We had two children born while there; both lived only a short time....Soon after my return, we got ready to move. I went ahead, rented a store and dwelling house, and hired a good cook; had everything ready for the coming of my family. My store was just south of Schaeffer's gunshop. I was doing well, and we were getting along finely until Christmas eve, 1866, when the frame building opposite (a boardinghouse) caught fire, and seventy houses burned down before it stopped. The fire raged for nearly twelve hours; every building from the river to east side of Washington St., from China to Crawford, was consumed. Nothing could be saved; the stock amounted to $21,000 with $14,000 insurance; the appraisers offered to pay $11,000. Hoffheimer telegraphed not to settle. We sued the ins. company, but before the cases were decided, Hoffheimer failed, and I lost everything I possessed. I had $6,000 case in it; $5,000 was for the woodyard I sold; $700 I collected from a gentleman who lived near here (Port Gibson). He had a plantation near Milliken's Bend, and I used to furnish him with such things as were needed on the place, do his receiving and forwarding of cotton. He was a gentleman, an honest man.