9 January 1865: “That there shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a General.”

Item Description: A bill to provide for the appointment of a directing general of the armies of the Confederate States.

18650109_01

Item citation: “A bill to provide for the appointment of a directing general of the armies of the Confederate States.” Confederate States of America. Congress. Senate.; Richmond, Va., 1865. Call number 196 Conf., Rare Book Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

[SECRET.]

[SENATE NO. 157]

SENATE, January 9, 1865. – Read first and second times, considered, postponed till to-morrow, and ordered to be printed.

[By Mr. SPARROW, from Committee on Military Affairs.

A BILL

To provide for the appointment of a Directing General of the armies of the Confederate States.

1  The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, 

2  That there shall be appointed by the President, by and with the

3  advice and consent of the Senate, a General, to whom shall be

4  entrusted, when commissioned, the general conduct and direc-

5  tion of the military operations of our armies, during the war.

 

Posted in Rare Book Collection | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

8 January 1865: “That army had suffered much in its morale by the long succession of retreats from Dalton”

Item Description: Letter from Jefferson Davis to his nephew Hugh.  He writes about issues with the Confederate military and government.

18650108_0118650108_0218650108_0318650108_04

Item Citation: From Folder 1, in the Mary Stamps Papers, #1453-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Richmond Va.

8th Jany 65

My dear Hugh

The departure of Maj: Henry furnished a safe opportunity to write to you. I have felt very anxious about your son not having heard whether he had been exchanged. It has sometimes happened that military commanders have been able to exchange ? before the prisoners had been turned over to the officers having special charge of them, when after being so turned over the orders of the Yankee Govt rendered it impossible to obtain the release of our men. As soon as the case was made known to me I directed the authority to be give to Genl. Hady to make the exchange if he could and only ? that he had not known our practice was always to approve such action on the part of any commanders similarly situated. We want all of our own soldiers and we do not want to guard and feed Yankee prisoners.

The movement of the contending armies in Ga. has resulted any disadvantageously to us. I had hoped Genl. Hood would have compelled Sherman to go north from Atlanta and perhaps to beat him by selecting a strong position in the mountains between Atlanta and Chattanooga and such were the expectations of Genl. H when I parted from him on the Chattahoochee. It is not possible for one who was not present and too little acquainted with the troops to judge of their spirit and condition to decide whether it was practicable to carry out the original design or not. That army had suffered much in its morale by the long succession of retreats from Dalton and it may have been a necessity to avoid battle until it could be reanimated and to some extent recruited. After Sherman started to the South East Genl. Beauregard thought it impossible to overtake him, but that his plans might be frustrated by a rapid advance into Tenn. The latter part of the opinion proved erroneous, the first part may have been right. Left with only cavalry, reserves and militia to oppose Sherman’s march, I directed the roads to be obstructed, bridges destroyed, and all supplies near to his line of march to be removed or burned. His horses were poor and not sufficiently numerous to drain provisions and ammunition for his march, the faithful execution of those orders would have defeated his progress. When will our people learn to expect nothing from Yankee forbearance? An officer of our Cavalry who served under Genl. Wheeler in that campaign writes that the Yankees while on the march took from one man a thousand hogs and from one county two thousand horses and mules, of corn they got an adequate amount sometimes being in the excess the superabundance was burned to starve the people who had left their ? for the enemy’s use. Now Sherman is on the Atlantic coast can be readily supplied and reinforced for future operations. The malcontents seizing on the restlessness consequent upon long and severe pressures have created a feeling hostile to the execution of the rigorous lacks which were necessary to raise and feed our armies, then magnifying every reverse and prophesying will they have produced public depression and sow the seeds of disintegration. Men of the old federal school are those who now invoke the ? of state rights to sustain a policy which in proposition to the extent of its adoption must tend to destroy the existence of the states of our confederacy and have them conquered provinces. “Oh Liberty what crimes have not been committed in thy name,” was the sad exclamation of one who mourned such perversion of truth to the maintenance of error as now appears in the conduct of those who ? the guise of state rights were to sink that states by the process of disintegration into imbecility and ultimate submission to Yankee despotism.

Maj. Henry will be able to tell of my family and of affairs in Richmond. Of proceedings on Congress you are sufficiently advised by the newspapers. Now when we require the brain and the heart of the country in the legislative halls of the Confederacy and of the states all must have realized how much it is otherwise. Our people have fought so as to command the admiration of mankind. They have nobly met the sacrifices of their position, never before was there so little of defection under such severe pressure, and if there be a grieving spirit of opposition to continued effort it is I think to be attributed to the bad conduct of those whose official position made it their duty to ultimate confidence and animate patriotism.

Give my love to Cousin Anne and your children, also when you see them to others of our family. May God bless and preserve you and your’s, and grant that before another year comes to us that our country may be in peace and independence, and that we may all meet again to cheer and sustain each other in the future trials of life.

Your uncle

J.D.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

7 January 1865: ” We have been for sometime daily upon the lookout for you and hope soon to see you.”

Item Description: Letter from John S. Wood of Hertford, NC to John Kimberly of Chapel Hill, NC.  He writes that he has acquired a pass to take the women and children from Elizabeth City, NC to Norfolk, VA.  He provides directions for getting them to Norfolk, encouraging them to travel through Murfreesboro, NC. He also mentions issues with the mail because this is the third letter he has sent to Kimberly regarding this pass.

18650107_0118650107_02

Item Citation: Folder 47 in the John Kimberly Papers, #398, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Hertford Jany 7th 1865

Mr Jn Kimberly

My Dear Sir

I wrote you twice by different opportunities in the early part of last month that I had rec’d a pass from Genl Shipley commanding at Norfolk for “Mrs Judge Maney, Mrs John Kimberly Four children nurse and Driver to come to Norfolk from Elizabeth City NC.” Not hearing from You begin to fear that neither of my letters reach’d you tho one of the Gen’l by whom I sent one of the letters told me he mail’d it a Murphy Depot, and the other told me he would certainly do so. Such as there is a possibility of miscarriage dum it but to write again a friend goes over tomorrow by whom I’ll send this.

In those Letters I suggested to you as the better route to come via of Murfreesboro to the Harbour Landing on Chowan River, cross to Cannon’s ferry on this side and make your way to our mutual friend James Cannon who will I know take pleasure in sending you to this place. You will observe that the pass states from Eliz City to Norfolk. Doct Pool made the application from that place and that may have been the ? or it might have been the extent of their times in near. Be this as it may, it matters not, you will find some difficulty in reaching that place after crossing Chowan River. We have been for sometime daily upon the lookout for you and hope soon to see you. Best Elliot and Lady still with us. Best talks of going soon to Chapel Hill, hopes for your arrival before leaving. With kind regards for you and yours.

Very truly sincerely your friend

Jn S Wood

Inquire at the Depot for Jackson’s stuck a conveyance. He will I understand take you to Murfreesboro and from thereto the River upon better times than any other persons so engaged. Lives at the Merchant Courage in Murfreesboro.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

6 January 1865: “It is the opinion out here that our “peculiar institution” is forever dead”

Today we are sharing two letters that were sent together on January 6, 1865 by Thomas W. Patton and Thomas Weaver. Patton was a former Confederate officer and Weaver was his body servant.

Item Description: Letter dated 6 January 1865 from Thomas W. Patton to his mother, Harriet Kerr Patton. Thomas Walton Patton, politician and mayor of Asheville, was a captain in the 60th North Carolina Regiment during the Civil War in Tennessee and Georgia. He resigned from his commission on August 8, 1864 and returned home.

18650106_01

Item Citation: Folder 7, James W. Patton Papers, #1739, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Lowndes County Ala
Jany 6, 1865

My Dear Mother

My negro boy Tom Weaver got me to write the accompanying edifying epistle to his old friends & fellow servants. It is a good production being his own dictation. I promised Susan to write to you particularly for her giving her best love etc and beginning that you will try and communicate with her folks at Mr. Robinson’s & let them know that she is well & doing well. She has a fine baby, a girl. All of the negroes here seem to be better contented than I ever found them before. They make no complaints at all to me. They are all well shod from shoes made by one of them, leather being tanned on the place. Altogether I think they are the happiest I have met with since the war having nothing in the world to trouble them.

It is the opinion out here that our “peculiar institution” is forever dead and I am inclined to that opinion myself. If such is the case I am sure the negroes are most to be pitied. Mr. Fagg offers to take a hundred dollars in gold for every one he has – so certain is he that they are lost to us forever as slaves.

There seems to be a good deal of despondency felt among the people out here about the final issue of the war. Many of them have given up all hope. I am not by any means among this number but still feel confident that yet all will be well. I have never yet had so trying a time about not knowing from home & just at a time that I am most anxious to hear. I still have strong hopes of seeing you all this winter – so keep in good spirits at home. Our big hog was killed the other day, but did not weigh as much as I expected, 900lbs gross & 806lbs net. I remain

Your Affec Son
Thos W. Patton

 

Item Description: Letter dated 6 January 1865 from Tom Weaver to his friends in Buncombe County, N.C. It is unknown if Tom was a free black working for Thomas Patton or if he was his slave.

18650106_0318650106_04

Item Citation: Folder 7, James W. Patton Papers, #1739, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Lowndes County Ala
Jany 6, 1865

My Dear Friends

It has been so long a time since I have heard any thing of you that I avail myself of this opportunity to drop you a few lines and let you know that I am well & doing as well as could be expected these times. I wish very much I could see you all once more. I have had a tolerably good time Christmas with Sam, who has been here for a week past. Tell Aunt Rhodie he is well and also his sister Lucy. Give my best respects to Aunt Rhodie & her family also especially to Solomon. Tell Mat & Mauson I wish them both much joy in their estate, as I understand they have become married men. Tell Aunt Eliza I have not forgotten her yet & hope she will keep me in remembrence. Give my respects especially to Sam Morrison & Abram and tell them I am very anxious to see them. You must tell howdie to all my old friends and tell them I hope some of these days to see them all once more & spend some more happy Christmas in their company. Tell Spencer his two sons are well and doing ditto & are very anxious to see him again. Remember especially to my old friend Minor. Tell him not to forget me. Love my best love to your wife Sallie and also Sandy & Evelina. I remember you all with much affection. It is my fortune to be far away from you but I will never drop you from my memory & time in hope that we may all meet each other again some of these days. I hope none of you will forget your old friend.

Tom Weaver

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

5 January 1865: “I am afraid we have a gloomy time before us”

Item Description: Letter dated 5 January 1865 from James Trooper Armstrong to his wife Matilda Greene Armstrong. He writes from Cavalry Headquarters, District Arkansas, at Camp Smith Plantation near Fulton, Missouri. Armstrong was the owner of Woodstock Plantation near Pine Bluff in Jefferson County, Ark., and a Confederate Army officer.

18650105_0118650105_02

Item Citation: Folder 11, James Trooper Armstrong Papers, #03942Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Calvary Headquarters, District Arkansas

Camp Smith plantation near Fulton

Jany 5th 1865

My dearest Wife-

I have just rec’d your letter dated yesterday. I did not expect you to come to the party. None of the wives of members of his staff were present. It turned out as we all predicted that it would be ?. But the Gen requested his staff to write their wives. There were only three or four ladies present. The party was ? at Gen Massey Hd Qrts. I should be delighted to be with you at the conferring of the mason’s degree on the ladies by Gen Pike, but think it better to remain here until we get through dismounting the cavalry. We would have been through but for some mistake in orders sent to Gen Clarke not reaching here him. We are now waiting on him. He will be in 19 miles of this place tonight. We have Gen ?  dismounting ? + Shelby commands. Clarke now is the only command to dismount. We will get through dismounting his command Sunday or Monday next. You may look for me about next Monday.

I have improved in health since I have been here, notwithstanding I have had a good deal of work to do + we are encamped in a new muddy + disagreeable place. I would have been entirely restored had I remained in Washington where I would have had my dear wife to have taken care of me. However I am so much better that I should not complain. We have heard bad news from our armies in Georgia + Tenn. If they have met with no disasters we have heard I am afraid we have a gloomy time before us Gen Grant My darling that this war may soon cease + that we may be once more united in a home of our own.

I shall look forward with a great deal of pleasure to over getting through our business here. Tell Bob I think there will be no doubt about my getting a saddle for him. The saddles were all turned over Quarter Master and I did not know I could purchase one until last night. When Clarks is dismounted I will get an order to purchase one.

And now goodbye my precious wife- Kiss the children.

Your affectionate husband

J.T. Armstrong

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

4 January 1865: “Father said the Yanks made a clean sweep of everything, and we have lost all our worldly possessions except the few negroes here.”

Item description: Entry, dated 4 January 1865, from the diary of Emma Florence LeConte, the daughter of scientist Joseph LeConte of Columbia, S.C.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Item citation: From the Emma LeConte Diary, #420-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Jan. 4th.

What a budget of bad news this morning! Four letters. One from father who writes from camp at Doctortown only fifteen miles from Halifax, but he cannot get there. He had sent word to Aunt Jane by some scouts to try to reach him with the girls, but how can they when every mule and horse has been taken – they could only walk, and that of course would be impracticable. Father said the Yanks made a clean sweep of everything, and we have lost all our worldly possessions except the few negroes here. Perhaps Aunt Jane’s family and Sallie are almost starving! Oh it is too dreadful to think of! A second letter from Aunt Ann in Baker County says that Will and Joe Henry (Quarterman) seeing the outrageous conduct of the Yankees in one of the upper counties, mounted and rode night and day to reach Liberty in time to beseech their mother and sisters to run anywhere rather than encounter such fiends. The house was surrounded – (so says report) – Willy was killed, Joe Henry mortally wounded, and Gus taken prisoner. Cousin Corinne’s husband was found in the swamp. How I hope it is not true! Poor Aunt Harriet! She has so recently buried her husband and daughter. And oh, what are my feelings when I think of Aunt Jane, Annie and Ada and poor little Sallie! What fate may not have overtaken them, alone as they are upon the plantation! And father – I cannot bear to think of him. Every day I tremble with the fear that I may hear he is a prisoner or killed. Killed – Oh, no – God would not be so cruel as that – I could not think of that – my darling precious father, if you were only safe at home again! Grandma writes more dreadful accounts of outrages and horrors that happened in Milledgeville. Walter writes from the hospital in Charleston that he has been laid up with chills and fever as a consequence of the terrible march after the evacuation of Savannah. He has got transferred to our College hospital, and we expect to see him this evening. I am constantly thinking of the time when Columbia will be given up to the enemy. The horrible picture is constantly before my mind. They have promised to show no mercy in this State. Mother wants to send me off, but of course I would not leave her. I can only hope their conduct in a city will not be so shocking as it has been through the country. Yet no doubt the College buildings will be burned, with other public buildings, and we will at least lose our home.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 January 1865: “I went to the dairy to get a bucket with a little milk in it, a yankee came running half bent asking “what you got” I turned it bottom upwards and kept on”

Item Description: A letter from Alabama describing what the Union Army took during their occupation, as well as some of the conditions of the confederate people and animals.

 

18650103_01 18650103_02 18650103_03

Item Citation: From Folder 271, in the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Home, January 3rd 1865

My dear Brother,

The year has commenced with excitement and trouble for the poor downtrodden people of Alabama. Sunday night four Yankees came by and tryed to press or ? to go to their camp down at the mill. Pa directed them and got off but yesterday we had them thiefs, and today has been worse. They took Bonaparte a Yankee horse we had had for sometime, and killed our last three turkeys, making twenty two in all they had taken from us, fruit-tin vessels and shot nearly all the chickens besides taking several pieces of meat and all the sausage. They robed two beegums, and as they had filled all their buckets they undertook to get another to put their honey in. Tommy hid our water bucket, and Pa ran in mothers room with the other, and left it with me. ? a yankee came and took a general search for it sensing every breath. I quietly kept my seat which was the water bucket, and of course the gent had to leave without it. Yesterday, I went to the dairy to get a bucket with a little milk in it, a yankee came running half bent asking “what you got” I turned it bottom upwards and kept on, he was very angry- swore he would do ten times worse. Pa was very uneasy, thought he might bring a crowd; but they have all gone on since those to day were a different set. Of all the senseless rabbles those to day were the worst. Full of their impudent insulting remarks, fired off their yams a great many times. They took thirty pieces of meat from Mr Fletcher a hundred pounds of sugar shaving utensils, combs, presents, flour, clothes, and when all the negros, broke him up in the way of horses. Mr Vaughan came off even worse. Lost all his horses, four forty pounds of coffee, about all they had. Mr Smith lost some provisions but no stock. Mr Davis was here when they came yesterday morning, and they asked him if he had two fine grey mules. He told them he had, that he would show them where he had hauled them off- both haveing ? with glanders. Pa think horse they got here has it, all the horses in the country are ailing with it. They hadint been to kind nor Mr Moore’s, Mr M has not lost anything yet, neither has Mr Sam P. We think the Ishams are sending them in this week. The yankees say they hade been told the people here had lost nothing. Pa is worried nearly to death. J.B.M. sent his bond in last night by B.A.M. who wanted to come any way to get some men who dodged him when he had to leave before, but with the yankees so ? he cant do anything now. The bond I speak of is the one he gives no probate ?- haveing received the appointment. Tyns being dead He left to find the circuit judge to have it approved by him and was South and now it has to be signed and approved by the circuit clerk, who is not here. The time allowed by the law for makeing it is about out.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

2 January 1865: “We had a very pleasant evening and were regaled in honour of the new year, which yesterday being Sunday was celebrated today, with egg-nog, Confederate cake and pop-corn.”

Item description: Entry, dated 2 January 1865, from the diary of Emma Florence LeConte, the daughter of scientist Joseph LeConte of Columbia, S.C.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Item citation: From the Emma LeConte Diary, #420-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Jan 2nd. (This day’s entry being filled with speculations on and arguments for an against the immortality of the soul, etc. I therefore extract only a short entry made before going to bed.)

Have just returned from Aunt Josie’s, where we spent the evening in company with Capt. and Mrs. Green. We had a very pleasant evening and were regaled in honour of the new year, which yesterday being Sunday was celebrated today, with egg-nog, Confederate cake and pop-corn. Capt. Green of the Nitre Bureau is an odd sort of man, and his wife is awfully ugly. No more news today except that I heard that Jeff Davis said that he would defend Carolina at all hazards. I hope it is true, but I do not believe it.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

1 January 1865: “how accustomed we have grown to what is horrible”

Item Description: A diary entry on the New Year in 1865 where Emma LeConte, from Columbia, South Carolina, hopes for a better year and reflects on news of the Yankees passing through plantations.

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Item Citation: From Folder 1, in the Emma LeConte Diary, #420-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Jan. 1st 1865

What a bright year! If only the sunshine be a presage of happier days; Cold but clear and sunny – such a contrast to yesterday’s tears. With this bright sun shining on me I can’t feel as mournful as I did yesterday. I will try to throw off the sad memories I was brooding over and hope for better things. I will try to forget my struggles and failures and disappointments and begin again with new resolutions. Oh, me! I haven’t much confidence in my ability to keep them.

Yesterday we had a letter from darling father. He was at Thomasville. He has been gone two weeks, and I suppose by this time he is at the Altamaha. The Gulf Road only runs thus far, and there he will have to stop and get word if possible to Aunt Jane, with Sallie, Cousin Ada and Cousin Annie to meet him. If that is impossible he will try to make his way through the lines to them. Though I never say anything about it, I feel uneasy in regard to father. The Yankees have been through Liberty County, burning and destroying, and I hear they have passed right through out plantations. Father says however that he has heard of no outrages committed. But how dreadfully they must have been frightened. And what is worse, if the provisions have been destroyed they may be suffering.

The uncertainty is very horrible. But how accustomed we have grown to what is horrible!

We had a letter from Grandma too. She had left us to be with Aunt Sallie in her confinement. She gives a long account of her journey, performed mostly in Government waggons with Lee’s men. Poor Aunt Sallie suffered dreadfully, and her babe was born dead – the result of the fright she experienced when the enemy passed through Milledgeville.

The old year did not die without bringing us one more piece of bad news. We heard yesterday that Gen. Price – old “Dad Price” – was dead. Misfortunes assail us on every side. The President however is quite well again. What a sinking of despair I had when I heard that he was dead.

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , | Comments Off

31 December 1864: “all the grateful swelling of the heart, all the music of the soul which this deep, this eternal music of the winds awakes as it passes over me”

Item Description: Diary entry dated 31 December 1864 by Sarah Lois Wadley.

18641231_01

18641231_02

18641231_03

18641231_Page_4

Item Citation: Folder 5, Sarah Lois Wadley Papers, #01258, Southern Historical CollectionWilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Friday, Dec. 31st. 1864.

I am all alone in the house. Father and Miss Mary and Eva left yesterday. Oh, we miss them so very much, all the house seems desolate. Mother and I sit together to keep our spirits up but succeed but poorly.

I was very busy yesterday “cleaning up and putting to rights” in my room, which was indeed an operation sadly needed after the work and confusion to get the children ready. I have been doing nothing today but read that marvellously eloquent and tender book “Les Miserables,” it is so beautiful, it seems to distill the spirit of a compassionate Saviour from the most miserable as well as the grandest beings in human nature.

Mother and the children have gone down to Mrs. Lidwell’s this evening. I stayed at home to write a letter, but as it is a letter to Julia Compton I don’t know how far I shall get in it, it is so pleasant to feel that everything here in my room is perfectly clean and orderly as I know by personal inspection, truly I think neatness forms a part of that broad basis upon which enjoyment is built; then this quiet house in which there is not a soul but myself, this wind sweeping through the leafless treetops and branches hung with withered leaves with such a beautiful living music, and above all the beautiful, lovely blue sky, with white, feathery clouds flecking it, and the warm, brilliant sunlight falling upon the landscape which winter has shorn of all its covering, with that peculiar brightness which makes us feel light and life and warmth and yet penetrates the heart with a sort of etherial stillness which I have never seen expressed so much to mind as in that line “Sunshine lay sleeping on the hill,” thus it lies sleeping on that brown hillside, thus it lightens that beautiful sky against which rises the strong, dark and spiritual heads of my pines, and it seems to me the soul of this sunshine is gathered into and breathes out from the little violets which sweetly perfume my desk, and which bring to my soul the loveliness of spring, though they are only one or two which have peeped out after the freezing cold. Then through the open window comes the twitter of little birds, the small hum of insects and the living sound which adds instead of diminishing the silence. All these things fill my soul with quiet rapture, they incline me to delicious reverie, and my mind is softened by the deep pathos of the grand renunciations of Jean Val Jean and the sufferings of the poor little Cosette. I have for a long time been so very busy, it is so long since I have been thus alone with the sunshine and the wind and the trees, that I take pleasure in my idleness, in a certain freedom for all cares, from all occupation that is so delightful when rarely enjoyed. How impossible is it for me to express all this quiet rapture, all the grateful swelling of the heart, all the music of the soul which this deep, this eternal music of the winds awakes as it passes over me. If I had the pen of a ready writer, if I had the art, the marvellous art of combining into a melody of sounds all this melody of the senses, the heart, soul, and mind, how blest I would be, but Oh, how blest am I and how I thank Him who has given to me the capability of joy which is so pure and deep since it comes from Him.

But let me now remember and write these what we call events, but which are not events as much as a new thought or a happy feeling. The date with which I commenced reminds me that Christmas has passed, that the Old year is passing through its last days, were it not for this date I could indeed hardly persuade myself that it is so, for how unlike is this to December, and how unlike is this quiet time to Christmas week! All Christmas day I kept saying over and over “it is Christmas” to keep myself in mind of it. It was very much like any other Sunday, only sometimes we would hear a “Merry Christmas,” which sounded hollow, like the echo of past times; we had an egg nogg in the morning but drank it with only an occasional attempt at hilarity. Mr. Gordon came up Christmas eve and spent the day with us, we had a very fine dinner, which we could not fully enjoy for thinking of Willie. In the evening we had some ice cream which the children malted at the fire, and so the day passed. I had an hour of pleasure when I read the Christmas service and beautiful Psalms and lessons and again in the evening when Miss May and I contemplated the glories of the setting sun. We retired early as we were fatigued with having sat up late the night before to reach a good stopping place in “Old Mortality,” in which we were all highly interested, Mr. Gordon included.

I am afflicted much for the past month or two with a dreadful debility which at nightfall sometimes almost prostrates me, especially in warm weather; we have had so much warm, damp weather since the winter months commenced. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we were very busy preparing for the approaching departure of the children. As the roads were very bad and we had but few mules, Father concluded to take Miss Mary and Eva in the North Carolina wagon, which was obliged to go to carry their baggage, so Thursday morning early it was brought up to the door to pack, this was quite an undertaking as they carried all their bedroom furniture, besides clothing and books, the wagon was quite full even with Father’s close packing; they had such a nice seat, Father laid their mattress on the floor with part of it against two trunks for the back and part against the wagon sides so that they had a complete large easy chair, which was very soft with blankets laid on it. Father sat just before them on some blankets laid on the corn, Prince rode one of the mules; it me so hard to tell them goodbye for such a long time. It was lonesome indeed for Willie to be gone, but doubly lonesome now; we miss them especially at meal times where the table is now almost round, and at night when it used to be so pleasant around the fire, but now only Mother and I are left.

A Mr. James, and Mr. Britt took supper here last night and the former remained all night. Mr. Britt said he saw Willie at Oak Ridge a few days ago, that he was well and on detached service.

I believe I have not written here since Tabitha (now Mrs. Shields) was here, she and her husband and baby spent the night with us last week on their way to Homer, I was so glad to see her, and she has such a sweet little baby.The setting sun warns me that I must leave this and commence Julia Compton’s letter if I would finish it tonight.

 

Posted in Southern Historical Collection | Tagged , , , | Comments Off