Item description: In this diary entry, Sarah Lois Wadley (1844-1920) describes receiving news of the Battle of Shiloh, and reflects on the contrast between the beautiful spring day she observes, and the horrors of battle and death.
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: In the Sarah Lois Wadley Papers #1258, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Father has been gone two weeks today and we cannot hope for his return until next Sunday the time passes so slowly while he is gone, I never can bear for him to be away but I think I feel it now more than I ever did before. Oh! what a time is this, the past week has been one of feverish excitement, Tuesday we received news of a great battle near Corinth Miss., Every day since we have been hearing scraps of news from the battle field, on Wednesday we were triumphant conquerors but the enemy reinforced by sixty thousand fresh troops was preparing to attack us, all is uncertainty and dread rumours of every kind are floating around, but I believe we must be victorious; my heart sickens when I think that under this beautiful blue sky with God’s heavensent air breathing warm and fructifying around while the birds sing and the green leaves wave as if to praise their Creator, thousands of men are mingling in mortal combat and groans and shrieks sounding amid the roar of artillery and the trampling of cavalry, the picture is too dreadful; how many Mothers and sisters wives and children sit in despair or suspense this day. Oh, if there be, a retributive justice what shall be the fate of those wicked men who have sent their myrmidons to bathe [her?] land in the blood of it’s children. But if they die in body, their names shall live in our memory, and when in after days the stains of blood have been obliterated from the figure of Freedom we shall remember and generations after us shall bless those who died for their country.
Willie has gone to Monroe this morning to get the news, we can scarcely wait for and yet dread his return. We have not heard from Father since he left the whole country is in such a state of excitement and the railroads so thronged with soldiers that the mails cannot be relied upon.