"An Incident at the War of the Rebellion"

George V. Tracy

Company D, 98th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Submitted by: John and Cindy McCachern

An Incident at the War of the Rebellion, Crawford County, Illinois
1 August 1906, Robinson (IL) Argus

An Incident at the War of the Rebellion

George V. Tracy, of Annapolis vicinity, who was a soldier in Co. D., 98th Illinois Mounted Infantry, during the war of the rebellion, related to The Argus editor last week an incident of the war which was made a lasting and sorrowful impression upon his mind. It was not an uncommon thing for the picket lines of the opposing armies to be so close together that they might engage in conversation of a quite friendly nature, and occasionally meet to exchange on the part of Federal soldiers coffee for tobacco with Confederates, make little trades, exchange papers, etc. In July 1864, on Peach Creek, near Atlanta, Ga, Mr. Tracy was on picket, and but a short distance away was a picket of rebel soldiers. He was signaled for an exchange of papers, and went forward, meeting a lieutenant of the 2nd Alabama Cavalry, with whom he exchanged a copy of The Argus, which had been sent him for a copy of the Atlanta Constitution. He also traded spurs with him, and just as they had placed these letter on their feet, there was the bugle call to get in line for a forward movement from both sides. The lines were hastily formed, the skirmish commenced with pretty rapid firing, the Johnnies falling back. Not far from where the exchange had been made, Mr. Tracy came across the body of the lieutenant, the copy of The Argus partly exposed from his blouse pocket, the spurs he had traded him on his feet and a bullet hole in his forehead. There was only time for a hasty glance at the man with whom he had conversed less than an hour before, who had expressed himself as tired of the war and anxious to return to his home, his wife and little baby girl. Mr. Tracy's kind heart was touched, and he could not refrain even in the heat of the skirmish from shedding tears over the fact that he could not stop long enough to give to the body of his enemy friend sepulture.

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