- Apr 18, 2019
Not long since a Confederate soldier returned from the wars to his home near the state line dividing Kentucky and Tennessee. The first business he attended to was that of marrying the girl he had left behind when he first started out to seek the bubble reputation at the cannon’s mouth. A large party was gotten up by the bride’s family, and a man who was conceded to be a justice of the peace, because he had held the office for twenty years before this cruel war had commenced, performed the ceremony that united two hearts that had but a single thought. After these rites had been observed there was a feast of hog and hominy, roast turkey, pumpkin pies, and etc., and several gallons of forty-rod whisky to be discussed. In the course of human events the newly wedded pair were put to bed, according to the custom still in vogue among the rural population.
They had scarcely begun to realize the “situation” before there was a great rattling at their chamber door, and an imperative demand for them to arise. Some prying people had just discovered that the magistrate was not a regularly elected officer, and was not a justice at all. Alarm took them all, and another justice was sent for who lived some miles distant. Before midnight the knot was tied again and the anxious couple were suffered to retire for the second time.
The first contretemps was discussed freely by those who had not gone home, and the various contingencies of the matter investigated thoroughly. All at once it was found out that the last justice lived in Kaintuck, while the ceremony had been performed just over the line in Tennessee. There was a hurried rush up stairs, and another arousing of the bride and groom. They came down stairs somewhat dissatisfied with the turn matters had taken, and then the whole party went down the road three quarters of a mile till they got into the state where the squire lived, and there the wedding rites were performed for the third time. The bride’s mother, not satisfied with all this comedy of errors, had, some time before, dispatched a swift messenger for a stated preacher, and when they got back to the maternal mansion, to make all things safe, the knot was tied for the fourth time by the man of God. By this time the first glimpse of daylight was streaking the eastern sky.
Wearied out by the experiences and anxieties of the night, they were at last suffered to retire in peace. Half an hour had not elapsed before there was another confusion in the house. A thundering knock at the chamber door of the young couple made the groom thoroughly mad. He told whoever it was that it was “too late,” and swore he would not get up again for all the mistakes in the world. He would whip the first man who disturbed him again, he didn’t care who it was. A gruff demand to open the door if he did not wish to have it beaten down, and the rattle of a musket decided him to submit once more to the imposition.
On opening the portal, he was confronted by a Federal soldier, and the words, “you are my prisoner, come along with me.”
Vainly did he plead for the privilege of giving bail for his appearance, and all his offers of bribes were as useless as the idle wind. The officer charged with his arrest was inexorable, and now the chap is spending his share of the honeymoon at Columbia, in the guard-house, while the disconsolate maid, his bride, weeps for him at home.
(transcribed from the Memphis Daily Appeal December 30, 1863 – attributed by them to the Memphis Bulletin)
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