All the ladies of Corinth envied Mrs. William Murphy Inge April 1-4, 1862, because General Albert Sidney Johnston, Commander of the Confederate Army of the West, was making his headquarters at Rose Cottage, the Inge home. (Located on the southeast corner of Fillmore and Bunch Streets in Corinth.)

On the day Gen. Johnston left for Shiloh, Mrs. Inge offered the General a lunch she had prepared for him. He refused it, saying with a bow, “No thank you, Mrs. Inge, we soldiers travel light.” She, notwithstanding, slipped two sandwiches and a slice of cake into his pocket.

Johnston was fatally wounded April 7th. A courier brought a message to Mrs. Inge requesting her to have the General’s room ready for his body. She tried the door, found it locked and had it forced open. Shortly thereafter, an ambulance, escorted by his staff and a group of soldiers, arrived. Johnston’s body, wrapped in a muddy army blanket, was carried inside and placed on an improvised bier.

Mrs. Inge, assisted by Mrs. Ellen Polk and her daughter, Eugenia, cleaned the General’s uniform. In a pocket, they found the key to his room and crumbs of the lunch he had refused.

His body was placed in one of the 500 white pine coffins he had ordered before leaving the city; Mrs. Inge draped the Stars and Bars about it; and Eugenia cut three locks of hair from his head. She sent one lock to Mrs. Johnston; another was placed in the cornerstone of the Confederate Monument at Shiloh in 1917; and the third was put in the cornerstone of the Courthouse in 1880.

Late that afternoon his body was shipped to New Orleans.

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