The story of the
Army of the Dead.
the story goes, a couple had recently moved to Charleston shortly after
the Civil War. They moved to an area where they were the last home on a
dead-end street. The woman of the house was repeated awaken in the
middle of the night at the stroke of midnight by the sound of heavy
rumbling wheels passing by their home. This was very unusual since the
road ended just past their home. Her husband would awaken as well;
however, when she tried to get out of bed to look at the window, her
husband would stop her. He told her to leave well enough alone.
was a laundress and worked with other women nearby. One day she told a
lady working beside her of the strange sounds at the stroke of
midnight. The woman told her that she was hearing the Army of the Dead.
She went on to explain that the rumbling wheels were that of
Confederate soldiers that had died in the hospital and did not know the
war was over. She said that they would rise from their grave and go to
the aid of General Lee in Virginia to give them more manpower to weaken
the Southern troops.
evening, the lady quietly snuck out of bed to watch the Army of the
Dead pass her home. She stood in the window and watched as a gray fog
rolled passed. In the fog, she could distinguish the forms of
horses and could hear the voices of the men and the rumble from the
cannons being pulled through the street. She could even make out the
sounds of the marching feet of the soldiers. She watched in horror as
before her eyes foot soldiers, ambulances, horsemen, wagons and cannons
passed by all in gray. After several hours of being glued to the window
she heard a bulge past in the distance and then all became silent.
she realized what she had seen one of her arms was totally paralyzed.
From that day forward, she one of her arms remained paralyzed.