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off then and even sooner. I never felt so lonely before. I went fifteen miles that afternoon. Stayed at Mr. Roger's house. Uncle Bud, as he was familiarly called. He soon found out what I was doing, and was very sorry and sympathetic, and tried to influence me to return to my Mother, which I would readily have done, but I knew I could not stay. So after passing a restless night, I resumed my journey, arriving at camp about 3:00 o'clock June 23rd. My business was soon made known to the officers, who made arrangements to swear me into service, which was done the 24th of June 1862, and I became a Confederate soldier. I obtained a permit to return home and prepare to march at any time. I stayed a few days, got such clothing as my Mother and sisters could make in the time, and was off again, but with the hope of returning home again before we left for the seat of war, which I did, through the kindness of Lieut. Col. [David B.] Culberson, who could not, owing to orders, grant a pass, but gave me a detail to come home and get a gun, which detail I complied with. I left home early one morning in July, I am sorry that I have forgotten the precise date. My Mother, knowing that it was not probable that I would return again soon, led me to the gate, embraced and kissed me, and committed me to the care of a kind Providence, who, no doubt, in answer to her prayer, shielded me from the dangers incident to camp life. She also repeated this verse, as she held me in her embrace.

"The Mother who conceals her grief,
While to her breast, her son she presses,
She breathes a few brave words, and brief,
Kissing the patriot brow she blesses;
With no one, but her Loving God,
To know the pain that weighs upon her,
Sheds Holy blood, as e'er the sod,
Receive on Freedom's field of honor."

In a few days the first Battalion, to which I belonged, took up the march for Little Rock, Arkansas. (Again, I do not remember the precise date.) Via the following places, to wit -- Bright Star, Arkansas, thence to Line Ferry, on Red River, thence to Louisville, where a great many fell sick of measles, myself among the number. We lost a lot of men from the Regiment by the contagion -- two from our Company [H], to wit: William Hackler and a man named Owen. We lost Kas Coffman, who died about this time at home. I omitted to state in proper place, that we lost William Williams, while at Jefferson. We marched from Louisville, under command of Col. [William Beck] Ochiltree to Godboll's church, thence to Princeton, thence to Camden, thence to Little Rock, thence to Camp Nelson, near Austin, Praria County, Arkansas. On this trip, I think it was, at Godboll's church, that my mess got hold of a quantity of eggs and a number of watermelons, and I being in low hellth [sic] and not having much control over my appetite, ate too much of our rarity, and made myself quite sick. At Camp Nelson, we were organized into brigades, and the several brigades into a division, which was commanded by Gen. Henry E. McCullouch. The brigade commanders were Cols. [Horace] Randall, [Richard] Watterhouse and [Overton C.] Young. We were under command of the latter. Gen. McCullouch was a very ordinary man; appearantly about six feet tall,

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Life of John C. Porter and Sketch of His Experiences in the Civil War

John C. Porter 1874