|Liberty Hall, Thursday, May 11, 1865 -- This was a most beautiful and
charming day. After refreshing sleep, I arose early. Robert Hull, a youth,
son of Henry Hull, of Athens, Ga., spent the night at my house. I wrote
some letters for the mail, my custom being to attend to such business as
soon as breakfast was over; and Robert and I were amusing ourselves at
Casino, when Tim [a negro servant] came running into the parlor saying:
"Master, more Yankess havce come; a whole heap are in town, galloping about
with guns!" Suspecting what it meant, I rose, told Robert I supposed they
had come for me, and entered my bedroom to make arrangements for leaving,
should my apprehension prove true. Soon, I saw an officer with soldiers
under arms apporaching the house. The doors were all open. I met him in
the library. He asked if my name was Stephens. I replied that it was.
"Alexander H. Stephens!" said he.
I told him yes. He then said that he had orders to arrest me. I inquired
his name and asked to see his orders. He replied that he was Captain Saint,
of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, or mounty infantry, attached to General Nelson's
command; he was then under General Upton; he showed me the order by General
Upton, at Atlanta, directing my arrest and the arrest of Robert Toombs;
no charge was specified; he was instructed to come to Crawfordville, arrest
me, proceed to Washington, arrest Mr. Toombs, and then carry both to General
I told him I had been looking for something of this kind; at least,
for some weeks, had thought it not improbably, and hence had not left home;
that General Upton need not have sent any force for me; that had he simply
notified me that he wished me at headquarters, I should have gone. I asked
how I was to travel.
He said: "On the cars."
I then learned that he had come down on the train, arriving just before
Tim's announcement. I asked if I would be permitted to carry any clothing.
He said "Yes." I asked how long I might have for packing. He said "A few
minutes -- as long as necessary." I set to packing. Harry [the chief man
servant] came in, evincing great surprise and regret, to pack for me. The
"You may take a servant with you if you wish."
I asked if he knew my destination. He said:
"First, Atlanta; then, Washington City."
I called in Anthony, a black boy from Richmond, who had been waiting
on me for several years, and inquired if he wished to go. I told him I
would send him from Washington to his mother in Richmond. He was willing,
so I bade him be ready as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Mr. Hiddell [secretary to Mr. Stephens] had come in;
he was living with me and had gone out after breakfast. None of my brother's
family residing at the old homestead happened to be with me; however, Clarence,
who was going to school at the Academy, hearing of what had occurred, I
suppose, came over with some friends from town. It was about ten A.M. when
Captain Saint arrived. In about fifteen minutes -- not much over -- we
started for the depot, Anthony and I, with the captain and squad; friends,
servants, and Clarence following, most of them crying. My own heart was
full -- too full for tears.