We left here sometime in Feb. 1865, went to Shreveport, camped on a red hill, southwest of town, a few days, then moved a few miles northwest. Here, Gen. King organized a new Brigade, composed of Randall's old Reg't., [Col. George M.] Flournoy's 17th Inft. and ours -- 18th Inft., and two dismounted Reg'ts.
After remaining here a few days, we took up the march in a southerly direction, passing through the towns of Keechi [Keatchie], Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.
On leaving the camp at Shreveport, I found that I was the superior officer of the Company, and had to take command. (I was 3rd Serg't.) I did so, but with a great deal of embarrassment. I was relieved, however, of command that afternoon, by the 1st Serg't. At short distance below Pleasant Hill, we countermarched under command of Gen. King. Why he took command, I never knew. Some said the trip in that direction was contrary to orders, and Gen. [John H.] Forney was placed under arrest, as to the truth of it, I cannot say -- however, we turned back, under command of Gen. King, retracing our steps to the town of Keechi.
Here, I saw the lady whom Gen. King afterward married -- and he and she were standing on the piazza of her father's residence (which were in the suburbs of the town). As the Division marched past, that afternoon, he rode a very handsome horse (a cream color) into camp, said to be a present from her.
Next morning we took up march in the direction of Texas. Our Brigade and Gen. Randall's old Brigade crossed the Sabine River at Grand Bluff, the other two, to wit, Wall's [Benjamin W. Waul's] and Waterhouse's crossed at Logansport -- the two Divisions to form a junction, if I mistake not, at Crocket, Tex. While crossing the river, one of our Company, Clem Clinton, when the 1st Serg't., was about to make a detail, volunteered his services, and when he found out what was wanted, was to ferry the wagon train over, during the entire night.
I will here state that it often occurred, when a detail was called for, some fellow would volunteer, hoping to go to the country with a forage wagon and have a good time, and it frequently resulted as above.
Soon after crossing the Texas line, there were various conjectures as to our objective point -- some said one thing, some another, until one day, two of our men, to wit -- Joe L. Dean and Isaac Newberry, both good hands to make a plausible yarn, visited another Command and returned with news -- "That we were going to Galveston to embark on a French fleet, which was in waiting, and be landed beyond the mouth of the Mississippi River, and reinforce Gen. Joe Johnson [Johnston]". On receiving this news, there were quite a number, who had known it for some time, but would not tell the others, for the reason that they knew no one would believe them, notwithstanding, they knew it so well, they were completely outdone, when they were told that the boys originated it for pastime.
I have found persons all along through life, who were extraordinarily
wise, and have known anything a great while, after they concluded it
was a certainty.