On this day in 1865: George W. Nichols, a major in Sherman’s army, writes in his journal in Averasboro in Harnett County, where Confederate Col. Alfred Rhett, former commander of Ft. Sumter, has just been captured:
“Rhett [is] one of the ‘first family’ names of which South Carolina is so proud. From the conversation of this Rebel colonel, I judge him to be quite as impracticable a person as any of his class. He seemed most troubled about the way in which he was captured. . . .
“One of [the Union soldiers], without any sort of regard for the feelings of a South Carolina aristocrat, put a pistol to the colonel’s head and informed him in a quiet but very decided manner that if he didn’t come along he’d ‘make a hole through him!’ The colonel came; but he is a disgusted man. I made no doubt that [the soldiers] would have had but little scruple in cutting off one branch of the family tree of the Rhetts if the surrender had not been prompt.”