of Diospyros virginiana
(common, or American persimmon)
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In November, in an effort to cut off General William T. Sherman's supply line, Confederate General John B. Hood, led the Army of Tennessee out of Alabama and toward Nashville. One of Hood's men remembered the grueling march from Atlanta to Nashville. "After the fall of Atlanta," Confederate veteran Milton Cox told his son John:
"We marched northward into Tennessee over frozen ground and how cold it was! Our shoes were worn out and our feet were torn and bleeding…the snow was on the ground and there was no food. Our rations were a few grains of parched corn. When we reached the vicinity of Nashville we were very hungry and we began to search for food. Over in a valley stood a tree which seemed to be loaded with fruit. It was a frost bitten persimmon tree, but as I look back over my whole life, never have I tasted any food which would compare with these persimmons."Memories of Milton B. Cox told by his son John T. Cox,
Effie Cowan, interviewer, Groesbeck, Texas, circa 1936-40.
American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940
Passage and notes from the Library of Congress American Memory, Today In History, December 16: The Battle of Nashville