The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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polite, and profuse in his expressions of friendship. He was as sincere as his nature, education, and mixed blood would allow. So natural was intrigue and treachery ingrained in his nature that he practiced these vices when it were easier to be honest and sincere. He was popular among the people, and his death caused a profound sensation in the State.

        It would be foreign from the plan of this work to record all the spirit-stirring events in the career of Walker, or to attempt to describe the character of the country or its inhabitants.

        The career of General Walker, after many battles between the Nicaraguan forces and Costa Rica, as well as Guatemala, had varied fortunes; from his injudicious interference with the Transit Company, and other causes, his career was checked by defeat, and in May, 1857, an agreement was entered into by him and Captain Charles Henry Davis, a Commander in the United States Navy, ship "St. Mary," by which "General Walker, with sixteen officers of his staff, marched out of Rivas with their side-arms, pistols, horses, and personal baggage, under guarantee of said Davis not to be molested by the enemy, and be allowed to embark on the 'St. Mary,' then in the harbor of San Juan del Sur; and the said Davis undertaking to transport them safely to Panama, in charge of a United States officer." From Panama, Walker returned to the United States. He was received with much enthusiam; nor was he disturbed by the Government of the United States for any violation of law.

        He soon embarked again for Nicaragua, with men and arms, when, whether with orders from the Government of the United States or not, he was seized by Captain Paulding, as already alluded to. He was brought back to the United States. He again embarked for Central America, and landed in Honduras, where he had some skirmishes near Truxillo, when he surrendered to the English officer commanding Her Majesty's steamer "Icarus," who delivered him to General Alvarez, of the Honduras army, and on the 12th September, 1860, he was shot.

        This is a copy of the last note that Walker ever wrote:

        I hereby protest, before the civilized world, that when I surrendered to the captain of Her Majesty's steamer, the "Icarus," that officer expressly received my sword and pistol, as well as the arms of Colonel Rutler, and the surrender was expressly, and in so many words, to him, as the representative of Her Brittanic Majesty.


ON BOARD THE STEAMER "ICARUS," September 5th, 1860.

        Thus perished, in the prime of life, William Walker, at the early age of 36, as fearless a man as our country ever produced. Necessarily brief has been this sketch, which the stirring events of the time afford ample material and might have much extended. But it is only a glance at these events, comprehending the salient points of interest, are attempted with truth and justice. Much that I have endeavored to describe, if not

        Pars fui; mesiriema vidi,

        and had Walker been prudent and successful, the battles of Grenada and Rivas would have rivaled the triumph of San Jacinto, and Walker ranked with the Houston of other days. His enterprise and valor deserve our respect, and his tragic end our sympathy.

                         --Duncan is in his grave.
                         After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.
                         Treason has done his worst, nor steel nor poison,
                         Malice domestic, foreign levy,
                         Nothing can touch him further.


        From the disordered condition of this country, and from individual danger incident to any foreigner, I was instructed by the State Department to retire from Grenada to San Juan del Norte. In impaired health, I was allowed to return home, and in 1857 resigned. The events of these three years can hardly be classed in my life as among "The Pleasures of Memory."

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