Tag Archives: Norfolk

2 January 1863: “…the ladies were under a guard of Federal Soldiers haing spent the night in Jail and part of the time in a Criminals Cell!!

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard recounts the changing social conditions brought about by Union occupation and notions of emancipation. A white slave owner’s son, wife, and his wife’s friends were briefly imprisoned after an enslaved or servant woman was slapped for her … Continue reading

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1 January 1863: “Today is the period fixed for Mr. Lincoln’s unwise and unconstitutional emancipation proclamation…Thousands of the Poor deluded Negroes have left their homes…”

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard depicts the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the enslaved African Americans. Item citation: From folder 2 of the Overton and Jesse Bernard Diaries #62-z,  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Item transcription: … Continue reading

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27 December 1862: “It looks to me as if the persons named intended that they should be captured by the rebels.”

Item description: “Report of Commander Murray, U. S. Navy, regarding the reported capture of parties transporting goods from Norfolk [Virginia] to Elizabeth City [North Carolina].” To read more from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the … Continue reading

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12 October 1862: “what white people you meet give you a wide berth for fear of contaminating themselves by touching a yankee…”

Item description: Letter, 12 October 1862, from Union soldier Stephen Tippet Andrews to his beloved, Margaret (Maggie) Little. In this letter, Andrews describes his journey from Newport News to Suffolk, Va., commenting on the condition of the cities of Norfolk and … Continue reading

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5 May 1862: “…to be evacuated by the Confederate troops!!”

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard states the rumors of a Confederate evacuation of Norfolk, Virginia, which would occur in less than a week from his diary entry. Image: Item Citation: From folder 2 of the Overton and Jesse Bernard Diaries #62-z,  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, … Continue reading

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2 November 1861: “I thought of what I written above last night and the possibility of my being in danger of making Shipwreck myself in the Storm and the foregoing being perused as my last journalism.”

Item Description: In this diary entry, Rev. Overton Bernard reflects upon his call upon God for revenge against the Union after an eventful day of travel. Item Citation: From folder 2 of the Overton and Jesse Bernard Diaries #62-z,  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson … Continue reading

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4 June 1861: “Authority be given to purchase the three (3) boats.”

Item description: Telegram from Walter Gwynn, Norfolk, Va., to North Carolina Gov. John W. Ellis asking Ellis to authorize the purchase of three warships. Item citation: From folder 11 of the John Willis Ellis Papers, #242, Southern Historical Collection, The … Continue reading

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19 May 1861: “The Fight Commenced

Item description: Report of a naval engagement in Norfolk, Virginia. [This report was originally published in the Petersburg (Va.) Express on 19 May 1861 and reprinted here in the Weekly State Journal (Raleigh, N.C.) on 22 May 1861.] Item citation: … Continue reading

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28 April 1861: “The troops are under arms and performing duty as though we were in a state of siege.”

Item description: Bryan writes to his father after his arrival at Norfolk. Because many troops that guarded the river, he was encouraged to “take to the rail.” In the midst of the secession crisis, Bryan reported many uniformed soldiers.  He … Continue reading

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