Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 373
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 373
 
 
sermon at the opening session of the Presbyterian Anniversary at Augusta as, by reason of the military necessity, ordinary travel on all the railroads between that city and Richmond had been prohibited. Vice President Stephens gave an interesting relation of his attempted journey in May, 1864 from his Georgia home to the capital of the Confederacy, when he travelled northward from Charlotte in “a passenger car attached to a train loaded with bacon for the army.” On one dark and rainy night, he ascertained that there was a train five minutes behind his and that the only precaution taken against a rear-end collision was the placing of a lamp on the rear platform of his car. The locomotive steamed slowly up the grades but dashed furiously down-hill. While going up a steep grade, the cars broke loose from the locomotive and ran down the grade at increasing speed for two miles until, having reached the foot of one hill, they began to ascend the other and finally came to a stop just in time to avoid colliding with the train behind. After a while the locomotive came back and Stephens proceeded on his journey. Stopped at Danville by a fatal accident ahead of him and learning that the railroad had been cut by the enemy between Danville and Richmond, he believed that it would be almost impossible to reach the capital and therefore decided to return home. Suffering unaccountable delays he travelled a part of the way on a train bearing a large number of “Yankee prisoners and wounded Confederates from the battles of the Wilderness.” He had one seat reserved for him in the single passenger car; the rest of the train was made up of box cars, which the “Yankees” filled inside and out, they being given the preference in despatch to the Confederates, who in their wrath swore that “the Yankees ought to be killed; but instead of that they were cared more for than the men
 

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