Excerpt from
"Odyssey in Gray, A Diary of Confederate Service 1863-1865,"

by Douglas French Forrest, CSN, Assistant Paymaster, C.S.S. Rappahannock

Edited by William N. Still, Jr., Virginia State Library, 1979.


page 292-294:
"Saturday, April 1 [1865] Arrived in Liverpool I called at Captn. Bullock's office, and asked his clerk, Mr. Robertson to inform him that I would call again on the morrow..... I arose bright & early this morning...

repaired with my funds & papers to Captn. B's office....

Finding that the Captain was engrossingly occupied with affairs that grew out of the approaching departure of Commodore Barron, I sat down and tranquilly awaited the return of his clerk, Mr. Robertson.
Two hours were spent en attendant, and when he came in, he was besieged by wives and sweethearts of our tars with their allotment tickets, letters of the Captain were to be copied &c. About three o'clock, when I ventured to suggest to the Captain that it was very important to me that I should have my vouchers checked off in order that he might become the custodian of them and receipt in due form to me, he informed me that, inasmuch as Dick Taylor was absent on his bridal tour, and his clerk was immersed in business of very great importance, I had better return in two or three days, when I might arrange my matters satisfactorily. I replied that if I did not get my receipts &c. to-night I should fail in an object very dear to my heart and for which I had labored exhaustingly for days past: that the steamer left Southampton on Monday and if I should be compelled to remain abroad another month I should be disappointed beyond measure...

To all this the Captain replied expressing his appreciation of my motives, but declaring it quite impossible for me to get off by this steamer. My chagrin was so great that I felt like blubbering and Mr. Robertson who felt for me, most kindly volunteered to forego his dinner and do what was necessary in the premises.....

And so: we labored away until nearly eight o'clock. When he had written the certificate which was necessary to secure the receipt of the Captain, it was discovered that he had entirely forgotten me and my anxieties and had gone out to his home at Waterloo, a suburb of Liverpool, and about five miles distant. Thither I repaired without any more delay than necessary to secure a very important letter from Fraser, Trenholm & Co., containing a statement of my account with them, from which it appears that there are 46 pounds still in their hands unapplied under the terms of my allotment. The communication is by railway, and in about fifteen minutes I was in Mrs. B.'s parlor talking very cosily with her & her sister, awaiting the return of the Captain from a visit he was making the widow of poor Charlie Hobson. He made his appearance about ten o'clock & I secured his signature. Making my excuses for running away just as soon as I had transacted my business I bade them "goodbye," and took a train for Liverpool, which just gave me time to catch the Express for London."

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