Journal Entry; south of
; the evening of April 7, 1865 Cumberland Church, Virginia
Another fierce day of fight and run; the 9th Cavalry still triumphs, but the walking, weary foot soldiers fall, starving, exhausted, in the road, no longer able to outdistance the blue storm approaching from all points.
We ride all night, so I write in the saddle, savoring even a weak west evening breeze; a flight of black butterflies flutter far above our heads. One lands on my shoulder; no, not tiny wings at all; the air is filled with floating ashes.
burning; our last bridge burned behind us, Federals surrounding in every direction. The butterflies flit and fall, settling on the soil, dissolving with the dew. We are an army of black butterflies, about to dissolve back into the soil; there is nowhere else to go. We are ashes. High Bridge