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True To The Old Flag

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On Mar eb 19, 18 6 5, Sherrnan's arruy was s a v e d frorn destruction by the courage of on e . man. An Andersonvillo prisoner namod Williams, who had passed the suminer of 1864 in the stockade, fouiid hiniself dying of a disease incurable in the prison camp. Ho decided to get north or die in tho effort and enlisted in the Confedérate army, intending to dosert at the first chance. He was closely watcbed and could not get away. On the uiorning of March 19 Sherman was marching toward Raleigh, his army in two columns, on roads several miles apart. The right wing, ou approaching Bentonville, fonnd the road held by the enemy. General Slocnm, the commander, asked Sherruau, who was jast leaving the bivouac to rido across the swainp and join Howard's left wing, whether he slionkl flght hisway through orwait for Howard to come up. "Go right ahead, " saitl Shorman. "There is nothing in your front except a handful of cavalry. ' ' The chief rode away, and Slocuni ordered an advance. Hia troops enconntered infantry and batteries in a strong line. A fresh división was then ordered to break through at all hazard, u.u! t it that timo au aid brnught beforo his chief r. yocug man drossed in gray vho had asked to sce the commanding offlcer at once. He told his owu story Liot, for he was Williams, the deserter, then said that there was an army of 40,000 Confederatesin ambush on Slocum's front; thaf General Joe Jobnston and the most valiant leaders of the south were in camp and had laid their plans to smash Sherman's army, a wing at a t'rue. Slocum at first believed that the fellow was playing false, bnt sonie one prosent recognized Williams asaformer Union üoldier. He was tal.' ii nt his word and the lines formed f or rl n-e. Couriers galloped off to notify Shwman and Howard, and the desperate assaults of Johnston's columns were mot by finn battaliona not to be overthrowu.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News