From the Spartanburg Herald
Confederate Veteran's Edition
August 17, 1910
Williams, John Henry – Born
April 19, 1841, Union County. Enlisted August 22, 1861, Co. B., 15th
S.C.V. Capt. William H. Gist. Transferred to Gen. R.E. Lee’s
headquarters. Promoted to sergeant. Was courier at Lee’s headquarters
at close of war. Wounded at Second Manassas, Aug. 30, 1862, and at
Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. Farmer and Magistrate.
Twice wounded and disabled from field service; was detailed and sent to
Gen. R.E. Lee’s headquarters and was sergeant in charge of couriers for
Cols. James L. Corley, chief quartermaster, and R.G. Cole, chief
commissary of Lee’s army. These colonels were on Gen Lee’s staff.
(In the 1940's or 50's, Anne Sutton Williams Pierce wrote an article
about John's Civil War service. You can read this at Civil War article.)
at Appomattox Court House with Lee’s army on April 10, 1865; got my
parole the next day, and on the third day started for home on
horseback, and reached my home in Union after about ten days’ ride.
Just after the surrender I was sent to Gen. Grant’s headquarters by the
chief quartermaster of Lee’s army with a dispatch to Col. Lorrence,
Grant’s chief quartermaster. While riding on both sides of the road, I
viewed Grant’s splendid army, so finely equipped with everything
pertaining to war. I could only wonder how it was that Lee’s army could
hold out so long against such odds as to numbers and resources. But the
end had come and I was in their midst, had fought them for four years,
and the great Robert E. Lee, the general of the world’s generals, said
stop the war and bloodshed, made his own terms of surrender, and the
chivalrous general, U.S. Grant, accepted the terms and the war ended.
And forty-five years have passed and gone and may we have a happy
reunion in Spartanburg Aug. 17-18, 1910.”