4 November 1862: “He is a perfect skeleton, and could not walk up stairs, but is anxious to get home and would have started today, but it is threatening rain, and Mother thought he had better not go.”

Item description: Entry, 4 November 1862, from the diary of Sarah Lois Wadley.

More about Sarah Lois Wadley:
Sarah Lois Wadley was born in 1844 in New Hampshire, the daughter of railroad superintendent William Morrill Wadley (1813-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham Wadley (1819-1905). Although born in New England, she appears to have been raised in the South, and lived with her family in homes near Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, Monroe and Oakland in Ouachita Parish, La., and near Macon, Ga. Sarah Lois Wadley died unmarried in Monroe County, Ga., in 1920.

[Transcription available below images.]

Item citation: From the Sarah Lois Wadley Papers, #1258Southern Historical Collection,Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Tuesday, Nov. 4th–

A week ago today was Willie’s twenty first birthday, he is now a man, my dearest brother, the companion of my childhood is a man. How strange it seems, I cannot think of his otherwise than as he has always been to me, and yet his life of manhood is actually begun, how may a few years change him! I look with wonder on estranged families where sisters and brothers meet without recognizing each other, and it seems as if they never could have been children together, it seems to me as if I could never feel so to Willie. May God in mercy grant that he may never give no reason.

Julia Compton and her sister Maggie spent yesterday with me, the day passed very pleasantly.

We have a poor, sick soldier here, he came Monday, has two brothers with him; the poor man was not well when he left home, and has been in the hospital three months. He is a perfect skeleton, and could not walk up stairs, but is anxious to get home and would have started today, but it is threatening rain, and Mother thought he had better not go. They are of the poorer class of people, but are well clothed in complete suite of homespun, the two well ones have very heavy, dull intellects, they seem to be good people, but it is almost impossible to get them to say anything but yes and no. Mother says they are like all of the good country people are, very shy, especially among strangers.

Oh how the wind blows, I think it will rain, I hope so, for the dust is suffocating and the turnirps need rain very much. What changes have taken place outdoors since a few days, the oaks are all brown, and the leaves of many trees are already falling, such a frost as we had in October is seldom seen here so early. But though the oaks are seared some of the other trees still preserve their bright red and yellow leaves and enliven the landscape.

It is so dark now that I must stop writing.

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